A talk given by Sant Kirpal Singh in New Hampshire on 16 October, 1972
When Masters come, they look to the world in its right perspective. We also come and see what is going on here; but the level that they see from is quite different from ours. He (a Master) sees that some are being born, some die young, some die old. This is going on. What is all this? How does this body work? It is all laid down as if it were a machine without any mover! So they (the Masters) solved the mystery: there is some Power which is working in the body and is withdrawn (at the time of death); the body works as long as the indweller of the body is there. And wonderful it is that this body, which has so many holes – eyes open, mouth open, nostrils, ears – with all that the indweller cannot run out of it. So body works as long as we are in the body.
Who are we? We are conscious beings, conscious entities. But we are also in the body as long as we are controlled in the body, otherwise we could have run away out of it at our own will and pleasure. That we cannot do. So that Power which controls us in the body, that is called the God-into-expression Power.
So this body, the human body, is considered to be the highest in all creation, next to God. Mohammedan literature tells us that when the manbody was made, God ordered the angels to bow down to it. So great is man, you see. In the human form only we can do something which we cannot do in any other form of life. Except for the manbody, all bodies are bound. They have got no free will. In the man-body we are bound to some extent and also free to some extent. When the railroad lines are laid down, the train will run over them. It is for you to lay down the lines whichever way you like. So Masters found that there is a golden opportunity, if we just finish off the reactions from the past which we have done ourselves.
We have got some free will also. And that free will is: we can go to our home. This world is not our home. We are conscious entities, and our home can only be All-Consciousness. Kabir and others say that we are of the same essence as that of God. God is All-Consciousness and we are drops in the ocean of All-Consciousness embodied in the human body, which is the highest in all creation, in which we can have our way back to God.
So when Masters come, they see that we have got so many labels on our bodies. Someone calls himself a Hindu, someone else a Muslim, someone else a Christian, Jewish, and so on. But the Master says that God made man, only man. Labels were not put on when he was born; we put them on later. When? When the Masters who solved the mystery of life – and those who met them also solved the mystery of life – when they left the scene (of this world), these labels of various social bodies came up, to keep their teachings alive. They are the schools of thought which we have joined; the purpose of these schools was for many people to derive benefit from them. So long as there were practical people, the people were also able to solve the mystery of life. And what was that? That we are conscious beings, drops in the ocean of All-Consciousness, brothers and sisters in God – embodied in the human form. And we are bound to some extent, as a reaction of the past – what we have done in our past lives. 'As you sow, so shall you reap." But after we have passed beyond that, we can know ourselves and know God; and as long as there were practical people, benefit was derived that way. But for want of practical people, the same formations began to stagnate and deterioration came up.
So Masters have been sent here; God has been sending men, whosoever He chooses; that is His job. It is not by votes that He (the Master) is chosen, like a Prime Minister or President or anything. From whomsoever He has to take work, He sends suchlike people to guide us back home, to take us out of the delusion we are under.
When Masters come, you see, They don't address the "isms" or the labels, they don't say, "Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, come on, hear me now" .... either they address the soul or the human body. What do they say? Well, they say self-evident truth: this body is not your permanent home. You have to leave the body – kings or subjects, philosophers, Saints, incarnations – whoever took the body had to leave the body. So similarly, you have to leave the body. We are conscious entities, and this body is made of matter; and they say, "What connection can there be with that? You are a conscious entity; you are living in a manbody which is material, which is changing at every moment of life; and you are being dragged along with it."
This body is the only opportunity given to you, to make the best use of it. And that best use is what? "Oh man, know thyself!" Are you the manbody? You say "No", because you will leave it. We say, "It is my body"; we never say, "I am the body." Just as we say, "It is my watch, it is my coat," similarly we say, "My intellect says so, my eyes see so, my ears hear so." Every day we use these expressions: that it is not "you", but "yours". But when Masters come, they see that we have identified ourselves with body and outgoing faculties so much so that we have forgotten ourselves. We say "my", but we don't mean "my". You simply say you work at the level of the manbody, but it is changing, and the world around us is changing – being made of matter – at the same speed at which the body is changing, and we are identified with it. That is an optical illusion, that it appears to be stationary. But when Masters come, they are good observers; they see what is going on. The Master is a conscious man, a conscious entity; He is not deluded so that He considers that this world is His home, or that He will never die... It is true that soul will never die. But as we are identified with the body, we say, "My body won't die." That is the great delusion in which we are all going.
