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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mundaka Upanishad -- The Way of the Sages

Mundaka Upanishad -- The Way of the Sages

Spiritual Awakening:
{"Exploring the World of Spirituality, Comparative
Religion, Gnostic Gospels, Hidden or Lost Scriptures,
Mysticism, Websites, and Books"}

The eye cannot see it; mind cannot grasp it.
The deathless Self has neither cast nor race.
Neither eyes nor ears nor hands nor feet.
Sages say this Self is infinite in the great
And in the small, everlasting and changeless,
The source of life.
As the web issues out of the spider
And is withdrawn, as plants sprout from the earth,
As hair grows from the body, even so,
The sages say, this universe springs from
The deathless Self, the source of life.
The deathless Self meditated upon
Himself and projected the universe
As evolutionary energy.
From this energy developed life, mind,
The elements, and the world of karma,
Which is enchained by cause and effect.
The deathless Self sees all, knows all. From him
Springs Brahma, who embodies the process
Of evolution into name and form
By which the One appears to be many.
The Imperishable is the Lord of Love.
As from a blazing fire thousands of sparks
Leap forth, so millions of beings arise
From the Lord of Love and return to him.
(The Sage that authored chapter two of the Mundaka Upanishad, translated by Eknath Easwaran, in, The Upanishads, Nilgiri Press)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Studies in the Sar Bachan of Swami Ji Maharaj Part 1

Studies in the Sar Bachan of Swami Ji Maharaj Part 1
Radhasoami Reality:
{Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}
The opening Verses of Sar Bachan Radhasoami Prose in Two Translations
Translation One
This world is perishable and so also is all that pertains to it. A wise man is he, who, having closely examined the nature of existence here, has realized that it is all transitory and illusory, and consecrated his human form by devoting himself to Bhajan and Simran (listening to inner sounds and repetition of the Holy Name of the Supreme Being) and who, taking the fullest advantage of the various faculties which the Supreme Father has graciously endowed him with, has translated the invaluable jewel within him, which is Surat (spirit [see note below]) or the essence of his being, to its original abode.
1. The soul or spirit is known as Surat or Ruh. It has descended from the highest region, that is, the regions of Sat Nam and Radhasoami, and has taken location in this body. It has got enmeshed here in the mind, the three Gunas (attributes), five Tattwas (original conditions of matter), ten Indriyas (senses and organs) etc. and so tight are the bondages of the body and things connected therewith that it has become difficult for it to extricate itself. Freedom from these bondages is called Moksh (liberation). Inner bondages are the mind, indriyas, tattwas, etc., and the external bondages comprise property, family and kinsfolk. The soul, that is, spirit, is so much entangled in these two kinds of bondages that it has even lost consciousness of its original abode. So remote is the destination that it is now difficult for it to return to its original abode without the Mehar (grace) of a perfect guide. Now, all that a man has got to do is to take his Surat (spirit) back to its reservoir and place of origin, that is, Sat Nam and Radhasoami. Until this is attained, there can be no escape from joys and sorrows and pleasures and pains of this world. (Radhasoami Satsang, Agra, India)

