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March 26, 2019

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There's a saying in Punjabi. Guru is like a raging fire. One should keep their distance from the Guru. Stand too far away and you won't feel the warmth of the fire. Stand too close and you'll be burned.

For the sangat or flowers of RSSB that have never been up close and observed the guru have no idea what his private life is. He is an enigma to the 95% of followers. That 5% that are close, get a glimpse. Even sometimes that's not the real Gurinder Dhillon.

There are a few among that inner circle who know what he does and they are so close and embedded that they can't back out or withdraw. Due to guilt, faith, I'm not sure. But the real person Gurinder Dhillon is, I believe, a far cry from the persona projected before the masses.

Maybe he's realized the RSSB books have been "cleaned" to such an extent that the reality has been lost in the dogma now permeating the sangat. Not sure, but it looks like he's trying to make a sea change in the thinking process of the followers and realized that the old guard will not change but the younger followers aren't convinced or unwilling to go on blind faith.

Maybe he gave up on it after going thru the cancer treatment, who knows?

Perception is sometimes more powerful than the truth. Works both ways sometimes. Even if Baba Ji comes out of this without any dirt on him or his family, the perception is there. It's been tainted and I don't honestly know where i would go from there. The trust and faith has been tampered with.

May be a good opportunity to take the good things from RSSB and mate them with some introspection and exploration.

Will have to wait and see.

I know the inside story of much of this and let me just tell all of you that you have no idea who this Master is, why he does what he does and how much love he has for all of us. Some things that you may see differently and judge on he has done for his sangat purely out of love.

Hi Grateful One.
Please enlighten us with the details.
It's not enough to tell us you know better. Or that we are wrong. Those carry with it the obligation to educate.
Everthing is based on information. Please share.

Spence you will one day hear of all the details yourself. I am not at liberty to go into details. all I can say is you have no idea so please be careful to put judgement where you don’t know. Thank you. (With folded hands)

The Grateful One, i am informed by someone close to GSD and a senior functionary of the Satsang that there are murmurs of a coup for the Gaddi, with Shivinder actually forcing GSD to abdicate - and GSD and his beloved son Gary trying to resist it. Ofcourse Godhwani, is still manipulating the situation from behind, with a veil of being the banished lieutenant.

The other rumour is that there a multiple other criminal complaints and disclosures on GSD’s financial dealing that are going to hit the press / public domain over the next few days.

Hi Grateful one.
Sounds inspirational, but you don't lose anything by telling us what these details are. Please enlighten us so we can also be inspired. Any kind of inspiring thoughts and/or deeds would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!

You will all get the details in due course don’t worry. I am only writing here to ask you humbly to not judge without knowledge of what the Master is doing or not doing. I Know...and this is why I can tell you that you have no idea. signing out, Blessings to all

In search of,
From an insider like me I can tell you that the 5 percent that you say we see of the Master that the the rest of the sangat doesn’t is even more amazing than than the 95 percent the sangat sees. And yes his persona is much more than that we see on the dais. He is pure love nothing but love. I am always in awe.

Dear RSSB initiated ones and believers,
1.You are aware that this universe is created by Shabad and Shabad is the only path that can take us back to the creator.Guru is the Physical Form of Shabad.So by loving Him,we can contact with the Shabad which is our need of the hour(may be not of Brian's). So,we should continue to do our bhajan and simran wiith love and devotion.RSSB Guru can help us to achieve our goal.Brian who himself has astrayed from the path will only confuse you and take you nowhere.Brian will distract you from the path and goal.
2. Masters have their own source of income to run off their family.Here,Master is a big businessnan having dealings with corporates and All of us know that He is busy in Satsang Activities throughout the year .His business is run by His reliable executives and not by Himself. So,there can be mistakes/wrongdiings by those executives.In stead of analysing ,we should either help Him if we can( After all He has helped us by putting on the Great Path ) or pray to God that He comes safe out of this mess/wrongdoings/ mistakes by people entrusted by him to run His personal business .
3.God made this world. There is nothing without God.Aren't things shady in this world.Do We think God is imperfect. Good and Bad are parts if this world and are done by people of this world who are created by God. Likewise,some wrongdoings/mistakes might have crept by the people entrusted by Master in His personal business and those will be settled in due course of time. Do we satsangis ,followers and believers not commit any wrongdoings or mustakes in our businesses or day to day activities? Should we leave the path then? We all people are imperfect. So do not take these things so serously.Master will settle all these things because He is PERFECT but remember that we shall not be able to settle our karmas without His Help and Support.(No doubt,Brian has no karmas and does not want to go back to the Father any more)
Hence,all believers should do more and more bhajan at this time.because Simran and Bhajan is the best way of prayer.

