Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Ascension of the Soul, Parts 4 and 5 -- Bhanwar Gupha to Sach Khand and Radhasoami Dham According to Sant Mat, a Very Gnostic Spiritual Path Fron India

The Ascension of the Soul, Parts 4 and 5: From the Whirlpool Vortex to Sach Khand

The Ascension of the Soul into Interior Regions of Light & Sound, Parts 4 and 5: the Fourth Through the Eighth Heavens

Initiation Into the Mysteries by a Living Master

"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)

"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, Dialogue of the Savior, a Gnostic Gospel in, The Nag Hammadi Library)

"The world has never been without a Living Master. Beneath all other impelling forces in the creation, spirituality is the primary cause. That, and that alone, is the driving force that always leaps up to join its Source. In every Living Being, from tiny plant up to man, the spiritual flame of life is struggling upward and onward toward its Source of Being, and this process and this struggle must go on until the last speck of dust returns to the central fires of Infinite Being.

"The message of the Masters fills the world with hope, and at the same time it offers a rational foundation for such hope. It not only tells people what they should do, but it offers them a definite method of doing it. In the march of the ages, cycle after cycle, in every planet where human beings reside, the great Masters are the Light-Bearers of that world. Until the end of the ages, they will remain the friends and saviors of those who struggle toward the Light." (Julian P. Johnson, Path of the Masters)

There are several techniques described, the specific details of which are taught to students of Sant Mat at the time of their deeksha (initiation) into the practice: 1) developing a daily routine, the habit of meditating at the same time or times each day; 2) proper posture so that one is truly focused at the Third Eye and remains alert and awake; 3) Manas Japa (Simran), a mantra repetition of a sacred word or words done mentally; 4) Manas Dhyan, the technique of mentally visualizing a form of God or one's spiritual master; 5) Drshti Yoga, the technique of focusing upon an Infinitesimal Point (Inner Light Meditation). This Point will eventually blossom into inner Light or visions of Light. One gazes into the middle of the darkness or the Light one sees while in meditation. One passes from scene to scene and vision to vision always looking toward the center; 6) Nada Sadhana (Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Sound Meditation), the practice of inner spiritual hearing; and, 7th) reaching the State of Kaivalya: Oneness with the Supreme Being in the Pure Conscious Realm. The ultimate goal is to merge into the upper level of Kaivalya known as Sabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad – the State beyond the Sound, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless State, also described with terms such as Radhasoami (Lord of the Soul), Anami (The Nameless One), Anadi Purush (The Soundlessness One), and Ocean of Love.


Bhanwar Gupha

Whirling Cave Vortex

Ana-HU: "I Am He!" (in Sufism) -- So-Hang: "I Am That!" (in the Sant Tradition)

"The spirit, thereafter, went to Hootal Hoot, which, in Hindi, has been described as Bhanwar Gupha. There is a rotating swing here which all the time in subtle motion, and the spirits ever swing on it. All round, there are innumerable spiritual islands from which the sounds of 'Sohang Sohang' and 'Ana-Hoo Ana-Hoo' rise all the time. Spirit entities playfully and rapturously enjoy these sounds. Whiffs of scents of various kinds and sweet fragrance of sandal are enjoyed by the spirit there and the melodies of flutes are heard, while it proceeds onwards. Other characteristics of this region cannot be reduced to writing, as they can be realized by the spirit only when it reaches there after performing Abhyas [meditation practices]."

(Soami Ji/Shiv Dayal Singh, Hidayatnama -- Esoteric Teachings, Sar Bachan Poetry)

Upon arriving in Bhanwar Gupha, the soul's nirat (power to see) and surat (capacity to hear) attain a state of satisfaction (Julian P. Johnson, 1953). This contentment, according to Shiv Dayal Singh's account, is due to perceiving a most intriguing and wondrous structure within the Rukmini tunnel in the entrance to the fourth region. Exactly what this sight is has not been explained by any Radhasoami saint in print. Like all experiences in the upper regions it must be encountered first-hand to be understood, not simply referenced in its decidedly mythological analogies. Bhanwar Gupha is the funnel of the entire creative process from Sach Khand downwards. Its very name exhibits the tremendous power inherent within the region: "whirling vortex". The lord of this realm is termed Sohang ("I Am That"), a descriptive-mantric term which implies a conscious intuition on the part of the soul with its higher identity.

The shabd currents in Bhanwar Gupha are so sweet and enchanting, according to the Saints, that souls live entirely off its invigorating nectar, desiring nothing but darshan of the presiding lord and the manifestations of light and sound. Kabir, the most famous of the medieval saints, describes in his writings (or, at least, those attributed to his pen) how hansas (pure spirits) live on spiritual dweeps (islands) with magnificent palaces for transmundane enjoyment. Faqir Chand, in his Yogic Philosophy of the Saints (1980), gives a more psychological interpretation of the meditator's experiences in the fourth region: "When in the course of meditation man reaches this state of Bhanwar-Gupha he experiences that there was none except his own self. This centre is compared with Bhanwar which means whirl. At this centre a wheel rotates like a cradle. It means that at this centre a wave springs out of the surat of the meditator and again merges in its own source, or say, it rotates around its own source and produces the sound of Sohang-Flute. The Shabd of this centre is so effective that the meditator enjoys the pleasure of being one with the Supreme Soul."

(The Section Above is from the Book, "Enchanted Land", by David Lane, MSAC Philosophy Group)


Nirvana -- Kaivalya -- Oneness -- Sach Khand -- The True Eternal Realm Divided Into Four Sub-sections:

5) Sat Lok (True Realm), Sat Naam (True Name), Sat Purush (True Original Being)

6) Alakh Lok (Invisible Realm),

7) Agam Lok (Inaccessible Realm, Nearness,)

8) Anami (Nameless Realm), Radhasoami Lok -- Radhaswami Dham -- The Abode of the Lord of the Soul, The Most High, Ultimate Reality, "The Eighth" -- Ocean of Love -- Upper Level of Kaivalya known as Shabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad -- Beyond the Sound and Light, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless, Soundless State

"On crossing this place, the spirit entity reached the outpost of Sat Lok, where melodious sounds of 'Sat Sat' and 'Haq Haq' were heard as though coming out of vina (harp). On hearing this, the spirit penetrated further on rapturously. There rose to view the silver and golden streams full of nectar, and vast gardens, each tree thereof is  one crore yojans in height, and crores of suns and moons hang from them as flowers and fruits. Innumerable spirits and Hansas sing, chatter, and play on those trees like birds. The wondrous beauty of this region is ineffable. While enjoying it, the spirit entered Sat Lok and came into the presence of Sat Purush. Now as regards the glory of the person of Sat Purush, each hair of His is so brilliant that crores of suns and moons look pale in comparison. How may one describe His eyes, nose, ears, face, hands, and feet; They are all nothing but refulgence, even to describe them as oceans of light does not give the remotest idea adequately. After witnessing the glory of this region the spirit proceeded on to Alakh Lok and got darshan of Alakh Purush. Thereafter the spirit entity went on and attained Agam Lok. The spirit entity sojourned there a long time and on going beyond, it got the darshan of Radhasoami, that is, Anami Purush, and merged in Him. Radhasoami Dham is boundless, infinite, endless and immeasurable. It is the Nij Sthan, the special resting place of Sants (Faqirs). That region is the Ultima Thule of all Sants, and all speech and description end here."

(Soami Ji/Shiv Dayal Singh, Hidayatnama -- Esoteric Teachings, Sar Bachan Poetry)

Though it has been a long time coming, the soul after traversing the lower realms finally reaches its real home, Sach Khand (true region), where even the subtlest duality between the spirit and God are transcended. The Supreme Being, Sat-Chit-Ananda (Truth, Existence, Bliss), is found in Its pure form only in this region, the saints stress. All of the previous planes of existence are but reflections of this infinite abode (Shiv Dayal Singh, 1970).

On being admitted to Sat Purush's court, the soul revels in delight, for the inner guru has delivered what he promised: God realization. However, a curious thing happens when the student beholds the Supreme Lord for the first time; the guru is seen as not different from Sat Purush, but rather they are one and inseparable. All along it was not just a human being or an inner spirit guiding the yearning soul but, according to the Saints, the Absolute itself.

Now, at this crucial transformation, the student realizes the Supreme Truth that he/she is also not separate from the divine master or the Lord but in eternal unity with them. This enlightenment, unlike the partial glimpses of insight in the intermediary realms, is permanent and lasting; it is the very root of all manifestations, projections, and creations. One without a second; infinity without measure.

Although Sach Khand is the last and final stage, according to the Saints, there are three further levels within it of intensification: alakh (invisible), agam (inaccessible), and anami (nameless). Upon merging with Sat Purush, the spirit is taken up further into the very depths of the Absolute, experiencing what no words or approximations can adequately describe. Shiv Dayal Singh (1970) says it is but "wonder, wonder, wonder; wonder hath assumed a form." Faqir Chand, in this usual iconoclastic manner, describes the highest state as follows: "Beyond Agam is only realization. I do know that there is something in me that listens to the Supreme Shabd. What is that? That I do not know... I used to listen to bells, thunders, and vina, but now I listen only to one sound, which is an unbreakable tune, about which I cannot say any word. It is what it is. Now at this age of ninety two years I do not care for the Sound and Light too. Why? Because Light is seen by Me (Sat Purush/Anami) and Sound is heard by Me. Then who is great? Light or Sound or He who sees it and listens to it? So far, my realization is concerned, the bubble will merge in the ocean. Light will merge in the Light...." (Faqir Chand, 1978)

According to the Saints it should be remembered that Sat Purush is not some mysterious God which is vastly greater than our limited selves. Rather, it is, in the most profound sense, our very beings. We are not less than it, nor greater than it... we are it. No subject, no object, just pure unqualified Being in an Ocean of Infinite Creative Power. It may appear that the Master and God are separate from the disciple, but in truth they are but expressions of the same Whole, the same One (Charan Singh, 1979).

(The Section Above is from the Book, "Enchanted Land", by David Lane, MSAC Philosophy Group)

"In summary, one grasps the central Sounds of the lower realms and progressively is drawn upward to the Sounds of the higher realms. Ultimately, one reaches the center of the Original Sound, the Essential Divine Sound, and thereafter attains the Ultimate State, Sabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad (the State beyond the Sound). The Yoga of Sound [Surat Shabd Yoga Meditation] must be practiced in order to attain the Nameless State. This is fully elaborated and described in the Upanishads and literature of the saints. The Yoga of Sound is the only medium to reach this State, no other. The greatest good is in the attainment of the Ultimate State, the Nameless State." (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, Philosophy Of Liberation)

"The State beyond Sound is acknowledged in the writings of saints as the goal of their teachings. In addition, their writings accept Manas Japa (repetition of a Divine name [simran]), Manas Dhyan (concentration on a form of the Divine), Drshti Yoga (fixing the mind on a Point [accessing the Third Eye Center and inner Light]) and Nada-nusandhana (concentrating on the inner Sounds of the different spheres) as means to reach the Soundless State. These four techniques are therefore essential in Sant Mat." (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, Philosophy Of Liberation)

It is All Love, So Says Radhasoami

In the Sar Bachan are hymns of praise, conversational prayers directed towards the Friend, the Beloved, the Object of his Communion, the Lover of his soul: the Merciful Lord of the Soul: Radhasoami Dayal. In this loving context of devotional Bhakti, mystical experiences (Surat Shabd Yoga, Divine Light and Sound of God) take the devotee-soul upon an interior journey beyond illusion, beyond time and duality, to an Ultimate Reality, the Ocean of Love, Soami Ji Maharaj describes as "Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent with attributes of Grace, Mercy, Love, Bliss and Peace."

Says Soami Ji: "I hear the sonorous sounds of bell and conch-shell which resonate and reverberate (in Sahasdal Kanwal), and I hear the melodious and wondrous sounds of been (harp in Sat Lok) and flute (or bansuri in Bhanwar Gupha). The tune and rhythm of drums (mridang) and fiddle, reverberations and the sound of kettledrum and tabor resonates every moment. The ambrosial rain falls in a thousand currents and the heavenly sphere (gagan mandal) revolves like a wheel. I go round and round (ghoomland), losing all my strength and ego and becoming utterly humble and dependent upon the Lord, so that the sheen of my doxology becomes intense and scintillating. The atmosphere that is created beggars description, and all the satsangis (initiates, gathering of devotees) join together in singing the doxology. Diamonds and rubies are being showered all around as propitiatory offering; the strings of pearls and quartz are being interwoven.

"I behold Radhasoami every moment. I have now completed this doxology! 0 Lord! Confer upon me your grace (prasad) which basically is ambrosia (and which will immortalize me, putting me beyond the ken of decay, decline and death). I am now unfurling the banner (flag) of love in the Heavenly Spheres of Three Prominences (Trikuli or Gagan) where the resonance of anhad shabd emanates from the Inaccessible Sphere.

"In those islands, the lakes of ambrosia are full to the brim and the hamsas there have the glimpses of Sat Purush for their nourishment (substance that nourishes; food, nutrient). There every time, there is a new sport (lila); how shall I speak of the majesty and grandeur thereof? Beyond that, the Alakh (Invisible) Sphere has been carved out, and there the surat goes, abandoning the non-Self ('I-ness' or ego or aapaa).

"How shall I admire the splendour and lustre of Alakh Purush? Billions and trillions of moons and suns feel humble and humiliated and are put to shame for they are all surpassed by the glory of Alakh Purush and feel disgraced. The surat acquires such a brilliant form there that crores of suns cannot do justice to its mien and beautiful aspect (chhabi).

"Then the surat steps forward and goes to perceive the Agam Lok (the Inaccessible Sphere). The sheen and lustre (shobha) of the Inaccessible Purush is peculiar, wholly distinct, for His brilliance and shine excels the light of trillions of suns.

"Beyond that is the Nameless One (Purush Anami), who is called as indescribable and Infinite (akeh and apaar). None can go there save the saints, who have termed it their own, original, eternal abode. 0 Lord (Soami)!

"Radhasoami, I adore and adulate you, for you have revealed to me the Mystery."

Swami Ji Maharaj says, "From one step to another the soul beholds strange things which cannot be described in human language. Every region and everything is utterly beyond words. What beauty and glory! How can I describe them? There is nothing here to convey the idea. I am helpless... Love plays the supreme part. It is all love. So says RADHASOAMI." (Sant Radhasoami Sahab)

Ingredients of a Living Spiritual Path -- Gnostic-Sant Mat Parallels

In the Corpus Hermeticum and Nag Hammadi scriptures are/were described all of the ingredients of a living, viable mystical path:

1) living masters/teachers with students (past masters, scrolls, cuneiform tablets or old scriptures are not enough; a living guide is required);

2) a cosmology of several heavens/inner regions/planes/spheres;

3) an understanding that souls can access these realms here and now during this present life (a present-tense Kingdom of Heaven available to souls right now, not a spirituality postponed till some magical date on a calendar or hypothesized future age);

4) an initiation into the mysteries of the heavens, imparting to spiritual seekers the meditation techniques and sacred names;

5) visionary and auditory mysticism (inner Light and Sound, spiritual seeing and hearing) -- descriptions of souls traveling within through various inner regions;

6) they have an ethical code, and this ethical foundation includes a vegetarian diet, then and now;

7) The Goal of the teachings and meditation practice is experiencing direct union with God.

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)

Also See:

The Ascension of the Soul, Part 1: Introduction to the Meditation Practice, And,The First Inner Region: Astral Plane:


The Ascension of the Soul, Part 2: Introduction to the Inner Regions/Heavens, And, The Causal Plane: Trikuti:


The Ascension of the Soul into Interior Regions of Light & Sound, Part 3: The Third Region: Daswan Dwar and the Great Dark Void:


Charts of the Heavens -- Inner Regions -- Planes -- Levels -- Spheres of Creation According to Sant Mat: