Kirpal Singh Apologizes to Charan Singh: How to Rationalize A Guru's Screw Ups--DAVID LANE REPLIES TO Part Six of Tessler's study on SUCCESSION

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:

     In January 1952, Kirpal Singh allegedly61 wrote a private letter to an
initiate of Baba Sawan Singh.  The letter stated that the very recent
incumbent of the guruship at Beas, Charan Singh, (eldest grandson of Baba
Sawan Singh), had put up money and made a written agreement for the
transfer of the Beas guruship to his nephew after a lapse of two or three
years.  The nephew was the grandson of Sardar Bachint Singh (eldest son of
Baba Sawan Singh).



Boy, for a letter that was "allegedly" by Kirpal Singh, you seem to
go to great lengths to explain it. However, you seem to have made a
fundamental mistake here in claiming that Charan Singh was somehow
going to bequeath the Beas guruship to his "nephew", the grandson of
Bachint Singh.

I don't see why you claim that Bachint Singh's grandson would be
Charan's nephew.

Do you know what the definition of a nephew is, Neil?


"The son of one's brother or sister, or of one's brother-in-law or

Bachint Singh was Charan's UNCLE and therefore Bachint Singh's
grandson would be Charan's COUSIN, not Nephew.

Did you not know this?

Thus, you have made a fundamental mistake by claiming that Bachint
Singh's (who was Harbans' brother) grandson would be Charan's

You aren't trying to pull a fast one here, are you Neil?


TESSLER writes:

  The man to whom this letter was reportedly written,
Prem Singh Bhandari, was affiliated with Beas and apparently forwarded the
letter to Dera.  Beas attorneys threatened a defamation suit and demanded
an apology from Kirpal Singh.  The apology was forthcoming along with a
solemn agreement made by Charan Singh that the apology would not be made
public. [61 - Though the records of Kirpal Singh's important private
correspondence covers the entire period of his guruship, there is no copy
of this letter to be found and Beas has never produced a copy of the signed

     Later, with the publication of Firdaus Barin Urf Roo-Zamin by Daryai
Lal Kapur (Urdu language, R.S. Beas, 1968) this solemn agreement was broken
and the apology was published.  Copies of the apology were then made
available to Radha Soami Beas representatives worldwide.  The apology was
used thereafter by Beas representatives in order to indicate that Kirpal
Singh had admitted making a false statement.  Although the original letter
has never been seen, we are fortunate that Kirpal Singh's apology restated
the allegation that Charan Singh had attempted to arrange his early
     This incident, unknown to a majority of initiates, is a microcosm for
highlighting a number of issues of succession and is most interesting to
review in the light of posterity as we shall see.
   Lane contends that Charan Singh, prompted by Radha Krishna Khanna,
LL.B., threatened a defamation suit, but in fact, R. K. Khanna, a close
disciple and legal adviser to Baba Sawan Singh, acted on behalf of Kirpal
Singh in communicating with Charan Singh's lawyers.



Nope. I talked directly with Radha Krishna Khanna on this matter in
his home in Delhi in 1978. You may not remember this, but Khanna
used to be associated with the Dera during the early 1950s. He was
the one who gave legal advice to Charan; indeed, he was a legal
mentor to Charan shortly after his law training.



     In another reference Lane says, "Since Kirpal Singh consented to
apologize for his misinformed letter, his outright criticisms of the
succession at Dera lessened." Here Lane makes several assumptions: most
importantly that the letter was indeed "misinformed."  Are Lane's
assumptions based on the fact that Kirpal Singh did not choose to defend
himself in court but instead submitted the apology that had been demanded?



Try reading the apology. Kirpal Singh himself says the information
was wrong that he wrote to Bhandari (that's why he is apologizing).

The "misinformation" is based on Kirpal's OWN words.

As for "defending" himself in court, if Kirpal was telling the truth
then he could have easily won (truth is always a great defense, lest
we forget).

But Kirpal Singh signed an apology and said he wished to be forgiven
for the misinformation.

He said it, Neil.

Your own guru apologized.

Hmm, I can see it now: there is a "mystical" reason behind it.

The human explanation--that Kirpal was mistaken--is never quite
sufficient, huh?

Unless of course, we are talking about those anti-Kirpal guys....

Then it is always human.


TESSLER writes:

Is it because he assumes that the content of the letter simply could not
have been factual since it casts doubt on the integrity of the Beas guru,
ie; Lane's guru?



No, I did something really absurd: I read KIRPAL'S APOLOGY and that
is Precisely WHAT KIRPAL SAID.... that he (Kirpal) was mistaken and
apologized for it.

Hmm, I guess I should have known better than to take Kirpal's words
at face value.

That is, an apology is not an apology if Kirpal issues it but rather
some mystical ploy to convey some higher meaning.

But once again the fact remains that KIRPAL SINGH APOLOGIZED to
Charan Singh for his misiformation and asked for forgiveness in
the matter.

You can try to get around the obvious (that is precisely what you
are trying to do here, since it seems to me that you can't accept
your guru making a MIS-take--even though he says he did)....

As for Charan Singh's mastership, I have long ago done something
more radical:

I have fully accepted his humanness.

You are the one trying to resurrect the divine, even in the midst of
apologies to the contrary.



  In either case, Lane has passed lightly over one of the
most remarkable incidents in the Beas succession controversy, only
lingering long enough to echo the Beas interpretation of the event.



Hmm, Kirpal is the guy who apologized, not vice versa.



        Lane's statement that Kirpal Singh's "outright criticism's"
lessened is not substantiated by any evidence that Kirpal Singh had been
criticizing Beas.  There is, in fact, no document, published by Kirpal
Singh in his lifetime, where he criticized the gurus or institutions of
Dera Beas.



This, as you surely know, is both untrue and misleading.

