Q. 46. How is the Abhyas (practices) of Surat Shabd Yoga performed ?
Ans. The current of Shabd (sound) is coming from higher regions. It
is resounding and reverberating in the inner recesses of every being
at all times. This Shabd or sound is to be heard by Surest or
spirit, i.e., one has to apply one's Surest to the current of Shabd
inside, and raise it along the same current, beyond Pind and
Brahmand. This Abhyas (practice) is called Surat Shabd Yoga.
Q. 47. If the current of Shabd is coming down from above, how will
the current of Surat rise upward along with it ?
Ans. Surat rises up like a fish in a current of water falling down
from above. Datailed account can be had from Sat Guru of the time or
with His permission from any sincere Abhyasi and Satsangi.
Q. 48. How is initiation given ?
Ans. There is no ceremony connected with initiation. When an
adhikari (fitted) person, with a true yearning, comes, the
principles of the Faith are explained to him. If he is convinced of
the superiority of this Faith, he is initiated in Surat Shabd Yoga,
which takes about three quarters of an hour. If a person with true
yearning is unable to come to Agra for the purpose, he is initiated
in the preliminary mode of devotion, by post. There are two stages
of initiation. The first stage or the preliminary mode of devotion
consists of Sumiran (repetition of the Holy Name) and Dhyan
(contemplation of the form of the spiritual guide), and the second
stage or the more advanced mode of devotion, called Bhajan, is the
practice of listening to Shabd or sound coming from heavenly regions
Q. 49. How is Abhyas (practice) performed ?
Ans. Bhajan is the practice of listening internally to the heavenly
sound, and raising Surat along with it. Dhyan is the practice of
fixing internally Surat, mind and sight on the form of the Sant Sat
Guru. Sumiran is the practice of repeating mentally the Holy Name
RADHASOAMI. These are the three modes of Abhyas (spiritual practices
and devotional exercises). For persons possessing greater adhikar
(fitness), Bhajan is the main practice, and Sumiran and Dhyan are
subsidiary. Whereas for persons of lesser adhikar (fitness), greater
stress is on Dhyan and Sumiran, and Bhajan is secondary. In other
words, advanced Abhyasis (practitioners) should collect and
concentrate their mind and spirit, disengaging them from all
internal and external thoughts and activities, and engage in Bhajan,
i.e., in listening attentively to the sound current. The less
advanced Abhyasis should, in the first instance, perform Sumiran and
Dhyan for some time, for collecting and concentrating their mind and
spirit, and then engage in Bhajan. Abhyasis of both the classes
should, whenever they get time, recite of Bani (compositions) and
read discourses of Sants intelligently, grasping their true import,
and should act accordingly as far as they can. Persons of the third
category, i.e., of the least adhikar (fitness), should engage in
Sewa (service) of the Sant Sat Guru of the time and attend His
Satsang. They should also perform Sumiran and Dhyan, as much as they
can, and recite Banis and read discourses intelligently and act upon
the teachings as far as possible. Detailed knowledge on this topic
can be had from the Sant Sat Guru, and He alone knows the class or
category to which a Satsangi belongs.
Q. 50. What is Sewa (service) ?
Ans. To obey sincerely the orders of the Sant Sat Guru of the time
and to perform the internal Abhyas attentively, in accordance with
the method disclosed by Him, is internal Sewa (service). To
attentively attend the Satsang of Sat Guru or Sadh and to recite;
read and study the Bani and discourses of Sants, or to hear them
recited or read, and to render service to Sat Guru and His
Satsangis, whenever there is an occasion to do so, enthusiastically
and lovingly, constitute external Sewa (service).
Q. 51. How to recognize a true Parmarthi ?
Ans. He is a true Parmarthi who is imbued with a sincere desire of
meeting the Supreme Being. In his heart of hearts he does not depend
on any one except the Supreme Being and the Sant Sat Guru. He
regards the practices which would take him to the darbar (court) of
the Supreme Being as the most important work, and, if necessity
arises, he is prepared to sacrifice all the objects of the world to
achieve this end. A Parmarthi is he who abhors sensual pleasures and
longs for Parmarth. He has no affection for wealth and progeny. He
does not hanker after worldly objects. He is not a slave of his body
and senses. He has discarded sleep, hunger and lethargy. He is
afflicted with the pangs of separation from his Beloved. He roams
about in search of a true Sadh and Guru.
Q. 52. How should a true Parmarthi (seeker of spiritual
regeneration) and Abhyasi (practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga) behave ?
Ans. He should minimize talk, food and sleep. He should engage
himself in worldly affairs only to the extent necessary. He should
be sincere in his dealings. He should perform Bhajan, Sumiran and
Dhyan with love, yearning and sincerity, as much and as many times
as he can. He should serve the Sat Guru of the time lovingly and
earnestly and to the extent He pleases. He should scrupulously
abstain from meat, wine and other intoxicants. He should attend the
Satsang of Huzur Radhasoami Dayal as much and as frequently as
possible. If such a Satsang cannot be availed of, he should recite
His Bani and read His discourses carefully and intelligently,
thinking that they are addressed to him. He should always avoid
kusang, i.e., the company of the wordly people. He should not waste
his time. He should disengage and detach himself from such
activities as tend the spirit-current to flow outward. He should
turn his mind and Surat inwards. He should not raise any unnecessary
and improper desires for riches, honour and pleasures of the world.
Q. 53. What is inward and outward flow of mind and Surat ?
Ans. The outward flow refers to Surat's attachment, through the
sense organs, to the objects of the world. To turn it (surat)
inside, detach it from worldly objects, to engender true love and
faith in the Holy Feet of the Supreme Being, and always to remember
His Nam (Name), Dham (Abode) and Swarup (Form) constitute inward
flow of Surat.
Q. 54. How can one make one's Surat flow inwards ?
Ans. There are different methods of turning Surat inwards for
recluses and house-holders. In the first category is he who has cut
off all worldly connections and ties, who has adopted the saran
(taken refuge) of Sat Guru Radhasoami Dayal, and who is supplied
lodging, boarding, raiment and other necessaries by Sat Guru. It is
incumbent upon such a person to recite Bani and read discourses for
an hour at least, twice or thrice every day, and, as a rule, daily
to perform Dhyan and Sumiran for three hours and Bhajan for another
three hours. If Satsang is available, he must attend it, and in that
case, it will not be necessary to recite Bani and read discourses
separately. He should perform Sumiran and Dhyan and Bhajan, each for
two hours. He should always be vigilant and watchful on his mind. He
should, as far as possible, refrain from indulging in
improper thoughts and reveries. He should be careful that his mind
does not lead him to evil acts. He should abstain totally from such
evils as kam, krodh, etc., and the sensual enjoyments (which produce
outward tendency in Surat and mind), as for instance, dance, songs,
fairs, entertainments, shows, sauntering or lounging in markets,
reading books of stories and novels, playing chaupar, chess, cards,
etc., using hemp, opium and other intoxicants, which produce
dryness, unconsciousness and lethargy, and hankering after delicious
dishes and showy dresses. He should always remember that the world
is perishable and death is certain. He should serve the Sat Guru of
the time with his body, mind and riches, and should obey His orders.
When he is troubled by any evil tendency, he should report to the
Sat Guru, and act as He orders. The foremost thing for a householder
is to loosen and lighten his worldly ties and to maintain his
connections only to the extent necessary. He should never poke his
nose into those matters with which he is not concerned. He should
always work honestly and leave the result of his efforts to the Mauj
(will) of the Supreme Being. He should not be much affected by pain
and pleasure, nor engrossed in sensual pleasures. He should render
service to the Sat Guru of the time and the devotees, as much as he
can. He should perfdorm Sumiran and Dhyan for an hour at least, and
Bhajan for another hour, both morning and evening every day; and if
possible, three or four hours daily. He must attend Satsang, when
ever available. He should daily devote some time to reading
discourses carefully, paticularly ehen Satsang is not available.
Q. 55. What is real love ?
Ans. Love is of two kinds, internal and external. To turn inside all
the currents of Surat which are engrossed in senses and their
pleasures, by Abhyas (spiritual practices) and apply them (currents
of Surat) to the real form of the Supreme Being, namely, Shabd, and
be always absorbed in its bliss, is internal love. To be thrilled
and exhilarated on hearing the discourses and having the darshan of
the Sat Guru of the time, to be impressed with His utterances, to
keep His teachings in mind, to gaze at Him and to serve Him
enthusiastically, constitute external love.
Q. 56. What time will it take to gain access to higher regions by
the performance of Abhyas ?
Ans. There is no hard and fast rule. It all depends upon sincere
yearning and love, purity of mind and the extent of efforts. A high
class Satsangi can attain in days what others cannot do in years.
Nevertheless, an average devotee will begin to experience some bliss
and joy in his Abhyas (practices) in a few days; and after
performing Abhyas for three or four years, he will himself come to
know what time will be required for his Surat to reach any higher
Q. 57: How is it that some Abhyasis (practitioners) get little
benefit even after a long time ?
Ans. They do not attend Satsang and perform Abhyas in accordance
with the rules of abstinence. As a matter of fact, they are not
entitled to be called Abhyasis. They are altogether outward and
showy persons. Otherwise, real Abhyas will surely and in a short
time show its benefit and result. Abhyasis or Satsangis are of four
kinds. Firstly, those who memorise everything by reading books and
listening to discourses. They are like a person who by reading
medical books or hearing about them, simply memorises the recipes.
Secondly, those who simply, for show, close their eyes and sit down
for some time; They are like a person who takes in medicine but
throws it out. Thirdly, those who diligently perform Abhyas but
always or sometimes indulge in sensual pleasures. They are like a
person who swallows medicine but does not keep full abstinence.
Fourthly, those who perform Abhyas with diligence, love and
enthusiasm, and keep themselves. always aloof from sensual
pleasures. They are like a person who takes medicine and observes
full abstinence. Accordingly, Abhyasis of the fourth category reap
Q. 58. What is the harm in giving up Abhyas after performing it for
some time or not observing full abstinence ?
Ans. If real Abhyas is performed in the manner described in class
four above, even for a short time, it cannot be given up
subsequently. But if anybody does not have sincere love and
yearning, and gives up Abhyas after some time, his further spiritual
progress will be suspended, and he will experience no bliss. He
will, however, undoubtedly get the benefit of the Abhyas already
performed. But he will derive very little bliss if he breaks the
rules of abstinence, etc.