The Guru's EGO and other Fables--DAVID LANE's not so subtle REPLY to PART FOUR (section two) of TESSLER'S STUDY

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: April 1998

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

TESSLER writes:

     According to Pita Poot, soon after the creation of three committees
for the administration of Dera in late September 1947, Baba Sawan Singh
made an announcement in satsang saying that he was old and couldn't look
after all the work, explaining that this was why the committees were
created.  At this time he said that if anyone had to ask about spiritual
questions, he should go to Sardar Kirpal Singh, who would work according to
his orders.  One prominent satsangi asked if all the work of the Dera,
including its spiritual activities had been entrusted to S.B. Jagat Singh
(who had been made overall vice-president).  According to Pita Poot  Baba
Sawan Singh answered that Jagat Singh's position would be to look after the
management of the Dera.



Pita Poot is directly contradicted by TWO wills (one written several
months before Sawan Singh's death) SIGNED BY SAWAN SINGH and duly
"notarized," wherein Sawan EXPRESSLY states that Jagat Singh would
be the "Spiritual" Successor.

Was Pita Poot authored by Sawan Singh?


Okay, so we have "competing" accounts--one by Kirpal Singh (more or
less) and one by Sawan Singh directly (except that Kirpal's group
will question THAT).

Hmm, should we also question the authenticity of Pita Poot's



TESSLER writes:

     After settling various family affairs, including a property will, of
which Kirpal Singh was a signatory, Hazur proceeded to Amritsar near the
end of September.  Prior to his departure Kirpal Singh asked permission to
accompany Hazur to Amritsar.  Baba Sawan Singh, however, asked him to stay
on at Dera and look after the Muslims and others seeking the protection of
the facility during the partition crisis.  Hazur also ordered the other
administrators to stay at Dera at this time.
     In fact, the very evening of Baba Sawan Singh's departure, an event
occurred in which Kirpal Singh played an important role in preventing an
Akali attack on a group of Muslims leaving the Dera.
      At Amritsar on Saturday October 4, 1947,  Baba Sawan Singh was given
a transfusion with blood of the wrong type.  Radha Krishna Khanna
     "It so happened that one of the satsangis, who was a medical student,
was anxious that if there was any transfusion of blood to be given to the
Master as the doctors there suggested, it should be his blood.  When his
blood was tested, it did not quite match with the Master's and medically,
it was not the proper blood to be given.  But somehow he got round one of
the female sevadars and persuaded her into agreeing that his blood be
given.  Being a medical student, he told her, 'Well, there is not much of a
difference.'"37 [The Ocean of Grace Divine.   editor Bhadra Sena,  Delhi,
1976,  p.26]
     The transfusion was given and the effect on Hazur was almost fatal,
though by the next morning he was recovering well.



I personally love these type of stories because they illustrate how
"human" the gurus are. If these gurus were indeed all-knowing (or
just straight up), they would have known the blood type was bad
and saved both the disciple and the guru a lot of pain (the
disciple's guilt pain and the guru's bodily pain).

Of course that doesn't happen.... Why? There is a mystical plan
for the screw-up..... Sure.


TESSLER writes:

   One of those present in Amritsar at this time was Gurbaksh Singh
Randhir, (not to be confused with Gurbax Singh Randhir - subject of
Appendix A), the son of Harnam Singh, who was one of Hazur's earliest
initiates and a associate of Kirpal Singh at Lahore in both the satsang and
the civil service.  They had retired at the same time, and Harnam Singh had
taken a house next to Kirpal Singh at Beas.  Gurbaksh Singh was among those
tested for blood compatibility, and had been sent to Amritsar as a blood
     Gurbaksh Singh Randhir recalls the events:
    "It was decided that this humble fellow would be the one whose blood
should be given.  So, it was a privilege that at night, say 10:30 or 11:00
p.m., the Master Himself (Kirpal Singh) came to my house at Beas and
knocked at the door and said, 'Harnam Singh, come down.  Your son has been
selected for giving a blood transfusion for the Master at Amritsar.  The
Master has deputed me to get your permission.'
     "My father started weeping.  'Look here, my son is Master's son.  It
is a privilege if he gives there.  I don't mind.'
     "So, the next day I was taken to Amritsar.  I was selected by the
Master, but some beloved Satsangis who were after serving the Master got
themselves passed and got myself failed.  They transferred their own blood.
It was because of that, that there was trouble.  They gave their blood
instead of the man who had been chosen, who had been passed by the doctor.



Here's the great rumor mill again--that pernicious intrigue that
goes on in the "inner" circle which excludes the "good" disciples.

Geez, Sawan Singh really knows how to attract the "gems"... huh?

Of course, you can also read this story in reverse:

an unsubstantiated way to rip into Sawan's close advisors (to make
them look bad) while the really "good" disciples are placed far

Hey, can't this fudging guru just tell these people to act straight
and honest with one another?

Can't he (the all knowing one) point out the Obvious?

Or is the obvious this:

human, all too human....

And I am NOT talking about the disciples, but the guru.

These stories merely illustrate the pathetic nature of guru/disciple
relationships (if true), where the guru comes off as a chump.

Of course, his chumpiness has a divine purport....



TESSLER writes:

     "Throughout the night the Great Master was in trouble.  When I came
back the doctor told me, 'Well, they have played the trick.'
     "I was just by the side of the bed of the Great Master throughout the
night.  I was there, Bibi Lajo was there and Dr. Rhada Singh was there.  In
the dead of the night I got hold of a diary just under the pillow of the
Master.  It was written in there: 'I will be poisoned on such and such a
date, but by the morning at 8:00 a.m. I will be all right.  It is only
night that we have to pass.'
     "I told this to Bibi Lajo and she is a witness.  Early morning at 8:00
a.m. Bibi Lajo came.  Master Sawan Singh was all right, hale and hearty.
He brushed His teeth, tied His turban, had His tea and said, 'Now sing some
song, sing some shabd.'  So this was the miracle which I saw with my own
eyes."38 [Ruhani Newsletter. Sept.-Oct., 1975,  pp. 53-54]
      Radha Krishna Khanna discusses the same event:
      "I was very angry over all this. I was thinking that we should
complain to the Master that it was due to this sevadar that the wrong blood
was given.  But Maharaj Kirpal Singh said, 'Well, forgive her. Now he has
recovered.  Whatever had to happen, has happened.'"39
[The Ocean of Grace Divine.  Ibid.  p. 26



Oh, I love these stories.... First, how did this "sevadar" get
Sawan's diary? Moreover, who gave him the right to read such a

I thought diaries were personal, especially a guru's?

Do we have no ethics in these circles (in or out)?

Of course, from a human perspective it all makes sense....

What we get in these stories is this:

Vying disciples wanting "access" to the inner circle of power (closer to
the guru, closer to the power base) and willing to "rip", "gossip"
"criticize" anyone who gets in their way.

Don't get me wrong, this cuts both ways and I see the whole sevadar
scene to be more or less a struggle for social status.

I guess nobody told the diary reader that it wasn't polite or
ethical to read a private diary.....

I understand it, though.

Humanness is the great lesson here, not mystical conspiracies.

Tessler is doing us a wonderful favor by illustrating it by
his attempts to show a counter history.

I think these disciples need a bit of Rodney King:

"Can't we all just get along."

Truly pathetic how Sawan can allow such petty intrigue (if true).

Or, perhaps he couldn't help it because he was after all:

human, all too human.


TESSLER writes:

      The female sevadar who accepted the blood of the young medical
student was none other than Bibi Lajo.
     Bibi Lajwanti, otherwise known as Bibi Lajo, spent forty years in the
Dera.  A tall women with a noble and intelligent face, she first came to
Dera with her family around 1910 as a child, and spent the majority of her
years at Dera in the personal service of Baba Sawan Singh, as one of
several primary female attendants.  She also authored a Punjabi book of
stories of Hazur titled Sakhya. It is an interesting fact that it is
difficult, verging on impossible, to find references to her in the Beas
literature, other than a single photo on page 167 of Glimpses of the Great
Master.  Essentially, she has been erased from Dera histories of the
period.  On the other hand there are dozens of references to Bibi Ralli,
who also served Hazur closely from an early period in his ministry.  There
may be several reasons for this.  On the one hand, after the passing of
Baba Sawan Singh, Bibi Ralli remained at Dera in the service of S.B. Jagat
Singh, whereas Bibi Lajo left and was associated with Sant Kirpal Singh
throughout his ministry, though she retained connections to Beas.   Her
account of several experiences with Kirpal Singh during his discipleship,
recorded about 1975, is the lead article in the book, The Ocean of Grace
        Raj Kumari Rajput, Bibi Lajo's close aide from the early fifties
right up to her passing, now lives in Minneapolis.  She was initiated by
Sant Kirpal Singh in 1956.  Discussions with her during the writing of this
paper provided the information on Bibi Lajo's view of events. Furthermore,
Mrs. Rajput has reviewed and approved every comment attributed to Bibi Lajo
as her accurate recollection of the latter's remberembrances.
     According to Mrs. Rajput, Bibi Lajo also mentioned that there were
tensions between the principal female sevadars that apparently influenced
some of the politics.  Despite her being stricken from Beas literature
describing Hazur's household, Bibi Lajwanti was later a periodic visitor at
Dera on the invitation of Charan Singh, to whom she had been a kind of
aunt.  She spent her last months at Dera and was cremated there after her
passing in the early eighties.]



This is a really bizarre way of trying to substantiate an argument
by appeal to authority.... If we are going to succumb to this type
of reasoning (one of the classic fallacies taught to incoming
freshmen in Critical Thinking Courses), then we can just provide
a witness list on each side: Ruhani's and Beas'.

If we do precisely this list, guess who wins?

Beas, hands down.

Indeed, it kicks Ruhani's butt in this regard.

But is this really the way we should argue about history?

Nope, we should instead see if the "empirical" facts or issues
HOLD up under scrutiny (even if the people do not).

Thus, the real question is NOT who said what, but whether or
not we can actually VERIFY these stories from NEUTRAL sources.

Of course, each side has a vested interest and in those VERY VESTS
we begin to see what is really at work here:

Guru Politics.

My guru is right because I "believe" him.... not necessarily because
he is telling the unvarnished truth.

Again, don't get me wrong: this cuts both ways.

But that is exactly what I was trying to get across:

These guru succession narratives reveal MORE about the motives of
those who provide them than about the apparent objective history
they claim to portray.

And, to top it off, this woman sevadar (who apparently sides with
Kirpal--given Tessler's not so subtle implications) goes BACK to the

Geez, what nice loyalty....

Yea, I know the Lakers are the right team, but

take me back to the Bulls arena.....

Geez, I know Kirpal is the right successor (those Beas guys are
posers), but when I get close to dying make certain I go back to
the "poser's" tent?

In any case, I enjoy these stories by Tessler, but that is what
they remain:

acstories buttressed by appeals to authority, provided that those
authorities don't contradict Kirpal Singh.

Which, of course, is yet another way of saying:

Hey, the WILLS are suspect (written by Sawan Singh), hey the
family is suspect (they agree with the WILLS), but Whatever
Kirpal Singh says we will NOT suspect....

This has to be silliness incarnated.....

Or, better yet:

"My guru is right and all others be questioned."

I would be much more impressed if it were reverse:

Question MY GURU FIRST......


TESSLER writes:

     That day a medicine was prescribed that could not be obtained in Amritsar, so several people were sent by car to Jullundur.  At this time Bibi Hardevi was ordered by Hazur to travel in the same car and to bring That day a medicine was prescribed that could not be obtained in Amritsar, so several people were sent by car to Jullundur.  At this time
Bibi Hardevi was ordered by Hazur to travel in the same car and to bring
back Kirpal Singh, commenting that he was required for some urgent work.
Kirpal Singh arrived late that night and remained with Hazur for the rest
of Hazur's stay in Amritsar.
      Kirpal Singh described the events in his first publication after the
passing of Hazur:
     "His health improved a little at Amritsar but it became worse on 4th
October, 1947.  On the 5th October1947, Hazur sent for me from Beas.  In a
week's time his condition was again better.
     "On the morning of 12th October1947, at 7 o'clock He called me.  When
I was present in His august presence, He said, 'Kirpal Singh!  I have
allotted all other work but have not entrusted my task of Naam initiation
and spritualiritual work to anyone.  That I confer to you today so that this holy
and sacred Science may flourish.'
     "Hearing this my eyes were filled with tears, and afflicted as I was,
I beseeched: 'Hazur!  The peace and security that I have in sitting at thy
feet here cannot be had in higher planes...'  My heart was filled with
anguish, I could not speak any more and sat staring -- Hazur encouraging
and caressing me all the time."40 [A  Brief Life Sketch of Hazur Baba Sawan
Singh Ji Maharaj. Kirpal Singh, Ruhani Satsang, Delhi, 1949, p.11.  The
reference to, "all other work," refers to the plan drawn up in
mid-September 1947 by Sawan Singh in consultation with other Dera
principles for the administration of the Dera. This was formalized in a
document dated September 24, 1947.  Sardar Bahadur Jagat Singh was
designated Vice-President of the Managing Committee.  Kirpal Singh was put
in charge of satsang (spiritual discourses) with Gulab Singh as his



Nice story, but then again Kirpal Singh does like to talk about
himself a lot, doesn't he?

Do we have some really nice documentation behind this transference?

Do we have any evidence (comparable to a NEUTRAL source) which
backs up Kirpal's singular claim?


We get instead lots of stories.

Beas too has lots of stories, but it has got something instead:

SAWAN SINGH issuing not one, but TWO wills (look at the first one
wherein Sawan Singh univocally that he will appoint his spiritual
successor BY A WILL). These are notarized and signed by Sawan
Singh himself.

What do we have from Kirpal Singh?

Kirpal Singh talking about whom???? HIMSELF.

This is guru rhetoric at its zenith.

When one lacks evidence, then start making claims for one's

Go back to your Gurmat Sidhant story, it is classic Kirpal:

claim humility but make absolutely certain that everyone
knows that you wrote some impressive text.

The ego in this guy has no limits, apparently.

Now, I realize that Tessler is going to get upset by me (some
low scum bag researcher) calling Kirpal Singh an egotist, but
it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Kirpal Singh is
fond of talking about himself and his unique status within Sawan's
mind and heart.....

Remember old Lao Tzu: those who know, don't say; those who don't
know, speak a LOT.

P.S. Let's for argument's sake accept Kirpal Singh's version

What do we get?

A guru--namely Sawan Singh--who will CONSCIOUSLY deceive his family,
his friends, his associates, and over 90% of his followers by
falsing misleading them into believing that Jagat Singh was his
real successor when, in fact, it was really Kirpal Singh.

What does this tell us about Sawan Singh, who would go to such
lengths as to deceive practically EVERYONE in his family, and the
vast majority of his following?

It tells us two things, each depending on your viewpoint:

1. The KAL forces really like to fuck with people after a guru dies
(this is the "mystical" explanation); or

2. These gurus really are responsible for misleading people who are
most prone to deception.

Of course, there is the third option:

Kirpal Singh is an egotist (read him closely) and Sawan Singh
really did appoint Jagat Singh and wrote those TWO wills in order
to MINIMIZE the confusion.

In every case, however, one thing seems very obvious to me:


more human than

Peyton Place.....

At least Soap Operas don't claim to be Divine.


TESSLER writes:

     Kirpal Singh's grief was born of the realization that this event
implied the imminent passing of his Guru.  In a talk given on April 2,
1959, Kirpal Singh described his reaction in this way:
      "I began to weep profusely -- what son wants his father to die!  He
said, 'Do not worry, you have a lot of work ahead of you.'"41 [Sat Sandesh.
Feb./Mar., 1985,  p. 21] Pita Poot tells us that both Bibi Hardevi and
Bibi Ralli were in the room during this meeting.



Hey, I thought he knew for years his guru was going to die on such
and such a date?

OR, is it prophecy AFTER the fact?

Just biting.


TESSLER writes:

     Darshan Singh, then in service in Delhi, travelled to Amritsar in
mid-October on the suggestion of his father, Kirpal Singh, in order to be
near Hazur.  He tells us in his autobiographical account:
     "It was at this trip in October that my father first told me that
Hazur had entrusted to him the responsibility of spiritual initiation and
satsang work after the great Master would leave his body.
      "My Father said, 'I have earnestly and fervently pleaded with him not
to leave us.  I have entreated him to stay on among us and said I would
dance to whatever tune pleases him.  But Hazur had been firm, saying that
he was bound not so much by the prayers of his disciples as by the wishes
of his own Master, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj.'"42 [Love Has Only A
Beginning.  - Autobiography of Darshan Singh.  SK Publications, Delhi,
India, 1996,  p. 72]

     Daryai Lal Kapur and Charan Singh add a contradictory note to this
story.   In Heaven on Earth  Kapur mentions that in the first week of
October, Charan Singh arrived at Dera on the way to Amritsar.  Kapur writes
that Charan Singh found that with the exception of Jagat Singh "all of the
Dera administrators were in Amritsar on one excuse or another."43 [Heaven
on Earth. Daryai Lal Kapur, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Punjab, 1986 pp.
246-247] Kapur further says that Baba Sawan Singh's response on hearing all
this from Charan Singh, was to state with tears in his eyes that only Jagat
Singh had obeyed him.  Charan Singh himself tells this same story and
specifically mentions Kirpal Singh's name among those he noted to be
absent.44 [Spiritual Heritage. Radha Soami Satsang, Beas, Punjab, 1983] As
mentioned, Kirpal Singh was ordered by Hazur to remain at Dera to help
Muslim immigrants, which he did.  Only when he was ordered by Hazur to come
to Amritsar did he do so.



Nice to see you "doubt" Kirpal Singh... just teasing.

Don't you see your logic here?

You consistently "doubt" the Beas version, but consistently
(always?) believe Kirpal's version.....

Why? Is it really because you have looked at all the facts

Or is it rather because you are a follower of Kirpal Singh and have
an allegiance with him?

My point is simple:

You consistently fail to "doubt" Kirpal Singh, though if you were to
be consistent in your methodology that would be precisely what you
should do.

Moreover, why is it that Kirpal is always telling the truth and the
"other" guys are not?

I know why--it is because of your allegiance.

I understand that, but that is exactly why your argument is not
historical but theological.

Now, you may say the same towards me:

Hey Lane is never doubting the Beas version because he sides with


I think the BEAS version is itself HUMAN....

Where you and I differ is that I much more willing to concede the
obvious about Beas and about Ruhani and about Soami Bagh:

HUMAN POLITICS disguised as Divine imperatives.

Yes, sometimes the humanness is touching and rare and beautiful;
more often it is petty, scandalous, and backbiting....

But it is human all the same.

You see mystical depth in Kirpal's self-proclamations.

I see self-interested ego statements. 

In other words, where you see a divine cause,

I see a human one.


where you will see humanness only in those gurus who contradict your
Kirpal Singh.

Get my drift?
Moreover, you have this wonderful tendency to think that a story by
Kirpal Singh somehow qualifies as a factual statement, whereas if
Beas does the same it is suspect.

Oh the joys of guru rhetoric.


TESSLER writes:

   Following events in Amritsar, Kirpal Singh's talks with Hazur concerned
the future, "After this whenever I had the honour to be in seclusion with
Hazur, He talked about the interior affairs of Dera and instructed me how
to act when he departed for ever."45 [A Brief Life Sketch of Hazur Baba
Sawan Singh Ji.  Ibid.  p. 11]



Would have been really helpful if Sawan Singh would have told
EVERYbody else, huh?

Instead he draws up TWO wills and says Jagat Singh is going to be
his spiritual successor.

Oh, I see, this is the Kal test performed on those hapless fools
(like Sawan's whole family) that don't know that Kirpal is the real
guy and Jagat simply a poser to keep the property in tact.

Geez, Kirpal's version of events makes Sawan Singh look like a
complete asshole.

Hmm, don't like that word......

But that is exactly what it looks like (from this lowly human
perspective), given Kirpal's narrative, when the "Great" Master
cannot have the chutzpah to be HONEST and CLEAR.

