A public talk by Sant Kirpal Singh on 13 November, 1972, at the First Unitarian Church in San Francisco, California.
God made man – divine in nature. God is spirit and we are spirit in man. In fact, it is said, "Know ye not that you are the true temple of God (and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you)?" (I Corinthians 3:16)
This body that you are carrying is the true temple of God because the holy ghost resides in it. Then who are you but the spirit in man?
If spirit is eternal, why do we fear that we will die? So great is man, all Masters have referred to it: we are of the same essence as that of God. We have been given this man-body just to enable us to realize that spirit, or God, which is already in us. But that will be done only when we know our self.
God is light. When He wanted that the world should come up, then there was light. And that light comes within each of us. So all Masters have been saying like that: "Take heed that the light within you is not darkness." (St. Luke 11:35)
Soul is of the same essence as that of God and "the light of spirit shineth in darkness" – darkness means the body – "and the darkness apprehended it not." (St. John 1:5.) So we are great in man, that's the point. All Masters tell us that.
Our true home is not this man-body that has been given to us; the body is a golden opportunity, of course, we are having. Ever since we were separated from God, so far we have not been back to our home. The point is because now we are identified with the body – "darkness" – so much so that we never dream of whether the light is within us or not. So on that account only, we are not happy.
Had we known the spirit (self) in us – that we are of the same divine nature as God Himself – had we known that then, as such, we are all equal: God has given us the same privileges, even physically born the same way – outer and inner construction is the same – with the same divine spirit within us.
But being under the control of the mind, we are identified with the body and all the outside world so much that we have forgotten our self. So Masters come up and they tell us that "You are spirit in man. God is light and that light dwelleth in each one of us. As such, we are all children of light, brothers and sisters in God." (St. John 1:9.)
Physically also and spiritually also and intellectually also, we have the same privileges from God. So Masters come up. They want to make us realize, "Who are you?" and "What are you?" They say you are conscious entities, drops of the ocean of all-consciousness, but environed by mind and matter so much so that you have forgotten your self. So they tell us, "O man, know thy self, who you are, what you are."
We have the body, of course – we have got the intellect, no doubt, but we have them. We are conscious entities. If we know by self-analysis (separation of the self) – by rising above body-consciousness, then you will find we are of the same nature as that of God. We are spirit in man, we are of the same essence as that of God, only just being identified with the world so much so that we have forgotten our self. And a Saint has told us, "O man, you have committed a heinous crime against your own self." The people asked him, "How?" He said, "You are the indweller of the body, you are the holy ghost; you are the children of light and you have simply got the man-body to enable you to realize your self and to realize God, but you have been identified with it (the body), not with God, and you have just forgotten your self."
So, for that, Masters come and tell us, "Please look to your Godhead. You are princes of God. You are micro gods, environed by mind and matter, just growing on the earth like anything." So Masters make us realize when they give us all this theory and teachings. Then when we realize it, they give us a little demonstration of that how to rise above body-consciousness.
Then (after grasping the significance of the teachings) we naturally say, "O God, you are on the high heavens and we are here grovelling in this man-body in the earth. How can we reach thee?" So when this is uttered – arises from within – then the God who is there, He has heard, He is with us, He in never without (separate from) us, He makes some arrangement to send somebody who can make us realize who we are and what we are.
So Masters when they come, they solve this mystery of life and they make us also realize that thing by giving us a demonstration of that: how to rise above body-consciousness, how to know our self. So all Masters – of the East or the West – all gave out the same thing. Greek philosophers, Latin philosophers, Persian philosophers, all Saints of the East said the same thing, of course in their own languages.
So this is the first step. We can proceed on our way back to God. For that reason, Masters come and make us realize who we are and what we are, by giving a demonstration of it. Because we do not realize unless we see things with our own eyes.
People say, "What is this science?" These religions come into being after that, so that when they (each Master) left the scene, these religions were made only for the purpose that their teachings may remain alive and many people may derive benefit from that: about how to know one's self and know God. So, as long as there were practical people, the purpose of the teachings was served. For want of practical people, these formations dwindled down into stagnation and stagnation resulted in deterioration. Then Saints come up again and say: "Well man, know thy self!"
You have taken up these labels of the man-body. These labels are only to show in which school (religion) you are joined to know your self, to know your divine nature. So these religions were made for man; man was not made for the religions – he has to make the best use of them. That school is better which turns out perfect men.
Masters come up to revive how to know our selves practically. That is who we are. To know what is our connection with the body, whether we can rise above body-consciousness. So you will find the question is asked, "What is spirituality?"
Spirituality is not the customs, or rituals, or performances that you perform at the level of the senses – what you have got at the exoteric side. That is only meant for the preparation of the ground to know one's self and to know God. That exoteric side is not spirituality; that is the ground on which the building of spirituality can be raised.
But true spirituality is what? To know the spirit in man. Spirituality means the inquiry of spirit, to know your self, that you are spirit in man. It is purely a knowledge of self-analysis: to know one's self and to know the overself – and know God by practical self-analysis, by sitting at the feet of some adept in that way – they are called "Masters" – and such a Master will give you a demonstration of that.
To know one's self – to know the spirit in man, to know the name (Naam or Word), the God-into-expression-power, which is controlling the whole universe and all in it, and permeating all creation, and which is the controlling power of us in the body, too, to know that: that is called spirituality.
Don't confound spirituality with spiritism, which is only a contact with the grovelling spirits, those who have left the body and are grovelling in the earth. A contact with that kind of spirit is no spirituality.
Further, spirituality is no spiritualism. That is also contact with the souls which have left the world and they are a little higher than those spirits grovelling in the earth. Contact with that level of soul also is no spirituality. If you contact with them, they will give you only up to the level they have progressed on the way. They are not more than what they were here when they left the body.
Spirituality is also no hypnotism – to hypnotise other by radiation – nor is it mesmerism. So spirituality is purely a matter of self-analysis, knowing one's self and knowing God: knowing the spirit in man. People confound spirituality with other things.
When we do know our self, then what do we know? That we are the enlivening entity of the man-body, of the factory of the man-body. Suppose there is a factory outside which is run by an electrical power-house. They have got so many departments of the factory. Each department has a link with the power-house and so they work. When you want to stop any department of the factory, we take off that link from that department, and then that department ceases to work. If you want to stop the whole factory, you take off the main link and the whole factory stops. Similarly this man-body is working as we are going around, playing, this and that thing. When that connection is taken off, the body is there inert – the machinery lies intact, everything is there but the driver is gone. And that power that keeps us in the body, that is withdrawn. So the body works as long as we are in the body and we are in the body as long as some power is controlling us in the body.
Similarly, in this man-body when Masters come they give us a demonstration of knowing our self, how to rise above body-consciousness by self-analysis. Then, we see it is on account of we that this body is working.
What is happening now is that our soul is under the control of the mind, the mind is under the control of the outgoing faculties (senses) and the outgoing faculties are driven like anything by the outward enjoyments. We, as spirit, are giving strength to the mind, to the body, to the outgoing faculties. In spite of that, they are dragging us. The whole thing is topsy-turvy. The horse has to pull the carriage and the carriage is put before the horse.
Masters of this self-analysis give us a demonstration of it. When we know such a man who has risen above body-consciousness, known him-self and come in contact with God, then he knows through which outgoing faculty he likes to work. He is not driven by that. That is the difference between an average man and the man who has risen above body-consciousness at will: he knows him-self, what he is and he further knows that higher power that is controlling us in the body and controlling all of the universe.
It may be his eye is open and he is not seeing because his attention is not there. With his ears open, he may not be hearing. So it is all a feat of what you call "attention" surat. So if the surat or "attention" is directed to the man-body, or to the different outgoing faculties, they work, and when that attention is not along with them, they don't work.
