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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dharmas and Karmas

Dharmas and Karmas

Dharmas (Duties, Dharam) and Karmas (Actions, Karam), 
From Discourse 36 of, Prem Patra Radhasoami, Book One, 
by Huzur Maharaj, Agra, India

1. Dharma refers to those rules of conduct and that mode of behaviour which everyone should follow for the performance of his or her karmas (i.e. actions), and paramarthi (spiritual or religious) activities according to which one should correctly regulate conduct and behaviour. 

2. Karma (action) refers to the activities of the mind and sense organs, be they good or bad, spiritual or worldly.

3. Paramarthi [spiritual] Dharma [duties] and Karma [actions] will now be discussed here.

4. Whoever is a true paramarthi [spiritual devotee] and wishes to work for the attainment of true spirituality should regulate their conduct according to true Dharma and true Karma.

5. True Dharma consists of:

(a) inquiring about the secrets relating to the True Supreme Being who is the Father and Mother of all and about how the Divine Realm may be found, 

(b) performing devotion to God, i.e. one should have love for, and faith in, the True Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal [the Merciful Lord of the Soul],

(c) upon learning the modes of practices from the Sant Sat Guru for attaining His abode and getting His Darshan [vision], a devotee should practice them daily, and  

(d) experiencing for himself that as a result thereof, his mind and spirit, after gradually detaching from Pinda Desh [the material region] to some extent, are ascending towards the abode of the Supreme Being Merciful Radhasoami.

6. True Karma consists in those activities which help to facilitate the release of mind and spirit from Pinda [the material realm], and their ascent beyond the regions of Pind and Brahmand [universal mind, kal, illusion] towards the abode of Sants. 

7. True Karma consists in:

(a) attending daily the Satsang of the Sant Sat Guru, Sadh Guru or a devoted Abhyasi [meditation practitioner, initiate], reading and reciting the books and discourses of the Sant Sat Guru carefully, attentively and with sincerity,

(b) serving with enthusiasm and love the Sant Sat Guru, Sadh Guru or His devotee with body, mind and wealth to the best of one's ability,

(c) performing Sumiran [remembrance, repetition] of the True Name and the Dhyan [visualization, meditation] of the Form of the True Being in one's heart with love and devotion as taught by the Sant Sat Guru, and 

(d) providing, as far as possible and according to one's ability, food, water and clothing, etc... in the name of the True Supreme Being -- in the name of the True Father and Mother, Merciful Radhasoami, as gifts to the poor and the destitute irrespective of their caste, race, creed or any other consideration, such as self advertisement, name or fame. No service should be expected in return for the good done to the poor.

8. A true paramarthi [spiritual devotee] should regulate the conduct of his Karma and Dharma in this manner. He should behave towards others with kindness and sincerity as far as possible and desirable. He should also regulate his conduct in such a manner that he may not, as far as possible, give any trouble or cause injury to any living being by his mind, speech and physical action, for his own selfish ends or for entertainment, but as far as possible should make others happy and cheerful. And if he cannot do so, he should at least give them no trouble.

Friday, May 20, 2011

False Prophets Making Profits - It's the End of the World Again!

False Prophets Making Profits - It's the End of the World Again! 

Magical Calendars vs. the Reality of Being in the Present Moment, by James Bean

The mystics of each generation have successfully found their Kingdom of God and "second coming". They have experienced the rapture and bliss of spiritual exploration. They found this Reality, not by looking at dates on calendars, but by looking within.

Trending: "May 21 doomsday, rapture 2011, Harold Camping, judgement day may 21, Mayan calendar, Harold Camping May 21"
It's the end of the world again. I hate it when that happens!
I have this old book on "end times" prophecy written back in the 1920's, which is quite revealing and informative about the psychology of prophecy. Some things never change, and that includes the end of the world.
That book shows a black and white photo of a locomotive steam engine with a caption underneath containing a quote from the Hebrew Book of Daniel: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Other illustrations include a sketch of a guy on a horse looking up at the sky, watching a meteor shower, with the caption: The Falling Stars, November 13th, 1833. "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." (Book of Revelation 6: 13) Another image titled, "The Battle of Armageddon", depicts soldiers on horses fighting each other with swords as World War One era biplanes dogfight overhead.
In 1999 many were writing about a quatrain of Nostradamus predicting big stuff happening in the sky, one of the few actual dates mentioned by Nostradamus in fact. Things indeed looked pretty ominous, and yet ..... nothing. So, what did the Y2K prophecy hucksters do when their prophecy predictions fell flat, when they were proved to be utterly, totally, completely wrong? They pretended that everything was fine and simply set their sights upon a new date: 2012, and commenced writing books about that. Fascinating, isn't it? Others expressed disappointment when the world did not come to an end. Oh well. We get to live and complain yet another day. Yay!
Am a great fan of the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of the sayings of Yeshua (Jesus) discovered in Egypt several decades ago. Two partial Greek editions of this book exist, and a more complete copy written in the Coptic language was unearthed in 1945 along with forty nine other codices associated with the Nag Hammadi Library discovery.
In the Gospel of Thomas, disciples are always asking Yeshua when "the end of the world" will take place, when will the "Kingdom come"? And the reply is always something like: "You don't get it. What you're looking for is already here -- you just don't know how to see it." 
Saying 52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."
He said to them,"You have disregarded the Living One who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."
Saying 91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." 
He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment." 
Saying 113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" "It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's Kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."  
Saying 5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed." 
The quotes above remind me of a saying of the Sufi poet Rumi: "Some persons, relying on the promise of 'tomorrow', have wandered for years around that door, but 'tomorrow' never comes. My friend, the Sufi is the child of the present moment: to say 'tomorrow' is not our way."
Most of the world religions have a cosmology of several heavens or planes, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhs, Islam -- the Sufis, Kabbalah. The Gnostic religion, in Pagan or Hermetic, Jewish, and Christian forms, had a system of several heavens also. I recall that Shamanism has them being inside the earth. The old medieval view of the Catholic and Protestant West was/is? that the heavens were physically "up" in the sky or beyond the so-called "dome" of the sky. That series of volumes known as, A Course In Miracles, has a wonderful term for projecting outside one's self realms that are actually within and non-physical, or expecting a material Kingdom of Heaven to descend down from the sky and land on the earth like a flying saucer. The Course calls this: "level confusion". 
Another example of level confusion is the belief that magic dates on a calender can suspend the laws of physics, change human nature, or cause the physical universe to morph into the astral plane or some other heavenly region.
Gospel of Thomas, Saying 3: Yeshua said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will get there before you do. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will arrive there first. Rather, the (Father's) Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you. 
"When you know yourselves, then you will discover this, and you will realize that you are children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." 
The book of Thomas presents a present-tense Kingdom of God or spiritual Reality which can be seen, heard or accessed in the living present. Prophecy however is portrayed as one of many illusions, diversions and intoxication's of humanity that needs to be overcome so people might move on to seeking the real Kingdom of God or spiritual dimensions that are already available, like radio waves within and all around us that have the potential of being tuned into and experienced. 
There is a similar passage in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, another Nag Hammadi or Gnostic Gospel: When the Blessed One had said this, He greeted them all, saying, "Peace be with you. Receive my peace to yourselves. Beware that no one lead you astray, saying, 'Lo here!' or 'Lo there!' for the Son of Man [Seed of Humanity] is within you. Follow after Him! Those who seek Him will find Him.
Those that copied and contemplated the Nag Hammadi books were monks affiliated with one of several monasteries founded by Saint Pachomius in Egypt. For them seeing the spiritual dimension was through mystical practices, chant, prayer, silent meditation leading to visions and altered states. Not far from where the Nag Hammadi books were found are some caves used by monks during the 4th Century AD. The Nag Hammadi books remind me of Buddhism, Hinduism, and some of the teachings of the medieval mystics of Europe, Hildegarde of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme and many others who reinvented some of the same ideas later in history, a mystical approach of seeing the "Unseen" spiritual part of the spectrum. 
Through contemplative meditation, the mystics of each generation have successfully found their Kingdom of God and "second coming". They have experienced the rapture and bliss of spiritual exploration. They found this Reality, not by looking at dates on calendars, but by looking within.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spiritual Fitness (SF) -- Making A Better World

