Gurinder Singh Dhillon is the current guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a spiritual organization headquartered in India that has a worldwide reach.
In this post I'm sharing 27,000 words worth of comments left on this blog by "Tara," a woman who had an up close and personal view of both Gurinder Singh (photo below) and the RSSB organization prior to her becoming disillusioned by what she saw, which led to her leaving the RSSB fold.
What you'll read below is an extensive sampling of the comments left by "Tara"from 2010 to 2014. I selected comments that struck me as being particularly interesting, either because they related to Gurinder Singh's financial dealings, RSSB goings-on, or Tara's personal doubts about the validity of the RSSB teachings.
I figured this would be an appropriate time to share Tara's comments, since tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States, and in many of her comments, Tara celebrated her newfound independence from religious dogmatism and hypocrisy.
Since Typepad, my blogging service, organizes searchable comments by date, with the most recent appearing first, for convenience this is how I've ordered Tara's comments. In other words, the comments Tara left in 2014 appear first, and those she left in 2010 appear last.
Click on the continuation link to read more than the first few comments. I had to insert that break because otherwise this very lengthy post would make it difficult to find my previous posts.
I realize that readers of this blog who aren't familiar with Radha Soami Satsang Beas will find much of what Tara talks about somewhat difficult to understand. Here's explanations of some of her abbreviations: GSD or GS means Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the RSSB guru; RS refers to Radha Soami, shorthand for either Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), or the Radha Soami philosophy.
What impressed me as I read through Tara’s comments is how intelligent, witty, and well-informed she is. And I rarely came across a typo, or even a poorly-worded sentence. She writes clearly, passionately, honestly. I regret that, most likely, I’ll never be able to meet her.
I've copied in the comments, which are separated by a dashed line, exactly as Tara wrote them -- aside from a few instances when I noted a repeated word, such as "the the." I've added paragraph breaks to make the comments more readable, since Typepad eliminates paragraph breaks in the comment search feature that bloggers like me are able to make use of .
It's really remarkable how much time and effort Tara put into these comments. In one of her comments, she says that a therapist advised her to write about her deconversion from the Sant Mat philosophy espoused by RSSB, since, as Tara repeatedly notes, it was quite difficult for her to leave an organization that her family had been part of for four generations.
I applaud Tara for her courage to speak her mind in these comments, and to disclose what amounts to devastating criticisms of both Gurinder Singh Dhillon and the RSSB organization that he heads up.
Lastly, if you're not familiar with the Radha Soami Satsang Beas teachings, a blog post of mine about how Gurinder Singh has been altering them would help you better understand many of her comments: "Has Gurinder Singh revised Sant Mat to v. 3.0?"
Now, on to the comments from "Tara"...
This vignette was recounted by an old Dera resident in the early Charan Singh days : Apparently, westerners and Indians would get " too friendly " and a few incidents of eloping / sex led to complaints from Indian families who had young relatives living and working at the Dera. The Dera management from then on restricted the social interaction between foreigners and Indians.
Marina, I've not been able to comprehend the above. Wouldn't you care to find out how Gurinder has made large sums of money after he became the RS Guru ? Have you read Honest Living ? So, is it okay to profiteer from the RSSB-Trust money ? Is it okay to structure your financial clout in such a way that the average Satsangi will think that the Guru has a small farming business ? Is it okay to hide your wealth ?
Jay, I actually have more of a life after I shed my RS belief system - I think I have more clarity of thought and I'm not as fearful as I used to be. My holy little " spiritual ego " went for a toss and that was a very humbling experience. It felt good to know that I was just another ordinary person and I could connect with others without an air of superiority or pretense. I realized that just by being on a spiritual path does not make you a better person, you have to work quite hard at improving yourself. Life is organic. Change is good. I now seek ways to make my present fulfilling without worrying too much about the future. The biggest lesson ? " I don't know " brings you back to the drawing-board.
A quick look at RSSB's Haynes Park outfit in the UK confirms what Jon has said above — the westerners are a diminishing lot amongst the congregation. A slew of young ( eighteen-something ) spiritual enthusiasts have taken up ranks amongst the Seva-doers. These new-kids-on-the-block ( almost all of them are Indian ) demonstrate a fanatic-like love for Gurinder.
Wayne, head of the publishing department at the Dera had once told me of the impending " change of strategy " that would include newer " markets " for furthering the mission. If the westerners have thinned out at one end, a large Chinese contingent has marched in on the other. It is February and at this time of the year, a few hundred Chinese seekers will go to Beas. They'll take over the international guest house kitchen and serve up veggie dim-sums and other tofu-infused fare to fellow international Satsangi's as well. They'll sing Chinese shabads and those " marked " for initiation will be initiated in Mandarin / Cantonese !
Believers, your " Master " is a fraud — that's as simple as it is. Much exploitation is possible in the name of " spirituality " and for the sake of the millions of followers who bow to his pretentious backside, I wish that this cult comes crashing down and Gurinder has no where to hide.
The " fact " remains that Gurinder has said himself " We are a spiritual mission, not a charitable one... " And, just FYI, the Dera Hospital caters to a fraction of the people who need eye-surgery and I'm more than aware that it is free of cost ! How do you know that things are " safer and better " at the Sawan Singh Charitable Hospital ? Do you know someone who has had one surgery at the eye-camp and then another at the Sawan Singh Charitable Hospital ?
Familial Ties / Religare: Gurinder is Charan's nephew (his sister's son) and back in the day, Charan had nothing to do with Dr. Parminder Singh's (his son-in-law) fortunes. Nimmie (Charan's daughter) had a rather turbulent relationship with her husband (Dr. Parminder Singh) and Charan was often involved in resolving their marital issues. Towards the end Nimmie and Parminder were living separately.
In Charan's guru-days, Gurinder was just another member of the extended family. The Grewal's (Charan's family) and the Dhillon's (Gurinder's family) were not very close, nor were Gurinder and Nimmie (cousins). But, Charan was always very fond of Gurinder, who was (at that time) a simple man from a modest financial background, dedicated to his Guru Uncle.
Gurinder was working at the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi (as an Assistant Food & Beverage Manager there) and his career wasn't exactly going places. It was Charan who lined up a job for him with the Bilani's in Spain and Gurinder would scour China / HK and other Asian countries for watch parts. From a job in a hotel to a billionaire businessman? Like they say, you've come a long way baby... :)
Dr. Parminder Singh was an industry captain and a visionary exemplar. A lot changed after his demise in 1999. His sons (Malvinder and Shivinder) were very young and inexperienced at the time, and Ranbaxy was being run by a group of professionals headed by D.S Brar (then MD & CEO, a non-family member) who was instrumental (along with Dr. Singh) in transforming Ranbaxy from a small Indian pharmaceutical company into a research-based global pharmaceutical major.
The disagreements over Ranbaxy's international expansion strategy between Brar and the family surfaced in 2002 and Brar exited before the end of his term, leaving what happened behind the boardroom doors a mystery. An analyst, commenting on the Ranbaxy succession planning issue, said - "The question, however, uppermost in most people's mind is: (that) does the decision reflect a tussle between the promoter and professional management in which the promoter eventually had his way." Initially,
Gurinder was just playing an advisory role to the Singh Brothers. Soon, that "advisory role" turned into a full-time consultancy of sorts and it was soon heard that Malvinder & Shivinder "don't make a move" without HIS advise.
That "HIS" was Gurinder - a backstage operator in Ranbaxy's succession that led to Malvinder quickly taking up the post of MD & CEO in what was once a professionally run company. In the months that followed, Gurinder and the Singh Brothers became inseparable when it came to taking business decisions. Then in December 2005, Gurinder announced to his family and close friends that he will not be giving business advise to any one after the turn of the year!
If you take a look into the Ranbaxy archives, there is no trace of Gurinder or any of his immediate family members being associated to Ranbaxy or to Dr. Parminder Singh and Nimmie Singh in any way - through employment, through shareholding, through inheritance.
The fact that one of Charan's two sons is working in Fortis today (you can confirm this on the Fortis website, his name is Jasbir Grewal aka Cuckoo) and has no shareholding in either Religare or Fortis clearly shows that Charan did not take advantage of his familial relationships, else shouldn't his son be richer than his nephew ( Gurinder ) today? I would also like to add here that Gurinder and his sons are the only family members who are shareholders in the Singh brothers' businesses. It is not like there is a consortium of familial relations managing these companies.
Relatives are employed, but share-holding has been reserved only for the Guru and his sons. I can tell you for certain that no uncle or aunt of Gurinder had gifted him the initial capital (millions of dollars) to invest in Religare. Gurinder comes from a humble past, and for those who think that he has hectares "farmland" it may be good to know a fact - Gurinder and his immediate family are not agricultural industrialists of Punjab. A few acres of wheat and mustard produce cannot buy pre-issued shares in a global financial services company!
If you read the Religare prospectus, the shares were transferred to his sons at a pre-issue price of INR 10 before the IPO was launched. Like I said in my earlier comment, I see no reason for the Singh Brothers to part with the shareholding if there wasn't something in it for them.
This is not your average Wall Street banker we're discussing, this is GIHF - the Perfect Living Master, the Param Sant Sat Guru of Kalyug. The plethora of RS teachings now looks like a bigger pile of BS ! What ever happened to " Honest Living " I wonder... Gurinder's younger son - Gurkirat Singh Dhillon is the youngest billionaire on the Indian Billionaires List. The children of other billionaires are the inheritors of business legacies or are first-generation entrepreneurs - their success stories are a Google search away.
It is common knowledge that Ranbaxy became debt-free after the deal and got $1 billion in cash to pursue inorganic growth opportunities more aggressively. It is also common knowledge that Parminder Singh would have wholly disapproved of Malvinder's business approach. Back in the day, Ranbaxy had one of the renowned R&D departments in the pharmaceutical sector. Many patents on drugs were about to expire industry wide, which would have allowed other pharma companies to innovate and produce products at lower costs.
The Daiichi-Ranbaxy deal was valued at 4.3 times sales and 21 times EBITDA on historical earnings. Malvinder wouldn't have got a better catch than Daiichi. He got the Japanese - hook, line and sinker ! And, the Parkway Hospital in-and-out deal was the only option as a bidding war with Khazanah would have bled them. Nothing wrong with a " good deal " though Corporate India did expect the Singh brothers to resist ! Instead, Malvinder came back with all bags packed and a neat pile of money.
From your comment it seems likely that you probably know that RSSB trust funds were ( and continue to be diverted ) to Religare. Do you see another reason for the Guru's two sons being shareholders ? What was Gurinder's financial status prior to becoming the Guru ? Of course, you don't have to answer this, but I'm sure that if you know the Head of Treasury and Head of Finance at Religare, you know the truth.
The Sawan Singh Charitable Hospital was built by Charan Singh, which presently is in a serious need of a medical and infrastructural refurbishment. Which hospital has Gurinder built ? He shut down the Dera hospital and Charan's annual eye-camp. What are you talking about ?
On the other hand, the Singh Brothers ( Malvinder & Shivinder ) can use their pocket change to upgrade the Sawan Singh Charitable Hospital. After all, (1) they are the promoters of Fortis - one of the largest healthcare operators in India (2) the hospital was an integral part of their grandfather's charitable legacy (3) they are supposed to give one-tenth of their income to charity, as stated in the RS doctrine.
With the kind of money that Gurinder and his relatives have, their charitable endeavors are a real pittance. Bayarearetrofit says - After the earthquake in Sri Lanka, the Dera sent thousands of sevadars and money to build schools. He even went there to supervise the operation and refused photo ops.
Reply - About two months ago, a devastating flood hit the region of Ladakh leaving thousands of people homeless and with a dire need of the essentials - food, medicines and warm clothing. National NGO's, disaster management groups and international agencies set up relief operations immediately. Beas nodded and the nearest local wing of RSSB pitched their tents. Like an automated program, representatives took up positions and volunteers lined up - the RSSB relief camp was up and going. They served tea and biscuits, gave temporary shelter and basic medical care to a fairly large group of flood victims.
A couple of weeks later, a whisper went around - Babaji is coming ! Things went into overdrive. The fervor reached fever pitch when Gurinder's private charter touched down at the Leh airport. The media was close at hand. Gurinder marched to the RSSB shelter and talked to some of the flood victims. He had tea, then made a few suggestions to the RSSB representatives.
Also, IMO, like politicians visits, GIHF visits are actually a hindrance for any kind of serious relief work. Well, it is a good thing to gather a hundred people for a nobel cause that serves humanity, but how much of this should be credited to Gurinder ? I mean, it would be interesting to know how much Gurinder has given from his own personal wealth to the RSSB shelter or to the flood victims in Ladakh.
The RSSB trust funds are the collective contributions from the Sangat, so if the trust funds are used, it is the Sangat's benevolence. People tend to attribute too much to the Guru, how much of a role does he play in all of this besides being the poster-boy in who's name they erect the tent ? Does he lead by example by braving the chill and helping out with the chores ? He doesn't !
A bunch of brave hearts who tirelessly serve their fellowmen in distress are honorable people, while their feudal Master comes along and just laps it all up... Temporary charitable blips on the RSSB map do not substitute for a full-time humanitarian initiative - one that RSSB can easily afford. The eye-camp was a huge expense and an organizational task, it is now obvious that Gurinder prefers occasional activities. These flashes of compassion do not negate his fallacy, greed for land and corporate ambitions.
Besides, the RSSB management will ensure that they get the required mileage from this activity to maintain their charitable status with the taxmen, while countrywide, followers will drop their jaws in awe at the humility and love expressed by their Guru on this trip... Bayarearetrofit says - He travels everywhere trying meeting with his disciples at great personal discomfort. Reply - Did you hear that the RSSB Guru traveled by train amidst the hymn-singing Sangat in Punjab ? That was Sawan.
Gurinder travels only private jet within India. Overseas, it is first class or private charter again. A pristine white elevator ( Schindler ) is installed at the Beas residence that takes Gurinder from level 0 to level 1. The same elevator is installed at his sprawling new residence in Delhi, which is on the outskirts of the Chattarpur area, very close to the main Satsang grounds. This farmhouse has been named " Basera " translated as " The Abode " and is a three-acre property.
Abroad, Gurinder stays at well-maintained RSSB estates or in the best hotels. In India, his private cooks travel with him on the Satsang tour. He has staff that serves him round-the-clock in every part of the world he visits. Gurinder enjoys all the mod-cons of the high-life. The air conditioning is always kept at a cool 18 to 20 degrees for him. I could go on...
Bayarearetrofit says - He recently helped write and publish a book on misogynous practices in India, such as physical and emotional abuse, enslavement, etc. The book is called something like "Rise Up Women" and is meant to provide abused women resources to get out of abusive relationships.
Reply - A book that expresses an ideology and exposes the plight of women is not the same as a book that catalogues a mission's role and achievement in that sphere. We can all preach a ton of stuff, and that is exactly what Gurinder does - talk. But what is he actually doing about it ? Nothing.
Gurinder is also majorly encouraging organ donation. Has he contributed in any way, or is RSSB affiliated to any of the agencies that are finding solutions to the ground-water contamination issues that are the root cause of organ damage in Punjab ? No. Does he / RSSB facilitate organ transplant and take responsibility ? No. Does he visit donors and recipients ? No. Does he / RSSB give even partial monetary support ? No. So all his apparent " concerns " then are just his personal PR and strategic marketing campaigns for the RSSB mission, nothing else. A significant abusive relationship is the Guru-disciple relationship within RSSB but that would be the subject of another comment.
I was recommended by a therapist in London to blog about my thoughts, as discussions about RSSB are discouraged within RS social circles. I've not considered cataloging my views and experiences. Besides, I live in India most of the time so RSSB may want to " deal " with me in a way they think is appropriate. I find blogging therapeutic ( from my standpoint ) and entertaining. I also feel that it helps me cope in the real world... :)
Nobody says - " His role as a guru is social... His role as a guru is spiritual... Both at the same time... and without a certain pattern that fits moral or ethical laws. " Reply --- Whoa ! Without a certain pattern that fits moral or ethical laws ? Are you kidding ? OMG, please read Philosophy of the Masters Vol. 1-5, Spiritual Letters and Quest for Light. The blokes at RSSB will be mighty unhappy when they read your interpretation of Sant Mat.
Like ' miracles ' and other such stuff, I always noticed how things were sensationalized. I don't mean this in a gossipy way, but my personal experiences have led me to believe that there really are not two but many versions of what actually happens / happened. Then, there's another dimension to it - the Master works in mysterious ways. ( Well, I don't buy that one anymore. ) Thanks for your version though !
Some thoughts come to mind in what otherwise would have been an uncomplicated reply to a comment posted by Nietzsche | August 12, 2010 at 04:02 AM. I touch upon ( particularly ) the mindset of the upper-class of Indian RS followers, followed by my take on promoting Shabad Yoga in the West.
This comment goes out to those Indian RS-followers who regularly visit this blog, but are too chicken to leave a comment of their own as they selectively filter and obey, according to convenience, the ' rules ' from Beas. You guys, you know who you are and its quite amusing to hear you yap on about this site socially, over red-bulls and virgin mojitos. ( Cheers ! )
I picked up the Mint Lounge a day before Independence Day and would like to quote parts of the weekend edition that are relevant to this discussion and for the benefit of the RS social group I'm referring to : " Article 19/1/A from the Indian Constitution - It ensures you are free to express yourself, but within ' reasonable restrictions ' so how free does that make us ?
The fun of old fashioned rail and rant is rare these days. It does not involve mouse-click nirvana. It involves risk for all involved - the editor, the publisher or other equivalent mediator who provides the medium; the medium itself; and of course, the writer, thinker or rabble-rouser. The time for reaction is longer and the ripple effect, wider. On Twitter and Facebook as banal as they are addictive and liberating, opinions flash, scream and fade.
We celebrate the old and new kinds of free speech. It's a freedom, the lack of which we remember every other day. Our right to freedom of expression in the Constitution has ' reasonable restrictions ' - the ' reasonable ' often bordering on the bizarre - something irks somebody all the time. If you laugh at Indianness, you are booed. If you have a mind, you are stupid and deserve to be called names. Indians tolerate arguments and opinions as long as they're about cricket, Bollywood or a few other things such as ' chai ' and mangoes.
Laws protecting free speech are an apology. Discussion about religion is out of bounds... One of the facts that emerges is the Indian tendency to self-censor. I am convinced that we speak less than what the law allows us to. A few bear the brunt of restricting laws and outdated ideologues. Are we a republic of silence ? " When I read this introduction, I thought to myself... " Freedom of expression is one thing, the complete lack of opinion - quite another. "
I was reminded of some RS initiates, most of whom don't even have an opinion that stretches beyond the cliched dogma they begin to parrot every time someone raises a valid point that questions Gurinder's recent behavior. To what degree can people become consenting puppets to a Guru who they know and agree is in the wrong never ceases to amaze me. Here is what I have to say to them - Your basic faculty of discerning right from wrong seems to have fallen through a crack in the floorboards.
If you do not object to the existence of an elitist, fraudulent Guru then the objection to the institution ( RSSB ) is superficial and the consequences are inevitable - Religare, a tightly sealed RS trust, the shutdown of charities, the emergence of RS fanaticism... The debate should be at a much more fundamental level - about what the existence of such a patriarchal institution means and not merely about who suffers at the hands of them and the resulting chaos that stems from it.
It may also be a better idea to quit debating Gurinder's Religare involvement if you cannot step on to an open forum and present your views. Stop inquiring and gossiping in hushed whispers and step out of the closet if you must, you enjoy the stuff that I post anyway ! Tell me what you think, because you are indulging in it, just offline. Damn, your stories had me rolling my eyes in disbelief...
One of you said " If you pick up the Dera and place it in Europe or America, its feudalistic hierarchy will invite the attention of human rights activists ! " So, you continue to believe in the " philosophy " maybe ? You're having a spiritual hang-over from your grandparents' Sant Mat days ? I understand that, I felt the same way for a long time...
At first, I discounted my feelings as just another source of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but having gone past my initial apprehension of being wrong, I'm going to say that it was at the very least quite thought-stimulating. It took me over a year and a half to discover and discard all my conditioning. I knew it would not be easy... ( This part relates to Nietzsche's comment. Bringing Shabad Yoga to the West. )
RS originated and is headquartered in India, so until people from this side of the world stand up and have an opinion, RSSB will continue to be a profitable export to the West and will thrive in India by silently raking in money from the multitudes of uneducated, gullible villagers that it brainwashes in its fold. Overseas, RSSB projects a much mellower, " liberal " image and blends into the cultural ethos of the region.
Didn't Gurinder tell people not to use hair color ? Who's obeyed that one ? All that being said, the good news is that your like is a shrinking lot and RSSB does not appeal to most people ( in India ) anymore. Stop being apologists, when you're really not. Why do you want me to be your voice when you have your own ? Think about it. With love to all who read this... :)
Some were expecting Dr. Parminder Singh, the son-in-law of Charan Singh to become the next Guru. ( Parminder was the husband of Nimmie Singh & father of the two Singh brothers - Malvinder & Shivinder who now are partners with Gurinder. ) I remember having a conversation with GS a few years ago and he himself told me about the " phone call " and what a surprise it was to him, though at that time ( as I believed he was a GIHF ) I thought he was just being humble.
Gurinder was just another member of the extended family and was not considered to be a Perfect Living Master ( PLM ) before he became the Guru ! He was not a " higher-up " in RSSB and was actually quite disconnected from the Dera politics and was leading a quiet life in Spain with his family. Gurinder's tenure started out on low-key beginnings. It was a long while before he gave his first Satsang and wore dark glasses for almost a year and a half. Initiation started much later. The brimming confidence that you see today is the result of a well orchestrated succession.
What I saw ( back then ) was a reluctant successor who was cautious about every move he made. What would you do if you suddenly became the head of a large spiritual sect and had everyone looking up to you for " grace & mercy " on one hand, and for all management related decisions on the other ? How would it feel to have Sevadars ( double your age ) standing in submission with folded hands, saying... " Baba Ji, hukum karo ! " ( translated as ) " What do you desire Master ? " I'm sure it was rather difficult for him in the initial years and maybe there were times he may have just wanted to run away from it all, and that's why IMO, he pursues his business interests on the side, as a break from the " Guru " thing.
They made an appointment with one of the senior RS reps and her first question was a query into the approximate figure that was donated over that weekend. They were immediately escorted out of the office by four RS reps and were told that they shouldn't attend Satsang if they have no faith in the Master. I also know of three similar incidents in the Dera.
Yes, simply asking about financial dealings of any kind are considered inappropriate. Any well-informed Satsangi will tell you that it is forbidden to question the RSSB management regarding any monetary issue.
02. No, the current Master has never offered to make a public disclosure. His Religare earnings, his personal expenses ( and who bears them ), the net worth of the RSSB-trust ( all donations & assets ) and the transactions of the trust - all remain a big mystery. Individual queries are silently quashed. Unfortunately, no Sangat in any region has jointly made an inquiry into the RSSB-trust funds. Gurinder tells people that his son is working " for " the Religare London office, as if his son is an employee !
Unless one knows, Gurinder pretends that he and his family have nothing to do with Religare and that he's just a servant of the Sangat. Sunil Godhwani is an RS initiate and the CMD of the Religare Group. He is also the Guru's personal treasurer, trusted confidant and right-hand man.
03. Yes, this is correct. The Beas farmland issue is a case in point where RSSB has illegally encroached upon land that is owned by farmers and has diverted the river course to drive them out of their dwellings. RSSB has a number of land related lawsuits pending and Gurinder uses his political contacts to work things in his favor.
Announcements were made at the Delhi Satsang three years ago, urging fellow Satsangi's not buy land around the Bhati Mines area which encloses the largest RSSB center in Delhi. It was only later that people realized that RSSB wanted to buy that land, and the reason they discouraged followers to buy it was because it would have been rather difficult for RSSB to " throw out / buy out " a Satsangi as opposed to a non-believer.
On another occasion RSSB made sure that a subway line was diverted in Delhi and had thousands of followers sign a mass petition and stage a rally in protest. Then there is that 108 million USD land-deal in Ahmedabad and there is no evidence, as yet, about where those funds are. The fact remains that RSSB's real-estate assets are the largest amongst spiritual missions, and RSSB does minimal charity - just enough to maintain the trust's status as a non-profit spiritual organization.
04. Yes, the source ( www.watchoutinvestors.com ) has given accurate information and this website is owned by the Investor Education and Protection Fund which is a part of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. I do not know of any other SEBI disclosed violations. It seems like most of the questionable activities are done between the RSSB-trust and Religare before the " official documents " hit the floor.
The RSSB-trust is an autonomous body and is closed to external auditing. Religare's auditors are PWC's Indian affiliate who are famous for their involvement in the Satyam scandal in recent years. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ar6hB_Hr347E
05. Interesting question. If you look at Page-94 of the Religare Prospectus you will find a board member and initiate named Mr. Deepak Ramchand Sabnani who has the foreign directorship of the ( RSSB ) Science of the Soul Study Centre International Limited which is an RSSB registered charity. What is a non-profit RSSB subsidiary doing on the corporate prospectus of Religare ? This is another link that proves that Religare board members who are initiates have also been given important roles within RSSB. I have learnt that business is preferentially given to the Guru's " inner circle " members who are also his close friends. http://www.sebi.gov.in/dp/reldraft.pdf http://www.scienceofthesoul.org
06. There is no concrete proof of the RSSB-trust funding Religare at the time of its inception. However, some facts to consider are - A. The only people on the Indian billionaires list who do not have a cataloged history of family business are Gurpreet and Gurkirat, the Guru's two sons.
( The Singh brothers cannot be considered " family " in this regard as they " got into business " with Gurinder only in 2006, prior to which Gurinder had nothing to do with Ranbaxy and had no business of his own. ) B. There is no road-map to indicate how the Guru and his sons became ( now the largest ) shareholders of a two billion dollar company... ( ?? ) C. Why were shares transferred at a pre-issue price to Gurpreet and Gurkirat only ? Why is Gurpreet nowhere to be seen on the Religare India website ? Why is he tucked away in London ? Why has he never been interviewed ?
Brian, you've touched upon something interesting in this post. I was talking to a fringe-Satsangi the other day, and we both agreed that your devotion to RS Sant Mat was exemplary and you were probably what RSSB would call a ' perfect devotee ' back in the day.
Which brought me to a mini-conclusion : we have examples of some ' perfect ' devotees ( and I use this word kind of loosely as according to the RS doctrine we're imperfect ) so people like you and my father were / are what I can safely call ' prototypes ' of perfect RS devotees. I've seen my father meditate at 4am and your wife has seen you do the same and volunteer for a ' night-seva ' duty outside the Guru's residence.
Our near and dear ones know some facts about us. Well, what do we know about the Guru ? Very little, IMO. Okay, Gurinder may not be willing to perform miracles or give us descriptive details of supreme regions, but surely, on the ' human ' side of things, as he is God In HUMAN Form, it may be good to let devotees in on some ' demonstrable ' human activities. Like, for starters, is he giving 1/10th of his earnings from Religare into charity as prescribed by the teachings ? It seems like the ' this-is-how-you-do-it ' demo is missing on all levels.
This comment is a reply to the sender of the email that Brian has posted above - July 20, 2010 at 8:00pm. Sender, please excuse me if at any point you find my tone offensive. SENDER says - In your post ' RSSB's ties to Religare mix money and spirituality... ' what proof do you have that the RSSB Guru ( Baba Ji ) literally runs the company ? That he makes all the important decisions and spends a considerable amount of time driving the business ? And if he is making millions for his family and kids, is that such a big crime ? In America we do that, we call it capitalism.
The RSSB asset-corpus is one of the largest in the world amongst spiritual sects, and they continue to acquire more property. A large chunk of land that was bought by donations ( mostly from the poor ) has been sold at a huge profit - there is no clarity about where the funds have been redirected. There is little or no initiative towards humanitarian or charitable activities.
RSSB exploits people through Seva or volunteer work, which is usually directed towards the expansion of the mission in one way or the other.
Though the RS meditation is supposed to be the central tenet of discipleship, discussion about progress in meditation is forbidden. RS-Sant Mat is in many ways dogmatic and ritualistic, but the scorn upon the same when they talk about other religions. All of the above is invisible when you're a believer of the RS path. I'd rather be a practicing Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever... Anything is better than RS-Sant Mat.
Satsangis usually attribute the smallest of their problems to the 'karma' rhetoric and have an overbearing sense of dependence on the guru. To add to that, many appear depressed, dejected or frustrated because at some level they feel that their efforts are futile. A few weeks ago, I bumped into a young ( Indian ) satsangi couple at a bar. They hung around till 2am sipping diet-coke and enviously gazing at groups of people around who were dancing and enjoying themselves. On their way out they said a cold 'hello' to my friends, then looked at our table and gave me a horrid 'you're-going-straight-to-hell' kinda look... :)
I learnt that the Religare cafeteria is very unhygienic and the restrooms seldom have soap. People are fired unceremoniously, mostly without a reason. Quite mismanaged for God's own company... ( ?? ) This is how things work - Gurinder needs loyal people to stick with Religare as he has big plans for his company. Who would be better than RS initiates ? They look upon him as God so every decision ( right or wrong ) would be regarded as the ' Will of God ' while he gets away without challenge or criticism. The ' higher-ups ' believe that they have been taken care of in every sense, worldly and post-worldly ( Swarath & Parmarath ) so, if you see it from their perspective, they think they couldn't have had it better !
These people and their families are raking it in - physical proximity to the GIHF plus material benefits, all by his grace ! Even though they seem to be staunch followers of the path, they collectively lack the most basic of social skills and some of them have crossed over to being comically hostile. IMO, all the people close to Gurinder have doubts about him being the real deal, but they are playing along with with the guru-game as somewhere down the line they are benefiting - through plump placements within Religare and Fortis, through business alliances that come with the expansion of these companies, through getting better networked for their own personal gains...
You write - " It can be difficult to have faith in him if we were somehow closely connected to him physically... " Obviously ! Thats how you'll discover the ' real ' Gurinder - an impostor. He is a calculative, shrewd, stony-hearted, power hungry schmuck. Spend some time with him and the ' inner circle ' and you'll reach for the next muffin you'll find. Do you think that any of his core group members are interested in spirituality ? That would be a joke ! These clowns are busy stuffing their pockets with cash as they load up more for Gurinder on the Religare money-train.
Then as time went by, I realised that my perception of RS Sant Mat was stuck in my own childhood, during the last years of Charan Singh. As an adult, the more I got to know Gurinder and the ' inner circle ' the more uncomfortable I felt. Things that I saw and heard felt against the basic grain of what I had learnt about Sant Mat.
It was not easy to address this internally, so for a real long time I ' hung on ' taking refuge in justifying the hypocrisies. The RS philosophy is not straightforward and many aspects are open to personal interpretation. Your idea of the ' real higher self ' maybe radically different from what a pure cultist believes.
This is an absolute contradiction. What applies to the Sangat must first apply to the Guru and his family. What about the karmic implications of these deals, I wonder... There were always questionable aspects about the RS theology to begin with, even in the days of Charan Singh and the other Great Masters. However, Gurinder has taken his ' gurudom ' to an entirely new level ! If you are a journalist based in India, it would be great if you know someone who might be interested to do a story. Many are ready to give their inputs.
Hi Undecided, Religare was founded in 2006. http://www.linkedin.com/companies/religare The shares were issued to the Guru's family at INR 10 per share before the company went for an IPO on October 29, 2007. As of this morning, Religare's market cap is INR 5061.93 Crores, so you can do the math if the family owns twenty percent of it !