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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Reality and Illusion -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses

Reality and Illusion -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses

"The Supreme Being has created everything from one drop, out of which have emerged millions of fathomless oceans." (Soami Ji Maharaj, Elucidation of the Jap Ji)

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." (Albert Einstein)

"Do not live even a single day without inner meditation." "This world is an illusion -- practice meditation." (Baba Devi Sahib)

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting." (Buddha)

"'Is this path difficult?' I questioned haltingly.

"'It can be difficult if your attention is in the wrong place,' answered the holy man. 'If you constantly focus your attention downwards into the manifold attributes of the world, you will become identified with matter. But if you focus your love aspect constantly upwards into the Being of God, you will eventually become merged with the all-embracing love of the Supreme Lord. Love is an inherent quality of the human heart; and it is through love that the most potent truths of all creation are apprehended.'" (George Arnsby Jones, The Pilgrimage of James, An Odyssey of Inner Space, Peacehaven Press)

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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.

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"My Enlightening Friend, grant me the radiance
of the Divine Name.
The Name taught by the Guru is the breath of my life,
To praise the One is my daily custom."

-- Prayer from the Rahiras section of the Adi Granth, "The Name of My Beloved, Verses of the Sikh Gurus", an anthology of the Adi Granth/Guru Granth/Sikh Scriptures translated by Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh

Personal Authenticity Means Everything on the Spiritual Path:

"Learn to offer all your work unto God and grow in humility. Such bands of worshipers are needed for the service of humanity. What is needed is not numbers but 'quality' and 'character' of the workers.

"I want group Satsangs of individuals who become centers of life, the new life of the Spirit and not organization of power which imprisons the fundamental values and stifles the living inspiration." (Kirpal Singh)

Studying, Meditating, Attending Satsang, Avoiding Bad Company

Kirpal Singh: "So to develop this love, we must first obey His commandments, second weed out all imperfections, and third devote time to the spiritual practices. You should also have the company of somebody who just reminds you of your ideal. Avoid the company of all others in whose society you are attached to the world or forget Him. If you cannot have the company of those who can help you to remember Him, then it is better to live alone. Live with the Masters speaking through books, through the scriptures. You will be better off. A further symbol that in your love you are drawing closer to Him, is that you will feel separation. You will hanker to see Him. When you hear about Him, your heart will become full and tears will roll down from your cheeks. These are the symptoms to show that the fruit is ripening. These things are the blossoms. Ultimately, when the fruit comes, you are for the Master, and the Master is for you. These are the steps and we have now to judge where we stand." (Morning Talks, Sant Bani Press)

"Sant Mat recognizes the great Sages, and Saints of the different traditions who are accomplished in the spiritual goal of human life. Sant Mat respects the Saints, Prophets, and Sages of all traditions: Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Rumi, Bahá’u’lláh, Mira Bai, etc. Furthermore, Sant Mat believes in the uninterrupted continuation of the emergence of Saints (Masters, Sant Satgurus) on this Earth." (TheWayOfSages website)

"Masters have come in the past, are existing today, and will continue to come in the future for the spiritual benefit of humanity." (Kirpal Singh)

"There are more fake guides, teachers in the world than stars.
The real guide is the one who makes you see your inner beauty,
not the one who wants to be admired and followed."
(Shams Tabrizi)

"Those who are false from within but who outwardly show honor: They are only show-offs in the world." (Guru Nanak, Asa Di Vaar)

"The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth." (Ramakrishna)

"When we associate with Truth, we ascend upwards, and when we associate with untruth we fall down." (Acharya Tulsi, Jainism)

"Saints have a very positive and optimistic view of us. Though they may note our predicament, our current situation, what they really see is what we can become." (S.R. Bakshi and Sangh Mittra, in the book, "Radhasoami", Volume 19 in the Encyclopaedia of Saints of India Series)

"India has been the leader in spiritual knowledge, and, I believe, it will also hold the same status in the future. However, only those saints and teachers who are proficient in English are able to take their teachings abroad. Our honorable Gurudev Maharshi Mehi (Mehi is also spelled as 'Mehin' meaning 'subtle,' 'refined.') said: 'I am so firm in my philosophy (of Santmat, also spelled as Sant Mat) that no one can shake my faith. Those who will read the philosophy expounded in my books will also realize the truth and become firm in their conviction -- this is my belief.'

"It is my regret that our Guru’s teachings, due to the limitation of language, could not reach Western countries. Now, our institution of Sant Mat is seeing a ray of hope in this direction. I believe that through this medium the Divine vision of our Gurudev could be realized. This ray of light is our scholarly sister Shrimati Veena Howard. Through her, the seminal books of Sant Mat, including Philosophy of Liberation and Harmony of All Religions, have been translated into English, and they have reached different regions of the world. In the series of translated books on Santmat, now my book, Chal Hansa Nij Desh has been included. She has translated and edited the book, and it is published with the name, Inward Journey of the Soul. The seekers who read this book will find the methods of how the soul transcends various realms of consciousness in the mystical journey within and reaches the ultimate state of Divine realization."

-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, from the Words of Blessing section of the new book, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)

NOTE: I am told that this book will eventually become available via Amazon.

The Illusion of Material Sound Currents vs. Hearing the Celestial Sound Current -- Discourse on Inner Sound Meditation

"Various sorts of Sound Currents reverberate in the human system from which the initiate has to pick up the right one and listen to it, otherwise he will go astray and lose his equipoise. The practical Guru forewarns his disciple and directs which Sound to listen to and which one to discard." (Shiv Brat Lal)

"...Only the Central Sound has the power to attract the consciousness to the center and carry the soul to the center of a higher realm. Other illusory material sounds do not have that magnetism to attract the consciousness to the higher realms." (Swami Vyasanand)

The Masters teach that the world -- indeed many realms -- are illusion, and that on inner planes there are many reflections or copies of higher realities. There are phenomena than can imitate or mimic spiritual experiences. There are even realms that to some extent might appear to be heavens or copies of Sach Khand. Hall of Mirrors. Matrix. Labyrinth. Astral fly-paper. In this world there is the illusion of the master, a meat-eating guru offering instruction and initiation, who also says ethics and honesty do not matter -- the illusion of having a spiritual teacher! The illusion of satsang. The illusion of enlightenment. One can stare at a bright light or contemplate the flame of a candle, then close one's eyes in a darkened room and continue to see a kind of photo-like retinal image of that candle -- an optical illusion of inner light. Some electronic devices and electrical appliances generate white noise, humming sounds, or high frequency ringing tones and overtones. These to some extent can mimic inner spiritual Sounds -- the illusion of the Sound Current.

Sometimes in the news there have been reports about people hearing a mysterious sound that seems to be coming from nowhere. One of these has been called "the Taos Hum." In, Philosophy of Liberation, Maharshi Mehi states that not only are there spiritual sounds associated with the heavenly realms, but there are also many vibrations or semi-subtle sounds associated with the gross-material realm. He says one should not falsely assume they are accessing the real inner Sound Current just by hearing ANY kind of sound that may manifest itself in one's perception during the silence of meditation:

"There are sounds due to gross vibrations in the material body. To meditate on these gross-material sounds and believe it to be as the full practice of the Yoga of Sound shows a lack of knowledge of Yoga." There are gross-material sounds one can hear in the silence of meditation that do not lead one Above, do not lead to spiritual growth, transformation or enlightenment. Swami Vyasanand: "This is because only the Central Sound has the power to attract the consciousness to the center and carry the soul to the center of a higher realm. Other illusory material sounds do not have that magnetism to attract the consciousness to the higher realms."

There are inner Sounds that one receives instruction from a true Master about at the time of initiation into Surat Shabd Yoga (Inner Sound Meditation, the Yoga of the Audible Life Stream). These Sounds are perceived to come from the right side or center and represent the Ascending Current. Sounds that appear to be coming from the left side are of the descending current flowing downward into the material creation or multiverse. One is instructed to focus on the Sounds of the Ascending Current or Audible Life Stream -- certain Sounds. There are of course many other sounds one might hear, but one has to focus on certain Sound Currents. The reason for this is these Sounds, if focused upon during meditation practice, will keep pulling the soul’s attention up to ever higher and higher levels. These are coming from regions Above. Other sounds, though mistaken for the Sound Current, are interesting, miraculous or even mystical, will not help the Surat-soul to ascend or make spiritual progress.

"Various sorts of Sound Currents reverberate in the human system from which the initiate has to pick up the right one and listen to it, otherwise he will go astray and lose his equipoise. The practical Guru forewarns his disciple and directs which Sound to listen to and which one to discard." (Shiv Brat Lal)

"I have heard accounts of some practitioners who follow unusual sound meditation practices and claim to hear sounds. However, these gross-material sounds are imaginary or generated by metabolic functions and blood circulation. An ear disease can also create a humming sound that can be mistaken for the inner Divine Sound." (Swami Vyasanand)

Shiv Brat Lal: "The devotee in his spiritual journey upwards hears sweet melodies which attract him. The melodies are a powerful magnetic force which draws the attention inwards and makes it fully attuned to proceed up and up."

Maharshi Mehi in, Philosophy of Liberation: "Each of the Sounds of the centers of the five realms possesses an attribute to draw Surat (the consciousness) upward to its center. The Essential Sound or Pure Spiritual Sound has the attribute to draw one’s consciousness up to the Supreme Sovereign [God]. The other mayavi sounds (material Sounds mentioned above) of each of the respective five realms have the attribute to attract the person who hears it (or focuses on it) and to draw that person's Surat (consciousness) to the Sound of the realm directly above. Further, for the practitioner, the realization of the Essential Divine Sound is impossible without first attaining the Sounds of the lower realms. Sar Shabda (the Essential Divine Sound) beckons a return to the Supreme Sovereign. The progression of Sound in all centers of the realms is upward, carrying one's consciousness from the lower centers to the higher centers ultimately reaching the Supreme Sovereign God." (Philosophy Of Liberation)

In, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh), Swami Vyasanand says, "The question arises: What is the secret of correct technique for Shabd (Sound) meditation? Sant Radhaswami says: 'Focus your consciousness stream on the Inner Space. You will find the Divine Sound which will lead you beyond the snares of this illusory world.' You should focus your consciousness or inner Current in the middle of the eyebrows -- the meeting point of the Ida and Pingla channels -- which is known as the tenth gate, Sushumna, Ajna Chakra or third eye. The practitioner will attain one-pointedness through this practice. In other words, the subtlest and most luminous sign of the light realm (bindu) will appear. With that luminous sign the inner Sound will also manifest.

"Sant Paltu Sahab: 'Out from that burning light comes the Divine Sound, and only the one immersed in the Samadhi (meditation) of Divine knowledge can hear, none other.' This is the Sound that is heard when concentrating on that first mark of light. Due to carelessness, it is possible to also hear the other sounds of the lower realms that have the potential to distract the consciousness Current. It is conceivable then, that the upward ascent of consciousness becomes distracted, thus creating a hindrance in progress. This is because only the Central Sound has the power to attract the consciousness to the center and carry the soul to the center of a higher realm. Other illusory material sounds do not have that magnetism to attract the consciousness to the higher realms.

-- Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj

More from Swami Vyasanand: 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."

Someone must have asked, generally, if the Sound is not heard with the physical ears then with what kind of ear is this subtle Sound heard? When the mind becomes concentrated, then the physical sense of hearing becomes quiet and one does not hear. This occurs because the attention withdraws from the senses and one is unable to hear physical sound.

In response Sant Tulsi Sahab says: "A practitioner who is able to focus in the Sushumna or the tenth gate for some time will experience the opening of the inner subtle hearing faculty. That inner sense of hearing is also known as the consciousness Current." My Guru Maharshi Mehi says: "A practitioner hears the sweet Sound of the flute through the stream of inner consciousness."

When the outer ear ceases to hear and the mind is fully concentrated within, then the inner hearing opens up and the practitioner can hear the Divine Sound within (through the inner ear). From this, do not infer that a deaf person could easily hear that inner Sound, because complete concentration is the key, not a lack of physical hearing. Sants have articulated about the closing of three gates of the body to experience the inner Sound. The three gates are eyes, ears, and mouth. Close these and, only then, can one hear the inner Sounds. According to Sant Kabir: "Close your eyes, ears, and mouth, and listen to the Anahad (inner Unstruck Divine Sound)." Sant Nanak Sahab says: "Close the three gates and listen to the reverberation of the Divine Sound.” Sant Maharshi Mehi and also Sufi Sants have used similar vocabulary to describe the process of closing three openings for hearing the inner Sound.

I have heard accounts of some practitioners who follow unusual sound meditation practices and claim to hear sounds. However, these gross-material sounds are imaginary or generated by metabolic functions and blood circulation. An ear disease can also create a humming sound that can be mistaken for the inner Divine Sound. Some false gurus boast about their imaginary inner experiences of Divine Light and Sound in order to impress their followers.

Other Hatha Yogis perform postures (asanas) such as mula bandh (contracting the muscles of lower organs), uddiyana bandha (contracting the abdominal muscles and diaphragm that involves breathing exercises), and jalandhara bandha (throat lock to the flow of energy in the nerves and blood flow in the neck). Some practitioners use ketchari mudra (touching the root of the palate with the tongue) and attempt sound meditation in that mudra. Still others try to listen from the right or from the left ear. Some listen from below 'the tenth gate' and others above 'the tenth gate.' Some press their eardrums with their fingers and hear vibrations and think them to be the Divine Sound. Some stare at the tip of the nose; some listen to music in the dark, and some in the light. Some place their head down, others straighten their chest. In today's world, in the name of the Divine Sound there is a prevalence of a great variety of illusory and imaginary practices claiming to be techniques of Sound meditation. These are not only against the teachings of Sants but are also incapable of providing any real inner experience of Divine Sound.

Sant Tulsi Sahab declares: "Without the true knowledge of the Yoga of Sound, all efforts are hopeless. Only a Satguru who is accomplished can impart this knowledge about the different forms of Sound." Therefore, Maharshi Mehi says, "Practicing Sound Yoga (Inner Sound Meditation) is not child's play." Sant Kabir says: "Without practice of this Sound meditation man is subjected to birth and death." Therefore having learned from an accomplished teacher, the practitioner would gain the ability to hear the Celestial, not illusory, sounds.

The closing of the eyes, ears, and mouth is used to help tune out the distractions caused by the outer senses. This is essential for the purpose of focusing one's gaze in the Sushumna. Therefore, in the initial stages it is advised that the practitioner close these three senses of sight, hearing, and speaking. Consequently, the mind begins to be focused in the third eye. For those whose consciousness stream has become mature in the power of concentration, it is not necessary to close these three sensory organs. This is due to the fact that the practitioner's mind is focused on the target of the 'third eye' becomes detached from the senses and is no longer held by experiences arising from the sensory objects.

The secret of practicing Sound Yoga is to attach the consciousness to the center of the 'third eye.' It is necessary for the following reasons: First, by not following this instruction, the practitioner will be distracted by the lower physical sounds imbued by rajas guna (passion) and tamas guna (dark inertia). The consciousness Current would not be able to grasp the Nada (Essential Central Sound) and ascend to the higher realms. It gives the practitioner only a satisfaction of listening to a sound -- but not the true benefit of the experience of the Sar Shabd (the Essential Sound)...

-- Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)

"If you want the truth,
I’ll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret Sound,
the real Sound,
which is inside you." -- Guru Kabir

On the Love of the Soul -- Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad

Maitreyi said: "What should I then do with
possessions that cannot give me life eternal?
Give me instead your knowledge, O my Lord."

On hearing this Yajnavalkya exclaimed:

"Dear you are to me, beloved, and dear are the words you say.
Come, sit down and I will teach; but hear my words with deep attention."

Then spoke Yajnavalkya:

In truth, it is not for the love of a husband that a husband is dear;
but for the love of the Soul in the husband that a husband is dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of a wife that a wife is dear;
but for the love of the Soul in the wife that a wife is dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of children that children are dear;
but for the love of the Soul in children that children are dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of riches that riches are dear;
but for the love of the Soul in riches that riches are dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of religion that religion is dear;
but for the love of the Soul in religion that religion is dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of power that power is dear;
but for the love of the Soul in power that power is dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of the heavens that the heavens are dear;
but for the love of the Soul in the heavens that the heavens are dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of the gods that the gods are dear;
but for the love of the Soul in the gods that the gods are dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of creatures that creatures are dear;
but for the love of the Soul in creatures that creatures are dear.

In truth, it is not for the love of the all that the all is dear;
but for the love of the Soul in the all that the all is dear.

It is the Soul, the Spirit, the Self, that must be seen and be heard
and have our thoughts and meditation, O Maitreyi.
When the Soul is seen and heard, is though upon and is known,
then all that is becomes known... [all this is understood].

Religion, power, heavens, beings, gods, and all will abandon us
if we think that they are apart from the Soul.
Because religion, power, heavens, beings, gods, and all rest on the Soul.

-- Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad (600 B.C.)
translated by Juan Macaro

3 Levels of Bhakti (Devotion) -- 3 Pages from Prem Patra RadhaSoami, Volume 3, by Huzur Maharaj

Page One Notes --

RadhaSoami (pronounced "Radha-swami") Dayal means "Merciful Lord of the Soul".

Sat-Sang is a meetup, association, a spiritual gathering in the name of the Eternal Truth (Sat);

Abhyas (meditation practices);

Sewa or Seva (selfless service);

Page Two Notes --

Gurumukh (faithful or ideal disciple);

Bani (hymn, kirtan, bhajan);

Parmarth (spirituality);

Page Three Notes --

Sant Sat Guru, a living master who, in their own meditations, has reached the fifth heaven or above and therefore is a qualified teacher and positive influence upon others (is a co-worker with the Positive Power);

Premi Abhyasi (lover of the Beloved, Inner Light and Sound meditation practitioner);

Mysticism without love just remains "astral". A secular "science of soul travel" or inducing out of body experiences without much emphasis on Bhakti, ethics or innate goodness is less likely to be successful or reach a Positive State. "As long as your shallow worldly ambitions exist, the door will not open." (Lao-tzu) In the Sant tradition there is much emphasis upon love and devotion (Bhakti, prem) being the foundation of the spiritual path. Love opens a portal to the highest of heavens and the Ultimate Reality is the Ocean of Love.

Sant Mat History Series: Tulsi Sahib of Hathras

(Entry for Param Sant Tulsi Sahib in, RadhaSoami White Paper on the Religion of Sants and RadhaSoami Faith, published in Agra)

Tulsi Sahib was born in 1763 AD and expired at the age of 80 in 1843 AD. He was Brahmin by caste and had a noble ancestry. He belonged to the Royal lineage of the Peshwas. Tulsi Saheb was none other than Amrit Rao, the grandson of Peshwa Baji Rao I. Peshwa Baji Rao II was Amrit Rao's brother by adoption. Tulsi Sahab repeatedly stresses the need for a Master in his works. In no uncertain terms, he says: "Without the guidance of a perfect Master, no one can ever get release from bondage, be he a god, man or sage. Even the trinity, the gods of creation, preservation and destruction, cannot help." That he had a Master, is reflected in many of Tulsi Sahab's writings. Expressing his gratitude to his Master, he says,

"O Tulsi, the kind and merciful master has blessed me and made my life blossom... He has given me a new life."

Gradually, Tulsi Sahab attracted a large number of followers and disciples from among the high caste Brahmins as well as the low caste Sudras. They came from the poor classes, as also from the affluent. He used to visit towns and cities in U.P. and among his disciples were Seth Dilwali Singh Sahab of Agra [Soami Ji's father], his wife Mahamaya, his mother, his mother in-law and sister. They were all keen disciples of Tulsi Sahab. He used to pay visits to them in Agra, stay in their home in Panni Gali, and hold satsangs there.

In his well-known work Ghat Ramayan, Tulsi Sahab deals with the various religious doctrines and explains their meaning in the light of Sant Mat...

As per Tulsi Sahab's Ghat Ramayan, it is imperative for us to understand that, Dashrath, Ram, Sita and other characters are actually symbolic characters. They are in-fact spiritual forces and currents acting on individual spirit entities.

The teachings of all Saints are essentially the same. They speak of the "Kingdom of Heaven" which is within. They show the path and impart instructions to attain it. They do not claim to teach something new or different from what other Saints have taught. Tulsi Sahab declared that he was giving the same teachings as those of Kabir Sahab, Nanak Sahab, Dadu Sahab and other Saints. Tulsi Sahab, for the first time, used the expression "Sant Mat" or "the teachings of Saints" to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints.

Tulsi Sahib's Tenets

Sheikh Taqi, a Muslim divine, while returning from his pilgrimage to Ka'aba, happened to pitch his tent near Tulsi Sahab's hut. In his dissertation on God-realization, Tulsi Sahab explained to the Muslim divine that, the human body is the real mosque, in which "Khuda" or God resides. He does not live in artificial mosques of brick and mortar made by man. The way to meet Him is also within the body, through the third eye. The eye center holds the entire mystery of Creation. The Kun, the Word, or the Sound Current is the key to the Lord's mansion and it can be attained only through a perfect Master. After a few days, the Sheikh returned to Tulsi Sahab and begged him for initiation with tears of devotion in his eyes.

Managiri, the head of a group of ascetics, was a learned scholar of the Vedas and other scriptures. To him Tulsi Sahab points out that the essential teachings of Sant Mat are beyond the reach of the Vedas and Puranas. "They know not the mystery of the Path. Sant Mat is different and higher." "The ascetics try to give up the world, but this act itself brings them back to the ocean of the world. Putting on saffron colored, yellow or blue robes, giving up food or eating from the hands, taking vows of silence, are all external observances and are of no avail. They do not lead the soul to realization of the Lord." Managiri was eventually initiated by Tulsi Sahab and given the blessing of such inner experience as changed his entire life.

The method of Sant Mat is always one and the same. People have, in the course of history, given it different names and have thereby created confusion... All those who have reached the highest and merged into the Supreme Being give the same message. Those who have gone within and realized the Lord, narrate the same truth. Whatever the earlier Saints have said, the same Kabir Sahab has taught. Kabir Sahab has told us of the five immortal melodies; he has told us of their five stages...

After being convinced of the truth of Tulsi Saheb's interpretation, Phooldas a Kabir Panthi Mahant (priest) who had drifted, away from the path of Shabd Yoga asked for initiation, saying, "I have now realized that thyself and Kabir art, indeed, one. Being a high priest, pride had rendered me blind. This lowly one could not recognize thy greatness, O Master."

In his dialogue with Priyelal Gosain, Tulsi Sahab discloses: "The Lord who has created the universe, the regions material and spiritual, Himself resides within the human body. He is apart from Pind, And and Brahmand (The physical, the astral and the causal planes, respectively) and yet He is close to man and is ever present within him. His knowledge can be obtained from Saints alone, for they give the key to the soul, which enables it to go within and realize Him... But you, a human being, the top of creation, consisting of five elements, stoop to worship stones that consist of only one element. You adore idols as being pure and holy, but scoff at the so-called low caste humans as impure and profane, who, like you, are perfectly sentient and rational. You bathe with great ostentation in 'holy' rivers, but do not see the accumulated dirt on your own mind."

Priyelal Gosain, after a long discussion with Tulsi Sahab, was convinced. He discarded his saffron gown, necklace of beads and the sacred thread, and asked for the gift of Naam.

A Nanak Panthi, called Palakram, also came to Tulsi Sahab. Truthful, honest and humble, he regularly read the Japji and Sukhmani (compositions from the Adi Granth). However, he knew nothing of the path of Shabd, which Guru Nanak and other Saints had taught. In the course of his talks with him, Tulsi Sahab said that Guru Nanak was also a Saint of the highest order, having come from the abode of the ineffable Shabd, the home of the Lord. He imparted the same truth that the other Saints have given. In Japji and some other hymns, Guru Nanak sings the praises of Saints and of the Naam that they give. On reading the Adi Granth one finds the importance of a living Master stressed at every step. Guru Nanak also sings praises of the Fourth Realm, beyond the reach of Brahm and Parbrahm and beyond destruction. He gives the method of joining Surat (the Soul) with the Shabd within, of crossing the astral and the causal regions, and of merging in Sat Purush (the Supreme Lord) in Sach Khand. ////////