Before I put away the RSSB newsletter that was the focus of my last post, I wanted to address the curious case of when doing good isn't really a good thing.
At least, if you've adopted a fundamentalist mind set. I'm familiar with that mental condition, because it was an integral aspect of my psyche for many years.
What happens is that your religious faith becomes the lens through which life's experiences are filtered. Everything takes on the hue of the dogmatic teachings that you've assimilated.
So in Sant Mat (my experience has been with the Radha Soami Satsang Beas branch of this movement), seva or service is considered to be important. This basically means "volunteering." But since the seva is done for the guru, or on his behalf, the work takes on a special taste.
Bhakti (devotion) flavored. There's nothing wrong with that. Selfless service in a spirit of love is good. However, if we limit ourselves to only serving people under the auspices of a religious group, this is limiting.
Quite a few RSSB disciples think nothing of driving hundreds of miles to perform weekend seva at one of the centers built by the organization, such as those in Petaluma, California and Fayetteville, North Carolina. That's admirable. But is it any different from performing a secular sort of service closer to home?
Apparently, judging from what I read in the May 2007 newsletter. Vince Savarese wrote that the sense of separation from God and the guru comes from our own ego.
This force in the mind is what urges us to enjoy old habits, create doubts, cause frustration. In contrast ego also directs us to achieve great noble ambitions, do good deeds, achieve noble goals for ourselves and society.
The more I thought about it, the stranger that statement came to seem. Savarese praises oblivion, which I assume means complete union with God. What should you do until you're obliterated, though?
Again, RSSB puts great emphasis on doing good deeds on behalf of itself—the organization. If this is a manifestation of ego, then why are disciples urged to contribute money, help construct buildings, organize local weekly meetings, and many other activities?
Because the good works done for the guru are considered to be of higher value than good works done for other people. Christians have it all over Sant Mat in this regard. Most preachers urge their flock to give of themselves to the poor, needy, and infirm. By contrast, I rarely, if ever, recall a RSSB speaker encouraging the faithful to volunteer time and energy for any cause other than RSSB.
The result, from my years of observation, generally produces more egocentricity among disciple sevadars, not less. The oh-so-special good works done for the oh-so-special guru create an oh-so-special feeling of, well, specialness among the faithful.
I know, because I had those feelings for several decades. And I knew many others with a similar attitude of "It's so wonderful to be serving God incarnate! I'm the selfless servant of the guru, which puts me at the foot of the Lord!"
It's hard to be humble when you're so close to the highest divinity. I'm happier now just being a run-of-the-mill do-gooder, helping out where and when I can, not considering that I'm any better or worse than any other volunteer.
My wife just got back from walking over thirty dogs at the Salem Humane Society. That doesn't count for much in the eyes of Sant Mat, but it sure does for me. And for a bunch of canines who had been cooped up in their kennels and needed to go.
Brian,I agree with your saying about sewa.
The sewa seems to blow up some minds and /or humble them.
It's both totaly nonsense,santmat talks a lot about ego,why(?)...we need it,but when given to much attention it only grows and blows.
The guru's give the example of being important..(?)....!
Posted by: Sita | May 11, 2007 at 03:23 AM
According to the theology -- Seva for the Master is to further draw the disciple's attention to the guru and less toward the world. The final goal (after all) is taking the disciple's soul out of the wheel of 84 lakh species....and all of that.
Although improving the so-called transitory world has never been high on RS's list of things to do, they built and maintain charitable hospitals and there use to be (before India changed some laws) eye camps.
To be fair, RS does not have anything against good deeds done, money given, etc., elsewhere. In fact I have heard the present guru encourage good deeds or charity of any kind.
It has been my experience, however, that disciples often want to "be somebody" --- most particularily at the right hand of God Almighty via the Master, so to say. That is quite a tempting thing. Most especially, it gives a person an excited feeling to be selected by guru for for a seva where one has more access to the guru. Some (with false humility heaped on top)want to be seen and noticed by the guru and feel heart-broken when they are not. An undertow of rivalry, resentment, jealousy, turf guarding, and manuvers that would be the envy of Machiavelli, take place around the top of the pyramid in particular. BUT, if one is pulling weeds in Petaluma, quite alone on a Tuesday, with tears of longing --- that is quite another thing.
Posted by: LB | May 11, 2007 at 09:11 AM
There is more to this than first meets the eye. I have just come from the satsang at the weekend. I put the view to BabaJi that if we are already enlightened - then there is nothing more to do - just something to REALISE. Doing contains the assumption that we are separate from God and need to do something to MERGE. However, the truth is that THERE IS ONLY ONE and therefore WE ARE THE ONE and duality is an ILLUSION. All we have to do it go beyond the illusion, not find or reach sach Khand. I presented this as the view of Ashtavakra who taught King janak about the nature of truth and gave him instant enlightenment like instant pudding. BabaJi still holds to the idea that we need to DO something (i.e ACT) - namely meditation.
Now let me say that BabaJi has clearly changed the sant mat teachings by taking them towards enlightenment instead of the traditional mystical journey through regions. He claims that he is saying nothing new - but anyone who can't see that he has changed - is just not listening.
