Baba Gurinder Singh Ji writes on Great Master and Introduces
Tales of the Mystic East (confirmed by Jagdish Chander Sethi,
Secretary, RSSB to Anand Gurnani, Mumbai):
Tales of the Mystic East
, now retold, we have tried to
retain as far as possible, Great Master's words and manner
of speech. A military engineer and Persian scholar. The
central truth that weaves its way through the book is the
one message of all enlightened souls since history began:
Love is God. But it is not, in fact, that simple for the way
to the kingdom of love crosses enemy territory, the enemy is
mostly undercover, and we keep losing sight of the danger
all around. The enemy is our mind; indeed, the mind is our
favorite companion, and it is only gradually that we
discover it is a trickster and a traitor-----that it is our
only real foe. It deceives, flatters, and seduces; like an
autocratic dictator, it can even destroy us with its power.
The stories are very simple and will be enjoyed by young and
old alike. This is the beauty of stories as a teaching
medium, for we can all appreciate them from our particular
point of view. For the discerning reader, they alert us to
the many pitfalls on the way to God. And they inspire us to
engage the enemy in battle by pointing to the beauty and
brilliance of the land ahead. They talk of surrender,
simplicity, devotion; of faith and obedience-----the way of
the spirit; and they talk of hypocrisy, confusion, vanity,
anger, lust-----the endless deceits of the self-absorbed
Set in the traditions of Hinduism, Islam, and the Sikhs of
north India, they remind us that, irrespective of the words
and ways we use to describe moral and spiritual truths,
those truths themselves are the same. We my call love God,
Allah, Ram or Wahiguru; we may call the spiritual Master the
Satguru, Guru or Murshid; we may call God's creative power
the Word, Shabd, Nam or Kalma; we may worship in a
synagogue, church, mosque, temple or gurdwara; we may
express the entire gamut of human experience in any
language; but none of this matters if we are looking for
Truth, because Truth exists at a different level from all
The Great Master was known for his succinct and powerful way
of speaking, not just during his discourses, but in everyday
life also. A Muslim friend once told him he was going on a
pilgrimage to Mecca and asked him if he wanted anything from
there. The Great Master said,"Please give my regards to the
God of Mecca."The man was puzzled. "Is there a different God
in Mecca?"The Great Master smiled and said,"Then why go
When the voice of truth speaks, it strikes us. We may gain
more in a flash of understanding than through weeks of study
and reasoning. Such understanding fortifies us-----we step
back from the immediacy of the situation and review it with
a detachment that stands us in good stead.
That we may gain more from such understanding than anything
gained through the skills of body and mind is the moral of
the story of the legendary One-Eyed Khan.
Born in poverty-----his father was a drunken cobbler, his
mother a prostitute-----One-Eyed Khan was half blinded as a
boy. One night his father returned from the tavern and found
him praying. This so angered him that he broke his wine
flask on the boy's forehead, which left him blind in one
As he lay dazed inn a pool of wine and blood, God spoke to
"Fear not, young Khan, for you shall hear my voice within
you; with your single eye, you shall have understanding, for
you shall see into the hearts of men."
One-Eyed Khan became a wandering storyteller-----the most
magnetic in the land-----who drew large crowds whenever he
paused in his travels. It is said that when he spoke, birds
stopped singing and flowers bent their heads towards him to
catch every sparkling word from his golden tongue.
When the old king, who had no son, wanted to appoint a
successor, he asked One-Eyed Khan to attend a meeting in his
bedchamber. At this meeting each of the chief ministers was
invited to say what he'd done to deserve being king. Unknown
to them, One-Eyed Khan was asked to look into their hearts
and see what lay behind their words.
The chief treasurer spoke first.
"I have introduced ten new taxes, my Lord, and doubled the
gold and silver in your royal chests."
"Well done,"said the king,"but tell me, why are the poor
still poor and beggars still begging?"
"It is Allah's will,"replied the treasurer.
The chief judge spoke next.
"I have made a hundred new laws, my lord, and brought order
to every corner of your kingdom."
"Well done,"said the king,"but tell me, why do the poor
still lie in chains, their pleas unheard?"
"It is Allah's will,"replied the judge.
The chief priest spoke last.
"I have converted thousands to the faith, my Lord, and
filled all your mosques to overflowing."
"Well done,"said the king,"but tell me, why do the por not
pray in my mosques and prefer the tales of One-Eyed Khan to
the teachings of my priests?"
"It is Satan's will,"replied the priest.
Finally, the king turned to One-Eyed Khan and, much to the
disgust of the three ministers, asked him what he thought of
their claims to the throne. One-Eyed Khan closed his one
eye, looked deeply into the hearts of the three chief
ministers, and listened to God's voice within. Then, bowing
low to the king, he replied as follows:
"I say our people are enriched by the wealth of God within
them, not by trade or taxation. I say your people find peace
in God's law of love, not in the whips and manacles of
lawmen. I say your people enjoy dancing to God's music in
their heads, not praying on their knees in mosques."
Hearing these words, the three chief ministers moved towards
One-Eyed Khan to silence him. The king held up his hand.
"Let him finish,"he said.
So bowing again to the king, One-Eyed Khan continued:
"I say that every person in your kingdom, whether rich or
poor, man or woman, Muslim or Jew, has the right to hear
God's voice and to see his face and to know he loves them.
Yes, my Lord, God loves your people more than your ministers
Enraged by this criticism from the mouth of a low-born,
vagrant storyteller, the ministers started beating him with
"Stop!"cried the king, raising himself from his bed."One-Eyed
Khan has spoken the truth and I appoint him to succeed me on
"But my lord,"pleaded the chief judge,"he is the son of a
cobbler and a common prostitute."
"Maybe he was,"replied the king,"but today he has become my
son and tomorrow he'll be your king."
So it was that One-Eyed Khan became king. The lowliest of
men was transformed because he had understanding; he heard
the voice of God, his eye was single, his life was filled
Commenting on the Great Master's stories, his disciple,
Maharaj Charan Singh (1916-1990) himself spiritual Master at
Beas from 1951 to 1990, said:
"Being a scholar of Persian, his whole background was that
of the Persian mystics. If you read Persian literature, you
will find they always explain beautiful spiritual truths
through parables and stories. His approach to satsang was in
the same pattern. He would impress on us beautiful truths
through an interesting and simple story."
In the Upanishads it says:
"Cows are of many different colors, but the milk is all of
one colour---white. Thus, the great teachers who proclaim
the truth use varying forms to put it in, yet the truth
contained in all is one."
The stories in this book point to many different aspects of
the way to God. As you enjoy them, remember that a cup is a
cup, not the milk. The Truth that we really want cannot be
obtained through any book, but only through spiritual
practice, guided by one who hears God's voice within.