The paathi sings the Bani of Sant Paltu Sahib ...
Atam soi upaadhi ka mool hai,
Kaam aur krodh
Phal phul laaga.
THIS IS THE BANI of Param Sant Satguru Paltu Sahib Ji. Paltu Sahib Ji is trying to explain the root of all lust, greed, anger, attachment, and egoism.
There are several fetters put on the soul. The first fetter is the physical body; then the fetter of the family; the fetter of the spouse; and, thereafter, the fetters of children; and further the fetters of the grandchildren. After taking birth in this body, the soul has to think day and night on all these fetters. First, the soul has to think of the body. And once the person becomes around fifteen, sixteen years of age, then the family members want the person to get married. So, once he gets married, he is entangled in two fetters. One is the fetter of his own body and second is the fetter of his spouse. When there are these two fetters, then the third fetter follows. They desire a child. Despite these fetters, desires do not come to an end. Thereafter, there are desires to have grandchildren. And once grandchildren are born, then the fetters of grandchildren are put on the soul and everything revolves around the grandchildren.
Paltu Sahib Ji says, “What is the reason for all of this? The reason, or the essence, is the soul.” So, if the soul were not in this body, then none of these fetters would be there. Once the soul has come into the body then, like a tree gets its fruit and branches, a soul gets these branches and fruits of anger, greed, attachment, lust, and egoism. The soul then gets sad and, day and night, it is only thinking about all of these things. It doesn't have the time to think of any other thing.
Lobh aur moh bahu bhaanti sakha chali
Daar aur path uthi karam jaaga.
These branches of greed and attachment start growing on the soul. And then, following those, the soul gets desires. To fulfill these desires the jiva, or the soul, has to do actions and, thus, gets entangled in karmas. Now, for fulfilling his greed or attachments towards his family, the jiva starts incurring all sorts of karmas. It stops discerning between good and bad karmas while pursuing its desires.
Because of these good and bad deeds that the jiva does, it is constantly in this cycle of life and death, sometimes in a higher form, sometimes in a lower form. It is all caused because of these karmas that he has done to achieve his desires.
Maharaj Ji* often used to relate this story of Valmiki. He was a dacoit in a forest. And to meet the needs of his family, his wife, children, and his parents, he would often kill people and loot them or rob them of their belongings. Every time he killed a person, he would cut the little finger of that person and he would add it to his garland of little fingers. And, over a period of time, the garland became so long that it touched the ground.
*Sant Ajaib Singh Ji
Narad Ji was observing this and he felt sad for Valmiki, as he was perhaps not aware of the kind of karmas he was incurring. And to redeem these karmas, it would take him several lives in hell. He wanted to enlighten Valmiki, so he passed through that forest with his bag and one musical instrument in his hand.
When he was passing through that forest, he saw Valmiki. Valmiki was known to slay people first and then plunder them. So, Narad Ji first graced Valmiki from a distance, and with that, a few karmas of Valmiki were reduced. And then he progressed and continued walking closer to Valmiki.
Again this thought came to him that Valmiki might kill him before he talks. He, therefore, graced him further and reduced his karmas a little more. And then he faced Valmiki.
Now, Valmiki asked him to give all his belongings and threatened that he would kill him otherwise. So, when he threatened Narad Ji, Narad Ji further graced him and reduced his karmas a little more. And he told Valmiki that, “Okay. I am a Sadhu and I have very little belongings but, whatever I have, I will give it to you. But before you take it, have you given a thought to all the karmas you are building up by killing people? You are doing all this killing and plundering for the sake of your family. Is your family also sharing all these karmas that you are incurring?”
So, Valmiki replied to him, “Of course, they will share my karmas, because they eat what I bring for them.” So, Narad Ji explained, “No. Whatever you are incurring as your karmas, only you are going to be paying for that.” Narad Ji told him to go and check with his family, whether they also thought they would be sharing his karmas.
Valmiki then tied Narad Ji to a tree, lest he try to escape, and went to ask this question to his family. He first went to his parent’s house. And he asked his parents that, “Look, I kill people and I rob them. And, from their belongings, I get food for you. So, are you only going to share that food, or are you also going to share the karmas with me?”
The parents told him that, “Look, we are old, we are aged now and you are our son. It is your duty to provide for your parents. Now, we are not responsible for how you manage that. So, we will not partake in your sins.”
Valmiki was quite shocked to hear this. Thereafter, he went to his wife and children and he posed the same question that he kills people and gets their wealth and, with that wealth, he brings riches to the family. So, accordingly, he asked were they willing to share his karmas and his sins, or is it only the wealth that they would share? So they also told him that,”Look, you are the bread earner of the family and it is your duty to bring up, raise your children and provide for the family. Now, how you do it and what sins you are incurring is something that only you will have to pay for, and we are not responsible for that.”
After listening to all this, he started repenting a lot, because he felt that, “Whatever I bring for them, they are taking, but whatever I am incurring as my sins, only I have to pay for.”
So, he went running back to Narad Ji and he untied him from the tree. And he bowed down and he asked Narad Ji to tell him and show the way of how he should pay off — or redeem — his sins.
So, Narad Ji initiated him under that same tree and gave him the jap of repeating 'Rama, Rama', and told him to repeat that word, and he said, “If you keep doing this, your sins will be redeemed.”
So, Valmiki started doing his repetition. He was given the mantra, or japa, of ‘Rama’ (Rama is the name of Narayan). But he said ‘Mara’ instead of ’Rama’. Told to repeat ‘Rama, Rama’, he said ‘Mara, Mara’ instead. Mara means ‘killed’. So, he kept repeating ‘kill, kill’, in that way. But, despite that, his repetition and his Simran got him to the pedestal of a Brahm Rishi. So, he rose, his soul went up to Brahm. And ten thousand years before the birth of Rama, he wrote the Ramayana.
So, that way, a person incurs all these karmas, these deeds, for all these attachments that he has. And he has to then pay for these karmas that he is incurring and goes into the lifecycle of 8.4 million lives.
Sanjam kuladi se ped ko kati de.
Dar aur path sab sukhi jhaaga.
Since the soul is completely entangled in these fetters, in this ‘tree’, how does one liberate the soul? He says, “This can be done. The tree can be cut through the axe of the discipline of regularity of doing Simran, Dhyan, and Bhajan.” By doing devotion, by doing Simran and Dhyan and Bhajan, the tree of fetters starts drying up. The branches of lust and anger start drying up. And, likewise, the attachments, the roots of attachment and ego, also dry up. But, without meditation and without devotion, this tree of fetters keeps growing. The branches keep growing. The fruits of attachment, lust, anger, ego, greed, all these keep growing. So, the tree of burden, or the tree of fetters, keeps growing. Only by the discipline of Simran and Bhajan and Dhyan can this tree be cut down.
Das paltu kahe mool na seechiye.
Bina jal dihe sab rog bhaaga.
Paltu Sahib Ji says, “What is the solution to this? The solution lies in not giving water to that tree of fetters.” By not giving water to the tree, He means by not doing more and more deeds and increasing the burden and increasing the tree, or growing the tree. So, stop following these desires. A satsangi has to incur karmas because we have to do our worldly path also. But, then how should you incur these karmas? You should incur these karmas, or do your acts and actions, without the fruit of desire, without attachment to those actions. It is only when we do our deeds with the desires around them that we have to come back to pay off these deeds. But, if we do not have desires around these deeds, then we are free. So, we should always think we belong to the Guru and then do our deeds.
Ak hi phaas main bhajai tehu lok sab.
Bhajai tehu lok ak sant chootai.
All the three worlds are locked up in one noose. And what is that noose? It is the noose of karmas. So, karmas are predominant across all the three planes; that is, the physical, the astral and the causal planes. Even if we look at the astral, or we look at the heavens where there are gods, even there, they have an astral body. And so long as you have a body, you have to perform your deeds and incur karmas. And, even with gods, there are marriages and there are families. And, likewise, there are fights for the throne of the king of gods. So, things are no different there. Karmas have to be incurred across the astral, causal and physical planes. Even the 330 million gods who reside in the heavens incur these karmas. Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh also suffer from these karmas.
Lord Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu. He killed Bali by hiding behind a tree.
And when Bali asked him, “Why did you kill me? I had a fight with my brother, why did you have to intervene and kill me?”
Rama tried to explain but finally admitted that this was a sin and he told Bali that he would redeem this karma in his avatar as Krishna.
So, later, Vishnu reincarnated as Krishna, towards the end of Mahabharata when Kali Yuga was setting in. All the warriors and all the great people of the earlier yuga had to perish to make way for people in the Kali Yuga. Krishna asked all the Pandavas, who had won the battle, to go in the Himalayas and perish there.
And, later, he himself was resting in a forest. And it was this very Bali, whom he had killed as Rama earlier, who came in the form of a hunter in that same jungle. Krishna’s foot had a marking that looked like the eye of a deer, and this hunter mistook Krishna’s foot for the eye of the deer and he shot his arrow.
When that hunter shot that arrow, it hit the foot of Krishna and it started bleeding. And when he came, he realized, “Oh, this is Lord Krishna whom I have shot!” And he begged for forgiveness.
But, Krishna replied, “No, it is not your fault. In the earlier yuga, in the Treta Yuga, you were Bali and I had killed you as Rama. So, this is that very sin, which I am now redeeming.”
So, therefore, every living being within these three worlds is within the clutch of karmas. And karmas are the essence of everyone within these three planes.
Now, Paltu Sahib says that the only people who are not within the realm of this karma are the Masters because They have risen above Their body, gone to the Tenth Door, and then They have risen above Par Brahm and got out of the clutch of Kal. And that is how They are outside the bondage of karma.
Ak hi raasta karm ka bhaari hai.
Gaye us raaha so sabhai loote.
Hesays that Kal and Maya have kept only one path. And that is the path of karmas. And everyone who treads that path has all got plundered and no one is saved. Kal and Maya have made karmas the essence of all the three worlds. A jiva cannot come into this world without karmas. And everyone, who has and incurs any karma, has to again come and redeem or pay back that karma. So, whatever form or in whatever context he has incurred that karma, he will take rebirth and pay off that in a similar fashion. The jivas incur these karmas following their desires. So, to fulfill their desires, jivas do these actions. And these actions then become the karmas for which they have to come back in the cycle of life and death to pay off these karmas, or these deeds.
The Masters say, “Even We are incurring these deeds. But, We are doing these without desires, seeing them as Our duties here, and they are done with Our love and affection at the Feet of the Master.”
Thus, everyone is incurring karmas. But, when you are incurring these karmas, do so without any desires. And do that with the devotion at the Feet of the Master.
Raah jhaadi mahe prem ke aughatai.
Gahe bhachi sant nahi rom toote.
The only people who have escaped from this tree and these fetters are the Masters Who have adopted the Path of love and devotion to Their Masters. They have done Their deeds without any desires. So, whatever actions we do with desires, we have to come and take birth again to fulfill those desires.
Das paltu kahe sant ki raah taji,
Karam ki raah ge karma phoote.
Paltu Sahib Ji says that those who leave the Path of the Masters and take the path of the karmas, there the tree keeps growing. The tree of burden keeps growing. Those who follow the Path of the Masters and do their actions and deeds without desires, and do it as if they belong to the Masters and the God Almighty, they very easily pass from this Path. And those who take the help of their mind and their desires to do these karmas, they get entangled more and more in karmas.
There is a small example. There was a devotee who was following a rishi and doing seva. And he started staying with the rishi and was devoted to the rishi for almost five or six years.
Once he got a call from his family and he told the rishi that, “Master, my family has called me, so I would like to visit them.” He told the rishi that, “Please, I am a very poor man and my family is very poor. Please bless us so that we are not found wanting for our food and clothes.”
The rishi graced the devotee and he said, “Okay.” He gave him four candles and he said, “Okay, when you go home, you light the first candle and you start walking eastward, and where the candle burns out, you dig at that place. You will get some treasure. So, likewise, you take the second candle the next day and go towards the north; and there again, when the candle burns out, you dig and you will get some treasure there. Likewise, go in the third direction the next day, go towards the west the following day, and light the candle in a similar matter. When it burns out you again dig and you will get a lot of treasure there. But, then, don't light the fourth candle. And don't go south.”
So, the devotee was very thrilled and he took the four candles and went home. When he went home, he felt, “Who was going to wait for four days to burn all the candles? Let us light all the four candles, go in all the directions and whatever we get, we’ll become rich in one day only.”
So, he first went in the easterly direction and he lit his candle. In an hour or so, the candle burnt out. He dug there and he got a pot of rupees there. He came back quickly with that pot and lit the second candle and went northwards.
He went about a half a kilometer. When it burnt out, he dug there and got a pot of silverware. So, he took the silverware back home, lit the third candle and then went in a westerly direction.