Kirpal Singh has a number of times criticized Beas (even using his
selective quotes from Sawan to do so). Just re-read what he says
about Beas not have the "charging" in the five names.

What's that, Neil, but a precise criticism of Beas?

Moreover, please tell me why Kirpal repeatedly rips into Sawan's

That's NOT a criticism?

Kirpal has repeatedly criticized Beas and he has done it in a number
of ways--indeed, his very first book on Sawan Singh is a criticism
of Beas.

Try re-reading your Kirpal.

It doesn't tak a rocket scientist to realize that he thinks ill of
Sawan's inner circle, Sawan's family, the institution at Beas, and
the "lack" of juice among the succeeding gurus.

That's surely his right, but for you to claim he hasn't is simply
inaccurate and misleading.

Geez, this is a bald face deception on your part.

TESSLER writes:

What is more, if Kirpal Singh had wished to do damage, he could
have printed and circulated the letter rather than send it privately to one
associated with Beas.



Lest you forget, sending one letter out that is erroneous is itself
a criticism and is itself an attempt to sway one's opinion about
Beas and its gurus.

Your lame defense here is also not supported by Kirpal's printed

Just read Kirpal's selected "quotes" wherein he consistently rips
into Beas and its cliique.

I think that's fair game, but to deny it like you are doing here is
deceptive and, of course, not true.


TESSLER writes:

Indeed, it is ironic that the circulation of the
offending letter was eventually undertaken by the Dera administration
itself, despite their agreement not to publish it.



But wait, you just said a few paragraphs ago that nobody has seen
Kirpal's offending letter, huh?

What did Beas circulate?

Kirpal's APOLOGY.


Because they knew that if Kirpal was willing to write down such
"misinformations" then he was quite likely to circulate them
verbally (which he did).               

Thus, Charan wanted to the matter publicly aired that Kirpal had
apologized for such gossip and misinformations.

Sorry, Neil, but it is a matter of public record that KIRPAL SINGH

Your ideological spin is exactly that: spinning...............


TESSLER writes:

This was in the form of
the apology, which restates the letter's allegations verbatim.

      Could Kirpal Singh have written this letter?



Nice rhetorical question.

So if he didn't Neil, then Kirpal is apologizing for something he
didn't write, huh?

Geez, let's be simple on our readers:

Kirpal did write the letter and yes Kirpal did apologize.

See how simple it is?


TESSLER writes:

If he did, what might
have been his motives? 



Could be what he said in his apology....

What was that?

That he based his letter on MISINFORMATION.

Or, succintly put, Kirpal Singh's motives were to rip into Beas by
circulating a rumor that he later found had no proof. Thus, Kirpal

It is not vice versa, Neil.


TESSLER writes:

 Let us briefly review some of the features of
Kirpal Singh's life in order to create a context for analysing the letter
and its aftermath.



Which, of course, is another way of saying:

Let's find a way to rationalize it away since I don't dig the fact
that my guru apologized to Charan Singh.

Gurus don't make mistakes, right?

Well, Kirpal Singh did (and after he was the "Master").

So much for "perfection."

Now, I realize that you will see some truly hidden mystical pretext
to all of this.

Gosh, by now I would be disappointed if you didn't see some
underlying conspiracy at work.


TESSLER writes:

  Kirpal Singh's references to his childhood and youth,
well corroborated by various family members, tell of his prophetic
abilities and intellectual prowess from an early age.



"Well corrobarated"?

Nice spin, but no proof.... just more stories, provided of course by
those with a vested interest.

Prophetic abilities?

Oh I see where you are going..... He knew in the future that he was
going to screw up and apologize for it, but there was really a
mystical reason for it.

Well, if that is your working theory Neil, then please explain why
Kirpal had Madam Hardevi as an associate or why Kirpal even allowed
such a scum bag as Thakar Singh to emerge as a would-be successor?

Didn't Kirpal also know that in the future one of his disciples
would blindfold kids and beat women in his name as well?

This prophetic legitimation of Kirpal's apology has no legs.....

Take it to the hospital.


TESSLER writes:

In 1917,  Kirpal
Singh, following a blessing by his father, began having regular visions of
Hazur Baba Sawan Singh, whom he took to be Guru Nanak, in his meditation as
well as with open eyes.  "My Master began to appear to me when I sat in
meditation or when I was doing something."62 [Sat Sandesh. July 1975, p. 6]
Kirpal Singh tells a remarkable story from 1921 of detecting a disturbance
in his concentration which he traced to an orderly who had gossiped that
evening when preparing his food.63



What? Come again?

And this comes from the very guy who gossips consistently?

Read Kirpal Singh closely: he gossips about all and sundry (from
Twitchell to Charan to Sawan's inner circle).

Gossip, lest you forget, is talking behind somebody's back in a
critical way.....

Read HEART TO HEART TALKS, or better yet just read all your
pertinent quotes from Kirpal.

Gossip par excellence.

And, of course, here we have Kirpal once again "blaming" somebody
ELSE for his lack of concentration.

Geez, the humility of this guy is amazing!


TESSLER writes:

[Kirpal Singh periodically recounted
some of the stories of his remarkable youth and discipleship and these can
be found scattered throughout his published talks.



Like I said before many times, Kirpal Singh is surely fond of
talking about himself...................... a lot.


TESSLER writes:

Many independent
accounts by members of his family and acquaintances can also be found in
various publications.



Independent accounts by member of "his" family?

Isn't this a bit oxymoronic?


