SATSANG 09 Jan 2017 Afternoon

Company Provides A Strong Influence On Whether A Person Goes On The Right Path Or The Wrong Path
The Paathi sings the Bani of Sant Paltu Sahib from the book: Paltu Sahib ki Bani, Part I, pg 31

Malaya ke parsang se seethal hovath saap,
Malaya ke parsang se seethal hovath saap.

THIS IS THE BANI of Param Sant Satguru Paltu Sahib. In this Bani, Paltu Sahib has tried to illustrate how the company influences a person.

Ever since a baby is born, the baby needs company throughout his life. So, company influences the person, and it has a strong influence on deciding whether the person goes on the right path, or goes on the wrong path. So, Paltu Sahib, in this Bani, has explained how different kinds of company and different kinds of associations have influences.

There is a Malayagiri Mountain in the Himalayan mountain range. And, on this mountain, there are several sandalwood trees. The sandalwood tree has this trait of having a very cooling factor on various snakes in the north of India. When there is heat, snakes like to come and feel cool around these trees.

In summer, when there is a lot of heat, the poison within the snakes also makes it even hotter for the snakes, and they come out of the snake holes. In order to cool themselves, the snakes wrap themselves around these sandalwood trees. That is how the snake cools itself around these sandalwood trees.

Now, these sandalwood trees on this mountain have a very good aroma and smell, and that smell carries for almost two to three kilometers. So, in order to procure that sandalwood from that tree, one has to tackle these snakes. Each tree would have two or three snakes wrapped around it. So, one has to first kill the snake, or get the snake away from the tree, and then only, they can procure that sandalwood.

Just like that snake feels cool around these trees and they are a cooling influence on the snake, like that, when worldly people go to Saints, the Saints have a cooling effect on the worldly people. Worldly people are so entangled in their attachments, and these attachments cause all sorts of anxiety and stress to the people. And they are constantly thinking about this and, in that anxiety, when they go to meet the Saints and listen to the Satsangs with love and affection, that has a very calming effect on those people.

Through Satsangs, so many drunkards leave drinking. So many people, who take drugs and other intoxicants, they leave those vices. People who are non-vegetarian, when they come within the influence of the Masters, they also become vegetarian, and they leave their taste for non-vegetarian food. All these things increase the difficulties and increase the worries of the people, and they go to Satsangs and listen to the Masters. And then, they understand the reality of this world, and they wonder why they are carrying those anxieties.

Seethal hovat saap taap ko turath bhujaayi,
Seethal hovat saap taap ko turath bhujaayi,
Sangat ke parbhaav seethalatha vaa mein aayi.

Paltu Sahib says, “The venom of the snake cools down, because of the sandalwood. And they feel cool around the tree there. The heat that they have in the body cools down because they are wrapped around this tree.”

Like that, Satsangs are a great thing. And people, who have past impressions, when they go into Satsangs with love and affection, then they get completely transformed by the Teachings of the Masters there.

There is this story in Punjab of Bhai Manj. Bhai Manj was a very wealthy farmer, and he had hundreds of acres of land. When he went to the Satsang of Guru Arjan Dev, there he was very much influenced by the Satsang. He went a couple of times, and then he asked for initiation from the Master.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji noticed that, in the land of Bhai Manj, there was a tomb of Sheikh Sarwar, and all the villagers would go there and offer their prayers to Sheikh Sarwar there. So, Guru Arjan Dev Ji told Bhai Manj, “You go and level that land and remove that tomb from your farm. And then, you come here for initiation.”

In those days, initiation was not readily given to people seeking initiation. The people had to be fitted properly for it. And, only then, they would be given initiation for which they had to do a lot of hard work. So, Saints used to take a test of the disciple before giving him initiation.

So, similarly, Arjan Dev Ji decided to test Bhai Manj and, therefore, He had asked him to have this tomb removed from his farm.

Now, Bhai Manj was a very strong and influential person in the village, because he was a very big farmer. So, one night, he called a few of the farmhands, and he asked them to level that land and remove that tomb because he was very keen to get initiated. In the morning, when the villagers saw that there was no tomb, they were quite sad, and they felt that Bhai Manj had done something wrong in removing this tomb. So, they felt that Bhai Manj had taken this seer’s tomb out and, therefore, they started saying bad things about Bhai Manj. The villagers did not like this, but Bhai Manj did not pay heed to what the villagers were saying. However, the villagers stopped those farmhands from going to Bhai Manj.

