His Views on Social Problems of the Day
In the social sphere, Soamiji touched upon to inter-related
evil - the rigid caste system and the supremacy of the priests. His writings
clearly mention that all the four castes had forgotten their duties especially
Brahamans and the kshatriyas who claim superiority over other sections
of society and that they were more concerned about their status than their
virtues and even stooped to any low means to attain selfish ends. He held
the priestly class responsible for all the anomalies prevalent in Hinduism.
He criticised the school of renunciation and held that people renounced
the world because of their inability to overcome their passion and desires.
Soamiji delivered to the suffering humanity the message
of spiritual solace at a most appropriate time. The ignorant and illiterate
masses, socially held in low esteem by the priestly classes, had to take
shelter under other religion. Not one religious them could save them from
conversion and infuse in them the spirit of self confidence. It was at
such a period of crisis that Soamiji came to their rescue.
He revived the tradition of guru-bhakti. The guru
of the time (living adept) was the pivot round whom religious teachings
revolved. He put forward convincing arguments against ritualism in the
prevailing religious beliefs. He delivered the message of true salvation
for the mortals and emphasized a synthesis of karma, gyana and
bhakti. He revealed a Supreme Being who is all - pure and all -
spiritual, and His region - the fourth grand division of creation - as
free from kal and maya and the real abode of surat.
Soamiji's most important contribution to religion is the
practice of surat-shabd-yoga. He first explained the Supreme Energy,
the sound - current, the all - spiritual nature both of the ultimate reality
and the spirit entity and the holy name so resonant in the creation. Then
he prescribed a set spiritual exercises by which, the spirit entity could
transferred through various higher regions of creation and finally reach
its original abode and enjoy everlasting bliss peace. His surat-shabd-yoga
is easier than pranayam and hath-yoga. The devotee practicing
this exercise does not have to abandon his normal worldly duties. According
to Soamiji the only pre-requisite to his yoga is true and sincere
devotion to the Santsatguru.
Soamiji's books clearly reveal the might of his pen and
force of his argument. His verse composition is known as Sar Bachan
Chhand-band. His poems are replete with emotional appeal - a successful
blending of popular poetic expressions from different languages of north
India such as, Khari-Boli, Awadhi, Brijbhasha, Rajasthani and Gurumukhi.
Many words from Urdu, Persian, Bengali and Sanskrit add to the cultural
synthesis already discernible in Hindi literature ever since the Bhakti
period. His Hindi prose book Sar Bachan Bartik is a valuable contribution
to the development of the Hindi prose just before the advent of Bharatendu
Harishchandra. Brevity, straight forward expressions and emphasis on beliefs
are some of the rare qualities of his prose. For a devotee, His books are
the edicts of the Supreme Being.
Among the nineteenth century religious leaders, Soamiji
occupies an important place. He preached the gospel of love and devotion
even earlier than Ramakrishna. However, one has to admit that his teachings
are confined to spiritualism alone. He has not touched national problems
anywhere in his writings and is indifferent to other social problems except
the caste system and dominance of priests. A few women who participated
in the daily satsang at his residence discarded purdah and
learnt some Hindi to recite from holy books. Yet nowhere has Soamiji pleaded
for women's emancipation. It seems as if he was only an advocate of the
emancipation of the inner self - the Soul - and as such he did not think
it necessary to divert his attention to socio-political problems. He was
a param sant, ever absorbed in the mysteries of spiritual life.