A Spiritual Discourse by Shri Swami Sant Bhagirath Baba, Sant Mat Tradition (Bhakti of the Inner Light and Sound of God)
Sant Mat Mysticism Blog:
The Sant Mat Society -- A Sant Mat Satsang Discourse
"Shri Swami Sant Bhagirath Baba was very special to Maharishi Mehi and he said many very great things about him. His level is extremely advanced and one certainly can trust his guidance. Maharishi Mehi had his room between Santsevi Ji's room and Bagirath Baba's room. Both tended to him constantly. Bhagirath Baba told us many fascinating stories about his relationship to his Guru. Santsevi Ji and he were good friends." (Spoken by a devotee of Sant Mat)
The following is from the Biography Of Gurusevi Swami Bhagirath Ji Maharaj: Once Gurudev [Maharshi Mehi] had gracefully blessed him saying, "May you live long! Your devotion will be completed in this very birth. People would take you overseas as well. I have given everything to you… etc." One day when Shri Shivanand Baba, a resident of the Ashram came to offer his pranam, Gurudev asked him, "Who would propagate Santmat after me?" With folded hands Shivanand Baba answered, "Whomever would you select for the job, Lord!" Then pointing towards Bhagirath Baba Gurudev said, "He will do it."
.....After the departure of Maharshi Mehi from this world, Bhagirath Baba started his long and hard meditation in the holy cave of Kuppaghat in which Maharshi Mehi had realized the Self and achieved salvation. That continued for about three years. He got some disturbance because of visiting the cave by the devotees. He tolerated it and built a small cave on the bank of river Ganga in the premise of Kuppaghat Aashram. In that cave he started his continuous and unceasing meditation...... After that he started propagation of Santmat on the kind request of Satsangis (Santmat-devotees).
Bhagirath Baba began to initiate seekers since 31st May, 1987. More than 22,000 persons have taken initiation from him so far. His speeches directly touch the hearts of the audience, casts a magical influence upon them. The turban he puts on presents a striking resemblance to Swami Vivekananda who had incarnated to keep the flag of his Guru Swami Ramkrishna Paramahansji Maharaj flying all over the globe. Similarly, Bhagirath Baba, too, is the flag-bearer of Santmat, which was nurtured and propagated by his Guru, Maharshi Mehi Paramhansji Maharaj.
Shri Swami Sant Bhagirath Baba has authored four books that are full of spiritual insight, namely, "Maharshi Mehi ke Dincharya Updesh" (Life and Teachings of Maharshi Mehi) , "Santmat Tatva-Jnaan Bodhini" (Quintessence of Santmat), "Maharshi Mehi Leelamrit", and "Maharshi Mehi Chaitanya Chintan". These all books are in the Bharati language.
NOTE: CHIT OR CHITTA: Lake of the mind wherein are stored all kinds of impressions in the form of memories, it is one of the four facets of manas (mind): Chit, Mana, Buddhi and Ahankar.
Excerpts Below from a Chapter Titled, "Know the Self Through the Self", by Shri Swami Sant Bhagirath Baba
Jeeva-atmaa (the Individual Self or Soul) is the indivisible part of the Supreme Being (i.e. the Universal Soul). In the bondage state it is called the Jeeva. It is also called soul, an indivisible part of the Supreme Sovereign God. Only the individual soul (Jeeva-atmaa) is capable of recognizing itself. When the Self will be realized, only then it will be merged into the Supreme Sovereign God. Then it can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Besides knowing itself, no other method has been articulated in the holy books and scriptures.
Now the question arises: why this Jeeva-atmaa (individual soul) does not realize itself? What is the reason? For the answer, it can be said that until this Jeeva-atmaa lives no longer dominated by the five organs of actions: hands, feet, mouth, anus, and urethra, and five organs of senses: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, and four inner organs: Man (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta and Ahamkaar (ego), it can not realize the Self. In other words, until the Jeeva-atmaa transcends these fourteen organs, it is not able to recognize the Self and so it can not realize the Supreme Sovereign God.
The Vedas say: "Om sayojat urugaayasya jootim vrithaa kreedantam mimite na gaavah |
Pareenasam krinute tigma shringo diva harirdadrishe naktamrijrah ||"
English translation: Through this mantra (hymn), the Vedas teach: O people! doing efforts to realize God by the organs like hands, feet, anus, urethra, tongue, ears, eyes, skin, nose, or mind, intellect, etc... is child's-play (deceptive). Because He (the Supreme Sovereign God) can not be realized through those. He is insensible (beyond the reach of organs or senses).
Now it is utmost in importance to know just how does this Jeeva-atmaa leave the thirteen organs out of fourteen organs -- which organ does not leave Jeeva-atmaa, and why it does not leave? For, due to that, the Jeeva-atmaa does not recognize itself and nor does it recognize the Supreme Sovereign God. You see, when we sleep we feel that the hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, etc.... all the organs, are ceasing their works. If any person sitting close by talks to another person [who is falling asleep at the time] they do not hear all the words. They may catch a few words and miss the rest. It means, at that time the power of the organs is converging (accumulating inside), i.e. the organs are stopping their works. This is the initial step of Tandraavasthaa (the state of falling asleep). In Jaagrataavasthaa (the waking state), the Jeeva-atmaa resides between the two eyes [seat of the soul] with all aforesaid fourteen organs. When the Jeeva-atmaa begins to drift down from the middle position of the two eyes [falls asleep, in other words], then organs of action, and organs of senses are left behind. This Jeeva-atmaa comes to the Kantha (throat center) with four inner organs, and until it leaves the throat center again, we visualize the scenes of dreams [in the dream state]. Then when this Jeeva-atmaa begins to drift from the dream state to the deep-sleep state (Sushupti Avasthaa), three more inner organs are left behind. Only one inner organ, Chitta, remains attached with the Jeeva-atmaa in the deep-sleep state. When the Jeeva-atmaa returns back to the Jaagrataavasthaa (waking state) from the Sushupti Avasthaa (deep-sleep state), then we can say that last night we slept soundly.
Brothers! At the time we were in the deep sleep state, we did not have any conscious awareness, so how did we come to know that we slept very soundly? We know it through Chitta, because only this organ alone was with Jeeva-atmaa at that time. This Chitta does not detach from the Jeeva-atmaa because this is the individual (Vayashti) form of the Conscious (Chetan). If it (Chitta) detaches from the Jeeva-atmaa, this Jeeva-atmaa will give up this physical body. That's why Chitta always accompanies the Jeeva-atmaa even in the deep-sleep state. Thus Jeeva-atmaa is habituated to leave company of these thirteen organs routinely. It does indicate that no sooner the Jeeva-atmaa starts to come down from the middle position of two eyes to the dream state, to the deep-sleep state; the organs start to detach gradually and at last, thirteen organs are left behind before entering the deep-sleep state. Only one organ: Chitta, lives with Jeeva-atmaa and this is the reason that Jeeva-atmaa does not recognize itself nor does it realize Supreme Sovereign God.
Moving down from the middle of the two eyes is going towards ignorance, and moving up from the middle of two eyes is going towards Knowledge. Our physical body is divided into two parts, one below the eyes, called Pinda (microcosm), and other is above the eyes, called Brahmaanda (Macrocosm). The Jeeva-atmaa resides with all fourteen organs in the middle of two eyes [seat of the soul] in the 'awakening-state' (Jaagrataavastha). If the Jeeva (also called Jeeva-atmaa) had detached from all these (fourteen organs) it would have realized the Self and then it would have realized the Supreme Sovereign God. For it, it is of the greatest need to reach into the Turiyaa state above the middle of the two eyes. The beginning of the Turiyaa state has been said be the Aajnaa-chakra (the Guru instructs about the Point in between the two eyes where the vision of both unites), and the destination of this is in Kaivalya: the State of Oneness, Pure Consciousness. To enter in this Turiyaa state one needs the highest degree of concentration, because there is rising of consciousness (surat, i.e. khyaal) in concentration and the rising of consciousness causes the breaking of bondages.
[In this world] Jeeva-atmaa is entangled among five material (illusory) objects viz. form, taste, smell, touch and sound or word). These five material objects permeate the world uniformly. But this Jeeva-atmaa does not permeate these five material objects uniformly. It is pervaded in "visible" objects by 83%. For example, if we want to see an object, the mind starts to think naturally of its shape and size. Jeeva-atmaa infiltrates the (material) "hearing" by 14% and 1 and a half percent each of "smell" and "touch" illusory objects. For the concentration of the awareness, one should take the support of a material word, i.e. the alphabetical name of God, i.e. one should do Jap (chanting a mantra of holy name/word). Then one should practice Maanas Dhyaan of a physical divine form related to that alphabetical name/word of God [simran, Manas Jappa]. [Maanas Dhyaan is the process of mentally visualizing the form of Guru or any Divine form of God with eyes closed in meditation as instructed by the Guru.] This practice is done because the nature of this world is that of names and forms.
There are many names of God. Sant Dadu Dayal says:
Original verse in Bharati language:
"Dadu sirjanhaar ke kete naam anant."
English translation: "There is innumerable names of God, the Creator."
Though in truth, God is beyond names. Lord Sadguru Maharshi Mehi speaks,
"Prabhu akath Anaami" (God is Inexpressible and Nameless.)
