Requirements for Initiation in Sant Mat (Surat Shabd Yoga: The Inner Light and Sound of God, Inner Light and Sound Meditation)
"You can’t read your way to enlightenment." -- Stephan Hoeller
The focus of the bhakti Sants of India is not on constructing earthly temples, building organizational structures, or temples of the mind. Rather, they guide their students into entering the Temple of the Spirit. The Portal or Doorway to this Temple is within, at the Third Eye Center. See the Charts of the Heavens - Inner Regions - Planes - Levels - Spheres of Creation According to Sant Mat: https://medium.com/sant-mat-radhasoami-books/charts-of-the-heavens-inner-regions-planes-levels-spheres-of-creation-according-to-sant-mat-9132697adaa7
Masters say: "An intense longing to meet the Lord during one's lifetime is the first and foremost qualification for Initiation. 'Seek, and ye shall find', is the principle'".
"Do not cease seeking day or night until you find the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which will purify you, make you into pure Light and lead you into the Kingdom of the Light." -- Yeshua, Book of Faith Wisdom (Pistis Sophia)
"What your own eyes cannot see, your human ears do not hear, your physical hands can not touch, and what is inconceivable to the human mind -- that I will give to you!" -- Yeshua, Gospel of Thomas
Being properly initiated into the secrets of meditation -- the Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens -- by a living Master is the beginning of the Inward Journey. Then, go and do the meditation.
For a thorough introduction to the teachings about Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation, see: An Introduction to Sant Mat -- The Path of the Masters -- India's Sants and Poet-Mystics (Lovers of the Beloved), and Surat Shabd Yoga Meditation Practice: Bhakti of the Inner Light and Sound of God: http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/santmat
The Five Precepts of Sant Mat (a Spiritual Way of Life)
At the time of Initiation one vows to practice meditation each day. The spiritual path is a life-long commitment.
+ Moral Requirements for Initiation in Sant Mat
1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs (intoxicants);
2. Non-Violence (Ahimsa in thought, word, and deed) including vegetarianism* (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs) -- see footnote* below on vegetarianism and veganism;
3. Lead a truthful life;
4. Practice non-stealing -- an honest, ethical source of income;
5. Loyalty to one's spouse;
+ Another Version of The Five Precepts
1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. [This precept requires strict adherence to a lacto-vegetarian* diet: no meat, fish, poultry or eggs (fertilized or non-fertilized).] (See footnote* below on vegetarianism and veganism);
2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.
3) Refrain from taking what is not yours.
4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.
5) Refrain from using intoxicants.
Initiation into Inner Light and Sound Meditation
In the Sant tradition the complete methods of meditation practice are communicated at the time of Initiation (Diksha) by a living Master (Sant Satguru) or by a representative of a Master. A living Teacher, being fully acquainted with the 'landscape' of Inner Space, is able to impart to initiate-candidates valuable guidance on how to safely make the journey of ascension to the Inner Regions during meditation practice within. This kind of spiritual transmission and the details of Surat Shabd Yoga practice are not found in books, old scriptures of the past, and are not for sale, but are given freely to seekers by a living Teacher.
"What is the place to be reached? When we close our eyes and see darkness, this is the realm of ignorance. When the Light dawns within you, then you understand that you reside in noble regions. In darkness resides ignorance and in Light resides Knowledge. For example, as we are sitting in light right now we are able to see one another. However, if the electric power goes out ensuing total darkness we will not be able to see others. We will not even be aware of other people, coming and going. In this analogy Light signifies knowledge and darkness signifies ignorance. In the same manner when we see darkness with our eyes closed, we are in the realm of death and re-birth [we are unaware of our true nature]. When we come out of the realm of darkness and enter into the realm of Light, we will at the same time transcend the web of death. It is not possible that we can remain in darkness and be free from the net of birth and death. Having achieved inner Light we can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)
The Goal of Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation: Our Path Back to the Source -- The Inward Journey Back to God, by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
"Sant Mat (the path and teachings as taught and practiced by Saints [Sant Satgurus]) delineates the path of union of soul with God. The teachings of the saints explain the re-uniting as follows:
"The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [the Realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion, bodily existence. It has descended from the Soundless State to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature.
"The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature. Returning to our origins involves turning inward: withdrawal of consciousness from the senses and the sense objects in order to go upward from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. [We experience this phenomenon of withdrawal as we pass from waking consciousness to deep sleep.] Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. (Both of these expressions are the metaphors that signify the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the senses, must be collected at the tenth gate.
"The tenth gate is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return. The tenth gate is also known as the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, the center located between the two eyebrows. This is the gateway through which we leave the gates of the sense organs and enter in the divine realms and finally become established in the soul. We travel back from the Realm of Darkness to the Realm of Light, from the Light to the Divine Sound, and from the Realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is called turning back to the Source.
"This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us. This is the essence of dharma." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, "Harmony Of All Religions").
* Note about Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat: Traditionally in India the diet of Sant Mat and the yoga system generally has been, and is, lacto-vegetarian. But, if Buddha, Mahavara, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tulsi Das, Tulsi Sahib, and so many other great Saints were with us now, I am convinced they not only would be vegetarian, but that they would be advocating the vegan diet as the ideal in keeping with ahimsa values of non-violence and peace for the 21st Century. I believe, based on the current practices of the dairy industry in India and around the world, that classic Saints such as Guru Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukarama, Ravidas, Tulsi Das, Namdev, Dariya Sahib, etc... if they were here today, would not only be advocating a vegetarian diet but a vegan diet. These days, many are making this transition, including in Sant Mat. This is the direction that the vegetarian movement is headed in. Vegetarianism is going vegan.
See the article, Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat, Plus a Compilation of Veg Quotes of the East & West: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/vegetarianism-veganism-and-sant-mat-by-james-bean-plus-a-compilation-of-veg-quotes-of-the-east-5cf75671e0a8
The Vegan and Vegetarian Ahimsa Section of the Sant Mat Radhasoami E-Library: https://medium.com/sant-mat-radhasoami-books/vegan-and-vegetarian-ahimsa-non-violence-in-thought-word-and-deed-including-in-the-area-of-diet-7cc995e8eac9
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