A New Year: Like A New Birth
Sant Ajaib Singh Ji
a meditation talk given January 1, 1990, at Sant Bani Ashram, Village 16 PS, Rajasthan, India. This talk is chapter 71 of The Ambrosial Hour (pp. 427-432).
In the name of Hazur Sawan and Kirpal, I wish a very happy New Year to all of you. I hope that this New Year will bring all the happiness for you and you will be able to meditate, to do more Bhajan and Simran.
On this day today, people belonging to different religions in India go to the nearby rivers, ponds or canals at three in the morning to bathe, and they consider it as a very holy thing. We are very fortunate ones that we have been given this opportunity of connecting to our inner self and, as the tradition is going on, we have been given this knowledge that the real place of pilgrimage is within us. So just as they remember God in their own languages, we have been given this opportunity to go within and bathe in the holy place inside. We should also do the meditation and go within, because the real place of pilgrimage where we are supposed to bathe is Daswan Dwar.
When we withdraw from the physical, astral and causal covers and take our soul to Daswan Dwar, only then can we do this holy bathing. Guru Sahib also says the same thing: "Only he is the Saint, only he is a disciple, who goes to Daswan Dwar and bathes in that holy water over there." He says that one who is called as the disciple of the Master gets up early in the morning and goes to that pond of nectar which is within us. Every day he gets up in the morning and goes to that place; all day long he goes on remembering the words of the Master. So we are very fortunate that we have been given this opportunity of doing His devotion, and just as the people belonging to different religious communities remember God Almighty on this day and go to the holy waters for bathing, in the same way we should also go within and bathe in the holy place there.
We cannot reach the place that the Mahatmas have talked about by reading or by doing any kind of outer rites and rituals; no matter how much we do we cannot reach that place. We can get there only by doing the meditation. Kabir Sahib also says, "At that place the crows become swans or hansas. No outer water has the power to change the crows to hansas; it is only the water of the within." So when we go within we are the manmukh ones, we are the dirty ones, and we are like the crows. You know that the food of the crow is the dirt, and the food of the hansa is the pearls. So in that way we are the dirty ones, we are like the crows, and when we go within and bathe in that holy water in Daswan Dwar, only then do we change from crows to swans. Then our food also changes; then we become the Saints, we become the holy men, and then our food becomes that of doing the meditation of the Naam.
So those who go within and those who are changed from crows to hansas, they do the meditation of Naam and they make other people do the meditation of Naam.
Rishis and Munis have worked very hard. After withdrawing from their physical body they have gone to Brahm, and to the higher planes, and whatever they have seen or experienced on their way, they have written that down in the holy scriptures. Whatever they wrote about the inside, we find those things outside also. Kabir Sahib says that in your within, in Trikuti, there are three rivers. Ganga, Jamna, and Sarasvati are three rivers which come together at one place outside, and in the within also, in Trikuti, there are three rivers which come together. This is the place which the Mahatmas have written about, going where we can get rid of our crow-like habits and we can become like the swans; we can become the Gurumukhs from the manmukhs.
When Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj went within and He saw the real Amritsar, or Pool of Nectar, He said, "The real Amritsar, or Pool of Nectar, is within you and your mind can become satisfied only after drinking the water from there." The foundation of the outer Amritsar was started by Guru Ramdas, the fourth Guru, and it was completed by Guru Arjan Dev, but Guru Amar Das meant the inner pool of nectar or the inner Amritsar.*
When they were laying the foundation stone of Amritsar, Guru Ramdas Ji Maharaj told the person who was going to make it, "You have to make it like the Lotus of Daswan Dwar so that the dear ones will get the inspiration to go within and bathe in the real Amritsar, the real Lotus of Daswan Dwar. In that way, by doing their meditation, they would remove the dirt of their karmas from life after life." Only to inspire them to go within, He wanted to make Amritsar in the same design as that of the Lotus of Daswan Dwar, but the person whom He was telling to make it did not know, had not seen, the Lotus of Daswan Dwar. He said, "I cannot do that because I have not seen it." So Guru Ramdas Ji Maharaj gave him special attention and He took his soul up and showed him the Lotus of Daswan Dwar in the within, and afterwards when his attention was brought down by Guru Ramdas, He asked him, "Now, will you be able to build it?" He said, "Yes, I will make it, but please let me remain there. I want to remain there." So Guru Ramdas said, "No, first you make it outside and only then I will bring you back there." So that is why that Amritsar, that pool, was made in the same design as the Lotus of Daswan Dwar.
