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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hymn (Bhajan) of Tulsi Sahib: Dil ka Hujra Saf Kar

Hymn (Bhajan) of Tulsi Sahib: Dil ka Hujra Saf Kar

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

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}

Published in Ajaib’s Grace magazine, May-June 2003

Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India:

Dil ka hujra (1) saf kar, jana ke ane ke liye,
Dhyan gairo ka utha uske bithane ke liye.

Cleanse the chamber of your heart, so that the Beloved may enter,
Remove all the foreign impressions, so that He can take His seat there.

Chashme dil se dekh yaha jo jo tamashe ho rahe,
Dilsita kya kya hai tere dil satane ke liye.

See with the heart's eye the astonishing spectacle of this world,
Oh heart -- ravishing scenes appear there to entice you.

Ek dil lakho tamnna us pai aur zyada havis,
Phir thikana hai kaha uske tikane ke liye?

One heart, with many desires, and always the lust for more,
Where is there any place for the Lord to come and reside?

Nakali mandir masjido me jae sade aphosa hai,
Kudarati masjid ka sakin dukh uthone ke liye.

It is a great pity that, going in the false [imitation] temples and mosques,
The indweller of the true mosque [the human body] is made to suffer.

Kudarati kabe ki tu maharab me sun gaur se,
A rahi dhur se sada tere bulane ke liye.

We should listen with attention in the prayer niche of the true Kaaba, (2)
The Sound is coming from the Court of the Lord and is calling you.

Kyo bhatkata phir raha tu e talashe yar me,
Rasta shah rag me hai dilvar pai jane ke liye.

Why are you wandering around lost in search of the Beloved?
The way to reach the charming one lies through the shah rag (3)

Murshade kamil se mil sidak aur saburi se taki.
Jo tujhe dega faham shah rag ke pane ke liye.

O devotee, meet the Perfect Master with sincerity and patience.
He will give you the secret to find the shah rag.

Goshe batin ho kushada jo kare kuch din amal.
La ilaha allahu akbar pai jane ke liye.

If you do the practice for a few days, the inner way will open before you.
It is the path to reach Allah, the One God, the Most High.

Yah sada Tulsi ki hai amil amal kar dhyan de.
Kun kuran me hai likha allahu akbar ke liye.

This is the call of Tulsi: O practitioner, do the practice with concentration.
The kun [Shabd] described in the Koran, will take you to Allah, the Most High.



(1) A hujra is a small room for solitary meditation attached to a mosque.

(2) The Kaaba is the most holy place of Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca and the maharab or prayer niche indicates the direction facing the Kaaba in a mosque. The maharab or prayer niche of the true Kaaba is the third eye on the human forehead above and between the two eyes, alternatively called the Shiv netra or tisra til.

(3) The shah rag or "royal vein" is the central, subtle vein on the forehead that leads to Trikuti. It is also called sukhman nari.

Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Legendary Spiritual Preceptor

Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Legendary Spiritual Preceptor

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}

Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Light That Shone the Way to Millions

-By Pravesh K. Singh

( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh )

The second half of the nineteenth century was marked by a spiritual renaissance in India that saw the incarnation of a number of Sants like Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans, Baba Devi Sahab, Sant Radhaswami (Radhasoami) Sahab, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans etc. Maharshi Mehi Paramhans (28.04.1885 – 08.06.1986) made the Kuppaghat Ashram (Hermitage), Bhagalpur, situated on the banks of the Holy River Ganges, in the state of Bihar, India into the base camp for his sacred mission of spreading the precepts of Santmat far & wide.

Maharshi Mehi Paramhans stood apart, shining brilliantly as a unique star amidst the galaxy of Sants, in that he built a bridge across the gulf that separated the age-old pillars of Hindu culture, the traditional religious scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, The Ramayan, The Ramcharit Manas, etc. on the one hand and the literature and sayings of Sants on the other.

He made an herculean effort to undertake a deep & detailed study of the scriptures and authored a number of books such as “Veda Darshan Yoga” (Gist of Vedas), “Ramcharit Manas Sar Sateek” (A Commentary on the Ramcharit Manas), “Shri Gita Yoga Prakash” (Essence of Gita), “Satsang Yoga”(A Compendium on Satsang or Spiritual Association), “Vinay Patrika Sar Sateek” (A Commentary on Vinaya Patrika), “Santwani Sateek” (Commentary on Selected Verses of Sants), “Bhavarth Sahit Ghat Ramayan” (Gist of Ghat Ramayan), etc.

Through these wonderful books he showed beyond doubt that the basic premises laid out in the religious scriptures are in full conformity with sayings of Sants and that there is no essential contradiction or confrontation between the two.

Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, in preparing all these brilliant books, was quite capably assisted by his chief disciple, Maharshi Santsewi Ji Paramhans (20.12.1920 – 04.06.2007) who inherited and enriched the legacy of Santmat he received from his Guru.

Maharshi Santsewi ji Paramhans took Santmat to still greater heights amidst yet larger populace. His modest disposition, magnetic persona, sweet charming voice, flawless pronunciation, melodious rendition of verses/ hymns, captivating scholarly discourses punctuated with prolific quotations from the scriptures and sayings of Sants, and, above all, his living in absolute conformity with his preaching cast a magical spell on whoever came in his contact even for a short duration. No wonder then that more than two lakh persons from India and abroad made their lives blessed by getting initiation from him.

Maharshi Santsevi Ji was born as the third son of his parents on the 20th December 1920 in Gamharia village of the current Madhepura District of the state of Bihar, India. His childhood name was Mahavir Das. He had three brothers and a sister. His father, Mr. Baldev Das Ji was a farmer by profession, while his mother Mrs. Radha Devi was a deeply devout lady. Mahavir Das Ji was a very sharp and obedient student; he always stood either first or second in his class. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Hanuman in his childhood. However, the premature death of two of his brothers must have given him a strong jolt, and made him realise the transitory nature of life on this earth. As if this was not enough, the sudden untimely death of his father threw his life into complete disarray forcing him to discontinue his formal studies; he could complete his formal education up to Class VII only. To support his family he had to take to tuition. He taught students of his locality. With full faith in his sharp intellect & capabilities as a teacher that they had, the parents had no hesitation whatsoever in handing over their wards to his sweet care.

Once, as the fateful coincidence would have it, he had gone to Saidabad in the district of Purnia in Bihar. There he came to know that at Kankhudia, a place quite nearby, a month-long meditation camp was to be organised which was to be graced by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj. The seed of devotion that lay dormant within him began to stir, growing impatient to burst out. He became restless to have ‘darshan’ (glimpse) of Maharshi Mehi and set out, driven by an invisible force, to see Maharshi ji.

Sensing the genuinely acute thirst in him for spiritual pursuits Maharshi Mehi gladly initiated him into Santmat by teaching him ‘Manas Jap’ (Internally chanting the sacred mantra given by Guru), ‘Manas Dhyan’ (Meditating upon the form of Guru within) and ‘Drishti Yoga’ (Meditation upon the Infinitesimal, Absolute Point or ‘Bindu’ within). That was in 1939. The Guru had found the true shishya (disciple) in him. Mahavir Das ji was so deeply influenced by Maharshi Mehi that he wished to be kept in his personal service, but the latter’s clear & categorical reply was, “Continue, for the time being, with whatever you are doing. You will be called when the time comes” (the obvious hint of Maharshi Mehi – he said so also to one of his disciples - was that Santsevi ji’s services were more needed by his widow mother).

Subsequently, when Santsevi ji’s mother left this world in 1946 for her heavenly abode, he was called by Gurudev Maharshi Mehi to live with him. Santsevi ji would accompany (even when his mother was alive) Gurudev whenever he went on his mission of propagating Santmat. Gurudev would ask him to recite from scriptures and verses of sants. His chaste, melodious rendition of hymns & verses had a powerful impact on the audience.

Santsevi ji received fatherly love & affection from Gurudev, Maharshi Mehi. He was deputed for a few years to manage affairs at the Ashramas of Dharahara and Manihari in the state of Bihar itself. He was called back to Kuppaghat Ashram in 1949 to live permanently with Gurudev Maharshi Mehi. He dedicated everything at his disposal to the selfless, ungrudging, whole-hearted service of his Guru till the latter lived in his physical cloak on this earth. It is because of his exemplary service that Maharshi Mehi gave him the name “Santsevi” (one who serves Sants). Serving his Guru for four decades (1946-1986) is a feat which is perhaps unmatched in the Guru-Shishya tradition of modern times. Gurudev personally guided him into studying different scriptures and learning different languages, nurtured right virtues in him, and trained him into becoming a perfect, truly deserving heir to him.

