Kirpal Singh

The Essence of Religion

or Surat Shabd

It is explained,

that God, when He projected Himself into manifestation, took form as the Word, Naam,Shabd, Udgit, Kalma, Saut or Sraosha, and that these terms refer not to abstract concepts of Divine Will or Reason but to something more; a spiritual stream of celestial harmony radiant with effulgence.

This stream is at the centre of all creation, bringing into being its various planes, vitalizing and sustaining them.

He, who under the guidance of one who has himself mastered the Way, can contact this current within, can transcend the physical world and steadily rise above all planes of relativity and, when he becomes one with It, reach back into Its very source thus escaping from the realms of limitation to that of Infinite Consciousness and Absolute Being.

To indicate that these teachings are not restricted to any one people or any one age but have a universal applicability, every important aspect was briefly illustrated from the sayings of mystics drawn from various religious traditions: Indian, Islamic and Christian.

However, these sayings are only by way of illustrative references.

If the tenets of the Surat Shabd Yoga are indeed universal, if they really point to Absolute Truth and are based not on dogma but on 'facts,' albeit of a supra-physical nature, but 'facts' which can be verified by anyone who is ready to undergo the discipline demanded for their study, then the inquiring seeker would surely assert that these tenets should, in some form or the other, be at the heart of all great religions, and he would desire a more systematic demonstration of this than has been possible in the foregoing account of the Surat Shabd Yoga.

A comprehensive and detailed treatment of this subject is beyond the scope of this book, and at best we can only suggest some fruitful lines of enquiry, which those desiring to go further may pursue.

Besides, it is a recurrent theme of all great Masters, that though their teachings are universal in nature and may be verified from the extensive scriptural literature1 of the world, yet to confine oneself merely to learned interpretation is to miss completely the true import of their teachings.

All that the seeker needs to do is to ascertain from past records that what he is being told is the most ancient of truths, so that he may take up the discipline required with full faith and without reservation. Final verification must be a matter of direct and first-hand inner experience and not one of bookish learning, which, when carried beyond its proper limit and made an end in itself, defeats its purpose and becomes a serious distraction from the goal.


Source: ‘The Crown of Life – Part II, Chapter II: The Essence of Religion’, by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974.

Explanation: 1) For more details, the reader is invited to the book ‘Naam or Word.’