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The Cardinal Principles

Spirituality is the art and science of achieving the true purpose of the human life: 'self-knowledge' and 'God-realization', i.e. the knowledge of one's soul and merger with the Oversoul or Truth. As opposed to the science of the (inert) Mental-Material world, it is the science of the (conscious) Spiritual world. Spirituality involves directly raising the soul from its normal focus at Ajna chakra {2} between and behind the eyebrows to the chakras beyond through the '10th Street' within, transcending Physical body-consciousness and journeying through the realms in the inner space within with the grace of a Sant-Satguru- living perfect Master. Finally, after reaching Sach Khand- the realm beyond all causation-time-space, the soul is totally liberated from all fetters of Mind-Matter.

The cardinal principles of the 'Science of Spirituality' can be stated as:

4 God is Love; our soul, being an essence of God, is also Love; and the way-back to God is also through Love.
4 Within the human body is a chamber, known as the Daswan Dwar- 10th Portal of microcosm or 'Seat of the Soul', where God-Power resides. This chamber is locked from within, and its key is with the perfect Master.
4 The human body-temple is a rare gift; linked as it is with the entire creation within, it is fully equipped to unite us with God. Beyond the hidden '10th Portal' of the human body is the 'inner Creation', into which the soul can invert and travel.
4 At the inner chamber is to be found the 'Divine Link'- energy expressed as the inner Light and Sound- the connection between the Supreme Creator and His Creation, known variously in the scriptures as 'Naam' or 'Holy Word' or 'Shabd' or 'Kalma' or 'Baang-e-Aasmani' or 'Tao' or 'Logos' or 'Sonorous Light'.
4 The perfect Master is the living Divine Son of God, who is one with God, the Father, and is also One with the 'Naam' or 'Holy Word' of God (i.e. He is 'Word-made-flesh'). He is the 'walking and talking' God.
4 The perfect Master teaches the science of connecting the soul with the 'Holy Word', known as 'Surat-Shabd Yoga' meditation, regularly practising which, the soul can experience God's Love by rising above the Physical body-consciousness, realizing one's soul and eventually uniting with the Oversoul, God.

4 The path of the perfect Masters or 'Sant-Mat' is a path with 'Love, Unity and Peace' as its motto. It is based on ethical living and 'Positive Mysticism' i.e. fulfilling all worldly obligations while constantly remembering the Lord, doing selfless service, and regularly attending the Spiritual congregation of the Master, where the Spiritual Nectar, flowing in abundance from His eyes, can be imbibed. And, above all, doing one's meditation daily as prescribed.

What Spirituality is Not

4 Spirituality is not about Apara Vidya- exoteric knowledge comprising external dogma, rites and rituals, worship in temples of brick and mortar, religious celebrations, pilgrimages, acts of charity and suchlike. Instead, it is Para Vidya- esoteric knowledge comprising worship within human body-temple through meditation and rising above body-consciousness and travelling into inner space. It is 'Mother of all Science', comprising experimentation within the 'laboratory of the human body' under the guidance of a Spiritual Master and confirming results (experiencing inner 'Light' and 'Sound') with the Spiritual faculties of Nirat- inner vision and Surat- inner hearing. Acts under Apara Vidya, such as charity, merely serve to bring about some temporary karmic benefit to be settled off in Heaven- the 'Law of karma' being essentially limited to the Mind-Matter regions, whereas Adhyatma or Para Vidya- Spirituality is concerned directly with Spiritual transport, whereby the soul can rise above body-consciousness and experience the bliss of the inner regions lying within the domain of the human-body itself and thereby liberate itself for ever from the fetters of Mind-Matter.

4 Spirituality is not about improving our fortunes in 'this' life. It is, instead, simply about winding up all our 'gives and takes' of the Brahmand, becoming karma-free and returning to our True Home. Spirituality is also not just about mere ethical or moral living either- although these are the 'essential stepping-stones' without which there is no purity and hence, no Spiritual ascent across the Unconscious Mind plane. Any willful act creates a karma- account. Bad acts create bad karma, for settling which one has to go to Hell (hence, 'handcuffs of iron'), while good acts create good karma, for which one has to necessarily go to Heaven (also 'handcuffs, though golden'). For liberation, both bad and good karmic accounts need to be brought down to nih-karma- nil balance of karma. It is at this stage of liberation that true Spirituality begins. Spirituality is also about surrender and selfless-service to the Lord (be it by Spirit, Mind, Body or monetary); in return, He grants His grace and mercy. By surrendering to the Lord/Master's Will, one no longer remains the 'doer', but becomes a mere 'observer' of His Leela- divine play of life and hence, does not incur any karma.

4 Spirituality is not about Spiritism, Occultism, Shamanism, Faith-healing and the like, as many take it to be- these Psychic powers relate merely to the lowermost, non-Solid and Desire bodies. In fact the Psychic plane, Bhuvah {6} is meant to be merely bypassed. True Spirituality is certainly not about display of miracles. While it is true that certain Riddhi-Siddhis- miraculous powers accrue to those who meditate, these are meant to be abjured as they are hindrances to further Spiritual progress. True Saints rarely show miracles- and only if they must- as a mere happenstance.

4 Spirituality is definitely not merely an other-worldly pursuit. The paths that preach renunciation and meditating in a mountain cave or a desert are known as paths of 'Negative Mysticism'. Sant-Mat, in contrast, is a path of 'Positive Mysticism', whereby one is enjoined to fulfil one's duty towards one's family, society, country, world and the Cosmos at large, while finding some (10% of 24 hrs=2 hrs.) time for Spiritual pursuits. Almost all Sant-Mat Masters have been householders and have always earned their bread by the sweat of their brow.

4 Spirituality is not just about praying- it is the ultimate form of prayer! There are many stages to prayer according to Sant Darshan Singh:

1. Prayer of petition or supplication in which we ask God for the things of this world in fulfilment of a need, 2. Prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for what God has given us, 3. Prayer to be shown the way to reach God, 4. Prayers for forgiveness and grace for our tresspasses, and 5. Meditation, the stage where we commune with God Himself.

When we pray (even though with sincerity), we do not know if God is listening. But when we meditate, we do not speak, we listen to God in a state of surrender. We do not ask; we seek. We constantly listen to the 'Music of the Spheres' playing within us- like listening to music on a walkman headset, when others do not know what you are listening to- except that there is no walkman! Spirituality is 'effortless effort'; in it we do not need to visualize the Master's Swaroop- form i.e. His features etc. with pictures or mentally- He is 'Khud-aa' i.e. comes by Himself when He pleases within the human body-temple in His Astral form. We can get the benefit of the Darshan- vision of the Lord in Master's form, both without and within. We also see vistas of ever growing beauty as we travel to the worlds within in His company- far more glorious than the Physical realm.

'Surat-Shabd Yoga'- the Comparative Aspect

4 First of all, being a Spiritual Yoga, Surat-Shabd Yoga uses the vehicle of Surat- attention power or the 'sensory currents', which power the external sensory organs of sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. It is thus a completely natural Yoga and does not tinker with the 'motor currents' by which the autonomous activities of the body or the natural rhythms of nature such as growing of nails, breathing etc. take place. In Pranayam- Yoga of breath control, Prana can be controlled by directing the Mind onto a particular chakra, and by releasing Kundalini- the knot between the 3 nadis- subtle veins at {4}, Prana is directed into Sushumna. Eventually, the Jyoti- light of Sahans-dal-kanwal is experienced in a process that imitates death. However, Sumiran of the Surat-Shabd Yoga is by far a more potent, direct and easier method of stilling the Mind than is control of Pranas or breath-control, wherein the Kundalini release is automatic and not forced. Also, this Yoga does not make use of faculties of the Mind as do the Mental Yogas (e.g. Gyan Yoga), but merely stills them.

4 Secondly, this Spiritual Yoga begins directly beyond the 6th chakra, Ajna- between and behind the eyebrows at the Kundalini of the Astral Plane at Antah-karan {4} (unlike the Physical Yogas Kundalini or Hatha Yoga, which begin at the Kundalini of the Physical plane at Guda chakra {4} or the Mental Yogas such as Raja Yoga at Hriday chakra {12}), where the Spirit resides anyway during the wakefulness state and is therefore bypasses needless wandering 'within home' i.e. within Pind- the Physical world. The chakras below Ajna are those of the Subconscious Mind and are merely concerned with autonomous functions within the physical body and are of no concern in this 'Spiritual' Yoga. Here, the Kundalini is not tinkered with (such tinkering can have dangerous consequences), while consciousness is automatically exited through the charging of Sumiran- remembrance alone.

4 Thirdly, Surat-Shabd Yoga is the only Yoga that can raise the Soul-String to Anami- the very source of the Spirit. It uses the vehicle of Naam or 'Holy Word' to power its travel. Initiation into it brings with an unambiguous promise of God-realization, as the seed of Naam does not wither with birth-rebirths- in fact rebirth, if any, is into the human life-form, and a maximum of four such rebirths can take place. Other Yogas using the Prana for its travel falter on the way- e.g. Kundalini Yoga goes only upto Chidakash or Sahasraar in the Astral Plane (the higher Pranas take one to Chidakash or Maan-sarovar in the Supra-Causal plane at best). The purpose of Yoga is to bring about complete Self-consciousness from the present Sub-conscious state of the Spirit. Surat-Shabd Yoga takes the Soul-String to its pristine Home where time-space-causation and dissolution does not exist. It is 'the complete Yoga', with all 3 aspects: thought-control, focus on inner Light and focus on inner Sound, being brought into fullest play and through their application, the soul traverses all of the triple 12-petalled Samadhi- absorption states:

1. Savikalp Samadhi- differentiated absorption at Sahans-dal-kanwal {12}, where the Spirit's knot with impure Matter is opened resulting in its lustre becoming that of a Sun,
2. Nirvikalp Samadhi or Nirbeej or true Nirvana Samadhi-undifferentiated absorption at Maan-sarovar {12}, where the Spirit's knot with impure Mind is untied, resulting in its lustre becoming that of 12 Suns, and
3. Sahaj Samadhi- conscious absorption at Sat Lok, which transcends even the rarified Mind-Matter, where the pure Spirit acquires its pristine lustre of 16 Suns. Here it achieves perfect self-realization, merging with the Master ('fana-fil-Sheikh') and thence, goes on to merge in God at Anami ('fana-fil-Allah'). The droplet, soul thus merges in the Oversoul: Anurag Saagar- the Ocean of Grace Divine.

4 Fourthly, this is the shortest Yoga of all- since it takes Sushumna- the Spiritual middle path all the way. This proverbial 'lost Saraswati' is indeed reserved for the Sants and their disciples. Most beings go by the left-handed path- Dakshinayan or Pitrayan Marg to the Pitri Lok (world of the manes) and return, whereas Yogis go by the right-handed Uttarayan or Devayan Marg to the heavens and are released from the bondage of the Cycle of birth-rebirth, but for the remaining period of the present Kalpa only. The perverse Tamo-gunic 'Tantra', 'Black Magic' or 'Vajrayana' or 'Yazidi' sects found within every religion using the Shabd of the 'left handed path', indulging in foulest of rites and orgies, enhance the soul's karmic burden and retard its progress and it goes by neither, remaining trapped in the Nether Hells. Even the Rajo-gunic 'right-handed path' leading to Heavens are not for the Sant-Mat initiates, who are destined to go far beyond Brahmand- they are progressively taken to Sach Khand.

4 Lastly, this is a true Sahaj- easy, natural Yoga. Over the last century, the Masters have simplified the postures so that Westerners can also easily meditate. Padmasan- Lotus posture (though still the best to access the 'Jewel' at its centre- the Sushumna) can be replaced with sitting posture in a chair or even lying down (as long as one does not go to sleep!). Sumiran is meant to be done all the time except while doing mental work- while travelling or even cooking! Also, while the Brahm Muhurt- 'wee hours of the morning' (3 to 6 a.m.) are still considered the best, one can meditate at any fixed, convenient time each day.

Benefits of 'Surat-Shabd Yoga'

4 Improved Physical health and stress-relief, especially in psychosomatic ailments such as hyper-tension, insomnia, migraine, asthma and other problems of lung, heart, stomach etc. since Samadhi state provides the ultimate relaxation to the Physical body (equivalent to several hours' sleep), whereby the awareness of the pains and discomforts of the body is lost. Many doctors have been prescribing meditation in the treatment of these diseases lately. Even the Corporate Houses are now making meditation an essential part of their Management Development programmes.

4 A variety of mental and emotional problems, such as anxiety, loneliness, lack of self-esteem, difficulties in inter-personal relationships and depression are countered. It is a medicine we carry within us that we can use whenever needed and provides a lasting antidote to the use of alcohol and drugs to alleviate these. When we meditate, we come in contact with the Divine Power within that manifests itself as loving Light and Sound. By contacting it, we realize that we are not alone. We experience happiness, peace and bliss unlike any found in the activities of this world. As we enter the inner regions, our problems begin to disappear. The divine intoxication that we experience in meditation remains with us, even after we resume our daily activities.

4 Improved concentration and enhanced creativity and efficiency in day-to-day work. Developing concentration can help us work faster and excel in many areas of life, such as our careers, studies, sports, art or solving problems. Meditation gives access to an infinite source of wisdom. We discover the wealth of Spiritual regions rich in knowledge, which Physical science can only dream about.

4 Destruction of the '5 perversities': lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego, with the moral and spiritual expansion of the 'self' and the inculcation of love for the entire Creation. Connection with divinity leads to an enhanced life perspective, a new angle of vision, leading to an increased ability to cope with life's turmoil and a balanced life with familial and social harmony. Sant-Mat is 'Positive Mysticism', wherein one is enjoined to attend to one's spiritual side without neglecting duties towards one's family, society, country and universe at large.

4 End to bondage of transmigration in the 'Cycle of 8.4 million life-forms'. Further human births, if any, ensure Spiritual development leading to complete liberation. Meditation helps us overcome the fear of death. We learn to separate our soul from the body and enter the inner regions. We then know that spiritual realms await us after death and realize that this world is only a temporary home.

4 Spiritual transport to the inner worlds beyond, far more ecstatic realms than the Physical, culminating in self-realization and the ultimate unity with the Divinity/Truth, the summum bonum of existence, leading to inner peace. Meditation helps us develop Spiritually. Its practice creates a gradual expansion of consciousness and fills us with love and peace. We experience ourselves as soul, and realize that others like us are also soul and a part of God. We begin to see that we are all members of one family and inculcate love for all. This love awakens a desire to help others and we begin to care for all living things and our environment. We become non-violent as we do not want to see another in pain, and we become peaceful and seek to live in harmony with all Creation.

4 Meditation contributes to outer peace in the world. When we develop inner peace, it radiates to all those who come in contact with us. The fragrance of love and peace spreads to our families and friends, our communities, our countries, and the world over. Our personal transformation contributes to the 'Golden Age' of peace and happiness on Earth. By practicing meditation, we help this Planet Earth to become a better place to live in.

4 Master's protection in this and the afterworld. One does not have to give one's karmic account to the Negative Power or Yama- Lord of Death. The Master Himself receives the initiate at death and decides one's fate. The Master is the greatest of benefactors in the universe- veritably, a giver of Nau-Nidhis- all nine categories of wealth, although a true seeker seeks none of these, but the Master Himself!

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text content by a student of Sant Mat who prefers to remain anonymous. I didn't write this so please don't attribute it to me - MAK.
page first uploaded 3 August 2004, last modified 18 August 2005