The name and its significance: This SAMPRADAYA or the SCHOOL OF THOUGHT is named as ‘SAKALMATA’ as it involves and assimilates all the sects and creeds. It is not at all antagonistic to the rest of others but only means to supplement them. The various sects generally believe that the views they hold are the only true descriptions of the reality and the course they lay down the only way to salvation while all others are a trash and even to think of them is a religious crime. But our SAKALMAT SAMPRADAYA loudly proclaims and strongly asserts that all the religions and the sects in the world lead their followers to one and the same God. Keeping this beacon light always before, our followers should never think of any other sect as our opponent, and as such all altogether avoidable: but with a sympathetic mind should weigh their merits and demerits to accept the good and abandon the bad in them.
The Deity of the Sampradaya
The chief Deity in this sect is ‘Chaitanya-Dev’ The Universal soul this Deity merely for the sake of the convenience of the devotee, manifests itself triply and as such has came to assume different names, in His ‘Spiritual Aspect’, the God is named as a ‘Chaitanya’ (The spirit), Atma (The Soul), ‘Sarvatma’ (The Universal Soul), or ‘Parabrahma’ (The Absolute). In the ideological aspect the same is known as ‘Shri Manik Prabhu’ the fourth incarnation of the Universal Lord Shri Dattatreya. On the physical plane we recognize him as the son of Shri Manohar Maharaj Naik, (the Shroff) of Ladvanti near Ramtirth, in the Taluka of Kalyani in the erstwhile Nizam’s state, now in the Bidar District of Karnataka. His Gotra (lineage) is Shri Vatsa. His mother’s name was ‘Baya Devi’. He had two brothers the elder Shri Dada Maharaj and the younger Shri Narsimha Maharaj. In his childhood some even loved to call Shri Prabhu as ‘Ladansha’ ‘Madansha’ and such other fondling names. Three-fold worship or the way to approach God: corresponding to the three aspects of the Deity, there has been threefold worship or the way to approach him:
The Spiritual Approach
Whom we name as ‘Chaitanya: or ‘Atma’ he is force. He is ‘Swarth’ ‘ meaning thereby the centre of gravity and the container of all. Matter is ‘Pararth’ i.e. for others, objective. All objects all enjoyment, the mental fancies, the intellectual convictions, the emotional perversions ‘ all these are illumined only by the light of the Atman. The Atman is the Supreme Enjoyer and there is nothing else other than Him. All things in the new merge in the Atman only. But the Atman is always unattached uncontaminated, steady and one without a second. We see that it is natural for the iron to be drawn by the magnet, for the clouds to melt in the sky, for the waves to disappear in the water. All these go to the source from where they have come. Know this to be the supreme attracting power of the Atman. These things have been dealt at length in ‘DNYAN MARTAND’. Those who desire to know the philosophy of this school will do it better to read and ponder over the book.
Adhidaivik or the Ideological Approach
t has been said above that the chief Deity of this Sampradaya is Shri Manik Prabhu Maharaj, the fourth incarnation of God Shri Dattatreya. The special feature of this Sampradaya is that this is the only Sampradaya in which is manifested and experienced the Supreme power and the greatness of Goddess Shri Madhumati, the ‘Adipanchaka’ (or the first primal deities) alluded to in the ‘Devi Bhagvat’ as ‘Jambuwadini’, ‘Arunika’, ‘Meenakshi’, and ‘Madhumati’. Shri Madhumati is also known as ‘Mantang-Kanya’, the daughter of the sage Mantang. One who always gives his power that the three states (of waking, dream and sleep) or the three bodies (the gross, the subtle, and the causal) may function properly. We know him in His ideological aspect as ‘Shri Dattatreya’. This process of empowering cannot be clear without the manifestation of the power. This very power is known as the Goddess Shri Madhumati. The aspirants should therefore mediate upon Shri Dattatreya with Shri Madhumati.
This sect being monistic and all-comprising does not at all lay stress on or force anybody to be initiated by the mantra of a particular deity, because it is only Shri Prabhu who manifests Himself variously in this world and all forms are but only His manifestations. Differences do appear in the face of things, but essentially all Gods are one in their core and only a manifestation of the supreme reality. With this conviction firm in mind, one may take up any ‘mantra’ and it is sure to lead him to the goal. For the general public, we however recommend our ‘Shri Bhaktakarya Kalpadrauma”. Manik Prabhu Maharajki Jai’ which is a Maha-Mantra and should be said always. Besides the saying of the Universal prayer ‘Shri Manik Jai Manik’ in the morning and evening is also beneficial to all. If anybody wants to perform a special Anusthan (penance) he should take up a mantra from ‘Shri Manik Sahasrakshar Kavacha’ and do Japam (repeated recitation) of the Mantra. One should follow the procedure as laid down in ‘Shri Dattatreya Kalpa’.
The Indian tradition broadly divides men into four classes. The affiliated (Arta), the Aspirant (Jidnyasu), the worldly (Arthathi) and the wise or the sage (Dnyani). That all these and also the women, the children and the elderly should be inspired with a love for God, and the conviction that it is our Prabhu Maharaj who assumes the form of the different Gods be firmly rooted in mind. The rules and practices of singing the ‘Satwar Bhajan’, reading the ‘Guru Sampradaya’, worshipping the casket of the Prasad received from our Guru etc. should be observed closely and carefully.
Material Worship or the Physical Approach
Service, selfless and spontaneous, is the core of this aspect of worship. Every year one should come to Maniknagar at the time of ‘Shri Jayanti Utsav’ (The anniversary celebrations of our Lord Shri Manik Prabhu) and should participate in the programme whole-heartedly. One should serve meals in the ‘Pangat’ (the general feeding of the poor) should sweep and clean away the temple and its precincts, should volunteer to serve the brother pilgrims and in a word should do whatever is necessary to make the Utsav a complete success
Abhyasa or the Practice
A free discussion of the Vedantic topics and principles is the first thing to be done by the aspirant, ‘Dhyan’ and ‘Dharana’ – meditation and concentration are the two main features of the spiritual practice. ‘Dharana’ is the main thing even in the science of ‘Yoga’. That by ‘Dhyana’ a ‘Nara’ or mortal becomes a God can be amply seen in the pages of history. It is a patent fact that a spiritual aspirant easily mastesr ‘Dharna’ and becomes a powerful entity only by a little regulation of passion and self-control. In the spiritual practice we sometimes feel that our worldly life and ends are being marred and hampered. Even if it be so, we should not get unduly pessimistic of these things, but march-on with a calm and quiet mind. This means we should never try to altogether abandon such passions: like love and anger; for a complete and wholesale abandonment of the passions is a thing impossible.
Atman is absolute. It does not allow itself to be affected by anything in this world. Complete freedom is its nature. Nobody’s soul has been marred till now or will be so in future. We vainly talk of the salvation of the soul in this life (Jivanmukti) or after death (Videh-Mukti) owing to our illusive ideas and perverted thinking. Verily he is the greatest of men who never wavers in his conviction. ‘Thought I am functioning according to the character of the attributes myself, I am completely free, the absolute Brahman’. The core or the essence of the teachings of Bhagwan Shri Shankracharya is that whatever is natural and easily obtained should be got hold of first. Hence this school does not attach much importance to the traditional four types of salvation (Mukti), ‘Salkota’, Sayujyata’, Sameepata’ and ‘Sahaj-Mukti’ or the natural freedom. For a detailed discussion of this topic one should refer to ‘Dnyan Martand’ Part 1, Sec 23. To be brief the attainment of the heavens or the acquiring of the mystic powers (Siddhis) should not be our ideal. But we should be ever striving for the conviction that I am the same in the past, present, or future, ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ (Existence, Knowledge and Bliss) and one without a second. It is this conviction which goes by the name of ‘Sahaj-Mukti’ or the natural freedom. Let this be your aim and the goal.
Some Special Features Of The Sampradaya
The traditional works on Vedanta lay down that ‘Sadhan Sampatti’ or the equipment of such rigorous attributes as ‘Shama’ ‘Dharana’ etc. is a necessary qualification for the attainment of knowledge. Some even lay an overstress on this, which we feel as simply unwarranted. The correct view regarding this has been well explained in the following words of Sri Avadthoot Gita:
‘Ishwar anugrahadev Pamsam Advitat Vasana’
Only when and if God favors, a desire for the absolute is created in men.’
