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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vegetarian Diet and Following Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters

Vegetarian Diet and Following Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters

Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet

The following, on the reason why we advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions, published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:

Sant Sevi Ji: The saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: "Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind." A parallel saying is "Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food]."

Further, Kabir Sahab says: "The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech."

These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture, but represent direct experience. Drink one glass of milk and observe how your mind is affected. Next, drink a glass of wine and observe how the mind is affected. Or, observe the effect of eating a sweet in comparison to the effect of taking a very small dose of opium. In this way, you can see for yourself how our mind is affected by what we ingest. These are extreme examples, with noticeable effects. But even when the effect is subtle and barely noticeable, we are nevertheless affected by the food we consume.

A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: "It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness, and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action]."

Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won't be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings. (Sant SeviJi)

Below is from an article I wrote in 1999, from a section on the vegetarian diet and Sant Mat

All past and present Masters of Sant Mat advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian it is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, which is called Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.

Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kids: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik, the first category, includes: grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and dairy. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.

The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one's vision of inner Light, interfering with meditation. It's interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.

The notion that vegetarianism is "cultural" and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some. It is true that many conventional world religions here in the West condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you'll soon discover that the esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethians, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus -- In Search of His Original Teachings , John Davidson, Element Books), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church -- including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikar of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about re-entering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.

Master Kirpal Singh (Sant Mat Master): "Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat -- the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential." (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang, also Sant Bani Ashram, and Science of Spirituality)

Guru Kabir says, "The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him -- his company will ruin your meditation." (Kabir: the Weaver of God's Name , RS Books, Radha Soami Satsang Beas) The harshest words that Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals.

A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, "Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed."

Jai Guru, Naamaste',


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gnostic Book Review: The Nag Hammadi Scriptures

Gnostic Book Review: The Nag Hammadi Scriptures


The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels

The epochal new translation of the entire Nag Hammadi library has finally arrived! Dr. Marvin Meyer has done a masterful job in producing a volume that will serve for many decades as the standard source. Scholarly understanding of the Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi has vastly matured since their original publication as the
Nag Hammadi Library in 1977. This new edition fully reflects that refinement in "the scholarly ear" for both the forgotten ancient tongue and the spiritual tradition preserved in the Gnostic Coptic texts. In every possible way, publication of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures represents a milestone in modern understanding of Gnostic tradition. Elaine Pagels, the author and professor who introduced a generation of readers to the Gnostic Gospels, appropriately pens the introduction to this landmark edition. Every student of Gnosticism will want to own this book.....

The review above is from Gnosis.org


I am impressed with this new, most complete ever, translation of the Nag Hammadi Library. In addition to the Gnostic Gospels from Nag Hammadi, Egypt, are translations of
the Gospel of Mary Magdalene along with the Greek Gospel of Mary from the Berlin Gnostic Codex, as well as the recently discovered Codex Tchacos, containing the Gospel of Judas and the Book of Allogenes ("Book of the Stranger"). Also provided is valuable background information on each of the texts and those who composed them in antiquity. There are in all 49 Gnostic Gospels found in this collection: The Nag Hammadi Scriptures -- The International Edition, Edited by Marvin Meyer, Introduction by Elaine Pagels, published by HarperSanFrancisco.


James Bean

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Meditate? -- Buddha, Sant Kirpal Singh

Why Meditate? -- Buddha, Sant Kirpal Singh

Be Still and Know God is God. (Psalm 46:10)

"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom."

-- Buddha

And The Silence Speaks Volumes
There is a cardinal need for developing inner receptivity. The Master-Power, as you all know, is not confined to any particular place. It is working in and around you. You have but to turn your face towards Him inwardly to get the required help and guidance wherever necessary. Learn to sit still and be mentally still, and the silence thus generated with be more vocal than words spoken and written; and you will have an instantaneous solution not only to your own personal problems but to the problems of others as well.
Other passages on silence and inner guidance
Be grateful to the Maker who gave you this human birth, wherein you can realize Him. It is thy turn to meet Him, through the silence of the heart - through rising above all faculties.

