20 | Spirituality, the Art of Living | Dr. Harbhajan Singh

In a powerful public talk in Munich, Dr Harbhajan Singh distilled the essence of spirituality and emphasised the importance of embodying its principles in everyday life. He explained that true spirituality emanates from the teachings of the great spiritual Masters and transcends geographical and time barriers. This sacred knowledge serves as a unifying force, connecting every individual and living being in the universe at its core. Beyond mere understanding, however, lies the sublime art of living – a path that elevates human existence to its highest potential.


The lecture was recorded on 15th July 1991 in Munich, Germany.


Transcript of “Spirituality, the Art of Living”

Dear brothers and sisters,

I have the privilege to see all of you, and I am happy. Today it is a very important subject: Spirituality, the art of living. Today, if you understand me, I assure you, you will not be deluded in the world and you will not be bewildered in the world, because my purpose is to take you back to your holy scriptures. Here is nothing about any ism or sect, about religion, but everything that is from the basic teaching of all the religions. Because all the competent Masters, whether they came in the East or West, came at different places and different times, they taught the same very truth with one opinion and this one opinion exists in the holy scriptures as well and is innate in the body. What do those holy scriptures tell us? – the inner experience of our competent Masters. Whatever they saw within, they put it in the fine record. It is said that their experience must become our experience, because they tell the practical experience.

All other Yogas, all other world philosophies deal with theory, whereas spirituality deals with the practical subject of our life. I assure you … to tell something about this subject, we have to discriminate [between] a lot of things: Between the real life, between the false life. What is the creator and the creation? What is going on in the world? What is our subject? What is in the astral plane? What is in the causal plane? And what is our link there? What is the hell and the heaven? Who is the Master? Who is the doer? All these things will reveal [to] you the true picture of your own life. Because whatever exists in the holy scriptures that exists in this man-body. But whatever exists in this man-body even that does not exist in all the holy scriptures of the world. It is called “macrocosm in the microcosm”. Man is next to God, man is a prototype of the whole creation, and he is the only one who can know God.

So, this is a very important subject, and as I told you, my purpose is to take you back to your original path, to the very original criteria taught by all the competent Masters of the world, and it remains all the time in the world. I tell you, if it goes, if this Power does not remain in the world, the whole humanity is swayed by the negative power and is put back into the hell. This truth, this eternal truth, that is in all human beings. So now we will take this subject one by one, so that you must understand. If you understand it, you will bring a gift with you and you can feel happy because there is nothing higher than this. 

Because the purpose of human life is to meet a good end. And to meet a good end we must attain the higher values of life and there is nothing beyond the higher values of life. All these holy scriptures tell us about the higher values of life. “Ye be perfect as your Father is in the heaven.” Throughout life man wants to be pious, he wants peace. He wants to be respectful, he wants to be loveable and he is frightened of the agony of death, because of the reason – because of the awareness of the true life within. But in spite of that, we commit a lot of sins, a lot of problems for ourselves and for others. And why is it [so] and how it is? Because we are ignorant about the true life within. So Master tells us, by learning and yearning you can have the chance of your life. More you learn, more you yearn and definitely your angle of vision will be changed.

– Translation –

Man is a drop of consciousness from the ocean of all consciousness and he has all the attributes as those of God – the source of bliss, the source of our life, the source which leads us back to home eternal, the source which tells us the very art of life in this world, means how to remain in the world. All that is in the body. If you awaken with it, you can see that this is a wonderful house we live in. You will see all beauty and enjoyment and peace in the body, because you transcend into the heaven. I tell you, it is all concealed in the soul, it is innate in the soul. Whenever Masters come into the world – I will later on tell you who is the Master – when Masters come into the world, they open this secret. They are Word-personified form. Directly or indirectly they have to deal with the [same] subject.

I tell you, when a monkey screeches, a lot of monkeys get together. When a bird twitters, many birds come and settle on the tree. But if a Master, competent Master, would resound within, the whole humanity would rise above the body consciousness, I tell you. Why doesn’t he do that? Because he is bound with his own order. He does not do so. His purpose is to awake the humanity and bring it back. Because where we are living, this world is controlled by the negative power. This world does not belong to us and even this body does not belong to us. You may live in this body for more than a hundred years, but in the end you have to leave it. How can you say that you are the body? Yes, you are the indweller of the body.

Who is the indweller? That we have still to know. Everybody knows that it is the embodied spirit. But at any time we came in contact with this spirit, could we transcend the body consciousness? Could we rise above the body consciousness? Could we have that experience which Christ told [of], “Learn to die so that you may begin to live”? We know those things, we know the teaching. We believe the Master but we do not act upon the teaching. It is a pity. So the purpose of a competent Master is not to bind you with any particular faith. But he comes to unbind you. He wants [you] to get rid of the shackles you are wearing. So far never any competent Master has ever created a religion, rather religion came into being only after the physical departure of those competent Masters, but by the so-called followers of the faith. 

It is said, “God made man and man made religion”. Master tells us to respect the religion. It is better to go to the church than not to go. It is better to read the holy scriptures than not to read them. But we must follow what is the purpose of going there and what is the purpose that is written there. What is written there is our subject. So all that will lead you to learn the very art of life. Unless and until you don’t know it, you will remain in ignorance. The man who is born in ignorance [and] the whole life lives in ignorance, he will also die in ignorance, I tell you. You can be very popular in the world, you can be very loveable to all other people. You can do a lot of things, you can show a lot of miracles in the world by learning other things. But that will not justify (do justice to) your Father. It will never justify you and justify your Father. So far you do not justify while in this physical body, how can you justify your Father while in the astral body? That is all due to ignorance, I tell you. This is a very, very important subject. If you learn it heart to heart, it will give you a boost in your life.

– Translation –

Mind’s outlook is negative and uneven, and he will never allow you to get in touch with the pure life. And his outlook being uneven, he will always create ups and downs throughout the life. He will keep you engaged in the ups and downs of life. That is the purpose of the mind. So in this body our soul, our spirit is mind-ridden. Mind is riding over the soul. Whatever the mind dictates, our soul does, because it has spread the tentacles over the spirit. We do not differentiate, we do not discriminate whether we are the mind or we are the spirit because we have no awakening. Awakening is there, but due to ignorance it is fully concealed in the body.

Everybody wants to be happy in the world. And without a wish, he cannot be happy. So man creates wishes. When he creates wishes, he does a lot of things to fulfil those wishes, either in good way or in bad way. So he has to meet the reaction in life. When his wish is fulfilled, it becomes attachment. And then along with [that] it turns into ego. By having one wish fulfilled, we create two problems for us; attachment and ego. How can we get rid of this body and from the world? How can we lead a true life in the world? It is very difficult.

And after some time the same wish which you fulfilled, which has become attachment and ego, now has become fake and void. You have no interest. You start another wish just to be happy in the world.

Even what to say, in this modern world, people do not know the meaning of the marriage. That will start with the true life, the very art of life. Christ said the husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church. Have we ever thought that our relation must be holy and pious? Because we are ignorant about the facts. If really you know the real life, the very art of life, you will never commit any mistake.

A saint comes into the world, he meets millions of sinners, but he does not become a sinner himself, because he has attained the higher values of life. He knows how to live in the world. Light comes from light. They come into the world, they give the life to you. That is their purpose. They have no other purpose. I tell you, they are apparent to some people, very few people, those who have the background. Unlike all other systems – I tell you [about] that very system which was taught by the Christ, taught by all other competent Masters of the world. But I do not ask you to follow another system than the system which was asked by the Christ. 

I tell you, go back to your holy scriptures, everything is there. You only follow that one who tells you the very right purpose of your human life. In the holy scriptures it is said there is none in million, maybe one in billion. When Christ came, how many came along with him? Yes, many came, but who were they? – All so-called masters. And who are those so-called masters? Directly or indirectly they work for the negative power. 

They are very loveable from outside, they will fulfil all your wishes. You will be very happy with them. But ultimately their purpose is solved. They will bring you back to the negative power. So we have to discriminate a lot of things today, it is a very, very long subject. It cannot be finished in one day. Because the art of life with which you have to live, it is for your last breath in life. If really you have to live with the last breath of life, you can live with your Father after the physical departure. You have to live with the real life, in the astral, in the causal and then beyond the causal [plane]. If Christ has told, “I and my Father are one,” child and Father must become one. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible. It is as definite as two and two make four.

All these things would reveal to you the very mystery of your life. And now we will take up the subject slowly, slowly and we will try to get in touch with every object of our life, in short. I tell you, there is no end to the competency of your Master, of the Christpower, and there is no end to the learning. We have to learn it throughout our life. What is written in the holy scriptures that is too much, that is only this much, very little. But what is in the holy body, that extends [beyond] all the barriers. Whatever is in the physical world, that is in your body. And what is in the astral, causal and beyond in the conscious region, that is all in the holy body. It is said, if you bring all together, this world, physical world, is only a straw in the ocean. So let us tackle our problem. How to tackle it? I tell you, it is so simple to tackle it.

Spirituality, truth is itself unchangeable. It is never changed, it is very smooth-going on inside. But when you adulterate it, your path will be zigzagged. You cannot move. You know, those who saw the mind, they saw a snake. All Masters say that the mind in the body is a snake. He always wants to go zigzagging. It cannot run on the smooth place. It goes through the ups and downs, like this. So man has become habitual to go that way, I tell you. Let us learn what our Master told – the very art of life. I tell you, had we done it beforehand in the earlier ages, we could never come back into the body. We didn’t solve the mystery of death, so we are again in the body. This is called a miserable affair of life. But this is a holy body. We have come with a promise. And we have to fulfil that promise. But when or if we go back without solving our problem, without fulfilling the promise, we have to bear more burden on our soul. Ages upon ages man is in the world, and at the time of death, he weeps over his misfortune. It is said, that death is very miserable, it is very dreadful. Only by hearing man frightens, but when actually it happens, there is no example to tell about the dreadful view of the end of this body.

If really we live with the very true life taught by the competent Master, we can know – not only know – it is not to be heard, it is to be lived. If we live with it, then there is no fear of death. You become a Conscious Co-worker of the Divine Plan, you can leave the body at will. Sant Kirpal Singh taught the very teaching of the Christ, of Guru Nanak and Kabir. He was a Conscious Co-worker of the Divine Plan. He was a Word-personified form. If He said something, it happened. If He gave some attention, it worked wonderfully. Those who left so far the physical body, they went very easily. They said, “No, we are going from this world forever. Now we are one with Him.”

So that is the subject. Let us talk about this subject and come to [a] certain conclusion today, certainly. And in this way, I will tell you what is happening in the world and what is our subject. Our subject it is very different. Master is apparent to certain people who have the background, but He is hidden for a lot of people. Because He comes to fulfil certain objects, He comes to fulfil the very hidden values of your life. That is His purpose. If He doesn’t do that, then He is not the Master.

I tell you, He is not from the East and He is not from the West. He is not from the land and He is not from the sea. God made man and man made religion. If you rise above the body consciousness, you will see that all human beings are one. Satellites transmit everywhere. If you rise above body consciousness, you will experience the same thing that all human beings are one, they are all brothers and sisters in God. And our subject is one. We are wearing the different badges and colours of different schools and colleges, but our subject is one. Did Christ teach any teaching than the truth? Kabir told the same thing, Guru Nanak told the same thing. But all those so-called masters, their teaching do not tally with each other. They differ! When they come down, you can identify into the world by thousand ways. But when you rise above, there is only one way. So the one way, that was taught by the competent Masters of the world.

– Translation –

How did we come into this world? It is said, it was the wish of God. He wanted to identify, He did it. And who is that power? – The Christpower. I tell you, Christ lived before Jesus. Christ is the power who has created the whole creation. Right from the beginning He is the creator. And the same Christpower lives in us, this sustains this holy body. If Christ told, “I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee till the end of this world,” these are not the words of Jesus, these are the words of the Christ. Has Christ ever left you? No, Christ has not left [you]. Jesus left the body. These were the spoken words of the Christ in the body of Jesus. “I and my Father are one.” You can become one with that Power. Because the same Christpower can manifest in you. Every Saint has a past and every sinner a future.

So the purpose of all human beings is one and the same. Sometimes we discriminate between the Saints. No, they are all one. Like so many bulbs now are over here, our attention is on the light, not on the glass. They are all one. Who is the Christ? His teaching is the Christ. Follow the teaching! “If you love me, keep my commandments!” If really we love to obey His commandments, then He is innate in the soul.