Recently I got an email from someone who is an initiate of Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a religious organization based in India that has centers around the world.
This person said that they've been having doubts about RSSB and don't feel connected to the RSSB guru. Not being able to express their doubts with other initiates, I was asked to provide some feedback to what the person had to say.
Below is my response. My mention of Sufism relates to the person saying that they had a Sufi background.
Nice to hear from you. Yes, we seem to have come to similar conclusions about RSSB and Sant Mat, though it took me about 35 years to do so, and for you it was less than 5 years. But time isn’t the important thing. In my view, it’s being honest with ourself.
If we believe something, it’s very difficult not to believe it just because someone says, “Don’t believe.” Likewise, if we don’t believe something, it’s very difficult to believe it just because someone says, “Believe.”
RSSB is into believing, as is every religion, pretty much, maybe aside from Buddhism, but even there you’re expected to accept certain precepts as a basis for following the Buddhist path. Same thing applies, I’m pretty sure, to Sufism, though I bet it’s much less dogmatic than RSSB.
The way I see it, we can’t get through life without holding on to certain precepts or assumptions about life that could broadly be called beliefs. However, with our own set of life-oriented beliefs, we can pick and choose from the wide variety the world has to offer rather than accepting what an organized religion or philosophy offers as a package.
So in my case I’ve assembled a fairly coherent life belief system out of secular Buddhism, Taoism, Tai Chi (Taoism in motion, basically), modern neuroscience, mindfulness, and some other areas. I feel comfortable with this, though it took me quite a few years to break out of the RSSB mindset, even after I wasn’t formally associated with RSSB any longer.
In your case, I suspect you’d find it easier to cobble together a RSSB belief replacement, since you haven’t spent as long buying in to the RSSB teachings. I’m assuming you end up wanting to do this. Given the tone of your message, that seemed a fair assumption.
Anyway, naturally I feel like you’re on the right track. After all, the tagline of my Church of the Churchless blog is “Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence.” I’m Buddhist’y and Science’y enough to believe that everybody and everything exists within a web of interdependence and complex causal factors that act upon us from many directions.
But I see this as compatible with spiritual independence. Life and existence can’t be boiled down to a single belief system, like RSSB. What makes who we are, and who we want to be, is wonderfully unique for each of us. So when you felt like RSSB was right for you, that was the whole cosmos speaking through you. And if you come to feel like RSSB isn’t right for you, that also is the whole cosmos speaking through you.
I talked about this sort of thing in a blog post back in January about the words “It had to be.”
Feel free to write to me if you feel like it again. My experience is my own, but we seem similar enough that maybe some of my experience could be of some help to you.
>> But I see this as compatible with spiritual independence. Life and existence can’t be boiled down to a single belief system, <<
There any women one can love and that are lovable, many, many there are.....
One can only be married and devoted to ONE.
Posted by: um | March 10, 2023 at 01:34 AM
"Not being able to express their doubts with other initiates." You know that's not true.
It's natural to seek for advice in these matters, but why seek it from someone whose counsel reveals that he doesn't know what he believes? A person who believes that it's possible for men to become women, and that it's "cruel" to not encourage confused young girls to mutilate themselves.
I can only tell you to keep searching, with one ideal: real spirituality can't be about self fulfillment. And if you don't feel a genuine connection to a guru or religion, you probably never will and it's best to seek elsewhere.
Posted by: SantMat64 | March 10, 2023 at 10:13 AM
SantMat64, actually it is true that RSSB initiates are decidedly unhelpful if someone has doubts about the RSSB teachings. This person told me that when they tried to talk with other initiates they were told, "Just do your meditation."
That's a useless piece of advice if someone has doubts about the value of the RSSB meditation, which I also came to have. This just shows that RSSB is a religion like any other, filled with dogmatism, where as the RSSB guru likes to say, "It's my way or the highway."
Meaning, either do exactly what you were told to do at the time of initiation, or leave RSSB. Which is what this person is seriously considering, in part because they aren't getting any help or compassion from people within RSSB.
Posted by: Brian Hines | March 10, 2023 at 10:49 AM
um, you can be married and love many people. What are you talking about?
I love my wife. I love our dog. I love my daughter. I love my granddaughter. I love quite a few people. Likewise, I love Buddhism. I love Taoism. I love modern neuroscience.
My love isn't confined within bounds. It is present wherever I feel love. That's why it makes no sense to confine spirituality or self-improvement within a single belief system. Let love flow wherever it wants.
Posted by: Brian Hines | March 10, 2023 at 10:55 AM
It all depends on what is your concept of love.
I hardly ever used or use that word as the connotative meaning attached to it is to manifold and to different and the denotative meaning has become almost unknown secret knowledge.
But alright .. I too love something ... my coffee.
Posted by: um | March 10, 2023 at 11:15 AM
>> That's a useless piece of advice if someone has doubts about the value of the RSSB meditation, which I also came to have<<
Doubt is a personal thing and cannot be outsourced.
He or she that has developed the doubt, is the only one that can overcome that doubt and nobody and nothing in the world outside that person has the power to take it away.
Not even GOD
It is all psychological, nothing special as far as religion is concerned.
If a piece of music doesn't please you how can others, even the composer, take that dislike away.?
If the food served in a restaurant no longer please you, get up and never return. Nor the staff, nor the chef, nor the other guests have to power to make you eat with pleasure.
Nothing wrong with getting up and leaving the place ... but ... there is no reason why others that still love to go to the place and those that work there, should be involved or care.
Those who came to the path came ALONE and for their OWN reasons.
They can stay and go for their OWN reasons
It makes things only more complicated and often becomes a source of missery.
Posted by: um | March 10, 2023 at 11:28 AM
Hahaha .. life is funny.
Listening with a half ear to a discussion on TV, I opened a book i just received and what i wanted to read some time, to read what was there.
It is a question and answer between an advaita teacher and an psychiatrist
Q: This morning you asked me "How do you feel" and I said " I am frustrated" T came to you to find happiness. That is what I want. And I am listening to your lecture wich makes me frustrated because you NEGATE what is important to me. So what should I do?
Hahahaha .. just dive deep in the psychology behind this question.
I will spare you the rest that makes the man even more frustrated.
Posted by: um | March 10, 2023 at 02:12 PM
Great post Brian. This Sangat is fortunate that his gut instinct/ intuition is telling him that something is not right with the cult RSSB and the leader grinder Singh dhillon. Listen to it, and do your own Google search and you will find out that gurinder Singh dhillon has upto now been hiding, not written any books, doesnt show any own perscepective or insight and is only a parot. His questions and answers are hand picked, and show zero clarity but leave you even more confused. Then if you look further still you will find that since he became a leader he has used his influence for political gain , and fraudulently obtained billions for him and his sons while the rest of us have to work hard for just food on the table. If you look further still, you will discover that there are reports of his anger, control freak behavior, death threats he has made when threatened by those who speak out against him, and the very suspicious circumstances and timely death of his wife just before a key court case in Delhi. You will also see politicians and Bollywood stars staying over the dera and the different in privileges to those that are influential and can benefit gurinder singh dhillon and his sons. Don't forget that the first name in the satanic mantra at initiation is jot niranjan which means light of the devil. This is a satanic cult, don't waste your life and tell your loved ones to steer clear from this trap.
Posted by: Ranvir | March 11, 2023 at 03:30 PM
Three levels to skeptical enquiry of a religion, IMV.
At top, the essence of it. That's best, if you have the inclination, the time, and the bandwidth.
Next, particular religions as expressions of organized effort towards the above, without questioning the foundation itself. That's another, and obviously somewhat easier, way to go.
Finally, and at bottom, evaluation of particular individuals or groups as representatives of what they represent, without questioning either the foundation, or even the religion itself, nor even the particular denomination. That's easiest.
Obviously susceptible to false positives aplenty, that last. Like the Dalai Lama gets a pass, as does Pope Francis. Still, it's the easiest, and a good place to start, to knock off the low-hanging fruit.
Read this blog, specifically the articles on GSD. A "Guru" and "mystic", who's gone from humble salesman to multi millionaire with millionaire sons, off of basically their status as Guru, who has residences in multiple countries, and jets around in private planes, and hobnobs with politicians, and adroitly sidesteps court cases, and never ever (to my knowledge) ever pronounces definitely on things actually mystical, beyond wise-sounding platitudes, does qualify as low-hanging fruit --- given that RSSB is a specifically mystical and experiential path, unlike the papacy say.
