Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Tulsi Sahib, Part One: Tulsi Sahib, Great Grandfather of Modern-day Sant Mat, Part One


 

Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Tulsi Sahib, Part One: Tulsi Sahib, Great Grandfather of Modern-day Sant Mat, Part One
 
Param Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India is the "great grandfather" of modern-day Sant Mat, as many of the well-known and lesser-known Sant Mat lineages can be traced back to him. Tulsi was the Master who first coined the term "Sant Mat", meaning, "Teachings of the Saints", as a single term for India's great Saints and bhakti poet-mystics. Of this great galaxy of Sants he once said:
 
"I now describe what the word 'Sant' means. All those who have attained the Inaccessible are included in the category of Sants.
 
"I have described the status of Sants and sung hymns composed by them. Sants have traversed the path to the Inaccessible region and their soul has attained the Truth or Essence.
 
"Nanak, Dadu, Dariya Saheb, Mira Bai, Soor Das, Kabir and Nabbaji have all reached the Mystic Sky and have given out the secrets. Their souls have got across and merged there.
 
"Though their teachings are one and the same, their ways of teaching are different. Indeed, all Sants have proceeded along the same path. All of them ascended along the same Current of Shabd (inner Sound), and got across......
 
"What Sants have said about Sant Mat is what they saw with their own eyes. They have sung of it in the form of couplets and hymns.... Sants have spoken of the secrets of Shabd and the path on which Surat has to proceed......" ("Param Sant Tulsi Sahib")
 
The Compositions of Tulsi Sahib: Shabdavali; Ratan Sagar, Ghat Ramayan and Padma Sagar
 
"Swami Ji [Sant Radhaswami Sahib] later adopted the same expression, "Sant Mat," in his works. The two Saints thus brought the teachings of all Saints under this comprehensive designation.
 
"Tulsi Sahib's works consist of Shabdavali; Ratan Sagar, Ghat Ramayan and a small unfinished book called Padma Sagar. Shabdavali is a collection of miscellaneous compositions set to different ragas (scales) of Indian classical music, and deals with various aspects of Sant Mat. Ghat Ramayan and Ratan Sagar have been written in the form of dialogues with disciples and seekers. Ghat Ramayan deals with the various religious doctrines prevalent at that time, and explains their meaning in the light of Sant Mat. Ratan Sagar deals with the mystery of creation, heaven and hell, Kal or the Negative Power, karmas, mind and death. It also sings the glory of perfect Saints and extols the value of their company and satsang. Lastly, it explains how Saints take care of the soul of the disciple when it leaves the body.
 
"Tulsi Sahib's works include words and expressions of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, the last being the court language. of the time in most of the royal courts in the South. These languages, along with Marathi, must have constituted a part of his education. But, besides these, he has freely used words of Braj, Avadhi, Rajasthani (Marwari), Gujrati, Punjabi and Maithili, which leads one to conclude that, like many other Saints, he must have traveled widely in V.P., Rajasthan, Gujrat, Punjab and Bihar. But his permanent abode was a hut in the small village of Jogia, situated on the outskirts of Hathras. He lived here until he passed away in 1843 at the age of 80." ("Tulsi Sahib-- Saint of Hathras")
 
"Tulsi Saheb used to go often to places quite far from Hathras wrapping his body in a blanket and with a stick in hand. He usually used to remain in a state of withdrawal, and in that very state, an incessant flow of utterances concerning the secrets of higher regions used to emanate from his mouth like a babbling stream. Ghat Ramayan, Shabdavali (collection of hymns) and Ratan Sagar are well known works of Tulsi Saheb. Another book which he wrote but remained unfinished is Padam Sagar. All these books were written after Tulsi Sahib's coming to Hathras....
 
"Near the above mentioned banyan tree, a stupendous two-storeyed building had been constructed later on by Tulsi Saheb's devotees, which is still there and in which he stayed till he left his mortal coil. In this very building there is a place marked, where Tulsi Saheb used to sit whilst initiating people in Sant Mat. There is also a hemispherical cave where he used to practise Bhajan." ("Param Sant Tulsi Saheb")
 
 
From, The Ghat Ramayana, of Tulsi Sahib:
 
"They should worship Sat by means of Surat, and this will enable them to reach the regions beyond the sky. They should accept the teachings of Sants.....
 
"I have described in detail Sat Mat with which worldly ways are incompatible. I have tasted the bliss of the original abode which alone is true. The world, on the other hand, is only a fleeting show, and only if one ponders over this, one will be able to realize the essence of Sat Mat and then alone will one's boat of life be able to cross the ocean of worldly existence. Great reverberation of Shabd is going on within, and one should fix one's attention on it and dance with joy.
 
"0 Jiva! Give up all blind adherences and beliefs, concentrate within and seek the Supreme Being there, adopting Him alone as your Isht or goal. Do ponder over what I say and see for yourself with eyes wide open that there is none in this world whom you can call your own. You should adopt the Supreme Being alone as your prop and support. Very strange are the ways of the world, which you will realise if only you can vanquish your mind......
 
"Blessed with the merciful gaze of Satguru I have been able to get Darshan [Vision] of the Invisible (Supreme) Being. My Isht [goal] is Sat Purush whose abode is Sat Lok. He is all-mercy and is beyond Triloki. My attention is riveted on His holy feet and I have His Darshan all the time. I have reached the original abode....I have been blessed with Darshan of the Supreme Being. ("Param Sant Tulsi Saheb", Agra)
 
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NOTE: The one who has purity of character, who practices diligently the Yoga of Sound, and who can explain *clearly* Sant Mat (the complete Path of the Masters with nothing missing), can be accepted and trusted as Satguru/Teacher.