By Sant Kirpal Singh

Human birth is a great blessing. Man occupies a place at the top rung of the ladder of life. He is the roof and crown of the creation. It is in the human frame one can contact the Power and Spirit of God and be one with God. This then is the goal of human life. But if we waste away this precious opportunity, we are nowhere. The Power of God resides in the heart and in the terminology of saints "heart" lies at the eye-focus - behind and between the two eye. We have, therefore, to rise to the centre of our being the eyes in order to contact the Holy Word.

Lord Krishna in the Gita speaks of the nose "ending between the two eye- brows." This is the seat of the soul and from here the sensory currents spread from top to bottom, enlivening the whole-body structure. It is here that the sensory currents withdraw and collect at the time of death.

We have, therefore, to pass through the similar experience of death while living in order to contact the higher Power in use. This is called transcension or trans-humanization. It is possible only by a practical process of self-analysis and not by book learning or worldly wisdom, which may at the most inspire us but cannot take us out of the magic house of the body. At present we are tied down to the body and the bodily adjuncts. We have to untie the gordian knot between matter and the spirit to be able to unhook our Self from the body at will. For this we will have to subdue the mind and the mental currents which are ceaselessly running riot. Until we do this, we cannot ascend to the sky within. We may read all the Vedas, the Puranas and the philosophical treatises but will not be any better than a parrot unless we consciously contact the Holy Word within. All the time, we dabble in theories. The books keep us bound to knowledge on the intellectual level. We have to rise above discursive knowledge. It is a practical subject. Feelings, emotions and inferences are all done by the intellect. But intellect itself is blind. Our conclusions cannot be correct. To err is human. The real knowledge comes not from the avenues of mind and the intellect. It is all independent of these instruments. It is an action of the soul.

The light of the soul is flawless. Behind the soul is the great Power called God - the Power and Spirit of God come into expression. It is in the sight and Life of this Power that we get our enlightenment. We have, therefore, to get into touch with this Power. This Power is all divine and cannot therefore err.

A person who is able to see the working of this Power becomes a conscious co-worker with the Power itself. Such a person witnesses within and around him the play of this Power. He sees the divine hand working around him and involuntarily says: It is not I who wills it, It is all the Will of God that is working.

A Godman like Christ would naturally say: "I and my Father are One. My Father, sitting in me, is doing all the work." In the company of such a Godman, we also feel the truth of what they say: Listen to the true testimony of the Saints, for they speak what they actually see. Herein lies the difference between a Godman and an ordinary individual. We speak on the level of the intellect, while a Godman does from actual experience. Once a philosopher fell into a discussion with Kabir. It was but natural that the two differed and Kabir had to say: "How can we two agree; I say what I see with my eyes, you speak from the authority of scriptures."

Intuition or integral knowledge ranks much higher than scriptural knowledge. We do not know what we are. We are identified with the body and have not the ghost of an idea of the Power that is working in the body from the body itself. We may say that we are not the body, not the senses, not the Pranas (vital airs), not the intellect and not the mind. But what we are, we do not know. We speak in negative terms and have nothing to affirm. Affirmation comes from practical self-analysis, by separating the Power working in us from the body. The living self is therefore to be separated from the material self. We have to untie the gordian knot. But how? One who has for himself been able to untie it can help us to do so. Guru Amar Das had been in search of a Godman for no less than 70 years. Of him, it is said: "God Himself speaks through the Godman." Again, Nanak says: "Whatever Impulses I get from behind, the Same I give out, O Lalo." Similarly, Christ used to say: "I do nothing on my own. I do what my Father bids me to do." But, unfortunately, we have not yet developed the eyes to recognize a Godman. The majority of mankind dubbed Nanak as one with a perverted outlook on life. So was the case of Socrates. He was charged by his countrymen with perverting the intellect of Athenian youth. For this he had to pay with his life by drinking a cup of hemlock, as decreed by the judges. To come across such a person is not enough. We have to accept him and to follow him if we want to make a headway on the spiritual path. Fortunate are they who serve a Satguru. A lip service will not do. "If ye love me, follow my commandments," said Christ. Their first emphasis is on ethical life. Ethical life is a stepping-stone to spirituality. Then they emphasize on the process of self-analysis, so as to separate the self in us from mind and matter, because it is the spirit that has to contact the God-Power.

The God-Power is characterized by the Light and Voice of God. lt is from the Light of God that the Divine Music flows. Now the question is where does God-Power dwell? It dwells in the eye-focus behind and between the eyes. It is already there but we are not conscious of it. We, on the plane of the senses, are flowing out and have never known to invert within. The human life without conscious contact with this God-Power is valueless. While in expansion, we cannot possibly contact what is at the top of our being. Life on the circumference of our being keeps us far removed from the centre of our being. We have, therefore, to change the course of our attention, from without to within. While immersed in the desires for the sense-objects, we concentrate and contemplate. Buddha, therefore, emphasized on being desireless. At present the desires of the world are dragging us out into the world. We must learn to change the course of our desires. But how? By practicing the instructions of the Guru who has found the Reality in himself and can help us to find it for ourselves. The world which is the source of all solace and peace is within us. But we are searching happiness without us. The Word is all subtle and beyond the range of sense, the mind and the intellect. We have, therefore, to transcend all these avenues in order to realize and experience the holy Word: Unless one rises to the level of God, one cannot apprehend the Power of God. All knowledge, may be temporal or spiritual, is to be gained only when one's range comes on the same level as that of the thing to be learned. While living in and by the air, we do not know that the air is full of tiny living creatures called microbes. Similarly, the water we take also has countless little germs in it. But we are not aware of them. It is with the help of a microscope that the microbes and germs when magnified, come into the range of our sight. We have, therefore, to adjust our visual level to the thing we want to perceive, may be without or within. For a contact with the God-Power, we have to withdraw from without and concentrate at the Agya Chakra or the eye-focus, far above the ganglionic centers in the body below the eyes. All this and much more is possible in the company of a perfect Master. We will have to cast ourselves into the mould of the Master and follow His instructions implicitly. All this requires some faith in the competency of the Master, may be an experimental faith so as to carry on the experiment as he directs. By ourselves, we cannot manifest the Word and come in conscious contact with it, though the Word is within us.

Man is thrice blessed. He has the capacity to work on three levels: physical, mental and spiritual. Fortunately, we know the first two phases of human life and have made great progress therein. But we know very little about the spiritual level which is the back-bone of the other two. But it is within the possibility of man. We can fly in space because of the ethereal element in us. This gives us the power to discriminate - truth from untruth. Truth is the substratum of all life in various forms in the universe. We have to understand this life-principle. This is the summum bonum of human life.

One who has gained the highest in him can help us to do likewise. As light comes from light, so does life from life. And the source of life lies in the eye-focus. We have to dig at the roots of life. For this, we have to pull ourselves to the roots of the inverted tree of life, as man is. This pulling process is to be done by a competent Master. He knows how to pull up the sensory currents out of the body to the seat of the soul. When the soul-currents once get concentrated, the inner eye is automatically opened. And then one begins to see the Light of God in himself.

Kabir tells us: "O ye, light the lamp in the dark and dismal dungeon of the body." This lamp is to be lighted while living, and not at the time of death as some traditional sects do. When a Hindu is about to die, it is customary to place a lighted earthen lamp near the head of the dying person, who is directed to fix his attention in that light so the departing spirit goes in that light. Little do we know that the light outside cannot help the spirit as it flies out of the body into the ethereal region. Salvation to be real is to be gained while living in the flesh and not on leaving the flesh.

The Vedas, in this context say: "The ignorant souls on leaving the body go into darksome regions. And the souls of the learned go into still more dismal places." Intellect is but an instrument which helps in the work-a-day world. It also helps us to understand the subject under discussion. Once we have understood the subject, we have to work on it. But if we remain in the intricacies of reasoning like a logician, we would be endlessly entrapped in its meshes. Reasoning is the help to a certain extent, but it fails to get to the Reality. For a dip in the Reality, one has to take the mortal plunge. But mind this plunge will not lead to death but will awaken you into higher consciousness.

The Upanishads tell us: "One can witness the Light of Atman (soul) only when the senses are well subdued, the mind is stilled and the intellect is equipoised." This then is the ideal before us. We must get to the Reality somehow or the other or else human life goes in vain. The sages go to the extent of saying: "It is better that a woman remain barren rather than to give birth to a child who loses the game of life." Else it is said: "If a woman has to give birth to a child, he must either be a devotee or a philanthropist or a great warrior. If that is not possible, it is better for her to remain barren rather than to waste her life energy."

It is through a Guru's instructions that love springs in human heart, and then one begins to take delight in the Divine Melody. The term Guru consists of two words: "Gu" + "Ru" meaning thereby a torch bearer in the enveloping darkness. Elsewhere, "Guru" has been defined as one who can remove the veil of our eyes and we begin to see the Self in us. What does the Guru do? He gives us a contact with the Power of God which is pervading everywhere. The moment we see the real Self in us, all charm for the body vanishes. Then one gets a glimpse of the ideal before him, and he strives for It. The ideal is "Sat Naam" or the Primal Manifestation of Godhood. It is the elixir of life, drinking which one gains life eternal. Who would not like to live eternally?

To be one with that Great Power is something of immense value. In contrast, he now feels his insignificance. The love for the little self (the body) now vanishes. A part feels restless until it rests in the whole. But one must first know that there is something like "Whole," for it is this knowledge which brings into relief the ephemeral nature of the part. One can understand the distinction between the part and the whole only when one listens to the Master's instructions and gets a first-hand experience from him. Time and tide wait for no man. It is in the human body that one gets an opportunity to understand this mystery. "Once this opportunity is lost, human life goes in vain." Who knows when such an opportunity may come again. We have, therefore, to make the most of the time with us and try to get in touch with the Naam-Power. Guru Amar Das, therefore, says: “Whosoever has writ in his forehead, O Nanak! he alone is ferried over”.

The Naam-Power is within the human body. We live by it: The eternal Word of the Lord is a great treasure. And this treasure lies in the human body. There is a deep sense of intoxication in the Holy Word, so much so that Nanak speaking of himself says: "Nanak remains in a state of perpetual intoxication day and night." It is, however, possible to get into a state like this only when Lord God so wills. It is He who brings one to Himself in the garb of a Satguru. "On meeting a Truth personified teacher, one develops an inner vision." In brief, it is with the grace of God that one meets the Godman. On meeting the Godman, one begins to "commune with the Name of God." What a pity that we have a rich heritage with us, but we wander outside all athirst and hungry.

O Bhikha! none in the world is poor for everyone has a gem of inestimable value tucked in his girdle, as one does not know how to untie the knot, so one goes abegging. We are a combination of the material body and the conscious spirit. We know this fact on the intellectual level, and we speak of the Self in negative terms. But we have never analyzed the Self from the body in a practical way. This becomes a possibility when we get an inner awakening and testify to the Light of God in us.