The Yoga of Love — Light and Sound on the Path — Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
The Yoga of Love — Light and Sound on the Path — Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
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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)
On the Path of the Masters there are books that represent the “science of the esoteric”, providing technical details about subtle bodies, inner regions, karma, meditation practice, and so on. And there is also the poetic side expressing the heart of mysticism. In English, the words of many bhajans and banis (hymns) of Saints (Sants) have become available. They read like poetry or psalms. Rumi poetry is similar. These Mystics of the East provide very beautiful and bhakti devotional teachings — the Way of the Lover and the Beloved. There are the compositions of Kabir, the Guru Granth, Namdev, Ravidas, Dadu, Mirabai, Dayabai, Sahjo Bai, Tulsi Das, Paltoo Sahib, Surdas, Tukaram — so many great souls. These are such priceless sources of inspiration. It’s absolutely essential for the initiate/satsangi to be in touch with the bhakti side of the path.
*The Classic Nirguna Bhakti Sants of India — Online E Books Relating to the Bhakti Saints (Dadu, Namdev, Ravidas, Mirabai, Tukarama, Many More):
*Guru Nanak, Sikh Gurus, Guru Granth, Adi Granth (Shri Guru Granth Sahib) — Online E Books Relating to Guru Nanak, Sikh Gurus, Guru Granth and Other Texts:
*PODCAST — Click To Listen: The Heart of Mysticism, Part 1:
*PODCAST — Click To Listen: The Heart of Mysticism, Part 2:
A two-part series on Spiritual Awakening Radio, The Heart of Mysticism — Yoga of Love — The Way of the Lover and the Beloved: Love is the only reality. All else is illusion. Cultivating love is one of the central teachings of mysticism, East and West. In India, masters often use the term “Bhakti,” which means love and devotion. Someone asked: “How can one sit so still, repeat only holy names and think of God constantly?” Mataji serenely replied: “By falling in love, because when one is truly in love nothing but the Beloved can enter one’s mind. So the secret of Surat Shabda Yoga and of mysticism is not necessarily ‘practice and more practice,’ but love. To be so devoted to one’s Lord that nothing can stand in the way, this and nothing else is the truth of Sant Mat [The Teachings of the Masters].” (Enchanted Land)
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RUMI: “The people of this world are like the three butterflies in front of a candle’s flame.
The first one went closer and said: I know about love.
The second one touched the flame lightly with his wings and said:
I know how love’s fire can burn.
The third one threw himself into the heart of the flame and was consumed.
He alone knows what true love is.”
“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: “Without Bhakti [love] and devotion,
nobody can swim across the vast and deep
Ocean of this Samsara [World of Changes]
even if one makes use of lakhs of ways and means;
but if one takes to the Word and develops love for the Shabd,
one will one hundred percent go to their eternal Abode.”
(The Essential Kabir, Translated by M. G. Gupta, Huma Books, Agra)
Bhakti bina naheen nistarae, laakh karae jo koye
sabad sanehi hvae rahae, ghar ko pahunchae soye
The Jewel (Soul) Lost in the Mud
“The jewel is lost in the mud,
and all are seeking for it;
Some look for it in the east,
and some in the west;
some in the water
and some amongst stones.
But the servant Kabir
has appraised it at its true value,
and has wrapped it with care
in the mantle of his heart.”
“When the pearl is cast down into the mud,
it becomes greatly despised,
nor if it is anointed with balsam oil
will it become more precious.
But it always has value in the eyes of its owner.
Compare the children of God:
wherever they may be,
they still have value
in the eyes of their Father.”
— Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt)
“Through the central Point between the two eyebrows [Third Eye],
enter within your body, going beyond gross, subtle, causal, and supra-causal spheres.
And finally, reaching the very seat of Kaivalya [Oneness], get detached from all these five coverings
of your body [and subtle bodies]. Seeking the assistance of the Light and Sound of God
and the Quintessential Word, merge yourself with the Quintessential Sound to be at one with the Lord.
Mehi says, Your efforts inside your body will make you so subtle that you will be able to
go beyond these five bodies. This is called the real devotion [Bhakti], which you always must focus on
as your ideal or goal.” (Maharshi Mehi)
The Way of the Lover and the Beloved: Bhakti
by James Bean
Copyright March 1998 —
All Rights Reserved
Bhakti Yoga according to the Dictionary of Mysticism is “the yoga of love, the quest of union with the Divine Spirit through Bhakti-marga (the path of love and devotion).” (Frank Gaynor, Philosophical Library) Bhakti is a Sanskrit word for love and devotion, and love is the quintessential truth of all religion, spirituality and mysticism. In the New Testament, Saint Paul said that “love is the most excellent way.” The Bhagavad Gita and the other world scriptures say the same thing. The mystic-lovers of history have taught that “God is an infinite Ocean of Love and each soul is a drop from that Ocean.” By approaching simran/zikhr/manas jap (a spiritual exercise of repeating God’s Name or Names, mantra), prayer, the singing of hymns or meditation with an attitude of love and devotion (prem and bhakti), we elevate our consciousness; the practice of love brings us into harmony with the Supreme Being, our own true nature, and with everyone else. “Even as the sun shines and fills all space with light, so shines the Lord of Love and fills the hearts of all created beings.” (The Upanishads, Eknath Easwaran) I very much suspect people are drawn to the poetry of Rumi because he may be for some a connection to this rare and lesser-known Eastern mystical approach of Divine romance, the Way of the Lover and the Beloved!
Bhakti is an Indian term for the religion of love; it is heart-centered, focused on the cultivation of love between the soul and the Oversoul, between lover and the Beloved. India’s Nirguna Bhakti Saints and devotees (bhaktas) are madly in love with God; their relationship with the Supreme Being is that of Divine romance! The 16th century mystic and Sant Mira Bai said:
“To the Lord’s abode I will go,
for He alone is my true love.
I’ll gaze upon His charming face
and ever remain enthralled.
In the calm of the night
I will arise and go to him,
and return at dawn.”
Practices of Love and Devotion (Prem-Bhakti) For the Supreme Being
According to Saint Tulsi Das there are several modes of Bhakti practice. One major practice is called Satsang — the society of realized Saints. Satsang means “association with Eternal Truth” as well as “association with God,” and is to some extent comparable to “church” or “temple,” but not in any institutional sense. A saying of Jesus in the New Testament provides us with a great definition of Satsang: “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there in their midst.” When devotees or initiates of a Saint sit together for instruction, worship and meditation, the Masters teach that there’s a great spiritual energy or charge present, a stronger manifestation of the loving Presence of God and a kind of “communion of Saints,” past and present.
Satsang is also an experience of spiritual community, an opportunity to be uplifted by the collective energy of our brothers and sisters on the Path, for we’re influenced by the company we keep! Devotees make this a time and place of spiritual Remembrance, and this helps to keep us on the Path. Mira Bai has said:
“In minutes, Satsang will lead to
Jiva-Mukti [the salvation or
liberation of the soul].”
The format of Satsang meetings can include: a spiritual discourse, instruction on putting the Path into practice, a Master giving a talk (or recording of such), readings from the writings of various Masters or Mystics, the reciting or singing of banis, bhajans or kirtans (hymns of worship composed by Saints), and silent group meditation. It’s considered the greatest of blessings if it is a Master who conducts the Satsang in person.
The effect of Satsang is that of remembrance, thus, with such a spiritual boost, encouragement and support for the spiritual journey, those who go to Satsang are much more likely to stay on the Path and put effort into their own daily spiritual practice at home. Thus will the life of the Bhakta (lover, devotee, disciple) become more and more God-intoxicated by imbibing the spiritual wine, the nectar of Divine love.
Simran — The Power of Repeating God’s Name
Repeating a Name (or Names) of God with love and devotion, called in the east “Simran”, “Manas Jap”, or “Zikhr,” is one of the key spiritual exercises used to cultivate love for God and to invoke the Positive Power in our daily lives, making it possible to live a life of love. This is usually done mentally, as a mental repetition of a Name of God done during meditation, this practice is done during available moments throughout the day and night as a way to remember God all the time. Says Sant Tukarama:
“Such is God’s Name
that it heals the disease of the world.
Whosoever repeats the Lord’s Name
while engaged in earthly duties,
remains ever in a blissful state of divine communion.
One absorbed in the Lord’s Name, O Tuka,
has truly attained liberation while living.”
This spiritual exercise of repeating God’s Name helps to uplift our day, to bring some of the heaven and bliss of meditation into our down-to-earth daily experience, and is a way to remember in a world of forgetfulness, to remain awake in a world of spiritual slumber, to abide in Truth, no longer dominated by the forces of illusion. Be who you really are wherever you go!
Most of the great Saints and Mystics of history have also been poets or composers of hymns, psalms, odes, banis, bhajans — mystic songs of love and devotion.
Closely related to the chanting of Divine names (mantra, manas jappa, simran or zikhr) is the practice of reciting or singing kirtans, shabds and banis (hymns). India’s Saints of Love for thousands of years now have composed their own vanis, padavali, devotional hymns and poems. India’s Mystics have left behind — and continue to compose — an immense treasure of devotional literature, the scriptures of the Saints and Masters of the East. If Westerners aren’t able to sing these hymns in their original languages, reading translations of them is in itself a spiritual exercise of great benefit, for these beautiful words carry a loving spiritual charge that helps to keep one mindful of the spiritual Path, as well as it helps to prepare one for daily meditation practice. Babuji Maharaj of Agra used to advise his followers to recite several hymns a day, prescribing certain hymns of Swami Ji Maharaj and Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram (his spiritual Master) “to be sung in the morning, before meals, and before going to bed at night.” Each tradition has a similar practice of daily prayers and hymns. To be sure, it is indeed extremely helpful to read a couple of hymns or poems of the Saints each day.
Traditionally in India the Saints and Masters have also used hymns and mystical poetry as a way to communicate their teachings to the people by sharing the truths of the Saints directly to the hearts of those who listen. “Govinda [God] says, ‘I go wherever devotees sing my praise.'” (Sant Garab Das) That quote from Garab Das very much reminds me of a passage from the Hebrew Book of Psalms: “God inhabits the praises of His people.”
This is a translation of a hymn (shabd) by the 19th century Mystic Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras titled, “Shabd surat jin ki mili.”
“Whose soul is attached to the Word,
revels ever in cosmic flight;
Revels ever in cosmic flight,
and realizing the Lord,
plays with Him.
The mystery of the Inaccessible
and the secret of the scriptures he unravels:
He reaches his Home within and its Essence
he comes to know;
In the lotus feet of the Beloved
he sees his true destination.
The happily married woman
rejoices with her Spouse every moment, O Tulsi,
For her soul is attached to the Word,
and revels ever in cosmic flight.”
The compositions of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib are Bhakti (devotional) in tone, and at the same time allude to the mystical experiences of the soul achieving cosmic flight by becoming attached to the Word — hearing the Celestial Music of the Spheres during meditation. Through the divine Word the mystery of the Inaccessible Plane (called by some Mystics “Agam Lok”) is made accessible. Sant Tulsi described his experience of the Beloved Lord as a marriage consummated in mystical union. This merger of lover and Beloved is the final destination of lovers. Sant Dadu Dayal, a Master in the Kabir lineage said of this oneness:
“The lover is converted into the Beloved.
That indeed is called true love.
Forgetting his own ego, he remains
absorbed in the One.”
In their hymns, the Masters and Mystics sing of the power that the Spirit of Love has to transport souls back to the original Home of all souls — the Ocean of Love and Compassion. By approaching spiritual practice with love, we will be elevated in spirit to places beyond our wildest dreams! And for those who are skeptical of their own ability to experience the Way of the Saints, Swami Ji Maharaj said in one of his hymns:
“It does not matter if your bhakti is imperfect.
Perform bhakti! Radhasoami [the Lord of the Soul]
graciously declares that you should perform bhakti
in whichever way you can. Fear not. He will grant
you the Treasure of Love. You will be a recipient
of the Gift of Love.”
(Sar Bachan Poetry, Vol. II, Agra, India)
The Ideal Vision For Living A Spiritual Life On Earth
Here’s a poem beautiful by the 16th century Mystic Sant Dadu Dayal of Rajasthan who outlined his vision of the spiritual life to be pursued during our time here on planet Earth:
“Recognize the Path to your Beloved, O travelers
and take the route of the anguished lover in separation.
Keep the Master’s grace in your thoughts,
and reflect on his pure teachings.
Develop love and devotion with endearment,
and keep the thought of the Creator always before you.
Try to merge yourself into God like water in water.
Fix your mind within by following the Path of the Sound Current.
A yearning will arise; make then an intense and anguished call.
Repeat the Name of your Beloved,
day and night,
again and again.
With care in thought, word and deed,
you will cross to the other shore.”
Exploring the Inner Worlds of Light and Sound — The Kingdom of the Heavens Within You
Any explanation does not in any way fully describe these realms. There are so many forms of Divine Light that only the one who has the experience of these realms would know them in their full scope. Our language does not have the tools to describe the Divine Light realm. Nevertheless, I have attempted to describe some of these experiences to provide inspiration and edification to practitioners on the path, who can fully appreciate with overwhelming marvel the nature of these realms. Furthermore, not all practitioners experience the identical spectacles. There can be variations of experience depending on the individual’s samskaras (past lives deeds). This is the reason that you may find a variation in different Sants’ descriptions of the realms. A practitioner must not be confused to hear such variations of descriptions of these realms.
The realm of darkness is dominated by tamas guna (ignorance, inertia). The realm of Light is dominated by rajas guna (passion, activity) and the realm of Divine Sound is dominated by sattva guna (purity, lucidity). All the chakras below the Third Eye — from the Muladhara to the Ajna Chakra) — are dominated by tamas. From the Third Eye to Trikuti is the realm dominated by rajas guna. And from Trikuti to the realm where primordial matter rests in an equilibrium state (beginning of the causal realm), is governed by sattva. Above this is the Divine Conscious Sound Realm that is beyond the sway of three gunas, qualities. This is also known as Para Prakrti (pure or higher Nature). The Conscious Unstruck Sound permeates the whole creation. The Unstruck Sounds of the material realm are pervading within the material creation. This is the reason some fortunate practitioners can hear the Divine Sound in meditation even in the realm of darkness. But generally, the Sound experience begins after one has accomplished focus on the subtle point in the Third Eye.
The Formless pervades the form. The realm of Light is the manifestation of the form of the macro-cosmos (brahmanda). And the Sound is the Formless macrocosm. The practitioner who becomes accomplished in the Light realms begins to experience Divine Sound along with various Divine Light experiences. However, after the center of Trikuti (the center of Brahma Jyoti) the Light form becomes absorbed in the Sound (that is Formless) since the form arises out of Formless. According to the natural law anything that is created must return to its Source and be dissolved therein.
When the practitioner experiences various aspects of the Light realm, the consciousness is not drawn toward the Divine Sound owing to its attraction to the Light. Moreover, because this Light realm is dominated by rajas, the mind continues to be affected by activity and passion. In the Trikuti, the bright light of the sun destroys the residue of impurities of the mind. Here, purity (sattva) pervades the consciousness and rajas completely vanishes. At that time, the scenes of the Light realm that form the worlds of name and form, begin to fade, and merge into the Formless. The Divine Sound of the Formless realm becomes increasingly strong, to the degree that even though there is some Light remaining, the consciousness does not become distracted. Thus, although there is form in the Formless, the mind is not drawn to the forms (experience of the spectacular scenes of the Light realm).
The meditation on the Sound is Formless and transcends the realm of names and forms. Through this meditation the practitioner reaches the Supreme Being. Through this path the meditator goes beyond all obstacles and achieves the ultimate freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The practitioner becomes free from taking birth in this world. The practitioner whose consciousness grasps the Central Sound even once escapes the afflictions of time and death. This practice of meditation is the direct path as was stated by the Prophet Mohammad. By treading this path the practitioner reaches the untainted destination of Khuda (a word for God in Urdu) or the realm of the Supreme. This path of meditation is described by Jesus as the eye of the needle, and by going through it one attains the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the path leading to Nirvana as described in Jainism and Buddhism. This is the Unstruck Sound (Anahat Shabd) revealed by Guru Nanak, which is heard by closing the ears, eyes, and mouth. This meditation is the essence of all the different religions, all sacred texts and the core message of all Sants and sages. This meditation takes the practitioner to the Ultimate Goal.
— Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj — His New Book: The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hamsa Nij Desh: O, Swan-Soul Return to Your Abode)
“Purity of character is the fundamental basis on which the edifice of spiritual progress is to be built. These five passions (lust, anger, greed, attachment, egoism [the 5 Passions of the Mind]) will become weaker and weaker as the bliss of the Sound Current increases.” (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)
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.”
(Yeshua, Gnostic Gospel of Thomas,
Saying 17, Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt)
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