Surat Shabad Yog
Surat-Shabad-Yoga is the inner spiritual practice. It literally means the union of surat (spirit entity) with shabad (the holy resonance of the sound current). Guru-bhakti would facilitate the shabd-bhakti.One who is initiated into Radhasoami faith and performs ideal guru-bhakti, can practise surat-shabd-yoga easily and perfectly. This spiritual exercise can be practised by one and all, and without denouncing their worldly duties. Surat-Shabd-Yoga is the easiest and best spiritual practice.
Surat Shabad Yog is the Sound of God and Inner Sound Meditation. It is a form of spiritual practice that is followed in the Sant Mat and many other related spiritual traditions .Surat means "soul," Shabad means "word" and Yoga means "union." The term "word" means the “Sound Current,” the “Audible Life Stream” or the “Essence of the Absolute Supreme Being,” that is, the dynamic force of creative energy that was sent out, as sound vibration, from the Supreme Being into the abyss of space at the dawn of the universe's manifestation, and that is being sent forth, through the ages, framing all things that constitute and inhabit the universe.
The etymology of "Surat Shabda Yoga" presents its purpose: the "Union of the Soul with the Essence of the Absolute Supreme Being." Other expressions for Surat Shabda Yoga include Sehaj Yoga (an easy path leading to Sehaj or equipoise) The Path of Light and Sound, The Path of the Sants, The Journey of Soul, and The Yoga of the Sound Current.
According to Soamiji, shabd (eternal sound-current) is the first manifestation of the Supreme Being. It is the supreme energy and the prime source of all creation. The resonance of the sound-current is known as nam (holy name) which resounds in the innerself of all jivas.
Shabd and surat both have the same attributes; rather surat has an inherent attraction for shabd. Soamiji holds that by following the prescribed inner practice (surat shabd yoga) Surat can get attached to Shabd and after passing through several higher regions, it can one day reach its final abode. The Santsatguru of the time alone possesses the key to the secret of the shabd.
The stated purpose of Surat Shabad Yoga is to realize the individual's True Self (Self-Realization), True Essence (Spirit-Realization) and True Divinity (God-Realization) while living in the human physical body. Surat Shabd Yoga cosmology depicts the whole of creation (the macrocosm) as being emanated and arranged in a spiritually differentiated hierarchy, often referred to as eggs, regions, or planes.
Surat (spirit entity) is an emanation from the Being who is Himself all-bliss, all-consciousness and all-love. Surat too, possesses these attributes. If its covers were removed, it would merge into the Supreme Being with no difference or barriers in between. It was on account of the covers that restlessness, discontent and unconsciousness came over Surat, and it was sent down here to cast them off. Surat can never remain in an unconscious state. To remain wakeful is bliss to it and to become unconscious is pain and misery. <...
It is the inherent nature and function of Surat that it should remain conscious. This is also what the Supreme Father wants. Rather, it is His Mauj or ordainment that Surat should not fall into an unconscious state. ... The greater the intensity of the attention with which a pleasure is indulged in, the greater the pain that will follow. To remain absorbed in Daya (grace) is a different matter. ...
In Sant Mat, that act is meritorious which leads to the elevation of Surat and that, sinful, which results in its descent. First, Surat is made to descend and then it is raised. Hence, the evil is not devoid of blessing (purpose), for Surat is awakened thereby. Once awakened, Surat will not lapse into sleep again.