Guidelines for Successful Simran

Difficulties in Practicing Simran

Practitioners of simran sometimes encounter difficulties in achieving union with their spirit on T2. As a result, they make little or no progress in Nada Yoga at this level. Among the difficulties they experience are:

(1) Their attention is stopped at an inner center or gate, and they are unable to move beyond this point.

(2) They become absorbed in a deep unconscious stratum of the mind, which triggers dreaming sleep or unconsciousness.

(3) Their attention is distracted by physical discomfort, emotional issues, or thinking, and they cannot transcend into the Superconscious bands of the mind.

(4) They repeat the mantra mechanically from memory—in this case the mantra operates in the Subconscious mind and does not uplift the attention from the waking state of awareness.

(5) They focus intently on the darkness in front of the forehead to repeat the simran—they discover that this practice stimulates the movement of their astral body to other physical locations (astral projection). Their attention travels with the astral body to this other locale, but they do not move upwards into union with the spirit.

(6) They become strongly focused in the feeling center of the Conscious mind, where the meditator becomes absorbed in prayer, devotion and love for the Master. They spend their meditation engaged in prayer and invocation.

(7) They repeat the mantra without interest or attentional focus, which put them in a dream-like state of reverie. This is a light hypnotic trance state in which the meditator may encounter the fantasies of the unconscious mind, and mistake these states of imagination for genuine spiritual experience.

(8) They do not sit in meditation long enough for their attention to unite with the spirit at tisra til. The demands of employment and family responsibilities do not allow them to devote sufficient time to the practice. [Sant Mat teachers ask their students to do two sittings of meditation: one hour each of simran and bhajan upon awakening—recommended between 4am and 6am—with a second half hour of simran to be done at lunch break or in the early evening.]

To counter these problems meditators experience, we will discuss specific measures to overcome each of these obstacles. Before we do this, however, we will first discuss the mantramic process, so you can be clear about what happens when you repeat a mantra with your attention. After we have given you some ideas to overcome these obstacles, we will suggest a method drawn from Raja Yoga that may help you to more successfully lift your attention to the seat of the spirit at tisra til.

Understanding the Mantramic Process

A mantra may be characterized by the effect of its use [see "Differences between Types of Mantras"], its origin on the Great Continuum of Consciousness (GCC), and the track it takes through the multiple Planes of its effective range. We will discuss some of these salient factors that impact the effect of mantras below.

Mantramic Track – The track of a mantra may be conceived as an energetic thread or pathway passing through the inner Planes, as shown in the diagram one below.

Diagram One – Track of a Mantra through the Inner Planes

Mantramic Origin – The origin of a mantra is where the mantra's seed energy, or Mantra Shakti, originates. The track of a mantra ultimately brings the attention to the origin of the mantra. There are mantras whose origins may be found in the Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic and Transcendental bands of the GCC.

Effective Range of a Mantra – The mantra's origin governs the effective range of a mantra. A Subtle Realm mantra can only lead your attention to the Subtle Realm, whereas a Supracosmic mantra can draw your attention all the way to the origin of the Supracosmic Path from which the mantra came.Mantra Target - The target of a mantra is where it aims to lead your attention. A mantra can target:

  • An ensouling entity
  • A nucleus of identity
  • The seed atom of a vehicle of consciousness
  • The form of a god or goddess, or the form of a spiritual Master on the inner Planes
  • A chakra or center within a vehicle of consciousness
  • The spirit, as it can be known in one of the twelve domains of the Nada
  • The highest Plane on a selected band of the GCC, for example, the origin of a mantra in the seventh Supracosmic Chakra on a particular Supracosmic Path
  • A marker on an inner path, e.g., the origin of the second Plane of seven Planes
  • The attentional principle

Mantramic Depth – The track a mantra takes may be said to pass through a particular depth of the mind.

In diagram two below, Track A passes through a band of your mind that is conscious—this is within the portion of the GCC that your ensouling entity and its vehicles have awakened. Track B follows the current alignment of the ensouling entity and its vehicles of consciousness. Track C passes through the unconscious zone of the mind, beyond the portion of the GCC you have awakened.

Track A mantras focus your attention on aspects of your conscious experience—these are elements within the portions of the mind you have already awakened. Mantras of this type enhance concentration along points on the mantramic thread and promote gaining an intuitive understanding at corresponding levels of the GCC.

Insights derived from this ascension within the known resemble poetry: a different insight appears at each successive point on the mantramic thread, like phrases build upon a basic theme in a poem.

Type B mantras promote self-knowledge and Soul knowledge (Gnosis). They focus attention along the axis of being, culminating with a center of integration. Usually an ensouling entity is the target of this type of mantra, which brings Gnosis. However, the spirit, a nucleus of identity or a seed atom of a vehicle of consciousness may also be targeted, which leads to identification with this inner essence.

When a mantra targets the ensouling entity, we call it a Centering Mantra. When it targets the spirit, we call it a Contemplative Mantra.

Type C mantras, the most common type, aim to focus the attention upon a transcendent essence that dwells beyond the cutting edge of spirituality. This type of mantra can be referred to as a Transcendence Mantra. There are several varieties of transcendence mantras; based upon the depth the mantra transports the attention relative to the cutting edge of spirituality. These are detailed in the table below:

Type of Transcendence Mantra Variance from the Cutting Edge of Spirituality Description of this Type of Transcendence Mantra
Common octave Baseline This variety of transcendence mantra is targeted at an essence on the same spiritual evolutionary path. For example, for someone whose ensouling entity dwells on the Abstract Mind Plane, it might guide attention to union with the nucleus of identity of the 1st Planetary Initiation (Moon Soul), or to a nucleus of identity in a higher Initiation. Alternately it could track to the origin of the spirit (top of the 2nd Planetary Initiation), or the origin of the Planetary Soul in the Nirvanic Flame at the top of the 5th Planetary Initiation. Common octave transcendence mantras do not take you out of your current spiritual evolutionary path, but move your attention into deeper stages of that realm.
+1 octave Low variance These transcendence mantras come from the next octave beyond your current stage of spiritual evolution. For example, those polarized in the Subtle Realm might use this type of mantra to focus on essences in the Planetary Realm. Those in the Planetary Realm would use this type of mantra to transcend into the Transplanetary Realm to gain union with the Monad.
+2 octaves Intermediate variance These transcendence mantras direct attention to a band twice removed from your current spiritual cutting edge. In this scenario, if you were in the Planetary Realm, using these mantras would bring you up into the Cosmic Sphere. These types of mantras are commonly given by Yogi Preceptor lineages (1st Cosmic Initiation), by Light Masters (2nd Cosmic Initiation) and Cosmic Masters (Cosmic Hierarchy). These mantras focus your attention on one of the nuclei of identity of this realm, or on the ensouling entity, the Astral Soul.
+3 octaves High variance This variety of transcendence mantra aims at spiritual essences thrice removed from your cutting edge. If your current stage of development is Planetary, this type of mantra would focus your attention on an essence in the Supracosmic Sphere, three octaves distant from the Planetary Soul. Here the mantras given will lead your attention to a Supracosmic seed atom of a particular Supracosmic Path, or unite it with the ensouling entity of this realm, the Supracosmic Soul. Supracosmic Gurus bestow this mantra initiation upon their chelas.
+4 or +5 octaves Extreme variance This variety of transcendence mantra pulls attention to bands of the GCC furthest removed from the cutting edge, all the way up into the Transcendental Sphere. If your cutting edge is in the Subtle Realm, it is five octaves to the Transcendental Sphere; if it is in the Planetary Realm, it is four octaves distant. These mantras are given out by Sat Gurus of Transcendental Paths—they typically focus attention on the spirit. Simran is a transcendence mantra that focuses attention on the spirit in T2.

Transcendence mantras draw your attention to a level above your current station on the Path. The mantramic thread passes through progressively deeper levels of the unconscious mind, depending on how much the mantra varies from baseline.

Baseline transcendence mantras tunnel through those sections of the unconscious closest to the cutting edge of spirituality. The more octaves separate the mantra from baseline, the more profound is your immersion in the depths of the unconscious.

For most people, simran, which originates in the Transcendental Sphere, has an extreme variance from their cutting edge of spirituality. Working with mantras that have extreme variance present special challenges because of three factors:

(1) The distance that must be traversed to reach the focus for active spiritual work is longer, raising the incidence that a meditator will not go deep enough to contact the spirit, or will not have enough time to successfully raise the attention to tisra til.

(2) The depth of immersion in the unconscious can be profound, leading to a greater chance the meditator will fall asleep, or encounter fantasy material in this band and interact with it.

(3) The expression of love and devotion for teachers in the Transcendental Sphere requires the greatest emotional intensity—this intensification of the amplitude of the feeling center may keep attention preoccupied with invocation, prayer and worship instead of moving up to the level where Nada Yoga can be practiced.

The innate characteristics of extreme variance paths introduce these challenges and others. We will suggest specific remedies for each of the eight obstacles discussed in the section, "Difficulties in Practicing Simran."

Overcoming Obstacles in Simran

Here are some specific remedies for the difficulties encountered in practicing simran.

Trapped at the Gate – to counter getting trapped at an inner gate, pray to your Master to open it to you or use another mantra just long enough to get on the other side of the gate, then return to simran. For example, a meditation student who takes the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation is given the Mudrashram® mantra, which gives the key to unlock these inner gates.

Falling Asleep – to avoid falling asleep in meditation, use the sniff breath method described in the article, "How to Stay Awake in Meditation."

Disarming Your Distractions – to get past distractions of the Conscious mind, do present time monitoring of the sensations, emotions or thoughts (mindfulness) until they pass away. You may also use process meditation to acknowledge and put away the issue so you can focus on moving up into the Superconscious.

Mechanical Repetition – to avoid mechanical repetition from memory or the intellect, use intention to send the words of the mantra to the attention. When you consciously and intentionally repeat each word of the mantra, the attention moves deeper until it reaches a level corresponding to the mantra's origin. With each successive repetition of the mantra, the mantra moves to the next focal point on its axis of correspondence [We discuss the axis of correspondence later in this article.]

Unintentional Astral Projection – Notice the focal point of attention, wherever it is, and direct the words of the mantra to that focus. This will move your attention upward. Focusing in the darkness in front of the forehead, and pulling at that focus is a method used by schools that teach astral projection. Your aim is to unite the attention with the spirit, not fly around in your astral body.

Getting Unstuck from Emotional Flypaper – getting trapped in a feeling center can be overcome by using discernment—learn to tell the difference between praying, inner dialog, or invoking the Master to help you and simply moving your attention. Realize your objective is to focus your attention on your spirit, to move it up to where the spirit dwells, not to have a religious service in your mind.

Staying Away from Fantasyland – to avoid reverie, always repeat the mantra with full attention and intention. Your objective is to intentionally direct your attention to the specific location where you can contact the spirit.

Finding a Stitch in Time – when you are short of time, find a quicker and faster way to move your attention to tisra til.

One quick method is Surat Dhyan—here you focus your attention directly on the spirit behind tisra til and fix it there until your awareness opens up to this level. To practice this, you must develop powerful intention.

The other method is called Sat Guru Tratakam—in this practice, you gaze into the eyes of your Master, who will pull your attention into the spirit, then pull your spirit upward.

For this passive method, you must develop great receptivity. The Master's glance will sweep the crowd and find you in a lyrical moment—you must take full advantage of that doorway and let your attention become fully absorbed in the beam of energy sent by your Master.

If you miss this doorway, you will spend hours in longing and miss this opportunity to get a quick boost into the Beyond. [This method presumes you have ready access to the physical presence of your Master.]

Augmenting Simran - Lessons from Raja Yoga

To successfully unite your attention with your spirit, consider that you are moving up the axis of correspondence on each Plane. Your objective is to ascend consciously and rapidly to tisra til, where you will reach the focal point where you can practice Nada Yoga.

If you direct your attention to each focal point on that axis of correspondence, you will climb the ladder of the names of God and reach the entrance to the higher worlds on T2.

Applying a Raja Yoga model to transcendence mantras, an alternate method for doing simran can be described.

(1) As you repeat the entire mantra, your attention will become focused on the first focal point on the axis of correspondence. This is called fixation or dharana.

(2) Instead of immediately repeating the mantra again, allow your awareness to open to this point, while you monitor the content arising from the conscious and unconscious zones of the mind at this level. You are inwardly alert, and curious to see what is there. This is called contemplation, or dhyana.

(3) Allow your energy to flow into this point so your attention feels oneness and stable abiding. This is called union with the object of meditation, or samadhi.

(4) Repeat the mantra again, moving to the next point on the axis of correspondence. You repeat dharana, dhyana, and samadhi for this level, before repeating the mantra again.

(5) Continue this process until your attention is united with the spirit behind tisra til. You will feel your energy withdraw into the spirit. The spirit's experience will enter your conscious awareness. Then the spirit will seem to travel upward into the channels of the Nada.

At first, the spirit will move up through the inner channels of the Nada, and then your attention will follow it. As you become more comfortable with this practice, you will just keep your attention on the spirit's feet, and then you will witness the phenomena of the inner path as the spirit moves through the channels of light and sound.

(6) Once you are able to stay with the spirit as it moves, you can use a more advanced technique from Raja Yoga called microconcentration to augment your experience of your spirit.

Once you can hold your attention on its feet readily, move up into its heart center, where you will feel its love, devotion, purity and virtue.

Next move your attention into its throat center—here you will experience the spirit speaking its inner truth, which is called satsang.

Next move to the point between the eyebrows—here you will become aware of the spirit's thoughts, and you may become aware that your spirit is repeating simran with the tongue of thought.

Finally, move to the brain center of the spirit, which will allow you to fuse with the spirit and become fully identified with it.

(7) As the spirit moves up through the channels of the Nada through the lower bands of the first Plane, the Astral, it will meet the guide form of the Master within at the eight petalled lotus (Asta dal kanwal).

At this stage, the guide form of the Sat Guru will move in front of you on the Path, then pull your spirit up to this point. Continue to contemplate the spirit, but listen to any dialog between the guide and the spirit. This may be audible or telepathic.

In audible dialog, you will hear the spirit and the inner Master speaking to each other —this is mediated through the throat center.

In telepathic dialog, you will hear the exchange of question and answers or directives from the Master within as if you are listening to your own thoughts—this comes through the center in the forehead.

You may also experience the sweet communion with the spirit just being with the Master, exchanging love—this is mediated through the heart center.

(8) As you become familiar with traveling with the guide form of the Master, at some later state you will actually contemplate the Master's form. Mirrored in this form you will experience the origin from which the spirit was born. This will culminate in a sense that you are merging with the Master; there is a perfect oneness and attunement established between the Master and your spirit.

The Axis of Correspondence for T2

When the dense accretions of karmic matter that make up the unconscious zone of the mind are removed, you can clearly visualize the axis of correspondence for T2. These 39 focal points, starting with first octave above waking awareness to the seat of the spirit are described below.

Band of the Mind Focal Point Number Description of Content
Conscious 1 Physical body awareness - a point on the upper surface of the bladder
2 Feeling awareness center - the form of consciousness at this center, which may be seen to engage in prayer., invocation and worship
3 Mental awareness center - the 15th order of analogical reasoning
4 Egoic awareness center - the origin of the ego, in the node of surrender
5 Gate of the Conscious mind, light channel - this is the doorway to the Subconscious mind
Subconscious 6 Seed atom corresponding to T2 behind the Personal Unconscious band
7 Two petalled lotus chakra of the Subconscious mind
8 Astral brain center of the Astral Body - this focal point corresponds to the 992nd orb of 1008
9 Causal Body center - Track of the Wahi Guru 7 path on the level of the causal body
10 The center of the 8th torus of purpose
Metaconscious 11 The perceptual chakra center of the etheric body - this center allows you to visualize your actual behavior
12 The seed atom of the conscience - this brings remembrance of the moral standards of Sant Mat, and allows you to compare your actual behavior with the ideal standards of behavior. This focus promotes introspection.
13 The concrete mind - brings remembrance of the instructions for doing meditation, scheduling meditation, and planning travel to be with the Master
14 The intellect - this brings reflection upon the philosophy of Sant Mat, and thinking about its precepts
15 Agya center - a point where the thought stream of the Master enters the personality on the Plane of the Self. At this level the personality is made aware of the overshadowing presence of the Master, and that there are no secrets—the Master knows everything you are thinking, feeling and doing.
Subtle 16 Mythological bands - A point slightly below the Fountainhead center in the Lower Subtle Realm
17 The 49th nodal point of the Lower Astral Plane, the node of surrender
18 Intellechy - a band corresponding to T2 in the upper reaches of the Intellechy
Planetary 19 Psychic Realm - a vortex on the Superreflective Ether corresponding to the presence of the T2 Sat Guru
20 First Mesoteric Initiation - A form of the T2 Sat Guru slightly below the vortex of the Holy Spirit—here the Master appears as a saint
21 Second Initiation - A form of the T2 Sat Guru slightly below the vortex of the Word beneath the abode of the Ascended Masters
22 Third initiation - a band corresponding to T2 on the Ancient Wisdom Plane
Transplanetary 23 Adi Plane - A form of the T2 Sat Guru slightly before the vortex of the Planetary Logos
24 Solar Evolutionary Chain - A form of the T2 Sat Guru slightly before the vortex of the Solar Logos
Cosmic 25 First Cosmic Initiation - the form of a Bhakti Yoga Preceptor in the abode of the Yogi preceptors
26 Second Cosmic initiation - a band corresponding to T2 on the Mental Plane
27 Fourth Cosmic Initiation - A band corresponding to T2
28 Cosmic Stellar Realm - an eight pointed star corresponding to development in T2 slightly below the Cosmic Logos
Supracosmic 29 (a) The gate of the Wahi Guru 7 Path, and (b) The highest Plane of the Wahi Guru 7. The mantra, Akaal Sat Nam Wahi Guru, resounds here.
30 The highest Plane of the Wahi Guru 7. The mantra, Akaal Sat Nam Wahi Guru, resounds here.
Transcendental 31 Gate of T2
32 The chakra at the base of the spine in the Pinda zone of T2 (4 petals)
33 The chakra at the navel in the Pinda zone of T2 (6 petals)
34 The chakra at the solar plexus in the Pinda zone of T2 (10 petals)
35 The chakra at the heart in the Pinda zone of T2 (12 petals)
36 The chakra at the throat in the Pinda zone of T2 (16 petals)
37 The chakra at the medulla in the Pinda zone of T2 (4 petals) - this corresponds to the faculties of memory, imagination, reflection and discernment, and the identity state of the ego.
38 The chakra at the point between the eyebrows in the Pinda zone of T2 (2 petals) - the mantra, Sat Nam, resounds here.
39 The presence of the spirit in the channels of the Nada behind the two petalled lotus - this is tisra til. This is the first focal point in the Astral Plane

If you meditate successfully using simran, you will climb each rung of this inner ladder and merge into the spirit on T2.

Similar axes of correspondence can be constructed for each Supracosmic and Transcendental Path. Raja Yoga augmentation can similarly be utilized for mantramic or visualization methods advocated by these paths.

Slippery Rungs on the T2 Ladder

There are several focal points on this axis of correspondence that bring challenges for aspiring meditators.

They must transcend the feeling center (2) by detachment and discernment.

They must find a way to move beyond the gates of the Conscious mind (5), or risk being trapped at this portal.

They must avoid triggering astral projection when they focus on the astral body in the Subconscious mind (8).

If they seek to seek to gain union with the spirit, they must rise above the personality functions of the Metaconscious mind (11) to (15); otherwise they will spend their meditation time doing introspection and thinking about the path.

They must be wary of being seduced by the beautiful fantasies of the Psychic Realm (19) when they encounter the form of their Master in the Superreflective Ether, or they might get lost in the whims of their imagination.

They must discern the differences between the reflections of the Path in the Supracosmic Sphere (29) and (30).

Finally, they must surmount the chatterbox four petalled lotus (37) at the medulla center—this center seems diabolically determined to keep the attention absorbed in memories, fantasies, reflections, and ruminations about identity—and enter into blissful union with the spirit.

Some Final Reflections

Those that chose to perform spiritual work outside their cutting edge of spirituality do risk creating imbalances [see "The Cutting Edge of Spirituality" and "On Avoiding Imbalance."]

If these zealous meditators are nonetheless willing to abandon integral principles of spiritual development and dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to pursuit of their spirit's aspiration for union with the Divine Source at this level, we hold they should do this expeditiously and effectively. If these intrepid devotees of their Sat Guru are not going to spend lifetimes pursuing this aim, we believe it is important that:

(1) They learn to rapidly ascend to the seat of the spirit

(2) They open the channels of the Nada by udgit [In this practice, the spirit opens the unawakened or unconscious portions of these Nadamic channels to the next nodal point—this produces unfoldment of the ensouling entity.]

(3) They rapidly press on as quickly as possible to union with its origin.

We also advocate that meditators understand clearly what they are trying to achieve by their meditation practice and use effective methods to achieve those aims.

When meditation is used correctly, it produces results and they make quick progress.

When it is not used correctly, meditators are entangled in a variety of inner obstacles that hold them back from their goal.

We hope that the discussion in this brief treatise will assist those using simran to more effectively reach the level where they can make conscious, steady progress on T2.

We also hope that it will help those using similar methods in Supracosmic and Transcendental Paths to better understand the use of transcendence mantras, so they may utilize them more effectively on their own path.

Finally, we hope that our readers, who are not initiated into Sant Mat or other paths that use transcendence mantras, will better grasp the types of meditative practices that are used on Supracosmic and Transcendental Paths and the effects of mantras upon the attention.

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