Saturday, March 29, 2008

Journey to the Realm Beyond Suns and Moons, Nights or Days

Journey to the Realm Beyond Suns and Moons, Nights or Days

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[English rendering of Hindi translation, by Maharshi Santsewi ji Paramhans (1920-2007), of a verse composed by Sant Kabir Sahab, excerpted from the August 2005 edition of the Hindi Monthly "Shanti Sandesh" (Message of Peace) published from Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppa Ghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India -812 003.


- English Translation by Pravesh K. Singh (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh ) ]


Original Verse:

"Kahaun us desh kee batiyaan, jahaan nahi hot din ratiyaan ||1||

Naheen ravi Chandra au taaraa, naheen unjiaar andhiaaraa ||2||
Naheen tanh pavan au paanee, gaye vahi des jin jaanee ||3||
Naheen tanh dharani aakaasha, karai koi sant tanh vaasaa ||4||
Uhaan gam kaal kee naaheen, tahaan nahi dhoop aur chhaaheen ||5||
Na jogee jog se dhyaavai, na tapasee deh jaravaavai ||6||
Sahaj me dhyaan se paavai, surati kaa khel jehi aavai ||7||
Sohangam naad nahi bhaaee, na baajai sankh shahnaaee ||8||
Nihachchhar jaap tanh jaapai, uthat dhun sunna se aapai ||9||
Mandir me deep bahu baaree, nayan binu bhaee andhiyaaree ||10||
Kabeeraa des hai nyaaraa, lakhai koi raam kaa pyaaraa ||11||"


Translation


I describe: ||1||
There is no Sun, Moon or stars there, neither is darkness or light. ||2||

No air or water exists there; only those who have reached there know of (that realm). ||3||
Neither is the Earth there nor is the sky, that land is inhabited by Sants (who have accomplished Self-Realisation and have become one with Him). ||4||
Time has no access there, nor do the sunshine and shade exist there. ||5||
(That land) is not attainable through
"hathayoga" by (hath) yogis, nor by "tapasis" (ascetics or performers of austere devotion) who burn (trouble or hurt) their bodies in the fire of "panchaagni" or "Panchadhuni" (ascetic practices or self-mortification). ||6||
Those who know the art (right way) of reverting their
"surat" inwardly from the outer world, can get there (to that land) easily through dhyan-yoga (inner meditation). ||7||
O Dear Brother! Even
"sohangam naad" does not play there, nor are heard the sounds of conch or great pipe (because that realm is "nihshabd" or Soundless). ||8||
There
"nihakshara" is spontaneously chanted (without any conscious chanting), and the primeval Sound naturally emanates out of the void. ||9||
This temple (body), which God has filled with divine Light, has become full of darkness for lack of the eye (the inner vision or sight). ||10||
Strange is that country, says Kabir, and is perceived by only a dear devotee of God (who practices inner meditation having learnt the right technique from a true Guru). ||11||


Commentary:


Sant Kabir Sahab was not a linguist or scholar, but his experiential verses are very much in agreement with the Vedas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and the sayings/discourses of other sants. Certain such references are produced below for reflection by the learned:


"Na mrityuraaseedamritam na tarhi na raatraa ahna aaseetpraketah |
Aaneedavaatam swadhayaa tadekam tasmaaddhaanyanna param kim chanaas ||" (Rig Veda Samhita, Mantra 25)


[Then (that time) death did not occur nor was the "amrit" (elixir or the nectar) there, that is, there was neither life nor the absence of it; neither the awareness of night nor day. The true nature of that entity was the vital life force, but it was not the `sthool vayu' (gross air). He was equipped only with his own power to hold or sustain the world or creation. There did not exist then any other matter subtler than Him.]

"Na tatra sooryyo bhaati na chandrataarakam nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoayamagnih |

Tamev bhaantamanubhaati sarvam tasya bhaasaa sarvamidam vibhaati ||"
(Kathopanishad Chapter 2, Valli 2, Shloka 15)


[In that world neither does the Sun shine, nor do the moon and stars. Even the lightning does not show up there, what to talk of the fire! Everything glows through His Light, everything is seen through His Light.]


"Na tadbhaasate sooryo na shashaanko na paavakah |
yadgatvaa na nivartante taddhaam paramam mam ||
(Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, Chapter 15)



[Neither the sun, moon nor fire can illuminate that Self-illumined One. Mine is that realm, the Absolute Kingdom, going where one does not have to come back or return (to this world).]


Jhilmil jhilakai chandu na taaraa |
Sooraj kirani na bijulee gainaaraa ||
(Guru Nanak, Maaru Mahalaa 1)


[The Moon does not shine there nor do glitter the Sun, stars or lightning.]


"Jahaan chand nahi soor jahaan nahi jagamag taare|
Jahaan nahi traidev trigun maayaa nahi laare ||
Jahaan veda nahi bhed jahaan nahi joga jagya tap |
Jahaan pavan nahi dharani agin nahi jahaan gagan ap ||
Jahaan raat nahi diwas hai paap punya nahi vyaapaee |
Aadi ant aru Madhya hai, kahai Charandas brahma aap hee ||
(Sant Charandas ji)


[Where there are no Moon, Sun and glistening stars; where there are no trinity of gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and play of the three gunas (three gunas namely `sat', `raj' and `tam'). Where there are no Vedas, no dichotomy, no Yoga, no `yajna' (religious sacrifice and oblation) and `tap' (asceticism). No air, land, fire, sky (space) and water subsist there. No cycles of days and nights there. No sins or virtuosity. There is no beginning, middle and end of that. There Brahma and Brahma alone exists.]

As per a story in "Bahiyasutta" in the book titled "Udaan" a monk named Bahiya is said to have attained nirvana. Throwing light on the concept of nirvana, Lord Buddha says,


"Yattha aapo cha pathavee, tejo vaayo na gaadhati | Na tattha sukkaa jotanti, aadichcho na pakaasati ||
Na tatha chandimaa bhaasati, tamo tattha na vijjatee | Yadaa cha attanaa vedi, muni monen braahmano |
Atha roopaa aroopa cha, sukh dukkhaa pamuchchati ||


[That is Nirvana where there is no room for water, earth, fire and air. Stars do not twinkle there, nor does shine the Sun. Though there is no moon-light there, there is not any darkness over there. When a muni (hermit) or a Brahmin becomes silent (still), he automatically knows Him (God) and becomes free of the dichotomy of form & formlessness, pleasure & pain.]

Sant Paltoo Sahab also opines,


"Jahavaan dharatee naahi akaasaa |
Chaand suruj naahi paragaasaa ||
Jahavaan Brahmaa Vishnu na jaahee |
Das avataar na tahaan samaahee ||

Jahavaan pavan jaay nahi paanee |
Ved Kiteb maram naa jaanee ||
Aadi joti naa basai niranjan |
Jahavaan shoonya shabd nahi ganjan ||
Nirankaar naa uhaan akaaraa |
Satya shabd naahi vistaaraa ||"


[Where there is no earth and sky, the moon and the sun do not emit light. There are no Brahmaa, Vishnu or the ten incarnations there. Air or water does not have a reach there. Vedas or other scriptures can't know Him. No light glitters there; sound does not buzz in that land. That place is beyond all form or formlessness or even the essential Sound.]

Listen what does Sant Keshavdas ji have to say on nirvana, "That is the position of Nirvana, the highest or the absolute realm, where there is no scintillating light, no Sun, no Moon, no states of day & night."

Sant Tulsi Sahab of Hathras proved the rank of nirvana to be beyond all sorts of fetters. Narrating his own experience he states,


"Fand faadi baaher gaee, laee jo sataguru baanh |
Jahaan dhoop ravi sasi nahi, Tulsi pahunche taanh ||"


[Holding on gratefully to the gracious hands of blessings of my Sataguru I came out tearing all the trappings and reached unto where there is no sunshine, no Moon or Sun.]





Saturday, March 22, 2008

We are Heavenly Swans (Hamsas) Journeying back to the Beloved

We are Heavenly Swans (Hamsas) Journeying back to the Beloved


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He, who carries on the practice of the true Sound,
Beholds the Truth from the beginning to the end
within his body.
By realizing the true Sound with rapt attention,
He attains the status of a pure swan.
Such a devotee reaches the Immortal Abode,
And there he sees mysterious and wondrous sights. (Sant Dariya Sahib)


The image of the swan is used in poetry and hymns of Sants to represent the soul, a heavenly being of Light, a hamsa. In Sant Mat Mysticism the hamsa or hansa is a soul that has been baptised in the Lake of Nectar and finds Its Original Nature restored -- then it continues it's upward ascent eventually reaching the Fifth Plane or Sat Lok. The Sants (souls have that reached the Fifth Plane or Above and are in Union with God) have composed, and continue to compose, descriptions of the Inner Regions, usually in the form of hymns (kirtans, banis, bhajans) and mystic-poems, including about hansas in Sat Lok or Sach Khand (True Eternal Realm of Timeless Pure Spirit). We are all hansas or hansas-to-be as we journey back to the Beloved, the Ocean of Love and Oneness.






We are destined to become Hansas -- Birds of Heaven







A Hansa is ........

Hansa: A white swan; esoterically, a soul purified by Shabd [the Holy Stream of Light and Sound]. In Indian spiritual literature, a hansa is symbolic of grace and purity; it is believed that the natural drink of a swan is milk or nectar (amrit), and its natural food is pearls, diamonds and rubies, which signify Shabd. It is further believed that the beak of a swan has the unique ability to drink milk (nectar) after filtering out the dirty water or poison of maya with which it is mixed. As long as a soul is conditioned by karma and dominated by mind and matter, it is an ugly crow. Its transformation into a swan begins in Daswan Dwar, where, in the process of its spiritual enlightenment, it sheds its gross coverings. The process culminates in Sach Khand, the region of immortality. Soami Ji generally refers to all souls in Daswan Dwar and beyond as hansas, but he has also occasionally used the term for devoted disciples who are on their way to becoming swans.



O Swan-Soul, Where Are You Going?

Swan, I'd like you to tell me your whole story!
Where you first appeared, and what dark sand you are going toward,
and where you sleep at night, and what you are looking for…

It's morning, swan, wake up, climb in the air, follow me!
I know of a country that spiritual flatness does not control,
— nor constant depression,
and those alive are not afraid to die.
There, wildflowers come up through the leafy floor,
and the fragrance of “I am He” floats on the wind.

There the bee of the heart stays deep inside the flower,
and cares for no other thing.

– Version by Robert Bly, The Kabir Book, Beacon Press



Sar Bachan Mystic-Poetry of Swami Ji

"When it traverses this plane (of the Rotating Cave), it attains to the outpost (naaka) of Sattlok, whence flows the sound Satt Satt and Haq Haq, emanating from the harp. Hearing this sound, the spirit getting ecstatic goes on piercing and penetrating into the higher sphere and from there the view of golden and silvery streams and rivulets, full of the limpid water of life (aab-i-zulal) and huge gardens of which every tree seems 10,000,000 jojans high, and where instead of fruits and flowers, millions and billions of suns and moons hang from their branches. Innumerable spirits and hamsas sing and blissfully warble on these trees. The spectacle and sight of this sphere is marvellous and indeed ineffable. Seeing this spectacle, the spirit or surat enters the Sattlok and catches the sight of Satt Purush.......

".........Thence the surat [soul] moved upward and made it to the Inaccessible Sphere (Agam Lok) whose stretch is quintillion palang (mahashankh) and the body of the Agam Purush is as vast as a quintillion quintillion palang. The hamsas [heavenly beings] dwelling there have a marvellous and unique form, and bliss and beatitude of that sphere is overwhelmingly wonderful. My spirit (says Soamiji Maharaj) stayed and rested there for a very long period." (Sar Bachan Poetry of Swami Ji Maharaj, Agra)




Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inner Visions: Behold the Moon and Sun within You

Inner Visions: Behold the Moon as well as the Sun within You

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Behold the Moon as well as the Sun within You

Flashes of lightning are seen in the inner sky. Then, the powerful sound of rains can be heard; this sound is capable of washing or purifying the sins of the listener. During meditation, the saadhak (practitioner) sees a number of scintillations, flashes, sparkles, and electric-like sparks, and hears thunderous rumbles. In fact this sound belongs to or, comes from nowhere else but the pure and pristine aatmaa (soul) only.





English rendering of the discourse of Maharshi Santsevi Paramhans ji Maharaj published in the January 1999 issue of the Hindi monthly ..Shanti Sandesh’ published by Shanti Sandesh Press, Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur -812003 India

-Translation Pravesh K. Singh http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh

Just a little while ago, you listened to the recitation from the Raam Charit Maanas (a famous epic composed by Goswami Tulsi Das jee) wherein the scintillating light of the Sun of Lord Shri Ram was referred to. It is said that when this sun rose, all the three worlds were illuminated. Now, this does not mean that before this sun came out, all the three worlds had been under darkness; and that only when this sun rose, the three worlds could see the light. It is also not that this sun came into existence only after the incarnation of Lord Shree Ram took place. Goswami Tulsidas jee himself has later clarified the issue:

"Yah prataap ravi jaake, ur jab karanhi prakaash."

That is, when this refulgent Sun or form of Ram or God appears within, or illuminates the inner sky of a person, he/she is able to see through the three worlds or the entire brahmaand (cosmos). We know it very well that the Sun in the outer sky is not able to brighten up even one world simultaneously (i.e. our Earth) in its entirety, let alone lighting all the three worlds. It is right now daytime here (in India), but it is night in the United States of America. That is, not even one world is fully lit at the same time. Again, in some of the countries like Norway and Sweden which are located near the North Pole, they have days and nights spanning about six months each! Had the Sun Tulsidas jee is referring to been this sun only, these countries would also have been illuminated simultaneously… In fact, the Sun mentioned by Tulsidas jee is not the outer sun, but the inner sun, the one which can be viewed inside each one of us. When a spiritual seeker sits in meditation, he/she makes an ascending journey, rising from the Aajnaa Chakra (variously termed as the divine gate, third eye, divya chakshu, teesraa til, dasham dwaar , shiv netra, trinetra etc. etc.) into the region of the thousand-petalled lotus, or the Sahasraar. Ascending further, when entry is made into the Trikutee, the inner Sun becomes visible, by seeing which the seeker acquires the super-natural or divine vision so as to be able to see all the three worlds. Our Gurudev, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans jee Maharaj, had scaled such heights of meditation that he could see events happening in any part of the universe. I have narrated several such incidents to you on different occasions in the past. Describing the inner sun, Sant Kabir Saahab says,

"Yahi ghat chandaa yahi ghat soor, yahi ghat baajai anahad toor. Yahi ghat baajai tabal nishaan, bahiraa shabad sunai binu kaan."

[(Moon as well as Sun is within this body itself. Within this body itself keep ringing myriads of celestial melodies or sounds. Within this body itself sounds the divine drum. Even the outwardly or physically deaf can listen to these divine sounds]

Proceeding from the
Ajnaa Chakra, we get a glimpse of moon in the ..sahasra dal kamal’, or the realm of thousand-petalled lotus. Moving ahead we get to see the sun in the region of ..trikutee’.

Not only Kabir Saahab, other saints, too, have testified to sighting the moon and the sun within. Guru Nanak jee, for example, describes it thus:

"Ravi Shashi lauke yahi tanu, kinguree baajai shabad niraaree"

[Sun and moon are visible within this very body of ours, wherein we can also listen to the divine sound current.]

He says further,

"Taaraa chadiyaa lammaa, kiu nadari nihaaliyaaa Raam"

[I hopped onto the star and saw it. The grace of God has made my life gratified, blissful & blessed.]

Whosoever begins this inner voyage i.e., practices meditation, gains in mental concentration. Associated with concentration is ascension. Such persons cross over from the level of ..pind’ (body) into the ..brahmaand’ (cosmos) where he/she gets the blissful glimpses of stars, moon, sun etc. These sightings are related to the inner world, not the outer one.

We see that we can not perform any work even in this outer world of ours in absence of light and sound. If both the light and the sound or vibrations go missing from our world, we would find it well nigh impossible to live. So, just as we need light and sound in the outer universe, we need light and sound in the inner universe, too. We identify any person or thing with the help of light (form or appearance) and sound. Similarly, light and sound are also essential to realize God within us. Drawing on the support or help of light and sound, we can go beyond or transcend these two also to merge into oneness with the Supreme Lord or the God. Here so many persons are sitting in this hall. Each one can see the other in daylight. However, unless you enquire about each other’s name, address, nature of job etc., you can not grow full familiarity with each other. Some conversation is essential to ascertain one’s identity. At the moment, so many of you are seeing each other. Now suppose, in the future, if you happen to see someone who is present here at some other place, a feeling would come to you that you have seen him/ her somewhere. Driving a few nails down into your head, you might recall that yes; you had seen him here in the satsang hall. However, you would not be able to know what or who he is. Well, that would be possible only after you had exchanged some words of personal information with each other previously. To see each other, you need light. For gaining familiarity, you need to talk, i.e. seek the help of sound. Yes I was saying that as essential or indispensable are light and sound in the outer world, so are they in the inner world, too.

God has provided us with a beautiful analogy in the nature. When black rain clouds are hovering overhead in the outer sky, we, sometimes, see lightning in the sky. After we see lightning, we hear the thunder of clouds. Through this natural illustration, God is hinting at the inner meditation. When the spiritual practitioner, closing his/her eyes softly, tries to look intently at the prescribed place, as instructed by the Guru, in the inner sky, he/she comes to see the hovering clouds, lightning as also the thunderous rumbling. A hymn of Rig Veda says,

"Shrinv Vrishteriv swanah pavamaanasya sushminah. Charanti vidyuto divi".


That is, flashes of lightning are seen in the inner sky. Then, the powerful sound of rains can be heard; this sound is capable of washing or purifying the sins of the listener. During meditation, the saadhak (practitioner) sees a number of scintillations, flashes, sparkles, and electric-like sparks, and hears thunderous rumbles. In fact this sound belongs to or, comes from nowhere else but the pure and pristine aatmaa (soul) only.

You must have observed that very strong light is followed by very strong thundering sound, too. We, thus, first see light, and then we hear sound. Similarly, the saadhak (practitioner) first sees light within and then hears the sound. In fact, if we look at the chronological order of creation of the universe, we would find that first of all sound (the unstruck vibration or melody called the anaahat naad, and numerous other sounds called anahad naad) came into being which was followed, in order, by prakaash (light) and andhakaar (darkness). However, since we are currently living in the darkness of our ignorance, our spiritual journey has to take place in the reverse direction, and, therefore, beginning from within darkness, the seeker first, rising above darkness, sees light and then comes to hear sound. But let this not convey the impression that sound is produced last. In fact, sound was created first, though we hear it the last. Whoever practices meditation honestly & diligently comes across these experiences. There is a story in the Maitreyyupnishad (one of the Upanishads) in a similar context:

There was a Brahmin (one of the four main varnas or castes in India). He did not perform ritual worship (including verbal chanting of prayers & Gaayatree Mantra (one of the most sacred Vedic hymns), showing incense sticks to the idols or statues of gods & goddesses etc.) like other conventional Brahmins of the village. He had devoted himself to genuine meditation. His wife had to face a lot of taunts & critical remarks from her friends who used to vex her saying that her husband was not a true Brahmin and that she, though herself being a real Brahmin, had been married to a Shoodra (the fourth caste, the lowest in the so-called order of castes, despised or looked down upon by the other three). They would further lend credence to their criticism by advancing arguments like "had your husband been a chaste Brahmin, he, too, would have followed a routine befitting a true Brahmin e.g., having bath on prescribed time, orally reciting incantations & Gayatri Mantra, performing sandhyaaa or worship thrice a day etc. But he does not do anything of the sort!". Returning home, she would report to her husband what others said about him. The Brahmin listened to everything patiently, but would not say anything or react. Every time his wife happened to meet her neighbours, she would get to hear the same malicious and mocking remarks again & again. One day she came home extremely dejected and pained, and told her husband, "I repeatedly make you aware of what our neighbors say about you, but you do not pay any heed, everything falls flat on your deaf ears." Seeing the immensity of her grief, the Brahmin said, "O Queen of my heart! Neither do you nor do your neighbours who keep you telling so many things know what I do! Just listen to me! What is this sandhyaa? When is sandhyaa performerd? Sandhyaa refers to the time when the Sun sets or the transition period when the day ends and the night begins. Similarly the juncture when the forenoon comes to a close and the afternoon begins is called "madhyaahna sandhyaa" or the mid-day sandhyaa. Again, the meeting moment, when the night comes to an end and the morning commences, is termed "prabhaat sandhyaa" or morning sandhyaa. Thus, we have the concept of three sandhyaas – prabhaat sandhyaa (morning sandhyaa), madhyaahna sandhyaa (afternoon sandhyaa) and saayam sandhyaa (evening sandhyaa). But, where there is neither the sunrise nor the sunset, just tell me, where do you have sandhyaa? In the inner sky of my heart the sun of consciousness keeps shining bright incessantly. It neither sets, nor rises. Then how do I perform a sandhyaa?" Please listen to the shloka of the Maitreyyupanishad:

"Hridaakaashe chidaadityam, sadaa bhaasati bhaasati.

Naastameti na chodeti, katham sandhyaamupaasmahe."

[The sun of consciousness within my heart keeps on shining and shining, all the time. Neither does it set nor does it rise. How do I perform sandhyaa?]

Whoever sincerely practices the inner meditation comes to experience light within. First he sees the light and then he hears sound, too. Sound has a natural & inherent property of attracting the listener towards its source or origin. One who is capable of grasping the sound springing straight from God Himself gets naturally drawn to Him.

The practitioner of "naadaanusandhaan" or "surat-shabda yoga" (the Yoga of Sound or the Union through Sound) first catches hold of the sound which is generated at the centre of the "sthoola mandal" (gross sphere of creation). Catching that sound at the meeting horizon or junction of the Gross sphere and the "sookshma mandala" (Astral or Subtle sphere), he (the practitioner) is drawn to the centre of the Astral sphere. Grasping the sound at the centre of the Astral sphere he is led to the centre of the "kaaran mandal" (Causal sphere) wherefrom he is pulled up to the centre of the "mahaakaaran mandal" (Supra-Causal sphere). Getting hold of the sound at the centre of the Supra-Causal sphere he transcends the barrier or layers of "jad" (ignorance or non-consciousness) and makes an entry into the realm of "kaivalya" or, "chetan" (pure consciousness). There he finds the "saar shabda" or "anaahat shabda" (the unstruck or quintessential sound) which takes him to the "nihshabdam paramam padam" or the highest and the Ultimate Soundless State. There he meets and merges into perfect unison with the God losing his individual identity completely. Thus, the cycle of birth and death or transmigration comes to be destroyed or annihilated for ever or permanently. This is in short I told you about the inner meditation of Santmat.




Maharshi Santsevi Paramhans ji Maharaj

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We Are Bubbles of Consciousness -- Baba Faqir Chand

We Are Bubbles of Consciousness -- Baba Faqir Chand

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I am a bubble of Super-most consciousness. That is what my realization is. This is what I have gained. Now what I feel is that there is One, Infinite, Super-most Element. From IT, when it moves, Sound and Light come out and from that Light and Sound this creation takes place. Cosmic rays and many other types of rays come out of this Light and Sound and all this gross matter is made. So it is the Will of that Supreme Power. Everything is oozing out of IT and is merging back in IT.

--- Baba Faqir Chand