Spiritual Awakening Radio
Spiritual Awakening Radio
James Bean
Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean explores the world of spirituality, The Path of the Masters (Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), Gnostic Gospels, mystics, world scriptures, God, meditation, mystical experiences, the vegan diet, and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.
The Ancient Origins of the Spiritual Path (Origins of Sant Mat Series)
There are references in Krishna Vaishnava texts to Sants. A few of the Rishi Sages who authored certain Upanishads pertaining to the Formless God, Inner Light and Sound Meditation or Nada/Shabda Yoga (some dating back many centuries B.C.E.) also seem to be at the same level as Sants.   "There is no end to the number of Sants [Saints] who appeared in the Yugas [Epochs] of Sat, Treta, Dvapar, and Kali [Yuga]. I sing of the celebrated one I have heard of, and bow my head to all the others." (Jan Gopal, disciple of Sant Dadu Dayal of Rajasthan)   Everyone in contemporary Sant Mat has a clear idea about their own recent history of Masters, at least dating back a few generations. Most trace their lineage of gurus back to Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India. Tulsi Sahib (1763–1843) is viewed as the adi-guru or founding guru, the "great grandfather" of modern-day Sant Mat. The identity of Sant Tulsi Sahib's guru has understandably been of great interest to many students of Sant Mat history. It's quite normal for followers of a spiritual path to be curious about "the family tree" of previous masters, wanting to know where their spiritual path comes from. So, who was the guru of Tulsi Sahib? And who was that individual’s guru? Who was the guru before that? And so on.   I've attempted to do with Sant Mat research what I did which Christianity, lost books of the Bible and Gnostic Gospels, tracing things back to the beginning, collecting and making use of all the texts that are available to arrive at the clearest understanding possible, without regard to orthodoxy, doctrinal conformity or tradition, simply out of curiosity and a love for truth wherever that may lead. Anyone dull of heart and mind, not curious about the history of this family tree of Masters and the ocean of devotional literature, granths, sagars, banis, and bhajans they created, might also not necessarily possess a ruling passion for the teachings and meditation practice of contemporary Sant Mat either. For me, history is not a boring or dry thing. Not at all. Rather it is quite exciting, even spiritual and liberating!   "One thing that all factions agree upon, though, is that Tulsi Sahib consolidated the teachings of nirguna bhakti, expounded the path of surat shabd yoga, and was largely responsible for the popular usage of the term Sant Mat. His teachings are embodied in Ghat Ramayana, Ratan Sagar, and Shabdavali." (David C. Lane, The Radhasoami Tradition)   Commonly used words like "Sant", "Sat", and "Mat", with their roots in Sanskrit, are found in the literature of many spiritual paths originating in India. "Santmat", as a single word referring to the efficacy of following the teachings of Sants does turn up on a couple of occasions in Sant literature during the centuries prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib. It is present in a few verses of Kabir, and is in at least one verse of a poem of Sant Goswami Tulsidas, author of the epic Ramcharitmanas: "Ihaan na pachhapaat kachhu raakhaun. Ved puran santmat bhaakhaun". Clearly however, "Sant Mat" or "Santmat" as the universal name or label for this school of spirituality or Sant tradition begins with Tulsi Sahib. In his spiritual classic, Ghat Ramayan, the term "Sant Mat" was coined by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras during the 19th Century.   In Divine Love, Light, and Sound, Naam Bhakti, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 29
45 min
The Sant Mat Family Tree: Tracing the Lineage of Masters: Where the Spiritual Path Comes From
