Thoughts On Spiritual Science #1
By Atom Bergstrom
Re: Do you know of / recommend any books that I can read or videos I can watch to get started in spirituality and also learn about the ancient wisdom of the masters? I’m quite new to spirituality and spiritual science especially is truly fascinating to me.
Let’s start with a caveat …
“One person’s spirituality is another’s superstition / heresy / iron cage.”
And a second caveat …
Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) wrote to Paramahansa Yogananda, asking for a list of 100 books on God.
Yogananda replied …
“What are all the books in the world compared to 15 minutes of silence in the soil?”
For years, Adano thought Yogananda wrote “soul” instead of “soil.”
“Spiritual science” is fascinating to me too, so I’ll postulate about some of its more esoteric aspects.
I’ve read or at least skimmed thousands of books on the subject, so I’ve definitely accumulated a list of favorites, less favorites, and least favorites.
The Sant Mat / Surat Shabd Yoga literature especially appealed to me once I learned to get past the self-righteous moralizing — usually originating from disciples and not the Surat Shabd Masters themselves.
Reading the first thirty or so pages of Julian Johnson’s The Path of the Masters: The Science of Surat Shabd Yoga repelled me from reading any of the other Sant Mat books for decades.
He (1873-1939) was probably a swell guy, but his style of writing was off-putting to me.
Then I got turned on to The Science of the Soul, by Maharaj Bahadur Jagat Singh (1884-1951), a chemistry professor before he became the third Master of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas.
Next I discovered two more interesting books at the University of California at Santa Barbara library …
Maharaj Saheb (Pandit Brahm Sankar Misra), Discourses on Radhasoami Faith, Third Edition, 1942
Agam Prasad Mathur, Radhasoami Faith: A Historical Faith, 1974
The first book describes the “higher planes” better than any book I’ve found before or since.
The second is a detailed historical study, warts and all.
Agam Prasad Mathur (Radhasoami Faith: A Historical Faith, 1974) wrote …
“From a study of the split in the Radhasoami faith, it is clear that there are three major groups: the Council group, the Dayal Bagh group, and the Beas group. Besides, there are many other groups which either ideologically fall in line with one of these three or have borrowed the name of the sect but departed from its basic teachings.”
Adano Ley was closely aligned with the Beas group, but his Initiation was more aligned with the Council group.
Although he was aligned with the Beas group, the U.S. branch of the Beas group was definitely not aligned with him.
Case in point: Colonel E.R. Berg’s one-way feud with Adano.
According to Agam Prasad Mathur …
“The Beas group did not see any harm in proselytizing people and with this object in view they produced vast literature in foreign languages. This resulted in bringing popularity to the faith in foreign countries. The Beas group has also established its branches in Europe and America.”
The Council group had an affiliate organization in Cleveland, Ohio, where Adano used to work.
Coincidence? Anyone have any info about this?
(To Be Continued)