Nirmal Chetan with Ms Kamla Kirpalani and Shakun Narain
Nirmal Chetan was born in Amritsar. He was only one year old
when his mother died.
father married a second time and had more children.
boy whenever lonely would turn to the soothing prayer hymns
that would emanate from the Golden Temple.
the age of 21 he met his Master Swami Nirmal from Punjab, who
seemed to be the answer to all his longings and prayers. The
Master refused to initiate him as he would not allow him to
run away from his household duties.
and dejected Swami Nirmal Chetan headed towards the Himalayas
where he had a near - death experience. He experienced visions
of an indescribable nature which filled his soul in such a
manner that he experienced fear and loneliness no more.
his return his Master had to admit that he was made for the
the fact that Swamiji has renounced his worldly ties he now
believes that there is no reason to give up anything in order
to pursue the spiritual path.
I asked Swamiji: “At home people are involved in family
politics. In an ashram I find disciples vying for their Guru’s
attention. So what is the difference between a householder and
smiled at me and said, “A householder is greater as he has
to achieve God, midst greater odds. But the point is to make
it to the Goal - to live your life by Truth is what is
important, immaterial of its surroundings.”
met Swamiji at a time when the answer to my one question would
give rise to a dozen more. Many other masters that I came
across during that time would find my questions impertinent or
maybe they thought that I was trying to test their knowledge.
far as I can look into the recesses of my heart that was not
true, I really wanted to know.
endeared Swamiji to me, was his extreme patience and
equilibrium of character.
teachings are simple. He says that:
has given us one room (heart). It is up to us whether we want
to turn that room into a Hotel or Godown or a Temple. That is
we could spend our lives being attached to different people in
which case we would have turned our “room heart” into a
hotel. We could fill our room heart” with material things
(possessions) in which case we will have turned it into a
Godown, or we could convert our heart into a Temple where we
could place the Lord at its altar.
believes that we must live our life like one drives a car. One
must not press the accelerator all the time, nor the brake all
the time. One must learn the art of when to use the
accelerator and when the brake. Then the car will move safely
towards its destination.
How does one change one’s heart into a Temple and how does
one learn to drive the car of life?
The first thing that we must do, according to Swamiji. is to
take responsibility for our own life. We must depend more on
ourselves for happiness, and blame others less for our
unhappiness. We are like neighbors that keep throwing rubbish
at each other’s homes. The result is that everyone’s home
is full of garbage. If everyone were to learn to dispose of
their own rubbish everyone's home would be clean.
believes that satsang (good company influence) is very
Important to learn to live life.
a child is dirty, unclean, a father does not generally pick
him up. It is the mother who cleans him, bathes him and gives
him to the father.
when one is full of ego, attachments, It is the satsang (good
company influence) that takes him, cleans him and then
presents him to the Father (God), who accepts him,
Is the reason for our unhappiness our Ego?
Swamiji believes that the less we are filled with ego.. the
happier we will be.
says that if we learn to sit on the floor, we will not fall,
and if we learn to take the back seat, we will not be pushed
continues: whenever you allow someone to fill up your balloon
with air (pride, ego), be sure that you are going to be kicked
solution is to make a hole 12.0pt">in the balloon with
the needle of vichar” (the right way of thinking), and you
will be kicked around no more.
implores: Why don’t you give the Lord that which he does not
have - Ego, your ego! He adds: Just surrender to Him, be the
loudspeaker through which Lord speaks; when the loudspeaker
makes it's own noise (ego) the words of the Lord do not come
How does one get rid of attachments?
Swamiji, like Shakespeare, believes that the world is a stage
and men and women are merely actors. 12.0pt">The
theatre in Hindi Is called Natak” - when the word is broken
Into two. Is amusingly means do not get attached, na-atak.
mind has a tendency to get attached, which eventually leads to
must learn to be only caretaker of everything and everyone
that has come in contact with our lives.
arid unhappiness are scenes in life that will eventually pass.
belongs to us for a certain period of time. One enjoys a hotel
room for a while - but does not cry and cling to it, once the
time comes to go home.
one learns not to be attached one enjoys every change of
says, Play your part and play it well — but know that the
outcome of the part is in the hands of the. Lord. So if the
scene shifts to an unpleasant one, know "there is a
lesson for us to learn from it.”
ultimate aim of one who Is trying to achieve enlightenment is
to be like a screen on which tragedies and comedies may
project at different intervals. Yet the screen remains
unaffected. The screen of an Enlightened One can proudly
proclaim: Different scenes are 12.0pt">projected in me
yet I live not in them. When there is fire I get not heated
and when there may be torrential floods I get not wet.
If true knowledge Is necessary for liberation, then what
happens to those who are not highly intellectual?
Either you pave you way as you go along with the help of your
own knowledge or place your full faith in the hands of a
man of knowledge will take the butter out of the milk himself.
A man of faith will find a Master, who will take out the
butter from the milk and place it before him, The eating of
the butter has however to be done by the seeker himself.
Shouldn’t a woman’s husband be her Guru?
For a woman, only her husband can be her Guru, as he provides
for all her material and physical needs. But when you do not
talk of a woman as a woman, but as a spiritual being then she
would require a spiritual Master for her spiritual needs.
believes that to achieve anything one has to put in one’s
best efforts, and then leave it to destiny. However he
believes that if God’s Grace is upon us then one may be able
to bypass destiny and one may get one’s hearts desire even
though it may not be destined in
claims that we will know that we are on the right path and are
putting our best efforts, if we feel peace growing within us,
irrespective of results.
says: Live with joy, not for joy.
often asks: ‘Why are you pareshan?”
means to be anxious. Strangely, when the word is broken up,
“pare” means away and ‘sham” means dignified position.
Swamiji reminds us that we only get anxious when we move away
from our rightful dignified state, that of being the children
of the all-Powerful Father and hence always under His tender
says that we cannot see the Lord not because the veil is on
Him, but ironically because the veil is on us — The Veil of
remove the veil, to be able to see the Lord, we will require
an "I" 12.0pt">operation and an "eye”
first "I" operation is that we will have to bring
back to health our “I”. i.e. we will have to make our “I”
or ego into a workable or healthy quantity.
other eye operation he talks about is that of removing the
twig from the eye which instead of seeing correctly,
Is now here
God is nowhere.
Usko Jo Jaan leta hai
Uski jaan nahin Jaati
the seeker recognizes the Lord, who Is true life,
Then his (the seeker’s) life is no more in peril.
has always answered my questions with tremendous patience.
my mother reprimanded me for my unending continuous queries.
Swamiji gently told my mother never to stop me.
said: “There are some people who will remain students and
there are some who will want to share what they learn. The
latter must always be treated with patience, gentleness and
am thankful to Swamiji for giving me all three in abundance
and I feel fulfilled in the fact that I am making his
prediction of sharing what I have learned. true.