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February 19, 2007

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A few points.

Mitti seva seems to be the flavor of the week. No Indian would ever refer to seva (which is an integral part of all indigenous faiths in India) as humiliating or humiliation. This is essentially a difference in perspective. Mahatma Gandhi used to clean toilets in his ashram – not to get more publicity. There is nothing small about any kind of seva and RSSB does not have a copyright on the concept. It is a part of our culture.

The (supposed) greatness and following of RSSB is not because of seva, dera, guru and the lineage; but because they claim to show THE PATH. Everything else is peripheral and part of the environment. If there is a case against RSSB it has to be that meditation does not help. That would be the only conclusive argument against the Path.

Any one who has given a serious shot to 2.5 hours daily and has nothing to show for it has the right to throw the first stone. With my pathetic performance and track record it can’t be me.

I ask this for unlike all of you, who accepted the Path as adults; I was born in a family of followers and have had no other reference point. For me all Paths outside are equally dark or bright.

Shalini, very touching post, and open too. I feel you.

If you get the almost automatic verbal and personal tirade of criticism for this as other posters who concede even the slightest smidgen of 'warmth' to RS do (even taking into consisderation 'cultural' context), I hope you have the strength to ignore it.

We're all ultimately unknowing, it's just some like to cover this up by shouting louder!

I wish you peace....

Shalini,

Since you were born in a family of believers you have been conditioned to accept the claims of the RS theology. But they are simply claims, reinforced constantly in the community by the talks and books and various rituals of which Sewa is one. The two and a half hour meditation requirement simply makes it impossible for the Satsangis to question the Guru about the path, because hardly anyone can ever get beyond the guilt-trip laid on them.

You say the only conclusive case against RSSB would be if the meditation does not help? Help for what? Having a period of quiet?

Many methods of meditation allow that.

For realizing God?

How would you know?

God is not an experience. He is our underlying reality.

Anyway, if you are inclined to break out of the shell of your conditioning, you can start exploring the Hindu traditions expressed in the Upanishads from which the Sikh branch developed and later the Radhasoami branch, off the Sikh branch.

The field of inquiry is vast, but you have to start somewhere for yourself. Our tradition says, Tat Twam Asi (You are that ). Find out if that is true. It is not a trivial matter.


Manjit,

Criticism doesn't bother me. That’s why I am here. I believe only two things can happen at the end of this enquiry. I go back saying it wasn't so bad after all or get on to something that makes more sense.

I am not able to express myself as lucidly as Brian, Tao, Edward and some of the others do. Please do not mind if the response on Seva came across as rather harsh. It wasn’t meant to be that way. I just wanted to introduce a different perspective for the western contributors.

Awake_108

Good points. Let me think through

Both of you and the rest - Thank You for your patience.

awake_108

How do you know - "God is not an experience. He is our underlying reality."

Have you experienced that underlying reality? Are you saying this based on your experience? I know many in RSSB say this based on their personal experience.

"I know many in RSSB say this based on their personal experience."

Say 'this' what?

Dear awake_108,

I, too, am having difficulty in understanding your statement(s) that: "God is not an experience. He is our underlying reality."

Does this mean that we/I cannot "experience" our/my "underlying reality"? Also, how is this "God" to be conceived of as a "he" (or "He")?

I would appreciate your instruction.

Robert Paul Howard

The end of service is the provision of service, a position without conclusion, or in business parlance, an action plan with no resolution. It is here that the departure from common understanding of the purpose of business enterprises takes place. Service can only be whole, and therefore successful, when it is done for its own sake, as Human Service.

Paul,

God is not an experience.

Experience is limited to that which is relative, conditional, and perceptual.

You asked, but have YOU realized that underlying reality?

Those who have, do not have the kind of duality and doubt that you exhibit.

You wrote: "I know many in RSSB say this based on their personal experience."

Bullshit. RSSB satsangis say nothing of the sort. They merely parrot RS dogma.

If they had such realization they would not be following RS, and they would undertand "that underlying reality".

I have known many of them and it is quite obvious that they, like yourself, clearly do not.

Hi Robert,

Yes, God is not an experience. We can only intuit His immanence when we strive to discover our own reality in our inmost being.

One step to discover one's own reality may be to ponder the question: What is my reality? or Who am I?

or, to make it personal to you,

Who or what is having the difficulty (you mentioned) ?

The inner response to your own question comes, when it comes, intuitively. It is not tied to any specific experience.

About the use of the pronoun He for God. That is just shorthand for the immanent power. There is no gender connotation.

As for a concept for God, you can use what pleases you. Eventually all concepts drop away.

I did mitti seva in 1975 at various places outside of the Dera walls--once it was somewhere near the river where the water had receeded and I was bouncing up and down with each step like I was walking on hardened jello. I still have some photos like Brian's that I took, minus the ink markings from storage. Nobody ever coerced me to do any seva for the three months I was there, I could have chosen not to do any at all. Nobody asked me for any money either, not even when I got a nasty case of bronchitis and I went to the little clinic for some medicine. I remember sitting and waiting to be examined next to an old Indian man who had a tumor in his stomach that made him look like he had swallowed a shoe. It's a good thing nobody asked me for any money, since I made it back home with about $25 in my wallet and a mechanically challenged VW.

I enjoyed doing seva then so I did it frequently. Today, I don't enjoy it because of the attitude of many of the "bosses", so I'm not doing any. In fact, I haven't even gone to satsang for quite a while. So what? I used to believe that skipping mass on Sunday would doom me to hell, but I got over that. I used to think that going to satsang was important--I guess I'm getting over that too.

I do enjoy listening to Gurinder Singh talk and answer questions, but like I heard him say once, "How do you know I'm just not an ordinary guy with the gift of gab?" He's right--one can never know until one has internal knowledge of it. And no, I have no knowledge of it. Maybe someday I will. Until one has some internal experiences, one just spouts a bunch of concepts, (Gurinder's term) which are a dime a dozen in any number of (fill in your favorite RS/religion/new age/meditative) texts. Until then, it's just a very large, chaotic, mentally stimulating forensics tournament. (Not that I don't enjoy reading all of the pros and cons at the site here).

Please feel free to disregard anything or everything I have said since this message will not self-destruct in ten seconds.

pls send Hajoor Maharaj ji's snaps on this site

Hi,

This is the Age of Christ called Satguru and Jesus was the first anointed Christ whilst Nanak the Second. All the Bhagats and Apostles were Satgurus.

This Radhaswami is the blind guide of the blind who cannot render exposition of the Bible or Bani.

In this Dark Age, every one has to give his own account to God and so be a solitary and seek the narrow road to Salvation.

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