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)

////////

Friday, October 20, 2006

Satsang Discourse: The True Temple Within

Satsang Discourse: The True Temple Within

A Living Master initiates his/her students into the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God:

"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!"

-- "Yeshua the Living Master" (First Century AD),
the new Lynn Bauman translation of the Gospel of Thomas:
The Gospel of Thomas---Wisdom of the Twin, White Cloud Press

Wandering

"One may go to Mathura, Kashi, Dwarika or Haridwar, Jagannath; one may travel on a pilgrimage to all these places; but so long as one does not come in contact with true Saints, so long as one does not sing in praise of God, visiting these holy places will bear no meaning; one shall never be able to attain the state of quietude."

-- 1008 Kabir Vani, The Saakhis of Kabir, Manoj Publications, Delhi: http://www.ManojPublications.com

Satsang Discourse: The True Temple Within

By Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj,
The Harmony of All Religions
(a book on Sant Mat, inter-faith studies
and comparative religion)

The Inner Sacred Place

How are we to understand this Allah? The Koran says Allah is compassionate and merciful. All the saints say that we must seek the One. To know Allah it is not necessary to wander anywhere. To find Him, simply look within.

A Fakir has said:

"Man is oblivious to the fact of God's all pervasive and mysterious nature. The Prophet Muhammad is visible, but God is not visible with these eyes."

If you want to find Allah (Khuda) you must turn within. He will not be found outside and therefore, you must make your heart pure and keep the heart clean in order to invite the Divine guest within.

Another Fakir has said:

"Purify the heart to invite the presence of God. Leave aside thoughts of others if you want to seat God within. One heart with many worldly desires leaves no room for God. Then, there is no place for the Divine to sit in such a heart. It is heartbreaking that you go to the man-made temples and mosques, but God is only found in the inner mosque-in the pure heart."

Sa'd al-din Mahmud Shabistari (1250 - 1320), one of the most celebrated authors of Persian Sufism, also writes:

"Go sweep out the chamber of your heart. Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved. When you depart out, He will enter it. In you, void of yourself, will He display His beauties."

We go to temples, mosques, churches and we build these fine structures. They become places of worship and are places to sit quietly and remember God. However, God does not live in the temple, church or mosque. The Divine temple of God is the body. The Body is the mosque and within we will find Allah.


True Prayer

Once we have understood the true place of worship, we can now discuss the true nature of prayer. We say prayers, but, what is a prayer in reality?

A Muslim poet says:

"True prayer is bringing joy, to sick and suffering beings. True prayer is giving refuge to one who has no refuge. We have learned from touching the mentor's holy feet (learning under their tutelage), that if you desire to find God, you must know yourself (your own true nature)."


The Divine Unity of the Soul and Allah

Until we know ourselves, we will not be able to find God. The moment we know our self is the moment that we will find God. At that time, God will not be lost from us. That moment of self realization is the same moment that we will have God realization. A great Sufi, Sa'd al-din Mahmud Shabistari, eloquently states:

"What are "I" and "You"? Just lattices in the niches of a lamp through which the One Light radiates. I and You are the veil between heaven and earth; Lift this veil and you will see how all sects and religions are one."


Praise, Prayer, and Meditation

There are three important requirements to be met in the practice of a person who pursues devotion to the Divine and seeks to attain liberation. First is praise; second is prayer; and third is meditation. We know that when we are indebted to someone, we should express our gratitude and appreciation. God has blessed us bountifully. Although we are unable to repay God for his generous blessings, we can acknowledge this goodness by chanting praises about the Divine Being. When we exalt God through song, we declare the glories of the Divine. In doing this, we remember the grandeur of God. As a natural result, our faith in God increases ...... Thus, it is through praise that we extol the divine powers of God and draw our mind toward God .....

Prayer and invocation are not merely concerned with the mindless muttering of requests, but rather, prayer should be the voice of our heart. God always listens to the one who calls out with a pure heart.

"Lift this veil and you will ask "I" and "You" do not exist. What is mosque? What is synagogue? What is fire temple?"

We should carefully consider that it is impossible to see God with the physical eyes.

Sant Kabir Sahib says:

"You cannot see God with the physical eyes. You must see God with the eyes of the soul. And, He who has seen his soul has seen God."

If one is able to recognize a drop of water, then he will be able to recognize the water of a small pot, the water of a big vessel, the water in a well, river water, and the water of a vast ocean. He/she will then be able to see the same water in whatever form it appears. In the same way, the one who has recognized the true nature of his soul will see an elephant, a horse, a bull, a camel, a human, and even animate and inanimate creation, all as the one God. There will be no question of different castes or religions.


How to Experience the Divine Within

The question now emerges, how can we recognize this soul and God within? In order to do this, we must use specific techniques. First, one must experience the Divine light, and then one can listen to the inner Divine Sound. The Koran addresses this:

"Those who have faith in Allah, then Allah is their protector and helper. Allah takes them from darkness to light." .....

If you want to get a glimpse of the divine light---the celestial form of the Divine---the aspirant may then ask: "What kind of path is this, and have others traveled this path?"

The Fakirs assure us that this path has been well traveled, and many sages and mystics---Mansur, Sarmad, Shams, Bu Ali, and others---have traversed its road. This is the path of pure devotion and love of the Divine, and it is not a difficult path.

Where then would we find the light of God?

Sant Kabir Sahib says:

"My prophet (the Divine light) lives in my eyes. When I focus between my eye brows I see the light of the Divine. I live in this inner space of my heart where resounds the celestial music of stringed instrument. My Beloved is always with me and takes me to the Palace of the Divine Sound."

Amir Khusro, a Muslim poet, writes:

"With the blessing of my teacher Khwaja I went to the Ganga River. There I saw the great Guru Swami Ramanand. He blessed me with his grace, and my heart became pure. The radiance of God manifested in my purified heart."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji said:

"0 Feeble Disciples! Take refuge in Guru. Go, get the key to this (spiritual) gate from an accomplished teacher if you want to open this tenth gate, the gateway to the spiritual realms. None other has the key to open this gate."

How do we see that inner light? The answer: When you have the grace of a pure spiritual teacher. Khwaja Sahib, a Muslim Fakir, says that just as Muhammad went from Mecca to Medina, in the same way we have to leave the nine gates of the body and enter in to the tenth gate. This is the door to the divine realms (ajna chakra). It is the practice of piercing the ajna chakra (the third eye, between the two eye-brows).

Now we live as slaves in the nine gated body. The gates are the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, the mouth, and two organs of excretion. We are living in this nine gated body.

Saint Radha Swami, who lived in Agra, wrote:

"This body is permeated with darkness. We are under an illusion and we are deluded. Now we should search within for light and leave this nine gated body."

To repeat, as long as we live in the nine gated body we live in darkness. We must leave the nine gates and go through the tenth gate. How do we go from darkness to light, and what is the means for accomplishing this? This is only possible if an accomplished guru teaches us the path of escape from the darkness. Otherwise, we will remain in darkness.

As you open this gate you will be immersed in the Divine light of God. When you leave the nine gated body and go through the tenth gate, then you will go from darkness to light, and from untruth to truth. When you are able to see this divine light then you will begin to hear the divine inner sounds. This inner sound can not be heard with the physical ears, but only with the inner spiritual ears.

A Sufi Fakir, Yunus Emre has written:

"We entered the house of realization, we witnessed the body. The whirling skies, the many-layered earth, the seventy-thousand veils, we found in the body. The night and the day, the planets, the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets, the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple, and Israel's trumpet, we observed in the body. Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Koran---what these books have to say, we found in the body. Everybody says these words of Yunus are true. Truth is wherever you want it. We found it all within the body.

Communion or Meditation Practice

The practices of praise and prayer---glorification and invocation---are followed by communion through the practices of contemplation and meditation. The Sanskrit word upasana literally means sitting near God. The Saints distinguish four categories of upasana. The four basic practices are Manas japa ---Simran---Remembrance or the chanting of God's Name, Manas dhyana---contemplating the form of the Master, Dristi sadhana ---The Yoga of Light, and Nada-nusandhana---The Yoga of Sound.

[To be continued.....]