Evaluating the essence of RSSB is pretty much involved, but evaluating the de facto specifics of it (vis-a-vis those essentials, and without questioning the essentials for now) seems easy enough, as easy as evaluating the claims to divinity of televangelists and cross-eyed preachers and other sundry low-effort charlatans.
Like I said, just plug GSD (or maybe his full name) in the search engine, and look around Brian's blog. Maybe cross-check linked articles from independent mainstream press, to assure yourself you're not being misled by one person or one group of people. One month of armchair research, tops, and you should have your clear answer, at least to the bottom-level question.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 11, 2023 at 04:34 PM
To be fair, I should add: Read or listen to GSD's Q&A as well. I haven't done much of that. While his venality and greed and his manipulating the powers that be in a less than perfect judicial environment will not be addressed thereby; but you'll be able to form a better informed opinion on my contention that this alleged mystic, this leader of a mystic path, does not speak on things specifically and technically mystical. (And of course, without touching on the veracity as far as reflecting outer reality of mysticism itself, in this bottom level analysis.)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 11, 2023 at 05:15 PM
A "simple" thing as a rose can be looked upon from different angles, call them view points, standpoints and according these points ATTRIBUTE meaning and value.
The sets usable in and at one view point cannot be used in and at another point where we happen to stand.
Biologist look upon a rose in a different way, as painters, growers, sellers and lovers do.
What makes a rose useless in the eyes of a grower might not be of any importance for the painter etc.
A behavior on in the sport arena that is considered "part of the game" might be seen outside the game as criminal.
So, reading biographies of mystics one might encounter many incidents that are label as mis-behavior when he would be seen as just another human being. Reason for them, the mystics, to declare that the status of any mystic can be evaluated on the outside and the dictum "DO what is say but do not act as "I" do"
I understand that that is or can be an unsatisfying and unacceptable stand.... for some.
Those that have a certain idea about what the concept of an "perfect living Master" is all about.
My approach as always is .. that I try as much as i can to mind my own business and prevent to outsource my toughts and feelings on others and other things.
If one is emotional and or intelectual alleric for certain persons and ideas, one can focus on the carrier of the allergic stimuli ...OR ....one can focus on one's sensibilities
I preffer the last .. it brings much ore in terms of inner freedom etc.
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 03:32 AM
haha a Freudian misser ?? ... hahaha
... should be ..can NOT be evaluated
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 03:35 AM
It’s fine to have doubts. It’s very human and very natural. It’s important to seek answers. I can’t even begin to tell you what or where to look for answers, but you can always google “anonymously”. ;)
However, I can tell you that I’ve never met a single soul who didn’t have doubts at one time or another about their faith. Sometimes they’re little doubts. Sometimes they’re big doubts. Organizations are made up of people and people are imperfect.
Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water (meaning if you decide RSSB isn’t for you that doesn’t mean you have to give up on spirituality altogether—just the opposite).
Posted by: 808 | March 12, 2023 at 03:59 AM
If I remember correctly, Baga Garibdas stated in his Q&A "Anmol Bachan" something to the extent of ... If you lose your faith and love, you will in this life time not again be able to re kindle it.
So what is called love and devotion for one, and turning one's back upon him in the search for another, might not be love at all.
It seem he is correct.
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 04:12 AM
Agreed with what you said, so far as it goes. But I'm not sure how it relates to what I'd said. A non sequitur, it looks like to me. (Unless, of course, it is a separate, additional remark, about the subject of discussion, but not about the aspect of it I remarked on; in which case, like I said, I agree.)
Sure, different people gravitate towards (or draw away from) different things for different reasons. Oftentimes those reasons speak to them, the subject, rather than the objects they gravitate towards (or draw away from), agreed.
But that has nothing to do with the truth value of some proposition. Does mysticism reflect any larger reality than merely neurons firing away inside of us? If yes, then is RS, and specifically RSSB, a bona fide route to accessing that larger reality? If yes, then does GSD represent the ideal preceptor of such a path; and, given that he is indeed the present acknowledged guide and indeed the font of RSSB mysticism, then is RSSB, by extension, still a valid spiritual path, in as much it is predicated on GSD's Guru-dom? Each of those three "levels" of questions carry a truth value, that admits of of a clear unambiguous black and white answer, at least in principle. And that answer, that truth value, has nothing to do with what inner drives propel people towards things in general, and towards religion in particular, and more specifically towards RSSB.
And that is the question I understood Brian's correspondent to have been asking, about the veracity of RSSB as a bona fide spiritual path, about the truth value of the proposition (at whichever of the three levels he might choose to engage with the question). What his inner drives and propensities are that drove him to RSSB in the first place; and whether he might find engagement and fulfillment there regardless of the truth value of the particular and factual theological claims that RSSB makes; those are valid questions certainly, I agree, but I did not understand him to have been asking those latter questions.
But of course, he can correct me on that if I'm wrong. But I doubt it; because the answer to those latter questions are for him to answer, and no one else --- haha, they're to be found inside his own house, um, to use your favored idiom! --- and he has no need to turn to us, or to Brian, for that answer.
The former question, though, about the truth value of the question --- and, by extension, of whether he might find fulfillment from RSSB, that is predicated on its being a bona fide path to a larger reality that reflects its factual theological claims --- that is the question I'd understood him to have asked, and that I'd tried to address. What you say is valid, and I agree with it; but it addresses a separate issue, or at least, a completely separate aspect of the issue.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 12, 2023 at 08:36 AM
>> But I doubt it; because the answer to those latter questions are for him to answer, and no one else --- haha, they're to be found inside his own house, um, to use your favored idiom! --- and he has no need to turn to us, or to Brian, for that answer.<<
That is the main question and answer.
If a person beliefs that there exists and treasure, he has to face the fact that nobody can prove it, neither its existence nor the way towards it.
With whatever is available he or she has to make op their mind and decide whether they want to invest in that treasure hunt or not and what would be the creteria to continue and to stop.
In all written documents there is no proof to be found of what you call the "truth value" of either the teacher and his teaching and the cosmology that forms the background of his teachings and practice.
After I woke up in the cinema, I felt gradually more and more free to just ponder about what mysticism is all about, how it functions, how it came to be and more of that stuff.
I came to understand that most of these well known paths are ver sophisticated and have an answer for all problems a seeker, student etc might have ... AS LONG AS .... he or she has trust,, faith etc in the teacher.
If that trust is gone, nobody and nothing is going to help that person
If you, with some good coffee, go through these practices as developed for different path, without having the desire to follow that path etc, sooner or later you will come to understand what the importance is of the relation with a teacher.
You see AR ... all forms of psychotherapy look different from the outside and even seem to contradict one another but they all have ONE thing in common ... being ... the statement ... that the effect of that particular therapy depends on the presence of an "therapeutic relationship" ... WITHOUT ... ever saying HOW such and relatsionship is to be had.
Call it a click call it love if you want to use the word but for relationships between humans and things, that is a "sine qua none"
NOBODY is able to invest in the long run without that inner desire, longing etc
Well, that said mystics have well understood that phenomena and have cleverly integrated it in their teachings and practice.
In Trappist and carthusian monasteries they too will take TWO YEARS to find out the motives and the depth of the novice before he is allowed to stay.
AR it is a way of life ... A WAY OF LIFE .. it is a personal choice one cannot outsource.
YES, it is well possible for an individual to generate the needed faith and love to have devotion for the practice ..APART from what Gurinder Singh does, did or is accused from..
The question .. IS this man a real Master ... is a false question and cannot be solved
The question ... AM I a real seeker and prepared to follow its practice, can and should be answered by all individual seekers.
THAT AR, understanding has made me free, lifted the burdens that I carried around and it is a pitty that it came to be only after I left it all behind.
Following any path is a great thing AR but only out of free will and without reservations and negative feelings like doubt, fear or whatever
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 09:13 AM
ART + MYSTISIM
are great INSTRUMENTS to generate love .. I hate to use that word. ... hahha.
We got life for FREE,
What better is there that to use its energy to generate love?
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 09:23 AM
Hahaha AR ... understand what I wrote as coming from an disabled person speaking about the freedom and pleasure to derived from walking, running and more of these things ... hahaha
Mind they say is a great obstacle .. and they are right .. hahahah
Now only coffee can safe my soul
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 09:30 AM
You should understand and grasp the greatness of the dictum:
Love they ennemies.
It is NOT about the enemies or the things they do that made them seen as criminal and enemy.
It is speaking about love about the capacities and power of love.
I do not have that power, but have come to see what it means to have it
Focusing on the enemies and what they do by the clergy of this or that religion is in fact an obstacle to generate i
Posted by: um | March 12, 2023 at 09:45 AM
Again, I agree with all of that, um; but I don't see why you think that is the "main question". While interesting, and maybe important, but it is a completely different question. You seem to be conflating two separate issues here. Let me try one more time, with this illustration:
Say Brian's correspondent frequents a cafe for its excellent coffee. But he's come to doubt it's coffee at all, and turned to Brian for assistance.
How to test if it's coffee? Just follow the evidence. Do the taste test. See how it affects you afterwards. Maybe go all out and lab-test it. Or, from a somewhat different angle, maybe look at the proprietor's and wait staff's integrity and competence, with a view to assessing if you might trust their word on what they're serving you.
What you're doing is changing the subject to discuss what factors draw this man to that cafe. Is it the ambience? Is it that attractive and friendly young waitress there? Is it the stimulating conversations he has there? All very valid questions, all very interesting; but it's a different topic, a different discussion. It's basically changing the subject, when the question being asked is the man's doubts about whether it's actually coffee they're serving.
Again, I do agree with you, um. But I do think it's a separate, different discussion; and that maybe you're conflating the two.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 12, 2023 at 07:42 PM
It is a matter of choice AR as to how to solve a personal problem.
If one chose to do it as you suggest, in finding the solution in the coffee shop, the product that they sell, the staff etc, than one has to follow that road.
Soon that road might be creating obstacles or even turn out to be unsolvable that way.
The simple solution would be, have coffee some where else or start drinking something else and forget about the rest.
Posted by: um | March 13, 2023 at 01:30 AM
>> It's basically changing the subject, when the question being asked is the man's doubts about whether it's actually coffee they're serving.<<
WHO ...WHO has or created the doubt?
WHO owns that doubt?
WHO can take that doubt away or LET it GO?
WHO has that power, AR?
The Coffee bar?
The staff of the coffee bar?
The guests of the coffee bar?
The writers, the opinionist, the columnists about the coffee, the the bar, the staff etc?
Posted by: um | March 13, 2023 at 02:42 AM
um, I don't think it's either-or. Both paths, both methods, are necessary. To use your idiom, I think it is necessary to look both inside the house, for subjective issues, as well as outside the house, for objective answers. To go with any one, to the exclusion of the other, seems sub-optimal, incomplete.
To return to our coffee metaphor:
Our friend has started to doubt that maybe his favorite cafe does not actually serve coffee at all, but only pretends to. He isn't sure, it is just a doubt.
So he needs to look outside the house, at the object, at the cafe, to assess objectively if that is indeed coffee. That entails following the evidence, as discussed already.
No, he shouldn't just walk away from there to another cafe at the merest whiff of doubt, why should he? That runs the risk of a false negative, of unnecessarily missing out on excellent coffee. That also runs the risk of false positives, because who is to say the cafe on the next block necessarily serves authentic coffee?
As for the part where you ask: Who has that doubt? And who can make that doubt go away? Well, true, it is Brian's correspondent who has the doubt --- in our coffee shop metaphor --- but this is a decidedly objective issue, not a subjective one; a decidedly outside-the-house issue. Having the doubt is not a bad thing, at all. If he could take some tablet and make the doubt go away, or get hypnotized and make the doubt go away, then that would not be a good thing. In fact, it would be a terrible thing. The idea is not to simply have the doubt disappear; the idea is to arrive at understanding whether or not the coffee is authentic. That is the main thing here. The doubt is a good thing; and what it facilitates is arriving at correct understanding about the authenticity of the coffee.
Only a proper evaluation of the evidence can resolve this issue satisfactorily.
But you've brought in this very valuable input to this discussion, um, by pointing out that looking inside the house also is necessary. As well as evaluating the evidence to ascertain objectively whether that is indeed coffee, our new friend would do well to take this opportunity to introspect over what draws him to that cafe regularly. Is it simply the coffee itself? If so, might it not be easier, and much cheaper, to simply have it at home? Or is it that hot barista, that he's attracted to? If so, might he not instead just ask her out? Or is it the company there, the people he meets there, the stimulating conversations he has there?
He may find that regardless of whether the cafe serves authentic coffee, he may not want to go there any more. Or he may find that regardless of whether the cafe serves authentic coffee, he'd want to keep going there (as long as what they serve in lieu of coffee isn't actually toxic). Or of course, he may find that the primary attraction has been the coffee itself, and the rest while nice aren't crucial, so that whether he goes there any more will depend on whether that's real coffee they serve.
But regardless, this exercise of introspection and self-examination is something our friend will definitely benefit from. Absolutely, that's a truly valuable insight you've brought to the table, this looking inside the house thing. 👍
But still, while looking at the subjective, while looking indoors, introspection, is indeed important; but it cannot, at all, substitute for objective analysis, for evaluating the evidence, for looking outside the house, for establishing the truth value of the claim, for finding out if the what the cafe claims is coffee is actually coffee, or something else. That also is necessary.
In fact, not only is it "also" necessarily, it is primarily what is directly called for, to satisfactorily resolve our new friend's doubt. But yes, he'd also be well advised to take this opportunity to introspect, and look inward, and ...look inside the house, that as well, absolutely.
But, and like I've said, these are two separate discussions, that you are conflating. I totally appreciate the additional discussion you've introduced here, it's a truly insightful approach and perspective; but it does not, at all, substitute the original discussion; and nor does it even impact the original discussion substantially. The inner detail of why he's had that doubt is immaterial to the objective resolution of the doubt by ascertaining reliably whether the purported coffee is actually coffee; albeit, and again, why he came to his doubt does form a part, a meaningful part, of the introspection and examination of the subjective that is part of the second discussion.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 13, 2023 at 10:04 AM
Haha, sorry, um, that turned out to be one long-winded comment!
But I hope I've been able to get my point across? I completely agree with what you've said here, so far as it goes; and I further think what you suggest, the subjective approach you bring in, is meaningful and useful; but I don't see that it impacts the original discussion; even as it suggests an additional, and separate, line of (self-) enquiry.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 13, 2023 at 10:09 AM
Hahaha ... the handsome Barista.
AR as whatever is attributed at teachers and their teachings is an inside affair like and LSD trip, dream or anything else its content is not open to what you call the objective research.
What we are discussing here has been troubling humanity from the very start ... how to know a teacher and his teachings and practice are genuine.
Nobody has come up with a solution .. nobody.
If you would delve deep into what Indian lore has to say about the POWER of masters, Guru's, teachers etc .. you might be shocked. It tells a complete different story then most followers know, are aware of ... and ... are willing or able to understand.
In the past I have several times used the metaphor of the sheep, the shepherd, the dogs and the owner of the sheep. Most people I have encountered push this metaphor from the table as just an tale but if you read for example the works of Garibdas, one of the successors of Swami Ji Maharaj. or Nisergadatta , the masters before and after him you, one gets the impression that the actual work is done by these masters.
Maybe you have read the books of Carlos Castaneda, in which the teacher explaines in his "sorcerers explanation" in minute detail what he did to Castaneda in order to open his eyes, or shift his attention. It doesn't mater whether he is seen as one that has made it all up .. it just explain exactly the power that is attributed to Indian teachers.
From there you might come to understand that initian is not just an administrative act. In fact it "angers" me to a certain degree thatwe have so liitle knowledge we enbark on taling initiation. It is like taking LSD thinking it is a headache pill.
Posted by: um | March 13, 2023 at 10:31 AM
What I wanted to stress in the previous message is the fact that in all these traditions the master, the brujo, etc is the one that chose a disciple and NOT the other way around.
In the west people do not want to know that or look upon it in that way.
The owner of this blog has often heard the dictum:
Now please read it several times.
"NOBODY, is allowed to go that far astray that he cannot be BROUGHT back to the path.
WHO allows here?
WHO brings Back?
If you would take the time to listen to a couple of Q&A of the one that initiated the owner of this blog, you would soon, become aware about the laughter of the audience after he made these kind of remarks.
To give one example .. He would tell them, that sheep were well advised to follow the herd and if they would not do it he would send the dogs after them. That was always followed by a roarting laugher ... how funny could it be ... hahahaha ... but should have seen his serious face and the stern tone of his voice.
They play it down as a childsplay but if you go through the diary of Irina Tweedie, about her spiritual training with a sufi master "Daughter of Fire" the hairs in your neck will stand up
Posted by: um | March 13, 2023 at 10:44 AM
Um and appreciative are caught red handed, and are 1000% rssb initiates and agents of RSSB - just look how many comments have appeared on this post. Game over.
You may regard this as seva, but beware the fall of a false promise given by your fake ass guru - bread crumbs to hell. Gurinder Singh Dhillon is currently desperately trying create a new world order type cult by rounding up similar fake gurus who are being exposed as charlatans in this modern age.
Posted by: Ranvir | March 13, 2023 at 02:01 PM
Well, um, if something subjective has no objective counterpart or impact, then we may assume, absent evidence, that it has no objective impact.
Those hallucinations you mention, consequent on tripping out on acid, well, that's what they are, right? Hallucinations?
Of course, we're welcome to keep looking, if that's how we elect to expend our personal, private time and energy. Further, we can continue to look for objective evidence, if we want to, why not? But absent the evidence, absent a real tangible outward manifestation of these alleged inner subjectivities, I think we can safely set them aside as no more than just so stories.
After all, I may claim today that I am the Master of the Mystic Arts, and tasked by The Ancient One with protecting the earth from the forces of darkness and evil, and have just as much grounds for people believing it. That some superstition has support in tradition means no more than merely that it is tradition.
As for Garib Das making those veiled threats about bringing apostates to book by means less than gentle, that sounds distinctly unsavory. That's the kind of thing cults do, to keep the flock in line. That's neither at all credible, nor at all nice, this attempt to scare gullible followers with unevidenced and unfounded tall tales.
Heh, as far as Castaneda, I'm a big fan. Some years ago, when still at University --- and, haha, when still rather callow and gullible and easily impressionable, as inexperienced youth tends to be --- I'd devoured every one of his books. I still own every book he's written, from those days of my youth.
But these books, as well as books on left-handed tantra (Vimalananda, et al), and that whole huge bunch of esoterica ---- that is often of Indian flavor, not always not exclusively but often, and of which I incidentally own a pretty substantive collection ---- are, I think, best seen as fiction and fantasy, or else, if one is so inclined, as things deserving of investigation. But in either case, it does not make sense to imagine any of it is true, absent compelling evidence. That way lies a regress into what Carl Sagan aptly describes as the demon-haunted world, that science has enabled us to leave behind, but that a great many folks still cling on to unfortunately.
If we are to believe that kind of extravagant yet unevidenced tall tales, which have nothing but tradition backing them, nothing objective, then we may as well go with the Bible, or the Quran! Although more oafish than these more sophisticated exotica, but they are just as credible, and for exactly the same reasons.
I think what you've described --- subjectivity unrelieved by outer objective manifestation --- is excellent grounds for rejecting these beliefs and traditions. (Albeit we may continue with our investigations if we want to, why not, that's up to us.)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 13, 2023 at 02:22 PM
Well, there are things we can share with others .. we can serve a person a cup of coffee, there are also things we cannot share.
They both have their own proves.
The first is proving to all and is related to the senses according the models humans have set up .. the denotative and measurable world.
The second demands a prove for our selves.
The tastiness of apple pie exists in eating it as saying goes .. the proof is in the eating.
Science can measure ONLY brain activity, it cannot say let alone prove that it is a dream, not to mention the content.... both exist.
Posted by: um | March 13, 2023 at 03:34 PM
Doubts about Radha Soami cult?
More like reality and facts facts and more facts as to why one should NEVER delve in this fanatical zombiefied religious evil cult with the wicked and nasty cunning leader who goes by the name of Gurinder Singh Dhilion
This is the most laughed at Cult globally, Gurinder has been Named and Shamed numerous times to why no one in they're right mind should ever tread this evil path of Kaal (Devil), not God
The name itself Radha Soami means Radha Krishna which is Kaals path. (Devils path)
Vishnu is Krishna who is 1 of the 3 sons of Kaal (Devil) Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
Why doesn't Gurinder tell his sangat this?
Why doesn't he tell anyone that the 5 names he gives at initiation are Kaals too, doesn't "Jyot Naranjan" the first name of five mean exactly that the "Light of Lucifier"
So the first thing you see inside as you meditate on Gurinders Radha Soami Cult is a light that which is the light of lucifier. Kaal
Game over already as now Kaal has jurisdiction of the soul and the satsangi has taken initiation and kaal takes the soul with him at the time of death. The soul never gets a chance of God realisation and ends up in the ever more suffering cycles of birth and death.
Whilst Gurinder himself enjoys the heavenly delights here and up there in the upper realms as a well known Baba figure who enjoys sensual desires of flesh to fill his cup of sexual desires.
They the sons of kaal evented the Kama Sutra as we see on the temple idols all over india
Which are Gurinders reasons for doing this for kaal as most say "Selling his soul" to enjoy kaals worldly pleasures.
To have money and fame to live like a god and to enjoy sexual pleasures too.
His sons are now enjoying the same the millions Gurinder has acquired by doing some very unethical acts like defrauded his own nephews out of millions, taking land of poor farmers, taking a million dollars of Bollywood director and not paying it back.
His fraudulent activities are ongoing and watching his actions tells you all you need to know about Saintly Gurinder
It's enough to put Tony Montana to shame
Gurinder Singh Dhilion has shown that he is a lost cause to himself and others
We all live in hope it ends, so does he and the world will become a better place so the soul can get a real chance at God realisation and get out of the clutches of kaal forever
Posted by: Trez | March 14, 2023 at 12:30 PM
Hahahaha ... you are "all knowing" .. you must be God.
Posted by: um | March 14, 2023 at 12:44 PM
Who came up with the 5 names? Shiv Dayal or Jaimal?
Posted by: just curious | March 14, 2023 at 10:34 PM
@ Just curious
- who you are and why you ask
- who you ask
- who you believe and why
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 02:34 AM
@ Just Curious
By the way .. why not ask ,,,,, CHAT GPT?
Hahahaha and have some coffee?!
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 02:57 AM
@ Just Curious
The answer IS .... drum solo:
As an AI language model, I do not have access to specific historical events or persons. However, according to the teachings of Radhasoami faith, the five names were given by the founder of the faith, Shiv Dayal Singh (also known as Swami Shivdayal Ji Maharaj).
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 03:03 AM
The council in agra initiated only with 1 name which was satnam. Jamiel went off tangent and started to initiate without permission of the council using 5 names - he never ever met shiv dayal. He introduced jot nirunjan , light of the devil. You can now see who he contacted on the inner planes - kaal.
Rssb is the path of satan.
Posted by: Kranvir | March 16, 2023 at 01:34 PM
Sant Kabir describes the 5 names , the deities, sounds, and region in a poem.
It can be found on different places and different books written by different people from different traditions.
All Sant traditions in Northern India start with Sant Kabir.
Posted by: um | March 16, 2023 at 02:46 PM
This is a factual question, and a very interesting question. It is absurd to resort to appeals to emotion and stridency to claim the five names were Jaimal's invention. On the other hand, while it is amusing to bring in OpenAI's chatbot, but it is far from inerrant in pronouncing on matters factual, sometimes commonplace matters.
People who are actually knowledgeable about this subject might want to weigh in with evidence. This is the kind of RSSB arcana that Osho Robbins, and manjit, and Spence Tepper excelled in. Oh, and that guy with the RSSB website, Mike Williams.
So anyway, if there's anyone here who actually knows, and who cares enough about the question to present their evidence, then please do that. That would be both interesting and illuminating.
(For what it's worth, my off-the-cuff take agrees with um's, that these names trace back at least to Kabir, and maybe even further back. But that's just a vague impression, and I'll be happy to defer to more knowledgeable takes on this, provided they are presented persuasively and with evidence.)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 16, 2023 at 06:07 PM
>> For what it's worth, my off-the-cuff take agrees with um's, that these names trace back at least to Kabir, and maybe even further back. But that's just a vague impression, and I'll be happy to defer to more knowledgeable takes on this, provided they are presented persuasively and with evidence<<
AR this issue has been researched and is still being researched
That said. we have to take our attention away again from the finger and the moon towards the finger is pointing and focus on the one that is asking a question and the one that is pointing his finger to the moon in order to answer the question.
It has been researched and it is available for all who want to understand it for thheir own reasons if they just take some cups of coffee and spend some time behind the PC.
Posted by: um | March 17, 2023 at 02:51 AM
I go to a Sikh Gurdware and told a youth teacher what the 5 names were. He did not know the meaning of the third word and had not heard it before but did say the average Sikh cab driver would know exactly what the 4 other words meant and would have heard them many times. These are Sikh words and are part of the vernacular in the Punjab and apparently are nothing special. Jaimal Singh was a Sikh and wanted to appeal to the Sikh community to better build his empire.so it makes sense that he would have used these words. .
Kabir did use Punjabi words sometimes so as to appeal to the Sikhs. Maybe he used Punjabi words but given he tried to appeal to all cultures I doubt it.
I remember getting initiated and they gave you a piece of paper with the words on it. The piece of paper was top secret and we were told to burn it after we memorized the words. I felt special and like a chosen one who was one of the few people in the world to have these magical words. It all seems so stupid now.
Posted by: Third word | March 18, 2023 at 05:17 AM
We have two towns in our country between which there is an artificial cultural rivalry.
If a person from one of these cities, goes to visit the other city, wearing a shawl of this local foorball club in public he might end up in the hospital.
For the hooligans their banners are holier than holier,
NO-thing and No-body ..HAS .. value an/or meaning of its own .. it is all ATTRIBUTED.
There are so many of stories in the Indian spiritualist literature about the secrecy of NAAM mantras, its power etc, all mantras turning out to be loudly repeated by people in the streets.
Not only in the lineage of the kabir guru's but also in the Avaita lineages.
It is a practice to keep knowledge secret even Indian classical musician keep certain techniques hidden and secret.
Secrecy of knowledge comes with a reason.
If you, instead of lending your ears to speakers in a gurdwara, would research mantra yoga in depth you might discover the reason for this secrecy... and common sense.
These naam mantras are like a sutra, full of compressed meaning and answer the question about existence ... who am I ... and .....give meaning and direction to life ...
Compare it with the notation of a piece of classical music. It will have no meaning to those that do not are into music. Little meaning to the amateur but great meaning to composers and great musicians.
To squeeze that deep meaning out of an mantra ... is all that matters
It is not necessary but it can be done and it is done with great pleasure by some..
All raga's are music but not all raga's can create that sentiment of love
You need not to attribute meaning or value ... not even to the coloured pieces of paper in your pocket you call .... my money hahahaha
Posted by: um | March 18, 2023 at 06:33 AM
@ Third word
Many years I was attracted to Za-Zen. I remember having read somewhere in the books of great Zen Masters that one has the press the base of the spinal cord into the cushion.
I followed all these little advises and instructions to no avail.
Now after many years are passed by and the interest for all these practices has gone, I understand the advice, as very subtle and having great effect on the total body awareness and the alignment of the spine and the position of the head.
It is a small muscular movement to be made, not visible to anybody outside that makes an enormous difference in the total well being of sitting.
The same holds for naam mantras.
Posted by: um | March 18, 2023 at 06:53 AM
Your absolutely right, Jamiel very craftily changed the mantra from 1 word to 5 words to appeal and steal Sikh followers in the punjab who were beginning to ask qurstions. The bani talks of the 5 shabad so was an easy way to hook the prey - what a snakey strategy. He even used the bani in the earlier satsangs and he twisted the words to having a living master and 5 word initiation; fully surrendering everthing, but little did sikhs know that they were fooled by a cunning wolf in sheep clothing. Then when the sikhs found out what he was doing, sawan replaced the bani by himself, a so called living master, and they were all caught in kaals trap. Now it's a path where guridom is handed down by contract down the family line ever expanding until it becomes the new world religion. Why else is Gurinder dhillon working hard rounding up other gurus to create a super cult. You are exposed GSD,
Posted by: Kranvir | March 18, 2023 at 02:35 PM
@ Kranvir and friends
Scroll and Read what R.K. Gupta has to say.
Posted by: um | March 18, 2023 at 03:41 PM
That's very informative, and very interesting, um. Thanks for posting that link.
(I've only glanced through the first few paragraphs for now, but I've bookmarked it for a thorough read for later on, when I have more time than I do just now. This looks like quality stuff.)
Although, word of caution: While this is clearly not a hack job by some low-effort Internet nutjob, even a cursory glance impresses one with the depth of knowledge here; but, that said, how definitive is it? After all a web page, or even a scholarly exposition in a volume of books, is no more than one man's opinion. Even when facts are presented, sometimes these can be biased, one-sided. Not saying that's the case here, let me emphasize: but informed research necessarily looks at a whole host of works and diverse POVs, to sift the wheat from the chaff, and to arrive at an unbiased conclusion, it does not merely echo the first informed take that one comes across. Pardon me, but I have to ask: Are you sure this is unbiased scholarship? manjit did seem to think James Bean is biased in favor of RSSB doctrine.
That said, this is great stuff you've unearthed, um, and I look forward to reading it with the care it deserves, when at leisure. This is the kind of informed discussion one wishes there were more of, rather than content-free emotional outbursts.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 18, 2023 at 05:38 PM
>>Pardon me, but I have to ask: Are you sure this is unbiased scholarship?
Hahaha ...by now, having been served so many times the metaphor of the restaurant, you should know, that such a question never arises in my mind .. my own taste ... is what guides me,
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 02:13 AM
If you enter a book shop who is going there but YOU; the shop doesn't do a thing?
If in the shop you look around, who is looking around but YOU?
If you direct your attention on a book, who is directing that attention but YOU?
If you decide to buy the book considering it valuable of your money and time, who is making these decisions but YOU?
If going through the book and its content accepting the information contained as meaningful and valuable or not who does the acceptation but YOU?
At every single step it is just YOU, that what is inside YOU that makes decisions etc.
nothing and nobody outside you has the power to make you tale a decision ... no einstein no kabir.
As your life energy is yours and yours alone, you are the only one that can distributed it in the way YOU deem fit.
YOU are the expert of your own life, nobody can live your life, no body
Nobody can drink coffee for you,evaluate it as tasty or not, whomever expert he might be. ..
nobody has that power ... and ... you cannot even give it away, although it seems possible, when you hide behind an expert in the light of the street.
YOU are the one that decides who and what is objective and logical and not the other way around.
If you decide that what J. Bean writes it is nonsense, no power in the world can change that decision. ...In the house are the lost keys, even if it is dark and difficult to find them there
Please do not take my words serious ... hahaha ... they are meaningless after all
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 03:48 AM
Heh, well, pardon me one more time, um, but I'm afraid I *am* going to take your comments seriously, even if not solemnly, and even if happy to let go of this subject after this one last comment (and your responses thereto). Thing is, that approach seems, well, not quite well thought out, to me.
Sure, I will drink my coffee, and no one else can do that on my behalf, agreed. And sure, I'll make such choices as appeal to me. But it seems reasonable to clearly recognize which of these choices might be informed by evidence and rationality, and which not; and further, which of the former is worth my while to invest time and thought on; and, to the extent I do invest time and effort in considering an issue, it makes sense to do that rationally and reasonably, and by clearly weighing the evidence. This seems straightforward to me.
While I agree with your looking-indoors approach; but, once again, you conflate two separate issues, it seems to me, and insist on looking indoors even for things that are to be found out of doors. That's taking it much too far.
Your approach would essentially mean that Person X should believe James Bean, or not, for no reason other than mere whim, merely 'feels'. Likewise, they'll believe the five names to have been introduced by Kabir, or Jaimal's guru, or Jaimal, or maybe even Charan or even Gurinder, again basis how they feel about it, whimsy essentially, and not hard evidence. Likewise their views on whether Covid vaccines work, or whether the pandemic itself was a hoax, or whether the Democrats "stole" the election away from the actual winner, who is none other than the stable genius Trump. Doesn't matter what the evidence says, all that matters is what *feels* right, in some indeterminate indefinite way --- the "outdoors", objectivity, rationality, evidence, scientificality, all of that simply doesn't matter, because they're outside of our house, objective stuff, and we are to limit ourselves to the subjective, to what we find "inside the house".
Why even present that link, in that case? Why even bother with what James Bean has to say about this? What does any of that even matter? That after all is outside the house, is it not? Let us all just look inside our house, and not outside; and navel gaze a bit, and commune with ourselves; and then simply conclude whatever the hell we want to conclude about who it was who introduced the five names, right? I mean, just believe that it was Appreciative Reader who introduced these five names, or um, or Brian, or Spence Tepper, or whatever random thing floats our boat, with no reference to reason or evidence or rationality, right?
Sorry, um. No offense, man, but that's completely nonsensical. Let me emphasize again, I fully appreciate your emphasis on the subjective, on looking inside the house; but I strongly disagree with your idea that this can somehow subsume the objective, that this can override the outside-the-house stuff. Those are two completely separate issues, and conflating them is sure prescription for incoherence, it seems to me.
Sorry, um, can't agree with you on that one.
No more from me on this, don't want to be a dick about it, and pursue this disagreement any more than this comment, as far as I'm concerned! But, as ever, I'm all ears to whatever response you might want to make to this.
Still haven't read through the link, though, I'm afraid. I'll come back with my comments once I have. Like I said, this looks well researched; and my "words of caution" were general, and generic, and not aimed specifically at this piece (given that I have zero expertise on this question myself).
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 07:49 AM
Why even present that link, in that case? Why even bother with what James Bean has to say about this? What does any of that even matter? That after all is outside the house, is it not?
Yes that is how it is AR
If one considers some one outside to decide the matter, one can have oneself informed by whoever one wants, based upon set principles for research.
However, it is always a person that lets things into his house for his own reasons.
You are right, given my position it makes little sense to read and write here. and all ready for a while that is lurking beneath the surface to give heed to it..
Time has come to take a deep breath, have another sip of coffee and never open this blog again.
Whenever that moments come be assured it was a pleasure conversing with you
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 08:11 AM
"You are right, given my position it makes little sense to read and write here. and all ready for a while that is lurking beneath the surface to give heed to it..
Time has come to take a deep breath, have another sip of coffee and never open this blog again.
Whenever that moments come be assured it was a pleasure conversing with you"
God no, not what I meant at all, um!
I was merely pointing out the essential incoherence in your position, as it appeared to me. You've arrived at a remarkable insight, which holds the "inside the house" search as primary. Which is a cool thing, and I agree with it. Where I believe you err is in going overboard, and imagining that that does away with the need for objective validation for such things as admit of it.
So that, if some right wing nutjob claims, as they often enough do, that Trump did win the elections, and that they were "stolen" away from him; or that Covid vaccines are both ineffective and dangerous; or that the Covid pandemic itself is a hoax; or that the Holocaust never happened; or that Jews eat babies (or, for that matter, that Liberals and Progressives eat babies, within pizza parlors and without); or any other nonsense; then, following your idea, they are perfectly right and justified in so thinking, because, hey, they looked "indoors, 'and that's what they came out with. That's, like, completely incoherent, that methodology.
But I most certainly did NOT mean to suggest, or to indirectly imply, that your commenting here is in any way incongruous, or anything like that. I assure you that I, at any rate, derive both value and pleasure from our interactions, and it would be a matter of deep regret for me if my comment were instrumental in having you stop commenting here. Nothing could have been further from my intentions.
Just examine what I'd said, if you would, um, and see if you can see the incoherence that I mentioned. If you do, then it is easily rectified, not by ceasing to comment here, but by recognizing that there are two discussions here, two strands of narrative: One about the subjective, that you've introduced, and that's of great value; and another about the objective, whose importance is not in the least diminished by recognizing the importance of the subjective. Or let's just leave that be, like I said I don't want to force the issue, it was just a matter of conversing, is all.
Please don't take this as cue to disappear from here. I should regret it very much if that were the case! Discussing our views, and expressing agreement as well as disagreement on different issues that appeal to us --- and, thereby, hopefully arrive at the most reasonable position on those issues --- that's kind of what we do here, right, that's kind of what coming here to Brian's salon is all about? That, and the pleasure that we derive from interacting with others who are fellow-voyagers on the journey of self-discovery and understanding?
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 08:35 AM
Don't worry, it is not due to you. There was nothing wrong at all with what you wrote.
Speaking with other people about the issues you mentioned , I would take the same stand but I was not speaking to THEM but to YOU.
Objective validation, is in the end ... always and by necessity .... SUBJECTIVE.
Humans make the validation and they are not robots, not machines. .. they have no access to the so called outer world. If honest they even do not know whether it exists or not.
Is it not called an ontological problem by philosophers?
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 08:59 AM
True, um. But that problem does admit of a ready solution. The parsimonious hypothesis/conclusion --- that a cleanly shaven Occam with his razor would approve of --- is to assume an outer world. Because the alternative is an inner solipsistic world that mimics the outer world. Ontologically they might be equivalent; but seen as working models, it is objectivity that more parsimoniously gives us the same results, and so is a better fit model.
...Heh, but no, that looks like another disagreement brewing. Which in my book is a thing to be welcomed, because through coherent and substantive addressing of differing POVs emerges better understanding. But I don't want you to find in that disagreement another cue to disappear, and so I'll desist from pursuing that strand any further.
But, and revisiting my argumentum ad absurdum about James Bean (for that is what it amounted to) : Fundamentally, it isn't about your presenting that link, at all. It is about you yourself even reading that in the first place. Why read James Bean at all? ...The point is, this question, about who introduced these five names, I may choose not to engage with it, that's a different matter. But if I do choose to engage with it, then the subjective won't help me with arriving at the answer, introspection won't help me arrive at the answer.
There are two discussions here, like I keep saying. The first is subjective, where I look indoors, and try to find out why I want to know this, and whether I need to know this. But should I decide that I do wish to engage with that question, then full-on objectivity, and following the evidence, is the surest way to arriving at the most reasonable explanation.
And in none of this do I see any reason why you'd want to withdraw away into yourself. If you do, that's your choice, and I'll respect it. But this course of action does not, in any shape or form, follow either from anything I said here in this thread, or from anything you said here!
... Haha, enough words, already. Let's just put this to sleep, for now. I'll go through your excellent link, and then come back with my views on it as far as the issue being discussed. It's a cool question, that, and well worth the effort --- even though the one who introduced the question seems to have disappeared. No matter, I'm grateful to him for having raised this very interesting question.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 10:01 AM
Alright .. AR. enjoy the reading.
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 10:09 AM
Gurinder singh dhillon initiates using 5 secret satanic mantra. The first name is Jot Nirunjan (which means light of the devil) the others are Onkar, rarunkar, sohung, satnam. This sect has links with Hinduism, as radha swami is radha krishna. Krishna (an incarnation of vishnu) has links with Sant mat and surat shabad yoga. This is based on deities / alien gods/ elohems, who are judgmental; need of our worship and want to keep humanity in a state of confusion, fear and complete submission. Don't forget you are whole and complete from birth.
Posted by: Kranvir | March 19, 2023 at 03:23 PM
>> This sect has links with Hinduism,..<<
SUPPOSE that is correct .. what would be wrong with that?
Is there something wrong with Hinduism?
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 03:52 PM
That was a fascinating read, um, truly fascinating.
Basis this testament, it would appear that the Sant Mat doctrine that RSSB teaches goes back right up to the 11th century or so. And while the earlier Gurus and the earlier teachings are shrouded in some mystery, or at any rate uncertainty, but without doubt (basis this document) it does go back to Tulsi Sahab, who was the Guru of Seth Shiv Dayal (or Soamiji Maharaj).
There, that should answer the question that our fellow-commenter "just curious" lobbed in here, and then promptly disappeared, leaving it to you to painstakingly search out this very apt resource that addresses the question bang on.
This should be of great interest to everyone who's into RSSB. And for that matter everyone who's into Sikhism as well.
This seems to show up Sikhism as an offshoot of the larger Guru movement, much like RSSB appears to be an offshoot of the larger Radhasoami movement.
Basis this document, Sikhism seems to have neither begun with Nanak, nor ended with Guru Gobind. For that matter, these Gurus are not the only links in the chain, but merely represent one branch, and a somewhat corrupted branch at that --- in that they seem not cognizant of all the five names taught, but only four of them.
And finally, there's talk here of not five, but six names. And further, Jaimal figures nowhere in this discussion. It would appear that RSSB itself is a corrupted offshoot off of the larger RS movement, set into motion by a maverick Guru who had not been charged with this mission by his own Guru.
Like I said, fascinating stuff. RSSB types, who frequent this site, would find much food for thought in here.
Of course, all of this is carries any real meaning, as distinct from merely historical curiosity, only if one accepts that these names, and these techniques, have any real "inner" worth. You well know my own stance on this sort of thing, um. I will not get into that question, and look at this only from a historical, impersonal angle.
But all of that said, I return to my skepticism about the definitiveness of James Bean's work. (By "skepticism" I don't mean the usual sense of dismissive doubt; but constructive doubt, that seeks further validation before accepting, as any scholarly inquiry must as its starting point.)
Thing is, if you read some of the works of RSSB, then they'll argue their own case equally impressively, complete with historical documents, trying to prove the autheniticity of their lineage. Likewise, no doubt, the Sikh type.
What this document does is exposes Sikhism as a corrupted and incomplete offshoot of the larger Sant Mat movement; and also exposes RSSB (the Beas version) as a corrupted and incomplete offshoot of the larger Radhasoami movement.
But one has to ask: How definitive is this analysis, how authoritative is it?
That's a question that is absolutely necessary, um, and cannot and should not be glossed over by merely shrugging one's shoulders and saying, as you do, that if one appeals to one then one should accept it, else reject it ---- that throws cold water on this painstaking research presented here, that you've yourself linked to on here.
Asking this question is necessary, but that is the easy part. Answering it is less easy. It requires immersing oneself in study of the larger Sant Mat and related history and scholarship. That is what I'd been wondering, and asking, um, in my earlier commnet: Have you any background in that sort of thing? Because it is very easy to latch on to the first authorititative sounding piece of research one comes across. This piece here, I myself found it very impressive, apparently very well researched. But one has to ask: is it truly unbiased, or does it maybe incline towards one of the rival RS groups, other than RSSB, and might it perhaps be biased towards them?
I do know that some folks who've commented here in the past might know enough about RS arcana to have a crack at answering this question. David Lane, first and foremost. Brian himself, obviously. Also Mike Williams. Then there's manjit, as well as Spence Tepper. And many others, whom I can't recall off the cuff at the moment.
And of course, quite possibly you as well, um, why not. Had I been having this discussion with one of these others, then I'd have asked them the same question: how well acquainted are they with this precise question, and can they vouch for whether they believe this particular document of James Bean is unbiased.
But yeah, all in, this was as fascinating as it a cursory read indicated that it might be. Our now missing fellow commenter, "just curious", should thank you, um, for this very apt link you've produced in answer to his question.
That was fun, um, cheers.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 04:16 PM
I posted the link for others, that made claims about the start of the use of the Panch Naam Mantra.
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 04:48 PM
I know, um. Agreed, nothing to do with me per se.
I merely looked in from the outside as it were, and happened to find the discussion interesting, is all.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 05:01 PM
Years ago as I wrote, I READ about Za Zen and did my best to materialize what I read .. to no avail.
These days I am no longer interested in what is to be found in books and just focus on the practice of sitting myself.
Through that shift of attention I came to understand many things through personal experience and do now also understand what they wrote about.
The same holds for all other parts of meditation .. the use of mantra included.
These days my attention is on the practice itself by close observation.
Posted by: um | March 19, 2023 at 05:03 PM
Oh, by the way, um:
As far as your link, I don't know if you've read them all, but I went through your link, as well as all of the links presented there; and my comment was about that whole mass of work. Especially interesting was the one detailing Shiv Dayal / Soamiji Maharaj's last instructions, and the account of his last hours.
(I only covered the first level links, though. The links referenced further within the links, those I did not burrow into. Although fascinating, absolutely, but that's about as much as I have time and appetite for, at the moment.)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 06:08 PM
Appreciate your point about your personal shift in attention. That's the satori thing, in your Zen parlance, or the Arhat thing in the Theravad paradigm. Very cool, and in and of itself potentially the source of much wisdom and understanding --- even if one leaves aside the mumbo jumbo, even then, merely from a first-person experiential perspective. I look forward to that discussion, going forward. 👍
Haha, that said, this represents a certain mastery over the technique, at which point focusing on the technique per se is no longer necessary. That isn't an argument for the subjective to the exclusion of the objective; because the technique itself had been outside the house to begin with. (Unless of course one happens, as in the Buddha legend, to have come intrinsically equipped with ready-made knowledge of some particular technique, Vipassana in his case. But that's only legend, from the ancient past, and who knows how much of that is literally true?)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 19, 2023 at 06:21 PM
A painter paints and an visitor in a museum sees it and experiences it in his own way and if the two meet one another and share their thoughts about the painting they might be baffled by the differences.
Although being glad with the shift in focus and the pleasure that is found in these little understandings, I do not consider my self as a person that has mastered anything.
Starting to walk on your own mental legs is a "pleasure" ... watch the little ones that start walking ... hahaha
No body can walk for them ... they have to learn, not from their parents, not from a book, but from close attention ... they stand, they stumble, they fall, they weep, they get up, stumble a little better etc .. then they walk ... and start to participate in culture and end up forgetting that they once started out all alone, self sufficient and now have outsourced their trust etc on OTHERS, the books, the pandits, the experts.
The crow, is born a crow, lives the life of a crow and dies as such.
He is born with everything needed to live such a life.
A natural life as a crow.
Posted by: um | March 20, 2023 at 01:47 AM
Jot nirunjan is kaal, the hidden formless one that does not want anyone to know he exists. He hates God and souls and is very jealous. His offspring are Shiva, vishnu and brahma, who have enslaved mankind - who have been created in their image. Surat shabad yoga only leads to light and sound to a trap they set up and to soul suffering, which is their game. When you are saying the satanic mantra you are not becoming enlightened, but being fooled by them, you are willingly calling kaal to take them to hell. Why doesnt Gurinder Singh Dhillon start telling us all the information he is hiding. Could it be because he gets a kick out of soul suffering, and gets a massive kick out of being a God even though he is really kaal. Game over Gurinder Singh Dhillon, you will face your karma.
Posted by: Kranvir | March 20, 2023 at 02:34 PM
> Jot nirunjan is kaal, the hidden formless one that does not want anyone to know he exists. He hates God and souls and is very jealous. His offspring are Shiva, vishnu and brahma, who have enslaved mankind - who have been created in their image<
How do you KNOW Kranvir?
Posted by: um | March 20, 2023 at 02:48 PM
In many ways that lineage practices in the same way as in other Sant Traditions after Kabir .. they way they write and speak about it is different and they do underline part and details of the practice in another way.
In fact all traditions in Northern India and probably elsewhere do you use the same practice and as said to understand it you also have to understand the Indian culture, in regard with the relationship between teachers and pupils in general and those religious in particular.
Without a Master, nothing goes
Without devotion to the master and the practice, nothing goes.
The mantra answers the question "Who am I"
As the name given to that what cannot be named, any master can give whatever mantra suits him.
What matters is that it is given etc etc.
Posted by: um | March 21, 2023 at 10:04 AM
Well, yes, interesting, sure, kind of.
(Watched some of the vids as well, briefly not fully.)
As you can probably discern, while I don't dismiss this, I'm not overly impressed. As you say, this seems more cultural, more a matter of tradition, than anything concrete.
Which is not to dismiss culture in general, and indian culture in particular. Exactly the opposite.
But culture is different than factuality.
Focus on the cultural trappings leads to cargo cult observances, is what I believe. Like focusing on the white coat, and the stethoscope, and the history of medicine, rather than the hard core science of it. Which is not to dismiss the former, not in the least, in an anthropological sense it can be fascinating; but to go by that, rather than hard evidence and objective validation, is to fall into cargo cult observances.
But thanks, all the same, for posting this, um. You mustn't think I don't appreciate your doing that, I do. But I'm less than fully taken with this lot.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 21, 2023 at 04:36 PM
What I wanted to convey is the shift in appreciating facts from the cultural background of the observer to that of what is observed ... as for example the anthropologist does.
When he sees indigenous people handling pebbles he observes that these facts, the pebbles, are attributed different value and meaning than pebbles have in the USA, for a child, a biology student or public in general
Facts have no meaning and value by them selves.
The green notes, you call dollar and use to buy things, has no value for other people
I have come to realize that for much to long I have looked upon eastern mysticism through western, cultural glasses...
Seeing that it doesn't do you no good, I will leave it behind from now on.
Do not speak about things that cannot be spoken about.
Do not put coffee before people that do not like coffee
and above all
do not suggest that they should or make them drink it
Posted by: um | March 22, 2023 at 02:02 AM
"Facts have no meaning and value by them selves.
Seeing that it doesn't do you no good, I will leave it behind from now on."
No no, um, it isn’t as if I don’t find value in this sort of thing. It is, like I'd tried to explain earlier, about the difference between finding value in a historical and cultural context, and in finding value in a factual context.
Haha, yet again, another point of disagreement, which I hope you won’t mind if I touch on now. You say again that facts in and of themselves have no value. And I think you’re squarely mistaken in thinking that. Once again, while you “inside the house” perspective is a very valid one, and a very important one; but you mistakenly imagine that it somehow supersedes the “outside the house” perspective, that it subsumes the factuality part of it; which it simply doesn’t.
Permit me to devote one comment to clearly explaining what I mean. Actually I’d hinted at it, telegraphed this is if you will, by referring to “cargo-cult observances” in my earlier comment. But perhaps a more detailed comment might do a better job of getting my meaning across.
You know what cargo cults are, right, um? I guess you do, but let me briefly explain: Over in the Polynesian islands live some tribes that had been isolated from the modern world. During WW2, the British troops set up airfields there, as stopovers for transporting cargo. So these tribals would see these guys, wearing fluorescent clothing, standing at the airstrips, and waving those flag thingies, and barking out commands from the makeshift tower. And they’d see these planes land, laden with all sorts of goodies, food, clothes, munitions, and whatnot.
And out of this, within a few short years, grew their cargo cult. They juxtaposed one of their own Gods with what they were seeing, and within a few years evolved a theology, that I won’t go into here, but the point is, after the War, after the soldiers all left, they ended up with this fantastic ritual, where they’d clear fields, draw airstrips on them, and then wear fluorescent clothing, and then wave flags and gesticulate with their hands, and set up makeshift towers on which some priest would sit and bark out spells. Their belief was that their god, John Frum, would be appeased by these rituals, and their faithfulness would be rewarded by planes coming in laden with food and drink and clothing and miraculous gadgets.
(That was recalled from memory. I may have got some incidental details wrong, but that’s what in essence these cargo cults amount to.)
Sure, one could look “inside the house” --- inside *their*house in this case. One could go all anthropological about this, all psychological/psychoanalytic about it. Sure, one could research the history of these tribes, the emergence of their beliefs, and, very importantly, study in what ways these beliefs and these rituals appeal to them. No doubt we’ll find that they do derive some psychological comfort from these values. We can’t fully understand what all of what this means, unless we properly appreciate their culture. Sure, “looking indoors” is both an interesting undertaking, and it will likely yield a very valuable wealth of information and insight about those people and their culture.
But the factuality of it? Does waving hands and flags, as they do, actually result in big air-ships coming in laden with all manner of goodies? That is a factual question, an objective question, a squarely-outside-the-house question, a question properly addressed by properly assessing the evidence. How can you possibly say that “facts have no meaning and value by themselves”? Of course they do. Doing what they do either brings in cargo planes laden with goodies, or else it does not. That’s completely factual.
Likewise, the medical analogy. You can study doctors, and medicine, and the operation of clinics and hospitals, from a cultural and anthropological perspective. Sure, that’s great, a matter of great interest and value, this “inside the house” perspective. But does doing this actually cure ailments? That’s a black-and-white factual question, that admits of a clear objective answer. Of course it is important, very important indeed!
You might do the same thing to homeopathy. Study how it evolved, study what leads people to avail of homeopathy, what psychological and social needs it addresses. That’s important, sure. But also completely important, crucially important, is the factual question: Does homeopathy do what it claims to do? Does it cure ailments? Let’s not go into trying to answering that specific question about homeopathy at this time, but my point is, that question is a factual one, and it admits of an objective answer. And of course it is an important question.
Likewise with all of these matters spiritual. Absolutely, their study can yield rich insights about the cultures they arise from and thrive in; and about the sociological reality these people inhabit; about their history; and also, fascinatingly, about what kinds of needs such rituals fulfill, because without a doubt they serve some purpose, else they wouldn’t continue to exist. But, interesting and valuable though these insights are, these “soft” aspects do not in the least detract from the “hard” question, which is about the factual reality of these things. Do these rituals result in anything tangible, in anything approaching what they claim to offer? Are the planes real, and/or do food and clothes and weapons and gadgets actually arrive, as a result of these rituals, are they simply cargo cult observances?
No, um. Facts and factuality do matter, in and of themselves. They matter very much indeed. As before, I agree with your emphasis on the subjective, I find that wise and insightful; but I disagree strongly with your curious idea that the subjective somehow overrides the objective, and that objectivity and facts are somehow unimportant. Like I’ve said before, I believe they’re two separate discussions, and it does not make sense to conflate them.
That said, and as long as the subjective does not pretend to override the objective, I do find it generally interesting. In case of your earlier link, because of what it had to say about RSSB, which we're all very familiar with, and also because of what it had to say about Sikhism. In this case not so much, because this is a lineage I am not familiar with, and no doubt there are lots and lots of them. But if you find something of this kind that you think is interesting, then by all means do post it, um. The subject in general does interest me, although some specifics draw me more than others, as far as the cultural aspect of it I mean to say. But of course, the main question is, whether any of this actually amounts to anything at all. And that is a "hard" question, not a "soft" one; an objective question, not a subjective one (even though "Realizations" are essentially subjective, even then); an outside-the-house quesiton, not an inside-the-house one.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 22, 2023 at 07:47 AM
Whatever i am conveying is all to be found in the narrative of Layla an Jamun.
The ladu missed everything to would make her attractive as a bride. In the narrative his friends pass by stressing one by one these conditions for marring some one.
Jamun, is pleased by the effort of his friends put in to care for his welfare in warning him.
He is not blind, he knows what his friends are talking about, things that all have meaning in the street, in the light of the world.
His heart goes out to her and he tries, in vain, to explain to them what she means for him, what her presence does provokes in him.
Devotion, love, respect and more of these things are not provoked by outward facts but attribute to them and without them they are barren .. without value and meaning.
In Your country, the flag and the national anthem is loaded with meaning it does not have over here. In your country, people will kill and be killed for it what I consider a piece of cloth... what matters is not that piece of cloth.
You for quite some time, somebody in our family has opened her heart for this or that natural phenomena. These phenomena work like a trigger, like an agent for an allergy.
Allergies can be approached from outside by protecting a person against these agents but also from inside by desensitization.
That tenderness of heart resounding in her voice, is not its source in those outward natural phenomena but in her and her alone. The moment she is able to see that, and be convinced of that, she will be free to deliver it to anything and all.
Then she doesn't need to walk around in search of the amber and will know it was always within her as her birthright.
Yhe proof of the coffee is in the drinking ... and ... what you taste, is NOT in the coffee .. the tasting is in you.
Having worked in the restaurant business for long I know by experience that one can give the most tasty dishes from the best chefs to a person but if he is not a "qualified" taster it will make no difference for him.
Whatever is outside is inside.
Posted by: um | March 22, 2023 at 08:30 AM
>>The three-fold verification is a means for evaluating spiritual teachings and teachers as well as recognizing for oneself what your own actual experience is.
The three-fold verification is to examine a teacher or teaching and verify if what is being said is in accordance with :
(1.) ancient teachings about nonduality,
(2.) is it in agreement with what realized saints and sages or a Sadguru have said throughout history, and
(3.) is it verifiable in your own direct experience?
With these verifications as a tool for guidance, it is very easy for aspirants to discern if they are on a path that will lead to Self-Realization.<<
Posted by: um | March 22, 2023 at 09:42 AM
And the difficulty with that purely subjective approach becomes clearly evident, um, when you consider those cargo cults. Well may the high priest of some Polynesian island preach, "This is the three-fold path to assess true spirituality. First, are the teachings in consonance with the ancient teachings of the Polynesian faith? Second, do the teachings agree with what the Polynesian seers and mystics teach? And third, is this borne out by your own experience, do you feel the presence of John Frum when you wave the flags while wearing the holy fluorescent robes? If the answer to these questions is Yes, then know that you are on the right path, and that with enough practice correctly done, one day the divine air-ships will start descending with the much needed food and drink and clothes and miraculous gadgets and weapons."
Do you see why subjectivity alone is meaningless? This is not to dismiss subjectivity, not at all. Ultimately, whether learning to play music, or working out, or conducting research, it is all subjective, in the sense that *you* have to learn how to do it, and excel at it, through practice, and perseverance, and devotion even, in a manner of speaking. But without insisting on objective verification that what you're undertaking is even a thing, without insisting on evidence that all of this comports with reality, you may well be performing cargo cult rituals. Because that is what cargo cult rituals are: All subjectivity and no objectivity ---- because whatever comports with reality does admit of objective evidentiary validation.
Sure, like that lovestruck Romeo of your story, the Polynesian tribesman can keep pining away for his God John Frum, and the bounties that His airships will start bringing in one day to remove all misery and want amongst the faithful, regardless of whether any of this actually happens. But while that may make for great literature, and fascinating insights into psychology, but what it actually shows up is the complete dysfunctionality of such an approach.
To be very, very clear: I'm not dismissing the subjective; and I agree with and appreciate your emphasis on the subjective approach, um. What I find insupportable and incoherent is your insistence that the subjective approach does away with the need for objective evidentiary validation.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 22, 2023 at 06:03 PM
It all depends on WHAT you want to validate.
That three part validation we all use when we start out with this or that practice, or buy things.
We buy a book of this or that author, we compare the content with what we already know about the content, we search the internet and than we start the practice to see for our selves if the practice works for us.
We need a new mattress to sleep on. We inform ourselves, we try it out if it is to our satisfaction = the best
That is how we chose our coffee .... we find out what is the best coffee for US.
Nobody else can make that decision for us..... no expert, nothing and nobody
Posted by: um | March 23, 2023 at 06:17 AM