Path of the Masters: Sant Mat - Santmat, Radhasoami - Radha Soami, Satsang, Inner Light and Sound Meditation: Surat Shabd Yoga, Audible Life Stream, Quan Yin Method, Spiritual Science, Spirituality, Kabir, Maharshi Mehi, Kirpal Singh, Gnosticism, Third Eye, Out Of Body Experiences, Near-Death Experiences, Inner Space, the Kingdom of the Heavens Within, Mystic Poetry, Vegetarian Vegan, Ahimsa, Love, and God. The term "Sant Mat" was coined by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras during the 19th Century.
[Note: This is one of the first posts in the English language translated from Hindi featuring the teachings of Swami Achyutanand Ji.]
Below are translated excerpts from the book "Bindu – Nada Dhyan" authored by the octogenarian Sant Revd. Swami Achyutanand Ji Maharaj, one of the eldest living disciples of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans. Swami Achyutanand Ji, one of the most eminent scholars on Santmat, has had the rare fortune of a long & close serving association, spanning more than two decades, with Maharshi Mehi Paramhans who initiated him into sannyas (monkhood) and appointed him as the founder editor of the spiritual monthly magazine "Shanti Sandesh" (Message of Peace) published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India. Swami Achyutanand Ji has a number of books to his credit: "Santmate Ki Baten", "Navadha Bhakti", "Bandaun Guru Pad Kanj", "Maharshi Mehi Ke Ashirwachan Aur Upadesh", "Sukti Sudha Sagar", to name a few. He currently also edits a spiritual quarterly titled "Adhyatma Prakash" (The Light of Spirituality) published from Maharshi Santsewi Dhyanayogashram, Kolkata, India.
Extolling the importance of bindu-dhyAn or drishTi-yoga, Baba Devi Sahab writes,"DrishTimeans `sight' or `vision'; it is not made up of flesh and blood. This power to see or the sight is a powerful thing which has revealed a lot of hidden disciplines of learning & scientific knowledge to the world; the secrets of the various types of`siddhis' (supernatural attainments or extrasensory powers) can also be known or obtained by no other means than this.DrishTiis the first step or technique ofyoga–vidyA(Science of Yoga); the technique ofdrishti–sAdhan or the practice of the Yogaof Inner Light is so wonderful that it does not cause any discomfort, difficulty or pain to any part of our physical body. By means of this, the practitioner is able to quickly realize the clues or secrets which have been eulogized in heavenly or divine books on God, and then, all the rules & principles governing the world, which can not be attained by merely reading and listening to all the books lifelong, keep standing in humble subservience, attendance before such a person."(Satsang Yoga, Part II authored by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj)
[The nails of the lotus feet emit dazzling light matching that emanating from a heap of jewels or gems | Meditating upon which (the practitioner) acquires Divine Vision ||]
Explaining the above couplet, our most adorable Guru Maharshi Mehi Paramhans has very exquisitely driven home the significance of bindu dhyAn: "This (drishTi Yoga) is extremely convenient to practice. Such troubles & diseases, as may arise out of efforts at fixedly looking in the middle of the eyebrows by overturning or upturning the pupil & the eye ball with our eyes open or closed, staring at the lower tip of the nose, focusing at a mark in the outside world, etc, are not at all used in the practice of drishTi yoga. Persons do not apply any pressure on the pupil of the eyeballs but keep on imaginatively looking in the central region of eyebrows. Steps or components of prANAyAm like rechak, pUrak and kumbhak get automatically executed during drishTi yoga. As the practice of drishTi yoga enhances concentration of awareness, the process of respiration gets automatically slowed down. PrANAyAm gets inherently performed for the practitioner of drishTi yoga who is thus saved the troubles and tribulations that might result from exclusive practice of prANAyAm alone. DrishTi yoga is such an exquisite means that the sixth chapter of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita portrays it alone as being capable of producing the inner divine calm.
DrishTi yoga refers to the process of converging the currents of consciousness, emanating out of the two eyes, in a point. In doing so it is extremely undesirable to apply, in any manner, any extra pressure on the eyeballs or pupils; to the contrary, such an attempt might lead to trouble or pain in eyes, which might, if the practice is not stopped, cause disease or distortion of eyes. Shrimad Bhagvad Gita instructs (the practitioner) to look at nAsAgra (in the front of the nose). However in an effort to stare constantly, by tilting the eyes, at the lower or upper portion of the nose, ocular troubles or maladies are caused. In fact, unless and until the two currents of vision meet in a point, drishTi yoga will not be effected. Whatever is seen by way of looking at the lower tip or the upper portion of the nose can not be a point. A point is that which exists but does not have any length, breadth or thickness. A mark made even with the tip of a hair will surely occupy some space, albeit extremely small. Therefore, a point cannot be formed by approximation. That which possesses merely length and no width or thickness is termed a line. Even a line can't be drawn by approximation, because a line drawn with even the narrowest hair-tip would surely have some breadth. Two lines intersect in a point. This (drishTi yoga) is the only technique that can make the two currents of sight converge in an absolute point. It is not permitted by Guru to detail this method further; this skill can be learnt from a true adept and only then the true import of the term `nAsAgra' of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita can be understood correctly & exactly."(Excerpted from the Ramcharit Manas Sar Sateek authored by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj)
However much one mastered the art of bindu dhyAn or drishTi yoga in the outer world, it would never yield the benefits that can accrue from the drishTi – yoga or bindu dhyAn done internally (with eyes closed). A context in the Mahabharata is worthy of consideration here. A bird is sitting in a tree. Guru Drona, the royal teacher, asks each of the Kaurava & Pandava princes, one by one, to take an aim at the bird's eye. None except Arjun gave a satisfactory answer when asked what it was that they were seeing. When none could satisfy him, Drona finally asked Arjuna who was aiming at the bird's eye, "what is it that you are seeing?" Arjun replied, "only the eye of the bird and nothing else, Gurudev!" Drona commanded him to shoot, and Arjuna pierced the bird's eye with his arrow. Such was the extent of concentration Arjuna had acquired; so concentrated was his sight! And yet, the same Arjuna piteously pleads before Lord Shri Krishna:
-Shrimad BhagvadGita Chap 6/34 [O Krishna! This mind is extremely restless and highly turbulent. Just as wind is so difficult to control, I find it too obstinate to be subdued easily.]
This admission of Arjuna makes it obvious that even though the outward vision is extremely collected or concentrated, it does not necessarily imply that the mind also can be reined in. But if one turns one's sight inwardly (that is, keeps eyes closed) and practices bindu dhyAn, it is certain that the task of controlling the mind would be accomplished to a good extent; and subsequently, if the Quintessential Sound that keeps ringing be grasped within, the mind would get dissolved. Therefore, the method of closing the eyes and meditating upon the inner point is regarded as an easy & absolutely safe or risk-free means to mind – control. The Upanishad says:
"bIjAksharam param bindum nAdam tasyopari sthitam | sashabdam chAkshare kshiNe nihshabdam paramam padam ||" [The Absolute "Bindu" or Point is the seed of all akshara (alphabets) or forms; "NAda" or the Divine Sound is perceived above after that. | NAda is situated above (beyond) the bindu. (That) Nada, too, is lost or dissolves in the Soundless State which is the eternal Brahman [God, Anami Purush]. ||]
Bindu is the seed of akshara and the nAda or the Divine Sound keeps naturally ringing there (the bindu). Therefore for the nAda dhyAn or the Meditation on the Divine Sound through which the mind can be tamed completely, bindu dhyAn is highly desirable. Mind gets completely collected or concentrated in bindu. Concentration leads to vertical Ascension. (The soul along with the mind) enters into the astral sphere transcending the gross sphere, that is, reaches into the Sphere of Light having crossed the sphere of darkness and experiences supernatural bliss by beholding the Divine Dazzle there. It is why (the authors of) the Upanishads and Sants have extolled the glory of bindu dhyAn. The (above-mentioned) benefits accrue out of the bindu dhyAn.