TESSLER writes:

Some of the most interesting are in The Ocean of Grace Divine. Delhi, 1977, and the first several issues of Ruhani Newsletter (Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission,1975).  This story is found in the brochure: Spiritual Aspect of the Vegetarian Diet.]
     In 1924, Kirpal Singh met and was initiated by Hazur Baba Sawan Singh
Ji, who gave him hints of his eventual destiny from their earliest
meetings64 ["'All right, now, you'll have to look after this Dera; go on
with it.  Those who come, you'll look after them.'  These were the words he
expressed, the very first time." Sat Sandesh. July 1975,  p. 8], and



Once again, Kirpal talking about himself by using selected quotes
from Sawan (that he alone is privy to).



requested him to meditate six hours minimum daily, a schedule he kept and
exceeded throughout his discipleship, over and above his family and
responsible civil service position.



i love these stories about how so and so meditated 6 plus hours and
as you said "exceeded".....

How do "you" know?

Was there a stop watch or something?

Oh, I get it:

Kirpal Singh said it.

Once again, Kirpal being humble about how "little" he meditates.

Or, you might say, hey Darshan, his son, said so.

Which, of course, repeats my original question:

Did he watch him? Did he have a stop watch?

YOu get the drift.

Hagiography pure and simple and all put out there by that most
humble of gurus, Kirpal Singh.

You know, the guy who never talks about himself or his own


TESSLER writes:

In the year 1927 he had a vision of
the date and manner of Hazur's passing which he recounted in a poem.



Again, how do we know Kirpal had this vision?

He tells us so.....

Oh, and I thought one was supposed to keep one's spiritual visions



     Baba Sawan Singh showered him with numerous gifts including a
meditation shawl given him by Baba Jaimal Singh, articles of clothing, as
well as the opportunity to copy his complete correspondence with Baba
Jaimal Singh.68 [On the subject of Baba Jaimal Singh's letters to Baba
Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh tells us, "I've got copies of those original
letters with me, true copies which our Master gave to me....  I kept copies
with me and returned them in a casket, a very beautiful casket, to the
Master.  And He said, 'Here is the man who can repeat my words.'  But the
people said, 'What are you doing?'  That very virtue becomes sin in their
eyes..." (Heart to Heart Talks. Vol. 2, p. 154)
     Charan Singh in his forward to Spiritual Letters, the Beas translation
of Baba Jaimal Singh's correspondence with Sawan Singh is apparently
describing the same "casket" when he tells us, "It was early in 1948 when
Huzur Maharaj Ji called me to His sick-bed and handed me a silk lined jewel
chest.  Before parting with it, Maharaj Ji pressed it against His bosom and
then, with His eyes moistened with two big pearl-like drops, kissed it with
devotion and humility, for it contained the letters which His dearly
beloved Satguru had written to Him from time to time."
     Apparently Baba Sawan Singh had loaned him the letters to review and
copy, which Kirpal Singh had later returned in the casket.



Loaned to whom?

Charan says Sawan gave him the letters as an heirloom.


TESSLER writes:

     Following the passing of his Master, Kirpal Singh retreated to the
region of Rishikesh where for five months he meditated over sixteen hours



Hmm, did they stop watch the meditation sittings or is Kirpal once
again telling us how much he meditated?


TESSLER writes:

Knowing that Prem Singh Bhandari was associated with Beas, why would Kirpal Singh write this letter?  Could he not perceive the potential
consequences?  In 1968, a tract named Truth Triumphant was privately
published by several initiates of Baba Sawan Singh affliated with Ruhani
Satsang, to address some of the drastic polemic penned by Daryai Lal Kapur.
In it the writers assert that the information put forward in the letter,
that Charan Singh was attempting to abdicate from the guruship at Beas, had
been "leaked out from Dera" but that the sources "were unwilling to own it
openly."  This leads us to a question;  what if the letter's contents were
true, a possibility Lane seems never to have considered?



Hmm, so Kirpal shouldn't have apologized, right?

But he did and Kirpal event went so far as to say it was based on
misinformation and he asked for forgiveness on the matter.

Now you want me to discount Kirpal's apology (there is some mystical
ploy at work here..... hmm, seems like there is always a mystical
ploy at work whenever Kirpal shows up. Simple facts are never simple
with him, huh?).

Okay, let us see what this leads to.

I have a guess (maybe I am prophetic as well!), though:

You will try to find some "mystical" (which in your case should
translate as: "not documented") excuse for Kirpal's apology.

Will my prophecy turn out to be true?


TESSLER writes:

