You Are Not Alone -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
Saturday, January 24, 2015
You Are Not Alone -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
You Are Not Alone -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
"It is impossible to confine love to the temporal and transient levels of life, and it is impossible to confine the grandeur and majesty of God to the dimensions of the mind. When I had come to a partial realization of this fact, wise adepts of the inner realms provided me with guidance through the fragrant mystic universe, the spirito-mental region. They showed me their many magnificent planets of light and wonder. It was they who ultimately persuaded me to roam and explore untold realms of gold within myself. I had no fixed starting place in time and space, for I dwelt in a multi-verse that was co-extensive with all the ages. But my inner world was still limited by the boundaries of creation; I needed the guidance of a spiritual adept, within the physical world itself, to give me new birth into the freedom of eternity." (George Arnsby Jones)
"There are those who have wandered among the darting comets and the shimmering orbs of sounding fire. The soul-explorer is not alone, for there are those who have traveled the highways of the inner cosmos; far more than one may at first realize." (George Arnsby Jones)
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This Sant Mat Radhasoami E-Newsletter is dedicated to the Path of the Masters (Sant Satgurus of the Past, the Living Present, and Future), and to the Supreme Being, the Lord of the Soul Who is the Ocean of Love and All-Consciousness, and 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.
"What's the use of receiving this human form if we do not serve others in thought, word, and deed. If we hold our thoughts only on worldly material things and refuse to think of that which is higher and more subtle, then our faith in the Transcendental will inevitably diminish." ("Quintessence of Yoga: Secret of All Success", a Sant Mat publication)
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Huzur Baba Sawan Singh: The Karmic Law of the Vegetarian Diet, and Following the Path of the Sound Current
Sawan Singh: "I must point out that animal food, even if a single particle is eaten, is detrimental to spiritual progress."
"A human being cannot comprehend the existence of God and His creation until he has succeeded in getting his soul free from the bondage of the five Tattwas, the twenty-five Prakritis, the three Gunas, Maya and Mind -- all of which are enveloping it here -- until he has emancipated his soul from every one of these errors and taken it beyond the sphere of mind and intellect, and opened his internal vision. Only then is the soul able to know itself and understand what it is made of.
"After that, it becomes fit to seek its Creator and to find out the ocean from which it originally descended, as well as the means to regain it. Consequently, before a disciple has succeeded in getting rid of these chains, it shall be sufficient for him to know that this world can be divided into two parts, land and water.
"The creatures of water live upon each other. Nature has not provided them with any other means of subsistence. Big fish are eating the little ones, etc. The same holds true of the land. Lions and tigers eat up wolves and jackals. The latter subsist on the meat of sheep, goats, etc. They, in turn, eat plants. Hawks eat smaller birds. Birds eat insects, and men eat most every form of life, so far as climate and special circumstances of their own countries permit.
"Every grain, every plant, has life in it. Hindu philosophy has acknowledged this fact since very ancient times. Dr. Bose has demonstrated this fact to the European world by his experiments, showing that plants feel and breathe, and have souls. If a ray of light is allowed to penetrate a dark room, the microscope reveals numberless germs floating in the air of that room. The whole room seems to be full of this germ life. When we breathe, these tiny creatures go inside of us and die. When we walk, numberless creatures are killed by contact with us, and countless others are crushed beneath our feet. The same is true when we drink water. The microscope reveals myriads of tiny creatures in a tumbler of water; and these we drink to their death every day. Souls would appear to be literally packed together in all space in our world. If we put down a needle point on the earth, countless germs may be found beneath its point.
"And so, in our world, life is everywhere destroying life. In such a world where one creature is eating up another, it is impossible to expect either justice or peace of mind. (There is no rest or security anymore.) Therefore, when the ancient sages found that in this world creatures were destroying each other, they decided it was better to give up the world. They found that in such a world there could be no peace of mind, and it was impossible to attain bliss until and unless the soul breaks away from the bonds which have kept it enchained; and that it was folly to regard the pleasures of this world as a means to happiness, because they lead to hell and further bind the soul with Karma and dirt.
"They determined that it was impossible to find peace of mind in any worldly object, and that happiness lies within man himself and that ocean of which he is a drop. Therefore, the Sages thought, as long as they were confined in the prison of this world, they would adopt the course which was the least harmful; they would subsist on creatures the killing of which was the least sinful. They discovered that all living beings of this world could be divided into classes as regards the composition of their bodies and the number of elements they contain. By elements they did not mean the ninety or so elements discovered by modern scientists, but the main conditions or divisions of matter.
"There are five such classes of substances. According to their classification, under class one, came all of those creatures in whom all five of these substances are active, that is, man. In the next class came those in which only four substances are active and one dormant, and that is quadrupeds. In them there is no sense of discrimination, because in them the Akash Tattwa is dormant. In the third class fell creatures in which only three substances are active, namely air, water, and fire. They are birds. They lack earth and Akash. The fourth class is made up of insects, in which only two substances are active, air and fire. Then comes the last class, the fifth, in which only one element or substance is active, that is, the vegetable world. In them, water is the only active element. Experts have proved that, in many vegetables, there is as much as ninety-five percent water. When the creatures of the other four classes are killed or injured, they cry out in pain, but not so the vegetables, though they have life. So the Sages concluded that the eating of vegetables was the least sinful, (the least burdened with karma). Although the eating of vegetables produced some karma, yet it was of a light nature, which could be easily worked off by spiritual exercises. They thus chose the course of least resistance, and so abstained from the killing of other forms of life.
"The method of practice of the Sound Current is the only method by which to escape this jail into which we are born. This method is natural, and it was not designed by man. It is as old as the beginning of creation. The Creator is ONE, and therefore the Way to reach Him is ONE, and it is in the interior of every human being. It is incapable of alteration, modification, addition, or improvement. Man is to reach the ocean of his Origin by means of ascending the Sound Current, irrespective of any caste, creed, nationality, or sex. It is a practice for the awakening of powers within us. By slow degrees, our souls will emerge from the grave of the body or vacate it. In the body there are nine openings through which the soul communicates with this world, and these the soul learns to close and to fix its attention at the back of the eyes. Then it begins to traverse higher planes. When it attains Turya Pad (astral), it will acquire control over the mind, senses, lust, anger, avarice, attachment, and egotism. At present the soul is under the control of mind, which itself is under the control of the senses. When we gain the astral, after leaving the material, the soul gains control over the mind. When we get beyond the astral and the heavens and hells which are within the astral, all of these are left behind. The soul will then hold these in contempt, and then it will go to Brahm Lok, or the Causal plane, which contains Mukti, or Salvation planes.
"Brahm is also the servant of Par-Brahm. Therefore, leaving Brahm, the soul should go to the Par-Brahm, where it will be freed from all its shackles. On reaching Par-Brahm, all the material, astral, and causative coverings of mind and matter that envelope the soul are removed. Then the soul is pure spirit. This is self-realization. Here there is no form, no cover, no shape, no youth nor old age -- only the soul, shining in its pure radiance -- a drop of existence, knowledge, and bliss, capable of comprehending the Great Ocean, its Creator. Now the drop tries to reach and mingle with the Ocean.
"So, it is here, in Par-Brahm, that one begins to realize the full significance of Sant Mat. Hence, the only medicine for all of our ailments is the practice of the Holy Sound together with the Master’s spiritual help and guidance. The Master is not a body only. He is the Power which guides and helps us at every stage and in every region during our inward spiritual journey. When we are in the physical body, He instructs us in His physical form. When we go inward to the Astral Planes, He is in the Astral Form, and, as we proceed further, He assumes the form of each region all the way up to Sach Khand (Our True Home)."
-- Huzur Baba Sawan Singh -- Image and Article Courtesy of Ruhani Satsang; Article also Shared in a PDF File at KirpalSingh dot org
A History of Simran Practice in the Sant Tradition (Path of the Masters): The Many Names of the Nameless God (Anami), by James Bean
The Nameless God has been given many names over the centuries. There are countless Divine names used as mantras or sacred words of Remembrance in various schools of spirituality. In Dadu Panth, that sacred name of God at the highest level is Satya-Raam. The name Raam was very frequently mentioned in the hymns of Guru Kabir, Sant Namdev, and other classic Sants of India. Some receive a single Name, others a longer Guru Mantra phrase. Some are given "The Five Names" (panch naam) consisting of five holy names of God. These are revealed at the time of Initiation into Sant Mat or Surat Shabd Yoga meditation practice. These same five names have been used for centuries in certain branches of Sant Mat connected with Kabir and Sant Dharam Das, Sant Dariya Sahib, Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Sant Radhasoami Sahib. Others have been given five Sufi names of God at the time of Initiation into Surat Shabd Yoga meditation. These five Sufi or Islamic names have the same essential meaning as the five Indian names used in some forms of Sant Mat, and, as with the Indian names, also correspond to five basic inner regions. (In one of the Jewish Gnostic paths of antiquity, a group known as the Sethians, there was also a five-named or panch naam mantra approach, only with five Hebrew names that have been found in Coptic texts of Egypt. Those were associated with certain heavenly regions: Harmoz-el, Oroia-el, Daveithai, El-eleth, and another word meaning, the "Self-Begotten One".) Others are given the name of the Most High God RADHASOAMI (Rad-Da-Swam-e, "Soul-Lord" or "Lord of the Soul"), associated with the Eighth Plane, to use in simran practice along one's journey though all of the various states and stages within during meditation. Other Sant Mat lineages use a two-syllabled sacred word revealed at the time of Initiation, and it represents a name for the Soundless One.
In the classic bhajans and banis of the Sants of India appear numerous names of God. One can read verses exhorting devotees to repeat many names of the Nameless, Soundless, Formless One:
"Repeat the Name of Raam".
"Repeat the Name of Radhaswami".
"Repeat the Name of Hari".
"Repeat the Name of Govinda".
"Repeat the Name of Vitthala".
"Repeat the Name of Allah".
"Repeat the Name of HOO (HU)".
Many names have used by various Sants: Param-Atma, Hari, Alakh, Allah, Raam or Rama, Rahim, Agam, Purushotama, Khuda, Gobind, Panduranga, Pandhari, Vitthala, Narayana, Vitthoba, Sat Purusha, etc... Some of these names are used by Hindu paths too, and have different meanings. As Sant Dariya Sahib once said:
"Consider the four meanings of Ram,
The first Ram (1) is our inner self.
Parashu-ram (2) is said to be the second one.
The third one lived in Dasharath's (3) home.
The fourth Ram is the Primeval Sat Purush (4)
Call Him (Sat Purush) Ram or call Him Naam,
Ram and Naam are one.
Both are mutually indistinguishable;
Satguru's Sound Current reveals this wisdom."
(1) The Life Principle that pervades everywhere, permeating, within all.
(2) Parashu-ram, the son of Sage Jamadagni, is regarded as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
(3) Ancient king of Ayodhya, the father of Ram. Rama: the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the hero of the great epic Ramayana (Adventures of Rama).
(4) The Nirguna or Formless Raam, All-Spirit. ("Dariya Sahib, Saint of Bihar", K.N. Upadhyaya, Mystics of the East Series)
For the Sants of the East, all names of the One God represent the Nameless, Formless (Nirguna) God of Love and Compassion Who is Timeless (Akal), Spirit, and Eternal (Sat).
The True Spirit of Simran Practice is Bhakti
"Simran" is a term which means "Remembrance", the spiritual practice of remembering or being mindful of God by repeating his Name. Devotees sing or chant various names for God. Higher spiritually, and more "within" is the practice of "manas jap", the mental repetition of God's name or names "with the tongue of thought" -- in other words, chanting names of God within one's mind. The Sants have always placed much greater emphasis upon mental Simran over vocal chant.
There is however, more to Simran than the repeating of sacred names. Simran must be approached with the right attitude, the right spirit, for one's intent determines how successful the practice will be, and what effect it will have upon one's consciousness. Simran has never been intended to be a dry or lifeless mantra practice. The path of the Sants is a Bhakti path, a path of love and devotion for the Supreme Being. Thus, the true Masters have always instructed their students to repeat God's Name with love and devotion, as a lover calling out to one's Beloved, the Lord of Love.
"Keep your mind ever engrossed in the Name of the Lord
As the lover's mind is ever engrossed in his Beloved.
He never forgets her for a single moment --
Through day and night he remembers her.
"Happiness rests in ever-repeated simran,
Sorrow and suffering is removed by simran.
Kabir declares with utmost force and clarity:
Practice this simran and be one with the Lord."
(Kabir -- The Great Mystic, by Isaac A. Ezekiel)
What, then, is the practice of the Name? It is a form of interior prayer by which a person learns to keep his or her attention always in the Lord, in every circumstance and situation, at all moments, through day and night. It is a form of inner remembrance that leads to a heightened awareness beyond the limitations of the physical world and the portals of death.
Through meditation on the Name, or Naam Bhakti, one learns to draw one's attention away from the outer world.
"Always be in rapport with the Lord
And enjoy true contentment --
This is the state of ineffable serenity.
There is no peace except in the Name of the Lord --
Meditate on it with one-pointed attention.
"Experience the state of super-consciousness
Where the Lord's love surges
And you will see your own form
In each particle of the creation.
"0 Nama, the Lord will make
The pupil of your eye his home,
And your eye will expand
To contain the entire universe."
(Saint Namdev, Mystics of the East Series)
The Simran of God's Name Will Lead One to the True Name: The Sound of God
The repetition of the holy Names is the truest spiritual technique. An uninterrupted inner repetition of the holy Names given by the living Master has to be practised daily with love, devotion, and one-pointed attention. One thereby transcends one's body and is transported to the realms of Light.
The repetition develops into an ever-going spontaneous process, and one catches the unceasing inner Music which takes one to its Source, and reveals God face to face. One is, therefore, exhorted to search daily for the Source of this Unstruck Music. Whatever one does and wherever one happens to be, one is asked to be a sacrifice unto His Name and to have ardent longing to behold Him and hear His voice.
Sant Dadu Dayal
"From within, the indwelling Lord Himself
'The repetition of My Name alone
is true; all else is delusion.'
"The Name, the essential Truth of the
three worlds, alone is efficacious.
With discrimination, repeat it exclusively
day and night, 0 mind.
"At every breath be devoted to it, and
thy Beloved will meet thee one day.
Repetition is the path leading to bliss;
thus hath the Master explained.
"Be dedicated to God moment by moment,
even if thou art to lose thy life.
No other way is there to support
"Who is that ill-fated one preaching some
Without the Name, tell me, where can
one find a foothold? asketh Dadu.
"Let not the Name be separated for
a moment from within thy heart,
Millions have been purified by
repeating God's Name alone.
"Be dedicated to God while the body
is in good condition,
Else later on, when the body and mind
are worn out, thou shalt repent,
"The whole world is full of poison; rarely
someone is free from it, 0 Dadu.
He alone will be free from poison
who is steeped in the Name
of the Supreme Lord.
"Repeat the Name with the pang of
separation, and sing its glory with
love and devotion.
Fix thy mind in repetition with joy and
dedication, 0 Dadu.
"While speaking or listening, giving
or taking, eating or drinking,
Repeat the Name of God at all times,
0 Dadu, thus shalt the self rest
in the inner lotus."
(Encyclopedia of Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal)
The Divine Reality (God) According to Sant Mat, by Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Sant Mat emphasizes a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being. According to the teachings of the Sants, it is essential to have faith in the existence of the Eternal, Infinite Reality. As is evident, all created beings of this world are dependent upon one another for their existence and sustenance. However, the element that is the First Cause is not dependent on any other thing and is self-existent -- beyond creation and destruction.
This First Cause or Source is the Lord of all creation and is therefore called the Supreme Being. Time and space are created but Divine Reality is uncreated and eternal. The Supreme Soul pervades all and yet transcends material creation; it is beyond the confines of time and space. It cannot be destroyed; it is infinite, and indestructible. It cannot be grasped by the senses and is beyond the reach of the senses. It does not have any form, color, depth or breadth. It is not the subject of thoughts or the senses. According to the Kena Upanishad, it is the "eye of the eyes, ear of the ears, and mind of the mind." Having understood this, a persevering man or woman becomes immortal. This Reality cannot be limited by, or reduced to, thoughts of the mind because it is the very source of the mind. It cannot be seen by the eyes because it is the source of seeing. It cannot be heard by the ears, because it is the source of hearing. All senses derive their power through the source, the Divine Reality.
The Divine Reality is beyond the confines of this transitory creation. A part of the Divine, when it comes in contact with material reality, becomes an individual soul or jiva. Material nature is impermanent but the individual soul is a part of the Divine. Even though it is conscious and pure in essence, it becomes dependent on material things. The Divine Being is without any material confines and is beyond the qualified and unqualified nature. It is beyond the three gunas (material attributes that are essential to our existence in this creation): sattva (truth, purity, and lucidity), rajas (action, passion, and excitement), and tamas (dark inertia, sloth, and passivity). These three gunas permeate the entire creation, but the Divine is beyond them.
The following is a brief explanation of the relationship of three gunas with the creation:
* From the power of sattva guna, the essence of mind, intellect, emotion, and ego (I-principle) are created;
* From the power of rajas guna, the five senses of knowledge (eyes, ears nose, tongue and skin) and the five organs of actions (hand, feet, mouth and two organs of excretion) are created;
* From the power of tamas guna,, the five elements (earth, fire, wind, water and ether) and the five subtle elements (form, taste, smell, touch, and sound) are created;
* From sattva guna, the universe, permeated by sound and purity, emerges;
* From rajas guna, arises light, the source of action;
* From tamas guna, emerges darkness, the source of passivity and rest;
* From sattva guna, the covering of the sound is created;
* From the rajas guna, the layer of light is created;
* From tamas guna, the covering of the darkness is created.
The Divine Reality is beyond all these three gunas (three creative attributes of the material substratum).
By nature, all the material elements created by the three gunas are unstable, but Divine Reality is beyond them and is, therefore, constant. All the objects created by the three gunas are within the realm of time and space, and, therefore, are bound to come to an end. The Divine is beyond these and is eternal. It is unmanifest, infinite, and without afflictions. It is the source of infinite peace and joy, the abode of Divine knowledge, and the overseer of the universe. The Supreme Being resides in every heart and is omniscient. It is the source of truth, knowledge and bliss. The tree of joy arises out of the Supreme Being. It cannot be grasped by the mind and the senses. The Supreme Being is called by various epithets because of its multifaceted manifestations. It cannot be compared to any created substance and is unparalleled to any conceptions of the best in the universe. In essence, Divine Reality cannot be conceived by the senses, the mind, or the intellect.
There are numerous ways to describe the transcendent and immanent glories of the Supreme Reality. Just as comparing the sun to millions of fireflies would be a kind of mockery of the sun, comparing the Supreme Being to any objects of its creation would only display our ignorance of the nature of the Divine. A question arises: If God is omnipresent then what path can be taken to reach the Divine? An answer to this may be as follows. It has been stated that the Divine is omnipresent, then, how can there be any distance between the Supreme Being and the individual soul? But then, there arise more questions. If there is a way to reach the Divine, then, what kind of pathway is that? Who is the traveler of this path and how to begin on the path? What kind of hindrances might the traveler face on this path, and what kind of assistance might be helpful in overcoming those hindrances?
Answers to these questions need much deliberation. First, God is omnipresent; therefore, we do not need to go anywhere to find the Divine. Second, God transcends the material world and is subtle; therefore, God cannot be grasped by the mind and the senses. We need a subtle instrument to realize the Divine just as a small wristwatch requires miniature instruments to accomplish the work of repair. God is like a subtle machine and the senses are like big tools, which are unsuitable for realizing the subtle Divine machinery. Only through the instrument of the pure conscious soul is it possible to realize the subtle form of the Divine.
A question arises: the senses are unable to grasp the Divine, but why does the soul -- which is conscious and subtle -- not have the direct experience of the Divine at all times? The answer is this: The sensory sheaths cover the individual soul. Just as a colored pair of glasses obstructs the true color of reality, in the same way, the physical and subtle senses obstruct the true nature of the Divine. Even though Divine Reality is close to us, we are unable to see it due to these obstructions. Many Sants have described this condition through metaphors.
Sant Kabir and Sant Tulsi Das describe the soul as being hidden by a veil or screen of concealment made up of the three layers of darkness, light, and sound. Sant Paltu Sahib cries out: "Lift the veil and Khuda (God) will reveal himself." Sant Tulsi Sahib explains that the human condition is like someone with an eye disease (cataracts), which clouds their vision.
Maharshi Mehi says: "Three covers of darkness, light, and sound encumber the soul. We need to lift this veil in order to have the vision of the Divine."
In the Vedanta tradition, this covering or concealment is called illusion. Many layers obstruct the vision of the Divine and it is no easy task to remove the coverings. The path that leads us to go beyond these three layers lies within us. However, it is necessary to follow the teachings and methods given by a Satguru (true spiritual teacher) to accomplish this task. Given the nature of the Divine, it can only be realized by the soul. When the soul goes beyond the senses and the realm of three gunas, it becomes purified and attains readiness to experience the Divine. Only by getting rid of all the layers of obstructions can the soul experience is own true nature.
The Supreme Being is one, and, it is by isolating oneself from all other bondages that one can realize this Reality. Through meditation all the coverings and layers are gradually removed and the soul becomes one with the Divine. This requires a specific regimen or sadhana [meditation practice]. As the soul travels on this path within, it begins to shed the sensory layers and the distance to the Divine begins to diminish. The path will be completed upon the accomplishment of this task, eliminating the distance between the Divine and the soul.