Introduction to Sant Mat and Radhasoami — Sant Mat Radhasoami Books, The E Library: An Introduction to Sant Mat and Radhasoami
An Introduction to Sant Mat and Radhasoami (Radha Soami — Pronounced “Radha-Swami”) — The Path of the Masters — India’s Sants and Poet-Mystics (Lovers of the Beloved), and Surat Shabd Yoga Meditation Practice: Bhakti (Love) of the Inner Light and Sound of God
Sant Mat Radhasoami Books, The E Library: An Introduction to Sant Mat and Radhasoami
“Blessed are the souls who in today’s materialistic world have an inclination towards spirituality.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
Sant Mat is a School of Spirituality and mysticism based in India. Santmat is also known as: The Way of the Saints, Sages and Mystics, Radhasoami — Radha Soami, and, Path of the Masters.
The spiritual mission here is to provide access to the Wisdom of the Masters via books — the e library, articles — blogs, podcasts/radio, and other resources, for those who seek to come to a deeper understanding of the traditional teachings of the Masters from an authentic Indian perspective, live a spiritual life, and develop a successful meditation practice leading to communion with the Lord of the Soul, The Ocean Of Love, God, Sat Purush Radhasoami, Supreme Being.
The spiritual practice of the Sants is a combination of Bhakti and Surat Shabd Yoga: The Union (Yoga) of the attention-faculty of the soul (Surat) with the inner Light and Sound (Shabd) of God during meditation. Inner Light and Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga) is the spiritual practice of an Eastern Gnostic movement dating back to ancient times. Prem-Bhakti: Inner Light and Sound Meditation is most effective when practiced in a spirit of Bhakti: Love and Devotion for God. The goal of this form of meditation is oneness with God.
If you have questions about anything presented below, are seeking information, perhaps searching for a book, trying to locate a satsang meetup in your area, seeking initiation, etc…, e-mail: James ‘at’ SpiritualAwakeningRadio ‘dot’ com .
PODCASTS: A Collection of Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts @ Youtube: https://www.Youtube.com/SantMatRadhasoami
Podcast Archive: MP3 Download Page @ The Internet Archive: https://Archive.org/details/@spiritualawakeningradio
Podcast Archive: MP3 Download Page @ HealthyLifeNET: http://hosted.EarthChannel.com/HealthyLife/spa-od.html
Older Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts @ Blog Talk Radio: http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SantMatFellowship
A Sant Mat Vision For Living A Spiritual Life on Earth in This Human Form
“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.” (Sant Dadu Dayal)
Brief Summary of the Teachings of Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters
* All souls (jivas) are in essence drops of love from the Ocean of God.
* The attachment and association with mind and body makes the soul lose sight of the real Self.
* God assumes the form of a Saint to lead the soul back to its Original Home.
* One must surrender one’s entire being to the Ocean of Love of which we are a part, instead of limiting ourselves to sensual pleasures which leave us unhappy and discontented.
* This can be done by the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga [Inner Light and Sound Meditation].
* By attuning oneself to the Life Current which proceeds from the Heart of Anami Purush [God, The Nameless One/Radhasoami] in the form of Light and Sound, one can finally achieve union with the True Self, finding the joy one is seeking. (“R.S. White Paper on Religion of Sants and Radhasoami Faith”)
Seven Ingredients of a Living Spiritual Path — Seven Gnostic-Sant Mat Parallels
In the Corpus Hermeticum and Nag Hammadi scriptures are/were described all of the ingredients of a living, viable mystical path:
1) living masters/teachers with students (past masters, scrolls, cuneiform tablets or old scriptures are not enough; a living guide is required);
2) a cosmology of several heavens/inner regions/planes/spheres;
3) an understanding that souls can access these realms here and now during this present life (a present-tense Kingdom of Heaven available to souls right now, not a spirituality postponed till some magical date on a calendar or hypothesized future age);
See, The Charts of the Heavens — God-Worlds — Inner Regions — Planes — Spheres of Creation According to Sant Mat Mysticism, Radhasoami, and Surat Shabd Yoga: https://SantMatRadhasoami.Wordpress.com/2019/01/10/charts-of-the-heavens-sant-mat-and-gnostic-sant-mat-radhasoami-books-charts-of-the-heavens-section
4) an initiation into the mysteries of the heavens, imparting to spiritual seekers the meditation techniques and sacred names;
5) visionary and auditory mysticism (inner Light and Sound, spiritual seeing and hearing) — descriptions of souls traveling within through various inner regions;
6) they have an ethical code, and this ethical foundation includes a vegetarian diet, then and now;
7) The Goal of the teachings and meditation practice is experiencing direct union with God.
