Sunday, January 24, 2010

January Sant Mat Satsang Podcast: Chand Mat


January Sant Mat Satsang Podcast: Chand Mat





Baba Faqir Chand's Commentary on the Esoteric Instructions of Swami Ji Maharaj (Hidayatnama)

Program Length: 41 Minutes

*Click to go to Blog Talk Radio Page and Listen or Download:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/santmatfellowship/2010/01/24/january-2010-sant-mat-satsang-podcast

"The sages of India discovered the truth of man's potential perfection and his ability to actualize it in their thousands of years of spiritual experimentation. They wrote down the steps for this attainment for their followers. The tradition of passing, from master to disciple, this spontaneous achievement of living in God in our waking life has continued in almost all the cultures of the world, but the secrecy and mystery of this mysticism have often led to confusion even until the present day.

"Some paths and techniques of meditation are indirect, vague, complicated, and difficult.

"The uncovering of this secret and the simplest explanation of this universal way of man's union with God is the fundamental purpose of this book.

"The epitome of the pathway of God-realization is expounded in Surat-Shabda Yoga, or Union with God through the technique of Light and Sound. This path has been present, although concealed, in all major religions of the world. Recently however, its direct revelation and practical application have openly emerged." (I.C. Sharma, from the Introduction to, Instructions For Seekers-Surat Shabda Yoga-The Yoga of Light and Sound)




Baba Faqir Chand, Radhasoami Satsang Hoshiarpur (Manavta Mandir Ashram)

The theme this month is "Chand Mat", that is to say, the teachings of the Baba Faqir Chand branch of the Radhasoami Faith, with readings from: The Sar Bachan Poetry of Swami Ji Maharaj, including from the Esoteric Instructions (Hidayatnama) of Swami Ji, a prayer from Light On Ananda Yoga by Shiv Brat Lal, readings from Dr. Ishwar C. Sharma and Baba Faqir Chand from Instructions For Seekers-Surat Shabda Yoga-The Yoga of Light and Sound (Chand's Commentary on the Sar Bachan), Baba Faqir Chand from Jeewan Mukti (Liberation In Life), Enchanted Land from the chapter dedicated to Yogani Mata Ji, and a satsang discourse from J.L. Chaudhari.

Swami Ji Maharaj: Sadguru Khojo Ri Pyari, Jag Main Durlabh Ratan Yahi."My dearest aspirant! Continue your research for a true and perfect master, because he is rare like a precious diamond."

Baba Faqir Chand: "The masses adopt a Guru, merely on reputation, without making thorough research themselves. That is why they do not find real Gurus. If such rare saints are difficult to find, one should associate with those saints who are on the way to perfection. Only those persons are capable of uniting with God, or Truth, who consider other human beings equal to themselves and hold no jealousy, hatred, or other negative ideas in their mind....

"Disciple: But, most of the disciples have been associated with their Gurus for a very long time. Why then, have they not attained anything that is granted by a saint? Also, the Gurus have been engaging their disciples in different kinds of services. Why do they advise some disciples in one way and others in a different way?

"Faqir: In fact, a true master knows very well why a special disciple has come to his refuge. Some Gurus, who are keen to recruit as many disciples as they can, to exploit those people who are in trouble. But a true or perfect master never exploits his dear disciples. He loves them and advises them according to their respective backgrounds and capabilities, which are different for different people. He tells his disciples to be engaged in different kinds of activities, which either help them to fulfill their worldly desires of material things, or to rid themselves of those desires after a good deal of experience. A person can never realize Truth, or attain peace, as long as he is a slave to passions and desires. That is why Hidayatnama clearly says that first a devotee should resign his desires for wealth, prosperity, and family to the will of God and then go to the saints for guidance. In this way all his problems will be solved. Those who do not follow these instructions take a longer time to resolve their problems. The order of the perfect master and the path suggested by him should be considered as supreme. The seeker would experience peace and bliss by applying the instructions of his master to his practical daily life....

"Many Gurus are concerned with accumulating wealth and fame and their disciples are equally motivated by worldly desires. So instead of being enlightened and liberated, seekers are more and more involved in material things and thus subjected to the cycle of birth and death. When a Guru who is the true practitioner of The Yoga of Light and Sound is found by a disciple who is truly desirous of being freed from the spatio-temporal world, then and only then the relationship of the disciple and the master has some significance."



Yogani Mata Ji


Jai Guru Radhasoami,
James,
Email:
James@SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com

Friday, January 22, 2010

Primary Text for Understanding Sant Mat: The Philosophy of Liberation

Primary Text for Understanding Sant Mat: The Philosophy of Liberation



Maharshi Mehi Related Guru Lineage Chart
(
Swami Achyutanand Ji is also part of the same lineage.)


Sant Mat Book Review: The Philosophy of Liberation


Param Sant Tulsi Sahib (older)

The ocean of existence is unfathomably vast and without any port of safety. It cannot be crossed --- If you meet Satguru, the boatman, then only will you get across and reach your Abode.

Listen, O friend! Great is the status of Sants. In that region of Sants there is neither sound nor any form. It is beyond Sunn [void] and Maha-sunn [great void].

Says Tulsi, he knows the True Name of the Abode of the August, Nameless and Infinite Being. (Shabdavalli of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)


Param Sant Tulsi Sahib (younger)


The soul (Surat), seeking to glimpse the Absolute, concentrates through its gaze at the tenth door,

Watching the luminous point, the pole star, the Moon and the Sun,

Surat hears many sweet sounds of the five spheres;

Mehi says, this is the quintessence of Santmat;

And he has only repeated the words of the saints,

He has understood and tested them fully,

They are so very true and are of great benefit to all.

-- Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj



Param Sant Tulsi Sahib (meditating)


Mixed Media: Book Reviews, Website Reviews, Music Reviews
By James Bean
Book Review: The Philosophy of Liberation
Copyright © Februrary 2007. All Rights Reserved.

"The Philosophy of Liberation"
By Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj



The Philosophy of Liberation


This is the first book in English featuring the teachings of Maharishi Mehi, in the lineage of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, the famous Saint of Hathras, India. The lineage began with Sant Tulsi, then the torch was past to Baba Devi Sahib. Mehi was the next teacher, the third guru. Soon more writings from this lineage of Masters will soon be published and made available in English to spiritual seekers in the West.



Baba Devi Sahab


This is an intriguing book that provides some surprisingly technical details about meditation practice. Anyone interested in developing their own successful daily meditation practice will greatly benefit from the wisdom and depth of, "The Philosophy of Liberation", as it systematically covers all aspects of the philosophy of the path and the technical details of spiritual practice rarely ever seen in print from any source outside of India. It is not light reading, and that is precisely what I like about it!



Maharshi Mehi Paramhansa (younger)


There are several techniques described, the specific details of which are taught to students at the time of their deeksha (initiation) into the practice: 1) developing a daily routine, the habit of meditating at the same time or times each day; 2) proper posture so that one is truly focused at the Third Eye and remains alert and awake; 3) Manas Japa [simran], a mantra repetition of a sacred word done mentally; 4) Manas Dhyan, the technique of mentally visualising a form of God or one's teacher; 5) Drshti Yoga, the technique of focusing upon an infinitesimal point. This point will eventually blossom into inner Light or visions of Light. One gazes into the middle of the darkness or the Light one sees while in meditation. Think of the infinitesimal point as being like a laser pointer or cursor keeping one focused. One passes from scene to scene and vision to vision always looking toward the center; 6) Nada Sadhana, the practice of inner spiritual hearing [Surat Shabd Yoga]; and, 7th) reaching the State of Oneness with the Supreme Being in the Pure Conscious Realm. The ultimate goal is to merge into the upper level of Kaivalya known as the Ocean of Love and Compassion, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless State, also described with terms such as Anami (Nameless) and Anadi (Soundlessness). Maharshi Mehi stated in the Philosophy of Liberation: "The center of the realm of Kaivalaya (Oneness or Pure Consciousness) is the Supreme Sovereign Itself." He also said: "Beyond the Realm of Oneness, there is only the Supreme Sovereign."



Maharshi Mehi Paramhansa (older)


Below are Excerpts from the Book: Moksha-Darsan (Philosophy of Salvation or Liberation), a Primary Text for Understanding Sant Mat (The Path of the Masters)


The Philosophy of Liberation
By Maharishi Mehi
All rights reserved ©2006 Santmat Society of North America




1. Stillness or steadiness is the essence of Shanti.

(Shanti is a Sanskrit word with several English meanings: peace, tranquility, bliss, etc. The peace which results from some degree of communion with God is Shanti.)

2. He who has attained Shanti is a saint.

3. Sant Mat encompasses the thoughts and way of saints.

4. The desire for attaining Shanti is natural in human beings.

In the Upanishads the formula for the attainment of Shanti is expounded by the seers and saints of these ancient works. Similar views have been expressed by the saints of all times, including such saints as Guru Nanak Sahab and Kabir Sahab who expounded their views in the Punjabi and Hindi languages respectively. Such expressions are for the inspiration and edification of all people.



Shahi Swami Paramahansa Ji Maharaj


However, the Upanishads uniquely and fully describe the means for attaining Shanti and describe the means for attaining the Highest Wisdom. That is why the Upanishads are considered the foundation of Sant Mat. Further, a comprehensive exposition of the Divine Word-Sound is given in the Upanishads which leads to the Highest Wisdom. The Upanishads explain the yogic techniques and systematic views of transcending thought and attaining the Absolute through the use of sound (Yoga of Surat-shabda). Sant Mat follows the yogic path as prescribed in the Upanishads and specifically employs Surat-shabda-Yoga in its practices. The result of such practice is the attainment of the Highest Goal, the knowledge of the Supreme.



Swami Harinandan Baba


This is not to undermine the teachings of other saints, but rather to say that in the Upanishads are found the basis of the teachings of these saints. Often the teachings of various saints would, on the surface, seem contradictory to each other or even contradictory to the principles of the Upanishads. In fact, there is an unbreakable unity in the spiritual views of all saints. In different times and in different places saints appear, and their followers name their tradition in respect to the particular saint. The appearance of differences can be attributed to time, place and language, giving varied labels to views which are in reality the same. Likewise, due to excessively zealous followers these seeming differences are often accentuated. When all sectarianism and the forms of the particular time or place of the writings of a saint are removed, the basic principles of Sant Mat are in unity. The Ultimate, Unbounded, Infinite state (as described in section 11) is the unique possession of a saint. Further, the means to attain this state (as described in section 59 and 61) are found in the writings of the saints. Even though there are differences in the name and form of the Deity of worship, the underlying unity of the Unbounded dissolves these seeming differences (according to the idea expounded in section 86).



