Generally, I find very few Gurus who give a message that seems consistent with what I have come to believe is an "Estimation of Truth".. but this Q&A with Saint Kirpal Singh simply excited me. The answers are not "make you feel happy" ones.. but very truthful and even the difficult concepts have been handled very nicely. I had read this at DK Matai’s blog at Intentblog and wanted to bring it out to a larger audience.. he, very graciously, agreed and let me carry it here. (Thanks DK!). DK is also facilitating a "one-of-a-kind" Socratic Dialog involving some of the intellectuals on Intent I really respect – like Harb and Avtar! Please go to Intentblog to leave comments on this topic!
Q & A with His Holiness Master Kirpal, President, The World Fellowship of Religions.
Q: Is ‘doing nothing’ — letting God be the Doer — a sign of humility?
A. Look here — there are books in rivulets and sermons in stones. You can gather lessons from everything. If a man does nothing whatsoever he recedes into his own self. God didn’t do anything; He was one and wished to be many. He wished — and there were many. If He had not wished there to be many, it would have been sufficient — there would still be the wordless state. So to be in a wordless state is very supreme. Some waves are lurking in our subconscious reservoir of mind. Let there be no waves. So long as these ripples go on, you cannot catch the sound or light. All ripples should be settled. Where the sea is very deep there are no outside ripples. It appears all calm and quiet in the sea that runs very deep. If the sea is not deep, there are rolls and waves and ripples going on.
One who says, "I am doing nothing." becomes a conscious co-worker of the divine plan. Then he says, "He is the Doer. I’m a mere puppet in the Hands of God." Everything has some lesson to give. So go deep down into what one says. I wish you to do nothing, that’s all. The more you become still, the very stillness — the very silence — will sprout forth into Light-into Sound Principle. Outer silence cannot give you that. You may have some power reserved from not talking, but that is nothing in comparison with the inner silence.
By practice, when you absorb your whole attention into the Light or Sound, that absorption where no thought arises will give you something. That is why the Upanishads say, "What is that, by knowing which, nothing more remains to be known?" No clutching, no whys or wherefores — No whys or wherefores. The whole attention is absorbed into the higher attention. Then, even if you are working at the level of the outgoing faculties, still you are absorbed. That is to be developed in due course. Just mark what I am aiming at — driving at. Every thought, every act, every statement has a big lecture behind it, you see. Is it not? Saints have recourse to the natural way. If you absorb your whole attention into Sound, everything is there. By outward observances you will be still for awhile, but so long as the mind works, you cannot be continuously still for long. If mind does not succeed in a negative way, it will work in a positive way. It will say, "So, you are doing rather well? Good! You will get something out of it." You will act and pose. You may not be giving a direct talk, but in a round about way you would like to impress on others that "I am doing something," you see? Then the little ego is there. True humility arises only when you become a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan. You know He is doing. You see. When you see, how can you possibly say you are doing. All your words will be imbued with real humility.
Q. Master, that’s a point that puzzles me. If God is doing it all, and we are doing nothing, then what about all the negative things that we do?
A. It is only when you’re rowing with the stream that you have to make no effort, is it not so? When you stand — when you work against the stream — then every effort has to be made. What is negative power? After all, it is the same Power going into expression. What is it?
Q. Contrary to Nature?
A. Well, it is Nature’s law that has been created. Otherwise, how could all this world have come into being? Negative and positive are both made by God. Is it not so? Is there any other God? Then? Either accept two gods – or one God encompassing both negative and positive. Then where is God? Independent. Turn your mind — your attention — to the direction of God? That’s all. What does darkness mean? [Absence of light.] What does negative mean? [Absence of good.] That’s all right. Very simple way. These things bring home the very purpose behind negative and positive power. After all. Negative Power is God as well as positive; both were created by God. He was in an absolute, wordless state when He created the world, then He added the two aspects. Just become a conscious coworker along with the working of the Divine Plan, then no Negative Power can affect you. When you don’t work with the flowing pen of God, you might say, God-into-Expression-Power-only then, the Negative Power arises. So, as long as you are conscious of that Power working, no negative power arises. Even death is eliminated if you sacrifice yourself in accordance with God-into-expression: Sacrifice has no sting for him. It is a little deeper, of course, but we still have to come to that sooner or later. These things are not given in books, that’s the pity. They cannot be given. How can they be? She has said something — all right, there’s a lecture behind it, you see. So I wish you to do nothing. Let all others observe it.
Man really becomes a follower when he sees Master within and talks to Him, that’s all. Now you are all on probation. It is not a matter of outward show. Let the wild flower grow in darkness. People will look at those flowers when they are blooming, you see? So when the tree is laden with fruits, let any man come to eat. Even if people throw stones on it, even then it will give fruit. We are in the make.
The miracle of Master’s power is so great-and the feeling of not deserving it and yet being part of it — we’re on the bus and can’t get off-but that you can’t believe that you ‘re really on it. It’s so great that it’s overpowering.
Seeing is believing. All other beliefs [without seeing] are groundless — having no base. Seeing is believing. When you see, only then can you believe and not otherwise. Hollow faiths-hollow beliefs lead you nowhere. They will break under stress. I remember this Pakistan affair [1947 — Partition of India] when the two countries were divided. The very religious people were calling names out to God. "Oh God, where you? Who says You exist?" Because they had not seen. When you see, then your whole angle of vision is changed. You see, even if you are being killed, you see Him working. So seeing is believing.
Q. But to show one’s gratitude, how can one do it more and more?
A. Not in one day. The time factor is a necessity. Rome was not built in a day. No trees can grow in a moment or in a day. Seeds should be sown. The sprout should then be cared for and nourished by natural forces — air, water, and earth — then it will grow into purpose — sprout forth into a sapling. Then if you still go on giving it food, it will grow into a treasure and that one seed will give you hundreds of trees.
Q. I was always under the impression that everything was choice — right choice — that God gives us our choice.
A. Surely. Right understanding. What is right understanding?
Q. When is the difference between free will and God-desires?
That you know only when you rise to the causal plane and not before. For now, the Word of the Master is the Law. He sees and says. If you want to know for your own self, what all of this going on is about, why action and reaction, then come up, cross the astral plane and you’ll come to know. Not before. That is why it is said, "Oh God, let us have the company of somebody who can drive away all our false notions; who can give us right understanding." What is right understanding? I think it will appeal to every common sense man. There is some power who made all this universe. Is it not so?
Q. Say it again, Master.
A. There is some power who has created all of this. He has made so many species of life and man is the highest, you see. So God made man with equal privileges. Everybody lives in the womb for nine months — even the saints who come. When born, they have the same form outside. Who made that form in the womb of the mother? Is there any machinery in there? So God resides in temples which He has made. God does not reside in temples made of stone. Very common sense things. You come to know that your body is the temple of God, with equal privileges for all. Your present life is based on reactions of the past. Pauperism, richness, sickness, this and that thing — come as a reaction of what we have sown. "As you sow, so shall you reap." Now, in the man-body you have got some freedom. In all lower species, all are bound — no freedom. When a railway line is laid down, the train will run on that line. If you have right understanding, you’ll be laying it so that it leads back to your home. If not, you’ll come back.
At least you see now there is a principle. There’s abundance in nature, mind that. There’s abundance in nature. If you sow one seed of pepper that will give you a plant which will grow hundreds of peppers. If you sow one mango seed, that will give you a tree which will bear hundreds of mangoes. One good thought will give you an abundance of good thoughts; all atmospheric right effects will come to you. One evil thought will bring you hundreds in train, do you follow? Be guided by that. Only sow as much as you would like to bear. Think twice before you speak. Do you know what speaking follows? Right thoughts. Right thoughts follow right understanding. Right understanding comes from whom? From Those who have got the right understanding — who see nature working in its true perspective — and suchlike people were very few in the past and even now — but the world is not without Them. All this literature came from where? From Them.
If you put into writing all these thoughts I’m telling you, they will grow into books. But you won’t have this right impact from all the books you may be reading. This impact comes from heart to heart. So the company of the saints cannot be underrated, you see.