Again, we are simply stating things/ideals/faith based historically unfounded dogma. It is true we have taken the teachings and the method from the Master, but I don't think we need to have the mindset that we need to belittle ourselves in front of anyone.
Even the Master.

If the Master has the
confidence of his faith, it is based on his experiences. We need to have the same confidence based on our own efforts and personal experience. Doesnt matter what the Master has experienced unless we ourselves can replicate it.

So do yourself a favor and speak with confidence from your personal experiences, not how you feel.

The Masters, once they've been enlightened, speak to us from a different level of understanding. We can't simply regurgitate the same thing and say it's true.

We haven't experienced it ourselves, so repeating what the Master says doesn't make it true. You experiencing it yourself, makes it true.

Ilanovitch, when I have experienced something meaningful I am sure to let you know. Until then, all I can do is keep searching and trying. Speaking from hearsay without experiencing first hand doesn't mean anything.

Doesn't matter how many flowery, sweet words you use, they're just words without any first hand experience behind them.

We can go in circles on this because you refuse to understand anything but your own perspective. I'm not talking about the financial scandal going on. I'm talking about the search for truth and personal enlightenment. First hand knowledge.

If we can discuss this then we can have a meaningful dialogue, otherwise you're not adding anything to the conversation.

Cheers!

Grateful one, fortunate for you that you're one of the 5%, I guess the rest us insignificant minions are out of luck. We'll have to take your word for it.

Ilanovitch, this is too funny. I'm not attacking anyone here. What I am asking is what gives anyone the right to say the things they are stating? They are repeating things that are said by an enlightened individual, ie the Master, and repeating them as if they themselves have experienced it.

Not factual and not true unless YOU have verified it yourself personally. Until then, it is a theory. Baba Ji himself has said this over and over again in Q&A sessions everywhere. He says you won't know if I'm lying unless you go inside yourself and see for yourself.

Now, are you telling me Baba Ji is lying? I've previously just stated the exact same thing.

Please enlighten us. Or will you again evade the conversation with the same comments over and over?

I'm looking for meaningful discussions around what everyone else has personally experienced, not what you've heard from anyone else.

I don't claim to have any experiences. My feelings of love or infatuation for the Master are irrelevant. They mean nothing to anyone else and are proof of nothing.

Brian, help me out here. Am I being unreasonable? Why can't I get an intelligent response to my question?

Are we unable to differentiate between logic and faith? Or are the two at opposite poles? Is this the real question we're trying to answer? And is it an answerable question?

Hi Grateful One
You wrote
"Spence you will one day hear of all the details yourself. I am not at liberty to go into details. all I can say is you have no idea so please be careful to put judgement where you don’t know. Thank you. (With folded hands)"

Given that you have offered a conclusion with no supporting evidence, I fail to understand the purpose of your comments.

If you cannot enlighten with details about these financial matters you claim to invite more about, then your conclusions have no value.

But if you had evidence you could transfer, that would be helpful.

You had claimed to have me detailed knowledge about the specific financial matters, but now you say you can't share that.

I have only discussed information that can be shared.

When you have some actual facts please back up your claims. Otherwise telling others they are wrong, but you will not share the information behind that claim, is unhelpful.

And Ilanovitch
While you may have superior personal experience, you have shared no factual in formation to exonerate the Master. Therefore he remains under the suspicion appropriate to the available facts.

Your inspired views can only be shared by those of similar subjective experience. But they do not replace objective facts.


I know the inside story of much of this and let me just tell all of you that you have no idea who this Master is, why he does what he does and how much love he has for all of us.

Hello Grateful One,

I confess I have no idea of who the Master is or what he
does for us. But, when you say "I know the inside story", do
you refer to the motivations of the inner Master or are you
referring specifically to the current financial drama that is
unfolding with GSD?

I am finding extreme claims from both believers and disbelievers about Baba ji and no straight answers.

Disbelievers or the fact-finders seem way ahead of the rest in proving involvement of Baba ji.. Believers seem to be dodging these claims.

In fact what is being challenged is His spiritual prowess in the light of same. We need to amplify His inner standing which if exists than countering the earthly facts nailing Him which now are in public domain and visible to most.

Better if we may quote our personal experience (inner) in reply so as to dilute the claims which anyhow will still hold. But these will help restore the faith in the Master.

Hi Ilanovitch
Subjective experience can't be shared with anyone else or proven to anyone else. It's personal. You can describe it but you can't give it to anyone else.

Objective facts can be shared, and they can be tested publicly and transparently against criteria for proof by anyone.

Subjective experiences include visions, hallucinations and emotions.

Objective facts are independent of those things.

You can educate someone about the laws of physics and they can test those laws. Now communication has a function by transferring testable knowledge.

But claims of superior inner experience or higher judgment that cannot be transferred are worthless.

If you share your inner experiences as a scientific exercise with the understanding that what you share is your own anecdotal and subjective experience, there is utility to those who are seeking more information about those subjective experiences.

But let's say someone is not sharing the details of them for the purpose of knowledge transfer, and further they claim that these experiences, exclusive to them, and held secret, give them superior judgment. And let's say they claim this superior but exclusive experience gives them secret knowledge that makes objective facts irrelevant. And further gives them superior wisdom to claim, without any objective basis, that all the objective facts are wrong.

This only serves that person's ego. It is a form of masterbation, and not a sincere effort either to learn from each other or to share what we actually know as evidence that can be shared and evaluated by others.

More news about GSD and Singh Brothers.

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/rssb-chief-baba-gurinder-dhillon-associates-threatened-me-with-life-alleges-filmmaker-sheetal-talwar/story/331467.html
https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/police-complaint-filed-against-malvinder-shivinder-singh-for-cheating-and-forgery/1528662/

Whoa... Looks like this story is growing legs and taking on a life of it's own. Very disturbing and so sad at the same time.
Allegations of course, and Mr. Dhillon can easily say he did not ask for anyone to say the things or do the things in these allegations. Could be overly enthusiastic followers trying to do good? Who knows.

Again, very disappointing. This stuff isn't going to go away anytime soon.

Stay tuned folks. Let the flaming begin.

I really enjoy reading David Lane's essays. Truly gives me a fresh perspective on Sant Mat and speaks to me as I have been thinking the same way for several years now.

Here's a quote I just read from http://www.integralworld.net/lane11.html

"... So let me be clear. Yes, I think it is great to do shabd yoga meditation. But that doesn't mean we shut our brains off to contrarian points of view or dogmatically accept hook, line, and sinker what these gurus say, especially when (like Ajaib and others) have been less than truthful. As I once quipped at the International Conference in Agra, "To be a mystic, we need to be a skeptic." Otherwise, we get caught in delusional thinking. Thanks"

Wonderful comment and speaks to the heart of where I am right now.

Thanks David (if you're out there)!

In Search Of, you asked: "Brian, help me out here. Am I being unreasonable? Why can't I get an intelligent response to my question? Are we unable to differentiate between logic and faith? Or are the two at opposite poles? Is this the real question we're trying to answer? And is it an answerable question?"

Great questions.

Interestingly, I came up with the title of a future blog post yesterday that I wrote down for future reference: "I'm an atheist with more faith than any religious believer."

In brief, here's what came to mind that led to the idea for this blog post. I have faith in reality. Not just bits and pieces of reality, but reality as a whole -- the entire unimaginably vast cosmos, including the aspects that we humans currently know about and also the parts that remain a mystery.

Sure, I also have faith in discrete entities. My doctors. Scientists. My VW GTI. My MacBook Pro. But it isn't possible to have 100% faith in anything discrete.

For example, every finding of science is open to revision if new facts are revealed. Ditto for my faith in my car, which has had defects that needed to be fixed. And certainly ditto for religious leaders, even those like Gurinder Singh Dhillon that are supposedly "perfect masters."

Yet even given all that, I believe in a cosmos that operates according to some beautiful laws of cause and effect. This applies at the quantum level also, though the laws appear to be more probabilistic than deterministic. Still, probability is a law, or quantum mechanics wouldn't be such a precise science that's responsible for much of our modern technology.

So my mantra is: "I open myself to reality, however it may appear." I wrote a blog post about this:

https://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2012/12/an-atheist-meditation-that-pleases-god.html

Where I went astray during many of my 35 years of being devoted to RSSB and the Sant Mat meditation practice was having undue faith in a particular aspect of reality. Namely, RSSB and the gurus in that tradition. My observation is that many others fall into the same trap.

They ignore evidence that doesn't fit into their mental model of what reality is like. But reality doesn't give a shit about our mental models. Reality is simply what it is: reality. As another favorite saying of mind from Philip K. Dick puts it, "Reality is that which, when we stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

The guru's financial dealings/wrongdoing aren't a matter of belief. They're well documented. But RSSB devotees are so used to relying on belief, they aren't able to accept that no matter what they believe, reality remains.

So no, I don't believe that faith and reason are opposed. At least, not in how I view faith: as trust in a reality that exists independent of our beliefs about it. Thus my view is that is up to us humans to do our best to understand reality, not for reality to comport with our beliefs about it.

That latter option leads to magical thinking. I see it all the time in comments on this blog. RSSB devotees feel that if they only scream loudly enough into cyberspace, "The guru did nothing wrong! The guru is God! Stop criticizing the guru!", somehow this will change the reality of the guru's behavior.

All of our mental models are false to some extent. However, we get so attached to them, often there is no crack in the mental model armor where greater and more accurate knowledge can enter.

Religious people are especially prone to this, because their need to believe that not only this life, but also their afterlife, is in the hands of a higher power is so strong, so compelling, so desperate, their reluctance to adjust their mental religious model is equally strong.

With my VW GTI, which I like a lot but am not hugely devoted to, I still found it difficult to accept that a creaking in the sunroof really was a major defect. I tried quite a few ways to fit it before it finally dawned on me, and my dealership, that the whole thing needed to be replaced, basically. See:

https://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2018/03/my-2017-vw-gti-had-a-creaky-sunroof-heres-the-tale-of-a-5-week-repair.html

There's an analogy here. Sometimes an entire mental model needs major refurbishing, or even replacement. That's what happened with me and the RSSB teachings.

Well, looks like I just wrote a good portion of the above-mentioned planned post. Thanks for giving me that head start.

Thanks for the elaborate viewpoint Brian. You're much further than I am on this exploration of the self than I am. Maybe I've been thinking it in the recesses of my subconscious, or whatever, but I can begin to see a whole new way of thinking and observing events and thoughts that come in waves through the mind.

Feels liberating in a way I suppose. The RSSB filter, which is the best way for me to describe it, acted like a muffler on my thoughts. I know there has to be something more to this. For me, Sant Mat is a piece of it. Maybe it got transformed over the decades into something unrecognizable, or maybe it mutated/was manipulated the day after Soami Ji left the world. I don't know. But kicking off this new journey actually feels exciting and I look forward to my meditation with almost a renewed vigor of the exploration of the self with no pre-determined expectations or goals. Just sit and wait in the silence...

I guess I'm open to whatever comes my way.

Thanks!

I ask these questions as a neutral person neither a believer nor a non believer. While i mentally distanced myself from rssb over last few years due to a gnawing sense of change in values of most people at dera/ centres, these questions are plaguing my mind and a sensible logical discussion would be good for me. Please ignore these if u r going to ignore logic in your answers.

Question 1: Is it acceptable that a spiritual guide also is a businessman of this magnitude? Yes, the old tenets of RSSB state that dont be materialistic. But times have changed so should we too change? For me there is significant disillusionment with this newfound love for materialism at the dera because from childhood the message i got at rssb was to be content and live a balanced life and not run after money. Did i get it all wrong? I moulded my life accordingly and now i hear all the top notch bosses are super rich. And as a educated finance professional i know what it takes to do business in India. Its not all ethical. What do u think?

Question 2: i hv read all possible details in the news. The trail of money moved is opaque. This does not happen unintentionally. But is it possible that the master had blind faith in a third person who misled him. A little to much naive to expect...but hey this is a blog!

Question 3: maybe a little far fetched...but if babaji didnt want to be come the master and was forced into it, and he assumed duties with the condition that he would continue to run his business on the side, does that absolve him in any way? He took a bad business call n owes a ton of money.

Question 4: Is it necessary for a master to continue with published ideals of a sect. Is it not acceptable that he may have different perspective which are in line with the times that we live in?

As u can see, i oscillate between being a believer and non believer. Bottomline is that i go by my gut feeling and my gut feeling was disappointed years ago without being able to put a finger on the exact reasons at that time. Now i know i was put off by the materialism n ego i saw in the sangat. Particularly the higher ups. But the heart wants to be a believer and hold on. Not getting much to hold on though.

Hi Oscillator
Great questions! I think the questions for me runs along similar lines: What if the facts come to light that Gurinder is both a philosopher and a major business investor, and that he did as most businesses do, cut corners on personal ethics, to meet that lower standard, for decades. Let's say he did this both in passively accepting and also in actively initiating what might legally be termed fraud and extortion? Will he still have the same followers? Does Dera's entire structure, both spiritually and organizationally, depend upon blind faith? Or higher personal ethics? Or is the Sangat quite happy with dispensing with such ethics in order to maintain blind faith?

Oscillator, great questions which align with my thought process. A bit lost in the dark here, and quite frankly a bit too far gone to turn back.

I was initiated in 1995, and I would say for the last 7 years this has been gnawing at me as well.

I've rationalized it so far, and quite recently, that I have to take the good things and leave the stuff that doesnt sit right. I need to supplement with what makes me centered and feel good.

Still working on it. But it's a journey of discovery and finding yourself. Life is way to short to follow blindly. My 2 cents.

You have to ask the question: do you know anyone in the inner circle that's a 9 to 5 paper pusher? I seriously doubt it.

From the names being dropped with regard to all of this mess that keeps rearing its ugly head, they're not people like you and me, these are high society, influential people.

If you knew how Baba Ji just recently renovated his living quarters at the Dera, I think you would be shocked at the lavishness. I can almost guarantee there won't be any rickshaw drivers or taxi drivers or street vendor satsangis being welcomed anywhere near there.

Always bothered me that the inaccessibility of the guru was so limited that it was almost out of the question. Like don't even bother asking.

The personal contact every disciple strives for is held back for the wealthy, influential and celebrity types. Sad to say but true.

I don't say this out of jealousy, but out of a genuine need to develop a relationship and get to know him. Not going to happen with this guru.

This would be easy to do. Have lottery at the sangat every day, draw 10 names randomly and each has 5 minutes for personal time. Takes 1 hour out of the guru's time. And dont say he can't spare an hour. Not difficult to do people!

Where there is a will to please the sangat and make the guru more accessible, they could find a way.

Just saying, it could easily be done.

As a Charan initiate, who has moved away from RSSB a long time ago, I understand what you are going through. It takes a while but once you have recovered after seeing through the facade and faced one's own insecurities and no longer put someone on a pedestal, its like a new life.

Continue with the four principles, its good to have a strong moral code to live by. Taking back one's own personal power is not about ego. Life and death will always be a puzzle and its easier to stop trying to figure things out. Maybe this is just a game and its up to each person to play it well. Feels good anyway. Be as authentic as you can be.

In search of...like I said I have the opportunity to be in the ‘inner cirtcle’ As you call it so I can shed some light. When you speak of personal contact all I can ask is please sit in your meditation to develop that relationship with both the inner and outer Master instead of spending time on this blog. Everyone can have that contact and he is so gracious with his time. I wish I could give you examples cause I know...but again I cannot write such things on this blog. Don’t believe me blindly just sit.

Grateful one, thanks again for your comments. But you're missing the point of my comment. We all have to sit in our meditation, that's what we signed up for.

But when the access to the Master is limited to the influential and not the average disciple, there's something wrong there. There isn't even an attempt to make a change to this.

Those poor, literally and figuratively, souls sitting almost a kilometer at the back of the tent will never, ever get to sit face to face with him or have a conversation. That's not right.

You can say the sangat is too large and all that stuff, but where there is a will, there is a way.

That's the frustrating part for me.

I'm not judging, just stating the reality of the situation.

No I will not say the sangat is too large but you have to understand that every single person there does not want spirituality for the purpose it’s meant. many have come for other reasons they perhaps don’t need or want the contact. My point is if you truly want the contact there is no way you won’t get the contact. I understand where your coming from and I hope you get my point. Have you been to Dera lately?

Because I see a few who are genuinely confused and just need a little support. I promised myself I won’t write here and I am now keeping my promise. Signing out of this. Thank you all

Hi Brian
I just read your comment / essay to In Search Of... It's really excellent and I hope you will give it it's own post.

Can we all stop and question why we believe as we do? Just for a moment...
Just to realize that our beliefs are a decision we make repeatedly based on information we decide we like.... When that becomes a rote habit, maybe it's a good time to remember and re- evaluate, especially in light of new information.

Because if we stop to think about it, for a moment, maybe we can use a little more objective criteria in re - evaluating what we accepted and why. And understand we are always free to choose what to believe. And so it's on us to choose for good and helpful reasons, and not ignore harm when it's being done.

'It feels good' can't be the whole equation and can lead to a lot of harm because then we start dismissing the pain of others, and the harm our lovely belief is actually causing.

I think we have to ask, "Is this really right?" And claiming "but it's so beautiful and powerful" isn't adult thinking. It's childhood fan thinking.

The Titanic was a beautiful and powerful ship.

Hi Spence. Really enjoy your comments.

Agree with what you said about the dangers of doing what feels good. Not only does it open the possibilities as you mention, but also because it doesn’t necessarily “push” ourselves to find relevant and coherent answers to our problems. Complacency.

I’m finding that in my personal growth and search I need to question the reality of the situation to some extent. I don’t want to become bogged down in it, but there needs to be a sort of checks and balances that I personally use to determine if it’s bullshit or if there’s merit to the arguement or viewpoint, and adjust my view or understanding of the situation accordingly.

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