man does not know his real form due to being engrossed in worldly illusions and thinks that he is very weak and poor and has too many shortcomings, but our saints said that he earns great merit and his importance is enhanced if he comes in contact with the Spiritual Master. It is like a diamond, which has no brightness and reflecting power when first dug up from the mine, but becomes bright when it is cut and rubbed by an expert technician. Then it divides light into various colours.
Similarly, saints say that if you do not know yourself then your condition is the same as an unchiseled diamond, but when you acquire Spiritual Knowledge and takes shelter of the Master, then you start shining. It is clearly written in our scriptures: “Guru binu bhawnidhi tarai na koi. Jo viranchi Shankar sam hoi.”: no one can cross the worldly ocean without the Spiritual Master even if he possesses powers like Lord Shankar, Lord Brahma the Creator and Lord Vishnu.
It is written at the beginning of the Ramcharitmanasa, “Bandaun guru pad kanj kirpa sindhu nar roop hari. Maha moh tam punj, jasu vachan ravi karni kar.” “I bow to the Spiritual Master, who is the ocean of compassion in human form. His words act like the sun in wiping out the darkness of the vast illusory world.” In India it is the tradition to give the highest regard and respect to the Spiritual Master. People of other countries are amazed that so much importance is given to the Master. Before starting any work, we pray, “Shri Sadguru charankamlebhyo namah.” It means that we “salute the lotus feet of the Guru” before starting any noble work. In India, we prostrate before Guru Maharaj which means that we give importance to the Knowledge which we acquired from the Spiritual Master.
So, we give importance to the Spiritual Master and it is said, “Guru ko kijiye dandvat, koti koti pranam.” “Prostrate before Guru Maharaj, bow to him thousands of times”. An insect does not know the bhringi wasp which transforms it into another bhringi and similarly, the Spiritual Master transforms a disciple into an enlightened one. The Master eradicates the darkness from within a disciple and makes him enlightened. Light emanates from a diamond after it is chiseled. Similarly, after a disciple takes shelter in the Master, he gets inner illumination. Guru Maharaj showers grace on a devotee and he experiences Divine Light within. There are seven colours in sunlight. When a sunbeam passes though a rain drop, a rainbow becomes visible in the sky. It does not mean that gods create the red, yellow, violet, green and blue colours there, rather it is the magic of the sunbeam passing through a rain drop that it is broken into the seven colours which we call a ‘rainbow’.
Similarly, when light emanates from a diamond, then different colours are visible and it becomes more and more bright. It is said that there is lustre in it and light is produced. So the latent is manifested, but otherwise the seven colours are not visible in sunrays. When light is made to pass through a prism, then the seven colours are manifested. Similarly, a man is not aware of the latent energy within him. He comes to know his real form only by the grace of the Spiritual Master. After acquiring the Spiritual Knowledge from Him, the entire spiritual world is manifested within the devotee’s heart.
The same ‘Knowledge’ has been described in our scriptures and it is said that the reality of the entire world is that Power alone and there is no place where it is not present. Once Guru Dronacharya also wanted to explain the same thing to his disciples. He gave a stick to each of the five Pandava brothers and asked them to break it where no one could see them. Four of them broke the stick but Arjuna could not break it. Guru Dronacharya asked him the reason for not breaking the stick. Arjuna replied, “Master, I could not find a place where no one was seeing me, because I could see myself and, even if I closed my eyes, then God was observing me. As such I could not break the stick.” Guru Dronacharya said that this is precisely what he wanted to explain - that Power is omnipresent.
It is written,
“Nana shastra pathen loke nana devat poojanam. Atmagyan bina Partha sarva karma nirarthakam.”
Without Spiritual Knowledge, learning all the various scriptures and worshipping many gods is useless.
So it is said,
“Apun ko apun hi mein payo. Shabda hi shabda bhayo ujiyaro, Satguru bhed batayo. Apun ko apun hi mein payo.” “Within myself, myself I see. There is nothing all around except the WORD and the Light emanating from It.”
Our saints said that they experienced the Self within. Guru Nanak also says in one of his verses, “Kahe re ban khojan jai. Sarva niwasi sada alepa, tore hi sang samai.” “Why go to the forest to look for God? He is omnipresent but beyond everything and He is within you too”. God is within, like the fragrance in a flower. So, it is said, “Kah Nanak bin apa chinhe, mitey na bhram ki kai.” It means that unless a man knows his ‘Self’, his doubts will not be removed. Only Spiritual Knowledge can remove doubts.
You know that if a drowning person drags down the one who his trying to save him, they will both drown. Total surrendering is required there. If a person is drowning and he does not surrender, then he will get his rescuer drowned too. A doctor operates upon a patient if required. In the olden days before chloroform was discovered, the doctor had to tie the patient to the operating table. The patient used to scream, but now the doctor injects anaesthetic and the patient sleeps. The doctor knows thathe patient must surrender totally before he can operate. If you move either side and cry, then the operation cannot be performed successfully. In other words, surrendering is very essential. But when it comes to Spiritual Knowledge, no one wants to surrender. If you want salvation, then go to the Spiritual Master with a feeling of total surrender and get the Knowledge from him.
Once a parrot was sitting in a cage. He noticed a devotee who was going to satsang. He said to him, “You are very lucky to be able to go to satsang. Please put my humble petition to the Master and ask whether I can be released from this cage.” When the devotee met the Master he said, “Maharaj, on my way here, a certain caged parrot requested me to ask you if he can be released from his prison.” As soon as he heard this, the master closed his eyes and lay down. The devotee was puzzled and surprised to see this. On his way home from the Ashram, he came across that parrot, who asked him if there was any message from the master. The devotee replied, “You know, it’s very strange that just after I had asked your question, the master fell unconscious.” The parrot said, “The master has showered grace on me.”
Some time later, the parrot lay down on the floor of his cage. His master saw that he was neither eating nor drinking. He thought that the parrot must be dead. So he opened the cage, grabbed the parrot and threw it outside. The parrot immediately flew away. So, the master is the redeemer. He imparts the Knowledge by which a man is redeemed for ever, which is known as salvation.
There is proof in our scriptures that if you meditate, then you can even captivate God. Through the power of meditation, our saints and Masters achieved the highest spiritual level. This is the path to salvation.