My dear friends
Continuing talk by Sant Kirpal Singh: “What is God, and how we can know Him”
Have a good time in reading and digesting
All good wishes
What is God, and how can we know Him? (last part 6)
Whenever Masters came, they never touched the outer forms, but simply said: Remain where you are. By changing your outer forms, rituals, this and that, you will not be able to have a first-hand experience of God. Those are only helping factors on the way, paving the road to spirituality. Make the best use of them.
Real religion starts where world philosophies end. All these outer forms of the social religions are limited only to the man’s material existence. The Kingdom of God, if you know yourself and know God, will open of itself when you rise above body-consciousness. There the alphabet of the teachings of the Masters begins. The true religion starts from there. That is transcendental. That is above the organs of sense. When you come above, you will rise above the senses. It requires practical self-analysis, to know yourself, and to know God.
This is the goal before us. The subjective side of all religions is the same. On the objective side, you will find some slight differences in non-essentials, but you will find their purpose is the same.
The question remains the same for all humanity – to know our Self and to know God. We have said so much about the outer things, the outer holy places of worship. God made man after His own image, and man made all these holy places of worship after the image of man. Churches are either nose-shaped or dome-shaped. And so are temples of other religions. In mosques, we find places of worship in the form of semi-circular arches whose shape resembles the human forehead.
The true temple of God is the man’s body and that you have. We just have to tap inside. When you transcend the body, there the ABC of true religion starts. That is the one destiny for all humanity. It has never been different.
The Masters, whenever they came, taught two things: ethical life of clean and chaste living with love for all men and all creation. Be chaste; don’t think evil of others even in thought, word or deed. Be truthful and love all humanity – hatred for none and selfless service for all. This is the first part which they take up for all mankind, irrespective of whether they belong to one religion or another.
No religion commends hatred for anybody. The question was put to Christ: “How should we behave with others?” He inquired: “What did Moses say to you?” He was told: “A tooth for a tooth and a nail for a nail.” He said: “That was only because of your hard-heartedness.” They asked: “What do you say, Rabbi?” Christ answered: “Moses also said, love thy neighbor as thyself.” They further asked him: “What about those who are our enemies?” And what did he say? He said: “Love thine enemies.”
Now, we all are embodied souls. The lover of God has love for all souls. The soul is a conscious entity of the same essence as of God. In fact, we form a true brotherhood. We are one with God, one ill God, and those who are lovers of God, naturally will have love for all humanity. Outward things will not matter. When you know yourself and know God, you come in contact with God, and then you will find Him immanent in every form, and naturally, you will have love for all. That is the permanent rock, I would say, on which humanity should stand, never to fall. The outer self sometimes gives way and we fall into the error that we preach against. There have been two great wars so far. Fought by whom? By those who were in name the followers of the same Savior and followed the same religion. Then, it comes to this, that they were not living up to what the scriptures of the Masters say. They simply say: “I profess this religion or that.”
If we but live up to what the scriptures say, irrespective of country or religion, we will get ready to see God. After all, man is man. All religions are comprised of men, and men are the same everywhere. This is just like being students in any school or college. Why do you study? For the sake of gaining knowledge. You may join this college or that, that makes no difference. When you get your degree, you are seldom asked from which college you got your degree. They call you a graduate.
Similarly, all the social religions were made to turn out perfect men believing in the oneness of God. The word university simply means having one purpose in view. And the purpose to have in view is to understand man: who he is, what he is, and what is his relation to God. But this goal has been lost sight of. The means have become the end, and outer knowledge, instead of leading us to inner knowledge, is being studied for its own sake.
The preaching done by paid men in all religions has made matters worse. Otherwise, the men of realization say: “The true temple, if any, is man’s body itself.” All the scriptures bear this out. All is holy where devotion kneels. Wherever you have devotion, sit down in sweet remembrance of the Lord and say your prayers.
My Master used to emphasize the need for a common ground where seekers of Truth, irrespective of their faiths, could gather together. There should be no social forms or rituals, there should be no temples or anything of the sort. Let them remain in their own social religions. The purpose of a man’s life and the ultimate goal of social religions is to know oneself and to know God. How to analyze yourself from the body, open your inner eye, and enter the Kingdom of God. Those subjects should be dealt with there.
In India, we have an Ashram in Delhi, and we have no temple there. People come to me and ask: “Well, what particular temple have you raised?” I always tell them: “Man’s body is the true temple of God. I have love for all temples of the social religions, but here I have none.” And for the other temple, the whole world is the temple of God, the earth below and the sky overhead. We have a grassy ground over there where we can accommodate 25 to 30 thousand people. Of course, we have a long shed to give us protection from rain or sun, if necessary. We have all the scriptures over there, for the reason that they speak of the same valuable experiences which the Masters had in their lives.
Men come there. They are seeking Truth. To follow certain outward observances is not the be-all or the end-all. They are only the means to an end. Make the best use of them.
But until you rise above body-consciousness and know yourself and know God, there is no liberation, no return to the True Home of the Father.
These are the elementary steps we take. That is all right. But take a step further from where you are. Rise above the body consciousness, open the inner eye and see the Light of God within and enter the Kingdom of God, reach your True Home, the home of your Father. This is the ultimate goal of all religions.
But there are wrong ways of preaching, I would tell you. Instead of uniting man to man, they are separating man from man; since the ministers themselves have no first-hand experience of that Reality, they must tell their people that man is man and God is God.
All men are equal for God, and the same God is worshipped by us all. Naturally, we have love for one another. But we find that social religion is like a golden watch, studded with gems and jewels, which does not give us any time whatsoever. We have our social religions. Each social religion has the work before it to turn out perfect men: Be ye perfect even as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect. But instead of turning out perfect men, they are simply strengthening their own folds. Naturally, when you say this fold is higher than the other, there is a clash between class and class, and we sec no true progress.
My point is, we have one God, the same God. Each religion does not have its own God. The same God is worshipped by all of us. Let us embrace each other and sit in amity, love, and accord, to sing praise of the Lord as one family. Since we are lovers of God, we have to love all Godmen, Masters who came in the past or who may come in the future. Our respect goes out to all of them. We have love for all the scriptures because they speak of the same God and record the experiences that the Masters had with themselves and with God. And we have love for all holy places of worship because they are meant for singing praises of the Lord.
So all mankind is one, and we are worshippers of the same God. We have different forms, outer forms, we belong to different religions outwardly, but our Beloved is the same. If we only keep that in view before us, we will be at peace, we will have peace on earth and goodwill among men. There will be no danger of war or anything of that sort.
Today’s subject was “God and Man.” I have put it before you briefly. Next we will see that ultimately we have to know God. But until we know ourselves, how can we know God?
It is the soul that has to have experience of God, because God is All Consciousness, and our souls are also conscious entities. It is the soul that has to experience God, and for that purpose, we will have to know the inner man, who we are, what we are. “Know thyself” has been the motto set forth by all sages. They never said, “Know others.” First, if you know yourself, only then will you be able to know the Overself.
That will be the next subject and along with it, we will compare the higher values of life – physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Next, we will take up the Kingdom of God: where it is, how we can reach that Kingdom, and how to open the inner eye to see. The sages say that God is Light. How can we see God, see the Light of God? That will be the subject of our third talk. After that, we will determine which is the most natural way for having that experience: what other Godmen said, how the scriptures speak of the Godmen, that will be the subject of our last talk.