The Bird of the Soul
Sant Ajaib Singh Ji
This satsang was given in Ahmedabad, India, on September 11, 1994.
Salutations unto the Feet of Lords Sawan and Kirpal, Who, showering limitless grace upon us, have given us the opportunity to sing Their praises. The jiva can speak only if He makes him speak. Guru Nanak Sahib said, "Nanak speaks whatever you make Him speak." In one of the bhajans it says, "Ajaib is speaking as You are making Him speak."
Time and time again God Almighty has been sending His Beloveds into this world. But the love which They deserved, the love of which They were worthy, we worldly people were not able to give Them that love.
Whenever such Beloveds of God came into this world we wasted our life in opposing them. Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj says that he who criticizes the Saint puts his life in a difficult position. Saints and Mahatmas do not come into this world to break any of the existing religions. They do not come into this world to make any new religion. They do not come with a new Path. Their Path is as old as humanity, as old as God Almighty. Neither did Christ show us a new Path, nor did Prophet Mohammed bring any new Path. Christ called that Power as "God," as "Word," as "Shabd." And Prophet Mohammed called that Power as "Kalma."
Christ said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word Himself assumed the body and came and lived among us."
Prophet Mohammed said, "God Almighty has created this whole Creation by Himself." And He did not say that God Almighty belongs only to the Muslims. He said, "God Almighty belongs to everyone. There is one God for all the Creation."
So Guru Nanak Sahib says, "In my experience, in my meditation, such an experience has come, such a Power has come - that Truth, which has always been present. In the beginning was the Truth, it exists even now, and in the future Truth will exist. Nanak says, The Truth always prevails." Truth means that thing which never perishes, which is never destroyed. That Power which is always present is called Truth.
Guru Nanak Sahib says, "That Shabd has created this earth; that Shabd has created the sky. Everywhere the light exists because of the Shabd. Nanak says, This whole Creation is being supported and maintained by the Shabd. Shabd created the earth; Shabd created the sky; Shabd created the sun, moon, and stars."
The disciples then asked Guru Nanak, "The Shabd about Whom You are talking, has that Shabd made only the sun, stars and moon? And where does that Power, that Shabd, live?" So Guru Nanak Sahib replied, "That Shabd has created everything in this Creation; He has created this Creation. And that Shabd cannot be written in any language; it cannot be spoken in any language. That Shabd supports and maintains the whole of this Creation, and That Shabd resides within all of us."
Kabir Sahib said, "From that Light, from that Radiance, this whole Creation has been created, which is present within us, and He is maintaining, He is nourishing, this Creation through that Light. The greatest Lord has created this Creation from that Light and we all are the children of the same Lord. In everyone the same Light is present. Whom can we call good and whom can we call bad?"
God is always present here; He is never destroyed. You know that the vegetables have one element of water in them, the [insects], the creatures which move on the earth have two elements in them. [Birds and reptiles have three elements. Mammals] have four elements in them. And we, the human beings, have five elements within us.
Every element is opposite to the other elements; every element is an enemy of the other elements. Master Sawan Singh Ji used to say that when the Dissolution takes place, the water dissolves the earth in it, then the fire evaporates the water, which is further taken away by the wind, and it in turn goes into the sky in the Brahm. And when this Dissolution happens, all over Creation nothing remains.
So the question arises, since we human beings have five elements in us, and if we worship the creatures which have two or three elements in them - if we worship the snakes and the reptiles and the other creatures - then, instead of progressing, we will be going into the lower bodies. And even if we worship the animals like the cows or the buffaloes or the horses, which have four elements in them, instead of going upwards, we will still be going downwards.
As I have often told you, in my search I got the opportunity to sit in the company of many sadhus. As Master used to say, in the forest not all are painted jackals: the tigers and lions also live there. So when I was searching I met with many sadhus and mahatmas. I went to one sadhu who told me that he could teach me how to convert my body into the body of a tiger or a snake. So I lovingly bowed down to him and said, "I am seeking to rise above this human body and I don't need to learn how to convert my body into the body of a tiger or a snake, because I will easily get into those bodies if I do the bad karmas." So the meaning is that if we will bow down to and worship the animals, then whatever we worship, we will come back into that body, because it is the principle that where you are attached, there you go.
At this point we all refuse to accept the Masters because we say that we have five elements in us and They also have five elements in Them. Especially in this time, where the rights of every person are equal, it becomes very difficult for us to accept [a Master], and then we say, "Why should we worship a Master Who is in the human form?"
Master Sawan Singh Ji used to explain this in this way. He used to say, "Suppose in a room there are many radios and also a lot of batteries, but they are not connected with each other and that is why the radios are not able to bring any news of the world. But if someone who knows how to connect those radios with the batteries comes into that room and connects [them], then we can listen to the news any time we want."
So God Almighty has kept that "radio set" within all of us and He has also put the "battery" within us. He has given us all this free of charge. The set has been given to us, but we do not know how to make the connection. You may call Him an engineer or a
Saint or a Master or a teacher, but He who knows this technique, He who has done this Himself in His life, He whose battery is connected with that radio set within, only He can make this connection for us.
We don't have to go to the Master to form any worldly relationship, nor do we have to go and eat with Him. We have to go to Him only to receive this knowledge. So we should not pay any attention to what caste or to which country He belongs. Because you know that in our schools and colleges we have teachers belonging to many different religions. Over there we do not object, "We will not take the education from this Hindu teacher, or that Muslim teacher," - because we go there only to receive the education. So in the same way, we should not look at the caste or the outer appearance of the Master, because we go to the Master only to get the spiritual education.
Kabir Sahib said, "Do not ask about the caste of the Saint; only ask about His knowledge. Do not worry about the case, only value the sword." The body is the case and the inner knowledge is the sword, and we have to value the sword. The Mahatma does not have to make any drink and put it within us; He does not have anything to put within us. He only has to connect our battery with that radio set.
So God Almighty has kept the Light and the Sound within all the jivas. That very Light and Sound is giving support to us, and only because of the support of that Light and Sound, we are running here and there in this world. So Guru Nanak Sahib also says, "Within you is the Light and the constant Sound. And we have to devote ourselves to the true Lord."
According to the instructions of the Mahatma, by doing the Simran given to us by Him, and after vacating the nine openings of our body, when we bring our soul to the Eye Center, then we start seeing that Light. And only after concentrating there do we start getting that Sound which is coming within us.
Who is a Sant? Who is a Sadhu? Only He who has done the practice and has reached that place where the Sound of God is coming; He who has risen above His physical, astral and causal bodies and who, after removing these physical, astral and causal covers from His soul, has gone in the within, to the place where the Sound of God is calling - only He is called a Sadhu.
Do not call them sadhus who, after leaving their homes, wander here and there, or those who wear the colored robes. Guru Ramdas Ji Maharaj said, "He who does the sadhna or the practices and within whom that Naam is manifested is the true Sadhu." By going in the company and by touching that Sadhu, we get to see God Almighty within us.
We know that without enduring pain the mother cannot give birth to a child. And if we want to have a precious pearl, we will have to dive deep into the ocean. We can dig out the gold only after working hard in the mine. In the same way, the devotion of God Almighty also demands a lot of hard work.
So that is why Saints and Mahatmas lovingly tell us that God Almighty is within us, and the practice or the means through which we can meet Him is also within us. Now, the thing which is lost within our body, if we search for that thing outside, how can we find it?
So Kabir Sahib says, "The thing is [here] and you are searching for it somewhere else: how can you find it? Says Kabir, We can find it only if we seek the help of someone who knows the secret." When we took the company of the One who knew the secret, then we were able to find it. The Path which we would have not have been able to traverse in many ages, we were able to walk that, we were able to fathom that, in no time.
In the beginning I said that Masters of a very high order came into this world. Guru Nanak Sahib came, Kabir Sahib came, Ravidas came, all the ten Sikh Gurus came. But the world did not give Them that love which They deserved. All those rites and rituals, those customs and traditions of the societies, are different because they are made by the human beings. You may call them rites and rituals, or the forms of the orthodox religions. They teach us how to live life in a good way. You may take the rules or the rites and rituals of any religion and you will find that all of them encourage us or advise us to get up early in the morning and remember God Almighty. No religion ever teaches us to do the bad deeds.
Doing the rites and rituals is like this: as Master used to say, suppose there is a woman who prepares a very good bed and she puts a lot of perfume there, and she beautifies herself and she waits for her husband. But if the husband doesn't come there, then all the efforts which she has made are useless, and all the time which she has spent doing that also is useless. Looking at the bed, that wife suffers even more. She wonders, "Why did my husband not come? What is wrong with me?"
The soul is the wife and Shabd, God Almighty, is the husband. And if that Shabd, if our husband, the beloved Lord, does not come, then our soul, looking at all the rites and rituals which she has been doing so far, becomes even more distressed; she suffers even more.
Guru Nanak says, "By doing all the rites and rituals I prepared a very nice bed. But I did not get to sleep with my beloved Husband, and looking at all the things which I made, I suffer even more." Because of the rites and rituals which we ourselves have made, we fight with the other people. Since they are made by different people, that is why they are not the same. So that is why we all claim that our rites and rituals, our way of remembering God is the right one, and what the other people are doing is the wrong way.
But the Truth which works in the depth of all religions, at the back of all the religions, is the same. In the temples the same God is talked about; in the mosques also they talk about the same God; [and] in the churches also they worship and talk about the same God. So what do the Saints do? They come to us, and after making us withdraw our attention from those outside things, They make us concentrate within ourselves.
This practice of meditation is different from the rites and rituals of the different religions. Why is it different? It is different because it was created by God Almighty Himself. God Almighty Himself has created this whole Creation. He has created this body and wherever it was required, He has attached, He has put the parts of the body at the appropriate place: He has put the eyes in the appropriate place, He has put the hands and nose and mouth and everything in the right place. And in the womb of the mother, where He does all this work, nobody is aware of that. No one even knows when He came and did all that work. Not even the mother, within whose womb the baby is being created, knows about it. So if we believe that God Almighty has done all this, then we should also believe that God Almighty Himself has made the Path through which we can meet Him within our body. And He Himself has made the seed within us where He resides. You may call it the seed, you may call it the home, or you may call it the nest which the birds build, because this is the place where the soul comes and lives.
People have given a lot of lectures about the soul; they have written many books about the soul. But no one can give us the experience of that soul. Saints and Mahatmas neither make us leave our home, nor do They make us leave our family and our children. They only put us on that Path which God Almighty Himself has created. Read the bani of any Mahatma. It doesn't matter where He was born or how it was written. Only the language is different; the teaching is the same.
What is that teaching, or what is that Truth? That Truth is that God is One and He is within us. So far those who have achieved Him or realized Him have done so by going within. And in the future also, whoever will gain Him or achieve Him, he will get it only from the within. So Guru Nanak Sahib says, "If you go out of your body to search for Him, you do not get Him. Without doing the meditation of Naam - if you are going outside to find Him - you are wasting your time in the useless pursuits."
So Saints come and give us the knowledge of our soul, the experience of the soul. They call it Naam dan. You know that when you give someone a donation, you do not expect anything in return. And if you give someone parshad, you do not charge for it; you do not expect that he will pay you back. So Saints and Mahatmas also do not ask for any compensation for Their donation or for Their grace. They do not charge any fees, They do not expect anything in return for what They give to us. They are our free sevadars.
So a brief hymn of Kabir Sahib is presented to you. He says, "No one tells me about this Bird who functions in this body. No one tells me from where he has come and where he lives."
No one tells me about the Bird, which speaks in my within.
(The Bird) doesn't have any description, nor does it have any form or outline. It sits in the shade of Naam.
Now lovingly He says, "That Bird does not have any form, outline, color or outer appearance. That Bird is sitting in the shade of the Naam." Bhagat Namdev said, "Within everyone that Rama speaks. Without Rama, how can we speak?"
Whatever Mahatmas have written, They have written only after seeing, and whatever They have written is the truth. We just please our minds singing Their bhajans, Their writings, but we do not go within and meet that thing which They talk about. We read the knowledge but we do not practice it. So that is why He says that [the Bird] doesn't have any form, any outline, any color, or any outer appearance. Guru Arjan Dev also said, "He is different and He doesn't have any form or outline; and when we read the Vedas and Shastras, we could not find any form or any color in Him."
