An Introduction to Sant Mat Meditation and Mysticism
- An Introduction to Sant Mat Meditation and Mysticism
* The first stage is Manas Japa (repetition of sacred name meditation). This is a simple technique and has been widely taught and practiced in the East as well as the West. It has the effect of calming the "restless mind" and preparing for the following stages of meditation.
* The second stage is the Manas Dhyana-practice of focusing on a specific image.
* The third stage is known as Drishti yoga -- uninterrupted concentration of an Infinitesimal Point leading to visions of the Inner Light.
* The fourth stage Surat Shabad Yoga (the meditation of Divine Sound) is focus on celestial inarticulate sounds within, which ultimately leads to the final goal.
Each stage of meditation has specific hallmarks to indicate progress. Although the above techniques may sound complex, this path is extremely simple to practice as is evidenced by the great numbers of people who have been practicing this meditation since ancient times.
Below are some excerpts from the book, The Philosophy of Liberation. After those are two mystical poems from the Padavali of Sant Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa describing the inner ascension of the soul during meditation.
Jai Guru, In the Light and Sound of the Beloved,
Sant Mat Meditation: Repeat the Name, Visualizing a Form, Yoga of the Inner Light, Yoga of the Inner Sound, Reaching the Soundlessness State of Oneness
It is only natural to depend primarily on the elements of the realm in which one dwells. Those in the Gross Realm will naturally depend on the elements found therein and, therefore, should concentrate the mind by help of Manas jap (12) or Manas dhyan (13).
As the Supreme Sovereign pervades all realms of the universe, the resplendent, glorious and purest virtues of creation are Its Divine facets. Having attained some ability to concentrate the mind by the above mentioned techniques of Manas jap and Manas dhyan, the student (14) should practice entering the Subtle Realm. (Maharshi Mehi, The Philosophy of Liberation)
(12) Manas jap is the mental repetition of any holy name of the Supreme Sovereign [Formless God). This is done in silence with the eyes shut and as instructed by the spiritual master.
(13) Manas dhyan is concentrating the mind by visualizing any holy figure representative of the Supreme Sovereign. This is done with the eyes closed and as instructed by the spiritual master.
(14) Student of Yoga and specifically Sant Mat Yoga.
The means for entering the Subtle Realm is the bindu (Point). This Point is the finest (minutest of the minute) of the Supreme Sovereign who is the subtlest of the subtle. This bindu (Point) cannot be measured and is indivisible. It is so fine that it cannot be marked by the tip of a hair. It is impossible to mark the bindu for the purpose of visualization because of its infinitesimal and abstract nature. It can only be visualized by Drshti Yoga (the Yoga of Vision) within one self. Moreover, in this practice straining of the pupils or eyeballs is not necessary. In fact, straining of the pupils or eyeballs brings pain and abnormality in the eyes. (Maharshi Mehi, The Philosophy of Liberation)
The power of seeing is called Drshti (vision). The power to focus on the Point is called the Drshti Yoga (Yoga of Vision). One attains One-Pointedness by uniting the rays of both eyes on the focus and gazing on it with a steady mind.(15) This practice is called Drshti Yoga. The consistent practice of Drshti Yoga opens the subtle or divine Sight. Further, once established in the state of One-pointedness, it is quite possible to grasp the Divine Spiritual Sound, coming from the upper realms. The nature of Sound is to draw the consciousness to its Point of Origin. The consciousness united with Sound moves upwards in Sound and is drawn to the Supreme Sovereign or Sabdatit Pad (a state beyond Sound). For this practice, the service and association of the Satguru (the spiritual master), the intensive, continual practice of meditation and krpii (grace) are essential. (Maharshi Mehi, The Philosophy of Liberation)
(15) Steady mind means a mind without thought or distractions --- the mind is so intent on the Point that all other activities of the mind are silent.
The Yoga of Sound (16) -- The Sar Shabd that Leads to the Ultimate Stage of Soundlessness
The Upanishads and various other works by the Saints of India prescribe the path of Drshti Yoga (the Yoga of Vision --- Yoga of Light) to be followed by Shabda Yoga (the Yoga of Sound). .... Through constant practice of the Sound-Yoga, the unsteadiness of the mind is dissolved, and the mind enters into the Subtle Realm. ..... The established and preferred method as described in the Upanishads and literature of the Saints is the practice of the Yoga of Vision followed by the Yoga of Sound. Once one is established on the path of Internal Sound, one cannot fall back to lower levels. (Maharshi Mehi, The Philosophy of Liberation)
One grasps the central sounds of the lower realms. and progressively is drawn upward to the sounds of the higher realms. Ultimately, one reaches the center of the Original Sound, the Essential Divine Sound, and thereafter attains the Ultimate State, Sabdatit Pad (the State Beyond the Sound). The Yoga of Sound must be practiced in order to attain the Nameless State. This is fully elaborated and described in the Upanishads and literature of the Saints. The Yoga of Sound is the only medium to reach this State, no other. The greatest good is in the attainment of the Ultimate State, the Nameless State. (Maharshi Mehi, The Philosophy of Liberation)
(16) The literature of various saints describes the sounds of the different realms. Some of the various sounds are said to be similar to the sounds of the veena (stringed instrument similar to the sitar), the murali (flute), the nafeeri (horn), the mridang (drum), the mirdal (cymbals), the singi (a horn), the sitar (stringed instrument), or the sarangi (similar to a lute). Other descriptions compare these sounds to a peal of thunder and a roar of a lion.
Bhakti Poetry from the Padavali of Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa
Seek the Light within,
Any devotee with the inner vision has seen that Light,
One must know the secrets from Guru, serving his lotus-feet,
Day and night, keeping one's consciousness focused at the Point between the two eyebrows,
The darkness is gone and there comes in front of the eyes
Colours like yellow, blue, red, white and black;
Lightning flashes with their flickers and the morning star is seen,
The Moon rises and the Sun too climbs up,
And thus the Quintessential One is perceived;
At the feet of the Absolute and Guru,
The devotee comes to know all about these secrets,
Various kinds of deeds in the world entrap this life;
Baba Devi Sahib has revealed to Mehi that only God and Guru deliver souls
Living in the bondage in this world.
Without gazing downward, upward, leftward, rightward or backward,
Look ahead, closing both your eyes and joining the two currents exactly in the middle of the two eyes,
Immersing yourself in the blaze of the shining star and watching the scenes of the sphere of Light,
Fly in the inner firmament like a bird, and perching there on the luminous Point,
Catch the Quintessential Sound among the multiple sounds and glide like a fish!
Flying like the bird and swimming like the fish,
Your mind is absorbed in its own sphere,
Surat alone mounts on the egg of Brahma,
Finally, catching the ceaseless primal Sound, Surat listens to it,
The Sound of creation enrapturing is so very intense,
Mehi says, with the help of the central Sound (Naad) in the lower sphere,
Catch the central sounds of the higher spheres and finally grip the Quintessential One,
Thus grasping the Sound, that is, the Quintessential One, cross the ocean of the world.