Maharshi Mehi himself voluntarily initiated him, in view of his spiritual progress, into ‘shabda yoga’ or ‘nAdAnusandhAn’ (Meditation on the Divine Word /Sound) in 1952 and admitted him into monkhood by bestowing upon him the saffron robes and asking him to get his hair & beards removed.

Maharshi ji’s confidence in Santsevi ji had grown so much that he sent him as his representative to the All India Conference of Sadhus (sages) held at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Santsevi ji won the hearts of all the sages & scholars who attended the Conference by his lucid and detailed presentation which was lauded by one & all. The extent of faith that Maharshi Mehi had in him could be gauged by the fact that he would frequently refer to Santsevi ji as his brain and gave clear approval to him to give discourses during Satsang from 1960. Santsevi ji’s discourses began to be published as a regular column in the monthly magazine ‘Shanti Sandesh’ (Message of Peace) published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur.

From 1970 he was given independent authority to initiate seekers into Santmat. Entrusting him with these responsibilities Gurudev Maharshi Mehi felt completely relieved that he had been able to finally handover his mission of propagating Santmat in safe, responsible & competent hands. Maharshi Mehi would often remark, “He (Santsevi ji) knows more than I”. “I remained a ‘gud’ (jiggery) while Santsevi ji grew to become sugar (sugar is a better refined product than gud)”. “You (Santsevi ji) have rendered remarkable service to me. Your service itself is your ‘tap’ (penance).” “The relationship between me and Santsevi ji is like that between letters ‘Q’ and ‘U’ (implying that just as Q always appears together with U in an English word, Maharshi Mehi and Maharshi Santsevi ji always live and exist together), “You (Santsevi ji) can’t live without me and I can’t live without you. I will be wherever you will be” etc... etc...

After Maharshi Mehi Paramhans departed this world on the 8th June 1986 at the age of 101 years, Maharshi Santsevi ji continued to lend an extremely capable, dynamic, visionary & charismatic leadership to the movement called Santmat. His magic pull was amply visible in that all the Annual & special Conventions of Santmat were thickly attended, by several lakhs of people, and that more than two lakh persons made their lives blessed by taking initiation from him. Even on the fateful day, 4th June 2007, he departed he had initiated two ladies.

He had a cheerful yet reflective disposition. Anyone who had the fortune to be in his company, to sit at his lotus feet could feel his aura, was touched by the profound love he emanated for all alike. His discipline was immaculate. He never questioned a single word that was uttered by his Guru and imbibed all his advice in Toto with a heart full of gratitude. He had perfect control over his food habits; the meagre quantity & sattvic quality (having no spices, oil or salt) of diet that he had everyday was baffling for a common man. The routine he followed in getting up, meditating, going for walks, meeting visitors, giving initiation, attending satsang, having food, going to sleep etc. was impeccable regardless of wherever he stayed. He taught everyone to conserve natural resources like water. He did not allow even a single piece of empty paper go waste and utilised it for writing replies to his devotees. He took utmost care of the guests staying at the Ashram. His heart bled for even birds and animals. He cared so much for the dogs and cattle that lived on the Ashram campus. In his early years at the Ashram he had a pet cat that lived in perfect harmony with a dog as well as a parrot (though a parrot is the favourite sport for a cat that, in turn, is afraid of being hunted by a dog). People from all walks of life, all religions & sects would throng his corridors for mental solace and useful guidance in worldly as also spiritual matters. Several of Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains etc. had even taken initiation from him. His life serves as a role model to anyone who aspires to be a sincere spiritual seeker.

There are numerous accounts of his devotees who were miraculously helped or rescued, directly or in directly, at different points of their lives by him. I, too, so fondly cherish many of such unforgettable experiences in my own life, which have left a deep indelible imprint on me. Great was He and great was his grace.

He was a litterateur of the highest calibre. He was not only an orator par excellence, but also a prolific writer. He was a polyglot having good knowledge of several languages & dialects such as Bharati (Hindi), Sanskrit, English, Bengali, Marwari, Maithili, Angika, Nepali, Punjabi (Gurumukhi), Persian etc.

He has a number of books to his credit such as “Om Vivechan” (Analytical Interpretation of Om), “Yoga MAhAtmya” (Significance of Yoga), “Jag Mein Aise RahanA” (Thus to Live in The World), “Sukh – Dukh” (Joys & Sorrows), “Satya KyA” (What is Truth?), “Lok Parlok UpakArI” (To Excel in This As Well As the Other World), “SAdhanA Mein SafalatA Kaise” (The Right Art of Meditation), etc. In order to emphatically underline the essential unity of all religions of the world, a cause he espoused so dearly all his life, he authored a great book “Sarva Dharma SamabhAv”, a book which has been wonderfully translated into English as “Harmony of Religions” by Mrs. Veena Howard, Santmat Society. Several of his articles were compiled in the form of a compendium titled “Maharshi Santsewi GyAn GangA” (The Holy River of Knowledge of Maharshi Santsevi).

In the course of his tours he got to meet a number of eminent personalities. They were, to name a few, Shri Bhupendranath Sanyal, Shri Jain Muni Dhanaraj, Buddhist Monk Jagdish Kashyap, Father Kamil Bulke, Shri Jayadayal Goyandaka, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Swami Shri Ramsukhdas, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Acharya Sushil Muni, Shri Pramukh Swami ji, Swami Harinarayan, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Swami Satyanand, Shri Asharam Bapu, Shri Morari Bapu, Pandit Parashuram Chaturvedi etc. This must have provided him ample opportunity to enrich his experience. He toured India widely to propagate the precepts of Santmat – from Assam in the east to Ahmedabad (Gujarat) & Amritsar (Punjab) in the west and from Kashmir in the north to Tamilnadu in the south. He addressed special conferences at Darbar Sahab of Amritsar, Dayal Bagh & Swami Bagh of Agra, Pushkar of Ajmer in Rajasthan, Rishikesh & Haridwar of the Himalayan State of Uttaranchal, Delhi, Rajgir etc. and various other places in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, West Bengal etc. It was during one such conference, the 86th Annual General Convention of Santmat in the Himalayan town of Rishikesh that he was conferred the highest spiritual title or honour of “Maharshi…Paramhans” by the most eminent sages and Mahamandaleshwars of the region. Since then he was called Maharshi Santsevi ji Paramhans.

Maharshi Santsevi ji Paramhans sacrificed his whole life, every moment of his life for the welfare of the highest order of people. He quietly discarded his earthly body around 9:45 PM Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5:30 Hours) on the 4th June 2007. Such was his greatness that even in his passing he could be so humble. The legendary Guru Maharshi Santsevi ji raised his right hand from his funeral pyre in his farewell blessing (in the afternoon of the 6th June 2008), just as his Guru Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj had done while on his funeral pyre, as if he was passing the reassuring message that he & his blessings would always remain with those who love him and have faith in him.

Though this great charismatic soul is no more with us in his physical form, he will ever live on in the memories of his devotees the world over, and his words continue to illumine the right path of millions & millions of people for generations to come.

Jai Guru!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The 3 Levels of Satsang (Association with Eternal Truth -- God)

The 3 Levels of Satsang (Association with Eternal Truth -- God)

The Sant Mat Mysticism Blog:

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}

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

From a new, revised translation of the book, The Harmony of All Religions, Chapter Seven: Sant Mat, by
Satguru Sant Sevi Ji Paramahansa

The word satsang is comprised of two words: sat and sang. What is sat?

Sat is that which can never be destroyed and is ever-existent. It is the essential element, indestructible and beyond the limitations of time. And it is Truth or Being. Sang means association or contact. Thus, the word satsang refers to association or coming into contact with Sat (Truth).

In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna states:

"Whatever is Truth always exists and is never non-existent. That which is non Truth has no existence whatsoever." (2:16)

Satsang can be stratified in to following categories:

• The First Kind of Satsang (Association with the Divine):

What then is this element which is indestructible, has always been constant and will forever remain as such? This principle is the Supreme Being of the universe. Association with this Being, in reality, is association with Truth (satsang). But, what is it that could associate with this Supreme Being? Is it the body or the senses? The answer is that it is neither of these two. It is only apart from the body and senses that we will be able to associate with the Supreme Being. This is because it is only our soul that is an inseparable part of the Divine. It is only we (our soul) that are capable of merging with the Divine. Our individual soul is truth, and also, the Supreme Being is Truth. True satsang is the unity of the soul with the Supreme Truth. This is the highest kind of satsang. However, this highest kind of satsang, unity with the Divine, does not occur suddenly. This category of satsang requires many lifetimes of good actions samskaras (spiritual imprints and tendencies).

• The Second Kind of Satsang (Association with the Saints):

Sant Tulsidas Ji emphasizes the association with the saints for the realization of the Divine:

“The association of the saints brings association with the Divine, and alliance with people who are engrossed in the world leads the way back to this world again and again.”

To attain Ultimate Liberation it is essential to have association with the saints. Saints, those who have realized the true form of God, become that True Form. The accomplished great beings who have attained unity with the Divine, and who have experienced the Supreme Being even while living in this body, have become the Supreme Being [meaning they have become one with their true Divine Form]. Association with these saints is this second category of satsang. However, finding such a saint is not an easy task. A true saint is rare and difficult to find.

Sant Tulsidas explains in the Ramacharitmanas:

"Without accumulation of many good deeds one will be unable to gain the association of a great saint."

When our good karmas permit, we are able to come to experience the association of these sentient beings. A more important point is that even if we have a direct encounter with such a saint, we often do not have the wisdom to be able to recognize a genuine sage.

A great Sant Tulsi Sahab states the difficulty in recognizing a saint:

"If someone says ‘I have recognized a saint,’ then I put my hands on my ears in astonishment." [It is not an easy task.]

If it were possible for ordinary people to recognize saints, then why, since antiquity, have so many great saints, sages, and prophets have been tortured, maimed and killed? Many saints throughout the ages have had to face horrible atrocities. This simply would not have happened if people were able to recognize the genuine great saints.

• The Third Kind of Satsang (Association with the Words and Writings of Ancient Sages and Saints):

In daily life we need the guidance of a great sage or saint. Even though we might hear about or encounter many so called mahatmas or sadhus, the task of finding and identifying an accomplished guide is difficult. A truly great sage is a rarity. So, in consideration of this, how would satsang (association with a true saint) be possible? The answer is that we can study the teachings of the great saints of the past, because in their teaching, we will find the elaboration of the Truth. This then is the third category of satsang. Generally, when we speak of satsang, it is this third category that is meant. This kind of satsang includes the study of scriptures and the words and writings of the saints and prophets of the past.

As we continue diligently in this third type of satsang, we accumulate the meritorious karmas which will lead to the meeting with a true saint. Then we will be able to do the second category of satsang and will have a good fortune of listening to the words of realized beings who presently reside among us. As we continue in association with a great saint, and with the saint’s blessings, we will gradually begin to meditate and undertake the prescribed spiritual disciplines. By diligently practicing these disciplines, we will one day, experience the first category of satsang—the association with the Supreme. When we have thus accomplished the highest category of satsang, our life’s ultimate purpose will be fulfilled.

We will now examine some of the scriptures and the sayings of saints in this regard:

In the Yajur Veda, satsang is known as the Buddhi yoga (dhiyam). This is the yoga of intellectually discerning the truth. The Yajur Veda elaborates on the significance of the Buddhi yoga:

"O Dear Aspirants! In order to realize the essential form of the Supreme Being, first practice the Buddhi yoga (satsang), then Mānas yoga (practice mantra and focus on the Divine form), and the Yoga of Light (Driśti yoga). By these practices you will establish the ground for the realization of Divine Union."

In the Maha Upanishad, satsang is considered essential for Liberation:

"On the gate of liberation are found four gate keepers endowed with wisdom. These four are: discipline, thoughtfulness (reflection), contentment and association with saints."

Sant Tulsidas Ji sings in the praise of satsang:

"Without the association of great saints, there is neither discourse of the Divine nor the understanding of the scriptures. Without these two, selfish attachment does not loosen its grip. And without dispelling attachment to the world one cannot attain the realm of the Divine and the true devotion that is essential to realize the Divine."

Further, he says:

"Wisdom, fame, supreme salvation, attainment of all powers and kindliness are all realized by the power of satsang. No other means are prescribed in the Vedas to attain these."

Sant Kabir Sahab elaborates on the purpose of satsang:

"Discord and delusion can be removed by the power of the association of saints. For those who associate with saints, suffering dissolves and they will remain immersed in joy. Joy arises from noble company and pain arises from association with the wicked, says Kabir, go to a place where saints dwell and their association is possible."

A great woman saint, Sahjo Bai, has also said:

"Whoever comes to satsang is released from the confinements of individual caste, status and color. Even the flow of dirty water, upon reaching the holy River Ganga, becomes Ganga (loses its impurity and comes to be known as the holy river)."

Sant Sundar Das Ji says:

"All people have a mother and father as well as relatives and friends. It is easy to obtain sons and wives, but it is very difficult to find true satsang (association of true saints)."

Sant Tulsi Sahab says:

"O Aspirant! Perform satsang by subduing the mind and taking refuge in saints. Keep in your heart a ceaseless burning desire to be at the feet (tutelage) of saints."

Maharishi Mehi Paramahans Ji asks his aspirants to perform both kinds of satsang:

"Dear Aspirants! Each day strive to do both kinds of satsang: inner and outer. Outer satsang is listening to the teachings of great saints and studying the sacred texts. Inner satsang is the practice of one-pointed meditation."

Yogi Panchanan Bhattacharya Ji says:

"By association with a pure soul the mind becomes pure and the darkness of attachment is dispelled. In attending to these quotes from different saints it becomes clear that satsang is vital and very necessary for any serious spiritual seeker."

--- Satguru Sant Sevi Ji Paramahansa

Friday, October 10, 2008

They asked Nanak: Where are you going? What is your Path? From Guru Nanak

They asked Nanak: Where are you going? What is your Path?

From Sidh Gosht, Guru Nanak's Conversation with the Siddha Yogis, translated in: Peace Lagoon -- Sacred Songs of the Sikhs, the Collected Hymns of Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Argun Dev, and Guru Gobind Singh (Dasam Granth), by Sardarni Premka Kaur, published by G.T. International

The yogis asked Guru Nanak:
Who are you? What is your name? What is your sect? What is your goal? We pray that you give us your true answers, for we are a sacrifice to the truthful ones. Where is your seat? Where do you live? From where have you come? Where are you going? The non-attached siddhas wait to hear your reply. 0 tell us, what is your path?

Answered the Master:
The Lord is in every heart, and within Him is my seat and my home. I walk in the will of the Sat Guru [True Guru], and this is my only caste. I have come from God and I shall go wherever His will guides me. Nanak is my name, and I live to obey His command. My way is to sit in contemplation of the Imperishable Lord, and the attainment of such an all-encompassing vision is my life's goal. By the Guru's grace I have come to know and recognize myself, and have merged with the truest of the true.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Teachings of Soami Ji Maharaj

The Teachings of Soami Ji Maharaj

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

Letter One

From the Letters of Soami Ji Maharaj to Huzur Maharaj

My dearest and dearer than life,

I wish you all health and happiness, but keep uppermost in your mind Bhajan, Dhyan and devotion to the Supreme Being. The Grace of the Supreme Being on you is the same, as it was before. Attune yourself to the Will of the Lord. Renouncing all thoughts of the past and future, keep your spirit immersed in Shabd at the time of Bhajan.

Fix your spirit in Shabd, and Shabd is in Gagan. Fill your heart with yearning; and heart is at Trikuti.

Unite your spirit with Shabd and see beauteous sights. The Til is located within Sukhmana (an artery of the human body, which lies between Ida, on the right and Pingla, on the left), and the form of Jyoti is in the Til.

Sit in Bhajan after making your mind and spirit calm, with the help of love and yearning. By the Grace of the Guru, your object will be gained; rest assured, and have no fear whatsoever.

From the Sar Bachan Prose, Section Two: Sayings of Swami Ji Maharaj

Just as leaves of the trees fall down in the autumn season, in the same manner, this youth also will disappear after a short time. It is therefore desirable that one should not waste it, but should search for his Beloved Supreme Being and engage in His service and worship.......The duty of this jiva [soul] is to serve his Father and his Father is Sat Nam Sat Purusha, and the jiva is an Ansa (i.e. an emanation) of His. However, as he is not able to contact the Supreme Father, how can he serve Him? It should now be noted that the Saints are the Incarnation of Sat Purusha and therefore service to Them is service of Sat Purusha.......

The Holy Name Radhasoami -- A Name for the Nameless One (Anami)

Those who have no faith in the Holy Name will not be able to achieve their object fully, even though they keep their external behaviour and conduct as correct as possible and also try to have some internal purification and even though they may engage in Japa, Tapa, Samyama and Abhyasa as much as possible. On the other hand, those who have been given the Name by the Satguru and have full and sincere faith in it, will receive the reward even for the repetition of the Name, for penances and for self-control and would also achieve the Highest Abode.....

