Since there are quite a few devotees of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) who use the comment sections of my blog posts as sort of a Sant Mat discussion venue, I wanted to revisit the question of how the current RSSB guru, Gurinder Singh, has been altering Sant Mat teachings to a surprising degree.
A blog post of mine from 2011, "Has Gurinder Singh revised Sant Mat to v. 3.0?" summarized these changes.
Five years ago I wrote a post about "Sant Mat, version 2.0." This is how I summarized the changes that Gurinder Singh apparently has made to the RSSB teachings.
(I say apparently because the current guru doesn't allow his talks to be recorded, and he doesn't write anything himself. So this makes it difficult to pin down what he's telling people.)
Sant Mat v. 1.0
--The guru is God in human form
--The guru is perfect, possessing God’s divine qualities
--God has chosen certain souls to return to Him
--God delegates the guru to initiate these “marked souls”
--Without initiation by a perfect guru, God-realization is impossible
Sant Mat v. 2.0
--The guru is a human who is seeking God, just like us
--The guru is imperfect, just like us
--Whether we want to pursue God-realization is up to us
--The guru is a spiritual guide, not a savior
--There are many paths to God, not just Sant Mat
Now it looks like Gurinder Singh is wandering even farther from the tradtional Sant Mat path. On a recent Church of the Churchless post, someone who signed his/her comments "A Typical Follower" shared these thoughts:
It struck me that the philosophy Gurinder Singh is now espousing bears a considerable resemblance to what Alan Watts talks about in his marvelous book, "The Wisdom of Insecurity."
Recently someone emailed me, noting that they had some addiction problems and wanted to know if I could suggest a mystical/spiritual book that might help them with this. After a bit of thought I took "The Wisdom of Insecurity" off of my bookshelf, thumbed through it, and sent this person the following excerpts from the book.
These passages fit with Gurinder Singh's observation that we are caught in duality, which is maya, illusion. Part of that illusion, according to Watts, is believing that there is a true self within us that is different from our bodily self. We divide ourselves into two when we view ourselves as "I" and "me."
For example, we'll say to ourselves, "I wish that I didn't have such a craving for chocolate," as if the "I" that wishes is separate and distinct from the "me" that likes chocolate so much. On a broader scale, this is akin to the false distinctions we make between man and nature, mind and body, creator and created.
Here's the excerpts from Watts' book: