It is expected that by the constitution of Society, different groups and cliques will disappear and satsangis will love each other as brothers. Kindly send this letter to Babu Sawan Singh also for his information.”
1) Most of the citations from Baba Ji’s letters in his books were translated directly from the Gurmukhi originals. The reader wishing to read his entire correspondence with Baba Sawan Singh Ji may consult Spiritual Gems (Beas 1958).
2) Baba Sawan Singh Ji in a letter to one of his disciples makes the necessity of a living Master in the Mystic Path very clear indeed: “When I was in the hospital on account of the fracture of my leg, one day when I was meditating, Baba Ji’s form appeared before me. Baba Ji, or rather what seemed to be his form, said: “If, in a case of emergency, meat and drink are used, there is no harm.” But when I repeated the five names, he got up and walked away. Now because I had seen Baba Ji in real life and could visualize him, I found out this trick. But those people who concentrate on the old Masters who passed away thousands of years ago are likely to be misled. It’s (the Saint’s) eyes and one’s forehead cannot be imitated. Hence, you always require a living teacher for the pupil, a living physician for the sick, a living husband for the wife and a living ruler for the people. I maintain that no one else can help a disciple so much as a living Master.”
A way to be selfless is for the disciple may give for the good of the Master’s cause, but at the same time, he should see how much he could really give. If he does not care for the welfare of his own children, then that is not fair, So we have a rule here. Those who give more than a certain amount, they come to me. This is a very strict condition given to Salip Singh. He may accept ten, twenty, or thirty rupees, but those who want to give more than that must come to see to me. Sometimes I accept, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I return full, sometimes I return half. So a man should share with others, but in degrees. Let him start with the least, maybe 1/40th, or 1/20th. 1/10th has been the average. Those who cannot afford to give 1/10th, let them give 1/20th, let them give 1/40th, let them share even a single pie. So those who want to progress on the spiritual way must earn their livelihood by honest means, and then share with others.
Do you know why I don’t accept money from those who are not initiated? Who knows how they earned the money! When a man is initiated, he is cared for by the Master. Those who have not been initiated, their money is not looked after by anybody.
Whatever they give will have to be repaid. You must have compassion, you must share with others. Don’t give anything with the hope of return, for something that you will have in the afterlife. That is not what is wanted. Give it once and for all, share with others. They are your brothers and sisters in God. Do you now understand what is meant by charity? These things are not explained in books. Don’t accept anything for your own personal self. So, the main rule is, earn your own livelihood by honest means, first of all, and then share with others, maybe the least amount that you can. The more you can give, while looking after your family circumstances, so much the better. Then, you will ultimately give everything for the sake of God. We should give without the least hope of return, as a selfless service. We are all brothers and sisters in God.
There was once a saint, Bab Kahan was his name, to whom Baba Sawan Singh used to give Rs. 10 every time he met him at Peshawar. Once Baba Sawan Signh was on field service and earned a good amount, one or two thousand rupees. He met Baba Kahan again at that time. I also met him, since I was in Peshawar at the time.
Baba Kahan said to Baba Sawan Singh, “Well, look here, I want Rs. 20 this time.” The Master said to him, “What, are you becoming greedy?”
“Not the least,” replied Bab Kahan, “I want the extra so that the poison may be taken away from all this money that you have earned. Before you were earning less, and I took Rs. 10 and it was given away to the poor. I want Rs.20 now only for the reason that you have more money. Let it be shared with others.” He did not accept anything for himself. This is what is meant by giving.
If we give something, and we want some return, that is not selfless service. In your diaries, you have got one column for this. It means something, and it is for your own good. Do you follow the purpose for which charity is meant? If you want return, action and reaction will come back. But a mother, whose children are hungry, will take out a morsel from her own mouth and give it to her children. She does not care for any return. So, help others with that angle of vision, with that spirit.
We give sometimes for show. That is for name and fame only. That kind of charity is no charity. Christ said, “If one hand gives something, let not your other hand know about it.” So this is what is meant by charity.
If it is a good thing to be rich, then we should make others rich, but we can only do that if we give others a portion of ourselves. The master Baba Sawan Singh started out by giving 1/10th, eventually started giving everything to his master, named Baba Jaimal Singh. Baba Jaimal Singh would always return something for the family to live off. Baba Sawan Sighn just simply laid everything at the feet of his master, and in return, the master made sure that he had enough to take care of his family. Our master Baba Sawan Singh always said that it was a good thing to give that 1/10th of what you have. In order to do this, you must keep careful accounting of your expenses, and you will find that things always work out. The return is well worth it, because the more that you give, the more that you will receive.
Christ himself said, “If ye want to enter the Kingdom of God, and then sell everything that you have.” This is the ultimate example of giving up everything to your master. Man should learn to earn honest livelihoods, and then share that with others. You should not stagnate, because stagnation will cause you to feel horrible inside. If you want to have self-service in a spiritual way, then you must earn an honest living and share it with others. Start out simply, with whatever you can afford to give, until you can work up to giving everything for God. This has been what has happened since the beginning of time, ever since Abraham, who gave 1/10th of his valuables.
There are two ways to provide self-service. The first way is through selfless service. If someone is sick, go and serve them. The thought of the Masters has always been to take the help the poor and the needy and raise them up to the level of any other man. If we do that, then everyone would begin to do it, and then there would no longer be poor and hungry in the world. Why are there poor and needy in the world? Because we don’t share. When we share with others, our self expands. When you give, you feel joy inside. That is the reward for sharing. However, don’t give with the hope or expectation that there will be a return. Give purely for the sake of sharing with others. Be selfless. Sometimes, the reward that we get for sharing is to get into heaven. Right now, we feed our children richly, while the children of our neighbors die of starvation. This is not the right way.
From the book, “Morning Talks,” by Sant Kirpal Singh