I am not saying it is a bad thing, I think it is courageous of him to take a dying organisation and bring it back to life. The satsangis still hold the old ideas, but he is constantly getting them to challenge the old ideas and stop following blindly.
Now let me make one important point. BabaJi said to me: "In that case we can all just go home, since we are all God and there is nothing to do. Is that what you are saying?"
I explained that I am NOT saying that. There is still something to be done - but it is not meditation. He didn't give me time to explain what it is - but let me elaborate here. What needs to happen is that we need to SEE the truth (and I don't mean literally). Hence the importance of the company of the realised being. This is what true satsang is meant to be - not a theoretical exposition of scriptures as it has become in RS. What is the point of listening to satsang from someone who is himself in the trap of maya - all he can so is mislead you further. Bulleh Shah says that the blind are leading the blind and both will fall in the ditch. The realised being speaks from his truth and if you listen carefully - you can take on the same truth. What is there to realise? That we are not a separate 'I'. It is not that we need to merge in the ocean - we ARE the ocean already. Just like a man asleep on the bed is already at home even though he may dream he is in another country. There is nowhere to reach - there is just the delusion to drop. Doing / Karni by definition can never get us there. Why? because the DOER remains and the DOER is the EGO - the very thing we are trying to remove. The ego will never be removed - but you can go BEYOND it, and realise that you are not the 'I'. It has to remain for you to exist in the body. If the ego disappears - you will cease to exist. You are that which is beyond body and mind - you are the ONE - there is nothing else. There are no separate being or separate souls - that is all part of the illusion that we project becasue we are separate bodies.
BabaJi is halfway there. He says "meditate - but don't analyse - just do it because your master says do it." I totally agree - but this is no longer karni - it is sharan (surrender) and nobody will succeed because the desire will always be foremost. How will anybody meditate without desire. The motive it is get spiritual benefit. Babaji would have to make it clear - there is no spiritual merit - you will not get any benefit at all - but still do it. Then see who does it! If someone does succeed they are instantly enlightened because they have lost all desire and surrendered their life. They are no longer concerned with the result.
Now at the same time Babaji is saying that he does not advooate surrender becasue it is too hard. I beg to differ - he is actually teaching surrender - just using different words.
The way I see it - karni CAN lead to surrender - but your effort must fail - you must become helpless and that helplessness is surrender. But it must be absolute and complete - not just partial. If you totally fail - you give in and flow with life and all effort ceases as you see that you are helpless.
This leads to a state where you have LOST. Enlightenment does not mean that you have succeeded - it means that you have lost and failed totally. There is no longer a 'you' left. If you survive - then you will continue to try. To fail completely means that the doer dies. This is waht Kabir says "What has been done - you have done. I have done nothing. How can I say that I have done when you are there inside and outside as the real doer."
As you can imagine I don't meditate any more because meditation itself it a trap. Anything that it done as a ritual (like meditation is in RS) becomes a barrier to truth. Truth already is - we just need to wake up from the dream of separateness.
Many people in RS think I am somehow against BabaJi. Actually I have a lot for respect for the dude - I just don't show it in words. When I argue a point - I argue it without caring who he is. But actually this is the first time in RS that the path of enlightenment is being taught, and I think it is very commendable that Gurinder has taken a dying organisation and is attempting to revive it.
Posted by: OshoRobbins | May 11, 2007 at 10:01 AM
I'm sure that Gurinder reads this blog and structures his answers accordingly. It is a great way for him to update his approach with Westerners.
His position is however as a fully realised soul who is here specifically to harvest a certain group of people, initiate them into a secret form of meditation which attaches them to him so that he can draw them back to the highest possible plane through inner regions while accompanied by his radiant form.
Initiates should have faith and not expect results!
If through careful self and general observation after many years of meditation, visits and satsang, an initiate sees the entire approach as limiting as opposed to limitless or sees it as bogus, moving out and on becomes the best option.
Why would Gurinder attempt to revive a dying organisation when the plain teachings are that he comes to collect certain souls- no effort to revive an organisation or build an empire required.
Posted by: Catherine | May 11, 2007 at 11:40 PM
Just to be more clear ..Are you sure that
Baba Gurinder Singh reads this blog.. OR
are you just speculating?
Posted by: rajivkraus | May 12, 2007 at 12:34 AM
It was a flippant comment. Thanks for asking me to qualify it. I see the extent to which it could be mis-understood. On the subject though;
Consider that there was a politican with a minister who suddenly started an interactive web-site, against party policy,which explored the Philosophy of Politics. Even though a small group of people interact, there are ideas proposed that could challenge some core beliefs. At the same time it comes to light that a scholarly study (although now more than 20 yrs old) of this particular form of politics is freely available from the internet and being widely read. Also a group of people have left his party and are making their reasons known. Questions are popping up amongst his constituents during group meetings-In other words, there's ground swell. There is no rule against reading the ideas, just responding in print.
