ARRIVAL IN THE NEW WORLD
Mr. T. S. Khanna, the General Representative of Ruhani Satsang in the United States and Canada, paced the great lounge of New York International Airport during the early hours of the morning of September 1, 1963. Disciples from all over the United States and from Canada awaited the coming of the great Sat Guru, and his aircraft was long overdue. T. S. Khanna, initiated into the Science of the Soul by Baba Sawan Singh Ji in 1928, had proved an indefatigable and loyal worker in the cause of his Master and his Master's spiritual successor, Kirpal Singh. His life and his home were dedicated, without any reservation, to the promulgation of the Science of the Soul: Ruhani Satsang. For years Mr. Khanna had worked and planned for this great Tour to take place. After many months of untiring labor and organization, in collaboration with representatives and group leaders across the North American continent, Mr. T. S. Khanna had evolved a country-wide program, including cities in Canada and Panama.
At long last, at 3:30 a.m., the flight from Ireland arrived. The Master stepped from the aircraft and was immediately surrounded by a huge crowd of devotees and press men. Mr. Khanna stepped forward and, bowing low before the Master, presented him with a garland of flowers. For many people it was a physical reunion with their beloved Master after eight years of separation. As they waited in the reception lounge for the next flight to Washington, D.C., the first venue of Kirpal Singh's American tour, they crowded close to the Master as if afraid that he might leave them again. At 7 a.m. Kirpal Singh, now accompanied by nearly forty followers, boarded the aircraft for Washington, D.C.
The reception at the National Airport in Washington, D.C., is best described in the words of an eyewitness and disciple, Bruno Zaffina of Chicago, Illinois:
"The time of the Master's arrival was drawing near. He was to arrive at 8:37 a.m. At about 8 o'clock we gathered at the airport. People had come from different parts of the U.S.A. and Canada. As we gathered at the gate where he was to land, the crowd grew larger and larger. We began to introduce ourselves. There was a man who had come all the way from Panama. Another was from Malaya. The cities of Toronto and Hamilton in Canada were represented. It was as if our great spiritual family had gathered to meet their Father. I began to think of the greatness of this Master. I remembered that several weeks earlier I had met a man, who was an initiate of the Master, who had journeyed to Washington, D.C., all the way from Cali, Colombia. He spoke of how people in South America had seen visions of Kirpal Singh. And I, in my search for truth, had also met people in the U.S.A. who had also seen the radiant form of this Master when in meditation. And even before they knew that such a soul walked the face of this earth in human form. And now I was soon to gaze upon his face.
"Some initiates in Washington had prepared a red carpet for him to walk on when he got off the plane. There were also some Scottish bagpipers who were to play for him as he descended from the plane. It was almost time! As we waited for the plane the air was suddenly filled with the music of bagpipes. We turned and saw the Scots pipers marching down the hall towards us in their colorful uniforms, playing their unique music. Then the plane began to taxi up to our gate. The door was opened and we rushed to meet our beloved Sat Guru. Someone rolled out the red carpet and soon the Master was descending the stairs. Movies and photographs were being taken. The crowd surrounded the stairway. Then I gazed upon his countenance. His white turban and brown skin formed a picture in my mind that I will never forget. He stopped from time to time, as he descended the stairway, and extended his hands in a prayerlike position towards each one of us. I had read so often before how disciples had described their Master's face as being beautiful. Now I knew what they meant.
"He had now descended the steps. He noticed the red carpet at the bottom of the steps and shook his head. Later I heard that he had said that he was a simple man, and that we might use our money for a more noble cause. The red carpet was not for him, and he walked along beside it rather than on it. Now he was shaking hands with those who had come to the airport to greet him. As he came closer to me, his eyes met mine and I felt that he looked into the depths of my soul. They were the kindest eyes I have ever looked into. They twinkled with the nectar of love. He extended his hand and I quickly grasped it."
