IN His presence, the mind grows docile and feels anchored.

        How can we get the company of such a One by looking at whom
          the ever-restless mind gets lost, and Life Impulses swarm upon
          the soul? The Beloved Master makes a True Friend,
          and bestows God Intoxication.

He sheds around him rays of purity, saturated with dignified humility, which exert a powerful influence upon the jivas. His words are charged with Spirituality and drag the soul into the beyond and administer a kind of living intoxicating exhilaration.

        If he were to disclose his secrets, my very soul would swiftly soar Godward.
                                                                                                                                  MAULANA RUMI

 2. A steady gaze at his forehead and eyes reveals a peculiar Light which gives a pull to the soul and momentarily gathers up the all-pervading sensory currents, and one feels his being in higher Consciousness.

3. He is a Prince of Peace, and is above the pairs of opposites. His association releases in us currents of bliss and benediction. He dispels all thoughts of antagonism and rivalry, and gives instead, equipoise to the soul, leading gradually to the Godhead.

        In whose company one feels blessed, is the Master of Truth.
      He purifies the mind and grants salvation to the soul.

4. He is completely filled with the power of ojas (the fruit of chastity), and his forehead shines with Godly Light. One is irresistibly drawn by the magnetism of his charged words. From his eyes a peculiar Light shines forth, which like an osprey paralyzes the mind. He works like a leaven and quickens life in the desert of the mind.

5. With his lynx eyes, his gaze can penetrate deep into the feelings and emotions of a person; and he adjusts his instructions according to times and individual needs. The physical raiment of a jiva or soul is for him just like a transparent glass jar; though he can easily detect what is therein, he never exposes it to public view, and keeps his experience of each to himself. Whoever goes to him, whether a beetle or a wasp, gets sweet fragrance as from a flower. In the House of the Master, everything is in abundance, and each gets what he wishes for. Every person who contacts a Master Soul receives spiritual impressions which, in course of time, are bound to fructify. From the very moment an individual meets a Master, better times are assured to him.

6. A Sant Satguru is verily the Son of God. He has genuine love alike for persons of all religions,  nationalities and countries. He sees the Light of God in all. His appeal is therefore universal to all mankind.

        All are born of the same Light, and as such there is no difference
          between man and man.
        O Nanak! people of all denominations flock into the fold of the Satguru.
        Satguru is all-merciful and all-knowing. He treats all alike,
          and does the work of all who have faith in him.

He neither destroys the old church nor sets up another church of his own. He is a Master of Truth and does not care to what sect or creed a person may belong. All that matters is spiritual aspiration, for that alone befits a jiva for the Master's Path.

        When one revels in Shabd or Word, he forgets all about himself.
        For the intelligent there is but One Path, no matter be he a Pundit
          or a Sheikh.

He fearlessly talks of the Spiritual Path that lies within each one of us, in spite of our religious differences. One who is able to establish contact with such a Master is in fact a veritable pilgrim on the Path, and gets the greatest benefit from him.
    Maulana Rumi, therefore, says:

        Should ye be anxious for a pilgrimage, ye must take for a guide
          and companion any experienced pilgrim, no matter whether
          he be a Hindu, a Turk, or an Arab. Care not how he may look
          but see only that he is competent and knows the Path.

We have, after all, not to establish any worldly relationship with the Master. All that we need from him is spiritual instruction and guidance, and if he can give us that, it should be considered enough.

7. Master Saints are the manifestation of Godhead. As heavenly truths dawn on them silently and subtly, so do their instructions work quietly, and sink into the very depths of the jivas without any word of mouth.

        A Sheikh (Master), like God, is embedded in the formless Beyond,
          and he imparts his teachings without uttering a single syllable.

The instructions of the Master are in a language that is speechless and can neither be imparted by word of mouth nor by word recorded.

        Why do ye not understand my speech?
        Even because ye cannot hear my Word.
                                                                                                                                                    JOHN 8:43

Tongue of thought is his only instrument. It is a matter of inner experience for the spirit.
    Maulana Rumi says:

        Soul is of the same essence as that of God;
          it is God epitomized, and can express itself
          without any outer aid (like organs of speech).

In the teaching of the Masters, physical senses are not of much avail. Everything is done automatically, despite the senses.

         One sees without eyes, hears without ears, walks without feet,
           acts without hands, and talks without tongue;
           for this is just like Death-in-Life.
         O Nanak! it is then alone that one can know the Cosmic Will
           and meet the Beloved.

Maulana Rumi also says the same thing:

        I fly into those Regions without wings, travel there without feet;
          enjoy manna and elixir without lips and palate;
          and see the glories thereof by closing my eyes.

 8. The aspirants seldom have to question the Master to resolve their doubts, for the latter of his own accord explains things that are uppermost in the minds of the audience.

 9. Time and again the teachings of the Master center around one theme: Naam or Surat Shabd Yoga. In clear terms they tell us that one cannot find God nor reach Him by engaging in outer pursuits, for He is the Lord of our very soul and must therefore be sought within, by the process of inversion.
    Saint Matthew in his Gospel tells us:

        Verily, I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as
          little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
                                                                                                                                          MATTHEW 18:3

Again, in the Gospel of St. Luke, we have:

        Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God
          as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
                                                                                                                                                  LUKE 18:17

Great indeed is man, for his body is verily the Temple of God and the crest jewel of knowledge shines forth within.
    Once again, St. Luke tells us:

        The Kingdom of God cometh not by observation...
                  the Kingdom of God is within you.
                                                                                                                                         LUKE 17:20-21

A Muslim Divine speaks in similar strain:

        The human heart is the Masjid (Mosque)
          and the body is the place of worship.


        It does not befit a spirit (soul), the denizen of the
        God-made mosque (human body), to wander
        in search of the Beloved in man-made temples.
                                                                                                                                          TULSI SAHIB

Magrabi Sahib also tells us:

        Thy Beloved is within thee, and thou art ignorant of it.
          He is the very Soul of thy soul, and thou art wandering without
          in quest of Him.

Maulana Rumi in this context says:

        Within the folds of thy brain there are wonderful gardens
           and beauty spots. Should you like to enjoy them,
           hie to a Murshid (Master) for instruction.

        Those who search without for the inestimable Treasure are
          in stark ignorance. They wander in the bewildering mirage
          of the desert sands of the world, like a deer who runs about
          looking for musk in bushes.

The Pind (human body) is the exact replica of Brahmand (universe). The same spirit is working on both the microcosm and the macrocosm. We cannot see, feel, and be one with the Cosmic Spirit unless we establish harmony and come in touch with the spirit within us.
    Until the embodied spirit becomes disembodied and rarefied and rises above the sensual plane, it can hardly harmonize itself with Universal Spirit.
    Nevertheless, our quest for God or Universal Spirit is all the time on the physical plane. We try to discover God under the bowels of the earth, on the snow-capped mountains, in the waters of the sacred rivers, and on desert sands; in man-made temples and mosques, in churches and synagogues; hence we fail to find Him.
    If we know the inner Path in the body, we can hope to experience and feel the influence of the great power within. But this inversion or conversion is not possible without the aid of an adept in Para Vidya (Science of the Soul), for he alone holds the key to the Kingdom of God and his words act as an open sesame that fling open the secret door.

        Just peep within as instructed by the Master, and thou shalt find
          within thyself a veritable Temple of God.

10. The teachings of Master Souls are perfect, and their findings are as verifiable as in any other exact science.
    This experience and realization is, however, quite different from book learning and intellectualism, nor is it a figment of an obsessed brain, as some think.
    The Saints always talk with conviction and authority, for their utterances come from the depths of their souls. Their knowledge is neither derived from books nor based on hearsay testimony. They directly give us first-hand experiences of their own, in pure, unalloyed and        unadulterated form. Again, they never ask for blind faith and acceptance on authority. On the contrary, each aspirant is asked to personally verify the result for himself.
    Truth is that which must be experienced at once, and not after ages, no matter how slight that experience may be in the first instance. The Masters see things through to their very roots, and then talk.

        Nanak sees God right before him.

Sri Ramakrishna, being questioned by Naren (later known as Swami Vivekananda) about seeing God, replied, "Yes, my child! I have seen God as I see you."
    In fact all Master Souls have actual experience of the Godhead and they revel in His Light and Life and in a way become conscious co-workers with Him.
Shamas-i-Tabrez says:

        Better by far it is to see God with one's own eyes and to hear
          the Voice of God with one's own ears.
        His Glory is hidden behind the darkness at the back of the eyes
          and His Greatness may be apprehended within.

In St. John we read:

        When the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God
           ... they that hear shall live.
                                                                                                                                              JOHN 5:25

Such great souls never depend on scriptures or sacred lore, which after all are recorded experiences of souls like them. They are truth personified, Word made flesh and living among us. All the Vedas and Shastras originate from the fountainhead within them. They are much more than the scriptures, which constitute but an infinitesimal speck of their personalities. The teachings of the Masters are very liberal, and help the embodied souls in the task of liberation and salvation.

        I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me  shall never hunger;
          and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
                                                                                                                                              JOHN 6:35

In Melar-ki-war, Guru Nanak tells us how to know a Master Soul:

        He who can show us the Kingdom of God in this body is a Master Soul.
        He can attune our ears to the Voice of God.
        Even the grand divisions and minor divisions of the Universe are
          in Perpetual ecstasy, for they live by the music emanating from
          the Seat of God.
        The Master exhorts the jivas to listen to this music in the Sukhman,
          the artery between the two eyebrows;
        Then he established in Sunnya (the Region of Silence), with the result
          that all oscillations of the mind would cease.
        When the chalice of the mind thus turns into the correct Position,
          it will get filled with the Elixir of Life, making the mind steady
          and self-poised.
        The ceaseless music of eternity becomes a constant companion.
        All the aspirants attend to these five strains and in course of time
         become Gurumukh (the mouthpiece of the Guru), and attain the
         eternal abode of Truth.
        He who can with the aid of this music gain back the Garden of Eden
          (from which he has been exiled) is the beloved of God,
          and Nanak would wish to be his eternal slave.

He never keeps his followers in delusion about the inefficacy of outer pursuits. His cardinal tenets center around one thing: contact with, and devotion to, Shabd alone. The manifestation of ceaseless music within is a gift of a Master Soul.

        O Nanak! whoever contacts the perfect Master hears within himself
          the Divine Melody.

Satguru is ever engrossed in Naam, and like a master pilot safely ferries bona fide aspirants across and leads them back to the Kingdom of God lost within them.

        One dyed in the color of Naam is Satguru and, in Kal Yuga,
          he acts as Captain of a ship.
        He who confides and resides in him is carried across
          and finds Truth manifested in him.

11. A Master Soul at times does uncommon things, that may appear baneful to ordinary individuals. This he does to keep the worldly-minded away from him, as one would do in the case of flies, so that they will not obstruct the way of true aspirants.

        A darvesh (man of piety) needs no darwan (gateman);
        Yes, he does need one, to keep the dogs of the world away.

An evil tongue or slanderer does work as a darwan for darveshes, so that the worldly-wise are kept out of the way.
    In the biography of Bhai Bala it is on record that once Guru Nanak said:

        In Kal Yuga many Saints or manifestations of God will come down,
          for the good of suffering humanity.

Bhai Ajita questioned:

        Master, will you tell us how we would know a perfect Saint;
          what would be his expression and how shall we recognize him?

The Master replied:

        Whenever a Saint appears, some leaders of society, religious bigots
          and caste-ridden individuals, talk ill of him. Rare indeed are those
          who go to him. The rank and file slander both the Master and his
          disciples. The people in general engage in outer pursuits, like
          reading scriptures, offering public prayers in churches, temples
          and mosques, and recitation of mantras, etc. They will not practice
          Surat Shabd Yoga by tuning with the primal Sound Current. When
          such conditions predominate, I will  come time and again to revive
          the Path of the Masters and link people with Anhad Bani.

12. With the advent of a Saint, the refreshing showers of Spirituality flood the dry and parched hearts encrusted with the dust of ages. Everyone who comes to him, whether a devotee or a sinner, derives benefit in his own way and gets solace from him. Many a robber, murderer and highwayman has had a complete transformation in his company. Like a master washerman,        he cleans our souls through and through of all impurities, bodily, mental and causal; until they shine forth in primal glory and become luminous and living selves.
    We find in a Saint a living embodiment of selfless love and sacrifice. His appeal is universal and directed to the soul of man. The aspirants in thousands congregate around him and are benefited by his teachings.

13. A Saint is truly a Son of God and shares with Him all His  Powers. His long and strong arm embraces the universe, and his helping hands extend to all parts of the world. Distance has no limitations for him. His saving grace miraculously works wonders in strange and unpredictable ways, and people escape unscathed from many a tense and hopeless situation, even from the jaws of death.
    Master of earth and the heavens, he guides the spirits in their homeward journey through spiritual regions, and his Lustrous Form ever keeps company with the pilgrim soul as it transcends the body.
    Maulana Rumi says:

        The hand of a Master Soul is in no way shorter than that of God.
          It is in fact the Hand of  God Himself.
        Yes, it stretches across seven skies and inspires spirits
          with hope and confidence.

These are just a few of the innumerable signs that indicate a Saint.
    Maulana Rumi says in this context:

        An aulia (superman) has in him wonderful powers and possibilities,
          which a man of piety alone can see and experience.

The glory and greatness of a Godman becomes more and more manifest to a spirit as it crosses over bodily and mental limitations and proceeds onward in his company. The Lustrous Form of the Master is ever with him now wherever he may be, guiding his footsteps both within and without, answering all his questions, the sole arbiter of his destiny - his very Saviour. It is at this stage that a person gets firmly established in him and cries out, The Master is ever with me, for now he realizes the truth of the Master's sayings:

        Everyman, I will go with thee and be thy guide;
        In thy greatest need to be by thy side.

The world is full of people who profess to be Masters and teachers of mankind. But all those who hanker after pelf and power, name and fame, cannot possibly play the role and perform this arduous duty, and one must try to avoid such false prophets, who are no less than ravening wolves in the garb of lambs.
    It never pays to test and try a genuine Master. His very presence will of his own accord magnetize the mind.
    Maulana Rumi says:

        None can subdue and still the oscillation of mind except through
          the overpowering influence of a Pir (Godman). Take thou a firm hold
          of such a Person. If you are able to do this, it will be by his own grace
          and then his power will work in you.

He is an entity pure and desireless. Surrender your all at his feet; body, mind and attachments, and he will mold you to his fashion. How this can be done is the question.
    Kabir Sahib tells us of the way:

        Give thy body and mind to him who has no desire of his own;
        With no thought of the self, be established in him;
        After the mind, what then remains? Not even the body;
        Nothing is left to be surrendered, says Kabir.
        Having given the body and the mind, no burden remains to be carried;
        He who takes pride in this sacrifice will yet have punishment;
        For who can part with the seed-mind within?
        O Kabir! How can that mind be subdued and surrendered?
        Along with body and mind part thou with the seed-mind;
        O Kabir! Only after hearing the Master, one becomes fearless;
        Place the seed-mind at the altar of the Lotus Feet of the Master.
        O Kabir! Now one sees nothing but the Luminous Form of the Master!

Chapter Twenty-four  Contents