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S;in1 kirjial Sin,i;h [i 


Considered by many people who met Him in the East and in the 
West to have been a living example of a true Saint of spirituahty, 
Kirpal Singh was bom in a rural setting in Sayyad Kasran in the 
Punjab (then in India, now in Pakistan) on February 6, 1894. He 
followed the career of a civil servant in the government of India, 
and retired on His own pension in 1947. Following instructions 
from His Master (Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj, 1858-1948), He 
founded and directed RUHANI SATSANG. He was Com- 
missioned by God and authorized by His Master to carry forward 
the spiritual work of contacting sincere seekers after God with 
the WORD (or NAAM). He continued in that capacity until He 
left the earth plane on August 21, 1974. Elected four times, 
consecutively, as President of the World Fellowship of 
Religions, He upheld the truth that, though the various religions 
are different schools of thought, the Aim of all religions is One 
and the Same. Kirpal Singh visited the major cities in the United 
States on the occasions of each of His three world tours: in 1955, 
in 1963-64, and again in 1972, staying in this country for three 
months or more, each time. From His intense study at the feet of 
Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj and from His own personal inner ex- 
periences of a spiritual nature, Kirpal Singh was eminently 
qualified to convey to sincere people everywhere the importance 
of self knowledge and God reaUzation. 



No man knoweth the Son, but the 
Father; neither knoweth any man 
the Father save the Son, and he to 
whomsoever the Son will reveal 

MATTHEW 11:27 


First published by Ruliani Satsang, Delhi, 1967 
Second Edition, 1971 

Second Printing, 1972 

Third Printing, 1974 

Fourth Printing, 1981 

Fifth Printing, 1989 
2618 Skywood Place, 
Anaheim, California 92804 

Printed in the United States of America 
ISBN #0-942735-644 


to the Almighty God 

working through all Masters who have come 

arui Baha Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj 

at whose lotus feet 

the author imhihed sweet elixir of 

Holy 'Naam— the Word 


ACCORDING to some religious traditions we are living 
^ in the Kali Yuga — the final age of development 
on earth. People of all sorts and needs are entering 
society to make the final attempts toward Divine Reali- 
zation. Central to these efforts to expand consciousness 
naturally is the Guru. 

The Guru is much more than teacher in our sense, 
rather He is "The Spiritual Father." This enlightened 
presentation of the Guru should clear up many ques- 
tions which have arisen in the minds of those who have 
their feet on the Path. 

One vital point for the religious seeker today is the 
need for a Guru. One might say that the "Inner Guru" 
is the ultimate refuge; why bother to search in that 
jungle outside for a Living Guru? 

True, the Inner Guru is the ultimate refuge; but in 
our age we all too often find the inner world a confusing 
labyrinth while the external world is our familiar play- 
ground. It is for this reason, to provide pathways through 
this labyrinth, that this book is so vitally necessary for 
our time. We are here told how to find our way among 
the welter of teachers and sects to find the True Guru, 
the Sant Satguru — the Inner Light and Word. 

Even for the intellectually oriented western mind, these 
discourses on the Guru enlighten us on one major mys- 



tery which the Christian Church finds insoluble. That 
is, how can the incarnation be both God and man? This 
problem is solved here and in a most universal way, clear 
and timely for our age, yet as an answer very ancient 
to India. 

The universality of this message cannot help but be 
a benefit to our age and be the groundwork for a much 
needed universality in religion. I would certainly com- 
mend this to every seeker. 

William Beidler^ Ph.D. 
Department of Philosophy 
Queens College 
Charlotte, North Carolina 


Baba Savvan Sinsh Ji 

Author's Preface 

FOR TWENTY-FOUR short, bcautiful, inspiring years, it 
was my blessing to be under the love, guidance, and 
protection of a Godman, Supreme Master Hazur Baba 
Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj. 

Introducing the zealous seeker after Truth to a God- 
man is answering the perennial queries: 

What is God? 

How can His creation know Him? 

It is my privilege to relate the mission of a Godman. 
Commissioned from above to give free to suffering hu- 
manity the gift of Naam (Shabd) the effulgent melody- — 
the symphonic radiance which leads the jiva (embodied 
soul) back to his Father's Home. 

If only the atman (soul) could be contacted with the 
Shabd this "string from the Nameless Lord" would lead 
to His door. But the spiritual faculties are so fogged and 
cloaked with gross coverings of mind and may a (illu- 
sion), that even though Shabd is reverberating within 
and around, the Soul cannot hear Its music nor see Its 
glory. How can man once again revive his link with 
his Maker? 

Dhur Khasme Ka Hukam Paya; 
Bin Satguru Chaitya Na Jai. 


xii author's preface 

(Such is the Will of the Lord; He cannot be 
known except through a living Satguru. ) 


Without the enlivening touch from the Uving Satguru, 
the soul cannot awaken from Its slumber and get attuned 
to Naam. 

We are familiar with: 

In the beginning was the Word . . . 
And the Word was God. 

Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. 

So, Godman is the Word, the Logos, the Naam 
(Shabd), the Kalma, the Akash-Bani, the Sraosha, and 
the Udgit of the various religions of the world. 

To the lovers of the Scriptures, the explanation is 
given of scriptural limitations. 

To those who adore past Saints, historical evidence 
is given on their just immortality. 

It is impossible to reduce to bare statement a God- 
man's words of wisdom, of peace, of consolation, of reas- 
surance, of encouragement, of loving reprimand, which 
He utters as He moves among His disciples. His acts of 
selfless kindness and superhuman love bring home to 
those around Him the unquestioning conviction of the 
Truth that He teaches. 

But His life, conduct, influence, and blessings are in- 
delibly recorded on those who earned this gift of Asso- 


His controlling power and solicitude inspire the jiva to 
surrender at His feet to be forever guided by His Word. 

May the indefatigable seeker after the Mystery of Life 
find eternal rest in his Naam. 

KiRPAL Singh 


Introduction viii 

Author's Preface xi 

1. Guru: What He Is 1 

2. Guru is Shabd 7 

3. Gradations in Mastership 18 

4. Guru: One or Many 23 

5. Present Master 26 

6. The Need of a Master 31 

7. Past Saints 35 

8. Without a Guru All is Darkness 59 

9. Historical Evidence 62 

10. Before and After Guru Nanak . 65 

11. Scriptures and Their Value 68 

12. Guru is Superman or Godman 75 

13. Master and the Homegoing of Jivas 82 

14. Master and His Mission 85 

15 . Master and His Work 88 

16. Master and His Duties 90 

17. Guru is Godman 93 

18. Gurudev 100 

19. Perfect Master 110 

20. How to Find a Perfect Master and Know Him ... 112 

21. His Life and Conduct 115 

22. The PhysicalForm of the Master 117 

23. The Influence of the Master 118 

24. Oneness of Guru, Gurudev, Satguru & Malik ... 133 

25. The Nature of Oneness 136 

26. The Blessings of God and the Master 151 

27. The Solicitude of the Master 159 

28. Master and the Controlling Power 169 

29. Surrender to the Master 171 

30. The Words of the Master 178 

Thou art the pilgrim's Path, the blind man's Eye, 
The dead man's Life; on Thee my hopes rely; 
If Thou remove, I err, I grope, I die. 

Disclose Thy sunbeams, close Thy wings, and stay; 
See, see how I am blind, and dead, and stray; 
Oh, Thou, that art my Light, my Life, my Way. 

Francis Quarles 



Guru: What He Is 

'Tis much that man was made like God, before, 
But, that God should be made like man, much 
more. . . . 

God clothed Himself in vile man's flesh, that so 
He might be weak enough to suffer woe. 


IT IS well nigh impossible to know the Master and to 
understand His greatness. We have not the eyes where- 
with we may behold His Reality. A prophet alone can 
know a prophet. We, the embodied spirits living on the 
plane of the senses, simply cannot know Him. 

What Thou art we know not; 
What is most like Thee? 
Again : 

How can the lesser the Greater comprehend? 

Or finite reason reach Infinity, 
For what should fathom God were more than 




In Jap Ji (the daily morning prayer of the Sikhs), 
it is mentioned: 

Unless one rises to His level, one cannot know 
of Him (God) . 

A Master Soul may be likened to a skylark, which is 
described as: 

Ethereal Minstrel! Pilgrim of the Sky. 

He who can soar as high as the skylark and follow her 
course may know something of the ethereal pilgrim; 
but poor crows and doves cannot. The Master is, how- 
ever, not a pilgrim of the sky, but a denizen of the high- 
est Spiritual Realm, and He comes down to sing to us 
the "Ethereal Song," and to take us along with Him 
to His heavenly abode. While on earth, He is: 

Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam; 
True to the kindred points of Heaven and 

He is far beyond the limitations of the three bodies 
(physical, astral, and causal) ; of the three innate, natu- 
ral and native propensities or instincts {Satva, Rajas, 
and Tamas; i.e., of righteous actions, worldly actions, 
and inertia or inaction, or actions born of ignorance and 
darkness) ; of the five elements of which the entire crea- 
tion is made (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) ; and of 
the twenty-five Prakritis (i.e., subtle forms of varying 
degrees of which the elements are compounded) ; and 
also of mind and matter. 


Shamas-i-Tabrez therefore describes him as: 
He is a lark that lays a golden egg; 

that is, an egg that shines Uke solid gold; the reference 
being to the Light of Naam or Word that is bestowed 
on each individual at the time of his Initiation. 

He rides the high heavens every morning. 
When He races, He covers all the solar systems, 
And when He goes to bed. He makes pillows of 
the Sun and the Moon. 

In other words, when He is not engaged in any worldly 
pursuits He crosses over into highest regions for rest. 

O Shamas-i-Tabrez! by just one kindly look, 
He can give sight to thousands of stark blind 
{i.e., make them seers and prophets). 

Such Master Souls are in fact one with God, but come 
down into the material world at His behest to fulfill 
His divine purpose. Out of compassion for the world- 
weary souls, thirsty and hungry, moaning for reunion 
with the Beloved, God has to make provision for their 

As man alone can be a teacher of man, God has to 
send forth His Elect with a direct commission to lead 
back those who will listen to God's Message. He works as 
a means to an end. 

Standing on the top of a hill, as it were, He can locate 
the smoldering fires of love in the various human hearts, 
and like a great and powerful magnet or lodestar. He 
draws all such individual souls as come into His sphere 


of influence, and by personal instruction and guidance 
works out the Divine Mission. 

Each soul gains in spiritual grace in proportion to her 
receptivity. The more a person develops this receptivity, 
the more he experiences grace and spiritual benefit. 
Gifted with a limitless spiritual wealth He generously be- 
stows it on all who aspire for it. Each gets according to 
his need and capability, and gradually develops the seed 
sown in him. 

Sheikh Mueen-ud-din Chishti says: 

They (Master Souls) live in the world, but 
Their spirit is ever in the High Heavens; 

Imprisoned in the tentacles of the body, Their 
spirit soars high above. 

Maulana Runi also says: 

Never take a Godman at a human level; for He 
is much more than He seems. 

Apparently, and in generalities, all men look alike, 
though each differs from the other in inner development. 
It is this background that helps each individual on the 
spiritual path and determines the measure of every step 
he takes, and, consequently, each one has his own time 

A Master Soul in human form cannot be rightly com- 
prehended. He is a limitless ocean of Sat or Truth — 
ever the same from the beginning of creation and from 
age to age. As it is not possible to do justice to God's 
greatness, so we cannot do justice to God's Elect. 


A Persian Saint tells us: 

He is beyond comprehension, apprehension, 
conception, and even conjecture. He out- 
strips the faculties of sight, hearing, and un- 
derstanding. All the glories that one can sing 
of Him all his life cannot do any justice 
to Him. 

If all the mountains were pounded into ink and 
mixed with the waters of the oceans and the 
whole earth were a sheet of paper, one can- 
not record the greatness of a Guru or Master. 

He is the King of Spirituality, and we, groveling like 
insects in the muck of the world, cannot know Him and 
His greatness. 

Maulana Rumi says: 

If I were to sing praises of His countless bless- 
ings till Eternity, I can hardly say anything 
of Them. 

Whatever we say of Him, we perforce do so at an intel- 
lectual level, which has a very narrow and limited scope. 
All our efforts in this direction are bound to discredit 
Him rather than to give Him any credit. 
Guru Arjan, therefore, says: 

Thou art a King, and I address Thee as an 

Far from doing any honor to Thee, I bring 

Thee discredit. 


The highest and subtlest intellect attempting to describe 
Him is just like a toddler standing before his mother and 
saying, "Oh darling, I know you!" How much can he 
know of his parent when he does not know anything of 
himself? His sweet lisping words cannot do any justice 
to the deep motherly love and affection that lies in her 
bosom. We too cannot sing the glories of the Master, 
for we cannot know, at the bar of the intellect. Him who 
is beyond all barriers and limitations. 

Blessed indeed are we, for Master Souls, as and when 
They do appear, at times tell us of Themselves. It is from 
Their rare utterances that we can know something of 
Their greatness and of the potential power that works 
through Them. 

In innumerable little ways, in parables and otherwise. 
They tell us of what They are, what is Their mission, from 
where They come and how They carry out God's Plan. 

It would be advisable for us to go to Them and listen 
to what They have to say about Themselves. 



Guru is Shahd 
(Master is Word Personified) 

HE Gospel of John begins with the memorable 
words : 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word 

was with God, and the Word was God. 
The same was in the beginning with God. 

JOHN 1 : 1-2 

Guru is Shabd or Word personified. The Word was made 
flesh and dwelt among us, says the Gospel. Shabd or 
Word is just a ray from God or the great Ocean of Con- 
sciousness, and this one ray is responsible for the creation 
and sustenance of all the planes comprising the universe. 
In the Gospel of John we read further: 

All things were made by Him (i.e., the Word) 

and without Him was not anything made 

that was made. 
In Him was life; and the life was the light of 

And the light shineth in darkness; and the 

darkness comprehended it not. 

JOHN 1 :2-5 


Dryden in his poetic fantasy refers to It as Harmony (or 
Sound Principle) : 

From Harmony, from Heavenly Harmony 

This Universal frame began; 
Through all the compass of the notes It ran, 

The Diapason closing full in man. 

In Gurbani, we have: 

Word is the Master and spirit is the disciple of 

Word is the Master and the Prophet, full of 
wisdom, deep and profound. Without Word, 
the world cannot exist. 

Between Word and the Master, there is no dis- 
tinction. Word indeed is the Elixir of Life, 
and whosoever follows the Word according 
to the instructions of a living Master, safely 
crosses th-e ocean of life. 

Tulsi Sahib says: 

Spirit is the disciple, and Word is the Master. 
It is only after the spirit is linked with the 
Word that she finds the way Godward, by 
rising into the beyond and entering into the 
inverted well. 

Bhai Gurdas speaks of spirit as : 

It is only after the spirit faithfully and conscien- 
tiously accepts Dhunni {Sound Current or 
Word) as Master, that she becomes a Gur- 


mukh and knows that the Word and the 
Master are in fact One. 

Saint Kabir likewise thus explains: 

Where is the Master, and where does the 
spirit dwell? How can the two unite? For 
without union, spirit has no rest. 

He himself then answers: 

Master is in the Gaggan, and so is the seat of 

the Spirit. 
When the two are united, there is no separation 

Accept the Word as Master; all the rest is 

sham tinsel; 
Each selfishly engaged wanders from place to 


Thus Word or Shabd is a World Teacher from the 
beginning of time. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for in them the Word 
of the Master manifests Itself. This Word is the Real 
Saint and can act as a living guide. It is "God-in- Action" 
and is expressed in abundance in Master Souls who are 
one with God. 

When I churned the sea of body, a strange phe- 
nomenon came to Light; 

God was identified in Master, and no distinc- 
tinction could Nanak find. 

He Who is a Doer of the Word is called a Saint, a 


Master Soul. This Truth dawns only when one studies 
the significance of the term Guru. It is derived from the 
Sanskrit root Girt, which means One who calls; thus He 
Who always hears this call within Himself, and is devot- 
edly attached to the call and can make it manifest in oth- 
ers, is described in Gurbani as Guru. 

Accept as Master One who can make Truth 

Give expression to the Inexpressible by means 

of Sound. 
Again : 

O Nanak! verily Truth alone is True. 

Kabir Sahib says: 

We do obeisance to all teachers, whatever their 

But the Adept in Sound Principle is greatest 


Again : 

Teachers there are of degrees vast in variation, 
But the One of Sound Current is for highest 

Tuisi Sahib also exhorts: 

He Who can reveal Sound Current is verily a 

By analysis of self, one locates the Sound 


Kabir Sahib has challenged that whoever calls himself a 


Satguru or a Saint should enable us to see the Unmani- 
fest Manifested. 

In Sar Bachan we have: 

Master brings the message of Sound; He serves 

nothing but the Sound; 
Perfect Master is ever engaged in Sound; Be 

thou the dust of the feet of the Master of 


Satguru is a veritable Veda. He is endowed with Sach 
Naam and thus possesses the Elixir of Life. He distrib- 
utes Shabd, which works as an "Open Sesame" to the 
Heavenly regions and grants free access to pilgrims on 
the Master's Path. 

The Theosophists call It the Voice of the Silence; its 
reverberations can be heard from plane to plane. 

In the terminology of the Masters, a real Saint is one 
who can teach of Shabd. Without an Adept no one 
can have the gift of Shabd or Naam. It may be likened 
to a rope ladder leading directly to God, and a spirit by 
taking hold of It can easily ascend Godward. 

Contact with Shabd is contact with God; and 
blessed is one who contacts Shabd within. 

Again : 

God in Guru distributes Shabd; By contact 
with Truth one merges in Truth. 

And again: 

O Nanak! all Saints from the beginning are 
embedded in Shabd; 


Blessed is Master Ram Das Who too has con- 
tacted Shabd. 

In the Holy Bible we have: 

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. 

It is from an Adept in Shabd that one gets a true life 
impulse. He Himself is One with that true Life Current, 
from which everything animate derives life. He is a resi- 
dent of the egoless region, He is Shabd personified. He 
lives and has His very being in Shabd, having crossed far 
beyond the sway of Kal or Time; He lives life ever- 
lasting and is competent to pass it on to others who con- 
tact Him and follow His instructions. 

The human spirit at present lies buried under an im- 
mense load of mayaic or material pressure. It does not 
even know that it is spirit. It can be awakened to Reality 
and made aware of its greatness only by means of Shabd. 
This Life Principle of Shabd already lies in each one of 
us, but only in a latent form. 

It has to be made patent or audible to the spirit, so 
that it may by sheer affinity grow conscious of its rich 
spiritual heritage and claim it as its own. 

This contact of the spirit with Shabd can be brought 
about and is firmly established by the Master (Who is 
Shabd personified) and no one else can do it. 

Shabd is a sacred trust with the Master, and is 

scrupulously discharged; 
Shabd of the Master, a Master alone can 

And none else is competent to do so. 


It means that Shabd or Word is ur\der the control of 
the Master. He alone can manifest It or make It audible 
by pulling the spirit out of the physical sensory organs. 
This contact with Shabd comes as a gracious gift 
from the Master. No amount of meritorious deeds per- 
formed within the limitations of time, space, and causa- 
tion, can merit such a priceless gift, so vast and so limit- 
less as Shabd: 

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. 
And again: 

By works of the law shall no flesh he justified. 

The Master may grant the gift of Shabd out of extreme 
compassion and grace if He so wills. 

The moment a helpless child tries to pull himself to- 
ward his mother, she fondly runs toward him, tenderly 
picks him up, and lovingly hugs him to her bosom. 

It cannot be had by endeavors nor by service; 
But may come when fully reposed without 

Out of the Great Grace of the Lord, one takes 

to the instructions of the Master. 

It does not mean that a person should not try to exert 
himself. He must on the contrary work zealously accord- 
ing to the Master's instructions. The success, however, 
depends on the will of the Master alone, for He is the sole 
arbiter of the manner and measure of His Grace. 
Christ said: 

If you love me, keep My commandments. 


To mold one's life in terms of the Master is a necessity 
on the path of the Master. 

He who verily follows the Master is ever en- 
gaged in hearing the Divine Music. As the 
Naam develops, one gets absorbed in it. 

Though this Anhad Bani (Ceaseless Sound Current) or 
Naam (Word) is the Life of our life, yet we cannot 
make It manifest or audible by ourselves; an approach 
to It is always through a Master Saint or Ustad-i-Kamil: 

Ceaseless Sound is a Treasure within, with an 

approach through a Saint; 
Without a Master, even Sidhs and Sadhaks 
have failed to get Naam. 

Shabd is the mainstay of Saints as well as of all living 
creatures, the difference being that of conscious aware- 
ness in one case and unconscious ignorance in the other. 
While the former have not only an experience of "Son- 
ship" but truly live in that relationship, the latter have 
no idea of it at all. 
Christ says: 

/ am the Son of God. 
I and My Father are One. 
Whatever comes from Me comes from My 

In Gurbani we also have similar references: 

Hari (God) does what His Saints wish for. 
What They (Saints) desire, that comes to pass; 
none can deny Their wishes. 


Father and son are dyed in the same color. 
Maulana Rumi tells us: 

An Aulia {Godman) is competent enough 
even to divert a bolt from above. 

It does not mean that Saints in any way question the au- 
thority of God, or run a parallel administration of Their 
own. Far from this, They act as agent and hold His Com- 
mission. In the world God acts through Them. 

Egoless as They are, they become fitting instruments 
of Godly Powers. Allied closely with Shabd, They re- 
ceive from and transmit direct messages to God; and in 
relation to the world, They are just polarized God: 

The Father and the Son are One, and adminis- 
ter the same law. 

Paltu! In the domain of God, there is no 
other manager than a Saint. The Two are so 
closely and indissolubly knit together that the 
Saint appears to be running the whole show. 

Maulana Rumi speaks of It in this wise: 

Aulia or Godmen are the chosen of God. 
They have full knowledge of all that is visible 
and invisible. 

Again, God speaks through Saints: 

Lalof I simply speak out what God makes 

Me speak, said Nanak. 
Sadh is the mouthpiece of God. 


In the garb of man, God comes into the world for the 
sake of suffering humanity, and through His Saving 
Grace He takes upon Himself vicarious responsibilities 
for their shortcomings: 

See God descending in thy Human frame; 
The Offended, suffering in the offender's 

All thy misdeeds to Him imputed see, 
And all His Righteousness devolved on thee. 


A living Master is the only hope for the erring man- 
kind; a kindly Light to guide their faltering footsteps and 
a Saviour for the sinful. With the help of limitless Naam 
or Shabd, of which He is a vast treasure-house, He helps 
the jivas or the embodied spirits to cross safely over the 
ocean of life and gain Life Eternal. 

Inwardly linked and embedded in Shabd, outwardly 
He works like a Teacher or a Guru and gives spiritual 
instructions to the aspirants on the physical plane, and 
then passes on at will to the subtle and the causal planes 
and beyond, as the jiva progresses on the spiritual path, 
and guides him at every step. He does not stop until He 
leaves the Sadhak in his native home from where Shabd 
originates and which, in fact. He is. 

One who has known Sat Purush (or the Primal 
Cause), is a Sat guru (or Master of Truth). He is be- 
yond the sway both of Dissolution {Kal or Time) and 
of Grand Dissolution {Maha Kal or Greater Time), 
and is competent to lead the aspirants to this stage. A 


Master of this caliber alone can save the jivas and no- 
body else can. 

He Who is One with Truth, is the Master 

of Truth; 
He can liberate spirits and Nanak si7igs His 


More safe and much more modest, 'tis to say; 
God would not leave mankind without a way. 


Gradations in Mastership 

MASTERS are of four different types : The father, the 
mother, the preceptor or teacher, and lastly, Sat- 
guru (Spiritual Guide or Murshid-i-Kamil) . 

Of all of these, Sat guru is the greatest teacher, for He 
imparts spiritual instructions alone. One who is well- 
versed in wordly wisdom is called acharya or preceptor, 
for He gives us rules of social conduct and of ethical life. 

Satguru or Master of Truth is also known as Sant Sat- 
guru. His relation with His disciples is purely a spiritual 
one, as He is concerned with the advancement of the spirit 
and has nothing to do with worldly matters. 

From the viewpoint of spiritual attainments Gurus 
may be classified as: 
Sadh Guru, 
Sant Satguru, and 
Param Sant Satguru. 
A Sadh is One who has gone beyond the region of Tri- 
kuti (Onkar) which is the same as Lahut in Sufi termi- 
nology and Hu in Islamic theology. He has witnessed 
the spirit in Its pristine glory, after having rid It of all 
coverings, and is now Trigunatit (beyond the three gu- 
nas: Satva, Rajas, and Tamas, in which all human be- 
ings work according to their natural and native in- 
stincts); beyond the five elements (earth, water, fire, air 



and ether, of which the physical world is composed); 
beyond the twenty-five Prakritis (the subtle forms in 
varying degrees of the elements); and beyond also mind 
and matter. 

In short, He is an adept in self-knowledge, or the art 
and science of spirit, and can, at will, disengage the spirit from 
various koshas (sheaths or caskets) in which 
It is enclosed like a priceless gem. 

The greatness of a Sadh lies beyond the three 
gunas (as He is Trigunatit). 

By a process of self- analysis, He (a Sadh) has known 
the self or spirit in Its real form — to wit, that It is of 
the same essence as God; and now He strives for God- 

A Sant is One who is adept not only in self-knowledge 
but in God-knowledge as well. He far transcends the 
material, materio-spiritual, and spirituo-material realms. 
Master of Truth as He is. His abode is in the purely spirit- 
ual region, technically called Sach Khand or Muqam-i- 
Haq, the Realm of Truth. 

A Param Sant is the Grand Master of Truth beyond 
all description and hence ineflfable. He is at one with 
what is variously known as Anami (The Namless One) 
of Kabir; Nirala (Indescribably Wonderful), Mahada- 
yal (Boundless Mercy) or Swami (The Great Lord 
of All). 

There is no material difference between a Sant and a 
Param Sant except in nomenclature. 

But none of them, whether a Sadh, a Sant, or a Par- 
am Sant, can act or function as a Guru or Master un- 


less He is competent to impart spiritual instructions and 
He has been commissioned from above to do this work. 
Whoever holds this authority for spiritual work be- 
comes a Sadh Guru, Sant Guru, or Param Sunt Guru, 
as the case may be. 

There may be a number of Sadhs, Sants or Param 
Sants, but none of them can of himself assume Guruship 
or spiritual preceptorship without being commissioned 
for the work. 

So the terms Sadh, Sant and Param Sant have a 
much wider connotation than the term Guru, which is 
restricted to a spiritual preceptor alone — the rest being 
only spiritual adepts of varying degrees. 

The Guru holds a direct commission from God, and 
works under instructions just as any vice-regent would 
do on behalf of a king. 

Again Gurus are of two types: 

I. Swateh Sant Gurus: They are born Sants who 
come into the world with direct commissions; as for 
instance, Kabir Sahib and Guru Nanak. 

They start the work of spiritual knowledge and in- 
structions right from a tender age. They need no special 
training from anyone, since They come from the Most 
High for this purpose. Such beings, when They come, 
simply flood the world with the light of Spirituality, 
and establish a line of Gurmukh Gurus for carrying on 
the work long after Them. But in course of time, sub- 
stance comes to be sacrificed for show, and gradually 
Spirituality disappears altogether. 

Then comes another Master Soul to re-orient this 


most ancient science according to the needs of the age. 
In this way, "old wine" remains in circulation for souls 
athirst. Such Master Souls do appear from time to time 
in different lands and among different peoples. 

2. Besides Swateh Sants there are Sants who by de- 
votional practice and spiritual discipline under the 
guidance of some Master Soul acquire spiritual merit 
here and are granted a commission to work as a Guru. 

They already have a rich spiritual background ripe 
for fruition, and in the present span of life simply seem 
to complete the process. Gurmukhs are always in the 
making from life to life, and acquire perfection in this 

Kahir saith that He came directly from the 
Kingdom of God and held an instrument 
of instructions from Him. 

Bhai Gurdas, while speaking of Guru Nanak, tells us: 

First He got a commission and then He worked 
it out. 

In short, the former come with authority, and the latter 
acquire authority while here. But there is absolutely no 
difference between the greatness of the Two, the nature 
and scope of Their work and the method by which the 
work is executed. Each of Them is endowed with equal 
authority, and work out the grand plan of God accord- 
ing to the needs of the time and of the people. 

But the rest who claim this status and pose and act as 
Master Souls not only deceive themselves but misguide 


the masses at large. In this category are included 
persons who are either greedy and selfish or those who 
are after name and fame. 

In innumerably different ways and wiles they prac- 
tice deception on the unwary and simple-minded seekers 
after Truth with a view to serve their own ends. 

It is because of such impositions that Guruship is 
being looked down upon by most people, and no wonder 
that the science of Spirituality is being stigmatized as 
a mirage and a fool's paradise. 


Guru: One or Many 

SHABD or Word fthe Primal Sound Current) is the 
only Guru for the entire world and Surat (indi- 
vidual consciousness) is the only disciple, as the latter 
cannot do without the former. In fact, there is the 
principle of unity, for God is One, though He has 
manifested Himself variously. 

But as we look the other way and turn to the world 
abounding in diverse forms, we see a Pole-star shining 
in its majesty reflecting the Light of Heaven. 

Such a pure soul (Word made flesh or Godman) 
with authority to give spiritual instructions to the seek- 
ers after God, is as much a Guru as the Shabd Itself, 
for He Himself is a living embodiment of Shabd and 
with Shabd as stock in trade freely distributes It to 
whomever He likes. 

Kabir speaks of Himself: 

/ come from the Kingdom of God to adminis- 
ter the Law of God. 

Guru Nanak, too, was invested with a similar authority 
to impart spiritual instructions when He was in deep 
meditation in Veiny Nadi (the Water of Spirituality 

Both of Them were Param Sant Satgurus. 



Kabir Sahib was born in 1398 ad. at Lahr Talao 
near Benaras and passed away in 1518. Guru Nanak 
was born in 1469 ad. at Talwandi, and left the physi- 
cal plane at Kartarpur in 1539. Thus both of Them 
were contemporaries for about forty-nine years, from 
1469 to 1518. In the same way Shamas-i-Tabrez and 
Maulana Rumi were also contemporaries for some time. 

Again, Guru Angad and Dadu Sahib lived together 
from 1504 to 1552. 

So also, Guru Arjan and Dharam Das from 1561 
to 1606. 

These instances go to show that there can be more 
than one Guru at the same time, but a person cannot 
have more than one Guru for spiritual perfection. It 
does not matter even if a Guru after initiating a person 
passes away. 

Once He initiates an individual, the Subtle Form of 
the Master gets embedded in the disciple for He be- 
comes from that moment the disciple's ideal and His 
instructions gradually begin to bear fruit. 

There is no power on earth that can render sterile 
the seed sown by a Master Soul. Master never dies. He 
may leave the body, as anyone else does, but He is more 
than a mere body. He is an ideal, a living Sound Cur- 
rent or a Life Principle that gives Life and Light to the 
entire world. 

After His passing away one may derive benefit from 
the Satsang conducted by a Gurmukh who is carrying 
on the duties of Guru, and may consult him in case 
he has some difficulty. It is, however, of the utmost 

guru: one or many 25 

importance that the Master is not to be changed on 
any account. 

Loyalty to the Master Who has initiated the spirit 
and to Whom the spirit has pledged his troth demands 
the recognition that the Master is competent to impart 
further guidance and instructions, even when He is 
working on the spiritual plane after having left the 
physical world. 


Present Master 

MASTER OF THE TIME is a living Master Who is 
imparting spiritual instructions to His following. 
But all Masters of bygone times are past Masters or 
Masters out of date. Each of these Masters had His own 
role to perform. The accounts of the ancient and out- 
dated Masters and Their teachings do a kind of spade- 
work by cutting the untrodden soil, and by creating an 
interest in us in esoteric matters of the spirit. Each of 
Them lays emphasis on the need of the living Master 
and records His own spiritual experiences. It is from 
Their exhortations that we are moved to begin the 
search. The innate urge in us is quickened and we are 
impelled to go in quest of One Who can lead us God- 

The work of imparting actual spiritual instructions 
and guidance is, however, done by a living Master. 
Highly charged as He is with higher consciousness, He 
injects the jivas with His life impulse. Spirituality can 
neither be bought nor taught, but it may be caught, 
like an infection from One highly infected Himself. As 
Light comes from Light, so Life comes from Life, and 
a spirit that is bodily ridden can only be moved by a 
Spirit that is untrammelled by body and mind. This 



is the only way and there is no other way for spiritual 

Without a living Master there can be no escape from 
bondage for the spirit. 

Maulana Rumi, therefore, emphatically declares: 

Trust not thy learning, cunning, and craft; 
Do not break away from the sheet anchor of 
the Living Prophet. 

Prophet Mohammed, too, says : 

He who has not sincerely approached the Im- 
mam of the Time [living Master), the 
Vice-Regent of Allah, the Perfect Guide, 
cannot get anything. 

Again, the Great Maulana said: 

Hie to thy God through the Godman : 
Float not uselessly on the treacherous waters 
of egoism. 

In the absence of a living Master, one cannot develop 
the devotional attitude so very necessary on the spiritual 
path. There cannot be any devoted attachment for a 
person or thing which we have never seen and of which 
we have no idea. The very term "attachment" signifies 
that there is an object of attachment. 

Some persons feel that this need for an approach 
to a living Master so emphatically stressed in Gurbani 
related to the time of the ten Gurus alone, but that is 
not the case. The teachings of the Masters were ad- 
dressed to man in general and were for all times. Their 


appeal was universal and not restricted to any particu- 
lar sect or any specific period : 

The teachings of the Masters are common 
for all. 

Again : 

Bani {Word or Sound Principle) is the Guru, 
and Guru is the Bani personified, and the 
Elixir of Life gushes out of the Bani.* 

Whoever accepts what the Gurbani says, he 
can he freed through the grace of the liv- 
ing Master. 

Bhai Gurdas in this context says: 

The Vedas and scriptures are the wares of 
the Masters and help in crossing the 
ocean of life; but without the Master of 
Truth coming down and living among us, 
we cannot apprehend the Reality. 

The esoteric mysteries cannot be fully explained in writ- 
ing, as the inner process has its own difficulties and 
handicaps. In various ways the Master in his Subtle 
Form helps the spirit in the journey from plane to 
plane. This work of guidance both within and without 
cannot be performed by past Masters. 

* There is a vast difference between Gurbani and Bani. The for- 
mer refers to the sayings of the Gurus as recorded in the holy 
scriptures (especially the Granth Sahib), whereas the latter refers 
to the eternal Sound Current, sometimes called Gur-ki-Bani, rever- 
berating in all creation. It emanates from God Himself and He 
alone can manifest it. Moreover, this Bani (Naam or Word) is 
sounding throughout the four Yugas (ages) and gives its message 
of Truth. 


The nameless and formless Shabd becomes a form 
and assumes a name and dwells among us. In the Holy 
Gospel we have: 

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. 

Unless God comes down in the garb of man, we cannot 
know the Unknowable. The teachings of scriptures re- 
main sealed to us under the heavy weight of ancient 
and archaic verbiage, unless a Master Soul who has 
actual experience of the Science of the Spirit explains to 
us the truth of these scriptures. 

Even the apparently simple teachings of the late Mas- 
ters fail to yield the right import unless some living 
Adept in the line tells us their true significance, and 
makes us experience the same experiences mentioned in 
the scriptures. 

By transmitting His own Life Impulse, he enlivens 
the spirit lying helplessly shrivelled m the body under 
the dead weight of mind and matter. Like a clever guide, 
He, in an inimitable way of His own, quietly gives her a 
new lead. 

Next, He lays bare to the spirit's view new heavens 
full of wondrous sights, charters her a plane (Shabd) 
and pilots her Godward Himself. From day to day the 
spirit is wheeled around sharp corners, touches new 
spots, experiences unknown thrills, and enjoys exhila- 
rating experiences too subtle to be described. 

All this and much more is the work that a living Mas- 
ter has to do. 

In the history of Sikhism, we find that the Holy 


Granth was compiled for the first time by the fifth Guru, 
Guru Arjan. In spite of the well-known and oft-quoted 
dictum that Bani is the Guru, implying thereby that there 
was no need of Gurus thereafter, the Gurus carried on 
the work of initiating people; and even today the Khalsa 
(Pure One) with perfect, resplendent Light within is 
authorized to carry on the work of spiritual instruction 
and guidance to seekers after Truth. 

Guru Gobind Singh says: We are the worshipers of 
the Great Conscious Light and defines the word Khalsa 
as: The pure Khalsa is One in whom the Light of God 
is fully manifested. He further goes on to say: 

Khalsa is My true form; I reside in Khalsa, 

He is the life of My life, and My very prana 

(vital airs); 
Khalsa is My valiant friend, Khalsa is My Sat- 

guru Pura (fully competent Master); 
I have told no untruth. 
I tell this in the presence of Par Brahm and 

Guru Nanak. 


The Need of a Master 

THE FORMLESS GOD pervadcs the Universe in the form 
of Shabd or Word; but we cannot feel blessed un- 
less we are enabled to contact It within. 

The entire atmosphere is charged with electricity but 
one cannot derive any benefit from it so long as one 
cannot reach out to an electric switch that controls the 
energy coming from the power-house. 

Once this contact is established, it gives us light, hot 
or cold breezes as we may need, and helps us in innum- 
erable ways in sweeping the house, cooking our food and 
the like. It carries huge industrial loads like the prover- 
bial demon and does work that a thousand persons put 
together cannot do. 

In exactly, the same way, if one could but reach out 
to some Human Pole where God's energy in the form of 
Shabd is manifest, one can become truly blessed and 
reap a rich spiritual harvest beyond all measure. Saints, 
prophets, seers, and Master Souls are such manifested 
Poles that radiate God's Light, Life and Love. 

They are the Children of Light and come to give 
Light to the world which is steeped in utter darkness. 
They are Shabd personified and, so to say, polarized 
God within the world. 



Holy men of God spake as they were moved by 
the Holy Ghost. 

II PETER 1:21 

The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his 
Word was in my tongue. 


Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a Light 
unto my path. 

PSALM 1 19: 105 

Satguru or Master of Truth is then the Pole wherefrom 
God's energy works for the Divine Will. This energy 
or Shabd is the Subtlest Form of the Great Unknown 
and the Unknowable. It is through the Satguru that one 
can know even this much and come into contact with 

It is from the physical that we move to the subtle. 
The Master and the Master's Sound Current are the 
means to the end. They alone can lead the spirit God- 
ward. The Master solves for us the mystery of God and 
saves us from the tentacles of mind and matter. 

His long and strong arm pulls a spirit out of body and 
mind consciousness and makes it Spirit Consciousness 
by linking it with the Sound Principle. 

The Radiant Music next leads the spirit to the source 
or region from which It is emanating. The Master and 
the Sound Current are not two different entities; they are 
but two aspects of the same thing. 

As He works on the physical plane, He has to assume 
and work through a physical vehicle, without which 


spiritual instruction cannot be imparted. But as soon as 
He disengages a human spirit from the various sheaths 
and coatings, He also assumes and works through a sub- 
tle Form — luminous and resplendent. 

This process goes on until the spirit of man becomes 
identical with that of the Master. This is the grand pur- 
pose for the fulfilment of which Masters come into this 
lowest region which is so full of misery and woe. Armed 
with the Saving Grace of God, in the form of the Holy 
Ghost — variously called Shabd, Word, Naad, Bani or 
Kalraa — the Master saves such souls as are ripe for re- 
demption, listen to Him, and work out their salvation by 
following His instructions. 

Unless God comes in the garb of man and dwells 
among us, we cannot know of God in spite of His im- 
manent presence everywhere. 

Someone must churn clarified butter from milk, and 
strike fire out of the granite blocks, before we can know 
that butter is hidden in milk and fire in stone. "Word," 
therefore, becomes flesh and dwells among us, as we 
learn from the Holy Gospel. 

When spirits grow restless from their long exile into 
the physical plane, helplessly cry out for homecoming 
and see no way out of the clutches of Kal's all pervading 
limitations of time, space, and causation, the Saving 
Grace of God is stirred by the piteous appeals and comes 
into the world in the form of a Sant Satguru (Master 
of Truth) to help them out of the impasse. 

It is the living Master who can do this job. No one 
else can. It is through the Voice of the Silence that He 


speaks. His is an unwritten law and an unspoken lan- 

Scriptures, however sacred and authoritative, contain 
bare references to spiritual regions and record the ex- 
periences of their authors, but can neither impart spirit- 
ual instruction nor be a guide on the spiritual path. 

The Word of the Master works as an "Open Sesame" 
to the heavenly regions. He holds the key that unlocks 
the Kingdom of God, now a lost province to us. It is 
out of compassion and love for the lost sheep that the 
Shepherd comes out of His fold, treads the stony path in 
an endless search, picking up lost souls here and there. 

/ am the light of the world: he that folloiveth 
Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have 
the light of life. 

JOHN 8: 12 


Fast Saints 

TODAY a person who is ill cannot have the benefit 
of medical advice from Dhanwantri (the progenitor 
of medical science), nor can a litigant ask Solomon to 
decide his case, nor can a lady marry Adonis and bring 
forth children. 

Similarly, Saints who appeared in the past from time 
to time and conferred spiritual benefit on those who came in- 
to contact with Them, cannot do anything for 
the present generation. Each had His commission, and on 
completing it, entrusted the work of regeneration to His 
successor. Man can learn only from man, and God works 
His ways through living Saints. 

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He 
revealeth his secret unto His servants the 

AMOS 3 : 7 

Some people think that past Mahatmas continue to 
live in spiritual regions and can even now confer spiritual 
benefit on the aspirants. Let us see how this holds good 
in the light of reason: 

I. Each Saint has His mission in life and comes with 
a definite instrument of instruction. As soon as He com- 
pletes His job. He retires from this world (physical plane) 



and goes back into the Spiritual Ocean from which He 
sprang, leaving the work of further reorientation to His 

2. Again, in accordance with the Law of Nature, even 
if the Predecessor has had to do something for His fol- 
lowers, He does it through the living successor to whom 
He entrusted the work in retirement; and only the latter, 
as a brother-in-faith or Gur-hhai may help and guide 
His brethren on the physical plane. 

3. It is only when we are able to leave the physical 
plane at will or at the time of death that we can con- 
tact the Master who initiated us if He has left the body. 
Even while living on this earth His resplendent and lu- 
minous form never comes down from the Gaggan (as- 
tral heaven), for He always awaits human spirits at the 
threshold of the materio-spiritual regions. 

4. Again, in the hope and belief that the ancient 
Saints and sages can even now help us, we begin to at- 
tach great importance to ill-shaped and ill-formed cur- 
rents and undercurrents of thought and feelings, and 
try to work on the suggestions of our own subconscious 
mind, little understanding its true import, and taking for 
granted that the impressions are from this or that past 

These manifestations may even have been stirred up 
by some agency other than that of our Isht Dev, or the 
past Master of our choice. This cannot be seen in its 
proper perspective unless one is first gifted with inner 
vision [Divya Drishti), which can successfully penetrate 


through the veil of mind and matter and see clearly and 
judge correctly the nature of the ill-conceived inner 
urges, as they swim up indistinctly to the mental surface. 

