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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Necessity of a Contemporary Master-Guide (Sant Sat Guru)

Necessity of a Contemporary Master-Guide (Sant Sat Guru)

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

Mere Knowledge of the mode of devotion derived from hearsay or reading the holy books will not help a would-be traveler on his journey homeward; he or she needs full instructions from an experienced guide and occasional help and information from him to enable a novice to proceed on his journey unhampered by obstacles and impediments which are generally met with in traversing material spheres..

According to the Radhasoami Faith the presence and help of a Sant Sat Guru is absolutely necessary for a neophyte to commence the work of salvation [jiva mukti], or in other words, to practice internal devotion for the purpose of first concentrating and then raising his spirit beyond the material spheres..

All embodied spirit entities living here having left their original home from time immemorial, and having passed through various material spheres in their descent to the corporeal body in the third grand division, have become so firmly attached to their present dwelling, viz., the body and its surroundings in this world, that it is difficult, nay, impossible, for anyone to effect a change in the present condition and abode without the aid and instruction from one who is a resident of that sphere and holds communion with the Supreme Father, because He alone can be expected to know all the secrets of the descent of the spirit current to the lower regions and the means of liberating it from the bondage of matter to enable it to rise and return to its original source..

--- Huzur Maharaj, RADHASOAMI MAT PRAKASH - A Brief View of Radhasoami Faith --- Being a message of Eternal Peace and Joy to all nations --- Originally written by Hazur Maharaj in English and published in the year 1897A.D..

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Know Thyself As Soul, According to Lord Mahavira and Jainism

Know Thyself As Soul, According to Lord Mahavira and Jainism

"Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself, and learn who you are, in what way you exist, and how you will come to be. Since you will be called my brother, it is not fitting that you be ignorant of yourself.." (Yeshua, The Book of Thomas the Spiritual Athlete, Nag Hammadi Library)

The greatest mistake of a soul is non-recognition of its real Self, and it can only be rectified by recognizing itself..

Know thyself; recognize thyself; be immersed in thyself --- you will attain Godhood..

--- Mahavira (Tirthankar Bhagwan Mahavira)

By merely meditating upon Him all inflictions of the living souls (jivas) which have arisen from the world are destroyed. These are not destroyed through any other means. He is the Lord of three worlds, and is the Indestructible Supreme Soul..

Whatever is the Supreme Soul, so am I. Whatever is my essential nature, is the essence of Supreme Soul. Therefore, I am fitted for meditating on my inner Supreme Soul --- none other..

--- Pundit Puja Tika

The only method to know Consciousness is to experience (the true nature of) one's Self and thus to purify and uplift the mental tendencies. It is most desirable for the practitioner to search for one's self by one's self. There is no other means other than meditation, which verifies subjectively and substantiates objectively that which previously was only known through listening or teaching..

--- Acharya Tulsi

This soul in itself is illumined by the light of knowledge. However, in this body it is covered by three coverings: the gross body and two subtle bodies (Taijas and Karman shareer). As long as this soul does not recognize its enlightened form, the bondage remains..

An ascetic established in the Self (Atma) is liberated. The ascetic who is not thus established does not attain liberation through mere observance of niyama (outer observances). The state of being established in Atma is the Right Faith (belief verified by experience), and firmness in this is the ‘discerning character endowed with knowledge’..

---Jainist Sutras quoted in the book, The Harmony of All Religions

The person who has recognized the true nature of the soul (Atma) and experienced it through self-knowledge, merges into the Pure Form and becomes Paramatma (Lord, the Supreme Soul)..

--- Pundit Puja Tika

Human beings without knowledge of the Supreme Soul wander through the law of karma in the deep forest of the world. By the knowledge of the Supreme Soul a human being attains a prominent place --- even greater than Indra (king of the gods). Know Him to be the true manifested Supreme Soul. He is the abode of all joys. He is the brilliant light of knowledge. He is the protector. He is the Supreme Person beyond thinking and His nature can not be described..

The One, who can not be described by words and is not conceivable as matter or material stuff is the Supreme Soul. He is infinite, transcends Sound, has no birth, and is not subject to wandering in the world. With a still and tranquil mind meditate on the Supreme Soul..

--- Jainist text called, Jnanarnva

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Arati and Santmat Special on the Auspicious Day of Guru Purnima!

Arati and Santmat

Special on the Auspicious Day of Guru Purnima!

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."
-- Sant Dadu Dayal}

Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras

Arati and Santmat

- Pravesh K. Singh

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati, http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh )

Most of the Hindu religious ceremonies end by performing a ritual called 'arati/aaratee' (a ceremony performed in adoration of a deity or a deeply respected religious figure of highest spiritual accomplishments by circular movement of a lighted lamp accompanied by ringing of bells, blowing of conches, beating of drums and gong etc.). The lighted lamp is usually placed in the centre of a large flat metallic plate or platter which is decorated with 'akshat' (whole unbroken rice grains), camphor, flowers, fruits, sandalwood paste/powder, betel leaves, confectionery sweet dishes, incense sticks, camphor etc. Use of light and sound in some form or the other are found to be generally associated with most of religions worldwide. In a mosque, for instance, 'chirag' (lamp or some other source of light; as 'namaz' is not offered in darkness) is kindled and 'namaz' (prayer) is rendered by the 'Imam' (priest) through microphone. Candle and bell can be found in churches. While, in the Buddhist temples a lamp is kept lit and a gong is hung.

Therefore, it emerges that light and sound are central to almost versions of worship. Sants say that this emphasis on worship of light & sound is, in fact, a hint at the fact that the true worship consists in worshipping (focusing one's undivided attention on) the divine Light and the divine Word which are pervading the whole of universe/creation - gross or astral. Even our own life depends on the presence of these two – Light and Sound. Absence of Light (indicated by the complete loss of body warmth; light and heat are mutually inter-related to each other essentially) and sound (manifested in the pulse-rate and heart beat) implies our bodily death. So, sants explain that these outer light and sound are symptomatic or suggestive of the more important inner Light and inner Sound. God has made the creation with the help of these two. Maharshi Mehi Paramhansji Maharaj, one of the all-time greatest exponents of Santmat, would say that Light and Sound are like the two arms of God so that if we wished God to embrace us with all His love and affection, we must try to catch hold of these two limbs of His. Thus, a different notion of 'arati' is found in Santmat. The 'arati' of Santmat is an internal activity and should be accordingly performed within the temple that is, our own body. Sants like Tulsi Sahab of Hathras (U.P.), Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj etc. have composed wonderful verses exhorting seekers to perform 'arati' (signifying meditation on inner Light & Sound) within. Below is presented essence in English of one such 'arati' by composed by Sant Tulsi Sahab of Hathras, based on its Hindi Translations by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj and his worthy disciple & successor Maharshi Santsevi ji Paramhans. This 'arati' is sung at the end of Akhil Bharatiya Santmat (the branch of Santmat started by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj) Satsangs (spiritual gatherings):

"Perform 'arati' (within you) in the company of the True Guru, and behold the Light that keeps illuminating the inner sky. ||1||

Manifest Divine Fire within this body, made of five elements, (this may also be construed as to make the five characteristic colours of the five elements forming the gross universe around us including our own body appear within the body) and spread light by lighting lamp from this fire. ||2||

Placing (decorating) the Sun and the Moon as fruits & flowers on the plate or platter of the inner sky, install the pitcher of camphor i.e. the white luminous Point, in the beginning of 'arati'.||3||

Make 'akshat' (whole, unbroken grains of rice used in arati and other religious ceremonies) of stars and wear the garland of pearls visualized in the inner sky.||4||

[N.B. The spiritual practitioner comes to visualize stars, the Moon and the Sun in the inner sky in the course of meditation. These celestial bodies may be thought of as resembling small grains, flower, fruit etc. (articles used in the ritual of 'arati' performed outside in the gross world) kept on the plate or platter that is, the inner sky itself.]

Different forms of bright light seen within are like the betel leaves, sweets, sandal, incense sticks, lamps etc. used in 'arati'.||5||

While visualizing the refulgent Light within, melodious Sounds of various musical wind and percussion instruments are heard by the mind-fish (just as the fish can swim upstream against even very strong currents of water, mind also ascends in the inner sky and, therefore, has been likened to tiny fish by Sants. Thus the method of 'Surat Shabd Yoga' or 'Naadaanu-sandhaan' – meditation on the inner divine Sound - is also referred to as the 'meen-maarg' or the path of the fish).||6||

Just as the black bee is lost completely in the sweet fragrance of, and gets willingly trapped within, a lotus flower, focused surat plays in the inner sky joyfully, captivated by the fragrance of divine Sound.||7||

The pure Light that appears within destroys all the sins of the beholder.||8||

In the inner void or sky the currents of Light and Sound keep pouring. The spiritual seeker who can ascend himself unto this gateway (of divine kingdom) merrily drenches or soaks himself in this rain.||9||

The surat drinking the nectar (of Divine Light & Sound) gets intoxicated with the resultant joy, and thus marches jubilantly forward.||10||

Brilliance of Light seen within is comparable to the luminance of crores of Suns taken together. Connect yourself (to God) by seeing (ascending) beyond the Unseeable (Quintessential Sound) ||11||

Every moment keeping your surat focused in the inner sky, sip the rare Imperceptible juice by the Guru's grace.||12||

The path to Guru's abode is illuminated with sparkling Lights and reverberates with divine Sound. Sant Tulsi Sahab advises us to forsake the body (rise above the body) by reverting inwards just as the bird 'alal' does. ||13||

[N.B. In Hindu Scriptures there is a mention of a bird named 'alal' which is said to live pretty high above in the sky. This bird never comes down to the earth. The eggs laid by the 'alal' begin to fall down towards the earth. However, these eggs are laid at such great heights that before these can reach the earth's surface, their hatching period is over and the young kids come out of them and fly back towards their homes high above in the sky. Using the allegory of the 'alal' Sant Tulsi Sahab advises our individual souls to climb back, through meditation, to the great heights, our own true Native Abode i.e. the Realm of God.]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Upanishads: Third Eye Center: Worship, and, All Life is One

Upanishads: Third Eye Center: Worship, and, All Life is One


Upanishads: Third Eye Center: Place of Worship, and, All Life is One

Sant Mat Mysticism Blog at: http://SantMat.Gaia.Com

The Third Eye Center is the Place of Purification from the Effects of the Outer Senses and Impressions, and is the Place or Field of Vision for the True Worship of God in Meditation

Wisdom of the Saints and Sages of the Upanishads,
From the Jabala Upanishad:

Thereafter the sage Atri asked of Yajnavalkya: "How am I to realize the Self which is Infinite and Unmanifest -- the Imperceptible Atman?"

Yajnavalkya said: .....The Infinite Imperceptible Self is worshipped.......between varana and nasi. What are varana and nasi? Varana is that which dispels all the evils done by the sense-organs, and that which destroys all the sins done by sense-organs is called nasi. Where is that place? That place is at the location of both the eye-brows and the nose. That is also the meeting place of this world and the next..

The Brahmajnanis [gnostics or knowers of God] worship at this meeting place. By meditating at that Point, they attempt to realise Brahman [God, the Lord of Love]..

(above: Jabala Upanishad quoted in the book, Satsang Yoga, Part One, English Version, Compiled by Maharshi Mehi Paramahansa)

Wisdom of the Saints and Sages of the Upanishads, from the Taittiriya Upanishad:

The Lord of Love willed: "Let me be many!"
And in the depths of his meditation
He created everything that exists.
Meditating, he entered into everything.
He who has no form assumed many forms;
He who is infinite appeared finite;
He who is everywhere assumed a place;
He who is all wisdom caused ignorance;
He who is real caused unreality.
It is he who has become everything.
It is he who gives reality to all.
Before the universe was created,
Brahman existed as Unmanifest.
Brahman brought the Lord out of himself;
Therefore he is called the Self-existent..

The Self is the source of abiding joy.
Our hearts are filled with joy in seeing him
Enshrined in the depths of our consciousness.
If he were not there, who would breathe, who
He it is who fills every heart with joy..

Until we realize
The unity of life, we live in fear.
When one realizes the Self, in whom
All life is One, Changeless, Nameless,
Then one fears no more..

(above: The Upanishads, Eknath Easwaran translation, Nilgiri Press)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Living Students of Living Masters --- Radhasoami Reality


Living Students of Living Masters

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

Below is a gist on what a genuine living Master (competent or qualified teacher, Sant Satguru) communicates to their students/chelas), and is from, Prem Patra Radhasoami (literally, "Love Discourses of the Lord of the Soul" or Radhaswami], Volume Three, by Huzur Maharaj. Then further below, from the same document, very helpful satsang instruction providing much insight on the different categories of disciples with varying degrees of enthusiasm for the Path or closeness to the Masters. There is also guidance about making our way through life in diverse circumstances over time, sometimes close to satsang gatherings of Saints or perhaps are further away, with the intent to derive full benefit and make spiritual progress by navigating the highest currents of spirituality that Divine Grace provides..

The Living Master---Qualified Teacher

Huzur Maharaj: Great is the necessity of a Qualified Teacher, the Satguru in Sant Mat or the Radhasoami Faith, the Path of the Masters. Without him, no one can learn the secrets of the Supreme Being, the Path, the method of proceeding on that Path, and the rules of conduct which must be observed by a devotee. He alone knows these secrets, who has traversed the Path within and has reached the Original Abode or a high intermediate region. To a greater or a lesser extent he also knows them, who has met with a Satguru, attended His Satsang for some time and, having been initiated by Him, is practising devotional exercises. Barring these three, viz., Sant Satguru, Sadh Guru, and a sincere Satsang of the Master, none else can know these secrets. One, who has set his heart on the quest for the true Supreme Being and has a burning desire to find Him, will not get peace till he meets any of the aforesaid personalities. No one can proceed otherwise..

When a devoted seeker attends the Satsang of such a Guru, he will really know the following:

1) the secrets of the creation;
2) the real object of his love;
3) the objects to which he is unnecessarily attached;
4) how to obtain emancipation easily;
5) that the pleasures of the world are trivial and transitory;
6) that the source of perfect happiness and bliss lies within;
7) that this can gradually be secured by the performance of bhakti (devotional practices);
8) that the throne of the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul] is also within;
9) what he should do to experience His refulgence, to some extent;
10) and how he should secure His grace and mercy for traversing the Path, obtaining Ananda (bliss) and enhancing it..

The Living Disciple---Student in Sant Mat

Jivas [souls in creation] are of three kinds: Uttam (of a higher nature), Madhyam (moderate, ordinary, passable, mediocre) and Nikrisht (lukewarm, inferior, halfhearted). Their understanding is also of three types: Teliya (oily), Motia (pearly) and Namda (felty)..

(1) The characteristic of the Teliya (oily) understanding is that like oil: it spreads over and covers the entire surface. When an Uttam Adhikari (of superior category) hears the discourses, he elaborates on them. He adopts what is useful..

(2) The Motia (pearly) understanding is like a hole bored in a pearl; the dimensions of the hole remain what they are. Similarly, a mediocre, on hearing the discourses, adopts what he hears. He cannot elaborate on them..

(3) The Namda (felty) type of understanding is like a hole made in felt. The hole is visible while it is being made, but it immediately disappears. Likewise, persons of inferior understanding hear the discourses and appear to comprehend them, but in fact they forget them immediately..

A Jiva [soul] of superior Adhikar (fitness) can derive much benefit by attending Satsang even for a short time. He sticks to the following two principles and always acts up to them according to his unbiased understanding..

(1) The Seat of the Spirit in the wakeful condition is in the eyes. As the Spirit-Current is withdrawn internally from this focus towards higher regions with the aid of Shabd (Inner Mystic-Sound/Music) and Swarup (Inner Form or inner Mystic-Light), i. e., accordingly as the pupils of the eyes are turned [the current of mind and spirit is elevated and raised inwards and upwards], attachment with the body and the world will be loosened. In other words, as the devotee loses consciousness of this side, he gains consciousness on the other side and enjoys bliss accordingly. Considering this matter necessary and beneficial, he will ever do his best to maintain the practice. Nay, he will gradually enhance it..

(2) The currents of mind and senses are flowing outwards. These currents proceed with desires. They are impediments in the performance of practices of turning the pupils of the eyes, i. e., elevating and raising the current of mind and spirit inwards and upwards. It is, therefore, necessary that only such thoughts arise in the mind as are proper and necessary. The current of the senses should pursue only that business which is necessary. Useless, unnecessary and improper thoughts and desires must be not allowed to arise, internally or externally, at any time, more particularly at the time of Abhyas [meditation practices]..

An Uttam Adhikari understands these things. He can always exercise proper control. He need not mind any lapse due to his old habit, but he should be careful for the future and restrain himself. By striving in this manner for some time, his mind and senses will begin to behave properly..

A Madhyam Adhikari has to attend Satsang for a longer period. He should listen and understand the discourses, perform the devotional exercises to some extent and observe the Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris who, may be attending Satsang for a pretty long period, or visiting it frequently. By the grace of Radhasoami Dayal this will enable him to acquire the ability to exercise some restraint over himself even while living away from the Satsang. If he finds any difficulty in any matter, he may, off and on, write to the Satguru and obtain necessary direction from him..

A Nikrisht Adhikari, provided he is somewhat careful and earnest, must attend Satsang for considerable period and watch the behaviour of Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris, before he can derive some benefit. And when away from Satsang, he will be able to do something, with the help and in the company of Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris. Gradually, he will become a Madhyam Adhikari..

Those, who have no sincere desire for Parmarth [spirituality] but happen to come in the Satsang of Sants [Saints] with some sincere devotees, will also derive some benefit. But their condition will not change until they attend Satsang and perform Abhyas [spiritual practices, meditation] with care and attention. It will be enough if they associate with Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris, because they are not fit to attend the Satsang of Sants..

In short, as long as a person is strongly inclined towards the world, and his mind is filled with the desires for worldly pleasures, he cannot derive so much benefit from Satsang and internal practices of Sants, that his condition may change speedily and he may obtain spiritual bliss within himself regularly..

A truly earnest Parmarthi [devotee of spirituality] can derive great benefit by studying the holy books of the Radhasoami Faith. He can be initiated by letter and thus, by the grace of Radhasoami-Dayal can even secure the bliss of Bhajan [inner hearing] and Dhyan [inner seeing]. He can, off and on, write about his devotional practices to the Satguru or an Uttam Adhikari and get necessary instructions, and make progress in Abhyas [meditation practice]. But there are many such things concerning the Radhasoami Faith and its Abhyas as can only be explained verbally. If reduced to writing, there is danger of mistake or misunderstanding. It is, therefore, imperative and necessary for such a Parmarthi to attend and remain in Satsang for some time, at least for awhile, and get his doubts, misgivings or misunderstandings removed. He should understand fully what can be explained verbally so that his Abhyas (practices) may not suffer due to his living away from Satsang. And his love for and faith in the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal, Satguru and Surat Shabd Yoga [inner Light and Sound Meditation] may be strengthened..

If, however, such a Parmarthi cannot attend and remain in a Satsang, then he may, under instructions from the Satguru, associate with and attend the Satsang of some Uttam Adhikari, who has had the good fortune of having attended the Satsang of Satguru for some time. He would derive more or less the same benefit as he would from the Satsang of the Satguru..

In case the company of an Uttam Adhikari is also not available, then the Parmarthi should come in contact with a Madhyam Adhikari, who has attended the Satsang of Satguru. Getting initiation under the orders of Satguru, he should commence spiritual practices in his company. He will thus be able to secure some benefit. He should look for an opportunity and make it a point to meet with an Uttam Adhikari or Satguru, attend His Satsang and secure full benefit.. (Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Radhasoami, Volume I I I )