So the first thing that they tell us is this: that this world is not our home. Also, that this human body, which has been given to us, although all scriptures say it is the golden opportunity, still it is not our permanent home. It is temporary, but it is the highest form in all creation. The Rishis of old and others who have left the body and enjoyed the bliss of higher planes, when they returned, they selected the manbody to enter. But now, you see, we are working on the level of manbody. So we are under a great delusion. The reason is that our souls are under the control of mind, mind is under the control of outgoing faculties, and they are dragged like anything toward the outward enjoyments. So we are identified with this; we cannot differentiate our selves in a practical way. Intellectually we do say, "I am not the body, I am not the intellect, I have the outgoing faculties." So this is the delusion under which we are going.
Every day, every hour, every minute, is bringing us closer to the great final change which is called death. That is awaiting us, each one of us. Guru Nanak said that the body has been betrothed to the negative power: she will take it away sooner or later. So this is not the place where we are to live (for ever). Then what to do? "Wake up!" You are conscious entities, you see? You are drops in the ocean of All-Consciousness. That All-Consciousness is all wisdom; it is all permanent, eternal, and it is all joy and peace. That reflection you have got in you. That is the reflection; but you are under the wrong impression, being identified with the human body and outgoing faculties. When a child talks, you see, he says, "Oh, I am the best – nobody can know more than me!" That is the reflection of that conscious Godpower which is working there, which is All-Consciousness. Similarly we have identified with our body, so that reflection (reflection of All-Consciousness) in our soul, we take it as from the body. That is all bliss; and we are after bliss. Ever since we were born, we have wanted some happiness – some joy. We earn money; what for? To have happiness. We have families; what for? For happiness. We want possessions; what for? For happiness. But this is a changing panorama: you are attached to the body, but body will have to leave you! You are under orders; you are imprisoned in the manbody as a reaction of the past, according to the flowing pen of God – which writes according to our own past actions.
So this is the first thing: the grand delusion is, but as you are identified with it, how can you come out of it? That's the point. So Masters have pity on us. We ourselves cannot know our selves, because we are identified with the body and outside things and have forgotten our selves; yet all methods and practices we take up for knowing our selves and knowing God, they are related to these very things. How then can we rise above them? So Masters give us a demonstration. First they give out, "Man, know thyself – who you are and what you are." You are not the body; you are not the intellect; you have got outer possessions only, which will leave you when you leave the body – if the body does not go along with you, how can other things which are possessed on account of it? This is the first thing they come up and tell us; but we do not believe.
"How are we separate from the body? How can we know that?" So He gives us a demonstration, "All right, sit down". He says that the outward expression of our soul is attention. God is All-Attention and it is that attention which works and is identified with the outside. We have to withdraw that attention from all outside and from all the body below. It is the attention which gives strength to the body, it is the attention which gives strength to the mind, it is the attention which gives strength to the intellect, and to the outgoing faculties also. You must have experienced in your life sometimes that somebody calls you, but you do not hear; some man passes by you, you don't recognize him; somebody comes and sits down by you, but you are not aware of it. They complain, "Look here, we called, you didn't reply; why? I have passed by you, why did you not see me?" You can only reply that your attention was absorbed in something – which apparently means that unless the attention is with the outgoing faculties, they do not work.
So the Rishis had recourse to that. They developed very long methods, involving physical body, pranas, heart, intellect, and everything; but it took hundreds of years to rise above body-consciousness that way – hundreds of years. Because they took pranas along with the attention. So they (the Masters) simply said, "Well, look here: you have all these things, but you are attention. It is on account of your attention that everything works. If your attention is absorbed in your own Self, there is no world for you. The world is created when you see." (It is already there, of course, but you become conscious of it when you see.) I am looking toward you, not at my back – so I can't see who is sitting there. Unless I look at them, I can't see them. They are there, of course, but we don't become aware of it unless we direct our attention there. This is the main thing to be learned.
So we are conscious entities, we are all attention; if we control our attention, then we can know the Overself. If we know our self, we are able to know the Overself. The difficulty lies where? The pity of it is that we do not know how to know our selves. We simply know ourselves at the level of feelings, or through drawing inferences, or through emotions. Really, you have not known your self by self-analysis. Just as: this is my watch, I can take it off; this is my handkerchief, I can put it off; these are my spectacles, I can take them off. Can we take off our body? Our outgoing faculties? Masters say, "Yes", and they are competent to give you some demonstration of that. How can you withdraw your attention from all outside? When you completely withdraw from all outside and from the body become conscious, have permanent peace, naturally, the whole thing changes, you see? That's the point.
Masters tell us what to do then. They tell us, "Well, look here: meet some Master, some Guru, who will first enable you to solve the mystery of this human body. By analysis you will know who you are, what you are; this is the first thing to be learned." You say it sometimes; you hear it also; but you are not convinced. You are convinced only when you see that you are not the body, when you rise above body-consciousness for a while. And this is the first thing that He gives us. Who gives? The messenger of God. God resides in every heart; but that man where He is manifest has risen above body-consciousness and makes others rise, too; He gives a demonstration of that. He says, "The way back to your home is within you."
God Absolute cannot be known by anybody; nobody has seen God at any time. But the God-into-expression Power, which is the cause of all this creation, which is controlling all creation, which is also controlling your soul in the body – if you come in contact with that, He leads you to the Absolute God. It is like the sun: if you could catch a ray of the sun, where would it lead you? To the sun.
You ask what to do? Meet some Guru; some Master. "Guru" also means that God is within you. The two outer expressions of God are Light and Sound. We are the sparks of the Great Light. They say, "Take heed that the Light which is within you is not darkness." It is already Light but covered by so many covers – physical, astral, causal.... They say, "Take off these covers." If a lamp is burning, you see, one, two, three, four covers are there, you will find no light. But if you take a cover off, there will be some light. You take others off, there is still more light. If you take off all the covers, it is all light. So He (the Master) says, "Meet some Guru, some Master, who will take you back first; who will draw your attention from outside and take you to the eye level – to the seat of the soul at the back of the eyes – and there He contacts you with the God-into-expression Power; you progress from day to day, and that is the direct way back to God.
So your true work is what? The others are secondary things which you have to pay off as the result of your actions of the past: what you have sown, you must reap. Pay them off and incur no further debts, and nobody will catch you. If you incur further debts, then you will also have to reap that result. So Masters say, "Well, pay off these debts and attach your soul to God within you, and when these things are paid off, if you have a contact with that Power within you, naturally, you will go back home." But all this will be done by whom? That's the point. By some messenger of God, through whom He works – His grace is working. He never says, "I work". He says, "His grace is working." He takes you under His charge and won't let you go until the end of the world. Whosoever He takes charge of, no negative power can take control of him, can snatch him from Him – from God. So day to day you must realize this thing.
This Naam or Word – what is it? The God-into-expression Power, which expressed itself in two ways: Light and Sound. This is your real work, done through the grace of a Master. And whoever takes charge of you, he also takes your future. He takes the responsibility to take you back to your true home. This is why Christ said, "I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee; so I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." So whatever messenger, at whatever pole He is working, His responsibility is to take you back home. He will never leave you; you may leave Him. He will never let you go. You know when Christ came, people asked him, "Well, what are you after?" He said, "Many sheep are lost; I have to look after them; I have come to find them out." So we are sheep of God, you see. Our soul is of the same essence as that of God. As such we are all brothers and sisters in God.
The first thing is, we have to know we have to leave the body – then our whole life will be pure, honest, with no enmity; true to God. Just like a child – innocent. Already we have got so many impressions of the world outside, through the past births. Here we have to shake off all these impressions, wipe off these impressions, wash away all these impressions. Who does the washing? If a cloth is very dirty, we send it to a washerman. Does the washerman ever refuse it? Never. He says, "This is my job. I will do it." So similarly, when the Masters take on someone, they know he is soul. The dirt is only the impressions received through the outgoing faculties. He knows that it (the soul) is pure gold besmeared with filth. He will try to wash away that filth and then – you are gold. This washing away can only be done by a Master. If we simply surrender to Him, the quicker He will do it. If a child is besmeared with filth, you see, and the mother wants to wash him and the child fights her with arms and legs, does the mother let him go? She snatches him and washes him. Similarly, you see, it is notyou that can wash away all these things – simply allow Him at whose feet you are sitting. God has got to do that. This filth, past impressions of births, can be washed away. Of how many births? This manbody has been given to us to just relieve us of the burdens of our reactions from the past. And that can happen only if we know our Self and know God, at the feet of some Master, by God's grace. How? When you become a conscious coworker of the divine plan, your ego is lost. When you see, "He is the doer, I am not the doer." The result of that is, who will reap what you have sown? You are not there; your ego is gone. You reap it only when you are there – when you are the doer.
So we have to wash away all the sins of the past while in the human body – if we have got, with God's grace, some living Master. It is a great blessing to have a living Master. He meets you, He takes you out of this delusion, He tells you that you are soul, this body is not your home, the way back is to know God – and He gives you a demonstration of it, how to know your Self, and gives you a contact with the God-into-expression Power which leads you back to God. And He is guiding you, always looking after your welfare, how you progress. The more you are obedient, the quicker you will go back. That is why Christ said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." You see?
So the two things required to wash away all our dirt of the past and the present are: to come to the feet of a Master and obey Him. This is what we have to do. Now, you see, the whole thing hinges on this: if you are convinced you have to leave the body, all outer attractions leave you. Now we are dragged by the outward enjoyments. Five passions are very strong – lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego – which attack us through the outgoing faculties. How far will you continue with these after you have left the body? Then? If you have to leave the body, why not learn from today onward how to leave the body? A wise man will do it; he who has foresight. Whenever you have work to do, you know that if you do such and such, this will happen; you go on working for that. Similarly, you know that you have to leave; you know it is definite; you know whether or not it is self-evident truth. You have to leave the body. All have left; you have to leave; I have to leave. You can only work in the daytime, not when the night comes, you see. What did Christ say? "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day (when I am alive); the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." You follow me?
Very simple things I have shown to you.
One: This world is not our home. Then: If it is not our home, then where is our home? Who are we? We are conscious entities. Not the labels we are carrying; not Mr. Singh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Khan, you see? Those are names given to the body. You are embodied souls. So this thing is brought home, you see. These outward enjoyments, all outer attachments, outer connections, are only until you leave the body. If we are convinced that we have to leave the body, is it not honest to begin to leave just now? Slowly? Suppose there is a silken cloth spread over a thorny bush. You have to take that cloth off the thorny bush; you can take it all at once only by dragging it. If you drag it, do you think that it will not be torn? If you try to take it off every day, you will at first do it only after some time; then in an hour, half an hour, few minutes.
So these are the self-evident facts. It is no new philosophy I am putting before you; it is a common sense talk. So He says, "From today on, sir, start to leave the body. Leave all these connections." If you have to leave some place, and somebody fights you, you say, "All right, I have to go tomorrow; why bother myself with it?" Is it not your attitude? This is the attitude you may have. And Masters come to give us like that – to tell us: "Do your work." You will say, "Are all other works not ours?" They are yours, of course, given to you as reaction of the past: connected with you as son, some as father, some as brother. But it is God who has connected you; have respect for them, and pay them off jolly. The man who is under debt, the sooner he pays off that debt, the better – or not? He will become quite buoyant and fresh. As long as he is under debt, he is afraid to look others in the eye; they may want money. So pay off – first thing. Then: this is not your place.
Now Masters tell us what to do and how to do it. They say that your attention is the outward expression of the soul; that your attention is driven by the mind; that mind is driven by the outgoing faculties. It comes again and again and outward enjoyments drag it like anything. They say that mind can only work as long as you are with the mind. Withdraw it from outside; but mind won't withdraw from outside, unless it gets something more blissful, more joyful, more attractive than the outside things.
