"A CROWN OF LIFE"
"President Kennedy was truly a great man," said Kirpal Singh as he received the news of the President's tragic death. "If he had lived longer, he would have helped the world situation greatly."
The world mourned a dedicated soul who had received the global vision—a server of mankind. He was a man of honor among so many world leaders who are still possessed with the overwhelming desire for self-aggrandizement and personal ambition. All too often politicians arise who are able to sway great masses of people and dupe them into identifying their collective ideals with the personal ambitions of their leaders. Discord and destruction on national and international scales result from such actions. J. F. Kennedy was not of this ilk. Enlightened men and women of future generations, deriving inspiration from the life of this great man, will negate the worldly powers of greed and domination by becoming vessels of the Positive Power of creation.
The Science of the Soul clears all doubts from the minds of its practitioners as to whether lasting peace can be achieved by human beings. Spiritual liberation and peace-profound are equated in this supreme science. A true Master can convince the average man and woman that they are more than—and infinitely superior to—the aggregate of atoms which comprise the physical body. Man will know the divinity within himself, and within all "selves."
Kirpal Singh was the guest of Dr. and Mrs. John Lovelace at their residence in San Jose, California, and he gave several well attended talks in this area, including two discourses at the Blind Center, San Jose; three talks at the Y.M.C.A., San Francisco; and one talk at the Friends Meeting House, Palo Alto. The Lovelace residence was the focal center for visitors from all over California and adjoining States, who were eager to meet the great Sat Guru. During the weeks following the death of the President, it seemed that many more people were seeking a meaning and purpose in this world of travail and pain. Some felt that the representative governments of nations could be transformed by the people's acceptance of the leadership of spiritually-illumined individuals who place service to God and humanity before the manipulating of political power for selfish ends. Such inspired individuals could infuse a unifying spiritual force into the life-stream of their own nation and into the world as a whole. Struggling through the mass of opinions and counter-opinions many saw that the world needed the guidance of a God-realized Master: "And he shall reign whose right it is to reign!"
A widespread re-orientation in human sensitivity appeared to be taking place as a result of the spiritually stimulating influence of the Master. Many people, instead of being polarized to their mind and emotions as hitherto, were drawn into an awareness of the living Word—the Sound Current—and commenced moving towards an inclusive spiritual attitude towards life. Men and women who had doubted the reality of the soul began to accept its existence as a living fact in nature.
Initiation sitting at San Jose on November 25 afforded more people the direct experience of the Sound and Light Principle, and following this, the Master left for the beautiful coastal resort of Carmel where he stayed at the residence of Mrs. Ann Burg. Two talks were given at the Merill Hall, Carmel, and Kirpal Singh told his listeners that the Word is the bridge which carries the devotee across the chasm of birth and death, uniting the soul with the Over-soul, and freeing the individual from the wheel of birth and death. He stated that requisites for initiation into the Science of the Soul were a clean and upright life, a pure vegetarian diet (excluding meat, fish and eggs), abstention from intoxicants and narcotics, and a thorough understanding of the basic teachings of the Masters. On November 27, the Master presided over the marriage of two initiates, Erica Fisher and David Bliss. The ceremony was performed on the lawn at the residence where he was staying, and Kirpal Singh stood next to the minister and gave his blessing to the marriage.
Kirpal Singh left for Fresno November 28, where he was received by the very devoted local group leader. Two very crowded meetings were held in Fresno, and the Master gave a progressive exposition of the Science of the Soul through the two meetings. He informed the audience that spirituality could be brought into the everyday realm of objective fact, and that the ageless Path of the Masters had been adapted to the scientific attitudes and methods of the present day. There was no need for one to leave one's own religion or to become a recluse from the world. The Science of the Soul is both supremely spiritual and pre-eminently practical, and safe and suitable for young and old alike. Man must endeavor to know himself and know God. His goal is to become holy—to be made whole. God-realization can be achieved in one lifetime, through true discipleship and complete surrender to a living Master-Saint.
On November 30, after the initiation sitting, Kirpal Singh left Fresno for San Francisco. He insisted on making a detour by way of the town of Sonora where a devotee, Mr. Frank Laginha, was lying sick in the hospital as a result of having both legs crushed while working with heavy machinery. Although in great pain, this loving disciple had refused to take drugs or injections and insisted that the hospital authorities give him only vegetarian food and did not force meat upon him. For eight days he lived without any food whatsoever, refusing to partake of the flesh foods put before him, and, finally, the doctors agreed that his wife should bring him vegetarian food. During these eight days Frank's health and condition improved immeasurably. His joy and gratitude knew no bounds when—in answer to his prayers—the physical form of his beloved Sat Guru stood beside his bed in the hospital room.
In San Francisco, Kirpal Singh was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Baptiste who gave a special reception in his honor. Two public meetings were again held in that city, and, after initiation on December 2, Kirpal Singh left for Santa Barbara, Southern California, where he was welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Sig Reinier, at whose residence he would be staying, and Mr. Dara Emery, the local group leader. Two talks were given at the Church of Religious Science, and the morning meditation sittings and the final initiation were extremely well attended.
At an informal talk, given after initiation on December 5, Master asked old and new disciples to be loving in their behavior to one another. He stressed that enmities, differences and misunderstandings should be cleared from each and every seeker after Truth. He asked that all who had had any quarrels with anyone should forget the past and begin anew. "If you cannot love one another," he questioned, "how do you expect to realize God Who is naught else but Love?" The Masters have always expounded the creed of forgiveness and love. A self-righteous man brought a woman who had sinned into the presence of Jesus and denounced her unto him. Jesus bent down and wrote the following words upon the sands: "Ye that are without sin may cast the first stone." And, as he looked up, the righteous man and his companions, fellow-accusers of the woman, had departed. Jesus turned to the woman and spoke words of great understanding. He realized that she had given way to the instincts of her lower nature. He also knew that within the human casket there dwelt a "pearl of great price," the soul, which is the essence of God, and that once the inner light had begun to shine forth, the personality would then be transformed into an instrument of great beauty.
That evening Kirpal Singh journeyed to Montrose suburb of Los Angeles, where he was joyfully greeted by Mrs. Lucille Gunn, his group leader there. Mrs. Gunn had worked tirelessly for many months to prepare for the Master's coming. And he was now to stay in her home, which she had vacated for a rented apartment, in order that he and his party should have comfortable domestic surroundings. Mrs. Gunn had arranged a very full program for the Master. Talks were given at the Spars Heights Community Center; the Unity Church of the Valley, La Crescenta; the Unity Temple, Glendale; and three talks at the local Baces Hall. A very large number of people attended these talks, and the largest amount of initiations given in the United States were held here. On Tuesday, December 10, Kirpal Singh was presented with an illuminated Scroll, in recognition of his work for spirituality and world peace, by Supervisor Bonelli, on behalf of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles.
Devotees of the late Parahamsa Yogananda, a very great Teacher, gave the Master a wonderful reception at the local Self Realization Center. He was garlanded with flowers and great deference and respect accorded him as a Holy Man. Sri Mrinalini Mata welcomed Kirpal Singh, in the absence of Gayatri Devi, the leader of the Ashram-Center, and the Master spoke on the unity of all religions and the spiritual Path to God-realization. The members of the beautiful Ananda Ashram, set in the scenic hills surrounding La Crescenta, had previously given Kirpal Singh a wonderful reception at their haven of spirituality. Before leaving for Tustin on December 12, the Master paid a second visit to Ananda Ashram, where the holy sisters accorded him and his party a tour of the entire grounds and buildings and entertained them to tea and refreshments.
Kirpal Singh and his motorcade arrived at the magnificent Cowan Heights Ranch at Tustin, about forty miles south-east of Los Angeles, on the afternoon of December 12. The Master and his party were welcomed by Walter and Elsie Cowan, the local group leaders and highly dedicated disciples. The spacious ranch had been thrown open for the many people who had come from far and wide to see the Master. A vast parking lot had been especially constructed for the influx of cars; continual buffets, lunches and dinners were served to all who visited the place, disciples and non-disciples alike. Even a large dormitory, with hired beds and bedding, was fixed up for the benefit of those who could not be accommodated in local motels and hotels. Many people, from Los Angeles and outlying districts, came to the Master in order to have personal interviews and discuss problems and difficulties of both a mundane and spiritual nature. The Master is a practical man on all levels, seeing all things—material and spiritual —from the level of the illumined soul.
