SamtavadThe word ‘Samtavad’ literally means ‘to speak about the Changeless or the Sameness.’ As a philosophy, Samtavad shows the path to Eternal Peace by following certain principles to get over the turbulent state of mind. According to Samtavad, the root cause of unhappiness and restlessness lies in the never ending desires for pleasure of senses and the mind . Generally, most of the desires of human beings remain unfulfilled and this causes disappointment and unhappiness. Even where certain desires are attained, a passing satisfaction may be achieved but further desires soon follow and this cycle continues to bring dismay and disillusionment. Satguru has elaborately discussed these issues in his discourses and holy granths and has asserted that these limitations can be overcome by following the path of Samta. Supreme peace comes from achieving oneness with the Supreme being by practising the tenets of Samta. He [God] being the core and life of the whole universe, eternal peace can only be attained by realizing Him. So, freedom from the cycle of birth and death and a state of equanimity even in the midst of duality and desires can only be gained by merging with the Supreme Self. All creation, indeed, is His manifestation and all religious and holy books proclaim His glory. Verily, verily teachings of Samta beacon all to follow the path led by the Great Master (Satguru) and be at perpetual peace with the Supreme Divinity..
Five Cardinal Principles
By Adopting simplicity, a person gains control over a lot of unnecessary desires. Simplicity pertains to dress, food and thoughts. Simple dress makes one humble, loving, considerate and helps to live within one’s means. The increase of desires leads one to sinful acts. One should leave no stone unturned in one’s efforts to achieve a life of simplicity. This is the secret of real happiness. Eating simple food is the surest way to good health. The intellect gets purified and one attains a power to control one’s senses. Simplicity of thoughts means to interact with everyone without guile. Never harbour ill will towards any one. Simple conversation should be without any prejudice.The principle of simplicity is the foundation of real life. Therefore, if someone wants to search for eternal peace, then one should Firmly establish oneself in simplicity.
Truth means something which remains eternal. It is not subject to birth, death or decay. One should try to search for Truth and mould one’s life according to the precepts of Truth. One should give right thought to every thing, and put into practise every true instruction. One’s speech should in all respects be truthful. To utter whatever is in one’s heart,is the proper form of Truth. Truth itself is God. One should make whatever effort is necessary to arrive at firm faith in Truth. As long as one’s mind is caught in the activities of sin, one can never experience the real form of truth. The true seeker of Truth is one who is firmly convinced that the world is transient, and tries all the time to emerge from his state of ignorance. One day he will find true happiness. The search for Truth is not the monopoly of anyone or of any religion. The lesson of Truth is being taught all the time by Nature from within oneself. It is only one’s ignorance that comes in the way. One should always keep one’s conscience merged in truth. No opportunity should be given for untrue feelings to rise. Then only one gets to know the essence of truth.
Selfless service is the highest aim of man’s life. Just as wind, water, earth, sun and moon are engaged in ceaseless performance of duty, it is incumbent on man to realise his true duty and according to it serve others all the time. Then only will he be known to have acted upon God’s will. One’s wealth should be offered in the service of worthy causes. One’s body should be engaged in the service of the poor, the diseased and the orphans. One’s mind should be controlled and surrendered at the feet of the Lord. Any one engaged in service is blessed with qualities like love, unity, creativity, renunciation, dispassion, modesty and contentment. Any one who wants to be let into the secret of life should adopt the way of service. The essence of all happiness and the teaching of all saints lays emphasis on service alone. The full import of service is to relieve pain of others by doing one’s duty. Never do service with a motive and desire. The sincere effort should be towards doing good to others, as one day every one has to leave this world.
