So You Want This Knowledge

Once upon a time there was a great thief who was about to die. He called his son to his bedside, to pass on to him his wisdom in the lore of thieves. He told the boy the two rules of successful theft - never admit that you're guilty, and never listen to a word of satsang. With these few words, he breathed his last and died. Now the son quickly became an excellent thief, for he took all that his father had told him very seriously. But one day he was out walking, and he caught a splinter in his foot, and he had to stop by the side of the road for a minute to get it out. And while he was standing by the side of the road, he happened to overhear someone telling someone else "Goddesses never ever cast shadows." The thief quickly realized that this was part of a satsang that he had overheard, so he clapped his hands over his ears and hobbled off as fast as he could.

A few months later the thief took on the biggest challenge of his entire life --- he decided to steal a famous diamond necklace that belonged to the local princess. At dead of night he scaled the castle wall, hand over hand climbing the great vines that grew around the tower where the princess lived, crept across the room, stole the necklace and left the way he had come. But just before he reached the ground, the vine gave way, making enough noise to wake the night watchman. And although the thief managed to get away, the night watchman recognized him.

Soon after the thief buried the necklace in a secret hiding place, he was arrested and thrown into the palace dungeons where he was tortured and questioned and tortured some more. But the thief remained silent, and no one knew where he had buried the diamonds.

Now the princess began to think, and she decided that she would prefer to have her necklace hack, rather than to have a dead and useless thief in her dungeon. So she dressed up in shimmering silver robes and a tiara, and paid a visit to the thief's call in the middle of the night. At the same time, she ordered one of her handmaids to stand in the corridor with a lamp, so that her silver dress would sparkle with an unearthly light. She announced herself to the poor thief as the goddess of thieves, telling him, "I have come to congratulate you on your magnificent robbery and to bring you to my thieves' paradise, where you can bask forever in a sea of diamonds. But first you must tell me where you hid the necklace so that we can bring it with us."

The thief was taken aback by her beauty, and was about to tell her proudly all about his exploits, and where he had hidden the necklace, when he noticed that she was casting a shadow across the cell floor. He quickly thanked the goddess for her kindness, but assured her that he hadn't taken the necklace, that the whole thing was a terrible mistake, and begged her to help him escape his terrible and undeserved punishment.

The princess was convinced that the thief was innocent, and in the morning she ordered the guards to let him go free. But he was unable ever to steal anything again. For he said, "If one sentence of satsang can save me from the death penalty once, how many lifetimes will be saved if I spend my whole life hearing satsang?"

Satsang is a weapon of truth, a source of inspiration and a means of clearing doubt from the mind. Satsang takes on new dimensions as we allow ourselves to come closer to the source of love within us. It is as urgent for us to hear satsang regularly as it is for us to eat and breathe.

Shabari was a woman whose caste was so low she felt ashamed even to be seen by the great sage Matanga Rishi, who lived in the forest nearby. Yet she wanted to serve him for she knew he was a man of God. So every night she would creep across the clearing where his little hermitage stood and place rose petals on the path where he would walk the next morning. After some time, Matanga Rishi determined to know who it was that spread the petals on his path everyday, and one night he stayed up, and when she came into the clearing, he spoke to her.

"My mother," he said, "your heart is very pure. I foresee that the time will come when Lord Rama himself will wander in this forest. He will visit you and take food at your dwelling. You should always be in readiness for his arrival. My eyes are thirsty to see him, but that delight shall be yours. When my Lord Rama comes to this forest, I shall be here no more."

From that time on, Shabari spent her days sweeping a path for Lord Rama to tread, and tasting the fruit of the trees of the forest, to discover which were perfectly ripe and perfectly sweet for Lord Rama to eat.

When Lord Rama at last passed through that forest, many years later, many wealthy and religious men begged him to take rest in their homes. But the Lord continued his journey until he came to Shabari's small hut. There he ate the meal which Shabari had prepared for him, and rested.

The next morning, many of the holy men who lived in the forest came to the Lord and asked him to place his feet in a stagnant pool nearby, so that they could have fresh water to drink. "I cannot make this water pure," said the Fountain of Purity, Lord Rama, "but Shabari can. Her devotion is crystal clear and faultless." Thereupon Shabari stepped into the pond, and it became pure.

There is nothing so joyful and absorbingas the service of the Perfect Master. Guru Maharaj Ji is setting up Divine United Organization so that we can please him by working together for lasting peace.

There once lived a young boy named Namdev whose father was the keeper of a temple. Everyday his father would take a bath and then cook food for the statue of the Lord that stood in the temple. And when he had offered the food to the statue, he would distribute what was left over to the people who worshipped in that place.

Now there came a time when Namdev's father had to leave on business, and he asked Namdev to look after the temple while he was gone. So Namdev, trying his best to imitate his father, cooked a meal and took it to the statue, and then waited politely for the statue to eat.

After he had waited some minutes, and the statue had shown no sign of eating anything, Namdev began to beg the statue, "You always eat what my father brings, and I may not have cooked it quite right, but I tried my best, so why won't you eat a little of what I have brought you?" And Namdev began to cry.

Now actually, the maker of this whole world cannot bear people crying for love of him, and so he broke the usual rules of the universe, and a hand came out from the statue, and began to eat. But Namdev insisted that he wanted to see the whole Lord, not just his hand, and he cried so much that God obliged him; in fact the Lord was eating almost everything on the plate, and Namdev had to burst into tears again, and explain that he needed to bring back some of the food to share with the worshippers in the temple.

When Namdev brought the plate with the food on it to his mother, she thought Namdev was the one who had eaten the food, for the statue normally didn't eat anything at all. So she began to scold him. But Namdev told her the whole story and suggested she come with him the next day to see what happened.

From that time on, whenever Namdev wanted to see the Lord, all he had to do was cry, and the Lord would hurry to see what the matter was. Namdev's mother was amazed to see her son playing with a statue that had come to life, and began to talk about her fine young son, and soon the story of Namdev and the statue reached the ears of a great saint called Gyaneshwar , in far away Maharashtra.

Gyaneshwar sent a mahatma to fetch Namdev to see him: but Namdev didn't want to leave the temple where he could play with the Lord any time, and begged to stay at home. When the mahatma found out the whole story, he told Namdev that he should ask the Lord's advice on whether he should go or not.

Namdev went to the temple and said to the Lord, "You don't want me to go off with this nasty mahatma, do you? You want me to stay and play with you!" But much to his surprise, the Lord said, "I want you to go with the mahatma, and hear everything he says with an open heart, Namdev. Then you will be able to learn to see me everywhere."

So Namdev went with the mahatma, but he didn't listen to a word the mahatma was saying, because his heart was back in the temple with the statue, playing hide and seek and other games.

When the two of them reached Saint Gyaneshwar's house, they found him with his brothers and close disciples. He was going round, tapping each of them on the head with a stick and commenting, "This one is ready; this one is fine," as he walked around the room. When he came to Namdev, he banged him quite hard on the head, so that Namdev cried out. Then Gyaneshwar said. "This boy is not ready yet. He has a hollow ring to him." Namdev was furious. He stormed out, and made his way back home as fast as he could. He ran into the temple and broke out in a torrent of tears, "Lord, those horrid people said I wasn't ready to love you yet, but 1 do love you. don't IT'

The Lord came out of the statue for the last time. "Namdev," he said, "Your love for me only lasts for as long as you are in this temple. It cannot see me anywhere else. You must learn to recognize me everywhere. Next time you see the mahatma, you must listen to him carefully, and he will take you to Saint Gyaneshwar, who will teach you to see me wherever you go."

Soon afterwards, Namdev received Knowledge from Saint Gyaneshwar. And so devoted did he become that the Lord decided to test him. A stray dog came into Namdev's hut one day and jumped up on the table and ran out again with a dry crust between his teeth.

"Lord, Lord," cried Namdev, "come back; that crust is very dry and it'll hurt your gums. Bring it here and I'll butter it for you." Thus it was that the Lord knew that Namdev never forgot him for one instant, and was able to recognize him anywhere.

Once we receive this Knowledge, we cannot live without meditation, for it is meditation that makes our lives shine. Meditation means bathing in the light of the soul, bathing in the waves of the Holy Word and the Divine Harmony. Guru Maharaj Ji once told us "You are surviving alive here at this moment because of meditation. Only that meditation, that Holy Word, the vibration which is Truth is making you alive."

The true aim of Guru Maharaj Ji's disciple is devotion, for devotion pierces the heart with more love than words can tell. By living lives of service, satsang and meditation, we will be drawn into that love as surely as the dawn draws the birds to sing.