He went about a kilometer and there it burnt out and he dug and he got a pot of gold. So, he took that gold home. He was happy that his family’s poverty had been alleviated.
And then he wondered why his master told him not to light the fourth candle. He felt that every time he went in a direction, the wealth had only been increasing so, perhaps, the fourth candle would take him to the den of Kubera, the god of wealth. He could not resist that temptation and he lit the fourth candle and went in the southern direction.
When he went there and the candle burned out after a kilometer, he started digging. And then he kept digging there about three to four feet. And then he found the roof of a house at the bottom. So, he was very thrilled and he felt this must be the house of Kubera. He dug further and found a door of that house. He opened the door and went inside.
There he found a man standing with that roof of the house on his head. So, he asked that man, who was standing there with the roof on his head, “Is this the house of Kubera?”
The man said, “Yes, yes, yes, this is the house of Kubera.”
So, he said, “Okay, can you show me the way?”
He said, “Can't you see I have so much weight on my head?”
So, this devotee said, “Okay, I’ll just hold it for you. You quickly show me the way to the treasure.”
The man bowed down, and this disciple took his place and stood with that roof on his head. And he said, “Okay, now tell.”
He said, “Yes, this is the house of Kubera itself. And, just like you, I had come here, God only knows how many years back, and I had also not followed instructions. I’d come and I felt that I would never be free from this place. But, now that you have come, you bear this weight and I will go. Now, you will only be able to leave when the next greedy person like you comes here!”
This way our greed and attachments only keep increasing. And, how much ever we try to wriggle out, we keep getting more and more entangled in them.
Das paltu kahe sant ki raah taji
Karam ki raah ge karma phoote.
Paltu Sahib Ji says, “Those people who have left the Path of the Masters and have walked the path of the karmas, they have kept getting more and more entangled.”
Chod bekaam ko kaam karu aapna.
Ghafalat mahe din jaat beeta.
Paltu Sahib Ji says, “Leave the work of others and do your own work.” So, Maharaj Ji says, “Whatever work we are doing, we are working for others. We are working in our jobs and our business, we are working for the employer and the business; otherwise, we are working for our family. And we are constantly working for everybody else.”
What is your own work? Your own work is the liberation of your soul. So, therefore, Paltu Sahib Ji says, “Do your own work, which is the liberation of your soul, and leave the other work, which is what you are currently doing.” Because you have got such a precious human life, and this is for you to get liberated, for your soul to get liberated. So, do this work also.
Dhokh dhanda karai mare sar pataki ke.
Ram ke naam se raha reeta.
Paltu Sahib points out that the jiva has been engaged throughout his life in satisfying his ego, in getting a position in society, in managing his business or his job, and this precious time given by God Almighty has been wasted. This precious time should have been spent in the devotion of the Masters and in doing NaamSimran. Everything that we are otherwise doing is going to be left behind here. The only wealth that you are going to take with you is the wealth of Simran, the wealth of Naam and devotion.
Byaaj batta mahe lagaa din raat tu.
Chala tan hari byohaar jeetaa.
What we often do is that we have the wealth given to us by our karmas and by the Grace of the Masters. We are engaged in investing this wealth and making and earning income and interest on that wealth so that our progeny gets paid from there, our children and grandchildren get paid from there. What Paltu Sahib is saying is, “Stop! You're gaining and spending all your precious time for everybody else, but you are not caring for your soul, for your atma, and for the liberation of your soul.”
So, instead of accumulating the wealth outside, you should accumulate the wealth of Naam, which will go with you and which will liberate your soul.
Das paltu kahe yaad karu yaad karu,
Bol be balakay ram sita.
After saying all this, Paltu Sahib says, “Remember the God Almighty. Remember the God Almighty, because you never know when the breath of your life will stop.” Do the Simran and do the devotion, because you have been given this life for the liberation of your soul. Use this time to do that work, which is your work of Naam and devotion. So, what is the result of all our attachments and all the time that we have spent in worldly pursuits? It is repentance. At the time of death, when we have to leave all these things for which we have worked so hard, we repent at that time.
So, therefore, Mahatmas say, “Use your time to accumulate wealth, which will go with you, which will liberate your soul, which will get you to meet God Almighty.”
Das paltu kahe yaad karu yaad karu
Bol be balakay ram sita.