By Sant Kirpal Singh, from the book "Spirituality – what it is", chapter 3
Man is essentially a social being. He is born in society and cannot live without society. As such, the Master-souls do not interfere in his social conduct and religious mode of life. They tell us to lead a life of purity and chastity within the framework of the social order in which we are born or to which we belong, but that we should not dehumanise our human nature, which has been given to us as a sacred trust from God. The outer differences of apparel and mode of life, social or religious, should not affect and interfere with the inner life in man, which is the same within the folds of every human breast.
They emphatically deal with man as man (an individual as opposed to a social being) and try to inculcate in him the importance of cultivating qualities that go to make him an ideal man, full of love for God as Father and His creatures as his brethren. They say that man should engage in honest pursuits, making an honest living, both for himself and his family, love all sentient beings, and treat them with loving sympathy.
Man is the roof and crown of the entire creation. He is an embodied soul. From the bodily point of view, he must live and act as an ideal man would, and also from the point of view of the Spirit, which is in essence the same as God.
Kabir informed us: "Soul is the same essence as that of God." He must manifest Godhead or God's light. Christ therefore declares:
The light (of Spirit) shineth in darkness (body)
and the darkness comprehendeth it not. St. John 1-15
Take heed that the light which is in thee be not darkness. Luke 11-35
Be ye perfect as thy Father in heaven is perfect. Matt. 5-48.
Man and God are fully embedded in each other. It therefore, behooves man to reflect the light of God around him. God is the soul of his soul, and his body is the veritable temple of God. Without the light of His life, a human body is just like a husk without a kernel, useless and inconsequential trash, fit to be cremated or consigned to the grave.
Man is an embodied Truth, for Truth is his very life.
Without the light of Truth, how can man live?
Again: God speaks through a human pole,
Without such a pole, how can He speak?
Hazrat Attaar, a great Muslim Divine, says: O man! thou art the very centre of creation. In fact, the very macrocosm is in the microcosm of thy body. Thou art the living book of God, for in and through thee alone, God speaks, and reveals Himself.
If man were to take care of his latent Godhead and make it patent, a practical workaday principle, this mundane world full of evils would become a veritable Garden of Eden, or Muqam-i-Haq or Sach Khand. Then His Kingdom would come on earth as it is in Heaven, for which the Christians and others so fervently pray from day to day.
It therefore behooves us to convert this world into a veritable land of the pious, peopled by persons with purely human instincts in them, unalloyed by feelings of hatred and animosity, pride and prejudices, and impervious to satanic influences and animal passions which degrade man to the level of a beast. It would then be a world of free and loving persons, each respecting the rights of others, with no room for courts to adjudicate disputes, nor police to keep the peace, nor armies to keep down aggression. The inhabitants of the world would then be the living embodiments of the life and love of God, walking freely and fearlessly in Heaven's light, dressed in pure godliness, in the land of the pious and the pure (Pakistan) and the really righteous (Khalistan). The ideal of the saints is not to depopulate the world but to humanise it.
The only ideal for man is to be perfect and complete. This would distinguish him from the imperfect and mutilated man, completely ignorant of the Godhead in himself, torn as he is by petty jealousies, avarice, greed, deceit, enmity, recriminations and all types of vices, a true abode for Satan as at present. Saint Paul states: "Ye are complete in Godhood."
Every religion enjoins the worship of perfected beings who are at one with God. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is mentioned that the roots of the creation are set down in heaven, but its branches spread as far as the earth. So is the case with man. His roots too are implanted in Godhood, though he moves about and works on earth. Behind the apparent consciousness that works in the world, lies the entire mystery of the Motor Power-the great dynamo without which this outer consciousness cannot operate. We are aware of this outer ocean of consciousness only so far as it operates on the plane of senses, but the major part of it lies hidden at the root or centre of the soul in the eye-focus within, and of which we are totally ignorant. It is no wonder, then, that the Master laid great stress on self-knowledge and preached that one should know of his conscious self before anything else.
From time to time, Master-souls come into the world and place before it the fundamental truth of the ideal man, that one must acquire all-round perfection. "Know Thyself!" has always been their slogan and a clarion call to the society steeped in stark ignorance and dead to the higher spiritual powers lying dormant in man. "Gnothi Seauton" was as much an article of faith with the ancient Greeks as "Nosce Teipsum" was with the ancient Latins. Their cry has been:
Awake, arise and stop not, until the goal is reached.
All the ten Sikh Gurus, from Guru Nanak down to Guru Gobind Singh, placed before the Indian society the ideal of a Sikh (a true disciple), and of a Khalsa (the pure one) who render selfless service to humanity born of genuine love for mankind. These constitute the bedrock of spiritual life and quicken the latent spiritual aspiration in man by gradually freeing him from narrow bigotries and sense of false pride.
The Muslims gave to the world the ideal man in the form of a Momin, and the Christians, in the form of a Puritan. In fact, all Master-souls have emphasised the need of developing an ideality in man so as to raise him to the level of a superman, far above the plane of senses. Iqbal, a great Urdu poet of the Punjab, relates: "Moses went to Mount Sinai to witness the glory of God, because he was not aware of the great mystery within. 0 thou, the seeker after truth, seek out an ideal man-for God, too, seeks one who can truly manifest Him in the world."
All the scriptures and all the world teachers have laid emphasis on the greatness of man, for he has vast potentialities in him, which he can, if he will, develop to any extent he may like, leading to Godhood. The pelf and power of the world are nothing in comparison to the spiritual treasures lying within man, while he, in ignorance, is like a mendicant roaming about in search of pebbles, and in the end barters away his precious life for such trash. Ruskin, too, likewise expresses this idea: "There is no wealth but life, life including all its powers of love, joy and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings. That man is the richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others."