God is the Ocean of utmost and restful silence. So long as we cannot have this restful silence within us, the soul cannot listen to the Voice of silence arising out of the greatest depths of Silence. By following that Voice we can reach the source and fountainhead of the Great Silence called God and be blessed forever.

In silence the heart illumines; veil after veil is removed. In the heart shines the Light, and the very silence becomes vocal giving vent to the Music of the Spheres reverberating in all creation.

The human body is the temple of God.
He is waiting there for you.
That is why I ask you to look within,
with a longing in your heart
and silence in your soul.
God will reveal himself to you.
You will find him - no, see him.

-- Kirpal Singh, The Way of the Saints, Sant Bani Books, New Hampshire

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What do you see when you turn out the light?

What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you but I know it's mine.

(Beatles, With a little help from my friends)

The Light of one soul is equal to that of sixteen suns. (Kabir)

There is Light within a person of Light and it illuminates the entire cosmos. (Yeshua, Gospel of Thomas, Nag Hammadi Library)

The glittering point between the two eyebrows is visible,

O brothers! Closing your eyelids, try to see,

Let the two currents of light converge at the central Point of the eyebrows,

Fix your gaze [at the third eye center], cross your bodily sphere and enter the egg of the universe;

The sky, studded with stars, looks so wonderful,

Light, like the earthern lamp, is visible that eliminates the darkness of the closed eyes,

The incomparable Moonlight, unique in itself, is spread in all corners;

And the light of the young Sun also radiates beautifully,

Surat [the soul], with its spiritual vision, catches the multiple sounds without being impaired,

O individual souls! Catching these sounds with Surat-like rope,

Ascend towards the final abode, which is your real home;

Mehi has revealed this mystery, the Quintessential One,

One, who serves Guru without any dishonesty, has no difficulty in reaching the Real Home. (from the Padavali of Sant Maharishi Mehi)

The Cosmic Flute of Krishna -- Shabda-Nada in Ancient India

The Cosmic Flute of Krishna -- Shabda-Nada in Ancient India

Millenia ago, Krishna playing his Bansuri flute as the cosmic musician, is one obvious image of the Celestial Song of God or "Bhagavad Gita", and we also find a clearly organized path of Inner Sound sadhana present in certain Upanishads many, many centuries before the time of Kabir, Mirabai, and other medieval Sants.

"Meditation on Nad or the Sound Principle
is the Royal Road to salvation."

-- Hansa Naad Upanishad

"Let the yogi sit on Sidh Asana and while practicing the Vaisnavi Mudra, should hear the sound through his right ear. By communion with the Word, he will become deaf to the external sounds, and will attain the Turya Pad or a state of equipoise within a fortnight. First the murmuring sounds resembling those of the waves of the ocean, the fall of rain and the running rivulets and the Bheri will be heard intermingled with the sounds of bell and conch,..."

-- Nad Bind Upanishad

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Universes, Dimensions, Lights and Sounds Are Within

Universes, Dimensions, Lights and Sounds Are Within

Sant Mat Fellowship:
{"This mysterious path is described in the holy books,
but it cannot be found simply by the study of sacred texts.
It is found by the grace and guidance of an accomplished teacher."}

Yogani MataJi on inner Light and Sound Meditation pratice: 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 [mantra] 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.

Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Four, The Holy Streams: I tell you truly, your body was made not only to breathe, and eat, and think, but it was also made to enter the Holy Stream of Life. And your ears were made not only to hear the words of men, the song of birds, and the music of falling rain, but they were also made to hear the Holy Stream of Sound. And your eyes were made not only to see the rising and setting of the sun, the ripple of sheaves of grain, and the words of the Holy Scrolls, but they were also made to see the Holy Stream of Light. One day your body will return to the Earthly Mother; even also your ears and your eyes. But the Holy Stream of Life, the Holy Stream of Sound, and the Holy Stream of Light, these were never born, and can never die. Enter the Holy Streams, even that Life, that Sound, and that Light which gave you birth; that you may reach the kingdom of the Heavenly Father and become one with him, even as the river empties into the far distant sea. More than this cannot be told, for the Holy Streams will take you to that place where words are no more, and even the Holy Scrolls cannot record the mysteries therein.

Sant Sevi Ji: Visualize the radiant form or image of the Satguru in the still darkness of the inner sky (with eyes closed). Follow that with focusing your attention at the seat of the soul within, i.e. at the third eye or the inner eye or the til dwaar, by making the two streams of consciousness in your two eyes converge in a point. When the two currents of consciousness meet in a point, divine light appears within. Then, practice surat shabd yoga (yoga of divine sound) i.e., try to shift your attention to listening to the divine sounds or myriads of melodies (anahad naad) ringing inside. Listening to the divine sound destroys all agitations and fickleness of the mind.

Poem of Kabir: 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."

Do You Remember Who You Were Before Time Began?

Do You Remember Who You Were Before Time Began?

By James Bean

Copyright March 2005
All Rights Reserved

An enormous cosmos is out there;
many voices trying to convince us
of the merits of their path,
and the merits of their destination.
Many yogas.
Many meditations.
Many breaths.
Many lives.
Many lights in
dark matter skies
yet more dark skies.
Many caught in dreams
of separation.
Many asleep
who have forgotten
who they were
before time began,
who they still are,
Truth be told.

A dis-incarnate channeled spirit
is not a worthy guide,
having never been in the human form,
and may not even have much love for humanity.
Biological infestation are we?
A dis-incarnate spirit
is impossible to know.
One has only words to go by.
Many avatars attempt to
vacuum up souls with words,
taking them to various realms of
mental or
Misdirected perception
is another name for the work of
an Archon,
a Demiurge,
a Kal Niranjan,
a Collector of the energy of souls.

There's religion
for every chakra,
and a religion
for every realm
of creation.
Materialists proclaim,
"This is all there is".
An astral guide
will never guide
the astral.
Astrals take souls to that realm saying,
"You've made it."
Worshippers of "Universal Mind"
they have created
the highest reality.
But it is no longer a prison
when we are free to leave.

Moving beyond the soul-neglected state
of God-denial and all the spiritual poverty thereof,
The Atman Project.......
With a living teacher-who has-a-body
(not a holy book),
one has the potential opportunity
to evaluate,
if they are genuine
or fraud --
a monster,
or the em-body-ment of
from Above,
a Light appearing to us
in the darkness of contemplation.

Enoch had a body.
Buddha had a body.
Christ had a body.
Valentinus had a body.
Shams had a body.
Rumi had a body.
Hafiz had a body.
Nanak had a body.
Kabir had a body.
Dharam Das had a body.
Gobind Singh had a body.
Paltu had a body.
Dariya had a body.
Tulsi had a body.
Shiv Dayal had a body.
Living Ones,
not held captive
by centuries long gone by,
also have bodies
in the living
Somewhere close by
through perhaps
there is path about you,
about me --
the Path of the Soul --
"The Pearl",
and the Lord of All Souls --
The Ocean of Love.

One asleep awakens nobody.
into the human form,
not because of
karmic debt and attachment,
but out of Compassion,
to summon us
to awakening.
They ask,
"Do you remember?"
They show us
a passage by which we may
find our way back,
riding the Holy Stream of Light-Sound,
the Audible Life-stream,
the Tao or Logos that was with us
"in the beginning",
before time came to be.
As Kabir says,

"You have slept

for millions of years.

This morning,

will you not wake"?

Astral travelers stay
astrally confined.
Soul travelers
passing through
inner regions,
ascend through
a long tunnel,
with the Grace of
the Audible Light Stream,
the Positive Power.

the material plane,
the astral,
the causal akashic,
the mental plane,
is the Timeless Realm.
This is the Place
of Life,
the Point of Origin.
We never left Home,
only our attention.
We still are.
Our true identity
remains soul.
This is the Path of Remembrance.

When the drop returns to
Oneness with The Ocean,
all form will disappear into Formlessness.

We become
what we focus
our soul-attention upon.
If we should happen to
dwell upon
The Absolute ...................

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Love is the Way of Spirituality --- Sant Mat Bhakti

Love is the Way of Spirituality --- Sant Mat Bhakti

By James Bean

When I first began learning about the Path of the Masters I was very into the technical, esoteric celestial mechanics of yugas, chakras, subtle bodies, and heavenly dimensions or inner regions. Over time however, I have been drawn, more and more with each passing day, to the Bhakti aspect of the Sants, the spirit of devotion, the Way of the lover and the Beloved.

Simran [the mantra--sacred names] repeated with love I find to be an entirely and radically different experience if chanted with love. One of my all-time favorite sentences from a Sant Mat Master is the reply given to the following question: How can one sit so still, repeat only holy names and think of God constantly? "By falling in love," Mataji answered serenely. "Because when one is truly in love nothing but the Beloved can enter one's mind. So the secret of Surat Shabd Yoga and of mysticism," she goaded, "is not necessarily practice and more practice, but love. To be so devoted to one's Lord that nothing can stand in the way – this and nothing else is the truth of Sant Mat". (quote from Yogani MataJi) Divine love and Surat Shabd Yoga are meant to be together in order that the soul may go to the right place within.

Sant Dariya Sahib: So long as the intense longing for the Beloved does not arise, and the heart is not filled with love, the spiritual goal cannot be attained.......Blessed is the eye which is permeated with love. Without love it is like a pebble or stone. Without love, there is no spiritual path. The path lives in love. With intensification of love, one comes in contact with the True Sound, and like a lotus in water, abides in its peace and bliss. When love and endearment are firmly ingrained, one attains the elixir of Nam, and enjoys its bliss. Being firmly entrenched in love and endearment, and being well-steeped in devotion, one obtains the true love. Without love one does not find the flow of the Sound Current.

I collect the poetry of the Sants, the bhajans or hymns of Mirabai, Namdev, Tukaram, Guru Nanak, Tulsi Sahib, Swami Ji, etc.... Below is my favorite poem of Kabir.

HOW could the love between Thee and me sever?
As the leaf of the lotus abides on the water:
so thou art my Lord, and I am Thy servant.
As the night-bird Chakor gazes all night at the moon:
so Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.
From the beginning until the ending of time,
there is love between Thee and me;
and how shall such love be extinguished?
Kabîr says: "As the river enters into the ocean,
so my heart touches Thee." (Songs of Kabir)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Carefree Simran: Remembrance of God's Name

Carefree Simran: Remembrance of God's Name

Sant Mat Fellowship:


Giving up turmoil of the world,
Repeat God's Name day and night.
Those who keep the Saint's company
Move about carefree, 0 Ravidas.

My (inner) tongue is constantly preoccupied with repeating God's Name,
And my hands are constantly engaged in doing my work.
Thus have I become carefree.
God will take care of me, says Ravidas. (Bani of Sant Ravidas)

Kabir said, Recognise me and manifest the Guru in the form of the Sound Current behind the eyes [at the third eye center]. Then you will have no doubts left. If you want to be free from anxiety, then catch the Sound Current. When ever you are in trouble, sit down for doing simran (repetition of the mantra/holy names). When you reach the state of concentration, then you are surrounded by a protective aura automatically. No power on earth can harm you then. Therefore, do simran and be anxiety-free. (Anurag Sagar, Volume Two, Tarn Taran Satsang)

On Daily Meditation Practice, The Ideal of Thrice Daily

On Daily Meditation Practice, The Ideal of Thrice Daily

"A comfortable asana (pose of sitting or posture) of keeping the head, neck and trunk straight and steady is a must for meditation. Without the ability to sit in such a steady posture for prolonged periods, meditation cannot be practiced.

"Meditation should be practiced being alert, without being drowsy, shutting the eyes comfortably and without turning the eyeballs or pressing them in any way.

"The practice of meditation should be an essential part of the practitioner's daily routine. The preferred time of meditation is Brahma-Muhurta (very early in the morning: 3:00 A.M.). [The Sikhs call this peek spiritual time of the morning "Amrit Veela", the Hour of Elixir.] Likewise one should meditate at mid-morning and then again in the evening time. While falling asleep, one should also engage his or her mind in meditation."

-- Maharshi Mehi, "The Philosophy of Liberation"

Now what to fear? Mystic Poetry of Kabir

Now what to fear? Mystic Poetry of Kabir

Now what to fear?
Fear merged in Fear,
I know the secret of duality.

Fears always afflicted me,
when I isolated
You from me.

One is he with the One
who sees
the inner-outer as one.

But brute is he
who led by delusion
makes low-high division.

Freed from my 'I',
says Kabir.
I saw Ram [God] in all.

-- Kabir
"Kabir Says...
A collection of One Hundred and Ten
Poems of Kabir",
Sushila Mahajan
Deep & Deep Publications
New Delhi, India

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Love For God is the Foundation of Sant Mat (Path of the Masters)

Love For God is the Foundation of Sant Mat (Path of the Masters)

Radhasoami Reality:
{Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}

The poetry of Sant Dariya Sahib reveals that simran and meditation techniques alone will not be sufficient, that the devotee must have a burning love for the Beloved, the Supreme Being. Meditation permeated with this kind of intense yearning opens a portal to the other side like nothing else can. Beyond all planes of consciousness is an Infinite Ocean of Love, and THIS is the Ultimate Reality of all the mystics.



The Love Chapter of Sant Dariya Sahib

Without love there can be no devotion and wisdom.
With love arisen, they can be experienced
with the Master's grace.
With intensification of love, one comes in contact
with the True Sound,
And like a lotus in water, abides in its peace and bliss.

When love and endearment are firmly ingrained,
One attains the elixir of Nam, and enjoys its bliss.
Being firmly entrenched in love and endearment,
And being well-steeped in devotion,
one obtains the true love.

Have love for the lotus feet of the Master, 0 wise men.
This life is short.
Give up needlessly extended discussions.

With love and wisdom arisen,
One moves with detachment in the world.
He who finds a Living Teacher,
Has the true recognition of the path, says Dariya.

So long as the lover is not immersed in love,
His sins and evil thoughts are not washed off.
If one's attention is not absorbed in the inner sky,
How can he see the wondrous inner sights?

So long as the intense longing for the Beloved
does not arise,
And the heart is not filled with love;
The spiritual goal cannot be attained
By mere observance of religious practices,
vows and rituals.

Whatever be the bulk of one's charity and virtuous deeds,
One can find no foothold anywhere without devotion.

Have firm faith in love and devotion.
Love is the essence of spiritual truth.
Reflect on this saying of the Saints,
By this alone, one is saved from the ocean of the world.

Without love, one goes to the abode of Yama,
But being endowed with love, one attains the immortal fruit.

Blessed is the eye which is permeated with love.
Without love it is like a pebble or stone.
Like a gardener without a garden,
the eye remains empty without love.
What is the state of a human being without love?
He is like one who is denied all delicacies,
and whose mouth is filled only with dust.
Without love one does not find the flow
of the Sound Current.
But when the flower of love blossoms,
its fragrance is praised by all.

Many are the paths prevalent in this world
Knowing the proper wisdom, work out your own salvation.
He who obtains a wise and discriminating Saint,
Recognizes the path of salvation.

The technique of love is truly the root of spirituality.
Follow this technique as imparted by the Master.
When with his grace the inner lamp is lighted,
The true Sound, the support of all, comes to sight.

Just as the lotus resides in water,
It does not come to bloom by water.
Only when the light of the sun appears,
Does the lotus open its petals,
As the contemplative (inner) eye opens to see.

The spiritual lotus likewise resides in the human body
which is like a pond.
Its sustaining water is close to the lotus.
But only when love for the Satguru arises,
Does the inner lotus bloom,
And one becomes a devotee of the Lord's holy feet.

Without love, there is no spiritual path.
The path lives in love.

With intensification of love, one comes in contact
with the True Sound,
And like a lotus in water, abides in its peace and bliss.

When love and endearment are firmly ingrained,
One attains the elixir of Nam, and enjoys its bliss.
Being firmly entrenched in love and endearment,
And being well-steeped in devotion,
one obtains the true love.

