Singh is the "perfect living master" of the organization and is considered by the faithful to be God in Human Form (GIHF). So, not surprisingly, a visit from God creates a lot of excitement.
Some of which I used to share, when I was an active member of RSSB. But I passed up quite a few chances to drop everything and make a frantic dash to see the guru when he made one of his surprise trips to the western United States.
My attitude, which is echoed in some thoughts below, was that if seeing the guru had salutary effects on people, you'd expect that frequent GIHF-observers would have gotten some benefits from all their devotion.
This wasn't evident to me. Not that this should be expected. People go to see a rock band that they're big fans of and don't come away changed either. They simply have a good time.
Which also seems to be the goal of many, if not most, of those who are looking forward to the guru's Haynes Park visit. Nothing wrong with that.
What's strange, though, is how strange disciples act when word gets out that "the guru is coming!" Read on...
From a Church of the Churchless correspondent who lives in England:
Baba Ji [Gurinder Singh] is reportedly visiting Haynes Park over the Easter Weekend.
It seems such a ritual when this happens. Basically, the rumor mill starts, based on Baba Ji's schedule and the fact his sons have been educated here and live in the UK. Though on occasions he ends up in Spain to oversee his business etc.
The sangat [disciples] then quickly clock on to this and the Hierarchy send out vague messages to friends and family, indicating their need to attend Seva [volunteer work] on a particular date. The Hierarchy do this with an air of secrecy but the ones they tell inevitably tell others.
For me, it was my mother who phoned and mentioned we should put our names down for seva as the family were attending....”reading between the lines”.....
It's quite a farce and I feel it as such.
We have to all then ensure our names are down by Sunday 7pm OR you will be turned back!!
Come the day of Seva, many have to forfeit their meditation as they need to get up so early and travel long distances; line up at the gates; confirm their names are down (if not be sent to the dreaded PortoCabin); have cups of tea and generally mill about all day trying to find seva where possible. As there are so many attending, not enough seva is available.
Then around mid morning Baba Ji takes his walks and everyone lines up or sits down for him to pass and all “bask in his darshan!!” [looking at the guru]
When it's time for lunch the same thing happens and at times he sits in the canteen, where again everyone “basks in his glory”.
Thereafter shabds [devotional songs] are sung by mainly young men & women, some of which are translated for them as they cannot read Punjabi/Hindi etc. This ritual evokes tearful emotions amongst the crowds, especially the women!
Then a further 2/3 hours pass, where the sangat will either just mill about waiting for the Q&A session or carry on with the seva allotted to them.
As a side issue, many of the sangat go there for a social gathering. Many youngsters seem to be building “relationships” with the opposite sex and many of the “Mums” of an Indian persuasion are plotting to get their sons and daughters engaged!
At last the time arrives for the Q&A session, usually in the evening. Again, some of the so-called satsangis rush to get into the queue (some, especially the elderly, would push there way through - what have they learnt!!). They are then led into the tent where they may wait up to an hour before Baba Ji enters.
Before this happens, due to the sheer numbers, it is requested all the sangat move forward and squeeze as closely as possible to the person in front and to the side. This results in a very uncomfortable couple of hours.
Baba Ji then arrives and the session starts. As we all know the Q&A's are the usual mix and most responses remain as discussed on your forum. But on occasion you do get the insightful questions, Unfortunately these are answered in the vague manner which we have become accustomed to.
It then ends and the sangat make their way back home and due to distances/time etc, yet again forfeit their meditation for the next morning!
What is my point to all this?
Well, only to highlight the futile, ritualistic nature of such events/meetings.
Many who show so much emotion and dedication while there are soon back into their old habits. Others who are strong advocates and continually voice their opinions appear to get renewed sustenance and further expel their gospels but on most occasions.....to suit their own needs and social standings.
Others go around telling friends how beautiful the occasion was, only to make them feel down, and then continue to contort some of the answers to suit their own thought process according to Sant Mat.
Sangat members on their return home would then highlight “gaps” in Baba Ji's schedule for the whole ritual to repeat itself.
In my observation and many of those around me, it does not really benefit the sangat as they appear to be back in their old ways as soon as the event ends. It does though benefit the centre as a few more projects are completed or near completion and there is an increase in money seva [donations].
It goes without saying, I will not be attending.