What is Sant Mat?

Science of Spirituality is the global organization lead by the great spiritual Master, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. The philosophy or spiritual path Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj teaches is called Sant Mat.

Although Sant Mat was born centuries ago in India, it is in many ways an ideal spiritual path for the modern seeker. Sant Mat couples a powerful meditation practice with a dynamic, inclusive, positive way of living. People new to Sant Mat often say they were attracted by its simplicity, integrity, and effectiveness in fostering spiritual growth.

It’s difficult to express this rich tradition in a few paragraphs, but at the heart of Sant Mat are these few basic principles:

One God of all creation

Though people worship God by different names and practices, Sant Mat views the world’s great spiritual traditions as so many branches of the same divine tree rooted in one eternal Lord. That’s why Sant Mat encourages seekers to remain in their own religions. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, the founder of Science of Spirituality, once said: I do not believe in conversion; I believe in inversion.

But while Sant Mat respects all faiths, it stresses that religion has two dimensions – outer and inner. Sant Mat focuses on the inner – the deep spiritual essence known as mysticism. Mysticism looks beyond rites, rituals, and scriptural knowledge, and pursues spirituality as a matter of first-hand inner experience.

Our true nature is divine

Within each of us is a soul, a great spiritual potential created in God’s image and likeness, as Genesis tells us. This soul – not the body and mind with which we now identify – is our true self. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj explains it this way:

We have inside us a source of knowledge from which all other knowledge flows. A love far greater and fulfilling than any we can know in the outer world is waiting to embrace us with open arms within. At our core is a strength and power that can enable us to overcome any fear. Underlying our separateness as individuals is a connectedness and oneness to all life. Awaiting us inside is a bliss and joy so fulfilling that we need no other intoxicants to make us happy. All these gifts lie within us in the empowered soul.

The purpose of life is to reclaim our lost divinity

This is life’s supreme goal, the enlightenment to which all great saints, prophets, and mystics have summoned us. From this experience flows a spiritual peace that is not dependent on life’s outer circumstances – a profound peace that is eternal because it is rooted in divinity, the only source of true happiness.

Meditation is the surest way to spiritual realization

We all know that meditation reduces stress, instills peace, and even improves our health. But the real purpose of meditation is spiritual awakening. This goal is not metaphorical or based on feelings or suppositions. Even before science came to pervade modern culture, Sant Mat taught spirituality as a matter of personal, verifiable experience. The meditation technique taught by Sant Mat leads to a progressive unfolding of the higher self, with concrete goals and milestones along the way. The practices do not require rigorous physical postures, special breathing exercises, or an extreme way of life. It is a natural method that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age, health, education, or religion.

The value of spiritual guidance

Spiritual knowledge transcends book learning. Scriptures inform and inspire us, but true knowledge rises from a deeper place. It is born of inner experience, of communion between the soul and God. But how do we begin? And once we start, what are the stages on the way, and how do we gauge and sustain our progress? These issues underscore the value of a spiritual Master, one who has completed the course of spiritual development and can help us travel the same journey. Spiritual Masters do not give us anything we don’t already possess. Rather, they act as a guide and friend, facilitating our discovery of our own innate divinity. As Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj says:

The teacher shows us how to tap within ourselves. He teaches a method by which each person can contact the divine love already within. He is a catalyst that lights the fire of divine love within us.  A true teacher is one who gives us the key to open our own heart to divine love.

Spirituality is life-affirming

Sant Mat does not expect us to renounce our families or society. Just the opposite. Our inner lives are not separate from our outer lives. Sant Mat asks that we lead normal lives, striving for excellence in our careers, families, and communities, but that we not lose sight of our personal spiritual goals or our obligation to help make the world a better place. In Sant Mat we call this positive mysticism. As we advance in meditation and behold God’s Light within us, we see that same divine Light shining in others. As a result of this transformation, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj says, we begin to love all people and consider everyone as a part of our family. We gain tolerance and patience toward those around us. We develop compassion and understanding, and we seek to help those in need.

These principles probably sound familiar to you. That’s because we believe Sant Mat expresses the deepest values of every great spiritual tradition: one true God, our own inherent divinity, turning within through meditation, compassion and service for God’s creation, and a daily life imbued with ethical values. Haven’t these always been the aspiration of every spiritual seeker – ancient or modern? Sant Mat’s contribution is to distill these noble ideals into a simple, universal spiritual path, and then provide the tools and techniques to make them a personal reality.

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