THE GURU HAS NO TURBAN: part TWO

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: February 1997

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

I want to go back to the home base now.

THE GURU HAS NO TURBAN:

TOWARD A NEW DEFINITION OF "PERFECT" MASTERS

[Graffiti on Soamiji's Well]

Part TWO

a continuing series


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Faqir Chand once commented to me that most of the "Perfect" Masters
that he knew died in very "imperfect" ways. Faqir, to his credit,
was merely stating the obvious and, unlike many of his counterparts,
he saw no reason to lamely justify a dying guru's illness under the
pretext that he/she was doing a "karmic readjustment." Sawan Singh
died of cancer; Kirpal Singh had prostrate surgery; Charan Singh
had heart problems; Jagat Singh was ill for much his tenure. 

People die; "Perfect" masters die.

That "cancer" or "heart problems" or "prostrate difficulties" is
due to carrying the disciples' load of karma seems to me an
unnecessary way to rationalize the humanness of how all gurus have
died.

Faqir Chand didn't "know" exactly when he was going to die, nor do I
suspect that most gurus. If Faqir Chand "knew" then he certainly did
a good job of hiding it from me. I talked with him on the phone just
a few weeks before he died. He called me at my mom's house late one
evening and we had a delightful conversation and I even made it a
point to ask him about his health: he said that despite being older
and weaker he was otherwise doing fine. Just a couple of days later
though he had a cardiac arrest and went into a coma. It is true that Faqir
gave some signs that he was going to die (ranging from the often told
story of how Faqir informed his friend in Delhi that he was going to
come back in a black box from the USA to his lucid awareness just
moments before expiring), but I don't think he knew "exactly" and
"precisely" when he was going to die.

Do we?

Okay, I am sure there are some who have a better idea of when they
are going to transpire than others (geez my own brother had a pretty
good hunch and told me so), but I don't think the track record of
"Perfect" Masters is that much better than plain ordinary folk.

The primary difference, I have noticed, is that disciples just won't
allow for "unknowingness" when it comes to their respective gurus
dying. Rarely do I hear the following: "Yea, my guru died completely
unexpectedly--we didn't have a clue and neither did he!"

Instead we get lots of hagiography, the almost immediate
embellishment of stories of how the guru "really" did know but just
gave hints. Darshan Singh was a genuinely nice person and almost
everybody I know who knew him liked him. But when he died in May of
1989 it came as a big surprise to even his close associates. Indeed,
he had even planned for a summer tour in the USA and thousands of
dollars was spent promoting his tour (with his picture, by the way).

Now I am confident that disciples of Darhsan Singh would argue that