"We elicit a new dimension to the term 'survival of the fittest', a term popularly used in evolution theory, and explicate its relevance for the meaningful survival of the human race in the light of achieving higher levels of consciousness. We also introduce a term -- spiritual fitness (SF) -- which signifies the higher/purer form of fitness which one should acquire to attain the ultimate enjoyment, i.e. God realization. The characteristics of SF are in contrast with 'fitness' as defined in Neo-Darwinism/Social Darwinism -- one gains it by competing with one's own mind (mann) rather than competing with others. Intuitively higher degrees of SF correspond with higher levels of consciousness. In Hindu philosophy, Turiya and Turiyatita refer to higher levels of consciousness. The Religion of Sants or Radhasoami Faith gave out the ways to achieve the highest/purest level of consciousness -- a true love and obedience towards a Living Sant Satguru (Supreme Father). The beauty of SF lies in its positive impact on the human race. Individuals with higher SF not only make a consequential endurance in this world and beyond, but also benefit others -- working towards achieving the 'Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man' -- together forming a superior human race -- a race which will conclusively make a better world." 

(Spiritual Consciousness Studies, Spircon 2010: "Survival of the Fittest: Achieving Higher Levels of Consciousness", by Anju Shrivastava, and, Sanjay Srivastava, Agra, India) 

[The image above depicts a possible earth-like planet about 20 light-years away given the name "Gliese 581g"]

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Going Beyond the Universe via the Soundless Sound

Going Beyond the Universe via the Soundless Sound

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep." (Rumi)

"Listen, open a window to God and begin to delight yourself by gazing upon Him through the opening. The business of love is to make the window of the heart, for the breast is illumined by the beauty of the Beloved. Gaze incessantly on the face of your Beloved! Listen, this is in your power my friend!" (Rumi)

"Within thine own self, behold the splendor of thy Beloved." (Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India)

"In that state there is celestial humming of bees, and it is sweet melody to the ears. There the bees fly without wings, and resplendent pictures are painted without hands, and lightning flashes dazzle the eyes even when there are no clouds." (Book of Brahm Nirupan)

"First of all I salute the Satguru, Who showed me the Inconceivable God." (from the Manglacharan of the Anurag Sagar, Published by Sant Bani Books)

Meditation Upon the Soundless Sound - Surat Shabd Yoga --
On the Anahat or Unstruck Melody

Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, quoted in, Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achutanand, a NEW BOOK Translated into English by Pravesh K. Singh:

"The perceiver of this Primal Word gains access into Sach Khand (the Realm of Pure Consciousness or Primeval Sound) and does not have to come again into this mortal world [does not have to reincarnate]. When single-pointedness has been attained by diligent practice of Drishti yoga [Inner Sight, Inner Light Meditation] learnt from an Accomplished Guru, a large variety of Sounds are heard within.

"However, this calls for intent, concentrated listening during meditation practice, keeping eyes, ears, and mouth all quiet. One Sound that is heard leads to another Sound, which, in turn, takes one ahead to yet another Sound.

"Thus, getting hold of several Sounds, one after another, one finally gets hold of the most captivating Quintessential Primordial Sound.

"And, as even this Unstruck Melody is transcended, the Highest State, the Nameless [Anami], the Soundless State [Anadi, Pure or True State of God] is attained."

Going Beyond the Universe
By Shahi Swami

"God is perceivable only through the soul. But our individual soul has become surrounded or covered by several sheaths or subtle bodies [astral, causal, etc…]. So long as it remains in the captivity of these various subtle bodies and the physical body, it will be under the knowledge of these bodies and organs only, will be under illusory knowledge only, and will not be able to realize God. In order to know Him, the Jiva-atma or the individual soul shall have to liberate itself from these bondage's. The one who is able to liberate himself from the body and subtle bodies, is able to lift himself beyond the universe, also." (Param Poojya Shahi Swami Ji Maharaj)

Here, Shahi Swami speaks of the practice of Inner Light and Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga), and how it is possible during meditation to transcend the physical body (rise above body-consciousness), transcend the astral subtle body, transcend the causal or akashic subtle body, ascend beyond the mental subtle body, and shed the etheric subtle body. All that remains is one's true naked identity: atman, self or soul. After stripping off the garments of the outer worlds, the soul exclaims, "I Am That! I Am That!" In this sense, the soul has ascended beyond all the universes of space-time and experiences something of knowing itself in the Timeless State (Akal) or True Eternal Realm (Sat Lok). - James

"Sants reveal this truth. Only a gurumukh (faithful disciple) will believe and understand it." "This Mat (Teaching) of Sants is deep and hidden." None knows it except Sants. Radhasoami has revealed this Faith. Some seekers after truth will accept it." (Soami Ji Maharaj)

