The Radha Soami Way Of God Realisation
(The Times of India, January 2001) – The sapling of Radha Soami Satsang was sown in Punjab by Baba Jaimal Singh. He reached there in 1891 and selected a remote, lonely place on the west banks of river Beas, to teach the suffering humanity Sant Mat and the principles of "Surat Shabad Yoga" or "Sahaj Yoga".
When Baba Jaimal Singh departed from this world after completing his life's pilgrimage, his mantle fell upon Hazur Maharaj Sawan Singh, popularly known as the "Sage of Beas".
After retiring in 1911 at the age of 53 from the Military Engineering Services he settled down at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas (named in the sacred memory of the great Sage), and devoted himself to fulfilling the mission of spiritual regeneration entrusted to him by his Master. He taught and spread the message of Sant Mat over the rest of his life, and initiated 1,26,000 people in his simple and lucid style.
Radha means Soul and Soami means Lord. Thus literally Radha Soami means "Lord of the Soul" or the Supreme Being.
Radha Soami teachings expound in a simple language the age-old philosophy of Sant Mat or the teachings of the Saints down the ages. It is a systematic method of God-realisation and a school of practical training in right living.
The soul must get embodied in human form because God realisation is only possible in this garb. For realising God, man must know himself. The never ending cycle of birth and death is due to the karmic load and one can never merge in the pure Ocean with the load of his karmas on the soul.
To have a living Master is of the foremost importance. He attaches the seeker to Shabad or the Sound Current by providing Naam. He helps the seeker to understand, so that the Truth can be put across and proved in a practical manner in this life itself. That is why Kabir had given more importance to the Guru or the Master than God. The Guru helps the Soul to develop spiritually and finally merge in the Supreme even while living in physical form on this earth.
The soul is super-conscious energy, and is always in search of peace and happiness. Its seat is in the human body; the centre of consciousness in man is at a point behind the two eyes. This centre is known as the third eye or Teesra Til, and from this point flows the sustaining power of soul to various centres of the body.
The Master initiates the disciple into the techniques of Surat Shabad Yoga, i.e. the union of soul with the Shabad or the Sound Current. This sound current of the Audible Life Stream emanates from the mansion of the Lord and is characterised by both Sound and Light. The sound directs the disciple and the light reveals the path where the Lord resides. The Sound Current dwells in everyone irrespective of nationality, race, creed, wealth, authority or possession.
The journey of the soul back Home starts by withdrawing the scattered attention from the outside world by closing the nine apertures of sensual pleasures and concentrating between the eyes and listening to the melodious Sound (Current) which is continuously reverberating in us from birth till death. This is a spiritual exercise by which the current of consciousness is applied to the hearing of the Shabad within. And this is done through Simran or the repetition of the Five Holy Names, and Dhyan or contemplation of the form of Master at the eye-centre. Although it is not an easy task, regularity and persistence on this path surely pays.
Sant Mat does not require asceticism but asks for complete detachment from every activity that retards the progress of the soul. To eat the simplest and purest nourishment definitely helps in controlling the five passions – lust, anger, greed, attachment and egotism. High ethical and moral life is necessary for spiritual progress and God realisation. This path also enjoins the followers to earn their livelihood by honest means. The Master himself rigidly follows this principle and accepts nothing from his disciples.
Sant Mat is not difficult to follow. The only need is a disciplined life and regularly meditating for at least two to three hours daily in complete devotion to God with one-pointed concentration, under the guidance of a Perfect Master.