Yogi Bhajan Lecture Archive
Lecture by :
Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji
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Lecture on: 04/23/1989
Category: Gurdwara
Location: New York City, NY

The Calling of the Soul


There is a very popular saying. "The man is created in the image of God." That is easy to say and very easy to recognize, but the most difficult part is that the man is created in the image of God, but does man LIVE in the image of God? That question nobody wants to ask.

Every religion is corrupt... and religion is corrupt to its teeth. Religion has to become very corrupt because instead of facing a reality, facing people on the level of reality, facing its congregation to ultimate reality, religion became corrupt because it has to come down to people's level.

It's a recognized fact, and that cannot be denied, that man is not yet mature enough that he can create a balance between the soul, mind and body... whereas we have to go one step further, and we have to give priority to soul. We know every day that when soul leaves the body, man is dead. His every activity stops. His relationship is only so long as he is alive. We also see man is man, here and now.

All your activities, your thinking, your insecurity, your power, your projection and your manipulation are based on one simple rule: that is that you are alive. But is being alive enough? Is to be secure on this earth... that you have a lot of wealth and a lot of money and you have a lot of power... is that enough? The answer has been searched out for ages. And the answer is 'no'. No person with all the richness in the world, no person with all the manipulation in the world, can be happy if the soul doesn't have priority over mind, and mind does not have priority in the relationship to soul over body.

Every religion is meant to deal with that in detail, but unfortunately the primitive man with the old religion found out in the modern age that all the details required for a man to be religious are rituals, and he's not supposed to do all that. Instead of studying and understanding meaning and finding out the experience, man has a new religion which has not yet come in. I call it 'spaghetti religion,' and that is a person should go to a restaurant and order angel hair spaghetti or pasta and before you finish it you should become religious. That's all the time we have for religion. We don't have a serious time to understand that it is a concept of a triangle. It is a concept where father, son and holy ghost... It is a concept where Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh... There's a concept where all generating, organizing, and destroying powers have to be put together by you and administered.

I have studied religion and I have studied experientially what religion offers to us in the walk of life. Religion offers us that we should balance the power. And I think that was a mistake on the part of religion. I am not saying that in India, people were not religious. People were religious, but they were slaves, they were trying only to balance it. But Guru Nanak came and he told them that the priority of soul over mind, priority of the soul over the body, is the most essential way to God. Living truth is higher than knowing truth. People started throwing stones at him. They started hooliganating him. They started insulting him. They asked him, "What are you talking about?" He said, "Living truth is better than knowing truth." They said, "Are you crazy? People even do not have the time to know the truth. How they can live it?" His answer was the idea of knowing something which you cannot live, why then to waste time? He questioned the very spiritual search of people.

Fortunately for me I have lived in America for 20 years and I have lived in India for 40 years. I have found the two civilizations totally different. Different in the sense that when it comes to living the truth, Indians are highly emotional about it. And in their emotional, neurotic nature, they blend it like bhagatee, devotion. So they cheat on every step of the way. They lie to themselves. Otherwise, that much knowledge in a country, overflowing its land... and its air is filled with that, and all the temples and everything in the world... you can examine the situation, and people are insane. It's not practically acceptable.

When I came to the Western world, I saw something very different. And that was that we don't need to know the truth. We can press the button on a computer and we'll get it. And we don't have to practice it. We can hire somebody to practice it for us. I understand the Western problem. Western problem is very simple. Each child in the Western world is not even conceived in love. Pregnancy is not loved. Nourishment is not in love. Nurturing is not in love. Growth is not in love. And life is not in love. I came to the West and I counseled people and it all boils down to one thing: either the mother has not loved the child, or the father has not loved, or both have not loved. And now all the pressure is on the mate, on the woman he married or the male she married. Unfortunately I have found in the West that the woman cannot contain the man. It's impossible. She feels it is an act of slavery. Woman was told that she is individual. Yes, she is individual, like a wrench, and that wrench
has to have a stronger grip to tighten the nut. But no, woman is not trained in the West to contain the man, whereas he is not willing to forgive the pain of his own childhood.

So what we see in this world of today is that even all successful men in the Western world are unhappy, and every intelligent woman in the West is frustrated, because competition has been created and it is such a hard competition that there is no way to look at it.

So what we come out with, we see the East, we see the West, and we see still the pain in the society. There are religions, eight main religions. There are six schools of great teachers, six philosophies. And out of those six philosophies, come out a lot of teachings, a lot of religions. Within the branch of every religion, we also find a tremendous amount of variation. If you look at Christianity which is only one God and one Christ and that's the end of the world -- he's the son of God and God is the Ultimate God -- you are very shocked if you see their branches. Seventh Day Adventist, Sixth Day Adventist, Two Days Lost, Three Days this, One Day this. Protestants, Catholics, Roman Catholics. Old, New, Yes, This, Monday, Sunday, Tuesday, Morning, Evening. Every section took to its own section.

The most well explained religion which has the detail of every aspect covered, discussed, and detailed is Judaism. Look at this: There is But One God and That's It. That's the karma of the Jew, to just manifest God now. If you look in there, they are Hasidic, they are non-Hasadic, they are Reformed, they are Performed. You look at the whole thing, it looks like a mess. Nobody knows where to go.

The tragedy of all that is that the latest religion of all... which is the youngest, latest, most modern... is the religion of Nanak the Guru. It matured itself. Through ten Gurus it developed itself. From learner's permit it ended up to the purest form of the Khalsa. The beauty of this is that the Siri Guru Granth, our present Guru, neither can be altered nor it can be changed, nor it can be switched around, and it was in the lifetime of the living Gurus that it was totally consolidated.

So ten Gurus performed every act to bring the Siri Guru Granth to us. Now that has become a very painful situation for the Sikhs. They have Siri Guru Granth. Siri Guru Granth says what it says. They can't change it. It is written, it is sung, it is also in music, it is in a raga, it has a rhythm, it is a poetry, you can't alter it. There's nothing you can do about it. And each day you read it, it tells the same thing. There's no emotions to it, no feeling. Siri Guru Granth doesn't need your money or your food, or whether you close it or you don't. It is such a problem with the Sikhs. They do not know what to do with their Guru. Some get to clothe it with the rich clothes and embroidered clothes and worship it, and if you see in the morning their nose is just as red by rubbing it before it, and humbling themselves. And some just think it is a holy book. Well, practical reality is that the Sikhs of today do not know what to do with their Guru. They do not know whether to read it and
listen to it. They do not know if listening to it, whether to practise it or not. If they have to practice it, whether whatever it says goes, or they have their ego someplace or not. So what has happened is that this is the most confused status of the mankind to be a Sikh, and to have a Guru, and then know what Guru says and do nothing about it.

When I came in, the song was being sung, "Avah Allah Noor Oopayaa, kudrat deh sanbanday." And all those good things you sing. You sing Gurbani as Guru uttered. You sing Gurbani in the very words of the Guru. What a sacrifice. An English speaking nation sings the Gurbani because their Guru sang in those words. Then normally you read the translation which is sometimes literal, sometimes it has a touch of the one who translated it. And you go along with that. So on whole it cannot be said that you do not understand what Guru said and you do not understand what it means. But problem for you also is that... how to live it.

So the position boils down to the same situation which is the basis of what I started with, that man has not yet learned to love God. Man has not yet learned to listen to the Guru. Man has yet not learned to give priority to his soul. Soul, the representative, the ambassador of God in a human body. Soul, the reality of passion, projection. Soul, the feeling, the ideas, the thoughts, the desires. Soul, the emotion. Soul, the embryo and ember of life together. Soul, the sky and the earth, the connecting power, the force, the heavens, has absolutely no dialogue with the person.

Surprisingly when I see a Sikh and I find that he cannot talk to his own mind, it shocks me. If you see Guru Granth, Guru talks to his mind. "Eh man meriaa too sadaa raho har naale." "Oh my mind..." -- you will find sooooooo many lines where Guru talks to his own mind. You will find so many shabads where Guru talks to his own soul. Not only that, Guru talks to his eyes, Guru talks to his ears, Guru talks to his tongue. "Eh rasanaa too anaras raach rahee..." "Oh tongue, you are distastefully spreading the taste." "Eh saravanho meriho saachai sunanai no pataa-e."

Oh my ears, you have been put there to listen to the truth, not to the garbage." "Eh netraho meriho har tum meh jot..." "Oh my eyes, see nothing without God." See everything, but also see God in it. In this... gufaa vaajaa paun vajaaiaa... the music of the air which the God has started through the pranic breath, Guru exalts everything which God has given, and every aspect of the human body which is there, the every social and economic aspect of human existence, Guru talks about every facet. So we have not to become orthodox and liberal, and we couldn't become that... we have a problem with it... but we become American, African, Indian, or non-Indian. So what happened is that man is a slave to his geography, his culture, his environments. Man is decisively not grown to act as one nation of the world. Man is divided in groups. Taray. Taraa is a kind of a tribe. So every man has become a tribe.

Now the misfortune which will never follow, but has to be challenged, is the lifestyle which we are following now. It is very okay... it is very true... that we are small in number. And we are growing and we are trying to understand what the Guru has said. There's a possibility that some people think that this will go away. They have been waiting for it since twenty years ago, that there will no Sikh, and especially no American Sikh. But unfortunately to their bad luck, they are there, and they are continuing to be there, and they are going to be many. Because the problem is the man has one zeal in it... a very inborn zeal... human zeal... it is called 'the calling of the soul'... that one wants to reach the ultimate, the purity, the Khalsa way of life. It's that that it's all about. The very pure. We all desire to reach that purity. It doesn't matter if we want to live that purity or not. But just to have the glimpse, just to pursue it, just to search it.

All this religious industry is a hypocritical lie and it's just a hunting ground of few wise ones over few lunatic insane. I don't find the religious world very tasteful. I find it very distasteful. I find it very shallow. I find it very angry. And it is very insulting also to me. When a person is religious and he does not live to reality, and his concept of life is inferior than an ordinary person on the street, it hurts more, because if you do something when you do not know, it is understandable, but if you do something when you know, it's painful.

Seeing the religion and the religious aspects of life and seeing the hypocrisy and demagogy and displacement of personal things, I find still that there's a power behind, which is pursuing everybody to go ahead with the religion. Not to go ahead with the religion is to become religious. Religion does not give you any promise and may give you a lot of promise, but religion does one thing for you -- it makes you complete. It makes you desireless. Not desireless that you become totally a dead animal and you live in your carcass. It makes you desireless that it makes you fulfilled. You can see in all your desire, the daring desire is that you are complete within yourself. A good religion makes a person a good person.

Whichever religion you follow, follow it with the goodness of the heart. Therefore, one of our rituals is that when we come before Siri Guru Granth, we bow our heads. We fold our hands to neutralize ourselves, we come and bow. Some people have asked this question: "How can we bow to a book?" Yes sir, it is not a book for us. It is a living spirit of the Guru. It is the Word of the Guru. We recognize it. We only have learned to recognize it. We have not yet learned to live it. We have a long way to go. First we have to learn to recognize it. Then we have to live it. Then we have to experience it, and then we have to share it. And that's all what Sikh Dharma is about. A complete, pure person, who believes in the existence of God, in the power of God, in the reality of God over himself or over herself.

One young girl told me one day, she wants to marry a man, if I can find a match for her. I very well explained to her, I said, "First do one favor for me." She said, "What? All right, tell me one thing." I said, "All right, if that's the deal, then the deal is you do one thing and I'll do the other. One to one, is that fair?" She said, "No, you are my teacher. You should do two and I should do one." I said, "How come? You are my student. You should do two and I should do one. I should have an easier route than you." She said, "No, that's not the way it is. The way it is that you do two things for me and I do one for you." I said, "Where you got that idea?" She said, "That's the way the Western world is."

Here the woman does one and the man has to do two, and in the Orient man does one and woman does three. I understand that. I said, "Well, you are dealing with a geography. All right, let us deal on right here. Let us not get into who does what. What you will do has one thing." She said, "Whatever you say." I said, "Are you sure?" She said, "Dead sure, on the God. Tell me one thing and I'll do." I said, "Then do one thing. Find yourself. Profile yourself. Detail yourself and experience yourself and tell me in one word what that experience is. And I'll do two things for you." She said, "What will that be?" I said, "I'll do three things for you." She said, "What that will be?" I said, "I'll do many things for you." She said, "What that will be?" I said, "Then afterwards I have to do nothing. The only search, or the purpose of the living human being, is that they have to find themselves, within their own detail, within their own depth, within their own reality." And she said, "Well,
you have given me a complicated order." I said, "It is a matter of love." "Which way I'll go?" I said, "Read the Siri Guru Granth. Make it with reverence as your Guru, and understand the Siri Guru Granth. Once you will read it, you will know a lot. When you will understand it, you will start intelligently finding a lot of balances, and when you start believing what you find the truth in it, you will find a lot of tranquility, peace and the best in you."

A few days ago I got a phone call, and I was conversing with this person. And she said, "You are the most clever teacher I ever met." I said, "Hey, what is wrong with that? Have you ever met other teachers?" She said, "Yeah, I went to India. I had Swamiji, this and this. I went to Guruji this and this. And I practised Kabala, I had Rabbi such and such, and I had Padre such and such. And I went to Argentina." She went to Argentina to study with one man. And she was giving all the details of her spiritual world which I never knew, never asked, never meant to be. I said, "What is the cleverness I have used with you, you are so uptight about it?" She said, "No, it's not uptight. It's a relief. Reality has hit me. You got rid of me in a very smart way." I said, "What was so smart about it?" She said, "I went to Siri Guru Granth, I opened it as you told me, and I could not know what to do, so it all came out one side, and the opening line said, 'Ik Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad.'" And I
said, 'That's the mantra. That's where it starts. That's what the whole thing is." She said, "You know how difficult that is? If one God has created the entire universe and it is the blessing of the true Guru to give us the experience, my problem is that you have given me the true Guru, the Siri Guru Granth, but now I have to live according to what it says." I said, "That has been said by me for the last 20 years." She said, "All these people who wear white around you, do they practice that?" I said, "I hope they are trying to. But I can't promise that they ALL practice what is written there." She said, "God!" and these are her words and I'm quoting her. "Gaa-ray, Gaa-ray, God. It is so easy to experience God, but it is so difficult to live it." I told her, "You are just confused.

Let me tell you in my words, 'Ga-ray, Ga-ray, God. It is so easy to experience You and it is so difficult to ignore You because You are everywhere and we are just not somewhere.'" And that is the balance which man has to relate to.

You are going to find your love of life. There's no brighter, no more beautiful, no more bountiful, no more wonderful than your own living soul. You want to get in touch with the warmth, the love, the romance of it. There's no brighter experience than the breath of life. You want to feel the structure of the Infinity in the very microscopic and telescopic sense of it. There's nothing brighter than the body itself which gives you the chance. There's no chance better than this. That's why man shall always continue to be researching the religion. Man shall always continue to research his own reality in the name of religion. Man shall always be trying to find one thing. Experience what God is, because actually God is nothing else but man in experience.

My feelings are that if you are kind to yourself, and you are courageous about yourself and you do understand one thing, there are three ways to go about it: find the father, the dictating truth of Siri Guru Granth; find the son, the obeying principle of the Siri Guru Granth; and find the Holy Ghost, the experience of God and spirit in Siri Guru Granth. You shall never have to worry about this planet because the one who rotates the planet, who gives you day and night, can take care of your routine with His own hands because God is everywhere and we are only trying to be somewhere.

The opportunity... all of you who have come to this congregation... the opportunity that you have all come and sat in the presence of the Siri Guru Granth, you can learn one thing: you respect Siri Guru Granth or you insult Siri Guru Granth, you come and bow to it or you stand about and do anything, you do any human behavior, very insulting and very respectful, but you'll be surprised, when you'll talk to Siri Guru Granth, it shall speak to you in a very personal language and it will tell you that God is within you... complete, serene, everlasting, and ever bountiful. "Joe pinde so perminde." What is within you in the body, that is in the whole universe. That's why the search is not over yet, but if search is not over yet, then one should search one's self. If fulfillment is not over yet, one should fulfill one's own self within one's self. That's the truth.

And if you have not understood what is the purpose of your life, let me tell you the purpose of life. Purpose of life is to make the life such a bright light that all you desire to be should be at your own lotus feet. Make yourself so high, make yourself so excellent, make yourself so gracious, make yourself so virtuous, make yourself so calm, serene, quiet and saintly, so that all those who are finding shelter, who are finding inspiration, who are finding to be, get a chance from you to be. That's the highest charity. That's the highest gift a man can give to another human being. There's nothing you can do for anybody... nothing. Uplift yourself and leave the space for somebody in your place. If there are so many coming in, go higher and higher till you merge with the Infinite Light and the Golden Chain of House of Guru Nanak continues.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!


Transcript by Tej Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA

Above Article Copyright İ Yogi Bhajan 2002. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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