The original book's cover
Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Eternal is He,
Eternal is His Knowledge
Originally Published by Divine Light Mission,
B-19/3, Shakti Nagar, Delhi 7, India - 1970
1st edition - 20,000 copies
8th November, 1970
Price Rs. 3.00
Printed at Albion Press, Delhi 6.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was Prempal & Satpal Rawat's father.
Shri Maharaji's Picture
A Panoramic View of Shri Maharaji's Life and Activities
Founding of the Mission
The Problem of Peace and Divine Light Mission - An Answer
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and Prevailing Religious Sects
As I Saw Maharaji
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj - A Divine Personality
Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Shri Maharaj Ji on the Gita
The Essence of the Gita Extracted by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Sayings of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Shri Sant Ji Maharaj's picture
The Divine Light Mission owes its birth and growth to its founder, the late Shri Hans Ji Maharaj whose birthday is celebrated on November 8, 9, and 10 every year under the auspices of the Mission. It is with the grace of our Satgurudev, Shri Sant Ji Maharaj and our patron Shri Jagat Janani Mataji that the governing body of Divine Light Mission resolved to bring out a commemoration volume not only to perpetuate the memory of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj but to enlighten the masses with his teachings which are the core of all religions and their doctrines.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was a beacon showing the path of light to lakhs of people in India and was worshipped by them as their Satguru. He was an ideal saint, but more than that he was the perfect karma yogi.
The members of the Divine Light Mission are indebted to him for imparting the knowledge of Divine Light and Sabad Brahm. The message of Shri Maharaj Ji has a special significance in the modern context, for without this knowledge of the true self of man there cannot be any possibility of peace on this earth. It is not until man finds his divinity and shines in the glow of the inner light that love will reign and mankind be truly united. Guru Maharaj Ji showed us that the responsibility for a fundamental change in this hate striven world lies with the individual, for unless we kill the hatred and the war within us there shall never be an end of strife without. The knowledge of the Divine Light and Name of God shows man the practical path to the kingdom of heaven where man shall not lift sword against man, neither shall he know war anymore.
We, the members of Divine Light Mission, pay our homage to our Satgurudev by bringing out this commemoration volume in his honor as the best possible monument depicting his life and teachings.
It is truly beyond the total comprehension of the human being to understand the fullness of the Satguru. Guru reveals himself to the disciple in proportion to the devotion an love of the devotee. We stand in awe of the greatness and glory of the Satguru who has shown us the wonders of the life divine. We have had glimpses of his greatness but the spiritual glory that lay within Maharaj Ji was of such magnitude that more words are unable to express it. His religion was realisation, and that experience cannot be communicated in words.
It is only to express the reverence and devotion that we feel for our beloved Satguru that we now present this commemoration volume before the public in the hopes that it may enlighten them on to the path shown by Maharaj Ji.
For Maharaj Ji often used to stress that in working for the good of others our own good is attained and that the highest philanthropy to mankind is to propagate the divine message to others in the heartfelt hope that they might benefit by it.
We place this volume before the lotus feet of Satgurudev in our earnest love and surrender to his glory, and pray that He may bless with His grace. It was only he who showed us the path to God. Guru alone is worthy of our reverence. We bathed in His grace and light and now, with a purified, humble heart offer our prayer that his guidance may remain with us always through the grace of Shri Sant Ji Maharaj.
Glory to Shri Hans Ji Maharaj Ji
Glory to Shri Sant Ji Maharaj Ji
We, the Members of Divine Light Mission.
In the annals of mankind there has always appeared a great Spiritual Master at every critical juncture who has saved humanity from an impending crisis. Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, the founder of the Divine Light Mission was such a Divine Master. His contribution to the moral and spiritual uplift of mankind is too great to be expressed in words. Even the scriptures try in vain to sing the glory of a Satguru. Guru Nanak aptly said 'Sant ki Mahima ved na Jane …' The greatness and glory of Saints can not be depicted even by the Vedas.
Innumerable were those who were the beneficiaries of His grace and Holy discourses, and were endowed with Spiritual insight. How vividly I remember the spiritual comfort and blissful experiences that I enjoyed by His grace and in His company. Even now his divine figure conjures up before my mind in my lonely moments and inspires me on to tread the path of righteousness.
He gifted me with Knowledge Divine. On the day of Initiation, I was reborn spiritually and learnt the true nature of the 'Self'. How simple is the knowledge. How secret is the knowledge. Light shines in man, but how sad it is that he gropes in darkness without the grace of a Guru.
Shri Maharaj Ji gave me the key to open the inner recesses of my heart, a ladder to climb up to the kingdom of Heaven, to drink the divine nectar, and to open the third eye in order to visualise the self-effulgent light. With this knowledge came a true understanding of the scriptures. He solved the riddle of life for me. Life became meaningful, a divine gift to realise Divinity.
The overall development of the individual and the inner transformation of man's personality is only possible through the medium of this very knowledge. Nowadays we talk of reforming the educational system in India, discuss about the growing indiscipline among the students, deplore the deteriorating moral and spiritual values, not only among the students, but in society at large. We have made many experiments and tried many methods to improve the tone of education, but the confusion has become more pronounced and the problem more problematic. To my mind the only answer to this problem is the spiritual knowledge imparted by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj.
If education means the development of the child, if it means to make all-round improvement in the child, then my humble submission is that the knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light, or spiritual knowledge, is the only panacea for all ills. Nations become great and strong by individuals, and individuals become great and strong by the knowledge of the spirit. Shri Maharaj Ji's greatest contribution in this distracted world was the dissemination of that knowledge which disciplines the mind and transforms the individual.
He was a realised soul who awakened the people to the loftiest goal of life. His clarion call was, 'awake, and stop not till the goal is reached'. Let the calmness of the divine life be not lost to the din and noise of the mundane life. Let the momentary gains of the world not make man lose the gem of life. Life is more precious than material gains. Divinity is more precious than life itself. Let this human life be utilised for attaining Divinity.
Shri Maharaj Ji eulogised the religion of spirit and criticised institutionalised religions. Religion for Him was realisation, and He said, 'Religion does not mean to worship deities, to read scriptures, to take dips in the Holy Ganges or to recite Mantras. It is an unshakeable faith in truth and a ceaseless quest to realise it in the innermost part of our nature.'
The outer walls between man and man created by religions can only be shattered by the knowledge of the inner self, or soul, which is one for all, Maharaj Ji showed the unity and oneness of true knowledge in the diversity of outer forms, rites and rituals of different religions.
Maharaj Ji's life was a saga of dedication for the good of society, the enlightenment of the individual and the establishment of peace in the world, I take it as a divine privilege to portray some of the aspects of his divine personality, in whose grace I bathed and in whom I saw divinity manifested. The subsequent articles which make the contents of this volume are not a single man's work. Many contributed to this volume, thus paying their homage to their Satgurudev, who brought inner transformation in their lives. It was not possible to add all of them in this volume, due to the paucity of time, but in its second edition many new articles will be added.
M. A. (History and Pol. Sc.)
DIVINE LIGHT MISSION
(Page xi) All Hail unto the Guru, the Light Eternal.
That was in the beginning,
Even before Time had its birth,
All hail to the Divine Spirit,
That existed in the past infinity of ages.
All hail unto the Master Spirit, who is and shall
Ever and ever be Truth Eternal.
Make us, O Lord, worthy of this great mission.
We are but Thy humble servant, O great God.
Could we carry such light and inspiration
As to change the outlook of the whole world?
Great is Thy mission, O Lord.
So humble are we.
But we will obey Thy commands with all our heart.
Be thou our guide and our voice, O Lord.
Be Thou our power and Light, O Eternal Father.
May we ever abide in Thee, O Lord.
Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was Prempal & Satpal Rawat's father.
Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, whose birthday falls on November 8, belongs to the galaxy of saints and seers that this country has been producing from the days of the Vedas and the Upanishads down to the present age.
Born in the hilly area of Badrinath, he was destined to play an important role in establishing the true religion which had been polluted by superstitions, rituals and evil practices which had crept into the mainstream of Indian society with the lapse of time. Born in a Suryawansh, or sun dynasty, he inherited the greatness and the glamour of the Raghu dynasty. He was a descendant from the lineage of Lord Rama's family.
He was a magnetic personality, tall with a glowing face and flowing hair, attractive eyes, broad forehead and a wide silvery smile. He had a very pleasing and impressive exterior which attracted the people who approached him. There was a charisma about him which created awe in the hearts of others. Dressed generally in a "dhoti" and "kurta" he was the living embodiment of truth. He outshined all others and was singularly conspicuous in a crowd. His very presence inspired confidence, emitted brightness, and created an atmosphere of love and peace.
From his childhood he was inclined towards spirituality. He had some mystic experiences which could not be rationally explained. He remained under the influence of reform movements such as the Arya Samaj, but there came a complete transformation in the personality after he met his Guru and received initiation from Him. In later years Maharaj Ji used to relate the meeting with his Guru.
It was by sheer coincidence that Maharaj Ji met the Saint who was to become his Guru. Being influenced by the modern movements of his time he had no inherent faith in the need for a Guru. However, the first meeting with his Guru convinced him that without a teacher, real knowledge can not be attained. Upon requesting his Guru to impart the knowledge of the self to him the Guru replied that he should come the next day to hear more Satsang after which he would be given "Updesh", or initiation.
The next day when Maharaj Ji left his home to meet his Guru, he found that heavy rains had swollen a small stream he had to cross into torrential proportions. Maharaj Ji attempted to forge the stream but was caught by the strong current and was swept away. There seemed to be little hope for his rescue, and at this moment Maharaj Ji had the one regret that he would have to leave life without having received the Guru's knowledge. Suddenly, it seemed as if a hand had appeared and was pulling him up out of the water. The next thing he knew he was Lying on the bank of the stream, safe and sound. He looked around for his rescuer, but no one could be found.
He then proceeded to the home of his Guru, who, seeing him drenched and shivering, gave him some new dry clothes and ordered him to change before he could hear any more satsang. Maharaj Ji was hesitant to accept the clothes from his Guru, since by tradition it is the householder who must offer and not the Guru. However, after some persuasion he accepted the clothes and prepared himself. Satsang was delivered and finally his Guru ordered a Mahatma to impart the four "kriyas". Thus did Maharaj Ji receive "Updesh."
Immediately after receiving this knowledge Maharaj Ji was at a loss to understand its full meaning and import. He left for his home, bewildered and pondering deeply over what he had just been revealed. When he arrived home he picked up a copy of the Gita and began reading it in order to see if this knowledge was in accordance with the scriptures. He discovered that all at once the secrets and full meaning of the 'Gita' had become clear to him, and what was before a mystery was now crystal clear before his eyes. At once he developed a reverance for this knowledge which had the immediate effect of making what was once hidden, quite plain before the eyes.
The next morning he arose early, bathed and sat for meditation with great resolve and devotion, intent upon gaining the experience of that fundamental reality. That same morning, the young Maharaj Ji entered "samadhi" and in that state of trance where all body consciousness is lost, he realised the Divinity. Now, of course, his honour and reverance for the knowledge and his Guru knew no bounds. Full of firm faith and absolute belief that what he had found was the true knowledge, he prepared himself for a life of devotion to his Guru and the propagation of the knowledge.
As a disciple, Maharaj Ji was the example of total surrender. His life was austere and simple, his whole being was bent upon truth and all lesser concerns melted and disappeared before his eyes. His Guru said of him, "I am in Hans' heart, and 'Hans' is in my heart " The differences between Guru and disciple dissolved into basic oneness. Maharaj Ji lost his personal ego and became one with his Guru, attaining supreme cosmic consciousness.
Later, a very close disciple of Maharaj Ji disclosed the following incident. Once, all the disciples of Dada Guru were sitting together in the presence of their master. The Dada Guru lifted Shri Maharaj Ji's hand and declared to his disciples that they should follow 'Hans' after his death. The story had an ironic ending. A small group dominated by one Varaganand disobeyed their Master and after his death declined to follow Shri Maharaj Ji. Varaganand claimed the property of his late Guru and set himself up as Guru in his own right. Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was not attracted to the perishable wealth of this world, having already been bestowed with the divine property of Ram Nam. So, according to the commandment of his Master, he started propagating the Holy Name.
In the beginning he disseminated the knowledge of the Divine Light and Holy Name in Sind and Lahore. From 1930 onwards he began coming to Delhi to enlarge upon his noble mission. He stayed in a small room in Bagh Raoji, situated in the Karol Bagh near the Delhi Cloth Mill. His mission spread from man to man as he patiently kindled the lamp of knowledge in others. Soon a group of persons working in the Delhi Cloth Mill became interested in him and visited him regularly, Those were the days of close association, when Shri Maharaj Ji could give personal attention to the aspirant's progress on the path of truth. His magnanimity and cheerful disposition, along with his selfless dedication to the cause, endeared him so much in the hearts of his followers that he became their object of love and worship.
Shri Maharaj Ji's approach was not at all traditional. He was unique and so were his methods. When the labourers in the Delhi Cloth Mill expressed their desire to realise God but wondered how it was possible for workers who have neither the time to sit in meditation, visit the temple, nor renounce the world, to be able to realise God, Maharaj Ji told them that meditation was something that could be done at all times, in all stations of life and that the Holy Name was above the petty vicissitudes of life. This greatly attracted those people and so encouraged, they looked upon him as the Messiah of the poor.
The 'Premies", who had the opportunity to be with him in those early years were fascinated by his way of life. He would play, bathe and talk with them and share their joys and sorrows, yet the master would make them steer themselves on the path of righteousness. He taught them the mysteries of God by a very common place method, in a down to earth fashion. He did not burden the "Premies" with high philosophy. Rather he took philosophy and made it practically understandable.
He was known for his parables, anecdotes and home spun truths which he used expertly in order to carry home a point. There was nothing scholastic about him for he believed that theory bereft of action was a futile mental gymnasium. His approach was always a realistic one towards worldly life as well as to the life divine. His teachings gave the disciples the ability to artfully harmonise the two. Generally the disciples would assemble in a house of a "Premie" where they would sit in rapt admiration with Maharaj Ji and listen to him speak.
More and more people started coming to him, requesting that satsang be given in dharmasalas. Consequently, from small private gathering Maharaj Ji shifted his base of action to dharmasalas in Delhi and gave discourses to a larger audience. At this time he moved from Karol Bagh to Pahar Ganj, to the residence of a "premie", Lala Jyoti Prasad. The first function of Guru PuJa was held at the home of Jyoti Prasad. After this it became an annual function.
His devotees were so attracted to him that upon hearing he was arriving in Delhi they would leave their work and flock around him. Maharaj Ji would engage in various "Lilas" with his devotees and they would sing and play together. The atmosphere was intimate and full of heartfelt love. So close were the "Premies" to their Guru that when he left them they would weep and return with a sorrowful heart to their homes, waiting for his next return.
As his message spread, Maharaj Ji would give open Satsangs, especially near the bank of the Jamuna River. Maharaj Ji had his own natural and novel way of speaking to the people. He was against all outward show and shunned the pomp that many 'Sadhus' and "Mandaleshawars" would indulge in. He never posed to be a religious man. He simply lived religion. He opposed all outer forms of worship such as counting of prayer beads, penances, fasting and the like.
Once, when he was coming back from the Jamuna River followed by some of his admirers, he saw a Mauni Baba sitting on the sandy bank with crossed legs, answering the questions put to him by writing on the sand. Maharaj Ji approached and sat before the Mauni Baba. He folded his hands in prayer, raised his eyes to the heavens and spoke, "Oh God, Thou who art omniscient and all powerful, perfect and the creator of all, I see that even Thou can make mistakes. For why have you given this Baba a tongue when it seems as if he has no need of it?" At this, all were startled and the pretensions of the Mauni Baba collapsed into anger as he shouted, 'What ! What is this you are saying?' At once all the spectators broke into laughter. Maharaj Ji told the Baba that silence of the mind is more important, in fact indispensable, on the path to God, while silence of the tongue is but an outward show. One who does not still the mind by meditation, but only outwardly controls his senses by force, is a hypocrite.
In addition to Delhi, Maharaj Ji would also visit some areas in U. P. In Hapur, Maharaj Ji gathered many followers from the surrounding villages. He would often go and stay in one place for about a week at a time. Once, while visiting a village, a farmer who was his disciple saw Maharaj Ji approaching and left his plough and ran forward to greet him. He touched the feet of his Guru and requested him for satsang. He laid a cot and spread his best cloth for Maharaj Ji under the shade of a tree. But Maharaj Ji refused to sit and told the man to return to his work in the Fields. The farmer obeyed and Maharaj Ji walked with his disciple and gave Satsang as he ploughed the fields. After the farmer completed his work they both left for the village. It was a superb practical lesson in Karma Yoga.
Once Maharaj Ji was invited to Simla by a Brahmin disciple. Many people gathered in his house to hear Maharaj Ji's Satsang. For three days Maharaj Ji continued to draw huge numbers of people to the house with his discussions on the Holy Name and the oneness of all religions. In the household of the Brahmin there was a "Shudra" sweeper, who would sit apart from the crowd and listen to the Satsang. On the third day the sweeper approached Maharaj Ji and said that if this Nam was so beneficial, and if the name of God was one for all, could he too be permitted to receive initiation. Maharaj Ji accepted the sweeper, and gave him 'Updesh' of the Holy Name. When the Brahmin disciple learned that his servant was also a disciple of Maharaj Ji, he became angry and told Maharaj Ji that he could not accept the fact that a sweeper was allowed to receive "Updesh" and pollute the higher castes with his company. It was unthinkable to him that a brahmin and a sweeper could enjoy the discipleship of the same Guru. Maharaj Ji simply said that it was not his fault that he gave the knowledge of the Holy Name of God to the sweeper, the blame must be placed on God. For God places divinity in the heart of every man, the Brahmin and the "Shudra" alike, and there was nothing Maharaj Ji could do to alter this fact.
Shri Maharaj Ji was very much against caste distinctions, and would Pounce on those who displayed superiority because of their caste. In the court of the Lord, he said, it is actions that make a man superior, and not his caste. Maharaj Ji would also criticise Karpatri, a religious Guru who opposed the opening of the temples to those of the "Shudra" caste.
Maharaj Ji explained that if God, the purest of the pure, the Most Holy, the Light of all lights, could become polluted by the touch of a "Shudra", then such a God was far less important than the "Shudra", who worshipped him. A deity who practices discrimination is not worthy of our reverance. The name of God is to purify us, but if God is susceptible to pollution by the "Shudra" how can he have the power to purify us? It is only the un-pollutable who is able to purify. God must be all pure, and all purifying, so it is complete nonsense to think of his becoming stained by the touch of a mere mortal, no matter what his caste may be.
Maharaj Ji would often refer to a particular story from the life of Lord Rama. The story depicts Rama's love for a humble devotee belonging to a low caste. Once, during Rama's exile from his kingdom there lived a "Shudra" woman by the name of Bhilini in the midst of a forest. She served her Guru by sweeping, collecting firewood and doing other domestic duties. So devoted was she, that her Guru upon his death bed called Bhilini to him and said, "O Bhilini, have patience and be devoted to Lord Rama and you will be graced with His Darshan in your very home."
Consequently Bhilini lived in constant expectation of Lord Rama's arrival. She would get up in the morning to collect fruits for him, tasting each one to see whether it was sweet enough. She daily swept the very route that Lord Rama would have to take in order to arrive at her humble hut. Now, in that forest lived many "Rishis" who having renounced the world had built Ashrams for themselves, and lived a life of meditation and asceticism. Bhilini lived apart from their abodes, for even amidst the forest all shunned her. They considered her of a low caste and did not wish to have any contact with her.
The day at last arrived when Lord Rama, passing through the forest, bypassed all the Ashrams and went to the hut of Bhilini. She was overjoyed, all her dreams and expectations had at last been realised, and eagerly she put before Lord Rama the bowl of fruits which she had been so long and laboriously collecting. Lord Rama was pleased with her offerings and ate all the fruit. He gave a few to his brother Lakshman who was amazed that Lord Rama could eat the fruits of a Shudra woman, and surreptitiously threw them away.
In the forest was a single polluted pond which deprived the inhabitants of a supply of good drinking water. The "Rishis" approached Lord Rama and begged him to walk into the water, believing that the pond would become purified upon contact with his feet. Rama replied that they, who were great Rishis, purified by years of asceticism in the forest should be able to purify the water themselves. An attempt was made, and the "Rishis" entered the water, still the pond remained polluted. Now Lord Rama walked into the water, hut he too failed to clean it. At this point Lord Rama called Bhilini, assuring the "Rishis" that if she were to enter the ponds the water would become purified. Bhilini entered, and sure enough the pond became crystal clear and drinking water was restored to the forest.
Maharaj Ji would emphasise this story in order to point out that those who considered the lower castes to be polluting were in fact going against the ancient holy books of India, infidels to the ideals of Lord Rama, and destroyers of the true foundations of Indian religion.
"No one asks about caste in the court of the Lord.
One who remembers God in his heart, attains God."
Just as the sun gives its light to all and water quenches the thirst of all, so God is one for all. Whosoever remembers and searches for Him will find Him. In the words of Jesus, "Knock and it shall he opened, seek and ye shall find."
Maharaj Ji would always glorify the path of devotion and love in his Satsangs. He would say that the devotee is very dear to God, the intense love of a devotee causes God to incarnate Himself. Lord Krishna left the delicious dishes of the King Duryodhan and took plain vegetables in the house of a poor devotee. Indian religious scriptures are full of such stories which glorify the greatness of a devotee. Even Guru Nanak refused a sumptuous meal at the house of a rich merchant to dine in the home of a true devotee who could only offer him a dry crust of bread.
The highest achievement on the spiritual path is the manifestation of Divine Love in the heart of the devotee. Once manifested, God Himself runs after the devotee.
By the year 1950, Maharaj Ji had acquired a large number of Followers. Usually Maharaj Ji would make tours and stay in the homes of devotees, giving Satsang in the evening and personal interviews to those who approached him in the morning. Wherever he went there was always a stream of people coming to have his "darshan" and hear his discourses.
After 1950 Maharaj Ji shifted from Pahar Ganj to New Delhi at Bara Khamba Road, in the home of a "Premie". Maharaj Ji had attracted the attention of the people by this time, and had collected such a large gathering of disciples in Delhi that they started meeting together in his absence as well as in his presence. At this time the first few disciples had left their homes to become part of the band of missionaries who renounced the world in order to devote themselves entirely to the propagation of his mission. They were the first Mahatmas, wholly obeying his commands and dedicated solely to him.
Whereas, previously Satsang was given only when Maharaj Ji arrived in Delhi, now, regular weekly Satsang meetings were held in Delhi at the homes of "Premies". The disciples either gave Satsang themselves or would invite the Mahatmas of Maharaj Ji to come and deliver Satsang. Gradually they organised themselves, and a small community emerged consisting of Maharaj Ji's disciples and admirers who faithfully revered him as their Satguru. They willingly obeyed his every command and sought to propagate his Word amongst others.
Shri Maharaj Ji inspired them to spread this knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light, by affirming that it is the greatest service that can be done by man and is the greatest philanthropy. Quoting Guru Nanak, he affirmed,
"He who meditates on the Holy Name and helps others also
to meditate upon it shall achieve salvation."
To start with the simple method of word of mouth dissemination was followed to propagate the message of Maharaj Ji. Now, however, the "premies", who were organised to some extent and eager to make known the greatness of their Guru to the general public, arranged open scheduled Satsang meetings in public grounds on Maharaj Ji's arrival in Delhi. Pamphlets were written, handbills distributed and other literature given to the people so that when Maharaj Ji arrived in Delhi He spoke to large gatherings in the public parks. The general public came to know that Maharaj Ji was a man who spoke the language of the saints. His popularity increased and the public at large became aware of his activities and beliefs.
Organisation, in this manner, thus spread from Delhi to larger areas in U.P., especially in Lucknow, Aligarh and in the Punjab. Maharaj Ji sent Mahatmas to various areas who continued his Satsang, and who requested him to grace them by giving Holy discourses at large programmes which were well publicised in advance.
Another interesting development in this period was that the 'Hansadesh' monthly magazine was started in Delhi in order to offer Maharaj Ji's ideas to others, and to educate the people in the right path of knowledge. The unique feature of the magazine was not only the articles written by Mahatmas and others on spiritualism, but also that the discourses of Maharaj Ji were given. Thus, Maharaj Ji's name was becoming popular and was established firmly as an outstanding figure in the field of religion.
Now let us look at those who followed Maharaj Ji. The priestly class, the Brahmins, regarded Maharaj Ji with supercilious indifference, thinking they had nothing to gain from Maharaj Ji, since he had no formal knowledge of Sanskrit nor displayed any form of erudition. As he criticised the traditional modes of worship, more specifically their own practices and false pride in bookish knowledge, their numbers in the Mission were few.
The western educated, sophisticated, aristocratic class were also not attracted to Maharaj Ji, because they were engrossed in the pursuit of material happiness and were sceptical about the very existence of God. Moreover, they were against the idea of Guru, too full of their own self pride to achieve the innocence of heart which makes devotion possible. Echoing Christ's analogy, Maharaj Ji believed, "it is easier for camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to attain the kingdom of heaven."
Generally the devotees consisted of the lower middle class living in the cities, as well as workers, labourers and farmers from the villages. Maharaj Ji glorified the innocence and humility of the poor. He said the world is for the wealthy, but God is for the poor. Poverty becomes a blessing in disguise, he said, keeping the mind aloof from the snares of the material world. These, the poor, the ignored of society, the abused and forgotten were given the divine gift of Maharaj Ji's grace. Their life was enriched by his love and light, their darkness was removed by the dispelling knowledge of the Divine Light. From their poverty they rose to the inner fountain of bliss which made them immune to the outward sufferings of life. Maharaj Ji was a support to the faltering, tottering and staggering section of humanity. He gave them Ram Nam, showing them the divine within, and asked them to meditate upon it.
By 1960 Maharaj Ji's mission had spread to all the northern states of India. He had large numbers of followers in Gujarat, in Bombay, Maharashtra, Bihar, Calcutta and even in Nepal and Kashmi. During this period Maharaj Ji organised two peace conferences and an all-religions conference at Ram Lila ground and the Constitution Club in Delhi. Many VIP's attended these conferences, which were given wide publicity. The then speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr. Ayanger, presided over the all-religions conference in the Constitution Club. It was attended by the leaders of many religions, who voiced their own opinions and beliefs. Shri Maharaj Ji spoke of the oneness and the fundamental unity of all religions and said that it was due to ignorance of the Holy Name and Divine Light, praised by all great saints and seers, prophets and Avatars, that false Gurus have arisen and in their ignorance created different sects preaching that there are different paths to God Realisation.
At this time numerous public programmes of Maharaj Ji took place in different places in India. He was taken out in processions in Allahabad and Lucknow, followed by thousands of people. They were very impressive and mammoth processions. The press began covering the programmes of Maharaj Ji and made commentaries upon his discourses.
The fearlessness of Maharaj Ji became proverbial as was his love for the poor. The unprecedented love and devotion that so many demonstrated for Maharaj Ji created interest and curiosity among the populace. His popularity made other religious Gurus aware of him and this was the beginning of criticism. Other so-called Gurus sought to protect their own superiority by depreciating the ideas of this rising, saint Shri Maharaj Ji.
Because of the enormous numbers of the devotees and their presence throughout northern India, the necessity was felt for the creation of some link between the devotees of different areas. The possibility of beginning an organised mission was entertained. Ultimately, after discussions and deliberations between the disciples the mission was named Divya Sandesh Parishad or The Divine Light Mission and registered under the Registration Act in the year 1960.
The Mission was an organised expression of thousands of Shri Maharaj Ji's admirers whose lives were transformed by the initiation he gave and who were intent upon spreading his message and teachings in as well as outside India.
Shri Maharaj Ji did not at any moment wish to establish a new sect or creed. He had no parochial approach to religion. His was a teaching which transcended caste, colour or creed. He addressed humanity directly. And like all great saints, his message was for the good of all.
As the number of followers were increasing by leaps and bounds a few selfish and cunning people also insinuated themselves into the mission. During this period, many jealous people and organisations filed false cases in order to defame the name of Shri Maharaj Ji, and to erode his rising popularity and prestige. These were the years of great strain and hectic activities for Maharaj Ji, when even some of his own disciples became ungrateful and betrayed him. He emerged spotless despite all these trials; in fact his lustre increased. He dealt with the culprits in a most masterly manner. Some, who repented sincerely after their misdeeds, were forgiven. He was extremely merciful to all and would not inflict pain upon anyone. Shri Maharaj Ji would say, "Who can be more merciful than a Guru ? The Guru is the very ocean of mercy."
Shri Maharaj Ji spent the youthful years of his life devoted to the cause of enlightening the people. He worked and travelled day and night, giving Satsang, personal interviews, directing his band of missionaries and setting the Mission on a sound footing. He used every method to impress upon the people the utility of this human frame saying that if we do not use it for spiritual enlightenment our humanness has gone to waste.
Shri Maharaj Ji's last procession was taken out in Bombay in Jan. 1966. He was taken out in a procession wearing the pitambari and the crown. In the evening, a large Satsang meeting was held. Mr. Cherian, the Governor of Maharashtra, Mr. Vishwanath Das, the Governor of U.P. and Dr. K.M. Munshi, the Ex-Governor of U.P. were present. Shri Maharaj Ji gave an inspired satsang and revealed himself to others. Addressing the huge gathering, he said, "You know not the value of this human frame. It is the greatest blessing of God to you. You are wasting your breaths in the pursuits of worldly life. Let every breath be spent in meditation on God. You know not the greatness of the Guru. Lord Rama was an incarnation of God, enjoying 14 types of divine powers. Lord Krishna was an incarnation of God, having 16 types of divine powers. But I am all perfect, and am the master of all 64 divine powers. None can match the greatness of the Guru." The people were bewildered by these type of revelations.
In the last two to three years of his life, Maharaj Ji was all dance and bliss. Taking the tamboura in his hands, he would sing and dance on the platform, giving peace and bliss to the devotees who delighted in these lilas. Like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was in a state of divine ecstasy. He said, "O men of the world, I proclaim, I announce, none but Guru can save mortals from the clutches of death and Maya." His own devotion to his Guru was exemplary, and this is what he taught to his own disciples. He was selfless and others under his tutelage learned the great art of selflessness. His only support was the Holy Name, or rather he was the Word made flesh. His knowledge was great but greater was He himself. And greatest of all were his services for the people.
On 16 July, 1966, Shri Maharaj Ji shed his mortal coil in Braham Muhoorta, at 3 a.m. The people were in a state of extreme despair, losing themselves in an anguish of misery over the loss of their beloved Guru. To thousands on that day, the grief of the child left parentless was experienced. His followers felt adrift and anchorless without his presence amongst them.
Just as we discard our garments when they are worn out and old and replace them with new ones, so did Maharaj Ji reject his ageing body to change his outer form, passing into the frame of Sant Ji Maharaj. For Guru is the Holy Name, and this Name is immortal. Death does not touch it, nor time destroy it. The body is the home of the Divine and He simply left his old body to take up a new one.
Guru never dies, He is immortal, all-permeating, divine. He lived, and lives, and will live forever in the hearts of all. For the Guru always lives in the present.
It is only a few years since Shri Hans Ji Maharaj has passed away from our midst so perhaps it is too early to arrive at a precise evaluation of his contribution to India's spiritual heritage. It will, however, be readily agreed that he enriched the mental and spiritual horizon of millions of men and women who came into contact with him. He showed them the practical way to make themselves immune to the storms and stresses of life.
A great teacher of moral and ethical values which he undoubtedly was, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj will be primarily remembered for the practical technique of spiritual freedom which he made available to all, irrespective of caste, colour or creed.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj remained an inveterate opponent of the senseless rites and rituals and the pretensions that were enjoined upon the people in the name of religion. These succeeded only in dividing the people into warring groups causing much avoidable distress and destruction. The religions of the world as we know them today are a miserable caricature of the one and only true religion, the Eternal religion based upon the Holy Word which is within every human being and which transcends the barriers of race and religion, time and space.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj worked tirelessly to make the people realise the meaning of the Holy Word, that primordial force linking all humanity together into an indivisible brotherhood. He wanted them to fashion their affairs so as to live in accordance with the laws of this ultimate principle of truth which is the Holy Word and Divine Light. He guided them to turn their searchlight inward and seek the truth within their own self by the grace of a realised soul.
While Shri Hans Ji Maharaj naturally extolled the way of the Word as the birthright of every human being, he was nevertheless keenly alive to the grim realities of the world, the appalling poverty and ignorance of the people, the iniquitous social and economic injustices and the social inequalities based on tradition and religion, birth and privilege. That the people should be forced to 1ive in a manner little better than animals was an affront to human dignity, and he demanded that all men should have ready access to the minimum necessities of life. He decried the extremes of ivory tower seclusion on the one hand and the ruthless pursuit of material pleasures on the other. While a plentiful supply of worldly goods must surely be secured to wipe away the tears of the poor and the distressed, their lives can truly be enriched only when they are in conformity with the spiritual law.
In short Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was a dynamic personality. His sincerity was so transparent that those who came to scoff would stay to pray. He had pleasant manners and was invincible in his arguments. He was convinced that there is but one Dharma, there is only one God for all. He wanted to demonstrate the basic unity of all religions by constructing a Kalyan Bhawan, a temple of all religions. Should such a Kalyan Bhawan be constructed after his design it will serve as an appropriate monument to his greatness and his contribution to the unity of religions.
In the field of religion, Shri Maharaj Ji's contribution was tremendous. His followers, whose numbers run into lacs, left the traditional mode of worship and followed the inward, eternal path to spiritualism shown by the seers of all time. He simplified religion until it became a direct experience of the spirituality within. The outer forms of worship, such as rites and rituals, melted away. Guru became their entire object of worship. Shri Maharaj Ji quoted: "Different religions, sects or creeds sing the glory of their own path. Guru reveals the essence of all and shows us the Divine path. "
Shri Maharaj Ji decried the superficial differences among various religions accrued from the lapse of time because of selfish motives of the people. Different religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Mohammadanism and Confucianism started after the death of their individual prophets. In the example of Christianity, it was only after the death of Christ that an organised religion came into being. But what was the religion of Christ? What was the knowledge which he imparted to the people and his disciples? The same is also true in the case of Buddha whose doctrines never became formalised under the name of a separate sect until after his death. All wise men agree that their doctrines are fundamentally one. It is only the subsequent interpretations given by the unenlightened ones that caused the difference in opinion between religions. We see its result in the fanatic crusades which have taken place in the name of religion. If religion cannot unite people it must be discarded. If it cannot make man transcend Maya it is to be shunned. If it does not give direct realisation it is not worth the name of religion.
The intellectual class in India has made religion a very complicated affair. Giving a philosophical interpretation to religion they have made it a pastime for intellectual argumentation. Instead of having a desire for an intuitive realisation of the ultimate reality, they prefer to give a fine exposition of religious scriptures and principles. But still, falling in the clutches of Maya, they are being swallowed by death because however intellectually advanced they may be, spiritually they are in the dark and lack the experience of practical realisation. Shri Maharaj Ji used to emphasise that no one can get enlightenment by reading the scriptures or making commentaries upon them.
Maharaj Ji always used to caution people about this jungle of words. He described the plight of these intellectuals by giving the following story:
Once a man trained a flock of birds in the art of avoiding the hunter and his traps. Carefully he instructed his birds how they were to avoid the snares laid by the hunter. He told them that if they saw corn spread upon the earth it was only the hunter's lure, left there in order to attract them so that they might be caught in his nets. Again and again he tutored them in the methods of the hunter, how they were to avoid his corn, how they might escape falling into his trap. Eventually the birds had mastered their lessons, and feeling that they were now able to live a life of freedom and safety, the man released them into the world. The birds sang their lessons, repeated their instructions again and again. "Ah ! We will avoid the corn ! We will escape the hunter's trap ! We will remain free and far from harm." But while so singing, they happened to see some corn on the ground and forgetting their instructions they instinctively alighted upon it and were thus caught by the hunters net.
These birds learned the lesson of what happens when we do not practice what we preach. In the same way the intellectuals may speak of the spiritual path, but if their minds and lives are still entrenched in the world then all their theory is worthless for their life remains bound to Maya, and they are never free. Real spirituality is freedom and one who practices it reaps the true reward.
So Maharaj Ji emphasised the practical aspect of religion. He was living example of a Karma Yogi and made his disciples understand the need of first living religion and only afterwards to speak of it. Thus, religion became a way of life with his disciples.
Shri Maharaj Ji brought about a change in the social pattern of his disciples. Ties of social customs and castes were cut asunder. Persons belonging to different castes forgot the barriers that had been indicted upon them and developed a spirit of brotherhood. From Brahmin to Shudra all experienced the spirit of equality. Bound together by a common knowledge, they shared each others joys and sorrows. During large programmes all used a common kitchen. They mingled freely with each other without any inhibitions or social taboos. In fact, caste was no consideration at all in the 'Guru Darbar'. What mattered was sincerity and devotion. The atmosphere in 'Guru Darbar' was so infectious that a man found himself immediately affected by it, forgetting all barriers and experiencing the inner divine oneness of all. 'Guru Darbar' is a society of enlightened persons devoted to a common, revered Guru. The Guru is the symbol of peace, unity and oneness. Imbibing these divine virtues, they were able to practice them in their daily lives. When the "Premies" met together there was a spontaneous reaction of love, sincerity, humility and voluntary service. People would go out of their way to help one another. They soon developed a community feeling and were ready to undergo a loss of creature comforts happily, content with the environment and the company.
The most important impact of Maharaj Ji upon his disciples was that their life became meaningful. They discovered the secret of living and the purpose of their life. Life became a gate to salvation, a chance of attaining the highest good - Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.
Shri Maharaj Ji directed his devotees towards a determined goal. He gave them the compass of the Holy Name and Divine Light to keep their ship of life on the right direction amidst all the stresses and strains of everyday life. They gained freedom from the pressures of the world, for the world no longer became their aim of life. The goal of the spirit was before them, and in working for its attainment their life gained lustre and beauty and true meaning.
In the wake of western materialism the mind of the average Indian became swayed and swallowed by the lure of material progress. As a result of this, he was separated from his ancient heritage and culture, which stressed the spiritual life and warned men of the dangers lurking in a material life. Though Shri Maharaj Ji believed that the Indian should enjoy the fruits of the modernisation of society, he strongly stressed that man should not forget his spiritual life in the mad pursuit of pleasure and should build his life upon a strong foundation of the spirit in order to meet the divergent influences that the modern age presents.
He did not believe that man should live according to the old rites and traditions simply because they were time-tested. But he believed and trusted in the eternal truths that forever lead man to the right path. He honoured the great seers of every age and urged the people to follow their path to spiritual perfection.
Shri Maharaj Ji used to say, "O Man ! What have you made of yourself?" Civilisation, the creation of man himself has become a problem for him. The basic greatness of man is being dwarfed by the colossal structure of the society around him. Man, the master of all creation here on earth is helpless, he is lost to his inner voice, distracted by the cacophony of the society which surrounds him. Let this structure be seen as a mere construction and let man return to the spirit wherein man's greatness lies.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj preached the path tread by the great and urged humanity to follow in their divine footsteps. He urged us not to simply glory the greatness of the saints but should strive to attain their state of mind. Learning from the lives of the great, we should aim at the total transformation of the lower nature of man, and to attain the state of mind where the pure spirit shines and is continually manifested by us in our daily life.
In the introductory chapter light has been shed on Shri Maharaj Ji's gradual path to popularity, and his being accepted by thousands belonging to all castes and creeds as their Satguru, or spiritual master.
Shri Maharaj Ji realised the necessity of following a modern technique for propagation, and wished to provide for his followers an organisation in which they could work for the betterment of mankind. Therefore, in 1960 the mission was named the Divine Light Mission and registered at Patna. For the first time membership in the Mission was recorded. This allowed Maharaj Ji to see the definite growth of membership, enabling him to make practical plans in accordance with the wishes of the members. At Present the Mission has its branches all over India as well as in England and South Africa. Its membership runs approximately into one lac.
Ever since its inception, the Divine Light Mission has been actively engaged in the propagation of the tenets of Universal Love and brotherhood of man and of the imperative need to serve the poor and the oppressed. Above all, the Mission has initiated thousands of men and women in the country on the practical way of attaining the knowledge of Truth. It has imparted to them quite freely the Holy Name of God, through which the Divine Light can be experienced. The following are among others some of the chief objectives of the Mission:
1. While material prosperity is good and essential it is equally vital that the moral and the spiritual conditioning of the society should be strong and sound. The pursuit of the one to the gross neglect of the other will only result in social inequalities with all their attendant consequences of political and economic injustice, class hatred, exploitation of religion for personal ends, perpetuation of unjust privileges based on birth and colour, and so on. Science and technology should, therefore, serve to eradicate poverty and bring in prosperity to a society that is already spiritually well-entrenched. If the West has achieved remarkable results in raising its living standards but has sadly neglected the spiritual texture of its social fabric, the East is paying heavily for ignoring its material resources while engaged in its exclusive preoccupation with matters pertaining to the spirit. That society endures most which displays a judicious balance between things temporal and things spiritual.
2. The Mission aims at achieving the unity of nations and the oneness of mankind by instructing them on the technique of utilising the universal primordial Force, that is, the Holy Name (Word) which is the same as the Divine Light and which pervades all human beings thus bringing to the fore the eternal principle of unity in diversity. It is only the spiritual bond of the Holy Name and the Divine Light that can knit together the diverse peoples, even as the thread holds together flowers of varied colours and scents into a gorgeous garland. This very Holy Name is called 'Gaibi Awaz' in the Quoran and Shabd Brahmam in the Vedas and the Upanishadas, Satya Nam in Guru Granth Saheb, Ram Nam in Ramayana, Avyakt Akshar in the Gita, Word in the Bible. Thus in principle all religions are one. It is only because of ignorance that different sects and creeds have cropped up. The Mission is resolved to restore the essential unity of all religions which is doubtlessly vitiated by differences in dogmas and doctrines, rites and rituals and it is equally true that they are further aggravated by their perverse interpretations, by fanatics and those with vested interests. It cannot be however, denied that there is a fundamental unity underlying all religions. Great prophets and gurus have never failed to emphasise the eternal truth which constitutes the core of all religions namely the presence of Holy Name and the Divine Light within Man and his need to unite himself with it. As a visible demonstration of this universal principle inherent in all religions, the Mission proposes to construct in Muradnagar Distt Meerut at Satyalok Ashram a temple of all religions which while depicting the places of worship belonging to all important religions will also portray the Holy Name and Divine Light on which they are founded. The Maulvi sitting in the Mosque will be explaining the Truth of Gaibi Awaz and Illahi Noor on the basis of the Quoran, while a pandit sitting in the shrine will be explaining the secrets of the Ram Nam and Param Prakash while a Church Father in the Church will be pin-pointing the importance of the Word and the Divine Light. Thus there will be a harmonious blending of the different religions and the divergent tones and interpretations because of ignorance will disappear.
3. The Divine Light Mission stands for peace. Peace is indivisible and real external peace is determined by the internal peace that one enjoys. Disgruntled individuals and dissatisfied nations can never promote lasting peace in the world. Ignorance of the self is the root cause of all evils and unrest and this ignorance can be removed only by acquiring the knowledge of the Holy Name and the Divine Light. War exists in the mind of the man and it is from there that it is to be uprooted. Even if all the destructive weapons are thrown into the sea the deep-war ring tendencies cannot be removed from the mind of the man without the knowledge of the Divine.
