Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: January 1997
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Dear David, My name is Mike Durrigan and I have been a student of yoga since 1976. Not pretending to have all the answers, but being trained as a Biologist and later earning degrees in Mathematics and Statistics, I try to dedicate myself to discovering truth. I am an advocate of experiment and thorough logical analysis. Here is my cut and opinion presented in a spirit of academic research on the conclusions stated in the article, "The Kirpal Statistic". The universe will do as it pleases no matter what we may think or believe. My biases: I have very much respect for the man, Kirpal Singh. And I have also taken initiation from Ajaib Singh. I began reading literature on this path in 1976. I will say agree to one sad thing: there is no lack of controversy. I submit the following in a spirit of cooperative effort to determine, where is the truth surrounding Sant Mat. I am not attempting an apologia for Sant Mat nor for any of the Gurus of the Sant Mat teachings . I am attempting to point to a different interpretation purely from a scholarly and intellectual point of view. Kirpal in his writings openly declared (Man Know thyself) that, in his opinion, it does not speak well for a person to blindly accept a faith or a guru without digging robustly into the tenats and legitimacy of the guru and the teachings expounded. In fact, some of the most skeptical and question oriented individuals have themselves later gone on to become very highly spiritually evolved students and some became a successor, e.g. Sawan Singh. Thus, questions or doubt cannot be a measure of the lack of inherent potential within any human being nor a measure of the integrity of the search. ================================================================================= ================================================================================= Let's start here: I have carefully read the article "The Kirpal Statistic". I would like to Thank-you and applaud you for having the courage to try an experiment and also seek historical truth concerning spiritual reality. In due deference to the sincere and dedicated effort of the author, the Shadb Yogans have never claimed that a person who meditates at the third eye center cannot have spiritual experience of the inner planes without a formal initiation from a Master Soul. In fact they acknowlegde that many people do have such experiences quite regularly. Some of the Gurus have actually cited the out of body experiences of non-initiates as proof that meditation and such spiritual experiences are common occurrences to a variety of people prior to any formal initiation. Part of Sant Mat teachings is an affirmation that people carry past life development with them across lifetimes. This pastlife development has much to do with present life inner experiences, longing for or seeking gurus and provoking ones interest and receptivity to things spiritual. It is well known that Kirpal acknowledged having meditiative experiences at the Third eye center seven years before he met and was formally initiated by his guru, Sawan Singh. It is common knowledge to many of the Sant Mat participants that many students on many paths have had visions and experiences of spiritual realities long before they met any Master in the physical form. Some of these experiences involved spiritual trips to inner reality, others were experiences with current or previous Masters some involving remarkable healings, predictions or promises. Kirpal openly stated that he had had visions, spoke with, took spiritual journeys to inner regions and received inner spiritual guidance from Sawan Singh during his pre-initiate times without knowing who, where or what Sawan Singh was. kirpal just naively assumed Sawan was guru Nanak or Kabir. Similarly, other gurus of other paths have had pre-initiation experiences with their guru, for example, Paramhansa Yoganada. What Kirpal and other Sant Mat Gurus seem to maintain, in my opinion, is that the spiritual experiences people have at the third eye center without a spiritual Master are not necessarily coming from the highest of Spiritual planes and do not guarentee further advancenment. That the inidividual to progress into the ultimate higher regions should seek a guide. They also maintain that the guide needs to be a current living Master as opposed to an ascended Master. The analogy commonly used is to ask people if they could become a PHD in Chemistry or Mathematics etc. without some type of guidance from teachers in that field. so similarly with spiritual reality. Further, Sant Mat Yogans do maintain that a guru can only take you to the spiritual planes the guru him or herself has obtained. Thus, Kirpals (Shabd yogins in general)philosophy draws the analogy: As with teachers of mundane matters, so with gurus, some are better teachers and more gifted than others. Thus one question to ponder is: How far can you go without a competent spiritual