“In the Ramayana, Sugriva tells Rama: ‘All my actions would be worthless without Your Grace.’ Therefore, we should collect the flowers of our aspirations and offer them at the Holy Feet of the Supreme Being.”—Swami Vyasanand, The Inward Journey of the Soul
“The ultimate Realm is Akah* (Unspeakable)
Which is fully contained within the inner mirror.
The Akah* is the source of true Naam (the Sound Current)
This (Naam) is the truest spiritual technique.”—
Sat Sahib**, the Spiritual Master of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar
*The term “Akah” has been used by Kabir also as the ultimate Abode of Anami Purush.
**Based on the “Dharamdasi/Anurag Sagar” type terminology of Sat Sahib and his successor Dariya Sahib, Sat Sahib most likely would have been a disciple of Sant Dharam Das or his son Churamani Naam, or Shundarshan Naam — in other words, one of the Gurus in the Kabir/Sant Dharam Das line of Masters.
“Whosoever has concentrated his soul [via meditation] 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 the delusion, suffering and fever of countless lives.”—Sant Tulsi Sahib, Book of Shabdavali, Hathras
“Lord Kuber’s sons Nalkubera and Manigreeva told Lord Krishna: “Oh God, Sants are your manifest forms and my eyes should always behold their divine darshan [vision].””—Hindu scripture quoted by Swami Vyasanand in, The Inward Journey of the Soul
“Such individuals who have achieved the unity of atman (soul) and Param-atman (Supreme Soul, God) are known as Sants. According to the Bhagavad Purana there is no one greater than a Sant in the eyes of the Divine. Lord Krishna says to his disciple Uddhava Ji: “All devotees like you are very dear to me. They are dearer to me than Lord Brahma, Lord Shankara, my brother Bal Ram, Goddess Lakshmi and even my own soul. Therefore, I walk behind these Sants hoping that the dust arising from their holy feet would touch my body and purify me.””—(Hindu scripture quoted by Swami Vyasanand in, The Inward Journey of the Soul)
“Sants of Antiquity: Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that the Sant movement goes back to the time of Krishna thousands of years ago, that Krishna knew of Sants or Rishis during his day, the age of the Bhagavad Gita.”—James http://about.me/SantMat
“It’s unknown who the first Sant was in antiquity. There are references in Krishna/Vaishnava texts to Sants. A few of the Rishis who authored certain Upanishads also seem to be at the same level as Sants. In somewhat more recent times, in some circles Gorakhnath, a 10th century yogi, is considered to be a Sant. Otherwise, the first Masters formally called Sants that we know of are the 12th-century poet Jayadeva, author of the Gita Govinda, and, Visoba Khechar, who was Sant Namdev’s spiritual Master (Sant Satguru).”—James http://about.me/SantMat
"Sant Mat" means: "The Teachings of the Saints" or "Path of the Masters". In India it’s common knowledge that the term "Sant Mat" was coined or adapted by Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras during the 19th Century. "Sant Mat" was adopted and popularized by Tulsi Sahib as a new name for this spiritual path or genre of mysticism, but the Sant tradition, with its many guru-lineages or branches, is a spiritual movement that dates back many centuries to ancient India. Tulsi Sahib was of the opinion that the Sant movement goes back to the time of Krishna thousands of years ago, that Krishna knew of Sants or Rishis during his day, the age of the Bhagavad Gita.
Commonly used words like “Sant”, “Sat”, and “Mat”, with their roots in Sanskrit, are found in the literature of many spiritual paths originating in India. “Santmat”, as a single word referring to the efficacy of following the teachings of Sants does turn up on a couple of occasions in Sant literature during the centuries prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib. It could be present in a few verses of Kabir, and is in at least one verse of a poem of Sant Tulsi Das. Clearly however, “Sant Mat” as the universal name or label for this school of spirituality or Sant tradition begins with Tulsi Sahib during the 19th Century in Hathras, and now has been embraced by millions of souls and scores of spiritual paths based in India.
"The teachings of all Saints are essentially the same. They speak of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ which is within. They show the path and impart instructions to attain it. They do not claim to teach something new or different from what other Saints have taught. Tulsi Sahab declared that he was giving the same teachings as those of Kabir Sahab, Nanak Sahab, Dadu Sahab and other Saints. Tulsi Sahab, for the first time, used the expression ‘Sant Mat’ or ‘the teachings of Saints’ to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints." (From the entry for Sant Tulsi Sahib in, RadhaSoami White Paper on the Religion of Sants and RadhaSoami Faith, published by Dayal Bagh in Agra)
"While the title of Sant Mat (translated as ‘Teachings of the Sants’) was not coined until the late 19th century by Tulsi Sahib, the philosophical mindset was indeed prevalent for many centuries." (Andrea Grace Diem, Ph.D., "Lions in the Punjab: An Introduction to the Sikh Religion", from Chapter One, The Sikh—Sant Connection)
Param Tulsi Sahib of Hathras originated the term “Sant Mat” as recorded in the Ghat Ramayan also according to the scholar Parashuram Chaturvedi in his book “Sant Parampara”. (See footnote 23, in the chapter titled, “The Radhasoami Revival”, by Mark Juergensmeyer, on page 337 in, “The Sants, Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India”, Edited by Karine Schomer and W.H. McLeod, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, page 783)
"One thing that all factions agree upon, though, is that Tulsi Sahib consolidated the teachings of nirguna bhakti, expounded the path of surat shabd yoga, and was largely responsible for the popular usage of the term Sant mat. His teachings are embodied in Ghat Ramayana, Ratan Sagar, and Shabdavali." (David C. Lane, "The Radhasoami Tradition, A Critical History of Guru Successorship", Garland Publishing, 1992 edition, page 39)
"Tulsi Sahib, for the first time, used the expression ‘Sant Mat’ or ‘teachings of Saints’ to stress the basic unity of the teachings of all Saints. Swami Ji later adopted the same expression, ‘Sant Mat’, in his works." (Janak Raj Puri and V. K. Sethi, "Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras", 1981 edition, Mystics of the East Series, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Book Department, page 18)
"For all the religious traditions of India, the nineteenth century was an age of rationalistic reform, during which the attempt was made to systematize beliefs and make practices consistent with doctrines. Tulsi Sahib of Hathras (ca 1760 - 1843) was at once heir to certain esoteric tendencies in later Sant tradition and a precursor of the new spirit. Stressing the unity of the Sants as a parampara, he taught what he believed to be the common core of doctrines implicit in all the Sants (‘sant mat’), and tried to reverse the spread of saguna beliefs and practices among the followers of nirguna panths. Heavily indebted to him was Shiv Dayal Singh (1818 - 1878), founder of the modern Radhasoami movement." (Karine Schomer, "The Sants", Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, page 7)
"Tulsi Sahib, a Sant of Hathras from the nineteenth century, recognized that Sants drew upon the teachings of other Sant figures as spiritual resources. Pointing out the common spiritual roots, he identified this movement as a coherent religious tradition, which he called ‘Sant Mat’, simply meaning a ‘Sant faith’." (Dr. Andrea Diem, "The Gnostic Mystery, a Connection Between Ancient and Modern Mysticism", Mount San Antonio College Press, Walnut, CA, 1992 edition, page, 29)
"The principles and tenets of Sant Mat are one and the same, only there is a difference in terminology. Since the same principles have been stated using different names, you become confused and do not understand them. Sat Saheb, that is, Sat Purush, has been described as Sat Nam. And Sar Shabd (True Shabd) has been called A-Nam. The name Nirgun has been given to Niranjan and it is the mind which has been called Ram. What Kabir had said, has been said by other Sants, too. Kabir explained Sant Mat in his own way, other Sants in other ways. The religion of all those who have gained access within is one and the same. Those who lack true understanding, adhere to dogmas and blind beliefs. Those who have spoken on the basis of inner experiences, have sung of the same Panth or path for reaching the Lord."(Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Ghat Ramayan)
"Listen, O Phool Das, I have given out the same true secrets which Sants like Kabir Saheb, Dadu Saheb, Rai Das Ji, Darya Saheb, Guru Nanak, Soor Das Ji, Nabha Ji and Mira Bai have spoken of. They, too, have composed similar hymns describing the bliss of the highest spiritual region, whose glory I also have sung, blessed by the grace and the dust of the holy feet of Sants". (Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Ghat Ramayan)
“My next Light and Sound on the Path newsletter will be quite different this time, as it’s dedicated to the history of the Path: Origins of the Term “Sant Mat”, Sants in Ancient India, Maharshi Mehi—The Bridge Between Hindu Scriptures and Sant Mat, Kabir—One of India’s Greatest Poet-mystics and Spiritual Masters, Who Was Tulsi Sahib’s Guru, Maharaj Girdhari Sahib—The ‘Unknown Guru’ of Radhasoami History, Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, a Towering Figure, The Opposite of “Not One Of Us” is “We Are All One”, There is No “Vatican” of the Spirit, including Guru Lineage Charts, and Recommended Reading.”—
Ocean (God), Wave (the Living Master/Sant Satguru) and Drop (the Soul):
The relationship between the Supreme Being, the Guru and the jivas [souls] has been well compared with ocean, its wave and the drop. The Supreme Being is the ocean of all bliss, light, life, sound and truth. The Guru is the wave which is always in union with the ocean and not different from it and the jiva [soul] with the same attributes is a drop far away from the ocean. This contact between the drop and the wave is the true Bhakti [path of love]. Therefore, emphasis has been laid upon establishing contact between the Guru and the disciples at all levels, that is, physical, mental and spiritual. This contact would be developed through the company of the Guru, both external and internal. The external company of the Guru is called the ‘external satsang’ and the internal company of the Shabd form of the Guru is called the ‘internal satsang’. There are four essentials on which this faith bases its tenets:
3. Sat-anurag (True Bhakti)
4. Sat-nam (the true name, that is, Radhasoami Nam) or Sat-shabd
By the Seva [service] and the Satsang [true association] of the Guru the spirit entity would slowly and slowly shake off the coverings [sheaths, subtle bodies] and would be able to catch the Sound Currents and one day reach the Ultimate Abode. The whole process may take a period of four lives which may be shortened in the case of more ardent devotees.
For the attainment of perfect salvation, the Radhasoami Faith like all other Sant sects, shuns all other paraphernalia and external observances and rituals. It has emphasized upon the pure love in the holy feet of the Supreme Being and the Guru. As such it denounces hatred and discrimination among the human beings. All are the children of one Father and as such there is no place for such a discrimination in point of caste, creed or color and thus cannot check one to adopt this faith. According to the Radhasoami Faith, women are entitled to enjoy the same privileges as men. They also can practice Surat Shabd Yoga and gain high spiritual attainments. The champions of this enlightened faith, advocated in the social set up of the nineteenth century the removal of the purdah system for the ladies and urged them to come out of the narrow social restrictions and respond to the call of the time. Moreover, their preachings strengthened the disintegrating Hindu society by effacing the false barriers of caste prejudices.
In a nut-shell, Radhasoami Faith is a gospel of love. Love towards the holy feet of Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul], love towards the Guru of the time and love with all the human beings is its cardinal message.
Ego-based Seva vs. Right-Hearted Seva (Selfless Service): “The strengthening of the outward tendency or inclination, be it even in Parmarthi [spiritual] activities, is harmful and injurious. For example, to cherish a desire for power and authority in the Seva [service, activity] of Satsang or some such other work one is entrusted with, or to become totally engrossed in the Seva of the Head of Satsang or in the personal or special Seva of the Perfect Guru, which may fortunately be allotted to one, if He is present, and to forget the real object, constitutes ignorance. The object of Parmarth [spirituality] is that Surat [soul] and the mind, which are at present getting diffused outside, should withdraw and ascend within. The modes and methods to achieve this end, are Satsang and Abhyas [meditation practices]. Along with these, Seva is also prescribed. If this object is achieved by performing Seva, then it is all right, otherwise, the real purpose will be defeated. But, from this it should not be inferred that performing Seva is of no avail. According as one’s grade is, Seva is also necessary and beneficial, but to consider this alone to be the be-all and end-all of Parmarth, and to remain engrossed in outward activities day and night, without giving importance to the withdrawal and ascension of Surat and mind is a gross misunderstanding on one’s part.
"Some keep their own Swarth (self-interest) uppermost in Seva. Great jealousy also finds a place amongst one another. Changes in the allotment of acts of Seva or taking away of any Seva lead to antagonism and quarrels. That by which one wins the pleasure of the Lord is really Seva. Be it reproof, rebuke or humiliation, one should bear it cheerfully and not try to show off one’s cleverness at all."
“There is a vast Reservoir or Focus of Spirituality, which has no beginning and has ever been in existence, and that Reservoir is the Supreme Being and Purush [Original Source of the universe].”—Discourses of Babuji Maharaj, Volume Three, Agra
“What’s the use of receiving this human form if we do not serve others in thought, word, and deed. If we hold our thoughts only on worldly material things and refuse to think of that which is higher and more subtle, then our faith in the Transcendental will inevitably diminish.”—"Quintessence of Yoga: Secret of All Success", Published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram
“It’s been a long and amazing time, how it’s wasted is such a crime
And the stories we heard still echo in the distance
Filled with promises and pain, we had everything to gain
But the pride that comes before a fall is with us
Lights are on and nobody’s home, we’ve gone from color to monochrome
Like some faded photograph with ghostly faces
Whether enemy or a friend, it’s the message that we send
We will never change without until we change within
Back when the world was so young (when the world was young)
To the day when the first song was sung (when the world was young)
We chose our own way to black, white or gray
When the world was young
Are we learning from the past or has it all been already cast
Who can change the course of a war against all reason
There was one prevailing wind and we said we’ve got to make a stand
And now the barrier’s between us for a treason”—Lyrics to, “When The World Was Young”, by Kansas, Somewhere to Elsewhere - Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpikYiKUESg
“Soami Ji’s Mystical Meditation Room Within A Room: “From childhood Soami Ji Maharaj used to shut himself up in a small room which is at the back of another room on the ground floor of his house. For light and air there is a small aperture, otherwise no noise can reach within. This room still exists in a renovated form and is considered as one of the most sacred and hallowed of places.””—Biography/Jivan Charitar of Babuji Maharaj, Agra
“Experience the state of superconsciousness
Where the Lord’s love surges
And you will see your own form
In each particle of the creation.
0 Nama, the Lord will make
The pupil of your eye his home,
And your eye will expand
To contain the entire universe.
I worship only God-within, nothing else.”—Sant Namdev
“This is a link to by blog about the “Exclusivity Doctrine” that “there can only one true master or spiritual path at a time”, a kind of ‘bhakti truth’, if you will, that your guru is your “one-and-only”. But in terms of history that’s never been the case. Of course much suffering and cult abuse is rationalized way by those burdened with the view that a certain guru or religion is the “only true one on the planet”, so one must tolerate just about anything no matter how toxic. Thankfully the web is making this Exclusivity Doctrine less and less convincing as people can access information about countless “cousin” spiritual paths. The Opposite of “Not One Of Us” is “We Are All One”, By James Bean — GO TO: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/the-opposite-of-not-one-of-us-is-we-are-all-one-3e803b92d51d”—
Thanks to those satsangis affiliated with the Sant Girdhari Mandir in Lucknow for helping my research efforts to learn more about Maharaj Girdhari Sahib, and thanks to those who helped provide translations of some very rare texts from Hindi and Gujarati.