The Vedas And Santmat
"This mysterious path is described in the holy books,
but it cannot be found simply by the study of sacred texts.
It is found by the grace and guidance of an accomplished teacher."
[Maharshi Mehi Paramhans (28.04.1885-08.06.1986) studied deeply the four Vedas and the Upanishads to churn out their essence and came out with the unambiguous conclusion that the quintessential wisdom of the Vedas is very much in consonance with the spiritual experiences and preaching of the sants. Thus, he played a harmonising role, acting as a bridge between the Scriptures and the Santmat. He published a book titled "Ved Darshan Yoga" (The Philosophy of Vedas) wherein he shortlisted some of the very important hymns of Vedas with their translation (by Pandit Shri Jayadev Sharma, Vidyalankar, Mimansateerth, published by Arya Sahitya Mandal Ltd., Ajmer, Rajasthan, India) and put his own commentary buttressed by quotes from numerous sants, thus emphatically underscoring the harmony between the Vedas and Sants. Below is attempted a translation of the above book of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, which will be brought out in phases. It is important to make out here that translating the hymns or poems of sants, which is very cryptic at times, is an extremely difficult task (because of the esoteric knowledge they contain) which, to be honest, calls for experiential knowledge that comes only through elevated stages of spiritual meditation, a qualification that is totally lacking in me. In his original book (in Hindi), Maharshi Mehi has only produced the original verses of different sants and has not offered their translation, the presumption, presumably, being that it is not required for the readers who know Hindi (and hence can supposedly make out their essence). However, considering their unintelligibility to the English speaking readership, I have made a humble and petty attempt to translate (all such translations are enclosed in square brackets, such as […]) these verses, taking help of Maharshi Mehi’s and Maharshi Santsewi’s discourses I have gone through, an attempt which might very well be fraught with errors. All these errors (despite my best efforts not to let these creep in), it must be acknowledged plainly & honestly, are mine & mine alone, and I hope that the learned readers might generously pardon me for the same. Jai Guru!
– Pravesh K. Singh http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh]
Rig Veda Samhita
"Uduttamam varun paashamasmadavaadhamam vi madhyamam shrathaay. Athaa wayamaaditya vrate tavaanaagaso aditaye syaam." (Chap. 2, Varg 15|15 Sookta 24)
O Highest (Absolute) Lord! You weaken or diminish the best quality or saattvik (sattva gun or satogun means the quality or attributes of purity or goodness – one of the three gunas or qualities constituting the nature or the universe) attachments by means of experiences or gratifications of highest quality. You exhaust or dull the lowliest or taamasik (tamas or tamogun means the quality or attributes of ignorance or darkness or error – one of the three gunas or qualities constituting the nature or the universe) ties by sending (us or jiv) to suffer in the lowest order of species, and you abate, dissipate or quell the attachments of the intermediate category – raajasik attachments (rajas or rajogun means the quality or attributes of activity or passion – one of the three gunas or qualities constituting the nature or the universe) by making to suffer the experiences in miscellaneous types of species. Having experienced all these bhogs (gratifications or sufferings or experiences) we pray to you, O Protector, Shelter-giver and Illuminator as-radiant-as-the-Sun, may we become sinless, pure & pristine by following the righteous path of duties as illumined by You and attain the eternal bliss and moksha (liberation from the cycles of birth & death)!
(By Maharshi Mehi Paramhans)
Eternal bliss can not be experienced if the liberation achieved is not for ever or permanent. Thus Vedas also accept or believe in the "liberation for ever", just as it is accepted by sants such as Kabir Sahab, Guru Nanak Sahab etc. For instance (consider the following sayings of some of the sants):
"Guru mili taake khule kapaat. Bahuri na aawe yonee baat." (Sant Kabir Sahab)
[Doors (of the Lord’s Kingdom) open up for him (her) who has found a true Guru (and practises as instructed by the latter) so that he (she) has never to come back again in the cycle of birth & death.]
" Gadaa nissaan tanh sunna ke beech me,
Ulati ke surat fir nahi aawe.
Doodh ko matthi kari ghirt niyaaraa kiyaa,
bahuri fir tatta me naa samaawe.
Maadi matthaan tanh paanch ulataa kiyaa,
naam nauneeti le surati feree.
Kahai Kabir yon sant nirbhaya huaa,
janm au maran kee mitee feree." (Sant Kabir Sahab)
[That flag, sign, symbol or mark is etched in the Void (within us). He who reverts his surat (current of consciousness or attention) inwards (towards that symbol) does not have to come back again (in this world or trap of birth & death). Once ghee (clarified butter referring to jivatma here) has been separated out of milk (reference is to the composite of the gross body, mind along with ten organs, intellect, other subtler bodies etc.) by churning (meditation process) the latter i.e., milk, it (ghee) can not be converted back into its original element i.e. milk (the meaning being, once the liberation is attained by separating the soul from all the layers enveloping it, the soul can not again mingle with body). The practitioner turns the sense organs inwardly or withdraws the current of consciousness flowing out to the sense organs and thus reverts the surat with the help of butter of Divine word or sound. Practising thus, says Kabir, a sant severs the ties or knots of births & deaths and becomes fearless.]
"Jal tarang jiu jalahi samaaiaa,
tiu jotee sang jotee milaaiaa.
Kah Nanak bhram kate kiwaadaa,
bahuri na hoiai jaulaa jeeu." (Guru Nanak Sahab)
[Just as the waves (that rise on the surface of a water body) merge back into the water body itself, (the spiritual practitioner) merges the light (of individual soul) into the light (of the Ultimate Lord). Thus the doors of illusion, says Nanak, are cut open, and the jiv (unliberated individual soul) does not have to fall again into the bondage.]
Taji yog paawak deh haripad leen bhai janh nahi firai" (Goswami Tulsi Das)
[Lighting the fire of yoga, she (reference here is to Shabree, the great devotee of Lord Shri Ram) quit her body into it (lifted herself above body) and merged or reached herself into that place wherefrom one does not have to come back.]
"Koti jnaanee jnaan gaavanhi,
shabd bin sab baanchahee.
Shabd sajeevan mool aynak,
ajapaa daras dekhaawahee.
sattashabd santosh dhari dhari,
prem mangal gaavahee.
milahi satguru shabd paavahi,
pheri na bhavajal aavahee."
(Sant Dariya Sahab ‘Bihari’ from his book "Granth Dariya Sagar)
[True knowledge is not acquired without grasping the Divine Word, however much one may flaunt his learning, erudition or scholarship. The nectar of word is the mirror which reveals the ajapaa (one who can not be described in words or by chanting i.e. God). Having perceived the Divine Word which brings about complete & true contentment, (the practitioner) gratefully & lovingly keeps on singing His praise. He who has realised that Word with the grace of a true Guru never comes back to the ocean of existence.]