Biography of Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, the Great Scholar Sant (on the Occasion of His 95th Jayanti — Birthday Commemoration)
On Sunday, December 20th, 2015 We Remember Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj
Maharishi Santsevi Ji Maharaj is a renowned saint, an exceptional Spiritual Guide, and a unique social reformer of the 21st Century. Shri Santsevi Ji is the fourth Guru in the Santmat lineage of great spiritual masters: Sant Tulsi Sahab, Baba Devi Sahab, and Maharishi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj. Shri Santsevi Ji was born on December 20th, 1920 in a small village of Bihar state, the most impoverished state of India. His family name was Mahavira. From his early childhood Mahavira was greatly interested in religious and spiritual matters. He enjoyed reading the scriptures and the poetry of saints. He was particularly fond of the Ramayana, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Ramacharitmanas, and the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.
After attending middle school he began home schooling. His intellect was keen and his heart tender. He found joy in teaching and tutoring younger students and in nursing the sick. He always felt great compassion for the sick and oppressed. This led him to study homeopathic medicine in order to help the poor and to nurse the ailing. Through his experience with sickness and death, Mahavira witnessed the impermanence and suffering that pervades human life. As a result, the seeds of detachment became firmly rooted in his heart. He became detached from the worldly life. After considerable reflection, he chose a life of renunciation, even though his family members exerted great pressure to persuade him otherwise.
In 1939, Mahavira came in contact with the great sage of the Santmat tradition, Maharishi Mehi, who had a hermitage in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Upon seeing Maharishi Mehi, Mahavira felt drawn to him, as though he had known him for many lifetimes. Mahavira was also greatly intrigued by the principles and practices of Santmat. He approached Shri Maharishi Mehi for initiation in Santmat. Maharishi Mehi soon became very impressed by the sincerity and devotion of this young man and agreed to initiate him. Mahavira began his meditation and service of Guru, and also continued his work as a tutor.
In the heart of Mahavira a keen desire arose to remain permanently in the service of his Guru. His desire was fulfilled in 1949 when Maharishi Mehi gave him permission to stay in the Ashram in his service. Mahavira devoted his days and nights to taking care of the needs of his Guru, thereby following the ancient Vedic model of the Guru-disciple relationship. He never cared for his personal comfort when he was serving his Guru’s needs: cooking food, doing laundry, keeping track of expenses, editing his writings, and traveling to villages with him to teach the principles of Santmat to the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. Maharishi Mehi, pleased with this selfless service, gave him the name Santsevi, meaning “he who serves saints.” From that day Mahavira came to be known as Santsevi.
As Maharishi Mehi advanced in age, he began to transfer his responsibilities to Shri Santsevi Ji. He authorized Shri Santsevi Ji to give initiation to spiritual seekers, to respond to their inquiries, and to guide them through the inner experiences of their spiritual journeys. He came to be seen as the prominent disciple among Maharishi Mehi’s chief devotees. Maharishi Mehi often said, “As the English letters Q and U cannot be separated, so too Santsevi and I are connected. Wherever I may live Santsevi will also reside.” Shri Santsevi Ji remained in the service of his Guru until Maharishi Mehi’s passing at the age of 101 in July of 1986. After the passing of Shri Maharishi Mehi, Shri Santsevi Ji was immediately recognized as the torchbearer of Santmat. Since then, he has ceaselessly and selflessly been continuing the service of Santmat.
Shri Santsevi Maharaj Ji’s personality is charismatic as a result of his accomplishments on the path to the realization of Truth. Even though he is a learned man, his knowledge goes beyond the confines of the human intellect. Despite the fact that he never attended a class in a university or a college, a number of Ph.D. students are pursuing research on his writings. He has no formal education in any Divinity or Religious school, yet scholars from various disciplines come to him to understand the subtle interpretations found in sacred texts and literature: the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Bible, the Koran and the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, as well as various writings of the saints. He is well versed in several languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Bangala, Gurumukhi, Nepali, Maithali and other dialects of India. He has written and translated about twenty books elucidating the subject of yoga, philosophy, and the teachings of Santmat. His exposition of sacred texts is prolific, arising from his profound personal experience of the Truth.
Santmat and Maharishi Santsevi Ji
Maharishi Santsevi Ji is the present exponent (acharya) of Santmat, the branch which is directly linked to the lineage of Sant Tulsi Sahab. The word Santmat, usually written as Sant Mat, literally means the “point of view” or the “conviction of the sants and sages.” Historically, the Sant Mat movement was not a homogenous movement; but the term is a generic label for the Sant movement in the northern part of India, beginning around the 12th century. The early sants, such as Kabir, Ravidas, Namdev and Mirabai, represented a shift in religious and social attitudes -- on the one hand, freedom from sectarian boundaries and ritualistic confinements; on the other hand, direct communion with the Divine without mediation of any authority or liturgy.
The word sant is derived from the Sanskrit word sat (Eternal Truth, Reality). The root meaning is ‘one who knows the truth’ or ‘who has experienced Ultimate Reality.’ Thus, a sant is a person who has achieved Shanti (inner tranquility) as a result of union with the Divine, as in mystical enlightenment.
The word sant is translated “saint” in English. However, both in etymology and definition, there are significant differences that get lost in translation. The English word saint is derived from the Latin word sanctus, which has come to mean a “good person whose life is moral,” or a “holy being.” Thus, in English a saint is thought of as a “spiritual exemplar,” and the word has been attached to a wide variety of gurus and holy men and women. But, in Sanskrit, the dimension of inner unity with the Truth is inherent in the word sant. Some of the sants come from the lower castes, and some of them are even from the untouchable class, but they have enjoyed an honorable status in the tradition. (Although we use sant and saint interchangeably in this book, we imply the original meaning of the word sant for both.)
Santmat, the Way of Sages and Sants, as we prefer to refer to it, not only emphasizes a life of moral rectitude, but underlines the inner journey for God realization, or Liberation. Therefore, Sant Mat is not confined to the beliefs, rituals, and dogmas of any specific religion. It is universal in nature and embraces the truths found in most of the world’s sacred texts and religious traditions, even while not advocating any particular religion. Sant Mat encompasses a set of ageless moral values, a belief in a Higher Power, and even more important, a methodology for realization of the Highest Reality. This method elaborates the path of Divine Light and Sound through which one attains the state of absolute Peace within one’s own self. The unifying philosophy of Santmat leads the way beyond the boundaries of sectarianism, religious fanaticism, and communal distrust which plague our world today. Maharishi Santsevi Ji has taught the teachings of Sant Mat to more than a million people from multiple religions and from many countries.
-- Maharishi Santsevi Ji Maharaj: A Biography, in, Sarvadharma Samanvy (Harmony Of All Religions), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, and the Sant Mat Society of North America
The Goal of Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation: Our Path Back to the Source -- The Inward Journey Back to God
"Sant Mat (the path and teachings as taught and practiced by Saints [Sant Satgurus]) delineates the path of union of soul with God. The teachings of the saints explain the re-uniting as follows:
"The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [the Realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion, bodily existence. It has descended from the Soundless State to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature.
"The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature. Returning to our origins involves turning inward: withdrawal of consciousness from the senses and the sense objects in order to go upward from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. [We experience this phenomenon of withdrawal as we pass from waking consciousness to deep sleep.] Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. (Both of these expressions are the metaphors that signify the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the senses, must be collected at the tenth gate.
"The tenth gate is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return. The tenth gate is also known as the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, the center located between the two eyebrows. This is the gateway through which we leave the gates of the sense organs and enter in the divine realms and finally become established in the soul. We travel back from the Realm of Darkness to the Realm of Light, from the Light to the Divine Sound, and from the Realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is called turning back to the Source.
"This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us. This is the essence of dharma." (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, "Harmony Of All Religions").
Know Yourself and Know God: "Practice 'Drishti Yoga' (Yoga of Inner Light) and 'Nadaanusandhana' (Yoga of Inner Sound, Surat Shabd Yoga). This will remove the layers of Darkness, Light and Sound (that conceal your Soul from the Supreme Sovereign Soul, i.e. God). You will, thus, get to know 'Who You Are'. And, when you know yourself, you will also know God." (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj)
“Blessed are the souls who in today’s materialistic world have an inclination towards Spirituality.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
“Bienaventurados son las almas que en el mundo materialista de hoy en día tienen una inclinación hacia la espiritualidad.” (Swami Ji Maharaj Sant Sevi Ji)