About a week ago Marina, a visitor to this blog, asked me to explain why I left the spiritual organization that I'd belonged to for about thirty-five years. She then reminded me that I hadn't answered her question, asking again:
What made you leave RS [Radha Soami Satsang Beas] – a major thing or a nagging feeling over the years?
I pointed her to a partial compendium of posts that I've written for this blog, quite a few of which addressed this question. But something kept nagging at me as I thought about her first three words.
What made you...
Had I answered this in my previous posts? Could I answer this query better if I made a fresh attempt? And more basically: Is it possible for anyone to answer a question that begins with "What made you..."?
Somewhat strangely, given my churchless inclinations, I'll address this last basic issue by starting with a memory from my true believing days.
A woman, Signe, who used to give talks at our local RSSB gatherings, liked to say, "We justify our karma." Meaning, when something happens to us that's the result of something we've done in the past, we make up a reason for why it happened.
Because we humans don't like unanswered why's. Mystery is irritating. Our ancestors didn't know what produced lightning and thunder, so they made up stories about Thor and other supernatural powers that govern worldly phenomena.
Now, I no longer believe in the sort of past-life karma that Signe was referring to. However, her essential point still rings true to me.
We are strongly drawn to stating reasons for what happens in our lives, whether a happening seemingly is outside of our control (a plane we're about to leave on has a mechanical problem) or is freely chosen (we order a large coffee rather than a small one).
Neuroscientists, though, know that most of what happens in the brain occurs outside of conscious awareness. I'm going to share a fairly lengthy excerpt from the book "Living as a River" because it is so interesting and germane to this question of whether we can offer up reasons for what we do.
[Background: when someone has split-brain surgery the corpus callosum that allows the two halves of the brain to communicate is severed, so the halves no longer can exchange information and work independently.]
In one intriguing experiment, split-brain subjects were presented with two cognitive tests simultaneously -- one to each side of the brain. (This is possible because of the way in which the left and right visual fields are wired up, respectively, to the right and left hemispheres of the brain.)
The subjects were presented with a picture and asked to point to an object that went with that picture. Both sides of the brain performed perfectly. When the left hemisphere was shown a chicken foot, the right hand would point to a chicken. When the right hemisphere -- simultaneously -- was shown a picture of snow, the left hand would point to a shovel.
But now the subject had to explain why he made his choice. And he had to do this using only his left hemisphere -- the side of the brain that deals with language. But the left hemisphere had only seen one of the pairs of images!
The responses -- typically something like, "I saw a claw and I picked the chicken, and you have to clean out the chicken shed with a shovel" -- made no sense at all. These "explanations" were in fact fictions -- post hoc rationalizations -- because there was in fact no causal connection whatsover between the actions of left and right brains, which were acting in an uncoordinated way.
Thus this experiment shows that even when "I don't know" is the true answer, people will still give made-up reasons for why they did something.
The human brain is largely unknown territory. It's got a lot of hidden layers. To scientists the brain is as difficult to fathom as "God" is for religious believers. Both the brain and God work (or in the case of God, is said to work) in mysterious ways.
I come down on the side of science, which finds our conscious explanations to be poor reflections of unconscious brain processes. But if someone is religiously inclined, he or she also is justified to doubt whether it's reasonable to offer up reasons for what we do.
Karma. God's will. Destiny. Fate. Influences of a higher (or lower) power. These are supernatural notions which, though quite different from scientific findings, point in the same direction:
We can't say why we do what we do, because that information isn't available to us.
So this is a long non-answer to Marina's short question.
I really don't know why I joined Radha Soami Satsang Beas, and I also really don't know why I left the organization. I also really don't know why I married and divorced my first wife, or why I ditched my Nokia cell phone for an iPhone.
Like someone with a split-brain, all I can do is say how things seem to me. Instead of seeing myself as justifying my karma, now I view myself as justifying my unconscious brain processes.
I'll end with this observation:
It seems to me that people are much more apt to ask for a specific reason why someone left a religious organization, than for a specific reason why they joined it. Christians, for example, are pleased to accept "I was moved by the spirit" as an explanation for why someone accepted Jesus as his or her savior.
But if that same person leaves the church, true believers aren't nearly as willing to accept "I was moved by the spirit" as a reason for the de-conversion.
Why not, though?
Isn't it as likely that a mysterious divinity guided someone to join up, as to leave, a spiritual faith? Or, more scientifically, that no good reason can be given for either action, because we aren't privy to the most powerful because's in our brains?
When I saw you had a new post up my immediate reaction was ‘wait a minute! I haven’t finished with the last one yet! Slow down!
And then I SAW my name – more acknowledgements – oh, now it’s ok. :)) lol
I’m gonna need to get my acknowledgment (validation) from myself and quick. I can’t be depending on you lot as I’m sure some day soon ye will let me down. Lol
Quickly to make my point – no time to blog today as I’m babysitting.
You wrote: ” We are strongly drawn to stating reasons for what happens in our lives
I would put it another way, like in my case ‘defending’ or needing to know, not liking not knowing, feeling stupid for not knowing. By the way I’m sure you have seen the movie “Defending your Life” with Meryl Streep & Albert Brooks – cute, with a nice wee message, saying a lot about how we defend or reason or way through life.
As you say, having to have a reason when maybe there is no reason – it just IS.
When I find myself from now on getting defensive, my new saying will be:
I’m not here to live up to your expectation and you’re not here to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I.
You do you’re thing and I’ll do mine.
You are right. Mystery is irritating and we feel we have to give ‘reasons’ and we have to come up with some answer and know. Why, why and more why’s there is never any shortage. For me anyway, it’s a case of needing to ‘know’ and not being able to rest with ‘not knowing’.
Did you ever find yourself explaining something to someone and half way through say to yourself ‘ what the hell am I saying’?..... and then admitting I DON’T know. What a relief. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out like that. Need to know, need to know......
I think we see ‘not knowing’ as a bad or negative thing – especially in our culture where it is like we are rewarded for knowing and condemned for not knowing. Not-knowing has a negative connotation.
It is like someone saying to you ‘who are you’? Er let me see.... mmmm not sure, one day I’m one thing and the next I am something different. This ‘me’ keeps changing. Then if these things keep changing, are they who I am? Obviously not!
What usually happens, well to me anyway, is I’ll try to come up with a shopping list, a reasonable answer, one with ‘meaning’ and one that hopefully sounds good!
Peter Ralston in his book has a lovely way of putting it.
He starts off by asking: “which is more important inhaling or exhaling?”
He goes on to talk about knowing and not knowing.
He says: ”It’s the same with knowing and not-knowing. To be efficient, there has to be a balance. Whenever you or I learn anything, “not-knowing” has occurred – whether we intend it, or we haven’t a clue that it is taking place. When we try sliding quickly through not-knowing to get to knowing, somewhere in there not-knowing has occurred or learning didn’t happen – just as exhaling occurs, or inhaling doesn’t happen. In either case, this interchange can proceed with different levels of efficiency. If we resist not-knowing at any stage, our learning capacity is impeded and we’ll have more difficulty acquiring new skills and understanding.”
So looking at it this way (for now anyway. This will probably change :), not-knowing is good. It leaves you open to experience things as they are and not how they ‘seem, imagined, reasoned ‘, whatever, to be.
You wrote” It seems to me that people are much more apt to ask for a specific reason why someone left a religious organization, than for a specific reason why they joined it. Christians, for example, are pleased to accept "I was moved by the spirit" as an explanation for why someone accepted Jesus as his or her savior.
But if that same person leaves the church, true believers aren't nearly as willing to accept "I was moved by the spirit" as a reason for the de-conversion.
Why not, though?
Ah you got me there Brian! Never thought of it that way or maybe I have on some occasions. I liked your left brain, right brain thing.
It reminds me of the example of the hypnotist who hypnotises a person into thinking he is a chicken. When he de-hypnotises the person and you later ask the person why where you a chicken, they will make up something that will sound plausible, or give a ‘reason’ even though he doesn’t remember being hypnotised.
Posted by: Marina | May 16, 2011 at 06:42 AM
I always use the following story to debate my 'free will'. Some time ago when I had a burn out, or something, there was an appointment with a doctor. I knew that my body was not ready to go there, I needed rest but my mind said that I had to go there because of my duties as an employee. So what happened. A week before the appointment I suddenly remembered that I had to go there and I was very certain that it was the next wednesday at a certain time. The thought of looking it up in my agenda simple didn't occur. When it was that wednesday, I had been thinking of it all week now I went to get my coat and suddenly something in me made me look in the calendar that moment. And than I saw it. The appointment was on tuesday so I had missed it and there was no way I could have been there even with all my responsibility and carefulness still intact.
I interpretate this as my deeper will, with whatever biological or super biological origins, makes me doubt something or makes me interested in something. Than my waking mind works on it but when I'm working against the survival mechanisms of my body than I'm starting to forget or in severe cases I might be taken over completely I'm afraid. My waking mind is a small part of my complete mind with severe amnesia of the total being that I am with all the dreams and motives that I'm only partly aware of. It was put there by evolution because evolution needed to evolve from the amnesia of an amoeba to the state of a split waking/sleeping being because the waking being proved to be a very efficient agent in most cases for the total being. I believe that in the sleeping state we are the amoeba again but the waking state raises the agent that we now think we are when we are awake. So is there a free will? Yes there is but we are only a part of it.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 17, 2011 at 03:08 AM
I understand Brian that in the end all reasons are just made up reasons, so what 'made up' reasons did you make up when 'the spirt' moved you to leave sant mat? (And have you made up any new ones since?)
Posted by: Marina | May 17, 2011 at 11:16 AM
Marina, you've talked me into sharing some unreasonable reasons (but, hey, they're mine!) for why I left Sant Mat/RSSB. In no particular order, but I'll number them just for the heck of it:
(1) The closer I got to Gurinder Singh and the "higher-ups" (top sevadars) in the organization, the more I realized they were just normal flawed people like I was. Nothing wrong with that, but it deflated the whole "Perfect Living Master" thing for me, along with the "Meditation Leads to Sach Khand" thing.
(2) I realized that what I liked most about Sant Mat was all the "Sat" (truth) emphasis. Reality, wow!, what a great idea. However, truth is bigger than any teacher, any organization, any dogma. It dawned on me that if I wanted to continue trying to embrace truth, I needed to let go of the religious/philosophical notions that were keeping me confined within certain bounds.
(3) Looking back on how I'd viewed Sant Mat, and the talks/books that I'd given/written about the RSSB teachings, I saw a progression, a theme, an attitude that was at odds with the traditional "fundamentalist" Sant Mat approach. I was scientific, skeptical, open-minded, non-authoritarian, humorous. I came to see the schism between what I really believed, and what I thought I believed.
(4) Maybe most importantly, the fire burned out in me. I wasn't passionate about "The Path" any more. I was playing out a devoted disciple role mostly on inertia, not genuine fervor. Getting fired as a satsang speaker was kind of a final drowning-out of the remaining embers. (I'd started up this blog, and the RSSB powers-that-be said that what I was writing about was making some true believers uncomfortable -- which actually made me feel good.)
As to whether I have any new unreasonable reasons for why I left Sant Mat...
Hmmmm. Got to think a few seconds about that... Well:
(1) Moving from a traditional martial arts style (Shotokan karate) to a much looser, less formal, mixed style, and then to Tai Chi, which is even more free-flowing -- this was happening along with my gradual detachment from Sant Mat. I think the physical reflected the spiritual; as I saw how becoming less dogmatically rigid worked better in self-defense, it dawned on me that the same applied to self-realization (whatever the hell that means).
(2) I wanted to have more fun. The older I got (I'm 62 now), the more I came to feel that what I needed to do, I need to do now before death's door came any closer and I became less able to throw myself into fresh activities. My wife and I took up Tango, and then ballroom dancing. I saw that living life happily in the here and now was more satisfying than waiting for Sach Khand/heaven to appear around the next corner.
(3) I was tired of feeling special. Hearing in the RSSB books and RSSB satsangs that I was "saved" and my wife wasn't, that I had some special grace/karma that other people didn't -- this became a major turn-off. I just wanted to be a normal fucked-up person again, no better and no worse than anyone else. Plus, I wanted to be able to say "fucked-up" when I talked about the meaning of life. (I'd always skated on the edge of outrageousness in my RSSB satsangs, so it was a relief to be able to say what I wanted to say without an inner censor looking over my shoulder.)
(4) I wanted to maximize my chance of finding God/ enlightenment, as strange as that may sound. I didn't want to put all my salvation eggs into one basket, as I'd been doing before. I had a strong desire to simply open myself up to whatever spiritual, mystical, or divine truth might be out there, telling it "Here I am, show yourself; I'd like to get to know you."
Well, there you are. Of course, these are all just made-up reasons from the frothy surface of my consciousness -- a story that I like to tell myself (and others). Deep down... that's a whole other world inside my head. I can sense a little bit of what lurks in the depths, but it's almost entirely a mystery to me (along with everybody else).
Marina, I like your style. Your sharings on this blog are honest, open, personal. Thanks for saying what you've said. You've stimulated some good discussions and brought out interesting ideas.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | May 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Is/was there an assumption on your part that these "higher-ups" sevadars should be more "spiritual" than other disciples? If so, why?
My personal opinion is that people enjoy feeling special. What could be more thrilling than being close and special to God In Human Form?! Makes any other VIP position in this world comparatively trashy. And heaven forbid one should suffer a fall from bein' special....hell might hath no fury as a proud disciple scorned. I have seen it........actually.
How close did you get to GDS in order to garner full note of his "flaws", and what did they look like?
Posted by: Jon Weiss | May 17, 2011 at 03:05 PM
"I was tired of feeling special"....the prime motivation for joining RSSB or any other movement.Our significance in the Universe is no more meaningful or special than a drop of water
Posted by: Dogribb | May 17, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I'm still looking for the special oneness except that now I see the oneness more in the one cell of the amoeba than in the eternal truth. Try looking at them closely, you see the basic character traits that you see in us! Sometimes I think that apart from all the flesh we might just be a bunch of neurons that found a way to work together in symbioses or you might prefer the heavenly word love ;) Probably one took the control and that is me :) Now I'm seeking symbioses with God or the ONE. I simple have to, it is in my nature :)
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 18, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Oh boy I have to revise that last statement. It is wrong to say that one neuron took control. They worked together like everything in life and created an agent with a worldview in time and space and a memory that was particular effective in hunting. The neurons themselves never think about themselves like we do if they even have an awareness at all. We are what emerges when you create the illusion of a separated oneness by creating a memory and perspective that maintains the illusion of the person acting in his world like an agent. Something like that, have to work on it though...
But think of all our higher religious motives our higher truths, specialness. I think they are the natural by effect of the agent maintaining himself by force of nature. Perhaps if we let go of all the higher morals and truths and psychologisms, perhaps we might find eternal oneness again like my amoeba :)
But we might not like it and we are going there after death anyhow.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 18, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Your honesty is admirable. In Sat Mat
we have been trained to see and to hear.
Our image of faith is the master figure
and the blankness of meditation. Our
subconscious knows our article of faith
So, lets try something else based on
some other ideas. Lets start fresh.
Do not meditate with your eyes closed.
Take an object of veneration from when
you were a kid. Something incredibly
simple. Very childlike.
Lets say the Virgin Mary, or a saint
you knew about when very very young.
It can even be someone extremely simple
like Faquir Chand, with his childlike
Now with eyes open while reading this,
place this image directly on top of your
head. Not the third eye.
Feel the top of your head until it starts
to tingle. On top of your hair. Place
your childlike image on top of your head
and FEEL the image irradiate you.
FEEL the irradiation until you get light
headed. You are not seeing anything,
nor hearing anything.
Just know your childlike image is irradiating
you on the top of your head.
Imagine yourself touching a still pond of
water in a forrest. You are all alone.
You touch the pond of water with the tip
one finger and a ripple is sent out to the
Your head is now feeling a breeze. Your
hair is now blowing in the wind.
You are being bathed in wonderous simplicity
and the top of your head feels like it may
Touch the eternal essence you are feeling
on the top of your head.
There is nothing you can say to it and
it will say nothing to you.
It will be with you always. Take it
everywhere you go.
There is no place like home ....
There is no place like home.
Only the simplicity of a child can find it.
Posted by: Mike Williams | May 18, 2011 at 07:26 AM
Could you provide a mechanism as to how "free" will is activated in the human brain? I would like to examine and activate mine. Thanks for your help, Roger
Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2011 at 08:23 AM
How does our subconscious 'know' things like being misled? Again, what is that essense stuff?
Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2011 at 08:51 AM
My dear Roger,
We here on this club are cold
The FEELING is missing. That's
what we missed.
How did we miss it ?
Where is this FEELING ?
This ESSENCE ?
This FULLNESS ?
This is what we will investigate.
Posted by: Mike Williams | May 18, 2011 at 09:54 AM
@Mike thanks for the guided meditation. The image of the virgin Mary has helped me a lot with health related issues in the past when I seriously pray to her so that was a good image and she is still shining above my head.
Not so long ago I got meditation techniques from a satsangi that in fact where like your meditation except that the advise was to think that the master is above your head :) Virgin Mary works better for me. The next step was to repeat the names but very slowly with the attention in the third eye. The techniques came from Rich Seader a satsangi in Chicago. The instruction contained remarks from sant rajinder singh ji maharaj and sant kirpal sing ji maharaj. I must say the descriptions where refreshing after the total lack of descriptions from baba ji gurinder.
If someone is interested I would like to post the techniques.
What greatly helped me is to do self research and to find out what you are circulating around. A lot of people circulate around their work, their partner, their friends, their enemies, their church, themselves, their possessions, their pleasure and get their self respect from these sources. I try to determine some sound old fashion principles and try to circulate around these principles. If you discover that something or somebody or some pleasure is so very important to you that it or he/she determines all your thoughts than it can be very liberating if you realize that it aint necessarily so. Try to figure out what is controlling your thoughts outside you and than see if you want to keep it that way.
Than if you are looking for something else to circulate around try to get inspiration about the principle higher values in your life and how you can realize these values. What would it look like if you realized some of these values by example to have a better family life or being a better friend. Circulate around the steps you could take. See every situation through the glazes of these new values and see what you want to let go of. That way you'll set yourself free from slavery and become your own captain with your own course and your own goals.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM
I found this,
"It is medically and scientifically proven that when there is a sensation in the body, let's say a tingling in your finger, it takes half a second before it is perceived in your brain. Therefore, there is a delay between the stimulus in your finger and the registration of consciousness of it -- a gap of half a second, which we call space. This gap is where the possibility of free will resides.
What usually happens is that in this half second you immediately react and therefore there is never space, or what the Buddha calls free will.
If you can observe the space and not react to the impulse, you have exercised free will. In the words of the Buddha, this would be detachment. In other words, free will arises when you cease to react to impulse."
Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2011 at 10:45 AM
What reasons do I need to know, oh, oh, oh, oh. Tell me why?...
On the point of trying to figure out if RS is for me or not – it suddenly dawned on me that I was making it a case of having to be right or wrong(yeah Osho). I noticed reading the blogs that people seemed hurt angry disappointed in RS for their own ‘reasons’. Something in me was in conflict. It was like trying to prove, is RS bad, leading me astray or was it good, the way to go? Suddenly it was like as Brian was saying about reasons, we ‘make up reasons’ or we justify or we put down something in order to make a decision ‘should I stay or should I go?’ The conflict was there, as part of me knew that I had got a lot of good out of it so how can I leave – what are my reasons.
So I’m wondering about RS.
I came upon the path. Someone was in charge and would do it for me. They talked a lot about truth, it seemed good. I am looked after. I accept what is offered and then use ‘Him’ as my protection, my savior, put it all on him. (Did he ask me to? NO)
NOW what is happening? I am in conflict. I realize that trying to put it on RS or BJ is just a projection of ideas, belonging to me that I am now not liking or not agreeing with.
MY ideas, MY interpretations, MY misrepresentation, MY beliefs, MY illusions. ‘I’ am the one who told myself stories of what the truth means. I am the one believing something else is needed, required to be sought after.
So now I see it as my responsibility to see what’s true, bring it back to myself. Now I am noticing that my conflict with what I held as ‘true’ is no more than a ‘symbolic’ misrepresentation of the truth. It is my own beliefs, concepts, assumptions etc I am in conflict with. When I believed this or that in RS, it was MY fairytale, ‘oh this ‘means’ this, or that ‘means’ that, I was kidding myself, fooling myself, nobody else did it for me.
Meditation for me was never really about reaching Sach Khand. Well maybe that’s not exactly true. Yes at the beginning I thought it sounded great – get me out of this life of suffering. That didn’t last long as I realized I wanted to be ‘happy’ that as long as I was rid of this pain (mental and emotional) that is all I wanted, forget about Sach Khand just let me be ‘better’.
Just yesterday I realized that my life and my meditation were the same. It’s like; whatever was going on in my life (struggle, confusion, not good enough, wanting approval/validation, something wrong with me, needing to be different, wanting to ‘fix’, change things, find answers etc) was what I brought to my meditation (wanting to fix things, wanting a better experience, wanting a certain experience, as the one I was having wasn’t it, ha), so what I was getting from meditation was the very struggle I had off the cushion, how could it be any other way? It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy – what you think you are you ‘become’. It is all more wanting or as someone said on the blog seeking, striving, grasping! As long as the fundamental core beliefs are there how can there be any change???
One thing I am pondering is what are my values? Yes I want the truth!
Even if that means truth over comfort, security and ‘knowing’? YES
I have read the blog (especially the thread ‘The reasons we give for what we do: are they reasonable?’ and what I find is that no matter what way I look at it, most people it seems to me, are giving accounts of ‘what made’ them give up or leave RS(or any spiritual path).
It seems to me that people have become disillusioned. And I ask myself ‘am I becoming disillusioned too. What have I made up?’
It boils down to people are no longer believing what they perceived as the truth and are now believing another truth.
I have seen in the past when visiting my friend who was playing the games on face book nearly 24/7 and how I ‘believed’ she is not living life. She could easily say the same for me – reading books, on a blog, am I doing anything different? I did have the thought that is very arrogant of me, how do I know what she needs? I did discuss it with, her and I found that my experiences on the blog – feeling stupid for writing something, feeling validated or seen, noticing things about myself, she also was feeling in her own way in what SHE had been doing/believing.
Back to beliefs and reasons why; we seem to be angry, lost, and uncomfortable at best, with what we had held as true. Now it’s a case of whom do we blame? What do we now believe in, what I don’t believe in anymore, I now believe in ‘nothing’ or in some other method, or now believing there is nothing to ‘fix’ that there never was anything to fix in the first place.
Still more beliefs. Is anyone actually experiencing what they are saying?
I had a set of beliefs that this path sounded like it had the ‘truth’ and maybe if I practice I too can get it!
Now many years later, I start to question, something is not working like I thought/believed/ assumed it would.
If I blame RS/BJ I am causing a separation. If all is one, then how can something be bad or wrong?(as Osho pointed out on a comment to be on right or wrong)
If I look into myself, take it back to myself which for me is the starting place, what can I see?
I see I have had a fairytale romance with my perceptions of ‘the truth’. I wanted something; this fitted the criteria of what I thought ‘sounded right’ and could help me.
Where does that leave me now? Taking an example in life; if I was annoyed with someone and felt angry because they said something to me or about me or did something that I thought was disrespectful or ‘untrue’, led me up the garden path and left it at that, that they are to blame, is that really true? Am I taking responsibility? Or am I handing over my power to the other person being blown this way or that according to their dictates and how what ‘they’ said affected me, playing the VICTIM? There is NEVER anyone in the other boat!
So taking it all back to my’self’. If there is anger or blame there towards someone (even the opposite, feeling good or validated, approved of was looked at too) what was this about???
Ok someone says something that I feel angry about, they shouldn’t have said it, it’s not true or it is not respected, or how could they say that, what did that mean? Usually with anger anyway I found under the anger was hurt. They should have acted differently, shouldn’t have said or done ‘that’. Under the hurt could be fear – fear of loss somehow - loss of respect, loss of approval loss of not getting what I wanted.
At the end of the day, it is a belief or assumption that things should be different. Things should be how I see them, how I believe they should be, somehow I am identifying with something that’s not really me. I am creating my experience by my beliefs.
The moral of the ‘story’ being, if I find fault with someone or something, and if I hold true, my highest ‘truth ‘that it is all one, that in itself causes separation, that act in itself is a contradiction and is driving me in the opposite direction.
It has always been MY story and no, I can’t blame anyone else. If I don’t want to face the truth I can say but they told ‘lies’. Well even if that is the case …….WHO believed the ‘lies, I believed the ‘lies’ and for what reason? Maybe if I look directly I will see that my conflict or disbelief is a symbolic misrepresentation of the truth. So that leaves me in conflict with my OWN conflicts. No matter how convicted I am, it is only a partial concept of the way things are. Was any of them really lies or my representation of the truth – what suited me to believe because I was wanting? Unfortunately we go into a negative state when ‘things’ challenge us. We DO recognize that our fairytale has been blown apart but when we believed it, when we bought into it, it was great, wonderful – at the time. So the lies we told ourselves were never the ‘truth’ and that seems to be one reason why we are confused, annoyed or downright angry.
Nobody ever told me to worship anyone, to put anyone on a pedestal, nobody told me to believe what I did. Ok I hear you cry, but they DID tell us to believe these things, it’s in the books. We believed these things because we wanted to believe them and are we sure it is what they were REALLY saying? Are we sure? 100%.
19 months said on the other thread that if we see BJ, Ramana or anyone else has having something that we haven’t got then we were always coming from a place of wanting – wanting what we think we are missing.
So, WHY are we shooting the messenger?? ??
WE handed over our lives. WE gave our power away. WE sacrificed ourselves because we thought we were going to ‘get’ something. Do we value the truth or value our comfort, safety, our beliefs, being right more?
Never mind looking for the ANSWER(s), what is the QUESTION? Let me get that one right!
We were willing to see someone as perfect, even though they never claimed to be. Ok the books may have said it, but if we believe that we are all part of God or all ONE , does the lie we believed, not contradict ourselves?
If I ask you what is blue, you might say it is a color, if I ask someone else they may say the sky is blue, someone else may say the sea is blue, my dress is blue or any number of things. Now if I identify with a blue sky I may say yes I agree. Or if I don’t I may say no because it is not always blue and give another meaning to it all.
If my friend says she will be there at 4.00pm and doesn’t show up till 5.00, I might say ‘why are you late, what’s the reason you are late? She might make up reasons as to why and they even may seem like the truth and reasonable but the fact that the question arose (with animosity) is saying: there is something wrong with the way things are, things should be happening a different way. If I feel annoyed or disrespected it also ‘makes’ a bigger problem. If she ‘give’ reasons like oh my car wouldn’t start or I got delayed in traffic, she is buying into the story, the lie that something needs fixing, should be different, whatever!
Maybe the truth is, she is here on time, and this is true as that IS what is happening. (Taking into account that she wasn’t stalling for any particular reason like she didn’t want to be there. That then would be a different story) I may take this as a smart answer but if I value the truth over the need to be right, the need to be respected, at that point I am not resisting life, reality or the truth. You may say but my truth is I am annoyed? True. But if I look and I am honest maybe I will find that I wanted something to be a certain way, or had expectations of what should happen and gave myself meanings of what it all meant. You don’t care about me, I feel hurt therefore you are bad/wrong! If I am right, then you have to be wrong :)) (As Osho said some way or other on a comment)
When I break down my experience into what it means, it is no longer the truth, the whole – it is fragmented or now a partial concept of it. I have given my interpretations of it and boy, can that sometimes be colored or distorted!
If I give you a reason, (and attached to the reason) I am telling you a lie!
I liken it to us all being ships on the ocean. Some are flying their peace flags, some army flags, some pirate flags and all different sorts and some……flying no flag at all (although I’d say if you looked on board, these probably have all the flags going )) all going around around in a circle, backwards and forwards, some racing at top speed others resting gently on the water, not looking to go anywhere, been that sort of thing, nowhere left to go. But ships we all are, the territory is the same no matter what we call it. Reality.
So I wonder to myself, why not see BJ, anyone I have a relationship with, bloggers and everyone I meet as one I enjoy, delight in but realizing it all as my relationship with myself with ‘being’ itself, with life – all one.
Looking too many answers I think. So I ask myself again:
What IS the question(who is ‘doing’ the questioning???
Posted by: Marina | May 19, 2011 at 07:32 AM
I have seen on the blog peoples posts about how they see RS and the shady dealings/fraud/inner workings that is going on. If I had anything of experience in this area I would have no problem saying it. But as I have said, all I have ever seen is the good side. What is with all the secrecy saying half a thing?
Thank you Tara for your recent post, it has been informative but there doesn’t show anything unethical. It does show he is a good business man. But who says the Guru cannot be one?
Can anybody out there say what unethical things on RS that they know of?
Is there anybody out there that is willing to take me up on this question?
Posted by: Marina | May 19, 2011 at 07:56 AM
"WHO is ‘doing’ the questioning???"
Is there a WHO doing the questioning ?
Or, only the question asking itself ?
What if there is no WHO ?
NOW WHAT ?
Posted by: Mike Williams | May 19, 2011 at 08:59 AM
Mike you wrote: "NOW WHAT?"
Whatever you make it, that's what!!!
Posted by: Marina | May 19, 2011 at 09:39 AM
Thank you for your post. :))
My first reaction was fear, oh my God someone is annoyed at me, I feel belittled, stupid, someone is angry at me, they don’t like me and then I felt anger there, indignant, like ‘how dare she say some of these things to me!’
But then I reread your post and started looking at what was going on for me. The usual meanings I give to things came up and then of course the reaction that is caused by that. (And this is what I am after – how or what am I causing my experiences with the meaning I am giving to things) And also, I thought to put myself in your shoes and look at it from another perspective.
So to just start off when I mentioned secrecy or half saying a thing, believe it or not I wasn’t referring to you as you had just posted something regarding your experiences and the meaning some of these things had for you.
Though being honest I had thought of it after the last post (which at the time I thought well it’s not really saying ‘what issues left the RS underbelly exposed were’ when you wrote:
” About two years ago, a chain of events unfolded that were simply too absurd to rationalize and were against the very grain of the philosophy that I had been brought up with. As my family was higher-up in the RS hierarchy, I was witness to a rather controversial set of issues that left the RS underbelly exposed.”
But as I said above, your latest post DID go into your experiences.
You did make a very good point that I am not around long enough on this blog to read most of your comments. Now I cannot argue with that and it is something I never thought of Tara.
What you say about me ”It is quite clear that you're lazy about reading previous postings on this blog.
Tara, a TRUER word could not be spoken. :)lol. I know that myself, yep, I can be pure lazy when I want. Going back through the blog is way too much bother, is too much hard work - like last years snow to me! Well that is how I see it. It is a bit like the money thing with BJ. Maybe because I give very little meaning to money (and politics), yes it is handy for ‘shopping’, but honestly it doesn’t interest me much. To put it crudely ‘I couldn’t give a fiddlers fuck’ as they say around here. (Probably means NO interest)
I have to mention politics too, because this may give you a better picture of me, or worse! (And my lack of understanding or if you’d prefer to call it ignorance::)
You might not believe me when I say this, but I ACTUALLY don’t know, don’t care, who is running the country I live in, and always have lived in. Some people have said to me ‘people have fought for their rights to vote’. My feeling (or attitude) is, so, good for them, they got what they wanted and I am sure they were not thinking of me, obviously themselves was important!
Maybe Tara it is back to the ‘lazy’ thing. No meaning to me – so no interest.
I actually did a bit of a research on the blog and read “May 23rd RSSB Rakes in Cash."
From my limited understanding, I have taken it that people’s grievances are BJ accepted money from followers (family members) for his own personal use and his sons? Is that the ‘underbelly’ you are talking about? I’m curious.
Nope, I know nothing of the inner workings of RSSB.
Tara you wrote :” You don't have a proper understanding of Sant Mat 1.0 either, which is rather obvious in your comments.
Well I could argue that point if I wanted to but I don’t. There are enough SM 1.0 people around me to remind me of the proper understanding of this version – IF I was willing to listen to them.
I did enter RS, or heard about it in ’95/96 but didn’t get initiated until ’98 (due to unbecoming satsangi behavior:)) and BJ was well and truly settled in because he was at that stage, from what I heard him say, well and truly lightened up, telling jokes etc.V 3.0 Well ok then, maybe v 2.5
Now the bit about it being ‘rather obvious in your comments’ of the above facts , well I could have a tendency to defend, bite back, react…. But I choose not to :))
Tara when you say:” You are pretty confused about your own perceptions of the Guru, but please don't mix that with his past that I'm very familiar with.
Yes as you state, I AM confused about my perceptions of BJ, which I see as being open. I don’t like to close or lock too many doors behind me in case I need back in. I wouldn’t dream of mixing your experiences of mine, hence why I’m not taking your experience as mine.
Tara I look back I can understand if you have taken my comments as flippant or undermining your experience which wasn’t what I was intending to put across.
Posted by: Marina | May 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM
I can't help that reading the objective account about Gurinder gives me the impression of a middle class business man falling upward. My own feeling was that he is also charming but not very empathic meaning he does not really care a lot about others suffering but he is a very sharp communicator! At first he also was rather impatient but I think he very fast read me face and he became a very patient listener the next moment. Those are my subjective impressions and then you get the RS talk and you deny all you see and think you must be wrong in these personal judgements.
But then as I have written else where on this Blog I consulted several psychics about Gurinder. The first one that was really good because a lot he said is still meaningful to me said holding the photo of Gurinder 'he is hiding something', 'he is afraid people might find out about him'. This was said in 1998 or so. Far before the current remarks about him where appearing on the internet and far before the community started doubting. What he said was obvious very shocking to me so he added seeing the second photo 'but he is getting better fast'. Later when I left he made a remark that he also felt like the spirits wanted hem to write to a guru. Later he showed me what guru that was, it was the money scam with Maria Duval :) Later I thought it was a huge sharp joke from his guiding spirits to make the comparison between Maria Duval (that gives magic amulets that should make you rich after a donation) and Gurinder the master of all masters ;)
Before this consultancy I got remarks from a psychic girlfriend that was a genuine one, under close observation by me, and she said 'this man has no power'. Later a friend hold his photo not knowing what photo he was holding. He had described my brothers perfectly blind! He said he felt the person on the photo was feeling like 'things where not going as he wanted', very impatient. That remark stroke very truth with my own subjective observations.
So what do we conclude. I feel sorry for Gurinder and my feeling is he might have developed some power by now but his character is very obvious to anyone wanting to see and I doubt following him will bring you much. But to the truth believer it doesn't matter much as they are helping themselves ;)
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 20, 2011 at 03:40 AM
I am after getting an urge to put down how I am feeling now – what I am experiencing....
Sometimes I feel words are a useful BUT useless vehicle of communication. As Mirdad said comes to mind again ‘Speech at best is an honest lie.’
I have realised this isn’t about BJ, RS, religions, cults......right or wrong, good or bad but about our’selves’. It is all at the end, about our ‘selves’ (if there is such a thing) or you could say the start depending on how you want to ‘see’ it.
Looking at my’self’ – I have ‘gotton’ something wonderful from the blog. Everyone’s expression and I mean ‘EVERYONE’S’, has been an insight in one ‘form’ or another. It is like looking in a mirror and seeing my’self’. :))
Gratitude is a word that comes closest at this moment.
Something is happening to ‘me’. I came into the house to write down my thoughts and tears started flowing. There was an inclination to put a meaning on it, like something is wrong but I caught ‘the trend’ and it felt like tears of grief of how I had treated myself, as long as I could remember and in doing this I treated everyone else the same – as it seems like it is all one. I did too get sick and it felt like puking up all the crap (that could be presumptuous. There could be more there, who knows) that was in my system due to unclear thinking, putting my own meaning on things, making things good and bad, fear, insecurities – it is a long, long list and I had done it to myself, the WHOLE LOT OF IT. I had a thought – ‘it is not supposed to look (or feel) like this, whatever ‘this’ is. But it was dare I say it ‘good, nice, wonderful...
The more I put down my ‘truth’ in the present (time) the more ‘it’ becomes clear or I could say unclear! Oh, the paradox! Thank you!
Posted by: Marina | May 20, 2011 at 04:01 AM
He interesting. I found this:
The brothers made a killing selling their 34% stake in generics maker Ranbaxy Laboratories to Japan's Daiichi Sankyo for $2 billion last year;
On February 25, 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has halted reviews of all drug applications including data developed at Ranbaxy's Paonta Sahib plant in India because of a practice of falsified data and test results in approved and pending drug applications. "Investigations revealed a pattern of questionable data," the FDA said.
So these brothers made a deal by selling a rotten company to the Japanese. In fact this company was selling medication with falsified test reports so they might have killed people with their medication. Not very spiritual.
As I understood from Brians postings the brothers transferred a lot of this questionable money to the suns of Gurinder. Honest living? lol.
But my question is does Gurinder himself really appear as the 355the richest Indian somewhere? I could not find him. And the next question in case of a yes. Is that also because of the Ranbaxy money? Did the guru accept this dirty money???
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 21, 2011 at 01:23 AM
However to be honest Gurinder is not the only uncle from the Sigh brothers to get a lot of money.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 21, 2011 at 01:53 AM
I spent a big deal of the afternoon on the internet getting all this family business straight. I think anyone involved in RSSB should do so ;) (The remark about 'last year' is a consequence of the copy pasting I did)
But to sum it up for anyone interested:
Gurinders father was not a rich man.
Gurinder invested RSSB money in Religare and this is legal because he has to manage that money and is allowed to invest it as he sees fit.
The Singh brothers gave a lot of Religare shares to Gurinders family.
The Singh brother gave Religare a huge bumb upward after selling of Ranbaxy and investing in Religare.
Gurinders shares where worth much more when he consolidated a part of them to his Logos holding. So he made a huge profit and so did RSSB I guess.
The Logos holding holds about 6% of Fortis and still some percentage on Religare and that is a lot of money.
So it seems Gurinder is heavily involved with the Singh brothers business in Religare and Fortis. The Singh brother have used their cash to buy a lot of hospitals and they use a Mac Donald like hospital model. A lot of the personal working at these hospitals quit there jobs after the Singh took over. They think they can not do their jobs in this new model. It is estimated that the Singh brothers will make a huge profit with these booming hospitals.
In the meantime Gurinder stopped all charity and stopped the eye camp because people would be better helped at the dera hospital. His motto is we are on a spiritual mission and not a charitable one.
The Singh brothers hold Gurinder as an advisor so probable Gurinder worked the Ranbaxy deal and advised the Mac Donald model but also possible is that he tried to withhold them, we can not be sure of that.
So as I see it the accepting of the money from the not so fresh Ranbaxy sell and working with the not so fresh Singh brothers is the strangest move for this godman.
Also he is not into charity very much and that does not fit with what most people see as a god-man either.
So it seems to me Gurinder is playing a god-man but his feet are moving the other direction. As the Japanese saying that I quoted earlier says: 'don't listen to my words but watch where my feat are going' . Seems his feet are going after questionable money making.
Please point out my mistakes in this sum up.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 21, 2011 at 02:52 PM
And oops forgot but you are absolutely right about Analjit Singh. My mistake :(
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 21, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Nietzche, Tara- thank you, a valuable, thorough record indeed. Nietsche, thanks for entering the fray. Facts about business dealings; movements of money- these things bring to the fore the true nature of the man.
Even the belief that kings ruling by divine right has already been considered for centuries to be a backward approach to leadership.
One automatically must assume that if a guru is perfect, he knows what he's doing and will only make clean, honest decisions in companies that are entirely above board and in keeping with his core ethics. Then these decisions will be for the greater good of his following at least. Linked up with 'greater good' is charity, the basic needs and education. How else would money be spent in a spiritual community?
Are there any other people who know Charan and Gurinder's background and dealings on a more intimate level who would care to make a comment? Perhaps someone from the Dera Administration staff?
Posted by: Catherine | May 22, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Thanks for making things clearer. My remark that Gurinders family Logos holding has 6% Fortis shares might not be right.
I got this information from:
While promoters & promoter group own over 85% stake in SRL, other shareholders include Logos Holding Co Ltd that is believed to be owned by Dhillon family associated with Gurinder Singh Dhillon who is a guru of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, a spiritual group whose followers include Malvinder & Shivinder Singh. Logos owns 8.56% of SRL that will get diluted to 5.56% post IPO. Incidentally, Gurinder Singh Dhillon and family also own over 17% stake in financial services firm of the group, Religare Enterprises.
It says Logos holds 5.56% SRL shares. SRL is healthcare related but is a part of the Religare group.
Of course it doesn't change the point that Gurinder works with the Singh brothers. (By the way I thought 'Singh' was a title like 'sir' but now I'm confused. Is Singh a surname or part of a family name after all?)
The character profile that I seem to get from Gurinder more and more leads me to conclude that he is successful mainly because he stepped in a heritage of people that did not make the hard decisions. He sells the family companies. He closes the hospitals that are not very efficient. The lack of empathy seems to be his strongest point in these negotiations and reorganizations. The story that he unthinking ordered to destroy a bee colony close to his house illustrates this trait. Probable he doesn't even know what he is doing wrong from a spiritual point of view. It is simply lacking empathy.
Also I know that most Satsangi's in Gurinders first days did not believe him to be very far spiritually but I heard someone saying 'he is helped by his master, he has to learn a lot'. It is clear now that he advanced to a certain point but seems to get no further.
On the other hand I'm not complaining. I got the master that fitted my own development at the time and money was my biggest interest. So we all learn also by this scrutinizing into others people business :)
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 22, 2011 at 04:10 AM
Does this mean that RSSB donations were used to buy shares and those shares were given to his sons? Or were RSSB's shares kept separate and dividends put back into the RSSB fund? I am a bit confused, trying to get at the bottom line.
You have quite a big window into this whole thing, in the parlance of Watergate, you are like the informer called Deep T.... Maybe we should call this DeraGate? Anyhow I am surprised they have not tried to find out who and where this Deep T... (you) is!!
Posted by: Bet | May 22, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Interesting senario. The US Government
borrows all our Social Security and Medicare money they take out of our
Wonder if Religare is borrowing the
satsang trusts from Radhasoami Beas ?
Wonder if that isn't how they all
got rich. There could be no other
way, unless they are illegally taking
Posted by: Mike Williams | May 23, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Thank you Tara for explaining this. You certainly are a most valuable voice. And, no you do not sensationalize but rather do put information in human context. It
makes your essays here valuable.
And quite agree with "where there is growth there is money to be made". And yes again I have wondered myself about RSSB's materialistic priorities, and find the choices disturbing. After all if the human form is the house of the living God, it would seem RSSB's actions should demonstrate the priority of helping humanity in many ways. The need is so great. A few: health-care, education, helping abandoned children, sanitation projects, even building composting toilets (gender specific toilet facilities--- it is a big problem for teenage girls in rural India who want to go to school not to have privacy in the privy, and they are often taunted and even sexually abused by teenage boys)in poor communities and very simple shelters for the most destitute in India. This would be such, in my opinion anyhow, a superlative EXAMPLE of rudimentary spiritual maturity. IMO, a guru should be THE example of compassion and generosity to those most destitute in his sangat and in his society. And his society from his/her perspective should be the entire human race. If he is big enough to be God In Human Form he should have no problem with that expectation whatsoever.
Posted by: Bet | May 23, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Yet, they encourage risky and irresponsible organ donation through motivational videos at Satsang.
Do you have more information? Why are they risky?
I do see the general pattern here. Gurinder looking at his Satsangi's seeing a bunch of meat on the other hand Gurinder in the Fortis hospitals business hmmmmm.....
But most of all I can not believe he is instructing the Satsangi's because of social motives. Santh Mat It is a spiritual mission not a charitable. If the fox has special interest I think the Satsangi's should be afraid. Perhaps a liver for some darshan?
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 24, 2011 at 12:03 AM
To elaborate a bit on the RSSB - Religare cross holding I would like to repeat a post done by a person with the name Arjun.
In this post he makes it likely that RSSB was funding Religare in the period that Ranbaxy was in debt. The payout to the guru and his sons might very well be related to this RSSB investing in Religare. So yes the money from the RSSB donations was invested in the family business Religare in stead of using it for charity. But perhaps in the future all this money is going back to charity? I don't think so.
@ Tom - - - Thank you for sharing the Ranbaxy history, I work in the financial sector in India. I've been studying the rise of Religare and other financial companies for a little longer than it took you to conclude that Religare was being financed by Malvinder Singh after he sold his stake in Ranbaxy.
I wrote - " The point to note is that Ranbaxy was in big debts at the time when Religare was founded. " Spend some time on the Internet, get your facts in line. On the 10th of June 2008, Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co. bought Ranbaxy. Religare was founded in 2006. Study the growth trajectory of Religare during that period, at the time when Ranbaxy was in debt.
Do you want to know where I think that money was coming from ?
IMO, part of Religare was being funded by the RSSB Trust.
Like it or not, it is boardroom gossip that there are cross-holdings between Religare and the RSSB Trust. Do you think that this would bother an ordinary person ? Not the least ! Because it is a legal deal for any trust to invest in a public company. This happens to be a ' family ' company and Gurinder has full access to the RSSB Trust. But Gurinder also happens to be the leader of the RS spiritual sect, a GIHF for his millions of followers.
For the satsang-going, seva-doing, darshan-seeking initiates who understand the RS tenets in the right spirit, this integration may be a bit hard to digest.
For the weak-minded cultists, it may be easy to justify.
And, do tell me, how does a two billion dollar company manage a turnover of three million dollars in a quarter ? Ranbaxy is funding Religare today, but who funded it when Ranbaxy itself was in debt ? The answer to that may have a link to Religare's shareholding pattern.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 24, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Here is the story that I referred to destroying the bee swarm and it is very interesting post from a higher up Satsangi everyone should read!
Another observation when reading back into the blog I read Osho commenting in 2009 that Gurinder said that the max = 4 lifes rule did not apply. Literally 'I have never said that'. Another Satsangi in 2009 said that Gurinder said Sach Kant was a state of consciousness. So am I correct that Gurinder seems to be preaching this SM3.0 version all the time ???
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 24, 2011 at 03:23 AM
So we do not have to be afraid that the Mc. Donalds like Fortis hospitals are serving the kidneys from RSSB donators? :) Would be funny if the vegetarians only serve human flesh with mayo :)
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 24, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Curiosity killed my cat. I wondered if you were married, and if so is your husband an RSS devotee?
It seems to me that would make for a very unhappy marriage now.
Posted by: David | May 24, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Cat is on life-support pending its 10th life...
Seems like you hooked up with the right kind of guy because if he had been a devotee i suspect it wouldn't have turned out great for you.
I am a meat eater because of my family upbringing but i once went without any meat for 4 days and i felt lighter somehow. When i saw some meat it made me feel a little nauseous. But i started eating it again. So i can understand why a lifelong vegetarian would not find the idea of meat very compelling.
My father was born in Bengal to anglo indian parents and i ended up being with a Bengali lady by chance. So i do believe in odd coincidences.
Haynes is in England isn't it? I suspect it might be a part of London and although i live in London my knowledge of it is poor. It's like when something goes missing and all along it was right under your nose. So although i've lived here all my life i am still woefully ignorant of many places. But i think in the case of RSSB my geographical ignorance was auspicious!
Posted by: David | May 24, 2011 at 09:57 PM
You are brilliant as usual. And, thankyou
And hello all my virtual reality friends on
this club. We all may not be real, but we
sure do have fun.
This is the unusual group where we are looking
for the hats already on our heads. We have
been hypnotised into believing we are not
already wearing hats.
Some here don't believe in hats. Some are
in search of their hat.
But, no one here actually will look to
see if they are already wearing their hat.
Now, picture the funny smirk on the face
of Ramana Maharshi as he watches you look
for your hat, while it is on your head.
The Zen debate the hat, the Radhasoami
love the hat and the Taoist moves with
But, none of them have ever felt the hat
on their heads to know it is there.
How do you realize your hat is on our head
if you have no arms ?
Posted by: Mike Williams | May 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Hi Wiliam, we could look at the other people. But noone is looking at there hat, so not much help there :) I though I saw someone standing still in a crowd and strangely looking upward. When I looked closer I might have seen her looking at her hat!
Tara I meant the Religare-RSSB cross-holding indeed, It might be a little stretch to assume RSSB was donating money to Religare (not Ranbaxy!) in 2006 to grow the company but it might explain why the brothers gave so much shares to Gurinder and his family. The same writer pointed out that the brothers did not give shares to closer relatives so it remains a mystery what service Gurinder has done to deserve so much appreciation. Might also have been his consulting that was rewarded with a percentage of course ;)
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 25, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Gurinder and his family should each donate a kidney! Surely if he hops onto the dias directly after a kidney film, he is a posterboy for kidney transplant. It would be a good idea if he gave his kidney to someone of no particular standing, perhaps the lowest caste!
He has done exceptionally well for himself, his family and the sangat through doing business particularly with large pharmaceutical companies.
Although Ranbaxy is losing massive revenue while it struggles to get its drugs into USA due to falsifying data in some of it's laboratories, it is doing exceptionally well in South Africa, a launchpad into the rest of Africa. It provides cheap generic drugs, along with the other two Indian generics giants, Cipla and Dr. Reddy's. Millions of dollars of generic antiretrovirals are sold to South Africa each year.
Also, Billions of dollars of pharmaceuticals are about to lose their patents at the end of this year and this is when Ranbaxy will fill the gap, particularly with a generic heart pill.
Posted by: Catherine | May 26, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Wiki says 63% was sold with Parminder still on the board, which means that there's still a sant mat/ Gurinder/ poss. Religare link.
As the sant mat boss, Gurinder's functions are to invest the sangat money; oversee the maintainance and development; look after his own businesses and see to the spiritual growth of RSSB. He's got a B.Com I think from one of the Indian Universities, so the first and third are areas he feels confident in and overlapping the two for someone who's not god,- but is told he is and thinks he may be,- must be very tempting indeed, particularly when he feels he's created growth through his own efforts.
The spiritual part is fairly easy- don't trip on the way up to the dias or to blessing the chappattis; move your head in a graceful arc for darshan, nod it from one side to the other for initiation; don't say too much; give a standard satsang; answer Westerners with a joke or a confusion etc.
He has been surrounded by yes men for more than a decade, which must get rather irritating, so he can schedule a flight anywhere in the world with more first class treatment all the way and then he always has his wife to let his guard down with.
Posted by: Catherine | May 26, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Ah, Malvinder not Parminder. So, there is no longer a link then, after Malvinder was told to leave.
The way I see it, sant mat doctrine protects the guru's reputation from every angle. The guru's multi-functionality on the material level ( having to earn his own living and look after the sangat's needs )and his b.com background actually enables him to legitimately earn a fee on every sangat transaction as you pointed out.
I am certain that this has been answered here before, but is all the property in Gurinder's name? Also, before the formation of Religare, how were expensive accomodations and schools paid for in London for instance?
My other questions are, is the work on the sangat farms and in the sangat properties all seva? How do the residents get fed, clothed and schooled etc? Does the admin/ managerial staff also have to have another source of income?
The guru also doesn't say that he is God, although he tacitly accepts the fact through giving initiation when he gives godly power to five words and has travelled through and is the only one who can take his initiate through 5 regions to the best, highest place. Through turning up and giving darshan and through allowing himself to be in that position, he shows acceptance no matter what he says to westerners. But, he can still get away with, ' but you did all this by choice, you were not forced, you could leave any time.I didn't actually say I was God'
The properties run like clockwork and are exceptionally clean, attractive and sevadars and satsangis on the properties are disciplined and hardworking. Peace and industry is found everywhere and people are happy or content. This could not happen without the incentive that guru/god can make all things happen in meditation and after death.
So the question is, what is good governance? Would all the satsangis working on the properties be any better off, or any happier if they weren't believing a lie, if they were living a secular life somewhere else? Does the ritual of initiation, satsang, darshan, blessing, meditation not put the restlessness aside and add grace to people's lives. Does it matter, that lifestyle is motivated by a lie, a fraud?
It goes against every democratic political creed to have people work for no money, but they volunteer and they can leave if they want.
Posted by: Catherine | May 27, 2011 at 11:57 PM
The Mama mia pizza doesn't kill anyone neither during manufacturing or eating!
Nothing wrong with a little commitment but this diet is a serious health problem if maintained for many years. The guru should not be so strict on it.
I've tried to stop being a vegetarian as well but I can't eat a pork or a chicken anyhow :( Been off to long I guess. But cheese, eggs if I know where they come from and some whine I have no problem with. But knowing the bio industry I can not eat flesh not in these large amounts that the western culture does,
But I saw a documentary last and the big progress we made with regard to other animal during evolution is possibly the result of cooking our food! By cooking our stomach became much shorter than the stomach of the early humans like species before us. That made it possible for the brains to develop. Very interesting, so it is not the meat eating but the cooking that made our brains work!
However when I do a lot of sport I need more protein but that is available in other forms than animal.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 28, 2011 at 02:19 PM
The ground water contamination in the Punjab resulting from fertilizer, pesticide and industry is shocking. The five Punjab rivers including the Beas, are a toxic stew of metal and chemical. Irrigation from these rivers contaminates the crops. Kidney damage is only one of the results- mental damage, cancer etc. cannot be replaced with a donated body part. No wonder people with some wealth, send their children away to grow up in Europe and Britain.
It seems that the innovation of the Punjab which has experienced the green revolution and has long been the bread basket of India is suffering irreversibly as a result. Farmers, no longer able to get the productivity from their lands, have a high incident of suicide.
Even a Ranbaxy factory had to be closed down as a result of cracked storage tanks leaking into the ground water and causing illness in the adjacent town. The Singhs were (and still are no doubt) extraordinary, insightful and daring businessmen, but as revealed by Tara, prior to the sale of the company, they certainly had some skeletons.
I see the three Indian pharmaceutical companies as unstoppable and excellent allies for someone like Gurinder.
Gurinder would have had to give the majority of their financial gifts to his sons, since he may at any stage be called to give or plough back personal moneys to the sangat.
Posted by: Catherine | May 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM
I never had any problems of being vegetarian and i jumped directly from smoking pot drinking alc and eating everything to lacto veg. Here are some from whom i drag my body philosophy.
Roy Hilligen a life long veggie:http://www.cbass.com/Hilligenn.htm
Joe Rollino and Lionel Strongfort were also oldtime strong man and lifelong vegetarians.
Have a nice time
Posted by: Mungos | May 29, 2011 at 07:30 AM
Thanks Tara. So incoming moneys are used for bandaras, subsidised feeding, maintaining, housing, building, the hospital and farming.
Perhaps, Gurinder and his generous connections in the pharmaceutical industry can work out a way to cleanse groundwater by filtering heavy metal and pesticides from water as it exits taps and pipes. Incentive: they could patent it and sell it worldwide. Filters could be fitted to every Dera tap.
Posted by: Catherine | May 31, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Catherine's comment made me think of a newspaper story from a few years ago that someone sent me a link to recently:
It's called "India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste:
Observer investigation uncovers link between dramatic rise in birth defects in Punjab and pollution from coal-fired power stations."
Pretty disturbing. Whatever the reason, children seem to be getting serious health problems from polluted groundwater in the Punjab.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | May 31, 2011 at 12:20 AM
I understood that the dera residents could not buy their house but do they rent it or is it totally free? I remember one story of someone paying for his house and BJ said this payment was to be seen as a donation because after his death the house returned to the dera.
Beside this, the fact that the government is not doing their work in the Punjab by not protecting the people that life there from environmental pollution makes the statement 'we are on a spiritual mission and not a charitable one' simple criminal. In this area of India it literally means 'let them die, who cares'.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 31, 2011 at 02:29 AM
@ Catherina why would they invent something to stop the pollution? He owns shares in the healthcare business. At the very least they don't care about it. But it remains a question how long they can afford to neglect it as the people might organize themselves, they might realize that sach kant could be realized on earth when they stop working for the guru. Perhaps some satsangi might start a union on day ;) Lets hope it.
Posted by: Nietzsche | May 31, 2011 at 02:41 AM
Thanks, Brian, for that link and I really think that your blog deserves many times more than one million page views. Its very entertaining and your posts encourage dispelling superstitious, fearful mindsets.
Nietsche, I agree- a union would be a daring thing for a satsangi to establish. It would however dispell the whole point of rolling over and being less than the dust under the guru's feet.
I reckon sant mat on earth needs free thought, directed effort and distributing as opposed to gathering wealth into the coffers of one family.
Posted by: Catherine | June 01, 2011 at 12:30 PM
It seems keeping the vows becomes more and more difficult in the Punjab because there is alcohol in the ground water ! :)
But can we conclude that RSSB is doing nothing about the pollution and that this is the cause of the kidney failure?
Posted by: Nietzsche | June 04, 2011 at 05:43 AM
Posted by: Nietzsche | June 04, 2011 at 05:57 AM
Pesticides are used to kill pests such as insects on farm fields. Pesticides can seep into the groundwater and cause kidney and liver damage and cancer in humans who drink the water. Over 2.5 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States.
It seems clear to me that indead there is a relationship between kidney failure and ground water pollution and it seems that RSSB is solving the problem by motivating kidney donation while they could have solved the problem with money donation. It would have been easy to ask the Satsangi's from the other parts of the world to donate some money for a anti-polution program like Catherina suggested. It is really bitter that they instead ask the poor Satsangi's to donate their kidneys. If only they had done both...
Posted by: Nietzsche | June 04, 2011 at 06:06 AM
It is a matter of concern that the top management of Fortis ~ Malvinder Singh/Shivinder Singh subscribe to the policy of suppressing patient rights and patient safety and maintained a studied silence about unethical practices and illegal transplant surgery at Fortis Hospital Bangalore because of this there is a ban on organ transplant surgery effective 17th April 2012. However, Fortis is content so long that bills are paid. How does it matter if patients live or die?
Posted by: Maj Pankaj Rai | July 05, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Just have a look at my obssession with Mirdad... Just to find him I was surfing over net since last 3 hrs.. I perhaps started after submitting my comment on the 6 hrs experiment... And just because Mariana had writen his name here I came across this post and then read all this comments.. I cant convince myself that mirdad is just a fictional character... oh please... please tell me what should I do? Can anyone tell me what is recommended to a 19 years old boy by rssb ?
Posted by: you may read this.. goku | November 22, 2014 at 05:38 AM
I was nineteen when I came across Sant Mat..My advice...Go get a life...Enjoy.. Love...Cry...Dance..Then maybe think about gurus.
Posted by: june schlebusch | November 22, 2014 at 09:49 AM
Enjoy... yeah done that. Love.. what ? whom ? Last year I falled in love with a girl. Outcome ? After all the things you could had done.. stunts... dances... everything... thanks to all those aldrenine pumping you up... All you get is ignorance... your friend , tells you of the girl being in love with an other guy... the same friend who had told her that you had a crush on her before you could even became friends with her... resulting in all that awkardness and nervousness... and ignorance towards you... and the same friend who had been flirting with your crush in disguise of being in love with her friend...the same friend that you lend a terrifying hook punch on belly and then a thrusting chest kick that sends him crashing to the wall.... and other stuff... you could make a movie on that... 2 months later.. i.e. 9 months ago.. you hear this when you dare to message her about... arghh.. lots of details required... will take hours of typing... and why am i typing that..
Everytime I had fallen in love, more i had gone immune to it... however last time I was nearly 98%immyne to it but due to unpredictable things.... Alright thing is this.. I cant love that type of love anymore..
dance.. been there done that. Cry... I had to much of it...
I have lived too much of this stupid life. Which is the cause of my present condition. No more ! No more of belonging nowhere.. no more of being churchless...
I am a sleepwalker in this world.. I am drawn by a dream that most of the people around me dont see and feel.
And that why I am never going to give up. Where there is a will , there must be a way... And there is that path.. and there is the Almighty.. I can feel it...
Posted by: Dear June, ..... Goku | November 22, 2014 at 09:14 PM
I you haven't yet, try out reading the "Spiritual Link".
It's a very small wonderful monthly magazine in english published by RSSB.
It essentially includes excerpts from the saints' writings. And also a lot of great stuff from the authors as well around those excerpts which greatly motivates for meditation.
It might help in satisfying your hunger for the "Love For The One" a bit.
Older editions are also available from your nearby Satsang centres.
Don't forget to pick up the October, 2014's edition, it's got so much interesting things to read.
An excerpt from Oct, 2014:
"When a man begins to grow dull and lukewarm in Spirit, even the smallest labour distresses him, and he eagerly welcomes any worldly comfort. But when he begins to overcome the self and advances manfully in God's way, then he regards as nothing those labours which he previously found to burdensome."
- Thoas a Kempis, The Inner Life.
Posted by: One Initiated | November 22, 2014 at 10:44 PM
Goku I see so many echoes of myself, 53 years ago..I eventuall found my soul mate at38 years old, it was not a bed of roses, but he was the one..Then just recently I got to where I have wanted to be all my life...I has been a long walk but walk on thro this dark night, if you are a brave warrior, you can make it.
Posted by: june schlebusch | November 23, 2014 at 02:10 AM
Is he the next Guru in the making?
Posted by: Avi | January 08, 2016 at 06:11 PM