There is history-based evidence for a Sant Mat family tree dating back many centuries in India, a lineage of spiritual masters existing prior to the time of the Nineteenth Century guru Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras:    1) that are ideological soulmates teaching the familiar form of Sant Mat and Surat Shabd Yoga (Inner Light and Sound Meditation);    2) mention all five of the Five Names (sacred names, simran words used in many forms of contemporary Sant Mat);   3) have a special fondness of the term Kal Niranjan (negative power, an eastern term for the Gnostic demiurge);   4) see the Anurag Sagar (Kabir's Ocean of Love) as an essential or central scripture defining the Path during this Kali Yuga age;   5) and that have inherited a version of history that says "Sant Dharam Das was the successor of Kabir" (as opposed to someone else).   Solving the Mystery of Sant Tulsi Sahib's Guru   There was only one contemporary guru who was a living master during the time of Tulsi Sahib that Sant Tulsi Sahib actually named in his hymns and spiritual discourses: Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar. Sant Dariya and Tulsi's teachings are almost identical, meeting the criteria of the five points listed above. They both even shared a similar physical appearance and manor of dress. So, as Sant Tulsi Sahib was the one contemporary guru named in the Sar Bachan of Soami Ji, and Baba Devi Sahib's name appears in the Padavali of Maharshi Mehi, the one conspicuous contemporary master named and quoted by Sant Tulsi Sahib was Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar. And Sant Dariya Sahib's guru Sat Saheb was associated with -- branched out from -- the Sant Dharam Das/Kabir line of gurus embodying those five essential ingredients listed above, which I write about with more details in my booklet on the Origins of Sant Mat, The Five Names, and the Identity of Tulsi Sahib’s Guru. My take is that most likely Sant Tulsi Sahib was initiated by Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar or one of his successors, thus the Sant Mat family tree, the lineage of masters in earlier centuries comes more clearly into view, and we can know more about where this spiritual path called Sant Mat comes from, this Way of the Saints or Sants, the Mystics of the East.    As I've written, I perceive that the lineage goes back to Sant Dharam Das. So I would say an approximate description of the lineage of this Path of the Masters looks something close to this: Satguru Kabir to Sant Dharam Das to Churamani Naam (Dharam Das's son) to Sat Saheb to Dariya Sahib of Bihar (and/or to one of the immediate successors named by Dariya like Fakkar Das, Basti Das, Tika Das, or Guna Das) to Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, to Sant Girdhari Sahib of Lucknow to his successors including Soamiji Maharaj in Agra... up to the living present.   And while not as conveniently organized into a single easy-to-find volume of banis and bhajans such as the Sikh scriptures (Adi Granth, Gurbani), there are writings from these earlier masters of the Sant Mat family tree that have survived, and that I wish to especially be mindful of and explore on future satsang editions of this podcast, spiritual classics such as: the Kabir Sagar volumes, The Bijak and other Kabir literature, Anurag Sagar, Dariya Sagar, Ratan Sagar, Padma Sagar, the Ghat Ramayan and several others.   In Divine Love, Light, and Sound, Naam Bhakti, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 24
47 min
Ascension of the Soul Series: God and the Highest Heavens
The Fifth Through the Eighth Heavens: Nirvana -- Kaivalya -- Oneness -- Sach Khand -- The True Eternal Realm Divided Into Four Sub-sections:   5) Sat Lok (True Realm), Sat Naam (True Name, True Sound), Sat Purush (True Original Being)   6) Alakh Lok (Invisible Realm),   7) Agam Lok (Inaccessible Realm, Nearness,)   8) Anami (Nameless Realm), Radhasoami Lok -- Radhaswami Dham -- The Abode of the Lord of the Soul, Most High Ultimate Reality, "The Eighth" -- Ocean of Love -- Upper Level of Kaivalya known as Shabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad -- Beyond the Sound and Light, the Ultimate Reality of God in the Nirguna or Formless, Soundless State   "Begin meditation with internally chanting or repeating the Guru-mantra-incantation (the charged words given by the Guru). And then try to visualize the radiant form or image of the Satguru in the still darkness of the inner sky (with eyes closed). Follow that with focusing your attention at the seat of the soul within, i.e. at the Third Eye or the Inner Eye or the Til Dwaar, by making the two streams of consciousness in your two eyes converge in a Point."   "When the two currents of consciousness meet in a Point, Divine Light appears within. Then, practice Surat Shabd Yoga (Yoga of Divine Sound) i.e., try to shift your attention to listening to the Divine Sounds or myriads of melodies (Anahad Naad) ringing inside. Listening to the Divine Sound destroys all the agitations and fickleness of the mind."   "Ascending beyond or transcending myriads of sounds, try to identify and tune in to the Quintessential Unstruck Melody, called "Saar Shabd" or "Anaahat Naad" which alone is capable of taking you and merging you into oneness with the Supreme Lord; this is the ultimate emancipation or liberation." (Couplets About Meditation Practice, By Swami Santsevi Ji)   "The tenth gate [third eye] is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return... 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." (Swami Santsevi Ji)   "In summary, one grasps the central Sounds of the lower realms and progressively is drawn upward to the Sounds of the higher realms. Ultimately, one reaches the center of the Original Sound, the Essential Divine Sound, and thereafter attains the Ultimate State, Sabdatita [Sabtatit] Pad (the State beyond the Sound). The Yoga of Sound [Surat Shabd Yoga Meditation] must be practiced in order to attain the Nameless State. This is fully elaborated and described in the Upanishads and literature of the saints. The Yoga of Sound is the only medium to reach this State, no other. The greatest good is in the attainment of the Ultimate State, the Nameless State." (Maharshi Mehi)   "The State beyond Sound is acknowledged in the writings of saints as the goal of their teachings. In addition, their writings accept Manas Japa (repetition of a Divine name [simran]), Manas Dhyan (concentration on a form of the Divine), Drshti Yoga (fixing the mind on a Point [accessing the Third Eye Center and inner Light]) and Nada-nusandhana (concentrating on the inner Sounds of the different spheres) as means to reach the Soundless State. These four techniques are therefore essential in Sant Mat." (Maharshi Mehi)   Swami Ji Maharaj says, "From one step to another the soul beholds strange things which cannot be described in human language... Love plays the supreme part. It is all love. So says RADHASOAMI."   In Divine Love, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 22
45 min
Introduction to Sant Mat Spirituality: Teachings of Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
An introduction to a living spiritual path from India called Sant Mat, the Way of the Saints. The beloved Satguru Swami Sant Sevi Ji was a very advanced, pure soul, and great teacher of traditional Sant Mat. "Blessed are the souls who in today's materialistic world have an inclination towards spirituality." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj)   "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 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. Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. 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." (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Harmony Of All Religions)   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 17
45 min
Ascension of the Soul: The Fourth and Fifth Heavens
Bhanwar Gupha, the Whirling Cave Vortex, Tunnel to the Fifth Heaven   "The shabd currents in Bhanwar Gupha are so sweet and enchanting, according to the Saints, that souls live entirely off its invigorating nectar, desiring nothing but darshan [vision] of the presiding lord and the manifestations of Light and Sound. Kabir, the most famous of the medieval saints, describes in his writings (or, at least, those attributed to his pen) how hansas (pure spirits) live on spiritual dweeps (islands) with magnificent palaces for transmundane enjoyment. Faqir Chand, in his Yogic Philosophy of the Saints, gives a more psychological interpretation of the meditator's experiences in the fourth region: 'When in the course of meditation man reaches this state of Bhanwar-Gupha he experiences that there was none except his own self. This centre is compared with Bhanwar which means whirl. At this centre a wheel rotates like a cradle. It means that at this centre a wave springs out of the surat of the meditator and again merges in its own source, or say, it rotates around its own source and produces the sound of Sohang-Flute. The Shabd of this centre is so effective that the meditator enjoys the pleasure of being one with the Supreme Soul.'" (Enchanted Land)   Swan-Soul, Heavenly Bird (Hamsa) - Mystic Poem of Kabir:  Tell me, O Swan, your ancient tale. From what land do you come, O Swan? to what shore will you fly? Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek? Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me! There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the terror of Death is no more. There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent “He is I” [I Am That, Ana-HU, Soham] is borne on the wind: There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no other joy. (Kabir, version by Robert Bly)   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com  
Nov 15
45 min
Spiritual Discourses of Baba Devi Sahab
"Do not live even a single day without inner meditation." (Baba Devi Sahab)   When Satguru Baba Devi Sahib was nearing the time of his departure from this ephemeral world for his true destination, satsangis humbly requested him to bless with his parting words. To their request, Baba Devi Sahab had obliged by saying, "Duniyaa waham hai, abhyaas karo", meaning, "This world is an illusion  -- practice meditation." (from the Last Words of Baba Devi Sahab)   Baba Devi Sahab is one of my all-time favorite Saints of the Sant Mat tradition. My pleasure sharing his teachings with spiritual seekers and Sant Mat initiates all over the world. His rare teachings at last appear in English here today, during this Sant Mat Satsang Podcast.    In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 10
46 min
Ascension of the Soul: The Third Heaven and Great Void
Soami Ji Maharaj in Daswan Dwar (Third Heaven) and Exploring the Great Dark Void of Maha-Sunn -- From the Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry:   "...There are innumerable palaces made of crystal and diverse spirits inhabit them and are settled there in accordance with the allotments made by the Lord, and they see the peculiar mutual display which is so blissful, and in turn they also establish their own plays and sports. In Hindi, these spirits are described as 'circles of hansas' (purified spirits). The engravings and the designs carved in these spheres are to be seen in order to be believed. The entire dispensation and workshop there is purely spiritual; it is not at all gross or material.   "Spirits dwelling there are characterized by excessive delicacy, subtlety, refinement and purity; they don't have a trace of physical coarseness and impurity. The details of this sphere are known only to the faqirs. ['Full particulars of these regions are known only to Sants' -- Maheshwari translation.] To unfold more about it is not proper and advisable. For a long time the spirit of this faqir (i.e. Soamiji Maharaj Himself) sauntered and stayed there and then under instructions from the Teachers and Guides, moved ahead.   "Moving on and on, the spirit soared up about through an incalculable height and broke into the realm of Ha-hoot or Maha-sunn and sauntered around it. How shall I describe it? For ten billion miles (again, incalculable distance) there is utter darkness. How shall I describe its depth, except to say that for one kharab (1 kharab = 100 billion, i.e. incalculable extent) jojans, the soul descended and yet its bottom could not be discovered; then again it reversed and turned upward, and following the track pointed by the sages, the spirit treaded that path and then it was deemed improper to determine and find out the depth of this dark region.   "The surat [soul] then moved on..."   Commentary on the Maha-Sunn Passage Above by Sant Gharib Das of the Radhasoami Faith:    "Soamiji in his Discourses has said that his surat descended into the dark regions of Maha-sunn but could neither locate the bottom or the end of it nor did it feel it worthwhile to go down any further. Thereafter, his surat [soul] adhering to the signs as revealed to him by his Gurus ascended upwards. Here Soamiji says that it was the inner Mercy of his Satguru Tulsi Saheb and that of Maharaj Girdhari Das Ji [a successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib] whose Satsang he attended for a very long period of time." (Sant Gharib Das, disciple in the inner circle of Soami Ji, Book of Anmol Bachan)   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You, James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 8
47 min
Guidance For Living A Spiritual Life On Earth According to Kabir
The Kabir Satsang Book of Prayers (Sandhya Path, The Path of Realization) contains some wonderful prayers but also many insightful verses offering guidance about living a spiritual way of life on earth in this human form.    It's actually one of my all-time favorite books from the Sant tradition of India. The Kabir Book of Prayers is another spiritual classic from the same Sant Dharam Das Kabir community that gave us the Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love) and the other volumes of the Kabir Sagar (Ocean of Kabir). As you may know from my articles and podcasts on the Origins of Sant Mat, the Five Names, and the Identity of Sant Tulsi Sahib's Guru, I trace the contemporary Sant Mat guru lineages back to Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar and from there back to spiritual masters associated with the Sant Dharam Das Kabir community. While not as organized into a single volume such as the Adi Granth or Sikh Scriptures, there are indeed many volumes of writings associated with this line of masters that go back to Sant Dharam Das and his successors. Over time, you'll hear many of them quoted on this podcast, as I endeavor to especially be mindful of all the great poetry and prose, the banis and bhajans in the Sant Mat lineage of this Path of the Masters spanning many generations.   Today I also share from the book, Doctor by Chance, Mystic by Choice, Memoir of a Doctor’s Journey from Medicine to Spirituality, by Dr. Jagessar Das, on the vegetarian vegan ethics of Kabir.    "The welfare of others is your greatest duty, the highest of all virtues. Have mercy for all beings."   "He [the Supreme Being] is from the beginning, eternal, in age after age, and Nameless [Anadi, Anami]. As a saint he left his own abode to come into the world. He came into the world and taught the way, and released the souls from Yama (death)."   "The birds, separated at night, meet again in the morning... I am Kabir, and I do not break my promise. My Word has power and is dependable. Whoever climbs onto the chariot of the Word, I will take to the Eternal Abode."   "Give up hopes on others, but have hope on God. Keep the company of holy people, and let truth saturate your entire being. Give up passions and desires, and drink the nectar of God’s name."   "The soul finds drops of nectar flowing. It longs to see God and, on being in His presence, it bathes in the river of tranquility."   -- Selections from the Kabir Book of Prayers   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You,   James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 3
17 min
Ascension of the Soul: Introduction to the Inner Regions/Heavens: The Causal Plane
The Ascension of the Soul Series Exploring Interior Regions of Light & Sound, the Heavens, Higher Planes, Spheres, Levels, the Various Dimensions of the Cosmos!   "The ascension of the soul, stage by stage, to higher regions can be accomplished with the help of Shabd [Inner Sound Meditation]. Hearing these Sounds, the soul will proceed from one region to another, and will ultimately reach the Highest Region, and enter into Rest."  (Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Radhasoami)   "The soul, forewarned, enters the causal plane with care, listening again for the guardian sound, which in this region reverberates like the sound of large drums or rolling thunder, and which may also sound like the rumbling chant of the Hindus' OM, OM, or the Muslims' HU, HU. The light that the soul looks for to guide it takes on a brilliant reddish color in this realm, like that of the sun in a summer sunrise. The soul fixes on these aural and visual guides, and passes by locations where the things of our physical world were created." (Mark Juergensmeyer, Radhasoami Reality)   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You,   James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com    
Nov 1
45 min
The Inward Journey of the Soul: Teachings of Swami Vyasanand
In his book, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh: O Swan-Soul Return to Your Abode), Swami Vyasanand provides a superbly detailed account of the various essential elements for success in the inward path to union with the Supreme Being. The components of the inward spiritual path have been elaborated by learned and accomplished Sants of the Sant Mat tradition, including Maharshi Mehi Parmahans Ji Maharaj and Maharshi Santsevi Maharaj. As with the earlier publications, Harmony Of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), by Beloved Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, and Philosophy Of Liberation (Moksha Darshan), by Sant Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, with this book, The Inward Journey of the Soul by Swami Vyasanand, I am learning new things about the teachings of the Sants of India, and am grateful to be able to access this advanced wisdom! It is indeed an impressive book providing much needed depth and detail about Santmat principles as well as meditation practice. It makes a huge contribution to understanding this Path more clearly, which is especially necessary for Westerners interested in the Sant tradition, not being fluent in Hindi, to fill in the lacuna or blanks in our understanding. As with the NASA space probes encountering distant worlds -- planets and moons, transforming fuzzy objects into clear view, revealing surface features with sharp resolution -- as a result of encountering this book may spiritual seekers and satsangis around the world come away with a much clearer understanding of the teachings of the Masters.   In Divine Love, Light and Sound, Peace Be To You,   James Bean Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts Spiritual Awakening Radio https://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com      
Oct 27
46 min
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