Our search begins with our religious leaders. It doesn't matter in which religion we are born: we always start our search by going to our religious leaders, be they the priests or the pujaris (those who do the puja, the worship of idols, done by offering food, etc.). And when we go to them, they tell us, "God Almighty is the Indestructible One. How can we meet Him?" So Guru Arjan Sahib says, "That Form of God Almighty is described by the Saints, and rare are the ones who realize that Form; rare are the ones who do the devotion of the Lord. If you find out, you will find one in millions." Only the Masters know, and They know whom They have to make see His form. So that is why Guru Sahib says that rare are the ones who do the devotion of God and They are the only ones who make us see that Form of God.
So you may call it "body," or "home," or "nest," and that Bird, that soul, is sitting in this body, living in this body, under the shade of the Naam, which means that this soul gets the support of the Naam.
On the tree lives a Bird, who lives by picking up food from here and there.
No one cares to know how he speaks.
No one listens to the voice of this Bird, because mind is an agent of Negative Power, and our soul is of the same essence as Sat Purush. We do not listen to the voice of our soul; we always listen to what our mind tells us. We listen to our mind and that is why, obeying him, we form the relationships. We have made our mind as all-in-all, as our master.
Guru Ramdas Ji Maharaj said, "Moment after moment this mind runs away. He doesn't stay at home even for a moment." The seat of our mind and soul is at the Eye Center; they are tied together [there]. But our mind doesn't remain there; he runs away from the
body moment after moment; every moment he is running away. We are sitting here, but he is going all over. Sometimes he goes to our children, to our sons and daughters. Other times he goes to our religions and our countries. And all over the world he runs
away, and not even for one moment does he remain at the Center.
Often I have said that in the beginning it is very difficult for our mind to come to the Satsang, because the mind does not like to be controlled. He knows that if he will go to the Satsang, he will have to stay in the discipline. So that is why he does not want us to go to the Satsang and he creates all sorts of obstacles to keep us away from the Satsang. But if we somehow bring ourselves, and bring our mind to the Satsang, then gradually, with the grace of the Masters, as They go on giving us the elixir, as They go on giving us the taste of that elixir and the enjoyment of it, then our mind gets that taste of Naam, and then our mind starts losing the taste of the worldly things. Because the color of the worldly things is not very fast; but the color of the Naam is very fast. And once you get the color of the Naam on your mind, then it becomes very easy for you to give up the colors of the world, because they are not very fast. So in the beginning it is difficult, but if we bring our mind to the Satsang, then, with the grace of the Master, we get the color of the Naam on our mind.
It is like this: suppose we bring a crazy person into our home to give him the treatment. In the beginning he does not want to remain in the room because he wants to be free, and it is hard for him to remain there. But if we give him the treatment and if we make him all right, then the same crazy person falls in love with us and he talks with us lovingly.
Behind the Simran given to us by the Masters, Their renunciation, Their sacrifice, Their charging is working. So if we go on doing the repetition of the Simran lovingly, then gradually our attention, our mind which is spread all over, is withdrawn from all the outside things. Gradually, as we go on doing the Simran, keeping our attention at the Eye Center, our attention remains there, our mind starts to be still over there. And when we are able to remove the physical and the astral covers from our soul, and when we are able to take our mind to Brahm (which is the place where he belongs), and after we remove the causal cover from our soul and go up into the Par Brahm, our soul becomes free from the clutches of the mind. And then our mind himself starts helping our soul to go up. So just like that crazy person, in the beginning our mind does not want to cooperate, but once we make friends with him, once we take him back to his home, then he also helps us in our journey upwards.
The knot which is tying the mind and soul together is undone, and becoming free from the clutches of the mind, our soul goes back to her Home. Only after we reach Par Brahm do we get what we call self-realization. Then we realize who we are; our soul realizes who she is. Then she realizes that so far she was only wasting her time and energy in the worldly things, that [being involved in the world] was not the purpose for which she had gone [into the world], and that this is her home. So then she gives up the attachment and the liking for all the worldly things. And when we reach Par Brahm, then the difference between male and female is also finished, because the soul is of the same essence as that of God Almighty. And when the soul realizes her own self, then she knows that all the souls are the same. It doesn't matter whether they are living in America, or in India, or in any country: the souls living all over are the same.
The first thing is that when the Master gives us the Initiation and takes His seat within us, He makes such an arrangement within us that we go on paying off our pralabdha karmas; and also, along with that, by doing our spiritual practices, we go on progressing.
When we are sitting in this physical plane, in the physical body, then He is also present there in His physical body. And through the Satsangs He makes us understand various things, and if we have any doubts, then He removes them. Many times we can ask Him a question and remove our doubts.
When we shake off this physical veil and go into the astral plane, then the Master also assumes the Astral Form. As we go on progressing internally, then the Master also goes on changing His Form: He also comes in His Astral Form, and then He comes in an even subtler Form, and then finally He comes in the Form of the Shabd.
The inner world looks clearer than the outer world. When we go within no doubts or suspicions remain there. The inner Path, or the inner Way, becomes open to us like an open book. But the soul cannot go to the planes beyond Par Brahm without the Master, because it is dense dark over there. And even though the soul has the radiance equal to the radiance of the light of twelve outer suns, still that radiance is not enough to help her to [pass through] that dense darkness. Only with the help of the Master can the soul go into the planes beyond Par Brahm.
This is what Guru Arjan Dev Sahib said: "Even if there were hundreds of moons and even if there were hundreds of suns, but even after all this light over there it is dense darkness without the Master." What to speak of one sun or one moon? Even if there were thousands of suns and moons, still it is so dark over there that the soul cannot go there. Only the Master can take the soul in the planes beyond Par Brahm with His Light.
In the Hindu Shastras it is written that He who manifests the Light in the darkness is the Master, the Guru. Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj said, "By doing the meditation of Naam one gets a lot of Light and the darkness of ignorance is removed."
Master Sawan Singh gave this hint at His endtime. As Master Kirpal Singh Ji used to say, towards His end Master Sawan Singh said, "The sun has risen. Do the people of Jullundur see that?" Master Kirpal Singh said, "What to talk about the people in Jullundur: all over the world, people who can see are seeing that the sun is rising."
Even Guru Nanak Sahib mentioned this rising of the sun at His endtime. He told His sons to go and wash the sheets, saying that the sun had risen. Since they were not going within and they did not know what Guru Nanak Sahib meant, that is why they said, "He has grown very old and that is why He is not in His senses. It is midnight and He is saying that the sun has risen." So they did not go, but when He looked at Bhai Lehna, His beloved disciple, he at once went and washed the sheets. And then he said, "Yes," because he used to go within, and he knew what Guru Nanak Sahib was talking about because he was also seeing the rising sun within him. So that is why he obeyed his Master and he said, "All those upon whom You have showered grace and whom You are making see, they are able to see the rising sun."
The Bird makes its abode on the branch of the tree, where it is very dense shade.
It comes in the evening and flies away in the morning. It doesn't reveal its secret to anyone.
"That Bird comes in the morning and in the evening it flies away." It means that when we take birth, this Bird comes within us, and when the night comes, when our death comes, then this Bird flies out.
It eats only two fruits and not ten or twenty.
That Bird eats only two fruits. One is of the sins, the other is of the virtues. What are the fruits of the sins, of the bad karmas? Sicknesses, poverty, the difficulties of this world, are the fruits of the bad karmas, of the sins. And to get birth in a rich family, to have a comfortable living, to have good health and be wealthy, and to enjoy all the conveniences, is the reward which we get for our good karmas. So after eating the fruits of the sins and the virtues, the Bird flies out.
It is unfathomable, limitless; it lives forever.
But it is not seen by anyone, either coming or going.
When that Bird comes into this body, neither is he seen at that time, nor does anyone see him when he leaves his body. Because that Bird is a formless one; he is a part of God Almighty. God is an ocean and the soul is a drop of that ocean. The drop is a drop as long as it does not go back into the ocean.
Kabir says, Listen, O Sadho, this is an unfathomable story.
O Pundits and Gyanis, find the abode of this Bird.
Kabir Sahib lovingly says, "Dear Ones, the Saints make us get the information about this Bird, and They take us to Sach Khand, the place from where this Bird comes." He says that there is no question of any opposition. He talks to the pundits and the maulvis, the religious leaders: "You are fighting over the rites and rituals, but you do not reach the place from where that Bird comes.