How I Found My Spiritual Master

Olivia Wallace is a member of the Science of Spirituality Chicago area community. In today’s post she shares how she came to her guru, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.

by Olivia Wallace

Olivia's guru, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894-1974), is the spiritual Master of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

My parents questioned God and religion.  In contrast, the children in our mostly Catholic neighborhood seemed confident in their faith.  In some anguish, I prayed, “Dear God, my mother doesn’t know if you exist.  If you do, please show me the true religion before I have children of my own, so they won’t have this insecurity.”

In college and graduate school I found a temporary home in psychology.  It seemed to offer hope of self-knowledge, but ultimately, it would prove a dead end for me.  As a science, psychology depended on proof through the physical senses.  Although I didn’t yet know it, I was searching for deep spiritual discovery, which would only be possible through inner experience.

Meanwhile, my brother in Vermont discovered Sant Mat, then taught by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj of Delhi, India.  My brother’s excitement made me sorry for him; I thought he was deluded.  By then, a professor had labeled me “irreverent.”  A crusty exterior covered the heart that had once fervently prayed for truth.

What changed my life forever occurred in 1969, in Santa Cruz.  That summer in the sunset of the “flower child” era, I felt I was floating in an environment of acceptance and affirmation.  Defensiveness and skepticism faded and were replaced by childlike wonder and living in the moment.

At the summer’s peak, a counter-culture wedding took place in a forest clearing in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  The self-styled minister, calling for a group hug, announced that my friends were being married through the love we all had for them.  A little alarmed, I wondered if I loved them enough!  So from the outer edge of the big hugging ball of people, I earnestly pour my heart into loving them as much as I possibly could.

Was it this sincere effort to love, completely and purely, that fueled what happened next?

I was transported from my bodily senses and the awareness of my environment into a state of blissful ecstasy!

The experience was so real and powerful that afterward there was nothing else in the world I wanted, except to have that ecstasy again.  Whatever I had cared about before was left in the dust.  Love was more real now than anything I’d known.  I’d been there – it existed.

God’s love when it embraces the soul is so powerful and ecstatic an experience, that all other loves pale by comparison. —Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Now there was a passion in my life: to learn how to get back to that state of love and ecstasy at will, and to have it last.  How to do it, I had no clue – except a vague idea that I needed to become more virtuous.

Back at school I found no one who seemed to understand what I’d experienced.  At a loss for where to seek, I soon despaired.  It was the deepest despair I’ve ever known.

When my brother phoned me, I was expecting him to be as unable to understand what I was going through as everyone else.  So I was surprised when I heard him, in the face of my deep unhappiness, laughing in joy!  Doubtfully, I asked if his reaction had something to do with the meditation he did, and this spiritual Master he followed.  When at last I read Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj’s pamphlet “Man Know Thyself!” I recognized these teachings and practices as the means to finding the answers I had searched for all my life.

So, in answer to my childhood prayer, before I had my children I was shown a practical school for developing spiritually, a path to which I could dedicate my life.

As I understand it, a search for God may take the form of a search for truth, for love, or to serve.  I believe I searched for all three.  The power of the (unrecognized) object of my search responded to my sincere efforts, and placed me safely on the path homeward.  On this path I move forward, toward something noble, magnificent, and ever-more wonderful still coming.

Finding My Spiritual Master

Michael Ribet is a long-time member of Science of Spirituality and a frequent speaker at local, national, and international spiritual and interfaith events. He will give a presentation, Benefits of Finding a Spiritual Guide, on Saturday, October 29, at 4:00 pm at the Naperville Center. (For details see the Events page.) All are welcome. In today’s post, Michael shares his experience of finding his own spiritual guide. 

by Michael Ribet

Michael's spiritual Master, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894 - 1974). According to Sant Mat teachings, there is always a living spiritual Master to guide souls on the spiritual path. Today, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, who is also a disciple of Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, fulfills that role, granting initiation and guiding souls outwardly and inwardly on their spiritual journey.

From very early childhood, I was troubled by a deep spiritual yearning. I can remember when I was five or six years old, staring out the window and thinking that I needed to find a person who was directly connected to God. As I grew older and heard stories of various spiritual masters like Jesus and Buddha, one question came to my mind, again and again: “If God was so compassionate in those days, to send His person into the world, why not now?”

I was drawn to books and movies about the lives of mystics but never felt an interest in religious practices. It was always clear to me that all religions emanate from the same divine source. What I was looking for was a direct connection to that source. I didn’t know the word “guru” but used the word “messiah” to describe what I was yearning for.

When I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college, I met another person who was also seeking the same things. He told me that I should be vegetarian if I wanted to know God. When he said this, I was eating a hamburger. As I heard his words, I put it down and have never eaten meat again. A few months later, I followed this person to a meeting in New York City. It was the weekly “satsang,” held by the local disciples of Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.

I listened with rapt attention to the words being read. I’d never heard anything like it before. Was this what I’d been looking for? I took a book written by the Master home with me. The name of the book was Godman. The very title was filled with promise. I got busy with final exams and couldn’t get to the book for a few weeks. The night that exams were done, I sat down with the book.

Once I started reading, I literally couldn’t stop. Everything that I had longed for and searched for jumped off the pages and directly into my heart. It was around 3:00 in the morning when I finished the book. As I closed it, I thought, “This is what I’ve been looking for all of my life.” I was certain that the book’s author, was to be my teacher, or Guru (the word he used in the book).

A few days later, I returned to the Satsang. I asked how to become a disciple. They told me that I could apply for initiation after I had been a vegetarian for some time. Fortunately, I had started that diet months earlier, so they gave me the application. I completed it and put it in the mail the same day. A few months later, I was notified that I had been accepted and the following Sunday, I became a disciple of my spiritual Master, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.

November Programs with
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj returns to the Chicago area in early November and will lead programs on spirituality and meditation.

Sunday, November 6, at 2:30 pm
“Find True Happiness through Meditation
(talk followed by optional initiation)
Aurora, IL
learn more and register

Sunday, November 13, 2:30 pm
“Explore Realms Beyond through Meditation”

Rolling Meadows, IL
learn more and register

At my initiation, I was granted the experience of inner Light and Sound, just as I had been promised. I saw stars within and heard the blast of a trumpet. Since then, I’ve lived a blessed life. Outwardly, I’ve had my share of misfortunes and difficulties, but inwardly, the love of my Guru has carried me through. When things are most difficult outwardly, that love seems strongest.

My teacher left the physical earth in 1974, but he left me in the hands of his successors, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and the living Master, His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. All three of my gurus have held me close. I’ve experienced their love, grace and inspiration at every turn which life has taken. They have taught me through their talks, both in large public gatherings and in intimate conversations. They have inspired me through their shining example. But for me the greatest experience and the way that I have received the most, is through their loving glances. When a Master who comes directly from the Divine, looks into your eyes, the love of God pours directly into your soul. It is an indescribable experience. I once wrote in a poem, “My life is now a journey from glance to glance.”

I have learned that the two greatest blessings that a soul can receive are to get the human birth and to receive initiation from the living Master of the time. As recipients of these two great boons, we don’t need to ask for anything more, because whatever is in our best interest will be provided by our spiritual Master.

My gurus, have never taken any money for their many gifts, they give freely and ask for nothing in return. The living Master, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, travels all over the world speaking to audiences large and small and granting initiation into the inner Light and Sound. He has initiated over 500,000 people since he began his spiritual mission in 1989. Inspired by his grace, many of his disciples also give talks all over the world.

The single best moment of our lives is the day that we meet the true Master. It always fills me with joy when I see the sincere seekers after truth receiving the gift of Holy Initiation which will ultimately lead us to reunion with our Creator.

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.

Law of Justice, Law of Grace

by John Wolf

I’ve been listening to a wonderful live recording of Coleman Barks reciting the poetry of Rumi and the great 14th century Persian mystic, Hafiz. Introducing Hafiz, Barks explains the poet’s perspective on life.

Hafiz, Barks says, asks us to change the way we look at the world—not as a courtroom, with witnesses, juries, and judges, where some are guilty and some innocent. Instead, Hafiz says, let us view life as a caravanserai—a roadside inn—where travelers meet and rest in camaraderie and celebration.

In his mellifluous southern baritone, Barks then recites this Hafiz stanza:

The time of judging
who’s drunk and who’s sober,
who’s right or who’s wrong,
who’s closer to God or farther away—
all that is over.
This caravan is led instead by a great delight,
the simple joy that sits with us now.
That is the grace.

Hafiz raises a fundamental question, one that we would all benefit from looking into our hearts and asking ourselves: “Do I operate from a place of judgment and justice? Or from a place of grace and forgiveness?”

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj relates this incident from the life of his spiritual Master, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj:

Once his wife’s purse was stolen. The authorities found the thief and wanted to press charges. Sant Kirpal Singh Ji wanted instead to forgive him. He said, “Since the purse was retrieved, why press charges?” But the law dictated there be a trial. Thus, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji had to go to court. In court he refused to press charges against the man, and instead forgave him. The thief was so moved by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji’s compassion that he decided to change his ways and lead an honest life. There are many such incidents in the lives of the saints in which their love totally transformed murderers, thieves, and others engaged in sinful pursuits. If people we meet who have tendencies to anger and violence see how we are calm and loving, accepting and kind to them, they will be moved. A day will come when they too will be transformed.

Hearing Barks recite the poem, I can’t help but think Hafiz speaks to another truth, one that is  central to the Sant Mat teachings. Spiritual Masters like Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj fully manifest this principle of grace. Joining their caravan, we enter a circle of unconditional love. They overlook our shortcomings and see us as we truly are—as souls—or what the scriptures of the East beautifully describe as hansas—pure and radiant swans.

And how about the line, “This caravan is led instead by a great delight.” We can’t know for sure what Hafiz meant by that line. But as we souls, we hansas, undertake our epic spiritual migration, we are led, not by justice, but by the great delight of wisdom, grace, and forgiveness with which enlightened beings have lifted human history. When we respond to their message and follow the path they set before us, our spiritual rebirth is assured and we become that great delight.

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj writes:

There are two laws operating in creation. One is the law of karma, and the other is the law of grace. So when you come to the feet of the Master, the law of grace works. Your present karmas are softened down. The Master tells us what to do: “Be born anew.” Do you follow the basic teaching behind this? Be reborn, rise above body-consciousness. What is meant by being reborn? One birth is in this human body, and the other into the Beyond. If you are daily reborn, die daily, take the cross daily, then? You escape the effect of the wheel of life.

If you enjoyed or have thoughts on this post, consider sharing a comment by clicking the comments link below.

How to Communicate and Get Closer to God

by Mona Grayson

Imagine that everything you said over the past twenty-four hours had been tape recorded. (Yes, everything!) What types of things would be on it?

Would there be lies and complaints? What about gossip and criticism of others? Would there be expressions of gratitude and loving comments?

It would be pretty eye-opening to hear our words played back like that, wouldn’t it?

When we’re developing ourselves spiritually, paying attention to the things we say is important because in addition to affecting the way we (and other people) feel, our words also have the power to bring us closer to God.

Consider this…

The saints tell us that in every moment we’re either moving toward God or away from God; it all depends on the thoughts, words, and deeds we choose to engage in.

The challenge comes when we have the goal of getting back to God, but then we find ourselves thinking, doing, and saying things that are taking us in the opposite direction!

Fortunately, there are enlightened souls like Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, who have been, and continue to be, committed to helping us find our way back to God. Their teachings serve as a compass to help us lead ethical lives.

For instance, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj suggested that we ask ourselves three important questions before saying anything:

1. Is it true?

2. Is it necessary?

3. Is it kind?

He offered this practical advice because he knew that when we do the opposite — when we lie, when we gossip, when we say mean or hurtful things — we’re moving away from God and impeding our spiritual progress.

When we speak the truth and we make sure that what we’re saying is necessary, and expresses kindness, we progress on our spiritual journey and don’t incur negative karma that will bind us to this physical world.

But be careful. Just because speaking the truth is on the list, doesn’t mean we should say the truth if it’s mean. Saying kind things is also on the list, see?

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj told a story to illustrate this point:

It is said of Father Abraham that he never told a lie, but was known to speak “half-truths.” By this it means that one need only give as much information as is necessary. If by telling the whole story some person will suffer, then why tell all? These things are difficult to explain in fine detail, but I will give an example. While you are standing in the street, a cow passes you, running fast. A few minutes later she is followed by a butcher, knife in hand, running to catch up with the cow. If he asks you which way the cow went, knowing his intentions are to kill the cow, you can reply in an indirect way rather than help him toward his bad actions.

The goal is that we’re answering Yes to all three of the questions before we speak. That’s the practice. That’s the path that we can take to get closer to God.

So make it a point to practice it today. Before you speak, ask yourself these three questions: Is what I’m about to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

If you enjoyed or have thoughts on this post, consider sharing a comment by clicking the comments link below.


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