Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sant Mat History: We Are All One, the Opposite of "Not One Of Us"

Sant Mat History: We Are All One, the Opposite of "Not One Of Us"

By James Bean

Copyright December 2006

One of the most mysterious passages recorded in the New Testament:

"'Teacher', said John, 'we saw a man driving out demons in your Name
and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.'

"'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'No one who does a miracle in my Name
can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not
against us is for us.'" (Mark 9: 38+39)

One can wonder who this mystery person was and what group he belonged
to, since the disciples had apparently never heard of him. There is a
passage somewhere in the New Testament which says, "I have sheep not
of this fold", also implying multiple groups or disciples, more than
one "true" group of devotees out there somewhere, in other words.

The initial reaction of the disciples is quite typical -- human
nature. Some things never change. "Same as it ever was" (line from a
Talking Heads tune). I've seen people react this way many
times: ".....We told him to stop, because he was not one of us."

I was given a video tape once from someone in Oregon. They said it
was from Kirpal Singh's group, Sant Mat. I watched this video, but
none of the faces looked familiar to me. None of the names, buildings
or the locations looked familiar either. It was like seeing a satsang
in a parallel universe or meeting "cousins" you didn't know you had.
It was at a place called Kirpal Sagar ("Ocean of Kirpal"). Eventually
I discovered that this was a gathering in India at a school
associated with an initiate of Master Kirpal who said he was told by
Master Kirpal to look after this school and satsang center. It was a
different branch of Ruhani Satsang that did not join with any living
Guru after the passing of Master Kirpal Singh in 1974.

According to Ruhani Satsang there were thirty six teachers that
emerged after the passing of Master Kirpal who claimed to be his
spiritual successor: 36! Most of these teachers are not known to us
in the West but have ashrams or small satsangs in various parts of
India.

With Sant Mat, and with most spiritual paths, East and West, there is
an etiquette of focusing upon your teacher. Each satsang is
associated with a certain guru. Only his photographs will be
displayed at such gatherings, or those of previous gurus in the same
lineage of teachers.

Quite often in many groups there is an ethos that their teacher is
the "one-and-only" competent living guru of the present time, that
usually there is "only one" such teacher or "gurumukh" spiritual
successor at a time on earth. I think of this, not so much a
statement of fact pertaining to history, but more of a "bhakti"
or "devotional truth" for the satsangi. Having a spiritual Master is
sorta like marriage, as it should be. Spiritual promiscuity doesn't
seem desirable and has not been a successful approach that leads to
any sort of enlightenment. As one teacher used to say, "Better to dig
one deep well and hit water than to keep digging dozens of shallow
holes in the ground getting nothing, seeking but never finding." Your
teacher is your "one-and-only", so to speak.

In terms of Sant Mat history however, there has never been a time
during the last several centuries when there was "only one" Satguru
in the world in the Sant tradition. There have been examples of
multiple lineages of Masters contemporary with one another since at
least the time of Kabir and Guru Nanak in the fifteen century. Both
Guru Kabir and Guru Nanak appointed gurus to be their spiritual
successors, each existing contemporary with one another, the Ten Sikh
Gurus in one line of Masters and the successors of Guru Kabir in
another. Kabir Panth soon branched out into many, many lineages.

At the same time the Tenth Sikh Guru (Gobind Singh) was alive, was
another Sant Mat guru with same name. Who was the Master who
initiated this other Gobind Singh? I am not sure. That is probably a
mystery lost to forever to history. This other Gobind Singh was the
Master who initiated Sant Paltu Sahib (1710-1780), who became a well-
known Master. Paltu's mystic hymns are still popular in India even
now.

Meet Dariya Sahib, Saint of Bihar

Dariya was born in 1674 and passed in 1780. At the age of sixteen
Dariya was initiated into Surat Shabd Yoga by a Sant Mat guru. He
eventually became a very powerful Master and founded the Dariya
panth, a spiritual movement with a large number of ashrams and
satsangs all over India with many followers. Dariya appointed two
spiritual successor gurus to carry on after him. Their names were
Guna Das and Teka Das. Eventually Guna Das died so Teka Das became
the guru of the entire sangat.

Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras

Tulsi was born in 1763 and passed on in 1843. He would have been in
his teens when Dariya was still alive. Early in his life Tulsi did
extensive traveling around India. In the book, "Tulsi Sahib -- Saint
of Hathras", it states: "Tulsi Sahib's works include words and
expressions of Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian ..... Marathi .... he
has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati,
Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many
other Saints, he must have traveled widely in U.P., Rajasthan,
Gujrat, Punjab and BIHAR." It is my theory that Tulsi might have
received initiation into Sant Mat meditation from Tika Das while he
was in Bihar. There's no way to know at this time, though I am
sending this question to a guru in the Tulsi lineage who has an
ashram center in Bihar, hoping to get his views about Tulsi's guru,
and my theory about Tika Das being his guru. Tulsi said he had a
guru, but this teacher is not named in any of the writings that have
survived. We'll see what this Master from Bihar thinks of my Tika Das
theory and some of the other theories about who Tulsi's guru might
have been.

Back to Tulsi: Tulsi Sahib eventually established a satsang in
Hathras, where he initiated souls into Surat Shabd Yoga. And his
mission was contemporary with Tika Das's mission in Bihar. At the
present time there are still gurus in the lineage of Tulsi Sahib
leading satsangs and initiating souls in Hathras, Bihar and other
places around India. The same is also true in the Dariya Sahib branch
of Sant Mat. Tika Das appointed guru successors. That lineage is
still with us even now. According to Domain Singh, webmaster of the
Dariya Sahib Website, there are "two hundred Saints" presiding over
various ashram centers in the Dariya sangat at present.

From the book, Dariya Sahib -- Saint of Bihar, we read: "It was also
made clear by Dariya Sahib that these successors would have the right
to appoint their own successors and that is how the order would
continue. On being asked by Fakkar Das, his brother, how long this
order would continue Dariya Sahib replied that as long as the
practice of the Sound Current remained central to the discipline, and
the order kept pure and free from external rituals and formalism, the
line would continue. When the practice of the Sound Current is
mingled with outer appearances (bhekh) and external rituals, the
Sound Current (Shabd) will part company. Then the power transmitted
by me, said Dariya, will leave, and the souls will go into the mouth
of Kal. At that stage, he would come to this world and start a line
of the Sound Current once again. This is how, he said, he had been
coming for aeons.

"Thus, having explained everything and all aspects of the saintly
mission, and having fulfilled the purpose of his life, he passed on
his responsibilities to his successors and departed from this world
in ..... 1780."

One devotee of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib was Shiv Dayal Singh of Agra.
Tulsi was the guru of Shiv Dayal's family. After the death of Tulsi
Sahib, Shiv Dayal Singh along with several others became gurus, in
and outside of, the sangat of Tulsi Sahib: Baba Devi Sahab, Surswami,
Radhaswami, Girdhari Das, and Ramkrishna. One branch of the Tulsi
Sahibi group refers to Shiv Dayal as "Sant Radhaswami Sahib."

Due to not desiring to write an entire chapter here, I will rap
things up here, only mentioning in passing, that there were many
recognized Saints/Sant Satgurus part of Swami Ji's inner circle in
Agra. The Sant Mat "Family Tree" branches out dramatically in all
directions ever further after the time of Swami Ji Maharaj, Huzur
Maharaj Rai Saligram, Gharib Das, Bagga Singh, Deva Singh, Partap
Singh, Sanmukh Das, Data Dayal Shiv Brat Lal, Baba Faqir Chand, Baba
Jaimal Singh, Huzur Baba Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh ..............
etc.............

Of course, I have only written briefly about a few of the "Northern
Sant" lineages. There is another major branch to the south, the so-
called "Southern Sants", such as Sant Tukarama and numerous Sant
lineages of Maharashtra. Typically, the Northern Sants are closer to
Sufism and further away from the Vaishnava tradition to some degree.
The Southern Sants however seem closer to the Gita, Krishna and
Vaishnava. The Hari Krishnas claim Mirabai, Tukarama, Ravidas, and a
few other Sants as their own - Saints in their tradition. At the same
time as there were Northern Sant lineages of gurus, contemporary with
those are many more operating to the south in India.

Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that Sant Mat dates back to the time
of Krishna thousands of years ago, and that Krishna knew of Sants in
India back then during the time of the composition of the Bhagavad
Gita.

When has there ever been "only one" Sant Mat guru or "Gurumukh
successor" "of the time" in Sant Mat history? The answer is: never
has there been only one guru at a time.

Another general principle of Sant Mat history is: the more we know,
the more the numbers go up. In other words, the more familiar we
become with the various paths in the Sant Mat category, the more
gurus and ashrams and branches we shall discover. A few years back,
some were saying that there must be "around two hundred" gurus and
groups in India in the Sant Mat category. Based on my continued
research, I would say that is a very low number!

Paraphrasing Guru Nanak's Jap Ji:

Countless are the gurus,
Countless the gaddis,
Countless the satsangs,
Countless are the Sant Mats,
Countless are the satsangis.

Of course these groups are not all the same. There are several stages
groups might pass through during their history. Some may be in
the "alive" category, with both guru and disciple having inner
experiences, radiant forms, inner regions experienced and not simply
theories and teachings found only in books. There are groups that
lost their living guru in recent times and there was no successor,
thus no new people are getting initiated in those groups. There is
one very large group which has become a world religion that worships
a book as a kind of guru. Ironically, that very same book says to NOT
worship books! idols made of stone, places of pilgrimage, holy
rivers, etc... There are groups where nobody is having inner
experiences. Those usually don't focus so much on a living Master,
and their magazines tend to feature quotes from gurus who lived many
decades earlier, in the 1940's, 1930's, 1920's or 1520's.

There have been some highly unethical teachers, false, "of Kal",
hurting people, with dead bodies buried in the "backyard" and abused
members coming forward to tell their story. There have been many
honest, loving, radiant, Godly beings that have graced this planet
with their enlightened compassion. There have been Sadhus with some
attainment that have helped the souls that have crossed their path.
Nothing wrong with that. There have been nice-guy gurus without much
attainment, but who have helped to make the world a better place by
spreading SOME of the teachings and ethical ahimsa principals of the
Masters to larger audiences around the world.

In other words, amongst this long list of paths will be found groups
representing many different states and stages of development,
vibrancy and decline, some alive, some slowly becoming another
religion looking to the past for inspiration, with past Saints and
Prophets -- a new "People of the Book" with temples and holy relics.
And there are some that have souls who do go within and successfully
practice Surat Shabd Yoga in a way that is almost identical to the
Ideal spiritual path described by Swami Ji of Agra, with a rich
mystical approach to meditation practice, traveling quite far along
in their journey back to God. For them, these teachings of Sant
Satgurus are not just "talk" or "myth" or "belief" or about
a "hypothesized Higher Self" (a sad but revealing phrase from a Brian
Hines post), but very real experiences that human beings can attain,
seeing with their own eyes, hearing with their own ears, traveling
through Inner Space, "the Kingdom of the Heavens within."


Several Charts of Lineages -- I Promise These Will Help

Upanishadic Sants in Ancient Times? jpg:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/UpanishadicSants.jpg

1aaaRSLineageChart.jpg
Param Sant Tulsi Sahib and those after him in Hathras, Agra, and
Bihar:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1aaaRSLineageChart.jpg

1bRSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas, Sawan
Kirpal and Ruhani Mission, Chart, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark
Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1bRSLineageChart.jpg

1cRSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Swami Ji to Agra Radhaswami Branches,
Chart.jpg, From "Radhasoami Reality", by Mark Juergensmeyer:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/1cRSLineageChart.jpg

2RSLineageChart-1.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Tulsi Sahib and Agra, ChartTwo.jpg, From
an Early Version of David Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/2RSLineageChart-1.jpg

3RSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Huzur Maharaj -- Rai Saligram-related Agra
Branches, ChartThree.jpg, From an Early Version of David Lane's
Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/3RSLineageChart.jpg

4RSLineageChart.jpg
Sant Mat Lineage of Gurus, Baba Jaimal Singh, Sawan-Kirpal, Somanath,
Mastana Ji, Tarn Taran, ChartFour.jpg, From an Early Version of David
Lane's Book, "Radhasoami Mat":
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/4RSLineageChart.jpg

5RSLineageChart.jpg
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
One:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/5RSLineageChart.jpg

6RSLineageChart.jpg:
Kabir Panth Chart of Lineages, "The Influence of Sat Kabir", Angle
Two:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/6RSLineageChart.jpg


This is Not a Complete List -- Partial List of Sant Mat Paths On the
Worldwide Web

These would be paths that teach Surat Shabd Yoga, and use all the
familiar terms: "Satguru", "Satsang", "Sat Lok, "Sach Khand", "Sound
Current", "Audible Lifestream", "tishra
til", "astral", "causal", "Sat
Purush", "Kal", "simran", "Naam", "Shabd," ...................

Maharshi Mehi Ashram (Tulsi Sahibi):
http://www.thewayofsages.com

Maharshi Mehi Ashram (Tulsi Sahibi):
http://www.maharshimehi.net

Sant Dariya Sahib Website:
http://www.geocities.com/santdariya/home.html

Akhil Bhartiya Santmat Satsang (ABSS):
http://www.abssatsang.org

Kirpal Singh
http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/books.htm

Sant Ji:
http://www.santji.allegre.ca

ADI GRANTH -- Sikh Gurus, Khalsa Consensus Translation:
http://www.sikhs.org/english/frame.html

Mastana Ji Website:
http://www.spiritualismmba.nstemp.com/books.htm

Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan -- Shri Ashutosh Ji Maharaj:
http://www.divyajyoti.org

Dharamdasi Kabir Panth:
http://www.kabir.ca

Anurag Sagar of Kabir Panth Online, as PDF Files:
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/anurag.html

Kabir Ashram.org:
http://www.kabirashram.org

Kabir Chawra Math on Varanasi
Kabir Bhavan.com:
http://www.kabirbhavan.com

Puan Brahm Satapurush Sahib Kabir Ji:
Knowlege about Satapush Kabir Saheb Ji:
http://www.jagatgururampalji.org

Sahebkabir:
http://www.geocities.com/sahebkabir

Shri Kabir Counsel:
http://www.geocities.com/sahebkabir/?200612

Ajeetpraimsingh.com:
http://www.ajeetpraimsingh.com/kabir.htm

MASTANA JI
One of several groups connected with Mastana Ji, disciple of Huzur
Baba Sawan Singh:
http://spiritualism.50megs.com/teaching.htm#W

Spiritualitymba.com:
http://www.spiritualitymba.com/index.htm

MEDIASEVA.ORG
http://www.mediaseva.org

Shri Anandpur: Shri Paramhans Advait Mat Granth 1:
http://www.ex-premie.org/papers/1-14.htm

Shabd Pratap Ashram:
http://www.shabdpratapashram.com

Sadhu Ram:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sadhuramjisatsang

Sadhu Ram:
http://www.ajaib.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sadhuramjigroup

Soami Bagh Branch:
http://www.radhasoami-faith.info/default.shtml

Agam P. Mathur (DadaJi), Huzuri Bhawan, Pipal Mandi, New Website:
http://www.angelfire.com/linux/radhasoami/main.htm

Dayal Bagh:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/satsang_community

Baba Faqir Chand -- Harjit Singh Branch:
http://www.babafaqirchand.com

Baba Faqir Chand: Manavta Mandir.com:
http://manavtamandir.com

Baba Faqir Chand: New Website: Shoonyo.com:
http://www.shoonyo.com

Jyoti Meditation.org:
Hindi and English Online Videos:
http://jyotimeditation.org

Darshan Singh Website:
http://mysite.verizon.net/bazikr

Dera Baba Teja Singh Saidpur:
http://www.derasaidpur.org

Jagat Singh Website:
http://www.mountainman.com.au/guru_ji.html

RSSB:
http://www.radhasoamisatsangbeas.org

RSSB Books:
http://www.ssrcbooks.com

RSSB:
http://www.radhasoamisatsangbeas.org

RSSB:
http://www.rssb.8k.com

Radhasoami Sahai (related to Dayal Bagh lineage):
http://www.rsdayal.org

Radhasoami Satsang DINOD:
http://www.radhaswamidinod.org/faith.htm

RADHASOAMI: TARN TARAN: Dera Baba Bagga Singh:
http://www.aors-dbbs.org

United Satsang.org:
Shree Mentu Maharaj
http://united-satsang.org