Swami Bhagirath Baba


Surat-Shabda-Yoga as a means to attain the Unbounded state is an integral and indispensable aspect of the Sant Mat tradition. Any tradition devoid of this essential aspect is not true Sant Mat. Various saints describe the Yoga of Surat -Shabda, and from these descriptions we become aware of the significance of Surat-Shabda-Yoga. The following are some words of the great saints, concerning the importance of Surat-Shabda-Yoga:

Guru Nanak Sahab states:

"The invisible and supra-sensory name of God (Divine Word-Sound) is extremely sweet and lovely."

Tuls-Das states:

"I offer homage to the Divine Name of the Universal Being, Ram, which is the cause of the sun, the moon and the fire. That Divine Universal Name is the form of the creator,
maintainer and destroyer."

............One will not succeed in Yoga if purity of character is disregarded. Lying, stealing, smoking, taking of drugs (including alcohol), violence, and adultery are all obstructions to the successful practice meet the Supreme Sovereign).

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.



Swami Bhagirath Baba (meditating)


54. The personal and private instruction in the art of this spiritual practice should be received from a Sadguru (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.



Swami Achyutanand Ji Maharaj


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.

82. The recognition of a true spiritual master is the most difficult of tasks. However, the one who has purity of character (rectitude), who practices diligently the Yoga of Sound, and who can explain clearly Sant Mat (the path of saints) can be accepted and trusted and given devotion as a spiritual master. A person without rectitude or purity of character, regardless of the other qualities just mentioned, should not be regarded as a true master.

If one has accepted a spiritual teacher and later finds him or her lacking in rectitude, that teacher should be abandoned. In spite of the teacher’s exquisite knowledge, association with that teacher is not desirable if he or she is lacking in moral character. As the aspirant is particularly affected by the teacher’s moral character, it is imperative to avoid teachers without moral virtues. Purity of character is the essential quality of a teacher and if purity is lacking that teacher is no better than an animal. A teacher lacking purity of character or other essential virtues is a false spiritual teacher. The fruits of accepting a true master are immense. Unfortunately, true teachers are few and difficult to find. A spiritual master who is wise, pure and a practitioner of the Yoga of Divine Sound gradually imparts his or her virtues to the student. The good will of the spiritual teacher cannot but help affecting the aspirant in a positive manner because one is affected by the power of a higher vibration. Section 77 describes the qualities of the teacher and how the aspirant benefits from his or her relationship with the teacher.

The master who practices the Yoga of Sound but is negligent in his moral character and in his spiritual knowledge is harmful to the seeker of spiritual knowledge. If one has accepted such a master, disregarding the importance of rectitude and knowledge, the aspirant would be deprived of the benefits of the association with a true preceptor, mentioned in the previous paragraph. In addition, in following an immoral teacher the aspirant would have the difficult task of not going astray, much less advancing on the spiritual path. However, without the aid of a true teacher this spiritual task can be undertaken by a few steadfast learned disciples. For most it is almost impossible to undertake this task. of gaining grace as described in the writings of the saints.

83. The aspiration to serve with love and behave humbly before the teacher arises naturally in the hearts of students. Therefore, devotion to the spiritual teacher is also natural. To say anything against devotion to the teacher is pointless. And also, the wise will not give devotion to an unworthy teacher and will influence other aspirants to do the same.

84. The four essential elements an aspirant of the spiritual path needs are the following: one, association of saints and hearing of things spiritual; two, moral rectitude; three, dedication to the teacher; and four practice of meditation. These essentials have previously been discussed; association is referenced in section 53; moral rectitude is addressed in section 60; meditation is referenced in sections 54 through 59. In Sant Mat an intense eagerness to acquire these essentials must be present. However, devotion to the teacher is paramount to the other three essentials and is the key to achieving the other three.

85. The desire of an individual to be free from sufferings and to attain the happiness of absolute peace is naturally present in the hearts of all. The purpose of Sant Mat is to provide a system which fulfills the desires of attaining absolute peace.




87. The practice of Nadanusandhana (the Yoga of Sound) is not mere child's play. Its full practice cannot be exercised by one who lacks Yama and Niyama (virtues and moral rectitude). See the following section 88 for more detail on Yama and Niyama.

There are sounds due to gross vibrations in the material body. To meditate on these gross sounds and believe it to be as the full practice of the Yoga of Sound shows a lack of knowledge of Yoga. According to the literature of the Sants (Saints), Yama and Niyama are essential for mastery in the practice of the Nadanusandhana (Yoga of Sound [Nada-nu-sandhana, the spiritual practice of inner Sound meditation, also called Surat Shabd Yoga]).

88. Yama consists of five disciplines: satya (truthfulness), ahimsa (non-violence), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacarya (continence), and aparigraha (control of greed or non-possessiveness).

Niyama also consists of five practices, which are the following: sauca (internal and external purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (penance), svadhyaya (study of spiritual matters) and lsvara pranidhana (meditation on God).

89. In following Yama and Niyama, one exercises aversion from the five sins, serves the spiritual master, attends satsang, and practices meditation as referred to in section 60.

90. A comfortable asana (a pose of sitting or posture) of keeping the head, neck and trunk straight and steady is a must for meditation. Without the ability to sit in such a steady posture for prolonged periods, meditation cannot be practiced.

91. Meditation should be practiced being alert, without being drowsy, shutting the eyes comfortably and without turning the eyeballs or pressing them in any way.