“Seek To See God Now — Liberation During This Life” — Mystic-Poem of Sant Tulsi Sahib
In this life the concept of salvation all describe;
To meet the Lord by dying while living, none discloses.
They all speak of the goal of salvation after death;
How to attain it while living, no one says. Were they to reveal the method of attaining release while living,
Then alone would Tulsi be convinced of their words.
Who speak, after seeing with their own eyes, and teach the method of salvation during life,
Are of the stage and stature of Saints, for they reveal the quintessence of the soul.
“Within This Body” — Mystic-Poem of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras
Within this body breathes the secret essence. Within this body beats the heart of the Vedas.
Within this body shines the entire Universe, so the saints say.
Hermits, ascetics, celibates all are lost seeking Him in endless guises.
Seers and sages perfectly parrot the scriptures and holy books, blinded by knowledge.
Their pilgrimage, and fasting, and striving but delude
Despite their perfect practice, they discover no destination.
Only the Saints who know the body’s heart have attained the Ultimate, O Tulsi.
Realize this, and you’ve found your freedom (while teachers trapped in tradition know only the mirage in the mirror).
Seven Teachings of Sant Mat
1. God is Real.
2. God is Love, the Ocean of Love and Compassion.
3. All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.
4. Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.
5. During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.
6. As we experience communing with God’s love during meditation — Surat Shabd Yoga — we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the “Kingdom of the Heavens” that are within us. “We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State [Anami, Radhaswami, Anadi Purush, Ram].” (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love.
7. As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Master, Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: “It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth”. (“Adi Granth”) Guru Kabir says: “For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?”.
The Goal of Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation: Our Path Back to the Source — The Inward Journey Back to God
“Sant Mat (the path and teachings as taught and practiced by Saints [Sant Satgurus]) delineates the path of union of soul with God. The teachings of the saints explain the re-uniting as follows:
“The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [the Realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion, bodily existence. It has descended from the Soundless State to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature.
“The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature. Returning to our origins involves turning inward: withdrawal of consciousness from the senses and the sense objects in order to go upward from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. [We experience this phenomenon of withdrawal as we pass from waking consciousness to deep sleep.] Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. (Both of these expressions are the metaphors that signify the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the senses, must be collected at the tenth gate.
“The tenth gate is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return. The tenth gate is also known as the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, the center located between the two eyebrows. This is the gateway through which we leave the gates of the sense organs and enter in the divine realms and finally become established in the soul. We travel back from the Realm of Darkness to the Realm of Light, from the Light to the Divine Sound, and from the Realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is called turning back to the Source.
“This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us. This is the essence of dharma.” (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, “Harmony Of All Religions”).
The Soul’s Return to the Ocean of Love
How could the love between Thee and me sever?
As the leaf of the lotus abides on the water,
so thou art my Lord, and I am Thy servant.
As the night-bird Chakor gazes all night at the moon,
so Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.
From the beginning until the ending of time there is love
between Thee and me;
and how shall such love be extinguished?
