-- What it is


    We spend most of our time in admiring the outer surface of worldly things, and care not to see the very soul of the matter that lies hidden underneath and bespeaks the Great Creator, the creative life-principle, without which even the surface beauty cannot exist for a fraction of a second. Again, the outer raiment of everything is subject to disease, decay and, in course of time, to dissolution; while the Ultimate Truth at the core is the only Unchangeable Permanence. We, however, choose to analyse the husk or chaff of the matter, probe into its mysteries, try to conquer and harness it to our benefit. To a great extent, we have succeeded in our endeavours to press Nature's gifts into our service. But we have not cared to find out the immanent Presence that pervades everything and is the alpha and omega of the entire creation.
    That person alone is wise who takes the pearl out of the oyster's shell and is not concerned with the latter. All outer coverings are provided by Nature for lodging therein something precious, something of intrinsic value. Would that we could first peep within before evaluating the things of the world. We have at present no idea whatsoever of the higher values of life, and we have not yet been able to separate the grain from the chaff. Ignorant as we are, we act like fools, dazzled by the surface glamour, and are deluded by shapes and forms, colour-designs that meet our gaze, little knowing that we are like bloated bubbles which shine for a while and in the twinkling of an eye vanish like airy nothings into thin air.
    The saints and seers have referred, in their precious writings, to the spiritual treasures that lie buried within each individual, and tell us of the way whereby we can delve deep and find them out. The secret of the very macrocosm may be found in the microcosm, and knowledge of the latter is the mother-knowledge or master-key that unlocks the steel portals of all knowledge, physical, intellectual and spiritual, with the Grace of the Master. The ancients rightly put before man the great question: "What is that wisdom or knowledge, by knowing which all else becomes known?" And in the same breath replied: "Self-knowledge or Atmavidya." Know thyself, or Gnothi Seauton, or Nosce Teipsum, has always been advocated by the ancient Greeks and Latins as the highest type of knowledge. It is also termed Paravidya, or the knowledge of the Beyond - something that lies beyond the grasp of gross senses and. the intellect and is the inner science of the soul.
    Apparently, a person is endowed with five sense faculties: sight, hearing, palate, smell and touch. Of all these the faculty of sight is the most important. Eyes are therefore rightly spoken of as 'windows of the soul.' Eyes do reveal the inner state of the mind - whatever it be, of peace and tranquility, or of anger and unrest. It is through the power of the eyes that a mesmerist or a hypnotist controls his subject. Some reptiles, too, transfix and paralyze their prey, making it immobile by casting their strong gaze on it. So is the case with an osprey or the fishing eagle. The wizard and the enchanter work their black art through the eyes. The mother transmits her love to a baby through her eyes. Even the domestic animals find comfort from the loving gaze of their master. Poets sing of the laughing eyes, sparkling eyes, liquid eyes, languishing eyes, drilling eyes, speaking eyes, and so on. The silent language of the eyes is wonderful indeed. Words fail to convey the expressiveness of the eyes. With no words, the eyes are still eloquent. Their silent speech and their appeal are universally acknowledged and go to the very heart.
    In a state of wakeful consciousness, the seat of both the mind and spirit is located behind the center of the two eyebrows. In the dream state of semi-consciousness, this seat is transferred to the place of the thyroid gland in the throat, and in the state of deep slumber, or sushupti (unconscious state), it goes still further down to the navel. Since the Path of the Saints (the science of the spirit) deals with a state of Super Consciousness, the real search begins from the third eye or Nukta-i-Sweda or Divya Chakshu and goes upwards (and not downwards) from stage to stage, until Sach Khand or Muqam-i-Haq, the True Home of our Father, is reached.
