Monday, December 25, 2006

Exploring the World Religions: Mary Magdalene

Exploring the World Religions:

The Spirituality of Mary Magdalene

By James Bean


Copyright December 2006







Were Mary Magdalene and Yeshua Married?

As I begin this exploration of the teachings of Mary Magdalene, also known as Miriam of Magdala, I should first of all address the question of Mary's relationship with Yeshua (Jesus). You might be interested in the actual historic basis for the belief that Mary and Jesus were married or at least were more than just good friends. While there has been much speculation about this over the years, there is an actual ancient text which preserves this understanding, showing that as far back as the Second or Third Centuries AD, probably much earlier then that, many held the view that Jesus and Mary had some kind of special intimate relationship. The text that documents the basis for this view is called the Gospel of Philip, one of the newly discovered gospels unearthed at Nag Hammadi in upper Egypt. At Gnosis.org you can access the Gospel of Philip online. Philip is a holy book once used by a denomination known as the Valentinians, named after a mystic and spiritual Master from Alexandria by the name of Valentinius.

Several places in the book of Philip Mary Magdalene is described as "the companion" of Christ, saying that Yeshua loved Mary, was closer to Mary than the other disciples, and also records that Yeshua used to often kiss Mary on her mouth. Actually that last part: "often kiss Mary on the...[mouth]", is a restoration of the text, is likely what it said according to Coptic scholars. On this page of Phillip in the original Coptic papyrus it reads: "used to kiss her often on her [......]", then there is a lacuna or break in the text with the last word missing. Given the other comments from the disciples, who asked: "Why do you love her more than us", and that Mary is "his companion", I would say this is likely to be an accurate rendering. Also, the surrounding context in the Gospel of Philip is about marriage, the bridal chamber, and sexuality. Sacraments, in particular the sacrament of marriage, are a major theme in the Gospel of Philip.

Books On Mary

Some great books on this subject include: "The Gospel of Philip, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of Sacred Union"; "The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary -- The Sexual Mystery at the Heart of the Christian Tradition", both authored by Jean-Yves Leloup, and both are published by Inner Traditions. A very key book to have, the one has gathers together many of the ancient texts and quotes attributed to Mary is: "The Gospels of Mary -- The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene the Companion of Jesus", by Marvin Meyer and Esther A. De Boer, Harper Collins. I find the best translation of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene to be contained in, "The Complete Gospels", edited by Robert J. Miller, a great collection of what survives of around twenty gospels from antiquity. The largest number of chapters attributed to Mary, a series of questions of Mary to Jesus along with her mystical interpretation of the Hebrew Book of Psalms and another work known as the Odes of Solomon, can be found in a holy book called, "Pistis Sophia", translated by G.R.S. Mead.

A Gnostic-Buddhist Connection?

The phrase "the Blessed One" appears in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene: "When the Blessed One had said this, he greeted them all, saying, 'Peace be with you. Receive my peace to yourselves'". The thing is, the Buddha is referred to as the Blessed One in countless Buddhist sutras. "Compassionate One" is a popular Buddhist phrase and somehow also turns up in Pistis Sophia, another Gnostic gospel: "Jesus, the Compassionate, answered and said to Mary: 'Mary, thou Blessed One, whom I will complete in all the Mysteries of the Height [inner planes or heavenly realms], speak openly, thou art she whose heart is more directed to the Kingdom of Heaven than all thy brothers'" And Mary herself is also called a "Blessed One" in another verse of Pistis Sophia: "Mary, thou Blessed One, thou Pleroma [Heavenly Fullness] or thou all-blessed Pleroma, who will be blessed among all generations". Those are the ones I have noticed, and I'm sure there must be lots more. These four examples could make one wonder if perhaps there might have been a Buddhist influence in the West during those days.

The Very "Eastern" Sounding Mystical Teachings of Mary Magdalene

A saying of Yeshua found in the Gospel of Mary: "When the Blessed One had said this, he greeted them all. 'Peace be with you!' he said. 'Acquire my peace within yourselves. Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying, "Look over here!" or "Look over there!" For the Seed of True Humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.'" Some commentary found in a footnote of the same translation adds: "The disciples must search within themselves, to find the Seed of True Humanity that is within each person. They must guard against those who try to lead them astray by requiring that a person conform to what is outside." (The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller) Regarding "the Seed of True Humanity", another translation renders that as "Son of Man" or "Son of Adam", "the Son of Man is within you". The Eastern term is "atman", the true self or Spirit of Life within.

For the mystic-soul there is no need to construct outward temples made of wood and stone, as the human body itself is already a temple of the Spirit. I'm sure this "within you" message of the Gnostic or mystical gospels is one of the reasons why they were not politically useful to some in antiquity, and thus they were banned. The saying above reflects a theme found in the teachings of countless mystics and Masters, that the focus is "within", not elsewhere in the outer world of the five senses. Thus contemplative meditation for mystics serves as a kind of "portal" or "doorway" to the Divine. In the poetry of the Indian mystic Dadu it says: "God is within the self; He is close to the worshiper. But leaving Him aside, men serve external constructions, lamenteth Dadu. This is the mosque, this is the temple, so has the Master shown. The service and salutation are performed within. With happiness and bliss within, there is happiness and bliss in all places. Without happiness and bliss within, none was seen happy. The treasure is nowhere to be found, that treasure is within everyone. There are two hearts inside, one obscure and the other lustrous. Within the obscure heart nothing is visible, but within the lustrous the Supreme Being is revealed. I found the true home within the house itself. Entering the state of blissful meditation, dwell within. Thus hath the Master discovered and taught. For the sake of that home, I wandered everywhere, but the Lord has been revealed within my very self. The doors of the palace have been thrown open, the Everlasting Abode has been shown. All fears, doubts and delusions have disappeared. That state of bliss has it entered, where the self, transcending the body, ascends." (Sant Dadu Dayal, Criterion Publications, New Delhi)

Mary was an apostle or Master who was a visionary, one who saw many visions of various inner planes or heavenly regions during her meditations. A beautiful passage from the Gospel of Mary about a soul Mary saw during one of her visions when she was exploring the Second Heaven. This soul was being questioned by a being or power given the name "Desire": "The soul answered saying, 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." There is a similar passage in one of the Mandaean Gnostic texts from Iraq that goes something like: "The soul says, 'I dwelt in your midst but you never recognized me, you never really knew me.'" How easy it is to only see the surface, to in fact be wasting away whole lifetimes being a surface-dweller, neither knowing one's self nor seeing the true identity of others as souls. In truth we are all particles of Light dwelling within bodies, we are Notes that make up a divine symphony: "All beautiful forms and tones of this world are mere reflections of some aspect of that ultimate Love-Music of the Great Creative Word. Within the vast complex of creation, each individual spirit is himself/herself a spark of that Eternal Song of Love." (George Arnsby Jones)

In Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Mary, unenlightened human existence is portrayed as a kind of night of the living dead, souls living in a world of sleep caught up in dreams of illusion, trapped in spiritual ignorance somewhere in time, limited to only a couple of dimensions, tethered to material existence seemingly unable to become aware of anything more. One of my favorite passages from Mary is when a liberated soul exclaims: "I was set loose from a world and from the chain of forgetfulness that exists in time!" In history there have been many "Dr. Quantums" (experiencers of realms beyond). Dr Quantum visits Flatland (earth), coming to liberate flatland souls, making us aware of the existence of other dimensions previously undreamt of in our philosophy. (What the Bleep) Another "Mary" further to the East by the name Mira Bai once said,

"My mind, birth after birth,
lost in slumber,
Awoke on hearing the Sound
my Master gave."







Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My Heart's Desire Is That My Soul May Meet the Beloved


My Heart's Desire Is That My Soul May Meet the Beloved

Sant Mat Fellowship:
Sant Mat Fellowship
{The one who has purity of character, who practices diligently the Yoga of Sound, and who can explain *clearly* Sant Mat (the complete Path of the Masters with nothing missing), can be accepted and trusted as Satguru/Teacher.}

JPG Image of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras 1:





My Heart's Desire Is That My Soul May Meet the Beloved

Shabd of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib from, "Shabdavali"

My Beloved has left me in an alien region. I have been separated from Him. Alas! Wretched sleep is not coming to me, nor, 0 friend, am I blessed with the advent of the dawn. Weeping all night, tears have been flowing from my eyes, and I have been sighing and bemoaning. Waves of yearning keep on biting me like a cobra and, without the Beloved, my restlessness is intense. Like one struck by lightning, I smart in pain and agony and my heart palpitates. A great fire rages in my heart, although it does not give out any smoke. I lie alone on my bed as though my separation had been preordained. From whom shall I try to know of my Beloved's whereabouts and where to shall I write letters enquiring of him? I shall smear my body with ashes, and put on the garb of a Jogin (female ascetic). On having found the Sat Guru, I shall adopt His Saran (refuge), and I shall follow the path to my Beloved's abode. My heart's desire, says Tulsi, is that my Surat ** may meet the Beloved.


Beware That the Vision Within You Be Not Darkness --
Light-givers Guide Souls Into the Experience of Light Within the Temple of the Body

Shabd of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib from, "Shabdavali"

The sun has set. It is all dark. Pitch dark pervades the body. If the Guru is met, He alone can show the path and darkness will be dispelled from the body. Then only can you understand what Sants say. Your eyes will open if you apply the collyrium * of Surat **. The lock will open and you will witness illumination there if you discard the key, as it were, of the hold and sway of the world on you. Surat ** will then rush to the abode in the Sky and then you will know the secret of the Inaccessible State.

Whosoever has concentrated his soul has been redeemed from the fear of Death. She has ascended the firmament with force, and has found refuge at the feet of the Lord. She has taken abode in the infinite region and has attained union with the Beloved. Indeed, 0 Tulsi, she has been delivered from delusion, suffering and fever of countless lives.

______
NOTES

*"Collyrium" is a liquid wash used as a cleanser for the eyes.

** "Surat" or Soul, soul consciousness, the attention of the soul; surat refers to the ability of the soul to concentrate within and experience the bliss of inner regions. It refers particularly to the faculty of the soul to hear within, whereas nirat refers to the faculty of the soul to see within.

JPG Image of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras 2:




Lovable Peeps


Lovable Peeps

"All life is one. The Gurbani says, 'Who is not your child? Everyone is your very own. We have all been created from one Light.' We are all made in the image of God ..... everyone one of us, male, female, black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist.... If we keep the remembrance of God, the simran that we have been given as an anchor, then it will happen by itself [we will be seeing God in others and living a life of love]. We will be able to tell whether we are doing that by how much love is proceeding from us.....The most important thing in terms of outer context for satsangis to do is to be lovable. The more lovable we are, the easier we make it for other people to love us. We benefit them as well as have a good time. It's always nicer to be around people who love us than people who don't."

-- Russell Perkins, from a recent satsang talk in Sebastopol, California

(from a tape I just got in the mail, from the Sant Bani Ashram tape circuit)

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Brief Introduction to the Path of Santmat

A Brief Introduction to the Path of Santmat

Sant Mat Fellowship:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship
{The one who has purity of character,
who practices diligently the Yoga of Sound,
and who can explain *clearly* Sant Mat
(the complete Path of the Masters with nothing missing),
can be accepted and trusted as Satguru/Teacher.}

Lately I've been corresponding with someone who is an initiate of a branch of Santmat founded by Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, India. Below is part of a letter summarizing the Path of the Masters from his perspective, a kind of Gospel of Santmat, if you will. It seems right on, a very nice description and introduction to the teachings.

Naamaste' and Happy Holidays,

James

"There is a simple ceremony for initiation in which a saint of this path gives Namdan. The disciple concentrates on this Sabad (nam) and keeps his mindfulness on it. In other words it is the silent sumiran [reptition, remembrance] of the holy name [True Name, Name and Sound of God]. One has to follow ahimsa and avoid taking non-veg food, and follow righteous path. The emphasis is on cleansing the heart of ill-thoughts and develop karuna (Daya [compassion]) for all living beings. "Daya deepak jabahi bare darsan Nam adhar". Satnam ka sumiran kare and you would be soon treading the path leading to enlightenment. May Satnam bless you."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gnostic Mandaean Scrolls: I became the illuminator of the worlds of Light

Gnostic Mandaean Scrolls: I became the illuminator of the worlds of Light

Books Containing Mandaean Scriptures
The Gnostic Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer, Shambhala
The Other Bible, Willis Barnstone, Harper Collins

Mandaean History, Background Information, and Photographs
Gnosis, by Kurt Rudolph
The Gnostic Religion, by Hans Jonas, Beacon Press
The Gospel of Jesus, John Davidson, Clear Press UK

Mandaean Scriptures and Art Online, Websites
MandaeanWorld:
http://www.mandaeanworld.com/mandaeanworld1.html
Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans:
http://www.geocities.com/mandaeanworld1/cpindex1.html
The Mandaean Section of the The Gnostic Library:
http://www.gnosis.org/library/mand.htm
http://www.gnosis.org/library/ginzarba.htm

Gnostic Mandaean Scrolls: I became the illuminator of the worlds of Light
By James Bean
Copyright January 2006






I sometimes like saying that the Nag Hammadi Library found in Egypt represents 'the prose of the Gnostics', but the Mandaean writings from Iraq are 'the poetry'. Below is a Mandaean psalm-scroll translated by the German scholar Werner Forrester. Below that are a couple of Mandaean Aramaic words defined. And below that, I provide commentary on the meaning of these ancient Aramaic verses from the Middle east, chanted in antiquity. I have always been quite fond of these Mandaean psalm-scrolls translated in "Gnosis II", "The Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans" (out of print), and also in, "The Gnostic Book of John the Baptizer" (Kissinger Reprints).

In the Name of the Great Life,
Sublime Light Be Praised.

Naamaste',

James

I became the illuminator of the worlds of Light

. . . . .

I became a garment to the worlds of Light. . .
I became a king to the Nasoreans.
I became a king to the Nasoreans,
who received praise and stability through my Name.
Praise and stability they received,
and by my Name they ascend to the Place of Light
and behold the Place of Light.

As for the chosen righteous, who put me on (as a garment),
their eyes were filled with Light.
Their eyes were filled with Light,
and Manda dHaiye* [Knowledge or Acquaintance with God]
was established in their hearts.
Whoever puts me on, the Treasure of Life, (as a garment),....
I speak to them, [saying]:

"The vine which bears (fruit) ascends,
(the vine) which bears nothing is cut off here (from the Light).
Whoever is enlightened and instructed by me
rises and beholds the Place of Light.
Whoever is not enlightened and instructed by me
is cut off (from the Light), and falls into
the great Ocean of Suf**."

(Mandaean Aramaic psalm translated in, "Gnosis II", by Werner Forrester, Oxford University Press, out of print)

*Notes:

**"Suf" in Mandaic Aramaic: "Sea of Reeds or Sea of the End, a place of unbelievers: like the Egyptians in the biblical narrative: the departure of the Israelites from Egypt was evidently interpreted allegorically as the departure of the soul from the body." (Glossary in "Gnosis II")

*"Manda dHaiye": -- Gnosis of the Great Life (Great Life, a term for God); Knowledge or Acquaintance with God; Divine Knowledge, often personified in the Mandaean texts as "the name of the most important messenger of Light and Redeemer". (Glossary in "Gnosis II")

Commentary

"I became the illuminator of the worlds of Light."

"Understand what the Great Light is". (Apocryphon of James the Just, Nag Hammadi Library) In the Mandaean texts, written in a dialect of Aramaic almost two thousand years ago, a term for God is "Light", very much as in the Gospel of Thomas: Light=God=Christ=Kingdom of the Father. "God is Light and in Him there is no darkness." "Darkness is not dark to Thee." One phrase or benediction often repeated or chanted literally thousands of times in these old Mandaean scrolls is: "In the Name of the Great Life, Sublime Light Be Praised." God is described as "the Great Light", and heavenly realms are called "A Place of Light." Souls clothed in their heavenly garments are described as radiant beings like suns or stars.

The true messenger of God is a "Light-giver".

"Whoever is enlightened and instructed by me rises and beholds the Place of Light."

As wonderful as old writings of saints might be, people are in need a competent living teacher who has become one with God to be their guide, in order to have the right-view, right-knowledge, and right-practice. Otherwise, it is a teacher of a lesser order that is one's influence, or perhaps one's own limited and ever-changing interpretations. We "see through a glass darkly" (saint Paul), which means that what the ego may comprehend is not necessarily the whole picture but a dim outline at best. Only someone who is one with God is qualified to guide others into that divine experience. Rather than the usual "blind leading the blind", someone with Sight needs to be recognized as the guide. Like the Mandaeans of old, we also need a living Light-giver.

What is the result of this spiritual guidance from "a living one"? Souls "ascend to the Place of Light and behold the Place of Light", and, "....Their eyes were filled with Light..." There are visions of the divine Light -- real Light is seen, and ascensions to "the Place of the Light" are experienced.

Clues are provided in the text about not only the luminous visionary results, by at least one of the spiritual practices that was imparted, and it is a contemplative practice universally taught by saints and mystics.

"I became a king to the Nasoreans,
who received praise and stability through my Name.
Praise and stability they received,
and by my Name they ascend to the Place of Light and behold the
Place of Light."

The Prayer of God's Name has been taught, and continues to be taught, by countless saints and mystics. The name or names that one is instructed to repeat may vary from place to place, from language to language, and from tradition to tradition. A sacred word is slowly and prayerfully repeated, either verbally, or even better: mentally (higher, more "within"), and can indeed lead to beatific revelations or visions of Light, and even travels in spirit, "up hither" to the Place of the Light.

"As for the chosen righteous, who put me on (as a garment),
their eyes were filled with Light.
Their eyes were filled with Light,
and Manda dHaiye* [Knowledge or Acquaintance with God]
was established in their hearts.
Whoever puts me on, the Treasure of Life, (as a garment),....
I speak to them, [saying]:

"'The vine which bears (fruit) ascends,
(the vine) which bears nothing is cut off here (from the Light).'"

Here there is language that is reminiscent of the Gospel of John about abiding in the living vine of Yeshua and hearing the heavenly Voice: life is connected with the Great Life. On a spiritual level, one abides in the teacher, one becomes united to the teacher, puts the radiant form of the teacher on like a garment, and this is an essential stage of the journey of ascension.

Being able go go beyond darkness is extremely important. As has been said, "Watch out that the vision within you is not darkness." "Consider the One who is alive while you are alive, lest you die and then seek to behold that One - and you will not be able to behold." (Bently Layton's translation of Gospel of Thomas, 59) And, "Seek to see Him who is living, while you are living; rather than to die and to seek to see Him when you can no longer see Him!" (same verse, Doresse translation). While others put the spiritual life off till the next life or after some hypothesised "end of the world" scenario at the end of time, the contemplative soul "seeks to see Him" right now in the living present -- the present moment of time. It is necessary to be united with the Light now, in order to know that one will be united with the Light in eternity. "If one does not receive the Light while here in this place, one cannot receive it in the other place." (Gospel of Philip) That which we treasure or are attached to in this life, there we go. "What is found now, is found then." (Kabir) If Gnosis of the Place of the Light -- Knowledge or Acquaintance with God -- is established within our hearts, then our "eyes are filled with Light." "Perfect things have opened to us, and Hidden Things of Truth." (Gospel of Phillip) "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me, I myself will become that person, and the Hidden Things will be revealed to them." (Yeshua, Gospel of Thomas, 108) If you eye becomes Single, your whole body will be full of Light. If you are no longer divided, but become whole, darkness will give way to Light, and you will become a child of the Light.

"Help me and save me in thy Mysteries.
Incline thy ear to me and free me.
Let the power of thy Light save me and carry me
to the aeons on high,
for it is thou who appears to me in the darkness,
savest me and takest me
to the height of thy aeons.
Rescue me, O Light."
(Pistis Sophia)

"Truly, truly, I say to you that I will complete you in all
Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Light." (Egyptian Book of Pistis Sophia)

The Living Teacher gives us:
What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
what no hand has touched, and
what has never occurred to the human mind. (Coptic Gospel of Thomas, 17)

From another psalm-scroll of the Mandaean texts:

From the Place of Light have I gone forth,
from thee, Bright Habitation.

I come to feel the hearts,
to measure and try all minds,
to see in whose heart I dwell,
in whose mind I repose.

Who thinks of me, of him I think:
who calls my Name, his name I call.
Who prays my prayer from down below,
his prayer I pray from the Place of Light. . . .

I came and found
the truthful and believing hearts.
When I was not dwelling among them,
yet my Name was on their lips.
I took them and guided them up to the World of Light. . . . ////////

(a Mandaean psalm-scroll quoted in, "The Gnostic Religion -- The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity", by Hans Jonas, Beacon Press)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Part Two of: Tulsi Sahib, the Great Grandfather of Modern-day Sant Mat

Part Two of: Tulsi Sahib, the Great Grandfather of Modern-day Sant Mat

Selected Mystic Verses from the Ghat Ramayana of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib

Tulsi's Descriptions of God and the Inward Journey

Utter the Name of the Lord. Oh! do utter His Name. Why has your Surat [soul's attention] become so oblivious? Give up all quarrels and wranglings. The terrible Kal [gnostic demiurge, false god, lord of time and illusion] beguiles you through karmas [actions]. Shake off your illusion and flee to your Original Abode.

Surat alone, by adopting the Sound Current, can proceed beyond the Fourth Lok [realm, plane or inner region]. Take a vow to hold fast to this very method which, really, is the unique religion of Sants.

Worship Sat [Eternal Truth, God] by means of Surat [attention faculty of the soul at the third eye center], and this will enable you to reach the regions beyond the Sky [Gagan]. Seek Sat within, which alone will enable you to reach the region that knows no death and decay, and thus attain great happiness and bliss.

In the blessed company of Sants [Masters, Sant Satgurus, Saints], I have been able to know of the secrets of the true and indescribable One who has neither form nor any line of demarcation and is also invisible. I have described in detail Sat Mat with which worldly ways are incompatible. I have tasted the bliss of the Original Abode which alone is true. The world, on the other hand, is only a fleeting show, and only if one ponders over this, one will be able to realize the essence of Sat Mat and then alone will one's boat of life be able to cross the ocean of worldly existence. Great reverberation of Shabd [Sound] is going on within. One should fix one's attention on It and dance with joy. Blessed with the merciful gaze of the Satguru, I have been able to get Darshan [Vision] of the Invisible Being. My goal is Sat Purush whose abode is Sat Lok. He is all-merciful and is beyond Triloki [three worlds, physical, astral, causal]. My attention is riveted on His holy feet and I have His Darshan all the time. I have reached the Original Abode, which is beyond Kal's net. This world is perverse. I have been blessed with Darshan of the Supreme Being. I have seen the entire Brahmand [regions of universal mind], not to speak of this And [astral realm], which is only a very small region. I have vanquished the mind as well as Kal and, discarding this world, have become rid of it. I have seen the entire expanse of the earth, the sun and the moon. I have won the battle with Kal thanks to Sant Mat [the teachings of the Sants], which alone is true. Traversing the path within, I have been able to get the Vision (Darshan) of the Supreme Being.

0 soul! Give up all blind adherence and beliefs, concentrate within and seek the Supreme Being there, adopting Him alone as your Isht or goal. Do ponder over what I say and see for yourself with eyes wide open that there is none in this world whom you can call your own. You should adopt the Supreme Being alone as your prop and support.

Mention has been made of the states of wakefulness, dream, deep slumber and Turiya. The Trans-Turiya state lies beyond them and it is realized only by one who practises true Yoga.

The Shastras have described the four kinds of Bani (spiritual sound), namely, Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Baikhri. All this is known to the Gyani and Yogi. This is what the Gyani says. The secret. of what lies beyond is something unique, which is known only to Sants.

I (Tulsi) pierced the Sky and went beyond and met the Essence. My Surat darted above like an arrow shot by bending the bow. It proceeded beyond the three worlds, and reached the fourth Lok whose deity is Sat Nam Sat Purush, who took me in His arms.

The Supreme Being whose abode lies further ahead, is unique and only Sants know about Him. He is Nameless (Anami, Soundless: Anadi) and free from Maya. How to explain what He is. He has no colour, no form and no line of demarcation. Shabd is unmanifest in His region. I am worthless and know nothing but I had the good fortune of reaching His Abode. By placing my head at the feet of all Sants, I could reach that Original Abode which knows no decay. The three worlds are created and they perish, but I have taken my Surat beyond the Fourth Lok.

Surat darts forth with all-attention, and catching hold of Shabd, soars high like a kite secured to a cord.

ESOTERIC INSTRUCTIONS

Steadfast Attention Fixed at the Infintismal Point, the Third Eye Center Which Becomes a Portal to Mystic Light and Sound

He who has been able to know the true nature of the mind, has recognized Surat [inner hearing] and, by awakening Nirat [inner seeing], has repaired to the highest region. Sants, after realizing the truth themselves, have given out the secrets and I also join them. I have known the ways of the mind and recognized Surat, and I can assure you that the true path cannot be traversed without the participation and cooperation of Surat. After recognizing Surat [reaching the third eye center], one should partake of the bliss of higher regions, and then only will one be able to find the path to the Original Abode. One should fix one's Surat on the Current of inner Light and Sound with your attention as steadfast as that of a turtle fixed on its eggs, never looking to any other thing. One's Surat should partake of the bliss of Shabd in the manner of a Chakor-bird looking at the moon with steadfast attention. One should apply one's Surat so steadfastly to Shabd that ambrosia drips forthwith and one is able to partake of the bliss of the Shabd.

During Surat Shabd Meditation Traversing Inner Regions
Back Up to the Eighth Heaven -- Kaivalaya or Oneness with the Soundless One

Surat will unite with Naam or Shabd when it reaches the Kanwals [Lotuses]. Sants have said that if one seeks the shelter and protection of Sants, one's Surat will be able to see the Kanwals and will thus develop true faith. Above the third eye center is Neel Shikhar (Blue Mountain Peak). From there one should fix one's gaze at the Portal to the Inaccessible. One will then be free from the clutches of Kal and be rid of worldly pursuits.

One should constantly keep one's Surat fixed at Gagan [Mystic Sky in the region of Brahm] and keep on looking through the perforated screen. On thus applying Surat to Shabd all the time, one will not think of any other goal. Thus frolicking at the Portal, Surat strolls in the region of Shyam Safed. In the region of Shyam (black), there is a white island, where, in between a conch and a wheel, there is an oyster, and beyond them lies the unique citadel of Bank Nal [Crooked Tunnel].

Proceeding through Sukhmana [central energy current which runs from the eye center into the higher spiritual regions], one gets across Mansarover [Lake of Amritsar or Nectar in the region of Daswan Dwar]. Beyond that is Triveni [confluence of three sacred rivers]. Going past it, Surat takes to the route leading to the Inaccessible Region. If, after taking one's bath in Triveni, one proceeds onward, towards the Inaccessible, then only will one be able to meet the true Satguru.

There is a Four-Petalled Kanwal or Lotus within, proceeding through which, one will reach the Twelve-Petalled Lotus, viz., Sat Lok. Beyond that, one will have Darshan of the Supreme Being (Anami Purush) who has neither form nor colour and who is Inaccessible as well as Indescribable. Sants have described His region as the Eighth Lok. Some have described that region as the Eighth Terrace while others have called it the Eighth Mansion.

-- Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras, from his Ghat Ramayana

For more information on the meditation practice, see the online book, The Philosophy of Liberation, by Maharishi Mehi:
http://www.thewayofsages.com/new_page_7.htm

There are two books in English featuring the writings of Sant Tulsi:

"Param Sant Tulsi Saheb", translated by S.D. Maheshwari: The Maheshwari family in Agra -- they now have a website: radhasoami-faith.info

and,

"Tulsi Sahib -- Saint of Hathras", by J.R. Puri & V.K. Sethi: scienceofthesoul.org






Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sant Mat Sites -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation Online

Sant Mat Sites -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation Online

Sant Tulsidas says: "'The association of the saints brings association with the Divine, and alliance with people who are engrossed in the world leads the way back to this world again and again.' To attain Ultimate Liberation it is essential to have association with the saints. Saints, having realized the true form of God, become that True Form." (The Harmony of All Religions)

According to Shri Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj in his book, The Harmony of All Religions, there are three levels of satsang: 1) Association with the Writings/Teachings of Saints, hymns, poetry, and spiritual discourses of the Masters; 2) Association with Satgurus, sitting at the feet of a living teacher; and, 3) Association with Sat (the Eternal Truth), the highest level, an inner Sat-sang Communion with God during meditation practice.

For the first level of satsang, books and internet can be avenues to the teachings of Sants. Below are links to sites that offer writings, the poetry and prose of Sant Satgurus and other helpful information about the resources that are available online.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Naamaste',

James

Selected verses from The Philosophy of Liberation by Maharishi Mehi, and, The Harmony of All Religions:
http://www.thewayofsages.com/new_page_7.htm

Online Library at my website including the Anurag Sagar:
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/library.html

Sant Mat Fellowship Main Page, Files, Photos, Links:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship

Links Page of Sant Mat, Radhasoami, Surat Shabd Yoga, Online Books and Other Information on Books, Kabir, Sikh Gurus, Adi Granth Online, Long List of Websites:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship/links

Radhasoami Reality, Sar Bachan, Prem Bani, Prem Patra Radhaswami:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radhasoami-Reality

KABIR, Shabds of Guru Kabir:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KABIR

Meditation Sangat -- Sant Mat Meditation:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MeditationSangat

Sufi_Poetry_and_Wisdom:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sufi_Poetry_and_Wisdom

*Spiritual Awakening Radio:
http://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com

Several Charts of Sant Mat Guru Lineages

Upanishadic Sants in Ancient Times? jpg:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/UpanishadicSants.jpg

1a Chart.jpg:
Param Sant Tulsi Sahib and those after him in Hathras, Agra, and Bihar:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1aaaRSLineageChart.jpg

1b LineageChart.jpg:
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas, Sawan Kirpal and Ruhani Mission, Chart, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1bRSLineageChart.jpg

1c LineageChart.jpg:
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Agra Radhaswami Branches,
Chart.jpg, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1cRSLineageChart.jpg

2 LineageChart-1.jpg:
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Tulsi Sahib and Agra, ChartTwo.jpg, From an Early Version of David Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/2RSLineageChart-1.jpg

3 LineageChart.jpg:
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Huzur Maharaj -- Rai Saligram-related Agra Branches, ChartThree.jpg, From an Early Version of David Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/3RSLineageChart.jpg

4 LineageChart.jpg:
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Baba Jaimal Singh, Sawan-Kirpal, Somanath, Mastana Ji, Tarn Taran, ChartFour.jpg, From an Early Version of David Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/4RSLineageChart.jpg

5 LineageChart.jpg:
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
One:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/5RSLineageChart.jpg

6 LineageChart.jpg:
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
Two:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/6RSLineageChart.jpg

7 Chart of the Inner Planes of Creation, PDF File:
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/chart.pdf

8 Another Chart of the Inner Planes of Creation, JPG:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/HeavenlyChart.jpg

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sant Mat History: We Are All One, the Opposite of "Not One Of Us"

Sant Mat History: We Are All One, the Opposite of "Not One Of Us"

By James Bean

Copyright December 2006

One of the most mysterious passages recorded in the New Testament:

"'Teacher', said John, 'we saw a man driving out demons in your Name
and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.'

"'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'No one who does a miracle in my Name
can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not
against us is for us.'" (Mark 9: 38+39)

One can wonder who this mystery person was and what group he belonged
to, since the disciples had apparently never heard of him. There is a
passage somewhere in the New Testament which says, "I have sheep not
of this fold", also implying multiple groups or disciples, more than
one "true" group of devotees out there somewhere, in other words.

The initial reaction of the disciples is quite typical -- human
nature. Some things never change. "Same as it ever was" (line from a
Talking Heads tune). I've seen people react this way many
times: ".....We told him to stop, because he was not one of us."

I was given a video tape once from someone in Oregon. They said it
was from Kirpal Singh's group, Sant Mat. I watched this video, but
none of the faces looked familiar to me. None of the names, buildings
or the locations looked familiar either. It was like seeing a satsang
in a parallel universe or meeting "cousins" you didn't know you had.
It was at a place called Kirpal Sagar ("Ocean of Kirpal"). Eventually
I discovered that this was a gathering in India at a school
associated with an initiate of Master Kirpal who said he was told by
Master Kirpal to look after this school and satsang center. It was a
different branch of Ruhani Satsang that did not join with any living
Guru after the passing of Master Kirpal Singh in 1974.

According to Ruhani Satsang there were thirty six teachers that
emerged after the passing of Master Kirpal who claimed to be his
spiritual successor: 36! Most of these teachers are not known to us
in the West but have ashrams or small satsangs in various parts of
India.

With Sant Mat, and with most spiritual paths, East and West, there is
an etiquette of focusing upon your teacher. Each satsang is
associated with a certain guru. Only his photographs will be
displayed at such gatherings, or those of previous gurus in the same
lineage of teachers.

Quite often in many groups there is an ethos that their teacher is
the "one-and-only" competent living guru of the present time, that
usually there is "only one" such teacher or "gurumukh" spiritual
successor at a time on earth. I think of this, not so much a
statement of fact pertaining to history, but more of a "bhakti"
or "devotional truth" for the satsangi. Having a spiritual Master is
sorta like marriage, as it should be. Spiritual promiscuity doesn't
seem desirable and has not been a successful approach that leads to
any sort of enlightenment. As one teacher used to say, "Better to dig
one deep well and hit water than to keep digging dozens of shallow
holes in the ground getting nothing, seeking but never finding." Your
teacher is your "one-and-only", so to speak.

In terms of Sant Mat history however, there has never been a time
during the last several centuries when there was "only one" Satguru
in the world in the Sant tradition. There have been examples of
multiple lineages of Masters contemporary with one another since at
least the time of Kabir and Guru Nanak in the fifteen century. Both
Guru Kabir and Guru Nanak appointed gurus to be their spiritual
successors, each existing contemporary with one another, the Ten Sikh
Gurus in one line of Masters and the successors of Guru Kabir in
another. Kabir Panth soon branched out into many, many lineages.

At the same time the Tenth Sikh Guru (Gobind Singh) was alive, was
another Sant Mat guru with same name. Who was the Master who
initiated this other Gobind Singh? I am not sure. That is probably a
mystery lost to forever to history. This other Gobind Singh was the
Master who initiated Sant Paltu Sahib (1710-1780), who became a well-
known Master. Paltu's mystic hymns are still popular in India even
now.

Meet Dariya Sahib, Saint of Bihar

Dariya was born in 1674 and passed in 1780. At the age of sixteen
Dariya was initiated into Surat Shabd Yoga by a Sant Mat guru. He
eventually became a very powerful Master and founded the Dariya
panth, a spiritual movement with a large number of ashrams and
satsangs all over India with many followers. Dariya appointed two
spiritual successor gurus to carry on after him. Their names were
Guna Das and Teka Das. Eventually Guna Das died so Teka Das became
the guru of the entire sangat.

Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras

Tulsi was born in 1763 and passed on in 1843. He would have been in
his teens when Dariya was still alive. Early in his life Tulsi did
extensive traveling around India. In the book, "Tulsi Sahib -- Saint
of Hathras", it states: "Tulsi Sahib's works include words and
expressions of Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian ..... Marathi .... he
has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati,
Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many
other Saints, he must have traveled widely in U.P., Rajasthan,
Gujrat, Punjab and BIHAR." It is my theory that Tulsi might have
received initiation into Sant Mat meditation from Tika Das while he
was in Bihar. There's no way to know at this time, though I am
sending this question to a guru in the Tulsi lineage who has an
ashram center in Bihar, hoping to get his views about Tulsi's guru,
and my theory about Tika Das being his guru. Tulsi said he had a
guru, but this teacher is not named in any of the writings that have
survived. We'll see what this Master from Bihar thinks of my Tika Das
theory and some of the other theories about who Tulsi's guru might
have been.

Back to Tulsi: Tulsi Sahib eventually established a satsang in
Hathras, where he initiated souls into Surat Shabd Yoga. And his
mission was contemporary with Tika Das's mission in Bihar. At the
present time there are still gurus in the lineage of Tulsi Sahib
leading satsangs and initiating souls in Hathras, Bihar and other
places around India. The same is also true in the Dariya Sahib branch
of Sant Mat. Tika Das appointed guru successors. That lineage is
still with us even now. According to Domain Singh, webmaster of the
Dariya Sahib Website, there are "two hundred Saints" presiding over
various ashram centers in the Dariya sangat at present.

From the book, Dariya Sahib -- Saint of Bihar, we read: "It was also
made clear by Dariya Sahib that these successors would have the right
to appoint their own successors and that is how the order would
continue. On being asked by Fakkar Das, his brother, how long this
order would continue Dariya Sahib replied that as long as the
practice of the Sound Current remained central to the discipline, and
the order kept pure and free from external rituals and formalism, the
line would continue. When the practice of the Sound Current is
mingled with outer appearances (bhekh) and external rituals, the
Sound Current (Shabd) will part company. Then the power transmitted
by me, said Dariya, will leave, and the souls will go into the mouth
of Kal. At that stage, he would come to this world and start a line
of the Sound Current once again. This is how, he said, he had been
coming for aeons.

"Thus, having explained everything and all aspects of the saintly
mission, and having fulfilled the purpose of his life, he passed on
his responsibilities to his successors and departed from this world
in ..... 1780."

One devotee of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib was Shiv Dayal Singh of Agra.
Tulsi was the guru of Shiv Dayal's family. After the death of Tulsi
Sahib, Shiv Dayal Singh along with several others became gurus, in
and outside of, the sangat of Tulsi Sahib: Baba Devi Sahab, Surswami,
Radhaswami, Girdhari Das, and Ramkrishna. One branch of the Tulsi
Sahibi group refers to Shiv Dayal as "Sant Radhaswami Sahib."

Due to not desiring to write an entire chapter here, I will rap
things up here, only mentioning in passing, that there were many
recognized Saints/Sant Satgurus part of Swami Ji's inner circle in
Agra. The Sant Mat "Family Tree" branches out dramatically in all
directions ever further after the time of Swami Ji Maharaj, Huzur
Maharaj Rai Saligram, Gharib Das, Bagga Singh, Deva Singh, Partap
Singh, Sanmukh Das, Data Dayal Shiv Brat Lal, Baba Faqir Chand, Baba
Jaimal Singh, Huzur Baba Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh ..............
etc.............

Of course, I have only written briefly about a few of the "Northern
Sant" lineages. There is another major branch to the south, the so-
called "Southern Sants", such as Sant Tukarama and numerous Sant
lineages of Maharashtra. Typically, the Northern Sants are closer to
Sufism and further away from the Vaishnava tradition to some degree.
The Southern Sants however seem closer to the Gita, Krishna and
Vaishnava. The Hari Krishnas claim Mirabai, Tukarama, Ravidas, and a
few other Sants as their own - Saints in their tradition. At the same
time as there were Northern Sant lineages of gurus, contemporary with
those are many more operating to the south in India.

Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that Sant Mat dates back to the time
of Krishna thousands of years ago, and that Krishna knew of Sants in
India back then during the time of the composition of the Bhagavad
Gita.

When has there ever been "only one" Sant Mat guru or "Gurumukh
successor" "of the time" in Sant Mat history? The answer is: never
has there been only one guru at a time.

Another general principle of Sant Mat history is: the more we know,
the more the numbers go up. In other words, the more familiar we
become with the various paths in the Sant Mat category, the more
gurus and ashrams and branches we shall discover. A few years back,
some were saying that there must be "around two hundred" gurus and
groups in India in the Sant Mat category. Based on my continued
research, I would say that is a very low number!

Paraphrasing Guru Nanak's Jap Ji:

Countless are the gurus,
Countless the gaddis,
Countless the satsangs,
Countless are the Sant Mats,
Countless are the satsangis.

Of course these groups are not all the same. There are several stages
groups might pass through during their history. Some may be in
the "alive" category, with both guru and disciple having inner
experiences, radiant forms, inner regions experienced and not simply
theories and teachings found only in books. There are groups that
lost their living guru in recent times and there was no successor,
thus no new people are getting initiated in those groups. There is
one very large group which has become a world religion that worships
a book as a kind of guru. Ironically, that very same book says to NOT
worship books! idols made of stone, places of pilgrimage, holy
rivers, etc... There are groups where nobody is having inner
experiences. Those usually don't focus so much on a living Master,
and their magazines tend to feature quotes from gurus who lived many
decades earlier, in the 1940's, 1930's, 1920's or 1520's.

There have been some highly unethical teachers, false, "of Kal",
hurting people, with dead bodies buried in the "backyard" and abused
members coming forward to tell their story. There have been many
honest, loving, radiant, Godly beings that have graced this planet
with their enlightened compassion. There have been Sadhus with some
attainment that have helped the souls that have crossed their path.
Nothing wrong with that. There have been nice-guy gurus without much
attainment, but who have helped to make the world a better place by
spreading SOME of the teachings and ethical ahimsa principals of the
Masters to larger audiences around the world.

In other words, amongst this long list of paths will be found groups
representing many different states and stages of development,
vibrancy and decline, some alive, some slowly becoming another
religion looking to the past for inspiration, with past Saints and
Prophets -- a new "People of the Book" with temples and holy relics.
And there are some that have souls who do go within and successfully
practice Surat Shabd Yoga in a way that is almost identical to the
Ideal spiritual path described by Swami Ji of Agra, with a rich
mystical approach to meditation practice, traveling quite far along
in their journey back to God. For them, these teachings of Sant
Satgurus are not just "talk" or "myth" or "belief" or about
a "hypothesized Higher Self" (a sad but revealing phrase from a Brian
Hines post), but very real experiences that human beings can attain,
seeing with their own eyes, hearing with their own ears, traveling
through Inner Space, "the Kingdom of the Heavens within."


Several Charts of Lineages -- I Promise These Will Help

Upanishadic Sants in Ancient Times? jpg:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/UpanishadicSants.jpg

1aaaRSLineageChart.jpg
Param Sant Tulsi Sahib and those after him in Hathras, Agra, and
Bihar:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1aaaRSLineageChart.jpg

1bRSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas, Sawan
Kirpal and Ruhani Mission, Chart, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark
Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1bRSLineageChart.jpg

1cRSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Agra Radhaswami Branches,
Chart.jpg, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1cRSLineageChart.jpg

2RSLineageChart-1.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Tulsi Sahib and Agra, ChartTwo.jpg, From
an Early Version of David Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/2RSLineageChart-1.jpg

3RSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Huzur Maharaj -- Rai Saligram-related Agra
Branches, ChartThree.jpg, From an Early Version of David Lane's
Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/3RSLineageChart.jpg

4RSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Baba Jaimal Singh, Sawan-Kirpal, Somanath,
Mastana Ji, Tarn Taran, ChartFour.jpg, From an Early Version of David
Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/4RSLineageChart.jpg

5RSLineageChart.jpg
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
One:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/5RSLineageChart.jpg

6RSLineageChart.jpg:
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
Two:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/6RSLineageChart.jpg


This is Not a Complete List -- Partial List of Sant Mat Paths On the
Worldwide Web

These would be paths that teach Surat Shabd Yoga, and use all the
familiar terms: "Satguru", "Satsang", "Sat Lok, "Sach Khand", "Sound
Current", "Audible Lifestream", "tishra
til", "astral", "causal", "Sat
Purush", "Kal", "simran", "Naam", "Shabd," ...................

Maharshi Mehi Ashram (Tulsi Sahibi):
http://www.thewayofsages.com

Maharshi Mehi Ashram (Tulsi Sahibi):
http://www.maharshimehi.net

Sant Dariya Sahib Website:
http://www.geocities.com/santdariya/home.html

Akhil Bhartiya Santmat Satsang (ABSS):
http://www.abssatsang.org

Kirpal Singh
http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/books.htm

Sant Ji:
http://www.santji.allegre.ca

ADI GRANTH -- Sikh Gurus, Khalsa Consensus Translation:
http://www.sikhs.org/english/frame.html

Mastana Ji Website:
http://www.spiritualismmba.nstemp.com/books.htm

Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan -- Shri Ashutosh Ji Maharaj:
http://www.divyajyoti.org

Dharamdasi Kabir Panth:
http://www.kabir.ca

Anurag Sagar of Kabir Panth Online, as PDF Files:
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/anurag.html

Kabir Ashram.org:
http://www.kabirashram.org

Kabir Chawra Math on Varanasi
Kabir Bhavan.com:
http://www.kabirbhavan.com

Puan Brahm Satapurush Sahib Kabir Ji:
Knowlege about Satapush Kabir Saheb Ji:
http://www.jagatgururampalji.org

Sahebkabir:
http://www.geocities.com/sahebkabir

Shri Kabir Counsel:
http://www.geocities.com/sahebkabir/?200612

Ajeetpraimsingh.com:
http://www.ajeetpraimsingh.com/kabir.htm

MASTANA JI
One of several groups connected with Mastana Ji, disciple of Huzur
Baba Sawan Singh:
http://spiritualism.50megs.com/teaching.htm#W

Spiritualitymba.com:
http://www.spiritualitymba.com/index.htm

MEDIASEVA.ORG
http://www.mediaseva.org

Shri Anandpur: Shri Paramhans Advait Mat Granth 1:
http://www.ex-premie.org/papers/1-14.htm

Shabd Pratap Ashram:
http://www.shabdpratapashram.com

Sadhu Ram:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sadhuramjisatsang

Sadhu Ram:
http://www.ajaib.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sadhuramjigroup

Soami Bagh Branch:
http://www.radhasoami-faith.info/default.shtml

Agam P. Mathur (DadaJi), Huzuri Bhawan, Pipal Mandi, New Website:
http://www.angelfire.com/linux/radhasoami/main.htm

Dayal Bagh:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/satsang_community

Baba Faqir Chand -- Harjit Singh Branch:
http://www.babafaqirchand.com

Baba Faqir Chand: Manavta Mandir.com:
http://manavtamandir.com

Baba Faqir Chand: New Website: Shoonyo.com:
http://www.shoonyo.com

Jyoti Meditation.org:
Hindi and English Online Videos:
http://jyotimeditation.org

Darshan Singh Website:
http://mysite.verizon.net/bazikr

Dera Baba Teja Singh Saidpur:
http://www.derasaidpur.org

Jagat Singh Website:
http://www.mountainman.com.au/guru_ji.html

RSSB:
http://www.radhasoamisatsangbeas.org

RSSB Books:
http://www.ssrcbooks.com

RSSB:
http://www.radhasoamisatsangbeas.org

RSSB:
http://www.rssb.8k.com

Radhasoami Sahai (related to Dayal Bagh lineage):
http://www.rsdayal.org

Radhasoami Satsang DINOD:
http://www.radhaswamidinod.org/faith.htm

RADHASOAMI: TARN TARAN: Dera Baba Bagga Singh:
http://www.aors-dbbs.org

United Satsang.org:
Shree Mentu Maharaj
http://united-satsang.org

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sar Bachan Poetry, Bhajans of Swami Ji Maharaj, from Two Translations

Sar Bachan Poetry, Bhajans of Swami Ji Maharaj, from Two Translations

Radhasoami Reality:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radhasoami-Reality
{Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}

Daya kar sant gohraaven,
zara naheen chit men laaven.
paanch dhun bhed batlaaven,
surat ki raah dikhlaaven.
dhunon ke naam darsaaven.....

The God-realized Saints, out of their mercy,
come to advise people,
but they pay no heed at all.
The Saints offer the secret of the five melodies
and of the path the soul must follow to reach God.
The Saints reveal the names
of the melodies of Shabd,
of the forms and regions within.
The Saints teach the yoga of Surat Shabd
but nobody listens to them.
The Saints help their devotees
raise their souls to the heavens
and show them the sublime essence within the body.

-- Swami Ji Maharaj,
Saar Bachan Radhaswami Nazam yaani Chhand Band
"Sar Bachan Poetry -- Selections", RS Book Department


Shabd ki karo kamaayee...

0 Seeker! Every moment remain engrossed in the practice of Surat-Shabd-Yoga [union of the attention-faculty of the soul with Divine Light and Sound within during meditation] for there is no other comrade like the Word. Close your outer ears and then listen to the reverberations of the Word inside. The Word will drive "I-ness" (arrogance, self-centeredness, ego) out of you. Gain access to the Word and then you'll attain to steadiness and control of mind. After that you'll perceive the glowing and brilliant light of the flame and remain rapturous in the resonance of the Word every moment. You will then feel sick, disgusted and satiated with the objects of pleasures and forsake all of them for you would have soared high and heard the sonorous and resonant sound of the Word that is rich, deep and impressively loud.

The guru directs that you must remain contented and engrossed in that Sound; and then you will hear the diapason and crescendo of the sound (glorious and harmonious burst of musical sound and gradual increase in its volume). Then the surat [soul] rises from there rapidly, as if walking with heavy or noisy footsteps, impressively, and arrives at Sunn (Spirit-Sphere) hearing the euphonious tinkling sound.

Thereafter, you will hear the sound produced by overtones rather than volume and pitch -- that of timbrel and tambourine; what shall I say about the majesty of the Sound which is infinite and unlimited. Whatever I may talk about it, it will be found wanting. This is a matter which is enigmatic and mysterious; how can I unravel its mystery. The surat [soul] now gains access to the depths and dimensions of the Spaceless and Timeless (Adhar).

It now sits with her beloved Lord enjoying his perennial blissful company. All the darkness and dirt of the inner recess of the heart is now eradicated; showers of Sound are falling like murmuring rain. Inside you, as the light spreads, drops of ambrosia fall as the drops of dew. The mind has become fed up (annoyed and bored) with all other modes and methods (except Surat-Shabd-Yoga); the surat is now constantly applying to its wounds the healing and soothing balm of the Word (Sound). I now surrender my body and mind and all to the guru; Radhasoami [Lord of the Soul] speaks in this wise, time and again, with every breath.

-- Swami Ji Maharaj
Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One
"The Quintessential Discourse Radhasoami"
Translated by M.G. Gupta
M.G. Publishers, Agra

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Sound Current, the Word, and, A List of Inner Mystic-Sounds


The Sound Current, the Word, and, A List of Inner Mystic-Sounds

Radhasoami Reality:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radhasoami-Reality
{Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}

From, "Encyclopaedia of Saints of India, Volume 19: Radhasoami",
By Dr. S.R. Bakshi and Dr. Sangh Mittra,
Criterion Publications, New Delhi, 2002, 268 pages,
a great book on the teachings and history of the Radhasoami Faith





The Sound Current, the Word

All religious scriptures mention the sound current or the Word, but unfortunately their followers are unaware of it. Hindus call it the celestial voice (aakaash vaanee), 'that which can be heard' (shruti), unstruck divine melody (anahad shabd). The Chhandogya and Mandok Upanishad name it the celestial song (udgeeth). In the Adi Granth, it has been expressed as name (naam), word (baanee), melody (dhun), truth (sach), ceaseless eternal sound (anahad shabad), Guru's word (gar baanee), sound (shabd), etc. Muslims call it word (kalmaa), voice of God (kalaam-e-ilaahee), heavenly sound (nidaa-e-aasmaanee), great name (ism-e-a'zam) or king of repetitions (sultaan-ul-azkaar). Ancient Greek mystics referred to it as word (logos). Socrates spoke of an inner sound that transported him to realms transcendent and divine. Zoroaster spoke of it as sarosha. Theosophists enumerate some of the sounds that are heard within and call them the voice of the silence. It has been termed the pure white music.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -- John 1: 1

The Word is the Holy Spirit; and without consciously coming in contact with it there is no possibility of real spiritual progress.

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever." -- Isaiah 40:8

The Word is the fundamental principle of all the religions. The difference lies in the extent to which their adepts ascended up the sound current or the Word.

When a Master initiates a soul he brings to that soul, at that moment, the ability to become conscious of this sound current. During all the millions of years we have been wandering around, lost and blind, we have forgotten our true selves and our Maker; we have lost the way (the sound current). Now it will be different. We are to meet our Creator through the sound current, which keeps creation in being.

"A sound is vibrating in the whole of creation. When you open your inner ear you will hear a continuous sound, which will lead you across all limitations of mind and matter. My Beloved is speaking to you all the time. Alas! you do not hear his Voice."
-- Shah Niaz

When we first hear this wonderful sound it is very soft, but gradually it amplifies in volume, tone and character. In reality, our finer senses develop and we thereby appreciate it better. So long as the mind remains attached to the body and its desires, it cannot grasp the Word.


A List of Inner Mystic-Sounds

Maharishi Mehi: The literature of various saints describes the sounds of the different realms..........[they are] similar to the sounds of the Veena (stringed instrument similar to the lyre), the Murali (flute), the Nafeeri (horn instrument), the Mridang (drum), the Mrdal (cymbals), the Singi (a horn), the Sitar (stringed instrument), or the Sarangi (similar to a lute). Other descriptions compare these sounds to a peal of Thunder and a roar of a Lion. (Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj, "Philosophy of Liberation")

Hazrat Khan: It sounds like Thunder, the roaring of the Sea, the jingling of Bells, running the Water, the Buzzing of bees, the Twittering of sparrows, the Vina, the Whistle, or the sound of Shankha... ("The Mysticism of Sound")

Svatmarama Yogindra, the author of the Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika, outlines the stages of Nada (inner Sound) practice as follows: First, the practitioner should block his or her ears with the fingers and focus inwardly, listening for the arising of the inner Sound (Nada). To begin with, a variety of sounds may be heard, becoming increasingly subtle. Thus the practitioner may hear sounds like the sound of the Ocean, a Rain Cloud, a Drum, a Kettledrum, a Conch, a Bell, a Horn, a Flute, a Lute, or a bee [Hum]. He or she should continue to focus on whatever Sound is attractive until the mind achieves perfect steadiness. ("The Shambhala Guide to Yoga", Shambhala Publications)

Acts of John, apocryphal scripture of the West: Who else is Christ but the Sound of God?

Hazrat Khan: Abstract sound is called Saut-e Sarmad by the Sufis; all space is filled with it. The vibrations of this sound are too fine to be either audible or visible to the material ears or eyes, since it is even difficult for the eyes to see the form and color of he ethereal vibrations on the external plane. It was the Saut-e Sarmad, the sound of the abstract plane, which Muhammad heard in the cave of Ghar-e Hira when he became lost in his divine ideal. The Quran refers to this sound in the words, 'Be! and all became.' Moses heard this very sound on Mount Sinai, when in communion with God; and the same word was audible to Christ when absorbed in his Heavenly Father in the wilderness. Shiva heard the same Anahad Nada during his Samadhi in the cave of the Himalayas.

The flute of Krishna is symbolic of the same sound. This sound is the source of all revelation to the Masters, to whom it is revealed from within; it is because of this that they know and teach one and the same truth. ("The Mysticism of Sound")

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Important Spiritual Steps: Devotion to the Teacher, Satsang Instruction, Repeating the Divine Name, Visualising the Form (Dhyan), Seeing Inner Light,

Important Spiritual Steps: Devotion to the Teacher, Satsang Instruction, Repeating the Divine Name, Visualising the Form (Dhyan), Seeing Inner Light, Hearing the Sound, Reaching a State of Oneness with the Soundless One





Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj, from: "The Philosophy of Liberation" (Moksa-Darsan):

53. Listening to and study of the discourses on this sacred knowledge is an important step in the Sant Mat tradition. Listening to satsanga (spiritual discourses) is prescribed as an essential activity.

54. The personal and private instruction in the art of this spiritual practice should be received from a Satguru (an accomplished spiritual master). Once the technique has been learned, one should practice it regularly and daily according to the instructions given by the master.

70. Through constant practice of the Meditation of Sound, the practitioner also experiences the Divine Light. Just as upon attending a concert, one cannot help but notice the beautiful setting, of Upper Nature, the plurality of sounds ceases to exist, and only then can the Essential Divine sound be experienced. Other sounds of the various Realms are not experienced at this level of the State of Oneness because diversity does not exist in the state of Oneness.

75. The State beyond Sound is acknowledged in the writings of saints as the goal of their teachings. In addition, their writings accept repetition of a Divine name, concentration on a form of the Divine, fixing the mind on a point and concentrating on the inner sounds of the different spheres as a means to reach the Soundless State. These four techniques are therefore essential in Sant Mat.

76. Without achieving perfection in the Yoga of Sound, the realization of the Supreme Sovereign God or the Knowledge of the Self cannot be achieved.

77. Without resolute devotion to the guru (a spiritual master), even by means of the Yoga of Sound, the realization of the Supreme Sovereign God is not possible. Without the help of the master, it is not possible to attain the full devotion for the Divine and the highest good.

Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7

Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7

Kabir:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KABIR

Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7
http://www.members.shaw.ca/kabirweb


1 jahiya janm mukta hata, tahiya hata na koi;
chhathi tumhari hown jaga, tu kahan chala bigoi.

Meaning [translation of Kabir verses of the Bijak into English]
O soul! Before birth you were free, and had no worldly bondage with a body;
Then your sixth sense (mind) arose; now where are you wandering as if lost?

Commentary [By Dr. Jagessar Das]
Guru Kabir is here speaking of the soul prior to being born in this physical body. The soul is eternally free until it comes into the bondage of the body and the world. It begins to be preoccupied with satisfying all kinds of desires and seeking material pleasures. It forgets its original, pristine, state of existence. Once the mind arose as a sixth sense and an instrument to be used by the soul, it started to create all types of desires and passions. It has become entangled in the material pursuits of the world. It has become deluded, thinking that the evanescent material things are really the Reality. In fact, all material things are temporary, but the soul is eternal, as it is Divine in nature. The mind does not recognize this. It is thus that Guru Kabir is saying that the soul was free, but because of the mind and its delusions it has become trapped in the material world, and is wandering in a lost state. One has to return to a realization of the pristine and free nature of the soul.

2 shabd hamara tu shabd ka, suni mati jahu sarak;
jo chaho nij tatv ka, to shabdahi lehu parakh.

Meaning
The Shabd (Word) is mine, and you are produced by Shabd; listen to it and do not shun it;
If you wish to realize your own Reality, then realize the Shabd.

Commentary
Guru Kabir is stating that he has realized the Word, and states that we are all produced by the power of the Word. We must try to realize that Word and not try to avoid it. Everything in the universe proceeded from the Word of God. That Word also manifests as our own Reality which is the Divine Soul. He thus states that if you wish to know your own Reality, then you must realize the Shabd.

To realize the Shabd means that you have to enter into meditation with the mind absolutely still. Meditation is the only path to realization of your own true Self, which is the Word, manifesting within.


3 shabd harmara adi ka, shabdai paita jiw;
phul rahana ki tokari, ghore khaya ghiw.

Meaning
My Word is from the beginning, and the soul resides in the Word;
The basket is for holding flowers, while the horse is eating up the ghee.

Commentary
In the beginning was the Word (Shabd, Sound), and from the Word proceeded the Soul and then all material manifestations, including the human form. It is thus that Guru Kabir states that in the beginning there was the Word and the Soul resides in the Word. It is the Soul that animates the body and gives it consciousness and makes it 'beautiful'. He compares the beautiful flowers that are kept in a basket. They are fragrant and beautiful to look at. Similarly, if through meditation you are able to realize your own soul, you will also realize the beauty of the soul, as it is an expression of the Word.

In India, it is common to feed ghee (clarified butter) to the horses, when it is mixed up with other grains. Ghee is a delicacy in India. The horse eats the ghee with the grains, but does not know that the ghee is a delicacy prized by humans. Similarly, the person who is not awakened to reality of his own self, does not realize the greatness of his own soul.

Another explanation is that the clarified butter is contained in the milk that is being churned to produce it. The ghee is hidden in that milk but it is not seen, just so, the soul is hidden within the body, but the unrealized person does not perceived it.


4 shabd bina surati andhari, kaho kahan ko jai;
dwar na pawai shabd ka, phir-phir bhataka khai

Meaning
Meditation without the Word is blind; tell me where can it lead you?
When meditation does not reach the door of the Word, then again and again it strays.

Commentary
The Shabd (Word) is the origin of all manifestation. The Word is the power of God. In meditation we need to delve into the Word and experience it, personally. If this is not achieved, then meditation "abandons" the devotee, as his meditation wanders from subject to subject and ideas to ideas. To truly understand meditation one has to still the mind so that there is no distraction. Only then can the Word be experienced in the depth of one's own consciousness. This realization of the Word gives stability in spiritual life, and removes all doubts.


5 shabd-shabd bahu antare, sar shabd mathi lijai;
kahahin kabir jahan sar shabd nahi, dhrig jiwan so jijai.

Meaning
There is much difference between word and word, but churn the essence of the Word;
Kabir says where there is not the essence of the Word, then that life is cursed.

Commentary
If we think of a word in ordinary usage, then every word has a different meaning. But when we think of the Word, then it is the essence of all words and it is the essence of our being. It is essential that we know this Word by churning it over and over in our mind, and then meditating on it, until we realize its essence. Guru Kabir is saying that where this essence of the Word is not realized then that life is, indeed, cursed. By this he means that a person who has not realized his own essential nature which is the Word dwelling within, then he wanders in the world of desires and passions and suffers. Tranquility and bliss is attained when one realizes the Word.


6 shabdai mara gir para, shabdai chhora raj;
jin-jin shabd vivekiya, tinka sarigow kaj.

Meaning
Being struck by the Word, one falls down, and one can also give up the whole kingdom;
Whoever deeply considers the Word will have his life's goals fulfilled.

Commentary
Guru Kabir is again speaking of the Power of the Word. To fall down means that you have become humble when you realize the Word. On realizing the Word and its Divine significance, a king will often give up his kingdom. History tells us that many kings have given up their kingdom to follow a saint. One who really considers the Word deeply and has the meaning imprinted on his heart, will find that his life runs very smoothly. He is contented and peaceful. His life is full of harmony. Whatever he undertakes, he undertakes with a very positive attitude and will often have success, whereas others may fail. God is the source of all power and well being. The person who realizes the Word of God is truly the blessed one.


7 shabd hamara adi ka, pal-pal karahu yad;
ant phalegi manhali, upar ki sab bad.

Meaning
My Word is from the very beginning; remember it at every moment;
It will bear inner fruit, while all other words are useless.

Commentary
In this sakhi Guru Kabir is saying that the Word that he has realized is from the very beginning and was co-eternal with God. He exhorts us to remember this Word from moment to moment, for it is this Word that gives enlightenment. It allows us to realize our own eternal nature. If we meditate on the Word [Sound] then it will bear fruit within us. That means that our own consciousness will be elevated and enlightened. All other words that we use and think upon are only external, and they will not lead us to the treasure which we seek in spiritual life. Realization of the Self is an inner journey, and all words used in languages are of no use.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prayer of Thanksgiving -- Ancient Vegetarian Meal Mentioned in Gnostic Gospels: Nag Hammadi Library and in the Corpus Hermeticum

Prayer of Thanksgiving -- Ancient Vegetarian Meal Mentioned in Gnostic Gospels: Nag Hammadi Library and in the Corpus Hermeticum

The Manichaeans, the largest Gnostic movement in history, almost became one of the world's major religions and they were vegetarian, as were many Hermetic, Jewish, and Gnostic Christian groups 2,000 years ago. There are Hebrew Gospels which present Jesus and John the Baptist as vegetarians, rather than eating Passover lamb and fish (Jesus) and bugs (John's famous "locusts"). The Hebrew Christians affiliated with James the Just in Jerusalem read vegetarian (Ebionite) gospels reflecting their values, even as the gospels of Paul's version of Roman Christianity reflected the values of that group (including meat-eating).

