Sudar Singh = ? (Volume Three)

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The Neural Surfer
Publication date: 1996

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

Whew, thanks for that clarification, Steve......

I was walking around the last couple of days thinking I didn't have
a life..... and no soul to add insult to injury!

Today you tell me that I do have a life, but that I am wasting it.

Gosh, you sure do know a lot about me. Did we meet or something?
(previous life? Sizzler's before bankruptcy? Notre Dame homecoming?
Fubbi's bachelor pad?)

Strangely, I thought I had a pretty fun life. What time I spend on
Eckankar is comparatively little. My friends think I surf too much,
or read too many physics/neuroscience books, or drink too many
cokes, or see too many students, or play basketball or play
pingpong, or go to Hawaii, or miss my guru too much ...... They keep telling me I have too much
time, as well.

But then you come along and tell me that I am wasting it by posting
documented information about a religion you follow.

I am a bit different, perhaps. I happen to like it when someone
provides historical information about Radhasoami, or Sant Mat, or
Catholicism, or the history of physics (I was pleasantly shocked to
realize that Einstein had an illegitimate daughter...... Is she
still alive, I wonder?), or surfing (I didn't know until just
recently that it used to be a native tradition in Hawaii, especially
on the island of Oahu, that when a woman and a man rode the same
wave together it meant that those two would get together later that
night for some love in the sand/hut. No wonder the Duke didn't want
his haole wife surfing with his bros.)

I think it is really quite intriguing to investigate the history of
Eckankar, even if it is to you and others a dead horse (but one that
I am happy keeps on kicking).


Because to understand the roots of a religion provides tremendous
insight into how and why people believe/behave the way they do.....

And this applies to any religion or to any tradition.

Since I have studied many different shabd yoga groups and have
written about lots of them, I continue to be interested in the
proliferation of new gurus/groups. 

Just today, for instance, I listened to a tape by Twitchell talking
about Sudar Singh and Sawan Singh and Kirpal Singh. I was amazed
that Paul, who claims to have spent at least a year with Sudar in
India, cannot even remember where exactly he lived, nor when he
died, nor can he give any directions. He seems, given the tape,
totally befuddled by recalling his time with Sudar. It sounded to me
like he was making it up.

Mark Juergensmeyer once asked me to track down all the shabd yoga
gurus I could for his book, Radhasoami Reality (Princeton University
Press, 1991), when I was his
research assistant at Berkeley. I had a great time in India in 1978
trying to locate many of these characters. I was especially
interested, of course, in finding Sudar Singh.

Was Twitchell a good guide? No, I didn't locate the guy, nor did
Gold, nor did Melton, nor did Talsky, nor did Juergensmeyer, nor did
Walsh, nor did any scholar of shabd yoga I have met.

Now since I mentioned this in the past (and have presently mentioned
it again), some are upset because they think I am critiquing
their religion......

Hmm, I would love to know about the latest research on Shiv Dayal
Singh or Kirpal Singh from someone in the field.

I think any person interested in the history of science would be
fascinated to know more about Newton (there really was an apple tree
in his garden, just outside of his office), or Darwin (Marx once
asked him to write a foreword to one of his books, but Darwin
refused), or Feynman (he used to practice astral travel with Lilly,
only to explain it away as hallucinations of the brain).

I also think that religionists would appreciate knowing more about
their founder's life story: 1. Geez, you mean that Joseph Smith of
Mormonism had
more than 50 wives! yep, read No Man Knows My History, which
provides the dates and the names. 2.  Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of
Christian Science, took morphine hits
to kill the pain before she died. No way.... Yea, the original
health advocate did the unthinkable. 3. None of Jesus' disciples
believed he was going to resurrect, and when they first heard the
reports they thought it was nonsense (hey, didn't he preach that
stuff before he died? Do a cross-check of the four gospels, Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John, and read what happens right after his death).
4. The two genealogies of Jesus provided in the New Testament have
completely different names for his grandfather (the virgin birth
story is only mentioned in two of the gospels, as well). 5. Eckankar's
Vairagi Masters, such as Sudar Singh, never existed (oops, went to
far..... )

I think it is intriguing to know that Kirpal Singh used to love to
drink coca cola (Robert Leverant, who wrote a brief pictorial
biography of him in the 70s, told me that the Kirpal had a good
supply right underneath the podium during one of his initiations).

I remember seeing Ajaib Singh drink down a campa cola (coca cola had
been outlawed in India at this time, to my great sadness i should
point out) right in front
of me and let out a decent burp (not great mind you; I could have
taught him some more advanced techniques to be sure)

I remember Faqir Chand telling me that even though he was in his
nineties and practicing celibacy, he could still have a nocturnal emission. The crowd didn't
really want to know the details, I think.

Now none of this may be interesting to people, but I know there are
a few. And because of this historical bent, I continue to find
Eckankar's early history a treasure trove of forgotten historical

The other day, for instance, an ex-Eckist sent me a letter that was
handwritten by Twitchell wherein he made the funny comment to
someone who was meditating more than two hours a day, "Hey, what are
you trying to do? Blow yourself up!" (paraphrased). 

Now I just wish I could tell you some stories about Sudar Singh.

Got any?

Oh by the way, please provide some documentation as well. Don't want
to spread any unsubstantiated things around the Net.

I know I am probably wasting my life away in the hopes of getting
those Sudar stories............ but what is a surfer to do?

As you know surfers just waste their lives in the water......


The wasted one

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.