Sunday, June 01, 2014
Be Still And Know That I Am God -- Light and Sound on the Path
"Be still and know that I am God."
"Be still and know that I am..."
"Be still and know..."
-- Psalm 46: 10 -- Meditation in the Hebrew Scriptures
"I will speak to you when you are alone; be still and know I am God." (Book of Enoch)
"True peace lies in Stillness.
Those who attain Stillness are called Sants.
Teachings of Sants are collectively called 'Sant Mat'."
(Maharshi Mehi Paramhans)
On Sharing the Wisdom of the Masters With Others -- Kirpal Singh: "Your earnest desire for helping the people at large is appreciated. When the candle is lit, it should not be kept under a bushel but it should be placed prominently at such a place wherefrom others may take inspiration. You can discuss the sacred teachings of the Masters (but not the inner experiences) with your friends and acquaintances, and guide them to take up the Holy Path." ("Letters from Sant Kirpal Singh to Initiates in the New York City Area")
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)
This Sant Mat Radhasoami 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, Living Gnosis Now.
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PODCASTS AT YOUTUBE INCLUDE:
Mystic Love Poetry of Rumi, Sufis and Sants of the East -- It's Always Valentine's Day on this Bhakti Path of the Lover and the Beloved:
RUMI: Sufi Poetry and an Exploration of Sufi Mysticism Series, Parts 1-5;
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, A Sufi Mystic From Sri Lanka;
Alistair Conwell: The Audible Life Stream -- Ancient Secret of Dying While Living, Part 1;
Alistair Conwell: The Audible Life Stream -- Ancient Secret of Dying While Living, Part 2;
Receiving Inner Guidance in the Silence of Meditation;
An Introduction to Sant Mat Spirituality;
A Look at the Brahm Nirupan of Guru Kabir;
Mystic Poetry and Teaching of Sant Tulsi Sahib;
History of Mystics, Part 1: The Mandaeans, a Living Gnostic Religion;
Gnosticism: Interview with Dr. Stephan Hoeller, Parts 1-3;
The Ethical Foundation of the Masters of Inner Light and Sound;
Vegetarianism in Christianity and Buddhism;
Sebastian Brock -- on the Syriac Mystics, Parts 1-3;
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Reincarnation in Early Christianity Explored
In the Secret Book of John, reincarnation is placed at the heart of its discussion of the salvation of souls. The book was written by 185 AD at the latest. Here is the Secret Book of John's perspective on reincarnation:
All people have drunk the water of forgetfulness and exist in a state of ignorance. Some are able to overcome ignorance through the Spirit of life that descends upon them. These souls "will be saved and will become perfect," that is, escape the round of rebirth. John asks Jesus what will happen to those who do not attain salvation. They are hurled down "into forgetfulness" and thrown into "prison", the Gnostic code word for new body. The only way for these souls to escape, says Jesus, is to emerge from forgetfulness and acquire knowledge. A soul in this situation can do so by finding a teacher or savior who has the strength to lead her home. "This soul needs to follow another soul in whom the Spirit of life dwells, because she is saved through the Spirit. Then she will never be thrust into flesh again." (Secret Book of John, Nag Hammadi Text) (above section from the Reluctant Messenger website.)
"The one who engenders some love for the Holy Feet [Presence] of Radhasoami Dayal [the Compassionate Lord of the Soul], or has affection for His true lovers and devotees, will receive Radhasoami Dayal's grace and mercy. Their liberation will be worked out to some extent in this very life and future progress will be assured." (Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram, Prem Patra Radhasoami (literally, "The Love Discourses of the Supreme Lord of the Soul"], Volume III, Agra)
Initiation by Living Masters and Meditation Practice in the History of the West
"The god of time (illusion) has put a cover over the teachings of Saints and thus concealed them from humanity." (Swami Ji Maharaj)
Living Teachers initiating souls into "the Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens" revealing the esoteric secrets of meditation practice are not new concepts in the Western world. Though often forgotten, these have been with us the entire time.
Take this rather Hindu-sounding passage in an extra-canonical scripture composed 2,000 years ago known as the Acts of Peter for example: "Give ear; withdraw your souls from all that appears but is not truly real; close these eyes if yours, close your ears, withdraw from actions that are outwardly seen; and you shall know the reality of Christ and the whole secret of your salvation." (The Other Bible, Willis Barnstone, Harper Collins)
Meditation in the Hebrew Bible: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
(For Kabbalah, see the book, "The Holy Name", by Miriam Caravella, published by Radha Soami Satsang Beas/Science of the Soul.)
Initiation by A Living Master
"The Master shall teach the saints to live according to the book of the Community Rule, that they may seek God with a whole heart and soul...." (Dead Sea Scrolls: The Manual of Discipline)
"When I arrived, I opened a path and taught people about the Way of Passage for those who are chosen and solitary, who have known the Father and have pursued Truth." (Yeshua, Gnostic Gospel found in Egypt known as "Dialogue of the Savior")
"Further it is meant that those who purify should bestow upon others from their abundance of purity their own holiness: those who illuminate, as possessing more luminous intelligence, duly receiving and again shedding forth the light, and joyously filled with holy brightness, should impart their own overflowing light to those worthy of it; finally, those who make perfect, being skilled in the mystical participations, should lead to that consummation those who are perfected by the most holy initiation of the knowledge of holy things which they have contemplated." (The Celestial Hierarchy, by Dionysius the Areopagite)
"What your own eyes cannot see, your human ears do not hear, your physical hands cannot feel, and what is inconceivable to the human mind -- that I will give you!" (The Gospel of Thomas -- Wisdom of the Twin, Lynn Bauman, White Cloud Press)
Stairway to Heaven: Metaphor of the soul's transcending of the body and subtle bodies and ascending through the heavens or inner regions that are accessed from within during meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga -- Inner Light and Sound Meditation Practice).
"Perhaps it is not entirely the fault of modern man that he does not understand his own inner universe. He has achieved much, and if such concepts escape his own consciousness it is because he has no flaming falcon of the spirit on his fist to soar beyond the confining reaches of the intellect. Men have journeyed to the physical moon, but they know nothing of the regions of the blissful music within themselves..." (George Arnsby Jones, "The Pilgrimage of James -- An Odyssey of Inner Space")
"The mystic adepts inform us that the exploration of the inner realms (consisting of the first three Grand Divisions) is the heritage of each soul, and if we do not go within and traverse these regions, the fault is ours." (George Arnsby Jones, The Inner Journey of the Soul back to its Origin)
"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 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)
Rising Above the Material Realm and Finding Inner Purity: "The mind wanders into the material sounds and forms because the mind is either full of rajas (passion) or tamas (sluggishness and dullness). By focusing on a sacred, pure mantra of a deity and the holy form of a deity [form of God or Master], both impurities of passion and sluggishness are destroyed. Consequently, the mind becomes filled with sattva (purity and lucidity) and begins to focus in meditation with great ease. It is through inner purity that the practitioner becomes proficient in meditation."
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
The Repetition of a Sacred Name or Names: Simran, Mantra, Manas Jap, Japa, Zikhr, Creates An Aura of Purity, and is Support for Traveling the Inner Path
"It is important that the practitioner recite the mantra constantly... In this manner, through diligent practice of the mantra, all distracting sounds (thoughts) become absorbed in that mantra. Subsequently, whenever the practitioners hear something, it will be the sound of the mantra only, and wherever they see a form, they will only see their deities' form. When closing their eyes they will see the shinning letters of the mantra within. Slowly that mantra will pervade in every pore of the practitioner's body. Then the meditator will not be distracted by any other sounds of the world.
"The aura of purity surrounds such a meditator. When you approach such practitioners, automatically pure thoughts will arise in your mind. Whatever such practitioners declare, that will happen. Their words always become true. This condition is known as the fulfillment of the practice of japa. Sage Patanjali says: 'Through japa one attains supernatural powers (siddhis)'. When japa is accomplished, then upon calling out even once, the deity manifests, and the practitioner acquires the eight kinds of supernatural powers.
"Dear practitioners, this is not the final stage of inner meditation but japa is a support for traveling the inner path of Bhakti (devotion, intense love for the Supreme Being)."
-- Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Third Eye NOT Blind: "Between the eyebrows is the door to heaven." (Yogananda)
Hearing the Subtle Sounds of Inner Space: Sant Kabir Sahab says: "A rare practitioner who abides by the knowledge given by the guru listens to the subtle Sound of Inner Space. First that Sound emanates from the bindu or Ajna Chakra (third eye). A practitioner who can withdraw his mind from the nine gates of the body and concentrate in the tenth gate, he or she alone is able to hear that subtle Sound."
Sant Tulsi Sahab says: "Enter into the Inner empty Space (Shunya) of Sushumna and listen to the Sound that is beckoning you toward the Divine. This Sound has been vibrating since the beginning of creation. If you want to meet your True Friend (Supreme Being) then constantly and carefully listen to that Sound. This body is the sacred holy place (Ka'ba, the holiest place in Islam) created by the Divine, and within it is found the arch (the higher realms of macrocosm beginning from the tenth gate). It is the inner sanctum within, in which is found the Divine Sound reverberating. O practitioner, listen with full concentration; the Sound that originated from the Divine is constantly reverberating and calling you."
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
From Inner Light To Mystic Sound: "When the practitioner experiences various aspects of the light realm, the consciousness is not drawn toward the Divine Sound owing to its attraction to the light. Moreover, because this light realm is dominated by rajas, the mind continues to be affected by activity and passion. In the Trikuti, the bright light of the sun destroys the residue of impurities of the mind. Here, purity (sattva) pervades the consciousness and rajas completely vanishes. At that time, the scenes of the light realm that form the worlds of name and form, begin to fade, and merge into the Formless. The Divine Sound of the Formless realm becomes increasingly strong, to the degree that even though there is some light remaining, the consciousness does not become distracted. Thus, although there is form in the Formless, the mind is not drawn to the forms (experience of the spectacular scenes of the light realm).
"The meditation on the Sound is Formless and transcends the realm of name and form. Through this meditation the practitioner reaches the Supreme Being. Through this path the meditator goes beyond all obstacles and achieves the ultimate freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The practitioner becomes free from taking birth in this world. The practitioner whose consciousness grasps the Central Sound [a very high heavenly Sound] even once escapes the afflictions of time and death."
-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Souls Riding the Sound Current During Meditation Practice
Huzur Maharaj [Rai Salig Ram] describes surat, the spirit entity [the soul], as a particle or the smallest representative unit of the Supreme Being like the ray of sun or drop of ocean. It has originated from the Supreme Being and has in essence all the attributes of the Supreme Being. Since Shabd [the Sound Current, "The Word"] is the First Manifestation of the Supreme Being, the spirit-entity has a natural affinity with it.
Situated inward at the focus of the two eyes known as the teesra til [third eye center], the spirit-entity has been called the surat. As it descends at the heart centre and functions in the world, it is called jiva. Surat gives energy to every part of the body acting as the life-giving current. Though invisible, it can be known through its functioning. As it descends from above, it imparts vitality to mind, and then it combines with the current of mind and supplies vitality to sense organs. The jivas come in contact with material objects, and experience pleasure and pain through the sense organs. (The Radhasoami Faith -- A Historical Study, Agra)
The Condition of the Soul (Jiva) -- The Change of It's Powers with the Change of the Dimensions It Has Access To
At present the spirit entity of a human being is residing in the third or material-spiritual region, and has, therefore, to do all the work here by means of the senses and the mind which are mediums between it and the material objects, and consequently, as a natural result, its power has become quite hampered. But as soon as it begins to ascend [during meditation practice], the powers, which are now lying dormant, become active and the spirit entity acquires ultra-material or higher power.
The Method of Taking Back the Spirit Entity to It's Original Source is to Ride the Sound Current
The method for taking back the spirit entity to its Supreme Source is first to concentrate at the focus of eyes the spirit entity and mind which are defused in our body and in a manner tied to external objects by desires and passions, and next to commence its journey Homewards by attending to the Internal Sound, or in other words, by riding the Life or Sound Current which has originally emanated from the Supreme Source [Surat Shabd Meditation].
The Current which has been instrumental in having brought it down here must naturally be the 'Path' for its return to the Original Source, and whoever finds this Current is on the Path of Emancipation. (Huzur Maharaj, in, Radhasoami Mat Prakash)
Reconnection With Our Source, the Lord of the Soul -- RadhaSoami
"God is an Ocean of Love." (Anurag Sagar)
"Existence, Consciousness and Bliss are the nature of the Ultimate Reality." (The Brahm Nirupan of Kabir)
"The human spirit being native of pure spiritual regions and a denizen on this earth, it becomes necessary for its rest and comfort that it should try to return to its source where alone it can enjoy pure spiritual happiness permanently."
"Love is most sublime, having its origin in the highest region, the abode of the Supreme Being. In whatever heart it sprang up, it will gradually raise and carry the fortunate possessor of this lofty and noble passion to the highest region."
"The Supreme Being, being a boundless Ocean of Spirit or Love; and, human being, being a drop or current of Spirit or Love from this Ocean; and, love being the very essence and means of existence of the whole creation, it follows that no effort in any direction, temporal or spiritual, unless actuated by love or affectionate regard, can be crowned with success, and, the work or labour rendered easy, sweet and harmonious."
"Love or the power of attraction is the basis of the whole creation and the cause of its sustenance and preservation."
"The Supreme Being loves and takes special care of those who love Him with all their heart and soul, and gradually draws them towards Himself, the Grand Centre of Pure Light and Attraction; while those whose hearts are imbued with worldly love and passions recede from this centre, or in other words, they of themselves fly away towards the circumference or darkness and untruth."
"The Sound heard internally is a Current which has originally emanated from the Supreme Being and is the means not only of concentrating the will but also of raising the spirit to the Source from which it emanates. At the time of initiation, a novice receives instructions as regards the particulars of the Shabd [Sound] of each sub-division by means of which he has to raise his spirit upwards."
-- Radhasoami Mat Prakash ("Light on the Teachings About the Lord of the Soul"), by Huzur Maharaj was the very first Sant Mat book that appeared in the English language near the beginning of the 20th Century -- see the Sant Mat E Library to access this book)
True Sant Mat has a Godward Focus and is a Gospel of Love (Bhakti)
"The practice of Surat Shabd Yoga is dependent on the love generated in the devotee's heart for the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul, Anami, Anadi Purush]. The Radhasoami Faith [Sant Mat] therefore advocates the blending of Yoga with Bhakti [devotion]." (Agam Prasad Mathur, "Petals of Love")
"In a nut-shell, Radhasoami Faith is a gospel of love. Love towards the holy feet of Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul], love towards the Guru of the time and love with all the human beings is its cardinal message." (Agam Prasad Mathur, "Petals of Love")
"Through practicing Surat Shabd Yoga [Inner Light and Sound Meditation] with love and bhakti one is able to attain true salvation. One does not have to forego one’s worldly duties for this practice, which can be performed by anyone, whether young or old, male or female. The key ingredients of this faith are love and devotion." (A. P. Mathur, "Petals of Love")
"One should engender love for the Supreme Being and take shelter (saran) in His divine will (mauj). Hazur Maharaj said that 'a heart devoid of love or affection is as hard as a stone and does not form a suitable receptacle for the Light of Heavenly Grace and Compassion... The Supreme Being loves and takes special care of those who love Him with all their heart and soul and gradually draws them towards Himself -- the Center of Pure Light and Attraction.'" (Agam Prasad Mathur, Petals of Love)
"Truth should be the guideline in the performance of all activities, spiritual or temporal, for a satsangi. Nothing that falls short of truth should be acceptable to him [or her]." (Agam Prasad Mathur, "Petals of Love")
"The sole purpose of the incarnation of the Supreme Being as Satguru is to redeem the Jivas [souls] from the cycle of chaurasi [the transmigratory cycle of births and deaths], to reveal to them the efficacy of Surat Shabd Yoga and to engender into them the true and sincere love for the Supreme Being." (Agam Prasad Mathur, "Petals of Love")
Devotional Practices in Sant Mat and the RadhaSoami Faith
"It should be noted that all the following activities are included in devotional practices (Abhyas):
(1) Sumiran [Simran: Repetition of the Holy Name];
(2) Sumiran and Dhyan [Repetition of the Holy Name along with Contemplation of the Holy Form in meditation];
(3) Bhajan [Listening to the Sound Current in meditation: Surat Shabd Yoga].
(4) Recitation of holy books or listening to their recital in Satsang intelligently;
(5) Discussing the principles of the Radhasoami Faith or listening to such discussion;
(6) Thinking about and reflecting on matters pertaining to the Radhasoami Faith and its practices and pondering them; and
(7) Examining the ways of one's mind and senses daily, keeping them under control as far as possible."
-- Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Radhasoami
Kabir: The Formless God is Revealed to Souls-Living-In-Forms
When He Himself reveals Himself, Brahma brings into manifestation
That which can never be seen.
As the seed is in the plant, as the shade is in the tree, as the void is in the sky, as infinite forms are in the void --
So from beyond the Infinite, the Infinite comes; and from the Infinite the finite extends.
The creature is in Brahma, and Brahma is in the creature: they are ever distinct, yet ever united.
He Himself is the tree, the seed, and the germ.
He Himself is the flower, the fruit, and the shade.
He Himself is the sun, the Light, and the lighted.
He Himself is Brahma, creature, and Maya.
He Himself is the manifold form, the infinite space;
He is the breath, the Word, and the meaning.
He Himself is the limit and the limitless: and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He, the Pure Being.
He is the immanent mind in Brahma and in the creature.
The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul,
The Point is seen within the Supreme Soul,
And within the Point, the reflection is seen again.
Kabir is blest because he has this Supreme Vision!
-- Guru Kabir, Songs of Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore's collection