This Holy Name can be obtained from the Sant Satguru and with the help of this Name the root of all the evil propensities of the mind would be cut and the mind and senses would also be slowly and slowly subjugated. If anybody wishes to control the senses by some other method he would experience great difficulty. If he would succeed in controlling one sense organ, the other would create trouble. Exactly this is the condition of persons who repeat the Names mentioned in religious books, i.e. the evil propensities of their mind are not removed though they do repeat the Names. If they repeat the Name received directly from the Guru, i.e. the Name given by the Saints by word of mouth, the evil propensities of their minds would most assuredly be gradually removed. There is no other method in this Kali Yuga for eradicating the evil propensities except through the repetition of this Name......The real Name is very powerful and can remove all kinds of impurities. There is no harm in repeating the Name wherever one likes. Even the worst place would become sanctified by the repetition of the Holy Name at that place. This Name is available with the Satguru and cannot be found anywhere else.

No other karmas except devotion to the Name, and to the Satguru are ordained to be performed in the Kali Yuga.

From the Sar Bachan Prose, Section One: On the Teachings of Swami Ji Maharaj

It should now be known that the Radhasoami Region is the highest region in the creation and that 'Radhasoami' is the Name of the Supreme Being, the true Lord and true God. The region below this is the Region of Sat Nam, which has been variously referred to by the Saints as Sat Loka, Sach Khand, Sar Shabda, Sat Shabda, Sat Nam and Sat Purusha. This would show that these two stages, i.e. Sat Loka and the Radhasoami Region, are the destination of the Saints and Param Sants respectively, and this is the reason why the Saints enjoy a higher status than others. There is neither Maya [illusion] nor mind in these Regions, and these Regions encompass all the lower regions and creation, i.e. the entire creation is below them and is encompassed by them. The Radhasoami Region is referred to as the Indescribable Region and also as the Nameless Region, because this Region is infinite, eternal and without a beginning and all other regions have originated from it. And Radhasoami is the Deity Who is really not confined to any region and His Region cannot really be called a region.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Art of Seeing --- Inner Light

The Art of Seeing --- Inner Light

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}

The Art of Seeing
By Shri Santseviji Maharaj

Shortly before Shri Santseviji Passed from this world he collected many of his essays and poems which he had composed over the years into a book that has been named The Holy River (Ganges or Knowledge). There are 121 essays and poems. Below is a translation by Veena Howard of essay number 112.

What is the use of beautiful eyes when you do not understand the art of seeing. Just as a flower is beautiful, without a fragrant scent it is not so appealing. Sant Paltu Sahab says: "What is the use of decorating your eyes if you do not know the art of seeing". By 'art of seeing' he is not talking about how to see beautiful scenery or magnificent sights. But rather he is referring to the practitioner (sadhak) on the spiritual journey. He is referring to the sadhana (spiritual practices) which allows one to develop the art of seeing. One may ask whether it is a practitioner of what—and what kind of art is Paltu Sahab speaking about?

There was a Fakir who lived in Allahabad in the 1600’s by the name of Malukadas Ji. He says: If we do not see the Divine Beings then these eyes are worth nothing. Without that ability to see the celestial he considers the eyes as of little value. Also he says: Who has not conquered desires how is that person able to love the Divine. If we can not see the unseeable then we are not using our eyes to the fullest extent possible. What kind of eyes are we speaking about here. Are we talking about the physical eyes composed of flesh-—-no. Sant Kabir says you can not see the celestial subtle with these physical eyes of the flesh. Rather, we must acquire the inner eyes----the eyes of the soul.

The saints say if God could be realized in the physical world then the physical eyes would be sufficient to see these celestial sights. However, this is not the case. Even though, God is all pervasive he can only be seen within. Once we can see Him within then and only then can we see him outside. Therefore, it is important to turn the attention from outside to the inward. Swami Vivakanda explains: What is the meaning of seeing the divine inside. He says all the worldly things are beautiful but looking at them is not the way to see the divine. We should turn our Dristi (power of seeing) inward. First one has to curb the eyes desire to look outward and then one must have a desire to look inward. When the desire to look outward diminishes then one is able to see the grandeur of God within. In this regards Sant Charandas Ji says: Only a bird can understand the birds language, other animals are unable to understand the birds. A female saint named Sahjo Bhai had a pure heart. In her happiness to understand she says that her Guru became happy with me a told me the secret of seeing the Divine. No one can see the subtle celestial by looking into this physical world, only by looking within using the art of seeing can we understand the celestial. Therefore one must turn inward to understand this Formless Atman the inner self.

In the Katha Upanishad it is said that the Divine has created these senses to go outward and away from our true identity. Some patient and persevering practitioner desires the nectar of the inner world and brings the outward senses to the inward journey.

