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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)