    This body is the temple of God. The Kingdom of God is within us. The whole of the macrocosm is said to be locked up in the microcosm. The true knowledge of the former can only be had with the knowledge of the latter. "A tap inside," is the wonderful dictum of the American philosopher, Emerson. Both the macrocosm and microcosm have been divided into four planes: (i) Pind, or the physical body, (ii) And (mental or astral body), (iii) Brahmand (causal or seedbody) and (iv) Sach Khand (the Eternal abode of Truth or Soul). All the planes below Sach Khand are liable to destruction at the time of Dissolution or Grand Dissolution, as the case may be. The idyllic home of the saints and the Master-souls is located in Sach Khand and realisation of this plane is their ideal. From Sach Khand to Pind, the reflection of the six centers in each of the higher planes may be seen in the corresponding centers of the lower plane, just in the same way as reflection of the sun may be seen in the number of pitchers full of water, and again of the latter, in turn, on a wall nearby. The six ganglionic centers of the body are (i) guda (rectum), (ii) indri (procreative organ), (iii) nabhi (navel), (iv) hirdey (heart), (v) kanth (throat or thyroid), (vi) aggya (behind the eyes).
    The yogis, after Hatha Yogic exercises of dhoti, neti, basti, etc., first purify the physical body and then by constant practice, involving pranas, gradually pierce through the various ganglionic centers described above. They thus come up to aggya chakar behind the eyes -- the whole process beginning from guda chakar, or rectum center, and passing through the spinal chord by means of Kundalini Yoga, or the serpentine power. This type of yoga is very arduous and is beset with difficulties and dangers. In it the pranas, or the vital airs, have to be controlled, regulated and directed properly, which is not easily done, and especially for an average householder aspirant to achieve it successfully is very difficult and time consuming. The saints do not recommend, it in this age, when, physically, people are not fit to undertake this type of yoga. They altogether ignore the reflexes in the Pind, or the body, and start right from the aggya chakar at the union of Pind and And. This very center is the seat of the soul in a state of wakeful consciousness. They enjoin mental Simran, with undivided attention and loving devotion, of the electrified or highly magnetized and charged names of God given by them. By use of these words, one forgets the world around him, even his immediate environment and his very body, with the result that all his sensory currents are concentrated and focused on the Divine Ground, which lights up, becoming all aflame.
    Saint Matthew, in the Gospel, referred to this state in the following words: "The light of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." - Matt. VI:22
    Sant Tulsi Sahib also pertinently remarks in this context: "In the pupil of the eyes there is a hollow center called Til, and in that center lies the entire secret of spirituality, which thou canst find, if thou were to peep inside - behind the steel curtain of darkness."
    Hazrat Moeen-ud-Din-Chisti, a Muslim saint of high order, stated: "Open thy inner eye so that thou witnesseth the glory of God. Close thy ears and thy mouth and become just all Eye so as to behold His glory."
    The eyes, as said before, are truly the windows of the soul - opening casements of fairylands of old. Swamiji says: "These eyes are windows that open unto you the abode of God."
    Guru Nanak, too, speaks of them as "In the palace of the soul (human body) there are two windows through which peep Lord Shiva and His consort Shakti (Parbati). Just open the eyes and see the blessed God within."
    Sant Kabir also observed: "If thou were to attune thine eyes into one centre, a wonderful sight would meet thy gaze."
    The light of the two eyes passing through the optic nerves meets at a point called third eye (Tisra Til, Shiv Netar, or Nuqta-i-Sweda), which too is illumined with a light which is shadowless and uncreated. From here the spirit enters the Sukhmana or Shahrag, lying between Ida and Pingala, and hears the Sound of celestial strains (or the Sound-current) which is the very life of the universe. This process is instrumental in sustaining and guiding the spirit on its onward journey.

