Sant Tulsi Sahib’s Spiritual Master Was Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar, by James Bean

SantMat
Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality
4 min readMay 11, 2024
Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar Along With Smaller Images of Sant Tulsi Sahib and Guru Kabir

As has been mentioned by scholars contributing to that great book, The Sants, Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, published in 1987 by Motilal Banarsidass, Radhasoami Reality by Mark Juergensmeyer, and, Tulsi Sahib — Saint of Hathras, Tulsi Sahib’s teachings and those of Radhasoami are most compatible with the earlier Dharamdasis (the Sant Dharam Das line of Satgurus), a branch of the Kabir Panth, a guru lineage that also used the Five Names and held the Anurag Sagar to be a central text.

Both Dariya Sahib and Tulsi Sahib had a beef with the Dharamdasis over spiritual practice, believing that they and the other earlier Sant Panths and Sikhs had gone off course no longer fully imparting the complete teachings of Kabir, Dharam Das and the other Sants. With the old format initiation was divided into two initiations: the first into the names, contemplation upon the form of the satguru, and inner Light. After satsangis reported being established in the Light, they then could move on to the second initiation into the Sound Current. I’ve confirmed this myself from my discussions with people in the Dharam Das Kabir group and other Panthis. Most people in those Panths never get to the second initiation into Surat Shabd Yoga. This was crossing a red line for Dariya Sahib’s guru, Darya, and Tulsi Sahib. Too many chauka (chowka) coconut rituals, not enough Shabd Yoga. See page 85 of the book, Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, the chapter titled, Sant Mat and its Secrets, Dialogue Between Tulsi Sahib and Phool Das of the Kabir Sect.

The Dariya Sahib sangat was a schism branching off of the Dharamdais. Dariya Sahib is even portrayed by his followers as another reincarnation of Kabir come to reboot Sant Mat during this part of Kali Yuga. This rift with the Dharamdasis shouldn’t be overlooked, as it’s an important part of the history just prior to the time of Tulsi Sahib.

“How long will this line of succession continue? Kindly relate it to us in your own words, asks Fakkar Das. ‘Listen mindfully, 0 Fakkar Das, I explain this to you, says Dariya:

“As long as the discipline of the Sound Current
is preserved unadulterated,
The line of succession will truly continue.
But when it is mixed with outer rituals
and display of external garbs,
My Sound Current will part company.
My Divine essence will depart,
And the souls will go into the mouth of Kal.
I shall then come to this world,
And shall proclaim the teaching
of the Sound Current again.
Proclaiming the teaching,
I shall found the line of succession [again].
And emancipating the souls,
I shall take them to my Abode….
For aeons I have been coming,
And imparting the teaching
of the true Sound Current.”

And:

“That ladder is continued through me, says Dariya. Fakkar Das, Basti Das, and Guna Das are the ladders proceeding from me. Whomsoever they appoint as their successors would also be known as ladders. Thus will my line of succession continue.” (Dariya Sahib — Saint of Bihar, by Dr. Kashi Nath Upadhyaya)

Tulsi Sahib’s Guru — Ratnagar Rao Revealed

If in the 1930’s someone saying that Sant Mat was their spiritual path wrote that Hazur Baba Sawan Singh was one of the greatest masters of all time, on the same level as Kabir, Nanak, Dadu Dayal, Ravidas, Surdas, etc… you just know that person was extremely likely to have been a Radhasoami! Given that Dariya Sahib and Tulsi Sahib were contemporaries, the same observation can be made, the same logic can be applied to Tulsi Sahib’s intriguing references to Dariya Sahib of Bihar, mentioning him in his various writings and incorporating some of the bhajans of Dariya Sahib into his writings. It’s very plausible, very likely even that Tulsi Sahib was initiated by Dariya Sahib at a younger age, or that Tulsi Sahib was initiated later in life by one of the above-mentioned spiritual successors of Sant Dariya Sahib. No Cirque du Soleil mental gymnastics attempt at massaging the history or tea leaf reading is required. It’s a rather straightforward observation based solely upon Tulsi Sahib’s own words. Glad I’m not the only one to notice this:

“Among the saints whom Tulsi Sahib himself singles out in Ghat Ramayan as Satgurus (true masters) are Bu-Ali Qalandar, Jalaluddin Rumi, Kabir Sahib, Dadu Dayal, Rai Das Ji, Dariya Sahib (who may have been Tulsi Sahib’s own Guru), Guru Nanak, Surdas Ji, Nabha Das Ji, Mansur, Mirabai, Sarmad and Shams-e Tabrizi.” (Tulsi Sahib — Saint of Hathras, new expanded 2017 edition, Puri, Sethi, along with a new editor by the name of Dr. T.R. Shangari, page xiii)

Even after centuries, evidence for the existence of past Sants and the sangats, panths or organizations associated with a past Sant remain: the samadh where a Sant was buried, sacred sites where some saint spent much time in meditation, and the ashram of the Sant. These are maintained by satsangs, panths, usually somebody, even in the poorest and smallest of satsangs in rural India. Another reason why Sants are not typically unknown missing link mystery gurus is that people claim succession from them! and lineages live on. As with the Kabir Panth, as with Radhasoami with all those guru lineage charts, the same multiple guru lineage situation applies to the sangat of Sant Dariya Sahib of Bihar. So his meditation spot, his nineteen books, his samadh (tomb) and various ashrams are preserved, are still with us now.

Videos and Websites of the Sant Dariya Sahib Satsang:

https://youtu.be/CA5BmcqDtw4?t=169

https://youtu.be/qWNN5OJkkrk?si=PnoJ-KbcdHx15ssS

https://youtu.be/_g_gkM6_XkQ?t=410

https://theholysound.com/sant-dariya-saheb-bihar/books.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20220123151324/http://santdariya.org/Teachings.aspx

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SantMat
Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality

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