Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Book Review: Philosophy of Liberation, by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans
Mixed Media: Book Reviews, Website Reviews, Music
Reviews, By James Bean
Philosophy of Liberation E-Book Online:
Copyright December 2006 -- All Rights Reserved
"Philosophy of Liberation"
By Maharshi Mehi Paramhans
Translated by Veena Howard
Website of the Publisher (for a Hard Copy of the Book):
This is the first book in English featuring the teachings of Maharshi Mehi, in the lineage of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, the famous Saint of Hathras, India. The lineage began with Tulsi. After him were several Gurus, including Baba Devi Sahib. Mehi was the chief disciple and spiritual successor of Baba Devi Sahab. Veena Howard, who was initiated into meditation practice by Mehi, tells me that more writings from this lineage of Masters will soon be published and made available to spiritual seekers in the West.
This is an intriguing book that provides some surprisingly technical details about meditation practice. Anyone interested in developing their own successful daily meditation practice will greatly benefit from the wisdom and depth of, "Philosophy of Liberation", as it systematically covers all aspects of the philosophy of the path and the technical details of spiritual practice rarely ever seen in print from any source outside of India. It is not light reading, and that is precisely what I like about it! It is quite literally, THE MANUAL of Sant Mat -- one of the best books ever written about Sant Mat Mysticism.
There are several techniques described, the specific details of which are taught to students at the time of their deeksha (initiation) into the practice: 1) developing a daily routine, the habit of meditating at the same time or times each day; 2) proper posture so that one is truly focused at the Third Eye and remains alert and awake; 3) Manas Japa (Simran), a mantra repetition of a sacred word done mentally; 4) Manas Dhyan, the technique of mentally visualizing a form of God or one's teacher; 5) Drshti Yoga, the technique of focusing upon an Infinitesimal Point (Inner Light Meditation). This Point will eventually blossom into inner Light or visions of Light. One gazes into the middle of the darkness or the Light one sees while in meditation. Think of the Infinitesimal Point as being like a laser pointer or cursor keeping one focused. One passes from scene to scene and vision to vision always looking toward the center; 6) Nada Sadhana (Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Sound Meditation), the practice of inner spiritual hearing; and, 7th) reaching the State of Kaivalya, Oneness with the Supreme Being in the Pure Conscious Realm. The ultimate goal is to merge into the upper level of Kaivalya known as Shabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad -- the State beyond the Sound, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless State, also described with terms such as Anami (Nameless), Anadi (Soundlessness), and Ocean of Love.
The poet-mystic Tulsi Sahib describes it this way:
"There is a Being who is Inaccessible (Agam), unfathomable (Alakh), and Nameless (Anami), and who has no locality, location, and is not confined to space."
Tulsi also often used the Sufi language of love or bhakti, describing this timeless spiritual State of Oneness as "the Abode of the Beloved":
"On having found the teacher, I shall adopt his refuge, and I shall follow the path to the Beloved's Abode. The way to the Beloved lies within. My heart's desire, says Tulsi, is that my soul may meet the Beloved." "The love-intoxicated soul is bubbling with joy. The darling of the Beloved has prepared and bedecked the bed and, imbued with the Beloved's bliss (ananda), has cast away all bondages. The soul prepared the Beloved's bed, and, lying there, enjoyed great bliss." (The Shabdavali of Tulsi Sahib)
Excerpt on Meditation Practice from, Philosophy of Liberation
"A comfortable asana (pose of sitting or posture) of keeping the head, neck and trunk straight and steady is a must for meditation. Without the ability to sit in such a steady posture for prolonged periods, meditation cannot be practiced.
"Meditation should be practiced being alert, without being drowsy, shutting the eyes comfortably and without turning the eyeballs or pressing them in any way.
"The practice of meditation should be an essential part of the practitioner's daily routine. The preferred time of meditation is Brahma-Muhurta (very early in the morning: 3:00 A.M.). [The Sikhs call this peek spiritual time of the morning "Amrit Veela", the Hour of Elixir.] Likewise one should meditate at mid-morning and then again in the evening time. While falling asleep, one should also engage his or her mind in meditation." ////////
This Book Is Now Online -- PDF File: E-Book: Read or Download, Philosophy of Liberation:
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Simran, Karma, and Gnostic Liberation -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Sant Mat Radha Soami Satsang Newsletter
Simran, Karma, and Gnostic Liberation -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
"People toil in pursuit of earthly desires,
but who cares for the pursuit of Truth?"
-- Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras
"The teaching of the Masters aims to release the souls which have been imprisoned for in numerable ages and births, to free them from the shackles of religion and castes, to take them to Everlasting Bliss and to merge them back in their Source, the Supreme Being." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)
"Free us of the karma of our lives,
Bring us back to our Original Nature
Delivered from all danger." -- Verse from, The Jesus Sutras -- Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity
"The soul answered, 'I saw you. You did not see me nor did you know me. You mistook the garment I wore for my true Self. And you did not recognize me.'" "I was set loose from a world….. and from the chain of forgetfulness that exists in time." -- Gospel of Mary Magdalene
Hymn to the Soul (Manichaean Gnostic Liturgical Hymn)
Worthy are you of salvation.
To you, oh Soul of Light, will I give much counsel,
so that you may attain redemption.
Come, oh souls, to this ship of Light!
My most beloved soul, who is happy and noble,
where have you gone? Return!
Awake, dear soul, from the sleep of drunkenness
into which you have fallen!
Look upon the foes, see how they prepare death all around you!
Reach your home, the heavenly realm created by the Word,
Where you were in the beginning.
Soami Ji's Encouraging Message to All Devotees of the Spiritual Path:
"It does not matter if your bhakti [love and devotion] is imperfect.
Perform bhakti! Radhasoami [the Lord of the Soul]
graciously declares that you should perform bhakti
in whichever way you can. Fear not. He will grant
you the Treasure of Love. You will be a recipient
of the Gift of Love." -- Swami Ji Maharaj (Shiv Dayal Singh), Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume II, Agra
No One Left Behind
The Buddha of boundless compassion
looks back so that no one is left behind,
Beckoning with her left hand,
"Come as you are!"
And with her right hand held up high, crying,
"Do not fear, for I shall protect you."
(Shin Buddhist poem)
You Freed Souls from Samsara, Ignorance, and Gave Wisdom
Unendingly submerged in the dust
of forgetting rebirths
and in a state of poisonous savage animals,
they were always mad.
When the passion of greed poisoned them
and they were dying,
you prepared a medicine for them
from the herb of meditation.
They raved in the passion of anger;
they lacked sense or coherent thought
and you assembled their thoughts,
and so they understood their origin
in the Realm of Light.
Those living beings in the five states of existence
you freed from ignorance
and gave them wisdom,
leading them to pari-nirvana.
Many differing passions -- hatred and bitterness --
troubled these thinking beings
and scattered their thought,
but holy Father, when you descended from the sky,
the families of all thinking beings
reached the peace of Nirvana.
You Liberated Us From Samsara, the World of Changes
We who are miserable and with no hope
would have stayed in the torture of samsara,
not finding the end of your path.
You set up the ladder of wisdom,
you let us supersede the five forms of being,
and you delivered us.
We who were fettered in suffering
were rescued from rebirth
to see the Buddha-like sun god
who is like you...
You let them be reborn in the blessed fivefold heaven of Light.
Look for the ways of salvation,
you crossed lands going to every side.
When you found humans needing salvation,
you rescued all.
