Here's a follow-up to yesterday's post, "Faqir Chand was a guru who exposed how gurus deceive devotees." That post stimulated some comments in which questions about Chand were raised.
Pleasingly, David Lane responded with some highly informative comments.
Lane is responsible for a book about Chand's life and philosophy, after asking the guru if he would write his story before he left this world. So Lane is deeply knowledgeable about all things Chand'ian.
Lane's comments are shared below.
Naturally they will be of most interest to those interested in the Indian spiritual paths of Sant Mat and surat shabd yoga. But since Faqir Chand doubted the validity of inner visions, which figure prominently in traditional Sant Mat, Chand's views on this subject are of general spiritual interest also.
Here's the first comment from David Lane. I've corrected a few typos in the comments.
Dear Spence, you write the following: "Further, he was pressed to assume the role of true Master when he knew he hadn't attained that. But as his teacher assigned it, he had no other choice but to accept it. From that he presumed the other gurus hadn't attained anything either"
Actually, this is not what transpired.
Rather, Faqir talked directly with Charan, Kirpal, and many other shabd yoga gurus and asked them in private whether they too were "unaware" of their appearances to their respective disciples.
Each of them also acknowledged that they did NOT know. It was from such experiences that Faqir formed a larger hypothesis.
But even here, to Faqir's great credit, he asked other gurus to correct him if he was wrong. But they never did on this point. Here is a direct quote from the Essence of Truth by Faqir on this point:
"Sh. Jagan Nath is present here. He offered me Rs 403/- for the Manavta Mandir. He told that I awakened him at 1:30 A.M a day before. But I did not go to awake him nor do I know any things about it. Possibly, other mahatmas and Gurus might have the knowledge of such instances of manifestations of their forms. At least I remain unaware. Many of the present Gurus have admitted before me that they remain unaware about such instance."
You also write, "his projection on what other people have experienced is also just his projection."
This is not entirely accurate since Faqir sought out what other gurus had experienced and it was from their own confessions to him in private and elsewhere that Faqir formed a more general view. In addition, even to the very end of his life Faqir pointed out that he could be wrong and welcomed others to correct him.
It was a very refreshing quality of his.
A few little tidbits that are not widely known:
1. After Faqir was appointed by Shiv Brat Lal to be his successor and a guru, he went to Sawan Singh since he didn't feel right about doing it, since he would speak the truth about what he knew. Sawan Singh then garlanded him and backed him in his ministry. However, after 1942 Faqir stopped initiating anyone and instead gave satsangs about his realizations.
2. In the 1940s Faqir even gave satsangs at the Dera when Sawan was alive.
3. Jagat Singh and Faqir Chand were friends. Faqir also knew Charan and Charan would visit Faqir whenever he came to Hoshiarpur.
4. Faqir refused to live at his own ashram since he didn't feel it was right for him to get free room and board. Instead he lived a number of blocks away and would take a bicycle rickshaw to the ashram in the morning.
5. One time when Faqir was sick and had to stay over at his own ashram, he paid for his stay.
Faqir Chand was so forthcoming and so disarmingly honest that it would make even his closest followers uncomfortable.
Hope this helps a bit.
And here's the second comment from David Lane.