Kabir says: “As the river enters into the Ocean,
so my heart touches Thee.” (Guru Kabir)
History: On the Usage of the Term “Sant Mat” — The Path of the Masters — Mystics of the East
“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 could 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 by Dayal Bagh 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 Grace Diem, Ph.D., “Lions in the Punjab: An Introduction to the Sikh Religion”, from Chapter One, The Sikh — Sant Connection)
Param Tulsi Sahib of Hathras originated the term “Sant Mat” as recorded in the Ghat Ramayan also according to the scholar Parashuram Chaturvedi in his book “Sant Parampara”. (See footnote 23, in the chapter titled, “The Radhasoami Revival”, by Mark Juergensmeyer, on page 337 in, “The Sants, Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India”, Edited by Karine Schomer and W.H. McLeod, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, page 783)
“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)
“Tulsi Sahib, for the first time, used the expression ‘Sant Mat’ or ‘teachings of Saints’ to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints. Swami Ji later adopted the same expression, ‘Sant Mat’, in his works.” (Janak Raj Puri and V. K. Sethi, “Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras”, 1981 edition, Mystics of the East Series, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Book Department, page 18)
“For all the religious traditions of India, the nineteenth century was an age of rationalistic reform, during which the attempt was made to systematize beliefs and make practices consistent with doctrines. Tulsi Sahib of Hathras (ca 1760 – 1843) was at once heir to certain esoteric tendencies in later Sant tradition and a precursor of the new spirit. Stressing the unity of the Sants as a parampara, he taught what he believed to be the common core of doctrines implicit in all the Sants (‘sant mat’), and tried to reverse the spread of saguna beliefs and practices among the followers of nirguna panths. Heavily indebted to him was Shiv Dayal Singh (1818 – 1878), founder of the modern Radhasoami movement.” (Karine Schomer, “The Sants”, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, page 7)
“Tulsi Sahib, a Sant of Hathras from the nineteenth century, recognized that Sants drew upon the teachings of other Sant figures as spiritual resources. Pointing out the common spiritual roots, he identified this movement as a coherent religious tradition, which he called ‘Sant Mat’, simply meaning a ‘Sant faith’.” (Dr. Andrea Diem, “The Gnostic Mystery, a Connection Between Ancient and Modern Mysticism”, Mount San Antonio College Press, Walnut, CA, 1992 edition, page, 29)
“The principles and tenets of Sant Mat are one and the same, only there is a difference in terminology. Since the same principles have been stated using different names, you become confused and do not understand them. Sat Saheb, that is, Sat Purush, has been described as Sat Nam. And Sar Shabd (True Shabd) has been called A-Nam. The name Nirgun has been given to Niranjan and it is the mind which has been called Ram. What Kabir had said, has been said by other Sants, too. 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, Ghat Ramayan)
“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”. (Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Ghat Ramayan)
See, The Origins of Sant Mat, The Five Names, and the Identity of Tulsi Sahib’s Guru, E-Book by James Bean: https://archive.org/details/TheOriginsOfSantMatSachKhandPDF
Genuine Human Unity
“Sant Mat”, means: “Teachings of the Saints” or “Path of the Masters”. Over the centuries there have been, and continues to be, many Sants (Sant Satgurus), many branches of Sant Mat or Radhasoami, and lineages of Masters in the world. As Maharishi Mehi once said: “In different times and different places, Saints appear and their followers name their religion according to the Sage or Saint who propounded that tradition. The appearance of differences can be attributed to time, place, and language. This gives rise to various labels for the common views held by all religions. Likewise, due to excessively zealous followers, these seeming differences are often amplified. When all sectarianism and the temporal and linguistic aspects are removed, the basic principles of all the Saints are in accord and the voices of the Saints are in harmony.” (a quote from the book, “Harmony of All Religions”, published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India)
See, The Guru Lineage Charts of Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga — Inner Light and Sound Meditation, Guru Kabir, the Dharamdasis of Kabir Panth, Dariya Sahib, the Ten Sikh Gurus, Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Maharshi Mehi, and the Radhasoami Faith: https://SantMatRadhasoami.Wordpress.com/2019/01/12/guru-lineage-charts-of-sant-mat-radhasoami-surat-shabd-yoga-sant-mat-radhasoami-books-the-e-library-guru-lineage-charts-section
Seven Principles of Sant Mat
The Following Principles Below are Recited Daily by Some in India:
1. Ultimate Reality is beyond any beginning or end, infinite, beyond birth, beyond the senses, all-pervading yet even beyond pervasiveness. It must, therefore, be understood as the Supreme Being. This Essential Element is known in Santmat [the Teachings of the Saints] as the Lord of All and is the foundation of all things. This Being is beyond both the inanimate and animate aspects of nature. It is without qualities and beyond qualities. Its nature is infinite, imperishable, all-powerful. It is beyond time and space, beyond sound and beyond form (Nirguna). It is the One without a second. The Supreme Being is beyond the scope of the mind, the intellect and the senses. This entire universe is powered by the energy of this Being. This Being is not human. It is not manifested in physical form. It has existence beyond the illusion of maya [illusion], and there is nothing that exists outside of it. It is the Being which is eternal and is in existence from the beginning. Santmat considers this Being to be the Divine Reality, and this [knowing or merging with] this Being is the goal of all spirituality.
