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Saint Paltu His Life and Teachings
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Preface

In this book, Isaac Ezekiel examines the life and teachings of Paltu Sahib. Paltu Sahib was a mystic of the highest order, who freely gave his teachings to men and women from all walks of life. He lived in northern India in the eighteenth century. Like many great spiritual teachers in that part of the world, he chose to write in verse form. In those times books were a scarce luxury, and the verse form. In those times books were scarce luxury, and the verse form made it easier for his message to be remembered by the literate and the illiterate alike.

The author tells us something about the structure of Paltu's verses, which are traditional in form, but he does not pretend that their beauty can be fully translated into another language and another culture. This is not a book about literature or poetry per se; rather, the emphasis is on Paltu's spiritual message.

Ezekiel was an initiate of Maharaj Sawan Singh, who was the Satguru (master) at Beas, India, until 1948. Like the masters at Beas before and after him, Maharaj Sawan Singh dedicated his life to giving out the teachings of Sant Mat and to guiding and helping his disciples on the path of self-realization and God-realization.

The term Sant Mat literally means 'teachings of the saints' and was popularized by Tulsi Sahib (c. 1763-1843), another great spiritual teacher. Subsequently, the term has been used by the masters at Beas, among others, down to the present day. However, this should not be taken to mean that Saint Mat is a new teaching that appeared at a particular point in history. On the contrary, the term serves to remind us that the teachings of all saints or mystics of the highest order are the same. They have all attained union with the one supreme Lord; in Biblical terminology, they are "the Word made flesh". Thus their teachings are bound to be the same in essence. The language may differ with time and place, but the message is unchanging.

Their message is that God cab be found only by seeking him within the human body. The path back to God is right there, within each person. In order to find God, we must therefore turn our attention within, by meditation.

Sant Mat does not lay claim to a monopoly of the truth, but it does insist that we can only return to God by finding the Shabd (the Word of God) within our own body. This Word of God, which Paltu often calls Nam (the Name), is worth more than all the riches of this universe because it has the power to purify us, to detach us from the world we see around us and to pull us up to ever higher levels of consciousness. Through this process, we eventually realize that we are not what we think we are; we think of ourselves as body and mind, but by following the path of Shabd we learn that body and mind are just temporary vehicles for the soul, which is our true self. This is self-realization, which is followed by God-realization, when we become one with the supreme Lord.

The saints emphasize that we cannot follow this path alone. The path of Shabd cab be followed successfully only with the guidance of someone who has already followed it and attained God-realization. Therefore, before we even start on the path we have to find the right guide-a perfect saint, a true master. Then by various means, but ultimately by meditation, we must develop our faith and confidence in our master. This relationship of love between the disciple and the master is at the heart of Sant Mat.

The poetry of Paltu illustrates all these essential points. He tells us, for example, that "The saints are steeped in his Name and they alone cab bestow the gift of the Name" (Kundli 14). He says, "Offer your all to the saint and serve him with all humility" (Kundli 116) and "As fragrance lives in flowers, and fire in firewood, so does the Lord reside within a saint" (Rekhta 17).

Paltu also tackles head-on the particular problems of his time-problems that keep emerging throughout history because they arise from the negative tendencies of the human mind. As Ezekiel points out, Paltu lived in a time and place where orthodox religion had a firm grip on the people. Over and over again, Paltu's verses point out that we are all victims of our own selfish desires, which put us at odds with the world, and that we are all deluded. We mistakenly take this world to be real and of lasting deluded, religious dogma and social pressures misdirect our longing for truth into performing non-productive rituals, ceremonies, fasts, penances and pilgrimages. These external observances, though they may sometimes bring temporary solace and satisfaction to the restless heart, can never put us in touch with the deeper truth of our soul that will only be found by turning inwards.

Therefore, much of Paltu's poetry is written to convince his audience of the futility of such selfish and socially conditioned pursuits. In Kundli 133 he says, "Don't care what people say- shed all sense of shame and ridicule"; in Shabd 100 he talks about his own futile attempts to find peace through scriptures, yoga, fasting, pilgrimages, etc.

Ezekiel tells us that Paltu's verses acquired great popularity with the Indian people. His deeper message may not be always fully understood, but Paltu's simple language and his forthright attacks on the priests and powerbrokers of society endeared him to the common man. People often sense intuitively that there must be something beyond their scriptures and the rituals of religion, and they also recognize that it is the religious establishment who benefit from religious superstition. Yet they fear to step away from the social norm. it takes a Paltu to give them the courage to step from the accepted path and pursue what they know from within.

