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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Basic Ethical Foundation of Sant Mat

The Basic Ethical Foundation of Sant Mat

Genuine Masters (Sant Satgurus) from the beginning to time to the living present, East and West, have articulated the following basic ethical principals below. All or any authentic branches of Sant Mat or Radhasoami Faith (founded by Kabir, Dharam Das, Tulsi Sahib, Soami Ji Maharaj, Huzur Maharaj/Rai Saligram, Shiv Brat Lal, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh, Maharshi Mehi, etc... and their successors) have always adhered to these and continue to do so. These same precepts are also to be found in forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. I also know of expressions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity that advocate them as well.

I mention this, as there are always a few new age or metaphysical-type voices in the West arguing to minimize the moral component of spirituality, suggesting for instance that strict adherence to a compassionate vegetarian diet is somehow merely "cultural", based only upon geography. Yet there is no longitude and latitude of Shabd. There is no "East and West" within you, or with the laws of physics, or quantum physics on the material plane. The law of gravity applies East or West, compassion and peaceful ways of living also are the universal values of the soul. To be sure, there is a moral compass within. 

Rather than limiting or restricting, these values help to protect us, and others, from harm, promote mentality clarity, a peaceful way of living conducive to serious meditation practice, and, if followed, reduce suffering in the world. The Path of the Masters, and it's spiritual practice known as Surat Shabd Yoga, is a timeless universal path of mysticism. 

Of course, the Sant Satgurus articulate many other helpful principals of ahimsa in thought, word, and deed (see the Sakhi Granth of Kabir, the Bijak, Sar Bachan Radhasoami, writings of Sawan Singh, etc...), but these below make for a great beginning! a healthy foundation for one's spiritual journey following Sant Mat.

And, last but not least. Quite often in the West when it comes to the question of the vegetarian diet, colored by a "Greco-Roman" or European version of Jesus, people exclaim, "What about the fishes with the loaves and Passover Lamb?" Therefore, further below, is a passage from one of the Ebionite gospels used, not by Paul or later religious institutions, but by Aramaic-speaking disciples of the original Jesus Movement of Palestine, who were vegetarians and preserve a fascinating account of events and teachings. Its author also had very complementary and respectful things to say about kindred souls from India he recognized as following the same ethical and spiritual principals.

May the Blessings Be,
James Bean

Moral Requirements for Initiation into Sant Mat

1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs (intoxicants);

2. Ahimsa (Non-Violence in thought, word, and deed) including in the area of diet, as in following a vegetarian diet (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs);

3. Leading a truthful life;

4. Practicing non-stealing: an honest, ethical source of income;

5. Loyalty to ones spouse;

. Another Version of the same Precepts

1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. This precept also requires strict adherence to a lacto-vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, poultry nor eggs, fertilized or non-fertilized).

2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.

3) Refrain from taking what is not yours.

4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.

5) Refrain from using intoxicants.

An Amazing Passage from One of the Ebionite Vegetarian Gospels

"There are likewise amongst the Bactrians,
in the Indian countries,
immense multitudes of Brahmans,
who also themselves,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
and peaceful customs and laws,
neither commit murder nor adultery,
nor worship idols,
nor have the practice of eating animal food,
are never drunk,
never do anything maliciously,
but always fear God."

-- Recognitions of Clement