"Listen ye to the holy melody in the Sukhman by attuning your attention
    in the deep silence;
  By attending to the ineffable music of the soul ye shall be rid of all desires
    and longings." - Malar War M.1

"In this age pay heed to the inner Music,
  By devotion to this, ye shall be freed from all pride." - Asa M.3

    As the spirit transcends the physical plane, it has to pass through various realms characterized by stars, the sun and the moon. There it is greeted by the luminous form of the Master, who takes charge of the spirit, with whom he proceeds by the Sound-current to reach the True Home of our Father. The path of the saints is neither a religion nor a creed. Whosoever, whether a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, reaches the abode of bliss or Truth, is termed a saint. Everywhere there are two types of Faqirs or orders of holy men of piety:
    (1) Those who belong to the lower order, or Darja-i-sifli. They remain attached to ganglionic centers of the Pind, or the physical body, as the yogis do.
    (2) Those of the higher order or Darja-i-Ulvi. Their sadhan, or spiritual discipline, begins with the aggya chakar, behind the eyes.
    Some of the Muslim Faqirs belonged to the higher order. Hazrat Ibrahim says that he came across the Great Star and continued on his onward journey. Guru Nanak also refers to this Inner Star, which the Master in His grace might show to the aspirants.
"A bright star appearing on the horizon comes to view through God's grace;
 A devotee by good fortune may see it with the Master's Word." -- Tokhari M.1
    The wise men of the East also followed a Bright Star which led them to Bethlehem and brought them to Christ. Tulsi Sahib also speaks of the Brilliant Star that meets the spirit at the threshold of Gaggan, or entrance to the astral plane. Hazrat Mohammed tells us that he did Shak-ul-Qamar (struck the moon in twain), which is significant enough and figuratively connotes that a soul went beyond this realm of the moon. Everyone who makes a journey to the spiritual realms has, of course, to do this Shak-ul-Qamar by passing through the moon.
    Great is man He has in him a drop of the Divine Consciousness like everything else in the creation. Though apparently he looks like a puny child of clay, yet he has untold possibilities hidden in him, He was made by God after HIS own image. He has the latent spiritual treasures buried in the depth of his mind. If he has a grain of faith in his powers, he can, as affirmed by Christ, move mighty mountains off their base, and may command the winds and the waters, as great souls did in every age. Thought force is the motor power behind all our acts. The very world is the result of His Will. God commanded: "Let there be light, and there was light." At His bidding the various elements sprang into motion and completed the work of creation.
    The spirit, a spark from the Divine Fire, is also great and has similar possibilities within its scope. Unfortunately, its power is frittered away through mind and outgoing faculties. The rays of the sun do not burn anyone, but if they are passed through a convex lens, they converge at one centre and set on fire the things on the other side. So the spirit when mind driven identifies itself with the bodily senses. It never thinks that it is apart from them, and is, in fact, the ruler and governor of the universe.
    It is the great activating force and dynamic power behind all our thoughts, words and deeds. Even the heavenly bodies like the stars, the moon and the sun, move with its motion. Ail energy, physical or metaphysical, mechanical or electrical, magnetic or gravitational, atomic and nuclear, is the partial manifestation of this Primal Energy of God. It is creating, destroying and recreating endless systems and universes in the twinkling of an eye. But, unluckily, we do not realise this invisible power and are concerned only with its working, and we do not see the hidden hand behind the puppet show of the world. We are trying all the while to understand the phenomenon of shadow and the shadowy things, but know next to nothing of noumenon. The spirit has thus completely and tragically forgotten its Godhood, its Divine origin and latent Divinity, which needs awakening before coming into its own before it can work wonders and perform miracles like the Master-souls. Ignorance is the root cause of this deplorable state of things. Many do not know that the "Life spirit is more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment," as Christ said.
    It behooves man to turn aside from worldly enjoyments, so that he may be blessed with heavenly gifts. Like the beautiful Joseph, driven into the well by his brethren, spirit has fallen into the well of the body, with mind and senses, and is in a helpless state. We could climb up if we could take hold of the wonderful rope ladder provided by the Father, God, within each one of us. It is the Sound-current that can pull us up out of the blind and abysmal depths into the kindly light of God, and lead us into the manifold spiritual worlds, which are invisible to us at present.
    The physical eyes can see only physical things, and both of these are subject to decay and death. But if our inner eye could be opened, we would be able to see immortal and imperishable planes. "An animal with his head downwards may well think of eating and drinking all the time, but fie on man, with his head erect, if he were not to look upward." (Shamas Tabriz). So long as a person does not rise above the sensual world, he remains ignorant of the high Heavens meant for his blessedness.
    "So long as a spirit does not rise above tile body consciousness,
     It remains a stranger to the spiritual realms beyond." -- Maulana Rumi
    Once a spirit transcends the physical realm, it inherits as its birthright the spiritual kingdom -- for the Kingdom of God lies within.
"If you would not leave the caravanserai of the body,
 How can you reach the true Home of your Beloved?" - Hafiz Shirazi
    This transcendence of the spirit from the senses is technically known in Sant Mat as death in life (self-annulling), and in the Vedantic terminology as self-analysis. Christ calls it second birth or birth anew, and Muslims term it as "dying before death." This immersion in God is true resurrection, or coming into new life. It is possible only through accepting the Path of any Master-soul -- which is none other than that of the Sound-current.
    The Master dwells amongst us as Word Personified, or as the Gospels tell us of Christ, that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us." He, by transmitting his own life-impulse, temporarily raises us above the body consciousness and grants us a direct inner experience of the light-cum-sound principle, which, by a regular practice from day to day, can be developed to any length one may like.
     This gradually leads the spirit from physical to astral or mental plane, then to causal or seed plane, and so on to the purely spiritual plane - Sach Khand - The True Home of our Father.
    When ultimately the soul at its journey's end reaches the True Home of the Father and sees the splendour of Godhood in the ineffable resplendent light, one begins to see God in everything in the Universe. When Christ and Buddha rose above the body consciousness, they referred to the Way as leading to the Kingdom of God and the Nirvana pad respectively. The Muslims call it Muqam-i-Haq, and the Christians, New Jerusalem. Thereafter, Christ used to say: "Behold the Lord." And Guru Nanak would exclaim: "The Lord of Nanak is visible everywhere." The Sage of Dakshneshwar, Sri Rama Krishna Parmhans, when questioned by young Naren, as Swami Vivekananda was then known, whether he had seen God, replied: "Yes, my child, I have seen Him as clearly as I see you; nay, more than that."
"Lord of Nanak in His fullness is present in all things and everywhere." -- Suhi M.5

