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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Go Within Or Go Without -- Light and Sound on the Path

Go Within Or Go Without -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Digest of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses

"The desire of an individual to be free from sufferings and to attain the happiness of absolute peace is naturally present in the hearts of all. The purpose of Sant Mat is to provide a system which fulfills the desires of attaining absolute peace." (Maharshi Mehi)

RUMI: "Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that."

"O traveler! Seek the path that lies within you. You and your Beloved are in the same body. Your Beloved is pervading everywhere, but not being perceived. Those initiated by Guru are able to recognize Him within their bodies. O traveller! If you wish to go alone on the path of the Lord, look for the path within and do not delay. The four spheres of darkness, Light, Sound and Soundlessness [Anadi, Anami] -- they all lie within the temple of your body." (Padavali of Maharshi Mehi)

Awaken to the Resplendent Light Within You

Listen, O swan-soul, ascend to your true abode.
So says the Master again and again.
You do not pay attention to his words;
O finish your sorrows and joys and transmigrations.
If the deluded soul were to unite with her Source,
Never again would she be encumbered by body and mind.
From the Source of the Divine Ocean opens a Portal to the Light;
O awaken that resplendent Light within you.

-- Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Book of Shabdavali

"That a droplet is contained inside the ocean is common knowledge. But very rare are those who can behold the ocean (universes) to be contained within the droplet (body)." (Kabir)

Contents Below -- In This Issue/Mailing/Blog/Digest

* Happy Master's Day (Guru Purnima);

* Reaching the Beloved Lord of Love, by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras;

* Essence of Spirituality -- Kabir;

* Sant Mat History: Who Was Tulsi Sahib's Guru? Our One-And-Only Real Clue, The Ratnagar Rao Theory, etc.....;

* Meditation Practice: The Infinitesimal Point: Opening To Realms of Inner Light;

* The Journey Into Light and Sound: Inner Seeing and Listening;

Sant Mat Links -- Online Resources

* Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts -- Online Satsangs providing words of light and love for the spiritual journey, exploring the Sant Tradition of India, Santmat, Surat Shabd Yoga -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation, Radhasoami -- Radhaswami, Path of the Masters:

Recently added free podcasts-on-demand include: The Kabir Series, Parts One Through Five; The Reality and Not the Illusion of Having A Guru; The musically accompanied (sitar, flute, tablas) mystic poetry and teachings of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India; The Five Precepts and Ethical Foundation of the Masters; Meditation For Beginners; Dadu the Compassionate Mystic, Parts One and Two;

* Sant Mat Library -- Online Books -- Recommended Reading:

The Sant Mat Library is a comprehensive collection of links to Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and Surat Shabd Yoga E Books from a diversity of sources, also, Audio/Talking Books. These have been uploaded by various individuals at Google Books or Documents, Archive(org), Gutenberg(org), many Sant Mat and Radhasoami Websites, Kabir Panth Websites, Sikh Websites, Scribd, and other third-party online libraries around the world -- creating a kind of Sant Mat "Granth" or collection of spiritual discourses, satsang talks, hymns (bhajans, banis, shabds), scriptures, commentary, letters, mystic poetry and prose -- Literature of the Sants -- The Mystics of the East.

New sections have been added, making it much easier to navigate. In the 'Kabir, Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, and Nirguna Bhakti Sants of India' section of the Sant Mat e library there are some new books added: Namdev in the Adi Granth, Ravidas in the Adi Granth, Sheikh Farid in the Adi Granth, Classic Sants Quoted in the Adi Granth, another translation of Guru Nanak's Book of Sidh Gosht (Conversations With the Yogis), Sukhmani Sahib of Guru Arjan Dev, complete Adi Granth (Shri Guru Granth) -- Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa Translation, also the multi-language Interlinear Translation of the entire Granth from Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa, A Collection of Vegetarian Passages from the Sikh scriptures, two more translations of the Narada Bhakti Sutras, and an edition of the Bhagavad Gita I especially like. There are several more Prem Bani and Prem Patra volumes by Huzur Maharaj in the 'Radhasoami' section -- several other Radhasoami books added also. New material added to the 'Western Plagiarisms of India's Sant Mat Tradition' section, including on the Sufi origin of the HU Chant. In the 'Vegan' and 'Sant Mat History' sections there's new material also, linking to some of my updated versions of blogs or articles, which have now appeared at my Medium blog.

For Daily Spiritual Quotes/Quote of the Day/Social Networking Join Us @:
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* On the Spiritual Term "Sant Mat" According to the Teachings of Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, See:

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* Sant Mat Radhasoami Blog/Archive -- You can access this, and previous satsang newsletters here, going back many years:

* New Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality Blog at Medium:

Happy Master's Day! Devotees pay homage to their Guru or Spiritual Master especially on this day. This year, Guru Purnima or Poornima is commemorated on July 22nd, 2013.

Thankfully, there have been many honest, loving, radiant, Godly beings that have graced this planet with their enlightened compassion. They work with those who seek the path of the Masters and successfully practice Surat Shabd Yoga in a way that is almost identical to the Ideal spiritual path described by Swami Ji of Agra, Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, and Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, with a rich mystical approach to meditation practice, travelling quite far along in their journey back to God. For them these teachings of Sant Satgurus are not merely "group think" or “myth” or "belief" or about a "hypothesized" Higher Self sadly never realized. They have very real experiences commencing with meditation practice. (From the Article, The Opposite of "Not One Of Us" is "We Are All One")

Ode to the Sant Satguru published in my article, "There is No 'Vatican’ of the Spirit"

Between an ocean and a river, choose the ocean.
Between a river and a tributary, follow the river.

"The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires."
(William Arthur Ward)

As Rumi says, “If you seek to know God, sit at the feet of the Saints."

An Ode to the Sant Sat Guru
In Praise of the Sant-soul of love
who has reached the Spiritual Realm above,
and merged in God.

Hail to the Competent Living Master,
the Qualified Teacher,
rare to find in this world,
so few and far between,
the True One,
a genuine mentor of souls,
righteous and worthy Guide,
a Fearless Being,
leader of a spiritual community.

With gratitude to the Competent Living One!

In a Sea of Samsara -- illusion and world of changes,
of falsehood and posing,
there is a bright Light in the darkness.

A silent Music becomes audible.

At the feet of such a Loving, Radiant One,
the soul can not help but find inner Light and
slip into deep samadhi meditation.

In the eyes of a Saint are
love, wisdom, light, compassion, grace,
a reflection of God in this realm of the material plane.

The Master-Power connects the soul with the
Supreme Lord of Love.

"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 of Kabir and Sant Dharamdas)

"This is a boundless hemisphere, unfathomable and endless. Rarely, through proper technique, can someone cross it. It is known only to the connoisseur Satguru, and to those to whom he reveals it. Gems, diamonds and all the Light are shown by him close by. It is only an intoxicated devotee, a lover of the Saint, who will practice such a discipline of the Sound Current, says Dariya." (Shabd of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar)

Tulsi Sahib says: "The Saints have explained the secret of Shabad in detail in the verses of their banis. A rare person will follow it. Those who follow it after acquiring the understanding, will get merged in Shabad and become one with God." -- Ghat Ramayan of Sant Tulsi Sahib, with Commentary by Baba Kehar Singh

"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)

"Another common misconception is that prophets, saints and mystics search for 'new' truth. Rather, what they do is to simply remove the layers of dirt -- of accumulated misinterpretations -- that have corrupted the truth. Then the living teacher will bring forth the very same truth in a new light. The original truth must repeatedly be presented to suit the current age." (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Harmony Of All Religions)

"Within the circle of a perfect One, there is an infinite community of Light." (Hafiz)

Reaching the Beloved Lord of Love, by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India

"Very exalted is the status of the Sat Guru and very sublime is his religion. He has revealed the Inaccessible Region. Surat [the attention of the soul] ascends to the gateway of Sat Lok [True Eternal Realm], and witnesses a spectacle which is beyond the reach and comprehension of ascetics. Every day she [the soul] visits the region of Shyam Set, i.e. the Third Til [Third Eye]. She sees the path in the company of her friends (the senses of perception) and, ascending above, gets a close view of the region. She is dazed on seeing the refulgence of the Beloved. Her attention remains riveted on Him, and she is oblivious of her body and mind. All the barriers on the way to the Beloved are removed. She quickly ascends one mansion after another. She rids herself of all her troubles by being baptized at the Ghat [bathing place] of Triveni [confluence of the three sacred rivers]. Says Tulsi, from the time she became acquainted with the Beloved she, enjoying the bliss of mansions after mansions, reaches the Beloved Lord."