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Essence of Buddha's Teaching

Essence of Buddha's Teaching

The Buddha emphasized that the middle path is the most desirable path. To have pure conduct one must avoid both of the extreme paths: intense austerities and sensual pleasures. The Buddha condemned violent acts such as animal sacrifices. He also spoke out against needless rituals, self-claimed superiority of the pundits (priest class) and Brahmans, and the inequity of the caste system. He advocated a path that was pure, simple and based on the principles of moral conduct. By treading this path, humans can attain freedom and be rid of the cycle of birth and death.

Buddhism teaches a path based on the four noble truths:

1. In this world there is suffering.
2. This suffering has a cause.
3. There is a way (cure) to become free from suffering.
4. The eightfold path is prescribed to attain freedom.

In order to escape the cycle of death and birth and the suffering of the world a human should follow the eight fold path. This eightfold path is as follows:

1. Right view
2. Right intent
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right vigilance (Mindfulness)
8. Right Samadhi (Concentration)

The essence of Buddha's teaching is as follows:

1. Do not criticize others. Do not speak ill of others.
2. Do not commit any kind of violence.
3. Control yourself by choosing right moral conduct.
4. Eat in moderation.
5. Live in solitude.
6. Yoke the mind to meditation (Yoga).

-- Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj,
The Harmony of All Religions

Inner Sound Meditation in Buddhism

Absence of sound is not the end of hearing,
And sound when present is not its beginning.
The faculty of hearing, beyond creation
And annihilation, truly is permanent.
Even when isolated thoughts in a dream arise,
Though the thinking process stops, hearing does not end,
for the faculty of hearing is beyond
All thought, beyond both mind and body.....

Ananda and all you who listen here
Should inward turn your faculty
Of hearing to hear your own nature
Which alone achieves Supreme Bodhi.
That is how enlightenment is won.
Buddhas as many as the Ganges' sand
Entered this one gateway to Nirvana.
(The Surangama Sutra: Selections from the
Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu Translation,
Published by Rider and Company, London)

How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara [Quan Yin]! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid. (Surangama Sutra, A Buddhist Bible, Dwight Goddard, Beacon Press)

As you calm down, you can experience the Sound of Silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that Sound of Silence, it's a sign of emptiness — of silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another.

This process of putting one condition on top of another is what is meant by making 'kamma'. For example, if you're feeling angry, then you start thinking of something else to get away from the anger. You don't like what is going on over here, so you look over there, you just run away. But if you have a way of turning from conditioned phenomena to the unconditioned, then there is no kind of kamma being made, and the conditioned habits can fade away and cease. It's like a 'safety hatch' in the mind, the way out, so your kammic formations, "sankharas", have an exit, a way of flowing away instead of recreating themselves.

One problem with meditation is that many people find it boring. People get bored with emptiness. They want to fill up emptiness with something. So recognize that even when the mind is quite empty, the desires and habits are still there, and they will come and want to do something interesting. You have to be patient, willing to turn away from boredom and from the desire to do something interesting and be content with the emptiness of the Sound of Silence..................You can turn to the emptiness of the mind-- to the Sound of Silence. This gives the conditions like anger a way out to cessation; you let it go away.

-- The Sound Of Silence -- by Ajahn Sumedho:
http://www.4ui.com/eart/188eart1.htm

Surangama Sutra, from Kirpal Singh's book, Naam Or Word:
http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/naam/naam_b1_evidence1.htm#Buddhism

QuanYin, Extract from the "Surangama Sutra":
http://www.universelle-lehre.de/vierwege.htm

The secret meditation - technique of the "Golden Ears":
http://www.universelle-lehre.de/vierwege.htm#enc

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Sound that Comes from God that Takes Us Back To God

The Sound that Comes from God that Takes Us Back To God

In the Beginning was the Song of the Creator, Shabd, Word, Logos, the Tao, Naam, Saunt-i Sarmad -- The Audible Life Stream


"The Shabd is the basis of all true religions, for religion means 'that which connects us with the Lord'. All forces of nature are sustained by the Shabd. The Life Force is also its manifestation, even though it is working in the regions of maya. Like electricity, Shabd, whether manifest or unmanifest, pervades everywhere. It is all-powerful and is the Creator of all. In the scriptures of all religions, Shabd is recognized as the Creator of the universe."

-- Huzur Baba Sawan Singh, "Philosophy of the Masters", abridged edition


Inner Peace by Meditating and Becoming One with the Sound Current

"Desire is the root cause of all disturbance and suffering. You will become desireless by regular listening to the holy Sound Current for some time. It is considered the tried panacea for that. It is the mergence of the soul in the Holy Shabd which grants such ineffable bliss and harmony, that the roots of desire are crippled for good."

-- Sant Kirpal Singh. "Sat Sandesh" magazine


Transcendental Sound Meditation -- Quan Yin, in Buddhism

"How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara [Quan Yin]! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid."

-- Buddha, Surangama Sutra, "A Buddhist Bible", Dwight Goddard, Beacon Press


The Sound Beyond the Silence is Something to Hang Onto During Meditation

"As you calm down, you can experience the sound of silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency sound, a ringing sound that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that sound of silence, it's a sign of emptiness - of silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another."

-- Ajahn Sumedho, from, "The Sound of Silence"


The Sound that Eminates from God also Leads us Back to God -- Surat Shabd Meditation -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation

"The Yoga of Sound is the highest and final practice of Sant Mat. In Sufism this is known as sultan-u-la-jakar. By practicing this form of meditation the practitioner realizes the Supreme Lord and becomes united with the Divine.

"When the aspirant practices the Yoga of Light he/she leaves the darkness and enters the realm of light. There the soul begins to hear the numerous divine sounds.

"There are five inner realms: gross, Subtle, Causal, Supra-causal and Kevalya. There is a specific sound at the center of each realm. These constitute the five central sounds.

"With reference to these sounds Kabir Sahab says: 'The five different kinds of sounds reverberate within, and thirty six kinds of divine melodies are also found within.'

"Guru Nanak says: 'There resound five kinds of sound.'

"Maharishi Mehi Paramhans Ji says: 'Five celestial melodies resound within. Listen to each of these.'

[Note: The sounds to listen for are revealed at the time of Initiation into the meditation practice, Surat Shabd Yoga.]

"In fact the sound possesses a quality that attracts the attention of the listener. Every central sound flows from the highest realm downward to the lower realm and then directly connects to the center of that realm. The aspirant enters the process by attending to the sound of the gross realm, centering, and then following that sound as it leads to the realm above, which is the Subtle realm. Upon reaching the Subtle realm, the sound of the Causal realm is experienced. This sound will eventually draw the practitioner from the Subtle to the Causal realm. And so the aspirant proceeds until reaching the highest realm, progressively catching increasingly subtle and powerful inner sounds in order to proceed to the realm immediately higher.

"In the final stages of this practice, the aspirant goes beyond the veil of material creation and reaches the realm of Kevalya. This is where the soul comes to experience the Divine. But even in this realm there is a thin veil, and complete union with the Divine is not yet possible. Upon acquiring the final essential sound in Kevalya, the soul ascends upward to the Absolute Soundless State. There the soul becomes one with the Divine."

-- Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj of Bhagalpur India, a Living Master in the Sant Mat lineage of Tulsi Sahib, on The Yoga of Sound (Nadan-u-sandhana), in his new book, "The Harmony of All Religions", from Chapter Seven: "Santmat", Published by Maharishi Mehi Ashram, Bhagalpur India, Bihar Dist.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

7 Teachings of Sant Mat

7 Teachings of Sant Ma

7 Teachings of Sant Mat, The Path of the Masters


*1) There is God.

*2) God is Love.

*3) All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.

*4) Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.

*5) During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.

*6) As we experience communing with God's love during meditation -- Surat Shabd Yoga, we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the "Kingdom of the Heavens" that are within us. "We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless state." (Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love (Anurag Sagar, God, Ram, Radhasoami, Radha Soami, Radhaswami, Paramatma, Anadi Purush).

*7) As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: "It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth." (Adi Granth) Kabir says: "For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?"


Friday, October 06, 2006

Recommended Reading: Anurag Sagar and Other Dharamdasi Books, the Dialogue Between Master and Disciple

Recommended Reading & Listening: Anurag Sagar of Dharamdas & Kabir

Anurag Sagar -- The Ocean of Love,
an Epic Poem Used by the Dharamdasis
and Other Branches of Sant Mat


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.}

Anurag Sagar and Sant Mat

The Ocean of Love -- The Anurag Sagar,
Edited by Russell Perkins,
Published By Sant Bani Books,
Sanbornton, New Hampshire
http://www.santji.allegre.ca/Book-list_March2005.pdf


Russell Perkins: Anurag Sagar occupies a very unusual place in the literature of the Masters; it is at once one of the most venerated and least known of all esoteric books. It is the Masters themselves who venerate it, and they have often made use of it in one way or another; they themselves are able to read it, but most of their disciples know it only by hearsay, mostly because it is written in the pre-Hindi dialect called Braj which, according to the leading modern scholar on Kabir, had "already by Kabir's time. . .become the lyrical language par excellence" but which is extremely difficult for modern Indians to read; it relates to Hindi as spoken today somewhat as Chaucerian or Middle English relates to our language. There are also problems of interpretation: as with other mythopoeic treatments of these themes (particularly those of Blake, who of all Western writers is closest to Kabir both in spirit and in poetic genius) the poem is dense, at times enigmatic, and always demanding; so that to understand it fully without an authoritative commentary is not easy....

....The alert reader of Swami Ji's Sar Bachan or the books of Sant Kirpal Singh will notice many points of contact. Tulsi Sahib devoted a major portion of one of his principal books to a detailed commentary on certain aspects of the poem. Baba Jaimal Singh considered it to be the most authoritative book on the teachings of the Masters as the following account by his disciple and successor Sawan Singh shows:

"On the fourth day I went to attend Satsang. Baba Ji [Baba Jaimal Singh] was at that time explaining the meaning of Jap Ji Sahib. Well, I started my volley of questions-so much so that the audience got tired and began to feel restless at the large number of questions I had put . . . Now he wanted to point out the way, but I had read Vedanta. When I read Gurbani, my opinion was different; when I read Gita my opinion was again different, and I was unable to come to a decision. At last I applied for eight days leave to enable me to study the teachings of Baba Ji. He advised me to read Kabir Sahib's Anurag Sagar. I immediately ordered eight copies of this book from Bombay so that I could also give some to my friends. . .

"After several conferences with Baba Ji, I was thoroughly convinced and received initiation from him on the 15th day of October in 1894."

That Baba Sawan Singh continued to hold Anurag Sagar in high regard after he became Master is shown by the following account, written by one of his secretaries:

"Hazur [Baba Sawan Singh] one day told Seth Vasdev, whose car is always at Hazur's disposal, that he should read Kabir Sahib's Anurag Sagar (The Ocean of Intense Love). Hazur said that without studying it, one cannot fully understand the difference between Kal (the negative power) and Dayal Mat (the Path of the true and Merciful God), nor can one fully grasp the teachings of Sant Mat.'" (Rai Sahib Munshi Ram, "With the Three Masters", Vol. 2, p.187)

_____

Some Reflections About the Anurag Sagar

In dozens of Sant texts used in the Kabir line of Masters, Kabir symbolises the universal Master, and his gurumukh disciple Dharamdas represents all satsangis or initiates. These texts feature a dialgoue between student and Master, Q and A sessions between "Kabir" and "Dharamdas" that provide the spiritual seeker much insight about how to live the teachings of the Masters. They also motivate the initiate to do simran (Remembrance of God), the mental repetition of God's Name(s), and to meditate upon the Sound Current every day in order to abide in the protection and grace of the Positive Power that defeats Kal (the universal mind, negative power, the Gnostic false god known as the Demiurge) in the lower worlds of illusion.

"The Anurag Sagar of Kabir" is an epic poem attributed to Guru Kabir that probably was authored by Sant Dharamdas or someone in the Dharamdasi branch of the Kabir lineage after the time of Kabir. It is a faithful presentation of the teachings of the Masters including Kabir. Anurag Sagar has become a great spiritual classic of the East, a kind of Sant Mat "Book of Genesis" or "Gospel" of the Four Yugas of time, vast epochs referred to as: Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga.

The out-of-this-world mysticism of the Masters, including the teachings found in the Anurag Sagar, has been called "Esoteric Santism" by Professor Mark Juergensmeyer in his book, "Radhasoami Reality," Princeton University Press. "Esoteric Santism" is his term for the very developed, detailed decriptions of the experience of inner heavenly regions, the heaven-ascending mysticism practiced by a certain branch of the Kabir lineage known as the Dharamdasis, also by Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar and his spiritual successors, Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Swami Ji Maharaj of Agra, Huzur Maharaj of Agra, and Sant Mat Masters in certain lineages up to the present time.

Anurag Sagar MP3 Satsangs Online and Related Kabir-Dharamdas Literature

Many have requested information about the Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love), a beautiful dialogue between Kabir and Sant Dharamdas. Below are links to sites containing the Anurag Sagar as MP3 Satsangs by Russell Perkins, also two different English translations of the Anurag Sagar online. In addition to those, I have included links to excerpts of other related books of Kabir and Dharamdas from the Kabir lineage, lesser-known works of great eloquence such as Sukh Niddn, Amar Mul, and, the Brahm Nirupan. I also have included a link to a beautiful collection of satsang prayers in the Dharamdasi tradition. Some of those include dialogue between Kabir and Sant Dharamdas.

In the Light and Sound of the Beloved,

James
Sant Mat Fellowship


MP3 Satsangs Online Based on the Anurag Sagar, by Russell Perkins

*New File: Anurag Sagar Tape 1 (in MP3 format)

Contains complete "Prologue" and begins "The Story of Creation" to the point where Kal wants to begin his creation. (Pages 3-25).

Reading and Commentary by Russell Perkins

MP3 of Anurag Sagar tape 1:
(90 minutes)
file size: 40 MB

1) Left click on the links below, and a download page will come up.
2) Then right click on the link in the middle of the download page, to save the file to your hard drive:
http://www.archive.org/stream/JamesBeanAnuragSagarOne/AnuragSagar1.mp3



**New File: Anurag Sagar Tape 2 (in MP3 format)

Continues "The Story of Creation" with the conclusion of "The Fall of Kal" and begins "The Creation of the Lower Worlds" to the point where Brahma is interrupted on his quest to find his father. (Pages 25-50).

Reading and Commentary by Russell Perkins

MP3 of Anurag Sagar tape 2:
(90 minutes)
file size: 42 MB
http://www.archive.org/stream/JamesBeanAnuragSagarTwo/AnuragSagar2.mp3



***New File: Anurag Sagar Tape 3 (in MP3 format)

Concludes "The Creation of the Lower Worlds" and continues through a large part of "Kal Traps the Jivas."
(book text: pages 50-80, or pages 34-64 from the online
PDF file: http://www.mediaseva.org/Anurag-02-Creation.pdf


Reading and Commentary by Russell Perkins

MP3 of Anurag Sagar Tape 3:
(90 minutes)
file size: 41 MB
http://www.archive.org/stream/JamesBeanAnuragSagarThree/AnuragSagar3.mp3



****New File: Anurag Sagar Tape 4 (in MP3 format)

Finishes "Kal Traps the Jivas" and contains "The Coming of Kabir" through the first two ages, and part way into the story of Queen Indra Mati, in the third age. (book text: pages 80-118)

Reading and Commentary by Russell Perkins

MP3 of Anurag Sagar tape 4:
(90 minutes)
file size: 41 MB
http://www.archive.org/stream/JamesBeanAnuragSagarFour/Anuragsagar4.mp3



WRITINGS ONLINE

*Anurag Sagar, Sant Bani Edition Online:
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/anurag.html

*and at:
http://www.geocities.com/anulbird/anuragindex.html


*Excerpts from the Brahmn Nirupan, Anurag Sagar, and Amar Mul:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship/message/2071


**The Brahm Nirupan of Kabir and Sant Dharamdas:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KABIR/message/61

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KABIR/message/77


*Amar Mul:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KABIR/message/51

*More from Amar Mul of Kabir and Dharamdas:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship/message/2055


*Kabir SATSANG BOOK OF PRAYERS:
http://www.members.shaw.ca/kabirweb/bookofPrayers.htm


*The Tarn Taran Edition of the Anurag Sagar Online:
http://www.aors-dbbs.org/enter/books/anurag-sagar1/asp1pre001.htm


*Dariya Sahib, Saint of Bihar is believed by some to have been a reincarnaiton of Kabir. In any case, the style of his mystic poetry and hymns is very much in the tradition of the Anurag Sagar. For posts about Dariya, including about his writings as well as the Sant Dariya Sahib Website, see:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship/msearch?query=dariya&charset=windows-1252