A really good book on this is, "THE GOSPEL OF JESUS - IN SEARCH OF HIS ORIGINAL TEACHINGS," John Davidson, Clear Press UK.

The following comes from an ancient Egyptian scripture called, "The Prayer of Thanksgiving," one of 50 books unearthed near the village of Nag Hammadi in upper Egypt. Since the same prayer is also found in the Corpus Hermeticum, another Egyptian scripture, I've decided it's useful to include three other Hermetic translations of the last sentence, which further describes the vegetarian nature of the meal.

In Ahimsa, Namaste',

James

The Prayer of Thanksgiving

Translated by James Brashler, Peter A. Dirkse and Douglas M. Parrott

This the prayer that they spoke:

"We give thanks to You!
Every soul and heart is lifted up to You,
undisturbed name, honored with the name 'God'
and praised with the name 'Father',
for to everyone and everything (comes) the fatherly kindness
and affection and love,
and any teaching there may be that is sweet and plain,
giving us mind, speech, (and) knowledge:
mind, so that we may understand You,
speech, so that we may expound You,
knowledge, so that we may know You.
We rejoice, having been illuminated by Your knowledge.
We rejoice because You have shown us Yourself.
We rejoice because while we are in (the) body,
You have made us divine through Your knowledge.

"The thanksgiving of the man who attains to You is one thing:
that we know You.
We have known You, intellectual Light.
Life of life, we have known You.
Womb of every creature, we have known You.
Womb pregnant with the nature of the Father,
we have known You.
Eternal permanence of the begetting Father,
thus have we worshiped Your goodness.

There is one petition that we ask:
we would be preserved in knowledge.
And there is one protection that we desire:
that we not stumble in this kind of life."

When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each
other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in
it.*

* A vegetarian meal. This passage is also found in the Epilogue of
Asclepius, in "HERMETICA," translated by Sir Walter Scott:

"Having prayed thus, let us betake ourselves to a meal unpolluted by
flesh [animalia] of living things."

The G.R.S. Mead translation of the same passage says:
"With this desire we now betake us to our pure and fleshless meal."

"With such hopes we turn to a pure meal that includes no living
thing." (Asclepius, translated in "Hermetica", Brian Copenhaver,
Cambridge University Press)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Tulsi Sahib, Part One

Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Tulsi Sahib, Part One
Tulsi Sahib, Great Grandfather of Modern-day Sant Mat, Part One

Param Sant Tulsi Sahib





Reviewing the Books of Tulsi Sahib

There are two books in English featuring the writings of Sant Tulsi:

***"Param Sant Tulsi Saheb", translated by S.D. Maheshwari:
The Maheshwari family in Agra -- they now have a website:
http://www.radhasoami-faith.info/Books_Frame.shtml
and,

***"Tulsi Sahib -- Saint of Hathras, J.R. Puri & V.K. Sethi:
http://www.scienceofthesoul.org (an RSSB Publication, Mystics of the East Series)

In addition to the publishers websites, they may also be ordered via:
Nataraj Books:
https://www.natarajbooks.com
Banyen Books, Canada:
http://www.banyenbooks.com/KEYWORDS.HTM
Amazon:
http://amazon.com

Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India is the "great grandfather" of modern-day Sant Mat, as most lineages of Masters can be traced back to him. Tulsi was the Master who first coined the term "Sant Mat", meaning, "Teachings of the Saints", as a single term for India's great Saints and bhakti poet-mystics, this great galaxy of Sants of India. He said:

"I now describe what the word 'Sant' means. All those who have attained the Inaccessible are included in the category of Sants.

I have described the status of Sants and sung hymns composed by them. Sants have traversed the path to the Inaccessible region and their soul has attained the Truth or Essence.

"Nanak, Dadu, Dariya Saheb, Mira Bai, Soor Das, Kabir and Nabbaji have all reached the Mystic Sky and have given out the secrets. Their souls have got across and merged there.

"Though their teachings are one and the same, their ways of teaching are different. Indeed, all Sants have proceeded along the same path. All of them ascended along the same Current of Shabd (inner Sound), and got across......

"What Sants have said about Sant Mat is what they saw with their own eyes. They have sung of it in the form of couplets and hymns.....Sants have spoken of the secrets of Shabd and the path on which Surat has to proceed......" ("Param Sant Tulsi Sahib")

The Compositions of Tulsi Sahib: Shabdavali; Ratan Sagar,
Ghat Ramayan and Padma Sagar

"Swami Ji [Sant Radhaswami Sahib] later adopted the same expression, "Sant Mat," in his works. The two Saints thus brought the teachings of all Saints under this comprehensive designation.

"Tulsi Sahib's works consist of Shabdavali; Ratan Sagar, Ghat Ramayan and a small unfinished book called Padma Sagar. Shabdavali is a collection of miscellaneous compositions set to different ragas (scales) of Indian classical music, and deals with various aspects of Sant Mat. Ghat Ramayan and Ratan Sagar have been written in the form of dialogues with disciples and seekers. Ghat Ramayan deals with the various religious doctrines prevalent at that time, and explains their meaning in the light of Sant Mat. Ratan Sagar deals with the mystery of creation, heaven and hell, Kal or the Negative Power, karmas, mind and death. It also sings the glory of perfect Saints and extols the value of their company and satsang. Lastly, it explains how Saints take care of the soul of the disciple when it leaves the body.

"Tulsi Sahib's works include words and expressions of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, the last being the court language. of the time in most of the royal courts in the South. These languages, along with Marathi, must have constituted a part of his education. But, besides these, he has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati, Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many other Saints, he must have traveled widely in V.P., Rajasthan, Gujrat, Punjab and Bihar. But his permanent abode was a hut in the small village of Jogia, situated on the outskirts of Hathras. He lived here until he passed away in 1843 at the age of 80." ("Tulsi Sahib-- Saint of Hathras")

"Tulsi Saheb used to go often to places quite far from Hathras wrapping his body in a blanket and with a stick in hand. He usually used to remain in a state of withdrawal, and in that very state, an incessant flow of utterances concerning the secrets of higher regions used to emanate from his mouth like a babbling stream. Ghat Ramayan, Shabdavali (collection of hymns) and Ratan Sagar are well known works of Tulsi Saheb. Another book which he wrote but remained unfinished is Padam Sagar. All these books were written after Tulsi Sahib's coming to Hathras...............

"Near the above mentioned banyan tree, a stupendous two-storeyed building had been constructed later on by Tulsi Saheb's devotees, which is still there and in which he stayed till he left his mortal coil. In this very building there is a place marked, where Tulsi Saheb used to sit whilst initiating people in Sant Mat. There is also a hemispherical cave where he used to practise Bhajan." ("Param Sant Tulsi Saheb")

There are still active satsangs and ashram centers in Hathras, Bihar, and elsewhere directly connected with Param Sant Tulsi Sahib.

I highly recommend both of these books, which mostly consist of excerpts from the above-mentioned books of Tulsi, which cover all aspects of spiritual journey and meditation practice according to the Sants of India.

In Parts Two and Three of this series on Tulsi, will be additional background information followed by mystic poetry.

In the Light and Sound of the Beloved,

James
Sant Mat Fellowship

From, The Ghat Ramayana, of Tulsi Sahib

They should worship Sat by means of Surat, and this will enable them to reach the regions beyond the sky. They should accept the teachings of Sants.....

I have described in detail Sat Mat with which worldly ways are incompatible. I have tasted the bliss of the original abode which alone is true. The world, on the other hand, is only a fleeting show, and only if one ponders over this, one will be able to realize the essence of Sat Mat and then alone will one's boat of life be able to cross the ocean of worldly existence. Great reverberation of Shabd is going on within, and one should fix one's attention on it and dance with joy.

0 Jiva! Give up all blind adherences and beliefs, concentrate within and seek the Supreme Being there, adopting Him alone as your Isht or goal. Do ponder over what I say and see for yourself with eyes wide open that there is none in this world whom you can call your own. You should adopt the Supreme Being alone as your prop and support. Very strange are the ways of the world, which you will realise if only you can vanquish your mind......

Blessed with the merciful gaze of Satguru I have been able to get Darshan [Vision] of the Invisible (Supreme) Being. My Isht is Sat Purush whose abode is Sat Lok. He is all-mercy and is beyond Triloki. My attention is riveted on His holy feet and I have His Darshan all the time. I have reached the original abode....I have been blessed with Darhsan of the Supreme Being. ("Param Sant Tulsi Saheb", Agra, India)

Tulsi At A Younger Age




Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Presence of Paramhansas (Enlightened Souls) Holds the World Together

The Presence of Paramhansas (Enlightened Souls) Holds the World Together

The purity of these few Paramhansas (Saints of higher order) is all that holds the world together. If they should all die out and leave it, the world would go to pieces. They do good by simply being, and they know it not. They just are.

(Quintessence of Yoga: Secret of All Success, a Santmat-Satsang publication from Maharishi Mehi Ashram, Bhagalpur, India)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Book Review: The Harmony of All Religions

Book Review: The Harmony of All Religions

[Spiritual Awakening]:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SpiritualAwakening
{"Exploring the World of Spirituality, Comparative Religion, Gnostic
Gospels, Hidden or Lost Scriptures, Mysticism, Books, and Music"}

Mixed Media: Book Reviews, Website Reviews, Music Reviews

By James Bean

Copyright October 2006

The Harmony of All Religions

The Author: Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj

345 pages

Publisher: The Way of Sages
http://www.TheWayOfSages.com
( TheWayOfSages.com )

*JPG IMAGE of the Book Cover:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/Harmony.jpg

Veena Howard translated the English edition of this book from India. In the Editor's Note at the beginning she writes: "From this day onward our whole world has changed. The "shock and awe" witnessed by the destruction of the towers has sent shock waves through all the established value systems. The feelings of fear and distrust have numbed the hearts of people worldwide and have paralyzed the sense of clear vision. But time of despair must be taken as an opportunity, an opening to search for new horizons, to re-assess our values, and to understand other cultures and religions. This is exactly what the great sant, Maharishi Shri Santsevi Ji, has sought to accomplish by his book, The Harmony of All Religions. Shri Santsevi Ji Maharaj has been teaching the path of mysticism for many decades and believes in the underlying principles of all prominent world religions."