-- from the Great Song of the Prophet Mani, from the Manichaean section of, The Gnostic Bible
"The reason that they attend Satsang is a fervent desire for meeting the Lord and for the welfare of their soul." (Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram)
"To have inner experiences of Godly Light and Sound is no small thing and really only the fortunate few blessed from above receive them." (Kirpal Singh)
Bhakti: "Such is the peculiar efficacy of the Path of Love and Devotion that if you adopt it, it will transport you to the Reservoir of Ambrosia. In the Source or Fountain, i.e., in Radhasoami Dham [the Eighth Heaven], there is absolutely no trace of maya [illusion]. There it is all love and love alone. It is an immense Reservoir of Love, having no beginning and no end." (Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One)
The universe within is infinitely larger than the universe without. And if the universe without is over 40 billion light-years and expanding, and yet is merely a tiny drop in a Divine Ocean, this implies much about the Heavens or Dimensions that are waiting for us within.
This Sant Mat Radhasoami E-Newsletter explores the poetry, prose, spiritual discourses, books, scriptures, letters, prayers, ahimsa ethics, podcasts, videos, philosophy, cosmology, and history of the Masters from a traditional Indian perspective, and might also include quotes from various world religions in harmony with the Way of the Saints, the Path of the Masters and Mystics, Living Gnosis Now.
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"Conquer your mind and conquer the world." -- Guru Nanak
Someone was asking the other day if anyone has created a self-introspection diary APP for mobile? Anyone think of this yet? Sooner or later, no doubt there will be an APP for that. Was told one group has a private password-protected diary APP behind a firewall somewhere, but I hope posting this today will encourage others to come out with their own versions of a diary APP that is open source, available freely to everyone, and not behind firewalls or other kinds of walls; no one left behind!
Darkness Before Light: Where the Inner Darkness Comes From! "We are in the grip of sensory desires because of our earlier karmas. Our past impure actions have taken the form of the sheath of darkness (that is seen when we close our eyes in meditation) and ignorance, and have obstructed the Divine light and knowledge of the truth." (Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul)
The Effects of Karma
The question arises: sometimes good people are seen performing evil actions, and bad people good actions. What is the reason for such inconsistency in behavior?
Answer: Until a human being transcends the realm of karmic consequences through meditation practice, she or he performs both good and bad acts. The reason for this is that due to the effects of many lifetimes of actions we hold both tendencies within us. Those who have an accumulated storehouse of good karmas restrain themselves from doing evil actions, even though at times such inclinations arise in the mind. Such a person also pays heed to the advice of Sants (wise men and women) and chooses the right path. However, those who have an accumulated store of evil actions ignore the advice of sages. For example, prince Duruyodhana in the Mahabharata chooses to deceive and wage war against his cousins despite Lord Krishna's counsel to abstain from such heinous acts. Duruyodhana blamed fate for his orientation toward evil deeds. But fate, in fact, is another name for our own past actions that guide our conduct in our present life. Along the same thought, King Yudhishthira responded to a question: "Within me resides a being that prohibits me from doing evil actions." It was King Yudhishthira’s accumulation of meritorious deeds that impelled him to perform righteous actions...
The sages have described four forms of accumulated unfavorable karmas and their manifestations.
2. Agitation of mind;
3. Various kinds of obstructions; and
4. Many types of diseases that bring suffering. When these four are removed, then our inner Self lights up with Luminous Light. Just as accumulated unfavorable karmas always cause pain and suffering, in the same way meritorious acts increase the joy of human beings. Evil (unskillful) karmas are like an enemy which constantly inflict pain, while good karmas are like good friends or company that gives joy.
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Simran -- Manas Jap -- Repeating/Remembering/Chanting God's Name(s)
"Simran (Punjabi: ਸਿਮਰਨ, Hindi: सिमरन ) is a Punjabi word derived from the Sanskrit word स्मरण (smarana, "the act of remembering or calling to mind, remembrance, reminiscence, recollection of"), thus 'realization of that which is of the highest aspect and purpose in one's life', thus introducing spirituality." (Wikipedia)
"In Sant Mat the word Simran is used for the spiritual practice of repeating the mantra given by the Satguru during initiation." (Wikipedia)
Such is God's Name
that it heals the disease of the world.
Whosoever repeats the Lord's Name
while engaged in earthly duties,
remains ever in a blissful state of divine communion.
One absorbed in the Lord's Name, O Tuka,
has truly attained liberation while living.
-- Sant Tukarama
"Carry on the repetition [simran] of the true names, taking it to be your very life-breath." -- Sant Dariya Sahib
Do Simran with Love. The True Spirit of Simran Practice is Bhakti: "If the person repeats the name with love, distress disappears and one lives in happiness." (Sant Tulsi Das) "The practitioner who does Jap [Simran] sitting in a secluded place with the right method and immense love [Bhakti], becomes the excellent devotee." -- Swami Bhagirath Baba
Why We Do Simran (Repeat Names of God) Mentally Instead of as a Vocal Chant: Japa: Recitation of Mantra (Sacred name given by the Guru)
The Sants have prescribed the support of a sacred name and a sacred form in order to break away from the snares of name and form. Just as we need iron to cut iron, and use poison as an antidote to alleviate the effects of poison, similarly, the practices of coming close to God by using a sacred name and form taught by the guru can liberate the student from the bonds of the net of all names and forms. The mantra given by the guru is imbued with the holy radiance of the guru. The Divine form for meditation prescribed by the guru is permeated by the guru's conscious energy. Then the syllables become the powerful mantra, and the physical form becomes a conscious wish-fulfilling Divine form for the practitioner. It is important to know the precise technique of reciting a mantra, the purpose of reciting a mantra, and the various types of mantra recitation.
Saints have described many methods of mantra recitation, but the results for all these forms of mantra recitation vary. Practitioners obtain results of mantra recitation according to their minds’ stillness and concentration. The method of recitation that produces deep concentration is better and yields superior results...
This involves repetition of the mantra internally and mentally. In this method neither the tongue nor the lips move. The breath or rosary or any other means of counting is not used. The mantra recited is only through the mind. This japa or repetition is the essence of other mantra techniques. It is a form of meditation.
Sants state upanshu (murmuring) qualitatively has ten times more focusing power than vacaka (loud) japa. Svasa (breath recitation) japa yields a hundred times more concentration than upanshu. Manas (mental) japa on the other hand creates one thousand times more concentration than svasa japa. Mental japa is on the same platform as meditation (concentrated focus). Therefore, efficiency of mantra japa is determined by the intensity of concentration.
The meaning and significance of mantra is this: The mantra when recited with faith, surrender, and concentration brings solace to the mind of the practitioner. This occurs when the words are recited repeatedly. Japa means calling out and inviting the deity in order to obtain the darshan (seeing face to face in meditation) of that deity.
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Simran [Repeating the Mantra of God's Name] is the First Step of the Spiritual Ladder
It has several meanings: to protect, to make a mental picture of one's deity in the heart, and to contemplate on this form, to remember a certain person or thing to such an extent as to think about it with every breath, to make it a part and parcel of one’s life, and ultimately to awaken into and to live in it.
The Simran [remembrance] of the objects of the world should be replaced by the Simran of God...
Saints reveal to us the names of the presiding deities of the regions within. Therefore, the names that a Master imparts are the only ones to be repeated. These names are also energy-charged and help the transference of spiritual energy to the disciple...
The Names that are revealed to us by a True-Master carry His power, and this comes to the aid of the disciple, enabling him to transcend both death and the Negative Power.
Each Name carries its own influence.
By Simran of Holy Names, we get rid of the thoughts of the world. One feels the presence of God.
Simran bestows happiness, peace and bliss, and leads us to a state of super-consciousness.
Simran should not be done in haste. It should be done slowly and with love and devotion, the Names being repeated clearly and correctly.
The results of repetition will be in direct proportion to the love and faith brought to bear upon it.
His Names have a great power. When done with faith one feels intoxicated with joy, with the result that he forgets his body and himself and is aware of the presence of the Lord.
How potent and blissful is the Name of God, for it creates in the devotee a fast-flowing current of bliss, peace and soul force, and he gets truly blessed.
In the early stages considerable effort has to be made to carry out Simran, but as practice is gained Simran goes on automatically.
If one is to succeed in this practice, he should carry out Simran at all times whether awake or asleep, just as the hands of a clock move ceaselessly.
If Simran were to be done ceaselessly, all cares and anxieties would vanish. Then the mind would not give up Simran even for a second.
-- Kirpal Singh
The Way of Love (Bhakti) -- Sufis Describe Five Levels of Devotion or Love:
1. Not a genuine kind of love. The mind is always contemplating matters of mundane attainments, but with the body (outwardly) some virtuous deeds are done. Even though it is of the lowest kind, with sporadic acts of service, the mind would eventually turn to God.
2. The body is involved in spiritual acts, and there is an effort on the devotee's part to attach the mind to God.
3. Both the mind and the body are engaged in meditation. However, due to material attachments, the devotee's mind becomes distracted and is engaged in immoral actions. Upon realization of this deviation, the devotee immediately recognizes the error and seeks to correct it.
4. The devotee loves the Supreme Being with his mind, heart, and soul and longs for the Divine like a fish out of water yearns for water. He does not care about food, sleep, the company of others, and does not wish for anything other than God. Sometimes in yearning for the Divine, he swoons. (There are many stories of Saints who become unconscious, struck by Divine love.) True devotees become unconcerned with bodily needs and do not worry about loss or gain. They are unaffected by the news of death or birth of their loved ones. They are not jealous of others' progress, nor do they worry about criticism or honor and dishonor. Because of their state of ecstasy and carelessness to worldly conventions, others think of such devotees as crazy. But in this state, they enjoy the bliss of God, who is the Ocean of Love. The devotees have a single focus and that is to see God. All other longings vanish from their hearts.
5. In this type of love, the devotee becomes like the Beloved, God. The soul is an inseparable part of the Divine, and through devotion it becomes Divine just as ice, made up of water, after melting, becomes water. This kind of devotion leads to the union of the soul and the Supreme Soul, God.
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Veiled by Realms of Darkness, Forms, Light and Sound, God is at the Center of Being, the Divine Ground of Being: "Through Diligent Meditation My World Will Merge in the Mind, the Mind Will Merge in Me, and Then I Will Merge in the Divine", by Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj (excerpted from the world's newest Sant Mat book: "The Inward Journey of the Soul" -- Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
When we close our eyes and do not see any objects, this does not mean that there exists nothing that can be seen. In other words, the shapeless darkness is also an object. Unfortunately, we cannot even see pure darkness because we are constantly thinking about the images of the world, and instead of seeing darkness we see the imaginary sights projected on the screen of inner mind. Without practicing the meditation of focusing in the darkness, it is not possible to see the subtle light that lies deep within. The experience of Divine light in the meditation brings joy, and the progress then becomes rapid. Consequently, one's faith and conviction becomes stronger. Goswami Tulsi Das says: "This form of meditation of the Divine is easy and gives joy; who will not enjoy it."
However, until the sheath of darkness is in front of us, it seems that this is a very difficult path to realize the Divine. The fountain of joy has not yet opened, and progress in meditation is slow. Furthermore, if the conviction of practitioners is weak; their faith is also not mature. Gradually, the practitioner may become doubtful of the meditation technique because progress is not in sight. Some even leave meditation and become fake sadhus. Some abandon the path and expound meditation to others to save face. Some open ashrams and indulge in satisfying the sensory desires. This apparently impermeable vast realm of darkness is capable of destroying the enthusiasm of many great seekers, making them disheartened and turn toward the world. However, keep in mind that a coward leaves the battleground but a fighter continues to struggle to the end. The courageous practitioner battles the realm of darkness and diligently engages in the yoga of drishti or focused gaze. This is the juncture. It is essential to be firm in moral rectitude. At this time it is important to dedicate day and night to the practice. It is necessary to discipline your daily lifestyle and study the scriptures. It is essential to focus the mind and gaze, follow the practice according to the instruction of the guru. Therefore, it is necessary to surrender oneself to the guru, and serve the guru with the mind, body, and life-breath, in other words, diligently following the teachings of the guru. For this, it is important to surrender to the holy feet of the guru.
When we gaze at a scene in the middle, our mind becomes focused and we only see the center of the scene, which is the source of the scene. This focal point can be likened to a seed. At the very center of the seed lies the invisible energy, which is the source of the visible tree. Even though the source of the tree lies in the seed, many are not able to understand the mystery. The implication of this analogy is that the cause of darkness lies in the light, the cause of the light lies in the sound, the cause of the sound lies in the material subtle sounds, the cause of the subtle sounds lies in the Infinite Divine Reality. In other words, the primal seed, the cause of this whole world -- both seen and unseen -- is the Divine Being. Until we realize the direct experience of the Divine, we are engrossed in the delusion of the material world. As soon as we have complete knowledge of the Divine, the other forms of material and subtle reality dissolve.
As discussed earlier, the center of our energy is the Divine Being. However, as our consciousness is bound in the physical body, its visionary center is considered to be the Ajna Chakra (tenth gate). As soon as the consciousness becomes focused on the bindu (point) in the center of the realm of darkness, it realizes that its source is beyond this center. Thus, consecutively transcending the centers of lower realms and ascending upward within, the consciousness goes beyond the world of material name and form and merges into the root center of the Supreme Being, the original source of all creation.
As we discussed earlier, the imaginative center of our consciousness energy is the Ajna Chakra or third eye. The attenuated form of the conscious energy is categorized under four names: mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), thought processes (chitta), and ego or "I" principle (ahamkara). These four create this world, which is transitory and conditional. In essence: As we progress toward our center, then these created images of the world slowly begin to dissolve in the mind, because this is all created by the mind. Then the mind and intellect become dissolved in me. I created my world and I am created by the Supreme Being. Logically, the creation becomes dissolved in the cause. In the same way, through diligent meditation my world will merge in the mind, the mind will merge in me, and then I will merge in the Divine.
Thus holding onto this deepest conviction you should meditate (sadhana). You should consider that all the darkness you see is illusory and it is inevitable that illusion will be destroyed. In this way, first you should disassociate yourself from the names and forms of the world created by the mind. Then with full intense concentration you should gaze at the darkness within. Gradually begin to concentrate scattered thoughts and gaze into the darkness. Slowly, by concentrating your sight, focusing your gaze (concentrated seeing within), establish yourself in the center of the darkness. In other words, focus on the middle of the darkness.
Remember, do not hasten to get success in this endeavor. With great patience and earnestness withdrawing your mind constantly, try to prevent your gaze from wandering up or down or left to right. When the gaze moves away from its focal-point, then concentration disappears. When the gaze is unstable, the mind becomes restless. When the mind becomes restive then again, the thoughts of name and form of this world begin to arise in the mind. During this practice, it is very important to concentrate both the gaze and the mind so no disturbance arises between the sight and the focal-point. However, as one begins to have success reaching the state of concentration, some physical, material, and supernatural obstructions emerge.
The Inverted Well, Mystic Verses (Bhajan) of Sant Tulsi Sahib
This poem describes the inner spiritual experience which comes after crossing the third eye center during meditation. It is reminiscent of a similar poem by Paltu, who also compares the inward journey through the third eye center to realms within to an inverted well.
I beheld in the firmament an inverted well,
and was filled with the resplendence of the
In the resplendence of brilliant Light, I had a
glimpse within the flame;
All was suffused with brightness, and I had
a peep into myself.
The path leading to the shores of
Mansarovar was revealed unto me.
In the Sukhmana I went into a trance and
then crossed to the other side.
Whosoever hath thus experienced, O Tulsi,
hath got the pledge of union from the
I beheld in the firmament an inverted well,
and was filled with resplendence of Light
-- Sant Tulsi Sahib (Book of Shabdavali)