Thursday, August 10, 2006

Instructions for Seekers, Shabda Yoga, Yoga of Light & Sound PT 3

Instructions for Seekers, Shabda Yoga, Yoga of Light & Sound PT 3

Sant Mat Fellowship:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship
{"Come out of the circle of time,
and into the circle of love." -- RUMI}

Radhasoami Reality:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radhasoami-Reality
{Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}

"Utter the Name of the Lord, Oh! do utter His Name.

Why has the soul [Surat] become oblivious?

Give up all quarrels and wranglings.

The terrible Kal beguiles you through karmas.

Shake off your illusion and flee to your Original Abode."

(from the Shabdawali [Hymns] of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib)

"When the Satguru, thus pleased by the seeker, gives away the gift of Naam [Initiation], he should cherish and preserve it in his heart and soul and become cognisant of its marvellous effect.

Service by Surat [inner hearing] and Nirat [inner seeing]:

Internal Spiritual Practice

"This done, the seeker sits in seclusion, becoming inward,

and engages in internal practice (sumiran [repeating God's Name], dhyan [visualising one's Ideal -- the form of the master] and bhajan [hearing the inner Sound]) and attains composure. Then two arches or currents (ida and pingala) must be withdrawn and reversed and turned upward towards Gagan (mystic Sky, Trikuti) so that he becomes enraptured and engrossed in listening to melodious Sound.

"On the way he will perceive the Flame (at Sahasdal Kanwal, Thousand-petalled Lotus) and then the sun (in Trikuti) and then the moon (in Sunn) and receive its soothing Light. Thence, he will make it to Sattlok and will settle down there and hearing the Sound of harp, his surat will wear a broad smile of bliss and beatitude. Then, the seeker realises the greatness and grandeur of the Satguru by whose grace and charisma he hears the melodious Sound of harp. Thence he proceeds to the Invisible and Inaccessible Spheres and meets the Nameless, where he greets and hails Radhasoami.

"When your soul begins to run inside of you, you will witness delightful scenes. Inside of your being, there is a marvellous Sky.

"The Crooked Tunnel or the Bunknaal opened up new path for my soul to move forward; everywhere I saw the image of the Triangular Sphere (Musalassi or Trikuti, i.e. the Region of Three Prominences, namely, Meru, Sumeru and Kailash). There I witnessed the Red Sun (rising sun's redness and lustre); even a hundred suns cannot claim to be on a par with its beauty." (Swami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One, the new M. G. Gupta translation)

The Baba Faqir Chand translation of Swami Ji's Hidayatnama:

Esoteric Instructions to the Initiates, "The Yoga of Light and

Sound", by H.H. Swami Shiv Dayal Ji Maharaj

On the Astral Plane -- the First Inner Region, Soami Ji Maharaj:

It is necessary that the disciple continue the practice meticulously as a routine for two, three, or four times a day, according to his leisure. If the mind intrudes with doubts and worries by raising unnecessary questions, one should return to the master and petition his help, then try to engage in the practice wholeheartedly. With the grace, affection and support of the master and personal effort, one will make progress gradually.

Do not be disturbed. Never try to hurry, but move slowly to get real benefit. Whatever you do in haste, or under the influence of emotion, will be unstable.....With the grace of the compassionate master, you will surely be benefited eventually; and this gain will be lasting....

Now I shall explain the internal levels of spiritual experience which are attained by the Saints. When you turn your gaze inward to the center of your forehead, you will see the open spaces, the Sky, and your Pure Self, or Surat [soul], will leave your body and soar upward. When you see the Sky, you are in the region of the Thousand-petalled Lotus [Sahasra dal Kanwal], where numerous petals are performing various functions of the spatio-temporal world. One moves in this region with great delight and will see the Lord of the threefold world in form and person. Most religions content themselves at this level, assuming that this lord is the Supreme God, and pleased and content to see the brilliance and the Light, so that their path beyond this level is closed and they can go no

farther.

However, there is a very fine and small aperture at the crest of the Sky ... as small as the eye of a needle. Let your Pure Self soar higher and go through that door. Passing through, you will find a winding path called Banknaal [Crooked Tunnel]. Go further for a short distance, which will be straight, then slope downward for a while and again will go upward. Passing along this narrow path, your Surat reaches the second region of space. This region is called Trikuti [three prominences, causal/Akash region]. (from Swami Ji's Hidayatnama, one of the sections of the Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One)

Commentary on Hidayatnama

Yoga of Light and Sound for the Seekers

Commentary by Baba Faqir Chand:

Let me explain the inner progress of the disciple. Man is in search of the Supreme Being. Generally he is guided by the idea of the method of worshipping which he imbibes from his family. According to the political thinkers, a person needs freedom, the hungry need food, and the oppressed need justice. However, the real need of man is his spiritual development, his union with the Source and Ground, the Supreme Being. The fulfillment of this need fulfills all others.

In explaining the levels of internal experience, I want to assure everyone that what I describe is completely based on my own inner experience.....As I have experienced them, the Spiritual Levels known to the Saints are:

1. Shiva-netra, or the Third Eye.

2. Sahesradal Kamal, or Thousand-petalled Lotus.

3. Trikuti, or Trinity.

4. Sunn, or Void.

5. Mahasunn [Great Void, region of intense darkness].

6. Bhanwargufa, or Whirlpool Cave.

7. Sata-loka, or the Region of Spiritual Light, or Truth.

8. Alakha-loka; or the Region of the Invisible Supreme Being.

9. Agama-loka, or the Region of the Unfathomable Reality.

10. Anami-loka, the Transcendental and Nameless Being.

11. Radhaswami-dham, the Final Abode of the Supremely Compassionate

Self.

The inward experience of the stages from the third eye to endless space can be experienced by those aspirants who undertake the inward journey, but still have not gone beyond the stages of duality. But highly developed seekers know that these so-called visions and phenomena are nothing but the creation of their own thoughts and Samskaras, or tendencies. People living on the intellectual level believe that they have attained the Supreme Truth and indeed do enjoy mental visions and are satisfied with transitory mental bliss. However, such people still suffer from the vicissitudes of life. If people really wish to attain knowledge of Ultimate Reality and arrive at eternal bliss, they must ascend to the higher stages, attainable through the Path of Love and Devotion. The Religion of the Saints advocates taking the inward journey, to absorb one's Surat [attention-faculty of the soul] within one's own Self.

The Description of the Thousand-Petalled Lotus

Faqir: -- As I have said, whatever exists in the material world also exists within ourselves, which is why we have the perception of the universe..... The Thousand-petalled Lotus can be seen within the mind. You have only to concentrate your thought. The deeper the concentration of your mind, the greater will be your bliss. Occasionally such a vision is experienced by a true devotee when he is listening to the spiritual discourses of his master. That is why it is necessary for an aspirant to have an Ideal, or a Guru, to make spiritual progress which is not possible without loving your Ideal. In fact, spiritual experiences such as visions and colours are not created by your Ideal, but are created out of your deep love for your Ideal or Isht. People who adopt a Guru only with the motive of fulfilling their worldly desires never develop spiritually. The attainment of the desired object and the development of the inner state depends on the intensity of the love for the master.... When the desire becomes intense, it is called love.

Disciple: -- What is the Sound which is, heard in this state?

Faqir: -- According to the laws of nature, wherever there is motion, there is Light and Sound. The moment the mind is

concentrated, after fixing its attention on the Ideal, Light is generated, or the picture of the Ideal becomes illuminated within the mind. The one-pointedness of the mind merges the fine subtle elements, which form a circle and create motion. The Sound created by this vibratory motion resembles that of a Bell. Though such sounds may be heard with even a little concentration, they are of a different kind, somewhat like the chirping of the sparrows. A person who wants to experience the focus of the mind at this stage, should detach himself from worldly desires....

Disciple: -- What should one do to go beyond this state?

Faqir: -- Now you understand that an aspirant must accept an Ideal for his spiritual development. Once satiated with the scenes of the Thousand-petalled Lotus, a keen desire to attain peace, bliss, or equanimity, arises in the mind. And so, he creates a higher Ideal, or master, and strives to rise to that level. His Surat withdraws itself from all other thoughts and becomes fixed in itself by repeating the Name of this Ideal which becomes a channel for progress. During this stability, the Surat perceives Light and hears the inner Sound from which it derives a special enjoyment. Eventually the Surat is dissatisfied with this pleasure because the level at which one experiences this kind of enjoyment is also constituted by the five subtle elements, bound to increase and decrease. Though the Surat may declare itself to be in the highest state of enjoyment, its inner knowledge cannot accept it as everlasting bliss, peace or equilibrium.

The quality of change at this state explains the dissatisfaction of the inner mind in the following way. Since the stage of the Thousand-petalled Lotus is the creation of the intermingling of the subtle elements, different currents function in the universe at this level, continuously creating and destroying the cosmos, the universes, the galaxies, the suns, and the moons. The creation of your mind is like this creation and destruction of the cosmos. Does the aspirant continue to enjoy this bliss when he is absorbed in the inward play? No, wherever there is joy, there is also sadness, or disappointment. One is bound to both extremes and cannot attain permanent peace beyond the temporary. Our ancient sages concluded that the very form of Cosmic Light was the sole ground of the cosmos. But the fact is that even this state is devoid of eternal bliss and peace. So long as the Surat is absorbed in this play, it seems to be happy, but soon becomes sad again. So it is evident that even this form of Cosmic Light, or temporal spotless brilliance, cannot grant eternal peace.

Having realized through experience that this region of the Thousand-petalled Lotus is the region of motion and change caused by the subtle elements, and that both pleasure and pain, attraction and repulsion, are present here, the aspirant progresses upward. The perception of the gross Sound of the Bells, and even of the gross Light, which has been caused by the concentration of the subtle elements in mind, begins to fade away and the attention of the Surat is drawn on.

Now it begins to experience forgetfulness of its physical awareness, causing a sort of slumber. If caught up in this slumber, the aspirant falls asleep, but if he remains aware of his Ideal, adopted in the very beginning, he is bound to ascend and become alert. This state is called the undulating Narrow Tunnel, or Bunknaal, which goes downward for a while and then turns upward. Every practitioner experiences this internal state. The sensation of descending is the state of slumber or forgetfulness caused by the temporary mental disequilibrium, which distracts the aspirant from his Ideal. In this forgetfulness, he feels as though he has descended, but concentrating on his Ideal, he must ascend from this slumber toward his cherished goal. At this point, only the Ideal of the aspirant remains in his internal vision. This is the level of Trinity, or Trikuti. Actually, the image of the Guru, experienced at this level is the result of the integration of the subtle elements of mind. The wavering mind is stabilized with the concentration on the form of one's Ideal. However, it is difficult to stay at this level also, because the feelings still function. Only when it is held there by the devotion to the Ideal, can the mind remain in this state.(Baba Faqir Chand's Commentary on Swami Ji's Hidayatnama)