Verses for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. This month poetry is everywhere, as writers, teachers, and literary organizations strive to raise awareness of the richness poetry can bring to our lives. In most wisdom traditions, poetry has a central role in expressing the inexpressible truths of spirituality. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes:

Poetry is the gentle voice of the soul subtly beckoning us to hear its messages from the Beyond. The inspiring words that issue forth from a poet’s lips come from spheres far beyond this physical realm to uplift humanity. In their verses, poets touch upon many themes, ranging from love, to spiritual yearnings, to hopes and aspirations, and to human unity.

In honor of this event, we offer two powerful stanzas from the great poet and Spiritual Master, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. His verses are followed by the poetic prose commentary of his son and spiritual successor, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.


Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj (left) and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

Let this world become a temple of love and peace,
Let love and Truth illumine the world,
And the adversaries of peace awaken to its Light.

This one line epitomizes what our world was meant to be. When God brought this world into being, it was all one holy temple made by His hands. When the world was created there was no religious formation. As Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj aptly put it: “The whole world is a temple of God— the sky overhead and the earth below.” He also stressed that God does not reside in temples made of stone by human hands; He resides in the temple He Himself has made— the human form.
In this poem, Sant Darshan Singh Ji is reminding us that this world should be a temple of love and peace.

Every person on our planet can sit together and worship God irrespective of their outer form of religion. There is one God, there is one earth, and there is the same soul in each person and every living thing. If we all joined together under the canopy of the sky and the sacred earth and shared in God’s bounties, we would find the peace and love for which we all pray. What a haven this world would be if we treated each other with kindness and sweetness. If we could only begin with our own individual lives, we would set the wheel of peace in motion.

This sacred land of God has been trampled with the burden of oppression.
Life is not a dagger stained with the blood of hatred;
It is a branch filled with the flowers of love and compassion.

What a noble vision Sant Darshan Singh Ji has of this life! He calls this earth “this sacred land of God.” If each person could think of this world as the abode of God, how could any of us do any wrong? Would we ever dream of residing in God’s heaven and hurting any other being there? This earth is also part of God’s heaven; it may not be made of the fine spiritual substance as the higher realms, yet it is still part of His handiwork. If we could only lead our lives as if this were God’s realm, there would definitely be an end to fighting and to war. If we could only think that we are in God’s territory, we would realize that all people are part of one big family. As brothers and sisters in the Lord, we would try to help each other and relieve each other’s pains.

All beings from the very young to the aged thrive on love. It gives joy, ecstasy, and sweetness to life. We should nourish all those we meet with life-giving love and compassion. How easy it is to utter a kind and encouraging word to those we meet. How happy we can make each other’s days. How simple it is to smile at others, to look at others with love in our eyes, and talk to each other with loving phrases. We offer flowers as a symbol of love to those who are near and dear to us. Let us offer flowers to all we meet.

It is my prayer that the poems of human integration that will be presented today serve to inspire and uplift us. Let us not only listen to them on this occasion alone. We should try to practice their advice in our day-to-day lives. Let us take home these bouquets of poems being offered by our honored guests and brothers and sisters from around the world. It is my hope that we carry these flowers with us in our hearts and in our actions so they emit the fragrance of love wherever we go.

Coping with Life’s Changes

Those of you who come to our programs regularly know today’s guest writer. Cathy Gallagher coordinates Science of Spirituality’s Chicago area community programs, and this Saturday offers one of her own—a half-day retreat/workshop on dealing with change in our lives. Join Cathy on Saturday, December 3 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at the Naperville Center.

by Cathy Gallagher

Growing up in a family of twelve children, my behaviors and morals revolved around being  nice, kind, and helpful.  Getting to heaven meant being a good Christian, following the rules, and doing what others expected. Those who committed sins, I was taught, would burn in hell or pay up with pain and suffering here or hereafter. I accepted these beliefs, although certain aspects of religion puzzled me.  The beliefs which were to be blindly accepted were called “mysteries.” I wanted to find principles of life that were simple and clear.

Cathy's spiritual Master, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, is the spiritual Master of Science of Spirituality who preceded Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

Then suddenly my father, at age 49, was diagnosed with terminal cancer with only six months to live. This shook up my life and my belief system. At fifteen I would have no father, no family stability, only uncertainty. My inner self kept asking what’s happening. Why my father? There must be a deeper more hopeful purpose for this life? Death must have some meaning. I would leave church feeling spiritually empty and hungry for something more satisfying.

My spiritual search seemed to take on special impetus when I met a priest who talked about mysticism. I read Thomas Merton’s, Seeds of Contemplation, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Inner Castle, a biography of Saint Teresa of Avila. I yearned for a meaningful prayer life, inner peace, and I hoped for a connection with my Creator. My challenge was that everyone around me seemed to be looking at life from an outer perspective.

In graduate school a friend told me about meditation. I was curious to learn about meditation, but I wanted to stay with Catholicism and not change religions. This friend assured me that Sant Mat meditation tells you to remain in your own religion.  After reading some of Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj’s writings I was impressed with his clarity, scope, and depth of understanding. I then met Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and was inspired by his loving ways. He loved everyone—more than I had experienced before in another person. He seemed special and exuded greatness and humility.

Bouncing Back from Life’s Challenges—Coping with Change

Led by Cathy Gallagher

Saturday, December 3, 1 to 5 PM
Science of Spirituality Meditation Center
4S175 Naperville Road, Naperville
call to register: 630 955-1200
map it

I met a few members of my friend’s meditation group and they gave me a special book called Mystery of Death. I could see that each life has a purpose—to connect with the holy Light and Sound of God. I could see there was hope for everyone to return to their eternal home with the Creator. As I continued my study of Sant Mat and the Science of Spirituality, some family challenges and commitments came to the foreground for me. But I chose this Path and accepted this lifestyle of daily meditation and vegetarianism. I also accepted the spiritual Master as my guide. As Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj wrote in Mystery of Death:

The way to the spirit and power of God is always open to the sincere seekers after Truth, but success on the path depends on the divine grace mediated through some Godman.

Life brought me to this point and the changes which have shaped my life have been unbelievably rewarding. Spiritual blessings have impacted my life through the guidance I have received  as a member of this path for over thirty years. I have seen and experienced what Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj speaks of when he says:

We can see how the Masters do not try to change us through criticism. Their example naturally inspires us to change. Their radiation bathes us in the sweet shower of love, grace and the Light and Sound that naturally cleanses our soul. 

Are you seeking a deeper, inner pathway that gives you lasting fulfillment? Or, are you interested in making some changes to help you lead a more balanced life? If any of these challenges interest you, please join us on Saturday  December 3, for a half-day retreat on coping with change. The change we will focus on is that which comes from inside ourselves. As the Indian sage Swami Ram Tirath said, “Wanted: reformers, not of others, but of themselves.”

Being resilient includes a whole set of skills, and we will open the topic with how to cope with some challenges within ourselves. As a group we will look into how challenges, our internal scripts, and ways of thinking impact our lives. We will practice a technique called Jyoti Meditation as a way of coping with change and connecting with the spark of the divine that is within each of us.

Poem by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj

September 14 is the birth anniversary of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj (1921-1989). He was the spiritual Master who preceded Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. Not only was he revered as one of India’s greatest saints and meditation teachers, he is also widely considered among that nation’s greatest poets. In honor of his birthday, below is a poem that he translated into English for his wonderful book, Love at Every Step: My Concept of Poetry.


Begin to live your life according to your aspirations,
And step toward your chosen goal.Life is not worth its name unless we meet the challenge of the times.
Play on the instrument of the heart even if it be broken.

This sleeping world will surely awaken,
But first you must arouse your own slumbering hopes and desires.

You would find that what you take for thorns are really flowers,
If you but step into my world of faith.

This desolate scene will become a haven,
If you fill the world of your heart with love.

Companions will join you and form a caravan,
But today you must step forth on the path alone.

Offer the wine of love through your lyrical glances,
That the world may be intoxicated forever.

This life will become youthful and beautiful again
If you but gaze into the eyes of the divine Beloved.

Why complain of the darkness, O Darshan?
Instead illumine the lamp of your heart.

—Darshan Singh

Celebrating Spiritual Independence

Happy Independence Day to all our USA readers!

The spiritual Masters of Science of Spirituality travel widely, often speaking on the cultural events in the places they visit. As we in America celebrate the July 4th holiday, we thought we’d share some of their wisdom on this universal theme of independence.

Spiritual Masters sometimes speak on independence in terms of human rights. More commonly, however, they use this power theme of independence as a metaphor for the liberation of the soul. Here are a few of their thoughts on that dimension of independence.

In the summer of 1983, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj’s USA tour took him to Boston, the heart of the struggle for American independence. Speaking at Boston University, he said:From the beginning of time, saints and seers have been telling us that just as there is a world and cosmos without, there are universes within. And whatever applies to the world outside, applies in a larger measure to the world inside. The most fundamental right which God has given us is to travel into the inner space, to rise above body-consciousness, and soar into the higher spiritual realms and attain self-knowledge and God-realization.

It is only by pursuing this right that man can attain eternal life, true liberty and lasting happiness. Just as today we light fireworks and we ring bells to celebrate our Independence Day, so too we have to ignite the Light of God and we have to ring the bell of the Holy Word or Naam to attain the be-all and end-all of our life which is self-knowledge and God-realization.

—Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj 


In May, the people of Mexico celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a day of maintaining their independence against attempted at domination by another nation. It is also celebrated as a day of companionship, because the victory was partly due to American assistance in that struggle. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj once spoke on the holiday, saying:

As we celebrate the Cinco de Mayo celebrations—the celebration of companionship, the celebration of friendship, let us focus on spiritual companionship. Let us know that on the spiritual journey we are not alone. We have many companionships.

First, we have the companionship of God. Then there is the companionship of the Master and the Master power. There is the companionship of the sangat (spiritual community). There is the companionship of our spouses, our friends, and our family members. Those companionships are there to help. Just as we have their companionship, they have our companionship—especially in the sangat and in our families and friendship arenas.

If we all strive to become ideal, if we all strive to become pious, if we all strive to become compassionate, and if we all strive to become kind, then we will see that our environments will become better and better and we will all be leading lives that will take us to our goal—oneness of our soul and God.

—Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj



As you probably know, the British colonized and ruled India for almost one hundred years. It was through the non-violent leadership of Mahatma Ghandi that India finally achieved independence in 1947. The interplay between destiny and free will and our ability to change our fate is a perennial spiritual question. Here, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, explores this balance and its implication for our personal, spiritual independence.

Along with destiny there is yet another very vital counterpart, depending on the freedom of action and volitional independence that is given to each. It is in correctly understanding the higher values of life and making the most of the opportunities given to him that his salvation lies, right here and now. Paradoxically then, man is not only a creature of his destiny (past), but a creator of his destiny (future) as well. What we bring, must come to pass; and what we do now shall shape the things to come. Wisdom, therefore, lies in making the choice.

The mind-power is a single entity and if harnessed correctly, can, like an obedient servant, render a good account of itself; but if allowed to over-power the life-giving spirit, it proves a treacherous parasite that saps the vitality and shrivels up the host-plant on which it thrives and from which it derives its very life and sustenance.

Thus, one must pay all his attention to proper sowing and cultivating, while playing his destined part in the human drama, on the stage of life, in the light of the eternal radiance that shines through thick and thin, whether we know it or not. The Supreme Will is already wrought in the pattern of our being, for without it, there can be no existence; and in knowing that will and by working in unison with that will, one can escape from the Wheel of Life.

Poem for Buddha’s Birthday

No one actually knows the date of Lord Buddha’s birth. It is celebrated the world over by different schools of Buddhism on various days, but always during April and May of our western calendar. So we’re in the vicinity. Today seems as good a day as any to remember this savior of humanity and his timeless teachings of peace, compassion, and spiritual awakening.

This is a forceful, sobering piece on humanity and Buddha’s redemptive message, written by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj—one spiritual Master illuminating another spiritual Master. It’s one of many uplifting poems he wrote on enlightened beings of diverse traditions, as he himself said, “to give expression to the message of Buddha, Ashoka, Guru Nanak, Christ, Kabir, and the Sufi Masters.”

 

TOWER OF WISDOM

When people exploit spiritual values for worldly gain

Making them instruments to serve material ends,

Then cries the earth in elemental fury, protesting man’s aggression.


When there is no living bond between the worshipped and the worshipper,

And men indulge in the wilderness of sensuality,

Celebrating the feast of savagery,

The world plunges into a dense darkness.

Then the lamp lit by the Apostle of Peace

Spreads light over the entire horizon,

And moonlight lays a carpet over the earth.

Mirrors begin reflecting light on every side;

Looking, we are ashamed of our reflections.


When man’s unrestrained intellect

Reduces religion to a mere plaything,

Then Love’s severity brings nemesis.

Man is caught in a self-made web,

A prisoner, becoming slave to superstition.

Then comes an ever-contending soul

Destroying all accepted illusions,

Lighting candles on every path.


A heart throbs in every atom;

The atmosphere breathes and even the dust has a life.

Step gently lest any heart be injured,

And breathe softly, disturbing no creature.


Do not search for religion in the heavens,

For this great soul has descended from above for the sake of man on this earth,

To rescue souls in writhing agony,

After reuniting them one to another.


War is another name for physical domination.

All victories, triumphs, conquests, and successes

Are ephemeral shadows of flying clouds,

Again searing sunshine and scorching earth,

Without shade or coolness for restless souls.


O unrelenting gods, have compassion on the oozing sores of the tormented,

And apply a healing balm on them.

Forces of darkness war, but for what end?

How can such darkness birth the dawn?

Gather all beneath this flag of peace;

No, not a flag but a minaret of light

Raised by wise Buddha, for all time,

With his pure hands, giving light eternal.


This tower of light can never be destroyed,

This light will continue to illumine the human heart for all time to come.

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