Transcript of “Discovering the path of spirituality”, part 1
Public Lecture by Dr. Harbhajan Singh, 14th June 1990
Dear brothers and sisters,
My meeting with you is very special. We are sitting here to know some very important thing that concerns everybody in the world, but that we have forgotten. And this very important thing is that we have done everything, but have not done that very important thing that concerns us very deeply and that will only help us.
We can identify with the world as much as one may like, there is no end to it, but that is not our subject. Our subject is innate in the soul, and we have to find out where it lies and how we can join with it, just to be happy for all the time in the world.
Which is that subject by knowing which one perfectly knows each and everything in the world? One has forgotten that he came here in the world only for that very special purpose. It remains the subject of all competent Masters and all great persons, all awakened persons, and this subject makes us human beings.
While sitting together, we have to determine today that we should come to a certain conclusion, which may change our angle of vision. If our angle of vision were changed, we would have a ruling passion in life. We live in the world, but we do not have that ruling passion in our life. Those ruling passions which come to us, or those passions we wish for, are momentary. They leave us or fade away, and we are delinked from them in no time.
So, today’s subject is: “What is spirituality?” And what is spirituality is the subject which deals directly with our soul. We are not the body, we are the indweller of the body. This is a very loveable, a very receptive subject.
The teaching which is written in the Holy Scriptures, that is spirituality, that gives us awareness how to live in the world. Spirituality gives us right understanding in the world.
Spirituality not only gives us a way to live in the world, but also how to find ways and means to rise above the world while living in the world. Spirituality tells us how to overcome the senses and how to overcome the shackles of the mind. Spirituality tells us how to create right understanding, rather rare right understanding of its special significance, which is innate in the soul; it is the work of our Father, which we have entirely forgotten. Spirituality is the subject which creates the missing link between God and man, between Father and child.
You can learn or read about spirituality in the Holy Scriptures, you can be taught about it, but it is a heritage. It was “caught” by all the competent Masters of the world. And those who came in contact with such people, such competent Masters, they also caught it.
So, whatever is written in the Holy Scriptures is the experience of those competent Masters. Their experience must become our experience – this is spirituality.
For that reason, we have to know from where we came, how we came and now, what is the purpose of human life. By knowing all these three things we can feel at home and we can decide about our future life.
Each one of us used to reside with our Father. And the Father has no beginning and no end, He lives forever. He created one expression, and this is the world where we came to. We came along with our Father, but we forgot to go with Him. So this expression now has become a shadow for us. We are living in the shadow, created by doubt, fear and superstition.
Now, God is all consciousness, and we are the drop of that consciousness, we have the same essence as that of God. Father and the son are one. It is an eternal truth that this link is eternal, unbreakable and ever fresh, and nobody, no force can break it. It is not broken, but we also do not see it established – it is not established. So we have to know while having this body, where the problem is and how to overcome that problem: that is the subject of the day – that is spirituality.
When God wished to manifest, He created man first of all – man is the first creation in His creation. He made man of His own image. Man is the highest rung in the whole creation, and we all have come from one and the same source, and we have to go back to the same source. There is no other way.
So in today’s sitting, Satsang, we have to find out, which is the right way. We have the same source, we have to go back to our Father and our cause is one. We are wearing different badges, and we are reading in different schools and colleges, but our subject is one and the same throughout the world. There is no other subject that is taught by any competent Master. All competent Masters, whether they came in the East or West, at different places and different times, taught the same very truth with one opinion. And this one opinion exists in the Holy Scriptures. They are all one, like so many bulbs are here, but our attention is on the light and not on the glass. They are all one. They came in different religions from time to time only to serve humanity.
When they come, they come in a certain religion, but they love all religions because of the stay of their children. He (a Master) knows that His children are living in the religion, though He does not preach a religion, He teaches man in the religion. He respects all the religions of the world. Even these religions or countries are the different chambers of the house of the Lord.
Never any competent Master created a religion in the world so far, rather religions came into being only after the physical departure of those competent Masters, but by the so-called followers of the faith. So, you can say: “God made man, and man made religion”. We are social beings, we must live in the religion we are born into, we should not change it.
That is the first step that was ever taken by a competent Master. Whenever He comes, He will never create a new religion, but He will tell us how to live in the religion, how to respect the religion and how to rise above the shackles of the religion. This is what He tells us. Because if we leave that religion, there will be corruption. Man is a social being, he must live where he is born.
So, you are Christians, you must be true Christians, if one is Hindu, he must be a true Hindu. True Christian, true Hindu or true Moslem means, we should all become human beings, this is what they taught us. All gods and goddesses came afterwards, they are the forces created for man, they are the servants of this holy body. Even avataras came to set this world and to punish the wicked and work for the noble persons, that is their function. So, everything is made for man, because man is next to God.
The purpose of human life is to meet a good end. What is meant by “good end”? That our contact be established. That is a good end. That we go back to our home eternal, that is a good end. For that purpose we have to attain the higher values of life and the higher values of life are spirituality.
The question which has baffled the whole humanity is, what we are, who we are, from where we came, how we came, and now at last: What is our purpose? How can we meet the real end – that is the purpose.
So, what are we? Man is the true temple of God, told by Christ. It is called -Punjabi quotation- means, this human body is the highest rung in the whole creation as told by all competent Masters in their own language, because the God-Power lives in it. It is the true expression of God. Man-body is the expression of God, God resides in it.
All the holy places, either they are made dome-shaped like heads, like the Gurdwara and the mosque, or they are made nose-shaped just like temples and churches. This is the meaning of the shape from within, and outside we have made these churches and mosques and temples with our own hand. And what is in there? What we experience within, we have put there: We light a candle and then we ring the bell.
When you tap inside, when you enter this holy body, there is one expression, that is light and sound. As taught by Christ and all other competent Masters of the world, there is a light, there is a sound. There is a bell within – it is a beginning – that is ringing and that calls us back to home eternal, that is heard from the threshold of our Father who lives in heaven as well as He is living over here.
These heavens which we experience either outside in physical form or which those who rise see in the astral, causal or super-causal form, are all destructible. But (the higher regions) inside, (experienced by) those who see inside, they are true. So the Truth is within, outside there is only the image of the Truth, an expression of the Truth.
So, the body is the true temple of God. When Guru Nanak went to Persia, there he met Quazi Rukan Din and asked, “You are a holy personality, you are a word-personified form, you might have seen the house of God?” He said, ”Yes, I have seen the house of God.” (Pointing to his body) he said, “This is the house of God. This is a true temple”. Then He described the very features of this true temple of God:
He said, “ It stands on twelve pillars: one, two, three (both upper and lower arms with hands) …six, and six of the legs below. And it has fifty-two minarets: thirty-two teeth and twenty nails. And there are two windows (two eyes), and where do they unite? “. He said, “Here, above the two windows, the God-power, the Master-power, our Father resounds within. “That music of the spheres that comes from Thine threshold, that strikes at my forehead and calls me back.” This is a true temple of God.
We have to tap inside. It is said in the Bible “Tap inside” – in this holy body. It is a true temple of God. So spirituality means that we must enter into the temple of God so that we know what we are, who we are – here our subject starts.
The Holy Scriptures are the practical experience of the competent Masters who transcended the body consciousness, went within and went above planes and sub-planes back to their Home. They met their Father and whatever they experienced in the way and in the house and anywhere else, is put for us in fine record and we bow down before these Holy Scriptures. You can say, this is the experience of the competent Masters that is with us in fine record. Masters tell us,” Whatever is in the Holy Scriptures is in the man-body, but whatever is in the man-body, that even does not exist in all the Holy Scriptures of the world.”
So this is why every Saint has a past and every sinner a future: They told us, “Tap inside and see the thing yourself. See the glory of God and see the glory of yourself while in the body!” It is a wonderful house we live in. Such a house you cannot find in the three worlds, what to say about this world. This is such a wonderful house – he who has to realise, is within this true temple of God, and He who is to be realised also exists there, both are living there. So it is the true expression of the God-power. It is such a beautiful house that the beauty of this house is not the reserved right of any Holy Scripture.
All the competent Masters preferred man to see the glory of God and the glory of himself, and to go within and see. Why are you identified with the world? When one goes inside, transcends, rises above the plane of senses and the shackles of the mind, when he enters this true temple of God, he realises that he is not the body, but the indweller of the body.
Now we are identified with the body. We are not the body, but we are identified with the body, and so much so that we have forgotten ourselves. We are not only identified with the body, but we have gone beyond the body-consciousness. We are so much identified with the world that we have rather forgotten to come back into the body.
And now, we are not the body, we are the ind-weller of the body. This body is a house that is given to us for a certain time. And who is living there? We are living there. And we are not the intellect, we are not the mind, we are not the body, but we are the driver of all these forces. Holy Scriptures tell us, “The health of body and mind depends upon the health of the soul.” We are nourishing the body, we are nourishing the intellect and the mind. Intellect is matter, mind is matter, body is matter, but which power is it/ are they due to? Due to the consciousness. We are the conscious entity in the human body. We are of the same essence as that of God.
It is a true temple of God, so far we live in it. When we leave, it is mere dust. Dust mixes into dust. Then we are no more the true temple of God. It is gross ignorance. We have forgotten. We have become the part and parcel of the body, we say we are the body. We take it as everything and we do not differentiate and not discriminate what we are, who we are.
We love the body – for sure, we should love it, we should nourish it, we should give it very good food, but for what purpose is it? To realise ourselves. This is a golden opportunity that is given to us. Man-body is a turn to meet God. It is a golden opportunity to meet God. This body is only given for that purpose, and for nothing else.
Christ tells us, the Bible tells us, “It is thy turn to meet God”, everything else in this world is a side issue. You may live in this body for a hundred years, God may bless you to live in this body more than hundred years, but at the end, you again have to leave it, you cannot live in it.
This body we have to leave – we should know how to leave it. That is what Christ told, ”Learn to die so that you may begin to live.” What is meant by these words? That you leave this body. Saint Paul told,” I die daily.” We must know how to leave the body. A time comes, when everyone is forced to leave it.
This is a big ignorance, this is a gross ignorance – we give the food to the body every day, but we do not give the food to the soul by which it is driven. It is also a big ignorance. This gross ignorance or illusion, what is it due to? Due to this physical body. Because in the physical body we see the physical world with the physical eyes. Though man is the prototype of the whole creation – whatever you see with the physical eyes is within you. If you transcend this body, you go into the astral body, you are again the astral body. And then you can see everything in the astral plane and that is within the body. Similarly causal experiences are in the causal body. So, everything that God has created in the whole creation, that is in this body, so it is called the prototype of the whole creation.
From where did the ignorance start? We only think that we are the physical body and no more. Now we are identified with the physical world, with the physical eyes and the physical body. If we transcend this body while living in the body and go into the astral body, our astral eye is opened. When you see the physical body with the astral eye, your angle of vision will naturally be changed.
This body is the expression – the expression of God. It is a God-hood. Now what is matter? The expression of God is matter. You know what is matter or Maya? It is ignorance, it is gross ignorance. So, this body is gross ignorance, it is gross matter. – Try to understand, it is a very delicate subject. – And whatever you experience or see in the world that is also a matter. And what is matter or Maya? It is nothing in itself but the expression of God, yet it is something else. It is matter. So the expression of God, that is called Maya or matter, what is it due to? It is due to God.
You know, everything in the world is living. God manifests everywhere – in stones, in earth, in flowers, in plants, in animals, in birds, in reptiles. Everywhere there is the expression of God. We only see the expression, but not God working behind the scene. Similarly this body is the expression of God, it is the God-hood, but behind and within this the God-power is working. So you cannot separate God from its God-hood.
Those whose eye is not opened only see the expression and are misled. They are identified with the expression. The one who sees God in His expression only remains attached with God. He is a conscious co-worker of the divine Plan who sees God in His creation. So, it is said, “This whole world which you see with your own eyes, that is the true temple of God.”
You can realise God while living in the body and while living in the world. This body, this religion, this world, all, everything that exists here, is no bar to realisation. So, this is just awakening – to know what we are.
When you rise above the plane of senses, your angle of vision will be changed. When the sun rises, you can see everything in its original condition. When you fly by aeroplane, you go very high into the sky, what do you experience below? The big rivers will look like little streams, and very big mountains will look like or appear like little mounds. When you rise above this body- consciousness, you see the world, you see the surrounding in its original condition. So far we do not rise above the plane of senses and the shackles of the mind, we are in gross ignorance.
Masters tell us how to overcome the illusion, how to overcome the gross ignorance, because whatever we are doing in the world, we are doing with ignorance and we are caught. So man is identified into the body only due to ignorance, otherwise he can come into the body and take the work and contact the enlivening force inside, the power inside, this is his purpose.
So, today I must cut the subject short and touch the very important subject which all other competent Masters of the world and Christ did practically, they gave that very experience to all those who came to them. That is a very important subject, for that purpose we should listen, and very carefully. If you listen very carefully, I tell you, you will never be misguided in the world.
First of all I will tell you, who is the Master and what is meditation.