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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

by KiRpAl SingH

Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj (1858-1948)



Dedicated to the Almighty God working through all Masters who have come and Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj at whose lotus feet the writer imbibed sweet elixir of Holy Naam the Word



I have written books without any copyrightno rights reservedbecause it is a Gift of God, given by God, as much as sunlight; other gifts of God are also free. from a talk by Krpal Sngh, wth the author of a book after a talk to students of relgon at Santa Clara Unversty, San Jose, Calforna on november 16, 1972. The text of ths book s the same as what was publshed durng the lfetme of Master Krpal Sngh. Asde from punctuaton and captalzaton correctons, no changes have been made to the text. it s exactly the same as what was approved by Master Krpal Sngh.

Orgnally publshed n inda: Frst Edton 1968 n 3000 Copes Second Edton 1971 n 3300 Copes Ths prntng s of the Second Edton 2007

RUHAni SATSAng Dvne Scence of the Soul 250 H Street, #50 Blane, WA 98230-4018 USA iSBn 978-0-9764548-6-1 [0-9764548-6-6] Mystery of Death SAn 854-1906 iSBn 978-0-942735-80-2 [0-942735-80-3] Combined edition Wheel of Life and Mystery of Death www.RuhanSatsangUSA.org

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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH


by KiRpAl SingH

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)

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TABlE OF COnTEnTS
Authors preface.....................................................x introducton .............................................................1 Chapter i nothng Des n nature .....................................21 Chapter ii The lght of lfe...............................................29 Chapter iii lfe n Fullness .................................................43 Chapter iV Death n Bondage ..............................................63 Chapter V What After Death? ............................................83 Books by Krpal Sngh ........................................ 111

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Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)


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AUTHORS PREFACE
Death s the greatest engma n lfe. it has baffled humanknd from tmes out of mnd. And yet despte all attempts to solve the mystery, t has remaned as mysterous as ever before. The Sants of the hghest orderSant Satgurus, or the perfect Masterswho come down from the regon of deathlessness and are ever in tune with the Infinite, know the shadowy character of death. They teach us that death s not what t seems. it s a joyous brth (born agan) nto a lfe more beatific than we ever dreamed of here. It is just as sun sets on ths sde of the globe and rses n the other part. They pont out and demonstrate to us the way to conquer the seemngly nvncble and terrfyng death and thus become fear-free. Ths s the grand lesson that we can get from the Sants. They assure us that we do not dewe smply shake off physcal vesture of body to work n other bodes: physcal or astral or causal; and ultmately rse to realze our dvne nature and see oneness n godthe All-conscousness and blss. in the pages that follow, an attempt has been made to suggest the way to the soluton of tangled rddle n succnct and lucd language whch may be easly ntellgble to the reader. The study offers a somewhat simplified approach to the abstruse and esoterc doctrnes pertanng to the body and the soul, the relaton between the two. it also offers the methods to control the mnd so as to make t a wllng and obedent nstrument for transcendng body-conscousness, whch can be a foretaste of the actual death experence whch all of us have to undergo ultmately.

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The glory of a perfect Master les not only n teachng merely on the level of ntellect but n encompassng a drect, immediate and first-hand experience of what he teaches. The scence of the Masters s the only sprtual scence whch s demonstrable n the laboratory of the mnd. it yelds outof-body experences, openng up vast vstas of sprtual awakenng nto unearthly realms of ndescrbable splendour; and all this while living in the flesh. Salvation to be real must be ganed rght now and here. The way to the Sprt, and power-of-god, s always open to the sncere seekers after Truth, but success on the path depends on the dvne grace medated through some godman. One who is fired with the love of God is sure to find the means to reach god. it s just a queston of the ntensty of yearnng. Where there s sncere and genune love of god, He comes n the garb of a Sant to lead the asprants to Hmself. May Hs lght be a lamp unto the feet of those who aspre for the lfe of the Sprt, and lead the asprants to a human pole where that lght shnes. My heartfelt thanks go to Shr Bhadra Sena specally, and to other dedcated souls lke hm who n one form or another helped n brngng out ths work; and spent long hours over the manuscrpt n a sprt of lovng devoton. August 25, 1968 Kirpal Singh

INTRODUCTION
lfe and Death are correlatve terms. in the realm of relatvty we cannot thnk, speak and act except by puttng one thng n juxtaposton to another. Ths s the way to understand what s phenomenal. in multplcty, we are confronted at every step wth complex jgsaw puzzles, and have, therefore, to follow an analytcal process of sortng out the component parts n each case, to name them ndvdually and to put one n relaton to the other, so as to comprehend somethng of t on the plane of the senses and the ntellect. Thus by the very nature of thngs, and by the nature of the cognzng facultes wth whch nature has endowed us, we lve by the knowledge of the parts only, and never get a true pcture of anythng n ts totalty. Snce we have no knowledge and experence of the noumenon, we are content all the whle wth forms and colours of the thngs we see, ther attrbutes and characterstcs whch may be apparent on the surface, wthout penetratng nto the depth, the central lfe-prncple, whch s the self-same n all n spte of the dfferences n the mass, the densty, the volume, the weght and the shape of what we see and observe. lke the lady of Shallot, we lve all the tme n the world of shadows as reflected in the reflecting mirror (of mind and intellect), wth our back turned, as t were, even upon the objectve world around us, what to speak of the subjectve world n each one of usthe world of realty wth wonders greater, vaster, more gorgeous and more glorous than anythng n the physcal. With the dawn of first flicker in man, of Divinity, the All-controllng and All-sustanng power behnd everythng organc or norganc, developed the conscousness of some
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prncple whch was the lfe and soul of the unverse. Ths gradually led to the foundng of varous relgons, each accordng to the nsght that ts founder had, regard beng to the needs of the tme and the people and the level of racal understandng and capacty to accept, dgest, and assmlate the teachngs of the Apostles, Messahs and prophets who came from tme to tme for the materal, mental, moral, socal and economc uplftment of the multtudes. All relgons sprng from the best of motves. The leaders of relgous thought are as much the product of the tme as the condtons they create for the ameloraton of the masses among whom they preach. Ths beng the case, t may not be far amss to say that for the majorty of the people, the superb teachngs of the enlghtened teachers formed what may be sad soco-relgons, codes of socal and moral precepts so as to make people lve n peace wth one another, rather than n a state of perpetual unrest, and fear of warwar of one aganst all and all aganst one. All good and vrtuous thoughts; lke other thoughts, proceed from the mnd. in the case of world teachers such thoughts had ther orgn n the lfe of the sprt they lved.it s, however, very few who rise to their level, and profit by their ntrnsc teachngs, the practcal aspect n each relgon mystcsmconsttutng the core of what they taught. Thus the practcal central theme was mparted to the chosen fewthe electwhle the masses were gven the theoretcal aspect of the teachngs n the form of parables as mght, n course of tme, enable them to grasp and understand the true mport of what they actually taught. Thus as one probes the bottom of all relgons, one gets glmpses of the realty no matter how fant and vague at tmes they appear, because we have not yet developed the eyes whch ther founders had. For the common man, relgon remaned, for the most part, a theory, a ratonalsed theory at the most, to mprove hs lot
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n lfe and make hm a better man, a better member of the socal order to whch he belonged, a true ctzen of the state, clothed wth cvc rghts and oblgatons, socal and famly responsbltes, for the healthy dscharge of whch he was thus equpped. All vrtues, all acts, all arts, all scences and all crafts ncludng statecraft, prest-craft, the gentlecraft have ther bass n the lowest common multple n varyng degrees, of the underlyng unversal truth, as conceved by ther progentors; hence we see an amalgam of relgon wth socal and moral trappngs to make t presentable and acceptable to the generalty of manknd. Ths s the aspect of relgon that provides a firm basis to the social order of the race. if we move a step further, we come to other stratum n relgon. it s one of moral vrtues, arsng at dfferent levels, as rtes and rtuals, forms and formulares, austertes and penances, humantes and chartes, ncantatons to tame and reconcle rreconclable powers that be, and nvocatons to frendly powers for ad and succour n tmes of need. last, but not the least, come the yogs and yogshweras well-versed n yogc dscplnes as we shall presently see. At the apex of the herarchy, are Master-sants, perfectedbengs or god-men who not only speak of the power and Sprt of god, but make it manfest n ther ntates and conscously lnk ndvdual souls wth t. it must be sad to ther credt that thers s the true relgon, truly relgous, etymologcally and practcally, bndng men back to the Creator. The teachngs of Masters do not form an nsttutonal relgon as t s ordnarly understood to be. it s a regular speces of scencethe Scence of Soul. Whosoever fathfully practses ths scence as enjoned by the
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Masters, gets the same experences and arrves at the same conclusons; rrespectve of the socal relgon to whch he belongs and the Church; Hgh or low, papal or Anglcan, Epscopal or presbyteran, to whch he owes allegance. The Scence of Soul s the kernel and the core of all relgons. it s the foundaton on whch all relgons rest. The Masters teach that there are seven planespnd, Und, Brahmand, par Brahmand, Sach Khand, Alakh and Agam. And above all the cosmos, there s the eghth plane, called dfferently by the Sants as Anam (nameless), Maha Dayal (lord of compasson), nrala (the most wonderful) or Swam (the lord of all). The ntates of the Masters are gven an account n bref of the dstngushng features of each of the first five planes and the characteristic sounds and lights prevalng n each; and the names of the presdng powers. The initiate who successfully crosses the first plane is called a sadhak (dscple). And the one who traverses the second s known a Sadh (a dscplned soul). He who s washed clean n the par Brahmand of the lngerngs and longings in him is called a Hansa (a purified soul) and he who goes further up s called a param-Hansa (an mmaculate soul). He who reaches the fifth plane (Sach Khand) is called a Sant or a Sant. And a Sant who s commssoned by the Supreme Beng to teach Truth (Shksha) and to demonstrate Truth (Dksha) s called a Sant Satguru (or a perfect Master) havng authorty to gude jvas (human souls) nto the realms beyond, to ther ultmate Home (the Kngdom of god). Yoga means unon of soul wth the Oversoul or godpower. There are so many forms of yogaMantra yoga, Hatha yoga, Ashtang yoga, Karam yoga, Bhakt yoga, Jnana yoga, Raja yoga, laya yoga and the lke. These yogc dscplnes, more or less, deal wth the tranng of the physcal body, the outgong facultes, the mnd and the
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ntellect. They am at securng a healthy mnd n a healthy body, so as to achieve health, physical fitness and longevity. Each has ts own scope and purpose. But all these dfferent yogc forms do not consttute watertght compartments, but together they serve to ntegrate man to make hm whole or an undvded ndvdual. (For a detaled account n ths behalf, reference may profitably be made to the study of Crown of Life wheren the subject has been dealt wth at some length). There s yet another form of yogathe Surat Shabd Yoga or Communon wth the Holy Word (Sound Current). it s at the root of all relgons and yet t s not properly understood by the theologans. it takes one to the ultmate goalAnam or the nameless Absolute who s at the back of the entre creation both as its material and efficient Causeless Cause. As the Ocean of pure Conscousness heaved, the Formless and nameless Absolute came nto expresson, n many dfferent forms wth many dfferent names by the power of its own heavng vbratons; the Sound whereof came to be called the Holy Word. How to get nto drect touch wth the Sprt and power of god, the prmal Creatve prncple (the lght of lfe) s the subject of mystcsm. Whle all phlosophes deal wth the manfested aspect of the Unmanfest and the creaton of the Uncreate; mystcsm, on the other hand, deals with the first Creative Principle itself, the vibratory force charactersed by Sound and lght (Srut and Jyot). The process of Communon wth the Word starts wth a conscous contact wth the god-nto-expresson-power (the naam or the Holy ghost) and t grants one an actual experence of neffable blss of the hgher planes, not on credt to be experenced n the hereafter (after death); but right here and now, while yet living in flesh in the material physcal world.

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

These vbratons, resultng nto varous types of sounds, gude the ntate through the dfferent planes of varyng denstes, materal and sprtual, and ultmately lead the sprt nto a purely sprtual world of Sat naam (the Kng dom of god), from where the Dvne Harmony emanates whch becomes the means of leadng back the world-weary souls to the True Home of the lovng Fatherthe heaven of blss. Tuls Sahb says: A Sound from afar s comng down to call you back to god. Smlarly, we have the testmony of Shamas Tabrez when he, addressng hmself, says: O Shamas! Hearken thou to the Voce of god, callng thee unto Hm. guru Arjan lkewse says: He Who sent you nto the world below, s now callng you back. in the Quran we have: O thou soul! return to the lord, well pleased and pleasng Hm. A perfect lvng Master s a must on the path godward. in the gospel of St. John, we have: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me. (14:6). All the Masters say that there s always n the world a Master or a Murshd who functons as a Qbla numa, or a ponter to the Qbla or the holest of the holy, sanctum sanctorum, worthy of our adoraton and worshp. in the Skh scrptures we have: The teachers come n successon from age to age. St. luke lkewse tells us: As He, spoke by the mouth of hs holy prophets whch have been snce the world began. (1:70). The law of Demand and Supply s always workng n nature. There s food for the hungry and water for the thrsty. Where there is fire, oxygen of its own comes to its aid. But each prophet and a Messah works out hs msson for the tme he s sent nto the world. Jesus sad: As long as i am n the world, i am the lght of the world. (John 9:5). But when
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one fulfils his commission, he is recalled, gathered up and passes away from the scene of hs actvty on the earth-plane. in nature, there s no such thng as vacuum. The power-ofgod cannot but contnue the work of the regeneraton for t s a ceaseless task. Whle wthdrawng from one human pole, the sad power chooses another human pole for ts manfestaton and work n the world. Such a human pole may be sad to be the vceregent of god. He steps nto the breach, fills in the gap and carries on the work. It is just like replacng a fused bulb wth the new one, to ensure contnuty of lght. The Chrst power or the power-of-god contnues to shne undmnshed from one pole or another; may be n the lkeness of Zoroaster, Confucus, Jesus, Mohammed, Kabr, nanak, Tuls Sahb or Soam J. As stated before, the world s never wthout a Master. After Soam J, Baba Jamal Sngh J carred on hs Masters msson n the punjab and then hs llustrous sprtual son and successor, Hazur Sawan Sngh J whose grace contnues to shne, even now, more than ever before, all over the world through Ruhan Satsang wth ts Headquarters n Delha common forum where relgous heads of the country and from abroad meet, from tme to tme, and work n cementng manknd nto one brotherhood as chldren of god, rrespectve of the socal relgous orders and the countres to whch they belong. When the Sants leave the world, accounts of ther valuable experences n the course of ther search for Truth are compled and they add to the sacerdotal lterature of the world, as extant today. in the twenteth century we are fortunate to have several scrptures comng down from ages gone by. We have Zend Avesta, the Vedas, the Upnshadas, the great epcs of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Bhagwad gta, the old and new Testaments, the Al-Quran, the Ad

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

granth and many other books lke Sar Bachan and gurmat Sdhant. All of them deal wth the self-same Truth whch s one and only one, but approach to Truth s n a varety of ways, each havng ts pecular termnology and mode of expresson. But most of us stckng to the teachngs of the one or the other of the sages, find it hard to comprehend ther mport for lack of knowledge of the nner meanng of key-words employed and the language or dalect pressed nto servce. Unless a man of realsaton, who has hmself experenced the truths propounded by the wrters, comes to our ad and explans them to us and n a way ntellgble to us, we cannot get at the real meanngs. in the hands of such a competent Master, the past records come alve and become a source of nspraton for the asprng souls. it s, therefore, sad: The scrptures are tools n the hands of a Master, and do help n ferryng across the sea of lfe, But the scrptures become ntellgble only when some god-man comes to nterpret them. At ntaton, the seeker after Truth s conscously lnked wth the Holy Word, the god-nto-expresson power n the form of lght and Sound emanatng from the vbratory moton n the depth of the Ocean of love, as god s. He s gven a drect demonstraton of the power and Sprt of god and begns to see the lght of god and to hear the Musc of Spheres, vbratng unceasngly everywhere, n space and out of space, for there s no place where it s not. Of guru nanak, fully dyed n the colour of the All-pervadng naam and always lvng n a state of contnuous ecstasy, t s sad that once n hs travels he, whle n Mecca (n Araba), was one day found lyng n the sacred precncts wth hs feet towards the sacred shrne Qaaba. The attendants of the shrne could not tolerate ths apparently sacrlegous act.
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They rebuked hm for the affront sayng, How, s t that you are lyng wth your feet towards the House of god? guru nanak, who was conscous of the Sprt of god surgng everywhere and n every drecton, meekly asked, please tell me where god s not, so that i may turn my feet n that drecton. Ths s how god-centred Sants look at thngs. They see god everywhere and n all drectons as an Allpervadng lfe-prncple pulsatng n all that s. Smlarly, n Al-Quran, the prophet has declared: The Kngdom of god extends from east to west, and the fathful can find Him in whatsoever direction they may turn their face towards Hm, for god s sure to meet them n that very direction; as He is not confined to any particular space and is All-knowng, knowng the heart of each. Al-nsa, a Muslm darvesh, elaboratng ths pont goes on to explan: For me the whole earth s but a tabernacle of god and a holy place for offerng prayers. My followers are free to say ther prayers wherever they may happen to be, when the tme of prayer dawns. in the Acts of Apostles (17:24), we have: god s the Creator of heaven and earth and He dwelleth not n temples made by (human) hands. Olver Wendell Holmes, therefore, lays more emphass on devoton than on anythng else; for lovng devoton sanctifies the place, the time and mode of prayer. He says: All s holy where one kneels n devoton. The power and Sprt of god s All-pervadng. it s everpresent and ever-vbratng. By attunng to the Dvne Melody, the soul s spontaneously lfted, as t were n an electrc lft, to hgher and hgher regons, and one proceeds on and on n the wake of the tuneful Musc whch gradually

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

becomes more and more subtle untl t gets absorbed nto the Source whence t proceedsthe Absolute, the Anam or the nameless and the Wordless. We all are n search of god accordng to our own lghts. The souls after passng through a long and wearsome evolutionary process of self-discipline and self-purification, are ultmately led by the god-power to the feet of a Mastersant for journey back to god. no man can come to me except the Father whch has sent me draw hm: and i wll rase hm at the last day. (John 5:44). The last day here means the day when one leaves the dross of the body, may be voluntarly n ones lfetme by rsng above bodyconscousness by the practcal process of self-analyss; or nvoluntarly at the tme of death when the sensory currents are wrenched out of the body by the Angel of Death. guru Arjan says: He that sent you nto the world s now callng you back. Turn ye Homeward wth ease and comfort. The nventons of rado and radar have now proved, beyond doubt, that the atmosphere around us s full of vbratng sounds whch can be pcked up and drawn down to be heard from any dstance whatsoever, provded there s an nstrument well-equpped, well-adjusted and well-attuned to catch them. Ths s exactly what a competent Master does at the tme of ntaton, when he tunes n ndvdual souls and makes the Sound prncple audble to them. The outer earthly musc has great mpact on man. The solders on the march are roused by the materal strans of bugles and trumpets. The hghlanders, n ther tartan klts, march trumphantly wth the sound of pbrochs or the bag-ppes. The salors and seamen tug and pull at the sals and work at the oars with rhythmic shouts. The muffled drums play the funeral march to the sorrowng mourners accompanyng a ber. The dancers dance n unson wth the
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accompanyng musc and the jnglng of ther bracelets and anklets. Even the anmals lke the chmng of the bells ted to their horns. The fleet-footed antelope is enticed from the hdng thckets by the beatng of drums. The deadly cobras are charmed by the snake-charmer by the musc of vna. The outer musc takes the soul to the end of the materal plane and rases emotons whch otherwse le too deep for tears. Such ndeed s the power of musc. John Dryden, an emnent Englsh poet of the seventeenth century, speaks of t eloquently: What passon cannot Musc rase and quell? When Jubal struck the chorded shell, Hs lstenng brethren stood around, And wonderng, on ther faces fell To worshp that celestal sound. less than a god they thought there could not dwell Wthn the hollow of that shell, That spoke so sweetly and so well. What passon cannot Musc rase and quell? When such s the power of the earthly musc, one may well magne what would be the power of the celestal Musc? How nebratng and exhlaratng t would be when one would begn to rse above body-conscousness and be n tune wth the heavenly Harmony. The Word s the godpower come nto expresson. god s Symphonc love, all bubblng out and brmmng over. He s the Source at once of love, lght and lfe. The way to the Absolute leads through many mansons (planes and sub-planes) lyng on the way from the physcal to the Fathers Home. The journey s fraught wth danger. The mental planes are altogether mpassable wthout a gude fully conversant wth the turns and twsts of the path. Hence the mperatve need for a guru (torch-bearer) or a competent
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Master, a regular traveller on the way, fully cognzant of the difficulties and hazards that beset the path. He alone who is conversant wth the way godward, can safely take the sprt through slppery regons of blndng lght and bewlderng shadows and through delusve sren-charms and the terrors of the unknown. Maulana Rum therefore exhorts us: Fnd thou a traveller of the path, for wthout such a traveller, The path s full of untold ptfalls and nconcevable dangers. We, on the other hand, are deeply engrossed n the world. Kabr gves us a vvd descrpton of our helplessness n the fearsome sea of the world. He tells us that the way to real happness s long and dreary; and we are snorng deeply on the plane of the senses. He asks us to wake-up and start on the tortuous uphll journey. We all are n the deadly grp of the steely tentacles of lfe, carryng a heavy load of delusons on our head. Our so-called frends and relatons are mostly our credtors and debtors, and they are merclessly pullng us to peces n devous ways. The wonder s that we lovngly hold on to them and hug them to our bosom, lttle knowng that they are bleedng us whte. What we consder as our very own s just a mrage and s very often taken away from us n the twnklng of an eye. Agan, the poor soul has, after death, to tread the soltary path to the judgement seat of god (Dharam Raj, the Dvne Dspensng power) all alone. Wth the worn-out boat of the body, we are floating rudderless lke weeds n the treacherous streams, contnuous prey to chance wnds and stormy waters. How then are we gong to cross over to the other shore? For a mere pttance we are constantly engaged n a losng game; and n the end pass out lke a hunted quarry, and know not whther we go. We have no knowledge of the lfe beyond the grave. How can we be
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saved? This defies our understanding, and we feel baffled and helpless. The Master promses to be wth us all the tme, both here and n the hereafter nto the beyond. He gves a demonstraton of t to the ntate by manfestng hs Radant Form wthn each one of the ntates. And he assures us n no uncertan terms: Where i am, there shall ye be also. The ntate s taught the esoterc way to rse nto the Kngdom of Heaven whch les wthn hm. The nner journey starts wth the openng of the sngle eye or shv netra. it opens when the sensory currents are wthdrawn and gathered up to the seat of the soul at the eye focus behnd and between the two eyebrows. On enterng nto the beyond, the ntate can talk to the Master wthn and come back wth a fully conscous recollecton of the experences ganed on the nner planes. in the Kngdom of Heaven there s nether the chan of endless cause and effect, nor s there space nor tme. There s nothng but one contnuous present n whch one lves n a world of hs own. The communcaton between soul and soul s through etherc thought-waves or vbratons. All ths, and much more, can be acheved by daly and prolonged lovng devoton to the sprtual sadhanas or practces. in ths way, an ntate attans conscous contact wth the Master on the hgher planes and by degrees gets absorbed n Hm, so much so that he becomes one wth Hm; and paul-lke begns to say: I am crucified in Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life I live in the flesh, I live by the fath of the Son-of-god, who loved me. (gal. 2:20)

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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

The Master is Word-made-flesh, he is all the time in drect and constant communon wth the Dvne Word n hm, nay, he actually revels n it and often proclams i and my Father are one, or as we read n gurban, i and my Father are dyed n the self-same colour, or i and my Father are n workng partnershp wth each other (so as to run together the sprtual admnstraton of the world). in short, t may be sad that the Master s a conscous co-worker wth god of the Dvne plan. At tmes, the Master takes the ntate under cover far beyond certan planes whch are bewtchngly beautful, so that he may not get entangled theren and be lost n the wonders of the way. Maulana Rum therefore says: if you ntend gong on a plgrmage (nto the beyond), then take thou a plgrm for thy companon, it matters not whether the sad plgrm s a Hndu, a Turk or an Arab; but see that He s a real plgrm. A lvng Master s such a plgrm. Type of the wse who soar but never roam; True to the kndred ponts of Heaven and Home. To have a lvng Master s a great blessng. He never leaves nor forsakes the ntates even unto the end of the world. When one s ntated, the Master lves n hm n Hs astral or lucform body and ever remans wth hm tll the end of journey to Sat naam or Sat purush; and absorbs hmself n Hm and also makes the ntate-soul get absorbed n Hm the two becomng one n Hm. Even f at any tme the dscple goes astray or s led astray, he s brought back to the path of recttude ether n ths very lfe or n succeedng ones. Agan, Chrst and other Masters have, n course of tme, to pass away from the earth-plane and yet they lve n Shabd

14

inTRODUCTiOn

form wthn, but out of space and out of tme. Bound as we are wth one or the other of them, we naturally wsh to lve and de for them. But lttle do we know how to contact them wthn our own self. Such a contact s possble and well within our reach, if we but find a Shabd swaroop or Word personified teacher competent to link us with the Word, nay transform us nto the Word n whch all Masters of ages gone by eternally lve. i am remnded of a lady who met me n Amerca durng 1955. She used to greet Chrst wthn herself and was thus self-satisfied and did not like to make further attempt to advance further on the sprtual path. One day i casually suggested to her to ask Chrst as to what further steps He would prescrbe for nner progress. The followng day she came and warmly pressed for ntaton, remarkng that Chrst had drected her to seek the gudance of the lvng perfect Master, f she desred to further advance. The powers wthn never obstruct the seekers after god; and f one s n contact wth an ancent Master, he readly and gladly tells hs devotees what to do for the next steps on the sprtual path. A few of the ntates are taken up by the Master and shown the glory of the fifth region (Sach Khand), and most of the ntates are guded on to that plane. But as sad before, there are n all eght regons, and the eghth s the ultmate goal, whch s reached by those who attan complete perfecton. it s after transcendng Sat lok that one gets to know the neffable and ncomprehensble, it s n the regon beyond all these that Sants resde and nanak, the lowly one, also rests there.

15

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

St. John, the Dvne, n the Revelatons, gves us an exposton of hs nner experences: i was n the sprt on the lords Day and heard behnd me a great voce as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; And i turned to see the voce that spake wth me. He was one lke unto the Son of man. His eyes were as a flame of fire; Hs voce as the sound of many waters; Hs countenance was as the sun shneth n hs strength, And when i saw hm, i fell at hs feet dead and he lad hs rght hand upon me sayng unto meFear not, I am the first and the last; He that hath an ear, let hm hear what the sprt sath: To hm that overcometh, wll i gve to eat of the frut of lfe. He shall not be hurt of the second death, To hm wll i gve to eat the hdden manna, and wll gve hm a whte stone and n the stone a new name wrtten, whch no man knoweth savng he that receveth. And he shall be clothed n whte rament and i wll not blot hs name out of the Book of lfe, And i wll make hm a pllar n the temple of my god. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rch, and whte rament that thou mayest be clothed; And anont thne eyes wth eye salve that mayest see. Ch. 1, 2 & 3. in Ch. 12 of the second book of Cornthans, St. paul, speakng of hs vsons and revelatons, tells us of the thrd heaven when he says: i knew a man caught n the thrd heaven (Brahmand), whether n the body or out of the body, i cannot tell, god knoweth.
16

inTRODUCTiOn

How that he was caught up nto the paradse, and heard unspeakable words, whch s not lawful for me to utter. All the Masters stop short when t comes to revealng the nnermost secrets. Shamas Tabrez says: When t comes to tellng the tale of the Beloved, my pen falters and the page s torn. Maulana Rum also forbds the gvng out of the nner secrets: Thou mayest tell thy vson, not a jot ths or that even. Else He wll blot out all that thou hast seen, as t had never been. So does Kabr emphatcally declare: i beseech thee wth all the force at my command, Be careful that the nner secrets do not go out. We may as well close ths wth the memorable words from the famous Masnavi, wheren the great Rum says: It is not fitting that I tell thee more, For the streams bed cannot hold the sea. Ths, then, s the way that the Masters of yore kept hdden to themselves the Secret Doctrne of Dvnty, as a sacred trust, and mparted somethng of t only to ther trusted and tested dscples (gurmukhs). indeed t s not a subject that can adequately be dscussed n mere words. The proof of the puddng, however, les n ts eatng. it s a practcal process of self-analyss, tappng and nverson; and whosoever by the grace of a perfect Master, gans an access into himself and delves deep within, is sure of find the pearl of nestmable value. A touch of realty makes one real beyond all relatvty; and the mortal man s at once transmuted nto an mmortal sprt, dssolvng the gordan knot between the nert matter and the lvng soul. Thus s solved the mystery of lfe and death, for lfe alone exsts through the passng shadows of all that s transtory, swallowng death n vctory at every step.
17

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

in the followng pages, an attempt has been made to tell somethng of the Secret Doctrne n the three dmensonal language at our dsposal, whch s hghly nadequate to express the neffable. May the power and Sprt of god help the readers to a better understandng of the subject at the feet of some Competent Master, capable of delverng the sprtual rches here and now n ths lfe, for who knows whether the Truth wll dawn or not n the hereafter, as t s so solemnly and serously held out and promsed by so-called teachers wth whom the world abounds. in ths context, Chrst has gven a solemn warnng: Beware of false prophets, whch come to you n sheeps clothng, but nwardly they are ravenng wolves. (Math. 7:15). if a blnd leads the blnd, both shall fall nto the dtch. it s, therefore, of paramount mportance that one must make a thorough search for a Competent and perfect Master, and satsfy oneself of the genuneness before acceptng and adoptng hm as an unerrng gude and an unfalng frend on the god-way. it does not matter f one may have to spend hs entre lfe-span n ths momentous quest, rather than be taken n by pseudo Masters and lose ones only chance n lfe. A quest lke ths wll not go n van. Seek and ye shall find.

18

inTRODUCTiOn

I died as mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was a man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet, once more, I shall die as man, to soar With angels blessed, but even from angelhood I must pass on; all except God doth perish. When I have sacrificed my angel soul, I shall become what no mind eer conceived, Oh! let me not exist, for non-existence Proclaims in organ-tones, To Him we shall return. Maulana Rum

19

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)

20

I
NOTHING DIES IN NATURE
EATH and deathlessness both nhere n the nature of all that sall that combnes n tself both matter and sprt. Matter s but a projectng screen for the sprtthe all-pervadng sprt that attracts matter n varyng degrees of denstes and vbratons to manfest tself n varous patterns of forms and colours, at dfferent levels of exstence. Sprt by tself, wthout materal mantle to manfest tself on the earth-plane, s vod, for sprt wthout the coverng of matter cannot be seen with the eyes of flesh, just as the power of spring makes itself felt only when it acts on flowers and fruts makng them bloom and blossom wth jucy fragrance and luscious flavour. Man represents n hm the doctrne of trnty on earth, as he combnes n hmself body, mnd and soul, the last beng of the essence of god, the lfe-breath enlvenng both the body and the mnd makng one a lvng man, wth the breath of god surgng n hm from top to toe. The human body s ndvdualsed matter n as much as sprt enshrouded theren seems to be an ndvdualsed spirit, like the sun reflected in so many water pots. At death, the body, composed as t s of dfferent elements, dssolves and returns to the cosmc reservor of substances, ultmately mergng n one prmal substance; and the soul returns to god: As soon as the slver cord s loosened, the golden bowl s broken, lke a ptcher at the fountan or the wheel at the cstern. Then the dust returns unto the earth as t was, and the sprt returns unto god who gave t. (Ecc1.12:6-7).
21

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

A lvng man s not somethng ndependent of, and apart from the Supreme Power, that flows in him. He is a product of the Supreme power actng on materal plane through an organsed body of waves whch produce a state of conscousness n hm. Man exsts when the Supreme power runs n and through hs bodly mould, but when that power wthdraws unto itself, he s no more a lvng entty for all functonal actvty n hm ceases, and what remans? nothng but a mass of nert matter, the same as before n shape and substance, but wthout the lvng lfe-mpulse that was pulsatng n hm moments before. lke man, the entre unverse s a manfestaton of the one lfe-prncple, the prncple of lvng conscousness n varyng degrees, rght from logos down to the atoms of the materal elements, perpetually movng n rhythmc moton, formng and reformng n quck successon many patterns by the Supreme power actng n and upon them. in short, the ntellgence of the unverse abdes, and abdes forever and anon, n the heart of each atom whch s dancng to ts tune lke the eternal dance of Sva, the lvng embodment of Shakt, the Mother of the unverse. in the esoterc cosmogony, the theory of dead matter does not find any place whatsoever, for matter cannot exst by tself wthout the cohesve power nherent theren. Matter n fact s energy n congealed form. in ancent phlosophy, a sharp dstncton was drawn between beng and exstence. The logos, the Archetypal world s that of true beng, changeless and eternal; whle exstence s an expresson and expanson or a movng forward and outward nto the world of becomng, a world of ceaseless change and transformaton from moment to moment. physologsts and physcans, lke botansts, hortcultu22

nOTHing DiES in nATURE

rsts, florcultursts, tell us a lot of the mechancal and chemcal processes gong on n the human metabolsm or, in fact, in any living organism, be it a tree, a flower, a fruit, an ant, or an elephant; but cannot tell us why they lve, how they lve, what for they lve, what s lfe tself, and above all, what s conscousness that characterses the lfe mpulse on any and every plane of exstence. The cosmc cycle proves that lfe s eternal. it s an endless process. it contnues on and on, assumng one form after another n endless seres, appearng, dsappearng and reappearng lke waves and bubbles on the stream of tmetme rollng down from eternty to eternty. nature s but one vast reservor of lfe and matter, n whch nothng s lost and nothng des, no matter how forms may change, and change kaledoscopcally n less than the twnklng of an eye. it s ths changng process that s commonly called death death of one form at one place, and brth n another form at another place or on another plane. invsble vapour arsng from the sea des so as to change nto vsble sold snow on the mountantop, and the vsble snow n ts turn takng once agan the reverse processthe process of death, melts nto lqud water, and water changes back nto nvsble gaseous aerform or vapour agan, makng a contnuous chan of cause and effect. Smlarly, man becomes a vsble entty when sprt puts on a human form and then, n a course of tme, that very man of so many parts on the stage of lfe (at once son, brother, husband and father; now an nfant, then a young man and lastly a dotard), ultmately becomes nvsble when the sprt n hm wthdraws causng, to the consternaton of those around, a vod n the vast web of relatonshps that he wove around hm durng hs exstence on the earth-plane. This is what actually happens at the time of the final change when the physcal body dsntegrates and resolves nto the cosmc order of thngs, and lfe currents merge nto the great
23

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

cosmc lfe-prncple whch s vtally organc n nature; and not chemcally norganc and mechancal. Death s not what t seems to be, and what t s taken for n common parlance. Death and lfe are correlatve terms on the earth-plane only, but n realty there s no dfference between the two, and n fact, one cannot be contradstn gushed from the other; for death cannot swallow lfe nor can death put an end to lfe. it s just an nterchangeable process as two sdes of a con rotatng on ts axs. Do we not see day and nght, lght and darkness, alternately comng and gong, as the rotatng earth spns and revolves round the sun castng shadows of varyng lengths at dfferent places whle the sun tself contnues to shne all the tme. Death does not mean total extncton or annhlaton as, at tmes, t s beleved to be. it s nothng but a change of conscousness from one place of exstence to another place of exstence. lfe, on the contrary, s one contnuous process whch knows no end, for the so-called death that follows lfe s not lfelessness but lfe n another form at another place, here on earth or elsewhere, and n a dfferent form wth a dfferent name, and under dfferent set of crcumstances as s adjudged by Dvne Dspensaton workng on the nexorable law of acton as ye sow, so shall ye reap. lfe, beng a postve expresson of the Supreme Beng, s not subject to the negatvty of death, and the latter cannot, therefore, extngush the formerthe eternal flame of life. We have the testmony of an unbroken lne of Masters who taught that lfe and death are mere words n the world of dualty, meant to descrbe the surface effect or the crcumferental shftng of the state of conscousness of the inner Beng dwellng at the centre. These are merely vsble and nvsble stages n the cosmc cycle through whch the nner man passes. The lamentable, horrfyng and muchdreaded death s, n realty, a rebrth (beng born agan of the
24

nOTHing DiES in nATURE

nner man) nto a lfe whch may be more joyous and more beautful than known htherto. Death, the awe-nsprng and heart-rendng death, says Kabr, s to me a harbnger of joyous lfe, and i welcome t fully. The gospels also tell of the Kngdom of god that awats one beyond the deathdoor: Except a man be born agan, he cannot see the Kngdom of god...... Except a man be born of water and of sprt; he cannot enter nto the Kngdom of god. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that whch s born of the sprt s sprt...... The wnd bloweth where t lsteth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence t cometh and whther t goeth: so s everyone that s born of the sprt. John 3:3-8 Thus wth each successve death or dssoluton of form, the sprt freed from the sold mould, renews from strength to strength and from power to power, growng n greater and wder conscousness than ever before. in ths context, Maulana Rum tells us: i ded as mneral and became a plant, i ded as plant and rose to anmal, i ded as anmal and i was a man. Why should i fear? When was i less by dyng? Yet, once more, i shall de as man, to soar Wth angels blessed, but even from angelhood i must pass on; all except god doth persh. When I have sacrificed my angel soul, i shall become what no mnd eer conceved.
25

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

Oh ! let me not exst, for non-exstence proclams n organ-tones, To Hm we shall return. Death then s another name for a change n the central lfe-prncple, the pvot round whch the organsed lfemonad moves and functons. it s a change from one set of crcumstances to another set of crcumstances, n dfferent forms and under dfferent condtons as most suted to the ultimate unfoldment into full efflorescence of the Self or the lvng-monad, leadng to greater and greater awareness of, and arsng nto the hgher sprtual values of lfe: Behold, i show you a mystery; we shall not sleep (n death), but we shall all be changed, n a moment, n the twnklng of an eye...... rased ncorruptble...puttng on ncorrupton...... and mmortalty...... swallowng Death n vctory...... (defyng) the stng (both) of death and (the fear of) grace. (Cor. 15:51-55) in Man the Unknown Alex Carel says: Man s made up of a processon of phantoms, n the mdst of whch strdes the unknowable Realty. nanak, lkewse, speaks of hmself, n much the same stran: in the mdst of the outer physcal mould called nanak, plays the nvsble power of the Supreme Beng. in Bhagwad gta, the Song of the Adorable One, Bhagwan Krshna, the seventh avtar of Vshnu, one of the famous trad n the Hndu mythology, tells us: Know thou, O prnce of pandu, that there was never a tme, when i, nor thou, nor any of these prnces of earth was not; nor shall there ever come a tme, hereafter, when any of us shall cease to be. As the soul, wearng ths materal body, experenceth the stages of nfancy, youth, manhood and old age, even so shall t, n due course of tme, pass on to another body, and n other ncarnatons shall t agan lve, and move
26

nOTHing DiES in nATURE

and play ts part. Those who have attaned the wsdom of the inner Doctrne, know these thngs, and fal to be moved by aught that cometh to pass n ths world of changeto such, lfe and Death are but words; and both are but surface aspects of the deeper Beng (wthn). Thus t s clear that under the cosmc cyclc law, all thngs move n a crcle and all thngs are eternal. The dance of Sva, at once the god of death, and death leadng to rebrth, not unoften at a hgher level of exstence, goes on forever and forever. Under ths ever-revolvng wheel of lfe, man, by a process of evoluton or growth, keeps changng from a mere physical to an astral, then to causal and finally to a spiritual beng, on varous planes of exstence untl he rghtly comes to hs own; knows and realses the ever-evolvng prncple of conscousness n hm n ts fullness, whch he potentally s, and embraces the totalty of hs beng. All the same, we lve, move and have our ndvdual beng n god (the Unversal Beng), for we are Hs offsprng and He s the very beng of our beng and wthout Hs power workng n us, we cannot exst and functon. (Acts 17:23-24) lke begets lke. Each thng, be t a plant, an anmal or a man, grows from the seed after ts own knd, though accordng to a set pattern of lfe determned by the qualty nherent n the seed. god gveth t (the seed) a body as t hath pleased Hm, and to every seed hs own body. (1 Cor. 15:38-40). Man, at the hghest rung n the ladder of lfe on earth, s not fragmented from hs Maker. The Father s n the son in a potential form and the son is firmly rooted in the Father, though he may, crcumstanced as he s, not know t owing to limitations of the fleshly raiments in which he lives all the tme functonng on the earth-plane. Because of the power of god workng hm, he verly but unwttngly lves n the temple of god: Know ye not that ye are the temple of the holy god, and the Sprt of god dwelleth n you (and
27

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

therefore s you). The term. man s merely a name appled to the ncarnated god-sprt on the earth-plane. Ths then s the famous doctrne of holy trnty: A whole consstng of three partsthe Father (the Unversal Sprt), the son (the ndvdualsed sprt clothed n body, mnd and ntellect) and the Holy ghost (the savng lnks or lfe-lnes between the two by followng whch the human-sprt transhuman ses the human trappngs)all combned n man. Hence the exhortaton of the prophet of gallee: Be ye perfect as your Father n heaven s perfect. perfecton comes from the perfect One. perfecton then s the goal of human lfe, whch con ssts n self-unfoldment or evoluton of the ndvdual sprt by transcendng the lmtatons of body, mnd and ntellect, and by tappng the deep-rooted latences n the depths of the great sea of unconscousness yet unexplored and unknown. It is indeed a difficult task but not impossible to achieve, if one s lucky enough to contact a Master-soul, well-versed both n the scence and art of pra Vdya or the knowledge of the worlds that are heavenly and le beyond the senses, whch help us only n the realm of Apra Vdya or the knowledge of the emprcal world of observaton and expermentaton. The Kngdom of god cometh not by observatonthe Kngdom of god s wthn you. (luke 17: 21). The Kngdom of god s not to descend from the clouds above. it s already there n man, and one can wtness ts glory by the process of nverson (akn to death), a voluntary process of course whle lvng, as was taught by the Masters to ther chosen dscples, from tmes mmemoral. What a man has done, man can do f there s proper help and gudance from some godman. Every Sant had a past and every snner has a future.