     In the first instance, it becomes very clear that Charan Singh had no
idea in the lifetime of S.B. Jagat Singh, that he would be selected as his
successor.  He realized his position only after  arriving at Dera Beas
during the cremation of his predecessor, October 23, 1951, when various
individuals began to approach him and bow at his feet.  Soon he was
directly informed that he had been named Jagat Singh's successor in his
last will.  The shock all but tore him apart.
      His feelings were recorded in a personal diary:  "I hardly knew what
to do.  I never felt so bad and so ashamed as I felt then.  I was feeling
as if I had committed some heinous crime of my life and I had been punished
with the sentence of death and people have just surrounded me to see my
execution.  It was terrible for me to spend three hours there.  Destiny
could hardly play a worse joke than this.  I knew I was not what I was
taken to be and yet, I could not find any way out of this  (my
emphasis)."69 [Treasure Beyond Measure. Shanti Sethi,  R.S.Satsang Beas,
1990, p. 11]
     Indeed, when the will was actually read to him and he was certain of
his nomination as the next Master, "he refused point blank."70 [Ibid.  p.
     That night he attempted to escape the Dera unnoticed, but was stopped
by several watchful devotees.  Soon after he was taken to the family farm
at Sirsa, where a profound inner struggle ensued.  From a personal letter:
      "..I have been declared dead minus existence.  Destiny has played the
biggest joke with me.....I have been surrounded, captured, and
imprisoned....I am at war within myself and can hardly decide anything."71
[Ibid. p. 18]
     Six days later he seems reconciled to the situation, revealing his
reasoning in a personal letter dated October 30:
      "The news took me as the greatest surprise of my life and nature
perhaps could not give me worse shock than this.  As for not accepting
this, there is nothing in my hand now to accept or reject it; my rejection
will not make any difference for the satsangis and I would be haunted
anywhere I go.  I cannot go underground even--as after I come back the
position will be the same."72 [Ibid. p. 19]
     The crisis resolved, Charan Singh was installed in a ceremony held
November 4, 1951. In his acceptance speech he referred to his anguished
indecision and apologized for his absence from the Dera.  He then said, "I
wish to tell the sangat quite frankly that I do not make any claims
whatsoever to spiritual attainments."  He reiterates that the order for his
succession was communicated to him after S.B. Jagat Singh's demise.  He
ends his speech with a startling comment, "...I have submitted myself to
the sangat, and the sangat can do as they see fit."73 [Heaven on Earth.
Daryai Lal Kapur, RS Satsang Beas, 1986, p. 307] This follows directly from
his conclusions described in the letter of October 30 that he could not
escape the sangat.
     In one letter Charan Singh remarks, "Anyhow, my 'execution' took place
on November 4th."74 [Treasure Beyond Measure.  Ibid. p. 24]
     Taken together these various statements are disarmingly honest.  What
does Lane make of all this?  He notes Charan Singh's, "exceptionally modest
attitude toward his position" suggesting this was due to his young age (he
was in his mid-thirties) and "clear transference of office entitlement"
(According to Lane, the spiritual authenticity of the succeeding Guru is
implicit in the position he inherits).  Lane concludes, "Hence, Charan
Singh's disavowal  of personal inward attainment is consistent with
established office authority: the more established the office, the less
need there is to stress inward, spiritual development."75 [The Radhasoami
Tradition.    Ibid.  p. 134]
     Due to the strength of his position politically, Charan Singh was no
more compelled to disavow spiritual attainment than to stress it, yet he
chose the former course.  Was this an expression of humility, as
necessarily interpreted by Beas76 [" we are seeing true humility in
action."  Treasure Beyond Measure. Ibid. p. 137 ] and here promoted by
Lane? In the light of what we have just read in Charan Singh's own words,
Lane's attempt to use this "disavowal" in support of his social theory of
guru rhetoric has a hollow ring.  Charan Singh, at the beginning of his
ministry, is not merely under emphasizing his inner attainment, or showing
exceptional modesty about it, rather it would appear that he is privately
and publically stating that he doesn't have it. 


I quite agree.

Now, Neil, go read what Sawan Singh said to Seth Partap Singh (Shiv
Dayal's brother) when he was appointed to be the guru at Beas by
Jaimal Singh.

He tells Partap Singh to send somebody from Agra to conduct
initations since Sawan does NOT have sufficient power.

Or, just take the first objective indice of a Perfect Master from
Julian Johnson's PATH OF THE MASTERS (published during Sawan's

"Julian P. Johnson, \fBThe Path of the Masters\fR (pages 227-229):

2) Masters NEVER boast of their mastership
or of their spiritual powers or attainments.  If any man claims to
have attained the highest in spiritual development, that claim
itself may be taken as conclusive proof that he has not attained
so much."

Hmm, see those words Neil:

A master is supposed to "NEVER" boast.

But I quite agree:

Charan was being frank and straightforward.

Just like Sawan Singh was being frank and straightforward when he
told Shiv Dayal's brother that he "lacked suffiient power."


TESSLER writes:

 In terms of Lane's thesis,
it is no longer a matter of defining legitimacy vs. authenticity, but
rather an exercise in rationalizing legitimacy ("established office
authority") where spiritual authenticity is being frankly denied.



No, quite the opposite:

Charan is simply echoing a long precedent in his lineage.

They NEVER boast about their attainments.

In that way, Charan was following in Sawan's footsteps.



     Having glimpsed Charan Singh's thoughts as expressed in diaries and
letters, his disclaimer at the time of his installation seems clear and



Yes, I quite agree.

Just like Kirpal's apology to Charan is clear and straightforward.

Maybe we should take these guys at the word for a change.

Just like Sawan's WiLL was clear and straightforward.

But don't you get it Neil?

Everytime you look at Beas, you look at the surface statement;
yet, everytime you look at Kirpal's statements (especially if they
look funky, like the apology), you try to find some "deeper"

I have already let my cat out of my bag:


You are still clinging to Divine justifications and quite frankly do
a rather poor job of it.


TESSLER writes:

Yet no one among the students of the Radhasoami
tradition, whether Lane, or the supposedly objective Juergensmeyer, seem
prepared to take Charan Singh's powerful statements simply as candid
expressions of his actual position and then consider the implications.



Quite the contrary: I think Charan is doing something quite

He is admitting his humanness.

That's what I dug about the guy.

It is very very rare to find a human being express their
limitations, especially when given such a prestigious position.

It is much more common to see gurus talk about how special they are,
or how loved they were by their gurus, or how they are the true ones
and so on.

I have always found Charan's honesty refreshing.

It is why I was attracted to him in the first place.

I think his humanness is his best trait.  


TESSLER writes:

     How did Charan Singh eventually reconcile himself to his situation
after Jagat Singh's passing.  This is based less on the orders of his
predecessor, but as described in his letter of October 30, 1951, quoted
above, more by the fact that he cannot escape the sangat.  He emphasizes
the passivity of his position when he states during his acceptance speech,
"I feel like a stone idol in a temple.  According to their notions of love,
some bathe it with cold water, some with hot water, and some deck it in
fine clothes; but still it is an idol all the same."77 [Quoted from The
Sociology of Enlightenment.  David Christopher Lane,  Del Mar Press, (no
date)  p. 38] In the closing words of his speech he carries this point
further, casting the final responsibility for his enthronement on the
sangat and with an edge of helplessness, saying that they may "do as they
see fit." However, this turns Sant Mat teachings on its head, for it is not
the sangat that makes the guru, but the guru that makes the sangat.



Well, then be consistent here Neil.

Then when Sawan wrote to Shiv Dayal's brother in Agra to send a
sadhu to initiate people at Beas (because Sawan lacked sufficient
power), then we should say: Sawan was being honest. He didn't have
the power.

But guess what?

He worked as a guru anyways.


Because as Sawan retells it, he was supported in his cause by both
Jaimal and Chachaji.

Likewise, Charan says he is doing the guruship on direct orders from
Jagat (even though he really doesn't want to) and because of his
devotion of Sawan Singh.

If you wish to quote, then quote FULLY.


TESSLER writes:

emphasizing the responsibility of the sangat, Charan Singh is clearly
positioning himself as guru by designation, as guru by circumstance, as the
new leader of a community, but not as a guru by virtue of spiritual
authenticity (which he specifically disavows), however much this may be
implied by his office.



Quite so.

Just like Sawan Singh who said to Chachaji that he didn't want to be
a guru but was more or less forced into the position and lacked
sufficient power.

Be consistent Neil, since Sawan says almost the same thing as


TESSLER writes:

     Charan Singh's reaction to his succession is given further context by
a number of statements he has made about his background.  Charan Singh has
stated that he was unfamiliar with details of Sant Mat theory even into the
early period of his guruship.  Daryai Lal Kapur tells us that Charan Singh
on various occasions would say, "Up till the time I was forced  (my
emphasis) to assume the Mastership, I never read a single Sant Mat book.
For me, Huzur Maharaj Ji himself was Sant Mat."78 [Heaven on Earth. Ibid.
p. 290] Although referring to his succession as "forced" suggests again
that Charan Singh maintained a somewhat bitter view of his position, it is
also notable that up until age 35, after he assumed the gaddi, Charan Singh
had not read Gurmat Sidhant, Sar Bachan, Path of the Masters, or any other
of the basic literature of the Path.
      One might presume that he would have had little need for literature,
as he would have inculcated Sant Mat teachings through attendance at
satsang from his early youth, as well as through his close association with
Baba Sawan Singh.  However, this apparently is not the case.  Explaining
why he did not conduct satsang for a number of months after becoming the
Beas Guru, Charan Singh admits: "...I knew nothing about Sant Mat
teachings.  I never attentively heard Sardar Bahadur Ji's or Great Master's
satsangs, though I used to enjoy them.  I never even noticed which shabd
(scripture) was taken.  I only knew one thing--how to be steadfast on the
three principles and how to meditate."79 [Treasure Beyond Measure. Shanti
Sethi, Second Edition, enlarged.  RS Satsang Beas, 1991, p. 225]
     The fact that he was unable to conduct satsang due to a scant
knowledge of Sant Mat led eventually to a number of books being presented
for his study by Babu Gulab Singh along with tutoring sessions.
"Ultimately, I started understanding from him the various aspects of the
teachings.  Meanwhile, Prof. Jagmohan Lal gave me a copy of The Path of the
Masters  to read....  It also helped me to understand the philosophy of
Sant Mat."80 [Ibid. p. 226]
     We are here left to conclude that Sant Mat is a philosophy learned
from books, rather then one born of spiritual realization.



Neil, you should take some logic courses. You tend to make some
amazing leaps to conclusions that don't necessarily follow.

You say, "wse are left to conclude that Sant Mat is a philosophy
learned from books, rather then [sic] one born of spiritual

No, you make that conclusion.

I make quite a different one:

Charan felt that the essence of Sant Mat is the relationship between
the disciple and the guru.

On that score, he was well versed, but in terms of the "theology" of
the system he was ignorant.

One may know all about love, but if one is to talk about such love
in Spanish (and one doesn't yet know Spanish), then one needs some

See how easy it is to come up with yet another conclusion?



However, wk should not be surprised by this inference.  Though he was initiated in his late teens and therefore "knew.. how to meditate" as he mentioned above, it seems that Charan Singh showed little disposition towards meditation practice, the means through which spiritual realization occurs.  When asked about whether he meditated in his college days, Charan Singh replies, "Let me tell you in confidence: I did it only casually,
except for 60 days when I did it regularly.  In 1936, when I was studying
in intermediate, I was engaged but did not want to marry the girl I was
engaged to.  I went to Bibi Ralli and requested her to convey to the Great
Master that I did not want to marry." His request was ignored despite many
entreaties on his behalf.  However, "In 1941, when I was in Law College,
Bibi Ralli again pleaded for me very strongly.  The Master said, 'Well, I
will break the engagement if he sits regularly in bhajan (meditation) for
one hour for sixty days.'"81 [Ibid. p. 222] Although the usual prescription
of the Sant Mat gurus was for their disciples to meditate a minimum of two
and one half hours daily, in this anecdote we learn that Baba Sawan Singh
induced Charan Singh to meditate one hour a day by offering him the
achievement of a worldy goal.



It amazes me how you don't see the contrast in a different light.

Charan puts himself down pretty consistently, never making any
pretenses about his spiritual attainments.

In contrast, we have Kirpal who will go to any lengths to tell
people how special he is (prophetic visions, meditates 16 hours,

You think just because someone claims power he has it, whereas one
who disdains doesn't.

Try re-reading your Lao Tzu:

Those who KNOW, DON'T say.

Those who DON't KNOW, say A LOT.

Or, better yet, go read my LOCKER ROOM OF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

It is easy for any tom, dick, or Kirpal to claim "god realization"
(geez, we have thousands of guys now claiming to be Jesus--two of
them on the Howard Stern show).

It is much more rare to find a guru who will actually say he has no
attainment or any spiritual greatness.

In other words, those who get laid shut up.

Those who talk about getting laid are suspect.

But let me display a much more radical bent:

Charan is merely human......

But then again so are the rest.

That's what you don't like, but I am quite comfortable with it.

You still have to defend the inexplicable.....

I just think it is all human.... until proven otherwise, of course.


TESSLER writes:

     As an intelligent and dutiful oldest grandson, Charan Singh may have
been happy to participate in the religious and social life of his family
and to serve his illustrious grandfather, but there is nothing in his
biography to suggest a passion for the inner life.



Which of course is exactly what the 2nd objective indice of a master
is all about:

gurus don't brag or talk about their inner attainments.

For instance, just because I don't talk about being one of the
world's greatest bodysurfers (I usually say I suck, even though
I won the Manhattan INTERNATIONAL BODYsurfing contest.... see I am
doing a Kirpal here) doesn't mean I don't have a "passion" for

I really really love it.

But just maybe I like not to project airs about it.

(Now in my case this is not true, since I like the Kirpal approach
much better: Claim humility, but then tell everybody how great I
really am..... Oh yea, that's the ticket).

You seem to think that if a guru claims to have attained something
and likes to talk about it a lot then he is an embodiment of it.


It could be just the opposite.

I know that Charan rarely like to talk about his personal
association with Sawan Singh.

Is that because he really didn't like it or really didn't have such
a close bond?

Nope. It was just that it was so intensely personal that he liked to
keep the "treasure" to himself.

I remember when Juergensmeyer asked Charan point blank about whether
or not he was still in contact with Sawan on the inner regions.

Charan politely refused to answer, saying some thihgs are too
intimate for discussions.

You know, Neil, it could well be that Charan didn't like to talk
about his spiritual side, just like some of us don't like to talk
about getting laid.......

You get my drift, huh?


TESSLER writes:

Had this been the case
one could reasonably expect that he would show some interest in the
literature, and if not this, perhaps in the satsangs, and if not these, at
least the inner practices.  However, it is plain that none of these held
much interest for him prior to his ascension to the guruship at Beas.



Well, let's see how your analogy fits to sex:

if a guy is really getting laid, then he should show some interest
in the literature, and if not this, perhaps in sex talk, and if not
these, at least the practices talked about in the Kama Sutra?


It could be that Charan loved Sawan and that was the essence of his

Maybe love is a personal thing, huh?

Like I said, all your conjectures are based upon a very silly and
misleading idea:

If you talk a lot about such things then you are the embodiment of

I find the opposite to be true:

Those who have depth, don't like to bring it to the surface.

And those who bring it to the surface (a lot), don't have depth.

Zen koan 101.


TESSLER writes:

     Did Charan Singh then attain the perfect spiritual realization
described by the Sant Mat tradition at some time during the early period of
his guruship?
  In a talk with Western disciples in the late 1970's, Charan Singh, called Maharaji by his disciples, offered further candid insight: " Question: Maharaji, someone asked me if you have ever battled with
Charan Singh: I battle every day."
......A discussion on other topics then ensues in which Charan Singh
mentions that at night he is locked into his room from outside, and three
outer rooms are also locked, so that he is entirely locked in the house,
unable to get out until someone opens the four locks each morning at about
eight.  The conversation then drifted back to his unsettling response to
the previous question.
"Question: And you still battle with meditation?
Charan Singh:  The whole night is spent in battling.  With four locks, how
can you do otherwise?  You cannot open four locks; so whether with sleep or
with meditation, you have to battle with yourself."82 [Spiritual Heritage.
Charan Singh,  RS Satsang Beas, 1983,  pp.120-123.]
     Leaving aside the interesting question of why he was locked in his
room every night, this is an astonishing statement that seems to contradict
the most basic notions of spiritual mastery in Sant Mat or any other mystic
traditions.  Peace and control of the mind are essential attributes of
advanced spiritual realization.  If one is battling with oneself, not
having attained perfect concentration, then one is yet on the way.  A
Master may meditate in the common sense of sitting with closed eyes, but it
would have no trace of the struggling process the average disciple
experiences, a struggle plainly revealed here.  Nor would the Master know
sleep in the usual definition as fits of unconsciousness punctuated by
dreams.  The battles of sleep and meditation are considered basic to the
disciplic phase.  In the highest states of God realization who is left to
struggle, who is left to dream?
When I was, God was not;
Now that God is,
I am no more.
The dark shadows
of I-ness vanished
When I came
Face to face with the lamp.83 [Kabir: The Weaver of God's Name.  V.K.Sethi,
RS Satsang Beas, 1984, p.731.]



Hmm, so let me see if I can see how your convoluted logic works

If Charan HAD talked a lot about these kinds of things (making
grandiose claims that nobody can verify, unless of course you go to
Sach Khand), then HE WOULD be GENUINE.

Come on, Neil, you must realize how silly your argument is.

Do you know how many people claim to be God on this planet?

The number is too high for me to count, but do we take their claims


Then why do you think a guru claiming something is equal to his
inner attainment of such?

Oftentimes, those who talk the most are the LEAST competent, whereas
those who make fun of themselves, or who put themselves down, or
talk normal, are QUITE proficient and QUITE competent.

I have seen this repeatedly in sports.

kELLY slater is probably the world's greatest surfer and he doesn't
like to boast.... Yet he rips.

Given your modus operandi, then Kelly really sucks as a surfer.

Charan, like any really confident guy, likes to make himself the
brunt of the joke.


Because he doesn't like to brag about himself.

You take that as an indication that he is not meditating, whereas
you take somebody like Kirpal (who will tell you he meditates 16
hours and repeat it to you) as an indication of his superior

Don't you get it, yet?