What would a clever computer literate politician do, even if he is supremely confident of his large following? He takes a slightly disinterested glance through the site once in a while. He also reads through the scholarly work when he has a small opening in his schedule and he really just, once or twice skims through some of the reasons given by people who have left the party. He's very busy and this is an almost insignificant matter. But he is a modern man maybe he should put a small amount of effort into defusing what may be a really tiny growing trend. He also notices that from a certain part of his constituency, the numbers are down unlike the growth spurt closer to home. So he whips out a pencil and pad and starts incorporating some of the ideas into his answers. Some of his answers are Zen-like, some are U-turnish, some completely encompasing and accepting of the groundswell folk,( he even encourages his constituents to read it all and draw their own conclusions) but never-the-less the answers are always charming, disarming. He smiles and they love it- he's our saviour for sure; no doubt about!
Posted by: catherine | May 12, 2007 at 10:26 PM
I quite agree. And lets hope (for the sake of those still captivated by his spiritual-guru charade) that he IS paying attention.
Posted by: tao | May 13, 2007 at 12:29 PM
You have not been keeping up on Gurinder's definition of Seva. He says it is "selfless service" to others, regardless of who they are or even their specis, and has been teaching this from the first day I saw him in India back in 1991. I distintly remember him saying at evening meeting that helping any old person across the street is seva. The organization satsangis are the ones who limit it to doing something for the organiation. It is just another way of makng themselves feel special and elite.
Regarding organization sevadars someone once got up and praised the eye camp sevadars. Gurinder said "They just do it show and so they can wear a badge"
He understands how people work.
Posted by: Howard | May 13, 2007 at 09:39 PM
That still didn't answer my question..
Are you sure OR are you just speculating?
Posted by: rajivkraus | May 14, 2007 at 05:37 AM
Howard, if it's true that the concept of seva has been broadened to include any sort of selfless service (leaving aside the question of what "selfless" means), then why isn't this reflected in official RSSB publications like the newsletter issue I quoted?
I keep hearing that there is a new and improved Sant Mat philosophy under the guruship of Gurinder Singh. Yet the books, speakers, and writings of RSSB remain the same.
If a satguru supposedly is the Creator himself in human form, shouldn't he be able to create a different worldview in his own organization? And if he can't, why should anyone believe that he has godly powers?
Further, I really don't agree that non-RSSB seva is being emphasized. Why all the focus on building large centers in various countries? Gurinder has been quoted as saying, "this is just so we can learn to get along," or something like that.
If that's the case, doesn't life itself provide plenty of opportunities for learning the lesson of how to get along with other people? Why is getting along with other initiates more important than getting along with friends, family, co-workers, and so on?
Posted by: Brian | May 14, 2007 at 10:23 AM
In my years with RS, I don't recall "seva" used in the context of anything other than service to the master in the form of daily meditation or some kind of work for the organization.
My impression was that there was nothing inherently wrong in serving others outside the organization (especially if it had to do with our livelihood), but that the world was Kal's (the negative power) domain and he could see to the management of that without our help through his subjects, the poor, unfortunate unmarked souls doomed to wander in chaurasi (the wheel of birth and death) for eternity.
Since we were encouraged to sever ourselves from the activities related to Kal as much as possible, it was best that we not engage in unnecessary contact with wordly (manmukhs)people as there would be a "downward" pull from this association. This was especially true as it related to meat eaters and beer drinkers (sports bar attendees). Hence, seva was best performed alongside and for the benefit of satsangis (gurmukhs)who were supposedly unworldly and focused on the spiritual path.
This creates an "us" and "them" mentality which is isolating, and leads to a sometimes not so subtle sense of specialness and superiority over the common man. A spiritual ego trip.
I am aware that RSSB performs eye camps and operates a charitable hospital that benefits non-satsangis, but the cynic in me suspects that those things exist primarily for tax advantages (I admit I know nothing about the Indian tax system)for the organization.
Now, if Gurinder is changing some of these concepts, rules and attitudes, it just reminds me of the Pope changing certain long held rules and practices in the Catholic church due to political pressure and to suit current mores. The old RS attitudes were viewed as part of the true path. Now they're not?
I could use some of Tao's favorite words to describe this situation.
And by the way, how about this Kal dude? Don't hear much about him in the RS debates. This entity is definitely a unique, weird concept in RS theology/cosmology.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 14, 2007 at 12:41 PM
Brian and Tuscon Bob,
You both pretty much nailed it. I have come to the same perspective and same conclusion.
If the RS under GSD's direction is now so new and improved, then just where is that manifested?
All I can tell you is that I don't see it or hear any difference anywhere in my occasional run-ins and casual conversations with old acquaintences that are still die-hard RS satsangis and who still go to the satsangs, darshans, and to the Dera. I have seen nothing whatsoever to indicate that anything has changed with RS, seva, and so on. And the RSSB-A newsletter does not reflect any changes either.
So I have the unmistakeable feeling and suspicion that this so-called 'new and improved RS' that is supposedly different, is simply a bunch of scattered PR propaganda being put out not by the RSSB, but independently by fairly recent disciples of GSD, in a bit of a knee-jerk attempt to compensate for, and defend against, the current and prevailing criticisms of RS that are coming from those older initiates who have since left and renounced the RS fold primarily during the past 16 years or so.
Posted by: tao | May 14, 2007 at 02:21 PM
Tuscan Bob and Tao. I agree.
Satsangis split the world into two types of people: Gurumuk and Manmuk. Gurumuks ( Initiates) attend to the Guru; Manmuks ( non-initiates) attend to the World.
A Satsangi would consider your wife very lucky to be able to attend to you Brian, an initiate. You would not be considered so lucky to be married to her! As for your wife's walking all those muts- not a good idea; she may become attached, and come back next life as one.
Direct service to the guru, his premises and his following is jealously guarded. Although the guru has made some disparaging remarks about his sevadars who wear the badges, they do a very thorough job free of charge.
As Tuscon Bob says, meditation is tops in the seva line-up. Quality doesn't matter.
There are degrees of seva value. Gurinder, Charan and anyone else would agree that service would encompass service to anything. However better to serve the highest and finest as directly as possible-the belief being that one becomes like the object one contemplates and serves.
Posted by: Catherine | May 15, 2007 at 12:40 AM
To all : First of all, almost all of u must realise that this is an American discourse and an American perspective. There is this thing called 'cultural relativism', and this thing called 'being in context'.
When i used to attend national satsangs in europe many people would point at the americans and there obsession for 'police' mentality. And that is a fact, i am not generalising that much.(Remember, Brian when you were a 'bodyguard' because of your karate skills?)
You go and find a 'concept', or ' philosophy' born in in the north of india, a mixture of islam, hinduism, and buddhism, which in effect becomes sikhism, which in turn becomes what we now call Sant Mat... (sanskrit for True Teachings, but in sanskrit it sounds enchanting).
AND YOU WANT ??? A PHILOSOPHY, BORN HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO, IN A CULTURAL TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE WEST, TO MOLD AND CHANGE TO YOUR NEEDS? Jesus f*** christ! Why dont u tell the zen monks to stop using a stick and use a taser gun, to the buddhist to wear jeans, to muslims to switch clothes, Wait a minute,,, lets bring pure democracy everywhere. Lets lets.
You knew what this path was before u got involved in it, if u cant do 3-4 hours of meditation after 30 years of trying,and its internal 'experiences' you WANT, go pop an LSD, or a Peyote. But give me a break with ur decontruction. Sant mat 2.0, 2.3, god is one, god is two, god is 3.4,, The new and improved sant mat, the new and improved Honda Civic. WHAT?!??!!
To Osho -Robbins: Osho is dead, and tom robbins is a good writer who fancied osho because he satisfied his way of life with oshos startrek dressing style. Then one, You ant gurinder to tell u that u should not meditate? In which planet do u live?
He is halfway there? Cmon bro, cmon. A 10 dollar psychic will tell u the moment u walk in her room, ur name, ur moms name and wheter or not u masturbated a day before.
Direct Question : what do u do better than meditation? walk? peel an apple? have a shower? take a shit? nice, nice. What do u think meditation is first of all. U say we are all one, tell u we are not, were 1.1
Duality is an illusion? What is duality, what is an illusion, what did alice say to the caterpillar. Give me a break. Intelectually u cannot even lift a stone let along solve the "mystery of mysteries".
Second: what were u even doing there? Why even go to see Gurinder if u know what u will ask, know the answer, and know that u will talk about ur conv. with other ppl,while elevating urself in the process.
What were u doing there if he is trapped in Maya AND HOW DO U KNOW? WHO ARE U?
Ur young and ignorant, and there are much better writter than robbins, and even though Osho is nice sometimes, there are other times when he is not.
As far as seva. Get over it. There are millions of satsangies, they need something to do when they all come together in one setting. U clean ur house and dont expect payment. If u dont want to do it, do fucking do it. What would be the alternative? getting paid?
Nothing has changed in Sant mat, there is no 2.0 no 2.1. there are just different ppl coming in the system. As it was 20 years ago it is still the same now. Die hards are die hards, skeptics are skeptics.
Brian: "The guru is the creator himself in human form", what a dry statement, as if u havent been affiliated with ths philosophy for 30 years and no absolutely nothing about it. That is what sant mat says, yes, but it also says that we are all GODS IN HUMAN FORM. ALL OF US. whether is true or not..dont really know. U knew what this path was when u joined it 30 years. Now u are saying tha u dropped it but it seems to me that u carry it around every moment of ur day. I have the impression that u want our sympathy " poor brian, did so much and gained so little, pls give something to brian dear sir" and the answer comes "He is a very naughty boy" (that is good joke by the way). Its funny how u even proclaim the fact that u never actually practised for a long period of time more thatn 2 hours of meditation. Let along 4 or 5 or 10 that would be the appropriate hours after the 30 years on the path. The fact the u complain about sant mat is TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED. IF someone comes and tells me ," ive been meditating for 30 years for 3 hours a day and i have seen nothing" then i would remain speachless, knot my head and walk away, cause i would have nothing to say. But coming out and saying, " an hour or so". is ridiculus. So you read all the Sant Mat books, U wrote a couple yourself, and still go out and buy 5 books a week. Nice. Nice.
Personally, i dont go to satsant anymore, dont socialise with any organised gatherings of satsangies and dont care if there are sevadars or whatever else. All these come into play if u deal urself with the politics of santmat.
The buddhist teachings and a organising and mainting a buddhist monastery are two different things no? I am not being apologetic of sant mat, but sant mat, carries almost all eastern mystical concepts with it, which for me they are not concepts but a way of life. So i dont dismiss the actual philosophy of sant mat, which if is looked upon with a 'wise' eye, well its pretty cool, puts a lot of things in perspective, especially at the begining states of a search for truth. Especially the Sound (WHICH NO ONE EVER MENTIONS EVEN THOUGH WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SURAT SHABD YOG) is a pretty cool concept as well. I wont deny,,i like it, (oh and it exists. Fact). Its when i converse with dogmatised ppl that gets me on my nerves. The same with islam or christianity, the teachings are ok,, love submit bla bla. Excellent poets, Rumi, kabir, hafiz,etc. But some of the ppl man...some-of the ppl..
Posted by: ander | May 15, 2007 at 03:13 AM
Ander, I did meditate for two and a half hours a day for over twenty years. Does that make you speechless? Or does it have to be three hours for thirty years?
I did everything by the book, every vow, for several decades. Don't you think that qualifies me to speak about whether Sant Mat meditation works?
You've got a nice stream of consciousness commenting style. But you didn't make much sense.
Posted by: Brian | May 15, 2007 at 08:32 AM
At least he didn't call you "Christian."
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | May 15, 2007 at 09:43 AM
I know a satsangi very well who has been sticking strictly to the vows, going regularly to satsang and meditating for 35 years, missing very few days if any, who admits to never experiencing any sound or light.
But even if they were dancing daily with hansas on the dweeps of daswan dwar to the rapturous melodies of the veena, this would mean nothing as far as ultimate truth or reality is concerned. It would just be another appearance in awareness. Such a state could be described as more refined than, say, killing pigs in a slaughterhouse all day and mopping up their guts, but ultimately no more significant or of greater value.
This is the illusion satangis buy into, the promise of escape to a better world, a heaven, salvation for an imagined soul.
Find out who it is, or isn't, that shovels the guts and dances with the hansas.
It is the shoveling. It is the dancing.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 15, 2007 at 01:11 PM
Your comments regarding santmat meditation are the result of the quality (and quantity) of the meditation you did and do.
Many soccer players know how to play and yet dont know how to coach. Some dont know how to play nut know how to coach, WHAtever!!. Your comments are well taken, and highly respected by me, but for the sake of the discourse, and i am not playing devils idvocate, i wrote my sincere thoughts, and reading it after, without even proofreading, i realised that i was kind of hars, i dont think offencive, but i dont care , cause it was sincere.
I respect your opinion, but i cannot trust it, as you can never trust mine.
And this cool.
"Things couldnt be more themselves as they are now"
Posted by: ander | May 15, 2007 at 06:08 PM
How do u know that it is not explosionss of greater and greater and still even greater ,States of awareness/consiousness/wisdom/nirvanass/mahanirvnas/parapara (whatever ok?)..?
It could be a proccess of exponential increasing and increasing awarenes.Never ending. Abyss
"Ducks and lakes are digging while dancing" sounds much better and makes much more sense.
Posted by: ander | May 15, 2007 at 06:16 PM
Sorry, and i just re-read your post.
For real man,,Tuscon Bob
"listening to the rapture melodies of the veena ........blabla would mean nothing as far the ultimate truth is concerned."
my friend,,,Why not wait and judge whether 'it would mean nothing as far as the truth is concerned" , AGAIN when you reach the point of listening melodies of veenas. I will apreciate your opinion More.
Killing pigs?and mopping them, and more pigs in the slaugther house, and guts and stuff? man. Being in dimensions 5 or 6 ahead of this in...(well i'll say again) Awarenes....,is the same as being a butcher, cleaning guts,,?Listening to the Veena,,killing pigs/dansing in daswan dwar/ is like cleaning blood? U compare the two? For real? I dont know. Really i dont know what to say to that,
Im trying to associate it with Kat steven's chocolate buddha, but still, I dont know
Posted by: ander | May 15, 2007 at 06:33 PM
Whatever some of you guys are talking about to criticize RSSB, has already been talked about by many before. A book called "Jigyasu ke Liye" (for the seeker) is published by RSSB and new deciples are encouraged to go through that before asking for initiation. Only after going through that book, if you still have faith, you need to go to the Master otherwise not.
This path is not for those who JUDGE because faith is much bigger concept than JUDGEMENT and JUDGEMENT can't comprehend faith. If you look at yourself, and compare your life before meeting Master and life when you're a deciple, do you find yourself better without Master? What can be better than one who doesn't kill animals, doesn't drink alcohol, tries to spend time in rememberance of Lord, lives honest life, performs his duties to his best and respects all religions. And best of all you were not spending time in a blog like this, criticizing followers of your own Master.
Posted by: Varun | May 15, 2007 at 07:34 PM
And in your JUDGEMENT one who doesn't eat meat, drink, etc. is better than one who does these things?
Thought...a futile habit universally condemned by the sages.
Who are these sages who cannot be bothered to think? How do they sage?
By a further dimensional extension whereby conceptualization is excluded and split-mind is whole. In this direct perception 'they' are absent.
So what is present?
How can that be?
In my (anyone can say it) conceptual absence everyone and everything is welcome right HERE right NOW and they will be Absolutely at home!
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 15, 2007 at 08:15 PM
What is God after all ? An eternal child playing an eternal game in an eternal garden
A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
Posted by: | May 16, 2007 at 04:40 AM
Folks, my parents are RSSB followers for many many years. And all I have experinced is that RSSB philosphy works atleast at the basic levels. I must admit that my dad is not a heavy-meditation person like Brian. Perhaps he was/is busy with managing his family and looking after lot others relatives and things. But he takes time and tries to do his best for himself.
I like Ander's and Catherine's comments in general. yours is more holistic view of sant-math. (this is my opinion, sorry Brian)
Perhaps the Sant mat and RSSB teachings are more a way-of-life in East. For people in country like India, I would love to see people not drinking, intoxicating and forgetting their duties towards their families. The basic teachings of RSSB (no-alcohol, no-meat, sewa etc.) is there and deep rooted in Indian culture.
I personally like concept of sewa. So even without being a satsangi I am willing to help others. I guess its more on compassion and humanity and doing your contribution to nature and underpriveledged(does not apply to west offcourse).
I also want to tell all your guys that contibuting to RSSB is never a forced stuff. I am actually annoyed at such cliams by people. Absolut crap!
Offcourse, donating to charity saves some bucks in Indian Income Tax, but thats there for thousands of organisations, not only RSSB.
Brian : I respect you and your feelings. Its good to analyse yourself anytime.I am sure there will be many who do not agree to your in-depth study and its outcome... Well thats
murphy's law :).... give that option to everybody...
I like this Segal's law.
"A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure." :)
My dad always tells me, Its your life, what you want to do with it and where you want to go. If you choose RSSB or anything, learn about it, decide, choose and dont complain later. You may otherwise enjoy.
Have a pleasant day folks.
Posted by: Amit | May 16, 2007 at 10:54 PM
Corection : last line.
You may otherwise also enjoy!....
Posted by: Amit | May 16, 2007 at 11:00 PM
I love the typo, "Sant math."
Posted by: Edward | May 17, 2007 at 05:06 AM
Tucson, you are now on a different plane of ego, which you will have to shun to accept the facts. Only a Master can help not hundreds of people on this post.
Posted by: Varun | May 17, 2007 at 06:07 AM
Varun: How do you know "only a master can help..."?
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 17, 2007 at 09:18 AM
Varun, the 'hundreds of people on this post' ARE all Masters.
It is only in your mind it is not so.
Is it the physical turbaned 'Master' that is imparting knowledge, the huumble 'disciple' that is accumulating knnowledge, or the Mind that is playing?
Posted by: Manjit | May 17, 2007 at 09:49 AM
Tucson: If you cannot solve a puzzle then go to the one who claims he can solve it for you. And if you are already convinced of truth then are you trying to convince others of your understanding or are you trying to see how many people have same view as you have (that means you still have doubt)?
My intention is not to argue but to help. One may not gain anything by spending many years under a Master, but you will definitely suffer more frustration by spending time on this blog. World is wide and there are few more years of life left, why not to spend them on something useful.
Even if you spend rest of your life in arguing on this post, you will be at same position or may be deeper in confusion.
And Manjit, here's a quote from Guru Granth Saheb
"Nanak fikka boliye, tan mann fikka hoye"
Posted by: Varun | May 17, 2007 at 01:37 PM
As best I could understand this quote was 'Oh Nanak, if you speak impurely, then your body & mind will also become impure'?
Huh? Come again?
If you mean the PHAT, that is actually a Dzogchen (a form of Tibetan Buddhism, which is far more advanced than the RS system, btw :) exclamation, made loudly & violently to startle the listener into a state of non-duality. I thought it went nicely with the Zen deriviative of 'is it the flag moving, the wind moving, or the mind moving'.
However, I see that may have been lost on you? It is understandable though, as believing in RS theology does tend to limit the potential for the mind to be free, loose, supple and able to comprehend concepts which do not fit neatly into their imagined paradigm.
Hence, a guy casting doubt on the 'Masters' ability to be more of a 'help' than posters on a blog must by neccessity be being rude!?
More importantly, why must people get 'frustrated' posting on a blog? Jeez, it's a bit strange when posting on a blog can be more frustrating than spending years upon years doing physical and monetary seva, doing 3 hours meditation a day and living your life according to a set of rules, and not gaining any advancement on the 'path' as promised?
Perhaps blogs like this will help future potential recruits to this almost certain life of 'frustration' to have a deeper think and reconsider their joining in the first place?
Is that 'useful' enough Sir?
And, from the Guru Manjit Sahib:
"Don't assume, that makes an ass out of u and me.....or some such inane aphorism"
Oops, there I go being impure again...:o)
Posted by: Manjit | May 17, 2007 at 05:02 PM
Way to go there my ole buddy!... But alas, me thinks that thou doth cast thy pearls before swine.
Nevertheless, I will also add me own triple-strength PHAT!!! ... and then meander over to the Ch'an Bar and have a few shots of Soma Sake with my old friends Huang Po, Garab Dorje, and Manjushrimitra. Hope to see you all there as well.
Posted by: tao | May 17, 2007 at 10:30 PM
You didn't answer my question: How do you know only a master can help? This is a very important question for you, for yourself, to be able to answer, not for me. And I'll add one more, equally important for you, not for me. How do you know who is a master?
You said to me: "And if you are already convinced of truth then are you trying to convince others of your understanding or are you trying to see how many people have same view as you have (that means you still have doubt)?"
The same could be said to you.
As for my motivations for being here. I'm here because I'm here. I like the stimulation of the discussion, and I would like to thank Brian for providing this forum and Tao, Manjit, Edward, RPH, Catherine, you and everyone I failed to mention for being here as well.
I read the posts, and sometimes I am stimulated to respond. The mind gets going and the fingers start typing. But for me there is no puzzle, no confusion, and if I spend the rest of my life on this blog you are very profoundly correct. I will be in the same position...here.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 18, 2007 at 08:06 AM
Tucson: Only a Master can help because brain can not help. You are taking help from your brain which is limited even to understand physical plane. Even small mathematical problems start looking complex to brain after few years. It cannot help my friends. As far as I am concerned, my experiences with Santmat have been beyond description. I do not have any questions. I have only answers. A piece of dust I was and he made me a pearl.
I don't think I can help you here. Because you seem to have so much confidence in yourself. You are trying to solve a problem of spirit with the tools of brain and mind, even YOGA will give you better results than these tools.
Manjit - Someone said here that a person with 2 watches never know what the correct time is. You have so many watches on your hand my friend, how can you get the correct time. Buddhism, Sikhism and RS mat, you are trying to go thru all of them and find the perfect solution. Life is short, decide fast. And BTW it was surprising to me that Tibetan Buddhism instructs people to find faults in other paths. But I believe there is some problem in understanding of individual rather than in Tibetan Buddhism itself.
Posted by: Varun | May 18, 2007 at 12:00 PM
Varun, interesting yet completely off-base assumptions you appear to be making.
Firstly, I am not a Tibetan Buddhist in any way shape or form. I prefer to plough my own path. It is just that the complexities of my own personal 'inner' experiences tend to tally more with the more complete and subtle cosmologies and paradigm of TB. However, I am not a fan of text book mysticism, or attempting to conform one's own experiences with paradigms espoused by others, such as satsangis do with Soamiji's cosmology, as it ceases to be anything other than imagination. Please read Nisargadatta or Ramana Maharshi for more details on this profound realisation.....but REALISE it for yourself is better.
Secondly, though I may be knowledgeable of a wide array of 'mystical' systems, I am not trying to find a 'perfect solution', as I don't have any unanswered questions. I have solved my personal spiritual quandry, and my interest is now merely a pastime. Indeed life is short, so instead of meditating for hours every day for an illusory time-bound gain, which in many cases is not even promised for this life but is promised for some imaginary future lives, simply BE liberated NOW.
Regarding not finding 'faults with other paths'. Huh? Are you high on Shabd Dhun? Have you read ANY RS books? Have you attended a RS satsang? C'mon dude, this is a hypocritical argument par excellance. The entire RS theology, literature and satsangs are based upon criticising and 'showing' the limitations of other paths, right? See Sar Bachan, Path of the Masters or Mysticism the Spiritual Path for further details.
I can understand your feeling of smug superiority to all those who now express critical opinions of RS and the so-called 'Masters', but, in actuality, you may be way out of your depth here brother, in knowledge, experience and involvement with the RS groups.
So, before trotting out your metaphors, please first try and understand the kind of people you are discussing with, as these kind of metaphors are easily seen through as being both irrelevant and meaningless.
Posted by: Manjit | May 18, 2007 at 12:28 PM
And, only 'Master' can help but brain cannot help???
Waaayyyyy out of your depth Varun!
How exactly does the 'Master' help? By telling you a technique anybody could pick up from a book? People have been hearing light and sound without initiation from any 'Master', and some people have heard and seen nothing despite meditating for years after being initiated by a 'Master'.
Shabd and Light ARE a brain phenomena, Sir.
I'm sorry, but the evidence points to the brain TRUMPING 'Master' every time.
Giving 'Master' credit for your inner experiences is a little like blaming your dog when you pass wind.....:)
Posted by: Manjit | May 18, 2007 at 12:35 PM
I don't think I can help you either. You have swallowed the RS bait.. hook, line and sinker. "A piece of dust I was and he made me a pearl." Where is this "I" that was so transformed? What is this "dust"? What is this "pearl"? Sages throughout time have searched for this "I" and have universally proclaimed that it does not exist.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM
Manjit: Good to see your frustration. That shows your limitations.
Tucson: You have not been able to help yourself, how can you help anyone else. I am leaving you here and proceeding ahead. God bless you!
Posted by: Varun | May 18, 2007 at 01:18 PM
Thanks Varun for showing your inability to intuit what is going on with others!
And your happiness at seeing another's 'limitation'. It kinda confirms you belong to a group which promotes limitation.
That was a subtle joke, btw!
I guess it's a bit more difficult trying to make a point with those who hold different views from your own, AND have more knowledge on the subject?
Ta ta dear fellow, and good luck with the dhun thing..
