Circular letter from Sant Kirpal Singh, dated November 5, 1969.
In my circular letter of June 13, it was explained in detail what is the responsibility of each and every initiate, the true meaning of Initiation, and the life to be led by one who wishes to progress on the path.
In continuation, I should like to say a few words on Sadachar or the righteous life, without which one cannot sit in the quiet of his own self and, with concentrated attention, pierce through the inner darkness.
To achieve true spiritual progress, one must lead "the good life," I may even say a "God-like life," before much inner progress can be made. At the same time, one must be fully dutiful to regular meditations, as both are essential. To lead a good life without devoting time to one's spiritual practices will not raise the attention to the seat of the soul. Similarly, devoting hours to meditation without eliminating bad habits and cultivating good ones in their place will not get one anywhere. Purity of life is essential for fruitful meditations.
What is "the good life?" It is to have good thoughts, good words and good deeds. Sadachar is a life of continued rightness from beginning to end. It is for each initiate to occasionally pause and introspect as to how far he has succeeded in molding his life in accordance with the commandments of the Master. We talk of God, hear of God, and read of God, but we seldom practice God in our daily life. It is the practice of the presence of God that matters and we can only have the awareness of this presence by leading a God-like life; there are no short cuts on the way back to God.
Truth is higher than everything but higher still is true living. Truth and true living are not exclusive of each other but go together; one supplements the other and their combination forms the God-like life. One who practices true living will always earn his living by the sweat of his brow and feed himself and his family on rightly procured foods consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals and permitted dairy products. Furthermore, he will be honest and above-board in his dealings with others. These three aspects of conduct are indispensable aids to true living. One can gauge his or her spiritual progress by the measure of conscious control that he or she has over their thought pattern. One who has in some measure achieved this control will not be swayed or upset by outer conditions, stresses and strains that his environment may place on him. If one cannot rise above, be in full control of, and handle with ease, the circumstances of his outer environment, he will never be able to succeed in the way of spirituality.
So the important thing is to first learn to handle your outer environment, consisting of your home and/or work life. We are to be judged by our actions and not by our words. It is from the abundance of our heart that all actions result, whether physical, emotional or intellectual. The mind is an index and reflecting mirror and it truly depicts one's inner state. A measure of success in how well you are succeeding in handling your outer environment will be a gradual awareness that you are becoming the master of your own thoughts. It is to achieve this success that I introduced the self introspective diaries. How many really keep their diaries properly? Very few, if any, I am sorry to say. If the diaries were to be taken advantage of, you would see a change in your behavior, your mode of thinking, and consequently, you would progress spiritually by leaps and bounds. The purpose of the diary is to reflect your own inner state, so that you know where you stand. It is a tool which, if used properly, will chisel you into a receptacle fit for the manifestation of the Master within you. You should put just as much devotion and attention into keeping your diary as you put into your meditations.
The following points will give you the right understanding on the sublime purpose behind and benefits to be had from keeping the diary:
(1) When, at the end of the day, you recall your failures in thought, word and deed, in which direction will your mind be turned? Naturally, it will go to the One who has asked you to keep it. So keeping the diary is also remembrance of the Master; you are saying something to Him. If you remember Him, well, He remembers you, and in time, you will develop receptivity to Him wherever you may be. There can be no true spiritual progress without receptivity, and the daily maintenance of the diary with full attention and a true yearning to be freed from the lapses which are recorded therein goes a long way to developing this receptivity.
(2) In the Christian religion, I understand that those who wish may make a confession of their lapses before a priest. They may go once a month or weekly, but generally not more often than once a week. But by keeping the diaries, you are making a confession every day. Let your confessions be honestly and openly recorded in the various columns, so that you know where you stand and can take rectifying action. The best and easiest way to cure your ills is to yearn to be free of them and, as mentioned above, to have sweet remembrance of the Master at the time you are filling in your diary.
(3) Last and just as important as the foregoing, keeping the diary should not be allowed to stagnate into a mere recording of failures, which tends to become mechanical if done with little or no attention. The true purpose of putting these failures down in front of you is to make yourself aware of them so that they may be weeded out. To weed them out, it is not sufficient to cut off one or two branches, you must uproot the cause. Once you become aware of a failure, you should be able to trace it to a certain situation, and this situation will help you to identify the cause of the weakness in you that has to be strengthened. By and by, the very cause of the failure will drop off by itself.
Another important aspect of "the good life" concerns outer behavior, which should be natural to the society into which one is born; no acting or posing is required. There are some dear ones who believe that they should adopt the outer symbols of dress and name that characterize the society into which the Master is born, in the belief that this is pleasing to Him. The life of the spirit does not call for conversion to outer modes of living in name, appearance or apparel. The Masters do not come to make or unmake social orders. Their mission is just to fulfill the law of God, which is to redeem His lost children. They simply ask us to convert ourselves inwardly, to be poor in spirit and pure at heart. We should cultivate true humility, which is neither servile nor assertive. These are the things that will please the Master and make us receptive to the gracious Masterpower working overhead. If you live a life of humility and simplicity, you will have peace of mind. After all, what is there on earth that belongs to you? Why be attached to the vanities of the world when the treasures of divinity lie within you? If you live for God, all things shall work out in your best interests, not only spiritually but also materially. This is the fundamental law of God and can be realized by all who will practice true living.
The reward of true living will be that you will become receptive to the Master Power working over your head. No real progress can be had unless this receptivity is developed. By receptivity a disciple is cast into the same mold as the Master, but before one can become receptive, he must have right understanding. This is given either by word of mouth by the Master at the Satsangs conducted personally by Him or through His writings in the form of the many books and circular letters to those who live afar. Right understanding by word of mouth or through His writings constitutes only one third of the teachings of the Master; the other two thirds are achieved through developing receptivity. Christ said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
The first sign that a branch is receptive to the life-giving sap that rises in the body of the vine will be blossoms, and the second, the fruit that it will bear. If a branch cuts itself off from the sap, then...? It will become but a dead piece of wood, fit only for the pruning shears of the gardener. The vine gets its food through its roots which are intertwined and embedded in the nutriment-giving soil. Therefore, the branch that is receptive or attached to the body of the vine gets the same food. Similarly, the Master's roots are embedded and intertwined in the Godhead. So the disciple who is attached to, or becomes receptive to, the Master can not only be fed by the life-giving sap of the Master but can actually pass through His roots until he too becomes embedded or intertwined in the Godhead, and this can only be done by developing receptivity. To attempt to gain the Godhead without being receptive to the Masterpower is fraught with danger. Maulana Rumi says, "Do not go within without the Master, as there are many dangers inside." If one should happen to rise above body consciousness without being receptive to the Masterpower, he will become hopelessly lost in the lower astral planes and runs a great risk of being deceived by the many manifestations of the negative power. There have been instances where even great Rishis have fallen because they relied on their own power to carry them over the dangers that abound in the inner regions.
So receptivity is important for success in all phases of life, both mundane and spiritual, and it can be achieved by following the right understanding given above. First, one must lead a God-like life; second, the spiritual diaries must be maintained in the accurate way as already explained, and third, you must learn to develop receptivity. If you succeed in the first two, the third will follow of itself.
With all love and best wishes, Yours affectionately,