A Swan Takes Flight
When Guru Maharaj Ji returned to India from His second World Peace Tour, He was greeted by 500,000 people at the airport. These were devotees who had gathered to celebrate Hans Jayanti, the birthday of Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, Guru and Father of the present Guru Maharaj Ji. The disciples had come from all corners of India, from England, Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, Japan, Australia, and South Africa. Eight Jumbo Jets were chartered to bring the members of the western contingents. The Hans Jayanti Festival took place on November 8, 9, and 10 at the Ram Lila Grounds in Delhi. During the Festival, a global village was set up by the western disciples, a village of international brotherhood which Shri Maharaj Ji had envisioned many years before while He was going from person to person, spreading His Divine Gift, the practical Knowledge and Love of God.
There are many and beautiful stories of the life of our Guru Maharaj Ji's Father, Shri Maharaj Ji, and in "A Swan Takes Flight" we shall begin to tell them.
The sun is just beginning to rise over the night of our ignorance. The Age of Light was born in the West in late 1969, when eleven-year old Guru Maharaj Ji sent His Mahatma Guru Charnanand to London. In 1971 He came to the West Himself. But there was One who came before Him; He who presided over the night, taking no sleep, but was ever busy making. His children ready for the new morning.
He was born in the town of Badrinath, in the mountainous region of northern India. Inspired by thedramatic spiritual experiences He received in His childhood, Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj donned the peasant garb of "dhoti" and "kurta" and left the stately home of His birth in search of Truth. Like all great saints before Him, Shri Maharaj Ji was tempted in His youth by the pleasures of this world and by the half-truths offered by all those who do not have the real Knowledge of the Soul. One such group was the Arya Samaj. They desired practical reform, pragmatic solutions to the problems of India's
Guru Maharaj Ji is the embodiment of every grace and blessing to His more than five million followers world wide. Half a million followers attended the Hans Jayanti Festival.
people. Shri Maharaj Ji was Himself appalled by the living conditions of His people, and so He joined with the Arya Samaj in their denunciation of "gurus" and the spiritual path which removed people's energy from solving the problems of day-to-day existence.
The true seeker will never rest until he has found a perfect solution, that answer which, when put into practice, dissolves all misery in its path. Shri Maharaj Ji soon discovered that compassion for one's fellow man, even if coupled with the will and strength to act, is not enough. One must know the true source of suffering if one is to eradicate it. When Shri Maharaj Ji met one who knew that source, He recognized Him at once.
Swami Sarupanand Ji Maharaj was called Satguru: He who brings one from darkness to the Light by revealing Truth. When he who longs to know perfect Truth finds Satguru, it is not difficult for him to lay down all the toys he was using to pass the time until the real thing came along. Shri Maharaj Ji left Arya Samaj and asked His Guru for Knowledge. "Come back tomorrow," was the Master's only answer.
Early the next morning on His way to the home of Shri Sarupanand Ji, Shri Maharaj Ji experienced for the first time the power and the playfulness that is Satguru. Upon coming to what had been the day before a small stream, Shri Maharaj Ji discovered a mighty river. Determined to let not one extra day pass before He could receive the most holy secret, the Knowledge of Self, He attempted to ford the river. His strength was no match for such a swift current and Shri Maharaj Ji was swept away. At this time, He recounts, He did not think of the family He had left so long ago or the friends. He would never see again; He thought of the Knowledge that He would never receive. Suddenly, as if by a hand from heaven, Shri Maharaj Ji's body was lifted from the rushing water and placed gently on the shore. There was no rescuer to be found. With thankfulness in His heart, and overflowing with love for the mysterious force that had saved Him, Shri Maharaj Ji continued until reaching the house of His Satguru. That day, Shri Maharaj Ji received the sacred Knowledge and beheld for Himself the Divine Form of that power which creates mighty rivers and which can at its discretion take a life or save it.
There are those who dabble in Perfection, and there are those who must, of necessity, become It, merge with It, die to It. In order to eliminate all doubt in His mind, Shri Maharaj Ji began to re-read the holy scriptures. Yes, it was all there: "Unspeakable Word," "Light of the World," "Living Waters." The Bible and the Gita concurred. If one goes to the Feet of the Living Master with a pure and guileless heart, He will reveal the Perfect Form of the Spirit, of God. Shri Maharaj Ji realized that by the Infinite Grace of the all-loving Father, He had just been given the Knowledge that was given by Krishna to Arjuna, by Christ to the apostles. He returned to Satguru Shri Sarupanand Ji's dwelling place eager to sit forever at His Feet as humble servant to the Perfect Lord, to render the Master desireless service for
A hundred thousand people from every continent and race turned out to greet Maharaj Ji on His arrival at Palam, Airport, Delhi.
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crowning ornament of meditation, a jewel whose properties are to dispel darkness, to eradicate poverty of spirit, and to negate the poisons of worldly living. Not everyone who has a human body gains this pearl of great price. It is the Grace of God alone which bestows this human body, the very gods themselves wish to obtain it, but only those on whom the Almighty's Grace is showered receive it. It is said:
There's very many people never meet
a Saint, but wander through life blind.
Those whom Fortune leads to Holy Feet
are very blest, for peace they find
in freedom from the shackles of the mind.
It is the presence of Guru Maharaj Ji that opens life up. There is a song which goes:
0 Lord, simply seeing Your face
has opened my life to Grace.
My sunlight and moonlight You are,
and I am Your little star.
You are my Ganges, my Jumna too,
and I'm a drain before You.
You are the cream on the milk's top,
and I am a spilt drop.
You are Creator, You are the Word.
May we sit at Your Feet, Lord?
You are my Father, my Mother mild,
and I am Your tiniest child.
You're my ocean, You are so kind,
You wash sins from the mind,
You freely teach us Holy Knowledge.
I beg to serve in Your college.
Suppose someone has an empire that extends from where the sun rises to where it sets, he is still nothing before Guru Maharaj Ji. It is said:
In all the three worlds, none is greater
than Satguru. Even the mighty Creator
is quite unable to function before Him.
His Will is what happens. Let us adore Him.
The leaders of today do not listen. When I meet them, they tell me they have no time to spare. Yet what are they doing" The President of India said in a lecture that only the Knowledge of God can bring happiness to mankind, adn yet when I wrote to him about this Knowledge, his reply read, "Your communication is noted with thanks," and that was all. That is the way things are today.
My meaning is this. The human body is not something that you can buy for cash. It is a rare possession, and you should use it well. Those who have human bodies should definitely take Knowledge of God. The scriptures say y that this whole creation was made so that we might know God. Mari only becomes entangled in the universe, and suffers, when he has no Knowledge. Saint Tulsi says:
God is in each human frame,
and the greatest shame
is not to see Him, to be blind
from cataract, from mind.
And Saint Kabir:
With his nose glued to the ground,
the musk deer searches around
for musk, although it's inside him,
and human hearts, likewise, hide Him
who made us, yet we who search
for Him, stupidly seek Him in church!
God is truly the consciousness of Bliss within the heart, but we are looking for Him outside ourselves. Musk is in the musk deer's stomach, and when he urinates, the smell of musk is very strong, and the deer searches for the source of the smell in the hedges and all around him. But how can he find that outside, when it comes from within him?
You have been deceived in the selfsame way. You do not know where Bliss is to be found. Come to me, I will let you know where God is living inside you, definitely I shall. You feel some pleasure when you go to the cinema, or when you eat good food, or wear good clothes. But the pleasure does not lie in those things, it is inside you, though you imagine it is outside. That is illusion.
It's the same thing, when a dog digs up a bone and begins to chew it. His own jaw begins to bleed, and when he tastes his blood, he imagines it is coming from the bone. If' his master takes the bone away from him, the dog runs after him angrily and tries to bite him, because he thinks that bone is the source of his happiness. In the same way, you feel you take pleasure in sensual experiences, when there is actually no pleasure in them. You go to the cinema, and you focus on the film, and your concentration gives You pleasure. But it is only a film, it is artificial, an imitation. You see the sea on the screen, but the screen is not wet. You see a fire, but the screen is not burning. If these things were real, the cinema would burn down.
Can you imagine how happy you would feel if you were to concentrate on God, who is truly the consciousness of Bliss? But ' you attach your mind to His creation instead. Saint Kabir says:
If you sit for meditation,
but your mind's somewhere outside,
You will feel no dedication,
for a starched cloth can't be dyed.
Your mind keeps thinking, "Well, that's enough of that, I'd better get home, or there may be a burglary," or "That was my friends on the phone, must get down to the club while it's still open, and have a drink." What good is all that? It is a complete waste of this human body, which is so precious that even the gods beg to obtain
There were thousands of different forms
in the cycle by which we were bound
before this one chance to be man came around.
At times we were angels, at times worms.
Guru Nanak Ji warns us this human frame
is lent us, so we may remember the Holy Name.
If we forget now, our last breath
will tie us again to the wheel of Death.
This is the highest form of body that exists. This is the body y in which it is possible both to make an action, and reap the consequences. A man can prepare food for himself', and eat it.. Other forms of life can eat food that men have cooked, but they cannot cook it for themselves. Fish, flesh and fowl will all eat food that human beings have prepared.
The Almighty gave man an intellect. Man built the airplane by using it, and even managed to reach the moon. We should know that Almighty Father who gave that intellect to us. We should love our Father Almighty as much as the Chakor bird loves the moon. It is always longing to meet the moon, but how can it fly there? It would soon become thirsty.
The technique by which we can meet that Almighty Father is given here. You see, God definitely lies within the heart. His Name is definitely in every heart. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:
Arjuna, I cannot be seen
by merely mortal sight.
I therefore give you Sight Divine
to see my form of Light.
Scriptures talk about Divine Light. But you won't find Divine Light in scriptures, you will only find descriptions of it. Guru Maharaj Ji gives people the same eye which Lord Krishna was explaining to His disciple Arjuna. Guru Maharaj Ji does not give people any mantras, He gives them Knowledge of that Name by which the mind is controlled. He teaches us to recognize Truth from untruth.
In the same way, chanting and ceremonies are all false. You can find them in the scriptures, but I want to ask you what it was the saints who wrote those scriptures knew, that taught them so much? It was Knowledge of the Supreme.
Guru Nanak says:
I suffered from an eye complaint,
but Guru's drops made darkness flee.
Amazing Grace, He sent His saint
to one as blind as I. And now I see.
What eye lotion did Nanak Dev Ji use? Tell me one thing, when you are chanting and singing, where is your mind fixed? Devotion has to do with three distinct things, the devotee, God, and devotion. When we fix our concentration on God, the link between us and God is called devotion, and we are known as devotees. But when you ou don't know the point upon which to meditate, where can you fasten your mind? Saint Kabir says:
You thumb your rosary, and wag
your tongue with mantra chants, until
your mind is flapping like a flag.
Such things will never make it still.
He also says:
Chants and rites aren't worth a single dime,
so says Kabir, so don't waste time.
Unless you know God's Word, His silent Breath,
you'll never get across the seas of Death.
So please don't be deluded. Don't waste your life in ignorance of' this Word. The true rosary is secret, it is within you. You should request saints and mahatmas to show You that rosary which lasts forever. Lord Krishna says:
Prostrate yourself before the True,
and serve Them with a guileless heart.
When They are pleased, They will impart
the Knowledge of the Truth to you.
After Shri Guru Maharaj Ji had finished speaking, His youngest Son, the present Satguru, Who was then eight years old, addressed the gathering. He said:
You have all understood what Guru Maharaj Ji has said. The main point of His whole satsang is that we should recognize God.