Question: What is our responsibility toward parents?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Toward your parents? They brought you up while you were in a very helpless state, you could not even move, at their own sacrifice of money, time. Well, your first duty is to serve them.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Remember your mother carried you in her womb for nine months. Your first duty is to love and serve them. If the parents are pleased, God is pleased. You may serve Master, but you must meet with their requirements. If they really need you then it is your duty to serve them first, then the Master.
Question: What if for example my coming here (Sawan Ashram) displeased my parents very much?
Sant Kirpal Singh: You have no devotion for your father, and moreover it is due to some misunderstanding that you have created, by saying perhaps you are not really after their religion. If you had brought home to them that these are the teachings lying at the very basis of Christianity, they would not object. They love you. They are afraid that you are being led astray. First you are a man, then a Christian. First duty is to your Self; keep your body fit; then to those who brought you up; then to those who have been brought in contact with you through the flowing pen of God as a karmic reaction and then further...
Question: So what to do in a case when parents are hurt because of trying to be more on the Path?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Then that shows want of your love for your parents, I would say. Have you followed exactly what I mean to say?
Question: Yes. That I should have more love for my parents.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Surely.
Question: And in that way they would understand.
Sant Kirpal Singh: In the West, thank God, you observe Mother's Day, Father's Day. In India we never have such days. What does it mean? You must meet your mother and father and serve them to the best you can and earn their pleasure. By celebrating Father's Day or Mother's Day what does it mean? Does it not show that you have been devoted to your parents? Be thankful to your father, mother. Sometimes parents have real love for you, but they are afraid you might have been misled, might have gone astray, that's the point. They might get that misimpression. Sometimes they ask, "Oh, what are you doing?" They are jealous. But really what I'm saying today, is not to hurt their feelings. Love of God is necessary too. Give them right understanding of the Teachings you have got: it is not a new religion. These Teachings are the very core, I would say, of all Masters' Teachings, those who came in the past. But I am very thankful that they observe Father's Day and Mother's Day. And at the same time judge your question how it stands.
Question: She has heard that parents of an initiate can come under the protection of the Master, and she has also heard that those who have died also come under the protection of the Master, is this correct?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Those who are related to the initiates whether dead or alive, have concession. They are looked after, even those who are dead. When a man initiated that effect also goes to them; to those who have left the body. The initiates as well as anyone else who is related to the initiate or who loves the initiate, are looked after. Even those who have left the body are also helped.
I will tell you about my uncle's daughter who was sick at her native place, 300 miles from Lahore where I was. She was dangerously sick. My uncle sent me a letter. "You please come as early as possible as she's very ill, dangerously ill." I left Lahore by train that very night. I reached there the next day at about two o'clock or three o'clock. That night, [while was on the train], my uncle's daughter said, "Kirpal Singh has come here. Along with him is an old man." She said I told the old man, "Here's the sick person," and then went away. She said, "Call, call Kirpal Singh. He is going away, call him, call him, call him." This is what happened, you see. She began to recover the day following that vision. When I reached her home at two o'clock during the day, she said, "You came last night, there was an old man with you, who was he?" She never heard of or saw my Master. Sometime later my Master visited Rawalpindi which is about one hundred miles from her home there. I asked her she could recognize that old man if she saw him again somewhere? She said, "Yes, surely." When my Master went to Rawalpindi I sent for my uncle's daughter. "Well, could you recognize the man when he comes here? .... Yes." When the Master was coming, "Oh, he was this man.' You see, she was not initiated. So help is extended to those who love you – maybe friends, maybe relations, even those who are dead are also helped, especially blood relations. It's a wonderful concession you have got, you see. What more do you want?
Question: We have a new factor in the West that enters in, called women's liberation, in which they don't believe in accommodating themselves to the husband the way that You've discussed.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Strictly speaking, husbands and wives should have equal rights. But they must be one soul in two bodies. Otherwise there's no good family life. God has united them as a matter of reactions of the past.
Now I'm speaking very strictly according to principles. You don't mind that? According to principle when a man takes a wife and they want to leave each other, then even if the wife remarries or the husband remarries, they are both adulterers. These are the words of Moses. We fall short of these Commandments. And there's real happiness only when one is attached to one person throughout life. In India this has been proverbial. In the West there are divorce courts. Every day if some trouble arises. "All right, I'll go (for a divorce)," the wife or husband says. So where's the peace? No peace. After six years just see them. One son has been born here, another is born there. Who claims them? Very difficult situation, I would say. India has been proverbial for family stability, but this disease has now also crept in here too. Divorced people think they are advanced. To my mind, they have degraded themselves by this level of thinking. So there is actually no permanent peace, union, or integration. You follow me? We also have divorce courts in India now – not many, but still they have been started; it is the nation's loss. In the West you'll find that trouble arises every day. There are very few who are sincere to each other. God has united you as a reaction of the past, so let God disunite. Both of you should go together as equals; both united together, not as slave – I don't mean that – but as equals, both united.
So marriage means taking a companion in life who will be with us in weal or woe in our earthly sojourn, and we should help each other to meet God. One duty may be of begetting children. But if divorce comes, they say: "This is my son; you can keep that son." All this trouble is going on. First a son is living with his father; two years later he is living with his mother. Excuse me if I say, there is no sincerity. Divorce is one of the main causes of trouble in the West. It has crept into India too, I'm sorry to say. The Mohammedans also allow it, with some restrictions. A man wanting a divorce gives notice for three months, then reconsiders for six months – that's the rule. Then after one year or so if he and his wife cannot be reconciled, they are divorced. At the time of divorce the man pays something. You see? This is what Mohammedanism has got. In Hinduism that has not been the custom. You may approve of divorce, but I say evil has crept in here, too. If a man considers he has to, he will adjust. In my letters, you'll find the advice, "Try to adjust, please." And many couples, after having applied for divorce, have returned to each other. Now they're living a good life. When once you think that you both have to carry on, you'll adjust. Otherwise one will go this way and one that way, and there will be no peaceful home. So I always tell them, "Be polite to your wife, be truthful, be loving, adjust, control yourself." And to the wife, "If your husband hates you, you must be sincere." I've found in many cases they've come back to a normal life. So everyday, try to adjust.
As it is, a young man gets married. After two years he divorces; he takes another wife, and the wife takes a husband. After two more years he gets another divorce. Every time he has to remarry he has to take the role of a young man again; he's never out of the sensual life. I'm pointing this out from the spiritual point of view. So these are very strict orders I am giving you; if those who are divorced remarry, both are adulterers. You see you cannot stamp out good or evil altogether, but we have to take such a recourse in which there is more good as compared with evil. Married couples should say, "You and I have to carry on somehow; we haven't adjusted yet. We will try to adjust." But if one partner threatens divorce, then the other will retaliate. That's not the way; there will be no peace with all these frivolous thoughts haunting your brain. I'm just explaining from the practical point of view, that's all.
Once I had a very long correspondence on this subject. There are some genuine cases too, but they are very few, very few, not like what goes on now. Now everybody with a little excuse can say, "I am going to divorce you." How can you love two men at a time or two wives at a time? After all, there are some obligations. I'm not talking deep philosophy, only common sense. There's more peace that way. I now find those who have come in contact with me through correspondence are changed. Those who had already taken recourse to divorce, that was too late, but those who were intending to divorce, they have changed their minds. Now they have comparatively peaceful lives. To give you an example: if you have one bangle, maybe of iron or gold, that won't make any noise. But if there are two or three, they will always be jingling. One heart attached to so many places – where's the rest? Sometimes driven that way, sometimes driven this way. So this is very important, a very grave question to consider. I'm sorry this evil has crept into India too. Even now it affects, I think, ten percent of all marriages. You see, once a custom starts, it continues. It will take time, but what they have started will spoil the whole thing. In the case of family planning, India has the highest birthrate now.
Question: In India one sees billboards everywhere advertising family planning. Do you approve of it?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Truly speaking, I don't; they should maintain celibacy, chastity. This is a very valuable thing. They spoil it. I am not in favour of family planning. I tell you honestly. The point is, to conserve that power helps you physically, intellectually, and spiritually. We fall down every moment. I have put one column in the diary for chastity of thought, word, and deed. In these points, I've made it clear what I think...
Question: Will women's modesty return in the Golden Age?
Sant Kirpal Singh: After all, Golden Age will arise from this Iron Age, you see. It won't come down from heaven. These thoughts that I am giving you are not new thoughts; they are the thoughts which have been working in the past, and the times have been changing. But this revival will again pick up. At one time in India, even the king could join in any worship only in the company of his wife; without his wife, he could not. And now, each is going in a different way. That was the custom in the past. When Sita was exiled, Lord Rama could not join any worship. So he had to make a statue of Sita and then he could join in the worship. They are good counterparts, you see; after all, nature has provided that. Where the men have the upper hand, they think women are their slaves; where the women have the upper hand, they say men should be their slaves. And this is what is going on. So I have respect for both. If they work in their own provinces, they can do wonderful work. Now both husband and wife are working. They go away together and their servants are left at home with the children. When the mother is looking after the household, all goes well; after all, she is bringing up the children and training them. This is a very important job for the coming generations. They are the budding hopes. There's nobody better fit to do this job. Instead, they are sent to the colleges, to the hostels, to be trained by others for convenience sake. After all, children cannot have the same influence from others as they can have from their mothers, who are ideal mothers; mind not all are ideal. They may get fed all right and the training is all right at schools, but that influence is not there.
I think "modesty" might cover what I mean to say. Modesty. Each person in his own province maintaining it in the proper way. Women leave their hearth and home and join their husbands. This is their nature. They will go on together as real selfless friends in the worldly affairs. Both should help each other to know God, which is the ultimate goal. So this side is ignored. Naturally what is ideal cannot be had. Making a home, then going to work, earning money is all right; share at home. But the controlling of all household affairs and children, helping to form their future lives is very important. Although the husband may say that he has nothing to do with the province of work at home, if he helps very buoyantly and smilingly, that will make a sweet home, and on that you have formed roots, is it not?
So we have great intellects, great mathematicians, among women, also great spiritual women. Was not Mary, whom many worship, a woman? She gave birth to Christ Jesus. Mary was the mother, was she not? Just see what I mean to say.
To be either a man or a woman is very helpful if each goes on spiritually advancing, because on spiritual health depends the life of mind and body both. Women have got more chances, I tell you, than men. Men have so many irons in the fire. And women have only a small kingdom to control, looking to the proper keeping of the household. Their work is not less than a man's, I will tell you. If you exchange their duties for say a month, you will come to know how hard their duties are. But both sides have their own view. A sweet home can be had only when both go on jolly in their proper ways. The lack of these basic attitudes is one of the causes of why our homes have been deteriorating, I would say. How many men can you love at a time? Love which changes is no love.
When a woman has a sweet home, is bringing up her children, is very disciplined outwardly as well as developed spiritually, how much influence she has got! When her husband comes home, he will feel joy. He will feel buoyant. This does not mean sensual enjoyment; no, not in the least. That is to be used only when you want children, one or two. We have misused everything, you see. How many have got sweet homes nowadays? I am just putting the ideal before you. You will find very few such ideal marriages. Husbands are fighting with the wives, and wives with the husbands; and children going this way and that way. When the men or women both fall below their dignity, modesty, the whole thing becomes topsy-turvy. But this is not spirituality I am talking to you about. I'm just telling you how spirituality works in outer ways, in outer environments, outer living, socially and otherwise. So basic teachings are the same, you see. All this is happening because we have lost our third aspect – the Bread of Life. We do not have loaves of the Bread of Life, but have instead loaves of intellectual bread. Loaves of other things, but not the Bread of Life. Man should develop all around. Only then he will be able to feed others. So these are different aspects discussed from the level of the Bread of Life, and how it works in your daily life.
By coming in contact with that Bread of Life, and Water of Life, all virtues take an abode within you. This will come about of itself. You are not to be anxious for it. It will follow naturally. How important is this phase of life – like the example I gave you of watering. Without water, even nature's other elements cannot help you. All nature depends on what? This very Water of Life. Does it not? Then even the dry trees become quite green by their roots searching deeply. You'll find there's one tree here, a very big tall green tree. It was all dry from a fire, and it was to be cut down. They wanted to cut it, but I asked them not to – "Why don't you let it stand?" Now it is green. Why?
So do you understand now, from the example of watering, how it works in all phases of life whether social or in your household affairs, or anything? Just like the watering of trees that we have forgotten, try to make up the neglected areas by putting more time (water). Even if you put in some time, less time, another thing that will help you is to surrender. When you surrender to somebody, He is always in you. In India when a girl is married away, she never cares about what she will eat or what she will wear. She is married away. When the soul is married away to God, then? There are no anxieties left, you see.
Well, go on watering and everything will be all right, that's all I can say.