Though Paltu was no social reformer, his message threatened important vested interests. It is no great surprise, therefore, that he was burned alive in his own home by those who opposed the liberating effect of his teachings.

This book was the last work prepared by Mr. Ezekiel. He had already submitted two works to Master Charan Singh in seva: one on the celebrated saint, Kabir Sahib, and one on the lesser known Jewish mystic of India, Saint Sarmad. This work on Paltu Sahib was in its final stages when he passed on. The process of completion was taken up by a team of sevadars working under the guidance of Master Charan Singh, and the book was finally published some years after the author's death.

Now going to press again more than twenty years after the last edition, considerable revisions have been made. In the intervening years the world has changed rapidly. As technology links the many cultures and peoples together, and English becomes more and more the lingua franca, people's expectations of the written word have changed. Expressions that were acceptable then are no longer appreciated. Ezekiel was a journalist. His style was colourful and energetic, and his concern was with the broad picture rather than the details. In this way, he saw no need to distinguish between the translation and paraphrases of Paltu's words, as long as he accurately conveyed Paltu's teachings, Now the general public is more demanding. A quotation, for instance, that Ezekiel may have heard from his master and included without giving its source, is no longer acceptable to many of today's readers, just as the reader would like to know whether particular passages are Paltu's or the author's words.

For this third edition, we have tried to address such issues. Wherever possible, we have located the sources of the many quotations included in the book. In some instances, where the author brought in a quotation from another mystic to substantiate his point and the quotation from another mystic to substantiate his point and the quotation could not be found, we have omitted it our substituted a different quotation making the same point.

Paltu's poetry, because it touches the deepest levels of human experience, survives the passage of time and cries out its message across language and cultural divides. It is a message of courage, humility, humour, and the wonder of inner bliss, and it directs us to find a living guide today who can lead us to the same truth, which Paltu in his day communicated to his disciples

 

CONTENTS
Preface to the Third Edition xiii
Author's Foreword xix
Part One: Life and Teachings  
Saint Paltu's Life 3
The Style of Paltu's Poetry 10
Paltu's Teachings 16
Defiance of Orthodoxy 24
Maya or Illusion 35
Mind 40
External Worship 47
The Temple of God 57
The Lord and His Creation 62
The Supreme Lord 67
The Name or Word 72
Sainthood 86
The Master 90
Dying While Living 103
Spiritual Discipline and Spiritual Experience 109
The Fruit of Spiritual Practice 120
Part Two: Selected Poems  
The Name Is Rare 127
The Name Is Immaculate 128
The Word Made Flesh 129
False Prophets 130
A Boat without the Boatman 131
The True Yogi 132
Saints and the Lord 134
The Decree of Saints 135
Saints Transcend Duality 136
The Equanimity of Saints 137
Rare Are Earnest Seekers 138
Spiritual Wealth 139
Avoid the Fool 140
The Importance of Effort 141
Worldly and divine Love 142
Denunciation of Polytheism 143
Animal Sacrifice 144
The Worn-out Garment 145
The Sinking Ship 146
The Colony of the Blind 147
God Is Within 148
The Company of Saints 149
The Malady 151
Surrender to the Master 152
Time Primordial 153
The Forgotten Promise 154
As One Sows 155
A True Devotee 156
Love Means Absorption 157
The Immanence of the Lord 158
The Slanderer 159
Worry Consumes All 160
Public Opinion 161
Satsang Corrupts All 162
Withdrawal from the World 163
Maya and Her Wiles 164
Saints Earn Their Own Living 166
Saints Care Not for Fame 167
Death 168
Vanity and Pride 169
The Living Master 170
Saints 171
The Name 172
Satsang 173
Meritorious Deeds 174
The True Warrior 175
Contentment 176
Slander Not Saints 177
Dance with Abandon 178
The Name Is Ineffable 179
Divine Intoxication 180
The Path of Love 181
Saints Are Tender of Heart 182
Storming the Fortress of the Body 183
The Arrows of Wisdom 184
Water and Stone 185
Saints and the World 186
The Futility of External Observances 187
The Way Is Within 188
Churn the Vital Elements 189
The Lord's Grocer 190
The Saint Reigns Supreme 192
The Saints Come As Redeemers 193
This Other Paltu 194
Endnotes 197
Glossary 203
Index of Hindi First Lines 207
Subject Index 212
Local Addresses for Information and Books 215
Books on this Science 219

Sample Pages













Saint Paltu His Life and Teachings

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IDJ182
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2009
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Preface

In this book, Isaac Ezekiel examines the life and teachings of Paltu Sahib. Paltu Sahib was a mystic of the highest order, who freely gave his teachings to men and women from all walks of life. He lived in northern India in the eighteenth century. Like many great spiritual teachers in that part of the world, he chose to write in verse form. In those times books were a scarce luxury, and the verse form. In those times books were scarce luxury, and the verse form made it easier for his message to be remembered by the literate and the illiterate alike.

The author tells us something about the structure of Paltu's verses, which are traditional in form, but he does not pretend that their beauty can be fully translated into another language and another culture. This is not a book about literature or poetry per se; rather, the emphasis is on Paltu's spiritual message.

Ezekiel was an initiate of Maharaj Sawan Singh, who was the Satguru (master) at Beas, India, until 1948. Like the masters at Beas before and after him, Maharaj Sawan Singh dedicated his life to giving out the teachings of Sant Mat and to guiding and helping his disciples on the path of self-realization and God-realization.

The term Sant Mat literally means 'teachings of the saints' and was popularized by Tulsi Sahib (c. 1763-1843), another great spiritual teacher. Subsequently, the term has been used by the masters at Beas, among others, down to the present day. However, this should not be taken to mean that Saint Mat is a new teaching that appeared at a particular point in history. On the contrary, the term serves to remind us that the teachings of all saints or mystics of the highest order are the same. They have all attained union with the one supreme Lord; in Biblical terminology, they are "the Word made flesh". Thus their teachings are bound to be the same in essence. The language may differ with time and place, but the message is unchanging.

Their message is that God cab be found only by seeking him within the human body. The path back to God is right there, within each person. In order to find God, we must therefore turn our attention within, by meditation.

Sant Mat does not lay claim to a monopoly of the truth, but it does insist that we can only return to God by finding the Shabd (the Word of God) within our own body. This Word of God, which Paltu often calls Nam (the Name), is worth more than all the riches of this universe because it has the power to purify us, to detach us from the world we see around us and to pull us up to ever higher levels of consciousness. Through this process, we eventually realize that we are not what we think we are; we think of ourselves as body and mind, but by following the path of Shabd we learn that body and mind are just temporary vehicles for the soul, which is our true self. This is self-realization, which is followed by God-realization, when we become one with the supreme Lord.

The saints emphasize that we cannot follow this path alone. The path of Shabd cab be followed successfully only with the guidance of someone who has already followed it and attained God-realization. Therefore, before we even start on the path we have to find the right guide-a perfect saint, a true master. Then by various means, but ultimately by meditation, we must develop our faith and confidence in our master. This relationship of love between the disciple and the master is at the heart of Sant Mat.

The poetry of Paltu illustrates all these essential points. He tells us, for example, that "The saints are steeped in his Name and they alone cab bestow the gift of the Name" (Kundli 14). He says, "Offer your all to the saint and serve him with all humility" (Kundli 116) and "As fragrance lives in flowers, and fire in firewood, so does the Lord reside within a saint" (Rekhta 17).

Paltu also tackles head-on the particular problems of his time-problems that keep emerging throughout history because they arise from the negative tendencies of the human mind. As Ezekiel points out, Paltu lived in a time and place where orthodox religion had a firm grip on the people. Over and over again, Paltu's verses point out that we are all victims of our own selfish desires, which put us at odds with the world, and that we are all deluded. We mistakenly take this world to be real and of lasting deluded, religious dogma and social pressures misdirect our longing for truth into performing non-productive rituals, ceremonies, fasts, penances and pilgrimages. These external observances, though they may sometimes bring temporary solace and satisfaction to the restless heart, can never put us in touch with the deeper truth of our soul that will only be found by turning inwards.

Therefore, much of Paltu's poetry is written to convince his audience of the futility of such selfish and socially conditioned pursuits. In Kundli 133 he says, "Don't care what people say- shed all sense of shame and ridicule"; in Shabd 100 he talks about his own futile attempts to find peace through scriptures, yoga, fasting, pilgrimages, etc.

Ezekiel tells us that Paltu's verses acquired great popularity with the Indian people. His deeper message may not be always fully understood, but Paltu's simple language and his forthright attacks on the priests and powerbrokers of society endeared him to the common man. People often sense intuitively that there must be something beyond their scriptures and the rituals of religion, and they also recognize that it is the religious establishment who benefit from religious superstition. Yet they fear to step away from the social norm. it takes a Paltu to give them the courage to step from the accepted path and pursue what they know from within.

