What is Suddha Sanmargam?
Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sangam is an Universal Evolutionary spiritual movement created by Swami Ramalingam in the 1867. It is a fellowship for the path of Truth, Purity, the Right (say Dharma) and Harmony. Technically, it is the path of Vast Grace-light (say Grace-Light Yoga) and Science of Evolution in progressing towards attaining the evolutionary deathless divine physical body on the earth itself.
SUDDHA SANMARGAM STARTS WHERE ALL OTHER RELIGIOUS & PHILOSOPHICAL PATHS END
Swami Ramalingam (alias Vallalar) called his highest Supramental-spiritual path as ‘ Samarasa Suddha Sanmargam“. Samarasam means that it has made the ends or goals of all the schools of religious and philosophical disciplines as its starting point (poorva) and leads to a harmonization or Uttara, a high level or an exalting state which is the Guru Turya (i.e., the first or the transition state into the Vastness of Supermind).
From the view point of Gradations of consciousness, Suddha Sanmargam is the HIGHEST PATH, LEADING TO THE FINAL OR LAST STATE OF THE DIVINITY. Suddha Sanmargam (i.e. Integral harmony in purity) transcends both sanmarga (i.e. , religious and philosophical schools which are concerned with the psychic and spiritual mind states) and Siva Sanmarga ( synthesis of six disciplines leading to realizations in the overmind and its summit of overmind gnosis). Just as Grace is inseparably one with soul, so too all the above said religious and philosophical Sanmargas (schools) inseparable from or are contained in the Suddha Sanmarga.
Suddha Sanmarga contains and includes the religious and philosophical Sanmargas but transcends them and their set goals of Guna and Nirguna (respectively the Divinity with form and Divinity without form ). Let us now see the Guna – Divinity in form
SUDDHA SANMARGAM – TRANSCENDING ALL THE RELIGIONS & PHILISOPHIES
Religious Sanmarga – Practicing and realizing the Divine as a person by name and quality (Guna – Divinity in Form and Name)
There are innumerably various divisions and classifications of Sanmarga. The essential aim of religious Sanmargas is to practice and realize the Divine as a person by name and quality (Guna Lakshya anusantana). The religious Sanmarga deals with or is related to a partial manifestation of particular aspects and qualities of Sat the Divine being in conditions of purity. Thus right knowledge(Sat bodha), right action (Sat Karma), right association (Sat Sanga), right time (Sat Kala), right discrimination (Sat Vichara), right receptivity (Sat patra), right men (Sat Jana), right conduct (Sat Seykai) etc. belong to or related to Satva. Its nature is expressed by non-killing(ahimsa),patience, peace, self-control, mastery over senses, and the soul’s natural quality of kindness to fellow-beings.After understanding its significance, if one realizes the truth of its essence by practice, that state of realization becomes the religious sanmarga or Samaya Sanmarga.
Philosophical Sanmarga – Practicing and realizing the Divine as the Impersonal (Nirguna-Divinity without Form and Name)
Now Philosophy transcends religious. Its essential purpose is to seek the Divine as the Impersonal (Nirguna lakshya) and its realization is attained by realizing the significance of the Mahavakya, the great revelatory Word of Truth, such as Soham, Sivoham, Tatvamasi, Sivatvamasi – “I am He”, “I am the Supreme Truth,” “That thou art,””That art the Supreme Truth”- first as a clear understanding of the great revelatory words in mind (Vachya Anubhava) and then as the experience of its Truth (lakshya anubhava).
What is then Suddha Sanmarga? It is the High-way to the Summit Supermind
Suddham means the exemplary state of purity transcending oneness i.e., exclusiveness to any one thing or any one of the said paths (i.e., it is not confined to any one of the said paths). As the word “Suddham(means pure)” comes before “Sanmargam”, it implies that it transcends the above said experiences of all the religious and philosophical disciplines. Its highest or main aim can be known if one reaches in experience, the highest goal of Suddha Sanmarga which is the state of the summit of Supermind (i.e. Suddha Siva Turyateeta) where the world of Truth-Knowledge opens into the world of Ananda Loka (i.e., the 17th level of experience).
HOW TO WE BEGIN PRACTISING THE SUDDHA SANMARGA?
SUDDHA SANMARGA SADHANA – METHOD OF PRACTICE OF SUDDHA SANMARGA
A. BASIC OR PRELIMINARY SADHANA – PAROPAKARA and SATVICHARA
Serving all the suffering living beings(Paropakara) & Self-Enquiry (Sat Vichara) are the basic and preliminary practice of Sanmarga.
The basic sadhana or practice for Suddha Sanmarga is that one shall have Jeeva Karunya, i.e., Compassion for all beings, and bear Love for the Divine.
The practice of Suddha Sanmarga has two ways namely PAROPAKARA and SATVICHARA.
1.What is Paropakara (Compassion towards all living beings) – Serving the Divinity in the Suffering humanity and all living beings?
COMPASSION IS THE KEY TO OPEN THE DOORS OF THE VAST GRACE-LIGHT
– It is serving and rendering help to the beings in and through body, mind, senses and money (like the alleviation of chronic hunger of human and all living beings, medical service to the poor people etc.).
– It is not possible to help by money or riches, then one shall pray with his soul’s psychic sympathy and understanding and with a pure mind and heart for the removal of sufferings of all beings.
2. What is Satvichara- Self-reflection on the smallness of our Nature or Abolition of Ego?
DESTROY EGO THROUGH SELF-ENQUIRY AND SELF-REFLECTION
Satvichara means self-enquiry into the Human Nature. Satvichara implies that one shall reflect upon the smallness of our nature as against the divine nature, and also upon the glorious attributes of the Lord and the nature of our true self and, place our difficulties and imperfections before the Divine Feet for their removal.
B. MAIN SADHANA – WHAT IS THE SECOND PRACTICAL STEP OR HOW DO WE PROCEED FURTHER?
WITHOUT ASPIRATION, MEDITATION& SURRENDER ONE CAN’T HAVE ANY REAL SPIRITUAL PROGRESS OR EVOLUTION.
These are four disciplines for achieving them. They are the disciplines of senses and body, mind and its faculties, and the discipline of the Jeeva and of anma, the spirit.
1.Discipline of the Senses:
The discipline of senses are of two kinds, namely of the Jnanedriya, the senses of Knowledge and of Karmendriya, the senses of action (i.e., relating to body). These can be mentioned thus:
(a) to hear music and devotional songs and avoid disharmonious and crude sounds;
(b) to have a sympathetic touch and not an impure sense of touch;
(c) not to see with a cruel or unkind look;
(d) not to desire for taste and smell;
(e) to speak sweetly and not to talk lies;
(f) to prevent by some means or other any cause occasioning sufferings to beings (Jeeva Himsa- i.e., causing pain and suffering to the living beings or animals by killing them for eating, hunting or cruelty. In other words the practice of non-violence(Ahimsa) towards all the living beings by following the Compassionate Vegetarianism);
(g) to visit upon the great liberated souls;
(h) to move about to places where Sadhus, men of pious nature, live in order to render help and service to them, and also to other places where service is required.
2.Discipline of the Mind – Meditation is the most important Sadhana:
The discipline of mind and its faculties imply transformation of mind into the form of knowledge of Ajna center, the derivative center of Cit Sabha. Its first step is to get poised in Ajna, the center at the mid of brows.
(a) Mind shall not be allowed to dwell on bad and evil thoughts, nor on the defect of others;
(b) to have no personal regard or egoism;
( c) to eliminate anger, jealousy, pride, vanity etc. and to become of the true satwa nature i.e., of a nature with the clarity and happiness of consciousness;
(d) to control movement of tatvas (i.e., of the lower nature) from their excesses or outrageous behavior.
C. ADVANCED SADHANA
3.Discipline of Jeeva i.e., Pyschic Discipline:
The discipline of jeeva (i.e., psychic discipline) shall be thus: To treat and deal with all men and women as one’s own equal self or selves, irrespective of differences in caste, religion, philosophy, stage of life or ashrama, traditional heredity and nobility of family, adherence to scriptures, nationality and low or high social status etc.
4.Dicipline of Anma, the Spirit (or soul):
The discipline of anma, the spirit is to become integrally the infinite and universal All-existence, because the Divine Himself dwells within all living beings from ant to elephant (and man) as the subtle Master and as the supreme Lord, making jeevatma, soul and self of our being, as its field of play of knowledge (Tirusabhai).
Out of the said four disciplines, one shall sincerely follow the first two of the disciplines; the other two disciplines will not be effectively possible before receiving the divine grace; but one shall aspire so as to be led to the last two disciplines i.e., the discipline of the jeeva and that of anma.
D. SUDDHA SANMARGA REALIZATION – THREE STEPS OF REALIZATION IN SUDDHA SANMARGA.
WITHOUT THE HIGHEST DIVINE GRACE NO REALISATION IS POSSIBLE
Suddha Sanmarga has three important steps of realization, which are:
1. Cit Sabha (i.e., realization of soul at Ajna center, the derived Cit sabha)
2. Por Sabha, the apprehending Supermind
3. Suddha Jnana Sabha, the true Cit Sabha proper or the comprehending Supermind.
DEATHLESSNESS IS POSSIBLY THE FINAL OR ULTIMATE STATE OF REALIZATION OR SIDDHI (i.e., after attaining the Suddha Jnana Sabha, the true Cit Sabha Proper or comprehending Supermind)
Transforming the body into its deathless state is not possible without purification of the inner being and realization of the Vast Grace-Light.
What is Deathlessness?
It is the transformation and Integral realization of the triple (perfect and deathless) bodies of Suddha deha, Pravanva deha and Jnana deha (the pure physical body, the subtle body of sound and the casual body of the knowledge which are deathless and indestructible); free from all impediments or limitations of time, place and circumstances; and of the freedom of will and mastery to operate all the universal and individual principles of existence in the world of beings and things.
WHO ARE THE TRUE FOLLOWERS OF SUDDHA SANMARGA?
The true followers of Suddha Sanmarga are only those:
-Who have abandoned the ways of religions and philosophies which are the chief impediments to the sanmarga; and
-Who have by intuitive knowledge protected themselves by rejecting anger, sex etc.,when they invade;and
-Who have desisted from violence by killing and eating animal food.
They can save themselves from disease, aging, fear, suffering and death etc. that is to say, they who, by a good effort of discipline, protect themselves from the phenomenal qualities of nature can avoid death by accident or any sudden cause due to the influence of planetary motions. By simply remaining here (i.e., at the place of the Swami’s living) one cannot save himself from death. When Grace manifests itself, one can experience the bhogas or enjoyments of the world, according to the conditions of his purity, but not (automatically) the knowledge-powers of the higher world (para loga bhoga Jnana Siddhis).
Note by T.R.Thulasiram:
During the last part of his life, Swami Ramalingam gave a caution to the people( who were clamoring for the deathless bodies, resurrection of deathless bodies, including putting the ordinary dead bodies in the samadhi(burial) for that purpose, miraculous siddhis or powers etc., without having essential purification, evolutionary development or spiritual realization) that even after the God of Grace and Truth-Consciousness manifested on the earth one has to pursue the discipline sincerely. Further the Swami elsewhere insists on the purification of the inner being and realization of the Vast Grace-Light as the necessary pre-conditon before Transforming the body into its deathless state.
Compare with the Mother’s words after the Universal Manifestation of the transforming divine light on the earth in 1956.
“First the power to prolong life at will is to come and is being established now…But the state of spontaneous immortality is not possible for the present… This structure must change into something other than this… and it will take long.”(Bulletin Feb.’67-p.75&67).
SUDDHA SANMARGAM – THE DIRECT AND OPEN WAY TO THE TRUTH
-TRADITIONAL SCRIPTURES, RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES WILL LEAD ONLY TO THE PARTIAL REALISATION AND NOT TOTAL AND INTEGRAL REALIZATION
Swami Ramalingam observes in a general way that the traditional scriptures, religions and philosophies are not safe guides to follow, because of mental constructions and representations and symbolism in them (i.e., drawn mostly from Overmental and spiritual mental sources) in regard to the Divine, the gods, mantras, ways of discipline etc. and further they at best will lead to only partial realization as compared to the total and Integral realization of the Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga, which is the Integral Yoga of the Supramental Truth-Consciousness. Now almost a dilemma seems to be created in the minds of the disciples by this observation. The Swami solves it by giving a practical guidance to his disciples asking them not to waste their time and energies any more in the said religions and philosophies but to follow the way of the Suddha Sanmarga. Specially at a time when the coming of God i.e., His manifestation on the earth was imminent and that too when he was about to go into seclusion.
POWER OF THE ARUT PERUM JYOTHI OR VAST GRACE-LIGHT MANTRA IN ATTAINING THE DEATHLESS BODY
He gives them the Mahamantra of vast Grace-Light as revealed to him by the Divine in assurance of its manifestation and consequently to mark the effective beginning of Suddha Sanmarga as from 22-10-1873. The mantra is an open and direct expression as also of the way of sadhana. Thus this mantra was collectively given to the disciples with the will and sanction of the Divine on the one hand and charged with his own blessing and power of realization on the other in order to realize its truth in its fullness leading eventually to the attainment of the blissful life of a deathless body.
SCRIPTURES, RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES OFFER ONLY THE PROVISIONAL OR TEMPORARY SOLUTION
The following observation of Sri Aurobindo would possibly illumine the circumstances in which the Swami happened to advise his disciples not to follow the scriptures, religions and philosophies.
“In sum it may be safely affirmed that no solution offered can be anything but provisional until a supramental Truth-consciousness is reached by which the appearances of things are put in their place and their essence revealed and that in them which derives straight from the spiritual essence. In the meanwhile our only safety is to find a guiding law of spiritual experience- or else to liberate a light within (i.e., the light of the inmost soul) that can lead us on the way until that greater Truth-consciousness is reached above us or born within us” -(Synthesis of Yoga,p.156).
SUDDHA SANMARGA SADHANA TREE
Courtesy:Arut Perum Jyothi & Deathless Body,Vol I, p. 275.Abridged version of the chapter ‘Integral Yoga in Swami’s Sanmarga’ – Translations from Swami Ramalingam’s Original Mahaupadesha(Book of Oral Teachings).