This morning someone emailed me a link to a juicy story, "Brothers Singh and the squandering of a business empire."
The brothers referred to are Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, the nephews of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) guru Gurinder Singh.
RSSB is headquartered in India, but has a worldwide reach. I used to belong to this spiritual organization whose guru is considered to be God in Human Form by true-believing devotees.
I say "true-believing," because Gurinder Singh, shown above, has been promulgating revised versions of the RSSB teachings, so it is unclear whether the guru himself believes in v.1.0, v2.0, or v3.0. The latter versions downplay the "perfect living master" dogma that was a core tenet of v.1.0.
What I found most interesting in the story was a section called The Radha Soami connection. I've boldfaced the part about Shivinder Singh being expected to serve as the next RSSB guru.
Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a self-described “philosophical organisation” was founded in 1891 by Dera Baba Jaimal Singh. Shivinder is the nephew of the sect’s current guru, Gurinder Singh Dhillion, referred to as “babaji” by followers. The previous guru, Charan Singh, was Shivinder’s maternal grandfather. Gurinder is the fifth leader of the sect, which is based out of Beas near Amritsar.
Film actor Shahid Kapur is one of its followers and his wedding with Mira Rajput was facilitated by the sect. Their wedding was held at a farmhouse owned by Shivinder. Gurinder played a pivotal role in putting Shivinder and Malvinder at the top at Ranbaxy after a battle for control of the drug maker followed Parvinder’s death in 1999.
Shivinder is expected to succeed Gurinder. “Gurinder has looked after Shivinder as his own son and he is expected to take over the leadership of the sect,” said a person close to the family, who did not want to be named.
There have been significant business links between Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises (both promoted by Malvinder and Shivinder) and RSSB. The family of Gurinder Singh, including his sons Gurpreet and Gurkirat, owned a significant stake in Religare, as reported by Mint in July 2015. Gurinder’s son Gurpreet served as the chief executive of Religare Health Trust (RHT), a subsidiary of Religare. Singapore-based RHT is the holding company of Fortis Healthcare.
This wasn't new news to me, since back in 2016 I'd quoted someone who commented on my blog post about another livemint story, "Shivinder Singh's ties with low-profile sect go beyond spirituality."
Looks like Shivinder is on his way to become the next Guru ..... What do you think Brian and Dr. Lane?
Well, I didn't really know what to think then, and the same is true now. All I can say is that the business of being an Indian guru has changed a lot from the time I was initiated in 1971 by Gurinder Singh's predecessor, Charan Singh -- who was Gurinder Singh's uncle.
Back then the RSSB teachings said that spirituality should be job #1 for people seeking God-realization, not making gobs of money. But as I've reported in previous blog posts, Gurinder Singh has become hugely rich himself during his stint as guru, and he is intimately entwined in the shady business dealings of Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, as detailed in the recent story about them.
Here's the posts:
Billionaire Shivinder Singh plans to volunteer for RSSB guru
There's also mention of the connections between the Singh brothers and RSSB in a post I published recently, "Devastating criticism of Gurinder Singh Dhillon by a RSSB insider." Here's one of the comments included in that post that were left on my blog by the insider. What's said below will make more sense if you read the story about the Singh brothers' business problems.
The livemint story has this to say about Sunil Godhwani, who, as noted above, is called the guru's "right-hand man" by the RSSB insider. (Baba-ji is an honorific for the guru).
Religare was run by the Singh brothers’ one-time close confidante Sunil Godhwani from 2001 to 2017, before he decided to step down. “He was introduced to the Singh brothers by the RSSB,” the person close to the family said, adding that Godhwani was also an ardent follower of the sect.
So there are very close ties between the Singh brothers' business dealings, RSSB, and Gurinder Singh, which basically, can be summed up as a complex mess. Here's how the livemint story ends:
Godhwani could not be reached for comment. The Ranbaxy business dynasty is now in disarray. With a slew of legal and regulatory battles ahead, the Singh brothers have limited elbow room to start a new business or revive remnants of existing ones. A rich legacy has been squandered.