So the first thing is, what to do with our mind? How to give it more bliss? The way is to give it the bliss of the Water of Life or Naam – the Nectar of Life. That is within you. Now, unless you bring the mind within – you can bring the horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. Masters give you a sitting, withdraw your soul – because soul gives strength to the body, mind that; soul gives strength to the mind – otherwise mind cannot work; it is our attention that gives strength to the outgoing faculties; they cannot work independently.
So they (the Masters) say, "Withdraw your attention!" The mind, which is just given up to the outward enjoyments, will go along and will get more bliss inside. If you withdraw your attention, naturally the mind will follow, because it cannot work independently. The Master says to control your attention within yourself – where? To the seat of the soul in the body at the back of the eyes. If your whole attention is there, naturally, your mind will be there along with it. It is only when you give your attention to it that it works! When you come there, that Naam Power or Word Power is there. You open the inner eye or the single eye, then you will see the Light of God.
Mind is enamoured outside on account of two things: beautiful sights and very attractive music. So God-into-expression Power expresses itself in these two ways – only more blissful, more attractive, more enchanting. When mind gets that bliss, naturally it wants more. As compared to that bliss, outward things – the mind leaves them. And the Masters give you a demonstration of that – because you yourself cannot leave these outward things. As I already submitted, we – our "I", our selves – are already identified with the outgoing faculties, mind, and body. But somebody else can take you up; so it is the Master who takes you up. He is higher attention, with a little attention dragging (you up). He says, "All right – sit down. Don't move." Then it will work if the Master gives a boost. So when mind gets that strength, then it does not leave, and does not get attached outside.
So Masters always say there is no other way for you to come out of this net of outgoing faculties. You are being dragged; you cannot do it. Only some Power can take you up, drag you up. You are in a prison house. All the doors are locked; you cannot run out of it. The only way is to break the lock and go out. This is what Masters help you to do; this is your real work. Their main purpose is to bring you back home. They say you have been for so long wandering away from your Father's home. Hear me with full attention: lend me your ears. Listen to what I say – what Masters say: this is your work, clearly. And this is the only way you can go back. Otherwise, you are very much stuck fast in the world; you cannot come out.
Ultimately, you will come up to the level of your eyes. You will be withdrawn from the lower portion (of your body); your attention will be withdrawn fully from outside and from the body below. Then you'll become the Eye itself. Then the body is forgotten and you find the tenth door there, from where He gives you a contact with the God-into-expression Power. And who is He? The Master in Him can give you this contact with God, you see; only God manifesting somewhere.
So they (the Masters) are the messengers of God. They come, and their main purpose is to take you back home – somehow or other. If you just follow their instructions implicitly – hundred per cent – you'll go quicker. Otherwise you'll delay your progress. You'll put off until tomorrow and start from tomorrow and not from today – "I must finish this work first and then I'll see!" This putting off until tomorrow is a heinous crime, the Vedas say. Procrastination is the thief of time. If we do every day's work and finish it off – then how much work we could do! This then is the work we must follow. This is not your home. If you are not convinced – then what is your work? Where will you go? Who are you? You are conscious entities; you are environed by mind and matter – identified with it. You are under a great delusion: come out of it – know thyself.
How to know thyself? We are already imprisoned, you see. Bound on all sides, we cannot go up. So God sends you some help. He brings you in contact with someone who can take you up. So the greatest feat of the Master, by which it can be known that He is something (great), is His giving you a demonstration of how to rise above body-consciousness. And this is your work. How can this be done? By controlling your attention, bringing it to the seat of the soul at the back of the eyes. And there, you see, you will know that Power which is controlling you in the body. We live in this body, and that Power also lives in the same body. Why can't we see Him (God)? Because we are identified with the world outside. I can see you only when I am looking at you; I can't see in back.