Without love one does not find the flow
of the Sound Current.
But when the flower of love blossoms,
its fragrance is praised by all.

-- Sant Dariya Sahib,
"Dariya Sahib -- Saint of Bihar," translated by
K.N. Upadhyaya

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

God calls out to us in the form of Celestial Sounds

God calls out to us in the form of Celestial Sounds

From the Chapter on Sufism in,
The Harmony of All Religions,
by Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj:

The teachers of the worldly sciences can teach those worldly subjects, but with regard to the science of spirituality, only the accomplished spiritual teacher can give these teachings of the spiritual path. All the great teachings in the sacred texts talk about the importance of a teacher. This mysterious path is described in the holy books, but it cannot be found simply by the study of sacred texts. It is found by the grace and guidance of an accomplished teacher.

Saint Maharishi Mehi says:

"Without the grace of an accomplished teacher, we cannot find the path. This has not happened in the past, nor will it happen in the future. It is essential to have this grace of a teacher."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says:

"0 Feeble Disciples! Take refuge in Guru. Go get the key to this (spiritual) Gate from an accomplished teacher if you want to open this Tenth Gate, the Gateway to the spiritual realms. None other has the key to open this Gate."

As you open this Gate you will be immersed in the Divine Light of God. When you leave the nine gated body and go through the Tenth Gate [Third Eye], then you will go from darkness to Light, and from untruth to truth. When you are able to see this Divine Light then you will begin to hear the Divine inner Sounds. This inner Sound can not be heard with the physical ears, but only with the inner spiritual ears.

Just as we call out to a dog and he listens to us and comes to us, so also God calls out to us in the form of Celestial Sounds, and we also are drawn to God. We can only go toward God, and in this there is no doubt. After seeing the pure form of God we will become pure just as God is pure. Through this, all our suffering will end.

We should strive just as the Prophet Muhammad did, and meditate and traverse the spiritual journey within. In this way our human body and our human birth is worth living.

A Sufi Fakir, Yunus Emre has written:

"We entered the house of realization, we witnessed the body. The whirling skies, the many-layered earth, the seventy-thousand veils, we find in the body. The night and the day, the planets, the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets, the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple, and Israel's trumpet, we observe in the body."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Satsang Discourse by Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj

Satsang Discourse by Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj

Translated by Pravesh K. Singh

The following is a discourse of Param Poojya Maharshi Santsevi Paramhans Jee Maharaj, was published in the January 1999 issue of the spiritual monthly in Hindi called, "Shanti Sandesh" published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India.

Behold the Moon and the Sun Within You

Goswami Tulasidas jee himself has said: "Yah prataap ravi jaake, ur jab karanhi prakaash." That is, when this refulgent Sun or form of Ram or God appears within, or illuminates the inner sky of a person, he/she is able to see through the three worlds or the entire brahmaand (cosmos).

The Sun mentioned by Tulasidas jee is not the outer sun, but the inner sun, the one which can be viewed inside each one of us. When a spiritual seeker sits in meditation, he/she makes an ascending journey, rising from the Aajnaa Chakra (variously termed as the divine gate, third eye, divya chakshu, teesraa til, dasham dwaar, shiv netra, trinetra etc. etc.) into the region of the thousand-petalled lotus, or the Sahasraar. Ascending further, when entry is made into the Trikutee, the inner Sun becomes visible, by seeing which the seeker acquires the super-natural or divine vision so as to be able to see all the three worlds. Our Gurudev, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans jee Maharaj, had scaled such heights of meditation that he could see events happening in any part of the universe. I have narrated several such incidents to you on different occasions in the past. Describing the inner sun, Sant Kabir Saahab says,

"Yahi ghat chandaa yahi ghat soor, yahi ghat baajai anahad toor. Yahi ghat baajai tabal nishaan, bahiraa shabad sunai binu kaan." (Moon as well as Sun is within this body itself. Within this body itself keep ringing myriads of celestial melodies or sounds. Within this body itself sounds the divine drum. Even the outwardly or physically deaf can listen to these divine sounds.)

Proceeding from the Aajnaa Chakra, we get a glimpse of moon in the `sahasra dal kamal', or the realm of thousand-petalled lotus. Moving ahead we get to see the sun in the region of `trikutee'.

Not only Kabir Saahab, other saints, too, have testified to sighting the moon and the sun within. Guru Nanak jee, for example, describes it thus: "Ravi Shashi lauke yahi tanu, kinguree baajai shabad niraaree" (Sun and moon are visible within this very body of ours, wherein we can also listen to the divine sound current.)

He says further,

"Taaraa chadiyaa lammaa, kiu nadari nihaaliyaaa Raam" (I hopped onto the star and saw it. The grace of God has made my life gratified, blissful & blessed.)

Whosoever begins this inner voyage i.e., practice meditation, gains in mental concentration. Associated with concentration is ascension. Such person crosses over from the level of `pind' (body) into the `brahmaand' (cosmos) where he/she gets the blissful glimpses of stars, moon, sun etc. These sightings are related to the inner world, not the outer one.

We see that we can not perform any work even in this outer world of ours in absence of light and sound. If both the light and the sound or vibrations go missing from our world, we would find it well nigh impossible to live. So, just as we need light and sound in the outer universe, we need light and sound in the inner universe, too. We identify any person or thing with the help of light (form or appearance) and sound. Similarly, light and sound are also essential to realize the God within us. Drawing on the support or help of light and sound, we can go beyond or transcend these two also to merge into oneness with the Supreme Lord or the God. Here so many persons are sitting in this hall. Each one can see the other in daylight. However, unless you enquire about each other's name, address, nature of job etc., you can not grow full familiarity with each other. Some conversation is essential to ascertain one's identity. At the moment, so many of you are seeing each other. Now suppose, in future, if you happen to see someone who is present here at some other place, a feeling would come to you that you have seen him/her somewhere. Driving a few nails down into your head, you might recall that yes; you had seen him here in the satsang hall. However, you would not be able to know what or who he is. Well, that would be possible only after you had exchanged some words of personal information with each other previously. To see each other, you need light. For gaining familiarity, you need to talk, i.e. seek the help of sound. Yes I was saying that as essential or indispensable are light and sound in the outer world, so are they in the inner world, too.

God has provided us with a beautiful analogy in the nature. When black rain clouds are hovering overhead in the outer sky, we, sometimes, see lightning in the sky. After we see lightning, we hear the thunder of clouds. Through this natural illustration, God is hinting at the inner meditation. When the spiritual practitioner, closing his/her eyes softly, tries to look intently at the prescribed place, as instructed by the Guru, in the inner sky, he/she comes to see the hovering clouds, lightning as also the thunderous rumbling.

A hymn of Rig Veda says, "Shrinv Vrishteriv swanah pavamaanasya sushminah. Charanti vidyuto divi". That is, flashes of lightning are seen in the inner sky. Then, the powerful sound of rains can be heard; this sound is capable of washing or purifying the sins of the listener. During meditation, the saadhak (practitioner) sees a number of scintillations, flashes, sparkles, and electric-like sparks, and hears thunderous rumbles. In fact this sound belongs to or, comes from nowhere else but the pure and pristine aatmaa (soul) only.

You must have observed that very strong light is followed by very strong thundering sound, too. We, thus, first see light, and then we hear sound. Similarly, the saadhak (practitioner) first sees light within and then hears the sound. In fact, if we look at the chronological order of creation of the universe, we would find that first of all sound (the unstruck vibration or melody called the anaahat naad, and numerous other sounds called anahad naad) came into being which was followed, in order, by prakaash (light) and andhakaar (darkness). However, since we are currently living in the darkness of our ignorance, our spiritual journey has to take place in the reverse direction, and, therefore, beginning from within darkness, the seeker first, rising above darkness, sees light and then comes to hear sound. But let this not convey the impression that sound is produced last. In fact, sound was created first, though we hear it the last. Whoever practices meditation honestly & diligently comes across these experiences. There is a story in the Maitreyyupnishad (one of the Upanishads) in a similar context:

There was a Brahmin (one of the four main varnas or castes in India). He did not perform ritual worship (including verbal chanting of prayers & Gaayatree Mantra (one of the most sacred Vedic hymns), showing incense sticks to the idols or statues of gods & goddesses etc.) like other conventional Brahmins of the village. He had devoted himself to genuine meditation. His wife had to face a lot of taunts & critical remarks from her friends who used to vex her saying that her husband was not a true Brahmin and that she, though herself being a real Brahmin, had been married to a Shoodra (the fourth caste, the lowest in the so-called order of castes, despised or looked down upon by the other three). They would further lend credence to their criticism by advancing arguments like "had your husband been a chaste Brahmin, he, too, would have followed a routine befitting a true Brahmin e.g., having bath on prescribed time, orally reciting incantations & Gaayatree Mantra, performing sandhyaaa or worship thrice a day etc. But he does not do anything of the sort !". Returning home, she would report to her husband what others said about him. The Brahmin listened to everything patiently, but would not say anything or react. Every time his wife happened to meet her neighbours, she would get to hear the same malicious and mocking remarks again & again. One day she came home extremely dejected and pained, and told her husband, "I repeatedly make you aware of what our neighbors say about you, but you do not pay any heed, everything falls flat on your deaf ears." Seeing the immensity of her grief, the Brahmin said, "O Queen of my heart! Neither do you nor do your neighbours who keep you telling so many things know what I do! Just listen to me! What is this sandhyaa? When is sandhyaa performerd? Sandhyaa refers to the time when the Sun sets or the transition period when the day ends and the night begins. Similarly the juncture when the forenoon comes to a close and the afternoon begins is called "madhyaahna sandhyaa" or the mid-day sandhyaa. Again, the meeting moment, when the night comes to an end and the morning commences, is termed "prabhaat sandhyaa" or morning sandhyaa. Thus, we have the concept of three sandhyaas – prabhaat sandhyaa (morning sandhyaa), madhyaahna sandhyaa (afternoon sandhyaa) and saayam sandhyaa (evening sandhyaa). But, where there is neither the sunrise nor the sunset, just tell me, where do you have sandhyaa? In the inner sky of my heart the sun of consciousness keeps shining bright incessantly. It neither sets, nor rises. Then how do I perform a sandhyaa?" Please listen to the shloka of the Maitreyyupanishad:

"Hridaakaashe chidaadityam, sadaa bhaasati bhaasati. Naastameti na chodeti, katham sandhyaamupaasmahe."

(The sun of consciousness within my heart keeps on shining and shining, all the time. Neither does it set nor does it rise. How do I perform sandhyaa?)

Whoever sincerely practices the inner meditation comes to experience light within. First he sees the light and then he hears sound, too. Sound has a natural & inherent property of attracting the listener towards its source or origin. One who is capable of grasping the sound springing straight from the God Himself gets naturally drawn to Him.

The practitioner of "naadaanusandhaan" or "surat-shabda yoga" (the Yoga of Sound or the Union through Sound) first catches hold of the sound which is generated at the centre of the "sthoola mandal" (gross sphere of creation). Catching that sound at the meeting horizon or junction of the Gross sphere and the "sookshma mandala" (Astral or Subtle sphere), he (the practitioner) is drawn to the centre of the Astral sphere. Grasping the sound at the centre of the Astral sphere he is led to the centre of the "kaaran mandal" (Causal sphere) wherefrom he is pulled up to the centre of the "mahaakaaran mandal" (Supra-Causal sphere). Getting hold of the sound at the centre of the Supra-Causal sphere he transcends the barrier or layers of "jad" (ignorance or non-consciousness) and makes an entry into the realm of "kaivalya" or, "chetan"(pure consciousness). There he finds the "saar shabda" or "anaahat shabda" (the unstruck or quintessential sound) which takes him to the "nihshabdam paramam padam" or the highest and the Ultimate Soundless State. There he meets and merges into perfect unison with the God losing his individual identity completely. Thus, the cycle of birth and death or transmigration comes to be destroyed or annihilated for ever or permanently. This is in short I told you about the inner meditation of Santmat.