5. Alongside the above, we cannot possibly under- 
stand the working of a Prophet Whom we have never met 
and seen with our eyes, nor have we the means to verify 
His modus operandi. In these circumstances, we can eas- 
ily be deluded by any wandering spirit or will-of-the 
wisp, or may even fall easy prey to the Negative Power, 
with its diverse ways of enticing untrained souls. 

6. If, for instance, it may for the moment be admitted 
that the ancient sages can still lead us on the spiritual 
path and the present Master is not needed for spiritual 
instructions, then the very idea of having a Guru at any 
time in the past or present is at once eliminated, for 
God can directly teach man easily without any prophet 
or Messiah. 

7. The very fact that a Sage or Seer appeared at one 
time or another and helped people Godward is in itself 
proof, conclusive and positive, even in this age, that there 
is need of such a Godman; for without Him one cannot 
know of God or move Godward. 

8. God by Himself can teach man only by becoming 
man, for man alone can teach man. He has perforce to 
put on the garb of man — call Him what you will: a 
Sadh, Sunt, prophet, Messiah or Rasul. Like attracts like 
is an incontrovertible dictum. 

God appears as a Sadh. 

God takes on the appellation of Sant. 


This does not mean at all that past Masters are dead 
and gone. Far from it; They have attained Immortality. 
Having finally traversed the physical, the subtle, and the 
causal planes, They are at One with the Cosmic Aware- 
ness. If with all Their devotion and spiritual advance- 
ment, They were still to wander under the moon, They 
would have wasted all Their endeavors. 

It will not serve any useful purpose to enter into theo- 
retical discussion and disputation. Everything will be- 
come clear if one searches for a real Master, well versed 
in the art and science of spirit, and learns from Him an 
easy and natural way of approach to God. 

There will be no need to wait for the result until 
death. If the seed is sown properly and watered, the 
fruit must appear quickly and in abundance in one's 
very lifetime. 

A living Master can grant eternal beatitude in its full- 
ness. A simple touch with the dynamic power of the 
higher consciousness in Him is enough to charge one with 
the radiating waves of spirituality. The spirit is drawn 
inward and upward and riding the magnetic-like radiant 
strains, crosses from plane to plane. Blessed indeed is the 
spirit that contacts such a Master and comes under His 

It is a matter of common experience that a person 
bound for any foreign country consults directories, col- 
lects data about shipping companies, the various boats 
scheduled by each, the facilities they offer, the ports of 
embarkation and call, the route that each boat would 
follow, and the time that each would take, the places of 


interest on the way, and ultimately where he would stay 
on reaching the destination. 

After having laid his plans, he has to obtain a passport 
from his own government, without which he cannot 
leave his country; and he also has to arm himself with 
a landing permit from the government of the country to 
which he is bound. 

In exactly the same way, a person who intends to 
leave the physical plane for any of the spiritual planes 
has to obtain a passport and a landing permit from some 
competent authority, some vice-regent of God (a Saint), 
Who works on all the planes. 

This is granted to him at the time of Initiation, when 
acquainting him with the various ports of call on the 
way, the different signs and signals wherewith to distin- 
guish and recognize each place, the difficulties of the 
journey and the like. In this way, He grants the traveler 
the necessary passport, and a landing permit for disem- 
barkation. Once the seed of Naam is sown in a jiva, it 
cannot but fructify, and he must one day reach the King- 
dom of God, the Garden of Eden, from which he has 
been an exile from time immemorial. And no power 
here or beyond can stand in the way of his homecoming. 

The next thing the Master does is lay down the cor- 
rect path that leads to God. Like a veteran seaman, He 
plans the entire route for the traveler, as without it he 
cannot, with all of his sincere devotion and steadfast 
effort, reach the destination. 

The correct lead Godward is the second preparatory 
stage for this venture on the unknown seas. The Master 


Himself charters the boat and underwrites the disciple's 
safety en route, by telling him of the shoals and the sub- 
merged rocks in the way and other dangers besetting the 
journey, and how best to avoid them. 

He does not stop here. Master of both Heaven and 
Earth, He every day traverses at will the various spiritual 
regions. Sach Khand or Muqam-i-Haq is His perpetual 
abode from where He comes down every day to the earth 
plane, to discharge the lowliest duties cast on Him. 

Type of the wise, who soar, hut never roam; 
True to the kindred points of Heaven and 

Since He has a personal knowledge and actual experi- 
ence of the journey which He performs so often every day, 
and is a resident of the highest plane, He gives a cheery 
call to the world-weary: 

Come ye all, my unhappy brothers and sisters, 
into the Kingdom of Heaven and into the 
Gracious Presence. 

He not only gives us first-hand knowledge of the King- 
dom of God, plans our itinerary for the journey and 
books our passage homeward, but also offers to accom- 
pany us and be our guide. He may even pilot us, and 
does not rest content until He escorts us to the mansions 
of the Lord. 

We can verify for ourselves some salient features of 
the account given by Him, by reference to the directories; 
and should the latter seem to support Him in broad out- 


line we take courage and depend on Him and His compe- 
tency with confidence. 

The scriptures are nothing but directories which re- 
cord the personal experiences of those sages and seers 
who in the past traveled on this path, and a living Mas- 
ter refers to them in His talks and discourses simply be- 
cause we by nature have dogmatic faith in them, and 
He wants to take us up from the line of least resistance. 

We may break the arid ground by careful study of 
scriptures, but these per se cannot help in liberating the 
spirit from body and mind consciousness, and in leading 
her across to the spiritual regions. It is the strong and 
long arm of the living Master that can accomplish this 
Herculean task of cleansing the Augean stables, of car- 
rying the spirit beyond all limitations and concepts, and 
steering her course safely and getting back for her the 
lost Kingdom. 

It is the fundamental Law of God that no one 
can think of Him unless he is reminded of 
Him by some Master Soul. 


Bhai Gurdas says: 

Endless queries, without treading the Path, 
cannot lead thee to thy Beloved. 

One cannot understand God by means of intellect alone, 
however sharp and keen it may be. How can an instru- 
ment by nature limited in its scope measure the Limit- 
less? Some higher consciousness can lead the little con- 


sciousness to the Great Consciousness, for He serves as 
link between the two: 

// one could reach God alone, why then the 
pangs of separation? 

Meet Him through a Sadh, and have beati- 
tude, O Nanak. 

A quest in the wrong direction cannot lead 
to success. O Kabir, take with thee a guide 
and find the great jewel. A sure guide will 
help thee to reach the goal quickly, however 
distant it may seem to be. 

We feel the need of a teacher at every step. A student 
in cookery, for instance, has to learn it from one expert 
in the cuhnary art. A student in medicine has to seek 
the aid of a professor of medicine. A novice in surgery 
has to master the art from some reputed surgeon, and so 
also a pupil in engineering, painting, and so forth. Books 
and learned treatises on these various subjects cannot 
by themselves make a student expert in the subject. 

It is the practical demonstration, the experiment at the 
table, and the actual operation in the theater under the 
guidance of an adept in the profession that matters. 

If all of these physical sciences that belong to the 
realm of Apara Vidya and are studied and mastered 
on the plane of the senses require the help of a teacher, 
the need .of a teacher is still greater for spiritual science 
{Para Vidya), which is an inner process far beyond the 
ken of the senses, to be studied in the depths of the mind 
and experimented with in the laboratory of the soul. 


It has been locked up for ages upon ages and is en- 
shrouded in stark darkness and there is no visible ap- 
proach to it. The fact is that a person who denies and 
derides the necessity of a Master in Truth and yet wants 
to learn Truth all by himself does not in fact want it. 
His case is just like that of a man who prefers to dig a 
well for himself rather than quench his thirst at a spring 
of cool and refreshing water nearby, with a waterman 
ready to serve him. 

Bhai Nandlal says in this context: 

None hut a lover of rubies can understand the 

value of a ruby. 
It is only the jeweler's eyes that can at a glance 

give value to it. 

The need of a Guru or Master is absolute, and there can 
be no exception to the rule. Suppose, for instance, a per- 
son wants to have a joy-ride in the air. No one will al- 
low him to enter a plane by himself. Even if he enters 
it surreptitiously, he will find the machinery locked. If 
somehow or other he overcomes this obstacle, he will 
not know how to handle the various parts of the ma- 
chine. Should he dabble with it and the plane starts, he 
cannot take it up for want of necessary training, nor can 
he bring it down, nor steer it correctly. The result, sooner 
or later, will be a crash and loss of life. The mechanism 
of the human body is much more complicated and deli- 
cate than that of any machine; therefore the need of a 
Spiritual Adept is all the greater, both for success in the 
practical process of self-analysis and also for the ap- 


proach to God Himself and the understanding of the 
working of the divine Will. 

The spirit imprisoned in the body cannot per se sepa- 
rate itself from it. With its seat above the focus of the 
eyes, it permeates the entire sysem, and the two are in- 
dissolubly intertwined with each other. Should it some- 
how or other find itself freed momentarily and collected 
and gathered up at its center, it cannot enter the airliner 
of Shabd. If it may find a way in, it does not know where 
to go, how to go, and how to return. 

But if the master pilot (the Sant Satguru) could be 
there to take the spirit along with Him, and the two could 
enter the plane and take a few joyful rides together in 
the spiritual realm, the spirit could also learn how to 
handle the heavenly liner, and to repeat the spiritual 

One well-versed in the mechanism of the human body 
(which is composed of three coverings: physical, men- 
tal, and causal, plus the living sentient entity under- 
neath ) , a habitual traveler to the heavenly regions, day 
in and day out, can initiate a spirit into the mysteries 
of spiritual knowledge, and by a practical demonstra- 
tion show her a "Way Out." 

By actual guidance and help, the Master Himself steers 
her safely from plane to plane, and explains on the way 
the dangerous signals and points, sharp turns and twists, 
and the dangers of the unknown and untrodden spiritual 
realms. Blessed indeed is the spirit that comes across 
such an Adept in the science and art of Spirituality. 

Nothing but ill luck would dog a spirit's footsteps if 


she were to spurn His offer and attempt the divine jour- 
ney by herself, unattended and unaided by a Master 

Maulana Rumi, therefore, in no ambiguous terms 
warns against such a course: 

Find a Master Spirit, for without His active 
help and guidance this journey is beset with 
untold fears, perils, and dangers. 

In essence, Naam or Dhun Atmic Shabd (Word) is an 
unwritten law in an unspoken language, and, hence, It 
cannot be had from scriptures and other holy books. 
This wealth can be obtained only from some Adept in 
Naam, for He is Word personified. He alone is compe- 
tent to make It manifest to the spirit, and no one else 

// is a fundamental Law of God that none can 

manifest Naam except Sat guru {Master of 

The Shabd of a Master Soul can be heard only 

through His Grace, and no one else can even 

make It manifest. 

A Master of Truth is fully conversant with all the mys- 
teries of spirituality; hence His testimony carries weight 
and His charged words drive home and prove effective. 

Listen to the true and infallible testimony of 
Saints, for They have a first-hand experience 
of what They say. 

Gurbani also in unambiguous terms emphatically de- 


dares the imperative necessity of a Master Soul. The 
embodied spirits for ages upon ages have been leading 
a life of the senses, and have never known that there is 
another side of the picture as well. Truth can neither 
be known nor experienced except through the grace of 
a Master of Truth. 

Without a Master no one ever found Truth 
in the past nor in the present. The Crest 
Jewel of Naam has been kept in the hands of 
a Master, and He is competent to manifest 
the same in the jivas. 

It is through God's Grace that one comes 
across a Master of Truth. After a spirit has 
passed through cycles of births, then the 
Master makes her hear the Sound Current. 

Listen ye all with attention and learn that 
there is none so great a philanthropist as a 
Satguru; for He bestows upon jivas the gift 
of precious Naam. Those who are prepared 
to lose their lives (i.e., come above the 
physical life of the senses), shall find Truth 
on contacting a Master Soul. 

All Saints with one accord declare that without a God- 
man, one cannot reach God and attain Godhead. God 
Himself made this abundantly clear: 

It is a cardinal principle of God that one can- 
not even think of Him without the Grace 
of a Satguru. 


Nanak has learned from God that one cannot 
gain salvation without the active aid of a 

Satguru is a great ophthalmologist and an expert eye 
surgeon. We are all stark blind. God is within us, and 
darkly we grope for Him without. But a contact with 
a Satguru restores to us the lost vision and we begin to 
realize and experience God in the laboratory of the hu- 
man mind: 

The entire mankind is blind and is blindly 
engaged in deeds of darkness, and finds not 
a Way out. O Nanak! when a spirit meets 
a Master of Truth, she begins to see with 
her own eyes {inner, of course) and she re- 
alizes the Truth in the depths of the soul. 

We are nothing short of truly blind, for we see not, 
regardless of physical eyes. Blindness consists not in 
the loss of eyes, but in keeping away from God. Nanak 

Call them not blind who have no eyes, O 

Such in fact are blind who see not the Light 

of God. 

Guru Arjan tells us that even a person with eyes may 
yet be blind, if he sees not God Who is the very soul 
of his soul, and thus he commits sins: 

A person in full possession of his senses may 
yet be blind; if he considers that God, the 


very Soul of his soul, is far removed from 
him, and thereby he shamelessly engages 
in evil. 

With physical eyes we witness the physical world 
around us. But the Shiv Netra or Third Eye in each one 
of us is closed. When this eye opens, we can see the won- 
ders of the subtle and causal worlds, and even those of 
the purely spiritual world beyond these: 

Blind is one who performs deeds of blindness, 
because his inner eye is closed. 

All of us are concerned with matter, and know not if 
there is anything else. 

Ever engaged in mind and matter, he does not 

even think of God; 
Bound for Hades, he is ever in perpetual 

Blind and deaf, he does not see beyond; 
A slave of the mind, he is immersed in sins. 

It is impossible for anyone to enter the higher regions 
by his individual efforts. It is imperative for an aspirant 
of these to take with him an Adept who daily treads the 
sun and moon in his heavenly journeys. 

Maulana Rumi says: 

A person desirous of making a pilgrimage 
should take with him an experienced pil- 
grim for the purpose — no matter whether 


that pilgrim be a Hindu, a Turk, or an 

The Satguru, like a master surgeon, can restore vision 
to the inner eye. 

Shamas-i-Tabrez tells us: 

Should you like to see God, apply the dust of 
a Godman'sfeet to thine eye, for He can give 
sight even to the born blind. 

Naam or Shabd is the coUyrium that makes a person 
capable of seeing heavenly visions. Without Its use one 
forever remains blind, and human birth avails him not: 

Without contact with Shabd, a person is both 
blind and deaf, and gains naught from hu- 
man birth. 

The greatest asset is the blessed Bani, which 
restores the sight that can apprehend God. 


God is permeating through and through, but we do not 
see Him, as we suffer from myopic vision: 

Accursed is the person who sees Him not, 

though He is within; 
All persons, Tulsi, suffer from cataract over 

their eyes. 

Eyes are a great blessing. Without them a person gropes 
in the dark. The whole physical world is just a blank 
sheet to a blind person. But how grateful would he feel 


if some expert surgeon were to restore his sight by means 
of an operation. 

The inner eye is a thousand times more useful than 
the outer one, as without it one cannot see anything be- 
yond the physical plane, and for ages upon ages he has 
been blindly staggering, ever since the dawn of creation. 
The Master of Truth bestows vision to this third eye 
that has long been lying sealed as it were by constant 
disuse. Is it not a pity that such a valuable organ should 
be rendered useless, and that we have not taken the 
time even to think of the helpless state in which we are? 
Such indeed is the overpowering influence of mind and 
matter upon the embodied spirit. 

It is not only human beings, but also the gods that 
stand in need of Light for the third eye, for without 
It they, too, cannot see anything beyond themselves and 
their surroundings. Located as they are in the descending 
order, one below the other, they cannot even see their 
own Mother — Shakti (Energy) — from which each of 
them has sprung. 

The entire creation is born of Shakti (Energy), 
which works through three distinct agencies: 
Brahma (Creator); Vishnu (Sustainer); 
and Shiva (Destroyer). Though all three 
are under Her direction and control, yet 
strange as it may seem, they know Her not. 

Tulsi Sahib also tells us that none can safely cross the 
sea of life except through the Grace of a Guru : 

None has ever crossed the fearful stream of life 


except with the aid of a Guru, no matter if 
he may have been an intellectual giant, like 

When great personages like these stand in need of guid- 
ance and help of a Guru, the puny child of clay simply 
cannot do without a Master Soul. 

Without a beneficent Guru no one finds a way 
out, although he may perform myriads of 
charitable works and deeds of merit. 

Again, Tulsi Sahib says: 

Tulsi, without the aid of some Murshid-i- 
Kamil [perfect Master), you cannot have 
salvation nor can you see the way thereto. 

In Gurbani we find emphatic reference to the need for 
a Guru: 

Let there not be the least doubt in the mind of 
any, for none has ever crossed the tempestu- 
ous and fretful seas of life without a Guru. 

The world is a fearful ocean. The Word of the Guru 
is the boat, and He is the captain thereof. It is with His 
grace that one can reach God, and there is no other way. 

Guru is at once the barque and the captain, 
and without Him none can cross. God is the 
veritable gift of Guru, and the way to salva- 
tion lies through Him. 


In the scriptures of the Hindus also, we find many such 
references. In Katha Upanishad I:ii, we have: 

Very few indeed are the persons who have the 
good fortune to hear of God, and fewer still 
who can know of Him. Blessed is the high 
souled one who talks of Him, and blessed 
are they who have access to such a person- 
age, and truly blessed is he who with His help 
and guidance finds God within him. 

Mere thinking and contemplation are of no 
avail. Without Initiation one cannot know 
of God. Unless you learn of God from some 
Master Soul, you shall not experience Him. 

He is so subtle that thoughts fail to reach Him 
and intellect cannot apprehend Him. 

In Chandogya Upanishad IV:ix-3, we have: 

From the pious and the holy who are just like 
Gurus, we have heard that without a Master 
Soul we can neither know nor experience 
the true nature of the Self. 

In Mandukya Upanishad (I Mandukya, Khand 2, Sha- 
lok 7:12), we read : 

It behooves a Brahmin to disengage himself 
from the desires for the fruits of Karmas and 
acquire a spirit of detachment, for God is 
self-existent and cannot be attracted by 
deeds of merit. To know Him, he must, like 
a true seeker and disciple, go to a Guru who 


is adept in the knowledge of Brahma and is 
fully embedded in Brahma. 

Without a Guru one cannot even have true import of the 
scriptures. In Svetasvatara Upanishad VI 123, it is re- 
corded : 

He who is extremely devoted to God and has 
the same amount of devotion for his Guru, 
he alone can understand the significance of 
the text herein. 

Let us now turn to Manusmriti, Chapter II : 

A disciple must stand before his Guru in per- 
fect equipoise, with full control over his body 
and bodily organs. 

SH. 192 

A disciple must everyday before the comm,ence- 
ment of his daily lessons and after comple- 
tion of the same do obeisance at the feet of 
his Guru and act according to His instruc- 

SH. 71 

Those who try to follow the Vedas on hearsay 
authority only, do a great disservice to the 
Vedas — for none can truly learn the Vedas 
without a Guru — and such go to hell. 

SH. 116 

Whosoever imparts to you knowledge either 
exoteric or esoteric is worthy of your respect. 

SH. I I 7 


In Bhagavad Gita IV : 34, we have : 

The practice {of spirituality) can best be done 
at the feet of a Master Soul, fully conversant 
with the Reality, for such alone can guide 

We cannot know the spiritual path without the help of 
a Godman and our search should, therefore, begin with 
the latter. In the Holy Gospel, it is said: 

No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

JOHN 14:6 

No man knoweth . . . who the Father is, but 
the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal 

LUKE 10:22 

No man can come to me except the Father 
which hath sent me draw him. 

JOHN 6:44 

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he 
that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 

MATTHEW 10:40 

In short, the sacred books of all religions repeat the 
same thing; to wit, that man cannot gain salvation ex- 
cept through a Master of Truth. 

The Shastras, the Vedas and the Smritis all converge 
at one point: no one can have salvation except through 
grace. Right contemplation will bring home this uni- 
versal Truth to you as well. 


The easiest and the quickest way to reach God is 
through devotion to some Master Soul. The Prophet 
of Arabia, while exhorting Ali, said: 

O Ali! thou art a lion in the cause of Truth, 
brave and steadfast, but depend not on thy 
prowess and strength. Far better it would be 
for thee to take shelter under a tree laden 
with flowers and fruits. 

AW of all the ways leading to God, choose 
one that is of the Beloved of God, for long 
and strong is His arm and He can easily 
take the seekers after Truth into His Holy 

Maulana Rumi also exhorts in the same fashion: 

The ever oscillating mind cannot be stilled 
unless it comes under the overpowering in- 
fluence of some Saint. Should you come 
across one, take hold of Him with a firm 
grasp. Take rest under the shelter of an Ac- 
cepted One, for the proximity of a liberated 
Soul shall liberate thee as well. 

Dove-like sigh thou night and day and search 
for the hidden treasure from some darvesh 
{man of God). 

Again : 

There is no Friend greater than Satguru; He is 

the protector here and everywhere. 
Search for such a one right and left, high and 
low, and never rest until He is found. 


Never turn away from the holy and pious, but 
diligently try to understand Them and Their 
real greatness. 

The path of spirituahty is strewn with dangers and diffi- 
culties and cannot be safely trod except with the help 
and guidance of a Master. 

Every soul is clothed in three distinct sheaths; the 
physical, the astral, and the causal. It is through each 
of these that she can operate in the three corresponding 
planes. Her native plane, however, lies beyond the three. 

The physical plane itself is beset with terrible snares 
and difficulties. The astral or subtle plane is full of in- 
conceivable temptations from which it is impossible for 
a jiva to escape unscathed. 

