Sunday, June 24, 2012
Introduction to Sant Mat Spirituality, Also, On the Usage of the Term Sant Mat and Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India
Introduction to Sant Mat Spirituality -- Light and Sound on the Path
NOTE: As always, to enjoy all the photos, art and icons accompanying the various spiritual quotes below, if you're viewing this via email, click: "Display Images", or "Show Images".
Contents Below -- In This Issue
Newly Added Sant Mat E-Books and Podcasts;
Mystic Poetry: Tulsi Sahib's Ode to His Satguru and the Mysteries Within;
A Summary of the Teachings of Sant Mat;
The Seven Teachings of Sant Mat;
The Seven Principles of Sant Mat;
The Ethical Foundation of Sant Mat, Including the Five Precepts and Ahimsa-based Diet -- Moral Requirements for Initiation;
On Initiation Into Inner Light and Sound Meditation Practice;
Article: Changing Your Destiny By Contemplating the Divine Light Within;
Some Sant Mat History and Research: On the Origins and Usage of the Term "Sant Mat", especially by Tulsi Sahib.
Also: who was Tulsi Sahib's Guru? One Observation based on a passage in the Ghat Ramayan.
(Links to Sant Mat Blogs, Web Pages, and Daily Spiritual Quotes via Social Networking Sites are Listed at the Bottom.)
Above: Swami Ji Maharaj of Agra
Newly Added Sant Mat Books Online
* Soami Ji Maharaj's Letters To Huzur Maharaj;
* Elucidation on the Jap Ji: Soami Ji Maharaj's Commentary on Guru Nanak's Morning Prayer;
* Last Words of Soami Ji Maharaj;
* Philosophy Of Liberation (Salvation, Moksha-Darshan): A Manuel of Sant Mat Mysticism, by Maharishi Mehi -- The Goals and Practices of the Sant Tradition, the Veena Howard Translation;
* The Teachings of Kirpal Singh -- A Complete Set of Five Books Combined Into One Volume: Book One: The Holy Path; Book Two: Self-Introspection; Book Three: Meditation; Book Four: New Life in the World; and, Book Five: The New Life in God.(Published By Ruhani Satsang);
* Light On Ananda Yoga, By Shiv Brat Lal (Data Dayal);
* Various Translations of, Radhasoami Mat Prakash, by Huzur Maharaj;
+++ To Access These and Many Other Online Books, GO TO the Sant Mat Library:
Pictured Above: Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Baba Girdhari Sahib
during his younger days (shown holding a fan)
Podcasts Related To Sant Mat and Satsang You Can Stream Or Download
* There is No 'Vatican' of the Spirit -- A Reflection on the Impermanence of Spiritual Movements in a World of Samsara (Changes) -- The World Needs More Satsangs -- On the Format of Satsangs;
* Visions of Allah -- Rumi, Sufi Poetry and Mysticism;
* Leaving the Matrix -- Mysteries of Inner Light and Sound;
* Poetry and the Teachings of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras;
* Sant Mat Satsang Podcast: The Sant Mat Family Tree: Guru Lineage Charts of Sant Mat, from the Time of Kabir Through 2012;
* Pravesh K. Singh, speaking about Inner Light and Sound Meditation and the Spiritual Masters of India;
+++ To Hear These and Many Other Podcasts, Go To the Archive Page:
One of Several Tulsi Sahib Icons
The Goal of the Practice of Surat Shabd Yoga (Inner Sound Meditation): "Upon merging the mind with the Sound, there remains only the consciousness, free of the association with the mind. The consciousness free of the mind will be drawn to the flow of Sounds, ultimately merging in Soundlessness or the Supreme Sovereign God [Anadi, Anami]." (Maharshi Mehi, Philosophy of Liberation)
"The Divine Sound is the Original Unspoken Word-Sound of the beginning. It is the special Name of the Supreme Sovereign. This Name makes apparent Its reality to the person who perceives it. By this Divine Sound the direct knowledge of the Essential existence of the Supreme Sovereign may be attained."(Maharshi Mehi, Philosophy of Liberation)
"In all higher regions, Heaven's Music is the spiritual food." ("The Way Out is IN", by Swami Ram Bihari Lal)
Tulsi Sahib's Ode to His Satguru and the Mysteries Within
"How can I describe the greatness of my Satguru?
He has given my soul the key to the Inaccessible.
The vision of the Invisible has enchanted my soul,
Through the grace of the Saints I have recognized the Master.
Piercing the granite wall, (1) my soul enjoys bliss divine;
Intoxicated with joy, I dwell forever at his lotus feet.
The indigent Tulsi knows naught else,
In the thought of his Master, he remains absorbed.
My Satguru has given to me knowledge of the self;
Time and again my soul ascends to celestial regions.
Traversing the regions within, I beheld the
The beginning and the end of Time stand revealed to me.
The beginning and the end of creation that he sees within,
Verily, of that experience does Tulsi give a description.
The Universe is contained within the human frame,
Tulsi has himself seen what to others is beyond reach.
Not only the macrocosm within the microcosm did I behold,
But, piercing the veil, I also perceived the One pervading all.
Within the body, Tulsi has seen the Invisible Being;
Knowing the unfathomable One, he narrates the wondrous tale.
The Universe is contained within the human body,
Tulsi has revealed this truth to all seekers.
Within my own body have I seen the universe;
In the Light of the lotus feet of my Master,
I have bathed in the true Prayag. (3)
Only a rare one, who has known the Primordial, will bear me out;
One who has tasted the Divine Nectar within,
Will alone know the effulgence of the Supreme Lord.
-- Param Sant Tulsi Saheb, Ghat Ramayan
(1): Seeing within via the Third Eye, Singleness of Vision
(2): Pinda/Material Universe, Anand/Astral Plane, and Bramanand/Causal
(3): The place where the three mystical rivers meet: Ganga, Jamuna and the Saraswati. Tulsi Sahib here esoterically is referring to the inner region known as Triveni.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE TEACHINGS OF SANT MAT, THE PATH OF THE MASTERS
* All souls (jivas) are in essence drops of love from the Ocean of God.
* The attachment and association with mind and body makes the soul lose sight of the real Self.
* God assumes the form of a Saint to lead the soul back to its Original Home.
* One must surrender one's entire being to the Ocean of Love of which we are a part, instead of limiting ourselves to sensual pleasures which leave us unhappy and discontented.
* This can be done by the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga [Inner Light and Sound Meditation].
* By attuning oneself to the Life Current which proceeds from the Heart of Anami Purush [God, The Nameless One] in the form of Light and Sound, one can finally achieve union with the True Self, finding the joy one is seeking. (R.S. White Paper on Religion of Sants and Radhasoami Faith, Agra)
SEVEN TEACHINGS OF SANT MAT
1) God is Real.
2) God is Love, the Ocean of Love and Compassion.
3) All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.
4) Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.
5) During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.
6) As we experience communing with God's love during meditation -- Surat Shabd Yoga, we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the "Kingdom of the Heavens" that are within us. "We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State [Anami, Radhaswami, Anadi Purush, Ram, the Formless God]." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love.
7) As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Master, Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: "It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth". (Adi Granth) Kabir says: "For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?".
THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF SANT MAT
The Following Principles Below are Recited Daily by Some in India.
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 -- 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] this 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 -- Manas Japa (Simran, recitation of the divine name), Manas Dhyana (Dhyan, focus on the divine form), Dristi Sadhana (Yoga of Inner Light, Inner Seeing, Inner Light Meditation, 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.*
(*Note: In Buddhism these five abstinences are known as the Panch Shila (the Five Precepts -- see below).
7. The following are considered to be the requirements for the attainment liberation: (A) Trust and belief in God; (B) Commitment to seek God within; (C) Devotion and service to a satguru -- 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. (Maharshi Mehi, from, The Padavali of Maharshi Mehi, also quoted in the book, Harmony of All Religions)
THE ETHICAL FOUNDATION OF SANT MAT -- AHIMSA VALUES -- THE FIVE PRECEPTS
(Note: This includes both vegan and lacto-vegetarian versions of the ahimsa diet. What is vegan, and why is the vegetarian community transitioning to it? At the Sant Mat Library -- linked above -- scroll down and see: "Vegan Diet and Sant Mat: The Book of Compassion -- Reverence For All Life".)
Moral requirements for Initiation
1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs (intoxicants);
2. Ahimsa (Non-Violence in thought, word, and deed) including in the area of diet, as in following a vegan (abstinence from animal products) or vegetarian diet (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs);
3. Leading a truthful life;
4. Practicing 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 also requires strict adherence to a vegan (no animal products) or lacto-vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, poultry nor 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.
INITIATION INTO SURAT SHABD YOGA -- INNER LIGHT AND SOUND MEDITATION
In the Sant tradition, the complete methods and secrets of meditation practice are communicated at the time of Initiation (Diksha) by a living Master (Sant Satguru, Competent, Qualified Teacher) or a representative of a Master. A Living Teacher, being fully acquainted with the 'landscape' of Inner Space, is able to impart to initiate-candidates valuable guidance on how to safely make the journey of ascension through the Inner Regions during meditation practice within. This kind of spiritual transmission and the details of Surat Shabd Yoga practice are not found in books, old scriptures of the past, and are not for sale, but are given freely to seekers by a Living Teacher. Initiation into Sant Mat Meditation is available at various locations around the world.
At the time of Initiation one vows to practice meditation each day. The spiritual path is a life-long commitment.
Changing Your Destiny By Contemplating the Divine Light Within -- Exploring the World Religions
By James Bean
Copyright June 2012 -- All Rights Reserved
Accumulated Thoughts Cause Births and Deaths Again and Again
"With our thoughts we make the world." (Buddha)
"Having been blessed with this human form, one must make proper use of their 'Pradhan Buddhi' or Supreme intellect by utilizing it for the attainment of Self-Realization and thus make fruitful or productive this human birth." (The Shri Paramhans Advait Mat Granth)
"Desire for anything assumes the form of a thought. The moment a desire to attain something or the other, arises in the mind, that very moment, man is thrown into an ocean of thoughts. These very thoughts become the basis of resolutions and options which cause one to enter into different forms after death [transmigration, reincarnation]. Whatever the nature of thought at the time of death is determines the next form or birth for that soul.
"All the doubts and desires should be made to merge with the Shabd Naam or Word [the Divine Current of Light and Sound], to get rid of the consequences of innumerable births and transmigration. Except for the desire to recite Naam, no other desire should take hold of the mind...... By remembering the Lord, one attains God-realization and when this stage is reached, then there is no need to resort to any other means of attaining moksha (liberation)." (The Shri Paramhans Advait Mat Granth)
"Whatever man thinketh, that he obtaineth. If he were to dwell on the Absolute -- he would become immortal!" (Namdev)
Below is from, Harmony of All Religions. It's a free online book in the Library Section of my website.
Below contains a very useful presentation about successful meditation practice. It's so easy to fall asleep during meditation, to discover our attempt at meditation turning into a 'sleep-itation'. The focus can also be lost as the mind resumes thinking during that period we call meditation, gets caught up in daydreaming, fantasies, remembering past events, worries, planning for future events, etc.... We can hear our thoughts so well in the silence. The running commentary of the "monkey-mind" is like a sportscaster constantly giving us the play-by-play and never wants to stop. Discipline is most definitely required, along with good techniques, spiritual exercises that are effective.
Below, Sant Sevi Ji uses the term "Pratyahara", meaning, "the repeated practice of bringing the wandering mind to a focus", bringing our attention back to the Seat of the Soul, Third Eye Center. We sit ourselves down and focus at the Third Eye with eyes closed. That shifting from the outer waking state to the meditative state, in this particular Sant tradition of mysticism from India, is called pratyahara. "Dharana" is a term for the "sustaining of focus for small periods" of time -- quality meditation time, in other words. I am so glad someone has identified terms for these meditative states so that we may better communicate and examine the quality of our own meditations, and seek to develop a stronger, more sustained, focus within.
For those of you who are new to meditation practice, I should mention that at the beginning of one's meditation each day, to help overcome the running commentary of the mind, one can mentally repeat a sacred name or names of God within ones self as one gazes into the darkness ahead with eyes closed. This mental repetition is called "Manas Jap". Sufis call it "Zikhr". Others may call it "Simran", which is a term that also means, "Remembrance". It is, in other words, the repetition of this sacred name is a way to remember who we are, and call upon the Positive Power for aid and assistance. It is the "Prayer of God's Name". The answer to this prayer is the manifestation of God within us during our experience of meditation. Those of you who have not been given a mantra by a living Master to repeat, can, for now -- to try this out and get somewhat of a sense of what this practice is like, adopt your own sacred word to use during practice -- a name you're comfortable with already, like perhaps: Allah, Ram, Radhaswami, Yeshua, AUM, HU, Great Spirit, etc..... Any name of God can work. Whichever name symbolizes for you the highest truth and the Lord of Love is a very good name, a natural mantra. (Note: Formal Initiation into Sant Mat Meditation, a much more advanced and complete version of meditation practice is available at various locations around the world.)
As we remain focused and mentally repeat our sacred word or words, we may notice the appearance or manifestation of inner Light. We may see sparks of Light that look something like fireflies, stars, various colors or other visions of Light. "If thine eye be Single, thy whole body shall be full of Light," say many Masters of the past and present. In the Gospel of Thomas, Yeshua says, "if one is (whole), one will be filled with Light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness." If the energy of our attention is scattered and dissipated into the outer world of the five senses, we see darkness, but if our attention returns to the Single Eye Focus -- the seat of the soul -- Light shall appear. Or, in other words, we will discover the Light that is already there.
Masters say it is a good idea to meditate everyday to lighten the load of karma. The inner Currents of Sound and Light wash away karma and give us more divine grace, thus uplifting our destiny to the highest good. The Force known as Shabd Naam (Divine Sound and Light) coming from above, busts into the world of time and space, freeing souls from the law of karma. We become what we see. If we contemplate the Light of God -- we become That.
Returning to the Source Through the Inward Journey is Dharma, by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
"The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion [bodily existence]. It has descended from the Soundless State [the God State, Nirvana] to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature. The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature.
"To go back to our origin means returning: withdrawal from the sense organs to go upward (by withdrawing consciousness) from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. In other words, to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self (both of these expressions are exact special metaphors describing the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the nine senses must be collected at the Third Eye Center between the eyebrows. Therein lies the path for our return. This is the act of leaving the gates of the sense organs and becoming established in the soul. We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is turning back. This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us and it is the essence of dharma.
The Inward Journey Involves Reversing the Consciousness Current
"The mind must go inward, which is the reverse of its usual and easy outward path. Just as the fish struggles against the current, so an equal effort must be made to go against the current of the mind. By going inward against the current of the mind, we experience divine joy.
"But how exactly is this concentration accomplished? It is accomplished by withdrawal within with intense focus. When collected, consciousness is of unimaginable speed. This is the force of the soul which is capable of reaching God.
"What is the place to be reached? When we close our eyes and see darkness, this is the realm of ignorance. When the Light dawns within you, then you understand that you reside in noble regions. In darkness resides ignorance and in Light resides Knowledge. For example as we are sitting in light right now we are able to see one another. However, if the electric power goes out ensuing total darkness we will not be able to see others. We will not even be aware of other people, coming and going. In this analogy light signifies knowledge and darkness signifies ignorance. In the same manner when we see darkness with our eyes closed we are in the realm of death and re-birth [we are unaware of our true nature.]. When we come out of the realm of darkness and enter into the realm of Light, we will at the same time transcend the web of death. It is not possible that we can remain in darkness and be free from the net of birth and death. Having achieved inner Light we can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
"Some one asked Saint Mira Bai, "What kind of practice did you do to control your mind -- our mind wanders far away during meditation?" Mira replied, "Through my consciousness I traveled the skies and then my mind came under control and agreed to be still."
"Let us ponder on this subject. What vehicle did Mira Bai use to travel the skies? Was it an airplane, helicopter or a rocket? Mira Bai's journey was not in the outer world but it was inside the inner realms. Her vehicles were divine Light and divine Sound." (Harmony Of All Religions) ////////
SANT MAT HISTORY: On the Usage of the Term "Sant Mat"
"Sant Mat" means: "The Teachings of the Saints" or "Path of the Masters". It's common knowledge that the term "Sant Mat" was coined or adapted by Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India during the 19th Century. "Sant Mat" was adopted and popularized by Tulsi Sahib as a new name for this spiritual path or genre of mysticism, but the Sant tradition, with its many guru-lineages or branches, is a spiritual movement that dates back many centuries to ancient India. Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that the Sant movement goes back to the time of Krishna thousands of years ago, that Krishna knew of Sants or Rishis during his day, the age of the Bhagavad Gita.
Commonly used words like "Sant", "Sat", and "Mat", with their roots in Sanskrit, are found in the literature of many spiritual paths originating in India. "Santmat", as a single word referring to the efficacy of following the teachings of Sants does turn up on a couple of occasions in Sant literature during the centuries prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib. It could be present in a few verses of Kabir, and is in at least one verse of a poem of Sant Tulsi Das. Clearly however, "Sant Mat" as the universal name or label for this school of spirituality or Sant tradition begins with Tulsi Sahib during the 19th Century in Hathras, and now has been embraced by millions of souls and scores of spiritual paths based in India.
"While the title of Sant Mat (translated as 'Teachings of the Sants') was not coined until the late 19th century by Tulsi Sahib, the philosophical mindset was indeed prevalent for many centuries." (Andrea Grace Diem, Ph.D., "Lions in the Punjab: An Introduction to the Sikh Religion", from Chapter One, The Sikh--Sant Connection)
Param Tulsi Sahib of Hathras originated the term "Sant Mat" as recorded in the Ghat Ramayan also according to the scholar Parashuram Chaturvedi in his book "Sant Parampara". (See footnote 23, in the chapter titled, "The Radhasoami Revival", by Mark Juergensmeyer, on page 337 in, "The Sants, Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India", Edited by Karine Schomer and W.H. McLeod, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, page 783)
"One thing that all factions agree upon, though, is that Tulsi Sahib consolidated the teachings of nirguna bhakti, expounded the path of surat shabd yoga, and was largely responsible for the popular usage of the term Sant mat. His teachings are embodied in Ghat Ramayana, Ratan Sagar, and Shabdavali." (David C. Lane, "The Radhasoami Tradition, A Critical History of Guru Successorship", Garland Publishing, 1992 edition, page 39)
"Tulsi Sahib, for the first time, used the expression 'Sant Mat' or 'teachings of Saints' to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints. Swami Ji later adopted the same expression, 'Sant Mat', in his works." (Janak Raj Puri and V. K. Sethi, "Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras", 1981 edition, Mystics of the East Series, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Book Department, page 18)
"For all the religious traditions of India, the nineteenth century was an age of rationalistic reform, during which the attempt was made to systematize beliefs and make practices consistent with doctrines. Tulsi Sahib of Hathras (ca 1760 - 1843) was at once heir to certain esoteric tendencies in later Sant tradition and a precursor of the new spirit. Stressing the unity of the Sants as a parampara, he taught what he believed to be the common core of doctrines implicit in all the Sants ('sant mat'), and tried to reverse the spread of saguna beliefs and practices among the followers of nirguna panths. Heavily indebted to him was Shiv Dayal Singh (1818 - 1878), founder of the modern Radhasoami movement." (Karine Schomer, "The Sants", Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, page 7)
"Tulsi Sahib, a Sant of Hathras from the nineteenth century, recognized that Sants drew upon the teachings of other Sant figures as spiritual resources. Pointing out the common spiritual roots, he identified this movement as a coherent religious tradition, which he called 'Sant Mat', simply meaning a 'Sant faith'." (Dr. Andrea Diem, "The Gnostic Mystery, a Connection Between Ancient and Modern Mysticism", Mount San Antonio College Press, Walnut, CA, 1992 edition, page, 29)
Examples of "Sant Mat" and "Sat Mat" in the Teachings of Tulsi Sahib
Sant Tulsi Sahib refers to the term 'Santmat' in his poem: "Santmata hai sar aur sab jal pasara." ["Santmat is the essence of wisdom, all else is a snare to spread misconceptions."] (translated by Pravesh K. Singh)
"The principles and tenets of Sant Mat are one and the same, only there is a difference in terminology. Since the same principles have been stated using different names, you become confused and do not understand them. Sat Saheb, that is, Sat Purush, has been described as Sat Nam. And Sar Shabd (True Shabd) has been called A-Nam. The name Nirgun has been given to Niranjan and it is the mind which has been called Ram. What Kabir had said, has been said by other Sants, too. Kabir explained Sant Mat in his own way, other Sants in other ways. The religion of all those who have gained access within is one and the same. Those who lack true understanding, adhere to dogmas and blind beliefs. Those who have spoken on the basis of inner experiences, have sung of the same Panth or path for reaching the Lord."(Ghat Ramayan)
On following the dictates of mind or ego: "Kal has devoured all. None knows of the path prescribed in Sant Mat. All follow Kal's methods and obey him alone." (Ghat Ramayan)
"Saints know not renunciation, not acquisition..... In acquisition the entire world is enslaved. In these two the world remains entangled. Sant Mat is quite distinct from both." (Ghat Ramayan)
"Worldly people drift in the current of the ocean of existence. Sant Mat (Religion of Sants), on the other hand, is beyond the ocean of worldly existence." (Ghat Ramayan)
"In Sant Mat all Masters have decried killing and meat-eating." (Ghat Ramayan)
"Few know of the secrets of Sant Mat, and it is Sant-Surat that ascends to the sky, reaches the Inaccessible Region and attains the Original Abode. He, whose Surat [soul] has met the Supreme Being, is a Sant."
