A talk given by Sant Kirpal Singh in remembrance of His Master Baba Sawan Singh, September 2, 1963
It is really a great blessing to meet, I would say, a Master-man or God-in-man or man who is the mouthpiece of God. God resides in every heart. He is the controlling power controlling all creation, and He is also controlling our souls in the body: we cannot run out of the body, even though it has nine apertures – two eyes, two nostrils, etc. God speaks through those who have become in tune with Him, you might say, or have become His mouthpiece. Though words appear to be coming through the gullet of a son of man, he is quite conscious; he sees that it is He Who is speaking and that it is being inspired by that higher Power. He is not speaking at the level of the intellect, but what is said comes of itself. You will find that those thoughts which come of themselves are always perfect. The very same God is within us, too; but the soul of a living Master, at whose pole God is speaking, has arisen from the bondage of mind and matter. He sees the Controlling Power within himself.
Generally, we find that people who say they have met God have done so at the level of feelings. Feelings are of our own make. Sometimes, out of feelings, we rise into certain emotions; and sometimes, intellectually, we come to some conclusion as a matter of inference. Truly speaking, we have not seen Him, if we take Him to be at the level of our own self. All these three – feelings, emotions and inferences – are subject to error. Seeing is above all.
Soul is the spirit of God; it is spirit in man, environed by mind and matter. Those who have risen above the body by self-analysis and have become conscious co-workers of God, know that it is He Who is controlling us all. To meet such a personality as the son of man is a great blessing. He appears to be a man like all other men. He has the same two eyes and two hands; the same outer construction. But our souls are embedded in the mind and outgoing faculties; and we are so much identified with them that we have forgotten ourselves. Unless we rise above senses or above body consciousness – unless we are reborn into the Beyond – we cannot become conscious co-workers of the divine plan. Whenever suchlike people come to the world, they are conscious. They never say, "I am saying this or that." They say, "It is the Father in me who is working." Do you see? The same Power is within us, but we are not conscious of it; because, as I told you, our souls are under the control of mind and mind is under the control of the outgoing faculties, and we have become so identified with them that we have forgotten ourselves.
Whenever such Masters come, what is their job? He is man among men. Do you see? He is a son of man, but he is something more. He is in tune with God, and in his company, other souls which are tied down to the mind, outgoing faculties or the senses are raised above them. He opens the inner eye to see God: to see God-in-action or in-expression, which is called Word. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us." To meet such a Master while living on earth is a great blessing, because, with a little thought of his, he is competent to raise our souls above the senses – something that we cannot attain by years of penances.
So seeing is above all. Truly speaking, theists are those who have seen God. "The Son knows the Father and others to whom the Son reveals Him." They are true theists; all others, truly speaking, have not yet become theists. They have their own feelings and emotions and have drawn inferences to come to some conclusion, but they have not yet seen. We believe in God just as we have read about Him in scriptures. Scriptures speak of the experiences that the Masters had in their lives in their contact with God. They are a fine record of all these experiences. By reading them, an interest is created in us to have the same experience within our own selves. So scriptures are there to create an interest within us. But unless we can have the same experience our own selves, we cannot be truly convinced.
Therefore, whenever the Masters come, they say, "Don't believe what the scriptures or what anyone says. You can take them as experimental measures, but unless you see for your own self – at least to some extent – the same experience that they speak of, you cannot be fully convinced." To meet with such a son of man, at whose pole God is working and speaking, who is in tune with God and who has the competency to raise others to the level at which they may have some glimpse of God, is really a great blessing.
In the first place, to have the manbody is a great blessing, because it is the highest in all creation. And the highest aim of a man's life is to know God. To know God, we must know our own self first; because it is the soul that has to know God: He cannot be known by the outgoing faculties, mind or intellect.
One student went to Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the well-known Saint, the Master of Swami Vivekananda. He had a book under his arm. Ramakrishna asked him, "What is it?" The student said, "Master, it is a book that tells how water is made." And smilingly, Ramakrishna said, "All right. Squeeze the leaves of the book, and see how many drops of water will come out of it." Do you see? This is only an example to show that the scriptures are worth tons of gold and emeralds, because they contain the experiences that the Masters had in their life with God, and that creates an interest within us. But that is their scope, and there it ends: they cannot take us to the experience. You can have that experience within the laboratory of your own man-body. And unless you enter the laboratory of the man-body, you cannot have an experience of Him. That is why the scriptural records of all past Masters say, "The body is the temple of God." By reading scriptures you have an interest created in you to see God, and there it ends. Many men will come to you and say, "Yes, I have seen God." That's all right, with due deference to them. But the true definition of a true saint is that he is also competent to give others some experience of God within. And that experience is had only when you rise above body consciousness. All the methods that we have adopted to know God, such as reading of scriptures, have their value. Certain rites or rituals are performed according to the custom of each country. Of course, they work to prepare the ground to know God; they are good actions. But still, all scriptures say – all Masters say – that God is within you. "The kingdom of God cannot be had by observation." Why? Because it is within you. Unless you enter within and find the contact controlling your soul in the body, you cannot find Him. That very same Power is also controlling the whole creation. It is for that purpose that we have to know our own self. That is why all Masters – Christ, the old Greeks, Guru Nanak and all others said, "Know thyself." Knowing the self is liberating our soul from mind and the outgoing faculties or senses; rising above senses; and stilling our intellect, too. Then a sort of transport arises in which you can have a glimpse of God. That is a matter of pure self-analysis.
The hymn that she was just reading out to you is in praise of the Master. It says, "He is the king of our hearts." He was intoxicated with God, and to whoever met him he gave a little dose of intoxication, too: not to the senses, but to the soul. Suchlike was the Master, moving on earth like a man, a son of man.
There is a difference between a son of man and a God-in-man or a Master. Masters are conscious that "there is some other power working through us." Once a disciple asked Christ, "You always speak of the Father; it would have been much better if you had let us see your Father." And they said he grew a little indignant over it and said, "I'm sorry, I have been so long with you and amongst you, and you did not find that it was the Father working through me?" Do you see? He was conscious of the God Power working through him.
The criterion of such a Master is that he does not only see, himself, but he enables others to see. As I told you, "The Son knows the Father and others to whom the Son reveals Him." It is a sort of revelation, which already exists within you. Because of your being given up to all outward senses and your being so much identified with them, you have forgotten your own self, who you are and what you are. The first thing to be done is to retrace your steps by withdrawing within and then rising above body consciousness. This is a matter of pure self-analysis. This is what is spoken of in the scriptures as, "Learn to die so that you might begin to live." At the time of death, the soul leaves the lower portion of the body and rises to the back of the eyes; and then you leave the body. You have a sort of levitation. If you have that very experience in life, you can have contact with the God-in-expression Power, not God Absolute, mind that. So, the son of man who has become the mouthpiece of that power is called Master. When you meet him, he is competent to raise you above the physical and astral levels and to open the inner eye to see the Light of God. God is Light.
She was just singing the hymn saying that our Master was a great one. He was himself God-intoxicated, and he let others who went to him also have a dose of intoxication. His greatest feat was that he made people sit and asked them to close their eyes and gave them an experience of rising above body consciousness to see Light. That was his greatest feat – or the greatest feat of any Master. Lectures can be given by anybody after a little training. With due deference to all, there is a vast difference between speaking of something and seeing something. One who sees can enable others to see. Those who are speaking at the intellectual level will give so many findings of the Saints and interpret them at the level of their intellect. Therefore they are not definite. They say at their heart of hearts they see; but they do not see. How can they make others see and have the same experience? That is why all Masters said, "Beware of false prophets who come like lambs, but they are ravening wolves." This they had to say, because true Masters are few. There have been, and there are, Masters. The world is not without them; but they are rare. To come across such a son of man or personality who has that experience and is competent to give the experience to others – to meet such a great soul; you might say, Spirit-in-man or God-in-man – is a great blessing. Of our own selves can we see Him? Yes, of course, if we can rise above senses.
So, whatever we do – all our reading, writing, performing of certain rites or rituals and saying of prayers in one way or the other – is all at the level of senses. You are already so identified with the senses that you have forgotten yourself, and whatever methods you use to free yourself from the senses are also practised at the level of the senses. Then how can you rise above the senses? It is by the grace of God alone, as a reaction of the past. Some people do sometimes have some experience; but what the Masters teach and give out is, I would say, a regular science. They do not simply give a lecture or talk on a certain subject, but they do give some experience to start with.
Take the example of a man who is very well-versed in the principles of business. He comes and gives a talk to the people around him – a very wonderful talk, quite appreciable; but the poor fellows to whom he is giving the talk have no money with them. What will your lecture do? Only if he gives them some capital to start with will some good come out of it. This is why it is said that lecturing is something other than spirituality. The reading of scriptures and the performance of rites or rituals are the elementary steps which are meant for the preparation of the ground. With due deference to them, they are good actions. But we still have to take a step further to rise above the level of the senses. That is why all Masters referred to it: "Learn to die so that you may begin to live." "Except ye be reborn ye cannot enter the kingdom of God." It is within you. There are so many mansions in the house of our Father: there are planes and planes of different densities. You rise above them until you reach the True Home of your Father. And this much can be done only in the man-body, which is considered to be the highest in all creation. And that fortunately you have got.
With that purpose in view we have joined various schools of thought called religions – social bodies. If we have achieved that aim, well and good. The golden opportunity we have to know Him is the man-body, and no other body.
Masters have come in all religions. They gave out the same teachings, of course in the language prevalent at the time when they came. Now, those sayings or experiences form the subject of our scriptures. To understand them, to have their right import, we need somebody who has had the same experience or has gone on the same Way. He only will be able to give you the right understanding of the scriptures; others will just give it at the level of their intellect. There are vast differences between one and the other. The man who has seen and who is also competent to let others see by raising them up from the levels of the physical and astral bodies is called a Master, in the true sense of the word, as given out by all Masters. You may be engaged in all the outer actions, but to have an experience of God in life is a great blessing.
So she was just singing about our Master. All Masters say the same thing. They came in all religions. We cannot say it is the reserved right of one religion or the other. God is for all. The schools of thought were raised after the Masters came. That is why, at the intellectual level, we have so many versions of the same thing; because they have not seen it. If a number of people come to this building, and there is a photo on the wall, and a radio and many other things, and the people go back to their own different countries and give statements of what they saw in this building, they will, of course, give them in their own languages; but the salient points will agree. As far as details are concerned, some might give more details of a certain thing, and others might omit something. Those people who have not seen this building and read about it in the different books will wonder, "What is all this? These versions cannot be reconciled." But if a man has seen this building, and those books are read out to him, he will say, "Oh, yes, I have seen it; it is like that." So what the Masters say, they have seen. They say what they see; not as a matter of feelings or emotions or inferences. With due deference to all, seeing is above all.
Seeing comes to the soul. Until the soul is analysed by self-analysis or, you may say, by rising above body consciousness or the senses, you cannot have experience of your own self. Self-knowledge precedes God-knowledge. The sayings of the Masters are very clear on that point. They see and then say. And to those who come to them, they say: "All right, have a sitting; you'll find it for your own self." Unless we bear testimony to it our own self, we cannot be truly convinced.
So she was just singing the praises of the Master. All Masters came from time to time to guide the child humanity and have some time with them. Maulana Rumi, a Mohammedan saint, said, "If you do your penances yourself for the sake of God for a hundred years, it will not give you so much blessing as sitting once by a Master Saint." He will give you a sitting and your inner eye will open; you will see the Light of God.
This is the subject before us, irrespective of whether we belong to one religion or the other; that makes no difference. All religions are good. To remain in some religion is a blessing. If you leave it. there will be corruption, or you will have to raise another school of thought. So many religions already exist. They were raised after the Masters came into the world. They are formations. Naturally, you will find that wherever there are formations, they result in stagnation, and stagnation sometimes results in deterioration, for want of practical persons who know the Way.
We are worshippers of the same God, and the same thing has been given in all scriptures. The pity is that we are not in the full know of other religions. We have experience only of our own religion, and that also at the level of the intellect. That is why we are not able to do full justice to the work. So we need somebody even to understand the true import of the scriptures. Who? Someone who has been on the Way and knows the Way. He only can give you the right scriptural import, because he has seen what those Masters saw who made statements about their experiences. What is the difference? Why did so many of these different schools come into being? One man rises into prominence, and he says, "This is my view." A hundred or two hundred people follow him, and they form a new sect. That is the cause. Otherwise, those who realize and see God say the same thing: and they have said the same thing and have also made others have the same experiences. The greatness of a Saint or a Master lies in the fact that he is competent to give you some experience of that Reality.
Philosophies deal with theories, and mysticism deals with Reality. Those who are themselves in contact with Reality are also competent to give you some experience to start with. Then you have to develop further. "Rome was not built in a day," of course. But you have something straight off, some contact with the Reality that leads to the Absolute God.
This is the aim of our life, in a digest form. We have developed physically and intellectually. But the third side, our own self, has been very much ignored: we know little or nothing about it. Intellectually, we know about the scriptures and other things: but that is food only for the intellect. You are intellectually a giant. But that has not been able to satisfy you, because the third side has not been developed. You must advance spiritually, too. Reading scriptures forms part of the activity of the intellect. You know certain things; your brain is full of the sayings of the Master; but you have not yet seen. I would say, knowing many scriptures by heart cannot make you a Saint. You may know something intellectually, but unless you have an experience of the same thing, you cannot be convinced yourself, nor can you make others be convinced of it.
So she was singing the praises of the Master, at whose feet we had the good fortune to sit. He was competent to give all – one and all, both the learned and the unlearned, whoever came to him some inner experience to start with. When the inner eye, called the single eye, is opened, we can rise above the level of the physical and astral bodies: "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Light is there. God is Light. It is not intellectual light. It is truly Light.
This is what we had at the feet of the Master. That God Power or Christ Power or Guru Power, as it is called, never dies; it is everlasting. Whoever comes in contact with that Power will also have everlasting life. For this purpose we have joined the various schools of thought; and now we have to see how far we have advanced. We have been in the manbody for some ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years. We have to see whether we have achieved this object. If we have, well and good. If not, we should do something more to have that experience in life. To say that we will have this experience after death – where is the proof of that? Excuse me, but "a bird in hand is better than two in the bush." If you are a learned man now, even after leaving the body, you will remain the same; you do not become a prophet. I'm going out of this room; when I'm out of it, I'm the same as I was when I was in the room. Those who have developed, who have advanced spiritually while in the man-body, have used the golden opportunity that we have; because only in this man-body can we know God. We know God in this life, and that experience we can have only when we rise above body consciousness. We "learn to die so that we may begin to live." St. Paul said, "I die daily." And Guru Nanak said, "Die a hundred times a day at will." It is not a death that takes you to the grave; it is practical self-analysis, a rising above body consciousness. It is a regular science, as sure as two and two make four. And you can have it in this man-life, if, by God's grace, you come across someone where the God Power is working. You have a great blessing.
She was singing that our Master was a great one, truly king of our hearts. He had that God-intoxication, and he was also competent to give others intoxication by simply giving them a sitting. He would say, "Close your eyes"; and with a little thought impetus to raise them up, they bore testimony that there is light of God.
This is the ultimate goal of a man's life, and it is for this we have joined the various religions. All religions are good. They have truth in them. Masters were the truth personified. Whenever they came, they experienced the same light. They were themselves above It. They personified It themselves. That is why it was said – or it was said in all the languages of the Masters – "The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us." Unless he is Word personified, how can he give us a contact with the Word? An intellectual man can give you experience only up to the intellectual level, not more. Those who see It can give you an experience to see It. You bear testimony to It.
So, you will find it is a great blessing to have the man-body. It is a still further great blessing if you meet some son of man at whose pole God is working. I have had it the same. All others who sat at the feet of our Master had it.
These days the world is not without Them. After all, God is the same forever. We are all His children. For those who are hankering after Him, "there is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty." Demand and supply is the law of nature. When fire burns, oxygen comes to help. It is God Who makes an arrangement to bring someone who is really hankering after Him in contact somewhere where he can derive the benefit of personal experience. So blessed are you who have joined some religion for that higher, nobler purpose. The only thing we have to see is how far we have advanced: whether we have achieved that very object for which we joined the various schools of thought. You have found that truth; that's all right. That is one. It is as definite a science as two and two make four. But it is only possible to have it when you come across someone who has had that experience and is able to give it to you. The greatness of a Master lies not in giving lectures, talks and wonderful theories, but in the fact that he is able to give you some contact with the God-in-action Power which is light and sound principle.