Both gurus are talking: one is making claims and the other is
disdaining those claims.

Sawan claimed to lack the power, so did Charan.

And Kirpal (plus about a million other gurus) is claiming he's GOT

Okay, but can't you see egotism when it hits you in the face?

Remember Nicholas of Cusa:


Or better yet, let us look at Socrates (as told to us by Plato):

He said "All i know is that I know nothing."

Now given your analysis, Socrates was a dumbshit because he said so.

Whereas, for those in Greece this merely indicated how WISE he
really was....

Indeed, they considered Socrates to be the wisest man of all.

Not because he made claims,

but rather because he did NOT make claims.

Charan doesn't contradict Objective Indice #2......

He illustrates it:

He says nothing whatsoever about his inner attainments.

Kirpal never stops talking about his.

You see Divinity in the latter and humanity in the former.

I see humanity in BOTH.

One with humility and one with egotism....


TESSLER writes:

     Although it is difficult to ascertain the full context, content, and
source of the letter attributed to Kirpal Singh, or if it was written at
all, as there is no evidence other than Bhandari's word



This isn't true. We have Kirpal's apology, bro.

Moreover, I talked personally with R.K. Khanna on the matter who saw
Kirpal's original letter.

Also, we have a slew of Pro-Kirpal people who are trying to explain
away the letter.

If he didn't write, then he didn't have to apologize for it, right?

Or, is there a tiny Elvis hiding here somewhere?


TESSLER writes:

 yet, in the light
of our discussion, the allegations of an early attempt by Charan Singh to
arrange his abdication must not be discounted.  In fact, it is one more
piece of a consistent pattern.  So then what if its contents were true?



Then we have Kirpal Singh issuing an apology and lying in it since
he said his allegations were untrue.

Boy, I can feel the Abbott and Costello routine coming on here....


TESSLER writes:

What was to be gained by Kirpal Singh writing to Bhandari about it? If
Kirpal Singh was the author of the letter, was he attempting to win over
this one individual through allegations that must have seemed rather strong
out of the context that posterity now provides us?  If Charan Singh had
abdicated Kirpal Singh's own position would have been strengthened, as the
integrity of the Beas gaddi would be in doubt in the minds of many.  Yet
the very act of writing the letter, and particularly its circulation back
to Beas, would seem likely to put a stop to the plan it exposes from ever
being carried out.
     If Kirpal Singh did, in fact, write the letter, another intriguing
possibility is that Kirpal Singh could  perceive the consequences of
writing to Bhandari, someone obviously well known to him; that it was not a
matter of defamatory gossip as alleged by Beas, but rather a deliberate
intervention to prevent Charan Singh from abdicating.  Yet this is a motive
that stands in absolute contradiction to the logic of succession advanced
by Lane, where mundane self-interest is emphasized, particularly in the
case of gurus lacking legitimacy.



Boy, Neil, there are so many "ifs" and so much "conjectures" here
I don't know where to begin. Maybe Gakko came from Venus and maybe
Rebazar Tarzs really is 500 years old.

Okay, let us accept your contorted speculations and see what weird
conclusions they bring.

According to your theory, Kirpal really wanted Charan to remain at 
Beas because he didn't want the Dera to collapse.

Even though Charan is, according to Kirpal, not a real guru (doesn't
have the "charging"), and even though the Dera is corrupted by
internal politics.

Which is another way of saying that Kirpal WANTED to sustain a
COMPLTE FICTION and a COMPLETE FRAUD (since none of the Beas gurus
after Sawan, according to Kirpal, are the real thing).

Boy, and this is doing us a FAVOR?

Kinda of like saying, yea let's keep Thakar Singh going (even though
he is a fraud) because Sawan Ashram shouldn't collapse.

Can't you see how completely screwy your implications are?

They don't make Kirpal look any better.

They make him look like an idiot.

No, worse than that, they make him look like a complete asshole
since he doesn't want to tell people the truth (that the Beas gurus
are not genuine) but only perpetuate an illusion....

And we call these guys "gurus" (light givers?).?

Sorry, Neil, even if we accept what you say as true it makes your
guru look scummier than I already think he is............

See, I am trying to help you out here....

I have a much simpler solution (remember Occam's Razor).

Kirpal made a mistake and apologized for it.

Too simple, huh?

Maybe Elvis has a landing base on Mars too.


TESSLER writes:

     It must always be born in mind that the original letter was not an
encyclical for general publication.  The vigorous reaction this private
letter excited from the Beas side, in the form of legal threats and
demands, is notable.  We also have to notice the eventual publication and
distribution of Kirpal Singh's apology despite an agreement reached between
the parties concerned to keep the letter private.  What really could have
justified this action of Beas, other than to utilize it as a tool of
propaganda against Kirpal Singh.



Boy, I love the way you turn these things around.

Lest, we forget, Kirpal is the one who is doing the apologizing.

Kirpal is the one who said he made a mistake.

Kirpal is the one circulating the rumor (even going so far as to put
it in a letter).

Beas' reaction is simple to understand:

They didn't dig Kirpal's allegations and got him to sign a notarized

As for "propaganda" against Kirpal Singh, I think you got it in

Kirpal Singh was talking ill of Charan and his family.

Charan didn't apologize to Kirpal, bro.

Kirpal apologized to Charan.

And unlike you, if the reverse had happened, I would simply state

The guru fucked up.

Too hard to accept, huh?


TESSLER writes:

  If slander occured in this affair, was it
in the letter's contents or the apology's publication by Beas?   After all,
no one would have known of the letter and Charan Singh's plan to abdicate,
had Beas not made it public themselves by publishing the apology.  Finally,
one may wonder in the context of our discussion, if by insisting that the
apology not be published, Kirpal Singh was trying to protect his own name
or that of his Master as well as that of his grandson, Charan Singh?



