In this line of Naqshbandi Sufis the transmission of knowledge takes place from heart-to- heart. The knowledge in the heart of the Master travels to the heart of the disciple through his sheer love and devotion to the Master. Thakur Ram Singh ji Sahab used to say that the Master by his mere desire sows the seed of love in the heart of the disciple. By practice, the disciple can convert the drop into the ocean. The absolute Truth is one, so is the knowledge of the Truth. The teachings of the great Masters therefore, is one and the same which has descended from the great Masters to their disciples and so on although the presentation may have differed according to the needs of time. Thakur Ram Singh ji Sahab was a living scripture himself. A person who had translated the Geeta into practice. A family man earning his own livelihood and at the same time completely surrendered unto his Master, Mahatma Ram Chandra ji Sahab of Fatehgarh. His most favorite Shloka (couplet) of the Geeta, which he had translated in Urdu, was as under:
“Tark Kar Sub Millaten, Le Mujh Akale Ki Panah,
Phir Mera Jimma Hai Arjun, Tera Bera Paar Hai”
This means -‘Leave all religions and completely surrender unto me. Then it is my responsibility O’ Arjun to see you through.’
He was a person of few words, rarely did he give any discourse but in common conversation itself he mentioned such things, which were deeply imbedded with spirituality. His disciples, specially Shri Chiranjilal ji Vohra, have collected many such instances, which were also later published in the leading newspaper “Rajasthan Patrika’ by Shri Nand Kishore Parikh Sahab. Thakur Ram Singh ji remembered a lot of couplets, short stories and instances, which he used to mention fluently during conversation in common men’s language using Hindi, Marwari, Urdu and Persian phrases. Thus, he explained a subject like spirituality in a light atmosphere in common man’s language. In his eyes good character and good conduct were the most important things rather than mere recital of the Scriptures. His Master Mahatma Ram Chandra ji Maharaj used to say:
Kutub Mahaj Sukhi Hui Haddiyan Hain,
Chabae Inko Kaun Ye Sakht jaan Hain,
Bahut Kum Mili Mujhko Jinda Kitaben,
Naseebon Se Milti Hain Khalish Sharaben.
This meant that the Scriptures are not easy to understand. One has to make a lot of efforts to understand their real meaning. However, the saints are themselves the living Scriptures but one gets the opportunity of sitting at their feet only through their grace.
Thakur Ram Singh ji Sahab used to say that the entire knowledge of the Scriptures rests in the hearts of the saints but that which is there in their hearts cannot be found in the Scriptures and more than that it is only through them that the grace of the Almighty flows.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that the Master through his will power sows the seed of divine-love in the disciple’s heart, which grows into a large tree in due course, through practice. For this the disciple has to surrender his ego, since it is only when the seed is sown in the earth that it grows.
He used to say that Sufism is neither a philosophy nor a religion. It concerns one’s conduct and is a matter of practice. In regard to one’s conduct, he used to say that one should live on fair means and on honest money. For the sake of comfort one should never lead a dishonest life. One, who learns to live within his means, leads a life free of worries. Arsenic is poison but after purification, if it is taken in a small dose, it acts as a medicine. Similarly, the money earned honestly, though may be less, gives unlimited happiness and one lives cheerfully. Whatever the Almighty wishes to give shall be given any way. Why should then the honesty be given up? It is better to be cheated than cheating others. To live without being extravagant is a quality of one’s character, which makes the life happy. The honest earnings go a long way. One should not bribe anyone, nor should one accept the same. If you do some one’s job, do it in a manner that even he does not come to know who has obliged him.
In regard to luck, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that luck does not favour those who do not do their duty. Luck and effort both should go together. Do anything, which is just, keeping faith on the Almighty. He used to narrate an incidence of an eagle that saw a young offspring of a bird, fed it and flew away. A Sadhu saw this and thought how wonderful the divine order was. When the eagle, a born enemy of the young bird can feed it, why should not I get my food. The Almighty shall do something for arranging my food also. Just then he heard an oracle “O’ Sadhu, it was a bird, more than that a young one, and, therefore, the Almighty arranged for its food even through an enemy. But you have been blessed with healthy organs, a mind, intelligence and the energy to take care not only of yourself but of others as well. You are not a child, act like a brave man. Make effort. If you sit idle waiting for the destiny, you will not reach anywhere.”
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that if the Almighty wished people to depend only upon their destiny, why should then they be blessed with intellect and the wisdom. By his own action also, Thakur Ram Singh ji gave the message to all that the human life was an invaluable gift, which should be devoted to achieve the real objective. A true human being is one who thinks right and helps others bodily, mentally and monetarily. Every one remembers one’s near and dears, but to remember ‘Him’ who has created this world and looks after it, is great. One can overcome one’s shortcomings only during one’s life. Whatever be the circumstances, one should learn to live happily and should overcome desires within one’s life. The human form of existence is the highest and the body is ‘His’ temple. But this can be known only in the company of saints and great persons, otherwise the life is lost aimlessly.
One’s food has an important bearing on one’s thoughts. Satvik food (pure and simple food) taken in small quantity results in good thoughts, but if taken too much, even Satvik food may result in impure thoughts. He favored eating a little less than required and used to say that eating should be converted into ‘His’ worship and the sleep should be converted into ‘His’ remembrance. This meant that one should think that in his place it is ‘He’ who is being fed and if this is not possible, keep on praying while eating. Similarly, one should sleep in ‘His’ remembrance. Whatever one eats or drinks, should first be offered to the Almighty, as by doing so, the impact of impure thoughts connected with the food or drink disappear. Food prepared with cleanliness and in ‘His’ remembrance helps in developing devotion. He used to say that many Muslims have become saints although they ate meat because whatever they ate, they ate a little less than their appetite and in the remembrance of the Almighty. He used to narrate an incidence in this regard that two friends in a jungle by mistake cooked meat in a graveyard. When they started eating they realised that it was a graveyard. One of them said that they had committed a great mistake in eating in a graveyard. The second friend, however, said the graveyard was right there in their dish. The real meaning is that the outer or physical impurity is not that harmful as the impurity of the mind and thoughts of those who cook, serve, look at it or eat the food. It is equally important that the money used for procuring food is earned honestly. Dishonestly earned money, if used in procuring the food, affects it, which in turn affects the mind and thoughts and leads one ultimately to indulge in bad deeds.
In regard to eating non-vegetarian food, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that if it is eaten only for the taste then it is better not to eat it, but if one needs to eat non-vegetarian food for maintaining one’s energy to serve others, then it is not bad either.
In regard to sleep, he used to refer to this couplet of Sahajo Bai:
Jagat Main Sumiran Kare, Sovat Main Lou Lay,
Sahajo Ek Ras Ho Rahe, Tar Toot Nahi Pay.
He used to explain that if one sleeps remembering the Almighty, the remembrance continues whole night and in the morning one gets up remembering ‘Him’. This is an effortless method of remembering ‘Him’ throughout the night. One who has learnt to eat and sleep remembering ‘Him’ has covered a long path. One does not know when it will be his last breath and, therefore, one should not allow oneself to sleep without remembering ‘Him.’ By leaving stomach a little empty, one will sleep less and this will allow him more time for prayers. When Thakur Ram Singh ji used to go on tours, he often slept on a bench or on a parapet as this kept him alert even while sleeping.
If one starts the journey, one is sure to reach the destination one-day. For any journey however long, one has to take a small first step. Similarly, unless one constantly keeps on observing one-self for the right thoughts, the ill thoughts will not give way. Purity of thoughts is very important. One should try to get rid of ill thoughts as quickly as possible and the easiest way to do it is to remember ‘Him.’
Thakur Ram Singh ji considered the right education and teaching necessary for a person to become a true human being. If, however, the knowledge results in arrogance, it is of no use. In spite of being highly educated, one may have both good and bad qualities. The real purpose of learning is to practice whatever has been learnt. Policemen are made to parade everyday. It is then only that they become good Sepoys. Can books alone make them good Sepoys? He used to say that one who reads a lot but does not practice is like a loaded bullock. The Ramayana is a scripture full of love and the Geeta and Vedanta contain the essence of knowledge. According to him, love is complete and all encompassing.