Similarly, still greater glamor awaits a jiva in the 
causal plane. Again, it is no small adventure to enter 
spiritual planes by oneself alone. This path is strewn 
with thorns and is sharp as a razor's edge. 

Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which 
leadeth unto life, and few there be that 
find it. 

MATTHEW 7 : 7 

It is, therefore, all the more necessary that a seeker after 
Truth must first fmd an adept in Truth, fully conversant 
with the spiritual path leading to Reality, and obtain 
his lessons from Him, and practice them under His direct 
supervision, guidance, and control. Without these pre- 
requisites there cannot be a ghost of a chance for suc- 
cess. In Katha Upanishad, we come across a dictum: 


Awake, arise, and stop not until the Goal is 

The knowledge of God can be had from a man of 
God. At every step an aspirant feels the need of the Mas- 
ter's strong and long arm, which alone can reach him, 
save him, and keep him on the path and lead him cor- 
rectly. Maulana Rumi says : 

First fi7id a Pir {adept in the line) for without 
a Pir the way is beset with dangers, difficul- 
ties, and tribulations. 

Whoever attempts to walk on this path by him- 
self IS sure to be led astray by Satan and 
thrown down the precipice. 

Without the overpowering influence of a God- 
man you are bound to become bewildered by 
the howling cries of ghouls. 

Many a wise and intelligent person attempted 
this path alone but by the wiles of the nega- 
tive powers came to a sad end. Many a time 
the ghouls imitate the sounds of the Master, 
and these may drag thee to perdition. 

It is through the loving grace of the Master that a spirit 
can get out of the prison-house of the body. From here 
the Luminous Form of the Master directly takes charge 
of the spirit, and protects her at every step with His loving 

The intricate and bewildering turns and twists 
of the path are easily passed through with 
the help of the Satguru. 


The subtle and causal planes are a vast wilderness for 
the soul, and it is unsafe for her to traverse them by her- 
self. Maulana Rumi tells us in this context: 

Take a fellow traveler with thee and travel not 
alone on this path. Do not venture in this 
wilderness by thyself alone. 

Hafiz Sahib also gives the same advice: 

Do not attempt these stages alone. In the bewil- 
dering darkness, you are sure to lose your 


Without a Guru All is Darkness 

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 en- 
veloped. It is the Master's Grace that can pull a spirit 
out of the physical sheath right above the plane of senses, 
enabhng her to move unfettered to higher spiritual vi- 
sions 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 ex- 
perience 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. 

Mind! ye must turn to some Master Soul. 

Accept as Master an Adept in the Sound Prin- 
ciple and He shall wash thee clean of all 

The Master both by His attention and His in- 
struction imparts the Knowledge of Truth. 

He who has never seen a Master Soul nor ac- 
cepted one, simply wastes his life in this 

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, per- 
formance 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, with- 
out a Master Soul to guide, go in vain. 

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

O Bullah! Without a Master all thy devotion 
would he 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 dark- 
ness 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 

Hundreds of moons and thousands of suns to- 
gether may rise; 

Even with such radiance, there is not a speck 
of Light. 


Historical Evidence 

WE HAVE the testimony of history to show that one 
cannot have access to spiritual regions by one's 
own self. In the Shastras it is mentioned that Narad was 
refused admittance into Vishnupuri — The Land of Vish- 
nu — when he by himself attempted to enter into that 
kingdom, because he had not been initiated by any Guru. 

Again, Sukh Dev Swami, the son of Ved Vyas, with 
all his spiritual knowledge and learning, right from his 
conception in his mother's womb, could not enter the 
kingdom of Vishnu until he accepted Raj Rishi Janak 
as his spiritual mentor. 

Nowhere do we come across any instance in which 
an uninitiated jiva by himself may have been allowed 
to enjoy this privilege. 

All born Saints, though very few, come into the world 
with esoteric knowledge right from their birth but have 
for form's sake to adopt a Master. 

Kabir Sahib, for instance, had to accept Shri Rama- 
nanda as His Master. In spite of their completed spiritual 
background, they had to associate with Saints, as one 
would do in a refresher course. 

Guru Amar Das tells us that it is God's Law that one 
cannot even think of Him without being reminded of 
Him by some Master of Truth. 



It is ordained by God Himself that one thinks 

of Him only when he meets a Master of 

Truth [Godman). 
Again : 

No man can come to me except the Father 

which has sent me draw him; and I will 

raise him up at the last day. 

JOHN 6:44 

The generality of mankind simply cannot do without a 
Master Soul. Even Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, the 
very incarnations of Vishnu, had to bow down before 
Maharishi Vashisht and Ingris Rishi, respectively. 

When such high-souled personages with sway extend- 
ing as far as the causal region had to accept a Spiritual 
Guide, we ordinary human beings cannot dispense with 
this absolutely basic necessity. 

Guru Nanak emphatically declares that the impor- 
tance of Guru can be known from Brahma, Narad, and 
Ved Vyas: 

O Brother! without a Guru, you cannot have 
absolute Truth [as opposed to relative 
knowledge through perception by the 
senses). You may verify this by reference to 
Brahma, Narad, and Vishnu. 
Tulsi Sahib says: 

Who is greater than Rama and Krishna? They 
too, had to accept a Master. Lord of the 
three regions {physical, astral, and causal), 
They too, had to bow before a Master. 


Everyone who has made any mark in spirituality has had 
the backing of some Master Soul. Raj Rishi Janak got 
a practical demonstration in spirituality form Mahari- 
shi Ashtavakra. Gorakh Nath received His initiation from 
Machinder Nath. Arjuna, the warrior prince of the Pan- 
davas, learned His lessons in spirituality from Lord Krish- 
na. Swami Vivekananda sat at the feet of Paramhans 
Ramakrishna, the Saint of Dakhshineshwar. 

Among the Sikhs, Guru Nanak molded Lehna and 
made Angad out of Him (his ang or limb), and the latter, 
in turn, raised Amar Das to the status of a Guru, and 
so on. 

Maulana Rumi tells us that He got his spiritual im- 
petus from Shamas-i-Tabrez: 

A maulvi {school teacher) could not become 

maulana {leader in theology), 
If it were not for the grace of Shamas-i-Tabrez. 

Again : 

Saqi (Master)! come and look with favor 

upon the Malauna; 
From housetops He cries: He is the slave of 

Many a Mahatma has in his discourses paid homage 
to his divine preceptor, and though some have not made 
any such mention, there can be no denying the fact that 
Light comes from Light, and Life from Life, and that 
mind and matter-ridden jivas cannot awaken and arise 
in cosmic awareness unless pulled up by some Master 


Before and After Guru Nanak 

THERE IS always food for the hungry and water for 
the thirsty. A babe that was born five hundred years 
ago was provided by Dame Nature with milk from the 
moiher's breast; and so was the case with one who came 
into the world a thousand years back. Those who are 
born in the present age are also being provided with 
similar means of sustenance. 

The law of supply and demand is an immutable one 
in Nature. In exactly the same way this law works in- 
exorably in spiritual matters also. 

For the aspirants before the time of Guru Nanak or 
in this age or hereafter, Nature cannot but provide the 
means of satisfying their aspirations. 

To delimit a particular period of one or two centuries 
as the period of Gurus and to say that there were no 
Master Souls before or after that particular time, is 
against the fundamental law of supply and demand, and 
hence incorrect. 

The teachings of the Masters are for all times and not 
for any particular period. They utter eternal truths which 
hold good for eternity, and are the common heritage of 
mankind in general. Their seed-dictum, for instance, is 
that God is One and is the Gift of a Godman. It is an 



axiomatic truth, self-evident, and hardly needs any com- 

In Anurag Sugar, Kabir Sahib tells us that He came 
into the world in all the four yugas or cycles of time. 

Bhagat Bani was in existence long before Gurbani. 
From Guru Granth Sahib and the verses of Bhai Gurdas, 
we learn that from age to age people benefited from 
Shabd or Bani. 

Krishna and Balbhadra both bowed before a 

Namdev the calico printer and Kabir the weav- 
er learned the esoteric science from a Guru. 

Bani has been in existence in all the four cycles 
of time and carries the message of Truth. 

Shabd is true, and Bani is true. Godmen have 
from age to age explained this. 

In the biography of Guru Nanak by Bhai Bala, Guru 
Nanak is said to have stated that in this Kali Yuga ( Iron 
Age) many a Saint would come to lead people God- 

Seventy Bhagats and fourteen Saints would 

come during this period. 
The Saints would carry shiploads of people 
Homeward. Those who would not believe 
would flounder, and those who are slaves of 
their lower selves would not be accepted. 

From the above it is clear that both Guru and Gurbani 
have always existed side by side. It is the Guru who has 
ever been the means of helping the seekers after Truth. 


O God! Thy Saints have at all times been in 

the world. 
O God! throughout the ages the line of Gurus 

has been in existence. The succession of Sat- 

gurus continues throughout and They have 

ever preached the lesson of Naam. 


Scriptures and Their Value 

GURU IS A highly spiritual being with a sway extend- 
ing as far as Sach Khand. He has a firsthand 
knowledge of And, Brahmand and Sach Khand : the 
three grand divisions from, physical to purely spiritual 

Free from the clutches of body and mind, he is 
charged with pure spirituality. Unless a jiva comes into 
contact with such a being, his latent spiritual aspirations 
are not stirred up. The Guru is really a lighted candle 
that lights many blown-out candles. He can be transmit- 
ting His own life impulse, enliven others. Some persons 
feel that by the study of scriptures alone they can have 
spiritual light and need no Master for this purpose. We 
may pause here and consider the value and worth of the 
sacred books or holy scriptures. 

These are, after all, nothing but the records of the 
personal spiritual experiments and experiences of an- 
cient sages, seers, prophets, and men of piety. It is good 
to read them with loving devotion. We should have re- 
spect for them, for they constitute a great treasure-house 
of spirituality which our forefathers have left for our 

The sacred books and biographies of the high-souled 
personages create a spiritual longing and inspire us with 



hope and courage. We may to a certain extent become 
acquainted with the broad principles of spirituality, but 
cannot learn their right import nor get the life impulse, 
both of which come from a living Master alone. 

Books are, after all, material things and matter cannot 
impart Life. 

Life comes from Life as Light comes from Light. It 
is only an Awakened Soul that can rouse us from our deep 
slumber. We may read scriptures for ages upon ages and 
perform countless sacrificial deeds, but cannot have spir- 
itual awakening and spiritual insight. 

Spirituality can neither be bought nor taught, but may 
be caught like an infectious disease from One who may 
Himself be spiritually infected, nay rather, obsessed. 

The teachings of the Saints have not only to be learned 
but have also to be revealed. Besides knowledge of the 
theory of the Path, it has to be seen, experienced and 
verified. It is at once a science and an art, into the mys- 
teries of which only an Adept can safely lead, guide, and 
take us through. 

God can best be served through devotion to a 
Godnian, for it is by his grace that we can 
reach God. 

Again, even the scriptures and the past Masters em- 
phatically exhort us to find a living Master. 

Drink the washings of the Sadh's feet 
Make a holocaust of theyself for His sake. 
Wash in the dust of His feet and be a sacrifice 
to Him. 


Be ye a slave to the Saints — and this is all that 
ye need to know. 

Bhai Gurdas also tells us: 

In the Guru lie hidden all the Vedas and the 
sacred scriptures. A contact with Him is 
enough to help one to safely cross over the 
ocean of life. We cannot know Truth with- 
out the Master of Truth. God Himself has to 
come down for this very purpose. 

There are persons who studiously and scrupulously study 
the scriptures all their lives. They know a great deal b)' 
rote and can deliver learned discourses and give high- 
flown talks on spiritual matters, but unfortunately are 
altogether devoid of spiritual knowledge and spiritual 
experience. Their life and conduct is as blank as that of 
any other. They have not learned at the root nor drunk 
the Water of Life at the fountainhead of life : the living 
Master. In Sri Asa Ki War, we have: 

One may stuff his head with so much learning 
and accumulate a heavy load of knowledge. 
He may raise and gather a regular harvest of 
learning. All his life he may go on studying 
from year to year, month to month, from 
moment to moment. O Nanak! One thing 
you may know for certain : he will become a 
bloated ass. 

O Nanak! One may study sacred lore by 
weight and be engaged ceaselessly in this 


task. What after all is the value of learning 
when Naam lies far beyond all holy books? 

Books, after all, contain a description of God's Knowl- 
edge, but cannot actually deliver the goods. 

Know ye for certain that the essence of all 
knowledge and wisdom lies in Dhuni [Sound 
Principle) and as such it is indescribable. 

This essence then is within us, but we cannot have It 
unless we know how to tap inside, as Emerson puts it. 

Dr. J. D. Rhine, the parapsychologist and researcher, 
tells us in his book Mind and the New World that there 
is something in man that transcends all matter. If spirit- 
ual knowledge could be had from books, then all the 
learned people would by now be saints. 

But in actual experience we see that in spite of all their 
book learning they continue to be as material as the very 
libraries that house these books. 

Laden with the dead weight of book knowledge, they 
may be likened to an ass staggering under the dead- 
weight of sandalwood and experiencing not the sweet 
scent emanating therefrom. 

Like a ladle in the pudding, they are ignorant of the 
taste of the pudding. In this age of learning, when the 
world is literally flooded with books, there is, unfortu- 
nately, no flood of spirituality and not even a sprinkling 
of spiritually-minded people. 

It is only the advent of a Master of Truth that brings 
spirituality into the limelight and many there are who be- 
come dyed in spiritual colors. A conscious spirit can be 


activated and quickened into life by someone who is 
more conscious. Neither books nor intellectual knowledge 
can do this thing. No person, no matter how intellectual, 
can infuse Life in another unless he himself has Life. 

To talk of spirituality is much easier than to live spirit- 
ually. Such persons only dabble in spirituality and just 
make a show of it, and cannot do any real good. 

Maulana Rumi says: 

Come under the overall influence of some 

Thou canst not find the path from a mere imi- 

In the Gospel we find the words of Christ: 

Beware of false prophets which come to you in 
sheep's clothing but inwardly they are raven- 
ing wolves. 

MATTHEW 7: 15 

An association with a Saint is bound to create in a 
jiva a longing for spirituality. This, in fact, is the touch- 
stone for the worldly-wise. Such a being is worthy of re- 
spect and adoration with all our hearts and souls. Who- 
ever comes in contact with Him is magnetized and is 
charged with spirituality and taken along to spiritual 

My body, mind, and wealth all belong to the 

His Grace has provided the Holy Grail and 
made me whole; 

The world holds no greater benefactor than He, 


He who contacts a Sadh is ferried across 

The ideal of the Master is spiritual. He is not limited to 
His physical Body as we are. He is Word personified. 

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. 

The physical body is just like a raiment which has to be 
cast off both by the disciple and the Master, the moment 
this spiritual journey begins; as it is the untrammeled 
spirit that has to tread the spiritual path. But so long as 
He works on the physical plane as a teacher to the stray 
brethren, blessed indeed is His form full of Godly Grace, 
shedding Godly Light around Him and charging all and 
sundry with powerful rays of spirituality. Man is the 
teacher of man and ideal man has ever been the ideal 
of man. 

Those who regard it as idolatry do not know the se- 
cret of the Master's greatness. This "man worship," as 
they call it, is much better than "book worship" or "idol 
worship," because it is a worship of Higher Conscious- 
ness by lower consciousness. Life can come from Life, 
not from inert matter. Hazrat Khusro, a great Sufi poet, 
in his well-known couplet, tells us: 

People allege that Khusro has become an idol 

Verily do I admit it, for the world has nothing 

to do with me. 

Again, another Persian poet from his sick bed said: 
O ignorant physician! fake thy leave, for thou 


knowest not that for the love-sick there is no 
other remedy except the sight of his Beloved. 
Similarly, Guru Nanak in His childhood when afflicted 
with the pangs of love asked the physician who came to 
attend Him to quit, as he could not find out the illness 
of His heart. 

There is nothing in common between a worldly-wise 
man and a devotee. One who has never known devotion 
cannot know the worth of a Master, who is a polarized 
God, shedding kindly Light in the world. 

Truly speaking, the term Guru is not an appellation 
of any person. It signifies and stands for a dynamic pow- 
er that works in and through a particular human form 
and is the ideal for us all. 

This is the power that helps in spiritual advancement. 
Like a floodlight He floods the world with His spiritual 
Light, and one cannot see anything besides Light. The 
aspirants for spirituality gather around Him like moths 
and make a holocaust of themselves in His august and 
holy presence. 

Kabir Sahib says: 

The ignorant regard the Master as a human 
being and are caught in the whirlwind of the 
world and sink down. Their mind and body 
are of no consequence and they cannot gain 
anything. They cannot develop any devotion 
in themselves, hence cannot escape from 
bondage. Such jivas make a headlong dash 
for hell-fire, and ceaselessly move with the 
giant wheel of creation. 


Guru is Superman or Godman 

As A MAN, Guru is an ideal man: in Him shines the 
very Sun of Spirituality. He is the fountainhead 
of Life. He is an epitome of the entire creation, visible 
and invisible, right from Sat Lok down to the physical 
plane. No one can know Him fully, even as it is impossi- 
ble to swim across an ocean. For a dip in the water one 
does not go into mid-ocean, but is content with the water 
at the beach or the bathing ghat. Through the Perfect 
Man one can enjoy the Love, Light and Life of God. 

If we ask of His greatness, of His native place, how He 
has come down, and what His mission is in life, all that 
can be said is that He has come directly from the King- 
dom of God or Sat Lok, and having crossed the various 
intermediary planes (Tap Lok, Jan Lok, Sivar Lok, 
Bhanwar Lok, etc.) has reached the physical world or 
Bhu Lok just to manifest the Godhead that is His to the 

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest. 

MATTHEW 11:28 

The Son of man is come to seek and to save 
that which was lost. 

LUKE 19: 10 


Murshid-i-Kamil (Perfect Master) is a veritable abode 
of God's attributes in fullness and in abundance. The 
kindly Light of heaven shines in Him and He diffuses it 
among mankind. The Love of God is surging in Him 
like heaving sea- waters. 

The moving waters at their priest-like task of 
pure ablution, round earth's human shores. 


And, above all, He is the Life of Life, and His greatest 
mission is to impart the Life Impulse to the stark cold 
jivas all immersed in worldly pursuits, dead to higher in- 
stincts. God may well be perceived in Godman. It is said 
that God made man after His own image and asked the 
angels to bow before him. Maulana Rumi says: 

He has placed the veritable sun in man. 

When a person rises in cosmic awareness, he finds that 
the Master is the hub of the entire universe. He is Truth 
personified, possessing the very essence of God and fit to 
be worshiped by all. 

He is the leader and guide of mankind; the greatest, 
the highest and the perfect One among them. He is the 
genuine abode of all that is good and noble. He is the 
prototype of God, working as His viceroy and adminis- 
tering His laws on all planes (physical and spiritual). He 
is gifted with forensic acuteness, discriminative acumen 
and sound judgement. He may be unlettered, but still 
He is the most learned. Even as a man. He is the holiest 
of the holy, most pious and most loving; with love that 


far transcends societies, countries, and nations. His self 
is co-eval with mankind. He is the citizen of the world, 
and His appeal is one of universal interest. He is, in short, 
the deputy of God, come into the world to share His 
Love, Light, and Life with erring humanity. 

In this world. He lives just like any other individual. 
Although in the world. He is not of the world. He loves 
all people much more than parents love their children. 
He knows but looks beyond our shortcomings and smil- 
ingly helps us to overcome them. Full of compassion, 
Christ-like, with sore and bruised feet, the Son of Man 
ceaselessly goes about with insatiable hunger in His soul, 
passionately seeking to recover and retrieve that which 
is lost: lost man, his brother, lost soul. 

He may look like a man, but in reality He is more 
than a man, more than a Superman, indeed. He is per- 
fect in every respect: physically, mentally, morally, spirit- 
ually, and as a manifestation of God. With all His great- 
ness, He works as the lowliest of the low and humblest of 
the humble. He combines in Himself power and poverty, 
intellect and love, greatness and humility. 

Master of Truth as He is. He far excels even a Super- 
man. His sway extends to purely spiritual regions, which 
lie beyond human limitations of time, space, and causa- 
tion. He can at will leave the physical body, tread the 
sun and moon, traverse subtle and causal planes, and 
transcend Par Brahm and beyond. 

Science with its material accomplishments is groping 
in the dark. All scientific research is still in the material 
world where the scientists are relentlessly working with 


all the mental and moral force at their command. They 
have no idea of the various planes to which the Master 
of Truth has access at His free vi^ill and sweet pleasure. 

Those who accept the Master's teachings and work 
under His direction can see for themselves. All the Saints 
are at one in Their conclusion: 

The Kingdom of God lies within. 

Christ tells us: 

The Kingdom of God cometh not with obser- 
vation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, 
lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is 
within you. 

LUKE 17:20-21 

Again, in Gurbani, we have: 

Everything is within you and nothing is out- 
side you. Quest without is fruitless, when the 
crest jewel, O brethren, is lodged within you. 

He who searches without is yet in the wil- 

The human body is the Temple of God. It is the real 
church, the synagogue, and the mosque made by God, 
and what a pity we try to seek Him in man-made houses. 
One who knows how to cut deep in the cavern of the 
mind and experiment in the laboratory of the soul can 
successfully see the wonder of sublime sights and hear 
the celestial strains of the harmony divine. 

In the body lies everything: Khand, Mandal 


and Fatal {inner planes, high and low, in- 
cluding the nether world) . In it is lodged the 
crest jewel of spirituality, and a devotee can 
have this in abundance. The entire macro- 
cosm is in the microcosm. In this body one 
can find Naam (Word) if one were to fol- 
low the instructions of the Master. 

Sannai, the great philosopher, tells us: 

In the kingdom of the human body there are 
innumerable firmaments and powers that 
work in order. The spirit has to traverse 
many a high and low region, mountain and 
river valley. There are many plains, oceans, 
wildernesses and bewildering heights of 
which one can hardly conceive. In this 
mighty maze the physical world is just like a 
tiny speck on a big ocean. 

The human body, being the Temple of God, is just a 
model of the grand creation and whoever delves into it 
is able to know the secret of the creation. 

Brahmand and Find have been fashioned alike. 
The investigations of the one automatically 
reveal the mystery of the other, like an open 

Great indeed is man, gifted as he is with untold possibili- 
ties. The very macrocosm is lodged in the microcosm of 
the body. We, however, look to outer raiment and are 
concerned with it constantly, little knowing what is be- 


hind the folds of this garment. We nourish and pamper 
the body but allow the roots to run dry. The roots of the 
entire creation originate in the subtle region, which we 
can reach by a process of inversion. 

Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not re- 
ceive the Kingdom of God as a little child, 
he shall not enter therein. 

MARK 10:15 

But, unfortunately, we never have a peep within, because 
we are averse to becoming as a little child. Emerson, a 
great philosopher, also exhorts us to tap inside. Bergson 
advises us to take a mortal leap within to land at the 
source of all knowledge. 

The lessons of the process of inversion, tapping inside, 
the mortal leap within, or becoming as a little child, as 
Jesus puts it, are given in detail by the Master of Truth, 
both by word of mouth and by instructions on the vari- 
ous planes as the spirit travels onward under His per- 
sonal guidance and care. 

Saints are scientists of the spiritual world and Masters 
of Para Vidya — Knowledge of the Beyond; i.e., knowl- 
edge of that which lies beyond reason and intellect and 
can be learned or known through the sense of perception. 

It is a subject of extra-sensory perception (ESP) as it 
is called by the modern psychic science researchers and 
parapsychologists, who, as Dr. J. D. Rhine tells us in his 
book Mind and the New World, have discovered through 
their investigations that there is something operative in 
the human being which transcends the laws of matter. 


The Master of Truth is fully conversant with that some- 
thing, and is competent to grant the full extra-sensory per- 
ception, as an eye -surgeon can restore sight to the physi- 
cal eyes. The Master, like Buddha, tells us that physical 
life is all misery, but that beyond it there are countless 
subtle planes where one experiences nothing but bliss and 
light. Every day, He goes to these planes and tells us of 
His experiences. Those who follow His instructions and 
experiment in the laboratory of the mind under His guid- 
ance, see subtle worlds just as we see the physical, and 
the results are as sure, certain and definite as two and 
two make four. 


Master and the Homegoing of Jivas 

MASTER comes from his spiritual abode to call the 
jivas back home. 

A^o man can come to me, except the Father 
which hath sent me draw him. 

JOHN 6:44 

Our spirit is exactly of the same essence as God's. Having 
been separated from that ocean of bliss it has become im- 
prisoned in the prison-house of body and mind. Saints 
also come down from Their spiritual abode to take back 
home such spirits as are prepared for the return journey. 

It is, in fact, God Himself who comes in the garb of 
man to lead the jivas out of the tentacles of the Nega- 
tive Powers, after they have served the period of proba- 
tion. This is the fulfillment of the grand covenant or the 
great law — Man is to be the teacher of man — teaching 
the true redemption, and home-going with rejoicing. 

When the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son 
of God . . . they that hear shall live. 

JOHN 5:25 

He who sent thee into the world calls thee 
back. Return ye to thy native home in Sahaj 
{beyond the three-fold regions, physical, 
mental, and causal). 



One with God, they come into this world under His be- 
hest as His plenipotentiaries to administer His law con- 
cerned with home-going. This is Their noble mission, and 
gracefully They fulfill His purpose. Shamas-i-Tabrez tells 
us about himself: 

Little can you imagine what type of birds we 
are, and what we keep warbling all the time. 
We may look to be a beggar, but our actions 
are more than kingly. We may appear to he 
poor, but we are richer than the richest 
mine. When we are king of kings we care 
not for the brief stay in this prison-house of 
the world. We are just a pilgrim here, and 
cannot remain for long. We hold a covenant 
with the Lord and stand true to our troth. 
So long as we are in physical raiment we do 
not get annoyed with anybody nor do we vex 
another. Like a veritable paradise we are 
ever filled with kindly light and heavenly 
grace. Happily do we live with a cheery 
heart and a smile on our lips. 

Guru Gobind Singh likewise tells us of himself: 

Casting off the duality, I had become one with 
the Lord. Never did I like to come down 
again into the world, but it was at His bid- 
ding that I had to yield, and I came to fulfill 
His purpose. 

Kabir Sahib also says: 

Kabir comes from the celestial abode of the 


Lord and holds a direct commission {instru- 
ment of instruction) from Him. 

Again, in the Gospel, we have: 

/ do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath 
taught me, I speak these things. 

JOHN 8:28 

In Gurbani, we also come across similar references: 

O Lalo! I speak nothing from myself. I simply 
utter what the Beloved puts into my mouth. 

Poor Nanak opens his mouth only when he is 
bidden to do so. 



Master and His Mission 

ASTER SOULS comc into the world out of sheer 
compassion for suffering humanity. 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 


They have of necessity to put on the physical raiment, 
full of impurity as it is, because They have to work on the 
physical plane among human beings. 

God clothed Himself in vile man's flesh, that so 
He might be weak enough to suffer woe. 


The way in which They come into and go out of the 
world is, however, quite different from ours. They come 
and go of Their own free will; while we do so under the 
irresistible force of karmic pressure, just as a prisoner 
would enter a prison under a sentence of penal servitude. 
They come for the benefit of mankind — to grant the 
Life Impulse to such embodied souls as yearn for Life. 
Disembodied and eternally free. They come as Saviours 
of souls. 

They that are whole have no need of the physi- 



cian, but they that are sick. I came not to 
call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. 

MARK 2:17 

Birth and death affect them not, for They come 
as Saviours for the sinners. By transmitting 
Their own life energy, They transform the dis- 
ciples into Saints. 

A Master Soul is the greatest benefactor on earth. His 
work is of the highest order. He comes to Uberate the 
souls from the vast prison-house of mind and matter, so 
that He may take the exiles back to their glorious home 
and restore them to their rich heritage. A kindly soul 
may direct the prison warden to provide delicious food 
for the prisoners under his charge. Another may grant 
the boon of delicacies to them. A third may order for 
them good clothing and lodging and so on. Each of 
them no doubt may do something to ameliorate their lot 
for the time being. 

But if someone were to throw open the prison gate 
and ask them to escape the squalor and misery of the 
jail, his work would naturally be counted as one far ex- 
celling the works of others. 

This is exactly the nature of the work of a Master 
Soul. He reveals to us the Lost Kingdom, and restores 
us to Paradise from which Adam and, through him, his 
progeny were driven out for the original disobedience 
to God's Commandment. 

Man had an ignoble fall from the Garden of Eden, 
and none could restore him to the good grace of the 


Father and bring about reconciliation except the Son 
of Man. He takes upon himself the vicarious responsi- 
bility for the sins of man, purifies him of all ignominy 
and by a transfusion of His own Life Impulse makes him 
arise into cosmic awareness and gain everlasting life. 

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting 

JOHN 3:36 


Master and His Work 

MASTER is like a wish-yielding tree. He always grants 
the wishes, whatever they are, of the seekers. The 
rich and the poor, the high and the low: everyone comes 
to Him for something. His greatest pleasure, however, 
lies in liberating spirits from the clutches of body and 
mind. Irrespective of His denominational character, He 
attends to the spiritual needs of all. 

He neither creates new "isms" nor does He denounce 
the "isms" in existence. He comes not to break the law, 
but to fulfill the law. All "isms" (spiritual), in fact, re- 
ceive strength and solidarity from Him. 

In His inimitable loving way, He takes everyone from 
the line of least resistance. He does not interfere with the 
creeds and beliefs of a person, whatever these are, nor 
does He meddle with the social order of things. He simply 
talks of the spirit, its intrinsic nature, its seat in the body, its 
various operative processes, its latent capabilities, and 
how it can be developed in its relation with body, mind, 
and with God, and how it can be liberated, made self- 
poised and turned Godward. 

His appeal is directly to spirit, and His words sink 
deep into the very depths of the soul. He deals with 
ready cash at the counter and does not make people live 



in hope till the end of their lives or thereafter. He 
teaches : 

Believe not the words of a Master Soul unless 
you see the things He tells about with your 
own eyes. 

It is just for the sake of experiment that we have in the 
first instance to accept the words of a Master. But when 
we find the truth of what He says, by actual experimen- 
tation, then the hypothesis is turned into conviction. 

When a person once sees the light of the sun, he can- 
not deny the existence of the sun even though the bats 
of the world may unite in denying the solar phenomenon. 

Unless the inner vision is approached, the Truth of 
the Reahty does not dawn, and the jivas or embodied 
spirits remain groping in utter darkness and ignorance 
of the highest and the greatest magnitude. 

Whenever a Master of Truth comes into the world, 
the spiritually hungry and thirsty gather around Him 
and quench their hunger and thirst by the manna and 
the Elixir of Life that He freely gives to the aspirants. 

Gradually their love develops into a steady devotion 
that befits them more and more for the saving grace 
of the Master, and helps a jiva to travel quickly home. 


Master and His Duties 

COUNTLESS are the duties and responsibilities of a 
Master. His first and foremost work is to link once 
again the created with the Creator; to win for him the 
Kingdom of God and restore him to his ancient and for- 
gotten lineage and heritage. This He does by means of 
Shabd or Word, which carries the spirit to its native 

Like electromagnetic waves, the Shabd or Word is 
vibrating everywhere, but, unfortunately, through the 
overpowering density and weight of matter on the physi- 
cal plane we are unable to feel It and harness It to our 

A Master, by His personal guidance, frees the spirit 
from the dead weight of matter, disengages it from the 
sensory organs, withdraws its everspreading rays and 
collects them at its center, behind the two eyebrows, 
thereby enabling it to experience a little of the Light of 
God and to hear Shabd, the Voice of God; both of 
which by continuing practice can be developed in course 
of time. 

The jiva then finds himself attracted by that magnetic 
power, the Sound Principle, which carries him step by 
step to his ultimate goal. A mere knowledge of the sci- 
ence of the Masters cannot be of any avail, and intel- 



lectualism by itself, however keen, cannot be of any aid. 

An ethical life is a stepping stone to spirituality. Clean- 
liness is said to be next to Godliness. A Master, therefore, 
begins His work with man-making. Cleanliness in 
thought, word and deed is an essential which cannot 
be over-emphasized. As self-knowledge precedes God- 
Knowledge, a Master has first to impart in theory and 
practice the knowledge of the spirit, to liberate it from 
the shackles of mind and body. 

Gradually the spirit is enabled to cast off the various 
coverings or sheaths with which it is enshrouded, until 
it becomes spirit, clean, untrammeled and unalloyed, and 
exultantly cries out, "I am Spirit!" 

After this comes training in God-Knowledge, which 
is the climax and the crest jewel in the science of spiritu- 
ality, and enables the spirit to attain Godhead. 

Once the shepherd takes charge of a lost sheep and 
brings it to His fold, he takes over the entire responsi- 
bility. Once a Master, always a Master, is a well-known 
dictum. Master on earth, he is Master in the various 
regions, subtle, causal, and beyond. He does not rest until 
a spirit is safely escorted back to the Father's mansion 
in Heaven. 

The process of home-going and progress on the path 
is entirely at His discretion, and He is the sole judge for 
the time and measure of each step Godward. 

From the time the spirit crosses over to the astral plane 
and comes face to face with the self-luminous form of 
the Master, the jiva has nothing more to do and strive 
for. It is the Master's job henceforth. 


Apart from this a Master is a child of Light, and hke 
a Hghthouse over tempestuous seas sheds His kindly Light 
throughout the world. Like the good shepherd He has to 
look after and tend many sheep. Whoever has anything 
to do with a Master Soul is ultimately to be prepared 
for the path and helped through in his probation and 


Guru is Godman 

MASTER is in truth the perfect manifestation of God. 
Filled with Godly Light He is the torch-bearer of 
God. He is the pole from which God works out His plan 
of redemption. God, having made man after His own 
image, placed an iron wall between Himself and the spir- 
it, owing to the first sin of disobedience to Him. Man 
was thus driven out from the Garden of Eden and placed 
in the physical world, so the story goes, to earn his bread 
with the sweat of his brow, and to work out his salvation 
through a Saviour — the Son of Man, in which garb God 
Himself comes with the key to unlock the Kingdom of 
Heaven for leading in the lost sheep. 

The Word becomes flesh and dwells among us, God's 
Light shines through His eyes, God's voice speaks through 
Him, and God's Grace works out salvation for those who 
hunger and thirst for Him. Like a common man. He lives 
among us, shares our joys and sorrows, gives us instruc- 
tions in spirituality and guides us on the path. Embedded 
in the Father He works out His Will. 

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: 
and no man knoweth the Son, but the Fa- 
ther; neither knoweth any man the Father, 



save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
will reveal Him. 

MATTHEW 11:27 

Maulana Rumi also says: 

In the Master is lodged both God and the Me- 
diator. There is in fact not the least distinc- 
tion between the two. Drive all thought of 
duality from thy mind, or else thou shalt get 
lost in the wilderness, and so also shall be the 
fate of thy first lessons in spirituality. He 
who considers the two as separate entities 
has not yet learnt anything from, or known 
anything of, the Master. 

Master is the form of the formless God — the form that 
we can see and have relationship with. It is this very 
form that imparts to us the knowledge of God, and again 
it is this very form, luminous of course, that accompanies 
us on the journey Godward and directs our footsteps on 
the path. 

In each plane, physical, causal, and beyond, there is 
increased splendor of the Master, and His limitless sway 
and power becomes more manifest to the companion 
spirit as it travels along. 

Godman as He is, in the world His form is the Kibla 
and Kaaba of the Muslims, the altar of the Christians, 
the eternal light of the Zoroastrians, the temple, the syn- 
agogue and the Gurdwara, for He alone is fit to be wor- 
Like electricity in the atmosphere, the universe is 


charged through and through with God. There is no 
place where He is not, and yet He is hidden from view; 
and Guru or Master is the mighty switch, the source 
and fountainhead that makes it possible for us to witness 
His greatness and get glimpses of His power. 

In short, Master is the pole at which God actually 
works, and therefore He may fittingly be called polarized 
God as distinguished from the latent state in which He 
is at one with everything and yet we know Him not. 

The greatness and the puissance of God is manifested 
in the Master in abundance. So long as a person does 
not come in contact with some Godman, God just re- 
mains an idea with him, a mere figment of his everyday 
mind, a shadow with no real substance at all. 

In the Godman, one finds a living God on earth, just 
as anyone talking and smiling with us, guiding us by 
word and example and helping us through from stage to 
stage. Blessed indeed is a spirit that can establish a living 
contact with a living Master — the greatest gift of God 
to mankind. 

Man indeed is the teacher of man. Unless a Godman 
gives us Light, we cannot have the Light of Reality, and 
like blind men we grope in utter darkness. 

In the physical world we, with physical eyes, can see 
nothing but physicality around us. The subtle vision can 
see the subtle world, and the causal can view the causal 
universe. Master of all three and even beyond, He be- 
stows inner Light that illumines the inner darkness and 
one begins to witness an endless panorama of spiritual 
vistas ever expanding and bringing to view new delights 


at every step. All this work He does by means of the 
Sound Current or the Voice of God, hearing which the 
dead are quickened with Life and attain life everlasting. 
He is the connecting link between a soul and the Over- 
soul. With roots embedded in God and branches spread- 
ing throughout the world, laden with flowers and fruits 
of Paradise, He provides spiritual food to all who come 
to Him. 

Maulana Rumi in this context says: 

Friend! sit near One who knows the condi- 
tion of thy heart (and Who can make it 
whole). Rest a while under the shade of a 
tree that is laden with fresh and fragrant 
flowers. Loiter not in the market place from 
shop to shop, as idlers do. Go straight to One 
who has a store of honey with Him. 

Take hold of the garment, brave soul! of One 
who knows well the various planes: physical, 
mental, supramental, and beyond; and is 
able to remain with thee like a true friend, 
whether in life or in death, in this world or 
in the next. 

The form, physical or astral, of the Master or God-in- 
man which helps us through in our journey Godward, is 
better by far than the native invisible form of God which 
is beyond all thought and contemplation. 

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ishwar (Niranjan) and Par- 
meshwar (incarnations of Brahma) are all worthy of our 
respect and adoration. 


We have read much about Them, religiously, in sacred 
lore. They figure as heroes and heroines in mythological 
tales, but as such are nothing but figments of human 

When Satguru or the Master of Truth takes charge 
of a spirit (at Gaggan), He gradually reveals the true 
significance and way of each of Them. All of Them have ex- 
isted since creation, and are engaged in carrying on 
duties assigned to each of Them. 

But we cannot know Them or their handiwork and 
authority unless the Satguru takes us along and shows 
us the nature of this mysterious hierarchy. 

God Himself in the garb of man (Saints and proph- 
ets) informs us of His Own Natural Self. Guru Amar 
Das has therefore declared: 

It is the basic principle of God that without a 
Master of Truths no one can even think of 

Sant Kabir also tells us: 

The Master is greater than God. Ye may very 
well think over this dictum. Devotion to God 
keeps a person entangled on this side {in the 
physical plane); but devotion to the Guru 
leads him across to God. 

The greatness of the Master lies in this: that He connects 
the souls with the Unknown Reality, and puts a stop to 
the cycle of births and deaths. The Oversoul, even when 
with us, could neither manifest Itself directly nor could 
It take the soul out of the physical plane and liberate it. 


Only through instructions from a Guru (Master Soul 
or Godman) and association with Shabd (Word or God- 
in-Action) can one achieve these wondrous results. 

Without Word one can have no escape (from 

Word Personified is the Master and He can 

manifest It in us. 
God may turn His back and one may not 

mind, but if the Master does so, none can 

bring about reconciliation. 


// Siva gets estranged, the Master can reconcile 
us to him; but who can reconcile us to the 

In this respect Sehjo Bai, a lady devotee, sings to us in 
melodious strains of the greatness of her Master — Char- 
an Das: 

I may give up God, but cannot for a moment 
forget the Master, for God Himself cannot 
come up to Him. 

God drove me into the wilderness of the world, 
but the Master has snapped for me that 
ceaseless cycle of transmigration. 

God set on my heels the five deadly sins (de- 
sire, anger, greed, infatuation, and egoism), 
but the Master taking pity on my helpless- 
ness saves me from them. 

God entangled me in the meshes of the family 
ties, but the Master cut asunder these bonds. 


God delivered me to disease, decay and death, 
but the Master with His yogic powers de- 
livered me from them. 

God bound me hand and foot in the web of 
karmic reactions, but the Master revealed to 
me my true nature — and I have now found 
out that I am soul, the spirit of the universe. 

God in me hid Himself behind a curtain, but 
the Master with His torch of Truth revealed 
God to me. 

Again God created both bondage and salva- 
tion, but the Master put an end to all these 
chimerical fantasies. 

I would sacrifice my very body and soul for 
Charan Das, my Master. I would rather sur- 
render God for the Master's sake. 



(The Astral or Self- Luminous Form of the Master) 

THE TERM Dev is derived from the Sanskrit root Div 
meaning "Light." The words Guru Dev are there- 
fore used to denote the astral or luminous form of the 
Master as He appears in astral regions, after leaving the 
physical plane to guide the spirit as it transcends the 
physical body. 

Theosophical literature refers to the luster of Master 
Souls in subtle and causal planes extending for miles 
and miles. Tulsi Sahib hkewise tells us that the nails of 
the Guru's feet shine like Mani (a crest jewel in the head 
of a toad that shines forth like a flashlight in darkness). 
This astral light bestows vision to the third eye. 

Blinding Light flashes forth from the nails of 
the Master's Feet and illumines the very soul 
of the devotee. 

Maulana Rumi speaks of It: 

As the Light of the Master dawns in the soul, 
one gets to know the secrets of both worlds. 

A real Guru is the true manifestation of God. He is, in 
fact, Satguru or Master of Truth, and manifests in the 
world the Light of Truth. 



O Nanak! Guru is the Satguru; I would like 
to touch the Feet of the Satguru. 

The term Guru Dev, therefore, signifies the self-luminous 
form of the Master, which is free from and far above 
his physical body, and which the spirit actually perceives 
with its inner subtle Light. When the spirit comes face 
to face with the astral Master, all doubts vanish and its 
labors get the crowning reward — the summum bonum 
of life. 

Guru Dev gives vision to the eyes. All doubts 
become airy nothings and love's labor re- 
ceives its crowning glory. 

Jesus Christ in the Gospel speaks thus: 

// therefore thine eye he single, thy whole body 
shall be full of light. 


Guru Arjan tells us that the Blessed Form of the Master 
manifests itself in the forehead of a devotee. 

The Blessed Form of the Master is in my fore- 
head. Whenever I peep within I see Him 

A Muslim Divine also speaks like this: 

The image of the Beloved is in the mirror of 
my very heart. I see Him with just a little 
turn of the head downward. 

It is this astral or self-luminous form of the Master that 


leads a spirit Godward through various planes interven- 
ing between the physical plane and Sat Lok or the Re- 
gion of Truth. There is no distinction between Guru and 
Guru Dev and Satguru and God. 

It is one and the same current of divine compassion 
that assumes difTerent names at diflferent regions. 

Following the law of similitude, the Divine Current as 
It materializes on the physical plane for the benefit of the 
aspirants is called Guru or Master, Who by word of 
mouth imparts the spiritual instructions as any other 
teacher would do. 

As the spirit of an aspirant leaves the body and is 
ready for the journey in the astral or subtle planes, that 
very Divine Current assumes a subtle form for the soul's 
benefit and guidance. 

This subtle form disengaged from the bodily form of 
the Guru is termed Guru Dev. It is self-luminous and 
lustrous with Light extending over miles and miles. Sat- 
guru or the Master of Truth is the Power of Truth or 
God that works through both Guru and Guru Dev. With 
roots firmly embedded in Sat or Truth, He directly de- 
rives His inspiration from the eternal and unchangeable 
permanence. Sat, hence is known as Satguru. 

Thus we see how the Sat Dhara or the current from 
Sat flows down, creating regions upon regions far below, 
ending with the physical plane. 

It is this very current that also helps in taking the 
jivas back home, and is differently known as Guru, Guru 
Dev and Satguru, at different places, until the very roots 
of Sat are reached, and here the spirit cries out in won- 


der Wah-i-Guru, which means, "What a glory is thine, 
O Guru!" 

Indescribable and beyond comprehension ! So we have 
in Gurbani: 

Guru Dev is Satguru, Par Brahm, and Par- 
meshwar. O Nanak! a Salutation to Guru 
Dev is Salutation to Hari or God. 

This very Sat or Truth is at one with the Guru as He 
works on the physical plane. Hence, it is said: 

Blessed is the physical form of the Master, filled 
as it is to the brim with full power from 

The Greatness of the Master is indescribable 
and beyond all comprehension, for He is Par 
Brahm, Parmeshwar, beyond perception and 

Guru Dev can neither be known nor measured. 
By following the instructions one can pene- 
trate far into the mysteries of the past, the 
present, and the future. It is through His 
sheer Grace that one begins to know some- 
thing of the unknown and the unknowable. 

In the physical world He works and acts like a Guru or 
Master; but when a jiva after some spiritual practice and 
discipline is ready to leave the Pind or body and is about 
to enter And (the subtle plane), the Guru comes to his 
aid in subtle shining form as his Guru Dev. Here He 


works as a connecting link between Guru and Satguru 
for He takes over the charge of a spirit from the Guru 
in the body, and leads her across to Satguru and Sat 

Guru Dev meets and greets the spirit as it crosses the 
border lying between the physical and subtle regions by 
passing through the stars, the sun and the moon, spoken 
of in the Vedas as Devian and Pitrian Margs (Paths). 
This astral form is exactly like the physical form of the 
Master, but much more beautiful, luminous, and mag- 

Maulana Rumi tells us: 

Should you desire to see this refulgent Light, 
turn homeward like Ibrahim. Pass through 
the big star and the sky and the blue beyond. 
Steadily walk over the sun and the moon, 
and then you will find yourself in the heav- 
enly Presence. 

Guru Nanak refers to this illuminated path, thus: 

The Luminous Form of the Master is won- 
drously enrapturing and enchanting. Only 
a perfect Master can manifest this to a spirit. 

This lustrous form of the Master always accompanies a 
spirit in the various planes, ending with Sach Khand 
or the Home of Truth. When His luminous form de- 
scends to the focus of the eyes, a devotee has nothing 
more to strive for. Herein lies the devotion of the devo- 
tee. Half his success has been achieved, and hereafter 
the Master's astral form takes over the charge of the 


spirit with full responsibility for leading it to the final 
goal. Even the Saints also adore this Form and derive 
ecstatic delight from It. 

The Blessed Feet of the Beloved Guru Dev are 
worshiped by the Saints, the beloved of 

Khwaja Moeen-ud-Din Chisti also talks of the Lumi- 
nous Form of the Master: 

O Master! The sun cannot stand the resplend- 
ence of Thy Face. 

The moon also has covered herself with clouds 
to escape Thy Dazzling Light. 

The sun having borrowed his brilliance from 
the dust of Thy Feet has pitched his golden 
pavilion on the blue sky. If a single ray of 
Thy Face were to shoot forth into the sky, 
the sun would in shame go behind a veil. In 
the very Person of the Nabi {Prophet), the 
Light of God has taken up a material form 
just as the light of the sun does in the body 
of the moon. 

Maulana Rumi also refers to the lustrous form of his 
Master thus: 

What dost thou know of the King of Kings that 
keeps me company? 

Cast thou a glance within me and be not de- 
ceived by my outer appearance. 


St. John has similarly described in the Bible his experi- 
ence with the Luminous Form within: 

/ was in the Spirit . . . and heard behind me a 

great voice, as of a trumpet, . . . 
And I turned to see the voice that spake with 

me. And being turned, I saw . . . one like 

unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment 

down to the foot, and girt about the paps 

with a golden girdle. 
His head and hairs were white like wool, as 

white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame 

of fire; 
And his feet were like unto fine brass, as if they 

burned in a furnace; and his voice as the 

sound of many waters. . . . 
And his countenance was as the sun shineth 

in his strength. 

REVELATION i:iO, I 2- 1 6 

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was 
opened in heaven : and the first voice which 
I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking 
with me; which said. Come up hither, and I 
will show thee things which must be here- 


In the Sar Bachan of Swami Ji Maharaj, we have a 
similar reference: 

Wondrous strange was the Form; No words 
could this Glory write. 


Hafiz, a mystical poet of great reknown, tells us: 

Like the newborn moon the pure of sight may 

His Glory would not manifest to every eye. 

The astral form of the Master Soul is unchangeable 
and permanent. It is the form that guides aspirants to 
their goal. 

Guru Dev is in the beginning of creation. He is 
in the beginning of each age and continues 
from age to age. Through Guru Dev alone 
can one reach Hari. 

Guru Arjan speaks of Guru Dev: 

Salutations to Guru Eternal {Har Rai) ; 

Salutations to Guru of the Age {Sat Purush or 
Ram Rai) ; 

Salutations to Sat guru [the manifestation of 
Sat Purush) ; and 

Salutations to Guru Dev [the Refulgent and 
Self-Luminous Form of the Guru, the con- 
necting link between Guru and Satguru, re- 
sponsible for guiding and leading a spirit 
through various planes). 

Guru Dev is the greatest and highest manifestation of 
Sat Purush. He is the controlling power of God and can 
grant salvation. By devotion to Him one gets all comfort. 

Nothing but Sat is Guru Dev; false is all worship 
apart from His. 


Guru Arjan in His memorable words sings of the 
greatness of Guru Dev thus: 

Gurudeva is father; Gurudeva is mother; and 
He is the Master and God Himself; 

Gurudeva is a real friend; dispeller of dark ig- 
norance and breaker of all ties; 

Gurudeva is the bestower ofNaam, an incanta- 
tion of which chases away all evils; 

Gurudeva is the embodiment of peace, truth 
and intelligence, and truly a philosopher's 

Gurudeva is a place of pilgrimage, fountain of 
the Elixir of Life, and light of reason; 

Gurudeva ordains everything, destroys sins and 
purifies the sinners; 

Gurudeva is ever eternal from the creation and 
beginning of each age, and His Word has a 
saving Grace; 

Gurudeva is the greatest gift of God, which, if 
granted, saves the worst sinners; 

Gurudeva is Satguru, Par Brahm, and Par- 

Salutations to Him, Nanak. 

Gurbani tells of the immense benefit that one enjoys on 
meeting Guru Dev: 

The five deadly sins — desire, anger, greed, infatuation, 
and egoism — just vanish. 

Myriads of Karmic impressions of countless ages are 
destroyed. He pulls a jiva from body and mind con- 


sciousness and ushers it into cosmic awareness, where 
it no longer experiences the fires of the world in which 
the entire humanity is trapped. 

Even in the world all the soul's desires are fulfilled. 
His course is soft and smooth thereafter, and receives 
acclamations from every side. 

In this Kali Yuga (Iron Age) of iniquity and dark- 
ness Guru Dev serves as a beacon light on the stormy 
sea of life, and safely pilots sinners to the Heaven of 
peace and bliss. A saved soul in its turn pulls along 
all who are near and dear to it. 

The manifestation of Guru Dev depends purely on 
the grace of God and one's special merits in one's prog- 
ress on the spiritual path. 


Perfed Master 

( Murshid-i-Kamil ) 

IN ORDER to derive full benefit from Para Vidya (Sci- 
ence of Spirituality ) , it is absolutely necessary to have 
the gtiidance of a living Master, or an Adept both in the 
science and art of spirituality. He must be a Murshid-i- 
Kamil or perfect Saint who can lead aspirants to per- 
fection. // the blind leads the blind, both jail into a 
ditch is a common aphorism too well known to need any 

There are various grades and stages on the spiritual 
path. A Saint of the highest order alone can safely take 
the jivas to the pinnacle of spirituality. One who is a 
novice or has climbed half-way cannot take a jiva to the 

In an educational institution we see that there are 
different types of teachers for different classes. In this 
science also, there are a number of grades and degrees, as 
for instance, Sadh, Sant, and Param Sunt. 

For a proper understanding of the theory and prac- 
tice of spirituality, we need the help of at least a Sant 
or Saint. A Sadh ( one who has successfully transcended 
the physical, astral, and causal planes, and is above body 
and mind consciousness) can give us a lead, and befit us 
for further training from a Saint; but one who is not 



yet a Sadh cannot be of any help. For complete libera- 
tion from the cycle of birth and death, a Master Saint 
is necessary. 

A perfect Master has no hallmark on His person. It 
is by personal contacts that one gradually begins to 
know something of His greatness, just as a student when 
he advances in studies gets to know little by little some- 
thing of the ability of his teacher. 

Again, the Master cannot disclose all His greatness 
at once, but only in proportion as an aspirant shows 
his keenness and makes progress on the path. The Mas- 
ter starts just like an ordinary teacher and imparts in- 
structions as any friend or well-wisher would do. In 
course of time, He demonstrates the authority of a Mur- 
shid or Master on the path, and finally is seen embedded 
in Sat or Truth as Satguru or the Master of Truth; un- 
til there comes a stage when He and God appear merged 
in each other with no line of demarcation between them. 


How to Find a Perfed Master and Know Him 

To FIND A perfect Master is not so easy as it may 
seem. While living on the plane of the senses all the 
time, we have not the eyes with which to recognize 
the Human Pole from which the power of God works 
in the world. Yet where there is a will, there is a way. 
All that is required of an aspirant is the sincerity of pur- 
pose, intense longing and a burning passion for the Lord 
above everything else. Where there is fire, oxygen of 
itself comes to its aid. The principle of demand and sup- 
ply works equally alike in all the spheres of life from the 
physical to the spiritual. There is always food for the 
hungry and water for the thirsty. 

Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye 
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto 

MATTHEW^ 7 : 7 

No man can serve two masters: for either he 
will hate the one, and love the other ; or else 
he will hold to the one, and despise the other. 
Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 


For in the Bible we have: 

/ the Lord thy God am. a jealous God . . . 



And in the same way Godman, like God, demands from 
His lovers an exclusive and unstinted love unto Himself 
and unless one is prepared to sacrifice his all — body, 
mind, possessions— the way unto Him is not opened; nor 
can we come near to the Godman who makes manifest 
the way. 

When the chela is ready, the Guru appears is the Law 
of God. How can a blindfolded person reach the ring- 
master's cell by himself? 

No man can come to me, except the Father 
which hath sent me draw him. 

JOHN 6:44 

Those whom God wills are of themselves drawn to the 
Godman, or the Godman Himself finds them out, no mat- 
ter where they may be. 

Similarly, to know the Godman in his fullness is not 
given to man. We can have only such glimpses of His 
greatness as He may choose to grant. He alone is the judge 
of the time and measure of each advance and reveals to 
us gradually as much of His spiritual wealth as He wishes, 
and this He does by degrees as He qualifies us to grasp and 
understand and to hold it safely in trust. As one proceeds 
along in His company on the inner spiritual path, one gets 
to know Him more and more as he sees His power work- 
ing in all the inner planes from end to end until in the 
purely spiritual region (Muqam-i-Haq or Sach Khand), 
He appears in His Primal Manifestation (Ek-Ankar). On 
the physical plane, He is Word made flesh and dwells 
among us according to the laws of the earth-plane, and 


like any other worldly teacher, He teaches us; not, of 
course, of this world, but of a world totally different from 
this, a world that is self-luminous and is studded with 
stars, moons and suns in countless numbers. While ap- 
parently sharing with us our joys and sorrows of the 
world, He yet remains far above the pairs of opposites, 
endlessly imparts to us His spiritual instructions, both 
without and within, encouraging us at every step by His 
words of wisdom and in countless diverse ways inspires 
in us the Love of God and exhorts us to glorify Him. 

Though ever kind the Master is, yet none can 

claim His grace; His grace flows alike to all, 

yet each gets his fill as He ordains. 
Satguru is Sat Personified and knows one and 

all; Himself in all, yet He remains above the 

praise and malice of all. 


His Life and Condud 

THE LIFE and conduct of a perfect Master single Him 
out as a unique personality apart from the rest of 

1 . He is always a bestower of gifts and never a recipi- 
ent. He never wishes for the slightest service from His fol- 
lowing. He earns His own living and is never a burden 
upon anyone. All His personal savings, if any, He spends 
on the relief of the needy. 

Touch ye not the feet of one who makes his 
living out of the offerings of the people; 

Nanak! He who earns His own bread and 
helps the needy knows the path. 

2. He is a living embodiment of humility. With all His 
instructions. On the contrary, He bestows spirituality as 
a free gift like any other gift of God, such as light, air, 
water and so forth. 

3. He is a living embodiment of humility. With all His 
powers and greatness co-equal with God, He never claims 
credit for anything, but attributes everything to God or 
to His own Master. Like a fruit-laden branch of a tree. 
He bows to the lowest, and moves about in simple dig- 
nity peculiar to Him alone. 



He who regards Himself as the lowest is in fact 
the highest. 

4. He is at peace with all and is angry with none. He 
smilingly forgives all who talk ill of Him, and does not 
pick flaws in others. His love embraces all humanity. 
Christ-like, He proclaims and practices the cardinal 
truth, Love thine enemies. 

5. Purity, Godliness and Spirituality flow from Him 
like shining springs of cool and refreshing waters, bring- 
ing life to the parched and arid hearts of the aspirants 
who joyfully move along the Spiritual Path under His 
able guidance. 

6. He does not wear any conspicuous form of dress. 
He adopts just an easy middle path. His Grand Trunk 
Road bypasses austerities on the one hand, and forms 
and formalities on the other. His teaching consists of 
enunciating natural truths which sink into the soul, and 
everyone irrespective of sex and age can practice the 
spiritual discipline enjoined by Him. 

7. He never believes in nor performs miracles for at- 
tracting people and gaining their credence, as a juggler 
would do. He keeps his treasures well concealed in the 
deepest recesses within Him. He may, if necessity de- 
mands, make use of His powers on some special occasion. 
The disciples, of course, everyday feel the hidden hand 
of the Master working for their welfare and advance- 


The Fhysical Form of the Master 

WE READ of peculiarities in the physical form of a 
perfect Master. Physically, too, He suffers from 
no deformity and has no weaknesses in Him. His gait is 
full of grace and dignity. His eyes shine like those of a 
lion. He has a broad forehead, a mark of a lotus on his 
feet, and generally a black mole on his brilliantly lumi- 
nous face. 

Hafiz, a great Sufi poet of Shiraz, tells us: 

// that beauty of Shiraz [the Master) were to 
take charge of my wandering mind, I would 
throw away both the worlds (earth and 
heaven) at the altar of the wonderful mole 
on His Face. 




The Influence of the Master 

N HIS PRESENCE, the mind grows docile and feels an- 

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 dig- 
nified 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. 


2. A steady gaze at His forehead and eyes reveals a 
peculiar Light which gives a pull to the soul and mo- 
mentarily 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, lead- 
ing 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 ad- 
justs 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 de- 
tect 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 fra- 
grance 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, national!- 


ties 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 Nanakl 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 experi- 
enced 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 compe- 
tent and knows the Path. 

We have, after all, not to establish any worldly relation- 
ship with the Master. All that we need from Him is spirit- 
ual 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 


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 

O Nanak! it is then alone that one can know 
the Cosmic Will and meet the Beloved. 

Maulana Rumi also says the same thing: 

/ 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 

9. Time and again the teachings of the Master center 
around one theme: Naam or Surat Shahd 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. 


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

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not re- 
ceive 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 

Once again, St. Luke tells us: 

The Kingdom of God cometh not by observa- 
tion . . . the Kingdom of God is within you. 

LUKE 17:20-21 

A MusHm Divine speaks in similar strain: 

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

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


Magrabi Sahib also tells us: 

Thy Beloved is within thee, and thou art ig- 
norant of it. He is the very Soul of thy soul, 

124 GOD MAN 

and thou art wandering without in quest 
of Him. 

Maulana Rumi in this context says: 

Within the folds of thy brain there are wonder- 
ful gardens and beauty spots. Should you 
like to enjoy them, hie to a Murshid {Mas- 
ter) for instruction. 

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

The Find (human body) is the exact replica of Brah- 
mand (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 
rarified 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 flings 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 

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 ana 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 unadul- 
terated 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, re- 

126 GOD MAN 

plied, "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 origi- 
nate from the fountainhead within Them. They are much 
more than the scriptures, which constitute but an infi- 
nitesimal speck of Their personalities. The teachings of the 
Masters are very liberal, and help the embodied souls in 
the task of liberation and salvation. 

/ 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 be established in Sunny a {the Region 
of Silence), with the result that all oscilla- 
tions 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 

The ceaseless music of eternity becomes a con- 
stant 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 ineffi- 
cacy 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 a Captain of a ship. 

He who confides and resides in Him is carried 
across and finds Truth manifested in him. 

1 1 . A Master Soul at times does uncommon things, 
that may appear baneful to ordinary individuals. This He 
does to keep the wordly-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 


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 suffer- 
ing 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 so- 
ciety, religious bigots and caste-ridden individ- 
uals, 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 man- 
tras, etc. They will not practice Surat Shabd 
Yoga by tuning with the primal Sound Cur- 
rent. When such conditions predominate, I 
will come time and again to revive the Path 
of the Masters and link people with Anhad 

12. With the advent of a Saint, the refreshing show- 
ers of SpirituaUty flood the dry and parched hearts en- 
crusted 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 trans- 
formation in His company. Like a master washerman. 
He cleans our souls through and through of all impuri 
ties, 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 congre- 
gate 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 sav- 
ing 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 indi- 
cate a Saint. 


Maulana Rumi says in this context: 

An Aulia (superman) has in Him wonderful 
powers and possibilities, which a man of pi- 
ety 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 com- 
pany. 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 

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 influ- 
ence 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 

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 

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 bur- 
den 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 

Along with body and mind part thou with the 

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 Lumi- 
nous Form of the Master! 


Oneness of Guru, Guru Dev, 
Satguru and Malik 

(The Various Forms of Truth) 

IN SCRIPTURES, wc read that God is Formless. He sees 
without eyes and does His work without hands, moves 
about without feet and hears without ears. 

He pervades everywhere, but cannot be seen. He is 
beyond all thought, comprehension and apprehension. 
Man with his limited intellect and finite understanding 
cannot reach Him. How then can we see God and love 
Him? Love and longing always exist betweeen creatures 
of the same class at one level. Birds of the air fly togeth- 
er in flocks; and there is love between animals of the 
same type, and they move about in herds. Man by nature 
is gregarious and cannot but live in society with his fel- 
low beings. 

Contemplation means concentration of human facul- 
ties at one center or focus. But if the center and the focus 
are not apparent and visible, how can there be any con- 
templation at all? To satisfy this fundamental need of 
mankind. Lord Rama and Lord Krishna (the manifes- 
tations of Kal or the Negative Power*) had to come in 

* The same Power manifests in different ways to maintain life at 
various levels, just like electricity which produces fire at one 
place and ice at another. 



the garb of man and so did Master Saints who manifest 
Sat Purush (the Positive Power) — Truth — the sub- 
stratum of all that is visible and invisible, the entire 
universe with its grand divisions and subdivisions; right 
from Sach Khand or Muqam-i-Haq to Kal Desh, the 
physical world, which is subject to decay and death. A 
Muslim divine has beautifully described Him: 

// He is Khud-aa {Self -Moving God), let Him 
come by Himself {to teach us). 

In fact. He has to come down to the level of man for 
then alone can man know of Him. 

In the garb of a Master Saint, He works His Will by 
giving instructions to the souls that long for Him but 
cannot reach Him. 

He tells them that He is not a physical body and He 
instructs all the embodied spirits how to transcend the 
hmitations of the physical body, and by a gradual trans- 
mission of His power, He pulls them out of the physical 
raiment and becomes their friend and guide. 

Thus the Formless has to assume a form, adopt a pole 
for the manifestation of His Godhead, for the suffering 
and helpless humanity; He tells us of our native worth 
and how to regain the lost Kingdom, the Garden of 
Eden, from which we have been exiled since the begin- 
ning of time. 

God's power in fullness works at the pole of a Master 
Soul and He may therefore be truly described as polarized 
God come into the world with happy tidings to announce 
God and God's Kingdom, both of which He says are 


near at hand and can easily be gained by a little practice 
in the right direction. 

He who has known Truth is Satguru. In fact, Satguru 
is Sat (Truth) personified. Word really becomes flesh 
and dwells among us, and by His instruction and guid- 
ance takes us along with Him, until we, like Him, become 
Word, a conscious principle working in harmony with 
the Divine Will on the Divine Plan. 

Know ye for certain that Guru is not apart 

from God. 
Whatever His wishes, they are acceptable to 



The Nature of Oneness 

VERILY A SATGURU (Master of Truth) is One with 
Sat or Truth, as He is embedded in and revels in 
Truth. Truth is infinite and all -pervasive, while it mani- 
fests itself and works among people from a Human Pole 
— call It what you will: Master, Satguru, etc. 