Dear Ones, we people read the writings of the Mahatmas in the morning, the evenings and even during the day, but we are not prepared to do what They have written. They say, "If you do these things you will also accomplish your work, you will get this benefit"; but we are not prepared to do anything like that.
Maharaj Sawan Singh Ji used to say, "Doing only the outer reading is like singing songs of other peoples? weddings and not getting married yourself." By reading the writings of the other Mahatmas, about whatever They have done in Their meditation, we cannot get any liberation. It is just reading about Their experiences, reading about Their lives, and not doing the things which They have done in Their lives. What is the use of always singing the song of other peoples? weddings if you yourself are not preparing yourself for marriage? If we always go on reading that such and such a Mahatma has done this or that kind of meditation practice, or He had that kind of experience -- how is that going to help us? If we always go on relying on those past Masters Who have done a lot of meditation and if we do not do it ourselves -- then what is the use of reading Their books? As we read Their books, as we read in Their writings that They did so much sacrifice and so much meditation, at the same time we should also be preparing, we should also make every effort, to live our life according to the teachings and instructions of those Mahatmas.
On New Years Day we always wish our dear relatives and friends all the best for that new year; we wish them Happy New Year. And if they are far away, we write them letters, cards and things like that. When the Saints and Mahatmas come into this world, They also give us this message of the New Year. They also say, "This is like a new birth for you, and in this new birth, in this new year of your life, you should do the work which you did not do earlier."
Giving the message of the New Year in His own way, Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj is telling His disciples, "Now the first month of the year" -- according to the Indian calendar Maav is the first month of the new year -- "now that the month of Maav has come, you should go and bathe in the holy waters. You should go and bathe in the dust of the Feet of the Holy Master, and you should live your life according to His teachings. Obey Him so that the ego, the pride of your mind, may vanish and you may come closer to the Reality."
Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj says, "All these passions: lust, anger, greed, attachment, and egoism, which are making you dance like a monkey, they all will become calm and quiet if you will do the meditation of Naam. And if you will do the devotion of Naam, you will be content in this world, because those who understand God Almighty as their very own, the whole world understands them as their very own."
Swami Ji Maharaj says that by doing the Bhajan and Simran we are not doing any favor to anyone, in fact we are having mercy on our own soul. He says, "Have mercy on your own soul and save it from the cycle of eighty-four lakhs births and deaths." Those who have mercy on their own souls, only they can be merciful to others.
Master Kirpal Singh Ji gave us a very good form of the diary in order to keep an account of our progress. He told us how we have to keep the account and in which categories -- how many times we helped people, how many times we did the seva, and how many times we failed in different areas. So on this New Year?s Day I would like to tell you that you should fill up that diary form with sincerity, keeping your Master in front of you. Do not spare your mind; fill the diary up sincerely. Start from the first day of the month and you will see how much you have progressed or how much you have deteriorated. You will see what you were thinking at the beginning of the month and what happened towards the end of the month.
So you should keep a complete account of all your deeds, your thoughts, and you should also keep an account of your progress in meditation. You should keep this account for the whole of the year, and then towards the end of the year you should make a balance sheet of your account, to see whether you have progressed in this year or not. If you progressed -- what were the factors which were helping you make progress? And if you have not progressed -- what were the things which were keeping you from progressing? So you should keep an account of all your deeds and in that way you should make your life successful.
Often I have said that God Almighty has showered so much grace upon us. He has given us this human birth; He has made us the leader of the creation. And further our beloved Master has showered so much grace upon us. He has given us this gift, this present of Naam. Now it becomes our responsibility to do the meditation of the Shabd Naam and make this human birth worthwhile and successful.