There are so many Yogas – different kinds of yoga. Each has its own scope. Hatha Yoga is there to keep your body fit. Prana Yoga is there to prolong your life. In Bhakti Yoga you have to make a hypothesis before you reach the ultimate goal. And in Gyan Yoga you have to draw an inference – not direct contact. That's the work of very intellectual giants – not for everybody.
Most of the students devote themselves wholly and solely to the strict observance of ‘yamas’ and ‘niyamas’ (restraints and observances) only, and as such hardly make any headway on the Path of yoga proper, which aims at self-realization and God-realization. Those who do go ahead a little, do not get further than yogic postures (asanas, mudras, and bandhas,) and are preoccupied with body building processes and muscular development, making them the sole aim of all their endeavours. They confine themselves to the physical culture aspect of yoga, so as to defy disease, senility and an early death. All of these are but means to the higher purpose of yoga and should only be practised as such. The goal of yoga is self-realization by a regular process of self-analysis and withdrawal, so as to enable one to rise above body-consciousness into higher cosmic and super-cosmic consciousness.
True yoga is a natural process with no artifice in it. It should be readily intelligible and easy to practise. But for lack of proper teachers, well-versed in the theory and practice of yoga, it has become a burdensome thing and an intricate affair, too difficult to understand and still more difficult to practise. The result is that aspirants begin to mistake this or that branch of yoga as the ultimate, and fritter away their energy in its pursuit, content merely with the acquisition of physical or magical powers, which are often employed for winning public applause and wealth. It is not for nothing that the common man associates this yoga with men who walk on burning char-coals, swallow glass-pieces or metal blades, eat snake heads and rodents, hold back running cars, or allow themselves to be run over even by trucks or elephants. Huston Smith, in ‘The Religions of Man’, has put the matter roundly: “Incredible things can be done with the body if this is what interests you and you are willing to give your life to it. But these things have little to do with enlightenment. In fact, they grow out of desire to show off, their mastery makes for pride and so is inimical to spiritual progress.”
Surat Shabd Yoga
The natural Yoga, called Surat Shabd Yoga, is the direct way back to God. If you just catch the ray of the sun, that will take you – where? To the sun from which it emanates.
So in the Surat Shabd Yoga you have to catch the God-into-expression-Power, which has two phases: light and sound. It is the highest form of Yoga. This Yoga covers all these problems which other Yogas have. This is most natural and easiest of all Yogas, which can be exercised by the old, the young and everybody.
The Surat Shabd Yoga or Communion with the Holy WORD (inner Sound and inner Light) is the root of all religions, and yet it is not properly understood by the theologians. It takes one to the ultimate Goal - Anami or the Nameless Absolute, Who is at the back of the entire creation both as its material and efficient Causeless Cause.
As the Ocean of Pure Consciousness heaved, the Formless and Nameless Absolute came into expression in many different forms with many different names, by the Power of Its own heaving vibrations, the Sound whereof came to be called the Holy WORD. How to get into touch with the Spirit and Power of God, the Primal Creative Principle (the "Light of Life") is the subject of mysticism.
The process of Communion with the WORD starts with a conscious contact with the God-into-expression- Power (the NAAM or the "Holy Ghost"), and It grants one an actual experience of ineffable bliss of the higher planes, not on credit to be experienced in the hereafter (after death), but right here and now, while yet living in the flesh in the material, physical world.
These Vibrations, resulting in various types of Sounds, guide the initiate through the different inner planes of varying densities, material and spiritual, and ultimately lead the spirit into a purely spiritual world of Sat Naam (the Kingdom of God), from where the Divine Harmony emanates, Which becomes the means of leading back the world-weary souls to the True Home of the loving Father - the Heaven of Bliss.
The greatest fact in God's universe is God.
The greatest need for humanity is to realize God.
And the greatest intention of God is
to manifest Himself to man.
Even the foregoing bird's-eye survey of the nature and of the Surat Shabd Yoga conveys some of its unique features. He who studies it in relation to the other forms of yoga cannot but note the completeness of its solution of all the problems that confront the seeker when pursuing other systems.
This book of Sant Kirpal Singh presents a comprehensive study of the major system of yoga, and contains a chapter on Surat Shabd Yoga. It is a pioneering work on comparative yoga.