Sant Mat Spirituality — Light and Sound on the Path
Sant Mat Spirituality — Light and Sound on the Path — Newsletter of Spiritual Quotes & Sant Mat Satsang Discourses
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ON THE USAGE OF THE TERM “SANT MAT” AND THE SANT TULSI SAHIB CONNECTION
“Kabir explained Sant Mat in his own way, other Sants in other ways. The religion of all those who have gained access within is one and the same. Those who lack true understanding, adhere to dogmas and blind beliefs. Those who have spoken on the basis of inner experiences, have sung of the same Panth or path for reaching the Lord.” (Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Book of Ghat Ramayan)
“Sant Mat” means: “The Teachings of the Saints” or “Path of the Masters”. In India it’s common knowledge that the term “Sant Mat” was coined or adapted by Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras during the 19th Century. “Sant Mat” was adopted and popularized by Tulsi Sahib as a new name for this spiritual path or genre of mysticism, but the Sant tradition, with its many guru-lineages or branches, is a spiritual movement that dates back many centuries to ancient India. Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that the Sant movement goes back to the time of Krishna thousands of years ago, that Krishna knew of Sants or Rishis during his day, the age of the Bhagavad Gita.
Commonly used words like “Sant”, “Sat”, and “Mat”, with their roots in Sanskrit, are found in the literature of many spiritual paths originating in India. “Santmat”, as a single word referring to the efficacy of following the teachings of Sants does turn up on a couple of occasions in Sant literature during the centuries prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib. It may be present in a few verses of Kabir, and is in at least one verse of a poem of Sant Tulsi Das. Clearly however, “Sant Mat” as the universal name or label for this school of spirituality or Sant tradition begins with Tulsi Sahib during the 19th Century in Hathras, and now has been embraced by millions of souls and scores of spiritual paths based in India.
“The teachings of all Saints are essentially the same. They speak of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ which is within. They show the path and impart instructions to attain it. They do not claim to teach something new or different from what other Saints have taught. Tulsi Sahab declared that he was giving the same teachings as those of Kabir Sahab, Nanak Sahab, Dadu Sahab and other Saints. Tulsi Sahab, for the first time, used the expression ‘Sant Mat’ or ‘the teachings of Saints’ to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints.” (From the entry for Sant Tulsi Sahib in, RadhaSoami White Paper on the Religion of Sants and RadhaSoami Faith, published in Agra)
“While the title of Sant Mat (translated as ‘Teachings of the Sants’) was not coined until the late 19th century by Tulsi Sahib, the philosophical mindset was indeed prevalent for many centuries.” (Andrea Diem Lane, Ph.D., “Lions in the Punjab: An Introduction to the Sikh Religion”, from Chapter One, The Sikh–Sant Connection)
“One thing that all factions agree upon, though, is that Tulsi Sahib consolidated the teachings of nirguna bhakti, expounded the path of surat shabd yoga, and was largely responsible for the popular usage of the term Sant mat. His teachings are embodied in Ghat Ramayana, Ratan Sagar, and Shabdavali.” (David C. Lane, “The Radhasoami Tradition, A Critical History of Guru Successorship”, Garland Publishing, 1992 edition, page 39)
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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New Sant Mat E Book Announcement: Amazon Kindle: “The Inward Journey of the Soul”
There is a new Sant Mat Kindle e-book from Amazon and Amazon India (also available on all devices via Kindle APP for computer, tablet and smart phone): “The Inward Journey of the Soul” (Chal Hansa Nij Desh), translated into English by Professor Veena Howard:
(In India there is also a website one can contact for hard copies of the book (paperback). There are both Hindi and English editions available. Send me an email for the link. — James)
SIMRAN: Why Sant Mat Masters Teach That Repeating Simran Words (Mantras, Manas Jap) Is Best Done Mentally — A Mental Chant Done “With the Tongue of Thought”
“Practitioners obtain results of mantra recitation according to their minds’ stillness and concentration. The method of recitation that produces deep concentration is better and yields superior results…. Sants [Spiritual Masters] state upanshu (murmuring) qualitatively has ten times more focusing-power than vacaka (out loud) japa. Svasa (breath recitation) japa yields a hundred times more concentration than upanshu. Manas (mental) japa on the other hand creates one thousand times more concentration than svasa japa. Mental japa [simran] is on the same platform as meditation (concentrated focus). Therefore, efficiency of mantra japa is determined by the intensity of concentration.
— Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul, New Amazon E-Book
The Gnostic Demiurge (Kal Niranjan), Ego-Mind-Matrix Perceiving Poorly in a Realm of Illusion
Huzur Baba Sawan Singh: “Individual mind is Kal* on a small scale. It is Kal’s agent, attached to every soul to keep it out from the eye-focus [third-eye] and keep it entangled in this world.”
*Kal: The demiurge or ruler of the three worlds; cosmic ego, false lord of mind, death and time, and is associated with the administration of karma or law;
Kabir Says to Sant Dharam Das: “Listen to the signs of those who will have Sat Naam within them: They will not be affected by Kal, and will not have lust, anger, egoism and greed in them. Giving up attachment and desires, they will always keep the Words of the Satguru in their heart. As the snake keeps the jewel on his head, in the same way the disciple should always keep the Master’s orders on his head.” (Anurag Sagar)
Kabir to Dharam Das: “If one meets the Master, giving up everything of his own, that fortunate one climbs the stairs of Truth. If one catches attachment, illusion awakens, and that unfortunate one gives up all devotion and knowledge. You are the Essence of Sat Purush. You have come into the world to take on the work of awakening the souls. If you yourself give up faith in the Master and, looking at the things in the world, you get attached to them, then where is the place for the souls?” (Anurag Sagar, the most Gnostic scripture of India)
Anurag Sagar of Kabir: “All the world is entangled in different kinds of thoughts, deeds and emotions. The soul has fallen in the snare of illusion and doesn’t know how to go back to the Real Home. There are many gurus in the world and they have made artificial snares. Without the Satguru the illusion will not be finished as the terrible Kal is very mighty.
“Couplet: I sacrifice myself on the Satguru, Who gives the Immortal Message. Meeting Him, the souls become unique and meet Sat Purush. Day and night one should attach his attention to the Master, and should dwell within himself like the Sadhus and Saints. He on whom the Satguru showers grace, his noose of karma burns away. If one makes an effort and withdraws his attention, the Satguru makes him reach Sat Lok.”
— Anurag Sagar (Kabir and Sant Dharam Das’s Ocean Of Love) — An Online E-Book Available in All Formats, Including Talking Book at the Internet Archive
Kabir (Book of Brahm Nirupan):
“In meditation the ardent seeker obtains these seven attributes that assist him in his spiritual attainment:
1. Swati or deep concentration
2. Sahaja or an easy disposition
3. Sindhu or depth of sincerity
4. Ankura or initiator of noble actions
5. Sravana or listening to words of wisdom
6. Sudaya or compassion for all beings
7. Sulila or virtuous conduct.”
Putting Into Scientific Language the Meditation Practice of Inner Light and Sound — A Developing ‘Science of Consciousness’
“Quantum neuro-physicists also believe that the several layers of the brain can host quantum processes, whose quantum properties can effectively explain the dynamics of cognitive consciousness. They conceptualize the human brain as a macroscopic quantum system made up of sub-atomic structures such as microtubules which lie inside the neuron, and which contain quasi-crystalline water molecules that again lend themselves to quantum effects.
“In the discipline of theology (Science of religion) too, following the architect and biomechanics of human brain, one can easily acknowledge the dynamic possibility of exciting, inducing or setting kinetic these quantum conscious neurons through the performance of concentration meditation practices, prescribed as ‘SURAT-SHABDA’ yoga in the Religion of Saints (more precisely in Sant Mat: Radhasoami Faith) for the awakening of a fairly dormant conscious-spiritual dynamics inside a human mind/brain and transforming it into an enlightened quantum brain.”
— “Quantum Consciousness: A Scientific Theological Perspective of Sant Mat (Religion of Saints — Radhasoami Faith”)
The Importance of Bhakti Marg (The Way of Love and Devotion) — Satsang Discourse from, Prem Patra Radhasoami (The Love Discourses of the Lord of the Soul)
1. Sants have spoken highly of the Bhakti Marg, and it is said that Bhakti Marg belongs to Dayal Mat  and Guru Mat [the Compassionate Path of the Masters/Sants]. The religion, which is devoid of love and devotion, is Mana Mat [the path or way of the mind]. There are some religions, which have a little of Bhakti (devotion) and Prem (love), but they are dissipated in the worship of idols and inanimate objects, and there is no knowledge of or quest for the true Lord or Supreme Being. Sants attach importance to that type of Bhakti (devotion) only, which is directed towards the Holy Feet of the Supreme Lord, and the object of which is to meet Him, by performing internal practices. This type of Bhakti can be acquired through a Sat Guru, because He alone is the giver of the secrets about the Supreme Being.
2. The Supreme Being Radhasoami [Radhaswami, Lord of the Soul] is the embodiment of Love; so also is Sat Purush. The essence of Atma, Parmatma, Brahm and Par-Brahm is also love. Sat Guru and the Jivas [souls] are also love in essence. Without love no one can meet the true Supreme Being. The difference lies in this That the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal is the source and spring, i.e., fountain-head and reservoir of Love, and Sat Purush is the Ocean of Love, Brahm and Par-Brahm are its waves and the Jiva is a drop of Love. The Jiva is imbued with Ichchha (individual desire) and Brahm with Maya. In the ocean, i.e., in Satnam-Pad  there is little of Maya, and that too is identical or one with that ocean. But in the source or fountain-head, i.e., in Radhasoami Pad, there is absolutely no trace of Maya. He who desires true salvation and full liberation, should, in love and devotion, seek and try to know the true Lord. Clue to the true Lord can be given by the Sat Guru only, i.e., the Guru who is aware of all, secrets. When one has contacted the Sat Guru and has come to know Him and the true Lord or Supreme Being and His secrets, he should raise his spirit internally by Surat Shabd Yoga, i.e., he should merge his Surat (spirit) in the Shabd, i.e., the sound or current which is coming down from the region of Sat Purush Radhasoami and is present within every one. Riding on this sound current, he should reach that Ocean of Love and the Fountain-head. When one reaches there, that is true salvation and liberation.
3. The current of Shabd is also the current of light and life, and that is also the source of love, and the Surat has descended along this current and taken its abode or seat at the top of Pind. It is first to be withdrawn and collected at this point, i.e., the diffused spirituality in the body is first to be concentrated at this point, and then it will have to be taken to its original abode by raising it upwards. This is the Sant Mat or the religion of Sants. To acquire this kind of salvation, it is necessary to meet a Sat Guru. i.e., one who has access to the original abode or the topmost region, or a Sadh, i.e., one, who is practising in this manner under the guidance of the Sat Guru, to, attain the original abode. After meeting with any of these two classes of adepts, and ascertaining from him the mode of practices and acting accordingly, it is possible to reach the original abode. His Satsang should be attended to with faith and love.
4. No other religion can give out the secrets of the abode of Sants, nor does anybody know of it, except the Sat Guru or the one, to whom He has revealed it. The goal of the other religions of the world is far below the Desh (abode) of Sants, i.e., none of them has gone beyond Brahm and Par-Brahm Pad. These two regions, as also those below them, like Sahas-dal-kanwal [thousand-petalled lotus], the sixth Chakra or centre, etc., are all within the region of Maya. Those who, by performing the practices leading to these regions, have stopped or would stop in those regions, would not cross the barriers of Maya. Therefore, they would not be free from births and deaths. Because the Surat (spirit) is encased in subtle and coarse covers of Maya, and these very covers constitute the body of the spirits, it is not possible to get rid of these covers without passing beyond the regions of Maya. The covers have always been changing and this change is called birth and death. All the extant religions of the world, the goal of which is within the regions of Maya, are called Mana Mat, as these regions are of Mind and Maya, or of Brahmandi Mana and Brahmandi Maya or Pindi Mana [material mind] and Pindi Maya. A religion, which is not based on devotion to the true Lord, is like a shell, i.e., devoid of kernel, and it will not secure real salvation in any case. For this reason, great stress has been laid in Sant Mat on the devotion to Sat Guru and the Shabd. The appellation of “Sat Guru” is truly applicable to one, who has reached the highest spiritual region, and Shabd is His Nij Rup (Original Form), i.e., He is Shabd Incarnate. For this reason, devotion to Him alone is true Bhakti. When the Surat, after performing such a devotion, internally and externally, reaches the region of Sants, its object will be achieved. True salvation and Uddhar shall not be attained by attending to outward forms of devotion or inward Bhakti, connected with any sphere within the limits of Maya. For this reason Sants have not approved of this kind of Bhakti or devotion.
5. It is not possible to raise the spirit beyond the limits of Brahmand, without the performance or practices of the Shabd Abhyas. A religion, which does not aim at reaching the regions of Sants, i.e., the purely spiritual regions, nor at the raising of the spirit, cannot lead to true salvation, even if it enjoins Shabd Abhyas [inner Light and Sound Meditation practice]. Some devotees hear the ten kinds of internal sounds mentioned in the Patanjali  Yoga Shastra  and their mind also gets some pleasure due to some concentration; as it does not reveal the secrets and mode of raising the spirit, nor which Shabd or sound is coming from which region, and how to traverse the path leading to that region, perfect salvation cannot be attained by means of it. By this kind of Shabd Abhyas, the spirit will not be raised above its present level, nor will there be any change in its condition. In short, there will be no release from the regions of mind and matter, which are subject to birth and death. Therefore, those, who desire true salvation, should find out the Sat Guru, take His Saran, learn the secrets and method of Surat Shabd Yoga from Him and commence its practices. By attending His Satsang they should increase their love for the Sat Guru and go on increasing their love for and faith in the Feet of the Nij Swarup of Radhasoami Dayal. Gradually, the Surat will one, day reach the Holy Feet of the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal, and the task will be completed.
— Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram, Prem Patra Radhasoami, Volume One
Sant Mat History: Recently Received a New Book: “The Radhasoami Movement” by Om Parkash Kaushal. It’s about various aspects of recent Sant Mat history from the time of Sant Tulsi Sahib (and one of his successors: Sant Girdhari Das) through the 1990’s, including Agra and Beas satsangs, and especially focuses on the Baba Bagga Singh branches associated with Tarn Taran and Saidpur. I learned of this book by way of David Lane, who extensively discusses and reviews it in the new issue of the e-magazine “Sach Khand, #10”.
Sant Mat History: An Update to My Blog Titled, “Maharaj Girdhari Sahib — The ‘Unknown Guru’ of Radhasoami History: A Spiritual Successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib, and Another Guru of Soami Ji Maharaj”
New Section Added to Earlier Article: The Research of Professor Parshuram Chaturvedi and Om Parkash Kaushal — Read in Full Here:
‘……As I mentioned above, Aaron Talsky sites the research of the Indian scholar Harasvarupa Mathura — his Hindi book, “Bharatiya Aadhana Aura Santa Tulasi: Tulasi Sahaba ki Jivani”. According to Mathura, the guru Soami Ji Maharaj was devoted to was Sant Girdhari Sahib, a spiritual successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib. And now, thanks to Issue #10 of David Lane’s e-magazine, ‘Sach Khand — The Journal of Radhasoami Studies,” we learn of Om Parkash Kaushal’s book, “The Radhasoami Movement”.
‘In his review, Professor Lane writes: “On Shiv Dayal Singh: Kaushal presents a short discussion over the issue of who was Shiv Dayal Singh’s guru, eventually siding with Beas’ viewpoint that it was Tulsi Sahib of Hathras. But in a pregnant citation, Om Parkash Kaushal writes, ‘”Parshuram Chaturvedi [author of the magisterial Uttari Bharat Ki Sant Parampara] is of the opinion that ‘Shiv Dayal took initiation from Baba Girdhari Dass, a disciple of Tulsi Sahib of Hathras.”‘ Given Chaturvedi’s very scholarly reputation and his vast erudition on the subject, his opinion adds more kindling to James Bean’s important research in this area (see the special issue of Sach Khand devoted to Bean’s work [see, “Sach Khand”, Issue #9 or the above link to the article at Medium Sant Mat Page on Maharaj Girdhari Sahib]).” (“Sach Khand”, Issue #10)
‘Indeed. Most of the historic record about the life of Soami Ji Maharaj (Shiv Dayal) is preserved in Hindi, and little has become available to us in English. For these scholars to have found multiple and convincing accounts of Soami Ji being closely affiliated with a living master back then by the name of Girdhari Sahib — this is rather significant. Given this association, Parshuram Chaturvedi even assumed Soami Ji was initiated by Girdhari. And it is rather interesting that Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram in the above conversation with Baba Devi Sahab about Soami Ji, Tulsi Sahib, and Girdhari, seems to focus primarily on the role of Girdhari. Perhaps from the perspective of Saligram it had been many years since Tulsi left the scene, and that’s why. Maybe? In any case, I do side with those that believe Sant Tulsi Sahib is the primary and initiating guru of Soami Ji. As Om Parkash Kaushal writes: “They [the parents of Seth Shiv Dayal Singh] were the followers of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras. Thus the family guru can be the guru of the child.” (“The Radhasoami Movement”, page 24)’
‘In the Tulsi Sahib branch of Sant Mat there are two initiations. The first initiation is into the meditation practices of simran/manas jap, manas dhyan, and drishti sadhana (Inner Light Meditation). After the student-disciple is “established in the experience of Inner Light”, then at some point there is given the second initiation, which is into the practice of surat shabd yoga (Inner Sound Meditation). Even if Girdhari Sahib was the person imparting or conveying the meditation instructions on both occasions to Soami Ji, the timeline suggests it would have been with the blessings and authority of Tulsi Sahib, and Soami Ji would have regarded Tulsi as his initiating guru.
‘What has come to light with these various accounts (above and below) and is “new”, at least for most, is Soami Ji’s close affiliation with Sant Girdhari Sahib after the departure of Sant Tulsi Sahib. For Soami Ji, Girdhari was the next guru in the lineage, and Girdhari was given by Soami Ji Maharaj all the respect of a competent living master and spiritual successor.’ (Added Section to the Blog on Maharaj Girdhari Sahib)
IMAGE: The Five Precepts (Pancha Sila) —
May These Ethical Blessings Be Followed by All Seekers of
the Inner Light and Sound of God (The Lord of the Soul). Jai Guru, Radhaswami, Satya Raam, Satya Naam, Jai Sat Naam.
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