28

II
THE LIGHT OF LIFE

E all have come down to the dstant land called earth, lke so many prodgal chldren of god, carryng wth us the potental of our Father, whch we are frtterng away, day by day and moment by moment, n explorng the ephemeral beautes and glores of ths regon, losng all recollecton of our dvne orgn and the blssful parental home, and of our ancestry together wth the great hertage that is ours. Born of the flesh, and living in the flesh, we have lost our touch wth the savng lfelnes wthn, and as such are sprtually deaddead n spte of the hectc lfe on physcal and mental levels and the wondrous achevements n the felds of art, scence and technology. Wth all the comforts of lfe that Dame nature has provded to her foster-chld, man, we yet lve n a state of perpetual fear and distrust, not only of others but of our own self, for we find ourselves helplessly and hopelessly adrft on the sea of lfe wthout any moorngs to hold on and keep our barque on a steady and even keel on the tumultuous waters. Man s a mcrocosm, a replca of the macrocosm (unverse). The twothe ndvdual and the unversalare ntmately nter-related, part to part. All that s wthout s also wthn and the sprt n man, despte the heavy load of physcal and mental trammels, has the capacty to break through the thck enshroudng vels and peep nto what les beyondthe perpetual sway of the Supreme god, the eternal self-exstng Truth, perennally the same from the begnnng of tme.
29

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

We have, n ths respect, the testmony of a number of mystcs: Thou whle lvng n space, hath thy roots out of space, learn thou to shutter down ths sde, and soar nto fields infinite, For so long as one does not rse above the world of senses, One remans an utter stranger to the world of god, Strve on and on, tll thou art completely out of the cage, And then shalt thou know the vanty of the realms below, Once thou art above the body and the bodly adjuncts, Thy sprt shall bear testmony to the glory of god; Thy seat s verly the throne of god, Fe on thee that thou chooseth to lve n a hovel. Thou hath a body even when out of the body, Why then art thou afrad to get out of the body? O friend! bypass the life of the flesh That thou mayst experence the lght of lfe, Thou verly art the lfe of all that exsts here. nay, both the worlds, here and hereafter art n thee, it s from thee that all wsdom hath descended, And t s to thee that god reveals Hs mysteres, in short, though thou appeareth but so small, And yet the entre unverse resdeth n thee. Equpped as thou art wth a human body and an angelc sprte, Thou canst at wll roam the world over or soar n the sky What a great fun t would be to leave the body here below, And wng thy way to the hghest heaven above, Quit thou thy elemental house of flesh and blood,
30

THE ligHT OF liFE

And take wth thee thy mnd and sprt far above. If you could but come out of the tabernacle of the flesh; It may enable you to go to the place where flesh is not; The life of the flesh is from water and food alone; For on earth you are clothed n the rament of self-same stuff; Why not go you nghtly out of the charnel-house? For you possess hands and feet that are not of ths earth; It may suffice you to know, That there s n you an ngress leadng to thy Beloved When once you get out of the prson-house of the body, You shall wthout any effort land nto a new world. The perfect Master, tme and agan, tells us of our lost Kngdom lyng wthn, neglected snce long and altogether forgotten n the mghty swrl of the world of mnd and matter, n whch we have been drftng all the tme. Ths s the godgven opportunty for us to tread the untrodden path and to explore the unexplored, and to redscover wthn us what s already our own, the real nner beng n us. Human brth s a rare prvlege ndeed. it comes at the end of a long evolutonary process, begnnng from rocks and mnerals, then passng through vegetable kngdom, then the world of nsects, reptles and rodents, next the feathery fraternty of brds and fowls and penultmately beasts and quardrupeds. Man has n hm an element whch all other creatures lack, or have just n nfntesmal measure the skyey or ethereal element that gves hm the power of ratocnaton and dscrmnaton, enablng hm to dstngush rght from wrong, vrtue from vce, and to understand and to practse the hgher and nobler values of lfe, wth freedom of wll to choose and adopt the same for further progress, so as to be born of the sprt, addng new dmensons to hs conscousness by arsng nto supra-mental awareness
31

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

first cosmic and then of the Beyond. All this is a certain possblty, though we may not know of t at the moment. Our self, says Jung, the phlosopher, as the contaner of our whole lvng system, ncludes not only all the deposts and the sum of all that has been lved n the past, but s also the startng pont, the pregnant mother earth from whch all future lfe wll sprng; the presentment of thngs to come s known to our nner feelng as clearly as s the hstorcal past. The dea of mmortalty whch arses from these psychologcal fundamentals s qute legtmate. imprsoned n the clayey mould and domneered by the mnd, man s yet a puny chld of clay n the vast creaton, insignificant in stature and strength. But he is limitless and all-pervadng n soul; the seemngly ndvdualsed sprt n hm s a prceless crest-jewel of nestmable value. So says Bheek, a mystc sage: O Bheek! none n the world s poor for each one has tucked n hs grdle a precous ruby; But alas! he knows not how to unte the knot to get at the ruby, and hence goes abeggng. god, says the sage of Dakshneshwar (Ramakrshna paramhans), s n all, but all are not n Hm. guru nanak tells us of the way outway to unravel the great mystery and to acqure mastery over everythng elseBy conquerng the mnd, you conquer the world s hs smple devce. The mnd as at present s torn between countless desres of dverse nature, pullng n dfferent drectons. it has, by degrees, to be rentegrated and made wholean undvded wholewth the love of God surging in every fibre of its being; for then alone t would become a wllng nstrument to serve the sprt nstead of draggng it down and wthout, as t does now, nto tght bottleneck corners, here, there and everywhere and at
32

THE ligHT OF liFE

all tmes. Unless ths hydra-headed monster s traned and tamed, t, lke the sea-god proteus, contnues playng wld antcs, under dfferent guses and varous shapes, puttng on, chameleon-lke, the varyng ground-colours of ts own choosng. So long as t keeps attached to the earth and all that s earthly, t keeps waxng n power and strength derved from the mother-earth. it has, therefore, to be lfted hgh nto the ar and held aloft, as Hercules dd wth Antaeus, to get rd of the gant, who was nvncble as long as he mantaned hs contact wth the mother-earth from whom he derved hs strength. Once the mnd gets n touch wth the Dvne Melody that comes waftng from above, t s lfted up, losng for good all nterest n the down-pullng sense-pleasures of the world. Ths gradually leads to a vrtual death of the body that s now left far below, as well as of the mnd that goes up some way to merge n cht-akashts natve habtat, the great storehouse of memores from tmes mmemoral, and from where t descended wth the blowng down of the vtal ars (pranas) on the pure conscousness, wrappng t wth a twofold coverng (mano-ma and pran-ma koshas), consttutng the mental apparatus befitting the soul for functioning on the earth-plane, through yet another coverngthe physcal covering (ann-mai kosh) of the body fitted with gross sense- organs, so very necessary n the world of sensatons. While confined, cabined and cramped in the magic box of the body, we are not chaned to t though all the tme we thnk and act as fettered prsoners, for we do not know how to unhook the ndwellng sprt n the body and how to rse above t. All the Masters from ages past have been tellng us wth one voce to go wthn and look nwards for the beacon lght, the lght of lfe uncreated and shadowless, All-lumnous n its own lumnosty, the only ray of hope and delverance n the envelopng darkness of the murky prson33

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

house n whch we dwell. Of ths t s sad: And the lght shneth n darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth t not. St. John Take heed that the lght whch s n thee be not darkness. St. luke it s ths lght whch s acclamed as the day-star that serves as a lamp unto the feet of the fathful, enrapturng both the mnd and the sprt, whch alke are unwttngly attracted and begn drftng upward nto realms of hgher conscousness, super-conscousness, along the lghted current of lfe, the Audble lfe Stream (Shabd), carred as t were on the wngs of the Dvne Musc sprngng from the holy lght, metaphorcally descrbed as pegasus, the whte wnged horse of the gods or barq (the lghtnng) that s sad to have carred the prophet to heaven (almraj). The great Masters n all tmes, and n all clmes, speak of ths unque and wonderful house, the human body, the vertable temple of god n whch dwell the Father, the Son and the Holy ghost. Unless the Son (the human sprt) s, by the grace of some god-man, baptsed wth the Holy ghost (the Power-of-God made manifest in the flesh by a God- man), the prodgal Son, wanderng among the wonders of the wondrous world without, cannot by himself find his way out of the labyrnth, to the Home of hs Father (god), for the eternal and fundamental law s: it s n flesh (clayey mould) and through flesh (Word-made-flesh) that we come to Him who is beyond the flesh. (St. Augustine). Within us s the lght of lfe. Day and nght burneth eternally ths celestal lamp n the dome of the bodly shrne. Whosoever comes by ths lght of lghts, to hgher realms, he soars unfettered. Ths s the truth and leads unto Truth. He that knows the Truth knows where that lght s, and he who knows
34

THE ligHT OF liFE

that lght, knows eternty (St. Augustne), knowng whch (Truth) shall make you free (free from all the mpregnable bondages, regrets of the past, fears of the present and terrors of death n whch we constantly lve). (John 8:12). The Word or the Holy ghost s the great Truth at the bottom of all creaton: All thngs were made by hm (the Word), and wthout hm was not anythng made that was made, says St. John. The entre world sprang from Shabd, s what nanak tells us. Agan, Wth one Word of Hs, ths vast creaton blossomed nto beng; and a thousand streams of lfe sprang nto exstence. in Upnshads, t s sad Ekoaham, Bahu syaam meanng, i am one and wsh to become many. The Mohammedans speak of the Word as Kun-fia- kunHe wlled, and lo, all the unverse sprang up. Thus t s god-n-acton power (lght and lfeThe Melody of god), All-pervadng and All-powerful, mmanent n all that s vsble and nvsble, creatng and sustanng countless creatons. Speakng of creaton, nanak tells us: And countless Thy planes; unapproachable and naccessble Thy nnumerable heavenly plateux. Even by the word countless, we fal to descrbe Hm. The words count and countless are ndeed of lttle consequence for the Almghty. He who s mmanent n everythng and s the very lfe of the creaton tself, knows every partcle thereof. To come to a better understandng of the hgher lfe, the lfe of the sprt, one has to actually cross the trans-fronters of the earth lfe and pass through the gates of what s called death, and be reborn n the ethereal unearthly world beyond. That whch s born of the sprt s sprt. Marvel not that i sad unto thee, ye must be born agan. (John 3:6-7). it s ths contact wth the lght of lfe as manfested wthn by a god-man that brngs to an end the peregrnatons of the soul n the ever-revolvng wheel of brths and rebrths.

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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

The entre creaton s beleved to be dvded nto eght mllon and four hundred thousand speces (84 lakhs); () water creatures9,00,000 (9 lakhs), () ar creatures 14,00,000 (14 lakhs), () nsects, rodents and reptles etc. 27,00,000 (27 lakhs), (v) trees, shrubs, herbs and other vegetables and creepers etc.30,00,000 (30 lakhs), and (v) all knds of quadrupeds and anmals, human bengs ncludng gods and goddesses, dem-gods and godly powers, demons and wanderng sprts etc.4,00,000 (4 lakhs). A jva-atman or an ndvdual soul unless lberated (becomes an atman), keeps revolvng n one or other materal body by the compulsve force of karmas and mpressons gathered from lfe to lfe. Ths then s a prelude to real lfe and lfe eternal, comng as t does from contact wth the Voce of the Son of god (.e. nner Musc made manfest by Hm) and they that hear (though dead to it now) shall lve (and lve eternally by us)John 5: 25for t s sad: Then the eyes of the blnd shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sng: for n the wlderness (of the human heart) shall waters (of lfe) break out and streams n the desert. (isah 35:5-6). For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now i see part; but then shall i know even as i am known. (1 Cor. 13-12). The sprt, when attuned to the Sound Current says nanak lkewse, begns to see (the Light of God) without eyes (of flesh), to hear (the Voice of god) wthout ears, clngs on (to the Dvne Musc) wthout hands and moves forward (godwards) wthout feet. Agan, the great teacher goes on to explan: The seeng eyes, see not (the realty) but by the grace of the guru, one begns to dscern (the power of god) face to face. it s why a worthy and worshpful dscple can perceve god everywhere. Our sense-organs are so formed as may help us n the physcal world alone and that too mperfectly, but they fal us
36

THE ligHT OF liFE

when we come to the supra-physcal level. By seeng we see but do not perceve, by hearng we hear but do not understand, and we have a heart that has nether feelng nor understandng. But a complete change, a marvellous change comes about only when one learns how to nvert and undergo practcally a process of voluntary death whle lvng. So the exhortaton: learn how to de (de to the earth lfe) that you begn to lve (lve freely and fearlessly n the lvng sprt, free from the lmtng adjuncts of the bodly sheaths). One has, therefore, to forsake the flesh for the spirit. Love not the flesh more than the sprt, s the age-old advce of the prophet of gallee. As long as we are at home n the body we are absent from god. And, the more one wthdraws from hmself, the nearer one gets to god. nothng n creaton compares wth the Creator, for what s not god s nothng. Wth the transference of conscousness from the earthplane (death as s commonly known) to the sprtual plane (rebrth or second brthbrth of the sprt, as t s called through contact wth the Master-power flowng n the body, one never pershes. When all others desert (you), i wll not abandon you, nor allow you to persh the last. He that overcometh (transcendeth the physcal n hm by transhumansng the human), shall not be hurt of the second death because f ye are led by the sprt ye are not under the law (the law of acton and reacton or cause and effect leadng to repeated ncarnatons). All ths s not a mere theory but a factthe fact of lfe for the flame of life cometh with every individual from the moment of ones brth, and t s gven unto every man to know the secret of the flaming Sound and the mysteries of heaven (the Kngdom of god). (Matt. 13:11). in ths scence of the Beyond, logc and reasonng have no place. Actual seeng alone brngs n fath and belef. The lght of lght, the Father of lghts swayom jyot swarup parmatma (self-effulgent
37

THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

god), nooran-ala noor (the great celestal lght), and the sprt n man (the spark from the dvne lght of the unversal sprt, a drop of conscousness from the ocean of conscousness, appearng as ndvdualsed sprt clothed n varous mantles), are all wthn the human body (narnaran deh); but strange as t may seem that though lvng n so close proxmty to each other, one has not seen the face of the other; because we have mstaken the ard wlderness of the world as our real abode. The Master-souls not only apprse us of the realty and the rch hertage to whch we are enttled, but Chrst-lke proclam: i wll gve unto thee the keys of the Kngdom of heaven. (Matt. 16:9). nanak also tells us: The Master has the key for the moble house of soul chaned to the body and the mnd; O nanak! wthout a perfect Master, there s no way of escape from the prson-house. But how many of us have put fath n ther solemn assurances, and how many of us are prepared to take and accept the keys of the Kngdom and more so to unlock the steely portals, behnd the eyes? And much less to hear the Word (the Holy Word) of whch Chrst says: He that heareth my Word.. s passed from death unto lfe (John 5: 24), n spte of our vehement daly prayers for beng led from untruth to Truth, from darkness to lght, and from death to immortalty. it s ndeed a strange paradox, more paradoxcal than the rddles ever propounded by Sphnx, the monster of Thebe to the Thebans or engmas of lfe put by Yaksha, the demonguardan of the pool of refreshng water, to the pandva prnces who went, one by one, to stake ther thrst but could not do so (except Yudhshtra, the prnce of dharma) and were turned nto stones for ther nablty to solve the same. Are we not, n fact, leadng a stark and stff lfe, stff n death as t were, lke many nsensate thngs, awatng the advent of the prnce of peace, to rase us once more nto lfe
38

THE ligHT OF liFE

(lfe everlastng) by conquerng the Sphnx and the Yaksha of oldkeepng a dragon-lke strct watch over us lest we, lured by the legendry golden Fleece, escape, Jason-lke, wth the much coveted prze, from hs domneerng sway. Ths then s the great engma of lfe whch has got to be solved, for wthout solvng t, our bref exstence here s dwarfed and stunted. The majorty of us smply lead an anmal exstence lvng lke them a blnd lfe n the bran. We have never rsen above the emotonal and mental worlds whch we ourselves have cast around us and whch now hold us n ther ron grp. The heavens light, is to most of us a figment of human magnaton and not a realty: Whle wth us n the body, we see Hm not, Fe on a lfeless lke ths, O Tuls! everyone s stark blnd. Kabr tells us: The entre world s gropng n darkness, if t were a queston of one or two, they could be set rght. nanak also speaks lkewse: To the Enlghtened One all are purblnd, For none knows the nner secret. Nanak then goes on to define blindness: They who lack eyes are not blnd, Blnd are such as see not the lord. And eyes that see the lord are qute dfferent. Agan, t s sad: The eyes of flesh see Him not, but when the Master llumnes the eyes wthn,
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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

A worthy dscple begns to wtness the power and glory of god wthn hmself. How s t that we do not see Hm wth all our earnest and well-meant endeavours? Enveloped n darkness we strve darkly for god by deeds not less dark; Wthout a perfect Master none has found the way nor can one do so; But when one comes across a perfect Master, one begns to see Hm wth an eye opened n the closet of hs heart. it s only by drect Communon wth the name (the Holy Word) that one comes to know that by knowng it nothng else remans to be known. in Jap Ji, the great teacher recounts the innumerable benefits which spontaneously begin to flow and one becomes the abode of all vrtues: By Communon wth the Word, one can attan the status of a Sdha1, a pr2, a Sura3, or a nath4; By Communon wth the Word, one can understand the mysteres of the earth, the supportng bull5 and the heavens; By Communon wth the Word, the earthly regons, the heavenly plateaux and the nether worlds stand revealed; By Communon wth the Word, we can escape unscathed through the portals of death; O nanak! Hs devotees lve n perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sn and sorrow.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Sdha: A man endowed wth supernatural powers. pr: A Muslm dvne or a sprtual teacher. Sura: A god. nath: Yogn, an adept n yoga. Dhaul: it s the fabled bull, supposed to be supportng the earths and heavens.

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By Communon wth the Word, one can attan the powers of Sva, Brahma and indra; By Communon wth the Word, one can wn esteem from all, rrespectve of ones past; By Communon wth the Word, one can have yogc nsght, wth the mysteres of lfe and self all revealed; By Communon wth the Word, one can acqure the true mport of the Sastras6, Smrts7 and Vedas8; O nanak! Hs devotees lve n perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sn and sorrow. By Communon wth the Word, one becomes the abode of Truth, contentment and true knowledge; By Communon wth the Word, one gets the frut of abluton at sxty-eght plgrmages9; By Communon wth the Word, one wns the honour of the learned; By Communon wth the Word, one attans the stage of Sehaj10; O nanak! Hs devotees lve n perpetual ecstasy for the Word washes away all sn and sorrow, By Communon wth the Word, one becomes the abode of all vrtues; By Communon wth the Word, one becomes a Shekh, a pr, and a true sprtual kng; By Communon wth the Word, the sprtually blnd find their way to Realisation;
6. 7. 8. 9. Sastras: The phlosophcal treates of the Hndus. Smrts: The ancent scrptures of the Hndus. Vedas: The earlest books of human and dvne. Ath-sath: lterally, these two words mean eght and sxty, .e. sxty-eght. nanak s once agan makng use of the Hndu belef that ablutons at 68 places of plgrmage purfy all snful acts. 10. Sehaj: Ths term refers to the state when the turmol of the physcal, astral and causal worlds wth all ther enchanted panorama, are transcended and the great prncple of lfe s seen wthn.

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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

By Communon wth the Word, one crosses beyond the lmtless Ocean of llusory matter; O nanak! Hs devotees lve n perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sn and sorrow. Thus we see that the secret of success both here and hereafter les n attunng the self wthn to the Overself or the Sound Current whch s the be-all and end-all of all exstence. nanak, therefore, exhorts: it s by a great good fortune that one takes a human brth and one must make the most of t, But one goes down n the scale of creaton by delberately breakng away from the savng lfe-lnes n hm. it s, ndeed, a sad plght for one who gans the posses sons of the whole world but loses hs own soul. Far from havng any proft, he ncurs a dead loss, rreparable and rretrevable, whereby he suffers for ages before he comes agan to the human level. Once the opportunty s allowed to slip through the fingers, the gains made so far go overboard, and one hopelessly flounders on the shoals and sand-banks of the stream of lfe. The fall from the top rung of the ladder of lfe s a terrble fall ndeed!

42

III
LIFE IN FULLNESS
HiS earth, the arena of so many struggles and strfes, full of sharp antnomes and contraretes, presentng, as t does, a vast panorama of lfe n ts varegated forms and colours, s but a speck n the boundless creaton of the great Creator: There s no end to the creaton; There are countless forms of lfe wth vared names, speces and colours; Writ on the objective world by the ever-flowing pen of the Creator. nanak Wth all ts seemng mperfectons, ths world serves a useful purpose n the dvne plan, just lke an apparently insignificant cog in the machinery of a great powerhouse. nature, the handwork of god, s not the least extravagant n ts desgn and plan. Ths world s a pententary, a house of correcton, a sort of purgatory, a plan of expaton, a tranng ground where souls get chastened by experence. it s a halfway house between physcal planes and sprtual realms. The powers that be of the earth are hard taskmasters, belevng stll n the ancent Mosac law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Here all knds of thrd degree methods are employed and hard knocks are admnstered; renderng less than justce, untempered by compasson and mercy, so that one should take hs lessons serously, and by degrees turn away from the way of the world to the Way of god. lfe on the earth-plane then s a dreadful thng dark wth
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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

horror and fear, and we are long lost chldren of god n the labyrnthne wlderness of the world. Evoluton s n the nature of lvng monads and conssts n movng towards ts source and becomng one wth t, for true happness les n fellowshp dvne; fellowshp wth Essence; tll we shne; fully alchemsed and free of space. But the tragedy of lfe on earth s that we do not know what we are, and much less of what we may become for what we are we do not see; what we see s our shadow. The nner beng n us s so consttuted after the fashon of god that t knows no rest untl he rests n Hm. A truly relgous experience, says Plotinus, consists in the finding of the true Home by the soul exled from heaven. And ths experence can be ours f only we know how to unhook the self from the trammels and trappngs of body and mnd. Self-realsaton and god-realsaton are the hghest objects of mundane exstence. Self-realsaton precedes god-realsaton. Know Thyself has ever been an artcle of fath wth the ancents. Frst the greeks and then the Romans n ther turn lad great stress on gnothie seauton and nosce teipsum as they called t respectvely, and both these terms stand for self-knowledge or knowledge of the self n us. The knowledge of the self or Atam Jnana of the Hndu Rshs and Khud Shanas of the Muslm darveshes comes first. Next comes the realisation and experience of the Overself or godparmatman or Rabul-almeen and ths s called Khuda Shanas or Knowledge of god. The process of self-realsaton whereby the self can be separated from the mghty maze of mnd and matter, begns wth ntroversonrecedng of attenton, the outward expresson of sprt n the world outsde. it s an art of nverson from the world of senses to the world wthn, and beyond the physcal senses, techncally called
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liFE in FUllnESS

para Vdya. Real lfe or Realty s somethng that s cognsed only n a deathlke state, a state that nterveners on conscous wthdrawal of the sensory currents from the body to the eyefocus. lfe s an actve prncple, however removed; from senses and observaton. in the workaday world, we are prone to all knds of lustslust of the flesh, eyes, ears and other sense-organs and we are beng constantly swayed by countless attachments, myrads of aspratons and desres, sprngng from the dverse longngs of the heart and unknown latences lyng hdden n the folds of the mnd. All types of lkes and dslkes, prdes and prejudces, loves and hatreds and many other thngs unwttngly keep creepng nto our conscousness, personal conscousness, frtterng our energy, and keepng us away from the ultmate goal and purpose of lfe; to wt, self-realsaton. Ths gnorance of the am of lfe s a serous malady we are afflicted with, and it is the cause of bondagebondage of the soul to a world burstng wth sn and sorrow. Yet, there s a power wthn us that resurrects the soul. We have, therefore, to take a turn from ths drama of hectc actvty and find the still-centre of our being within the human body where the All-pervadng and All-free power resdes. Ths body s verly the temple of god, and the Holy ghost dwells theren. So all ths present actvty has got to be reversed and geared back nto the opposte drecton. Ths s termed by Emerson as tappng nsde and gong nto the fox-hole n the bran, as once remarked by presdent Truman, for t was nto ths fox-hole that he repared whenever he wanted peace and relaxaton from the burden of hs hgh office. The Vedas call it Brahmrendra or the hole through whch Brahman could be contacted.

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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

Knock and t shall be opened unto you, St. Matthew says significantly enough. It shows that a door within the body leads nto the realm beyondthe Kngdom of god. And of ths nlet t s sad: Strat s the gate, and narrow s the way whch leadeth unto lfe, and few there be that find it. To locate this gate and to have an experience of the ngress makes for personal convcton, for nothng becomes real till it is experienced. Intellect is finite and so is reasoning based on ntellect. Scrptural texts speak of Truth but do not demonstrate it, much less gve a contact wth Truth. logcal knowledge s all nferental and cannot be depended upon wth certanty. Certtude comes only when the eternal Word speaks. The shortest, the swftest and the surest way to plumb Truth s through a mortal leap (nto the Unknown), says Henr Bergson, the great phlosopher. percepton, ntuton and reasonng just help n understandng the Realty to a certan extent at the level of the ntellect; but seeng s belevng, seeng wthn wth ones own eye, the Sngle Eye as t s called. Of ths nlet or ngress lttle s known to the people at large. Nanak emphatically declares: The blind find not the door. In order to find the strait gate and the narrow way leadng unto lfelfe eternalthe lfe of sprt as distinguished from the life of the flesh, we have of necessity to recol from the present downward and outward expanson, gather n the outgong facultes of the mnd at the seat of the soul, behnd and between the eyes. in other words, we have to change the centre of our beng from the heart-centre, as at present, to the eye-centre (Tsra Tl or nukta--sweda) and develop the Sngle Eye of whch Jesus speaks: if, therefore, thne eye be Sngle the whole body shall be full of lght. Ths Sngle or Thrd Eye varously called by the sages as Shv netra, Dvya chakshu or Chashm--batn provdes an
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ngress nto the sprtual worldthe Kngdom of godnow a lost realm to most of us. it s here that one has to tap wthn, and to knock and knock hard wth fully concentrated and sngle-mnded attenton, as an undvded ndvdual, n order to find the way-in and gain an entry into the astral world. Hence the exhortaton: now s the tme to awaken and lovngly remember the lord. But how? We have not seen Hm. And one cannot concentrate on and contemplate the formless vod as He s. in the same breath comes the sages counsel as well. learn of ths (approach to the Absolute) from some god-man. What does the god-man say? Fx thou thy attenton at the eye-focus, the seat of the lord Sva (the Shva-netra), for then everythng wll follow of tself n due course, as you wll gan experence of the self n you. The Masters tell us that the entre world s blndly gropng in the dark, chasing the fleeting shadows, ever eluding and ever fadng away nto ary nothngs as we draw ngh to them; whle the fountan-head of all blss and harmony les untapped wthn at the eye-centre whch s the seat of the soul n the body n the wakng state. Ths centre, when located, gves an access to, and provdes a supra-conscous contact wth, the realms that le beyond the farthest ken of the human mnd. Equpped wth the sense-organs, our only means of knowledge s through them. The soul s perfect wthout the senses, for ts acton s drect and mmedate, and not ndrect and medatedependng upon outer adsas knowledge of the world s. After obtanng ths contact, one s led, step by step, to the true Home of the Father. Ths s lfe n fullness. Thrce blessed s man, for t s gven unto hm the power to traverse the regons, both astral and causal, and to go nto the Beyond (Brahm and par Brahm), the regon of eternal blss outsde the pale of repettve creaton, dssoluton and grand dssoluton.
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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

But so long as one does not wthdraw hmself from the world and from hmself as well, from hs body, mnd and ntellect, he does not draw any the nearer to god. it s only when the outward man persheth (the human n the body s transhumansed), that the nward man (sprt) s renewed, and the dizzy heights of the Mount of Transfiguration are gained, and one becomes a lvng sprt, freed from the body and ts mpedments; capable of gettng nner experence of meetng the ancent Masters lke Moses and Eljah (Matt. Ch. 17), and jonng the lord n the feast of passover. (Matt. Ch. 26 and Mark Ch. 14). it s at ths place that the lord awats hs dscples: Behold, i stand at the door, and knock, f any man hears my voce, and opens the door, i wll come nto hm, and wll sup wth hm, and he wth me. (Rev. 3:20). All ths experence that St. John reveals to us, he had when he was transformed nto sprt, and he speaks of the comng n of the lord as a thef n the nght (n the darkness of the soul). Hafiz, a Persian mystic of great repute, also testifies: The Murshid comes in the darkness with a lantern n hs hands. The way godward, says prophet Mohammed, s narrower than har and sharper than the razors edge. it s descrbed by nanak as khande-d-dhar (swords edge) and thnner than a har; and one has actually to pass through a death-lke experence. in ths context St. plutarch says: At the moment of death, the soul experences the same mpressons and passes through the same processes as are experenced by those who are ntated nto the great Mysteres. But how many of us are prepared to experence the death processes whle lvng? We are all mortally afrad of death. And why so, partcularly when we know, and know so well that t s the necessary end of all created thngs? The reasons
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therefore are not far to seek. In the first place, we have not yet learnt to de at wll whle lvng. And secondly, because we do not know what happens after death. Where do we go? What les beyond the death-trap? Ths s why we have a horror of death; and the mere dea of death holds us n a state of mortal terror: The entre world s mortally afrad of death, And everyone desres to have an endless lfe, if by the grace of the guru one learns of death-n-lfe, He becomes the knower of dvne wsdom. O nanak! he who des such a death, He gans for hmself the gft of lfe eternal. Death, after all, s not a dreadful ncdent. How charm ng s dvne phlosophy; not harsh and crabbed as the gnoramuses suppose; but sweetly melodous as Appolos lute; and a perpetual feast of nectared sweet. it, n realty, opens new vstas and new horzons of lfe beyond the grave, and the flames of the funeral pyre, that engulf, entomb and extngush the mortal remans, do not touch the soul. Dust thou art and to dust returneth was not spoken of the soul. The lfe-prncple n us or n fact n any other lvng thng never des. it s only the elemental parts that go through a process of change whch we erroneously call death, and wrongly understand t to be an extncton. in nature, death feeds lfe and lfe llumnes death. it s the unversal law that operates everywhere and on all planes of exstence. The wse men dscover that the percepton of Realty comes wth the annhlaton of the self (the bodly self n whch the sprt s ncarcerated). The moment the sprt voluntarly breaks through the fetters, somethng breaks n upon the sprt wth a terrble llumnaton from the world behnd the world makng it the prophet of the Most High God. It is at the Mt. of Transfiguration that one
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gets revelatons and sees the mnglng of heaven and earth. It is here that one finds the dark grows luminous and the vod frutful. Everyone has, as a matter of course, to de some day man, brd, or beast; rch or poor; healthy or dseased, young or old. The soul whch takes on the physcal rament has to shed t one day. Death alone s certan and real, whle lfe (n ths world) s uncertan. We seldom pause to thnk about the long journey whch les ahead of the nner beng n us. We usually lament the death of others and mourn for them for days on end but are not wse enough to care for our own end and prepare ourselves for the final journey into the great unknown that les beyond lfes end. Before an analyss s offered of the death-process, practcal and nformatve as t may be, t would be worth our whle to know at least what we are. Who we are? Whence we come? Whther we go? And above all what s the meanng or purpose of lfe? Man, as at present consttuted, s an aggregate of body, mnd and ntellect wth a great motor-power workng from behnd, called soul. Formed and envroned, as we are, through the ages, our attention is continuously flowing outwards and downwards through the nne portals of the bodythe eyes, the ears, the nostrl nares, the mouth and the two passages below the wast. it s not that we wsh t, or do t voluntarly, but t has just become a habt wth us. We are not yet master of the house n whch we lve. We are beng constantly dragged out by mnd and the senses through the varous sense-organs, into the vast and varied fields of sense-enjoyments. it s ths constant assocaton of the self n us (attenton) wth the mnd and the materal objects that has not only debased us, but defaced us beyond recognton, and now we do not know what we really are. We have become so identified with our limiting adjuncts that we do not know
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anythng ndependent of, and apart from them. Unless the self gets depersonalsed by throwng off the mask of dross personalty wth whch t has covered tself and becomes dsrobed self, pure and smple; by dssocaton from these countless lmtng agents: (1) the mnd, comprsng the facultes of hoardng mpressons (cht), thnkng (manas), reasonng ntellect (buddh) and egosm or self-assertveness (ahamkar); (2) the sheaths or coverngs: physcal (ann-ma), subtle (pran-ma and monoma), causal (vgyan-ma and anand-ma); (3) the nborn and natural propenstes of rghteousness (satva), mercural restlessness (rajas) and nacton born of gnorance (tamas); (4) the five elements (tattvas): earth, water, fire, air and ether of whch the entre physcal creaton s made and (5) the twenty-five compounded elements in varying degrees of proporton (prakrts) whch prepare the physcal moulds or bodes n dfferent shapes and patterns, shades and colours as a result of karmc reactons; the self mprsoned n so many meshes, cannot know ts own real nature, much less ts dvne ancestry and the rch hertage, all of whch come to lght only when t comes to ts own and realses tself as the self-lumnous Self. let us see what some of the Englsh thnkers have to say n ths context: Man s a lttle world n hmself, made cunnngly of elements and angelc sprt. Hs god-lke qualtes have depraved by the fall, and he s constantly vsted by dvne wrathwars, plagues and thunderstorms. Yet, he can enjoy a cvlsed happness, provded he treats the world as preparaton for the next, and keeps the body subject to hs soul. J. Donne

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What s t to trust on mutablty, Sth that n ths world nothng may endure? Skelton There s wthn the all-comprehendng ambt of anmal nstnct, some secret urge whch drves the chosen men towards transcendng of anmal mpulse. Ths transcendng anmal mpulse manfests tself as complete dsnterestedness (of all that s n the world wthout). The urge of anmal ego s completely dsregarded; and the evdence of ths dsregard s a wllng submsson to a self-sought death, an acceptance of the annhlaton of the anmal nstnct s arrayed aganst ths acceptance... (tll) nothng remans on the subjectve sde but pure conscousness, and one s transformed nto a Superor Beng whom he magnes (contemplates)... nothng ever becomes real tll t s (actually) exper encedeven a proverb s no proverb tll your lfe has llustrated t. But how many phlosophers have made ths acquston? For ths, the mnd has to be rentegrated (made an undvded whole), as a faculty of sense, ntegratng whch s a prelude to and a necessary condton to total detachment from t. The self must be whole before one can wholly detach oneself from t (body, mnd and ntellect). it s an all-seeng mnd whch embraces the totalty of beng under the aspect of eternty. As we gan our entrance nto the world of Beng, a total vson s ours. Mddleton Murray

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There s a communcaton between mystery and mystery, between the unknown soul and the unknown realty; at one partcular pont n the texture of lfe the hdden truth seems to break through the vel. ibd How then is this inner urge to be fulfilled? The process of gettng fully nto, and stayng completely n the eye-focus (the gateway to the so-called death), s akn to a part of the process of death. The process of wthdrawal of the sensory currents from the body below the eyes s a voluntary one, and one comes to experence the mysteres of the beyond nto whch a Mastersoul (Sant Satguru) ntates a dscple durng hs lfetme. He gives a first-hand inner experience of conscious contact wth the holy naamthe Dvne lght and the holy SoundCurrent (Holy ghost) as comng from the rght sde, as the lowest expressons of the dvnty wthn. One cannot by ones own unguded and unaded efforts have an access nto the sprt world when one cannot hold on by hmself even n the physcal world wthout the actve ad and gudance of many teachers from the cradle to the grave. Heren les the paramount need and mportance of Satguru or Murshd-Kaml (perfect Master, an adept n the scence and art of soul), competent enough to dsentangle the sprt-currents from every pore of the body, the plane of sensatons as t s, and to rase t above body-conscousness to wtness for hmself the nner dvne splendferous glory. Wth the process of wthdrawal of the sensory currents from the body, the death-lke process commences. You have not to do anythng but smply to st n a calm, composed and fully relaxed position with attention fixed at the eye- focus and engage n Smran, or repetton of the charged names, whch carry the lfe-mpluse of the Masters through
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the ages and serve as passwords nto the regons beyond. Whle so establshed n an easy posture (asan) n healthy surroundngs, you forget yourself, entrely forgettng even the lfe-gvng and lfe-sustanng pranas (vtal ars) whch wll of themselves gradually slow down and grow rhythmc; and so do the entre respratory and crculatory systems of the body. At first, the sensory currents begin to gradually withdraw from the extremtes of the bodytps of the hands and feet and come upwards and gradually pass through the varous bodly centres, each of whch beng the regon of one of the five elements of which the body is composed, until taking off from the heart-centre they reach the throat-centre, the seat of Shakt, the Mother of the unverse (the all-pervadng energy); benumbng the entre bodly system below the eyes; and then proceed drectly to the centre behnd the eyes (Agya Chakra). Ths s where the sprt-currents get collected and gan an entry nto the fox-hole wthn (Brahmrendra or the hole of Brahma) and have a peep nto the Brahmand or the cosmc unverse. Ths s the tenth aperture n the body, the only nlet, apart from the nne outlets. Ths s the place where you have to knock and get admttance nto the realms aboverealms more vast, more glorous, self lumnous and self-resoundng wth rapturous strans of celestal Musc, unheard of anywhere n the physcal world whch has been left below; now no more than a great slum area, fraught wth miseries and tribulations fading into a faint reflection of the world of deas as plato puts t. At ths stage man becomes truly blessed at havng access to the aeral regon, the world of sprts. He s now at the threshold of the astral world n company of the Radant Form of the Master (guru Dev) wth gurubhakt complete n every respect. When a dscple reaches the Radant Form of the Master, hs job of self-effort s over. The guru Dev
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now takes charge of the sprt and trans the sprt n Shabdbhakt n the real sense, or devoton to the Sound Current, whch s hs own real form (Shabd Swaroop). From here He takes the sprt along wth Hm on the sprtual journey that les through countless regons of varyng sprtual sublmty: the causal or nstrumental plane, the seed-world, the ever pregnant Mother wth vast and countless creatons lyng nvolved n ts womb; and then nto the Super-cosmc Beyond (par Brahmand) planes of Slence (Sunn) and Great Silence (Maha Sunn), and finally Sach Khand where dwells the Formless One of neffable radance (the Ocean of Conscousness) called Sat purush, the prmal manfestaton of the Supreme Beng. Ths holy process s smple, natural and does not nvolve any onerous austertes. it does not nvolve drastc control of pranas. The Masters have evolved ths rare technque and termed t the Scence of Soul, whch can best be learnt under the able and competent gudance of some Master-sant, well versed n the theory and practce of lfe-current that exsts n all created thngs, the creatve and sustanng prncple upholdng all. All the scrptures of the world bear testmony to ths fundamental truth: in the begnnng was prajapat (the Supreme Beng), Wth hm was Vak (the Holy Word), And the Vak (the Word) was verly the Supreme Brahma (param Brahma). Vedas

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in the begnnng was the Word, and the Word was wth god, and the Word was god. The same was n the begnnng wth god. All thngs were made by Hm; and wthout Hm was not anythng made that hath been made. in Hm was lfe; and lfe was the lght of men. John 1:1-5 Kalam or Kalma s the All-creatve prncple. god Spake: Kun-fia-kun, Let there be, and from this fiat the whole creaton sprang nto beng. Alquran Shabd s the Creator of the earth, Shabd is the Creator of the firmament, Shabd s the Source of lght, And Shabd resdes n the heart of all.

nanak

it s on ths basc prncple n all exstence (lght and Sound of god) that the Master gves a practcal experence to all those who come to hm n search of Truth. The rare boon of holy ntaton, explanaton of the theory and demonstraton thereof (shksha and deeksha), nto the esoterc knowledge and experence of the savng lfelnes wthn, s not an end n tself but just a begnnng, a prelmnary step for startng on the long journey for the soul to the true Home of the Father. Those who have chosen to undertake ths course of lfe are ndeed fortunate, and experence ths rare phenomena of death-n-lfe and thus become jvan-mukat or the liberated beings, while yet in flesh, leading life in fullness on whatever plane they lke, but always remanng wthn the Wll of god. Such a lucky one, fully entrenched n godhead s n full control of hs ntellect, mnd and senses. He s the master of the house and not a handmad of hs mnd
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and ntellect. lke a good charoteer, sttng n the charot of the body; he drects hs ntellect arght whch n turn gves a correct lead to hs mnd, and mnd, when traned n the path of rghteousness, refuses to be swayed by the senses, whch gradually lose ther potency and cease to be attracted by the glamour of the sense-subjects. Thus s reversed the prmal process of expanson, and one sets settled n hmself wth the result that the still waters of the mind begin to reflect the Light of God, fulfilling the ancient maxim: Unless the senses are subdued, the mnd s stlled and the ntellect, too, s n a state of equpose, one cannot wtness the glory of god. The rch experence of lfe n fullness s varously called the second brth, the brth of the sprt as dstnct from the birth of the flesh. Led by the spirit, one now lives and walks in the spirit, abandoning the lusts of the flesh and cuts right across the nexorable law of cause and effect or karma, whch keeps all others n perpetual bondage. Wth the day to day progress on ths path, new vstas of ndescrbable joy and beauttude open up and new horzons loom nto vew, encompassng the totalty of all that s, thus gvng greater and greater awareness, first personal, then supramental, next cosmc and supercosmc. Hereafter the lberated souls, lberated from all the shackles of mnd and matter, enjoy perpetual blss n the lfe of the sprt, wth an outlook on lfe entrely changed; the vast creaton now becomng the manfestaton of the One lfe-prncple pulsatng everywhere n hm and around hm and n all thngs, anmate and nanmate. The world that he now wtnesses s totally dfferent from the world known to hm before. it now looks as the vertable abode of god and one sees god truly dwellng n t, nay n every consttuent part of t; for all created thngs appear lke so many bubbles n one vast ocean of lfe. Hereafter he lves unto the lord and dies unto the Lord. Like St. Paul, he gets crucified in Christ
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(fana-fi-sheikh) and Christ lives in him, and with repetitive experence of the death process he trumphantly swallows death n vctorythe Father and the Son becomng one. Though the outward man of flesh and bones still persists and contnues to exst, to spn out what remans of the web of lfe, yet the nward man (the sprt n man) s renewedgrowng stronger and more sublme wth tme. Thomas A. Kemps therefore says: Forsake the flesh for the spirit. Learn to die so that you may begn to lve. in ths context, we have from Kabr: Whle the people are mortally afrad of death, i welcome death as a harbngar of blss. De, and be thou dead to the world, Such a death i experence many tmes a day. in all the four gospels, we come across so many references of lke nature: He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matt. 10:39 & 16:25 For whosoever wll save hs lfe shall lose t: but whosoever shall lose hs lfe for my sake and the gospels the same shall save t. Mark 8:25 For whosoever wll save hs lfe shall lose t: but whosoever wll lose hs lfe for my sake, the same shall save t. luke 9:24 & 17:37

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He that loveth hs lfe shall lose t; and he that hateth hs lfe n ths world, shall keep t unto lfe eternal. John 12:25 Dadu, a celebrated Sant says: O Dadu! learn to de ere death overtakes thee, What will it profit thee, when die thou must? guru nanak also says the same thng: O nanak! practse such a yoga as may teach thee to de n lfe. prophet Mohammed too exhorted hs ummat, or the fathful, to practse the art of dyng before death: Before thy death, do thou deMautoo-qbalantumautoo. The mystc Muslm dvnes lke Khawaja Hafz, Shamas Tabrez and Maulana Rum greatly emphassed the mportance of such unque experence: So long as you do not transcend the plane of the senses, you reman unaware of the nner lfe. Thou hast raments besdes the outer (physcal) one wthout; Why then dost thou fear to come out of the body? One can go on multplyng any number of apothegms on ths subject. We may close t wth a passage from Earl R. Wassermann: Many are only mperfect ndvdualsatons of the One; and death permts the un-ndvdualsed, and hence unbounded, sprtual lfe. The post-mortal lfe, there fore, s a sprtual exstence, for death, destroyng the many coloured dome, allows the soul to out-soar the shadows of nght nstead of workng nwards to destroy
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organc exstence. What then appears to be physcal destructon, proves to be sprtual mmortalty... What we call life is a decay; therefore earthly confinement, the mortal atmosphere stans the radance of Eternty. On the other hand, the resurrected soul, rencorporated n the One, not the shadow of death or physcal matter, s dscovered n the true sense, spreadng tself throughout nature, for the final reality everywhere is sprt... Were the atmosphere of mortalty removed, man would perceve that the One remans and that Heavens lght forever shnes; and that day and nght are one and so lfe and death, lucfer and Vesper... and that the ultmate realty of both earthly lfe and the post-mortal eternty s the Sprtual One;...and ths realsaton of sprtual dentty of mortal and postmortal life finally ceases the pairings of opposites like lfe and death... Snce One glows through tme and change, unquenchably the same. He then goes on to say: Learn to go unterrified into the gulf of death, for where mortal exstence ends, the sprtual exstence begns. Wth death, the resurrected soul out-soars the shadows of nght, and s rencarnated nto the changeless One. prophet Mohammed also speaks of death n lfe n much the same stran: A death lke ths wll not take thee to the grave, But t shall lead thee from darkness to lght, learn then to de every day by transcendng the body. When a man learns to transcend the human n hm, the Master n Hs Radant Form comes n to help the soul onwards to ts true Home, gudng t on the hgher planes,

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both n ones lfetme and even after when the mortal col s finally cast off. In this connection Nanak says: O nanak! snap all the ephemeral tes of the world and find thou a real friend in some Saint; The former shall leave thee whle ye lve but the latter shall stand by thee even n the hereafter. Followng the nstructons of a Satguru, take hold of Truth, Be thou true to Hm and He shall stand true to thee unto the last. A Muslm darvesh lkewse says: O brave soul! take a firm hold of His hem, For He s truly above all the worlds, here and above. So we find in the Gospels: lo! i shall be wth thee tll the end of the world, i shall not leave thee nor forsake thee. in ths way the hghest msson of human lfe s acheved and the fullness of lfe experenced. Ths s the subject of contactng the Self by the self whch dsengages from the thorns and thstles of the worldly lfe, under the proper gudance and help of a Master-soul who vouchsafes ths experence to all alke rrespectve of sex, age, avocaton, religious affinities and social orders based on blood, caste, colour and creed. The sprt has got to be dvested of the false halo of the self-created and self-projected personalty that one unwttngly weaves around hmself. Unless one becomes a pure sprt dvested of the love of all created thngs, one cannot enjoy the lfe of the Creator whch s a lfe of fullness n beattude.

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Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)

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IV
n nature death follows lfe and lfe proceeds from death. Death as a cessaton of lfe n one form s but a prelude to re-lvng n another, and generally at a hgher level of exstence than before, and n better and more congenal envrons. Evoluton s the law of lfe and t conssts n actve flowering of the latent possibilities in the spirit-matter, and comprses n ts compass, not only evoluton of the sprtmatter whch grows more plastc and translucent n ts onward march, but also evoluton of forms from mnerals to human enttes and lastly expanson of self-conscousness. The socalled dead matter s not really dead though the energy n t may for some tme be n a congealed state. A worn-out garment, that has outgrown ts utlty s to be cast off and replaced by a new one, moulded n a fashon one desres the most. Such s the law of Dame nature, the handwork of god. The kndly Father, t s sad, hath ordaned that Hs chldren may have what they ardently wsh for. in provdng the essentals of lfe on the earth-plane, love, lght and lfe and the necessary adjuncts thereto, lke earth, water, sun, ar and space together wth all the means of sustenance, the Supreme Lord of the universe is munificent beyond measure, and provdes the same freely to all though each one gets accordng to hs need and measure of descent. Hs bountes are nnumerable and nexhaustble, and for ages man has fed upon them in diverse ways. Not satisfied
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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH

wth the lmtless gfts, man ever craves for moremore of slver and gold, more of amentes and convenences of lfe and more of everythng else, and he struggles and strves endlessly for them. instead of beng grateful to the lord for all that He has, by Hs grace, provded for us, we curse ourselves, curse those around us in better and more affluent circumstances than us, and curse the nnocent stars above and do not hestate to cavl at, and crtcse n stngng terms, our own fate or destny whch we have by our own actons, forged for ourselves. Wth all hs possessons, one loses hs head for just a pttance. Human lfe s a great prvlege and a rare asset and blessng. it comes after passng through a long evolutonary process extendng over tme unendng. it s an opportunty for amassng the rches of sprtualty that le hdden wthn us and of whch we are hardly aware. But the majorty of us are after ephemeral non-essentalsthe sense-pleasures of the earth-lfe, and not real happness. For these short-lived and fleeting pleasures, which we may or may not get, we, by all means, far or foul, try to move heaven and earth, and more often than not pay dearly, even wth our own lfe, and qut the stage of lfe wth many a deep regret for one thng or the other, and for the unworthy means employed and for the sorrows suffered n the attempt. nature s not extravagant n her desgn and purpose. As one thnks, so he becomes. Our feelngs and emotons, thoughts and passons, desres and aspratons do not de wth the death of the body. They consttute an nner vest, an undergarment (the astral body), below the physcal cloak; and the sprt clothed theren, goes out to be covered by yet another mantle, drawng upon the karmc seeds lyng
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n store n the seed-body, the precous treasure-chest. it s ths causal or nstrumental body wth ts vast resources that helps ts nmate, the sprt, n fashonng a new mould, a fresh tabernacle of flesh, which may serve as a fitting vehicle for the fulfilment of what lies uppermost in the unconscious self. The curtain finally rises, unfolding the entire panorama of lfe down to the mnutest detal ere one passes out of sght from the stage of lfe. On death-bed one may get a glmpse of realty, but then t s too late to comprehend t. Ths process works on and on gvng at the end of each span on earth, fresh momentum to the wheel of lfe and death wth ts natural concomtants of joys and sorrows, weal and woe sometme up and sometme low, movng n ntermnable gyres, as one s never satated wth all that one gets n ones sojourn on earth, and goes on addng new hopes and new desres, mxed wth many a regret for what he wanted and dd not get. He s thus unwttngly engaged perpetually n sowng the dragons teeth, and lfe after lfe, he spends n fighting his self-started battles with the self-raised armed bands whch, lke shadows, follow on hs heels as untamed fures or the avengng sprts. nature, lke the potters wheel, provdes the means n the form of many clayey pots, one after the other, for slakng the nsatable thrst and expectaton of each ndvdual. Weghed down by countless desres from top to toe, one makes a slave of hmself. Wthout them one could revel n hs godhood. What s man after all?god plus desres. And conversely what s god?Man mnus desres. The great phlosopher-poet, Wllam Wordsworth (17701859) draws a beautful pen-pcture of a growng chld n hs memorable Ode on immortalty:

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The soul that rses wth us, our lfes star, hath had elsewhere ts settng, And cometh from afar; not n entre forgetfulness, And not n utter nakedness, But tralng clouds of glory do We come From god, Who s our home: Heaven les about us n our nfancy! Shades of the prson-house begn to close Upon the growng boy... Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnngs she hath n her own natural knd, And, even wth somethng of a mothers mnd, And no unworthy am, The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-chld, her nmate man, Forget the glores he hath known, And that mperal palace whence he came. Ths then s the sordd pcture of lfe on earth as we witness from day to day. Even having our fill, as preordained, we are yet hungryravenously hungry for more and more of pelf and power, more of ephemeral pleasures and senseenjoyments. Far from beng thankful for what we have of the bountes of nature, we look before and after, and pne for what s not. nature cannot reman a slent spectator of our unappeased gluttony and wth her magc wand turns us, Circe-like, into swine so that we may have our fill of the piffle and be done away with. It is only some wise Ulysses, armed with a magic-flower from Mercury (the messenger of gods) who can fight the enchantress on her own ground and rescue hs followers, gettng them reconverted from swne nto men, and along wth them all others held n captvty by the sorceress n many dfferent forms, each accordng to hs or her nnate nature. it s the type of the rulng passons that
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determne our course of lfe, not only here rght now n the lvng present, also n the hereafter. now let us have a look at the nevtable process of change called death. Ths transference from one state of lfe to another s a necessary adjunct of lfe; and takes place n ts own good tme but wth a swft and stunnng suddenness, the more so when t s least expected. Death knows no calendar, and no one can predct t, nor can anyone escape from t wth all hs cunnng and wt. Each lvng thng has ts own allotted span of lfetme. We all lve, move and have our beng n tme, and when the sands of tme run out, ths change comes and contnues to do so, tme and agan, untl one gets beyond the farthest bounds of tme and arses nto tmelessness. Death, then s somethng terrbly real and unavodable. it perhaps seems to be the only real thng n the mdst of the unrealtes of the world. Everyone, rch or poor, kng or beggar, young or old, healthy or dseased, has to pass through the deaths trap-door, whether one lkes t or not. One may lve long or short, a hundred years or just a whle; but one cannot lve on eternally n one and the same lfe form, whch n course of tme, s sure to decay and become wearly burdensome, a mllstone around the neck as t were, and one n sheer desperaton may cry out n angush for a quck rddance from the heavy load hangng around the self n hm: nether kngs nor beggars reman, All go, each one n hs own tme. A Muslm darvesh therefore advses: All thy lfe thou hast bemoaned the death of others, Why not thou st for a whle and ponder over thy own fate?

Ramkal M.1

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is death a panful process? s the next queston. generally speakng t s so wth most. The scrptures tell us of the excrucatng pan that a dyng person suffers at the tme of death. in the Bhagwad purana, t s sad that one experences the horrors of death-pangs as f one s btten by a mllon scorpons at once. The holy Quran lkens the throes of death to the condton of a person when a thorny hedge were to be pulled through the almentary canal from one end to the other. The Skh scrptures also speak n much the same stran: The lfe-currents are wrenched out. All such statements are merely llustratve of the mmensty of the torture that one experences when the demons of death appear to forcbly take the sprt out of the body. What actually happens at that tme, t s only the dyng man who knows. no one, after the actual experence of death, has ever returned from across the borders of the death-land to tell us of the exact nature of hs sufferngs. Each one suffers unto hmself and becomes slent forever. To be on the death-bed s a vertable nalng on the cross, and the death-chamber s a charnel-house. One can hardly stand unmoved, when some people toss restlessly for days on end wth a death-rattle n ther throat, wrthng n extreme agony on the death-bed. Who can assuage the tortures of death ? All stand helplessly by; the best of physcans admnsterng drugs to the last, the attendant nurses standng on toe-tps, the nearest of kth and kn wth tearful eyes and woebegone looks and sombre faces, awatng the nevtable end. Who hears the pteous cres of the poor vctm and hs lfe companons, hs wfe and chldren? As the wfe wth hars dshevelled moans, The soltary sprt wngs ts way alone.

Kabr

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Of Alexander the great (356-323 B.C.); kng of Macedona and conquerer of the world as known at the tme, t s sad that t had been prophesed that he would de only when the earth would be of steel and the sky of gold. As nether of these two phenomena could be possble, the kng was lulled nto a false sense of perennal securty. He magned and beleved that lke the Olympan gods, he was mmortal. After long and wearsome campagns n the far east, as he was passng through the desert near Babylon, on hs way back to greece, he was strcken wth fever. Beng unable to hold on to the saddle, he was helped to dsmount, and one of the generals spread hs steel coat-of-mal on the ground, lned as t was wth velvet on the nsde, and made the kng le thereon, and held up outstretched hs gold-embrodered umbrella over hs face to protect hm from the scorchng rays of the fierce desert sun. It was then that the great hero of many a battle, the nvncble conquerer, realsed that hs end was near, for he was now lyng on the steely ground wth a golden awnng over hm. He was overtaken by consternaton. Addressng the best of the physcans who were attendng upon hm, he, wth tearful eyes, begged that somethng should be done to save hm for the tme beng, so that he could reach home and meet hs mother whom he greatly loved. But one and all expressed ther helplessness. He offered to them, at first, half his kingdom and then the whole f they could, by ther medcal skll, procure for hm that much of respte. But who could help to stay the dvne decree? On the tenth day of llness, as hs generals one by one, passed through the tented chamber of the dyng kng, he bade them good-bye and drected that at hs funeral, both hs hands be kept out of the shroud so that all could see that a great emperor was leavng empty-handed, just the way he came nto the world.

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Smlarly, we hear of the sad story of a great and talented queen who ruled over vast domnons. She was adored by her people for her dazzlng beauty, and admred for her sagacty. She had ruled wsely and well for qute a long tme. Brought up n the lap of luxury, wth hundreds of` attendants, she could not for a moment beleve that there was such a thng as death. When her end came, she was strcken wth great sorrow and overtaken by pognant gref. The royal physcans by her bed-sde could do nothng to assuage her fears and torments. As death stared her n the face, they tred to console her and advsed her to prepare for the last journey. What, n her horror, she exclamed. And where was she gong? she wondered. Alas ! to the land from where there s no return, was the smple reply. She could not beleve her ears. Am i dreamng? she enqured, no, you wll have to go, your majesty. is there a land of no return? and f so, where s t? it s far off from ths world, sad the courters. Could not you locate t for me n tme? And what preparatons have you made to make my stay over there comfortable? asked the queen. none, your majesty, How many of you wll accompany me to that land? inquired the terrified queen. You wll have to go alone and by yourself, madam, sad the courters.

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How many attendants wll i be permtted to take wth me? none, not one. Such, ndeed, s our gnorance of the realtes of lfe. We are clever, very clever, n the workaday affars of the world. But strange as t may seem, we know next to nothng of the stern retrbuton that awats all of us; and we have, lke all others, to go all alone and empty-handed. naked i came nto the world, and naked shall i go, says the hymnologst. That, ndeed, s the nevtable fate of all. Weepng we come nto the world, and weepng we depart from the world. To come weepng s understandable. A newborn babe does weep as he emerges from the chamber of the womb, for he s severed from the lght of lghts, the lght of lfe, that has been sustanng hm rght through the perod of gestaton n that chamber, suspended upsde down. Ths s why we generally keep some sort of lght on for a few nghts after the brth of the chld, and whenever he cres, we turn hs face towards that lght, or at tmes, we play the rattle to amuse the baby and queten hm. But why should we weep at the tme of departure, when on the way back to the parental care of the lovng Father? it was open to us to re-lnk the strands of lfe n us by conscously workng for that end. Ths we, wlly-nlly, do not care to do, and the human exstence from cradle to the grave runs waste. Once ths opportunty s lost, we go down n the scale of exstence. To fall from the top rung of the ladder, more often than not, proves fatal. Snappng tes wth acqured relatonshps of the world, spread over a number of years, s panful and the departure terrifically poignant, the more so as we are qute unprepared for the qut-notce that s sprung on us. We
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do not know how to qut the rented house and where we are to go. The prospect of beng thrown out nto the unknown as we take the lfe after death to be, bewlders us. All ths works up a state of horror, unmagnable horror of the worst type. Ths s why t s sad: Remember thou the day you came weepng nto the world to the jublaton of those around thee; lve thou a lfe that you may depart laughng amdst the weepng and walng of all. Francs Quarles (1592-1644), a mystc poet, speakng of death tells us: if thou expect death as a frend, prepare to entertan t; f thou expect death as an enemy, prepare to overcome t; death has no advantage, but when t comes a stranger. Heren les the dfference between the eastern and the western thought on death. St. paul, descrbng death as the last enemy of man sad that he ded daly swallowng death n vctory and mockngly asked: O grave, where s thy stng? The eastern savants hal t as an occason for unon wth the Beloved. The concluson, however, s the same n both cases; vz., that death clams an advantage over us only when t comes suddenly and swftly as an unexpected stranger, nether as an expected frend nor as a dreaded foe, and we are entrely unprepared to receve t or to meet ts challenge. Those who are prepared for t and are ever ready, they receve t, welcome t, takng as a home-gong and a means of unon wth the Beloved. A true lover of god even when condemned to death for heresy cheerfully lays hs head on the block and beseechngly calls the executoner, prayng, to make a short shrft of hs body wth hs sword, as he sees
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reflected in it the Light of his Beloved (God). After all, what s death? Death, says Eurpdes s a debt we must all pay. Ths beng the case, why not pay off the debt and be forever free from the oblgaton? The body s the ransom or the dower whch the soul has to delver to obtan ultmate release from the law of Retrbuton. To have some dea of what happens after death, let us have recourse to the scrptural texts. The Masters dvde mankind into four categories. In the first place, there are those who have not had the good fortune to take refuge n any Sant Satguru, and these form a consderable bulk. They have to go, all alone, each a soltary soul by tself, wthout any frend and companon. All such souls have to appear before, and abde by the decrees of the just-god (Dharam Ra), who dspenses stern and strct justce on the prncpal of as you sow, so shall you reap, wthout compasson or commseraton. Ths s what s called the nexorable law of karma that works relentlessly. Ths law does not take any count of extraneous crcumstances and admts of no exceptons: Castes and colours aval naught there; One gets hs meed accordng to hs deeds. (Asa M. 3). Every way of a man s rght n hs own eyes; but the lord pondereth the hearts. (prov. 21: 2). At the apponted tme of whch no one s aware, good angels (Ramgans) or bad angels (Yamgans), as the case may be, come to forcbly take the sprt out of the body, and one has to go along wth them. They escort the sprt to the judgement-seat, so that each has to render account of hs thoughts, words and deeds. Fool thnkest thou that because no Boswell s there to note thy jargon, t therefore des and s bured. nothng des, nothng can de. The dlest word thou speakest s a seed cast nto tme, whch brngs frut to all eternty. (Carlyle). Jesus n no uncertan terms has declared: And i say unto you, that every dle word that
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men shall speak, they shall gve account thereof on the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified: by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matt. 12: 36-37). All thoughts, feelngs and emotons, all words uttered ntentonally or unntentonally, and all deeds done premedtatedly or casually, leave ndelble mpressons (samskaras or naqsh--amal) on the tablet of the mnd, and the account has to be rendered after death. it s all a summary procedure, but just, wth no provson for logc-choppng or argument or appeal to any hgher power, nor can there be any chance of release there from. The one who has ndulged all hs lfe n snful dongs s sent to hell (narak or Dozakh) to undergo the penal servtude for a partcular length of tme as hs deeds may mert, and thereby rd hmself of the evl mpressons, and understand the law that works for hs ultmate good. When the allotted tme runs out, he once agan takes brth so that he may have another chance to lead a reformed lfe freed from the evl now washed off, and make a fresh start avodng the ptfalls of the past. if one leads a lfe of rghteousness, he s assgned a place n heaven or paradse (Swarg, Bakunth or Bahsht), where he, for some tme enjoys the fruts of hs good deeds, after whch he too once agan, comes down to the earth-plane. Thus all persons ensconced n the karmc wheel of lfe move up and down by the ceaseless momentum of ther own deeds. There s no escape from ths ever-revolvng gant wheel untl one, by a stroke of good fortune, meets some Sant Satguru and the latter accepts hm and helps hm to a way-out and to the god-way. The sprts on comng out of the nether world of pluto, gradually work ther way up from the mneral to the vegetable kngdom, and then to the world of nsects and reptles, and on
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to that of the feathery fraternty, and next to the quadrupeds, and finally to human beings: After passng through the wheel of the eghty-four thou hast ganed the top, O nanak! now take hold of the power of god, and be thou eternally free. Shr Rag M. 5 Even the Devas or detes, the varous gods and goddesses who are sad to regn n regons of blss, are there on account of ther hghly mertorous deeds on the lower planes. As soon as they exhaust the mert ganed, they have also to return to the physcal world. The blessed lord Krshna, the adorable one, once explanng to Udhav, a devoted dscple of hs, about the workng of the law of karma, pontng to an insect crawling in the filth said: O Udhav, this insect that you see before you, has oft tmes been indra, the god of thunder and ran, and has oft tmes been grovellng n drt as at present. Such ndeed s the fate of all. Even the Avtaras or ncarnatons, the embodments of the Powers of God, are not immune from the inflexible working of the karmc wheel and are called to judgement. lke a solder n the army, an Avtara s not mmune from lablty under the cvl law, n addton to hs oblgatons under the mltary law governng hs professon. Even f he may be dong hs duty under the command of hs superors, whch s law unto hm under mltary regulatons, he may ncur a cvl lablty under the cvl law. Hs s a two-fold responsblty: one under the army lawto wt, to obey mplctly what the offcers order hm to do on pan of beng court-martaled and the other under the cvl admnstraton f, n the dscharge of hs dutes, he s found to have exceeded the lmts. gods and goddesses, and the ncarnatons of varous
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god-powers, are therefore ncluded n ths category, so far as the law of karma goes. Wth all ther prvleged poston, they, and the entre hosts of angels, are under the law and not above the law. Ths s why they too seek human brth, n whch les the possblty of escape from the tols and struggles on to the abode of peace-eternal and lfe everlastng. Even the great Rshs wth all ther austertes and penances, when ther end draws ngh, wsh and aspre for a human body n preference to celestal abodes n heaven as the shnng ones (Devas). They do so because t s n ths way alone that they stand the chance of contactng a Satguru, gettng nstructons from Hm, and rsng above the nexorable law of causaton or acton and reacton. Heroes lke Arjun and the pandva brothers except Yudhshtra, the dharam-putra (the embodment of dharam), as he was commonly known and beleved to be, were cast nto the nether regons for engagng n a war, though of rghteousness, and enjoned by no less a personage than the blessed lord Krshna, because n dong so they could not, wth all Hs exhortatons, dvest themselves of the dea of doershp. Agan, of lord Krshna hmself, t s sad that he met hs death by the chance arrow of a bhl, thus requttng hs past karma commtted ages before as Rama, who klled the invincible Bali, a forest prince, by the artifice of shooting an arrow from behnd the cover of a tree. Rama and Krshna, t maybe mentoned, were both ncarnatons of lord Vshnu n dfferent ages. Smlarly, of Kng Dasrath, the father of Rama, t s sad that one nght whle huntng n the forest, he heard a gurglng sound that appeared to hm to be of some wld anmal lappng water close by among the rushes and the reeds. guded by the sound, he drected hs arrow n that drecton, httng a
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young man, Sarvan, who had gone to the riverside to fill a ptcher wth water for hs blnd and thrsty parents, whom he was carryng n a panner across hs shoulder, and had just left them at some dstance. Hearngs the pteous angushed cry of hs vctm, the kng rushed towards the dyng man, who told hm of hs plght and begged hm to take the water to hs parents. Full of gref, the kng went to the aged couple and told them of the mshap. They could hardly bear the shock and ded bemoanng ther lot, wshng the same fate as thers for the unknown perpetrator of the crme. in course of tme, the kng also met the same fate, when he ded n btter agony caused by the pangs of separaton from hs son, Rama, who had been exled for fourteen long years. Ths s how nemess overtakes each one n hs turn, meetng out what s due unto hm. Thus each one comes n hs own way nto the world, and goes out of t nto the valley of death under the compulsve force of karma. in the second category fall all persons who come n contact wth a lvng perfect Master, are accepted by Hm, and ntated nto the esoterc scence of the soul, but for one reason or another, are not able to develop Communon wth the Holy Word to any apprecable extent, be t on account of ndulgence n sense-pleasures, or because of sloth or lethargy, or somethng else. They stand on a different footing from those in the first category. At the tme of ther death, when the soul-currents begn to wthdraw from the body, or a lttle earler, the Satguru n hs Radant Form appears wthn, to take charge of the departng sprt. Hs Radant Form gladdens the heart of the devotee, and he gets so absorbed n Hm that all attachments of the world fall off lke autumn leaves, and he fearlessly and joyously follows Hm nto the valley of the shadows of death. Yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadows of death, i wll fear no evl: for thou art wth me, says the
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psalmst. (23:4). And ths ndeed s Hs troth Everyman, i wll go wth thee, and be thy gude; in thy most need to go by thy sde. Agan, So... i shall not leave thee nor forsake thee tll the end of the world. The Master constantly keeps a watch over the affars of the dscple. He s ever wth hm n weal or woe. He stands by hm even before the judgementseat of god, says nanak. Wth the darveshes, there s no reckonng of deeds of ther dscples. The Master s all n all, the sole judge and arbter of the dscples deeds, whether these be rghteous or unrghteous, and deals wth them as he thnks best: The Father hath lfe n Hmself; so hath He gven to the Son to have lfe n hmself ; And hath gven hm an authorty to execute judgement also, because he s the Son of man. (John 5:26-27). it s because of such a deep solctude for the dscple that nanak so emphatcally declares: love thou the true Master and earn the rches true, He who beleves n Hm unto the last, the Master rescues hm true. lke wanderng sprtes, the mnd-rdden roam up and down, Anmals n human formdevod of lght through and through. Malar War. i Dstance does not count wth the Master. The Masterpower does come at the last moment, or even earler, no matter where the dscple may befar or near. He apprses hm of the mpendng nevtable hour of hs ext from the world and accordngly comes to escort hm. The Subtle Form of the Master s resplendent, and leads the sprt nto hgher regons and assgns each one an approprate place to whch he may be enttled accordng to hs sadhna or the practce of the Holy Word durng hs lfetme; and mparts to hm the necessary nstructons for further and fuller development on
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the sprtual path. in my Fathers house are many mansons; and f t were not so, i would have told you; for i go to prepare a place for you. And f i go and prepare a place for you, i wll come agan and receve you unto myself, that where i am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3). in case one s to be chastsed for hs laxtes, He Hmself admnsters the necessary chastsement, but never lets hm into the torture of hell-fire. The divine balance-holder (the kng of shadows) who judges each accordng to hs deeds, has no authorty over the apt dscples of the Master, for they lve n the name of lord (whch) s a strong tower. (ps. 18:10). it s not gven to hm to pass and execute judgement on them. in all such cases the Master Hmself decdes and does thngs as He thnks best. The lord taketh pleasure n them that fear Hm, n those that hope n Hs mercy. (ps. 147:11) Agan, For whom the lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receveth (accepteth). (Heb. 12:6). in bref: Those who love the Master, are never alone, nor are they answerable to any, nor do they suffer pan. gujr War M. 3 But such ntates who have no love for the world, they are not rencarnated on the earth-plane, unless for some partcular reason the Master deems t necessary to do so, and n that case, such a one does not slde down the scale but s reborn n some famly of pous and relgous parents so that the new-born easly gets nto touch wth a Master-Sant and resumes on hs path Homeward, from an early age, wthout any let or hndrance. For the seed of the Word sown by the Sower (the Master) ever remans wthn the depths of hs soul and cannot but, n tme, sprout, blossom and fructfy by the Water of lfe that he s sure to get from the Master of hs age: none can take away the gft of the guru; He who has
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bestowed t, knows how to ferry across. (Maru M. 1) Once the seed s sown by a Sant; none has the power to snge t. (Soami Ji). Hafiz, the mystic poet of Persia, says: On the day of reckonng, thou shalt know for certan, in the land of darveshes, there s no count of deeds. Shamas Tabrez, another great mystc of persa, says: Death breaks down the cage, lberatng the sprt, Death has no sway over phoenx that des to soar agan, Why should I not fly back to my own home? Why should i tarry n the clayey mould? Agan: The lovers know where and how to de, They accept and relsh death as a gft from the Beloved: Wth nner eye opened, they see the glory of god, When others are forced blnd-fold nto the blnd alley. Whle the lovers wend ther way happly to the lord, The gnorant ones de a horrfyng death. Those who pass sleepless nghts n fear of god, They have no regrets n lfe nor any hopes and fears; Whle here they seek Hs glance of grace, Merrly do they go n Hs holy presence. The thrd category comprses such persons as make the most of the nstructons mparted to them by the Master, but have not yet attaned perfecton though they are well on the way to t. Such souls know of the tme and day of ther departure n advance of the event. Snce they are fully conversant wth the death process and every day undergo ts experence; they are not afrad of death and know ts shadowy character. On the contrary, they wshfully and wstfully awat the apponted tme and voluntarly throw off the worn-out mortal mantle, just n the same way as they had
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put t on, on ther advent nto the world. They know some of the hgher planes of the sprt-world whch they traverse day n and day out along wth the Master-power, and know the partcular plane to whch they are ultmately to go for sojourn after death. There they lve for some tme and work for ther way up to stll hgher regons. They lve all the tme conscously n the love of the Master, and the Master-power ever abdes n them. He s ther manstay and support and they owe no allegance to anyone else. led by the sprt they are no more under the law. (St. paul). last, but not the least, come the perfected Souls. They, whle lvng, are lberated bengs (jvanmukats) and lead a freed lfe of the sprt. They know full well, far ahead of the tme, as to when they have to go back to the Manson of the lord, and gladly awat the hour, and welcome the manner n whch they are requred to qut the bodly framebe t on the cross or the gbbet, on the red-hot ron plates, or on the executoners block. Wth no wll of ther own, they lve n the Wll of god, and joyously embrace death as a means of reunon wth the Beloved, unmndful of the swft or lngerng process of death, as may sometme be ordaned by the relgous zealots and tyranncal pontffs and potentates, for that s the moment of hghest jublaton for them. Thenceforth, they lve out ther span of lfe from moment to moment. They care not if they are flayed alive, hacked to peces, or burnt at the stake, or made to drnk the cup of hemlock, or naled to the cross along wth felons. They gve a hearty handshake to death as t comes n ther way, no matter what form t may assume. Ths then s the way that gurmukhs, the Sants and the prophets follow. Of guru Amar Das, t s sad that when the tme of hs departure drew ngh, he called for the Sangat (congregaton) and addressed: i am gong back to the Har (lord). no one should weep for me. He who wll do so, wll ncur my
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dspleasure. After i am gone, be ye all engaged n the slent Musc of the soul. Smlarly, Shamas Tabrez sad: On the day of my death, as my ber slowly moves along, never for a moment feel that i am gong wth any regrets n lfe. When you see my coffin, utter not a word of separation, for then alone I am in unon wth the lord. When i wll turn my face away from the world, i wll then be facng the eternal Realty. Hazur Baba Jamal Sngh J Maharaj had foretold of hs approachng end long before t actually came about. When he was nearng the end of hs earthly plgrmage, he sad: i am gong back to my natve place and none should press me to stay on. My msson n ths lfe s over and i have amassed mmense sprtual rches. Happly i go to the Mansons of the lord. it s a sacrlege to lament and bewal the passng away of Sants, for verly do they go back to ther own home. One may, f he lkes, shed copous tears at the death of a worldlng who s forcbly ejected from, and dragged out of the body by the prnce of the nether world, and passes through devous processes up and down: O Kabr, why weep for a Sant who goes back home: Weep, f you must for a worldly-wse who tosses from hand to hand. Sants, when called back, on completon of ther msson, are gven an honoured place n Hs Court. To de such a death s a rare prvlege and a real blessng, whch may be enved by mghty kngs and emperors.

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nD god sad, let there be lght; and there was lght. (gen. 1:3). And ths s the true lght that lghteth every man that cometh nto the world. And lght s the lfe of men. in memorable words lke these, all the scrptures descrbe the geness or creaton of the world and of all that s n the world. Rays of lght vbratng wth the Musc of lfe, emanatng from the Formless Absolute Exstence came to manfest the world n ts varegated colours n countless shapes and forms. As above, so below. The Sprt and power of god manfested n the vbratng holy lght, pervades all the four grand Dvsons of the unverse: Sach Khand, the abode of Truth or the Changeless permanence n its prstne purty, wth the materal cause (the mnd) yet hdden and nvolved theren; the Brahmand or the egg of Brahman, the second grand Dvson of the unverse, brought nto beng by the unversal mnd of elemental essence by the Wll of the Supreme Beng; and the next, Und, or the thrd grand Dvson, called the astral world wth mnd-stuff n ts subtle state; and lastly, Pind, or the physcal world, the fourth grand Dvson, the handwork of the gross mnd. Durng our sojourn on the earth-plane, we work out our destny or fate as planned wth great precson and exacttude by what s called Prarabdh Karmas, whch determne n broad outlne the general framework markng the duraton
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and course of lfe n each case. Ths plane s a bg countng house or a clearing office, so to say, in which each one has to square up hs or her account, comng down the ages, and n dong so, we wlly-nlly open fresh accounts and rase credts and debts to be pad off and cleared n the dstant future, and no one knows how and when and n what form and n what manner. Thus, whle reapng the harvest sown n the past, we prepare the ground for fresh sowng, n season and out of season, wth seeds good, bad, or ndfferent; and all ths we do promscuously, prompted by mnd and the senses. The sages call the earth-plane as karam khshetra, or the field of actions, where sowing and harvesting automatically go on all the tme, under the superntendence, drecton and control of Dharam Ra, the kng of shadows, who measures and judges each thought, word and deed, however trval and insignificant it may appear to be, rightly and justly, and admnsters justce to each at the end of ones lfe-span. nanak calls ths regon Dharam Khand, for each plgrmsoul comng to ths regon has to realse n fullness, the exstence of the law of Retrbuton and Requtal, whch governs all alke wth no favours and no exceptons. Each s weghed wth the weght of hs own acts and deeds and learns, sometmes wth hard blows and heavy knocks, the grand lesson of Brahman, the lord of the three realms: the gross or physcal, subtle or astral, and causal or nstrumental (Pind, Und and Brahmand); all of whch are the mnd-zones of the unversal mnd, wth numberless planes and sub-planes, ncludng inter alia varous hells and heavens wth ntermedate stages as one may create by ones senses, sensbltes and susceptbltes, lkes and dslkes, loves and hatreds, prdes and prejudces, born of desres of one knd or the other.

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Each one thus bulds hs own habtat, and not only here but also n the hereafter; the astral and mental worlds where one stores up hs mpressons gathered from tme to tme, n dfferent ncarnatons from the begnnng of tme. All these lnger n the soul n the form of general latences n the folds of the karmc body; and a part of them at the tme of rebrth prepares an etherc body n advance of the coarse, dense body. Thus destny s cast nto the mould before the physcal vesture s prepared, to work out the causes nvolved theren. Smlarly, at the tme of death the departng soul carres wth t all the lfe-mpressons, deeply engraved on the tablet of the mnd and the rulng passons of the entre lfetme, now sngled out n blazng colours whch determne the course of ts future destnaton n the astral and/or mental world of sprts. Strpped of the physcal mantle, each soul dsplays ts subtle ndvdualty, as t were, n the lght of the noonday sun. Men may deceve themselves here for any length of tme, by wearng pous looks and dressng n attractve clothes. They may for the tme beng succeed n decevng others; but none can play the hypocrte n the astral world, where one s denuded of the sold outer coverng, the gross garment of the flesh: O Nanak! it is there that the divine mystery is finally revealed, The perfect are they who worshp perfecton, And the mperfect are perfected over there; Such, as dyng come to be born agan are yet mperfect. The astral world s the world of sprts of dsemboded soulssouls havng cast off the physcal body and yet enfolded n the subtle and mental coverngs. it s also called Pitri Lok the place of the Pitris or manes of the defined souls of the departed ancestors. Here the souls are mprsoned n
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the seven-shelled encasement of the astral world, drawng subtle materal from each of the seven sub-planes exstng theren. it s here that they work out the causes whch they set gong on the earthplane, by undergong certan purificatory processes in the divine crucible, so as to make them worthy of the land of the shnng ones after the dross s burnt off. Mrs. Anne Besant (1847-1933), a pupl of Mme. Blavatsky, n her famous study The Ancient Wisdom, has gven a graphc descrpton of the varous sub-planes n what she calls Kam lok, a lower sub-plane n the astral world. As the name ndcates, t s a place of desres and s sad to contan seven sub-dvsons n t, each peopled by persons of varyng natures and temperaments. The scum of the socety, the vilest of the vile, the murderers and marauders, ruffians and profligates and persons with bestial tastes and brutish appettes who, whle lvng on earth, shaped for themselves bestal astral bodes, now appear, after death, n savage forms n ther natural lkenesses and natve hdeousnesses, n the lowest strata of the nfernal regon, roamng about, roaring, raving and raging, fiercely and furiously, pret-like wandering in search of means for the gratification of their nsatate desres. in these gloomy and loathsome surroundngs, they reap the harvest of ther own sowng, and learn the much-needed lesson whch they faled to learn durng ther lfetme, as they were whrled away on the tde of lusts and desres. natures lessons are btter and sharp, but mercful n the long run, desgned, as they are, for ther ultmate good. To the next sub-plane go such souls as qut ther bodes wth some deep anxety weghng heavly on them, or such who had mplacable appettes or desres for self-enjoyment and gratification.
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Then there are two sub-planes for those who are educated and thoughtful people, chiefly occupied with worldly affairs durng ther lfetme on earth. Ther attenton s drected more onwards than backwards because they belong to the progressve types. From the fifth sub-plane onwards, the environ changes consderably, becomng astral n the true sense of the word .e., truly starry, studded as t s wth stars, and the surroundngs are cheerfully nsprng. These three sub-planes are euphemstcally termed heavensheavens of a lower type, sometme spoken of, as by the later Jews, as nfernal heavens, beng stuated n the nfernal world as dstngushed from supernal heavens. The religious and the philosophic busy-bodies find their way to the materialised heavens in the fifth region, which they desred and coveted whle on earth: lke the Happy Hunting Grounds, the Valhalla (the final resting place of the illustrious dead and the heroes slain in battles), the joy-filled Bahsht or paradse of the Muslms, the golden JewelledGated New Jerusalem or the Lyceum-filled Heaven. The souls of the more advanced type, like artists, find a place n the sxth sub-dvson. The seventh or the hghest sub-dvson s entrely for the materalstcally-orented ntellectuals, lke poltcans and admnstrators, and men of scence who were pronouncedly materalstc on earth, and wedded to the ways of the world n acqurng knowledge. lfe n Kam lok s sad to be more actve, forms more plastc and the sprt-matter more hghly charged and more subtle, and ntangble and mperceptble though transparent or translucent. The thought-forms here appear and dsappear wth kaledoscopc rapdty because of the great velocty of the vbratons generated by sensatons, feelngs and emotons.
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A spiritually advanced person with a purified astral body merely passes through Kam lok wthout delay. The pure and the temperate, though less vapd n hs plght, dreams away peacefully through t. Others, less developed stll; awaken to conscousness n the regon smlar to the one n whch they worked n ther lfetme. Those whose anmal passons stll clng to them (prets) wake up, each lterally and exactly to hs own place n the approprate regon to whch he belongs. Ths plane s treacherous and trcky, and as such, those who are ntated by a perfect Master of the tme nto the dvne mysteres of the Beyond are not permtted to tarry, lest they be bewtched here. On the contrary, they are quckly led under cover through t, to hgher regons for ganng maturty and stablty so as to be able, at a later tme, to face t wth confidence and to stand the tempting witchery and delusive and llusory charms of the place, and do not get stuck-up n ther march upwards n the sprtual regon. From the astral world of desres, some of the souls pass on to another world, the world of thoughts. it s a mental zone (mano-ma srsht) created by the thnkng mnd or manas as t s called. Thoughts have tremendous energy and each person, whle on earth, creates hs own dream-land by flights of imagination and fancy; and to this, the soul, after death, s gradually led on to experence the castles bult n the ar, as the sayng goes. Mnd at every stage, from the unversal Brahman, wth Hs pure mnd-essence, down to the ndvdual, weaves a world of ts own and takes delght to lve n t, as a spder caught in the web of its own making, and flits up and down, rght and left, on the gossamer texture so artstcally set up with a light filmy substance coming out of its own body. So do the thought-patterns and thought-mages of each
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ndvdual go out to make a wonderful thought-kngdom, far n advance of the tme that the thnker n the body s freed from the prson-house of the physcal exstence n the materal world. As you thnk, so you become. Ths s the law of nature, and no one can escape from ts operaton. in ths world of thoughts, thought-vbratons are the only channels of communcaton between soul and soul, and all the souls lve n close communon wth each other. There space and tme do not matter. if at all there s any separaton between them, t s only due to the lack of sympathy and not for anythng else. All n all, lfe there s rcher, fuller and more advanced than n any of the foregong regons, but t contnues to be delusve, t beng the outcome of the mnd-stuff of each, and no one here can totally escape from deluson, though each one enjoys n full, hs own heaven-world, vast and expandng or shallow and restrcted accordng to ones own mnd-stuff, but all the same each one retans n hm, a sense of realty n the mdst of surroundng lluson. A sanctuary of specal nterest n the mental world s Dev lok, the abode of the Devas or the shnng onespeople hghly enlghtened n ther tme and greatly advanced n ther researches. Here are located the Svargas and Bakunths of the Hndus, the Sukh Vat of the Buddhsts, the heavens of the Zoroastrans and Chrstans, the Arsha of the less materalsed Muslms and the Supernal paradses or pleasure-grounds of the later Jews. Here les the garden of Eden from where man was expelled and excluded by God for his first disobedience of Hs commandments. John Mlton (1608-74), a great poet and genus of hs age, and a profound poltcal and sprtual thnker has, n hs mmortal classcs, Paradise Lost, and Paradise Regained gven a wonderful account of the Fall
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of Man and hs Resurrecton and return unto Hm through the ntercesson of the Son of Man. Wthout wadng through the scrptures of varous relgons, dealng wth post-mortal exstence of man n the varous realms, we would do well to once agan refer to Brahma Vdya or the Dvne Wsdom, rghtly termed by the greeks as Theosopha, whch provdes an adequate phlosophy, embracng n ts fold, the wsdom of the east and the west. Turnng agan to the great occultst, Mrs. Anne Besant, we find the mental plane inhabited by human beings after they cast off ther physcal and astral vestures. purged of the selfish animal passions, each one enters into this region to reap the harvest of hs good deeds, whatever the same may be, large or small, accordng to the measure of good thoughts of personal self-aspratons and ambtons, hopes and fears, loves and nterests. We cannot have more than what we are, and our harvest s accordng to our sowng. Be not deceved; god s not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (galatans 6:7). it s a unverse of the good law, mercfully just, and brngs to each, the exact wages or meed of hs work on earth. Everythng thought of, every aspraton worked up nto power, frustrated efforts transmuted nto facultes, struggles and defeats becomng pllars of strength and power, sorrows and errors forged into shining armour; now find fruton n one of the seven sub-planes or heavens n the land of mdnght sun where self-conscousness awakenng, makes one fully conscous of hs non-self surroundngs: wth memory spreadng out nto the htherto unknown past, brngng to vew the cause that worked out hs lfe on earth and the causes that are wrought by hm lkewse for the vast future. The past, the present and the future now present
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to hm an ntegrated vew of lfe, lke an open book, wth nothng to hde and wthhold. Here he develops for hmself an all-seeng eye, and becomes a perfect seer, so far as hs ndvdualty s concerned, n the true sense of the word. in ths heaven-world, the lowest part s assgned to the least developed souls with sincere and unselfish love for ther famles and frends, an admraton for nobler, purer and better persons than themselves. The measure of ther meed s accordngly narrow and shallow, the cup of ther receptvty beng small; but stll bubblng over to the brm wth joy, purty and harmony; and they are reborn after a whle on ths plane wth mproved powers and facultes. next, come n men and women of relgous fath wth hearts and mnds turned towards godthe personal god of ther own choce, wth any name and any form they had fath n, and to them the nameless and the Formless appears n the sad lkeness n whch they lovngly worshpped Hm, overwhelmng them wth devotonal ecstasy accordng to ther mental and emotonal capacty. The Dvne vels Hmself n the form famlar to Hs devotee. it s really strange that men forget that all detes resde n the human breast. We have but to turn nward to get a glmpse of the Formless n the very form n whch we adore Hm the most. it s therefore sad: Formless s He and yet all forms are Hs; nameless s He and yet all names are Hs; Call Hm by any name thou wshest; And He turns to thee. To the thrd plane, come devoted and earnest souls who see and serve god n man, and worshp Hm n Hs manfested creaton. At ths place they are perfected nto great phlanthropsts of tmes yet unborn, and endowed wth a rich power of unselfish love for mankind. The souls of Master-mnds n fne arts, lke musc,
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sculpture and pantng; the researchers and dscoverers of the laws of nature; eager and reverent students delvng nto the depths of knowledge, get an opportunty n the fourth sub-plane for developng nto perfect Teachers of manknd n the ages to come; and when they do come, they serve as torch-bearers and leave ther footprnts on the sands of tme. next, there are three lofty regons of formless heavens. A large number of souls smply reach the lowest reaches, have but a brief stay, and a flash of insight, according to their sowng and then they come back to the earth-plane wth a dp nto the great unknown. But souls wth deep thnkng and noble lvng, correctly and mmedately perceve truths, see the fundamental causes and the underlyng untes, and learn of the changeless workng of the dvne law n all harmony, n the mdst of the most ncongruous effects as appear to untraned eyeAnd where, though all thngs dffer, all agree. (Alexander pope). More advanced souls, wth memory perfect and unbroken, fnd ther way to the sxth sub-plane, and after garnerng the rches of the dvne mnd (Brahmand), return as great poneers of manknd, to justfy the ways of god to man and to glorfy god. The mghty dead of ages gone by here get a taste of the glorous lvng, seeng and wtnessng as they do, the workng of the Wll of Brahman n its fullness, wth no lnk mssng n the chan of causaton. in the loftest sub-plane come the souls of the Masters of Brahma Vdya and ther ntates (Brahmachars), for none but an initiate can find the strait gate and the narrow path that leadeth unto lfe, and so the chosen few enter nto the land and lfe of Brahman. They enjoy ther self-conscousness to the hghest pont, but are not yet endowed wth cosmc conscousness.
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in the end, Mrs. Anne Besant sums up the poston thus: Such s an outlne of the seven heavens nto one or other of whch men pass n due tme after the change that men call death. For death s only a change that gves the soul a partal lberaton, releasng hm from the heavest of hs chans. it s but a brth nto a wder lfe, a return after bref exle on earth to the souls true Home (Home of the unversal mnd), passng from a prson nto the freedom of the upper ar. Death s the greatest of earths llusons; there s no death, but only changes n lfe condtons. lfe s contnuous, unbroken, unbreakable; unborn, eternal, ancent, constant, t pershes not wth the pershng of the bodes that clothe t. We mght as well thnk that the sky s fallng when a pot s broken, as magne that the soul pershes when the body falls to peces. The run of mankind after death finds no rest in the three worlds: the physcal, the astral and the mental. The souls freed from the physcal vesture are carred on, up and down, n the gant Brahmanc wheel of lfe by the momentum of ther own thoughts, words and deeds. it s all a play of the individual mind, with its vast field of ramifications, spreading out from the lowest, the physcal, to the mental worlds wheren one bulds hs own tabernacles n the hereafter, for a temporary stay, long or short, accordng to ones needs for learnng the lessons of Brahman; as he advances on the path towards perfecton, and each soul gathers as rch a harvest as he can; before exhaustng the causes set n moton through the external stmul from powers that be n hs surroundngs n the varous planes n the three worlds thus descrbed. The causal or the seed-body of the human soul, the nnermost vest, has yet two more very subtle and sublme lnngs underneath, respectvely called the buddhc (the vgyanc) and nrvanc (the anandc or blssful). it s only a brave soul, very brave ndeed, lke that of prnce Sdharatha,
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who may enter nto Buddha-hood and become Buddha, the Enlghtened one and enjoy the blss of the Creator of the three unverses; and comes to the earthplane to gve the lawthe law of Dhamma or Dharma unto the world, wth emphass on desrelessness so as to free the mnd of all attachments, and then to tread the eght-fold path of rghteousness leadng to perfecton. Agan, t may be a Jan Trthankara, the Mahavra, the bravest of the brave, who could dare approach the dvne throne of Brahman and gve out to the world the law of Unversal love and Ahmsa, love for all creatures from the tnest nsect, helplessly crawlng in the dust, and the water and air spirits, floating in countless numbers, n ther respectve spheres, nvsble to the naked eye. in the Buddhc plane, one develops the ntellectual sde of dvnty n hm, and begns to see and realse the self-same Self n hm, as n all around hm, and he s as much n that Self as others are. Thus he comes to the great fundamental unty of exstence, the Sutra Atma, carryng everythng from an ant to the elephant, as so many beads on the strng of a rosary; n spte of the dfferences n shape, sze and colour, both wthn and wthout, due to clmatc condtons, and mental make-up and nner development and growth. now the human monad, the outbreathed lfe of Brahman, dwells n the nbreathed lfe of Brahman, wth dvne powers and attrbutes, and aspres for the blss-aspect of the dvnty n hmthe Atmc or the nrvanc conscousness of SatCht-Anandthe heart and soul of the unverse, whch now becomes hs, and he s one wth t. it s ndeed a long and weary process to understand correctly the Brahm Vdya, and then to successfully practse t, to traverse the Brahmand from end to end, stage by stage,

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from the physcal world of coarse matter to Brahm lok proper, the region where maha-maya in its finest and most subtle form regns. The Brahmand s the manfestaton of the power of god, lodged n Om, the most sacred syllable n the Vedc lore; hence it s the akar or form of Om (Om-kar), it s the logos of the greeks and Ek-Onkar of the varous scrptures. Ths s the ultmate end of human attanment, says Vedantathe hghest teachngs as gven by the later Vedc teachers and scholars (the Rshs of old), as a result of ther ntense medtatve experences n the snow-capped mountan fastnesses, or n the thck forest dwellngs. Brahman s the very lfe of the unverse, comprsng, as t does, the three worlds descrbed above wth all that exsts n eachthe Trlok nath, the lord of the three-fold panoramc lfe n ts fullness. Their words of wisdom, we find in aphoristic form, as gems of purest ray serene, n ther valuable treatses known as Upnshads, whch are rghtly consdered as Vedantas, or the final rungs or parts of Veda, the efflorescence of divine wsdom; whch ends wth the Maha Vakya (the great Truth): that thou art meanng that man s Brahman, n hs real nature and essence, and when one realses ths fundamental truth, he nvoluntarly proclams aham Brahm asm or i am Brahman or i and my Father are one, or i speak nothng on my own but as my Father bds me do. The greatest lesson that one derves from Vedanta swe are all one; one n our orgn, one n our make-up, both nner and outer formaton, one n our potentaltes and powers, however latent and nvolved they maybe, but equally capable of developng the same, may be sooner or later, but the process of development or unfoldment of the self s essentally the same for all; and then the goal too s one
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for all manknd, for all of us are worshppers of Brahman. in ths way, the out-breathed lfe consttutng as t does, the ndvdual mnd merges n the n-breathed lfe of the unversal mnd or Mahat, the great mnd of the cosmos the thrd logos or Dvne Creatve intellgence, the Brahma of the Hndus, the Mandjusr of the Buddhsts, the holy Spirit of the Christians, and Allah-hu of the mystics and Sufi darveshes. Here n Brahm lok souls lve for long, and n close proxmty to Brahman, mbbng the love, the ntellgence and the blss of that Beng or power, and agan, so long ndeed s the stay, that one s prone to beleve and call t a vertable salvation, the flame merging in the flame (of Brahman). But the stay there, however long t may be, s not eternal and t lasts only tll the Brahmand tself dssolves, and the unversal mnd rolls up ts lfe, absorbng all the souls n ts fold wherever they may be. Ths drama of nfoldng and unfoldng of lfe called Brahmand s repeated agan and agan; and the grand play contnually goes on n and through eternty. The dvne phlosophy deals wth t so beautfully: How charmng s dvne phlosophy, not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose; But muscal as s Appolos lute, And a perpetual feast of nectared sweet. it s from Brahman that there sprng the three great powers (Brahma, Vshnu and Shva), creatng, sustanng and dssolvng all that s of the matter or maya, n one form or the other. These three offsprngs or powers come nto beng by Hs Shakt or Maha-maya, called the Mother of Unverse, not n the sense of sex as we ordnarly know t to be. Once again we have to take the simile of the spiders light filmy substance that comes out not from wthout but from wthn
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the spders body, or the cocoon or a slky case as s spun by a larva from fine threads of its own making, to protect tself as a chrysals especally as a slkworm; wherewth we n course of tme prepare all sorts of slken garments of so many desgns and colours, to cover our nakedness and take delght to stunt n borrowed clothngs. nanak, speakng of the workng of gods creaton, also refers to the trple prncple concerned wth creatng, sustanng and destroyng tall workng accordng to the Wll of the Supreme Beng, as vceregents, only exercsng delegated authorty; and strange as t may seem, t s not gven to them to know Hm, snce they are but the part of the objectve creaton and He, the Supreme Beng, s subjectve and formless: The great Mother, concevng, brought forth three regents; The first creating, the second sustaining, and the last destroyng. What he desres, they perform, They work under Hs Wll. But great the wonder, though He watches over them, they behold Hm not. Hal, hal to hm alone, The prmal, pure, Eternal, immortal, and immutable n all ages! As to the vast and stupendous work connected wth the runnng of the three worlds n the creaton, ncludng all sorts of hells and heavens n them, Vshnu, the second counterpart of Brahma, n the great trumvrate or trmurt, welds the power of admnstraton. Once questoned as to how he (Vshnu) could manage such a bg show and make elaborate arrangements for the nnumerable souls entrusted to hs care, for provdng all sorts of comforts and woes n
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the supernal and nether worlds n hs doman, he just smled and sad: Oh! i have nothng to do at all, for whosoever comes nto any of my worlds, he brngs wth hm hs own load of pans and pleasures, thereby creatng hs own hell or heaven both on the earth-plane and thereafter. Whatsoever each one needs, n any of my realms, he arranges the same for hmself, and i smply look on, unconcerned, at the human drama, tragc or comc or trag-comc, as the case may be, unfoldng the nfold n hmself. Thus runs the dvne machnery automatcally, all on ts own and by tself but all under Hs Wll. Brahman s a great power, too great for the human mnd to conceve, and of the Beyond, none but the Sants know of and can speak wth authortynot the formally canonzed sants, as we know of, but Sants of the status of Sant-Satguru, authorsed and commssoned by Truththe Truth that was n the begnnng, the Truth that now s, and the Truth that shall reman hereafterto teach manknd and ntate such asprng souls nto the mysteres of the Beyond and beyond the Beyond state; as may be rpe for the purpose of understandng correctly and properly the Causeless Cause of all the causes that operate down below, n each of the worlds; and are ready to lve the lfe of the sprt as jivan mukats or liberated beings while yet in flesh: A jivan mukat, says nanak, s one who knows and practses the art of death-in-life and when he finally quits the stage, he quits t for good, never to return agan. Ths s what pra Vdya or the knowledge of the Beyond teaches. Apart from ths, there are many categores of teachers of Brahma Vdya whch s Apra n character and paves the way for the pra, and all of them teach people n the ways of Brahman, each accordng to hs own capabltes. The prophets and the Messahs generally prophesy the comng of great events, tran manknd to lve a godly lfe, and brng
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to them the tdngs and messages of god (Brahman). The Avtaras are ncarnatons of the varous powers of Brahman, and ther functon s to keep the world agong n a balanced and orderly manner, holdng the balance of the socal order arght between rghteousness and unrghteousness. The yogs and yogshwars reman wthn the sphere of ther yog-maya (mnd-force), and lead ther ntates up to the hghest pont wthn ther yogc powers. The Brahm lok has many sub-loks called purs, Bhavans, Tabaqs or Dvsons; each allotted to one or other of the powers of Brahman lke Brahma pur, Vshnu pur, Shv pur, indra pur, etc., to each of whch the souls of the worshppers of these powers, collectvely called Brahman, are rresstbly attracted and drawn n course of tme, each to hs own destnaton n the place to whch he belongs. The ancent greeks speak of ths three-fold aspect of Dvnty as the Three Ssters of the Spnnng Wheelone engaged n spnnng the thread of lfe for each, the other n adornng and embellshng the thread of lfe, and the thrd n cuttng the sad thread of lfe when the allotted tme comes to an end. Similarly, in the Christian theology we have first logos, the creatve prncple n nature, the second logos and the thrd logos, who carry on smlar dutes of ther own. Ths s the famous Doctrne of Trnty: the Father, the Son and the Holy ghost. Where all the phlosophes of the world end, there the true relgon begns. it s only after soul, the dweller n the body, sheds ts dross personalty comprsng as t does, the three vestures or vehcles of body, mnd and ntellect, and becomes an entty n ts prstne smplcty, an undvded whole, the great mmortal tree, evergreen and ever fresh n ts natve essence, n spte of the ever-changng panorama of lfe around; t can break through the magc hall of mult99

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coloured mrrors, and transcend the trgunatmac egg of Brahmand, and escape nto the Beyond. One has to be born anew, lke a new-born phoenx, arsng out of the ashes of ts own prevous self, wth renewed youth and vgour, so as to be able to lve through the lfe of the sprt that les ahead. To cross the mental world s not so easy as t may seem to the untraned n the mysteres of the Beyond. it s the most delusve world where even the Mahatmas and the Rshs, wth all ther learnng and tapas, fal to hold on to ther own ground. What s there n that vast unverse whch Brahman would not lke to offer to those earnest souls who try to escape through hs domans and reach the true Home of ther Father! At every step, be t n the physcal world, the astral or the mental, he tres to block the way of the asprng souls. The great prophets and Messahs and all others have gven their experiences of the fierce encounters that they had with Satan, Mara, Ahrman; the evl sprts,Asuras, Demons and ther agents n countless ways, far or foul, whereby they try to obstruct the way, to wn over the seekers after Truth by assurances of worldly kngdoms and prncpaltes; and f they do not succumb to these temptatons, then by threats of violence by fire, thunder, earthquakes, heaven-splittings, cloud-bursts, lghtnngs and what have you. it s n predcaments lke these that one can only stand these trals and trbulatons when one has by hs sde, hs guru or Murshd, for the guru-power then draws and absorbs the dscple soul nto Hmself and takes hm along the path of Rngng Radance. For each soul the Brahman stakes hs all, and does not yeld, unless he s convnced that the seeker clngs to the protecton of the Master-power (Akal or
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the Tmeless). Do we not see even n the materal world that the rulers and governments of one state seal ther borders to prevent unauthorsed emgraton of ther subjects, and devise laws to control such outflow? great ndeed s the power of Tme, and none can conquer t. And yet Tme tself s n mortal dread of the Tmeless Musc, lest He hmself may get lost n the Dvne Harmony. We had exegess of Dharam Khand by nanak elsewhere n these pages. After that the great teacher goes on to descrbe the journey of the plgrm-soul through varous regons culmnatng n Sach Khand. The next two regons, he respectvely calls gyan Khand (the realm of knowledge) and Saram Khand (the realm of ecstasy). in the former, the souls horzon expands mmeasurably, for it comprehends at once the manifold nature of all created things with infinity of forms and phenomena, and understands the mmutable laws of the workngs of nature. in the latter, the soul becomng attracted by the power of the Word, gets a taste of, and nsght nto the real nature of thngs. next comes Karm Khand or the realm of grace. Wth the purification wrought by the Holy Word, soul is freed once and for all times of even the faintest, vague and indefinite traces of the dross n the form of vasnas, and matter no longer blnds the vson, and one becomes fully conscous of Hm, comng as he does, face to face wth the pure Essence of the Word, the lght of lfe, gvng brth to Brahmand and all the worlds ncluded theren. Fnally, the soul reachng Sach Khandthe abode of Truth, realses n fullness, complete oneness and harmony according to His Will All hearts filled with God, they live
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Beyond the reach of death and of deluson... All destned to move accordng to Hs Wll.. Such s the beauty that to descrbe t s to attempt the mpossble. Ths arsng of the soul nto Super-conscous awareness s termed, as sad before, lfe everlastng from whch there s no return. What nanak has descrbed above, falls wthn the realm of Vjnana (subjectve nner experence, drect and mmedate), as dstnct from jnana or theoretcal knowledge whch the Master expounds and mparts to the dscple through a correct renderng of the scrptures. A perfect Master s all the scrptures combned and somethng more. The scrptures, after all, are the record of the experences of holy men, who appeared from tme to tme to teach manknd n the ways of god. We can, no doubt, read the scrptures f we are proficient enough in the ancient and archaic original languages n whch they are wrtten; but cannot get at ther true mport nor can we reasonably reconcle the apparent dfferences and explan the dscrepances n the scrptural texts of varous relgons. He who has an access to the nner fountanhead of the lfe and sprt of all these texts, whch of course is common to all men, with his first-hand inner knowledge, makes thngs easly ntellgble to us all n a way smple enough both for hmself and for us. in the company of a Sant, t s sad, god comes nearer to man, for god Hmself speaks through hm. As we all are scrpture-bound n one way or the other, the Master takes full advantage of these dfferent scrptures whch come n handy to hm as ads n hs work of sprtual regeneraton, to lead dfferent types of people arght along the lne of least resstance n each case. A Murshd-e-Kaml s not content wth mpartng mere theoretcal knowledge. He gves a practcal demonstraton of what he says and theren les hs greatness. One who
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cannot grant on soul-level some actual experence of what he asserts on the level of the ntellect, s not a Master n the true sense of the word, and hs words cannot carry weght and convcton. A Satguru is verily Truth personified, God in the garb of man. Hs msson s to lead human souls to the True Home of Hs Father (Sat or Truth) called Sach Khand or the abode of Truth; the first Grand Division that came into being by Hs Wll and hence the regon of pure Sprt, eternal and ndestructble. The path of the Masters s a grand road leadng from merely physcal materal world to the purely sprtual realm, beyond all dualty and parngs of oppostes. The Satguru says: Move ye n the vast sea of lght substance, in your hearts, n your perfecton. go on, and on and on, untl there s not a vestge of the human left. The lght substance knows no lmt. Hs s the path not of hells and heavens, nor of tols and sorrows, but one of flowery boulevard studded with heavenly lghts and soul-strrng strans of Dvne Harmones; and above all, He hmself as an unfalng frend and an unerrng gude comes, n all hs glory n full radance, and accompanes the plgrm-soul nto the great Beyond, nstructng n the lfe of sprt, as he proceeds along, explanng the beautes and mysteres of the way, guardng aganst ptfalls and warnng us of the sharp turns and twsts that le en route. The dscple, from the very begnnng s taught how to wthdraw from the body and rse above body-conscousness nto hgher regons. The nner man s to draw hmself from hs coarse bodly encasement, as a har s drawn out
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of butter, for t s the soul n the lucform body, to use the Neo-Platonist phraseology, that rises to find the Self. Mandukopnshad tells us: not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, nor by the gods (senses), nor by austerty, nor by relgous rtes and rtuals and ceremones, but by serene wsdom, the pure essence doth see the partless One n medtaton, So do the western scholars say: True happness never comes through the avenue of senses, as t les beyond the senses. Boundless joy can be ours, only f we know how to rse above the senses and catch the sublme vson whch comes to the pure. The dvne wsdom, n short, s at once the Scence and Art of soul and only a Theocentrc Sant, well-versed n both, can solve for us the rddle of lfe and death by giving us a first-hand experience of death- in-life, thereby demonstratng beyond the least shadow of doubt: Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun wthn us. What has lfe and death to do wth lght? in the mage of My lght, i have made you. The relatvtes of lfe and death belong to the cosmc dream. Behold your dreamless beng. Creaton s lght and shadow both, else no pcture s possble. The darkness grows lumnous and the vod becomes frutful only when you wll understand that you are nothing. It is only at the Mount of Transfiguration that you wll get revelaton and see the mnglng of heaven and earth.
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To worshp perfecton s the hghest educaton n lfe, and only a perfect one can, by transmttng hs own lfe-mpulse, release the soul from ts trammels of mnd and matter and grant a vson of the sublme Realty. He who can, at the very first sitting, open the inner eye more or less to a glimpse of heavens Holy lght and unstop the nner ear to the Musc of the Spheres, alone s enttled to be called a perfect Sant and a True guru. it s of such a one that Shankara says: no known comparson exsts n the three worlds for a true guru. if the phlosophers stone s assumed to be truly such, t can only turn ron nto gold and not nto another phlosophers stone. The venerated Teacher, on the other hand, creates equalty wth Hmself n the dscple who takes refuge at Hs feet. The guru s therefore peerless, nay transcendental. guru Arjun speakng of hs Master, guru Ram Das, says: i have searched the entre Brahmand but have not found one who may come up to my Master. And finally he said: Hari (god), t seems to me, has taken for Hmself the appellaton of Ram Das. in the workaday world, we are all very busy, very busy ndeed, too busy to thnk of god, much less to practse the presence of lvng god and stll less to lve n Hs holy presence. if, at all, at odd moments we speak and talk of Hm, worshp Hm, and offer our prayers to Hm, we do so not to wn Hm for Hs own sake or to reach unto Hm for our own sake but just to seek favours from Hm and to get an easy and quick riddance from our difficulties, and to escape from trals and trbulatons. Agan, f we at tmes, feel serous about god, we try to find Him in the earthly surroundings about us, the snow- covered mountan caves, the burnng desert sands, the depths
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of sacred pools and rvers, worshppng Hm n the elemental powers of nature lke the rsng sun, the vacuous expanse above, the thunderous clouds, the lucfer and the Vesper, and worse still, in the hollows of trees, in the fish of the sea and the fowls of the ar; and no wonder that wth all our efforts we do not find Him. god Hmself has declared: i am so bg that the entre world cannot hold Me, nor the heavens can provde an adequate support to Me, nor the earth can provde Me a seat; but strange as t may seem to you, i resde n the heart of Holy Men. if you desre to see Me, seek Me there and you shall find Me. Kabir also tells us: How can you find the Reality, where It is not, Seek thou the Real, where Realty dwells, Take hold of hm who knows the Real, He shall he thee to Hm n no tme. Ths then s the way to self-llumnaton. The process though seemingly complicated and lengthy is simplified by the grace of a perfect Master (Sant Satguru). He provdes the magc wand, the Open Sesame, that does the trck and enables one to get access to what s naccessble: He who goes beyond the Sat lok, He knows the incomprehensble and the inexpressble. it s n the nameless that the Sants lve, The slave Nanak finds peace in Him. Thus we see that f one could learn to de whle lvng, a voluntary death at wll, one gans lfe everlastng, free from the endless cycle of brths and deaths and rebrths. Sants, therefore, sng prases beyond measure of such a death, and teach us how to transcend the varous planes, and to traverse nto the Beyond and gan the Kngdom of god, whch s

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our brthrght now lost to us. it s wthn our reach f we but lsten to them, accept ther teachngs, and follow them dlgently and wth wllng obedence. After death, each one of us has to go blndly n a state of utter desttuton and helplessness. The scrptures, all the world over, place a hgh premum on crossng the borderland between lfe and death on ths sde of the world, and then, death and lfe on the other sde: Where thou hast to go after death, Why not gan a foothold whle alve?

Sr Rag M. 1

O nanak! learn to de whle there s yet tme, For verly ths ndeed s a real yoga. Suh M. 1 De thou and reman dead to the world, A death lke ths i experence many tmes a day. Kabr Wth the grace of the Master, one may rde over the mnd; By vanqushng the mnd, you meet the lord for certan. Kabr Be ye dead whle ye lve and be fearlessly free, Wth a competent Master by thy sde, there wll be nothng to rue. Kabr You wll get rch dvdends should you know How to de before death overtakes you. Bulleh Shah

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Shabd or the eternal lfe Current s the only help on ths path: in Shabd we de (get absorbed), n Shabd we lve eternally wth no fear of death, Ths s the true Water of lfe that a rare soul may get wth Hs grace. Sorath M. 3 What does the Master gve? He makes manfest the eternal Sound Current whch s the lfe of the unverse and n whch we all lve. By rdng on ths Audble lfe Stream we, whle lvng, can at wll transcend the varous planes of exstence; and come back nto the physcal when we so desre: Wthout of the ad of Shabd, thou cannot get out of the clayey mould. There s no other way besdes. Soam J Salvaton or lfe-everlastng cannot be earned by deeds howsoever rghteous or commendable n themselves they may be or n the eyes of the world. it s purely a gft of grace from a god-man wth the power of god workng n hm to the full. For by grace ye are saved... and not by yourselves; it s a gft of god; not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesans 2:8-9). not by works of rghteousness whch we have done, but accordng to hs mercy he saved us, by the washng of regeneraton, and renewng of the Holy ghost. (Ttus 3:5). nether s there salvaton n any other: for there s none other name, under heaven gven among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12). And the grace of god that brngeth salvaton hath appeared to all men, (Ttus 2:11) and Hs grace shall contnue to appear hereafter so long as god exsts and Hs creaton contnues to people the earth.
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Ths then s the way to eternal lfe, by lvng n the lfeprncple tself, ever n Communon wth the Holy Word, the Wll of god (Hukam); and there s no way other than ths, try howsoever hard one may. But the revelaton of the god-way n the lvng lfe-lnes wthn (the Holy lght and the Voce of god) solely depends upon the grace of some god-man, a World-personified Saint, unto whom all things have been delvered by the Father, and of whom t s sad, no one knoweth the Son, save the Father, nether doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son wlleth to reveal Hm. (Matt. 11: 27). Tme and agan, great souls come nto the world to remnd us of our true Home. They tell us wth claron call that ths world s not our natural habtat. We are here just for a bref span as travellers n a caravansera and must therefore prepare to qut, and sooner we do t, the better t would be. We must, therefore, work for the kngdom of heaven and gan lfe-eternal. May Thy Kngdom come on earth as t s n heaven. And of ths kngdom, t s sad: The Kngdom of god does not come by observaton. The Kngdom of god s wthn, and verly ths body s the temple of the Holy ghost and the Holy ghost dwells n t. Ths s why all the sages and the seers exhort us: The place whch thou hast to qut n the end has grpped thee most. lttle doth thou know of the place where thou hath to dwell for good. nanak Arsh (Heaven) s thy true abode, my soul, Fe on thee, thou art entangled n clayey mould. Shamas Tabrez

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Thou, my lord dwelleth n Thy natve land, Whle i am here grovellng n dust. Your place s where earth s not, Why doth thou clng to the earth ?

nanak

Soam J

Human lfe s just as a vapour, Why not lve n Communon wth the Eternal Word? Kabr Those who have Communed wth the Word, ther tols shall end, And their faces shall flame with glory, not only shall they have salvaton, O Nanak! but many more shall find freedom with them. nanak

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)


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BOOKS by Kirpal Singh


CROWN OF LIFE A comparson of the varous yogas and ther scope; ncludng Surat Shabd Yogathe dscplned approach to Sprtualty. Relgous parallels and varous modern movements cted. paperback; 256 pages; ndex. iSBn 978-0-942735-77-2 GODMAN if there s always at least one authorzed sprtual gude on earth at any tme, what are the characterstcs whch wll enable the honest seeker to dstngush hm from those who are not competent? A complete study of the supreme mystcs and ther hallmarks. paperback; 185 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-64-2 A GREAT SAINT: BABA JAIMAL SINGH His Life and Teachings A unque bography, tracng the development of one of the most outstandng Sants of modern tmes. Should be read by every seeker after god for the encouragement t offers. Also ncluded, A BRIEF LIFE SKETCH OF THE GREAT SAINT, BABA SAWAN SINGH, the successor of Baba Jamal Sngh. He carred on Baba Js work, greatly expandng the Satsang and carryng t across the seas. paperback; 230 pages; glossary; ndex. iSBn 978-0-942735-27-7 THE JAP JI: The Message of Guru Nanak An extensve explanaton of the basc prncples taught by guru nanak (1469-1539 A.D.) wth comparatve scrptures cted. Stanzas of the Hymns n Englsh, as well as the orgnal text n phonetc wordng. paperback; 189 pages; glossary. iSBn 978-0-942735-81-9 HIS GRACE LIVES ON Durng 17 days n the month of August 1974, precedng Hs physcal departure on August 21st, Krpal Sngh gave 15 darshan talks, mostly n the form of questons and answers, to a small group of Hs dscples at Hs ashram n new Delh, inda. These talks have been bound together wth the unabrdged text from Master Krpals address to the parlament of inda and Hs 1971 afternoon darshan talk, True Medtaton. Hard cover and paperback; 17 photos; 203 pages. Hard cover iSBn 978-0-942735-93-2 Soft cover iSBn 978-0-9764548-3-0

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THE LIGHT OF KIRPAL A collecton of 87 talks gven from September 1969 to December 1971, contanng extensve questons and answers between the Master and western dscples vstng at that tme. A different version of this book was published under the title Heart to Heart Talks. paperback; 446 pages; 15 photos. iSBn 978-0-89142-033-0 MORNING TALKS A transcrpton of a sequence of talks gven by Sant Krpal Sngh between October 1967 and January 1969. To gve further help and encouragement on the Way, my new book Morning Talks wll soon be avalable for general dstrbuton. Ths book, whch covers most aspects of Sprtualty, s a godgven textbook to whch all ntates should constantly refer to see how they are measurng up to the standards requred for success n ther man-makng. i cannot stress suffcently the mportance of readng ths book, dgestng ts contents, and then lvng up to what t contans. Master Krpal Sngh paperback; 258 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-16-1 NAAM or WORD in the begnnng was the WORD. . . and the WORD was god. Quotatons from Hndu, Buddhst, islamc, and Chrstan sacred wrtngs confrm the unversalty of ths sprtual manfestaton of god n relgous tradton and mystcal practces. paperback; 335 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-94-9 THE NIGHT IS A JUNGLE A compendum of 14 talks delvered by the author pror to 1972, the frst four of whch were gven n phladelpha n 1955. The remanng ten talks were delvered n inda. All of these talks were checked for ther accuracy by Krpal Sngh pror to ther complaton n ths book. paperback; 358 pages; wth an ntroducton. iSBn 978-0-89142-017-0 PRAYER: Its Nature and Technique Dscusses all forms and aspects of prayer, from the most elementary to the ultmate state of prayng wthout ceasng. Also contans collected prayers from all relgous tradtons. paperback; 147 pages; ncludng appendx; ndex of references. iSBn 978-0-942735-50-5 SPIRITUALITY: What It Is Explores the Scence of Sprtualty. Man has unravelled the mysteres of the starry welkn, sounded the depths of the seas, delved deep nto the bowels of the earth, braved the blndng blzzards of snowy Mount Everest, and s now out explorng space so as to establsh nterplanetary relatons, but sad to say, has not found out the mystery of the human soul wthn hm. paperback; 103 pages plus ntroductory. iSBn 978-0-942735-78-9

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SPIRITUAL ELIXIR Collected questons addressed to Krpal Sngh n prvate correspondence, together wth respectve answers. Also contans varous messages gven on specal occasons. paperback; 382 pages; glossary. iSBn 978-0-942735-02-4 SURAT SHABD YOGA (Chapter 5 of Crown of Life) The Yoga of the Celestal Sound Current. A perfect scence, t s free from the drawbacks of other yogc forms. Emphass s placed on the need for a competent lvng Master. paperback, 74 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-95-1 THE TEACHINGS OF KIRPAL SINGH Volume i: The Holy path; 98 pages. iSBn 978-0-9764548-0-9 Volume ii: Self introspecton/Medtaton; 180 pages. iSBn 978-0-9764548-1-6 Volume iii: The new lfe; 186 pages iSBn 978-0-9764548-2-3 Defntve statements from varous talks and books by the author, collected to llumnate the aspects of self-dscplne pertnent to Sprtualty. Relevant questons are answered. Text selectons are ndexed to a source lst at the end of each volume. Ths collecton nvtes the reader to browse. Three volumes sold as one book; 464 pages iSBn 978-0-9764548-4-7 THE WAY OF THE SAINTS An encyclopeda of Sant Mat from every pont of vew. Ths s a collecton of the late Masters short wrtngs from 1949 to 1974. included s a bref bography of Baba Sawan Sngh, the authors Master, plus many pctures. paperback; 418 pages. iSBn 978-0-89142-026-2 THE WHEEL OF LIFE & THE MYSTERY OF DEATH Orgnally two separate books; now bound n one volume. The meanng of ones lfe on earth s carefully examned n the frst text; n the followng text, the reader s presented wth the whys and wherefores of the great fnal change called death. paperback; 293 pages; plus ndex for the frst text; and ntroducton. iSBn 978-0-942735-80-2 THE WHEEL OF LIFE Avalable n hard cover; 98 pages plus glossary and ndex iSBn 978-0-9764548-5-4 THE MYSTERY OF DEATH Avalable n hard cover; 125 pages iSBn 978-0-9764548-6-1 THE THIRD WORLD TOUR OF KIRPAL SINGH Ths book was prnted drectly from the pages of Sat Sandesh magazne, the ssues from October 1972 through February 1973, whch were prmarly devoted to Master Krpal Snghs Thrd World Tour. 160 pages, 80 black and whte pctures.

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BOOKLETS BY KIRPAL SINGH


GOD POWER / CHRIST POWER / MASTER POWER Dscusses the ongong manfestaton of the Chrst-power and the temporal nature of the human bodes through whch that power addresses humanty. Chrst exsted long before Jesus. paperback; 17 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-04-8 HOW TO DEVELOP RECEPTIVITY Three Crcular letters (of June 13, 1969; november 5, 1969; and January 27, 1970) concernng the atttudes whch must be developed n order to become more sprtually receptve. paperback; 20 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-05-5 MAN! KNOW THYSELF A talk especally addressed to seekers after Truth. gves a bref coverage of the essentals of Sprtualty and the need for open-mnded cautousness on the part of the careful seeker. paperback; 30 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-06-2 RUHANI SATSANG: Science of Spirituality Brefly dscusses The Scence of the Soul; The practce of Sprtual Dscplne; Death n lfe; The Quest for a True Master; and Surat Shabd Yoga. paperback; 36 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-03-1 SEVEN PATHS TO PERFECTION Descrbes the seven basc requstes enumerated n the prescrbed selfntrospectve dary whch ad mmeasurably n coverng the entre feld of ethcs, and help to nvoke the Dvne Mercy. paperback; 20 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-07-9 SIMRAN: The Sweet Remembrance of God Dscusses the process of centerng the attenton wthn by repeatng the Orgnal or Basc names of god gven by a true Master. paperback; 34 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-08-6 THE SPIRITUAL AND KARMICASPECTS OF THE VEGETARIAN DIET An overvew of the vegetaran det contanng a letter from Krpal Sngh on the Sprtual aspects, a letter from Sawan Sngh on the karmc aspects, and excerpts from varous books by Krpal Sngh. paperback; 36 pages. iSBn 978-0-942735-47-5

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Sant Kirpal Singh Ji (1894-1974)

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