Key Practices In Sant Mat
Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
"Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"
Key Practices in Sant Mat Mysticism, the Path of the Masters
Huzur Baba Sawan Singh, in, "My Submission–A Perspective For Your Consideration"
The Outer Master Guides Us to the Inner Master —
The Inner Master-Power Escorts the Soul Back to God
Until and unless we are spiritually evolved to a point where we can worship God in his Nam or Shabd form, we must devote ourselves to the master, who is God in human form, and manifest his Radiant Form within through the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga. The Shabd-dhun [inner Sound Current] will be heard when our heart is attuned to the master’s heart. The master and the Lord are one. Therefore devotion to the master is devotion to God. If we lovingly devote mind and body, the guru will carry our soul across the ocean of existence.
Key Practices in Sant Mat
A human being is a combination of body, which is gross material; mind, which is subtle material; and soul, which sustains them both and provides us with the gift of life. The first two components are time bound and perishable, while the third one, the soul, is beyond the sphere of death. The soul sustains the body in much the same way as God sustains the entire universe. Not only that, whatever is in the universe can also be discovered in the body. In other words the soul bears the same relationship to God as does the part to the whole. Muslim mystics have described the human body—aalam-e sagheer (microcosm)—-as the model of the entire universe—aalam-e kabeer (macrocosm). Guru Nanak says that the macrocosm is the same as the microcosm, and we understand the Lord by the guru’s grace and recognize him through his Shabd. Anyone who seeks God must search for him within himself, for that is where his real abode is.
jo brahmande so’i pinde jo khojai so pavai ("He who is in the universe, that also abides in the body, and whoever seeks, he finds Him there." — Pipa)
Saints speak of the soul as being a particle of God; in other words it has the qualities of God. It is the primary objective of all human beings to strive for the full development of their body, mind and soul. As far as spiritual development is concerned, saints advise us to go to a perfect being who hasn’t merely learnt from books, but has, through spiritual practice, attained union with God.
The food we eat, the company we keep, the lifestyle we adopt and the environment we live in all influence the development of our bodies and minds. We are therefore advised to eat satvik food, [satvik qualities of peace and tranquility — vegetarian food: vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, milk products] forgo what is not essential in life and avoid activities that destroy our concentration and dissipate our energies. Seekers who follow these principles are taught certain practices that help to unfold their consciousness and develop them spiritually. These are:
. Simran (repetition of God’s name(s) — remembrance)
. Dhyan (contemplation)
. Bhajan (listening to the Shabd)
Our mind is always engrossed in the remembrance and contemplation of worldly things, and thoughts concerning friends and worldly objects keep hindering our concentration within. In order to eliminate these worldly thoughts and images and fix our mind on God, devotees are given certain sublime names of God to repeat and advised to contemplate on the beautiful face of the master. Saints teach us to repeat these names with the ‘tongue’ of the soul and to contemplate on the form of the master with the ‘eye’ of the soul.
These two practices help bring about stillness of the mind and prepare it to listen to the melody of Shabd, which is heard with the ‘ear’ of the soul and which reverberates within everyone regardless of religion or nationality. The soul and the current of Shabd, being of the same essence, have a natural affinity for each other. Through the three practices mentioned above, the wave of Shabd attracts the drop of the soul and merges it into the ocean that is God. The mind can no longer receive energy from the soul and so it becomes motionless.
The master explains these three steps to his disciples in detail. With the help of simran and dhyan the scattered attention is concentrated at its natural seat at the eye centre. By stages the Shabd then elevates the soul to salvation in its true home, which is the very Source of Shabd.