The Light of Life

To come to a better understanding of the higher life, the life of the spirit, one has to actually cross the trans-frontiers of the earth life and pass through the gates of what is called death, and be reborn in the ethereal unearthly world beyond.

That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.

St John 3:6-7

It is this contact with the Light of Life as manifested within by a Godman that brings to an end the peregrinations of the soul in the ever-revolving wheel of births and rebirths.

The entire creation is believed to be divided into eight million and four hundred thousand species – 84 lakhs1;

  1. water creatures – 9,00,000 (9 lakhs);

  2. air creatures – 14,00,000 (14 lakhs);

  3. insects, rodents and reptiles etc. – 27,00,000 (27 lakhs);

  4. trees, shrubs, herbs and other vegetables and creepers etc. – 30,00,000 (30 lakhs); and

  5. all kinds of quadrupeds and animals, human beings including gods and goddesses, demi-gods and godly powers, demons and wandering spirits etc. – 4,00,000 (4 lakhs).

A Jiva-atman or an individual soul unless liberated – becomes an atman –, keeps revolving in one or other material body by the compulsive force of karmas and impressions gathered from life to life.

This then, is a prelude to Real Life and Life Eternal, coming, as it does from contact with the Voice of the Son of God – i.e. Inner Music made manifest by Him –, and they that hear – though dead to It now – shall live – and live eternally by us (St John 5:25) – for it is said:

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness (of the human heart) shall waters (of life) break out, and streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:5-6

For now we see through a glass; darkly but then face to face: now I see part; but then shall I know even as I am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

The spirit, when attuned to the Sound Current,

says Nanak likewise,

begins to see (the Light of God )without eyes (of flesh), to hear (the Voice of God) without ears, clings on (to the Divine Music) without hands and moves forward (Godwards) without feet.

Again the Great Teacher goes on to explain:

The seeing eyes, see not (the Reality); but by the Grace of the Guru, one begins to discern (the Power of God) face to face. It is why a worthy and worshipful disciple can perceive God everywhere.

Our sense-organs are so formed as may help us in the physical world alone and that too imperfectly, but they fail us when we come to the supra-physical level.

By seeing we see but do not perceive, by hearing we hear but do not understand, and we have a heart that has neither feeling nor understanding.

Isaiah 6:9-10; St Matthew 11:15;
St Mark 4:12; Romans 11:8

But a complete change, a marvellous change comes about only when one learns how to invert and undergo practically a process of voluntary death while living. So the exhortation:

Learn how to die (die to the earth life) that you begin to live (live freely and fearlessly in the Living Spirit, free from the limiting adjuncts of the bodily sheaths).

One has, therefore, to

forsake the flesh for the spirit.

St John 6:63

Love not the flesh more than the spirit, is the age-old advice of the Prophet of Galilee.

As long as we are at home in the body we are absent from God. And, the more one withdraws from himself, the nearer one gets to God. Nothing in creation compares with the Creator, for what is not God is nothing. With the transference of consciousness from the earth-plane (death as it is commonly known) to the spiritual plane (rebirth or second birth – birth of the spirit, as it is called), through contact with the Master-power flowing in the body, one never perishes.

When all others desert (you), I will not abandon you, nor allow you to perish at the last.

St John 10:28

He that overcometh (transcendeth the physical in him by transhumanising the human), shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation 2:11


If ye are led by the spirit ye are not under the law (the law of action and reaction or cause and effect, leading to repeated incarnations.

Galatians 5:18

All this is not mere theory but a fact – the fact of life for the Flame of Life cometh with every individual from the moment of one’s birth (St John 1:9), and it is given unto every man to know the secret of the flaming Sound and the Mysteries of Heaven – the Kingdom of God (St Matthew 13:11).

In this science of the beyond, logic and reasoning have no place. Actual seeing alone brings in faith and belief. The Light of light, the Father of lights swayom jyoti swarup Parmatma – self-effulgent God –, nooran-ala Noor – the great celestial Light –, and the spirit in man – the spark from the Divine Light of the Universal Spirit, a drop of consciousness from the ocean of consciousness, appearing as individualised spirit clothed in various mantles –, are all within the human body, nar-naraini deh; but strange as it may seem that though living in so close proximity to each other, one has not seen the face of the Other, because we have mistaken the arid wilderness of the world as our real abode.

The Master-Souls not only apprise us of the Reality and the rich heritage to which we are entitled, but Christ-like proclaim:

I will give unto thee the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

St Matthew 16:19

Nanak also tells us:

The Master has the key for the mobile house of soul chained to the body and the mind; oh Nanak! without a Perfect Master, there is no way of escape from the prison-house.

But how many of us have put faith in their solemn assurances, and how many of us are prepared to take and accept the keys of the Kingdom and more so to unlock the steely portals behind the eyes?

And much less to hear the Word – the Holy Word – of which Christ says:

He that heareth my Word […] is passed from death unto life,

St John 5:24

in spite of our vehement daily prayers for being led from untruth to Truth, from darkness to Light and from death to Immortality. It is indeed a strange paradox, more paradoxical than the riddles ever propounded by Sphinx, the monster of Thebe to the Thebans or the enigmas of life put by Yaksha, the demon-guardian of the pool of refreshing water, to the Pandava princes when they went, one by one, to slake their thirst but could not do so – except Yudishtra, the prince of dharma – and were turned into stones for their inability to solve the same.

Are we not, in fact, leading a stark and stiff life, stiff in death as it were, like many insensate things, awaiting the advent of the Prince of Peace, to raise us once more into life – Life Everlasting – by conquering the Sphinx and the Yaksha of old – keeping a dragon-like strict watch over us lest we, lured by the legendary Golden Fleece, escape, Jason-like, with the much coveted prize, from his domineering sway? This then is the great enigma of life which has got to be solved, for without solving it our brief existence here is dwarfed and stunted.

The majority of us simply lead an animal existence – living like them a blind life in the brain. We have never risen above the emotional and mental worlds which we ourselves have cast around us and which now hold us in their iron grip.

The Heaven’s Light is to most of us a figment of human imagination and not a reality:

While with us in the body, we see Him not, fie on a lifeless life like this, oh Tulsi! everyone is stark blind.

Kabir tells us:

The entire world is groping in darkness, if it were a question of one or two, they could be set right.

Nanak also speaks likewise:

To the Enlightened One all are purblind, for none knows the Inner Secret.

Nanak then goes on to define blindness:

They who lack eyes are not blind, blind are such as see not the Lord. And eyes that see the Lord are quite different.

Again, it is said:

The eyes of flesh see Him not, but when the Master illumines the eyes within, a worthy disciple begins to witness the Power and Glory of God within himself.

How is it that we do not see Him with all our earnest and well-meant endeavours?

Enveloped in darkness we strive darkly for God by deeds not less dark; without a Perfect Master none has found the way nor can one do so; but when one comes across a Perfect Master, one begins to see Him with an eye opened in the closet of his heart.

It is only by direct Communion with the Name – the Holy Word – that one comes to know that by knowing It nothing else remains to be known.

In ‘Jap Ji,’ the Great Teacher recounts the innumerable benefits which spontaneously begin to flow and one becomes the abode of all virtues:

By communion with the Word one can attain the status of a Siddha,2 a Pir,3 a Sura,4 or a Nath;5 by communion with the Word, one can understand the mysteries of the earth, the supporting bull5 and the heavens; by communion with the Word, the earthly regions, the heavenly plateaus and the nether worlds stand revealed; by communion with the Word, we can escape unscathed through the portals of Death; oh Nanak, His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

Jap Ji, Stanza 8

By communion with the Word, one can attain the powers of Shiva, Brahma and Indra; by communion with the Word, one can win esteem from all, irrespective of one’s past; by communion with the Word, one can have yogic insight with the mysteries of life and self all revealed. By communion with the Word, one can acquire the true import of the Shastras7, Smritis8 and Vedas9; oh Nanak! His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

Jap Ji, Stanza 9

By communion with the Word, one becomes the abode of Truth, contentment and True Knowledge; by communion with the Word, one gets the fruit of ablution at sixty-eight pilgrimages10; by communion with the Word, one wins the honour of the learned; by communion with the Word, one attains the stage of Sehaj11; oh Nanak! His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

Jap Ji, Stanza 10

By communion with the Word, one becomes the abode of all virtues; by communion with the Word, one becomes a Sheikh, a Pir, and a True Spiritual King; by communion with the Word, the spiritually blind find their way to Realisation; by communion with the Word, one crosses beyond the Limitless Ocean of illusory matter; oh Nanak! His devotees live in perpetual ecstasy, for the Word washes away all sin and sorrow.

Jap Ji, Stanza 11

Thus we see that the secret of success both here and hereafter lies in attuning the self within to the Overself or the Sound Current which is the be-all and end-all of all existence.

Nanak, therefore, exhorts:

It is by a great good fortune that one takes a human birth and one must make the most of it; but one goes down in the scale of creation by deliberately breaking away from the Saving Life-Lines in him.

It is, indeed, a sad plight for one who gains the possessions of the whole world but loses his own soul. Far from having any profit, he incurs a dead loss, irreparable and irretrievable, whereby he suffers for ages before he comes again to the human level. Once the opportunity is allowed to slip through the fingers, the gains made so far go overboard and one hopelessly flounders on the shoals and sand-banks of the stream of life. The fall from the top rung of the ladder is a terrible fall indeed!


Explanation: 1) Lakh is a scale unit of the Indian number system and is equivalent to 100,000 [Editor’s Note; 2011]. 2) Siddha: A man endowed with supernatural powers. 3) Pir: A Muslim divine or a spiritual teacher. 4) Sura: A god. 5) Nath: Yogin, an adept in yoga. 6) Dhaul: It is the fabled bull, supposed to be supporting the earths and heavens. 7) Shastras: The philosophical treatises of the Hindus. 8)Smritis: The ancient scriptures of the Hindus. 9) Vedas: The earliest books of human and divine. 10) Ath-sath: Literally, these two words mean eight and sixty, i.e. sixty-eight. Nanak is once again making use of the Hindu belief that ablutions at 68 places of pilgrimage purify all sinful acts. 11) Sehaj: This term refers to the state when the turmoil of the physical, astral and causal worlds with all their enchanted panorama, are transcended and the Great Principle of life is seen within.