A few days ago "Jimi" left a comment on my blog post, Radha Soami Satsang Beas guru makes $254 million. He/she said, in part:
I've been reading this article and comments and I'm not sure what the issue is... It looks like BJ [Baba Gurinder Singh Ji, the guru] and family bought some shares and sold them and made a profit. What's wrong with that? Am I missing something? Is there something wrong with him being wealthy?
Jimi, you are indeed missing something. Gurinder Singh got a special insider deal on the shares. He didn't buy them as a regular investor. The RSSB guru used his connections as God in Human Form to become rich.
The shares were essentially gifted to him by a disciple who also was a relative. RSSB initiates dominate the management of Religare, so there are inherent conflicts between Gurinder Singh's "spiritual" life and "personal" life.
Soon I might write a blog post about how the New Testament would look a lot different if Jesus had acted like Gurinder Singh has. That'll give you more insights into the weirdness of a "saint" using his sainthood to become hugely rich, which preaching the importance of returning to God and detaching from the illusion of this world.
Well, here's my take on how the New Testament might sound if Jesus acted like Gurinder Singh. I'm not very familiar with the Gospels, never having been much interested in Christianity.
So if I don't sound like the King James version, there's good reasons.
I think it's instructive to undertake this exercise (in addition to the fun I'll have doing it). After all, the gurus of Radha Soami Satsang Beas are considered to be God in Human Form, just as Jesus was. And the RSSB literature says Jesus was the "perfect living guru" of his time.
(Though Jesus might have married and had children, I'll assume his earthly relations included a mother, father, and siblings; thus the money that went to Gurinder Singh's sons will go to Jesus' parents in my Gospel story.)
So seemingly Gurinder Singh should have a similar attitude toward money and worldly pursuits as Jesus did. If so, an updated version of the Gospels would have included a passage somewhat like this...
And it came to pass that Jesus' ministry bore fruit, with multitudes gathering around him to hear how God, the Father, loved them. God especially loved his Son, for blessings were showered upon Jesus: he became vastly rich not only in the spirit, but also in money.
Through the grace of the Lord, two of Jesus' nephews became successful merchants. Their business prospered even as they came to look upon their uncle as God's messenger, not a mere relative. So the nephews bestowed upon Jesus' earthly mother and father a hundredfold gift of riches, returning unto them a dollar for each penny they had given to the nephews.
Which returneth unto Jesus, for his mother and father shared with him the riches that they had gained, making him one of the wealthiest men in Galilee. Jesus chose not to share his riches with the poor who flocked around him, preaching that they should find their treasure in heaven even as the Son of God traveled in great comfort and slept in luxurious homes.
His intimate disciples were pleased to be the servants of Jesus as much in his money-making work as in his ministry.
They became trusted advisors to Jesus' nephews, helping to make their business prosper even more greatly, adding to Jesus' wealth. The Son of God and his family became billionaires, even as those who flocked around him remained both poor in spirit and poor in money.
And when they heard Jesus proclaim, "Again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God," looking upon him quizzically, the Son of God would say:
Dudes, don't take me so literally! Irony. Think irony. Anyway, do what I say, not what I do.
They would struggle to understandeth, knowing that the ways of God are dark, mysterious, and beyond comprehension. Especially that word, "dudes," which none in Galilee had heard before.