-- Param Sant Tulsi Saheb of Hathras, His Short Biographical Sketch, The Inner Meaning of His Hymns, and, Portions of His Ghat Ramayana. It's now an online e book. See the 'Recent Publications Related to Maharshi Mehi and Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras' section of the Sant Mat Library. A link to the Sant Mat Library is included in my list of links near the top of this newsletter.

Essence of Spirituality -- Kabir

The three worlds are a cage,
virtue and vice a net.
Every creature is the prey,
and one hunter:

Grasp the root: something happens.
Don't be lost
in confusion.
Mind-ocean, mind-born waves --
don't let the tide
sweep you away.

Drop yourself;
worship Hari [God];
head-to-toe let go
of deformity;
don't be afraid
of life;
the essence
of spirituality.

-- Kabir, The Bijak

Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar and Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras had a similar appearance.

Sant Mat History: Who Was Tulsi Sahib's Guru? Our One-And-Only Real Clue

The Ratnagar Rao Theory or Doctrine

In Sikh legend there are several stories about Guru Gobind Singh surviving his assassination at Nanded and living a secret life unknown to his disciples from that point forward, in some accounts for a few years, and in others, many decades. In each of these versions someone is named as being the spiritual successor of Guru Gobind Singh, thus creating a connecting link between the Tenth Sikh Guru to one of several sects or institutions. The specific details, dates, locations, and named spiritual successors vary from one account to another, and each of these is highly contested and disputed by historians. The Ratnagar Rao version is another variation on this theme.

The Ratnagar Rao theory is the belief that Guru Gobind Singh did not die on October 7th, 1708, in Nanded, India after all, but allowing everyone to believe he had passed on, in reality he lived a secret life incognito, traveling widely from the Himalayas in the north to the Deccan in southern India. As this apocryphal story goes, eventually the Tenth Sikh Guru acquired a student by the name of Ratnagar Rao or Ratanrav, and at some point made him his spiritual successor. This Sant Ratnagar Rao would have initiated a student by the name of Sham Rao or Shyamrav, eventually making him his spiritual successor. Shyamrav came to be known as Tulsi Sahib and moved to Hathras. Many "IF's" are above: If Guru Gobind Singh lived on after his assassination, faking his own death..... If there was someone by the name of Ratnagar Rao who was a historic person that really existed..... If this Ratnagar Rao was a disciple and successor of the Tenth Sikh Guru.... If someone by the name of Ratnagar Rao was a Sant and eventually appointed Shayamrav as his successor..... If Sham Rao of Peshwa royal court fame in Pune and Tulsi Sahib are the same person and is the one who relocated to Hathras.......

The name Ratnagar Rao in connection with Tulsi Sahib seems to first appear in written form only recently in history, since the late 1950's or early 60's in certain books authored by Kirpal Singh. Professor Agam Prasad Mathur discusses this in his book, Radhasoami Faith, A Historical Study, published in Agra. "Tracing the background of the formative influences on the Radhasoami Faith, Shri Kirpal Singh links up the history of spiritual heritage with last Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He holds that Guru Gobind Singh traveled far and wide and went to Poona in Maharashtra and brought in his fold many a member of the Peshwa family. He presumes, but without any historical basis, that Sham Rao, the elder brother of Baji Rao Peshwa must have come into contact with Ratnagar Rao, a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh and ultimately Sham Rao settled at Hathras and came to be known as Tulsi Saheb. But this statement is not historically true. Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708. The same year Sahu, son of Shivaji, became king of Maharashtra and appointed Balaji Vishwanath as the first Peshwa in 1713. Baji Rao I became Peshwa in 1720 and he was the eldest son of his father (Balaji Vishwanath)."

