Wherever he may be, man must strive for nobility of character, self-control and purity of heart.
Purity in thought, word and deed is essential. An ethical life is a stepping stone to Spirituality.
Spirituality however, is not just ethical living. This must always be borne in mind.
Sant Kirpal Singh
Purity of heart is very necessary for a pilgrim on the path, for without it one cannot see the Light of God and hear the Voice of God. All scriptures speak of it. The Sermon on the Mount is clear enough on this point. In it Jesus deals with the realities of life. References ot the "Single eye" and the "kingdom of God within", etc. pertain to the inner life. The inner and the outer are interdependent. Jesus has dealt with both the aspect of life: outer as well as inner.
Buddha also laid great stress on right living and enunciated the eightfold path of righteous living for his followers. In fact, he never uttered a word about God as he knew that the God experience would follow of necessity when the ground was prepared. The Hindu scriptures too say the same thing.
Ethical life, as said before, precedes spiritual life. It consists of righteous living with life dedicated to the highest ideals:
In India the ethical way of life is called Sadachar about which Sant Kirpal Singh gives a deep explanation:
The word sadachar is not easy to translate. One can find many literal equivalents, but none of them really expresses its extensive and many-sided significance. In brief, it stands for the good and pure life. It does not imply any rigid code or set moral formulae, but suggests purity and simplicity, which radiate from within and spread outwards, permeating every action, every word, every thought. It is as much concerned with one's personal habits, good and hygienic, as with one's individual and social ethics. And on its ethical side, it is concerned not merely with one's relation to one's fellow men but to all living things, i.e., harmony which is the result of recognition that all things are from the same essence.
The first lesson taught by a true Master is that of "the identity of substance", and he who has grasped this truth will discipline his life accordingly. He will not be a prey to inordinate desires, and his one aim will be to reach the still point which holds in itself all actions, the point where to have nothing is to possess everything. He will know that the one path to fulfilment is through renunciation, and the one way to reach the Almighty is through freeing himself from all other attachments.
His would be a life of detachment or of nishkama. But detachment would not be for him a life of indifference or of ascetic renunciation. To know all life is to discover a new bond between oneself and the rest of creation. He who knows this cannot be merely "indifferent". He must perforce be filled to overflowing with sympathy for all that he confronts, and sympathy toward the whole must imply a certain holy indifference to the part. He will no longer be tied to his own narrow individual interests, but will share his love and resources with all. He will develop, slowly but surely, something of the compassion of the Buddha and the love of Christ. Nor will he feel himself called upon to leave the world for the solitude of the forest, the mountain or the desert cave.
The detachment must be an inner one, and one who cannot achieve it at home will not achieve it in the forest. He will recognize the great use of occasional retreats from worldly affairs and cares to the silence of solitary meditation and concentration, but he will not seek to escape from life and its responsibilities. He will be a loving husband and a good father, but while being these he will never forget the ultimate purpose of life, always knowing how to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and preserving for God that which is God's. The way for transcending desire, he will know, is not through repressing it but meeting it squarely and overcoming it. To him, sanyasa (renunciation) is not a matter of outer evasion or escapism but of inner freedom.
The two cardinal virtues that such a man will cultivate will be charity and chastity. He will be large of heart and bounteous, caring more for the sufferings of others than for his own, and easily forgiving those that injure him. He will be simple and restrained in his habits. His wants will be few and easily satisfied, for one who has too many desires and too many attachments cannot be pure of heart. For him chastity will extend even to giving up meat and drink. When all life is one, to live upon the flesh of other living beings would be to defile oneself. And when one's goal is to attain even higher realms of consciousness, to resort to narcotics and intoxicants is only to court regression. It is not an idiosyncrasy of Indian seers that they should have made abstinence from meat and drink a necessary part of the spiritual discipline. We have similar injunctions in the Koran and the Holy Bible.
Sadachar is no dry discipline that can be attained by following certain set formulae. It is a way of life, and in such matters only heart to heart can speak.
"All the scriptures and all the world teachers have laid emphasis on the greatness of man, for he has vast potentialities in him, which he can, if he will, develop to any extent he may like, leading to Godhood. The pelf and power of the world are nothing in comparison to the spiritual treasures lying within man, while he, in ignorance, is like a mendicant roaming about in search of pebbles and in the end barters away his precious life for such trash."
Man is essentially a social being. He is born in society and cannot live without society. As such, the Master-souls do not interfere in his social conduct and religious mode of life. They tell us to lead a life of purity and chastity within the framework of the social order in which we are born or to which we belong, but that we should not dehumanize our human nature, which has been given to us as a sacred trust from God.
You have just listened to the talk of the Master. He spoke about harmony. What is that harmony? To be in tune with ourselves, and then see this harmony within all. Masters come into the world only to bring a change in the heart of man. He does not change the outer man, though He changes the outer habits of man. That is what man-making means.
Guru Nanak said, “O Nanak, the whole world is in flames, the whole world is burning.” Which is that fire? The hidden fire in man that gives rise to a lot of problems to himself and creates problems for others as well. So this fire is that of attachment, passions and otherness. This fire creates otherness because man thinks that he knows much better and in spite of all doings – good or bad doings – he takes himself as superior to all. In spite of the fact that he is at fault, he justifies himself as to be true. This is his habit.
The most important thing for us while in the world is to safeguard our interest and these are the higher values of life. If one loses the higher values of life and goes back without attaining it, he is bewildered in the three worlds, no way out. At once one loses the chance of this manbody, may or may not be given it again. So we have to make the best use of the present time.
Even to think of the past is negative. You know, lot of people are there, lot of masters are there who are telling you about the past. What does it cost/ benefit you, nothing. They may be telling lies, but that does not interest you.