Given his alleged NON-authorship of Gurmat Sidhant, to his
appointment of a stand-in (but ultimately phony) guru, to his
90% deception rate (oh those hapless initiates who can't tell
a real guru from a phony one), to his not so nice treatment of his
own blood family (yea, give them property, but don't give them
the truth).

Yes, Kirpal Singh's portrait of Sawan Singh is exactly that:

A dishonest asshole.

Of course, those are harsh words, but what else can we say, Neil,

except: Oh, that's the way of the Mystic Saints and the Kal Power.

Naturally, my twist is also not liked by EITHER camp:

Sawan Singh was human and made both good and bad decisions as just
such a human.

However, I find absolutely nothing appealing (or morally uplifting)
about Kirpal's description of Sawan Singh (if true).

I find it morally repugnant and reflects badly on both:

one is an egotist and the other a fully conscious liar.....

If the Beas version is true, of course, Kirpal Singh is the liar
and the egotist and Sawan Singh merely human.


TESSLER writes:

     In November 1947, Kirpal Singh presented to Baba Sawan Singh his
concept for 'Ruhani Satsang,' a format for presenting Sant Mat outside of
the confines of Beas.  On many occasions Kirpal Singh stated the Ruhani
Satsang was approved by Hazur during his lifetime.  In one place he even
tells us that Baba Sawan Singh personally coined the name for the future
organization.  "The name 'RUHANI SATSANG'...was suggested by His Holy
Self..." 46 [Message on the death anniversary of Hazur Baba Sawan Singh.
Kirpal Singh, April 2, 1955]
     In a later talk Kirpal Singh remarked:  "The Sacred Forum of Ruhani
Satsang was approved by Hazur and under His explicit orders it came into
existence some fourteen years ago."47 [Circular 22, Talk delivered by
Kirpal Singh on July 26, 1962]



Again more of what Kirpal Singh claims (he is lest we forget talking
about himself again and his version of events).

I like this Ruhani idea, but why is the founder of this "sacred"
forum indulging in backbiting those who are merely mortal?

Or is it that Kirpal Singh is as human as those he is criticizing?


TESSLER writes:

     Munshi Ram writes in his diary note for Feb.17th 1948: "The pull of
Huzur's consciousness is turning inward, and His attention comes out very
rarely.  He always says that whatever Satguru is doing is for His good; but
sometimes He also says that now His mind does not want to come into this
world."48 [With The Three Masters.  RS Satsang Beas, 1967, Vol. 2, p. 26.]
     According to Pita Poot  in early March of 1948 one morning Baba Sawan
Singh sent his servant Gandhi to bring Kirpal Singh and Bibi Hardevi.  Upon
their meeting Hazur said that everyday Kirpal Singh was begging him to
stay, but today the decision would be made and he could try his hardest.
Then Sawan Singh had Kirpal Singh sit in Bhajan (meditation) and Hazur also
went inside.  In his meditation Kirpal Singh came to a congregation of
Masters of the lineage.  Pleading on behalf of the sangat, he begged them
not to take Hazur.  All agreed, but Baba Jaimal Singh said, 'No, Babu Ji
cannot stay."  (Babu Ji was the term with which Jaimal Singh addressed
Sawan Singh.) When they came out of meditation Baba Sawan Singh said to
Kirpal Singh that he had now seen for himself that Baba Ji would not allow
him to stay longer.



Again, a nice mystical story without any empirical evidence
whatsoever, except that we have Madam Hardevi showing up in the

Hey, wait a second, isn't she the same woman who set up that most
wonderful of all gurus, Thakar Singh (you know, the guy who blindfolds
kids, beats women, and has sex with tens upon tens of hapless
American females? You know, the number one scum bag guru on the 

Hmm, I guess Kirpal Singh really picked a winner with her, huh?

Don't like my cutting remarks?

Hey, this is Kirpal's WHOLE narrative structure--rip the inner
circle for their spiritual bankruptcy.

But Hardevi?

She allowed--by her own choosing--the absolute WORST guru in Sant
Mat history........

Now, there is a way out of this mystical weirdness.

ALL of these gurus--even the good ones--have clay feet and can make
human mistakes from time to time.

Otherwise, this mystical justification stuff simply runs out of 
steam and logic force.


E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.