A DOWNLOADABLE E-MAGAZINE Vol II * JUNE 2009 * Issue VI
Meditation leads to Ultimate Flowering
Introducing various Masters & Dimensions of Spiritual Sojourn
THE PATH OF
MEDITATION TIMES A Downloadable Monthly E-Magazine
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A PRODUCTION OF www.taoshobuddhameditations.com Published by: www.taoshobuddhameditations.com Country of Origin: Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. Chief Editor/Graphics Layout & Design: Swami Anand Neelambar Editorial Team: Swami Anand Neelambar, Taoshobuddha International Contributors: Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo, Hadhrat Maulawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi Assistant Contributors: Ma Prem Sutra, Swami Dhyan Yatri, Sufi Lakshmi Sahai
In This Issue Kabir – a brief overview
For Queries, Comments, and Suggestions and to submit Contributions, you can email the following persons:
Taoshobuddha: firstname.lastname@example.org Swami Anand Neelambar email@example.com
Conceptualizing Bhakti Reflections of Life Sahajo Bai – an Introduction Secrets of Bhakti – an excerpt
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Poem – Where the heart is without malice
Cooking – Taoshobuddha Way Taoshobuddha Responds Mira – The Embodiment of Love Rabia Al Basri Lal Ded or Lalleshwari Aashiyaan Bauls – the mystics Bhakti Movement
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In our Next Issue Saraswati Goddess of Inner Knowing
EDITORIAL This month we delve into the mystical world of Bhakti – the mysterious path of devotion. This is not the path of ritualism as is has come to be considered. This is the ultimate flowering of love for the Divine. It entails not ritualistic formalities. And has no protocols of worship. This is purely and intensely spiritual is conception and execution. Adi Shankara says that Bhakti is intense love for God – a search beginning, continuing and culminating in love.
preaching represents a sincere attempt at a religious and social synthesis out of conflicting creeds. Kabir was neither a theologian nor a philosopher. He appears before us as a teacher who had the courage to condemn what he considered to be shame and counterfeit in both Hinduism and Islam. The central theme of Kabir’s teachings was Bhakti. He refused to acknowledge cast distinction or to recognize the authority of the six schools of Hindu philosophy or the four divisions of life prescribed by the Brahmanas. He argued that religion without Bhakti was no religion at all and that asceticism, fasting and alms-giving had no value if unaccompanied by devotional worship (bhajan).
The charade that passes for Bhakti is a far cry for what is actually Bhakti. This issue we hope to clear many of the misconceptions about Bhakti and to highlight what is Bhakti.
By means of Ramaini, Sakhas and Sakhis (dohas, in other words), Kabir imparted religious instruction to Hindus and Muslims alike. He had no preference for either religion.
We shall bridge the gap between Meditation and Bhakti. And explore the inner secrets of Bhakti.
What is interesting about Kabir’s way of preaching is that he had habit of thinking aloud and the ideal of merely pleasing his hearers was never his objective. In his thinking and articulations, he thoroughly scrutinized the bases of ritualism and he restlessly fought to remove the ritualistic superstitions like visiting the places of pilgrimage.
We urge you to obtain a copy of our publication “The Secrets of Bhakti as narrated by sage Narada” by enlightened Master Taoshobuddha, this would reveal many aspects of Bhakti that this magazine can only hope to highlight. The extract from the book by professor Rattan Lal Hangloo entitled “Conceptualizing Bhakti” is of immense import and worthy of its full reproduction here in this issue of Meditation Times.
Kabir (A.D.1440-1510) Kabir was one of the prominent Bhakti saints in Medieval India. His wife was Loi. Kamal was his son. Surat Gopala was his main disciple at Benaras. Bijak is the compilation of Kabir’s teachings. He combined the Bhakti philosophy of Ramananda, his guru, with a rare radicalism that epitomized the spirit of communal harmony and unity of God head. Kabir had inherited trenchant arguments and views about the barriers of caste from his Guru, Ramananda. His
He was also a great satirist and condemned all the hated institutions of his times. The social reformer in Kabir had surfaced prominently when he opposed the popular belief in the institutions of Sati – a practice in which wife enters the funeral pyre of her husband to voluntarily immolate herself as a sign of devotion to her husband. Other discriminatory practices such as veiling of women were also opposed by him. While refusing to believe that birth in a particular case was due to deeds in a previous life, Kabir advocated perfect equality of the Shudras (the fourth Varna as per the Vedas) and the Brahamanas. A firm believer in simple and natural life, Kabir himself wove cloth and sold it in the market like any ordinary weaver. He did not interpret religious life as a life of idleness, and held that all should toil and earn and help each other. He always believed in monotheism. By Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo Chair of Indian History, University of West Indies.
CONCEPTUALIZING BHAKTI By Rattan Lal Hangloo
Extracted from the Secrets of BHAKTI By Taoshobuddha STERLING PUBLICATIONS Dr. Rattan Lal Hangloo is a Professor in the Department of History University of Hyderabad, India but at present (2007 – 2009) he is the Chair of Indian Studies at the University of West Indies St. Augustine campus In Trinidad and Tobago.
s Dr. S. Radhakrishnan said, “The history of Hinduism is chequered by tragic failures and wonderful victories, by opportunities missed and taken. The new truth has been denied and persecuted occasionally. The unity of its body, realised at the cost of centuries of effort and labor, now and then came near being shattered by self-seeking and ignorance. Yet the religion itself is not destroyed. It is alive and vigorous and has withstood attacks from within and without. It seems to be possessed of unlimited powers of renewal. Its historical vitality, the abounding energy which it reveals, would alone be evidence of its spiritual genius.” From the very inception of Hinduism, Bhakti has been one of the important ways of expressing one’s faith in God. In Hinduism at no point in time all people were literate in religion, its philosophical and other dimensions. Therefore Bhakti marga (path of Devotion) provided them with the satisfaction of the heart and the inner support in obtaining spiritual satisfaction. The adaptationists were not only poor and ignorant but also the ones who had neither time nor access to obtain spiritual wisdom through metaphysical doctrines or (Tattva-Vichra) religious philosophical analysis. Therefore by adopting Bhakti Marga they achieved the same position that was attained by the followers of Jnana Marga.
Bhakti evolved with its emotive force from out of religious and social situation to correspond to certain religo-historical demands. It assimilated many non-
Hindus into the fold of Hinduism. According to Bhagavad Purana, Bhakti was the common form of prayer for the alien races. Under the umbrella of Bhakti, Krishna is said to have welcomed non-Aryans (such as Kiratas, Hunas, Andhras, Pulindas, Pukkasas, Abihiras Summhas, Yavanas and Khasas) in the fold of Hinduism. The Keekatas of Magadh are said to have adopted Bhakti as their form of worship. The concept of Bhakti in Hinduism is very old. The earliest references to Bhakti are found in the Vedas where it is mentioned as Shrada (devotional love). In Upanishads it is termed as Upasana (spiritual craving). Traces of Bhakti like living cells in embryonic forms are mentioned in the Vedas. Vasistha’s great hymns raised for Varuna are classic examples. Many hymns of the tenth mandala (section) of Rig Veda are devoted to Shrada. We also find loving adoration of Skanda and Siva by Banasura of Sonitpura and his conversion to Vaishnavism by Krishna. Bagavad Gita and Mahabharata also make mention of it. The religious treaties such as Agamas, Sangamas, Puranas, Narad Bhakti Sutra, Narda Pancaratra, and Sandiliya Bhakti Sutra have all significantly contributed to transcendental experiences through ecstasy; therefore, it would be historically unintelligible to consider Bhakti entirely a disconnected innovation, apart from the age-honored orthodox systems. Several scholars have acknowledged that Bhakti even pervaded Buddhism. It is stated that in the Dharma of Buddha the fusion between nirguna (abstract attributeless) and saguna (concrete with attributes)
Bhakti is in practice. The personal bond of relationship of Guru Shisya (teacher and pupil) between Buddha and Ananda is similar to the relationship that existed between Arjuna and Krishna. Bhakti is the basis of Vaishnavism. Etymologically speaking Vishnu means the inherent life sustaining the vital energy behind procreation and development. The Bhakti saint poetess of Kashmir, Laleshwari has sufficiently explained how Shaivism can be realized through Bhakti. Same is true of many Bhakti saints in Tamil Shavite tradition in Tamil Nadu where Bhakti is termed as yoga. Bhakti yoga needed a pratima (image) or pratika (symbol) or the earliest pratika or pratima have been suggested by Shavite and Vaishnavite yogi’s as well as by Tantrics who received the forms through their trances as dhyana (thought) and dharna (pose). That is why we come across Siva, Vishnu, and Shakti as the most adored forms in Bhakti. Bhakti means expression of one’s faith in one’s personal God through loving adoration, dedication, or through service or self-effacement. In Bhakti, devotion is the prayer and loyalty towards one’s God. It is this expression of devotion which identifies with the universal good. The chief characteristics of Bhakti such as God’s grace, his involvement in human affairs, and total surrender of human beings to God are repeatedly acknowledged in almost all Hindu religious scriptures. The Upanishad reveals that God is love and also the end of love because divine love is not something belonging to God but is God itself. In Bhagavat Purana it is stated that the path of Bhakti must be completely motiveless attachment. We must remember that in Bhakti love means to sacrifice, it means dedication; it means to constantly strive for converging emotional pluralities with spiritual singularity. Bhakti means love which helps us to abstain from selfishness; it purifies and elevates one’s consciousness so that one can see God’s representation in every thing. Through true love alone we can overwhelm diversions and achieve singleness of purpose. Sandiliya Sutra states, “love God as one outside ‘I’; such love for the joy derived from love itself is true love; it is love for loves sake and not for objective.” Krishna says the effort in the Bhakti marga is never wasted even if unfinished, nor does it result in any antagonism. Even an ounce of it proves great support in a state of immense suffering. In Bhagwad Gita same dedication and Shrada is expressed when it is stated, “Oh son of Kunti dedicate unto me all that you do, you eat, you offer (in fire as sacrifice) you give and
abstain from.” The aspirant dedicates his entire life and all that he does, to see, to hear, to touch, to sleep, to breathe, to speak, to accept, to reject, to dream, to wink; whatever he does he does it for his object of dedication. Bhakti refers to nine ways of expressions of loving and adoring God. They are to sing of him, to recite of him, to praise him, to serve him, to worship him, to hear of him, to love him, to bow to him and to dedicate to him. In Narad Bhakti Sutra they have been made into 11 ways. As time demanded, Bhakti developed into a large movement incorporated into its fold, large masses through different sampradayas such as Sanakadi sampradaya, Rudra sampradaya etc. Even though as a movement Bhakti first appeared in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it soon enveloped the whole of India through the preaching and practice of various Bhakti saints such as Ramanuja (died1137), Kamban (twelfth century), Basva (end of twelfth century), Tikkana (1220–1300), Yerrapragada (1280–1350), Madhava (1197–1276), Namdev (1270– 1350), Janeshwara (1271–1296), Nimbarka (thirteenth century), Laleshwari (fourteenth century), Chandidas (fourteenth century), Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), Yamunachari, Ramananda, (1400–1470), Potna (1400– 1475), Chaitanya (1485–1533), Kabir (1440–1516), Sur Das (1483–1563), Vidyapati (fourteenth and fifteenth century), Meerabai(1503– 1573), Tulsidas (1532–1623), Eaknath (1533–1599), Tukaram (1598-1650), Ramdas (1608–1681), Mirza Kak (second half of eighteenth century), and many others coming down to the present day. In every region of India there is a plethora of literature on Bhakti and its various strands. Chandidas was a devotee of Krishna and Radha. In one of his poems he addresses his God as beloved and says: Love has captured me in tender youth And you leave me no peace in my house I will end my life, jump in the sea, Yearning to be reborn as Krishna, And you as Radha in the next life Then my love will snare, and then abandon you, As you go to the well, I will gracefully Stand under the Kadamba with my flute Chandidas says, you as a simple housewife, Will fall under the spell of my flute, And then it will be your turn, O Krishna To suffer the burning pangs of love.
Bhakti is the message of love without any expectation. Bhakti is pure divine love and its greatest test lies in the humility of a human being as stated by Sri Chaitanya: Hari is to be sung by those who always feel humbler than the grass and more tolerant than a tree.
Dashed to the ground; so am I Thy devotee, Beloved As the rain bird in its utter loneliness calls its lover continuously So I wait for a vision of Thee, my Lord For I feel forsaken and lonely and sad.
Similar to Chandidas is Vidyapati’s expression. He expresses his craving for his God in the following words: On all my limbs Were spells of love? What strength I needed To arrest the desire, My quivering breasts I hid with trembling hands As all my Body glowed No longer could I check my Passion And the shut lotus bloomed in smiles.
Rajneesh (Osho) characterizes devotion to God in the following words: God can only be received; he can never be discovered or invented. One has to become totally receptive, just open and waiting. He says, the love that I am talking about is neither possessive nor does it have any expectation; you have become so silent and so loving that it goes to others now.
Tukaram the Bhakti saint of Maharastra expressed his devotional love through self-surrender to God in the following words: Myself I’ve rendered up to thee; I’ve cast it from me utterly. Now here before thee, Lord I stand, Attentive to thy least command The self within me is now dead, And thou enthroned in its stead. Yea, this I, Tukaram, testify, No longer now is me or my. Mirabai was also a devotee of Krishna. In one of her poems she addresses her God thus: Rana your strange world is not to my liking It has no saints and its people are base. I’ve given up ornaments and the braiding of hair, I’ve given up collyrium and the tying of braids. Mira has found a perfect groom, Krishna the Lord. In Sursagar, Sur das is happily waiting for his God and says: As the moth for love of lotus loses itself in the flower And yet is happy; so am I Thy devotee, my Lord As the stag for the delight of the tune stands unconcernedly near the Axe of huts man; so am I Thy devotee As the pigeon for the desire of the sky soars higher though only to be
The Muslim mystics have characterized this love as Ishqi-haqiqi (real love). Jala-ud -din Rumi says; I sought a soul in the sea And found a coral there Beneath the foam of mine An ocean was laid bare. However, the phenomenon of Bhakti can be understood by looking at the practice of this form of worship during different periods. The tentative periodization and characterization of Bhakti can be made into three periods as follows: (a) Evolutionary processes and synthesis up to 12th century A.D. During this period, a large number of immigrants came into India with their own diverse religious and sectarian cults and mixed ethnicities which got assimilated into variants of Hinduism. Therefore polytheistic tendencies, diversity of ritual apparatus, and the caste dimensions remained dominant, because historically it was very difficult to reinforce monotheism with perhaps relatively less developed vernacular literature at the regional level. This period was full of transitions and synthesis. (b) Development and expansion from 13th century to 18th century. During this phase, monotheistic tendencies undermining caste and ritual apparatus were predominantly overwhelming. Its spread enveloped all
regions and all layers of Indian society. The vernacular literature made great progress that facilitated its spread outside the institutionalized framework of Hinduism; that also came under criticism at the hands of various Bhakti saints. Bhakti marga threw up its own philosophy, though unconsciously. During this period, there were also challenges and responses by other religions which entered India. (c) Period of individualization, institutionalization, and universalization from 19th century onwards. During this period, Bhakti traveled both through literature and great teachers, preaching beyond the borders of India particularly to the West and opened itself through Yog, Pravachan, Bajan, and Kirtan to all those desirous of embracing it. From Ramakrishna Parmahamsa to Mahesh yogi to Rajneesh (Osho), Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparti (Andhra Pradesh), Amrit Anand Ma, Asa Ram, Murari Bapu, Sudanshu Maharaj, Ram Dev and a host of others. Each one evolved an individual institution of their own and yet attracted universal attention both from Hindus and non-Hindus, through the medium of Bhakti.
To start with, Narad Bhakti Sutra of Taoshobuddha which is discussed in this book in detail, is one very important source to understand the Bhakti at the conceptual level. Narad Bhakti Sutra begins with the words, “Now we shall explain Bhakti.” In this text Bhakti as the supreme form of love — Param Prema (Supreme love) — has been defined from a devotional perspective. The entire sutra evaluates the linkages between Bhakti and love as its expression and unveils the inner nature of love. It also looks at the contribution of various Bhakti saints. It takes the concept of love and Bhakti to various higher levels where one attains contentment, a state of no grief and no hate. Where the feeling of revenge is overcome by love; where one becomes indifferent to the material world’s temptations. Higher love is not lustful but one that transcends from ordinary human feelings to a higher level of consciousness. Love never fails. Even if it is not reciprocated, it spiritualizes the greed of selfish quest. We shall learn more about Narad Bhakti Sutra in the pages that follow, as Taoshobuddha systematically takes you into the Sutras with deep insights into human consciousness and the process of transformation.
Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo
REFLECTIONS OF LIFE By Swami Anand Neelambar
Sahajo bai An introduction
ahajobai was a devout girl hailing from Rajputana of the state of Rajasthan, India. She had accepted the disciplehood of Sant Charandas ji Mahaaraj. The story of how she got converted to the path of devotion is quite interesting and inspiring. Her marriage ceremony had just been over. Preparations were afoot to send her off to her in-laws' house. Her hair was being done. She was being meticulously dressed & decorated. Her friends were busy doing her make-up. It was then only, shall we say by the quirk of the fate that Charandaas jee appeared on the scene. Looking at Sahajo Bai whose make-up was in progress, he remarked, Chalanaa hai rahanaa naheen chalanaa wishwaabees Sahajo tanik suhaag par kahaan guthaavai sheesh
[O Sahajo! This world is not your permanent abode. We would have to leave, it is dead sure, this world. Would you trade your head for such a fickle & ephemeral conjugal bliss?] No sooner than these words had been uttered, she put off all items of make-up and decoration, and gave up the very idea of going to her inlaws' place. Instead, she got herself married to a life of meditation and grew up, in due course of time, into a great devotee and sant herself. She could attain the Ultimate Perfection (Self
Realisation) by meticulously and rigorously obeying the instructions of her Guru, and thus, she had gratefully experienced his infinite grace. It is with this deep sense of gratitude in her mind that she has expressed her heartfelt emotions towards her Guru in the above verse. Such miraculous transformations are the results of highly elevated sanskaras! We, too, can purify our sanskaras by making efforts in the right direction. Sanskaras do not befall us, or come to us, as it were, overnight or readymade. They are formed, processed and purified over a number of cycles of births; lives of only such persons, who have made such endeavours in their past lives, get so easily and instantly metamorphosed with a slight rub of the matchstick, in the form of attending Satsang, or coming into the blissful company of saints. We all, therefore, should regularly attend Satsang. It is an extremely noble thing to do. Let us listen intently, with rapt attention, to the lectures of sants; it would do a lot of good to us. However, we must not stop merely at listening. We should also ponder over, think over, and reflect over what we have listened to acquire ‘manan jnaan’. Then, we should try to translate the knowledge so acquired into practice (i.e. ‘nididhyaasan’) which, if done perseveringly, would mature into ‘anubhav jnaan’ or practical experience. This way, we would do the greatest good to us.
An ode to guru by Sahajo bai Ram tajoon pai guru na visaaroon | Guru ke sam hari ko na nihaaroon || Hari ne janm diyo jag maanhee | Guru ne aawaagaman chhudaaheen || Hari ne paanch chor diye saathaa | Guru ne laee chhudaay anaathaa || Hari ne kutumb jaal mein geree | Guru ne kaatee mamataa bedee || Hari ne rog bhog urajhaayau | Guru jogee kar sabai chhutaayau || Hari ne karm bharm bharamaayau | Guru ne aatam roop lakhaayau || Hari ne mo soon aap chhipaayau | Guru deepak de taahi dikhaayau || Fir hari bandh-mukti gati laaye | Guru ne sabahee bharm mitaaye || Charandas par tan man waaroon | Guru na tajoon hari ko taji daaroon || I may abandon Ram (God), but I can never forget my Guru | I do not see God with the same sense of gratitude as I do my Guru || God sent me into this world | But Guru rid me of the vicious cycle of birth & death or transmigration || God sent five thieves (the five sensory organs namely eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin which keep on stealing (the pleasures in) objects of senses viz. form, sound, smell, taste and touch) to accompany me | Guru rescued me, the helpless, from the captivity of these (thieves) || God ensnared me in the trap of kiths & kins | Guru, on the other hand, freed me by snapping the shackles of attachments || God entangled me in various diseases (bodily as well as mental) and enduring the fruits of fate or deeds performed in earlier births | While Guru liberated me from all these afflictions by making me a yogi i.e. by making me perform “Yoga-Sadhana” (‘Drishti Yoga’ and Shabda Yoga’) ||
God misled me into the illusory web of doing (good as well as bad deeds) | But Guru made me see, taking me beyond these, my true Self || God hid or concealed Himself from me (though He is in me, I couldn’t see Him) | Whereas Guru, lending me the lamp of inner eye/ vision, enabled me see Him || God brought me repeatedly in the fetters of the body and the four kinds of ‘mukti’ (liberation which is not genuine) namely, ‘saalokya’, ‘saameepya’, ‘saaroopya’ and ‘saayujya’ | But Guru, imparting the experiential knowledge of ‘kaivalya mukti’ (access into the sphere of pure consciousness i.e. primeval word), ended all my wanderings & delusions || I (Sahajo Bai) offer myself whole-heartedly, with all my physical and mental resources, in sacrifice at the lotus feet of (my Guru) Charandas ji | I may renounce God, but can never ever forsake my Guru ||
Sahajo Bai I Might Renounce God, But Can Never Abandon My Guru!
WHERE THE HEART IS WITHOUT MALICE Where the heart is without malice And the soul is ever pristine Where the clear stream of thought flows into the placid ocean of virtue; and not lost its way into dark, narrow caves of desire, lust and spite.
Where inner strength and humility Elevate the emotion of love up to the plateau of immaculate peace.
Where truth and honour waft in the meadows of wonder and celebration. Into that awakening, O Prabhu! Let my being return.
swami anand neelambar
THE SECRETS OF BHAKTI [AN EXCERPT FROM SECRETS OF BHAKTI BY- TAOSHOBUDDHA - A STERLING PAPERBACK]
-iKt inrakar se inrakar ka imln hE smSt b<xnae kae taef Pa&em jb ApnI praka:Qa kae p&aPt haeta hE tae -iKt ka jNm haeta hE,
ife is energy. Life is an infinite reservoir of energy. On the shore of time infinite waves go on striking. No end! No beginning! Everything is just in the middle! You are a small insignificant wave. You are an infinitesimal seed of infinite possibilities. Quite naturally, the wave wants to be the ocean. And naturally the seed wants to be the tree. Unless the seed blossoms into a flower, fulfilment is impossible. Man has an insatiable quest to be God. Before this there are many temporary resting points or possibilities. None of these are the Ultimate Outcome. In the night you may stay at many places for rest. Never make these places your permanent resting place. Only God can be your house or the resting place. â€˜Godâ€™ does not mean a person sitting somewhere, as has been conceived by almost all the religions. God means your ultimate possibility. God is formless! Without any name! God is not sitting somewhere. God is your ultimate happening. Beyond which there is nothing and no possibility as well. Beyond which there is nowhere to go. This is the ultimate destination. This is fulfilment! You will remain restless and despondent until you attain to this fruition. You may become rich. You may become very famous. None of these things can ever fulfil you. Somewhere you will continue to feel something missing. No matter how hard you try to forget this, you will never succeed. In a sense it is good that you cannot forget this. Otherwise the seed will miss the opportunity for fruition. Until the seed attains to its fruition and the fragrance merges with the infinite, there is no possibility of fulfilment. Until the river of your life merges with the ocean of life it will not attain any meaning. And until this happens, even if you somehow succeed it will be the greatest failure of your life. Unlucky are those who consider such small successes as the ultimate success. Really lucky are those who have the awareness of this. Only such a person somehow understands this. And wherever
you attain success you make that place your resting place. You seek new openings in your failures. Unless you reach God, there can be no fulfilment. In the beginning I said, life is energy. This energy has three forms. First is the seed form; in this nothing is manifest. Then comes the tree form in which everything becomes manifest, yet still the soul or Prana remains unmanifest. Last is the flower form; in this form even the Prana is manifest. Fruition happened. The petals are open now. Fragrance merges with the infinite. Naturally the seed implies desire. The desire to grow! Tree implies love. And the final is the flower. A flower implies Bhakti or devotion. As long as you are in the seed form you are full of desire or lust. Love will evolve in your life only when the seed becomes a tree. Only then the nectar of love will ooze in your barren life. To attain to fruition is the ultimate happening! This is the highest mountain peak. An understanding of certain things will help you understand the SECRETS OF BHAKTI better. You are body. You are mind. And you are also something beyond these two as well, but this you know not. Body is gross. To know the gross no intelligence is needed; to know the body no meditation is required. The mind is relatively subtle; yet you can still get a slight glimpse of the mind. It is so because the mind is between gross and the subtle. The mind is connected both to the body and to the soul as well. From the side of the body you do sometimes get a glimpse of the mind. But you never get a glimpse of the soul. To you the soul appears to be an empty word that is meaningless. When you hear the word soul no ripples arise in you. This word creates restlessness in you. Lust or passion is associated with the body. Lust is gross just like your body. The body looks for lust. The body calls for its counterpart in the other. One shore always remains incomplete without the other. Both male and female seek one another. Both male
and female are complimentary energies. Male and female are two shores for life energy to flow. Just as a river cannot flow without the two shores, so too life cannot flow without the male and female energies as two shores! These are two energies that complement one another. Separate from each other they remain despondent. Both male and female remain incomplete without each other. At a gross level this is essential. The union of two energies is momentary. For a moment the two bodies merge into one another. However this happens only for a moment. And after this union a great despondency descends. This separation after the dissolution is painful. You think this union is all. This physical union brings separation and pain. Certainly the union of the body is a momentary happening. That which is gross cannot merge with another gross. Really gross can never merge or meet. Gross has its limitation. If you try to unite two blocks of ice these can never merge into one another in their gross form! And the moment the two blocks of ice melt and become fluid like, they can certainly merge into one another. Ice has a boundary. Water has no boundary. The moment you are fluid like all boundaries disappear! Human body is frozen like ice. And mind is fluid like water. Ice has limitation. Water flows beyond boundaries. Yet still water has its limitations. You can mould the mind the way you want. This cannot be done with the human body. A child is born in aHindu family. Take him to a Muslim family. Now you can condition the child. The body cannot change. You can condition the mind of the child. But you cannot condition or change the body. The mind will become Muslim. There is no way to change the body. That will remain connected to its origin. The child may not even remember that he was ever a Hindu. As far as the mind is concerned it can become a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian. Such is the freedom of the mind. Mind is fluid like. It goes on changing each moment. Today you may like one person. Tomorrow you may not like the same person. One who was the center of you life once! One without who the sun ever rose and never set! Things have changed now. That person is no more significant for you. That person does not create any ripples in your being any more. Such is the nature of the mind. And such is the understanding of those who remain within the four walls of the mind. The fluidity of the mind is unique.
Human body demands lust and mind requires love. However the fluidity of the mind is unique. One moment it is fluid like and the next moment this fluidity is no more. Body can be bought, not the mind. Body is gross. Mind is somewhat conscious. Mind has the glimpse of awareness. However, it is just a glimpse. Mind seeks love. Mind seeks someone who is ready to sacrifice and surrender unconditionally. Mind wants to give itself to someone. When beyond boundaries two minds meet, that which flows in between is love. That which attracts below mind is lust. Yet still there is an existence beyond mind. Beyond mind there are no boundaries. Only an infinite sky exists. The ice has melted now. Water is evaporating. And as the steam arises it disappears beyond a certain level. The soul is like steam. You get a glimpse of it sometimes through the body and at other times through the mind. However, these glimpses are only fading examples. Who can demand the soul? The body demands another body. This union is short lived. So too, mind seeks another Lust or passion is associated with the body. Lust is gross just like your body. mind. The realm of the mind is still deeper. Body seeks another body. The union is short lived. Mind can go a little further. Mind even aspires to go a little far. Mind claims love to be eternal. If you have really known love, you will come to know this. Body may disappear but love lives on. Why to seek that which is short lived? When there is darkness, all of a sudden there is lightening. Lightening is fragile and short lived. And after lightening darkness deepens! In the realm of sorrow, happiness comes for a fraction of a moment. And then the sorrow and suffering become even more intense. The soul does not recognize love as conceived by the mind. Mind is fluid like. Today this flows towards this one and tomorrow its path changes. And then it loves someone else. Mind cannot be trusted beyond a certain extent. When the mind is in love it makes promises of trust. The nature of the mind is ever changeable. It goes on changing. Mind is flowing. Soul seeks the eternal. The joy that overflows when the soul recognizes the answering soul, is Bhakti. When love transcends its boundaries of finiteness it attains a new texture and it enters the eternal realm. Thus begins Bhakti. Soul has no boundaries.
The reach of the body is short lived. Mind goes a little far. Bhakti is eternal. Through the body lust is born. Lust is gross. Through the mind you get a glimpse of love. Love is somewhat fluid like. Soul seeks eternal. Soul seeks the formless. Bhakti is the union of formless to formless:
-iKt inrakar se inrakar ka imln hE Imagine you are in your room. All windows and doors are closed. No light! No breeze! No sound of the chirping of birds can really enter within. This is how the body is. Now you open the doors and windows. And as soon as the doors and windows are open the light, breeze, sounds of the birds, and the fragrance of the flowers enters. This is the realm of the mind. You get a glimpse of the infinite sky. This is how the mind is. Still you are in the mind. A little free, yet still in a cage of finiteness. Now you have decided to come out of the room. You are not getting the glimpse of the sun alone. Now the entire sun is showering on you. Now the breeze is not coming to you instead the breeze surrounds you. Now you are one with the sound of the birds. You are one with the breeze. You are one with the sunlight and rays. You are one with the entire existence. Now try to understand these sutras. Try to understand these meditatively and lovingly. Your logic will not take you into the inner realm of these sutras. Now begins the explanation of Bhakti. Why is this word ‘athato’ or now? Thus or now is the unique way of beginning something sublime. Up to now we have spoken so many things. We spoke of the body, mind, soul and many such other things. All these have been a prelude. Bhakti is not something that is spoken once and that is all. The explanation of Bhakti continues and will continue until every individual seeks Bhakti within him. We have seen the realm of the mind as well. Now therefore let us speak of Bhakti. All of a sudden the explanation begins. This is unique about Indian scriptures. Nowhere else a scripture begins with ‘now therefore’. This seems incomplete. It seems as if something was going on before this explanation. And this explanation is just in the middle.
It seems something is missing. And that which is missing is the beginning. And this explanation is just in the beginning. The scripture is already in the process. These are the pages from the scripture of life. This is not for those who are not yet free from the realm of the body and all that concerns the body. This is not for those who are not yet free of the body and the mind. The sage leaves these two realms right there. And therefore begin these sutras. If you are not yet free from lust and all that relates to the body and also all that relates to the mind then you are not yet ready for these sutras. If love still interests you then you are not ready for these sutras. Still the search for God has not yet begun. Still if you are either the body or the mind then you cannot understand these sutras. I am not interested in your words that you want to know the secrets. I can see all that is going on within you. This does not mean these sutras are for the older ones. These sutras are for the one who has reached the last realm in the process of transformation. Bhakti is the ultimate. Bhakti is for those who are free from the realm of the body and mind. The West thought this as incomplete. It appears the beginning is missing. And the East thinks these sutras are for older persons. Both have missed the essence of these sutras. There is a difference between an old and a mature person. Even a younger person can be mature enough to understand ‘The Secrets of Bhakti’. If love still interests you then you are not ready for these sutras. Still the search for God has not yet begun. Still if you are either the body or the mind then you cannot understand these sutras. I am not interested in your words that you want to know the secrets. I can see all that is going on within you. This does not mean these sutras are for the older ones. These sutras are for the one who has reached the last realm in the process of transformation. Bhakti is the ultimate. Bhakti is for those who are free from the realm of the body and mind. The West thought this as incomplete. It appears the beginning is missing. And the East thinks these sutras are for older persons. Both have missed the essence of these sutras. There is a difference between an old and a mature person. Even a younger person can be mature enough to understand ‘The Secrets of Bhakti’.
Sometimes a person can attain to maturity even in his youth. Suddenly a child jumps from a seed stage and becomes a tree. The question is of awareness, not age or anything else; therefore, these Secrets of Bhakti! These sutras are not any definition or description. It is like the one who has tasted the sweet fruit. What will he do? He will enjoy. He will go on narrating to others. He may start singing the glory. You will try to correlate your experiences with those who have experienced themselves. It is like you want to enter the temple. Yet still you have not yet entered the temple. This is an effort to bring the taste of being in the temple to those who have not yet been to the temple. For such people there can be no definition. Definition can only happen between those who know. Therefore this explanation! Definition can complete in a sentence or so. But the explanation is something different. Explanation is always longer. And through explanation we only give a glimpse. Explanation is true to some extent and to some extent it is not. It is so because when a learned one speaks to an ignorant one he speaks the language that he can understand. When a Buddha has to speak to those who have not yet attained to enlightenment he has to use their language. If Buddha uses his language then he cannot make his message understood. In order to make the people understand the sage has to use the language of the people. Then it can no more remain a definition. Instead, it will become an explanation. Therefore because of intense desire to know Bhakti, the sage begins the explanation of Bhakti. The first narration explains Bhakti as the utmost expression of love towards God. I had explained earlier, lust is the beginning of the journey and the ultimate flowering is Bhakti. But to reach Bhakti you have to pass through love. This is why Narad says, “Bhakti is prem swaroopa.” The nature of Bhakti is that of love. On one side of love is lust and on the other side is Bhakti. Love is connected to both lust and Bhakti. If any explanation is to be given of lust, love has to be the way. And also if Bhakti has to be defined, love has to be the medium once again. Love is in between the two. Love bridges both lust and Bhakti. Love is the balance between the two. If those who have known ‘The Secrets of Bhakti’ have to explain these secrets to the one who does not know the language. Then besides love there can be no other way. Nothing can be said about lust. Also nothing can be said about Bhakti either. Love is the only thing that
we can speak. Love is the only way for this explanation. Bhakti is opposite to lust. If we have to use the language of lust then we can say that Bhakti is not lust. This is a negative way of saying. Then what is Bhakti? Narad continues: HkfDr ije is`e Lojwik gS AA This is an important condition. If Narad had said just prem swaroopa then one can conclude that Bhakti is love. However, Narad put a condition and the condition is explained with the word prem. Narad says, Bhakti is param prem swaroopa. In love lust still remains to some extent However, in Bhakti lust is no more. In lust there is the trace of love. That is why one remains entangled in lust. Maybe there is even one percent love in lust. And this one percent renders a new texture to lust. This one percent love gives a new expression to lust and hides its ugliness and gives an indication of its utility. Both lust and love are connected to one another. Therefore love is not pure love. There is still a trace of lust in it. When lust leans towards love it gets defiled. And when love leans towards lust it gets sanctified. Love lends its nature to lust. Therefore, Narad says Bhakti is pure gold. It is therefore:
-iKt prm p&em SvrUpa hE. Only this much for now! Now the journey is alone! Alone you have to enter these sutras. My energy field surrounds you. Or now begins ‘The Secrets of Bhakti!’
COOKING TAOSHOBUDDHA WAY
MA PREM SUTRA
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
SAVOURY RAJMA JUGALBANDI
SAVAOURY RAJMAH JUGALBANDI
INGREDIENTS 1. Red beans
2. Chana /Toor daal
3. Onion/garlic/ginger paste
4. Tomato Puree
5. Rajmah Masala
6. Garam Masala
7. Chopped Corainder
8. Butter/coconut oil
9. Fresh Cream
10.Salt to taste
METHODOLOGY 1. Soak red beans overnight after picking and washing 2. Pick, wash and soak chana daal 3-4 hours 3. Pressure cook red beans soft 4. Cook chana daal until soft set aside 5. Mix seasoning paste, spice and Â˝ tomato puree and soak in water for 5-10 mins 6. In a deep pan or skillet heat oil add the above mixture and allow cooking on medium heat until oil separates from the mixture. Keep stirring. If burning lower heat and a few dash of water. 7. Add red beans and chana daal. Allow to boil. And simmer. 8. Add remaining tomato puree and cook on low heat. Stirring occasionally. Make sure the consistency remains steady. 9. Turn off the heat. 10.Transfer in serving dish. Sprinkle garam masala sparingly. 11. Garnish with fresh cream and coriander leaves. Serve with choice of rice plain or biryani or with roti of choice. You can use this as accompaniment with any paneer or other vegetable as complete dinner menu.
TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS ANDREW ANDREW: I did understand your metaphor about the house, wiring and illumination; this is why I originally contacted your uncle in India about the special lataif work that is done in your order. Relative to the realm of benediction I was given a wonderful experience when I was first drawn to the path in 1970. I was in the second meditation experience with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. As I sat in the group of people meditating I became aware that I was ascending to a very great height far far above the earth because as I looked down I could see the physical earth far below. My next awareness was of being in a realm of beauty and light which was far superior to anything or anyone which exists on earth then I heard a voice say, ‘it is not time for you yet you must get married and go to college’, I began to argue with the voice that I did not care about anything on earth the experience gently closed and I was not addicted. Relative to benediction I wanted to relate the following experience to you: in 1970 when I had first
started on the path I was sitting in my second Sufi group meeting which was with Pir Vilayat Khan. We were all doing silent meditation. As I meditated all of a sudden I became aware of ascending to a great height above the earth. I knew this because as I looked down I could see the earth far below me. Then I was aware of being in a realm of light and beauty which was more fantastic than anything which exists on this earth plane. As I marveled at this dimension I HEARD A VOICE SAY THAT IT WAS NOT TIME FOR ME YET AS I WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO COLLEGE AND GET MARRIED. I ARGUED WITH THIS VOICE AND PROYESTED SAYING THAT I DIDI NOT CARE ABOUT THOSE EARTHLY THINGS AS THEY WHERE FAR inferior to that I was experiencing in the light and beauty realm. The experience gently came to a close and what REALLY SUPRISED ME WAS THAT I DID NOT CRAVES OR WAS ADDICTED TO THE REALM THAT I HAD BEEN TO.
TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS Pir Vilayat Khan is the son of Sufi Inayat Khan.
is the 25th guru. This is a very beautiful anecdote.
Vilayat has to remodel the way of tariqat to suit
How he attained these gurus.
the aspirants in the west. Still the originality and haquat remains lurking in his teachings. My own understanding and instruction to anyone who comes in contact is that be like a ‘honey bee’. Honeybee loves natural flowers and gathers nectar from the pollen. That is processed later into nectarine honey. After being enlightened Sage Dattatreya accepted 24 gurus and to him his body
Nothing happens before its time. This is required for inner preparation. And the moment an aspirant is at the borderline some descends from the unknown realm. But mind takes time to acknowledge this. As a result all that the voice said in the dream happens. However one thing is certain that at no time you or the aspirant is left uncared. Once you reflect at the end of the journey you will realize. You are blessed that all these
things are happening. Subhan Allah! Alham dil
As your mail came I was in fact editing one of my
And as this dawns on you the words of an aware, and an enlightened Nanak echoes in my ears and I am bound to say:
works on Japji Sahib of Nanak for publication. The
#k bar jae tUne pukara wa muHe tajISt mere mn me<
under mentioned passage I was editing. You may
bjtI rhI zhna$.
Allah! Allah ho Akbar!
find this strange why this I am sending this. A master never answers the question. Instead he answers the person. Many came to me to know
Once you have called me lovingly, the melody echoes in my ears erelong like the dissolving note of an Enchanting melody!
this or that and in turn got much more than they were seeking. Sometimes such is the devise of the master to transform you. All this is relevant to your inward journey. May be the relevance you may not grasp now. Time has come that we move on sincerely along the inward journey and leave all that is outward knowledge etc. Instead of knowledge understanding and knowing is essential. Knowledge can never transform anyone. It is the understanding that brings about transformation. Now the excerpt from the Japji sahib the work for publication! Really indeed all those who have the capability to change the consciousness are considered useless by the world. What would have happened if Nanak was successful according to his father or lived life as he wanted? The humanity would have been deprived of something of immense value. What would have happened if Nanak ran the business successfully? Nanak moved from the realm of doing to the realm of being. The realm of being is the realm of glory of the unknown. This is the realm of Marifiat. The realm of glory implies that He alone is the doer, and what can I do with my limitations. The day this realization happens ego dissolves drop by drop. And the moment you are aware of your inability and limitations! The moment you realize that nothing can happen through your efforts! That very moment the door to beyond opens! That very moment door of salvation opens!
He (Body) is everything onto Himself. He is complete, total in Him alone. Nothing can be added or imposed on Him. He is the cause of His own existence. He is not dependent on any one. Nanak says singing, remembering, and listening to the glories of that alone will relieve you of your pain and suffering. Here Nanak addresses Him as or the embodiment of myriad attributes. Do all that you are to do. However offer this at the altar. Seek Him alone in everything around. Treat everyone as His manifestation. There is no other way. When you eat visualize that He is entering as food and things like this. Hindus consider food as Brahman. Nanak says this remembrance has to remain each finite moment. Just going to your place of worship once a week or once a day will do nothing! And even when you are in your place of worship your mind wavers and is not there. Many a times you look at the time. And keep your cell phone on. How can you remember Him? To be religious is not easy. It is a twenty four hour assignment. There is no specific religious day. Entire life, all days, each moment belongs to Him. Live your life as if God is incorporated in everything that you do. You are reading this or listening to the CD. Listen as if it is the Voice of the Unknown. Nanak says only then you are free from pain and your life will be a song a dance or a benediction. Only then you will reach home each time full of joy and happiness. In the absence you return home all weary, maybe you got pick pocketed, maybe you lost something. And when you live life as if He is surrounding you then you are always blissful. And your blissfulness will fill your heart and home
everything a new joy. You are unhappy because you are living your life without God. Why cannot you see the image of God in every one - your wife, son, daughter, husband, and neighbor? As your perspective changes a new meaning arises. Life becomes a benediction. I have heard of a Sufi Hasan. One day someone asked, ‘I can understand there is something like happiness. It is so because God is. He is father and giving us happiness. But why is there sorrow. This I cannot understand.’ Hasan was sailing in his boat to reach to the other shore. Hasan let the questioner accompany him in his boat. Hasan started rowing the boat with one Ryder. The boat started moving in circles. At this the questioner said if you continue to row the boat with one Ryder it will go on moving in circles alone. What is the matter? Is there anything wrong with the other Ryder or your hand? Hasan responded, ‘I thought you to be ignorant. But you seem to be wise. With one Ryder the boat will go on circling. For balance and movement the pair of opposites is needed. Life needs both opposing poles. So too day and night; good and bad; life and death; two wings are needed in togetherness.’ These opposing forces are two poles of the same energy. Electrical energy has two poles as positive and negative and without one the light cannot happen. This is the law of dialectics. The moment you can see you will find everything has the same origin. Good and bad are the opposing forces of the same energy. When this happens you accept both. In that very acceptance you are beyond the duality. Then the resultant that remains is bliss beyond happiness and sorrow. The word of the master is the existential sound. This is the only scripture. And God is embedded in the word of the master. Master is Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. All that I know had it been total even then He cannot be glorified. No word can encompass …. However with one sutra of the master the riddle can be solved. What is the riddle? He, alone is the master of the entire creation. And this I never forget even for a moment. Try to understand this. Nanak gives too much importance to guru. All the
saints have spoken of this. Master is placed even higher the scriptures. It is said if whatever the master says is not found in scriptures the discard the scripture. A master is the living scripture. This importance is for certain reasons. Try to understand this. Scriptures in particular here ‘Veda’ is the word of the master. However these masters are no more alive. Each scripture is the fragrance of a master. And when the master is no more there to infuse life into the scripture it can no longer remain alive. And when you use the words of the something of you will reflect as well. The originality is lost. Try to understand this. I give a flower in your hand. And you pass on to someone else. And this process of giving to someone else continues. And if the flower after passing through so many hands comes back to you its fragrance will definitely be different. Even its beauty will not be the same. Some of the petals may fall as well. And simply because an incomplete flower is not brought to me you may add new petals from another flower. The flower will complete then. But certainly it is no more original. This is the reason that there is the importance of nisbet in Sufi path and the relevance of the living Sheikh. Nanak says the word of the master is ‘Veda’ – or scripture certainly. However thousands of years have passed since then. Many old things have been deleted by the new ones. When you are in the company of a living master it is indeed a blessing. Also when you are reading the book you will give your meaning. And your meaning cannot go beyond your consciousness. You will impose your meaning on the book. This is the reason there are so many commentaries of Bhagwad Gita. By the time Nanak, Kabir, Dadu came these scripture became stale. And these master laid importance on the living master. And when you are in front of the living master then you cannot distort his words. Nanak says: Even those who have seen God with his own inner eyes cannot describe. And you are searching God in scriptures. That about who nothing could be said you are trying to understand through stories. Nothing can be said.
Nanak says one who gives the Sutra or â€˜gurâ€™ or principle or methodology or secret is really guru. Nanak gives this methodology:.
He is the master or the creator of all. He is the only creator. Let there be no occasion when I could forget this. The moment you understand this secret then you attention moves from the beads of the rosary. And settles on the thread that supports and binds all beads you have found the secret. So too God is that invisible thread that connects the entire creation. Who can enter this realm? Kabir says: One who is ready to set his house on fire can really move with me. What does Kabir mean by house? Kabir implies the house of falsehood, dishonesty, anger, jealousy, and hatred. This is your house that you have created around you. Nanak had strange ways and means. No one could really understand him. This is the case with all those who have discovered his inner treasures. Whenever anyone begins inward journey he becomes useless for the society and the outer world. One day Nanak left home to go somewhere. No one knew where he had been to. He was searched all around wherever he could go possibly. People thought he might have gone to any temple or mosque. He was nowhere to be seen. Someone saw Nanak going towards cremation ground. No one could believe this. No one goes to such a place willingly. Even a dead person may not want to go that is why he is carried. Then how can a living person go there. In the cremation ground Nanak was sitting in meditation under a tree. Everyone wanted to know what he was doing in such place away from home and family. People go to temples and mosques etc. to meditate and pray. Everyone said things according to their level of understanding. This is normal. When a person begins inward journey everyone discourages. This happens because of misconceptions about the spiritual path. Your society, your family, your priest never want you to tread the spiritual path.
Now it was the turn of a meditative Nanak. He said one who comes here never goes from here, and never dies. And the place you call as you home people die there. Now introspect which place can be called cremation ground. A place where death is inevitable, where people go on dying or this place you call cremation ground where no one dies ever. The inhabitants of this place never die. And ultimately one day one has to come here riding the shoulders of others. This does not appeal to me. This is the reason I came here on my own. One thing more in your world all that you have will be taken away one day. And here in this place nothing can be taken from you. This incident is very significant as it indicates a greater truth. Nanak is in harmony with all that is to happen. Death is inevitable. Nanak has no conflict with death. It is welcomed. And also why to bother others for this! It is better to come on oneâ€™s own. You are always against all that is inevitable. You always wish this should not happen this way. Nanak has no wish of his own. Even if death be the wish of his beloved, it is accepted to Nanak. That night somehow everyone convinced Nanak to return home. Nanak returned home, but he was not the same. Something has drastically changed in him. It seemed that something has given way something new and sublime. It always happens. Only when someone dies totally that new is born! This is the process to rebirth. To enter new life, you have to pass through death. And cremation ground is the way. New birth does not imply a new body. This is the birth rebirth cycle. New birth really implies dawn of a new awareness. You are afraid of death. And when fear is you cannot be connected to God. All your prayers worship, and religiousness is the outcome of your fear not as the outcome of your love for God. Then your religiousness cannot be a celebration. God, your religion, all your worship etc are all security arrangements. God seems to be your insurance. All your holy places, pilgrimages are the outcome of your fear - an insurance security. It is so because you are trained to go to such places because of your demands, fear, and as protection. Seldom has any one gone to express gratitude.
Fear can never take you to God. Fear cannot unite. Love alone is the force that unites. Fear disintegrates. Love brings closeness. Fear breads jealousy and hatred. As long as fear remains love cannot spring forth. You can only decorate your hate and jealousy to look like love. How can you love someone when there is fear? In this state even if you decide to surrender it will definitely be the trick. People go to holy places etc. full of desires for salvation, or fulfillment of desires. It is believed that by bathing in Ganges all sins are washed. Sin, as you call, does not happen by body. Body is the instrument. Prompted by your consciousness your body instrument engages in such acts that you call sin. How can holy river Ganga wash your consciousness? The holy water cannot reach there. If your body is dirty, or is full of dust this can be washed by taking in the river. Waters of Ganges is good to wash the body. Certainly it cannot sanctify the soul. The methodology for this is different. To sanctify the soul you will have to bring another stream of water. From where can this stream spring forth? This can only spring forth from deep within your being. These sutras of Nanak are the search for that eternal search for the Heavenly Ganges (Holy waters). If your ways and means, your life, your living appeals to Him! Or is in harmony of the Divine will! You have really discovered the Eternal Holy River. This can happen when you understand that He is the only doer and you are an instrument. With this understanding you will appeal to Him. As such as you are you consider yourself the doer! In all that you do - worldly or spiritual this doer element remains like an undercurrent. You will hear people saying things like this that indicate the doer element. As long as this doer remains you are not religious. A religious person is one for whom God is the only doer, and he is an instrument. It is because of this ‘doer consciousness’ you are in misery. Are you really the doer? Birth, death, and life nothing is in your hand. And yet still you consider that everything you are doing. This is ignorance - the only ignorance. From the very beginning Nanak says He is the only doer. Your definition of sin and virtue differs from that of Nanak.
To consider yourself doer is only sin if you want to use this word. Otherwise for me ignorance will do. All that you do with this ‘doer awareness’ is ignorance. This is what Krishna is asking Arjuna. Leave the awareness of doing. Everything happens because of the cosmic law or Hukum. Do not bring this understanding in between. The light of your understanding cannot take you far. Be an instrument. Be like a flute. Flute does not impose anything of its own. It has three qualities: 1. Flute is hollow inside. It has nothing of its own. No resistance! No desire! Absolutely nothing. 2. Flute does not say anything on its own. It is an instrument. It allows the flutist to bring out the eternal music from deep within through the flute. And flute allows this. Lastly! 3. Whenever flute speaks or says something it is always a melody, a song, a raga (a musical composition). And there remains total harmony between the flute and the flutist. In fact flute expresses the moods of the flutist. Nanak says be like a flute. And one who becomes the instrument is dear to Him. Divine love flows incessantly each finite moment, only your pot is upside down. This is not conditional. Love is showering. Your pot is turned over. The only thing that you have to do is to turn your pot facing its mouth upwards. It will start collecting the rain of bliss or love. His love is unconditional. This is no condition as you may think. This is the problem with worldly love. Love remains an unwanted condition. The husband, the wife, the father, the friend everyone has certain pre-conditions for their love. The wife says I can love you only if you can….So on and so forth. Because of this there is so much love talk in the world. However love is seen nowhere! Turn over the pot of your being. Allow your pot to fill with this energy. This is the methodology. This is transformation. Drop by drop the pot will fill one day. And then it will start overflowing. It can never contain love within. When the cloud is full of rain water clods shower! When the flower has blossomed it can no more contain its beauty and fragrance. The whole atmosphere and the air get filled with its fragrance.
So too as soon as your pot is full it will start overflowing. There is no end to His blessings or bounties. Once you know the art of turning the pot upside nothing else is to be done. The rest happens on its own. And a master is one whose pot is not only full instead it has now started overflowing in all directions without any condition or prejudice.
The moment you are in tune with Him you have taken the holy bath. It is not that you do not appeal to Him. Not for even a moment He will want this to happen. Existence has loved you. Sun gives you light. Moon gives you cool light. You are created by God. Entire existence is in your support. You are running away from Him. Your doors and windows are all closed. Open the window and the door sunlight will fill your room. Because of your fear, security all your doors and windows are closed. According to Nanak the most important thing is that you appeal to God. And if it is not so then even bathing in the holy waters is meaningless. To Nanak all these things are irrelevant. The most important thing is your being in harmony with His will. If your life and understanding is not in harmony with the divine, then every act will certainly strengthen your ego. Look at a pilgrim when he returns from the pilgrimages he is much more egoist. He expects a warm welcome that he has now returned from the pilgrimage. Even your fasting is to strengthen your ego. Try to understand that all that happens in this life or you achieve is through efforts. Love cannot happen by efforts. Love springs from unknown realm. And when the energy overwhelms you change begins to happen. All that is sublime and divine in nature! It is very simple. When you are sailing your boat against the breeze it will be difficult. And when you start sailing with the wind it is effortless. To attain to your inwardness no effort is needed. For this you need a loving heart. And then things begin to happen on own accord. Love is energy that springs from deep within your being. It is an unseen but realized truth. In the beginning love is a feeling. And as it deepens it becomes an energy field. Love is the only that never
exhausts in the world. Love is divine. Love is not any effort. And the paradox of love is the more loving you are the more love will enchant your being. The more your capability or intensity of loving increases the more tranquil you are. Love goes on increasing in infinite quantum. Love is a blessing. Love is not an effort. In love you rest. Love rejuvenates you. Love brings freshness. Love fills your being with ecstasy. The day this love springs forth and gushes to your being you are transformed. One cannot attain to this through efforts. Only by the grace of the one who has experienced this can happen. If you have to prepare your eyes to look at the sun then you will have to begin with a flame. Only then slowly and slowly one day you will be able to look at the sun. If you have to start straightening your inverted pot you will have to begin with the master. A master is the beginning. When you start overflowing with the master and all your fears vanish trust and certitude arises. Only then you will find an opening in you. If the Ganges has to be brought down on the earth a Bhagiratha (sage who brought the Holy river to the earth from heavenly region) and Shiva is needed to sustain the force. The flow of energy is so intense that an ordinary heart cannot encompass this flow. Your journey has to begin with a master. Master will prepare you. He will nourish and nurture you. And in the process when you are ready you can have a direct commune. And one who listens to even a single message of the master can attain to God. And one who thus listens to a master his intelligence becomes like a precious gem. It is very difficult even to listen a single teaching of the master. It is difficult because your whole life has to transform. As you are you can never listen to the master. For this you will have to face the master. You have to be within his energy field. You have to learn the art of being silent. And when you are in the company of the master you cannot remain in the mind. You will distort the words of the master. You will give your own meaning to the words. Your mind which is the aggregate of your conditionings, thoughts etc. will distort everything. Empty handed you came and empty handed you will return.
The teaching of the master is not heard through the mind. This is to be heard through heart. And when you are listening to the master do not bring your mind. This has to be heard with love and trust. Coming to a master implies that all your efforts have now proved futile. Now you are incapable of moving on your own. In short this is trust. You can reach the master only when doubt is no more. Without inner preparation you cannot reach the master. And one thing more the moment a disciple is born in you master will appear. Disciple is one who has dropped the realm of the mind. Trust has arisen in him. He can now trust the unknown. Many come to the master. But rarely comes a disciple one in whom there is trust. With trust surrender becomes possible. Love and trust harmonizes the energies of intellect. Only such a person can listen to the words of the master. Only then you can be a ‘Sikh’. One who has listened the ‘Sikhavan’ or teaching is indeed a ‘Sikh’. This word ‘Sikh’ is beautiful. It comes from Sanskrit root that means ‘Shishya’ or disciple. One who is ready to learn is really indeed a ‘Sikh’. One who can put the attire of a ‘Sikh’ is not Nanak’s Sikh. To be a Sikh is the miracle of the unknown. Nanak says: There are two ways to listen. One is the way that emanates from the head or intellect. Duality is the way of intellect. Intellect very easily comes to the conclusion. Intellect always thinks in terms of right and wrong; good and bad; high and low. Intellect thinks whether to accept or not. Intellect is supported by ego. Intellect can never trust heart. Culture of intellect dominates. You pass on the street. Seeing a hungry beggar the heart wants to give something. The intellect and others in the car will immediately ask you to lock the door. Then even if you want to give intellect will give many arguments. Maybe he is a professional beggar! He looks so strong why he does not earn. And the children will give their own arguments. Someone may say do not give anything otherwise he will recognize the car and next time anyone of us maybe driving and anything may happen. This is how intellect works.
Love springs forth. Intellect will argue love is blind. Never trust love. Be wise. Love has destroyed many. Love is like a thoroughfare that always leads to the forest. And gets lost in the woods of life! Love is the path of aloneness. Intellect always follows crowd. Love needs privacy. Intellect creates so many obstructions that slowly and slowly heart space shrinks. The gap between intellect and widens. And then one day you cannot listen to the whispers of the heart. Even you love emanates from intellect. Have you ever thought this? Your heart space becomes barren. There is no ripple, no song, and no dance. The teaching of the master is heard from the heart. Kabir says one who is ready to cut off his head can really attain to love. Intellect is borrowed. It is given by your society. You were born with heart. This is the sad plight. All that in imposed on you becomes important. Your center has moved from heart to intellect. Nanak says one teaching of the master alone changes the entire perceptive in life. What is the single teaching of the master?
I do not forget Him even for a moment. This alone is enough to transform you. There are two word remembrance and forgetfulness. The Hindi words are:
Smr[ and ivSmr[ (remembrance and forgetfulness) Remembrance implies that something continues deep within like an undercurrent. You may be doing anything but the remembrance remains at the background. Look at a pregnant woman. A change has taken place within her biology. As a result a growth is taking place within her. She engages in household activities like cooking, cleaning and many such actions. However she remains aware of the new growth taking place within her. A new life has begun to sprout in her. All through her daily actions this remembrance remains in her like an undercurrent. Even while walking, bending to pick up something she never forgets even for a moment. This is remembrance.
Remembrance is not an effort. This is spontaneous. If it is any effort then one may forget sometimes while engaged in other works, like sleeping, working, driving talking etc. That which comes through efforts is not remembrance. When this remembrance is part of your being! When each cell of your being is soaked into this! Nanak calls this ‘Ajapa jap’. Kabir and Nanak call this ‘Surati yoga’. Surati means a constant and spontaneous remembrance. In the west Gurdjieff called this as ‘self remembrance’. He worked tremendously on this. He says if you go on remembering twenty four hours something, and this gets intense in you then a center is born in you. Crystallization happens. There is a danger in this method as Gurdjieff asks you to remember ‘I am’. The danger is of ego. Such is not the case with Nanak. Nanak never asks you to remember your-self. Instead he asks to remember: He alone is life giver and sustainer for the entire creation. Nanak asks never to forget this. And this is the only secret. This EK OMKAR SATNAM lurks behind the entire creation. In the clouds, sky, stars, the moon, the sun, the speck of dust this EK OMKAR SATNAM is hidden. This I never forget. And as this crystallizes in you something starts transforming within. Nanak says there is no need to leave the word. The entire world is permeated by the same energy. Where ever you will go you will find Him! You will find a vast congregation of followers - Sikhs, Sindhis. They are all involved in the world because nothing is outside the creation. But they have forgotten the other half of the truth. The entire thinking and the way of life is worldly. One has to remain in the middle. But intellect always chooses the extreme path. This is the reason the essence of Nanak is lost along the way. Sikhs are all around. However nowhere the Sikh of Nanak is seen anywhere. And when this remembrance that He alone is the sustainer remains then you can be in the world but the world will not be within you. You can make even Ganga an ordinary river or you can make an ordinary river the holy one. It
all depends on your level of understanding. Nanak says one who listens to one message of the master; his intellect gets precious like gems. Why is Nanak talking of these precious gems. Nanak is using this word for the reason when need arises you may leave everything but not the precious gems. This remembrance is like the most precious gem. If someone attains to age equivalent to ‘Four Ages’ (according to Hindus) or the historical division as iron , copper, stone age etc. ‘Satyuga,’ ‘Dwaper,’ ‘Treta ,’ and ‘Kaluga’ and then it multiples even ten times, and furthermore if the people of all the quarters may know you; and your fame may spread all-around; nothing will really matter if you do not appeal to Him. Nanak says:Try to understand this. This is the way and the search of the entire world. Everyone aspires to be well known. Nanak says of what avail is all this if you are not in harmony with Him. What is the use of all this? Have you ever seen any rich person contended? Nanak says even if you get everything contentment never comes until He begins to like you. And this can happen only when you are in harmony with the cosmic law. The moment you are in harmony it is even bathing in the holy rivers, or visiting the holy places. That very moment holy Ganges descends from heaven. Nanak says He renders many qualities to those who lack these and also it because of His grace such qualities are multiplied manifold. Have you witnessed: when you are in love with someone and your beloved accepts you, what happens. What is the state of your joy? In love you move as if you are flying. There is a glow on your face. Your eyes speak of something different. This is the reason that you cannot hide love. Love always finds expression. Such is the case with ordinary life. What will happen if the entire existence accepts you? And you are in love with totality. The aspirant or the devotee is thirsty for God just as a lover is thirsty for her beloved. And whenever love is so intense then the baser becomes sublime. Just the simple teaching that ‘He alone is the master of the entire creation and this I never forget.’ If there is this
eternal call and a thirst then even one teaching of the master becomes precious. Nanak says once you turn inwards a new journey begins. Just remember Him alone. And as His light turns towards you everything changes. Anger, lust, and all such negativities vanish. That alone can give you the real fulfillment in life. Nanak was not learned. Also he was not rich He was born in an ordinary family. Yet still miracle happened. When this can happen to a Nanak, a Kabir why this can’t happen on you. Yes indeed it can happen on you only if your face turns towards Him. And this can happen with one single teaching of the Master - the one who has known. These four Pauri or Sutras are together. Together in the sense that in these sutra Nanak gave the significance of the art of listening. Mahabir says there are certain who follow the path of austerities or ‘Sadhana’. There are others who reach through just listening. And those who are incapable of listening follow the path of Sadhana. If you can really listen then nothing else remains to be done. And with that alone you will reach. In these sutras extol the significance of the art of listening. When you look at these sutras outwardly these appear to be superfluous. You may wonder what will happen by listening. And you have been listening for lives and nothing seems to happen. Your experience says one may listen erelong but nothing really happens. You seem to be like a smooth surface on which water cannot stay. And you remain untouched. If your understanding be right then Nanak seems to be exaggerating. Your experience can never be right. You have never really listened. And man devises many ways for his understanding. Let me explain these first. First: you really want to hear all that you want to hear. You never hear that which is being said. You listen only that which cannot change you. And that which is capable of transforming you never hear. You are deaf to all this. This is not the understanding of masters and sages alone. This has been the result of scientific research on human sense organs. Accordingly it is said that nearly 98 % of the information. You listen and absorb only that which resonates with you. That which
resonates with you cannot transform you! That which resonates with your conscious mind relates to your conditionings and belief system. This alone is the obstruction. For transformation the master has to take you to your unconscious and sub conscious. From there alone you journey of transformation may begin. Then suddenly you are connected to the cosmic layer. That which resonates with you how can transform you. This will simply strengthen you’re your mind. This gives you a new ground, a new foundation. On this you can start a new structure. A Hindu mind listens to that which resonates and strengthens his mind. So is the case a Sikh, Christian, Mohammedan and other sects as well. You are listening simply to strengthen your mind. Truth is sublime. Truth is beyond religions and even your gods and goddesses. Truth is solitary. Truth is auspicious. Truth is beyond duality. So is bliss or Anand. This alone is auspicious or Mangalam. Scriptures say:
sTy< prm xImih. AanNdm! prm xImih. M<aglm! prmxImih. Truth is most auspicious! Bliss is most auspicious! So is benediction! Truth has nothing to do with Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Jew. Truth is beyond all this. Your conditioning, your values, and your understanding have no correlation with Truth. Beyond dualities, conditionings, and your beliefs lays the realm of Buddhas. Nanak is a Buddha - one who has not only attained to this Oneness with that which is instead has harnessed this energy field for the transformation of human consciousness. Japji is the fragrance of Nanak. When you will listen beyond all dualities and your conditionings only then you can understand the message of Japji. There is nothing more difficult than changing your thinking, and understanding. Your conditionings are like an invisible glass wall. And unless to hit this wall yourself you will never come to know of this wall. Until then open sky will appear like an illusion a distant horizon beyond glass wall.
You are listening to me certain things resonate with you while many other do not. That which strengthens your belief system resonates with you. And this you listen. And even if the contrary reaches you somehow you will give your own meaning and justify according to your understanding. One thing is certain you can never be wrong. This is your belief and the impediment in the process of transformation. Accordingly that alone is truth that resonates with you. If you have attained truth, then there is no need to listen. And that you do not have. If you proceed with this understanding that you already know truth then how can you reach truth? To reach truth you have to be empty, bereft of all concepts and understandings. With your beliefs, principles, and scriptures you can never listen to a master. And that which you think you have listened will certainly be your own echo. Then these words of Nanak will certainly appear an exaggeration. Still there is another method of missing the message of the masters. So whenever the message begins you fall asleep. Sleep acts as the tranquilizer. It always happens whenever something is about to touch you fall asleep. This is the reason that whenever you are listening to a master you fall asleep. Even those who suffer from amnesia fall asleep. What really happens? This is the game of the mind - a trick. Whenever you do not want to listen that does not resonate with you sleep comes to your rescue. Sleep then acts as your security armour. It appears then as if you are listening. It always happens you are alert and awake when you are speaking. However you are never alert and awake when you are listening. Constantly an internal dialogue continues. And you remain unconscious. One who is capable to break the continuity of this inner dialogue can really listen. Only then a real listening - a listening that is what Nanak means can really happen. When inner dialogue discontinues a new sky, a new horizon unfolds. All that was unknown up to now becomes familiar. This is the effort of all the masters: how to discontinue this inner dialogue. This methodology you may call
meditation; inner silence; yoga; Satnam or anything else it matters not. All efforts are to discontinue this inner dialogue, and how to create an open space within. Nanak says: Nanak says it is through listening alone one becomes a master. It is listening alone that makes one a ‘siddha’, a sheikh, and even a god. Listening alone sustains both heaven and earth. The entire existence, the earth, the oceans, is all sustained by listening. Listening makes one blissful. The moment this really happens all pain, all agony, all anguish suddenly give place to bliss, harmony, and benediction. You may find this difficult to absorb. How this may happen? Intellect cannot comprehend this. And there is no exaggeration. This you have to understand. The moment you grasp the art of listening, a change happens. You get really acquainted with life. You feel the pulse of existence. That very moment you encounter the silence of your being. And this inner silence is the cause of your existence. Then you realize this inner silence pervading the entire cosmos. And then everything appears to be dancing to the tune of this serenity. This is infinite zero. It is in this state of silence that a seed decomposes. Then sprouts into a seedling! And the seedling grows into a tree. Out of this cosmic silence evolves the first glimpse of the rays of a nascent sun. Birds dance to the tune of this silence. A new dawn is in the offing. The moon the stars come into existence out of this cosmic silence as an echo. Suddenly the aspirant reaches to a realm when creation begins from one door and from another door the entire creation enters into dissolution. It happened once a Muslim seeker came to Nanak and said, ‘I have heard you can turn me into ashes and the very next moment you can recreate. This seems to be a miracle difficult to comprehend.’ The person was really honest and a real seeker. Nanak asked him to sit down with eyes closed. Had he not been a real seeker he would have been afraid. He had asked something really dangerous. It was morning. May be a morning just like this one! Nanak was sitting near a well outside the village. Both Bala and Mardana were also there. This surprised everyone. Nanak never did anything like this before. Everyone could not comprehend what will happen. All
present there suddenly became alert. Even the entire surrounding became alert. Even the rocks suddenly became alert. Nanak said the moment you attain to inner silence I will allow the miracle to happen. The person became silent within. He seemed to be a person of great trust. Nanak put his hand over his head and then created the OMKAR sound. The story says that the person turned into ashes. Then again Nanak created the same sound and the story says the person came into existence once again. This story indicates something sublime. If you go into its surface meaning you will miss. However deep within this happened. The moment he became silent within he attainted to the art of listening. Inner dialogue discontinued. Only the existential sound of Omkar remained. The moment inner silence happens and there is the echo of Omkar a state of dissolution comes. All boundaries, all limitations, all that is worldly turns into ashes! No attachment! No desire! And no relationship remains! Again there was the echo of Omkar the person regained consciousness. His eyes opened full of gratitude. He bowed to Nanak and said this he thought to be impossible. However this happened. Those who consider this merely a story will not be able to grasp the essence. That person was capable to listen. And when someone is ready to listen then you can listen to the entire existence. Then a master is irrelevant. Then even the presence of the master is irrelevant. Then you can listen to the breeze rustling through the tree leaves. You can listen to the roaring of the ocean. Everywhere you will hear the echo of the existential sound Omkar. In the water fall you will hear this uncreated sound. Only then you will understand that the entire existence is sustained by this infinite zero. River flows in that. Ocean dissolves in that silence. Your heart beat, pulse of the heart all echoes that infinite silence. You will find you are no more a sound, instead you are the witness. Then death cannot touch you. One who has learned the art of listening nothing else remains to be known. Nanak says entire existence is created by this eternal silence. This eternal silence is the unit of this existence. Once you know this death is no more. Listening renders one eternally blissful.
You came into existence silent. Word is the bridge in the world. Though word you are connected to the other. And silence connects you to your being. Because of constant word you are incapable to connect to your being. All the needs and desires in the world are fulfilled through word. Silence is meaningless in the world. To fulfill all your worldly needs your dialogue begins and then continues. Slowly and slowly you become accustomed to dialogue and then this dialogue becomes automatic. Then you do rehearsal to speak. Outwardly you go on growing. But deep within you start moving away from you. Inner connection starts disappearing. The more versatile you become outwardly the more difficult will be inner silence. One day dialogue becomes your habit and it is very difficult to break the habit. Try to understand why self talking is necessary. When you want to walk you have to move feet. By sitting you cannot move your feet and reach wherever you want to go. And when you need not go anywhere then you can sit down. You eat when you are hungry. When you are not hungry then eating may create problem. So too you sleep when you are sleepy. Any effort to sleep will be futile when you are not sleepy. You use the equipment it is necessary. This is not the case with speaking. You never say that I will speak only when it is necessary. It seems you have forgotten that the process of speaking can be discontinued and then start back once again. If this be not so then all religions and their process is futile. This is the reason Nanak is giving so much importance to the art of listening. If you really understand, the glory of listening is in fact the glory of silence. Both listening and silence are two sides of the same coin. It is like a door sign on one side of which it reads entry and the other side reads exit. You have to practice to be silent. To be in the company of the master implies; how to learn the art of listening and become silent. You do not go to the master for a dialogue. With constant effort and the commune of the master you will not only attain to silence. You will even be able to hear the footsteps of silence. That day you will be able to listen indeed. That day you will not have to go in search of the master. All around you will envision the silence. Through silence you are now
connected to the existence. And will come to know what a master is. The moment you learn the art of listening the master surrounds you. Then in the cry of a child! Roaring of the ocean! Thunder of the clouds! Rustling of the breeze through tree leaves! Chirping of the bird! Barking of the dog! Lightening in the sky! Blossoming of the flower! All around you will envision the Ultimate Guru. Nanak says through listening an aspirant attains to bliss. And all suffering, anguish, and pain will come to an end. A witness is born in you. And this witness is bliss. Listening happens; mind is no more. The sequence of word comes to cessation. Past is no more. This is transcendence. From that height you can only hear the echo of bliss. Nanak says listening leads to the end of sorrow and sin. One who has listened, he has known the essence of existence. Then sin is no more. Then there is discontinuity with thought, thinking and the mind. Sin is the outcome of connection with thought and thinking. A thought arises. A car suddenly stops. A thought to own the car flashes in your mind. Now how you can have this car remains the only thought. Whatever be the way honesty or dishonesty matters not. The thought of the car surrounds you. So too the thought may arise about a woman. With this thought many things may happen. Nanak says listening leads to the end of all sorrow and sin. Then the state you are in is Samadhi, or bliss. This is Anand. Nanak says: There is yet another reason for repentance. When you are reaching near meditation or meditation begins to happen you will come in the middle. Two paths are open then. You can move to preach or teach others. Things have not yet settled in you and you have moved on a dangerous path. Therefore until your master instructs you to teach others never move on your own. The games of ego are very subtle. You got a little. And you start announcing as if you got in abundance. With a single rain drop you start speaking of the ocean. Slowly and slowly you will become just like a priest who knows nothing! The flower has not yet blossomed yet still he speaks of the flower. When you look into their lives you will find there is no coordination between their understandings and their lives.
Such is the state of the priest. He only rejoices words. However there is no fragrance of a blossomed flower in him. Therefore when you come in the middle leaving the way of understanding you come to the realm of the word. From the â€˜wordâ€™ two paths are open. First is the path of being a priest. A priest is the custodian of the word. So too you got a slight glimpse. With this two paths are in front of you. One is the path of the learned one. This path implies that you are leaving the word and all that is associated with it. And thus you are entering the realm of silence. The other is the path of the priest accordingly you move in the realm of the word and you start preaching. Therefore until your master instructs you for this never go on your own. It is very difficult to attain to such an understanding. The path of inwardness is very delicate. If you are not careful you may deviate very easily. Therefore never proceed unless your master instructs so. Otherwise you will have to repent. It is like this you are almost reaching to the shore and you have moved away from the shore. Priest hood is the last attraction. Nanak continues to say: Nothing can be said about meditation. And one who says anything has to repent definitely. There is nothing to write. And there is no one to say anything about meditation. As meditation deepens the doer begins to disappear. Mind and doer are the two sides of the same coin. Mind can say. Mind can write. Mind can speak. Mind is capable of speaking. Mind can even say all that it does not know. This may create illusion that you know. And once this thought comes to you that you know without knowing then you can never reach the sore. You can wake someone who is asleep. But how can you wake someone who pretending to be asleep. You can wake the ignorant one. However you can do nothing for the one who is pretending to be the knower. Nanak says when there is no paper, no writer, and no writing instrument mind vanishes. The doer is no more to say anything of meditation. One who meditates the very name which is Niranjan, the uncreated, and most auspicious really knows the very essence of it. One who knows becomes dumb. He will be so fulfilled that he cannot utter a single word. All you can do is either
laugh or cry. But there is no way to say anything. You can sing. You can dance out of ecstasy. This is the reason Nanak continued to sing all his life. Whenever anyone asked him anything Nanak will ask Bala and Mardana to start playing the instruments and Nanak will sing. Nanak only sang. Japuji is the echo of the songs that Nanak sang after his communion with his beloved. If you can really understand the words of the master you will find poetry in his message. Even if he is sitting you will find a dance movement. Always you will find a dance and an aura of intoxication surrounding him. This aura of intoxication will not put you to sleep. Instead it will wake you from your deep slumber. This is an intoxication that will take you in ‘Surati’ or invocation of the heart center. And if you are ready to flow with Him certainly you will journey on the final voyage. Beyond this there is no movement. The message of a master is more like a poet or a musician. Whatever he has realized cannot be put in words. Maybe the song may give the glimpse of this experience. Remember one thing about Nanak that whatever he has said is through songs and the
existential sound. Whatever he said is through this existential sound ‘Omkar’. The real thing is this existential sound. The moment you can feel and hear this sound echoing within you transformation has happened. Nanak wants this sound to echo within these words are simply an alibi. And once echo of ‘Omkar’ can be heard within then this process of thought will disappear. And you will reach to another level of the word. If you are not holding the shore and are ready to flow then even the last thing can happen. This last happening is meditation or ‘Manan’. The experience is so vast that you cannot put in words. It is like the sweets of the dumb that knows the taste but cannot put in words. And one who has known the taste can never forget till eternity. The taste is so vast that you will drown in this vastness. Like a drop you will dissolve in the vastness. Through manan or meditation Surati or awareness or constant remembrance happens and it invokes the infinite within the finite. And as you enter into dialogue you lose your awareness. And ninety percent of life’s trouble happens because of your speaking. Therefore the moment you attain to silent your inner disturbance disappears.
TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS SOME ONE ASKED:
NAQSHBANDI SUFI BRIJ MOHAN LAL IS MY MOTHER’S FATHER. AND SUFI DEVENDRA NATH IS MY MOTHER’S BROTHER.
I read your homepage, and I am interested in the holy path given there. I would be very happy to receive some information about this path. 1. How is this tradition linked to Brij Mohan Lal? Is Devendra Nath your father and Brij Mohan Lal your grandfather? 2. Who is the living Guru in this Sufi tradition? 3. Is your teaching the same as the Sufi teaching or is it different from the tradition of Brij Mohan Lal and Ramchandra (Lalaji)? 4. What is the most important aspect if one what to know God? 5. What are the requirements to follow the path? 6. What should I do to start to follow this Path? 7. Is there a need of any initiation into the path or any other necessity before starting? With kindest regards and love, Lars Jensen, Sweden
TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS BELOVED LARS JENSEN, A MASTER, OR SHEIKH, OR BUDDHA DOES NOT REALLY ANSWER THE QUESTIONS INSTEAD HE RESPONDS THE QUESTIONING MIND. BECAUSE ONLY WHEN THE QUESTIONING MIND ATTAINS TO SILENCE INWARD JOURNEY GETS IMPETUS! IN RESPONDING TO YOUR QUESTION A MASTER ALWAYS RESPONDS TO THE QUESTIONING MIND AND EVEN THE UNASKED QUESTION. THE RESPONSE OF A MASTER IS A DEVISE FOR TRANSFORMATION. I WILL TAKE THE QUESTION ONE BY ONE. THE RESPONSE MAY BE LONGER AS NONE OF THESE QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED AS WE DO IN OUR WORLDLY MATTERS. QUESTION 1: How is this tradition linked to Brij Mohan Lal? Is Devendra Nath your father and Brij Mohan Lal your grandfather?
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADITION AND THE PATH OR TARIQAT AS SUFI CALL. EACH PATH OR TARIQAT IS ALIVE. IT IS THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF WHICH THE SHEIKH OR SUFI IS THE CENTER. AND THE TARIQAT IS THE RADIUS. TRADITION ON THE OTHER HAND IS DEAD. WHEN A MASTER IS NO MORE THE PRIESTLY COMMUNITY CREATES A TRADITION AROUND THE MASTER. ISLAM, HINDUISM, CHRISTIANITY ETC ARE TRADITIONS. THESE ARE LIKE ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS. NO FRAGRANCE, NO BEAUTY AND NO ALIVENESS. WHEN JESUS IS NO MORE THE PRIEST CREATES AN ORGANIZATION AROUND JESUS. THIS IS TRADITION. THE PATH OF SUFI BRIJ MOHAN LAL OR MY PATH DOES NOT BELONG TO ANY PARTICULAR PERSON. IT IS A DEVISE, A TECHNIQUE, AND A TARIQAT FOR TRANSFORMATION. IT MAY LOOK DIFFERENT OUTWARDLY BECAUSE WITH EACH MASTER THE AURA, THE PEOPLE AND TIMES DIFFER. ONE THING THAT NEVER CHANGES IS ‘ENERGY FIELD’ OR ‘TAWAJJOH’ OR FRAGRANCE. IT IS SO BECAUSE EACH MASTER IS THE EMBODIMENT OF TRUTH – WITHOUT ANY COLOR, HUE, NAME, FORM ETC. TRUTH IS SUBLIME. TRUTH IS SOLITARY JUST AS THE INNER QUALITY OF WATER OR AIR NEVER CHANGES INSPITE OF PEOPLE CALLING IT BY DIFFERENT NAMES SO THE INNER STATE OF AWARENESS OF TWO MASTERS NEVER CHANGE. SAINTS FOLLOW THE SAINTLY PATH. ONE CAN CALL THIS A TRADITION. BUT IT IS ERONEOUS. THE PEOPLE SUFI BRIJ MOHAN LAL WORKED ARE DIFFERENT IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING THAN THOSE I AMK DEALING. I HAVE TO USE ENGLISH AS THE LANGUAGE. THE EXAMPLES ETC TOO DIFFER. THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO ME ARE FROM DIFFERENT TRADITIONS – CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, HINDUISM, ZEN ETC. AND ALSO EACH INDIVIDUAL IS UNIQUE. A MASTER CREATES THE PATH OR TARIQAT FOR EACH PERSON DIFFERENTLY. MY RESPONSES TO DIFFERENT PERSON DIFFER DEPENDING ON THEIR UPBRINGING, UNDERSTANDING AND THE PLANE OF CONSCIOUSNESS. A MASTER KNOWS THIS INTUITIVELY EVEN IF THE PERSON IS NOT AVAILABLE PHYSICALLY. YOUR MAIL HAS REVEALED EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU JUST AS AN X-
RAY REVEALS ALL THAT REMAINS INVISIBLE TO HUMAN EYE. QUESTION 2: Who is the living Guru in this Sufi tradition? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: GURU OR SHEIKH IS NOT A PERSON. IT IS THE STATE OF AWARENESS, INNER BLOSSOMING AND INNER ONENESS WITH THAT WHICH IS. THE MOMENT FLOWER BLOSOMS BEES, NOT THE DOGS, GATHER AROUND IT. IT IS LIKE A LIT CANDLE. THE MOMENT A CANLE IS LIT MOTHS GATHER AROUND. WHAT IS IMPORATNT IS REALLY INNER FLOWERING OR LIGHTING OF THE CANDLE. THE MOMENT THE FLOWER IS BLOSSOMED OR CANDLE IS LIT ITS BEAUTY, FRAGRANE, AND LIGHT CANNOT REMAIN CONFINED. IT SPREADS LIKE AN AURA OF FRESH BREEZE. AROUND THE MASTER OR THE GARDEN OF THE MASTER MANY FLOWERS BLOOM. HOWEVER THE GOLDEN CHAIN REMAINS WITH ONE AND THE OTHERS WORK AS PART OF THE MAIN STREAM. UNTIL MAY 2008 SUFI ONKAR NATH THE ELDER BROTHER OR THE ELDER SON OF BRIJ MOHAN LAL REMAIND AT THE END OF THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF NAQSHBANDI PATH. HOWEVER THE TURMOIL THAT ALWAYS HAPPENS BECAUSE OF THE VESTED INTEREST THIS IS STILL UNDECIDED AFTER SUFI ONKAR NATH LEFT THE PHYSICAL BODY IN 2008. AS FAR AS MY UNDERSTANDING AND INTUITION REVEALS IT WILL REST WITH MY YOUNGER COUSIN THE ELDEST SON OF SUFI ONKAR NATH – PRABHAT MOHAN. THIS DOES NOT DETER ANYONE ELSE LIKE SUFI DEVENDRA NATH OR TAOSHOBUDDHA FROM THE WORK. THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE MANIFESTATION OF TRUTH. ONCE TRUTH MANIFESTS OR THE FRAGRANCE OF THE FLOWER FILLS THE BREEZE NO ONE CAN STOP SUCH A PERSON! THIS IS THE WAY OF MASTERS. QUESTION 3: Is your teaching the same as the Sufi teaching or is it different from the tradition of Brij Mohan Lal and Ramchandra (Lalaji)? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS NOT INTELLECTUAL OR MENTAL ONE. HUMAN MIND OR INTELELCT CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS. FOR THIS ONE HAS TO GO BEYOND MIND AND ITS DUALITIES. BRIJ MOHAN LAL AND RAMCHANDRA (LALAJI) ARE NOT SEPARATE. OUTWARDLY THEY MAY APPEAR DIFFERENT BUT NOT INWARDLY.
THIS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHEN THERE IS INNER HARMONY AND ONENESS. LET THERE BE SINCERITY. CERTAINLY ONE DAY THE ANSWER TO THIS WILL EVEOLVE OUT OF YOUR BEING. THIS IS MY CERTITUDE. QUESTION 4: What is the most important aspect if one what to know God? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: THE ONLY THING THAT IS NEEDED IS GRACE FROM ABOVE AND ONE POINTED ASPIRATION ON YOUR PART. THESE TWO ARE NOT SEPARATE INSTEAD ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN. QUESTION 5: What are the requirements to follow the path? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: YOUR SINCERITY AND THE ASSOCIATION OF TRUTH OR THE ONE WHO IS ONE WITH TRUTH OR THE EMBODIMENT OF TRUTH. QUESTION 6: What should I do to start to follow this Path? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: EXACTLY THE SAME THING THAT YOU DID NOW AFTER QUITE A LOT OF DELIBERATION AND PURSUATION ON YOUR OWN PART! AND IF YOU FEEL WITHIN A SYNCRONICITY, HARMONY, AND JOY OVERFLOWING THEN CONTINUE TO FOLLOW. QUESTION 7: Is there a need of any initiation into the path or any other necessity before starting? TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS: THE MOMENT ONE COMES IN THE COMMUNE OR THE ENERGY FIELD OF THE MASTER THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION BEGINS. YOU MAY CALL THIS FIRST INITIATION. DEPENDING ON YOUR INNER DEVELOPMENT IT IS THE MASTER WHO WILL DECIDE FOR INITIATION IF THAT BE NECESSARY. ALSO THOSE WHO ARE ON THE BORDERLINE THEIR JOURNEY IS NOT IMPEDED BY ANY REASON. DROP ALL QUESTIONS. LEAVE THE REALM OF THE MIND AND FLOW WITH THE HEART. YOU ARE ON THE PATH.
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Beloved Taoshobuddha, Thanks for your kind mail! Behind your words I could felt the truth and the fragrance of Spirituality. Maulana Rumi says: "When the rose has faded and the garden is withered, the song of the nightingale is no longer to be heard." So the nightingale and the hungry soul are looking for that garden where the fragrance of Spirituality is to be felt. Without that fragrance all is dry and empty. My only wish is to be coloured in the colour of Spirituality at the level of soul. Thanks for your kindness and guidance.
ONLY THIS MUCH FOR NOW! LOVE, TAOSHOBUDDHA
Love, Lars Jensen
mIra MIRA – The Embodiment of Love ‘Mira is a devotee of the highest order. Because of Mira Bhakti is anointed. Among the saints of India, she
is absolutely unparalleled. Standing firm like the Gaurishankar of LOVE in Mira Love and Bhakti attained its pinnacle or a confluence. She composed many, many bhajans, which are prayerful songs to God. Each song Mira wrote expressed her inspiration, aspiration and self-giving devotion for her eternal beloved.’
mIra p&em ka %tu<g izor hE. mIra tae AnNt p&em ka man sraevr hE. AaAae Aaj mE< tuMhe p&em ke %s gaErIz<kr ya @esa khae %s mansraevr me< le cle. MIRA IS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN PEAK OR THE GAURISHANKAR OF LOVE. OR YOU CAN SAY MIRA IS THE MANSAROVAR (THE CELESTIAL LAKE FLOWING IN HEAVENS) OF LOVE. LET ME TAKE YOU ON THIS JOURNEY THAT BEGINS FROM HEART. IT WILL CERTAINLY CREATE AN AURA OF BLISS, AND SERENITY.
LIFE AND BIRTH Introduction Mira is regarded as an incarnation of LALITA (the chief milk maid of Krishna). This was confirmed by Mira herself. She says I was Lalita – a milkmaid at the time of Krishna and I danced with Him. This is more than enough. If Mira says so I need no other proof. However priests do not accept this. Mira was contemporary to TulsiDas, Ravidas and many others. Her advent happened during the time of Moughal Emperor Akbar. Mira is the manifestation of the feminine energy of Kabir. And out of the male energy of Kabir evolved Nanak and the entire Sikh religion! The message of Nanak ‘Ek Omkar Satnam’ evolved out of the Enlightenment of Nanak and flourished as Sikh Religion. However this did not happen with Mira. Mira remained solitary manifestation of that energy. Yet still many were influenced by her compositions and devotions. Mira path remained confined through the songs and her compositions. It could not evolve as the way for inner transformation. Both Mira and Nanak remain two wings of Kabir and the Bhakti movement. Birth and life Mira was born in 1499 A.D. in the village Kurkhi, near Merta, a small state in Marwar, Rajasthan. She was the daughter of Ratan Singh Ranthor and the grand-daughter of Dudaji of Merta. The Ranthor clan worshipped Bhagavan Shri Chaturbujanath as their deity. This is none other than Lord 'Narayana' with four arms. Their clan was initiated into the Nimbaraka tradition of Shri Radha Krishna - Sarveshwar ji of Salemabad (Rajasthan). The Nimbharaka tradition believes in the Dvaita-Advaita way of worship to Vishnu. It accepts both duality and non duality of the Absolute Divinity simultaneously. The being and becoming are to be interwoven through Bhakti and Gyana. Thus Ranthores are said to be Vaishnavites, belonging to the ‘Saguna’ form or realizing the Lord with attributes and forms, along with the Shakti, in the form of Radha. In this religious atmosphere Mira was born and brought up. Therefore Ranthores of Merta were great devotees of Vishnu. As a result Mira was brought up amidst Vaishnava influence. The word Vaishnava comes from Vishnu – the Hindu God of preservation – one of the Hindu Trinity. Thus her life was moulded along the path of devotion towards Lord Krishna. She learnt to worship Krishna as GIRDHAR GOPAL from her childhood.
Mira took Girdhar Gopal, the idol of Krishna, placed in the palace very sincerely and started paying her respects to the idol. Since then Giridhar Gopal became the focal point of her adoration with the mental attitude to seek Him, in that idol. This is known as Shabda-Shakti - the power of the Word, as described in the Shakti tradition and the Upanishads. Shabda or word is Brahman or ‘akshar brahma’. The Word is absolute Reality, the primal manifestation. It is revered as Para-Shakti in the Agamas. Hinduism believes in the reincarnation. Krishna is said to be the 'Shodasha Kala Avatara' - the Lord with sixteen digits - the sacred number in the Shakti tradition. Radha is said to be the sixteen syllabled Mother - Creature. Krishna and Radha are complementary to each other to fulfil the Divine design of mutual understanding and trust. They took the Avatara to play the role of Divine transcendence. According to Sri Aurobindo an Avatara lives the normal life, but his BEING is always conscious of applying the Divine nature in life. He shows the way, as how to make the life’s journey from ‘one dawn to a still higher one’. It is a way to teach to the humanity how to reach the destiny. Verily, this is spiritual Enlightment for which Mira aspired from her early childhood. And finally attained to enlightenment! What does Giridhar Gopal mean? Giri in Sanskrit means a hillock and Dhar means, he who holds it. The rule of Sanskrit grammar under Samasa/compound known as the Samasat pada suggests the meaning as he who holds the hillock is the Giridhara. So Giridhara is an epithet of Krishna. Lord Krishna took the mount Govardhan on the little finger of his hand, purely to save the cow and cowherds from the heavy rains during month of Shravana (July/August). During his early childhood, Krishna saved them from the Indra’s curse - the god of rains and thunder. Was this a miracle, or a divine intervention, is a mystery for the devotees. But the scriptures say Krishna was a Yogi par-excellence, and as the Avatara of the later part of the Dwapar Yuga, he showed the right path to the humanity, making the people free from the superstitions of the time. One of the names of Krishna is Gopala. Gopala is the Cowherd, as the Yadavas are said to belong to the cowherd clan. Krishna was born of this clan from the wedlock of Vasudeva and Devaki in the prison, because his maternal uncle Kamsa was told by the foretellers that he was destined to be killed by the eighth child of his sister Devaki. So the couple was put in prison, with the motive to
kill the eighth child at the very moment, the baby would be born.
crying. She insisted on getting that very sculpture. She abandoned food.
The Bhagvat Purana says: Krishna was born on the 8th lunar date of the Bhadrapada month at the appearance of the moon time during mid-night at the concluding years of the Dvapara Yuga - third aeon in the prison cell of Mathura. The moment Krishna was born, all the prison doors got opened, and the prison officials hypnotically fell into sleep, during heavy rains. Vasudeva took Krishna just new born baby on his head in a Shurpa or ‘winnowing basket’ and handed over to his trusted friend Nanda Gopa - the chieftain of the cowherds. Thus the Krishna became a Gopala. A cowherd from a prince and the Saviour of Dharma was recognised as the saviour and he Lord. This was the spiritual criterion for Mira to understand the beauty and destiny of Avatara or incarnation, which she expresses in her songs known as Bhajans. Bhajans are the songs sung by devotees. These songs are always seeking for the divine grace.
Now when the saint reached the other village night has already fallen so he went to sleep. All of a sudden in the middle of the night a bemused saint woke up with a vision. He saw Krishna instructing him to the return the sculpture to Mira. It was in fact Mira’s possession with him up to now. This sculpture actually belongs to Mira. Now is the time to return to her.
EARLY LIFE There have been fives events that changed the course of her life. First when she was only four-five years of age, she manifested religious tendencies. Once there was a marriage procession in front of her home. She saw the elegantly dressed bridegroom. Mira, who was only a child then, seeing the bridegroom asked her mother innocently, ‘Mother, who is my bridegroom?’ Mira’s mother smiled, and half in jest and half in earnest, pointed towards the image of Krishna and responded, ‘Mira, Krishna—this beautiful image—is your bridegroom.’ For the mother it may be a gesture of escapism to quieten the inquisitiveness of the child. However this was not so for Mira? She took these words to her bosom. From that tender age Mira began to love the idol of Krishna dearly. She spent much of her time in bathing and dressing the image. She worshipped the image. She slept with the image. She danced about the image in ecstasy. She sang beautiful songs in front of the image. She used to talk to the idol as if it was alive. One day while Mira was still lost in the company of her Krishna a saintly person came to the palace. At the evening prayer time he pulled out a small statue of Krishna and began his prayer. The introspective and inquisitive Mira watched all this. Seeing the sculpture of Krishna Mira was reminded of something. Everything flashed like ‘déjà Vu’. Mira got bemused seeing the sculpture of Krishna. Like a flash the moments spent in the company of Krishna appeared before her. Mira insisted on getting that sculpture. The saint also loved that as it was dear to him. So he refused to separate from the sculpture. Mira started
In the middle of the night he ran to reach Mira. He woke up everyone. Mira was still awake as if waiting for her Krishna. On reaching the saint handed over that sculpture to Mira. And vowed to Mira out of reverence! He said nothing like this ever happened in his years of devotion to Krishna what he vision tonight. It was he who predicted the sainthood of Mira for the first time. Overjoyed her life underwent transformation with this event. Mira loved her father Rattan Singh Ranthore but he died leaving her to the care of her grandfather Dudaji. Thus one after the other all those Mira loved dies leaving her alone. These events left an indelible impression on her mind. Mira and marriage Mira grew in age. She was married to Bhojraj the eldest son of Rana Sanga of Chittore and the prince heir to the throne of Chittore (Rajasthan) in 1516 A.D. Though she was very devoted to her husband, yet she was always attuned to Krishna. Her singing of the Bhajans, came out not from intellect, but from the inner recesses of her heart. She would dance, playing Iktara - the one stringed musical guitar, in praise of Lord Krishna. This was not appreciated by her in-laws. How the princess - the future queen of Chittore could be a dancing girl in the sanctum sanctorum of Chittore palace? Thus she was put to trouble, torture and humiliation. Bhoj had not much objections to this. But he could not put all this to an end. Somehow in some corner he did not like this himself. However he did not live long. After his death it was decided that Mira be married to Bhoj’s younger brother Rana. Thus Mira was married to Rana and with this began a new journey of worldly afflictions and inner ecstasy. Thus Mira was married to Rana Kumbha of Chitore, the younger brother of Bhoj in Mewar. Mira was a very dutiful wife. She obeyed her husband’s commands implicitly. After her household duties were over, she would go to the temple of Krishna, worship, sing and dance there. The little image would get up, embrace Mira, play on the flute and talk to her. Rana’s mother and other ladies of the house did not like the ways of Mira. They all were normal worldly involved is ritualistic way of outwardness. They
were all annoyed with her. Mira’s mother-in-law forced her to worship Durga and admonished her often. But Mira stood adamant. She said, ‘I have already given up my life to my beloved Krishna’. Mira’s sister-in-law Udabai conspired to defame the innocent Mira. She informed Rana Kumbha that Mira was in secret love with others, that she with her own eyes had witnessed Mira in the temple with her lovers, and that she would show him the persons if he would accompany her one night. She further added that Mira, by her conduct, had brought a great disrepute to the Ranas of Chittore. This enraged Rana. He straightaway ran with sword in hand towards the place of Mira. Fortunately, Mira was not in her room. A kind relative of the Rana checked him saying, ‘Look here Rana! Do not be in haste. Else you will repent later on. Consider well. Enquire into the matter very carefully. Find out the truth. Mira is a great devotional being. What you have heard now may be a wild rumour only. Out of sheer jealousy some ladies might have concocted a story against Mira to ruin her. Be cool now’. Rana agreed to the wise counsel of this relative. The Rana’s sister took him to the temple at dead of night. Rana broke open the door, rushed inside and found Mira alone in her ecstatic mood talking to the idol. The Rana said to Mira, ‘Mira, with whom are you talking now? Show me this lover of yours’. Mira replied, ‘There sits the Nanichora who has stolen my heart’. She fainted. She was put in turbulence and her life was made miserable by her 'Devar' the younger brother of her husband.
She was poisoned, but with least effect on her body. A cobra was put in the Charnamritam pot and was hit at her. 'Charnamrit' pot is a utensil of the gold/silver/copper in which the sacred Ganges/Ganga water is distributed with Paatri/special spoon three times on the right hand palm of the devotee, by the Pandit - the family male priest, after the ritualistic worship of Shalagram - the circular emblem of Vishnu is over. Thus, she grew stronger in the spiritual ecstasy, day by day. There was a rumour that Mira was mixing very freely with Sadhus. She, no doubt, had great regard for Sadhus and mixed freely with them. Mira never cared a bit for the meaningless scandals. She stood unruffled. Mira was persecuted in various ways by the Rana and his relatives. She got the same treatment which Prahlad got from his father Hiranyakasipu. Hari protected Prahlad. Here, Krishna always stood by the side of Mira. Once the Rana sent a cobra in a basket to Mira with the message that it contained a garland of flowers. Mira took her bath and sat for worship. After finishing her meditation, she opened the basket and found inside a lovely idol of Krishna and a garland of flowers. Another time Rana sent her a cup of poison with the message that it was nectar. Mira offered it to Krishna and drank it as His Prasad. It was real nectar to her. Then Rana sent a bed of nails for Mira to sleep on. Mira finished her worship and slept on the bed of nails. Lo! The bed of nails was transformed into a bed of roses.
Mira and Ravidas It is said that her spiritual Guru was Ravidas Ji. It was he, who initiated her in the Girdhar Gopala Mantra - the sacred syllable of the Vaishnava tradition. What does this reflect? The Divine name can be uttered by any person. It is nectrine, and can be taken by the devotee at any time. Vaishnavi Shakti is for sustenance, for maintenance and for the coherence of thought, word and deed. And thus bring inner harmony between thought, word and actions. Shri Vaishnava Mantra is for the realization of both Radha and Krishna in the Baalya Avastha or the child hood state. She ignored the caste system and worked for the liberation of woman from the traditional Purdha or veil system that prevailed among the Rajasthani women then. Through her god intoxicated deeds, she believed that all are equal in the eyes of God. Being put to great humiliation and suffering, by her princely clan, she left for Vrindaban - the play field of Krishna and his Shakti in the manifestation of Radha in their childhood and pre - adolescence age.
The Bhagavata Purana says: ‘God does not descend alone, but with His Shakti also’. Radha is the incarnation of Lakshmi as the consort of Vishnu in His eighth incarnation, with a flute in His hand. Finally, Mira got immersed in the spiritual ecstasy, worshipped and adored Lord Krishna alone. For Mira, Girdhara Gopala became a Mantra of Divine Love. All her thought process was a single pointed devotion to Krishna. All the time, she would be absorbed in treating Him as a child. She danced in singing the glory of Krishna. She sang the inner experience of ‘Vatsalya Bhaava’ or motherly love in the lovely tunes , as if the Lord has manifested for her amusement. She would sing: Mine is Girdhara Gopala, none else. He who wears the peacock crown is Mira's Lord; Father, mother, brother or kin, none is mine but You, I have flung the pride of my family: What care I for any one! Living in the company of saints,
I bade good-bye to the world and its opinions, and afflictions too I tore aside my veil of many hues and bedecked myself with coarse thread; Pearl and coral of many hue, I cast aside to weave the garland of wild flowers. With my tears as water, I nourished the creeper of love; Now that the creeper has spread, the fruit shall be bliss itself. The milk-churn I twirled with deep emotion,
And butter I gleaned: let him who would, have the leavings. I was born for devotion’s sake, but the sight of the world made my heart captive. Mira is Thy maid, O Lord Giradhara; save me now . Mira is said to have created the Raga Govinda. Mira stands for unconditional love for Giridhar Gopal. Mira Bhajans take the listener to the state of pure Krishna Consciousness, where they create the feeling of emotions, to have the glimpse of the Lord.
MIRA AND TULSIDAS Mira and Tulsidas, were quite independent of each other. However both revived devotion in their times. Tulsidas did so with the Ramayana and his devotion to Rama, Krishna and Siva. Mira became famous in her own lifetime as the mad princess who danced for her consort Krishna, everywhere. Her family pleaded with her not to take to the path of pilgrimage, urging her to turn back. The world of princess, fort, family, obligation, riches, and fame held nothing for her. It was emptiness. No-one understood her single pointedness with Krishna, her devotion. She could not return to live among those who did not see Shyam everywhere. It was a path of thorns, as any path with one pointed discipline is: When Mira was thus tortured by her husband and the relatives, she sent a letter to Tulsidas a contemporary and asked the advice of the saint. She wrote thus: ‘All my relatives trouble me, because I move amongst Sadhus. I cannot carry on my devotional practices in the house. I have made Giridhar Gopal my friend from my very childhood. I am strongly attached to Him. I cannot break that attachment now’. Tulsidas sent a reply: ‘Abandon those who do not worship Rama and Sita as if they are your enemies, even though they are your dearest relatives. Prahlad abandoned his father. Vibhishana left his brother Ravana. Bharata deserted his mother. Bali forsook even his Guru. Gopis, the milkmaids of Braja, disowned their husbands in order to attain the Krishna. Their lives were all the happier for having done so. The opinion of holy saints is that the relation with God and love of God alone is true and eternal; all other relationships are unreal and temporary.’ Once Akbar and his musician Tansen came in disguise to Chittore to hear Mira’s devotional and inspiring songs. Both entered the temple and listened to Mira’s soulstirring songs to their heart’s content. Akbar was really moved. Before he departed, he touched the holy feet of
Mira and placed a necklace of emeralds in front of the idol as a present. Somehow the news reached the her husband that Akbar had entered the temple in disguise, touched the feet of Mira and even presented her a necklace. He became furious and told Mira, ‘Drown yourself in the river and never show your face to the world in future. You have brought great disgrace on my family’. Mira obeyed the words of her husband. She proceeded to the river to drown herself. Chanting singing and dancing her way to the river the only words that echoed were ‘Govind, Giridhari, Gopal’. As she raised her feet from the ground to drown her in the river a hand from behind grasped her. She turned behind and saw her beloved Krishna. She fainted. After a few minutes as she regained consciousness she opened her eyes to find an ever smiling Krishna who spoke to her solemnly: ‘Mira, your life with this mortal husband is over now. You are absolutely free. Be cheerful. You are mine. Proceed to the bowers of Braja and Vrindavan. Seek Me there. Be quick’. Saying this Krishna disappeared. Mira obeyed the divine call immediately. She walked barefoot on the hot sandy beds of Rajasthan. Mira seeks that which cannot be found on the level of the senses. Birth after birth after birth, Mira is sick by separation from Shyam, the Beloved Dark One. Tired of the world and the karma of birth, Surrender is all that is left. Overstepping all propriety, she would descend from the Sisodiya palace, into town, where she would consort with sadhus and low caste bhaktas in local temples. Her in-laws were enraged. She was suspected of consorting with spies. There were three attempts to kill her. A much younger male relative, Vikramajita, is described as having locked her into a room, but when that failed to bring Mira to her senses, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to poison her. It has been suggested that her relatives expected her to commit sati, or self-immolation, after the death of her
husband. In one of her poems Mira wrote, ‘sati na hosyan girdhar gansyan mhara man moho ghananami’, ‘I will not commit sati. I will sing the songs of Girdhar Krishna.’ Many narratives agree that at this vital juncture Mira was left vulnerable to the hostility of her conservative male relatives, and that this hostility increased as Mira became visibly detached from the affairs of the world and her obligations to her in-laws. She quickly departed from Sisodiya terrritories, took to the road on foot, and fled excessive pride and wealth that shackled her, the calculating in-laws, the mediocre religion and the subservient widow's role imposed on her. She crisscrossed north western India repeatedly, treading the roadways of Rajasthan and Gujarat, pursuing their elusive Krishna through the forests and villages he was rumoured to frequent. On her way, she was received by many ladies, children and devotees with great hospitality. She reached Vrindavan. There on the banks of the blue river she found out her Flute-bearer – her solace. She went about Vrindavan begging for her food and worshipped in the Govinda Mandir which has since become famous and is now a place of pilgrimage. Her devotees of Chittore came to Vrindavan to see Mira. It is said BhojRaj also visited to Mira in the disguise of a mendicant, revealed himself to repent for his previous wrongs and cruel deeds and requested to return. Mira at once prostrated before her husband and decided to return. Jiva Gosain was the head of the Vaishnavites in Brindavan. He was the head priest. Mira wanted to have Darshan of Jiva Gosain. However he declined to see her saying that he would not allow any woman in his presence. One morning Mira decided to visit the temple, meet Jiva Gosain and give him the message. As Mira reached the temple entrance like a wind she came and in a flash she was infront of the priest Jiva Gosain. Seeing Mira the arti slipped from the hands of bemused Jiva. Addressing Mira Jiva said, ‘Did’nt you know that woman is not allowed in this temple.’ At this Mira is reported to have said, ‘Brindavan is the place of Krishna. He is the only man and the rest are all Gopis. Giridhar Gopal is the only Purusha. Today only I have come to know that there is another Purusha besides Krishna in Brindavan’. Hearing this arti slipped from his hands and Jiva prostrated to an ecstatic Mira. Jiva Gosain was put to shame. He thought that Mira was a great devotional lady. He at once went to see Mira and paid her due respects. Mira’s fame spread far and wide. So many princesses and queens have come and gone. So many Ranis, Kumaris and Maharanis have appeared on the stage of this world and
vanished. How is it that the queen of Chittore alone is still remembered? Is this on account of her beauty? Is this on account of her poetic skill? No. It is on account of her renunciation, one-pointed devotion to Krishna and Godrealization. She came face to face with Krishna. She conversed with Krishna. She ate with Krishna—her Beloved. She drank the Krishna-prema-rasa. She has sung from the core of her heart. The music of her soul, the music of her Beloved, her unique spiritual experiences flow through the songs of Mira. All her songs are in a new raga that overflowed from the inner being of Mira is RAGA GOVINDA. And she has sung songs of surrender and Prem. In Mira the word ‘Omnipresence’ became alive. Scriptural injunction ‘Isa vasya Midam Sarvam...’ became alive for Mira. Mira had the beautiful cosmic vision. She saw Krishna in the tree, in the stone, in the creeper, in the flower, in the bird, in all beings and in everything. As long as there is the name of Krishna, there will be the name of Mira also. Mira and Krishna are synonymous. It is extremely difficult to find any parallel to Mira—a saint, a philosopher, a poet or a sage. She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous soul. Her life has a singular charm, with extraordinary beauty and marvel. She was a princess, but she abandoned the pleasures, luxuries and kingly splendour. Instead she chose a life of poverty, austerity, Tyaga or sacrifice and Vairagya or renunciation. Though she was a delicate young lady, she entered the perilous journey on the spiritual path amidst various difficulties. She underwent various ordeals with undaunted courage and intrepidity. She stood firm in her resolve. Mira’s songs infuse faith, courage, devotion and love of God in the minds of the listeners. They inspire the aspirants to take to the path of devotion and they in them a marvellous thrill and a melting of the heart. Mira’s earthly life was full of troubles and difficulties. She was persecuted tormented and yet she kept up an undaunted spirit and equanimity through her devotion and the grace of Krishna. Though she was a princess, she begged alms and lived sometimes on water alone. She led a life of perfect renunciation and self-surrender. Mira had Raganuga or Ragatmika Bhakti. She never cared for public criticism and the injunctions of the Scriptures. She danced in the streets. Followed no rituals! She had spontaneous love for Krishna overflowing from eternity deep within her. She did not practise Sadhana-bhakti. From her very childhood she poured forth her love on Krishna. Krishna to her was like a husband, father, mother, friend, relative and Guru- everything! Krishna was her Prananath – the
beloved. Mira had finished the preliminary modes of worship in her previous birth. Mira had fearless nature. Mira was person of simple habits, pleasant disposition, amiable deportment, graceful behaviour and elegant demeanour. She immersed herself in the love of Giridhar Gopal. The name of Giridhar Gopal was always on her lips. Even in her dreams, she lived and had her being in Krishna. In her divine intoxication, Mira danced in public places irrespective of any sex-idea. Words fail to explain her exalted state. She was floating in the ocean of Prem as placenta. She had no consciousness of her body and surroundings. Mira’s devotion, her inner Premamaya (embodied love) state of Maha-bhava none can measure. Mira wafted the fragrance of devotion far and wide. Those who came in contact with her were affected by her strong overflow of Prem. Mira was like Lord Gauranga. She was an embodiment of love and innocence. Her heart was the temple of devotion. Her face was the lotus-flower of Prem. There was kindness in her look, love in her talk, joy in her discourses, and power in her speech and fervour in her songs. What a marvellous being and adorable one Mira! Mira’s mystic voice rendered songs to act as a soothing balm to the wounded hearts and tired nerves of those who toil in this world with the heavy burden of life. The melody of her songs has a benign influence on the listeners even today. As these remove discord and disharmony, and lulls them to sleep. Mira’s language of love is the manifestation of her own sentiments full of aesthetic sense. Intimate to the very core these overflow aesthesis. And even a down to earth atheist will be moved by her devotional songs. Mira acted her part well on the stage of the world. She taught the world the way to love God and how to transform baser love into sublime one. She rowed her boat dexterously in a stormy sea of family troubles, social norms, and other difficulties and thus reached the other shore of supreme peace and absolute fearlessness—the kingdom of love sublime. She belonged to the gentle fair sex and yet she was undaunted in spirit and courageous! Though she was young, she bore the persecutions silently. She endured the piercing taunts and sarcastic criticisms of the world bravely. She has left an indelible impression on the world and her name will be handed down to posterity in awe and beauty of love. From Vrindavan, Mira proceeded to Dwaraka. There she was absorbed in the image of Krishna at the temple of Ranchod. Mira was a Hindu mystical poetess, philosopher and sage. Her compositions are popular throughout India and
throughout the Hindu world. She is reported to have been a disciple of Ravidas. She composed between 1200 to 1300 prayerful songs called bhajans. These bhajans are in the bhakti tradition, and most passionately adore Krishna. The exact version of her poems is in a Rajasthani dialect of Hindi and in Gujarati. Many of the details of her life are pieced together from her poetry and the stories later recounted by members of her community. While her hagiography is held as truth by followers of the bhakti movement, however the historical authenticity of most of her story remains the subject of scholarly debate.
Singing career Akbar period Mira’s fame spread far and wide as her devotional bhajans were sung across northern India. It is said that the fame and spirituality of Mira reached the Moghul Emperor Akbar. Akbar was tremendously powerful, but he was also very interested in different religious paths. However, he and Mira family were the worst enemies. Visiting Mira would cause problems for both Akbar and Mira, but Akbar was determined to see her - the Princess Saint. Disguised as a beggar, he travelled with Tansen to visit Mira. Akbar was so enamoured of her soulful music and devotional singing that before leaving, he placed a priceless necklace at her feet. Unfortunately, the necklace revealed Akbar’s visit to Mira. This enraged her husband Rana who was furious that a Muslim and his own archenemy had seen his wife. Her husband ordered Mira to commit suicide by drowning herself in a river. Mira decided to honour her husband's command. But as she was entering the river, Krishna appeared to her and commanded her to leave for Vrindavan where she could worship him in peace. So with a few followers, Mira left for Vrindavan, where she spent her time in devotion to Krishna. After a while her husband repented, feeling that his wife was actually a real saint. Thus he travelled to Vrindavan and asked her to return to him. Mira agreed, much to the displeasure of the rest of her family. However, Mira’s husband died soon after, fighting in battles with the Moghul emperors. This made the situation even worse for Mira. Her father in law, Rana Sanga, saw her husband’s death as a way to be rid of Mira. He commanded her to commit sati. However Mira, with the inner direct assurance of her beloved Krishna, said that she would not do this. Her real husband, Krishna had not died.
After this experience, her family continued to torture her. They restricted her movements and sought to make her life as uncomfortable as possible. Yet in the face of all these trials and tribulations, she remained detached from her physical suffering. Nothing disturbed her inner connection to Govinda (Krishna as young cowherd boy). Legend says that twice her family tried to kill her: once with a venomous snake and once with a poisonous drink. On both occasions, Mira was protected by the Grace of Krishna, with no harm. Mira in Vrindavan However the relentless torments and hostility interfered with her life of devotion and contemplation on Krishna Mira continued. She sought the advice of learned men and saints. They advised her to leave the palace and return to Vrindavan. Secretly with some followers she slipped out of the palace and escaped to the holy city of Vrindavan. In
Vrindavan Mira was free to worship Giridhara (Govinda) to her heart’s content. She would spend her time singing bhajans and in ecstatic communion with Krishna. Like a true bhakti she worshipped God wholeheartedly. The riches of the world offered no attraction to Mira. Her only satisfaction came from her single minded devotion to Krishna. Her soul was ever yearning for Krishna. She considered herself to be a gopi of Vrindavan, mad only with pure love for Krishna. Even learned sadhus would come to her for inspiration. There is a story of one respected spiritual master who refused to speak to Mira because she was a woman. Mira replied there was only one real man in Vrindavan, Krishna; everyone else was a gopi of Krishna. On hearing this spiritual teacher accepted the wisdom of Mira and agreed to talk to her. Later Mira would become his student. Vaishnava records indicate that the name of that Spiritual Master is Rupa Goswami, a disciple of Krishna Caitanya.
Poetry Mira belongs to the Saguna or formful type of worshippers of Brahman. Theologically, they believed that between atman and paramatma (here the Sanskrit Parama- carries approximately the same meaning as Latin Trans-), this physical body is the only wall, and upon death the atman and paramatman will combine, just as a pot filled with water is placed in pond and if the pot breaks the water inside (atman) will combine with the water outside (Parama Atman). Mira’s poetry overflows love for Krishna closer to her heart than the love for friends and family. She perceived Krishna to be her husband, lover, lord and master. The unique characteristic of Mira’s poetry is the use of complete surrender to her love for Krishna. Her longing for union with Krishna is predominant in Mira’s poetry who says she wants to be ‘coloured with the colour of dusk ’(dusk being the symbolic colour of Krishna). She believed that in her previous life she was one of the several gopis in Vrindavan, in love with Krishna. Much like
the gopis, as mentioned in the life of Krishna, Mira looked upon Krishna as her lover, seeking spiritual and physical union with him. Her writings were at the same time, spiritual and highly devotional. Mira’s songs portray a personal universe where the only existence was that of Krishna - her sole object of desire. A Mira poem is traditionally called a pada, or pd a term used by the 14th century preachers for a small spiritual song. This is usually composed in simple rhythms and carries a refrain within itself. Her collection of songs is called the Padavali or pdavlI. The typicality of Indian love poetry of those days was used by Mira but as an instrument to express her deepest emotions felt for her ishta-devata. Her typical medium of singing was Vrajabhasha, a dialect of Hindi spoken in and around Vrindavan (the childhood home of Krishna), sometimes mixed with Rajasthani.
Leave all to Him. The only grip you have to loosen is the grip on yourself, and everything is solved. Your only trouble is that you listen to your own advice. You have accepted yourself as your guru. The solution is also only one: make Him your guru and stop meddling in your own affairs; step aside, let Him take over the reins of your destiny. Then whatever happens, do not judge or draw conclusions, because nothing happens against His will. Whatever happens happens for the best. What pleases Him is the most auspicious. THY WILL BE DONE! OSHO – Talks on Nanak
A MIRA COMPOSITION 1. That dark dweller - the blue boy – the flute bearer on the banks of Yamuna in Braj Is my only refuge – my solace. O my companion, Worldly comfort is an illusion, These wither away no sooner than one gets I have chosen the indestructible – the imperishable as my refuge –my sojourn-Him who vanishes all fear of death Also none of these will ever devour me not. My beloved dwells in my heart all day long, I have actually seen that abode of joy and bliss. Mira's lord is Hari, the indestructible. My lord, I have taken refuge with Thee, 2. He alone knows the bitterness of love Who has deeply felt its pangs. When you are in trouble No one comes near you But when fortune smiles. All come to share the joy. Love shows no external wound. But the pain pervades every pore Devotee Mira offers her body As a sacrifice to Giridhara for ever. 3. With tears overflowing profusely, I nourished the creeper of love that I planted once; Now the creeper has grown and spread all over, Also now it borne the fruit of bliss. The churner of the milk churned with great love and benign care. When I took the butter out thus, no need to drink buttermilk now. I came as the embodiment of love to manifest devotion; seeing the world, I wept. Mira has that rare single pointed purity of devotion to Shyam. This vision later led her to wander through all the 68 places of pilgrimage, to stumble and falter, to wear the yellow rags of a yogini, and yet still be utterly single-minded in pursing the consummation of this vision of Krishna. Many poems recall Mira’s wanderings through the forests. She slept on the forest floors, seeking only the company of Shyam, and as a wife would reach out to touch her husband, Mira reached out only to find emptiness. Perhaps the poems capture the driven desire of a physical need to love and be loved, as any faithful woman needs and wants. Perhaps the poems reveal the limits of desire and understanding of the Divine. But Mira, no Brahmin, no guru, knows she has chased
Shyam from birth to birth, through countless wombs. Still, she desires this divine touch. Sometimes the touch of rain on her clothing and skin is for her the touch of the Lord. When atma has seen paramatma, no earthly passion or desire can slake the soul’s thirst. Although Mira was in the body, her soul was ardently seeking Shyam. Her intellect and discrimination were seeking only paramatma, whom she once described as ‘slipping through the courtyard’ as she slept. That land ‘seems’ to be a physical place, a region called Mathura or Dwakara; yet Mira seeks that which cannot be had in the nights of wasted sleep, tossing, turning, desiring her lord, reaching out for one who is not there:
Another night without sleep, thrashing about until daybreak. Friend, once I rose from a luminous dream, a vision that nothing dispels.
Yet this writhing, tormented self cries out ever to meet her Lord of the outcast. Gone mad, and, crazy, mind and senses confused with unspoken secretsOh the Dark One-my eternal solace holds life and death in his hands, he knows Mira’s anguish.
Mira’s Mergence With the passage of time the politics of Mewar changed. Udai Singh became the King. He had tremendous love for Mira. To him the rejection of mira by her ancestors was a disgrage. Therefore Udai Singh decided to bring back the pride of Mewar Mira back. It is said that he came and requested Mira to return.
Mira is reported to have said she has devoted her life to Krishna. She has to seek the permission from him for this. She finished her last prayers of the day and retired. In the morning when the envoy opened the locked gates of the temple, all that remained - draped across feet of the deity were Mira’s robe and her hair. Her body was not found.
Sometime around 1538 Mira arrived in Vrindavan, where she spent most of the remainder of her life before moving, shortly before her death, to Dwarka. By her fiftieth year Mira had come to reside in the coastal Gujurat city of Dwaraka. In Dwaraka stands the Ranchorji Temple, one of the four main temples for pilgrimage in India. Some legends say Mira set up a kitchen and rest home alongside the temple where she would attend to the poor. Back in her homeland the Sisodiya clan meanwhile had suffered a series of devastating military reversals. One account says 13,000 women in Sisodiya territroy, on learning their husbands had been lost in battle, collectively immolated themselves on a pyre rather than await an expected humiliation by enemy forces.
Probably she would have told her eternal beloved in her commune ‘Either you accompany me or take me with You.’ The flame dissolved in the vastness of the unknown and unknowable. Mira is no more physically.
Rumour flared through the region that the defeats had come as divine retribution for mistreatment of Mira. Confronted with a possible revolt in their domains, Mira’s in-laws decided to bring home their princess, hoping to manipulate Mira’s reputation in order to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the populace. They send a crew of civic officials and Brahmins to Dwaraka to bring back Mira. The envoy located her at the soup kitchen she had founded and threatened to starve them to death if she did not return with them. This was a blatant misuse of their authority, knowing that Mira would not take on the karma of their deaths. Faced with the prospect of a return to the indignities of the Sisodiya household, the wealth that held no interest, the title she had rejected once and for all as useless, Mira requested and was granted a final night alone in the Ranchorji temple, which housed a favourite image of her God.
The impressions, gathered from the spiritual atmosphere of saints, the godly persons, Sadhus made a pavement for Mira to ascend to the kingdom of God, which is ‘Vaikuntha’ in the Vaishnava tradition of Hindus. She left her mortal body in 1546 A.D. at Dwarika (Gujarat) in the temple of ‘Ranchorji’, and she lost herself in the realm of Supreme Lord Giridhar Gopal. Her name and form merged itself in the Supreme consciousness, known as Samvit in the scriptures. Before ascending to the higher consciousness of Samvit, she felt the rejuvenated life bubbling out of her ecstasy: How I prize the thought of eternal bliss in my mind! My eyes glitter with tears as I think of my Abode; The heart aches, every finite moment The pain is getting more and more excruciating. At night or in day I know no sleep, Nor have I the least craving for food or drink. Such pain dwells within me that I lie sleepless night and day. To whom should I describe my anguish? In my pain I wander hither and thither. I seek a physician of Those Regions: None is there to guide me; I met my Sataguru, Saint Raidas, Who gave me a souvenir in the shape of the Name of God. I advanced and met my beloved, then was my pain allayed. I threw dust on the head of the world, Then did I attain my Abode.
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MEDITATION LEADS TO ULTIMATE FLOWERING
TAOSHOBUDDHA MEDITATION AND PUBLICATIONS
E TAKE PLEASURE THAT BECAUSE OF TREMENDOUS SUPPORT OF READERS, SEEKERS AND WELL WISHERS WORLD OVER WE MAKE IT KNOWN THAT THE WORKS OF TAOSHOBUDDHA MEDITATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AS E-BOOKS AND AS PUBLISHED ONES FROM THE FOLLOWING SITES. THE PUBLISHED AS PAPER EDITIONS: 1. MEDITATION THE WAY TO SELF REALIZATION – 360 PAGES AVAILABLE ON LINE THROUGH MANY SITES LIKE AMAZON, WILLIAM SMITH, AND MANY OTHERS. LOG BOOKS OF TAOSHOBUDDHA ON GOOGLE FOR SITES. 2. THE SECRETS OF BHAKTI – AS NARRATED BY SAGE NARAD 243 PAGE AVAILABLE ON LINE THROUGH MOTI LAL BANARSI DAS AND OTHERS BOOKS PUBLISHED AS E-BOOKS 1. TASAWWUF – THE SPIRIT OF SUFISM 2. LEAVES FROM A SUFI HEART VOL 1 3. LEAVES FROM A SUFI HEART VOL 2 4. MEDITATION THE WAY TO SELF REALIZATION 5. MEDITATION THE ULTIMATE IN HEALING 6. JAPJI SAHIB – SONGS OF NANAK 7. MOOL MANTRA – SONGS OF NANAK 8. SABHANA JIYA KA EK DAATA – SONGS OF NANAK 9. HUKUM RAJAI CHALNA – SONGS OF NANAK 10. MANNE KI GATI – THE INVINCIBLE MIND 11. THE SECRETS OF BHAKTI 12. SHAH BAHAUDDIN NAQSHBAND – LIFE AND WORKS 13. HANUMAN CHALISA – MYSTICAL DIMENSION BY SWAMI ANAND NEELAMBAR
THE FOLLOWING IS THE INTODUCTION TO EACH BOOK To compliment these compositions is the mystical voice of Taoshobuddha that creates meditative channels as Buddhist calls these in their temple or groves in your consciousness for the process of transformation to continue. Thank you very much for reading this introduction. And now is the time to enter the realm of Tasawwuf along with TAOSHOBUDDHA and his mystical voice. With love in the name of this is OMNIPRESENT, OMNISCIENT, and OMNILOVING ONE! DR. VISIER SANYÜ- Scholar and Officer, Responsible for Protection Refugees – Act for Peace-National Council of Churches in Australia.
TASAWWUF – THE SPIRIT OF SUFISM
ASAWWUF – THE SPIRIT OF SUFISM of TAOSHOBUDDHA has come at very crucial time as we live in a deeply divided world caused by misconception of religions, particularly of Islam. September 11 changed the history of Islam or at least the view of the western world on Islam changed. The depth and beauty of these compositions and the meditative insights of the writer shows how all religions are in search of the true meaning of love. It is humanity’s deepest longing for God. While acknowledging works of such a nature which is not only innovative instead comes like a fresh breeze of awakening and insights into the message of the masters I urge Taoshobuddha to create more such meditations around the message of masters like Nanak, Jesus, Rumi, Buddha etc. And I can assure you that with the insights and command of language Taoshobuddha will certainly do this. This is an effort to bring more serenity and harmony within. And certainly the light will reflect in the outer world.
HANUMAN CHALISA A MYSTICAL DIMENSION
anuman Chalisa is the journey of transcendence of an aspirant as narrated by an intoxicated, overflowing and enchanted Tulsi.’
Nearly five hundred years ago Saint Tulsi Das composed Hanuman Chalisa as an overflow of his devotion towards Sri Ram. Since then this composition has been inspiring aspirants, and singers worldwide wherever there a Hindu heart as a perennial source of inspiration and transformation. As long as mountains and rivers shall remain the portrayal of Sri Ram will continue to aspire and linger in the hearts of the aspirants like the dissolving notes of a sweet melody. When Sri Ram was leaving his Leela or life on this earth and returning to His abode He had asked Hanuman to stay on this earth until the end of this creation and infuse the hearts of seekers with love for Sri Ram. Hanuman is that link between you and Sri Ram. Tulsi Das has captured these sentiments through this composition of Hanuman Chalisa. ‘And in this present work Swami Anand Neelamber has been able to revive the spirit of Tulsidas through his mystical insights.’ - TAOSHOBUDDHA
LEAVES FROM A SUFI HEART VOLUME 2
ufism is great celebration. I invite you to celebrate it with TAOSHOBUDDHA.
The Volume 1 of Leaves from a Sufi Heart paused at Bahauddin Naqshband. I thought enough has been spoken. No, yet still much has been left unspoken of his methodology. So when I began the Volume 2 of Leaves from the Sufi Heart I had to begin once again with Bahauddin Naqshband. After Bahauddin the path developed many off shoots. From Rasulallah Salallah Allahe Wassalam to Bahauddin the path was single tracked. From him the main stream had developed many tributaries. Therefore it was essential to begin with Post Bahauddin Era. However before I could do this his methodology the unique way through parables needs to be explained. This has not yet begun something else was knocking the consciousness. When I looked deep within it was the entire Sufi Doctrine - the explanation of various terms. Thus the journey of the Volume 2 of Leaves From a Sufi Heart began. This work is the outcome of the grace, the nisbat, the faidth, or the inayat of Allah Subhan wa Taa’la and the Khawajans that this volume is now in your hands as the Makhtoobats of the masters. Without the faiz or the nisbat it could not be possible and the effects that it is creating within the readers. May Allah shine His Noor along the path of every aspirant whom I have met and also those whom I have not yet met? Maybe I may not meet physically, kindle their path through the Gaibana Tawajjoh each finite moment. Kudrat-E-Illahi is beyond human comprehension. ALHAM DIL ALLAH, SUBHAN ALLAH, ALLAH HO AKBAR. ‘I think your books are highly recommended for the true seekers, especially for the seekers of the highest spiritual order Naqshbandiyah Mujaddidiyah in English language. ‘I pray to Allah Ta'ala may your book ‘THE LEAVES FROM A SUFI HEART’ is acceptable to Allah Ta'ala, His Prophet and the whole Ummah’.’ Maulawi Jalalludin Ahmad Ar-Rowi Naqshbandi, Malaysia.
meditativeness. This process will continue until new man, one who is beyond body, mind, and intellect, is born out of you. I maybe or may not be here but this process of transformation will continue erelong. This is my promise to you. This is just the beginning.
MEDITATION THE ULTIMATE IN HEALING
his is an investigation how healing can happen. It begins with a passage from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri‚ The fathomless zero occupied the cosmos and your world of finiteness. It is out of this fathomless zero first evolved ether or sky.” Then came air, followed by fire, the remaining elements the water, the earth and thus life evolved! The Soul! The Mind! And the Physical Body! Your physical body is mere showcase of all that happens at other planes or bodies. Then the question comes, from where can healing really happen. Since physical body is mere showcase definitely it cannot be the beginning. Regular medicine begins here but not meditation. Can you start at bio-plasmic level? Or you still have to go a step beyond. There are so many unresolved issues in each one of you that need to be addressed before the healing can really begin. All these issues are stored in the fathomless zero that occupied the world. The journey of healing has to begin from this point. Through these meditations I am creating inner balance between body and the mind. Only then you can attain to
JAPJI SAHIB The Fragrance of Nanak
o bird goes to learn. No water fall learns singing. Song is the spontaneous river of life. This is the message of Nanak as JAPJI SAHIB – EK OMKAR SATNAM. Nanak did no tap or jap. He simply sang and sang with so much totality that alone became his path. Nanak’s path is full of songs. Sing and dance your way to God. Japji Sahib is song of one who is intoxicated with pristine elixir of oneness with one for whom all his songs were meant. One who was in Nanak’s very breath! And the cause of his existence! Remember this is love. Love cares. Love wants the life of the beloved be beautiful, auspicious, true, and full of inner glory. Love transforms. Love creates. Love can even transform destruction in creation. For love creation is the goal, and destruction is the way to attain this.When you
are enchanted with love! Love has evolved within! And when you are innovative and creative in life’s relations then sin can be no more. When you love then sin becomes impossible. Like a vast canopy love will go on spreading and then you will envision hidden deep within the entire creation. Then you will hesitate to cheat, and steal. Nanak says love is the secret. Let love enchant you. Your inner being will sanctify. This is ritualistic bath. Only such a bath can wash the dross from your mind and your being. This is real holy bath. By saying or claiming one does not become holy or unholy. All your thinking and aspiration of being holy cannot help. Moving finger writes and having writ moves on. And then everything moves accordingly. Love is the fragrance of Bhakti. Bhakti is revolution. Bhakti implies there is no one other than Him. Then your life becomes simple and fluid like. The doer is no more. And there is no one to sin. Bhakti does not mean going to the temple, or gurudwara, or church or mosque. Bhakti does not mean chanting your mantras or Japji like a parrot. Never think that such mechanical repetitions will take you any further. You had been carrying the false keys throughout life. The real key means you are now in love for the whole. The real key means you love every speck of the existence. The real key means this entire existence is my beloved. Each particle, and each eyes now reflects the glory of love Allow a few drops of this nectar flow into your being as Taoshobuddha takes you through Japji Sahib. It is indeed a benediction Taoshobuddha taking you through various Pauris of Nanak.
Hukum Rajai Chalna... Nanak Likhiya Naal is the essence of meditativeness!
he essence of Nanak’s message is Hukum – the cosmic law. Nanak again and again speaks of this cosmic law. Before I go into the message of Nanak it is relevant for me to speak to you of Nanak as a mystic. If you look at Nanak only as in historical perspective or as a social reformer you will miss the essence of Nanak. Nanak goes on emphasizing the way of surrender. Surrender cannot come without understanding the essence of the cosmic law, or Hukum, its attributes and then flowing with the essence. Only then life becomes a benediction, a joy full of harmony. He is one! His very form is Omkar! The existential! He is Satnam! Embodiment of truth! Truth incarnate! The cosmic doer! Beyond fear! Beyond prejudice! Beyond time and space is his sublime existence! Born out of his own free will he ever remains unborn! Yet still he is the cause of his own existence! Such are his attributes Sacred and Sublime! How can one attain to this presence!! Certainly not by your own efforts alone! Be assured! By the grace of the Master! Let this be your trust and certitude as well!!! With a crystal clarity and command of language and understanding Taoshobuddha explains this and thus takes you within the energy field of Nanak. Allow a few drops of this nectar ooze into being so that the inward journey may continue until fruition happens.
The entire Sikh religion is condensed in these three words. The rest is the explanation for you. Otherwise the message is complete. Allow a few drops of this nectar flow into your being as Taoshobuddha takes you into the Mool Mantra with command of language, and understanding. Taoshobuddha overflows like a river gushing out of its source.
EK OMKAR SATNAM THE MOOL MANTRA
UST AS ATOM CANNOT BE DESTROYED SO TOO CONSCIOUSNESS CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED!!!
SCIENTISTS HAVE HARNESSED ATOMIC ENERGY ONLY FOR DESTRUCTIVE PURPOSES SO FAR! BUT NANAK HAS HARNESSED THE ENERGY FIELD OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF HUMAN BEING! FEEL IT! BE IT!!! NANAK’S EFFORT IS THE BIRTH OF A NEW MAN OUT OF YOU! THE INTEGRATED, HARMONIZED, AND BLISSFUL!!! ONE WHO LIVES LIFE BEYOND DUALITY!!! Nanak did no Tap or Jap or anything else. He simply sang. And sang with so much totality that alone became the path! Whenever anyone does anything with that totality he carves his own path. After Nanak appeared from river Bain Ek Omkar Satnam is his message. One for whom Nanak’s each breath was. One who was the very cause of his being now found in front of his eyes. Japji Sahib is the first word that formed.
SABHNA JIYA KA EK DAATA SONGS OF NANAK
e is the master of the entire creation! This I may never ever forget!
Scientists have harnessed atomic energy only for destructive purposes so far! But Nanak has harnessed the energy field of consciousness for the transformation of human being! Feel it! Be it!!! Nanak’s effort is the birth of a new man out of you! The integrated, harmonized, and blissful!!! One who lives life beyond duality!!!
The effort in this work is to harness and present truth is its sublime and nascent form beyond religions and duality. Nanak is unique. And he is unique in many ways. Nanak happened before TulsiDas. Social values were declining. Politically that was the beginning of a new era. The message of the masters was losing its inner fabric. Nanakâ€™s role was to resurrect all these. Nanak came like a fresh breeze. Anyone with linear consciousness or one track mind and understanding cannot understand Nanak. Only a master whose consciousness has reached its pinnacle! Or has merged with the ultimate can explain various systems of transformation of human consciousness as interwoven through various Pauris of Japji. This present work is such an effort of Taoshobuddha.
Hazrat Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, one whose very essence pulsates through the entire Sufi path. Spiritual awareness is like water, it takes the color and shape of the cup. Allah's Knowledge is so great, that however much we take; it is like a drop of a huge ocean. It like a vast garden, however much we have cut it is as if we had cut but one flower says an ecstatic Bahauddin. Yet still the fundamentalists try to cage this sublime awareness of eternal oneness within narrow boundaries of religion and beliefs. Spirituality begins when you cross the narrow boundaries of religion and religious beliefs. The entire ummat or creation is the responsibility of the one who has attained spiritual awareness. But very rarely you find someone who is versatile to speak of various paths and masters with authenticity and thus brings out truth in its sublimity. Sufism is such overflow of love a great experiment in human consciousness: how to transform human consciousness into ishq. It is alchemy. And through this work and others my effort to bring about the alchemical change in consciousness that be possible! This is what I am doing here with you. You may be aware, you may not be aware of it, but this whole experiment is to create in you as much love energy as possible. Man can be transformed into pure love energy. Just as there is atomic energy discovered by physics, and a small atom can explode into tremendous energy, so too each cell of your heart can explode into tremendous love. That love is called ishq. It is atomic in nature. No one can destroy this. You may call this Love or Awareness, or Consciousness or God matters not. What really matters it to be with this energy. Even more significant is to imbibe it into your being. And then let it overflow your being. Also let it surround your life, your living. Sufism is the path of the overflow of energy. This is Naqshbandiyah Nisbet â€“ the Tariqat.
SHAH BAHAUDDIN NAQSHBAND LIFE AND WORKS
am ecstatic that once again I have the occasion to speak to you. However this time the overflow is of
LEAVES FROM A SUFI HEART
The Invincible Mind
Songs Of Nanak
N INSIGHT INTO NAQSHBANDI TARIQAT AND THE SHEIKHS
When truth manifests itself there can be no better song or melody than this. Truth is an experience. And Sheikh or a master is the embodiment of truth on the earth. This is why when a Sheikh looks into a Tariqat it is Truth or Haqiqat itself. Naqshbandi tariqat underwent through various periods of growth and development. Taoshobuddha takes you through this journey. In the present classic Taoshobuddha looks into Naqshbandi tariqat. With a crystal clarity and understanding he presents various masters along the path and the tariqat. The present classic pauses before the beginning of the second millennium with Sheikh Ahmad Al Farookhi Mujadadi Alif Thani, Sirhindi in the Leaves from a Sufi Heart Volume 2. And the Third volume will begin with Hazrat Mazhar Mir Jane Jana.
uman Mind continues to waver – The Invincible Mind
Nothing can be said about mind. The mind is invincible. Its nature cannot be explained in words. Whoever does try, will certainly have to repent afterwards. No paper! No pen! Also no writer either to reflect on such a mind! Only a Word (Naam) or ‘Akshar’ becomes really Niranjan - beyond mind. This can be realized only by one's faith and love! Trust and understanding awakens the mind to higher consciousness. Introspection and meditation unfolds the mysteries of the Cosmos. Obedience wards off all disgrace inflicted upon and the fear of death. Faith and trust annihilates. Such a Word (Naam) becomes Niranjan. This can only be realized by one's faith! Taoshobuddha explains the invincible nature of the mind as envisaged by Nanak in Japji Sahib.
THE SECRETS OF BHAKTI
THE WAY TO SELF REALIZATION
As Narrated by Sage Narad
ay the ripples this classic The Classic of Bhakti creates within you continue to linger in your being like the dissolving notes of a sweet melody!
An enlightened Taoshobuddha overflows: Bhakti is the union of formless to formless – ‘Bhakti nirakar se nirakar ka Milan hai.’ With mastery of language and phonics and the understanding of the subject matter, Taoshobuddha overflows the inner secrets of Bhakti as revealed by Sage Narad. The entire classic is the poetry of the being. Sing and dance your way to being along with Taoshobuddha as he unravels these secrets of Bhakti. The entire overflow is like a pristine exilir gushing from the being of a master Taoshobuddha towards you. Drink it to your heart’s content. Life will attain a new meaning! Adieu…Adieu…Adieu!
A CLASSIC ON MEDITATION DIFFICULT TO PUT DOWN ONCE STARTED!
real master will not try to convince you of the truth. Instead he will definitely persuade you towards it. A master can only help you in removing the obstacles so that meditation happens! The purpose of this book is to expose you to many paths and masters. This is the only way for you to discover your own path. My path cannot be your path. Certainly my experience can assist you in discovering your path. The names in this path are many; only one has to be prepared for the journey. Your body is the temple of the unknown. It is the miracle of the unknown! The harmony that the body creates may become the door to inner harmony! Breathing is the alphabet of the body and through it one is easily bridged to meditation. One only has to be aware of it! One simply is! No thinking. No feeling. This is the ultimate experience of bliss! Beyond this there is nothing! This is eternal search! You have arrived home! This is meditation!
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RABI'AH AL-BASRI THE SUFI WOMAN By: Hadhrat Maulawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi 'Ufiyallahu 'Anhu Wali Walidaihi Wali Jami'il Muslimin Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahiim. Nahmaduhu Wa Nusolli Wa Nusallimu 'Ala Rasulihil Karim Wa 'Ala Man Ittaba'ahu Bi Ihsanin Ila Yaumi Ad-Din, Amma Ba'du;
INTRODUCTION We praise Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, The Almighty and We pray may He bestows the blessings and salutations upon His Holy Prophet, His Messenger, Hadhrat Sayyidina Wa Mawlana Muhammad Abdullah Mustafa Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa 'Ala Alihi Wa Sahbihi Wa Baraka Wa Sallam and to those who follows him with good intention and deeds until the day of Resurrections.
She is a true Saint of Allah who really considers herself as a weak servant of Him. She achieved the state of selfrealization. She had shown the way for the women to gain the sainthood. The dignity of sainthood is not only achievable just by the men but also achievable by the women. In the sainthood, there are complete equality between men and women that both can become saints if they want to do some efforts to know their Creator and their selves and pay the obedience to The Creator.
This humble and poor servant of Allah, Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi An-Naqshbandi Al-Mujaddidi has been requested to write some words regarding the worldwide well known Mystical Sufi women, Hadhrat Rabi'ah Al-'Adawiyah AlQaysiyah Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaiha. She was a Tabi' Tabi'in i.e the companions of the followers of the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam.
For those who pay their obedience to Allah The Ultimate Creator until He is pleased with him or her, they will sooner or later become His friends. Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was considered as one of the friend of Allah who only seeks for the Divine union with His presence. She was the first true Saint of Islam and was praised, not because of her representing womankind, but because as someone said,
She was a Murid of a great Syeikh during her time, Hadhrat Khwajah Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih who was a very pious and holy person amongst the Tabi'in i.e., the followers of the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam. Other prominent Sufis who live during her time were Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar Rahmatullah 'Alaih, Hadhrat Sufyan AtsTsauri Rahmatullah 'Alaih and Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham Rahmatullah 'Alaih.
“When a woman walks in the Way of Allah like a man she cannot be called a woman.”
Rabiah literally means ‘The Fourth’. She was given such a name because she was the fourth daughter of a pious and poor family. It is believed until these days that she was the first who set forth the Divine Love doctrine and being considered as one of the most important personality amongst the Sufis. She was also well known for her beautiful poems and wonderful miracles.
The goal of the Sufi quest was union with the Divine, and the Sufi seeker after God, having renounced this world and its attraction being purged of Self and its desires, inflamed with a passion of love of God, journeyed ever onward, looking toward the final purpose, through the life of illumination, with its ecstasies and raptures, and the higher life of contemplation, until at last he achieved the heavenly gnosis and attained to the Vision of God, in which the lover might become one with the Beloved, and abide in Him forever. Such a conception of the relations between the saint and his Lord left no room for the distinction of sex. In the spiritual life there could be 'neither male nor female'. All whom God had called to be saints could attain, by following the Path, to union with Himself, and all who
attained, would have their royal rank, as spiritual beings, in the world to come. Let us get to know her in this brief writings because by knowing her biography and her sayings will make us understand what love really means in the relations between Allah and His servants. Let us dive into her divine oceans of love with Allah and gain some wisdom and teachings from this great Sufi Masteress. May Allah bless her and bless us with the oceans of love that He had bestowed upon her. Hadhrat Khwajah Fariduddin Attar Rahmatullah 'Alaih, to prove that saint ship may be found in woman as naturally as in a man, says: The holy prophets have lain it down that 'God does not look upon your outward forms'. It is not the outward form
that matters, but the inner purpose of the heart, as the Prophet said, 'The people are assembled (on the day of Judgement) according to the purposes of their hearts' … So also Abbas of Tus said that when on the Day of Resurrection the summons goes forth, 'O men', the first person to set foot in that class of men (i.e. those who are the enter Paradise) will be Mary, upon whom be peace… The true explanation of this fact (that women count for as much as men among the saints) is that wherever these people, the Sufis, are, they have no separate existence in the Unity of God. In the Unity, what remains of the existence of 'I' or 'thou'? So how can 'man' or 'women' continue to be? So too, Hadhrat Abu Ali Farmadhi Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "Prophecy is the essence, the very being of power and sublimity. Superiority and inferiority do not exist in it. Undoubtedly saintship is of the same type."
HADHRAT RABI'AH BINTI ISMA'IL AL-'ADAWIYAH AL-QAYSIYAH AL-BASRI RAHMATULLAH 'ALAIHIMA Birth and Life She was born in Basrah, Iraq between the years 95 A.H. and 99 A.H. about 717 C.E. Her full name is Rabi'ah ArRabi' Binti Isma'il Al-'Adawiyah Al-Qaysiyah Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaihima, may Allah bless her and her father. Her father, Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih was a very pious man and after his marriage, he and his wife went to the edge of the desert not far from the town of Iraq to make a living. Through this blessed marriage, Allah had bestowed him four daughters. The first daughter he named Rabi'ah, the second daughter he named Rabi'ah Ats-Tsaniah, the third daughter ne named Rabi'ah AtsTsalatsah and the fourth daughter he named Rabi'ah ArRabi'ah who was to become a true lover of Allah. Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatulah 'Alaih and his family was so poor that on the night Hadhrat Rabi'ah Ar-Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was born there was not even a drop of oil available in their house to light the house and to anoint the navel of the newborn daughter and there was no piece of cloth to wrap new born baby. His wife told him to go to their neighbor’s house and ask for some oil but Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih had already made a promise that he will never ask anything from the creations except Allah but to please his wife, so
he went out to his neighbor’s door and he starts knocking the door. He ran back to his house just before the door was opened to him without saying or asking anything from his neighbor. He went back and said to his wife that their neighbor did not open the door. His wife wept bitterly and Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih started to feel full of anxiety due to his incapability in handling that critical situation. Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih put his head on his knees and then fell asleep. In his sleep, he dreamed the Holy Prophet Muhammad Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam, may Allah's blessings and salutations be upon him, appeared to him and said, ‘Do not be sad. Your newly born daughter is a favorite of Allah and shall lead many Muslims to the right path. The baby girl who has just born is a queen amongst the women and she will be the mediator on the Judgment Day to give the Syafa'at on behalf of me for seventy thousand of my Ummah (community). Tomorrow you must go to Amir 'Isa Zadan the Governor of Basrah. Write this message on a piece of paper which you will take to him: "Every night you send upon me a hundred Salawat (Darud – Blessing prayer for the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi Wasallam) and on Friday night you send four hundreds, but last night
was Friday night and you had forgotten to send the Salawat to me. As a penalty for your forgetfulness, you need to give this man a sum of four hundred Dinars.’ Then Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih woke up in the morning and when he remembered about his dream he burst into tears, but he got up straight away and wrote exactly what the Holy Prophet Muhammad Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam had instructed him to write. Then, he took the written message and presented it to one of the Governor’s chamberlains. When the letter reached the Governor and he had read it, he realized that he was in the sights of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam, thus said to his Minister, “Distribute one thousand Dinars to the poor immediately because I want to thank the Master for reminding me of my forgetfulness. Also give four hundred Dinars to the old man and say to him that I would like him to come to me so that I may see him. But I do not hold it proper for a man like him to come to me. I would rather come to him and rub my beard on the floor of his threshold. But I swear by Allah that whatever he need, he may let me know about it.” Hadhrat Isma'il Rahmatullah 'Alaih was overjoyed with the Governor's decision and took the money, thanking Allah Ta'ala and his Holy Prophet, and he bought all that was necessary for his holy daughter. As his four daughters grew up, Hadhrat Isma`il Rahmatullah 'Alaih worked to make a living for his family in the desert. When the eldest daughter was about twenty years old and Hadhrat Rabi`ah Ar-Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was about eleven, he died leaving behind him his wife and four daughters living in poverty. The mother decided to take her four daughters to the town of Basra where she hoped to make a better living for herself and her children. However, on their way to Basrah they have been attacked by the robbers and the mother was killed and each of the daughters was taken by the robbers and sold them in the market as slaves. Hadhrat Rabi'ah 'Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was parted from her sisters when she was purchased by a new master. The new master subjected her to do hard labor work. Many hardships fell upon her but she immersed herself in relentless devotion and worship of Allah. Her devotion for Allah was fired by a deep-rooted love and longing for the Divine Presence.
Her new master took her to Baghdad where he immediately set about using her in the way that was most profitable for him. The new master used to take hard service from her everyday. Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was a very beautiful lady and she also had a lovely voice, so her master taught her how to sing and play the `Oud (a string instrument) and made her dance and entertains people and above all, to make money in this way for himself. Her master sent her to weddings and celebrations where she would dance and sing. The people would give her money for whatever they wanted from her. In this way she came to have many bad habits and ways, living a very low life amongst all sorts of people and not caring about anything that she did. This continued until she was about thirty-six years old, when one day as she was singing at a wedding she found herself singing in a different way. Songs were coming from her heart for her Beloved Who was her true Love because now Allah The Almighty had awakened His beloved servant, Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha. From that moment she left everything that she had been doing before, and she refused either to sing or to dance, or to play any music for anyone except for her Beloved, Allah The Almighty. This condition has made her master very angry because he could no longer use her to make money for himself. He began to ill-treat her, to beat her, and even to put burns on her body hoping that this would frighten her into returning to her former ways. But she refused everything that her master tried to do to her. She had begun to pray all through the night, crying to her Beloved Allah to help her in her desperate state. After a time her master, seeing that he could not influence her in any way, and because she was no longer of any use to him, decided to sell her. So he put a cord around her neck and took her to the slave market of Baghdad. There was a pious and holy man at the market who purchased her and took her to his home, gave her food and simple clothes and told her that he did not want anything from her except that she could pray and be free in his house. Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih thanked him with all her heart and said, “If you want anything from me for the Face of Allah, He will give you your reward, but if you want anything from me for yourself only, I have nothing to give you. I have
everything that I need from my Beloved, Allah Ta'ala and I do not need anything from any human being.” The holy man replied that he would like to marry her and to free her from being a slave, but that he did not ask anything from her except what she wanted to give. Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha thanked him for his kindness and consideration, and she said that she did not want to marry anyone, but was grateful for the way that he cared for her in her deep need. In her master’s house she fasted by day and spent the night praying. She would pass the whole night in prayer after she had finished her household jobs. She spent many of her days observing fast. Once while she was in the service of her master she was sent on an errand. Along the way a man accosted her. In fright she fled, slipped and broke her hand. Praying to Allah Ta'ala she cried: "O Allah! I am forlorn, without mother and father. Now my hand too is broken. But I do not care for these calamities if You are pleased with me. Are You pleased or displeased with me?" A voice called to her: "On the Day of Qiyaamah even the Muqarrab (very close) Angels will envy your rank." One night her master has been awakened by a strange voice urging him to free Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha, his slave. When he looked through the window of his apartment, he saw Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha were offering the litany in prostration. The master was attracted by the pathetic voice in her prayer to her Lord. She was uttering these words: "Ya Allah! You know very well that the true desire of my heart is to fulfil Your commands and to serve You with all my heart, that the light of my eyes is only in serving You. If I were free I would pass the whole day and night in prayers and I would not rest even an hour from serving You. But what should I do when You Yourself have left me at the mercy of a creature and have made me as a slave of a human being? Since You have subjected me to be in the service of people, I am late for Your service." While she was still praying, he saw a lap above her had, suspended without a chain, and the whole house was illuminated by the rays from that light. At once the master
felt that it was sacrilegious to keep such a saint in his service. Her master then perceived a lantern suspended above her head giving out a blinding light. He decided to serve her instead. In the morning he called her and told her his decision to set her free and he would serve her and she should dwell there as the mistress of the house. If she insisted on leaving the house he was willing to free her from bondage. She told him that she was willing to leave the house to carry on her worship in solitude. This the master granted and she left the house. Hadhrat Rabia'h Rahmatullah 'Alaiha left the house and wandered through the desert in search for what Allah had apportioned for her. HER COMPANIONSHIP WITH HADHRAT IMAM HASSAN AL-BASRI RAHMATULLAH 'ALAIH Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha took the path of Tasawwuf. Some of the narrators said that her Master was Hadhrat Khwajah Imam Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih. He was born in Madinah Munawwarah in the year 21 A.H./642 C.E. to a servant of the Prophet’s wife, prayers and peace be upon him, Hadhrat Ummu Salamah Radhiyallahu 'Anha. As a young child he had lived with his mother in Hadhrat Ummu Salamah Radhiyallahu 'Anha’s household. In manhood he was a follower of Hadhrat `Ali Ibni Abu Talib Karramallahu Wajhahu, the Holy Prophet’s cousin and close Companion, and the fourth of the Righteous Caliphs (Al-Khulafa Ar-Rashidun) from whom the Line of the Prophet’s Inheritors descended. Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih usually referred to as being one of the closest of the Beloved of Allah around Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha in her early life. It was Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih who was recorded as being the person who said to Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha, “Do you desire for us to get married?” To which she replied, “The tie of marriage is for those who have being. But here, being has disappeared for I have become as nothing to my self and I exist only through Allah for I belong wholly to Him and I live in the shadow of His control. You must ask for my hand from Him and not from me.” Then Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih replied, “How did you find this secrets, Rabi`ah?”
She answered him, “I lost all found things in Him.” Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih then replied, “How did you come to know Him?” She said, “You know of the how but I know of the howless.” As her fame grew she had many disciples. She also had discussions with many of the renowned religious people of her time. Though she had many offers of marriage, and (tradition has it) one even from the Amir of Basra, she refused them as she had no time in her life for anything other than God. For Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha's case was that she had heard the Voice of her Beloved, Who was Allah and none other than He, and she had no need for any earthly husband because the only true marriage for her was with Allah Himself alone. It was said that she once sent to Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih a piece of wax, a needle and a hair, and said, “Be like wax and illumine the world and burn yourself. Be like a needle and work naked. When you have done these two things a thousand years will be for you like a hair.” Another story tells of how one day Hadhrat Hassan AlBasri Rahmatullah 'Alaih saw Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha near a lake. Throwing his prayer rug on top of the water, he said, “Rabi`ah come! Let us pray two Raka'ats here.” She replied, “Hassan, when you are showing off your spiritual goods in the worldly market, it should be things which your fellow men cannot display.” Then she threw her prayer rug into the air and flew up onto it thus cried,
“Hassan, what you did fishes can do and what I did flies can do. But the real business is outside these tricks. One must apply oneself to the real business.” Once when Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih was on a mountain, the wild beasts of the jungle gathered around her and stared at her in wonder. Coincidentally, Hadhrat Hassan Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih appeared on the scene. All the animals scattered and disappeared into the jungle. In surprise Hadhrat Hassan Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "The animals fled when they saw me. Why did they stay with you?" Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih asked, "What did you eat today?" Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "Meat and bread." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "When you have eaten meat, why should they not flee?" It was said to Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih, "Hadhrat Hassan says that if on the Day of Judgement he is deprived of Allah's Vision for even a moment, he will lament so much that the inmates of Paradise will take pity on him." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said: "True, but this claim is appropriate for only a person who does not forget Allah Ta'ala here on earth for a single moment." Once when Hadhrat Hassan Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih went to visit Hadhrat Rabiah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha. He found one of the wealthy and prominent citizens of Basrah standing with a bag of money, weeping at her door. On enquiring, he said,
“Come up here Hassan, where people can see us.”
"I have brought this gift for Rabi'ah. I know she will refuse it, hence, I am crying. Do intercede for me. Perhaps she will accept it."
Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih feels embraced and sad about his desire, but seeing his sadness Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha sought to console him and she said,
Hadhrat Hassan Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih went inside and delivered the message. Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said:
"Since I have recognized Allah, I have renounced the world. I am not aware of its source whether halaal or haraam?" When Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih would not come to attend the sermons of Hadhrat Hassan Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih, he would deliver no discourse that day. People in the audience asked him why he did that. He replied: "The syrup that is held by the vessels meant for the elephants cannot be contained in the vessels meant for the ants." It is related that Hadhrat Hassan Basri, Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar, and Hadhrat Shaqiq Balkhi Rahmatullah 'Alaihim, went to visit Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih. The conversation turned to the question of sincerity. Hadhrat Hassan Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "No one is sincere in his claim who is not patient under the blows of his master." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said,
Hadhrat Shaqiq Balkhi Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "No one is sincere in his claim who is not grateful for the blows of his master." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "We need something better than this." Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "No one is sincere in his claim who does not delight in the blows of his master." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "We need something better than this." They said, "Now you speak." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaih said, "No one is sincere in his claim who does not forget the wound of the blow in the vision of his master."
"This talk stinks of egoism."
THE PATH OF HER WISDOMS AND THE WISDOMS OF HER PATH Hadhrat Rabi’ah Al-‘Adawiyah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha from Basrah was one of the most important figures of the mystical path of Islam, known as Sufism. Her life and teachings illustrate a woman who was free from the traditional constraints placed on women’s lives. In many of her miracle stories, we can learn an essential element of Sufi thought from her path that is, do not expect anything from Allah, but rather recognize the larger greatness of the deity beyond your small existence. She held that the true lover, whose consciousness is unwaveringly centred on the Beloved, is unattached to conditions such as pleasure or pain, not from sensory dullness but from ceaseless rapture in Divine Love. Indeed she is considered the first female saint in Islam. Her asceticism was absolute and unwavering as was her love for Allah The Almighty. Poverty and self-denial were her constant practices. Her worldly possessions are said to have been a broken jug from which she drank, an old rush mat to sit upon and a brick for a pillow. She spent each night in prayer and often chided herself for sleeping as it prevented her constant contemplation and active love of
Allah The Almighty. She performed a thousand Raka'ats Nafil Prayer daily. She refused all offers of marriage of which there were many, because she had no room for anything in her life that might distract her from complete devotion to Allah. Indeed, in this same manner she rebuffed anything that could distract her from the Beloved, Allah. More interesting than her absolute asceticism however, is the concept of Divine Love that she had introduced. She was the first to introduce the idea that God should be loved for His own sake and not out of fear, as was understood by the earlier Sufis. She was reported to have walked the streets of Basrah with a flaming torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When her intentions were questioned, Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha replied: “I want to pour water into Hell and set fire to Paradise so that these two veils disappear and nobody worships Allah Ta'ala out of fear of Hell or hope of Paradise, but only for the sake of His eternal beauty.”
A leading scholar of Basrah visited Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha while she was ill. Sitting beside her pillow, the scholar spoke about how terrible the world was. In reply, Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha told him, "You love the world very dearly. If you did not love the world, you would not mention it so much. It is always the purchaser who first disparages what he wants to buy. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently." She never married nor did she have any children but as she, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “My peace is in solitude but my Beloved is always with me. Whenever I witness His Beauty He is my Mihrab (prayer niche); toward Him is my Qibla (direction). Oh Healer of Souls, the heart feeds upon its desire and its striving towards union with You has healed my soul. You are my joy and my life to eternity. You were the source of my life, from You came my ecstasy. I have separated myself from all created beings, for my hope is for union with You, for that is the goal of my searching.” People asked her: "Why do you not take a husband?" Rabiah responded: "I am saddled with three concerns. If you remove these worries from me, I shall take a husband. One: Tell me, will I die with Imaan? Two: On the Day of Qiyaamah will my Record of Deeds be given in my right or left hand? Three: On the Day of Qiyaamah will I be among the people of the right side or the left side?" The people said that they were unable to give her assurances regarding these issues. She said: "A woman who has these fears has no desire for a husband." Her attraction to a life of poverty was also part of her, need not to be distracted from her inner journey by the necessity for material considerations. There is a story about this poverty of hers, as one of her companions said, “I went to visit Rabi`a and saw her in her house with nothing but a broken water pitcher out of which she drank
and made her ablution. There was also an old reed mat and a brick which she sometimes used as a pillow. When I saw this, I felt very sad and I said to her, "I have rich friends. If you wish I will get something from them for you." She said, "You have committed a grievous error. Is not my Provider and theirs one and the same?" I replied, "Yes." Then she said, "And has the Provider of the poor forgotten the poor on account of their poverty? And does He remember the rich because of their riches?" I replied, "No." She said, "Then since He knows of my state, how should I remind Him? Such is His Will and I too wish what He wills." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha’s love, which was passionate (Shauq) and all-consuming was also full of humility, fear (Khauf) and reverence (Taqwa) for her Beloved, and when she was asked about how she had such a degree of intimacy, she said, “By constantly saying: I take refuge in You from everything which has distracted me from You and from every hindrance which has hindered me from You.” She also said, “You must conceal your good deeds as you conceal your evil deeds.” In the same way, she said, “What appears of any good works, I count as nothing at all.” Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha’s companions spoke about how she was always weeping and when she was asked,
“Why do you weep like this?” She said, “I fear that I may be cut off from Him to Whom I am accustomed, and that at the hour of death a voice may say that I am not worthy." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha severed all her worldly hopes and her attitude was like that of a person in his death throes. Each morning she supplicated: "O Allah! Keep me engrossed in You and do not allow the people of the world to divert me." THE MIRACLES OF HER SAYINGS AND THE SAYINGS OF HER MIRACLES Most of the Sufis expressed their love to Allah through their poems and poetries based on the metaphor that, the love for Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and seeking contact with Him is like seeking a departed lover. A true Sufi is a person who really loves Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala with a true heart and do good deeds until he reaches perfection in annihilation of the self, and his soul attains the eternal relationship with Allah Ta'ala. Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was an extraordinary example. She believed that Allah's love is at the core of the universe and one needs to feel that love in all the actions and deeds that he or she does. She considered the pain of separation from a lover and the joy of meeting again is like the joy of reunion with Allah. She had expressed her love towards Allah with the beauty of her soul. One of her poems goes: My God and my Lord: Eyes are at rest, The stars are setting, hushed are the movements of birds in their nests, Of monsters in the deep and You are the Just who knows no change, The Equity that does not swerve, The Everlasting that never passes away. The doors of kings are locked and guarded by their henchmen, But Your door is open to those who call upon You. My Lord, each lover is now alone with his beloved, And I am alone with You. With my Beloved I alone have been, When secrets tenderer than evening airs, Passed and the vision blest was granted to my prayers, That crowned me, else obscure with endless fame, The while amazed between His Beauty and His Majesty,
I stood in silent ecstasy revealing that which o'er my spirit went and came. Lo, in His face commingled, Is every charm and grace, the whole of beauty singled? Into a perfect face, beholding Him would cry, There is no God but He, and He is the most High. These are the words of the female Sufi saint, Hadhrat Rabi'ah Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaiha. She grew in the tender love and training of the higher intuitive powers of the divine. She made no separation in her love between man and woman if they lived for the Face of the Beloved, Allah. Many people loved her and needed her and wanted to take from her something of the special gift which she had been given from Allah. She had many followers who yearned to feed themselves from her Love which she gave to all those whom she loved. Describing her sincere love towards Allah, she said in her prayer: "If I adore You out of fear of Hell, burn me in Hell! If I adore you out of desire for Paradise, lock me out of Paradise. But if I adore you for Yourself alone, Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty." She prayed, "O Allah, take away the words of the devil that mix with my prayer. If not, then take my prayer as it is, devil and all. " She said, "Where a part of you goes, the rest of you will follow in a given time. You call yourself a teacher; Therefore learn." She said, "I love Allah: I have no time left, In which to hate the devil." She said, "I carry a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. With these things I am going to set fire to Heaven, And put out the flames of Hell, So that voyagers to Allah can rip the veils and see the real goal." She said, "How long will you keep pounding on an open door, Begging for someone to open it?" She said, "Let me hide in You , From everything that distracts me from You, From everything that comes in my way, When I want to run to You." She said, "May Allah steal from you all that steals you from Him." She said, The real work is in the Heart.
Wake up your Heart! Because when the Heart is completely awake, Then it needs no Friend. She said, I have two ways of loving You: A selfish one and another way that is worthy of You. In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone. In that other love, You lift the veil, And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face. That I remember You always or that I see You face to face, No credit to me in either. The credit is to You in both. Here Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was referring to the Love which is of the complete integrity, steadfastness and patience, which is for nothing but the Face of Allah Who is the only true Beloved. It is the worship of the heart which only witnesses the perfect Union of the Beloved and the Lover. She said, O Allah, You know that the only thing, I want in this life is to be obedient to Your command. Even the living sight of my eyes is service at your court. She said, O Allah! Once I wanted You so much, I didn't even dare walk past Your house, And now I am not even worthy to be let in. She said, My Joy My Hunger My Shelter My Friend My Food for the Journey My Journey's End You are my breath, My hope, My companion, My craving, My abundant wealth. She said, The one who explains, lies. How can you describe the true form of Something In whose presence you are blotted out? And in whose being you still exist? She said, I swear that ever since the first day You brought me back to life, The day You became my Friend, I have not slept and even if You drive me from your door, I swear again that we will never be separated, Because You are alive in my heart.
She said, I look everywhere for Your love, Then suddenly I am filled with it. O Captain of my heart, Radiant eye of yearning in my breast. Allah himself was her real Beloved but she kept company with her fellow beings, as she said, “Everyone who obeys seeks intimacy.” Then she recited these lines: “I have made You the Companion of my heart. But my body is available to those who desire its company, And my body is friendly toward its guest, But the Beloved of my heart is the guest of my soul.” At one occasion she was asked if she hated Syaitan (Devil). Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha replied: "My love to Allah has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him." Although she was always busy with her Beloved Allah all the time and she did not have any moment for anybody or anything else but Him, she also knew the meaning of what she said, for her Beloved Allah revealed Himself to her in every face around her. She said, “The groaning and yearning of the lover of Allah will not be satisfied until it is satisfied in the Beloved.” Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was that Beloved. She once said that there are three kinds of men. The first believes that his hands and his sons’ hands are all that is necessary to succeed in the only world they know that is the material world. The second kind prays with his hands so that a reward will be earned in the next life. The third kind has his hands tied at the wrist, bound with love to serve without thought of return. Once Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha kept seven fasts and spent the entire night in Ibaadat. On the seventh day someone presented her a bowl of milk. When she went to fetch the lamp, a cat came and drank the milk. She decided to break fast with water. When she brought a cup of water, the lamp was extinguished. As she lifted the cup, it slipped and broke. She drew a sigh and said: "O Allah! What are You doing to me?" A Voice said: "O Rabiah! If you desire the bounties of the world, We shall bestow it to you, but then We shall remove Our love from your heart. Our love and worldly bounties cannot coexist in one heart." She was asked: "When is Allah pleased with a person?" She replied:
"When He expresses gratitude for the effort on His Path just as He expresses gratitude for bounties." She usually cried in tears when she talks about her love of the Beloved. When she was asked for the cause of her constant crying, she said: "I fear separation from Allah Ta'ala. I fear that at the time of death I may be rebuffed and it be announced: "You do not deserve to be in Our Presence." Once, she fasted for a whole week, neither eating nor sleeping. All night she prayed and became very hungry. Then a visitor came bringing her a bowl of food. She accepted it and went to fetch a lamp. When she returned, she found that a cat had overturned the bowl of food. She then said to herself, “I will fetch a jug of water and break my fast by drinking.” But by the time that she had fetched the jug, the lamp had gone out. Then, she tried to drink the water in the dark but the jug slipped from her hand and broke into pieces. She lamented and sighed so much she cried, “O Allah! What is this that You are doing with this helpless slave?” Then she heard a voice say,
bondsmanship to the Beloved Who is Allah. She was one of the spies of the heart for she often spoke out clearly against all who claimed to be lovers of Allah, but whose hearts were not always pure in intention and devotion.
“Be careful lest you desire Me to bestow on you all worldly blessings, but take away from your heart the caring for Me, for care for Me and worldly blessings can never be together in a single heart. O Rabi`ah! You desire one thing and I desire another. My desire and your desire can never be joined in one heart.”
Once, someone asked her about love,
She said, “When I heard this admonition, so I cut off my heart from the world and curtailed my desires that whenever I have prayed during the last thirty years I have thought it to be my last prayer.” It was told of her that she was seen one day carrying a brand of fire in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, and that she was running very fast. When they asked her what she was doing and where she was going, she said, “I am going to light a fire in the Garden and pour water onto it so that both these veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose may be sure, and that the slaves of Allah may see Him, without any object of hope or motive of fear. What if the Hope for the Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship without any immediate motive or need.” It was said that she was the first person to teach about the necessity for truthfulness and sincerity in the lover’s
Once, she said, "As long as man's heart is not alert, his other limbs cannot find the path of Allah. An alert heart is a heart lost in divine absorption. Such a heart is not in need of the aid of other limbs. This stage is called Fana (annihilation)." She also said, "Only verbal Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) is the act of liars. When a vain person makes Taubah (repentance), he should again make Taubah (for the sin of vanity)." THE LOVER OF THE BELOVED AND THE BELOVED OF THE LOVER
“What is Love?” She said, “Love has come from Eternity and passes into eternity, and none has been found in seventy thousand worlds who drinks one drop of it until at last he is absorbed in Allah, and from that comes His words: “He loves them, and they love Him.” (5:54). One of her companions, Hadhrat Sufyan Ats-Tsauri Rahmatullah 'Alaih, asked her, “What is the best thing for the servant to do who desires proximity to his Lord?” She said, “That the servant should possess nothing in this world for the Next, save Him.” Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar Rahmatullah 'Alaih went to visit her. He found in her home only a partly broken jug which she used for Wudhu (ablution) and drinking water; a very old straw-mat on which she slept and a brick which she used as a pillow. Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar Rahmatullah 'Alaih said,
"I have many affluent friends, shall I ask them to bring some items for you?" Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said,
“How are you?” She replied,
Hadhrat Malik Rahmatullah 'Alaih said,
“By Allah! I know of no reason for my illness except that Paradise was displayed to me and I yearned after it in my heart; and I thank that my Lord was jealous for me and so He reproached me; and only He can make me happy again.”
Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said, "What, has He forgotten about the needs of the poor on account of their poverty while He remembers the needs of the wealthy?"
“O Allah, whatsoever You have apportioned to me of worldly things, Give that to Your enemies, And what You have apportioned to me in the Hereafter, Give that to Your Friends, For You suffice me.”
Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinar Rahmatullah 'Alaih said,
She also said,
"It is not so."
“O Allah, if I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, And if I worship You in hope of Paradise, Exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, Grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”
"O Malik! Is my Provider, your Provider and the provider of the wealthy not the same Being?"
Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said, "When He never forgets anyone, why should we remind Him? He has wished this condition for me and I am pleased with it because it is His pleasure." She never had any doubts about her Beloved being present or absent, because she was not concerned only to have His good pleasure and bounties. She lived for a Love which does not seek for any answer, reward or reciprocity. It was related how one day one of her followers said in her presence, “Oh Allah, may You be satisfied with us!”
When she was urged to speak, her words perfectly manifested her love, her belief and her faith, for she was so totally immersed in her Lord that she became a shining Light which attracted many people to her presence to drink from the same Spring from which she drank. She said, “If I will a thing and my Lord does not will it, I shall be guilty of unbelief.”
Whereupon she said,
Her faith came from her total surrender to her Beloved Allah, as she said,
“Are you not ashamed before Him to ask Him to be satisfied with you, when you are not satisfied with Him?”
“I have fled from the world and all that is in it. My prayer is for Union with You; that is the goal of my desire.”
By this she meant that first we must be truly satisfied with Allah, Most High, before we can ask Him to be satisfied with us. Then this was followed by the question to her,
Then, since she always attributed her illnesses and misfortunes to the Will of her Beloved Allah, how could she oppose Him in trying to rid herself of them? Once she was heard to say,
“When then is the servant satisfied with Allah Most High?” She replied, “When his pleasure in misfortune is equal to his pleasure in prosperity.” Once when she was sick a number of people went to visit her. They asked her,
“If You had not set me apart by affliction, I would not have increased Your lovers.” It was part of her faith that she welcomed an asceticism which accepted everything as a Gift from Allah, the Lover to his beloved slave. Therefore, she regarded misfortune in the same way as she regarded favors and happiness,
and this was the ultimate of bondsmanship to her. About this she said, “You have given me life and have provided for me, and Yours is the Glory.” And she added, “You have bestowed upon me many favors, and gifts, graces and help.” In this she acknowledges her bondsmanship to the Giver and Bestower of all Bounty. The sole object of Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha’s life was bound up in her yearning and passionate love (Shauq) for her Beloved, which meant not merely the destruction of her self (Nafs) but surrender to Allah every moment in the perfect Union in which there is no Lord and slave, no Creator and created being, only He in Himself. In that state she came to realize that she existed in Him without any possibility of separation from His indivisible Oneness. There is a story related that she once said, “I praised Allah one night with the praises of dawn, then I slept and I saw a bright, green tree, not to be described in size and beauty, and lo, upon it were three kinds of fruit, unknown to me amongst the fruit of the world, like virgins’ breasts, white, red and yellow and they shone like spheres and suns in the green spaces of the tree. I admired them and said, ‘Whose is this?’ And one said to me, ‘This is yours, for your praise's aforetime.’ Then I began to walk around the tree, and lo, underneath it were eighteen fruits on the ground of the colour of gold, and I said, ‘If only these fruits were with the fruits on the tree it would be better.’ That person said to me, ‘They would have been there but that you, when you offered your praises, were thinking, ‘Is the dough leavened or not?’ So this fruit fell off. This is a warning to those of insight, and an exhortation to those who fear Allah and worship Him.”
One day a man, who was said to be a knower of Allah met Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha who asked him of his state, whereupon he replied, “I have trod the Path of obedience and I have not sinned since Allah created me.” She said to him, “Alas my son, your existence is a sin wherewith no other sin may be compared.” One of the early stories about her relates how she set about making the Pilgrimage to Makkah. She joined a caravan of other pilgrims and she had a small donkey on which she put her baggage for her journey. However, in the middle of the desert the donkey died. Some of the people in the caravan offered to carry her baggage for her, but she said to them, “Go on your way for I must not depend upon you for help, but I trust myself to Allah.” So, seeing that they could not persuade her otherwise, the other pilgrims continued and she remained behind alone in the vast desert all around her. She prayed to her Allah, saying, “O Allah my Lord, do kings deal thus with a woman, a stranger who is weak? You are calling me to Your House (The Ka`abah) but in the middle of my way You have suffered my ass to die, and You have left me alone in the desert.” Hardly had she finished praying when her ass began to move, and finally it stood up. She put her baggage again on it and continued on her way to Makkah. The person who narrates the story said that he saw the same little donkey for sale in the market-place. There was another story that Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was once on her way to Makkah. When she was half-way there she saw the Ka`abah (The House of Allah) coming to meet her and she said, “It is the Lord of the House Whom I need. What have I to do with the House? I need to meet with Him Who said: ‘Whoso approaches Me by a span’s length I will approach him by the length of a cubit.’ The Ka`abah which I see has no power over me. What does the Ka`abah bring to me?” It was related that Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham Rahmatullah 'Alaih, a very holy person and a prominent
Sufi figures, spent fourteen years making his way to the Ka`abah because in every place of prayer he prayed two Raka'ats Nafil prayer and at last when he reached the Ka`abah he did not see it. He said to himself, “Alas, what has happened to my eyes? Maybe a sickness has come to them.” Then he heard a voice which said, “No harm has befallen your eyes, but the Ka`abah has gone to meet a woman who is approaching.”
She said, “I am sorrowing.” They asked, “In what way?” She said, “I am eating the bread of this world and doing the work of that World.”
Hadhrat Ibrahim Rahmatullah 'Alaih was seized with jealousy and said,
Then someone said,
“O indeed, who is this?”
“One so persuasive in speech is worthy to keep a guesthouse.”
He ran and saw Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was arriving and the Ka`abah was back in its place.
When Hadhrat Ibrahim Rahmatullah 'Alaih saw that, he said, "O Rabi'ah, what is this disturbance and trouble and burden which you have brought into the world?"
“I myself am keeping a rest-house. Whatever is within I do not allow to go out, and whatever is without I do not allow to come in. If anyone comes in or goes out, he does not concern me, for I am contemplating my own heart, not mere clay.”
She replied, "I have not brought disturbance into the world. It is you who have disturbed the world, because you delayed fourteen years in arriving at the Ka'abah." He said, "Yes I have spent fourteen years in crossing the desert because I was engaged in prayer." Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said, "You traversed it in ritual prayer but with personal supplication." Then, having performed the pilgrimage, she returned to Basrah and occupied herself with works of devotion. Once, Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha was asked, “Where have you come from?” She said, “From that World.” They then asked her, “Where are you going?” She replied, “To that World.” They asked, “What are you doing in this world?”
Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha’s companions spoke about how she was always weeping and when she was asked, “Why do you weep like this?” She said, “I fear that I may be cut off from Him to Whom I am accustomed, and that at the hour of death a voice may say that I am not worthy.” Once, she went into the desert for a few days and prayed, "O my Lord, my heart is perplexed, whither shall I go? I am not but a clod or earth and that the Kaa'bah in only a stone to me. Show Thyself to me in this very place." So she prayed until Allah The Most High, without any medium, spoke directly within her heart, saying, "O Rabi'ah, when Moses desired to see My Face, I cast a few particles of My Glory upon the mountain of Sinai and it was rent into forty pieces. Be content here with My Name." We can perhaps find both the inner depth and the height of the meaning of her need for poverty in a story relating to a period in the early days of Hadhrat Rabi’ah
Rahmatullah 'Alaiha's walking on the Path of Allah. This was always to be a reminder to her of the need to strive and surrender all her existence to her Beloved Lord if she was to reach to the Goal of what He desired of her. In her yearning for Allah, she prayed to be shown His Vision.
“I have committed many sins, if I turn in repentance (Taubah) toward Allah, will He turn in His Mercy toward me?”
A Voice said to her:
“No, but if He will turn toward you, you will turn toward Him.”
"If you desire Me, I shall reveal a manifestation (Tajalli) of Myself and in a moment you will be reduced to ash." She said: "O Allah! I lack the power for Your Tajalli. I wish for the rank of Faqr (an extremely lofty spiritual status of divine proximity)." The Voice said: "O Rabiah! Faqr is the famine of My Wrath. We have reserved it exclusively for those Men (Auliyaa) who have completely reached Us. There remains not even the distance of a hair between them and Us. At that juncture, We rebuff them and distance them from Our Proximity. Inspite of his, they do not lose hope in Us. They again commence their journey towards Us. While this is their condition, you are still wrapped in the veils of time. As long as you are with the folds of these veils and have not entered into Our Path with a true heart, it is improper for you to even mention Faqr." The Voice then commanded her to lift her gaze towards the heaven. As she complied, she observed a vast rolling ocean of blood suspended in space. The Voice said: "This is the ocean of blood of tears of My Lovers who are lost in My Absorption. This is their first stage in their journey to reach Allah." The key to Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha’s reaching and living in the loving Presence of her Lord was her constant praying, remembrance and asking for forgiveness for all her shortcomings, and a knowing that her Union with her Beloved God could not come in the way that she desired, but only in the way that He desired for her. She was also well aware that her remembrance and repentance did not come from herself, but from Him, her Beloved Allah. It is said that someone once said to her,
For Hadhrat Rabi`ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha, repentance was a gift from Allah, as she said, “Seeking forgiveness with the tongue is the sin of lying. If I seek repentance of myself, I shall have need of repentance again.” She also said, “Our asking for forgiveness of Allah itself needs forgiveness.” She, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “O Allah, my whole occupation and all my desire in this world, of all worldly things, is to remember You. And in the Hereafter it is to meet You. This is on my side, as I have stated. Now You do whatever You will.” Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha supplicated: "O Allah! My duty and my desire on earth are Your remembrance and in the Aakhirah, Your Vision. You are the Master. O Allah! Maintain the presence of my heart or accept my Ibadat (obedience) devoid of concentration." In her nightly prayers she loved to commune with her Beloved Allah, saying, “O Allah, the night has passed and the day has dawned. How I long to know if You have accepted my prayers or if You have rejected them. Therefore console me, for it is Yours to console this state of mine. You have given me life and cared for me, and Yours is the Glory. If You want to drive me from Your Door yet would I not forsake it for the love that I bear in my heart towards You.” She taught that repentance was a gift from Allah because no one could repent unless Allah had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance. She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did. For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping Allah neither from fear of
Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such selfinterest as unworthy of Allah's servants; where emotions like fear and hope were like veils which are the hindrances to the vision of Allah Himself.
"My Beloved is always with me"
About seven years before she died, she travelled to Jerusalem with a woman companion and attendant, and she bought a small house with some land surrounding it on top of the holy Mountain of Olives (At-Tur). There she lived, and from there she used to walk down, every day, to Al-Aqsa Mosque where she prayed and gave teachings to the people, both men and women, who came to listen to her. Although she was a woman, nobody could prevent her from doing this because it was Allah Who moved her in this way to be the means of manifesting Himself to the people who sought Him through her. Then after praying and teaching in the mosque she would walk back up the mountain to her house. This she did every day until she died in the year 185 A.H. / 801 C.E.
"What transpired when Munkar and Nakir came to You?"
When her time to depart from earth was near, the Sufi scholars gathered by her and she said: "Go away and leave place for the Angels." They all went out and closed the door. While they were waiting outside, they heard from within a voice reciting: "O Soul at Rest! Return to your Rabb." For a long while thereafter there was silence. When they went inside they discovered that Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha's soul had taken flight from this world and had reached Allah. After she died her followers built a tomb for her which still exists near the Christian Church of the Ascension on top of the Mountain of Olives. It is visited by those who remember her and thank Allah for the blessing which He granted through her life. She was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic way to the end. She believed she was continually united with her Beloved. As she told her Sufi friends,
She died in Jerusalem in 185 AH. In a dream someone asked her:
Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha said: "When they asked me: "Who is your Rabb?", I said: "Go back! Say to Allah: When You had never forgotten this weak woman despite Your remembrance of entire creation, how can she forget You when on earth You were her only remembrance? Why do you send Angels to question her?" Hadhrat Muhammad Aslam Tusi and Hadhrat Nu'maa Tartusi Rahmatullah 'Alaihima stood at her grave side. One of them said: "O Rabi'ah! During your lifetime you made bold and audacious claims of having renounced the world. Tell us, what has transpired now with you?" From inside the grave, Hadhrat Rabi'ah Rahmatullah 'Alaiha spoke, "May Allah grant me Barakah in what I have seen and am seeing the wonders of the spiritual realm." A modern writer says of her, "Rabi'ah is the saint par excellence of Sunnite hagiography." Her life and sayings became a source of deep inspiration and yearning for all those who were drawn to her and followed her, both in her time and afterwards. This was because of her deep love which manifests directly from the Spirit and for the Face of her Beloved alone without any trace of self in it, brought a special fragrance from the deep secret love into the more austere teachings of those early Sufis. May Allah Ta'ala grant us the oceans of His Love and Ma'rifat and bestows upon us the Love that He had bestowed upon Hadhrat Rabi'ah Al-Basri Rahmatullah 'Alaiha, may Allah bless her Ruh.
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ANECDOTES OF RABIA AL BASRI SHEIKH TAOSHOBUDDHA There are many anecdotes associated with Rabia that reveal her inner state and Tariqat.
that state of shazda until morning and yawning he would leave.
1. Once it happened Rabia was looking for something on the street under the light. Seeing this gesture a crowd gathered. Everyone started looking for something that Rabia had lost. Someone enquired, ‘Rabia what are you looking for, because unless we know what are we looking for how can this be found?’
This continued for a few days. Then one day the owner realized that a visitor who had visited Rabia once is not coming back. This was quite unusual in this trade. Therefore he decided to enquire. So he made a peep hole to look into. What he saw not only surprised him instead filled him with more respect for Rabia.
At this Rabia told the crowd that she lost her sewing needle. The search continued. But the needle could not be found. Then someone among the crowd enquired, ‘ Rabia the road is big. Where exactly did the needle fall? Only then we can really search.’ Rabia responded, ‘She did not lose the needle on the street. Instead it was lost in her room.’ Hearing this that person replied, ‘We all know Rabia that you are crazy. Now this is the extent. How can you find something on the street that is lost somewhere else?’ At this a meditative Rabia responded, ‘You are right. Exactly this is what I have been telling you.’ This is the way of a Sufi to bring about awareness. This is tariqat. 2. Rabia was very beautiful. Once she was captured by the merchants who sold her as prostitute. Each night men full of desire for flesh will visit her as was normal. Now a meditative Rabia found a tariqat to transform her visitors. Each time when someone would approach her full of passion she would ask him to pray seeking Allah’s forgiveness before entering into sin. This appealed to the visitors. According to the Shariat a woman cannot lead anyone in prayer. So Rabia remained at the back and thus joined in prayer. As the visitor will bow in Shazda and the forehead is on the ground she would send strong tawajjoh or the energy field. It was almost a state of somnolence or sleep or lack of physical activity. The visitor would remain in
Thus Rabia was transforming those visitors. And through her tawajjoh she was clearing all those nafsani muqams or the states of lower emotions. Thus she was taking them to a higher state of awareness. This is Sufi Tariqat. 3. There was another Sufi during the time Rabia lived. His name was Hasan. He had tremendous love for Rabia. And had the intensions of Nikah or marriage as well. Each time Hasan would say something Rabia’s response was very strict. One day Hasan asked Rabia of her copy of Holy Quran. Rabia pointed the place where her Holy Quran was kept. When Hasan opened the Holy Book he found many lines were deleted from the Holy Scripture. This is blasphemy. The message of The Holy book is final verdict and cannot be altered. But Rabia has done so. One particular line drew the attention of Hasan. When Hasan enquired about that action Rabia responded, ‘Ever since I have loved God or His love kindled in my heart I know there is no enemy. Love knows not hate or enemy.’ When love springs forth hate and anger can no longer inflict you. Rabias’ life is full of such anecdotes. Because of the limitations I would like to contain myself. There are other Masters knocking the doors of my consciousness for their turn. Only this much for now on Rabai al Basari.
Naqshbandiyah Mujaddidiyah Sufi order by the hands of Hadhrat Khwajah Khwajahgan Mawlana Khan Muhammad Sahib, The Amir of Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatamun Nubuwwat. In 1998, he re-established the Aalami Majlis Ittihad Baynal Muslimin founded by his teacher at the Jami'ah Ashrafiah, Hadhrat Mawlana Ahmad 'Ali Ashrafi with the name Majlis Ittihad Muslimin (MIM) an Islamic society for the foreigner's Muslim's students in Pakistan and published the monthly magazine combining all the information regarding the Muslim's efforts and interests in the Muslim's world. He came back to Malaysia in 2001 after the September 11th and the attacks of Afghanistan by the US. He teaches Quran and Tasawwuf and now he lives in Selangor, Malaysia, married with four children. He authored several books and articles on Islam and Sufism in Bahasa Melayu and English: 1. Arba'in Ar-Rowi 2. Ar-Risalah Al-'Aliyah Fi Tariqatin Naqshbandiyah Mujaddidiyah (VOL. 1, 2, 3, 4 & Sughra) 3. Miftah Al-Insyirah Fi Lataif Al-'Asharah 4. Tazkirah Al-Asfiya Fi Hayat Al-Awliya 5. Qawaid An-Naqshbandiyah 6. Asma Allah Al-A'zam 7. Asma An-Nabiy Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi TAOSHOBUDDHA and an MEDITATION TIMES.
is a friend of SHEIKH international contributor to
Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar Rowi was born in Ipoh, Perak an Islamic Sultanate of Malaysia in the year 1973. He received the early academic educations from primary to secondary schoolings at the Saint George's Institutions in Taiping, Perak until 1990. In 1991, he was guided into the Path of Allah when he was 19 and joined the Da'wah and Tabligh missions founded by Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas Kandahlawi Rahmatullah 'Alaih and then he took the pledge of Naqshbandiyah Haqqaniyah Sufi order from Hadhrat Syeikh Raja Ashman Shah, The Prince of Perak Sultanate who was the Caliph of Hadhrat Mawlana Syeikh Muhammad Nazim Adil Qubrusi Haqqani Quddisa Sirruhu. In 1994, he went to Pakistan for further studies of Islamic Sciences (Syari'ah) at Al-Jami'ah Al-Ashrafiah (Ashrafia Islamic University) in Lahore and Islamic Sufism (Tariqah) at Khanqah Sirajiah, Kundiyan Syarif, Mianwali, Pakistan where he was initiated into the
8. Dalail An-Naqsh Fi Du'a Kanzil 'Arsh 9. Ayat Mubarakah 10. An-Nazam Ash-Sharif (Dar Madah Hadhrat Syeikh Muhammad Musa Khan Ar-Ruhani Al-Bazi) 11. Ar-Risalah Al-A'jam Fi Asma Allah Al-A'zam 12. Uwais Al-Qarani & Uwaisiyah Sufi Method His next mission is to establish the Naqshbandiyah Academy of Quran, Sunnah and Hadits (NAQSH) for the propagation of the Islamic teachings and Sufism to the entire world. May Allah help him in his mission. Faqir Mawlawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi 'Ufiyallahu 'Anhu Wali Walidaihi Wali Jami'il Muslimin
LAL DED OR LALLESHWARI FEMALE MYSTIC FROM KASHMIR, INDIA [1320-1390]
Introduction to Lal Ded The middle of the 14th century was a period of religious and moral growth in whole of India. Kashmir could not remain unaffected of this trend. Kashmir by far has its own beauty, freshness of nature and that of consciousness as well. The two have merged to give a new freshness to the setting trends. Buddhism had practically disappeared from the Kashmir Valley. Yet still one finds mention of Buddhist priests and Viharas (place of Buddhist worship) in the later Rajataranginis. Tilakacharya, described as a Buddhist, was a minister of Zain-ul-Abidin. Most of the Buddhist theologians and saints found the Valley uncongenial. And therefore moved to Ladakh and Tibet leaving the valley bereft of Buddhist teachings! Other influences were fast rising. There was a long period of political instability which followed the peaceful and enlightened reign of Avantivarman from 855 to 883 A.D. This was specifically responsible for the growth and development of Shaivism. As a result Shaivism that was once the major religion was reduced to elaborate and complex rituals which dominated all social and cultural activities. Shaktism, born of the love for Durga worship, had degenerated into gross forms of rites and ceremonies. Vaishnavism had not established any strong element in the religious texture of the Valley. However in the 11th century it received further nourishment from the teachings of Ramanuja who travelled all the way from Madras to Kashmir to fight against Shaivism at its very origin. And with the destruction of temples and images by several Hindu kings like HarshaVardhan, as well as by Muslim zealots (Jewish religious-political faction, known for its fanatical resistance to Roman rule in Judea during the 1st century AD). Hindu worship was driven to the seclusion of the home or of 'natural' (Svayambhu) images - rocks, or ice formations, or springs alone. Sanskrit became the domain of the learned few, the common man having taken to a form of Prakrit which though retaining its essentials, was yet wholly different from the ‘Language of the Gods’.
Impact of Islam This was the period of trouble. In this troubled period of political uncertainty and changing social values, the people of the Valley were subjected to the impact of Islam. The close contact between the two religions had deep influence on each other. This resulted in the evolution of what may be called Medieval Reformers or Mystics. For more than two hundred years Islam had, in central Asia and Persia, been similarly influenced by the teachings and dogmas of Mahayana Buddhism and Upanishadic philosophy. This resulted in the emergence of a sect of Islamic mystics. Fortunately, the new religion entered the Valley in this form. It was carried there by enlightened Sufis like Bulbul Shah. These mystics had humanistic approach to religion. Thus they found a ready and sympathetic response from the Kashmiris that had already permeated with the teachings of mystic saints and ‘seers’. It was during this period of religious growth that a need was felt for a new approach to religion. A religion that could embrace all creeds and castes and yet still be the religion of ‘heart’ rather than that of ‘head’. It was due to valleys’s rich religious and philosophic traditions, Kashmir rose to the occasion and produced a number of mystics and saints who by their teachings and their lives of complete self- abnegation were the living embodiments of true religion and religiosity.
Emergence of Lalleshwari It was under the backdrop of these condition that on the spiritual horizon of the valley of super consciousness there emerged a foremost ‘seer’ great mystic, Lalleshwari. Popularly she is known as Lal Ded (Mother Lalla). She profoundly influenced the thought and life of her contemporaries. A woman of no precise and formal education Lalleshwari influenced the people of the valley. Her sayings still continue to linger in the
hearts of Kashmiris like a far away music of the wind rustling through the tall pine tree. And continues to vibrate as well the chords of their heart! Still these are freely and frequently quoted as maxims on appropriate occasions. Today I take you through the life, works and teachings of this fourteenth century mystic woman Lalleshwari from the valley in the highest peak of Himalayas. The Hindus called her Lalleshwari and the Muslims Lalla Arifa. But both lovingly called her Lal DED (Grandmother or Grandma). This is certain and continues as such to date. Lal in Kashmiri means an unnatural growth internal or external, or bodily projection. Lalla's belly had grown like a hanging lump of fleshy cloak down to her knees.
Birth and early Life Lalleshwari was born in 1320 about the middle of the 14th century during the time of Sultan Ala-ud-din. Lall's parents lived at Pandrenthan (ancient Puranadhisthana) some four and a half miles to the south-east of Srinagar. There is absence of authentic historical records. Thus there seems to be much confusion about the exact dates of her birth and death among historians. According to Noor Namas and Reshi Namas Lallwshwari was born sometime between 1300 -1320 A.D. and died round about 1377 A.D. However I am not going to speak to you of a historical Lalleshwari. Instead I am overflowing a Lalleshwari who is existential-one who was never born never died. Lalleshwari simply visited the valley on this planet earth during the fourteenth century. I will simply highlight those anecdotes and aspects of her life that reflect her as a mystic – a poetess and a master of tremendous insights. She was married at an early age. She was ill treated by her mother-in-law who nearly starved her. This story is preserved in a Kashmiri proverb: ‘Whether they killed a big sheep or a small one. Lalla had always a stone for her dinner’. Lalia’s hypocritical mother-in-law was cunning and tricky. She would usually place a large round shingle underneath the cooked rice in her plate at lunch and dinner-time to display her deceptive affection for Lal Ded and, at the same time, to show to
others how hefty the latter was. Lalleshwari would always finish eating quickly the scanty rice, wash her plate and the pebble and place them at their specified places before attending to other chores. She would not utter a word of protest; much less complain against such a strange behavior and illtreatment. Instead she would take every care to shield her husband as well as mother-in-law and their honor. However, once on a festive occasion while filling a pitcher at the river bank, she was asked by her girl friends what the festivity and merriment at her home was all about. She said ‘Whether they slaughter a ram or a lamb, Lalla will never miss her shingle’. Her father-in-law accidentally found out the truth. He got annoyed with his wife and scolded her. This incident invited more curses on Lalla. Her mother- in-law poisoned the ears of her son with all sorts of stories. Ultimately, the anomalies and cruelties of worldly life led her to renunciation and she discovered liberty in the life of the spirit. Lalleshwari was no exception to the common lot of womanhood, the world over in general and Indian womenfolk in particular. Her mother-in-law, perhaps as a means of cathartic projection of her own experience, often incited her son against his wife. Being unintelligent and too dull to observe and appreciate the nobility of Lalleshwari and the divine sparks in her, he would thoughtlessly slender and perplex her. Lal Ded remained ill-treated and ill-fed despite the family control of her affectionate father-in-law.
Lalleshwari and guru Sidh Srikanth She found her guru in Sidh Srikanth, whom she ultimately excelled in spiritual attainments: Gav Tsatha guras Khasithay Tyuth var ditam Diva! [Kashmiri Language] The disciple surpassed the Guru God grant me a similar boon! She pursued Yoga under Sidh Srikanth, until she was enlightened. But she did not stop there. Around her was a life of conflict and chaos. Her countrymen and women needed her guidance. She had a mission to perform.
This she did well and effectively. Her life and sayings were mainly responsible in molding the character of the people and setting up tradition of love and tolerance which characterizes them even today. Thus she was able to transform the lives.
Why is Lalla so famous in Kashmir? She was illiterate, but she was wise. Her sayings are full of wisdom. In these sayings, she dealt with everything from life, yoga, and God to dharma and atma. Her riddles are on the lips of every Kashmiri.
Lalleshwari the wandering Mystic
Spiritual and Philosophical Vakyas
Eventually she gave up her secluded life and became a wandering preacher. She led a severely ascetic life. Clad in the bareness of one who had forsaken comforts, and by example and precept conveyed her teachings to the masses. Unlike Mira she sang of Siva, the great beloved, and thousands of her followers, Hindus as well as Muslims, committed to memory her famous Vakyas(sayings).
These Vakyas or sayings are an aggregate of Yoga philosophy and Saivism. These contain deep thought and manifested truth. Yet still these were precise, apt and sweet. Her quatrains are now rather difficult to understand as the language has undergone so many changes, and references to special Yogic and philosophic terms are numerous therein.
There is a high moral teaching which Lalla demonstrated when during her nude state a gang of youthful rowdies were mocking her. A sober-minded cloth merchant intervened and chastised them. On this she asked the merchant for two pieces of ordinary cloth, equal in lengtht. She put them on either shoulder and continued her wandering. On the way some had salutations for her and some had gibes. For every such greeting she had a knot in the cloth, for the salutations in the piece on the right, and for the gibes in the piece on the left. In the evening after her round, she returned the pieces to the vendor and had them weighed. Neither had, of course, gained or lost by the knots. She thus brought home to the merchant, and her disciples, a teaching that mental equipoise should not be shaken by the manner people greeted or treated a person. For her teachings and spiritual experiences to reach the masses, she propagated them in their own language. She thus laid the foundations of the rich Kashmiri literature and folklore. More than thirty per cent of the Kashmiri idioms and proverbs derive their origin from her Vakyas. Like a mad person, she would go around naked. She would only keep the company of sadhus and pirs. She did not think in terms of men and women. She would claim that she had yet to encounter a man, and that is why she went about naked. But when she saw Shah Hamdan, she hid herself saying: â€˜I saw a man, I saw a man.â€™
Some of these sayings have been collected and published by Dr. Grierson, Dr. Barnett, Sir Richard Temple and Pandit Anand Koul and apart from the consideration that they explain the Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir in Kashmiri language, they exemplify the synthesis of cultures for which Kashmir has always been noted. Lalla fills her teachings with many truths that are common to all religious philosophy. There are many touches of Vaishnavism, much that is strongly reminiscent of the doctrines and methods of the Muslim Sufis who were in India and Kashmir well before her day, and teachings that might be Christian with Biblical analogies, though Indian's knowledge of Christianity must have been very remote and indirect at her date. So far nearly two hundred of the sayings of Lalla have been discovered.
Lalleshwari and Nund Reshi Inspite of controversies about the birth and the death of Lalleshwari one thing is certain that for some time both Lalleshwari and Nunda Reshi and Bulshah were contemporizes. It is said when Nunda Reshi was born for three days he refused to be fed. All efforts by the parents and the neighbors failed. The same time Lalleshwari entered. She took the baby in her lap. She kissed him. And
whispering something in his ears before putting the baby to her breast and fed him. It is said she whispered: ‘When you are not ashamed to be born. Then why be shy to be fed by your mother.’ It is said that after this the baby behaved normally. Nund Reshi spent twelve years in meditation inside a cave at Khimoh where (according to M.L.Saqi's Edited ‘Kuliyat-i-Sheikh-Ul-Alam,’ 1985 and, A. D. Majoor's thesis, Nund Reshi) he is said to have written the life story of Gautam Buddha in 2,500 verse . But, only three verses of this are said to exist now. The story is said to have been translated into Persian by a bilingual Sanskrit scholar. Nund Reshi was the founder and most popular saint of the Reshi cult of Kashmir. Hindu scholars call him Sahazanand because of his Hindu ancestry. However of late Muslim theology describe him as Noor-ud -Din Noorani or Sheikh-ul -Alam (the light of religion and the Sheikh of the world). But as dearest of all Kashmiris, irrespective of caste and creed, and as per his own repeated reference, as Nunda he was endearingly called Nunda Reshi. His pious memory still continues to be cherished by this organization.
Sayings of Lalleshwari So far nearly two hundred of her sayings have been discovered by the researchers. These are in the local dialect of the time. However with the passage of time the dialect has changed. Though people find it difficult to understand the dialect yet still her sayings form the part of common folklore of Kashmiri people. Some of her sayings have been translated by many scholars like R.C. Temple, G. Grierson, and others. Passionate, with longing in mine eyes, Searching wide, and seeking nights and days, Lo' I beheld the Truthful One, the Wise, Here in mine own House to fill my gaze. (Translated by R.C. Temple) Holy books will disappear, and then only the mystic formula will remain. When the mystic formula departed, naught but mind was left. When the mind disappeared naught was left anywhere, And a voice became merged within the Void.
(Translated by G. Grierson) You are the heaven and You are the earth, You are the day and You are the night, You are all pervading air, You are the sacred offering of rice and flowers and of water; You are Yourself all in all, What can I offer You? With a thin rope of untwisted thread, Tow I ever my boat o'er the sea. Will God hear the prayers that I have said? Will he safely over carry me? Water in a cup of unbaked clay, Whirling and wasting, my dizzy soul Slowly is filling to melt away. Oh, how fain would I reach my goal. (Translated by R.C. Temple) The arrows of my wooden bow turned out To be the pith of water rush grass; The Rajdhani of the kingdom Fell into the rustic hands of A crude carpenter; In the midst of a busy bazar, Lockless remained my shop, And a pilgrimmageless self. I became: Who appreciates, my friend. I overpowered and subdued My vile heart. Twisted my liver. And renounced all I had.; Thus, giving up all my Worldy possessions, I became Lalla for all Lalla is no believer in good work in this or in former lives, in pilgrimages or austerities. In one of her sayings she criticizes the cold and meaningless way in which religious rituals are performed: God does not want meditations and austerities Through love alone canst though reach the Abode of Bliss. Thou mayst be lost like salt in water Still it is difficult for thee to know God. All labor, to be effective, must be undertaken without thought of profit and dedicated to Him. Exhorting her
followers to stick fast to ideals of love and service to humanity, paying no thought to the praise or condemnation that might follow from their observance, she says: Let them jeer or cheer me; Let anybody say what he likes; Let good persons worship me with flowers; What can any one of them gain I being pure? If the world talks ill of me My heart shall harbor no ill-will: If am a true worshipper of God Can ashes leave a stain on a mirror? Lalleshwari was a strong critic of idolatry as a useless and even silly ‘work’. She preached them to turn to Yogic doctrines and exercises as a means of salvation: Idol is of stone temple is of stone; Above (temple) and below (idol) are one; Which of them wilt thou worship O foolish Pandit? Cause thou the union of mind with Soul. She further castigates the fanatical followers for their so-called ‘religions’ in the following saying: O Mind why hast thou become intoxicated at another's expense? Why hast thou mistaken true for untrue? Thy little understanding hath made thee attached to other's religion; Subdued to coming and going; to birth and death. However Lalla is not an extremist. She constantly preached wide and even diverse doctrines. At many instances she would say: ‘it matters nothing by what name the Supreme is called. He is still the Supreme;’ ‘Be all things to all men.’ ‘The true saint is the servant of all mankind through his humility and loving kindness.’ ‘It matters nothing what a man is or what his work of gaining his livelihood may be, so long as he sees the Supreme properly.’ She puts no value on anything done without the saving belief in Yogic doctrine and practice, one of the results of which is the destruction of the fruits of all work, good or bad. The aspirant should try to again perfection in this life. He only requires faith and perseverance: Siva is with a fine net spread out He permeath the mortal coils If thou whilst living canst not see Him, how canst thou when dead Take out Self from Self after pondering over it
She is a firm believer in herself. She has become famous and talks of the ‘wine of her sayings’ as something obviously precious, and alludes often to her own mode of life, fully believing she has obtained Release: I saw and found I am in everything I saw God effulgent in everything. After hearing and pausing see Siva The House is His alone; Who am I, Lalla. The removal of confusion caused among the masses by the preaching of zealots was the most important object of her mission. Having realized the Absolute Truth, all religions were to her merely paths leading to the same goal. This she preached through her sayings. The following sayings reflects such an understanding. Shiv chuy thali thali rozan; Mo zan Hindu to Musalman. Truk ay chuk pan panun parzanav, Soy chay Sahivas sati zaniy zan. [KASHMIRI LANGUAGE] Siva pervades every place and thing; Do not differentiate between Hindu and Muslim. You are intelligent recognize thine own self; That is the true acquaintance with God.
Explanation This vakyah of Lalleshwari clearly explains her understanding as the outcome of her enlightenment. With enlightenment one attains inner oneness and harmony. Then one envisions the entire cosmos as the extension of one energy field. This is the embodiment of scriptural injunction: #zavaSy imd< svR< yiTk<c jgTyam jgt ten TyKten -U<ijwa< ma g&x> kZysivdxn<. God permeates through the entire cosmos. In Upasnishad this is represented by the term ‘Rik’. Tulsidas envision this as ‘Rama’. Mira envision this as ‘Girdhar Gopal’ or ‘Krishna’. Lalleshwari envisions this as ‘Shiva’. This is the essence of this Vakyah. Also one has to realize what is that makes one a Hindu or Muslim. Is it
the bones, or blood or something else? Also do you breathe Hindu air or Muslim air? All these are the dualities. And mind remains lost in these. Mind divides everything. It is only when one goes beyond mind and its dualities that one can envision cosmic oneness. And bliss is the outcome of such an understanding and awareness. She says: Shiva abides in all that is, everywhere, then why do discriminate between one and the other. If thou art wise, know they self. That is the true knowledge of God.
Lalleshwari the Great Mystic The greatness of Lalla lies in giving the essence of her experiences in the course of her Yoga practices through the language of the common man. She has shown very clearly the evolution of the human being, theory of nada, the worries and miseries of a jiva and the way to keep them off. The different stages of Yoga with the awakening of the Kundalini and the experiences at the six plexus have been elucidated by her. Much can, indeed, be said on her work as a poet and more, perhaps, on her work in the spiritual realm. But at a time when the world was suffering from conflict social, political and economic - her efforts in removing the differences between man and man need to be emphasized more. The composite culture and thought she preached and the Orders she founded was a mixture of the nondualistic philosophy of Saivism and Islamic Sufism. As long back as the 13th century she preached nonviolence, simple living and high thinking and became thus Lalla Arifa for Muhammadans and Lalleshwari for Hindus. She was thus the first among the long list of saints who preached medieval mysticism which later spread the whole of India. It must be remembered that Ramananda's teaching and that of those that came after him could not have affected Lalla, because Ramananda flourished between 1400 and 1470, while Kabir sang his famous Dohas between 1440 and 1518, and Guru Nanak between 1469 and 1538. Tulsidasa did not come on the scene till 1532 whereas Mira flourished much later.
Much of whatever relates to Lal Ded - her birth, life, work, philosophy, her vakyah, their actual number and inner meaning, her beliefs in short everything about her has been put differently by the author according to the development of the individual consciousness. Also they have not been able always to reach the inner depth and the essence in translation which has generally been literal and superficial as one can discern when one reads or listens to the vakyah. For even such vakyah as are seemingly put in straight words are pregnant with an extraordinary depth and loftiness. She believed in the concept of transmigration of soul as well as of the cycle of yugas, the changing aeons of time through creation destruction and regeneration of the universe. She may have accumulated more light and knowledge in that process. Further, she must have received ethereal inspiration. All this has resulted in her attaining super-consciousness and thus enlightenment. There can be no Kashmiri Hindu, Muslim or others who has not heard of her greatness or who does not revere her even in these times. This is the beginning of my talks on Lalleshwari. Therefore I had to leave this as a mere introduction. Yet still I will have to take you through the mysticism of Lalleshwari.
Lalleshwari the Rebel of Her Time Lal Ded lived the life of a rebel in many ways. Whatever she said or did had some innovation and mission behind it to correct the prevailing wrong beliefs and practices, and show the path to piety. Before her, Kashmiri verse was primarily written in a way as could be used to memorize esoteric doctrine. But she created vakyah to express aspiration and experience, thought and feeling in her own effective way, sometimes vivid and direct and sometimes allegorical. She was thus a pioneer of Kashmiri language and verse as only a poet of an extraordinary force of originality could be a poet whose poesy is in one of her great admirers Richard Temple's words ‘aflame with red fire of a thought that burns’. Grierson has researched her works and is considered an authority. He has observed that the vakyah are besides ‘an account, are often in vivid and picturesque language, of the actual working out in practice a religion previously worked out in theory. It is a unique
contribution to the body of evidence that must necessarily form the basis of a future history of one of the most important religious systems of India.’ The contents of her Vakyahs is wholly revolutionary. She minced no words in expressing her revolt against the traditional ways of worship or offering sacrifice to the deities and idols. I will offer one striking example which says it all, and more. Lamented she in a much quoted vakyah against animal sacrifice offered to stone idols thus: ‘This animal, the sheep, gives you wool to protect you from cold and cover your privacy, and for itself it subsists just on God-given grass and water. Who then has ordained you, O ignoramus Pundit that you slaughter it to offer to a stone?’ The vakyah, as many others, also lays before us the extent of the Sanskritrooted Kashmiri language put together in soft yet powerful hard knocking words, cutting criticism of the practices in vogue. She mentions in a Vakyas of having received her Guru’s precept: ‘From without withdraw your gaze within, and fix it on the inmost self’. She is then made out to have cast away her apparel to go about dancing in the nude. Some scholars have, no doubt, disputed or rejected this interpretation. Lal Ded was too serene and a known yogini to have taken such a frivolous meaning of a profound expression. When one analyses it in the context of the profundity of both the Guru and the disciple Lalla, it most likely was meant for her to recognize that the external world is only an illusion of no value. So Lal Ded lived on as a wandering savant in total abandon, unmindful of the external world and only seeking God-consciousness. Another vakyah illustrates this, ‘Thou were absorbed in thine own self, hidden from me, I passed whole days in seeking the out. But when I saw thee in mine own self, O, joy then Thou and I disported us in ecstasy ‘. Or, again, ‘Pilgrim sannyasin goes from shrine to shrine expecting to meet Him who abides within his own self’ Among the most important of Lal Ded's vakyah are those that bear a constant refrain of the Upanishadic tenets of the equality and oneness of all which is the main principle enunciated and dilated upon in Gita in many of its sutras.
Lalleshwari (1320 -1390) In another one she advises, ‘Not by ascetic practices is the self realized. Nor by desire can you gain the portals of Release.’ It goes on and on and deeper as well as clearer all the way. In fact she had practiced what she was professing, she had gone beyond pain or pleasure, love and hate, heat or cold and all that we normal humans experience. She was leading people to attain liberation from the mundane ills and pains as she had attained it herself. Lal Ded, Lalla, Lalleshwari or Lala Arifa or Lalla Mats, are among the numerous names by which she is called. However whatever be the name it is always with extreme reverence and love and adoration. She does not belong to any one community or creed or religion for she had risen above these dualities. She was too great for them. She had attained to being a universal phenomenon in her own life time and then to being a priceless heritage for humankind. Trying to appropriate her to any one religion whose narrow limits she had set out to demolish, is to try to contain a sea in a tea-cup. Lalla's sublime philosophy is humanity’s immeasurable treasure of pure spirituality. Quintessentially she had reached this awareness, became enlightened and finally merged with the divine. And divinity is not divisible. It is for you to understand this and live up to it. This is just the beginning of overflows on Lalleshwari. Only this much for now!
Aashiyaan I drank the wine of your love and became forever drunk. I fell into a swoon and lost all consciousness of pain, misery and sorrows. My heart was drowned into the ocean of desperation but I found eternal life by drinking the wine of your love. This intoxicating elixir has made me mad. Now I roam hither and thither Seeking your love; The devi who destroyed my reality, and gave me elusive dreams. All I want is this wine to keep me forever drunk. If I become sober The dreams may fade, and reality return to haunt me. I drink this wine to remain eternally drunk.
Swami anand neelambar
BAULS THE DANCING AND SINGING MYSTICS OF BHAKTI MOVEMENT Introduction Bauls (Bengali: বাউল) are a group of mystic medieval travelling singers from Bengal in India. Bauls constitute both a synergetic religious sect and a musical tradition used as a vehicle to express Baul thought. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many different streams of the sect. However their membership mainly consists of Vaishnavite Hindus and Sufi Muslims. They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments, like the ektara or lute or single stringed instrument. Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, yet still their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition was included in the list of ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO. I had once many years ago an occasion of meeting one such singer in the woods. The Baul was of a very advanced age. No teeth, cheeks sunk in and a scanty streak of hair with his lute wandering in the woods I met this Baul. I was asked him to sing a song. This he refused saying that he cannot sing because he is hungry. I offered him some food that we were carrying. Food he refused saying that he wants a particular Indian sweet. Somehow we had to arrange the sweets for him. The aura that he was carrying was that of innocence and enlightenment. After he had eaten the sweets I again requested him to sing. He looked at me and said for you I will doo anything. This he said with utmost respect and love. He sang a well known Bhajan of poet Surdas reflecting the innocence pleas of child Krishna. The other milk maids have accused him of stealing butter. Krishna’s whole face and hands are
covered with butter. Yet still he is trying his innocent pleas to convince his mother that he has not eaten the butter what to say of stealing. These boys who are older to him have forcibly applied butter to his face. In the original song he had added something. The song meant, O mother dear, ‘I swear upon you’ that I have not eaten butter. In the original song he had added the piece ‘ksm taerI’ ‘I swear upon you’. Nearly fifty years have passed to this event the melody and the very event continues to linger in my being like the dissolving notes to date. Man is sacred as he is the ultimate creation of God. As a result Bauls profess universal brotherhood and refuse as difference of races, casts, religions. Their living is free and detached from material things. The music of Baul expresses the inner joy, the happiness of love spreading from oneself trough old gesture and moving melodies arousing a pure and absolute meeting of hearts. This way the Baul live a free existence, without discrimination and rules a life. Historical Development The origin of Bauls is not known accurately. Yet still the word Baul has appeared in Bengali texts as far back as the 15th century. The word is found in the ‘Chaitanya-bhagavata’ of Vrindavanadas as well as in the ‘Chaitanya Charitamrita’ of Krishnadas Kaviraj. Some scholars, however, maintain that it is not clear when the word took its sectarian significance, as opposed to a synonym for the word mad. The beginning of the Baul movement was attributed to Birbhadra, the son of
Vaishnavite saint Nityananda, or alternatively to the 8th century Persian minstrels called Ba'al. Bauls are a part of the culture of rural Bengal. Whatever their origin, Baul thought has mixed elements of Tantra, Sufi Islam, Vaishnavism and Buddhism. They are thought to have been influenced by the Hindu tantric sect of the Kartabhajas as well as Tantric Buddhist schools like the Sahajia. Some scholars find traces of these thoughts in the ancient practices of Yoga as well as the Charyapadas, which are Buddhist hymns that are the first known example of written Bengali. The Bauls themselves attribute the lack of historical records of themselves to their reluctance of leaving a trace behind. Etymology The origin of the word is Baul is debated. Some modern scholars, like Shashibhusan Das Gupta have suggested that it may be derived either from Sanskrit word vatula, which means (divinely inspired) insane or from vyakula, which means impatiently eager and both of these derivations are consistent with the modern sense of the word, which denotes the inspired people with an ecstatic eagerness for a spiritual life, where a person can realize his union with the eternal beloved – ‘the Monar or Adhar Manush’ (the man of the heart this Bengali way of pronunciation). The word ‘Baul’ refers to three terms and interpretation therefore: VATULA, which means ‘mad’, one who is out of rhythm ; 2. VAYU, or AIR, or the inner flow of energy which gives life and harmony to all sentient beings ; and 3. ÂULIYÂ, a term of Arabic origin, which means ‘saint’, ‘holy man’. 1.
Bauls can come from either a Hindu or a Muslim background. In both cases, they are usually rebels against orthodox practices and social institutions. The reason for this is purely spiritual. They are continuously searching for ‘Adhar Manush’, the ‘Essential Man’- the inner being which is inside each one of us and we have become oblivious of it in the process. It is this quest for mad love goes beyond all boundaries. This is the essence of Bauls.
Bauls are wandering and singing mystics of Bhakti Movement. The musical culture and life style of the Bauls has inspired village life in Bengal in India so deeply that Bengali people have protected Baul practitioners for many centuries. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (13th Century) was the greatest known Baul singer. He travelled all over India. History recognizes him as the greatest influence among Baul poets and singers of later generations and the Bhakti movement. The Bauls uses poetry, dance and singing as tools to reach that goal. Therefore Bauls used to wander from village to village and sing for the people who would give them alms for the maintenance of their everyday life. It is said that Bauls would accept only what they needed and refuse anything more than the strict minimum. Their only possessions were their clothes and musical instruments, as well as their songs and secret practices. The costume of the Bauls is very simple. Many Bauls wore safran clothes, a long stiched piece of cotton patchwork covering their body from the shoulder to below the knees, a turban on their head and a mark on their forehead. As far as Fakir Bauls are concerned, they prefer plain white cotton. Even today, most Bauls live in small huts. They live in couples but are not supposed to have children. Mostly they adopt abandoned children to whom they teach everything they know. Twice a week, they go to villages to collect food (mostly rice and vegetables). Sometimes they travel from one village to another in order to meet other practitioners. Most of them are also linked to nonsinging gurus who teach them different spiritual practices (sadhana) and songs with an inner meaning. The verses of Baul poetry can come from past or present composers, and they always include secret teachings related to righteous practice and life style. The living space of Bauls is called AKHRA. An AKHRA it is somehow like an ashram, with the difference that men and women live together, considering each other as spiritual partners. Most akhras are also meeting places for other sadhakas
and sadhikas, male and female practitioners, as well as for sadhus, holy men, wherever they come from. Each year, Bauls organize a big meeting where they exchange songs, experiences and spiritual teachings. Teachings of Bauls Their religion is based on an expression of the body, which they call ‘deho-sadhona’ and an expression of the mind, which they call ‘monasadhona’. Some of their rituals are kept mostly hidden from the mainstream, as they are thought to be repulsive by many, and hedonistic by others. They concentrate much of their mystic energies on the ‘chaar-chand’ (bengali for four-moons), i.e. the four body fluids, on the nine-doors or ‘naba-dwar’, i.e. the openings of the body, prakriti which implies both the woman and the nature, and a control of breathing, known as ‘domo-sadhona’. Many Baul gurus were and still are also poets. Lalan Fakir, one of the most famous of them, was
at the same time a revolutionary and a holy man. Lalan created more than 5000 such songs. In this poetry, the outer meaning looks sometimes very materialistic. However the inner meaning, which is not accessible to everyone, includes teachings related to notions such as srishti tattva (doctrine of the creation of the world), atma tattva (doctrine of the soul), deha tattva (doctrine of the body), prem tattva (doctrine of love), etc. The singing style of Bauls is linked to other Bengali folk culture, from tribal to village and even urban life. But Bauls have established their own singing style, within which individual and regional styles sometimes remain very distinctive. Bauls always sing and dance together in such a way that the mind melts into the soul in a harmonious way. While dancing energy becomes fluidlike and intense. This movement helps the ego to dissolve with only the Baul consciousness remaining. The baul were recorded as a major sect as early as mid 18th century.
Baul singers at Shanti Niketan, during the colour festival Holi 0r Phagwa, Mar 2004
Concepts and practices Baul music celebrates celestial love, but does this in very earthy terms, as in declarations of love by
the Baul for his life mate. With such a liberal interpretation of love, it is only natural that Baul devotional music transcends religion and some of
the most famous Baul composers, such as Lalan Fakir, have been of Muslim faith. Baul music The music of the Bauls, refers to a particular type of folk song of sung by Bauls. It carries influences of Hindu bhakti movements as well as the Sufi, a form of Sufi song. These were later exemplified by the songs of Kabir. Their music represents a long heritage of preaching mysticism through songs in Bengal, like Shahebdhoni or Bolahadi sects. These wandering master singers of Bengal play musical instruments made by them to accompany their songs: Bauls use a number of musical instruments to embellish their compositions. 1. The ‘ektara’ is a one-stringed drone instrument, and by far the most common instrument used by a Baul singer. It is the carved from the base of a gourd, and made of bamboo and goatskin. 2. Other commonly used musical instruments include the dotara, a multi-stringed instrument made of the wood; 3. the Dugi, a small hand-held earthen drum; 4. percussion instruments like dhol and khol; 5. Dotara, a long necked instrument with four strings. 6. Khamak, a strange percussion and string instrument. 7. GUNGUR and NUPPUR, ankle instruments. Rabindranath Tagore and the Bauls The famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore was greatly influenced and inspired by Bauls. Here is translation of a famous Rabindra sangeet (Tagore song), influenced by Baul theme: The man of my heart dwells inside me. Everywhere I behold, it's Him! In my every sight, in the sparkle of light Oh I can never lose Him -Here, there and everywhere, Wherever I turn, right in front is He! <Rabindranath Tagore>
The songs of the Bauls and their lifestyle influenced a large swath of Bengali culture, but nowhere did it leave its imprint more powerfully than in the work of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindra Nath Tagore talked of Bauls in a number of speeches in Europe in the 1940s and an essay based on these was compiled into his English book ‘The Religion of Man’: The Bauls are an ancient group of wandering minstrels from Bengal, who believe in simplicity in life and love. They are similar to the Buddhists in their belief in a fulfilment which is reached by love's emancipating us from the dominance of self. Where shall I meet him, the Man of my Heart? He is lost to me and I seek him wandering from land to land. I am listless for that moonrise of beauty, which is to light my life, which I long to see in the fullness of vision in gladness of heart. [p.524] The above is a translation of the famous Baul song by Gagan Harkara: Ami kothAy pAbo tAré, AmAr maner mAnush Jé ré.(Bengali dilect). The following extract is a translation of another song: My longing is to meet you in play of love, my Lover; But this longing is not only mine, but also yours. For your lips can have their smile, and your flute its music, only in your delight in my love; and therefore you importunate, even as I am. The poet proudly says: ‘Your flute could not have its music of beauty if your delight were not in my love. Your power is great - and there I am not equal to you - but it lies even in me to make you smile and if you and I never meet, then this play of love remains incomplete.’ This feeling that man is not a mere casual visitor at the palace-gate of the world, but the invited guest whose presence is needed to give the royal banquet its sole meaning, is not confined to any particular sect in India.
A large tradition in medieval devotional poetry from Rajasthan and other parts of India also bear the same message of unity in celestial and romantic love and that divine love can be fulfilled only through its human beloved. Tagore's own compositions were really influenced by Baul ideology. His music also bears the stamp of many Baul tunes. Other Bengali poets, such as Kazi Nazrul Islam, have also been influenced by Baul music and its message of non-sectarian devotion through love. Present status Bauls are to be found in the Indian state of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh. The Baul movement was at its peak in the 19th and early 20th centuries but, even today one comes across the occasional Baul with his â€˜ektaraâ€™ (singlestringed musical instrument) and begging bowl,
singing across the far flung villages of rural Bengal. Travelling in local trains and attending village fairs are a good way to encounter Bauls. One of the biggest festivals for this sect of wandering minstrels is held in the month of January at Kenduli in the Birbhum district, a four-day fest organized in memory of the mystical poet Jayadeva. There are also the Western Bauls in America and Europe under the spiritual direction of Lee Lozowick, a student of Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Their music is quite different (rock /gospel/ blues) but the essence of the spiritual practices of the East is well maintained. The present day Hare Krishna movement bears effect of Bauls. What Bauls used to do singing and dancing from place to place on the street one can see the reflection of this in the Krishna Consciousness movement.
From the desk of TAOSHOBUDDHA
hakti is the movement of heart. The entire movement is vast like unfathomable ocean whose depth is immeasurable. This present effort is like an effort to encompass the entire ocean in a tea spoon. The development of Bhakti has been gradual and each era has added something to the sublimity of the movement. This has been a small effort and to continue the trends alive. While planning the contents of this issue, the Chief Editor, Swami Anand Neelambar mentioned that this current issue of June 2009 to be an issue on Bhakti, many thoughts ran through. It was felt difficult to present the entire matter within this narrow frame work.
Then it was decided to present a preview into Bhakti. It is like you are in a new yet strange place. You are eager to explore this new place. With the first ray of sun you open the window to get the first glimpse of the sceneries, feel the freshness of breeze. This is essential before you plunder into the world of new place. Though Bhakti is natural and spontaneous of human heart this present issue is like a framed picture depiction of Bhakti. The efforts will attain fruition when this present issue and the subsequent ones can kindle the spark for inner development deep within you. Love, Taoshobuddha
SAHJO BAI ESSENCE OF BHAKTI Very few women in the history of human consciousness have attained. Sahjobai is one of these rare ones. Like Mira, Lalleshwari, Dayabai and Rabia Al Basri Sahjobai attained to inner oneness and harmony through union with eternal beloved. Thus enlightenment happened.
master who belonged to the same clan and the state of Rajsthan. The extent of sahjo’s energy field can only be understood through her indepth poetry and devotion that she had for her master Charan das. Dayabai was her fellow disciple. I am taking you through the composition of Sahjobai.
Radha searched the blue boy, the flute bearer in madhuban – the treasureland of nectar of love on the banks of the blue river. Mira searched her eternal beloved, union with who she erelong solicited, deep within her. Rabia searched that eternity through her single – minded awareness. Through her devotion to the omnipresence of the divine in the form of Shiva Lalleshwari attained to inner oneness. Sahjo attained to his inner oneness through the grace of her master Charandas. Different paths but the three reached the state of inner oneness and awareness – inner fruition. And in their own way through different paths became the embodiment of compassion. Compassion overflowed and assumed the form of many compositions of diverse nature – poetry, singing , dance and at times a combination of all.
This particular composition reflects the light of awareness of Sahjobai on the significance of the master in inward journey. This is salutation to the awareness of the master. Remember master is not a physical being that is once born and dies after life is over. Master is a state of inner growth, growth of awareness, state of harmony and oneness both within and without. Sahjo refers to this state of awareness and pays her obescience. For Sahjo this state of bliss and ecstacty manifested as her master Charan das.
Today I take you through the poetic compositions of Sahjobai. And through through the energy field of Sahjobai. Bhakti is the essential core of human existence. Without bhakti the life remains barren full of thorns. Sahjobai was born and brought up in Rajputana part of Rajsthan. She was a great devotee who has attained. She belonged to the mystical path of inner development. Nothing concrete is available about her birth and life. Very scanty information is available about her life and birth. Her writings reveal something of the period of her advent. However one thing is clear that she is the disciple of Charan das a
A master wants you to grow and not gather anything superfluous. A master creates situations for your potentiality to explode. If a master tells you something that agrees with you then you cannot learn. It will simply strength your old mind. And a master cannot do this. He has to destroy the old for new to take birth. He takes away the burden of all that you have been carrying. His role is to create a space in you. When you cling to conclusions, philosophies, ideas, conclusions, and prejudices; you will not meet a master. He has to destroy all these. No speculation about conclusion is needed. He is interested in real thing not conclusions. Sahjo has experienced this in the company of her master Charan das. A call from him when she was dressing up to go to husband’s place after the wedding has changed the course of her life. It was a call from the deepest core of her being. Master was just a reminder. Sahjo heard the call and responded
by following the master against the wishes and displeasure of her family members. Sahjo says one of the basic requirements for a seeker is to be a learner. Who is a learner? Definitely not the one who is a – priori conclusions. Instead one who always functions out of innocence and awe? One should not carry any conclusion. Because when you have conclusions you cannot learn. Why? When you
have a conclusion you only want a confirmation. And when you go to learn from anyone and something goes against your conclusion, your ego will get hurt. Then you are not learning anything. In such a case only your old prejudice is strengthened more. Sahjo says the moment you are ready with inner preparation the master appears. This she says out of her inner experience.
Now the Sutras of Sahjobai!
kr jaerU< prnam kir xrU< crn pr sIs, dada guru sukdev jI pUrn ibSbe bIs.1. prmh<s tarn trn guru devn guru dev Anu-E va[I dIjI@ shjae pave -ev.2. Namea nmea guru devn deva nmae nmea guru Agm A-eva Namea nmea inrl<binrasa Namea nmea prmatm basa Namea nmea it&-uvn ke SvamI Namea nmea guru A<tr yamI Namea nmea guru patk hrta nmea nmea parayn krta git mit Dake AanNd rUpa nmea nmea guru b&hm srUpa nmea nmea mm pa&[ ipyare nmea nmea itrgu[ te inyare -iKt }an yaeg ke raja shjae ke purvae sb kaja Jaae kae# zr[ tuMharI Aayae tuiryatIt ib}an bsayae inrml Aan<d det hE b&hm rUp kir det FOLDED HANDS I SALUTE AND PUT MY FOREHEAD ON HIS FEET AS OBESCIENCE THE MAHA GURU SUKHDEV JI – MASTER OF TOTALITY AND ETERNITY I VOW ERELONG ENLIGHTENED ONE! THE RESCUER OF THE INNOCENT ONES! THE MASTER OF MASTERS! GRANT THE BOON OF ETERNITY AND SOLACE TO MY MESSAGE – THE WAY SAHJO SEEK THE ESSENCE OF THE UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABLE! SALUTATIONAS TO THE MASTER OF MASTERS SALUTATIONS TO THE MASTER THE FOREMOST SALUTATIONS TO ONE WHERE DESPAIR FINDS NO BASE SALUTATIONS TO ONE WHERE DIVINITY DWELLS SALUTATIONS TO THE MASTER OF THE THREE UNIVERSES SALUTATIONS TO THE MASTER OF THE BEING – THE KNOWER PAREXCELLENCE
SALUTATION TO ONE DESTROYER OF ALL PAIN AND DESPAIR SALUTATIONS TO THE ONE – THE RESTORER OF HARMONY ONE WHOSE VERY FORM IS BLISS SALUTATION TO THE MASTER - EMBODIMENT OF BRAHMA – EVER EXPANDING CONSCIOUSNESS! SALUTATIONS TO O BELOVED ONE! SALUTATIONS TO THE ONE UNIQUE IN ENTIRE CREATION THE KING OF BHAKTI, AND YOGA ONE WHO FULFILLS ALL WORKS OF SAHJO ONE WHO COMES THY COMPANY CERTAINLY ATTAINS TO THE BEYONDNESS AND KNOWING BEYOND ALL KNOWINGS [THIS IS ENGLISH COMPOSITIONS OF THE SENTIMENTS OF SAHJO BAI IN HER HINDI COMPOSITION – TAOSHOBUDDHA] In doing so Sahjo follows the tradition of master and disciple. Paying the respects to the master or vowing down are not mere rituals. There is a deep mystical meaning in this process. Putting the head at the feet of the master is not a mere ritual. Instead it is a mystical symbol. Head represents beliefs, conditions, knowledge, ancient past etc. Putting head at the feet of the master or surrender implies abandoning the ways of the life up to now. With master begins the way of catharsis. Surrender implies abandoning the past and beginning a new life of love and awareness. All knowledge that you have gathered, all your beliefs etc have not helped you in the process of your inward journey. It is hanging around your neck like a big stone that is enough to drown you. The aura around master prepares you for the inward journey. This is what Sahjo is indicating with this gesture. Sahjo continues the composition by remembering her master. ‘The master appears only when the disciple is
The world is full of people who go on searching something outside even without creating a corresponding receptivity within. I have come across many such seekers who go on searching for a master. And remain unaware that the disciple within is absent in them. Disciple within is one side of receptivity. Only this receptivity can attract the master. Remember master is not an objective phenomenon. First the master has to be something inside you. Master inside means disciple-hood! A preparation! A thirst! An intense desire! A passion for exploring truth! In most of the people this is lacking. And then when such a person goes on the search for a master he cannot find. He may come across many masters. But he will go on missing. You cannot find a master unless you are vulnerable. You cannot see a master unless the disciple is born in you. The search for the master begins with the search for being a disciple. A real seeker does not bother about searching the master. His whole concern is to give birth to a disciple in him.
ready.’ This is not philosophy or Sufi scripture. Also this is not the Sufi way alone. Instead this is how it happens in the world of spiritualism. And this never happens in no other way and also at no other time in man’s eternal journey. When the disciple is ready Master appears.
Being a disciple means how to be a learner, how to open to reality. Being a disciple means how to function through innocence. Functioning out of state of knowledge – a priori conclusion is not going to help in the process of inward growth.
In the process of growth the disciple has to earn eyes to see the beauty. Flowers are blossoming every moment but if you do not have eyes, you cannot see the beauty. The sky is filled with stars of immense beauty, but not for you. The sun rises in immense beauty and splendour but not for you. Unless you develop eyes there is no beauty.
When you are functioning from the state of knowledge you will find many teachers but never a master. If you know something already or think that you know, you will only find other knower. You can only meet persons like you. A person who functions from the state of knowledge will only find many teachers and will continue to learn. Such a person will never find a master.
So too if there is no love in your heart overflowing you will not discover the beloved. Only love can discover love. Only lover can discover beloved. Only eyes can find beauty. And only innocence of the ear can find music and melody.
To find a master you have to be a child like. Utterly innocent – empty of any conclusions! Only full of passion for truth then suddenly you will find you need not go anywhere. The master will come to you instead.
Master appears when the disciple is ready. Such is the promise of God to you. The existence wants you to explore your potential. So it continues to watch your inner preparation. Seek the disciple in you first. Then master will appear. This is one of the basic requirements for a seeker. The seeker has to be a learner. Who is a learner? Definitely not the one who is a – priori conclusions. Instead one who always functions out of innocence and awe? One should not carry any conclusion. Because when you have conclusions you cannot learn. Why? When you have a conclusion you only want a confirmation. And when you go to learn from anyone and something goes against your conclusion, your ego will get hurt. Then you are not learning anything. In such a case only your old prejudice is strengthened more. A master wants you to grow and not gather anything superfluous. A master creates situations for your potentiality to explode. If a master tells you something that agrees with you then you cannot learn. It will simply strength your old mind. And a master cannot do this. He has to destroy the old for new to take birth. He takes away the burden of all that you have been carrying. His role is to create a space in you. When you cling to conclusions, philosophies, ideas, conclusions, and prejudices; you will not meet a master. He has to destroy all these. No speculation about conclusion is needed. He is interested in real thing not conclusions. Iranian mystical poet Omar Khayyam says what you shall gain by talking about those who are drunk. No matter how much is said about anything it will remain far from reality. Reality cannot be put into words. Reality is inexpressible.
Become a disciple. Seek to be a disciple. And when you are ready thus the master will appear. But master appears in strange ways and means sometimes. One thing is certain master always appears. When someone is ripe, God starts coming in many ways. Master is the last visible form, God descends in. Master is the last formful experience. Beyond him there is only formlessness. Master is the last one who looks like you! Talks like you! Lives like you! To whom you can touch! Whom you can relate! However, in fact he is like you plus much more. Beyond him only silence is. Bodilessness is! An enlightened Raman used to say to his disciples, ‘If you want to be with me, you will have to unlearn. If you do not unlearn, then I have nothing to give you. You are already full.’ Such is the situation of all the masters. This Sahjo emphasises through this composition on masters. In various forms and way she goes on extolling the master and as an expression of her gratitude for her inner development she salutes the master in many ways. This composition is full of such salutations. Certainly a company of the master brings awakening and with awakening something of the master is transferred on to the disciple and he starts flowing with the same awareness and understanding. An ecstatic Sahjo sings:
ONE WHO FULFILLS ALL WORKS OF SAHJO ONE WHO COMES THY COMPANY CERTAINLY ATTAINS TO THE BEYONDNESS AND KNOWING BEYOND ALL KNOWINGS Only this much for now!
BHAKTI AND GYAN Bhakti and Gyan are two wings for transcendence. Or you can say these are two sides of the same coin. Bhakti is the fruition of love in its sublimity. When love attains to fruition Bhakti or devotion is born. Gyan comes through moment to moment awareness. Awareness comes through mindfulness. Once you are mindful of every moment, situation and circumstance in your day to day life and events you will begin to grow in awareness. The ultimate in awareness leads to meditativeness. This is the journey of Gyan or knowing. I am not referring to accumulation of information that comes through memory. Awareness, meditation and Gyan or knowing has nothing to do with memory. Memory is of the mind. And awareness comes when you transcend the finite boundaries of mind. This is beyondness – the ultimate flowering.
does not matter from where your journey begins. Ultimately when you attain you will find the other shore. Like the two shores or two parallel lines these are always together. It is the confluence or where Bhakti and Gyan intersect one another will determine the level of your inward growth. The more such intersection your consciousness accumulates in the same proportion is your bliss. Our effort is to take you through such a journey through our humble efforts in producing Meditations Times. Next month we shall delve deeper to probe the inner mysteries of knowing. I say knowing not knowledge. The difference we explore in our July issue of Meditation Times wherein we focus on Saraswati – the goddess of inner knowing.
Bhakti and Gyan are not separate from one another. Instead both are necessary for inward journey. It
“In this world there is an old saying: There may be delay but there is no injustice. I say to you that neither is there any delay nor is there any injustice. Because why should there be even a delay? If there is a delay then it will also become an injustice. This delay can be long. If you love today and you get the response after millions and millions of lives, then it would also be an injustice. So I say that neither is there any delay nor is there any injustice. If you love, then you will immediately receive; you receive in the loving itself. Receiving is not dependent on the other, it is the echo of your love. It is the resonance of your love. The same will return to you which you give. So people say: "We loved but we did not receive any love." The reality is that you have not loved; your love was only a pretension, a deception. The reality was that you were expecting love. Without loving, just by talking about love, you wanted to get love. You had only been talking about love and in return you wanted the other's heart, the other's surrender, the other's whole being and you could not get it. The other was also doing the same thing so that the talking about love should continue, the writing poems of love - but no sharing of any kind - so that there would be possession of the other's being. Both wanted to get it for free, both wanted to get it without giving, hence the conflict.”