The Gateway to Liberation.
Satsang of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, November, 1963
During the second age of the universe cycle called Treta Yuga, Lord Shri Rama was installed as the King of Ayodhya. At this time Lord Rama invited all the citizens, government employees, Rishis and munis together and spoke to them thus:
"Listen to My Words, citizens all I am not going to say anything out of attachment for you in my heart: I do not ask you to do anything wrong nor do I make use of my authority. Therefore, listen to me and act accordingly if you please. He is my servant and he is dearest to me, who obeys mycommand. If I say anything that's wrong, brethren, be not afraid to correct me. It is by great good fortune that you have secured a human body, which -- as declared by all the scriptures--is difficult even for the gods to attain. It is a tabernacle suitable for spiritual endeavours, a gateway to liberation. He who fails to earn a good destiny hereafter even on attaining it, he reaps torture in the other world and beats his head in remorse, wrongly attributing the blame to Time. Fate, and God."
Lord Krishna says that the aim and purpose of the human body, which is so precious, is to attain Knowledge. He tells his devotee. Arjuna: "To you who are devoid of the carping spirit, I shall now unfold the Knowledge of Brahma, knowing which you will be freed from the evil of worldly existence. This Knowledge is a sovereign science, a sovereign secret, supremely holy, most excellent, directly enjoyable, attended with virtue, very easy to practice and im perishable."
But how can this Knowledge be acquired? True knowledge and wisdom cannot be attained without the Guru. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in Chapter 4, verse 34 of the Gita to go to the shelter of one who has seen the Truth, salute him, serve him with humbleness and question him again and again witha guileless heart so that he will be pleased and will then impart the Knowledge of Truth.
Tulsidas wrote in the Ramayana: "I bow to the lotus feet of my Guru, who is an ocean of mercy and is no other than God Himself in human form, and whose words are sunbeams for dispersing the mass of darkness in the form of gross ignorance."
There were, and still are, good persons in this world. Gandhi was a good man. it is said, for he brought independence. But this independence is not the aim of human life. It was won only after great troubles and penances, but Gandhi could still receive no advantage from it. neither could he take that independence with him after death. He died leaving everything behind.
This world does not understand what gain is really good. It does not know the attainments that will lead man to the supreme abode. and is engaged in the temporary or material gains which will be left behind when we leave this world. In the Mahabharata, Yudisthira asked Bhisma 'explain the world. Bhisma Ji related the following story: -Once upon a time a king g t his elephant drunk. After the beast becam senseless, he
To you who are
devoid of carping spirit,
I shall now unfold
the Knowledge of Brahma,
knowing which you
will be freed.
sat upon it and went out into the forest in search of prey. Once in the forest. the elephant went out of control and ran wildly here and there. In a panic, the king managed to jump down but the elephant charged at him and in order to escape, the king jumped into an empty well hanging onto the root of a banyan tree. To his horror he saw beneath him snakes, centipedes and other poisonous creatures. Above him, the elephant stood waiting to trample him. In the meantime he saw that two rats, one black and one white, were busily chewing away the root from which he was hanging.
"Just as the king realized that he was in the jaws of death, a drop of honey fell right into his mouth from a bees' hive hanging just above him. Attracted by the taste of the honey, the king in great hope and filled with desire, forgot aboutdeath and endeavored to get the honey from the hive. All of a sudden, a monkey jumped on the branch where the hive was hanging, causing both the hive and the monkey to fall into the well with the king.
"Now the bees, scorpions, centipedes, monkey and other poisonous creatures attacked the king, stinging and biting him unmercifully. At last a huge and fearful poisonous snake came and in an instant put an end to the king's life."
Bhisma explained that the material world and the body is the forest, the soul is the king, the mind is the senseless elephant upon which the king travels. The root of the tree is like the rope of life, the honey is lust, desires are like bees, and the poisonous creatures in the well represent our worldly bonds. The cycle of day and night are like the black and white rats which cut away the rope of life at every moment. The monkey is the messenger of death, while the fearful snake is death itself, which ends our life in an instant. Driven by the need to fulfill his desires, a man rides upon his mind like a senseless elephant and falls into the well of deep degradation. Drunken by the wine of his desires, he forgets that he will die. As time passes a man ages and suddenly death approaches. Death comes garbed in disease, like the monkey. Stricken, the man falls prey to his selfish relatives who do not serve him in his time of trouble, but try to secure his remaining wealth. They speak harshly and give the man unbearable mental disturbance. In this unhappy state of mind, death comes like a snake, taking the man to the bank of the river of death. Bhisma Ji said, "Yudisthira, such is the condition of the world!"
Why is it that we all seek peace and happiness, yet due to our ignorance of the right path to attaining peace we are unable to find it? We do not know who to ask for direction; we are ignorant that happiness and peace is the result of true devotion to God and His Knowledge. This devotion and Knowledge is not acquired without satsa ng and the Satguru. All scriptures unanimously declare that to acquire Knowledge, the shelter of a
I bow to the
lotus feet of my Guru,
who is an ocean of mercy
and whose words are
sunbeams for dispersing
true master must be sought.
Today the world does not search for a true Guru, but is rather engaged in whatever devotion it is attracted to. Some recite scripture, others worship and pray in the temples; some practice fire sacrifices, or offerings to the sacred fire; some make pilgrimages to holy bathing places: some do austere penances. Some repeat "Rama Rama" while others recite "Krishna Krishna" as they tell their rosary beads. Some chant while counting the secret garland of wooden beads kept in a bag. What is the result of these practices? The mind, which is swift and uncontrollable, is not tamed. This ghost of mind still escapes us. Kabir has said: "As the rosary is being told by the hands, as the tongue is repeating 'Rama Rama' or 'Krishna Krishna', the mind is still making circles of desires. What is the use of such devotion? External devotion and ritualistic practices will not give us knowledge of He whom we hope to meet. If He is not met, if the mind is not engaged in Him, then of what value are these practices? They are all useless."
The shastras have listed the eight stages of yoga as penance, regulations for living, body exercises, controlling the senses, breathing exercises, firm determination, meditation, and samadhi, or at-one-ment with God. To control the mind, what regulations should be practiced? At that place where the mind may be brought under control, and one-pointed, there it may attain real happiness and peace.
How can the prana or breath be controlled? How can there be firm determination? Unless there is an object of attention, how can we practice meditation with firmness? If we have no fixed object of meditation, how can we achieve samadhi? Without samadhi, howcan there be true peace and happiness? How can we find correct Knowledge?
Saints and scriptures have repeatedly pointed to the one path and source of salvation. It is called the omniscient 'Name' and 'Supreme Light' of God. It is known by many names, in many languages: mahamantra, bij mantra, shabda-brahma, holy or secret name, pak-nam, gailei ouriz, bhargo, tejas, ilahi noor, chandra and divine light. God is present in everyone. His form is Light and His essence is the Holy Name or Word.
Though God is within all. He has not been revealed and so man remains spirituallypoor. God is within and practically visible, but man has a cataract. When God is within us and there is a way to see Him, if we do not open our eyes, or do not wish to see Him, then we are completely blind and a fool.
When God is within every heart and is moving this human body according to His own lila or divine play, when He has created this maya of worldly illusion as well as this body, should we not see and experience Him? Have you ever tried to see, know and meet Him? To gain this experience, have you ever made any enquiries? Have you ever searched for a True Master?