Posted by: Manjit | May 18, 2007 at 01:47 PM
Manjit: If your Gurus could not help you anybody is unable to help you. There is a very famous story about Guru Nanak Dev and highly knowledgeable Pundits. I leave it to you to decide who proved better -Nanak or knowledge of Pundits.
Posted by: Varun | May 18, 2007 at 02:45 PM
Varun, it is kind of evident it would border on the impossible to have a meaningful discussion with you as you constantly resort to meaningless analogies, metaphors and aphorisms. You have a predeterminded view of what spirituality is and is not, and limited definitions of labels such as 'Gurus', and have already determined who is and isn't correct in their interpretation of such. You need to gain the ability to shift your conceptual mindset to that of others to be able to communicate effectively to anyone other than yourself.
Firstly, why must anybody look to something outside of themself to get 'help'? (help for what exactly? An imaginary imprisonment in an imaginary chaurasi lakh? That's YOUR dream, not mine brother). Can't one help themself? Why? Because the RS gurus have told you so? What if they're WRONG?
Seecondly, the revered sage & mystic Dattatreya wrote that a THOUSAND things were his 'guru' which led him to 'liberation'. These included the wind, the stones, the earth etc. You LIMIT the 'Divine' to a physical human guru, but that is a sin against the divine. The 'Divine' is EVERYWHERE. Just why can't the posters on this blog be as effective as 'Gurus' as the RS 'Gurus'? Because we don't wear turbans and keep a long beard? Because our daddy or uncle didn't pass on the mastership of a family business onto us?
And, what is a pandit? One that belongs to a pre-formed conceptual belief system, and carries out yogic practices by rote? Wouldn't that be a definition of the RS satsangis? Are you able to free yourself from your conceptual ideas of karma, gurus, god, inner regions etc?
"Where there is neither sea nor rains,
Nor sun nor shade;
Where there is neither creation
Where prevails neither life nor death,
Nor pain nor pleasure;
Beyond the states of Sunn and trance;
Beyond words, O friend,
Is that unique state of Sahaj.
It can be neither weighed
Is neither heavy nor light;
It has no upper regions
Nor lower ones;
It knows not the dawn of day
Nor the gloom of night;
Where there is neither wind
Nor water nor fire,
There abides the perfect Master.
It is inaccessible,
It is, and it will ever be;
Attain it through the Master’s grace.
Sayeth Kabir: I surrender myself
At the feet of my Master,
I remain absorbed
In his true company."
Posted by: Manjit | May 18, 2007 at 03:26 PM
Manjit: What Kabir said is not this planet. Isn't it obvious to you from years spent by you here? And Guru Nanak is never out of context my friend. He taught all of us hundreds of years ago that mere knowledge and logic will limit us like those limited 'so-called' Pundits. And it seems you believe in Kabir more. Here's one from Kabir
Pothi Pad Pad Jag Mua, Pundit bhya na koyi
dhaayi akshar prem ke pade so pandit hoye
Posted by: Varun | May 18, 2007 at 05:11 PM
Oh boy Varun!
Your post is so irrelevant to what I wrote, it is actually pretty amazing. As is your inability to answer a single point I have made directly in response to yours.
I have some letters for you to study and meditate on, and you may attain some kind of realisation. You have to be genuine in your introspection though. And you can call me your internet 'Guru' afterwards.
P S E U D O - S P I R I T U A L I T Y
It is that, Kabir and Nanak were refering to. It is THAT RS, in the main, IS.
Posted by: Manjit | May 18, 2007 at 05:47 PM
Manjit: Your points do not hold any importance. You are thinking yourself above Kabir and Nanak after reading a bunch of books and arguing over here with confused people. You are into too many things, much more than your brain is supporting you for. Take rest, meditate for some time.
Posted by: Varun | May 18, 2007 at 07:48 PM
You are a ngur-cult moron.
You are really cuttin right through Varun's transparent pseudo-spiritual RS BS. Bravo maestro. I really gotta love ya Bro.
People like Varun just don't frickin get it. Maybe he will next lifetime, but don't hold your breath.
Posted by: tao | May 18, 2007 at 09:54 PM
Thanks Tao. I don't really hold much hope for Varun to get anything, as he really does seem entrapped in his own mental creations. From my very first & brief post, he has misunderstood and responded to something he had imagined in his own head!
Varun - Kabir and Nanak are nothing but imaginary characters in our heads. We never met them personally, so what you are saying is entirely imagination based. I have no need to compare myself with imaginary persons. I am who I am. I'll let you carry on with this fantasy of Kabir & Nanak were this or that. I bet you on one thing though, I bet you haven't got a clue what yoga they practiced? I'll give you a clue; it wasn't the simran/dhyan practice taught by RS!!
And it isn't it funny that my brain can't support me, just because you are unable to address any of the points I raised in direct response to yours? You seem happier just responding randomly about something irrelevant to what's being discussed? Hmmmmm....That Dhun has got you tripping...:)
Posted by: Manjit | May 19, 2007 at 06:23 AM
when you start to loose resort to crap.. way to go manji and tao...
Posted by: vikas | June 14, 2007 at 01:32 AM