ISTAuk

The International Spiritual Truth Association

~ Serving Humanity Through Spirituality ~

ISTAuk

The International Spiritual Truth Association

~ Serving Humanity Through Spirituality ~

Baba Gurinder Singh Ji

‘Spiritual Maturity is when you value your focus on God above all else and would never lose it and would never lose it for a second no matter how much effort you had to make or pain, sacrifice and hardship you had to endure to keep it to keep it’

~ Baba Gurinder Singh Ji ~

Brief Biography

Baba Gurinder Singh Ji is the present (as of 2016) Holy Master (Satguru) of Radha Soami Sant Mat (a spiritual following now called Science of the Soul; formally Radha Soami Satsang Beas) that is based in India with international Centres around the world. Meanwhile, the new Science of the Soul Research Centre is an affiliate of the registered charity Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) – the former (but still used) name of the Radha Soami Sant Mat organisation.

Radha Soami means “Lord of the Soul”, which refers to the Supreme Lord (Creator of souls); and Sant Mat means “Path of the Saints”, which refers to the spiritual teachings that lie at the heart of all true religions & spiritual philosophies – dedicated to a process of inner spiritual development, including union with God or Supreme Consciousness, under the guidance of a living Holy Master, Perfect Saint or Divine Prophet.

Known today as Baba Ji to His many followers, Gurinder Singh Dhillon Ji was born in Moga City, located in the Ferozpur district of west Punjab, in India, to respected Sikh middle-class land-owner & spiritual parents, on 1st August 1954. He is now 62 years of age (in 2016).

Little is known about His private life – as is the case with any Holy Master, Perfect Saint or Divine Prophet, Who prefer to follow discretion, for They only wish to emphasise spiritual teaching, not worldly existence. Therefore, in reply to questions about His personal life, Baba Ji replies thus: “A Master’s sole purpose is to serve the sangat (sincere spiritual seekers), and not to indulge in worldly affairs or self-promotion. Masters do not believe in publicity because They are against marketing the high spiritual philosophy of Sant Mat as a religion or cult”. Similarly, Baba Ji says that despite Their greatness, true Holy Masters (unlike many spiritual teachers) do not perform public miracles to impress anyone, as that would lead to constant harassment for worldly solutions, by the masses, rather than to their seeking sincere truth realization, within, and their salvation journey back to God.

Yet some information about His personal life does exist. Originally born into a family of the Dhillon clan (a traditional agricultural community), who were followers of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) Path to God-realisation, He is today Himself recognised as a great saint, spiritual teacher, and saviour of humanity by His many followers, worldwide.

Regarding Baba Ji’s early life, He was educated at one of the finest public schools in India – the Lawrence School of Sanawar, in the Shimla Hills of Himachal Pradesh state, north India, and obtained His bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Punjab University, in Chandigarh (the capital of the Punjab state). Throughout His youth Baba Ji was a simple man from a modest background, dedicated to His Satguru (true Holy Master) Uncle, Maharaj Charan Singh Ji (1916-1990), and His spiritual practice.

After His education Baba Ji had His first work experience at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Delhi (as an Assistant Food & Beverage Manager), and then in the yarn industry for DCM, in India. But His career wasn’t to be in that line. Thus, when an opening arose, He was sent to Spain by His Satguru Uncle to work with family friends, in the watch-making business, as a manager, where He learned business acumen, while also training to work as a pilot.

However, He was then recalled back to India, via phone call, in mid 1990, by order of His Satguru Uncle, and told to grow His beard and wear a turban in preparation for what was to come – meaning, to accept His nomination (the gaddi or dais) as the next spiritual head of RSSB, which today is the largest faction of the “Sant Mat” following, worldwide.

Thus, He succeeded Maharaj Charan Singh Ji, His maternal uncle, as spiritual head, or Satguru (who is the embodiment of the Supreme Lord in human form, or Holy Master), of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) charity following, in June 1990 – whose headquarters are located beside the river Beas near the town of Beas, in west Punjab, north India, which has been a centre for satsang (spiritual gathering of Saint devotees) since 1891.

Today, Radha Soami Satsang Beas has its Centres located worldwide, and holds satsangs (spiritual meetings) in more than 90 countries. It is a registered non-profit, charitable society, independent of any political or commercial affiliations.

Now although there are a number of other contemporary movements that use the name ‘Radha Soami’, the original Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) following is not associated with any of them. The prime philosophy of Sant Mat, as emphasised by Baba Ji in the RSSB tradition, teaches seekers of Divine Truth about their personal true path to spiritual development and true God-realisation, which includes a vegetarian diet, abstinence from intoxicants, a moral way of life, and the practice of daily meditation. Moreover, there are no rituals, ceremonies, hierarchies or mandatory contributions, involved; nor are there compulsory gatherings. Followers or disciples need not give up their cultural identity or religious preference to follow this Path, unless they choose to do so.

The meditation method, imparted at the time of Holy Initiation (Spiritual Awakening) is known as Surat Shabd Yoga (union of the soul with the Lord) and is practiced according to the Holy Master’s instructions. It is a solitary practice where the disciple concentrates their attention ‘within’ (meaning, at their “third eye” point in the centre of their head, from which all awareness emanates in humans) with eyes closed, and usually sitting cross-legged position, while performing simran: repeating the ‘five holy names’ (given by the Satguru Master) as a mantra. This is followed by a period of bhajan: an attempt by the disciple to listen to the ‘Divine Sound’ or ‘Word’ (also known as Shabd) of God, within. Thus, it is a very personal practice, of ‘seeking’ and ‘devotion’ between the disciple and God.

Also, it is made abundantly clear in all the Sant Mat literature and in the countless satsangs given – historically till today – that no-one returns to the Supreme Lord (Almighty God, “the Creator”, “the Father”) except by the grace of the Lord Itself – gifted to sincere seekers of the high Truth via a perfect living Master of their day – a human form in which the Lord has taken its abode.

Going back to Baba Ji’s life, apparently, when Baba Ji was first appointed as Satguru He wanted to let people know what He had done in His past – as a human being – in order to demonstrate that anyone can become God-realised in this lifetime if they are truly sincere about it. However, the RSSB administration wouldn’t let Him. They feared it would not be good for the sangat as they still see the Satguru in fantasy awe mode, even in the modern Age. So instead, Baba Ji chose to constantly remind the sangat that they too can become Godrealised in their lifetime, just as He had done, through the Satguru’s grace. On this point also, and in line with Sant Mat ideals, Baba Ji embraced celibacy after His nomination as Sant Satguru. His wife therefore sleeps in a separate room, and, as per tradition, became a dasi (humble servitor to her holy husband).

However, at the time of His appointment as Satguru, Baba Ji was considered, by those around Him, as just another member of the extended family, and was not generally thought to be a Perfect Living Master (PLM), in waiting, before he became a Satguru. He was not “high-up” in RSSB circles and was actually quite disconnected from RSSB politics – leading a quiet life in Spain with His family. As a result, Baba Ji’s tenure as Satguru started out low-key. It was a long while before He gave His first satsang (spiritual discourse) and wore dark glasses for almost a year and a half to avoid recognition. Spiritual Initiations by Him started even later, in early 1993. Indeed, He initially considered Himself unworthy of the role assigned to Him, and so was a reluctant successor who was cautious about every move He made.

Today, Baba Ji is much more settled in His role, and exudes abundant confidence in His teachings. And although Baba Ji gives serious teachings about truth-realisation, He also jokes a lot with questioners & followers, especially with the sevadars (volunteers), just to remind them that the true Lord is not the austere authoritive and judgmental figure-head, that the scholars, religions and their books portray, but is actually fun-loving most of the time, which is why the Creation was manifested as the sport/play of the Divine (known as leela to the faithful) in the first place – a living drama full of illusory ups & downs. Thus, Baba Ji is often seen to not take the world so seriously, nor even the ‘teachings’ at times, compared to previous Satgurus – labelled “new Sant Mat”, by many.

Prior to His role as Satguru, Baba Ji married Shabnam Kaur (b. 1961) from India, arranged by His Satguru Uncle, in 1982, and had two sons who were brought up privately, mainly in the UK. They are today successful businessmen themselves, through entering the corporate world: Gurpreet Singh Dhillon (nick-name Garry) – currently 25 years old and personally valued at USD $150 million, and Gurkirat Singh Dhillon (nick-name Kirat) – currently 20 years old and personally valued at USD $150 million; all through family businesses and investments that grew rapidly due to the noble nature of their owner/operators.

However, since late 2005, due to extended-family disputes, Baba Ji announced to His family and close friends that He will no longer be giving business advice to anyone, as He did not wish to be implicated or dragged into worldly disputes! So as can be seen, Baba Ji is not against material wealth, but sternly warns us, that for most, it can create corruption and attachment that is not good for spiritual practice or a peaceful life. But in the right hands it can help many others and does not corrupt its holder. Indeed, Sant Mat, as a way of life, and upon which principles the Holy Master and disciples are expected to follow, clearly states that in this human world one has to earn an honest living, in order to live a human householder life.

Thus, Baba Ji encourages followers to fulfil all their householder duties, diligently but detached, rather than to run away to the mountains or caves hoping to escape their duties. So, Baba Ji follows this example by diligently working to earn for Himself and His family, just as any one of us would have to do in order not to be a burden to the society we live in. His sons, however (due to Baba Ji’s spiritual commitments), now run the family businesses, and are discretely based in central London, where they live much of the time, or in central Singapore, at other times, rather than in India, while Baba Ji Himself is mainly based in the RSSB Dera, Punjab, in India, but travels extensively worldwide. Thus, Baba Ji Himself today is worth several hundred million dollars through His savvy investments, and farming business, which quickly rose to success from 2006 onwards, and which He uses to pay for all His personal needs & comforts in order to be able to serve effectively an international, and increasingly demanding, sangat (spiritual followers), without which (personal wealth) the sangat’s demands globally would quickly exhaust and ruin Him. Hence, this need for a certain amount of wealth is the way forward for modern Satgurus or Holy Masters, in order for Them to personally and comfortably reach an increasingly wider audience (globally) in the modern Age – such as jetsetting around the world on a busy schedule with very little time for rest.

So, in order to have a period of peaceful rest and recuperation, Baba Ji has used His personal wealth to build a modest summerhouse in Shimla (a hill station in the Himanchal Pradesh region of India) where He takes an annual break in the company of friends and family. At all other times, He is ‘on the go’ and often never spends more than 3 or 4 nights under one roof while serving the sangat’s needs around the world. Meanwhile, Baba Ji is careful to make sure that the actual RSSB funds (thru regular donations) are kept separate, and are wisely invested and spent, for the benefit of the sangat alone. All property of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) sect is owned by the RSSB Trust.

Baba Ji is the figure-head of the Trust and has full discretionary powers over the management and monetary transactions within the RSSB organisation. The Trust members are thus appointed by Baba Ji rather than being elected. Thus, the RSSB Dera (commune) has been able to grow considerably, and has been extensively modernised, under the guidance Baba ji, to now become a thriving spiritual colony today. Even the new international meeting/information Centres, located in most major cities worldwide, have been organised and arranged by Baba Ji for the comfort of the local sangat.

Good infrastructure and modern conveniences are the order of the day, so as to provide greater comfort for the ever-growing sangat. All members of the spiritual commune, including the Holy Master, are expected to support themselves financially, or be looked after by family or friends if unable (rather than unwilling) to do so due to mental or physical illness. Baba Ji also emphasises that at least 10% of one’s net income, which includes the Satguru’s, should be given either monthly or annually to charity or humanitarian/environmental projects, in line with Sant Mat teachings.

But since 2011, ill health (diabetes & back pain), including a battle with cancer, caused Baba Ji to step back from business in order to focus on His spiritual duties. However, Baba Ji continues to send out, and oversee, disaster relief support groups, where volunteers provide food, drink, healthcare and shelter to the victims of natural disasters around the world, without seeking publicity or recognition for this. Indeed, He personally travels everywhere to meet with His serving disciples, often at great personal discomfort, to support their noble work. He even recently helped to write & publish a book on misogynous (women abuse) practices in India, such as physical and emotional abuse, enslavement, etc. The book is called (in rough translation) “Rise Up Women”, and is meant to provide abused women all over India with the information & resources needed to get out of abusive relationships. Baba Ji also majorly encourages organ donation and supports agencies that are finding solutions to the ground-water contamination issues that are the root cause of organ damage in Punjab. Also, following the 2001 devastating Gujarat Earthquake, in India, among many others worldwide since then, Baba Ji was instrumental in setting up the seva (volunteer group) to re-establish 6 villages, from a horrifying state to up & running, by building thousands of homes in an extremely short period of time – 5 months or so – while providing food, shelter and comfort to the victims of this disaster. Even the Indian govt was astonished with the work done without govt support. Meanwhile, there were strict orders from Baba Ji for no media coverage of their seva.

Then, in a national drive to help climate change, Baba Ji actually arranged a hyper cheap one $Billion loan for the Indian government to set up a national network of environmentally friendly sun-powered energy plants, in place of coal-fired plants that currently pollute the atmosphere. Also, the education for all children who live in the Dera commune is fully sponsored by Baba Ji, including those in any foreign country, along with many other facilities provided.

However, despite all this free service to humanity, from a Sant Mat perspective, the Satguru is above the materialism & politics of the world – as His sole purpose is to help us break free from the cycle of birth & death, and so attain self- then God- realisation, with all the peace and bliss that that brings. Thus, He is a saviour of souls. This is what Baba Ji teaches.

Sant Mat is a high spiritual philosophy, not a cultural religion. It is considered to be a step above conventional religion and is the privilege of a select few – the ‘chosen ones’ (those ready to pursue God-realisation) who constitute around 10% of the living creation. In this method, when Baba Ji was asked what do you gain from Holy Initiation (akin to Baptism) in the modern Age, He replied, “you are put onto the path of true God-realisation and are provided the means to attain it in this lifetime. But even if you feel you have gained nothing through practicing Sant Mat, then check to see if you have lost your anger, jealousy, frustration, greed, lust, or attachments, and so can enjoy a more peaceful life without these obstacles. This loss is actually a beneficial gain. So don’t make assumptions too quickly that you see no obvious gains”. Also, Baba Ji says that “our true critics are our best friends for they help us to evolve by pointing out our faults, and help clear our karma”.

Unlike His predecessors, however, Baba Ji is much more lenient in accepting less worthy individuals onto the Path of Sant Mat, in that He rarely denies anyone Holy Initiation, which is, of course, recognised as very gracious and all-forgiving by the faithful. In the difficult role of being a modern Satguru (in the modern Age), Baba Ji endeavours to balance His noble teachings & answers between the unenlightened (or sometimes dysfunctional) human needs of His worldly followers/enquirers with that of high spiritual Truth (that explains about the reality of karma (law of cause & effect) and the truth about maya (illusion), regarding one’s current life in this Earthly plane), through His compassionate, yet direct teachings, of the high Truth of all existence, without cultural embellishments (found in mainstream religions).

However, this frank telling of reality, even in the modern Age, often attracts controversy, ridicule or disapproval by those who do not believe in high spiritual philosophy, or by those who follow the old-school way of thinking – the same dilemma faced by all previous Holy Masters, Perfect Saints or Divine Prophets, historically, some of which were even killed for Their controversial teachings. Thus, many viewpoints abound concerning a Guru’s words & actions in modern society – viewpoints that wholly accord with the level of awareness and understanding (of life & existence) possessed by those individuals. To this ongoing dilemma all true Holy Masters have said that spiritual truth must be “experienced and intuitive” to be rightly known and understood. Mere mental analysis, leads one nowhere – as the great philosophers and scholars have found upon their death-bed. Those who in indulge in mental analysis for spiritual truth are missing the truly great truths because they are trying to understand it with their innately limited mental ability. When one stops trying to figure everything out, intellectually or emotionally, and realizes that the mind can never understand high spiritual truth, then that truth will become clearer in their heart. This is the great truth of spirituality, and those who embrace it can never be turned or convinced otherwise, because direct experience speaks for itself and personally increases ones intuitive understanding (that comes from the unlimited soul, not the limited mind).

Thus, despite criticism from the worldly masses, a true Guru never flinches from telling the spiritual truth of a matter, even if it should result in Their own persecution, for They are the embodiment of Truth, and so, cannot do or say otherwise, even if it is controversial. Such controversial examples spoken by Baba Ji include, “the Sant Satguru is the manifestation of the Supreme Lord in human form”, or, “there are no regions/realms as such, only levels of consciousness”, or, “burn the books, they just cause confusion, and are only there to inspire the appetite, not for one to follow in blind faith. One’s own evolving intuition and direct experiences are the greatest teacher”, or, “all discourses & answers are but honest lies – they are an honest attempt to explain, very poorly, the unfathomable to the human mind, and so are usually told as stories or earthly comparisons that are not really true, but still, give a gist of the truth”, or, “this is not the only Path to Godrealisation, though it is the Path of the Perfect Saints who are fully-realised souls”, or, “we intellectuals are full of concepts, such as, the Master will always meet us upon our death, or that it will not take more than four lifetimes to complete one’s journey back to Sach Khand, or that one will hear the sound and see the light of God when they meditate, and so on… These only apply if one is a sincere devotee of the Satguru, not necessarily otherwise”, or, “you have no free will, only conditioned choices, as your destiny is already written by your karma, so do what you like”, or, “ritual meditation is not the only way to know the truth – love & devotion (surrender) to one’s Satguru is a higher practice”, or, “one cannot sit or focus effectively in meditation without first letting go of fear and guilt”, or, “live in God’s (Satguru’s) Will and go with the flow, for nothing is yours unless it is written for you”, or, “We are all struggling souls in this Creation searching for something better than what we have right now. So, if Sant Mat philosophy does not appeal to you, then don’t follow it, or try to find something better if you can. And if you do find something better than this philosophy then tell Me and I shall follow it too”, or, “just by being on a spiritual path does not automatically make you a better person, you still have to work quite hard at improving yourself over time. But ultimately, there are no failures in Sant Mat”, or, “Sant Mat is actually a spiritual science, not a mere belief system in the tradition of mainstream religions”, or, “RSSB is a spiritual mission, not merely a charitable one…”, or, “there is no need to give up your culture or religion – just adopt the moral and spiritual principles taught by Sant Mat alongside your current beliefs, unless those beliefs obstruct this higher spiritual practice”, and so on. He further says, “The Master can give advice but He cannot make a choice for you”. Thus, He advises on all manner of subjects – from telling the sangat “not to use make-up or hair dye”, to “earn an honest living and don’t squander your earnings on frivolity”, to “perform your worldly duties first, and then meditate if you can”, to “Sant Mat does not require asceticism but asks for complete detachment from every activity that retards spiritual progress. Thus, eating the simplest and purest nourishment definitely helps in controlling the five passions – lust, anger, greed, attachment and egotism, while a highly ethical and moral life is necessary for spiritual progress and God-realization. This Path also enjoins the followers to earn their livelihood by honest means. The Master himself rigidly follows this principle and accepts nothing from his disciples”, to “It is best not to own pets, but should you do then feed them a healthly vegetarian diet only and do not spay or neuter any animals”, to “do not engage in debates related to spirituality and politics”, etc. Baba Ji is also very controversial at times with the general public, even recently, with His comment about the real Truth. For example, when Baba Ji was at a national satsang, open to the public, much to the surprise of those sitting there He said, “This (sangat) is a school with many different levels – some at the nursery, some at the university, and some at the professor stage, so not all are ready to hear the high truth, else chaos will ensue. Thus, answers have to be given in the form palatable to the listeners, while the real spiritual work is going on silently within them!”.

This concurs with what has been explained here in this noble book. He also emphasises active hakai (self-help) – to better oneself to the best of one’s ability while in human form, rather than relying upon others, so that all can profit by it. As such, over the years, Baba Ji’s business ideas and financial gains have led to him becoming very well connected in both political circles and in influential society (business, & media) circles – simply in order to obtain support in overcoming the nonsensical/bureaucratic hindrances of modern life, and to introduce ethics to those in power or in control of the public.

Again regarding advice, Baba Ji gives ‘advice’ to all those who seek it, but does not get involved in their day-to-day lives, because, as He says, one’s life is all about making choices; and each one has to make his or her own choice without coercion. Thus, as Holy Master, He can advise, but He cannot make a choice for anyone, because one is bound by the choices one makes (The Law of Karma); and therefore, “we all have to accept responsibility for our own actions”.

As for the running of the RSSB Society (registered charity), which has its headquarters called Dera Baba Jaimal Singh (named after its founding Holy Master), located in Beas, District Amritsar, east Punjab, India, Baba Ji lives off His own personal income, not of the donations; and in keeping with the policy for all volunteers (sevadars or khidmatgar), He does not receive any money or allowance from the RSSB Society, nor does He accept gifts or money for Himself or His family from the sangat (spiritual devotees). All the money donated in seva (service to the Master) is channelled into supporting the sangat. Furthermore, all visitors who stay at the ‘Dera commune’ do not have to pay for food, lodgings, facilities, or healthcare, no matter how long they stay for. Indeed, there are no fees charged whatsoever; nor are they asked for contributions or donations; it is always left up to the individual to decide if they want to contribute anything to the running of the organisation.

On a family level, Sant Mat is liberating. It doesn’t seek to control people, as a cult or religion might do, it simply provides a discipline that allows one to take back control of one’s wayward/moody mind. Furthermore, Holy Masters all tell us that the Path of Sant Mat is one of inwardness (enquiring into the true nature of ‘self’ and of ‘god’) while living within societal norms as a householder, fulfilling our responsibilities. Baba Ji Himself also advises the most loving kindness to family and humankind, while being detached from the whole show in a liberating way – seeing our role in life as just a part we have to play rather than it being our true self. Hence we must learn to function on two levels at the same time – one’s ‘mind identity’ (humanness) and one’s ‘soul truth’ (real self).

Regarding meditation, Baba Ji says this, “one must spend at least 2½ hours in meditation daily in order to nullify the karma of each day and to keep the mind under control”. He also refers to the previous Holy Masters (Satgurus) of Sant Mat by quoting their promises thus: For example, Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh Ji says, “If you spend 2½ hours daily in early morning mediation for 40 days continuously, then come and blame me if you don’t find any noticeable change in spiritual awareness”. Plus, Sardar Bahadur Singh Ji says, “If you spend 3 continuous hours in thoughtless notion, the third eye can be realised.” Regarding the teachings of Sant Mat, Baba Ji, like all Holy Masters explain that “God (positive), Kal (negative) and the Lords (regulators) of the Creation are powers, not actual personalities”; yet it is natural for human beings to explain their experience (of these powers) in human terms, especially in the early stages of one’s spiritual development, because they imitate human-like functions. Until we can merge with those forces, or rise above them, we will simply have internal visions & experiences of them, rather than full comprehension of them. Indeed, until then, some experiences defy a true explanation, so our human-like descriptions help us identify and make sense of the actual powers within, initially, until we elevate sufficiently to thoroughly understand them. Thus, when witnessing the interplay of these powers, from a very human perspective, nothing appears fair. Yet, it is in a perfect balance of cause & effect, at least in concept. It cannot, in reality, be any other way, else chaos will ensue.

So, in an attempt to understand all this, we must first accept the astonishing truth as just that, simple astonishment, until true understanding can take its place, else doubt and fear will be the response, which leads to failure. Therefore, in modern times disgruntled followers are not uncommon, as the moral code of Sant Mat demands high moral discipline, which is difficult to maintain when living the life of a householder in the modern Age. Also, unlike modern religions, Sant Mat teachings directly speak of the divine ‘light & sound’ (of ‘self ‘ and ‘God’), that resonates within the human form, as a creative power, which also serves as a guiding path to God-realisation – though is largely ignored by modern religions, or is considered allegorical.

Sant Mat teaches, and Baba ji affirms, that everyone has an inner existence (the soul), embraced by an illusory mind, which, at its lowest level, is called the “subconscious”. This aspect of our functioning holds influence over us and causes us to act according to our innate character (known as sankars in Sant Mat). It feeds our fears, our attitude and our optimism, but we don’t realise it because it is sublime and natural. Furthermore, one’s perception of life, or of others, greatly influences what one will comprehend when faced with unfolding events, or with those we associate with. Indeed, every occurrence or facial expression – and every gesture or hearsay – will appear to be filled with all that one biasly perceives – good or bad. This makes for an often distorted or unsettled existence for some, who then go on to complain about life, spirituality or God even.

Thus, Baba Ji, like all Holy Masters, is not without criticism – whether from the old-school disciples of Sant Mat or from some intellectual, mind-orientated followers/enquirers/critics. Today, most of the current criticism centres around the idea that Baba Ji is said to have rescinded the traditional view of Sant Mat (original 1.0 version) and has introduced a new variant – in stages (presently called Sant Mat 3.0) – aimed for the modern intellect. But the spiritual Path of Sant Mat itself, when expressed in mere worldly terms, will always be incomplete, and thus, largely untrue. So Holy Masters try to reveal a little more each time, in accordance with the level of comprehension available to the peoples they visit. In truth, though, each one of us has a unique relationship with the Satguru (Holy Master) and thus with the Supreme Lord Itself, as we are each created with subtle viewpoint differences that allow us to exist separately from each other, while at the same time being part of the whole (Supreme Lord). Hence, there will be many differing opinions expressed by those of differing intellects, perceptions, character and experiences. Each of these viewpoints (expressions) of the Lord is undergoing their own personal journey – from deep illusion to eventual enlightenment – whether they take the short, average or long root – although without the aid of a living Satguru they still function in karmic Creation, throughtout this journey, on common ground to others.

With a Satguru’s grace, however, one can escape the karmic Creation and attain the Supreme Lord rather than the Lessor Lord (God) of lower Creation. So Baba Ji, for example, lets each one follow their path according to their inherent characteristics, and only acts as an advisor of the ideal, to those who care to know, while knowing full well the abilities or limitations of those receiving the advice. Hence, the apparent contradictions regarding the advice given, or the differing forms of involvement by Baba Ji with individuals within the sangat. For example, the rich and the egotists need more attention & reminding, and so are brought closer to Baba Ji in order to satisfy their needs while they are being transformed. But this doesn’t mean they are getting anything more from the Satguru than others, as transmission of grace is via spiritual means, not physical presence. Similarly, the humble poor and the less intellectual (though usually intuitive) devotees, are left alone, since they are often not attached to this world in the same way, and so, do not need so much attention or convincing. Thus, they often attain spiritual heights fairly quickly. Meanwhile, the “inbetweeners”, which comprise the majority of followers, and consist mainly of earnest seekers, questioners, mood-swingers, or the disgruntled even, have a mixed association with the Satguru, and so the Satguru deals with them respectfully – though according to individual ‘need’ rather than ‘want’.

Also, a large organization, with a large membership, is subject to human failings, as the participants are not all elevated or enlightened. However, Baba Ji does not directly interfere with human ‘will’ or politics, even in His manifested organisation (RSSB), due to His absolute adherence to karmic law. He only acts as an advisor and mentor, while the day-to-day running of the organisation is left to the organisers. So, the false expectation by ‘outsiders’ that all disciples and followers are beyond reproach is mere fantasy or wishful thinking, while the stories one may hear about the politics (character flaws) of the RSSB organisers, or of the Satguru’s family affairs, are often mere rumours or exaggerations, propagated by the disgruntled or the critics – mostly due to what has just been said before, or, from a genuine misunderstanding of the truth. You see, changes in character and attitude are very gradual for most, so it may take time for the critics or the disgruntled to reach higher understanding, and for the regular followers of the Satguru to become greater aware. Until then, they will behave just like anyone else in life and be filled with uncertainties, fears and moodiness, from time to time.

Thus, Baba Ji says that when one attends satsang (holy discourse) meetings or performs seva (service to the sangat, and/or the Satguru), one will need to filter what one sees and hears from the unenlightened others. Even many disciples often give their own opinions about what they feel or believe, related to their own level of progress, that may not be correct.

Regarding spiritual experiences, when Baba Ji was questioned by some devotees in RSSB Dera, Beas, about receiving spiritual experiences immediately upon Initiation, He quoted Great Master Baba Sawan Singh Ji, by saying, “Great Master, actually argued against the need for giving firsthand experiences at the time of Holy Initiation. The view that one must see something at the time of Initiation or they would never be able to see anything later, is wrong. Everyone is following their own course of life, which is different from all others. No two persons are alike in habit, form and thought. All are at different stages of development. At Holy Initiation, they cannot be expected to behave alike. Only very few will see anything at that time. The majority will take time – some weeks, some months or some years. All are not equally keen or devoted, or it may pose a hindrance to their duties in life if they were to be shown inner reality too soon”.

Today, the organisation of RSSB is the largest ever known in Sant Mat history, where as many as 500,000 devotees sometimes visit the ashram, at one time, to listen to Baba Ji’s teachings (of how self- & God-realisation, holy meditation, vegetarianism and high moral values can help one escape the cycle of death and rebirth). He also emphasizes community service to help spiritual progress. On some days at the Dera female sevadars may roll out more than 80,000 chapattis an hour to feed hungry pilgrims at the extensive spiritual commune, that’s somewhere between a traditional ashram and a gated community holiday resort. There’s a grand meeting hall with tiered spires and pearl domes, as well as guest hostels, public facilities and modest zoned housing areas with a European-style supermarket. The Dera itself is currently home to over 8,000 devotees of the Satguru. However, despite all this care and attention to detail, Baba Ji Himself has said that when this line of Satgurus end in Beas (following one more Satguru after Himself), then, in keeping with the historic tradition of the mass public, in time, RSSB will become a new religion, rather than a true spiritual path, but with the concept of a living Master (a Sadhguru up to 2nd Realm only rather than a Satguru of the 5th Realm) at its head, who will guide followers through life, ritualistically. By this time there will be over 6 million followers, worldwide. Currently, there are just under 4 million devotees.

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