Sant Kirpal Singh, acontemporary Sant Mat guru, stated that "Naam" ("Word") has been described in many traditions through the use of
several different terms. In his teachings,
the following expressions are interpreted as being identical to "Naam":"Naad", "Akash Bani", and "Sruti" in the
"Nada" and "Udgit" in the
"Logos" and "Word" in the
"Tao" byLao Zi
"Music of the Spheres" byPythagoras
"Sraosha" byZoraster "Kalma" and "Kalam-i-Qadim" in the
"Naam", "Akhand Kirtan" and "Sacha ('True') Shabd" byGuru Granth Sahib
The more recently promulgatedQuan Yin Methodof meditation espoused via the spiritual teachings of Supreme Master Ching Haihas
notable similarities to Surat Shabd Yoga.Eckankar , an American movement, has many links to Surat Shabd Yoga, including terminology, although its American founder PaulTwitchelldisassociated himself from his former teacher Kirpal Singh.TheMovement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, also founded in America in 1971 byJohn-Roger and now with students in 32 countries,
also teaches a similar form of active meditation, called
, using the Sound Current and ancient Sanskrit tones in order totraverse and return back to the higher realms of Spirit and into God.
MasterPath is another contemporary American movement of Surat Shabda Yoga. The founder and self-proclaimed Living Master, GaryOlsen, contends that several historical figures areSat Gurusof Surat Shabda Yoga as representatives for the eternal Inner ShabdaMaster. A few of these Living Masters of their times includeLao Tsu,Jesus,Pythagoras,Socrates,Kabir , theSufiMasters and mystic
poetsHafezandRumi, theTen Sikh Gurusbeginning withGuru Nanak, Tulsi Sahib, and the Radhasoami/Radha Soami and offshoot
Masters, includingShiv Dayal Singh,Baba Sawan Singh,Baba Faqir ChandandSant Kirpal Singh.
The ten Sikh Satgurus discuss the inner sound and inner light a lot in their scriptures. The first Sikh Satguru wasGuru Nanak, but hismaster (guru) wasWaheguru. The above masters teach these 2 techniques. There is a master that teaches 4 techniques that includethese 2 of inner light and inner music. He teaches inner light (sight), inner music (hearing), primordial vibration (sense of touch) andnectar (taste and smell).These correspond to the 5 senses and this is how you turn them inward to experience what is inside of you. SeeVishnuwith his 4 armsand they correspond to these. One hand is holding a circle (chakra) of light. Another is holding a conch shell for the inner sound (hold it toyour ear and you hear something). Another hand is holding a lotus flower to refer to nectar and the 4th hand is holding a metal club(mace) for the inner vibration. If you hit something with it, it vibrates like a tuning fork. Some people refer to this inner energy as the soul.
Variations in movements
Although all movements of Surat Shabd Yoga will have common elements related to the basic principles, notable variations also exist.For example, before he left his physical body, the tenthSikhGuru,Guru Gobind Singh, nominated theGuru Granth Sahib(a sacred text)