As regards the Scriptures, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that their essence is Satsang (company of good people or the saints), Satguru (the Master) and Satnaam (the remembrance of the Almighty). The company a man lives in has great influence on him and gets him painted in its own Colour. He used to say that everything leaves its own influence, good or bad. One feels warm near a fire and a charged battery imparts charge to other battery. Similarly, company of good people makes one worthy and those of bad people leads one to indulge in ill deeds. A bad company is capable of spoiling even the best of the people. He used to say that leave aside outsiders, even if one’s own family members or relatives ask to do something that inhibits spiritual progress, one should refrain from doing so. A true Satsang is one in which one finds the company of a Satguru. The effect of such a Satsang is ever lasting and reflects itself into the practical life. Slowly the shortcomings start disappearing. The company of a Master even for a moment is far more valuable than spending hundreds of years doing penance.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to consider the shelter of a Master to be the stepping-stone to achieve the real objective of this life. The spiritual progress in life is dependent on the link established with the Master. The grace of the God starts flowing automatically with the grace of the Master. The job of the Master is to clean his disciple. In this regard, he used to narrate an incidence. Once a Sadhu knocked at a door. A lady came out. Seeing her attire, the Sadhu started moving away, as the lady appeared to be a prostitute. She ran after the Sadhu and pleaded with him to stop for a minute at her door. She went inside and brought two pieces of cloth, a dirty one and a clean one and showing them to the Sadhu asked him which one of them was worth cleaning. When he indicated towards the dirty one, she asked the Sadhu “please, then tell me, if a person like you would not shower his grace on me, a sinner, who else will care for me.”
He used to say that what a Master does is to lead his disciple to the divine path by pulling him out of oblivion. Human weaknesses subdue the godly character of human beings. The Master brings into the fore this hidden spiritual energy. But it needs a true effort to find a true Master. One has, therefore, to be a true seeker. It is not difficult to realise the Almighty. The difficult thing is to get to the pious feet of the real Master. One who loves his Master more than himself has reached the state of being ego-less as he becomes the reflection of his Master. This is the simplest method of achieving the unity with one’s Master.
In regard to adoration (upasana), Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say a couplet.
Bekhudi Cha Jaaye Aeisi, Dil Se Mit Jaaye Khudi,
Uske Milane Ka Tarika, Apne Kho Jaane Mein Hai.
(One should forget oneself in such a manner that even the thought of self-existence vanishes from the mind. The only way to realise ‘Him’, is by losing the identity of self).
He used to say that ‘He’ is not away from us but nearer than the nearest. Adoration itself means to sit alongside. The need is to attune oneself, like switching on a light, the moment the switch is pressed current flows and the bulb starts shining. The connection of the lamp is established with the powerhouse. Similarly, one should establish the connection with ‘Him’ through the switch of one’s heart.
The Almighty does not get anything if a person worships ‘Him’, but it is the duty of everyone in human body to worship ‘Him.’ Divine thoughts start engulfing a person just by a mere look at a devotee. Remembrance is the fulfillment, and one can remember ‘Him’ only through a constant endeavor to divert one’s mind again and again to the divine thoughts. One has to follow a method or discipline in adoration but there is no obstruction of any kind whatsoever in remembering ‘Him.’ The bliss resulting from remembrance is unmatched, much beyond that resulting from adoration. One can find ‘Him’ within and can realise ‘Him’ by through feeling. ‘He’ is not lost anywhere that ‘He’ is required to be searched, nor is ‘He’ annoyed that one has to please ‘Him.’ All this is necessary only to control the fickle mind and to train it. Adoration trains the mind and helps it control but one should not force one’s mind. It should be guided with love and care towards the Almighty. If compelled the mind gets irritated but with love it easily gets to the right path. Worshipping may train one’s body but not one’s mind. The mind is like a horse, which if gets weak, would not be able to pull the cart of the life to its destination. It is, therefore, necessary to adopt some practice to lead the mind to the right path.
Once someone asked Thakur Ram Singh ji that he had spent years in worshipping but still he was always surrounded by difficulties, no gains but losses only. Thakur Ram Singh ji explained, “If you want to keep an animal tied down, it tries to run away. If this is the condition of an ordinary animal, how can one think of keeping under shackles the power that runs the whole Universe just because one spends some time in worshipping. Is it any obligation on ‘Him.’ In fact one should never think that it would result in some worldly gains. The Almighty is concerned only with love and not with the rituals. He listens not because one worships ‘Him’, but only because one prays and repents. Until one calls from the heart, no real benefit can be achieved.
Similarly, someone asked Thakur Ram Singh ji, “why is it that one is not able to turn oneself towards the Almighty.” He explained, “If the treasurer forgets the key in the chest, he may go anywhere but his attention constantly remains there only, similarly when one forgets about all worldly affairs, one will succeed in concentrating at the Almighty.” He also used to say ‘if one has some valuables in the pocket, one keeps on feeling it. The Almighty is omnipresent. Do anything, which is right, but in the heart keep ‘Him’ remembering.
Thakur Ram Singh ji attached a lot of importance to structuring of time. He often uttered this couplet of Sahajo Bai.
Ek Ghari Ka Mol Na, Din Ka Kahan Bakhan,
Sahajo Tahin Na Khoiye, Bina Bhajan Bhagwan.
Time spent without purpose leaves one a loser on all counts. One should utilise the existing moment then and there only as the moment that has gone-by can never be regained.
We attend to our worldly affairs with all care and efforts, but try to find excuses in devoting time for spiritual upliftment. This is not the right attitude. For spiritual upliftment all times are good times. One does not have to wait for an auspicious moment.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that everything should be done punctually so that not even a single moment is wasted. One has to break the shell in this life only. One should firmly believe that this very moment is the one to make the progress. Like a miser who counts his each penny and keeps them with great care, one should count his each moment and spend it carefully, as there is nothing more valuable in this world than the time.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that a missed opportunity costs dearly. One should always be alert and should make the best use of the available opportunity. No moment should be wasted without remembering ‘Him.’ If one has improved oneself, he has improved the world. He used to believe in the self-improvement as the first step in the spiritual upliftment. One, who cannot get over one’s own deficiencies, can hardly be expected to benefit others. By pointing out towards other vices, one does not overcome one’s own. One should try to give away one’s own vices as that is within one’s control. By taking care of one’s mind and guiding it on to the right path, one can make one’s life meaningful. One who is able to bear with others behavior, in a way does some good to them.
In 1970, when Thakur Ram Singh ji was admitted in TB Sanatorium, he once mentioned that generally people are concerned about their material progress but rarely someone shows interest in spiritual upliftment. It is in this span of life that one should reach his utmost goal. Always keep an eye on your mind that it does not obstruct your way and see that faculties given by ‘Him’ are not misused, otherwise one should be reminded of the story of hundred shoe beatings. And he narrated the story: A big diamond was brought before a King to buy it. Jewelers from various parts were summoned to evaluate the price of the diamond and suitable reward was announced for the one who told the right price of the diamond. Everyone evaluated the diamond according to one’s understanding but they did not agree with each other. In the meantime, an old person looking to be poor and in torn clothes arrived there. He examined the diamond and told the King that the connoisseurs assembled there had evaluated the diamond without really knowing about it. The diamond was worth millions as it had two special characteristics. First, the possessor would never be discontent and second, the diamond will emit light in darkness. The King kept the diamond with him for some days and found that what the old person had mentioned about the diamond was true. He called him again and asked his courtiers to suggest a suitable reward for him. However, in the matter of reward also there was a difference of opinion. The King then called one of his old ministers who looked at both the diamond and the old person and then told the King that the right reward for this person would be to make him gulp Hukke-ka-Pani (tobacco water) and hundred beatings of shoe on his head. Everyone was taken aback on this suggestion. When he was asked to explain, the old minister told the King that this person has not used his intellect in the right direction. Instead of using his intellect for evaluation of stones, if he had used it in self-realisation, the wealth of the whole world would have been inadequate as reward to him.
After narrating this story, he said that as a person develops more and more love for his Master, he starts making spiritual progress. This is the easiest way. In this method one should always keep in mind his initial aim. It should never be thought that one has acquired any special position, otherwise it may result in descending down. One should never expect to be revered by others. Instead one should help others in their upliftment to the extent possible. A feeling of pride results in downfall. One, who counts vices in others, obstructs one’s own progress. As soon as one thinks of a wicked person, one starts getting feelings of anger and revenge. If, however, one thinks of a devotee, one starts getting feelings of love, devotion and service. Thus the person one remembers influences one’s thoughts. One should firmly believe that one’s own good lies in the well being of all.
Thakur Ram Singh ji also attached a lot of importance to respect for others. He himself used to address even children with respect. He used to say that the true respect reflects from the way one conducts oneself. It reflects in a behavior, which does not hurt anyone’s sentiments. It is human to make a mistake and, therefore, one should not say anything bad about a person behind his back. By considering oneself clever, one may often show disrespect to others. One should always reflect respect, politeness and simplicity in one’s behavior. It is the duty of everyone to respect elders. Love is the only exception, which encompasses all these aspects and goes beyond them. Vidur’s wife (Vidur was a minister in the court of Maharaj Dhritrashtra in Mahabaharat’s time) forgot about herself in the flow of immense love when she heard that Lord Krishna had come to her house. She was taking bath but ran to receive him without putting on clothes. She was totally unmindful of herself in that divine-love but the Lord Krishna threw his scarf to cover her up.
Jahan Prem Tahan Niyam Nahin, Wahan Na Vidhi Vyopar,
Prem Magan Jab Man Bhaya, Kon Gine Tithi Var.
Unless one’s conduct reflects this degree of love and respect, it will be difficult to make progress. Janab Chachhaji used to say ‘Ba Adab Ba Naseeb, Be Adab Be Naseeb’ i.e. politeness brings fortune whereas disrespect brings misfortune. In fact the beginning of worship is to respect.
Once a child from his Master’s family (perhaps his Master’s grandson) touched Thakur Ram Singh ji’s feet. He immediately pulled back his feet and bowed down his head on to the child’s feet saying “what have you done. I am a slave of this family.”
In his view the truth was the one, which was practiced. The God lives in the heart of one who is truthful, but the truth also should not result in killing anyone. Humanity is far more important than truth. He used to explain ‘suppose a lady is not of sound character and one is bent upon telling the truth. If he tells the truth to her husband, what will be the result. There is no gain in saying such a truth. It is better to keep quiet in such a situation.’ Similarly, in this context he used to mention of another incidence from the Scriptures in which a cow somehow escaped from the hands of a butcher. The butcher started searching for the cow and spotted a passer-by. He enquired with him whether he had seen any cow crossing him. The butcher asked him repeatedly. On the other hand, the passenger thought if he told the truth to the butcher, it will result in many sins. He shall be responsible for the killing of the cow and the butcher’s sins will also increase. Such a truth will not benefit anyone. The passenger, therefore, was in a dilemma. He, however, used his wisdom and cleverly told the butcher “one who has seen cannot speak and that which speaks has not seen.” After narrating this story, Thakur Ram Singh ji said that the wisdom to distinguish between truth and falsehood can be gained only by following the words of the great persons.
In regard to action and fate, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to insist on action with firm faith in the grace of Almighty rather than believing in the fate. For those who believed in the fate, he used to narrate an incidence. A Punditji got one of his fingers involved with excrement. Keeping the finger away from his clothes and with lot of disdain, Punditji reached a carpenter and asked him to chip-off that finger. The carpenter told him that it will be very painful and he will cry if the finger is severed from his body. Punditji, however, kept on insisting saying that he will live with what is there in the fate. The carpenter again tried to explain and asked the Punditji why was he hating his own excrement and insisting for the finger to be severed when he can clean the finger by his own efforts. A wise man does not hate something foul but removes it and cleanses himself. The Punditji, however, was not prepared to listen to him. The carpenter was a wise person and thought it not to be proper to severe the finger. He hit the finger with the reverse side of the tool used for chipping. The Punditji could not bear the pain and instantly put the finger in his mouth to comfort it. The carpenter laughed loudly and asked Punditji where had disappeared his cleanliness and the belief in the fate.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that it is in one’s own hands to behave like a kitten or a baby monkey. The baby monkey holds on firmly to it’s mother. The mother-monkey may keep on jumping but the baby-monkey does not leave her. On the other hand the kitten roams about fearlessly having firm faith in its mother that the moment it needs mother’s help the mother will pick it up and take care of its needs.
This example clearly brings out the distinction between the action and the fate. The kitten does not sit idle believing in the fate. The Almighty has not given the wisdom to the kitten to think about the fate. The kitten does not know what the fate is. It has firm faith on the mother-cat that it will take care of everything. Thus, those who think themselves to be like kitten, have firm faith in the Almighty. For such devotees, there is nothing like fate. This feeling, this belief is the indicator of a complete surrender unto the Almighty. A devotee, therefore, depends upon the Almighty and not on the fate.
Tera Sain Tujhmen, Jyo Patthar Mein Aag,
Jo Chahe Didar To, Chakmak Hokar Laag,
Dariya Sota Sakal Jag, Jagat Nahi Koy,
Jaage Mein Phir Jagana, Jaaga Kahiye Soy.
He used to say that everyone has to live his life but it is important to watch whether one is winning or losing. A winner is one who achieves his objective before the death, and the real objective of the human life is to be fully self-realised. When one has a long distance to cover in a short time, one has to increase one’s speed. Courage and determination turns even a thorn into a flower. One does not know when the end may come and, therefore, one should always believe ‘Him’ to be with oneself and do one’s duty.
Naseem Jago Kamar Bandho, Uthao Bister Ki Raat Kam Hain
Along with dedication and diligence, purity of mind is also necessary for self-realisation. Thakur Ram Singh ji in this context used to say:
Dil Ka Hujara Saaf Kar, Jana Ki Aamad Ke Liye,
Khyaal Garoon Ka Hata, Usko Bithane Ke Liye,
Woh Aaye Bhala Kyonkar, Rasta Hi Nahin Dil Mein,
Armanon Ka Majama Hain, Aur Bhirh Hain Hasaraton Ki.
(To welcome the beloved, clear your heart of the thoughts of all others. How can ‘He’ come when there is no way to reach your heart, which is filled with desires).
Till one seeks pleasure in fulfillment of material desires, it is impossible to have access up to ‘Him.’ One needs to make some space even in this house to receive a guest. ‘He’ does not look at the appearance or the show but at the feelings and a clean and pure heart to stay.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say if a wicked man or even an enemy is in difficulty, one should help him from a distance and get aside. One should, however, have no hatred for him. Even if he harms you, do not wish evil for him. The responsibility of running this world is not on you and you should not interfere in ‘His’ work. ‘He’ knows what is to be done with others, good or bad, but if you interfere in that, you will only get distracted. ‘He’ sees your deeds and intentions and not your ostentation. All your worshipping is for yourself only as ‘He’ does not benefit from it. The soul has always been pure. Whatever vices are there, they are in the mind. One, therefore, needs to keep a constant watch over one’s mind to see what does it plan, what wrongs it thinks. If it is tracking the wrong path, it should be guided with love to the right path. The necessity to perform religious rites and rituals is only to bring the mind to the right path. With a little mistake, it can go out of control. It is, however, better to induce it rather than fight with it otherwise like an unsaddled horse it may kick you away. With force the mind may get lazy, but not pure. As soon as it gets a chance it will start jumping around. Do not, therefore, allow your mind to be idle even for a moment. For the inner cleaning, the outer business should also be all right. It is not proper to suppress your mind but it is equally not proper to force it in anything. One should guide it affectionately towards ‘Him.’ If it appears to be difficult, one should pray the Almighty as the Almighty responds to the prayers and extends immediate help.
This is the essence of Sufi way of practice. Sufis pay the highest attention to the purity of mind. What to talk of ordinary persons, even the great ascetics and yogis have suffered deviation from their path due to their own failings. To err is human and it is difficult to find such a person who would have never erred in his life. A person who has neither attachment nor malevolence is, therefore, better. To consider others better than oneself and to return good for evil is the true humanity. It is not proper to look for vices in others. It pulls one back from the path of salvation. One should try to hide others’ shortcomings. When the Almighty does not make public anyone’s vices, what right do we have to indulge in condemning anyone? The result of looking at others vices is that one starts acquiring them in oneself. Instead, if one starts counting one’s own vices, then there would be no time left to look at others. A good person is liked and respected by everyone but the question is of a bad person. He is not to be condemned but to be treated with mercy and sympathy. To the extent possible, one should help him and get aside.
In this context Thakur Ram Singh ji used to narrate a story of a Master and his disciple. The Master sought from his disciple the worst of all things to be offered to him. The disciple thought this to be an easy task. He was about to pick up a stone when it occurred to him that people carve out statues from the stone and worship it. They also use stone in making buildings, roads and bridges. The disciple then wanted to pick up cow-dung but that was also used as manure and as fuel for cooking food. The disciple thought of picking up many things but every thing was having its own utility. At last he thought the human excretion to be the worst of all and wanted to pick it up when a realisation dawned on him that a little before it was a useful thing. In the shape of food, people respected it, but a few hours company of man has caused its degradation to this condition. If one keeps ghee (butter-oil) even in the skin of a dead animal, it will not spoil for long, but in the live skin of a man, the best of food is turned into this shape in a few hours. One has to look within where the treasure of all vices is accumulated. There is nothing with fault anywhere in the creation of the Almighty, but the fault lies in one’s own mind, which still searches for vices outside.
The disciple was enlightened. He rushed back to his Master and fell at his feet saying, “Kindly pardon me that I went to search the most useless thing outside. The worst of all, my mind, which keeps on collecting all useless things, was within me. This is the right thing to offer to you.” The Master had achieved his objective, which was to bring this awareness to his disciple.
In regard to desires, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to often say this couplet:
Chah Chamari Choohari, Sub Neechan Te Neech,
Tu To Puran Brahm Tha, Jo Chah Na Hoti Beech.
(The desires are like a cobbler’s wife who has the knowledge of leather and, therefore, is concerned with the skin i.e. the material existence. Besides, like a mouse, the desires nibble away the devotion. If there were no desires, one would be totally shackle free).
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that one should overcome desires, as this is the foremost obstruction between oneself and the Almighty. Worldly desires take one away from the path of salvation and, therefore, except the desire for devotion, all other desires need to be overcome. The worldly desires and the desire of salvation cannot co-exist, as they are contradictory. He, however, did not favour in-action. He used to say that one has to take care of one’s needs and make effort for the same. The Almighty helps in fulfilling one’s needs. It is, however, not proper to be a slave of desires. The desires are the world, the obstruction and the attachment from which one has to come out.
He used to say these couplets in this regard :
Bhagati Phirti Thi Duniya, Jab Talab Karte The Hum,
Ab Jo Nafarat Hamne Ki, To Bekarar Aane Ko Hai.
(The world used to run-away from me when I had a desire for it. Now that I do not want it, it is eager to come to me.)
Jab Se Hati Hai Khwahishen, Phoolon Ko Sunghane Ki,
Saare Jahan Ke Gulshan, Mere Hi Ho Gaye.
(Ever since I have given up the desire to smell the flowers, all the gardens of the world have become mine).
He also used to say that it is not enough that one gives up the worldly desires, but one also has to keep away from Siddhis (miracles). In this regard, he used to say :
Chah Gayi Chinta Miti, Manva Beparvah,
Ja Ko Kuch Nahi Chahiye, So Jag Shanshah.
(One who has given up desires, has no worries. One who wants nothing, is the Emperor).
In regard to Siddhis (miracles), he used to narrate an incidence of a disciple of Sant Dadu Dayale who had to take re-birth on this account. Sant dadu Dayal used to live in a cave near Jaipur. His disciples used to collect alms from near by areas. One of his followers was Jagga. He once went to collect alms in Amer and stopped in front of a shop where an unmarried girl was spinning yarn from cotton. Jagga addressed her, ‘de mai soot, le mai poot’(O Mother! Give me the yarn and take a son in return). The girl gave him the yarn and while receiving the yarn Jagga said ‘le mai poot’. On return Jagga narrated this incidence to his Master Sant Dadu Dayal. Sant Dadu Dayal thought for a while and then admonished Jagga that the girl was not destined to have a son. Now that Jagga has blessed her to be a mother of a son, the only recourse left was that Jagga himself would have to take birth as her son. Jagga accepted his Master’s verdict but requested Sant Dadu Dayal to accept him again in his new life as his disciple. Sant Dadu Dayal agreed. Sant Dadu Dayal then went to that girl’s house and told her father to get her married soon and that her in-laws be told that her son would renounce the world at the age of six years. The girl was married to Shri Parmanand of Dausa. Jagga took re-birth as Sundardas, who was accepted again by Sant Dadu Dayal in 1659 Vikram Samvat.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that attachment with worldly things is ‘Maya’ (illusion). In simple terms Maya can be explained as “me and mine-you and yours.” One should, therefore, always be cautious and should try to develop a feeling of fraternity towards all. No sorrow if someone goes away, no over-joyousness if someone comes. The best way to achieve this, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say, is to keep remembering ‘Him’.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say intoxication of any kind is prohibited for a person who desires to move ahead on this path. Intoxication badly influences the intellect as a result of which one loses the sense of distinguishing between good and bad. Liquor specially affects the nervous system making it extremely weak and incapacitating one to practice yoga.
Another obstruction in the path of salvation is the ‘Kaam’ or sensuous desires. He used to say that this is so subtle and powerful that by a mere sound, it can enter ones mind, leave aside seeing. Even after emptying the pot, if one keeps it near fire, some ghee will start flowing. Similarly, even in old age one cannot take oneself to be out of its clutches. It is one of the biggest obstructions in the path of spiritual advancement. As a horse on getting out of control, throws away the rider, similarly, if one’s mind gets absorbed in sensuous desires, one gets detracted. One should, therefore, constantly keep a watch on one’s mind and should guide it to the right path with care and attention.
It is the duty of a true human being that even if he happens to look at a lady unknowingly, he should consider her to be like a mother and take his eyes off her. There is nothing wrong in the first sight, but if one looks again, it definitely leaves an impression. If one must look at a lady, instead of looking into her eyes, one should look at her forehead. Ladies also must put vermilion on their forehead, as it saves them from an evil eye.
Lack of self-restraint results in downfall even for a great sage but it is equally wrong to think that if great sages have not been spared what to talk of ordinary human beings. Firm faith in the Almighty and practice make things all right, and confer greatness on ordinary beings. Thakur Ram Singh ji approved family life as the most appropriate for the common men, but even in the family life self-control needs to be exercised. The wife helps her husband in overcoming the onslaught of lust as a result of which one can fearlessly proceed on the path of salvation.
Desires cause worries and worries result into instability of mind. Whether or not something would happen depends upon the Almighty. To forget ‘Him’ and consider one-self as the Master, is the sure way to add to one’s difficulties. The Master of the whole world is the Almighty. We have been appointed only as the caretakers of the things provided to us, why then should we worry. Till one worries for oneself, why should the Almighty worry for him? Till a child keeps on playing, the mother does not worry about the child. The moment, however, the child cries, the mother rushes for him. One should, therefore, keep on remembering ‘Him.’ ‘He’ who takes care of the needs even of foes, how can ‘He’ be expected to keep ‘His’ friends away from ‘His’ grace. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that it is better to live hungry than to worry. It does not look good for a devotee to beg anyone else except the Almighty. A noble wife does neither express her difficulties to anyone else except her husband, nor does she insist upon anything. She lives happily in the condition in which her husband keeps her. Similarly, a devotee should live happily in the condition in which the Almighty keeps him. However, if one has to take loan for the good of others, it is not bad either. If one cannot live without worrying then one should worry only about ‘Him’, which would result only in the peace.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say three things to be the companion of a person seeking salvation. Killat, Illat and Jillat, which act as the hammer necessary to remove the angularities of one’s mind. The ego loosens as a result of this hammering, which makes a man worth receiving ‘His’ grace. Killat literally means poverty but in this line the real meaning of Killat is not abject poverty but a condition of the mind of detachment from the wealth. Both rich and poor spend their lives worrying for the wealth, the rich in an effort to protect it and the poor in an effort to somehow acquire it. Killat, therefore, really means to be content and not to have an attachment with the wealth. One, who has overcome the desire to somehow accumulate more and more wealth and has given up the sense of possession of wealth i.e. one who has no arrogance of a rich. Illat which means illness, pain or some suffering and Jillat which means bad-name or ill-fame are also helpful in making spiritual progress. It is only in difficulty that one remembers the Almighty. While he was in TB Sanatorium, one day indicating towards the patients Thakur Ram Singh ji said that people want to live even with all pain and difficulties. No one wants to die. Each breath is invaluable. Even then one does not pay thanks to the Almighty and remains in oblivion. One fears pain but wants to live. However, the outcome of one’s deeds has to be borne by oneself. No one can be saved from the outcome of his deeds. The only way to mitigate their effect is to pray ‘Him.’ However, one should not be insistent. One should pray for ‘His’ desire alone to be fulfilled, as it is ‘He’ who knows what is the best in one’s interest. As one climbs up a mountain, the difficulties get more pronounced and every step needs to be taken cautiously lest one may fall down. One, therefore, has to move patiently with the firm faith that the grace of the Almighty is working behind the difficulties.
Sukh Ke Maathe Sil Pare, Jo Naam Hriday Se Jaay,
Balihari Wa Dukh Ki, Jo Pal Pal Naam Rataye.
(I do not want that happiness which takes away me from ‘Him.’ I am however, indebted to that pain, which makes me remember ‘Him’ all the time).
When a boil gets septic, it is to be operated upon to flush out the pus. Similarly, the Almighty inflicts pain and difficulties on one whom ‘He’ loves, because the pain and difficulties divert his attention away from the worldly affairs back within i.e. towards the Almighty.
One should not get frightened when in difficulty or ill. If ‘He’ has given the illness, ‘He’ also has provided medicines. Do not get perturbed but keep remembering ‘Him.’ It is because of the pain that one finds a healer. One should, however, not look towards the world for relief. One has to reap the harvest as he sows, no one else can be blamed for it. By blaming others for one’s difficulties, one even loses the patience. One should, therefore, look towards Almighty alone.
