Saturday, February 18, 2012
Going Beyond the Universe -- Light and Sound on the Path
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PODCAST: February 2012 Sant Mat Satsang PODcast: "The Role of the Master is to Bring Us Into the Direct Experience of God" -- also an update about the Sant Mat Library -- GO TO: http://bit.ly/y2eMvE
PODCAST: Education For A More Peaceful Planet: The Ethical Foundation of the Masters -- a presentation on peace and ahimsa (non-violence in thought, word, and deed) as practiced in Sant Mat as well as Jainism -- Spiritual Awakening Radio: http://bit.ly/ApIDvU
"Do not feel lonely; the entire universe is inside of you." (Rumi)
"Love is fearless in the midst of fear." (Rumi)
"When I am silent,
I fall into the place where everything is Music." (Rumi)
"In the modem scientific age, science and humanity is in the search of ultimate truth. Sustained efforts are being made from both the ends of the spectrum but considerable success so far has not been realized. Science and humanity seek to achieve ultimate truth with their limited knowledge of mind and matter i.e. the ordinary consciousness: states of waking and sleep. Ultimate truth is not matter nor it is material -- it is Spirit, Pure Spirit and nothing but Spirit. It can only be realized by entering into higher states of consciousness. Transformation to higher states of consciousness is the path traversed towards ultimate truth -- God realization. Sant Mat -- the Religion of Sants -- describes such a path leading to the Portal of spiritual consciousness and the mansion of the Supreme Spirit." (Gurdeep Singh, Scholar, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India [Abstract of Presentation Papers], from, "Spiritual Consciousness Studies"
-- Spircon 2010, Agra)
"The path leading to God is within your heart. Enter into the ajna-chakra [Third Eye Center] and you will find your Beloved." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
"God is not a matter of assumption but a subject of actual perception and realization. He can be seen with the Divine Eye." (Ashutosh)
"Do the repetition of God and forget Him not (Japi Gobinda bisari jini jai). Fulfill the purpose of your birth by practicing concentration. Be steadfast in the remembrance of God. Practice meditation with love, and sing the glory of God. The human body [within] is the door to jivamukti [salvation, liberation]." -- Dadu (Encyclopedia of the Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal)
The Third Eye Center is the Place of Purification from the Effects of the Outer Senses and Impressions, and is the Field of Vision for the True Worship of God in Meditation
From the Jabala Upanishad:
Thereafter the sage Atri asked of Yajnavalkya: "How am I to realize the Self which is Infinite and Unmanifest -- the Imperceptible Atman?"
Yajnavalkya said: ....."The Infinite Imperceptible Self is worshiped ....... between varana and nasi. What are varana and nasi? Varana is that which dispels all the evils done by the sense-organs, and that which destroys all the sins done by sense-organs is called nasi. Where is that place? That place is at the location of both the eye-brows and the nose. That is also the meeting place of this world and the next.
"The Brahmajnanis [gnostics or knowers of God] worship at this meeting place. By meditating at that Point, they attempt to realise Brahman [God, the Lord of Love]."
(Jabala Upanishad quoted in, Satsang Yoga, Part One, Passages from Hindu Scriptures Compiled by Maharshi Mehi)
Transforming Ordinary Consciousness into Spiritual Consciousness -- from Wakeful-sleep to God-realization
"The Merciful Supreme Being and Sant Satguru reveal to their true parmarthi jivas [spiritual souls, initiates, disciples, chelas] that they are Chaitanya [Spirit, Consciousness], are the Ansas [particles, rays, emanations] of the Supreme Being. They should therefore establish their connection with their Father-Mother who is the Supreme Chaitanya and make this connection much more intimate, so that they may attain His Region i.e. the Realm of Pure Spirit, where there is no Maya [illusion], and attain the joy and bliss of His Darshan [divine Vision]. People have been advised to perform the practices of Surat Shabda Yoga Marg [the way of inner Light and Sound Meditation]. The practice of Surat Shabda Yoga, which has been mercifully revealed by the Saints in this age, is beneficial for all jivas [souls]. The Spirit can reach the Original Home, beyond the limits of Maya. The current, which is the current of the Spirit and also the current of Shabda, is the current of the Name. The current of the mind and the spirit which is flowing outward and downward towards the enjoyments of the world and the objects of Maya should be turned away from these and made to ascend upward within oneself." (Prabha Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Sanskrit, DEI, Agra [Abstract of Presentation Papers], from, "Spiritual Consciousness Studies" -- Spircon 2010, Agra)
"The Saints say, 'O individual souls! Recognize your Supreme Father. You are drowning in the ocean of samsara [this world of changes], full of contradictions, and bearing extreme hardships. Remaining ignorant of your body, mind and senses, you are being variously tortured. With the secrets given to you by the Master, enter the Tenth Door [Third Eye]. Ascending the currents of Divine Light and Divine Sound within, come out of all the coverings [subtle bodies associated with various inner regions: astral, causal, etc...].' Mehi says, self-knowledge is possible beyond the dualism of mind and body. Then you will recognize your Supreme Father and all your woes will vanish." (Padavali of Maharshi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj)
Going Beyond the Universe
By James Bean (Exploring the World Religions Column)
Copyright February, 2012 -- All Rights Reserved
In this Internet Age we seem to be drowning in information, distracted by a million voices. A world of knowledge and opinion my be at our fingertips, yet wisdom remains a bit more illusive. My goal with these articles, blogs, public speaking, and podcasts is not so much about sharing of information as it is about revealing a state of Being and Becoming.
The Less Organization, the Better
Each of the great world religions presents its own version of a "treasure-map" to enlightenment or God, along with voluminous histories, customs, and beliefs, yet souls do not yearn merely to collect "maps" containing information. Swami Ji Maharaj of Agra once said of the world religions: "Without Bhakti [love], they are all hollow and sham, outer husks without a kernel." It is the inner "kernel" or "seed" of Life we're really after, not developing attachments to institutions or organizations.
Throughout history, it has often been certain rigid religious organizations that ultimately: 1) become the adversaries of mystics and Gnostics; favoring institutional life over inner exploration; 2) can be fearful of scientific research and academic freedom; 3) might have a tendency to overreach, ever thinking up new and excessive rules or regulations, at war even with their own members; 4) on occasion have banned books and "unauthorized" gatherings of those re-labeled as being "heretics;" 5) often claiming to be superior to all other sects -- the "one-and only-true path", and, 6) have all-too-often been opponents of equality and human rights.
I love this quote by Huzur Baba Sawan Singh about need to always maintain humanity, compassion, genuineness, honesty, and simplicity as the guiding principals and foundation for public gatherings in the name of spirituality, which in the East are called "Satsangs" or "Sanghas". "'Satsang' has more than one meaning: First, it means the meeting of the Master and a disciple. Second, it means the meeting of all Satsangis [followers, devotees] who may attend, whether the Guru is present in body or not. There is no formality about it, none at all. It is a simple meeting of all disciples who can attend. We avoid formality and anything that may have the appearance of a rigid organization. The less organization, the better. And there must be no idea of leadership. The only leader in Sant Mat is the Guru. Just the Master and His disciples meeting together is the only organization we have." I love the libertarian, heart-centered simplicity of this statement.
Pulling Back the Veil -- Being and Becoming -- Knowing Ourselves
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a Light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." (Carl Jung) That's very close to the definition of Guru according to Hinduism: "one who takes the darkness away", or is, in other words, a "Light-giver". The role of the genuine spiritual Master is to escort us into Heavenly Realms so we may have our own experience of the divine and see for ourselves the beauty that up to now has remained hidden.
The soul seeks to actually realize the "treasure" of it's own Self -- Buddha Nature, Atman, New Adam, Pearl of Great Value, Christ-within-you, the Light-Spark of the Divine, which is the Real Me/You. Says Namdev: "I wandered through the cosmos in search of the treasure but found it within me." Says Tulsi Sahib: "Within thine own self, behold the splendor of thy Beloved." Rumi says, "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 door-sill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep." "Open a window to God and begin to delight yourself by gazing upon Him through the opening." (Rumi) "The Lord will make the pupil of your eye his home, and your eye will expand to contain the entire universe." (Namdev)
This mystic-poem by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India beautifully reflects upon the inward journey of the soul back to God:
Within this body
breathes the secret essence.
Within this body
beats the heart of the Vedas.
Within this body
shines the entire Universe,
so the saints say.
Hermits, ascetics, celibates --
all are lost
in endless guises.
Seers and sages perfectly parrot
the scriptures and holy books,
blinded by knowledge.
Despite their perfect practice,
they discover no destination.
Only the saints
who know the body's heart
have attained the Ultimate, O Tulsi.
Realize this, and you've found your freedom
(while teachers trapped in tradition
know only the mirage
in the mirror).
When we sit for meditation and gaze into the darkness with eyes closed, we're encountering the world of "within", opening up to the possibility of seeing via the Third Eye, also known as the Wisdom Eye. This is the Portal or Door to the Kingdom of the Heavens that are inside. This is what Rumi and the Masters are attempting to show us. For those taught the methods of meditation practice by a qualified living teacher and spiritual guide, we soon will discover that the darkness is no longer dark. There is a pinpoint of light, and an inner sky, inner stars, moons, suns, many colors, dark voids, and tunnels that go into the Light.
As the saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear." A living teacher, being fully acquainted with the 'landscape' of Inner Space, is able to impart to initiate-candidates valuable guidance on how to safely make the journey of ascension to the Inner Regions during meditation. This kind of spiritual transmission and the details of meditation practice are not found in books, old scriptures of the past, and are not for sale, but are given freely.
We also will discover during extended periods of meditation that there is Sound coming from beyond the silence. "When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is Music," says Rumi. "Bring the sky beneath your feet and listen to Celestial Music everywhere." (Rumi) Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has a great description of the Inner Sound in his book, Mind Beyond Death: "It is easiest to hear this Sound when it is quiet, particularly at nighttime. Once you have identified this Sound, then you place your awareness on it without wavering. Resting your mind in the Sound, you continue to listen, going further and further into the Sound itself."
More On Inner Sound Meditation In Buddhism
"Listening to the inner Sound brings the heart into a position of acute inner awareness. The Sound is always there. We don't have to create it. It is ever present. So it is a good symbol for Ultimate Reality itself." (Ajahn Amaro)
"How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara [Quan Yin]! 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)
"You can experience the Sound of silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound..... When you're just with the cosmic Sound alone, there is pure attention, no sense of a person or personality, of 'me and mine'". (Ajahn Sumedho, The Sound of Silence)
"When meditating with this Nada [Inner Mystic Sound], it is essential that the aspirant always seek and follow the particular aspect of it that is most subtle and 'ultra' in pitch as well as in brilliance. Even when the Sound becomes very shrill and loud in moments of deep concentration, he [or she] must not be tempted to be satisfied with it merely because it is sharp and resonant. He should relentlessly attempt to rise further and further into ever more subtle spheres of its mysterious Invisible Kingdom." (Edward Salim Michael, "The Law of Attention -- Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance", Published by Inner Traditions)
We are all connected to these subtle realms of Light, Sound, and Heavenly Regions but normally remain deaf and blind to them in our day-to-day experience, being always completely enmeshed in the worlds of mind and matter. It rarely occurs to most that it's possible to explore consciousness itself, the "lost" buried treasure, our true Self or Soul, the Observer.
Beyond the Universe
"The Guru's word is a stairway to heaven." (Sant Namdev)
"So long as a spirit does not rise above the body-consciousness, it remains a stranger to the spiritual realms beyond". (Rumi)
"God is perceivable only through the soul or spirit. 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, referring to his own mystical explorations and that of others who follow this same practice, speaks of Inner Light and Sound meditation -- transcendental seeing and hearing, and how it's 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 subtle bodies and corresponding realms they are associated with), the soul exclaims, "I Am That! I Am That! I Am That!" In this sense, the soul has ascended beyond all the universes of space-time and experiences knowing itself in the Timeless State (Akal) or True Eternal Realm. What an amazing thing to proclaim to "child humanity" -- we can go beyond the universe.
Swami Achyutanand Baba is one of the eldest living disciples and spiritual successors of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, as well as an eminent scholar in the tradition of Sant Mat founded by Param Sant Tulsi Sahab of Hathras. Swami Ji has had the rare fortune of very prolonged close serving association of more than three decades with Maharshi Mehi, who appointed him as the founder editor of the spiritual monthly "Shanti Sandesh" (Message of Peace), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India.
Swami Achyutanand Ji even at this ripe age has dedicated his life to propagating the ideals of Sant Mat by widely traveling across the length and breadth of India, his mother country.
"Those practitioners who assiduously practice meditation will behold wonderful spectacles within." (Swami Achyutanand Baba)
He has a number of books to his credit like, Vindu -- Nada Dhyan, Santmate Ki Baten, Navadha Bhakti, Bandaun Guru Pad Kanj, Maharshi Mehi Ke Ashirwachan Aur Upadesh, Sukti Sudha Sagar, etc. He also is the current editor of the quarterly "Adhyatma Prakash" (Light of Spirituality), published by Maharshi Santsewi Dhyan Yogashram, Agarpara, Kolkata, India.
Online Sant Mat Book: Yoga Of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand Baba -- Audio/Talking Book and Several E Book Options:
"My true disciple is one who has seen the Divine Light within during meditation". (Guru Gobind Singh)
"The process by which the secret of how to realize God is taught is called deeksha or initiation. It is always rewarding to seek initiation from a Satguru or preceptor." (Swami Achyutanand Baba)
Questions about initiation, locating a satsang meeting in your area? Email me: James@SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com
Jai Guru, Jai Sat Naam, Radhasoami, In the Divine Love, Light, and Sound of the Beloved,
At your holy feet lies the sphere of Divine Light even as I have fallen into the dark well (of ignorance).
Save me, O Guru, save me! Ascend me into the domain of your radiant form.
You instructed me to rise through the Sushumna or the Til DwAr, but I am unable to find that path within.
O Gurudev! Have pity on me, dispel the darkness (of my inner sky) and lift me up so that I may move on to the other side of the Til or the Dark Point.
Make me fly high into the star-studded (inner) sky and even higher into the Region of the Thousand-petalled Lotus (sahasra-dal kanwal).
Where Divine Light keeps shining bright, where is seen the full moon's Light. O Gurudev! Let these secret splendours be manifest unto me!
Trikuti is the source or origin of the three qualities/attributes (namely sat, raj and tam) which is the abode of the Para Brahma.
O Gurudev! I beseech at your sacred feet; Help me so that I may attain to this house (Trikuti).
Here in the Trikuti the Divine Sun shines in all its brilliance.
Where Shuddha Brahma resides and which is renowned as the "ShUnya Desh" (Void Region).
Guide me into the Manasarovar, and make me grasp your own name (the Quintessential Primordial Sound/Word).
The Word (your name) is capable of fulfilling all our wishes and is the essence of the whole creation.
Lend me even greater power so that I may soar into Maha Shunya (Greater Void),
And even beyond...
I may enter into the Bhanwar Gufa (Whirling Cave) -- but alas! even here the pain of transmigration is not relieved entirely.
Therefore, O Sadguru, empower me to climb into the Sataloka (The realm of Pure Consciousness or Quintessential Unstruck Word).
O Gurudev! Catapulting me thus into the Sata-loka, make me absolutely pure (free of all coverings, shrouds, veils).
Bless me that I may cross even the attribute-less Sataloka (Kaivalya Region, or the Realm of Pure Consciousness) and attain to the Nameless/Soundless State.
O Lord! This way shower your blessings by elevating me unto my own true Home (the Domain of the Absolute Lord that is, God).
(Padavali of Maharshi Mehi, translated by Pravesh K. Singh)
Practice Bindu-Dhyana everyday like a Chatak bird,
Glimpsing the luminous symmetry of God uninterruptedly,
Enter into the solar sphere immediately;
The Quintessential One known as Raam-Naam is the true voice or Sound,
It emanates from its place of origin and flows down the universes and the solid mass;
Merging Surat [the attention of the soul] with the Quintessential One, meet your Lord,
And eliminate the cycle of birth and death;
Without devotion to one's Guru and service to the sages, nothing fructifies;
So always repeat the name of Guru and concentrate on his lotus-feet,
With concentration on Bindu, the luminous star emerges,
And then the Sun and the Moon appear,
Along with these the currents without being impaired Sounds are heard,
The Sounds gather -- concentrate at a point between the two eyebrows,
And at this point only, the spiritual aspirant witnesses and hears all the Sounds;
All praise to the Satguru who has acquainted Mehi with these applications,
You are magnificent, O my competent Guru!
I seek your shelter day and night, says Mehi. (Maharshi Mehi)
"Man is what he thinks about all day long. One can only live one moment at a time. Emerson said: 'There is no moment in eternity more important than this moment.' All real good or evil that may befall him is from himself. If a man lives in a good or bad way in the real present, he will ensure the same in the future. If you have bad thoughts for others, you will harm not them only but yourself as well, as thoughts are very potent. So try to live in the living present, forgetting the past and the future -- and fill every moment of your life with simple trust in Him in all loving devotion." (Kirpal Singh)
"Practice the repetition of the True Name, which alone is of value (sumiru Sat Naam niju kam hai jahi te)......Have kindness in your heart, look with compassion......Being detached, brush aside all worldly delusions, and take refuge under the Satguru's holy feet, which is the kingdom of eternal bliss.....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 [illusion, god of time and death] will flee away. There the dazzling Light will shine and the true Sound will resound, which will destroy heavy sins [karma], and place a divine canopy over your head." (Shabd/Hymn/Mystic-Verses of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar)