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RADHASOAMI FAITH - A HISTORICAL STUDY: The Second Guru (contd.) - Systematization of Faith

Prof. A.P. Mathur
M.A., PhD, F.I.H.S., F.R.A.S. (London)
Former Vice-Chancellor, Agra University, Agra, India

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The Four Essentials

Elaborating important metaphysical concepts and concluding that salvation is attainable in human life, Hazur Maharaj arrives at the four essential which are the essence his teachings; Sat shabd, Satguru, sat anurag and satsang.

(A) Sat Shabd or Sat Naam

Shabd, the first manifestation of Supreme Being, is the prime source of all energy and reservoir of all spirits. It is the essence, actor and protector of the entire creation. All harmony is due to shabd. Hazur Maharaj says that shabd is not mere sound; it is also the current or energy which accompanies commotion in the ocean of energy - the Supreme Being. Shabd is, therefore the formless essence of spirit-current which emanates from the highest reality and is present inherently with the same intensity in the different regions of creation. Dhunyatmak naam is the manifestation of shabd. It is Dhunyatmak, while worldly sounds are varnatmak. The Dhunyatmak name is Radhasoami and it can be heard in spiritual contemplation or yoga. Hazur attaches supreme importance to this Dhunyatmak name and says that not only does it resounds in different regions of creation but it also echoes in the innermost of jivas. He holds that surat which possesses inherent attraction for shabd, has been forced by its contact with mind and matter to break  its contact with shabd. In order to re-establish the eternal communion of surat with shabd, one should practice surat-shabd-yog. Then alone surat will be able to cast off the fetters of mind and matter to enter the first grand division - its real true abode. Explaining the surat-shabd-yoga, Hazur says that in its practice one has to concentrate on teesra til, grasp the shabd of higher regions and ascend higher with the guidance of Sat shabd until he reaches the highest and the purest region - the Radhasoami Dham. He believes that the course followed by the current during the descent of spirit to lower regions must naturally be the only true path for its return of its original source, and whosoever finds this current is on right path to emancipation.

Hazur considers the surat-shabd-yoga as superior to all other practices of spirit-elevation. According to him those who withdraw the spirit entity with the help of current of pran (respiration) or the current of sight or of ambrosia can not reach beyond brahmand, because all these currents emanate from this region. He holds surat-shabd-yoga to be the easiest of all spiritual practices as it can be performed by man and women of every age who lead family life and are engaged in worldly duties to earn their livelihood Hazur, therefore, exhorts the jivas to follow the devotional path of surat-shabd-yoga and perform true shabd-bhakti.

(B) Satguru

The techniques of surat-shabd-yog and the secrets of sat shabd can be revealed by Satguru alone who is the deh swarup of satpurush Radhasoami Dayal. Hazur says that nij-rup is the father and the reservoir while deh swarup is the son and the current. Satguru is also known as nij dhaar and nij putra of the Supreme Being. He functions in this world as the representative of the Supreme Being and possesses all His attributes - love, bliss, light, energy, truth and spirit.

The sole purpose of the incarnation of Supreme Being as Satguru is to redeem the jivas from the cycle of chaurasi, to reveal to them the efficacy of surat-shabd-yog and to engender into them the true and sincere love for the Supreme Being. Hazur believes that the real form of Santsatguru is one which is the chaitanya or omniscient being Himself assumes and as chaitanya is imperishable so is the form of the Satguru formless and imperishable. Santsatguru takes the devotee to the formless region of pure spirit through his essential form and makes him realize this truth during the course of his spiritual contemplation. The role of Santsatguru is like that of a transformer. He receives spiritual currents from the Supreme Being, harnesses them and then charges the devotees with as much love and spiritual bliss as he deems fit. The jivas engrossed in worldly activities can try to attain salvation through the grace and mercy of Santsatguru. Satguru does not exhibit spiritual powers to the world yet he attracts the jivas by removing the covers of coarse matter from their spirit, thus awakening their inner self. He generates true love and devotion in their heart and enables them to perform the surat-shabd-yog. The jivas can combat the evil forces of kam (passion), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment) and ahankar (ego), and come out of the clutches of kal and maya only through the grace of Satguru. They will then be qualified to efface the evil effects of karma and get on the real road to redemption.

In a nutshell, Hazur's guru is love, light, truth and the true Supreme Being. He relieves the restless souls from worldly pangs and grants them eternal solace and relief. He leads them from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge and from death to immortality. Hazur advises the jivas to search out for such a guru and worship him. A guru of the time is the real friend, philosopher and guide, a true benefactor and protector who looks after their spiritual and mundane interests. By his discourses, he removes the devotees' doubts and difficulties. He alone can charge them with pure spiritual love and issue instruction regarding the practice of surat-shabd-yog.

Hazur holds that Santsatguru is ever present in the world. In case the guru departs from the world, he nominates his successor and enjoins upon devotees to have the same veneration for his successor. The departed guru emanates his spiritual currents in the present guru or virtually comes to exist in his successor's form. Both forms become one in spirit. But, Hazur holds, the guru in the past form can not inspire the same zeal and enthusiasm in the heart of devotee as the guru in the present form.

According to Hazur, the jivas are so engrossed in the world and its objects that they can hardly recognize the Satguru. Such a devotee as pines to meet the Satguru can alone get an opportunity to come to his satsang. At the very first sight some of the devotees recognize the true Master and begin loving him intensely. Such devotees then become worthy of performing surat-shabd-yog. Indeed, those who come in contact with such a devotee are also enlightened. His love for the Master rests upon a rock-like foundation of faith.

As regards the mass of followers, they are supposed to serve the Satguru with body, mind and soul and practice surat-shabd-yog regularly. However, a total surrender to the Master is the ideal which in turn generates true love for the Supreme Being. Those who practice this mode of devotional faith, may find a unique inner transformation may one day succeed in reaching the ultimate destination.

(C) Sat Anurag

Hazur defines sat anurag as sincere love or a strong fervent desire and perseverance to approach the Supreme Being. Such a desire, he holds should outweigh all worldly desires and it gradually raises the fortunate possessor of this lofty passion to the highest region. Glorifying the cult of love, Hazur says that knowledge without love for the Supreme Being is futile and tends towards untruth and darkness or materialism, while love turns everything to good use and leads to enlightenment and truth. He considers the noble passion of love as the most powerful means for removing obstacles and discarding superstitions and doubts. Pure love, says he, sheds the light of grace as it forms a link with the Supreme Being. He elucidates this by saying that sincere love is reciprocal and that the Supreme Being takes special care of such a devotee and draws him gradually towards the grand centre of pure light and attraction and thus towards Himself. Such persons whose hearts are imbued with worldly love and passion, recede from this centre and fly away towards darkness and untruth. Selfish love brings on egotism and pride and sows the seed of hatred, jealousy and disregard in the minds of hundreds of associates and neighbours, while pure and sacred love for the Supreme Being creates humility, meekness and an affectionate regard for kindreds, neighbours and humanity in general. He further says that whereas self-love will never part with anything except for the sake of its own aggrandizement and indulgence in sensual pleasures, holy love is always ready to sacrifice anything to gain admission into the presence of the Supreme Being.

According to Hazur, love is the basis of creation and the cause of its sustenance and preservation. For every wave of love, in the devotee's heart brings goodness and joy from the Supreme Being and every thought springing from such a heart is a harbinger of good work and good service. He asserts that true love knows no bounds and like its source, it is extensive and far-reaching in its beneficial results. The effect of true love is sublime and all good qualities and goodness gradually find their home in the heart in which it dwells. It ultimately takes one to the highest region of spiritual love and so a devotee should first establish contact with eternal spiritual love, the Santsatguru, the only means to salvation.

(D) Satsang

By satsang Hazur means the company of the Santsatguru of the time. If a devotee is unable to search out the Santsatguru, he should attain satsang of a Sadhguru or that of a premi abhyasi.

Hazur has also described satsang as the holy service conducted under the authority of Santsatguru or his representative - congregational prayer, listening to Satguru's discourses and meditating to enjoy eternal bliss of Satguru's darshan. This, Hazur calls external satsang where devotees join together in the performance of such acts of faith and charity as are inspired by love and desire to approach the Supreme Being.

Another type of satsang may be styled as internal satsang - the application of mind and spirit to sound currents at the time of spiritual practice and an effort to elevate them to higher spheres.

The advantages of satsang are numerous. It sanctifies a devotee, quenches his thirst, clears his doubts and elevates him to higher regions. Hazur holds that true satsang helps in effacing the evil effects of jivas' karma and worldly attachments and maya are easily thrown aside giving enormous spiritual benefits to devotees. Hazur Maharaj has asserted that a sense of complete detachment from the world and its transitory objects will definitely grow through satsang and the devotee will feel intensely inspired by spontaneous love and devotion for the Supreme Being. He further says that since all spirit entities emanated from one single supreme spiritual source, people of all caste, colours and creeds can attain satsang and derive spiritual solace and relief.

A satsangi is a person who gets initiated to the Radhasoami faith and has unshakable faith in it and acts truly in conformity with its beliefs and practices. Hazur has prescribed a rigid code of moral conduct for a satsangi. This is reproduced here, more or less in Hazur's own words.

Moral Conduct

A true satsangi should in all faith and sincerity adhere to the following edicts :

  1. Radhasoami faith is the true religion and Radhasoami is the name of the true Supreme Being.

  2. Santsatguru of the time is the Supreme Being incarnate. With all love and humility, the devotee should serve him with body, mind and soul. His satsang should be attended with full faith and attention.

  3. The true name revealed by Satguru is Radhasoami. It is Dhunyatmak naam or the supreme resonance of the highest division of creation; all others who have manifested themselves at lower spheres are subordinate to it. Radhasoami as such is the all-pervading spiritual resonance that harmonizes the sounds of different lower regions; hence Radhasoami is the satshabd or true holy name.

  4. By implanting this true name within one's own self with all love and faith, the sumiran, dhyan and bhajan should be practiced. Bhajan or surat-shabd-yog should be practiced in a secluded place regularly and with all reliance in the grace and mercy of Radhasoami Dayal and Satguru; whatever is observed and heard should be kept secret and should not be divulged to others under any circumstances.

  5. A true satsangi should surrender himself entirely to the mauj of the Satguru. Whatever comes to pass in his life, he should not complain; rather he should take it to be for his good.

  6. Animal diet and intoxicants should be totally avoided. Use of rich food and over-eating should also be avoided. The period of sleep should be gradually reduced to six hours a day.

  7. Attachment to the worldly people and the material objects should be reduced to the minimum. Worldly thoughts should not be allowed to overpower the mind. The mind and senses should be kept under control. Public and private duties should be performed with mental equanimity.

  8. Feeling of pride and vanity in matters of caste, wealth, position and personal qualifications should not be allowed to grow. Love and humility are true virtues or real personal ornaments which should be adopted.

  9. Jealousy, antagonism and anger should not be entertained. Time should not be wasted in useless pursuits and gossip. A habit of forgiveness and tolerance should be inculcated.

  10. Feeling of love, affection and brotherhood for fellow satsangis should be cultivated. A true desire to fulfill the ideals of bhakti should be nurtured.

  11. Attention should in no case be diverted to activities, customs and functions detrimental to true spiritual pursuits. Fear of worldly gain should not distract the mind from fulfilling the requirements of the faith.

  12. Benevolence and charity should be adhered to and a certain portion of the earnings should be spent in parmarthi activities.

  13. One should deal with others in the same manner as one would wish others to behave with him. If one is not in a position to do good to others, he should under no circumstances cause any harm to them. Nothing should be done with the motive of gaining name and fame in the world.

  14. The spiritual realization, inner secrets of the practice of surat-shabd-yog, and inner revelations of His grace and mercy should at no cost be disclosed by a devotee to anybody except Satguru.

  15. Truth should be the guideline in the performance of all activities, spiritual or temporal, for a satsangi. Nothing that falls short of truth should be acceptable to him.

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