So, the villagers said, “Bhai Manj has to do repentance for this because he has taken this tomb of this seer away. And he has destroyed that tomb. So, he has to repent for this.”

But, Bhai Manj did not listen to all this, and he continued with his following of his Master.

Now, also, the Master continued to test him. And soon, a few other bad occurrences started happening. Some of his cattle died. People stopped coming to work. So, that way, a lot of these things started happening, and he was not getting income from the farm. He had to start selling his land to get income. Even some of his family members left him. But, he did not budge on this, and the villagers continued to blame all these things on him because he had broken that tomb of that Pir.

So, they told him that he should repent at least now, and then, perhaps in a year, this bad omen would go away.

But, Bhai Manj did not listen to all that, and he continued. He was selling his land, part by part, to get his income. And, over two or three years, he got one of his daughters married also. And all those expenses were also paid off from the sale of land. So, that way, over a three-year period, he ended up selling his full land.

In the family now, only he, his wife, and his younger daughter, the three of them, were there. Everyone else had left and he had no further land. So, he felt that, now, he should go, since there's no further income. He should go to someplace where there is water in the land and where he can become a laborer there and work. So, they decided to move out of the village, because no one would give him a job in the village. His wife also agreed, and they tied up a small parcel of clothes that they had and some utensils, and they left from that village. He went outside, and then, he got a small job. They built a small hut, and he started staying there. Around six months passed, and now, Guru Arjan Dev Ji wrote a letter to Bhai Manj, and He told the Sevadar, “You hand-deliver this letter, and ask him to pay you twenty rupees to open this letter.”

So, that sevadar came to Bhai Manj, and he said, “The Master has written a letter to you.”

Bhai Manj was very happy with that, and he asked for that letter. But, the sevadar asked him to pay the price for it first. So, Bhai Manj went to his wife, and they both discussed this. And he asked her if she had got something that she could give, so that money could get paid. So, his wife took out whatever little ornaments and little jewelry that she had kept aside for herself, and she took that, and she gave it to him. So, he took that jewelry and went to a jeweler in a nearby village. And that jeweler purchased that jewelry from him and paid him exactly twenty rupees. So, he took that twenty rupees and went back and paid the sevadar that money, and he got the letter.

Now, he opened the letter to read it, and what was written there was, "I'm fine here, how are you?”

But, Bhai Manj felt very happy, because his Master had remembered him. He took that letter and he touched his forehead there, and he touched it to his heart, and he was very happy reading that letter.

Again, six months passed like that. And, after six months, again, the Master sent him a letter, similarly, through a sevadar. And, this time, his Master said, “Take thirty rupees for giving him this letter to read.”

So, again, Bhai Manj conferred with his wife, but this time she said, “I have given you all my belongings. Now, I have nothing left.” So, they both were wondering what to do.

Now, they had their younger daughter who, by now, was about fourteen years old. So, some years ago, in the nearby village, one of the farmers had asked for her hand for his son's wedding, but they had refused, because Bhai Manj was a bigger farmer and, earlier, they had refused that proposal. So, he felt that they’d asked for his daughter's hand and, last time, they had not agreed to that proposal, but maybe, for the younger daughter, they could go back. Since the elder daughter was married, it was not possible to have her married. So, they went back to that farmer and they told him, “You had come with the proposal to have my daughter married into your family. Now, that daughter is already married. I can offer you my younger daughter in marriage, but I need thirty rupees for that.”

Now, that farmer was aware of Bhai Manj and his condition, so he felt, “He is in very bad condition. And his daughter will also be suffering, because of that. So, it's okay if we have her married and take her into our family. She can stay more peacefully and happily here.” So, they agreed to the proposal, and they gave him thirty rupees.

Again, he went back and gave thirty rupees to that sevadar, and got that letter to read. So, he opened the letter and he read it. And the Master had written, “Whatever state you are in right now, you come to the
ashram.” So, he was very happy that Master had remembered him and had called him to the ashram.

So, they packed away the few utensils that they had, and whatever clothes they had, and they left for the ashram. So, they went to the ashram and they started doing seva while staying in the ashram. However, whenever they went for Darshan of the Master, the Master always looked the other way, as if He was talking to someone else. And, whenever they would come, they would simply pass and He would not give any attention to them.

Around six months passed like this, and He would not give any attention to them. So, once, when they had come like that to take Darshan, the Master spoke to the other person there, and He asked him, “Has Bhai Manj come to the ashram?” So, He was talking to this person and Bhai Manj’s wife overheard and she was listening to this. The intention was that she would hear this. So, He was speaking to the other sevadar, and He asked him, “Has Bhai Manj come?”

He said, “Yes, Bhai Manj has come. He has been here for almost six months.” So, the Master said, “Then, what is he doing here for six months?” He said, “They are doing seva in the ashram, and they eat here also. They stay here.”

The Master said, “Then, if he's doing seva and he's eating, then what value is he adding to the ashram? Both are equal. He’s doing seva, and he’s eating his food. So, both are equal.”

So, his wife promptly went back and told Bhai Manj what she had overheard the Master speaking.

Bhai Manj thought about this, that, “Yes, what the Master is saying is right. We are doing seva, and we are eating food here, so there is nothing added. Both are equal and we’re not really doing any seva. So, what we’ll do now is that we will not eat in the ashram. We’ll not eat at the langar. You do the seva of cleaning the utensils throughout the day, and that will be the seva. And I will go out, and I will cut some firewood, and I will make two parcels of that firewood. One parcel I will give to the ashram, so that is our seva, and the other firewood I will take to the nearby village and sell it. And, with that, I will buy some food for both of us to eat.”

So, this went on for about one year. He would, daily, go into the forest, cut wood, and do as he had planned.

Now, after about a year went by, once it so happened that, in the morning, about 9 o'clock, when he had gone to the forest to cut firewood, he made these two heavy bundles and he was carrying them. And, while he was walking, suddenly, there was a thunderstorm and there was a lot of wind and, because of the storm’s strong winds, the wind pushed Bhai Manj. And, since he was carrying that load, and there was a lot of dust around, visibility was very poor. So, because of the strong wind, he got pushed, and he fell in an old well nearby. And there was about four feet of water in that well. So, he was standing, and he was still holding on to the two bundles of firewood that he had cut. And he was worried that, if he lets that down, then that firewood would become wet. So, he continued to hold it like that, because he wanted to give that as seva to the ashram.

Around the same time, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was giving a Satsang. And, as soon as this incident happened, He immediately got up from that Satsang. Guru Arjan Dev Ji left that talk and started running towards that forest.

All the other people, who were sitting in that Satsang, suddenly, wondered why their Master had left like that, and started running towards the forest. So, people followed the Master and they all started running behind him.

He told one of the sevadars, “Bring some rope, and bring one ladder also.” So, He went into that forest, close to where Bhai Manj had fallen in that well. It was about one and a half to two kilometers away. And, once He reached there, He stood at a slight distance from that well. And He told that sevadar, “Go inside. In that well, get the person out. Put the ladder in and help him out.”

He kept himself at a slight distance, as He wanted to listen to what these people had to say about the whole thing.

So, they tied that ladder when they saw Bhai Manj inside that well. They tied the ladder to a rope and they lowered the ladder into the well. They told Bhai Manj, “You throw that firewood, climb the ladder, and come out.”

But, Bhai Manj said, “You first get this firewood out. That belongs to the Master and to the ashram. So, you first take that firewood out, then I will come.”

So, the sevadar said, “What ‘Guru, Guru’, what ‘Master, Master’, are you doing? You have been following that Master and you've lost everything that you had. All your possessions are gone. You’ve lost everything in your life, and you're still doing ‘Guru, Guru’?” So, they said, “Just throw that firewood down and come.”

But, Bhai Manj said, “No, no, no. Don't say such things about my Master. Whatever you want to say, you can tell me. But don't say such things about my Master.”

So, he first tied that firewood, and he gave that out, and then, he climbed up the ladder.

Seeing all this and hearing all this, then Guru Arjan Dev ran to that well, and He embraced Bhai Manj, and He gave him a boon. He told Bhai Manj, "Whoever you initiate will go to Sat Lok in his lifetime itself.” And He helped his soul to go back to Sach Khand, and the Master told him that He was very pleased with him. He asked him to ask for anything that he wanted. He also told him, “If you want to rule all the three worlds, then I will also take Kal out, and I will give you his position.”

So, he said, “No no. I don't want that. If I have a Sat Purush like you, why would I want all of that?”

But, the Master insisted. He said, “No, you ask for something because I'm very happy with you.”

So, Bhai Manj said, “Okay. Since You are asking me to ask for something, what I would pray to You is that, going forward, there is going to be Ghor Kali Yuga, and it will be very difficult for disciples to meet such tests that You give to them. So, henceforth, I would request of You that Masters should not take such tests of disciples before giving initiation.”

So, thereafter, the Masters have stopped taking such tests before They give initiation. And all that we see now, all Masters, as a result of that, now give initiation without doing those kinds of tests.

So, Bhai Manj underwent all of this hardship, and he went through all of that, but what he asked was for the benefit of everybody.

Moorakh gyaani hoy jaay gyaani mein baithe,
Moorakh gyaani hoy jaay gyaani mein baithe,
Phool alag ka alag basanaa til mein paite.

Paltu Sahib says, “An ignorant person also, when he goes in the company of the Masters, also becomes very knowledgeable.” He gives a simile of that. He gives an example of how scientists prepared perfume conventionally in India.

If you want to make a perfume out of a flower, then that flower is kept along with sesame seeds. And it is packed together with a little water sprinkled on that. So, after a period, that sesame seed absorbs all the perfume of that flower. Thereafter, the seed is separated and it is dried in a cool place, not under the sun. And it is, then, put through a small grinder, where they take the oil and the essence out of that sesame seed. So, that sesame seed absorbs the scent and perfume of that flower. And, when they extract that essence, it gives an aromatic oil of that flower. That same sesame seed, if you just take the oil out, it will sell for about eighty rupees per kilogram. But, as a perfume, it sells for a thousand rupees per kilogram.

That way, the ignorant people, when they go in the company of the literate and the learned, then they also become knowledgeable.

Kanchan loya hoy jaaha paaras chui jaayi,
Kanchan loya hoy jaaha paaras chui jaayi,
Panpai ukata kaat jahaa un sardi paai.

He gives another example of iron. Iron sells at about thirty-seven rupees per kilogram. But, when the same iron comes in the company, or it is touched with a philosopher's stone, then it gets converted into gold. And that gold sells for thirty thousand rupees for ten grams.

So, like the iron converts itself into gold and completely transforms itself, because of the touch of the philosopher's stone, like that, people who are very big sinners and who have very bad deeds, they also, when they come in contact with the Masters, or the Mahatmas, they also shed off all of their bad vices. And they also get on this Path and they become Mahatmas themselves.

So, where a dried tree is cut, when that gets the soil and water, even that grows into a green tree.

Paltu sangat kiye se mitathe teenau taap,
Paltu sangat kiye se mitathe teenau taap,
Malayaa ke parsang se seethal hovath saap.

That way, Paltu Sahib says, “With the company of the Masters, all our three gunas, or
the sato, rajo, and tamogunas, they also get transformed. They also settle down.”

In every individual, one of the three gunas is dominant. And that influences the behavior of that person. So, one of these gunas determines and influences the person.

Where the satogun is dominant, the people do more devotion, they do prayers, and they are more inclined towards spirituality. The rajogun, where that is dominant, those people are more of the intellectual types. They are traders, or they are businessmen or those types. And where the tamogun is dominant, those people are more of people who would like to drink intoxicants, or kill people or kill animals and those kinds.

So, these three gunas, we draw from Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, and each of these has one guna. And that is what each individual gets.

When we come into the company of the Masters, whichever is the dominant guna, or all of the three, those get settled when we come within the influence of the Masters.

This is the beginning of a new Bani:

Paaras ke parsang se loha mahang bikhaan.
Paaras ke parsang se loha mahang bikhaan.

Paltu Sahib says, “Like the touch of the philosopher's stone converts the iron into gold, like that, a person who goes and gets in the company of the Masters, he also gets transformed.”

Loha mahang bikhaan chue se keemath nikaree.
Loha mahang bikhaan chue se keemath nikaree.
Chandan ke parsang chandan bhayi ban kee lakari.

Paltu Sahib says, “Like the philosopher's stone, because of the touch of that, the value of the iron significantly increases. Like that, even in this Malayagiri Mountain, where there are these sandalwood trees, the aroma of those trees, the smell of those trees, because of that smell, even the other trees, which are there, which could be a neem tree also, or a babul tree also, even when we cut the wood of those trees, those also smell like sandalwood.”

Like that, when a person goes in the company of the Masters, even if he has sinned a lot, he redeems those sins and improves his deeds. He starts doing good deeds. And, that way, there is this influence of the Masters.

Jaise til ka tel phool sang mahang bikhaayi,
Jaise til ka tel phool sang mahang bikhaayi,
Satsangat mein pada sant bhaa sadan kasaai.

Paltu Sahib says, “Like the sesame seed, when it gets the aroma of the flower, again, it transforms and the value of that sesame seed improves, and one gets aromatic oil from that.”

Like that, He gives an example of a butcher, who went in the company of the Masters. And he also became a Mahatma. The example of this Sadhna Qasai is that he had good impressions. Though he was not killing of his own, he was in the family of butchers. He would be selling meat, but he himself would not engage in these violent activities.

He had this stone, which is called ‘Saligram stone’, and this stone was used as a measure of weight, in his weighing machine for selling meat. So, if someone had to take half a kilogram of meat, he would put this stone, and it would measure half a kilogram. Even if he had to sell one kilogram of meat, that stone would measure one kilogram, and he would be able to sell one kilogram of meat.

So, this Saligram stone, this Sadhna Qasai used to offer prayers to that stone also.
Once, it so happened that one sadhu was passing by, and he noticed that this butcher has a Saligram stone, which he is using for weighing. So, he was wondering, “How is such a precious stone in the hands of this butcher?” So, when the butcher offered to give him some money, he said, “I don't want any money. Give me that stone.”

So, the sadhu took that stone from him, and then, he made a proper offering for that stone. He bathed it with milk and he cleaned that stone. And then, he offered flowers to it, and he did a puja of that stone also.

So, because that stone had been given away, Sadhna the butcher was also feeling lost, because he had given that idol to which he used to worship every day, that Saligram stone. And, here, this sadhu had that stone with him.

So, in the night, when the sadhu slept, Saligram appeared in his dreams. And he told the sadhu, “If you want good to happen to you, then you should take this stone back to where it was.”

But the sadhu, in his dreams, was talking and he said, “You have kept it with a butcher, it was such an awful place where he had kept you. I have offered all the prayers to you, and I’ve kept you in such a nice place, made all the offerings, yet you are unhappy here.”

So, Saligram said, “You are just offering me prayers, making all these offerings on a very outward and shallow basis. But, that person, who had this stone where I was earlier, he had love in his heart. And so, I want to go back there.”

The next day, he went and returned that stone to that butcher. That sadhu said, “Sorry.” And he left. But then, that Sadhna, the butcher, he realized, “I have been, actually, not treating this as a deity. This is God, and I have not been treating Him well. I have been putting Him in this scale where I am putting flesh.” So, he cleaned the stone and he kept it on his head. And then, he left that shop, the house, and he left his occupation. He left, and he became a Mahatma.

So, that way, these influences change a person. And that is how Sadhna Qasai also became a Mahatma.

Ganga mein hai subhgang mili jo naara sothee,
Ganga mein hai subhgang mili jo naara sothee,
Seep beech jo padain boondh so hovein mothee.

Then He says, “All the sewers, which run into the Ganges, finally, all that water becomes the Ganges only. And it is all sacred water, where people bottle it and take it home for prayers.” So, that’s how this dirty, filthy water, when it mixes with the water of Ganges, that also becomes the water of Ganges. Like that, there are so many shells in the sea. There are so many oysters in the sea. But, it is only that oyster which comes in the contact with a drop of rain of the swati nakshatra that yields a pearl. And that becomes like an ornament of the sea.

Paltu hari ka naam se ganika chadi bimaan,
Paltu hari ka naam se ganika chadi bimaan,
Paaras ke parsang se loha mahang bikaan.

He gives another example of Ganika. She was a prostitute, but then, she also got in the company of Mahatmas. And, finally, Lord Vishnu came and, at the time of her death, he came to take her, and she also was taken to heaven by Vishnu.

Like that, whoever, whether it’s a sinner or whether it is a pious person, when they come in the influence of Mahatmas, of Saints, of Masters, then they also imbibe Their qualities.

Paltu hari ka naam se ganika chadi bimaan,
Paltu hari ka naam se ganika chadi bimaan,
Paaras ke parsang se loha mahang bikaan.