This means that a body once created a form or Bhoga (the remnants of our previous births) all these are bound to come to an end sooner or later. Why then lay so much stress on ‘Sadhan Sampatti’; going to the end of all the discussions, we find that all men are ever free. For a further explanation of this please refer to ‘Dnyan-Martand’ Part I. Sec 3. But by this nobody should think that this Sampradaya is quite against the ‘Sadhan-Sampatti’. Never, like that. As we see that a burning desire for knowledge has been created in the aspirant and his mind and intellect have become quite pure it is possible that he may have acquired the necessary qualifications in lives gone by.
The traditional Indian workers on Sociology with the aphorism- ‘Athato Dharma-Jidhnyasa’ meaning ‘now an inquiry into the law and goes on living down rules of conduct and the laws of the State and the society. This does not mean that their teaching is only for those well equipped with the science of Sociology but is for all who have the good of the society at their hearts. So even if the ‘Sadhan Sampatti’ is not apparent on the face of things, it is quite advisable that the teachings ‘Athato Brahma Jidnyasa’ (now an approach towards Brahman) be made to all for their beneficence and the attainment of their Brahminic splendor. We need not unnecessarily wait for the ‘Sadhan Sampatti’.
This is a brief, only a very brief exposition of the line of thought followed in this ‘Sampradaya’. The more curious readers may see other works of the Sampradaya, especially the ‘Dnyan Martand’ and ponder over them.
In a word the followers of this sect should regard themselves as the worshippers of ‘Chaitanya’ – the universal soul. Instead of getting fetish about the worship of the matter or concentrating upon name and form, one should remember that the spirit in all Gods is one and the same. For instance though we see such different name of God’s as Sri Pandurung, Vankatesh, Bhavani and Martand Bhairava, without losing sight of the one Chaitanya abiding in them all. Our followers should never foster hatred and dislike towards the worshipper of a particular God but, but with a loving heart co-operate with them. A glance at the reader that the various sects appear to be different and antagonistic to each other only because of the perverted vision of their followers and a pride of the fetish cherished by them. To wipe away these differences with a view to assimilate them all in it is the main feature of this Sampradaya. Our followers should then dedicate all their actions to God and achieve good.
Those who desire to prosper and spread this cult should establish a ‘Gadi’ of Shri Prabhu and worship the Satka and Paduka. It should however be well remembered that those who have these powerful entities, the Gadi and the Satka with them, have to beg alms every day and offer that food to them.
The Summing up and the Prayer
Last, with a heavy heart. I beseech you all ‘pray know that God is always with you. The pride of a sect or the differences in action and the behavior are only an outcome of the different attributes. Dispositions vary and tastes differ. A person may regard a particular deity as the chief one and strive to gain its favor according to his disposition by Yoga, by penance, by sacrifice, or by charity. Some try to approach the absolute free from all attributes, by meditation and concentration. What we mean by this is that all things created by God, let it be a tree or a stone, a mystic formula, a philosophy like Yoga and Maya or sect worshipping Shakti, the Goddess or Ganapati or any other thing in the world, have not come in existence without a definite purpose or value. The almighty has brought forth this creation with a definite purpose. There is not the least possibility of ignorance or illusion in God. All things created by God are only an indicator of God, Placing then ourselves at the service of all, we humbly beg of them to always think of the Universal soul abiding in all, give up hatred and foster love towards all. This world has come into existence only to manifest the power of the Atman. Act and enjoy as you may but never forget yourself, the Universal self. The illumination, the enjoyment and the knowledge of an object all these are a manifestation of the power of the Atman and possible by him only. Know this and enjoy the eternal bliss.
Like the fire, enjoying everything yet aloof from everything Sri Dattatreya Maharaj is our Supreme Lord who always wishes the wellbeing of all. May you all attain peace and happiness. Ever and ever praying for this, we take refuges in his lotus feet with these words:
‘Sri Manik, Jai Manik,
Hara Manik, Hari Manik,
Chin Manik, San Manik,
Jai Jai ho, Sakalmata Vijay Ho!
‘Victory to Sakalmata and Lord Sri Manik who is the wealth abundant and glory resplendent, the unified manifestation of Hara (Shankar) and Hari (Vishnu) , the essence of true knowledge and the cause or basis of all existence.