Maulana Rumi says, "If you have some time with the Master, heart to heart, that gives you more than hundreds of years of penances" — more than that! Then you speak of Him and you will try to copy Him. Now you have it. If you think of fire, "it is warm, this and that," that is all good, but in the physical presence, you feel fire by radiation. If you go to some perfume dealer, he may not give you anything, but by radiation, you will smell good things. Should he give you one vial also, then that’s all right. So, company makes a man worse or good. That you can also enjoy only by developing receptivity from thousands of miles. If you develop receptivity, you can see, you can hear, just like on television or radios in Delhi. So, between the Master and the disciple there should be receptivity. Master may be anywhere, the student may be anywhere, but they are linked within. You may put the same question to the Master and the same question to the disciple; they will both utter the same words. But this is no miracle, I tell you. This is developed by regularity. So before the television or radio came into being, who could believe it possible? Could anyone believe? Now you say, "Yes, these discoveries through science are according to the laws of nature." And there are still more hidden laws of nature about which you know little or nothing so far.
Q. So then if according to the laws of nature, we eat something like cookies that might contain eggs, it will have its influence, whether one knows it or not?
A. If you are in meditation regularly, even one — you will be affected by the littlest thing. When I was an accounts officer with some regiment in the firing line, I was given an orderly to help me, to cook for me and look after me. I told him, "Look here, I cannot be responsible for your life but one thing you must guard strictly. Let nobody enter the kitchen when you cook the food. And you will only go on with the repetition of the Name of God or read some scriptures — nothing more. He obeyed. For two or three days it was all right. My system was at midnight, while people were sleeping, I was awake, meditating. One night, I found something in my mind — some ramification. I called him about one in the morning. "Look here, who was in the kitchen?" "Nobody." "Why do you tell a lie?" Then he agreed. "Yes, there was a man; we were talking." So if there is much filth within you, a little more filth won’t affect you. But if you’ve got no filth, even a little grain, half, one-fourth of a grain will affect you. Just see it.
So money should be earned by hard dint of labour – honest earning. And the food earned that way should pass through the hands of those who are pious and righteous. Every thought of the man bringing food, will have effect. The quality of the food should also be pacifying. Then the one who cooks it, his effect is also there. In the old days in India, they did not allow anybody to enter the kitchen before taking a bath, and when they were cooking they were only doing remembrance of God. The result was that whoever ate the food was changed. So we don’t care. If we would care for the farthings, pounds would be saved, would they not? We don’t care for what we consider trifling things, but they do affect us. Even your honest earnings are affected by the many stages through which it has to pass. And all things arise where? Well, I’m talking from a common sense point of view, you see.
If man has a good thought and food passes through him, that food will carry good effect. When you eat that, it will add to your good. If it passes through some lusty man, those same thoughts will come up. Also evil thoughts — thinking evil of others — will have its effect. You now know how we should be cautious about our kitchens. And this kitchen here is further spoiled or helped by evil thoughts. Even the mother’s thought affect the child in the womb. Very delicate points. And all things follow — all virtues follow — you become the abode of all virtues if you are hearing the Sound Principle, the Music of the Spheres — all along. That costs you nothing.
Q. Master, then when we travel and eat in other kitchens, restaurants, and things, if we do our Simran, is that enough?
A. Well look here, haven’t you strong will force? Infuse your thoughts into it. Once we were in the hills with our Master. There was nothing else to eat except meat and bread in that town. We asked Master, "Well, what shall we do? There is no shop that can sell us vegetarian food." "Never mind," He said, "Buy the loaves of bread from one place and buy milk or curd from somewhere else." It is we who have to guard it. Food that goes in defiles you, and what goes out of you also affects you.
So if you will understand the principle of thought, right thoughts will come from right understanding. Right understanding is very clear. We’re all equals as men, as souls. We are brothers and sisters in God. The same power is controlling us, called by any name. Man-body is the temple. Have It — become a conscious co-worker of That Power. For those who have become the conscious co-workers, there’s no high or low; there are no Hindus, Mohammedans, or Christians, you see. We’re all companions, that’s all.
Long yarns or lectures won’t help you, I tell you. You have to come to right understanding. No lecture will help you unless you lecture to your own self. We know so many things – so that is why it is said, "Wanted: Reformers, not of others, but of themselves." If you reform your life, then…
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