"I have heard that many have seen You. But actually none has known You, what You really are."
O Satguru, myriads upon myriads of people greet You and bow in obeisance at Your feet, but few recognize Your greatness in the measure in which You may choose to reveal. "Son knows the Father and those to whom the son may reveal."
He is a living embodiment of the Father of Light and it is only through His Grace that He manifests this Light of God in others. I shall now tell you what the Guru is. It is best to know of Him from some Gurumukh; that is, One who has become a mouthpiece of the Guru, for it is said, "A Prophet alone can recognize the Prophet."
All great Masters the world over have presented the same eternal Truth, each, of course, in His own inimitable way. They say that the Divine Power-of-God resides in every human heart, but the heart wherein it is manifested the most is worthy to be adored. A perfect living Master is an embodiment of the Power-of-God and, as such, He is much more then what He appears to be. He does live in this world but is not of this world, as the soul in Him is in tune with the infinite.
Nanak says, "0 Lalo, I do not speak anything on my own; but whatever I utter, I am inspired by Him."
Though physically He, like us, may look to be a denizen of this world, yet inwardly His soul is free from the shackles of mind and matter and is in perfect harmony with the universal life-principle. All great Masters bear testimony to this sublime Truth. Who can give us the tidings of God? Who can unite us with the living lifelines as provided by Him? Since He is peerless, self-created and the causeless cause, how can we possibly get to know Him and realize Him and with whose help? It may, therefore, be taken for granted that merely by our own manifold efforts, we cannot get near Him. If there is God, there must also be a God-way which, in turn, leads to the irresistible conclusion that there should be a Godman who has practised God and is competent enough to lead us on the God-path. Without such a human polestar, we cannot know of the Pole. It is just a plain talk. It does not involve any ratiocination nor is there any ambiguity about it. Sages and seers have always spoken in the third person for our guidance. "Kabir (speaking of Himself) says that He is conversant with tile Mysteries of the Beyond and has brought a message from the Most High."
My Master, Hazur Sawan Singh Ji, also was a messenger of God. If we were to hear directly from such Master-souls, we would get from Them sublime Truths illustrative of Their inner greatness. Once He said, "Whenever we come to this physical plane, we bring with us our own staff to work with us. When our work is finished on one side, we are deputed on to the other." You can well understand what this signifies. Similarly, all other Masters in the past have said the same thing.
The tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) says, "Having become one with Him, I had no intention whatsoever to come back to this world; but willy nilly I was made to do so to fulfil the Divine purpose."
Christ also said the same thing. "I and my Father are one. He who has seen me, has seen the Father. Father knows the son and the son knows his Father."
Guru Arjan says, "The Father and son are dyed in the same colour. The Father and son have entered into a Divine partnership."
All Masters have given Their own version of the same thing. Shamas-i-Tabrez says, "0 people of the world, do not look at my tattered clothes; just try to peep into the innermost recesses of my mind, for then you will know of the vast Kingdom of God to which I belong. Do not take me as a poor mendicant or a helpless being like yourself . I am much more than what I appear to be and blessed with untold treasures of spiritual riches." Continuing in the some strain He says, "We may be likened to an experienced physician. We need not feel the pulse or test the urine of the ailing patients, but through their eyes we look deeply into the deep-rooted maladies of the mind. We have with us a panacea for all ills of life and freely dispense the same."
During my last tour in the USA, I happened to give a talk on Christmas Day. I told the congregation that Christ lived long before Jesus did. It is just 2,000 years ago when Jesus come into the world, but Christ Power was always there working for the spiritual welfare of the humanity at large. Significantly enough Christ remarked, "I am that I am." The Master-soul never dies. It is eternally present from end to end. The great Divine Power when manifested at some physical pole is known as the living Master. Just try to understand that Guru Power is nothing but the Power-of- God.
In the Gurbani it says, "He who is the ever-living God Power is called a Guru when It adopts some human-pole for working in this world."
"Satguru is the great immaculate Power; Do not mistake Him for the human-pole from which It works."
We find also in the Gurbani, "He grants us His own life-impulse and makes manifest the saving lifelines within. Who can do this? None but a polarized God on earth."
On the one hand there is the Absolute God, and on other is the Power-of-God or God-in-action; and unless the Power-of-God becomes manifest in us, we cannot possibly have a contact with God. As it is the living Master who can grant us this contact, His importance to begin with surpasses that of God Himself. Though the two are but one and the same, yet in finite terms, have to differentiate between the two.
One whose mind is pure and intellect is at rest will surely reflect the Light of God. We are to be worshippers of the Light of life, no matter to which social religion we owe allegiance. Every religion speaks of this Truth.
Shamas-i-Tabrez prays, "0 Master Divine, give me just a draught from the holy vintage which may bring peace to my lacerated heart. 0 Master give me that elixir of life which is not available even in paradise."
Bhikna declares, "He who knows does not speak out as it is not given to mortal imagination. It is a subject of seeing only. Those who speak out that they know, they really do not know."
"If after my death, manure were made of my body, and if that manure were scattered in a field of wheat, the cook and bearer of chapatis made there from will dance in ecstasy, and even the very oven will start emitting flames of love."
The Maulana has said this much, without telling us what will be the state of one who partakes of the food thus prepared, for that is ineffable.
The Path of the Masters is a straight one involving no physical yogic practices. He gives a direct contact with the strands of life within. This consists of linking the soul-currents with the Power-of-God in which we actually live, move about, and have our very being. It is a matter of direct inner perception quite apart from all kinds of reasoning, feeling, emotion, and inferential knowledge that are all fallible. Actual seeing is believing, leaving no place for scepticism. Guru Amardas came to this rich heritage at a fairly advanced age of seventy; and when He experienced God, He said,
"If one is fortunate enough, one may get in touch with a Master-of-Truth (Satguru) and get from Him communion with the Holy Word or contact with the inner Sound Principle, the Light of Life."
While philosophical treatises deal with the theoretical aspect of religions, the mysticism brings you face to face with the Divine Power-of-God.
Even small children can be attuned with the Light of God. Nothing is taken for granted and no make-believe is required. It is simply a direct and conscious contact with the God-into-Expression-Power within, the primal manifestation of Light and Sound Principles. Hazur was an adept both in the theory and practice of Surat Shabd yoga. In this modern age, this science started from Kabir and the Sikh Gurus, and, in turn, came to Tulsi Sahib of Hathras and on to Swami ji, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji, Hazur Sawan Singh Ji, and the same Power is now working through the living Master. It is Hazur's Divine Grace that everybody, without exception, is being blessed with inner experience of Light and Sound. It is indeed a Priceless Gift. Guru Nanak speaking of It said, "Nanak remains all the time in a state of continuous ecstasy."
I was talking to you of meditation and the natural question you would like to ask is, What should one meditate upon? One cannot meditate upon something one has not seen. In other words, how can we meditate on the Abstract and Absolute God? Contemplation is a dangerous thing. If you are lucky enough to get in touch with a perfect Master, then it may be well. But if perchance, and God forbid, your teacher is not competent to fulfil his promise and you contemplate on his form, you will be lost in the wilderness.
During the early days of my discipleship, I once questioned Hazur as to what one should fix one's attention on after the withdrawal of one's sensory currents. He smilingly replied, "We all the time usually think of our children, friends, and other worldly possessions. So where then is the harm to contemplate for some time on the form of a Sadh?"
In the Gurbani it states, "God Himself comes in the form of a Sadh."
After some time, when I once again questioned Hazur about dhyan (meditation), He lucidly explained, "When the Master initiates a person, He, in His radiant form, becomes a constant companion of the disciple. You may, while sitting for contemplation, think of His form or you may not; but when you will progress within, you are sure to meet Him there. The Guru, after all, is not a human being as one may generally take Him to be, but something much more than that; for in Him works the Power-of-God in Its plenitude for the benefit of humanity. He does not leave nor forsake His chosen souls till they are safely led to the true home of His Father. Fortunate are they who had the privilege to get holy communion or inner contact from Hazur Maharaj Ji. The contemplation of His holy form is all that is needed.
But herein comes another great obstacle. We can easily contemplate on any human form like our own, but it is not possible to visualize the form of a highly advanced soul like the Master's, which is one with the Divine. We may try to visualize His form within by thinking of His milk-white flowing beard, His radiant face, His turban, His tall stature, His regal gait, or anything else associated with Him; but it will be our make-believe and not the real form and hence of not much benefit. It is because of this that do not advise anybody to contemplate on any form, even of the Master, but to look straight ahead into the eye-focus and therein see intently whatever comes into view – light or darkness – and mentally repeat the charged Names very, very slowly, may be a intervals, so that the inner gaze is not disturbed. As the loving gaze will grow steadily in intensity, the Divine form of the Master (the radiant pole at which God is working) will appear of Itself within and begin to stay, at first momentarily and then for a longer time with the development of inner perception.
On initiation here in India, it generally happens that some 25 to 30 percent of the initiates do see within them the radiant form of the Master and of Hazur Maharaj, even those who had never met Him at all. The appearance within of the Master may, therefore, be left up to Him. It is His job. We can do nothing much in the matter. He is God in-man and knows best the level from where and how to work. He may come alone or along with His Master or any other benign soul, for They all are children of the Light of God.
Guru Arjan says, "The Gurudev (the radiant form of the Master) has opened my eyes (the inner eye) to see His Light. I have now no delusions and all my strivings have come to an end."
With the coming in of the radiant form of the Master, half the bhakti (Gurbhakti) is accomplished. We must, therefore, unceasingly pray to God to bring us to the Divine pole or the live switchboard where His power is fully manifest. The immutable law of demand and supply works equally at all levels. There is always food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. There are instances of lovingly devoted souls who get inner experience of the Master's form much before they actually come in contact with Him on the physical plane. In Pakistan there are still many persons who used to see the radiant form of Hazur though they had never met Him before. In my case, Hazur's lustrous form often visited me inside seven years before I actually met Him and got my initiation.
I was telling you that our prayers must spring from the bottom of our hearts. Frankly speaking, I did not favour the idea of having a Guru, though I knew that without a competent Guru one could not make headway in Spirituality. I was, however, afraid of the fake Gurus in which the world abounds. But how was I to find a true Master when there was a swarm of them and each held out high hopes and was ready to bless you for a pittance? So I used to pray earnestly, "0 God, grant me inner guidance in my quest." My humble prayer was granted and Hazur began revealing Himself to me and continued to do so for seven years before I was formally initiated. I did not know then who He was, and always took Him for Guru Nanak. I also composed some verses in praise of Him.
I was extremely fond of rivers. Wherever I happened to be, I would look for a stream nearby and find a solitary spot for my meditations. When I went to Lahore, I had river Ravi. And so it was at Jehlum. For hours together I would sit by the riverside absorbed in thought. While at Lahore it struck me to see Beas river. It was this lure of the flowing water that led me to Beas. It was a fine Sunday morning that I took a train for Beas. I inquired from the stationmaster at Beas the location of the river. Surprisingly enough, he asked me if I had come to visit the sage of Beas. I exclaimed as to whether there was any sage living there. He then told me of Hazur. Thus the visit to Beas was amply rewarded. It gave me an opportunity to see both the river Beas and to meet my Master-to-be.
On reaching Dera (colony), my surprise knew no bounds when I discovered in Hazur the likeness of the radiant form that had visited me in my meditations all these years. I imploringly inquired as to why He had delayed our meeting for such a long time. He, with a benignant smile, replied that that was the most opportune time for the meeting.
A competent Master reveals Himself even before initiation. There is hardly any need to conjure up any images while engaged in spiritual practices. The Master plants His own image at the time of initiation and His radiant form comes in of Its own when we completely get into the eye focus. The secret of success lies entering into the eye focus completely and entirely, and the real Master's form does come regardless of any invitation. This is comparatively easier and the most natural way of God-realization. Guru Bhakti is the surest way back home to God, but the Path is quite slippery as well.
When the end of Maulana Rumi approached near, He said, "Little doest thou know of the great King within me; See thou the radiance in this house of flesh and bones."
When a disciple rises to this level and becomes a Guru man, he becomes truly blessed. I have told you just two things that the Guru does: Firstly, He teaches that all the children of God should sit together, for this is the only way out for the entire human race to escape from the trials and tribulations of the world. Secondly, He gives us such a Divine wealth as cannot be had from anywhere else. It is, therefore, of supreme importance that while looking at the physical form of the Master, one should be conscious as well of the spiritual radiation emanating there from.
Maulana Rumi says, "0, Shamas-i-Tabrez, if I see somebody other than God in the mirror of Your face, I would be worse than a infidel."
To meet a real Master is to get closer to God, whereas to be away from Him is to be away from God. Whenever the Master come into the world, They do so to serve us with the Nectar of Life.
It is said, "The scriptures are useful to the Guru for teaching the masses. Without a living Master, we cannot even get the right import of the sacred books."
It is God alone who can lead us into Him. The Master the true lover of God and is competent to narrate the story of His Beloved.
Bhai Nandlal says, "Get hold of a perfect Master and follow His instructions fully, then shalt thou gain salvation even while engaged in worldly duties. God is with thee from eternity; Thou hath but to turn thy face unto Him."
We find in the Gurbani, "The teachings of the great Masters are the same for one and all. Listen ye to the direct testimony of the Saints for They speak of what They actually see with Their inner eyes."