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: The August Sant Mat Satsang PODcast will be titled, "Spircon Revisited", and will be a follow up of an earlier program with Mark Juergensmeyer, with more information about the inter-faith Sant Mat event that took place in Agra (Spiritual Consciousness Studies: Spircon). Coming soon at:
Tao Te Ching: "The sage does not accumulate for himself. The more he uses for others, the more he has himself. The more he gives to others, the more he possesses of his own. The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete."
By Maharshi Mehi
1. Stillness or steadiness is the essence of Shanti.
[Shanti is a Sanskrit word with several English meanings: peace, tranquility, bliss, etc. The peace which results from some degree of communion with God is Shanti.]
2. He who has attained Shanti is a Saint.
3. Sant Mat encompasses the thoughts and Way of Saints.
4. The desire for attaining Shanti is natural in human beings.
In the Upanishads the formula for the attainment of Shanti is expounded by the seers and saints of these ancient works. Similar views have been expressed by the saints of all times, including such saints as Guru Nanak Sahab and Kabir Sahab who expounded their views in the Punjabi and Hindi languages respectively. Such expressions are for the inspiration and edification of all people.
However, the Upanishads uniquely and fully describe the means for attaining Shanti and describe the means for attaining the Highest Wisdom. That is why the Upanishads are considered the foundation of Sant Mat. Further, a comprehensive exposition of the Divine Word-Sound is given in the Upanishads which leads to the Highest Wisdom. The Upanishads explain the yogic techniques and systematic views of transcending thought and attaining the Absolute through the use of Sound (Yoga of Surat-shabda). Sant Mat follows the yogic path as prescribed in the Upanishads and specifically employs Surat-Shabda-Yoga in its practices. The result of such practice is the attainment of the Highest Goal, the knowledge of the Supreme. (Philosophy of Liberation)
Seeing the Unseen Within
Rumi: "Everything you see has its roots in the Unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same. Every wonderful sight will vanish; Every sweet word will fade, But do not be disheartened, The source they come from is eternal, growing, Branching out, giving new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is within you And this whole world is springing up from it."
Sant Namdev: "I wandered through the cosmos in search of the treasure but found it within me."
Rumi: "If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it."
"My eyes have turned inward. My heart clings to the feet of Ram [God]. I worship only God-within, nothing else, says Namdev."
"Always be in rapport with the Lord And enjoy true contentment - This is the state of ineffable serenity. There is no peace except in the Name of the Lord - Meditate on it with one-pointed attention.
"Experience the state of superconsciousness Where the Lord's love surges And you will see your own form In each particle of the creation." -- Sant Namdev
"God [Hari] is my companion in life and death. Hari, who rescued the drowning creature.
"Hari, the Giver of joy is always with me. I am immersed in the name of Hari says Namdev."
"Service. Worship. Remembrance. Meditation. All are false without God..... Sing the name Ram [God] the State of Nirvana." (Sant Namdev)
"Dharm Dass pat khol dekho, tattva men nihatattva hai; kahe kabir nihatattva darse, awagawan niwariye. O Dharam Dass! Remove the veil of ignorance, and see that in the manifest forms is the unmanifest God. Kabir says that when God shows Himself to you, your cycles of birth and death will vanish, and you will gain immortality." (Book of Satsang Prayers)
Love bestirs the heart of the separated lover for God, and God responds by enlightening him. He then realizes that the soul and God are one. (Tisa Tantra/Thirty Gems of Kabir)
The Yoga of Inner Seeing and Hearing -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation
"The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the nine senses must be collected at the tenth gate (the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, center between the eyebrows). Therein lies the path for our return. This is the act of leaving the gates of the sense organs and becoming established in the soul. We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State. The Divine Essence permeates all beings yet transcends them." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
"Avalokiteshvara Buddha [Quan Yin], the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired transcendental powers of boundless freedom and fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid." (Surangama Sutra, Buddhist Scripture)
Reference to meditation on Inner Light and Sound Meditation found in the ancient scriptures know as the Vedas: "May the seeker of Divine knowledge learn its secret from a True Guru, practice (meditation thus learnt) and perceive the divine Light and Sound within. May seekers pray to God for getting such an accomplished Guru from whom this secret could be learnt!" (Yajurveda, Chapter 11, ManDal 3)
"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)
"Explaining 'Word' or Sound Current, Kabir says that for practical purpose the Sound Current assumes the form of Guru in this world and reforms the souls. Satguru carries a message from God and ties us to the thread of Naam Simran (i.e. concentration on the Word)." (Anurag Sagar)
Kabir: "So plunge into the Truth, find out who the Teacher is. Believe in the Great Sound!"
"A word has a natural characteristic or propensity to attract or draw its perceiver towards its source or origin. That word which has emanated from the Supreme Lord, therefore, possesses the property of leading its perceiver to God. It is also imbued with the qualities of its source and, therefore, endows its perceiver as well with the same. Therefore, Shabda Sadhana or Nadanusandhana, the Yoga of Sound has been regarded as the most essential and the loftiest meditation in Sant Mat." (Swami Achyutanand Baba, Yoga Of Inner Light and Sound)
Stilling the Thoughts of the Mind By Meditating On the Inner Sound, By Swami Achyutanand Baba
With Nada Dhyana [meditation on the Inner Sound] the mind gets completely dissolved. As a result of its dissolution, the mind forgets about the sensory objects, as has been depicted in the Nadabindu Upanishad:
"Just as the honey bee, while sipping the nectar of flowers cares not for their fragrance...The mind that is ever connected to the Divine Sound longs no more for any sensory objects. For it has come under the spell of the Divine Melody and has forsaken its fickle nature for good."
The Upanishad has compared the mind to the poisonous cobra. The venomous cobra is capable of killing several persons with its deadly poison, but the snake charmer renders it non-poisonous by uprooting its venom teeth, and thus the snake's power of lethal bite is destroyed. Similarly, as a practitioner progresses in the Yoga of Sound, his extremely lustful or covetous mind forgets all the objects and never again yearns for them, as is stated in the following lines of the Nadabindu Upanishad:
"The serpent-mind practicing Nada dhyana (Yoga of Sound) perseveringly gets completely lost in it and concentrates itself solely on the Nada (Divine Sound), forgetting all other objects around it."
"We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars...." (Carl Sagan)
"O Soul (Surat)! Who are you and whence have you come? You are a ray from Purush (the Supreme Being) and an inhabitant of the purely Spiritual Region." (Swami Ji Maharaj/Sant Radhasoami Sahib)
"The teaching of the Saints is to raise the soul from the lower chakras to the higher chakras -- till it reaches the highest chakra, where it initially landed, and then reach the MASTER -- THE SUPREME SOUL, from where it initially parted. The path of upliftment is the same as that of descent, except that the movement is reverse, i.e., ascent in place of descent." (H.N. Saksena, The Secret of Realisation)
O Guru! May my consciousness ascend the sky.
Kindly help me catch the current of seven melodies and
the Quintessential One.
After allowing me to catch the support of your Radiant Being,
Let me have a glimpse of your highly resplendent Vision.
(Padavali of Maharshi Mehi)
"This world is perishable and so also is all that pertains to it. A wise man is he, who, having closely examined the nature of existence here, has realized that it is all transitory and illusory, and consecrated his human form by devoting himself to Bhajan and Simran (listening to inner sounds and repetition of the Holy Name of the Supreme Being) and who, taking the fullest advantage of the various faculties which the Supreme Father has graciously endowed him with, has translated the invaluable jewel within him, which is Surat (spirit) or the essence of his being, to its original abode." (Soami Ji Maharaj)
Day is Night - Night is Day
"Use all your power to free the senses from attachment and aversion alike, and live in the full wisdom of the Self. Such a sage awakes to Light in the night of all creatures. That which the world calls 'day' is the night of ignorance to the wise." (The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verses 68 and 69, Eknath Easwaran translation)
"That, which is night to all beings (who are turned away from God), in that state the disciplined Yogi keeps awake. And that in which all beings are awake (enjoying the worldly pleasures and prosperity), is night to the enlightened seer." (Bhagavad Gita 2: 69 from the online translation at IndiaDivine[dot]org)
"Only a perfect Master and Shabd
(Quintessial Unstruck Sound)
Are your two true friends.
Dedicate your heart to them
And discard everything else."
-- Sant Radhaswami Sahib
"When we receive initiation from a Saint, practice Naam simran to retrace our consciousness from toes to a spot behind the eyes [Third Eye Center], only then something is accomplished." (Baba Kehar Singh)
Sant Mat Meditation: "Those practitioners who assiduously practice meditation will behold wonderful spectacles within." (Swami Achyutanand)
"The support of the soul is in the head, and now I will tell you of the
recognition of Shabda. One who gets connected with the Unrepeated Repetition to see gets the infinite-petaled lotus. When he reaches the astral door, he [ultimately] goes to Agam and Agochar [by way of] the True Path. His inner Self-where Adi Purush resides-gets enlightened. Recognizing Him, the soul goes to Him -- and He takes the soul to its origin. The soul is of the same essence as Sat Purush and is also called Jiva-Sohang." (Anurag Sagar)
Quality of Concentration in Meditation: "Single-pointedness results in absolute concentration, which causes ascension (vertical rise) enabling one to move onto a higher level or stage. This way it would be possible to transcend all illusory sheaths [subtle bodies, astral, causal, etc...]." (Maharshi Mehi, The Way of Liberation)
Subtle Bodies Associated With Inner Regions
From the Article, Visions of Allah
The process of gaining a vision of paradise and mystic transport has been described as "stripping off old garments" and replacing them with a new heavenly robe made of Light. In his Persian Sufi classic, Divine Flashes, Fakhruddin 'Iraqi describes the process:
"When the Beloved would exalt the lover, He strips from him the garments collected from all the worlds, and clothes him in the robe of His own attributes. Then the Beloved calls him by all his own attributes. Then the Beloved calls him by all his own names, and seats him in his own place. When the lover studies his new clothes he finds himself arrayed in different colors, and will wonder 'what is this beautiful tint, this garment so unique?'"
This quote from Divine Flashes reminds me of Saying 37 in the Gospel of Thomas, one of the earliest collections of the sayings of Jesus.
His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you will take your cloths and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then you will see the Son of the Living One and you will not be afraid." (The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller, Polebridge Press)
Sufism is a form of Islamic Gnosticism which really does have many affinities with earlier Gnostic mystical traditions of the middle east. Like other movements of the past that embrace spiritual experience and mystic transport through the Seven Heavens, Sufis have found it useful to compare out-of-body or ascension journeys to the stripping or shedding of garments. The above quote illustrates their view that each soul on the earth-plane is wearing several garments. We are souls wearing subtle bodies or coverings; our physical body is made out of the material substance of the physical universe. We are, as the late Dr. Carl Sagan put it, "star stuff pondering star stuff." Our bodies are made out of atoms that once came from stars and other objects in the cosmos. When we enter into contemplation and mystical states, our awareness is elsewhere; we become "dead to the world," have risen above body-consciousness.
In that sense, we have, for the duration of our meditation period, "stripped" ourselves of the garment of the body for the purpose of exploring other levels of our existence. The mystic traveler enters into what has been called "the fourth state of consciousness." In addition to the waking state, the dream state, the unconsciousness state of deep sleep, the truly holistic explorer can also integrate into his or her experience the spiritual worlds.
Mysticism teaches that there are many layers or levels of reality, that there are other garments that will eventually be shed during journeys of ascension. These garments or subtle bodies have been given names in Hebrew, Greek, Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, and other languages. In addition to the "garment" of the physical body, each soul is wearing several other garments or bodies, other sheaths that surround the soul (the True Self), allowing the soul to connect to the various regions of creation. Counting the physical plane as Level One, Level Two is called by many "the astral plane," made of astral stuff -- astral substance, existing at a slightly higher vibration in the astral region. Level Three is the causal body, made of causal or akashic substance, inhabiting the causal plane. Level Four is the mental body made of mind substance, and is part of the mental plane. The etheric body allows the soul to access that region. Above these worlds of mind and matter, the soul resides in the Timeless Spiritual Realm of Truth (Sat, Haq). Metaphysically speaking, we're already in heaven, we just don't know it! 'Iraqi says:
"By day I praised you but never knew it; by night slept with you without realizing; fancying myself to be myself; but no, I was you and never knew it!"
"From the Source of the Ocean opens a Window of Light. Awaken that resplendent Light within thee....Repeat the name of the Lord and secure Him." (Shabdavali of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)
"Moment by moment gather thy soul and hold it at the Eye Center. Cleanse thou the mirror of thy mind, and catch the Divine Melody with thy soul. If thy longing is keen, thou shalt pierce the veil and attain the Quintessence." (Shabdavali of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)
"Within thine own self, behold the splendor of thy Beloved. In the pupil of thine eye is a mole, wherein is hidden the entire mystery. Peep within and behold thou what lieth beyond this dark curtain. The secret of the fourteen realms will, for certain, be disclosed to thee. Let thy attention not slip, see that thou art ever vigilant." (Shabdavali of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)
"I beheld in the firmament an inverted well, and was filled with resplendence of Light within." (Shabdavali of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras)
Tulsi Sahib: "The disciple sees within himself the Akash (sky) which is like an inverted well, and merges his Surat [soul's attention] in it."
Chart of the Inner Regions: The Top-most Region is Anami (Nameless), Soundless (Anadi), Nirguna (Formless), Radhasoami -- The Lord of the Soul.
Surat Shabd Yoga: Surat refers to spirit and Shabd to the Sound Current; hence, it is the union the soul with Shabd; the spiritual exercise by which the Current of Consciousness is applied to the hearing of the Sound within; joining the mind and the Attention to the Sound Current. Surat Shabd Yoga: Union (Yoga) of the Soul (Surat) with the Inner Light and Sound of God (Shabd).
The Satguru: "When all the thought waves merge into the Divine Sound, they become Sound. There are no more thoughts. Only Word remains. The surati and Shabda cannot then be differentiated. When the surati unites with Shabda, it is just as when water mixes with milk and become one. Surati gives up its own identity and merges into the Word. Although surati and Shabda appear different, they are not really separate. Once the union has occurred, and the thought waves are silenced, bliss is experienced. When the waters of two rivers such as the Ganges and the Yamuna unite at Prayag, one cannot differentiate the waters, just so, when surati and Shabda unite, they are indistinguishable. However, for this to occur one has to meditate before that Oneness can be realized." (Prakash Mani Naam)
"When the soul (surat) mergeth into the Sound (Shabd) and becometh one with it, then one obtaineth the supreme Bliss. The lamp burneth inside, O Ravidas, and Divine Bliss ariseth within. Steeped in meditation with one-pointed attention, practice devotion to God, O Ravidas. Let the automatic repetition be continued within, Reverberating the True Naam." (Sant Ravidas)
"The divine Melody resounds within,
Upon hearing it, the mind rejoices!
And at long last, attains self-realization,
Never again to stray,
From devotion to the Eternal Teacher.
All its sufferings dissipate.
The soul grasps the rope of divine Melody,
And climbs upon it to liberation."
(Kabir, Songs of the Divine," Dr. J. Das)
Tulsi Sahib said: "When the Surat-disciple meets the Shabd-guru, the path will be traversed."
"The Divine Melody is always resounding when one becomes attuned to it through diligent meditation practice." (Brahm Nirupan of Kabir)
"I now daily hear Shabd in this mansion (of the body, Pind). All the time, I am engaged in this practice." (Swami Ji Maharaj)
"As long as the soul remains in the body, O brother, practice the Path of Shabda." (Anurag Sagar)
"Get detached from the world by associating with Shabd. Shabd removes the barriers." (Swami Ji Maharaj)
"Shabd alone can eradicate Karmas. Without Shabd, we are wandering homeless." (Swami Ji Maharaj)
"Saint Kabir says that our movement is that of a bird (represented by the Shabd); and that the Satguru has given us the key. With the resounding of Shabd, the doors have been flung open, that this Desh [realm] beyond Pind and And [the physical and astral] is ours." (from a hymn of Kabir quoted in, The Secret of Realisation, H.N. Saksena)
I fly as a bird, my wings the Word,
Saith Kabir I'm free, my Satguru liberates me.
My consciousness awoke
Only the Word did resound,
And then beyond the Pind and And,
my true home I
found. (Kabir, another translation of the verse above)
"The body is divided into four regions. These are the Pind or Pinda, the physical or material body; the And or Anda, the lowest part of Brahmand, the spiritual-material region; Brahmand, the spiritual-material region, which is mostly spiritual but mixed with a certain amount of refined matter; and Sach Khand, which is absolutely pure Spirit, the highest and only perfectly pure region. Sach Khand is also the only permanent region." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)
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.
Your heavy load is taken off.
Welcome Him in your heart,
so you will not be born
again and again.
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.
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.
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 [God's name]
will become your support.
Kabir, says, "He is limitless."
(Songs of Kabir from the Adi Granth, Nirmal Das, SUNY Press, NY)