WHEN a person comes to a Master, he must come with an open-minded outlook. Since he knows that all his actions hitherto, individual as well as social,  have not so far secured him salvation, he should bid goodbye to them and ask the Master for his instructions in the matter of spiritual practices.
    Having obtained his instructions, he must then follow them scrupulously, and that alone should constitute his sole devotion. Whatever the Master ordains, that must be taken as Gospel truth, no matter whether it stands the test of mere human reason or not. Our intellect and our reason, after all, are limited and cannot reach the depths to which the Master penetrates. He knows the why and wherefore of his instructions, and like a fully responsible Field Marshal issues his commands.
    We must therefore learn to obey him implicitly like a  true soldier, and do what he bids. Hafiz, in this context, says:

        Dye thy prayer carpet in wine if thy Master so desires;
        For he is not ignorant of the turns of the highway ahead.

Mere lip loyalty to the Master never pays. The Master wants full devotion to what he says, for therein lies the ultimate good of the disciple. In the Gospel it is emphatically declared:

        If ye love me, keep my commandments.
                                                                         JOHN 14:15

       But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only,
         deceiving your own selves.
                                                                                                   JAMES 1:22

Again, mere chatter about spirituality will be of no avail.

        The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: ...
          but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
                                                                                                       MATTHEW 23:2-3

           For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
                                                                                          I CORINTHIANS 4:20

As the body without the soul is a dead carcass, so talking, if it be alone, is a dead carcass. St. Paul says:

        Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
          and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
                                                                                                                                     I CORINTHIANS 13:1

The same may be said of darshan or having a look at the Master. It may give you temporary peace and quietness of mind, but the moment you go away the mind begins to run riot again, and reigns supreme over body and soul.
    Thus, nothing but doing and performance count on the Path of the Masters. The Master's words sink deep into the heart; one can hardly think of not following him.

        If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask
          what ye will and it shall be done unto you.
        Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
          so shall ye be my disciples.
                                                                                                                  JOHN 15:7-8

        Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
                                                                                MATTHEW 7:20

        But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth
          the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit,
          and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
                                                                                                                             MATTHEW 13:23

The world is compared to a harvest (Matthew 13:30) and men at harvest regard nothing but the fruit.

        Accept the Master's words as Gospel truth, and harvest well
          the Fruit of Life.

The words of the Master cannot be detached from the Master. It is from the abundance of the heart that the tongue speaks. The Master is embedded in the Word and his words are expressions of what is in him; that is, Word, Life-impulse, and power. How then can the two be separated from each other? His words undoubtedly pierce through the hearts of the aspirants and none other can know the sweet pangs from which they suffer.

        As longing for the Lord grew keen, words of the Master
           pierced my heart; the mind alone knows the pangs;
           who else can know another's pangs?

The more one gives weight to the Master's words, the more he grows in grace. True devotion to the Master consists in acceptance of, and doing, what he commands. Guru Ram Das exhorts us that the thought of the Master should ever be a companion, no matter what we may be doing. The Master is hidden in his words, and his words are in fact the real Master.

        Holy is the Word of the Master, and through It one gets the
          Elixir of Life; for acceptance of his words gives one immortal life.
        Remember ever the Word of the Master, for herein lies
           real devotion and truth.
        Act in conformity to the Master's word; this constitutes
           contemplation aright.

The Word of the Master ever abides with the initiates. No power on earth can snatch it away. Fire cannot burn it nor can water sweep it off. It is indestructible and immortal. It fathers the fatherless and protects us at every step. It strikes at the root of all doubt and skepticism. Even the angel of death cannot come near it.

        Contact Ram Naam through the instructions of the Master;
        This nectar can be enjoyed in the company of Saints;

        Find thy native home with the help of the Master;
          Then there will be no more coming and going.

One cannot come into the treasure of Naam by the performance of deeds on the plane of the senses.
    All persons no doubt sing and hear the Gurbani, but only those benefit from that who really believe in the words of the Master as Gospel truth:

        Servants and disciples as they come to the Master
        Chant the holy verses from scriptures divine;
        Chanting and hearing is alone acceptable
        From all who with faith accept the words of the Master.

Persons who time and again meet the Master come to love him more and more; and those who regard his words as Truth become beloved of the Lord.
    Whatever the command of the Master may be, it must be followed with unswerving zeal; so that you will be able to take hold of the Shabd, which will lead you back to your native home.

        Whatever the Master says, that ye must do;
         Following the Sound Current, come ye to your own
           and win for yourself laurels with the help of Naam.
         He who acts at the Master's bidding, true comfort is his reward;
         By following his behests, O Nanak! one fearlessly crosses over.

It is absolutely necessary to serve the will of the Master, for in doing so lies the good of the disciple.
    Many people indeed meet the Satguru, but that is not enough. For salvation, one has to obey him in thought, word and deed.

        Everyone looks at the Master, yes, the entire world;
        But salvation cannot be had by seeing, without contact with Naam.

The Master must be an adept in Surat Shabd Yoga and be able to make Shabd manifest within us; that Shabd which does not exist within the nine portals, but is the characteristic of the tenth alone.
    When such a Master has been found, it behooves a disciple to wholeheartedly submit himself to his yoke and mold himself accordingly. In doing so, he derives the greatest benefit from his human birth and renders a yeoman's service to his ancestors as well as his descendants, and has nothing of which to be afraid.

        Blessed indeed is the birth of those who follow the will of the Master;
        For they save their families and bring much glory to their mother.
        He who molds himself in the way of the Master never gets any ill;
         In his way lies the Pool of Nectar and he easily gets to it.

A disciple who follows the will of the Master gets the Elixir of Life in his own right, and wins the Kingdom of God as, his birthright.

        O man! Follow thou the will of thy Master;
        Dwell in thy native home and enjoy life eternal.

Who understands the will of the Master and follows it scrupulously? One in whom the grace of the Lord works.

        In whom the Lord's grace works, he alone accepts
          and follows the Master's words.

There is no person greater than one who, accepting the words of the Master, realizes God. We must therefore aspire for the Word and try to secure a contact with it through the Sant Satguru.

        O mind! Always remember the Lord's words;
        He who through Word gains his native home
            is the crest jewel among men.

The blessings of Hari Naam are too numerous to be recounted. One who becomes dyed in the color of the Word always chants the glories of God. All his works automatically take the right shape at the right moment.
    What he wishes must happen, for Nature herself is at his beck and call. He is freed from all ills and all evils. He loses all thoughts of I-ness and my-ness and never becomes vainglorious.
    He rises above the pairs of opposites: riches and poverty, comforts and discomforts, pleasure and pain, fame and obscurity; for he remains in a state serene and with equipoise.
    The poison of mind and matter can have no effect on him. While in the world, he is no longer of the world, but is unattached and carefree; he moves about wherever he likes.
    The illusions and delusions of the world do not affect him. He escapes the sway of Kal (Time) for time has no bondage for him, nor has space any limitations nor causation any spell.
    He gains life everlasting and once again wins back the Kingdom of God, the Garden of Eden from which he was driven because of his first disobedience to God.
    He not only saves his own soul but through the power of the Word saves the souls of many others who come in contact with him; yes, the souls of his ancestors and descendants as well.
    Blessed indeed is a person who has the good fortune to come into the fold of a Sant Satguru and thus gains the summum bonum of life.