Those who know how, by the grace of the God in them, to rise above body-consciousness, say a "hundred time a day" at will, their angle of vision is changed. They see the world in some other light. They say, "We are the driver of this man-body. It is on account of those that the world is a-going."
So Masters come up and they give us a conscious, beatific vision so that we realize we are drops of the ocean of all-consciousness. As such, you will find that we are all equally fitted by God – no high, no low – as our man-body also, as in the intellectual way, the same thing.
With all these advancements in the physical and intellectual ways, we are not happy; because the third, the spiritual, side we have ignored altogether. When they see that beatific vision above body-consciousness, they see we are all of the same essence as that of God, that we are all brothers and sisters in God, and seeing us they are simply seeing the God-power, the God-into-expression-power, which is controlling us in the man-body.
The objective of all religions is what? The object of all religions is divine beatitude and the beatific vision of God, and to turn out ideal men.
The schools are there, you see. The schools are meant to turn out successful students who have the highest degree. Whichever schools turn out more men like that – students like that – such schools are creditable. If the schools are there with very big halls, good playing grounds, good dress for the students, but no student comes out successful . . . then?
Masters tell us to be true to our self in one religion or the other – the objective in any religion is divine beatitude and the beatific vision of God; as well as to turn out ideal men.
There are hundreds and thousands of people in all religions whose main purpose is to know God. The others have forgotten – that's another thing. Masters have come to revive that forgotten lesson. They want to claim – put before them, "O man, go and don't be misguided: the highest aim that you can attain in the man-body is to know God, and in no other body." So the man-body is the golden opportunity that you have got in which we can know God.
Two things I have told you. And all Masters say like that. So to turn out – what do you say? – "perfect men" is our ideal.
"Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." (St. Matthew 5:48)
"Man and God are free and embedded in each other. It, therefore, behooves man to reflect the light of God around him.
God is the soul of his soul and man's body is the veritable temple of God.
Man is embodied truth, for truth is his very life. Without the light of truth, how can man live?"
When that truth is withdrawn, man has to leave the body. So God speaks through a human pole – without such a pole, how can we know our self? How can God express Himself to the world?
So we need somebody who has that life and can give us experience of that light within us. All Masters have been coming – again and again – to revive this very subject which we have forgotten. The highest aim of the man-body.
Hazrat (Fariduddin) Attar, the Sufi Saint, tells us, "O man, thou art the very center of creation, in fact the very macrocosm in the microcosm."
Man-body (the microcosm) is a wonderful house in which we live. The macrocosm has three planes: the physical, astral and causal. And we have also been given access to these three planes to cross the macrocosm. We have been given bodies to work in all the macrocosmic world. In the physical world, we work in the physical body. At the time of death, the physical body is shaken off and we rise into the astral body – and the astral world is there. Then next, the causal world is there. And beyond all these stages, the Master vouchsafes us to the home of the Father by degrees.
So he (Attar) tells us, "Thou art the living book of God; for through man truly alone God speaks and not through literature."
God does not speak from heaven direct, you see. He speaks through the man. If man were to take car of his Godhood and make it a practical work – a grave principle – the world would become a heaven on earth. It would become a real place of the pure, you see. So the only advent for man is to be perfect and complete. Saint Paul said, "You are complete in Godhood." (Colossians 2:8,9,10)
I am quoting all these things to let you know what the scriptures tell us: to those who belong to those "-isms", to those scriptures, to those religions. We do not know what our scriptures say. They say, "Great is man." So every religion enjoins the worship of perfect men, too, who are at one with God.
Amongst the Sikhs, they are supposed to turn out Khalsas. The word Khalsa means "pure" and the definition is given: "He is a Khalsa in whom God's light is effulgent." The full light is effulgent. Similarly, you will find in the Mohammedans, those who want to become the Momins will be those who see the light of God. In the Hindus, also they light the candles outside and also "light a candle" within. And the Christian also sees the light of God: "Take heed that the light within you is not darkness." (St. Luke 11:35)
So all religions have got the same degree, but we have forgotten. So that is why Masters come from time to time – to revive this truth, which you have forgotten.
All other parties of the creation have been made subservient to man. Man is considered to be next to God. Even the angels bow down, also, before the man-body. So Ruskin, like others, has expressed the same truth. He says, "There is no wealth but life."
We are worshippers of the light of life. If the life is not there, who cares for the man-body? If the lamp has got no oil, no wick, no flame, who cares for the lamp? If the bulb is fused ("burned out"), who cares for the bulb? So, "There is no wealth but life" – life, including all of its powers of love, peace and grace.
The country is the greatest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings. That country is also the richest.
That man is the happiest who, having perfected the function of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest, helpful experience both,
permeating by means of the possessions of each others' lives.
So suchlike worship of such men is given out by all scriptures. Naturally, such a man commends respect. So we have got such men.
This science is to know one's self: that we are spirit in man, that we are eternal, that we (as spirit) never die, that the man-body has been given to us as the golden opportunity in which we can realize that. So this practical subject is called "spirituality", not only having the labels of one religion or the other – that makes no difference. So Masters tell us always: "The knowledge of all knowledge is what? To know one's self," Persian philosophers tell us. We have developed physically, of course, and intellectually and spiritually.
"O seekers after God, you have lost Him in the very world of your descent."
We have given up – we are identified with the self that is outside – so much so that we have forgotten our self: Who we are, what we are.
The word "religion" means what? The prefix "re-" means "back" and "ligio" means "to bind": to bind one back to God. And the word yoga means the same – yoga comes from the root yuj which means "to unite" – unite us with God.
So, fortunately, together do the two dwell in the same abode and, strange enough – what? – as it may seem the two (the soul and God) have never conversed with each other (chuckle). We are also in the body and the power which controls us in the body is also there. But strange enough, we have never thought of that and we go around seeking Him everywhere else.
Kabir said, "I went to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. On the way, God met me and rebuked me, "Who told you I am there? I am within you. I am the very live of you."
All Masters tell us that. They say, "You and God-power are both within this man-body. And where are you? You are just identified with the world outside. Why don't you withdraw your attention from outside? God is waiting for you within you." So, it is wholly a feat of the attention. The "attention" is what? A drop of the ocean of all-attention. You (as soul) are great in man. You can work wonders: if you put that attention on your body, you become physically strong. Wrestlers, when they exercise, put their whole attention on the body. If you put your attention into the centres of the brain, you become intellectually strong. So this is the whole feat of the attention. And Masters say, "Look here, you and God are both lying in the same bed: you are sleeping within and awake outside. Why not sleep outside and be awake within? He is waiting for you."
So religion, in fact, is what? It is the way back to God. That is all; nothing more. And we have considered it to be something else. Religion is, in fact, the way back to God, or a link – linking the soul with God. That religion is blessed which turns out such "linked" men.
Pity it is that we have forgotten what our scriptures say! As long as there were practical people, seeking people knew the ideals before them and the practical people also were competent to give them some demonstration of that: how to know one's self and how to know God. For want of practical people, the same good old custom corrupts itself, as I put to you before.
And ever since this paid-preaching has started in all religions, havoc has been done. "When the blind lead the blind, they both fall in the ditch." I am not quoting to you from somewhere else: I am quoting from the scriptures. They are our scriptures.
So, we are fortunate in the twentieth century that we have got scriptures from all the Masters who came in the past.
There is hardly now a man to tell us how to rise above body-consciousness. In all religions you will find this is so. They will preach outward things – customs, rituals, how to say prayers, this and that. And this is all about how to do the first step.
If a man does not remain in any "ism", there will be corruption. So a man must remain in some social body (religion). But to stay therein? We should rise above them and see what is the basic teaching of all religions. The basic teaching of all religions is the same: what I am quoting to you.
Spirituality is another name for Surat Shabd Yoga. What is Surat Shabd Yoga – do you know? It is just spiritual life which consists of just peeling off, layer by layer, the various koshas or sheaths: physical, astral and causal, until the self shines forth in its pristine splendour – self-luminosity. God is light. All scriptures tell us that God is full of light. He who sees the full light is a Khalsa, he is a true Hindu, he is a true Mohammedan, he is a true Christian. Then, you know, "I am soul"; "I and my Father are one"; "Man has taken the same color as God." In Sanskrit, they say, "Tatvam asi", you see "Brahm asmi". So these are the things to be realized.
"O Nanak! In what can one have faith? In he who is the mouthpiece of God."
Suchlike people become the mouthpiece of God. They speak as inspired by God. That is what all say. Guru Nanak says, "I do not utter any word, except it is inspired by God." And God resides in man. So Maulana Rumi says, "God has given orders to the prophet. God says, Well, look here, I am so great that all this creation – universes created by me are not sufficient to contain me – high heavens, lower, all of them, too. But, strange enough, I contain my-self in the heart of a Saint. If you want to see me, go in there where I am manifest."
So these are the things, you see, given to us by all Masters before us. Christ said, "I and my Father are one." (St. John10:30); "All things are delivered to me of my Father" (St. Matthew 11:27) and "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." (St. John14:11); "The words I speak unto you, I speak not of myself but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." (St. John 3:34; 12:49,50; 17:4; and 17:8)
All other Masters say the same thing, "I am the mouthpiece of God"; "I simply speak as inspired by God." They are conscious co-workers of the divine plan – they see that power is working and that "I am merely a mouthpiece."
It is a fundamental law of God that no one can move Godward without the help of a Satguru or the Master. This is what Guru Ram Das says. As Christ said,
"No one can go to the Father except through me." (St. John 14:6)
These are no new things given by one Master, or the other: all Masters say the same things.
Maulana Rumi says, "Who are they, such Masters? They are the Godly souls, clothed in human bodies and come with God's knowledge. They come from unknown places. To do what? To take souls back to God."
What should we say? Do you know what Christ did say? "I have come to separate the daughter from the mother, to separate the husband from the wife, sisters from the brothers. I have come not to make the world happy, but I have come to take all these back home." (St. Matthew 10:34,35,36,37.)
When he was going away one summer, our Master (Baba Sawan Singh) did not go to the hills. It was the very hot season (in India), and generally every year he wanted to go to the hill station. I was there and I just asked him: "It is very hot. Would it not be better for you to go to the hills, as usual?" He said, "People perhaps think I go to the hills to enjoy the cold over there (chuckle). I simply go there because men from all over India come over there. Those who are seeking, they may be led up to God." So Masters do come. Did Christ not day, "I have many sheep to look after"? (St. John 10:16) Masters come to bring back all children of God to their home.
The Master-power remains ever with you, whether you live or die. When you die, where do you go?
Christ said, "I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee till the end of the world." (St. Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5,6)
Even in the place of reckoning (the judgement), He will stand by thy side. For all of your accounts are transferred from the lord of Judgement to the Master, who is God-in-man. So for such a soul it is a great blessing to have a living Master, who will be with you in the earthly life and also won't leave you when you leave this man-body, and stays even in the beyond. You can do so, when you take the hem of such a Master. (St. Matthew 14:36)
So, when you cross over the stars, sun, moon, the luminous form of the Master manifesteth to take charge of the soul and takes it on to the higher planes.
Unless we are "born anew", we cannot enter the kingdom of God. So this is what I mean when I say, "You are on probation." You see, you are led further by that God-into-expression-power – the radiant form of the Master – within you. So, as long as the spirit does not rise above the body-consciousness, the spirit remains a stranger to the spiritual realms beyond. That rising-above it the first step. Where the world philosophies end, there the religion starts. And that inner way is the same for all, whether you wear one garb or label of one religion or the other – that makes no difference. So every thing is within the body – nothing spiritual is outside it: "He, who seeks without, wandereth in delusion."
Those who go to such a Master, such Masters always advise, "Go within you!" Our Master (Baba Sawan Singh) used to say, "Well, why not take someone, who goes within, to go along with you?" So, it is a very definite way and one that has been given by all Masters who came in the past.
All that is seen physically is a great optical illusion. We are identified with the body and the body is changing – being made of matter. All the world around us is changing at the same speed. As we are identified with the body, we think it is all stationary; but everything is changing. If you rise above body-consciousness, you will see the world in its right perspective. So that is why Masters – all of them knowing that – always advise, "Please know your self – who you are, what you are." This is the main purpose of coming into the world. Unless we know our self, we cannot know God.
God is wordless: when it came into being, it (God) is called "Word". Word is the cause of all creation. God is name-less; when it came into being in the Sanskrit language it is called "Naam". So, what is God? God is love and God is divine – all divine. So the Master is "Word made flesh". When such Masters come, they come overflowing with the love of God and with the divinity of God. They come by radiation to all the people at large. Those who sit in the field-of-action of their radiation: they are blessed.
So the come and they bring the religion of love and no new religion. All Masters who have come gave out the same thing. Christ said, "Love thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy strength." And, "Love thy neighbour as thy self."
Of this, also Kabir said the same thing. The tenth Guru (Gobind Singh Ji), while addressing all the communities, tells them, "Hear ye all! I tell you the truth: those who love, they alone can know God." Saint Paul said, "By love, serve one another." (Galatians 5:13) One, who serves his fellow, loves God, too. Otherwise, not. If he says, "I love God", and he does not love the God-into-expression-power that is working in the world, then how can he say he loves God whom he has not seen? So, "He prayeth best who loveth best . . . " – you know because love is one-pointed: "finger-pointed" attention. With whom you love, you are single-minded – nothing else interferes with that. When you are loving, naturally all other foreign thoughts don't affect you. A man who loves somebody may be sitting with hundreds of people, but his whole attention is there with whom he loves. So such a man (who loves God), while in the world, is in the world yet out of it. He is not of the world.
For that reason "God is love" and love is God and the way back to God is also through love (attention to God).
If God resides in every heart, we are all of the same essence as that of God. Then, if you want to meet God, what should you do? Should we torment the hearts of anyone? Whom you want, He also resides there. So love knows service and sacrifice.
You know there are greater – heinous – crimes in the world; heinous sins – one greater than the other. Maulana Rumi says, "You may drink (alcohol) . . ." Drinking is the mother of all evils. ". . . that's a very great sin; but there is a much greater sin than that: you may burn away all the scriptures of the world.
Of course, that is a very great sin, but there is still more – there is a greater sin than that.
"Burn all places of worship, but with all these, there is a still much greater sin: don't torment anybody."
So love knows service and sacrifice.
God is love and, naturally, when Masters come to give this religion of love, love knows service – and also, if need be, to sacrifice ourselves for that. The tenth Guru says, "Those who want to play the game of love, they should lay their heads on their palms and come forward." Those who can sacrifice their self, only they can meet God.
We sacrifice God for the sake of the world. A man went to a Sadhu. He said to him, "You are very great. You have renounced the world – you are outside the world." And he paid very much homage to the Sadhu. The Sadhu said in replay, "Look here, you are the one who is great! You have sacrificed God for the world and I have sacrificed only the world for God. So who is the greater man who has renounced? Naturally, you are!" So Masters say such things about service.
If we love all, naturally what will happen? Whom you love, you never think of harming. If he is hungry, you will try to share your meals. If he is naked, you would like to give him clothes – even at the sacrifice of your own self. The more you love, the more you can make sacrifice. And if you love God, can you not make a sacrifice of those things that come through the eyes? Truly speaking, he who says he loves God and hates the people all around, he is a liar.
There is a parable that goes to show this in the scriptures of the Puranas of the Hindus. The Masters sometimes speak through parables and sometimes by straight talk. By parables they speak to those who do not have very great understanding, to bring home all these things they give them.
It is told that Lord Vishnu invited all the gods and goddesses, as well as those anti-gods (demons) for a banquet. As the food was being served, they were made to sit: the gods in their rows and the anti-gods in other rows. When the food had been served, Lord Vishnu stood up. "Look here, gentlemen, all of this food is for you. Eat to your heart's content. But there is one condition: don't bend your elbows to eat." The anti-gods discussed the situation among themselves and concluded, "This condition does not allow us to eat!" They left the scene disgusted. The gods and goddesses considered it. They said, "These words are coming from Lord Vishnu, so there must be some meaning behind this situation which we do not know." Then, considering it calmly, they came to know, "We can hold our arms straight, and I can feed you and you can feed me." And they were fed to the utmost.
The purpose of the parable is this: that if we want to be happy, we must make others happy. If everybody wants to make others happy, naturally everybody will be happy. If we won't allow anyone else to die of hunger, then we won't die of hunger. So, love knows service and sacrifice. This is what is wanted.
Best of all, in all of these holy places of worship, you see, there have been put in them some symbols of God to be worshipped and those are symbols of God. For instance, there are churches, there are temples, there are other holy places of worship – and they are made after the model of the man-body. They have put in there two symbols: of the light and of the sound. "God is light." ( I John 1:5.) And God is music of the spheres, Naad.
Now those places of worship are the models, whether it is a church or a temple, or any other place. They are all equally dictated by the design of the man-body. They are all models made after the man-body. And, which is the true temple of God (chuckle)? The man-body itself.
Those models were given to the outside people – for the beginners to know that suchlike light and suchlike music of the spheres is reverberating within you. When the Masters were met, they gave a demonstration of that: how to rise above body-consciousness and open the inner eye to see the light of God and open the inner ear to hear the voice of God.
"God sends men with seals on their eyes and ears." The Masters come back in the form of the human-pole, and they go and break the seals on the eyes and ears so that the seekers for God begin to see within and they begin to hear within. That is why Christ said: and those who see they may be blind.
Truly speaking, you see, one truth is working in all – and is the basic teaching in all. It is our narrow-mindedness for want of the truth – not knowing the truth – that all the differences have been made between man and Brahman, between high-class and low-class. God made equal privileges for everybody – He did not make any high or low": all are born the same way, with the same soul being of the same essence as that of God and with the same power of God that we worship.
So, when Masters come, they say, "Whether you say, God, or call it Maker or Rahim, or Merciful, or this and that, these names all go to express that God-power, which is controlling all creation – and we worship Him."
The man who is living in the true temple of God – which is the man-body – goes to the temple made after the model of man (chuckle). He puts in there the symbols for the light and sound. That is for the beginners! Those who already realize this truth within us, they have respect for other people – for the beginners – but it does not behove a man in whom that light is effulgent, you see, if he doesn't also tell them, "Well, look here, this light and sound are within you already. Just wake up!"
So, Masters and those who have risen above body-consciousness, see the truth, and they give out references to the people at large. For that purpose of knowing the truth, what is required of a man? For that purpose, ethical life is required – a life of self-restraint – true living: our earnings should be honest and our food should be pacifying our living and our character should be good.
The word "religion" means a path to live, in order to link man with God. That is the ultimate aim of all yogas. And Guru Arjan gives out very clearly, "The highest of all religions is what? To be a man of true living and to know God.
It makes no difference what outer label the seeker is carrying. That is why, among the Hindu Sikhs, the GoldenTemple when it was being arranged at Amritsar – to be the headquarters of all Sikhism – do you know by whom the foundation stone was laid? By a Mohammedan Saint. When they arrive at that truth within, where is the "Hindu", or the "Mohammedan"? The labels don't carry over within, you see.
So what did Guru Arjan do? He collected as many scriptures of the Masters of the past as he could – about sixty or seventy – and put them all in the Sikh scripture, so that we may respect all those in whom God manifested and who came to awaken mankind. What was the purpose of this? The whole project was to unite all mankind in the silken bond of love – and so that they might not create schisms. You see? For all of mankind.
Nowadays the scriptures of a particular Master you will find in their own books, but the Sikh scripture (the Guru Granth Sahib) you will find contains the writings of more than fifty Saints, God-adepts, all saying the same thing.
The Masters come to create love within us for God. They are filled with love of God. You might have heard that Moses went to a wilderness. There was one chap who was watching over the sheep there in the wilderness. And this shepherd-boy was praying to God, "Oh God, . . ." Love knows no law, mind that! "Oh God, if You had been hungry, I would have given You the milk of the sheep to drink. Had You been cold, I would have taken off the wool of the sheep to make cloth and then given it to You to warm Yourself . . ." And the shepherd boy went on like that. Then Moses, passing by that way, overheard the boy praying. Moses said to him, "Oh heretic! What are you saying? Does God drink milk?" And the boy was taken aback: he thought about how this might affect his relationship with God and he began to cry. And, while weeping his attention withdrew within him-self and God met him there and said, "Look here! I will drink your milk also! I will wear your clothes also!"
And then Moses later went into mediation and made the inner contact, where God told him, "Moses, you were sent into the world to connect with me those people who are separated from me, not to separate those from me who are already devoted to me. Go, and ask the shepherd boy's forgiveness!"
So, second, is the way the Master comes to unite us with this truth within us. The tenth Guru says, "Once this ignorance is dispelled, all these differences between one religion and the other will drop off. We are all children of God: we are having one label or the other and that makes no difference.
My point is that so long as the spirit does not rise above body-consciousness, we remain a stranger to the spiritual world beyond. There are two sides, you see, of outer knowledge. One is the objective side; the other is the esoteric side. The objective side is meant only for the preparation of the ground. The real thing is to know one-self: to rise above body-consciousness, which is where the ABC starts. Such men, when they go around, they radiate love to all. Even the animals and the snakes don't harm them.
This is the teaching of the Masters. This is what is called "spirituality". A man may be having one (religious or social) label or the other, that makes no difference if he is overflowing with love for God and for humanity. Masters come with a divine link (Word or Naam) and the first give us an idea of the beatific vision of God. Such Masters have been coming from time to time in all countries. When they came, they awakened men to the truth of God. By a parallel study of all the scriptures, you will see they all say the same thing. The basic teaching of all Masters has been the same. But for want of practical Masters and, excuse me, ever since the paid-preaching has started in all religions, all has been corrupt.
So, Masters say, "All right!" They don't look to your labels that you are carrying, they say, "Oh man! Oh soul, you are an equal in the sight of God – no "high", no "low". They say, "Arise to your self, to your own God within you." And they say, "The man-body is the golden opportunity that you have got."
Much of your lifetime is already spent. There are sitting here people who are twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years old. How far have you succeeded in this spirituality? Spirituality is above all, you see. To be born in a temple is good; but, while living in temples, you should understand the basic teaching which is one for all. Otherwise, if you stick to the water-tight compartments of all, that will give you – what do you say? – narrow-mindedness. So Masters come, and as they are free, they make you free.
When you fly in an aeroplane, how glad you feel when you see the world outside below: mountains look like small mounds, high buildings look like little huts. So, when you rise above body-consciousness, your whole angle of vision is changed! The Masters come to give us this new world, to enable us to make the best use of this man-body we are in.
Blessed you are! You have joined some school of thought. That's good! That's the first step. That also reminds us to have an ethical life, to be of help to others. Amongst the Jews, what do they do? You see when they perform certain rituals, they share something for the animals, something for the birds, something for the reptiles – something for the others, you see. So, blessed you are – you have got the man-body and it is high-time to make the best use of that man-body.
Be spiritual! Remain in any given elementary label you like: that is meant only to make you spiritual – to know the spirit in you. We are spiritual. We are spirits in God.