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Friday, September 13, 2013

Light and Sound on the Path, September 2013, Sant Mat Radhasoami Satsang E Newsletter

Light and Sound on the Path, September 2013 -- A Digest of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses

This E-Newsletter explores the poetry, prose, spiritual discourses, books, scriptures, letters, prayers, ahimsa ethics, podcasts, videos, philosophy, cosmology, and history of the Masters from a traditional Indian perspective, and might also include quotes from various world religions in harmony with the Way of the Saints, the Path of the Masters and Mystics.

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Rumi: "I came to this Earth so that I could find my way back to my Beloved."

"Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you." "Sant Mat is not the Path of information but this is the Path of Transformation." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)

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The Sant Satguru

"Satguru (Sanskrit: सदगुरू), or sadguru, means the true guru. However, the term is distinguished from other forms of gurus, such as musical instructors, scriptural teachers, parents, and so on. The satguru is a title given specifically only to an enlightened rishi/sant whose life's purpose is to guide initiated shishya [sisya, "disciple", Sanskrit: शिष्य or chela] along the spiritual path, the summation of which is the realization of the Self through realization of God, who is omnipresent. A Satguru has some special characteristics that are not found in any other types of Spiritual Guru." (from the Wikipedia entry for "Satguru")

True Masters Feed Your Soul: "Feed your heart in conversation with someone harmonious with it; seek spiritual advancement from one who is advanced. Whoever wants to sit with God, let him sit in the presence of the Saints." (Rumi)

"Spiritual Devotion [Bhakti] was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ, Moses, and the Great Prophet. This is the Method that was practiced by Lord Krishna who advised his friends Udho and Arjun to practice it in the solitudes of the Himalayas.This is the Spiritual Practice taught by all the SAINTS of the highest order like Kabir, Tulsi Sahib, Shames Tabrez, Maulana Rumi, Hafiz, Kalander Sahib, Guru Nanak, RadhaSwami and others." ("The Way Out.......Is IN", by Swami Ram Bihari Lal, disciple of Baba Gharib Das, a Perfect Saint and disciple of Param Sant Soami Ji of Agra)

"He is the real Sadhu, who can reveal the form of the Formless to the vision of these eyes: who teaches the simple way of attaining Him ..... who makes you perceive the Supreme Spirit wherever the mind attaches itself." (Kabir, from, "Bhai Koi Satguru Sant Kahawai")

"We are very fortunate to have this human life. If we miss this opportunity (to realize God), who knows when this opportunity will come again. Engage yourself in activities that can be helpful to realize God. All other worldly activities which cause self-veneration, cleverness, and sense of ego are useless. It is hard to find a man who aims at all-round unity. It is the Saints' mission to unite all. If you are able to find such a Saint, and you obey Him, you can accomplish your mission." (Kirpal Singh)

"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 Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)

The Wisdom of Huzur Baba Sawan Singh, the Great Spiritual Master of Beas

* PODCAST: Sawan Singh, the Great Spiritual Master of Beas: Download MP3 of Spiritual Awakening Radio:

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"The teaching of the Masters aims to release the souls which have been imprisoned for in numerable ages and births, to free them from the shackles of religion and castes, to take them to Everlasting Bliss and to merge them back in their Source, the Supreme Being." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

"In the center behind and above the eyes there is an aperture; on this side of it is the material world, in which we are living now; and on the other side is the astral world." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

"The practice of Surat Shabd Yoga (Sant Mat) lies in detaching the mind from external objects and attaching it to what lies within, and then catching the Sound Current and traveling on it. This Current connects the individual with its Source." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

"The escape is through the Sound Current." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

"From Sach Khand [the True, Timeless, Spiritual Realm] the whole creation looks like bubbles, forming and disappearing in the Spiritual Ocean." (a favorite quote from Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

"The Current is within us always. We could not live without the Current. The Current is Life. The Sound is going on within, without interruptions, and so is the Light within. Why do we not see the Light and hear the Sound? The reason is that our mind is shaking. Our attention wanders. One does not see the reflection of his face in agitated water. The moment the water is still, the face becomes visible. If the water is muddy, the mud brings in an additional disturbing factor. So, purity of mind and calmness are the prerequisites to see what lies inside the Focus." (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

Huzur Baba Sawan Singh: "When you sit [in meditation]... see that the mind is at rest and does not go out and unnecessarily think about other things. When, by Repetition of the Names [Simran] with attention fixed in the eye focus, you have become unconscious of the body below the eyes, then your attention will catch the Sound Current. Select the Sound resembling the church bell and discard all other sounds. Then slowly your soul will leave the body and collect in the eyes and become strong. Then fix your attention in the biggest star, so much that you forget everything else except the Sound and the star. Then this star will burst and you will see what is within and beyond. After crossing the star you will have to cross the sun and the moon [inner manifestations of light]. Then you will see the Form of the Master. When that Form becomes steady it will reply. This Form will reply to all of your inquiries and guide you to higher stages... These stars are of the first sky only, and Hindu philosophers will have spoken of seven skies [in universes of elevating degrees]... After crossing the star, the sun and the moon you will see that Form which will never leave you, not even for a moment." (Enchanted Land, published by the MSAC Philosophy Group)

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"If you develop a regular [meditation] practice, you are bound to reach the destination. Even if your mind refuses to submit to spiritual practices, worry not. Stick to your posture even if the mind wanders. First make a habit to sit in meditation with determination. When the habit becomes firm, the concentration will follow. Saint Kabir says, 'By constant dedicated practice in meditation upon NAAM, the consciousness, at present, inert, will be awakened, just as the rope used for drawing water from the well, leaves its mark on the stone of the well.'" (Mahatma Gurdarshan Anand Ji, "Bhakti Sagar", Shri Paramhans Advait Mat, Shri Anandpur Books)

Within This Body

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
seeking Him
in endless guises.

Seers and sages perfectly parrot
the scriptures and holy books,
blinded by knowledge.

Their pilgrimage,
and fasting,
and striving
but delude

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).

-- Mystic Poem of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India

"Shabd is the first manifestation of the Supreme Being, and it is the current of life. Where there is current, there is necessarily Shabd also. There is nothing like Shabd, which can show us the path or give us light in darkness. It is, therefore, appropriate that one should ascend with the help of Shabd. Its secret can be learnt only from an adept. The spirit current first took its location in the body at the Til or centre [eye-center, third eye] which is in the middle of the two eyes, from where it spread all through the body. The spirit current should first be contacted at this centre. Firstly, the practice or Abhyas [meditation] should be performed to concentrate the spirituality at this centre, for instance Sumiran and Dhyan, thereafter the sound practice or Bhajan should be undertaken, which will raise the spirit.

"Shabd, which is resounding within, emanates from the regions of the various presiding deities. The Shabd of each region is different. One should first acquire this knowledge before proceeding on this path.

"Just as in the macrocosm the entire creation is the work of currents, so also in the microcosm (physical frame) all functions are the work of currents, which form the nervous system. The spiritual force or energy pervades the entire system through these nerves. The entire creation is filled with Shabd and vivifies the entire body by its currents. But it is the heavenly Shabd (sound), which is to be contacted, and it will lead the devotee upwards."  (Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Radhasoami, Volume One, Agra)

"Each stage of meditation has specific hallmarks to indicate progress. Although the above techniques may sound complex, this path is extremely simple to practice as is evidenced by the great numbers of people who have been practicing this meditation since ancient times." (Maharshi Mehi)

* Swami Vyasanand Baba (Sant Mat Tradition, Rashtriya Santmat Satsang Samiti, in the lineage of Maharshi Mehi and Swami Santsevi Ji) giving a talk in Thanabihpur, Bihar:

Inner Light and Sound Meditation -- The Yoga of Light and the Yoga of Sound

From Light to Sound -- Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj in, "Quintessence of Yoga, The Secrets of Success", writes: “Devotee Jaydayal Goyandka taught clearly about the Yoga of Vision or Light and the Yoga of inner divine Sound. To consolidate vision and meditation with closed eyes causes:

(1) steadiness of mind, (2) purity of character, (3) inner peace, and, (4) removal of ill-will.

"Closing the ears when we hear the divine Sound within ourselves is the best approach. There is no harm in it. We can include this along with other practices. This practice of inner Sound can go on in the night, because there is no noise at that time and environment is peaceful……When the inner divine Sound merges into the imperishable Supreme Lord, there is the absolute State of Soundlessness (the Ultimate Reality)."

You may ask, what does it mean to "close the ears"? There is a technique initiates learn to do just that in order to focus on inner Sound. Also, sometimes people use earplugs to block outer sounds during inner Sound practice [bhajan]. But there is another meaning. Some clarification is given in the book, Harmony of All Religions, by Swami Sant Sevi Ji, who states that closing the ears is primarily an internal reality that occurs after one’s awareness has gone within: "When you focus your gaze within the ajna chakra [third eye] then automatically your physical ears will close and the inner ears will open."

Here is the whole paragraph containing that sentence: "The path to find God is within your heart. Enter into ajna chakra (Third Eye Center, Seat of the Soul) and you will find it. It is found not in a man-made Ka'ba (Muslim pilgrimage place), but in God made Ka'ba (holy place), which means within your own heart or self. You should listen attentively to the reverberating divine Sound. The celestial Sound is coming to take you back to the Source. Listen to it attentively. Remember you cannot hear this with the physical ears. When you focus your gaze within the ajna chakra then automatically your physical ears will close and the inner ears will open. By that power you can hear the celestial Sounds. The original Sound of the creation comes from the abode of God and it will take you to God."

Stages of Inner Sound Meditation (the Yoga of Sound) in the Shurangama Sutra, a Buddhist Scripture

"That Buddha taught me to enter samadhi [deep meditation, union] through a process of listening. I began with a practice based on the nature of hearing. (1) First I redirected my hearing inward in order to enter the current of the sages. (2) Then external sounds disappeared. (3) With its direction reversed and with sounds stilled, both sounds and silence cease to arise. (4) So it was that, as I gradually progressed, what I heard and my awareness of what I heard came to an end. Even when that state of mind in which everything had come to an end disappeared, I did not rest. (5) My awareness and the objects of my awareness were emptied, and when that process of emptying my awareness was wholly complete, then even that emptying and what had been emptied vanished. (6) Coming into being and ceasing to be themselves ceased to be. Then the Ultimate Stillness was revealed."

Reducing Karma Through Inner Light and Sound Meditation Practice, By Huzur Maharaj, from, Prem Patra Radhasoami ("Love Discourses of the Lord of the Soul")

Worldly Thoughts and Impulses Should Be Converted into Zeal For Securing Internal Bliss and Happiness -- Spiritual Experience -- The Effect of the Three Karmas Can Be Effaced By Performing the Meditation Practice (Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Light and Sound)

"Man's actions are the manifestations of his thoughts. The mind, by projecting thoughts to sense-organs, enjoys pleasures. It, more or less, identifies itself with these thoughts and pleasures. At that time, it does not think of anything else.

"The meditation practice of the Radhasoami Faith consists in reverting and raising internally the Current of the Surat (spirit, soul) along the Shabd (Divine Sound Stream) and the Light within. The seat of that Current is behind the eyes [at the Third Eye Center].

"When such a condition begins to supervene to some extent, as a result of performing the meditation practices, the working of Karmas, both internally and externally, is automatically enfeebled. On getting some bliss and joy internally, and on witnessing the refulgence, grace and mercy of the Supreme Being, the satsangi's mind is, of itself, detached from the world and its pleasures. The pleasures of the world become insipid. The longing for progress in meditation, and higher and higher bliss, goes on increasing. Worldly desires are curtailed. The Abhyasi [practitioner of Shabd Yoga] always gives priority to the will, grace and mercy of the Supreme Being in whatever he does. He subordinates his desires to the will of the Supreme Being. Thus the devotee is entangled in Kriyaman Karmas very little or not at all. This cuts short the chain of his Karmas.

"Prarabdh Karmas are those, which unfold in this very life. The effect of such Karmas will be very much mitigated by the grace and mercy of the Supreme Father Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul]. To the extent to which an practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga is able to withdraw from the eyes, he goes on getting detached from the body and the world. In the wakeful state, the seat of the spirit is behind the eyes. It is here that pains and pleasures are felt and Karmas are performed. Therefore, as the Current of spirit is withdrawn from here with the help of spiritual exercises, pains and pleasures cease to be felt. In this way, the effect of Prarabdh Karmas is lightened.

"As to Sanchit Karmas, they are stored in Manakash (mind-sky) in the form of seed-impressions. They will fructify in a future life. As the practitioner's Surat penetrates Manakash in its ascent to higher regions, the Sanchit Karmas appear in the form of thoughts and impulses. They come into play for a short while only and are obliterated. That is to say, if the spiritual exercises are performed correctly and methodically, the Surat Shabd Meditation practitioner's soul crosses over the region of Manakash in a short time, and the store of his Sanchit Karams is cleared off.

"In this way, all the Karams of a practitioner of the Radhasoami Faith can be exhausted and eradicated in one or two lives. If he is slack in meditation and desires for the pleasures of the world remain embedded in his mind to some extent, purification will take three lives. When the Surat [the attention-faculty of the soul] experiences bliss and joy of Shabd and inner visions in higher regions, pure love and longing for Surat Shabd Yoga goes on increasing day by day."

Guru Nanak, from the Book of Sidh Gosht (Conversations With the Yogis) -- Q & A with the Master

Bhangarnath (one of the Siddha Yogis) asked:

Who are you?

What is your name?

What is your way?

What is your goal?

We pray that you will answer us truthfully; we are a sacrifice to the humble Saints.

Where is your seat?

Where do you live, young man?

Where did you come from, and where are you going?

Tell us, Nanak -- the Siddhas (the detached) wait to hear your reply.

What is your path?

Guru Nanak Replied:

He dwells deep within the nucleus of each and every heart. This is my seat and my home. I walk in harmony with the Will of the True Guru. I came from the Celestial Lord God; I go wherever He orders me to go. I am Nanak, forever under the Command of His Will. I sit in the posture of the eternal, imperishable Lord. These are the Teachings I have received from the Guru. As Gurmukh, I have come to understand and realize myself; I merge in the Truest of the True.

Selections from the Mystic Poetry of Hazrat Sultan BaHU, a Sufi Master of Inner Light and Sound

Unless the self is sacrificed and lost in God's love,
Repetition and contemplation will not achieve the goal.
Only dwellers of realms beyond time and space
Can lose themselves in God's love.
Only someone whose heart is pierced
By the arrows of his love
Can sacrifice his self and merge in God.
Anyone who fails to find the beloved Friend
Will remain bereft of love in both worlds, O Bahu.

Lofty are the portals of religion;
Hard to find is the narrow path that leads to God.
Priests and scholars allow no one to find it;
They throw stones and rocks, they persecute Saints.
Lovers have only discovered this strait path
By keeping out of their sight.
Only lovers know the secret path to the Lord.
How can people driven by blind impulse find it?

Bliss and grace reign in the heart,
That glows with the light of love.
The sail of love has soared to the heavens,
Leaving the ship of thought and reason.
Without its motive power-sinking
On its very first attempt to cross the ocean of life.
From where I stand, In whatever direction my eyes turn,
I see only my Beloved, O Bahu.

Fasting, prayers and rites of abstinence
Only end in confusion.
God is not found through such means;
These are all but acts of vanity and self-promotion!
You have failed to recognize the beloved
Friend Who always lives within you.
You will save yourself from rites and rituals,
O Bahu, when you lose your being in God.

The leaders of religion can never reach the stage
To which the lovers of God have easy access.
Lovers are always united with the Beloved;
They abide in realms beyond time and space,
I shall sacrifice myself to anyone, O Bahu,
Whose spirit rests in its own Essence.

The path of the Masters is the highest of all;
It is beyond all comprehension!
On this path there is neither teaching 
Nor learning from books.
There are neither discussions nor expositions
Nor stories from the past.
Love of this world is sheer idolatry, a denial of God;
Let no one trust its loyalty.
Only the one who knows the mystic art 
Of dying while living*,
knows the real secret.

Love has inspired me to explore the heavens:
From earth it has raised me to the worlds of Spirit.
Begone, foul world, beguile me no more!
I am already in anguish about my stay here.
I am a wayfarer, my home is far away,
And you have enticed me with false promises.
Only if you forsake the world and die while living*
Can you find the Lord, O Bahu.
Those who enshrine the Lord in their hearts, O Bahu,
have both the worlds at their command.

Lovers remain completely intoxicated
in the ecstasy of their love for the Beloved.
They offer their souls to the Beloved
while still living
and thus immortalize themselves
in this life and the hereafter.
I have, at last, grasped the beginning and the end:
I have seen the whole spectacle of past, present and future
pass before my eyes.
Within my heart are fourteen realms:
chambers of Light -- ablaze
with the profusion of God's Radiance.
Those who have not realized God will wander,
homeless in this world, destitute in the next. But watch the lovers dance with ecstasy,
as they merge into the oneness of God [Allah].

The river of oneness has surged,
quenching the thirst of the deserts and wastelands.
If you don't nurture God's love in your heart,
you will be dry and parched like those deserts.

The Lord is an ocean of oneness
in which lovers swim as they please, free of care.
In their own turn, they appear in the world
to dive deep into that ocean, to gather pearls.
Among the pearls is a gem --
unique in value, unmatched in lustre --
that shines like the moon.
We are all in the employ of the Lord, O Bahu;
let us pay homage to him through our prayers.

Repeat the Name of God,
and always contemplate on Him
while doing your repetition --
keener than a sword is such remembrance [Zikhr, Simran].
Repeat the Name of God, O Bahu,
and free yourself from the worries of life.

-- Hazrat Sultan Bahu

* NOTE: "die while living" or "death before dying":
a popular saying used by Sants and Sufi poets espousing
the view that rising above body-consciousness or soul
travel during meditation practice is a preparation or
rehearsal for the afterlife. Hazrat Sultan Bahu:
"Let us die before dying, O Bahu,
only then is the Lord attained."

Music in the Heavens (Reported by Western Mystics)

His Sweet Voice Calling Out To Us

"God so wishes us to return to Him that He keeps calling to us again and again to approach Him. It is due to His sweet holy Voice that our soul is lost in ecstasy and surrenders totally to His will". (Saint Teresa of Avila)

Listen! Can You Hear It?

"Open your ears, and I shall speak to you. Give Me yourself, so that I may also give you Myself." (Syriac Book of the Odes, 9: 1-2)

Angelic Music That Astonishes All Who Hear It

"....with sweet voice, with sweet and incessant voice and various singing, which it is impossible to describe, and which astonishes every mind, so wonderful and marvellous is the singing of those angels, and I was delighted listening to it". (Book of Second Enoch)

The Song of the Angels

"I think that no soul may truly feel the angel's song or heavenly Sound, unless it is in perfect love, though not all that are in perfect love have felt it, but only the soul that is so purified in the fire of love that all earthly savor is burned out of it, and all obstacles between the soul and the cleanness of angels are broken and put away from it. Then truly may he sing a new song, and truly may he hear a blessed heavenly Sound, and angel's song, without deceit or feigning. Our Lord knows the soul that, for abundance of burning love, is worthy to hear angel's song." (Walter Hilton, The Song of Angels)

Hearing the Spirit

"I heard a noise like wind blowing in my ears and knew it for the Sound of the Holy Spirit which became like the voice of a dove. When the Lord spoke to me I lost all sense of time. I did not know if he was with me five or six hours or only one. It was so holy and full of grace that I felt as if I had been in heaven." (Margery Kempe, The Mirror of Love)

"Listen within yourself and look into the infinitude of Space and Time. There can be heard the songs of the Constellations, the voices of the Numbers, and the Harmonies of the Spheres." (Hermes Trigmegistus)

Ancient Gospel Praised Those in India Following the Vegetarian Diet, Peaceful Ethics, God, and Spirituality

"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 revere God." (Recognitions of Clement, an Ebionite Gospel used by the Hebrew Christians)

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." (Buddha)

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