If after hearing about the possibilities of the inner journey how do we behold and experience this. Seeing in this way is called Dristi----that is the art of seeing.

There are five kinds of Dristi:

1. The sight of the waking state. That is seeing things in the everyday world.
2. The sight of dream state in which we see the dreams.
3. Manasi Dristi which is seeing with the minds eye. This is the realm of the imagination and seeing while imagining.
4. Divya Dristi is divine sight. Through which the vision of the celestial worlds is seen.
5. Atman Dristi is the state of seeing the Absolute Self.

In considering these five types of seeing everyone in this mundane world experiences the first three. The last two are only developed through meditation. In regard to Divya Dristi Sant Paltu Sahab says that without this one cannot see the Absolute Atman. Therefore, it is important to learn how to obtain these last two. There are two methods for achieving this.

First, to begin the process of experiencing Divya Dristi and Atman Dristi the saints say that by controlling and stopping the first three types of seeing then the mind becomes under control and it will be possible to experience Divya Dristi. So when the first three types of seeing are halted and while in a conscious state we attain Divya Dristi. In the process of curbing these first we must curb sight in the waking state as the mind constantly is considering what it has seen. (The more enticing a scene is, the stronger will be our attachment to it and accordingly it will be more difficult to rid oneself of such thoughts.) The dream state is also affected by the sights we see in the waking state. So by controlling sight in the waking state the dream state is also controlled. Therefore, we should see and experience those things which will help our spiritual journey. We should not witness those things which are counterproductive to the spiritual life and which increase our desire to experience more and to go outward. Sant Goraknath said: We should be careful in each action performed each day, careful of what we say and what we do. We should watch our path carefully. Mahatma Gandhi says: God has given us these eyes, we make them impure and we do not learn what is proper to see. There is a difference in seeing, between a disciplined yogi and a person seeking pleasure. The Yogi uses his eyes to see the Divine and goes inward. The pleasure seeker looks at those things which give enjoyment and pleasure and goes further outward. Gandhi says not to waste our time in seeking after these pleasures of the world, he does not recommend movies even. Someone has said that in regards to the senses that we should enjoy things but do not be attached, talk but do not gossip, see the things of the world but do not be attached.

The second method for controlling the seeing is to sit in a clean place with the back and spine erect, the asana (seated position) firm with the eyes closed, however do not stress the eyes or pinch them or strain them in any way. Since we are always seeing things and events during the waking state they naturally these same events come to us during meditation. Therefore, through pratyahara (1) we constantly are bringing the mind back to the object of the meditation and focusing intently on that. Then we begin to abandon these scenes of the world. The object should be on the holiest object. A divine image or an image of the Sat Guru should be employed. We must stare at the form intently without flickering the eyes or moving the eyes, simply and firmly focused. We should focus without thoughts on this holy form without having any thoughts. In this practice the mind begins to be controlled and focused and we gain some power to enter the subtle celestial realms. We begin to know the thoughts of others etc. To make further progress we use the minute Bindu (infinitesimal point). The Tejabindu Upanishad says that the meditation on the light bindu requires perfect focus, it actually exists and is established within each of us. We have only to realize it. By meditating on this point (bindu) full concentration of the mind becomes possible. Once full concentration is accomplished the mind then goes upward and we pierce the realm above. When consciousness is directed inward and we are in the dark realm of this gross world then we are brought to the realm of light through the focus on bindu.

Maharishi Mehi says: Dristi is the power of seeing by uniting beams of both eyes on the point. Only then the mind becomes focused. Now there is no difference between opening up the Divya Dristi and the art of seeing they are the same. Sant Paltu Sahab speaks about Bhungi which is the method of mediation where one stares at one place without interruption as instructed by the Guru. This results in Divya Dristi. Once the Divine sight is attained then the practitioner automatically begins to experience the divine sound and the Divya----Divine seeing is less prominent and the sound becomes dominant. This is so because of the power of the sound to attract, and through the use of divine sounds one transcends and rises to higher and higher realms until one becomes established in the Divine and one then is seeing ones own inner essence from the level of Atman Dristi, the fifth type of seeing.

(1) Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs of Yoga according to Patanjali. It is in reference to meditation and admonishes the practitioner to return constantly to the object (single thought) of the meditation. This strengthens the mind and prepares it for Dhyan or continuous uninterrupted focus on a single thought.