The Root of all Religions
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj spent his whole life not only teaching religion, but revealing to people the practical knowledge of the experience which is the essence, the core, of all religious teachings. He believed that there is only one true religion for all mankind, which is inborn, natural, eternal and most secret. This is the natural and unbroken path of spirituality, which has been taught by the Masters of all times and lands, and which leads the soul to union with God. Realizing it is the birthright of every human being and his duty, too.
In 1960 Raja Mahendra Pratap arranged a satsang program during which Shri Maharaj Ji gave a very clear exposition of what true religion, or Dharma really is:
"There is only one human race. We are all called 'man' or 'human beings'. As far as I am concerned, there is only one Dharma for all Mankind. No great Mastcr ever taught stealing, cheating or telling lies, nor does any modern religion. So why are there separate religions? They are all branches of the same root, but due to their ignorance of this root and their own selfish motives, people create all these different sects. In my opinion, remembering God is religion and forgetting Him is irreligion or sin. The basis of Dharma, and the essence of it is realizing the conscious life-entity which is contained within every speck of Creation, which dwells within every being, and which is called Ishwar, God, Allah, Wahe-Guru and various other names. Science explores nature, and Dharma explores consciousness. The same scientific principles apply throughout the world and in all languages, because they are natural laws. In the same way, the essence of Dharma is a natural phenomenon and applies to all human beings.
It cannot be different for different people. The principal aim of every great saint was to clear up the confusion and ignorance perpetrated in the name of religion.
Only a living realized saint pan reveal the phenomenon which is the spirit of religion. We have to ask ourselves What was the actual religion of those Masters, on whose names religions have been propagated? Was Guru Nanak a Sikh? Were the ancient rishis Hindus? Was Mohammed a Muslim? Was Jesus Christ a Christian? Whenever a great Teacher appeared on earth, he was never believed by the theologians, scholars or religious leaders of the time, but after he had left this world those same people built statues of him and compiled scriptures about him and used them to confuse people. Now they sing his glory loud and long. They hesitate to accept the great soul when he comes before them, but build up sects in his name after he has gone, and feather their nests in the process. The living Master always gave a practical experience of the Knowledge which is the core of religion, yet people want to get that same Knowledge from the Master's portrait or scriptures, but it is impossible. Only a living Teacher can reveal that Knowledge. People bow to idols of Rama and Krishna and believe them to be God, but the Satguru, who is the living embodiment of Knowledge, who is eulogized by all scriptures and who is the destroyer of ignorance, is always accused of being a heretic. People don't believe that the Lord can incarnate Himself. Rama, Christ, Buddha, Guru Nanak, etc. all came as human beings. You can believe them to be whatever you want, but the fact remains that they were in human form and they spoke the language of their times. Most of their contemporaries refused to believe in their divinity. Very few actually served them and fully believed in their teachings, but they were the ones who benefited. But now that they have gone we cannot ask their statues for the living Knowledge, nor can they give it. We can't understand the mysteries of Knowledge from their scriptures, nor can they Make us realize those things which the Master made his disciples understand while he was alive."
On many occasions and during many satsangs Shri Maharaji Ji explained very succinctly what religion really is. Here are relevant excerpts from those satsangs:
"Lord Krishna instructed Arjuna, then opened his Third Eye and showed him his Universal Form! He revealed to him the imperishable phenomenon which he called Rajvidya, the Sovereign Science. Nowadays, a lot of people study the Gita, but do they see that same Universal Form of the Lord? Is their inner vision unveiled? Listen! Only a living Master can reveal living Knowledge. Non-conscious matter cannot do that. Whatever is being perpetrated in the name of religion today is merely devotion to material objects and insentience. How can anyone teach devotion to Consciousness if he himself doesn't know what Consciousness is? Consciousness cannot be known without a perfect Guru, but as religious leaders and fanatics deem it degrading to approach the Satguru, they carry on in their own ways, promoting their individual sects and teachings and advancing their own selfish aims all in the name of a previous holy Master. So humanity stays fragmented in groups and people are ranged against each other. Those who foster parochialism are the lethal enemies of mankind. Man's condition nowadays is truly peculiar. Depending on how I wear my hair, I'm a friend of Rama and a foe of Allah or vice-versa. That's religion today! If I can reel off a few quotations from scripture I'm regarded as a man of spiritual wisdom, but is reciting scriptures parrot-fashion religion or spiritual insight? Even a parrot can repeat 'Ram-Ram', 'Allah-Allah' or 'Wahe-Guru, Wahe-Guru,' Does that mean that the parrot is wise and spiritual?
'Each and every sect flourishing today regards itself as the true benefactor and friend of mankind, As well as the main religions of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism we also have Kabir Panthists, Dadu Panthists, Radha Soamis, Brahma Kumaris, etc. Each major religion has divisions. Followers of every sect believe themselves to be the only true devotees of God and their founder to be the only true Master.
However, does anyone stop to think about what is gained by following these sects? There are two ways in which a person may profit - physically or spiritually. People may well be gaining something financially or materially from following a particular group, but spiritually they are not getting anywhere. If we study these groups' ideologies in an unbiased and sensible fashion , we will have to concede that they all used the name of a past prophet, saint or divine Master, and have gone into business for themselves. Someone makes a living by displaying a Teacher's statue to the public, another promotes himself by getting people to sing the names of past Masters, someone else thinks that reciting the Master's words is the real way to save mankind. But the point is that no one is following the instructions laid down by those Masters in the great scriptures of the world. Everyone just follows like sheep.
"I am an Indian. My body is made from the same earth as yours. As a fellow human being I desire the well-being of this country, and not only this country, but of all people throughout the world. Dharma is that which gives salvation. I am revealing the same true Knowledge which each realized Master revealed in his own time to all aspirants, without discrimination. Our leaders don't have time to hear about spirituality or to know it. They are too busy trying to eradicate untouchability. They talk about building up moral character, about unity and cooperation, but they don't know how to remove that cause of separateness which poisons man's mind. Only spirituality has the power to do that. I am teaching the Dharma which benefits and liberates everyone, because it is the same for everyone. Only by receiving the Knowledge of God's Holy Name and Light from the Satguru and meditating on it can one achieve liberation. This is the eternal and imperishable religion, the true Dharma. All other religions change. I am presenting the truths of this eternal religion to you. Religion is for human beings, and I regard you all as fellow human beings. Only man can talk about spiritual wisdom and realize it. That is why all the Teachers and scriptures emphasized the importance of the human existence. The Ramayana says that such an incarnation is rare even for the gods and is the doorway to liberation. Guru Nanak said, 'Friends, now that you are human beings you, had better meditate on the Holy Name.' Muslims call the human frame asharfulmulkat and English-speaking people call it 'the crown of creation.'
'There are three types of people in the world. The first and best type are those who behave like a winnowing fan In other words, they sift and discard the chaff, the non-essential and flawed and retain the kernels of goodness and virtue. The second category of people are like the mortar and pestle. They grind up everything - the essential and the superficial both - and take in both. The third type are those with no discerning faculty, who are like sieves. They let the non-essential through and block the essential. The wise and prudent are those who are revealed the seed of religion by the Satguru, consolidate their experience of it and make their lives meaningful. But human beings are not humane anymore. They look human but are like wild animals. Man thinks only of how he can cause the maximum suffering to his neighbour. The most powerful nations are busy manufacturing the most powerful bombs to kill the most people. Man is not meant to do that. A humane person is always concerned for the welfare of others. So if people don't work for the sake of other people, who do they think will do it? Birds and animals?
'People talk about religion and God-realization and praise at the top of their voices the previous holy Masters, but they do the exact opposite of what those Masters taught. So what was the use, in the long run, of all those great souls coming into this world, if people have become more and more bloodthirsty? People are no better than dogs. A dog won't let a strange dog enter his street. Human mentality has become just like that. Even though Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians have all been created by same God, whom they all call the Lord of the world and of all, and even though they have names for Him, still
moulvis, padres, pandits, priests and other religious brokers tear this world apart with their quarrelling.
'Hindus consider serving and worshipping cows to be part of their religion, while Muslims regard killing and eating cows to be part of theirs. Hindus wear a sacred thread, while Muslims consider this sacreligious. The majority of Hindus worship idols while Muslims are totally opposed to this. Millions of people have been sacrificed on the altar of religion. The partition of India was due to religious differences.
'Is this religion? If a religion can't protect and save is it doesn't deserve to be called religion. True Dharma brings people together and increases their mutual love, but that which passes for religion nowadays only sets people against each other, resulting in bloodshed.
'God's laws are the same for all. Everyone's body is made from the same five elements. Everyone is born and dies in the same way. Everyone's eyes are for seeing. Everyone's ears are for hearing. Everyone's hunger is relieved by eating and his thirst by drinking water. The sane sun and moon shine on us all. This proves that God, Who runs the entire Creation, has made one set of rules for all people, no matter what their religion or country. God's laws are the same for all. The only difference is the way we express it in our various languages and dialects. But calling something by different names doesn't mean that its properties change.
'Water is called by different names, but its thirst-quenching property doesn't change. In the same way giving different names or definitions to the Supreme Power does not make His intrinsic Nature, His real Form, different for different people. Sugar tastes sweet to everyone, and similarly, the thing which is the true essence of religion brings joy and bliss to everyone, protects everyone and can liberate everyone.
'If you go into it carefully, you will find that all the holy Masters realized the True Reality themselves and inspired others to realize it too. They gave others the Knowledge by which they
could do so. That which Prophet Mohammed called Ilahi-Noor and Pak Nam, Guru Nanak called Chanda and Sat Nam. Christ called it Light and Word of God 1n the Ramayana it is known as Param Prakash and Ram Nam. The Gita calls it the Universal Form and Akshar Brahm. All the Masters in their respective languages taught others to know the same Truth. Nothing is superior to religion in bringing peace and joy to the human heart and spirit. Religion is the only thing which engenders mutual love, affection and tolerance between people. It keeps them from wrong-doing. Religion is the power which is the benefactor and deliverer of all, and to this day it has not been to anyone's detriment, nor will it ever be, to follow the path of Dharma. That is why all the saints and divine Masters, in their own languages and time, urged others to realize the one and only Truth.
'Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism are the six major religions of the world and their principal scriptures are the Rigveda, Koran, Bible, Torah, Zend Avesta and Tripitaka. Any impartial and in-depth comparative study of these holy books reveals that they are all talking fundamentally about the same things. We find similarities in their stories, parables and sayings, and it seems a sif they have all sprung from the same source. They all offer succour and peace to the suffering soul. However, the religious middlemen of all countries, whether pandits or priests, moulvis, padres or lamas, have used their countries' unique customs, habits and languages as the foundation for starting a multiplicity of sects. It is all pure selfishness. The followers of any sect are supposed to believe only in that sect's teachings and read only its scriptures. Calling such narrow-mindedness 'faith', they stay far removed from the truth. They call the believers of other religions heathen and so they fight. Instead of the peace and happiness promised them, all they get is hate, suffering and intolerance. When such a situation gets too much out of control, a great saint or Divine Messenger appears on the scene in whichever country has the greatest need of him at the time. Then, of course, the followers of that land's prevailing
religion oppose him. The followers of any religion should open their books and see how their prophet or Teacher was persecuted. Christ was crucified, Mohammed was persecuted by Kuresh, the High Priest of Mecca. Shams Tabriz was skinned alive. St. Mansur was crucified. The priests of Benares plotted to kill Tulsadas. Kabir and Guru Nanak were thrown in jail. Rama and Krishna were exiled. Many attempts were made to kill St. Mira Bai.
Divine Teachers incarnate when the Truth becomes obscured by ignorance and lies. No matter what obstacles come in their path, they don't stop until they have completed their mission. They don't teach anything new or strange, but resurrect they true teachings and spread them anew."
Zoroaster, the prophet of the Parsees, said, "I believe in and revere all Masters before me. They were all pointing the way to righteousness."
Lord Buddha said, "There have been several Buddhas prior to me and there will be others after me. I have come to spread anew the Light of old."
The Jain Masters said, "Tirthankars keep on coming into this world to teach people the same True Way."
The Bible says, "There is nothing new under the sun." Jesus also said, "I have not come to destroy the scriptures, but to fulfil them."
The Koran says, "The Koran is that self-existent Truth to which all scriptures testify, so they are all true." (Bakrah 91) and "And nothing has been revealed to you which has not been revealed by the divine messengers of yore." (Hamim 43)
So the wise person listens to the living Teacher, verifies his teachings by the holy books of his own religion and, ignoring all opposition, pursues the path of Truth. Such people have always profited from the presence of the living. Master, are profiting now, and will always profit. On the other hand, thou who don't listen carefully to what the Master says don't reap any benefit, so they turn against him. Then, after he has departed from this world, they create a new religion in his name and lead people astray.
Shri Maharaj Ji continues, "People say that God is seen through faith and reverence. Fine, but their faith should be in the Truth. Untruth does not lead to Truth just because we sincerely believe in it. For example, all the saints have taught that the world is like a dream. Even if a person believes that and passes his life serving that ideal, he can't realize God. Caustic lime and sugar both are white, but if you believe the lime to be sugar and try to eat it, you blister your mouth. So true faith means knowing the Truth as it is, then trusting it and adhering to it. Not knowing what the Truth is, people trust blindly in showy rituals. Blind faith is not enough, because people follow ritual and dogma but no real impression is made on their hearts and minds. They are not satisfied inwardly nor are their minds under control. Lord Krishna said that if a person's mind is not under his control he is neither a yogi nor a sannyasi. He is just a hypocrite. Hypocritical devotion never lasts. For example, suppose you think that going to temples or bathing in holy river is devotion. If you come down with fever you can't visit temples or bathe in rivers. If you are paralyzed you can't throw oblations into a sacred fire. The same applies to Namaz, the Muslim system of prayers, and others. None of the devotional practices which people do is true devotion, nor do the scriptures deem them imperative? Followers of orthodox Hinduism believe statues of Rama and Krishna to be God. They bathe and dress them. They offer them food. Bin if those statues cannot eat, what is the use of giving them field?
'Many Hindus worship Shivalingams as Shiva Himself and pour Ganges water on them, saying that the Ganges springs from the maned locks of Lord Shiva. But if this is so, then what difference will a single pot of water make? But people don't know the inner meaning of all these things, not do they care. They follow these rituals blindly, just for show.
'Once Guru Nanak visited Hardwar, He saw a devotee throwing potfuls of water at the sun,. He asked him what he was doing. The man answered that he was offering water to the Sun god. So Guru Nanak turned in the other direction and started
throwing water. The devotee asked, 'What are you doing?' Guru Nanak replied, 'My farm is in Punjab, so I am watering my fields.' The devotee was bewildered and asked, 'But how will the water reach that far?' Guru Nanak replied, 'Well, if the water you threw can reach the sun, which is much further away than Nankani, I thought that I could easily water my fields from here.' This opened the man's eyes and made him think.
'Guru Nanak sang in one of his hymns that if a person goes even to a holy place with evil intentions, not does he not only not cleanse himself of sin, but comes back with ten times more.
'St. Kabir was once invited by some pilgrims to accompany them on their tour of holy places. Kabir could not go, but gave them a bitter gourd and asked them to dip it a few times in the water wherever they took a ritual bath. So those pilgrims took the gourd with them and visited all 68 holy places, dunking the gourd wherever they themselves bathed. When the returned they gave it back to Kabir, who ground it in to powder and distributed it. Accepting it as a saint's prashad, they ate it. Kabir asked, "How does it taste?" They answered, "Sir, it is very bitter.|" So Kabir explained, "If, after all that washing, the gourd couldn't lose its bitterness, how could your minds lose their impurities?"
'In other words, just bathing in a river won't purify mind. Only meditation can do that. If bathing was all that is necessary for salvation, why aren't frogs and fish, which take birth, live and die in the Ganges liberated? If ritual washing brings salvation, then where is the need for following a Guru and doing meditation? What is the need for service? The scriptures all say that a person who wishes to know the mysteries of the Spirit and who wants to purify his mind must let go of every kind of vanity and take refuge in the Master, serve him sincerely and honestly in every way and prostrate to him. When the Master is pleased, the devotee should humbly ask for the secret Knowledge. Sahjo Bai said,
'There is no place in the entire universe, including the 68 places of pilgrimage, holier than the feet of the Master.'
What is the Nectar of Immortality and where is it to be found? At the holy places? People go there to worship the gods who supposedly drink the Nectar, but just following tradition blindly won't do you any good. Now, if you immerse yourself in the Ganges of satsang you will definitely find out how to drink that Nectar.
People go for the whey and ignore the cream. Meera Rai said,
'Saints eat butter while everyone else contents themselves with the whey.'
'The 'butter', or Nectar, i.e. the essence, is the Holy Name of God. It is also called the True Name, the 'nectarful Name' or the 'immortal Name'. Saints knew how to experience this Nectar, which is why they meditated on the Holy Name. The rest of the world extracts the buttermilk and throws away the butter. The whey has no substance - the essence of the milk is no longer in it. Those practices which people consider devotional in fact are as insubstantial as whey. As long as there is full cream milk, there is butter, and as long as there is butter there is also whey, but they are integrated and can't be distinguished, nor do they separate of their own accord. First you have to heat the milk, then cool it, and let it form curd. Then you have to churn it to extract butter. You melt the butter to get ghee. The ghee doesn't contain whey. The whey has been part of the mixture up until this point. If a drop of whey falls into the clarified ghee it will be expelled with spluttering sound.
'The Holy Name is like the butter, the essence interwoven with the whey of maya. Meditation is the churning by which the ghee of divine bliss is extracted. That is why all the saints have instructed us to meditate on God and realize His true Name
within. In the Ramayana it is written, 'The Vedas, Puranas and all saints agree, love the Holy Name which is the giver of everything.'
'People buy pictures of divine Teachers, take them home and worship them, but it doesn't occur to them that all these pictures are products of some artist's imagination. If those artists have never seen God, how can they portray Him correctly? You will find temples to 'Bharat Mata' - Mother India - all over India. Bharat Mara is portrayed as a woman and people worship her statue. But it's useless to try and find that woman because you won't find her. It is simply a statue which certain persons have sculpted for reasons of their own. All the idols of Rama, Krishna and other deities are the products of an artist's or sculptor's imagination. But people follow the priests mindlessly and believe the statues to be God. They waste their lives in vain hopes and expectations, getting nothing at all.
It is written in the scriptures:
Meditation stems from the form of the Guru,
Worship stems from his holy feet,
Mantras stem from his word,
Liberation stems from his grace.'
All the scriptures teach that we should meditate upon the Guru and worship his feet. Guru explains the substance of the scriptures and by his grace reveals the Divine Light which shines where sun, moon and fire do not. Guru Nanak described it as the 'Light merging into the Light'. When you know that Light, You too can merge in it. A lot of people think that this Light cannot be seen. If it can't be seen, then is everything written about it in the scripture, false? My message to the people of this world is that they must experience that Light which the various scriptures have called Noor, Chanda, Bhargo and Divine Light. When the sun rises the darkness vanishes, along with the fear, and difficulties experienced in the dark. Similarly, once a person experiences the Divine Light and Name, he is released from all sufferings. Only the sun has the power to banish night, and only the Guru's Word has the power to remove your inner darkness. This Word is called Shankar Bhajan and Mahamantra in the Ramayana and Pak Nam by Muslims. This is the real devotion. But people get fooled by external glamour and eloquence which are in fact artificial. People who indulge in such showy displays of devotion try to fool even God, whom in fact they don't even know.
'Not just one religion or sect is stumbling in the dark. The entire human race is. Hindus think that going to holy places and worshipping idols is devotion. Muslims think that saying prayers end visiting Mecca-Medina is devotion. If Hindus don't like the idea of going to Muslim holy places and vice-versa, it means that this type of devotion is sweet for one and bitter for another. Devotion u supposed to bring joy to everyone, so can it suit some and not others? Moreover, no Master or saint to date has ever called the abovementioned practices 'devotion'. Muslims greet each other by saying salaam. Hindus say Namaste or Ram, Ram. So no single practice applies to everyone.
'On one of their festive occasions, Muslims make paper models of the tomb of Imam Hussein and then bury them. Every year on Dussehra Hindus spend millions of rupees making huge effigies of Ravanna and then burning them. Every year millions are spent to acquaint the public with the personality and deeds of Lord Rama, yet nobody learns anything. Rama and Krishna were divine incarnations, so after all, whatever they said and did must have been for the sake of mankind. People regard Guru Nanak as a great saint, Muslims regard Mohammed as a highly-elevated prophet of God. He must also have worked for the sake of mankind. However, followers are all antagonistic to each other. So what did these great Masters say was the most beneficial thing for mankind, and which also would suit everyone just as sugar tastes sweet to everyone?
'Statues of deities are not alive yet still there is a peculiar ceremony which Hindu priests perform. They mutter a few mantras and perform a certain ritual and then assure the people, quite wrongly, of course, that the statue's Pran-pratishtha or 'life-
investing ceremony' is completed. If pundits have the power to infuse life into a statue, why don't they bring their dead relatives back to life? 'Pran-Pratishtha' means worshipping the life-breath, so if that idol is actually lifeless, then what is being worshipped?
'Not one or two but all people have cataracts over their eyes. God dwells in us, but everyone seeks Him outside. All the rituals, recitations, etc. are external. Will a statue of a child or a statue of a cow fulfill your needs? If a stone cow can't give real milk, how will a stone idol make you realize God?
One young girl, a premie, got married and went to live with her in-laws. She was a very obedient and conscientious girl and got along well with her new relatives. One day her mother-in-law took her to a Devi temple. Outside the temple was a huge stone lion. The girl thought that this was good opportunity to educate her mother-in-law. She stood back from the statue and pretended to be afraid of it. Her mother-in-law tried to reassure her but the girl would not walk past it. Finally the mother-in-law walked up the statue and waved her hand above it, saying, 'See, daughter, it's only a stone lion. It can't do anything.' Then they went inside the temple. The mother-in law prayed to the statue of the goddess and asked for a boon, and told the girl to do likewise. The wise girl said, 'Mother, if that stone lion couldn't do anything, how will this stone goddess give us anything?' The old lady got the message and finally received Knowledge.
'There are learned pundits and scholars who are experts in the Gita. They will talk for months about a single verse! Thousands of rupees are collected for building Gita temples with statues inside, but people forget about the essential thing which will liberate the soul and which the Gita is all about.
'Some people in Ahmedabad got together and built a magnificent Gita Temple. It had a statue of the Bhagavad Gita symbolised by a woman. As the temple's popularity increased and crowds of devotees came to see it, neighbouring priests and pundit became jealous. They claimed that it was a sacrilege to represent a book, which taught God-realization, by a statue. They
brought in some top pundits from Benares to present their case. These pundits went to the priests of the Gita Temple and said, 'You did a wrong thing by building this statue. The Gita is a book about Knowledge, to why did you represent it by a woman?' The priests replied, 'You've gone to so much trouble to come all the way here. You could have thought about this petty issue back there in Benares. You people have built Ganga temples all along the Ganges from Badrinath to Calcutta. Inside those temples the Ganges is represented as a woman. Thousands of pilgrims go there to worship and offer donations. You get people to come and worship your statues, and why shouldn't we do likewise?' The pundits had no answer to that, and retreated to Benares.
'Many people say that all I do is denounce and criticize and that I don't believe in religion. However, I'm telling you to believe in the one indivisible God Who is absolute Truth, consciousness and bliss, Whose Name is one and the same for everyone in this world. This is understood through meditation, St. Kabir said, 'You twist the rosary beads in your hands and twist your tongue in your mouth, but your mind flies in all directions. This is not meditation.' No external practice can control the mind, so they are not beneficial. If they can't control your mind, how can they liberate you? Liberation comes only when the mind is totally concentrated, 'If you have conquered your mind you have conquered the world.' The tendency of the mind is to run after sense-pleasures. It flows outwards via the senses and believes what it sees and hears. You should always keep a cheek on the mind to see where it is going. It is very restless and wilful. It brings suffering upon itself. It doesn't remain steady for a moment. It goes wherever it wants. Service, satsang and meditation don't appeal to it. All it wants is worldly pleasure and that's all it thinks about. Fluctuations arise in it constantly like waves on an ocean, and a little worship or scripture-reading is not going to still it. All a person's learning or intelligence can't control it. After all attempts fail one finally has to take refuge in the Satguru.
'The elephant is a mighty animal. It is so strong that it can uproot trees. But that elephant, which can break iron fetters, can be led around by a thin goad. The mind has often been compared to an elephant. Meditation on the Holy Name controls it instantly. The Name has the power to concentrate and still the mind. So, if a disciple has faith in the Name, and lets go of his hopes in worldly pleasures, his mind will definitely come under control.
'The velocity and changeability of the mind is amazing. Sometimes seeing a woman excites it, then sometimes it wants to renounce everything and live in the wilderness. There is only one remedy for it, and that is to constantly remember the Holy Name. Mind, speech and attention are steady and under control in the state of meditation on the Name. Any kind of meditation during which the mind is able to run off towards sense-objects is neither meditation nor worth doing.
'Gita 8:7 says, 'Remember Me constantly and fight. Turning rosary beads, saying prayers, singing hymns or performing rites and rituals cannot be nonstop actions. But the Lord taught to remember Him constantly. How can that be possible? The Bible also says, 'Pray without ceasing.' Guru Nanak says the same thing: 'Remember the Name while standing, sitting, asleep or awake and you will be successful in all that you do.' So know that technique which you can practise even while You are asleep, and even at the time of death when your mouth will remain either wide open or shut tight. You give plenty of thought to everything else that you do, but none to what you will do as you are dying, when your throat is constricted, you can't utter mantras and your senses are failing. What will help you then? Go and ask your priests and teachers and if nobody else can tell you then come to me.
"If you believe that God is omnipresent, why don't you want to know His omnipresent Name? If everyone would know this Name which already exists inside them, then all those sectarian quarrels would be over. People read books but this indivisible, uninterrupted Name is not found in them. St. Kabir said that
vowels and consonants are connected with Maya and this True Name is not in them.
'We consider someone wealthy if he has a lot of gold, silver and jewels, but in one sense he is merely a pauper, because he will have to leave it all behind when he dies. The truly wealthy person is he who has the treasure of the Holy Name and meditates on it. Everything else has to be left behind. During the partition of India and Pakistan, people had to flee, leaving all their possessions behind. The petty princes lost their states. But the earnings from meditation will go with you.
'Once a Christian priest told me that no one can see God in this life. I replied, 'Very well, and who wrote the Bible? Living or dead people? If living people wrote it they must have experienced something, or did they make it up? Is the Bible a pack of lies, then?'
'I met an American priest and spoke with him at length. I told him, 'There are three kinds of light - sunlight, moonlight and firelight which all creatures can perceive. But have you seen the fourth light, which the Bible calls the Light of God?' He answered that nobody can see this Light. I told him, 'Then your Bible must be wrong, because it records the experiences of people who saw that Light.' I met another American priest, a Bishop, who came to India in 1961 to attend a religious conference. I asked him, too, if he had seen that Light. He replied, 'Sir, I only have read the Bible. If there is something beyond that, I don't know it.'
'Whether you call it water, jat, neer or pani the substance is the same and different names have the same connotation. Muslims call God Khuda, because He is self-existent. ('khud'). Hindus call Him Paramatman, because no soul (atman) is greater than He. They also call Him Ram, which means 'the all-pervading'. God is the All-Good. My point is this: know Him as He really is within yourselves and unite your mind with him. If you don't do it now while you are still alive, when will you do it?
'All the religious sects in the world are products of man's. God has no religion. He creates only human beings. Men, on
the other hand, distracted by the variety of physical differences and languages, have built up the barriers of parochialism. Because they don't understand each other they become antagonistic.
'Some English boys and some Indian boys went to the same school, but they didn't understand each other's language. One rainy day an Englishman's car bogged down in the mud and he couldn't get it back on the road, so he called the boys over to help. They all pushed together and managed to free it. The man was very pleased and gave them 20 rupees. The English boys said, "We will buy mangoes,' and the Indian boys said in Hindi, 'Hum aan kharidenge', but because they couldn't understand each other, when in fact they had said the same thing, they fell to quarrelling.
Someone, who knew both languages cane along. He listened to both sides and took them to a mango vendor. He asked the English boys, 'Do you want mangoes? and they replied, 'Yes.' He asked the Indian boys, 'Kya tum aam chahte ho?' and they answered, 'Ha.' So he bought 20 rupees worth of mangoes and distributed them. All the boys went home satisfied.
'The same thing applies to God and the various names we give to Him. If you ask a Muslim, 'Who created the world?' He'll answer, 'Khuda.' If you ask a Hindu, he'll answer 'Paramatman.' God created neither Hindus nor Muslims. He made human beings, all the same. Due to their lack of understanding, people create religions. If the same Creator made us all, why do we have create so many differences among ourselves. The differences are all man made. Now the problem is, how to resolve them? Only devotion can do that, but only the Satguru can teach the universal devotion.
'There was a Muslim saint called Mansur. The story goes that his sister, Shibli, used to go to a holy man for satsang. Her father war suspicious and tried to stop her, but she refused to listen. One day Mansur followed her to find out where she went and what she did.
'Shibli reached the holy man's hut. Several other people had also arrived and satsang went on for quite some time. Mansur
stood behind the hut listening to what the man was saying and observing what was going on. After satsang, the saint told the devotee who was distributing prashad, 'There is a suspicious-looking person standing behind the hut. Give him some prashad, too,' When he heard this, Mansur came out of hiding, fell at the holy man's feet and begged forgiveness. The saint said, 'My son, here we talk about devotion to God. You should also come and enrich your life.
'Mansur attended satsang daily and became the saint's disciple. His father didn't like the idea of both his children visiting the saint. He had tried to save his daughter and now his son had fallen into the man's clutches. One day he said to Mansur, 'My son, what has that man taught you that has made you become his disciple? I am your father, after all. I have the right to know. Mansur replied, 'Father, only the Master can reveal it. I also used to think that our ritual prayers were useful and could make us realize Khuda, but I was wrong. Really, only a saint can show the way to Him.'
'The person who wants to realize God must think of Him alone, all the time. There is only one way to realize God, as St. Mansur said,
'If you really want to see God face to face,
Remember Him with every breath.
Neither fast nor die of hunger.
Neither go to mosques nor prostrate yourself.
Break the chalice and be intoxicated with Love's wine.
Sweep the cave of your heart with the broom of Love.
Shake off the dust of 'mine' and 'thine'.
Drink not from the cup of I-ness,
Rather, drink deep from the cup of Thy-ness.
Break the rosary! Throw the books in the river!
What is the use of scholasticism?
Consign this intellectual vanity to the flames.
Don't think that God is far away.
You are neither Hindu nor Muslim.
Mansur says, '0 Kazi! Live not on unearned bread.
Great and true is the Name of God.
Preach this truth to all.'
'People throughout the world believe in Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Guru Nanak, St Rabir, Tulsidas and other saints, but they don't follow their teachings. If a son believes in his father but doesn't obey him, who would call him a worthy son?
'A hundred wise men agree' is not just a saying, but is a fact. That is why all the saints emphasized the importance of knowing and practising the one universal and true religion. They taught the True Path to illuminate everyone's lives, just as the risen sun gives heat and light to all.
'All the Masters taught man not to steal, lie, or commit adultery. If everyone could practise just these three principles, the world could be peaceful and happy. The saints all said that if an aspirant wants to realize the purpose of his human existence, he must receive Knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light from the living Master and practise meditation. Fulfill all your worldly duties and along with that, serve the Master. Now, a lot of people accuse me of heresy. That's all right. Everyone else tells you to twist rosaries, read scriptures, do puja and go to temples. I'll bet that I'm the first to tell you to look within yourselves!
If an enlightened soul talks about the Truth, the world calls him a heretic and a fraud. This much I do say: if You realize that what I'm saying is the truth, believe it, and if not, forgo it. There is only one religion. Even if a million followers of mine talk about 'Hans Ji Maharaj's religion', they're all wrong. I preach it and show the practical way to realize it. No great soul ever came to start a new religion. They come to reveal the eternal, original and imperishable Truth which is the same for all mankind.'