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.