Here's a guest post from Osho Robbins, who emailed what follows to me.
He points out the difference between the beliefs held by devotees of a particular India-based religious organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, and the reality of what the current leader of the organization, a guru (Gurinder Singh Dhillon) says the RSSB teachings are.
Why are beliefs so important?
What do you think of a person who still believes that the earth is flat? Or someone who knows it's a sphere, but believes it is the centre of the universe and that the sun rotates around the earth?
What about a follower of Ram Rahim, who still thinks he is innocent and is just being persecuted?
I dont think you would be very impressed with such a person. In fact you might consider a person like that to be insane. But now - what if that person was YOU?
Do you think its important that your beliefs are accurate? Or is it okay to have false beliefs?
Beliefs run your life. It is a well known fact that you don't live life. You live a limited life based entirely on your beliefs. Whatever you believe appears to be TRUE for you.
You alter your perceptions to make the world fit into your beliefs, so you never experience the world. You experience only YOUR VERSION, which is the world, seen through the filter of your beliefs.
Now look at the beliefs of an RSSB (Radha Soami Satsang Beas) follower and let's see how they have changed over the years. Does the follower have inaccurate beliefs?
Traditional beliefs about the master:
1. The master is ALL KNOWING. He literally knows what you are thinking and he knows the future.
2. The master is ALL POWERFUL. He has the power to do anything he chooses.
3. The master is a super human with amazing powers beyond your comprehension. Do not consider him to be just a man. The Sar Bachan actually states "Do not consider the guru to be a mere mortal. He is the darling of Sat Purush." (God)
4. The master has the power to alter your karmas. So many stories and anecdotes portray this as true.
5. The master never makes a mistake - literally. How can the master make a mistake? There is a higher meaning and purpose in everything he does and says.
6. The master is perfect.
7. The master has the highest moral standard you can imagine
8. The master is an HONEST and decent human being
9. The master is not subject to karmas as he is God in human form
10. The master is above pride and ego
11. The radiant form of the master will come at death to meet each disciple and personally take charge of his soul.
Now compare this to the REALITY. I wont go into detail, but any intelligent person can make a realistic asessment of the truth. If the master himself says that he is not 'perfect' why would you insist he is? If evidence shows you something different, why would you ignore the evidence?
So then you have to re-assess what you really believe if you are intelligent. It is insanity to continue to hold outdated and inaccurate beliefs and you will pay the price because your expectations will not be met.
Traditional beliefs about the RSSB path and the teachings:
1. God is called Sat Purush and resides in Sach Khand, the fifth region. Just Google "Radha soami spiritual regions" and you will get graphic pictures of them (click on images). Your purpose is to meet him.
2. in meditation your soul leaves your body via the third eye and reaches the astral region where it meets the radiant form of the master, who then takes the soul through all the regions, and eventually to Sach Khand.
3. Once you are initiated, you will always come back only as a human and not lower species, and within four lifetimes you will reach Sach Khand.
4. The purpose of the spiritual path is to reach Sach khand. Others (like Krishna, Buddha and Jesus) never reached Sach Khand. They only reached the lower regions (region 2 or 3 of the 5).
5. The master will come at death and take your soul into safe care and put it where is can meditate and eventually reach Sach Khand
6. Sach Khand is a real place and so are the regions.
7. The advaita type of teachers were of a much lower standard and never got to Sach Khand
8. Only the people with the highest karma will find a true guru and Sant Mat is the ONLY valid way to get to Sach Khand. All other religions failed to reach Sach Khand. Read Dr Johnson's "The Path of the Masters" for validation of this point. The book even goes into a detailed comparison with other religions.
9. It's not just about Realisation or ONENESS. There are regions to traverse in the inner world.
How much of this still applies?
Some people justify the changes by saying "The gurus change and adapt with the times" but this is simply not true when the teachings fundamentally change. A person following RSSB in the 70's and 80's would not recognise RSSB today as the same path. There are just too many differences.
So then the uncomfortable truth has to be faced: that maybe i am following just another belief system but am convinced this is the real truth and that ONE DAY I will see this for myself, after lots of meditation.
But when will that ONE DAY arrive?
In the latest video Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the RSSB guru, clarifies many of these beliefs we hold: invalidating them. Like that he is not knowing and there are no miracles and the guru cannot take on your karmas, etc.
GSD video no 16:
05:24 As human beings we never learn in life. We are making the same mistakes again and again. We dont use our vivek (discrimination). We bring the suffering on.
10:30 Seva (service) is not real seva because you cannot avoid the 'calculation' unless you are very elevated spiritually.
12:00 Karmas have to ba PAID - cannot be forgiven except by "Shabd".
13:00 Books refer to miracles such as Bhai Shaadi when he was bitten by a snake and Sawan Singh healed him. Is this not a fact? How do we know the snake was even poisonous? Video is then edited when the questioner says "But that is what is written in the books".
The only miracle is that someone like me became the master.
14:00 I know some people who like to come back to this world again and again. Heaven would be so boring. (not me - others). He laughs.
15:00 When did you get to know you would be the next master? No - I never knew - I was told.
I shouldn't question, but I do! I should have faith in what Maharaj Ji did. (previous RSSB guru)
Let's say, I wonder "why me?" In my entire life I can't say that I excelled.
Maharaj Ji put me here to say "If such an average person can succeed, you can all succeed".
"That's your humility, Baba Ji..."
That's one thing I don't have (humility). Humility is not my strong point. Baba Vaswani was (humble) not me.