Online Magazines > Manav Dharam (June 2008)
Discourse - Param Sant Sadgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj


Sant Tulsidas Ji wrote in Shri Ramcharitmanas, "Ram bhakti chinta mani sundar. Basai garud jake ur andar. Param Prakash roop din rati. Na chahiye kachhu diya ghrit bati." Within the heart of devotees, the Divine Light shines day and night and it does not require any external lamp, oil or wick. All creatures can see the light of sun, moon, electricity and fire, but the light which is beyond all these is within the heart of all. Devotion is to know that and meditate.

Photo: Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

"Ram bhakti mani ur bas jake. Dukh lavlesh na swapnehu take." Those who possess the jewel of devotion to the Lord within their heart, do not feel sorrow even in a dream. Those, however, who are bereft of devotion to the Divine Light, can never be happy and peaceful, because without devotion the cycle of birth and death cannot end and one has to suffer dreadfully in birth as well as in death. "Bhaktiheen nar sohahi kaise. Binu jal warid dekhiye jaise. Bhaktihin gun sab sukh aise. Lavan bina bahu vyanjan jaise. Bhaktihin viranchi kin hoi. Sab jeevahu sam priya mohi soi. Bhaktivant ati nichahu prani. Mohi pran priya as mam vani." Those who are not devoted to God are like clouds without rain - such clouds are useless. All merits and pleasures without devotion are like all dishes of delicious foods cooked without salt.

Lord Rama says that people - even Brahma the Creator - without devotion mean no more to Him than those insects and flies who merely are born and die. On the other hand, a devotee may be devoid of merits, education, strength and wealth but still the Lord loves him "even more than HIS own life". A person may be the greatest sinner but after he takes shelter in God, he is called a saint.

Lord Krishna said to Arjuna, "If you die while fighting, you will get heaven and if you win then you will be king of the entire earth and you will be praised all over the world". Those who conquer desire, anger, temptation and lust are entitled to be called devotees and will enjoy the pleasures of this world as well as hereafter. However, a man generally regards service to the Master, which will free him from the shackles of worldly lust and attachment, as useless while service rendered to wife, children, friends, relatives and building a house as useful. What use will all these be when this body has to be abandoned? So, service to the Master is the door to salvation and all other things are like a spider web of illusory traps. Both paths are before you. You can choose whichever suits you.

Once there was a disciple who always used to ask Guru Maharaj Ji to free him from the net of illusory things. One day, both disciple and Master were walking through a dense forest. Guru Maharaj Ji suddenly ran and caught hold of a tree and called to the disciple, "This tree won't let me go! Set me free!" The disciple said, "Maharaj Ji, it is you who are holding the tree. The tree is not holding you." Guru Maharaj Ji said, "Brother, in the same way, it is you who has caught hold of illusory things. These things have not caught you. If you let go of them you will be free. Illusory things belong to God, but you think that these belong to you. So, let go and serve Guru Maharaj Ji and then you will be instrumental in redeeming not only yourself, but seven generations of your ancestors."

Four ashramas or stages of life are described in the scriptures. The first is the celibate stage, then family life, then retiring from the world and finally living as a renunciate. But people nowadays are so attached to family life that they do not want to leave it. This is all due to the power of attachment and greed, but only after one breaks through these attachments he can have love for God. So it is said, "Ram Nam sabke sath, kunji santon ke hath." The wealth of Ram Nam is present in everyone's heart but the key to possessing this wealth is in the hands of the saints." Tan man dhan do santan hath. Chabi tab awe chele ke hath."

Unless we humbly ask them, saints will not impart the knowledge of the Holy Name of God to us. So we should understand what is beneficial and non-beneficial for us and make our human life successful.

How can a person love God unless he has unflinching faith and love in his Spiritual Master? Without the true Master, one cannot realise God. If someone has love today but not tomorrow, how can such love be called constant and true? If a person is against the Master, then it must be due to some worldly thing because devotion to the Master and craving for illusory things are direct opposites. Those who crave for worldly things are bound to fall out of step. "Guru bhakti ati kathin hai, jyon khande ki dhar. Hale dole kati mare, nishchal utare par." Devotion to the Master is very difficult. It is like walking on a sword's edge. One will be pierced if he falters and only a devotee with pure and strong resolve will succeed in the path of devotion.

If a devotee remembers the Holy Name continuously, the Master is always with him, even though he may be physically hundreds of miles away. Those who achieved the cherished goal of salvation, got it by virtue of their service to the Master. King Shivaji earned the title of 'Chhatrapati' through serving his Master. Guru Govind Singh Ji had thousands of disciples but when it came to the test, only five proved themselves to be true. Even today in gurudwaras, the 'Beloved Five' are given the first offerings ('bhog').

Once forty of his disciples, due to hunger and thirst, fled from the battlefield where they were fighting the Mughals. When they arrived home, their wives asked if Guru Maharaj Ji had sent them any prashad (blessed food). They replied that Guru Maharaj Ji had apparently become mentally disturbed after the murder of his sons and now he wanted to get them all killed. When their wives heard this, they said, "You should be ashamed of yourselves! Abandoning Guru Maharaj Ji and leaving him all alone in the battlefield is a heinous sin. How long will you survive? Had you died while following the commands of the Master, you would have achieved salvation." Then they realized their mistake, so they returned to Guru Maharaj Ji and begged for forgiveness. The Master was very kind and he gave them salvation as well. Likewise those devotees who obeyed the commands of the master, reached the highest abode.

"Tirth nahaye ek phal, sant mile phal char. Sadguru mile anek phal, kahat Kabir vichar": One reward of going on pilgrimage is that you meet many people and the body gets washed clean, and if you meet a saint, you gain the four aims of life. But the rewards of meeting the Master are many.

"Arhsath tirath guru charan, parvi hot akhand. Sahjo aisa dham nahin, sakal akhand brahmand." Sahjo Bai, a great devotee, said all sixty-eight holy places exist at the feet of the Master where there is rejoicing all the time. There is no place like it in the whole universe and those who bathe here are freed of all obstacles. So it is said, "Guru ke sumiran matra se, nashat vighna anant. Tate sarva arambh mein, dhyavat hain sab sant." All obstacles and hindrances are wiped out by simply meditating upon the Master. So having acquired Spiritual Knowledge, meditate as much as possible and achieve salvation.

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