2. The individual soul is an inseparable part of the Supreme Being.
3. The physical world of nature was created. It has an origin and an end.
4. The individual soul (jiva), bound by illusion (maya), remains in the cycle of death and birth. This is the cause of one’s suffering. In order to escape from this cycle of death and birth we must experience realization of this Supreme Being.
5. By practicing devotion through these four techniques: Manas Japa (Simran, recitation of a divine name or names), Manas Dhyana (Dhyan, focus on the divine form), Dristi Sadhana (Yoga of Inner Light, Inner Seeing, Inner Light Meditation, focus on the Infinitesimal Point), and Nadanusandhana Yoga (Surat Shabd Yoga, concentration on the inner divine Sounds) — the practitioner consecutively transcends the realms of darkness, Light, and Sound which cloak the Supreme Truth — the Divine Reality. Only in a human body an individual soul is able to achieve unity with the Divine. [In other forms of existence, animal, etc…, it is not possible to tread the spiritual path.]
6. Lying, stealing, intake of intoxicating substances, adultery, and violence (including harming other beings) are the five sins to be avoided. Eating meat or fish is also considered to be a form of violence and should be avoided. The aspirants of Santmat must abstain from these vices.*
(* Note: In Buddhism and other Eastern Religions (Jainism, Taoism, Hinduism) these five abstinences are known as the Panch Shila — “The Five Precepts” (see further below).
7. The following are considered to be the requirements for the attainment liberation: (A) Trust and belief in God; (B) Commitment to seek the Divine within; (C) Devotion and service to a Satguru — spiritual Master; (D) Satsang, listening to the teaching and spiritual discourse including study of the Teaching of the Saints and the scriptures; and (E) Dhyana, diligent meditation practice. (“Padavali of Maharshi Mehi”, also quoted in, “Harmony Of All Religions”)
Seven Stages of Mystic Ascension to Heaven According to Sant Mat
1. Praise or Bhakti (singing praises: banis, bhajans, kirtans, odes, psalms, hymns);
2. Prayer (Communion With God — Conversations With God);
3. Manas Japa (Simran, “Praying Without Ceasing”, Mentally Repeating/Chanting the Name or Names of God — Mantra — the First Stage of Meditation);
4. Manas Dhyana (Visualizing the Form of the Master* — the Second Stage of Meditation);
5. Dristi Sadhana (Seeing Inner Light at the Third Eye Center — the Third Stage of Meditation);
6. Nada Sadhana (Hearing the Inner Sounds — Surat Shabd Yoga — the Fourth Stage of Meditation);
7. Reaching Kaivalya: Oneness with Soundlessness, the Nameless One (ANAMI), the Formless Supreme Being, Supreme State, the Ocean of Love (beyond all forms, lights and sounds) — the Fifth Stage of Meditation — the Isht or Goal;
Couplets About Meditation Practice, By Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj
“Begin meditation with internally chanting or repeating the Guru-mantra-incantation (the charged words given by the Guru). And then try to visualize the radiant form or image of the Satguru in the still darkness of the inner sky (with eyes closed)*. Follow that with focusing your attention at the seat of the soul within, i.e. at the Third Eye or the Inner Eye or the Til Dwaar, by making the two streams of consciousness in your two eyes converge in a Point.”
“When the two currents of consciousness meet in a Point, Divine Light appears within. Then, practice Surat Shabd Yoga (Yoga of Divine Sound) i.e., try to shift your attention to listening to the Divine Sounds or myriads of melodies (Anahad Naad) ringing inside. Listening to the Divine Sound destroys all the agitations and fickleness of the mind.”
“Ascending beyond or transcending myriads of sounds, try to identify and tune in to the Quintessential Unstruck Melody, called “Saar Shabd” or “Anaahat Naad” which alone is capable of taking you and merging you into oneness with the Supreme Lord; this is the ultimate emancipation or liberation.”
*NOTE: “In Kali Yuga, no spiritual activity would be successfully performed except the contemplation of the Swarup (Form) of the Sat Guru, Simran of Naam (Repetition of the Holy Name) and Dhyan of Naam (contemplation of the Holy Name) [Meditation of the Inner Light and Sound].” (“Last Words of Soami Ji Maharaj”, Agra)
Satsang (Associating with Eternal Truth)
One major custom or mode of practice according to Sant Tulsi Das 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 a good definition of this spiritual gathering called a “Satsang”: “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there in their midst.” When devotees or initiates of a spiritual Master gather together in his name for worship, instruction, and meditation, the Masters teach that there’s a spiritual charge or energy, a stronger manifestation of the loving Presence of God and a kind of ‘communion of Saints,’ past and present.
Satsang is 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.
The format of Satsang can include: a spiritual discourse, guidance about following the teachings of the Masters, a recording of a Master giving a talk, readings from the writings of the Masters, the reciting or singing of banis, bhajans or kirtans (hymns of worship composed by Sants), and silent group meditation. It’s considered the greatest of blessings if it is a genuine spiritual Master (Sant Satguru) who conducts the Satsang in person.
The effect of Satsang is that of divine remembrance, thus, with such a spiritual boost, encouragement and support for the spiritual journey, those who attend Satsang are much more likely to stay-on-the-Path and put effort into daily spiritual practice at home. (from the article, “The Yoga of Love, Becoming a Lover of the Beloved”)
“Dear Aspirants! Each day strive to do both kinds of satsang: inner and outer. Outer satsang is listening to the teachings of great saints and studying the sacred texts. Inner satsang is the practice of one-pointed meditation.” (Maharishi Mehi)
“Without the association of great saints, there is neither discourse of the Divine nor the understanding of the scriptures. Without these two, selfish attachment does not loosen its grip. And without dispelling attachment to the world one cannot attain the realm of the Divine and the true devotion that is essential to realize the Divine.” (Sant Tulsi Das)
“On the gate of liberation are found four gate-keepers endowed with wisdom. These four are: discipline, thoughtfulness (reflection), contentment and association with Saints.” (Maha Upanishad)
“Discord and delusion can be removed by the power of the association of saints. For those who associate with saints, suffering dissolves and they will remain immersed in joy. Joy arises from noble company and pain arises from association with the wicked, says Kabir, go to a place where saints dwell and their association is possible.” (Guru Kabir)
“By association with a pure soul the mind becomes pure and the darkness of attachment is dispelled. In attending to these quotes from different saints it becomes clear that satsang is vital and very necessary for any serious spiritual seeker.” (Yogi Panchanan Bhattacharya)
Three Levels of Sat-Sang
The word ‘satsang’ is comprised of two words ‘sat’ and ‘sang’. What is ‘sat’?
‘Sat’ is that which can never be destroyed. It is the essential element which is indestructible and beyond the limitations of time. And it is Truth. ‘Sang’ means association or contact. Thus association or coming in contact with Sat or Truth is satsang.
In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says:
“Whatever is Truth always exists and is never non-existent. That which is non-Truth has no existence whatsoever.”
* The First Level of Satsang (Association with God)
What is this element which is indestructible, has always been constant and will forever remain as such? That element is the Supreme Being of the universe. Association with this Being, in reality, is association with Truth (satsang). But, what is it that would associate with this Supreme Being? Is it the body or the senses? The answer is that it is neither of these two. It is only apart from the body and senses that we will be able to associate with the Supreme Being. This is because it is only our soul that is an inseparable part of the Divine. It is only we (our soul) that is capable of merging with the Divine. Our individual soul is truth, and also, the Supreme is Truth. True satsang is the unity of the soul with the Supreme Truth. This is the highest kind of sat-sang. However, this highest kind of satsang, unity with the Divine, does not occur all of a sudden. This category of satsang requires many lifetimes of good actions and spiritual imprints (samskaras).
* The Second Level of Satsang (Association with the Saints)
Sant Tulsi Das says:
“The association of the saints brings association with the Divine, and alliance with people who are engrossed in the world leads the way back to this world again and again.”
To attain Ultimate Liberation it is essential to have association with the saints. Saints, having realized the true form of God, become that True Form. The accomplished great beings who have attained unity with the Divine, and who have experienced the Supreme Being even while living in this body, have become the Supreme Being [They become one with their true Divine Form]. Association with these saints is this second category of satsang. However, finding such a saint is not an easy task. A true Saint is rare and difficult to find.
Sant Tulsi Das says:
“Without accumulation of many good deeds one will be unable to gain the association of a great saint.”
When our good karmas permit, we are able to come to experience the association of these sentient beings. A more important point is that even if we have a direct encounter with such a saint, we often do not have the wisdom to be able to recognize a genuine sage.
Sant Tulsi Das, says:
“If someone says ‘I have recognized a saint,’ then I put my hands on my ears in astonishment. [It is not an easy task.]”
If ordinary people could recognize saints, then why, since antiquity, have so many great saints, sages, and prophets been tortured, maimed and killed? Many saints have had to face horrible atrocities. This simply would not have happened if we were able to recognize the genuine great saints.
* The Third Level of Satsang (Association with the Writings of Sages and Saints)
In daily life we need the guidance of a great sage or saint. Even though we might encounter many so called mahatmas or sadhus, the task of finding and identifying an accomplished guide is difficult. So, in consideration of this, how would satsang (association with a true saint) be possible? The answer is that we can study the teachings of the great saints of the past, because in their teaching we will find the elaboration of the Truth. This then is the third category of sat-sang. Generally, when we speak of satsang, it is this third category that is meant. This kind of satsang includes the study of scriptures and the words and writings of the saints and prophets of the past.
As we continue diligently in this third type of satsang we accumulate the meritorious karmas which will lead to the meeting with a true saint. Then we will be able to do the second category of satsang. As we continue in association with a great saint, and with the saint’s blessings, we will gradually begin to meditate and undertake the prescribed spiritual disciplines. By diligently practicing these disciplines, we will one day, experience the first category of sat-sang — the association with the Supreme. When we have thus accomplished the highest category of satsang, our life’s purpose will be fulfilled. (Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, “Harmony Of All Religions”)
Seven Key Practices of Sant Mat Mysticism
1. Satsang (Association with the Saints which Includes the Study of Their Writings and Scriptures);
2. Selfless Service of the Spiritual Master [Seva];
3. Love for God [Bhakti];
4. Moral Rectitude;
5. Purity of the Heart;
6. Japa (Repetition of a Divine Name [Simran]); and,
7. Dhyana [Meditation]. (In the practice of meditation both gross and subtle meditations are described. In subtle meditation is meditation of the bindu-point — the meditation of Inner Light — Drishti Yoga [the Yoga of Vision], and Nadanusandhana [the meditation of Inner Sound] — Surat-Shabda-Yoga [the Yoga of Sound].)
The Ethical Foundation of Sant Mat — Ahimsa Values — The Five Precepts
Moral Requirements to Qualify For Initiation:
1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs (intoxicants);
2. Ahimsa (Non-Violence in thought, word, and deed) including in the area of diet, as in following a vegan (abstinence from animal products) or vegetarian diet (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs) — “In Sant Mat all Masters have decried killing and meat-eating.” (Sant Tulsi Sahib, “Ghat Ramayan”);
3. Leading a truthful life;
4. Practicing non-stealing: an honest, ethical source of income;
5. Loyalty to ones spouse;
Another Version of the Five Precepts:
1. Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. This precept also requires strict adherence to a vegan (no animal products) or lacto-vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, poultry nor eggs, fertilized or non-fertilized).
2. Refrain from speaking what is not true.
3. Refrain from taking what is not yours.
4. Refrain from sexual misconduct.
5. Refrain from using intoxicants.
Initiation Into Surat Shabd Yoga — Inner Light and Sound Meditation By A Living Master (Sant Satguru)
The Master said to his students: “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”, Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt, one of the Gnostic Gospels or Lost Books of the Bible, a contemplative gospel for mystics)
In the Sant tradition, the complete methods and secrets of meditation practice are communicated at the time of INITIATION (Diksha) by a living Master (Sant Satguru, Competent, Qualified Teacher) or a representative of a Master (not a past Saint or holy book). A Living Teacher, being fully acquainted with the ‘landscape’ of Inner Space, is able to impart to initiate-candidates valuable guidance on how to safely make the journey of ascension to the Inner Regions during meditation practice within. This kind of spiritual transmission and the details of Surat Shabd Yoga practice are not found in books, old scriptures of the past, and are not for sale, but are given freely to seekers by a living Teacher.
At the time of Initiation one vows to practice meditation each day. The spiritual path is a life-long commitment.
“Avalokiteshvara Buddha [Quan Yin], the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired transcendental powers of boundless freedom and fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid.” (Surangama Sutra, Buddhist Scripture)
“So plunge into the Truth, find out who the Teacher is. Believe in the Great Sound!” (Kabir)
“All beautiful forms and tones of this world are mere reflections of some aspect of that ultimate Love-Music of the Great Creative Word. Within the vast complex of creation, each individual spirit is himself/herself a spark of that Eternal Song of Love.” (George Arnsby Jones)
“Who else is Christ but the Sound of God?” (Gnostic Acts of John)
Kabir says, “Where else have you heard a Sound like this?”
Some Sant Mat Social Media
Sant Mat Page @ Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/SantMatRadhasoami
Radhasoami Page @ Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/Radhasoami.Satsang.English
Sant Mat @ Instagram: https://www.Instagram.com/santmat1
Sant Mat @ Twitter: https://Twitter.com/SantMat
Sant Mat @ Tumblr: https://SantMat.Tumblr.com/archive
Sant Mat @ Ello: https://Ello.co/santmat
Sant Mat @ Diaspora: https://Diasp.org/u/santmat
Path of the Masters: Sant Mat — Santmat, Radhasoami — Radha Soami, Satsang, Inner Light and Sound Meditation: Surat Shabd Yoga, Audible Life Stream, Nada Yoga, Quanyin, The Quan Yin Method, Shurangama, The Way of the Surangama Sutra, The Sound of Silence — Transcendental Hearing in Buddhism, Spiritual Science, the Soul, Spirituality, Kabir, Anurag Sagar, Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kirpal Singh, Gnosticism, Third Eye, Out Of Body Experiences, Near-Death Experiences, Inner Space, the Kingdom of the Heavens Within You, Mystic Poetry, Vegetarian Vegan, Ahimsa, Love (Bhakti), and God.