On the Path to Higher Consciousness
Radio interview with Sant Kirpal Singh, Waltham, USA, 14.10.1972
Moderator: Jay Richard Turner of the Siddhartha Foundation
Sant Kirpal Singh: Man is the highest in all creation – it’s spoken of very highly by all scriptures. All say that, because this is the highest, because we can do that work which cannot be done in any other body: that is we can know our Self and can know God.
Jay Turner: And this is the Masters’ path?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes.
Jay Turner: Okay, our programme is called: “On the Path to Higher Consciousness.” It is a series produced by the “Siddharta Foundation for the study of higher consciousness” in Waltham, Massachusetts. On these programmes we explore the dimensions of man and his spirit in a new age. My name is Jay Richard Turner and our guest today is Sant Kirpal Singh. Kirpal Singh, what is the Masters’ path, on the path to higher consciousness?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Masters’ path to the higher consciousness is first to know about his own Self as conscious being. Soul is a drop of the ocean of all consciousness and all Masters in the past told us: “Man know thyself” – who we are, what we are. We are conscious entities, having the man-body – the highest in all creation, and by this it is possible to know oneself. Unless one man knows himself, he cannot know the higher consciousness. So this is a practical subject for which a demonstration is given first to know oneself.
How to know oneself? It is a matter not of the level of feelings or emotions or drawing inferences. It is purely a subject of self-analysis, knowing oneself and knowing God. Higher consciousness can only be experienced or risen into, I would say, if our own consciousness is first all devoid of all outer coverings. So it is a matter of pure self-analysis, how to rise above body-consciousness. This is a demonstration which is given by all Masters who came in the past, and even now it is given.
So when man rises above body-consciousness – practically – he knows, some power is controlling him in the body. Man-body is the true temple of God, in which we reside as well as that higher power, that controls us in the body. There are so many apertures in the man-body: eyes, ears, nose, mouth and two underneath, but we cannot run away out of it. Some power is controlling us in the body.
That consciousness comes only when we know our Self by rising above body-consciousness. This higher consciousness can be had when we transcend into the beyond. We transcend into the beyond when our attention is withdrawn from all outside and from the body below, rises up to the seat of the soul in the body which is at the back of the two eye-brows. When one reaches there it is just as Saint Plutarch says: “When a man is initiated into the mysteries of the beyond the soul has the same experience of leaving the body as it has at the time of death.” It is not a matter of visualization or feelings or of drawing inferences. It is a matter of pure self-analysis: rising above body-consciousness and to know one’s Self; to realize that this Self is the one who is driving, who is enlivening the whole man-body below and who also enables us to know the world outside. So this is the first step that a Master has always given to be taught.
Now if we know our Self, that this power – which is all-consciousness – controls ourselves, we realize that we are a drop of the ocean of all-consciousness. The macrocosmos is in the microcosmos. So we have got (several) bodies which enable us to work in different planes. We have got this physical body which we are conscious of. When we rise above it – we have got the astral body to work in the astral plane. Again we have to rise further – we have got the causal body to work in the causal plane. And if we transcend all those three, we rise into the spiritual planes, which are of all-consciousness. The three lower planes are not all consciousness, but consciousness is mixed up with matter of different grades. So true consciousness arises when man rises above physical body, astral body and causal body. When he reaches there he considers himself (in a situation) just like a drop of water is mixed with other water. This is a matter to be experienced, it cannot be expressed in words. Even the feelings in the worldly way cannot all be expressed in words. How can that consciousness – which is all-consciousness – be expressed in words? This is only an intellectual wrestling, I would say, and one may only come to some conclusion what it is, and what it is not.
Masters say, well, we are of course after higher consciousness … mind works physically, astrally and causally also; these are the three states of mind: physical, astral and causal. Unless we rise above all these three minds, we cannot have true consciousness. But that consciousness cannot be expressed in words. It can only be experienced. Even to rise above body-consciousness is a thing to be experienced. This experience can be given by a Master who is competent at will and pleasure to rise above body-consciousness, and who can give a demonstration of that to others who come to Him for that purpose. So the first step on the way to higher consciousness is to know oneself, to know one’s own conscious Self because it is we who are enlivening the whole body – the physical body here as well as the astral and causal body. When all these coverings are taken off he rises into all-consciousness, and that is nothing to be expressed in words. People try to give some account as a matter of inferences but when it is all rising into oneness – to whom to speak? They may be saying, “l see all conscious!”This means he has not seen it because he explains it at the level of one – himself. If you see, you – (you experience it like) the water mixed into the river – how then can one say that this is the river or that is oneself? So, all-consciousness cannot be explained in words. This is only drawing inferences or intellectual wrestling when you can say, “This is that, this is that.” But this state cannot be explained in words, it can only be experienced. Even our (true) Self – when you rise above the physical body – that cannot be explained in words. It is just to be born anew – you must be reborn. The ABC starts when we learn to die, when we know our Self. That is the first step to higher consciousness, but there are further steps in the astral plane, the causal plane and also in all these three planes, when we rise into the spiritual planes – it cannot be explained though references are given. All scriptures say so.
Jay Turner: Kirpal Singh Ji, how does one become acquainted with his Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Outer, He is born the same as all other men are born, with the same privileges from God. Outer and inner construction is the same – the only thing is, when a man gets a degree of Ph.D. how does one recognize him? Only when you sit by him, see him day by day, well, then you say, “He is above all.” So the only criterion that we can have as given by all Masters is, he should be able to raise you above body-consciousness, physically at least, by giving you a demonstration. If he can give that, (then He is a true Master).
God is light. When you rise above body-consciousness your single eye is opened. When the single eye is opened, you see. It is all dark, when it is opened, you see all light. So this is, who can give you something on the start, some capital to start with. This is the only criterion we can have. And moreover, by coming into His presence, you see Him, your mind is stilled for a while.
This is what I have come to at my parallel study of religions and personal experience but about others you see, each man has his own scope. They say, they have reached the highest. But when you take this subject as a matter of intellectual wrestling, how can that be? Because until the mind is controlled, and outgoing faculties, mind and intellect cease working for a while, only then our own consciousness comes up. What to speak of that consciousness? So others are on the way. This is how I take it, with due deference, whatever they are. Some have recourse to psychology, to relaxation; others give you by some – what to say – treatment – little light for a while. But that is no (real) light. Light is only without taking hand. A Master should raise you up above body-consciousness and remove the darkness before your eyes. Masters say, “Don’t believe the words of a Master unless you see for your own self what is what, and you bear testimony to it.” This now is the criterion of a Master. There is no outer badge (saying that He is a true Master), but by presence you’ll find radiation. And what the first thing or outer thing is – He is able to give you a demonstration of how to rise above body-consciousness, He opens the single eye (so that) you see by yourself: there is light.
Jay Turner: What was your experience, your feeling many, many decades ago, when you met your Master? Did you experience something very special and do you still feel that feeling?
Sant Kirpal Singh: I was in search. Man who is in search even does everything: I met all, I read all scriptures. Very sweet stories of the beyond I did find, but how to have it? It was not possible (through this). It is a matter of pure self-analysis. So I prayed, “God, O God, if there is anybody” – after all, God works through somebody, as demand and supply is the law of nature – “if there is somebody, You must manifest. How can a blind man see a man with eyes? So God appeared to me – the form that appeared to me in my meditations I took as Guru Nanak. I was just traversing with Him in the beyond, too, in the days of Mesopotamian war. Then after all, about seven years afterwards – I physically met Him. When I found He was the same (who had appeared in my meditations), I said, “Why was it all so delayed?” He told me, “It was the most opportune time.” So when He met me, you see, He gave me a demonstration. All labours, all efforts were gone. Now the ABC starts from there. Where the world philosophies end, there religion starts. You know, there is a prayer: “0 God, I am grateful to you, for you have kept this secret from the worldly wise and given to the babes.”
Jay Turner: Your work in India is very much based on the work of your Master, isn’t it? This centre, which you have built in India, is built on the principles which your Master taught to you?
Sant Kirpal Singh: No, I tell you, whatever my Master told me, that is the basic teaching of all Masters who came in the past. That is a parallel study of all scriptures. I have published a book in which I haven given quotations from all scriptures – East and West. The basic teaching has been the same all through, inner way had not been two. Of course, some time later, for want of practical people, they had to take recourse to certain separate schools (of thought). There are so many yogas, but each yoga has its own scope. This is “natural yoga”, which gives you a contact with the God-into-expression-power direct, by raising you above body-consciousness. You see it is that. When you see the ray of the sun and you go on the ray, you reach the sun.
When God wanted, “l am one and I wish to be many”, He came into expression. There was vibration, and vibration results in two things: light and sound. So light and sound is the “yoga of the attention”. When is this contacted? When we rise above body-consciousness – that is the power which is keeping us in the body and which is controlling all creation. So we come to know that when we rise above body-consciousness – even an atheist, I would say. There was an atheist who had a motto of “God is nowhere” in his room and he was at deathbed. A child came up and was going to read: “G-o-d i-s n-o-w h-e-r-e” (God is now here). (The atheist answered), “Yes my child, I see some power controlling!” So this you can realize when you rise above body-consciousness at the time of death or even now. You become conscious that some power is controlling us.
This is the physical cover that is taken off. Then there is the astral cover, the causal cover and the super causal. Beyond that there’s the true home of our Father. All Masters have referred to it and even beyond, ineffable and just going into the God Absolute. Guru Nanak said, “All Saints rise above the higher super-causal plane, and further into the ineffable state and are absorbed into the God which is absolute. He says, “Poor Nanak resides there.” All other Saints are not alike – this is about those who have gone to the highest. Others are on various steps. Some have risen above the physical, they give only some mesmerism, some hypnotism, and some psychologists use psychology, and some, by trick of the pen, they can give you something. That’s all, with due deference to all. Some have access into the first, the astral plane. They can lead you right to that. Others have access to the second plane, these masters give you something up to that stage. Others up to the third, and like that. Unless you meet the highest Master you cannot reach the ultimate goal of the Absolute absorbing into the beyond.
So there are stages to go on. By parallel study (of the religions) you’ll find that all masters have their stages. Shankara and others, you see, they define as “all is conscious”. But then they turn again, that God is the Expression Power, that is what is wanted, and that is manifest in man. Shankara, you know, he believed in the absolute God: “It is all God, there is no soul.” Then he made a little allowance: “Yes, there is soul also.” And the next man who followed him, he absolutely said, “Well, God Absolute cannot be attained, we are not that (absolute God).”
So there are coverings on the body. One covering is like of the prana, and “Anand-mai-kosh” is also a covering, you see. The “Ghyan-mai-kosh” (the covering of realization) is a covering, too, but the Ghyan-mai-kosh is a covering, not the Absolute. To rise into the Absolute – well, they only referred to it, nobody saw it. The all-conscious cannot even be expressed in words. To the best I know, I have come to know by parallel studies of religions, too. So, we can only follow the all-conscious by intellectual wrestling, that’s all. What do the Masters of the higher order say? “0 man, seekers after God, you have just forgotten the God by intellectual wrestling.” it is a matter of inferences drawn. “See, and then say”, that is something else. Christ and others said, “We see and bear testimony to it.” This is what all other Masters said. Guru Nanak said, “l speak as I am inspired by God.” Sometimes people speak on the subconscious level – what is this? It is feelings of all past births. From that level they can talk. But if he has risen to the all-conscious level, nothing can be said. People simply say, “Just as water is poured into another vessel (with water), it becomes one.” So to me this is a matter that is inexpressible and what I differ, I have seen by parallel study of religions. To go into the Absolute God – who can know? Nobody. Nobody has seen God at any time. Of course, we had experience of that God-into-expression Power, according to the covers you have shaken off. By shaking off the physical body you rise into some conscious stage, you see. And when you leave the astral body, when it is shaken off, there is still more. So causal body to shake off is very difficult, you see. It is the mental plane, mind that. A little thought will bring a new world. It is only Masters alone, they absorb the whole attention into the light-and sound-principle and take you further on. That’s very difficult inside, but anyhow, with due deference to all what they have come to – people are deriving benefit, that’s all right.
Jay Turner: What part does the initiation play in this reaching of a new consciousness?
Sant Kirpal Singh: First part is to rise above, to know oneself. One is a conscious entity. It has got coverings, you see, three coverings, of course, physical, astral and causal. Like when a lamp is burning, and there are three, four coverings. You shake off one, you see some light. When all coverings are there, there is no light – when you shake off one or two, there is more (light). When you shake off the third, there is still more light. So all religions, you see, teach like that. Religion means – the word, not the “social body” I mean to say – “re-” means “back”, “ligio” to bind, you see. Those who have gone up like that, they see, God is light. All say, God is light, even Lord Krishna, everybody. By parallel studies of religions I have found that the basic teachings (of the Masters) have been all the same. So long as they were there the people derived full benefit of that. When they left the scene – to keep their teachings alive – all these social bodies or schools came into being. So long as practical people – of different degrees – were there, (people got something). As I referred to, Shankara and the second man after him, you see, they didn’t know. So Masters do come from time to time to revive all this, and they bear testimony also. But all the subsequents don’t know. The man who flies in the air only knows what it is like, others don’t know, you see.
Jay Turner: On the path to the higher consciousness, what part does the initiation-ceremony play?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Demonstration! No ceremony, no offerings, no flowers – only like a school. There is a sitting given, and with little attention (people get) a boost. They withdraw from outside and see light. They bear testimony, they see. No ceremony, no gifts – nothing whatsoever. It is a gift of nature, you see. All gifts of nature are free: air. water, sun. It is also a gift of nature. Why should we pay for, you see?
Jay Turner: Much of your work in India is in your centre which you built there.
Sant Kirpal Singh: No, no, all through India, in Pakistan, too. Also there I have got about thirty or forty centres. Also here outside are about 120 centres or more than that.
Jay Turner: What is the main work which you do at those centres?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Main work actually is to give some bread of life to the soul. Physically people give it, intellectually they give it. I am not against it, that’s the first step. But what food is given to the soul? Soul is a conscious entity – the bread of life and the water of life can only be conscious – and higher consciousness is already controlling us in the body. When you rise above to give a contact with that – that is the initiation. It means to withdraw all attention from outside, to rise above the body-consciousness and come to the seat of the soul in the body, which is at the back of the eyes and transcend into the beyond. It is just sun rising – setting this way and rising the other way. Those who have daily practice, they do, they rise. For them death is a matter of joy, you see. So God sends all (Masters). He chooses as where He is manifest, He carries on the mission of God, you see. And moreover you find one thing: most of them who came here, people (began to worship them). God sent them, to let the people know that there is God, who is the maker of all creation. He should be worshipped. But many, you’ll find, all, worshipped those messengers who came here. So messengers said, “Carefully, I’m not God – I am the messenger of God. God has sent me, Father has sent me, you see. I convey you: He is your God.” But you see, we respect all other incarnations who came (into the world), but we never take the name of God.
Jay Turner: Can you envision for us the future for mankind, the spiritual life of men?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, vision – there’s awakening coming up, you see, in both East and West. Men are fed up, you see, with their outer ways of ritualism and other things, they are very unhappy. Awakening is rising about, you see, in the East and West, too. And Golden Age will come from Iron Age, it will not fall down from heaven, alright? Though people all know, you see, unless they get something substantial, (they are not satisfied). We say, God is light. Everybody says, (that God is light), but have they seen light? Then you say, God is reverberating in all creation, but have you seen? If not, then? What is that compared to? Like a blind man saying God is light. Unless you see, of course, ….Whatever you perform in the way of knowing God: good actions, they bear good results, but all the same, the doer-ship is there. As long as the doer-ship is there, then, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Unless you become a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan and you see, “He is the doer, I’m not the doer”, you lose all ego. Then who will reap the seeds you have sown? This is the ultimate goal of the Masters. They say, “See – and then say.” And they make others see. What did Christ say? “l have come to let those people see, who do not see.” These are the references given in the scriptures.
For want of practical people, we have not been able to give the right interpretation thereof. Guru Nanak says, “They have entered within and they could not find the door.” Christ also said, “Whatever you see – the old prophets wanted to but could not see. Whatever you hear, prophets did not hear.” You’ll find in the scriptures all these things. So right interpretation of the scriptures can only be given by someone who has seen. So Masters are in favour of: “See – and then say!”
There, I think from their level – all world is blind. Blind does not mean – in the terminology of the Saints – those who have got no eyes at the forehead, but those, whose single eye is not open to see the light of God. Now you compare, what you are doing? We made models of man outside, temples, churches – dome-shaped and nose-shaped, others put in light symbols – I mean symbols of light and sound principle. Those were models to show for the new man that such like light is within you, and such like sound is reverberating within you. But for want of practical people, you see, they got stuck to them, and they forgot the true temple of God in which we reside and also God resides. God forbid, if any physical church or temple is broken, well, we are ready to sacrifice all true temples of God! For those whose eyes are not opened, for them are the outer churches – we have respect for them. But we must know what is what! God has been sending Masters from time to time to revive the truth. And it is not new truth, it is an old, old thing. This is the basic truth given by all Masters in the past.
Jay Turner: Sant Kirpal Singh Ji, could you give us a brief meditation now, so that our audience listening there at home could join with us?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Now, this radiation is given every morning here to hundreds. Today I think about six hundred people were there. Every time (there are) five hundred, four hundred, thousand also. Today they sat (in meditation) here in the morning. Everywhere where I go. That costs at least half an hour. Because we are not accustomed to it to withdraw our attention from outside. You see, quite practical people have had the experience, and they testify, they have seen this and that thing. Not it is that one mesmerises or hypnotizes to say all, “This is that.” No! Each man has his own experience. Different.
Jay Turner: What I was hoping that we might do is to have you just have our audience close their eyes for a few minutes. And you could give them some thoughts to meditate on.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Well, I can tell you, what I’ve been explaining every day, and where ever I go. First thing is: Our physical body should be stilled, because man-body is the temple of God, in which we reside and also God, the controlling power, resides. Outer expression of the soul is the attention. So attention, when it is paid to the outgoing faculties, outgoing faculties work, world also seems to live. But when that attention is withdrawn from there, this is what is wanted to be done. So withdraw your attention from all outside. When a man is dying, you see, he does not recognize anybody who comes to him. When a man is absorbed in some thought, somebody calls him once, twice, he does not hear, he says, “Why are you not answering, giving reply to my question?” He says, “l was absorbed in something else.” So, so long as our attention is there – all other things work.
So that attention is to be withdrawn from outside and from the body below. And rise up to the seat of the soul, which is at the back of the eyes, where we are at the time of death: Soul withdraws and eyes are upturned. From there it is risen to the Beyond. So this is a little way up given (at initiation) to those who have come to spend. You can go and also give, if you are developed that way. Every Saint has his past and every sinner a future. So people are having it.
If they withdraw their attention from all outside, and also from the body below and arrive at the seat of the soul which is at the back of the eyes, and sit in sweet remembrance of God, some boost is given by charging, you see. And they see light. Or what Christ said: “Shut yourself in the closet of your body.” You see! Those seeking all around, they cannot find it. Our attention is the whole thing. God is all attention, and we are attention. Our attention, so long it is at work, it detracts to the different “departments” of the body: eyes, ears etc. – they work. If I am absorbed within, I just forget my body, you may even cut the body. This is a regular science, practical, which people have achieved. Even now there are some people who know this. Little experience – each man has it, when he is sitting absorbed in thoughts – he does not hear. His eyes may be open, somebody passes, he does not recognize. So this is a step to know. If it (the attention) is completely withdrawn – then? When you get an injection, you say, “All right, now inject.” You withdraw your attention, you feel the pain, but less. This is the withdrawing of the attention from outside, coming at the seat of the soul at the back of the eyes. It’s a practical thing. And the demonstration is given.
You are already identified with the outside outgoing faculties, intellect and this and that thing. And if we have recourse to such like practices, which relate to those, how can we rise above these? Some people have (a certain) background: They see light. I have seen such like people. And they are getting them treated by a doctor. They are poor, they do not know what is what.
So this is a regular way. Life after death is sure as two and two make four; and in man-body alone we are competent to rise above body-consciousness, to know our Self and then the Over-Self. Stage by stage, ultimately we absorb into the absolute form. And there somebody is needed who knows of the Beyond, too. Who can give us something to start with. Call Him by any name you like.
Jay Turner: In our broadcast “On the Path to Higher Consciousness” we have been discussing Masters. Our programme is produced by the “Siddharta-foundation for the study of higher consciousness” in Waltham, Massachusetts. My name is David Tuturner.
Sant Kirpal Singh: That’s all right.
Jay Turner: Thank you.