Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Sant Kirpal Singh, Biji Surinder Kaur
The science of the soul – (Part 2)
The whole text can be read here:
The Masters, as the true worshippers of life, adore only what is the highest life-principle at the back of all creation – visible and invisible. The Masters do not demand of us to leave our religions which, after all, are the various schools of thought and serve as a training ground for striving after the higher and true aspect of religion, but establish reunion of the soul with the oversoul. Verily, where the world philosophies end, there the religion in its vital aspect starts. We may not get startled at this statement. The various religious orders are like the badges which students wear as distinctive hallmarks indicative of the various institutions or the university to which they belong. Take, for instance, the case of India with a plenitude of perennial river-systems. Here it is considered necessary that one must engage in meditation after a complete bath. Again, take Arabia, a desert-land with an acute dearth of water. There the people worship with just a “wazu” – a simple washing of hands, feet, and face. And in places where no water is available, the people are content with “taummum”– cleaning the hands with desert sand. If you were to think deeply, the basic reason for all these forms of purification is that one should do meditation with an alert mind with no signs of laziness or slothfulness.
Similarly, take the case of congregational prayers in religious places. In temples, mosques, and gurdwaras, it is considered virtuous for devotees to enter the precincts with their heads covered and feet bare, while Christians generally go to their churches with heads bare and shoes on. This is all due to the climatic differences in the East and the West, the object in each case being to observe proper decorum and maintain reverence and sanctity of the house of God. The Masters, therefore, find no fault with the religious orders as such with their traditional social background. But they offer us a higher way up – a way into the Beyond – which is purely a practical subject, wholly uncovered by the so-called religious and social make-up designed solely with the purpose of preliminary training as may help in self-realization and God-realization.
There are two types of knowledge – one is exoteric (aparavidya), and the other is esoteric (paravidya). While the former consists in the studying of scriptures, going on pilgrimages, observing fasts and vigils, and performing austerities and the like, all of which, of course, are done on the plane of senses, the latter is a practical way up into spiritual regions. The Masters, on the other hand, always lay stress on rising above body-consciousness, undertaking the spiritual journey into the regions beyond the senses. One may continue to observe and perform religious practices throughout one’s lifetime. These would enable one to get into religiosity, but not into religion in its true aspect that comes by awakening the inner impulse for divine grace bubbling over with life.
A close study of man reveals that he is just a bundle of habits and leads a life of routine make-belief. He has no time to ponder seriously over the problem of problems of his existence and of the soul-entity in him. All his life he runs after shadowy things of no consequence and seeks to find happiness in material things. Just as a musk-deer, not knowing that the perfume is emanating from within him, he runs wild in the ever shadowy mirage until he is completely exhausted. Whatever pleasures man derives are purely sense pleasures and not happiness that comes from serenity within. Even the so-called pleasures are the result of our own concentrated rays of attention falling upon the sense-objects which per se are just like a lean bone with no meat on it.
We are living in a world of constantly changing panorama. Whatever we see, we get attached to it and lend it a momentary charm. We feel the pinch of detachment and disappointment the moment either the scene changes or we are forced to quit the pleasures that we must, sooner or later. The Masters, therefore, lay stress on something of unique and permanent interest in the midst of change. They do not ask of us to leave the world and degenerate into a helpless recluse, but offer us a simple yet practical way to attain the real and eternal happiness right here and now. Mind as we know, like parasitic creatures, has no roots of its own. It derives its sustenance from the soul, and yet keeps its tentacles firmly fixed on our attention, the outward expression of the soul currents within. It is only in the serene moments of complete relaxation that one experiences the harmony of the higher order and unrivalled character when the mind turns back upon itself instead of staying out.
So, I was discussing the spiritual aspect of human life – the most important and mostly ignored. We assemble here from time to time for discussing the science of soul. Usually some composition of a Master-saint is taken as the basis for understanding the higher truths of life, which they have left behind for our guidance. Today we take up a hymn from Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru.
The rich waters of life, to partake which you have come into the world, is Amrit; and this may be taken from the living Master.
…to be continued.