The Alms of Devotion and Love
Sant Ajaib Singh Ji
This Satsang was given March 31, 1987, at Sant Bani Ashram, Village 16 PS, Rajasthan, India.
THIS YEAR I have done a lot of Satsangs on the bani of Sheikh Farid. Today also I am going to comment on the bani of Sheikh Farid. Sheikh Farid was born in a Muslim family. He came in contact with the Sufi Mahatmas. Sufi means the pure-hearted one, the abode, the within, where only Naam prevails and nothing of the world exists -- one with such a heart is called a Sufi.
The life of Sheikh Farid is very similar to my own life as far as performing the austerities and things like that are concerned. I would say that he performed more austerities, that he renounced a lot more than I did.
Our Satguru, Baba Sawan Singh Ji, used to say that if anyone searches for God Almighty sincerely, if anyone searches for something sincerely, he definitely becomes successful in that, because God Almighty always responds to the prayers which we do sincerely. He also used to say that if, in our sincere search for God Almighty, even if we leave the body without completing that search, without realizing God Almighty, even then whatever we have done in our search for Him has not gone useless, it is not wasted. We get a better human body in the next lifetime in which we meet the perfect Master, and in that way He used to say that the search which we do sincerely for God Almighty is not less than devotion to God.
Farid Sahib suffered a lot of hunger and thirst even though he was born in a very noble family. He was married to the daughter of the ruler of Delhi at that time. But love is after all love; yearning is after all yearning. When real love and yearning is created within someone that person throws away the power, throws away the throne, and starts doing the devotion of God.
You know that all of us are born in one or another religion prevailing in this world, and the devotees of God cannot get along with the worldly people, because those worldly people are always attached to the rites and rituals of the religion in which they were born, whereas the devotees of God have faith in God Almighty Himself. That is why there is always conflict between the devotees of God and the worldly people.
Sheikh Farid was opposed when he did not do things according to the rites and rituals of the Muslim religion; there was a conflict between him and the religious people. In those days the work of doing justice was in the hands of the kazis, and the work of giving education was in the hands of the maulvis.
When Sheikh Farid was asked, "Why don't you offer the prayers and why don't you do the fast?," He replied, "Look here, O Dear Ones, to earn your livelihood with honest means is the real fasting, and to have pity on all the souls, to see God Almighty in everyone, and to make the efforts in realizing God is the real prayer."
An incident happened in Sheikh Farid's life which He Himself witnessed. What happened was that there was a kazi who used to do the justice for the people in a village, and it so happened that in that village there was one poor weaver who used to own a piece of land, but by force one farmer had taken over that land. Now it was in the hands of the kazi to make the justice, so that is why that poor weaver went to that kazi and, giving him a very beautiful turban, told him his story. He told him, "Kazi Ji, I am a very poor person. I have my children to look after. You know what the reality is, what the facts are: that land is owned by me, but that farmer has taken it over by force. When you sit for justice, kindly do the justice in my favor. I am offering this beautiful turban to you." The kazi took that turban and wore it on his head, and the weaver was very happy.
The farmer, the landlord was stronger and he was richer than the poor weaver. So he took one very nice cow and he left that cow with the kazi. That cow used to give a lot of milk. So the kazi was also very pleased with the landlord, because now he could drink milk every morning and every evening, and his son also used to like that milk a lot. So he was more pleased with that landlord.
When the day came that he had to give judgment, the kazi started to decide in favor of the landlord, but the poor weaver said, "Kazi Ji, at least look at my turban." The kazi replied, "O fool, your turban has been eaten up by that cow."
So Farid Sahib said that this is not the real justice. To have pity on all the souls and to treat them fairly is called the real justice, and that is the real prayer. If you are sincere, if you are true, only then can you offer the real prayers to Almighty God.
Something similar also happened in the life of Kabir Sahib. He said that it is a pity that those people who have the power of doing the justice do not give the justice in favor of the poor people, and they always favor the rich people. He said, "Whatever the kazis and mullahs have written, I have left everything behind and I am doing the devotion of God."
Farid Sahib had a real love, yearning, and devotion for his Master. He had a lot of faith in his Master. He had caught hold of Sant Mat very firmly. It was not like He had one thing in His heart and something different in His mouth. Whatever He had in His heart only that came out from His mouth.
There is another incident connected to the life of Sheikh Farid. Sheikh Farid spent a lot of time with his Master, serving Him and taking care of Him. In the place where he used to live with his Master, there was a house of a prostitute not far from their house, and that prostitute always tried to trap Sheikh Farid. But since Sheikh Farid was devoted to Almighty God He would never pay any attention to that prostitute. You know that whenever we start doing the devotion of God, the Negative Power always creates such kinds of traps so that we may not continue doing the devotion of God. The devotees do not get trapped in those traps, because they know what their goal is and they always go on working towards their goal.
So Sheikh Farid never paid any attention to that prostitute, no matter what she said or what she did to him. He would always look down and he would just walk by that house and he would not pay any attention to the remarks of that prostitute.
In those days there was nothing like matches, so people used to preserve the fire in their homes, and sometimes when that fire would go out it would become very difficult for the people to light the firewood. Then they would have to go to somebody else?s home to borrow the fire. So once it so happened that the fire in the home of Sheikh Farid also went out and he had to heat up some water for his Master to take a shower. Since he did not have any fire in his home he went to that prostitute. Before that he had never been to that prostitute's home and he had never talked with her, so when he went there to ask for the fire that prostitute was surprised. She thought, "Up until now this person has never come to me and he has never responded to the remarks I have made about him. Today it is very good that he has come to me by himself, and today is my chance." So when Sheikh Farid asked her for some fire, she said that the price of the fire is an eye.
Sheikh Farid did not wait even for a moment to think. He at once took out his eye and placed it in front of the prostitute. When the prostitute saw that he had taken out his eye she became very nervous. Then she realized that she had made a mistake, because he was a devotee of God and she should not have done that. After that he took the fire from the prostitute?s home, and tying a bandage on his eye, he came to his Master and warmed up some water. When he came in front of the Master, his Master saw the bandage around his eye and he asked Sheikh Farid what was wrong with his eye.
In Punjabi there is a saying: whenever anyone has some infection or pain in his eye they say, "The eye has come." So like that, when Sheikh Farid?s Master asked him what was wrong with his eye, he said, "Master, my eye has come." His Master replied, "Dear One, when the eye has come why do we have to put a bandage on it? Remove the bandage." And when he removed the bandage both his eyes were intact. So this was the devotion of Sheikh Farid. He did not have shaky faith in the Master; he had complete faith in the Master, and whatever his Master told him to do he did that.
This is something which we all should pay attention to. We should think about this patiently. Saints always say that we should spare ourselves from the tricks of the mind, because mind is such a thing that he will always lay such traps and he will trap you in those traps. That is why They always say that we should always be aware of the tricks of the mind and we should always protect ourselves from the traps of the mind. Just imagine -- all of us satsangis should think about this: if we are placed in the same situation, if we have to face that situation, will we remain devoted like Sheikh Farid? Can we do any sacrifice like this for our Master?
Those who have true love for the Lord in their heart are the only true ones.
Those who have one thing in their heart and something else in their mouth are the untrue ones.
Farid Sahib lovingly explains to us who are the true ones in the Court of the Master, who are the sincere ones in the Court of the Lord. Only those who have sincere and true love for the Master in their within, only those who have real love in their heart for the Master are the true ones. Master used to say that heart talks to heart. That is why those who have real, sincere love in their heart and real devotion on their face also, are accepted in the Court of the Lord. Farid Sahib says that those who have the same thing in their heart and on their face are the perfect ones, and they are accepted and honored in the Court of the Lord. But those who have one thing in their heart and something else on their face, are not yet perfect ones, and they are not accepted in the Court of the Lord.
It has not been a very long time since paper currency has been in use. When I was very young I remember having silver coins and coins of other metals as currency. Guru Nanak Sahib has also mentioned silver coins in His writings. In those days when the currency notes were not there, they used to have money in the form of the silver coins and other metal coins, and whenever anyone had to make any payment to the government they would take the coins to the treasurer. The treasurer would test those coins and he would accept the real coins, and he would throw out the unreal coins or the wrong kind of coins.
In the same way, Guru Nanak Sahib says that God Almighty accepts the real coins, the true coins. He does not accept the false ones, and He sends them into the cycle of illusion. After every death we are presented to Almighty God, and if we are true in His devotion, if we have done the devotion of Almighty God sincerely, then He accepts us and He allows us to go to His Real Home, Sach Khand. If we have not been true to His devotion, if we have not done the devotion sincerely, then He sends us into the cycle of eighty-four lakhs again.
Guru Nanak Sahib also says that when the false jewelry is presented to the real goldsmith its impurity is easily discovered by the goldsmith. In the same way, if there is any false or imperfect master, when he comes in front of a perfect disciple then his impurity, his imperfection, is easily discovered and he cannot face that perfect disciple.
In the same way, if there is a perfect Master and if we are not yet perfect disciples, whenever we go to such a perfect Master we will not be able to look into His eyes. We will not be able to face Him, because our sins, our impurities, will not allow us, will not give us the courage to look into the eyes of the Master. That is why Masters always say that those so-called masters who give very good lectures outside in the world, those who have different things in their heart than what they say from their mouth, they will not be able to face the perfect disciples, just as the imperfect disciples cannot face the perfect Master.
That is why Masters always say that before going to any master and before taking refuge at the feet of any master, we should first find out about his way of living. You should find out whether he has done any meditation in his life -- whether he has sacrificed twenty or thirty years of his life to do the devotion of God, and whether he still doing the meditation, or not. So that is why Masters always say that before taking anyone as the Master, first of all you should find out what his previous life has been like and how he is living his life now.
I do not mean to criticize anyone or comment upon anyone. But I would like to tell you why nowadays Gurudom has been the target of everyone?s hatred, why people do not believe in this. Because you know that if anyone has been bitten by a snake he will fear even a rope. In the same way, those who have been betrayed by a false master are afraid even to come near the perfect or true Masters. Truth never vanishes. Truth is never completely destroyed in this world. There is always some True Being in this world. People are involved in the mind and the sense-organs, but unless we rise above the level of the mind and the sense-organs we can never become successful in finding out what is the Truth.
You know that our Beloved Master Kirpal was very learned, He was a great writer, and He was a scholar. But He never said that the criteria of a perfect Master is that He is a good writer or a learned man. He always said, "It is not true that only a good writer or only a learned person can become the perfect Master." Master Sawan Singh Ji also said the same thing. He also used to say, "If the Mahatma lives according to what He preaches, and if the Mahatma speaks exactly the same words which He has in His heart, such a Mahatma gets the liberation for Himself, and He also liberates those who follow Him."
In the beginning when I went to Delhi, many initiates of Master Kirpal came to see me. Many longtime initiates of Master Kirpal came to see me, and they all quoted from so many different books. Someone said this is written in this book, others said this is written in that book. Nobody told me anything more than that. I had only one response to all of them, and even now I have the same response to all of them: I say, "Dear Ones, if you reach that place from where all these books have come out -- the place in our within from where we think and where we have our intellect -- then you do not need to quote from all these books. Because if you have seen that place with your own eyes then you do not need to quote from the books, you do not need to do anything, because when you go in the within then everything becomes very clear to you, everything is very true, and you can see everything with your own eyes."
Once Emperor Akbar asked Birbal, "What is the difference between the true and the false?" Birbal replied, "That is exactly like the difference between the eyes and the ears. Because from the ears you hear things, and you know that it is not always possible to believe what you hear, but you do not have any difficulty believing in the things which you have seen with your own eyes."
So that is why I always told the dear ones that you should go in the within and see things with your own eyes. Then you will not have to worry about believing the things that you are hearing.
Those who are imbued with Love for the Lord are delighted by His Vision.
Now He says that those who have become absorbed in the Almighty God, in that real Shabd Naam, for Them the darshan of Almighty God is Their food and water. And He says that only those whose everything is Almighty God are the real lovers of Almighty God.
Kabir Sahib says, "O My Beloved, if You come in my sight I will close my eyes so that I may not look at anyone else, and I will capture You in my eyes so that I may not allow You to look at anyone else." Such a dear one who has a real love, who has a real devotion for Almighty God, He sees his beloved Lord within everyone, and such a dear one, such a devotee of God, has a real love for Him.
Dear Ones, have you not read that when Christ was being crucified God Almighty asked Him, "What punishment should I give to these people?" Christ replied, "They are innocent people, they do not know. You should forgive them." This was because He had such an Eye that He saw only God Almighty within all of them. That is why He said that they should be forgiven.
Those who forget the Naam are a burden on the earth.
Farid Sahib says, "Whose burden does the earth feel? With whose sin does this earth tremble?" He says that only those who do not do the meditation of Shabd Naam, only those who do not believe in the existence of God Almighty, and only those who do the bad deeds -- their sins have become a burden on this earth.
Kabir Sahib says, "Always fear those who God Almighty has left out of doing His devotion." He says that those who have not been chosen by God Almighty for His devotion, those upon whom God Almighty has not showered His grace and those whom He has not brought to the Path of His devotion -- you should always be afraid of them, because they are not devoting themselves to God and in their egoism they are doing bad deeds.
Those whom God attaches to His feet are the true dervishes at His door (the doorkeepers of the Divine Court).
Farid Sahib says, "Who are the real dervishes, who are the real fakirs, and who are the real devotees? Only those whom God Almighty Himself embraced, after coming to their homes."
Blessed are the mothers who gave birth to Them.
Their coming to this world is successful.
Now He says, "Blessed was the father in whose home such a personality took birth and such a personality played. That father was a blessed one, he was great; and great was the mother who gave birth to such a child; and such a personality?s coming into this world is also blessed and great.
You know how much we love and appreciate the mothers and fathers of the past Saints and Mahatmas, how the mother and father of Guru Nanak Dev Ji are appreciated. There are still many people who believe in them and who praise the parents of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj. Similarly, you know how respectfully we remember the parents of our Beloved Master, Baba Sawan Singh, and how we glorify and praise the parents of our Beloved Master Kirpal. We say that Hukam Singh was a blessed one, he was great, because in his home Beloved Kirpal, Who came only to shower grace on all the souls, came into this world. And we congratulate Gulab Devi also, because she was the one who gave birth to such a gem in this world.
In His bani Guru Nanak Dev Ji has written, "Blessed is the family in which the Master is born. Blessed is the mother who has given birth to such a child. And blessed is the Satguru Who after taking birth into this world did not become dirty in the dirt of the world. Renouncing everything of this world, He did the devotion of God; He Himself got liberation, and all those who came to Him were also liberated. He received such a certificate, such a recognition, from God Almighty that those who followed Him were also liberated.
O God, You are the Sustainer, Endless, Provider, Limitless, and the Unreachable One.
O God, You nourish everyone. You are Unreachable; no one can reach You.
Those who recognize the Truth -- I kiss their feet.
He says, "O God, You nourish everyone. You are Unreachable, You are Limitless. No one can reach You. You are Unfathomable. And if You give me the opportunity, I am ready to kiss the feet of those who have reached You and those who have realized You. If You shower grace on me, I will feel myself as the most fortunate one. Give me the opportunity of kissing the feet of Your Beloveds."
O Forgiving God, I seek Your refuge.
Bless Sheikh Farid with the alms of devotion.
Now He says, "I have come to Your refuge. Since You are the Forgiving One, that is why I have come to Your refuge, and I am asking only for the alms of the devotion. I am stretching out my jholi, and I am requesting You to fill up this empty bag of mine with the alms of Your devotion and with Your love."