Mike Durrigan on the Kirpal Statistic

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

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

I want to go back to the home base now.

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

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

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 

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 

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

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 

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.

Mike Durrigan

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

I want to go back to the home base now.