92. The practice of meditation should be an essential part of the practitioner's daily routine. The preferred time of meditation is Brahmamuhurta ([Hour of God: Brahma-mu-hurta, or Amrit Veela: Hour of Elixir]: very early in the morning: 3:00 A.M.). Likewise one should meditate at mid-morning and then again in the evening time. While falling asleep, one should also engage his mind in meditation. Further, it is good to practice Manas japa [Simran] or Manas dhyana [Dhyan] while working.



Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj (in his meditation cave)


93. Before learning the Nadanusandhana (meditation on inner Sound) in practicing Manas japa (mantra repetition), Manas dhyana (focusing on the form of the master or deity) and Drshti Yoga ([inner Light meditation in the Third Eye Center or Eye-Focus] focusing on a Point that is practicing one-pointedness), one should meditate with eyes and mouth shut. Upon learning Nadanusandhana (Yoga of Sound [Inner Sound meditation]) from the Master, one should also close the ears.

94..........In the initial stages of dhyana (absolute concentration), pratyahara is practiced. [Note: Pratyahara means to bring back. Bringing back or refocusing one's attention during meditation, bringing the mind distracted by worldly thoughts back to the Focal Point during meditation.] Through the means of pratyahara, the mind is brought back repeatedly to the Focal Point. By this constant practice of pratyahara, one is eventually able to concentrate for a short period on the Focal Point. This state of concentration is called dharana (steadiness of concentration or absorption). When absorption is maintained for longer and longer periods of time, then it is dhyana (absolute concentration). Then in this state of dhyana, one is able to grasp the Streams of spiritual Sounds (described in section 60) and finally achieves samadhi (Unity [Union, Absorption, Oneness in deep meditation]). Drshti Yoga (seeing the inner Light---the Yoga of Vision) will greatly facilitate pratyahara and dharana......

............The saints and true teachers are known to be impartial; their blessings fall like the rain. However, the rain, while falling on all, tends to collect in deep pools just as the grace of the saints while showering on all flows rapidly and collects in the deep pools of the aspirants who are devoted. It is not surprising that the aspirants through their devotion draw the grace of the master towards them. Aspirants who give great attention to the ways of the teacher are worthy of the gift of knowledge. Obviously, not the careless one, but the one who honors the gift and cares for the receiving bowl receives the gift of the grace of the teacher. Making oneself worthy is the secret of devotion to the master, and will greatly facilitate meditation explained in detail in section 59.

105. The means to attain the direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign



Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj


God (Summary of the Philosophy of Liberation).

Before learning the technique to attain the direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign, intellectual understanding of the essential nature of the Supreme Sovereign God and one’s own self is necessary. Through hearing and studying the discourses of spiritual teachers and contemplation, such knowledge can be acquired. Along with knowledge of the order of creation, the reason for not having the direct knowledge of both should be sought. Through intellectual understanding of the essential nature of the Supreme Sovereign, it is determined what needs to be attained. One should be able to discern whether it is the body which realizes the Supreme or the Self, Knower within the body.

Also, for this realization should the practices be of an external nature (outwardly devotional practices) or internal nature (Yoga of Vision and Yoga of Sound)? Having come to an understanding, these wanderings will be left behind. After gaining the intellectual knowledge of one’s Self, one will understand whether one is suited for attaining this Knowledge. Once, intellectual knowledge of the order of creation and the reasons for not having direct knowledge of God and one’s own Self are understood then the means will be brought to light. With this revelation one will be able to go be ultimately merging in Soundlessness or the Supreme Sovereign God. The internal practice of meditation ends here: the Supreme God is realized and the work is completed.

98. The practitioner should support himself in gainful employment, living on one’s own earnings. The aspirant is best content with a few things.

99. The aspirant should keep himself free of impulses such as lust, anger, greed, delusion, egotism, jealousy and fear. In his interest for spiritual progress, the practitioner should create pure mental habits: compassion, mercy, contentment, forgiveness and humbleness.

100. The following should be avoided because they cause unsteadiness of the mind: intake of intoxicants, including alcohol and various non-prescription drugs, and eating of meat and fish.

101. Through association of saints, the hearing of spiritual talks and study, wisdom can be acquired. Wisdom is essential in determining what is the right way to live your life. Without wisdom one can make poor decisions, which result in undesirable consequences.

...........In conclusion, as has been stated the microcosm and macrocosm are interconnected as they are completely permeated by the realms described above. Likewise, to go beyond all the realms is to go beyond all concealments. Further, in whatever realm the individual dwells, he dwells in that realm both in the microcosmic sense as well as the macrocosmic sense. In addition, if one ceases inhabiting one of the Realms, then he leaves behind both the microcosmic as well as the beyond the concealments of Causal Nature imposed on the creation and the Self and then will meet with the Supreme and experience direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign God. (The Philosophy of Liberation, By Maharishi Mehi)



Maharshi Mehi Paramhansa (young)


Mystic-Verses from the Padavali of Maharishi Mehi


Fully plunged into such a practice one becomes extremely cool and calm,
And forgets all about one's material body;
Paramhans says such introvert-aspirants remain completely unaware of morning, day and night.
And are effortless as if dead from outside,


Paramhans says, sounds like the beating of drums and roaring of clouds are heard in the cosmos,
Above Trikuti, are colourless, shapeless compartments, where there are only resounding sounds;
The true spiritual aspirant remains in Dhyana Yoga,
And with Yoga of Sound reaches the Highest Realm;


The Yoga of Sound causes such wonderful experiences;
On getting such a perceptive Guru, one knows how to do meditation upon inner Sound,
That Matchless Sound which never changes is the Quintessential One,
And that Quintessential Sound is finally changed into the Soundless One.


Saints describe it with words such as "Soundless", "Nameless" or "Wordless",
The Quintessential one along with surat [soul] at the final stage disappears,
The very stage of Soundlessness, Wordlessness or Namelessness is entirely different,
According to Mehi that stage is devoid of dualism,
Surat, merging with the Absolute, never returns to the physical world.



Maharshi Mehi Paramhansa Ji Maharaj


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seven Stages of Mystic Ascension to Heaven According to Sant Mat


Seven Stages of Mystic Ascension to Heaven According to Sant Mat



The Seven Stages of Mystic Ascension to Heaven Are:

1) Praise or Bhakti,

2) Prayer,

3) Manas japa (simran, praying without ceasing, repeating the name of God -- mantra, the first stage of meditation),

4) Manas dhyana (visualising the form of the Master, second stage of meditation),

5) Dristi sadhana (seeing Inner Light at the Third Eye Center, third stage of meditation),

6) Nada Sadhana (hearing the Inner Sounds --- Surat Shabd Yoga, fourth stage of meditation),

7) Reaching Kaivalya (Oneness with Soundlessness, the Nameless One, Formless Supreme Being, the Supreme State, The Ocean of Love -- the Goal)

Three Important Requirements: Praise, Prayer, Meditation
By Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
Harmony of All Religions

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. Unless we acknowledge someone's qualities, it is impossible to be faithful to that person.

Tulsi Das Sahab says:

"Without having the knowledge of the nature of God it is impossible to know him. And without understanding his qualities we can not have love for God. Without love we cannot have devotion and true faith. This is as unattainable as the mixing of water and oil [which is impossible]."

Therefore, in order to have devotion and faith in God it is necessary to know the grandeur of God. Once the glory of God is known, our heart is attracted to God. This is a great way to keep your heart in devotion to God. Thus, it is through praise that we extol the divine powers of God and draw our mind toward God.

After singing praises to God we, then, pray. Prayer is supplication with deep humility. In general, people have desires and make demands. Only the great sages do not have wants.

Kabir Sahab said:

"My desires are gone, as are my worries. My mind is filled with detachment. One who does not want anything is the king of kings."

Sant Tulsi Das says:

"People desire sons, wealth and fame in this world. Why do people desire that which taints the mind?"

Why do we desire these things? Sant Tulsi Das considers this:

"[Fleeting] pleasures come to us without asking, whether we are in heaven, hell, house, or forest. Why then do people work so hard to get these pleasures while they ignore the advice of the sages [to seek permanent joy?]"

Why do we invest so much effort in acquiring these worldly pleasures which come to us naturally? And let us consider as well that there is always pain involved in acquiring worldly objects, and that an even greater exertion is required to sustain them. And further, when these very same insidious sensory pleasures leave us, the distress is even more intense. This is why, the wise do not ask for things which are transitory. The truth is that our desires should only be for something which would eliminate the desire [for worldly pleasures] itself. In reality, the only thing we should be asking God for is to achieve union with the divine. After realizing the Divine, there is nothing left to be achieved. This is the end of all wants.

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.

In the Yajur Veda (chapter 20) it is said:

"Oh God, even as we unknowingly commit various sins, day and night, please forgive these offenses and ill desires. You are omnipresent, like the pervasive wind."

We have previously spoken about prayer in both Christianity and Islam [chapters of, The Harmony of All Religions]. Christians refer to this practice as prayer, and Muslims call it ibadat. We see that in all theistic religions there is a great emphasis on prayer.

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:

1) Manas japa,

2) Manas dhyana,

3) Dristi sadhana and

4) Nadanu-sandhana.

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

Meditation Practice (Sadhana) According to Sant Mat Mysticism

There are several meditation practices in Sant Mat. There are several techniques described, the specific details of which are taught to students at the time of their deeksha (initiation) into the practice:

1) developing a daily routine, the habit of meditating at the same time or times each day;

2) proper posture with back straight so that one is truly focused at the Third Eye and remains alert and awake;

3) Manas Japa (Simran), a mantra repetition of a sacred word or words chanted mentally;

4) Manas Dhyan, the technique of mentally visualising a form of God or one's teacher;

5) Drshti Yoga (Yoga of inner Light), the technique of focusing upon an Infinitesimal Point. This Point will eventually blossom into inner Light or visions of Light. One gazes into the middle of the darkness or the Light one sees while in meditation. Think of the Infinitesimal Point as being like a laser pointer or cursor keeping one focused. One passes from scene to scene and vision to vision always looking toward the center;

6) Nada Sadhana (Yoga of inner Sound or Bhajan), the practice of inner spiritual hearing; and,

7) reaching the State of Kaivalya: Oneness with the Supreme Being in the Pure Conscious Realm. The ultimate goal is to merge into the upper level of Kaivalya known as the Ocean of Love and Compassion, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless State, also described with terms such as Radhaswami (Lord of the Soul), Anami (The Nameless One) and Anadi (The Soundless State beyond Light and Sound).

The poet-mystic Param Sant Tulsi Sahib describes the interior journey this way:

There is a Being who is Inaccessible (Agam), unfathomable (Alakh), and Nameless (Anami), and who has no locality, location, and is not confined to space.

Sant Tulsi Sahib also often uses the Sufi language of love or bhakti, describing this Timeless Spiritual State of Oneness as the Abode of the Beloved:

"On having found the teacher, I shall adopt his refuge, and I shall follow the path to my Beloved's Abode. The way to the Beloved lies within. My heart's desire, says Tulsi, is that my soul may meet the Beloved.

"The love-intoxicated soul is bubbling with joy. The darling of the Beloved has prepared and bedecked the bed and, imbued with the Beloved's bliss (ananda), has cast away all bondages. The soul prepared the Beloved's bed, and, lying there, enjoyed great bliss." (The Shabdavali of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib)

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



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Light and Sound on the Path: The Week of January 17th, 2010


Light and Sound on the Path: The Week of January 17th, 2010




Sant Mat Radhasoami Blog:
http://santmatradhasoami.blogspot.com

The Monthly Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Are Here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/santmatfellowship




Sant Mat recognizes the great Sages, and Saints of the different traditions who are accomplished in the spiritual goal of human life. Sant Mat respects the Saints, Prophets, and Sages of all traditions: Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Rumi, Bahá'u'lláh, Mira Bai, etc. Furthermore, Sant Mat believes in the uninterrupted continuation of the emergence of Saints (Masters, Sant Satgurus) on this Earth.




Contemplative Silence -- The Art of Tapping Into Our Source of Inner Wisdom and Guidance
By James Bean
Copyright, December 2009 - All Rights Reserved




"Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us." (A Testament of Devotion, Thomas Kelly, Quaker mystic)

In this matrix or labyrinth of existence we can become quite habituated into remaining as surface-dwellers living inundated by all the outward distractions that life on earth provides. We may ask of ourselves, "Am I availing myself of the spiritual direction and wisdom that comes from within?" This would be a source of wisdom that not only provides an inner perception of bliss, insight, or affirms a "Truth" of some sort that one believes in, but an inner intuition that can also make a positive contribution to one's outward life on the physical plane. Mystics teach that the inner and outer life are not separate. There is a relationship between one and the other. A life-affirming state of being on the inside leads one to making the outward life into something more heavenly too.

There are both outward and inward avenues to wisdom. There is the wisdom of living teachers with us now, as well as the wisdom left behind in the form of world scriptures and spiritual classics by teachers of previous generations. "Through association with Masters, the hearing of spiritual talks and study, wisdom can be acquired. Wisdom is essential in determining what is the right way to live your life." (Maharshi Mehi) "Let thy house be a place of meeting for the wise, and dust thyself with the dust of their feet, and drink their words with thirst." (The Mishnah, Jewish text) "Approach someone who has realized the purpose of life and question him with reverence and devotion; he will instruct you in this wisdom. Once you attain it, you will never be deluded. You will see all creatures in the Self, and all in Me." (Krishna, Bhagavad Gita) "The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby." (Confucianism. I Ching 26: Taming Power of the Great) "Without proverbs [traditional wisdom], the language would be but a skeleton without flesh, a body without a soul." (Zulu Proverb, South Africa) "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." (Yeshua, Gospel of Thomas) "Absorbed in the Scriptures and their purport, he transcends the cycle of birth and death." (Jainist Sutra)

Outward instruction and inspiration is priceless, and there is also an inner Voice of the Silence we can tap into. "There is a speaking of God in the core 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 that is created, 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." (Meister Eckhart, German mystic) "The imaginations of the mind are just as innumerable as the innumerable waves of an ocean. If somehow this mind can become quiet by itself, attainment of true knowledge -- like diamond will become easily possible [everyone in this world is sad and restless because of lack of true knowledge. This true knowledge can be attained only when the mind becomes quiet]." (verse from, The Sakhi Granth of Kabir) Through silence meditation we can "step outside the box." Silence speaks volumes. The practice of receiving inner guidance or hearing the Voice or Life Impulse of God in the silence of contemplation is a universal teaching of all great saints and mystics.

In, "The Way of the Saints", speaking to both the need for guidance about more temporal matters as well as inner wisdom that leads to the eternal experience of Ultimate Reality, Kirpal Singh said, "There is a cardinal need for developing inner receptivity. The Master-Power, as you all know, is not confined to any particular place. It is working in and around you. You have but to turn your face towards Him inwardly to get the required help and guidance wherever necessary. Learn to sit still and be mentally still, and the silence thus generated with be more vocal than words spoken and written; and you will have an instantaneous solution not only to your own personal problems but to the problems of others as well........

"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.... In silence the heart illumines; veil after veil is removed. In the heart shines the Light, and the very silence becomes vocal giving vent to the Music of the Spheres reverberating in all creation."





From the Depths Within, Living From the Center of One's Being

The art of listening/seeing/perceiving/being introspective in the silence of meditation provides us with countless opportunities to see clearly without the usual day-to-day distractions, perceiving the events of our life from a higher vantage-point. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: "Silence gives us a new way of looking at everything." Silence allows angels to whisper advice into our ears. It also makes it possible for the authentic self to rise to the surface, introducing a new divine power or grace into this dimension of reality. It imparts insight, and ultimately, wisdom borne out of the depths or womb of contemplative silence gives birth to the realization of the soul itself. "There was within me a stillness of silence, and I heard the Blessedness whereby I knew my real self." (Book of Allogenes [The "Stranger" or "Foreigner"], Nag Hammadi Library)



A Diet of Kindness and Compassion

"Be gentle of heart and fill your mind with compassion if you want to attain the supreme purpose of life." (Swami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Poetry)






Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...no matter the species.


"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -- Albert Einstein


Our Reason to Be Here

"We are the pearls of the shoreless ocean, sometimes the waves and sometimes the sea. We came into the world for this purpose -- that we might show God to His creatures." (Kamal, one of Kabir's sons)


Giving Life Meaning

"Ponds, rains, trees, and Saints -- all these four give meaning to their existence by helping others. A pond is meant to quench the thirst of living beings. The rains cause crops to grow and fills the world with greeneries. A tree gives cool shade, fruit, and wood. A Saint gives meaning to the lives of others by imparting True Knowledge to them." (The Saakhi Granth of Kabir, an ahimsa ethics manual of Sant Mat)


"The Master always tends and protects his disciples as a gardener nurses his seedlings. In his divine presence, he nourishes them with his merciful glance. It is only appropriate to use the name 'Master' for someone who shows you the Lord within your own body, O Bahu!" (Hazrat Sultan BaHU)


Meditate Daily

"No big deal if you had to live for a day without meals, but never live a single day without meditation!" - Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj


Explore the Currents of Sound

"It is the highest duty of every individual to acquire experiential Knowledge of this Shabd [inner Sound Current], and to investigate or explore the Origin or Source from where this Shabd flows out". (Baba Devi Sahab)


"The other Music or Sound is internal and the way to listen to that is by focusing our attention on the internal `Shabd' or Sound which is Ringing within each one of us. Shabd is a highly precious wealth in the life of every human being. So long as this Shabd is present in a man he is alive; as soon as the Shabd exits, it is the end of him." (Baba Devi Sahab)


"Who else is Christ but the Sound of God?" (Acts of John, Gnostic Christian scripture)







True Simran Practice in the Sant Tradition

By James Bean
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/simran.html


The Many Names of the Nameless (Anami) One

The Nameless God has been given many names over the centuries. There are countless divine names used in various schools of spirituality. Some are given "The Five Names" (panch naam) consisting of five holy names of God. These are revealed at the time of Initiation into Sant Mat or Shabd Yoga meditation. These same five names have been used for centuries in certain branches of Sant Mat connected with Kabir and Sant Dharam Das, Sant Dariya Sahib, Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Sant Radhasoami Sahib. Others have been given five Sufi names of God at the time of Initiation into Surat Shabd Yoga meditation. These five Sufi or Islamic names have the same essential meaning as the five Indian names used in Sant Mat, and, as with the Indian names, also correspond to five basic inner regions. (In one of the Jewish Gnostic paths of antiquity, a group known as the Sethians, there was also a five-named or panch naam mantra approach, only with five Hebrew names. Those were associated with certain heavenly regions: Harmoz-el, Oroia-el, Daveithai, El-eleth, and another word meaning, the "Self-Begotten One".) Others are given the name RADHASOAMI (Ra-da-Swam-e, "Soul-Lord" or "Lord of the Soul") to use in simran practice along one's journey though all of the various states and stages within. Other Sant Mat lineages use a two-syllabled sacred word revealed at the time of Initiation, and it represents a name for the Soundless One, the Most High God.

In the classic bhajans and banis of the Sants of India appear numerous names of God. One can read verses exhorting devotees to repeat many names of the Formless One:

"Repeat the Name of Raam".
"Repeat the Name of Radhaswami".
"Repeat the Name of Hari".
"Repeat the Name of Govinda".
"Repeat the Name of Vitthala".
"Repeat the Name of Allah".
"Repeat the Name of HOO (HU)".

Many names have used by various Sants: Param-Atma, Hari, Alakh, Allah, Raam or Rama, Rahim, Agam, Purushotama, Khuda, Gobind, Panduranga, Pandhari, Vitthala, Narayana, Vitthoba, Sat Purusha, etc... Some of these names are used by Hindu paths too, and have different meanings. As Sant Dariya Sahib once said:

"Consider the four meanings of Ram,
The first Ram (1) is our inner self.
Parashu-ram (2) is said to be the second one.
The third one lived in Dasharath's (3) home.
The fourth Ram is the Primeval Sat Purush (4)
Call Him (Sat Purush) Ram or call Him Naam, Ram and Naam are one. Both are mutually indistinguishable; Satguru's Sound Current reveals this wisdom."

______
NOTES:
The Life Principle that pervades everywhere, permeating, witin all. Parashu-ram, the son of Sage Jamadagni, is regarded as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ancient king of Ayodhya, the father of Ram. Rama: the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the hero of the great epic Ramayana (Adventures of Rama). The Nirguna or Formless Raam, All-Spirit. (Sant Dariya Sahab)

For the Sants of the East, all names of the One God represent the Nameless, Formless (Nirguna) God of Love and Compassion Who is Timeless (Akal), Spirit, and Eternal (Sat).

The True Spirit of Simran Practice is Bhakti

"Simran" is a term which means "Remembrance", the spiritual practice of remembering or being mindful of God by repeating his Name. Devotees sing or chant various names for God. Higher spiritually, and more "within" is the practice of "manas jap", the mental repetition of God's name or names "with the tongue of thought" - in other words, chanting names of God within one's mind. The Sants have always placed much greater emphasis upon mental Simran over vocal chant.

There is however, more to Simran than the repeating of sacred names. Simran must be approached with the right attitude, the right spirit, for one's intent determines how successful the practice will be, and what effect it will have upon one's consciousness. Simran has never been intended to be a dry or lifeless mantra practice. The path of the Sants is a bhakti path, a path of love and devotion for the Supreme Being. Thus, the true Masters have always instructed their students to repeat God's Name with love and devotion, as a lover calling out to one's Beloved, the Lord of Love.

Guru Kabir

"Keep your mind ever engrossed in the Name of the Lord as the lover's mind is ever engrossed in his beloved. He never forgets her for a single moment - Through day and night he remembers her.

"Happiness rests in ever-repeated simran,
Sorrow and suffering is removed by simran.
Kabir declares with utmost force and clarity:
Practise this simran and be one with the Lord." (Kabir)

What, then, is the practice of the Name? It is a form of interior prayer by which a person learns to keep his or her attention always in the Lord, in every circumstance and situation, at all moments, through day and night. It is a form of inner remembrance that leads to a heightened awareness beyond the limitations of the physical world and the portals of death.

Through meditation on the Name, or Nam bhakti, one learns to draw one's attention away from the outer world.

Sant Namdev

Always be in rapport with the Lord
And enjoy true contentment -
This is the state of ineffable serenity.
There is no peace except in the Name of the Lord -
Meditate on it with one-pointed attention.

Experience the state of superconsciousness
Where the Lord's love surges
And you will see your own form
In each particle of the creation.

0 Nama, the Lord will make
The pupil of your eye his home,
And your eye will expand
To contain the entire universe.
(Saint Namdev, Mystics of the East Series)

The Simran of God's Name Will Lead One to the True Name: The Sound of God

The repetition of the holy Names is the truest spiritual technique. An uninterrupted inner repetition of the holy Names given by the living Master has to be practiced daily with love, devotion, and one- pointed attention. One thereby transcends one's body and is transported to the realms of Light.

The repetition develops into an ever-going spontaneous process, and one catches the unceasing inner Music which takes one to its Source, and reveals God face to face. One is, therefore, exhorted to search daily for the Source of this Unstruck Music. Whatever one does and wherever one happens to be, one is asked to be a sacrifice unto His Name and to have ardent longing to behold Him and hear His voice.

Sant Dadu Dayal

From within, the indwelling Lord Himself
tells me.
"The repetition of My Name alone
is true; all else is delusion."

The Name, the essential Truth of the
three worlds, alone is efficacious.
0 Dadu.
With discrimination, repeat it exclusively
day and night, 0 mind.

At every breath be devoted to it, and
thy Beloved will meet thee one day.
Repetition is the path leading to bliss;
thus hath the Master explained.

Be dedicated to God moment by moment,
even if thou art to lose thy life.
No other way is there to support
the self.

Who is that ill-fated one preaching some
other means?
Without the Name, tell me, where can
one find a foothold? asketh Dadu.

Let not the Name be separated for
a moment from within thy heart,
0 Dadu.
Millions have been purified by
repeating God's Name alone.

Be dedicated to God while the body
is in good condition,
Else later on, when the body and mind
are worn out, thou shalt repent,
sayeth Dadu.

The whole world is full of poison; rarely
someone is free from it, 0 Dadu.
He alone will be free from poison
who is steeped in the Name
of the Supreme Lord.

Repeat the Name with the pang of
separation, and sing its glory with
love and devotion.
Fix thy mind in repetition with joy and
dedication, 0 Dadu.

While speaking or listening, giving
or taking, eating or drinking,
Repeat the Name of God at all times,
0 Dadu, thus shalt the self rest
in the inner lotus.
(Encyclopedia of Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal)



Several Bhajans (Hymns) of Kabir. Good audio quality:
http://www.ideas2ignite.com/kabir/?q=taxonomy/term/13/all






Importance of Initiation

"The process by which the secret of how to realize God is taught is called deeksha or initiation. It is always rewarding to seek initiation from a Satguru or preceptor." (Swami Achyutanand Ji)



Radhaswami: The Lord of Love




"Great emphasis as been made by the Masters on the generation of love for the Supreme Being, the Supreme Master who is all love. Love is the prime source of boundless energy. Love is bliss, and thus the Supreme Being is Supreme Bliss. Love is Light and Truth and from them emanates intelligence. Thus, the Supreme Being is an infinite Ocean of bliss, intelligence, energy, truth and light. He is eternal and unchangeable, the sole director of the whole creation. Such a Supreme Being is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He is all-pervading. The entire universe is the creation of His own Current and as such He is present at every stage in the creation." (Agam Prasad Mathur, "Petals of Love", new book)




Creating the Golden Age, Why Wait for the World to Catch Up?





There have always been a few enlightened enclaves in the world, here and there over the centuries, a few ashrams of Essenes, Gnostics, and Saints living ahead of their time. I like the idea of personally stepping into the Sat Yuga or Golden Age as an individual choice. Rather than waiting for the world to catch up -- a mighty long wait indeed, we can live more and more from our spiritual Ideals, of meditation, vegan or vegetarian diet, spiritual community, enlightened activities, rising up to a higher octave, here and now. Calendars will be always be calenders, but we are free to create the Golden Age today, can step into Sat Yuga in this present moment.



Standing at the Crossroads of Time

Kirpal Singh: "Standing at the crossroads of Time, we must make a firm resolve to do better from day to day; at least from the New Year's Day that beckons us on with a promise of rosy dawn. As there are landmarks on earth, so there are landmarks in Time. The past and future are like sealed books to us: the one is in the limbo of oblivion, while the other is in the womb of uncertainty. It is only the LIVING PRESENT that is ours, and we must make the best use of it, ere it slips away through the fingers and is lost forever. Human birth is a great privilege and offers us a golden opportunity. It is for us to make or mar the same, for it is given to each individual to forge his or her own destiny as best he may."