Sikhism relies on Guru Nanak from the middle ages, but it should not to be confounded with modern SANT MAT. The most important book of Sikhism is the "ADI GRANTH". The Adi Granth says, “Omkar Ved nirmaye”. ("Omkar(God) revealed Vedas , i.e. Omkar reveales the highest knowledge).
The statement of guru Nanakas "Ek Onm Kar" (there is only one god) is similar.
Even Yogananda speaks in his first teaching-letter about Guru Nanak.

A citation of Guru Nanak : "The drunkenness through NAAM , o Nanak, never ends ", and in the Jap Ji 19: "The whole creation came only by NAAM and there is nothing which wouldn't start out of him ."
In Hinduism NAAM is the Bija-Mantram of Swami Narayana. But it must be said that this is not the highest divine but it is the creative aspect of the divine ananda.
Saint Kabir said "Kabir DHARA agam ki, satguru di lakhay. Tahi ulat sumrin kar, SWAMI sang milay." He said that the stream(dha-ra) of Agama-Loka has to be transformed before it can unite with the Swami.
Therefore the highest "Guru" or the Supreme Being is unborn, invisible but certainly immanent in all objects. Therefore the divine sat-plane is unreachable for the highest masters who "only" stand in the highest force of the plane under the SAT and are not inkarnations of the highest beeing.

SANT MAT - Radhasoami

The hinduistic reformation movement "Radhasoami Satsang" (Unification with the master of the soul) was founded 1861 by Shiv Dayal Singh . His disciples named their belief "Sant Mat" (Teaching of the Holy) . Shiv Dayal Singh was very much influenced by Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh-Religion.
But Sant Mat or Radhasoami should not be confounded with Sikhism ! The teachings about the "rulers of the inner planes" are very different from teachings of Sikhism and the ADI GRANT, which is now the "guru" in Sikhism !
Typically are guruship and denying of the caste-system. Because of the position of the single gurus the movement had soon split into serveral groups (Prof. Lane was a long time member of the movement):

The teaching : The soul must pass several lower spheres with their rulers who want to capture the soul into their kingdoms, before it reaches Radhasoami, the highest Lord (-> but in reality it can only reach the feet of the highest planetarian Lord - the planetary Logos).
Only after the initiation of a living master, who gives a long mantram " ham.-.sat-nam", and by a meditation on the "inner SOUND and LIGHT", closing the ears with the thumbs and concentrating on "inner light and sound", the highest goal, the UNITY with RADHOSOAMI, can be finally be reached (sometimes Naam is mentioned).

Devotion to the guru and long meditations and introspection(diary) are essential parts of this lifestyle.

Several sounds can be heared :

  • 1. In Astral plane (the first plane) the sound : Ringing of a bell.
  • 2. In The Causal plane the sound (the second plane) : Beating the big drums.
  • 3. In the Daswan dwar plane the sound (the third plane) : Lyre,lute, the sound of mandall, harp
  • 4. In the Banwar ghupa (the fourth plane) : The Flute
  • 5. In the Sat Lok or Sach Khand (5th plane) the sound : The Bagpipe.

Huzur Swamiji's cosmology:

* 1. Radha Swami - Godhead

* 2. Agam(intermediate region]
* 3. Alakh(intermediate region)
* 4. 1st Heavenly region - Sat Nam or Sat Lok; Divine World

Maha-Kaal(Paar-Brahm) :
* 5. 2nd Heavenly region - Banwar Gupha (an intermediate region)
* 6. 3rd Heavenly region - Mahasunna Great Void
* 7. 4th Heavenly region - Daswan Dwar - liberated souls Void

Kaal :
* 8. 5th Heavenly region - Trikuti - region of Gods Heaven
* 9. 6th Heavenly region - Sahasdal Kamal, Crown chakra; Lower Heaven
* 10. 1st ganglion Ajna - abode of soul Lowest Heaven
* 11. 2nd ganglion Vishuddha - prana - dreaming
* 12. 3rd ganglion Anahata - Shiva - subtle body
* 13. 4th ganglion Manipura - Vishnu - gross prana
* 14. 5th ganglion Swadishthana - Brahma - physical
* 15. 6th ganglion Muladhara - Ganesha

Swami Ji Maharaj: "The Supreme Being Sat Purush Radhaswami is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. His attributes are Grace, Mercy, Love, Light, Bliss and Peace." (My comment: ...he has only seen HIS feet from a distance...and he had no direct contact. The above attributes are lower aspects of the shabda and not qualities of the higher SAT.) are )

Branches of Radhasoami and Sant Mat
" Only Radhasoami Satsang Beas (and some separistics from them who do not deserve mentioning of their names) give this long mantram, mentioned in your web page. Others, including us, give a single "Naam", which was revealed by the Supreme Being Himself, when he visited this world i.e. Radhaswami!" Prof. Malik (Huzur Info)
...and of course... our Anami-path is the best path: "There is no salvation except by this meditation method."(Huzur-info)

In the book "Sarbhajan"(from Radhasoami Beas) stands in the last directions of Soamiji before He left the body : "My path is the path of Satnaam Anami, whereas Rhadasoami is the path of (Raj) Saligram. Let him go on with that." The mission of Raj Saligram ( Hazur Maharaj) then flew into the branch of Radhasoami Agra.

Therefore we find th ose scools which give a single "Naam"(Anami) and the scools who give the long "Jod......nam"(Agra ,Beas) and their followers.

Depending on the teaching of the guru Radhasoami knows up to 18 planes of creation , similar to the worlds of Eckankar (sugmad), whose first guru left Kirpal Singh.

Radhasoami sees the Logos of our planet and of the other planets and stars (like the ONE from Sirius) just on the higher mental planes. (Huzur-Info). Therefore Radhasoami does not know any cosmic divine hierarchies and cosmic initiations.
It knows ONLY ONE GOD RADHASOAMI, who is the personification of love, mercy and grace. The satgurus are HIS inkarnations. Therefore Radhasomai declines avatars (:" On their heads grows Watergrass", Kabir) and does not know the cosmic avatars ala A.A. Bailey.

Hinduism knows instead unifications like "Radha with Krishna" and "Jiva with Paramatma" as steps to mastership..

Like other spiritual teachings Rahasoami knows a big personification of all evil forces, the KAL Niranjan , the lord of time(Kala - niranjan is also a name of Shiva), who had fallen off because he had his own plans and wanted to have his own ''loka'' - Satpurush became angry about that and created the lower planes out of him ( where erverything is foreordained..... so even the fall of niranjan ?).
(But, as Guru Huzur admitted, hiddenly Radhasoami works in all things). This KAL is similar to the fallen Lucifer Satanas of Jacob Lorber, who was thrown down into the lower worlds after a hard examination by the lord for ''true godlove''.
Only the Jainism knows a similar cosmic Lokapurusha .
In reality this is the result of the various forces of Maya under the influence of the atmic light and then indirect of KALA, the time, ie. the four lower planes of hinduism, with Rudra and Kali as the personification of the evil on the buddhic or causal plane.

Essential in the teachings of Radhasoami and "Surat shabd yoga" is the necessity of a living human master who is competent to initiate disciples into the practice and technique of listening to the inner sound (bhajan), contemplating the inner light (dhyan) and the mystic death (dying while living).
[*NOTE: Charan Singh, Die To Live (Beas: Radha Soami Satsang Beas, 1979)].

The problem of bhajan are the sounds which can be heared - if at all. The "soultravel" trough the planes as described in the book of Mr. Mark Juergensmeyer is the symbolic travel of a very developed person who stands in the power of the sounds and of the light and therefore he has experiences on all planes .
But the normal disciple heares not much, and sounds of all sorts are on all lower planes. Therefore many other Nada-scools use a Bija-Mantram like OM, AUM and NAAM together with the Bhajan, and i think personally that Bhajan as taught from Beas without a mantram is a waste of time and can mislead in meditation.

I do not want to say that there were no Satgurus in the past (perhaps this is the movement with the majority of the known satgurus), who incarnated from their high position and helped each other reach the lost goal again. But for the common disciple these exercises are a bit weak, and from my sight only the hope for a better incarnation within this tradition maybe a real reason to stay here. These gurus cannot give more protection(gurumukh) than other masters because they stand under the control of the same highest divine.

Master Kirpal singh
In our time Master Kirpal Singh went from BEAS to New Delhi and made the Surat Shabda Yoga very popular.
He wrote the excellent book "NAAM - the word" and some other books. In this book he praises the NAAM-SHABDA as the best path, similar to a statement in hinduism which says that Shabda is the best method for the Kali-Yuga.

But NAAM is the Bija-Mantram of Swami Narayana, and this book does not mention any "rulers of the planes". It was written to prove that Shabda leads to the highest goal, but it is mostly a great collection of citates of saints of all religions who speak about the inner sounds, but it is not a proof that the fivefolded mantram of Sant Mat leads to this highest force or to this goal.
Of course Enlightenment does not depend upon errors in a beleife, and therefore many incarnated masters soon received their past enlightenment with simple methods or with the help of their personal master..
Kirpal Singh was part of this Radhasoami movement, as he was personally initiated by Sawan Singh (1858-1948), the former gaddi nasheen of Radha Soami Satsang Beas at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in the Punjab.
[NOTE: It should be pointed out that Kirpal Singh discarded the use of the term "Radhasoami" as a description of his teachings.]
Kirpal Singh, The Way of the Saints (Tilton, N. H.: Sant Bani Press, 1976).]
( Notice : If the disciple is not initiated with the VAK of a real master like Kirpal (Gurmukh) all this can become a big waste of time especially outside of india ! Therefore in some groups guru-meditation is a third practice.)

As mentioned Kirpal speaks about NAAM, which is the Bija-Mantram of "Sri Swami NARAYANA", but he taught the long mantram !
The modern techniques of Sant Mat use a fivefolded mantram "Jod......soham-satnam" and a meditation on "sound" and "light".
The teaching is that the student passes ALL planes until he reaches the true original Nama or Shabda. Kirpal Singh admits in his book "Naam" that "only single chosen disciples reach moksha". But guru Kirpal had disciples like guru Thakar Singh. Despite from this it makes a doubtful impression to tell the disciples that the "Golden Age" has started.

"I am a sacrifice to those who serve the Gurmukh with love; He is free himself, he frees his family, and the whole world." Here he is not speaking of the Guru but the Gurmukh; and those who serve the Gurmukh sincerely with love not only will receive salvation for themselves, but also for their relatives and friends, for the Gurmukh comes to give salvation to the whole world."
"Gurmukh frees millions with a spark of Naam."
His resources are everlasting, but those people who have gained a little and start distributing it everywhere only end up with regrets. They are doomed themselves and so are those who follow them."
Kirpal Singh (From : Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Forever with Master, Vol. II)

The rulers of the planes; A Diagram
The full SHABDA is first heared at higher stages of the path and disappers finally (see -> Blavatsky : The vioce of silence).
So the existence of the "rulers of the planes" must be doubted, alike the meaning of the five names : "Jod..-...-...- so ham - sat nam".

Panch Nam:

  • JOD (Jot) is the first flame of creation in the kabbalah, "Jot" means "Divine or Highest"
  • NIRANJAN (Void of passion or emotion, free of falsehood)is a force still above the creation of brahm(Sahans-dal-kanwal)
  • ONKAR (=Pranava) and RARANKAR have the ending KAR like some vedic gods like OMKAR
  • "SO-HAM" is know as the white atmic swan
  • Yogi Bhajan spreads "Sat Nam" as a breathing technique of the "highest kundalini", in Sikhism it means : truth is his Name

It seems that this long mantram does not call some strange rulers of the planes but the "highest atmic Niranjan" whom Satpurusha had pushed into his own world, and about further forces in the atmic and buddhic plane. The Radhasoami, the master of the soul, is so similar to the hinduistic pair Radha-Krishna, so that Radha would have the meaning of the spiritual soul and not of the first active divine force.
Therefore remain doubts that modern Sant Mat and Radhasoami understand their own traditional teachings.

The consciousness of the lower planes is much too limited for a universal ruler of these planes. Such a ruler would have much to do watching the billions of souls and universes(even if it were only a planetary ruler).

Limitations of the soul
The human soul cannot unite with the highest lord because those energies are much too high. The soul cannot pass the AGAMA-plane (Agama means : no access). The master must develop a higher body than the soul to enter these planes.
Such divine developement is first for a master of step 20 of the Universal Path. The cosmic vision of the highest lord is first for a master of step 21 of the Universal Path.
The problem in Sant Mat is that the disciple does not understand that Sabda develops and transforms all bodies (Transfiguration) as a means of developement and that he does not just have to rise up to the highest planes. His hope is that the master does the rest comparable to Eckankar.

Master Kirpal admitted that the VAK of an Initiation through a true master is necessary for spiritual progress. So the value of an initiation by a normal disciple of a master must be doubted.

It is not sure who is the official Sant-Mat-Master at the moment. So You must use your reason to decide what it is all about ! Many years ago i found an email in which "Michael Martin" said that the Guru in Beas had nominated him as the guru for the west, but how can someone be a guru who is not a master of step 20 of the Universal Path, and guru Gurinder in Beas is probably not a master either!

(--> Further Radhasoami Information / Books and PDFs for Download)

Very generally said it is of course still much better to practice lifelong a weak meditation technique or a comparable exercise and so avoid that the soul sinks after death into the darkness, about which the old greek mystic said: "Better to live as a beggar on earth than as a king in the realm of the shadows".