The Dera versus Sant Mat?

Author: Mr. Suto Nimm
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: November 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

The Dera (that centralized organization housed at Beas in the Punjab
of India) should never be confused with Sant Mat (that spiritual
expression which appears to be a structural, not necessarily
cultural, outpouring within human beings--regardless of
caste/creed/color).

The Dera is an Organization very concerned with Control.

Sant Mat, as a spiritual expression, should be concerned with Truth.

Control and Truth are Not one and the same, even though the Dera
would at times like its members to think so.

The more I see the Dera attempting to "control" and "censor" its
version of Sant Mat, the more I realize how little the "Dera" has to
do with Truth.

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Truth is not a building, though the Dera seems quite concerned with
getting lots of them.

Truth is not against critical exchanges of information, though the
Dera has issued a rule against the Internet and E-mail.

Truth is not about restricting individual responses to a guru's
words, though the Dera wants ALL notes of Gurinder's talks
confiscated.

Truth is not about hair-splitting, though the Dera has set-up
committees about "rennett" but has issued no directives on jogging
shoes (oops, I guess it is okay to wear big steaks on one's feet,
provided one doesn't ingest tiny molecules of animal within one's
mouth.... Oh the contorted logic of karma theory).

Truth is not about giving one a self-made honorific (does an
enlightened master really want to be called "master" or
"father-dear")?

Truth is not about securing free labor under spiritual pretenses
(ironically, I find more humility from bus boys at soup plantation
than at satsang functions. Why? The former do it for money and for
no illusions; the latter do it for spiritual merit points and under
lots of pretensions).

Truth is not about securing "trademarks" and justifying name changes
for public acceptance, though the Dera has instructed an attorney to
do precisely that.

Truth (whatever it may be) is not the Dera's vision.

The Dera's vision is one of Control.

And to the the degree it focuses on That, it has precious little to do
with Sant Mat.
 

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Quite frankly, the directives of the Dera are merely the directives
of an organization concerned with preserving ITself against its
competition.....

Sant Mat has no "organization", "no preservation", "no trademarks",
"no property."

Sant Mat has none of that since it cannot be captured so crudely, so
inefficiently, so naively.

Sant Mat is too intimate, too delicate, and too robust to be so
constrained.

Sant Mat is a universal heritage, not the monopoly of an insecure
Indian township that fails to understand the meaning of that one
great American dictum: "freedom of speech."

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Faqir Chand was indeed prophetically right:

To be born at a Dera (or an ashram or a church) is a blessing;

To die at one is a curse.

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The Dera is not Sant Mat 

and Sant Mat is not a "Beas" version

-------------------------------

Sant Mat does not have any versions at its core;

it is, rather, the connection between us and the Mystery which
sustains us.

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That simple.

Anything else is merely baggage and should be left at the ashram
doorsteps.

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If our proverbial Kabir were alive today, he would most likely be
"reprimanded" by the Dera "authorities."

Why?

Because he would point blank say:

What does property have to do with "truth"?

What does policing satsangis information channels have to do with
Integrity?

-----------------

Answer: it has everything to do with Control and Institutions and
nothing whatsoever to do with Sant Mat.

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Sant Mat will surive the Dera,
but the Dera will not survive "real" Sant Mat.

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E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.