One, who lives humbly, arouses a feeling of sympathy and mercy in others. Similarly those who misbehave are responsible for arousing a feeling of violence and anger in others taking them away from the right path. It is very easy to make others angry but it is difficult to make them behave affectionately. If you want to give something to others, give your affection. Anger is the destroyer, which first takes away one’s discretion. However, at times one has to express annoyance for the benefit of others, like a mother scolds her children for their benefit. In a family life one has to use all faculties, but it should not be out of any ill feeling. Thakur Ram Singh ji, therefore, used to say “baste raho, basate raho, hanste raho, hanaste raho” (flourish and help others flourish, be happy and make others happy). One, who is always affectionate, remains always happy. Anger cannot do any harm to him. To be cheerful in all situations is the secret of life. It also helps in spiritual upliftment.
Thakur Ram Singh ji attached a lot of importance to forgiveness. He used to say that it may be difficult to tell others to forgive, but one can at least practice forgiveness himself. He used to say :
Mujhe Dekho Banda Hokar Ki Nafarmania Lakhon,
Use Dekho Kuch Nahi Kahata Khuda Hokar.
(Look at me who has done millions of wrongs as a man, and look at ‘Him’ who even then does not say anything, being the God).
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say, one should never think of taking revenge. To forgive is a great quality, which not only brings good to oneself but also takes away the ill feeling. The person who forgives also receives the grace of the Almighty as the Almighty is the greatest forgiver and a servant (human being) must try to mould himself according to his Master (the Almighty).
Main To Gunahagar Hoon, Magar Tu Bakhsh De,
Kya Khata Bhi Koi Cheej Hai, Teri Ata Ke Saamne.
(I am a sinner, but kindly forgive me. Can any wrong be unpardonable, looking at ‘Your’ mercy).
Speaking politely and not to hurt anyone’s feeling is like offering prayers. One should, therefore, speak respectfully with others. The Almighty has very kindly bestowed the power of speaking to human beings, which they should not misuse. To enter into unnecessary debate is only an intellectual exercise which makes one extrovert and restless. One should, therefore, be extremely careful in choosing his words; otherwise it is better to be silent. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say one should never ill speak of others. Speaking ill of others not only obstructs one’s spiritual progress but makes one liable to bear the brunt of others’ misdeeds. To explain this matter he once narrated a story:
A great Fakir once went to a palace for collecting alms. A groom was cleaning the stable. The Fakir asked him for some food. The groom indicating towards dung told him to eat the same. The Fakir looked at him and remarked “let this dung multiply day-by-day in your King’s State.” The heap of dung started increasing and in a few days took the shape of a mountain. When the King came to know of it, he went to the Fakir. The Fakir asked him whether it was proper that a Fakir should stay hungry in his kingdom and on asking for food he should be offered the dung. The punishment for this is that the entire dung will have to be eaten by the King as that had became a part of his (King’s) deeds. The King fell at the feet of the Fakir and requested him to take him out of this. The Fakir told him that the only way to get out of this was that the public should speak ill of him. On the way back, the King forcefully lifted a young Brahmin girl to his palace. As a result people started speaking ill of the King and the heap of dung started reducing. Gradually, it got reduced to a handful of dung, and stopped at that. The King visited the Fakir again who told him that the public had ill spoken of him (King) and had shared the heap of dung but one person who parched grains (Bharbhuja) had not condemned him (King). If he also condemns the King, the remaining dung will also finish. The King changed his attire and went to that person and during the conversation found an occasion to speak ill of his own self (the King) in a hope that that person will join him in condemning the King. But that man was himself a great Fakir. He told the King that he was not the one who will falsely condemn him (the King) and share the dung. That dung was the share of the King who will have to finish it himself.
After narrating this story, Thakur Ram Singh ji said that one should not think that everyone should be affectionate to him. If one desires appreciation from good people, one should also be prepared to face contempt and condemnation from wicked persons. Everyone loves those who speak well of him or her, but one who loves even a slanderer is sure to move ahead on the path of salvation. A slanderer in fact helps us by sharing the outcome of our misdeeds. One should, therefore, not feel angry with him. Instead, one should pray the Almighty that he gets over the habit of ill speaking.
Sunke Nindak Mari Gaya, Paltu Diya Hai Roy,
Nindak Jeeve Sau Baras Kaam hamara Hoy.
Thakur Ram Singh ji also used to say that besides exercising moderation in indulgence of natural appetites, one should also be temperate in speech. One who speaks unnecessarily loses his spirituality. One should, therefore, learn to benefit from silence. One should try to practice silence and get back to within. One should speak only if it is necessary and that too with great care and after weighing each word, otherwise, it is better to keep mum. To keep ‘Him’ remembering while engaged in discharging one’s duties is also a form of practicing silence. In fact always being absorbed in the remembrance of one’s Master is the real ‘silence.’ This is the key to the real success.
Attachment with material things, however, is an obstruction to constant remembrance. One should not crave to possess them but should use them as necessary and then leave them to be used by others. If one needs to have attachment, it should be with the Almighty. To forget ‘Him’ and to take this world to be everything is being materialistic. Thakur Ram Singh ji, therefore, used to say earn a lot, live happily and comfortably, but always keep ‘Him’ in mind. The world is not an obstruction in achieving salvation but attachment with the world is. One should, therefore, involve oneself with the material things only as much as is necessary. Everyone knows to earn but not how to spend. One should spend where necessary otherwise it is extravagance. Austerity is a great quality and, therefore, one should always spend money with care and the money thus saved should be spent for others. One, who has learnt austerity, will always be happy.
One should live with simplicity which may encourage others also to live a simple life and one should possess excellent character i.e. one should not do anything bodily, mentally or through speech with an ill feeling towards others. Everything should be considered to be ‘His.’ A devotee considers everything to be belonging to the Almighty where-as an atheist considers everything to be his own.
As regards the true detachment, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that the true detachment is a state of mind. It is not the renunciation of the world. Whether one lives in one’s home or in the jungle, the real objective is self-realisation. When all the faculties are diverted towards the Almighty, the true feeling of detachment also develops. If, however, something, live or material, induces a reaction, one may either try to detach himself from that thing or the easier method of achieving the objective is seeing the reflection of the Almighty in that thing. In this context, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to narrate a story:
Once a King got attracted towards a beautiful girl. He insisted upon meeting with her. The girl asked the King to see her after a week. When the King reached her house after a week, what he saw was that the girl had become very weak and her beauty had lost the charm. The King enquired what had happened to her and how had she lost her charm. The girl indicated the King to go to the next room. The King went to the next room, but could not enter it, as the room smelled badly with human excretion filled in pots. When the King tried to cover his nose and mouth, a maid standing nearby asked him “why are you condemning the very thing which you wanted. The beauty of the body is only on the outside. Inside the body, it was this excretion only but as the body is covered with the skin, it neither smells nor does it attract flies.” The King was shaken completely. He understood the message and developed a feeling of detachment. Through this story Thakur Ram Singh ji used to explain that the King neither renounced his Kingdom, nor did he withdraw from his duty but what he renounced was his ill thoughts and his attachment with the girl.
Besides detachment, Thakur Ram Singh ji laid a lot of stress on compassion and on helping others. He used to say that it is inexplicable that one begs mercy for him but has no pity for others. How can the Almighty listen to such people? One should offer the same prayers for others, as for himself. One who tries to comfort others is truly kind-hearted. It is not proper to hurt others for one’s own pleasure. There is no gain in offering false prayers as one can deceive oneself but not the Almighty. The Almighty is merciful and showers his generosity on all without any discrimination. It is ‘His’ kindness, which is keeping the world running. If one is kind to others, the Almighty will be kind to him. To forget ‘His’ kindness is arrogance. Kafir is one who has forgotten ‘Him.’ One, who remembers ‘Him’, receives ‘His’ grace.
Charity is associated with kindness, and one who does charity for others to be happy is a true giver. Whatever is to be done should be done with full dedication taking it to be ‘His’ work. Only then one can be a great munificent like the Great King Bali. Generally people donate with a desire to get pleasure in return, but a donation which encourages piety and acquiring virtues is a great donation. Thakur Ram Singh ji, therefore, appreciated such a donation, which was good for everyone. Even at the cost of self-deprivation one must give something for the benefit of others, be it as little as feeding the birds, as it is the duty of everyone to spend some earnings in charity. If not more, one-sixteenth of one’s earnings must be kept apart for this purpose. One should first help those who need it the most, without any discrimination. Whatever one earns or receives, is the grace of the Almighty and, therefore, it should be used for ‘His’ family i.e. for the benefit of all. While giving, therefore, one should consider oneself to be only a middleman and should not think to be the donor. The Almighty considers ‘Him’ to be the debtor of such persons and helps them like ‘He’ helped Narsi Mehta.
Charity can take many forms but it is necessary to think over whether the person to whom it is being made is the right candidate for it or not. With an undeserving person one may have sympathy but he cannot be given a right beyond his eligibility. Even then, it is better to donate something than not donating anything at all, as it will at least result in reduction of one’s own greed.
