>We are Heavenly Swans (Hamsas) Journeying back to the Beloved
He, who carries on the practice of the true Sound,
Beholds the Truth from the beginning to the end
within his body.
By realizing the true Sound with rapt attention,
He attains the status of a pure swan.
Such a devotee reaches the Immortal Abode,
And there he sees mysterious and wondrous sights. (Sant Dariya Sahib)
The image of the swan is used in poetry and hymns of Sants to represent the soul, a heavenly being of Light, a hamsa. In Sant Mat Mysticism the hamsa or hansa is a soul that has been baptised in the Lake of Nectar and finds Its Original Nature restored — then it continues it’s upward ascent eventually reaching the Fifth Plane or Sat Lok. The Sants (souls have that reached the Fifth Plane or Above and are in Union with God) have composed, and continue to compose, descriptions of the Inner Regions, usually in the form of hymns (kirtans, banis, bhajans) and mystic-poems, including about hansas in Sat Lok or Sach Khand (True Eternal Realm of Timeless Pure Spirit). We are all hansas or hansas-to-be as we journey back to the Beloved, the Ocean of Love and Oneness.
A Hansa is ……..
Hansa: A white swan; esoterically, a soul purified by Shabd [the Holy Stream of Light and Sound]. In Indian spiritual literature, a hansa is symbolic of grace and purity; it is believed that the natural drink of a swan is milk or nectar (amrit), and its natural food is pearls, diamonds and rubies, which signify Shabd. It is further believed that the beak of a swan has the unique ability to drink milk (nectar) after filtering out the dirty water or poison of maya with which it is mixed. As long as a soul is conditioned by karma and dominated by mind and matter, it is an ugly crow. Its transformation into a swan begins in Daswan Dwar, where, in the process of its spiritual enlightenment, it sheds its gross coverings. The process culminates in Sach Khand, the region of immortality. Soami Ji generally refers to all souls in Daswan Dwar and beyond as hansas, but he has also occasionally used the term for devoted disciples who are on their way to becoming swans.
O Swan-Soul, Where Are You Going?
Swan, I’d like you to tell me your whole story!
Where you first appeared, and what dark sand you are going toward,
and where you sleep at night, and what you are looking for…
It’s morning, swan, wake up, climb in the air, follow me!
I know of a country that spiritual flatness does not control,
— nor constant depression,
and those alive are not afraid to die.
There, wildflowers come up through the leafy floor,
and the fragrance of “I am He” floats on the wind.
There the bee of the heart stays deep inside the flower,
and cares for no other thing.
– Version by Robert Bly, The Kabir Book, Beacon Press
Sar Bachan Mystic-Poetry of Swami Ji
“When it traverses this plane (of the Rotating Cave), it attains to the outpost (naaka) of Sattlok, whence flows the sound Satt Satt and Haq Haq, emanating from the harp. Hearing this sound, the spirit getting ecstatic goes on piercing and penetrating into the higher sphere and from there the view of golden and silvery streams and rivulets, full of the limpid water of life (aab-i-zulal) and huge gardens of which every tree seems 10,000,000 jojans high, and where instead of fruits and flowers, millions and billions of suns and moons hang from their branches. Innumerable spirits and hamsas sing and blissfully warble on these trees. The spectacle and sight of this sphere is marvellous and indeed ineffable. Seeing this spectacle, the spirit or surat enters the Sattlok and catches the sight of Satt Purush…….
“………Thence the surat [soul] moved upward and made it to the Inaccessible Sphere (Agam Lok) whose stretch is quintillion palang (mahashankh) and the body of the Agam Purush is as vast as a quintillion quintillion palang. The hamsas [heavenly beings] dwelling there have a marvellous and unique form, and bliss and beatitude of that sphere is overwhelmingly wonderful. My spirit (says Soamiji Maharaj) stayed and rested there for a very long period.” (Sar Bachan Poetry of Swami Ji Maharaj, Agra)