Hans Yog Prakash
The Magnum Opus of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
THE DEVOTEE OF HIS GURU
Just as a Grand Vizier
pays complete attention to the wishes of his King, so a
true disciple is focused completely on the wishes of his
Guru Maharaj Ji. Kabir says, such a disciple's
glance never leaves his Guru for a moment, he always
concentrates on Him.
The Indian partridge falls in love with the moon, and stares at it all night long.
That's how a disciple's eyes long for the sight of his Satguru.
Just as snakes always guard their precious stones, disciples of a Satguru are inseparable from their Lord, says Kabir.
O Kabir, when a disciple doesn't mind being insulted left and right, the people of the world call him a true devotee of his Guru.
There was a great devotee called Bulla who used to say, "my daily schedule is to fill every moment of my life with love."
How can I ever look anywhere else, when my eyes are already brimming over with the sight of my Beloved? When all the rooms in an inn are taken already, a traveller has to find some place else to stay.
DEVOTION TO THE GURU
You will not get the
privilege of having a human body again and again. You had
better give up worldly pleasures, Kabir, and love your
A piece of gold does not lose its value if you drop it in a puddle. In the same way, whatever body a soul may take, any devotion which it has acquired will not be lost.
Devotion is very hard to come by, it cannot be reached without Truth. The path to devotion is very narrow, and sharp as a sword's edge.
Devotion to the Guru is no easy job, it is a razor's edge path. He who wavers is lost. Only the resolute can survive.
O Kabir, you may have a keen desire for devotion to your Guru, but how can one be a humble servant unless first one removes every other desire from the mind completely?
Devotion is the raft that brings salvation. One who climbs aboard is a saint. But lazy men keep on drowning one lifetime after another.
As long as you have any ties to this world, you cannot have devotion. As soon as you cut all your ties to this world, and put yourself to remember the Lord, you will be known as a devotee.
Without devotion you will never make it to safety, no matter how you try. Only he who has love for the True Name can reach the Kingdom of Heaven.
When Guru helps you, you will receive devotion. He who has both love and devotion is the most fortunate of men.
There is no way you can copy devotion. Imitation devotion falls apart in time of danger, as the leaves quit the trees in winter.
If you try to grab at devotion, your grasp will soon falter. Few are those devotees, maddened by love, who can truly hold fast to the Satguru.
Without the complete and perfect Knowledge, the heart cannot know any peace. Artificial devotion cannot hold the appearance of love for very long.
The devotee who knows the truth dies daily, for he longs to give up his sense of his own importance. An ignorant man cannot understand this mystery.
An ignorant man cannot grasp the importance of opportunities when they come his way. He spends his time satisfying his worldly cravings.
When the sun rises, the night flees. In the same way, all bad intentions flee before Satguru's Knowledge.
Greed undermines one's understanding, and self-seeking and pride cause one to lose devotion.
During the rainy season, there are floods everywhere. But a river is something which continues to flow, even during the dry months of summer.
Everyone who begins on the path of devotion looks like a devotee, but he alone is worthy of the name, who continues even when hard times come upon him.
People who are full of desires, bad temper and greed can never be devotees. Maybe one in a million forgets caste, creed, colour and family, and has true devotion.
O Kabir, life is worth nothing unless one has devotion for the Satguru. It is like so much smoke which dissolves in an instant.
Whoever is truly impartial can have devotion. Whoever has no illusions can have Knowledge. Whoever makes no distinctions in his mind can attain salvation. Whoever is without greed can dissolve in his Lord's Lotus Feet.
True devotion keeps the mind perfectly in balance at all times. The true devotee lives modestly, he does not make a distinction between "mine" and "thine."
Fishes love water, ambitious men love money, mothers love their sons, and devotees love the Holy Name.
O Kabir, all my doubts have dissolved as a result of devotion to my Guru. To go for a day without devotion would be complete torture.
So long as one's devotion is mixed with desire, it cannot bear fruit. O Kabir, why should the Lord, the Desireless One, come before one who is full of desire?
The seed of devotion does not change. It is the same now and for ever. One may be born in the families of beggars or king, it makes no difference. A saint will always be a saint.
Forget caste, creed, colour, Kabir, and devote yourself body and soul. Satguru will come to you, and free you from birth and death.
Devotion is like a toy. Anyone can experience it. Kabir says, in devotion there is no difference between a king and a beggar.
Devotion is as dear to the Holy Name as lovemaking is to a lustful man. Just as a lustful man thinks about making love all the time, so a devotee never ceases to remember the Holy Name.
No one can reach God without devotion to Satguru. He alone can give Knowledge of the Supreme.
Only by devotion to Satguru can you receive Knowledge of the Supreme. All scriptures sing the praises of devotion to the Perfect Master.
He who has as much devotion for his Guru as he has for God is called a great soul. His heart is illumined, afire.
TO LIVE WITHOUT GURU
There are some people who pass their entire lives without
ever receiving Knowledge from a Guru. You should know
that their lives are meaningless. Whatever they do, it is
all in vain.
The great sage Narada is famous throughout India for the immense grasp which he had of subjects ranging from astrology to zoology. He used to visit Lord Vishnu personally in Baikunth. Yet each time he left Lord Vishnu's court, one of Vishnu's attendants used to dig a hole in the ground where Narada had been standing and take the earth away and throw it in a nearby river. He asked why this was happening and the servant replied, "Narada, you have no Guru, and you pollute the very ground you are standing on." Then Narada asked Lord Vishnu, "Lord, what need have I for a Guru, when I can visit You in person?" Vishnu replied, "Narada, whether you see me in person or not, it remains true that without a Guru, the life of man is ignorant and unholy."
Many stories are told about how Lord Vishnu directed Narada to visit a certain fisherman and accept him as his Guru; how Narada displeased Lord Vishnu by telling him "Now I have a Guru , but he is only a fisherman.."; how Lord Vishnu pronounced that he should be made to live again the whole cycle of evolution, because he spoke the word "but" while referring to his Guru Maharaj Ji; and how Narada returned to his Guru and threw himself on his Guru's mercy, and was saved by his Guru's grace from Lord Vishnu's judgement.
The great sage Sukhdeva was already Lord of Yogis while he was still in his mother's womb. He remained for several years in his mother's womb, not wishing to come out into the sway of this material world. At last when he could avoid birth no longer, he came out of his mother, and ran straight away into the forest to meditate. Yet even he could not experience perfect peace of mind, and finally he approached his father, Sage Vyas, and asked him why his austere life was not bringing him satisfaction.
Vyas told him it was because he did not have Knowledge of the Self that he could not experience peace, and that all his lonely pilgrimages and fasts were of no avail. Vyas could very well have taught Sukhdev that most holy secret, but he considered that because Sukhdev was his son, familiarity would prevent Sukhdev from showing a proper respect to him as his Guru. So he sent him to a great soul known as King Janaka, to ask humbly for the Knowledge. And many are the tales told of the tests King Janaka put him through, before he would bestow that Knowledge on him.
All scriptures agree that charitable good works, the telling of rosaries and all other pious acts are of no value, unless one is the disciple of Satguru.
Sukhdev was refused admission to heaven because he tried to serve God without first taking a Guru, says Kabir. Even though he was Lord of Yogis from his very birth, it was not until he accepted the great King Janaka as his Guru that he was able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
People who talk about the practice of the presence of God, but who are not the disciples of the Satguru, are like prostitutes who proclaim they would gladly die for love of their clients, says Kabir.
Lustful women who pay no heed to the words of Satguru, but make a show of modesty on the outside, says Kabir, become bitches who moan wherever they go. A king who has no devotion for the Guru is no better than a Bullock, says Kabir. He is good for transporting things from one place to another, but that is all.
What use is a temple, unless Satguru is worshipped there? What use is this human frame, unless we have Knowledge of the Self? Even if a million moons were to rise tonight, you couldn't see clearly without the grace of Satguru.
There is a lightening flash in the sky. Only those who have a Guru will get you home in safety. There is a flash of divine light in the sky within you. Only those who have a Guru are able to see it. They alone will reach their final destination in safety.
You may try a thousand times, and try again, says Kabir, but without the grace of the True Guru, you will never understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is only by the grace of the Guru that the mind can be controlled.
Without Guru there cannot be Knowledge. Without Guru there can be no salvation. Without Guru, Truth cannot be realised. Without Guru, you cannot shake of your bad habits.
The saints divide devotees into two types. The first type is he who approaches a Perfect Master because he understands that he has need of his spiritual guidance. He is called one who believes in his Guru, because he gives his life in service to his Guru.
The second type is known as one who follows his mind. He approaches the Guru because he sees that other people are coming to him. Although he has a Guru he continues to follow the dictates of his own mind, and continues to do only those things which he himself wants to do. This is why he is called a disciple of mind, while the other type of devotee is known as a disciple of his Guru Maharaj Ji.
I have made countless mistakes , and have still not grown tired of making them. Please Lord, either forgive Your servant, or let death take me. I have been a wrongdoer ever since my birth, and I am full of vices from tip to toe. You are the only merciful One who can remove my pain so please look after me.
My mind is not steeped in the nectar of love, I do not behave in a proper way, and I still have not understood why I am living with my Guru.
I am ashamed of myself. How can I pray to You? How can I please You when I know I am making mistakes before You? How can I be Your blessed one? Please Lord, grant me the gift of devotion.
O my Guru, Lord of all Lords, I ask for nothing more than to serve You day and night. If only I might see my living Master, I would tell Him all my sufferings, weeping, and rest my head on His Holy Feet. I would tell him everything.
When he wishes for the means to experience the essence of Truth, the devotee must accept a Guru. In the spirit of adoration, he should salute his noble Guru who is God Himself, who is enthroned in the thousand jewelled crown.
The aim which the yogic scriptures set us is the union of the individual soul with the Supreme soul. When a devotee remains in the company of his Satguru, in the spirit of devotion, his body of dust becomes filled with bliss.
I bow before my Guru who reveals the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord permeating the whole universe.
Lord, I bow before your Lotus Feet. I come to Your shelter, My Guru Maharaj Ji, and bow before You. You remove the three forms of suffering which we find in this world, disease, disaster and ignorance of the soul.
You remove the fear of this world. You are the very incarnation of good fortune, and filled with blissfulness. You are Shiva, the one who lets endless nectar flow.
You are Generator, Operator and Destroyer, You are the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, the most High. I do not know how to remember You nor how to meditate upon You. You are Lord Shiva incarnate.
You are hidden within the cave of the heart, and you expand to fill the universe. You reveal Yourself to be consciousness itself. I bow before you.
You are the Lord of all the blessed, the rescuer of Your devotees. I bow before You. You are beyond time, unique, incomparable. You are the one that all prayers turn to. You can be seen yet remain quite invisible. You are all power and glory, You are the noble Buddha. My Satgurudev, salutations!
A FOLLOWER OF HIS MIND
The people who claim to be
servants but have no stability in their service are still
bound to the cycles of birth and death, says
Those who are motivated by desire while doing service, and who do not remove desire from their hearts, these people are not really servants, says Kabir, although they demand four times the wages that a servant would.
Whatever a disciple may try to accomplish while overlooking Satguru's Word, he can only make mistakes, he can only bring himself face to face with death, says Kabir. What can his poor Guru do about it?
"I call nothing in this world my own, everything I have is yours. It will not cause me the slightest pain to make everything over into your name."
"Whatever is in you, it does not belong to you. All there is, is mine. When the time comes for you to make over to me what is mine, you will find yourself trembling."
A disciple who is shrewd and puffed up in his manner before his Guru is lost. A disciple who criticises his Guru becomes a sorry sight. He who criticises both God and Guru is liable to croak like a frog for thousands of lifetimes together.
A disciple who concentrates on making many friends, instead of forging a strong relationship with his Satguru gets stuck in mid way, and never reaches the abode of Truth.
Such disciples want to restrain the flights of their mind, and go beyond the ocean of worldly experience. Due to their disobedience to the Guru, however, they get entangled in the world of sufferings.
A greedy guru and his envious disciple compete with each other for a place in the circles of hell. A dumb guru and his deaf disciple accomplish nothing, for one does not hear what the other does not speak.
He who has no faith in his Guru does not feel happy even in his dreams. He claims he is the servant of my Guru, but still trusts to this world.
Where do I put my trust?
SERVANT OR SLAVE
A servant is someone who is
always serving. Kabir says, service alone entitles
someone to be called a servant.
A servant is always doing his service, he doesn't wander off in the middle of it. He puts up with both pain and pleasure, says Kabir.
The intellect of the servant and the intellect of his Master become one. They merge with each other.
The Master is never pleased by cleverness. He is only pleased by the feelings of the heart.
Stay near the rich man's door, and accept his blows. He may be pleased one day and give you his favour.
Kabir says that the Guru wishes to own everything, but no-one is willing to belong to the Guru. As long as you expect your body to be good to you, you cannot become His slave.
He who is not tied to the Guru is tied to this world, and he who is tied to the Guru is freed from the bonds of this world.
He who acts, but does not consider himself to be the actor, he it is who is called the slave.
The Guru is capable of doing anything, and He is always with you, His Feet rest upon your head. What more do you need?
The goddesses of wealth and fortune, and the genius to accomplish all things, all are ready to serve the servant of the Lord. Salvation is never far from him.
If the Lord's servant is weeping, the Lord Himself weeps with him. He appears before His servant in the twinkling of an eye, and grants him all his desires.
Such a slave makes no demands on his Master, but serves Him day and night. Kabir says, death will never call for him.
Guru is the provider of everything, and each receives according to his circumstances. His servant loves Him from the heart, and clings to His Feet day and night.
The servant is his Master's dog, his Master leads him on the string of love, and whatever his Master tells him, he does it.
When the Guru says "Go," he goes, and when He says "Come," he comes. He lives as his Guru sees fit to keep him, and eats whatever his Guru gives.
People call themselves the slave of the Guru, but they do not feel that they are slaves from the core of their hearts.
How can my thirst be quenched, if I refuse to drink water? How can I be His true slave if I have no humility.
I do not ask for the pleasures of this world, nor do I pray for salvation. I beg only Your devotion. I do not visit other people and make demands on them. It is to You alone that I turn.
"When earth and sky vanish, and Mount Olympus itself is no more, when all is one, where will Your slaves be found?"
"Let everything merge together, no matter. Let Olympus itself be brought down, let earth and sky be no more. My slaves shall find refuge in Me."
You should surrender your mind to the true servant, who would far rather die than betray his Lord.
This world is like an attic full of cobwebs. Happy are those servants of the Lord who can enter it without getting covered in dust.
Those who are not in love can rest easy, but he who has fallen in love knows no sleep at all. He is restless, he spends his night like a fish out of water.
Why should he be sad, who has the Lord dwelling in his heart? You should make more and more effort to see Him, and all will be light.
Kabir says that God alone is awake. He says that no-one is awake but Him. He says, either worldly men are awake, or the true servants of the Lord are awake.
My Lord is enthroned in every heart. No-one is without Him. But blessed is that heart in which he reveals His presence.
I bow before Your Lotus
Feet, for You have given me the Name.
My heart was dark, and I could see nothing, but You kindled the lamp of Knowledge within me.
My mind was in an enchanted sleep for many long ages, but the caress of Your Word awoke me.
Waves of poison arose in my heart, but You stilled them with one drop of Your Nectar.
The river was deep, and the currents were beyond my comprehension, but You have helped me across to safety.
O Lord, your servant Dharamdas humbly requests you, please keep me in Your shelter and protection.
I bow before Your Lotus Feet, for You have given me the Name.
SATSANG : THE COMPANY OF THE SAINTS
Good company, drives sorrow
away, and brings us joy.
The paper a candy is wrapped in fetches the same price per pound as the candy, simply because it keeps the company of the candy.
Keep the company of those saints whose minds are perfect, and who give away the riches of Holy Name without weighing its value.
Kabir says, keeping the company of saints is rather like visiting a perfumer. Even if the perfumer doesn't give you anything, you still feel the beautiful scent which hovers around him.
I wouldn't pray for riches, I wouldn't even pray for occult powers, says Kabir, what I pray for is the day and night company of saints.
Keeping company of the saints is always worthwhile. You never fail to get a benefit from it, says Kabir.
Let the Holy Name dwell in your heart, and make good use of each breath, says Kabir. Any sacrifice is worthwhile, if you get one moment of the darshan (personal presence) of a saint.
The Lord sent for Kabir to invite him to heaven. Kabir wept when he heard he was invited, for he knew he would never find the same joy in heaven that he felt in the company of the saints.
Days when you don't manage to spend time in the company of saints are days wasted. Human life is like animal life except where love comes into it, and no-one can attain God without experiencing devotion.
Kabir says, if you stand a mango tree near a sandalwood tree, the mango tree will be immersed in the sandalwood scent.
You cannot blame a sandalwood tree because its scent doesn't take the poison out of snakes. Their whole poison sacs are full of poison, so there's no room left for nectar.
Kabir says, if your mind is somewhere else while your body is in the company of saints, how can you benefit? How can a cloth be dyed unless you dip it in the vat?
It is a terrible fate if one's blindness is not removed even after hearing scriptures, and if one does not adopt the right path even after enjoying the company of saints.
A snake may spend a long time near a sandalwood tree, but still his sac is full of poison. How can the company of saints influence those who cling to their natures, and resist any change?
If you were to weigh the bliss of heaven for eternity against the joy of one moment spent in the company of saints, one moment in the company of saints would win.
There's no mistaking the company of truth. One quick dip in it is enough to turn crows into swans. And it's nothing to be surprised about, either. The glory of the saints is no secret.
Without the company of truth, wisdom cannot arise, and one can only enjoy the company of truth by the grace of the Lord.
The company of truth is the beginning of every blessing. All the practices of religion are like blossoms on a tree, but the company of saints is the actual fruit.
Even wicked people change their ways when they come into the company of saints, just as lead can turn to gold when it is touched by the philosopher's stone.
Even such great Ones as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh falter in their speech when they try to describe the glory of the saints. Poets and men of learning are mute.
It is as little use asking me to describe the wonders of the company of saints, as it would be to ask a stall-keeper in a vegetable market to describe the virtues of a particularly lovely diamond.
Rivers, trees, saints, and rains all take form for the sake of doing service to others.
The company you keep determines your character. The company of saints leads to salvation, and the company of men of the world leads to worldly life.
All the scriptures, testaments, poets and saints are agreed about this. Only by good fortune can one secure the company of saints.
By means of the company of saints, sufferings can be overcome, and the chain of birth and death broken without any effort.
THE GLORY OF GURU
How can I describe the Perfect Master? How can one as
ignorant as I possibly understand Him who is beyond all
illusion? How can my dull wits explain that which is
beyond understanding? about which even the scriptures can
only say "It's not this, it's not that." This
is beyond my comprehension. Therefore I bow before it
from before it from afar.
Oh my Guru Maharaj Ji, please give me at least the strength I need to understand You. I had hoped to praise You; I wished to be able to worship You by the power of illusion, but illusion was incapable of serving you, so what could I do? I have lost my faith in illusion, so, my Guru Maharaj Ji, You just be as You are.
People cannot even imagine the Supreme Soul, so they have to make do with statues. Each person approaches God according to his personal taste. In the same way, I will utilise this creation to sing the Glory of my Satguru.
O my Satguru, all praise to You, all glory to You! O Lord of the Universe, source of all creation, supreme personality bestower of salvation, friend of the humble and the poor, only by Your blessing can this powerful illusion be dispelled, as the sun's rays dispel darkness.
The sun removes darkness, but at night the darkness comes again. Our Guru Maharaj Ji is not like that. He destroys for ever the cycle of births and deaths, and uproots the darkness of ignorance for ever and ever.
A piece of gold can never be an iron piece. In the same way a true devotee can never become a victim of doubt. When any river merges in the river Ganges, it takes the name Ganges. It becomes the Ganges and it can never be separated from it again. The same with a disciple. He becomes one with his Master.
We cannot say the Satguru is like the sky, for He is infinitely more subtle.
In the same way, we cannot compare Him with the ocean, for the ocean is salty.
We cannot compare Him with the mountains, for the mountain s are made of rock, while Satguru is soft with mercy for His devotees.
Nor can we compare Him with the earth, for one day the earth will be destroyed, but Satguru¹s patience lasts for ever.
The sun too has its limits, but Satguru is limitless. The Light of Satguru's Knowledge is much more powerful than sunlight.
Nor can I compare Guru Maharaj Ji with Atlas, for Atlas carries the burden of the world on his shoulders, while Guru Maharaj Ji is burdenless.
What is there to compare to Him? Everything in this world is mortal. Guru Maharaj Ji is beyond the limits of creation, and it is impossible to describe Him.
The only way to describe the glory of Satguru is to say the glory o£ Satguru can never be described.
Only a person with internal experience can understand this problem.
My Guru is the incarnate Lord of this time. I bow before my Guru, who is greater than Christ or Buddha, for each of them was the servant of his Satguru.
The Lords of earth, sea and sky also bow before Guru Maharaj Ji.
Guru Maharaj Ji, the Giver of Knowledge, is the greatest of all. Parents give birth to the body, but when Satguru gives new birth into the Spiritual kingdom, that birth is divine, deathless and eternal. Knowledge is always new, and alive.
The Perfect Master is He who fills the ears of His eager disciples with Truth and Knowledge. He allows him to enjoy the supreme eternal joy, He gives him Knowledge of salvation. He alone is the real mother and father.
We have two fathers. One gives us physical birth, and the other gives us Knowledge of the Truth. That Father who 'gives us Knowledge is far superior, for only God lasts for ever.
All the wealth of this world is nothing compared to the gift of Satguru's Word. How can we repay Him?
He who gives us the lamp of true Knowledge is Satguru, He is God incarnate. If someone took Him to be an ordinary human being, his ignorance would make his whole life fruitless.
If Lord Shiva (the Destroyer) becomes angry with you, Guru can save you. But there is no one who can help you, if Guru be comes angry.
One should never go against his Guru, for Guru is both father and mother.
The saints say one should always sit below one's Guru. One should wake before one's Guru, and retire after Him. This is most important for a devotee.
One should not address Guru Maharaj Ji while lying down, eating, standing far away, or facing away from Him. One should never interrupt His conversation.
When receiving the Guru's command, one should always stand humbly before Him, to show Him respect. One should never call the Guru by His name to His face. '
Scriptures are many, and doubts are many. The Knowledge of the Self is very subtle, and without the help of Satguru, no one can realise it.
He who wishes to know his own Self should attain this Knowledge. He should prostrate himself at the feet of the wise, render them all forms of service, and question them with a guileless heart again and again. Those wise Seers of Truth will unfold that Knowledge.
In the Scriptures of ancient times it is written that this Knowledge should not be given to one of unsteady mind, but only to a son or a disciple. Only one with a peaceful mind should receive this Knowledge.
He whose devotion for the Lord is only equalled by devotion to his Satguru can understand the real meaning of Truth. When Knowledge is given to someone like this, it bears fruit.
Bow before the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji a million times, prostrate before Him. Guru Maharaj Ji turns His devotees into His own image.
Guru Maharaj Ji by His mercy has shown us things our eyes could not see. His glory is endless. He helps us endlessly, He opens our eyes to infinity.
When Guru and disciples meet, they mix together like rainfall and river.
Hold Guru Maharaj Ji's Feet upon your head, obey Him at all times He who is a true servant of his Guru has no fear in all the three worlds.
Suppose my Guru and God are both standing before me. Who should I bow to first? I am overwhelmed by my Guru's Grace, for it was He who showed me God, and allowed me to recognise Him.
We can call Guru Maharaj Ji even when He is very far away from us. The Word will reach Him, it is always on the move.
Even if I change the whole world to paper, make pens from all the trees, and use the seven oceans as my ink, I can still never write the whole glory of Satguru.
First the disciple offers his head and heart to Satguru. And then The Guru gives him the Holy Name as a reward.
Guru is a washer-man, and His disciple is like a soiled cloth. When the cloth is washed on the stone of Holy Name, it radiates immense light.
Guru is a potter, and His disciple is the pot He is making. This is how He makes the pot perfect. With one hand, He softly lifts the clay from inside while He firmly slaps it into shape with the other.
Satguru has built His castle, and decorated it with love. He makes a window of the Holy Word, so that we may also enjoy the presence of the Lord.
Guru and Lord are one; all else is duality. When someone worships the Guru, and dissolves himself in love and service, he can find the Lord.
When you have Knowledge, you have the joy of true love, kindness, devotion and faith.
When you serve the Lotus Feet of Satguru, you find shelter at His Lotus Feet.
He who thinks Guru Maharaj Ji is a human being is blind. He will remain very unhappy in this world, and death will not relieve him of his sufferings.
Guru is greater than God, it's common sense. People who think about God stay in this world. But those who know Satguru pass beyond suffering, and attain perfect freedom.
If you want to know the secret of what I am saying, offer your head to Satguru. Many proud and arrogant people went down the drain on account of pride.
There is no giver like Guru Maharaj Ji, and there is no beggar like His disciple. Guru Maharaj Ji gives His disciple the wealth of heaven and Earth.
We should meditate upon the form of Guru. We should worship His holy Feet. His Word is the true name of God. The real Truth is to have a pure and honest feeling for Guru Maharaj Ji.
If God is angry with you, you can go to the Guru, but if the Guru is displeased with you, you have no place to go.
If you come and go as Guru Maharaj Ji chooses, you become a saint, and are free from the round of sufferings.
When you look for reality in the wrong places, you can never find it. But when you seek out the company of Satguru, you will find the Truth.
When you take Guru Maharaj Ji's shelter, He shows you the Truth. This path was here before time began, but Guru Maharaj Ji showed it to you in a moment.
This body is like poison ivy, but Guru Maharaj Ji restores the soul. You should know that to exchange your head for Satguru is the best possible bargain, and very cheap at the price.
When Satguru is pleased with me, and speaks even one word, a cloud of love showers upon me, and I am soaked through and through.
Satguru is a perfect Knight. He cuts you from top to bottom with firm blows. No one can see your wounds from the outside, but inside you, your ego is smashed.
If I shoot someone he dies, but if Satguru hits him with the arrow of Holy Word he becomes immortal.
The dumb suddenly become eloquent, the deaf receive ears, and the lame find legs when Satguru shoots them with his arrow.
Guru tells us to go to a wise man, and the wise men tell us to worship Guru. This play allows me to realise the secret of the Scriptures, which otherwise was beyond me.
There may be millions of moons, there may even be thousands of millions of suns, but only by the mercy of Satguru can one see the Light, and clear away the darkness of ignorance.
The Word of the Satguru is a ship. Rare are those who understand this mystery. The ocean and the drop become one. How can I tell the difference between them?
You may perform many spiritual practices and make great sacrifices, you may study many books, but without Satguru, whatever you do, you will never arrive at the Truth.
Without the Knowledge of Satguru, even God, Saints and human beings will not be saved. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of Universes) also need the mercy of Satguru. Why speak of ordinary beings?
Satguru is like sandalwood, and His perfume is love of the lord. He distributes it day and night to those who come near Him.
The more time we spend in holy company, the deeper our devotion will become. Every day our devotion grows in proportion. It cannot be disturbed.
Guru gives us Self Knowledge. You should serve Him with love and devotion, offer Him food and clothes, worship Him, and give Him all respect, honour and attention.
Gurus who are greedy, proud, and have many monasteries are wicked They are all looking towards the throne, and courting the respect of the people There is neither truth nor reality in them.
By their fruits you shall know them. The signs of the Perfect Master are self control, love, discrimination, detachment and lack of partiality. He is without stubbornness. He is peaceful, far from anger, and treats all men equally. At all times He is absorbed in the Holy Word. He is love and affection personified.
Such a Guru as this is the Supreme place of pilgrimage. Once you take a dip in His Knowledge, all your duties are fulfilled.
He is the philosopher's stone. He fulfils all our wishes and desires by granting us the gift of devotion.
Oh my Guru Maharaj; Ji, You are all powerful, and the only guide on the right path. You saved me from unreality and made me pure and high, by taking me away from my lower nature.
I was walking a long path. My Satguru came and led me by the arm I was tired and sweating. He cooled me, sheltering me under His own shadow.
When someone takes the shelter of Satguru, he finds satisfaction and learns how to behave with propriety. When he enters the storehouse of Knowledge, he finds penances and praises, confessions and chants, prayer, meditation and devotion all lying there.
After I had wandered for a long time in ignorance, my luck changed, and I suddenly found Satguru. That was the moment when all my fears and ignorance flew away.
I was going to follow my mind's guidance into the ditch, but Guru Maharaj; Ji caught my hand. He showed me the abode of the Lord, and even better, He took me with Him.
Rare are those who can understand the glory of Satgurudev. He dispels all ignorance and removes the results of our actions.
When someone is weary of the round of suffering, he can find rest at the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. When he remembers the Holy Name, even his unwanted wants are fulfilled.
Worship Guru Maharaj Ji and pray to Him again and again. He has taken us across the ocean of this world in the boat of His Holy Name.
A Guru should be far from selfishness. He should be engrossed in spiritual thoughts and deeds, busy helping others all the time.
He should live in a garden, but should not take one flower or leaf. He should give away the love of the Lord to all, without thought of caste, colour or creed.
From Satguru you get love, devotion and meditation. From Knowledge you get purity, austerity, penance and discipline.
Guru brings those who have lost the path back to their true devotion. He does not abandon them, but gives devotion for the Lord.
No one should become entangled with this world of ignorance. On the other hand, no one can cross this ocean of ignorance without the help of Satguru.
I bow before the Lotus Feet of my Guru Maharaj Ji who is the ocean of mercy and the Lord personified in human form. His words are like the shining rays of the sun that banish the clouds of dark ignorance.
I bow before the dust of the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. His Feet are so beautiful, full of divine perfume and nectar. It is so easy to become attached to them. The dust of His Feet is like a soothing balm which takes away all the diseases of this world of illusion.
Guru Maharaj Ji is Lord Shiva personified, the pure and auspicious giver of pure and auspicious Joy. He wipes the dirt and dust from the mirror of the human mind.
The nails on the toes of the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji seen in meditation are like shining jewels. He who remembers them gets the most pure spiritual insight.
Their light kills the darkness of worldly attachment. The luckiest man is he in whose heart this light is shining.
This light will open the pure spiritual eye of the soul, and all impurities and pain will vanish. Then one can see the shining jewel of Lord Rama's divine character and play.
All the hidden mines of spiritual wealth will be discovered.
The dust of Shri Guru Maharaj Ji's Lotus Feet is a soft and beautiful balm which dispels all the defects of our eyesight.
Without Guru no one will he able to cross the ocean of this world, even those who are equal in power to Lord Shiva and Brahma.
Without Guru Maharaj Ji, no one can receive Knowledge. You cannot have Knowledge without detachment. The scriptures all sing that without devotion to Guru Maharaj Ji, no one can enjoy peace and bliss.
Will anyone ever rest without contentment and satisfaction? Without water a boat cannot move, however many times you try to make it.
Without faith we cannot have devotion, and without devotion the Lord will not melt. Without the grace and mercy of the Lord, even in a dream, we cannot have peace.
The shining Self within us lies,
But we can never leave that night
Of ignorance, and see the Light
Until our True Lord gives us eyes.
Remember at all times to carry the Lotus Feet of the Lord in your heart. Realise that God and Guru are one and the same! do not doubt this fact. God is pleased if Guru is pleased, and if Guru is unhappy, God will be also. I am simply telling you.
Listen with an open heart, for just by speaking the glory of the Lord and hearing His praise, one can cross the ocean of this world.
Once upon a time Lord Indra, the God of the gods, was sitting on his throne in his court. The whole house of heaven was there, together with King Kubera, Lord of wealth. Then Brihaspati, the Guru of the gods, came in, but Lord Indra did not rise to bow before Him as He entered. Brihaspati, when He saw the pride of Lord Indra, returned to His home with all the other guests. Then Indra repented, and asked himself, "Why did I behave so stupidly?" And he went to the ashram of Guru Brihaspati. But on account of this incident, Indra could not receive the darshan of the Perfect Master.
Prahlad bowed his head before the Lotus Feet of the Lord and said, "Glory, glory, glory to the Universal Guru. You have saved my life. You are the original, complete One, beyond any comparison. You are the shelter of all helpless people, O Lord; You are the Supreme Being, the whole Complete One. You have taken this form for the sake of Your devotee. Wherever a devotee of Yours gets into difficulty, You are there to help him. My mind overflows with Your praises."
Then Lord Narsingha said, "Oh my devotee, listen to Me. Never will I find a devotee like you, who has seen Me in My manifest and unmanifest form. Wherever my devotees suffer, there I manifest Myself to help and save them. Listen to my promise, Prahlad, I will never leave you. When I remember my devotees, I feel the same feeling that a cow feels as she licks her calf."
Whosoever goes to meet a Guru, a doctor, an astrologer, his friends, the gods, or a King without any gift or offering will never be successful in his endeavour.
You should understand that Guru is superior to God, for God places us in this hell, but Guru makes fear of this hell vanish.
Guru is the Creator, Guru is the Preserver, and Guru is the destroyer of this universe. Shri Guru Maharaj Ji is the Supreme God who removes the suffering of the humble and the poor. He who comes to the shelter of Guru Maharaj Ji is freed from the round of sufferings.
If even the most sinful of men comes to the Perfect Master, no pain nor suffering will reach him. He who believes in the Word of the True Master can never go to hell.
"Gu" means darkness. "Ru" means light. Thus "Guru" means He who dispels the darkness of our ignorance and reveals the inner light of God.
Without the Guru, rites and rituals can never help us. Without the Guru we can never understand Divine Knowledge.
He who has all the signs of a true Guru, His knowledge will bring fruit. If the Guru is capable, that is, if He fulfils the obligation of his title, make Him your Lord.
Those wise people who understand this secret will perform perfect actions while remembering the name of God, knowing the end may come at any moment.
He who does not know the meaning of serving the Guru, who does not wash and worship His Holy Lotus Feet, will be unsuccessful in all his spiritual endeavours.
Yoga, charity, chanting and bathing in the holy rivers are all useless without service to the Perfect Master.
Without service to Guru Maharaj Ji, the mind is dark, and the light of Knowledge can never shine there. He alone who is free from attraction and repulsion can save the devotees.
My Satguru is a fearless warrior. He strikes with the Word of God, and by throwing the bomb of love he destroys the castle of ignorance.
When the Word of the Perfect Master takes effect, the king loses his pomp and power. He forgets wife, son, riches and all show of royalty, and enters the life divine.
When the Word of the Perfect Master touches you, all worldly enjoyments become tasteless. All identification with finite things vanishes, and you become a true devotee, attached to the Lotus Feet of the Perfect Master.
If God is angry you have nothing to fear, for Guru will save you. So respect your Satguru wholeheartedly, and He will help you in every way.
God¹s mercy may come or go, it makes little difference, but without the Grace of Satguru, we are completely lost. I can give' up the Lord, but never can l forget my Guru.
I cannot see how God is equal to Guru, for the Lord gave us birth in this world, but Guru released us from the bondage of life and death.
God gave us five senses. Like five thieves, they are always eager to rob us. But it was Guru who saved us from being their helpless victims, by controlling our senses.
God cast a net of relatives over us, but Guru quickly cut the shackles of our attachments, and set us free.
God gave us disease and desire, but Guru purified us, and released us from every kind of bondage.
God deluded us with the chains of cause and effect, but Guru showed us the reality of the eternal Self, and we were freed.
God hid Himself from us, but Guru revealed His Light, and enabled us to recognise God.
God gave us the very ideas of captivity and freedom, but Guru dispelled all these delusions, and showed us the Truth.
I am ready to sacrifice my body, mind and soul to my Guru. I will never leave my Guru, even if I have to leave God. How can I ever praise Him enough? We can never give Him anything in return for what He has given us.
I am ashamed, because I will never be able to give my Guru anything, but He showed me the Lord, I saw Him for myself and was f reed from countless bondages.
He gave me His shelter, by His holy glance alone He made me love Him. His mercy is so great that my tongue cannot sing His Glory. I am silent. How can I praise Him enough?
All I can do is to rest my head on His Lotus Feet again and again. The glory of Guru is great. I will sacrifice anything for Him.
Guru is the only giver. He bestows the gift of salvation. He frees us from wrong actions and gives us Knowledge of God.
He gives us strong devotion, and makes us realise who are our real friends and foes. Then He takes us to His own abode.
Guru and God are not separate. He who understands this, surely receives the real gift which makes all sufferings vanish.
The theory of cause and effect holds true. Yet it is essential for us to have a Satguru. It is the law of God that all souls must return to God, that all souls will one day reach completion.
The ways in which we spent our past lives, and whatever thoughts we have had, result in our life at present. Whatever we are doing or thinking now will result in our lives to come.
This is the law of cause and effect, and it is quite correct. However, it does not imply that there is no use accepting help to uplift our soul.
There is a hidden power in the soul which awakens when kindled by the power in another great soul. Most people are not able to help themselves without some outside help.
This energy from outside acts upon the energy within us, and sparks the soul's elevation. It is at this stage that man begins to lead a spiritual life, and become pure and full.
It is impossible to receive spiritual energy from books. The energy we are speaking of cannot be found in books. One soul can receive it only from another soul. There is no other way.
We can spend our entire life in education, and become very intelligent, but in the end this will not help our spiritual progress. On the contrary, we may find that the more intellectual someone becomes, the less he evolves spiritually.
Books may help us develop our brain, but they are unable to help our spiritual growth. This is a fact.
We study the scriptures and other books, thinking that we are growing spiritually. But although we may become more intelligent we have not affected our spiritual development in the least.
We may give long lectures on religion, but ourselves remain quite unable to be truly spiritual. This is because the energy we need cannot come from books.
It is most important to receive this energy from a great soul, for it will awaken and develop the dormant soul within us.
How can we recognise the Satguru? We do not need a lamp or a torch to find the sun. Everybody knows when the sun rises in the East, and in the same way the sincere soul will realise it has found the Perfect Master when He comes.
Truth is self evident. It needs no other method to prove itself.
The Light of Truth touches the innermost part of our nature and of all nature. The entire world comes to it and accepts its Truth.
We can realise the Truth by following the advice of the Perfect Master with love and devotion, not by reading books.
A disciple may climb the Himalayas or the Alps, he may roam the Sahara or the Gobi desert, he may dive into the deepest ocean. But without finding his Satguru, he will never know the secret of Truth.
After he has found his Satguru, a disciple should serve Him as a son serves his father, opening his heart, and regarding Him as God personified.
The Lord God has said, "Know your Guru as Myself, the Lord." We should understand that Guru is the most powerful manifestation of the Lord. If we understand this, our minds will automatically turn to our Guru before we start to do anything.
After we have reached this stage, God's form alone remains wherever we look. God reveals many hidden miracles to those who seek for Truth with reverence and devotion.
In the Bible we read, '"Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground." Wherever the Holy Name is remembered or the praises of the Perfect Master are sung, that place is holy.
Imagine the purity of those who remember the Name of the Lord at all times, and of Him through whom we can realise spiritual Truth! How much devotion we should have before Him! This is how we should feel when we approach the Satguru to receive his knowledge.
This world cannot survive without Him. The day this world is left without the Perfect Master, it will fall into Hell and be destroyed.
The Perfect Master is the flower on the tree of life. This world is only functioning because He is with us. It is only the power and energy which is emanating from Him which keeps society from disintegrating completely.
We cannot see God except in human form. No one has ever seen the Lord in any form except that of His Incarnation. We haven't seen God, and even if we try, we will not see Him. Why should we even speak about seeing Him, when we cannot even paint His picture without distortion.
So long as we are in human form, we will be unable to see anything higher than the human form. The day will come when we will be able to rise above nature and see the real form of God, but as long as we remain human, we will have to worship Him in human form.
Whatever you may say, no matter how much you may try, you will not see god except in human form.
You may deliver long lectures, you may be a great debater, you may prove that all the stories in the scriptures are myths, but my brothers, please try and understand, all your learning is still quite useless.
From now on, whenever you see someone who is speaking against the worship of God, stop and ask him "How much do you know about God, beyond the fact the He is all powerful, that He is everywhere, and that His love is unlimited? You've heard people say these things, but do you understand them?" I find that people like this don't know anything, they don't know whether these words have any meaning or not.
A fool who has never read a book in his life is better off than these people, for at least he isn't disturbing the peace of this world. But these people irritate and disturb others with their arguments.
Direct experience is the true religion. We must differentiate between words and experience. Whatever your soul experiences is true. You should ask those who give lip-service to God who or what they think He is. Have they seen Him? Do they understand why He is called omnipresent?
People have no idea about the soul. They can only imagine the unmanifest One in terms of whatever they see around them. So they imagine Him in terms of blue sky, open spaces, the ocean, or something like that.
If we don't allow ourselves to think in these terms, how can we form any picture of God? We speak about a God who is everywhere, yet we think of the ocean! Is God the ocean, then?
So throw away useless arguments. What we want is Knowledge of God, pure and simple. And that is the most difficult thing in this world to find. If a buffalo wants to worship God, it will see God as a larger and more powerful buffalo. In our present limited condition, we are bound to think of God in human form.
We are all different forms of God. If many buckets are taken to the sea and filled with water, the water will still be the same in each of them. The same is true with God, for man sees God in his own form. We can only have a physical vision of God when we worship Him in this bodily form. There is no other way.
There are two things in this life: the eternal soul and the temporal world. Guru is He who takes us from the temporal to the eternal, who introduces us to Truth, who shows us the Light of Truth, the perfect pure Light, and who thereby removes the darkness of our ignorance.
Just as darkness disappears before the sun, so the presence of the Satguru dispels the darkness of ignorance. Then the sun of Knowledge rises. The Knowledge which Satguru gives is not like the sun which sets in the evening, bringing back the darkness. That Knowledge is never darkened. The soul is never lost again.
Guru Vairaswat said that the soul is not born, nor does it die. It is self-manifested and everlasting. Being a free entity, it knows neither birth nor death. Having no creator, no cause, it is birth-less, eternal, indestructible and beginning-less. Even when the body perishes, the soul does not.
By remembering the Holy Name, we receive all that we need in this world, and can become fully realised. The conditions are as follows: first, the Guru must be super powerful, and second, the disciple must be the same.
The Holy Name should be received from one who himself received it from his Perfect Master, and who is presently Perfect Master in a correct spiritual succession. From ancient times the Perfect Master has channelised His spiritual power to His disciples. Since the Name comes from the same spiritual tradition, it has become very powerful. He who teaches this Name is called the Guru, and he who receives it is called the disciple.
If anyone receives this Name properly and practices it regularly, he will have nothing more to do by way of devotion. Just by meditating on that Name, he will reach the highest stages of devotion. All spiritual disciplines are included in the remembrance of the Name.
Kabir says the devotees know that nothing is more powerful than remembering the Name.
The Guru is like a farmer, and His disciple is the farm. The farmer prepares his land to perfection, manuring it and making it fertile. Then he sows his best seeds, hoping for a good harvest.
When the Guru sows the seed of Holy Name in His disciple, He also hopes that His disciple will enjoy perfect peace and be saved. The Satguru never gives the seed in the hope that His disciple will not enjoy perfect peace.
Just as a seed can only sprout after it has been buried, so the flower of Knowledge will not appear until the disciple erases his selfishness completely. You should erase yourself until there is no "you" left. There should be no duality left at all.
If the disciple is good, he will lose his ego in the same way that a sensitive plant draws back from the touch of man, and quickly realise the Knowledge.
Just as a clean white cloth easily and quickly absorbs the colour in a dye, so the disciple with a pure and guileless heart can easily and quickly absorb his Guru's Knowledge.
The Master and His servant should both have the same thoughts and feelings. They should be one, for thus the disciple can please his Master. He should keep his mind attached to the Master and wish only to please Him.
A boatman ferries people across the water by means of his boat. In the same way the Guru carries His disciple to a shore of knowledge in the boat of Holy Name. Using the sail of his Guru's advice, the disciple crosses the river of this world, cutting across the waters of ignorance.
Satguru is a jeweller who knows well the value of the Holy Name. In the same way that someone who is a jeweller for some time begins to recognise the value of jewels, so those who have been with Satguru for some time begin to recognise the value of the Holy Name.
Once there was a disciple who was on his way to see his Satguru. He was carrying a garland of flowers, fruits and other offerings. On his way he passed a shop with a parrot in a cage in it, and he stopped and asked the parrot where the shopkeeper was. The parrot told him the shopkeeper was at home. As the man was leaving the shop, the parrot asked him where he was going, and the disciple told him he was going to see his Satguru. The parrot asked what trade Satgurus followed, and the disciple replied that the Master frees His disciples from the cycle of births and deaths. Then the parrot requested him to ask his Master how a parrot could be set free, and the disciple agreed to do this.
When he arrived at his Guru's ashram, the disciple offered his gifts, and after taking permission, sat in the corner of the room. The Guru inquired after his well-being, and offered him some food. Then the devotee told the Master of the parrot's request. The Guru immediately stretched Himself out on His bed as though He was dying. The devotee was extremely worried, and began to weep. When the Guru at last revived, the disciple did not again mention the parrot's request.
On his way home, the disciple again passed the shop where the parrot was kept, and the parrot asked him if he had received any answer. The disciple told him, "My brother, the moment He heard your request, my Guru died." The parrot understood the inner meaning of this answer, and immediately fell to the bottom of his cage as if dead. When the shopkeeper found him lying there, he took him and threw him away. At this point, the parrot came to, and flew away.
This is how the Guru helps His disciple free himself from the cage of his own ignorance by giving him good advice.
Satguru's net extends everywhere in the three worlds, and all over the face of the globe. If, even so, a soul does not catch it, what can Satguru do?
There are many stars in the sky, but they do not manage to dispel the darkness of the night. In the same way we cannot remove the darkness of our ignorance without the help of Satguru, even though we try a million times.
After a great deal of study, we feel as though we have made some progress on the spiritual path, and even come to believe we have received spiritual Knowledge. We argue and debate and think ourselves wise.
But if we are discriminating, we will realise that although we have made intellectual progress, we have not advanced on the path of self-realisation at all. On the contrary, it seems that the more intellectual progress we make, the more we are retarded spiritually.
Those who think themselves to be wise and learned, but who are actually ignorant of the truth, are fools who will lose their way and end up turning round and round in circles.
Many people never hear about the soul, and many do not understand even when they do hear about it. Without a doubt, whoever explains the subject of the soul is outstanding. He who receives his explanation is clever, and he who is trained by a wise Guru is also outstanding.
The soul cannot be understood or explained properly except by a perfectly realised soul. The soul cannot be understood by meditation, but when a wise man begins to teach us, we are immediately freed from this world, and become steady and strong. This is a very subtle subject, and cannot be proved.
One can only have Knowledge of the soul by means of experience. This experience comes from Knowledge of the Satguru. Thus one should not dismiss this Truth by means of arguments. For by the grace of the Guru, the self can easily be realised. The Satguru is outstanding, He is the Knower of the self, for only He who knows the Truth can reveal it.
Arjuna, the man of self control is without pride or arrogance. He does no harm to anyone, but filled with forgiveness, simplicity of mind and word, he serves the Satguru with respect and devotion in every way.
Clean both inside and out, his mind is steady and controlled and as a result his body and senses are steady and controlled also.
Therefore Arjuna, leave the support and shelter of all other duties and actions, and come to Me, the embodiment of Truth, pure Consciousness and Bliss, the Supreme Soul. I will free you from your sins, don't worry.
Complete surrender means to relinquish shame, fear, respect, fame and one's attachments to body and family, and to realise the Guru is one's only shelter, the only way, and everything in the three worlds.
Remember the power, form and qualities of the Name of the Lord according to Satguru's teachings and with the utmost respect, devotion and love. Concentrate your mind and heart, and meditate upon God. You should do this so that you fulfil your duty as commanded you by Satguru, for His sake alone, as King Janaka did in his own time.
Take refuge in the Lotus Feet of Satguru. Just as a clean piece of cloth is quickly dyed, one who takes complete shelter of his Satguru is merged in His grace.
(Here two pages are missing from the original text)
They cannot understand
the meaning of a Guru-mantra. They don't even know what a
If they hear a wonderful and uplifting spiritual discourse, they may be overwhelmed for a short time. They may even change their ideas or their religion for some time, on the pretext that they are broad minded. But this brings them no benefit except that they satisfy their curiosity.
For them, the need to hear new things everyday has become a disease. A new idea will give them a little excitement, like a glass of wine, but after some time they will look for something else. Religion becomes an intoxicant for them, like opium.
There is a type of oyster, which floats on the sea with its mouth open. When one drop of dew enters its mouth, it closes and drops to the bottom of the sea. When a diver at last retrieves it he finds the dew drop has turned into a pearl.
In the same way, the sincere seeker of Truth keeps an open mind in this world and waits for the Word of the Satguru. The moment he receives it he dives deep into meditation and practices. After this, every word he speaks is a precious pearl.
The tiny Banyan seed grows into a huge tree, but if the land is infertile it will never grow. In the same way, if a disciple's mind is full of hypocrisy and doubt, the Knowledge cannot flourish.
When someone is sick, he approaches a doctor, tells him his trouble and receives a prescription for some medicine. But he must take the medicine faithfully and regularly as prescribed until his disease is cured.
In the same way, a seeker of Truth who is suffering from the bondage of birth and death will approach the Satguru, who will give him the medicine of Knowledge. If the disciple practices the Knowledge regularly, he will be cured.
If a patient fails to take his medicine as prescribed, it cannot do him any good, and if a disciple does not follow his Guru's instructions, he will never achieve the result he is aiming for.
Just repeating "sugar, sugar" does not bring a sweet taste to the mouth. If talking about something was enough to bring it to pass, we would have ended poverty long ago. People are always talking about money and wealth. But talking about wealth does not make one wealthy.
In the same way we cannot get any benefit from simply repeating "Guru's Word, Guru's Word."
There are many gurus in this world who relieve others of their wealth, but not their pain.
The Satguru is one who has no greed, no attachment, no pride, no jealousy. He always speaks of spiritual matters, and removes the jealousy, pain, doubt and attachment of others. He takes His stand on perpetual truth at all times, His expression is pleasing and he is nicely dressed.
His power is unlimited, and in His love and mercy for His devotees, He teaches them the proper and righteous path.
Satguru is He who never even dreams of anger or fear, but who speaks soft words full of love and wise council for all.
He removes our worries, and gives us good advice. He shows us in truth what actions are right and what actions are wrong, what is virtue and what is vice, and thus He dispels all the suffering in our life.
Take the shelter of such a Satguru. Offer Him your mind, your body, and all that you own, even your son, wife, family, and servants. Give Him everything with love and devotion. To support yourself, take only what He gives you.
Understanding yourself to be a beggar, bow before His Lotus Feet. Congratulate yourself on your good fortune, and bow your head at His feet.
Know that no one is superior to the Guru. If someone thinks the Guru is a human being, that is his misfortune. He is of dull intelligence like a bull without a tail. The entire world knows that Guru is greater than God.
People are born into the suffering of this world, into the cycle of birth and death, and trapped in the web of illusion. But when the Guru showers His Grace upon you, all the pain of this world vanishes. Then you may enjoy eternal happiness, and live in the realm of Truth forever.
The Creator, Preserver and Destroyer are all to be found in this world, but no one is greater than Guru. Can your friend, your brother, son, father or mother help you as the Grace of Guru can?
No harm can come to one who has Satguru for his saviour. If God is angry, Guru is always there to save you, but if Guru is angry you have no place to go for shelter.
All the scriptures agree that without the Guru, all is lost. Without the Guru, the heart can never become pure, even if we try a hundred thousand different methods.
Without the Guru we cannot receive Knowledge nor achieve true discrimination. Without the Guru there is no salvation, for without His Grace we are as good as dead. Without the Guru we are in the hands of death, suffering and remorse.
Who can remove our doubts without the Grace of Guru? How will we ever gain discrimination? Without Guru we will remain in ignorance forever, and never receive the Knowledge of God.
It is easy to sing songs about the Knowledge of the Supreme, but without the help of Guru you will never receive it. So you should take full advantage of this human body while you have it, and find your Satguru.
You can study all the scriptures to your heart's content, you may even live a peaceful life in the worlds of mind, body and spirit, but without the Guru you will never receive perfect Knowledge.
All the great saints have bowed at the Lotus Feet of Guru. He who criticises his Guru is the most unfortunate of men. One should not even listen to criticism of one's Guru.
Resolve to receive the darshan of Satguru. No one should come before Guru Maharaj Ji without bringing a fruit, flower, leaf or some other offering.
One should be very humble and full of love, bowing at the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. Whatever he commands should be taken as a gift and accepted with bowed head.
When one is in Guru Maharaj Ji's presence, one's hands should be folded and one's speech should be humble and soft. One should never stretch one's legs before Him, but should keep them folded under the body. One should not cross the room in front of Him, and should never even step on His shadow.
Never keep anything hidden from Guru Maharaj Ji. And never tell him anything that is untrue. The words of Guru Maharaj Ji are like scripture.
Know that Guru is the Supreme Lord. We should accept all that He says without judgement, and should offer Him whatever nice thing comes our way. The power of Guru is so fantastic that whatever we offer comes back to us a thousand fold.
Worshipping Guru properly and completely is the only thing to do. It removes all our sins, and fulfils every desire of the mind.
He who invites Guru Maharaj Ji to dine with him, thereby feeds the people of the three worlds. The Grace and mercy of Satguru are unlimited. Even the scriptures, even the angels cannot praise Him enough. One kind glance from Satguru turns a beggar into a king.
This is the power of Satguru, that whatever there is in this world, it is all by the glory of Satguru. He is the source of all strength and power. He is the giver of great bliss, He is our only help in times of danger and suffering.
Guru even removes the fear of death. He who takes the shelter of the Satguru will have all the happiness in the world, poverty will never touch him, and his life will be full of unexpected boons. If you find anyone who is worthy, give him this Knowledge. This is the Supreme Secret. Great indeed is that village, great are those parents, great is that family and great are those friends where a devotee is born.
To work hard to remove the
misfortune of others is the mark of eminence and
benevolence is the sign of good men and saints. The more
serious a crisis is, the more important the help bestowed
will be. If we help remove someone's agony for one
second, we have done a good work. To remove a thorn from
someone's body, to offer water to the thirsty, to feed
the hungry, these are good acts; but if we help somebody
for a year then proportionately this help is greater.
Spiritual Knowledge alone has the power to kill the death-pain at the end of our life. For this reason the bestowing of this Knowledge is the highest form of benevolence.
There is no other learning whose power goes beyond a certain limited time. Spiritual Knowledge alone has the power to install one in the Kingdom of heavenly bliss. It completely destroys desire and its offspring, dissatisfaction, Which always reside within human bodies. Under such circumstances, what act can be more virtuous than the spreading of spiritual Knowledge?
The great soul who shows the way to perfection is the only true well wisher of humanity. Unparalleled power resides in such great souls. Whatever we do in this world we do on the strength of our reasoning power. Without this power we would treat our body as a lump of clay. Therefore, a person who experiences this power in its proper perspective, as do these great souls, will be able to perform all his actions correctly, and a person who does not experience the power within himself will be unable to pursue even his own interests, let alone the interest of the Supreme.
If any Knowledge is useful after spiritual Knowledge it is intellectual knowledge. The imparting of intellectual knowledge is much superior to the giving of clothes and food, because the main objective of a man, which is to fulfil his creativity, cannot be accomplished without such knowledge. For one who has never experienced any creativity, to live or to die would be the same. What use is a life spent In ignorance and suffering?
The next most important help we can offer people after giving them these two types of knowledge is physical. To help others by means of one's physical strength is truly a kind of charity. But we should not think that physical service is the only way to lessen the sufferings of others. As a matter of fact physical service is one of the lower forms of service, because it brings only immediate relief. Physical help leaves no permanent change in the situation Feeding a hungry man certainly removes his immediate pain, but he will soon become hungry again. We should understand that wherever there is necessity, suffering is also to be found. If we really want to be happy, there should be no feeling of necessity in our lives. The day our sense of need is completely removed, we will be instantly and truly happy. In that state, hunger will not be an obstacle for us, and no worldly incident will have lessen our joy.
We should understand that the help we need to attain such a state is the most of all. Next in order comes intellectual help and then comes physical help. The unhappiness that we see in this world cannot be eradicated by physical help alone. Unless the way people behave is also totally changed, people will still feel bound by a variety of needs. If these needs are not fulfilled, unhappiness is sure to result. Thus physical help alone is insufficient to remove unhappiness from the earth. The most potent medicine for all suffering is to purify the mind by receiving true Knowledge. One saint has said that if a man's mind is pure, even his enemy becomes his friend and even the snake and the tiger look upon him with love.
All sins and sufferings spring from ignorance. Humanity will be completely happy when man has been introduced to his own power of consciousness and when full self confidence in it has grown, following the realisation of the Knowledge of Truth. We should not even hope for that state of world happiness before this. Even if each household distributes alms daily to the poor, the present predicament of humanity can never be erased. Unless the nature of man as we see it today undergoes a complete change the world will continue in its present distressing state.
Lord Krishna tells us in various places in the Bhagavad-Gita that man must work every day. And it was his considered opinion that work "is the father of all success." Yet each action that we take leads to a mixture of joy and sorrow. Despite all this we must go on working. It is a complete misunderstanding to think that because actions result in joy and sorrow, we can be free from joy and sorrow by avoiding action.
Actions produce joy and sorrow in the same proportions, as the actions themselves are good or bad. Joy springs from virtuous action, sorrow from bad action. Even so joy binds a soul in the same way as sorrow. Even though we can experience it as a fact that joy comes from virtuous action, that is not the whole story. In fact the joy is already within us, but we can only realise it through virtuous action. As long as we remain under the misconception that joy is produced by virtuous action, our soul cannot escape the double-edged sword of joy and sorrow. So Lord Krishna tells us we should completely abandon the idea that we will do such and such a type of work in order to enjoy such and such a type of joy. When we have a duty to perform we must perform it, but we must give up the idea that it will bring us joy.
"Man has the right to work but not to the results of his work. Work should be done, but there should not be no attachments to its results." Now we have to understand what non-attachment is. The main point of the Bhagavad-Gita is that every action should be performed with detachment. Everyone must work, but he should do so without desiring the fruits of his labour.
If we compare the mind to a tank of water, we may say that just as small waves arise in the water, so waves are also produced in the mind. Even though the waves of the mind cannot be perceived at any time, they cannot be completely destroyed either, but remain hidden in the mind and reappear when a suitable opportunity arises. These waves are known as mental impressions or "sanskaras" in the terminology of the Indian scriptures. Some such inborn impressions are to be found in every living creature.
Whatever actions we take and whatever thoughts we nurture in our mind have an effect on our mind. This influence remains hidden in our mind, but even while it remains hidden, its effect on our mind is still taking place. Whatever behaviour we are exhibiting at present is a result of the impressions that we gathered in the past. In daily life we refer to the sum of these impressions as our "nature."
This nature which each man has is called his character. If his impressions are good, he becomes someone of good character, and if his previous Impressions are bad, he becomes someone of bad character. If someone continues to listen to evil suggestions, invite bad thoughts and perform evil deeds, then the impressions in his mind will also be evil, and the character that is built on these will be evil too. If somehow the habits which these impressions lead to, get a strangle hold on the mind, then he will be unable to see the disadvantages of evil acts, they will become invisible to him and it will become a part of his nature to do evil unthinkingly. In the course of time these impressions will gather so much momentum that he will become inclined to perform evil deeds deliberately. Even if he has also received some good impressions, they will not have any chance of withstanding the influences of the negative impressions.
In the same way, someone whose thoughts are good and who performs good deeds, will be induced by the good impressions which they bring to perform even greater deeds in the future. Such a man's character becomes so solid by virtue of these good impressions that even if the thought of doing something negative crosses his mind, his body will absolutely refuse to budge an inch to perform such an action. When such a state of affairs comes about, we may understand that that man's character has become stable.
Consider the tortoise. If someone starts to tease him he will hold his head and limbs in under his shell, and no matter how much his tormentor may drum on his back, he will keep his limbs withdrawn until he is sure the danger is passed.
Similarly, he who gains control of his senses, even when he is tormented by the outside world, keeps his concentration firmly on the inner Word. Lord Krishna said "He who has maintained a flow of good thoughts does not find it difficult to restrain the senses. His character, which is built of the good impressions he has received as a result of positive actions, helps him." We should note that the word "senses" does not merely refer here to the visual and other physical senses but also to the mind. Even without performing physical actions, the character can easily be soiled simply by concentrating on bad thoughts. When the senses are restrained, a man may be said to be well satisfied. The well satisfied man finds Truth.
It is in this way that one can transcend duality and arrive in place that is perfectly protected. One who has. achieved this state is incapable of performing any evil dead. Even if he is surrounded by the most wicked of beasts in human form, he will not deviate at all from his good character. This state is called "being established In divinity."
As soon as this state is reached by someone, he immediately attains liberation without being snared by any kind of delusion. This is the aim of every yogi, the condition which he strives. to attain. On the surface it may seem as though the paths taken by various saints are different from one another, but they all lead to this same place. The same state of consciousness which Buddha attained by following the path of devotion, and which Christ reached by following the path of devotion can also be reached by the active path, karma yoga. Although the enlightened one, Buddha, was a karma yogin, and Jesus was a pious devotee, both of them reached the same state.
Now we must explain something of what the liberated condition actually is. One who becomes free of the polarities of joy and sorrow and of good and bad actions becomes liberated. Just as sadness and bad actions are impediments to liberation, so also good actions and joyfulness are obstacles on the path. One binds with chain of lead and the other with a chain of gold, maybe, but the bondage remains the same. A person who enjoys the pleasure that he experiences upon performing charitable actions is in fact as tied up to his actions as the man who experiences remorse or pain as a result of his bad actions.
When we get a splinter in our foot, we may use another splinter or a pin to got it out, but once. it Is out, we throw both away. In the same way, we have to perform good actions in order to rid our mind of evil habits. But once the mind turns away from evil deeds, we have no further use for the good deeds either. At this point we have to check our mind from dwelling on our good deeds, just as earlier we had to check it from concentrating on our bad deeds. We should cultivate non-attachment, which means not feeling obliged to perform any particular actions. We should work. But we should not let it disturb the calmness of our mind. Just as waves arise on the surface of a pool, and slowly fade away, but the peacefulness of the pool is not disturbed by them, in the same way says Lord Krishna "Even while we are performing our duties, we should not lot the mind be disturbed."
All the same it is our everyday experience that whatever actions we may perform, the mind invariably receives a measure of pleasure and pain from them. So how can we achieve the seemingly impossible? How can we keep our minds detached while performing actions in this twentieth century? Lord Krishna tells us to do whatever we do with detached mind. He tells us not to let the impressions of our actions arise in the mind again and again. We should continue to use the senses and organs at our disposal to perform our duties but we should not allow our efforts to have any impact on the mind. We must see every object in this world in the same way that we see the furniture in the house where we are a guest. We should always be industrious but never attached. There is no disadvantage in hard work, but to be attached to worldliness is detrimental on the path to salvation.
One day I visited a house where a number of people had gathered. I saw them all, but I particularly noticed one of them, a disciple of mine. My eye fell on each of their faces equally, yet on]y one of them "caught my eye." And this was because I never had seen the others before, and so had no previous impressions in my mind regarding them. But I felt affection for my disciple.
I had seen him several times before, and so I already had some impressions about him in my mind. I had heard many people talking about him in other occasions, too, and I had often thought about him myself. So on that particular day, as soon as his image reached my mind, it came in contact with old impressions that were already there, and these impressions refreshed my memory of him. Up to that point, the impressions had been lying dormant in my mind, but as soon as his face appeared in my mind, the memories returned. And that devotee welcomed me with love, too.
We can understand from this, that whatever is brought repeatedly to the attention of the mind, establishes firm root there, and can then be activated by the slightest reference at any time.
In the course of my daily work, I come in contact with many many people. But suppose there is one of them I love more than all the rest. Before I go to sleep at night, I try to remember everyone whom I have seen in the course of the day. Yet of all those people, the only one whose face I can recall at will is the one for whom I see affection. His face has been imprinted in my heart, his image has been imprinted on my mind so clearly that it cannot easily be forgotten.
The reason my mind is not attached to the other faces that I saw is that they are not imprinted in my heart. For this reason, I am his whom I love, and he is mine who loves me. This attachment is a hindrance to the love of God.
Saint Tulsi Das says,
"Whatever love you have had for this world,
now concentrate it all on God."
We have not come to this planet to live here forever. This world is like an inn by the side of our path. We have stopped a while in many such places before, and we have no idea how many more we shall pass through on our way. There is no telling how long this cycle of coming, staying and going has been in progress.
Indeed, the whole creation is created for the spirit, and we should realise that the spirit is not created by the creation. This entire creation has manifested itself in order to help teach the individual soul. There is no other reason for creation apart from this. The purpose of creation is to permit the individual soul to realise Truth. When the soul receives Knowledge of the Truth, it attains salvation.
The creation is inert, untrue and changeable, like a dream. In contrast, God is manifest Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. When we have looked into the book creation and also acquired the Knowledge of God, our soul should become realised, and should then put the book of creation aside.
If we fail to do this, we are turning our life upside down. As long as we do not realise our freedom, we will take ourselves to be like the rest of creation, and we will think the universe is planned for the sake of the body, and that it is the duty of spirit to protect the body and ensure its happiness. In this day and age we take over thing which brings happiness to the body to be an act of goodness, and imagine it can lead us towards salvation.
We say of someone who overeats, "he doesn't eat to live, he lives to eat." When we look into our own lives, we will find that our state is little different from that of the man who compulsively overeats. Since we have decided that we too are creatures in this creation, we feel attached to all the other objects of creation as (brothers ?). Once this attachment has caught a hold on the individual soul, it begins to work like a slave. The Bhagavad-Gita tells us to work unceasingly and indeed we do. But instead of acting as the master we become the slave of what was made to serve us. This is why we have drifted so far from our aim, so far from what is natural to us, so far from salvation.
The main instruction for the practice of Karma Yoga is that you must perform actions, but perform them freely. Never forget that the final aim of your actions is salvation. If you look, you will see that ninety per cent of the people around you who are engaged in doing actions, are performing them as slaves to the desire of bodily rewards and comforts. This is why there is so much complaining in this world. Therefore you should forget your body in the search for salvation, and setting aside the craving for physical comfort, you should perform actions having first been filled with love for the soul. This is known as the yoga of non-attachment.
The word "love" denotes something which is not directly perceptible. True love is not possible without total independence. You can buy a man as though he were a slave, bind him hand and foot, and force him to work for you. Certainly he will do the work, but can there be any love for you in his heart? It is the same with the soul. It has become a slave to the senses. While it is working day and night to satisfy their demands, it finds it impossible to develop love in its heart. In some cases it even becomes ready to slit people's throats in the search for sensual pleasures. However much a man who is in this state may try, he can never accomplish anything worth while. It matters little whether his efforts are made for the sake of himself or of his family and friends. His actions are worth nothing. So long as what we do is inspired by a desire for pleasure, we are behaving like slaves. But when true love is our inspiration, our actions will naturally bring us complete joy. There is not one action inspired by true love which does not bring peace to the mind and joy to the heart.
Knowledge, ever-present consciousness, and love, these three are always found together. We must understand that these three are our life, and that if we have one of them, automatically the other two will he present also. We must come to realise that consciousness, knowledge and love are three branches of the same tree, three waves in the same pond. The name of the primordial form is Truth- Consciousness-Bliss. Truth appears to us decorated in the form of the manifest creation. Consciousness appears as knowledge of the various parts of creation. And the element of love is expressed in the hearts of all living beings originates from bliss. 'Thus, misery can never be the result of true love. Now we have to answer the question, if love is always full of bliss, then why do people in love so often appear to be grieving?
Let us take an example, one that crops up all over the world. A man loves a woman so much that he can see nothing else. His dreams and his thoughts are full of her. O, what divine love!
But wait, let us dissect this love according to the scriptures, and then we can understand its real nature. The man in question wants his woman to remain always by his side, to eat and drink by his side. The idea is that she should remain a virtual slave of his, as if she had nothing else to do, no independent existence. Every word he utters bears out this fact. But having made her his slave, he also turns himself into her slave. Now tell me, can the love of these two slaves be everlasting? If she leaves him for a moment, she leaves him miserable. Real love is never like this. This is just a whim. These people are caught up in their desires, which spring from sensual attraction.
Since this man has become crazy, he mistakes this feeling for love. He gets caught up in it and begins to dance, imagining his momentary and false love to be the divine love. Indeed he manages to catch other people up in his craziness too. If the woman refuses, to obey his instructions, it doesn't take long for his mind to become disturbed. Misery can never he found in the path of pure love. Where there is disturbance, there is no pure love. People become involved in this other thing believing it to be love by mistake. But it is not pure love. The day you experience pure love for anyone, whether it be your wife, your son, or anyone else, you will know the secrets of universal love, and the same day it will be absolutely. clear to you what non-attachment really is.
"O Arjuna," says Krishna, "I perform actions not because I look for anything in return but because I love this world, and I keep its welfare in mind. If I perform no actions, others will also cease to perform actions, and as a result this world will be defiled and destroyed."
These words or Lord Krishna give us a good insight into the meaning of non-attachment and true love. Although the Lord has no desire on His own account, He performs His actions out of love. This is the meaning of non-attachment. If the slightest desire for pleasure arises, non-attachment and love vanish at once. The love of the man who enjoys sensual pleasures does not go beyond physical objects. We say that so-and-so has fallen in love with so-and-so, but in fact he has fallen in love with her body. He thinks about the different parts of her body, and the attraction he feel is what we call love. But in fact this type of love can be interrupted very easily, and agony can result. Real love is quite different. It is never attached to physical objects, but only to the consciousness within them. This consciousness is beyond physical objects, it dwells in every soul uniformly. People who are in true love experience no ups and downs. Their love is constant, it call never be destroyed. And it can never lead to grief.
It is not an easy matter to obtain this type of non-attachment. We must practice it every moment. It is seldom that this love grows by sheer coincidence. When we attain non-attachment true or salvation is also ours. At this point, the bondage of this world begins to crumble, and creation gives up trying to manufacture fetters and chains to bind us. By walking on this path, we avoid having to suffer for the consequences of our actions, whether they be good or bad, and we also find no need to investigate whether our work is sweet or sour.
Let us be frank now. Is the love we feel for those we call "our own" true love or not? We have to admit that the love we feel for our families and friends is not true love. It does not deserve the name, for it is partly born of self seeking. If we analyse our natures carefully, we can begin to see that we seldom go beyond selfishness. Although we may say that something we are doing is completely for the sake of others, for the sake of our family or country, when we get down to it, we find that deep in our heart we are craving for fame and honour. We have seen that wherever there is the slightest desire to see some fruits of our actions, true love cannot enter in. And where there is no true love, how can we have non-attachment?
It follows that whatever we are doing, we should do as a duty, and no more. It is not beneficial for us to harbour any hope for returns on our labour. The more steadfastly we work in this way, the more that true non-attachment will begin to grow in us.
We have already noticed that we are slaves to our sensual desires. If we perform the actions of slave, we will find the fruits of our actions become obstacles along our path. But if we keep control of our senses and act like a master, that is to say without desire, we attain salvation. Lord Krishna expresses it thus:
"He who has control of his senses
is established in wisdom."
We are always hearing people talking about rights and justice. in my opinion, talking a great deal about these subjects is a complete waste of breath. There are two virtues that we can easily recognise in the day to day dealings of human beings. The first is compassion and the second is ability. Normally, any given person will manifest one or other of these characteristics more than the other. When one forgets compassion, and begins to show off his ability, his selfishness remains on the increase. This state of affairs has now become so common that it is very hard to find compassion anywhere. A heart in which compassion dwells is an expression of heaven itself. He who has a compassionate heart is the most fortunate of men. it is almost impossible to find someone with a true sense of justice in this world. Thus the composing of laws and judgements should be left in the hands of men of compassion.
If there is anything which comes in the way of spiritual intellect, it is the desire to reap the fruits of one's own action. A desire such as this will not help us to develop our spiritual intellect. Rather, it may bring many other crises down on our heads. To perform our actions without desire, is the best way to worship Him. When we have given something to God, we do not ask for it back. In the same way we should surrender to Him all our good and bad actions. If we always bear this in mind while we are performing action, then this habit will gradually grow in us. If we consecrate each of our actions to God, then we cannot desire to receive the fruit of our actions from anyone.
"Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever sacrifices you offer, whatever gifts you give,
whatever austerities you undergo, O Kauntey,
do it as an offering to Me."
The Incarnate Lord, who has always worked in this way, and who has never had any desire for the fruits of His actions, remains eternally free. And so it is with anyone who lives in this way, no matter if he lives in a great city where vice and corruption abound, viciousness cannot touch him. A lotus leaf floats on the surface of the water, but still it does not become damp. In the same way, a man such as we speak of can remain free of sin even if he is dipped in the sink of iniquity.
He who performs his duties with his intellect surrendered to God, having given up attachment and the fruits of his actions, lives in this world but is not of this world. He is never entangled by the effects of his actions. He remains pure and undefiled, like a lotus leaf in water.
At the end of the great war, which is described in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, the victorious Pandavas held a great festival to celebrate their triumph. During the course of this festival, they spent money like water, giving alms to all the poor and destitute of their kingdom. People were amazed at the generosity they showed. Everyone said they had never heard of such sacrifice.
As the festival was drawing to its end, a mongoose appeared, whose body was half gold and half like any other mongoose. He came to the place where the great sacrifice had been held, and rolled over and over in the dust. When he had finished this, he exclaimed "How stupid can people be? Everybody here is talking about a sacrifice, but I see no signs of anyone having sacrificed anything." People began telling the mongoose how foolish he was, and that the greatest sacrifice the world had ever seen had just taken place there.
They pointed out that everyone in the kingdom had received gifts of wealth, and asked whether this did not add up to a great sacrifice. But the mongoose replied, "This sacrifice which you are all praising so highly isn't worth one grain of barley given as alms by someone genuinely poor. Please listen to me carefully, and don't get excited. I'll tell you what I mean.
"The place that I come from is a small village. A poor Brahmin family used to live there. There were only four members in that family, the Brahmin himself, his wife, a son, and his wife. The Brahmin used to support the entire family on the small amounts which he used to earn by teaching scripture. Now it happened that there was a great famine in that district, as the result of a drought which lasted for three years in a row. That poor Brahmin family often had to go for several days at a stretch without eating any food. They used to suffer a lot. Then one day the Brahmin managed to get hold of a small quantity of barley. He divided it up into four portions, and prepared it for eating. Just as they were about to eat it, a guest arrived at their door.
"Now the scriptures tell us that guests must be fed at all times. Therefore that Brahmin told his guest, "Come in sir, the food is prepared for you," and offered him his own plate. The guest ate the Brahmin's portion in one mouthful, and said, "Sir, I have been ten days without food, and all you do is tease my appetite." When she heard the guest say this, the Brahmin's wife came forward and offered her share of the food. The Brahmin knew that his wife was weak due to starvation, and tried to persuade her to eat it herself. But she replied that it was her duty to make sure their guest was satisfied, and she would not dream of leaving her duty.
"When the guest had eaten the wife's food he was still not satisfied. Then the Brahmin's son came forward with his plate and said, "sir, please do me the favour of eating my share of the food, for it is a son's duty and pleasure to assist his father in acts of piety." So the guest ate his share too, but still he was not satisfied. Then the Brahmin's daughter in law placed her share before the guest. After eating her portion, the guest blessed that family and went on his way. That very night, the entire family died of lack of food."
The mongoose continued, "now it so happened that I came to that house the next day, and I found some crumbs that had fallen from the table where that guest had eaten his meal. The sacrifice of that family was so great, and the crumbs from their table so sacred, that when I rolled over among the crumbs, half my body turned to gold, as you can see. Since that day I have made it my business to roam the world over, to try and find somewhere where a comparable sacrifice has taken place. I came here because I had heard great praise of the selfless sacrifice which was held here. But although I have rubbed myself in the dust of this festival, the second half of my body has not turned to gold. Thus I am forced to realise that here, as elsewhere, the like of that Brahmin family's sacrifice has not been found."
Sisters and brothers, that noble era is now lost in the mists of time. Few such sons are now born in the cradle of this earth.
When I started learning English, I read a story in my English book which went like this. Once there was a boy whose mother lived in small village. She was a widow and her son went out to work, so as to provide for her. He used to work in the big city, in the factory of a wealthy man. And whatever salary he received he would always send her some of it, even if it cost him considerable hardship. One summer's day he was reading a letter from his mother, and working the fan outside his employer's office, when he fell asleep. His employer came into the room and found him sleeping like a log, with the letter on his chest. He picked the letter up carefully and began to read it. It said, "Dear son, may God make you immortal. May you remain happy, and may He give you success in your work. I am managing to make ends meet as a result of the savings you send me. May God bless you for your honest and hard work, and for your love and consideration for your mother."
As the rich man read this letter, his eyes filled with tears. He crept out of the room. Later, when the boy woke up, the wealthy man called him into his office and said, "son, you are the devoted son of a great mother. I am very pleased to see that you have a sense of service and devotion towards your mother. I am doubling your salary, so that you may continue to serve her."
I tell you truly that people nowadays find it hard to understand such stories. They talk about "each man for himself." People are indeed selfish and self-centred. At the time I read this story, its importance was not very clear to me. But now I can see it clearly. Parents may starve to death, wife and child may go a-begging, and still there would be plenty of people on this earth who would carry on eating until they had indigestion. I despair of such people. What kind of humanity is that?
No one has the right to live so selfishly. Whatever a man has at his disposal, he should see to it that others too have a share in it.
I hope that this discussion has by now clarified the mystery of Karma Yoga, the path to union with God while performing actions.
The idea is to step forward to serve all men, without fuss, in agreement with the spirit of religious propriety. Even if you have been the dupe of a thousand tricksters, it is still your duty and privilege to give something to anyone who comes to your door and asks. You should never speak of the charities you perform. You should not even expect any thanks for them. "Do good and cast it in the river," do good and forget. Do not examine yourself for virtues, but look out for your faults. Someone asked Sheikh Sa'adi , "How did you learn to do good?" and he replied, "I learnt from my own mistakes. I went on giving up anything that I saw in others that I did not like, because I realised that what I feel to be the faults of others, others may feel to be faults in me."
It must by now be obvious to you how hard it is to live a householder's life. It is much harder than to live the life of a renunciate. It is difficult enough to renounce the world without taking any part in it, but to live in the world as a householder is even harder. Yet both paths lead to the same end. Both renunciation and the desireless performance of action are extremely beneficial. But of the two, the desireless yoga of action is superior, because it is the harder to accomplish.
"He who knows neither hate nor desire,
Know him to be a perpetual renunciate.
Far from the pairs of opposites,
O Mighty Armed, he is
easily set free from bondage.
Children, the Wise do not speak of Knowledge
and the Yoga of Action as though they were separate.
He who is firmly rooted in one of them
obtains the fruits of them both."
"Renunciation, O Mighty Armed,
is hard to obtain without performing actions.
He who has achieved balance
by performing his actions in steady recollection
goes quickly to the Supreme.
He who devotes himself to the Path of Action,
whose mind is pure,
who has conquered the Self,
who has subdued his senses,
who realises his self to be the self in all beings,
even though he lives and works in this world,
he is not tainted by it."