Do you know why you are entangled, imprisoned (in the world)? How He can take you out of the prison? Who you are, and what is your true home? Who can help you to do that? How you can wash away all the sins of the past births? The human body is the golden opportunity in which you could have done all that – and that body you have got. Can you do it of your own self? No? When a cloth is very dirty, naturally you take it to some washerman or washing machine. Take it there! Even the most dirty cloth will be cleaned. What is dirt? All outward expression, excuse me – whether good or bad. Handcuffs may be made of gold or iron; will they not handcuff you? So long as you are the doer, you will have to reap what you sow. So Masters help you to draw back your attention from all outside and from the body below, and give you a demonstration of it. They give you also some contact with that God-into-expression Power which is the direct way back to the Absolute God.
Will all these isms, all these labels, go up to that? But the purpose of joining any school of thought is to do that. And Masters give a boost to just spur you on the way. And they tell you that this world is not your home. If you have that for a motto, you will change. It does not mean you do not have to do work, but at the same time have respect for all those who have been connected with you with the flowing pen of God as a reaction of what you have sown. Pay them (the debts) off gladly; and find your way back home. That way is within you. "Tap inside," Emerson said; all scriptures bear it out. All these things are explained the same in one way or another, so as to bring home what is what.
So what have you learned today? This world is not your home – have you (really) learned it? Try to bring home this question: this world is not your home. You have to go! When? That you don't know; but the time is fixed. So if we don't know what time is fixed for the examination, we should be ready every moment. That's right; we should have foresight. We have it, you see; we have discrimination. We should make the best use of them. Masters don't care what label you are carrying. They see you are man – conscious entities. You reside in the human body, and He also resides there. He loves you all. But He says, "All right, how long will you continue to be just wandering away from your home?" You know the parable given by Christ? Masters sometimes give parables, sometimes straight talks. This is a straight talk being given to you; if you would like a parable, let us go to this one Christ gave: He says that a man had some sons. He was a very rich man. One son was very naughty: he said, "Father, give me my portion of the wealth. I am your son: give me!" His father said, "All right; you have it." He gave it to him – this is the beauty – whatever his share was. He went away, enjoyed, spent all that he had in frivolous enjoyment. The result was that he had nothing left – no food to eat or clothes to wear. He was in very much trouble... agony...."What to do now? There is no hope." Then one night, he said, "My father has so many servants in his home; let me go there. At least if he hires me, I will get something to eat." He turned his way back to his father. So his father came to know that his son had come. He was overjoyed. When the lost son is found, will not the father rejoice? He said, "All right, bring him in, give him a bath, give him good clothes to wear." He began festivities in the house. The other sons said, "Father, we have been so obedient to you, you never were overjoyed so much. Here you have this son who has spoiled all your wealth, and you are rejoicing!" The father said, "He has returned; he has come back." So God also, you see, rejoices when you come back to Him. Therefore He sends, from time to time, His messengers to bring you home.
Guru Nanak gives an example: he says, if a wife is driven away from her husband, and she goes to her parents or somewhere, if she is still in sweet remembrance of her husband and does not do anything unbecoming, then there is some hope that that might have some effect. If she began taking up the frivolous way, given up to all enjoyments, do you think her husband would ever want her to come back? So if the prayer goes out from her heart of hearts – thoughts are very potent – and the husband sends a man (telling him), "All right, bring her back." And when he comes, what should she do? She should not care to listen to her parents; she should go straight home, because her husband wants her.
So the Master has given us this parable; He says we have been driven away from our homes. God is our true Master. He has sent a messenger to bring us home – "Don't care what the world says; go back home, please." Because He has sent him. You will find that there are eggs laid under ducks and under hens, too. And when the children come out, then they go to the side of water – just like this pond. The duck children plunge into the water. The chickens and hens begin to cry, "Oh, drown! Drown!" But really they are not drowning; they have gone back to the nature of ducks. Similarly Masters do come. Those who follow them (the Masters), some people say, "Oh, they are drowning!" So don't care what people say: when you see what is what and you testify what is before you and you see for yourself, why be led away by others?
So please – the time you have got here, make the best use of it. This is the first talk here, I think. I have told you all you have to do. We may talk on this very subject further, by one phase or another. We have to go home, so we must prepare.