Let me say that, if any evidence turns up showing there really was indeed a Sant Ratnagar Rao somewhere in Indian history, I would be happy to share that information, posting any Shabds or Banis from him online. I am also quite fond of the Sikh scriptures. If there ever was a proven or reasonable direct link between the Sikh Gurus and Tulsi Sahib by way of a Ratnagar Rao, that would be fine by me. Ultimately, all Masters are one. My interest here is in the facts of history, not a faith-based history or politics of history where one is compelled to agree with a set of doctrines one hundred percent of the time. Thus far, I find no record of there ever being a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh or a Sant from India by the name of Ratnagar Rao.

Though not many are aware of this, Kirpal Singh himself described the Ratnagar Rao theory as a bit up-in-the-air and tenuous at best, not a clear-cut established history that links Tulsi Sahib to Ratnagar Rao or to the Sikh Gurus. It was his noble attempt to sort through apocryphal tales and miracle stories about Tulsi Sahib, desiring to address an obscure chapter of Indian history. Kirpal Singh said: "History is generally written later on, when nobody any longer knows. I tell you, I was going to write about Tulsi, a great Saint from the East. I wanted to find out His lineage, in connection with the life of Baba Jaimal Singh I wrote. I could not find it. He was the eldest brother Who was to succeed to the throne of the Hulkar family. He left the scene, became a recluse, and later on turned out to be a Saint. And the second brother sat on the throne. I tried to find out whether his name was Sham Rao Hulkar, but his name was also not given in history. What was I to do?" (from a talk given at Tustin, California, December 18th, 1963, also republished in the December 1976 issue of Sat Sandesh. See the RuhaniSatsangUSA website.)

Perhaps for this reason, Darshan Singh in his book, Streams of Nectar, did not mention Ratnagar Rao in the chapter dedicated to Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras! That's a great book about the lives of many Saints of the past.

So, if it wasn't Ratnagar Rao, who then could have been Tulsi Sahib's Guru? There are a couple of very important quotes that should be included here.

1) "No information is available as to when Tulsi Sahib met a Master. Nor is it known whether he was initiated into the path of the Sound Current (Surat Shabd Yoga) while he was still a prince, or later, when leaving everything, he adopted an itinerant life. He does not give the name of his Master in his writings." (J.R. Puri and V.K. Sethi, "Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras")

2) This is an interesting quote also found in the book, "Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras": "Although there is no direct indication on whom Tulsi Sahib's master may have been, there has been some pointed discussion on the question. Pandit Pandurang Sharma, a Marathi scholar, in the June 1931 issue of Vividh Gyan Vistar writes, '[Tulsi Sahib] was initiated by a guru in the town of Hathras, and under the instructions of his Guru in the town of Hathras did intensive meditation.'"

What We DO Know

Tulsi was born in 1763 and passed on in 1843. He would have been in his teens when Dariya Sahib of Bihar was still alive -- old enough to have perhaps received initiation from Dariya Sahib of Bihar, in other words.

Early in his life Tulsi did extensive travelling around India. In the book, "Tulsi Sahib -- Saint of Hathras", it states: "Tulsi Sahib's works include words and expressions of Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian ….. Marathi …. he has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati, Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many other Saints, he must have travelled widely in U.P., Rajasthan, Gujrat, Punjab and Bihar."

What Sant Mat Master or spiritual path did Tulsi Sahib receive initiation from? This "pre-Tulsi Sahib Sant Mat path", if you will, would have used a rare sacred text called the "Anurag Sagar" (Kabir’s Ocean of Love according to Sant Dharam Das), since Tulsi Sahib did. One of their spiritual practices was the repetition (simran) of the Five Names (the Panch Naam mantra). ALL FIVE names were part of their mystical vocabulary. (All five of the names are not found in the Adi Granth or Sikh tradition. One name is missing.) Having the understanding that "Sant Dharam Das is the primary spiritual successor of Kabir" is another central teaching. These are all hallmarks of this group, "the People of the Anurag Sagar", as I like to call them, this "pre-Tulsi Sahib Sant Mat path". They existed in India PRIOR to the time of Tulsi Sahib. Since these elements became part of Tulsi Sahib’s teaching -- his Sant Mat -- most likely he learned of them at the feet of his spiritual Master. As professor Mark Juergensmeyer points out in his book, "Radhasoami Reality", the Anugar Sagar is not part of the Sikh world. Historically, prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib and Radhasoami, the Anurag Sagar was only used by the Dharamdasi branch of Kabir Panth, a Kabir-related line of Masters.

Tulsi Sahib’s List and Soami Ji Maharaj's List of All-Time Great Saints

Dariya Sahib and Tulsi were contemporaries, for a time, alive at the same time. Dariya Sahib was the only living Master that Tulsi mentioned in his writings, on his list of some of the greatest Saints in the history of India. Dariya Sahib of Bihar is mentioned many times in the writings of Tulsi Sahib. Perhaps this suggests a direct association between Dariya and Tulsi Sahib. After all, Soami Ji Maharaj had a similar list. On his list of all-time great Saints only one name was that of someone who had been contemporary with him, and that was Tulsi Sahib. And we know that,  in that case, the mentioning of Tulsi Sahib was quite a significant clue, since Tulsi Sahib was the family Guru. Soami Ji and his family were all followers and initiates of Tulsi Sahib, and part of the Hathras Satsang. Thus, a similar list of Gurus with one conspicuous name being that of a contemporary Master might be a major piece of evidence staring right at us.

Soami Ji Maharaj’s List of All-Time Great Saints

"The names of some of the perfect and true Sants, Sadhs and Faqirs who manifested themselves during the past seven hundred years are Kabir Saheb, TULSI SAHIB*, Jagjiwan Saheb, Garib Das, Paltu Saheb, Guru Nanak, Dadu Saheb, Tulsi Das, Nabhaji, Swami Hari Das, Sur Das and Rai Das. And some of the Muslim names are Shams Tabrez, Maulvi Rumi, Hafiz, Sarmad and Mujaddid Alif Sani. A perusal of their writings would give an idea of their spiritual attainments."  (Sar Bachan Prose, Book One, A Summary of the Teachings of Soami Ji Maharaj)

*Tulsi Sahib and Soami Ji were contemporaries, for a time, alive at the same time.

Tulsi Sahib’s List of All-Time Great Saints

"Listen, O Phool Das, I have given out the same true secrets which Sants like Kabir Saheb, Dadu Saheb, Rai Das Ji, DARIYA SAHIB*, Guru Nanak, Soor Das Ji, Nabha Ji and Mira Bai have spoken of. They, too, have composed similar hymns describing the bliss of the highest spiritual region, whose glory I also have sung, blessed by the grace and the dust of the holy feet of Sants." (Ghat Ramayan)

*Dariya Sahib and Tulsi were contemporaries, for a time, alive at the same time.

My opinion remains, that the Unknown Guru of Tulsi Sahib likely was Sant Dariya, a successor of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar like Sant Tika Das, or a related Satguru connecting somewhere along the way back to Sant Dharam Das and the Dharamdasi branch of Kabir Panth. In any case, the only contemporary spiritual Master Tulsi Sahib actually names in his writings is Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, which for me is a very significant clue, the only real clue we have from his writings.

"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?'"

-- Fakhruddin 'Iraqi's Persian Sufi Classic, "Divine Flashes"

Meditation Practice: The Infinitesimal Point: Opening To Realms of Inner Light

"This calls for a motionless, still gazing ahead right in front of the center of the two eyes in the inner dark void that is seen upon closing our eyes gently. The art of gazing in the inner dark vastness that the currents of consciousness present in the two eyes, meet at a Point, so the gaze gets fixed in a Point, has to be learnt from an accomplished Guru and practiced regularly with utmost faith and sincerity. It must be noted here that Sants warn strictly against any kind of imagining of the presence of a Point within. Whenever the two currents meet, a bright Point is automatically seen -- it does not have to be imagined or visualized. Whenever this happens, breathing adjusts automatically. Awareness of own body and surroundings is lost even as the meditator is fully alert and conscious internally. Ascension or transcendence is a direct corollary of concentration, collection of attention. As a result, thus, of awareness shrinking completely into an absolute Point, the 'jiva' or 'Surat' (non-liberated individual soul that is combined with the mind, etc…) pierces through or transcends the gross sphere, and ascends into the astral sphere where countless varieties of Sounds called Anahad ('ana' meaning 'no', and 'had' meaning limit or boundary) Nada (Sounds) are heard. Brilliant lights, innumerable worlds, stars, moon, sun, advanced souls, etc...., etc…. are seen by the practitioner, who has become completely oblivious of, or has left behind the gross universe (that his physical body exists in) behind. The soul keeps flying in the inner sky like a bird, sighting all the magnificent scenes. Hence Bindu Dhyan or the Yoga of Light is also known as the 'vihangam marg' (vihangam means 'bird', and marg means 'path'). The perceiver becomes indescribably enthralled, ecstatic by the mesmerizing sights. But he has to move on, resisting these temptations, and rise still further to accomplish his ultimate Goal, which is Self-Realization or God-Realization."

-- From the Preamble of, Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand Baba, translated by Pravesh K. Singh -- Online Book -- See the Sant Mat Library

"Communion of the spirit with Shabd or Sound consists in (1) listening to the Shabd, (2) being drawn up into the Shabd Current and (3) visiting the higher region from where that particular Shabd comes. These are the three phases of one and the same phenomenon. If one listens to the real Shabd, one is necessarily drawn up into the Shabd Current and towards the higher region from where the Shabd comes." (Maharaj Saheb)

"With great devotion, I engage in contemplation on the shabd and I pick up and discern every sound with great care. I gaze at the sixth ganglion (nukta-i-sveda [third eye]) and from there I turn upward and then I kindle a flame (witness the flame) inside of me." (Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Radhasoami, Volume Two, M.G. Gupta translation)

The Journey Into Light and Sound: Inner Seeing and Listening

The distinctive characteristic of surat shabd yoga [inner Light and Sound Meditation] is its emphasis on listening to the inner sound current, known variously as shabd, nad, or audible life stream. It is through this union of the soul with the primordial music of the universe that the practice derives its name (surat -- soul, shabd -- sound current; yoga -- union). To be able to achieve a consciously induced near-death state takes great effort. Hence, masters of this path emphasize a three-fold method designed to still the mind and vacate the body: simran, dhyan, and bhajan.

Simran, the repetition of a holy name or names, draws one's attention to the eye center, keeping thoughts from being scattered too far outside. Such sacred remembrance is similar in form to the use of a mantra or special prayer, except that the name(s) are repeated silently with the mind and not with the tongue. This stage, according to practitioners, is the first and perhaps most difficult leg of meditation.

Dhyan, contemplation within, is a technical procedure to hold one's attention at the third eye focus. In the beginning this may be simply gazing into the darkness or re-imaging the guru's face, etc., but it eventually develops into seeing light of various shapes. Out of this light appears the "radiant form" of one's spiritual master, who guides the neophyte on the inner voyage and becomes the central point of dhyan.

Bhajan, listening to the celestial melody or sound, is the last and most important part of surat shabd yoga, because it is the vehicle by which the meditator can travel to exalted planes of awareness. Whereas simran draws and dhyan holds the mind's attention, it is bhajan which takes awareness on its upward ascent back to the Supreme Abode, Sach Khand. Naturally, mastery of surat shabd yoga is not an overnight affair, but involves years of consistent application and struggle. The desired results, adepts in the tradition agree, being largely due to the earnestness and day to day practice of the seeker.

-- Enchanted Land -- Online Book -- See the 'Radhasoami' Section of the Sant Mat Library

"Whosoever has concentrated their soul has been liberated from the fear of death. The soul ascends the heavens with force, and has found refuge at the feet of God. The soul has taken residence in the Infinite Region and has attained union with the Beloved. Indeed, O Tulsi, the soul has been delivered from the delusion, suffering and fever of countless lives." (Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Book of Shabdavali)