Benefits of a Spiritual Master

During last Sunday’s powerful spiritual discourse, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj shared a particularly moving story.

A father and his young son were traveling together, when the child became frightened by a bee buzzing inside the car. The father told the boy not to worry, that the bee would not bother him. Concerned over his son’s growing fear, the father suddenly snatched the flying bee in his fist, held it for a few moments, then opened his hand to release it. Seeing the boy even more alarmed by the flying bee, the father lovingly reassured him by opening his hand to show the stinger embedded in his palm.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj then explained that this is one of the great benefits spiritual Masters bring to our lives. Out of love and compassion, they help us deal with our storehouse of karmas, accumulated through ages of transmigration, even to the extent of sometimes bearing our karmas themselves.

This concept is not unique to the Sant Mat tradition. We find it in many of the world’s great spiritual traditions–in the Bodhisattva’s vow, the Passion of Christ, the healing touch of saints like Ramakrishna, and what Theosophists call “shouldering the karmic burdens of others.” In short, it is God’s love expressed through spiritually realized beings as compassion, grace, and self-sacrifice.

This is just one of the many benefits spiritual Masters bring to humanity. These are not, after all, ordinary human beings. Yes, they have bodies, minds, and souls just as we do. However, but by virtue of having completed the course of their own spiritual development and fully realized their identity with the Divine, they are able to assist other souls in completing the spiritual journey. That help reaches us in many forms.

At the intellectual level, our understanding deepens through their wisdom and guidance. We cherish their inspiration and support in our efforts to become better human beings. We practice the powerful meditation technique they teach, strengthening our own connection to the Divine. Above all, they restore our spiritual perception, connect us with the Naam or Word–the divine Light and Sound of God–and then serve as our inner guide, as we transcend physical and mental consciousness through meditation, and traverse the spiritual regions within. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes:

When we try to understand the spiritual path or God, the Creative force, we cannot experience it in its true original state, because we are in the human body, and those experiences are beyond the realm of human experience. The two primary manifestations of God, the divine Light and the divine Sound of God, are within us. To connect to the Light and Sound, which is the power of God within ourselves, we need that door to be opened so that we can go and partake of it. Therein lies the role of a spiritual Master, a mystic, a saint, a murshid, or whatever name we might use for someone who can help us to be connected with that divinity within.

Benefits of a Living Master

followed by Questions & Answers
with Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Saturday, April 21, 4:00-5:00 PM
Science of Spirituality Meditation Center
4S175 Naperville Road
Naperville, IL
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This Saturday, April 21, at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, Mike Ribet will explore this and many other benefits of having a spiritual Master. If you are committed to spiritual advancement, we hope you will join us and consider the many ways a spiritual Master can help you.

After the program, you are invited to stay for a question/answer session with Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

And on Sunday, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj continues his series of Chicagoland spiritual programs with a discourse in Aurora, IL. See the location for both programs in the left column.

We look forward to meeting you this weekend.

Verses for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. This month poetry is everywhere, as writers, teachers, and literary organizations strive to raise awareness of the richness poetry can bring to our lives. In most wisdom traditions, poetry has a central role in expressing the inexpressible truths of spirituality. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes:

Poetry is the gentle voice of the soul subtly beckoning us to hear its messages from the Beyond. The inspiring words that issue forth from a poet’s lips come from spheres far beyond this physical realm to uplift humanity. In their verses, poets touch upon many themes, ranging from love, to spiritual yearnings, to hopes and aspirations, and to human unity.

In honor of this event, we offer two powerful stanzas from the great poet and Spiritual Master, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. His verses are followed by the poetic prose commentary of his son and spiritual successor, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.


Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj (left) and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

Let this world become a temple of love and peace,
Let love and Truth illumine the world,
And the adversaries of peace awaken to its Light.

This one line epitomizes what our world was meant to be. When God brought this world into being, it was all one holy temple made by His hands. When the world was created there was no religious formation. As Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj aptly put it: “The whole world is a temple of God— the sky overhead and the earth below.” He also stressed that God does not reside in temples made of stone by human hands; He resides in the temple He Himself has made— the human form.
In this poem, Sant Darshan Singh Ji is reminding us that this world should be a temple of love and peace.

Every person on our planet can sit together and worship God irrespective of their outer form of religion. There is one God, there is one earth, and there is the same soul in each person and every living thing. If we all joined together under the canopy of the sky and the sacred earth and shared in God’s bounties, we would find the peace and love for which we all pray. What a haven this world would be if we treated each other with kindness and sweetness. If we could only begin with our own individual lives, we would set the wheel of peace in motion.

This sacred land of God has been trampled with the burden of oppression.
Life is not a dagger stained with the blood of hatred;
It is a branch filled with the flowers of love and compassion.

What a noble vision Sant Darshan Singh Ji has of this life! He calls this earth “this sacred land of God.” If each person could think of this world as the abode of God, how could any of us do any wrong? Would we ever dream of residing in God’s heaven and hurting any other being there? This earth is also part of God’s heaven; it may not be made of the fine spiritual substance as the higher realms, yet it is still part of His handiwork. If we could only lead our lives as if this were God’s realm, there would definitely be an end to fighting and to war. If we could only think that we are in God’s territory, we would realize that all people are part of one big family. As brothers and sisters in the Lord, we would try to help each other and relieve each other’s pains.

All beings from the very young to the aged thrive on love. It gives joy, ecstasy, and sweetness to life. We should nourish all those we meet with life-giving love and compassion. How easy it is to utter a kind and encouraging word to those we meet. How happy we can make each other’s days. How simple it is to smile at others, to look at others with love in our eyes, and talk to each other with loving phrases. We offer flowers as a symbol of love to those who are near and dear to us. Let us offer flowers to all we meet.

It is my prayer that the poems of human integration that will be presented today serve to inspire and uplift us. Let us not only listen to them on this occasion alone. We should try to practice their advice in our day-to-day lives. Let us take home these bouquets of poems being offered by our honored guests and brothers and sisters from around the world. It is my hope that we carry these flowers with us in our hearts and in our actions so they emit the fragrance of love wherever we go.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj Leads Chicago Area Programs

H.H. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Science of Spirituality is pleased to announce that H.H. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj has returned to the United States and will lead a series of programs on meditation and spirituality in the Chicago area, starting in Lisle, IL on April 15. The program is free and all are welcome to attend.


PROGRAM DETAILS
Sunday, April 15, 2:30 PM
Wyndham Lisle-Chicago Hotel
3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL
map it | info: 630 955-1200 | register


Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is widely recognized as one of the great meditation teachers of our time, and has helped hundreds of thousands of seekers around the world to connect to their true selves by learning the art of meditation on the inner Light and Sound of God.

With Pope John Paul II at an interfaith conference in Rome.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s talks have been broadcast internationally on radio and television, and his publications include books in many languages and hundreds of articles on spiritual topics. His latest English books with corresponding Spanish and Hindi translations include: Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living (Radiance Publishers); Silken Thread of the Divine (SK Publications); Inner and Outer Peace through Meditation, Empowering Your Soul through Meditation, and Spark of the Divine (Radiance Publishers).

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s consistent message—to establish human unity at the level of the soul thereby transcending racial, cultural, national, religious and economic differences—has led him to participate in conferences throughout the world. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, he led an audience of thousands in meditation at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He received a peace award from the Interfaith Center of New York and the Temple of Understanding. He has spoken at a ceremony honoring UN Secretary Kofi Annan and was a featured spiritual leader at the 2000 Millennium Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders held at the United Nations.

H. H. the Dalai Lama attends a conference on mysticism and spirituality hosted by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj in Delhi, India.

In short, his continuing message has been one of inner and outer peace through deepening our connection to the divine within us. This experience transforms our lives as individuals  and extend to the lives of those around us. These individual transformations will ultimately bring unity and peace at the community, national and global levels.

Millions of people all over the world look to Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj for spiritual guidance, advice and inspiration. As a spiritual Master, his role is to help us recognize that we are soul and are a part of God. He offers a simple, effective method of meditation that leads to profound personal transformation and spiritual transcendence. He gives freely of his time, charging no admission for his talks, conferences, and meditation sessions. This is indeed a unique attribute, one he shares with all his predecessors who unanimously have claimed that “spirituality is free,” like the air we breath and the Sun that shines on all.

Courage and Your Spiritual Life

We tend to associate courage with dramatic acts of heroism in exceptional situations. But when you think about it, almost every day offers opportunities for courage as we face life’s many challenges, whether large or small.

We show courage when we stand strong in our ethical principles and are true to our spiritual goals. We show courage when we make the sacrifices required of a disciplined life of meditation. We show courage when we give of ourselves to help others or stand up to injustice or unfairness against ourselves or others. We show courage by remaining positive despite a physical, emotional, or financial adversity.

The flipside of courage is withdrawal in fear. Like courage, fear manifests every day in big ways and small ways, such as all our little worries over money, relationships, success and failure. The sad thing about fear is how much of it is based on imagination. Yet it places so much stress on us and causes so much missed opportunity. As Leo Buscaglia wrote: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

Psychologists tell us that part of becoming a whole person is learning to operate from an “internal focus of control,” by which they mean an inner strength born of our own values and convictions, rather than of the pressures of external forces. Finding that strong inner center is one of the great benefits of a meditative and spiritual life.

Courage and Your Spiritual Life

Saturday, April 7, 1:00-5:00 PM
Science of Spirituality Meditation Center
4S175 Naperville Road
Naperville, IL
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If worry and fear are more a part of your life than you would like, consider attending our upcoming half-day retreat/workshop on this subject. It’s called  Courage and Your Spiritual Life, and is part of our popular half-day retreat/workshop series. See details on the left and on the Events page.

Markus Schramm, who will lead the program, quotes the poet Maya Angelou, to explain that “courage is the most important of the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” The workshop, Markus says, will explore this concept, but in a practical way that applies it to leading deeper, richer lives.

In his book, Empowering the Soul through Meditation, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj describes fearlessness as one of the five inherent qualities of the soul:

Fearlessness is a quality of the empowered soul. Our soul lives in a perpetual state without fear. It is the source of all power and knows no fear. But tapping our soul, we can access this state of fearlessness so that we can face our fears and problems with renewed confidence, trust, and security.

Join us for Saturday’s program, which aims to provide practical ways to tap into the fearlessness that is inherent in us as spiritual beings.

The Spiritual Equinox

The metaphorical implications of the Spring Equinox are likely not lost on most spiritual seekers. In the Northern Hemisphere it occurs today, March 20. The Equinox represents a precise moment of balance, when Earth’s axis tilts neither toward nor away from the sun. But in the next fateful moment, Earth turns toward the light, leaving behind the dark, cold winter and entering the long days of warmth and beauty.

Those of us pursuing the spiritual path can take comfort in knowing the longest nights have passed. Sure, there will be dark and stormy times ahead, days and nights of sorrow and longing. But our Equinox has come. We have rounded the corner and entered the season of grace and spiritual awakening. We have turned toward the light.

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj would often say that the day the questions first rise in one’s consciousness, “Who am I?” “What is the purpose of life?” is the greatest day in one’s existence, because once those questions arise, the soul knows no rest until they are answered. The spiritual journey begins, and God leads the soul to a spiritual Master who has solved the mystery of life and can help others do the same.

Today, as the longest nights leave us and the lovely days grow longer, we’d like to share this remarkable time-lapsed video and follow it with a wonderful quote by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. (Once the video starts playing, click the full screen button on the lower right of the video.)

When Springtime Comes

For aeons our soul has been covered with layers of forgetfulness. In the beginning the soul was one with God. But for lifetimes it has been cycling through the wheel of eighty-four. In the panorama of life the soul has identified itself with the mind and body. It has forgotten itself. It passes through life after life in the darkness of the world, oblivious to the brilliant sunlight that awaits it in the higher planes.

It is only when an enlightened being comes in our midst that the snow and ice are thawed and the springtime of realization blooms. The bearer of the message of spring is the spiritual adept. He can awaken the sleeping soul from its long hibernation. He gives new life to the soul by arousing it from its slumber. He takes the soul into a world of sweet fragrant blossoms where there is nothing but joy and happiness.

Springtime will come when our soul realizes itself. An adept can help us identify with the soul within us. Through teaching us the process of meditation, we can discover our real self.

Meditation, according to those studying the Science of Spirituality, is the process by which we withdraw our attention, or soul, from the world outside and from our body and concentrate it at a point between and behind the two eyebrows. By focusing our attention there, we come in contact with a current of Light and Sound which will lead us from our physical consciousness into higher consciousness, into the Beyond.

There we will find eternal spring. There is always brilliant Light and the warmth of love. Our hearts are always in a perpetual state of wonderment. Just as lovers delight in being together in the flower gardens and the parks, with flowing fountains and rippling streams, so does the soul delight in being with its Beloved in the land of perpetual springtime. The soul is in ecstasy to be reunited with its Beloved Lord. There they live forever in a realm of immeasurable bliss and peace. We reach a state in which the air is dancing in jubilation. This is the great happiness that awaits us when the divine Cupbearer comes with the message of spring.

—Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Holi – When Hearts Meet

Science of Spirituality includes many ethnic groups and members of all faiths. The Naperville meditation center has especially large Spanish and Hindi-speaking communities. Everyone enjoys celebrating each culture’s special events and holidays, and we all try to appreciate the deeper, spiritual dimension from which many of these traditions arose.

On March 9, almost two hundred people gathered at the Center to celebrate the colorful Indian festival of Holi. The fun-filled evening began with everyone being welcomed to the Center with a dab of colored powder anointed on their forehead. While this is often a traditional greeting in India, it takes a special meaning on Holi, when people rub color on each others’ faces and throw handfuls of color at each other as well. Many people purposely wear white clothing to such gatherings and look like a riot of color before the festivities end.

Music is a major part of the Holi tradition.

There is a deep spiritual meaning behind this practice of immersing all in cornucopia of colors. Each person that comes to the gathering looks unique in their particular clothes, skin color, shape and size. Everyone is lost in his or her own world and brings along the hopes, fears and worries of life. As each one is individually greeted by every other person, they are smeared with different colors all over their person.  Soon, everyone looks alike – indistinguishable from the others under the diversity of color. It becomes easy to embrace another person and wish them a “Happy Holi.” If you like them already, this deepens that sentiment. If you have not had a healthy relationship with another person, the mere act of embracing and looking ridiculous together creates a common bond. Previous hurt can be healed, slights forgiven, and a new relationship established. Holi is meant to be a great equalizer.

The program on Friday began with a Hindi satsang. Readings related to the season from Sant Mat Masters and a video of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj regaled everyone with the spiritual significance of the day. Maharaj Ji talked about the importance of imbibing the love and joy that one feels outside and bringing it within. With a focus on the self and regular meditative practice, He suggested in his talk, we can always enjoy inner Holi and live a blissful life. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes of this mystical significance of Holi:

In the Hindu tradition there are accounts of the milkmaids or gopis who loved Krishna. During this holiday they would fill long syringes with colored water and as they sang songs and played musical instruments, they would spray each other with great joy. Since that time Holi has represented a time when lovers enjoy besmearing each other with red and pink colors mixed with scented water and saffron. The symbolism of this is the meeting of the Beloved with the disciples or the lovers. In poetry the lovers represent the souls. So Holi is a time when two hearts meet, two souls meet, and when the soul merges with God. The red and pink colors can also symbolize the colors seen when the soul traverses to Trikuti and sees the red rising sun. On the inner journey we come across different sights and sounds that are explained in great detail at the time of initiation. These sights are landmarks that let the soul know how far it has traveled into the inner spiritual regions. When we see the red and pink colors that are sprayed, it serves as a reminder of the red rising sun and the inner journey. While we may enjoy the outer fun of the holiday, we should also use the colors as a reminder that we must go within through meditation and experience the inner colors.

A cultural program was organized after the satsang. A group of children sang bhajans, as did some adults. There was a lively poetry recitation, followed by a quiz program conducted by the children. The questions related to the inner significance of Holi, and the adults in the audience participated fully, enjoying the challenge of testing their own knowledge of the subject. The day concluded with a delicious dinner enjoyed by all, many of whom had visited the center for the first time.

Get Your Whole Self in Shape!

We don’t usually write much about nutrition. We leave that to our sister blog, sosvegetarianlife.com. But March is National Nutrition Month and we really like this year’s slogan: “Get Your Plate in Shape.”

Nutrition can be such a large and daunting topic. Applying that wonderful motto–one plate at a time–seems like a great approach. Every plate is a composite of servings, and for many of us some of those servings are healthy and some are not. Analyzing each part of our plate should make the job much easier (and much less painful). Maybe today swap those chips for carrots, that soda for juice, or the cupcake for a piece of fruit. Then repeat with tomorrow’s plate.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a blog that might give you some tips. This week their focus is something we can all use—reduce your salt intake. It seems like a sensible approach: start small and go step-by-step.

Come to think of it, wouldn’t our spiritual health benefit from the same approach? Think of each day as our spiritual meal and each hour as a serving. Are we filling our selves with junk food? Or are we nourishing our soul?  We all know the big offenders—TV, the Internet, etc.—and we all have our favorite comfort foods. Just as what we put into our body determines our health, how we spend our time makes us who we are.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes:

As we look into the future, our involvement should be with those activities which are going to bring us closer and closer to God. Any activity that takes us away from God is something that we should stay away from, because this human life does not have enough hours to be meddling in those activities that take us away from our true goal, which is to merge our soul in God. As we try to reach that goal, as we try to reach the goal of being able to be in a state of bliss at all times, then what we need to do is to work on ourselves.

We should look at ourselves. We should analyze what we have been doing. We should not be critical or criticize ourselves, but we should be very just when we start to see what has been happening in our lives. When we take a look at ourselves and what has been going on in our lives we should ask if those activities are going to help us reach our goal. Now if we are on the right track, we will definitely reach our goal. But if what we have been doing is not bringing us closer to God, is not bringing us closer to our goals, we need to change course.

“Changing course….” That’s what National Nutrition Month is all about. And so is spiritual transformation. We all can take a good look at the plate of our daily life and begin to replace unhealthy habits and activities with those that bring real spiritual nourishment.

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