Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ingredients of a Living Spiritual Path -- Seven Gnostic-Sant Mat Parallels


Ingredients of a Living Spiritual Path -- Seven Gnostic-Sant Mat Parallels







“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” (Rumi)

With a living mystic path, initiation into the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven includes inner direct seeing and hearing. If we can't see or hear, how could we possibly begin exploring Inner Space for ourselves? The information written in restaurant menus might be informative and yet can not resolve one's hunger. And tales in sacred texts of people who once enjoyed glorious feasts centuries ago does not feed the living.

"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." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Harmony of All Religions)

In the Corpus Hermeticum and Nag Hammadi scriptures are/were described all of the ingredients of a living, viable mystical path: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/ingredients-of-a-living-spiritual-path-seven-gnostic-sant-mat-parallels-f55cb5715c8e#.r00rrogoe


1) living masters/teachers with students (past masters, scrolls, cuneiform tablets or old scriptures are not enough: a living guide is required);


“Rumi says, ‘If you seek to know God, sit at the feet of the Saints’”.

“People, where are you rushing, so intoxicated and having so fully drunk the strong wine of reasoning unaccompanied by acquaintance? You cannot hold it; already you are about to throw it up. Stop, get sober! Look up with the eyes of the mind [heart or soul] – and if you cannot all do so, at least those of you who can! For the imperfection that comes from unacquaintance is flooding the entire earth, corrupting the soul along with the body that encloses it and preventing it from putting in at the Haven of Safety. So do not be swept away by the main current! Rather, you who can must avail yourselves of a counter-current, take to the Haven of Safety, put in there, and look for a leader to show you the way to the Doors of Gnosis (Acquaintance), where there is bright Light, pure from darkness; where no one is intoxicated, but all are sober, fixing their eyes on that Being who wills to be seen – but mentally [with the eye of the soul], for that Being cannot be heard or told of or seen by eyes, only by the mind’s eye [the eye of the soul].”

(Hermetic Tractate VII, Corpus Hermeticum: The Greatest Human Evil is Unacquaintance With God, Bentley Layton translation)


2) a cosmology of several heavens/inner regions/planes/spheres;


Charts of the Heavens — Inner Regions — Planes — Spheres of Creation According to Sant Mat: https://medium.com/sant-mat-radhasoami-books/9132697adaa7

“Blessed are those chosen and unified. The Realm of the Kingdom is theirs. For out of her you have come, and back to her you are returning.” (Saying 49, Gospel of Thomas, Wisdom of the Twin, Lynn Bauman translation)

Summarizing the Spiritual Message of the Gospel of Thomas, See: https://medium.com/gnostic-studies-living-gnosis-now/summarizing-the-spiritual-message-of-the-gospel-of-thomas-by-james-bean-90862170ac8a#.fzn0buzcv


3) an understanding that souls can access these realms here and now during this present life (a present-tense Kingdom of Heaven available to souls right now, not a spirituality postponed till some magical date on a calendar or hypothesized future age);


"In this life the concept of salvation all describe;

To meet the Lord by dying while living, none discloses.

They all speak of the goal of salvation after death;

How to attain it while living, no one says. Were they to reveal the method of attaining release while living,

Then alone would Tulsi be convinced of their words.

Who speak, after seeing with their own eyes, and teach the method of salvation during life,

Are of the stage and stature of Saints, for they reveal the quintessence of the soul."


("Seek To See God Now -- Liberation During This Life" -- Mystic-Poem of Tulsi Sahib)


4) an initiation into the mysteries of the heavens, imparting to spiritual seekers the meditation techniques and sacred names;


The Master said,
“What your own eyes cannot see,
your human ears do not hear,
your physical hands cannot touch,
and what is inconceivable
to the human mind — that I will give to you!”


(Saying 17, Gospel of Thomas, Wisdom of the Twin, Lynn Bauman translation);


5) visionary and auditory mysticism (inner Light and Sound, spiritual seeing and hearing) -- descriptions of souls traveling within through various inner regions;


“Man’s soul shall become, when it leaveth the body, a great flood of Light, so as to traverse all the regions until it cometh into the Kingdom of Mystery… Seek, all of you, after the Light, so that the power of your soul that is in you may find Life. Do not cease seeking day or night until you find the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which will purify you, transform you into pure Light, and guide you into the Kingdom of the Light.” (Gospel of Faith-Wisdom — Pistis Sophia)

“Look at God within yourself, how ‘God is Light.’ For his Nature is a glorious, many-splendored Light. He manifests the Light of his Nature to those who love Him in all the worlds…” (John of Dalyatha, Syriac Mystic)

"When your eye turns inwards in the brain and you see the firmament within, and your spirit leaves the body and rises upwards, you will see the Akash in which is located Sahas-dal-kanwal, the thousand petals of which perform the various functions pertaining to the three worlds. Its effulgence will exhilarate your spirit." (Soamiji Maharaj, "Esoteric Instructions")

"At first, Mataji pointed out, there will be only darkness but eventually light will appear in the form of either small flashes or small star-like points. In any case, one should focus on the radiance, keeping one’s simran intact and allowing the light to draw the soul inward. The third and most important step, Mataji said, is to listen to the sound that issues forth from the light. It is this internal music which will numb the body and allow the consciousness to leave its ordinary dwelling. By riding this current of light and sound, like a fish going upstream, the soul will be able to go back to its original home. On the journey within, however, the soul must be guided by a true master so as not to be detained in any of the lower illusory regions. According to Mataji, what near-death patients experience is only the beginning of a vast sojourn into great universes of light, love and beauty." -- Yogani Mataji: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/the-teachings-of-yogani-mataji-radhaswami-satsang-hoshiarpur-71cfc9f63223#.1eq9lmbuw

“…Listen to the Sound that issues forth from the Light.” (Some valuable guidance about correct and proper Surat Shabd Yoga practice made by Yogani Mataji.)

“I am the silence that is incomprehensible.
I am the Voice whose Sound is manifold
and the Word whose appearance is multiple…
I am the hearing which can be attained by everyone.”


(Thunder: Perfect Mind, Nag Hammadi Library)

See, The Yoga of Sound — Exploring Sound Meditation (Auditory Mysticism, Surat Shabd Yoga) in the Sacred Texts of the Great World Religions and Gnostic Traditions: https://santmatradhasoami.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/the-yoga-of-sound-exploring-sound-meditation-auditory-mysticism-surat-shabd-yoga-in-the-sacred-texts-of-the-great-world-religions-and-gnostic-traditions-tuning-the-cosmic-radio-dial


6) they have an ethical code, and this ethical foundation includes a vegetarian diet, then and now; 


"In Sant Mat all Masters have decried killing and meat-eating." (Sant Tulsi Sahib, "Ghat Ramayan")

“As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” (Pythagoras)

Uncovering A Vegetarian Jesus at the Beginning of Christianity: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/uncovering-a-vegetarian-jesus-at-the-beginning-of-christianity-9279741be7c4#.taipg75yt


7) The Goal of the teachings and meditation practice is experiencing direct union with God;


"Within this body breathes the secret essence. Within this body beats the heart of the Vedas.

Within this body shines the entire Universe, so the saints say.

Hermits, ascetics, celibates all are lost seeking Him in endless guises.

Seers and sages perfectly parrot the scriptures and holy books, blinded by knowledge.

Their pilgrimage, and fasting, and striving but delude

Despite their perfect practice, they discover no destination.

Only the Saints who know the body's heart have attained the Ultimate, O Tulsi.

Realize this, and you've found your freedom (while teachers trapped in tradition know only the mirage in the mirror)."


("Within This Body" -- Mystic-Poem of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)


“The center-most part of your being — THERE is the Supreme Region. It is the sacred temple of the Spirit.” (Miguel Molinos, "The Spiritual Guide")




Saturday, May 14, 2016

"Ram" -- Kabir's and Namdev's Primary Simran Word or Mantra Name For the Formless God, by James Bean


"Ram" -- Kabir's and Namdev's Primary Simran Word or Mantra Name For the Formless God, by James Bean








Over time, in different branches of the Sant tradition of India, various sacred mantra names or simran words are used. The name "Ram" was used by Guru Kabir and other classic or early Sants such as Namdev. "Satya-Ram" is the sacred name used by the followers of Sant Dadu Dayal of Rajasthan. There is a tradition of the Guru Mantra phrase and five Sach Khand or heavenly level names of God used in the Sant Dharam Das path. The Panch Naam or Five Names are sacred words corresponding to various inner regions used by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras and some of those connected with him. Others associated with Sant Tulsi Sahib and successors use another charged name for God. In the Radhasoami Faith there is Radhasoami Naam -- the manifestation of the name Radhasoami -- that begins with Soamiji Maharaj and Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram Bahadur of Agra.

Mystic Verses of Guru Kabir

Verbal Chant: "Let Your Tongue Say 'Ram'"


"Kabir says,
To receive true life,
devote yourself to Hari [God].
Narayana's [God's] name is a pillar;
let your tongue say 'Ram."

Manas Jap or Mental Chant: "Repeat Ram's Name in Your Heart"

"Kabir says,
You cannot call anyone your own;
repeat Ram's name in your heart
all the time."

"Kabir says, Those who want to solve the riddle
will know all if they repeat 'Ram'."

"Kabir says,
forget not Ram's name;
let body and wealth go,
if they must.
Dedicate your heart
to His flower-like feet,
and be absorbed in Ram's name."

("Songs of Kabir from the
Adi Granth", translated by
Nirmal Dass, SUNY Press, NY)


Sing and Repeat the Name of Ram [God] -- The Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Sant Namdev

Sant Namdev, 1270-1350 --  some of his verses are included in the Adi Granth (Guru Granth of the Sikhs). There is a collection known as the Shri Namdev Gathas, and, what’s quoted below is from the Padavali of Namdev.

There are four essential books to explore if you’re interested in learning about the Sant Mat of Namdev  -- the Teachings of this Saint: "Sant Namdeva  -- The Facts of His Religious Ideology", by O.P. Ralhan, Anmol Publications, New Delhi; 2) "Saint Namdev", J.R. Puri and V.K. Sethi, a volume in the Mystics of the East Series, published by the Beas Radhasoami Satsang; 3) The Sikh Scriptures online at Sikhs.org or other translations of the Sikh Gurbani; and, 4) "The Hindi Padavali of Namdev  -- A Critical Edition of Namdev's Hindi Songs with Translation and Annotation" (Hindi and English), by Winand Callewaert, from Motilal Barnarsidass Publishers, Delhi, which I’ve used below.

The sacred simran/mantra name "Ram", used by Namdev as a name for the Formless Supreme Lord of Love, appears often in the mystic verses of not only Namdev, but also Kabir, all throughout the Adi Granth, in the hymns of Ravidas, Dadu, and countless other Sants of India.

It is the power of love (prem) and devotion (bhakti) that brings the wandering mind to focus (pratyahara) and holds one’s attention at the Third Eye center during meditation (dharana during Surat Shabd Yoga). One is permeated by love repeating God’s name or names, beholding the Light within, and during bhajan (listening to the inner Sound), also considered an act of worship in traditional Sant Mat mysticism.







Words of God-Bhakti, Light and Love from Sant Namdev

54

God [Hari] is my companion
in life and death.
Hari, who rescued
the drowning creature.

Hari, the Giver of joy
is always with me.
I am immersed in
the name of Hari
says Namdev.

55

What can you lose
if you sing
Ram [God]?
Sing that name
sleeping or waking.

The glory of that name saved Dhruv
and Prahlad
who meditated on the mantra
Ram.

Sanak and others
cherished the name
the name Ram
which grants freedom.

This is my message
says Namdev
'What you receive
is what you desire'.

56

Sing the name
Ram
the state of nirvana.
Your tongue lies idle
what better can it do?

Service.
Worship.
Remembrance.
Meditation.
All are false
without God.

Fasts
pilgrimages
serve worldly goals
they are empty without faith.
These regular fasts
are worldly efforts
they are like a ladder
discarded
when the citadel is scaled.

My heart lies at Your feet
You are my refuge
says Namdev.

57

Dwell on Ram
brother
like the caterpillar
meditating
in the cocoon.

The Lord has all
shapes.
He is the master of
everything.
He lives within
all.

A worm or a moth
whatever moves or is still
Ram is with
everyone.