Who is the true Guru?
One makes progress according to the capacity and knowledge of one’s Guru. But we find numerous gurus at every step. In fact, there are more so-called ‘gurus’ in this world than are disciples. Kabir says “One’s future depends upon one’s Guru, and a perfect Guru one gets only by rare good fortune.” Since this world is full of ‘gurus’ of all sorts, how, then, can we find a true one? All the Saints and Scriptures lay great stress upon finding a True, Perfect and Real Guru. In the Granth Sahib as well ass in the writings of Kabir, Paltu, Dadu and other Saints, the need of a True Master is greatly stressed. Muslim Saints, such as Maulana Rum, Sham-i-Tabrex, Hafiz and other sing praises of Murshid-i-Kamil, the Persian name for the Perfect Master. Otherwise, there is the danger of the blind leading the blind and reaching nowhere. Consequently, the first requirement is to find a True and Perfect Master. The Perfect Masters always say: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”. Lord God, the Supreme Creator, cannot be found outside by one who has not realized Him within. This human body of ours is the “Mansion of the Lord”, the “Temple of the Living God.”. Those who seek Him outside, wander in illusion.
In the body too, the Lord is not realized in the Khat Chakras (Six Lower Centres) as believed by the Yogis. He is to be realized above the eye center, and the Way to realize Him is given by a True Master.
So long as the soul does not get out of the clutches of the mind and senses, and crosses the regions of Brahm and Par Brahm, Guru Mat is not really understood. The Guru initiates us into the mysteries of the Path and tells us how to vacate the body and enter the “tenth gate” that leads to the Lord’s Mansion.
Guru Mat is unique and sweet. It begins when the mind and the soul currents withdraw from the nine portals, according to the instructions of a Guru, and become concentrated at the “Bhru Madhe”, the point between the two eyebrows. This is the door to the “Kingdom of Heaven within”, about which Jesus Christ says; “Knock, and it shall be opened up to you.” The Guru tells us that the way to knock at this gate is to totally withdraw the attention from the ninth outlets of the body and focus it at the eye center. By permitting the attention to function below the eye center, we allow the mind and soul to run out and squander precious energy.
When, by means of Spiritual Practice, soul and mind have reached the Asht Dal Kanwal (Eight Petalled Lotus), one begins to hear the Heavenly Music, called the Anahat Shabd (the Word or Logos of the Bible) which constantly resounds there. Thus the soul is attracted by the Voice of God, and its inward and upward flight begin. A new world of bliss is realized and vistas of the macrocosm open before it. By the Grace of the Master, it tastes the Amrit, the life-giving Nectar.
The soul that was previously burning with false and ephemeral desires of the world and of Maya then begins to realize its true nature and to relish the Ambrosial Exlixir of Nam, which bestows upon it true peace and bliss. The mind also, having for ages past, wandered from birth to birth, in the whirling of ‘Chaurasi’ (whirlpool of transmigration), becomes motionless Then it begins to realize its own reality, its high descent from Brahm. Thereafter it gives up the transitory pleasures of the sense and experiences the everlasting bliss of Celestial Music, the superior sweetness of which alone can detach it from the lure of the world.
Formerly, it was as the though the owner of the house (our body) was asleep and the house was at the mercy of five thieves, vis; lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego or pride (ahankar) Now that the owner has woken up, the thieves have run away. Huzur Baba Sawan Singh Maharaj Ji used to say “when a soul ‘wakes up’, the five thieves go out and inform the owner of the house that the place is now too hot for them to survive there and they have to leave.” Kabir also said to annihilate the five perversions and be attached to Nam. So long as the five enemies have control of the house, the soul is a helpless prisoner. They leave it only when the owner means business and will tolerate their presence no longer. The Elixir of Shabad, which is the life-giving Nectar for the soul, acts as a poison for these thieves. They run away and the corresponding virtues take their place. Thus lust goes and its place is taken up by continence, anger is replaced by forgiveness, for avarice comes contentment, and egotism and pride are replaced by discrimination and the humility. The mind, which hankered after trifles and whose desires to possess knew no bounds, becomes still and contended. The soul, becoming free from all entanglements, makes for its real home. Holding to the Melody of Nam, by the Grace of the Master, it completes the journey of months in a matter of days. The sense world now appears as an alien country and the regions inside as its native land.
As the Soul hears the sound of the Bell and the conch, it begins to drop off its impurities, and the lotus that lays inverted turns right side up. The soul then travels up rapidly, and flashes of the distant Jyoti begin to come in view. The gate to Sahansdal Kanwal opens, whence the light and radiance from the Thousand Petals shine forth. This is the first stage on the Path of Guru Mat, but it is the highest and the last stage of several religions of the world. It is the seat of Niranjan the Lord of the Astral world. The Yogis too, go no further.
After the Thousand Petalled Lotus (the Sahansrar), comes the land of Brahm, Lord of the second Spiritual Region. He is the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer of the Universe. Connecting the two regions is an oblique passage, called the Bunk Nal (the Curved Tunnel). Only after crossing this tunnel, does the soul reach Trikuti, the realm of Brahm, Here the attributes of the mind drop off and thereafter the Soul ascends alone. Trikuti is the source of the mind. Once the mind reaches its Home, it merges in it thereby setting the soul free.
The soul, however, has to sojourn in Trikuti for a fairly long duration of time, The store of Sanchit Karmas (the Reserve Store of Karmas) is located here, and the soul has to stay here until this store of Karmas is liquidated. Just as grain is separated from the chaff,, gravel and dust in a thresher, so is the soul purged of all its dross, while staying in this region.
Trikuti has three prominences, the highest being called the Guru Pad. It is a sublime stage, beyond description. As the python draws its prey towards itself, so does the Melody draw the soul towards it.
Next, comes Daswan Dwar the Region of Par Brahm, Here the music is that of Kingri, a stringed instrument similar to a guitar, which Yogis generally keep with them and on which they play both morning and evening. The Kingri draws the soul to the Supreme Being.
Now the Soul has transcended the Region of Potent Illusion The tight knot which fastened It to the Mind has cut asunder. All Its chains have been broken. The three covering of physical, astral and causal bodies have been removed, The Soul now shines forth in the luster of Its full glory. Here it is that ‘It knows Itself’. The true realization that It is not the body or the mind, but a spark from the Great Ocean of Light, Immortal, and Eterna, comes to It on reaching this stage.
Shorn of all its fetters, the Sou now proceed upwards and reaches the fourth stage called Bhanwar Gupah (The Whirling Cave). This is the gate to Sach Khand. But on the way between the third and the fourth stages falls the Maha Sunn (the great Void), the land of Primordial Gloom. This is a region of utter darkness. Even though the soul has a refulgence of twelve suns, it is unable to penetrate this darkness by itself. And it is here the soul realized the greatness of the Guru, for by itself it is incapable of crossing this region of unfathomable gloom. Only as Sant Satguru, a Master having access to the highest regions can take it through that darkness. It crosses this Timir Khand with the Guru’s Radiance. The word ‘Guru’ in Sanskrit means “one who brings light to the darkness.” Many souls, that did not have the good fortune of having a Perfect Master, remain lost in this darkness.
After crossing this Timir Khand, and on reaching the Cave, the soul sees that in essence, it is the same as the Creator, the only difference being that it is a drop and He is the Ocean. This realization of its identity with the Lord of All Creation brings forth and an involuntary cry from it: “I am He”.
From here the soul ascends to the Sach Khand, the Sat Lok, the true, the Immortal, the Eternal, the Home of Bliss and the Perfect Peace, where there is no pain nor sorrow This is the Satguru Pad, the Abode of the True Master.
There are no words with which the greatness, the sublimity, the light or the extent of the Satguru Pad can be described. Millions of suns pale into insignificance before the effluence of the even one atom of this region. Guru Arjan says: “By contacting the Shabad, we reach the Place where the light of ten million suns shines and the gloom of delusion is dispelled”
The music in Sat Lok is that of Veena, a very find, a stringed instrument.
From here the Sat Purush takes the soul to Radha Soami, the Lord of the Soul.
Now you can judge for yourself how far and wide do people stray away from Reality. The Yogis andGyanis have no knowledge of this. The Yogis, even after many years of hard labor in the Khat Chakras, could with great difficulty succeed in attaining the Sahansrar Chakra, the Thousands Petalled Lotus. Yogishwars could only reach up to the top of the second region, Brahm Lok. As for the Gianis, the philosophers and the learned, most of them remained lost in hair-splitting. After facing failures, a few of them who sought the help of a spiritual guide could go up to Brahm. This, again, beings home the necessity of a perfect Master because, no matter how hard one works, one cannot go beyond that stage to which one’s Guru has access.