Since I was a member of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), an India-based religious organization, for about 35 years, wrote several books for RSSB, and did a lot of speaking on behalf of RSSB, obviously I'm very familiar with the RSSB teachings.
So when I saw this comment appear on a recent post about the idea of a guru being more than human, it struck me as astoundingly wrong. (GIHF refers to God in Human Form.)
Clearly Karim Rahmaan knows very little about the RSSB teachings. So I'm pleased to correct him.
I can easily do this because because in the course of writing my first book, God's Whisper, Creation's Thunder, which ended up being sold under the auspices of RSSB even though it was published commercially, I took copious notes on certain subjects from every book sold by RSSB at the time (early 1990s).
Here's quotes regarding the RSSB guru and his relationship to Shabd, otherwise known as the Sound Current, which is believed to be the power that creates and sustains the cosmos. All of these quotes come from books written by one of the RSSB gurus (name in parentheses).
The True Form of the Guru is Holy Sound, and in that form the Guru permeates every hair on your body and is seated within you. (Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, p. 220)
The Master is only one -- Shabd -- and whosoever initiates you will project himself from that Shabd, because the Source is one. All Masters are one, which means the Shabd is the Master... Your real self is the soul, and the real self of your Master is the Shabd, the Word. (Charan Singh, Die to Live, p. 213)
The body is not the Master. The Master is that Power, that Shabd, manifested in human form; but the form itself is not that Power or Shabd, which is the real Master. Through the body we are in touch with the Shabd. Masters are nothing but the waves of the ocean of the Lord. (Charan Singh, The Master Answers, p. 65)
There is no difference between the Master and the Sound Current inside. The Sound Current is your Master. Every human being needs a Master who is in the human form, to connect him with the Master, the Sound Current inside. (Charan Singh, The Master Answers, p.216)
The Master is the beach of the limitless ocean of the consciousness of the Lord. (Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Volume 3, p. 122)
However virtuous a man may be, he cannot, by his own efforts alone, contact the Sound. Unless the Master gives him the gift of the ray of life and initiates him, he cannot contact the Divine Sound. At the time of initiation by the Master the soul becomes fit for being connected with the Shabd... The Master 'injects', as it were, his consciousness and light into the soul of the disciple at the time of initiation. (Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Volume 5, p. 17 )
The Shabd or divine Music is the perfect Master. The Shabd is indistinguishable from the Supreme Lord. It is a conscious current of that great power which created the universe and which fully pervades it. All the universe emanated from this Shabd. (Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Volume 5, p. 66)
The Master, so to say, is the bulb is which the electric light is made to appear... The Sat Guru is the place where the sun of Reality rises. (Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Volume 5, p. 173)
The Lord is hiding behind the garb of the Saints and speaks through them. (Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Volume 5, p. 185)
True Masters bear the same relation to the Lord as the waves bear to the sea. Huzur Maharaj Ji [Sawan Singh] used to explain this by giving the example of a large number of radios lying in a room but not connected with either a battery or electricity. Under those conditions you may tune as much as you like, but you can never hear the news from any station. Similarly, Masters are radios who are connected with the Lord. (Charan Singh, Spiritual Discourses, p. 171)
So it's absurd to claim that the RSSB teachings don't clearly say that the guru is God in Human Form. This is a central tenet of both the RSSB teachings and the broader Sant Mat philosophy.
I was totally correct when I wrote in the above-mentioned blog post:
Again, I'm talking here about gurus who are viewed as being more than human, as possessing some sort of divine quality, as having attained knowledge of a supernatural realm beyond the physical. I'm not talking about a "guru" who is merely a meditation teacher or a moral guide.
Of course, just because the RSSB teachings say that the guru is God in Human Form, this doesn't mean that the RSSB guru actually is the closest thing to God than God herself.
My point is simply that any attempt to make the guru into just a regular human being (which I believe is the truth) is at odds with what the RSSB teachings say the guru is. And that claim is so grandiose -- that a human can possess the consciousness of God -- it deserves to be subjected to serious criticism.
Sure, religions make all sorts of claims. But to elevate a living person to the same level as God, that is especially dangerous, since it encourages a special sort of fanaticism on behalf of the guru who is believed to be God in Human Form.