"The Invisible, the Incomprehensible, the Inaccessible, manifests itself
     in full effulgence to the true devotee." -- Sri Rag M.4

"God of Nanak is immanent in all forms and colours,
     whether visible or invisible." -- Suhi M.4

     Great is God, who is absolute, imageless, indescribable and peerless. He is neither sound nor light. In Himself, He is what He is; but in common parlance, He has to be expressed in words of limited import, coming out of the limited source of the finite intellect.
"God, the Infinite, of course, has to be described in finite terms;
 How can I know what He is?" - Sorath M.5
    When the Absolute Power came into being and became God-in-expression, there was vibration, which gave rise to Light and Sound principles, called by all saints as Light and Udgit. God Absolute cannot be seen or heard, for nobody so far has seen God. God-in-expression, by way of Light and Sound Principles can, however, be seen and heard. This can only be experienced by the spirit, through inner vision and inner audition, which function when you rise above the body consciousness. The saints also call the Absolute and the God-in-expression by the name of Mahadayal and Dayal respectively. This Sound-current is responsible for the various creations, the spiritual planes and all the realms in varying degrees and orders. This Sound-current descends, making pure spiritual, spirituo-material, materio-spiritual and material planes, the last three of which dissolve in the dissolution and Grand Dissolution. Each of these planes has its individual presiding deities: Jot Niranjan, for example, is the Lord of And, the subtle or mental plane, and is the creator of the material and physical universe, which is next below in the hierarchy. Onkar is the Lord of the Causal or Seed region and the creator of the lower region of And, or subtle universe. Other deities preside over other planes, in the ascending order of the system of creation. All of them, of course, derive their authority from Sat-purush or Sat Naam, or Dayal or Ekankar, the highest Region.
    The spirit, as it withdraws from the body, proceeds by degrees from one plane to another, until it reaches Sat Naam or Haq. From what has been said, it should be clear that so far the spirit is an entity quite apart from Sat Naam. The Over-Lord of all is called Khasum (Lord of all), Swami, Hari Raj, Maha-Dayal, or Nirala, unique in Himself and indescribable. The spirit gets merged in Him just as a drop of water loses itself in the ocean, or a ray of light in the sun.
"As water mingles with the water,
 So doth light merge in the light." -- Gauri M.5

"As a ray of light gets absorbed in the sun and a drop in the ocean,
  So doth the light of spirit, in the Great Light." -- Bilawal M.5

    This state baffles all description. The Muslim saints declare this condition as "Hairat, Hairat," and the Hindus, as "Aschraj, Aschraj" and the Sikhs, as "Waho, Waho", all of which are expressions of wonder. The teachings of most of the saints amongst Hindus and Muslims refer as far as Brahm. Very rarely do we find in them references to Parbrahm. The Masters have as their ideal something far beyond the latter -- a stage safely beyond the sway of dissolution and Grand Dissolution.

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