SURAT SHABD YOGA or SURAT SHABDA YOGA is a type of spiritual yoga
practice in the
Sant Mat tradition.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Basic principles
* 3 Movements and masters
* 4 The Line of Succession of sikhs
* 4.1 Variations in movements
* 5 Notes and references
* 6 External links
SURAT is ‘attention’ or ‘face’, that is, an outward
expression of the soul ; _SHABD _ or
Shabda has multiple meanings
including ‘sacred song’, ‘word’, ‘voice’, ‘hymn’,
‘verse’, or ‘sound current, ‘audible life stream’, and the
‘essence of the Absolute Supreme Being’. The Absolute Supreme
Being is a dynamic force of creative energy sent out into the abyss of
space at the dawn of the universe's manifestation, as sound
vibrations. These vibrations continue and are sent forth through the
ages, framing all things that constitute and inhabit the universe.
YOGA is literally ‘union’, or ‘to yoke’. Etymologically, SURAT
SHABD YOGA means the ‘Union of the
Soul with the Essence of the
Absolute Supreme Being’.
SURAT SHABDA YOGA is also known as SEHAJ YOGA – the path leading to
_Sehaj_ or equipoise , The Path of Light and Sound, The Path of the
_Sants or_ 'Saints', The Journey of Soul, and The
Yoga of the Sound
SURAT SHABDA YOGA is for the discovery of _True Self_
(Self-Realization ), _True Essence_ (Spirit-Realization ), and _True
Divinity_ (God-Realization ) while living in the human physical body.
This involves reuniting in stages with what is called the _Essence of
the Absolute Supreme Being_, also known as the
Shabd . Attaining this
extent of self-realization is believed to result in _jivan _
_moksha/mukti _, which is liberation/release from samsara and
positivity in the cycle of karma and reincarnation . Initiation by a
Satguru (Sat - true,
Guru - teacher) is considered
a prerequisite for successful sadhana (spiritual exercises). The
sadhanas include simran (repetition, particularly silent repetition of
a mantra given at initiation), dhyan (concentration, viewing, or
contemplation, particularly on the Inner Master), and bhajan
(listening to the inner sounds of the
Yoga arose in India in the last several hundred years,
specifically in the Sikh tradition founded by
Guru Nanak. The practice
of meditation (shabd), which is the central core practice of Surat
Shabd Yoga, is derived from the ancient Hindu practice of Nada Yoga.
Yoga is expounded in various Hindu scriptures such as the
Nada-Bindu-Upanishad, an ancient text affiliated with the several
thousands-year-old Rig Veda. The practice of Nada
Yoga within Hinduism
has been widely affiliated within many yoga traditions including
bhakti or devotional yogas, kundalini and tantric yogas, laya yoga,
and raja yoga. Modern Hindu teachers still emphasizing Nada Yoga
include Swami Sivananda, Swami Rama, Rammurti Mishra (Shri Brahmananda
Sarasvati), Paramahansa Yogananda (Kriya
Yoga Lineage), and many
others. The practice of Nada
Yoga is an integral part of various other
traditions as well, such as being a form of the advanced Thogal
practice in the Tibetan Dzogchen lineage, and the central practice
advocated by H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society and
writer of "The Voice of the Silence". The form of Surat
practiced by followers of
Sant Mat and the Sikh tradition, is most
commonly related to Nada Yoga. Furthermore, Nada
Yoga resembles and
combines elements from the Hindu practices of raja yoga, laya yoga,
and bhakti yoga.
MOVEMENTS AND MASTERS
Sant Mat , Contemporary
Sant Mat movement , and Radha
Adherents believe Surat
Yoga has been expressed through the
movements of many different master. However, a basic principle of
Shabd Yoga's tradition is the requirement for an outer Living
Master to initiate followers onto the Path. The movements whose
historical Satgurus have died and their successors do not purport
themselves to be Surat
Yoga Satgurus, usually are not considered
currently to be Surat
Yoga movements, either by their own
leaders or by movements with current Living Masters.
