Satsang is purely meant to discuss and explain the subject of contacting the Naam Power - it is not a place where the social and political matters are taken up. It is a place of righteousness, and we should regard and respect it as such. When we visit any religious temple, do we not enter with respectful humility? Where our attitude is not so, we surely expect to gain little from our attendance there. To talk of worldly affairs in sacred places is considered to be a sacrilege.
So your purpose in coming to Satsang is to imbibe the love of God, to sit in His sweet remembrance, to unite with Him. All things past and future, all irrelevant matters can be dealt with in your own place of residence. Come, but come with the very best of intentions. Bring the remembrance of the Lord with you, and take it with you when you leave. Do not listen to others' conversation, and do not talk to anyone unless it be about the Truth. You will thereby gain full benefit from Satsang - otherwise the years will pass by without any real advancement.
Soami Ji Maharaj tells us, "Many days of attendance at Satsang have passed; Now give up your old habits." So much time has been spent at Satsang without gaining the benefit. Only by having full attention focused will you receive. If the words enter through one ear and leave from the other, nothing will be retained. Furthermore, if you live up to what you hear, that will be a great achievement; otherwise, your purpose in joining the Satsang will have failed. Soami Ji says, "O Man, let anybody attend the Satsang in the accurate way from today." How to attend Satsang? When you leave home for Satsang, forget all worldly matters and go in sweet remembrance of the Master, and so long as you attend the Satsang, you should not think of anything else except the Master and God. "If your body is in the Master's company, but your mind is elsewhere," Kabir says, "how can you color an unbleached cloth?"
Even though you may not understand all that is said, yet if you sit with full attention you will profit by it. If your thoughts are somewhere else, not only will you lose, but other people will also be affected by the impure atmosphere you are creating, for thoughts are living and possess great power. Regard the Satsang as a place of purity; do not talk or think of anything but God, and whosoever attends will be blessed by the uplifting atmosphere. We do not go to Satsang to meet our friends or to socialize.
"The Master unites us in a true relationship, which can never be broken." This relationship is with God Himself, who is manifested in the human form. It is such a relationship that can never be sundered, even after death, not to speak of during life. But we, with our poor understanding, assert ourselves with pride, ego, and low habits, desiring to be recognized. Consequently, we succeed only in heaping more misery upon our heads. What is the use of attending Satsang for so long if you are not going to change the old, unwanted habits? Dry land can become green again by giving it water, but of what use is land that is watered yet remains dead? Your attendance has become a mere routine - you cannot get salvation by rote - you will not get it, you will not get it.
Try to understand what the spiritual path means, and then live up to it; and the more it seeps into your heart, the happier you will be. "Let the words of the Guru abide in your heart, and you abide in Him." This is the only way, the only hope. If you do not obey him, what can be done? For so many years I have pleaded with you. That which you receive here, you will not find anywhere else - but with all that you receive, yet you continue in your old ways of enmity, avarice, jealousy, etc. - you do not keep your spiritual diaries - whose fault is it that you are not progressing? Stop being childish and grow up. Those who do not wish to listen and obey should not enter upon this venture of the spiritual path. I am not saying any new thing. We are not all Saints - we have come here to become that, and you will become that if you fully understand and then live up to the teachings.
Everyone makes mistakes. I remember, I went on leave from my office once, and on returning found that two clerks had been dismissed. When I took their case to the Controller for appeal, he began to question the merit of it; but I asked him, "Is there any person without faults? You will not find anyone who has not done something wrong; and the punishment for mistakes should not be dismissal, for not only the man will suffer, but his wife and children also. He should be taught what is correct." They were reinstated in service. If these teachings are no new thing, then try to fully understand them now, and take them into your lives. If we could learn to obey and keep the diary, we would become gods and goddesses. Do not discuss or wrangle intellectually over the subject, but think carefully - have you not come here to keep the company of the Truth? Then why keep the company of the others? This disease has ever been in evidence and will continue, but the Masters come to prescribe the cure by making us realize the Truth. In Soami Ji's Shabd, He laments over the situation:
O Man, it is the time now to discard your old, disreputable habits and adopt new ones. Habits are formed by repeatedly doing the same things; so we should first unravel all the bad actions: lies, hypocrisy, cheating, criticism of others, enmity, avarice, malice, backbiting, and various others. If you do not intend to change these ways, what is the use of attending Satsang? "Your steps are forward, but your mind is retrogressing." Satsang is the means of making us into something beautiful, but not by merely repeating God's Name. Change your habits now into good ones, for habit turns into nature with time. Cast away all negative thoughts, and instill positive ones in their place. If a person does wrong, forgive him; and he in turn should forgive your misdeeds.
In the Koran Sharif it is written, "Even God has no thought for him who has no inclination to change." How can we expect other people to show excellent examples? If we ourselves would change, the whole world would change with us. It is a message for all. One of the worst habits is that of criticizing others. All virtues exercised in righteous living are good, but that of "ahimsa - parmo - dharam" (non-violence of thought) is the highest. It can become a daily habit, for it lies inherent within us all; and although other thoughts are there, yet consciously or unconsciously, it is working and will rise to the surface one day. That is why you are told frequently in Satsang that the past is past, forgive and forget, and do not make a foundation of bad thoughts or there will undoubtedly be reactions. You will be the loser, for again you will revolve on the cycle of births and deaths. So with love the Masters encourage Their children to change their habits while there is still time. With great compassion for humanity, Soami Ji is telling us:
Hiding the true facts, you think, "What does the Guru know? What we want to do is correct." You get hold of an idea and place it above all else, considering everyone else to be wrong - even if your Guru tells you something different. How long will you keep this up? Make no mistake, he watches our every action, for the Guru-power is residing within our very being. But we foolishly think that he is not present to see us; so we can do anything and he will not know. He entreats us to try and realize what a Guru is. The Guru is not the physical form - He is not the human pole, but is the all-omnipotent power of God which has manifested therein. It is accepted that God is everywhere and sees everything. Give full attention to learn what the Guru is, and then come to know it. He has love for everyone - for his own, for all others; even for those who are against him. His wish is to do good to all, and even though a knife were put to his neck, he would nut think ill of the wrongdoers. He is different and expresses this wealth of love and forgiveness because of the Guru-power in Him. So he says we should stop all this deceit - if one thinks of one's Guru as a Guru, then obey Him. After all, he does not give bad advice.
Sometimes it is possible that two idiots can be bound together in love, breaking the chains of the creeds that are binding them; whereas intellectual people would snap the silken threads of love - without hesitation. "Guru- mukh loses, and lets the world win." He who loses out of love and humility, in actual fact wins the day, for he has saved what he has stored; otherwise, in the fire of anger his precious store would have been consumed to ashes. If there is no ire in a person, not even a wisp of smoke will be seen. Try to recognize your Guru, for Satsang is concerned with the Guru, not with a mere human being. When you go to Satsang, go in His remembrance for He is God in human form; be present there in His remembrance, and when you take leave, take that remembrance with you.
We should exploit those qualities which will assist us to join back to God, and discard all traits which are liable to lead you away from Him. It is not difficult to realize the Lord, but it is most difficult to become a man - a true human being. One hundred times and more we bow our heads and say "yes, yes, I will do it" but in action we do just as we please. This indicates that as yet we do not truly understand the spiritual path. If you have not as yet changed your old habits, then do so at once. Make a start now. To have bad thoughts for others, to take sides in enmity, like a lawyer criticizing the lives of your fellow-beings - would you not expect the fire to flare up within you? The Guru sees all events with a different eye, for every man sees from his own level. If you have accepted someone as being superior to you, then obey him.
A teacher who has not reached the higher level can easily be the cause of further downfall. Those from the higher levels always strive to reunite all humanity. You came to the Satsang to realize the Truth, to be free from your miseries. To fulfill all this, whatever you learn should be adopted and reflected in your homes and daily living, that peace and happiness may blossom forth in you and in those who surround you. The Satsang is a place of special purity, and even your thoughts should be pure as long as you are here. No other thought save that of the Lord, should enter your head; and whatever advice you hear, live up to it. If you obey, without exception, you will change for the better; if not, you will suffer the consequences.
Guru is not just a man, and whoever looks upon him from that angle of vision is gravely mistaken. Kabir Sahib says, "He who considers the Guru a mere man will retrogress in the lower species, birth after birth." The God in him is the Guru, though we respect his physical form because He is manifesting therein. Whatever he tells us, whether it appears to be correct or not, should be of the utmost importance and interest to us; otherwise, and with emphasis, I repeat that life will become complicated and nothing but misery will result. You can say that it is actually preparing the way for unhappiness. We attend Satsang to increase our joy, for those around us too, and when the soul is reunited with God it will reflect all His qualities. God in the Guru is all compassion, and without disclosing our sins, He washes us clean - free from undesirable impurities. When the child becomes dirty with filth, the mother does not throw him away but washes him with loving attention and draws him close to her breast. The soul of man is very dear and precious; so we may loathe the sin but rather love the sinner. If all men refrained from wrongdoing, there would be peace and happiness everywhere. If your aim is to become Masters, you will succeed only when you first understand what you hear and then become that.
The question, who is a Guru? is not a new one - it has ever been asked through the ages. When it was put to Guru Nanak, He said, "Shabd is the Guru, and the surat is the disciple." The ever-existent God or His expression, the Shabd, is the Guru and the attention is the disciple. When Kabir Sahib was asked the same question, He said, "My Guru is above the gaggan (heaven), and the disciple is in the body." When our attention gets connected with Him, our coming and going is finished. "The greatest Being ever born: He, you should know, is my Guru." He is the Light itself, at whichever pole He is manifested, and only He can give the Light to others. By this the seeker can recognize the criterion in the True Guru. Christ said, "I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life." At whichever pole this wealth is found, you can be sure there is something else there too, worthy of your obedience.
He has not come for any particular person but loves everyone, and will wash anyone clean, regardless of their condition. Those who are wise enough to obey him will find their progress flourishing. "Satguru's Words - Words are the Satguru." The words he utters are he himself and those who bow down to his words will truly get salvation; but those who bow in hypocrisy and then do whatever they choose with the thought that the Guru does not know, make their lives miserable. That which is hidden in us is apparent in the Guru; and wherever you find it blossoming forth in fullness, there you will get the experience. Anyone can talk on any subject, for and against, with a little training; but when a person receives something, there is no question of doubt. The Power in the Guru - the very Life of the Sat Purush - is forever and will never die. When It worked through the pole named Jesus, they called It the Christ Power, and it works at various human poles according to the age. Whoever is fortunate to be connected to this Power will find that it never leaves them.
Making the mind understand is difficult for it tries to convince us that we are wrong in our search; but we must assure it that having got the connection from where God is manifested, there is no need for doubts. Lectures, stories, bookish knowledge, acting and posing, all can be found in profusion - but who can give the Light? If someone can reveal the Light in the seeker, it is proof that he has got It. Having received from him, then obey him. If the mind dislikes obedience, then we must make it agreeable. When you frequently witness others receiving the Light, is this not proof enough? There would perhaps be cause for hesitation if you were told to fight or kill each other, but the Guru himself thinks good of even those who work against him. By acquiring such noble virtues, we also will become Masters.
Iqbal says that when Hazrat Mussa (Moses) climbed the mountain to talk to God and to realize Him, did he not know that God himself was in search of a man who desired only Him? Baba Jaimal Singh Ji left Punjab and went to search for Hazur in the Murree Hills - was there not any man in the whole of Punjab that was suitable? What I am stressing here is that you have to obey his commands. If you do not persuade your mind to accept the facts, thoughts will come that "am I less than he? I am as big as he is!" and many other illusory ideas, by means of which duality will increase.
He creates love, for he is all love. He teaches how to love - the rays of love issue forth from him wherever he goes. His words are uttered to increase the love within us; so obey him and change the old habits which have encrusted for life upon life. If you do not, then you will continue on the wheel of birth and death. If through obedience to the Master a love for God is created in us and we see Him in all beings, then where is the necessity to return to this earth? When his words are forgotten, the squabbling among ourselves increases. If you hurt someone or bring unhappiness into their life, their natural reaction will be to return the same treatment. Karmic reactions are a very powerful law, and you will be ruled by that law.
With so much love, Soami Ji makes us realize that our character must change. Masters are the very reflection of love, for the Positive Power works through love only. It can be observed that Saints work only with love, but Avatars also give punishment. The latter comes when righteousness is at an ebb, to punish the wicked and reward the innocent, and to keep the world conditions in proper balance. The Saints tell us to err no more. "They at once give connection with God, to whoever approaches them." Though the Lord is already within us, yet they make it possible for Him to appear, that we may see Him.
It naturally follows that man's teacher must be a man. If a monkey screeches, hundreds of monkeys will gather around him in answer to his call. Even if a bird twitters, others will collect. So, the Guru comes in the human form to teach man the correct understanding of Truth. Excuse me, but the past Masters cannot come here and give this knowledge. Some intimation may be grasped from the scriptures, but those who have left the scene cannot give guidance as to their correct import. Even if a voice came from the skies to direct us, mankind would merely remark, "What has it to do with us?" On the other hand, if a man's Guru is a renouncer of worldly things, the disciple has doubt that his Master can understand his mundane troubles, for he feels that only one who has himself experienced the worldly ups and downs can really appreciate his condition. A true Master has achieved success in both the worldly and spiritual fields of life, and is thereby a living proof of what can be accomplished.
One's principles in life are highly important and one should never fall below one's supreme principle - and that is? The highest principle is Truth itself, and if you have love for Truth, then you must have love for all life. Soothe and erase away the mistakes of others with your love. Bloodstains cannot be washed with blood, but anything can be cleansed with the Water of Love.
Develop into one who can serve the Master. What kind of service? True service means to obey His instructions implicitly; to live as He advocates in a clean, chaste, simple, and loving manner; to develop the Truth in yourself; to purify your thought. God dwells in every being; so love all life. Is this not what he teaches? You have got the human form through great good fortune; so make the best use of it and take advantage of every aid to reunite you with the Lord. Everyone makes mistakes, for all are not Saints as yet, but they should not be repeated. The same God-power worked through Kabir, Guru Nanak, and others at different times; just as a fused bulb is replaced by another. The teachings, however, remain the same.
You will remember that when they brought before Jesus the woman who had been found committing adultery, they asked Him whether she should be stoned, according to the law of Moses; but Jesus told them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Can you put your hand on your heart and honestly say that you have never hurt anyone? Hazrat Mohammed Sahib says, "If you can control the two organs - one between the lips, and the other between the thighs - then I will stand before God in your support." Jesus told the woman to "go, and sin no more." With love he forgave her and helped her to understand - after all, it was his work to make her into something.
Guru Power never dies; It is everlasting and continues forever. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." These are the words of Christ, and not of Jesus, for they were uttered by the Christ-power or Guru- power in him. "The whole world is a house in which the Truth is residing." Those who attend Satsang, in particular those who have got a true Master, should set an example in their love for one another, and their forgiving attitude. Christ also said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Otherwise, where is the proof that you are on the spiritual path? The teachings are not bad, the Satsang is not bad, he who teaches is not bad - if anything is bad it is the mind; so make your mind understand correctly and everything will be set right. It is the only cure if you want advancement. If we have helped even one person by removing a little misery from his day, we have done a great service. With sweet words, with kind sympathy, share the unhappy burden resting upon our poor fellow-beings, or it spreads and grows as the days go by. From a man it travels to his family, his friends, and so on.
What is our work in this world? To meet God - and for that we must first have the right understanding. "Our true friend is he who removes wrong understanding." We have not come here to be property owners, socialites, or to have lofty ideas about ourselves, or to breed animosity among each other - we have come to imbibe the correct understanding about life. But sadly, we daily sow more seeds, and only we will reap the harvest thereof. And each type of seed will bear its own fruit. If you have sown enmity, then try to smooth it out - do your best to wash it away with love, that it may not grow with time and take deep roots. "You came to the world to receive, and you got God's Name in the Master's home; Now give up your pride and control your mind." We say that we are very important people, we are very intellectual, we give excellent lectures, we have great influence over others, etc., etc; but we should leave all this and take up the practice of Truth alone. Then only will the true happiness and joy well up from within us. We have come here to realize God, and only God can help us do so - who else is capable? "Do your work and do not entangle yourself in other's affairs." Think deeply, and if you find anything undesirable in you, weed it out, and with love help others to overcome their shortcomings also.
King Dharitrashtra, famous ruler from the Mahabharata epic, on a certain occasion insulted the powerful bow of Arjuna, and Arjuna immediately made to kill the king; but Lord Krishna stepped forward and demanded, "Arjuna, what are you doing?" Arjuna replied, "I have taken a solemn vow to kill anyone who insults my bow - it is my dharma (principle)." Krishna then asked, "What is the outcome of dharma - happiness or unhappiness?" Arjuna said, "Of course, it is happiness." Lord Krishna smiled and explained, "Just think what will be the outcome of this action? Where is your dharma in this?" Masters have spoken thus all through the ages. Christ advised, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." A butcher may think that to kill is good, but what is the outcome of his action? Can it be happiness? So, when we act, we must weigh the outcome. While we cling to our old habits we will never succeed - without exception. True happiness will be ours when we join back to God through the radiant company of the Master and through obedience to His words. He Himself has taken this practical path, which is the shortest route to salvation.
If you lose this golden opportunity, you have no idea when you will be given another. Give up pride, cunning, and other worldly habits, and cease wandering in vain from one attraction to another. You will never get another like the Guru you have got. Whoever you meet will attempt to separate you from the Lord rather than rejoin you back to Him. "Know a Satguru as One Who comes to reunite." He wishes to bring all children of God together and sit among them. Such personages are rare; and if you have found one, then obey him - do whatever he says. If you refuse to obey, how will you hope to progress? The Master has no selfish motives; He is merely following the orders from above. This has nothing to do with any team or intrigue, nor is it a matter of creating policies. As everything is straightforward and above board, the question of policy does not arise; there is nothing underhanded or hidden; there are no ulterior motives behind the teachings. It is a very simple fact that only he whose soul has rejoined the Lord enjoys complete happiness. Human beings do have many weaknesses - you will find animosity and unrest amid peoples all over the world, and this is because each man is obeying his mind. If they were to obey someone who is above habits and failings, what an abundance of joy would there be throughout the nations.
If, having got the double blessing of the human form and the Satguru, you throw away the chance by disobeying him, what will happen? Those who live on another's earnings go under the law of give and take or illusion; if you offend or harm anyone, you reap the reaction of that and under the same law, you will be born there where the offended person is born, that the account may be accurately balanced. "Wherever your attention is, there will you reside." Who knows when you will again get the human form? Fire consumes even green wood as well as the dry, and everyone must go sometime. If you spend your days losing everything but saving invaluable treasure given to you, then your work here will be successful. True Masters do their work quietly, without a fuss and show. They lead a quiet life - not like the bulls in the ring, tossing their horns about. "Your earthly sojourn's purpose was distinguished; That was Amrit (Water of Life), given by the Guru."
Jad Bharat was a king after whose name India was called Bharat. He was in search of God, and so he left his kingdom and went to live in the jungles, in order to realize Him. However, there he grew very fond of a certain deer which became tame and friendly - so what happened? After death, he was again reborn, but into the form of a deer. You should remember that what I'm saying is for your own benefit. A Guru wishes to see the whole world have joy in life, and when he sees faults and mistakes, he tries to wash them away and ensure they are not repeated.
It is easily understood why Gurudom has such a poor reputation nowadays, for the gurus are mostly political at heart, with self centered motives for holding power over people and making money, etc. Instead of sincere sympathy for the plight of mankind, lies and cheating are used to gain the confidence of the followers. And sadly, people are more easily pleased and satisfied with suchlike performance than with what a genuine Master has to offer. Truth is truth - a lie is a lie. Black cannot be white, no matter how much it is washed.The true Master is met through great destiny behind the disciple. "Without great good fortune, you cannot meet a Satguru." If you have been fortunate to meet a Satguru, just obey Him and you will succeed. What is worth more than having our soul reaching the Lord's lap, never to be separated from Him? Now that so many years have passed, give up your old habits at last.
Are you proud because you can sing better than others, or because you can thrash out the written words? Or perhaps you are the best lecturer around? What real achievement is this - singing and reading and being proud because you know more than other people? It is written that King Ravan was a learned yogi who was familiar with the four Vedas and the six Shastras. Today, in what manner do we remember him? In effigy, we give him a donkey's head. Why? Because he lost whatever knowledge and progress he had gained. So, to be academically proficient is no spiritual accomplishment. "To be clever, to read, to write - that is an easy thing." It is not difficult to be clever or cunning, to bring together the earth and sky with eloquent words. "To control desire, to leave the body, to control the mind - these are difficult." Keep the Truth before you. "You go on praising your Guru, but will not allow Him to reside in your heart." He will have salvation who will bow down to his Guru's commands: "The whole world sees the Satguru but salvation does not come with just a glimpse; Without love for His words, you will not get it." These words are always uttered with no distinction of individuals - they apply to rich or poor, high or low, for Saints speak freely, even about themselves if necessary. Pride and ego do not let us progress - when we make mistakes we will not admit them. In our hearts we have the thought, "There is none greater than me." Self respect and praise are both food for the mind. Caught up in this failing, we at times push the Guru aside, saying, "What does the Guru know?" A mother always considers her child's betterment, and so the Guru has concern for the progress of his disciples. Is it likely that the mother will cast out the child if he misbehaves toward her? The fact is that we do not even try to recognize what the Guru is. Give up the ego, or it will be your downfall.
We may have been given human birth many times, but pride and ego killed us again and again, ruining all our good work and causing us to return to the same scene, time and again. In the past it was our ruination, and it is winning the present also. Do not obey your mind - obey the words of the Guru, which will bring you great joy; whereas obedience to the mind will give you unending distress - the mind ever gave birth to trouble. Wash anger away with love, just as your Guru does. He never leaves his duty, though mankind may make good or bad remarks about him. He does not live on the earnings of others - does not accept anything for himself - has no desires. If anyone brings money to the Satsang, it is used for the Satsang. Up to today I live on my pension and have managed to live within its means. If the advice is good, you should appreciate it and be grateful - if through the advice your distress is increased, it's a different matter.
Your carelessness will result in the loss of everything most valuable if you do not change your habits. In the heart there is one thing, on the tongue is another, and our actions denote something different again. Leave such deceit as soon as possible - leave all cunning ways and develop sincere humility. If you do this, the Guru himself will embrace you. An attitude of devotion will take its own place within your being. You are greatly mistaken if you think you can gain his pleasure by merely saying you love and serve him, when your heart denies it.
If you refuse to understand, then nothing can be done. You will just have to continue paying up for your mistakes. Even the Saints are defeated at this point and say, "If you will not listen, what can we do?"
The hand of the Negative Power on your head will not allow the mind to obey you. He will go on increasing the duality to make it more and more difficult and confusing. The Negative will not help you to overcome this duality - only the Positive can do that. It is a marked difference between the Powers.
In the end, what can one do if no one wishes to listen and obey? Honor is a noble virtue - what kind of man is this, that has no virtue in him?
With the cooperation of the mind, go on persevering. If we see the Guru through a dark curtain, it does not mean that the Guru has turned black! Slowly, slowly, slowly - do not leave the Guru, but go on trying to understand, then definitely there will be hope of the curtain being drawn aside forever. To be constant and then unfaithful, sometimes this and sometimes that - this does not remedy anything. A rolling stone gathers no moss. That which has to be developed is the "inner man." If the Guru is true, and I have told you how to discover this, then stick to him, listen to his words, and do your best to understand. You will make the grade if you ignore your mind. The mind may stand in between, but the soul knows what Guru is and what God is.
God manifested on a human pole was termed as Radha Soami by Soami Shiv Dayal Singh Ji (who is usually called Soami Ji). It is surprising that mankind does not accept the true facts of life, when God Himself is explaining them through the Godman.
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