WITHOUT A Guru we are in utter darkness. The Reality remains a mere miasma and a mirage. It is an unwritten law and unspoken language quite un-intelligible except when a Master Soul by his personal attention makes it significant. The glamor of the world is so great and overbearing that passing phantoms appear stable and substantial, the untrue puts on the mantle of Truth, and we cannot possibly tear aside the magic veil and escape from the false charm in which we are enveloped. It is the Master's Grace that can pull a spirit out of the physical sheath right above the plane of senses, enabling her to move unfettered to higher spiritual visions and attain her native Godhead.

        Without a Master, it is sheer darkness, and one sinks into bottomless depths.

    An embodied spirit cannot have bliss unless it obtains experience of itself through the grace of a living Master. He initiates her into esoteric knowledge, which has to be practiced in the laboratory of the human mind:

        Without a Master there is blinding darkness, and one simply cannot know.
        Without a Master, spirit does not become Spirit, and there can be
            no salvation for her.
         Verily, verily, I say unto you that you must have a Master.
         O Mind! ye must turn to some Master Soul.
         Accept as Master an adept in the Sound Principle and he shall wash
            thee clean of all impurities.
         The Master both by his attention and his instruction imparts the
            Knowledge of Truth.
         He who has never seen a Master Soul nor accepted one, simply wastes
            his life in this world.

    A jiva is always in stark darkness. If he closes his eyes,  there is darkness within. Again, he is enveloped in total ignorance. He who can dispel this darkness of jivas is called a Guru. The term Guru consists of two words: Gu meaning darkness and Ru meaning Light. Hence   Guru means one who can lead us from darkness to Light, from untruth to Truth, and from death to Immortality. The illustrious poet, Kalidas, speaks of the Guru:

        He converts darkness into Light and makes the invisible God visible.

As a jiva is clothed in ignorance, all his actions too are born of ignorance and thus keep him in bondage.
    The Saints declare that without a Master Soul to guide us, all charitable deeds and meritorious acts, like study of the scriptures, keeping of fasts and vigils, performance of pilgrimages, observance of social customs and rituals and scrupulous adherence to strict religious injunctions as of old, do not help in the liberation of a soul. Kabir Sahib, therefore, in very strong terms warns us against such acts:

        The telling of beads and acts of charity, without a Master Soul to guide,
         go in vain.

None of these bears any fruit. Bullah Shah tells us:

        O Bullah! Without a Master all thy devotion would be barren.

Unless the inner eye is opened and contact is established with the Power within, nothing can be of any avail. We have of necessity to seek a Master who is competent to wean us from all outer pursuits, pull the spirit out of the plane of the senses, and lead her step by step from one plane to another until she is led back to her pre-natal Home: Sach Khand or Muqam-i-Haq. He dispels all doubts born of darkness, and gives us Heaven's Light as a guide, unfailing and unfaltering.

        With the Guru, the darkness is dispelled; Guru is there
        wherever one may turn.

With no vision in our eyes, the light of hundreds of moons and thousands of suns can do us no good. Such a radiant effulgence would surely fail to end the darkness of the eyes. In exactly the same way, when there is no vision in the inner eye, we cannot see the wonderful brilliance of the soul, and we remain steeped in pitch darkness.

        Hundreds of moons and, thousands of suns together may rise;
        Even with such radiance, there is not a speck of Light.

Chapter Nine  Contents