Sadguru Maharshi Mehi Paramahansa Ji Maharaj is a great Sant of 20th
century. He came to an alone and isolated cave of Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur
(Bihar, India). This cave was located on the bank of the holy river
Ganga . He cleaned the cave that was too long inside and started His
continuous hard practice of Surat-
Yoga from March 1933 -
November 1934. He achieved self-realization and attained ultimate
salvation during his practice. This cave has been the holy evidence of
His spiritual aura. He embodied His self-experienced knowledge in His
books "Moksha-Darshan (Philosophy of Salvation), "Satsang-Yoga", "Shri
Yoga Prakash", "Raamcharit Maanas Saar-Satik",
"Maharshi-Mehi-Padaawali" and many others. "Maharshi-Mehi-Padawaali"
is the prose collection penned by Him because it was the time He
started constant and ceaseless meditation of Drishti-
Radhasoami movement of Surat
Yoga was established by Shiv
Dayal Singh (1818–1878) in 1861 and named "
Radhasoami Satsang" circa
1866. Soamiji Maharaj, as he was known, presided over the satsang
meetings for seventeen years at Panni Gali and Soami Bagh in
India, until he died on June 15, 1878. Accounts of his guru and
successors vary, although he gave verbal instructions on his last day
as to how his followers should be cared for. According to Radha Soami
Satsang Beas, his guru was Tulsi Sahib of Hathras. According to the
successors Soami Bagh and Dayal Bagh, Tulsi Sahib was a contemporary
guru of the same teachings; but being a natural born Satguru, Shiv
Dayal Singh himself had no guru.
After his death, six immediate successors carried on Shiv Dayal
Singh’s teachings, including Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram of Peepal
Mandi, Agra, and Babaji Maharaj
Jaimal Singh of Dera Baba Jaimal Singh
the present day headquarters of (RSSB),
Satsang Beas .
More information on living masters related to Shiv Dayal Singh's
lineage can be found in the Contemporary
Sant Mat movement article.
Sant Kirpal Singh , a contemporary
Sant Mat guru , stated that "Naam"
("Word") has been described in many traditions through the use of
several different terms. In his teachings, the following expressions
are interpreted as being identical to "Naam":
* "Naad", "Akash Bani", and "Sruti" in the _
* "Nada" and "Udgit" in the _Upanishads _
Logos " and "Word" in the _
New Testament _
Tao " by
* "Music of the Spheres " by
* "Sraosha" by Zoraster
* "Kalma" and "Kalam-i-Qadim" in the _Qur\'an _
Naam ", "Akhand Kirtan", and "Sacha ('True') Shabd" by Guru
The more recently promulgated
Quan Yin Method of meditation espoused
via the spiritual teachings of
Supreme Master Ching Hai has notable
similarities to Surat
Eckankar , an American movement, has many links to Surat
including terminology, although its American founder Paul Twitchell
disassociated himself from his former teacher Kirpal Singh.
Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness , also founded in America
in 1971 by
John-Roger and now with students in thirty-two countries,
also teaches a similar form of active meditation called _spiritual
exercises_. This movement uses the Sound Current and ancient Sanskrit
tones in order to traverse and return to the higher realms of Spirit
and into God.
MasterPath is another contemporary American movement of Surat Shabda
Yoga. Gary Olsen, the current Living Master of this branch, contends
that several historical figures are Sat Gurus of Surat
representatives for the eternal Inner
Shabda Master. A few of these
Living Masters of their times include Lao Tsu ,
Kabir , the
Sufi Masters, and mystic poets,
Hafez and Rumi
, the Ten Sikh Gurus beginning with
Guru Nanak , Tulsi Sahib, and the
Radha Soami and offshoot Masters, including Shiv Dayal
Baba Sawan Singh ,
Baba Faqir Chand , and
Sant Kirpal Singh .
The ten Sikh Satgurus discuss the inner sound and inner light a lot
in their scriptures. The first Sikh
Guru Nanak , but his
master (guru) was
Waheguru . These masters teach these two techniques.
There is a master,
Satpal Maharaj , that teaches four techniques that
include these two of inner light and inner music. Altogether He
teaches inner light (sight), inner music (hearing), primordial
vibration (sense of touch), and nectar (taste and smell).
These correspond to the five senses, and this is how a student turns
them inward to experience what is inside of himself. See
his four arms and they correspond to these. One hand is holding a
circle (chakra) of light, one holding a conch shell for the inner
sound (hold it to the ear and a sound is heard), one holding a lotus
flower to refer to nectar, and finally the fourth hand is holding a
metal club (mace) for the inner vibration (if you hit something with
it, it vibrates like a tuning fork). Some people refer to this inner
energy as the soul.