One of the most impressive books I've ever read on comparative religion and comparative mysticism is, The Harmony of All Religions, taking this study to a whole new level. This newly translated book contains chapters on the Vedic Tradition (Krishna, Gita, Hinduism, bhakti, yoga), Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism/Essenes/Christianity, Islam/Sufism, Sikhism, and the Way of Sages, also known as The Path of the Masters. There is also a biography of the author, as well as an editor's note, which affirms the need for a greater, more in-depth understanding of the great world religions and mysticism in an age of increased global travel and communication.

'Depth' is a word I find myself often using to describe the writings of Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, who resides at the Maharishi Mehi Ashram in Bhagalpur, Bihar District, India. His spiritual discourses on each of the world religions are very scholarly, accurately and eloquently communicating all these "gospels": beautiful and charming accounts of the childhood of Jesus, the enlightenment of Guru Nanak hearing the voice of the One God (Ek Ong Kaar Saat Naam) as he was bathing in the river Bein, Siddhartha leaving the palace, Muhammad's experiences with Allah in the cave of Ghar-e Hira, etc.... providing an in-depth analysis of the sacred texts of these above-mentioned faith-communities, brimming with quotes and footnotes, from not only the well-known world scriptures but lesser-known sacred texts and spiritual classics of the mystics and saints at the heart of these traditions. The chapter on Lord Mahavira and Jainism for instance breaks new ground in the study of a major world religion that has received very little attention in the West. The same can really be said for each of the chapters of this new book on inter-faith studies. The author displays an intimate knowledge of the history, terminology, esoteric writings, and meditation practices used by the various schools of mystics within each of the world religions, often pointing out the shared vision, the common goals and common threads along the way, such as similar ethical principals of ahimsa or non-violence in thought, word, and deed (like the Golden Rule), Dharma, the Eight Limbs of Yoga, Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, chakras, subtle bodies, meditation techniques including the use of mantras, mystical stages of transcendence, Sound-mysticism (Nada Yoga or Yoga of Sound), Light-mysticism (Dristi Yoga or Yoga of Light), the inward journey or ascension to other realms/heavens, jivan mukti or moksha (salvation, liberation of the soul), self (atma) and God (Paramatma) realisation.

The final paragraph of the book summarises the universalist spirit of peace and harmony (as in the harmony of all religions) in the following way: "In different times and different places Saints appear and their followers name their religion according to the Sage or Saint who propounded that tradition. The appearance of differences can be attributed to time, place, and language. This gives rise to various labels for the common views held by all religions. Likewise, due to excessively zealous followers, these seeming differences are often amplified. When all sectarianism and the temporal and linguistic aspects are removed, the basic principles of all the Saints are in accord and the voices of the Saints are in harmony."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Course In Miracles Mysticism

A Course In Miracles Mysticism

By James Bean

Copyright October 2006

The Sufi poet-mystic Rumi once said: "Rise above thy mental horizon, 0 brave soul and listen to the call of Music coming from above." Often the difficulty spiritual seekers face is the very real danger of becoming stuck at one of the lower stages, or getting detoured somewhere along the way. One seemingly becomes unable to break free from the mental prison of one's own making, at the level of theoretical knowledge or belief, even though the original intent of the authors of countless sacred texts has been to guide us from doubt to faith, and from theoretical knowledge to our own direct, personal spiritual experience of the Divine, far beyond the realms of mind and matter. Living Schools of Spirituality, complete with living teachers and students, can be of great assistance to spiritual seekers as they are able to communicate spiritual guidance to their students about all the steps and stages necessary for the inward voyage of the soul on its way back to God. As one such living Master said to his students so very long ago: "What your own eyes cannot see, your human ears do not hear, your physical hands cannot feel, and what is inconceivable to the human mind --- that I will give you!" (The Gospel of Thomas --- Wisdom of the Twin, Lynn Bauman, White Cloud Press)

Mystic-souls can find a vast amount of inspiration and wisdom in the Hebrew scriptures, Quran, New Testament, Jainist Sutras, Gathas of Zoroaster, and countless other world scriptures or spiritual classics, and this can also include, A Course In Miracles.


Meditation in the Silence as a Way to Reach the Other Side of Silence (God)

Meditation in the Bible: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46: 10) For centuries that has been a favorite passage of mystics, Quietists, Quakers, Gnostics, Beguines, Brethren of the Free Spirit, Cathars, and other lovers of the Beloved. An anonymous mystic of the Rhineland once described the process of contemplative meditation this way: "There is a speaking of God in the center of the soul where no creature can enter or speak, for only God lives there and only He speaks. God speaks there when the soul puts aside all thoughts and images of this creation, when she silences her powers and gains a vision into the foundation of her pure essence. In this pure and silent soul God the Father speaks and she hears His Voice." (Book of Spiritual Poverty) Or, as it says in that series of volumes known as, A Course In Miracles: "Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind. Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. You do not live here. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God." (ACIM, Workbook For Students, from Lesson 49) Master Kirpal Singh described meditation in the silence as a literal Doorway or Portal to the Divine Realm of Spirit and Truth: "In silence the heart illumines; veil after veil is removed......The human body is the temple of God. He is waiting there for you. That is why I ask you to look within, with a longing in your heart and silence in your soul. God will reveal himself to you. You will find him --- no, see him ..... God is the Ocean of utmost and restful silence. So long as we cannot have this restful silence within us, the soul cannot listen to the Voice of silence arising out of the greatest depths of Silence. By following that Voice we can reach the Source and Fountainhead of the Great Silence called God and be blessed forever." (The Way of the Saints, Sant Bani Ashram, Sanbornton, New Hampshire)


Meditation is not a new concept in the Western world. It's been with us the entire time. Take this rather Hindu-sounding passage in an extra-canonical scripture composed 2,000 years ago known as the Acts of Peter for example: "Give ear; withdraw your souls from all that appears but is not truly real; close these eyes if yours, close your ears, withdraw from actions that are outwardly seen; and you shall know the reality of Christ and the whole secret of your salvation." (The Other Bible, Willis Barnstone, Harper Collins) In recent times the same inwardly-focused message was reintroduced to many through the volumes of, A Course In Miracles.


A Modern-day Gnostic Gospel

A Course in Miracles was "scribed" through a process of inner dictation, says Dr. Helen Schucman. According to ACIM.org: "A clinical and research psychologist and tenured Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Schucman was assisted by Dr. William Thetford, her department head, who was also a tenured Professor of Medical Psychology at the Medical Center where they both worked. A Course in Miracles was first published in 1975." This Course consists of three volumes: the Text, Workbook for Students, and the Manuel For Teachers. There is a book I think of as a kind of "fourth volume" of the Course called, The Gifts of God, a book of devotional poetry authored by Helen Schucman, and, like the Course, is published by the Foundation For Inner Peace. I think of "the Course" as a kind of modern-day Gnostic gospel, a mystical text that serves to renew the contemplative message for many people, playing the same role of spiritual catalyst or inspiration as revelations from earlier centuries did, such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene or the Book of Pistis Sophia (Faith-Wisdom). Note: A great book comparing the Course with Gnostic spirituality is, Love Does Not Condemn, by Kenneth Wapnick, Foundation For A Course In Miracles.


Seeing the Light Within --- Union With God by Contemplating His Light

George Fox, founder of the Quakers, once said, "The Light of God is within everyone". Mystics, past and present, have often described visions of divine Light beyond the darkness, visible to one who concentrates deeply, reaching "the Single Eye", the eye of the soul. Sometimes mystics describe the Light of the soul as like a brilliant, radiant sun. "There is Light within a person of Light, and it illuminates the entire cosmos." (Gospel of Thomas, in the Nag Hammadi Library found in Egypt) "The Light of one soul is equal to that of sixteen suns!" (Guru Kabir) Some have marveled how such a treasury of Light, a galaxy of souls, can remain so veiled by the human condition in realms of dark matter and overcast skies.

Yet, with another kind of sight we have the potential to discover: "There is a Light that this world cannot give.... This Light will attract you as nothing in this world can do. In shining peace within you is the perfect purity in which you were created. Fear not to look upon the lovely truth in you. Look past darkness to the holy place where you will see the Light." (Text, A Course In Miracles)

"Do not cease seeking day or night until you find the mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which will purify you, make you into pure Light and lead you into the Kingdom of the Light." (Gnostic Book of Pistis Sophia)


Union With God by Contemplating His Sound --- A Melody from Far Beyond the World

"Listen, and see if you remember an Ancient Song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since." (A Course In Miracles)

"Your Voice reminds me of an Ancient Song, it was forgotten. Now I hear it again, a Word I thought had been forever dead. (The Gifts of God)

"Homeless are they
Who would abide alone, apart from Me.
Yet would I call them home. My Voice I send
To sing in soundless places. Hear from Me
The Song a Father sings to you, His child;
A Melody from far beyond the world.
Step back and listen, for He comes to bless
And tell you that you are not comfortless

"I walk in stillness. Where my rest is set
Is Heaven. And the silence of the stars
Sings in a soundless circle. For the Song
Of Heaven is past hearing, and ascends
Beyond the tiny range the ear can catch,
And soars into a spaceless magnitude
Where Sound and silence meet in unity."
(Helen Schucman, The Gifts of God)

Divine Grace compassionately comes to the rescue of souls, busting into worlds of law, time and space. The Divine Light and Sound of the Spirit guides souls safely through the "wilderness" of various planes of creation, so that we may return to this Promised Land or Paradise, the Forgotten Eternal State that is our True Home.


The Soul Wrapped in Garments of Sleep

We are soul wearing a mind, wearing a body. Our true identity is not the body we happen to be wearing; our true identity is soul. We are the Observer, the one who sees the Light and hears the Sound. We are the Life emanating from the Place of Life that powers body and mind.

Repeating an affirmation that "I am free" is a noble beginning perhaps, but we must come to know the reality of this freedom. The goal of mysticism is for us to transcend all these "veils" of creation, bodies and subtle bodies, five senses, mind and matter, and know our Self as soul experientially via a daily spiritual practice (meditation). In our awareness we come to know the foundation of our pure essence. We discover that during our perceived exile in the labyrinth of separateness lost somewhere in time, Truth be told, we are soul and are already in heaven --- we never left! Where else would the soul, the child of the Father, be other than the soul-realm, the Place of Life? This is the Secret of Secrets.

Kabir says, "You have slept for millions of years. This morning, will you not wake?" Give birth to yourself in the womb of silence. Close your eyes, see and hear within, "rise above thy mental horizon", examine yourself, discover who you really are, know, come to be.

"Gone is the dream. Awake, My child, in love." (The Gifts of God)

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep." (Rumi, Sufi Master)

"Within a Radiance prepared for you
Before time was and far beyond its reach,
Be still and know.
(The Gifts of God)

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