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RADHASOAMI FAITH - A HISTORICAL STUDY: The Second Guru (contd.) - Systematization of Faith

Prof. A.P. Mathur
M.A., PhD, F.I.H.S., F.R.A.S. (London)
Former Vice-Chancellor, Agra University, Agra, India

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Concept of Brahman or Kal

According to Hazur, Kal or Brahman is the universal mind - the master and presiding deity of the spiritual-material region of creation. With the creative energy derived from the Supreme Being - Radhasoami Dayal - Kal or Brahman was instrumental in the creation of the lower divisions of creation known as Brahmand, and desh, and pind desh. He thus not only acted as creator and the sustainer, but also as the destroyer of these regions. The functions of Kal or Brahman differ from that of Dayal or the true Supreme Being in the sense that Dayal creates through his own spiritual agency and never destroys the creation; He and His region are beyond all change, decay and dissolution. But Kal who conducts creation through the agency of spirit energy derived from Dayal, destroys the regions at his own will; he then acts as the personification of the destructive principles or the god of death. He and his regions are all subject to change, decay and dissolution.

To interpret it scientifically Hazur Maharaj holds Kal as lowest emanation of the pure spiritual energy. According to him, when the evolution of creation in the first grand all-spiritual division was completed, a black-blue (shyam) layer appeared at its bottom. As no such admixture could be allowed in the first grand all-spiritual division, it was forced out of Dayal Desh. A spiritual current was applied for its overthrow and it came to have its separate existence. On account of depletion in its spirituality, Kal or Brahman was actuated by a desire to create his own kingdom or region in imitation of Dayal Desh.

Kal is known not only as Brahman but also as Niranjan and Purush in the first three subdivisions of Brahmand. In the three reflexes or and desh, he is known as Brahman, Vishnu and Mahesh. Sometimes Kal incarnates in human form (avatar) to propagate his cult and baffle such jivas as are anxious to attain true salvation. It obstructs their path in all possible manner. Hazur says that in fact Kal cannot and does not wish the jivas to return finally to their original abode, because then his grand sport of exploiting the spirit entity will be over for ever.

Concept of Maya

By maya Hazur does not mean advaits agency of creating illusion or the creative energy known as prakriti in samkhya philosophy. But in His view it relates to a form of matter which covers the spirit entity. It emerges out of Kal at a particular stage of creation. In the first three subdivisions of Brahmand (Second Grand Division), it is known as prakriti, maya and jot. In the three reflexes of Brahmand, it is called Saraswati, Lakshmi and Shakti. Hazur says that the tendency of maya is downward and outward, as it forms the superficial covering of all bodies created in various spheres of the second and third grand division of creation. It acts through the three gunas, five tattwas and ten indriyas. Maya also functions as an agency of Kal to entangle the jivas in Karma by providing them with objects of worldly pleasures (bhog) so that they may never rise to a higher plane than that of antahkaran and man. On account of Karma, the covers of maya get coarser and the jiva remains absorbed with worldly objects and suffer the pangs of birth, death and rebirth.

Concept of Surat (Spirit Entity)

Hazur Maharaj describes surat, the spirit entity, as a particle or the smallest representative unit of the Supreme Being like the ray of sun or drop of ocean. It has originated from the Supreme Being and has in essence all the attributes of the Supreme Being. Since Shabd is the first manifestation of Supreme Being, the spirit-entity has a natural affinity with it. On account of its admixture with mind and matter, it has been deprived of its independence and has to perform such actions, through the physical body, as are not natural to its original attributes.

Situated inward at the focus of the two eyes known as teesra til, the spirit-entity has been called the surat. As it descends at the heart centre and functions in the world, it is called jiva. Surat gives energy to every part of the body acting as the life-giving current. Though invisible, it can be known through its functioning. As it descends from above, it imparts vitality to mind, and then it combines with the current of mind and supplies vitality to sense organs. The jivas come in contact with the material objects and experience pleasure and pain through the sense organs. The mind and senses become inoperative when the spirit current is withdrawn from the mental plane in deep slumber, coma or death. Thus the spirit-entity gets more and more enmeshed in mind and matter, and being engrossed in worldly bondage, indulges in Karma.

Concept of Karma

Karma is the activity of mind and sense organs. As soon as desires arise, currents issue forth and flow towards the appropriate sense organ. If the object of pleasure is available the current comes in contact with it and gives pleasure to the mind. If the object is out of reach, the mind thinks about it and derives pleasure and then identifies itself with that pleasure. It seeks various means of procuring that pleasure and makes efforts in that direction. If it succeeds it gets pleasure, and if it fails it experiences pain. The process is repeated many times and the individual is caught in the net of desires which is the real cause of karma.

Hazur holds that all acts, including spiritual practice, are good which tend to free the spirit from matter and raise it towards its source; all acts which degrade the spirit by weighing it deeper into matter are bad. According to him there are three categories of karma - kriyavan, prarabdh and sanchit. Kriyaman karmas are those which a person performs during his life time, prarabdh being those performed in past or present life whose fruits are to be reaped in the present life, but the results are to experienced in future life. Hazur holds that the effects of all karmas can gradually be eradicated by inner spiritual practice, surat-shabd-yoga, and true love and devotion at the feet of Supreme Being and his human manifestation, Santsatguru. By practicing devotion and observing the rules prescribed for it ....Surat can easily, though gradually, overcome or reduce the effect of all these karmas and then get rid of the body, breaking the shackles of matter in the material spheres.

Hazur further says that the Radhasoami faith recognizes transmigration of soul. For so long as the spirit remains confined to the second and third grand divisions, it must remain clothed in some sort of body or covering and when one body is worn out it must assume another in the higher or lower spheres or sub-divisions according to its acts (karma) and predominate passion or desire. It is clear, therefore, that karma is reflected, multiplied and recorded upon manakash and these impressions impel the mind to repeat the karma again and again. Karma thus accumulated leads jivas to the cycle of chaurasi and keeps them away from salvation.

Concept of Salvation

Hazur has defined salvation as the deliverance of spirit from the bondage of body, senses and mind and its gradual  ascension and eventual entrance into the first or highest division by the practice of surat-shabd-yoga.

The spirit, according to Hazur, can liberate itself of worldly bondage if it would efface karma through the practice of surat-shabd-yoga. This mode of devotion is the only and surest means of eventually attaining complete liberation from the bondage of material coatings appertaining to the lower and higher regions of matter. Striking a similarity with exponents of theistic Vedanta, Hazur believes in sadeh mukti as well as videh mukti. When the spirit entity traverses through higher regions and enjoys the bliss of spiritual life, the devotee feels the same effect of liberation in microcosm as would be felt after death in macrocosm. The videh mukti (freedom from physical body and physical world) can be attained only when the spirit entity crosses the regions of pind and brahmand and ultimately reaches Dayal Desh - the first region of all-spiritual love and everlasting bliss.

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