Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Sant Kirpal Singh, Biji Surinder Kaur
The science of the soul – (Part 4 last part)
The whole text can be read here:
We have just seen that as a counterweight to both the faculties of mind, that of sight and audition, the providence has provided us with a treasure of divinity within which can be unearthed to our advantage with the aid of a competent Master. So mind can be controlled only with the grace of the Master, who attunes it with something substantial within – the light and voice of God. We should always try to sit at ease at the eye focus, the resting place of the soul during waking hours, and try to get the mystic experience which the Master vouchsafes to all who come to Him.
The search without causes a lot of pain and sorrow. The well of life-giving nectar is within and one need dip therein.
With all our gratifications at the sensual level, we get nowhere. “Desire is the root cause of all misery,” exclaimed Buddha. It is the intense craving for the enjoyment of the senses which leads to untold misery and agony. It is a perverted viewpoint that we try to satisfy our thirst for enjoyment by our (outer) indulgence. Even in the field of spiritual discipline, many souls continue looking for the Lord outside in the scriptures, places of pilgrimage, ascetic living, or in other good acts, all of which mean searching the self outside, ignoring the fact that the fountain of bliss and immortality known as Amritsar (the pool of nectar) is within, and can be properly tapped with the grace of a Master-saint. The bliss-giving holy Naam, or the Word, is within the body; and we waste our precious time and energy in its pursuit in the wrong direction. The divine source of immortality is within us all, and those who introvert and recede within do sip the elixir of life; and by drinking that, all their cravings come to an end. The holy initiation into this mystic science by the living Master gives a foretaste of the wine from the divine cup-bearer, who doles out and administers it under the divine commandment. No worldly enjoyments can equal the ineffable grandeur which lies far beyond the ken of human comprehension and apprehension.
After we have known that the very fountainhead of perpetual bliss and harmony is within us, and fortunately having been blessed with holy initiation by the gracious Master, the next question is how to derive the maximum benefit. The succeeding verses provide an answer to this question.
Leaving all vices, become an abode of all virtues. Whenever you fall into the vices, it behoves you sincerely to repent.
Herein lies the secret of spiritual discipline. To err is one thing, but to go on repeating past mistakes is unpardonable. Most people have no idea whatsoever of their doings. In the whirlwind of passions, we seldom care to look within and pause to consider about our lapses or shortcomings. Many of us do not know the maladies with which we are affected. This is why daily self-introspection is recommended, for unless we know of our faults, we cannot take the next step of weeding them out. Ethical life precedes Spirituality. It is only during the silent moments of deep thought and meditation that one comes to find these hidden thieves constantly keeping us in perpetual bondage. Every action has a reaction. It is a universal law. It works everywhere. The spiritual aspirant is necessarily required to keep a stern watch over his thoughts, words, and deeds. The evil has its roots deep down in the unfathomable past and grows strong with the present actions. You should know it for certain that the past cannot be undone, but one can take a stand somewhere. It is only possible when we have something more fascinating and more abiding than the sense objects that keep us in fascination. Mind loves to enjoy, and all enjoyments derived at the sensual level are but a reflection of the attention of the self within. The gross vices that at present hold a charm should be weeded out by self-analysis and self-introspection. These should be replaced with their opposites, the ennobling virtues, by leading a well regulated life. Regular meditations and continued self-examination help a lot in this direction. The changeover cannot, of course, be accomplished overnight; but patient and persistent efforts do go a long way in achieving the desired results. We may fall and fail here and there; but with each failure, we get more strength to fight and overcome the evil. A sincere repentance and prayer for divine help and guidance make us invincible in the long run. Thus, by continued vigilance and check, we can get good dividends. The mind is a treacherous gamester. With every loss it craves for more gain. Unless we stop eating any more poison, we cannot possibly wash off the poison in our bones and blood.
Man does not differentiate between good and evil with the result that he again and again goes deep into the quagmire of delusion.
This is our true state of affairs. We can hardly foresee the results of our doings and foolishly cling to the pleasurable sensations, caring little for the consequences. Having been fully engrossed in the lures and temptations of the physical life, we are unwillingly going down in the scales of moral values. Our flight is like that of an ignorant man held fast in the quicksands of time who at every step forward goes deeper into the treacherous sands. A mighty hand of some friend may come to our rescue and pull us out of this condition of helplessness. Our mighty little soul is woefully entangled in the physical limitations; and only the gracious Master, in the form of the holy Naam, may come to our rescue. Otherwise, there is no hope for our safety. Like muck-worms, we are rushing in the mud. In spite of it, O Lord, have pity and take us out!
Within thee is the dross of false attachments. How can the washing of the body help?
The water can wash off dirt from the body, but not from the mind polluted with vices. There are many vices lying hidden in the mind including those of falsehood and greed. These are the dormant latencies of the mind and require a strenuous effort for eradication. Falsehood does not simply mean telling lies, but it means and includes the great gulf between what is in one’s head and heart and what one says and does. Many persons come up and take the spiritual course as a fancy, but inwardly with some ulterior worldly motive. They fail to attain their goal. We should be true to ourselves, and delve deep into our hearts to find out as to what is the underlying factor for which we are taking up the holy path. The Master is competent to grant us anything we cherish of this or of the other world. But He advises us always to keep our target high; that is spiritual perfection. Greed is equally a strong fetter. It should be overcome by renunciation. Greed breeds hatred and feeds fat the latent ego. It blinds the inner eye and thickens the dark veil. A spiritual aspirant should always feel grateful for the manifold blessings, which are granted to him by the grace of the Master. If we awake to the sacred truth and comprehend the grandeur of the holy Naam granted by the Master, we will be dumbfounded with its divine ecstasy.
Let the peerless Naam be ever with the Gurmukh. This will make manifest all the inner secrets.
This holy Naam is immaculately pure and its constant practice confers the greatest blessings. One must, however, try to be a Gurmukh, the mouthpiece of the Guru, in his daily life. It means that we should follow the behests of the Master implicitly. The term Gurmukh has a special significance in the sacred terminology of the Saints. It literally means the mouthpiece of the Master or a prototype of the Master. We should always yearn for spiritual perfection, which the Master has set before us by precept and action. One with all his attainments should never consider oneself as perfect, because there are innumerable spiritual realms, one over the other, as so many mansions in the palace of the Father. Always look up for the charming radiant form of the Master within, and follow Him lovingly. The holy meditation on Naam will open up many a new region, and divine grace will fill in with abundance.
Give up covetousness, censure of others, love of mortal things, and take to the search of truth through the Word of the Master.
The Master repeats His admonition in yet stronger terms. We should give up the habit of useless talk for and against others. Censure means criticism, but Masters have gone a step further. They include in it both praise and dispraise. Whatever we talk about has a bearing on our character. If we talk about the evils of a person, naturally these will gradually begin to reflect on ourselves. Similarly, if we give undue importance to somebody, it will lead to misrepresentation, for we cannot possibly know the intrinsic worth of a person. It is, therefore, enjoined that we should always be calm, cool, and collected within. Nothing is perfect save the gracious Master on whose chosen human pole that divine power works. If there is anyone who commands our reverence and adoration, he is the Master. And it is our own mind with all its blemishes that deserves scrutiny and censure. If we throw a brick-bat into a pool of dirty water, we are sure to soil our own clothes. So we must always be cautious in this respect and always dwell on our own selves by keeping our faculties well under control by self-examination and spiritual discipline. The holy words of the Master when cultivated carefully will bring much reward.
Redeem us, O Lord, in any way it pleaseth Thee. Thy servant Nanak adores the holy Shabd.
Humility is the highest watermark in spirituality. Guru Nanak concludes the hymn by invoking the Lord to take any course that pleaseth Him and prays for redemption from the whirlwind of lusts and passions. I always adore and appreciate the greatness of the holy Shabd – the God-into-Expression Power – that has blessed me with this rare union. So the Naam, or the audible life stream, is the central theme of the teachings of the Masters, through whose grace one finds everlasting peace and harmony. In fact, the living Master is Word personified, as it is through Him that the divine word is made manifest to us and helps us in attaining perfection in due course.