(The Necessity of Liberation)
By Dr. Jagessar Das
The Brahm Nirupan is another spiritual classic of the Sant tradition, and represents more Dharamdasi Kabir Panth literature quite compatible with other Kabirian “dialogue gospels”, these Q and A sessions between Guru Kabir and Sant Dharam Dass, such as the Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love), Sukh Nidhan (Abode of Bliss), and Amar Mul (Source of Eternity).
The Brahm Nirupan of Guru Kabir and Sant Dharam Dass
In the book, Brahm Nirupan, Satguru Kabir explained the inner meaning of spiritual life to Dharam Dass, his foremost disciple.
The Brahm Nirupan is a matchless text that discusses the essence of
the Word or Sar Shabda…….
The Brahm Nirupan contains the teachings of Satguru Kabir and deals with the reality of God and the soul. My rendering in English will be based on two sources:
1. Brahm Nirupan published by Mahant Shri Ramsaroop Dasji of the Kabir Ashram, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India in 1955. This book contains the Sanskrit text and a Hindi translation and commentary. The Sanskrit text was corrected by the late Hazur Prakash Mani Naam Saheb who preceded Hazur Udit Mani Naam Saheb. The Hindi translation was done by Mahant Shri Bichar Dasji Shastri and Shri Hazur Prakash Mani Naam Saheb of the Kabir Ashram in Kharsia. The book was printed by Chandrakant Bhushan Dasji Sadhu of Chetan Prakashan Mandir Press in Baroda.
2. A series of lectures on Brahm Nirupan given by Mahant Shri Jagdish Das Shastri during his visit to Canada in the latter part of the 1980’s.
The theme of the book is based on the fact that we are spiritual beings and as Spirit we have an affinity with the Supreme Spirit that is God. There is an inner longing to understand the Reality of ourselves as related to God……..
The Brahm Nirupan consists on three hundred and seventy-five Sanskrit Slokas or couplets along with Hindi translations. Since I am not a Sanskrit scholar, I will depend on the Hindi translations in the book, and on the English commentaries
referred to above. The nature of this subject requires us to have an open mind, free from the limitations of religious dogmas, and to delve into the nature of ourselves and God in as earnest a way as we possible. It is only by freeing our minds from limiting barriers that we will be able to have a glimpse of the reality. We need to understand that the reality cannot be described, and all writings are essentially to give a hint of what reality is. Ultimately, reality has to be experienced within. God speaks to the heart, and when our heart is open to God, then we gain intuitive knowledge of God’s omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. I recognize my limitations in dealing with such a transcendental subject, and I will endeavour to maintain the essential spirit of the teaching. It is possible that knowledgeable people may find inaccuracies or omissions, but these are not intentional if they do occur, and I thus ask their indulgence.
1. The writer, for the welfare of the world, offers salutations to Sat Purush and to Satguru Kabir by whose nectar-like words the karmas are abolished, and the fear of old age and death are removed.
2. The person who always meditates on the feet of Satguru, will not have sufferings and fear. Similarly, birth and death are also abolished.
3. The world is like a forest in which doubt exists, just as a lion is in the forest with its mouth open to grab a prey. Doubt is thus eating up the world. For the destruction of doubts, only Satguru’s name is effective. There is definitely no other method, other than God’s name.
4. The essence of the Word imparted by Satguru needs no support except its own self-existent power. The Word cannot be affected by Maya. That Eternal Name (Word) cannot be known by those choosing to remain ignorant. But he who serves the Guru, and learns from him, will realize the Word.
5. 0 Knowledgeable Master (Satguru Kabir), from you I have learned of the glory of Satguru’s Name. But O Lord, the Eternal Name, that is the cause of all existence, please explain its nature to me!
Satguru Kabir Responds
6. Dharam Dass, the Imperishable Name is the essence of all mantras, therefore carefully remember it. It is indeed the name that gives liberation. It is above all other names and is really the Eternal Name of God himself.
7. It is said that the five gross elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether are perishable, and that the soul is imperishable. But the Imperishable Name is different from these. Therefore listen attentively to its nature.
8. From beginless time there was the sound of A (ah), then the sound of U (00), and lastly the sound M (ma). First, you must understand the secret meaning of these, 0 Dharam Dass!
9. Above these three is the secret and Imperishable Being that gives light to them. Then beyond this secret and Imperishable Being there is the most refined and Eternal Essence. You must contemplate on this. Give up criticisms and worldly talk and seek the knowledge of your inner Self.
10. That Eternal Essence resides in the imperishable dwelling place that is separate from all others. It is beyond the beyond. It will be known only through spiritual knowledge imparted by a realized guru. All people realize that It dwells in the Eternal Abode.
11. As said before, Nirakshar cannot be written about. It is eternal and can only be experienced. Thus the person, who, with a concentrated mind and devotion and love, recites it continuously with understanding” is wise. All doubts and illusion are removed from him, and he overcomes death. He indeed realizes Soham Shabd.
12. 0 Dharam Dass! The essence of the four Vedas and six philosophies is Soham. Soham is the eternal essence expressing “I am That”. But it is an idea and not Reality Itself. With the power of knowledge and yoga (samadhi), give up even the SA (S) and HA (H). The Self is beyond Soham. Realize the Self.
13. When with the power of knowledge and yoga the SA and HA are removed, then 0 and M (AM) remain. (In Sanskrit, these are AUM written as 0M). Then these must also be removed.
14. The combination of AUM has three parts. Now these three must be separated as A-U-M.
15. The A then must be dissolved into the U, and the U must be dissolved into the M. Then M then merges into the bindu or dot (O).
16. When the bindu or the dot of the Om sign merges in to the half sign that is moon shaped, and when this half sign also dissolves, then you reach the state of nirakshar. This is the state beyond all letters and language. It is a state of existence itself This is a state of super consciousness and the Self then dissolves into the Eternal Being.
17. Nirakshar Purush is the Absolute Being whose dwelling place is a vast region called Pushpdweep. The devotee who contemplates regularly with a concentrated mind on the nirakshar shabd, which is the essence of the Absolute Being, will, by the grace of Satguru, reach that abode.
18. The nirakshar is the root mantra, the true Word and the essence of the Word as realized by the great sages. For this reason, whoever knows the essence of nirakshar will quickly attain all the benefits that can ever be attained from yajnas, giving, pilgrimages, and observance of fasts.
19. Contemplating on the Sar Shabd gives much more spiritual merit than doing the Shraddh ceremony at Gaya in Bihar, or bathing in the Ganges, or at Prayag at the Makar Sankranti. Such contemplation gives much more spiritual merit than even making offerings of cows, and giving of other types of gifts. (Gaya is a place of pilgrimage in the state of Bihar. The Shraddh ceremony is offering of food and
water to the departed souls).
20. Contemplating on the Sat Shabd, even for half of a moment, confers much more spiritual merit than living in the holy city of Kashi for millions of years.
21. Sar Shabd is secret, thus it was difficult for Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and other gods to realize it. Just as an unfortunate pauper has difficulty in getting wealth, just so the ordinary person, without doing a great deal of devotion, will find it difficult to realize the Sar Shabd.
22. The devotee who, with love and a pure heart, does devotion to the guru, who is a personification of the Eternal, will make his guru happy with such devotion. He realizes the Eternal, and abolishes all previous and future karmas. He obtains liberation.
23. Knowledge of the Sar Shabd (essence of reality) has such power that it can quickly destroy the karmas of the present life. This is indeed very desirable fruit of such knowledge that needs to be thoughtfully considered and understood. Knowledge of the essence of reality dawns within and gives enlightenment.
24. The self realized person (knowing the essence of reality) incurs no karmas even if he kills thousands of cow and millions of Brahmins. Just so even if he performs many noble deeds still the karmas do not attach to him. (Karmas attach to people because of identification with the physical self and with the ego and the
senses. With self-realization a person rises above these and thus incurs no karmas. This is explained well by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagwat Gita).
25. He who realizes this essence of reality has no need to observe religious fasts, bathing in holy rivers, daily religious rituals, prayers in the morning and evening and of going on pilgrimages. Such a realized person is indeed in direct contact with god and has risen above all the daily religious observances.
26. The knowledge of reality has such a power that it destroys all the karmas from previous and the present births. All the karmas and doubts in life are burned just like the pile of dried grass.
27. Even if you perform a thousand horse sacrifices as explained in the Vedas, or you give a gift of gold equal to the Mount Meru, still any benefits derived from these never equal the benefit derived from the knowledge of reality.
28. The knowledge of the essence of reality is indeed the meditation of meditation and the austerity of all austerities. The keen devotee who attains this knowledge definitely attains the eternal abode rewards.
29. In the service of the guru and by his grace, the devotee who performs Pranayama yoga, and practices restraint of the breath in what is called kumbhak, then he reaches the tenth door. The tenth door is above the thousand-petalled lotus and reaching there the devotee hears the unstruck melody in meditation.
30. A devotee who controls the mind and practices hearing the divine melody, reaches the difficult to obtain state of union of the right and left nerve currents in the central channel in meditation. These three meet at the third eye. In deep silence the devotee sees the intense eternal light of reality.
31. Above the trikuti (third eye) there are three states of silences — the beginning, middle and end. These three states of silence merge or dissolve into the eternal light. He who does not know the secret of these cannot be said to be a Vaishanava.
32. When consciousness in meditation reaches the thousand-petalled lotus, it then rises to the eight lotus of above. This is called unmani chakra. In this state the devotee sees the divine light without there being a lamp and hears the divine melody without musical instruments.
33. Sat Guru Kabir said that the yogi who practices meditation will rise above all of these (the chakras) and going above the eighth chakra, reaches a region where the lotus has countless petals. The yogi then sees the light of millions of moons and suns, and becomes silent.
34. When the yogi reaches this state of realization, he becomes aware that the Self is free of the support of the body, space, heaven and earth. His consciousness rises above the physical and astral forms, and then even death becomes his servant. This state of consciousness is one of unity with God.
35. The gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva who are the creator, sustainer and dissolver aspects of god, and who are responsible for the seven heavens and the seven nether worlds, even they pay obeisance to such an enlightened yogi.
36. The devotee who serves such an enlightened Satguru with his body, mind and wealth, conquers old age and death, and definitely goes to dwell in the eternal abode. The eternal abode is Truth. Truth is the only religion. Truth is the name of God. Truth is the true guru. Truth is Enlightenment.
37. When one, through realization, reaches the eternal abode, he hears beautiful music that is played without hands, and sees elegant dancing performed without feet. This is a transcendental state in which bliss is experienced.
38. In this transcendental state one hears heavenly speech and heavenly singing without the use of ears and mouth. The divine melody is always resounding when one becomes attuned to it through diligent practice.
39. In that state one sees countless, beautiful, divine forms but without the use of eyes. And there one sees and feels soothing waves rising constantly when there is no water.
40. In that state one sees countless pure and resplendent gems. Their glittering light is infinite and eternal. This is an inner state of Enlightenment.
41. In that state there is celestial humming of bees, and it is sweet melody to the ears. There the bees fly without wings, and resplendent pictures are painted without hands, and lightning flashes dazzle the eyes even when there are no clouds.
42. In that state one hears the beautiful sounds of the peacock even when there is no mountain verdure. There one also hears the beautiful melody of the nightingale even when there is no garden of flowers.
43. There one sees a beautiful white Lotus without a stem shining as polished marble. This elegant Lotus has seven petals and its heavenly form and brilliance surpass the light of the sun and the moon. It is indeed the mine of heavenly forms.
44. In that state the heavenly pearl forms without any oyster. Its brilliance surpasses that of millions of suns. It is there that you find nectar serving as food.
45. In that state there is no earth, fire, air or space. There is also no sun or moon. There the beautiful form is beyond the five elements and the five senses.