Satsang (True Accompaniment)
The first requirement of satsang, is coming together and sitting together. The next principle is contemplating ways for self-improvement. Then to listen to teachings of true religion. To familiarise oneself with the lives of enlightened souls so as to benefit from their examples. To reflect on the true purpose of life. To learn about overcoming hurdles in the way and awaken into true dharma. There are countless other benefits like gaining freedom from blind faith; becoming aware of one’s failings and obtaining freedom from the hollow life of hypocricy. The Satsang of Samta means respecting the founders of all religions; learning from their noble examples and attending to one’s spritual progress. Coming into Satsang brings about an end to ignorance, bigotry and selfishness.
Prayer, worship, meditation and yoga are all Sat Simran, or true remembrance of the Lord. Selfless action is born of Sat Simran. The best way of Sat Simran is to do it with a fully focussed mind. Uttering or chanting loudly is not effective. One attains to Simran yoga only by devotion, keeping in mind all the time that God is lord and master; thereby meeting the One so contemplated. There is endless blessing in the name of the Lord. Only those who have benefited from practice can realise this. The glory of it cannot be described verbally or expressed in writing. It is a destination of great wonder. It can only be obtained through practice during one’s own life. These were some selections from five main principles of spiritual progress as described in ‘Granth Sri Samta Vilas’. In the same granth, Maharaj Ji has explained various meanings of Samta, which are briefly given below :
Samta in the Words of SatgurudevThe real meaning of Samta is to remain the same in all conditions to life. To obtain freedom from desires of both possession and renunciation
- The real joy of Samta comes from giving up sensual pleasures;
- After experiencing the power of Samta, the great souls of the world obtained enlightenment and taught people the way to Eternal Peace;
- The entire world is a manifestation and demonstration of Samta. All things are bound by love.
- The power of Samta rules the world;
- The essence of Samta is equality, i.e the search for oneness. The defect of attachment which leads the mind astray, cannot be destroyed without understanding the essence of Samta;
- The entire politics and actions of the world are based on Samta. Any principle which is not based on Samta brings misery and is shortlived;
- The teaching of Samta provides freedom to all from religious and other wordly disputes;
- The real friend is one who teaches Samta. Any teaching without Samta is just a futile and wasteful debate;
- The knowledge of Samta is neither a religion nor confined to a community. It is in fact the shining light which is the basis of all religions;
- Samta knowledge is above castes, communities and nationalities. Communalism is based on self-interest. Even nationalism is attachment. Pride of caste is like living in a prison;
- Samta knowledge is obtained by giving up pride of body and pride of action;
- Samta’ knowledge is obtained from pure worship, i.e from accepting God as all-doer and remembering him as such;
- Selfishness pits man into bondage upon bondage. He gets peace neither on gaining something nor on losing it. When he acquires the knowledge of Samta, then he is blessed with virtues like selfless action.
- Self-determination and public service are the two limbs for walking the path of Samta;
- Before taking up any auspicious undertaking, it is necessary to pray before God.. It is forbidden to depend on anyone else;
- In Samta path it is recommended to reduce rituals to their barest minimum and give up all superstitions. For the general Hindu community and other religions Samta teaching is like the thread in a pearl necklace;
- Samta path recommends study of the lives of saints who have experienced God and to put their teachings into practice;
- Samta teaching recommends study of the true laws of Nature and to live by those laws.
GuidelinesFor those having faith in Samta, Satgurudev Maharaj Mangat Ram Ji has given the following guidelines:
- The believers in Samta should consider the God’s true laws as their foremost duty. They should have no enmity with those following other religions. They should remain firm within God’s will and retain equanimity in all circumstances as a means towards remaining in His will.
- Whatever religion or sect he may belong to, a believer in Samtavad should work to remove his own blemishes and should desire the welfare of others.
- One should free oneself from the narrow confines of customs, religious rituals and futile debates. Instead, one should establish oneself in performing selfless action with truth as the goal.
- There is welfare for all in ‘Samtavad’. It is the real nature and true goal of man. It is the true ‘dharma’. The path shown by the gurus is to strive to attain this even-mindedness. Therefore, free yourself from religious bigotry, bind yourself to the eternal laws and strive every moment to gain control over oneself. There is no other way to real peace.