By Sant Kirpal Singh

There is only one Reality. All the Rishis and Munis from time immemorial have talked of that Reality, but none has been able to describe it in its fullness nor will anyone be able to do so. The Reality can neither be known nor can it be comprehended. One has to merge one’s self into It, or in other words, one has to rise into It, growing into higher consciousness. When a drop of water enters the ocean, it ceases to be a drop and gets merged in it. Thus, the drop cannot know the magnitude of the ocean. So is the case with the sages and seers. They have made pointed references to the great Reality, in as much as they could do with the help of inadequate words. With all their attempt at describing the Reality, it remained undescribed. All the philosophies of the world have tried to describe God in one way or the other, but the enigma has remained unsolved as ever. All attempts at explaining the Reality have failed, the last words generally being "not this, not this." God is something more than we see or we understand. The mind and the intellect cannot reach Him. The Absolute, at best, has been described as "Ashabd" (Wordless). God-in-abstraction is inexpressible as He has not yet come into expression. We may call Him "Anaam" (Nameless), "Ashruti." Nanak speaks of Him as "One" or "Ek Onkar" - the Primal Manifestation.

These epithets have been given only when He first came into manifestation or expression. Before coming into being or expression, He cannot be called either One or Two. After expression, He has been termed as "One." The great teacher then goes on to explain what is meant by "One." The first form as assumed by the Absolute is that of "Sat Naam" or Truth or Unchangeable Permanence. From Anaam (Nameless), He became a Name - the Absolute coming into expression or being. As such He became the Creative principle enlivening His creation, the substratum of life immanent in everything.

What is life? It is something which is eternal, imperishable and indestructible and hence "Sat" or what remains unchangeable under all conditions and circumstances. Again, Nanak tells us about the nature of "Sat" or Truth: Truth ever was, Truth was the beginning of the cycles of time; Truth doth remain, and Truth shall ever remain, saith Nanak.

After having said so much, one could not wean himself away from the Reality which ever was Ashabd or Anaam, and hence homage was paid to that Reality addressing it as "Anaam." When this Reality came into being, it came to be known as "One" and Nanak tells of this One as: Behind the great Power called One there lies a great mystery. And he who knows it, knows that Power to be both the Absolute as well as the shining principle going into expression.

This mystery has got to be solved. It can be solved intuitively by one who becomes a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan. The Power and Spirit of the Absolute which is running into expression is called Brahman. The knower of this Brahman merges in the Brahman. But our goal is elsewhere in what may be called Par Brahm or Sat Brahm or Kutaseth Brahm, the bedrock on which Brahm rests. Hence Sat Naam and Brahman are but different degrees of the Absolute. Par Brahm is the ground on which Brahman stands. We have, therefore, to expand ourselves by degrees until our little self grows so big as to embrace the totality of His Being beyond Brahman.

As we rise gradually into higher consciousness and expand, we unwittingly rise above the petty ego in us, - sacrificing it first for the sake of the family, then the tribe, then the nation and finally for mankind, nay for the entire creation, until one coincides with the One Principle Sat Naam. This is called self-elevation: Thine, O Thine is all power and greatness; The more I see Thee, I see Thee alone, losing all thought of myself.

They whose inner eye is awakened, see that the Power of God is working in and around them. Whatever they do, they do for the love of the Lord. Of Sain, the barber saint, it is said that once when he was cooking his food, a dog snatched a bread and ran away. The saint ran after the dog, calling him back so that the bread could be buttered. This is what a really awakened man would do for he sees the same self in the dog as in himself. We have, therefore, to take hold of a real saint, no matter in what garb he may be. He would lead us from the Name to the Named - from words to the Word and on to the Wordless.

The Sound is of two kinds - outer and inner. The outer sound depends upon the inner Sound, but leads us outwards and not inwards as the inner Sound would do. When the Absolute God came into being, He came in the form of inner Sound. Of this inner Sound, it is said: The creation and the dissolution both depend on the Shabd (the Word), And it is from the Word that creation once again springs into being. Now we have to see how we can get a contact with the Word. This contact can only be established by the Guru-power in the Guru who is Word-personified. Though the Word is in us and we live, move and have our very being in the Word, yet we are not conscious of it. Why? Because the Word lies beyond the range of the senses, the mind and the intellect, while our attention, as at present, is flowing outward into the world. We are, every moment, going into expansion without and until we learn to invert, we cannot experience the Word: So long one is running fast without, carried away by egotism, One cannot have a taste of the Word nor can the Word attract him. Every moment we are being tormented by the lusts of the flesh - desires, greed, anger, attachment and selfishness or egotism - we cannot possibly invert. We shall have to retrace our steps, rise above body consciousness, to get a contact with the Word which for its manifestation depends upon the grace of some perfect Master. Unless we get this conscious contact and a foretaste of this, we cannot love the Word. We shall have to forsake the world for the sake of the Word.

The flesh and the spirit are two disparate entities. To arise into the life of the spirit we must rise above the flesh. Love for the Word is quite different from the knowledge of the Word on the intellectual level only. Faith in the Word would come only after an actual experience of the Word.

Faith is the root cause of all religions. Namdev, as a boy, used to see his grandfather making an offering everyday to his deity. One day, in the absence of his grandfather, he made an offering to the deity. But when he saw that the family god did not take anything out of the food offered to him, the child vowed not to take any food until the god accepted the offering. This is called faith. So, we will have to develop a childlike faith in the Word - the Word upholding the earth and the heaven.

Whatever we see in the world is from the Word. Nobody has seen God with the eyes of flesh. But one can have an experience of the Power and Spirit of God - the Light and Sound - the first visible expression of the Absolute God. But how? Nanak says: "Those eyes are different which can witness the glory of God." Lord Krishna speaks of it as Divya Chakshii or the illumined eye, or the Single Eye of Christ. The Hindus call it Shiv Netra and the Muslims Chashm-e-Batin. Until this eye is developed, one cannot see the Light of God. All of us are living in the world of words and we know how inadequate is the language of the three dimensional world. And how we are constantly flowing out with the current of time. There is yet another Word - the Holy Word which enables us to withdraw from the world of words and takes us out of it into the world of the Word - the Kingdom of God. There is a divine symphony in the Holy Word. Socrates tells us: "I hear a voice which attracts me and takes me into a new world of which I cannot give any description." This voice is of the Voiceless. Annie Besant speaks of "the Voice of Silence."

Tulsi Das, the author of the famous epic Ramayana, writes: "I cannot sing of the greatness of the Name, even Lord Rama can hardly do justice to it." When we cannot adequately describe the Word, how difficult would it be to talk of the Wordless? With our poor intellect we cannot possibly understand the Word and its potentialities.

Still the Rishis and the Munis in their own way tried to tell to us something of the Word. What we cannot comprehend on the intellectual level can yet be apprehended by rising above intellect. The scriptures by themselves cannot give us this intuitive knowledge. A man of intuition can give us an experience of what he himself has experienced. His company alone is not enough. It may, for a while, give us some kind of peace but not real and everlasting peace, which will come only when he chooses to manifest in us the fountainhead of peace. All beauty and glory lies in the Word.

And until the Word is manifested and we consciously establish a contact through the grace of a perfect Master, we cannot have an appreciable idea of this Power and Spirit of God. In the Rig Veda, we read of "Vak Sidhi" or the Power of God coming into being. We have to catch this God-into- expression-Power by rising above mind and matter. We have now before us a hymn from Guru Amar Das. He has said the same thing which we have been discussing. Let us see what the great teacher has said: One who worships not the perfect Master and communes not with the Word, Woe be unto him and his life in the world.

To be continued...