guide? According to Kirpal, sometimes quite high, but not all the way. Sant Mat gurus also raise questions of: ones needing protection from inner negativites and a need for realtime advice on certain decisions along the way. It is analogous to the " a good guide can get you to the top of a mountain with a minimum of trouble, trying it yourself or with a bad guide can lead to difficulty". Eventually, the guru teaches you how to climb yourself, but gives the necessary instruction with a minimum of destruction. Needless to say, such analogies are meant to give the spirit of the meaning but are still imperfect. There is evidence of this in the techings of the Shikh gurus, Jesus, the Gita (in the gita there is a story of a highly evolved pundit who is refused entrance into some higher region for lack of a guru). (I am not defending, only saying what my research has shown me) Kirpal also emphasized in much of his literature (eg Godman) that one could not, for all practical purposes, judge the competance of a legitimate self-realized and God-Realized Guru. His analogy was: how can someone in Kindergarten judge the competance of a double PHD in Math and Physics. Only very few prodigies are capable of seeing the gradations of Mastership early on. The general condition of child humanity is that most people are spiritual neophytes. Further, the Shabd Yogans teach that not everyone is here to receive instructions by a given guru. This is a common teaching of most guru paths. Only certain souls are meant for initiation by ceratin teachers. Each soul is in the make and has its own time for meeting the purest of Masters. As Kirpal used to so foundly say: "Man is in the Make". Sometimes the love of an initiate can accelerarate or allow a friend or relative to get the initiation or protection of a guru even though they are "not ready" or "not meant to be" etc for that guru at that time. As I said this is common thought and teaching to many systems of yoga not just Sant Mat. (Christ with Lazarus) Thus, one can conclude, Sant Mat acknowledges that anyone who meditates at the third eye center is capable of having spiritual experience. However, Sant Mat gurus do warn of certain danagers and pitfalls of going it alone. Further, Kirpal did try to lay out some simple guidelines for the unsuspecting and unenlightened in searching for a Spiritual Master. (Not all Sant Mat gurus would maintain that these criteria were absolutely necessary). Inherent in these guidelines were the assumptions that: > inner realities exist (Astral, mental,spiritual and various admixtures), > the Higher Power has an ultimate manisfested form as light and sound vibrations emanating from a soundless unknowable but remarkable spiritual reality > Meditative experiences were not the deluded results of psychotic mental malfunction, The criteria for attempting to find a legitimate spiritual teacher included: > being able to bestow an initial spiritual experience of light and sound or some type of subtle or profound inner experience, > not asking for money for said, > ability to guide one into the beyond consistently, > ability to intercede for a disciples benefit and remove or lighten the destiny Karmas (law of mercy and grace) for them, friends and or family under certain conditions, > Total removal of all store house Karmas at the time of the initiation, > description of the inner regions and the predominate demarkers of said, (Some of these could never be checked by most students) If these criteria are missing from any teacher, then Kirpal suggested it was a case of the blind leading the blind and don't waste your time. Of course, any teacher could say yes to all of the above and Kirpal did acknowledge that many false teachers could and do mislead many an unsuspecting seeker for spiritual truth. However, Kirpal was, as are all Sant Mat Gurus, adamant in insisting: > You need a living teacher to guide you inwardly, > Finding a competant teacher is no easy task, > Searching for a teacher is a very worthy and noble undertaking, bringing extremely good spiritual reaction (Karma), Also, Kirpal seems to have maintained that the only real measure of spiritual competance was: spiriual power. When all was said and done, a highly developed guru could not only provide initial spiritual experience but could, manifest to the initiate, converse with them, lead them inwardly on various planes and lead that soul to planes of existence which liberated one from reincanation and the realms of physical body, astral body and mind regions, and can as stated mitigate sufferings of initiates and non-initiates. Lastly, as Thakar singh once said, at the time of death:" It is the most spiritually powerful Saint who will be there to protect a soul at the time of death!" It is then that anyone who is initiated or under the gurus protection for whatever reason can finally see who is who amongst the gurus. The "Statistic" article fails to touch another salient point of Sant Mat. That of the "spiritual energy" which is provided by the Aura of a highly developed being and the ability of a saint to "Charge" any area with that energy at will. It is common to yoga that the vibration of any person effects those around them to the extent the aura is developed. Also, that the guru energy can be present even if a tape recorder is played. Gurus are generally tapping into energy from various spiritual planes and help focus or distribute that energy as need be. When people gather in the name of the "guru" the inner energy to which the guru is connected, spiritual or not, will often times bless the place of gathering. This is the famous "whenever two or more gather in my name I will be there" idea as stated in the bible. It is not a unique idea to Shabd yoga, but common to yoga. So the tape recording doesn't have the power, but the people gathering, their hopes and hearts which can summon the inner power response. (This is the theory) Were the poor "Tape recording" people really initiated during the tape session? That probably can only be answered by a legitimate guru. Sant Mat gurus are adamant on the fact that the higher power is merciful and the christian axiom: "seek and you will find" is always in effect. Sant Mat gurus are also equally adamant in not advocating such "willy nilly" schemes as these may often come from the negative power, confusing the issue and can cause great harm to many people, spirirtually and emotionally. Unless one receives direct guidance from the guru inwardly or outwardly that person should not engage in the performance of any initiations. It would be interesting to know what happened to that poor group! How many got led to Darshan or Ajaib etc.. So, I think a more correct conclusion can follow from the data. To assume Sant Mat gurus are taking too much credit is subjective and appears as a personal attack on the individuals based on an interpretation of the teachings of Sant Mat, then a rejection of certain aspects of Sant Mat thereof. Kirpal and all gurus of Sant Mat path and many other gurus of other systems maintain that they are really not acting but the power within them, which they are one with, is the actual doer. This is the St. Paul thing "it is now me, but now not me but the Christ that is within me, or christs regularly maintaining I am only doing the will of my Father, I and my Father are one.... Thus I believe the article is based on a reading of the literature, an experiment, a conclusion based on reason and observation of physical reality that a guru is not really necessary for spiriual experience. Then, based on the conclusion: you do not need a guru, it deduces that the Shabd gurus are guilty of taking too much credit. But Kirpal never maintained that you can't have experience without a guru, only that a competant guru could get you to regions not accessable to beings without a guru. Sant Mat maintains that there are regions which defy the imagination! Most initial experiences are subtle and meant to start one off in the right direction. As Kirpal maintained, gurus come in all sizes and shapes with different levels of power. The game is to find the best one in the game In my opinion one can only go around and start trying the packages available, and hope one finds something good. I guess if we can tell the difference between a good car and a lemon, if we can tell the difference between a good bargain and a "rip Off" then perhaps if we try and talk with various teachers we may discover what is truth. So, the paper says Kirpal takes too much credit. Others are not sure rather spiritual reality is totally true, while others would die for the truth of Sant Mat. I think Kirpal or most legitimate Gurus do not maintain "nothing is possible withou them". They seem to maintain that the quality of the long term spiritual development possible is limited to: > the spiritual growth obtained by the teacher, > the background of the student, > with student aptitude not as important as student attitude and perseverance! So perhaps if we could track for thirty years those with and those lacking a guru perhaps we could find an answer. Until then, I believe mankind will suffer the fact that the spiritual quest and the answers found will remain clear only for the individuals who find them. Someday, it may become general knowledge. however, if Jesus and Buddha and others were as good as one is led to believe, humanity at large still has quite awhile before spirirutal reality will become quickly discerned by hte average person walking the street. This is no insult only a statement of my belief: If spiritual truth is real, if these planes of existence are real then humanity has still a long way to go! ===================================================================================== I wish you and everyone good luck in their quest whatever it is from surf happiness to inner peace and happiness!!! It is a tough world out there and i wish noone more trouble than this world seems to inherently bring. Good Luck Dave and look forward to any courteous response. best, Mike Durrigan
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