Another thing necessary to receive ‘His’ grace is to serve others with no expectation of return and refraining from taking service from others. It is not necessary to be rich for serving others, but only a true intention to do so with all one’s might. The material things are only a means but the real thing is to have a sincere desire. This sense of service, however, can be acquired through dedication. One renders true service only when there is no discrimination and the service is offered to ‘Him’ through others. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that one should understand the true meaning of service. If one does not have the real intention to render service, one keeps on waiting for an appropriate occasion, missing out on hundreds of such occasions in the daily routine. He considered a patriot also to be a devotee, as the patriot through his actions serves the creation of the Almighty.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that the easiest way to get over one’s ego is to render service. He also used to say that to guide someone to the right path is the biggest service. The Almighty bestows his grace very quickly on one who helps others and, therefore, one should always be prepared to do his best to comfort others. He used to give an example that a drunkard takes his friend to a bar, a gambler takes his friend to a gambling den. Similarly, a devotee takes his friend either to a temple, a mosque or to a saint. Thus, if possible, guide one to the true path of salvation, which will make him happy forever. This will be the biggest service to him but do not take credit for it, as the very thought of taking credit of doing a good thing results in building up of ego.
Contentment is more than a kingdom. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to explain this in many ways. A child feels very happy playing with toys. After a few years, he finds pleasure in games, riding bicycle, etc. On becoming an adult he finds happiness in new things but the desire to seek more and more does not vanish. One, who is a little intelligent, finds happiness in learning, in acquiring good position etc. but as the wisdom dawns more and more, one starts finding lesser happiness in the material things. One starts realising that the real happiness is somewhere else and that the material things would not last forever. The attachment towards them then starts diminishing and one starts feeling contended. This makes him an introvert, but delightful from within. He then behaves like a guest in this world. It is necessary to be content as until one gets detached with the material things, one does not turn towards the Almighty.
In this context Thakur Ram Singh ji used to narrate a story. A poor person used to visit a Mahatma for spiritual attainments. Once he mentioned about his poverty to the Mahatma, who took a piece of an earthen pot, inscribed the figure of ten on it and asked the poor man to take it home. The poor man from that day started receiving ten rupees per day. After some time the poor man mentioned to Mahatmaji that ten rupees was not enough. Mahatmaji asked him to put one zero after the figure ten on that piece. The poor person started receiving one hundred rupees from that day. The poor man gradually lost his contentment and kept on requesting the Mahatma who in turn kept on increasing the number of zeroes on the piece of the earthen pot. After sometime he became a millionaire but his desire to get more and more money did not end. He also stopped visiting the Mahatma. After sometime, he visited Mahatmaji and mentioned before him that he had suffered loss in the business, as a result of which he required more money. Mahatmaji asked him that earlier he used to visit him daily but now he has stopped visiting him, what was the matter. The man explained his problems that now he has so many engagements and although he wishes to visit Mahatmaji, he is not able to find the time for doing so. Mahatmaji then told him that he would take care of all his problems once for all and asked him to bring back the piece of earthen pot. The man went running to his house and brought that piece back. Mahatmaji told him “your desires would not end. Even the great devotees get detracted from their path because of desires what to talk of you. It is, therefore, better to once for all solve all your problems. This piece of earthen pot has also prevented you from visiting me. I would, therefore, remove the root cause itself.” Saying this the Mahatma destroyed that piece.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say, “whatever one gets without craving for it should be accepted considering it to be ‘His’ grace.” This is being truly content. The treasure of the saints is their contentment. Together with contentment and renunciation, Thakur Ram Singh ji also laid a lot of stress on reverence and faith. He used to say that ‘He’ takes care of everyone’s needs. ‘He’ who has arranged for the milk for a newly born baby, would not ‘He’ provide for the food when the teeth come out. It is the greatest blunder not to have faith on ‘Him.’ ‘He’ knows everything. Nothing can be hidden from ‘Him’, whether one remains silent or may try to hide anything. The trust one has on a letter of a friend, even a fraction of that trust on Scriptures or on the words of saints may change one’s life. The mother gives birth to the child who knows his father only through his mother, trusting her words. The Almighty has gifted human beings with intellect but it is difficult, nay impossible to know ‘Him’ through reasoning or arguments. If one wishes to know ‘Him’, one will have to have faith on the words of saints. In this context Thakur Ram Singh ji used to narrate a story:
A man insistently requested his Master to give him some Mantra. The Master, in his ears uttered ‘Ram-Ram’ and told him not to disclose this Mantra to anyone lest the effect of the Mantra will be lost. After a few days the disciple went for a pilgrimage and there be heard people enchanting ‘Ram-Ram.’ He thought that this Mantra is known to everyone and that his Master had not told him any great Mantra. He lost his faith in the Mantra. He left the pilgrimage in between, reached back to his Master and told him about his doubt. The Master understood that due to the lack of decisive willpower, his disciple had lost faith in the name of the Almighty. The Master took out a shining round stone and told his disciple that he will give him a special Mantra but before that he (disciple) will have to go to the market and make enquiries with every one in the market about the value of the stone but the stone was not to be sold at any price. The disciple proceeded to the market and enquired the price of the stone with a lady who sold vegetables. She liked the stone and thinking it to be a good thing for his children to play with, offered to buy it for some vegetables in return. The disciple than went to a shopkeeper who valued it at two rupees. Another shopkeeper offered fifty rupees. As the disciple kept on making enquiries, the price went on increasing, with some jewelers valuing it at millions of rupees. At last he went to the biggest jeweler of the town, who after examining the stone told him ‘it is an invaluable diamond, the price of which cannot be judged by anyone. This diamond makes everyone happy in whose hands it goes and, therefore, even a person who does not know about it wants to buy it. It is your fortune to possess such an extraordinary and rare jewel. Even then if you want to sell it, I shall buy it at any price you quote.’ The disciple, however, was not to sell the diamond. He went back to his Master and narrated the entire episode to him. He then requested the Master to give him the special Mantra. The Master then explained him that the lady did not know anything about the diamond and, therefore, she wanted to offer some vegetables in return. The shopkeepers wanted to give two rupees, fifty rupees and so on. One offered as much as one appreciated the qualities of the diamond. The jeweler who, however, recognised, the diamond fully well held it to be invaluable and offered any price in return. Similarly, everyone utters the name of the Almighty but one who does not have firm faith in it, sells this diamond for vegetables in return but one who knows the greatness of ‘His’ name, it is invaluable for him.
Prahlad made ‘Him’ appear in a pillar and Eklavya in a statue of his Master, only due to their firm faith. ‘He’ responds to one’s prayers only when one has complete trust in ‘Him’. Whatever ‘He’ has to give, ‘He’ gives on ‘His’ own as ‘He’ is the Master of all and knows everyone’s worth. ‘He’ gives whatever return ‘He’ thinks appropriate. It does not help to keep insisting for returns from ‘Him.’ In Geeta Lord Krishna has very clearly stated ‘perform your duty and I shall reward you, as appropriate. It is not in you domain to keep an account of what you should get.’
Together with firm faith one must also have patience. Patience is necessary to achieve the objective. If there is no patience one will not be able to withstand the difficulties met with on the way. An impatient person leaves his job half done like an ailing person who often gives up taking the very medicine that can cure him due to lack of patience. An enduring person does not get frightened and tries to find solution of the problems faced. In this regard he narrated an incidence:
Once a Mahatma incidentally reached at the hutment of a Fakir. The Fakir requested him to stay in the hutment for the night and told him that he was going to the nearby inhabitation to arrange for some food. In the hutment the Mahatma saw a slab of stone with some marks engraved on it. On inquiring someone told him that the Fakir uses the slab for offering prayers (Namaz) and the marks on the slab were those of his hands, feet and knees. This made the Mahatma to think about himself who had spent his time wandering here and there, whereas the Fakir had spent so much time in prayers that marks of offering prayers were left even on the stone. The Mahatma also thought that the Fakir was very fortunate and he must be highly accomplished spiritually unlike him who had achieved nothing so far. While the Mahatma was engrossed in these thoughts, he heard an oracle “O Mahatma, do not worry. So far not even a single prayer of the Fakir has been accepted.” The Mahatma was stunned. In the meantime the Fakir returned and seeing the Mahatma pondering over something enquired about the matter. The Mahatma started telling him what had happened, but before he could finish, the Fakir got into such a divine ecstasy that had it’s impact on the Mahatma also. Both of them came out of this state only the next morning. When the Mahatma asked the Fakir, the reason for his ecstasy, the Fakir told him “you were saying that not even one of my prayers has been accepted. I have, however, received the answer for all my prayers today. The oracle you heard has made me firmly believe that the Almighty knows that a Fakir like me offers prayers to ‘Him.’ What can be more pleasing than this that I am in ‘His’ sight. I am now not worried whether my prayers are accepted or not. I have to do my duty and the rest is on ‘Him’.”
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that one, who desires to achieve a lot with little effort, loses patience. To have firm faith in ‘Him’ and to keep remembering ‘Him’ with patience is the real Sadhana (worship). The easy way to keep remembering ‘Him’ is to keep repeating ‘His’ name. ‘He’ is omnipresent but the worldly desires do not allow one to perceive ‘Him.’ No link can be developed without remembrance and the remembrance can continue only when one develops a relation with ‘Him’ like one’s nears and dears. The remembrance sows the seed of love and the heart being a slave of love goes where the love is.
Different people remember the Almighty by different names, but his omnipotent name is the one, which is passed on from heart-to-heart by the Master to his disciple. This omnipotent name manifests itself in every cell of the body in the form of an echo, proclaimed in the form of heartbeat, which is linked to the soul. Once one practices to meditate upon this vibration, the mind on its own starts indulging in this practice and keeps on reminding. One should develop a firm belief that ‘He’ remembers us. When this practice gets deeply rooted within, then ‘His’ remembrance continues, even when one is engaged dutifully in any work.
There is no difference between Love and Enlightenment. Love is God and the purpose of acquiring knowledge is to know ‘Him.’ The ultimate enlightenment is love. As soon as the feeling of duality between the Master and one’s own soul vanishes, one starts seeing ‘His’ manifestation everywhere in the entire Universe.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that one should be true to oneself that is, one’s conduct should reflect what one believes. One should be same both outwardly as well as inwardly. Knowledge without practice makes one arrogant and a pretender. People deliver learned talks on Vedanta and Philosophy but when it comes to implementation in the real life, hardly anyone can be found to be doing so. Mere talking does not help. One has to translate ones learning into action but without considering oneself to be the doer. In fact the real doer is ‘He’. To forget ‘Him’ and to consider oneself as the doer leads to the bondage resulting from one’s deeds. One should offer the outcome of all his deeds to the Almighty. Whatever is to be done should be done considering it to be ‘His’ work, like a servant obeys his Master’s orders and the responsibility of whatever he does in discharge of his duty shifts to the Master. This is the easiest way of saving oneself from the bondage resulting from one’s deeds.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that not to have the desire of the outcome of one’s deeds does not mean that one should somehow complete the task like discharging a burden. This is not obeying the Master’s orders. It is also not proper to engage in wrong doings and keep on shifting the blame on ‘Him’ that whatever is happening is according to ‘His’ desire. This will only be deceiving one’s own self.
In regard to the easiest way of self-realisation, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that it is devotion, which makes one identical to one’s beloved. Self-less love gradually turns into devotion. He used to cite the example of Eklayya whose devotion aroused such a faith that made his Master Guru Dronacharya appear in place of the statue of mud. Idol-worship does not remain so when one starts experiencing the presence of the Almighty in place of the idol. How can a guest be honoured and entertained, by leaving his body, which is like an idol as the soul within cannot otherwise be perceived and treated. Once when a link at the level of consciousness is established, the idol ceases to be an idol. The devotion, however, can be developed only through the grace of the Master.
Once a friend of Shri Chiranjilal Vohra, who had come from Sumerpur to Jaipur, asked him as to where was he going daily in the mornings and evenings. On telling him about Thakur Ram Singh ji, he desired to accompany him, but it so happened that he missed the opportunity twice or thrice. Then one day Sh. Chirnajilal, who had just returned from TB Sanatorium after visiting Thakur Ram Singh ji, took his friend to Thakur Ram Singh ji. Spotting him with Sh. Chirnajilal Thakur Ram Singh ji remarked, “So, you have come today. The love is such that its waves reflect back to you. One should keep on constantly remembering ‘Him.’ The waves of love will reflect back to you with twice the force, as a ball impinges back when hit against a wall. By remembering ‘Him’, ‘He’ does not get anything, but one starts getting influenced by the qualities of his beloved. All the worship and remembrance is for one’s own benefit. One can remember ‘Him’ anywhere as ‘He’ is omnipresent. ‘He’ is not lost anywhere so that ‘He’ is to be found, nor is ‘He’ annoyed that ‘He’ is to be pleased. The need is to explain it to one’s mind. All the worship, penance, pilgrimage etc. are all for bringing this mind to the right path. ‘He’ constantly showers “His’ grace on everyone, but one needs to be deeply engrossed in ‘His’ love so as to establish the link with ‘Him.’ One should not insist with ‘Him’ for fulfilling any desire, but should pray to ‘Him.’ The Almighty cannot be persuaded by cleverness. ‘He’ is competent to do anything and has everything under ‘His’ control. The only thing that ‘He’ does not have is humbleness, which ‘His’ devotee alone has. The Almighty likes humbleness the most and in return ‘He’ gives ‘His’ boundless love. But in the humbleness also lies some ego, which is difficult to identify. This is known as the pure or the subtle layer of ‘Maya.’ To get over this one should completely surrender to ‘Him’ and should remember ‘Him’ with a pure heart. One day ‘His’ grace will definitely be received.”
One, who considers oneself to be frail and prays the Almighty in distress, receives ‘His’ grace immediately. There is lot of strength in prayers. When the devotee cries for ‘His’ help, the ocean of ‘His’ mercy gets stormed. ‘He’ is moved by the tears of repentance and ‘He’ mercifully takes away the will and strength of the body to indulge in wrongdoing. One should pray for the well being of all, it takes one near ‘Him.’ The prayer which Thakur Ram Singh ji used to offer was “O God, give me the strength to worship ‘You’, make me behave as ‘You’ wish and give me ‘Your’ true love.” If one feels distracted, one should pray “O God, let ‘Your’ desire be fulfilled” and keep on repeating the prayer until the mind rests in peace. When a mother’s heart tears apart seeing her child crying, why should not that Almighty be moved and rush to help ‘His’ devotee. One’s life itself should become a prayer and offering prayer should become the duty. One should fulfill his duty and leave the rest on the Almighty.
As regards the steadiness of mind, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to give the example of an actor in the drama who acts according to the role as a King or as a beggar, but he knows in his heart that he is neither a King nor a beggar but he is an actor. He does not feel happy acting as a King or sorry while acting as a beggar as he knows that his job is to act perfectly as per the requirements of the character being enacted. This is steadiness of one’s mind as the actor neither feels arrogant like a King nor humble as a beggar, he remains what he really is. One has to behave similarly while discharging one’s responsibilities in the real life. One should develop the habit of seeing oneself distinctly from the role played in the real life and try always to be happy and grateful to ‘Him.’ He used to say “hanste raho, hansate raho, baste raho, basate raho” (Be happy and make others happy, prosper and help others prosper) . To be content and happy is like worshipping ‘Him.’
Thakur Ram Singh ji considered spiritualism to be the path of true love, which encompasses everything in it. True love in its exclusiveness is complete in itself. Love is such a thing which exists in all the creatures of the Universe either expressly or hidden. One should, therefore, endeavor to achieve his target in this life itself. He also used to say that the path of love is so narrow that no one else can travel alongside on it i.e. in the true love the beloved and the lover lose their duality, they lose their separate existence and become one identity. Until one reaches this state, ‘He’ also knows one is not so desperate that ‘He’ must reveal ‘Himself.’
Thakur Ram Singh ji also used to say that love is not a thing to be told aloud. If a person loves a lady, he would not make it public, the people around him will take him to task. A faithful wife never discloses the secrets of her husband before anyone else. Similarly, a devotee never speaks about his love. If he talks about his love, it loses its worth. If the love is complete, all the distance is traveled on its own. Where there is true love, nothing except the beloved can stay. Someone asked Thakur Ram Singh ji whether it was true that the Almighty tests ‘His’ devotees. Thakur Ram Singh ji answered ‘He’ does not test his devotees. Seeing them taking one step forward, ‘He’ takes ten steps forward. This is ‘His’ promise. But when this world sees the devotee turning his back towards it, then this world gets bent upon taking his test. Love is such a fire, which cannot be ignited but gets ignited on its own.
To explain the supremacy of love, Thakur Ram Singh ji used to cite example of a newly married girl who on joining her husband’s family, adopts their joys and sorrows, their esteem and anguish and all other things and becomes one with them. She develops affection for everyone in the husband’s family and makes herself ready to sacrifice her comforts for theirs. Similarly, to relate the entire world with ‘Him’ and to see ‘Him’ in every one is the height of love. As much one loves oneself, one should love others. This is also the true liveliness (jindadili).
Thakur Ram Singh ji believed in equality for all and equal respect for all religions. He often used to recite this couplet of Sant Rajjab, a disciple of the great saint Dadu Dayal:
Apne Apne Bhes Ki, Sub Hi Raakhen Take,
Rajjab Nishana Ek Hai, Teerandaaj Anek.
(Everyone tries to stick to one’s resolve. The target is one but archers are many).
He used to say that the outer forms of various religions differ and their followers worship ‘Him’ differently, but ‘He’ is one. If one has to realise ‘Him’, one will have to adopt the shortest path, but in fact people do not know what they want. They crave for something and make effort in some other direction. The life goes on. One, who at some point of time was ahead, is left behind and someone from behind starts leading. No one knows the destiny. If one is able to receive the shelter of Satguru, one should consider to have found the key to lead oneself to the right path. All the religions in the world preach the same thing and lead in one direction, whatever they may call it. The way of living may be different, but everyone wishes to be dear to the Almighty. What is the gain then in criticising and slinging mud at each other? This is not how the devotees behave.
One may belong to any religion, caste or creed but until one has achieved realisation, one has to keep on striving for it. One should, therefore, stick to some practice (sadhana) and excel in it so as to reach the ultimate. One should, however, be alert all the time from being distracted. Like a river, one should keep on directing one’s mind and intellect continuously towards ‘Him’ and one day like the river, which becomes one on merging with the ocean, one will definitely achieve his target, the Almighty and will become one with ‘Him’. The purpose of human life is to move from outer-world to within and to become one with the Almighty.
Thakur Ram Singh ji did not approve of renouncing or changing one’s religion. In whatever country, family and religion one is born, one should stand-by it firmly. It is one’s duty that while abiding by the dictates of one’s religion, one should try to attain self-realisation. One should neither change one’s religion, nor should one hide one’s caste. If one does so, it is not in accordance with ‘His’ desire. All the religions lead to ‘Him.’ One only needs to turn towards ‘Him’ with pure mind. One cannot realise ‘Him’ by changing one’s religion but only by following it, because ‘His’ religion if any, is love. ‘He’ showers ‘His’ grace on all without any reason. ‘He’ is the ocean full of mercy and passion. Who can describe ‘His’ kindness and ‘His’ qualities?
One who conducts oneself in accordance with the dictates of the Scriptures is a holy person, having godly qualities. One is fortunate to see such persons. Holy persons live a heavenly life, as they have no complex. They may suffer bodily, but do not hurt their feelings. No difference exists between their conduct and their feelings, as a result of which they do not suffer from any complex. Those who love all, serve others without any expectation, feel happy in sacrificing and do not hurt others as well as their own feelings, live always happily. One, who follows the dictates of the Scriptures in practice, is in fact a holy person. The conduct of such a person itself becomes an ideal for others.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that one may follow any path, love, serving others, renunciation or knowledge; but one should learn to excel in that and cross all limits to attain realisation. The fire of love, however, reduces all the sins to ashes however sinner one may be, but it all depends upon ‘His’ grace.
To explain the relationship between ‘Jeev’ (Soul in body), Prakriti (the Nature) and Parmatama (the Almighty), Thakur Ram Singh ji used to narrate a story: A jeweler, knowing that his end was near due to an ailment, called his wife and minor son and handed over to them a pearl with the instruction that the pearl should be sold only through a friend of his. They will receive in return so much money, which would see them through for ages. After the death of the jeweler, his wife sent her son with the pearl to jeweler’s friend. The boy showed the pearl to his father’s friend and told him about the instruction given by his father. The jeweler’s friend, who himself was a renowned jeweler examined the pearl and understood that the boy was ignorant. He told the boy that the pearl was indeed very valuable and asked him to keep it safely with him, to be sold when an appropriate buyer approaches. In the meantime he asked the boy to learn the work with him. Years passed on and the boy also by then had become a good connoisseur. One day his mother thought of selling the pearl without waiting any more as they had to pay back the money to the jeweler (her husband’s friend) and also arrange for the marriage of the boy. The boy agreed to sell the pearl as a buyer also was inquiring of a good pearl. He asked his mother to bring the pearl out of the safe custody. The mother took out the pearl and handed it over to her son, who looked at it and destroyed it immediately. The mother was surprised at her son’s behavior and asked him the reason for doing so. The son told his mother that the pearl was a false one and of no value at all. His father did not tell this to them so that they were not disappointed and did not leave hopes. The real intention of his father behind asking them to sell the pearl through his friend was that he (his friend) would be able to understand the real situation of the family and the boy’s ignorance and help them in rehabilitating. It was the greatness of the jeweler who understood the real intention of his friend, and in spite of knowing that the pearl was of no value, helped their family and trained and made the boy a connoisseur equal to himself.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to explain that like the boy who had no knowledge about the pearl being a real one or false one, an ignorant man also does not know anything about the jeev, Prakriti and Paramatma. The boy was worried about maintaining the family and, therefore, learnt the job. Similarly, when a trued seeker takes the shelter of a Master, he one day acquires the true knowledge of the jeev, Prakriti and Paramatma. This knowledge cannot be acquired otherwise except through the grace of the Master. Till one is not enlightened one sees them separated but as soon as one turns within and starts practicing, one starts realising the Truth.
Thakur Ram Singh ji often used to say that one should live like an ordinary person who does not attract anyone’s attention. If one is praised, he should attribute that praise to the Almighty and pray the Almighty to save him from arrogance. It is only one’s Master who is worth praising. He used to say that if an ordinary man gets an opportunity to sit along with the King, he starts thinking others to be like cattle. Think of a person who starts experiencing nearness to the Almighty, what will be his attitude. One has, therefore, to be extremely cautious and needs to constantly watch oneself. He used to say that if an illiterate person is advised to do something, he most likely will do it, but an educated person often would start arguing. Unless one considers the other to be more knowledgeable, one cannot learn anything from him. One, who thinks he is apt at Scriptures, thus often is not able to benefit from the company of saints. It is better to consider oneself lesser than others as it is then only that one can receive something from them.
Tangedaston Ka Darja, Ahlen Daulat Se Jiyada Hai,
Surahi Sar Jhuka Leti Hai, Jab Jaam Aata Hai.
(The status of those who are poor is higher than those who are rich, as the pitcher bends down only before an empty tumbler).
One who does not wish to be honored has an easy access to ‘Him.’ To consider oneself as a gentleman also is an expression of ego. To realise ‘Him’, one needs to consider oneself nobody and needs to shed one’s ego completely. A true seeker needs always to be cautious because as he makes progress and gets over his deficiencies, he starts getting a feeling that he is a yogi, a great person, etc. A true devotee neither gets tied himself nor does he tie anyone else to any bondage.
In this regard he used to narrate a story. Once a Sadhu wrote a letter to another Sadhu in which he addressed himself as rai (black mustard). When this letter reached his friend, he was very upset. On enquiry by others he said that he was upset at his friend addressing himself as rai. People asked him why should he be upset at it, since rai was a very small thing and there was nothing wrong in considering oneself as little as rai. The Sadhu clarified that it is well known that people make a mountain of a molehill and ocean from a drop. It is not important whether one considers oneself big or small. The issue is why should one think oneself to be anybody at all.
Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that if one has to be proud, one should be proud of one’s Master. It is the duty of the servant to be proud of his Master. What should be one proud of when there is nothing belonging to oneself? He used to say that ego develops in them who have no faith either on the Master or on the Almighty. Only a Master can help such people get over their ego.
A devotee lives according to the wish of the Almighty in all situations and does not complain about it. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to say that the Almighty has not gone to sleep that ‘He’ does not know about your requirement. One should have firm faith on ‘Him.’ ‘He’ fulfills the requirements of all on ‘His’ own and when ‘He’ considers doing so is in their interest. A father does not give knife in the hands of his immature son, as he knows that it may hurt him (the son) or someone else. Similarly, one should think in respect of the Almighty and should not insist with ‘Him’ for anything. One should have a firm faith that ‘He’ is always with him. Thakur Ram Singh ji used to cite the example of a beggar in the King’s court who keeps on looking towards the King as he does not know when the King may look at him lest he may miss the attention of the King. Similarly, considering the Almighty to be omnipresent, one should always be tuned to ‘Him’, even if something goes against one’s wish, one should keep patience and act with firm faith and dedication. Thakur Ram Singh ji, therefore, used to say that a devotee should not ask others to help even if in need and should try to run his family with whatever has been given by ‘Him.’ When one has taken ‘His’ shelter, everything will happen in accordance with ‘His’ desire, and it will be in one’s best interest. If, however, one receives some help without asking or craving for it, one should accept the same, taking it to be ‘His’ grace.
Whatever may be the situation, pleasant or sad, firm faith on the Almighty is one’s biggest strength. To be happy in all situations is living according to ‘His’ desire, it is true worship, true peace and the true devotion.