"It is only through the grace and mercy of Sants [Saints, Satgurus] that some rare Jivas [souls] will seek and find Sant Mat, the diamond. That diamond will come within the grasp of a Jiva only when th Sant enables him to recognize it." (Ghat Ramayan)
"Ghee (butter) cannot be obtained without making coagulated milk and then churning it. Likewise, if you perform the spiritual practices of Sant Mat, you can experience a bit of the intoxicating bliss of the Darshan [Vision] of the Beloved." (Ghat Ramayan)
Said Tulsi Sahib said, "Listen, I will now explain what I mean by Sant. To mention a few Sants, I pick up the names of Dadu, Mira, Nabha, Nanak, Dariya Saheb and Soor Das. Kabir's name, I mention again. And there have been many other Sants. Sants, who have reached the Eternal Region, have given to the world invaluable couplets and hymns in the form of their poetical compositions. I, Tulsi Das, who am only the dust of the holy feet of Sants, also said something about the bliss of the Inaccessible Region. Though I have had the good fortune to be associated with Sants, my understanding bears no comparison with Theirs. Let me reiterate the greatness of the holy feet of Sants. I place my head at Their holy feet. Listen, O Phool Das, I shall now tell you, as one who is the slave of the holy feet of Sants, of the Shabds (hymns) composed by Them." (Ghat Ramayan)
"I (Tulsi Saheb) have described the status of Sants and sung of hymns composed by them. Sants have traversed the path to the Inaccessible Region and their Surat has attained the Truth or Essence.
"Nanak, Dadu, Dariya Saheb, Mira Bai, Soor Das, Kabir and Nabhaji have all reached the Nabh (sky, high region) and have given out the secrets. Their Surats have got across and merged there.
"Though their teachings are one and the same, their ways of teaching are different. Indeed, all Sants have proceeded along the same path. All of them ascended along the same Current of Shabd, and got across. They saw Gagan and proceeded ahead. Tulsi Saheb says with the beat of drums that he who doubts this is a great fool." (Ghat Ramayan)
"And know ye, Phool Das, I have given out, as hints, the secrets of the beginning and the end, which is precisely the religion of Kabir Saheb and which also constitutes the essence of what other Sants have said. This, indeed, is the essence of the religion of Sants, who had Darshan [Vision] of the exalted Supreme Being within. They tasted the bliss of the purely spiritual region of Surat and also came to know of the secrets of the beginning and the end. He alone, who ponders over and realizes what I have said, and also takes his Surat across, will be able to reach the Unfathomable Region."
The Term "Sat Mat" or "Teachings of God" is About Seeking Truth Within
"What Sants have said about Sat Mat is what they saw with their own eyes. They have sung of it in the form of Sakhis (couplets) and Shabds (hymns)." (Ghat Ramayan)
"Listen, O Phool Das, I have given out the same true secrets which Sants like Kabir Saheb, Dadu Saheb, Rai Das Ji, Darya Saheb, Guru Nanak, Soor Das Ji, Nabha Ji and Mira Bai have spoken of. They, too, have composed similar hymns describing the bliss of the highest spiritual region, whose glory I also have sung, blessed by the grace and the dust of the holy feet of Sants". (Ghat Ramayan)
"I have described in detail Sat Mat with which worldly ways are incompatible. I have tasted of the bliss of the Original Abode which alone is true. The world, on the other hand, is only a fleeting show, and only if one ponders over this, one will be able to realize the essence of Sat Mat. Then alone will one's boat of life be able to cross the ocean of worldly existence. Great reverberation of Shabd is going on within. One should fix one's attention on it and dance with joy." [This is a reference to Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation on the Audible Life Stream.] (Ghat Ramayan)
"They [the Jivas, souls] should know that Surat alone, by adopting Naam, can proceed beyond the Fourth Lok or Region. They should take a vow to hold fast to this very method which, really, is the unique religion of Sants. They should know that worldly rites and rituals are debased and worthless activities, and should keep away from them. They should worship Sat [literally "Truth", the Eternal] by means of Surat, and this will enable them to reach the regions beyond the sky. They should accept the teachings of Sants and also realize the Sant Mat is distinct and separate from all." (Ghat Ramayan)
Anami Reality -- The Nameless One -- God
"Sants frequently visit the Inaccessible Region, and after actually observing, describe the conditions. It is said that Kal and Niranjan who have both the seen and unseen forms have created the Vedas out of Nada or Shabd and that Atma is invisible. This is what Kal has made known to the world. But Sant Mat reveals something more. According to it, the Abode of Atma is Mansarovar, and Parmatma remains beyond Sunn [the Void]. This is what the Sants describe after having seen. Higher up is Sat Lok, which is the fourth Stage or Region of the creation. Its Deity is Indescribable and is called Sat Purush.... Beyond the Fourth Lok dwells the Nameless Being [Anami Purush] who has no trace of Maya." (Shabdavali)
Sant Tulsi Sahib as the Reincarnation of Sant Tulsi Das
Goswami Tulsidas Ji has made a clear mention of the term "Santmat": "Ihaan na achchhapaat kachhu raakhaun. Ved puran santmat bhaakhaun." (passage provided by Pravesh K. Singh)
Ram Charit Manas is a spiritual classic authored by Sant Tulsi Das (1532 -- 1623).
Ghat Ramayan was authored by Sant Tulsi Sahib (1763 --1843). According to Tulsi Sahib in his Ghat Ramayan, in a past life he was Tulsi Das and the author of the Ramayana of Tulsi Das. His mission was to complete the spiritual work of Tulsi Das and share the Esoteric Teachings of the Sants with humanity, which many were not ready to receive during his previous incarnation: "Had I told them of the secret of the Supreme Being, it would not have been possible for me to survive in this world. That is why I did not give out the unique secret and kept Sant Mat back from the Jivas [souls]. I made only indirect references to the inner secrets in my book and that is why they did not attract the attention of anybody." (Ghat Ramayan)
"I wrote the book 'Ghat Ramayan' and I give here the date on which it was brought out and other details.
"Feeling an urge to write the book, I completed it in 1618 Vikram, having decided to start writing it on a Tuesday which was the eleventh day of the bright half of the lunar month of Bhadon.
"People of Kashi were surprised on reading my book and there was much tumult and agitation in the city.
"Pandits, Jains, Mohammedans and the general public of Kashi started a bitter quarrel.
"Pandits, anchorites and the world at large decried "Ghat Ramayan".
"Hence, I hid the book and stopped its circulation.
"And accordingly, worldly people who know no love, remained' ignorant of the modes and methods of Sant Mat." (Ghat Ramayan)
"In Ghat Ramayan there are references to things and events which occurred after Tulsi Das Ji's demise. From this, one should not think that Tulsi Saheb made unnecessary additions to the original "Ghat Ramayan" written by Tulsi Das Ji. The original Ghat Ramayan had undoubtedly disappeared from this world and, quite obviously, Tulsi Saheb did not just bring it out of His bag. Rather, He re-wrote the book Himself. It is common experience that a new edition of a book, in case it comes out during the life-time of the author, is made up-to-date. Tulsi Saheb did the same thing for, Tulsi Das and Tulsi Saheb were really one and the same, person. Indeed, Tulsi Saheb, and not Tulsi Das, is the author of "Ghat Ramayan" in its present form in which most of the biographical sketch given by Tulsi Saheb relates to His previous life." (S.D. Maheshwari, "Sants, Sadhas, Mahatmas, and Devotees of the Past")
"Ghat Ramayan means the Ramayan of what is happening within the Ghat, i.e., the microcosm, the human body. That which is in the Pind [body] is also present in the Brahmand or the cosmos..... The Ghat Ramayan is the Ramayan of the inner Self -- it contains all the inner secrets." ( S. D. Maheshwari, "The Esoteric Meaning of the Ramayan")
Baba Devi Sahab was in possession of a hand-written manuscript of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras printed at Hathras itself in the year of 1896, and had it published, sharing the teachings of the great Saint of Hathras with spiritual seekers everywhere: "The book Ghat Ramayan is said to be the work of Tulsi Saheb of Hathras. The first edition of this book was published by one Munshi Devi Prasad Saheb alias Devi Sahib. Subsequently, an edition was brought out in the year 1911 from Belvedere Press....." (S.D. Maheshwari, "The Esoteric Meaning of the Ramayan", Agra, page 169)
"He [Maharshi Mehi] managed [to acquire] copies of three books [editions] of Ghat Ramayan published at different times by different sources -- one published from Belvedere Press, Allahabad, second the commentary work by Baba Devi Sahab on Ghat Ramayan -- Baba Devi Sahab selected some important hymns from then available book of Ghat Ramayan and interpreted its meaning -- and the third is the book available in the Satsang Mandir of Hathras [Sant Tulsi Sahib Ashram, Hathras, India]." (Sadgurumehi website, section on, Bhawarth Sahit Ghat Ramayan Ke Mukhya Aur Paramopayogi Vishay Ki Padaawali)
Not Everyone Agrees That Sants Tulsi Sahib and Das Were the Same Person
Maharshi Mehi, sounding almost like a modern-day scholar doing textual criticism apparently was of the view that parts of the Ghat Ramayan mentioning that Tulsi Sahib was the reincarnation of Tulsi Das represents later apocryphal additions or interpolations: "That Sant Tulsi Sahab was Goswami Tulsi Das in a former life can not be accepted. In fact, both were not the same person." "Ghat Ramayan has been altered by persons for some unwanted advantages in the course of time. There are many such poems present in Ghat Ramayan which can not be accepted as the creation of such a great Sant as Tulsi Sahab."
Who Was Sant Tulsi Sahib's Guru?
There are a couple of different theories regarding this. After debating and writing about this question over the years, I think it's important to state that any honest history is always evidence-based and not faith-based.
It is written: "A Marathi scholar in one of his articles observed that Tulsi Sahib 'was initiated by a Guru in the town of Hathras, and under the instruction of his Guru he did intense meditation.'" (from an article by Pandit Pandurang Sharma in the June 1931 issue of "Vividh Gyan Vistar", a Marathi magazine devoted to cultural studies, page 202, cited by Janak Raj Puri and V. K. Sethi in their book, "Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras", 1981 edition, Mystics of the East Series, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Book Department, page 4)
Soami Ji Maharaj's List of All-Time Great Saints: The names of some of the perfect and true Sants, Sadhs and Faqirs who manifested themselves during the past seven hundred years are Kabir Saheb, TULSI SAHIB*, Jagjiwan Saheb, Garib This, Paltu Saheb, Guru Nanak, Dadu Saheb, Tulsi Das, Nabhaji, Swami Hari Das, Sur Das and Rai Das, and some of the Muslim names are Shams Tabrez, Maulvi Rum, Hafiz, Sarmad and Mujaddid Alif Sani. A perusal of their writings would give an idea of their spiritual attainments. (Sar Bachan Prose)
*Tulsi Sahib of Hathras was not widely known and recognized back then like the other names on the list. Tulsi and Soami Ji were contemporaries, for a time, alive at the same time. Out of all the Guru names listed above, only one name is that of a contemporary or recent Master in the life of Soami Ji Maharaj: Tulsi Sahib. Thus, this list reveals a very "Tulsi Sahibi" view of Sant Mat. And we do know Tulsi was Soami Ji's Guru and the Guru of his whole family. They were all part of the Hathras Satsang.
Going back further in time, Tulsi Sahib's List of All-Time Great Saints: "Listen, O Phool Das, I have given out the same true secrets which Sants like Kabir Saheb, Dadu Saheb, Rai Das Ji, DARIYA SAHIB*, Guru Nanak, Soor Das Ji, Nabha Ji and Mira Bai have spoken of. They, too, have composed similar hymns describing the bliss of the highest spiritual region, whose glory I also have sung, blessed by the grace and the dust of the holy feet of Sants. (Ghat Ramayan)
*Dariya Sahib of Bihar was not widely known and recognized back then like the other names on the list. Dariya and Tulsi Sahib were contemporaries, for a time, alive at the same time. Out of all the Guru names listed above, only one name is that of a contemporary or recent Master in the life of Tulsi Sahib: Dariya. Thus, this list reveals a very "Dariya Panthi" view of Sant Mat, which for me strongly suggests a significant clue about the spiritual affiliation of Tulsi Sahib.
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