Showing posts tagged “book reviews”.
The Poet Kabir, the “Rumi” of India, Part 4 (Spiritual Awakening Radio, Tuesday 8/9/11) is now available as a podcast
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Kabir: One of India’s Greatest Poet-Mystics and Spiritual Masters
Kabir lived during the fifteenth century, born near Banaras, India of Muslim parents. He grew in the impassioned poetry and deep philosophy of the Persian mystics like Jalaludin Rumi. He is, as he says in his hymns, “at once the child of Allah and of Ram.” He achieved a synthesis of Hindu and Muslim belief and freely used symbols from both religions. He was a weaver, a simple and unlettered man, who earned his living at the loom. It is out of the heart of the common life that he sings his rapturous lyrics of divine love.
“Kabir” is an Islamic name popular in the Muslim world – it’s one of the “Ninety-Nine Names of Allah” found in the Quran, meaning, “The Greatest.” Kabir was indeed a great soul, a kind of “Christ of northern India,” believed by some to be one of the most advanced souls to ever incarnate into the world. Today, Kabir has over twenty-five million devotees in various Kabir Panth and Sant lineages and is universally loved by Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims alike. Kabir’s hymns are still sung in the satsangs (spiritual gatherings) of various spiritual paths all over India and the world.
Kabir is Everyone’s Universal Saint
a Master or Sant Sat Guru of Inner Light and Sound Mysticism/Surat Shabda Yoga and Sant Mat (Path of the Masters);
a musician and poet of Nirguna Bhakti (love and devotion for the One Formless God);
a great teacher of eastern mysticism and gnosticism;
a peace maker between Hindus and Muslims;
a social reformer in India who denounced the caste system;
considered by many in Islam to be a Sufi Master or Murshid;
considered by Hindus to be one of India’s greatest poet-mystics and Vaishnava devotees in the history of India;
considered a Bhagat by the Sikhs — many of his hymns are included in the Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures);
greatly influenced by Goraknath and the Nath Yogis, and the Nath Yogis of northern India were, in turn, influenced by Tantric Buddhism.
And some Christian missionaries at first thought Kabir might have been a Christian mystic due to his use of the mystic term “Word” or “Shabda” – Celestial Music, which reminded them of the Gospel of John, chapter one: “In the beginning was the Word…”
Kabir freely used both Hindu and Islamic names for God. He attempted to make peace between Hindus and Muslims by pointing out that there is not a separate God for the East and West, but one universal Spirit Supreme.
“The Hindu says Ram is supreme the Muslim, Rahim both die fighting each other neither knowing the Truth.
“The south is Hari’s abode; Allah’s camp is in the west. Look inside your own heart - inside your heart of hearts - there is His abode, His camp.
“If Hari is merciful He will place love in your heart, and you shall obtain the fruit of His name.
“Allah-Ram, I live by Your name. Be merciful.”
Kabir views humanity as being caught up in illusion, searching for Ultimate Reality in all the wrong places, always seeking It outside of ourselves in various rituals, temples, forests and mountaintops, not realizing That for which we seek is already hidden within us.
“Your God dwells within you like fragrance in the flower;
Musk lies within the Musk-deer yet seeks it afar.”
For Kabir, God, called “Allah” in the west and “Hari” in the east, can be experienced directly in a rapturous meditative state of Love, Bliss, visions of Light, Heavenly Sound – a total oneness of soul and oversoul in the Ocean of Love.
Kabir’s spirituality was a blend of Prem-Bhakti: love and devotion for the Beloved Lord of Love, the One God (Ekongkar), and mystical soul travel experiences of a visionary and auditory nature.
This is my all-time favorite poem of Kabir, and it illustrates Kabir’s approach to God as both that of an out-of-body mystic as well as that of a lover for the Beloved.
“How could the love between Thee and me sever?
As the leaf of the water abides on the water:
so Thou art my Lord, and I am Thy servant.
As the night-bird Chakor gazes all night at the moon:
so Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.
From the beginning until the ending of time,
there is love between Thee and me;
and how shall such love be extinguished?
Kabir says: ‘As the river enters into the ocean,
so my heart touches Thee.’”
That’s from the book, Songs of Kabir, by Rabindrath Tagore. From that same translation, here are verses where Kabir described some of his own inner mystical experiences.
“What a wonderful lotus it is, that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe! Only a few pure souls know of its true delight.
Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea.
“Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light.
There the Unstruck Music is sounded; It is the music of the three worlds.
“There the whole sky is filled with sound, and there that music is made without fingers and without strings.
“The effulgence of the Supreme Being is beyond the imagination: Ineffable is His beauty, to see it is the only proof.”
Below is a list of recommended key translations of Kabir in English. In addition to those, I also want to call attention to a book called, The Anurag Sagar, (Kabir’s Ocean of Love), published by Sant Bani Books, Sanbornton, New Hampshire, USA 03269.
The Anurag Sagar is an epic reminiscent of the Ghat Ramayana of Tulsi Das and the Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata. In India, this text serves as a kind of “Genesis,” “Gospel,” and “Book of Revelation” all in one! A kind of gospel of Kabir, if you will. It summarizes the teachings of Kabir about the creation of the universe and higher planes/heavenly realms, the origin of evil and suffering in the world, the path to freedom from transmigration and reincarnation, and about Kabir’s past lives. It is believed by some, that Kabir incarnated during each of the Four Yugas or epochs of time, to establish lineages of spiritual Masters in the world in order to enlighten humanity. This Ocean of Love or Anurag Sagar is also a valuable manual for learning about meditation practice.
Recommend Books On Kabir:
Songs of Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore, Samuel Weiser Books;
The Bijak of Guru Kabir (volumes I, II, and III), Dr. Jagessar Das, published by The Kabir Association # 208-14770 64th Avenue, Surry, B.C. CANADA V3S 1X7
Kabir: Songs of the Divine, 180 Mystical Poems of Kabir, Dr. Jagessar Das, Urban Mystic Books, Surrey, BC. Canada;
A Weaver Named Kabir, Charlotte Vaudeville, Oxford University Press;
The Kabir Book, Robert Bly, Beacon Press, Boston;
Praises to a Formless God, David Lorenzen, SUNY Press, NY
Kabir – The Weaver of God’s Name, Radha Soami Books.
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James Bean reviews books and music for the Wisdom Radio Network and other stations via a syndicated radio program called Spiritual Awakening, and teaches Sant Mat Meditation and Surat Shabda Yoga.
June Spiritual Awakening Radio Show Titles/Guests
June 7th: Tapping Into Our Source of Inner Wisdom and Guidance
(CHSR Program #259)
June 14th: Veena Howard, on the Saints and Masters of India, Part 1
(CHSR Program #260)
June 21st: Veena Howard, on the Saints and Masters of India, Part 2
(CHSR Program #261)
June 28th: Three Ways We Can Honor the Soul
(CHSR Program #262)
Archived Shows Online: http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/archive.html
Tagged: spiritual awakening radio, james bean, spirituality, meditation, comparative religion, sant mat, webcasts, positive, talk radio, podcasts, spiritual podcasts, book reviews, spoken word,
The Search For Extraterrestrial Radio Signals - We May Already Have Discovered Evidence for Intelligent Life in the Form of “Wow Signals”
My favorite quote from, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”: “Interesting signals without persistence are observed thousands of times each day at the SETI Institute.”
“Signals without persistence” refers to an unknown radio signal believed to be from the sky intercepted on a certain frequency that is observed for a few seconds or minutes only, and then ceases, never to be heard from again.
Some Thoughts Inspired By the New Book, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, SUNY Press, NY
By James Bean
Below I raise the question: what if we’re living in a galaxy where short, random “wow” signals are the norm, not long transmissions from ET “beacons” as imagined in the movie Contact?
Being a long term shortwave radio hobbyist, over the years I’ve noticed many mystery signals. Some of those pertain to over-the-horizon radar, spread spectrum communications, no doubt military, or air traffic, also “numbers stations”. There are deliberate signals being bounced off of various layers of the ionosphere, perhaps to determine what frequencies might be best for communications at various times of the day and night. Shortwave propagation is an ever-changing thing, even effected by weather and solar activity. Some of these technologies move up and down the dial using many different frequencies simultaneously, or are rapidly going from one frequency to the next. I’ve followed signals before that literally sweep past many frequencies: 3 something MHz, 4, MHz, 5 MHz, and so on.
It would be rather surprising if it turns out the “cosmic” or “galactic radio dial” is devoid of activities going on for the purpose of scientific exploration. And that ET activity, if it exists, might to us seem like unpredictable, random signals lasting for a few seconds only. I suppose we would have to have a much more sophisticated, elaborate ability to simultaneously scan all frequencies at once in order to notice discernible patterns, such as a mystery radio signal sweeping across many frequencies, suggesting intelligent life or automated electronics at work “somewhere out there.”
Thus far, what leaps out at me from reading, Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence, are these descriptions of multiple “wow”** or mystery signals and pulses.* And this leads me to make proposals about creating new techniques, attempting to find a way to make repeatable observations, addressing the difficult issue of random “signals without persistence.”
Add to the Drake Equation: the percentage of advanced extra terrestrial civilizations with technology that, oddly enough, seek to make themselves known to a species such as ourselves! It seems quite reasonable that the overall number of advanced civilizations in the galaxy in possession of advanced technology would be a far larger population than the number of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations with technology that have a desire to be “celestial missionaries”, setting up beacons, deliberately sending out continuous signals for us to notice. In other words, the reality may very well be, it’s more likely we have the potential to intercept “wow” type signals or short mystery pulses rather than continuous signals (like imagined in the movie Contact). Perhaps we’re living in a galaxy where “wow” or accidental leakage type signals from ET’s are much more likely for us to find than deliberate beacons.
There are many scientific reasons why ETs could have antenna arrays belching out massive quantities of RF, and we might notice this activity occasionally, in what to us, with our limited ability to observe a few frequencies only, could seem like short increments of 10 to 70 second bursts. If most ET’s are NOT trying to broadcast to us, maybe they are communicating amongst themselves, perhaps have some equivalent of radar, are keeping a watchful eye on valued solar systems (“cosmic burglar alarms”, if you will), or scientific exploration, probing regions of the galaxy with various types of signals and technologies.
I find these potential mystery signals mentioned in the book to be quite intriguing! Many no doubt are glitches or false-positives, but the possibility or even likelihood of real ET signals arriving in the form of shorts bursts of accidental leakage not intended for us, seems more plausible than any other scenario. For me, this possibility rings true.
That such signals would be next to impossible to verify and therefore not be, at present, appreciated by humans as historic events, is understandable, and predictable. But all it takes is evidence of one signal to be extraterrestrial and extra solar in origin, or at least quite suspicious, and that’s big news. SETI would have it’s funding as never before, to say the least!
The Thorny Issue of Short Random Signals
I wonder if it can be possible to detect any discernible patterns with these short, random signals? Might they be emanating equally from all parts of the sky? Could a noteworthy percentage of them be coming from a certain direction or region?
Right now, if SETI is based on the premise of there being an ET beacon sending out a continuous signal, does this mean that there’s no effort to record 10-90 second random signals? We would need to detect activity, then and only then would other antennas and receivers be fired up to go and examine the contents of such signals….to actually go and listen to the audio, check it for video, digital “ones” and “zeros” or other signs of technology and intelligence? In other words, at present with SETI, the “phone” would have being “ringing” for a few hours before anyone could pick up and hear the voice of the one who’s calling? No “answering machine” for them to leave a message after the “beep” that we could examine later on?
If detected, a signal, would have to continue being received for hours in order for multiple telescopes to establish that this signal is — or is not — broadcasting from a certain location in the sky, maybe from a distant solar system, but being able to capture a signal, and examine it in detail, would be useful, especially if 30 seconds might be “it”, the only opportunity we might get.
Could a narrow-frequency “wow” type signal consist of a blank or silent carrier? Based on current methods used by the SETI Program, could we tell if it’s modulated? What properties would it have exactly? What is the quality of the information currently being stored about the various frequencies being monitored, even for short periods of time? I know nothing of operational details, but it seems to me as a complete outsider to SETI, that what a signal consists of would reveal much, even if that signal was only 10 or 70 seconds in length: a garage door opener, satellite telemetry, a old Rolling Stones hit from the 70’s, or a highly unusual signal packed with a complicated stream of data that seems like nothing on Earth? With the SETI Program, I wonder if there is a digital equivalent of hitting the “rewind button” to have a listen to any unusual signals that have been detected in the past but are only active for 70 seconds or less? How to separate “wheat” signals from “chaff” signals? Can software be designed to automatically turn on extra equipment to capture more information during possible “wow signal” events?
*”Interesting signals without persistence are observed thousands of times each day at the SETI Institute. Figure 4.3 for example shows a result obtained in a narrow band SETI search near the PiHI Frequency (the number phi times the HI observing line of 1420.4 MHz). This (extremely powerful) ~10 second pulse of narrow band radiation appeared in one fifty second observation period but was never re-observed. This pulse has interesting features: it is observed at a magic frequency in the direction of a nearby and potentially habitable star. Yet we cannot be sure this signal was created intentionally or unintentionally by some transmitter on Earth. Hence, after multiple observations over two weeks and no re-detection, we gave up (although this direction is added to a catalog of directions to re-observe as time permits).” (from pages 52 and 53, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, SUNY Press, NY)
*The book also refers to mystery or “wow” signals on pages: 38, 43, 110, also optical SETI mystery pulses on 140, including the “Is it ET signal?”
Interstellar Signal from the 70s Continues to Puzzle Researchers, by Seth Shostak - Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute:
**Youtube Video on the original and famous “Wow Signal” of the 1970’s:
The Search For Other Earths, Part 1 - Spiritual Awakening Radio Podcast:
The Search For Other Earths, Part 2 - Spiritual Awakening Radio Podcast:
During April on Spiritual Awakening Radio:
4/5/2011 Tom Shadyac-Director, Writer and Filmmaker-I Am
4/12/2011 The Inner Light and Sound Masters of India
4/19/2011 (Upcoming) Evelyn Kreutzer - A Centre for the World Religions
4/26/2011 (Upcoming) Supreme Master Ching Hai - From Crisis To Peace
The shows that have aired thus far during April are available on demand 24/7 as podcasts. To listen, go to:
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Welcome! Wherever I am on the web I share podcasts and information, and post numerous spiritual quotes from a wide variety of sources. I often share about Inner Light and Sound Meditation: the Path of the Masters, featuring Words of Light and Love for the Spiritual Journey.
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Am from Maine, vegetarian (vegan), and practice Inner Light and Sound Meditation in a spirit of Bhakti (Love for the Supreme Being). Am conspiring to make the world more peaceful, vegan, and spiritually awake. "Be Vegan. Make Peace."
Have been involved with Radio For Peace International, the community radio movement, Wisdom Radio, satellite radio and television, am an independent producer currently creating programs for several stations, including HealthyLife.Net -- Positive Talk Radio. Am an author, teacher, public speaker, broadcaster.
Am a follower of Inner Light and Sound Meditation (traditional Sant Mat from an Indian perspective).
All for the Love of Wisdom and Radio, In the Love, Light, and Sound of the Beloved, Jai Sat Naam, Jai Guru, Radhasoami, Peace Be To You,
In addition to making new friends, my focus is spirituality: using the radio airwaves, podcasts, the spoken word, writing, and online social networking-blogging to promote spiritual exploration, meditation, religious literacy, inter-faith studies and dialogue, comparative religion, also education for a more peaceful planet. This includes communicating about AHIMSA principals of non-violence in thought, word, and deed, raising awareness about certain civilization-busting issues including climate change, promoting the vegetarian vegan diet, also promoting inner Light and Sound Meditation. Am always interested in networking with those that desire the constructive use of media to advance health, well being, and positive change.
This profile and the Sant Mat Satsang Radio PODcasts are non-sectarian in spirit and inter-faith in tone, inclusive of the wisdom of all the great world religions, Masters (Sant Satgurus), and schools of mystics.
In a spirit of ahimsa/peace, through the written and spoken word, you will find spiritual quotes based upon the Teachings the Masters of the East, giving everyone access to rare books from India, some of which are only now appearing in English for the very first time. You will hear or read satsang talks, which are spiritual discourses representing a Living School of Spirituality known as Sant Mat.
'Spiritual Awakening Radio' Explores the World of Spirituality, Comparative Religion, Sacred Texts, Ahimsa Ethics: Peace, Being Veg, Going Green to Save the Planet -- Education for a More Peaceful World -- A Format of Inter-Faith Essays and Interviews.
Here you can access podcasts of Spiritual Awakening Radio, also the Sant Mat Satsang PODcast, along with a daily stream of spiritual quotes (Sant Mat, Radha Soami, Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Light and Sound Meditation, the Path of the Masters, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Bahai Faith, Kabbalah, The Essenes, Ebionites, Mandaeans, Christian Mysticism, Lost Books of the Bible, Sufism, Gnostics, and Mystics), links to blogs, news, announcements, and other updates. SCROLL DOWN BELOW!
Seven Things I Believe (and Experience)
*1) God is Real.
*2) God is Love, the Ocean of Love and Compassion.
*3) All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.
*4) Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.
*5) During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.
*6) As we experience communing with God’s love during meditation — Surat Shabd Yoga, we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the “Kingdom of the Heavens” that are within us. “We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love.
*7) As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: “It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth.” (Adi Granth) Kabir said, “For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?”
"All beautiful forms and tones of this world are mere reflections of some aspect of that ultimate Love-Music of the Great Creative Word. Within the vast complex of creation, each individual spirit is himself/herself a spark of that Eternal Song of Love."
"There are those who have wandered among the darting comets and the shimmering orbs of sounding fire. The soul-explorer is not alone, for there are those who have traveled the highways of the inner cosmos; far more than one may at first realize."
"...The planes of heaven are about us everywhere. One has only to know this simple truth consciously, and then we will be free." (George Arnsby Jones)
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Sant Mat Library - Recommended Reading - The Path of the Masters
Book Review of Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry and Prose Volumes – the M.G. Gupta Translation
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Charts of the Heavens, Inner Regions
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