Below are some mystic verses of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, the Great Saint of Hathras, India, Adi Guru of many if not most all contemporary Sant Mat guru-lineages, the grandfather or founding-father of modern-day Sant Mat. Since Tulsi serves as a connecting link between the classic Sants of India including in the Kabir line of Masters, perhaps others lineages as well, and contemporary Sant Mat, any serious study of Sant Mat teachings must include the hymns and spiritual discourses of Tulsi Sahib, the great Saint of Hathras.
Some of the Shabdavali of Sant Tulsi Sahib was published in the Hindi edition of Volume Six of the book, Prem Patra Radhaswami, by Huzur Maharaj. In English this is made available in the book, Param Sant Tulsi Saheb, translated by S.D. Maheshwari, published by the Maheshwari family in Agra: http://www.radhasoami-faith.info/Books_Frame.shtml
I am hopeful that, between the various satsang centers: Hathras, Maharishi Mehi Ashram, or perhaps Radhaswami sources, more writings of Sant Tulsi Sahib will eventually become available in English including: Ghat Ramayana, Shabdavali, Ratan Sagar, and Padam Sagar, also commentary on those volumes.
Tulsi Sahib and the Path of the Sant Satgurus
Tulsi was the Master who first coined the term "Sant Mat", meaning, "Teachings of the Saints", as a single term for India’s great Saints and bhakti poet-mystics. Of this great galaxy of Sants he once said:
"I now describe what the word ‘Sant’ means. All those who have attained the Inaccessible are included in the category of Sants.
"I have described the status of Sants and sung hymns composed by them. Sants have traversed the path to the Inaccessible region and their soul has attained the Truth or Essence.
"Nanak, Dadu, Dariya Saheb, Mira Bai, Soor Das, Kabir and Nabbaji have all reached the Mystic Sky and have given out the secrets. Their souls have got across and merged there.
"Though their teachings are one and the same, their ways of teaching are different. Indeed, all Sants have proceeded along the same path. All of them ascended along the same Current of Shabd (inner Sound),
and got across……
"What Sants have said about Sant Mat is what they saw with their own eyes. They have sung of it in the form of couplets and hymns…..Sants have spoken of the secrets of Shabd and the path on which Surat has to proceed……" ("Param Sant Tulsi Sahib")
In the Love, Light and Sound of the Beloved,
Sant Mat Fellowship
Utter the Name of the Lord
Utter the Name of the Lord. Oh! do utter His Name. Why has your Surat [soul’s attention] become so oblivious? Give up all quarrels and wranglings. The terrible Kal [gnostic demiurge, false god, lord of time and illusion] beguiles you through karmas [actions]. Shake off your illusion and flee to your Original Abode.
Surat alone, by adopting the Sound Current, can proceed beyond the Fourth Lok [realm, plane or inner region]. Take a vow to hold fast to this very method which, really, is the unique religion of Sants.
Worship Sat [Eternal Spirit, Truth, God] by means of Surat [the attention faculty of the soul at the third eye center], and this will enable you to reach the regions beyond the inner Sky [Gagan]. Seek Sat within, which alone will enable you to reach the region that knows no death and decay, and thus attain great happiness and bliss.
In the blessed company of Sants [Masters, Sant Satgurus, Saints], I have been able to know of the secrets of the true and indescribable One who has neither form nor any line of demarcation and is also invisible. I have described in detail Sat Mat with which worldly ways are incompatible. I have tasted the bliss of the Original Abode which alone is true. The world, on the other hand, is only a fleeting show, and only if one ponders over this, one will be able to realize the essence of Sat Mat and then alone will one’s boat of life be able to cross the ocean of worldly existence. Great reverberation of Shabd [Sound] is going on within. One should fix one’s attention on It and dance with joy. Blessed with the merciful gaze of the Satguru, I have been able to get Darshan [Vision] of the Invisible Being. My goal is Sat Purush whose abode is Sat Lok. He is all-merciful and is beyond Triloki [three worlds, physical, astral, causal]. My attention is riveted on His holy feet and I have His Darshan all the time. I have reached the Original Abode, which is beyond Kal’s net. This world is perverse. I have been blessed with Darshan of the Supreme Being. I have seen the entire Brahmand [regions of universal mind], not to speak of this And [astral realm], which is only a very small region. I have vanquished the mind as well as Kal and, discarding this world, have become rid of it. I have seen the entire expanse of the earth, the sun and the moon. I have won the battle with Kal thanks to Sant Mat [the teachings of the Sants], which alone is true. Traversing the path within, I have been able to get the Vision (Darshan) of the Supreme Being.
0 soul! Give up all blind adherence and beliefs, concentrate within and seek the Supreme Being there, adopting Him alone as your Isht or goal. Do ponder over what I say and see for yourself with eyes wide open that there is none in this world whom you can call your own. You should adopt the Supreme Being alone as your prop and support.
Mention has been made of the states of wakefulness, dream, deep slumber and Turiya. The Trans-Turiya state lies beyond them and it is realized only by one who practises true Yoga.
The Shastras have described the four kinds of Bani (spiritual sound), namely, Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Baikhri. All this is known to the Gyani and Yogi. This is what the Gyani says. The secret. of what lies beyond is something unique, which is known only to Sants.
I (Tulsi) pierced the Sky and went beyond and met the Essence. My Surat darted above like an arrow shot by bending the bow. It proceeded beyond the three worlds, and reached the fourth Lok whose deity is Sat Nam Sat Purush, who took me in His arms.
The Supreme Being whose abode lies further ahead, is unique and only Sants know about Him. He is Nameless (Anami, Soundless: Anadi) and free from Maya. How to explain what He is. He has no colour, no form and no line of demarcation. Shabd is unmanifest in His region. I am worthless and know nothing but I had the good fortune of reaching His Abode. By placing my head at the feet of all Sants, I could reach that Original Abode which knows no decay. The three worlds are created and they perish, but I have taken my Surat beyond the Fourth Lok.
Surat darts forth with all-attention, and catching hold of Shabd, soars high like a kite secured to a cord.
Steadfast Attention Fixed at the Infentismal Point, the Third Eye Center Which Becomes a Portal to Mystic Light and Sound
He who has been able to know the true nature of the mind, has recognized Surat [inner hearing] and, by awakening Nirat [inner seeing], has repaired to the highest region. Sants [Sant Satgurus], after realizing the truth themselves, have given out the secrets and I also join them. I have known the ways of the mind and recognized Surat, and I can assure you that the true path cannot be traversed without the participation and cooperation of Surat. After recognizing Surat [reaching the third eye center], one should partake of the bliss of higher regions, and then only will one be able to find the path to the Original Abode. One should fix one’s Surat on the Current of inner Light and Sound with your attention as steadfast as that of a turtle fixed on its eggs, never looking to any other thing. One’s Surat should partake of the bliss of Shabd in the manner of a Chakor-bird looking at the moon with steadfast attention. One should apply one’s Surat so steadfastly to Shabd that ambrosia drips forthwith and one is able to partake of the bliss of the Shabd.
During Surat Shabd Meditation Traversing Inner Regions Back Up to the Eighth Heaven — Kaivalaya or Oneness with the Soundless One
Surat will unite with Naam or Shabd when it reaches the Kanwals [Lotuses]. Sants have said that if one seeks the shelter and protection of Sants, one’s Surat will be able to see the Kanwals and will thus develop true faith. Above the third eye center is Neel Shikhar (Blue Mountain Peak). From there one should fix one’s gaze at the Portal to the Inaccessible. One will then be free from the clutches of Kal and be rid of worldly pursuits.
One should constantly keep one’s Surat fixed at Gagan [Mystic Sky in the region of Brahm] and keep on looking through the perforated screen. On thus applying Surat to Shabd all the time, one will not think of any other goal. Thus frolicking at the Portal, Surat strolls in the region of Shyam Safed. In the region of Shyam (black), there is a white island, where, in between a conch and a wheel, there is an oyster, and beyond them lies the unique citadel of Bank Nal [Crooked Tunnel].
Proceeding through Sukhmana [central energy current which runs from the eye center into the higher spiritual regions], one gets across Mansarover [Lake of Amritsar or Nectar in the region of Daswan Dwar]. Beyond that is Triveni [confluence of three sacred rivers]. Going past it, Surat takes to the route leading to the Inaccessible Region. If, after taking one’s bath in Triveni, one proceeds onward, towards the Inaccessible, then only will one be able to meet the true Satguru.
There is a Four-Petalled Kanwal or Lotus within, proceeding through which, one will reach the Twelve-Petalled Lotus, viz., Sat Lok. Beyond that, one will have Darshan of the Supreme Being (Anami Purush) who has neither form nor colour and who is Inaccessible as well as Indescribable. Sants have described His region as the Eighth Lok. Some have described that region as the Eighth Terrace while others have called it the Eighth Mansion.
— Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras, from his Ghat Ramayana
For more information on the meditation practice, see the online book, The Philosophy of Liberation, by Maharishi Mehi:
My Heart’s Desire Is That My Soul May Meet the Beloved — Shabd of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib from, "Shabdavali"
My Beloved has left me in an alien region. I have been separated from Him. Alas! Wretched sleep is not coming to me, nor, 0 friend, am I blessed with the advent of the dawn. Weeping all night, tears have been flowing from my eyes, and I have been sighing and bemoaning. Waves of yearning keep on biting me like a cobra and, without the Beloved, my restlessness is intense. Like one struck by lightning, I smart in pain and agony and my heart palpitates. A great fire rages in my heart, although it does not give out any smoke. I lie alone on my bed as though my separation had been preordained. From whom shall I try to know of my Beloved’s whereabouts and where to shall I write letters enquiring of him? I shall smear my body with ashes, and put on the garb of a Jogin (female ascetic). On having found the Sat Guru, I shall adopt His Saran (refuge), and I shall follow the path to my Beloved’s abode. My heart’s desire, says Tulsi, is that my Surat ** may meet the Beloved.
Light-givers Guide Souls Into the Experience of Light Within the Temple of the Body — Shabd of Param Sant Tulsi Sahib from, "Shabdavali"
The sun has set. It is all dark. Pitch dark pervades the body. If the Guru is met, He alone can show the path and darkness will be dispelled from the body. Then only can you understand what Sants say. Your eyes will open if you apply the collyrium * of Surat **. The lock will open and you will witness illumination there if you discard the key, as it were, of the hold and sway of the world on you. Surat ** will then rush to the abode in the Sky and then you will know the secret of the Inaccessible State.
Whosoever has concentrated his soul has been redeemed from the fear of Death. She has ascended the firmament with force, and has found refuge at the feet of the Lord. She has taken abode in the infinite region and has attained union with the Beloved. Indeed, 0 Tulsi, she has been delivered from delusion, suffering and fever of countless lives.
*"Collyrium" is a liquid wash used as a cleanser for the eyes.
** "Surat" or Soul, soul consciousness, the attention of the soul; surat refers to the ability of the soul to concentrate within and experience the bliss of inner regions. It refers particularly to the faculty of the soul to hear within, whereas nirat refers to the faculty of the soul to see within.
The ocean of existence is unfathomably vast and without any port of safety. It cannot be crossed. If you meet Sat Guru [True Eternal Light-giver], the boatman, then only will you get across and reach your Abode. The world is a net which Maya [illusion] has cast for the Jiva [unliberated soul]. Says Tulsi that, under the sway of greed and attachment, the Jiva wanders in the transmigratory cycle.
Concentrating your Surat [attention-faculty of the soul] repeatedly, remain withdrawn towards the region of the eyes [third eye center]. Cleansing the mirror, as it were, of the body and mind, let your Surat proceed on. If you get the opportunity of looking beyond, you will find the truth. Says Tulsi, if you become the dust of the holy feet of Sants [Saints, souls who have reached the Fourth Lok — fifth plane/heaven or above], you will see Refulgence.
Whosoever took proper care of his Surat, did not have any fear of Kal [time, the lord of death]. His Surat ascended, and on rushing to Gagan [inner mystic sky] reached her Lord. She met her Beloved on repairing to the Abode of Agam Purush [Inaccessible Being]. Says Tulsi, the illusions, delusions and misery of innumerable lives were thus obliterated.
Says Tulsi that He will now tell of the Abode, the whereabouts, the seat and the Region of the Beloved. That the Beloved resides beyond Brahm. The region of Sat Nam (who is the Beloved) is Amarpur (Imperishable Region), an Abode of All Happiness. Tulsi says that whoever attains the fourth Lok is called a Sant.
All Sants say that Sat Nam [True, Eternal Name] is the beginning and the end of all. They enable Jivas to realize within themselves the secrets of the Vedas and the Shastras. There can be no escape without the help of Sants, for, who else can tell of the whereabouts of the Essence (Truth)? Says Tulsi that it is only when Surat ascends and pierces the Sky that it reaches the goal.
Surat ascends and rushes within, as it beholds visions there. Taking its location at the bedstead of Sukhmana [Royal Vein, central energy current running from the third eye center into higher regions] it makes for the region of the Sunn [the Void]. He alone knows of this, who has had Darshan [Vision] of the Lord on the mirror within. Says Tulsi, the yearning oyster alone recognizes the drops of Swanti rain.
Listen within day and night; you will hear blissful inner Sounds. Within everyone, reverberates Shabd [Sound Currents], about which no one knows. The Brahmand [cosmos, inner planes] is represented in the body in every respect. Says Tulsi, open your inner eyes, and the Sant will show it to you.
Glittering Light shines in the region of the Sky, which only a brave one can behold. If one seeks the Truth, one will not go down the transmigratory cycle. If one meets the Merciful Sat Guru, one will come to know of all the secrets from Him. If one renders service to a Sant, he will tell one of the whereabouts of the Abode. Says Tulsi, it is only by being dead whilst alive* that one can find the Perfect Guru.
"Being dead whilst alive" or "death before dying": a popular saying used by Sants and Sufi poets espousing the view that rising above body-consciousness or soul travel during meditation practice is a preparation or rehearsal for the afterlife. Hazrat Sultan Bahu: "Let us die before dying, O Bahu, only then is the Lord attained."
Currently there are two books in English featuring the writings of Sant Tulsi Sahib:
"Param Sant Tulsi Saheb", translated by S.D. Maheshwari: The Maheshwari family in Agra — they now have a website: http://www.radhasoami-faith.info/Books_Frame.shtml
"Tulsi Sahib — Saint of Hathras", by J.R. Puri & V.K. Sethi: http://www.scienceofthesoul.org
(an RSSB Publication, Mystics of the East Series). In addition to the publishers websites, they may also be ordered via: Nataraj Books: https://www.natarajbooks.com
Banyen Books, Canada: