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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Key Practices of the Radhaswami Faith---Sant Mat---Path of the Masters

Key Practices of the Radhaswami Faith---Sant Mat---Path of the Masters
By Huzur Maharaj, from Discourse 25 of Prem Patra Radhasoami, Volume One, Agra, India, 1893

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

Note: The Prem Patra Series, Volumes I-VI, is one of the primary texts of the Radhasoami Faith, an extremely valuable encyclopedia of Sant Mat teachings and practices.

(a) That Merciful Radhasoami is the True Supreme Being and is Omnipotent and the true Father and Mother of the entire creation;

(b) That the Surat Shabda Yoga [meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God] is the true and perfect method of spiritual practice and is an easy path for reaching the Original Abode. There in no method or path in the entire creation superior to this nor there can be any, for all other methods followed in the world depend on those currents which terminate within the limits of Maya [illusion] and therefore cannot lead to the Region of the Merciful Lord. In the Radhasoami Faith, one has to ascend with the current of life (i.e. spirit) and as this current of life or spirit is the most superior essence in the whole creation and the entire creation depends on it for its existence and is maintained by it, there is no other current better than or superior to it.

(c) That the mind and the senses are made up of the material of Maya and therefore their inherent inclination is outward and downward towards the enjoyments of the world and its objects. Their activities are considered desirable if only they accord with one's needs but there is real harm and loss if useless and unnecessary desires crop up. Therefore it is very necessary for a devotee to restrain and check his mind and senses to some extent, particularly at the time of the spiritual practices, otherwise he will not get as much pleasure in the practices of Bhajan [lovingly listening to the inner Sound Current during meditation] and Dhyan [visualising a Master or contemplating inner Light during meditation practice] as he should.

(d) That love for the world and worldly people and attachment to wealthy persons and association with them create obstruction to some extent in the love for Merciful Radhasoami [Lord of the Soul] and in spiritual practices. Every devotee can confirm this within himself by associating with such people for some time. It is therefore desirable and necessary that one should associate with and love such Jivas [souls in creation] only to the extent that may be proper and necessary. It is not desirable for a devotee to develop one's attachment for them and to waste his time uselessly either in their association or in all kinds of worldly gossip.

Learned people also, who truly love reading books, spend their time very carefully i.e. they spend all their time in reading new books and newspapers with the exception of the time spent in earning their livelihood and other essential work pertaining to their body and family. How much care should then be exercised by a devoted paramarthi [one who follows the spiritual path] to see that he does not spend his time unnecessarily?

(e) That the devotee should surrender himself in all sincerity in the Feet of Merciful Radhasoami and should have full faith and reliance in His Grace and Mercy.

II. If a devotee constantly keeps these five facts properly in mind, it is believed that the obstacles created by Mind and Maya as well as obstacles of the world would have very little effect on him and his devotional practices would be performed more and more successfully day by day and progress in them would be maintained while he would also get some joy and bliss.

And it should be noted that all the following activities are included in devotional practices:-

(a) Repetition of the Holy Name [Radhasoami];

(b) Repetition of the Holy Name along with Contemplation of the Holy Form;

(c) Bhajan;

(d) Reading Holy Books more or less intelligently or listening to them in Satsang;

(e) Discussing the principles of the Radhasoami Faith or listening to such discussion;

(f) Thinking about and reflecting on matters pertaining to the Radhasoami Faith and its practices and pondering upon them; and

(g) Examining the ways of one's mind and senses daily and keeping the mind under control as far as possible [self-introspection and self-correction].

12. The devotee should not make unnecessary haste in paramartha and should know that even worldly affairs e.g. acquisition of knowledge are not satisfactorily done in haste. When the student spends all his time in studies only and even goes away from his family and relations and agrees to live at the school, easily fifteen to eighteen years are spent in education. How could then this great work of paramartha [the spiritual path] be done so quickly, when hardly only two, three or four hours are given to it every day and the rest of the time is spent in worldly activities and in the association of worldly people? It is really an act of great Mercy of Merciful Radhasoami that He showers His Grace on us even when we put in so little labour and grants to a true devotee at least some internal help in a few days.

-- Huzur Maharaj