The paathi sings the Bani of Swami Ji Maharaj...
Yeh tan durlab tumne paaya,
Koti janam bhatkaa jab khaaya.
THIS IS THE BANI of Param Sant Satguru Swami Ji Maharaj. All the Masters have praised the human body. It is a very precious, priceless jewel. God Almighty gives a chance of taking birth in a human body after the soul has gone through cycles of more than 8.4 million lives, wandering in more than tens of millions of lives. So, God Almighty gives this life to meet with God Almighty to get out of this cycle and to meet the Father. So, He gives this life after good deeds of tens of millions of lives that we've gone through. We get this human life, and with the Grace of God Almighty, we get the company of the Masters.
For those souls that He wants to assimilate in Him, He sends the Saints. The souls get connected within with the Grace of the Saints. Saints are connected to the God Almighty. And They then get the soul connected to the Sound Current and make the soul do the devotion and meditation, and then take the soul to God Almighty. So, therefore, Swami Ji Maharaj says, “After tens of millions of lives that you have gone through, you have got this human life form. So, this is like a very, very precious jewel.”
What you could not do in all the earlier life forms, and what you can do now in this human life, is the devotion of God Almighty. So, to have a livelihood, to provide for our food, shelter, that even the animals do, even the birds do. But, if we spend our whole lifetime only doing that, then we have wasted a very precious life form.
Ab ya ko birtha mat khovo,
Cheto chin chin bhakti kamaavo.
Swami Ji Maharaj advises us, “Don't waste your time. Don't waste this precious life. Spend it in devotion, and collect that priceless wealth of Naam that shall go with you and shall enable you to get salvation and take you to your True Home.”
If you don’t do your devotion, then this precious time and opportunity are lost and, in the end, we have repentance.
We come here and we get entangled in Kal and Maya. We associate with Kal and Maya and do all of the things here. And the same Kal and Maya cause us a lot of suffering within.
So, when we get all attached and entangled with these worldly things when at the time of death we are so attached to these, we want to take these with us. And then, the messengers of death beat us. And they say, “How are you taking these things with you? They don't belong to you. They are of Kal and Maya.”
So, He says, “For that, such a wonderful time has been given to you by God Almighty. Use this time for devotion.”
Bhakti karo toh guru ki karna,
Maarag shabd guru se lena.
Shabd maargi guru na hove,
To joothi guruvaahi leve.
Swami Ji Maharaj now says, “Whose devotion should you be doing?” So, He says, “If you have to do the devotion, then do the devotion of a Living Master. Take the Teaching of the Surat Shabdabhyas, of the SuratShabd Teaching, from the Master.” Now, doubt crops up in our mind. Why should we do the devotion of the Masters? Why not do the devotion of more than 330 million deities that are there? Why not do devotion of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, or of somany other rishis, sages, mahatmas that are there?
Now, those whom we have not seen, we cannot meditate on them, we cannot contemplate on them. We see our Masters, and They explain by way of Satsang and the Teaching of this Path. Unlike this, we have never physically seen the deities and, as such, cannot contemplate on them. Therefore, it is not possible to do meditation on those forms.
On the contrary, we have seen our Master. The Master has given us Darshan. He has given us initiation. He has given us Satsang. And we can see Him. And, what we can see, we can contemplate. And we do our meditation of that Form.
For the Masters Who have come in the past, They have taken Their ‘steamer’, which is in the form of the Sound Current. They have taken their initiates in their ‘boat’ in the form of Sound Current. They have sailed away.
Now, we cannot sail in Their ship. Now, we have to sit in the ship of Naam where there is the Boatman in the current form. Therefore, we cannot contemplate on the Form of the Masters of the past. We have to seek a true Living Master Who shall initiate us and take us in His boat of Naam.
Guru soi jo shabd sanehi,
Shabd bina doosar nahi sei.
Shabd kaha main gagan shikhar ka,
Shabd kaha main sunn shahar ka.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “The True Master is a Master Who has done the practice of Surat Shabd Maarg, or Surat Shabd Yoga, and He teaches the Surat Shabd to His disciples.”
Surat Shabd Yoga has been there ever since the world was formed. Ever since the human form was formed, this Path has existed. So, this is not a Path created by any Master. It is a Path created by God Almighty Himself. And it is the Path through which, plane-by-plane, the soul has descended from the Sound Current and has come to the current form. And, when it returns also, it will go plane-by-plane through the Sound Current.
This is the same Path on which the Masters, with the Grace of Their Masters, have gone on the Sound Current and met God Almighty. And that is the same Teaching, which They give to Their disciples.
The different sages and different mahatmas will have different spiritual pursuits and they will have different teachings. But all the Masters have the same Teaching, have the same Path, whether He is born in SatYuga, or even if He is born in Kali Yuga.
Shabd kaha main bhavar dagar ka,
Shabd kaha main agam nagar ka.
Guru pehchaan khoob main gaai,
Dhokha ya main khuch na rahaai.
The Sound Current, which is reverberating at the back of the Eye Center at the Tenth Door, has come from Sat Lok-Sach Khand, from Anaami. From there, the Sound Current is taking care of the soul and the panch pranas below and the physical body.
So, Masters do the practice of the Surat Shabd Yoga. And They have always followed the Surat Shabd Yoga, and that is the Teaching that They give to Their disciples also. This is the indication of a True Master. There is no doubt in this. So, therefore, do not have any doubt thereafter. Follow the Path of the Masters and do your Bhajan Simran.
Shabad kamave so guru poora,
Un charanan ki ho ja dhura.
Aur pehchaan karo mat koi,
Laksh alaksh na dekho soi.
The Masters practice the Surat Shabd Yoga, and then They give us the initiation. Take that initiation and do your meditation. Do not have any doubt. There are no outwardly appearances that are any different.
They live like simple human beings, but within, They have done this practice, and They are teaching us the same practice. Outwardly, They may be of any caste, creed, or religion.
We should not bother ourselves with all of that. We should take that initiation and follow the Surat Shabd Yoga.
King Pipa once asked in his court, “Is there anyone else who is teaching like Kabir Sahib?”
Some of the pundits who were there and who used to go to Varanasi, they had heard of Ravidas. So, they said, “Yes, there is a person. There is Ravidas Who teaches in Varanasi after Kabir Sahib. But He is, by caste, a cobbler.”
The king thought, “Okay, that's fine. But, someday or the other, I have to go and take the Darshan of this Great Soul.” So, the king thought, “Okay, during the Shravan Maas, which is the time when people go for pilgrimages, they go to Varanasi and Prayag and all the major pilgrimage centers during that time. I will take that opportunity and I will also go on a pilgrimage to Varanasi.”
So, King Pipa and his ministers, accordingly, left for Varanasi. And then, they pitched their tents there in Varanasi. There were four or five different tents that were pitched. For the king, his family, then for the ministers, then for the guards, and they had their arrangements also made for their own food, etc.
After bathing in the Ganges a couple of days, the king thought, “Now, it’s a good opportunity. I should go and meet Ravidas.” So, he got his horse ready, and he told the others that he would just go around Varanasi and take a look, and others can continue and go and bathe in the Ganges and come later. And, accordingly, he got his horse ready and left. And then, asking for the address of Ravidas Ji, he went out in search to meet Him.
Ravidas Ji was doing a Satsang between 9:00 and 10:00, and that was the time the king reached there. And, after the Satsang, Ravidas Ji was giving Parshad to the people who were attending.
So, accordingly, the king also stood in the line to take Parshad. And, when his number came, he also entered the hut of Ravidas Ji to take the Parshad.
Now, on seeing him, Ravidas Ji felt, “This great king has come to meet me. So, I should give him some special blessing. I should give some special Parshad.” He was a cobbler. So, there was this leather, which He was tanning in that water, and that leather had become red with the color of the skins that were dipped in the water. But, just to show, He dipped His hand in that water and He offered that as Parshad.
When He did this, the king felt bad. And he got this feeling in his mind that, “This cobbler, once a cobbler, always a cobbler. And see, he's giving Parshad to everybody else. But just because I have come, he's trying to give me this water from his leather tannery. And, if I drink this, he will make me also a person of lower caste.” But, since it was being offered, he also put his hand forward to consume it. He had his kurta, his full-arm kurta, and he allowed that water to flow down into his kurta. He didn't consume it.
So, when he went back, he searched for a washerman. And he went to that washerman’s place. Now, of all those washermen, most of the family was out. There were only one eighty-year-old man and his small granddaughter. So, he gave the cloth to that old washerman. And he said, “You get this cleaned in your hot water.”
The old man had that six-year-old granddaughter. And before he put that cloth, that kurta, for washing in that hot water, he told this girl, “Okay, that stain, which is there in that water,” (because that had become red), so he said, "That stain, you suck that stain out, but don't swallow it. Spit it out, but just suck it so that it will get washed easily.”
Now, she was a small girl. So, she accidentally swallowed some of it. And she found that it was very sweet. And, when she swallowed it, her soul started moving upwards. And once she found it sweet, she started swallowing more. And, more and more, she started swallowing. The soul started progressing. And it, straightaway, went up to Sach Khand. So, that girl had all these experiences. And, she started doing the Satsangs, just like Ravidas.
So, a lot of people became very curious. And soon, the sangat was almost 3,000 to 4,000 people who had accumulated to listen to this six-year-old giving the discourses of Sant Mat. So, that way, slowly, the word spread, and the word also reached the king that there is this small girl who is very spiritually advanced.
The king thought that he must meet her, because earlier, in the last visit, he felt, “I met that cobbler. At least this girl is a washerman, so she is upper in caste.” So, he, accordingly, decided to meet her, and he sent his seat there to her.
So, he went there and sat and attended her Satsang. And, after listening to the Satsang, he went there to meet her and take her Darshan and he bent down to take her blessings.
Likewise, that girl also got off from her seat, and she also bent down and tried to touch the feet of the king also.
The king was a little annoyed, saying, “I have come here and you are a Great Soul. I am bending down to you. But why are you doing that to me?”
She told him, “Look, I have not bent and I have not sought your blessings as a king. But it is only because you are my Gurudev. I take you as a Gurudev. And, therefore, I've bent to take your blessings.”
So, he was quite shocked, and he was wondering, “When did I give you all these lessons?”
She said, “No. When you had given your kurta, my grandfather had asked me to suck out that stain. It is only because of that I got all these experiences within.” So, this shattered the ego of the king. And he, immediately, sat on his horse and went to take the blessings of Ravidas Ji. He then rode straight to Ravidas Ji, he rode to Varanasi. And there, he went and prayed to Ravidas Ji, “Please, shower Your Grace on me again. Please, give me that water again.”
Ravidas Ji said, “No, that is not possible now. When you had come, I thought that a great king had come to meet me. And I felt that I should bless you with a lot of Grace, and it was only symbolic that I showed that I'm giving this water. But the benefit of that has now gone to someone else who, deservingly, got it. So, now, I will give you initiation. Now, you have to make your efforts, and then, you will get the same experiences.”
So, he took the initiation from Ravidas Ji, and then he did a lot of meditation. And he himself also progressed to become a Master.
Ravidas Ji was a cobbler. He was of a lower caste. And King Pipa was of a kshatriya caste. He was of a higher caste.
Likewise, Mira Bai also was a princess. She was also of a higher caste. But leaving their castes aside, they had made Ravidas Ji their Guru.
Shabd bhed lekar tum unse,
Shabd kamao tum tan man se.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “Once you get the Master, take that initiation and do meditation and do your Simran and Dhyan. Don't look here and there.”
Apne jeev ki kuch daya paalo,
Chaurasi ka pher bachaa lo.
Nahi narkan main ati dukh paayiho,
Agni kund main chhin chhin dahiho.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “You grace your own soul. And then, the Masters will also shower Grace upon you, and the Almighty God will also shower Grace upon you. So, you do that effort, and grace your own soul.”
We are thinking of everybody else and all other problems in life. But we are not thinking of our own soul and what the problems our soul also has.
So, look at your own soul and be gracious to your own soul. And get it out of these sufferings. You grace your own soul and do your Dhyan Bhajan. If you don't do this, then the soul is entangled with the mind and it gets into the cycle of life and death and suffering. Because entangled with the mind, it does the karmas and it has to suffer in hell.
There are twenty-seven different types of hells. And depending on what kind of bad deeds that have been done, the soul is made to suffer in each of these different hells.
So, therefore, you grace your soul, take it out of this suffering in hell, and you then shall get the Blessings of the Masters free also.
Yah such chaar dino ka bhaai,
Phir dukh sadha hove dukh daai.
Baar baar main kahu chitaai,
Daya tumhari mohe sataai.
Maharaj Ji awakens us, “Whatever we think of as happiness in this world here, all the pursuits we do for our happiness, actually, turn into our sufferings. Because, to procure that happiness, to pursue getting that happiness, we do all karmas.” We do bad deeds. And for redeeming those bad deeds, we have to go through the cycle of life and death, and even go to hell. So, this happiness, actually, becomes our suffering.
Swami Ji Maharaj and other Masters have mercy on the soul and They, again and again, through Their Bani, try to awaken the soul and get it out of this suffering. They try to take us out of this ocean of the world, this ocean of suffering, which is where we run into the cycle of life and death innumerable times. They grace us and help us to get out of this.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “First, be gracious on your soul and have mercy on your soul. Then, the Masters will have mercy on your soul, and They will also grace the soul.”
Mere man karuna as aai,
Cheto tum guru hoye sahai.
Bin guru aur na poojo koi,
Darshan kar guru pad nit sei.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “Seeing so much suffering of the souls, I have Mercy and Grace on the souls and desire the souls go to the Feet of the Masters and do their seva and follow the Teachings of the Masters. By doing their devotion, the souls shall get peace and go to their True Home.” Their devotion should be pure.
If we do devotion for getting some worldly matters, for getting some of our worldly needs fulfilled, then that devotion gets wasted and only remains here, after death, when we leave this body.
So, the true devotion is the devotion of Naam, because that enables us to go back and meet our Father, our God Almighty.
What used to happen was, listening to others, people would focus on practices of worshiping idols, stones or deities, or worshiping trees, or going on pilgrimages. Whatever you worship, you become that form. So, that way, if you were worshiping deities or stones, you would come in the form of a stone. If you were worshiping trees, you would come in the form of a tree. And it is so unfortunate that, after getting such a precious human birth, you have worshiped something far below, and you have taken that form.
So, therefore, Swami Ji Maharaj says, “All these practices and pursuits that you have been doing earlier, just close all this. Close that shop completely, and take to the Path of the Masters, and take to the Path of Surat Shabd Yoga.”
Guru puja main sab ki puja,
Jas samundar sab nadi samaaja.
Devi deve ish mahesha,
Suraj shesh aur gaur ganesha.
Swami Ji Maharaj says, “In the devotion of the Master, all the devotion of all the gods and goddesses is included. Don't have any doubt in your mind. So, follow the Path of the Master and do His devotion.” And close down all your earlier pursuits, because if we do not have that focused attention towards our Masters, we will not be successful. Because, after following the Path of the Masters, if we are again carrying on in our other pursuits and practices, this means that we do not have absolute faith in the Masters. We will not be successful.
So, therefore, if we are doing the devotion of the Masters, we have effectively done the devotion of all the gods and goddesses and all the pilgrimages and all the other pursuits. It is akin to doing the devotion of the ocean in which all the rivers are encompassed. So, if we do the devotion of the Master, it is like doing the devotion of going on sixty-eight pilgrimages. When we do the devotion of the Masters, all the gods and goddesses get extremely happy, and it is only our mind that teaches us otherwise and advocates otherwise.
Sant Ji used to narrate the story of Kak Bhusundi. Kak Bhusundi was a gurumukh in his previous life. He was a crow. And this crow was giving a lot of learned counsel and teaching to Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. So, Garuda was wondering, “How is this crow so enlightened? And how come this crow is talking so much about spirituality?” So, Garuda asked Kak Bhusundi, “You are in the form of a crow. How come you know so much? When did you do all these practices?” So, Kak Bhusundi told him, “Okay, I will tell you about my previous birth. Listen.” So, he said...
In my previous birth, I had a human birth. I had a Master. And, according to the Teaching of the Master, I used to do a lot of devotion. And He had also told me to do the devotion of Lord Shiva. And I used to do that also.
So, after going to the temples, I would go home and I used to sit for meditation. And, in that, I got a very good experience.
Once, while I was doing the practice, and I was doing the devotion of Shiva, my Master came to the Temple. I did not look at Him. I continued to do the rituals and practices for the Lord Shiva himself. I felt that I am praying to Lord Shiva, so what is the need to pray to the Master Who is teaching me to pray to Lord Shiva? So, I ignored my Master.
And then, my Master waited for five, ten minutes thinking that ‘He’ll acknowledge that I have come’, but after five, ten minutes of waiting, my Master left. So, when this happened, Lord Shiva manifested, and there was this sound from the skies saying, “You are a fool. When your Master has come, you have not bowed to your Master. You continued to do these rituals for me. So, I curse you. And I curse you that you will be born as a crow.”
When even my Master heard this, He came running back to the Temple. And He bowed down to Lord Shiva and said, “Please don't curse him like this. He is foolish that way, but don't curse him, please.”
But Lord Shiva said, “No, let this be an example. I am cursing him. So, I will not take back my curse.”
So, Kak Bhusundi was telling this to Garuda and said “This is all the knowledge that I had in my previous birth. This is what I am actually relating to you.”
So, that way, all the gods, and goddesses are very pleased and happy in the devotion of the Masters. If you are devoted and you are doing your devotion of the Masters, then that pleases the gods and goddesses also. And none of them come to create any impediment in your devotion to your Master.
Swami Ji Maharaj gave the example, “Like all the waters of all the rivers accumulate in the ocean, during the monsoon the ocean takes the form of the rivers through rain, and again these rivers flow back into the ocean and, finally, the sea encompasses all the rivers. Thus, the essence of all the rivers is the ocean.
Likewise, the Master is the essence of all the gods and goddesses, and all are manifested within Him.”
Guru puja main sab ki puja,
Jas samundar sab nadi samaaja.
Devi dev ish mahesha,
Suraj shesh aur gaur ganesha.