Ruhani Satsang, as the name implies, is a centre for imparting purely spiritual teachings and training to mankind, irrespective of class barriers such as caste, colour, creed, sect, age, education or avocation. As Nature offers her bounties of light, water, and air etc., freely to one and all, so is Spirituality offered free to all who are anxious for self-knowledge and God-knowledge.
In this age of science, Spirituality too has to be treated as a regular science to make it acceptable to the people. It is In fact, another name for the "Science of the Soul" but unlike other sciences, it is very definite and very exact in its premise, theory and practice, and yields verifiable results with mathematical precision. Its history dates back to the unknown past, when man first began to reflect within on the meaning of life. It has ever been the natural urge in man to solve the riddle of life. In every Age, sages and seers appeared in different parts of the world and gave out the spiritual experiences which we have with us in the form of the sacred scriptures. We are indeed very fortunate to possess their fine records, for they kindle in us a desire and a longing to know, and inspire us with a hope that one day, we too can unravel the mystery of life and the purpose of human existence.
So far so good, but beyond this, there is no way out. By mere reading of sacred literature, we cannot possibly understand the true import of the esoteric experiences that their authors had within themselves in the silence of their soul. Book learning and worldly wisdom are of no avail in exploring the mysteries of the inner worlds. Reasoning is the help and reasoning is the bar. We may reason things out on the intellectual level, but cannot go beyond intellect itself. The scriptures cannot talk to us and answer our questions, nor resolve our doubts and drive away scepticism from our minds. They cannot grant us the actual inner experiences recorded in them. What then is the remedy? Are we to float on the sea of life, pass our allotted days in hectic strife and do no more? Has life no other purpose beyond that of a stage-actor, who comes on to the stage, plays his part, and then vanishes to appear no more?
Every problem in life is beset with the difficulties peculiar to it. But it does not mean that these difficulties are insurmountable, or that they should deter us in our search for the Eternal Truth. What one man has done towards this end, another can also do, of course with the proper guidance and help. All that is needed is to make a right approach to the problem in the true spirit of a seeker after Truth. God is great and He has His own ways to fulfill the yearnings of His devotees. There is nothing to despair of. Every Saint has a past and every sinner a future.
We have, of course, to start with the premise that there is a certain central controlling Power behind all this phenomena no matter what name we may give to or what our conception is of this Unseen Power. We see that the Universe around us is pulsating with life and is a manifestation of the Life and Active Principle of this Unseen Power, which appears in so many different forms. However, what this Unseen Power is, and how we may contact it, constitutes the fundamental problem.
A professor of theology, however learned he may be, cannot with all his power of elocution give us this contact. Life comes from Life. One who is embedded in the Life-Principle may, if he so likes, grant us a contact with the Life-Impulse surging within him. A Master Soul who has realized the Truth in himself can help us to have this realization, and no one else. Self realization and God realization are inner experiences of the soul, and cannot be had on the plane of the senses. Inner awareness comes only when we rise above outer awareness. We have first to transcend body consciousness so as to liberate the soul from all outer attachments. The inner man must first be freed from the outer man, consisting of body, mind, sense organs, the intellect, and the vital airs (physical energies), for none of these can contact the Pure Consciousness, which is wholly non material in essence, the life of all life and the very soul of all that exists. These are some of the vital problems with which God-men are concerned.
Ruhani Satsang then, deals with the most abstruse problems connected with the soul and primarily imparts instructions in the science of the soul. All other considerations, physical, social and moral, are but secondary and enter discussion only insofar as they aid in the upliftment of the soul. As it is a science of the Beyond, it is termed as Para-Vidya or the knowledge that the soul experiences directly and immediately, above and beyond the realm of the senses. It seeks to make the human soul one with the Oversoul, by transcending the physical plane. The actual awakening of the spirit into its own, its gradual efflorescence into Cosmic Awareness, is the work of the Master Power overhead, and is achieved through a regular process of self-analysis or inversion:
It was ever the desire of my Master, Baba Sawan Singh Ji, to form a common forum, where people professing various faiths and religious beliefs, or belonging to diverse sects and orders, could meet together to discuss the principles of Spirituality and to practise spiritual discipline under the guidance of a Master Soul, thereby gaining salvation and peace, both here and hereafter. A Perfect Master is not concerned with the social order of things nor does He interfere in it. He brings from God to His children the message of spiritual emancipation. His is a message of Hope, Redemption and Fulfillment, to one and all alike. Such Blessed Beings are Children of Light and come into the world to diffuse this Light among suffering humanity, as they themselves affirm:
"A Master Soul is known by the catholicity of His teachings, which have a universal appeal to all".
I. To ingrain in seekers after Truth:
One learns the true meaning of:
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; That which is born of the spirit is spirit". (John 3:16)
"Life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment". (Luke 12:23)
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37)
(b) The higher values of life-the greatness of God and the need for humility, leading to a pure and honest life of truth, chastity, abstinence, and a loving selfless service of humanity. The practice of moral virtues has always been enjoined alike by all spiritual teachers, as only an ethical life can pave the way for a spiritual life. Christ promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit; the kingdom of earth to the meek; mercy to the merciful and the vision of God to the pure in heart. Before Christ, Moses gave his Decalogue or Ten Commandments to the Israelites. Buddha, the Enlightened One, taught the noble Eightfold Path of Righteousness to those who took to the order of the yellow robe. Zoroaster, Kabir, Nanak and the Rishis of old said the same things in their own words. So it is necessary for the aspirants to gradually weed out moral lapses, one by one, and to cultivate in their place moral virtues, for which the maintenance of a self-introspection diary is a necessity. It is the knowledge of our faults and failings that will make us strive to correct them. This in turn leads to true spirituality.
(c) The expansion of the self. In this connection, we have in the Gospels:
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you". (Matthew 5:44)
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". (Matthew 22:37-39)
It is therefore necessary that we must learn to love all living creatures, and more so our fellow man, as all are the children of the same Supreme Father. Thereby, we are not only true to ourselves, but true to the community. to the nation or country to which we belong and, above all, to humanity at large. This leads to the progressive expansion of the self until it embraces the entire universe and makes one a world citizen, with a cosmopolitan outlook in its truest sense, deserving of God's grace. Further, what is the nature of love? It should be an unselfish love, a love which workers no ill to anyone, a love which fulfills the law of God, which enjoins loving service with a pure heart. Such a love is the means to Self and God realization:
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love''. (l-John 4:8)
"Hear ye all. I tell you the truth-only those who love can know God''. (Guru Gobind Singh)
"Do thou love God for without love thou canst not have peace here or hereafter''. (Kabir)
So love God and love all his creation, man, beast, birds and reptiles, for they are all members of the family of God.
Sant Kabir says,
"O Pandit (one well versed in religious learning), you and I cannot possibly agree in our conclusions, for you speak of things as you have read in sacred texts, while I speak what I have seen".
"Listen ye to the true testimony of the Saints, for they give out what they verily see with their own eyes".
"Nanak does not utter a single syllable of His own, except as He is moved from within".
"I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things".
The Absolute Truth is of course, imageless, but the Power of Truth or God-in-action, is a vibratory force pervading everywhere. Its primal manifestations come in the form of Light and Sound, and it is for the Master Saint to give an experience thereof by helping each soul to rise above the sensory plane, if only for a short while. If this contact is established on the super-sensual plane, one can, under the guidance and with the help of the Master, develop it to any extent he may like. The contact of Light and Sound are the "saving lifelines" within each individual, and the Master who manifests this Light and Sound is called a Saviour, a Messiah, or a Prophet, or just as one may wish to call Him. The eternal soul principle is described variously as "Sruti" in the Vedas (that which is heard); "Udgit" in the Upanishadas (the Song of the Beyond); "Akash Bani" or "Ned" in the Hindu scriptures (Voice or Music from the Sky); "Kalma" or "Kalami-i-Kadim" in Al Quran (Divine Utterance or the Most Ancient Call); "Sraosha" by Zoroaster; "Word" in the Bible; and "Naam" or "Shabd" in the Holy Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture.
The ancients described It as the "Music of the Spheres" while in Theosophy we read of it as the "Voice of the Silence". Without actual contact with the Divine Power within, the "Voice of God" and the "Light of God", good morals and esoteric teachings by themselves are not sufficient. This is why Christ emphasized: "Be ye the doers of the Word and not the hearers alone".
"Here, one sees without eyes and hears without ears, walks without feet and acts without hands, and speaks without tongue. O Nanak! it is by death-in-life that one understands the Divine Will and. stands face to face with the Reality".
For this experience, the soul has temporarily to disconnect itself from the body and its different sense organs, the mind and the vital airs, all of which are too gross to contact Truth. In other words, an embodied soul has to disembody itself and become depersonalized, before it can come into contact with the Master Power, which is subtle and rarefied. Therefore, Guru Nanak says:
"Unless one rises to the level of God, one cannot know God".
The Divine Power can neither be comprehended nor apprehended by the lower order of things. With all our righteousness, we are but filthy rags and when in the flesh, none are righteous. The soul, as it rises above body consciousness, shines forth in its pristine purity, rises into Cosmic Awareness and feels, as it were, the efflorescence of the microcosm into the macrocosm. It is this which is called "Duaya Janma" or the "Second Birth" i.e. "Birth of the Spirit as distinguished from the birth of the flesh". The Bible tells us:
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God". (John 3:3)
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God". (John 3:5)
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God". (Cor: 1:47)
Thereafter, a person walks not after the flesh but after the spirit. As the process of soul withdrawal is akin to actual death, one gains victory over death, which is the last enemy of mankind. The daily dying at will takes away the sting of death. We may find references to "death-in-life" in the scriptures of all religions. Kabir, an Indian Saint of great repute, says:
"Death, of which the people are so terribly afraid, is a source of peace and joy unto me".
Dadu, another Saint, affirms:
"0 Dadu! learn to die while alive, for in the end, all must die".
In the Quran also, great stress is laid on "Mootu qibal az Mootu" or death before the final dissolution of the body. The Sufis lay much store on "Fana" (death to the life of the senses) for gaining "Baqa" (life everlasting).
Maulana Rumi speaks of it as:
"So long as a person does not transcend the sensual plane, he remains an utter stranger to the Life Divine".
Similarly, in the Gospels, words like "I die daily" and "I am crucified in Christ", occur. Christ's own exhortation to His followers, "If ye love me, take up your cross daily and follow me", all point to one and the same thing; viz., a true resurrection from one life to another.
"The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation, the Kingdom of God is within you".
In the Holy Quran, the Kingdom of God is referred to as "Maqam-i-Mahmud" or the praiseworthy station--(17:81). It is the Buddha Land of the Buddhists, a sublime state of conscious rest in omniscience, called "Nirvana".
Through the grace of the Master, the spirit then regains the Lost Paradise, the Garden of Eden, from which it was forced out:
"Without a perfect Master, none can reach God, no matter if one may have merits a million-fold". (Holy Granth)
"It is the fundamental law of God that none can even comprehend Him without the aid of a Master Soul". (Holy Granth)
A True Master is Master indeed--A Master in every phase of life. As Guru or Teacher on the physical plane, He imparts spiritual teachings as any other teacher would do, and shares our joys and sorrows. He helps us at every step in our daily trials and tribulations. As Guru Dev or Radiant Form of the Master, He guides the soul on the Astral and Causal planes. As the Satguru or the veritable Master of Truth, He leads us into the Great Beyond. Such souls are the salt of the earth, and are very rare indeed, but the world is never without one or more of such Beings, just as God may ordain. The principle of demand and supply is ever at work, in spiritual as in secular affairs. One has, however, to guard against false prophets or "ravening wolves in sheep's' clothing". How to find such a Master is a difficult problem, but patience, perseverance and judicious discrimination always succeed in the long run. When God's Light shines, It shines forth in fullness and cannot remain under a bushel for any great length of time. "Guru appears when the Chela is ready" is an axiomatic truth. This readiness, Kabir tells us, consists of intense longing, humility, compassion and sincerity. When these virtues adorn an aspirant after truth, God within him, who is his Controlling Power, directs the Master to find him out wherever he may be. The scriptures tell us some of the signs whereby one may outwardly discern a true Master:
"Never bow ye before him who while claiming to be a Pir (Guru), lives on the alms of others". (Holy Granth)
"A true Master never displays Himself among the people, nor takes delight in popular applause. He never collects alms nor accepts donations for His own use, however voluntarily made".
"He who manifests the Infinite in the finite is Satguru indeed and is a veritable sage". (Holy Granth)
"Take Him to be a true Master, who engrafts thee in Truth, and who makes thee peer into the unfathomable, and links thee with the Sound within". (Holy Granth)
"All Masters are worthy of adoration; each in his own place and in his own way; but Him alone would I worship, who is embedded in the Sound Current". (Kabir)
"A true Master brings the message of Shabd and talks of nothing else but Shabd".
"Hail as a Master Divine He who can draw down the Celestial Music from above". (Paltu)
"The Master Power can never leave nor forsake thee till the end of the world".
"And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out". (Bible)
To meet a Master Saint and to get Initiation from Him is the acme of good fortune and the greatest blessing. He holds the keys to the Kingdom of God and leads the world-weary and heavy laden back to His Father's Mansion. He rediscovers God for man in the secret chambers of the soul. As the Master is the greatest gift of God, so is God the greatest gift of the Master, for it is only by the grace of the Master, that one can have union with God. In fact, there is no difference between the two, for:
"I and my Father are one. No man knoweth the son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the son, and he to whom the son will reveal Him". (Bible)
In the Holy Granth Sahib of the Sikhs also, it is said:
"The Father and the son are dyed in the same colour".
"The Father and the son form a co-partnership".
Hence, the need for a really Awakened Soul, for without Him, we ever grope in darkness and cannot see the Light or have salvation.
"Hundreds of moons may shine forth; and thousands of suns may be set aglow; but despite a blinding lustre like this, pitch darkness prevails within. Without the Master, one finds not the Way and goes awandering in the dark". (Holy Granth)
Such a Master Soul may work through a representative in far off lands and make him a vehicle for the purpose. There is a vast difference, however, between the Master and the representative. The former is perfect in His Science, whereas the latter is on the Way, not perfect as yet. So we have always to look to the Master Power, working at the chosen pole of the physical Master outside, for perfect guidance and help until we can commune with the Master Power within.
Today, it is becoming more and more difficult for an honest man to live in the world. Virtue is on the decrease and is to many the object of derision. Vice is on the increase, and its practice is even lauded as a virtue. The moral fabric of society, which is its warp and woof, is becoming threadbare, and if this process is allowed to continue, the fabric will tear apart. Even Art, which in former years was a means used to educate people to a nobler way of life, has not escaped this destructive process. In the theatre, cinema and television medias, the filth and dirt of perverted intellect is spawned forth without let or hindrance. Even the most respected of all Educational Institutions, the University, is becoming forgetful of its true function, which is to produce the highest type of citizen dedicated to the service of his fellow man.
It is to counteract this pernicious process, that Ruhani Satsang has established both in India and abroad, training centres or study circles, where man can learn the true values of life, as taught from a spiritual standpoint. In these centres, the students are trained and guided by personal classes, through correspondence and submission of progress reports. The progress reports detail the success and failures that are experienced in the practical application of the principles of true living, which are taught to the students by such classes.
These classes are conducted by selected initiates of the Master, who have themselves made some progress in the art of "man-making", which is the means of attaining control over the mind, senses and sense objects, which at present bind the soul in bonds of steel. Without the knowledge of the science of "man-making", mastery over the self or animal man cannot be successfully accomplished, for until this self mastery is achieved, the higher or spiritual part of man's nature cannot come into play. The most urgent need of society today is the active presence of such people, the more there are the better. As mentioned above, selected initiates of the Master are responsible for the dissemination of the knowledge of "man-making" insofar as they themselves have developed it, under the loving guidance of the Master. It is also the responsibility of some of these initiates to visit the various Satsangs to give talks on the Teachings.
The main mission of Ruhani Satsang is to bring all children of God together on one platform so that they may have the right understanding that they are all brothers and sisters in God. Only on such a platform can true integration be inculcated in the hearts and minds of the people at the level of man, soul and then God, whom we worship by different names. It is the intention of this aspect of Ruhani Satsang to help to produce a true Work of Art, that is, a whole man, one freed from the lower passions and instincts which degrade his true nature. Man as intended by God, is a noble being with noble qualities and aspirations, which are directed to the attainment of Self and God realization in his lifetime. He is not on this earth merely to eat, sleep, breed and then die. These are the limits imposed on the lower orders of Creation, but man has the spark of God in him, and he is intended for higher things.
The seekers are trained and disciplined in order that
they may elevate themselves physically, morally and intellectually, which
will result in true spiritual progress. This will enable them to face successfully
the trials and tribulations that they encounter in their day to day living.
To help them in this phase of their development, they are enjoined to:
(2) To be regular in attending Satsang, where the Master gives the right understanding of the Teachings, as well as benefiting those attending by His radiation. In the West, such Satsangs are conducted by Representatives and Group Leaders authorized by the Master for this purpose.
(3) To be regularly devoted to their spiritual practices, both morning and evening. This is done mainly at home, although group meditations are given in Sawan Ashram under the personal direction of the Master.
(4) The singing of and listening to devotional hymns from the writings of the Saints of different religions concerning ethical and spiritual subjects is part of the cultural teaching at Sawan Ashram.
(5) To study the sacred literature and books written by
the Master. A monthly magazine, Sat Sandesh, is published in English, Hindi,
Urdu and Punjabi, which helps to channelize their thoughts in the right
direction, by keeping constant, sweet remembrance of the Master.
This is the complete text of the booklet: RUHANI SATSANG - Science of Spirituality
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