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Friday, November 06, 2009

Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, and the Path of the Masters

Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, and the Path of the Masters 

 Mystic Poetry and Teachings of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, A Great Master in the Lineage of Inner Light and Sound Mysticism

  "Those who develop interest in simran are really fortunate and are making a good use of their human birth." (Domain Singh of the Sant Dariya Mission Website)

Below the mystic verses of Sant Dariya is a discourse by Domain Singh of the Sant Dariya Mission of Bihar, on the practice of Simran (Manas Jap): repeating God's Name or Holy Names with love and devotion, a bhakti practice of remembering God, done during available moments throughout the day and night, as well as simran is a technique used during meditation practice.

Before We Get to the Poetry and Spirituality, Some Sant Mat History: Background on Sant Dariya Sahib (1674--1780)

 Sant Dariya was born in 1674 in the Rohtas District of Bihar, India. He was brought up and remained at that place for most of his life. Dariya was apparently given his name by the family Guru. Dariya's birth was celebrated with great festivity. After the baby was one month old, a holy man visited his place and the mother brought the baby before him. This holy man carefully looked at the baby from head to foot, asked the mother to take very good care of the baby and named him Dariya, to be so recognized later. Dariya never looked upon him as a human being, and always referred to him as the Lord or Sat Purush. Sant Dariya got enlightenment at the age of twenty years. He was initiated into Inner Light and Sound Meditation, Shabd Naam, by the same Satguru mentioned above, that had been a major influence on Dariya's life.

 In 1674, Dariya's Guru would have BEEN, or at least would have been contemporary WITH, one of the early Dharamdasi Kabir Panth Gurus, the "People of the Anurag Sagar", that is to say, a distinct branch of Sant Mat related to Kabir that used a text called, The Anurag Sagar, along with, The Bijak, Saakhi Granth, and other writings attributed to Guru Kabir. Another signature teaching that early on was unique to the Dharamdasi group was the view that Sant Dharam Das was the primary gurmukh successor of Kabir. It is recorded that Dariya's Satguru, mentioned above, eventually appointed Dariya Sahib to be his spiritual successor.

Dariya became one of the great Saints of the Sant tradition of India, a towering figure occupying some of that space in history between the time of Kabir and that of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras. In fact, for awhile, Dariya and Tulsi Sahib were alive at the same time. Dariya passed on when Tulsi was around seventeen years of age. Dariya Sahib appointed several Saints to be his spiritual successors: Fakkar Das, Basti Das, Sant Tika Das, and, Sant Guna Das, also contemporaries with Tulsi Sahib, who likely spent some time in Bihar. Bihar was, and remains, home-base of the Satsang of Sant Dariya Sahib. "He [Tulsi Sahib] has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati, Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many other Saints, he must have traveled widely in V.P., Rajasthan, Gujrat, Punjab and Bihar." (Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras, J.R. Puri, and V.K. Sethi, RS Books)

Tulsi Sahib said he was initiated by a living Satguru, but knowledge of the name of that particular Guru is lost, or at least not necessarily clear to us these many years later. The name of that Guru is not recorded in the writings that have survived. Or is it, and we simply aren't noticing? During those days, Sant Dariya has the distinction of being the only living or recently departed Sant Mat Master Tulsi mentions in his writings! Furthermore, Tulsi Sahib, in a hymn of praise, a shabd, included Dariya on his of the greatest Saints in the history of India. Says Tulsi: "Nanak, Dadu, Dariya Saheb, Mira Bai, Soor Das, Kabir and Nabbaji have all reached the Mystic Sky and have given out the secrets. Their souls have got across and merged there." My suspicion is that the unknown Guru of Tulsi Sahib was either Dariya Sahib, or one of Dariya's successors in Bihar. Thus, contemporary Inner Light and Sound Meditation or Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters as it is known, associated with Sant Tulsi Sahib and Soami Ji Maharaj or Sant Radhasoami Sahib, is directly connected to the Dharam Das branch of the Path of Kabir by way of Dariya's Guru and Dariya Sahib of Bihar.

Masters such as Dariya Sahib and Tulsi Sahib represented mystical hardcore reformist voices somewhat critical of the overall direction the older Sant Panths were headed in. Sufis, the followers of Guru Gobind Singh (Ratnagar Rao?) or Sikhism, the Kabir Chaura or other branches of Kabir Panth (other than the Dharamdasis), and the Dadu Panth of Rajasthan, do not recognize Dharam Das as the gurumukh successor of Kabir, and they do not use or recognize a key sacred text important to Tulsi Sahib known as the Anurag Sagar. Those Panths or Paths do not seem to be the the primary influences upon Tulsi Sahib. For the Dharamdasi Kabir Panth group and the Dariya Sahib Panth however, the Anurag Sagar is a major scripture, central to their teachings, history, and view of the cosmos during this age of Kali Yuga. Therefore, these writings and teachings unique to the Dharamdasi and Dariya branches of Sant Mat, being shared by Tulsi Sahib are significant clues. Tulsi's views about Sant Mat Spirituality, Kabir, Dharam Das, Panch Naam, the Anurag Sagar, a critical stance against Kabir Panth as it had become during his day, etc..., would most likely suggest an association with the Dariya Satsang of Bihar. In my view, the teachings of Tulsi Sahib most resemble those of Dariya Sahib, to the degree that it's safe to say that, based on a close examination of the internal evidence provided in the writings of Tulsi Sahib: theology, vocabulary, style, imagery, quoted materials including the Anurag Sagar, stance towards the Kabir Panth and other Sant Panths, that the primary influence upon Tulsi was Dariya Sahib and the Dariya School of Sant Mat.