Though Paltu was no social reformer, his message threatened important vested interests. It is no great surprise, therefore, that he was burned alive in his own home by those who opposed the liberating effect of his teachings.

This book was the last work prepared by Mr. Ezekiel. He had already submitted two works to Master Charan Singh in seva: one on the celebrated saint, Kabir Sahib, and one on the lesser known Jewish mystic of India, Saint Sarmad. This work on Paltu Sahib was in its final stages when he passed on. The process of completion was taken up by a team of sevadars working under the guidance of Master Charan Singh, and the book was finally published some years after the author's death.

Now going to press again more than twenty years after the last edition, considerable revisions have been made. In the intervening years the world has changed rapidly. As technology links the many cultures and peoples together, and English becomes more and more the lingua franca, people's expectations of the written word have changed. Expressions that were acceptable then are no longer appreciated. Ezekiel was a journalist. His style was colourful and energetic, and his concern was with the broad picture rather than the details. In this way, he saw no need to distinguish between the translation and paraphrases of Paltu's words, as long as he accurately conveyed Paltu's teachings, Now the general public is more demanding. A quotation, for instance, that Ezekiel may have heard from his master and included without giving its source, is no longer acceptable to many of today's readers, just as the reader would like to know whether particular passages are Paltu's or the author's words.

For this third edition, we have tried to address such issues. Wherever possible, we have located the sources of the many quotations included in the book. In some instances, where the author brought in a quotation from another mystic to substantiate his point and the quotation from another mystic to substantiate his point and the quotation could not be found, we have omitted it our substituted a different quotation making the same point.

Paltu's poetry, because it touches the deepest levels of human experience, survives the passage of time and cries out its message across language and cultural divides. It is a message of courage, humility, humour, and the wonder of inner bliss, and it directs us to find a living guide today who can lead us to the same truth, which Paltu in his day communicated to his disciples

 

CONTENTS
Preface to the Third Edition xiii
Author's Foreword xix
Part One: Life and Teachings  
Saint Paltu's Life 3
The Style of Paltu's Poetry 10
Paltu's Teachings 16
Defiance of Orthodoxy 24
Maya or Illusion 35
Mind 40
External Worship 47
The Temple of God 57
The Lord and His Creation 62
The Supreme Lord 67
The Name or Word 72
Sainthood 86
The Master 90
Dying While Living 103
Spiritual Discipline and Spiritual Experience 109
The Fruit of Spiritual Practice 120
Part Two: Selected Poems  
The Name Is Rare 127
The Name Is Immaculate 128
The Word Made Flesh 129
False Prophets 130
A Boat without the Boatman 131
The True Yogi 132
Saints and the Lord 134
The Decree of Saints 135
Saints Transcend Duality 136
The Equanimity of Saints 137
Rare Are Earnest Seekers 138
Spiritual Wealth 139
Avoid the Fool 140
The Importance of Effort 141
Worldly and divine Love 142
Denunciation of Polytheism 143
Animal Sacrifice 144
The Worn-out Garment 145
The Sinking Ship 146
The Colony of the Blind 147
God Is Within 148
The Company of Saints 149
The Malady 151
Surrender to the Master 152
Time Primordial 153
The Forgotten Promise 154
As One Sows 155
A True Devotee 156
Love Means Absorption 157
The Immanence of the Lord 158
The Slanderer 159
Worry Consumes All 160
Public Opinion 161
Satsang Corrupts All 162
Withdrawal from the World 163
Maya and Her Wiles 164
Saints Earn Their Own Living 166
Saints Care Not for Fame 167
Death 168
Vanity and Pride 169
The Living Master 170
Saints 171
The Name 172
Satsang 173
Meritorious Deeds 174
The True Warrior 175
Contentment 176
Slander Not Saints 177
Dance with Abandon 178
The Name Is Ineffable 179
Divine Intoxication 180
The Path of Love 181
Saints Are Tender of Heart 182
Storming the Fortress of the Body 183
The Arrows of Wisdom 184
Water and Stone 185
Saints and the World 186
The Futility of External Observances 187
The Way Is Within 188
Churn the Vital Elements 189
The Lord's Grocer 190
The Saint Reigns Supreme 192
The Saints Come As Redeemers 193
This Other Paltu 194
Endnotes 197
Glossary 203
Index of Hindi First Lines 207
Subject Index 212
Local Addresses for Information and Books 215
Books on this Science 219

Sample Pages













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