Hearing the Celestial Sound Current During Meditation — Discourse on Inner Sound Meditation


Hearing the Celestial Sound Current During Meditation — Discourse on Inner Sound Meditation
 

 

Below is some material from Shiv Brat Lal, Maharshi Mehi, Swami Santsevi Ji, and Swami Vyasanand about inner Sound Meditation, useful points from rare writings of Sant Mat that some may benefit from: “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, but also who says ethics 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: http://www.Scribd.com/doc/96106920/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 says; ‘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.
 
 
Closing of the Ears in Meditation: 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)
 
Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj in, “Quintessence of Yoga, The Secrets of Success”, writes: “Closing the ears when we hear the Divine Sound within ourselves is the best approach. There is no harm in it. We can include this along with other practices. This practice of inner Sound can go on in the night, because there is no noise at that time and environment is peaceful…When the inner Divine Sound merges into the imperishable Supreme Lord, there is the absolute State of Soundlessness (the Ultimate Reality).”
 
You may ask, what does it mean to “close the ears”? There is a technique initiates learn to do just that in order to focus on inner Sound. Also, sometimes people use earplugs to block outer sounds during inner Sound practice [bhajan]. But there is another meaning. Some clarification is given in the book, “Harmony of All Religions”, by Santsevi Ji, who states that closing the ears is primarily an internal reality that occurs after one’s awareness [attention] has gone within: “When you focus your gaze within the ajna chakra [third eye] then automatically your physical ears will close and the inner ears will open.”
 
 
ALSO SEE the article, The Yoga of Sound — Exploring Sound Meditation (Auditory Mysticism, Surat Shabd Yoga): http://SantMatRadhasoami.Blogspot.com/2013/09/the-yoga-of-sound-exploring-sound.html
 
ALSO SEE, All About the Sound — Light and Sound on the Path: http://SantMatRadhasoami.Blogspot.com/2011/10/all-about-sound.html
 
 
 

Seeing and Hearing Beyond the Illusion — Light and Sound on the Path — Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses



Seeing and Hearing Beyond the Illusion — Light and Sound on the Path — Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
 

 
Buddha: “As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.”
 

 
Contents Below — In This Issue/Mailing/Blog/Digest:
 
Short Quotes From Various Sources: Kabir, George Arnsby Jones, Rabia of Basra, Shiv Dayal Singh/Sant Radhasoami Sahib, Swami Vyasanand (a Living One), Guru Nanak, Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Babuji Maharaj, Sant Dadu Dayal, Sant Namdev, Meister Eckhart, Robert Atkinson;
 
A Top 10 List of Books That (For Me) Have Been Life-changing, Have Been a Major Influence — May the Blessings Be — The Blessings Now Are;
 
Gnostic, Western Scriptures and Eastern Scriptures (Ethiopian Bible, Gospels of the Historic Jesus: Q and Thomas, Nag Hammadi, Mandaean, Manichaean, Qur’an, Adi Granth, Buddhist Sutras, and Kabir), the Mystery of Gospel of Thomas Saying 17: The Master Will Give You What the Eye Has Not Seen, What the Ear Has Not Heard — The Divine Eye and Divine Ear From East To West;
 
Rumi: Seeing and Hearing Beyond the Illusion — From Volume One of the “Mathnawi”, Rumi’s Magnum Opus Work, Called the “Second Quran” by some Sufis and Sants;
 
“Stairway to the stars, we got better things to do…” (Blue Oyster Cult);
 
7 Key Practices of Sant Mat Mysticism, by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj;
 
Hail to All Enlightening Teachers and Guides — Passage and Prayer from a Sutra of Jainism;
 
Book Review: Kabir 1008 Vani — the Sant Mat Book of Ethics;
 
Thoughts About the Anurag Sagar (Gnostic Epic About Kabir);
 
The One Resides In All — from the Topical Adi Granth;
 
The Swan-Soul (Bird of Heaven, Hamsa), by Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore);
 
 
NOTE: To see and enjoy all the content as you’re scrolling below, including photos, if you’re viewing this via email, always click: “Display Images”, or “Show Images”.
 
 
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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Nanak wrote of many earths and countless worlds back during the middle ages. He lived from 1469-1539. During that same time, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for holding similar views in the west, but in India, Guru Nanak is considered to be one of the greatest saints of human history.
 
 
“Maya (illusion) is like a flame of a lamp and human beings are like moths who keep hovering over the flame. Enchanted by illusion, they keep falling on it. Rare are those saints and sages who follow the teachings of their Satguru and get liberated from the allurements of Maya.” (Kabir, Saakhis/1008 Kabir Vani)
 
 
“In the Ramayana, Sugriva tells Rama: ‘All my actions would be worthless without Your Grace.’ Therefore, we should collect the flowers of our aspirations and offer them at the Holy Feet of the Supreme Being.” (Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul)
 

 
A Top 10 List of Books That (For Me) Have Been Life-changing, Have Been a Major Influence
 
The order of my book list is from the oldest to the most recently read:
 
The Book of Enoch (Ethiopian Enoch and the Book of the Secrets of Enoch);
 
The Confessions of Jacob Boheme (Christian Mystic);
 
The Nag Hammadi Library in English (Gnostic Gospels);
 
The Making of a Spiritual Movement: The Untold Story of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar, by David Christopher Lane;
 
Radhasoami Reality — The Logic of a Modern Faith, by Mark Juergensmeyer;
 
Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry (Sar Bachan Radhasoami Nazm yaani Chhand bandh), by Soami Ji Maharaj;
 
Prem Patra Radhasoami, by Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram Bahadur;
 
The Philosophy of Liberation (Moksha-Darshan), by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans;
 
The Harmony Of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), by Beloved Guruji Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj;
 
The Inward Journey Of the Soul (Chal Hamsa Nij Desh: O, Swan-Soul Return to Your Abode), by Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj;
 
 
 
Short Quotes: “There is a vast Reservoir or Focus of Spirituality, which has no beginning and has ever been in existence, and that Reservoir is the Supreme Being and Purush [Original Source of the universe].”  (Discourses of Babuji Maharaj, Volume III)
 
 
Kabir: “The essence of life is in remembering God.”
 
 
“Devotion through remembering God brings every happiness to life and removes every distress of mind. Kabir Saheb says: Remember God! It has a wonderfully powerful attraction. By continuously remembering God, a time comes when the devoted servant (devotee) and the master (God) become one, i.e. he attains self-realization.” (Kabir Vani 1008)
 
 
“Asked the Yogis: ‘By what means are we bound and overcome by maya [illusion]? How does one gain or loose?’ Said Guru Nanak: ‘The negative thoughts of the mind are what bind us, and then we are overcome by maya. The self-centered one loses, and the one who obeys the will of His Creator is the one who gains.'” (Book of Sidh Gosht)
 
 
“What is the place to be reached? When we close our eyes and see Darkness, this is the realm of ignorance. When the Light dawns within you, then you understand that you reside in noble regions. In Darkness resides ignorance and in Light resides Knowledge.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
 
 
“Within the innermost recesses, all spirituality is one and it has never undergone any division. Our spirituality or soul (Surat) is an emanation from the Supreme Being. Within the innermost recesses it is one with the Lord.” (Discourses of Babuji Maharaj, Volume Three)
 
 
“The Master always advises people to explore the Shabd in the depth of their hearts. But they ignore the pleas of the Master — how then will their inner eyes open? Rare is the deserving soul who makes the teachings of the Master the foundation of his/her life.” (Sant Radhasoami Sahib)
 
 
“Today’s karmas become the fate of tomorrow. According to our last life actions, our mental tendencies are formed in this life. Because of our pure actions we will have the desire to seek the association of Sants [Saints, Masters] and to meditate.” (Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul: Chal Hansa Nij Desh [O Sawan-Soul, Return to Your Original Abode])
 
 
“Wherever one’s thought dwells, there will that person rest. At his pleasure, he may go to the delusion of unreality or he may merge into the Lord of the self. Where you keep your mind while living, to that abode shall you go after death. The soul finds lodging in a place wherein it has hitherto been immersed.” (Sant Dadu Dayal)
 
 
Param Sant Tulsi Sahib: “0 Jiva [captive Soul somewhere in time]! Give up all blind adherences and beliefs, concentrate within and seek the Supreme Being there, adopting Him alone as your goal. Do ponder over what I say and see for yourself with eyes wide open that there is none in this world whom you can call your own. You should adopt the Supreme Being alone as your prop and support.”
 
 
Soami Ji’s Special Room, A Mystical Meditation Room-Within-A-Room: “From childhood Soami Ji Maharaj used to shut himself up in a small room which is at the back of another room on the ground floor of his house. For light and air there is a small aperture, otherwise no noise can reach within. This room still exists in a renovated form and is considered as one of the most sacred and hallowed of places.” (Biography/Jivan Charitar of Babuji Maharaj, a ONE-VOLUME book published in Agra)
 
 
“Experience the state of superconsciousness
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.
I worship only God-within, nothing else.”
– Sant Namdev
 
 
Saints say: “What we are, we behold, and what we behold, we are.”
 
 
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” (Meister Eckhart)
 

 
Rumi: Seeing and Hearing Beyond the Illusion
 
699-700. The minister replied: “O prisoners of verbal discourses! O seekers of sermons, ears, speeches and tongues! Plug your physical ears with cotton (and turn them inward); remove the bandage of sensuality from your eyes (and turn them inward).
 
701-02. “The ear of the head is the cotton-wool of the inner ear; until the former becomes deaf, the inner ear is deaf. (As long as your external ears function you will only hear the words of your near and dear ones. These will prevent the opening of your inner ears to ‘Unstruck Melody’.) Become deaf to the external word; become ‘earless’ and your worries will vanish (because then His inner commands will be audible to you). As the Holy Koran says, ‘O soul-at peace! Return unto thy Lord content in His good pleasure.’* (*lxxxix, 27-28.)
 
703-04. “So long as you are engrossed in the conversation of wakefulness, how can you catch the scent of inner conversation? All our acts and words are outer sauntering; the inner stroll is on top of the heaven.
 
705-06. “The physical senses have only experienced dryness (intellectual knowledge) for they are born of dryness (of earth); the Moses of Spirit has set foot on the Sea (of Divinity, i.e. Divine knowledge).* The stroll of dry body (dia-noetic intellect) is on the dry land (intellectual knowledge); the sauntering of the spirit has set foot on the sea (Divine knowledge).
 
[*In other words, one who is made of mud sees only the muddy world; but the spirit has descended from the top whither it must return. Moses was put in the Nile after birth so that his bonds with this earth may be loosened and his spirit may soar up to heaven.]
 
707-08. “Much of your life you have moved about on this earth going to hills, forests and plains. As it is, how can you obtain the Water of Life? How can you regain Divine secrets by cleaving the waves of the sea, like Moses?
 
709-11. “The waves (pulls and pressures) of the earth are our understanding, imagination and reflections; but the waves of the river (Divine) are elation, ecstasy and merger in God (self-effacement). As long as you are lost in this world, you are far away from Divine rhapsody; as long as you are inebriated with the heady wine of this material world you will only have aversion for that cup (of Divine wine). External talk is like dust that mars your view of reality; you must get used to silence for sometime.”
 
– Mathnawi of Rumi, Volume One, M.G. Gupta translation — see the website: HumaBooks (dot) com
 
 
“The mystic is also a realist, accepting the invitation of the soul to attain the fullness of life for which we were made. The best, and simplest, definition of a mystic is one who seeks union with Reality, or with the Absolute.” (Robert Atkinson, Bahai Faith, “Mystic Journey”)
 
 
“Go deeper … 
Past thoughts into silence.
Past silence into stillness.
Past stillness into the heart.
Let Love consume all that is left of you.”
– Kabir
 

 
The Master Will Give You What the Eye Has Not Seen, What the Ear Has Not Heard — The Divine Eye and Divine Ear From East To West
 
by James Bean
http://about.me/SantMat
 
“Rumi says, ‘If you seek to know God, sit at the feet of the Saints'”.
 
“In this process of meditation the scattered consciousness gets fully collected and there appears a Refulgent Point which is according to holy Bhagavad Gita is the Infinitesimal Form of God. There appears the Refulgent Lights in the inner darkness and our consciousness starts hearing inner Divine Sounds. In this state the true Master guides the practitioner.” (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj)
 
On the Path of the Masters, being influenced by a competent living teacher who has spent many successful years in meditation, and who has been honestly approved (accredited) by his teacher, is the goal. The essential reason for having a spiritual teacher is not to worship the personality of the teacher, but to learn from them the Methods of spiritual practice. The living teacher preserves the Methods of meditation and passes that Knowledge and Experience on to the next generation. A good spiritual master also motivates his or her students to practice meditation and lead an ethical life in the context of a spiritual community or group of people (satsang).  Books alone isolated from a community of others would not be enough to sustain spiritual practice, especially inner mystical experiences. Satsang inspires, teaches, motivates, and group meditation helps to accelerate one’s own inner experience. “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I Am in their midst.”
 
The Master serves as a catalyst for inner experiences. A great description of what living Masters do for their students is found in the Gospel of Thomas unearthed in Egypt. Variations of this saying have also turned up in the Hebrew Bible, Greek New Testament, other apocryphal gospels, the Quran, Gnostic tests, Mandaean scriptures of Iraq, Buddhist sutras, the sacred texts of the Mandaeans of Iran, in the bhajans of Kabir, Nanak, and other Sants of the East:
 
The Master said,
“I will give you
what no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
what no hand has touched,
and what has never occurred
to the human mind.”
(Egypt: Coptic Gospel of Thomas, 17)
 
There is an axiom of wisdom found in many world scriptures about exploring Inner Space, the Kingdom of God, spiritually or mystically with new eyes, and hearing spiritually with new ears. This saying about …. “seeing what no physical eye has seen and what no material ear has heard…” appears in many ancient scriptures of the West and East. Visionary mysticism, inner seeing and hearing are universal experiences of contemplative souls in the various world religions.
 
Living spiritual Masters teach their students how to see and hear spiritually, initiating them into “the Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens.” I know a few such living Masters. They are rare, but they do exist.
 
Within the human body, with eyes closed during meditation, there are different kinds of light, stars, moons, and suns, dark voids, lights within lights, visions within visions like a tunnel, and beyond these is bright light like the noonday sun. But the “blind leading the blind” will never speak of these, only the Masters. Only mystics are interested in mysticism.
 
 
The Mystery of Saying 17: Eye Has Not Seen, Ear Has Not Heard
 
 
In the Ethiopian Bible is preserved a Jewish apocryphal text that reminds me of an NDE (Near Death Experience):
 
“And this angel said to me, Isaiah, son of Amoz, I set you free; for you have seen what no mortal man has ever seen before. Yet you must return to your garments of flesh until your days are completed. Then will you come up here again.” (Ascension of Isaiah 11: 34)
 
 
Jesus-Yeshua — Essene/Ebionite Judaism/Jesus Movement, Israel/Syria:
 
“How privileged are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. I swear to you, many prophets and righteous ones have longed to see what you see and didn’t see it, and to hear what you hear and didn’t hear.” (Matthew 13: 16-17 = Q/Luke 10: 23-24 — New Testament and Sayings Gospel Q)
 
“His power will be given to them, which no eye has seen nor ear heard, and they will rejoice in My Kingdom.” (Jesus, apocryphal “Testament of the Lord in Galilee”)
 
“The rest of you shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, whose delights no ear has heard described, which no eye has seen and which has not appeared in the human heart.” (Jesus, Apocryphal Gospel of John)
 
Yeshua says, “What your own eyes cannot see, your human ears do not hear, your physical hands cannot touch, and what is inconceivable to the human mind — that I will give you!” (Jesus/Yeshua, “Gospel of Thomas”, Saying 17)
 
“It is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'” (I Corinthians 2: 9, Paul, Orthodox New Testament)
 
 
A Manichaean scripture from Central Asia:
 
“…that I may redeem you from death and annihilation, I will give you what you have not seen with the eye nor heard with the ears nor grasped with the hand.” (Turfan fragments, translated in “Gnosis On The Silk Road,”)
 
 
The 10th Century Persian Sufi Master Abd al-Qadir al-Jalani quotes an interesting passage from the Quran:
 
“I have prepared for My righteous servants that which no eye has ever seen, of which no ear has ever heard, and of which has never occurred to the heart of man.” (“Concerning the Affirmation of Divine Oneness”, Al-Baz Publishing)
 
 
From a prayer found in the Mandaean scriptures of Iraq:
 
“Thou hast showed us that which the eye has not seen, and caused us to hear that which the human ear has not heard. Thou has freed us from death and united us with Life, released us from darkness, and united us with Light…. Thou hast shown us that which the eye has not seen, and caused us to hear that which the human ear has not heard.” (“Canonical Prayer Book of the Mandaeans”, E.S. Drower)
 
 
The Divine Eye According to the Buddha — India, Tibet, Nepal, China, Japan:
 
“With the Divine Eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, a bhikkhu surveys a thousand worlds. Just as a man with good sight when he has ascended to the upper palace chamber, might survey a thousand wheel-rims, so too, with the Divine Eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, a bhikkhu surveys a thousand worlds.”
 
 
The Divine Ear According to the Buddha:
 
“I have proclaimed to my disciples the way whereby with the Divine Ear element, which is purified and surpasses the human, they hear both kinds of sounds, the divine and the human, those that are far as well as near. Just as a vigorous trumpeter might make himself heard without difficulty in the four quarters; so too, I have proclaimed to my disciples the way whereby with the Divine Ear element… far as well as near. And thereby many disciples of mine abide having reached the consummation and Perfection of Direct Knowledge.” (“The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha — A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya,” Teachings of the Buddha, translated by Bhakkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications)
 
 
India, Guru Nanak:
 
“We speak without tongue,
we see without eyes,
we hear without ears,
we walk without feet, and
we work without hands.”
 
 
Sant Kabir, India:
 
“May I see You with my eyes,
hear Your Sound
with my own ears.
Speak Your Name
in my own words, O Lord;
rest Your flower-like feet
on my heart.”
(“Songs of Kabir From the Adi Granth”,
translated by Nirmal Dass, SUNY Press)
 

 
“O Master, I can’t live in this world without remembering You. How can I endure the next world without seeing Your face?” (Rabia — Sufi Saint)
 
Mediate and Chant God’s Name(s) Daily (Simran/Zikhr): “The mystic adepts inform us that the exploration of the inner realms (consisting of the first three Grand Divisions) is the heritage of each soul, and if we do not go within and traverse these regions, the fault is ours.” (George Arnsby Jones, The Inward Journey of the Soul)
 
“Stairway to the stars, we got better things to do…” (lyrics, Blue Oyster Cult’s first album)
 

 
7 Key Practices of Sant Mat Mysticism, by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj
 
In these four parts of Satsang Yoga there is an extensive elaboration of the following subjects: Jiva (individual soul), Braham (Supreme God), Prakrti (Nature) Bandha and Moksha (bondage and release), the realization of the Supreme Sovereign God and the importance of moral conduct of behavior, etc. God is realized in one’s own self, therefore, the inner practice (meditation) is absolutely essential. Within the work is depicted the systematic practices of Manas Jap [Simran, Zikhr], Manas Dhyan, Drishti Yoga [Inner Vision/Light], and Surat-Shabda-Yoga [Inner Hearing/Sound] through which the Supreme Sovereign is realized. In addition, the work prescribes moral rectitude or leaving the acts of untruth, stealing, use of intoxicating drugs, violence, and adultery.
 
We can summarize the essence of this work in the words of our great Master Maharishi Mehi:
 
“In these four parts of Satsang-Yoga, the practice of devotion and striving for Liberation require seven means which are of paramount importance:
 
1) Satsang (association with the Saints which includes the study of their writings and Scriptures),
 
2) selfless service of the spiritual Master [seva],
 
3) extreme love for God [Bhakti],
 
4) moral rectitude,
 
5) purity of the heart,
 
6) Japa (repetition of the Divine name [simran/zikhr/manas jap]) and
 
7) Dhyana (meditation). In the practice of meditation — both gross and subtle meditations are described. In subtle meditation — the meditation of the bindu (point) — the meditation of Light — Drishti Yoga (the Yoga of vision) and Nadanusandhana (the meditation of Sound) — Surat-Shabda-Yoga (the Yoga of Sound) are described.”
 

 
Hail To All Enlightening Teachers and Guides
 
“As long as I live,
those who are pure in thought and action
will be my divine models,
those who have overcome their inner
weaknesses will guide my path,
those who have renounced the selfish life
will inspire my life, and those who enlighten my mind
will be my teachers.
As long as I live,
the truths which have been
uttered by the Jina*, I will receive,
and in this way, I will be able to attain
right knowledge and
my destination of liberation.”
 
– Jain Santhara Porasi (Jainism), “To Light One Candle — Universal Prayers For Peace”, Clare Resenfield and Pramoda Chitrabhanu;
 
*Jina — one who has conquered the inner enemies (greed, anger, deceit, and ego-centrism), another word for Arihanta
 

 
Book Review: Kabir 1008 Vani, A Sant Mat Book of Ethics
by James Bean
Copyright August 2005
Kabir 1008 Vani — Nectar of Truth and Knowledge
Essence of the Collection of Saakhis (the Saakhi Granth of Guru Kabir) in Simple Language and Style
Compiled by Lalchand Doohan Jigyasu
Translated into English by Kunwar Anil Kumar
 
Genres: Ethics, Genuine Ethical Foundation of Spirituality, Morality, Principles, Wisdom, Sant Mat, Kabir Panth, Meditation, Bhakti (Love and Devotion),
 
This is one of the most important books of Kabir to have. Kabir 1008 Vani is a very beautiful and impressive book of ethics and wisdom featuring 1008 sayings of Kabir, one of Indian’s greatest Masters and poet-mystics, who lived in northern India around six hundred years ago. As with Rumi, the Persian Sufi poet, in recent years Kabir has also become increasingly popular in the West. A few decades ago, the only translations of Kabir were, “Songs of Kabir” by Rabindranath Tagore published in 1915, and Robert Bly’s 1971 paraphrase or “versions” of Kabir, which were also based upon Tagore’s translation. These days however, there are literally hundreds of books available in the English language exploring the poetry and teachings of Sri Guru Kabir Sahib. The Saakhis (a term for a certain kind of poetic composition, a couplet giving testimony of eternal truths) are often used in the satsangs (spiritual gatherings in the name of Eternal Truth) of many spiritual paths based in India. It makes a great deal of sense that spiritual teachers would give satsang talks based upon the Saakhis of Kabir, as they are brimming with wisdom about how to integrate spiritual principals into one’s daily life. Kabir was critical of religious hypocrisy, going through the motions of outward rites and rituals without sincerity of heart. His path was that of Bhakti, meaning, love and devotion for the Beloved Supreme Spirit. For Kabir, the true church, mosque, or temple is within the body, within the human heart. The theme of the Saakhis is bringing all levels of our existence, more and more with each passing day, in body, speech, emotions, and thought, into harmony with the soul or spirit inside.
 
ISBN: 81-8133-515-5
Publisher: Manoj Publications, Delhi,
Can be special ordered in the US via Nataraj Books, also 
Banyen Books of Vancouver in Canada
 

 
More Thoughts About the Anurag Sagar
 
Someone wrote to me asking for my thoughts about this book. Some of those are excerpted below.
 
The Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love) wasn’t literally written by Kabir (disciples wrote down his teachings and musical compositions), but does quote Kabir, and summarizes some of the major teachings about Kabir (Kabirology). It’s a kind of “gospel of Kabir”, a bit more complex and developed, reminding me of some of the third century AD Gnostic gospels, also with a more developed Christology than is present in the earliest texts. The Anurag Sagar’s author is Dharam Das or some individuals in the Dharam Das branch of Kabir Panth, and one of many volumes in a Kabir literature authored over several generations known as the “Ocean of Kabir” or “Kabir Sagar”. And there are even more Kabir-related books such as the Brahm Nirupan, which recently was published. Also, Volume Three of the Bijak of Kabir was just published  by the Kabir Association.
 
Anurag Sagar is a kind of pre-scientific epic type literature attempting to provide an explanation about the origins of evil in the universe. The ethical teachings and teachings about meditation practice can be taken literally but the story is mostly metaphor about the matrix of the universal mind (Kal, time, death, illusion) and the labyrinth of souls (jivas) incarnating into the lower planes of duality struggling to find Eternal Truth (Sat Naam) in a world of illusion. “Kal standing on one foot for many yugas” is metaphor for energy flowing into and powering the lower planes of creation, for instance. Meditating on the Sound Current is “defeating Kal” or the process of overcoming one’s own ego/mind and focusing within, transcending mind, knowing one’s Self as soul (Surat). That would be the motive the story of the Anurag Sagar is trying to instill in the reader, with it’s presentation of a Manichaean struggle between the forces of Positive and negative powers.
 

 
“The One resides in the heart of all. In every heart of creatures born from eggs or wombs, from sweat or mud, the Light is found.”
 
“The Light in all of us takes many different colors, but in every heart, at the inmost of all, there is only the One God.”
 
“In the eyes of the Saints all is God, and on beholding that vision all are entranced.”
 
“One who is absorbed in love for the real Master sees the Inner Light and hears the inner Sound. O God, though you are Unseen, Your Light is seen.”  (Topical Adi Granth: “The Gospel of the Guru Granth Sahib”, Duncan Greenlees, The World Gospel Series, Theosophical Publishing House, Madras)
 

 
The Swan-Soul (Bird of Heaven, the Hamsa)
 
Tell me, O Swan, your ancient tale.
From what land do you come, O Swan? to what shore will you fly?
Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek?
 
Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me!
There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the terror of Death is no more.
There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent “He is I” [Soham, Ana-HU] is borne on the wind:
There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no other joy.
 
(Songs of Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore)
 
 
 
 

Sant Mat History: Maharaj Girdhari Sahib — The Unknown Guru of Sant Radhasoami Saheb — Light and Sound on the Path


Sant Mat History: Maharaj Girdhari Sahib — Light and Sound on the Path — Digest & Document of Spiritual Quotes and Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
 

 
A Young Maharaj Girdhari Sahib Fanning Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, INDIA
 
 
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Image above: Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India being fanned by a young disciple by the name of Girdhari Sahib (Girdhari Lal). It’s actually a photo of an icon at the Samadh (tomb) of Tulsi Sahib. A satsangi affiliated with the Tulsi Sahib group and source of the photo says: “This is the image of ‘Param Sant Dayal Shri 1008 Tulsi Sahib, Hathras Wale and Param Sant Dayal Shri 108 Girdhari Sahib, Wale.'” The same icon is also displayed at the Lucknow Samadh (tomb) of Maharaj Girdhari Das.
 
 
 
Sant Mat History Series — Special Edition: Maharaj Girdhari Sahib  — The ‘Unknown Guru’ of Radhasoami History: A Spiritual Successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Another Guru of Soami Ji Maharaj, by James Bean
 
 
Link to this same article now published in, Sach Khand  —  The Journal of Radhasoami Studies, MSAC Philosophy Group:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzYWNoa2hhbmRqb3VybmFsfGd4OjJmYjRjMWIxYTc2NjQyMjQ
 
 
For many years some scholars and others curious about Sant Mat history have been puzzled by references in Radhasoami literature to a living master that Soami Ji Maharaj associated with and apparently was very devoted to. His name was Girdhari Sahib. However, little was known about this particular Guru, or his actual status in either Tulsi Sahib or the earliest Radhasoami communities.
 
With the advent of the worldwide web and a growing population of English-speaking Indians getting online, including devotees of various Sant Mat centers all over India, many new avenues of information are starting to open up. It’s now becoming much easier to correspond with individuals affiliated with any number of spiritual communities in the Sant Mat category that, up to now, have been considered virtually unknown in the West. Ashrams affiliated with various Guru lineages associated with Kabir, Guru Nanak, Dadu Dayal, Shri Paramhans Advait Mat, Sant Daryia Sahib of Bihar, Sant Tulsi Sahib, and a plethora of Radhasoami communities are even creating official websites and Facebook pages or groups. New books and e books are being published. Web pages containing excerpts from rare writings are appearing.
 
Is there evidence that Baba Girdhari Saheb was a Guru in the Tulsi Sahib community? Yes there is, and according to several different sources and independent branches of Sant Mat.
 
 
The Sant Tulsi Sahib Mandir in Hathras, and Sant Girdhari Sahib Mandir of Lucknow
 
From my direct correspondence with various followers affiliated with the Tulsi Sahib group, I am told that Girdhari became a spiritual successor Guru of Tulsi Sahib, founding an ashram and spiritual mission based in Lucknow known as the Sant Girdhari Sahib Mandir. I’m sure Girdhari’s background was that of a sadhu like the Agra books emphasize, but clearly, he is described by the Tulsi Sahib satsang as becoming Guru successor, not just remaining sadhu, initiating representative, or elder satsangi brother. He has been referred to not only as a “Param Sant” but also with terms like “Shri”, “Mahatma”, “Baba”, and “Maharaj” by various ashrams connected with Tulsi Sahib and Radhaswami.
 

 
Current Gurus (2014) of Various Mandirs Associated with the Sant Tulsi Sahib Lineage
 
Satsangis from the Tulsi Sahib group tell me there are five major ashram centers directly associated with Tulsi Sahib, one in Hathras, one in Lucknow, and others in nearby cities. Each wali or mandir (ashram) has a line of Gurus up to the present time. I have photos of many of these Gurus, including all the recent ones.
 

 
Guru Dayal Das (“Mahantji”)
 
According to some documents Dayal Bagh sent me awhile back, the Hathras Guru (“Mahantji”, also known as Guru Dayal Das) attended the Spircon 2010 inter-faith Sant Mat event held in Agra. (He has since passed on, and the current Guru at the Hathras Mandir is now Shri Missra Das.)
 
The understanding that Girdhari was a successor Guru in the Tulsi Sahib sangat, and that he should also be acknowledged as a Guru of Soami Ji Maharaj, is not new. Let us examine what others have already said about Maharaj Girdhari Sahib of Lucknow and Shiv Dayal Singh (Soami Ji Maharaj, Sant Radhasoami Sahib).
 
“Tulasi Sahib/Tulsi Sahib: A guru of the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries, who founded a sect known as Saheb Panth…. His chief disciples included Ramakrishna, a shepherd, Girdhari Lal, also known as Girdhari Das, and Surswami. Tulasi died in 1842 or 1843, and his disciples carried on his teachings.” (the entry for ‘Tulsi Sahib’ in the book, “Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide”, By Roshen Dalal)
 

 
Professor Mark Juergensmeyer
 
Mark Juergensmeyer in, “Radhasoami Reality”: “Girdhari Das is described as being the ‘chief disciple’ of Tulsi Sahib, a term that would usually imply he was understood as his designated successor (Pratap Singh Seth, ‘Biography of Soami Ji Maharaj’, p. 108). After Tulsi Sahib’s death, Swami Shiv Dayal brought Girdhari Das into his house, ‘treated him with love, and accorded him respect due to a pious Mahatma’ (Pratap Singh Seth, “Biography of Soami Ji Maharaj”, Soami Bagh version, p. 37).
 
Soami Ji Maharaj treated Girdhari Das as his Guru, as well as donated and “gave substantial material support” to his spiritual mission for “a number of years” according to, “The Biography of Soamiji Maharaj”, and according to Daniel Gold in, “The Lord As Guru: Hindi Sants in the North Indian Tradition”. There is also another source, which we will explore in detail below, that confirms Soami Ji Maharaj attended the satsang of Maharaj Girdhari Sahib “for a very long period of time.”
 
 
Agra Branches of Radhasoami
 
There are a few different documents from Agra Radhasoami sources that describe Girdhari Das as “chief disciple of Tulsi Sahab”. In the sangat or spiritual community founded by Sant Tulsi Sahib we know there were several Gurus to choose from after Tulsi Sahib’s passing. For the Radhasoami literature to preserve the understanding that Baba Girdhari Sahib in particular was the “chief disciple” of Tulsi Sahib, this likely reflects Soami Ji’s own view of him. Of course Soami Ji may also have revered other Gurus too, such as Surswami, who was the next Guru at the ashram in Hathras (not Soami Ji at the time!), but Baba Girdhari Sahib is the Guru that Soami Ji supported and spent time with, and only he is specifically named, and described as “chief disciple” in the writings published by various Radhasoami groups.
 
According to the “Biography of Babuji Maharaj” (Madhav Prasad Sinha), Soami Ji Maharaj used to treat “Baba Girdhari Das Ji”, who was one of the “chief disciples of Sahebji or Tulsi Saheb of Hathras”, as Guru.
 
In the “Biography of Soamiji Maharaj”, by Lala Pratap Singh Seth, we read: “Girdhari Das Ji was one of the Sadhus who were followers of Tulsi Saheb. He was a great devotee and Abhyasi. Soamiji Maharaj treated him with love, and accorded him respect due to a pious Mahatma. For a number of years, Soami Ji lodged him in one of His houses and supplied him food, clothing, etc….”
 
The “Biography of Soamiji Maharaj” mentions the city of Lucknow as being the location where Girdhari spent most of his time, and when Girdhari was about to pass away, Soamiji traveled to Lucknow to be with him, and spent time with him in intense meditation. “Both the female disciples of Girdhari Das Ji came running to Soamiji Maharaj and requested him to save his Guru.” (“Biography of Babuji Maharaj”, page 376) There is even a story told that Soami Ji helped Girdhari, at death’s door, to reconnect with the Sound Current, thus postponing his death briefly. (There is a belief in Sant Mat that at the time of death the Sound Current, like the soul, begins to withdraw from the body.)
 
Some interested in the history of Sant Mat find it to not be a coincidence that only after Baba Girdhari Sahib left the scene did Soami Ji Maharaj officially and openly began his own spiritual mission based in Agra, and soon thereafter began holding a public satsang (in 1861).
 
(Another Guru was next in line at the ashram in Lucknow after Girdhari’s death. From correspondence with satsangis affiliated with the Lucknow Ashram I am informed that this is the list of their Gurus  —  the Lucknow Mandir lineage: “Shri Girdhari Saheb  — Shri Dihal Saheb  — Shri Seva Saheb — and at present Shri Haricharan Saheb” is the living teacher at the Sant Girdhari Mandir in Lucknow.)
 
 
Professor David Lane, Aaron Talsky, and More from Daniel Gold
 
David Lane in, The Radhasoami Tradition writes: “Historically, it would be interesting to find out when Girdhari Das passed away… [*NOTE: The Girdhari Das — Shiv Dayal Singh connection, though rarely if ever mentioned by Sant mat historians, has not escaped the watchful eye of Radhasoami’s two youngest scholars Daniel Gold and Aaron Talsky. As Talsky speculates, ‘A provocative possibility is that Shiv Dayal did not begin his public ministry during this interval [1843-1861] either because he was sensitive to the status of Girdhari Das as a reputed successor to Tulsi Sahib or indeed followed the latter in some way. We can discover that the two had a close relationship: see Chachaji’s brief description of this relationship [Biography of Soamiji Maharaj], pages 37-39. More enlightening, perhaps, is the fact that Chachaji’s narration of the inauguration of public satsang in 1861 immediately follows his description of the death of Girdhari. Finally, the Tulsi (or “Sahib”) panth which developed after the death of the Hathras Sant asserts not only that Soamiji venerated Girdhari, but sometimes that he actually received his updesh [instruction] from this source. See Harasvarupa Mathura, Bharatiya Sadhana Aura Santa Tulsi, op. cit., pages 416-417.” [Aaron Talsky, The Radhasoami Tradition, op. cit., pages 138-139. Daniel Gold in Lord as Guru , op. cit. (page 229), also mentions the Girdhari Das -- Shiv Dayal Singh connection. *]” (“The Radhasoami Tradition, A Critical History of Guru Succession”, Garland Publishing, 1992)
 
[The information mentioned above about Soami Ji venerating Girdhari and receiving spiritual instruction from him cited by Aaron Talsky comes from a Hindi book by Harasvarupa Mathura called, "Bharatiya Aadhana Aura Santa Tulasi: Tulasi Sahaba ki Jivani, Racanaom Aura Pantha ka Vivecanatmaka Adhyayana", published by Kanapura: Sahitya Niketana, 1965.]
 

 
The Exact Death-Date For Sant Girdhari and What It Reveals
 
I recently asked some disciples of the Lucknow satsang for the date of Girdhari’s passing, a very important day for them, which they remember each year. This is the date they gave me. The exact death-date for Maharaj Girdhari Sahib according to the Hindu calendar is Vikram Samvat 1917 Shravan Shukla Saptami, which translates into August, 1860. This date also coincides with Tulsi Das Jayati (commemoration of the birthday of Sant Tulsi Das). The day on our calendar would vary each year from a day in late July to sometime in mid August.
 
Only a few months/weeks later during the same year, according to their calendar: Vikram Samvat 1917 (on Vasant Panchami Day: Feb. 15th 1861), is when Soami Ji Maharaj began his public mission and open satsang in Agra. During that same period, Girdhari’s successor in Lucknow, Shri Dihal Saheb, began his ministry as Guru at the Lucknow Mandir. What had been the one Tulsi Sahib group associated with Girdhari, with a satsang in Agra and one in Lucknow, became two groups: one branch continuing in Lucknow headed by Shri Dihal Saheb, and the other one based in Agra lead by Soami Ji Maharaj (Sant Radhasoami Sahib) eventually becoming known as the Radhasoami Satsang.
 
 
Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram, Close Disciple of Soami Ji Maharaj, Baba Devi Sahab and Maharshi Mehi Ashram
 
This association of Shiv Dayal Singh/Sant Radhasoami Sahib with “Param Sant Dayal Shri 108 Girdhari Sahib” is now independently corroborated by yet another source  —  another branch of Sant Mat. The following is from, “The Biography of Baba Devi Sahab”, published by the Maharshi Mehi Ashram, located at Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, in Bihar, connected with the lineage of Baba Devi Sahab and Maharshi Mehi Paramhans. In other words, they are not affiliated with the Girdhari Sahib Ashram in Lucknow. They barely have any knowledge of the existence of the Lucknow group, but fortunately their history has preserved some vitally important evidence.
 

 
Baba Devi Sahib, the devotee who would eventually publish the “Ghat Ramayan” of Tulsi Sahib, “blessed” as an infant by Tulsi Sahib, who predicted he would become a great saint (reminding one of Soami Ji being blessed in a similar fashion by Tulsi), and grew up in the Hathras community presided over by Surswami. As an adult he eventually spent some time in Agra. He was close friends with a Radhaswami devotee by the name of Padma Das, who invited him to the Radhasoami Satsang in Agra, where Padma Das introduced him to Rai Saligram (“Shaligram”), who became Guru there after the time of Soami Ji Maharaj:
 
“Padma Das took Baba Devi to Rai Bahadur Shaligram’s Satsang. There, Padma Das narrated to Shaligram Sahab about his (Baba Devi’s) story  —  his intensified devotion from the childhood, demise of parents in very short [young] age, his firm determination and increasing intuition to spend his life as Yogi in a lonely place. Hearing all of these, Rai Sahab asked Baba Devi, ‘Do you know the method of meditation which you want to practice in a secluded place?’ ‘Yes’  — Baba Devi replied humbly. Then Shaligram Sahab asked, ‘From where you have got it?’ Baba Devi told, ‘I am disciple of Sant Tulsi Sahab and he himself has blessed me.’ Then Shaligram Sahab became very glad to hear it and told [Baba Devi] that ‘you were the member of my own family because, Sant Tulsi Sahib was my most reverend.’ Rai Sahab further explained about the association of his Guru (master), Shiv Dayal Swami Ji and Sant Tulsi Sahab’s disciple Giridhari Das. He disclosed that his Guru Shiv Dayal ji used to tell that he (Shiv Dayal) had been greatly benefited with the association of Baba Giridhari Das, a disciple of Sant Tulsi Sahab.” (“The Biography of Baba Devi Sahab”, excerpted in English at the SadguruMehi website on a web page titled, “Life And Teachings of Baba Devi Sahab”).
 

 
Swami Ji Maharaj  — Saving the Best For Last, Now, Let’s Travel A Bit Further Back in Time
 
In the Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry (Sar Bachan Radhasoami Nazm yaani Chhand bandh) of Soami Ji Maharaj is a very important lengthy section, Bachan/Discourse 21, a kind of “book within the book” called Hidayat Namah (Esoteric Instructions), going into detail about the soul travel or heavenly ascents of Soami Ji Maharaj. It represents the heart of this essential holy book of the Radhasoami Faith. Here Soami Ji provides the following description (7-8):
 
“Beyond this, there are innumerable palaces made of crystal (sheesh mehal) and diverse spirits inhabit them and are settled there in accordance with the allotments made by the Lord, and they see the peculiar mutual display which is so blissful, and in turn they also establish their own plays and sports. In Hindi, these spirits are described as ‘circles of hamsas’ (purified spirits). The engravings and the designs carved in these spheres are to be seen in order to be believed. The entire dispensation and workshop there is purely spiritual; it is not at all gross or material.
 
“Spirits dwelling there are characterized by excessive delicacy, subtlety, refinedness and purity; they don’t have a trace of physical coarseness (kasaafat) and impurity. The details of this sphere are known only to the faqirs. [‘Full particulars of these regions are known only to Sants’  -- Maheshwari translation.] To unfold more about it is not proper and advisable. For a long time the spirit of this faqir (i.e. Soamiji Maharaj Himself) sauntered and stayed there and then under instructions from the Teachers and Guides, moved ahead.
 
8. “Moving on and on, the spirit soared up about 5 arab (1 arab = 1 billion) and 75 crores (1 crore = 10 million) jojans (really incalculable height) and broke into the realm of Hahoot or Mahasunn (in Sar Bachan, Prose, Part I, para 13, the word Hahoot is used for Sunn, and not Mahasunn) and sauntered around it. How shall I describe it? For ten billion miles (again, incalculable distance) there is utter darkness. How shall I describe its depth, except to say that for one kharab (1 kharab = 100 billion, i.e. incalculable extent) jojans, the soul descended and yet its bottom could not be discovered; then again it reversed and turned upward, and following the track pointed by the sages, the spirit treaded that path and then it was deemed improper to determine and find out the depth of this dark region.
 
“The surat then moved on…”
 
(“The Quintessential Discourse Radhasoami” (Sar Bachan Radhasoami, Poetry), Volume I, Translation by M. G. Gupta, M.A., D.Litt. Former Member of the Faculty of Political Science, Allahabad University, MG Publishers, and Huma Books, Agra)
 
Take note of this particular sentence above by Soami Ji: “For a long time the spirit of this faqir (i.e. Soamiji Maharaj Himself) sauntered and stayed there and then under instructions from the Teachers and Guides, moved ahead.”
 
In the Sar Bachan words like ‘Murshida’ and ‘Guru’ are translated as “Master”, “Guide”, or “Teacher”, but here we have Teachers, Guides…. in other words, a plural form of Murshida/Mursheed/Guru  — not just one Teacher or one Guide: “Having sojourned there and having enjoyed the glory thereof for a very long time, the spirit of this Faqir moved on, in accordance with the instructions of the Guides.” In a plural form is how it’s also rendered according to another translation by S.D. Maheshwari, “Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry”, Part 1, Agra.
 
 
Sant Gharib Das, Another Close Disciple in the Inner Circle of Soami Ji  —  The Book of “Anmol Bachan” (Sometimes Spelled “Vachan”)
 
Sant Gharib Das commented on the above verses of Soami Ji’s Sar Bachan Poetry and provides us with more evidence about Girdhari Sahib, settling the matter once-and-for-all.
 
“Soamiji in his Discourses has said that his surat descended into the dark regions of Mahasunn but could neither locate the bottom or the end of it nor did it feel it worthwhile to go down any further. Thereafter, his surat adhering to the signs as revealed to him by his Gurus ascended upwards. Here Soamiji says that it was the inner Mercy of his Satguru Tulsi Saheb and that of Maharaj Girdhari Das Ji whose Satsang he attended for a very long period of time.”
 
Both Sant Tulsi Sahib and “Maharaj” Girdhari Sahib were Gurus of Soami Ji Maharaj. Both provided Soami Ji with inner Grace, helping to guide him during his inward journey, as described in the passages above. He was a disciple of them both, on good terms with them both right up till the end of their lives, by all accounts.
 
I now have three different translations of this key definitive paragraph above from Gharib Das. I wanted to make sure the word “Gurus” (plural) is really there in the original and is a solid translation.
 
Actually the paragraph above from Gharib Das, plus the two translations into English of the Sar Bachan verses of Soami Ji all come from sources in Agra that do not have a personal view of history and theology suggesting to them anything about Soami Ji having one Guru, much less two Gurus, yet, to their credit, that’s how all three chose to translate those passages.
 
“Anmon Bachan” is a book of questions and answers by Sant Garib Das Saheb, close disciple of Soami Ji Maharaj/Shiv Dayal Singh, and eventual founder of the Radhaswami Spiritual Science, Radhasoami Satsang, Sarai Rohilla, Delhi. This old out-of-print book, passed on from one generation to the next, has traveled quite far to reach me. Just to know about the existence of this book, locate someone with a copy, see some pages from it, and then getting some translations made from Gujarati into English, and Hindi into English, is no easy task, beating some ridiculous odds. For this I am grateful to those involved.
 
 
This is from the book  —  a very rough translation of this part for now:
 
“Brief Life Summary:
 
Birth date as per Hindu calendar is the third day of Sudh period of the Vaishakh month in the year 1900 (Samvant year, not Western calendar), [1846 AD];
 
Place of birth: Patiala;
Family: in khatri caste;
 
Birth name: Narayan Das;
 
At the age of nine he left home accompanied by a Siddha Yogishwara for seven years, spent time in the cave at Markand Hill in Kashmir; practiced the inward journey and reached Trikuti, Dasam Dwaar (the Tenth Gate);
 
After that in 1931 [AD 1874] he came to Swami Shiv Dayal Singh and reached Sat Lok and Anami Lok;
 
He stayed in Hathras and Delhi, did discourses [spread the teachings] for around thirty eight years and initiated around 5,000 people. Then he left the body on the nineth day of Vad period of Kartik month in 1974 [1918 AD].”
 
It says Gharib Das spent some time in Hathras. Makes sense he would be less susceptible to denying (or spinning/minimizing) the connection between Sant Tulsi Sahib, Maharaj Girdhari Das and Soami Ji given his association with Soami Ji and apparent knowledge of the Tulsi Sahib community.
 
As an independent witness representing another distinct branch of Radhasoami and a early disciple of Shiv Dayal Singh, Gharib Das of the Radhasoami Satsang, Sarai Rohilla, is a priceless resource for helping to clarify many issues about early Radhasoami history. Hopefully the whole book can be translated and published. I suspect if it is, it will help promote reconciliation and harmony between different branches of the Radhasoami Faith, between those who follow Panch Naam and those who follow Simran of Radhasoami.
 
Quick Observation: The passages from Gharib Das and successors (see, “The Way Out Is IN”, by Swami Ram Behari Lal, Radhaswami Satsang, Sarai Rohilla) so far don’t lend support to the belief that Sar Bachan Poetry is mostly a redacted work of Saligram, which is a theory put forward by some. Gharib Das seems to have been reading the same familiar Sar Bachan Poetry. including the teaching about Radhasoami Naam. He said, “The Word is Soami and Surat is Radha, and this dhar of surat that turns back and merges into the Shabd (Word) sings ‘Radhasoami’. When you sing the name ‘Radhasoami’, you do the sumiran of the ‘Five Names’.” (“Anmol Bachan”)
 

 
Summary  —  Conclusion
 
There was the one Sant Mat group founded by Sant Tulsi Sahib, with branches in Hathras, Agra, Lucknow, and several other cities. Soamiji and Radhaji were part of it, as were their families and extended families.
 
Here’s the context of the Agra satsang that Soami Ji came to eventually lead: “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.” (Entry for Param Sant Tulsi Sahib in, “Radhasoami White Paper on the Religion of Sants and RadhaSoami Faith”, published by Dayal Bagh in Agra)
 
Maharaj Girdhari Sahib also was originally part of the Agra Satsang, spending some time there. (Pratap Singh Seth, “Biography of Soami Ji Maharaj”, p. 37).
 
I do agree with those accounts that describe Soami Ji as being initiated at a young age by Sant Tulsi Sahib, and no doubt Soami Ji did regard Sant Tulsi as his primary initiating Guru, as evidenced by the Guru Bhakti contents of his Sar Bachan.
 
While there is no evidence that Sant Tulsi Sahib appointed Soami Ji to immediately assume the gaddi in the Tulsi Sahib community back in 1843 at the time of Tulsi Sahib’s passing, and there’s no record of that occurring, Soami Ji certainly was held in high regard, and did begin to prepare for his eventual spiritual mission. According to the sources we have, Soami Ji spent between fifteen and seventeen years leading a contemplative lifestyle, devoting much time to meditation in a special room within his home in Agra.
 
Soami Ji never cut himself off from the Tulsi Sahib community he had been part of all his life however. During this same period between the death of Sant Tulsi in 1843 and the beginning of the Radhasoami Satsang in 1861, Soami Ji not only devoted time to meditation but also remained affiliated with the Tulsi Sahib community, according to several independent Sant Mat and Radhasoami sources documented above, associating with Maharaj Girdhari Sahib, “venerating” him as a Sant, attending his satsang, receiving instruction and guidance (“updesh”) from him, doing seva, initiating a few people in Agra as far back as the mid 1850’s, being quite involved in both Agra and Lucknow satsangs.
 
An older Guru grooming a younger one, granting him permission to initiate, and helping him to become an established successor presiding over his own satsang or ashram, even before the death of the elder Guru, is actually quite common, and in harmony with Sant Mat principals. I know of several examples of this in Sant Mat history. I even know of contemporary living masters alive right now that began their spiritual mission many years BEFORE the death of the Gurus that appointed and mentored them. What we find if we examine the life of Soami Ji and his transition to becoming Guru, is that it was quite normal and routine, the way it’s often done, especially in the community founded by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras.
 
The references to Soami Ji having two Gurus, venerating Girdhari, valuing his teachings/updesh, being guided in higher planes (“regions known only to Sants”  —  Sar Bachan), being part of his satsang for all of those years, donating/supporting, doing seva for his cause, treating him as Guru, only beginning his own public mission right after the death of Girdhari, etc…. in my view strongly indicates that Soami Ji could only have seen him as a Sant, a.k.a. master or worthy successor of Tulsi Sahib. After that successor passed on is when Soami Ji Maharaj officially began his own spiritual mission in the city of Agra.
 
For this reason I believe an honest response to the evidence by those committed to the truthfulness and accuracy of Sant Mat history should be a willingness to recognize Maharaj Girdhari Sahib as the Guru occupying that time period between Sant Tulsi Sahib and Soami Ji Maharaj. He should no longer be omitted, nor should Tulsi Sahib be omitted. Whatever one’s view of Soami Ji might be: Incarnation of Radhasoami, Svateh Sant (born Saint) or some other point of view, making this correction to the history books represents no diminishing of that legacy. At this late date, those claiming succession from Soami Ji Maharaj (Sant Radhasoami Sahib) may have little knowledge about this obscure Guru of the past that Soami Ji held in such high regard, but should at the very least defer to Soami Ji on this point!
 
 
RUMI’s Ode to the Unknown Mursheeds, Sages and Guides
 
“In every age, God’s mercy and pleasure graces their (Saints’) pure spirit and breath. The names of lakhs of (cloistered, secluded, hidden) majestic spiritual personages (Saints) whose heads are adorned and distinguished by His grace have remained unknown and unsung because they were the cynosure of God who (must have) felt envious of their spiritual grandeur (and chose to keep them obscure and unhonoured as obscure heroes are unsung).” (“Mathnawi of Jalaluddin Rumi”, Volume Two, M.G. Gupta Translation, Huma Books, Agra)
 
Also see, “Baba Girdhari Das Walks On Water”:
https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/cdf4846e46fa
 

 

 

Maharaj Girdhari Sahib—The ‘Unknown Guru’ of Radhasoami History

Maharaj Girdhari Sahib—The ‘Unknown Guru’ of Radhasoami History: A Spiritual Successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Another Guru of Soami Ji Maharaj: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/maharaj-girdhari-sahib-a-spiritual-successor-of-sant-tulsi-sahib-and-friends-with-soami-ji-maharaj-2f8ffcb7d342
 
Link to this article now published in, Sach Khand—The Journal of Radhasoami Studies, MSAC Philosophy Group: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzYWNoa2hhbmRqb3VybmFsfGd4OjJmYjRjMWIxYTc2NjQyMjQ
 
Thanks to those satsangis affiliated with the Sant Girdhari Mandir in Lucknow for helping my research efforts to learn more about Maharaj Girdhari Sahib, and thanks to those who helped provide translations of some very rare texts from Hindi and Gujarati.
 

 

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