The Path of the Masters "Sant Mat"
What is Sant Mat?
Sant Mat is an age-old, spiritual way of life that includes developing respect, trust, and love for all and discovering our full potential as true human beings. It is a lifestyle in harmony with higher values that nurture our soul through meditation—the regular contact with the inner light and sound. This contact is made available through a living spiritual teacher...
Learning the Sant Mat lifestyle is always free of charge and is offered in a spirit of compassion and service Millions worldwide from diverse cultures practice this way of life.
The Benefits of Sant Mat
The benefits of the Sant Mat lifestyle include increased inner strength, peace, and clarity. One discovers greater compassion and understanding, a sense of service to humanity, and further insight into one's purpose in life.
The goal of Sant Mat is for us to become true human beings, to know our self as soul, and to realize our oneness with the Creator.
What is the Purpose of Human Life?
Sant Mat is a practical way of life for realizing your true self as soul and awakening into the highest consciousness, God-realization.
Sant Mat is a basic practice of spiritual science or mysticism, universal in nature and not associated with any particular tradition or religion. This "science of the soul" can be practiced and enjoyed by people of all ages, traditions, and religions.
The essential component of Sant Mat is the first-hand contact with one's own Higher Self at the level of soul in the form of inner Light and inner Sound. A living Master-Saint can establish this inner connection in the aspirant free of charge.
The inner Light and Sound are the inner Divine manifestations, in some traditions called the Word or Holy Spirit; they are the link between soul and Over-Soul, between God and the Creation.
What is Meditation?
Simply put, whatever we focus our attention on is what we are meditating upon.
That's why meditation is neither positive nor negative, but rather it depends much more on the object of our attention. Ever since birth, our attention has been focused on the outside world as we have experienced it through the five senses.
Since the material world is in a constant state of change, our condition reflects this instability and uncertainty physically, emotionally, or mentally. As a result, we experience different degrees of restlessness and rest, sickness, and health, fear, and contentment, hatred, and love, etc. This constant play between the negative and positive (duality) is the cause of suffering.
By withdrawing our attention from the changing material world and focusing within on the inner light and inner sound of God (Source, Oversoul, Higher Self, etc.), who is the source of all creation, we automatically absorb all the qualities and attributes of the divine, which will then begin to draw us towards itself. With regular and sincere practice we will learn to rise above body-consciousness towards the highest state of being.
Why Are We Here?
Throughout the ages, this simple question has been at the core of the human being's quest for spiritual knowledge. In questioning, answers are found. Until we begin to question who we are and why we are here, we will pass our lives never finding that vast treasure of Life within.
The true purpose of life is to awaken as soul and merge our individual soul with God, the unchangeable and permanent Source of all life, love, wisdom, and peace. Attainment of self-knowledge and God-realization is the birthright of every human being, as we are all children of the same God. This reconnection of the soul with God is a question of our own practical spiritual experience. To establish this reconnection, the competent Master opens our spiritual eye at the time of initiation, showing us entry into the Kingdom of God.
Through this practice of meditation on the inner light and sound, we can come to know who and what we are and why we are here, thus fulfilling the purpose of life. To connect us again with that highest source of knowledge, we need the help of one who is himself connected with it.
This has been the role of all the great Masters and Saints throughout the ages. At all times the world has been blessed with the presence of a true Master. Such Masters come to awaken us from our slumber and give us understanding and experience of the Truth firsthand. They come to dispel the darkness of ignorance that prevails in this material world by uncovering the Light that lies hidden within each and every human being.
What is Karma?
The Law of Karma is a law of action and reaction. For every action (in the form of thought, word, or deed) that we commit, an equal action will be committed upon us. Like prisoners awaiting the end of our sentence, we are bound to exist in those lower regions of Creation where the Law of Karma governs until we have borne all the reactions of our good and bad actions since the beginning of time.
All the actions we commit: feeding a hungry person, taking a life, eating an apple, gossiping, praying, having prideful thoughts, are like seeds that we are sowing. Once sown, the seed will bring a harvest yielding similar seeds. The reactions (the 'harvest') that come must be allowed to have their effect on us in order to clear our karmic debts and free us to progress to higher states of existence.
The Law of Karma is a law of justice pure, unbiased, absolute, and inescapable. There is also the Law of Grace, which has the power to free us from our karmic bonds. This law can act upon us through the grace of a living Perfect Master who has the authority and competency to burn away karmas on our behalf.
SANT MAT and GREAT SAINT KABIR DAS
What is the creation really like?
Why are there so many religions in the world, each conflicting or condemning the other?
WhySANT MAT is the only religion that recognizes other religions and SANT MAT is the only religion without any contradiction within itself?
Can there be any other aim to religion than true salvation?
What is true salvation?
Does your religious practice give you the conviction that you are heading for your salvation?
Are you simply following others in your religious practices out of tradition, or you are following them out of conviction?
What is Sant Mat and what is the significance of the Great Saint Kabir Das with respect to Sant Mat?
Numerous serious questions, but how many of ever ponder over them for a moment. SANT MAT deals with these questions in detail.
There is a sole power responsible for everything in the creation, the 'ALMIGHTY'! We may call him with different names with a great likelihood that we may be calling Him withwrong name. SANT MAT is described as the path of Saints. All our spiritual activity is determined in what we believe the ALMIGHTY to be and what path we choose to reach him; and the next important thing is how strong a passion we carry for HIM.
The ALMIGHTY divided the entire creation into three grand divisions, which have theirsub divisions. The upper most region is that of pure spirituality where the bliss of HIS presence is not eclipsed by the presence of 'Maya' (The transitory, manifold appearance of the sensible world, which obscures the undifferentiated spiritual reality from which it originates; the illusory appearance of the sensible world) in any form. Then there is a region below it, and it has some 'Maya', but the 'Maya' here is fairly subtle and the spiritual purity is still prominent. Then the third or the lower most region is there which is dominated by 'Maya'. We are living in this lower region dominated by 'Maya'. The spirit or the soul is subject to various type of bondage here (relatives, possessions, desires, passions, lust etc.) and the result of bondage is ultimately pain and suffering in whatever form it may come. The duty and purpose of the deity of this lower region is to keep the spirits entangled in bondage here, and for the purpose, 'Maya' has devised different ways to keep the soul bondage; and all the prevalent religions are also products of the 'Maya', hence they contradict and condemn one another to create a bondage on the emotional level.
True Saints visit this world from the purely Spiritual region and all SANT MATpreaches the same doctrine that true liberation is only possible for a soul if it reaches the region of pure spirituality. All SANT MAT has a common teaching and there is no multiplicity of belief, entire SANT MAT preaches that there is an ALMIGHTY and HE is in the Paar-Braham (Brahma is the deity of the lower region, Ved and all Religionsin fact emanate from within this region; Paar-Braham literally means a region beyond Brahma. Lord Krishna also came from Paar-Braham, that is why He stated in Gita that He had come from a region much higher than Brahma. According to SANT MAT Lord Krishna came from a region much higher than Brahma but not from the top most region of pure Spirituality.
If we agree to call the lower region as 'Brahamanda', then a 'Brahamanda' is said to have an age of four 'Yugas' and the final of these is the 'Kalyuga'. At the end of 'Kalyuga' the 'Brahamanda' comes to an end (Pralaya), the souls that have attained liberation to the higher region are liberated and the other ones are then transferred to the next 'Brahmanda'; and the soul is subjected to this process forendless number of births. Though true Saints (from the pure region of pure Spirituality) visit this world in all 'Yugas'; their visits increase dring'Kalyuga' and it is a signal from the ALMIGHTY towards the liberalization of the process of Salvation.
The Great Saint, Kabir Das, also considered as Universal Saint, has a premierposition in SANT MAT . Saint Kabir Das is believed to have visited this world as the special messenger/son of the ALMIGHTY and is said to have visited this world in every 'Yuga', and is believed to have stated that His main process ofsalvation shall gain momentum during the Kalyuga (Book Anurag Sagar).
Great Saint Kabir Das had said:
कहें कबीर हम धुर घर के भेदी, लाये हुकुम हुजूरी
"Kahien Kabir Hum Dhur Ghur Ke Bhedi, Laye Hukum Huzuri"
I have brought the secrets of the Highest Region and commandments of the ALMIGHTY"
Sant Mat maintains that the ALMIGHTY is without any form and name; the name given to the almighty forworldly purpose is 'RADHASOAMI' and the Great Saint Kabir Das was first to make an indication of this name.
कबीर धारा अगम की, सतगुरु दई लखाये
उलट ताहि सुमिरन करो स्वामी संग लगाये
"Kabir Dhara Agam Ki, Satguru Dai Lakhaye"
"Ulat Tahi Sumiran Karo, Soami Sung Milaye"
The Satguru (Guru) has shown (make known) the current (Dhara) from the topmost regions of spirituality. Just reverse it (reverse of Dhara is Radha) and add Soami to it (thus it becomes Radhasoami) and remember this name all the time.
Note: 'Agam' is, in fact, the name of a 'Lok' (an area), which is in fact, one of the divisions of the purely spiritual region, but here Kabir Saheb does not refer to that region. The word 'Agam' literally means belonging to the front ranks and here Kabir Saheb hints to a region of the topmost rank.
After the Great Saint Kabir Das, SANT MAT has followed the path of some religious groups, small and large, the most prominent of these being the Sikh Pant and the Radhasoami Faith. Since all these groups preach about the same ALMIGHTY, there is no contradiction if you try to study the spirit of these preachings.
Vegetarian Diet and Following Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters
Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet
The following, on the reason why we advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions, published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:
Sant Sevi Ji: The Saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: "Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind." A parallel saying is "Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food]."
Further, Kabir Sahab says: "The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech."
These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture but represent direct experience. Drink one glass of milk and observe how your mind is affected. Next, drink a glass of wine and observe how the mind is affected. Or, observe the effect of eating a sweet in comparison to the effect of taking a very small dose of opium. In this way, you can see for yourself how our mind is affected by what we ingest. These are extreme examples, with noticeable effects. But even when the effect is subtle and barely noticeable, we are nevertheless affected by the food we consume.
A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: "It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action]."
Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won't be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings. (Sant SeviJi)
Below is from an article I wrote in 1999, from a section on the vegetarian diet and Sant Mat
All past and present Masters of Sant Mat advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian it is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, which is called Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.
Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kids: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik, the first category, includes grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and dairy. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.
The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one's vision of inner Light, interfering with meditation. It's interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.
The notion that vegetarianism is "cultural" and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some. It is true that many conventional world religions here in the West condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you'll soon discover that the esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethians, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus -- In Search of His Original Teachings , John Davidson, Element Books), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church -- including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikar of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about re-entering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.
Master Kirpal Singh (Sant Mat Master): "Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat -- the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential." (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang, also Sant Bani Ashram, and Science of Spirituality)
Guru Kabir says, "The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him -- his company will ruin your meditation." (Kabir: the Weaver of God's Name , RS Books, Radha Soami Satsang Beas) The harshest words that Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals.
A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, "Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed."