Radhasoami Dayal Ki Daya Radhasoami Sahay
GRANT MERCIFUL RADHASOAMI
THY GRACE & PROTECTION
Notes of Discourses on Radhasoami faith delivered by
as taken by a satsangi
Mr. Myron H. Phelps
Philadelphia - USA
Phelps' Notes : Notes of discourses on Radhasoami
faith delivered by BABUJI MAHARAJ in
1913-14 as taken by Mr. Myron H. Phelps
© Radhasoami Satsang, Soami Bagh, Agra
First Edition : 1947
Third Edition : 1990
Copyright © 1947 by Radhasoami Satsang
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.
Published by Radhasoami Satsang, Soami Bagh, Agra
RADHASOAMI DAYAL KI DAYA
The Supreme Father is a vast homogeneous ocean of pure spirit. He is perfect, sufficient in Himself to Himself, in an ecstatic state of love and bliss. Before creation He alone was conscious. There was none but He to see and none but Him to be seen. There was only the Lord immersed in His own rapturous bliss.
His primary characteristic was love ; not, however, for any other being, for there was no other. All was directed inwards, towards Himself. Love was the essence of His nature, ever active and not requiring any object for its expression. He was nothing but a vast reservoir of love and bliss. That limitless reservoir of love which alone was in existence, with none to adore or exchange love with Him was an ocean of absolute bliss (anand).
Some notion of that condition may be had by thinking of one's self as so absorbed in an object of love that all thought of self is forgotten. You forget yourself and your body, you have no consciousness except of the beloved object. In contemplating that form you forget yourself in rapturous ecstasy. Suppose that at the culmination of that ecstasy the form disappears and you remain with no conception or knowledge of anything save anand or bliss.
Nothing which exists is without love. An entity can be conscious only of what is of its own essence. This is as true of the Lord as of the minor entities. So, if anything were existent without love, the Lord could not be conscious of it.
As love in its highest and best sense is the source of the greatest happiness known to us, so the perfection of love, which characterised the Supreme Father was accompanied by the highest ecstasy of bliss. He was in the highest degree concentrated. Indeed, love means concentration...... attraction in a particular direction; in this instance towards Himself. By this is meant that there was within the Supreme Father a vast region in which the pure spirituality which constituted His substance existed in the highest degree of tension or intensity, and that there was another region from which spirituality had been to a certain extent withdrawn by the action of the concentrating force, and in which therefore the spirituality which remained was of a lesser degree of tension or intensity. All tendency to expansion, unless restrained, results in diffusion and annihilation. No force can continue without concentration. The tendency of spirit to concentrate is, throughout the universe, the constant safeguard against dissolution.
It is our invariable experience that before any work can be done, a centre must be formed, from which a current, or an equivalent connection for transmitting and applying the force, must proceed. If we consider the action of air currents proceeding from storm centres, of ocean currents proceeding from disturbed areas, of electric currents proceeding from batteries or dynamos, of magnetic currents proceeding from the poles of magnets, of gas or steam under pressure proceeding from confined and highly concentrated bodies of gas or steam, of heat radiating from heat centres, of sound emanating from sound centres, of the engine transmitting its power to all appliances which perform work through rods, levers and the like and of vital currents in living animals, trees and plants proceeding from the vital centres to the extremities, we shall be reminded of the universal application of this theorem.
Concentration being necessary for existence and expression, that upon which the existence of all depends must be possessed of concentration. Here our idea of a focus of concentration is a small or limited area. But this should not be imagined in the case of the Supreme Focus. As compared to the focus of a lamp, the great focus of the Sun is illimitable. Above are focii of a still greater magnitude until the Supreme Focus is reached, which is apar (limitless), and anant (endless). That focus is the Supreme Father.
Since He was in the highest degree concentrated, it must be concluded:-
(a) that He was absolute bliss ; for we know that bliss attends upon concentration ;
(b) that He possessed absolute knowledge ; we know that knowledge results from concentration ; and
(c) that He was characterised by absolute force ; we know that force is also a manifestation of concentration.
He possessed all the bliss full sensations in their highest degree of refinement and keenness, though there were neither sense organs nor objects of sense. This appears inconceivable, but some notion of it may be formed by supposing our consciousness divested of all vehicles which form the medium of consciousness on this plane, and still to be fully active.
The proposition that the Lord is limitless but undifferentiated-that to impute any differentiation in Him is to impeach His infinitude-is subject to reductio ad absurdum as follows. Such a being could cause nothing, could do no. thing. Every force we know of in the universe acts by first creating a centre, and then its action is inversely proportionate to the distance from that centre. But the assumption that the Lord is undifferentiated would require a force acting without a centre and equally everywhere. Our experience proves that such a force cannot so act of itself. If there be action, there must be another force to set the first force in motion. For instance, the homogeneous expanse of the ocean is actionless until it is operated upon by the winds. Therefore if the homogeneous force acts, its action is determined from outside itself, that is, it is not self existent. Nor could any being or thing arise within Him, were He undifferentiated ; for if it be asserted that there could, the question must be answered; if a being arose in one part, why did it not arise in another ? Why not in all ? It is also evident that there could have been but one such being as the Lord, for had there been another like Him in all respects, the two must have merged. There was never, in fact, another like Him ; the statement is only made to make the subject clear.
As will be explained later on, the inhabitants of Sat Desh who came into existence as separate individuals with the first creation are of a lower degree of intensity than the Supreme Father, and this is the reason why they did not merge in Him. It is a law that spirits of different degrees of intensity are eternally separated. If they could merge, degradation of the higher must result, which is not permitted. Therefore, before creation, the condition of the Supreme Father was that of a highly concentrated but otherwise homogeneous expanse of substance, that is, separate entities did not exist in Him.
As to the much mooted question of the personality versus impersonality of God, it should be considered, that if He is impersonal, infinitely expanded and undifferentiated then what is the source of the infinite gradations and differentiation of the Universe? The teaching of the Radhasoami Faith is that the Supreme Father is both personal and impersonal ; that he has infinite extension and also a form in Sat Desh. His form, however, came into existence as a preliminary to creation. Its genesis will now be sketched.
As has been said, the existence in the being of the Supreme Father of a region where spirit was highly concentrated, necessitated the existence also of a more or less depleted region, a region from which spirit had been to a greater or lesser extent withdrawn by the action of the forces of concentration. This condition of depletion of spirit resulted, as will be shown, in the individualisation of separate entities and in the higher and lower creations, including the genesis of mind and matter, which are each a spirit in lesser or greater degradation owing to attenuation.
It should be understood, however, that all portions of the depleted regions possessed some spirituality and that this spirituality, though depleted, had an inner core or thread of substantially the most intense spirituality, by means of which the consciousness of the Supreme Father pervaded the whole. That an entity may have a conception of another entity, it is necessary that both the knower and the object known should possess a common essence in some form or the other and in some degree or the other. Otherwise, it is impossible that there should be knowledge of the object. Now, a thing which cannot be known cannot exist ; and all that is known must be within the knowledge (gyan) of the Lord. But the Lord is pure spirituality and nothing else. Therefore, though spirituality may be of a very small degree, it must be present in some degree if there be existence. That is, whatever exists in the creation must be known to the Lord, and cannot therefore be without spirituality.
The attractive force of the spirit of the concentrated pole was always at work, drawing towards itself the spirit of the other pole. This process of attraction went on through countless ages. The attracting force acted upon the depleted spirit with an effect directly proportional to the intensity of the latter and inversely proportional to its distance from the Supreme Source. A portion of it yielded to the continued pull and moved towards the concentrated pole, as the oil to the wick, and in appearance though not in reality fed its spiritual incandescence. Other portions of the depleted spirituality were too tenuous or too remote to be moved. This process went on until all the depleted spirituality which could respond to the attracting forces had been withdrawn upwards. This less dense spirituality, not having the same degree of tension as the spirituality of the concentrated pole, being of lower quality, could not unite with the latter. It remained, as it were, suspended therein. As vapour of water, when drawn up into the atmosphere does not become air, nor does the air change in any respect, but the two remain separate because they are different, so the higher and lower spirituality remained separate, essentially unchanged by the association. There was an eternal demarcation between the two which nothing could remove ; and this was obviously inevitable for assimilation would have been a change, and Anami Purush (Nameless Being) is unchangeable. If this depleted spirituality could have become a part of Him, it would have been such originally. But although the suspended spirituality continued to retain its essential character, it was to some extent modified by its contact, through immeasurable ages, with the Supreme Spirituality of Anami Purush. It was vivified, its covers to some extent acquired the intensity of pure spirit. It acquired qualities which made it especially fit for the work of creation which it afterwards performed. But for it and for the preparation it received by association with Anami Purush, creation would not have been possible. Because of its essential difference from Anami Purush and its consequent inability to unite with His substance, it could not remain for ever in its suspended position. The time came when it had to descend ; just as vapour suspended in the atmosphere falls when the point of saturation is reached. It falls because of (1) its greater density as compared with the atmosphere, (2) its mass due to the quantity which had been drawn up and (3) the attraction of gravity which is always playing upon it from below. That period is termed 'the fulness of time.'
The condition of saturation implies that a coarser substance has been drawn up into a finer substance and is held in suspension therein. The point of saturation is reached when the coarser material reaches such a development that it can no longer remain in suspension. So also the seed in the womb develops until the child is complete, when because of its completeness, it is compelled to issue forth. It cannot remain. These are examples of ,the fulness of time' in matters familiar to us; many others might be referred to.
The Supreme Father did not retain within Himself the spirituality which He had drawn up, not because He could not retain it or that His attracting power had become exhausted or wearied, but because the spirituality of lower intensity suspended in the embrace of His perfect spirituality was to such a degree different in character from the latter and had become so considerable in quantity and was to such an extent always under the downward pull of the depleted spirituality which remained below, upon it, and was so fully impressed with the qualities which fitted it for its work below by the influence of its long intimate association with His substance, that it could not remain ; just as water suspended in the sky descends as rain, not because the holding capacity of the air has diminished but because its condition relative to its environment has reached the point when it must fall and it has become too heavy to remain in the sky ; just as the child comes forth from the mother's womb, not because the womb can no longer contain it, but because it is fully developed and it can no longer remain there.
Agam Purush, the first created being, as will be further explained, was evolved as a child is brought forth from the mother's womb. That is, the depleted spirituality was thrown down in the fulness of time' as the child when developed is ejected from the womb. There was also another reason. At the feet of the Supreme Father lay that other spirituality of still greater depletion, which could not respond to His attraction. He desired that this also should share in His bliss. To this end it was His mauj that the work of creation should be inaugurated.
In initiating creation, the object which the Supreme Father had in view was to restore as far as possible the condition of full consciousness and bliss to the depleted spirituality below Him which by reason of its depletion had lost consciousness. Otherwise the depleted spirituality would remain eternally unconscious with no participation in the bliss of the higher centre. A being whose nature is all love can have no aim except bliss for all. Where there is a diminution of love, spirituality and gyan (knowledge), there only commences sorrow (dukh) which is of the nature of Kal (Kal ang).
This restoration to consciousness could not be affected by at once imparting higher spirituality to the entity of lower spirituality. High spirituality bestowed on an entity whose spirituality is of lesser intensity. will only cause misery to the latter. If a cow were endowed with the spirituality of a man, only misery could result to the cow. The right method is to send the entity of low spirituality to a plane where it can have full play. The creation of lower planes as a theatre for the restorative process was therefore necessary, but the plan adopted shows the intention to confer much happiness (Sukh) and little sorrow (Dukh). Whenever a creation begins, there is at first great bliss, and the span of Sukh is long, as in Sat Yuga and the other earlier Yugas while that of dukh is short. From this it appears that the intention of the Creator was to give the Jiva Sukh on a plane on which he could enjoy it ; and to give him as much Sukh as possible; consistent with the ultimate purpose of introducing him to unending perfect bliss. It will be readily understood that as long as Sukh continues the Jiva will remain contented and cannot be rescued since he will make no effort to escape and his own effort is essential.
In order that creation might proceed, it was necessary that a centre should be formed and that a current should issue therefrom. The instrument for this work was at hand in the mass of depleted spirituality which had received the impress of His exalted nature, and which had thus become well fitted to go forth and accomplish creation.
So in the fulness of time, a great commotion occurred at the point of touch between the Supreme Being and the region of the depleted spirituality, bursting forth as sound. The sound formed a reservoir or ovoid which was the beginning of the manifested body of the Lord, the manifestation of the unmanifested Anami Purush (nameless being). The manifested merged in the unmanifested and was not separated from its infinitude. Anami Purush underwent no change. This was the beginning of time. Before, there had been nothing to mark time.
The ovoid emitted a vast spiritual sound, the same sound which had preceded its formation and which gave it form. Anami Purush first manifested Himself as sound, then as form. Sound is subtler than form.
The Supreme Father was in absolute silence. There was no sound. But when He wished to communicate with the spirits which lay below Him, He put forth sound. There is absolutely no output of energy without sound. It is a form of spirit. In the spiritual regions sound is not at all like the lifeless sound of this plane. It is there of itself intelligent.
As sound was the first manifestation of spirit, so hearing is the primary sense. The other sense powers follow.
Every creation, high or low, proceeds after long action of attraction on the motionless expanse ; in the 'fulness of time' the Shabd issues forth and creation begins. 'Fulness of time' is the term used in all religions to indicate this epoch. The Shabd is the word of St. John. It is also, no doubt, what the christians have termed The Holy Ghost, that is, the spiritual current which connects the Father with the Son, the "Son" being the Jiva who, by gaining communion with his God while in the body had earned the right to the designation of the Son.
As the ovoid form expressed "including, embracing and enveloping", so did the sound which can vocally be most nearly approached by the syllable "Soa". It was followed by a sound symbolised by the syllable "Mi", indicating that all the spiritual forces are turned towards the centre. When the Supreme Father manifested Himself, He declared by the sound which issued from Him, "I envelop and attract all", "All depends on me", "All is protected by me" (Soa), "All is included in me (Mi)". Thus the Supreme Father declared His own nature.
The reservoir was an ocean of love. As it resounded, it overflowed. The sound which proceeded from it was the uproar accompanying the overflow of all-embracing Love. This spontaneous overflow from the ocean of love was an immense wave of grace to bless all beings. It is called His mauj. Its name is also Radha. It is an overflow of grace and love, an overflow produced by the ecstasy of love. As a drinker desires others to partake of his happiness of intoxication and for the time is disinterestedly generous, so it was the mauj of the Supreme Father that all should share in His bliss. Love is the first attribute of the Supreme Father, if that which is His essence can be called an attribute.
The current which proceeded from the ovoid as it overflowed consisted of the spirituality which had been drawn up from below into Anami Purush. It then descended for the purpose of effecting creation. But for this store of spirituality, the work of creation would never have begun. As the ovoid was the first manifestation of the "body" of the manifested Lord, so the current was His "breath". Only when the current issued (when breathing began) did the work of creation commence. A distant illustration may be taken from the birth of a child. Before birth the Jiva is in a condition of conscious absorption in Sahas Dal Kanwal. When the spirit enters the body, all the organs are in an embryonic and undeveloped state. Only after the child begins to breathe, does action begin. The analogy must not be carried into details, for many details are of later origin or, at least, if present in their rudiments in the initial phenomenon referred to, were not in such form as we with our senses would expect to find them. The use of such similes is dangerous, but if carefully interpreted is of great value.
The effect of concentration acting upon an undifferentiated expanse of substance is necessarily to produce three sections: -
(1) That of the positive pole where concentration is greatest.
(2) That of the negative pole where concentration is least, and
(3) A region of equilibrium between the two.
In this case the positive pole was of course the Supreme Being or Anami Purush (nameless being). The part of the region of equilibrium lying next to the Supreme Father became the location of the first creation, the spheres or regions of pure spirit. The lower portion of the region of equilibrium became the location of the Brahmands, a part of the second or lower creation ; while the region of the greatest depletion became the location of the Pinds, also a part of the lower creation. In one of the Pinds our world is located.
Now, the depleted spirituality which had remained unmoved by the attracting force of the Any mi Purush, had become individualised and the whole region was filled with individual spirits lying in a comatose and an unconscious state. The primary purpose of the issuing current and the work of creation which it was about to inaugurate was to awaken these spirit entities to full consciousness.
The individualisation of these spirits, originally an undivided portion of the Supreme Being, came about in this way. Because of the gradually increasing depletion from the concentrated pole outward or downward, the expanse of the depleted spirituality tended to become separated into layers or strata of gradually increasing tenuity, each separated from the adjoining layers by casings or covers of a still more tenuous spirituality which tended to form about all segregated spirituality by reason of the action of the concentrating force, while the constantly operating lines of attracting force proceeding from the Supreme Father tended to concentrate the spirituality of the nascent layers at the point of intersection of the lines therewith.
Thus, at each appreciable change of spirit tension, a vast number of centres of spirituality were produced, each outwardly proceeding line of attraction becoming, indeed, a succession of such centres. Each such centre when formed was a separate, individualised and potentially intelligent spirit but then in an unconscious condition. They were separated from each other by casings or covers, as the layers which formed about them were separated from each other as a result of their individual concentration. As a simile for this condition, the orange may be taken. It has a thick enclosing cover all round enveloping each section, a second cover, much thinner ; while each section is made up of a multitude of cells containing liquid, each cell is so gossamer-like that if you crush it, it seems to dissolve into its liquid contents.
All separate individualities must have separate covers. Without covers spirit entities of like spiritual tension on the same plane, would merge with each other. Thus only can separate individuality be preserved. Radhasoami Dayal is the only being who has no cover. In our region, (Pind Desh) covers take the form of mind and body. The triple constitution with which we are familiar is always preserved. Consciousness requires the presence of the three factors. If one becomes inoperative, for instance if the body ceases to function through paralysis, consciousness ceases.
In the purely spiritual regions, covers are not, of course, of mind or matter, but of spirit ; but they bear an analogy. They have less spirituality than the spirits they ensheathe. The cover originated from and essentially represents depletion of spirituality. In the lower regions covers are denser and spirits have greater depletion. But however depleted the outer layer may be, at the innermost core there is always a thread of substantially the highest spirituality. Were it not so, the universe would disintegrate.
Covers cannot by themselves maintain separate existence or individual consciousness. Association with a spirit entity is essential to them. Cover and spirit are complementary to each other. A cover which loses association with a spirit suitable to it becomes unconscious, inert and lifeless. A familiar example is the skin of the body which, so long as it remains a part of the latter, is vitalised by the spirit and the body, but when it is peeled off it loses its vitality.
From covers so situated, matter originated. Matter did not exist in the beginning. There was only pure spirit or force. Matter is, as it were, a crystallisation or consolidation of force, and this crystallisation was brought about by the depletion of the intensity or tension of spirit, due to the causes which have been set forth.
Science asserts that force cannot exist without matter. This mistake is due to the fact that the knowledge upon which science is based does not go beyond matter, hence the erroneous conclusion that no existence unassociated with matter is possible.
The spiritual centres, in the region adjoining the Supreme Source, must not be thought of as insignificant, (though they were so, indeed, in comparison with His immense refulgence) as they had very great spiritual potentiality, although unconscious before creation. This unconsciousness was wholly due ultimately to depletion of spiritual intensity or tension, though a secondary cause was the presence of the covers which resulted from depletion.
Another and equally accurate way of stating this fact is that they were unconscious because they did not possess the same capacity for love as the Lord. They were dazed and lost in the intensity of His Love. They had not the spiritual strength to maintain consciousness in the presence of His rapturous love and bliss.
Thus, an infinite number of spirits lay dormant at the feet of the Supreme Father, encased in attenuated spirituality.
The process of the awakening of spirits lying in comatose condition which was the next step in creation proceeded thus : -
The outflowing current from the ovoid produced a powerful vibration which broke up the covers and freed the spirit entities, while the ovoid, which had become the centre of attraction, as also the current exerted a tug upon them. This tug was sufficient to extricate many of them from the opened covers and draw them towards the ovoid. Those of great spiritual intensity were drawn into the ovoid and became, as it were, cells in the nascent body of the Lord. They did not, however, lose their own individuality. The demarcation between these spirits and the reservoir (Radhasoami Dayal) is eternal and subject to no change. Were it subject to change, it would not be eternal. Others of less spiritual tension stopped at a lower level and there they took a permanent location adapted to them. The spirit entity may be said to have reached its appropriate plane, "the saturation point" of bliss. For, as has already been explained, it is a law that a spirit is incapable of going above the level to which its degree of intensity adapts it, without losing consciousness. Though conscious on its proper plane it would be unconscious (unless assisted by a higher current) on a higher plane. There it would not have the spiritual strength to maintain its consciousness in the presence of the intensity of the bliss of that plane. It would lose consciousness in the "intoxication of bliss".
It is for this reason that if a Jiva has not sufficient spirituality to maintain consciousness on the level upon which it is, it must descend below in order to retain its consciousness and so that its capacity for sensation may not be wasted. This is the cause of occasional descent of the spirit from human form to animal forms.
The tug of the ovoid and the current on the spirit entities was accompanied by restoration to consciousness, which resulted in part from the relief of the constriction or the pressure of the cover, and in part from the revivifying stimulus of the spirit current. The covers were also drawn upward somewhat, but not so far as the spirit entities which had respectively left them, since, being of lower spiritual tension than the latter they did not respond so strongly to the attracting force of the ovoid, nor could they retain consciousness on so high a plane, in their ascent. The covers "lagged behind" the spirits. As explained below, these covers also regained consciousness under the stimulus of the spirit current. They could not have done so, had they remained with the entities about which they were originally formed.
When the entities which had been drawn from their covers, arrived at their plane of final location they met there with covers which had also stopped at that plane and united with them. As spirits and covers were necessary to each other and complementary to each other and both were intelligent and each was in search of its complement, they instantly became attached when a spirit entity and a cover met at the same plane. A simile may be found (1) in the phenomenon that if you drop water into dust, the drop of water will take on a covering of dust; (2) or in the attraction that two pithballs, one charged with positive and the other with negative electricity have for each other. The requirements of both, the entities and the covers, were thus satisfied.
Thus a great proportion of the spirits in the region affected by the vibration of the current and the attracting influence of the ovoid, were awakened and both covers and spirits in full consciousness became fully permeated with the love, bliss and intelligence of the Supreme Father. Thus was the creation of the first region or sphere initiated.
But many of the spirits of this region could not be awakened in this manner. The subsequent history of these will be taken up hereafter.
The outward flowing spiritual current also gave rise to a dominant spiritual sound. By its vibration was given forth a vibrant sound, which is best expressed vocally by the syllable Ra. The subsequent motions of the spirit entities and covers inward and upward gave rise to a sound which may be vocally symbolised by the syllable Dha. The sound therefore indicates the inclusion of the awakened spirits. It is not so broad as the sound Mi of Soami, which indicates the inclusion of all. The sound of the current was therefore Radha. This united to the sound of the ovoid (Soami), represented the full initial creative act and therefore became the appropriate name of the Creator. Such was the origin of the name which He manifested Himself. As seen from above, and in the order of time the association of the compound parts was Soami Radha. But for those below, the order was reversed, and for the devotee the name became Radhasoami. The current is the link between the devotee and the Lord and hence to him the current must come first. It alone will take him to the Lord. Thus Radhasoami Himself proclaimed the Supreme Name. None else can fully realise it. The Supreme Father has ordained His Name to have such efficacy that whoever listens to it with love (for unless one has love nothing can be done) the name will one day carry him to the Radhasoami Pad, where he can fully enjoy perfect beatitude.
When the real greatness of the name dawns upon the spirit (it cannot dawn upon the mind) love will awaken in him, a love of such a character as that which a newly married bride feels when her whole body is electrified, every hair stands on end and every pore opens with sensation at the touch of her husband. Such will be the effect of the Name. Then the Surat will dance in her nakedness. But though this realisation is distant, faith in the Name and its protection is a sure passport to the spiritual spheres and one day will give the spirit a triumphal entry into the holy regions of bliss.
The current of spirituality was of a dual character. There were in reality two currents, intimately associated with each other-the current of Surat (spirit), and the current of shabd (sound). These two currents operated in perfect union and great bliss resulted from their being thus united. The former had the centre forming capacity. The power of attraction was the special capacity of the latter (current of Shabd). In the current Radha the phase of Surat predominated but this phase gave place to the predominance of Shabd in the centre which was formed. From the centre the current again issued. Thus shabd proceeded from surat and in turn Surat proceeded from shabd. Shabd and Surat are as the outgoing and incoming breath like the manifested body of the Lord.
The awakened spirits of the region created under the attracting influence of the first ovoid, Radhasoami Dham, or Pad, are called Param Hansas. They are divided into two classes by a difference analogous to the rudiments of sex. It has been said, "although the sex distinction is not marked in the purely spiritual regions, yet those may be grouped in a male class in whom the sound action predominates ; the remaining spirits might come under the category of a feminine group in whom the spirit action is predominant. It is, however, necessary to observe that. the two classes should in no circumstances be held to be associated with any sex functions such as are found in this world."
Besides the awakened spirits, there came out with the original great current, many smaller currents, like the drops of a spray accompanying a jet of water. These currents are spiritual beings resident in Radhasoami Dham and are said to be "Nij Ans" (of the original essence with the Lord). There are also progeny, as it were of the Ans, and these are called Bans.
The second ovoid, to form which the issuing current of Radha stopped, was the nucleus of the second sphere of creation, Agam Lok (inaccessible world) and became the kaya (body) of the Agam Purush. His body was completed by the spirituality about him, which he attracted to himself. He began to breathe, that is, spiritual currents began to issue from his body and to resound.
The kaya of Agam Purush was the first to separate from the Supreme Being as a product of the creational process.
The point at which the current of Radha stopped to form the Agam Centre instead of flowing on to an indefinite distance was determined as follows. The issuing current was of course of a very high degree of spirituality. It could act beneficially only upon the comatose spirit entities for a limited distance, that is, so far as there was no great difference in intensity of spirituality between it and the spirits acted upon. If this difference had been considerable, this action would have been disruptive and destructive. An illustration may be taken from the action of electricity. It will pass through copper but not through stone because there is little electricity in the stone. If it is forced through stone by increasing its intensity it will destroy the stone.
We may say that the current after proceeding a certain distance, reached a point where it was insulated, as it were. from the spirit entities of the region and could no longer act upon them. The current then stopped and formed a centre from which the process might proceed anew acting through the spiritual force of that region itself, and therefore of a lower quality, and so not "insulated" from the comatose spirit entities. The necessity for new centre also arose from the fact that a centre could only exert its attracting force for a limited distance. Should the distance between the attracting centre and the comatose spirits become too great the latter would not respond to the attracting force.
From the reservoir of spirit known as Agam Purush the current of a slightly lower degree of spiritual tension than when it issued from the first ovoid, proceeded. By its vibrating action, the spirits round about were awakened, and by the attracting power of Agam Purush, also acting on its own level, slightly lower than that of the region above, they were drawn towards the centre.
The creation of Agam Lok was then initiated, and went on in quite the same manner as the Radhasoami Pad. The awakened spirits of this creation are called Param Hansas. There are also in this region Nij Ans and Bans.
The current proceeded from Agam Purush as far as it could advantageously go, its distance of advance being limited by the same considerations which have been outlined above. As it advanced, the intensity of the spirit about it continuously decreased when it again stopped and formed the third ovoid, which was (invisible the nucleus of the Alakh Lok world), the third creation, and became the kaya of Alakh Purush, the presiding deity of that sphere.
The awakened spirits of this sphere are also called Param Hansas, and there are Nij Ans and Bans spirits as in the regions above.
Similarly, three more creations followed at successively lower levels, viz., those of Anami (nameless), whose presiding deity is "Anami" (this should not be confused with Anami Purush, the Supreme Being), Sat Lok whose presiding deity is "Sat Purush" and Bhanwargupha whose presiding deity is "Sohang".
The awakened spirits of these three lower regions are called Hansas. Here are also spirits, Nij Ans with the presiding deities of their respective spheres and Bans, spirits descended from these.
It should be observed that the creation which has been sketched will never end. The idea frequently expressed that that which begins must end is a fallacy. There was a time when creation was not. It began, and in part will end, and in. part will not end.
What has been described above is termed collectively the first creation. Its theatre was the upper portion of the neutral zone. This creation resulted from the operation of the forces of concentration upon the homogeneous spiritual expanse.
Sat Desh is that part of creation which will not end. That is to say the comatose spirituality of Sat Desh was of such a high degree, that once awakened or attracted it has remained and will remain so for ever. Its previous condition was unstable, for spirit cannot always remain unconscious. If by any process or under any circumstances a condition of absorption or loss of individual consciousness transpires, it is certain that that condition cannot be permanent because it would mean a waste of spiritual force, which cannot be.
There had to be a change from the unconsciousness which preceded creation. But that change having been made, a stable and permanent condition resulted for Sat Desh.
Not so, however, for lower regions. Owing to greater depletion the inertia was too strong to be overcome there. Its germ remains, which will ripen and send the lower creation back into the precreational state at last, though after an inconceivable lapse of time. Attraction can only predominate for a time, vast though that time is. So the Brahmands and Pinds, must end. That part of creation will return to the precreational state.
With reference to the element of change which arises from depleted spirituality, there were, broadly speaking, three grades of existence. First there was the region of unchanging, eternal, unbroken equilibrium of pure spirit in the highest degree of tension... Anami Purush (Supreme Being). This region has never known any change. The second was the region of Sat Desh, the six highest spheres. In these, spirit was so nearly of the highest tension that it only needed to be awakened and touched by the Supreme Spirit to gain stable equilibrium, an unchanging condition for all eternity. It is in direct contact with the Supreme Source and can never experience diminution of energy. All through it, but not beyond its limits, always plays the double united current of Surat and Shabd. Third, there was the region where spirit was so far depleted that it could not be given an unchanging form, that it must suffer exhaustion. This is Brahmand and Pind, the theatre of change.
This grand truth has never been grasped and enunciated by the promulgators of any religion except those of the Radhasoami Faith. Of other religions, the highest is that put forth by the jogeshwars, Vyas and Vashista. They went even higher than the source of the Vedas. They perceived that the creation which they knew must end, and they advised that absorption (lai) be sought in the highest phase of Brahm, a goal which has been symbolised as the dissolving of salt in the ocean. Brahm (Kal) has three phases or conditions.
(1) That known as Maya Sabal or association with Maya.
(2) That known as Sakshi, in which he witnesses action but does not take part and
(3) that known as Shudha (pure), in which he stands entirely apart from creation and its activities.
The three states are analogous to waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
Absorption in the third state of Brahm was the goal of jogeshwars. That is, they perceived that they had not sufficient spiritual strength for preserving individual consciousness in the presence of the immense bliss of that state nor was it attainable by them or their disciples. Their consciousness would be lost in the intoxication of bliss and would be regained only upon the coming of a new evolution. At that time, of course, these great jivas will re-emerge as great jivas, for neither individuality nor the results of spiritual attainments can be lost.
For a time, the status of jivas of such high attainments is above death ; but until Sat Desh is attained there is no certainty for a jiva that he will not fall.
But such jivas as the jogeshwars, who have reached the top of Brahmand (but are allied to Brahm or Kal, not to Akshar Purush, the spiritual centre of Brahmand) do not wish to attain Sat Lok. They are abundantly satisfied where they are, and will never seek higher regions. The ordinary jiva, poor and abased as he seems, has the advantage over them.
It is a law that desire indicates, capacity for accomplishment. There can be no permanently unsatisfied desire. Every possible wish, every wish which could conceivably arise, will be met.
Of this we are told something, but obviously we are incapable of forming more than a faint conception of what existence without mind, body or sense organs may be. For the spirits awakened in Sat Desh never had any of these, while those who return from their sojourn below part company with them on leaving the lower regions. The mind and sense organs are necessary down below in order to enable the spirit to come into contact with the external universe, which it cannot directly cognize. Only through the sense organs made of gross matter and so akin to the external world and the subtle senses and mind providing a subtle connection between the sense organs and the spirit, can the latter have any relations with the external world. These sense organs also must be alive that is, infused by the spirit in order that sensation may be conveyed. Were the sensorium inert, no sensation would be received. In the higher regions where all is spirit and where therefore that which is cognized is all akin to the cognizer, and where the spirit bodies are composed of spirit of purer quality than what exists in us at the seat of spirit, organs, subtle senses and mental equipment are not needed. The spiritual body is all intelligent; it is sensitive in an incomparably higher degree than our sensorium, and it is in direct communication with its spiritual environment.
But as the spirit descends, the ever widening gulf between it and its environment must be bridged and the lower it descends the grosser must the intermediaries be, and the more distorted and inaccurate are the images of external objects conveyed by them. Thus in the animal the covers are more dense than in man, in the vegetable denser still.
Each spirit entity in Sat Desh has, however, a triple constitution analogous to that which prevails below. The attractive power tends to produce sub-divisions corresponding to body, mind and spirit in each being, but all are composed of pure spirit. Each has three centres in activity, viz., those corresponding to
(1) the heart, in the human being the seat of the lower mind ;
(2) the centre in the throat, in the human being the seat of the higher mind ;
(3) the third til (pineal gland), in the human being the seat of the spirit.
The three lower human centres, viz., those of the excretory functions, of the reproductive functions, and of the maintaining functions (at the navel) are not developed in the spiritual body.
In what has been said it is of course implied that limitations of form exist in Sat Desh. It has indeed been said that rup, rang and rekha (form, colour and demarcation) do not exist there ; but the statement must be understood only with reference to the perceptions of the inhabitants of the lower regions. For it has elsewhere been stated that rup, rang and rekha do exist in Sat Desh which means that to the perception of dwellers in Sat Desh there are corresponding realities perceptible. While there is in Sat Desh correspondence to the distinctions existent below, it would of course be imperceptible to inhabitants of lower regions, and the rup, rang and rekha which the latter know may well be said to be non-existent.
The dwellers in Sat Desh possess no instruments of action as hands, feet, tongue etc. Everything is resolved into sensation. The form somewhat resembles the human form, but the senses are greatly developed and the parts of the form associated with them are also further developed. The faces are most radiant. Thus the Hansas are said to have each the radiance of twelve suns.
Physical analogies are likely to be carried too far. Thus to import into the spiritual body all the organs and the functions of the physical body would be a great blunder. Soamiji Maharaj has indeed said that all the features of the physical body are adumbrated in some way or the other in the spiritual body but to conclude from this that all such features would be recognized by our senses, would not at all be justified. We cannot expect to grasp the details of a region where even the diffused spirituality is more intelligent than the spirit-mental centres which we possess.
It cannot be said that there is absolutely no motion there. But such motion as there is may rather be likened to expansion of sensation. Thus th6 Supreme Father is called the "Unmoving". He does not move because motion is unnecessary for Him. In Him the functions of motion are met by the extension of the capacities of sensation. He pervades all and knows all without having to go anywhere to see what is going on. Within a lesser radius and in various degrees, the same is also true of all the inhabitants of Sat Desh. In the intermediate forms of creation, the capacity for sensation is contracted and its functions are necessarily supplied by the power of locomotion, which is a development of the lower creation, having its ultimate basis in spiritual depletion. Then, the lowest forms of life which we know, e.g., vegetable, lack this power of locomotion, as well as the extension of capacity for sensation of the higher regions. Finally, at the lowest pole is again immobility, because of the almost utter absence of the spirit. Thus, there is immobility at both poles...
above, because of the perfection and omnipresence of the spirit ; below, because of its depletion ; in one case, the acme of life, in the other inertness and death.
Spirits came down because they could not be conscious above ; that is, they had not the strength of sensory action required there. They came to develop sensory action in conjunction with motor action. After this is accomplished motor action will be dropped and they will return possessed of full powers of sensory action.
As the dwellers in Sat Desh have no instruments of action, there can be no work there. This, according to modern notions, negatives the idea of happiness, for there is no idea more deeply ingrained than that happiness depends upon employment in work. But where is the object of work ? Is it not to secure the means of happiness ? Would any work be undertaken if happiness were assured without it ? In a place where happiness in its highest form is the free possession of all, where the pleasures of all the senses are freely available in the purest and most concentrated form, what room is there for work ? There each is open to the other, and each beholds and delights in the joy of others which he sees. The happiness of each is in the happiness of all. Very unlike are these conditions to those prevailing among us, where nobody knows what is in the mind of another ; where in spite of the closest friendship between any two, the heart of each is unknown to the other, and each is living and working in a separate world of his own.
It is said that space does not exist in Sat Desh. The meaning of this is that not only bodies but space itself is intelligent. Of this we have no conception. There is everywhere diffused spirituality and there are centres of spirituality ; the latter are the inhabitants of the region. The diffused spirituality is highly conscious and intelligent and is the medium by which sensations are conveyed. There is also diffused spirituality here, but besides being of a much lower intensity, it is clogged and obstructed by physical matter and mind. But in Sat Desh there is no such resistance.
The action of the diffused spirituality of Sat Desh may be understood by the analogy of the human body. There is in the body diffused spirituality by which the functions are maintained ; and the spirit in the spirit centre of the body learns what happens at the extremities of the body by transmission through and by diffused spirit from the extremities to the centre.
Again, consider the way in which the spirit of a jiva who has attained spiritual advancement, who has located his spirit and consciousness on a higher level, vivifies his covers. It is quite unlike that employed by the ordinary man, and were it not so, it might well be urged that there is little difference between the advanced jiva or Mahatma and the ordinary jiva, both sustaining an apparently similar outer form to the same apparent extent. But as the spirit ascends in the case of the Mahatma, it preserves its normal location, consciousness and capacity for functioning at a greater or lesser distance above this level, and sustains its body by diffused spirituality. In the case of the ordinary jiva, spirit itself is mingled with and absorbed in the gross covers, which it sustains, and little independent concentrated force is left to it, while in the other case the greater part of the spiritual force is separate from and independent of the body.
The Mahatma who has attained to the higher regions usually also establishes a second centre in Trikuti or Sahas Dal Kanwal, from which he maintains his body by diffused spirituality. The difference between the two spiritual centres, that of the Mahatma and that of the ordinary jiva, may be illustrated by comparing them to a great and a small source of light respectively. If there is a small light in a large room it must be moved from place to place to make the objects in the room visible. But if it be replaced by a lamp of larger candle power the rays which emanate from it would be sufficient to illuminate the room. It is not necessary to move it from place to place.
Or take the analogy of the Sun. It is a vast centre of light, but the world is sustained by its diffused light ; which if concentrated in a small area would make a great centre.
The diffused spirituality of a Saint acts much in the same way as the spirituality of an ordinary man. His state of sleep is similar, he dreams and passes into an unconscious state ; but all this relates to the human form supported by the diffused spirituality. The higher centre is always illumined. His physical form will be subject to like passions and desires as that of the ordinary man. There is the difference, however, that the spiritual current is always awakened in him and regulates the action of the lower form, e.g., sex passion will be felt but it will never gain mastery over him. He may exhibit a great storm of anger, but it will at once vanish, and a minute after he will be as calm as the Himalayas. In ordinary life he speaks from the lower centre with the knowledge of the lower man. That centre of consciousness does not at the time share the all-embracing knowledge of the higher centre. Therefore, if he says anything which is opposed to the knowledge of the higher centre, he does not tell a lie. For instance, if someone comes behind him, the lower man in him does not see the new comer and says there is no one there. The higher centre knows the fact but the lower centre does not tell a lie though speaking contrary to the fact. It speaks only from its knowledge.
The spirit of a Mahatma may stand aside at the time of death in full consciousness and witness the dissolution of his body. He is on a different plane from the body, and is not affected by its pangs. These operate only on the diffused spirituality. At the time of death of a Mahatma's body, bystanders observe a wrench as at the time of death of an ordinary man, for matter always clings to the departing spirit which it realises to be its life, and this produces the convulsions of death. These convulsions may appear nearly the same to the outside observer in the one case as in the other. But Mahatma is a conscious witness, and is independent of them.
The above explains why miracles are not performed by highly developed jivas. They might, it is true, supplement the diffused spirituality of the body by a strong current sent from the higher centre for the purpose of miracles. But this course would have the disadvantage that a strong spiritual current frequently sent into the body is likely to injure it ; just as a current of too high a voltage for its capacity passed through a wire will melt it because the capacity of the wire to receive an electric current without injury is limited.
Soamiji Maharaj on the day of His departure, told His disciples that His spirit was in the lap of Radhasoami Dayal in Radhasoami Dham ; that it had been there for some days ; that He had come to give them a message. He meant that His diffused spirituality was so strong that notwithstanding the transfer of its centre to Radhasoami Dham it maintained the body in the same way to all appearances as does the whole of the spirituality of the ordinary man.
Only Saints in the Sayujya or fourth or most intimate degree of union with their presiding deity have this power. The other inhabitants of Sat Desh, of course, have inner spirituality of the same quality but their kinetic spirituality is not so high. The Sayujya saints may be thought of as cells of the body of their presiding deity. The analogy must not be carried too far. But if properly used it would give some idea.
So through the medium of the diffused spirituality, all Sat Desh is within the cognizance of the dwellers of the Sat Desh.
Yet it should be said that as there are different grades of spirit in the different regions of Sat Desh, their diffused spirituality is of graded intensity and in its less intense phases does offer a subtle resistance, so that an inhabitant of a lower region of Sat Desh does not have the complete and comprehensive cognizance possessed by the inhabitant of the highest region. It would be inaccurate to say that there is such a resistance as is incidental to the presence of mind and matter in the Brahmands and Pinds. What is meant is that there is a comparative tenuity of spiritual force or attraction, the intensity or force of spirit being measured by the degree of its attraction towards the Supreme Father. The various grades of spirits having been attracted in varying degrees by the Supreme Source, each grade has fallen into its appropriate place.
Full consciousness of Anami Purush as well as of the universe is only possessed by the Param Hansas who are in the fourth degree of union (Sayujya) with Radhasoami Dayal. The consciousness of the other dwellers in Sat Desh, however, both as to the Anami Purush and the universe acting through the presiding deities of their spheres is only a little less. Because of the various grades of spirit in Sat Desh, it should not be concluded that there are any impurities in the spirits of those regions. The quality in every case is the same pure spirit, but the quantity of the spiritual force possessed by the different individual entities varies. To illustrate this difference, if a number of lights of varying brilliancy were to be caused to approach an immensely more brilliant centre, the stronger lights would come nearer and yet be separately distinguishable, than the weaker, though the quality of the light is the same in all.
The bliss of the lower regions of Sat Desh is as satisfying to the spirits of those regions as that of the highest region to the spirits there. Love there does not demand the exclusive possession of its object as it does here. The Supreme Father has the power of satisfying the love of an innumerable number of devotees. He is a boundless ocean of love.
Thought travels on this plane with great facility. You think of New York and you are there. But the things which come to your mind are not present events, but past events of which you knew. That is, you cannot put yourself in present communication with New York or send a part of your spirit there to perceive present events. Were your spirituality strong enough to do this, as you do with regard to your hand or foot, you would be able to perceive what is happening there now. Your thought would be illumined and space would be annihilated. Something of this sort is what is done by the dwellers in Sat Desh. But even thought is a clumsy instrument in comparison with spirit.
Clairvoyants do not perceive in the manner above described. The distant perceptions of the clairvoyant are not made through the medium of diffused spirituality, but are the observations of the subtle senses. The cessation of the physical functions of the clairvoyant releases the finer senses, and these operate with more or less precision in a range wider than the physical senses. These subtle senses are composed of subtle matter and are a replica of the physical senses. They are not necessarily under perfect control and the degree of control widely varies. Sometimes they function correctly, at other times wrongly. Sometimes the things present in the consciousness of the clairvoyant are reported as things seen at a distance. Therefore there are many degrees with reference to the correctness of the clairvoyant's statements. It would be a mistake either to dismiss them as untrue, or to place implicit faith in them.
There are many grades of these subtle senses. Those of Brahmand are of exceedingly subtle matter, and so are very enduring. Many last for the whole span of the existence of a Brahmand.
These sense organs are necessary as has been said in order to enable the spirit to communicate with the mind and matter of the lower regions. When Brahmand- is passed, senses of other than material spirit are no longer needed, since the spiritual bodies are themselves intelligent, and all about them is intelligent spirit.
In a general way we may say that spirits in Sat Desh perceive as we do. They are spiritual forms. They speak through the medium of spirit. All the five senses are developed and used. They also take spiritual food. Just as on this plane there is a material current through the body on which the body is nourished, so there, spiritual body is maintained by a spiritual current, which is called amrit and which comes from the presiding deity of the sphere, that is from Radhasoami Dayal in the case of the Radhasoami Pad, from Agam Purush in the case of the Agam Lok, and so on.
In the lower regions also, there is a current which is spiritually pure, relatively to the inhabitants of those regions. There is a current from Brahmand to Pind, not of pure spirit, but pure relatively to Pind and by association with it, it is possible to rise above death.
The relations of higher and lower spheres in the matter of limitations may to some extent be crudely suggested by the following illustrations. Consider the field of the senses of a grasshopper. How limited it is as compared with that of a man. Again, suppose a man seated in a room. He cannot see the objects outside the wall. But if he is given the faculty called perception in the fourth dimension, physical objects are no longer a barrier to him. The walls of the room disappear and he sees the objects which are beyond them.
Again, my conception of distance, space and the like depends upon the comparison I make between the reports of my senses under various conditions. Distances are known to me in terms of the time which is required for me to traverse them, and so on. But suppose I were able to change my mode of locomotion. Light travels at the rate of 1,86,000 miles a second, so rapidly that miles have been dropped in computing great distances and "light years" substituted as the working unit. Still more swift is thought. It occupies apparently no time in passing to the most distant objects. It may be remembered, too, that the thought mechanism which we know is comparatively gross and coarse. That of Brahmand is far more subtle. Now suppose that one could substitute the mechanism of thought for the means of physical locomotion upon which one must now rely, and be present with one's perceptions along with one's thoughts at the goal of the latter. How enormously the field of one's perceptions would be multiplied and how the conceptions of space and time would be revolutionised.
This will give some crude notion of the expansion of consciousness which takes place as the limitations which obtain here fall away one after another, as the higher planes are reached. We spoke of perceiving in the fourth dimension, which means that solid matter has become permeable ; that is, one limitation has fallen away. In the same way many other limitations fall away and the range of perceptions is enormously increased. It may well be that the field of perception of the dweller in Brahmand seems unlimited in comparison with that of a man. The contrast is emphasised as one proceeds higher.
Sensation in Sat Desh, which is sometimes referred to as the "bliss of the saints", is derived from the play of the senses in their highest and keenest form in the highest condition of what we call excitement ; that is, keenness of sensation. anand (bliss) is said to be anant (endless). That is, the sources of joy are illimitable. The most lovely forms are seen for beauty increases as life ascends and the impress of the spirit on the form becomes greater. As the human form is more beautiful and attractive than that of any animal, the spiritual form is by far the most beautiful of all. The most ravishing music is heard. Each being gives out its peculiar musical note, a shabd of its own ; but the shabd of each is in tune with that emanating from the presiding deity of the sphere. Similar is the case with the other sense perceptions ; each is in the full play of its highest and purest activity. Under the stimulus of the constantly flowing spiritual current from the presiding deity, which supplies spiritual sustenance to the spiritual bodies, the highest degree of keenness-of ecstasy of perception is reached, and bliss in the highest degree results from and accompanies such perception.
On this plane we feel that there should be a constant change. The programme of diversion must be re-ordered every day or it falls flat. Nothing is so appalling as monotony. All is so imperfect and deficient that in weariness of it we seek something different. But if sensations were perfect, there would be no necessity for change. The same programme might be continued for ever.
Take all the pleasant sensations which you know, suppose them not marred by the imperfections and impurities of material instruments, suppose that they have no imperfections or inadequacies and hence acquire no staleness by repetition then imagine that you have those for ever, what more could you ask ?
We crave for excitement, but excitement, if you analyse it, is only keenness of perception. Our perceptions are blunted by the dullness of the instruments. Where no instruments are needed, perception is direct and immediate, and at its highest state of "excitement". Palling of sensation is due to the impurities present. It is an established law that impure sensation cannot be enduring. But for this law there would be a continous and permanent degradation ; for, on account of our dissatisfaction at being unable to get the keenness of perception which we desire, we are driven to seek grosser and grosser friction with matter and descend lower and lower.
It is a common error among the worldly educated to magnify the processes and modes of the mind and to minimise and affect to look down upon the senses, attributing much to the mind which should be credited to the senses. If the lofty and beautiful interior moods and experiences be analysed, they will be found for the most part to be resolvable into sensory perceptions or interior perceptions analogous to them.
It is a mistake to consider sensory action gross because its manipulation on this plane is so. The spirit cannot directly cognise matter and therefore must vitalise instruments with which to cognise it ; and these instruments, like the objects which they are intended to cognize, must necessarily be of gross and perishable material. But it should not be thought for this reason that the sensory action itself is gross and perishable. On its own plane, where spirit is able to cognize without any intervention, its perception is infinitely more refined and elevated than anything of which we can here conceive. Sense action is peculiarly of the spirit ; it accompanies and indicates self consciousness. Because it is a function of the spirit it must be high.
But the dominant feeling in Sat Desh is Love. Indeed the essence of spirit is love. Its perfect existence is the perfect expression of love. On this plane we cannot conceive it as it is. Here only a faint and imperfect expression of love is possible. There can be no contact between spirits here. They depend upon instruments of gross matter for all external expression. We know only of rivulets and tiny currents of attraction to various objects and persons ; and yet such love as we feel is the source of the greatest happiness known to us. We can from that conceive what bliss results from the unimpeded exchange of love between beings whose absolute nature is love. The waves of love proceed one after another throughout the entire spiritual region. They are, as has been said, the respiration of Anami Purush -- the current of surat corresponding to expiration. And the response is universal and simultaneous. All spirits there feel alike. The same impulse in all rises simultaneously. There is no opposition, repulsion or necessity for concealment. Nor is there any rivalry or competition, because the beloved fully satisfies each. To the question whether there is monotony of character amongst spiritual entities, or whether they differ from one another, the answer is that there is infinite variety.
In another important respect the outlook upon existence of the dwellers in the highest region of Sat Desh differs materially from that of those below them. They have no sense of "infinity". All is or may be known to them.
The conception of infinity is merely the sense of incapacity due to inability of mind to grasp that which is above its limitations. These limitations are the "dimensions" or categories of the mind. The removal of every inhibiting element is the destruction of the idea of infinity. There is a limitation or "dimension" peculiar to each plane. As the consciousness rises to the plane above, one limitation is passed. All below is finite but there are still limitations above, and therefore the sense of infinity remains. Only when all these are passed and the spirit reaches Radhasoami Dham, will the sense of infinity disappear. Then all becomes known. Nothing is infinite in the sense of unknown or unknowable.
We on this plane have passed three of these limitations and all below us is within our comprehension. The fourth dimension is the commencement of infinity to us. Now we are bound by cause, time and effect only because these are the limitations of our mind.
The sense of restriction upon our conscious grasp is imposed to impart the sense of inability to master the plane above us. To him who has gone up, all that was above and is now below, falls into the hollow of his consciousness, and he laughs at his own folly. So infinities after infinities become finite, until at length all that remains is absolute knowledge, absolute bliss and absolute love. As consciousness covers the whole, the sense of infinity cannot exist, since this implies limitation and obscurity. The consciousness of infinity merely expresses one's impotence.
Spiritual consciousness always was and always will be. We who are in a world where all things begin and end, cannot conceive that. All we can do is to push the limit further and further away. If we could conceive of the past, present and future, as one in consciousness, that would convey something of a notion of the infinite consciousness. But with reference to creation, the infinite consciousness has the idea of beginning and ending. There was a time when the creation was not. It began and in part it will end and in part it will not end.
To the question whether the great beings who dwell in Radhasoami Dham are themselves "infinite" in our sense of the term, the reply is that there is nothing beyond the reach of the spiritual consciousness. Such a thing would be of no use. In that sense spiritual consciousness is infinite where it exists ; that is, it has no limitations. It goes everywhere where anything is. Time and space do not exist for it, that is, do not limit it. It cognises instantly without being barred by time and space. In that sense, Radhasoami Dayal and the great beings closely associated with Him are "infinities", for the latter are in the fourth or Sayujya degree of union with Him, which is very close and almost implies identity with Him, but not quite, for individual consciousness is still retained by them. In like manner the separate cells of the body preserve their individuality though merged in the body. But the union of the soul with Radhasoami Dayal is much closer than that of the cells with the body. The knowledge of these saints is co-existent with that of Radhasoami Dayal. They also have a conception of Anami Purush, and can, if they. wish, withdraw into Anami Purush ; but in so doing they leave a connection of shabd leading from the manifested into the unmanifested, in order that their absorption may not be permanent ; just as, if a jiva leaves the physical body with intention to return, a subtle connection is maintained which prevents the dissolution of the body and guides the jiva on his re-entrance. By this provision the spirit may return from Anami Purush and resume its individuality in the manifested existence.
These great spirits have never been through the evolution of the lower regions, having existed from all eternity in their present locations, as has been explained. But they have descended when that was necessary in order to impart a new access of spirituality to the lower regions. In the course of time, the lower regions grow old, lose their youth, their "joyousness", so to say, and get into a state where they are unable to produce conditions of adequate happiness. Then there must be a new wave of spiritual force that life may go on. This condition reaches its climax as the time of conjunction of each lower region with Sat Desh approaches and then some great spirit in Sayujya associated with Radhasoami Dayal, His son in a special sense, volunteers, as it were, to descend to that region. He is a mighty spirit and a great wave of spiritual force descends with him and revivifies it. This is the incarnation of the Sant Sat Guru.
Spirit entities who have entered Sat Desh from below can recall their previous existences at an intermediate stage before reaching Sat Desh, but have little interest in pursuing it, for the associations and attachments of those existences were based for the most part on bodily and mental characteristics which disappear with body and mind. The activities of those existences seem to the spirit to have been, as it were, the activities of some other person.
The conception that lower world relations can be carried up to the Sat Desh, imputes more or less a degradation of condition there. In fact, those relations are all gone, and are replaced by love in its true sense, which embraces all. "Self" as we know it, has disappeared, so that each spirit entity feels for all others the same love which he feels for himself. Moreover, such a notion is impossible of fulfilment since there are many past lives but only one Sat Desh.
This objection to importing the associations of this life into heavenly life does, not hold with those religions whose teachings do not go beyond Pind Desh and for the most part their heavens are very earthly.
But as a matter of fact the devotees of those religions do realise what they desire. This they experience either in Swarga, a region of considerable purity of life, and where enjoyments though sensuous are refined, or in an intermediate region very like the earth, though of subtle matter, to which the jivas who perform formal worship with real devotion, go. There they continue essentially the earthly life, worshipping as before in mosques, churches or temples, images of wood and stones ; but their life there yields greater repose-shanti- since only the really devoted go to that region and they are there delivered from boisterous and degraded' associations. Here they remain as spirits do in Swarga, until the merit or devotion which brought them is exhausted.
But even this abode cannot be reached unless the devotion of the devotee is sufficiently fervid and sustained to set in motion the mechanism of the subtle creation.
OBJECT AND GENESIS OF LOWER CREATION
i.e. BRAHMAND AND PIND
The first creational process stopped at Bhanwargupha because the spiritual intensity of the region traversed by the current had become so far reduced that the two phases of the current, shabd and surat could no longer maintain that degree of intimate union which was necessary in order that creation might proceed in this manner. In this intimate union only can the highest degree of energy as well as the highest degree of bliss be attained. Under its influence spiritual consciousness becomes incandescent, as it were, a state which cannot be attained at all in the lower regions except with the aid of the higher spiritual currents.
This decreasing tendency for union between the two phases of the spiritual current is the most important fact as to creation-the key-note of the lower creations.
Below the neutral zone which was the theatre for higher creation lay an expanse of still more depleted spirituality, termed the nether pole. The lower portion of the neutral zone and the nether pole became the theatre of the second creation. In them, respectively, were created the numerous Brahmands and Pinds, in one of the latter of which our earth is located. The extent of the region which was the theatre of creation is suggested by the fact that Pind Desh, vast and seemingly infinite as it is, is insignificant in size in comparison with Brahmand; that there are many Brahmand and Pind systems and that all these systems taken together are inconsiderable in extent in comparison with Sat Desh.
Every manufacturing process leaves its residue of unreduced material which must be recovered by subsequent supplementary processes. As for example, when gold is extracted from crushed ore the greater part will be drawn to the mercury and go into the ingot; but there will be a great number of very fine grains still embedded in the matrix upon which the mercury has not acted and which can only be recovered by further processes.
The unreduced material or unrecovered gold of the first creational process consisted of vast numbers of relatively weak spirit entities which still remained unconscious. The attracting force had not been able to release these entities from their covers. Had they been able, like the other spirit entities, to come out of original covers and take other covers, namely those which had been thrown off by other entities and lagged behind as they went higher, they would have regained consciousness. The creational process had awakened all other spirit entities to full consciousness, which enabled them to remain permanently in Sat Desh. These alone, having too tenuous a spirituality to become conscious in Sat Desh were unfit to remain there unless their quality of spirit could be raised. It was with the object of raising the spiritual status of at least a portion of these entities, so that they could return to and remain permanently in Sat Desh, that the Supreme Father planned and ordained the creation of the lower regions as a theatre for their discipline and final redemption. It was all to the minutest details His own plan, we are assured, but in the sketch which is given to us of the events as they transpired, the chief actors seem to act on their own initiative.
The relation to each other of the various grades of spirit entities which originally occupied Sat Desh may be thus indicated. There were first those in which the spirit had the upper hand of the cover. The harmony and sympathy between them was complete, but the spirit was, as it were, the senior partner. These entities responded to the attracting force the touch of love-applied to them in Sat Desh and awakened, as has been described.
There were secondly a vast number of entities in which there was substantially a "tie" between the spirit and the cover in which neither had the upper hand. These were unable to respond to the attracting force and remained unconscious. They constituted the superior portion of the unreduced residue, and it was for the purpose of restoring them to conscious existence in Sat Desh that the Supreme Father determined upon the second creation. And there was, in the third place, another class of entities in which the covers had the upper hand and dominated the association with the spirit. These entities were, it may be said, the dregs or grosser part of the unreduced residue. They were incapable of residence in Sat Desh, as they were unfit to be raised to the spiritual status required for conscious existence there. They may be likened to the excreta of the body, which having no utility therein is cast out.
These covers-which as has been said, were in this case the dominating associates-merged with each other. Those allied to the current of shabd formed as Brahm or Kal ; while those allied to the current of Surat formed the great being known as Mays or Adya.
Kal or Brahm emerged as a conscious being in Sat Desh and as he has been the most conspicuous actor in the life drama which followed in the second creation and has been long and intimately associated with our own fortunes, it will be useful if we at once sketch the salient points in his character.
He was a being possessed of great spirituality, but in whom, what we may term, the characteristics of the mind predominated over the spirit ; that is cover characteristics prevailed over spirit characteristics in his nature as may be inferred from his origin.
As has been briefly stated above, the dominant fact which brought the first creation to a close and determined and moulded the character of the second creation, was that the current phases of shabd and surat, by reason of the depletion of the spirit in which they worked became so far reduced in spiritual intensity that the intimate union between them necessary to the first creational process, was no longer possible. Before, all had been attraction, love, harmony. There had been no self interest, no resistance, no opposition, for the interest of all had been regarded as the same. The good of all had been the only motive felt by each individual. But now, opposition, repulsion, self-interest, characteristics which in the lower regions further developed and became dominant began to develop. In substitution of the centripetal tendency which had before controlled all, the centrifugal tendency, as it were, began to appear.
At this point the conception of self as opposed to others came into existence ; and also there was an end of the independent life of the spirit. That is, Kal and Maya and all other entities of the lower regions, are dependent for life on spiritual force which comes to them from above.
Kal was the chief exponent of these new conditions. The tendency was expressed in the predominance of the covers in those entities from which he sprang. He looked first to his own welfare. He consulted and sought to forward what he considered his own interests in opposition to the interests of others. Love was present in his nature, as it is, indeed, in that of all beings, but it was in him in a minor key, not the controlling dispassionate note which it was in those spirit entities who were in harmony with the conditions which prevailed in Sat Desh. He had indeed a great fund of love and spiritual force ; but with all that he was self seeking, calculating and where his own interests were at stake. unscrupulous. With him and the jivas allied with him in nature in whom the influence of the covers was strong. originated the standard of action that "might is right". When all was love and attraction inwards, Kal did not manifest. But when the force of love failed to draw the object of attraction inwards, the unattracted object became Kal and the reflection "What shall I do ?" was the first thought. Till then there had been no thought, for all was one in sympathy and harmony. With the emanation of Kal came kalpana, thought.
Yet Kal was a great being of great power of resistance, of overcoming opposition, of compelling obedience, of great determination and unyielding persistence and therefore well fitted to discharge the functions which fell to him in his subsequent career. Spirit on the contrary always shrinks from opposition and retreats before it.
Kal found himself out of place in Sat Desh. Its environment was uncongenial to him. He did not regulate his actions by the motives which prevailed there. He did not, as did the other dwellers in Sat Desh, find his chief pleasure and delight in devotion to, and exchange of love with, the Supreme Father. He was uncomfortable. Not being adapted to Sat Desh, or sympathetic with it, because of the relative deficiency in his spirituality, he may be likened to those men of low instincts who may be jovial and happy among themselves but who are very uncomfortable if you put them in better surroundings. He said to himself, "It is better that I seek another place, where I can create a dominion for myself"
It should also be observed that Kal had a sympathy with the lower regions because of the deficiency of the spirituality which characterized him as well as them.
This desire which took possession of Kid was in harmony with the will of the Supreme Father and Kal went forth into the lower regions. He became, as will be seen, the most conspicuous actor in the creation which followed, and the ruler of the realm which came into existence.
In Sat Desh the forces of the spiritual current had all been attractive, directed upwards and inwards. The current, as it were, had exerted a tug upwards upon the regions through which it passed. There was no outward action or tendency towards opposition or compulsion, just as the pull of the magnet in all parts of the field is towards the positive pole. Examine any point and you will find the bit of iron filing at that point under the stress of the pull towards the pole. With Kill and his going out of Sat Desh, this ceased to be the case. His tendency was outwards, towards action, and action on something else as • distinguished from action directed towards the centre.
But while Kal was the characteristic representative of the new centrifugal tendency, he is a great centripetal centre with regard to the lower creation, which he helped to bring into existence. There can be no creation or cohesion without the force of attraction. Creation without it would fall into chaos.
Maya or Adya accompanied Kal in his egress from Sat Desh. She was also a great being allied to the current of Surat and representing the feminine phase of the spirit. She had less spirituality than Kal.
Maya' was the origin of matter. As long as spirit had the upper hand (over covers), Maya did not appear. But when the intensity of the spirituality diminished at the lower boundary of Sat Desh, Maya appeared, first as a mist. Afterwards she threw off the exceedingly fine and subtle particles which were the predecessors of ions, atoms and molecules. The jogeshwars (Vyas, Vashista and others) were able to see that mist form of Maya. They could not see further. The location of mist form or shuddha Maya, is in the lower part of Sat Desh.
Colour first appeared with Kal and Maya. Before the emanation of Kal and Maya, all had been white. The Kal current was of a bluish tint, that of Maya, of a greenish yellow.
Kill and Maya had impurities-they had dark rays and therefore were not all white. If the sun's rays he decomposed by the spectrum and the dark rays shut out, the brilliance of the white rays will be greatly increased. This will suggest how the light of Kal and Maya is debased by the impure elements it contains. The light of creation decreases with descent until a region is reached at the bottom where there is substantially no light and no life though the rudiment (tatwa) of light is present since there must be some light in everything which is visible.
The vast number of spirit entities constituting the second class above referred to, in which there was an equilibrium between the spirit and the cover, were sent out in company with Kal and Maya.
These spirit entities were necessary to Kal because they would enable him to populate his new dominions with a superior order of inhabitants ; and their going was in the best interests of the entities themselves and in harmony with the will of the Supreme Father, since He proposed, by the aid of the experiences which they were to encounter below, to rid them of the unspiritual tendencies which encumbered them, to supplement their deficient spirituality, and then to bring them back to Sat Desh to remain there for ever in full consciousness and bliss.
Their covers being of like nature with Kal and Maya, were adapted to become kinetic in the region dominated by Kal and Maya and to work out their potential activities in association with and aided by them. When these potential activities have been worked out, the spirits, thus freed from the incubus which weighs them down, will return to Sat Desh. The lack of spirituality by reason of which they had not been able to respond to the original creational process and remain in Sat Desh, is supplied by association with the Sant Sat Guru and otherwise as will be explained later.
It is a law that the spirit can develop its full potentiality only in the region of its origin. Hence these entities will not be able to express all the potentialities of their nature until they returned to the higher regions.
It should be noted that when the spirit ascends the force contained in the covers, having expressed itself by developing minds and bodies in the lower regions, remains in those regions, where it can continue to be active. That is, that part of the force allied to Maya merges into the great body of Maya while the mind allied to Kal, the Universal Mind, separates from the spirit when the latter rises from Brahmand, and remaining below merges with Kal and shares with him the rulership of the lower creation, though its individuality which is maintained only by the spirit which rises, is lost. Thus no force is wasted.
It was as a part of this array of spirit entities that we, the greater part of the inhabitants of this and the inhabitants of the other worlds in Brahmand and Pind, came into the lower regions, where we still are.
That they will return to Sat Desh, all adherents of the Sant Mat, so far as regards themselves at least, should entertain no doubt. Those who come into the faith at this time are undoubtedly among the "elect", that is among those whose origin is Sat Desh and who are on their way to return there. They can only be satisfied by reaching the feet of Radhasoami Dayal. The present followers of the faith , are its vanguard. They are those who have spiritual strength sufficient to overcome great opposition, and the force of whose conviction is sufficient to carry them onwards. The masses will follow ; and for them conditions will become easier because of increase of members, popular approval etc.
The first creational process may be likened to the extraction of oil from seeds. Those seeds or spirit entities which responded to gentle pressure (attracting force) remained in Sat Desh. Those which were harder and required greater pressure, descended with Kal and Maya that they might be purified by the strenuous experiences of their association with them and so be fitted to be brought back. Kal and Maya were by-products of the process-Maya, the husk, almost devoid of oil (spirituality) and Kid, the cake from which most of the oil, but not all, had been taken out. They cannot return to Sat Desh any more than the discarded excreta can return to the body.
Kal was impelled to embark upon the work of creation by several considerations, (1) the wish to establish his own dominion, (2) the necessity of satisfying the sense of want, the desire which he felt with the depletion of the spirit to the point where the phases of shabd and surat could no longer maintain intimate union. In Sat Desh this union being perfect, no desire could arise. There was complete satisfaction and bliss, as the electric light shines forth only when the circuit is closed. And (3) he was conscious that, while possessing much spirituality, he required more for the extent of enjoyment which he craved, for spirituality alone is the source of pleasure. A new creation would bring down spirituality from above, and from this current he could make appropriation for his own use.
Desire being the first step, and appropriation of that which belongs to others, the second, thence arose the several sub-currents of kam (covetousness), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), ahankdr (egotism) and moh (attachment) which characterize and mould the nature of man. That is, you desire the possession of another (kam); you meet with opposition in securing it, which gives rise to krodh; from the sense of possession arises the desire for more (lobh); by the feeling of satisfaction and self congratulation which follows the successful acquisition ahankar is fed. These currents and subcurrents arose in, and permeated and characterized the dominion of Kal because of their being inherent in his own nature, and in those spirit entities who came with him and who populate his domain.
Kal operates by force and by producing fear. Only a temporary rule can be based on force and fear. These are not true and lasting principles. Love, attraction, is the true basis of sovereignty. There can be no true and permanent rule unless its basis is love. The physical analogy is centripetal and centrifugal forces. The former is essential, real and always existent. The latter has its source in the former and comes into play only under certain conditions.
Kal represents opposition, disruption, compulsion. Were the universe left to him, it would disintegrate. It is held together, by the spiritual force which emanates from the Supreme Father. Thus it is said that there are "hidden saints" in the world whose function is not to teach but to preserve the balance of existence by the spirituality which flows from and through them. Tulsi Sahib was asked to point out one of these and did so in the person of one of a band of coolies.
The rule of Kal is penal and temporary. The reason for its existence primarily is only the benefit of those jivas who could not be reclaimed by love and for whom it was necessary to pass a period of time under penal servitude and who after having derived from their penal tutelage the benefit which it was intended to confer, are to be taken back to the domain of love.
Kal has power only over those jivas who are sympathetic with him. When a jiva turns to the Supreme Father by taking refuge in the Radhasoami faith, Kal's dominion over him terminates. At least he will incur no further obligations to Kal and every day will see a reduction in those which already exist.
Kal has no disinterested concern in the welfare of the jivas in his dominions. He is all beneficence up to the point where his self interest is concerned but no further. Such a beneficent attitude makes for the general good and greatness of his dominion. But when his own interests are opposed his beneficence ceases.
Kal and Maya are wholly kinetic in the lower regions and are therefore located in them for all eternity. Their nature can fully express itself where it is and there is therefore no need for them to seek another or higher location; nor have they any wish to do so. If they had, it would indicate the capacity for going higher. There cannot be a desire without the possibility of its fulfilment.
Such too, is the status of the presiding deities of the various regions and of the hansas and param hansas, the original inhabitants of those regions. Their energy is fully kinetic and they are located for eternity.
Some of Kal's incarnations, such as Krishna, have inculcated high principles and ideals, but they have all exercised destructive powers also by which the cloven foot has been disclosed.
The saints have never destroyed. They have made their conquest only by love. Being in the world of men, they have necessarily used and played upon the forces of human nature such as kam, krodh etc., but they have always so employed them as to make for good. As has been said by Soamiji Maharaj, "The anger of saints is life giving, the grace of fools fraudulent (ghat)", that is seductive, and only beneficent up to the point where their self interest is served. Soamiji Maharaj has given a beautiful analogy for the action of krodh of saints. "All their acts", He says, "are soothing, beneficent; all tend to the raising of the spirit, whether they are acts of Daya (Grace) or anger (krodh); as all water whether it be hot or cold tends to quench fire."
Kal and Maya did not have of themselves sufficient spiritual energy to create. They were obliged to seek the aid of Akshar Purush, a spiritual deity of high order who had taken part in the subsidiary creation of Maha Sunna which will now be referred to.
The creation of Maha Sunna is said to be a replica on a minor scale of the creation above.
Maha Sunna is a vast region separating Sat Desh and Brahmand. Not much is said about it and a sort of mystery seems to be thrown over it. It is said to be without light, the dwellers there furnishing their own illumination. It seems to be a sort of a prison for certain spirits who had been ejected from Sat Desh. They are however said to be contented with their lot, though to a certain degree restless, being deprived of the opportunity to behold Radhasoami Dayal which is accorded to all the dwellers in Sat Desh. They are described as practically immortal; by which is meant that the only interruption to their internal conscious existence .is an occasional lapse, after an immense period of consciousness, into a state resembling sleep.
Akshar Purush, the imperishable deity, had taken his seat at the top of Brahmand and on the advent of Kal and Maya united with them in the work of creation.
The history and structure of Brahmand and Pind which together make up the lower or second creation are treated somewhat cursorily by the teachers of the Radhasoami Faith as being of less interest and importance to the Jiva than the higher regions which are to be his permanent abode.
These matters are moreover correctly stated in the Hindu sacred books; though as to this it should be added that (1) true spiritual knowledge is incapable of being handed down by books alone, in the absence of qualified Yogies who are not now to be found to explain them and (2) that since none of these books originated in a region higher than Brahmand, none is correct as regards the origin of jiva, the purpose of creation, monism versus dualism and the like and their statements about them are therefore necessarily mere speculations.
We are told however that Kal and Maya appeared at the top of Brahm.ind under the designations of Purush and Prakriti and these united with Akshar Purush. The first region created in Brahmand was Sunna or Dasam Dwar. Three currents proceeded from these three beings respectively and united in the second region created in Brahmand, called in the Radhasoami Faith Trikuti. Here Kal and Maya, became known as Brahm and Maya. From Trikuti the three currents continued downwards and took up their third location in the region known in the Radhasoami Faith as Sahas Dal Kanwal where Kal and Maya assumed the names of Niranjan and Jyoti. This was the third region created in Brahmand. The chief work of creation was now delegated to the three sons of Niranjan and Jyoti, Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva whose efforts resulted in the creation of the three regions of Vishnalok, Brahmalok, and Shivalok respectively, which completed the creation of Brahmand.
Between Brahmand and Pind is a vast region called Sunna containing a minor creation somewhat similar in character to that of Mahasunna above Brahmand.
From Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva and also from Niranjan and Jyoti emanations proceeded below Brahmand and these brought into being the region known as Pind in which our solar system is located, with six main sub-divisions. We have spoken of only one system embracing Brahmand and Pind but there are a great number of them all alike however in their essential characteristics.
It should be stated that in the lower creational process no new spiritual entities were produced. This was beyond the power of Kal and Maya. New spirits can be produced only when shabd and surat are united in intimate union as in the higher regions. The spiritual germs existed independently of Kala and Maya The latter could produce only covers or bodies and even in this they required the aid of a purely spiritual power which was supplied to them for the creation of the macrocosm by the great spiritual centre, Akshar Purush, and for the creation of the microcosm by the spiritual force of the individual jivas.
In the microcosm no form will result merely from the union of Kal and Maya. The father plants the seed ; but that seed will never germinate unaided. Only a centre is formed, which has in it but sufficient spiritual force to make a connection with the spirit entity which is to inhabit the form. This entity must be and is present from the moment of conception. Development of the germ proceeds according to the wants of and by means of energy imparted by the spirit which in the process is prompted by the desire inherent in it-the desire for the enjoyment of the world. It thus fashions an instrument which shall perfectly connect it with the environment in which it is to live.
Thus Kal and Maya were dependent, so far as the creation of the macrocosm was concerned, upon the spiritual power of Akshar Purush ; and as far as it concerned the creation of the microcosm, upon the spiritual force of those entities which accompanied them from Sat Desh or which were existent in the lower regions before the advent of Kal and Maya therein and where awakened during the second creational process in much the same manner as the superior jivas were awakened in Sat Desh during the first creational process. These latter jivas which had their origin in Brahmand and Pind are for the most part the lower orders of creation. Their progress is very slow, consisting of one step for each successive Mahayuga. They cannot however pass above Brahmand; their origin being lower, they are not fitted for the higher regions. Dwellers in the highest region of Brahmand, on the borders of Sat Desh, become immortal; but above them is a lock or barrier which cannot be passed by them.
Most of the inhabitants of Brahmand are mortal, that is their bodies die at the dissolution of Brahmand though they do not suffer the alternation of birth and death during the continuance of Brahmand. They die but once after the vast duration of Brahmand. That death, however, is a real death. The jiva goes through the awakening creational process of the succeeding evolution similar to that which he experienced in the present evolution.
As to forms, the creation of all in Brahmand and in Pind was simultaneous. One did not evolve from the other. Substantially all existed at first as now, though there have been some changes. For instance the mammoth and other animals of the past have dropped out, though animals related to them remain and there have been changes even in the human form. Such changes will always go on but in its essential features creation will always remain what it originally was.
Science undertakes to trace everything to physical, perceptible causes ; while the Radhasoami Faith knows that the principal cause and the chief constructive cause as well as the chief ultimate cause is the imperceptible spirit. As has just been said above, when conception takes place a subtle connection is formed between the germ and the spirit entity which is to take possession of the body and through this the spirit inspires the formation and organisation of the form which it is to inhabit. Were it not for the connection, this germ would forthwith perish. Matter always disintegrates unless informed by spirit. When, and not until the body is ready, does the spirit descend into it and the first manifestation is the breath.
A theory, if correct, must explain all the facts ; and the scientific theory cannot explain the following facts.
What prevents the diffusion of energy ? Were there not something to hold together and to perpetuate a centre of force, it would spread out, be diffused and lost. This is prevented by the power of concentration and the existence of this power implies a connection with a greater force. Again if, as science believes, the higher centre is a development of the lower, why is it that when the higher centre is cut off, the lower is destroyed. If the scientific theory be correct, there must have been a time when the lower centres existed without the higher and they should therefore be independent of them. But we always observe that the destruction of the higher centre involves that of the lower. The fact is that the great centre of force threw off small centres which were the cause of manifestation of individual forms. But science, because it has never known of force dissociated from matter, believes that no separate existence is possible. This is a fundamental error.
Within certain narrow limits, the theory of science may be correct as within such limits changes are effected in the form by the environments. This is illustrated by the effects of breeding, the variations effected by Burbank &c. The lower forms of life such as vegetable or plant life yield more to such influences than the higher forms. But the idea of the scientists that the higher developed from the lower is absurd.
The mind and matter of the lower regions originated in covers which were shaken off by the entities about which they had formed and which did not recover consciousness on association with other entities. Being no longer vitalised by spirit entities they appeared as mind and matter.
In Sat Desh, spirit had absolute continuity. It had nothing corresponding to atoms) molecules or ions. But in the lower regions there came a point where on account of its depletion, the intensity of spirituality was diminished.
RETURN OF JIVAS TO SAT DESH
Owing to the depletion in their spirituality the spirit entities which descended from Sat Desh were burdened with a multitude of tendencies which have been described already as characterising the nature of Kal to whom these tendencies were in fact akin in essential character, though they possessed a store of latent spiritual energy which Kal does not. It was these tendencies which rendered them incapable of conscious existence in Sat Desh and it was to get rid of them by expression at the proper level that they were forced to descend. These tendencies encased and bound the spirit like covers and may be likened to the skin of an onion. They were the seeds of thought and action. The energy of the spirit had been pledged to their exhaustion. It had, as it were, a large credit of energy to its account, while in its name a lot of promissory notes had been given which it had to discharge. These covers were in the germ when the spirit descended, as the tree is in the seed. They were therefore potential rather than actual covers. They resulted in the mental and physical integuments which encased the spirit during its successive lives in the lower regions. When a physical body, having served its purpose, passes away, only a small portion of that potentiality is exhausted. Other bodies are developed by reason of the expression of other potentialities.
These potential casings resulted as has been said, from the lack of spiritual force which characterized the spirit entity in its original state-its spiritual attenuation. These can only be removed by kinetic expressions. They constitute the Adi Karma, the original karma which initiated the descent from Sat Desh and which forced the spirit into matter in the lower regions. When the Adi Karain is measurably worn out, when the promisory notes have been discharged, will come the time for the entity's return. The spirit has during the course of its experiences discharged most of its obligations; but in doing so it has drawn heavily upon its credit of energy. It has thrown aside its impediments but it lacks sufficient strength to return by itself, nor is it sufficiently strong spiritually to hold on to its consciousness, in Sat Desh.
When the spirit descended from Sat Desh its covers were potentially kinetic, that is, capable of full outward expression and action in the lower regions. It had in itself potentialities which cannot be expressed elsewhere but in Sat Desh. In this fact lies the reason for its ability to return. Were the entire jiva potentially kinetic in the lower regions it would alway remain in them, because it would have no potentiality requiring or justifying its going elsewhere.
Thus the weak jiva having in him the potentiality of the higher or highest regions will pass by Kal, Maya and all the presiding deities of lower creation.
The gist is --- and it is fundamental and most important-that the final location of every spirit must be in that plane where the perfect development of all its powers is possible and this plane must be that of its origin. It cannot go above that plane and it cannot be finally located below it. It only descends below it for the purpose of training to fit it for its final location.
The spirit entities which came out of cat Desh with Kal and Maya were given bodies in Brahmand and after the creation of Pind descended in due time and according to the individual requirements into that region. During their long residence in the lower regions, they had chiefly occupied human bodies, the lower forms of life being for the most part animated by spirit entities which were awakened in the lower regions in the course of the second creational process. They are therefore of a much lower order than those entities which descended from Sat Desh. The latter have at times, however, descended into lower than human forms-in cases where their condition became such as to make the lower forms of life necessary to their progress, as will be explained hereafter.
The main elements of the life history of these superior entities which are usually referred to under the general name of jiva, will now be sketched in general terms and the rationale of their descent into and residence in these regions will be given in greater detail; and the means provided by the Supreme Father for their release therefrom and their re-entry into the Sat Desh for eternal abode there explained.
It may here be observed that the human form is the most perfect of all forms. It develops under the stress equally of both the higher and the lower forces and is therefore the central form of creation. In the forms of higher regions the upper centres alone are kinetic, the lower rudimentary and inactive. To illustrate, certain beings of Mahasunna are referred to (in Sar Bachan poetry) as fishlike in appearance which is due to the undeveloped lower centres and the instruments of action which are dormant there, coalescing and running out as it were, into a tail-like prolongation of body. So, in forms lower than human, the higher centres are dormant, the lower alone are kinetic. The upright position with the higher centres placed directly above the lower, and the complete symmetry of all the centres and sub-centres exist only in the human form. Below it, the upright position and the perfectly symmetrical position are lost until there is a complete reversal in the vegetable kingdom, the brain there being at the base.
Spiritual practice requires a form symmetrically related to and representing the whole of creation. The human form is the only one of this character and for this reason the translation of the spirit must begin on this plane and must be carried through to the end from this plane. This is the only plane for spiritual practice or on which progress towards reaching the higher regions can be made. A dweller in Brahmand who desires to go higher must first secure an incarnation in Pind; and this is sometimes done. During the time of a Sant Sat Guru many inhabitants of Brahmand take birth in Pind, in order, by the grace and assistance of Sant Sat Guru, to rise to higher regions. But to enable them to do this, their origin must have been above Brahmand.
The innumerable Brahmand and Pind systems have an orbital motion, somewhat like that of the heavenly bodies with which we are familiar; and their circuits are so timed that when they come into a certain conjunction with Sat Desh the superior jivas which inhabit them shall for the most part, have completed the course of life experience for which they came and be ready for translation to the higher regions. Such a circuit is performed yin a period of vast duration called Mahayuga (great age). At the proper time great spirits closely associated with the Supreme Father descend to lower regions to prepare jivas for their arduous ascent and assist them in it. These messengers of the Supreme Father are the Sant Sat Gurus. Without the preparation and assistance given by them, jivas would be unable to return or even to break the bonds which now securely hold them in their present location.
It is said that the present Mahayuga is approaching its termination, which will occur at the end of the Kali Yuga of the Hindu chronology. The Kali Yuga is also the period in which the saints descend to carry out the preparation referred to. It commenced, according to the Hindu sacred books about 5000 years ago and has still something over 4,00,000 years to run.
This sublime teaching was not given to the world ages ago and the world was left in darkness for so long a time because jivas were not fitted earlier to profit by it. They came into this world for a purpose and until that purpose was achieved they could not be taken out of it. As soon as they became fit the way was opened for them.
The Supreme Father comes to the help of the jiva when the Adi Karma is measurably exhausted. He supplies means for the needed replenishment and invigoration of the powers of the spirit, consisting of the following definite measures.
The divine plan of salvation has for its first step securing the association of the perfect teacher with those jivas who are prepared to profit by it. For this purpose the Supreme Father sends great spirits, closely associated with Himself to take up their residence on earth in human bodies at proper time.
He has provided an incarnation in whom a portion of His own essence or a direct emanation from Him takes form and who by becoming subject to the conditions of the material world and combating and overcoming those conditions, gives aid by sympathetic influence to all the spirits similarly placed.
Second, He has provided that the spirit should be impregnated by the seed of His own superb spirituality. This impregnation is received on initiation into the Faith which He also established as an instrument for performing the work of helping those fallen spirits to regain their exalted position. This they can now do, though only with the constant help and direction of a Sant Sat Guru who comes as the representative on earth of the Supreme Father. The strenuous and powerful opposition of Kal cannot be overcome without His aid. The part of the jivas is to be resigned to His Mauj and thus passively to assist the work which is being done for him. He will be able to assume this attitude if his karma is measurably exhausted; otherwise it will not be possible.
Under the guidance and with the aid of the Sant Sat Guru the jiva concentrates and conserves his spiritual strength, adds to it, discharges its spiritual indebtedness and goes back to Sat Desh, a great spiritual force.
Third, the Supreme Father has appointed a way in which He may be approached and all who hope to find Him must adopt that path.
The path can be shown only by one who knows it, that is, by a Sant Sat Guru and it is one of his great functions to establish a relation between the disciple and the goal. This he does by virtue of his own relations to those regions. As he refers to them in speech at the time of initiation, his words are not hollow words but are fraught with knowledge based on his own experience. The places which he mentions are real to him and by impressing them on the spirit of the disciple he establishes between them and the latter a subtle spiritual bond, slight in the beginning it is true, but absolutely real which will later serve to guide and assist the disciple in his progress. At first it is too slight to impress the consciousness of the pupil, but with the growth of his spirituality it will later on strengthen and come before his consciousness. When the pupil reaches those regions it will expand into a comprehensive view of them, illuminated by the words of the teacher which will also have a continuing and expanding force.
