The most natural way II

Extract from a lecture by Sant Kirpal Singh in Philadelphia, September 13th, 1955

[…]we have to enter into the Kingdom of God, reach our true home. The way to it starts when we rise above body consciousness. But how are we to achieve this? All scriptures speak of the Way that leads back to God. We have to find this way. There are so many different methods that we may follow. But which of them is the most natural, the most easy and can give us the quickest results? – so that we can realize the Truth in this very life and not have to wait till after death.

The people are after it, no doubt, and many of them are quite sincere, broadminded and open to conviction. The question arises: Of the many yogas, which is the best, the quickest and easiest, and the most suited to our times? The Masters teach you the most natural way. Natural ways are always the easiest. Easy things can be followed by anyone anywhere. Even a child should be able to see the Light of Heaven within.

There are so many yogic practices. We have Hatha Yoga. It gives us physical fitness, a strong body, for one thing; and for another it prepares the way for another type of yoga, the Prana Yoga. Prana Yoga gives control over the respiratory system in the body, and enables one to withdraw the motor and sensory currents together to the seat of the soul within. The body is simply left as a clod of earth, without breath or motion; this is technically called kumbhak. When we achieve this withdrawal of the pranas (vital airs), we see the Light of God and hear the Voice of God within. This is a difficult and arduous way. Everyone is not fit for it. Everyone can’t follow it. The body must be sound and strong. For this we have to take to the Hatha Yoga practices for a long time to make our body fit, and then we can take it up. Those who are physically unfit, if they take it up, they fall a victim to different diseases.

Next there is Laya Yoga, which is concerned with the awakening of the kundalini or the serpentine power. That is also practiced through controlling one’s breathing. We have to awaken all centers in the body (chakras) and go up step by step. There are other forms of yoga as well, which enable one to control his mind. They ask us to visualize within some outer object so that we may have something to concentrate our thoughts upon.

Then there is Jnana Yoga for grasping the reality within by the sheer force of intellect – a very difficult path indeed, I may say. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says, “To grasp the infinity by the finite intellect is as impossible as to quench thirst by taking wine or to extract oil from sand.” How can the finite intellect grasp the all-pervading reality within its narrow compass? That is a sheer impossibility. This is why Confucius said: “The reality is something that cannot be grasped, cannot be understood and cannot be comprehended.” This is why he turned from the spiritual to the ethical side of life.

Can we possibly come in contact with that Reality? All the Masters with one voice emphatically say, “Yes!” Guru Nanak says, “The Lord God of Nanak is visible everywhere.”

Swami Vivekananda, who came to America some years ago, began life as an atheist. He would challenge people to show him God. He would question: “Is there anyone who has seen God?” He was told to visit Dakshineswar (in Bengal) and meet Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He went there, all puffed up with his intellectual attainments. Ramakrishna appeared to him like an ordinary man. You see, the Masters do not act and pose. They don’t believe in any show. They just behave like ordinary individuals. He found the sage first on the grassy plot adjoining his hut and put to him his oft-repeated question: “Master, have you seen God?” And what was the reply? “Yes, my child, I see Him just as I see you – only more vividly.” At these words coming from the heart of a man of realization, Vivekananda bowed down. And throughout the rest of his life he always declared, “Only through that Godman was I saved.”

How then is salvation possible? All Masters say, “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” For salvation then we must develop our “single eye.” But how to find it and how to develop it?

Guru Nanak tells us that the “single eye” spoken of is not of flesh and bone, as are our outer eyes. It is the inner eye – the eye within you. And this is to be opened. But how? One who has opened his own eye and has seen the light of God is also capable of giving you first-hand inner experience of it. Seeing is believing, and when you see for your own self, you will not require any further testimony. On the other hand, the blind cannot lead the blind. An awakened soul alone can awaken souls slumbering on the plane of the senses. As light comes from light, so does life from life. A man of realization can grant an experience of the reality to others. He who has risen in Cosmic Awareness, can make others rise in that awareness. So it’s not an impossibility. All Masters have testified to this. Shamas of Tabrez says: “We should be able to see God with our own eyes and hear the voice of God with our own ears.” This is no new thing. It is the most ancient science and the most authentic.

Another Muslim Saint, Moieen-ud-Din Chishti, tells us, “You have to open the inner eye to behold the glory of God within. It’s already there.”

A true Christian must know how to cross over the body consciousness to see the Light of God. A true Muslim must witness the glory of God from the top of Mount Toor, which is our body. The prophet Moses used to go up Mount Sinai to hear the Decalogue in the midst of lightning and thunder. Similarly, a true Sikh (Khalsa) is one who sees the light of God in his own person. The scriptures tell us that Guru (Master) is one who can dispel darkness in man by revealing the light of Heaven. The Christians figuratively call this spot (where the light is seen) the mount of transfiguration.

This is the goal before us. It is possible and within the reach of everyone. When? When you come in contact with some practical adept. He will be a man as any of you are, but he has inner experience of Truth and is competent to give the same experience to you. If he gives you some experience at the very outset, you can expect more from him.

What type of yoga do the Masters teach? I just mentioned certain types of yoga. There are other types as well, which enable us to concentrate and dwell on the lower ganglions in the body. They aim at awakening the different supernatural powers thereby. But the true aim of life is to know one’s Self and to know God, and not to have supernatural powers. To one who practices the highest type of yoga, by following the path of the Masters, all such powers come of themselves: one has not to work for them. But a true seeker of God bypasses all such temptations.

What then is the most natural yoga? What do the Masters teach? The Path of the Masters is known as Sehaj Yoga (the natural yoga) or the Surat Shabd Yoga (the yoga of the Sound Current). What is surat? It is the soul within each one of us, the outward expression of which is the attention or what is known as consciousness, awareness or wakefulness. When you open and close your eyes successively for some time, you will feel a kind of wakefulness and consciousness behind the eyes. This wakefulness or consciousness is the “Self” in you, and that you are. In the waking state it is diffused in the body and is engaged in outer pursuits of the world through the agency of the senses. But it can be withdrawn and concentrated within. The Master helps in withdrawing the sensory currents, collecting them at one center, and gives an inner contact with the “Word Power” within – the divine link in each one of us. This God Power is known by different names. St. John speaks of it as the “Word.” It is the “Holy Ghost” of Christ. The Muslims call it Kalma or Ism-i-Azam, while the Hindu Rishis called it Sruti or Udgit. Zoroaster gave it the name of Sraosha or the “Creative Verbum.” Guru Nanak speaks of it as Naam. It is the great Creative Power of God which is controlling the universe. This Sound Principle or “Divine harmony” is the core of all that is.

And what is God? You find the same thing mentioned in the Bible. St. John begins his Gospel with the memorable words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” Dryden, a great English poet, in his poetic fancy calls it “Harmony,” and ascribes the creation to the great “Power of Music.” This Word existed even before the creation came into being.

God the Absolute is Wordless and Nameless. When that Absolute came into manifestation, it was given different names as said before: Word, Kalma, Naam, Sruti, Udgit, etc. This first and primal manifestation of the Absolute (in the form of the Sound Principle) is the Divine Link within each one of us, and this power is all-pervading and everlasting. “Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven.”

The Bible further tells us: “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made.” That is the creative power: “Upholding all things by the Word of his power.” The Bible calls that creative principle the “Word.” As I told you yesterday, unless you know the specialized terminology of the Masters, you cannot know the true import of the scriptures. The Word, as used throughout the Bible and especially by St. John, is one example of such terms; and so are many others in different scriptures. That Word is lasting, everlasting and abiding forever and forever: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever.”

The “Word of God” does not mean the words uttered by the Masters. Their words of wisdom simply express the Word of God and its creative, controlling and sustaining power over all that is visible and invisible. This Power existed right from the beginning. “The Word was with God and the Word was God.”

That Divine Link is within every man. The Epistle to the Hebrews (in the New Testament) speaks of the Word of God as: “For the Word of God is quick (which living) and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow , and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” That power is denoted by the term “Word.”

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