Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Secret of Secrets: The Soul is Already in Heaven


The Secret of Secrets: The Soul is Already in Heaven
by James Bean
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One can say, the journey is far, that much of the inward journey remains to be traversed. There is however, another way of seeing this, whether experienced in meditation or not. The Kingdom may seem far, and yet, the Reality is that it is Near, Close By, in Our Midst, Within Us, even now, in the living present. Here's something to rest upon and be inspired by: Whether we know it or not in our experience, the soul is already in Sach Khand, has always been in Sach Khand. There's no other place for the soul to be other than the soul level (Sat Lok, Sach Khand). We are (the soul is) wearing several coverings: physical, also subtle bodies: astral, causal, mental, and etheric. We have to contend with the outer distractions of the five senses, and yet, our true identity remains what it always has been: soul or spirit. One Master used the term "spirit-entity". Sant Mat Meditation is about knowing this, experiencing this, shifting awareness from the other world to within. We are drops from the Ocean of Love. We are already in heaven but don't know it. And, as Rumi might say, this is "the Secret of Secrets".
The Kingdom that seems far, is also the Kingdom of Heaven that is Near.
Kabir said: Within this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, and within it is the Creator: Within this vessel are the seven oceans and the unnumbered stars. The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within; and within this vessel the Eternal soundeth, and the spring wells up. Kabîr says: "Listen to me, my Friend! My Beloved Lord is within."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Know Yourself and Know God



Know Yourself and Know God

"Practice 'Drishti Yoga' (Yoga of Inner Light) and 'Nada-anu-sandhana' (Yoga of Sound, Surat Shabd Yoga). This will remove the layers of Darkness, Light and Sound (that conceal your Soul from the Supreme Sovereign Soul, i.e. God). You will, thus, get to know "Who You Are". And, when you know yourself, you will also know God." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)


His Real Self is Neither a Body nor a Mind but an Effulgent Wave of Consciousness

His Real Self is Neither a Body nor a Mind but an Effulgent Wave of Consciousness

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The Life and Teachings of Huzur Baba Sawan Singh:
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Sardar Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj Sahib was born on the 27th day of July, 1858, in the village of Mehmansing-walla in the district of Ludhiana, the Punjab.

From early childhood he was irresistibly drawn to seek the eternal abode. Born in a Sikh family, Sawan was brought up with the sacred scriptures of his religion, the Guru Granth Sahib (a compilation of mystical poetry written by the Sikh gurus and other Indian and Persian mystics) which spoke at length about an inner music and light that lead a soul back to God.

The turning point in Sawan Singh's life came when he met his spiritual guru, Baba Jaimal Singh, and took initiation under him in the path of surat shabd yoga (union of the soul with the divine inner sound). Such was Sawan's readiness that in just over nine years he became an acknowledged master within the Sant Mat and Radhasoami traditions.

How did Huzur Sawan Singh succeed in reaching Sach Khand, the eternal Realm of Truth according to the Saints, which is beyond time and space?

First, by coming into contact with an authentic master; second, by explicitly following the instructions of his teacher (daily meditation, pure moral life, surrender of the body/mind/soul to the living presence of Shabd, etc.); and third, by realizing experientially that his real Self is neither a body nor a mind but an effulgent wave of Consciousness.

Huzur Sawan Singh died on April 2, 1948. According to his devotees he was not a resident of this planet. Since childhood he had known that his real home was beyond the spatial limitations of the universe.

He was a native of Sach Khand, the Eternal Realm of Truth, a saint who showed humanity that their origin was not of dust but of light-an unquenchable flame that burns in every living being for that alone which is everlasting.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Only Then Something is Accomplished



Only Then Something is Accomplished



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"The Shabd [Divine Word or Sound] 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....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)

"Shabad is the Creator of the whole universe. It is also its operator. It is this very Word which produces Sound behind our eyes. When we get the initiation from a Saint, practice Naam simran to retrace our consciousness from toes to a spot behind the eyes [3rd Eye], only then something is accomplished." ("Anurag Sagar", Volume I of III, Maharaj Baba Kehar Singh's Commentary)



The Seven Principles of Sant Mat


The Seven Principles of Sant Mat,
By Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
Harmony Of All Religions




1. Ultimate Reality is beyond any beginning or end, infinite, beyond birth, beyond the senses, all-pervading yet even beyond pervasiveness. It must, therefore, be understood as the Supreme Being. This Essential Element is known in Santmat [the Teachings of the Saints] as the Lord of All and is the foundation of all things. This Being is beyond both the inanimate and animate aspects of nature. It is without qualities and beyond qualities. Its nature is infinite, imperishable, all-powerful. It is beyond time and space, beyond sound and beyond form [is Formless: Nirguna]. It is the One without a second. The Supreme Being is beyond the scope of the mind, the intellect and the senses. This entire universe is powered by the energy of this Being. This Being is not human. It is not manifested in physical form. It has existence beyond the illusion of maya [illusion], and there is nothing that exists outside of it. It is the Being which is eternal and is in existence from the beginning. Santmat considers this Being to be the Divine Reality, and this [knowing or merging with] Being is the goal of all spirituality.

2. The individual soul is an inseparable part of the Supreme Being.

3. The physical world of nature was created. It has an origin and an end.

4. The individual soul (jiva), bound by illusion (maya), remains in the cycle of death and birth. This is the cause of one's suffering. In order to escape from this cycle of death and birth we must experience realization of this Supreme Being.

5. By practicing devotion through these four techniques -- Mānas Japa ([Simran], recitation of the divine name), Manas Dhyāna ([Dhyan], focus on the divine form), Driśti Sadhana ([Yoga of Inner Light], focus on the infinitesimal point), and Nadanusandhana Yoga ([Surat Shabd Yoga], concentration on the inner divine sounds) -- the practitioner consecutively transcends the realms of darkness, light, and sound which cloak the Supreme Truth -- the Divine Reality. Only in a human body an individual soul is able to achieve unity with the Divine. [In other forms of existence, animal, etc., it is not possible to tread the spiritual path.]

6. Lying, stealing, intake of intoxicating substances, adultery, and violence (including harming other beings) are the five sins to be avoided. Eating meat or fish is also considered to be a form of violence and should be avoided. The aspirants of Santmat must abstain from these vices.2 (2 Note: In Buddhism these five abstinences are known as the Panch Shila (the Five Precepts).

7. The following are considered to be the requirements for the attainment liberation: (A) Trust and belief in God; (B) Commitment to seek the Divine within; (C) Devotion and service to a sadguru -- spiritual Master; (D) Satsang, listening to the teaching and spiritual discourse including study of the Teaching of the Saints and the scriptures; and (E) Dhyana, diligent meditation practice.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

What We Can Become, and, The Five Precepts




What We Can Become, and, The Five Precepts







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What We Can Become

Saints have a very positive and optimistic view of us. Though they may note our predicament, our current situation, what they really see is what we can become. What they know is that each person can become a perfect being full of light and joy.

They also know that most of us are unaware of this fact because our minds have become clouded by attachments and scattered by wrong activities so we have lost sight of where real peace and joy are to be found.

Once we understand our great potential, we will naturally apply ourselves to developing what is lying dormant within us. We will make sure we do actions that nourish spiritual growth and avoid actions that are negative, destructive or bring unhappy results.

To help us avoid the many pitfalls that lie between us and our goal, the Saints advise us to concentrate our efforts on five main points:

1. To follow the instructions of a true living teacher;

2. To abstain from eating meat, fowl, fish, and eggs;

3. To lead an honest, moral life;

4. To refrain from taking drugs and alcohol; and

5. To practice meditation for two and a half hours a day.

(Dr. S.R. Bakshi, Dr. Sangh Mittra, Encyclopaedia of Saints of India, Volume 19: Radhasoami)


The Five Precepts


ETHICS - AHIMSA VALUES - THE FIVE PRECEPTS

Moral requirements for Initiation

1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs;

2. Ahimsa (Non-Violence in thought, word, and deed) including vegetarianism [abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs]);

3. Lead a truthful life;

4. Practice non-stealing -- an honest, ethical source of income;

5. Loyalty to ones spouse;

. Another Version of the Five Precepts

1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. [This precept requires strict adherence to a lacto-vegetarian diet: no meat, fish, poultry or eggs (fertilized or non-fertilized).]

2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.

3) Refrain from taking what is not yours.

4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.

5) Refrain from using intoxicants.


Vindu - Nada Dhyan (Meditation), By Swami Achyutanand Ji




Swami Achyutanand Ji


-Excerpts from the book in Hindi "Vindu – Nada Dhyan" authored by the octogenarian Sant Revd. Swami Achyutanand Ji Maharaj, one of the eldest living disciples of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans. Swami Achyutanand Ji, one of the most eminent scholars on Santmat, has had the rare fortune of a long and close serving association, spanning more than two decades, with Maharshi Mehi Paramhans who initiated him into sannyasa (monkhood) and appointed him as the founder editor of the spiritual monthly "Shanti Sandesh" (Message of Peace) published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India. Swami Achyutanand Ji has a number of other books to his credit like, "Santmate Ki Baten", "Navadha Bhakti", "Bandaun Guru Pad Kanj", "Maharshi Mehi Ke Ashirwachan Aur Upadesh", "Sukti Sudha Sagar", "Bhajanamrit" etc. He currently also edits a spiritual quarterly titled "Adhyatma Prakash" (The Light of Spirituality) published from Maharshi Santsewi Dhyanayogashram, Kolkata, India.




While teaching how to do Vindu (Bindu or Point) Dhyana Lord Shri Krishna instructs, in the Sixth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, to keep the trunk, neck and head in one straight line and to look in front of the nose without looking in any of the directions. He also teaches Uddhava similarly, in Shrimad Bhagvat (Canto 11, Chapter 14), to sit straight, erect and comfortably on a level seat and still the gaze in the direction of in front of the nose [with eyes closed]. Shandilya Upanishad (Chapter 1), too, advises accordingly:

"vidvAna sama grIvashiro nAsAgra drigbhrumadhye |
sashabhridbimbam pashyannetrAbhyAmamritam pibet ||"

That is, a wise person should keep his neck & head erect, look in front of the nose and the centre of the two eyebrows and sip the elixir, through his inner eyes, from the moon that is seen by practicing thus.

Our most adorable Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Paramhans Ji Maharaj) has also uttered:

"dhara gara mastaka sIdha sAdhi, Asana AsInA |
baiThi ke chakhu mukha mooni, ishTa mAnasa japa dhyAnA ||
prema nema son karata-karata mana shuddha ho |..."

[Sit on a pure `Asana' (small piece of mat, carpet, cloth sheet, etc.) with your back, neck and head held in a straight (vertical) line. Then keeping your mouth and eyes shut, internally chant the name of the deity you worship (or Guru), and internally visualize the form of your Guru or desired deity.

Doing so regularly, with loving devotion, and with perseverance, the mind gradually gets purified.]

That is, the practitioner should sit in a comfortable posture holding his body, neck and head motionless in a straight line, shut his mouth and eyes, and first practice mAnas japa (mentally reciting or chanting – without using or moving the lips or the tongue – the sacred mantra, given by the Guru, repeatedly with the fullest attention and alertness) followed by mAnasa dhyAna (fixedly gazing at the imagined form of the Guru within us, keeping our eyes closed). Practicing thus regularly and with sincere love, the mind gets purified.

The mind is, by its very nature, fickle and prone to frequently straying from mAnasa japa and mAnasa dhyAna. If that happens while meditating, it should be immediately brought back to focus on its due target. Thus perseveringly practicing pratyAhAra (the process of applying the mind back, again and again, every time it drifts away, to the selected target), the mind slowly gains in strength and is able to hold or stick to its goal. The inner current, the current of light, is subsequently grasped facilitating the journey ahead. This is why, Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj) has said:

"jahan jahan se bhagi jAya, tAhi tahan tahan se tatkshaNa |
feri feri le Ai, lagAiya dhyeya mein Apana ||
aisahi kari pratihAra, dhAraNA dhAraNa karike |
are hAn re `Mehi' auro Age baDhiya, chaDhiya dhara dhArA dhari ke ||"

[The mind (while trying to focus it on a fixed target) often strays to numerous other thoughts. In all such cases when the mind wanders away from the target (as soon as its flight to objects or subjects other than the target is realized), immediately…|
Bring it back, again and again, and focus it on your target. ||
Thus practicing the `pratyAhAra' (the process or practice of repeatedly bringing the mind back to focus on its target every time it strays), acquire the state of `dhAraNA' (the state of mind staying focused on the target for a short duration). |
Move ahead and ascend yourself, counsels Maharshi Mehi Paramhansji Maharaj, holding on to the current in the inner sky, then move further ahead.||]

We will have to merge into the current of light that is there within our own body. Those practitioners who assiduously practice meditation would behold wonderful spectacles within their own house (body). Those who would properly still their sight would be able to reach up to the banks of Sushumna. Any sincere practitioner of drishTi yoga would surely ascend to this bank of Sushumna, as has been clearly enunciated in this hymn of our Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans):

"dhara dhara dhara kI dhArA, sAra ati chetanA |
dhara dhara dhara kA khela, jatana kari dekhanA ||
dhara mein sushmana ghATa, drishTi ThaharAi ke |
are hAn re `Mehi' yahi ghATe chaDhi jAva, dharAdhara dhAi ke ||"

[Very alertly grasp the prime current in the inner sky. |
And consciously behold the resplendent wonders or plays there (in the inner sky). ||
Still your gaze, your currents of seeing, at the banks of Sushumna (or the Tenth Door or the Third Eye Centre).|
And, yes, waste no time at all and swiftly ascend to this realm, exhorts Maharshi Mehi Paramhansji Maharaj.||]

DrishTi yoga has to be practiced with full concentration. The sight has to be fixed in the front, as does an archer while taking aim at his target. By dint of perseverant meditation, the spiritual practitioner of drishTi yoga acquires the ability to transcend the gross body and move into the astral world. Gurudev in his experience-packed words say,

"tajo pinDa chaDhi jAva, brahmANDahin vIra ho |
pelo sushmana drishTi, sista jyon tIra ho ||"

[Bravely practising thus, rise higher into the 'brahmANDa' (Macro or Higher Cosmos/Universe) leaving the `piNDa' (our body or micro-cosmos) behind. |
(For this) make your sight focused and penetrate into the Sushumna, just as an arrow pierces its target. ||]

Practice of drishTi yoga calls for utmost devotedness and tenacity of purpose. The practitioner who assiduously and patiently practice this meditation would realize that fickleness, or unsteadiness of their vision would gradually go away and their mind would be tranquil. It is thus that they would, with the piercing thrust of their focused gaze, be able to break open the `tila dwAra' (or the Third Eye, or the Tenth Door). Which is why Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans) says,

"drishTi yoga abhyAsa atihi karatahi karata|
kampani sahajahi chhuTai prauDha hovai surat ||
tila darvAzA TuTai nazar ke jora se |
are hAn re `Mehi' lage TakaTakI khUba, jora barajora se ||"

[Through regular & rigorous practice of `drishTi yoga' (Meditation on Divine Light within)…|
The trembling or shaking of attention would automatically go away as surat would mature slowly (and become absolutely fixed or stilled). ||
Tila dwAra (Tenth Door or the Third Eye) will break open by the thrust of the focused gaze…|
So go on gazing at it constantly with all the attention, says Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj.]

The practitioner of drishTi yoga has to stop seeing outside, and begin to look within. As the sight gets steadied, the grand expanse of light comes in view. This has been exquisitely portrayed by Sant Gulal Sahab:

"ulaTi dekho ghaTa mein joti pasAra |
bina bAje tahan dhuni saba hovai, vigasi kamala kachanAr |
paiThi patAla sUra sasi bAndhau, sAdhau trikuTI dwAra |
ganga jamuna ke wAra pAra bicha, bharatu hai amiya karAra ||
ingalA pingalA sukhamana sodho, bahat sikhara mukha dwAra |
surati nirati le baiTha gagan para, sahaja uThai jhanakAra ||"

[Revert within and behold the stunning spectacles of light within the body.|
All kinds of melodies play there without the aid of any instruments, flowers like lotus and Kachanar (Bauhinia Variegata) blossom there. ||
Dive deep within, rein in the Sun (the Pingla nerve or the Yamuna) and the Moon (the Ida nerve or the Ganga) and train your attention at the doors of Trikuti. |
In the centre of the Ganga (Ida) and the Yamuna (Pingla) lays the repertoire of elixir. ||
Merge the currents of Ida & Pingla in the Sushumna, and lo! The stream of elixir is down pouring from atop. |
When the surat (Soul) rises above and gets lost in the inner sky, spontaneously resonating current of sound is heard. ||]

As a matter of fact, the art of drishTi yoga or vindu-dhyAna is confidential and has to be learnt from an adept Guru, without whom this is but an extremely arduous task. Sant Kabir Sahab has wonderfully carved this idea in verse form,

"murshida nainon bIcha nabI hai |
syAha safeda tilon bicha tArA, avigata alakha rabI hai ||
AnkhI maddhai pAnkhI chamake, pAnkhI maddhai tArA |
tehi dwAre dUrabIna lagAve, utare bhava jala pArA ||"

That is,

O Guru, in the middle of the eyes lives the Prophet (of God). |
A star, that is the radiant visible form or symbol of the All-pervading and the Invisible God, is sighted between the black and white tils (points) ||
A bird (or refulgent point) dazzles in the mid of the eyes; and there is a door (opening) in that point. |
Whoever trains and stills his sight at that opening, subsequently swims across the Ocean of existence. ||

Kabir Sahab also teaches how to accomplish that:

"Ankha kAna mukha banda karAo | anahada jhIngA shabda sunAo ||
donon til eka tAra milAo | taba dekho gulazArA hai ||"

[Shut your eyes, ears and mouth (and lovingly keep gazing in the front).| You would hear myriads of sounds ricocheting there ||
Merge the currents in both the eyes into one. | And enjoy the mesmerizing displays ||]

He further states,

"sumirana surata lagAya kara, mukha se kachhU na bola |
bAhar ka paTa banda kara, antara kA paTa khola ||"

[Practice meditation (mAnasa japa, mAnasa dhyAna etc.), uttering nothing from your mouth (i.e. keeping your mouth closed). |
Lower the curtains of eyes down, and unfold the inner door. ||]

Elaborating more, he says,

"nainon kI kari koTharI, putalI palanga bichhAya |
palakon kI chika Dari ke, piya ko liyA rijhAya ||"

[Make the eyes in to a room and pupil into the cot... |
Drop down the curtains of the eyelids and enamour the Lord. ||]

We find in the saying of even our most adorable Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans):
"yuga drishTi kI eka tIkshNa noka se chIri tejasa bindu |"

That is, focusing or joining the currents flowing through both the eyes results in an infinitesimal point which pierces the veil of darkness and produces a refulgent point.

We should learn the tact of this meditation on the Divine Point or Light, known as drishTi-yoga or bindu-dhyAna from a true Guru; this skill cannot be learnt from books or Scriptures. Rather, self-learnt erroneous practice might result in harm instead of doing any good. Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans) has aptly remarked,

"bina dayA santana kI `Mehi' jAnanA isa rAha ko |
huA nahIn hotA nahIn wo honahArA hai nahIn ||"

[To know this esoteric path, says Maharshi Mehi, without the grace of a sant... |
has never happened, is still not possible, nor is likely to be so ever in future! ||]

It has, therefore, been appropriately observed in the following verse,

"bheda yaha gupta pAnA kisI grantha se |
hai asmbhava samajha lo kisI sant se ||"

[This knack is hidden (from common knowledge) and to ferret it out in Scriptures...|
Is impossible of attainment, hence learn it from a Sant.]


Swami Achyutanand Ji


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Spiritual Experience One Has In The Beginning Is Not Enough


The Spiritual Experience One Has In The Beginning Is Not Enough


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The Spiritual Experience One Has In The Beginning Is Not Enough

"The spiritual experience one may have in the practices of Simran, Dhyan and Bhajan in the beginning should not be taken as full and complete. Rather, one should remain hopeful of getting more and more of internal realization. If one has no internal realization at all, then it is book knowledge. It is knowledge theoretical, but not realization; such a one is given to learning but not devoted to practices. As one makes headway in the meditation practices, one will go on having ever-new experiences. It is with a definite purpose that the whole of the Secrets have not been revealed in the Banis. As one advances internally, the Secrets will unfold themselves to one automatically, stage by stage. A partial realization is not enough. One should always remain hopeful of getting more and more realization." (Maharaj Saheb, "Discourses")




This Will Help You


"Be simple. Be dedicated in doing your work. Believe in Sat Purush (God). Pay attention to your actions and beware of karma. Do whatever is good for society. Be the purest form of a human being. Just think purely, act purely, and love purely ..... everyone, anyone. This will help you come closer to God. By attaining this purity you will give a place to God, and the Sound Current will reside within you." (Anonymous)