Back to Sant Dariya Sahib. "In one of his books, Dariya claimed himself to be Saint Kabir in his previous birth." (Dr. Dharmendra Brahmachari Shastri, who published a research paper on the Sant for his Doctor of Philosophy thesis called Sant Dariya Kabir of Bihar) Certainly, many believe the great sage Sant Dariya Sahib was the reincarnation of Guru Kabir. In any case, it can be said that the teachings of Sant Dariya Sahib and his Satguru successors do indeed represent a continued living mystic-expression of this Path of Guru Kabir in this current Kali Yuga Age. Says Sant Dariya Sahib:

"Sat Purush is the living Lord
And His own son serves as the ladder.
That ladder is continued through me, says Dariya.
Fakkar Das, Basti Das, and Guna Das,
Are the ladders proceeding from me.
Whomsoever they appoint as their successors
Would also be known as ladders.
Thus will my line of succession continue.....

"Those souls who remain in obedience
to these successors,
Shall cross the Ocean of the world.
How long will this line of succession continue?
Kindly relate it to us in your own words, asks Fakkar Das.
Listen mindfully, 0 Fakkar Das,
I explain this to you, says Dariya:
As long as the discipline of the Sound Current
is preserved unadulterated,
The line of succession will truly continue.
But when it is mixed with outer rituals
and display of external garbs,
My Sound Current will part company.
My Divine essence will depart,
And the souls will go into the mouth of Kal.
I shall then come to this world,
And shall proclaim the teaching
of the Sound Current again.
Proclaiming the teaching,
I shall found the line of succession.
And emancipating the souls,
I shall take them to my Abode.
For aeons I have been coming,
And imparting the teaching
of the true Sound Current."

Above is based on 1) information found at the Sant Dariya Mission website; 2) the one book in English featuring excerpts from the many writings of Dariya Sahib, by K.N. Upadhyaya; and, 3) my own articles reflecting about Sant Mat history, the Kabir line of Masters, Dharam Das, Dharam Das's son and spiritual successor: Churamani Nam, Dariya's Guru, Dariya Sahib, and Tulsi Sahib. Note: Domain Singh of the Sant Dariya Mission website really likes Upadhyaya's book on Sant Dariya, thinks it's a wonderful and scholarly publication.

Spirituality: Mystic-Verses/Shabds of Sant Dariya Sahib

Let the practitioner be brave like a lion, and let him not forget the holy repetition even for a moment! Let him be on alert with his drawn-out bow and arrow! The thief (Kal) can never come near such a one. (Sahasrani, M., p. 37)

Keep on repeating the holy names with tenacity, and remove the impurities by repeated rubbings. With the impurities removed, one becomes pure, and wisdom dawns upon such a one in full. Sahasrani. M., p. 61)

Sumiru Sat Nam niju kam hai jahi te

Practice the repetition of the true Names which alone is of value, abandon the taste for worldly enjoyment, and attain thereby the inner bliss. Have kindness in your heart, look with compassion, give up all family rites and worldly concern.

Being detached, brush aside all worldly delusions, And take refuge under the Satguru's holy feet, which is the kingdom of eternal bliss. Disregarding sufferings and afflictions, cut off worldly snares, and be firmly absorbed in contemplation which alone is of value.

Thereby the inner lotus will blossom, nectar will flow, and the inner sky will resound with melody hearing which, Kal will flee away.

There the dazzling Light will shine and the true Sound will resound, which will destroy heavy sins, and place a divine canopy over your head. (Shabd 318, M,.pp. 103-104, D.G. Vol. I. p. 86)

Sumirahu satpad pran adhar

Carry on the repetition of the true names, taking it to be your very life-breath. Obtain thereby the true Sound, and go across the ocean of the world. When a disciple receives the holy names from the Guru, the disciple is sure to attain the Unchangeable, Eternal and Immortal Abode.

The soul attains union with the Creator, and never again comes to this world. That Abode is different from the three worlds. There resides the Primeval Lord along with a multitude of pure souls.

A disciple who takes the Guru's word to his heart, is destined to go to the True Abode, and is never to fall into hell. Having obtained the Authentic Passport (Naam), he certainly goes to the Hidden Realm, and never comes back here again, says Dariya. (Shabd 9I, M., p.40, D.G. Vol. I, p. 64)

Light and Sound arise from the Primal Shabd. Let one make one's attention one-pointed, and let the Surat catch the Sound Current with rapt attention! This is the only way to rise to the Primal Shabd. One should fix one's attention at that point where the sun and the moon meet (at the eye-center).

One will find a resounding melody emanating from the Primal Shabd. One should merge oneself into that melody. There the Thousand-petalled Lotus blossoms, although the Primal Source is above the Akah Lotus. There arises a unique fragrance from the Thousand-petalled Lotus, enjoying which the souls are thrilled with great delight.

When one becomes a devotee of the Satguru, then alone love and devotion are manifested through his service. The further journey is extremely subtle. It can be crossed only by merging the Surat in the Sound Current. Experiencing the refulgent Light and incomparable Sound (of higher Regions) one is filled with bliss.

Reaching the Inaccessible (Agam) Region, one finds an exceedingly dazzling Light. It is hard for the mind to stand that Light. Stepping on the ladder of the Satguru, one tastes there the fruit of Immortality. (Dariya Sagar, chaupai 165-171 & chhand 5, D.G. Vol II, pp. 17-18)

When one sees with one's inner wisdom,
An eternal Light comes to one's sight.
One is absorbed in the Unstruck Divine Melody,
And the Lord is seen in the refulgence of Light.
(Dariya Sagar, chaupai 376-377, D.G. Vol. II, p. 38)

The Unstruck Divine Music is played every moment. And seeing the Divine Form the soul is absorbed within. Only he who finds a wise Guru, can attain the true Abode of Sat Nam.

(Dariya Sagar, chaupai 382-383, D.G. Vol II, p. 39) (Sant Dariya Sahib -- Saint of Bihar, RS Books)


A Satsang Discourse: Sumiran for God-Realization, An Article by Domain Singh of the Sant Dariya Mission, the Sangat Founded by Sant Dariya Sahib, a Sant Mat Community in Bihar, INDIA



There are many kinds of Sadhana [spiritual practices] to realise God. The question is which is the simplest and most suitable for the average person. Many have realised God by repeating the name of the Lord. The Guru gives the Name at the time of initiation. Lord Shiva achieved immortality by repeating the holy name of the Lord. Savage Balmiki became Brahma-like by repeating the holy name. The power of the holy name is beyond description. In the Ramayana, Saint Tulsi Das has said that the holy name of the Lord is more powerful than the Lord Himself. In the Gita, Lord Krishna has said that amongst all the Yagyas, Jap Yagya is the greatest.

The Name of the Lord has the capacity to reveal God. As the practice progresses, the mind becomes subtler and subtler. Ultimately the mind ceases and merges into the Transcendental. In this method of meditation, one sits down, closes the eyes, maintains an easy and comfortable posture, and without moving the lips or tongue repeats the name given by the Guru. As the process progresses, the breathing becomes calm and even. One's mind becomes quiescent. When the mind becomes quiescent, God speaks. If we listen to the inner voice, we find solutions to all our problems and frustrations.

By constant repetition of the Nam [Name] one can conquer lust and passion. To face the ups and downs which is natural in human life, there is no remedy better than ceaseless remembrance of God [simran or sumiran: mentally repeating God's Name: manas jap, as a way to remember God]. Saints of the Nirguna School of Spirituality [devotees or bhaktas of the Formless God] right from the time of Kabir have praised the power of sumiran. Gandhi jee was a great proponent of Nam-Bhakti.

Sant Dariya has described the importance of Nam- Bhakti in the following verses:

"Nam pratap yug yug chali aaye,
sakal sant gun mahima gaye"
jyo tarani jal jat taraee,
Nam sumiru jal bohit payee"

Dariya Sahib in the above verses says that the importance of Nam has been recognized for aeons. Saints have praised its glory. A boat floats on the water and whosoever has to cross a river rides a boat. To sail through the ocean of life which is so difficult, one needs a boat of sumiran to cross the ocean of life. God [at the highest level] is Formless and very few get an opportunity to see him in a form (body [or in the form of Satguru]: Sagun rup birla jan pave). The holy name of the Lord which is Nirguna (beyond attributes) easily leads to the realization of the Lord. According to Sant Dariya, akshar Nam (alphabetical name) leads to nihakshar (Lord who is beyond kshar and akshar). Here ksar and akshar denote perishable and non-perishable and the Lord is beyond these dualities, whom Dariya Sahib calls nihakshar.

Nam is a great medicine to cure all kinds of ills in this samsara [this world of changes]. Sumiran of the holy name subdues the mind and leads to concentration. The mind at ease and peace cures many of physical and mental diseases. It improves the immune system.

To sum up, the benefits of sumiran is immense for this life and life beyond. Those who develop interest in sumiran are really fortunate and are making a good use of their human birth. ////////