During his stay in Washington, the Master and his party were domiciled in the residence of Mr. T. S. Khanna, the focal-center of Ruhani Satsang activities in the United States. A police escort was provided by the District of Columbia authorities for the Master's convenient travel, and grateful thanks were extended to the Federal and State Governments, throughout the United States, on behalf of the Indian people, for the courtesy extended to His Holiness Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj whilst he was in the U.S.A. Kirpal Singh, although grateful for such helpful service, was not completely at ease with it. With customary humility he was heard to remark that it was unnecessary to take so much trouble for him; it made him feel like a prisoner. Such a statement, coming from one whose purpose it is to free souls from outer bondage, was not surprising. He himself was completely free from the snares and pitfalls of pomp and outer show, and knew by true comparison their worthlessness beside the happiness, joy and bliss of the truly liberated soul.
During a twenty-seven day stay in Washington, Kirpal Singh gave a total of eighteen public talks. Some were given at private residences, others at the Friends Meeting House; the Sylvan Theatre; the Theosophical Society; the Perpetual Building; the Washington Post Building; the House of Inspiration, (Vienna, Virginia); the Wesley Theological Seminary (American University); Levering Hall (Johns Hopkins University); Brookmont Baptist Church; the Unitarian Church; and the Y.M.C.A. Eight further talks, of a more informal nature, were given at the residence of Mr. T. S. Khanna. A press conference held at the National Press Club was attended by representatives of five leading newspapers.
In the United States, as in Europe, the Master expounded upon the Science of the Soul in his discourses. He set forth the method whereby one could transcend body-consciousness and enter the Beyond by way of the divine Music of Heaven: the Sound Current. First, one has to withdraw into the silence of the soul before one hears the five strains of heavenly Music. The sensory cur-rent of the human organism is to be withdrawn at the seat of the soul behind the eyebrows. The journey onwards begins at this stage. A competent Master shows one how to withdraw from the body and contact the Sound Current within. There are many ways to withdraw from the physical body, but the way of the Master-Saints is the most natural, the easiest and the quickest. It is achieved through simran or repetition of the basic names of God.
The focal-point at which simran should be performed is the center between the eyebrows, which is called variously the "Third Eye," Tisra Til, Shiv-Netra, or Mukta-i-Sweda. It is the door leading to the inner planes of consciousness. In the waking state it is the seat of the soul in the body and is located above the six physical ganglions. Yogis cross the six physical centers, stage by stage, until they have traversed the physical plane. This is a long and arduous way and fraught with many dangers. It is easier and better by far to start the journey from the seat of the soul at the back of the two eyes. The easiest way to withdraw the spirit from the body is by means of some mental simran as may be given by a competent Master.
While in Washington, Kirpal Singh made five radio broadcasts, which included a recording made for the "Voice of America" in English and Hindi for retransmission to India. He also gave a broadcast on the nationwide C.B.S. network and gave complete coverage of his spiritual mission in the world. He made two appearances on television, and his message of love and hope reached an even wider audience.
It was often noticed in North America, as it had also been seen in Europe, that the Master's great love often brought old enmities to an end, created new friendships, and even brought husbands and wives together when separation or divorce appeared irrevocable. The Master saw that in this unsettled age many men and women have denounced the sacrament of marriage and marital harmony as something old-fashioned and transitory. Many people have placed an accent of so-called "free-expression" in these relationships, thinking that they are being modern and progressive. These ideas are snares on the lower rung of the negative powers, perverted facets of the ideal of freedom, which are now coming to the forefront in human transactions. The beneficent darshan of a great Soul is enough to dispel such negative influences and bring love and harmony into human hearts.
His Excellency, Mr. B. K. Nehru, Ambassador of India, had a long discussion on the World Fellowship of Religions and the Science of the Soul with Kirpal Singh. Mr. Nehru stated that the Master's mission was a tremendous step towards world peace and brotherhood, and could well prove the answer to the present unrest and conflicts in the world. The Master visited the Indian Embassy and spoke to officials and their wives on the theme of self-realization and God-realization. He visited the Naval Academy at Annapolis and also called on the German, Afghanistan and Argentinian Ambassadors, all of whom showed great interest in the Master's teachings and the mission of the World Fellowship of Religions. He was also welcomed to the Headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventists in Washington by Mr. and Mrs. Roy Anderson, and discussed the W.F.R. with Adventist members and friends.
Mrs. Jean Dixon, a well-known personality in political circles, and Reverend Edward Carpenter, Christian Advent leader from Chillum, Maryland, were amongst many eminent people who came to discuss spirituality and the W.F.R. with Kirpal Singh. Before the Master left Washington for Philadelphia, he was invited to the Capitol and introduced to a large number of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Senator Kennedy, in a long talk with Kirpal Singh, welcomed the aims and ideals of the World Fellowship of Religions. He was greatly impressed by the many-sided purpose of the whole tour. Kirpal Singh was also received by the Honorable Lewis Mumford, Chief Librarian of the Library of Congress, who was also immensely interested in the Master's teachings and mission.
More people were initiated into the Science of the Soul in Washington, and before the Master left for Philadelphia on September 27, a special Satsang was held at the residence of Mr. Khanna. The Master exhorted the devotees to be regular in their meditation practice; to keep diaries of introspection regularly, in order to weed out imperfections and faults within themselves. He told them to love one another and to love their fellow man. "If we cannot love our fellow man, who is visible," he said, "how can we love God, who we do not see." Finally, he told them: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Kirpal Singh's motorcade sped through the rolling countryside of Maryland within a matter of minutes of leaving the Khanna residence. The drive to Philadelphia was very pleasant and picturesque, with the trees and farmlands sending forth the vivid hues and soft tones of the North American Fall. The Master reached Philadelphia at 2:00 p.m. and was welcomed with humility and love by Mr. David Diamond, groupware of Ruhani Satsang in that city. During the four-day period in Philadelphia, Kirpal Singh and his party were the guests of Miss Estelle Clayton, who provided buffet lunches and meals for the many devotees and visitors.
Four public talks were given in Philadelphia, and more seekers were initiated into the Science of the Soul. On September 30 the Master appeared on the "Talk of Philadelphia" radio show. The show consisted of an hour period of interview, commentary, and questions and answers. Mr. Ed Harvey, the commentator of the show, proved an extremely astute interviewer and by his skillful questions presented a wonderful picture of the Master's mission in the world. Questions were asked by telephone from many people who were listening to the program, all of which Kirpal Singh answered to their evident satisfaction.
In one of his talks Kirpal Singh expanded upon the correct method of simran—charged repetition—as used in the Science of the Soul. He told his listeners that Masters always recommend simran of the highest type, which is of the basic names of God. These five names are the keys which open up the doors of perception and bring to view the spiritual realms within. Such names are magnetically charged with the thought-transference of the Master, and this is communicated to the initiate at the time of initiation. As these words are spiritually-magnetized they have the power to attract and elevate the spirit up to the planes to which they relate.
The charged words of the Master, used in simran, have the power to dispel the powers of darkness also. These can be met by the soul on its onward journey and they may assail the soul, but they cannot stand before the charged words. Simran of these words helps the soul both in the physical world and in the super-physical planes, one after the other. But it is imperative that simran is performed with the names which the Master enjoins, for they are charged with a tremendous spiritual power from which the negative powers flee and are completely dispelled. During the practice of simran it is the God-force, working through the Grace of the Master, which takes the soul upward from plane to plane.
Kirpal Singh visited the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Philadelphia. Mr. Lehman, one of the directors of the Home, took the Master and his party on a brief tour of the Home and gave a resume of the facilities, conditions, expenses and care involved in operating the Home. Kirpal Singh gave a message of love and fellowship to all connected with the Home, a gesture which was greatly appreciated by the director and residents. The Master interviewed many people, advising on spiritual matters and personal problems, during his stay in Philadelphia. He conducted his usual morning meditation sittings, and many people received wonderful spiritual experiences. On the several occasions that the Master would travel from place to place, the State police provided a special escort. Kirpal Singh left for New York City on October 1.