"Only the connoisseur, who will test the Shabda and listen to the Teachings with full attention, and within whom these Teachings will dwell, only he will understand this. He within whom the Sun of Knowledge will manifest and remove the darkness of attachment -- only he will understand this. I am telling you this Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love) -- only rare saints will understand." (Anurag Sagar, Published By Sant Bani Books)

The Story of Ants in a Burning Log - How Dharamdas Met His Spiritual Master (Guru Kabir)

Dharma-das [Dharamdas] was extremely devout and practiced all the rules of charity toward the poor and guests. One day Dharma-das arrived at Mathura on a tour of sacred bathing places. After bathing in the Yamuna, he set about preparing his food. When he looked in the fire, he saw that an army of ants was desperately trying to escape from a burning log. He was filled with compassion and vowed not to eat the food. He put it on a plate and went out to find a suitable donee. Just then Kabir arrived in Mathura. Dharma-das offered the food to Kabir. Kabir told him: "Listen, merchant Dharma-das! When you were making this food, millions of ants were killed. Do you want to burden me with all this sin?" As Kabir spoke, all the rice grains on the plate turned into ants and began to crawl back to the ground.

Dharma-das then asked Kabir who he was. Kabir said: "In this Kali Yuga my name is Kabir..... I gave you a boon in a previous life. For this reason I have come here to enlighten you."

(Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das's Kabir Parachai, a translation of the Kabir Parachai, David Lorenzen, SUNY Press, New York)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Wandering Mind and the Path of Return

The Wandering Mind
and the Path of Return - Light and Sound on the Path

Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open?
-- Rumi

"'The ocean of birth and death' is people's thoughts. Random thoughts come from nowhere in an instant, occurring and passing away, impossible to stop altogether. The recurring of a thought is 'birth,' the passing away of a thought is 'death.' In the space of a single day, we are born and die thousands of times, so transmigration is right in front of us -- no need to wait until we die to experience it." (Chen Yingning, commentary on a Taoist text)

"The individual soul (jiva), bound by illusion (maya), remains in the cycle of death and birth. This is the cause of one's suffering. In order to escape from this cycle of death and rebirth we must experience realization of the Supreme Being." (Maharshi Mehi)

"The mind is your servant, like fire it is a good servant but a bad master, you see. It won't let you go unless you progress." (Kirpal Singh)

Also See, Prisoners of Our Own Habitual Thinking":http://on.fb.me/iUPbCH

In the Book of Amar Mul, Dharam Das
asks how it is that Jivas [souls] fail to realize their
unity with God. Sat Guru Kabir replies:

"All the Jivas came from Satya-Loka [True, Eternal Realm]
undefiled and devoid of Karma.
The clouds lift up the water from the ocean
and rain down pure water,
but in contact with the earth the water becomes impure.
Then is the Jiva embraced by Maya [illusion];
the body at birth is defiled by Karma.
As the air purifies the impure water,
so does Gyan [Gnosis, Spiritual Acquaintance]
remove Karma and the purity of the Jiva is restored.
Knowing itself, it separates itself from the water
and being disembodied
reaches the Durbar [The Abode, Satya Loka].
The Atma [soul] mingles with Paramatma [God],
as the rivers flow into the ocean.
Only in this way
can Paramatma be found.
The Atma [soul] without Shabda* is blind
and cannot find the path.
He who sees Atma-Raam [God, Supreme Soul] is present everywhere;
all he sees is like himself,
there is nought else beside God.
'I am he, I am he; the true, Kabir.'"

* Shabda: The Positive Power, Current of Divine Light and Sound,

Tagged: know thyself, kabir, amar mul, soul, supreme soul, God, realization, sant mat, sat lok, karma, maya,

"Love is like a deep sea. Only that lover (of God) who will dive into it fearlessly shall be able to get the pearl of ultimate happiness in it. And one who will not be able to muster up enough courage to dive into it, shall remain sitting at the beach. He will remain without love in this world. How will he get the pearls of ultimate happiness then?" (from the Sakhis of Guru Kabir)

Transcending Mind in Meditation Through the Divine Sound Current

Kabir taught, "Subjugate the mind by finding the inner Sound; this precisely is the sahaj (natural) yoga. The True or Unstruck Sound (Word) is our very essence; this body of ours is otherwise unreal or impermanent."

Sant Charandas Ji further says, "By meditating on the Word, the practitioner becomes the same as God or Brahman. By practising this meditation, all obstacles are removed."

In the Nadabindu Upanishad it is written about the Nada Dhyan [Cosmic Sound Meditation] that, "Sidelining all worries and all effort, one should mainly focus on the exploration of Nada. By experiencing this, the mind gets dissolved into the Nada. The mind thus, absorbed in the Nada, does not crave anymore for the sensory objects."

Nada itself is Brahma [God]. We should absorb our mind in this very Nada. Adi Shankaracharya has stated in the Yogataravali:

"Lord Shiva, the propounder of the Yoga Shastra, has listed 25,000 ways of dissolution of mind. Amongst these, Nadanusandhana (the practice of meditating on the inner Sound) is the best as well as the easiest way.

"I bow to Thee O Nada!
You elevate me on to the highest throne.
It is only with your grace
that my prana-vayu (vital life-air)
and my mind
get dissolved
in the highest echelon
of the Supreme Lord.

"Therefore, renouncing all sorts of worries, with an alert and focused mind.... those who yearn for union with the Highest should meditate on the Divine Sound within".

(Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand Baba,
published by Santmat Satsang Samiti, Chandrapur, India)

When the Mind Wanders During Meditation - Pratyahara - The Art of Refocusing

Swami Achyutanand: The mind is, by its very nature, fickle and prone to frequently straying from manas japa [simran, zikhr, mantra of sacred name or names] and manas dhyan. When this happens during meditation, it should be immediately brought back to focus on its due target. Thus, perseveringly practicing pratyahara (the process of applying the mind back, again and again, every time it drifts away, to the selected target), the mind slowly gains in strength and is able to concentrate on its goal. With the mind getting focused thus, the inner Current: the Current of Light, is subsequently easy to grasp, facilitating the journey ahead [the inward journey]. This is why, Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj) has stated:

"The mind (while attempting to focus on a fixed target during meditation) often goes astray with numerous thoughts. In all such cases when the mind wanders away from the target (as soon as its flight to objects or subjects other than the target is apparent), immediately bring it back, again and again, and refocus on your target.

"Thus practicing 'pratyahara' (the technique of repeatedly bringing the mind back to focus on its target or goal every time it strays), acquire the state of 'dharana' (the state of mind consisting of being focused on the target for a short duration) [an increment of time spent in quality meditation]."

Move ahead and ascend within yourself, counsels Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, "Holding onto the Current in the Inner Sky, then move further ahead."

We will have to merge into the Current of Light that is there within our own body. Those practitioners who assiduously practice meditation will behold wonderful spectacles within.

(Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand Baba, Translated Into English by Pravesh K. Singh)

"Through regular and rigorous practice of the Yoga of Light (Drishti Meditation) ... the shaking of the attention would automatically subside as the attention (surat) slowly matures (becomes absolutely fixed or stilled). The Tenth Door (Til Dwara or Third Eye) will break open under the piercing thrust of the focused gaze ... So keep on gazing at it constantly with all your attention, says Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj." (quoted in, Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand, translated into English by Pravesh K. Singh)

"Knowledge of the Sar Shabd (True Sound, Essence of Reality) has such power that it can quickly destroy the karmas of the present life. This is indeed very desirable fruit of such knowledge that needs to be thoughtfully considered and understood. Knowledge of the Essence of Reality dawns within and gives enlightenment." (Brahm Nirupan of Kabir)

"Contemplating on the Sat Shabd [True Sound], even for half of a moment, confers much more spiritual merit than living in the holy city of Kashi for millions of years." (Brahm Nirupan of Kabir)

"Listen to the Sound Current every day when you are free, and do Simran even while walking. Then all your worldly work will by done by the Master Himself. Do not worry in any way. The Lord Himself has given you this Way to meet Him, so you should consider this your great good fortune and you should always hold onto the Sound Current. One day it will surely take you to Sach Khand." (Baba Jaimal Singh)

"The morning time is the best for you to practice Bhajan [listening to the Sound Current]." (Huzur Maharaj)

Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Volume One, by Swami Ji Maharaj, is online, both as a webpage and PDF file: HTML:http://bit.ly/l8SXC4

Sar Bachan Poetry, Volume Two is available as a PDF file:http://bit.ly/j256yW