My dear friends
Continuing talk by Sant Kirpal Singh: “What is God, and how we can know Him”
The complete text can be read here, under the website of Unity of Man:
Have a good time in reading and digesting
All good wishes
What is God, and how can we know Him? (Part 5)
Of course, we have to lead an ethical life. An ethical life is a stepping-stone to spirituality. These are the teachings of all Masters who came in the past.
As lovers of God, we should love all humanity. Having been born in any religion, it is a blessing to remain in it. Nevertheless we should rise above so that we become lovers of God, and then all mankind will have one religion.
Guru Nanak was once asked: “What is the highest form of religion in your opinion?” He replied: “Well, look here. I take all humanity, all men, as reading in the same class, seeking God. We are all classmates and I consider men the world over as classmates for the same ultimate goal.” We should love one another.
The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, was asked: “What do you think about man?” He replied: “All mankind is one – I tell you the whole truth – whether he is wearing a hat or a turban or is a recluse in a yellow or a black gown.” That makes no difference. These are the outer forms.
Excuse me if I ask you: What is the religion of God? He is all-consciousness. He made all men equal. Did He stamp anybody that he was such and such? No. When you know yourself, you will analyze yourself from the body and discover who you are. When you rise above body consciousness then you will find out. Religions pertain only to the outer forms of our life. We have to make the best use of them.
I have love for all social religions. That is all right. But the point is these social religions should go to help us on the way, to love God and to love all humanity. This is our ultimate goal. And further, to know ourselves and to know God, and have a first-hand experience of that Reality. Although that Reality cannot be expressed in words, still it can be experienced.
True religion is the first-hand experience of oneself, with his own Self and with God. That is the only true religion you have before you. There is the outer religion, and here is the inner religion. When you think everyone is all equal, then you will have love for all.
Our ultimate goal is to have love of God. Those persons or human beings whose souls came in contact with God, became the mouthpiece of God. They spoke as inspired by God. They are called Masters, or Godmen. We love them also for the sake of our love for God.
What did Christ say? He said:
No man knoweth the Son, but the Father;
Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son,
And he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.
That is why your love goes to them especially. They have had a first-hand experience and they are competent to give us a first-hand experience of that Reality within. They tell us how to rise above body consciousness, to know ourselves and to know God.
Then we see with our eyes, no testimony is required. That is why we love all Masters who came in the past – whether they came here or anywhere else. You have to love God “with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind.” Those who have loved God that way have merged their will in the Divine Will; they become the mouthpiece or conscious co-workers of the Divine Plan. Therefore, we love all Masters who came in the past.
Further, we revere all scriptures. What are these scriptures after all and what is their value to us? They are the recorded experiences of the past Masters, the experiences that they had in knowing themselves and those they had of God within themselves. They also revealed to us the things that helped them on the way and things that retarded their progress. In short, they gave us an account of their journey Godward. A description of all that formed the subject of all the holy scriptures. All saints deal with their pilgrimage to God. They tell us of the Godway, the halting stations, the various regions they passed through and what they found there; their pilgrimage on the way and their first-hand experiences at each place. They have thus left for us a fine record for our guidance.
All holy books from ages past are but footprints on the sands of time for the love-borne seekers after God. Those who are lovers of God naturally have love for all the scriptures. Kabir, the great Saint of the East, tells us: Say not that the scriptures are false, for he who does not see Truth in them is in the wrong. It is a pity that though we can read the scriptures, we cannot follow their true import until we see for ourselves what those Masters experienced within themselves, or until these are explained to us by one who has had that first-hand experience with himself and with God as those Masters had. Only then will we be following the true import of the holy scriptures. Otherwise, reading of the scriptures from morn till night, without following what the scriptures say, will lead us nowhere.
That does not mean that you should not read the holy scriptures. Read them by all means, but try to understand them rightly. When you have understood them, try to have those experiences in your own self. Only then will you be fully convinced of what they say. They may be likened to records of different persons visiting the same place – say Washington or Philadelphia – and describing it, each in his own language and in his own peculiar way.
We can read all these holy scriptures, but we cannot follow their true import until we seek the help of someone who has seen and had the experience these describe.
I would say that today in the twentieth century, we are rather fortunate. Why? We have all the fine records of the experiences of the Masters who came in the past. Had we come five hundred years ago, the holy scriptures of the Sikhs would not have been with us. Had we come, say 1500 years earlier, the holy Koran would not have been with us. And if we had come before 2000 years, the Bible would not have been with us. If we had come before the time of Zoroaster or the Buddha, or any one else, their scriptures would not have been with us. What I mean is that today we are fortunate in having with us these valuable records of the Masters who came in the past. They tell us what they experienced with themselves and God. The only thing needed now is to have someone who has had that experience which is given in those holy scriptures. He will be able to tell us the true import of things, and also he will be able to give us a first-hand experience of these things.
So for the love of God we love all Godmen. For the love of God, we love all the holy scriptures. There are so many pages of the book of God that have been written to guide the erring humanity. Many more may be written whenever any Master comes.
Further, we love all holy places of worship. Why? Because there people gather together to sing the praises of the one and the same God – in their own ways, of course. If we love somebody and someone happens to be praising him, we stand and hear how he describes him. So we have love for all holy places of worship for the love of God. Also, we love all places of pilgrimage, for they are the spots where once lived some Master, some Godman, who was one with God, who became the mouthpiece of God. It is for that alone that we have respect for all holy places where such Masters lived.
We love God first; God resides in every heart; therefore we love all humanity. For the same reasons, we love all Godmen, for they have known God. We love all holy scriptures, because they speak of Him and are valuable records of the experiences of the past Masters. Again, for the same reason we love all holy places of worship, whether temples or mosques, churches or synagogues. They are meant for chanting the praises of the Lord.
You remember, when Christ came, he entered the Temple in Jerusalem and turned out those who misused or defiled it. He told them: “You have made the house of my Father a business house.” Such a man, who is a lover of God, what will he say’? He will say what the Vedas say. The Yajur Veda says: Well, O people, let us all sit together and sing the praises of the Lord and worship the same God. But there are false ways of preaching that separate man from man. There is no common place where we can all sit together and worship the same God.
Again the Rig Veda says: Gather ye in thousands, and worship God and chant His praises. We are all lovers of the same Reality. We are all for the same Truth. There are thousands of lovers, but the Beloved is only one. We may call Him God, or by any name we like. We are lovers of the same Reality. Outwardly speaking, we have different social religions. Blessed you are. Remain where you are. To live in some social religion is a blessing. That is a helping factor. As with a midwife who helps at the birth of a child, so with social religions which help us in that way towards spirituality, in knowing ourselves and in knowing God.