Excerpts from a lecture given on June 25, 1987 at Ram Das Puri, NM
I would like to talk to you about something―if you have mind to listen to it. I know all of you, young or old, will go through every phase of life. With all the energy you have, there will be certain things which happen to you. Can you guide your life like a guiding star, self-propelled?
I definitely know that each human being who is alive wants to have control. Some of us are very ambitious, we want to control the whole world. Some are very ambitious, we want to control the family and the surroundings. But very few might be here who would like to control their own mind. And without the control of your own mind, your life will never be complete.
Let me tell you something very simple: you have actually nothing to offer to yourself without your own discipline. Not experiencing your own mind and your own discipline and your own wisdom within you, your life is as hollow, shallow and empty as you can name it. You are just a can.
Religion is not anything other than a science of reality, and it is not reality about God, it's a reality about yourself. Religion has been so interlocked and so confused. Ultimately what happened is that there is a religion and the religion becomes a group of people who put themselves together and work it out, and by doing so, they become power. They become political power, they become social power, they become economic power, and that power is always used, misused, exploited, understood or misunderstood. But that is not religion.
Religion is when you experience within you your very self, your very discipline. Religion is a reality where you can master your own mind—not because I said it, not because somebody said it. When you take guidance from everybody, it awakens you to the point that then you start taking guidance within you. And that guidance is not environmental and circumstantial. That guidance is infinite.
Whether we have control over our mind to direct our emotions and our passion―or not, they are two things which are your worst enemies and without which you are not alive, either. If you can control your feelings and your emotions by your mind, under the guidance of your intelligence, you have walked on the path of reality. And if this path can reach you to a destination where you can understand with your own mind your own consciousness, and that intelligence follows the consciousness, you have reached what is called in simple English, God. You don't have to go to God. And that is the total challenge.
You can see things through a microscope, you can see things through a telescope, you can predict things through a horoscope, but with all scopes, if you do not develop the conscious scope, which is called third eye, Agia Chakra, you are still incomplete. I'm not here challenging who you are. I'm telling you what your value is on the scale of consciousness.
Therefore in our heart we have a place for the words of the Guru. Guru has guided us. Siri Guru Granth has guided us to talk to the mind. That's one place where mind is talked to. The identity of the mind is established as your own identity. So when Guru talks to the mind, and also answers the questions, there is an established identity which has to be looked into.
How to reach that One? By amalgamating the self. When I and you meet into one, then the One, the Unknown One will live. Neither you will live nor I will live. And it is the most conscious act of life. Life is towards the dark and towards the light, both ways the same, and you are the center of it. You are the theme of it. You are not the product or byproduct or project or persuasion of it; you are a living identity.
Some of you want to be rich, some want to be poor, some want to be free, some want to enjoy life as you want to. There is a lot of inspiration in you. This will all come to you in proportion―as much as you put in, that much you may have. But the whole Universe will come to you when you'll become one, or learn the procedure to become one with anybody or everybody or anybody, anywhere or anytime.
And there's one principle to it. That principle is, we all have one thing in common: we all have a different mind, we all have a different body, but we have one soul, we are a part of one soul. If we can see the soul in each other and relate to it, find it, understand it, respect it, then that oneness will be forever.
You are a group of people who are supposed to be walking towards your own soul; about your own spirit consciously. That's why I am not reminding you of the body. I'm not giving you a lecture on how to be healthy. You can be as healthy as Samson, and you may have the mind of anybody you can name. But if you don’t have the light of soul shining around you, you shall be confused. You shall clash with each other, with your environments, with your neighborhood. You shall not follow discipline because you are handicapped and you have weakness.
The strength behind you is the spirit of you. If you do not let that spirit play, you will not have the power to go. The world today needs peace, it needs harmony, it needs tranquility. We can all work for it and give only if we have peace within ourself.
You cannot give to anybody if you don't have it. You cannot give anybody satisfaction if you don't have it. Suppose this glass has nothing in it. It can't give anything―all it can give me is its ‘glasshood,’ but if this glass has water in it, then this glass can give itself to me with water which I can take. You all want to take everything. Remember this law: you cannot take if you do not give. If you do not know how to give, you will never be in a position to take.
If you do not make some space and do not empty something, where can you put the other thing? The problem is you all get drowned because you take and take and take and you have no place to go. First create the capacity to take, then take, and the law of capacity to take is first give, because there's no vacuum and when you create the vacuum, things will come in.
Therefore please understand, we get up in the morning and we do Sadhana. We don't do Sadhana to please anybody, we do Sadhana to please ourself. In the morning we work on ourself, we want to know ourself, we prepare ourself. And that is the way to go.
How many of you can honestly now calculate yourself that you are just dragging? And that is what your pain of life is―you are not free. You want to ride the whole universe. You want to control everybody and you don't have control of your own mind. That's the painful state.
Keep your faculty of mind together, and don’t make excuses under middle age crisis, old age crisis, early age crisis. When you want crises, you have them. It doesn't matter under what age, time, space and circumstances you are. You have the right to create harmony and you have the right to create crisis, nobody creates for you. You create them, you will live with them, and you will bury yourself with them. There is one way to get out and that is to grow and grow consciously, and that is one chance we all have.
The problem we are going through right now is that each one wants support without knowing what support means. The whole world may give you support, but if your own mind shall not support you, you will not be in a position to do anything in life.
Your own mind cannot be controlled and guided and give you support until it is brought to a discipline. That word which brings mind to a discipline to support you is called mantra. Man-tra, to bring discipline to the mind. That's why we do Japa. Japa creates the heat―that is called Tapa. In Tapa that heat burns the Karma. Out of the Karma grows kindness and it becomes Dharma. Out of that grows compassion and that is called Siddhi―power.
From that comes the word Sadhu―one who has controlled himself through all aspects of life. And that is what we call Sadhana.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan