SURAT SHABD YOG
"Close all seven outlets of your senses;
If you meditate on the point between your eyebrows,
You will find Darshan of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar;
Devote your time to meditation"
Surat Shabd Yog is a way of purifying the Jivatman (individuated self) and conjoining with the Supreme Consciousness. The Sadhana (Spiritual Practice) of Surat Shabd Yog has been considered a Sadhana of Systematic and ardent form of devotional love. Thus total submission of the self to the Guru, intense love and living with purity, are unavoidable aspects of this way of Sadhana. Ardent devotional love is the basis of this Sadhana.
"As a mother loves her child,
and a lover loves his beloved,
If one loves their Guru,
They will find and tread the right path"
The Surat Shabd Yog is a ‘Devyan Marg' narrated in scriptures and this is the Vaishnavi Sadhana, continued since time began, which is practiced by sitting in the Vaishnavi posture. With the regular chanting of the Naam (Mantra) conferred by Satguru and the following of his given instructions, Naad (Melody) begins to appear at an advanced stage of practice. By listening to the Naad and by ascending various centres of consciousness in the Sushmna, the soul or consciousness achieves oneness with the Supreme ocean of consciousness.
It can be gleaned from Sant Kabir Sahib's poetry that during ancient times, before the practice of Surat Shabd Yog, the Ashtaang Yog Sadhana used to be practiced. It was a Sadhana of Shabd, practiced after sitting in difficult postures and performing breathing exercises. This procedure took very long and was difficult too. So the perfect saint, Tulsi Sahib, and after him Swamiji Maharaj of Agra, made some alterations and preached the practice of Surat Shabd Yog, with the support of Pranayam only. This was further simplified by Huzur Malik Sahib, who preached the practice of Surat Shabd Yog by only chanting the Naam.
The Soul is conscious, pure, non-complex and abounds with happiness, but evils have veiled it, resulting in worldly desires, anger, ego etc. But there are those veils also which reveal positive qualities such as forgiveness, serenity, love and generosity, etc. All these positive or negative; auspicious and inauspicious qualities together, are thinking parts of the Mind. Through this perspective, the Mind has two sides to it: the ugly and the beautiful.
Our body has nine doorways, five senses, five organs and twenty five temperaments. Every information reaches the Mind through the senses, and then desires are aroused in the Mind which are fulfilled through the organs. Information about substances reaches through the Senses and the Organs accordingly act upon it. Thus, work done by the Organs are called Karmas (Deeds) which are of three types:
1. Kriyaman Karma
2. Sanchit Karma
3. Prarabdh Karma
Deeds performed in the present are called Kriyaman Karmas. If the fruit of these Karmas is received in the present life, they can be obliterated in the present. Otherwise they accumulate, thereby amassing as Sanchit Karmas. When a human being is born, the creator picks up a part of these Sanchit Karmas and decides his destiny which is called Prarabdh, which the individual soul experiences till they are exhausted. The uniqueness of Sanchit Karmas is that they give rise to Kriyanman Karmas, adding them cyclically. In the course of regular practice of Parmarth, Sanchit Karmas are exhausted. Thus the cause of Kriyaman Karmas is naturally exhausted, but Prarabdh Karmas have to be experienced to become exhausted. Saint Huzur Daata Dayal has said "Sanchit Karmas motivate Kriyanman Karmas. Until effort is made to erase Sanchit Karmas, the creation of Kriyaman Karmas and through them, the addition in Sanchit Karmas, will not cease."
The practice of Surat Shabd Yog erases Sanchit Karmas gradually, ending the amassing of Kriyaman Karmas. Prarabdh Karmas are exhausted by the experiences in the apparent body. Through intense devotional love and pain of separation and practice of 'Shabd', Karmas are eroded:
"Ragad lagae chitron par dhun ki,
Ghatat jayae Shakti traeya gun ki,
Karma chitra nit mitte jaaven,
Aug vikari ghatte jaaven'
- Huzur Daata Dayal
(When we hear the Naam or shabd it reacts, washing away the impressions of past deeds, the strength of the three qualities (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) is weakened, impressions of past deeds are erased, all the unrighteous aspects of the practitioner gradually vanish).
In this manner, upon Karmas becoming ineffectual, the soul finds release from "physical and astral attachments and returns to its actual abode shedding the burden of its Karmas". Karmas are the perpetuators of the Action chain and Cycle of Birth and Re- birth of the individual Soul. It is the aim of Parmarth Sadhana to release the individual Soul from this cycle of Karmas and carry it progressively, towards the path of ultimate welfare (Supreme Prosperity).