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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Figuring Things Out in a Land of Illusion -- Light and Sound on the Path

Figuring Things Out in a Land of Illusion -- Light and Sound on the Path -- Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses

"It does not matter if your Bhakti [spiritual devotion] is imperfect. Perform Bhakti. RADHASOAMI graciously declares that you should perform Bhakti in whichever way you can." (Swami Ji Maharaj)

"On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear." (Bhagavad Gita)

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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)

Sant Mat Links -- Online Resources

* Listen to A New Satsang Edition of Spiritual Awakening Radio Titled "Purity of Mind" -- Purity of Mind and Calmness are the Prerequisites to See the Light Within During Meditation Practice: "One does not see the reflection of his face in agitated water. The moment the water is still, the face becomes visible. If the water is muddy, the mud brings in an additional disturbing factor. So, purity of mind and calmness are the prerequisites to see what lies inside the Focus." (Sawan Singh) GO TO: https://medium.com/spiritual-awakening-radio-podcasts/podcast-purity-of-mind-a-satsang-edition-of-spiritual-awakening-radio-9000beea45a5

* Spiritual Awakening Radio and Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts, Free and Available Online -- Hear Podcasts On Demand For Free Anytime 24/7:

Recently Added Radio Podcasts-On-Demand Include: 

* Purity of Mind -- Sant Mat Satsang Edition;
* A Spiritual Seekers Guide -- Sant Mat Satsang Edition;
* Vegetarianism in the Original Jesus Movement;
* Maps of Inner Space (Higher Planes, Dimensions, Levels, Heavens, Realms);
* The Mandaean Gnostic Scriptures, Gospel of Thomas and Other Documents;
* The Non-Sectarian Approach of the Nag Hammadi Monks -- The Examples of Kirpal Singh and the Gnostic Gospels;
* Melanie Joy, vegan author of, "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, An Introduction to Carnism";
* Mystic Poetry, Music & Teachings of Sant Dadu Dayal;
* Mystic Poetry, Music & Teachings of Sant Tulsi Sahib;
* Sound Current Mysticism in the World Religions;

* (Upcoming) The Light-Givers of India
* (Upcoming) The Sant Tradition of India, Part 1
* (Upcoming) The Sant Tradition of India, Part 2
* (Upcoming) The Sant Tradition of India, Part 3

* Donate Button (Your Seva/Help is Much Appreciated) -- Education for a More Peaceful Planet: Your support for Spiritual Awakening Radio and the Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts is appreciated. To make a contribution and help this effort to continue, please click here:

* Sant Mat E Library -- Hundreds of Books Online -- Recommended Reading:

* Daily Spiritual Quotes/Quote of the Day/Social Media
@ Facebook: Sant Mat Radhasoami:

* Introductory Page: Sant Mat 101, Introduction to the Path of the Masters:

"Kal [time, limited mental perception] has entangled people in illusions to such an extent that they have totally forgotten their Real Home." (Anurag Sagar (about the Spiritual Path and Teachings of Guru Kabir)

"What is more difficult -- to awaken someone who is sleeping or to awaken someone who, awake, is dreaming that he is awake?" (Soren Kierkegaard)

"This spiritual path and its destination is Divine Love... The remover of difficulties is the one spiritual teacher who has given you the secret knowledge (spiritual guidance and experience)." (Baba Devi Sahab)

Baba Devi Sahab was a famous devotee of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras. He was also quite fond of Sufis and Sufi poetry. There is a book of his with many Sufi quotes along with his commentary. Hopefully one day it can be translated into English.

The path of Gnosis isn't about going on an archeological dig for books of the dead, looking to antiquity for all one's inspiration and guidance. There is a Living Gnosis Now, a contemporary Path of the Masters. Living Ones are with us now in the world composing their own scriptures, writing new chapters, as a Living branch of the mystical Tree of Life.

Once upon a time, the esoteric teachings of the masters were hidden or hard to find. In the modern world they remain hidden, but hidden in plain sight.

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

"God has placed an invisible secret door in every human being. God sends his own Great Power, Mercy and Love down into our world to find the marked soul drops and bring them back Home." (Journey of the Soul)

"When the Lord wants one of his souls to come back Home He makes that person feel lonely deep inside, like something is missing. This is the Great Lord's special way of reminding the soul that its Real Home is not in this world but back in the ocean of Light." (Journey of the Soul)

"I am inviting you into the exalted, perfect Light. Moreover as for this Light, when you enter it you will be glorified ... you will become ... the way you first were when you were Light." (Gnostic Book of Trimorphic Protennoia)

"When the Light dawns within you, then you understand that you reside in Noble Regions." (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj)

"Having been blessed with this human form, one must make proper use of his 'Pradhan Buddhi' or Supreme Intellect by utilizing it for the attainment of Self-Realization and thus make fruitful or productive this human birth." (The "Big Blue Book" -- The Shri Paramhans Advait Mat Granth)

Sant Mat History: The Yogananda-Sant Mat-Radhasoami Connection -- Yogananda Was Initiated by Shri Charu Baba of the Radhasoami Satsang

"A Collection of Biographies of 4 Kriya Yoga Gurus", by Yoga Niketan, eminent disciple of Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri -- In this collection are the biographies of revered Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya, as well as biographies of his disciples Yogacharya Shastri Mahasaya (Hansaswami Kebalananda), and Swami Sri Yukteswar Giriji Maharaj, as well as the biography of Paramahansa Yogananda entitled, "Yogananda Sanga." It contains a translation of the following four books originally written in Bengali:

1) Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya: A Biography, by Swami Satyananda Giri;
2) Yogacharya Shastri Mahasaya: A Short Biographical Sketch of Hansaswami Kebalanandaji Maharaj, by Swami Satyananda Giri;
3) Swami Sriyukteshvar Giri Maharaj: A Biography, by Swami Satyananda Giri;
4) Yogananda Sanga: Paramhansa Yoganandaji (Biography of Paramahansa Yogananda) As I Have Seen and Understood Him, by Swami Satyananda Giri;
The collection also contains:
"Kriya Quotes", excerpts of an interview with Swami Satyananda. This book was translated into English by Yoga Niketan. 313 pages.

Page 155: "Longing to see God and attraction towards spiritual sadhana were essential aspects of Mukunda's [Yogananda's] character. At this time, those inclinations continued to be more and more strong and wherever a sadhu, sadhak, or devotees' name would be heard, he would run there to see if he could get something of spiritual value. Close to home he was able to have the company of his elder brother in law Satish Chandra Bashas' brother, Charu Chandra Basa. Charu Baba was an initiate of the well known Radhaswami spiritual path. Charu Baba revealed the mysteries and techniques of that mediation to Mukunda. With intense effort the child-sadhak Mukunda engaged himself in that sadhana with his whole being and in a short time became absorbed in experience of listening in ecstasy to Divine Sound and seeing beatific revelations in Divine Light. For the sadhak Mukunda, the spiritually triumphant Swami Yogananda -- the sacred dias that would seat guru -- Paramahansa Yogananda’s divine life was founded in the hallowedness in his heart. That Light remained forever undimmed throughout his entire life, and the profundity of that experience kept him always spiritually aware in many complex situations. On this matter it should be remembered that Mukunda never forgot his life-lord, Yogiraj Lahiri Mahsaya. With reverence and disciple he was engaged in practicing the beginning stages of Kriya Yoga that he received from his father. In later life he held this experience of Sound and Light as complimentary to Kriya Yoga."

From another translation:

"Attraction for realizing God and for religious sadhana was very natural for young Yogananda. By this time, these types of feelings gradually became stronger and whenever he heard of any sadhu, sadhak and Bhakta he rushed to them to try to gain something from them. He came in contact with Shri Charu Chandra Basu, who was brother of his brother-in-law Shri Satish Chandra Basu, and whose house was very near to them. Charu Babu was a sadhak of the Radhaswami Satsang. He revealed to Mukunda [the young Yogananda] the secret of their sadhana [meditation practice] and its methods. The sharp young Mukunda engaged himself in sadhana with full mind and heart and in a very short duration of time he was able to hear the "NADA" [Divine Sound] and perceived the 'Apurba Dibya Jyoti' [DIVINE LIGHT] and was overwhelmed. Sadhak Mukunda's victory of the spiritual voyage -- Swami Yogananda's -- Guru Paramhansa Yogananda's -- divine life was profoundly established upon the foundation of the sacred alter of his heart."

My Comments: Since Yogananda Ji was born in 1893 and met Sri Yukteshwar, his Kriya Yoga guru, during 1910, this event pertaining to the very young Yogananda being initiated into Sant Mat’s meditation practice called Surat Shabd Yoga (Inner Light and Sound Meditation), or being given meditation instruction by Charu Baba, must have occurred roughly sometime between 1900 and 1910 (not likely to have been earlier than 1900, as Yogananda would have been too young, or later than 1910, which is when Yogananda became a follower of Kriya Yoga guru Sri Yukteshwar), thus according to the timeline Charu Baba could have been a disciple of Soami Ji Maharaj, Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram, or possibly Brahm Shankar Misra (Maharaj Saheb) of the Radhasoami Satsang.

Note: In the Kriya Yoga book, "Holy Science", Swami Sri Yukteswar mentions inner Sound Meditation: Surat Shabd Yoga practice.

Vegetarianism is "Eaten" by Illusion in a World of Changes (Samsara)

There are two traditions within Buddhism, pro-meat, and vegetarian, each with their own sutra proof-texts and traditions. The same is true of Christianity (Hebrew Jesus Movement vs. Paul and others appealing to "convert" citizens of the Roman Empire) and Sikhism (Guru Nanak's teachings vs. orthodox Sikhism near and after the time of the 10th Sikh Guru), with the original groups being veg, but later versions eventually accommodating the diet of the larger cultures around them swelling their ranks. For most, a too complicated history of passover lambs eaten or not eaten, locusts and 'fisheyness' of Paulistic gospels or middle eastern carob beans in Ebionite gospels allied with James the Just and Jerusalem. Only a compassionate heart is going to figure this out.

Changing Our Mind and Thoughts For the Better -- Let's Do Simran (Repeat Names of God)

"We don't want to think of these foolish thoughts that cross our mind daily. We miss our time, we miss our life just thinking of foolish things which have no consequence most of them, and if they have a consequence, most of the time its going to be troubles, pain. Thoughts are very potent, as Lord Kirpal says, 'as we think, so we become'. So, some thoughts have no consequence, they just keep whirling in our head, but when these thoughts become tendencies, when they become well-established in our consciousness, then they create realities, they shape our life. So we must be very careful what we think, if we love ourselves. We don't want to suffer, we don't want to have troubles in life, we don't want our life to be miserable. We want our life, as Master Kirpal puts it here, to be blissful, intoxicated, ecstatic. We want to have a Divine life, and not a miserable life. So let's be careful what we think, and more than this, let's do Simran." -- Shri Sirio Carrapa, Italy

SIMRAN: Literally "Remembrance", as in remembering God by repeating his Name or Names. This can be a verbal chant, but mostly in the Sant tradition it is a Manas Jap or chant that's done within one's mind, which is much more powerful, concentrated, and effective. The spiritually charged Name or Names that are repeated are words given by a living Master at the time of one's Initiation into Inner Light and Sound Meditation Practice.

Similar terms: Zikhr (in Sufism), and "The Prayer of the Name" (in Christian Mysticism or Gnosticism);

"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny -- it is the light that guides your way."  (Heraclitus)

Focusing Attention is a Means of Transportation in the Worlds of "Within"

See Worlds Within Via Meditation: "Shut your eyes and change to and wake another way of seeing, which everyone has but few use." (Plotinus)

The attention-faculty of the Soul (Surat) for most of us is absorbed in the world of the five senses and mind, so really it is our attention that is being redirected back to God again during meditation.

The Soul’s awareness or attention (Surat) that is surrounded by body, five senses, subtle bodies and mind seems individualized, though in reality, the Soul remains in the heavenly realm. The Soul is wearing these coverings and yet remains in it’s own realm at the same time. Through meditation it can move it’s awareness from the world of without to the world of within, and re-identify itself with itself and God.

Know Thy Self: "Jeeva-atmaa (the Individual Self or Soul) is the indivisible part of the Supreme Being (i.e. the Universal Soul). In the bondage state it is called the Jeeva. It is also called soul, an indivisible part of the Supreme Sovereign God. Only the individual soul (Jeeva-atmaa) is capable of recognizing itself. When the Self will be realized [during meditation], only then it will be merged into the Supreme Sovereign God. Then it can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Besides knowing itself, no other method has been articulated in the holy books and scriptures." (Shri Bhagirath Baba)

Rivulets of Sound Emptying Into the Ocean of God

"Understand the jiva [soul] as the drop, and the Naam of the Satguru as the Ocean...." (Anurag Sagar)

In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.
(Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu, S. Mitchell)

"My Master has taught me a lesson:
it repeats itself -- without me repeating it.
When I plug my ears with my fingers,
without hearing, I hear its Melodies." (Hazrat Sultan Bahu)

"The waves or vibrations of Sound permeate the whole of the body... It exists in the body in the form of vitality or Life-Current. It exists in the mental sky in the form of Light, while it exists as Sound in the void... It is the highest duty of every individual to acquire experiential knowledge of this Sound and to investigate or explore the Origin or Source from where this Sound flows out." (Baba Devi Sahab)

"Listening to the Sound Current is a separate practice. During the practice you need not repeat the Holy Names nor fix your inner gaze, but only listen attentively, while staying at the back of the eye-brows [third eye center] ... The Sound will draw closer, grow stronger and ultimately come from above, and pull your soul [surat] up to the higher regions." (Kirpal Singh, Spiritual Elixir, Volume One)

"When using this Mystical Sound as the basic support for his meditation, the seeker should also be very alert and attentive as to where the subtler aspects of this Sound are drawing him within himself. He will thus, little by little, gravitate to ever finer states of consciousness and will start to sense an out-of-the-ordinary inner continuity of being that is beyond description and that it is impossible for him to experience in his habitual state. As his meditation deepens, it will bring with it a most subtle, transparent, and luminous consciousness that he will finally become immersed in and one with. He will no longer sense himself in the same way as he did in the past. He will become mysteriously transformed into an unchanging and enigmatic 'Spectator', plunged in the vast silence of an eternal cosmic 'Nowness.'

"The aspirant should look upon this Nada [Mystic Sound] as a Divine Grace and rare opportunity, always turning to it with the utmost respect, revering it as the treasured means that can make his deliverance possible." (Edward Salim Michael, "The Law of Attention - Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance", Published by Inner Traditions, Vermont)

The World Is An Illusion -- Practice Meditation: When Satguru Baba Devi Sahib was nearing the time of his departure from this ephemeral world for his true destination, satsangis humbly requested him to bless them with his parting words. Responding, Baba Devi Sahab obliged by saying, "Duniyaa waham hai, abhyaas karo", meaning: "This world is an illusion. Practice meditation." (From the Preface to the, "Baal Kaa Aadi Aur Uttar Kaa Ant" of Sant Tulsi Sahab")

"Whenever I saw you in pain,
compassion moved me to come and help you.
I came, I taught the Path of Shabd*,
I advised you to merge into Shabd*.
I devised a step-by-step method of Shabd* practice
by which you would reach your True Home."

-- Swami Ji Maharaj (Sant Radhasoami Sahib, Shiv Dayal Singh)

*NOTE: "Shabd" -- Meditation upon the Inner Spiritual Sound Current, the Audible Life Stream, part of Sant Mat meditation practice, the Way of Inner Love, Light and Sound

"There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao."
-- Tao Te Ching

Three Minutes To Midnight -- Nuclear War -- Humanity's Stupidest Idea of All Time  -- Is Still With Us

The world has been tenuously hanging by nuclear thread since the 1950's. Spiritual paths and leadership need to devote a greater amount of time and energy to peace activism, especially anti-nuclear activism. Peace -- ahimsa (non-violence) and spirituality are one and the same. Without a healthy, liveable biosphere Earth, souls in order to make spiritual progress will just simply have to go and incarnate some place else. The insanity of nuclear war remains the greatest threat to humanity's existence.