Memories of Meetings With the Master
It was not a planned trip but the urge became too great to resist. I arrived in Washington, D.C. September 20, 1972. The excitement intensified by the second. The first thing I noticed was that the people were all intoxicated floating on a cloud, radiating peace and love. I thought to myself, yes, I’ve come to the right place. I entered the American Legion Hall in Fairfax, Virginia and waited for the arrival of the Master. The moment I had been waiting for arrived. Master walked in, or should I say floated in on the waves of a blissful river. Master turned around to greet and hug an old disciple. This shocked me because as I mentioned, it appeared as if He was floating in on a river and a river only goes in one direction. Well, this river just turned around mid-stream. I realized a little of the power of this great being. I enjoyed five days of spiritual growth and then had to part. It was two weeks after our parting that the impact of our meeting manifested in tears. I, to some extent, realized what an ocean of love I was in and I was feeling the pangs of separation.
I now awaited anxiously for the Master’s arrival in Florida on December 2nd. During this interval, with the grace of the Master, I grew a great deal in manmaking and was putting in more time to my spiritual practices. Master swept Florida like monsoon rains, watering everyone’s field to capacity. Of course the most inspiring moment of eyes into eyes cannot be recorded, but there are two events that stand out prominently in my mind. The first was an
outdoor banquet at Sunnie Cowen’s home. Master related the story of the banquet that Lord Vishnu arranged where he invited the gods and goddesses and the others. He said, “Eat to your heart’s content, but my condition is—don’t bend your elbows.” The demons thought, “Well, how can we eat if we don’t bend our elbows? Lord Vishnu is making a mockery of us.” And they left in a huff. Now the gods and goddesses thought, “Lord Vishnu has said this, it must have some meaning.” They soon figured out, “If we feed each other, we won’t bend our elbows. And all can enjoy the beautiful feast.” Master said, “Well, you have this feast before you. My condition is: don’t bend your elbows.” Master chuckled and went into the house. At this point, I had my plate filled and commenced going about trying to feed others. Most declined, and a few accepted saying, “Isn’t that cute. Master was only joking.” After about fifteen or twenty minutes, having no one willing to be fed, and not having a morsel in my mouth, I bent my elbows. When the meal was over, Master came out and His first question was, “How many did not bend their elbows?” My hand started to go up, and came down fast. Oh, the pain of not having His pleasure!
The second event that impressed me strongly was Master’s departure from Florida. This was His last stop in North America. About one or two hundred people went to have the last sight of the Master at the airport. A chair was brought for Master and we all sat at His Feet. No words were spoken for twenty minutes Master was just filling our souls with His Darshan. A thought, a prayer, or call it what you may, welled up in me: “Full of sins am I. Will You wash me clean?” Master looked at me directly in the eyes and shook His head, “Yes.”
A few moments later a jet-set looking woman saw the crowd crying (everyone was crying) and she ventured forward to Master and asked, “Why are these people crying?” Master looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Love.” And the next thing she was crying with us.
I again had the good fortune to be with our Master from July 23rd to August 21st, 1973. One of the first things He said to me was. “Forget America, forget your home, forget your family, forget your friends. The purpose you’ve come here for is to improve in your meditations.” Well and fine, but, my mother said to send her love, to thank the Master for His blessings, and to request His grace. I was stuck! After about three days of carrying the burden I wrote a note stating the above and put it on the Master’s chair before the Darshan talk. Master came in and picked up the letter, gave it His undivided attention for about ten minutes. He asked, “Who put this here?” I raised my hand. He asked, “How long have you been here?” I said, “Three days.” He then chuckled and said, “Oh, you must have forgotten to give it to me.”
One night Master had a tea party for the sevadars (those doing service during the July Bhandara). Master was serving them and we were invited. We were each served a plate of confections and a cup of tea. I had put a confection into my mouth but was so captivated by the Master’s radiant beauty and charm that my mouth remained half open with confection in it. Master bent over and looked me straight in the eyes, and with a humorous glance said, “Chew, chew!” Master chuckled and His humor infected everybody.
One day in August 1973, Master was sick so the Darshans were cancelled. On the following day Master was still sick, but He had us called to His room saying He wanted our darshan. Prior to going to Master, I had been reading The Crown of Life. After we left Master’s room I realized I had left the book there. I was a little bit afraid to go back up and intrude on the Master. I approached Master’s door as silent as a mouse and looked to the back of the room where I was sitting: no book! Master had taken His turban off and was lying’ down. (There were only a few seconds between our leaving and my return). Master looked up and said, “Did you lose something?” I said, “I thought I left a book here.” Master struck a pun, “Oh, you lost your crown.” He laughed, produced the book which was hidden behind Him, and presented it to me.
The day came only too soon when I had to leave. It was August 21st, 1973. At the evening Darshan Master told me to come see Him before I left. The Westerners had been invited to dinner this evening by Tai Ji’s daughter, Pushpa. But I thought it would be better to spend my last evening in meditation. The time of my departure neared. I went to Master’s house, but could not get in. The doors were locked. I was able to wake a man who was sleeping on Master’s porch, but the inner door was locked and he didn’t have the key. I was very upset. I went to the kitchen and made a cup of tea. I wondered, “Will I go without seeing the Master?” Suddenly all the Westerners pulled up. Harcharan Singh, who was with them, had the key and he opened the door. Master was sitting up waiting for me. Master said some beautiful words and patted me on the back. Harcharan took two Polaroid photos of me at the Master’s Feet. Master took the photos and handed me one, saying, “This one is better.” He took it back, and dated and autographed it. I left that house in such high spirits that I had a smile on my face which I was unable to remove. I tried to pull it down forcibly with my hands, but was unable to succeed. The love was radiating so strong that I didn’t feel the pain of parting.
Master’s overflowing grace permitted me to visit Him again from June 23rd to August 16th, 1974. Whoever dreamed He would leave? That beautiful Form that we loved so dear is no longer with us, but His unbounded Love will Work for eternity.
In Wonder and Awe of His Perfect Presence
I was initiated in 1970, but was not able to be in the physical presence of our Beloved Master until He came to the United States in 1972 on His third world tour. My first memory of our Master was in Washington. I still vividly recall that just before He came through customs at the Washington airport everything was quiet. Then all the babies started to cry. Then the Master came out and many of His bigger children started to cry. By any standard of judgement that I know, and by all known historical accounts, the most spiritually advanced person ever to visit the Western Hemisphere was embarking on His visit to the United States. My mind stopped at the thought; we could have but a small idea of the Being we were to encounter.
The Master was giving a talk a few nights later. I was sitting at His Feet. He seemed to be constantly looking at me through His talk. My body was wracked with sobs as our eyes were locked in mystic embrace. At last, at last, I was in communion with the Lord. God had come down from the Beyond and put on a body of flesh to take us back to His Home. I could only cry my thanks to Him for allowing me to witness such perfection. Nothing else was wanted, nothing else could be added; all was perfect. It was real, the most real thing that ever happened to me. Here was total happiness.
I remember being strongly attracted to the pictures of Baba Sawan Singh; He seemed to be the most beautiful being that could ever grace the human form. About a week after the Master had arrived in Washington, I was having His darshan when His form changed into that of Baba Sawan Singh for what seemed like the rest of His talk. My heart was pierced to be able to see the physical form of Hazur. Through His grace, Kirpal was granting me my wish to see the Great Master, showing me that the same Power was working at a different human pole. Though Hazur would often again manifest through Kirpal, my desire to see Hazur lessened as my desire to see our Beloved Master grew.
During another talk in Washington, my mind was unduly disturbed by unloving thoughts towards a satsangi brother. I was to aid in bringing the taping equipment to another site for a talk that our Master was going to give. Master put us in meditation and then had to leave to be in time for His next talk. I also left to help transport the tape equipment. I was disturbed with my brother because he had borrowed my car to go on an errand without asking me and I did not know where it was. I angrily asked him where the car was and reprimanded him for his behavior. As it turned out, the car was parked outside the hall instead of at the motel where we were staying. I walked down to have our Master’s darshan as He was leaving. However the driver of His car had misplaced the keys. Another car was looked for but the owner was not found.
It then occurred to me that I could offer my services. So Mr. and Mrs. Khanna got in the back. Our Master got in front and we started driving to the Khanna’s house. The ride was like the most beautiful fairy tale. It was in the morning and there seemed to be no other cars on the road. The sun was streaming down. Mr. Khanna remarked, “You know, you’re very lucky to have the Lord in your car.” I agreed. After a timeless time we arrived at the Khanna’s where I thanked the Master for allowing me to drive Him. In His inimitable way He replied, “That’s all right.” I learned that if the Master wants to shower His grace on you, He’ll do it no matter how impossible the circumstances I also learned that I should not get angry with anyone as there is something divine behind everything.
The three month tour of the United States and Canada seemed like one long period of intoxication. He put us in meditation in the morning, answered questions in the afternoon, gave talks at night and invariably gave us His darshan in small groups in the afternoon and late evening. To hear about the Path of the Masters and to gain the understanding of the theory is a blessing I did not even hope for years ago—to be aware of the fact that there was a Living Master, was astounding. But to actually come in contact with Him—surely the greatest Master of all time—receive His life impulse through initiation, makes the mind stop, in disbelief. We certainly must be puppets of a Higher Power, because none of this could have happened through our own efforts.
I was fortunate enough to be able to come to India for six weeks in November and December 1973. As incredible as my time with the Master seemed on His world tour, it was even more so in India. It is humbling to see how much the Master gives. It’s impossible to know how much He can give. I had thought that we had been blessed with His frequent darshan in the States, but here in India it seemed almost non-stop. We would go over to His house in the morning at about 8:30 and He would talk with us. Later He would attend to His Indian devotees. From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. would be the lunch break, then back to the Master’s house until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. I became like an addict and wanted only to look at Him. I was at times perhaps overzealous, but I could not help myself.
During the time I was there, our Master went on His tour to Bombay and we were also allowed to go. On some of the stops we saw the encouraging scene of some dear ones lying prostrate. People tried bringing them back to this plane of consciousness, but sometimes met with little success. During one initiation, Master gave some children a sitting for the Sound. After a while the Master came back to take them out of meditation. He went up to one boy and knocked him on the head rather forcefully. Nothing happened. Someone offered to help. The Master laughingly said, “Leave him—he’s in samadhi.”
Back at the Ashram Master continued to pour out His grace making each one think that he received something extra from Him. Occasionally He allowed me to come upstairs to His bedroom to look at Him as He was doing His correspondence or meeting with individuals. The room was saturated with His Radiant Presence and everything took on a wondrous unearthly hue.
My last memory of our Beloved Most Perfect Master was December 31, 1973. My plane arrangements had been changed once, and I had said good-bye to the Master for what I thought was the last time on three separate occasions. It was late at night and the Master was up in His room with Gyani Ji. I went into that charged atmosphere and thanked the Master for giving so much to me. I told Him that I hoped I could keep His commandments. His eyes were speaking to me in a language only He can fully understand. He was smiling and I was smiling that gigantic smile which our Master alone can make appear. I bowed my head onto His Lotus Feet in gratitude for giving that which no one but God can give. He patted me on the back with His silken touch of love and laughingly said, “Go jolly.” Our eyes met and all was perfection.
The sweet memories of our True Beloved are forever embedded in our hearts. We can only be grateful that He chose to walk among us for a time. May His passing from the earth bring us closer to Him in the Beyond.
The Forming of Manav Kendra of Maine
Master shocked and overjoyed us members of the then named “Kirpal Goat Farm” in April, 1972, by replying to our descriptive letter of the farm, “During my tour we will be able to discuss as to whether your place should be an Ashram or Manav Kendra.”
When Master came the following September, I got up the courage to go see Him at Sharma’s farm. As I broached the subject of our place in Maine, Master said, “Oh, we will talk about that at Sant Bani,” and that was that.
I should perhaps mention here that in 1969 my wife, Pamela, and I were informed by dreams and meditations to come to Maine and build a “house of God,” quite before the following year when we were actually brought to the Path. We did in fact find the 240 acres that became Manav Kendra and immediately built the 30 ft. x 24 ft. Meditation Hall according to the inner guidance, but we had no idea why we should be doing so.
So in mid-October of the tour our little group of a dozen Mainers showed at Master’s cottage at Sant Bani. I was extremely nervous, but like a loving grandfather He nurtured along my faltering thoughts. He drew out of me what we did for work, our meditation schedule, and our plans for the future. He talked about our goats and alluded to a future school. Then He looked around the room and chuckled, “Well, should I go up there?” Khanna Ji, Reno, and Ben Ringel all assured Master that it was too far and that they would take care of visiting; and although I didn’t want to tire Him out, I was disappointed because He had written to me, “We will see about visiting your farm on the tour, God willing.” But it was not meant to be.
Sudden activities prevented Ben and Khanna from going, so only Reno, expert realtor, rancher, and appraiser, went; his evening report to Master was glowing—and so was Master.
He called for photographs and patted me on the back several times. “Do your best, and leave the rest to God,” He said.
On the next night (our third meeting) I still didn’t know what Master was creating in Maine. At Reno’s behest I wrote down on a piece of paper; 1. Kirpal Manav Kendra, 2. Sadachar Manav Kendra, 3. Sadachar Ashram, 4. Your choice. He read the possibilities.
“We have enough isms,” He said, so deleted the name ‘Kirpal.’ “And Sadachar just means morality, but this place is more than that. It is for spiritual purposes. Why not just Manav Kendra?” Some in the room thought that He went on to say that we should even Americanize it and say Man Center; others heard the opposite; but I was ecstatic in any case, for the Master had given us affirmation. Manav Kendra of Maine had officially become the Master’s spiritual residence.
Later during the tour Master spoke with us two or three more times about how to run the Center, laying stress on man-making, standing on one’s own legs, and common sense. For me all that Master had led us to, intimated in letters, and caused to become paramount in our lives, had been wrought, and in Florida He gave His blessing before leaving the States.
On the back of one of Reno’s business cards, Master had carefully written to me—“Start in darkness, and let your light illumine all the area around you.” And with His grace we are now able to do so.
* * *
In the fall of 1972 I suddenly found myself bereft of the first two fingers of my left hand, owing to the whirling tooth of a firewood-saw at Manav Kendra, Maine. As I lay on the ground before going to the hospital, I prayed silently to the Master, “Please let this set my accounts straight for my recent misdeeds.”
The next day in a hospital bed I lay once more—left arm bandaged and right arm taped to an I.V. I was told that I had been four hours in the operating room, and that the wounds had been quite filled with debris. Yet all had gone well, I was informed, though I should have realized that such amount of dirt forebode much danger. In actuality the doctor decided that I should be kept in the dark that he expected me to lose my whole hand from infection.
Meanwhile, my wife had notified our friend, Judith Perkins, who in turn wrote to Russell, sitting at Master’s feet in Delhi. On my behalf, dear Russell said, “Master, Sean Sieglen has had some fingers cut off”
Master Kirpal replied, “Yes, I know. But at least he didn’t lose the whole hand.”
“Oh, but Master,” said Russell, “they expect him to!”
Russell later told me that Master responded in a very firm tone. “No, no! How can you think such a thing? No, I tell you. The fingers are lost, but he is saved. The fingers are lost, but be is saved.”
To the doctor’s pleasant surprise, absolutely no infection occurred, and I soon dismissed myself to go home and do the haying.
People often mention that the loss must be severe for me, but I find I never think of it, except as an intimate reminder of the closeness of the Master, in both reprimand and protection.
God Takes Care of His Children
When the Master was on His third world tour in 1972, I had the pleasure to be with Him throughout His visit to the United States. As we were leaving Boston, Massachusetts, for Sant Bani Ashram, the following incident occurred.
Mr. Nicholson, in whose car we were driving the Master, was very concerned about the weather forecast for the next three or four days. The forecasts were for cold weather and heavy snows. This was of great concern because most of the satsangis were to be accommodated outdoors in tents.
During our stay at Sant Bani Ashram, we had bitter cold weather but no snow. Upon leaving, a remark was made that it snowed all around the vicinity of the Ashram, although at Sant Bani there was no snow. Master replied, “The Love that was generated at Sant Bani Ashram melted the snow that was to fall there.” I said, “Really?” Master replied, “Don’t you think God takes care of His children?”
It is the Master Who finds the Disciple
It is all due to the boundless mercy of the Almighty that I was initiated by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj into the Path of the Masters which takes the human soul from the gross plane of matter into the pure spiritual regions and Beyond where it becomes one with Him.
I was born in France and from a tender age I had been looking for Truth and often I was asking my father about God, fate, and destiny.
Throughout my adolescence, Christianity helped me to understand that life had to be lived in a pure way, by pure means and with high ideals according to the words of Christ, but it failed to give me the profound experience of the divinity which I was searching for.
In 1968, when I was nineteen, I felt so tired of the Western way of life that I decided to go to South America in search of a better way. There I was fortunate enough to spend two years in almost complete retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, in the tropical jungle working on a farming project. In that surrounding my faith in God strengthened. The beautiful contact with Mother Nature opened my heart and mind to the invisible will of the Creator.
Life had revealed its sacred character to me, but in which direction had I to proceed? Although these years in the jungle had been a positive experience I could not find in the solitude of the mountains a satisfactory answer to the mystery of life. Different experiences followed, going from one extreme to the other: intense traveling, life in communes, use of drugs, a bit of yoga and esoterism, studies of ancient civilization— a little of all the things of the Aquarian Age, but no definitive solution was to be found there.
At twenty-three, I was depressed by trying to face a life which I could not understand; I had reached a stage where there was nothing else to do but to pray to God that He should show me the way back to my True Home. I knew by intuition that only a True Master could help me to reach the goal. Finally, one day I had an extraordinary vision with open eyes as I was wandering alone, lost in prayer and reflection. I suddenly saw in the clouds a gigantic head with a long white beard and beautiful radiant blue eyes. I thought it was a deity who had appeared in response to my search; my faith in God was subsequently confirmed. Later the same year I was walking alone along a huge sandy beach by the Pacific Ocean. I had been praying to God that He should manifest to me, and indicate to me the way. I was very lost and my mind was confused and my heart was in pain and the emptiness of the sky seemed to reflect the deep inertia in which I was; it looked like there was no chance to get out of this state. The sun was setting, night was approaching and it seemed that Nature was not going to speak to me that day. Suddenly lots of clouds silently arrived and in no time formed an amazing sunset with the most unusual colors and shapes—in the middle was a triangle of shining clouds and the silhouette of an old sage appeared to me, remaining for a few moments. He was sitting cross legged and was quietly looking at me, as though contemplating the whole universe from his high abode. After some time the form slowly turned into an Om sign and then faded away. From that day I knew that some great event was to take place in my life.
Only a few weeks after this vision I came across a poster in Mexico City showing a man from India, wearing a white turban, with blue radiant eyes shining in His noble face. He had a long white flowing beard. To me He looked like a true sage. Just by looking at the picture the feeling of quietness filled me; and by the grace of God, this Divine Guide came to me in the physical form in Mexico, December 1972. I had never heard of Sant Kirpal Singh before that glorious day but when He arrived in Mexico I was drawn to Him like iron to a magnet.
The meetings were to take place in a central hotel down-town. The Conference Hall was filled with people waiting for the Master’s arrival. The atmosphere was very charged and quiet. When the Master came everybody stood up. I could not distinguish anything because of the crowd. He was walking very slowly with folded hands looking carefully into everybody’s eyes. The silence was intense. He had an air of majesty and grandeur although His manners were humble and simple. Words of peace and wisdom gently flowed from Him with a magic power which brought quietness to my intricate mind.
That evening He came back to find a larger audience; there were people from every age, background, and race. The hall was completely filled. This time the Master showed me another aspect of His personality. Before breaking the silence, He contemplated the dense gathering for a few minutes with His eyes shining like stars and suns. From His whole body, radiation of a supreme nature was abundantly shed upon us. Although I was not familiar with His teachings, I knew that we were sitting in the presence of a great man. The Master spoke about the Science of the Soul as the only way to connect man with God and He stressed the necessity of self-reform and a pure life.
When the meeting was over I was in such a state of obliviousness that I remained there. A disciple of the Master came to me talking about the greatness of this Guru and told me to come the next day to the initiation. Although I didn’t know how important it was, I felt I had to come. I was not doing anything by myself, but was following an energy current which was directing me. The next morning after the usual formalities, we were taken to a large room where we waited for the Master. When He finally arrived the whole room became silent. From His eyes a source of harmony was springing, a stream of peace was surging, a river of compassion was flowing, an ocean of Light was glimmering, and the Master in a most courteous and gentle way started to give us the instructions for correct and accurate meditations focussed on the God Who lives within us in the depths of our souls. And in a very simple manner a hundred of us were given the most precious gift that human beings may ever receive—the sacred boon of Naam, a contact with the Light and Sound within.
By the grace of God we were born into a new life. The Path which I had been looking for a number of years had been revealed; the voice for which I had called in my prayers had answered, and the door for which I had searched had opened.
The next morning we all gathered at His Feet and the Master put us into meditation. Afterwards He asked us about our inner experience of Light and Sound. When my turn came I raised my hand and stood up trembling, shy like a baby. The Master had appeared within and had talked to me. And then in front of everybody Sant Kirpal Singh asked me what the Master had said. I answered, “Silence.” Then the Master said, “Mental silence.” These are the only words which the Master has ever spoken to me directly, but they are still living in me.
Joy to the world, peace to all creation, hail to the Satguru who sows the sacred Light deep into our being forever, forever lasting, and tears were flowing from my eyes.
The Master comes to unite His children with the Supreme One.
Parshad from The Lord
S. K. Kapur
I came to the Feet of His Holiness Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj in 1959, and I was blessed with the Holy Naam in 1962. From this time until His Holiness left His physical body there have been so many memorable occasions and instances never to be forgotten but to be buried along with my body.
It so happened that once in 1973 the Beloved Master was to visit the residence of some satsangis in connection with a marriage ceremony. I and my wife had previously put in a request for the Beloved Master to grace our place also with His Holy Feet, to which the Lord agreed. The visit was fixed for 6:00 p.m. So at about 5:50 p.m. we reached the marriage place; the first thing we did was to inquire about the Beloved Master’s arrival. To our great surprise we were told that He had come at 5:30 and had left at 5:45—just five minutes before we got there! We were both in a condition of turmoil—what to do, what not to do—our question and the reply to our question, all this drama was played out just at the doorway of the marriage tent. Instead of going inside the tent we turned towards our home, but on the way we thought of going instead to Sawan Ashram, as we were told that the Beloved Master had gone back there.
When we reached the Ashram we entered the Kothi (the place where the Lord was residing), and we saw Him sitting on the bed in the last room. In the veranda we met with S. Avtar Singh Ji Oberoi to whom we narrated that whole incident, of course cursing ourselves that we had missed that golden chance of taking the Lord to our place. He replied that I should have told him about this, so that he could have reminded the Lord when returning from the marriage place. In the first room Pandit Brij Mohan met us, and on hearing our story also consoled us— but for us these words were not enough, the wound was so much deeper than the soothing effect of their words. On seeing this, and sensing our bad position, Pandit Brij Mohan pushed us inside the last room where the Lord was eating an apple by peeling it Himself with a knife.
On seeing us at the entrance, the Lord, in His own remarkable manner, with the indication of His Holy finger, called us inside, and we went and sat at His Holy Feet near the bed on which He was sitting. The Lord inquired the reason of our coming and also about our being in the bad shape we were in. My wife narrated everything very carefully, seeing that nothing remained untold. On hearing this, first the Lord laughed whole-heartedly and then said, “What is my fault in this?” My wife told Him, “My Beloved Master, You visited the marriage place before the scheduled time and came back to the Ashram without visiting our place!” The Lord replied, “The marriage people came and took me before the time. Now let us make a deal—do you want me to visit your place now or at some other time?” On this my wife replied, “Now!” The Lord said, “You are very clever, you do not want to leave anything on credit. You want to cash the promise right now.” My wife, who was weeping in spite of all sorts of consolation by the Beloved Master, did not move an inch, but while weeping kept saying one word between her sobs—“Now!”
Then the Lord said, “All right, you take this piece of apple (which the Beloved Master had peeled with a knife for Himself) and let us compromise. You see, if I go now, your foreign brother satsangis whom I have already put in meditation, will be late for their dinner if they are not told to leave off meditation.”
This gracious parshad my wife at first refused. Then when the Lord started wiping her tears with His handkerchief, pressing her shoulders, urging her to take the apple, she finally agreed. In between these happenings (the quarrel between the Father and His daughter, the Master and His disciple, which was enjoyable), the Lord said, pointing towards me, “Look, he has agreed with me. He is not angry with me.” And then while offering me the second quarter of the apple He said, “You also take this and eat before me,” which I did. From there we came out of the house with the Master and went towards the Satsang Hall, where the foreign brothers were still sitting in meditation.
Extracts from a diary kept in 1973
5th May 1973: Master asked us about our meditations and if we had any questions. We had none, and Master settled back on the little couch, and with the twinkliest expression began: In India, if you are on pension, you must sign a paper that says you were alive all the twelve months you received the pension. You must do that for the Government each year. (We all laughed.) Yes—prove you were living all the twelve months! So once I said to Hazur, ‘I’m going to have Your pension stopped!’ ‘What! why?’ said Master, looking very surprised in imitation of Hazur. ‘Because You are not alive all the twelve months— You die daily!’ and then He laughed so sweetly.
11th May: Someone said to Master, “I am very impatient with myself and with others.” He asked, so sweetly, so sympathetically, “Impatient with yourself? It is one thing that you might be impatient with others, but you are impatient with yourself? Why?” The disciple replied, “Because I don’t try hard enough, Master.” “Oh,” He said, “don’t be impatient. Rome was not built in a day, and all that hurry spoils things. You are anxious, you are clutching—you stand in your own way. Just sit at my door and wait. Don’t be impatient...I will come for you.”
Another told Master she was having difficulty in meditation, always thinking, “Don’t watch the breathing.” Master said, “No, no. That is the negative way. If she is my enemy and I say ‘I won’t think of her—I won’t think of her!’ then I am always thinking of her. So you must simply forget the breathing and absorb yourself.”
One man said, “My diary looks like America's national debt.” Master said laughing “No, no—all other countries are in America’s debt. America has no debt.” (Everyone laughed.) The man said, “Well, every step I take I must mark down a mistake. I try to be humble, to put myself out of the way, but I just keep failing.” And Master advised, “Your intellect is working too much. You are always scaling. If you try to be humble you are still only thinking of yourself. Think of Him, and absorb yourself in Him, in His remembrance, and you will become humble. The mind is always trying to pull you away from God. The only way to control it is through contact with Light and Sound and through sweet remembrance of God. So don’t always be scaling like the weights of a clock. Remember that God helps those who help themselves; keep remembrance! And God helps those who do not help themselves.”
15th May: Master told us, “I want to see you jolly. We should be smiling and happy to have the man-body and this chance to know God. A smile is the oil of the machinery—it keeps it running smoothly. Without oil there is friction, corrosion. So I want to see you beaming.” The other day He had said, “Love your neighbor even more than yourself. Make him happy and you will be happy. There are three things we can do to make life good: be selfless, be happy, be grateful.”
16th May: We were in Rajpur, staying in the guest house behind Master’s bungalow. He sent for us around 7:20 this morning: “I wanted to have your darshan. You wanted to have my darshan—I wanted to have yours. It is reciprocal, you see. I asked you to come early because I am going to Manav Kendra— I have correspondence to attend to —Five bundles (He showed us how huge they were with His hands) came from Delhi. Master counts us: One— two—three—four—five—six—seven—eight—nine—ten. McKay makes eleven... who’s missing? You see, I’m counting my children.” The German lady said her tooth hurt, “The body is nothing, Master!” He replied, “It is just a house. If a wall is crumbling, we have it fixed. What is a little pain? But you must attend to it, or you’ll be buried in the debris!”
18th May: Master said, “When you assert you feel drained, you lose something. If you have a small pond and are always dishing out, then?” He also said to sleep relaxed and free from brooding—to dispose of all concerns, and that sleep will refresh us.
28th May: Someone said that she had been a little sick and found it hard to concentrate. Master said, “There is no high road to concentration. Practice and more practice.” The sister said she felt her concentration was lessened because she was sick. Master asked, “You’ve got fever? It is a blessing to be sick...then you can put in more time. About forty years ago, I was laid up with high fever. I put in whole time to Bhajan. No one bothers you when you are sick—you don’t have to attend to your business, and I think they even bring you your food. These are lame excuses, I tell you. We have no love for God. If you are feeling sick and one you love comes, how do you feel? “Good,” she replied. “You see? We must keep our attention on the one we love. When you go back you can do the other things, but if you want to benefit from being here, put your whole attention on God.” Another time He told us that He was very ill and could hardly move at all. Hazur came to Lahore, and noting that His beloved gurumukh was not at the railway station to meet Him, went directly to Kirpal Singh’s house. Master said that He was so overjoyed at seeing Hazur that He completely forgot His illness, and when Hazur left, Master accompanied Him down three flights of stairs to see Him to the door.
2nd June: Master said, “You should always come to the Master for guidance. Don’t look to others. People used to always bring their difficulties to me. Now they ask this person and that person. The person who asks another loses and the one who comes between loses. No one should come between you and the Master. You should not be concerned with anyone else. While you are here make the best use of your time. You are not here to make friends. Don’t think of the past and the future. You are not saints yet. You are all sick. So you should not seek the help of the other patients. Come to me if you have any life or death problem, or any spiritual difficulty. Are you afraid to come?”
10th June: Someone asked Master how to begin to surrender, and He said, “First you must have love. When you love someone, then you are surrendered—in a worldly way, is it not? You must have love.” He paused for a long time, and then He continued. “If you love someone you do what He says. If you love me, keep my commandments. You are always thinking to please the one you love. The Master has love for all, but He has more love for those who keep His commandments—inside and outside. When you come up to here (the eye focus) then you will have true Love-Love will burst forth. Love is real that is for God—the God in you, the God in the Master. That is real Love. If you are dancing with love and do not keep the commandments—that is no love. If you love me, you will do what I say. In the outward way if you have love, you keep it hidden, is it not? So why should you show your Love for God and fritter it away? Keep it hidden within you. Then it will grow. You follow what I say?
Lord Rama was sent into exile for fourteen long years. And all the yogis in the forest thought, ‘He will come to me first—my Ashram is the biggest’, but he did not go to them. He went in-stead to Shivri, a pauper woman, because of her love. Then the yogis asked him, ‘We have one pond which is spoiled with insects. Would you put your feet washings in it so that it can be cleared?’ So Lord Rama put the wash water in the pond, but the insects remained. Then he said, ‘You are great yogis, put your wash water into the pond.’ But still it was not cleared. So he made them wash Shivri’s feet—they did not want to do it, they were puffed up—and the pond was cleared. So humility is the end result. First love, then humility. Lord Rama said to his general Hanuman, ‘Who are you?’ and Hanuman replied, ‘When I am in the body I am your servant. When I rise above, I am one with You.’ So this is what is meant by surrender—humility inside and outside. Have I answered your question?
You must be receptive. If radio carries voices thousands of miles, receptivity is even faster. Like Morse sent by wireless: you are tapping this side, they are reading that side. My Master lived in Beas, I lived in Lahore...so far away. When I would feel a cooling breeze during the day I would note down the time. When I asked what my Master was doing then, they said, ‘thinking of you.’ So by receptivity you have everything. But you should not show it. Master said of me, ‘He has drunk the seven oceans, but his lips remain dry.’ “
11th June: One of the women in our party had found a bedbug in her bed covers and had become very upset, persuading another sister to go with her to find new accommodation. (We were in the little village of Pahalgam in Kashmir.) Master was very strong with them, saying: “You should have come to me, or told someone who could take care of it. If you are out wandering at night some harm may come to you. And that reflects on me. I am responsible for you while you are here— your life, your honor. This is not a city—it is a hill station. The people are drinking, reveling… you might be hurt, you might be molested. Then my honor is lost—so you must set a good example, for my sake. People see you out late at night, they think you are drinking, reveling. So don’t go out at night. Behave sensibly so when the people see you it will not reflect on me. They will look to the bad things that happen, you know, and forget the good. If anything goes amiss in the future—tell us. This is my command-ment. Obey it!”
Speaking of our meditations, Master told one man, “It is more dangerous inside than outside. Enchanting scenery, all is very enchanting. So we should be after only three things:
The Master’s Form, the Light, or the Sound.” To another He said, “Did you see your Friend? He was hiding behind the Light. He is a tricky thief—He holds the lantern in front and you cannot see Him behind.” One said he could only concentrate for a minute or two at a time, and Master replied: “You must fix your gaze, Look constantly—without break. That is the secret.”
14th June: Someone said, “Effort and grace go hand in hand?” Master repeated it, then smiled and said, “I will give you an example. I give you food. You gulp it down—is that making best use of it? If you masticate it fully, make it liquid... then it will digest better. Another example is of the mustard seed. If you grind it properly, you will get the full hotness from it, is it not? But still you won’t get more than what was in it already. If you go sick and are given some medicine, you must take it. It won’t help you left in the medicine chest. So grace and effort go hand in hand... but it must be effortless effort.”
27th June: Someone asked, “If we know what we need to do, what we must do, why is it so hard to do?” “Because you don’t want to. You do what your heart really wants—you can’t help it. You may say ‘I want this, I want that’.. . but you do what you really want.” “But Master,” she said, “I think I really want—” “Thinking won’t do. If you think you are a king, does that make you king? You should decide what you want and then go after it. Full strength.” Another lady said, “Here it is so easy, but at home there is no time.” Master said, “These are lame excuses, you see. We make time for the things we want.” One man said he was so wishy-washy; if he kept trying, would he get help? Master replied, “Help comes of itself. Help comes without asking. Even if you don’t try He sends help.”
28th June: Master was working upstairs on the yearly accounts and we were afraid we wouldn’t get to see Him. Then the electricity went off, making paper work impossible, and He came in. After asking us all how we were, and sitting quietly for a few minutes, someone said that it was good the lights were out —“You sit with us longer this way.” Master smiled and said, “There was a lady who was told her husband would die in the morning when the sun rose. So she sat all night in prayer that the sun would not rise. When morning came round all the people said, “Why has the sun not come?’ Then they had to find the man who had put the curse on her husband, to make him retract. Only then could the sun rise. So you be like that lady—don’t let the power come back.” A young man who had many questions asked Master if he could ask something. Master said, “There was once a wise man. People asked him where he got his wisdom. He said, ‘From the fools!’ You understand? F-O-O-L-S! Their asking brought these things out. Now I’m not calling you a fool, mind you. What is your question?” (All the while Master was laughing so sweetly.) So the boy asked Master to tell a story— any story. Master said, “Well, my younger brother, once when the lights went out—he was three or four years old I think—said Shhh! Don’t talk...the talk will be darkened.’ But we can talk, we have this light.” (There was a battery powered lamp.) And Master repeated what His little brother had said a few times, chuckling.
Another evening we were sitting with Master when the lights went out. He kept talking, and when one of the sevadars brought in the battery lamp, Master said, “Oh, are the lights out?”
Someone asked Master about daylight coming in through the eyelids. Master leaned back and went “Tsk!”—that sound of displeasure that we dreaded having directed at us. But the boy said, “Listen, Master,please,” very urgently, and Master completely understood and accepted the boy’s plea. He said, “All right, what is it?” And leaning forward gave His full attention. It was very moving to see. Master said that the problem was that of the intellectual; that if you were absorbed within you wouldn’t notice whether it was day or night outside. He again emphasized that it was the steadfastness of looking that was the secret—“fix the gaze and look constantly”—we need not concern ourselves with anything else.
29th June: Master told someone to do one thing at a time, then asked for questions. I asked how to learn to do one thing at a time. He looked at me for a few seconds, then turned to the others and said, “Will somebody tell her? Somebody please tell her... “ He paused and looked at me with a sweetness I could never describe and said, “Well, first decide, then do it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We want so many things; for a few days we want this, for a few days we want that. We vacillate. Decide what you want, then let nothing stop you. Every step will be in that direction.” “But Master,” I said, “even in the worldly way, I am always doing two or three things at once.” “That won’t do. You don’t attend to anything properly—everything suffers. We have too many irons in the fire. When I had to decide for the world or for God, I considered for five days. So you decide... it won’t take long I think.”
4th July: Master was ill; we had darshan up on the roof. He asked us if we wanted to go on to Dehra Dun ahead of Him, and we said we wanted to be where He was. So Master said, “You want to enjoy the heat? All right. You are all physically fit now? Anyone sick? No?... Thank God. Oh, you... what is the trouble?” She said she had trouble in breathing, like asthma.
“Asthma? (so softly, so concerned) You have had this trouble only since you came?” “Yes,” she replied. ‘It is the heat,” Master said, “You have all suffered from the heat. But love knows no burden, no heat or cold. Some saint said if you are in the burning fires of Hell and remember the Master, it is like being in Heaven. So you are here in Heaven—better than being there, is it not? So you have decided to stay here? Good—it will hurry me up!” (We had been waiting for Master to be well enough to travel.) A man asked, “Would it be better for You if we went on?” “No... Doesn’t the Father want to be with His children? Won’t the Father be happy with His children around Him?”
5th July: Someone said he felt restless and could hardly sit still. Master asked “Are you troubled with thoughts of the past, future or the present?” “All three,” he replied. “Well that is bad,” Master said laughing. “There are two sprites, you know, the past and the future, that eat into the very brains of man. They won’t let him enjoy the present. So we must silence them, you see; live in the living present. Another thing will help you: do one thing at a time. God is all attention, our souls are a drop of Him. Naturally we would like to go back to our Source. He is all wisdom, all joy—if we want to be wise, to be happy.. . it is a reflection of Him. Happiness is what? To live in the present and to adapt to the environment. Even if you leave off the past and future, you cannot be happy unless you adopt to your environment. So while you’re here, be only with me. Forget the body and mind. Let nothing come between you and God.” Another man said, “Well, Master, it sounds simple, but it is hard to do.” And Master replied, “Practice makes a man. It will come. Saints don’t drop down from heaven—they are made. Of course much of the work might have been done in previous births. So every saint has His past and every sinner his future. It is all the play of the attention. So remember these two mottoes— ‘forget the past and future, live in the present’ and ‘do one thing at a time.’ Then live up to them.”
A New Life, a New Name
It may need a disaster to get you started with a new life. You may curse your fate at the time, but as the Divine Plan unfolds Itself, a day may come when you at last recognize that what had seemed your undoing was in fact the basis of your remaking.
March 26th, 1961, dawned like any other day. By the time it ended it was as though life itself had blacked out. A moment’s misunderstanding, some heated words under the influence of liquor, my brother-in-law reaching for a pistol—and all was over. Never had I realized a day would come when I would curse my being a good marksman. A wife torn between grief for a brother and anxiety for her husband’s future, children writhing at being parted from their father, lawyers and litigation expenses, months of suspense and appeals in the High Court and Supreme Court: it was a nightmare, and at the end of two years I was still in prison, doomed to capital punishment.
When all hope seemed gone I lay in the condemned prisoner’ s cell in the District Jail on the night of November 4th, 1963. It was only in the early hours of the morning after prayers that I dozed off. In sleep—it was more a vision than a dream—I was sitting in a locked cell in my underwear and with my hair untidy. Someone who seemed like a king visited my cell. I was confused, apologized for my state of disarray, and wanted to get dressed. My royal visitor smiled gently, and asked, “Do you meditate?” I replied in the affirmative, and he continued, “That is not enough. Meditate more!” “Very well Sir,” I answered humbly. The king then stepped forward and told me that my work was done and reassuringly added, “Don’t worry! Remember Him.”
Saying these words, the royal figure left me. I woke up, and the vision was so vivid and so consoling, that I pondered much over it. Was there anything to it? What did it portend? Having washed myself, I sat down for meditation, and thereafter there was the usual jail routine. After breakfast, I was summoned by the jailer. When I entered his office, he walked towards me to congratulate me: my mercy petition, he informed me, had finally been accepted and my death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment! My vision, still so vivid in my mind, had come true in barely four hours. My immediate problem seemed over, and as I was moved from the condemned prisoner cell to a new ward, I wondered who it was who had appeared to reassure me and to give the happy tidings. I had twice had the love glances of Hazur Baba Sawan Singh in my home town, Kotkapura, during 1944-45 when I was still a school-boy, and had even attended a Satsang. But the figure I saw was a different one, and I wondered if it could be Guru Gobind Singh or one of the other Sikh Gurus.
The months passed by and I began to give more time to meditation; the sense of search had sharpened. In March 1954, I read that a Saint from Delhi had visited Lucknow and a summary of His talk was included in the newspaper report. I found myself so deeply moved reading of Sant Kirpal Singh, and though the name was unknown to me, on March 15th I wrote Him a letter. It was my birthday—and it was to become for me the start of a new way of life.
I had shared my life’s story and had spoken of my hard-ships and my desire to be put on the way to Truth. Three weeks later I received a loving letter from Maharaj Ji dated April 6th,
1964. Referring to my situation He said:
It is in accordance with the reaction of some past Karma that sometimes one is placed in such trials, which are only passing phases. I am glad for your deep interest in the Gurbani which you recite daily. Indeed, the sacred scriptures serve as a loving lap of the mother where a child disciple is fondled in the divine intoxication and fosters a yearning for union with Him. Your longing for learning the technique of Naam Simran is genuine.
The Master then gave me meditation instructions.
The letter arrived in the afternoon, and that evening, as instructed by Maharaj Ji, I sat down for meditation. I had had experiences of inner Light during childhood, and they had returned to me in prison. When I sat down and engaged in Simran and Dhyan, what was new was not the Light—the Sound Current suddenly opened and I was carried away by its sweetness. There was a new joy, a new purpose which entered into my life; as I carried on with my meditations I progressed farther, and where ever I was, whatever I did, the Master Power was with me through Shabd. If I had difficulties, I would write to Maharaj Ji, and He would always write back lovingly and give me guidance. I was to learn later that He had given special instructions for any letters sent by me to be delivered to Him unopened. I also received copies of Sat Sandesh, Man know Thyself and other satsang literature.
Baha Ullah has said, “You cannot have spiritual exaltation without having intense mental depression.” And so along with this new joy, I had new problems. The Deputy Jailer did not take kindly to me, and all my frustrations and irritations would focus on him until it even began to get in the way of my meditations. When I raised the problem with Maharaj Ji, He wrote back in His letter of October 8th, 1964:
The present physical life is a passing phase in the long journey of the soul from the lower categories of creation on to the True Home of the Father, Sach Khand. It is chiefly based on the reaction of past Karma which determine pain and pleasure. However, the gracious protection of the Satguru Power cuts short the duration and severity of pains considerably and affords chances for the dear ones to pass out unscathed. Your feelings towards the man who has apparently done you harm should be those of kindness and forgiveness as it does happen sometimes that the initiates into the Mysteries of the Beyond are obliged to undergo suffering in accordance with their past Karma. Such an attitude will absolve you of the after-effects and bless you with peace and serenity. Just resign to His divine Will and accept It cheerfully. Herein lies your spiritual welfare.
The letter was charged with Maharaj Ji’s bliss, and His advice made me change my attitude. I was to be tested soon after in this. The Deputy Jailer insulted a fellow prisoner, and as protest, some of us went on a fast. But when a Minister visited the prison the same day, I dissuaded my fellows from making a formal complaint. The Deputy Jailer was so touched by this unexpected gesture, that he not only thanked me profusely but from then on became more friendly.
But problems followed one after another. My father had a nervous breakdown on account of my fate. My mother died suddenly, and my wife developed consumption. She recovered, but not long after developed Psoas abscess. My children and some relatives wrote alarming letters, for there seemed little hope of her surviving. She was operated on, was in plaster, developed an infection and took a turn for the worse. None-the-less, there was a strange and new sense of detachment that began to grow in me. Through prevision Maharaj Ji would prepare me for the calamities to come and strengthen me to meet them. During my wife’s illness, in spite of everyone’s alarm, He wrote to reassure me that all would be well. (Years later, when she first met Him at the Ashram, she remembered having seen Him reassuring her as she lay in a coma.)
Maharaj Ji in His letters encouraged this new detachment. He would bless me with His darshan and I would keep busy with meditation at night and make myself useful in working during the day in jail. I helped organize a workshop for repairing typewriters; all Government machines were sent to us for repairs. I would talk about the Master and about spirituality with my fellow prisoners and with the officers. I moved from one prison to another and, with the grace of the Master and His message of Love, I made many friends. One medical officer was an atheist, but he became deeply interested. We had many long discussions, and long before receiving initiation from Maharaj Ji, he gave up meat and drink.
But while Maharaj Ji granted me patience to meet my worldly problems, as I grew closer to Him and progressed further, I had a deep yearning to meet Him in the flesh. Time and time again my requests for parole were turned down in spite of my good jail record and the recommendation of my jail superiors. By the end of 1967 my patience ran out, and I addressed a des-perate letter to Maharaj Ji stating my sad plight—my inability to get away on parole to have His darshan. On January 11th, 1968, I received a note informing me that Maharaj Ji planned to visit Aligarh and I could look forward to His darshan then. I carried the news to the medical officer, and he was as intoxicated as I was and literally burst into a dance. Together we went and called on the Superintendent. He answered that the Master would be welcome and would be permitted to meet me. I replied that that was not enough; my visitor was no ordinary person but God Himself in human form—it was a rare privilege, and it was only right that all the prisoners and all the staff should have His darshan! As a matter of policy, jail authorities seldom allow opportunities when all the inmates can be together. But such was the Will of the Satguru, and such my persuasions and those of the medical officer that the Superintendent finally agreed, and issued the necessary instructions.
Unable to get away, and chained to the earth as a mountain, Mohammed was coming to see me! Such was my Satguru’s love that He was traveling all the way to a prison to see me. The day at last arrived. It was March 7th, 1968. At 4:00 in the afternoon Maharaj Ji’s car drew up outside the jail gates. The Superintendents the medical officer, the jailer and other jail officials received Him and His party. They came to the jail park where I welcomed Kindest Master and we led Him to the dais. All prisoners were seated on the ground eagerly awaiting Him. Many of us, staff and prisoners, carried garlands and bouquets we had prepared for this moment. But as each of us approached Kindest Master He would smile and graciously give the flowers and the garlands back to whoever brought them. The Superintendent spoke a few words of welcome and said it was a rare privilege to have so great a personality among us. I had composed a poem in Urdu which I wrote to welcome Kindest Master. It began with the words:
When this Ocean of Grace visits us, our destiny undergoes transformation. We are all lost in intoxication as this Cupbearer arrives to dispense the Wine of Naam.
I went up to the microphone and began reciting; my heart got so full that my eyes flowed with tears, my voice choked; and, presenting the poem to Maharaj Ji, I sat down. He then commenced His discourse—"Man Know Thyself.” Everyone listened with rapt attention: the beautiful park blooming with winter flowers, the warmth of the late afternoon, and above all Kindest Master speaking to us in His own unique fashion giving us His love-glances—it was so peaceful, so charged, so intoxicating, perfect.
When the discourse ended, we carried a basket of parshad for Kindest Master to bless. But He insisted on distributing it to all present Himself. It was a sight to see; He was giving the sweets in such large handfuls that many thought the sweets would not suffice for all present. He reassured them. Not only did He continue to give each one abundantly, but such was His grace that there was enough for everyone present. Kindest Master then inquired who had paid for the parshad. He looked at the Superintendent, but the Superintendent nodded in the negative. He looked at the medical officer with the same result. When He questioned again who it was, one of the officers pointed towards me. “How much did it cost?” He asked. And when I kept protesting that it was all through His grace, He grew stern and the medical officer finally gave the figure. Maharaj Ji at once took out the sum from His purse and handed it to the Superintendent for me. (The All-Knowing Master knew that under jail regulations prisoners are not allowed to keep any money.) Seeing me distressed, He turned towards me and said with a loving smile and a pat on my back, “If I distribute the parshad I should pay for it. This money is my parshad to you.”
Kindest Master had to go for another engagement but such had been His magnanimity that He gave us all so much time and so much love I whispered to ask Him if He could grant me initiation proper; He answered, “Whatever was given you in my letter is quite enough. You have already been initiated.” As we reached the main gate I took out a new kerchief I had specially kept for the purpose, and began to wipe the Master’s shoes. He stepped back and exclaimed, “When you have been given so much within why do you get involved in such outer things?” I answered that being human I could not but be involved in the outer, and proceeded to clean the shoes; Kindest Master let me do so. That kerchief remains a treasured remembrance of that first meeting with my Satguru in the flesh, for which I had almost despaired.
When we returned to our cells, many of us talked till midnight about the visit and the Satsang—there was a strange sense of peace which one hardly associates with prison life. Next morning some inmates reported that they had had darshan of Kindest Master in dreams, and the days that followed passed by in His sweet remembrance and in talking about Him. In meditation too the personal visit of Maharaj Ji had its charging, and things went better.
A year after this jail Satsang, I was transferred to another prison. Two guards were entrusted with the responsibility of taking me by train to my destination. There was a change at Delhi; I couldn’t help begging my companions to let me make a quick visit to my Guru at the Ashram. It was against the official code, but their hearts were moved with kindness and we were soon there. Maharaj Ji met me with great affection in His veranda, and then took me indoors. Some Western satsangis were sitting there, and pointing to me He said, “He is one Kirpal Singh (my given name) who is in prison, and I am another Kirpal Singh who is imprisoned amongst you all. In fact here we are all prisoners of worldly affairs and of our bodies.” Tai Ji then explained to those present that Kindest Master had gone all the way to a district jail to bless me; Maharaj Ji remarked casually, “On his account who knows how many will have to be saved?”
As time was running out, Maharaj Ji gave me and the guards parshad and some literature. He called Mohan to drive us to the station lest we miss the train. Getting the guards into the back seat, He came round and opened the door for me to sit in front and quietly slipped some money into my hands. When I protested He whispered, “You will need it. Take it with you.” It was done so quietly and so unobtrusively that the guards didn’t see.
We just managed to catch the train. The guards were exceptionally kind. They said they felt a strange intoxication, and next morning they still spoke of it. When we reached the jail, after official formalities, we bid each other good-bye.
The atmosphere in my new surroundings was very tense and there was much discipline. I could tell that trouble lay ahead, and within fifteen days we had a riot; police fired, and several people were killed. With His grace I was able to keep myself detached from all the violence and tension. I was hoping to get parole in the summer, but after a long wait it was discovered that my papers had gone astray. I was bitterly disappointed at the thought that I could not see Maharaj Ji in Delhi. A strange thing happened to me at this point. After two agonizing days, though I carried on in prison in body I found myself in the Ashram in spirit. When I wrote of the new disappointment, Kindest Master answered on August 18th, 1969:
A keen sense of sweet humility and self-surrender is the panacea for all the ills of life. You may please repose your hopes in Him and be rest assured that everything whatsoever comes to your count in divine dispensation is for your spiritual benefit.
In a letter dated September 10th, 1969, Kindest Master wrote He would be coming to see me between September 13th and 15th. I met the Deputy Superintendent, but in view of the prevailing tension he was unable to permit any large gathering of inmates to meet the Master. However, I was assured that He would be permitted to meet me. The 13th passed by and the first half of the 14th. There was no message, and each minute seemed an hour. I was wondering if the Master would come to see me at all, when I received word that my visitor had arrived. Master was waiting for me in the Deputy Superintendent’s office; there I fell at His Feet. I had composed a Punjabi poem which I had inscribed on a greeting card I myself had painted. I presented it to the Master and read out the poem. The first stanza ran:
May God grant that such days repeat themselves over and over again.
I am so blessed that the Lord has come to visit an ant....
When I finished reading the opening stanza, the Master interrupted and said, “Do you want to spend your entire life in jail? I spontaneously answered, “If You can be by my side like this, I am not only willing to spend this life in jail, but all lives to come. And I don’t think this is a bad bargain.” Kindest Master laughed heartily.
I had some cardamon which Maharaj Ji then distributed as parshad, and after giving me more encouragement, He left, no doubt to attend to some other mission of love and mercy.
Later that year I was allowed my first release on parole, and I spent the time at the Ashram. My wife and another dear one in the family were granted initiation during that stay. My worst trials were over, and not only did I get parole each year, but on January 29th, 1972, my life imprisonment sentence was remitted and I was free at last to find sanctuary at His Feet.
So gracious was Kindest Master that He then allowed me to live and serve Him at the Ashram; and furthermore, to cut me from my old life He gave me a new name—Captain Singh.
Whoever has even thought lovingly of Kindest Master has been blessed by Him. Each disciple has his own story to tell. When I look back at my own life I feel particularly blessed. Had I not gone to prison, as I often told some of my fellow inmates, I may never have got on the Path. Once I was so overcome with this feeling that I even wrote to the Judge who sentenced me to death; I thanked him for helping to put me on the Road to Him. I had read in our Sikh scriptures of the incomparable love of the Guru for His disciples, time and time again. But had I not gone to prison, could I have received more vivid testimony of the intensity of that love, of its power, of its force, as it reached out to me through high walls, iron gates, and heavy locks and penetrated every recess of my being?
An Echo from Sawan Ashram
Night settled over the Ashram; it was the early part of November in 1973, and all sat before Him, spellbound in silence as the Master Power overhead began to spin the magic that is Satsang.
Master spoke lovingly addressing an elderly couple, “You will be going to see the Taj Mahal?”
Couple: “Yes, Master. It’s supposed to be very beautiful.” Master laughed, “Yes, yes.”
All were laughing, the room filled with mirth, His mirth. A disciple called out in the midst of the joy, “Master, You should come with us.”
Master smiled, “No, no, I must go to this village, you see. It is only that you can’t go with me, and so a tour has been arranged.”
An Indian brother began telling tales of the scenes on the tour as Master listened and laughed along. All was jolly and wonderful, except for my sister and I. Earlier that day we had separately and then together concluded that it would be best if we stayed at the Ashram during His trip and try to meditate as much as our minds and His Grace would permit. He had given all the choice to stay or go. The two of us stared at each other in shock. Had we been wrong? Would it please Him more if we went on this tour? We transferred the doubts and unhappiness of not pleasing Him to one another and then my attention settled back into His Eyes—lost and confused. He was chuckling, “Yes, yes, the ladies can go shopping and the men can ride the camels and see the elephants.” Another of His children spoke through the joy, “Master, have You ever seen an elephant?”
Master looked in and far away—softly the words flowed out,
“Yes, I have seen an elephant,
I have seen the world;
I have seen enough of the world.”
For a split moment an immense weariness filled all that I knew to be me, when He quickly lifted His Head, Eyes brilliant with Light and Laughter and with a slight turn, He showered my sister and I with an Eternity of Love in a second-long glance. I knew then, that for us, the decision to remain behind and (hopefully) within, was the right one.
What you see is you
The first time I came to India in April 1973, I was pretty young—twenty. I had been initiated almost a year. I had seen the Master in America, but I had an awful long way to go. So I came to India really kind of innocent, not knowing what to ex-pect. I got there and Master was in Rajpur, so I came up to Manav Kendra and stayed there.
I was having a hard time with my mind. The Master was not taking so much notice of me. I was sitting one day at His house in Rajpur; we were all sitting in His living room. There were about ten of us and the Master. He was sitting and giving us darshan. My mind was really going crazy—it was being a real terror. So I was sitting right there in front of Him thinking— how do I know You are the Master, how do I know You have any-thing to do with God? You talk about all these other phoney Masters—I hate to say this, it’s terrible—and how do I know that You are the real One? Even though I had seen Him inside, I thought well, what does that mean? I used to see inside before I was initiated. So I was sitting there thinking all these terrible things, and my mind must have looked like a big black monster. So Master was being very sweet to everybody. He would sit and look at each person for quite a while. I was sitting directly in front of Him, and I thought—well, when He gets to me, maybe He’ll say something, but He didn’t—He didn’t even look at me. He got to the person next to me, then He looked up at the ceiling, then He looked at the person on the other side of me, but He wouldn’t look at me. I thought—oh boy, this is really it; I’m really upset now, I don’t know what I’ll do. It must be true; He just doesn’t know or doesn’t care and I’d better just go away. Afterwards He said, “Why don’t you go have your lunch?” I went and was feeling really lost and doubtful.
Everybody has his own perspective on everything. I thought—my perspective is so faulty, I can only see from my own vision and I know it’s not right but I just don’t know what’s real in the world and what’s not real and how can I make any judgement? God had better help me out.
So I was walking around, and I went out in the garden at the back; I didn’t know where it was—I just ended up back there and nobody else was there and the birds were singing; there were flowers and the fruit trees had all kinds of nice fruit. It was really kind of nice—it was a little dry, but it was nice. I was sit-ting out there and I was praying to God: “Please do something. I’m completely helpless. I’m completely lost. You’d better do something because if You don’t I’ll just die out, and I don’t know what will become of me. Maybe I’ll just cease to exist.” So I was sitting and I was going to shut my eyes for meditation. I figured whatever happened, it would happen outside. So I turned around, my back was to the path that I had come from and I was facing the mountains and a little creek. I was shutting my eyes and I thought to open my eyes; I turned around and there was the Master. I could see Him way down at the other end of the path; He was just walking, so sweet just like a little child, looking at the trees and saying hello to all the birds and looking at all the flowers, and seeing which trees had grown how much and, looking at the sky. He was really enjoying just like a little child.
So He came down and looked at me and said, “Yes, what do you want?” I thought—oh, my God, I don’t know what I want. So He sat down and gave me a little hug. He was sweet, just like a father or a brother; He must have known, I know He knew, He’s God you know, He knows everything. But He was just acting like a person, not like God, not like the Master. He started talking about the trees and the flowers and everything; about the earthly things, how pretty it was there and quiet and how nice it was for writing or thinking. And then He said, “Well, why don’t you go play in the woods?” So I went off to play in the woods. And I really didn’t want to be in the woods because my heart was so sad. I was just wanting to be either off the earth completely or to know what was going on; I was just so completely lost. So I went down and looked at a few flowers and thought—well, the lions will probably eat me up if I go any further so I’d better turn back. And I went back and went up to the Master. I was kind of timid—I was pretty young; Master was pretty big, and I was always afraid to say too much. But I went up to Him and asked if I could ask a question. He said, “Certainly, you can ask me anything you like, you’re my daughter.” I sat down and said, “Well Master, I just don’t know what’s real and what’s not real. I see everything through my mind and I just can’t tell anything. I’m completely lost.” So He just looked at me a long time, and He looked and He looked, He kind of twinkled a little bit and He said, “What you see is you.” I thought, huh! Then He said it again, “What you see is you.” So we sat there looking at each other. Then He said, “All right, God bless you.” And I thought—well, I’d better go now and give Him some privacy. So I went off very intoxicated but still feeling pretty lost.
Instead of doing Simran for the next three days I kept saying, “What you see is you.” Simran didn’t come; usually Simran came all the time, but instead it was just: “What you see is you.” I would look at someone and think: “You’re not doing that right!” And all of a sudden I’d hear, “What you see is you.” Then I’d go, oh boy, I guess that must be me! If I saw that they weren’t doing it right, it would mean I would not be doing it right myself. Those five words, I guess they can take you through everything, all life, just to the very end. Then you get to the end and you see that everything is you and you’re everything and you’re just a little drop in the ocean of everything and He’s everything.
Photographing the Beloved Master
Y. S. Rajput
Even before I was initiated in 1970 I was living near Sawan Ashram. One day I met Mr. Mehta who was serving there as a homeopathic doctor. He asked me if I would take some photographs at his daughter’s wedding. He said, “My Guru will also be coming.” So I went with my brother, and we took photographs of all the guests. Then I saw this very imposing figure, so I prepared to take his photograph. But he raised his hand and said, “No! please don’t do that,” He was so striking and had such fascination for me that later on I couldn’t resist trying once again. But every time I would click the button it refused to work. So I handed the camera to my brother who also tried but with the same negative results. He said to me, “The flash attachment is broken.” We both went out, but after examining the equipment we found everything was in working order. I went back again ready to try to take some more photographs of the Master; but although He looked at me with a twinkle in His eye, when I came to press the button, again nothing happened. This was a source of great wonder to me until I found out from someone present that the Master didn’t always like to be photographed. The way He achieved this end, and through somebody who had not the slightest conception of who He was, was proof to me that He had the power to perform a miracle.
Shortly after this, I was waiting for a bus to go to Mahattas, [the photographers in Connaught Circus in New Delhi where I worked] and someone started speaking to me. I found out that his name was Gurcharan Das, and he was living in Sawan Ashram; he said, “Why don’t you come and take some photographs of the Master? You appear to be a good photographer, and we need some good photographs of the Master.” I replied, “I don’t know who your Master is, but one day I will come.” I had been living so close to the Ashram for ten years but had never been there! So one Sunday I decided to go. Master was sitting on the platform giving Satsang. I could see a crowd there the size of which I had never seen anywhere. I took some photographs and wished to show them to the Master. Tai Ji looked and took me in to see Him. Master went through them and said, “Oh, these are very good! He is a good man.” I began to think, “What is this? I am nothing. How can this Master know that I am a good man?”
This whole thing touched my heart so much that I decided to go back just to see the Master. I was the sort of person who was always skeptical of these mahatmas with very large followings which I thought they collected by clever propaganda. I had no faith in them. So I began to come and just listen to what the Master had to say, and within a very short time I asked Him to give me this Naam that He was always taking about. He said, “No, no, you will have to wait for two years!” Yes, He really made me wait for two years! I was twenty-eight when I first met Him.
Although I had to wait such a long time before the Master gave me His Naam, I can’t begin to tell you how much He helped me. One day He asked me where I was working, and then Tai Ji explained. Master then said to me, “Why don’t you open your own studio?” I replied, “Master, I just don’t have the money—I earn Rs. 300 a month only.” Master then said, “Don’t worry. We will help you. You have to do some important work for us.” Round about this time I saw a suitable place near the Ashram but they were asking Rs. 3,000 for it. I told the Master this and He said, “Yes, that’s all right, take it. We will advance you Rs. 2,000. As you take the Ashram photographs, their cost can be adjusted against the amount.” I not only received that Rs. 2,000 but I was helped so many times in setting up the studio. The greatness of the Master was always with me. He just said to me, “You do this work with honesty and I will be there!” Those were His words. I came regularly to the Ashram. I didn’t care about anybody else there, I just took the photographs of the Master, and then left. My whole idea was to make as complete a record of the Master’s activities as possible. I could see that nobody else had been doing this.
Actually, I was being used in a way that I couldn’t even begin to imagine. For instance, one day I arrived at the Ashram carrying my cameras although I knew that there was no fixed program. Mata Sheila was inside the Master’s house with some members of her family. When she was about to leave she said to the Master, “Oh, I wish there could be a photographer here so that I could always have a remembrance of this day.” Master smiled. At that moment I was just arriving. As I said, I had no fixed engagement with the Master and there was no program at all, but there I was and I had brought my cameras. Master was so happy to see me, and He said, “Sheila, there we are, the photographer has come for you.” Everybody gathered round the Master and I went to work. I felt that power was always there.
After going on like this for some time, one day the Master said to me, “That’s enough. Now you sit down in front of me and listen to what is said at Satsang. Just be quiet and forget about everything—just look into my eyes.” And you know, from that moment I realized what I had been missing by jumping about all the time instead of sitting in front of Him quietly and absorbing His Divine Grace like the others.
Nevertheless, I still carried on with my work of photographing the Master. At the beginning of April 1972, He asked me to come to Manav Kendra at Dehra Dun to photograph the Bhandara for Baba Sawan Singh Ji. There was a special bus that left the Ashram, but when I arrived it was full. I had no ticket and was very worried how I was going to get there in time, when suddenly Mr. Mehta came rushing up to me, and seeing my plight said, “No, no, you don’t need any reservation. You are working for the Master and you have to go.” Within a minute he managed to arrange something. I was given a seat, and the bus left. This five-hour journey was done in the heaviest rain, but I can tell you that the bus was full of the Master’s love. The whole way we were all singing Bhajans (songs of praise in honor of the Masters).
When we arrived at Manav Kendra at 4:00 a.m. the sun was already shining, and there was Master waiting to greet us. Master made us all have tea, and then told us to go to our cottages. The scene was so wonderful for me, I can never forget it. Hundreds of people were doing seva, putting up the tents, preparing the kitchen, building the platform, all with such love. Nobody cared about their clothes; even the Westerners were carrying bricks and helping with the work. I was able to take photographs of the Master supervising the work and giving par-shad. Some of the portraits were later to appear in the two volumes of Heart-to-Heart Talks.
Actually, the first portrait I took of the Master in the Ashram was for His passport and was taken just before He left on His last world tour in 1972. Gyani Ji had called me and told me to go up to the Master’s bedroom. But Master was unwilling to be photographed at that moment. I didn’t know what to do, I just said, “Maharaj Ji, excuse me, but this is rather important as they will not let You out of the country if you don’t have a picture in Your passport.” Well, Master just smiled, He put His turban on, walked into the light, and let me take the photo.
I had always wanted to take photographs of the Master when He gave initiation, but somehow or other it was never possible. On July 29th, 1974, Master gave Naam to over a thousand souls. He was extremely ill at the time, in fact there was a bed brought in and placed behind the platform so that He could lie down after He had put the people into meditation. Although He walked off the platform He would not lie down; He would only sit in a chair. He looked extremely grave, almost white, but extremely beautiful. I had my cameras with me and took a photograph of His back view with all the people sitting in Bhajan in the background. As He did not object, I waited until He got back onto the platform and to my surprise He turned round and allowed me to take the photograph of Him giving what proved to be His very last initiation, which I consider to not only be most historically important, but also one of the most beautiful photographs of Him that I have taken.
You know, before I met the Master I was a non-vegetarian and I didn’t know anything about spirituality, but I just wanted to find the Truth. How He changed my life is a source of con-stant wonder to me. If we are true to ourselves, and if we begin to understand a little of what the Master really is, we will know He is with us all the time. Only a little while ago my small son was playing on the table and fell down, hitting his head on the stone floor. My wife lifted him up and he was unconscious; we immediately sent for a doctor. I held the child in my arms, and prayed to the Master to help us. Before the doctor had even ar-rived, the child opened his eyes as if nothing had happened, as if waking from sleep, and everything was perfectly all right.
So this is my conviction, if we are true to ourselves and working honestly with full faith at the Master, He must look after us; He will help us in every stage. He cannot leave us. Even if we forget Him, He does not forget us
In Honor of Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj
Jay and Ricki Linksman
How can we ever pay homage to the greatness of the Beloved Master Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj? For millions, He was “Sant Ji,” a Saint who accomplished so many great things in the course of His Mastership that it is awe inspiring. Perhaps He will best be remembered by Humanity for His colossal achievements: the establishing of Ruhani Satsang, His three World Tours, the construction of Sawan Ashram, the numerous International Honors He received, the many books He wrote, the building of Manav Kendra, and finally, the Unity of Man Conference.
But to His initiates, His memory will burn eternally, fuel-ed by the remembrance of the “little, little things”—a kind word, a loving glance, a gentle touch. These things made us dance in ecstasy and swoon in love. Nothing in the world can compare. with being in the Presence of the Living Master.
On the last day we spent in the Physical Presence of our Beloved Master in August, 1973, He recited the following poem that He had written to His Master Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj:
Your photo is dearer to me than You,
If I want to hug You or Kiss You or touch Your Feet,
You say, “Stand aside,”
But a photo I can hug and Kiss.
Then, He said, “The Physical Form of the Master is the greatest blessing. If you have Him within, that’s all right. But if you have Him without, that’s a double blessing. Only a few get the Radiant Form of the Master, but the Physical Master, even the greatest sinner can enjoy.”
The glory and the greatness of the Master was that He came to each of us at our own level. He revealed Himself to each of us in a unique way. He made each and every one of us feel so very special, like we were princes and princesses—sons and daughters of the Great King that He was.
In the Garden of Non-existence
There is only the Friendship with the Friend that grants rest to the yearning heart.
There is only the sight of The Beloved that soothes the burning eyes.
Therefore, Seek the tender caress from the hidden One
In the garden of non-existence
Where His rain is a gentle shower of Mercy,
And the courtyard of The Beloved is decked with dancing lights of joy.
Here in His rose-garden all are lost to self,
Drunk on the elixir of His glances of Grace.
Listen, and Sing the Song Eternal which you really are.
Bathe and Bask in the heavenly Light that transcends all sorrow.
Feel the pulse of life itself from His Heart which embraces all hearts
and is in tune with every mind.
With every step, with every breath, with every passing moment,
Let the flame of Love Divine shine forth from every pore of Thy Being,
And with an Ocean of Tears flood the world with the remembrance of Him.
He Revealed Himself In So Many Ways
G. Van den Heever
It was indeed through Master’s grace that a small handful of disciples from South Africa were privileged to sit at His Holy Feet in December 1973. I knew that the likelihood of my personally getting to India was very remote if not non-existent. Nevertheless, there was that little inner nudging which prompted me to enquire the ways and means and costs from a travel agent. This information lay unused for at least one year when suddenly a small group wished to know the details. It still did not seem possible that we would really go; I mentally handed it all to Master to be resolved as He wished. The response startled me, as I was immediately enveloped by some strong electrical charge I then knew that Master was indeed in charge and that even if I personally did not go, the arrangements were to be made for those fortunate enough to be called.
The gratitude in my heart, that in spite of insurmountable obstacles, I too formed part of the group to reach the Ashram, remains very deep and strong.
There was, in South Africa, so far from India, still a certain amount of confusion as to whether this Master who had so graciously accepted us, had indeed been elected by the Great Master Hazur Sawan Singh to be His successor. As a result, I inwardly, earnestly entreated the Master to reveal to me the true situation. Shortly after our arrival at the Ashram there was a large public Satsang under canopies in front of Master’s house, and there Master came and put us all into mediation. All was so strange and new, and my attention could not become focused until it was again all handed to Master. In a short while I was looking at—what I now know to be Guru Nanak—seated on a throne with incandescent rays of light and colors encircling Him. While gently watching He would change His face to what I realized later were others in the line of Masters. The next one I recognized was Master Sawan Singh looking so incredibly gentle and beautiful and then it was our Master. A few times it changed from Baba Sawan to Master Kirpal and then Master’s face formed a golden tunnel which drew me in until attention failed. Oh! Master! who so clearly answered this one’s foolish question.
The wonderful vibrations that flowed overawed us, and we sat mute at the daily darshan sittings in Master’s house.
One day while watching Master addressing some disciple, I was stunned to see Master’s eyes change—shape and color— until I could only see those strangely luminous uptilted blue eyes which were familiar to me from meditations back home. What a feeling of intense wordless wonderment to have confirmation that the promise that Master makes to reside within the disciples from the time of initiation was true! Master had been there watching me all the time—Beloved Master, nearer to me than my breath!
One evening, feeling weary from long sittings on the ground and listening to Master speak in a foreign tongue, I decided to meditate—but my attention would not focus—when suddenly, loudly and clearly Master’s voice spoke, I knew to me, in English, “Please lift the attention a little higher.” I shifted my gaze upward and it was right. When I listened with my outer ears it was obvious that Master had never stopped His discourse in Hindi. The words to me had all somehow fitted into His talk.
He revealed Himself so lovingly in so many ways; His love and compassion was so great. He showed one so gently, inside, many weaknesses and failings, one’s lack of love; but always His love and understanding was constant.
My experiences with the Great Master
It was a great privilege to be able to visit our great and Beloved Master Kirpal Singh Ji for about five weeks from December 1973.
During my stay I experienced several unexplained occurrences which one might call miracles. While sitting at Master’s Feet at morning and evening darshan it was not unusual for me to have most of my questions answered by Master without asking Him any. It happened so naturally that I later on took it for granted and was not surprised by it any more. Sometimes when Master looked at me His Love emanated so strongly that I could actually feel it with my skin—like a cloud it enveloped and embraced me. These experiences were so potent that I felt literally purified and washed as if I had had a bath of soul and body. Then came a knowing that Master sees one fully as one is deep within oneself, with such compassion as can only come from a True Master.
One day I noticed the AUM sign, as it is written in Sanskrit, on Master’s forehead. I blinked my eyes to make sure, although I had not at all thought of anything like that, but it still remained till the end of the morning darshan. I saw this on more than one occasion and after a friend and I had discussed it, I learned that she had also noticed it.
During our stay, Master planned a tour to Bombay and gave His consent that we could go along. It was a tiresome trip— 750 miles by bus—but we were fortunate to see Master every day. At Baroda we stayed over for a couple of days because Master initiated around two hundred people there. During our stay I was surprised to see in what a short time many, many people were served food. I did not count them, but it could have been several hundreds, but the incredible thing was that it seemed as if there were only a few hands preparing the food, and yet everybody could get as much as he wanted and yet there was surplus. Master’s grace undoubtedly.
Master really proved Himself to me as a Master, and a Perfect Master.
Master’s Sense of Humor
The Great Masters of spirituality who live with us and teach us on this earth, possess, among their many divine attributes, the very human quality of a sense of humor. As each Master has His own distinct personality and style, so their sense of humor can vary in expression. In Hazur Baba Sawan Singh it took the form of amusing stories told in Satsang to illustrate deep spiritual truths—the Great Master would so enjoy telling these stories that the whole Sangat would be bursting with laughter. He also made puns with words which, together with the stories, could be understood by the simplest person.
Sant Kirpal Singh Ji’s humor was of a different kind; it was most subtle, it found expression in conversation or intimate heart-to-heart talks. He would often slip in the most pointed and amusing remarks, slip them in so quietly indeed that they could easily be missed by the slow-witted. They gleamed like the sudden flash of a diamond catching the light; they were never stressed nor did they ever claim any applause or even any recognition—sometimes He would seem to be just talking to Himself. Nothing a Master does, however, is without its own purpose. Sant Kirpal Singh Ji was constantly teaching us such profound, such disturbing truths about our pitiable condition that in His great mercy He lightened the weight to make it easier for us to grasp. Sometimes the most telling lessons would come out in an amusing aside.
In spite of the Master’s repeatedly assuring a rather orthodox Sikh that if he accepted initiation and followed the Path of Sant Mat it would in no way compromise his Faith, this seeker kept reiterating his doubts, and finally said, “Do let me make it very clear: if I get initiated I shall continue to carry mykirpan (dagger) as enjoined by the Faith.” The Master replied, “As far as I am concerned, why carry only one? You may carry two. It is you who have to bear the weight.”
In the following account of what happened when some visiting Westerners were being given photos, the Master is shown impressing upon them that they are not their bodies. A departing satsangi wanted Master to give each of the group, photos he’d taken of them with the Master; in this way the photos would receive His charging and become parshad. Each photo had the name of the recipient on it, and Master began to hand them out, calling out each name. When He came to one man, He stopped. “John, who is John?” Everyone hastened to point this man out. The Master then appeared not to know this man who had in fact been at the Ashram for several weeks. “John, is that John?” Then He asked the man, “Are you John?” “Well, Master, they call me John.” Then Master in a quiet aside remarked, “He’s in John’s body,” and went on giving out the photos.
Once when someone on the Master’s staff went to Him and asked if he could have some help with the typing of the work he had been given, the Master began tapping His knee with His fingers and remarked, “You know, I can type—five words a minute!”
Often the Master’s humor would mitigate His strictures when He had to tell us not to take our small selves too seriously, as the following three stories demonstrate. (But it should be understood that these remarks of the Master were all given with a lightness of touch or with a benign smile which cannot, alas, be conveyed by the printed word.)
When a Western satsangi was describing how he’d seen a golden cup in meditation, the Master remarked, “Well, did you have a drink?” And to a lady in London on His last foreign tour who complained she was only getting flashes of Light inside, He said, “But did you pay for any more?” Once one of His staff was sitting close to the dias at Satsang in Delhi on a Sunday morning; the Beloved Master addressed every word to her—He poured out the whole discourse to her. She was much elated. Meeting the Master shortly afterwards in the porch of His house, He asked her, “Were you at Satsang this morning?”
The Master always knew of course what was in everyone’s mind—and this sometimes caused much amusement as well as astonishment.
An American girl staying at Manav Kendra had just finished her meditation beside the Mansarovar when a small flight of ducks alighted on the water—she was in ecstasy over those ducks! “Oh the blessed ducks!” They were swimming in the sacred pool. She then went to the porch of the Master’s house for His usual evening Darshan, but all the time she was thinking of the ducks. Also on the porch was a new arrival, a foreign lady who had never before been to India—she was much fascinated by the Indians who were also sitting waiting for the Master to come out and give His blessed Darshan. He came out and sat down. Then He said, “You should please keep your minds solely on the Master. Don’t be thinking of the ducks, or of the people sitting with you.”
One evening one of the Master’s staff was sitting beside Him as He attended to His correspondence, but through her mind was running the question of who should be asked to take home a certain lady who had come to visit the Master. She wondered if so-and-so could be asked, or perhaps another person, or maybe a third who occurred to her. At this the Master looked up and said, naming yet a fourth person, “How about so-and-so?”
Two people were once in the Master’s room, but they were very far away from Him; He was occupied with other people. They spoke together in whispers and no one else could possibly hear what they said, far less the Master who was on the other side of the room. They were whispering together how like a lion the Master looked! What majesty! At that moment the Master looked across at them—and let out a roar!
When the Master was on His world tours, hundreds of sat-sangis and seekers asked Him questions; very often the answers they received surprised them very much. Master would sometimes give completely different answers to the same question asked by different people, adapting the words to the spiritual condition of each enquirer. Two people on two different occasions both told Him that during meditation they felt as if they were dying. Allaying their fears with kind smiles and amusing and unexpected replies, the Master said to one of them, “You won’t die. Do you want it in writing?” And to the other He replied, “Well, have you made your will?”
Sometimes the Master made jokes against Himself. Manav Kendra was under construction; a newspaper reporter came to ask Him questions for a report on what was going on. Among other questions, he asked the Master, “What is Your budget?” The Master replied, “God is my budget— and I’m spending like wildfire.” On another occasion when people were complimenting Him on the writing of Gurmat Sidhant, He turned these compliments aside by saying, “I’ve done nothing. It’s my pen that is guilty.”
Master’s time was so precious that members of His staff tried to limit private interviews with Him to the minimum, just enough to cover the points that had to be brought to His notice. Someone once came running in to see the Master carrying a lot of papers, and said, “Oh Master, please forgive me. Could I see You just for two minutes?” The Master looked at Him very sweetly without saying anything—He then replied, “One minute has already gone!”
Jerry Astra Turk has recorded the following incident which shows Him in a more carefree mood:
We were on tour with Master in Nainital. Master sent for us to meet a Major from the Forestry Commission. Naturally I sat at Master’s Feet on the right hand side. So this Major said, “I would like to be introduced to you, what shall I call you?” So I said, “Call me what Master calls me, call me Jyoti.” “I know, but what should I call you?” I said. “Then call me Astra.” “No, no, what should I call you?” “Then call me Miss Turk.” “No, no! I don’t mean that. What should I call you?” I said, “Look ye here, I want you to know one thing. I came thousands of miles to look upon the Radiant Face of God-Guru sitting in the man-body. You see Who is sitting here? He is my Lord, my God, my Master, my Husband. He is my Father, my Mother, my Husband. He is my Father, and Mother, and Family, my Friend. He is the Universe, He is Everything—ALL CREATION!” Then he said, “Yes, I know, but what should I CALL you?” Master looked at Him, and said quietly, “Call her Mrs. God!”
Sant Kirpal Singh often spoke of incidents in His life which would help to illustrate a point He was making. During a heart-to-heart talk given at Sawan Ashram on an extremely cold day in January 1974, having noticed that all His visiting Western disciples were wearing thick coats and heavy woolen blankets, He told the following story which illustrates so well how the Masters are air-conditioned, how Their attention is controlled:
I see that you all have very warm clothing. Look, I’ve only got a waist-coat on. (He lifted His white shirt to show nothing underneath—everyone present gasped). Once it happened when I was in service at Lahore the trains didn’t run on account of thick ice. After some time one train left, but no passengers would go on it. I had to travel somewhere from Lahore, and I think there were only two men on the whole train—myself and one other man. It was winter, a biting cold day. I only had on a small muslin cotton sheet, an ordinary cotton sheet. The other man had a very warm quilt. I was doing all right, but the other man took pity on me—he offered me his quilt! I told him I didn’t need it, but he pressed me. You see, cold starts when? When your attention is outside. If your attention is within, you do not feel cold or heat. I was air-conditioned—the cold did not affect me. But when I put that quilt on, over me, then I felt the cold. I really began to feel cold. I had to beg that man to take his quilt back.
Often things which seemed funny to us would be treated by the Master with seriousness. This happened when one of His staff brought Him some letters; he read one out. “I read Sat Sandesh, but up till now I have not been initiated. I am in the habit of drinking. When I drink heavily and begin to lose my conscious-ness You come and take charge of me!” The secretary laughed out loud, but the Master said, “Please don’t take it so lightly— When the patient is in a serious condition the doctor has to attend Him.”
The Beloved Master often used humor to soften a rebuke—or even to drive it home more forcefully! On learning that one of His older initiates had taken to mastering lower powers with the help of mantras, the Master wrote to congratulate him for having regressed from college to the primary school. Upon receiving this ironic reprimand, the initiate was so filled with remorse and penitence that he gave up dabbling with such practices right away, praying for the Master’s forgiveness and grace.
Mr. Chadda, the editor of the Urdu and Hindi Sat Sandesh, tells this story: “I had once again been late with the Master’s work; I went to Him like a truant before the class teacher. But to my great surprise the Master was not forthcoming with the usual reprimand. Instead He started off by talking of the special purpose God has in fashioning each individual object in creation. Then, planting His eyes on me, He ended, ‘I believe God made you to serve as a touchstone for testing the patience of a saint.’”
A satsangi lady complained to the Master that she could not get her husband to ask for initiation. He replied with a smile, “What great conquests on the Path have you made since your initiation that you are so worried about your husband?”
Sometimes the Beloved Master consoled His children not only with words of comfort, but also with humor. To someone who complained to Him of increasing deafness, He said, “Why do you worry about it? Deafness is a blessing! You are saved from thirteen percent of the sense impressions, but more than that, you don’t have to listen to other peoples’ complaints.” And to a mother who was so worried about her son that she broke down and started crying, the Merciful Master watched her, chuckled softly and said, “Don’t you know that the Master Power is always looking after you and yours? You are on the train, and the train is carrying you and also your baggage. Then why do you carry your baggage on your head? Why break your neck needlessly with the load?”
The Beloved Master had a very special relationship with children and babies. Once at Sawan Ashram the Master came out of His house to give darshan to people waiting for Him out-side; a small child caught hold of His hand and pulled Him back towards His house. For some time He allowed Himself to be taken back; then He turned round and returned to His waiting devotees. “You see,” He laughed, “sometimes the Father leads the child—and sometimes the child leads the Father.”
Towards the end of the Beloved Master’s earth life when He was suffering great physical pain, He mercifully lightened the anxiety felt by His dear children sitting at His Lotus Feet by making them smile—He never wanted to see long faces or brooding looks. On the evening of August 6th 1974 at Sawan Ashram, the Master came out onto the porch to give His Blessed Darshan to the visiting Western disciples. He immediately asked them about their meditations. “Are you all going strong? What sort of strong? Elephant strong, horse strong, whisky strong? If you are intoxicated, it is whisky strong!”
Ajit Singh Mehta
In 1947 India was torn with Hindu-Muslim riots; my wife and I were at Lahore station waiting for a train to the Dera. My little girl wanted to urinate, so my wife took her a short distance outside the platform. Two young Muslims holding daggers suddenly came rushing at them. My wife was terrified, thought of Hazur, and called out, “Maharaj Ji—Maharaj Ji!” At once the two men drew back alarmed, saying, “Who are these Sikh gentlemen—where have they come from?” And they ran off. Hazur and Sant Kirpal Singh Ji had manifested that moment. My wife came back just as the train was arriving and did not say a word about what happened. But later when we met Sant Kirpal Singh Ji at Beas, He asked, “Any news?” My wife deliberately avoided mentioning the incident. But He said, “What happened at the station?” My wife then said, “What You have done has happened.” He then replied, “It was Hazur who saved you from the clutches of those people!” He said this, but we knew He too had manifested to help us also—and this was before He became the Master.
In 1958 I was cycling down a steep descent in New Delhi. Suddenly the fork of the front wheel broke. Although I was going at a terrific speed and was flung to the ground, I felt like a child who was falling asleep in his mother’s lap and she was laying him gently on a bed so as not to disturb him. But when I looked up I found the cycle was broken in two, and I had a miraculous escape without even being scratched. A few days later I had the chance to tell all this to Maharaj Kirpal Singh at Sawan Ashram. He said, “This is why I tell you people to do your spiritual practices regularly. If you had been regular, you would have seen with your own eyes how Hazur helps His initiates.”
Mufti Atiquer Rehman Usmani
Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj was a great intellectual, a man of great power with a thought-provoking personality. I had the privilege and pleasure of working under His benign love and affection, and profited much from His company. I can say, with all the emphasis at my command, that Sant Ji was an exceptional personality of our age. Because of His practical way of life and spiritual attainments, He had created a wide circle of admirers and devotees not only in India but also in Europe and America. I had seen in His famous Ashram many European men and women who came to seek spiritual guidance and solace. It is difficult to put in words the pure and quiet atmosphere of Sawan Ashram. I often had the privilege to participate in the annual gatherings there. I always felt that this ocean of thousands of human beings was listening with keen interest to the teachings of Islam and sincerely desiring to ponder over them. Due to the august status of Sant Ji and His spirit of dedicated service, I always was happy to participate in such holy gatherings. I visualize before my eyes the practical and dedicated way He used to work. Like all Saints and mystics, His philosophy was that the image of God is embodied in all human beings, and it shines in everything. Sant Ji believed in the Fatherhood of God; He considered all human beings as family members of one Almighty God. He often used to quote couplets of Khwaja Farid-u-din, Maulana Rumi, Araf Jami and Hafiz to stress the need of understanding the esoteric meaning of the Science of God-realization. We all profited from this Great Soul. His achievements are everlasting.
Notes on a Pilgrimage to the Master
When I was in Sawan Ashram in the winter of 1973, the Master expressed great interest in those of us who were writing down accounts of His wonderful darshans and the day-to-day pace of Ashram life. Whenever possible, He wanted to see our notes before we would return with them to show to others. “You see,” He once commented, “it is not that I am distrustful of anyone’s judgment, but it is just that sometimes people will misquote me and then lead others and themselves astray.” I had a chance to show Him about the first third of my account, in which He made a few changes. I regret that He did not see any of the rest, and therefore I alone take the responsibility for any distortions or misinterpretations which may appear.
It is also important to realize that when Sant Kirpal Singh spoke to individuals, so often He spoke to each one at his or her own level of understanding or need. He did not always intend to have His specific advice to a certain one to be generalized into a maxim or a principle to be followed by all. It is not for us to try to fathom the spiritual perspective from which He viewed each one of us. It is only for us to bear in mind what He offered to each one of us, and to live up to that.
Monday, December 17, 1973: This day finds me sitting in the international pavilion of New York’s Airport. It is somehow unreal to feel that I am on my way to see my Master in India, and that I will be there, sitting before him, in another twenty-four hours or so!
The rigors of this journey are frightening. The flight takes about twenty-two hours and goes through ports in four countries, including France, Greece, the Middle-East, and Persia. I see here all kinds of people: Africans and Asians, Arabs and Jews, Indians and Pakistanis. Many of them are going on holy pilgrimages to Jerusalem and other suchlike places. In a sense, this trip of mine is also a holy pilgrimage, although I didn’t think of it as such until I saw these other pilgrims. My Master made this journey, less than one year ago, and he did it in spite of being nearly eighty years old and in bad health. I am twenty-four years old and in excellent health. So why am I afraid, then?
When Master was in America, one afternoon, he chastised me for slovenly habits in keeping the diaries. I do not believe I have improved much in that regard since he returned to India. I think about this now that I am going to see him, but I haven’t been so concerned about it in recent months. Why should it be any different now? I suppose I am worried that he will be displeased with me.
Wednesday, December 19, 1978: Twenty-one hours out, and now we're cruising toward Delhi and should be there in another hour or two. I have had all of about six hours of sleep these last forty-eight hours.
9:00 a.m. Sawan Ashram: Good God! Now, total confusion. I don’t know who I am, what I am, or where I am. The shock of this culture is immense. At the airport, at least, were dear Gyani Ji and Edna, who were there to meet me.
Further jolt upon arrival: Master is in Bombay and won’t be back here until Friday, December 21st or later.
Thursday, December 20: A very long sleep of about sixteen hours. The shock of being here has subsided a little, but I still can’t believe I am here. Temperatures are very cold. Builders are furiously adding to the existing structures. There is a railroad line which runs past the Ashram on the outside wall. Because of the travel, I am troubled by tiredness and a weird sense of otherness.
Friday, December 21 (winter solstice): A very bleak, cold day. I am filled with enormous sadness, psychic pain, and guilt, and I don’t know why. Spiritual crisis.
Saturday, December 22, 8:30 a.m.: Further bitter disappointment. Master will not return today. Maybe not even tomorrow.
I eat and sleep a great deal—curious reaction to strange environments, and also to my own fears and self-doubts.
Sunday, December 23: Today is by far the coldest day. Temperatures under 45oF (10oC) and no sun. Meditation is the medicine to cure my sickness!
(4:30 p.m.) THE MASTER ARRIVED. WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY?
Monday, December 24: Two darshans each day. One at 10:00 a.m., one at 6:00 p.m.
How can one forget what HE is? Yet, somehow one forgets. He is gentle, kindly, laughing, and radiant. At the same time He is magnificent and powerful and can be very stern.
Tuesday, December 25:
Question: “Master, in meditation, I have difficulty stilling myself, my hands, I am so very nervous.”
Master: “When you are going to meet a friend, do you get nervous? Your nervousness is from lack of wholehearted attention to Master. When sitting in meditation, THINK OF NOTHING ELSE and only look into the center of whatever you see. Stillness comes from LOVE. Run your race swiftly, and do not took to either side to see who is running there alongside you. Look neither to left nor right. Let the desire to win this race become your RULING PASSION.”
Question: “Master, as it is our Christmas Day today in the West, I wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Master: “That is so kind. I, too, wish all of you a ‘Happy Christmas!’ But what means Christmas Day? You, young man, what means Christmas?”
Our Master directed this question to Stewart. Stewart replied:
“Christmas means celebrating the birthday of Christ,”
“But what means Christ? What is the significance of bearing cross? Show us what it is, to bear the cross!” Stewart stood up and spread out his arms, as though in a cross.
Master: “Okay! That is very good! Now, go up!” All laughed. “You see, this is the REAL SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS DAY: ‘Take cross daily. Die daily.’ That is true meaning of Christ. One says ‘I die daily.’ But it is not death as we usually conceive of it. To us, now, death is a bug-bear, is it not? But what means death? It means, merely, a TRANSFERENCE from one place to another. I tell you, death is really a blessing. But how do we know? Only by dying while still alive. By taking cross daily. It is a kind of death which does not sever the silver cord, so we can return to man-body.”
Arran Stephens got this on a tape-recording. I do not know what Kirpal Singh is. I can detect no sense of egotism in Him, whatsoever.
When He looks at me, the feeling is that a sparkling radiation emits from His right eye. Other experiences come from this, too, but it would seem improper to try to describe them. The impact upon the soul is enormous. So enormous that I do not know what it is.
Wednesday, December 26: Master dispelled many of my self-doubts yesterday. Further doubts can be resolved only through the discipline of the meditative experience.
Master’s people yesterday held a planning meeting for the forthcoming World Conference on the Unity of Man. The meetings were partially in Hindi partially in English. Master sat calmly and impassively, patiently throughout, and He said very little. He let the others do the planning. Many distinguished political and religious leaders were here, including also some M.P.‘s, royalty, and academics. Master often chimed in with some puns or jovial comments. After the meetings, we had a “picnic” prepared for us by Master’s cooks, followed by tea and biscuits in His own house. Someone said that the President and the Prime Minister of India will attend the Conference.
Question: “Dear Master, there is clutching in my meditation, and tensions.”
Master told him to relax his physical eyes, as they are not the eyes which see inward light. Master then gave him a doctor-like inquiry, to try to diagnose the problem:
Master: “Are you aware of breathing while in meditation?”
“Where in the body is tension?”
“Are you aware of observing process of withdrawal as it occurs?”
“Are you accurately keeping diary?”
“Are you looking to CENTER of whatever you see, or to whole of it?”
Question: “Is it possible that I am too attached to the Master’s physical form?”
Master: “Now, look here, when an electric light-bulb provides you with light, do you love the bulb for its own sake, or for the sake of the light that it provides!” (And the Master laughed!)
Thursday, December 27: By now I am so inundated by this experience that it is beyond the realm of possibility to record all of it, even if I have unlimited ink and paper and the ability to write volumes in a matter of hours. Master’s Darshans are incomparable. Truly, in gazing at his eyes, one feels that it is not “Kirpal Singh” looking out at the world, but rather, that it is some kind of higher Divinity looking DOWN from on high. Yet at the same time there is such a fundamental humility to Him that there is no selfhood there at all. It is no longer “Kirpal Singh” who looks at us.
Question: “What are the purposes of attending separately to Light and to Sound?”
Master: “Both are really the same life-force, the same Naam, expressing itself in different vibrations. The Light shows us where we are; the Sound brings us there.”
In the evening, Master gave a long talk on the subject of marriage, which was quite curious to me, in that His talk came in response to a question which (ostensibly) had nothing to do with marriage. Someone must have been thinking of this question. Later in another context, Master elaborated by speaking further on the benefits of chastity.
Ram Ji is the servant in our Guest House in the Ashram. In his great intoxication, he goes about all day and all night long, in a mirthful glee, singing, “Sat-a-Naam-a-Ji! Sat-a-Naam-a-Ji!” And in addition to this, Ram Ji is an incurable prankster. Often he will ambush someone from behind when they are not looking. Yesterday, we ran short of spoons in our kitchen, and I asked Ram if he could go to the langarto get some more.
“Pardon me, brother,” he asked, “what means ‘spoon’?”
I tried explaining it to him but he didn’t get it. Finally I took a piece of paper and drew him a picture of a spoon.
“Aha!” he exclaimed, in his limited English, “I know what this thing is! I go and get some!”
Promptly, he ran off to the langar chanting, “Spoon-a-Ji! Spoon-a-Ji!”
There is a sort of natural quality of devotion and sub-mission which the Indian people seem to manifest here. I believe it is part of their culture, and yet it seems so alien to me, a Westerner. And yet, our souls are of neither East nor West.
Friday, December 28: These last two days, I’ve slid backward a bit, both physically and mentally. My senses seem dulled, and I feel cut off from Master’s radiant warmth.
I profited greatly from this morning’s darshan. Quite unexpectedly, a very interesting lad from Canada stopped in to pay his respects to our Master. He was not an initiate, but was rather a devotee of Baha’ullah, the Persian saint who founded the Baha’i Faith. Yet, this young man (no more than twenty-one years old, probably) had heard of Kirpal Singh and had heard that Kirpal Singh is a Perfect Master, and so he wished to come to see for himself. The fascinating dialogue which unfolded went like this:
Question: Sir, I heard you’re a Perfect Master, and I wanted to verify this for myself. Are you, or are you not, perfect?
Master: See here, my friend, I wish to speak to you man-to-man. Now, tell me what it is that you Want FOR YOURSELF.
Question: I’m perturbed, sir, by one thing that my Master Baha’ullah wrote in one of his books. He said, “After I pass, there will not be another incarnation of God or of Master for at least another 1,000 years.”
Master: That is all right. I have great love for Baha’ullah, and since you love him also, I have great love for you. Have you read his books?
Master: Have you read his books for yourself? How many did he write?
Question: About one hundred volumes, sir.
Master: Okay, that is all right. Now, have you met Baha’ullah for yourself?
Question: He died long before I was born, sir.
Master: I mean, in meditation. Let me ask: Do you practise any meditation?
Question: I do, sir.
Master: Okay, very good, all right. Now, have you ever seen Baha’ullah in your meditation? What is it that you see, what is it in the way of inward experience, that you have when you meditate?
Question: I believe, sir, that Baha’ullah was a perfect-
Master: (interrupting) No, you are not answering the question that I ask! I am ASKING you, what do you see when you meditate?
Question: I...when I meditate, I have a great feeling of love for God.
Master: Very good, God bless you. Now, what have you SEEN?
Question: (Long pause) I feel that—I have had an experience of light, and some sensation of passing above and beyond the body.
Master: Very well, I accept completely what you tell me. I also tell you, again, that I love your teacher Baha’ullah, and because you have great love for him, I have the same love for you that I have for him. Now, I tell you, this is what you must do: go further in, into your meditation, and do not assume that this light that you have seen is the final stage. It is just the beginning. If you go in further into it, you may ask him what it is that you should do further in the way of spiritual development. And you may come here further, if you desire, for you are completely welcome here.
The young man thanked the Master and then left.
The question of whether Kirpal Singh is “the Perfect Master” is thus besides the point. If we love him, we will do as he requests, to see whether he is or not telling us the truth. What good would it do for us if he himself, or if someone else, were to say, “Yes, Kirpal Singh is indeed the Perfect Master”? We must see for our own selves
Saturday, December 29: I got very bold today. I asked a question.
Question: “Master, sitting before your physical presence, I feel bewildered and a little bit afraid, and I don’t know why.”
Master: “Well, what is it that you are afraid of?”
Question: “Well, I’m not exactly sure. I can’t think of what it is that I fear in you, but I am afraid.”
Master: “Well, I do not have two long arms which will come to haunt you in the middle of the night, now, do I? Your fear is because of the color of the spectacles that you are wearing. But then there is something more there, too, I think. That something more is very good. It shows that you are developing love for the Master, and that you are going up in love. When you love someone, you are always thinking, ‘I hope I have pleased him, I hope I have done nothing to offend him.’ This is a very good sign, and it is good when you feel like that.”
Three traveling German scholars came today and asked very pointed questions. Before leaving, one of them gave Him a painting of a radiant and multi-colored sun, and said, “This is the radiant sun.”
After they had left, Master sighed and said to us, “Do you see? Sometimes people come here to test me.”
Later, Gyani Ji brought in the telephone and interrupted our Darshan, saying that it was an important Swami calling long distance from Bombay. Master seemed upset by the contents of the telephone message. To share it with us, he spoke to the Swami in English, thus giving us half of the conversation:
“Speak more slowly, please! No, I have not received word of this, what you have done. No! I have received neither letter nor telegram from you!…I TELL YOU, please be quiet and LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING....NO, I WILL NOT GO TO BOMBAY NEXT WEEK....NO, I TELL YOU, I HAVE NOT received word of this....That’s right!...What do you mean to tell me? This is the FIRST WORD I have received of this....All right, then....All right. ...But no promises, I tell you. All right, if my health permits it, but no promises.”
Then He hung up rather emphatically, and looked at us wistfully. “You see what they do? They use my name on a programme without telling me ahead of time. Then they call me up and say, ‘You MUST come, because we have already printed the programme with your name on it, and people are expecting you here.’ They use my name to draw a crowd, and then they ask me to come! Do you see what has become of my name?”
Sunday, December 30: Master conducted large Satsang in the Ashram courtyard. The Westerners sat near the front. The Master was incomparably radiant today, even seeming to grow at times. I became aware of the meagerness of my own receptivity. He started by giving us a sitting, after which time he asked to see how many of us had had this or that inward experience. As always, He wrote down the numbers of people who had seen one experience or another. I do not know why He does this, but the impression that it gives is that He is a Holy Accountant!
The discourse which followed was mainly in Hindi. Then the “music Master” Pratap Singh Ji sang a bhajan, which seem-ed to give Master immense pleasure. Master closed His eyes, nodded along with the rhythm, and seemed to be in ecstasy! Then it all ended abruptly and He told us, “Okay, go and take your food!”
Later in the day, Master spoke about the diary and suggest-ed that we might take one column at a time and work on it concertedly in order to weed out that particular failing. “Always do one thing at a time,” He said.
Monday, December 31: A disappointing day for me. I posed a question. Master did not even bother to answer it, but said, “This has been answered already,” and was very curt and blunt. I should have been more considerate than to ask such a question.
He seemed to be in much physical pain today.
Tuesday, January 1, 1974: New Year’s Day to the Western world. Master said that we should sit for at least two hours at a time, and that the hours of 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. were best. Sawan Singh once said, “I am going out in the early morning hours to spread grace, but nobody is awake to receive it!” Master added, “I quote His saying that, only to help you develop more incentive."
There are others around the Ashram and visiting here who regularly see the Master’s radiant form within. What an awesome blessing that must be! For the rest of us who do not have that experience, there is some blockage. As Master drives home to us regularly, we must not fault the technique of Surat Shabd Yoga because of this deficiency. It is not the technique which is blocked, but it is we who are blocked!
Tuesday, January 2: The workers have done remarkable work in building new structures here since I arrived. The same ones seem to be working through twelve or fifteen hours straight, every day. When I rise in the morning at 7:30 a.m., they have already been on the job for about an hour. When I go to sleep at night, some of them are still on the job.
The Master’s message is so very repetitive and invariant, and yet he pounds it home tirelessly. He has said that none who came before Him, nor any who will come after Him, will plead and beg with us as much as He does.
What is most astounding is the incredible work pace that He keeps up. He will soon pass His 80th birth anniversary. Yet His work pace would ravage a man of twenty-five or thirty-five in the peak of physical health.
Several days ago, a typist in Master’s correspondence office was away for the day, and I was asked if I would like to fill in for him. I was placed before a somewhat battered typewriter. An enormous stack of envelopes was placed before me. “Please do type, upon these envelopes, the names and addresses of the people who are to receive these letters from the Master.” And an enormous stack of letters was placed before me. I typed approximately thirty of these envelopes. I was then given thirty more! The letters went to people in every conceivable part of the world. Each and every one was proofread and signed by the Master.
Question: “Dear Master, when misfortune befalls me, I am sometimes perplexed as to why it is happening. Is it the fructification of some past karma? Or is it an immediate reaction to some error which I am making right now without knowing that I am doing it? Let me add that when all goes well, I have no such dilemma; I take no credit at all for the good in my life but attribute it to the Master.”
Master: “This, I would say, is an excellent question. Yes, some misfortunes come from past reactions, past karmas sown in earlier lives. Some surely come from error we are now making. We have no way of distinguishing until we have risen up above astral plane, into causal plane, where our past karmas and present destinies can be revealed to us. Until you rise up that far, simply do your best in all things, think nothing of results of your work, and trust in the Master Power. This is true selfless service.
Question: “Please speak to us about child-rearing.”
Master: “It is far easier, I tell you, to beget a child than to raise one. Everyone wants to beget a child, but how many want to raise one? Children will copy whatever example is set before them. The teaching of the child begins in the mother’s womb. She must think kind thoughts and be placing her whole attention upon God at that time.”
Friday, January 4: Where has the time gone? I leave here tomorrow! My feelings, now so mixed, are difficult to describe. Yesterday, He told us: “Develop love for God. God, you see, is very sensitive. If you think unkindly of Him, then He is hurt. He knows exactly what you feel toward Him at every moment. I tell you, He is pleased if you have got greater love for Him.”
I’m ecstatic today because of His love and how He expressed it to me last night. As He was leaving, I said to Master, “Sir, I depart tomorrow, may I see You to say good-bye?”
“Yes, of course!” He laughed, and he gestured me to follow Him into the inner part of the house, which I had never seen before. I was dazed and quite frightened. He led me into a little sitting room and gestured me into a chair. I was so astounded that I tactlessly sat in the chair—and He in another chair. I should have sat on the floor.
“Well!” He said, flashing huge, beacon-like eyes at me, “so when are you leaving?” His smile dwarfed all other human smiles I had ever seen, and the dawnlight pouring from His eyes over-whelmed me. I replied, in shaky voice, “Nine o’clock tomorrow, Sir.”
He gestured to a servant: “Some Parshad, please!” Then, “Nine o’clock in the morning, is it?”
“No, Sir, nine o’clock in the evening.”
“OH! Why, that leaves us LOTS OF TIME! Come back and see me tomorrow before you go. And come to the morning session with any questions you wish to pose! Now, go!” And He stared at me, and added, “And God bless you!”
This was so devastating an experience that I literally could not sleep the night through.
My departure was marred by my forcing a donation on Master.
“Do not impose this thing upon me!” He said, vehemently.
“I am sorry, Sir. I already signed the traveler’s cheque and cannot take it back.”
“Do you offer money to your parents when you visit THEM?”
“Well, how is this different from that?”
OH! HE SAID THAT!
“You will have enough money of your own in America?
“You will have good paying job?”
“I have a scholarship at my university, Sir, and it is ample.”
“And what is it you are studying?”
“Psychology! Indeed, that is a very good kind of work, for you!”
HE TOLD ME THAT!! THAT WAS THE ONE THING I HAD WANTED TO ASK HIM THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE VISIT, BUT I HAD FORGOTTEN. NOW HE WAS TELLING ME.
“Mind, one thing,” he added, “Psychology, that is on the level of MIND. What we have here, Surat Shabd Yoga, is something different. It is on the level of SOUL. Do not confuse the two.”
9:00 p.m.: Taxi ride to New Delhi airport. The cab driver is an initiate. Going through Customs. Air France flight 707 to Paris, with stops in Teheran, Beirut, and Athens. Oh, dear God, here I go again into limbo, the netherworld of being en route in strange and foreign places.
Taxing down the runway, we’ve touched off again. Thirty-two hours hence I’ll be in Philadelphia, and shortly thereafter, home. I’ve been gone only three weeks, but it seems like a year.
Isolated memory-images of Sawan Ashram and of Master now come flooding back into my mind in a strange, intoxicating swirl. This together with thoughts of my future, my destiny in this life, yet remaining to be unfolded. Heaven only knows if I will see HIM again physically. I must strive to glean everything from this visit.
Touching down, at last my long journey ended—Sawan Ashram, less than twenty-four hours behind me, one phrase sticks in my mind, now, above all else:
“TAKE HEED, THAT THE LIGHT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU BECOMES NOT DARKNESS.”
The Embodiment of the Lord
J. M. Sethi
A Saint is the embodiment of the Lord,
He who desires to see God, let him go to a Saint.
The physical body of my Beloved Satguru Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj was the very abode of Sat Purush. He was a rare specimen of manhood and radiated compassion. He had the deepest love for all mankind, and worked incessantly for the spiritual uplift and regeneration of suffering humanity. He practiced and preached the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God. He was an embodiment of peace and harmony; He was Love personified. He was all divine glory, beauty and humility; His radiant divinity attracted all towards Him. The weak found solace in Him; the oppressed received inspiration. He had a unique gift of treating humans at various levels of understand-ing; His kind heart was moved to uplift all who came to Him. During the later days of His earthly sojourn He worked round the clock despite His failing health. He was ever serene and sublime in His serenity. Godliness played on His broad forehead, and His deep set large blue eyes radiated kindliness and com-passion. True to His name He was a veritable lion of mercy; He rendered protection to all who turned to Him.
One day an old man named Mehr Chand came to see the Master; he requested financial help. The Master told him that since He had recently retired from Service and was now living on His pension it would be unfair for him to continue demanding the stipend the Master had been allowing him up to then. The old man was adamant and would not budge without getting his share. The Master then gave him Rs. 100, and told him to start some small business so that he could stand on his own feet. After this man had left I was told the following story.
Mehr Chand was at one time an affluent person living at Lahore. In the early forties he attended a Satsang of Maharaj Kirpal Singh Ji which prompted him to ask for initiation from Hazur Baba Sawan Singh. After initiation, the process of wind-ing up his past karmas ensued, and within a few years he lost all his wealth and became a pauper. He was very much perturbed over his fate, and started drifting away from the Path, so much so, that he not only stopped attending Satsang and practicing meditation, but chose to seek help from a Muslim mystic who was known to bestow worldly bounties. Mehr Chand narrated his tale of woe to this Muslim Darvesh and pleaded for his help. The Darvesh asked him to come on the following day as he would ask his ascended Master for a boon during the night in meditation. This Darvesh met his Master in meditation and put forward Mehr Chand’s plea. But he was told it was not possible for them to help Mehr Chand as he had been initiated by Hazur Baba Sawan Singh who was the Emperor of all Darveshes. This was a stunning blow for Mehr Chand. He was then struck by the spiritual magnitude of Hazur and his own infidelity to Him. He wept bitterly and came back dejected. His abject poverty had become unbearable and he decided to take his own life and that of his wife and children also; he bought some poison, planning to finish off the whole family at midnight.
On this day Maharaj Kirpal Singh reached home very late, having delivered Satsang in the evening. The first thing He did was to ask for any money which was available at home. His wife immediately handed over about Rs. 200. The Master hurried to the house of Mehr Chand. The poor man was all in tears. The compassionate Master consoled him and handed over the money to tide him over the situation, and told him never to think of suicide again. From this day onwards the Beloved Master had rendered him financial help every month, and sustained this family until Partition in 1947.
The rare distinction of Maharaj Kirpal Singh Ji as compared to the ascended Masters was that He stressed the importance of personal inner experience of divine Light and Sound Principles at the time of initiation. As a matter of fact most of His initiates are still not fully aware of the significance of this boon. The human body is given to us through the grace of God, and it is due to the evolution of some noble karma of our past lives that a yearning has sprouted in our hearts for taking up the Holy Path. It is the rare grace of the Master that He accepts us for initiation into the Mysteries of the Beyond. Holy initiation granted by a Perfect Master is the first step towards spiritual grandeur and beatitude. It is an injection of cosmic consciousness into the spirit of the seeker. This is the visa for the soul to travel ultimately in the astral, causal and higher planes under the protective guidance of the Master. This is in reality the imparting of His personal life impulse for burning the past karma stored since ages untold and unaccounted for. It liberates us from bondage in the cycle of birth and death, enabling us finally to merge with the Father in our True Home.
When Maharaj Ji was at Meerut giving a mass initiation in the early fifties, there was a man present who had come purposely to test the competency of the Master. After the initiation sitting, the Master inquired, as He usually did, about the inner experiences had by everyone there. When this man’s turn came, he said that he had not received Light or Sound. The Master of course knew that he was lying. He told him that he should give a fair trial to his meditations which would enable him to have inner contact within a few days. It was explained to him that if he insisted on being taken up it would be very hard for him to undergo the strain of forcible withdrawal. But he did not agree. Maharaj Ji then told him to look into His eyes and sit for meditation as explained earlier, and the man was immediately withdrawn out of his physical body and fell senseless to the ground. He remained in this state for about two hours. The Master called a doctor to test his physical condition, and it was found that his heartbeat had slowed considerably but that the prana currents were all right. Later, when the Master brought him back, he fell at His Holy Feet and begged forgiveness for his obstinacy. He said that when the sensory currents were withdrawn from body consciousness he felt as if a million flashes of lightning had struck him—it was a horrible experience of death in life. This man lived for a few months and then left this world.
While the Master was on tour in Western India, at Ulhas-nagar several persons came for holy initiation and sat in a big hail. It was usual that before their names were taken down the Beloved Master would come to see them to make sure they were ready for initiation. When He came, He stopped in front of an outwardly quite impressive person belonging to a middle-class family; He told him that he should wait for some time, and that he would be considered for initiation later on. This was a great surprise for us all, and of course that man was very sad to hear the decision of the Master. Afterwards, the Master told us that this man was not ready for initiation as he had not earned enough good karma to qualify him for holy initiation. This judgement is reserved for the Master Who alone can see the seal or Moharchhap on the forehead of humans, which entitles them to initiation.
Sweet Remembrance of My Master
I went to India for the Unity of Man Conference in 1974. I stayed at Sawan Ashram from January 27th to March 3rd. Those five weeks were unforgettable! I had said in November 1973 that I would like to go to India and spend some time with Master at the Ashram before He left His physical body. When the open invitation came, I was not sure about going because of my work and finances. A sister initiate talked me into going. I realized Master was granting my wish. I am grateful that I decided to go, especially since my Master left the earth-plane almost six months later.
When we were at the Ashram two bus loads of about a hundred disciples went to Manav Kendra. When we arrived there, Master came out of His home to greet us and wanted to know when we would be leaving India, each one individually. Then He told us to go to our rooms and have something to eat. While eating, all the lights went out. I started back to my room in the dark. Just as I was about to open the door, I heard someone say, “Master is here!” He had been driven in His car to where we had been eating. We all hurried back. Master was sitting in His chair facing us, and had started talking. Then He turned on the flashlight, and beamed it on everyone’s face, one by one. He said, “You came here to find the light, and this is where the light is coming from.” Then He turned the light on His own face. The most beautiful smile, and He shook with laughter. All of us sighed audibly; I know I never saw anything so beautiful—in the pitch darkness; only one Light, one Face! That is one remembrance of Master.
Another sweet memory was when we were leaving Manav Kendra. Our bus was to leave around 8:00 a.m. Master was scheduled to leave at 6:00 a.m. As I was walking to our bus, I thought it would be parked at the roadway in back of Master’s home, but it was parked across from Master’s home, in front of the meeting house. But I was heading the other way, going past Master’s house. As I passed the gate I looked at the house, and saw Master’s car was. surrounded by disciples. I had a glimpse of Master getting into His car. I stayed outside the gate with two or three people, and the car started coming out. I will always remember what I saw. I stood in front facing the car in full view of Master. I will always remember Him that way. I remember thinking—I wish I had my camera! But looking at Master I could not think, I was awed at what I saw, because later I found my camera in my purse, hanging on my arm. There was my Master, sitting so regal in the car, the two people in the front seat were so small, hardly noticeable, I only saw Master’s white beard, white turban, white coat. He seemed to be sitting so high, as on a throne with His hands folded, blessing us. He was the King of kings riding in His golden chariot (His car was a gold color). I will never forget. I did not snap His picture, but the picture is in my mind forever.Part Four