Two of the names above were changed. Below the same paragraph is
written again with the new names based on sources.
The ten Sikh Satgurus talk about the inner sound and inner light a
lot in their scriptures. The first Sikh
Satguru was Sri
Guru Nanak Dev
Ji , but his master was
Waheguru . says: "Kabir's early life
is not firmly established.:14 In Indian tradition, he is commonly
supposed to have lived for 120 years from 1398 to 1518, which "permits
him to be associated with other famous figures such as
none of this is written anywhere or proved yet both personalities used
Gurmukhi for writing 'Bani'.
THE LINE OF SUCCESSION OF SIKHS
THE LINE OF SUCCESSION FROM KABIR TO PRESENT From
Kabir to present,
the Masters of the Divine Science of Light and Sound appear and
manifest themselves as an uninterrupted line, through which they
transmitted to each successor the one knowledge and the one Power.
Subsequently, we can trace an
exact "family tree" from
Kabir Sahib (1398-1518) to Sri
Dev Ji (1469-1539)and further as shown below:
ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਸੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਨੈ
ਬੰਦਾ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਈ॥੩॥ (GGSG-Page No.1350-3)
One who will recognize the Command (hukam), will know One Lord, That
person is the real man.
ਸਚਾ ਸਉਦਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਸਚਾ
ਵਾਪਾਰਾ ਰਾਮ॥ (GGSG-Page No.570)
The True merchandise is the Lord`s
Naam . Trader raam(sattguru) is
(Through True merchandise (ਸਚਾ ਸਉਦਾ)
Guru Nanak got the
ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ
ਸਿਤਗੁਿਰ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ਜੀਉ॥੫॥
(GGSG-Page No.72) ..
"The One "Naam" is the Lord's Command" ,O Nanak, the "True
Guru(teacher)" helped me to guess the lamp(light).
Naam means One Word, and Hukam=Naam)
ਦੇਹੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ॥
Naam or word or kalma, abides deep within the body.
And then to the nine Gurus of the Sikhs:
Guru Angad Dev Ji (1504-1552),
Guru Amar Das Ji (1479-1574),
Guru Ram Das Ji (1534-1581),
Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-¬1606),
Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji (1595-1644),
Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji (1630-1661),
Guru Har Krishan Ji (1656-1664),
Guru Teg Bahadur Ji (1621-1675)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1667-1708).
VARIATIONS IN MOVEMENTS
Among the exponents of Surat
Yoga and the commonly shared
elements related to the basic principles, notable variations also
exist. For example, the followers of the orthodox Sikh faith no longer
lay emphasis on a contemporary living guru. Different Surat
paths will vary in the names used to describe the Absolute Supreme
God ), including Anami Purush (nameless power) and Radha Soami
(lord of the soul); the presiding deities and divisions of the
macrocosm ; the number of outer initiations ; the words given as
mantras ; and the initiation vows or the prerequisites that must be
agreed to before being accepted as an initiate.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ Singh, Kirpal. Morning Talks, chapter 25, page 1,
("Righteousness - Detachment - Self-restraint.") ISBN 0-942735-16-1 ,
Ruhani Satsang, (7th ed., 2003): "The whole thing depends upon your
attention, or surat as it is called, which is the outward expression
of your soul."
* ^ Singh, K., _
Naam or Word_. Blaine, WA: Ruhani
ISBN 0-942735-94-3 , 1999; BOOK TWO: SHABD, The Sound Principle.
* ^ "
Radhasoami Satsang: Soamiji Maharaj". _radhasoamisatsang.org_.
* ^ Singh, Shiv Dayal. (1934). _Sar Bachan: An abstract of the
teachings of Soami Ji Maharaj, the founder of the
Radha Soami system
of philosophy and spiritual science: The yoga of the Sound Current_.
Translated from Hindi to English by Seva Singh with Julian Johnson.
(9th ed.) Beas, India:
* ^ "WebCite query result". _www.webcitation.org_. Retrieved
* ^ Singh, K. (1999). _
Naam or Word_. Blaine, WA: Ruhani Satsang
Books. ISBN 0-942735-94-3
* ^ “Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected