Do one thing at a time fully. If you
form that habit, then, naturally, there will be some discipline. We have
not developed that habit.
It is better to sing some hymn in your own tune, maybe of love, maybe of devotion, some sort of prayer before you sit for meditation. That will create an atmosphere. Then sit. Pray before sitting. Sing some hymn of love or devotion, of prayer, anything in your own tune. That will help, I think. That will create a better atmosphere for meditation. To sit like a wrestler to catch Him will not help.
Master, is Simran, done correctly, with full attention, considered a prayer?
Prayer, you see, prayer is uttered by a weaker man to a stronger man for help. In prayer you need something. You want help from someone. A poor man will pray to a rich man who can give him something. Prayer means that. Or in prayer we can have a review of our life: "We have fallen. We are separated from You. Will You kindly help raise us?" Do you follow? And the aim of prayer is--love, devotion, and separation. To pray will help you. Prayer has its own categories; either of two will help. Have you read Prayer, book of prayer? What I am telling you now, and all phases of prayer, have been discussed in there.
Master, can You speak on the significance of thinking of the Form of the Master?
I never advise that. I never advise
anybody to do that. And there is a reason. All Masters, all gurus, all
teachers say, "Think of the Master. Meditate on the Form of the Master."
To think of the Master is good. To pray before a Master is still better.
But there is a vast difference between the two. To think of the Master
as a form, visualizing the Master's Form in this and that way, and to meditate
on the Form of the Master can have a different meaning. To pray to Master,
and sit is something else. But there is one danger in meditating on the
Form of the Master. If the Master is, God forbid, not perfect, not the
Master, or he belongs to the lower class, then you will only become what
he is. Some scriptures say, just think of your Master, meditate on the
Master. Which Master? Whom you have seen, not the one whom you have not
seen. There is a difficulty that will arise. You can meditate or visualize
form of whom? One who is of your own level or below your level. That form
will come at once. The Form of One who belongs to a higher category than
you are cannot be visualized. Sometimes you see the turban, sometimes you
can see the arm, sometimes the back. Your mind will be running everywhere
to where you have seen Him. That's the criterion. Of course if you've got
a very loving heart--just like I gave you an example the other day of when
a glass is coated with wax, there, on the back, you will see your face.
That's another thing. But generally I never advise anybody to meditate
on the Form. Why? They identify with it. You saw at the time of the last
initiation more than 200 saw the Form of the Master; 250-300 were there.
He is God, Who comes of Himself.
So pray and sit, that's all right. Then try to go in and you will find Him. He is waiting for you. We may keep the photograph of our Master's Form, just like some relative or dear friend, for remembrance, but that's all. Not for meditation. If, now consider, Master is a real Master but at the outset you cannot believe that He's a Master unless you have got some faith already developed within you . . . that's another thing. If you meditate on the Form, you'll just go up. But if he is not a Master, I mean not a full developed Master (now may I add that word), what will you become? You will become what he is. So any Form which comes of Itself, that Power is perfect. God is making that Form of the Master in Whom He is working. He knows everything. We do not know. He knows.
So you see, when a Master initiates somebody, He resides within him at the same moment in Astral Form, and never leaves him--unless He takes him to the Sat Purusha to the end of the world. When you enter this room and somebody is sitting in there, will you not find him without thinking of him? He's already there. You'll find him. You may think or pray to him or not (matter of fact in the extreme). Just enter the room and you'll find him.
So Master is Word personified. Word made flesh. He is residing within you. Just tap. Enter the room. You'll find Him. Whether you pray to Him or not pray to Him (even if you think of me or not), if you enter, you will ultimately find Him. So prayer is better; its significance becomes more.
Do you know the significance of visualizing the Master's Form? Your question was that. This is all right [to think of Him, to look at His picture] for sweet remembrance. You think of your brothers, your relatives, your friends. But you cannot visualize the Master who is above you all at once, except if you have very overwhelming love. That's a layer of wax behind the glass' then you see with no effort. You may think of the Master, if you've seen Him, but sometimes you'll find Master's Form appears to those who have not seen the Master. There are many cases like that, even now.
Once, when I went to Pakistan, I met a Mohammedan Sufi Saint who used to do his penances in his own way and when he went in, he found Master's Form therein. He was wondering who this Sikh gentleman was whom he had never met. He had never even heard about me. But when he came up to me at Lahore, he said, "I was seeing You inside." I used to see my Master seven years before I met Him physically. God appears, manifesting in whatever Form He is working to those rare hearts who are really after Him, maybe Hindu, Mohammedan, Sikh, Christian, or Jew. That makes no difference.
Generally people are asked, "Visualize my form." What is the result? That's all right to help you concentrate for a while, but you will become what he is. As you think, so you'll become. If you know a Master is a Master, that's all right, even if you have not seen Him. So prayer is a separate way. Enter the room and you'll find him. He is waiting for you.
In the beginning it is just like somebody is with you, hovering around you. You'll feel His presence like that. When that develops, His Form will manifest. When that Form can materialize like a physical body, it will guide you, give you writing. Ask ----. He used to write to me every week, "Master came and sat down on the chair and dictated this and that to me." A book was published. You see, that Form will materialize, come and talk and even dictate to you. But when a man thinks himself sufficient, he's cut off.
Do you remember I told you the story of Bulleh Shah the other day? He was initiated by Inayat Shah, who was a gardener. Bulleh Shah was a Sayed, the highest class of Mohammedan, belonging to the lineage of Prophet Mohammed. He was initiated by the gardener, Inayat Shah, but was ashamed to be called the disciple of one who was below his level--Mohammedan class. So Master sent other disciples, "Go and tell the people Bulleh Shah is our brother in faith." Some went there singing and dancing. "Where is Bulleh Shah? He is our brother. We are disciples of Inayat Shah." Bulleh Shah was ashamed of them. "What will people say? I'm a Sayed, highest class." When they asked, "We want to meet him; he's our brother," out of shame he said, "I am not your brother." "All right, we'll not give water to that field from today." It is with attention that Master rears up the disciples who are in, tune, who are receptive, more than others. Then naturally what he had within him was cut off. Now he was helpless. What to do? Master is sometimes a very hard taskmaster, mind that. He was a very hard taskmaster. He would not listen to pleas. "He says he's not mine. Let him go." He thought, how to please Him? His Master used to hear the hymns, or the songs sung by the dancing girls every week. He thought of what to do to please Him: he became the servant of that dancing girl, served her in every way and learned singing and dancing. After some time, he became adept in that. And one day, when that dancer was supposed to go to sing before the Master, he said to her, "If you give me your clothes, I'll wear them. I'll sing today." She agreed, so he put her clothes on himself and went over there. Anything that comes out of the pining heart will attract Him. He was dancing and singing in ecstasy, and Master knew he had come. He stood up and embraced him. The others said, "What happened to our Master. What is he doing? We found Him hovering over a dancing girl." People see from their own angle of vision. Naturally smoky glasses will see smoke. Then Inayat Shah said, "Well look here, take off your clothes." "Oh Bulleh, Bulleh!" It was Bulleh. "I'm not Bulleh. I have forgotten you. Forgive me." So he came around after that. He had the Truth. So the Master gives water--that is the point. If the disciple simply becomes a mouthpiece of the Guru, he gets His place. But if he thinks he himself has become a guru, then . . . He'll know. It's a very delicate point. Little ego, little self-sufficiency, spoils the whole show. When the hymns are from the heart, coming from heart, pinching of the heart, such like hymns of separation, due to a little concentration, you are cut off from all the world over. You are all alone, even in the midst of thousands. If you have love for somebody who is sitting in the throng, even with so many hundreds of people there, your attention is riveted on him. You don't know who else is sitting. There's ruling passion in your heart for Him. That is due to extreme concentration, real renunciation.
What is real renunciation? When you renounce all other things except for One, that is renunciation. Not leaving your hearth and home.
Have sweet remembrance: how can you forget your Friend? Can you? He is ever with you, ever watching you, like a mother of a child who has not yet even learned to walk or talk and is lisping. So it is first He who loves us, not we Him, you see. Our love is only reciprocal. He is love personified. That is, He is overflowing with the love and intoxication of God. So when you have developed in that way, He appears--the Radiant Form within you. And ultimately seems to be the very Sat Purusha.
Indra Mati, a very highly developed follower of Kabir, had reached the highest plane, fifth plane, and there she found Kabir sitting as Sat Purush. She told Him, "It was You Who was the real Sat Purusha. Why didn't You tell me on the earth that You are the Sat Purusha?" And He said, "You would not have believed on earth that I am the Sat Purush." So Masters work from different levels, and never say, "I am God." If the disciple develops ultimately later on, then he finds Him like anything.
So sweet remembrance is what is required. Just like a man with whom you leave all your heart to give that sweet remembrance, heart beating within for him.
It is just like a wound you have bandaged by the doctor. Outwardly you don't appear to be in pain but the pain is there constantly. So remembrance is like that. Sweet remembrance all the time. Don't you remember whom you love, constantly? Is it not like that? So you'll have love for somebody who also comes to receive you at the time of death. What more is wanted?
He is forever watching, extending all help and protection. Even if you do not know. He is son of man of course, but He is something else, too. Masters behave from two levels; like son of man, working at the level of man as an ideal man should be. But He is something else too, you see. If He is not That, how can He give you contact with that Power? God alone can give you contact with Him, is it not so? If somebody gives you contact with Him, who can that be? He has also got the other aspect--He is a son of God as well as the son of man. What did Christ say as son of man? "Father, you have forsaken me." This is what you find. That was spoken as son of man. When they are in tune they are Sons of God. He behaved like a man and all the same He gave the other way. Now you have heard the two aspects of the Masters.
All these things are not explained in books. Even Godman gives salient points, but not in detail like this. One criterion; He never says, "I am God." He says, "My Father has done, my Guru has done." At heart of heart, really, His words are imbued with humility. He sees Somebody else. Christ never said, "I am doing." He said, "It is the Father in me."
Christ asked some disciples to answer at their level, "Do you know who I am?" Everyone said, you are the son of such and such a man. You are a carpenter. You live in such and such a place. But Simon said, "You are the Son of the Living God." "Well, Simon, what you have said was not from you but from my Father who has spoken through you." He's always conscious of what He is but all the same He behaves like man. Otherwise, if He says, "I have come from Heaven," we say, "Oh, He has come from Heaven; what can we have to do with Him?" Instead He says, "I am a man like you who has passed through life, as you have. So there is a way out for you also. In manbody you can become that. Have that higher purpose of life before you."
He never acts and poses. Simple way of living, simple talk. But in simple talk He gives you all the secrets of the teachings of the Masters. Sometimes I wrote in my letters, "Well, if you develop receptivity, that's good. You can have that benefit from thousands of miles; all right." You'll become a channel. But physical presence cannot be underrated, you see. You can sit by the fire. So sweet remembrance has got to be developed.
God is Love and Love is God, you see, and our soul is of the same essence as that of God, and the way back to God is through?
Love. That's all. So for that purpose you have been given a contact with that God-into-Expression Power, which is all Love. The more you absorb yourself into that Light and Sound, the more Love will overflow from you. So that will give you a boost, you see. Sweet remembrance is all right. God Bless you.