For establishing this connection two things are necessary-(1) the words must be of a perfect Guru, that is, they should be real and based on actual knowledge and (2) the Guru must be able to influence the spirit of the disciple. This he can do because he has access to all spirits and the spirit of every one is conscious within. That this is so is demonstrable since conscious spirit existences are the only means by which the Supreme Father can know the universe. Therefore if spirits were not conscious within, there would be a universe without a director or controller, that is, a chaos. Neither is it supposable that any element of the spiritual chain can be opposed or negative; if it could, the necessary perfect touch between the Supreme Father and all parts of the universe would then be broken. Consequently there is no alternative but that every spirit is conscious within and therefore open to the influences of the Sant Sat Guru.
The goal must be fixed for the disciple at the commencement of his journey. If it is so determined he will become set upon it and his settled resolve or intention to reach it will carry him on to the end of the journey, whereas without such a settled resolution he might very likely stop at some half way station. In no other way except by a definite determination of the goal at the outset can the stability and perseverance of the devotee be assured.
The Supreme Father takes care that at the proper time the jiva is brought into contact with the Sant Sat Guru and the latter by His association imbues him with His own exalted spirituality. Thus, and in the course of his progress upwards, the jiva makes good his expenditure of spiritual force in his downward course through matter and further acquires sufficient augmentation to make up the deficiency which prevented his spirit from recovering consciousness in Sat Desh. By this access of spirituality he is enabled with the help of the Sant Sat Guru to make the arduous ascent to Sat Desh and by it also he will be qualified to remain there.
This reinforcement to his spiritual strength could not have been given him before his prescribed course of experience in the material world had been substantially completed, as otherwise it would have been dissipated. For this very reason the Sant Sat Guru's influence and spiritual force would have been lost on the jiva when the strong downward impulse by which the spirit was being drawn in the previous yugas was so dominating.
When the Karma is still further reduced and the spirit strengthened by association with the Sant Sat Guru, the seat of consciousness is transferred from Pindi Man (lower mind) at the heart to Nij Man (higher mind) at the Third Til or pineal gland. Then the jiva first becomes capable of true devotion and grows those wings of love which are needed to carry him across the vast expanse of Brahmand.
From what has been said the paramount importance of the influence of the Sant Sat Guru in the divine plan of salvation will be understood. Guidance by him, reliance and absolute dependence upon him is the only path. Though it is easy to state this doctrine, it is very difficult to realise it and the mind must realise it before it can take its true position. Though emphasised from the beginning of the devotee's instruction, its full realisation may require four lives. Then the mind, at length understanding its true position, parts company with the spirit and remains in Brahmand while the spirit ascends.
The most important part of the Supreme Father's plan of salvation is that played by the Sant Sat Guru. It is indeed true that spiritual growth is only possible through the influence of a Sant Sat Guru. Rapid progress can only be made by work in His presence and in His service. There must be a desire for spiritual growth (for nothing can be accomplished without desire) and there must be present a Sant Sat Guru to satisfy that desire by imparting spiritual food. The first meeting of the jiva with the Sant Sat Guru affords the spirit spiritual food for the first time. For countless ages the spirit has starved, for it gets no sustenance and the mind gets very little from physical food. The spirit has all this time furnished the mind and the body with power for doing their work while itself it has gone on without sustenance.
In order to compensate for the withdrawal of the spirit diffused throughout the body, on account of concentration at the seat of spirit effected by spiritual practice and so to maintain the normal condition of the vital functions, it is necessary that there should be a supply of spirit from above. Association with the Guru effects it. To secure this is one of the chief reasons for the necessity of Guru service.
If no new supply is thus or otherwise secured, the devotee may sink into a very low state. His condition becomes moody and even verges on apparent semi-idiocy, though that is not an accurately descriptive term.
Even in the case of the disciple who lives in the presence of the Sant Sat Guru, the progress is very slow. For a long time it may be imperceptible-will afford no indication whatever.
Ordinarily the Swatah Sant, that is, the Saint who is his own illuminator, who does not depend on instructions of a guru, does not descend to the region of the heart at which the mind is located ; for if he did, matter is so dense that he would lose consciousness of his connection with the spiritual regions. For this reason he ordinarily descends to the region of the sixth chakra (pineal gland) only. But that does not give him sufficient experience of the difficulties of humanity to be a wholly effective redeemer. On the other hand if he descended to the heart centre his spiritual force would be more or less expended in perfecting and developing the human body, that is, appropriate development of the lower centres while maintaining the predominance and control of the fourth centre. The last is essential since if the three lower centres were fully developed without the control of the fourth, the brutish side of the character would be emphasised and the man would turn out a brute in human form. This development goes on until about the twenty-fifth year of age when complete development is reached. The spirit of a Swatah Sant incarnated in the usual manner of jivas within the body is not in any way bound down. It has no load of accumulated karma as has the ordinary jiva, though it has the karma of the present incarnation, it being a law that if a spirit incarnates it must bear the karma of the body which it takes. It can therefore raise itself and proceeds to do so. This it can accomplish by itself in a number of years. But the result is that when it reaches emancipation from the bonds of the body, having no guru and no disciples, affection for whom, if he had them, would keep him here, his spirit forthwith proceeds to the higher regions, the body dies and nothing is accomplished.
The redeemer saints therefore come in pairs, a Swatah Sant having with him another spirit of like character who in the body descends to the heart. He is a complete and fully perfected spirit. He is wholly fitted to perform all the practices of the religion and to get from them the maximum results. He affords to the devotees a perfect example of service and devotion to his guru, the Swatah Sant. But more than this, the redemption would be impossible were it not for his contest with Kal and his victory over Kal in. that contest, which makes it possible for his disciples coming after him to also overcome Kal. He has experience of and sympathy with the trials and difficulties of humanity. It is said that the Gurumukh Sant. who comes into embodiment after the fashion of ordinary man is the perfect redeemer of humanity. He is all in all. The fact of his incarnation gives a spiritual impulse to all men which is of course more strongly felt by his disciples.
It is usual that the awakened saint or Gurumukh must go through a period of great physical depression and weakness. This is because the entire constitution of the body has to be transformed in order that it may be in harmony with the spirit in its awakened condition and be fitted to perform the work before it. This period of depression may continue over a number of years, but it is usually followed by a high degree of bodily health.
The current which comes down with the Swatah Sant and the Gurumukh is not stronger than is necessary. If it were too strong it would cause the dissolution of this region by attracting to it the diffused spirituality. Yet it is indeed powerful. It is rather a wave of spiritual force which proceeds from the Supreme Father keeping up full connection with Him at all times. This is never interrupted.
After due initiation the redemption of the devotee is assured. No failure or back sliding is possible. He is first put through a course of experiences which enables him to realise his own helplessness. When he realises this he will also feel the assurance of his salvation.
The promise has been given that all will be accomplished within the period of four lives. The reason for this painful delay is that the spirit is imbued with desires. If it were translated without having got rid of these it would be troubled by them hereafter and the bliss of the spiritual regions would be marred. Hence the purifying experiences must be fully carried out.
The first saint who appeared on the earth for the purpose of initiating this mission was Kabir Sahib who lived about 700 years ago. He was followed by a number of others. When the ground for true spiritual regeneration was paved then the incarnation of Radhasoami Dayal took place in the august person of Soami Shiva Dayal Singh Seth Sahib of Agra, known to his followers as Soamiji Maharaj who gave out the name by which the Faith is now generally known-the Radhasoami Faith. His term on earth was 1818-1878.
To the objector who says that God is everywhere and that it is not necessary to go elsewhere or seek the aid of others to find Him, it may be replied-there are many gods within you, each ready to appropriate your devotion and unwilling to let you go beyond him. How can you distinguish between them or direct your efforts aright unless you are informed in advance about them? You are in the land of your enemies. The mind which is the chief of these is the active member of the firm of which you are a sleeping partner. You are in a prison , at the bottom of it. What chance have you too get out by your unassisted efforts alone ? How will the undoubted fact that the Supreme Father is also present in you, help you unless you avail yourself of the means of escape which He has provided!
Something will now be said of the characteristics of the jiva who is prepared to receive the assistance of the saint or the Sant Sat Guru.
Before a jiva can benefit by, or in fact, he willing to accept the assistance of the Sant Sat Guru and the guidance and dependence which it involves, two things are indispensable. First, he must realise his situation of utter helplessness so far as his own efforts go, for as long as he thinks he can accomplish results by his own efforts he will not accept guidance; and second, there must have been a measurable exhaustion of the tendencies of the past which determine actions particularly of that Adi Karma for the eradication of which he came into the lower regions. Such tendencies are best exemplified in their extreme form in the animals. It is almost an automaton. Its course of action is almost wholly determined by its tendencies. There is a minimum of intervention of reason. Its young ones hardly require any training. All necessary knowledge is inherent in them. This tendency and source of knowledge is known as instinct. Because of the strength of the instinct most animals are virtually incapable of guidance.
In man these tendencies must be exhausted before guidance is possible. By them-they may be likened to strings-the jiva is held in certain positions. His attitude is determined in spite of himself. He cannot yield perfect obedience to the guidance of the higher spiritual powers which is necessary for emancipation.
The sense of helplessness and exhaustion of tendencies is affected by life in the world. The active aggressive and successful life-successful according to the standards of the world is only a means of discipline and elimination, not an end in itself. These qualities are not indications of real advancement that they are generally supposed to be.
Great powers of mind and mental activity which generally go hand in hand with a deep respect for the standards of worldly life such as a strong sense of duty, of responsibility, of honour and a disposition to insist upon being treated by others in accordance with those standards, are wholly incompatible with the humility and tractability which are essential for the reception of spiritual instruction and guidance.
To the man of the world his self interest is the background of all his thoughts. Every thing is ultimately measured thereby; all his actions are controlled thereby. A devotee must uproot this tendency and this can only be done by substituting for his own will the will of his guru (what the guru is pleased to order). Only when egotism is killed out, will the immense beneficence of the Supreme Father be understood and only then will the spirit be fitted for the supreme privilege of union with Him. When the spiritual sun rises the ego melts away and then only does the jiva become ready for that all absorbing love (hairat) which to be perfect must be selfless.
Jivas that are actuated by lower tendencies and motives are in the full swing of the worldly life to which they are impelled by the initial force which projected them down into material existence. Such are, for instance, the exuberantly active social workers and civic reformers. This force must be exhausted before such jivas can be fit for real progress upward. They will go on for a time in the course they are now pursuing until at length they yield to the seduction of sensuous enjoyment, for which their strength in material directions has provided opportunities in great abundance. Their stock of spirituality will decrease. They will descend far into sensuality and at length their spiritual force may be even insufficient to maintain them in human form.
The descent referred to comes about in this way. The forces used in a man's actions are related to the chakras which in turn are related to the macrocosmic centres of the corresponding forces represented by the planets &c. The three lower chakras, at the anus, the reproductive organ and the navel, have to do with physical actions and are chiefly concerned with preserving the economy of the body. They are centres upon which the activities of the animal creation chiefly depend. When a man indulges in lower propensities beyond the point of equilibrium of the body, these lower forms or force are drawn upon in excess, his relation with them is strengthened and a tendency towards a lower, perhaps an animal birth, results. If the spirit becomes so engrossed in material activities and so strongly related to lower forces that it cannot retain its seat as high as the sixth chakra (since that seat must be occupied by it if the human form is to be retained), a form lower than the human must be assumed. Such engrossment of the spirit is the proximate cause of lower embodiment.
Passing a period of existence in lower forms where they are treated with little consideration or even humanity (consider for instance what life must be that of a bullock), they will emerge again into human life with the tendencies they before possessed eradicated from their nature.
It may be argued that the punishment inflicted for a forgotten act cannot have its proper punitive force. Karmic action however is not punishment but discipline. Its object is to modify the character in accordance with its needs. Thus a life of hardship and suffering will produce in a mind which has some spiritual tendency, humility, receptiveness and willingness to rely upon superior guidance. On other natures it will produce other effects. Thus upon one who is being driven by the full force of karma it may cause bitterness and resentment. But these tendencies will be corrected by the Karmic actions which they induce.
The cutting of recollections of past lives in the present life is necessary to the present life, else the latter could not take the course which it takes without that recollection. Consider how impossible it would be for you to live over in the same way the preceding years of your life with your present knowledge. Could you possibly give to the various pursuits which then engaged your attention that whole hearted devotion which was necessary to make them fruitful? Obviously not, as the things which you then considered as important, you have now come to regard as unimportant and the reverse. But in order that karma should be exhausted it was necessary that your life should have been lived as you actually lived it. The case would be similar if you remembered past lives in this.
So too your conduct in this life would be bound to be influenced by the sentiments of the past lives if they were remembered. Suppose for instance that your mother of this life was your son of your past life, would it be possible to yield her the reverence due to a mother if you remembered your past life ?
Further, in order that the karmic forces may quite wear themselves out it is necessary that a screen should be dropped from time to time. Otherwise, as these forces became reduced, a weariness of the turmoil and struggle would settle upon one which would make further living impossible. As it is, a man at the end of his life frequently becomes tired of living but the youth has no stored memory of buffetings and reverses and faces the world with a fresh courage.
When the force which originally projected the jiva downwards and the controlling tendency of past actions is substantially exhausted, he will be able to acquire that humility and receptiveness which he must have for spiritual growth.
It is therefore an error, given common currency and support by the false western ideals of life which have lately overrun India and submerged her truer inherited opinions, to suppose that she is a depressed and backward nation and that her political subjection is her greatest misfortune. In fact when judged by larger issues and really vital considerations, that is by the canons of real and spiritual, not false or material status, she is the most advanced of the nations of the earth and her political subjection is at present her greatest blessing.
According to worldly standards the great Akbar was a wise and far sighted ruler who understood the true basis of worldly state-craft well. His political policy was equal treatment of all men without regard to religious belief. Had this policy been continued, no doubt the Mussalmans and Hindus would have fused into a nation. But fortunately all that he did in that direction was undone by Aurangzeb. Fortunately because Aurangzeb paved the way for the political subjection of India which was necessary for her spiritual regeneration. Had she pursued the road to material prosperity through political independence she would have shared the fate of the west. Her spiritual regeneration at this time would have been impossible.
The radical difference between the general character prevailing in the West and India is that the mental activity, the grip upon the jiva of the conditions and standards of material life, the grip of Kal has been greatly weakened as regards a large proportion of the people of India and they are comparatively more ready for spiritual guidance.
To take an example which will aid understanding of the subject, it is everywhere noticeable that Indians who desire preferment try to develop European traits of character-they are always occupied with their work, their whole thought is absorbed in it and of course no time is left for attention to religious subjects. But in seeking to affect this imitation we see that the Indian is at a great disadvantage in that he has not the mental characteristics of the Englishman. The latter is under the full drive of downward impelling current. He finds abundant interest in the world upto the hour of his death. You welcome a European octogenarian taking up a new science or a new language. To him the work is all in all. He knows that he must leave it soon but nevertheless nothing else interests him. It may be called spiritual paralysis.
This attitude is not natural to the average Indian and when adopted, it is forced and he does not have the success he would like. So he carries it to the various details of life. He dresses, eats, lives like the Englishman in the hope that thus he will come to be like him in character. It is not natural, because the karma of an average Indian is measurably exhausted. He is by no means under the full drive which pushes on the European. The latter is full of energy, irrepressible and exuberant, all directed to the business of this world. It is natural, on the other hand, for the Indian to give much attention to the spiritual thing. In imitating Europeans he is at a disadvantage and has to force his natural inclinations.
These differences will of course gradually lessen as the karma of the Europeans works itself out and the east and the west will react on each other. Many Indians will incarnate in the West and Westerners will incarnate here.
Were Indian character similar to western, the conditions which prevail in India would be impossible. Suppose it were attempted to impose upon England or America or Continental Europe a sympathetic foreign rule, there would be such resistance, such frequent rebellions against it that the continuance of these conditions would be impossible. The ideas of the rights of man, of the nobility of self assertion, of the nature of personal liberty and freedom of action are so ingrained that continuous turmoil would result from any such application of superior force. The social and political fabrics would break down under such a strain.
Speaking generally and of the major part of the people of this country, Indians have already been through the intellectual training given by highly developed material civilization and are now wearing away the evil effects which it has left by suffering. Intellectual development creates hardness and self sufficiency which utterly destroys the susceptibilities to spiritual influences. These qualities must be broken down and eradicated from the character, and this is being done. The low material condition of the Indians is no sign of inferiority. To become materially prosperous would be a great misfortune for them. Poverty is now forcing them to seek spirituality and will do so more and and more.
It is necessary to produce quite an opposite state of mind from that prevailing in the West. As has been said, and cannot be too often repeated the jiva must realize his utter helplessness in the situation in which he is. In that realization alone lies the possibility of his spiritual progress. This is because the jiva can make absolutely no progress on this path unaided; and until he is convinced of this and is willing to entirely abandon his own initiative and to accept absolutely the guidance of the Supreme Father through Sant Sat Guru, he cannot get on.
Of course, there are jivas in India who are animated by the same spirit which prevails in the west-jivas who would engraft Western methods upon Indian polity and see in that the only salvation for their country. That only means that jivas trained in the West and having western characteristics have incarnated here for the purpose of preserving the balance and introducing here western (material) methods and habits of thought and action to the extent to which they are necessary in order that material life may go on.
The spirit of the West is to set up one's claim as of right and to enforce it, to argue and to insist, to stand up for the enjoyment of every item to which one supposes one is entitled by the prevailing standards. Nothing is known of the helplessness which receives while conscious of its own inability to make an adequate return-which relies on what it may receive as a free gift.
It is this attitude which the Supreme Father requires. Then alone can He give and give and give, until all is given, until He gives even Himself. Only by abandoning all can He be gained and in gaining Him all is gained.
If the Supreme Father incarnated and proclaimed Himself in the West, think of what a reception He would meet. He would be put in a lunatic asylum. No revelation could possibly be received there. The people of the West could only respond to miracles and that only for a time. Such a response is not lasting.
India is and has always been the earthly nursing ground of spirituality. That India has this distinction is clear. Not only have all the saints of the Sant Mat taken embodiment here but those of all other leading religions as well have had their training in India. All of the great Mohamedan saints visited or lived in India. It is said that Mohammed himself made trading expeditions to India and his first ilham was received while he was in India. There is evidence too, that Christ practised yoga in India.
It is true that the material fortunes of India are now at an abnormally low ebb. She is about at the point where she cannot pull on without more sources of income. Efforts for commercial and industrial revival in her affairs are most commendable and those who advocate and seek to organise them are entitled to her gratitude and support. There will always be forces at work which will apply the brake when there is too great a progress towards materialism. India will not, in spite of all the efforts in this direction which may be made in her behalf, become materially great until her spiritual regeneration is assured, that is, until her people are able to look upon material greatness as something altogether secondary- as of no importance compared with spiritual growth. Then she will become not only spiritually strong but strong in all things and her strength will be recognised and respected by the world, for spiritual strength must always be acknowledged. Then material prosperity will follow spiritual strength as a matter of course and in the natural order. For the order of nature is that spirit is the substance, Maya only the shadow. Properly the shadow should follow the substance not the reverse, as is now the case in the west.
There is a saying among us that if you run after Maya, she runs away from you, while if you stand spiritually erect she will lie under your feet. This is no figure of rhetoric but literally true, for it is the logical course for Maya to pursue. It should be remembered that in the higher phases Maya is an intelligent being. It is only on the plane of Pind that she has become inert and unintelligent. She is spoken of as feminine because of the two Kal and Maya she represents that which has the feminine character, while Sal represents the masculine aspect.
The life of Mays, depends wholly upon the infusion of spirit. She is of herself as dry as dust. Her ability to furnish attraction and enjoyment to mind depends upon her association with spirit. Hence it is her policy to attract spirit and this she can best do by fleeing when spirit approaches. Spirit pursues and the chase becomes hot as it now is in the West. The result is a further fall. The spirit in its pursuit plunges deeper and deeper into matter. The shadow (matter) is now in the lead, where the substance (spirit) should be. She indeed accompanies the spirit still but falls away from it instead of under it.
On the other hand when the spirit stands erect that is in line with the descending spiritual current from the spiritual sun in the zenith, the position is reversed. Maya can no longer lure it on, but she is still under the same necessity of imbibing spirit. Her place will therefore be under its feet, that she may still by following closely get something of the spirit current. This allegory outlines a great truth. It is certain that any nation which develops great spiritual strength will receive the homage of the world.
To attempt however to bring about pre-eminence among the nations of the earth or even political independence by the use of force, is looked upon with horror and detestation by the leaders of the Radhasoami Faith and their followers. Force is not a means which the Supreme Father uses in dealing with His children, nor is it one which they can use among themselves if they are inspired by the spirit which is the sole essence of His path. In fact, the use of force would protante completely bar the progress of the devotee, since it would be wholly destructive to the development of love without which it is impossible for him to advance, and the highest expansion of which is his ultimate goal. Love is the only weapon employed by the Supreme Father or which can be used by those devotees who sincerely worship Him.
Such devotees fortunately see the impermanence and worthlessness of material things-that there is nothing lasting or valuable about them; that nations rise and fall as they have always done and will always do, and thus they are. quite content to leave the worldly affairs to the direction of the Supreme Father.
Going back to the career of the jiva, when its initial karma has been measurably exhausted and the necessary humility and receptiveness have been acquired, the time is at hand for the redemption of the spirit. This can only be effected by the saint or Sant Sat Guru who is the messenger or representative of the Supreme Father.
Association with the Guru is not the only source from which the devotee replenishes his store of spirituality. At the time of initiation into the Faith the Sant Sat Guru plants in him a germ of his own exalted spirituality. This grows under suitable conditions and is fostered by the care of the Sant Sat Guru. It becomes a great source of spiritual strength. Then when the time comes for the ascent of the spirit, the spirit of the devotee recovers spiritual force in several other ways. It successively reduces the number of its covers and thus the energy which was required to sustain them is freed. As the spirit descends into matter and its potential germs develop, covers are formed one over the other. When a low level is reached the covers become numerous. Each gradation of environment requires a cover for making contact with it through which the spirit can act. Thus we could not hold communication with a solid environment did we not possess instruments of a like material. Each cover must be vivified by the spirit which draws largely upon its energy. As the covers are dropped this energy is recovered.
Then also it draws spirituality from the regions which it traverses. The shabd which is peculiar to each region augments its spirituality and as it traverses each region it must pass through the body of the presiding deity of that region whence it takes a large fund of spirituality.
As it ascends from each region it leaves behind the spirituality of a lower order adapted to the region which it is leaving. This adaptation is determined by the covers suited to that region which it also abandons and which are of a character corresponding to the depletion of spirituality at that point. Then, ascending into the next region above, the loss is made up by the accession of spirituality of a higher order. At length it re-enters Sat Desh, a great spiritual force and completely freed of all its covers.
Service of the Sant Sat Guru may be performed by attendance on his person. It also includes following his advice and instructions about one's own personal behaviour, diligent application to the practice of abhyas which he enjoins, &c.
It would be a mistake to suppose that service to a Sant Sat Guru by a disciple affords any gratification to the guru in the matter of supplying his wants or gratifying his pride. To him upon whom the whole universe waits, of what value are the services which can be done by a few disciples ? Service is only for the benefit of the disciple.
Obeisance is the order of the universe. Even the planets and other orbs, the systems of Brahmands and Pinds make continual obeisance by the inclination of their poles and by their circuits about a centre heavenly bodies are all conscious and intelligent beings.
It is a very difficult thing to raise oneself above the level of the plane of consciousness on which one is. The effect of long continued association with the material world which one must combat is very deep seated. Just as, if an object is submitted for a great period to the play of light of a given colour, it will at length absorb and appropriate a modicum of that colour.
Hence the value of association with the Sant Sat Guru. His influence gradually loosens the ties of the world, breaks the bonds of association with it and raises the spirit.
Again the spiritual energy which can be drawn upon by an ordinary man is only that which is diffused throughout the body. It is his task to concentrate that and fix it in its special centre. He cannot derive spiritual force directly from the food which he takes ; the Sant Sat Guru can do this. He elevates the food which he eats and by so doing he applies a spiritual lever which exerts a tug upon those who are associated with that food.
For this reason it is customary to place food before the Sant Sat Guru and after he has partaken of it to distribute it among his disciples. This is a valued mode of devotion when the Sant Sat Guru is present. To eat food which he has consecrated by tasting, is the highest privilege. Hence occasions on which this may be done are made to be of great frequency. Hardly a day passes but that food is brought before the Sant Sat Guru and after he has tasted it is distributed.
The value of the practice lies in the subtle associations which are established. Of the food taken and digested by the Sant Sat Guru a subtle influence is transferred by him to higher regions and there-by a thread of connection is formed between those regions and those who prepared the food, those with whose earnings it was bought and those who have partaken of it. The effect is very great, though it may not be noticeable for a long time, but as the devotee becomes more sensitive its effects become immediately perceptible. The advanced devotee feels them in concentration of the spirit at a higher centre, accompanied by bliss.
In the absence of a Sant Sat Guru the practice of holding bhandaras is still beneficial, though of course in a lesser degree, when it is performed in association with very sincere and very devoted followers of the faith. Association with such men, eating food bought with their earnings or partaken of by them, has a spiritualizing tendency. It is only by such associations that the jiva can increase his store of spirituality and therefore such opportunities are eagerly sought by earnest devotees. Another good which comes from this practice is that the poor are fed. They look, it is true, no farther than the satisfaction of their hunger, but the high associations formed by them with the guru will elevate them in time.
Again, food that is taken gives strength to the body and the actions performed by the body. The impressions received through the senses give food to the mind and hence desires arise. From food and sense impressions, body and mind receive only the colour of the objects of the outer world. To substitute for this colour that of the inner and higher world, it is necessary that one should acquire internal colour (rang) and communication by means of shabd. To achieve this it is necessary to cultivate the company of one such the result of the association with whom will be to turn inwards the outward colour and sound. Such a one is the Sant Sat Guru or an advanced devotee. This association should be sought for at least once in each year for 15 or 20 days to enable the satsangi to acquire food for inner rang and shabd and to counteract the outward tendency derived from contact with the world and thus to enable him to make progress. If he does not do so but remains at a distance his progress will be neutralized by the poisonous effects of the world even though he performs practice. No substantial progress will be made.
The doctrine of dependence upon the guru is called saran and is of immense significance in the Radhasoami Faith. It signifies the protecting care of the Supreme Father for his devotees. It implies that there is a Being, the Giver of life to whom everything may be resigned with the utmost confidence. Such a thought is inspiring and ennobling. To Him we can surrender ourselves with unlimited devotion.
Only by assuming this attitude can karma be got rid of; indeed the two things react on each other. As karma is reduced, saran is sought; as Baran is sought, the karma is reduced.
This attitude is not possible when the play of karma is in full swing, when the jiva is full of energy and action in the life of the world, the action which comes from past karma. The man is self-sufficient. He finds himself able to meet his material wants and he will seek no help. He is right so far as his outlook goes; he is indeed able himself to satisfy his wants which he feels. His error is that he does not realise that the things which satisfy him are worthless. But he will never perceive this so long as his karmas keep forcing him into full activity in the world.
The quality of humility necessary to enable the jiva to take the saran of the Sant Sat Guru is of such vital importance that it is desirable to define its character more accurately.
The word has acquired from its usage in other religions a suggestion of self abasement and it may be thought that the attitude of humility is merely required by the Supreme Father as a recognition of His exalted station and for His glorification. These ideas are commonly associated with the word by other religions which employ it but they are altogether foreign and repugnant to the conceptions of the Radhasoami Faith. The faith does assert that the Supreme Father seeks the love and only the love of His children but the idea that He requires them to abase themselves before Him is absurd. The word 'dinta' does not convey the suggestion of self-abasement.
The, necessity of humility arises from the impossibility of wholly abandoning one's own initiative and resigning oneself altogether to the Supreme guidance and control. The jiva must realise his own helplessness to be such that no other course is open to him. The jiva can make absolutely no progress in the path without this attitude of entire dependence, because the course to be taken by him is wholly unknown to him and even opposed to the tendencies acquired by him in the course of his worldly experiences. He must have an attitude of the readiest receptiveness; and it is because of this and solely for his own good that the development of these qualities is given such prominence in his preparation for entering the path.
True humility is very different from that condition which comes from mental restraint or compulsion. Such (latter kind) humility is worthless, not only worthless but harmful, for it ministers to egotism and self esteem. True humility is only possible when the hold of the mind is loosened. Then, the spirit freed from bondage. feels its utter dependence upon the Supreme Father, throws itself unreservedly upon His mercy, resigns to Him all the burden of its cares and troubles and enjoys the bliss of His grace, the fearlessness and sense of immunity from all possible harm which accompany the certainty of its protection. This is the test; if the jiva feels that bliss, that fearlessness, that immunity, that unloading upon Him of all his cares he can be sure that his humility is real; and if he feels some foreshadowing of those blessings he may know that he is on the path which leads to true humility.
Spiritual growth proceeds by experiences which are of a sort to develop humility. That this may be effected, reverses of fortune entailing humiliation may be necessary; but humiliation is not the end aimed at. True humility is free from any trace of humiliation, dejection, self reproach or self-abasement. The last is an attitude of mind required by those religions whose chief object is to prevent the spirit from reaping the benefit of the spiritual current. In the bliss which accompanies true humility fear of misfortune is impossible. Though standing on the brink of what seems to the mind the most irretrievable disaster, apprehension or anxiety will not be felt. This is what is meant by the humility spoken of in the Radhasoami Faith. The greatness of the faith consists in the inculcation of true humility. True humility cannot be reached at once or quickly. It is the result of that slow process of spiritualization which it may require four lives of training to perfect. Then only can the spirit stand out from the mind. It is one aspect of the goal for which the devotee strives.
The efforts of the devotee should be directed entirely towards the conservation and consolidation of his spiritual energy. This is his life work and he is directed to apply himself to it in several ways. The spirit in an ordinary man is diffused throughout the body. It has a special seat or centre in the body in which it dwells, which in the human frame is the sixth chakra or pineal gland, located in the brain, a short distance behind the bridge of the nose. However only a small portion of his spirit continuously remains there; the greater part of it is diffused throughout the body. The devotee endeavours to draw the diffused spirituality of the body to this point and habituate it to remain there, in order that by virtue of the increased power which comes of concentration his spirit may become capable of the great exertion of spiritual force necessary for its ascent. This he does by the regular daily practice of concentration with the advice and under the directions of the guru.
The development of the spiritual energy is very slow. This should be recognised. By the practice of concentration spirit is elevated and concentrated. But it does not remain elevated and concentrated. Only a little remains, most of it drops back. Indeed it is not fitted to remain-it is too impure-and it necessarily returns to the lower level as dust raised by the wind. The wind also raises vapour and this may remain in the atmosphere, but the dust particles fall back. But the spirit is gradually purified by the practices enjoined and by repeating and repeating the efforts at concentration, appreciable results are at length gained.
The human body has in it centres corresponding with and related to each of the regions of the macrocosm from the lowest to the highest region. The devotee has to make a further effort to raise the spirit above its normal seat in the human frame to the centres in the body corresponding to the higher regions respectively and successively, and as he is able to accomplish this he thereby gains entrance into the spheres themselves, by virtue of the relation existing between them and the respective centres in the body.
Further practice required of the devotee is repetition of the holy name, contemplation within, during his practice of concentration, of the mentally recalled features of the Sant Sat Guru and listening to the sound or shabd of the region above his present attainment which by the grace and with the assistance of the guru becomes audible to him. The name, the features and the sound are impressed with a spiritual quality and by the fixing of his attention upon them in this manner his own spirit is gradually awakened, purified and strengthened.
Along with all this, love for the Supreme Father must be gained, since it is the most effective agent for effecting the elevation of the spirit. For love is the essential nature both of the spirit and of the Supreme Father and its development in the jiva forges an attractive force which is the most potent of all the instruments at his hand. But as one cannot feel love for a being whom one has not seen and does not know, it is the first duty of the devotee to develop and expand in his heart love for the guru, in whom he sees the Supreme Father Himself. Ultimately he comes also to love the Supreme Father but the guru is in the first instance the necessary intermediary of that love; and this is one of the guru's great and indispensable functions in the divine plan of salvation. A guru is like an immense magnet. He draws out the love of the disciple.
It will be readily imagined that these processes are slow. The effect must be permanent and the results aimed at are enormous. The method of gradual training which the Supreme Father has enjoined for the jivas whom He seeks to reclaim, and which alone can yield perfect results, is very different from most other processes which we see. Compare it with the processes. of other forms of yoga which may give more or less striking results as the seeing of light, the hearing of sounds etc., in a comparatively short time. But these results are worthless.
The spirit is to be separated from the mind and body. The progress must necessarily be very gradual. But the results of that slow progress will ultimately be control over the forces of Kal and Maya and the passing beyond death.
A separation could be effected by the application of force in a comparatively short time but without the results at which we aim. Thus at the time of death the mind along with the spirit is separated from the body quickly but at the expense of great pain and with only a temporary result. Mind and spirit are still united and seek another body.
The slowness of the process of developing spiritual energy should not damp one's ardour. The result is sure, though it may be distant. One's patience must be inexhaustible, 'icy'. But that is only one side of the question. There must be burning eagerness as well as icy patience, the patience should hold the eagerness in restraint. But there should be no feeling of uncertainty in the devotee about reaching the goal, however arduous and long the journey. All responsibility and care as to this have been taken from the spirit; all it has to do is to make steady effort.
There are however definite indications of spiritual growth which will in due time manifest themselves. Such indications are (i) a strong feeling of love for the Sant Sat Guru and of bliss at the sixth chakra or third til (pineal gland) ; (ii) consciousness of the rise of the spirit current to the third til from the lower nervous centres; (This current may seem to come from the limbs and cause a creeping sensation on the surface of the body); (iii) the influx of spirituality from above may be felt. This is called the ‘dropping of ambrosia'.
Another unmistakable indication of spiritual growth is the electric thrill which is felt on the touch of the Sant Sat Guru. It may be very pronounced and may be likened to that felt by a mother on touching her child or by a man on touching a beloved woman.
Complete elevation of the spirit to the third till enables the devotee to witness all the vital functions of the body. He can see them going on.
All the while the mind has of course been deriving all its power from the spirit but without realizing its dependence. Therefore this time is full of crosses. Crosses were many even when the goal was Brahmand and there was no separation from the mind in view; but now when the goal is so much higher and separation from the mind is essential, the crosses are so much the greater. The mind must be disciplined and subjugated but not all at once. It will not do to destroy it and leave a corpse. The process must be gradual, the mind must be kept alive all the while along with the best of its functions.
To be a householder under the eye of the Sant Sat Guru is the best possible condition of life for a devotee.
The best ordinary worldly employment for a man is that which is done in submission and obedience to authority and under the pressure of necessity of gaining a livelihood. Such work develops humility and willingness to accept guidance and thus assists the devotee. Inferior to this is the ordinary independent activity for a livelihood of an average man without subjection to authority.
A lower form of employment is the activity of the man of independent means, undertaken for health, recreation, `passing the time' and the like.
Moral and ethical conduct is not the domain of religion. The only concern of religion is the translation of the spirit ; and this morals and ethics are powerless to accomplish. Still less is public, social or philanthropic work recommended for the devotee. It is not objected to for those who are not desirous of making a rapid spiritual progress, but for him whose desires are centred upon spiritual growth it is fatal. If the energies are given to outer work they cannot be utilized for spiritual progress. It is indeed well that work of this kind should go on. The welfare of the world requires it. But it is not the highest sort of effort and there will always be enough men found in the world who will engage in it.' Work of this sort is only a make-shift, the patching up of one spot while another gives way. There is nothing radical or permanent, still less, religious about it.
This is not the belief of the intellectuals who undertake to improve society. They think they can make the world better and there is nothing for them to do but to go on with the effort until by experience they learn that they can achieve nothing. The assumed religion of these people is not genuine. There is no religion in that work, though it has its uses in the sphere of the world.
When they become convinced that they can accomplish nothing they will in desperation commit some improper acts, the karma of which will entail suffering which will soften and purify them. Then they will become fit to listen to the teachings of the Radhasoami Faith. At present they can not receive them.
Neither would men have listened to them in Sat Yuga, though for a somewhat different reason. Then conditions of life were easier and man's spiritual force greater. He was able of himself to get all he wanted. Therefore he was far from feeling the sense of helplessness which is a sine qua non.
A devotee who desires to get on spiritually must keep himself free from all worldly ambitions. He may engage in worldly activities for his support, but his heart and interest should not be there. His life in the world has been strikingly likened to the verdure of a tree whose root has been severed.
This course is not a selfish one as is sometimes asserted. Would it be wise to place on a schoolboy's shoulders the burdens of society and direct him to undertake its reformation? Everyone sees that to be arrant folly. It is no less so for an undeveloped man to think he can reform the world. Far better it is for him first to attain his own perfection. Then he can do something worth while for others.
The common idea that mere moral uprightness and ethical culture will lead to salvation is an absolute error. Conduct by itself is wholly powerless to accomplish that result. All that conduct can do is to affect preparation for undertaking the spiritual ascent. If one's life and work is wholly disinterested, one will in time be led to the entrance of the path, but good deeds alone will take one no further.
The problem which the jiva has to solve is the freeing of the spirit from the bondage of Kal. The spirit is now help less in the grip of mind. It is without enjoyment in the world as it is attuned to higher regions. It can only furnish to the mind the energy the latter uses. This it has done for countless ages. This being the object in view, mortification of the body, flagellation &c. which many religious devotees have practised are senseless and brutish-only worthy of brutes.
No sort of asceticism or retirement from active sphere in life is favoured by Radhasoami Faith; asceticism generally fails because in the end the mind asserts itself and overcomes the higher aspirations. Concentrating all its strength upon a single effort, it prevails and carries the jiva back to the world and its thraldom.
On the contrary, the life of the world acts as a balance and spiritual progress in it, though slow, is relatively sure. life of the householder is much the best. It is amid the cares and responsibilities of this life that solid and enduring progress can be made. From the burden of these cares the spirit longs to win the promised release and its eternal home.
Responsibility and duty are a dam which holds the mind in check. Break down or remove that dam and the mind runs riot. It is like the serpent which is tame enough as long as it is confined in the basket. Let it out and it becomes a danger. The mind should be kept busy at all times, if not on parmarthi (religions) work then on worldly work. It is impossible for the devotee who is not far advanced to spend a very large portion of his time in spiritual practice. He has not developed the necessary spiritual force. There is nothing to drive the engine in that direction and it won't go. Equilibrium between the spiritual work on the one hand and mental and physical work on the other must be maintained. If one gives oneself wholly to abhyas, neglecting mental and physical work altogether, one will get into a state of semi-idiocy and progress will stop. Only when very great spiritual progress has been made can the greater part of one's time be given to abhyas.
The body and mind, as has been said, must be transformed in order that they may cooperate with the spirit and this is a very gradual work. The growth and decay of the body require 60 or 70 years and this is only the fringe of one's existence. The Jiva forthwith takes another body and his existence goes on as before. Now when a radical change is to be effected extending over the whole existence, evidently much time will be required. The work cannot be hurried. Therefore the devotee cannot devote a great part of his time to abhyas and if he has it on his hands a part is necessarily passed in idleness with usually disastrous results.
Such people as for instance sadhus are very likely to go wrong, having no responsibility of work to steady them, while it is easy to secure the gratification of all desires. From the time they wake until they sleep the mind is free to run and concoct all the mischief it likes. What then can one expect? So long as the first enthusiasm lasts all goes well; but when this is exhausted trouble begins. Therefore worldly work should only be reduced as the spiritual work increases. Devotees are not encouraged to become sadhus.
Moreover temptations should be met and overcome in the world, not avoided by running away from them. Thus strength is gained.
The Radhasoami code of ethics is that all that helps in our progress towards the Supreme Father is good and all of contrary tendency is bad. Everything which tends towards a further descent of the spirit into matter-which ultimately results in a closer association of spirit with matter, although in itself it may be free from any ethical condemnation by the moral codes of the world and may even be recommended by them is regarded as bad by the Radhasoami faith. Therefore every work and activity which begins and ends in the world is to be avoided. But there is no reason to regret abandoning work in the world. Many will come forward to continue it. Such is the tendency of the life of the world that social and political leaders which it needs, will always come forward. By their efforts the balance, the just average of social conditions which is necessary as the starting point for the spiritual progress of the relatively few is maintained.
Philanthropic and social work is wholly on the plane of the mind. Its object is worldly, since it seeks to make the world a better place to live in. So its effect is only to strengthen the hold of the world upon those engaged in it. Moreover it cannot succeed in its object, for the world cannot be permanently improved. There appears to be an improvement over a limited area, but the vice suppressed there breaks out somewhere else; and even in the area of improvement there is always a speedy deterioration and corruption. This is the course of the worldly history without exception. Virtue leads to prosperity, that to wealth. Wealth is the hotbed of all vices. Luxury follows, then sensuality, then degradation. Prosperity must be followed in this world by descent. Nothing permanent can be gained. The task is hopeless.
The effort of the philanthropist is directly opposed to the goal of the true devotee. The former wants to improve the world, the latter wants to get out of it. Therefore great social reformers and philanthropists are not to be reckoned among really great men from the spiritual point of view. They are great, it is true, from the standpoint of the world, but their activities do not count at all for real, that is for spiritual progress. They are generally not disinterested, usually having some motive, such as desire for fame, the respect of men and the like which feeds the mind. Their efforts tend to strengthen the dominion of Kal. They are prompted by the mind which is allied to and is of the same nature as Kal.
As a rule such men engaged energetically in worldly activities are on the downward path and have much to experience before they will become adhikari (fitted to receive spiritual instructions). Yet there are exceptions. They may be just working out the remnant of their karma and soon may turn to spiritual things with great receptiveness.
This does not however mean that such activities are without value or should be discouraged. They are of great use on their own plane. They help to maintain the balance without which the world would become unlivable and unsuitable to perform its functions.
Progress towards liberation means cutting asunder not only from vicious worldly activities but from-so called virtuous activities as well; for viewed from the plane of the spirit all worldly activities good or bad are on a par. Connection with all must be severed in order that the spirit may escape from the world. Virtuous as well as vicious activities, meritorious as well as sinful, self-sacrificing as well as self-seeking, philanthropic as well as personal, all activities must go. The former of course stand very high in the estimation of the world, measured according to its standards but the standards of the world are not true standards. In truth, whatever tends to raise the spirit to a higher level is virtue and whatever tends to increase the strength of the tie which holds the spirit to the world is vice, whatever the moral code of the world may call it.
Philanthropic activities are highly esteemed by the rulers of the world because they make for the betterment of worldly conditions. Kal does not want his subjects to degenerate. He desires them to maintain as high a state as is possible within the limits of his rule. Therefore such activity finds favour at his hands and meets with rewards. But of course those rewards are stamped with the character of the lower creation-with the impermanence which attaches to everything in it, virtue, prosperity, sensuous enjoyment, dissipation and disorganization of energy, vice and degradation. This is the inevitable round of earthly activity and it is beneficent since if good actions had permanent results the spirit would be permanently bound up in them and its escape to higher regions would be impossible. The purpose of creation would be frustrated.
Such activities may be compared to the efforts of a military prisoner to alleviate the lot of his fellow prisoners. He nurses, educates and diverts them. By so doing he gains the favour of his captors. They reward him by bestowing comforts and privileges. It is a furtherance of their own interests. By so devoting his energies that prisoner neglects his own real interests which are to escape from captivity. Nothing of the sort can hasten his release. Kindness and sympathy and reasonable relief he should indeed extend to his fellows but if he is wise he will always keep in mind that the important thing before him is to escape and to devote his chief energy to that end.
Kal is a jailor who proposes to keep jivas within his grasp as long as possible. All activities which tend to ameliorate the status of his dominions he encourages; but those which have for their object escape from them, he opposes.
The philanthropist plays on the Kal's side of the game.
Political activity of any sort is still less desirable for a devotee than philanthropic or social work. The reason is that political activity arouses so keenly the feelings and interests that these bind down the spirit. Though a man engaged in political activity may appear to be most spiritually minded, it is very difficult for him to give that amount of concentrated attention to the spiritual duties of a devotee which is necessary for satisfactory progress.
It is not that there is anything peculiar in this employment. Any other activity of like engrossing nature would be equally detrimental. Thus one wrapped up in what is called love on this plane-by which sex is usually meant-would be incapacitated to pursue the path.
It is for these reasons that the Radhasoami Faith frowns upon social or political activities for its members. It spurns the world, turns from it wholly and seeks a. higher goal ; nothing is more vitally essential than the definiteness of the goal.
The devotee should realize that this is so and face the issue squarely from the first. It will take long before he is able to realize the truth of the principle.
It follows from these views that Radhasoami philanthropy is limited to the relief of individual suffering and does not extend to organized efforts. Such relief is good and acceptable to the Supreme Father. All creation is His and sympathy towards any part of it is rewarded by Him. But to make the world better or to increase its attraction as a place in which to remain is not an object of the Faith.
The reason for the usual necessity of four lives in which to effect the entire process of spirit translation is further explained here.
The physical body with which the ordinary man is equipped is not well fitted for spiritual practice. It was designed for work in this world and has functioned under and been impressed by the action of the mind. It must be refashioned and this refashioning involves great strain. The cells of the body which before were directed downwards are by this transformation made to assume more or less an upward attitude. These cells also at first resist any change and their opposition has to be overcome.
This refashioning of the body goes on pari passe with the practices enjoined and the gaining of the spiritual strength by the devotee. This physical change is absolutely essential for making appreciable spiritual progress. The capacity of the body to undergo it constitutes the limit of the usefulness of the body. For the change introduced must not interfere with the Sue performance of the functions by each of the trinity, body, mind and spirit, Each with all its faculties, in a state capable of normal action, must participate in spiritual advancement.
When the limit of possible adaptation of the body to the requirements of spiritual growth is reached without still meeting those requirements, the substitution of a new body for the old becomes necessary through the death of the old body. After all the changes which the body will endure have been made, the remainder of the life period will be given to consolidating the results of spiritual practice and then the body will be given up. For this purpose Three new bodies or lives are usually necessary.
The intervals between successive lives in the case of a devotee are passed in the higher regions in a location determined by the degree of elevation of spirit which the devotee has accomplished, where in the company of the guru and influenced by the higher spiritual environment, it gains strength and inspiration for its next earthly experience.
There have been exceptional jivas endowed with bodies capable of enduring in one life the whole requisite transformation without breaking. Such were Huzur Maharaj and Maharaj Sahib. They were of course, great and exceptional souls who went through in a few years the complete cycle-which the ordinary man accomplishes in four births. But in both cases the immediate physical effect of the transformation was a low and depleted bodily condition which continued for quite a number of years.
After the changes have been effected complete physical vigour usually comes back though with a body very different in its constitution. One of its acquired characteristics is its softness and freshness like that of a babe.
Faith founded on miracles is not the result of development of the inner nature, it is imposed from without by a show of power which for a while over-awes the mind but which does not long continue its effects. Therefore Sant Sat Guru never performs miracles. They are only resorted to by lower incarnations. Sant Sat Gurus develop and strengthen the inner nature and by that growth cause faith to spring up. It is a slow process but its effects are permanent.
But the disciple can be nourished and encouraged by miracles internally-by apposite and impressive spiritual experiences and these are constantly occurring and are in fact indispensable to the establishment of unassailable faith.
SUPERIORITY OF RADHASOAMI FAITH OVER OTHERS.
A true religion must know the goal, must hold it up definitely, must prescribe a method of practice or training relative to the goal and of a nature to advance the disciple towards it and must establish a relation between the disciple and the goal.
We must know in the first place where the seat of the spirit is in the body. That there is one-that the spirit is not evenly distributed over the body- becomes evident when the different degrees of sensitiveness of the several parts of the body are considered.
There are also sub-centres in various parts of the body which must be the case where so complex a mechanism as the body operates, as is obeserved to be the case in all mechanisms with which we are acquainted. The distribution of the spirit throughout the body has not that uniformity which it would have, did the spirit simply radiate from its centre through uniform media. It is distributed variously and this variety is secured by variations in the transmitting media.
The spirit centre or focus must therefore be ascertained. The spirit must first be concentrated there and then raised on a path in the microcosm corresponding to and related with the path in the macrocosm which it is to traverse. There is no other concievable way in which the spirit may gain access to the distant regions which it desires to reach.
No other religion has a definite goal or a knowledge of the seat of the spirit in the body.
The student of religious beliefs will, whatever his view of it as a whole may be, find much to recommend to him in the scheme of existence advanced by the Radhasoami teachers. He will first of all be struck by its completeness and frankness. Everything seems to be known to. it and nothing is held back which is necessary to a logical comprehension of the. whole. He has not found this to be the case with other faiths. All of them are hazy, unsatisfactory and uncertain with regard to all questions which have to do with ultimate beginnings and with basic purposes. On these questions and because of these uncertainties numerous opposing sects have arisen. Prominent among these are the dualists and the. monists, the dwaitwadis and the adwaitwadis, the vedantists and the sidhhantists, all of whom have peculiar views as to the indentity and precedence in origin of (1) the Supreme Spirit, (2) the spirit of the jiva, and (3) matter or nature. In the light thrown by the Radhasoami Faith all these differing views are harmonised and one sees clearly how misapprehension was inevitable to those whose knowledge only went back to a certain period which was long subsequent to the period of origin but who took that period to be the period of origin and assumed that the divergencies which had developed in the interim were inherent in the original constitution of things.
The monists and dualists are seen to be both partially right but neither wholly so ; nor is there any irreconcilable contradiction between them. The monists are right because ultimately there is but one substance, that of the Supreme Father, from which emanated both the individual spirit and matter. But with reference to the universe as it now exists the dualists have an unassailable position, since an impassable division has now been established which will last for all time between the Supreme Father on the one hand and the jiva and matter on the other.
In another sense also, monism and dualism are both correct. The latter because of the unquestionable permanent distinctions which now exist ; the former because of the spiritual unity which runs through and forms the internal core of all separate existences and without which the knowledge of the Supreme Father would not have been universal.
The views of the believers in a triple origination or the trinitarians are likewise now readily understood and assigned their proper place. These assume a triple independence of origin for (1) the Supreme Being, (2) the individual jiva and (3) matter-that all are anadi (without beginning). According to the Radhasoami teachings it is evident that their conclusion also is due to their acceptance of differences as orgii.al which in reality only developed at a period far subsequent to that of origin.
The reason for the existence of the diversity of religions which at one time or other have had vogue in the world now becomes clearly apparent. There are a great number of presiding deities and hierarchical powers in various successive higher regions. Prophets and teachers who had reached by spiritual practices one or the other of these realms and avatars who came down to earth as messengers from them, each taught (as he indeed believed) the realm with which he was familiar, to be the final goal and its presiding deity to be the supreme lord.
Still more striking is the clear and satisfactory explanation of the reason for the pilgrimage of the jive through the material worlds. All other religions are absolutely in the dark on this most important point. The individual spirit, most of them declare, is of the same essence as the Almighty, from which it follows as an admitted corollary that it is inherently perfect. How then can it profit by a course of discipline ? The old religions of the world are unable to give any answer to this question. Their greatest teachers frankly relegate it to the list of the incomprehensibilities about which profitable inquiry cannot be made; or they tell us that it is enough for us to know that the spirit finds itself involved in the maelstrom of matter and should eagerly seize the aid which is offered for its extrication, without seeking too curiously to penetrate the causes of its predicament.
Such ignorance and incapacity on the part of their assumed teachers are a great source of discouragement and doubt to an earnest inquirer ; and to find one faith which frankly and logically and convincingly grapples with these difficulties is as refreshing as it is unexpected.
To the Indian the Radhsoami teachings offer great consolation. He is able to see how the present state of the country is a preparation for the introduction of this faith, a preparation which may be traced for a thousand years, how every apparently downward step in her history has been, instead of a degradation, a necessary adjustment for greater blessings; how she has always had and still receives, as the region of the earth chosen by Him for the nurture of the spirituality, the most solicitous care and protection of the Supreme Father.
Other religions are powerless to assist the aspirant for real salvation. They had their use in times that are passed but all are worthless as regards assistance for reaching the final goal. They were instruments of Kal, not of Radhasoami Dayal, and therefore cannot aid us in reaching Him.
Kal in some of his forms is the god of all the older religions. The vedas emanated from Trikuti. The ancient rishis and sages went no higher than this, with the exception of certain great yogeshwars like Vyas and Vashishta who attained the highest region of Brahm.ind; but they too remained under the sway of Kal. Christ and Mohammed stopped somewhat short of Trikuti. Of the two, Christ's attainments were evidently the higher. He crossed the sixth chakra in the macrocosm, the top of Pind. This is indicated by the importance he attached to the cross as shown by his own words and by many associations. The inner meaning of the cross is the intersection of the three spiritual currents at the sixth chakra. Christ raised his spirit to this cross and by doing so gained access to higher regions and to stores of force which enabled him to revive the physical body after his death. When the gospels were reduced to writing several hundred of years after his departure the inner meaning of the reference to the cross had probably been lost and a story of crucifixion was invented to fit in and explain them. Of course this can not be proved but it seems probable.
In past yugas it was possible to reach the higher regions of Pind and Brahmand by the forms of yoga then in vogue but that is not a possibility now. In Kali yuga the old forms of yoga are no longer effectual. Only by Surat Shabd Yoga can any of the higher regions or even the top of Pind Desh be reached.
There is a natural reason also for this. The human will power is now considerably less than what it was formerly. It is necessary that it should be so in order that the path of the Sant Mat may be taken, involving as it does reliance and dependence not on one's own efforts but on the guru. Former practices required great will power and a psychic force to match. Now neither of these is existent ; if they were, they would be a bar to the dependence and acceptance of guidance which is essential to final emancipation. In former times there was no such conception. Then all the emphasis was laid upon individual prowess. Sri Krishna was the first to introduce bhakti at the end of Dwapar Yuga and this he did no doubt to anticipate surat shabd yoga and to beguile jivas to stick to the bhakti taught by him.
To the superficial and inattentive or inadequately informed observer the Radhasoami Faith appears arbitrarily exclusive and monopolistic. Why, he asks, are not all religions equally paths to the Supreme Being ? How can any one of them justly claim pre-eminence and exclusiveness ? How is it that an impartial and just God has conferred the privilege of reaching Him only upon the few who have embraced tenets of a particular faith and particular methods of devotion and worship ? Such exclusive claims appear to them abhorrent and absurd and indeed the more so in proportion as they are sincere and earnest seekers after truth.
That those questions and strictures should arise in the minds of those who are inadequately informed on the subject is but natural and they can only be blamed in so far as they are remiss in profiting by available sources of information. For these objections are only possible to the superficial investigators and disappear as will be clear to all who have read the preceding pages when the theory of the faith and the conditions under which it is advanced are properly understood.
In the first place it must always be borne in mind as a fundamental axiom without which indeed none of the phenomena of the world can be understood, that all life is continuous and its successive embodiments only subject to decay and death. To suppose that human beings and other jivas are allotted but a single short span of earthly life is an assumption which wholly negatives the possibility of comprehending the rationale of existence. Were this true nothing could be more just than the condemnation which we are considering; and the God of this or any other exclusive faith would stand convicted of a partiality, injustice and fatuity of even far greater enormity than is asserted.
But the fact of the continuity of the invisible life through a succession of temporary forms-that is of re-incarnation or re-embodiment wholly destroys the basis of this criticism. On this assumption time and opportunity are seen to be practically unlimited ; and if the present life does not afford it, many others will come which may. The duration of this world and the created universe of which it forms a part and therefore the time for the salvation and emancipation of its inhabitants is still to be immeasurably vast according to human standards of reckoning, many times greater than the farthest stretches of recognised earthly history. All will have the opportunity which now may appear, but only superficially, to be claimed as a privilege of the few and that opportunity will come to every human being as soon as he is prepared to profit by it. That such should be the case is the very object of creation ; and any other assumption stultifies and negatives its purpose.
There is but one Supreme Father. The goal is single ; why should there be a plurality of paths ? The Lord made manifestation of Himself in one way only by the sound-current which emanated from Him. By this only can He be approached. The other paths which are labelled by what is assumed to be His name lead, in truth, to wholly different goals. Other religions have been only instruments of Kal and his representatives, introduced because they made for the greatness of Kal's realm by placing a needed curb upon the excessive indulgence of desire and passion and the consequent degeneration of his subjects. This equilibrium has been more or less restored and maintained and matter prevented from gaining the ascendency which it would otherwise have attained.
These religions also furnished means for the ascent of those jivas fitted therefor to the higher regions under the control of Kal.
The further object aimed at by Kal (and measurably accomplished too) in the establishment of various religions was that jivas should be involved and entangled in the mazes of conflicting faiths and their acceptance of the one path which could enable them to escape from his dominions should be thereby delayed. For, the forces of Kal had been and will be arrayed against the spread of the Radhasoami Faith and even fraudulent and deceptive means employed for that purpose. This Kid does, even though he knows that he must be defeated in the end. He is a ruler and as such is jealous of his sovereignty ; and he proposes to retain his sway as long and as widely as possible.
In the above no suggestion against the good faith of the teachers and prophets who founded the various religions is intended. The ancient sages, Budhha, Christ and Mohammed undoubtedly thought that they were pointing the way to the highest sphere and to final liberation. But they were the victims of delusion. Sat Desh was wholly unknown to them. It was known to none except to Kal himself, by whom the secret was jealously guarded even from his sons Vishnu, Brahma and Mahadeo.
The religions which Kal founded and encouraged were more or less effective in their time as means of ascent to some of the lower regions. But their day of usefulness even to that extent is now passed, they are now mere fossils, encumbrances and embarrassments to seekers after truth and the sooner they fall to pieces the better.
The time must come when the Radhasoami Faith shall be universal, when a high degree of spirituality will prevail and consequently happy conditions of life. This high degree of spirituality will be brought about by the frequent descent of spiritual currents from the highest regions.
But the presence of the highest spirituality is inconsistent with the required conditions of earthly life and consequently its' advent always foreshadows the dissolution. In due time this occurs; those jivas who are fitted for the higher spheres are translated there while the rest lapse into unconsciousness until the next evolution.
Passing a Hindu Hotel, Babuji Maharaj remarked, " The shop looms with meat and bones and is named ' Hindu Hotel" '.
Mr. Ph. -- Vivekanand advised use of meat. He recommended meat for sustenance of physical body. He ate meat at my table in America.
B. M. -- Vivekanand was a great intellectual man, but there was nothing spiritual about him. He was a follower of that great man of Bengal, Ramkrishna. Ram Tirth was a different man. He died by drowning. Such men read religious books, form notions, draw their own conclusions, and then preach religions based on their notions and conclusions.
Mr. Ph. -- Theosophists' prescription of religion is contemplation of master at the seat of heart.
B. M. -- All these religions, if they practise yoga at all, perform the sadhana of ‘Mantra' or 'Dhyan' at the seat of heart and some few at the seat of spirit without knowing their position in cosmogony. They have no systematic method of yoga. By these means they gain some powers of low order and acquire to some extent purification of mind and senses. The display of the action of the spirit, mind and body at the seat of heart is co-mingled, while at the seat of spirit, these three are associated with but not merged in one another or combined as at the seat of heart.
Spirit supplies the energy, mind is the active agent, while the body and senses are vehicles for action. The display of the powers of all the three at the seat of heart is united as without the energy supplied by spirit, mind and body would become unconscious, and incapable of conscious activities. For spiritual advancement, purification of body, mind and senses is essential but for the devotee of our faith his aim and object should be the transference of spirit from the seat of heart to the seat of spirit, its liberation from the bondage of mind and Maya and to free it from the downward strain or tension of gravitation of these two upon it; if this is achieved, the purification of mind etc. will follow in its train. Purification of mind and liberation of spirit must go hand in hand. This is not so in other religions. They devote all their energy to the purification of mind with the result that they cannot rise beyond the sphere of mind; very few go into Brahmand, the majority do not go beyond the region of Pind with the aid of Pran Dhar, which emanated from Trikuti, the higher sub-division of Brahmand. Each division has upper and lower parts; the upper consisting of three sub-divisions, and the lower of other three sub-divisions.
Body is the crystallized form of desire (Maya) and thoughts give it outer shape. It is 'Ichcha' that moulds the body, after death, for next birth. The sway of mind and Maya upon the spirit is very great; the mind on the level of existence has become the director. The stock of spirituality that spirit brought with it at the time of creation in this sphere, is by itself. i.e. unaided, incapable of liberating itself from the worldly ties and environments of mind and Maya. For the attainment of this object, impregnation and infusion of spirituality of Sat Desh is necessary and this can be gained by association with Sant Sat Guru who alone can infuse and impregnate this seed of spirituality of high order, which ultimately makes the spirit entity fit to reach Dayal Desh, the seed of which Desh is sown by the Sant Sat Guru in the spirit entity. The seeds take very long to germinate and the process of germination is not only slow but imperceptible. After some concentration, a feeble and weak spirit current issues from the seat of the spirit when casual or periodical internal experience of bliss is acquired by a devotee. When about half the spirituality of that located on the seat of heart or diffused in body is translated to the seat of spirit, then the devotee enjoys continuous bliss and unintermingled experience of ecstasy and bliss within himself. The seed after germination gradually grows into a plant, which then buds into flowers and ultimately bears fruit The germination of seed takes place in Pind, growing into plant at Sahas Dal Kanwal. It buds in Trikuti, flowers in Sunn and bears fruit in Sat Lok.
Conversation introduced by discussion of various yoga practices, as of concentration upon the heart etc.
B.M.-That is the locality usually chosen for concentration because, it is the seat of mental activity of this plane.
At the seat of heart, the spirit, mind and desire are co-mingled ; at the seat of spirit, the three are associated but not co-mingled. They descend to the heart in conjunction. Then the spirit supplies the energy, the mind is the active agent, while the senses and the body are the instruments of actions.
Desire is the subtle form of Maya, matter. The body is gross (crystallized) form of desire.
There are three principal subdivisions of mind-the lower, the individual mind (Pindi Man) located at the heart; the higher, subtle mind, located at the 'Third Til'; and the universal mind, whose seat is ' Trikuti'. There are intermediate sub-divisions, but these are the chief. Mind cannot reach the spirit. Nothing that the mind can do can affect it. The spirit stands apart, separate from all action only furnishing the energy. Even when an agreeable sensation is felt, it takes no part in prolonging or renewing the sensation. It is only the source of energy and of consciousness. The mind borrows its consciousness from spirit. Without the latter it would be unconscious.
Now since the mind cannot affect the spirit, and all activities originate with mind and are carried on wholly by it, nothing that the mind can initiate, will materially elevate the spirit. At the most the spirituality of the region immediately above, which is of a slightly higher quality, can be drawn on. Pure spirit, of course, cannot be reached by the mind. The goal of the mental activities can only be the regions of the mind not those of the spirit; nor can these activities have any effect towards making up the original spiritual deficiency which made it necessary for the spirit to descend from Sat Desh.
All yoga practices other than Surat Shabd Yoga are of this character (mental) and can lead no higher than the upper regions of Pind or Brahmand.
That the spirit may be materially raised, there must be an impulse from without (above) from the purely spiritual regions. This impulse can only be supplied by the Sant Sat Guru, and this he gives at the initiation. He alone can plant the germ directly or through some connection.
It is true that the mind also must be purified-the body also-and this purification is attained, to some degree by other forms of yoga. The mind and the body must be purified. The connection with the world must be severed or greatly reduced, otherwise the downward pull on the spirit is too great to permit it to rise. The elevation of the three must go hand in hand, but meanwhile, this fact must not be lost sight of that the only important thing to be achieved as the result is the translation of the spirit. Towards this end, other forms of yoga do not at all contribute or attempt to reach.
The growth of the germ is very slow, for long its presence is imperceptible, the current being so very slight or the current being so very tender. Simultaneously with its growth, the purification of the body and mind must proceed.
Because the plant germ is so slight, it does not affect the consciousness or only very rarely are spiritual experiences felt, though all is regulated by Supreme Father, and if experiences are needed for the encouragement of the devotee, they will be given. When half or a little more than half of the spirit is raised from the level of the mind to the seat of the spirit, spiritual experiences of bliss etc., will be frequent or almost continuous. The spiritual plant sends forth its buds in 'Trikuti'; its flowers in ` Sunna '; its fruit in ' Sat Lok '.
B.M. -- Confession in Parmarth is permitted to be made only to St dh or Sant Sat Guru. It may also be made to a Satsangi with whom one is intimate, who is considered to be an advanced Satsangi and who is likely to help either by advice or suggestion. When one is troubled by some worldly anxieties or thoughts or is tempted by the pleasures of this world or when a devotee's spiritual progress is retarded by the opposition of mind, or during Abhyas he is disturbed by impressions and thoughts of past actions, he needs the help and assistance of some one to sympathise with him or to guide him. By doing so, a load is removed from the mind of the devotee and he feels a great relief and is able to perform his practice more smoothly and undisturbed.
Mr. Ph. -- What is opposition of mind ? You have said that spirit does not partake in any action, it only supplies energy and remains aloof, then where comes the opposition of the mind ?
B.M. -- Opposition of the mind means the opposition of the lower mind to the voice of conscience which is the impulse of the higher mind. What is required is the exhaustion of all the activity of the mind ; mind is not to be crushed ; spirit has a desire to liberate itself from the bondage of the mind and Maya though it takes no active part in the action of mind and senses. It, however, finds itself quite helpless to liberate itself without the cooperation of the mind. Mind when exhausted of its activity, will realise its helplessness and will then gladly cooperate with the spirit in elevating themselves from the level of existence to a higher level till the region of the universal mind is reached, when the spirit will leave the association of mind and rise undetained into higher regions. The physical individual mind is located at the seat of the heart, the higher subtle mind at the seat of spirit, and universal mind in `Trikuti'. In ' Sar Bachan' (poetry) there is a dialogue between `Surat' and Mind (mana). In that, ' Surat' begs 'Mana' to help it in its liberation from the pleasures and temptations of this world, and accompany it upto 'Trikuti' and there enjoy the ambrosial showers of bliss which can be attained by association with Sant Sat Guru and presence in Satsang.
From the point of view of our Faith, anything that helps in the raising of the spirit to a higher level is virtue, and anything that tempts the spirit downwards and outwards in the world is vice. According to the moral code of our Faith, one has to rise above Karma, Dharma, Pap, Punya, (action, duty, vice, virtue) for the redemption of spirit, while according to the moral, social and religious code of the world all acts performed for the comfort of humanity are virtue and are considered as duty, the performance of which disinterestedly is the goal of such people for their salvation, just as a convict in a jail helps his comrades by nursing them or looks into the sanitation and other improvements necessary for the maintenance of health etc. amongst the occupants of the jail. Such a convict is considered to be doing good work in the eyes of the jail authorities and is in return rewarded by being appointed a warder and getting good marks. This is necessary for keeping equilibrium, otherwise deterioration must set in. Similarly this world is also a jail with the kingdom of Satan or Kal over it. Those who perform good acts for the amelioration of humanity appear in the eyes of Kal as virtuous and are rewarded with prosperity and other worldly comforts. For the real liberation of the convict from the jail, it is necessary that he should find out an egress from the walls of that jail. It is the gracious providence of the Supreme Father that there is no pleasure in this world without pain. What is the condition of those people who are prosperous and are rolling in gold ? Further descent into materialism and further deterioration ending in adversity. So adversity is a. blessing; without adversity nobody would like a change in the level of his existence.
I would like in my future talks to call Surat' as " She" instead of "It"'. Surat is ' She' and Shabd is ` He'. Surat is lover and Shabd the beloved.
'Radha preet lagd wan hhri,
Soami pritam ndm kahdri'.
The condition here is reversed. He is she, and she is he. There ` She' follows ` He', while here ` He' follows ` She'; man after the woman.
Mr. Ph. -- In Satsang, I do not follow the reading, and the noise of recitation disturbs my concentration, with the result that I fall into sleep.
B. M. -- If this state comes after concentration, it is half sleep and half concentration. This is not bad. It is a state of 'Tundra'.
Mr. Ph. -- As I cannot follow the recitation, the mind remains vacant and there is nothing to concentrate upon.
B. M. -- Concentration before sleep is very beneficial ; if sleep overtakes in the course of concentration, the effect of concentration remains in sleep also. For such concentration, one should sleep flat on the back with the face upwards.
Mr. Ph. -- Why is that so?
B. M. -- Just as at the time of practice, sitting in erect position is necessary for the nervous centres to be in one line, similarly to have the nervous centres in one line, one must lie down on the back. If you sleep on the side, concentration will not take place as sleep is likely to overtake you immediately. Medically, sleeping flat on the back is considered as detrimental to health, at least it retards digestion. I for myself always lie down on the back till sleep overtakes me.
Deep concentration would result in experiences of very high order and remarkable character, such as will dismiss all future anxieties and doubts. In the commencement very feeble and weak concentration takes place. Deep concentration at the first point will take a very long time. If this takes place immediately it will subvert the whole order of action. The machinery of the whole body will be affected, and one will commence to do erratic acts so much so that there is probability of one's losing equilibrium of mind.
Mr. Ph. -- You said that the elevation of half the spirituality is practicable.
B. M. -- Yes, as the elevation of the whole spirit is practicable.
Mr. Ph. -- In this life?
B. M. -- Not in this birth, unless one is specially fitted. Elevation of half the spirituality beyond Pind does not mean that, a devotee will acquire this state forthwith. When half the spirituality is raised, the course of a devotee becomes one of triumphal march. He is able to feel, see and enjoy the beatitude of everything on the higher level, as one enjoys the pleasures of this world by means of the body and senses. If on this level, there is anything beautiful, you are immediately attracted and your attention is forthwith directed towards that object. You do not make any effort. Similar would become the condition on the higher level, if half the spirituality is raised.
A very feeble and imperceptible current of spirit is always elevated in the case of a devotee and that settles the location of the spirit after death. At the time of death the Guru receives the spirit and locates it on the level to which the feeble current of the devotee's spirit during life had reached. It is taken and kept there to be acclimatized in the atmosphere of that level to be better fitted for spiritual life in next birth. The minimum elevation of spirit required for location on a certain level after death is necessary during the life time of a devotee and in accordance with the degree of that elevation, the location of the spirit takes place after death.
Mr. Ph. -- You said that spirit had consciousness and always desired its liberation from mind.
B. M. -- Spirit is always conscious in its own sphere; it has never been unconscious. In some `Jivas' the consciousness of spirit is strong, in some it is dormant, in some it is very weak; spirit in a sense has always been uncontaminated and pure. It has been pure, it is pure, and shall always remain pure, but that does not justify the contention of 'Bachak Gyani' of spirit being 'Alep'. Those ' Yogeshwar Gyanis' who reached the highest part of 'Brahmand' and who after reaching the real essence of spirit at the point of its dissociation from mind could well speak about the purity of spirit. Only in awakened spirits the consciousness is felt to some degree. Spirit itself is always conscious but we are not conscious of its consciousness. Accumulation of spirit at its seat is called 'Mahatma' (big spirit) according to the dicta of other religions, but according to the dictum of our faith 'Sunn' is the seat of spirit and the entity that reaches that sphere is a true 'Mahatma' and 'Sadh'.
Mr. Ph -- Does the spirit retain consciousness of its past birth after death?
B. M. -- It does retain consciousness, but very feeble. When after death, it is taken before 'Joti' which is necessary if it assumes human form in its next birth, all its past associations with mind and world are revived and the spirit is then hurled down below. It can call to memory all its births when it reaches a certain stage but at that stage the association with mind and matter in past births will appear as if they were associations made by some other entity and not by itself. In the association with mind and matter, depletion in the stock of spirit continuously takes place, but for retaining human body a minimum degree of spirit at the spirit centre is necessary; if the spirit centre itself descends downwards with the spirit, then it takes the form of lower animals.
Spirit is never so mixed with mind and matter as to become one with it. On high levels, the spirit has control over mind and matter but on the lower levels, it itself becomes subject to them. It is as if covered with coatings of mind and matter and any current that flows from it conveys with it the association of these coatings. When these coatings of mind and matter are exhausted of their activity and the mind reaches a certain point, it then becomes fit to ascend and becomes a helpmate of spirit in the latter's elevation. Scientific people have their own superstitions. Edison, an inventive genius of the time considers the immortality of the soul an absurdity. His ideas are that the cells of the body are living entities, each cell being a separate entity, and after death these cells form themselves into various other bodies. Cells of body after a definite period do undergo change just as it is said that after a period of seven years, the human body undergoes change. Thoughts also with the advancement in age undergo change, but the spirit which supplies energy to both body and mind remains the same. Practical instances of this are met with in Catalepsy, and in the condition of trance, when there is stoppage of pulse and respiration of heart but consciousness of the spirit within remains or is not lost Anything extraordinary, the cause of which these scientists are ignorant of, they attribute to freaks of nature. After this 13abuji Maharaj gave instances of a boy who had related events of his past birth to Maharaj, and of Tao Jee Saheb's daughter-in-law, who in the state of fits, talked of incidents and associations with Soamiji Maharaj and Huzur Maharaj in her past life.
17th January 1913.
When the spirit had the upper hand over the covers i.e., when the covers were responsive to the spirit's attractive force and acted in consonance with the spirit, the spirit and covers became one. This is in Dayal Desh, but when the covers had the upper hand over the spirit, that is, when covers became so thick and coarse and the spirit so feeble that it could not throw off the covers and liberate itself and be attracted towards the higher centre of spirit, the covers coalesced and shot forth as a current and assumed the form of 'Kal ' and `Maya', the former of 'Shabd ' residue and the latter of 'Surat' residue. In the raising of lower strata to higher strata, it is a general rule that some residue is always left which cannot rise. `Kal' and' Maya' were, so to say, excreta of Shabd and Surat which could not be assimilated in Dayal Desh and had therefore to be thrown out as excreta of the body. This excreta i.e., Kal and Maya can not return to Dayal Desh, just as excreta cannot return to the body.
Every manufacturing process leaves its residue. The attractive force was not able to release the spirit entities in the residue, which owing to depletion of spirituality remained unconscious. Had they been able to respond to attractive force, they would have become conscious in Sat Desh. The spirits that could assume kinetic form in Sat Desh remained there as denizens of that Desh.
The spirit entities that had, so to say, a 'Tie' with the covers, could not remain in the spiritual regions, they had to descend to Kal and Maya. Desh to denude themselves of these covers with which they had harmony and sympathy by exhausting their force and energy. Exhaustion does not mean destruction of any force. There is no total destruction of any force in nature. It means that the various covers over these entities assume kinetic form, and remain in the sphere with which they have sympathy, i.e., those covers that have the activity of Maya in them merge in Maya Desh, and those having activity of Kal merge in Kal Desh. The spirit entities having the potentiality of Dayal Desh in them become fit to return to Dayal Desh after getting rid of the covers, but being too feeble they cannot do so unaided. They can only do so with the help of higher spirituality being infused in them, which is done by association with Sat Guru. It was on account of the feeble state of the spirit entities that they could not have upper hand over the covers in Sat Desh. This caused their descent to Kal and Maya Desh.
The covers Kal and Maya assumed kinetic form immediately they (the covers) left Dayal Desh, and as such they could not return to Dayal Desh, as there was no potentiality of Dayal Desh left in them. It is a general rule that any force that takes kinetic form at any centre cannot return to higher centre but is eternally located at that centre. Thus Sat Purush cannot go to higher sphere of Dayal Desh. But these tiny spirit entities (jivas) who have come from the higher spheres of Dayal Desh can go to those spheres.
The rushing down of the covers acting in dissonance with spirit, signifies 'Might', while in Sat Desh, where the covers acted in consonance with the spirit, forming, so to say, as one with spirit signified 'Right'. In Dayal Desh "Right is Might", while in Kal and Maya Desh "Might is Right". In Dayal Desh everything works in harmony and love, and when the covers could not participate in the harmony and love reigning in Sat Desh, the element of resistence came in i.e., Par Brahm or Maha Kal, the father of the God of all religions. In Dayal Desh, there is no self interest, no opposition, no resistence, all acting jointly with one object in union and love and harmony.
Kal and Maya contain very powerful spirituality, but in comparison with purely spiritual regions, they are as darkness and death are to light and life. The region of love is life and light and the region of resistence is death and darkness. One is 'Amar', the other is 'Mar'. What is play unto them is death unto us. It is play for Kal but it is death for us.
Mr. Ph. -- Do you know this biblical phrase?
B. M. -- Oh, yes, yes.
18th January 1913.
Civilization has made life ever busy. It has made it full of engagements. The papers and periodicals contain a lot of sensational news of events abroad, thousands of miles away. In former times, life was very innocent, no excitement, free from political sensations. Our forefathers lived very calm and innocent lives. I hate this busy life, full of activity, sensation and excitement. Young men of these days are full of engagements the whole day and night except for a few hours of suspension during sleep. I am an old fossil and have therefore great sympathy with old men.
If an old man were told to commence his life anew from his childhood with all the experience and knowledge acquired during his life time, would he be able to live that buoyant life which he enjoyed when he had no experience of life? Never.
Similary if he knew of his past life and its associations in his present life, he would find life not worth living; a sort of curtain, so to say, is put over the consciousness of his past life. Everything that is going on ---- all changes, all alterations are for the regeneration of this world, the system and the whole creation. There are innumerable worlds and systems.
Mind is like an onion made of covers and contains potentiality of Kal and Maya. They (covers) constitute 'Adi Karma' which caused the descent of the spirit entities to the lower regions. There these covers exhaust their activity and take kinetic form. With each cover, so much of energy is spent and depletion of spirit takes place; when all the covers are removed and with them all the energy is spent, then comes the time for spirit to ascend and then comes the time for accumulation.
Spirituality is absorbed by mind and matter. In essence the spirit remains the same but undergoes change in degree. With descent comes depletion, and with ascent accumulation, which takes place when it becomes free from covers of mind and Maya.
Former life of pain and trouble, injustice to one's self might result in the next birth in humility or cruelty. It all depends upon the receptivity of the personality concerned. This pain, trouble, misery and injustice might give him a temperament of resentment and vindictiveness resulting in his next birth in a life of tyranny and cruelty but if the mind is exhausted of all its energy and activity and one is spiritually inclined, the next birth will be one of humility and sympathy.
Spirit, leaving Sat Desh has come here with a credit balance but with demand of pro-notes of Kal and Maya against it, or so many I. 0. U. documents (Adi Karma) against it. When payment of these demands of 1. 0. U. documents is made, the credit balance is gradually reduced, and ultimately indebtedness sets in. At this stage the court of wards comes in and takes responsibility for payment of debts, viz., at this juncture, Sant Sat Guru steps in putting a check to future indebtedness, and takes all the liabilities upon Himself, the credit balance increases, and after paying the residuum of debts, the spirit is liberated and taken back to Sat Desh free of all demands and liabilities.
25th January 1913.
Conversation suggested by a park in Benares which has been made on the site of a most congested and filthy part of the city.
As there comes a time when the character, thing or place suddenly and wholly changes as in the case of this bit of land through the operation of causes, which gradually aggregate until they suddenly bring about a complete change, or as in the case of a natural cataclysm, similarly in the spiritual realm the energy of spirit gradually accumulates until all at once it effects a revolution in character. The results may be imperceptible until sufficient force is accumulated to effect the change. Then something akin to a cataclysm in the material world occurs and spiritual perception then becomes continuously illuminating, while before it there were only occasional glimpses.
Spiritual growth proceeds by experiences which are of a sort to develop humility. That this may be effected, reverses of fortune are necessary which may entail humiliation which however is not the end aimed at. The characteristics of true humility have been given in a previous discourse.
This is a world of alteration- alteration in body, mind, and in spirit itself. The upheaval takes place in a moment, and that moment is fulness of time. Gradually and slowly, sailing takes place. At first it is very feeble but when sufficient accumulation takes place which is noticeable, the time for upheaval comes and the whole thing is altered. It is like a journey from a desert to an oasis which when traversed through, results in the manifestation of verdure, joyful scenes and bright sun.
For the true upheaval in spirit, humility is essential. It is different from humiliation. Humility is laying low both mind and body. While in humiliation only pride and self suffer. It is physical and material.
It is very difficult for people whose aim of life has been to raise the political or social condition of people or nations, to accept our Faith. If it be explained to them that unless they give up this life of political or social activity, they would not be able to perform spiritual practice, they would only laugh at the idea and dismiss the explanation as unreasonable.
For the performance of practices of our Faith, and acquiring tangible results in practice it is essential that the spirit entity should raise itself from the level of its existence or consciousness; this is a very difficult task. A certain amount of inertia is created at the level of each individual's existence or consciousness and unless that is overcome, no progress in spiritual life is possible. All this is due to associations in past births and impressions in this life and unless there is association with a being of higher order the inertia created at the level of each individual's existence or consciousness can never be overcome. It is by association with Sant Sat Guru only that the level of existence or consciousness of the spirit, which is located in this body at the seat of the individual mind, can be raised to a higher level i.e. of subtle mind. This process of raising will be slow and gradual and will take a very long time for a devotee to achieve.
27th January 1913.
The young man should take a girl who will feel pleasure in rendering service to him and not only please him by playing on piano, and who will not claim equal rights when question of service comes. Western education in this respect is a curse. Education to girls properly speaking should be limited to reading religious books, writing letters and nothing beyond it. It is a mistake to think that women in Indian homes are treated as mere chattels or slaves. The failure of the social and political reformers who boast so much on public platforms to achieve any tangible or practical results in their efforts, is due to the strength of character in their women. Without women's co-operation social reform is impossible.
Western education of the character that women in the West have, will be a sure ruin for the women in the East. it will be teaching sensuality and carnality. Western education creates more agnostics than God-fearing men. It is more easy to impress the truths of religion on illiterate unlettered men than on a man who has, studied philosophy, is stuffed, so to say, with it and carries impressions in his mind which no amount of argument or reasoning can efface. Dr. Weldon is considered an authority on theology. He seems to think all that history contains is due to the change in the times and in the circumstances of the world and the human mind. He is a wrangler, but when Christianity is concerned he will accept its dogmas as truth whether reasonable or absurd. About the advent of saints such as Guru Nanak, he will explain that Guru Nanak was an ordinary person, but came in prominence because he preached tolerance and submission to the Hindus so that they might be able to bear the tyranny of Mohamedan rulers with resignation and patience.
27th January 1913.
Western education has also its advantages. In a way it helps in destroying the undergrowth such as superstition, idol worship in the East. That the Supreme Father should have so ordained that the Westerners should come to rule in India, the cradle of His spirituality and Holiness, must be fraught with special grace for the spiritual advancement of the Indians. Though the action of Western education in the sphere of spiritual life in India is destructive, yet if a broad view be taken of the whole, there is no conflicting element. It is indispensible for spiritual advancement. It forms one link in the whole chain. The Samajists too, though having nothing real in them, are helpful in their own way. As for instance the Arya Samaj following the Vedas and their doctrines, helps in destroying the belief in idol worship. The action of all these elements is destructive while constructive action is that of Radhasoami Faith alone. Christian converts are more bigoted than their Christian teachers. They will accept our Faith, when their teachers accept it and not otherwise. The association of Western spirits with spirits in the East will result in a number of spirits taking birth in the West, and it is by the association of these spirits born in the West that this religion will be promulgated in the West.
28th January 1913.
Our consciousness and the action of our frame on this level of existence is focussed towards senses and worldly pleasures. These lenses of the frame are re-focussed for gaining higher spiritual level. At each nervous centre in the frame there is a lens the form of which at present is convex; these lenses are required to be filed, to be changed into concave form. The ray that now falls on the convex lens spreads its light outwards and when it assumes the concave form, then the ray falling on it, will spread its light inwards. When this condition is arrived at, the lenses will require re-focussing to get impressions of higher spiritual level. Before this stage is reached action of all education, all training, all learning will be outward and will strengthen the activity of mind, body and senses, which when the lenses are filed and re-focussing done, will help in the spiritual progress and advancement of the devotee.
Individual disinterestsed acts of charity and benevolence or of sympathy with those in distress are, indeed, laudable. They form, so to say, assets in the case of charitable and benevolent persons who receive the grace of the Supreme Father for such acts. They case of persons who devote their life and energy to social reform and political regeneration of nations or of the world in general is quite different. Their summum bonum is this world and its comforts. They consider that there is no other world besides the world they live in, and do not consider this world and its pleasures transitory or unstable. Such people use all their activity and energy in finding some means of patching up a rent in the existence of the people in general, with the result that before they have succeeded in patching up the rent, a bigger rent appears in another place, e.g., an earthquake comes and shakes the very bowels of the earth. Their ideal lies in the admiration and praise of them by the people in general for the performance of the so called self-sacrificing deeds. Such people are not at all fitted for true spiritual life. It cannot however be denied that they are great intellects and are doing very good work in their own spheres of life, and compared to these intellectual giants we are merely spiritual pigmies, but amongst us, too, there are spiritual giants who keep themselves hidden from the gaze of these people. They shun the gave of these intellectual giants; they spurn their admiration. How would a person feel if cattle grazing in a field were to gaze in admiration towards him? At the most what he would do would be to condescend to caress them.
Worldly prosperity must, in its turn, bring adversity. Prosperity and wealth are, so to say, breeding places, hot beds and conservatories of crime and sensuality.