He is a beacon light that sheds the light of Truth on 
the tumultuous sea of life, to guide yearning humanity. 
He may be likened to a live switch that has behind it the 
entire energy of the powerhouse, but doles it out in such 
measure as may be needed by each individual according 
to his or her requirements. 

Like a magnetized pole or a live switch. He possesses 
a raiment, but, in fact, is not the raiment but the Power 
inside the raiment. Exactly so is the case of jivas or em- 
bodied spirits. 

We too are, in fact, not what we possess and apparently 
seem to be — physical entities — but spirits or souls that 
enliven the physical bodies. 

A spirit or soul is purely of the same essence and 
power that works in the Master, though clothed in 
countless raiments or sheaths and hedged in by number- 
less limitations. 

But when it is able to transcend the various bodies and 



become a spirit untrammeled and free, it can then wit- 
ness the glory and greatness of the Master, for He is the 
horizon where the earth and heaven meet and the sun 
of God's Light rises and illumines all space. 

A veritable sun lies hid in Him. 

We cannot have any adequate idea of God's beauty, 
grandeur and greatness by looking at the physical form 
of the Master. For an actual experience of Him, we 
have to rise to His level. 

Unless we rise to the level of God, we cannot 
know of God. 

As God is spirit, we too, by self-analysis, must be able to 
separate the spirit in us from the material sheaths or 
raiments enshrouding it, for spirit alone can see and 
experience spirit; not the physical senses nor even the 
intellect or mind. 

The eyes of a Master are charmed casements that open 
within on Infinity and without on the finite. In them, 
one can get glimpses of Divine Light unparalleled in this 
world — a shadowless Light that never is found on sea 
or land. 

Maulana Rumi tells us about Him: 

A Godman is ever in a state of intoxication 
without a drop of wine. He is ever satiated 
without a morsel of food. 

His eyes are the eyes of God; His hands are the 
hands of God. 

138 GOD MAN 

While living in the world, He is not of the world, nor is 
He a prisoner in the prison of the body, as we are. He is 
a free entity and at will crosses over into spiritual realms 
and is competent to grant this power and capacity to 
thousands of jivas, if He so wishes. 

A living Master of Truth is One with Truth, and has 
in Him Truth in fullness, whereby He carries on the work 
of salvation entrusted to Him. 

In spite of His form. He is formless. He is Word per- 
sonified, a great fountainhead of love, bliss and peace. 
Man has to learn from man and, in accordance with 
this natural law, Word becomes flesh and dwells among 
us to impart spiritual instruction and guidance. Again, 
by transmitting His own life impulse He enables us to go 

While doing this work among us. He every day at His 
sweet will escapes to His heavenly abode of Truth, so as 
to take rest in Nij-anand or imperishable bliss. 

Master of Truth and Truth are one; for He is polarized 

He is beyond everything, beyond Brahma, the 
primal principle; 

Nanak has met with such a Guru. 

The Master of Truth is eternally the same. He 
neither comes nor goes. 

He is the imperishable Life Principle that per- 
vades everywhere. 

With all our paeans in praise of the Master, we can 
never do justice to Him; for He existed when nothing was 


and from Him everything came into being at each cycle 
of creation. 

Who can sing praises of the Master? He is the 

source of Truth. 
He is eternally unchangeable, the source of all 

life from age to age. 

In Gurbani, it is mentioned that after careful scrutiny 
within, one comes to an irresistible conclusion that Mas- 
ter is Truth and Truth is Master, with no distinction 
whatever between the two. 

When churning the great sea within, one thing 
has come to the surface: Guru is Gobind 
and Gobind is Guru. O Nanak! There is no 
difference between the two. 

The Almighty in fact resides in the garb of a Saint and 
works His plan through Him. 

The Kartar (primal principle) resides in the 
Master and He becomes the means of salva- 
tion for many a soul. 

One knows nothing of love without a Master, 
for everyone is devoid of love. Hari resides 
in the Master, and blessed Master becomes 
the connecting link between a jiva and Hari. 

Kabir Sahib tells us that He is one with God: 

Now I am one with Thee and feel satiated and 


Having reached the highest abode, I am one 
with Him; so much so that one cannot dis- 
tinguish Kabir from Ram. 

Similarly, Shamas-i-Tabrez speaks in the same strain: 

We have become so united^, like body and soul, 
that hereafter no one can say I am different 
from Thee. 

Christ, too, says: 

I and my Father are one. 

JOHN 10:30 

He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. 

JOHN 14:9 

God and Godman are indeed just like a sea and its tides. 
Momentarily as the tides rise and fall, They appear as 
something different, but They are of the same essence as 
the water of the parent sea. 

Exactly the same is a drop of water. When separated 
from the sea it is a drop, but the moment it goes into 
the sea, it loses its apparent individuality and becomes 
part and parcel of the sea. 

God is formless, while in Godman He assumes form 
for instruction and guidance of the people. 

Nanak has after careful study of the Vedas and 
scriptures come to the conclusion that there 
is no difference between Parbrahm and 


God is the primal Sound Principle, which He gives to 
the thirsty through a Godman. 

God resides in a Guru and releases the Sound 

Current among the aspirants. 
Established in Truth, Master revels in Truth. 

He is at once the Master of Truth and Truth 

In every age, He comes down for the benefit of 

the devotees. 

In the Holy Bible, we read: 

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us 
. . . full of grace and truth. 

JOHN 1 : 14 

In Gurbani, we have: 

There is not the least distinction between Satguru 
and Swami {God-in- action and God). 
A contact with the former leads to devotion for 
the latter. 

A man of God is called Satguru or Sat Purush 
and He speaks of Hari alone; whoever listens 
to Him attains salvation. 

Guru being one with the Almighty is the doer of every- 
thing and sustains the entire creation including the jivas. 

Guru is the doer and does everything; He is 

the true Gurumukh. 
Guru is a conscious co-worker with God and is 

the sustainer of the entire creation. 

142 GOD MAN 

Guru is the bestower of peace and comfort and 
He is the Kartar (great motor power), 
Nanak! We live and have our being in Him 

Gosain Tulsi Das, the celebrated author of the Hindi 
Ramayana, speaks of the Guru: 

Salutation to the Lotus of the Guru, who is the 
ocean of mercy and God Himself in human 
form. His kindly words dispel in us the dark- 
ness born of blind attachments. 

In the Holy Bible, we read that Jesus once asked His 
disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man 
am?" And Simon Peter answered and said: "Thou art 
the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to 

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and 

blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my 

Father which is in heaven. 
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, 

and upon this rock I will build my church; 

and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 


MATTHEW 16:13, 16-18 

On another occasion, he spoke more clearly to them: 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father 

and it sufficeth us. 
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time 

with you, and yet hast thou not known me, 


Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us 
the Father? 
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, 
and the Father in me? 

JOHN 14:8-10 

Guru Arjan has in very explicit terms told us of His one- 
ness with God: 

My temples are in the highest heaven, and my 
Kingdom is limitless. My sway is eternal and 
countless is my wealth. My glory is known 
through the ages and my people live every- 
where. I am worshiped by all and sundry 
and everyone is devoted to me. My Father is 
manifest within me and now the Father and 
the Son work together. 

O Nanak! The son has become a conscious 
co-worker with the Father and there is now 
no difference between the two. 

In the Hindu scriptures, we have: 

Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is 
Shiva, and Guru is the veritable Par Brahm; 
and we offer our salutations to the Guru. 

In Mankukya Upanishad, it is stated: 

As the various mountain streams, after passing 
through different plains, fall into an ocean 
and lose their names and separate existence, 
so do the knowers of Brahma merge in the 


Illustrious Self-Lustrous Being, losing Their 
names and forms. 

Here a question arises as to how an all-pervading spirit 
can come to occupy a limited space in a human body. In 
Discourse 7 of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna thus 
sets at rest this question: 

Not knowing my transcendent, imperishable, 
supreme character, the undiscerning think 
me who am unmanifest to have become 

Veiled by the delusive mystery created by my 
unique power, I am not manifest to all; this 
bewildered world does not recognize me, 
birthless and changeless. 

SHALOKS 24-25 

Again, in Discourse 9, Shalok 1 1, the Blessed Lord says: 

Not knowing my transcendent nature as the 
Sovereign Lord of all beings, fools condemn 
me incarnated as man. 

Muslim divines also seem to corroborate this, according 
to Maulana Rumi: 

The arm of a Pir {Master) is in no way shorter 
than that of God, and the veritable Power 
of God works through the former. His long 
arm stretches as far as the seventh heaven; 
His hand is in the hand of God and no one 
besides Him shows His greatness. In fact, an 


effulgent sun lies hid in Him and the greatest 
good lies in knowing Him, as He is. 

Again, the Maulana says: 

The Light of Truth shines in the heart of a 
Wali {Godman). If you are a momin 
[Guruman] you may see this as it is. 

The Prophet once declared that God Himself 
told him that He far transcended the highest 
heights, the lowest depths, the earth, the sky 
and all the heavens; hut strange as it might 
seem, He could comfortably rest in the heart 
of His devotees, and he who wished to meet 
Him could find Him there. 

Though he {the Murshid) lives on the earth, 
yet His soul spreads out in the limitless be- 
yond, which all reasoning and philosophy of 
the religious cannot reach. 

Shamas-i-Tabrez tells us in this wise: 

The King of Kings is enthroned in us, behind 
a dense curtain. In the vile garb of flesh. He 
comes to grant us access to Himself. 

BuUeh Shah says: 

Maula {God) becomes man so as to pull men 
up {from their deep slumber). 

We have in Gurbani many references to this effect. 

God Himself assumed the name of Ram Das.^' 
* The fourth Guru of the Sikhs. 


Greatly intelligent is our God. He Himself as- 
sumes and takes for Himself the title of a 

O Pipa! Pranva {the Sound Current) is the 
only Reality, and becomes embodied as a 
Sat guru for our instruction and guidance. 

Satguru is Niranjan (pure, immaculate); do 
not consider Him as a human being. 

A Devotee of the Lord Himself becomes the 
Lord, but man knows not this mystery. 

Bhai Gurdas likewise says: 

Ek Onkar {the one God unmanifest) becomes 
Akar {the manifest) and assumes the appel- 
lation of a Guru. 

He who can tell you of the Reality (impersonal) and 
put you in contact with Reality (Truth eternal and un- 
changeable permanence), is no other than personal 
ReaHty (Truth personified). He truly is the primal 
Sound Current emanating from the Most High. 

In order to teach mankind, this Sound Current be- 
comes materialized in the form of Saints. How else can 
men have spiritual instruction unless the Spirit of God, 
which the Sound Current is, takes a human form and 
lives among them, talks to them face to face of mysteries 
both human and divine? This is why Kabir says: 

Brahma cannot speak as Brahma alone. He too 
needs a human agency for His self-expression 
{among human beings). We, as human entities 


encased in flesh and bones, cannot have an idea 
of that attributeless Formless One, unless He 
assumes a likeness to our own, on this material 
plane, and becomes for us a living God capable 
of being seen, heard and understood. He is at 
once both God and man, and may be called 
Godman. He works as a means to an end, a 
link between man and God. He is Word per- 
sonified so that He may impart instructions 
about God and guidance toward God. 

Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, was anxious to learn 
shipbuilding and the art of navigation, so he went to 
Holland disguised in the garb of an ordinary laborer. In 
the Dutch dockyards there were many other Russian 
laborers, working for their living, and Peter worked with 
them, talked to them of Russia their native land, and 
often asked them to return with him. 

These poor people were exiles from their country and 
would heave sighs because they could not go back how- 
ever much they wished. Peter told them that the mighty 
Czar himself was known to him, and he might be able 
to secure them a pardon. But very few could imagine 
that a person in tattered clothes like their own could have 
anything to do with the Czar. 

When Peter started on the journey homeward, after 
completing his training, just a few who believed his 
words accompanied him. When he entered Russia, he 
was received royally from place to place. When the out- 
lawed laborers saw the honor given Peter, they felt en- 
couraged and confident that he would be able to have 


the Czar reverse the decree of outlawry against them. 
When at last they saw Peter enter his capital and ascend 
the throne, they were astounded at the change in their 

The Master, like Peter the Czar, is the King of Kings. 
He comes into the dockyard or prison-house of tPiis world 
just as an ordinary laborer or prisoner like us. He also 
earns his living as we do, talks to us of our native land, 
infuses in us a longing and desire to return home, and 
offers to be our companion and guide on the way. A few 
who put faith in His words begin to act on His advice, 
and they are taken out of this vast prison back to the 
throne of God, where they find the Master in His Radiant 
Form, more lustrous than thousands of suns and moons 
put together. 

Guru Arjan tells us that He who sent us into exile is 
now calling us back to His Kingdom as His true inheri- 
tors and legatees. 

Again, when Queen Indra Mati completed her course 
of spiritual discipline and reached Sach Khand, she 
found her Master, Kabir, in the seat of Sat Purush (the 
True God). Seeing this, she said, "Master! Why did you 
not tell me before that you were Sat Purush yourself? I 
would have beUeved you." Kabir, smiling, replied, "I 
could not have convinced you then." 

All Saints who reach Sat Lok or Anami Desh become 
one with God and as such rank equal to each other; and 
none can be said to be greater than the other. 

He who tries to distinguish a Saint from a 
Saint starts headlong for hell. 


Generally, thousands of people congregate around a Sat- 
guru and listen to his discourses, but each one sees Him 
according to his own mental and spiritual make-up. 
Some consider Him as a person of piety; some take Him 
for a philosopher, and some as just a man of learning. 
Others regard Him as an ideally moral man, and still 
others as a selfless worker. Rare indeed are the jivas who 
find Gk)d in Him. 

Thus each one finds in Him a reflection of what he 
himself actually is or wishes to become, and so gets from 
Him that quality, for He distributes to each what he 

As a man in physical raiment His foremost duty, of 
course, is man-making; and as God personified it is re- 
vealing or manifesting God. So it all depends on one's 
own preparedness through the ages. Blessed indeed is the 
man who is ready for immediate transformation into 
God, for to such an individual He at once reveals his 
Godhood; as Krishna revealed His oneness with Kal to 
Arjuna, when through ignorance he hesitated to perform 
his duty as a Kshatriya prince. 

A blind man cannot see one with eyes nor can he take 
hold of him, unless the man with sight compassionately 
takes him by the hand and leads him aright. 

Similarly, no one can see in a Master the Master of 
Truth or Truth itself lodged in Him unless He reveals 
His real self to him. Even those who constantly live with 
Him, including His close relatives, can seldom recognize 
in Him the hidden Godhead. 

Without the gift of special merit one can never know 

150 GOD MAN 

of the really intrinsic nature of a Saint (his Godhood). 
He who can see and recognize God in Him has indeed 
found God, for He not only resides in Him but mani- 
festly works through Him. 

He is the pole from where the power of God shines 
forth and works out the Divine Will. 

Bhai Nandlal says: 

God is ever present before thee; see thou His 
blessed form. 

Guru Nanak similarly says: 

The God of Nanak is ever before him. 

In the same way, when Naren (later Swami Viveka- 
nanda) first met Sri Ramakrishna, he asked him, "Mas- 
ter, have you seen God?" And Ramakrishna replied, 
"Yes, my child! I have seen Him as I see you." 

Thus it all depends on our inner vision. If one is gift- 
ed with this, or if Satguru so wishes, he may see the 
flashes of God's Light coming through the Master. The 
purpose of all spiritual discipline is the restoration of 
the lost vision to the inner eye, so that we may be able 
to see God, both as all-pervading in the Universe and 
as deeply concentrated behind the mighty breakwater 
of the Master. 

This revelation then depends upon the sweet will of 
God and no one can claim it as a right. It is just a 
pure and simple gift from Him to one who has prepared 
himself through the ages. 


The Blessings of God and the Master 

THE PATH OF SPIRITUALITY IS not a highway that one 
may tread easily. It is an arduous and an uphill task, 
tortuous and difficult. 

In Katha Upanishad, we find: 

Awake, arise and get illumination by sitting at 
the feet of Masters. The wise say this way is 
sharp as a razor and as difficult to walk on. 

Farid, a Muslim divine of great repute, says : 

O Farid! Get up and tread the world over in 
search of some Godly man, for then alone 
can you he truly blessed. 

In the Holy Koran this path is termed Pul-i-Sirat, and 
is described as "sharp as a razor's edge" and "narrow as 
a hair." 

Bhai Gurdas also speaks of Gur Sikhi (Master's Path) 
in the same words, "narrower than a hair and sharper 
than a razor's edge." 

Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow 
is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few 
there he that find it. 

MATTHEW 7: 14 



In the Vedas, too, there are texts prescribing countless 
rules and regulations for the performance of yogic asans 
and sadhans so difficult that the thought of them makes 
one's hair stand on end. 

With such hardships ahead, how can a puny child of 
clay, powerless as he is, constantly ridden by mind and 
matter, entangled in the meshes of blind infatuation and 
beset with desires, anger, greed, attachment and egoism, 
escape unscathed by himself and become a successful 
pilgrim on the Path? 

In such a weird setting, all baffling and bewildering, 
with no way out, God takes mercy on His creatures. He 
Himself comes down in vile man's attire, to suffer woe 
so that His children may be blessed. But again the same 
trouble confronts us. 

To understand the teachings of the Master and strictly 
follow them from day to day, to confide in Him and to 
completely surrender one's self, body and soul, to His will; 
is not an easy thing to do. Unless God and Satguru both 
take pity on a jiva, he cannot possibly see through to 
Reality and escape from bondage. 

Himself the Master of the Universe, He may 
draw in a jiva, and effect a union. 

We with our limited understanding cannot even listen 
comprehendingly to the Master's words. 

But in the fullness of time when it so pleases God, He 
brings about a meeting between a jiva and a Sant Sat- 
guru, who establishes his contact with Naam — the pow- 
er of God or God in action — the Primal Sound Current, 


wherewith a jiva is gradually led on and on until he 
reaches the source and the fountainhead of Shabd or 
the Sound Current. 

Those who serve not Truth wither away like a 

broken reed, 
O Nanak! Whom the Master blesses gets linked 

with Naam. 
With a special merit alone one meets a Sat- 

guru; and he brings about a union between 

Surat and Shabd. 
Meeting with a Master is a pure gift of God, 

and so is the union with Hari Nam (God). 

The Master is in the likeness of God, though in physical 
raiments. He, too, is endowed with the same attributes 
as God Himself. He, too, comes to save the sinners and 
administer His Saving Grace among the rest. He washes 
the jivas clean of their sins and gives the gift of Naam, 
which acts as a sovereign remedy against all ills, physi- 
cal, accidental and spiritual. 

My Master takes away all sins and I depend 
on him. Forgive all my trespasses, O Mas- 
ter! Nanak prays for this alone. 

Great are the blessings of a perfect Master. 
With the worship of Hari comes eternal bliss. 

The union with the Lord is the gift of a perfect 
Master. Eternally forgiven, I now soar limit- 
less and free. 


The seventeenth century English poet Dryden, speak- 
ing of Christ, tells us: 

See God descending in thy human frame; the 
offended, suffering in the offender's name. 

All thy misdeeds to Him imputed see; and all 
His righteousness devolved on thee. 

The grace of the Master is as limitless as His greatness, 
so much so that He forgives even those v^^ho talk ill of Him 
and accepts them as His very own. 

One who talks ill of the Master may yet turn 

To find His saving grace leading him to His fold. 

Countless are the persons whose sins are forgiven and are 
safely ferried across the sea of life. 

With Shabd He burns to ashes the Karmic im- 
pressions of many a soul; 

Like a Captain, He pilots the ship through 
many a shoal. 

The Master truly is God. He is a sea of heaving compas- 
sion. All kinds of gifts eternally flow from Him like peren- 
nial springs of cool and refreshing water. 

Narain (Creator) in Guru is compassion incar- 
nate and a true friend; 

In His pleasure is everything, and Nanak is a 
sacrifice unto Him. 

The greatest gift of God and Guru is just one thing — 


Naam. They always bestow upon their devotees the bless- 
ings of Naam, and thus bring about their salvation. 

Devotees of God ever revel in Naam; with sav- 
ing grace they ever march on. 

The very sight of Him is a rare blessing; the 
truly blessed can have it; with the mercy of 
the Merciful, Satguru confers the gift of 

In this world and hereafter, there is no gift greater than 
that of Naam. 

Priceless is the treasure of Naam; a True One 
may grant it at His will. 

One can secure the gift of Naam and thereby find an 
approach to God through Satsang and Satguru. 

Whomever the Master may bless, he may have 

the Love of the Lord. 
The compassion of God comes into commotion 

when one is truly blessed by a Sadh, O 


The saving grace comes through contact with Naam, 
and continuous cherishing of His love and saving grace 
in turn helps the other way. Both grace and Naam work 
in reciprocity and help in developing each other. 

O Nanak! Naam comes from grace alone. 

There is no friend other than Ram Naam. 
Getting above the pairs of opposites, stick to 

Naam and He shall bless. 

156 GOD MAN 

The moment I forget Truth, that moment is 

Remember Him with every breath, and His 

grace shall be with us. 

His grace descends by acceptance of His bhana (will) 
and recognition of His hukam (commandment). 

He who knows His hukam has no occasion to 

O Nanak! engrave the gift of His Naam on thy 


The seed of Naam, once sown by a Saint, cannot but 
fructify — no power can stop it ; and the jiva must sooner 
or later reach the goal, viz., self-realization and God- 

Truth one gets through grace alone; none has 

the power to stop Its growth. 
Naam is watered by death-in-life, and Guru- 

mukhs do it; God grants them this treasure 

and none can snatch It. 

Even Kal (Time) and Maya (Delusion) can have no 
effect on the seed of Naam, for It is conceived in a region 
much higher than their domains. 

Besides, the sower of the seed — the Satguru — is Sat 
Purush Himself (His manifested form); and so Ishwar 
(Niranjan, Lord of the Subtle Region) and Parmeshwar 
(Om, Lord of the Causal Region) cannot interfere in 
His work. 


The gift of the Guru is eternal; It has the sav- 
ing grace for the recipient. 

The Shabd of the Master reigns supreme, O 
Nanak! The Master is no one but God. 

The blessings of the Supreme Lord are hmitless and do 
not at any time suffer from scarcity, but one partakes of 
them only by extraordinary merit. A particle of grace is 
enough to save a jiva from the ceaseless cycle of trans- 

Once He showers His blessings, there is an 

end to endless births; 
As comings and goings cease, one at home finds 

eternal rest. 

It is only the Gurumukhs who get this grace and not the 

O Nanak! He does all by Himself, and Guru- 
mukhs enjoy His favor. 

The bitter words of the Master taste sweet; 

His sweet words are a boon all His own; 

His words, whatever they are, bear fruit in 

But the idle words of others go in vain. 

One works out Naam through His grace alone. 

Thy grace alone helps in developing the power 

of Naam; 
Without any shortcomings, one ever engages in 



Man by himself is just a helpless creature and can do 
nothing. He must not therefore feel vainglorious for what 
he seemingly does. 

God alone is the Doer of all acts; He knows the 
innermost secrets of all hearts. 

The panacea for all ills and the only way to win God's 
grace is perfect surrender in all humility at the feet of 
the Master Soul. 


The Solicitude of the Master 

THE RELATIONSHIP of the Master and the disciple is 
unique in character and we find no parallel to it on 
earth. Still, Saints have tried to make us understand 
something of it. While all worldly connections and ties 
are more or less tainted by selfishness, the relation be- 
tween the Master and the disciple is purely one of self- 
less love. 

Just for the sake of analogy, we may consider the love 
of a mother for her child. An infant at birth is just a 
mere helpless mass of tender flesh and bones. He can- 
not express himself and his needs, nor can he look after 
himself, but the mother takes tender care of the tiny piece 
of humanity. She attends to his every need and looks 
after his comforts. In his happiness lies her happiness 
and in his sorrow she feels distressed. Day and night she 
tirelessly works for the child's welfare and does not con- 
sider any sacrifice too great. She denies herself every- 
thing so that her child may have all that she can afford 
to give and is ready even to lay down her life for his sake. 
As the infant grows, he begins to imbibe his mother's 
love. The kindly rays of love pass from eyes to eyes. In 
mute language he begins his first lessons in love. Gradu- 
ally, the toddler is taught to speak, at first in broken 
syllables, and the mother's delight knows no bounds at 


160 GOD MAN 

every success in her endeavors, until he grows big enough 
to look after himself. 

In exactly the same way, when a person is accepted 
by the Master he takes a second birth, as it were, into the 
Master's house. He comes into the Master's fold full of 
worldly attachments and dyed deep in the darkest shades 
of mind and matter. He is so identified with his body 
and bodily relations that he can never think that he is 
something apart from them. 

With all his worldly wisdom, whatever riches, name 
and fame he may have, he is blank in matters spiritual. 
Having lived all his life on a sensual plane, he is con- 
scious of nothing but sense pleasures which are the end 
and all for him. 

With his birth in the Master's house, the Master takes 
upon Himself an immense load of responsibility. By indi- 
vidual instructions and attention, He gradually weans the 
jiva from sense pleasures. He tells the disciple that he is 
neither body nor mind nor intellect, but something more 
glorious — soul or spirit — and has been endowed by Na- 
ture with various faculties to serve a high purpose in life. 
By spiritual disciphne, the Master enables him to free his 
mind of mental oscillations. Now he develops a state of 
equipoise, and with it he begins to evaluate life from a 
different angle. His entire outlook is changed and a 
consciousness of spirit dawns in him. 

He is no longer a slave of his senses engaged in sensual 
pursuits, but finds an inner satisfaction, peace and seren- 
ity which keeps him engrossed all the time at the seat of 
the very Self. All this is the work of the Master, and 



much more besides. To wash clean a jiva from the im- 
purities of the world is no mean task, but it is absolutely 
necessary for a spiritual life. 

He has to be pulled up from his senses, mind and in- 
tellect, and this no one but a Master can achieve. 

To stop the course of the mighty rush of sensory cur- 
rents flowing headlong into the world, and to hold them 
at one center, is a gigantic task in itself. The next job 
of the Master is even more important than this. 

After the preliminary cleansing process, He pulls scales 
from the inner eye and gives it vision and Light; and He 
breaks the seal on the inner ear, making the jiva hear 
the inner Music of the soul. By His individual attention 
and care He makes an adept out of trash and scrap — 
capable of understanding and enjoying the unspoken 
language and unwritten law of God, and of doing ac- 
tions without the aid of outer organs and faculties. 

The Master takes care of the disciple with His own 
life impulse. 

Blessed indeed is the Master, Who by His in- 
structions, purifies us through and through. 

Satguru cuts asunder all the shackles of the 

As Wordsworth sang of his sister, so a disciple sings of 
his Master: 

She gave me eyes; she gave me ears; 

and humble cares and delicate fears; 
A heart the fountain of sweet tears, 

and love and thought and joy. 

162 GOD MAN 

The Master always saves His disciples, no matter how 
dangerous a situation they may be in. His protecting 
arms serve as a shield and buckler, and the disciple leads 
a charmed life, as it were. The Master does all this 
simply because He has taken charge of a jiva; there is no 
obligation on the disciple's part, nor does he necessarily 
know about it. 

Again, the Master takes upon Himself the burden of 
His disciples' sins and iniquities. 

All thy misdeeds to Him imputed be 
And all His righteousness devolved on thee. 


He takes in His own hands the entire process of winding 
up the karmic impressions of the jiva. Having freed him 
from the sensual plane by reversing his sensory current 
so that it flows upward, the Master renders him incapa- 
ble of sowing any more karmic seeds for future harvest- 
ing; and whatever trespasses he may still commit through 
weakness of the flesh, the Master Himself gently and 
firmly deals with here on earth, leaving no debit balance 
to be carried forward. In this way, the account of Kriya- 
man karma (present deeds) is settled and squared. 

Next come the Pralabdha karmas, which determine 
what we call fate or destiny, and because of which we 
come into the world. The Master does not touch them 
and happily the disciple weaves his way through their 

Through the compassion of the Lord all trials 
and tribulations fly; 


Satguru himself saves a jiva from all harm. 

Last but not least, the Master feeds the jiva with the 
Bread of Life and quenches his thirst with the Water of 
Life (Naam) until he grows into spiritual adolescence 
and is capable of a certain amount of self-reliance. The 
touch of the spark of Naam (God-in- Action or the con- 
trolling power of God) burns out the storehouse of un- 
fructified karma of ages upon ages {Sane hit or store- 
house), thus rendering them incapable of germinating 
in the future. 

Satguru keeps his sikh (disciple) on manna 

and elixir; 
So very kind is the Master to His disciple. 

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 

The protective care of the Master is much more than 
that of a mother for her child. He ever keeps His loving 
eyes on His disciple and guards him from all that is harm- 
ful, for His love knows no bounds. 

As a mother tends her child and ever looks af- 
ter him; 

Gives him food and nourishment for growth all 

So does the Master look after His beloved with 
Godly love. 


As mother loves the child, and fish the water, 
so does Master love His own man. 

In this respect, distance is of no consequence and it does 
not count with the Master. His long and strong arm can 
reach everywhere, and His penetrating gaze can pierce 
through all space. 

His hand is the hand of God, and the power of 
God works through Him. 

Wherever a disciple may be, however extreme his outer 
circumstances, the Master is always with him and guides 
him at every step, for that is His eternal promise: 

Everyman, I will go with thee and be thy 

In thy most need to go by thy side. 

A skylark is a pilgrim of the skies, and yet she hatches 
her eggs by giving them her whole attention. Similarly, 
the Master always keeps His disciple within His gaze, nur- 
tures him with the Water of Life — the seed of Naam 
sown in the seeker's soul — until the spirit is able to break 
through the triple-shelled egg (physical, astral and caus- 
al sheaths) and shines forth in her own self-radiance. 

O Nanak! Master takes care of the disciple 

with His very life impulse; 
He keeps him safe in His own hands and looks 

after him all the time. 

Love alone is the cementing force that binds the Master 


and the disciple. Through unbounded compassion He 
deUvers God's message to suffering humanity and prays 
that they may be saved from the imperceptible fire in 
which all are being consumed. 
Maulana Rumi says: 

He calls the people toward the Kingdom of 

He prays to God for their forgiveness and sal- 

Satguru is the real friend of the disciple. He saves him 
from tense and hopeless situations. He comes to his aid 
when he has despaired of all hope and relief, and is sur- 
rounded by seemingly powerful forces arrayed against 
him. From time to time the disciple feels the overpower- 
ing influence of the Master working for his good. At 
times He works in ways that are difficult for the disciple 
to understand. Just as a mother waits in the early morn- 
ing hours for her sleeping child to awaken, in the same 
way, even more anxiously, the Master looks forward 
wistfully to the time when His disciple, steeped in deep 
ignorance born of matter and mind, will raise his head, 
look toward Him and gladden His heart. 

The loving care of the Master becomes more manifest 
at the time of the disciple's final leave-taking from the 
world. While all his relatives and friends helplessly 
wait beside the sickbed, and the doctors declare the case 
hopeless, the Luminous Form of the Master appears to 
take charge of the departing spirit and guide it to the 
new world, to the judgment seat of God. 


After that, He takes it to whatever region He thinks 
best, for further disciphne and advancement on the path. 

Serve the real Satguru and secure tightly the 

riches of Truth; 
At the last moment He shall come to thy rescue. 
He alone is a friend who accompanies me on 

my last journey, and stands by me before the 

judgement seat of God. 
My Master is all in all and the source of all 

He links me with the transcendent Brahma and 

comes to my aid at the last. 

Maulana Rumi says: 

O ignorant fool! Quickly take hold of a guide; 
for then wilt thou be saved from the horrors 
of the beyond. 

All our worldly ties and connections are of an ephemeral 
character. Some leave us in poverty, some in adversity, 
some in illness. A few may stay beside us all through 
life, but they too fall away at the time of death. But Sat- 
guru is the real friend, who always overshadows the 
disciple and keeps His protecting arms around him wher- 
ever he may be. He stands by him at the time of his 
death and even goes along with his spirit as a guide to 
the other worlds. 

O Nanak! Snap asunder all ties of the world, 

and find some friendly Saint; 
World attachments shall leave thee even in life, 


while the Other shall stand steadfast unto 
death and beyond. 

A soul awakened to Reality by a Satguru cannot be a 
prey to the messengers of death but must go with the 
Radiant Form of the Master, which comes to receive it 
when it casts off its physical raiment. 

Kabir Sahib tells us that gold does not rust, nor steel 
eaten by worms; so a disciple of the Master, no matter 
how good or bad, never goes to hell. 

Gold attracts not rust nor steel the worms; 
The disciple of the Master will never go to hell. 

The Master is the Master indeed, both in this world and 
the next, and helps a jiva in both the worlds. There is 
no greater friend. 

/ have taken hold of my Hart; He is my sus- 

tainer and is ever with me. 
He is a guardian angel in both the worlds; for 

almighty and ever merciful is the Satguru. 
I have with me Satguru, who helps me in all 

my needs; blessed is the Satguru, who reveals 

God to me. 
There is no friend greater than Satguru; He is 

the Protector, here and everywhere. 

If and when a jiva comes across a Satguru, he may thank 
his God, for the Guru underwrites life eternal for him 
Full of compassion as He is, He unhesitatingly helps him 
through difficult situations, and without the least thought 
of obligation. 


Maulana Rumi says of Him: 

Kind hearted and selfless is the Friend; 
He helps in dire difficulties and hard times. 

The Guru is pledged to help the helpless. Through sheer 
compassion He extends His saving grace to all humanity. 
His company is the most beneficial; with Guru by his 
side, one may successfully defy millions of enemies. 

When Guru is thy shield and buckler, millions 
of hands cannot strike thee down. 

Truly blessed are the jivas who have had access to the 
charmed precincts of the Satguru^ for they have nothing 
to worry about here or hereafter. 

The world bows to Him in adoration; regions 

divine anxiously await His advent; 
For perfect is He who is in touch with the 


How very fortunate are the disciples who are under 
the shadow of His holy wings; in their lifetime and be- 
yond, they march with leaps and bounds on the grand 
trunk road of spirituality. 


Master and the Controlling Power 

SATGURU is the fountainhead of grace. Strange are the 
ways in which He works His grace. With just a single 
kindly look He may bless a jiva forever. He showers 
Naam in abundance. Should He in His pleasure place His 
blessed hand on the head of a jiva, the latter wishes for 
no other blessing. 

In the twinkling of an eye, the jiva penetrates through 
the dark veil of ignorance and experiences the power of 
His grace — the Divine Light and the Divine Music — 
both of which become manifest to him. The contact with 
these at once wipes off the otherwise indelible karmic 
impressions of many ages, and the jiva attains life eter- 
nal, full of grace and peace. 

My Friend has blessed me with peace, for He 

has manifested the Sound Current within; 
My Friend has shown God to me by a touch 

of His hand. 
With the touch of the Guru's hand, God has 

blessed me with the pearl of Naam; 
The sins of ages have vanished — such is the 

power of Naam. 

Rare indeed are the jivas who are fortunate enough to 
be blessed like this by the Master's hand. 



Worship one who has the treasure of God with 

Blessed is the jiva who has the Master's hand 

on him. 

Blessed indeed is the touch of the Master's 

Which one in millions is fortunate enough to 


In all the wide world the touch of the Master's hand 
helps the jiva in his trials and tribulations, and he be- 
comes free from care. The entire world bows and bends 
at his feet in silent adoration. He can freely go to the 
various divisions of the creation at his sweet will and 
pleasure, for the grace of the perfect Master makes him 
perfect as well. 

With His hand over one's head, His power ex- 
tends on all sides; 

His grace opens the way to the spiritual realms, 
ending all ills. 


Surrender to the Master 

SURRENDER to the feet of the Master means to merge 
one's individual will in the will of the Master, and 
to completely place oneself at His mercy. It is the surest 
and easiest way to escape from all cares and anxieties. It 
comes only when a disciple has complete faith and confi- 
dence in the competency of the Master. 

This type of self-surrender is like that of a completely 
helpless patient who, trusting in the skill of a competent 
surgeon, places his life in his hands and quietly submits 
himself to his knife and lancet. 

Or it may be compared to the trust given by the hope- 
lessly lost traveler in the wilderness to the forest ranger 
who finds him and leads him out. 

In exactly the same way, the work of the Master does 
not consist in merely teaching the theory of Para Vidya 
(Science of the Beyond), but it includes the practical 
demonstration of results of spiritual experiments, and 
help and guidance through all the disciples' difficulties. 
A True Friend not only gives theoretical lessons in 
how to escape from mind and matter, He helps in effect- 
ing the escape itself. 

Suppose, for instance, that a person has to go abroad. 
He will begin by making inquiries as to the various 



means of transportation available, land, sea or air, as 
he may choose. After he makes his choice he enters the 
plane, ship or train, and relying on the skill of the opera- 
tor, takes his seat comfortably without the least anxiety. 
Should the ship flounder, or the plane be caught in a 
storm, it is the duty of the captain or pilot to take every 
possible care to save the conveyance along with the pas- 
sengers for whom he is responsible. 

In exactly the same way, an aspirant for spirituality 
has, after careful investigation, to decide first about the 
spiritual worthiness of a Master, and then to submit him- 
self wholly and solely to His authority and direction with- 
out any mental reservations whatever; for He alone 
knows the turns and twists of the spiritual path and is 
in a position to act as an unerring guide. 

The term surrender therefore means that a disciple 
should have full confidence in the skill and competence 
of the Master, and scrupulously follow and act on His 
instructions whatever they may be, whether in conform- 
ing with his own reason or not — for his reason being lim- 
ited may be faulty or fall far short of the depth or prove 

It is not for him to question the propriety of the Mas- 
ter's commandments. He must learn, like a soldier, to 
obey His command without knowing the why and where- 
fore of things; for the Master knows what is best and 
most suitable in each case. 

One must therefore obey the Master literally, and 
straightway engage himself in the sadhan or spiritual 
practice and discipline as it may be laid down for him. 


This is the only way to spiritual success; there is no 

In this context, we have the testimony of Hafiz, a great 
Sufi poet of Persia, who declared : 

Dye thy prayer carpet in wine should the Mas- 
ter so desire; 

For He is not ignorant of the turns of the high- 
way ahead. 

When a disciple entrusts his all to the Master, he be- 
comes carefree and the Master has of necessity to take 
over the entire responsibility; just as a mother does for 
her child who does not know what is good for him. 

As the disciple develops in his sadhan, he fits himself 
to receive more grace from the Master. Under His kind 
and benign influence, the disciple begins to thrive from 
day to day, and all his wishes are fulfilled without the 
least trouble on his part. 

Sages and seers cry from the housetops: 

Ye seekers after peace, hie to a Master Saint. 

In Discourse 17, Verse 66, of the Bhagavad Gita, the 
Blessed Lord Krishna as a world teacher announces: 

Abandon all duties and come to me, the only 
refuge; I will deliver thee from all sins: 
grieve not. 

In the Holy Koran, we have likewise: 

Whosoever surrenders his purpose to Allah 
while doing good, his reward is with his 


Lord, and no fear shall come upon him, 
neither shall he grieve. 

2. 112; 10.6 

And in the Bible: 

And I will turn my hand upon thee and purely 
purge away thy dross, and take away all thy 

ISAIAH 1:25 

Come unto m.e, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest. 

MATTHEW 11:28 


Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will de- 
liver thee. 

Self-surrender is not an easy task. To accomplish it, one 
has to recede back to the position of an innocent child. 
It means an entire involution, a complete metamorpho- 
sis, supplanting one's own individuality. 

It is the path of self-abnegation, which not everyone 
can take. 

On the other hand, the path of spiritual discipline is 
comparatively easy. Self-effort can be tried by anyone in 
order to achieve spiritual advancement. 

It is, no doubt, a long and tortuous path, as compared 
with the way of self-surrender, but one can, with confi- 
dence in the Master, tread it firmly step by step. If, how- 
ever, a person is fortunate enough to take to self- 
surrender, he can have all the blessings of the Master 


quickly; for he goes directly into His lap and has nothing 
to do by himself for himself. 

He is then the Master's Elect, His beloved son, the son 
of God Himself. But very rarely even a really blessed 
soul may be able to acquire this attitude. 

Should the Lord so ordain, then, O Nanak! 

a person may take the path of self -surrender. 
Blessed indeed is one who surrenders at the feet 

of the Sat guru; 
Standing near Truth he revels in Truth and 

easily merges in Truth, 
O Nanak! It is by the Lord's grace that one 

may meet such a Gurumukh. 

In the scriptures one finds a large number of advantages 
from adopting this path: 

All ills and sorrows vanish by surrender at the 

Master's feet. 
In the world of joys and sorrows, he alone es- 
capes who gains the feet of the Satguru; 
A Gurumukh stands apart from the three gunas 

and is acceptable to the Lord. 
In self-surrender the mind becomes purified; 

but chanting of God's name alone does not 

For the world's good do those come who thirst 

for a sight of Him; 
He who surrenders makes a clean escape, with 

desires all fulfilled. 
All joys lie with Satguru; bow then at his feet; 


blissful is the very sight of him. 
With no regrets chant paeans unto him. 
I see the world being consumed in the fire of 

egoism. Escape thou by surrender to the 

Master, and then attend to True Shabd. 
I surrender to One who alone is the cause, 

both material and efficient. His grace has 

shown the native land in the light of the 

With a Life Impulse from a perfect Master, 

Ram Naam rests in me; 
O Nanak! With a surrender to the Master's 

feet the Lord Himself becomes merciful. 
In Kali Yuga Naam lies hidden everywhere, 

and the Lord in fullness pervades; 
But the precious Naam becomes manifest in 

that surrender to the Master. 

With the blessings of the Guru one becomes fearless of 
death and is successfully ferried across the sea of life. 

He happily conquers death and never goes to 
hell. O Nanak! He is saved by surrender, for 
Hari just takes him into His care. 

Having been accepted by the Acceptor, all his acts be- 
come pure. 

O Nanak! Never will he go to hell; such is the 

gift of surrender. 
None but the Elect engage in the devotion of 

Naam. O Nanak! With surrender at the 


Master's feet one never comes and goes. 
The dispeller of ills and Lord of all is attained 
through surrender to a Sadh; and the tumul- 
tuous sea of life is ferried across quickly. 

When a jiva surrenders to the Satguru, the Lord takes 
him under His own protection and grants unto him the 
blessings of Sehaj (eternal happiness). All doubts and 
fears now disappear and he comes to his own real Self. 


The Words of the Master 

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, 

Dye thy prayer carpet in wine if thy Master 

so desires; 
For he is not ignorant of the turns of the high- 
way 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 emphat- 
ically declared: 

// 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 


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. 


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 

// 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. 


But he that received seed into the good ground 
is he that heareth the word, and understand- 
eth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth 
forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some 

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 anoth- 
er'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 Mas- 
ter 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 im- 
mortal. 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; 

182 GOD MAN 

This nectar can be enjoyed in the company of 

Find thy native home with the help of the Mas- 

Then there will be no more coming and going. 

One cannot come into the treasure of Naam by the per- 
formance 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 

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 com- 
fort is his reward; 


By following His behests, Nanak! one fear- 
lessly 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 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 

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 yeo- 
man'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 ac- 
cepts 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 Lness and my-ness and never 
becomes vainglorious. 

He rises above the pairs of opposites: riches and pov- 
erty, comforts and discomforts, pleasure and pain, fame 
and obscurity; for he remains in a state serene and with 


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 wher- 
ever 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.