People have given God many names. This has been articulated by the sants, sages and seers. One name among of the numerous names, which the Guru instructs, should be repeated continuously with great devotion and faith. There are three ways to do Jap. One way is through uttering the word with audible voice, that other persons also hear. This is called "Vaachik Jap". The second way is repeating a name (mantra) in such manner that only we can hear it and others do not. This is called "Upaansu Jap". The third way is repeating a name in such manner that neither our own ears hear nor do others hear it. It is repeated only in the mind without moving the lips, tongue and teeth. This is called Maanas Jap....
Maharshi Mehi has instructed to do Maanas Jap in His prose and poetry composition of 'The Principle Of Santmat'. E.g.: "Every human being is within his or her right to transcend all the layers of nature: darkness, light and sound, through devotion to God by taking recourse to spiritual practices such as Maanas Jap (mentally repeating with eyes closed some holy word instructed secretly by the spiritual preceptor), Maanas Dhyaan (concentration and meditation over some holy figure with eyes closed as instructed secretly by one's spiritual preceptor), Dristi Saadhan (the yoga of inner seeing or Light), and Surat Shabda-Yoga [the yoga of inner hearing or Sound], and to attain salvation through re-identifying with the Supreme. (From, Principles of Santmat, excerpted from Maharshi Mehi's "Padaavali")
The following lines from various poems of Maharshi Mehi's Padaawali shows the noteworthiness of Maanas Jap: "Do the firm constant practice of Maanas Jap instructed by Guru, and do Maanas Dhyaan of the form of Guru." (poem no. 7)
"Do Maanas Jap of the mantra given by Guru and do Maanas Dhyaan of the form of Guru." (poem no. 47)
"Do the practice of Maanas Jap and Maanas Dhyaan of Guru only, i.e. repeat the mantra given by Guru and do the practice of Maanas Dhyaan of Guru's form. Then do the practice of uniting the vision, i.e. do the practice of Bindu Dhyaan (Drishti Yoga or the Yoga of Vision)." (poem no. 94)
"Repeat the very holy mantra in mind and then do Maanas Dhyaan of the form of Guru, the benefactor." (poem no. 97)
The discussion on Maanas Jap has been found in Shri Hariram Das Ji of the Ramsnehi sect, Sant Charan Das Ji, Baba Maluk Das Ji and Sahajo Bai also. For example:
"Man maalaa ghat bheetare, hariya fere koy |
Ferat hi hari paayaye, agam ujaalaa hoy ||"
(-- Shri Hariram Das Ji)
[If one does Maanas Jap within one's body, he gets God, and he receives divine Light within.]
"Man hi man me jaap karee, darapan ujjawal hoy |
Darasan howe raam kaa, timir jay sab khoy ||"
(-- Sant Charan Das Ji)
[When jap is done through mind, Light appears. Then Ram (God) is seen and all the darkness disappears.]
Shri Bhagirath Baba on Spiritual Practice
The practitioner, if he sits for meditation, always must keep his/her head, neck and spinal cord (back) completely straight. The respiration process will naturally become slowed if one sits straight, and thus it is a helping factor in meditation and Jap......
Sants/yogis have fixed times of meditation. Those times are: 1) in the pre-dawn, i.e. three hours before sun rise, 2) after taking a bath during the day [mid day], and 3) during the evening (after the sun sets). Meditation done in these three time is called Trayakaal Sandhyaa (thrice-daily meditation). A practitioner must sit for meditation in these three times, and also should do Maanas Jap (repeating the Guru-instructed mantra), or Maanas Dhyaan (involving mind in visualizing Guru's form inside), while doing worldly work.
In the evening just before going to bed, the practitioner should sit in meditation for two to four minutes and then go to sleep. A practitioner can continue Maanas Jap or Maanas Dhyaan or keep his/her vision straight inside with closed eyes laying in bed.
This practice protects one from terrible, unpleasant dreams, and on the other hand the practitioner can be benefited with the appearance of sages/sants or Satsang in the dream state. The appearance (seeing) of sants/sages in the dream state is an indication of spiritual-upwardness (progress). A meditation practitioner who does meditation in pre-dawn very carefully, should not take a heavy meal in the night. Meals should not be hard-to-digest. Easily digestible meals and that also are light in amount should be taken in the night so that the practitioner can get up early at the pre-dawn time. This habit keeps the body sound and healthy. Most reverent Guru Maharaj (Maharshi Mehi) says, "Sound mind lives in Sound body and worship is done only by the sound mind." So, a practitioner should control his/her meals.
A practitioner should close both eyes and mouth at the time of meditation. If he/she would be speaking and seeing the outer world with open eyes, he/she could not do the practice of meditation. On closing eyes everyone sees the darkness inside no matter whether they belong to one creed, caste, country or another, be they young, old, male, female, scholar or illiterate. This darkness has not been created by humans or gods. This darkness has been created by the Supreme Sovereign God. There are three layers (coverings) over the Jeeva-atmaa (Individual Soul). Those are: darkness, light and sound. Darkness is the shadow of the Light. This darkness is the first layer that the Jeeva (Individual Soul) or all beings encounter. One who crosses this layer of darkness through a special kind of meditation sees the inner Light within oneself.
This inner Light is called Aatma-Aalok (Light of the Self) or Brahma-Prakash (Divine Light). On achieving this, the Divya-Drishti (Divine Eye, Third Eye) opens completely. While mentally gazing into the darkness that one sees with eyes closed, one should repeat the guru-instructed mantra. This process is called Maanas Jap. While doing this, neither the lips nor the tongue are oscillated. Instead, the mantra (an alphabetical name given by Guru) is repeated within by the mind. This Jap is actually a kind of meditation. Repeating the mantra through the mind is for the purpose of calling the Ishta ([one's Ideal], tutelary deity, most beloved, Sadguru) near oneself. So, Jaapak (the practitioner who does Jap) should perform Jap with great love. He (Ishta, Guru) becomes happy and merciful if one does Jap with immense love and devotion, and he appears at his desire.
The practitioner who does Jap sitting in a secluded place with the right method and immense love, becomes the excellent devotee. Sant Charan Das says:
"Sakal shiromani naam hai, sab dharman ke maahi |
Ananya bhakta wah jaaniye, sumiran bhoolai naahi ||"
[Name (Jap) is the crown of all and has been described in all creeds. Know that person as the superior devotee who never forgets Jap. ]
By doing Jap, the mind and heart become devotionally pure, morale is uplifted. One gets strength in inner meditation -- Japaat Siddhi (divine power after getting perfection in Jap) is obtained. By doing Jap, so much sanctity begins to flow within the body and mind of the practitioner (Jaapak) that the note or wave of Jap (mantra the practitioner chants) penetrates whatever the practitioner touches.....
If the Jaapak (practitioner of Jap) repeats the Jap while doing worldly work as well as practices Jap sitting in a secluded place with love and faith, he/she begins to see divine visions, or hear auditions in the inner sky (the region within where darkness normally appears when one's eyes are closed). We see fire-flies (glow-worms: a kind of insect which glows at intervals in the darkness) in the bushes or under a tree. Similar to that, the Jaapak (practitioner) glimpses other visions at the time of Jap. Sometimes the vibration of the mantra which the practitioner repeats, is heard emitting from each small hair of his or her body. The practitioner gets such feelings only when he/she does Jap with strong concentration being dejected from the world. It has been cited in Aranya Kand of Maanas Peeyush (a holy book):
"Mano madhye sthito mantro mantram madhye sthitam manah |
Mano mantram samaayogo jap ityabhidheeyate ||"
[When mantra be merged in the mind, and mind be merged in mantra, such fusion of mind and mantra is called Jap. Most revered Guru Maharaj (Maharshi Mehi) says regarding Jap:
"sarva kshan guru man jaun 'Mehi' rahai ho |
nischay nirvaana hoy sant sab kahai ho ||"
[Maharshi Mehi says, "When the mind remains attached with Guru all the time, he/she gets salvation with certainty -- all the Sants say this. ]
Jap should be incessant like the flow of mustard oil. When a person falls in distress, no one is helpful in the world; even his/her own relatives leave them in that grim situation. If he/she does Jap with great devotion and faith, then calamity (adversity) runs away like fire removes the shivering cold! The practitioner inclines towards asceticism and achieves Japaat Siddhi (power of perfection in Jap). Jap rectifies the erred deeds. Goswami Tulsi Das writes in Ram Charit Maanas, Baal Kand :
"japahi naam jan aarat bhaaree |
Mitahin kusankat hohin sukhaaree ||"
[If the person repeats the name in Jap with love, distress is destroyed and one lives in happiness.]
Jap is capable of accomplishing all desires. Jap purifies the heart infected by lust, greed, anger, affection (illusion), etc... That's why the Guru-instructed mantra is very holy. The practitioner gets purification of heart naturally by practicing Jap. The mantra instructed by Guru is very short in alphabet, but if the practitioner gets perfection in Jap, all the gods and goddesses are bewitched by the power of the practitioner -- Goswami Tulsi Das says:
"mantra param laghu jaasu vash, vidhi hari har sur sarva |
Mahaamatta gajraaj kahan, bas kar ankush kharva ||"
The mantra has the characteristic of attraction. If the practitioner repeats the mantra, and the related form of that mantra is imagined in the mind, then that which is visualized assumes a vague form. Eventually the practitioner comes to see that real form quite clearly in the inner sky during meditation.
--- Shri Swami Sant Bhagirath Baba