In the evening, the Master gave a talk about various aspects of the Path of the Masters. He explained that there is only one Supreme God of the Universe, even though the One is called by many names. This is the God of all Creation—and not just of one religion or another. There is no difference between the God of the Christians, the Kartar (Creator) of the Hindus, the Karim (Merciful) of the Muslims, and the many appellations given in other major religions. All these names are descriptive of the attributes of God, and have been coined by the sages and saints, of different ages and times, in their own respective languages and according to their own terminology. The nameless reality is One, but it can respond to the names by which any individual may choose to invoke that Power.
The Master then stressed that remembrance of God is the primary thing in finding our way back to God. The purpose of all devotional practices and religious exercises is essentially the same. The human body is the true temple of God, and the one common objective of all religious scriptures is to love God and to realize God within. Rajab, an Indian Saint, has likened this common objective of God-realization—although spoken of under different names—as a Game of Archery in which the Archers discharge their different arrows at a common target. Rajab has said: "Each one in his own way talks to us of his own Beloved, O Rajab! The target is one, but the archers are countless." The Holy Quran of the Islamic Faith mentions that different forms of worship were assigned from time to time by Master-Souls, according to the age in which they lived.
Kirpal Singh went on to say that all the temples, mosques, churches and synagogues—although dissimilar in points of structure—were all alike as symbols of the human body temple. The bells, the gongs, and the conches produce the sounds of worship, related to the inner sounds of the Sound Current. The arch in the mosque, the cross in the church, the altar in the temples, the lamp in the synagogues, are all different symbols of the worship of the One—the Divine Beloved.
The next day, Kirpal Singh and the party from Tustin left for Harmony Grove, a beautiful retreat in the hills of Escondido, where they were to stay for two days. During this short stay Kirpal Singh gave five talks in the large public hall. Tremendous interest was evoked by the theme of Kirpal Singh's talks: "What is Spirituality," for Harmony Grove is a large center for the spiritualist movement. The Master showed that there was a vast difference between spirituality and spiritualism. Spiritualism believes in survival after physical death and the possibility of communication between living and dead. This communication works through the agency of "mediums," who generally work in trance conditions at seances or "circles," as they are sometimes called. This relationship works between the physical plane and the lowest sub-astral planes, and seldom goes any higher. The results of such communication are generally limited in scope, mainly unreliable and often very harmful to the medium. Masters of spirituality condemn the practice of spiritualism. Their contact and intercourse with the spiritual regions, right to the highest plane, is direct in their own right and at their own will and pleasure, quite independent of the subjective process of mediumship. This approach is direct, natural and constructive. The spiritualist's method is subjective and fraught with danger. Spiritualism, apart from its knowledge of survival after death, adds little to human experience and offers nothing of substance in the way of spirituality.
Kirpal Singh returned to Tustin on December 15 after initiating a large number of people at Harmony Grove. A public talk was given at the Unity Church of Truth at nearby Santa Ana on December 16, and two talks at the Y.W.C.A., Santa Ana, on December 17 and 18. Initiation was given to more aspirants on December 18, and the Master left for Beaumont, California, on December 19. He was welcomed by Dona Kelley, his local representative and one of the senior disciples in the United States, and her husband Charles Kelley. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley's residence was crowded with devotees and interested people awaiting the arrival of the Master. Within an hour of his arrival, Kirpal Singh left for Palm Springs, where he was received by the city's Mayor with whom he discussed the World Fellowship of Religion. Later the same day the Master gave a discourse on spirituality at a local hall in Beaumont.
Throughout Kirpal Singh's American Tour his devoted General Representative,
Mr. T. S. Khanna, was at hand, assisting the Master at every moment, introducing
meetings, handling correspondence and directing general arrangements. Always
available to help those who were working with the tour, Mr. Khanna answered
the questions of the Press, enquirers and seekers, and ministered to the
welfare of the many visitors who came from far and wide to meet the Master.
Mrs. T. S. Khanna, also accompanying the tour, undertook all the cooking
and catering arrangements concerning the Master and his immediate party.