4. With a view to improving the tone and content of education besides enlarging educational facilities for all especially the poor and the backward the Mission proposes to establish and maintain schools and colleges and grant scholarships and stipends to deserving students. It was in the year 1969 that the first step was taken in this respect and Hans Madhyamik Yidyalaya was started at Satyalok Ashram. The school stands for the propagation of not only material sciences but also spiritual science. The school was opened by Balyogeshwar Shri Sant Ji Maharaj. The school runs up to 8th class and will be soon raised to a Higher Secondary School. The Mission plans to develop it into a full-fledged university in due course of time on Vishwa Bharati pattern where men of all nationalities, religions and castes may sit together to understand the mysteries of nature and spirit.
5. It is also the object of the Mission to make provision for the relief against distress caused by ill-health or natural calamities by establishing and maintaining hospitals and maternity homes and dwelling houses. The Mission has already set up a hospital at Satyalok Ashram which provides free medicines to the adjoining vi]lagers. Unfortunately Mission does not enjoy any of the medical facilities provided by the Government. The hospital has proved a blessing for inhabitants of the surrounding area. Doctors having no mercenary motive serve the patients as a religious duty as directed by the Patron of the Divine Light Mission. The Mission has a plan to develop this hospital with all modern facilities.
With the rising evidence of violence and hatred that is shown in this modern age there appears and reappears the question of how to establish peace on earth. This search is by no means a new one. We may think that the present age is the worst in the annals of mankind, yet from the beginning of recorded civilisation, man has always been engaged in wars and bloodshed against his fellowmen The modern crisis assumes alarming proportions in the possibility of total annihilation of the mankind with the invention of ghastly nuclear weapons. Man has now invented for himself a method of war in which the entire world can be extinguished. Man has thus reached the apex of his destructive genius. On a smaller scale we may descend from the world-wide doom which hangs above our heads and find equal strife in the national conflicts that beset the globe. Nations fear Nations and this mutual distrust motivates them to multiply their arsenals. The idea of brotherhood of man and of God appears a mere illusion.
In the same manner there exist conflicts and clashes between individuals and a cut-throat competition among them to oust each other in grabbing power, wealth and fame. We separate ourselves into a religious faction, political party, educational system and financial bracket. Man fears man and has no inherent faith in the goodness of man. He lives for himself and dies for himself and finds no happiness within or without. He continues to live the same narrow existence of hate and strife. The society, the Nation and the world merely mirror his own unhappy state of affairs. He finds himself as a small drop in this vast ocean of multitudes and feels alienated and helpless to fashion the world as he likes. He is unable to conceive of the fact that he can do a lot to improve himself and the society around him. In fact the individual is the hob of a society and its goodness or badness depends upon the individual. It is not until the individual finds some sort of satisfaction with his life that the global problems can even begin to be improved. For, with satisfaction comes an end to strife, the end of our constant struggle for "the more". The pleasures of the senses give only fleeting satisfaction and sometimes end in pain. We have equated passing pleasures with the happiness that we seek. We never seek to experience a non-painful eternal state of happiness. If this happiness is discovered then mankind is transformed and all theory about how to bring about peace is realised in practice. The attainment of eternal happiness which ends all hatred and propensity for war in the individual cannot be gained through the finite changing phenomenon of life. It can only be attained through the unity with the eternal truth named as God.
All the arguments of those who would say that God cannot be realised, peace cannot be experienced in its essence, are swept away before the very real answer that the Divine Light Mission gives to man. We would have cause to despair if there was no way to experience this inner peace at all times. But the answer is available and hope reigns supreme.
What the Divine Light Mission offers man is a knowledge of the eternal happiness that is within him - the Light and the True Name of God. This happiness is something which has existed for ever, and will continue to exist. Neither it is momentary, nor it can be taken away from him. It is the only real security, the only real love. The Divine Light Mission imparts this knowledge of the inner self of man which when known and practised brings about that fundamental transformation that can change the world.
Happiness or joy is the knowledge of true being. It is the attainment of this happiness which frees man from al1 his conflicts, all his inequalities, all his hates and all his fears. When man is awakened to the Divine within, he loses his base-humanness and finds spiritual happiness. It is only a satisfied man, a contented man which can promote peace in this war and conflict torn society. This is only possible if we are given the knowledge of the True-self. This knowledge is only available through the grace of a realised soul. One must approach a realised soul before this knowledge can be imparted. Therefore the burden of the responsibility for world peace lies upon man. If we wish a transformation, we must go forward to be transformed. The answer is within us and cannot come from without. The Divine Light Mission offers the knowledge of the True Self. Shri Sant Ji Maharaj is the true Guru who gives freely of his grace to those that approach him for the knowledge of the Sat-Chit-Anand, or being- consciousness-bliss. We must but ask and it shall be given. We must but constantly practise and make ourselves perfect. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world. It is merely' folly to shirk this responsibility and wait for the total destruction of mankind as an inevitable factor.
From time immemorial, India has been a land of saints and seers who have contributed immense wealth to the cultural heritage of India. Indian culture is primarily spiritually orientated and stands for the attainment of the noblest truths in the life of man. The material civilisation of India is based on a spiritual foundation and the sociopolitical life has its roots in the tenets of religion and their revelations. The Vedas and the Upnishads are only the records of the revelations of the seers in the state of trance, or samadhi.
In addition to philsophical exposition, religion is a matter of realisation which is to be lived in day to day life. Entities such as "soul" and "God" are not mere names, but realities to be experienced in this very life. Therefore, the highest goal for the average Indian was the attainment of salvation and the very pattern of his society was created so as to help rather than hinder the citizen on the path to this goal. But with the lapse of time, there developed different religious sects after the names of those very saints and prophets.
With the advent of Islam, and later Christianity, new dimensions were added to the growth of separate factions in religion. Because of the confluence of almost every existing religion within the bounderies of India, an inter-religious competition began, with each sect vying for superiority with one another. The tactics were to point out the weaknesses and the shortcomings of the other factions rather than to remove the differences that were created between them. Islam and Christianity were proselytising religions and because their leaders enjoyed political power in India they forced their religion on others. As a result, the Hindu religion shrank and lost its vigour and strength before the power of the newcomers. A set of rites and rituals developed which eclipsed its pristine purity and brightness.
In the wake of English education and western thoughts and with the propaganda of the Christian missionaries against the Hindu rites and rituals, customs and traditions, there arose many social and religious reform movements in India. Their purpose was to save the Hindi religion from the onslaughts of Islam and Christianity and to remove the irrational, inhuman practices and unnecessary accretions that had gathered around the Hindu religion.
The Brahmo Samaj was the first fruit of the dissemination of Western education in India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, its founder, was the first Indian to fight against the Pauranic practices, harmful social customs and idol worship which had become the bane of Hindu society. The Brahmo Samaj was the result of a mild resentment voiced by the educated Indians against the Christian Missionaries. Raja Ram Mohan Roy found Christianity, irrational in many respects and also faulty in its theology. He criticised vehemently some of its principles and at the same time wanted to clean the Vedic religion of all its superstitious beliefs and unnecessary rituals which the people had adopted with the passage of time.
He exhorted the educated Hindus to assimilate western culture, to adopt a scientific outlook and rational approach to the problems in the social and religious life which the Europeans had set before the Indians. He was, however, firm that India should continue within the fold of Hinduism, which alone contained the wisdom of all philosophy. Moreover, Hinduism has a universal appeal since it is non sectarian in nature and unifying in its purpose. Therefore, the Brahmo Samaj stood for monoism, a deistic theology and rational ethics. The Brahmo Samaj under Devendra Nath Tagore continued with its base upon Hindu philosophy.
Soon the critical, rational outlook assimilated by the young Bengalis became the criterion for judging whether the Vedas were infallible and revealed scriptures. None of its Verses were spared from their critical analysis soon, many of beliefs of the Brahmo Samaj collapsed because they could not be substantiated nor rationally proved. The result was that by the coming of Keshav Chander Sen some of the fundamental principles of the Brahmo Samaj, based on the Hindu religion were challenged, attacked and finally smashed to pieces. The Brahmo Samaj came more and more under the spell of Christianity taking the principle of eclecticism as its standard. Keshav stood for a synthesis of all religions, taking the best, the purest and the truest from all.
This was the first attempt to find a common denominator between all religions, something which could be acceptable to all human beings. This movement did not attract the general masses in India, for it did not cater to the national aspirations of the people. The movement was far ahead of its time, with the result that though it blazed a trail and showed the path for coming generations, it lost momentum and slowly faded away.
The Arya Samaj, a militant reform movement, arose to fill the vacuum and satisfied the aspirations of the Hindus. It was founded by Swarai Dayanand, a great Vedic scholar and social reformer. Perturbed by the sight of a mouse scampering over a statue of Lord Shiva on Shivratri night he left his house in search of the true Shiva. He wandered from one monastery to another in search of Lord Shiva and approached different spiritual preceptors seeking to understand the true nature of Shiva and the mysteries of life and death, but none could satisfy his inner yearning. During this period he saw in abundance the depravity of the Hindu religion. At last, he went to Virijanand, whose reputation as a great Vedic scholar and spiritual preceptor had already travelled far and wide. Under his tutelage, the real Dayanand appeared. The invisible grace of the Guru stood by him and kindled in him the spark of light which was to illuminate northern India. Dayanand left the home of his Guru, taking a vow to spread the Vedic religion and to fight the Pauranic practices that had crept into it. Dayanand was heard, praised and criticised by many but understood by few. He stood firm on the foundations of the Vedas and disparaged everything which went against the Vedic religion. He attacked the contemporary prevailing social evils calling them the fungus that had grown around the pure form of Vedic philosophy. He not only criticised the priestly class but also defended Hinduism from the onslaughts of the Muslims and Christians. He was a bold, aggressive and confident social reformer who directed Hindu society to return to its pure and natural form as expounded in the Vedas.
The western educated Hindus found that his teachings fulfilled their every aspiration, for the Hindus had developed an inferiority complex due to the introduction of western culture. They lost confidence in the inherent greatness that lay within their own culture and started imitating the West. The Arya Samaj became a popular movement among the educated Hindus not only because of its vehement criticism of irrational practices but also because they found its appeal stirring their national pride and integrity. As a result of the enthusiasm generated by this movement the Hindus looked at their past with pride and believed that the Vedas contained all that was noblest in man's philosophies. In those days the Arya Samajists openly stated that the West had borrowed their progressive philosophy from the Vedas and that the Vedas contained every branch of what is now called modern science. This was too big of a claim but it served the purpose of restoring confidence among the Indian people.
The scholars and the educationists who could display their erudition became more important than the meek and the humble saints due to the influence of these social movements. It was only with the coming of Ramakrishna Param Hans, a bhakta of exalted ecstasy, that the bhakti movement and the spiritual aspect of religion again dominated the Hindu mind. It can not be denied that the philosophy of Vivekananda was more forceful and appealed to a larger section of people than that of the Arya Samaj. In Vivekananda, Hinduism finds its finest exponent, since he was a complete spiritual being having been enlightened by the touch of his Guru. He had a charismatic personality, and being a reservoir of spiritual force he fell upon the people like a hurricane, destroying vanities and perversities which had developed from their unhappy touch with western education. People heard him with wonder as he gave rational explanations to the practices of the holy saints and seers of India. There was no bitterness in his message, no condemnation in his denouncement as we find in that of Swami Dayanand and his Arya Samaj. The Guru resumed his central place of importance in the Hindu philosophy and religion became a matter of realisation, rather than mere quibbling over words and religious debates.
The Brahmo and the Arya Samaj had condemned the need of the Guru for spiritual enlightenment. They insisted that there was no need of a middle man or mediator to God. Vivekananda rebuffed the social reformers by saying that howsoever intellectually advanced a man may be, without Guru there can be no spiritual enlightenment. Many reform movements only used religion as a tool for their desired social reforms, thus ignoring the spiritual aspect of religion which is realisation. As a result man's search for spiritual peace and his goal of self realisation became secondary. Religious texts were used only in a most rhetoric manner to emphasise the need of making the country free and for kindling the national ego. It was forgotten that ego, whether it is individual or collective is harmful to the spiritual growth of the people.
While many social reforms were made by the Arya Samaj, the dormant spirituality in the people was not awakened. The Arya Samaj succeeded in demolishing some of the pauranic practices which had been also condemned by saints such as Kabir and Guru Nanak. But it could not give spiritual enlightenment to satisfy the natural urge of man for inner peace.
With the continued spread of western education social evils were gradually dying of their own accord. When India finally attained the independence even the appeal of nationalism lost its vigour with the Indian people and they started madly pursuing material progress and prosperity. The result was that the Arya Samaj, both before and after independence, was overwhelmed with contemporary politics and became more and more a political rather than spiritual orientated organisation. This was quite natural since the Arya Samaj had never been placed on a spiritual footing.
In 1930, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj had started to disseminate the "Para Vidya", the knowledge of the Braham to the people. His years of service to his own Guru were over, and according to his commandment Hans Ji Maharaj began his life's mission of preaching. In the Mundak Upanishad the two vidyas, or types of knowledge are mentioned. One is called para, the knowledge of Braham, and the other is apara, or the knowledge of the world. They may also be called the knowledge relating to spirit and matter. According to this Upanishad, the Rig Ved, Yajur Ved, Sam and Atharv Vedas as well as all branches of philosophy, grammar, astronomy, and astrology constitute the apara vidya. It is only the knowledge of the eternal soul or Brahm which is called para vidya.
In the Taittirya Upanishad, the Guru praises the "Para Vidya" saying, ''The knowledge which I have transmitted to you is my commandment. This is my advice to you, this is the essence of the Vedas and the sovereign secret, this is the injunction of the Vedas and religious scriptures. Practice this knowledge and live according to it."
Shri Maharaj Ji gave the practical knowledge of the 'Para Vidya' which is revealed only through the grace of the guru. His teachings were entirely according to the Hindu shastras and like all saints he condemned pauranic practices, emphasising the spiritual aspect of Hindu philosophy as being one for all. Knowledge for him was simply realisation. He would say, "All wise men and seers of truth agree, on the fundamental unity and oneness of spiritual reality, it is only the unenlightened who disagree and propound different theories about religion." "The mess that has been made of religion", he said, "is more because of the educated scholars who merely recite the scriptures like parrots. They may make wonderful expositions and arguments but have no direct experience of the truth."
He praised Saints like Kabir, Guru Nanak and Ramakrishna Param Hans who attained spiritual realisation and were mad with the ecstasy of spiritual bliss. Such are the real spiritual men. They vibrate spirituality giving those who approach them with a meek and guileless heart their bounty of spiritual bliss.
Shri Maharaj Ji's practical approach to religion and his attractive personality brought persons of different castes, colours and creeds together under his protective umbrella. While he criticised the pauranic practices he would also shatter the vanity of pseudo-social and religious reformers who could never penetrate into the real mysteries of the spiritual life. Soon he gathered around him a large number of admirers and followers. He devoted himself to the propagation of the divine knowledge with a missionary zeal. To him it was the only real service that can be rendered to human society. All other services are but secondary. Feeding the poor, helping the needy, opening hospitals for the diseased are all good social services but cannot take the place of spiritual knowledge which gives man the ability to see the all permeating divinity. Therefore the root and branch reformation of the individual and the society is only possible through the knowledge of the "Para Vidya" - the only panacea for the ills of society. It is through the "Para Vidya" that man can be kept to follow the right path and the divinity in him can be kindled. Otherwise the senses are bound to drag man in the wrong direction. This argument of Shri Maharaj Ji appealed to the people, for, with the rise of westernisation in India, the materialistic tendencies could not be effectively checked, and the people were swept away by the lure of material prosperity, forgetting their spiritual yearnings. It was to awaken this dormant spirituality in man and to connect him with the original source of life divine within that Shri Hans Ji Maharaj preached Ram Nam to all.
Surprisingly the first opposition against him was made by Hindu organisations and the Hindu priestly class. Mandaleshwars and Maha Mandeleshwars as well as the Shankaracharya Gurus, the masters of the traditional Hindu religion, were upset by his frank but valid criticism that they were only following the traditional aspect of religion and not the spirit of it. When he pinpointed the real meaning of the scriptures and exhorted them to know the esoteric meaning behind the words, they became bewildered. He criticised the practices that they followed and made others also to follow, such as idol worship, counting of the prayer beads, doing penances, and making pilgrimages as not at all helpful in the attainment of realisation. He was a fearless, realised saint who followed the path of all great seers, shunning traditions, superstitions and rituals. He emphasised the worship of the living Guru. It was natural that the Hindus, steeped in traditions, would oppose him for his ruthless criticism of these practices.
Criticism against Maharaj Ji by the Pauranic Pandits was spurious and hardly successful in its purpose. For the twentieth century Hindu has already become liberalised and the authority of the priestly class is greatly weakened. Any sensible Hindu who approached Maharaj Ji with an inquisitive mind and an impartial attitude found the importance of his message and the genuineness of his approach towards the Hindu religion. What appealed most to the people was that instead of continuing their fruitless worship without any understanding they could have a direct experience of the divinity within them and understand the significance of the scriptures in their true perspective.
In every age the saints natural rejection of the traditional norms of society and novel and realistic approach to existing problems is always greeted with thunder. The common man, for the most part, treads the well-trodden, known path that has been walked before, and follows like a sheep the direction shown by the masses. It is only the saints that have the courage and the perspective to forge a true trail, and lead others out of the track of tradition. For this the saint, is invariably criticised, condemned and considered to be an imposter while he lives, but is worshipped after he passes away. So was the case with Shri Maharaj Ji. From his humble beginning, he soon won the name of a realised soul and became a public figure. Many people who came to him for knowledge left their traditional religion, their family gurus, their old mode of worship and followed him with a religious devotion which disturbed the leaders of the traditional religion. If any member of a family was initiated by Maharaj Ji the other family members found a distinct change in his attitude. Casting aside the visiting of temples, pilgrimages, he devoted himself to the service and the worship of the Guru. It is the God within the heart that was worshipped. This of course created a disturbance or a schism in the family which resulted in the Family Guru or social group finding fault in Maharaj Ji for inspiring this variation from the known norm. Gradually it seemed that all the pujaris and Mandeleshwars joined together to oppose Maharaj Ji. Though Maharaj Ji's teachings were based on the Upanishads and the Vedas, they differed from the interpretation given by the traditional Gurus who had no direct experience of the truth.
In Allahabad, Shri Maharaj Ji was taken out in procession followed by a large number of admirers and devotees during Kumbh Mela. By coincidence, the Jagat Guru Shankaracharya's procession was also being taken out. He had two large candle lights on both sides of his chariot. Devotees of Shri Maharaj Ji announced that Parm Prakash which is natural and self effulgent is within us and that there is no need of candle light or sun light or any other light to illuminate it. The original Shankaracharya was a realised soul, but later his four ''gaddis" were occupied by men of scholarship and not of enlightenment. Nevertheless, the entire Hindu community looked to them for guidance. Unable to give enlightenment, they became nothing but the exponents of ritual practices, making the Hindu religion a set of laws. Shri Maharaj Ji outrightly condemned the superficialities of religion in the manner of Kabir and Guru Nanak. To substantiate his arguments, he would quote profusely from the Gita and the Ramayana precisely because these are the two most important scriptures to the Pauranic Hindus. The preaching of Maharaj Ji was thus considered revolutionary by the pauranic pandits, Jagat Gurus and Maha Mandeleshwars, the custodians of traditional. religion, for the pristine truth depicted in these texts refute all traditional ideas. Those who came in true contact with Maharaj Ji found that he represented the true spirit of Hindu religion which is practical realisation. A pauranic Hindu thinks religion nothing more than going to temple, saying Ram Ram or Om Namo Shivai. There are hundreds of adjectives of the real name of God which is one for all. The traditional Gurus would instruct their devotees to the meditation of any one of them. Maharaj Ji stressed that when we said Ram Ram we do not really mean Ram Ram, but we mean the real name of Lord Ram which is beyond the alphabet. The usual example that he gave was that of a doctor. Just as the patients address the medical adviser as "Doctor", but do not really believe that 'Doctor,' is his real name, so we call God by name of Lord Ram, but we cannot believe that this is the true name of God, for Ram is but one of the myriad qualities of God, who is all permeating.
Goswami Tulsidas has written many couplets in his Ramayana in praise of Ram Nam, specifying the difference between Ram and his real Name. He stressed the difference between Lord Ram and his Name by the following example. Lord Rama, as an incarnation of God only blessed Ahilya with salvation, but his true name brought salvation to millions of devotees. This was bewildering to the pauranic pandits. It made them think of the hidden, real meaning of the scriptures.
Shri Maharaj Ji belonged to the unbroken succession of saints who from time immemorial have enlightened the people with the true meaning of spiritualism. Two distinct aspects developed in every religion. One is the traditional, full of set rules and rituals. The other is the spiritual aspect which means rising above the traditional periphery of religion and experiencing the direct instant mystic and intuitive knowledge of the all-permeating spirit.
The mystic saints born to every religion have always supported the spiritual aspect of religion. For them, religion was never a bundle of superstitions and dogmas but a reality to be experienced, an entity to be realised and a bliss to be enjoyed. Shri Maharaj Ji thus gave no importance to the traditional norms of religion.
The second socio-religious organisation that opposed Maharaj Ji in a vehement manner was the Arya Samaj, known for its condemnation of all the prevailing religious sects in India. Shri Maharaj Ji, by this time, had attracted a large number of people who were blended into a wholesome community devoted to the ancient spirit of Indian philosophy, purified from all social evils and religious superstitions. There was not only a fusion of their minds and their hearts but more important, they had gained a clear understanding of the importance of all religions and religious books revealed to them through the knowledge given to them by Shri Maharaj Ji.
The rising popularity and extreme devotion that his followers had for him and the mysterious attraction he had for others soon became a thorn in the side of the Arya Samajists. They started malicious propaganda against Shri Maharaj Ji in a most organised but despicable manner in U.P. and other provinces in India. They published pamphlets and handbills against Shri Maharaj Ji, distributing them among the people to arouse the people against him wherever his programme was scheduled. They even organised public meetings against Maharaj Ji trying to draw the people away from his influence. The pamphlets and handbills written against Maharaj Ji not only used filthy language but made baseless charges against Maharaj Ji, for which at one time they were called to give public apology in the courts at Patna. They tried to mobilise public opinion against Maharaj Ji and tried to involve Maharaj Ji in court cases simply in order to defame him. But Maharaj Ji came out spotless throughout all these trials and tribulations. Generally their criticisms centered around his personality asking how he could call himself an enlightened soul when he had no familiarity with the Vedas and the Upanishads. They criticised that his devotees worshipped him as an incarnation of God and objected to the fact that women were being initiated. They also criticised Maharaj Ji for creating a separate sect and misleading ignorant but innocent people. They also imputed that Maharaj Ji's Mission was an agent of Christianity, and even went so far as to start a rumour that Maharaj Ji was receiving money from Christian missionaries to vitiate the Hindu mind and to take the people away from the Hindu religion. Strangely enough the Sanatan Dharmies and the Arya Samajists who usually opposed each other, joined together against Maharaj Ji.
As far as the charge of being an agent of the Christian Missionaries was concerned it was altogether baseless and ridiculous. Shri Maharaj Ji was neither Christian nor Hindu, nor Muslim in the traditional sense. He was a saint above caste, colour and creed. His message also was for everyone. Shri Maharaj Ji believed in all the eternal principles of the Vedic religion such as the transmigration of soul, the theory of karma and he revered the Hindu Scriptures. It is erroneous to say that there was any Christian influence on Maharaj Ji and his teachings other than the eternal truth which lies within its doctrines. Maharaj Ji saw all these realised souls such as Mohammad, Kabir, Guru Nanak or the Christ as one, teaching the same reality in different languages to different nationalities. Their essential principle was one. Religion is not the monopoly of any one sect. Spirituality, like science crosses prejudices and national boundaries. Man has created meaningless differences between his fellow men for his own selfish motives. Maharaj Ji said, "None should bother about caste or creed. He who remembers God attains Him."
The Arya Samajists criticism that Maharaj Ji was worshipped as Lord Krishna by his devotees, and of his wearing the pitambari and crown were equally shallow. In Alwar, some Arya Samajists came to Maharaj Ji and asked, "Can you give us evidence from the Vedas showing that you are the incarnation of God?" Shri Maharaj Ji replied that he had never said such a thing, that he was but a humble devotee of God. A member of the Arya Samaj replied, "but your devotees address you as the incarnation of God." Maharaj Ji smiled and said, "A devotee should have reverence and faith for his Guru," and quoted a passage from the Upanisads to substantiate his statement. Maharaj Ji then asked his questioners whether they had any Vedic evidence that a rishi like Swami Dayanand should appear to lead the people ? They said that there was no such evidence. Maharaj Ji laughed and said, "Then how can you believe and revere Swami Dayanand as if he were a great rishi ?" The Samajists replied that they did out of reverence. This prompted Maharaj Ji to say that if his devotees out of reverence say that he is an incarnation of God, where lies the harm?
The Arya Samajists did not believe in the principle of Avatar Vad, while Maharaj Ji had full faith in the principle of the incarnation of God. The unmanifest God can only be realised through the grace of the manifested one. He often used to quote the Gita, "Whenever virtue subsides and wickedness prevails I manifest myself. To establish virtue, to destroy evil, to save the good, I come from Yuga to Yuga.'' "Fools deride Me in my manifested human form, without knowing My real nature as the Lord of the universe". Such is Shri Krishna's declaration in the Gita on incarnation.
Since Maharaj Ji's views directly conflicted with those of the Arya Samaj, it was natural that they should criticise him for his belief.
The third important difference between the Arya Samaj and Shri Maharaj Ji was that Maharaj Ji laid great stress on the importance of a Guru. He was of the firm conviction that no man could have spiritual knowledge without a teacher. Braham Vidya can only be acquired through the grace of a Brahmveta Guru, a guru who has realised Braham. The study of the Upanishads make it very clear that no spiritual knowledge is possible without a teacher. I could never understand the Arya Samajists criticism on this point for the entire set of Upanishad is nothing but a dialogue between a teacher and the taught, the Guru and the Disciple. The Vedic philosophy revolves around a Braham Veta Guru just as Plato's Republic centers around a philosopher King. Without a Braham Veta Guru the Vedic philosophy collapses. The most ancient festival in India is the Vyas Puja. In the times of the Upanisads, we find that a saint like Narad, well versed in all branches of knowledge, had to approach Sanat Kumar in order to cross the ocean of sorrow. Criticism of the Guru seems un-Vedic on the part of the Arya Samaj. For them, Guru means a scholar who has read the Vedas and know Sanskrit. But unfortunately, this is a wrong definition of Guru. The writers of the Upanishads were not scholars. They were seers of truth, simply putting their revelations in black and white. Maharaj Ji never displayed his learning, though he was well versed with all the scriptures. What he emphasised was the importance of practical knowledge. 'Shabdam jalm maha ranyam', don't get enmeshed in the jungle of words.'
The Arya Samajists used to make disparaging remarks against Maharaj Ji's personal and family life. They objected to a house-holder being called a Guru. Here too, they seem to be not only prejudiced, but also ignorant of the ancient Indian texts. We have many examples of house-holders who were great realised souls. Janaka was called the Raj Rishi. Not only did he have a family, but also observed all the duties of a king. Yet he is listed as one of the highest achievers in the lineage of great seers. Yagyavalka, the most important Rishi of the Vedic age had two wives, Maitri and Kaityani. Even Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikh religion, married twice. A Guru's life and activities can not be superficially studied and understood. There is some divine purpose behind everything that they do. They obey the will of the supreme and are tools in the hand of the Almighty. Lord Krishna in the Gita says that his birth and activities are Divine and no wordly minded man can ever understand him. The Arya Samajists could never understand that the great Karam Yogi set an example for the perfect life of a householder, while dedicating himself to the mission of God. Maharaj Ji rose in the estimation of millions for his marvellous capability of reconciling the mundane affairs of life with the spiritual blending the two into an integrated life of the spirit.
Handbills, pamphlets and booklets published by the Arya Samaj against Maharaj Ji, that were distributed among the people, were of a very despicable nature. A casual perusal of this literature created a reaction of distaste and revulsion in the mind of the reader. These were directed against Shri Maharaj Ji as well as his teachings. The low tactics of the Arya Samaj became insufferable even to the people, consequently earning the organisation disrepute for using abusive tactics. They went so far as to question the character of Shri Maharaj Ji, levelling baseless charges of corruption and defrauding innocent citizen against him.
The Arya Samaj criticized the fact that Maharaj Ji initiated women. Having never risen above the barriers of sex-consciousness, they were obsessed by the idea that women should not be initiated. This also seems to be a very un-Vedic and illogical assertion on their part. In the Vedas and the Upanishads we find many women who excelled as examples of the perfect devotees. Even during Rajput period Meera whose name is still remembered by millions of Hindus, received initiation from her Guru, Raidas. More important than scriptural-sanction is that if initiation is essential for spiritual knowledge then women should not be deprived of this basic right given to all human beings. Initiation in no way interferes with the domestic life of the family. Imbibing of Spiritual knowledge is the first duty of all, for man as well as for women. While Arya Samaj on one hand, made tremendous efforts to educated women by opening Schools and Gurukulas, on the other hand they opposed women's approaching a Guru for spiritual enlightenment - the prime aim of a person's life. Initiation by a Guru does not mean indifference or lassitude to the activities of the house-hold. Rather, initiation makes it possible for a woman and a man to build a home of spirituality, blending their material life with the dictates of spiritual understanding.
So we may see the formidable array of hostile forces which faced Shri Maharaj Ji. Nevertheless, his popularity was increasing. Devotees from all over India had become his followers, and their strength of love was catching the eye of the press. Shri Maharaj Ji's attraction caused the equal reactions of hate and love amidst the people. He simply could not be ignored.
Shri Maharaj Ji belonged to those line of saints, who were the finest specimens of mankind in any part of the world. They built bridges between the orthodox and the heterodox sects the rich and the poor and between groups and communities. They softened the animosities between communities by their syncretic humanism and thus prompted spiritual eclecticism. Their sole concern was to develop the divinity in man and to direct him to his highest goal of self-realisation. Shri Maharaj Ji was an integrating force, knitting together his followers composed of various sects and castes into a beautiful garland of flowers bound together by the thread of Ram Nam, or divine knowledge.
Part 2: Content
As I Saw Maharaji
The year was 1950. Being a school going boy I was in my ignorant but innocent teens. Life's mystery had not yet revealed itself to me. I was as nature made me, not yet led away by the distractions of life. Passing from adolescence into young adulthood filled me with the natural urges and aspirations of a young man. But before I could succumb to any material lures, I found myself under the guidance of Shri Hansji Maharaj. It was by sheer coincidence or goodluck that Maharaj Ji's grace fell upon me. It reminded me of a couplet from the Ramayana when Bibhishan said to Hanuman:
"Ab Mohe Bhya Bharosa Hanumanta."
"Oh Hanuman ! Now I have firm belief in the fact that one does not get the company of the Saints without the grace of the Almighty".
Shri Maharaj Ji was a flash of light and the embodiment of love. I fell in love with him at first sight. I found in him the fruition of all my hopes and expectations. My sense of love and respect for Maharaj Ji was natural and spontaneous. I felt as if I was his kith and kin. My natural adoration and love for him increased as the time went on.
As a child I was religiously inclined and God fearing. My father tells me that when I was quite young I would sit in meditation with the implicit faith that God would grant me everything. This spirituality in me unfolded and found its proper channel under the careful direction of Shri Maharaj Ji.
I approached him with a child like faith and he received me like his own son. One was in a mood to take, the other was in a mood to give. Blood relations are ephemeral. They break with the break of life. But the relation of the Guru and the disciple transcends human relations, and are based on eternal bond of the jiva and God. Every individual soul is destined to achieve salvation through the grace of a living Guru. Shri Hansji Maharaj was my spiritual guide who helped me through the maze of life, my friend who stood by me in days of depression and a loving father who cared for me more than even my worldly father could do. I used to murmur in ecstasy sometimes in those blissful years.
"Thou art my Mother, Thou art my Father
Thou art my brother, Thou art my friend,
Thou art the deity of all deities,
I bow to thee, I bow to thee."
Those were impressionable years of my life when I could be easily molded into any pattern of life, and I was fortunate enough to find the company of Shri Maharaj Ji - a master mind to train and guide me on to the path of righteousness. I learnt the fundamental values of life by his example and preception.
Time passed, the years rolled on and Shri Maharaj Ji became the mentor of my life. I can vividly recollect that other than school, my whole center of attraction was Shri Maharaj Ji. The very news of his arrival at Delhi set a wave of joy within me and I would rush to have his darshan at the kothi where he used to stay during his visits to Delhi. There was some charisma about him - a halo around him, an aura which inspired an awe and reverence in those who approached him. I found an extraordinary group of people in his company who were living examples of sincerity, devotion, selfless service, humility and comradeship. Under his guidance his devotees practiced and perfected all these human abstract qualities. The very presence of Maharaj Ji electrified the atmosphere and made the "premies" to excel in virtue.
Shri Maharaj Ji's company and satsang interested me so much that I became oblivious of my other worldly duties. It became of paramount importance in my life, consuming all my time and energies. It was soon resented by my parents and relatives. They feared that I was going off the track. So restrictions were placed upon me and I was not allowed to attend satsang so often. This only further whetted my love and longing for Maharaj Ji. Once I slipped away stealthily to attend satsang and was engrossed in it for the whole night. The next morning when I went back, I was scolded by my parents and warned to be careful in future. Like a helpless boy I fell on the feet of Maharaj Ji and cried ``Make me Thine". The expressive eyes of Maharaj Ji graced me with his blessings. It was a most memorable incident in my life and further cemented my relations with Maharaj Ji. Henceforward I came very close to Shri Maharaj Ji who directed me in every walk of life and whether it was a domestic problem or the question of my education, he became the final word. In him I confided and on him I relied. I followed his advice knowing it was the only proper course for me to follow. Without his guidance I would have easily been misled into the worldly distractions that most young boys fall into. Maharaj Ji's constant contact was an unfailing prop which supported me whenever I faltered or weaknesses overcame me. In the year 1953 birthday celebrations of Shri Balbhagwan Ji came. I was in a state of excited anticipation all the way from Delhi to Hardwar. The moment I entered the gate of Prem Nagar I was transported into another world where the mind forgets itself and peace and love abound. Upon receiving Shri Maharaj Ji's Darshan all fatigue from the journey was forgotten. The beauty of Prem Nagar its natural surroundings and the entire setting inspired me with a feeling of elevation. It was the first time that I had been to Hardwar. I had never known an Ashram of such proportions as Prem Nagar was, the True home of Shri Maharaj Ji. An Ashram is great and magnificent only because it housed a great soul who built an ashram for the convenience of householders and men of the world to assemble and listen to the holy discourses and learn the knowledge of God. It is a human folly to forget the creator and remember only the creation. Thus with the passage of the time the ringing call of those great souls is buried deep under the material creations which have been built around them. Shri Maharaj Ji always taught us not to commit this blunder and to put emphasis upon the right value. During the celebrations of Bal Bhagwan Ji's birthday we breathed the air of love. The band of premies who came to Prem Nagar filled with joy and sustained by this divine display of love left dismayed feeling the shock of leaving the Divine company and entering the world of normal reality once again. Parting from Shri Maharaj Ji was something unbearable for all of us.
My college education was purely a commandment of Shri Maharaj Ji. The invisible hand of Maharaj Ji was always there, shaping my life in the direction he envisioned for me. I followed him having an inherent faith in his guidance. I learned the art of Karma Yoga by applying his instructions in my day-to-day life. From his love I was able to rise above mundane interests and act for the welfare of others rather than for myself. These were my formative years in this new art of life. Again and again Maharaj Ji would stress this idea, "What a poor life if one lives only for oneself. Great are those who live for the enlightenment of others." He inspired me to give satsang in English. I remember how once I went to Roshanara Bagh and began speaking in broken English. At first there was no one to hear me but the trees. But after some days people gathered together and listened and passed strange comments upon me. Some thought me mad, others crazy, some laughed and a few encouraged me. Soon I found that the audience was growing and I was being listened to attentively by many. My confidence grew. At one occasion when I came before hundreds of people attending a function where some very important leaders were to give an address the people asked me to speak. I was allowed to speak for 5 minutes. It was a maiden speech for me but luckily by the grace of Maharaj Ji there was a loud applause. The leaders did not wish me to continue but the people demanded that I be allowed to speak. I was praised so much that perhaps my poor head succumbed and grew a bit larger. Returning home I pondered over my performance. What had happened to make me so fearless and convincing, I did not fully understand. Later I realised that it was Maharaj Ji who was speaking through me and I was simply his instrument for disseminating the knowledge of God.
When I appeared for my B.A. final, I went to Maharajji for his darshan in Prem Nagar on the eve of Baisakhi. The very moment I touched his feet he gave me an Agya to join M.A. This was a difficult agya for me as my parents did not wish me to continue my studies but desired that I should begin a career. I put my difficulties before Maharaj Ji, but he immediately said, ``There are a hundred ways of the mind, forget about them, do what I say." Despite all my limitations, on the last day of admission I was drawn to the college and joined M.A.
The years that followed were very difficult for me. I was exposed to the influences of a Western Education. The college atmosphere conflicted with the values I had cherished under Maharaj Ji. My personality clashed with that of the other students; they were extroverted while I was introverted, they were somewhat arrogant, while I was meek and shy. They had cultivated Western mannerisms, excelled in cricket and went to many films, all of which I shunned. Consequently I soon developed an inferiority complex and blamed Shri Maharaj Ji for my difficulties in adjusting to this new world. I felt that while he had taught me the true path of spiritual wisdom, he had neglected to prepare me for worldly life and its "knowledge." I knew nothing of the competitive, superficial world of society, and therefore could not cope with it. My mind was divided between the material and the spiritual, and I doubted that the two could successfully be brought together. I wondered if a man could be "successful" in the world and still remain spiritual.
When I cleared my B.A. Final I went to Maharaj Ji for darshan at Prem Nagar in Hardwar. The very moment I touched his feet he gave me the commandment (agya) to join M.A. This was a difficult agya for me to fulfil as my parents did not wish me to continue my studies but desired that I should begin a career. I put my difficulties before Maharaj Ji. But he immediately said, "Unsettled mind thinks of in a hundred ways, forget about them. Do what I ask". In my moments of indecision I approached him to find a ray of hope out of the darkness of life. At the last day of admission I found myself again in the college for my higher studies. The years that followed were very difficult for me. I was exposed to the influence of Western education and new values cherished by the students. The college atmosphere conflicted with the values I had cherished under Maharaj Ji. It created a split in my personality and I developed inferiority complex. The path of pleasure was the path followed by most. But the company of Maharajji taught me to follow the path of happiness. I could not excel in the things in which most of them excelled. They were extroverted while I was introverted. A constant struggle was going on within my mind between the things temporal and the things spiritual. Maharaj Ji's satsang gave spiritual comfort to my distressed mind and slowly and gradually by his grace I started developing a healthy attitude towards life and artfully harmonised the material and the spiritual aspects of life. Maharajji was an inexhaustible source of knowledge and inspiration for me. He taught me the art of positive thinking. Shri Maharajji was man of strong will. He had unflinching faith born out of action in the values he believed. Hear him hundred times but you will find the stress on the same values. His faith in those values was born out of experience. He was never tired of saying eternal truths which comprised his discourses. Truth he experienced and truth he preached.
Shri Maharaj Ji was a master mind. Being a yogi he could use nature as a tool. He could be as soft as butter and stern as iron. He was equally marvelous in kindness and in wrath. His anger broke like a strong gush of water over persons who held on to vanities and eccentricities. Once at Koteputli I saw him reprimanding a Mahatma whose attitude was a little willful. Thus angered it seemed as if the earth trembled. In a moment he was serene again, calm like the ocean. Mysterious he was and unfathomable were his ways. The finite mind cannot understand the activities of the Realised Soul. All their activities are divine which transcend mind and intellect.
It was Maharaj Ji's personality that impressed me the most. His cheerful disposition, his strong conviction and bubbling confidence would elevate anyone who came in contact with him. He fought against ignorance with the sword of spiritual knowledge. He praised the natural man, the innocent and the humble, his being became a shelter for the shelterless. He was frank and straightforward and loved simplicity of heart. He was very critical of pretension in religious matters and would condemn the so-called religious gurus who for their selfish motives had vitiated the basic principles of religion. Once when some people had entered into discussion with Shri Maharaj Ji he simply said . ``God is beyond your mind and intellect. Therefore whatever we say about God just on the basis of our reading or thinking is not correct. Let us have first the realisation of God and then talk about Him."
Shri Maharaj Ji was not at all concerned with the different terms used to denote the all-permeating Truth. Once Maharaj Ji spoke with the Russian Ambassador in Delhi on this subject. The Ambassador said, ``I have no faith in God. We Russians don't believe in God." Maharaj Ji said, "Do you believe in peace?" The Ambassador replied in the affirmative. Maharaj Ji explained that the words we give to name God are immaterial. What is important is the realisation of the ultimate Truth which ushers in peace within. Therefore God can be termed as perennial peace even as Gandhi said that Truth is God. The real peace in the world can only be established by dissemination of the spiritual knowledge. Maharaj Ji held many peace conferences. Once in Delhi there was a wonderful demonstration with lakhs of people marching and praying for world peace.
Shri Maharaj Ji's love for the poor was proverbial. He shunned the vanities of the rich and the aristocrats. He used to call the idle rich the Mill of rubbish. Once Maharaj Ji and Guru Golwalkar were together for sometime in the Kothi of Mayor Hansraj Gupta in New Delhi. Shri Maharaj Ji asked in all humility: '`Since you are the Guru according to our Hindu traditions I request you to explain to me what is that Avyakt Akshar which Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna." Guru Golwalkar frankly replied." I am not Guru in that sense and it is only saints like you who can unfold that knowledge to others. I have no such realisation, though I read the Gita."
The last two years of Maharaj Ji's life were the most splendid years of my life. I saw divinity manifested in him. In Bombay wearing Pitambri and the crown He danced for hours on the stage among 'premies". The world seemed to disappear and the divine bliss of Maharaj Ji entered into the hearts of all. He left indelible imprints of his personality on the many who came into contact with him. I am but one of them.
A person who can guide other people from darkness to light, is worthy of being called a Guru. A person who can take one from spiritual darkness to light by a proper Divine path and in the shortest span of time deserves to be called a Satguru.
The path to salvation shown by Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj is not only the easiest and very best but is also the shortest one - the one which requires the least paraphernalic arrangements. It is a simple and austere path unlike the glamorous paths shown by others. It is the perennial path shown by the seers of the truth and saints of the time.
Laying stress on the importance and need for a Guru is as uncalled for as saying the sun rises in the east - but for those who yet do not feel that the Guru, or the selection of a Guru is necessary, let me just point my finger westward towards England and the United States. If a Guru was not needed why then suddenly did the young folk of these countries turn to India, and set out in search of a Guru? I do not say that they have been wise in their selection, but, it is better to try and seek rather than waste life in material pursuits. He who dives deep into the ocean of life finds the Gem, while he who sits on the bank and weeps finds nothing.
After realising the importance of having a Guru in one's life, we must set about searching for him. Many paths lead to this search, but only when God blesses us are we fruitful. Here I would like to quote some of my own experiences. I was very anxious to achieve a Guru, to know the truth and was seeking high and low for Him. I also set my mind on two or three persons at different times in the span of two years of my search but the way their true selves were disclosed to me just previous to taking their mantras can be called nothing but a blessing in disguise. When at last I did get the opportunity of hearing the discourses of Maharaj Ji's Mahatmas, even before the Updesh, a light was switched on somewhere inside me. My conscience at once told me, "This is the real thing. The quickest and easiest path. Here was the road to salvation." After the "Updesh", there remained no streak of doubt in me. I knew, this is the simplest way to reach my Lord, who will caress and pet me when I am sad, encourage me when I am depressed, scold me when I intend to misbehave, and all in all be my Torch- holder through life.
It was a very short period when I got to stay near him, but it was ample to leave an everlasting impact on me. Once it was decided that Shri Maharaj Ji would be coming to this Maya-nagri, it was as if I was caught in a trance. I, who was never away from home late, who never discussed religion with anyone, that timid self was never back before midnight, always talking here and there and everywhere trying to put in my humble efforts in the arrangements. At last Maharaj Ji was arriving at Bombay. I was quite eager to go to receive him as it would be my first glimpse of Him. The plane arrived, steps were put, people alighted and lo ! there was the hallowed figure of His Graciousness at the head of the steps. Time stood still and all else ceased to exist. There were only he and me. Eyes refused to wink, lest they miss the divine darshan. Yes, at that moment it appeared there was some sort of Power filled with love oozing out of his eyes, hypnotising me. I had met many Mahatmas before, but that was a novel experience, and of its own accord the head bowed in reverence to this Supreme Power.
When he smiled, the whole environment lightened, bloomed like a flower. His smile had the power of winning hearts. Yes, when he smiled, it was as though the world smiled. People would be awed by the brilliance around him. All his devotees bathed in his peace but no sooner did his brows go up then all would shiver. His wrath would befall on mischievous devotees or upon those who made incorrect remarks on the Truth.
When he spoke, his speech had the power to penetrate deep into the hearts of his audience. Though he spoke in a few words, his speech would ring in the ears of the listeners long after the discourse was over. His language though simple, would impress even the learned. He did not use any bombostic language, but the result was bombastic. At times when his rage would be too great, merely sincere devotion shown by the devotees for the Name and Divine Light would make him again loving and serene.
Maharaj Ji was a divine personality. His very presence created an atmosphere of Love and Peace. His complexion, which was fair added with a pinkish touch, was enhanced by the lustre of his deep penetrating eyes His long ears added grace and beauty to his Yogic look. His soft, curly, greyish hair falling on his shoulders added grace and tenderness to his already tender mouth. He had a well-built body and his whole appearance emitted rays of divinity all round him.
He was a lover of Truth and his "Upadesh", to my opinion, is the eternal truth. I had not the opportunity to go deep into other religions, but on the basis of those, glimpses that I had, I feel this Gyan alone is the Truth. All religions have been built on this Truth to suit man's temperament at various times. The different religions are not for all mankind, but this Gyan is the Truth preached by Christ, Mohommad, Ram, Krishna and others in their life. While preaching this Truth, they had to undergo many ordeals and it was only after their departure that the world realized their importance. In the same way Maharaj Ji had to undergo many ordeals to bring this Gyan to the common man. His preaching has been for all mankind, be he of any caste or creed.
His message to the people was "know the Truth". Approach whosoever is able to give it to you. That should be the aim of your life. But do not believe on hearsay, only believe when you see. If you do not come across such a person in life, come to me, I shall bring light to you. Remember, lectures and glamour confuse us. He used to compare the cause of spiritual darkness to a cataract on the mortal eyes. He would say, "I am a specialist to remove it."
I have started understanding religious books better since I have received his knowledge. I have read over and over again with a deeper understanding and interest those portions which before I detested to read. For instance, the Holy name and the Divine Light are spoken of clearly in the Bible. In the Koran, they are called the Pak Nam and Nur-e-Ilahi. In the Ramayan, Tulsidas Ji has laid more stress on the Name than Ram himself. If we see other religious scriptures, we shall find basic stress is the same everywhere. In the Gita also, Lord Krishna has advised Arjun to concentrate on the immortal Word. After giving him the power to see inwardly, Krishna blessed him with darshan of His true self which was "Lusterous Light."
There is only one Supreme Power, known by different names and ways in different religions. As in Christianity, in the word GOD, 'G' stands for Generator, 'O' for Operator and 'D' for Destroyer. But all these three put together are God, the Eternal Light, the Supreme Power, the Knower of all. In Hindu religion, the power is vested in three; Brahrna, the Generator; Vishnu, the Operator; and Shiv, the Destroyer. These three together govern the world, but are also under the Supreme Power, The Divine Light. This also points to the fact that all religions are basically one. Maharaj Ji always stressed this point. He would always condemn leaders of other religions who take people astray from the Truth and confuse their minds by giving wrong interpretations.
Modern world gives materialistic knowledge, but it is said, if there was no God, we would have to invent one. It is only the knowledge of God which can give peace of mind and not material possessions. The soul is immortal and only the body covering it withers. As we discard certain clothes, so the soul discards the body only to get a new one.
The spiritual power never diminishes but is transferred from one to the other. So the power of Shri Maharaj Ji is ever existing, and is now in the form of Shri Santji Maharaj.
The Three appellations of Yogi Raj, Param Sant and Sat-Gurudev, which his innumerable admirers in this country, as well as elsewhere, bestowed upon Shri Hansji Maharaj, succinctly sum up the personality of the man, who was one of the greatest benefactors of humanity.
As a Yogi Raj, Shri Hansji Maharaj showed the path whereby an individual could bring the forces of nature under his control. As Param Sant he demonstrated the mode of transformation from animality to humanity, and thence to divinity. And as Sat-Guru, Shri Hansji Maharaj made it known to all that the Kingdom of Heaven was within. To attain Peace one need not look expectantly either to the United Nations, or any other human organisation.
Yoga is an ancient Indian art as well as science. Its scope is vast and comprehensive, its potentiality, being immense, covers all branches of human activity and thought. The knowledge of Yoga, according to the Bhagwat Gita, was first imparted to the Sun, who then passed it on to Manu.
Top most secret of Nature
From this premise, Shri Hansji Maharaj culled out one of the top-most secrets of nature. Manu, it will be noted here, stands for the mind-stuff. The sun, occupying the central position in our universe, with so many planets and satellites moving round it, constitutes, the principal source of all life-giving activities, termed by the ancient seers as "Prana". This solar structure is also to be met with the mind of an individual, along with the five sense organs and five senses of action. Even an atom of a matter, with the Proton at the centre and electrons revolving around it, provide evidence of universality of the same solar structure. Thus Shri Hansji Maharaj indisputably reiterated the universal truth, embodied in all religious scriptures of the world, that the ingredients of the two principal components, which the so called raw materials of our universe, are the "Prana" (Life-breath) and the "Mana" (Mind).
Even some western philosophers and scientists today are tempted to take the view that the manifested creation is mental in origin. During sleep, human consciousness, which is synonymous with such words as "Atma" or "Gyan", sometimes becomes aware of a dream world, which originates within the mind, and remains there as such, through the dream stage. The experiences of the dream world are as much ephemeral, as those of the waking hours. Indian philosophers, have, therefore, termed both the states of experiences, as illusion or "Maya".
Control of the mind
The four Kriyas or the four-fold technique taught by Shri Hansji Maharaj furnishes the easiest method of mind control. Ordinarily, the control of the mind is a stupendous task. Many have given it up as well nigh impossible.
The human mind, Shri Hansji Maharaj admitted, was indeed powerful and not easy to be brought under control, but when it is harnessed to the equally powerful "Prana", it becomes easier to subjugate it.
Lakhs of people, who were initiated into the mysteries of the "Raj Yoga" testify how an extrovert mind can be changed to an introvert mind, bringing into view the wonderful panorama of the inner working of nature, to the aspirant. Shri Hansji Maharaj claimed, and rightly too, that the knowledge, he was thus imparting was the same, which some five thousand years back Lord Krishna imparted to Arjuna, which enabled him to comprehend the universe as an integral whole. The Vishwa-Rup (Universal consciousness) which Arjuna was shown with the help of the "Third Eye" can be seen and comprehended by any other person, provided he is told where the "Third Eye" (Gyan Chakhshu) is located and how to open it.
The "Third Eye"
The "Third Eye", which is situated between the two eye-brows, at the tip of the nose is a nervous plexus, where the three principal nerves of the body, namely, the Spinal Chord (Sushumna), the Ida (left sympathetic nerve) and the Pingla (right sympathetic nerve) converge, as distributory canals for the flow of the "Prana" or the life breath. This spot is directly connected with the gravitational field of the universe, and exhibits two characteristic motions - the "Prana" (Attraction) and "Apan" (Repulsion), in the shape of inhalation and exhalation. The sages of the Upanishadic period termed this vital spot the Agya Chakra, where the mind is focussed, as it provides a window to see the wonderful working of Nature in all its subtlety. That is why Agya Chakra is known as Gyan Netra or Shiva Netra.
Indian Cultural revolution in the offing
How to open the "Third Eye" in man - How to see the dazzling light brighter than a billion suns, within the Self - How to merge one's soul into God, even while existing in a physical frame upon this earth?
Param Sant Sat-Gurudev Shri Hansji Maharaj was the founder of the "Indian Cultural Revolution".
Thought process in man are hard to alter, but Shri Hansji Maharaj practically demonstrated the technique by which it is possible if one adopts his method known as Raj Yoga.
India has always been a land of saints and seers. From time immemorial holy men have lent sanctity to this sacred land.
Saints occupy a position far superior to gods. They are akin to God himself.
Like the Holy Prophet of Islam, Yogi Raj, as Shri Hansji Maharaj was known to his innumerable admirers, pointed out the wretched folly of idolatry in the face of the tremendous laws of day and night, of life and death, of growth and decay, which manifest the power of Allah and attest to his sovereignty.
The Yogi Raj was not bound by the limits of nationality or time. He belonged to the Universe. His life and teachings inspired men to see the Kingdom of the Heaven (Bible), the Kab'ah - Place of Worship (Holy Koran), the Light of Inner Consciousness (Gita) within the being and not anywhere outside.
Raj Yoga - the technique, which the great Yogi Raj described, has endowed lakhs of persons with the "Third Eye", with the help of which they are able to realise the glory of the brilliant light which is within the self.
Many Britishers, who witnessed the phenomenon truly described in Churchillian words as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
But scientists are never satisfied with beauty and grandeur alone, they want an explanation - and this they have yet to find despite hectic brain wrecking.
Astronomy's newest mystery, at present, is the source of quasar energy, which vibrates, and sets up radio waves and resonances in outer space. This has been identified with what had been described in the past by the Indian seers, as "Prana" - , the vital energy, which sustains the universe.
"Prana" is the power of the inner consciousness, or the supreme intelligence, which controls and directs the affairs of the universe.
Biologists will tell us a similar story, so far as control and arrangement in a living organism are concerned.
They find the greatest efficiency in the formation of physical bodies.
The blood corpuscles of the human body are of just the right shape and size to do the work for which they are made.
The same holds true of other organs, parts and particles.
In the world of insects we need only to examine the honeycomb in a beehive, among thousands of other objects, to find the same perfect arrangements and similarity. Every one of the millions of beehives throughout the world are constructed geometrically, with the greatest precision, to give the greatest efficiency.
"If this and a great deal more does not indicate the intelligence of the one Creator, the control and direction of the one supreme God, I surrender what little claim I may have to being a scientist" - Thus observed an American Scientist, when asked how to solve the riddle of life.
"Chetan" - the conscious stuff, according to Yogi Raj provided the clue to the "Name" and "Form" of God.
The way to witness the "Name" of the Supreme Intelligence and see his "Form" with the help of the "Third Eye", is to take recourse to "Raj Yoga".
What is a "Sanskar"?
Impressions formed on the mind by the impact of external objects on the five senses of knowledge (Gyanendriyas) are known as "Sanskars".
"Sanskars" are formed in the mind in two stages. In the first, we perceive a thing through the sense organs and then we experience it.
"Sanskars" are like seeds, which, under favourable circumstances, again begin to thrive, and thereby become fresh sources of knowledge.
The Sub-conscious mind (Chitta) is like a store house of "Sanskars".
When we receive knowledge through the senses, it is perception. When we imbibe knowledge, without the sense perception, it is realization.
Memory is a form of "Sanskar".
"Sanskars" play a very important role in moulding the thought pattern of man, his conduct and behaviour in this life and also here-after.
Scientists have accepted "Sanskars" as the basic premise of how to properly train a child.
The Biblical statement, "Train a child in the way be should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," has proved itself to be very true. Man's thought pattern is hard to alter. He is to a large extent a product - and sometimes a victim - of his upbringing. Most children brought up in a certain set of beliefs will continue to adhere to them. If brought up in an atheistic society, they are likely to remain atheistic. If brought up Christian, they are likely to remain Christian.
Just because one has been taught to accept a certain set of beliefs doesn't necessarily prove those beliefs are right, even though he feels they must be. This must be accepted as a basic premise.
Knowledge of "Prana" alone can solve the "riddle of Life".
Continuity of life depends on the movement of breath alternately in and out of the body.
A normal human being takes 21,600 breaths in 24 hours.
Any obstruction, either in the process of inhalation or exhalation, even for a short while, results in death.
All the functions of the body, including circulation digestion, etc are dependent on the intake of air, its retention for a while in the lungs, and finally its expulsion, thereby keeping the cycle of life-breath continuously in motion.
In fact, every breath, comprising inhalation (Purak), its retention (Kumbhak) and exhalation (Rechak) is a unit of life.
Duration of our life time is determined by the number of breath one commands.
Breath regulates body temperature, as an efficient air-conditioning machine.
The movement of the breath provides the supply of "Prana" the vital energy, which keeps the 1ife process going.
"Prana" is the power of the conscious stuff (Chetan) which provides the key to the riddle of life.
This vital energy of the conscious stuff (Chetan) is still a mystery to the scientists, who are impressed by this perpetual physical miracle that runs its course through the brain and the rest of the nervous system. In the views of a noted American physiologist about the theory of vitalism, it is suggested that there is some force, in addition to the known physical forces, which is necessary for life, but it is still eluding modern scientists, in as much as they are not conversant with the Art and Science Yoga.
Mystery of Life.
Speaking of the brain, that possesses unbelievable abilities, yet little more is known of its physical basis than that it can initiate and conduct electric-like charges which in turn produce chemical changes. But its numerous functions - who can explain or account for them? It is responsible for co-ordinating all muscular activities and controls even the most basic bodily functions such as respiration and heart beat. It contains memory and holds thousands of mental images available for instant recall.
Is there any physical explanation of the integrating and problem-solving ability of the brain, or of reason and common sense, of motivations, desire, and serenity? The appreciation of an aesthetic quality such as beauty, the comprehension of a spiritual reality such as love, the consciousness of self personality development all are functions of this same small mass of protoplasm. But who can explain them on a physical basis - or even at all?
Among the many complexities of the body is the intricate control of the myriad chemical reactions continually taking place, some of which cannot be duplicated outside of the body. The buffer systems which neutralize the acids of digestion and of exercise, maintain the optimum conditions for metabolism. Antibodies form to fight off harmful invaders and may confer immunity. These antibodies are specific for each disease, just as the structure of the chemicals composing the protoplasm is specific for each individual. Each human being therefore possesses a chemical distinctness. Who was it that brought this about? Certainly not mere man.
And think of the heart. This tireless organ responds to ceaseless demands throughout a life-time. It also possesses a mysterious rhythmicity which allows it to beat even though all nerve attachments are severed - a highly important fact in cases of accident. Where do we go with this perpetual physical miracle? How do we explain it?
These marvels of bodily function are very closely associated with the mystery of life itself, a mystery that scientists and philosophers have vainly wrestled with to know. Much is known about the characteristics of living protoplasm and of the intricate chemical reactions continuously taking place, but we lack adequate definitions. There is a theory called vitalism, which suggests that here is some force in addition to the known physical forces necessary for life, but, in the first place, the theory is held in disrepute by many scientists, and secondly it too does not explain the real essence of life, nor does it explain by known and measured phenomena the direction and purposefulness that is apparent in the growth and development of every living organism. What is the organizing and directive force in embryological growth that causes a small mass of un-differentiated cells finally to produce the complex arrangement of an adult? It is Karma, according to the Yogi Raj.
Thank God, I am not resting my dying head upon speculations. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
Like all his predecessors, in the long line of saints, seers, Mahatmas and prophets, who appeared on the Indian scene during its long history, Shri Hansji Maharaj discovered the mystery, behind Ajapa Gyatri, which is the essence of the Vedas, the "Ulta Jap", by whose practice Balmiki, the author of the Ramayana turned from a dacoit to a saint, "Tarak Mantra" or "Shiva Mahamantra", which Lord Shiva himself used to distribute, in Varanasi, his abode in the plains.
Japa, or to apply the mind uninterruptedly and without a break, to a particular object, according to the great Yogi Raj provides the only panacea for all the evils of the mind. Japa practice purifies the mind and brings it under subjugation of the aspirant.
But, Japa, which the Yogi Raj recommended, was unlike the one, ordinarily resorted to by a spiritua1 aspirant by means of moving beads of a glossary with the aid of fingers, or mechanically repeating a particular mantra or name of the Almighty, either loudly, or ruminating over it in mind.
Unlike other modes of Japa, as embodied in the scriptures, the aspirant in the practice of Ajapa Jap is simply told to confine the attention of the mind on the "Flight Of Hans" within the nasal apertures (at the top of the nose), merely as a conscious subject. "Hans" is a mysterious sound movement which is the subject matter of Para-Vani; the source of all spoken and written language and can be understood by the grace of a Satguru.
(The first edition of the previous paragraph was slightly different, and was revealing the topmost secret of the teaching: "Unlike other modes of Japa, as embodied in the scriptures, the aspirant in the practice of Ajapa Jap is simply told to confine the attention of the mind on the "Flight Of Hans" within the nasal apertures (at the top of the nose), merely as a conscious subject. "Hansa" is a mysterious sound movement, and so are the other two famous Vedic Mantras - the "Om" and the "So-Ham". These three top-most Mantras of the Vedas are the subject matter of Para-Vani ; the source of all spoken and written language.)
As author of Hans Yog Prakash, Shri Hansji Maharaj demonstrated how the practice of Ajapa Jap could kindle the Divine Light within, which dispels the ignorance of man as to the reality of his own self. For a spiritual aspirant, anxious to know the nature of the spirit that animates matter, the practice of Ajapa Jap, or Ulta Jap, Mahamantra, which are all synonymous terms, is a "must". It is beneficial not only during this life, but also in the life-beyond.
In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna also suggested the same thing, namely, what should be the frame of the mind, and where is it to be affixed at the time of death.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was the greatest yogi of his time. His grasp of the Gita was phenomenal. Though he used to quote almost all the scriptures, the Gita was his base book which he usually emphasized in his spiritual discourses. Despite the fact that I had read most of the important commentaries on the Gita, it was still a puzzle for me and its intrinsic meaning remained hidden. It was only under Maharaj Ji's discipleship that the esoteric meaning of the Gita became clear to me and the deeper philosophy discussed in it became understandable.
In 1956 Shri Maharaj Ji gave many discourses on the Gita and elaborated the philosophy of the Gita systematically. My interest in the Gita went on increasing. The more I read the Gita the more I realised that this book, though widely read, is rarely understood. The real meaning of the Gita and its true importance is so deep, that none can understand it unless explained from the mouth of a spiritual preceptor. There may be numerous commentaries on the Gita, but to realise its true meaning the instruction of true teacher is necessary.
The first and the second verses (slokas) of the 9th Chapter used to trouble me. I could not understand what that knowledge was, which Lord Krishna imparted to Arjuna.
"This Knowledge is a sovereign science, a sovereign secret, supremely holy, most excellent, directly enjoyable, attended with virtue, very easy to practise and imperishable."
The knowledge referred to in the second verse (sloka) was of course, a mystery to me, and I pondered deeply over what it could be. After reading so many commentaries, I found my confusion more pronounced. It was only through the Grace of my Satguru that this confusion was removed. After I had received this "Raj Vidya" from Guru Maharaj Ji, I decided to write a letter to President Radhakrishnan and Dr. Karan Singh to ascertain whether they were aware of this knowledge, called the 'mystery of mysteries' in the Gita. It was to my astonishment that even such great scholars were unable to specify the true meaning of (slokas) of the Gita dealing with Raj Vidya, the third eye, and the Virat Swaroop. My reverence for my Guru increased and I became convinced that only a yogi of Lord Krishna's status can bestow the practical knowledge that is described in the Gita.
This conviction was further strengthened by the 34th verse (sloka) of the fourth chapter which reads as follows:
"Attain this knowledge by all means. If you prostrate yourself at the feet of the wise, render them all forms of service and question them with a guileless heart again and again, those wise seers of Truth will unfold that Knowledge to
Therefore, I realised that what had been imparted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna can not be learnt by reading the Gita, but only by serving a spiritual preceptor, endowed with the knowledge of the self (Brahm Veta Guru) and getting direct knowledge from him.
And so, in order to offer to the public the revealed commentaries on the Gita by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, emphasising the practical aspect of realisation of the truth here is given translated version of Shri Maharaj Ji's discourses on the Gita.
There are different views regarding the philosophy discussed in the Gita. Some great commentators, such as Shankaracharya, interpreted the Gita from the view point of Vedantism and advocated that the Gita supported the path of pure contemplation and renunciation. Others think that the main theme of the Gita is that the individual has only the right to act but should not desire any reward or result thereof. Tilak in his 'Gita Rahasya' held that the main theme of the Gita is Karmayoga, or the skill in performing action, according to ones duty and status in life in a desireless manner, and without attachment.
Shri Maharaj Ji, however, used to emphasise one important aspect of the Gita, which has been ignored by others; "Remember me and fight." The entire philosophy of the Gita is hidden in this most important commandment given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna. There is no denying the fact that the Gita emphasises desireless action as well as renunciation, but the question is what is the technique to practise them. How can desireless action be performed? When does one know that his actions are being performed desirelessly? What change occurs in a man on that day when he actually begins performing desireless action? Great religious leaders, statesmen, and experts on philosophy have praised desireless action, exhorting the people to work for the benefit of society without any desire for reward. This is stressed in the Gita since it is only through desireless action that one can attain 'Moksha' and release himself from transmigration. If the Jiva becomes involved or enmeshed in Maya and performs actions, motivated by the desire for reward, it shall remain bound to the circle of birth and death. The need for the performance of desireless action is thus evident, but what is important is to know how to perform it. We must know the technique through which such actions can become practicable. We must understand how desireless action can be performed and what transformation takes place in us when we actually perform desireless actions.
If the performance of desireless action is natural with man then it would not be necessary to ponder over these questions and to press the people to perform it. By temperament, man is motivated by desire to perform actions for his own selfish purposes and also keeps the reward in view. Therefore, man must be taught the technique, whereby he can perform actions desirelessly and selflessly. After having learned the technique of Karma Yoga it is only natural that there will be a tangible transformation in the attitude and actions of the Jiva.
Shri Maharaj Ji often used to criticise the prevalent method of surrendering actions unto the Lord by saying, "Krishna Arpanamastu", I surrender my actions and the results thereof to Lord Krishna. If by merely uttering such a mantra man can be saved from the consequences of his actions, it should follow that we can cure ourselves from the pangs of hunger, for example, by verbally surrendering one's appetite to God. From practical experience we can vouchsafe that with such Mantras nothing is achieved, and they are merely a self-deception, fit only for man's imagination. To substantiate his thesis Maharaj Ji often used to narrate the following story showing how Janaka became a Karma Yogi and surrendered all his actions to God.
In the Silver Yuga there lived a great king called Janaka to whom the Gita has referred as the model example of a Karamyogi. In spite of being a great king, he was called Janaka Videhi, or one who has transcended body consciousness. He performed all his kingly duties in selfless manner. What is important for us to know is how King Janaka was able to achieve God consciousness. What method did he adopt to acquire the state of mind, where he became free from all opposites. Being a householder and a king he had to perform all types of worldly activities, but how did it happen that his actions become desireless. The story goes that once Janaka felt restless and because of his worried mind could not sleep. He tossed and turned until he finally dozed. He dreamed that his enemies had conquered his whole kingdom and he ran to the jungle to save his life. He felt terribly hungry, and in a certain village he begged from a Brahmin for some food. The Brahmin woman said that there was no cooked food in the house but offered him rice and dal to cook for himself. The king accepted these foods and attempted, with great difficulty, to cook it. Being a king he was not accustomed to this type of work and was experiencing great discomfort. After some time, he succeeded in cooking the food, but before he could eat it, two fighting bulls dashed his meal on the ground. The king was badly shocked at the misfortune and began weeping bitterly. With this the king woke up with a start. He realised that he had been merely dreaming, and he began to think, what is all this? A few moments before he had been a beggar, crying for a mere mouthful of food. Now he realised that he was back to being the great king of Vidarbha who enjoyed all the luxuries of life. He remembered vividly his state of being a beggar. And now he was living the life of a king. Which of these two states of mind was true? Was he a king or beggar? While being a king is he dreaming, or is his state of being a beggar an illusion? The questions made the king so pensive that he wanted nothing but to know the truth of the matter for himself. Therefore, the next day he made a proclamation to his people that whosoever could satisfy the king in his question would receive his entire kingdom.
Therefore, a huge building was constructed for the purpose of receiving those who were willing to answer the king's question. A gatekeeper guarded the door allowing entry only to those who wished to attempt to answer the question. Inside, there was a high throne for the one to sit who could satisfy King Janaka with the answer to his question. That seat of honour was reserved for him who the king took to be his preceptor. Either sides of the throne were lined by seats for the contestants. Whoever approached to answer the question was warned that if the proper answer was not given a punishment of imprisonment would follow. The great learned men of the time congregated in the hope of answering the king's question.
The king's question was, "Is this true, or is that true?"
Everyone tried in his own way to give a satisfactory answer to the question by such answers, "the world is untrue, only Brahm is true". But these superficial answers did not shatter the doubt of King Janaka, and so one contestant after another were taken away to the prison.
In the city, there lived a small deformed boy by the name of Ashtabakra, whose father also had unsuccessfully answered the king's question and had been imprisoned. One day his playmates teased him by saying that he was the son of a prisoner. This touched his heart and he returned home to find out the truth of the matter. His mother told him the whole story and said that his father would only be released if the proper answer to the king's question could be given. Young Ashtabakra said that he would release his father, and so determined, set off for the King's court. He entered the court boldly, full of confidence that he could satisfy the king's doubt. At the sight of so young a child, appearing to answer the king's question, all the sages who had gathered on the occasion began to laugh.
Ashtabakra went up the throne and seated himself there. Because of his disfigured appearance and his youth, the whole court laughed at him. But he laughed back and said, "O King, why have you called this meeting of people who like a cobbler see only the outer form of my skin and are ignorant of inner spirit. How can they, who laugh at my appearance, whose vision is only skin-deep, answer your question? The King and the court were shocked to hear such a description from the young child, regarding the gathering comprised of learned scholars. But Ashtabakra went on to say that these so-called religious teachers had but bookish knowledge of God and the soul. They were not able to perceive truth beyond the external body. None of those present was a seer of the Truth because an enlightened soul is one who visualises the same soul in a cow, elephant, dog as well as in a Brahmin. It is only the body, which is fair or dark, thin or fat, but not the soul. Just as sugarcane is knotted outside but inside the juicy fibres run smooth and straight, so the outer appearance of human beings may vary, but the inner soul remains the same. Janaka was satisfied by this explanation, and so, according to that procedure, the Kings minister stood to read out the King's question. But before the question could be read, Ashtabakra interjected with his objection that if this were the King's question, then it must be the king himself who should read it to him. The King came forward in a most humble manner to ask "Is this true or is that true?".
Ashtavakra replied, "Neither this is true nor that is true."
Now the king was astonished, and begged to know, what was the reality. Ashtavakra replied that is only the Holy Name and the Divine Light which is true and permanent and all permeating. To realise the ultimate truth some read books, some perform penances, but none of those methods lead to the realisation of the truth within oneself. If you are very eager to know the truth you must make obeisance for it.
Janaka was ready to surrender everything in order to attain the knowledge of Truth. He offered Ashtavakra the entire kingdom but Ashtavakra told him it was only his vanity which believed the kingdom to be his own personal property. He said, "Even your father and grandfather claimed to be the owner of this kingdom. But neither the kingdom nor the members of your family can be truly called yours. The king then surrendered himself as the price to be paid for this truth. Ashtavakra accepted this offering and imparted to him the mysterious knowledge of the Holy Name, asking the king to meditate upon it, fix his mind upon it at all times and to perform his duties as king. Thus did Janaka receive knowledge which made him able to perform actions desirelessly by fixing his mind on the Shabd Brahm within. By the practice of the Shabd Brahm he was able to gradually disconnect himself from the body and attain Supreme Consciousness. It is only by knowing the Holy Name of God (Shabd Brahm) and constantly practising it that man can get detached to worldly objects and render himself fit for the performance of the desireless action. The central theme of the Gita is performing one's duties by fixing the mind on the inner self-effulgent Light and unmanifest Word. "Mamanusmar yuddhyacha" . . Remember me and fight. We must learn the technique of meditation which can be performed at all times even while fighting in the battlefield. The duty of a soldier is quite arduous. He has to be on the defensive and the offensive at the same time. All external forms of meditation are useless as they cannot be performed while one is engaged in the battle. When Arjuna threw down his bow in the battle field in depression and said that he would prefer begging and taking alms rather than winning a victory by killing his kith and kin whatsoever dialogue took place between him and Lord Krishna constitutes the Gita. We find Arjuna in the beginning of the book in the grip of confusion and dejection, desirous of renouncing the very idea of war but Arjuna after listening to the discourses of Lord Krishna and getting the knowledge of the Raj Vidya is able to wage a war to protect Dharma. Arjuna wanted to renounce actions and become a non-doer because he feared the sins he would accrue from his actions. Lord Krishna explained to him that no one can be free from sin simply by giving up action itself. For example, if Kshatriya runs away from the battlefield he is considered to be irreligious and a sinner. One generally performs actions impelled by his nature and temperament and according to his status in life but can escape the sin of doership if done with a desireless frame of mind while established in Yoga. Lord Krishna unfolded to Arjuna that method or technique of Yoga which if practised frees one from all types of sins rendering the actor a non-doer even while in the midst of hectic activities. The Gita expounds the knowledge of the Yoga called Raj Vidya. We as human beings must knew that Vidya for ourselves if we want to perform actions desirelessly.
Both good actions and bad actions bind the individual. After enjoying the fruits of good actions in what may be called heaven, one has to return to the earthly world again. For our bad actions we must suffer punishment. One is called the golden chain while the other is called the iron chain. Just as a dirty cloth cannot be cleaned by washing it in dirty water, so actions and their fruits cannot be annulled by performing more actions. It is only through the performance of actions while focussing one's mind on the Avyakt Akshar (unmanifest Word) that one can save himself from the consequences of actions. Without the grace of a teacher there is no true knowledge, Without True Knowledge there is no salvation for the Jiva. All external forms of meditation which cannot be performed at all times do not lead to salvation. The knowledge of the physical sciences is only useful while one is alive. What we want to know is, what is that knowledge which Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna which can release us from the constant cycle of births and deaths and free us from the chains of actions. We kindle a lamp to remove the darkness and the difficulties that we face because of it. Just as at night when there is pitch darkness nothing is visible but with the dawning of daylight, everything becomes visible, similarly one should perform actions in the knowledge of Divine Light to save oneself from the staggering repercussions of actions performed in the darkness of ignorance.
Maharaj Ji stressed that it is only through the practice of Yoga, that is to say, focussing one's mind on the Holy Name, that can free one from the binding force of actions. Performance of this yoga has no unsalutory effect on man. Even a little practice of it will entitle one to attain the human frame again and again until perfection is achieved. This most sacred yoga is above virtue and sin because it is subtle, eternal, and makes the mind steady. It is neither affected by the three gunas nor by maya.
Just as a lamp placed in a windless room lights the whole room so the limited and the finite mind becomes enlarged by identifying itself with the infinite Divine Light.
Therefore, a man with a discriminating faculty follows only this, the most accepted, beneficial and rewarding yoga and becomes desireless in his actions.
The man devoid of discrimination and the knowledge of this yoga wastes his life in other pursuits. Men with limited vision practise rituals according to the shastras and waste their life in yajna and fire oblations, worshipping only the elements of nature, They are always worried about the results of their worship just as a gardener plants trees in a garden in order to be able to enjoy its fruits. So those of short vision perform rituals only to attain the fruits. Thus they are bound to desire and are born again and again in order to fulfil these desires. Such people do not know the art of desireless action, and suffer the good as well as the bad results of their actions.
Persons dominated by animal nature believe that the pleasures of the senses are the highest type of enjoyments and do not recognise any higher type of pleasure worth living for. They never think of absolute truth in their own life nor do they feel an urge to know God and worship Him. Such people never understand the greatness of a Mahapurusha. They are not more than animals who waste their precious human life in the pursuit of sensuous pleasure. The human body is the means for realising the Divinity, but foolish are those, who waste it for the pleasures of the senses. It is the supreme irony that man wastes this golden opportunity given to him in the pursuit of lesser values. Just as a hungry man labours hard to buy food, but then sells it to earn money and remains hungry himself, so an individual wastes his human frame, the gateway to salvation, by practising rituals in order to gain the passing pleasures of the heavens. One who is bound to the pleasures of the world moves in the three gunas and never overcomes them. The really intelligent men should not follow the gunas (or modes of nature) but should be devoted to the yoga which can provide him with spiritual bliss. The discriminating man will devote himself only to that which can give him knowledge of the true Self. Different people pursue different paths conditioned by their own nature. The wise men will follow only that path which leads to self-realisation.
Most people do not consider the importance of virtue or sin. They are enslaved by the senses when they perform actions and thus remain involved in the sorrows and miseries that result from those actions. A true devotee, however, does not desire to enjoy the worldly pleasures and develops an aversion for them, due to an understanding of their true nature. Those who are settled in the self, behave humanly towards all without a desire for profit or prestige and perform actions which are in the interest of all. Just as the sun gives light to all so a realised soul gives knowledge of the self to all and saves them from the sorrows of life. A realised karma yogi has a natural grace over all creatures while the karm kandies, immersed in the nets of desires are filled by their own ego and try to involve others in the net of rituals for worldly attainments. Such karma kandies can never be detached from worldly affairs. Realised souls, on the other hand, rise above the pairs of opposites and take bliss in the self. This is why Lord Krishna exhorted Arjuna to become a yogi, saying, that one who has no control over the mind and the control of the senses can neither be a yogi nor a Sanyasi. Therefore, concentration of mind and the control of the senses are the essential prerequisites for achieving a balanced state of mind.
This state of mind cannot be achieved without meditation. Even those engaged in the practice of the Holy Name may think that they have relinquished all passions and sensual pleasures, but desire for them still lurks in the subconscious mind. If kindled, this can flare up into a great fire and do considerable damage. That is why constant vigilance concerning the worldly pleasures must always be practised. Just as the cut branches of a tree may sprout again so the submerged desires rise from the sub-conscious to the conscious if given incentive. Therefore, the attractions of the world must be renounced with a determined mind. Just as one drop of poison is sufficient to kill a man, so even an iota of passion can undo all the progress attained from previous efforts. If we keep the mental tendencies immersed in yoga then even the desires for sense pleasure may gradually die.
When the sense pleasures are well controlled and the mind well settled in the Lord's name then only may one feel that there is a strong foundation for truth. Just as a tortoise stretches its limbs and contracts them within his shell as he wills, so one who attains bliss can control his senses and cause them to obey him at his will.
The knowledge of yoga referred to above is nothing but the Holy Name to which the yogi is aware of at all times while forgetful of the sense pleasures. Metaphorically it is said in the Gita that he is sleeping over these pleasures while the worldly man sleeps over the Brahmanic bliss. Just as the ocean remains serene in spite of the waters of many rivers and streams which flow into it, similarly a yogi with a settled mind and determined intellect is not ruffled or affected by the sense pleasures. He is well fixed in the self, above the opposites, therefore even if his sense organs are busy with the sense pleasures they do not cause any stir in his mind. Just as the rays of the sun and the moon are not polluted by touching the earth so the consciousness of the yogi is not strained by the sense pleasures because they do not leave any impression upon his mind. He is always self contented finding a never-ending source of happiness within himself.
There are many types of sadhus and karam kandies in India who wear saffron clothes or remain nude, living in the forest. None of these exterior classifications can make them a real saddhu or a yogi. For a yogi is essentially one who meditates on the real name of God and whose mental tendencies have been immersed in the all permeating Divine Light.
If one is concerned with evil or destructive actions in this world he should certainly not be encouraged. But the seeker after truth must be continually awakened to the path of meditation, for therein lies his hope of salvation of this very life, in this very body. He should concentrate his mind upon the self, thus fulfilling the commandment of the Kathopanishada, "Awake ! Arise ! stop not till the goal is reached." Thus does one cross the darkness of sorrows and enter into the region of supreme happiness. The vigilant devotee is beloved of God. Once Hanuman was asked by Lord Rama what his relations were with him, Hanuman said, as for as bodily relations were concerned, he was Rama's servant. But in regard to the jiva, an unbreakable bond existed between Lord Rama and Hanuman. In the viewpoint of the all permeating divinity, Hanuman and Rama were one. The real devotees are those who, having been blessed with the true knowledge imparted by a Tatvadarshi, (realized soul) talk about this yoga amongst themselves, meditate upon it and serve their guru desirelessly. God is beyond death, while Maya is itself death, therefore to cross Maya we rest in God. But God can only be realised by the constant and unflagging practice of the Yoga in the form of Holy Name and Divine Light revealed by a realised Guru. Just as pure ghee is all-permeating in milk, still it is invisible' so God is all-permeating in this cosmos, but Cannot be seen with these eyes. Just as milk is first turned into curd which is churned to produce ghee, leaving a residue of uncreamed milk, so the jiva by meditation on the real name of God breaks the knot between self and maya and remains in a state of void. The method by which we can pull our mental tendencies out of the mud of this world is called yoga, or bhakti.
The world is the practical manifestation of the three gunas and the five elements. One who worships these five elements can never know any truth beyond them: It is only through the grace of the Guru that this all permeating cosmic energy in the form of light and Name can be known. When one is constantly focussed upon this light and rises above the three Gunas and the elements. Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: "I am in you and you are in me. We have taken many births but I know my previous lives while you are in ignorance of them. I am not bound by maya, but you are. This is why you are ignorant of the truth and suffer births and deaths. When you concentrate your mind on this inner Divine Light and Name you will be disconnected with maya and will escape the circle of birth and death, becoming free and blissful."
If this knowledge of the Raj Vidya which was transmitted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna is transmitted by anyone in modern times there exists no difference between the present giver and Lord Krishna because he had said there is no difference between himself and a jnani "A jnani is my own self. He who is devoted to a jnani, has reverence for him and serves him with love and devotion, he is my devotee in the real sense."
The Satguru is the real Jnani, because he has the power to impart the Raj Vidya to others. There are so many religious teachers who are traditionally called Gurus, but who are not qualified for the status of a guru. They only instruct people in different types of mantras with varied potentialities of power, or recommend the counting of beads. Such Gurus can never lead the jivas to the highest goal. They are not able to open the third eye or the divine eye through which the knowledge of the all-permeating God is revealed. The world is never devoid of a real teacher. From time to time great souls have incarnated themselves in this world to lead man from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality and from worldly pleasures to spiritual bliss. Only those are benefited who approach them, receive the knowledge, and obey and live according to the commandments of the Master. The Guru is a reforming agency for the disciple. He yokes him to desireless service. In ancient times an aspirant had to serve the Guru for many years before achieving spiritual knowledge. Only one who has bodily and mentally surrendered himself to the Guru, positing him as the highest object of worship can find perfection in that most purifying and eternal knowledge. Just as a heap of refuse can be burned by one single match so accrued sins can be burnt away by the spark of spiritual realisation given through the grace of the teacher.
A Guru is a perfect jnani. Just as the darkness of the night can only be dispelled by the dawning of day, so the darkness of the ignorance can only be removed by a preceptor.
The Gita describes the world as an inverted tree with the roots being upward and the branches spreading downward. By watering the roots the whole tree flourishes, while if only the branches are watered the tree becomes dry. God is the seed of the world, and if one meditates upon his Name a great love is generated towards his creation. The unmanifest Brahman cannot be served and worshipped. It is very difficult to focus the mind on the abstract Brahman. That is why the path of pure contemplation is difficult to tread. The path of bhakti, which is love and devotion for the manifested divinity in the form of the Guru is easy to practise and enjoyable. It is only through the manifested Brahman that the unmanifest can be realised.
In today's society people do not know the real meaning of bhakti which is devotion and meditation. While ignorant of the true knowledge of Brahman, they still call themselves jnanies. They are only hypocrites and deceive themselves and others. By devotion they mean the worship of the idol of their deity. The devotees of Lord Rama and the devotees of Lord Krishna and bhaktas of other sects adapt different modes of devotion to suit their own beliefs and tastes. But, Lord Krishna in the Gita talks about the Ananya bhakti, or unbroken devotion. The modes of devotion practised by these people cannot remain unbroken. They can not constantly worship their statue. Therefore, this cannot be the true method of devotion. The Bhakti yog which is referred to in the Gita is that which every individual can perform at all times and in every state of mind. It is an independent path to realisation, and no social or political boundaries can affect it. It is beyond the senses. A man who constantly performs this mode of devotion can attain realisation even while performing different types of action.
In sloka 1 and 2 of chapter 4, Lord Krishna says, "this science of yoga is eternal and everlasting. I imparted this very knowledge to the Sun who imparted it to Manu…" In ancient days, to learn the science of yoga, the disciple served the teacher for their entire life. In quest of this very science Nachiketa sacrificed all worldly pleasures and requested yama to unfold the secret to him. Today this knowledge of this yoga is decreasing and its true essence is a mystery for most of the people. Nothing else can lead to perfect happiness but the knowledge of that eternal yoga.
In chapter 4, sloka 3, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, "The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret."
There are two types of God incarnations. One is called Nimitt, and the other Nitya. The avatars are all Nimitt incarnations while the saints are Nitya. The Nimitt avatars are born for a specific purpose while the saints work to transform society through divine knowledge. It is not only by destroying sinners that mankind can be made peaceful, but by changing the demoniac nature of the human being which will naturally result in a better society. "Hate the sin and not the sinner."
What is karma, vikarma and akarma, or action and non-action, is a very involved theory. Even the great scholars fail to understand it. The technique for performing action which leads to the release of the jiva man does not know. That very knowledge was unfolded to Arjuna by Lord Krishna and was also given to Janaka by Ashtavakra. If we could obtain this knowledge through books then everyone who reads the holy books would be realised. But it is not so. The holy books only sing the significance and the greatness of the divine knowledge.
Some believe that knowledge imparted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna is no longer possible to be able to be received in this world. The answer to this comes from Krishna himself, for he has defined this knowledge as eternal and all permeating, saying that there will never be a time when this yoga will not be available to the true seeker of God. Our job is but to find a realised soul who can impart this knowledge to us; and endeavour to become worthy of his knowledge. It is only by making propitiations to such a realised soul and serving him with a guileless heart that one can receive even now, the knowledge of Avyakat akshar, or the unmanifested word of God. Self devised devotion or worship of gods and goddesses will never lead to emancipation.
The truth called Brahma is to be realised within. But as man is not aware of what is true devotion without a true Guru, he practises various modes of devotion according to his own liking. To know Brahma is the true knowledge and meditation upon him is true devotion. This knowledge has been called para vidya, or spiritual knowledge. Just as the seed should be sown in tilled earth, so it is only through internal preparation and by service to the Guru that we may be in a position to be given para vidya. There are so many mahatmas wearing saffron clothes who teach a certain method of devotion and gather disciples. They have only commercialised religion in order to make trade in it. The true Guru and the divine knowledge can not be purchased by material goods. It can be attained only by intense longing and reverential devotion to the teacher.
The Gita emphasises the importance of the Brahma vidya saying, even the sinners of sinners will find release through this knowledge. It wipes out ignorance in the same way as the sun removes darkness. The brahma vidya cannot be attained through the senses. The mind can easily be controlled by this knowledge and peace thereby attained. But one who has no faith in this knowledge and entertains doubts or does not practise it meets with failure. A sceptical man enjoys happiness neither here in this life nor hereafter. "Shradhawan labhate gyanam" "Only the men of faith attain knowledge."
There is a prevalent point of view today that since human beings have different temperaments and natures they can follow different methods which are best suited to them in order to realise God. But this is an erroneous idea based on false understanding of scriptures. When the ultimate objective is to realize the all-permeating God, which is one for all how can there be different methods to reach it? It is an inward path, it is meditation on the unmanifest Word of God, or focussing the mind on the self-effulgent light. The way of the Word leads to the realisation of God. If we do not go inward to find God we shall never find Him. One who does not know the inward path only performs external modes of worship without controlling the mind is a hypocrite. True devotion needs no outward signs, neither a tilak on the forehead nor wearing saffron clothes.
Arjuna was confused about the different paths of which Krishna was discussing such as Karma Yoga and Sankhya Marg. These are the two traditional classifications for the two possible paths to be taken by the householder and the ascetic. Since these two ways seem to be made for different types of people in various stages of life, Arjuna wished to know which of the two paths was superior. Krishna explained that the difference is superficial and that the knowledge that he had imparted to Arjuna was a natural path, practicable for both the householder and the sanyasi. Since the ultimate goal of all human beings is to realise God it is not important what position one holds in life, for nothing hinders one who wants to realise God. Furthermore, the true sanyasi is one who renounces the desire of sense pleasures and not the forest dweller. It is preferable to be a practitioner of karma yoga for it is the highest attainment to be able to live in the world and still remain untouched by it. For a real seeker of truth there is no difference between the sannyas marg and the karma yoga marg. No sannyasi can completely cast off actions. What is important is to perform actions while immersed in the yoga.
For obtaining perfection in yoga one has to meditate. Lord Krishna advises the seeker of truth to sit in a comfortable posture, to concentrate the mind and control the functions of the mind and the senses and to practise Yoga for self-purification. Lord Krishna advises, "Shutting out the thoughts of external sense-enjoyments with the eyes fixed on the space between the eye-brows, having equalised the Prana and Apana breaths flowing within the nostrils, he who has brought his senses, mind and reason under control, such a contemplative soul intent on being free from desire, fear and anger, is ever liberated."
It is only by the practice of Raj Vidya that a seeker of truth attains a balanced frame of mind and becomes a non-doer. Thus, a realised soul while touching, smelling, eating and speaking is not involved in the preception of the sense objects. Only the senses play in the sense objects. The devotee remains as a spectator. The yogi, while sitting in "the frame with nine gates" is merged with God and sees the world as a mere spectator. Neither good nor bad actions bind him. The meditation on the Holy Name has more power to destroy sins than sins have to destroy man. After all, why do we meditate? If meditation is a remedy or a treatment to be followed for a cure of a particular malady of mind we must see for ourselves whether we are cured of illness or not. If we are not cured, then something is wrong with our mode of devotion. Therefore, know the true Name, which will cure the malady of mind.
The all permeating consciousness is very subtle. It cannot be perceived through the sense organs. The eyes cannot see it, the tongue cannot taste it. That is why the knowledge of the real cannot be found in any external or sense bound method. One must know where to concentrate the mind and how to achieve desirelessness and detachment. Until this detachment is achieved the question of desireless action does not arise. Without desireless action there is no attainment of God. Thus unless and until the mind and the soul are made one, there is no peace, no knowledge and no bliss. This is only possible when one receives the knowledge from a yogi like Lord Krishna and surrenders himself to his commandments like Arjuna.
Part 3: Content
The Essence of the Gita Extracted by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Shri Maharaj Ji found in the Gita the essence of all the Upanishads. He considered it the finest exposition of the theory of Karma and the Raj Vidya. Shri Maharaj Ji was fond of quoting the following slokas, considering them to be the key for understanding that mysterious knowledge which Lord Krishna unfolded to Arjuna.
Chapter 8, sloka 5:
"He who departs from the body, thinking of Me alone, even at the time of death, attains My state; there is no doubt about it."
This verse makes it quite clear that if one remembers God at the time of death he will attain Him. It is a simple truism that what we think of at the time of death determines our subsequent birth. It is a logical proposition that he who remembers God has a chance of attaining Him and not he whose mind is fixed upon other objects. In the next sloka, Lord Krishna says:
Chapter 8, sloka 6:
"Arjuna, whatever object one thinks about when one leaves the body at the time of death, that and that alone he attains since he is ever absorbed in its thought."
Generally, at the time of death, one is haunted by the thought of that object alone which has mostly engaged his mind during his lifetime and, as a rule, it is the predominating thought of his last moment that determines his future destiny.
This sloka prompts many to think, let our youthful life be spent in worldly enjoyments and at the time of old age we will begin to think of God. But let none remain under this self-deception, for one can think of God at the last moment only when one has been practising His remembrance throughout one's lifetime. Meditation is not a spare time hobby, it is a full time job. That is why Lord Krishna says in the next sloka,
Chapter 8, sloka 7:
"Therefore, Arjuna, think of Me at all times and fight. With mind and reason thus surrendered to Me, you will doubtless come to Me,"
From this sloka we are given the criterion for judging whether the prevalent modes of meditation and devotion are true or not. True meditation, according to the Gita, must be that which can be preformed at all times, even at the moment of death. If we apply this standard to the existing modes of worship such as the telling of beads, going to temples or churches, making pilgrimages, prayer and pujas, and so on, we find that they can not be performed at all times. The organs of the body fail us before death. So any external mode of worship cannot fulfill our need. Therefore, that meditation which can be performed at all times must be altogether different from the existing, traditional modes of worship and it behoves us to find out what the true form of meditation is. After emphasizing that one must remember God at all times, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:
Chapter 9, sloka 1
"I will unfold to you the supreme mystery as you are devoid of a carping spirit, by knowing which you will be free from all evils."
This sloka implies that the esoteric knowledge of true meditation can only be imparted by a teacher to one who has a guileless heart and loves virtue. Lord Krishna then goes on to describe the characteristics of that knowledge:
Chapter 9, sloka 2:
"This knowledge is a sovereign science, a sovereign secret, supremely holy, most excellent, directly enjoyable, attended with virtue, very easy to practise and imperishable."
Chapter 9, sloka 3:
"But those who have no faith in this Truth, come not unto Me: they return to the cycles of life and death."
We are now given an exact description of the knowledge and its characteristics, But are we any closer to understanding what that knowledge is? Pandits and experts on the Gita think that this verse describes the features of the knowledge of Brahm. If this is true then the question arises what is it that Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to practise? The knowledge of Brahm is the ultimate and the supreme goal, and not the means. One does not practise the knowledge of Brahma, one experiences it. Therefore Lord Krishna must have imparted the technique for attaining the supreme knowledge of Brahma, a technique which itself is secret, holy, easy to practise and imperishable.
The question of faith and reverence does not arise when the actual knowledge of Brahm is experienced. What this sloka is concerned with is the means towards the attainment of the desired end, the practice of which leads to the knowledge of Brahm. Being a technique, one must have faith in it. Maharaj Ji explained how the knowledge of this technique can be attained by pointing to the following slokas:
Chapter 11, sloka 48:
"Neither Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor studies, nor benefactions, nor rituals nor fearful austerities can give the vision of my Form Supreme. Thou alone hast seen this Form, thou the greatest of the Kurus."
Chapter 11, sloka 53:
"Not by the Vedas, or an austere life, or gifts to the poor, or ritual - offerings can I be seen as thou hast seen me."
These two slokas make it very clear that none of the usual practices followed by the people lead to the realisation of the true knowledge of God. Lord Krishna is very emphatic that his true form cannot be seen by reading the Vedas or performing penances. If God cannot be seen by all these practices, then how may we realise God? The answer is given in the Gita itself.
Chapter 11, sloka 54:
"Through single-minded devotion, however, I can be seen in this form, and known in essence and even entered into, O valiant Arjuna."
What does Lord Krishna mean by single-minded devotion? 'Ananya Bhakti', How can one practice it? How can complete surrender of mind and intellect to God be made? Maharaj Ji used to explain Ananya Bhakti as focussing the mind on the self-effulgent light within, or 'Avyakt Akshar', the unmanifest Word of God. Therefore, single minded devotion can only be performed if one knows the unmanifest Word which cannot be attained from reading the Vedas, but can only be given through the grace of a realised soul. As Lord Krishna says in the following sloka.
Chapter 4, sloka 34:
"Attain this Knowledge by all means. If you prostrate yourself at the feet of the wise, render them all forms of service, and question them with a guileless heart again and again, those wise seers of Truth will unfold that Knowledge to you."
The realised souls, when approached, open the divine eye through which the real form of God can be visualised. God cannot be seen with the gross eyes. Lord Krishna says:
Chapter 11, sloka 8:
"You cannot see Me with these gross eyes. I therefore bestow upon you the divine eye. Behold my self-effulgent form,"
Explaining the self-effulgent form, Krishna says:
Chapter 11, sloka 12:
"If there be the effulgence of a thousand suns bursting forth all at once in the heavens, even that would hardly approach the splendor of the mighty Lord."
What is meant by the Divine Eye? The only true Guru is he who can open this Divine Eye thus showing the disciple the self-effulgent Light within. By focussing our mind upon the self-effulgent Light again and again we will reach the abode of the Lord from where there is no return. This is the state of moksha. Lord Krishna describes his supreme abode thus:
Chapter 15, sloka 6:
"Having reached which men do not return, that is. My Supreme State; neither the sun nor moon nor fire can illumine it."
There ends the God-ward journey of the jiva. 'Jyot main joyt samani'. Light merges in the Light.
The most urgent need of mankind is to awaken the spirit which lies dormant in man. The world we live in is comprised of 'you', 'he' and 'I'. For most of us, the first person singular is the hub around which the world revolves. It is the 'I' which needs to be praised, honoured and loved. We see the world in terms of 'my' family, 'my' house, 'my' country, 'my' God. If it is 'mine' it pleases and comforts me. How serious we become when the question of 'I' is involved. How indifferent we are when personal interest is not involved. Do we know what this 'I' is that so captivates our minds? For most, the 'I' cannot be dispensed with nor can it be adequately understood. Is it the sheer ego of the self-centred man which dies with the death of the human being? Or, is it the residuary divinity which resides in the human and remains intact when all that is seen and sensed on earth disappears? Is it merely consciousness tied with the physical form or is it rather the omnipotent, omnipresent eternal that transcends time and space? All miseries and sorrows, lusts and greeds, restlessness and disorder, animalism and terrorism are nothing but the by-products of ignorance which is simply not knowing the real nature and form of 'I'.
'Know thyself' and thou knowest the universe. Without knowing the true nature of 'I' we remain in ignorance. Socrates carved this dictum on the threshold of his house that it might be a continual reminder to him and to the people for it is only this knowledge of 'I' or the self which can usher in an era of peace and prosperity of all irrespective of caste colour and creed. It is only this knowledge which can establish the brotherhood and unity of mankind. The more we try to analyse the human personality, the more difficult it becomes to explain the meaning of the 'I'. As we seek it, it escapes. The gross body, consisting of the senses cannot totalise the phenomenon of 'I'. Neither can the mind be identified as the 'I', for though the mind directs the senses it is devoid of consciousness. The mind is rather a mirror and takes shape from that which it reflects. 'I' therefore, cannot be identified either with body or mind. The more we explore into our own nature to find the 'I', the more we realise this 'I' must be our most fundamental essence. This essence has otherwise been named as the soul or pure consciousness. The soul is simply the essence within, which is imperishable and eternal. Obviously, neither body nor mind can be termed immortal. The body is subject to birth, growth, decay and death. The mind is also subject to flux, decay and constant instability. The mind is finite, it is limited. It is always wavering, trying to seek all, but yet it cannot find the infinite. But the soul has no limit and in fact gives life and consciousness to the mind. The soul is master and the mind its servant. It is the soul which gives this body life and light. Now, understanding this, it becomes the duty of the mind and the body to work together to realise their supreme authority which resides within. Once realised, they must obey it. The soul lends the life or energy to the body to aid in the fulfilment of the obligation. This energy can be used or misused, leading man towards God, or away from his love.
In an ancient analogy, man is compared to a chariot. The horses which pull the chariot represent the senses. The charioteer is the mind or the will. The warrior-master who rides behind the charioteer, represents the self or soul. The horses wildly and impetuously drive the chariot outward and forward. If the charioteer loses control of the horses, disaster results. The horses wish to race unrestricted, even pulling against each other to go in their own directions. The charioteer must be strong and capable enough to have complete control over the horses and to make his will prevail over theirs. Furthermore, it is essential that he trains the horses to pull each in the same direction. The charioteer must also be restrained by the warrior master, and must obey the orders that he is given. The will of the charioteer is subservient to the will of the master, just as the will of the horses must bend to that of the charioteer.
So the self or soul is the master of the mind, and the mind is the director and controller of the senses. The mind should be acute enough to hear the orders of his master, and restrict its desires, channelling them to the proper path. Only well directed senses can be of any use to the mind which is seeking knowledge, just as it is only the stable and controlled mind that can fulfil its duty to the Self, or soul.
It may be said that there are three basic types of classifications of people in this world. The first are those who easily fall prey to their senses or desires and exist for the sole purpose of satisfying them. They are generally lead by the uncontrolled senses, meeting the same fate as a man who sits on a runaway camel whose rein is broken. Lost in the wilderness of life, they sometimes rejoice, sometimes weep. These people have no stability. Devoid of a determined will, they are driven like a straw in the winds.
The second type of person is he whose mind is strong, whose faculties are sharp and consequently whose ego is inflated. They seek total independence, rejecting the idea of any kind of master, inward or outward - who may control their will. They identify 'I' with the ego and seek independence from the true master the soul. They do not believe in the very existence of the soul beyond mind and body.. They think their mind is strong enough to control the chariot and guide it safely to the battlefield. Such men are in fact lost souls who believe in the axiom 'man is the master of his own fate'. Such self-willed people,- knowing not the entity of the soul, depend on the power of the mind, body and wealth and are full of ambitions. They never find rest and are in a constant state of struggle from moment to moment.
The third kind of person is he who knows the self and lives according to the dictates of the inner self, the pure 'I' or soul, and becomes pure and humble In spirit. His life is marked by contentment and a lack of strife.
Know the Soul
Is it possible to know the soul within and accept it as our master? Can the mind and senses be controlled and made into a true servant, obeying the soul? How does the mind which never ceases to think, which is always distracted by one thing or another, find peace and quiet? How can man learn to control his mind and senses and experience the bliss of the inner most essence, his life and light? How can he identify himself with the pure consciousness and discover the true nature of 'I? Realised souls of all time have come to answer these questions to the world, to direct on to the path of peace. They have come to solve the problem of human nature giving guidelines and enlightenment to them.
We can see that most people pursue the path of the senses, spending their life energy on the most superficial things of life. While they have been given the human form they are still driven by animal tendencies. They spend their life gratifying the animal within them rather than discerning the eternal divinity which resides within them.
Christ says in Saint Luke, chapter 9, verse 25, "For what is a man advantaged, if he gains the whole world and lose him self or be cast away?" To some, the message of light and life have little appeal. Others are born with a divine urge to find the soul, and from inherent tendencies, and potentialities are able to rise above the mundane existence of the sense objects. They are naturally attracted to find out the knowledge of the soul. Thus, the first requisite for knowing the soul is to have a burning desire for it and to have a discriminating faculty able to distinguish the good from the evil in life, the permanent from the non permanent, peace from pleasure and soul from matter.
Usually those who have a burning desire to understand the meaning of life peruse the scriptures, the work of the great holy men of the past and other testimonies that may guide them in their search for truth. For the scriptures are but the writings of great spiritual masters who wish to show man the path to the true purpose in life and how we may successfully find it. All the religious scriptures, be it the Bible, Koran, Gita or Upanishads, unanimously urge us to know the spirit and to identify ourselves with the master or the all permeating God. Some texts call this Allah, others Brahma, or God. The names may vary, but the concept is one and the same. There remains only to realise the way to this eternal essence, Knowledge of the soul cannot be attained simply by reading the holy books. It is only a living spark that can give us light. The truth can only be imparted to us from the living spiritual master.
The Spiritual master
Spiritual masters, or enlightened souls come to the world in order to give mankind knowledge of the soul. They come to liberate man from the clutches of the material life by initiating him into the life divine. In the story of Christ we find an example of a perfect master and his message.
Christ spoke of himself as the light of the world. He exhorted the people to visualise light and follow it, as it was indeed the path to perfection. In Saint John, Chapter 8, verse 32, Christ says to the people, "If ye continue in my Word then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The true spiritual master must be he who has the power to show us the light and dispel the darkness and who can reveal the innermost mysteries of the self. He is on with God, the eternal essence. The true master trains us how to control the mind and its fluctuations and guides us on to the path where we may merge with the essence of life, which is light. Christ said of himself, "I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life." (John, Chapter 12, verse 8).
Being the Satguru of his time, Christ warned the people that they had no hope of salvation but through His Grace. "I am the way, the truth and the light, No man cometh unto the father but by me.'' (John, 14; 6). He reminded the people that Guru and God are one and the same entity. One is given form while the other is formless. ``I and my father are one." (John, 10; 30) Thus, the knowledge of the self can be attained only at the feet of a living spiritual master.
In Christ's time, as in ours, there were no lack of false prophets, those who spoke of the kingdom of God without really knowing what it was they spoke about. He warned the people not to follow men who had no realisation of the supreme and therefore could not guide others to salvation. "If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch." The only way to discern the true teacher from the false is to see if he can indeed give one the knowledge of the light, and man must judge people by their actions, not allowing himself to be fooled by outer words or actions. In Matthew Chapter 7, verse 15, Christ stresses, "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
Christ as well as countless other spiritual masters commanded the people to follow the scriptures according to their true spirit and walk in the path of light which they revealed. Ironically, man ever honours the scriptures and reveres the spiritual greats of history but does not take the trouble to pattern his life after the dictates of that master and thus continues to live a life of suffering. A spiritual master offers the knowledge of the soul, which is the Divine light, and the Word of God.
The light which Jesus Christ spoke of in the New Testament was the light of the soul, the eternal essence or power which pervades and creates everything. It is the source of life, and life's sustainer. Without this light there is no life, there is no consciousness. Christ spoke of this kingdom of light, ". . And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light." (Revelations, 22; 5). It is only he who knows this light that can be considered a true worshipper of God. God is light and if we do not have light we do not have God.
In the New Testament we have the story of Saul who was converted from his persecution of the early Christians when he was suddenly visited by the spirit of Christ and experienced the blinding light of God. He lost his sight until Jesus sent Anenios to go to Saul and explain the light to him, thus restoring his normal consciousness. Jesus visited Saul with the gift of light to show him, how great things he must suffer for his name's sake. (Acts, 9; 16) So Saul was given his sight and baptised into Holy Ghost or Name of God.
The Divine Light has been variously named by different spiritual masters. It is called Elahi Noor in the Koran, Chandna in the Guru Granth Saheb, Noor by saint Kabir, Bhargo in the Vedas, Param Prakash in the Ramayana and Divya Jyoti in the Upanisads. It is possible for every man to experience this Divine Light through the grace of the living master. This light is but the radiance of our own true inner essence. It is the true responsibility of man to know this light, to experience God and become one with his maker. For it is man's function to find God. Without this knowledge man is but an animal in human form. It is written in the Bible that God made man a little lower than the angels so that he may find God and rise above them. "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of the light." (John, 1 2;363.
The path of all spiritual masters is one and the same. They strive to show man the path to the knowledge of the light of the soul. They believe in the oneness of man and man's oneness with God. It is only the ego consciousness of the people that has created differences between one religion and another, who have separated to form creeds and show exclusive loyalty to their own master. For Jesus, Mohammad, Lord Buddha all saw this light and lived to show others its radiance in life.
The Divine Light can not be visualised with our outer, gross eyes. It may only be seen with the third eye, the divine eye which is opened by the grace of the spiritual master. We are all in possession of our divine eye but most of us are ignorant of its existence and its power. Christ speaks of this third eye in Matthew, Chapter 6, verse 22: "The light of the body is the eye therefore if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."
In the Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna opens this very eye of his disciple Arjuna, saying that without this eye one cannot see the self-effulgent light. "I will bestow upon you the single divine eye."
The essence of Life
It is possible for every human being to see the Divine Light and merge with the essence of life. Divine Light is simply the radiance of the life essence. Life is supported by this essence known as the word of God, or Divine Light. This is explained completely in Saint John, "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the Light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." God is this Word, or Light. It creates or supports the whole universe. It is the fundamental essence of all life, which exists forever, indestructible and eternal. Every man has within him the eternal essence. He is in fact, part of the totality of its essence. This word of God has the ability to manifest itself in a potent form in order to bring mankind closer to its truth. This manifestation is called Guru, or the Spiritual Master. While as a spiritual master is in the human body, he is not human. He is the Word made flesh. While living in the world he is not of the world. This idea of the incarnation of God is considered a typical Eastern conception. Yet Christ himself speaks of his earthly phenomena in exactly the same way. He was born, "not of blood nor of the will of the wish nor of the will of man, but of God." (John, 1; 13) The Master incarnates to take human beings away from their sins and show them the way to salvation. Christ came to earth in the human form for the express purpose of shouldering the burden of salvation of humanity upon himself. He showed those who wanted his guidance and accepted his authority the path to peace. "I am the vine, ye are the branches, He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing." (Saint John. 15; 5) This name which bas been preached by all spiritual masters may also be called the seed name. The master comes to sow the seed of true knowledge. '"The sower soweth the Word." (St. Mark, 4; 14) Jesus delivered his famous parable on the sower and the seed to demonstrate the various reactions the knowledge of the Word has upon different people.
Every spiritual master reveals this Word to those who approach him with faith and devotion. It is by His Grace that they are healed and cleansed, as Christ said, "Now ye are cleaned through the Word which l have spoken unto you." (John, 15; 3)
Communion With The Self
By concentrating upon this eternal, all-pervading Word within us, the inner light becomes brighter and more powerful. Those who know the name and practise communion with it, purify themselves and become closer to God and the ultimate experience of His Bliss. God is the Word and light within us, and we may attain Him, experience his essence and attain pure bliss. At this time, we become one with God, and lose all sense of a personal identity. The 'I' or ego as it was known before the experience is lost in the totality of God. Christ was a realised soul, that is, he had experienced this oneness, he knew himself to be God, Jesus prays, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they be one, as we are." (John, 17; 11)
Thus, we see that the true message of Christ is to show the people the way of light, and teach them now to practise the technique of communion with the Word of God, Jesus termed the Word, the Holy Spirit, and 'baptised' the people with this spirit. In other words, Jesus initiated the people into the knowledge of the Word, or the Holy Ghost. By knowledge of the Word, with the Grace of the spiritual master, man is immediately able to control his sense desires and his unsteady mind by constant communion, or meditation upon the Holy Name. The devotee attains peace of mind far beyond the passing pleasures he receives in the world. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." (John, 14; 26)
The more diligently the word is practised and meditated upon, the purer shines the soul. By constantly coming into contact through 'communion' with that which is real, one's own inner essence is filled with bliss, and one merges with the eternal joy of God.
This Word is the essence of all religions, the divinity which all spiritual masters have sought to reveal to the world in their lifetime. It is the one and only way to salvation which all religious doctrines, ways of life, or theological beliefs must arrive at if God is to be really known and experienced. Religion is realisation, it is not empty theory or logical debates. God created man in order to have His realisation. It is the only way to attain God. The living human being is therefore unique in all of creation in this respect. For he only is given the opportunity of seeing God.
In the Old Testament. God's first human creations were perfect, that is, they were in constant communion with God and his glory. The fall of man came about when he forgot the Word, when the lures of the world attracted him, and he bit into the apple of sin, or worldly desire. From that time onwards, man was condemned to struggle to regain that state of divine bliss which he enjoyed in the beginning of creation. Now, for being one with God always, we must strive to rediscover that Divinity within us which we have lost sight of.
Deep within, we are all God, we are all the Word made flesh. But we do not realise this. We think our state of worldly life is all that we may expect. Our duty to the Creator is to become obedient to the voice of the Soul and strive to become realised. This is why Christ said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." We too may sit on the right hand of God if it is the will of the Guru that we are given the way to master our senses and realise the soul within us, which is God. Thus, we become pure self, or the son of God. And only by constant communion with the Word of God may we be able to find the self, visualise the light, and attain God. "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John, 4; 24)
How to know the Word
The Word can only be known at the feet of a living Spiritual Master. It is only a burning lamp that can kindle other lamps. Only he who knows the Word and is fully God realised can be called a Spiritual Master. He has the power to redeem and uplift the souls of man. None but the Spiritual Master is able to reveal to us that Word. The meaning of Guru is one who is able to dispel darkness and show us the light of God. The Master comes to body on earth for the purpose of re-explaining the divinity that resides in man. He frees us from the bondage of the world, and shows us everlasting bliss. The Word that he shows us is the absolute truth, pure consciousness and supreme bliss. Once the soul of a man is clearly revealed to a man who has been baptised in the Holy spirit, he can enter into soul communion through prayer and meditation 24 hours a day. He becomes so purified by this practice that the bright light of the soul shines clearly within him. Blessed are the disciples who practise the Word of God. "Blessed are your eyes, for they see and your ears, for they hear." (Matthew, 13;16) Blessed are they who find the true master, and abide with him, for through his grace only are they able to see God."
Service of the Spiritual Master
Love and devotion of the Spiritual Master as well as selfless service to mankind for the Glory of God speed the purification of the seeker of God. "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." In the lays of Christianity, this necessity is demonstrated by the oath of complete surrender to the Master that must be given at the time of baptism, sworn to be practised throughout the lifetime of the believer.
Only those who obey the commandments of the master are blessed in their lifetime. Only those who so love and obey the master so that they become one with Him can hope of becoming one with God. For Guru, or the Master is God and if you can realise the Master you have realised God. "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except that it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John, 15; 4)
Surely one of the greatest services to the Spiritual Master is to disseminate His message to one and all. This is not only of benefit to the disciple, who may fulfil his devotion to the Master in an optimum way, but is of considerable value to humanity. Therefore Christ chose his apostles and ordered them to wander from place to place, preaching that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand". The disciple who thus devotes his life to the service of his master finds manifold blessings. He is given the power to impart the knowledge of God to others, and finds that God is behind him, forming his actions and his words, protecting him, and keeping his life within His hands. "For it is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew, 10; 20) It is this idea of total surrender that causes the analogy of one who dies and is reborn. Christ died for our sins, and was risen from the dead to glorify his name. So we who die to the desires of the world find new life, and are reborn into the life of the spirit, Thus does Christ say, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew, 10; 39)
Those that follow the path of God, or the Master, must learn to lose all superficial considerations of their livelihood and their maintenance in life. As Christ told the multitudes, just as God takes care for the raven; where he flies and what he eats, as he provides for all his creatures, so will he provide for man. "Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, are what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than, meat, and the body than raiment? …. Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed?… But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (St. Matthew, 6; 25, 31, 33)
He who really loves God offers Him his life and his head. He counts nothing as his own, for he resides in God, and God owns everything. "Empty came ye into the world, and empty shall ye leave it." We must leave the illusions of possessions if we are to find God. The disciple who is truly surrendered is free, and bathes in the Light of all lights, experiencing the joy of union with God.
The Living Spiritual Master
The Spiritual Master is always present in the world. There is never a time when we are devoid of His presence. In the present age, one such master is again with us. He reveals the Word of God to all aspirants who come to him with true love for God. He is the Light, and shows us how to see its glory. He teaches the same one eternal truth which is the key for understanding all scriptures and previous spiritual masters. He imparts the Holy seed - Word which grows by his grace and with the diligent communion of the aspirant with His word.
As the master is necessary if we wish the mysteries of the Word to be revealed to us, we must strive to meet and humble ourselves before the realised soul who can deliver us from our darkness. "Come unto me all ye that labour, Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you peace."
The meaning of love, light and life can become clearly experienced under the realised master's guidance. Love is the joy of true being, and compassion is that which flows from one who experiences that joy. Light is the brightness of the soul and the experience of the truth that we are eternally one with God. Life is the Word or spirit within us, which is God as he manifests himself in creation. To receive this knowledge we must surrender ourselves at the feet of the realised master of the time.
The living spiritual master is Balyogeshwar Param Hans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj.
A Pen Sketch of Balyogeshwar Shri Sant Ji Maharaj
Born in a holy family, He was initiated into the life Divine by the late Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, a harbinger of world peace, universal love and ultimate reality. Hailing from the sacred soil of Badrinath in Uttrarakhand, India, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj aroused millions from the slumber of ignorance by His magic wand of spiritual knowledge. Balyogeshwar Shri Sant Ji Maharaj was acclaimed a born saint by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. Others also saw the Divinity manifested in him, and were constantly in awe of his unusual behaviour from his very childhood. He was destined to fulfil the mission of uniting all religions with the silken bond of love. Yogiraj Shri Hans Ji Maharaj left His mortal frame on 19 July, 1966, transmitting His power potential of the secret Yoga to His Holiness Shri Sant Ji Maharaj.
His Holiness speaks in the language of parables, and disdains all intellectual conceptions of God. His approach to religion is one of common sense. His glittering personality and beautific appearance shed a halo of divinity around Him. He is a supreme comforter, born to dispel the darkness of ignorance and bestow peace and knowledge to the entire world. The Divine Light Mission, under his firm guidance is spreading its message of the Holy Name to one and all.
Shri Sant Ji Maharaj is not only young in years, but also in spirit. He plans to spread the knowledge of the Word and Divine Light to the world in his own lifetime. It is only now in this century where wide scale communication is possible that this proportion of the Mission has been made possible.
He is the manifestation of the supreme power and gives the knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light to all who ask for it. "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." (Matthew, chapter 16; 26). He promises the gift of the knowledge of the soul to everyone who comes to him, irrespective of caste, colour or creed. "For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matthew, 7; 8)
Millions in India have already been enlightened by his initiation into the knowledge of the Word. His disciples have spread his divine mission to England and South Africa, and he plans to disseminate the knowledge throughout the four corners of the earth.
Claiming no religion as his own, he reveals the one Truth of God basic to all religions and reveals the inner path to God.
'The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo, Here ! or lo, there ! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (St. Luke, 17; 20-21)
Balyogeshwar Shri Sant Ji Maharaj has incarnated himself to reveal the truth, and to complete the destiny of man. He has come to give man the sharp sword of the Holy Name with which to cut down the snares of the world, to kill all desires and to find victory in truth and everlasting life. He has come to speak to us, it is for us to listen.
"Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." (Matthew, 7; 24)
Devotional songs called "Bhajans" have an ennobling effect on the minds of the devotees. 'Bhajans', are divine melodies sung by great devotees praising the glory of Guru and God in ecstasy. They are the spontaneous outpourings of gratitude and devotion. They also reveal the nature of the true knowledge which these saints experienced and inspire others to receive the true knowledge by approaching a saint. Some of the Bhajans have their intent and purpose to awaken the people to the grim realities; the hollowness of life, the agonies of ignorance and the fleeting phenomenon of this world. Like all mystic saints Shri Maharaj Ji would sing certain devotional songs to emphasize his view-point and teachings. The following are the English translation of some of his favourite songs:
"Acharej dekha bhari sadho acharej dekha bhari ray."
O saints ! I have seen great splendours; great splendours seen.
In the midst of heaven is the well of divine nectar, trickling bliss.
Lame man climbs up without a ladder and drinks deep of the overflowing nectar.
Without ringing, endlessly gongs ring, drums beat and conches blow.
Deaf man hears and joyfully loses himself in the Divine Melody,
Without earth, there stands a palace in which shines a brilliant light.
Blind man is filled with bliss, seeing it again and again and exclaims his experiences.
The living man dies and then lives again.
Without food, he is vital and strong.
Brahmanand says: 'Rare and fortunate among saints are those who understand the meaning of my song.'
"Re man ye do din ka mela rahega . ."
O Mind ! The world is but a fleeting fair.
The pursuits of life will not last for ever.
Of what use is it to build tall buildings that touch the sky?
Of what use is it to hoard heaps of wealth?
All your chariots and elephants will be of no avail to you,
Empty-handed you came into the world, and empty handed you will leave it.
The only conveyance for your last journey will be a coffin made of wood to be carried on the shoulders.
O Mind ! The world is but a fleeting fair.
Man thinks his wealth will stand by him in days of distress,
But wealth is slave to none.
Haven't Lord Krishna, Rama and Harish Chandra made it clear that man will not be remembered by his wealth but by his deeds?
Your wealth will remain here on earth when you leave it with your pockets empty.
Even your friends are your companions only until the holy water ceremony is performed over you.
After your death, your wife will accompany you to the gate of your house, and no further.
The members of your family will accompany you only as far as the crematorium.
Your son will fulfil his obligations and light your funeral pyre.
There is but one thing that can go with you after death; it is the Holy Name.
But for the Holy Name; O mind, you will be desolate and deserted by all.
"Pani Main Min piysai…."
I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.
Man wanders about without purpose to Mathura or Kashi without the knowledge of the inner spirit, like a deer who runs listlessly from forest to forest in search of the musk which lies within its own navel.
All men of the three worlds, even sanyasis, munis and yogis are infatuated by desire and a slave to the mind just as a large bee is infatuated by the buds of a lotus in the water.
The immanent and unmanifested 'Hans' is in my heart, which is worshipped by Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and 88,000 munis. God is within but people think he is somewhere outside. O! irony of ironies.
Kabir says: Listen, O Sadhu, this confusion can not be removed without the help of a Guru.
"Mo Sum Kaun Kutil Khal Kami"
Can there be anyone as sly, as sensual and as bestial as I? How ungrateful am I for have I not disowned He who has bestowed me with this precious human body?
Constantly satiating my hunger I run after my desires like a village pig after refuse.
Daily I serve the men of the world, forsaking the men of God. Surdas says: 'Hear me, O my Lord ! How can there be a place in your heart for one such as I.'
"Payoli main nay Nam Ratan dhan payo."
I obtained the gift of the holy Name.
The Satguru bestowed the invaluable gift.
And by his kindness He made me His own.
My mind cherished the love of the Teacher's feet;
To them am I attached: the world to me is but a dream.
The Ocean of birth and death is dried up for me: I no longer wonder how I shall cross over.
My Lord is Giradhara Nagar:
My eyes have turned inward to obtain His vision.
On whose feet should I fall now that I see both the Lord and the Teacher before me?
All obeisance to the Teacher, who made me reach the Lord.
I met my Satguru, Saint Raidas, who gave me a souvenir of the Name of God.
I advanced and met my Lord, then was my pain allayed.
I threw dust on the head of the world, then did I attain to my home.
It is in relation to God alone that all kith and kin are worthy of love.
What is the good of the eye balm that only serves to make one blind?
Take up the hint: no more can I say.
He is in every way a noble friend worthy of your adoration and dearer to you than your very life.
Who can generate affection for the Lord:
such is the creed of Tulsidas.
"Agar Hai Shauk Milne Ka"
If you are fond of seeing God face-to-face, then remember him by every breath
Neither be on fast nor die of hunger.
Neither go to mosque nor make prostrations,
Break the worship pot and be drunken with the wine of love.
Sweep the cavity of the heart with the broom of love.
Cast off the dust of 'mine' and 'thine'.
Do away with duality.
Drink not the cup of 'I-ness'.
But drink deep of the cup of 'Thineness'.
Break this string of beads, throw these books into the water.
Of what use is it to be learned?
Burn away this vanity of learning.
Think not that God is far off.
Mansoor says: 'O Kazi, Live not on unearned bread.
Great and true is the name of God.
Preach this truth to all.'
How none else but Him can I claim as my own.
I forsook my father and my mother and all those that were dear to me.
In the company of the Sadhus I sacrificed my world and my modesty.
I rushed to meet a saint when one appeared, and wept when the worldly crossed my path.
With tears I nourished the everlasting creeper of love.
In my search I met the deliverer the Holy Name.
Thence forward the Name within and the Saint overhead have lighted my path.
To the Lord Mira has consigned herself.
"Guru Paiyan Lagun Nam Lakhaya Deejo re…"
I touch the holy feet of the Guru who has revealed to me the Name of God.
Awakened by the sound of the Word my mind which was Iying in the slumber of ignorance, birth after birth.
Darkness prevails and nothing is visible. The Guru kindles the lamp of knowledge within.
The urge of the poisonous sense pleasures surges up in the heart and the mind,
Guru kills this urge by the drop of nectar within.
Deep and impenetrable is the torrential stream of life running fast and fleeting,
Sail my boat across the waters, O my Guru !
Dharam Das prays to his Guru, the Lord, 'take me to my destination this life. Now.'
"Man na rangaya rangaye jogi kapra"
The yogi dyes his garments, instead of dyeing his mind in the colour of love:
He sits within the temple of the Lord, leaving Brahma worships a stone.
He pierces holes in his ears, he has a great beard and matted locks, he looks like a goat.
He goes forth into the wilderness, killing all his desires, and turns himself into an eunuch:
He shaves his head and dyes his garments; he reads the Gita and becomes a mighty talker.
Kabir says: 'You are going to the doors of death, bound hand and foot !'
"Bhagya bade sadgura mein payo…"
I found the greatest of fortunes when I met my Satguru.
All my troubles and sorrows disappeared from my mind.
That which I searched for all the time in exterior things I have found within myself.
Now I see the all-permeating light of Brahma wherever I look.
It has made me free from the bondage of life and death and saved me from the swinging cycle of rebirth.
Brahmanand says, I lay prostrated, overjoyed at the feet of Satgurudev, who has caused me to achieve all things.
Truly his importance is greater than God's.
"are dil, prem nagar ka ant na paya."
O My heart ! you have not known all the secrets of this city of love:
In ignorance you came, and in ignorance you return.
O my friend, what have you done with the life?
You have taken on your head the burden heavy with stones, and who is to lighten it for you?
Your Friend stands on the other shore,
But you never think in your mind how you may meet with Him,
The boat is broken, and yet you sit even upon the bank; and thus you are beaten to no purpose by the waves,
The servant Kabir asks you to consider; who is there that shall befriend you at the last?
You are alone, you have no companion:
You will suffer the consequences of your own deeds.
"Re man ram nam ras peejey"
Drink thou, the nectar of the Holy Name.
O mind, drink thou the nectar of the holy Name.
Abandon thou evil company, associate with the saints at all times.
And hear thou the discourses of the Lord.
From the mind turn thou all lust, aa0er and passions.
Mira's Lord is Giradhara Nagar, In His dye is she coloured.
"Sadho, so satgurumohi bhawai"
O Brother, my heart yearns for that true Guru, who fills the cup of true love, and drinks of it himself, and offers it then to me.
He removes the veil from the eyes, and gives the true Vision of Brahma:
He reveals the word in him and makes to hear the unstruck Music:
He shows joy and sorrow to be one:
He fills all utterance with love.
Kabir says: 'Verily he has no fear, who has such a Guru to lead him to the shelter of safety.'
There is no other giver but Guru.
The World stoops before Him to beg.
Guru is the lord and the creator of continents and the subcontinents.
The King and the emperor both stretch out their hands before the Guru.
Let those who have ears listen.
You can never attain God by worshipping idols.
Waiting at the doors of a Saint bears all the fruit of making the 68 pilgrimages.
What is the use of bathing in all the holy waters if the heart is impure.
The outer body may be cleaned, but what of the inner self ?
In this ocean of life there are many who are cut adrift.
Kabir says, He who surrenders himself to Me, shall be taken across the sea of life.
"The human frame is a golden opportunity bestowed on the Jiva by God through which he is able to realise God and free himself from the bondage of birth and death."
"Man is the crown of creation. Even celestial beings pine for the human frame. The body is the home of worship and meditation and if it is not utilised for this purpose, man is the greatest loser."
"God has created the human frame for the express purpose of giving man the opportunity of realising the Divinity."
On the Aim of Life:
"Just as a fish can only fulfil its purpose within water. The aim of man's life should be essentially one which can be fulfilled and realised within this human frame."
"Be engaged in practice after acquiring the knowledge, this is the goal of human life."
"Satsang is received by the blessings of Hari."
"Satsang is not the recitation of Holy Scriptures (Kathas) nor philosophical discussions of learned men. Satsang is the company of the true saints. It is hearing their words based on their own revelations."
"Sat means 'truth' and sang means 'association or company'.
So, satsang means the company or association with truth. Since saints are the embodiment of truth, we should associate with them."
"Satsang has a transforming effect upon man. It cleans man from the dust of sin and kindles in him love for God."
On the true Guru:
"It is a spiritual law that there can be no divine knowledge without the grace of the living Satguru."
"The Satguru is the living embodiment of grace, and the very ocean of mercy."
"Just as salt water from the ocean is useless for drinking purposes, so the all-permeating power of God are useless to man until revealed by the true Guru."
"Guru is the dispeller of the darkness of ignorance and the bestower of the Divine Light."
On the Scriptures:
"Scriptures are recorded revelations of the saints. They must be read. But the esoteric meaning within them must be understood through the help of a realised soul."
"The 'Name' and the 'form' of God referred to in the scriptures cannot be found within the scriptures itself. Just as the texts speak of the self-effulgent light of God, but this light can only be seen within man."
"Just as a tree which does not provide shade is useless, so a Guru who can not impart true knowledge is of no avail."
"Search for the Guru who reveals the true Name of God. All other Gurus are false."
On the Eternal Truth:
"This knowledge which I am imparting is the true knowledge. It is the eternal truth. It was true in the past, it is true today and it will remain true in the future. God is One, His knowledge is also One."
"That which was told to the sun in the beginning of creation, which Krishna imparted to Arjuna, that very thing is what I offer you today I."
"Happiness is not the attribute of matter. It is the quality of God and it is through the knowledge of God that one can attain happiness."
"Religion does not mean to surrender to dogmas and religious scriptures or conformity to rituals. But my religion constitutes an abiding faith in the perfect values of truth and the ceaseless attempt to realise them in the inner most part of our nature."
"Devotion is independent from all rituals. It is the treasure of all happiness. Without the company of saints it can not be attained."
"Devotion is like a rare pearl. When it is discovered within the heart, there is eternal light."
"The traditional modes of devotion, the rites and rituals, do not constitute devotion. Real devotion means unbreakable remembrance of the true name of God at all times."
On the True Name of God:
"The adjectives, "Ram, Ram," "Hari Krishna", or "Om Namo Shivai" are not the True Names of God. The true Name of God is beyond the alphabets, and unmanifest. It is the primordial sound, the breath of life."
"Who are the Shurdas? Those alone are Shurdas who are wanting in faith in the Lord God, no matter what their caste may be."
"Caste is the superficial difference between man which can only be destroyed by the sword of True Knowledge."
"What you are to do tomorrow, do today. What you are to do today, do now. None knows when death will overtake you."
"He who propagates the true knowledge is my true devotee, dearer to me than my own life."
HARI OM TAT SAT
Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj