PODCAST: The Origins of Sant Mat, India’s Path of the Masters, The Five Names, and the Identity of Tulsi Sahib’s Guru, Part 1
PODCAST: The Origins of Sant Mat, India’s Path of the Masters, The Five Names, and the Identity of Tulsi Sahib’s Guru, Part 1 — Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean– Listen @ Youtube:
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Lately I’ve been sharing about the Yoga of Sound, which is part of the meditation practice of India’s Sant tradition, the Path of the Saints of Love (Bhakti). Today begins the first of five in-depth programs exploring the origins, the history of this Path of the Masters, also known as Sant Mat or Radhasoami (pronounced Ra-Dha-Swam-E), tracing the various lineages of Masters back through the centuries. You will become aware of some research into the origin and usage of the Five Names, the Panch Naam Mantra used by some. This series will even attempt to solve the mystery of who Sant Tulsi Sahib’s guru was, and therefore how contemporary Sant Mat interfaces with the earlier Nirguna Bhakti Sant movement founded by Sant Dharam Das and Guru Kabir.
Everyone in contemporary Sant Mat has a clear idea about their own recent history of Masters, at least dating back a few generations. Most trace their lineage of gurus back to Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India. Tulsi Sahib (1763–1843) is viewed as the adi-guru or founding guru, the “great grandfather” of modern-day Sant Mat. The identity of Sant Tulsi Sahib’s guru has understandably been of great interest to many students of Sant Mat history. It’s quite normal for followers of a spiritual path to be curious about “the family tree” of previous masters, wanting to know where their spiritual path comes from. So, who was the guru of Tulsi Sahib? And who was that individual’s guru? Who was the guru before that? And so on.
I’ve attempted to do with Sant Mat research what I did which Christianity, lost books of the Bible and Gnostic Gospels, tracing things back to the beginning, collecting and making use of all the texts that are available to arrive at the clearest understanding possible, without regard to orthodoxy, doctrinal conformity or tradition, simply out of curiosity and a love for truth wherever that may lead. Anyone dull of heart and mind, not curious about the history of this family tree of Masters and the ocean of devotional literature, granths, sagars, banis, and bhajans they created, might also not necessarily possess a ruling passion for the teachings and meditation practice of contemporary Sant Mat either. For me, history is not a boring or dry thing. Not at all. Rather it is quite exciting, even spiritual and liberating!
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints.” (New Testament Book of Jude, 1: 3)
“There is no end to the number of Sants [Saints] who appeared in the Yugas [Epochs] of Sat, Treta, Dvapar, and Kali [Yuga]. I sing of the celebrated one I have heard of, and bow my head to all the others.” (Jan Gopal, disciple of Sant Dadu Dayal of Rajasthan)
“Listen, O Phool Das, I have given out the same true secrets which Sants like Kabir Saheb, Dadu Saheb, Rai Das Ji, Darya Saheb, Guru Nanak, Soor Das Ji, Nabha Ji and Mira Bai have spoken of. They, too, have composed similar hymns describing the bliss of the highest spiritual region, whose glory I also have sung, blessed by the grace and the dust of the holy feet of Sants”. (Param Sant Tulsi Sahib)
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