Translation Two
This jagat (phenomenal world) is perishable (nashman) and all its causes and effects are also perishable; that the wise and shrewd man is he who having carefully examined the burden of its activities (karobar) and having discovered that this is a fantasy world (kalpit) and mythical (mithya), has fruitfully and gainfully employed this human body (and its related instruments and material) in the remembrance (sumiran) and contemplation (bhajan) of the Absolute Lord; that having benefited from things with which the Supreme Doer (the Absolute Lord) has equipped this human frame, he has restored his invaluable core (jauhar-i-be-bahaa, i.e. the quintessence of his being or tattva vastu which is the surat or jivatma) into its real, original abode --- the Radhasoami Sphere whence it descended.
1. Jagat (the embodied spirit), i.e. surat*** is called as ruh (literally, breath or perfume). And having descended from the highest sphere, i.e. the sphere of Satt Naam and Radhasoami, it has come to abide in this body. And it has got tied up with three gunas (sattva, rajasa and tamas corresponding to oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen respectively) and five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth), and ten indriyas (five instruments or senses of knowledge and five of action or karma indriyas) and mind, etc.
Such bonds (bandhan) have come about between it (i.e. Surat) and the body (sharir) and its related objects of pleasure (padara- thas) that release from them has become quite difficult. This release is called moksh (emancipation). The internal bonds refer to cords that bind the surat with senses, elements and the mind. The external bonds imply the strings which tie up the surat with object of pleasure, family and clan (qabila).
In both these bonds, the jivatma has become so entangled that it has lost all remembrance and consciousness (denoting or relating to a part of the human mind that is aware of a person's self, origin and history, environment, and mental activity) of its real abode. Its destination (original abode) has become so distant that its return to its original abode has become extremely difficult without the grace of the perfect murshid or Satguru. All that man has to accomplish is to take back his surat or ruh to its head spring and source, i.e., the spheres of Satt Naam and Radhasoami. Until and unless this task is accomplished, there can be no release from the worldly gaiety and grief (khushi and rani) and all the pains and pleasures pertaining to this (phenomenal world). (The Quintessential Discourse Radhasoami, M.G. Gupta)
**NOTE: "Surat": The surat is a drop from that Ocean --- The Supreme Radhasoami. Anami, beyond space and time, void of vikalp, of boundary, of lineament (roop-rekha), of motion, of modification, of within and without, the Formless, even Soundless and Nameless, in a State of perfect bliss --- "So Am I". When surat assumes body and form, it becomes known as jiva (entity) or jivatma. (Gupta)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guru Nanak: Spring

Guru Nanak: Spring

Meditation Sangat:
{"Do not live even a single day without inner
meditation." -- Baba Devi Sahab}

Bara Maha (The 12 Months)

The Month of Vaisakhi (April--May)

Lovely is the month of Vaisakhi,
When the bough turns green again,
And the bride awaits her Beloved,
With her eyes ever watching at the door:
Come, my Beloved, and show me your
It is Thee alone who can carry me safely across
The turbulent waters of life.
Without Thee I have
As little value as a shell.
Who can estimate my worth if I am pleasing to Thee?
My love, I see Thee and I make others to see Thee.
0 Lord, to me You are never far away:
I believe that Thou art living in me,
And I have realized Your presence within.
Says Nanak, she who realizes her Lord in Vaisakhi
has her soul filled with the meditation of the Name.

(Peace Lagoon, an anthology of the Sikh Scriptures -- Sacred Songs of the Sikhs -- Shri Guru Granth, Sardarni Premka Kaur, Published by G.T. International, Los Angeles, CA)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Practicing Inner Light & Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga)

Practicing Inner Light & Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga)

Sant Mat Fellowship:
{"Repeat the Name of your Beloved, day and night, again
and again. With care in thought, word and deed, you will
cross to the other shore." -- Dadu}
{"Do not live even a single day without inner
meditation." -- Baba Devi Sahab}

"Open a window to God". --- RUMI

The glittering Point between the two eyebrows is visible, O devotees! Closing your eyelids, try to see,
Let the two currents of Light converge at the central Point of the eyebrows,
Fix your gaze and cross your bodily sphere and enter the Egg of the Universe; The sky, studded with stars, looks so wonderful,
Light, like the earthen 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 attention-faculty of the soul], with its spiritual vision, catches the multiple Sounds without being impaired,
0 individual souls! catching these Sounds with Surat-like rope, walk along the final Abode, which is one's Real Home;
Mehi has revealed this mystery, the Quintessential One,
One, who serves Guru without any guile, has no difficulty in reaching the Real Home.

0 my mind! While awake reside in the third eye,
With the help of Drishti Yoga [Inner Light Meditation], leave and soar up into the Internal Sky;
The two currents of vision of the physical eyes including your own self,
Are to be joined in front of the darkness of your eyes, that is, the Point between the two eyebrows,
At this Point the two currents are to be strongly fixed,
Thus entering into the tenth door, fly into the Internal Firmament,
Mehi says with the help of Drishti Yoga [Yoga of Light],
Leave your body,
Fly like a bird and catch the live currents of both Light and Sound.
(from the Padavali of Sant Maharshi Mehi Paramhans)

Sant Maharshi Mehi Paramhans

Note: Below is excerpted from a spiritual discourse of Parampoojya Shri Shahi Swami Ji Maharaj, the seniormost disciple alive of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji alive, delivered at the Satsang Hall of Maharshi Mehi Ashram at Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India on 27.05.1979 on the occasion of the Weekly Satsang. The original Hindi version of the discourse provided by Ms. Pooja Rani, the moderator of the yahoo group "Santmat_Parivar" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/santmat_parivar

--- English Translation by Pravesh K. Singh

Satsang - Sant Mat

Upward movement during inner meditation takes us into the Realm of Light. That Light is of the God Himself. He alone, who walks within, sees that Light. It is not so that he receives merely Light; he perceives Sound, also. Taking support of inner Light & Sound, the soul attains to its origin i.e. God. Light is the left hand of the God, while Sound is His right hand. The practitioner, who gets hold of both these hands, can not be separated from Him even if such a person is bombarded with hand grenades and bombs. These two – Light & Sound – are obtained by walking within. This, in fact, is the true bhakti' (devotion or worship) of God. In this bhakti, one has to practice to concentrate, to shrink. For practicing shrinking, Sant Kabir Sahab has said,

"Naino kee kari kotharee, putalee palang bithaaya.
Palako kee chik daari ke, piy ko liyaa rijhaay."

[Making the eyes into a room and the pupils into the bed, I hung the curtain of the eyelids (i.e. closed the eyes) and thus pleased, delighted or charmed my Lord. (This, in fact, is a clear hint for practicing the Yoga of Light.)]

That is, we should make a room of our eyes, and should hang or drop down the curtain of our eyelids to still the pupil. In short, the Lord has to be enchanted by closing down our eyes (and gazing fixedly as taught by the Master). But when (and how) the pupil will become still or stationary? It is when you focus or concentrate it over a Point (an entity which occupies no space or has no expanse). It is for this very reason that 'Vindu Dhyaan' has been taught. This very thing has been referred to as firm practice of one element ('ek tattva dridhaabhyaas') in Muktikopanishad:

"Ekatatvadridhaabhyaasaaddyaavanna vijitam manah.
Praksheenchittadarpasya nigriheetendriyadvishah.
Padminya iva ksheeyante bhoga vaasanaah."

That means that unless the mind has been conquered completely, one should try to control one's senses overcoming the chitta and ego completely by firm and rigorous practice of (concentration over) one element. Once this happens, all the indulgences and lust & cravings get destroyed in the same way as the lotus gets destroyed in the Hemant Season (cold season normally spanning from Mid November to Mid January in the Indian Subcontinent). Attain single pointedness (complete unwavering concentration, or fixed gazing at a perfect point), and you will transcend beyond cravings for the sensual pleasures, luxurious life or licentiousness. Goswami Tulsidas ji has written in his book "Vinay Patrika" :

"Jab lagi nahi nij hridi prakaash, aru Vishay aas man maahi.
Tulsidas tab lagi jag joni, bhramat sapanehu sukh naahi."

[So long as our own heart is not illuminated, and yearning for objects of senses linger in us, opines Tulsidas, the 'jiva' (individual soul) shall have to wander in the various species in this world and shall never attain true bliss even in its dreams.]

Kabir Sahab says in a similar context:

"Baas surat le aavaee, shabd surat lai jay.
Parichay shruti hai sthire, so guru daee bataay."

[Cravings bring or drag the surat (un-liberated individual soul) into this world, while the Sound (the Quintessential Unstruck Melody) takes us beyond or back to its true or original home. The surat becomes still (becomes free from movement into endless cycles of birth and death) as it gets acquainted with or meets Him. Guru has taught me (says Kabir) the technique required or the art for this (making the surat still).]

When our sight becomes fixed, the World or Domain of Light opens up, spotless Sun is seen. And, thus, "rain andheree mit gayee, baajai anahad toor" (The dark night has come to an end, and countless varieties of enchanting Sounds are heard reverberating.), as described by Sant Kabir, is realized in practice. The art to this practice is secret (has to be learnt from an adept Master or Guru). However, obstinacy won't help here (It is to be noted here that obstinacy is distinct from tenacity of purpose– Translator). For this, one has to begin with 'Maanas Jap' (also, Manas Jap) – reciting, with full concentration, the Holy Mantra given by the Guru – and then has to internally visualize the physical form of the Guru (known as 'Maanas Dhyaan' or Manas Dhyan). Maanas Jap puts a brake on the restlessness of the mind, whereas Maanas Dhyaan orients the mind in one particular direction, and, thus, one becomes introverted. 'Drishti Saadhana' or Drishti Sadhana (The Yoga of Light, which has to be practiced after Maanas Dhyaan) helps accomplishing the single-mindedness and one can testify to the veracity of the Sants' claim "Vindu me tanh naad bolai" (Naad or Sound reverberates in the Light or Vindu). 'Naad Dhyaan' enables one to realize God, the Supreme Sovereign Soul. This is what Sants and Great Souls teach.

Parampoojya Shri Shahi Swami Ji Maharaj

Kabir: God Takes Care of the Soul + YouTube Bhajan

Kabir: God Takes Care of the Soul + YouTube Bhajan

Sant Mat Mysticism Blog:

Prabhu binu dukh nar ko kown hare

Other than God who can remove the suffering of humanity? Whenever and wherever distress assails his devotees, there and then God presents himself. But if one is full of ego, then he suffers heavily. If he is humble then he gets positive rewards. If he is always engaged in devotion meaningfully, he will remain free of hypocrisy. If the devotee is humble and feels the pangs of separation from God then God takes care of him.

-- Kabir Bhajan Amritam -- Devotional Bhajans of Satguru Kabir, Translated by Dr. Jagessar Das, Kabir Association of Canada

YouTube Video: Kabir bhajan from Dr Pooja Angra and Madan Rana's concert at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield U.K. on the 12th of August 2007:


Prayer of Guru Kabir: With folded hands I pray: hear, O Ocean of Mercy! Grant me the gifts of compassion, humility, knowledge and happiness, in the company of the Saints. Kabir with thoughts fixed on Thy lotus feet prays, 0 Guru! tell me about the True Path of the Saints.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Awakening Your Latent Spirituality With Shabd Bhakti and Satguru Bhakti

Awakening Your Latent Spirituality With Shabd Bhakti and Satguru Bhakti

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

Hymn of Soami Ji Maharaj on Devotion to the Master (Satguru Bhakti) and Devotion to the inner Sound during Meditation (Shabd Bhakti -- Naam Bhakti)

Turn and look within yourself. Why do you wander about in the jungle of the external world?

The Guru exhorts you every moment to perform Simran [remembering God's Name] day and night.

Enshrine the image of Guru within yourself [Dhyan] and make your wanton mind steady.

Then direct your Surat [the attention-faculty of the soul] towards the Door to higher regions, and penetrate the Third Eye Center.

Sit quietly there in meditation, i. e., in Gagan [the inner Mystic Sky], and apply your mind to the Sound Current [Shabd].

Fix your Surat in Sunn [the Void]. Do not wander about in the regions of the three gunas (qualities).

Do not tarry in the regions of evils and vices. Your life has been wasted in deceptions and delusions. Now, search for Shabd [inner Sound, the Positive Power].

Always move in the company of the Sant Satguru. Do not run after wealth, honour and reputation.

Control your mind and senses. Engage yourself in this effort only.

In course of time, you will be able to subdue your mind and senses; and then you will hear Nada (Shabd) [the Sound Current, the Positive Power]

Thereafter, it will not take long to awaken your latent spirituality. You will be immersed in the bliss of melodious Shabds (inner Sounds).

Now fall at the Holy Feet of Radhasoami [the Lord of the Soul]. He will accomplish your task in a moment.

-- Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One, Agra, India