Monday, August 24, 2009

Living a Spiritual Life - Ahimsa Teachings from the Saakhi Granth

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Living a Spiritual Life -- Ahimsa Teachings from the Saakhi Granth of Guru Kabir, Part One: "Never speak harsh words! Understand the importance of sweet words and bring them into use. Look at the sacred water of the Ganges. Its pure water has made its way through mountains, i.e. we can, by using sweet words, make friends with persons possessing the toughest of hearts." (1008 Kabir Vani, Compiled by Lalchand Doohan Jigyasu, Translated by Kunwar Anil Kumar, Dedicated to Pandit Shri Hajoor Uditnam Saheb, Published by Manoj Publications, Delhi) [To be continued......]



Significance of the Yoga of Inner Light or Bindu Dhyan

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Significance of the Yoga of Inner Light or Bindu Dhyan, By Swami Achyutanand Ji


The Sant Mat Blog: Inner Light and Sound:
http://santmat.gaia.com/blog


[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.

- Translated into English by Pravesh K. Singh

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati
http://profiles.yahoo.com/praveshksingh)


Extolling the importance of bindu-dhyAn or drishTi-yoga, Baba Devi Sahab writes, "DrishTi means `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. DrishTi is the first step or technique of yoga–vidyA (Science of Yoga); the technique of drishti–sAdhan or the practice of the Yoga of 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)


Goswami Tulsidas Ji has written,

"shri gurupad nakh maNigan jyotI |
sumirat divya drishTi hiya hotI ||"

[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:

"chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramAthi balavaddriDham |
tasyAham nigraham manye vAyoriva sudushkaram ||"

-Shrimad Bhagvad Gita 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.

Always, always meditate day and night - Kabir, Tukarama


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Mystic-Poetry of the Sants of India: Tukarama and Kabir: Always, always meditate day and night

The Sant Mat Blog: Inner Light and Sound:

http://santmat.gaia.com/blog

Tukarama: Invoke God With Love, and Utter His Name Time After Time


When I utter Thy name,
my mind becomes composed.
The tongue enjoys
a stream of ambrosia.
Good omens of all kinds take place.
The mind is colored in Thy vision,
and becomes steady on Thy feet.
One becomes satisfied.........
Desires come to an end........
Happiness meets happiness,
and there is no limit
to blessedness.

The whole body
feels cool
when one meditates
on the Name.
The senses forget their
movements. . . . . .
By the sweet nectar-like love
of God, one is
full of energy and
all kinds of sorrow depart it immediately.

The body which was hitherto unclean,
becomes lustrous by the power of
the Name, the mind is purified,
and repentance puts a stop to one's
accumulated Karma.

The evil passions are conquered;
all the impulses are nipped in the bud
by the power of the Name.

One should sit at a place,
concentrate his mind,
invoke God
with love,
and utter His name
time after time.
I swear by God's name,
says Tuka,
that there is no other way
of reaching God:
indeed, this is the easiest
of all ways.

(Mysticism In India -- The Poet-Saints of Maharashtra, R.D. Ranade,
SUNY Press, NY)



Kabir: Your Heavy Load is Taken Off --
Meditation Will Remove All Your Burdens


Meditation leads to salvation's door:
Go to heaven --
why go back to the world?
In the house of the fearless One,
where music, unstruck, sounds,
you shall play trumpets.

Meditate upon Him in your heart.
Without meditation there is no salvation. (Rest)

Unfettered meditation
brings salvation:
Your heavy load is taken off.
Welcome Him in your heart,
so you will not be born
again and again.

Blissful meditation
will light a lamp inside you
that does not need any oil.
This lamp will make you immortal;
this lamp will draw out the poison
of lust and anger.

Pierce this meditation
that gives you salvation,
and wear it around your neck.
Never take it off.
Meditate always:
Your guru's grace will get you across.

Meditation will free you
from dependence on others:
You will sleep on silken sheets at home.
Your heart will be at peace;
your life will blossom:
Deeply drink this meditation.

This meditation
will erase your blemishes;
you will be free from Maya's touch.
Meditate, meditate, and sing,
"Hari, Hari" [God, God]. You will obtain
this meditation from your true guru [Satguru].

Always, always meditate day and night:
When you rise, when you lie down,
when you breathe in, when you breathe out.
Waking or sleeping,
relish the taste of meditation --
meditation will bring union.

Meditation will remove all your burdens;
meditation upon Ram's name
will become your support.
Kabir, says, "He is limitless."

(Songs of Kabir from the Adi Granth, Nirmal Das, SUNY Press, NY)


August Sant Mat Satsang PODcast at Blog Talk Radio

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August Sant Mat Satsang PODcast at BlogTalkRadio, on the Path of the Masters


Go to the Main Page:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/SantMatFellowship

Program Length: 50 Minutes

The Sant Mat Satsang Podcast for August originally aired on Saturday 8-15-09 but is now available 24/7 on-demand as a podcast, along with several other 2009 podcasts, at the Sant Mat Fellowship site via BlogTalkRadio: Direct Link to the Latest Podcast:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/santmatfellowship/2009/08/16/the-august-sant-mat-satsang-podcast-by-james-bean

The Sant Mat Podcasts are a series of programs from an Indian perspective, covering some esoteric subjects for a specialized audience interested in the Path of the Masters and Meditation Upon the Inner Light and Sound of God.

Program Contents of the August Sant Mat Satsang PODcast

The Masters do have much guidance to share about those 22 hours each day that take place between meditation sits! A life limited to action alone is missing literally many other dimensions, yet a life of only contemplation would not fully be alive either. The Eastern Vision is to live a life of both contemplation and action, to be open to all states, physical, dream state, unconscious, and spiritual states.

Hear Bhajans of Kabir and Jayadeva. Readings are from the following sources: Sar Bachan Radhasoami Prose, by Swami Ji Maharaj; Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry (one could say, the Forgotten or "Lost Gnostic Gospel" of Sant Mat), by Swami Ji Maharaj, both volumes translated by S.D. Maheshwari, Agra; An Ahimsa Prayer of Ramesvarananda Sahab found in the book, Praises to a Formless God, by David Lorenzen; The Dawn of the Third Millennium by Kirpal Singh; Prem Patra Radhasoami, by Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram, Agra; The Philosophy of Liberation, by Maharshi Mehi; The Five Precepts; and from the chapter on Right-Speech from an ethical manual of the Sants known as the Saakhi Granth of Guru Kabir, translated into English by Kunwar Anil Kumar, in, 1008 Kabir Vani, Manoj Publications, New Delhi, India.

In God-Bhakti,
James
The Sant Mat Satsang Podcast
Spiritual Awakening Radio