Talk by Sant Kirpal Singh Beaumont, CA, Monday morning 1 August, 1955
Ladies and Gentlemen,
we do observe so many ceremonies or rituals – we do perform rituals, read scriptures, say prayers. What is this for? This is only to create an interest in you, just to have some love for God. If you say all these prayers and not a single tear-drop is shed from your eyes in sweet remembrance of the Lord – well, such practices will carry you nowhere. It is just like a gymnastic exercise that you do with no results. So the way back to God is live, you see. So, love all.
Love and all things shall be added unto you. – St. Matthew 6:33
It is said of
The secretary in charge, after waiting for a few minutes, then considered that a further talk would be given. So when
Sometimes on account of the position we hold, sometimes on account of having wealth and possessions . . . life does not consist in possessions and wealth, you see, as I just defined before. Life consists in contacting our conscious self with the all-consciousness. He said, "Well, love and all things shall be added unto you."
Once Christ said, "Well, look here, I give you a new commandment." What? "Love one another." What for? "So that the people may know that you are coming to me." You see (chuckle)? So these are the qualifications of the selfless service.
Selfless service is performed in two ways: one, physically, when another man is sick and he wants attendance, do is selflessly; or somebody else needs you for some public service. Well, do it freely. That’s the first sort of selfless service that you can perform by the physical body. And the other is financially.
Financially, just earn money with the hard dint of brow, "sweat of brow", honestly. That’s the first thing. Then maintain your bodies, maintain your families and out of that (earning) just reserve something. Give away something. Share with others who are needy – I mean with those who are just unclothed, those who have got nothing to eat – and also for the purpose of the public service and especially where the people can have spiritual uplift. So these are the qualifications of a man who would like to see God.
I would also advise you this will be my last (general) talk (in
The question was asked of Guru Nanak whether there was a God. He said, "Yes, God is seen everywhere. I see God everywhere." "How to see?" He said, "Those eyes are different – those eyes are not of flesh and bone, but different – with which we can see God." And which are those eyes? That is the inner eye or "single eye" Christ speaks of: "The light of the body is the eye. If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." (St. Matthew 6:22)
That is the eye within each man, but now closed. When that inner eye is opened, with that you will see the light of God within you.
The definition of a true Sikh, as given by the tenth Guru (Gobind Singh) of the Sikhs, is he who sees the full effulgent light of God within. Only he is a pure Sikh, pure Khalsa. Mohammedans also say the same thing: "He who goes up the
Now, for that, you must go to those men, those Masters, those Teachers – name them by any name you like – those who have analysed (separated) them-selves from the body, known their own self first, and whose inner eye is open to see the light of God. They are competent to give you first-hand experience however little it may be; there is no question of quantum. At the feet of such a Master you will also be able to see God and to hear the voice of God.
So, this is the question before us: "How can we see God?" I will just give you a digest of a hymn from the fifth Guru (Arjan Dev, 1564-
If you sit at the feet of such a person who has seen God, only then will you be able to see God. This is what Christ also said. He said, "God knows the son and the son knows the Father, and others to whom the son reveals the Father." A similar thing has been given by the third Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Amar Das. He says, "God has made it a fundamental rule that: ‘Whoever sits at feet of a true Master, only he will come up to me.’" You see the same parallel thought given out by Masters in their own language at different times when they visited the earth. So their (seekers’) firs qualification is to sit at the feet of a practical Master, I would say now. And this is said by almost all Saints.
Maulana Rumi, a Mohammedan Saint, says, "Well, look here, if you want to go to a place of pilgrimage, just take somebody who has already been to that place of pilgrimage, because he knows the way. He as been there, he knows all the ways and other things: how to stay on the way, how we will reach there, what are the means which will help us to reach there. It is better always to find out somebody who has seen that place." And who should he be? To what religion should he belong? Rumi says, "No matter, he may be a Hindu" – he (Rumi) is a Mohammedan Saint! – "He may be a Hindu, he may be a Turk, he may belong to any social religion, that makes no matter. He must be one who has visited the place of pilgrimage. Of those who have seen God, take him along with you."
For instance, if a man has to go to a foreign land, what does he do? He looks in directories, finds out, "How will I go to some foreign land, how will I obtain a ticket, which ship should I go on and where will that land on that place. It might be I do not know the language of that place. Who will be the intermediary for interpretation? And if I go at all to that place, where should I live, for I have got no acquaintance there?" For these purposes, you look in the directories. In the meantime, when you are searching for that thing (information), a man comes up and says, "Well, you are going to such-and-such foreign country. Just now a man has come back from that very country." What will he do? At that, he will close the directory all at once and run up to that man who is coming from that country. Is it not? That is but natural. So he goes to him and asks him questions, "Well, what is the way and how do I go?" As he has seen, he will say. That’s the difference, you see. The man who has seen is very definite about things. He has got weight in his words. Out of full conviction he speaks. (There is) no doubt, no ray of uncertainty in his talks. Naturally that appeals to the man who goes to him. And, by the way, he mentions, "All right, I am going back to that country next week." How do you find yourself then? All clear – you need not look in the directories now, because the man who has been to that place is just going along with you.
Similarly, this way, please. We are now identified with the body so much so that we cannot differentiate. We have to leave the body some day. The macrocosm is in the microcosm. You just leave the body and there are further planes: astral, causal and beyond. You will traverse all these planes, go and reach your true home. Naturally he who has traversed these planes has been to that home. He goes over there daily. If you come across such a man, naturally you will feel very happy. Now the ABC's of the teachings of such a Master who has gone beyond do not touch your outer social religions. He says, "Remain where you are!" He always says, "Give to Caesar. ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Render unto God the things that are of God.’" He simply says that. He does not touch the outer aspects of your religion. He comes and simply touches on who you are and what you are, how you can transcend the body, leave the physical plane, transcend into the beyond and ultimately reach your true home – how to open the inner eye and see the light of God. "The
So Guru Arjan says, "Look here, if you are intent to fulfil the highest aim of your life – of seeing God – the first requirement is just to sit at the feet of somebody who has seen God." A mere intellectual man will not be able to give you that experience. Of course, he will give you all of the intellectual information. When you want to become a (medical) doctor, you must sit at the feet of some doctor. He can make you a doctor. By anatomy, by (surgical) operations, he has seen how the system is working. The doctors’ work wonders by operations – they take out everything and still the man is alive. If you just go only to a druggist, can you become a doctor? He can, of course, give you so many recipes – he has prescriptions given to him by doctors for a certain disease – he will give you all that: "For this, such and such is the prescription." But he cannot make you a doctor. Similarly, this way. This is a question of self-analysis. The man who has analysed (separated) him-self and known God, transcended all these physical, astral and causal planes at will – when he likes, he transcends the body; when he comes back, he works in the body. He has that competency. Only when you sit at the feet of such a person will you be able to see that.
A man who simply remembers all the holy scriptures of the world, he might be giving you a very wonderful talk, quoting here, there, from the Vedas, Shastras, Mohammedan and Sikh scriptures, or the Bible, everywhere. First of all, he would not be able to reconcile these things, I tell you. He may be quoting you so many things, but he does not know how to reconcile the differences. This is just like some sandalwood, or some very precious and delicious sweets, which are laden on an ass. That ass is carrying that on his back, but he does not taste it. Similarly, any spoon which is just going into the sweet puddings or sweet dishes, that spoon does not taste anything. And similarly, the man who just has his brain full of the merchandise of the holy scriptures, he has not taste of that. How can he give anything at all?
So the first and foremost requirement is to sit at the feet of some practical Master who has analysed himself, whose inner eye is open to see the light of God and who is competent to give you first-hand experience thereof, how little it may be.
If such a Master gives you initiation, puts you on the way, only then will you be able to get on otherwise. This is the first requirement. Now, naturally the question arises as to what he will teach you. Can past Masters help us? Are they needed? I say there is need of the past Masters, as well. Why? They had this (inner) experience in their lives. They left us their experiences in the form of holy scriptures, which are worth tons of gold and rubies and emeralds and diamonds. But by reading them, that will create in you an interest to have that life. And that is all.
But present-day, somebody is needed who has got that experience in him-self: he transcends the consciousness of the body, his inner eye is opened, he sees the light of God, he has those experiences which are given in the holy scriptures. Such a present man – living man – is required who is able to give you that experience. He is also needed. Past Gurus or Masters are needed for the purpose of testimony. They all say one thing. They speak of the same experience in their own ways, in their own languages. But the scriptures are a "sealed book", I would say, handed down to us from posterity to posterity, but we have not tasted (experienced) them. Those things which the scriptures speak of, those are within you. Unless you know how to invert, how to transcend the body – "body is the
The Saints say you may be reading all the holy scriptures, you may even be hearing the Masters, you may be intellectually satisfied, but full conviction arises only when you see things for your own self. First, you can take up the theory as an experimental measure; but when you are made to sit and given a first-hand experience, naturally you are convinced: "Yes, there is a way up!"
So, the first and foremost requirement is to meet and to sit at the feet of some Master who is competent to give you that experience, and he has that experience him-self, too. This is the first thing, you see. If such a man puts you on the holy way back to God, you will be on the way and you will be having those experiences. This is a fundamental truth. Then, what does such a man teach? That’s the question that arises. What will he say? There are teachers and "teachers".
There are teachers of the social religions. They will tell you how to live in a certain social religion, how to perform certain rites and ceremonies. They will advise you to read certain scriptures, just carry on the elementary things. The elementary things! And if such masters or teachers just do their duty in a real sense, I would say, there would be unity between man and man. But, unfortunately, in no religion is that what happens. They simply say, "Well, look here, only he who belongs to this particular social religion will be saved, and no other."
Well, God made man, excuse me. Man is an ensouled body. God did not stamp any body with whether he is a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Sikh. When you transcend the body, who are you? What are you? The question was put to my Master: "Who are you?" He simply said, "If God is a Hindu, I am a Hindu; if He is a Christian, I am a Christian." (chuckle) "If He is a Mohammedan, I am a Mohammedan." The religion of the soul is the same as that of God. God is all-consciousness and our souls are also conscious beings, conscious entities. Man is social and it is natural to live in some social body that you have made. By changing one social body or the other, you cannot insure that you will be saved.
You will have to qualify your self for the way back to God – and further, sit at the feet of somebody who has just known him-self and known God – call him by any name you like.
When you go to such a man, what does he say? He does not touch your outer forms, I tell you. He says, "Remain where you are." Now, the present teachers of the social religions, what do they say? "Well, look here, if you have this social body, you are saved. If you believe in such and such, that will do." Now excuse me if I say: the Christians say that whosoever has taken up the form of Christianity, only they will be saved. And the Sikhs say that only those who are in the Sikh form and believing in the Sikhs will be saved. Mohammedans say, "Well those who do not believe in the Koran of the prophet Mohammed, they will all go to hell." So who is true, then? Either all are wrong . . . you see?
Of course, there are two sides of the religion. One, the outer objective side; the other, the inner side. The purpose of the objective side is to prepare the ground. That will do the work of a midwife – helping to bring out children – but the midwife does not give birth to the child. Mind that. As a helping factor, that is necessary. To remain in some social religion is a blessing; but when you come to such a Master, with that qualification I have just given you, concerning the subjective side of the teachings – esoteric teachings – what does he say? He says, "Well look here, you are after finding God. Where do you find Him?"
The men of the social religions – what do they advise? "All right, read the scriptures, you will find God." "Attend that particular temple, or mosque, or church, daily, you will find God." "Just visit such-and-such place of pilgrimage, you will find God." This is generally what the social-religion teachers say. But the man of this type who has known God, what does he say? "If you want to see God, go within you. The
We respect the holy scriptures because they are the words given out by these Masters who came in the past. For that reason (we respect them). The holy places of worship are places where men sit together and say the praises of God. All these outer temples, mosques and churches are made after the image of man, dome-shaped or nose-shaped. Churches are nose-shaped and all other temples are dome-shaped, head-like. And within that (the head), you see the light of God. "The body is the
Prophet Mohammed also says the same thing: "Your body is the true mosque in which God resides." Guru Nanak went to
All Saints give the description of the body of a man as the true
"If any man defiles the
He (Guru Nanak) says, "The true temple is the body you are carrying, this five- or six-foot high body. This is the
Outer temples and other places of holy pilgrimage were raised in the image of man. There they kept a candle of light and a sound of the bell: symbols of the light and the sound-current reverberating in each heart. That was a symbol, made outside, to make you understand there is light, like that within you and such sound going on within you. That is the "Voice of God" heard within each body. "Behold the tabernacle (temporary dwelling: man-body) of God is with men and He dwelleth with them." This is the first ABC.The Master’s teaching starts from there.
You see, in
They ask me, "What particular temple have you raised?" I tell them, "The (man) body is the true
Against those who have made the outer religions as business centres, excuse me now, they (the seekers) simply revolt – they say, "What are these men like?" They will go against such men. What did Christ do? He simply went to the synagogue and said, "Turn ye out! Go ye out! Pharisees, you have made the synagogue a centre of business! This is the house of my Father in which only prayers should be said." When there is some dross attached to the truth by the so-called "priesthood" or the ignorance of the people, or by those with selfish motives, some Master comes up and drives out the dross and lets the people take up that original thing. So this is the first thing he (the true Master) will teach you.
Then he (the seeker) says, "How can you find God if He is inside?" – "Can we see Him?" the people ask. He says, "Yes, we can see Him." – "When?" "When you transcend these outgoing faculties, these organs of sense, not before."
Now, through the eyes and other organs of sense, the soul is just peeping-out under the control of the mind. When you come above the body-consciousness and these organs of sense, only then will you be able to see God, not before.
Further, what does he (the seeker) say? "If He is inside, why don’t we see Him?"
He (the Master) says, "On account of this ego of the body – I am the body – this separateness, which you have formed." We are the indwellers of the house – this is a wonderful house in which we are living. You are living in this wonderful house and God is also living in the wonderful house. But as you have just become the body itself, this egoism of the physical body stands in the way. You must come up, know your self, then you will know God. He (the Master) gives this teaching to the world as a man-problem. These teachings are common to all humanity, I tell you. The outer forms of the religions may be different – their modes of prayers, rituals and ceremonies may be different – but the purpose is the same, mind that. To sit in a Christian church bare-headed is a sign of respect, but to sit in a Sikh temple with a covered head is a sign of respect. Outwardly, these two customs appear to be diametrically opposite, but the purpose is the same: when you sit in a holy temple or place, sit in a respectful mood. That’s all. So there are some differences like that in non-essentials, but if you just look into the true import of things you will find the purpose is the same.
He (the Master) does not say, "Simply read all the scriptures and you will be saved." Guru Nanak (1469-
Very clear-cut, the teachings of all Masters who have come in the past.
"If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." (St. Matthew 6:22; St. Luke 11:34)
"Enter ye into the kingdom of heaven with a single eye."
Everywhere, the same way. The teachings are there. Now, the reason (for this) further arises. "Why," people ask, "if that is so, is God within us?"
The (Master) teacher says, "We have respect for all holy scriptures. We have respect for all holy Masters who came in the past. We have respect for all holy places of worship. We have respect for all holy places of pilgrimage, for the reason that they have some connection with the Masters." We love scriptures, because those are the utterances of the Masters – those are the words given out by the mouths of the Masters, their experiences. Therefore, we love and respect the scriptures. We love all holy places of worship because the prayers to God are done there. We love the places of pilgrimage, for those are the places where some Master did live. Otherwise, the land is the same. You see? There is no difference between one place and another, except that some Master lived there. Prophet Mohammed lived in
Kabir says, "Well, I am in a strange position. People are going amiss. Who is the greater: the Master, or the place of pilgrimage?" The place of pilgrimage owes its greatness only because a certain Master lived there, and certain Masters have been to different places, and all those places are places of Pilgrimage. Truly speaking, you will find that Master is greater than the places of Pilgrimage. The Master is greater than all the scriptures in the world. Why? These scriptures came out of the mouth of the Masters – for that reason. And why do we love the Master? Because he is the mouthpiece of God – we love God only. This is the teaching given by a true Master.
Now the question comes: "Why have we forgotten it (this truth)?" He (the Master) says, "We are in a delusion." First of all, we have to know our self. We are not the bodies which we are carrying. We are some entities which are infusing life into the bodies. We are the indwellers of the body. And we have to leave the body some day – that day which is called "the day of death", the day of the great final change. Death is no bugbear. For example, I have come from
Then further, he (the Master) says, "It is a very strange thing that this body which you are carrying – you reside in this house, you are the indweller of this house – of course, it is a wonderful house we live in, but you have to leave this body." And all holy scriptures, all Masters, say that God also resides within you. "Two brothers – soul and God – live in the same house, but the soul does not see God." How pitiful it is!" Two brothers living in the building, in the same house, but not seeing each other. Is it not pitiful?
We do read scriptures, and scriptures do tell us that God resides in every heart and the scriptures also say we are in this body – but have you ever cared to know where God is within? You are simply seeking God in the holy scriptures, or attending the holy temples – the places of holy worship – or running up to visit various places of pilgrimage. Saints do not tell you not to do that – that is only elementary, a preparation of the ground – but they say the true God lives within you. For that you will have to invert, transcend the body-consciousness. You will have to open the inner eye. When you see things for your own self, you will be convinced.
He (the Master) says, "A very strange thing – in one house, always accompanying you – God is the soul of your soul and you do not know Him." Strange enough. Instead of finding Him inside, we are trying to find Him outside – in books, or in temples which are made after the image of man. We have respect for all those things. But just comparatively, by discrimination, Masters lay these things before you to wake you up! What are you doing? And what should we do? These (outer practices) are all a means to the end, you see. Make the best use of them. But if, at all, you have to see the light of God, for that purpose you will have to transcend the body-consciousness: invert (your attention), "Tap inside."
He (the Master) says, "A very valuable thing, a most precious thing is within you all and that is the divine link," which is called by (the name) Word, in Christianity.
In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. This is what the holy scriptures say. And the same was in the beginning with God. You see?
All things were made by Him (Word) and without Him (Word) was not anything made that was in the world. (
This is what Guru Nanak and others said: The whole world was made by Naam.
Similarly, here they say:
All heavens were made by the Word. (II Peter 3:5)
Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
That (Word) comes forth from heaven, you see. So all creation is being upheld:
Upholding all things by the Word of His power. (Hebrews 1:3)
I am just giving these references only to show that that power, that divine link which sustains, maintains, supports all creation, that valuable thing is lying within you, each one of you. That is an everlasting thing:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8; I Peter 1:24,25)
This is what further you will find in the hymnals, you see.
So my point is, you see, there is a divine link in each man. Guru Arjan says, "Until you come into contact with that, these five passions are attacking you, robbing you of all the normalness of your soul. If you just want to be saved from their attacks, what should you do? Come in contact with that divine link."
And when can you contact that divine link? Only when you come above the organs of sense. That divine link has light, gives forth light when you come in contact with it. That divine link gives you the voice of God, the sound-principle reverberating in all creation – it is called the Music of the Spheres by Plato. That is within you.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet . . . (Psalm 119:105)
So there is light. Sometimes you see the light like a candle burning in the room. There is something like that given in the Bible as well. So if you come in contact with that thing, only then will you be saved from the attacks of the five passions (which are: lust, anger, greed attachment and ego).
As we do not come in contact with that (Word), we are under the control of the five passions. These five passions attack us from where? Lust attacks us through the eyes; anger is just flared up through the ears. If you are angry and somebody speaks to you, that anger is further flared up by hearing the words. Similarly, there are avenues through which these other passions attack you. When you transcend above these things, you are safe from the attacks of these passions. In this wonderful house, you are being robbed away by the five passions. If you want to save your self, the only thing is that you come in contact with the divine link within you. And where is that divine link lying? It lies above the body-consciousness – when you come above the organs of sense.
Now how to enter this
Seek ye first the
You see? So how to invert? That is the question. Guru Arjan further says, "Well look here, it is just like a house which is locked up from outside and you want to enter inside." What will you do then? The key of that house has just been under the custody of somebody. "And if you want to enter the house, you must unlock the door first and then enter. Until you go to the person who has got the key of that house and he gives you that key, or he opens the door for you, only then can you enter the house." Similarly, he says, "This body is the house of God. You live in it, but it is locked up from within." You cannot transcend into the beyond. You are just like in a locked-up room in a house. You want to enter into the
Now, if you want to enter into the
Why am I adding again two words "competent" and "practical"? Because the world is full of "Masters". There are so many "Masters" in the world that people have become fed up with the name of "the master". But a true Master is needed even now. It is not simply giving us some words for incantation, for repetition, or giving some lecture – not that. The true greatness of a Master lies in the fact that he can give you some first-hand experience of transcending the body-consciousness, opening the inner eye, seeing the light of God within your own inner eyes and hearing the voice of God with your own inner ears. He who can do that, he is a Master.
So this body is a locked-up house from within. You cannot enter into the
Full conviction arises only when you see things for your own self.
You may be doing hundreds of other methods – until you go to the man who has got the key within, you cannot enter the
How can a blind man catch some man who is with eyes? If a man who has got eyes on his face takes pity on the blind man, he just gives his hand into his hand: "Look here! I am come." Only then can the blind man "catch" the man who has got eyes. What does it mean? Those whose inner eye is not open, you see.
So, similarly, he (Guru Arjan) says, "Whomsoever God wishes to liberate (the souls) from the bondage of mind and matter, He sends – or gives – an opportunity to come in contact with a true Master." Sometimes the thirsty man goes to the well to receive water, to drink water, and sometimes the gardener himself takes the water and goes around to give it to the plants. Somehow or other, whoever has got a real search after God, he is brought in contact with a true Master by the grace of God. Either he has to run up to Him, find Him out in his own country or abroad, or sometimes that Godman comes Himself to that person, to give "water to the plants", to the seekers after truth. Somehow or other, whomsoever God wishes to liberate their souls from the bondage of mind and matter, He brings them in contact with such a Master. He (Guru Arjan) says, "He also opens our inner ear to hear the voice of God reverberating in every heart."
How can you find out a Master? Well, "so-and-so" is a Master. What is the criterion with which we can just see that "so-and-so" can only be a Master? By outer form, by outer propaganda, you will find many things are going on. Everywhere there is propaganda. But how many are there really who can give you first-hand experience?
Kabir has given the same explanation: "He who can remove the veil from within and enable you to see things for your own self – the light of God – and hear the voice of God with your own inner ears, he is a Master."
Guru Nanak also defines that: "He who can show the God within you – the light – he is a Master. He who can open your inner ears to hear the sound of God, he is a Master." All say the same thing. But for propaganda's sake, sometimes we do find that, just to cover their imperfections or failures, they will simply give as propaganda, "Look here, the man who can give you first-hand experience, he is not a competent Master. That's the work of the negative power." (Chuckle) (Propagandists say,) "A competent Master would never give you first-hand experience." How can that be! It is against the traditions, I would say, of the past. It is against the teachings of all holy scriptures. And that is the only criterion by which you can judge whether he is competent or not. If he can give some experience, you can expect more of him.
This is what Guru Arjan says: "Whomsoever God wishes to liberate from the bondage of mind and matter, he brings him in contact with a true Master." And when coming in contact with the true Master, he has the overwhelming love for the Master, you see. That's the only way back to God. "Guru precedes God" – Master precedes God.
Until you see God, well, where that God-power is working – who is the mouthpiece of God – to meet him is just to come near to God. Suppose (for instance) you just go to a beach. That is alongside the ocean, is it not? If you have a bath there, you always say, "I have just bathed in the ocean." Similarly, the man in whom God is contacted, when you go to him, you say, "Evidently I have met God."
So the (propagandists) are exhausted in saying prayers, but the God remains a subject as fresh as ever. Even "untouched", I would say. Guru Nanak says, "Well, how many Masters have come so far? Even if that many Masters again come up, further, the subject of God will remain unsaid." So we have respect for all Masters in the past, for all holy scriptures. By "holy scriptures" I mean all records of all Masters who came in the past, including the Bible.
Well, it is getting near It is late.