Do you have an excedrin?

After reading the convulsions of this last paragraph I just got a
logic headache.

The slander was on Kirpal's. He apologized for it.

Not vice versa.

Yep, Beas published the apology.

I would have done the same fudging thing.

I will give you yet another example of why.

I discovered that Gary Olsen of Masterpath had plagiarized
extensively (in his discourses) from several R.S. BEAS books.

I called him on the mat for it.

We eventually worked out a deal where he would apologize for his
plagiarism and state that he would never do it again.

We then agreed to issue it on the Net via the alt.religion.eckankar
newsgroup.... which I did.

I then downloaded it and put it on my website.


Because I felt the public should know about Gary's plagiarism.

I think Beas felt the same way:

People should know that Kirpal Singh said things that were untrue
and he apologized for it.... even if the general public would never

By the way, the general public would never have known about Gary's
plagiarism either.

I felt they SHOULD know.

I also think the public should know that Kirpal Singh APOLOGIZED.

Nice ideological twist, though, Neil.

I am awe struck by the kinds of contortions you go through to
justify the lamest of explanations.

Keep up the good work!


TESSLER writes:

     The position of Guru lasts "until death takes pity on you,"86 wrote
Charan Singh, after many years as leader of Radhasoami Satsang Beas. [86 -
Treasure Beyond Measure.  Ibid.  p.181 From a letter of November 4th, 1977]
  If Charan Singh had attempted a shortcut by abdicating from the gaddi in
his own lifetime, it would have created a severe crisis that would
certainly have undermined the integrity of the guruship.




"Undermine the integrity of the guruship"

Kirpal Singh already did that by claiming to be the sole successor.

He felt the gurus at Beas after Sawan were merely posers of the real
article and now you want to tell us that Kirpal's letter is really
a tactic to keep the phony gurus ashram in tact?

Given your ideas of Kirpal's mastership, Charan's abdication would
have been the BEST thing to have happened, since then the general
sangat would have had the opportunity to go to Kirpal (who you
claims was the real guru).

Instead, given your twisted theory, the Beas group remains in tact
because Kirpal Singh wanted to perpetuate the illusion.....

Try thinking through your theories, Neil.

The implications are amazing.

Keep the illusion in tact to preserve the integrity of the guruship,
even though there are really no true gurus at Beas (now) in the
first place.....

Better give me two Advils as well.....

Your logic is as groundless as your proof for such.


TESSLER writes:

Some disheartened
Beas followers might have migrated toward Kirpal Singh, however, the
majority would likely have followed whoever was put up in his place.
Others would simply have lost faith.



Come again?

Lose faith in what?

Kirpal has already told us that the Beas gurus (after Sawan) are
more or less frauds (since they aren't the real thing, though
claiming to be the true thing).

The best thing he could have done was to let Charan abdicate (given
your convoluted theory).

Sorry, but once again your pet theory needs some severe grooming.

Can't any of these gurus tell us a straight story????

I have a much simpler solution:

Kirpal Singh made a mistake.

Kirpal Singh apologized for the mistake.

See, once again, how simple it is?

Instead of accepting the obvious, you have to make up scenarios that
are not even plausible.... And to top it off make Kirpal Singh look
WORSE in the process.....


TESSLER writes:
     The letter may well have prevented Charan Singh's premature
abdication, which would have brought dishonor to himself as well as to the
spiritual mission of Hazur Baba Sawan Singh. 


Boy, this theory of yours has more twist and turns than Space

If Kirpal's theory is correct, then Charan's and Jagat's mastership
IS A DISGRACE, since they (unlike Kirpal) are NOT REAL gurus in the
SANT Mat sense of the term.

The disgrace is not in the the abdication, but in the continuance of
a phony lineage!!!!!

Sawan Singh is not disgraced by a fraudulent guru giving up the

He is disgraced by the perpetuation of gurus who claim to be genuine
who are NOT.

Kirpal should have PUSHED for Charan's abdication given your theory.

But he doesn't?

No, Neil, but you just can't come to grips with the most obvious

Kirpal Singh fucked up.

He made a mistake and he apologized for it.

Quite a human thing to do.

I don't fault him for it.

I fault YOU, rather, for trying to avoid the obvious and invent
scenarios that make your guru look scummier.....



 Whether Kirpal Singh wrote
the letter or not, in giving out the apology demanded, it is more likely
that Kirpal Singh, taking the broad view, acted to protect the honor of the
gaddi of his Master and of his Master's family.



Kirpal tried to "protect" the honor of Sawan Singh's family?

Wait a second, isn't this the SAME Kirpal whose first book on
Sawan Singh calls the family "spiritually bankrupt."?

Isn't this the SAME Kirpal who publicly rips into Sawan's family
each and every time he writes about them?

Oh, Neil, this has got to be the most ridiculous defense I have ever
seen you write.

Kirpal has practically NEVER said a positive thing about Sawan's
family, much less Charan.

And now of course he is trying to "protect" their honor.

Hey, if Kirpal really thinks the Beas gurus are posers He should say
so, not try to "protect" their honor or their property.

I am sorry Neil, but your theory has no legs, no proof, and no
compelling force.

Kirpal screwed up and he apologized for it.



TESSLER writes:

If so, we must consider
the fact that his own honor was being offered in exchange.



Geez, so let me see if I get this straight. Kirpal slanders Charan
and his family (he has already done that in print a number of times)
but apologizes for it because he would rather protect "their" honor
than his????????

Hey, I got a simpler solution:

Don't write the letter, Kirpal. Don't slander the family.

Then guess what?

You don't have to write an apology for misinformed data.

But Neil wants to paint Kirpal as the Jesus Christ of letter

He died on his own pen (even though it was that same pen which caused
the problem in the first place) because he would rather have the
ink spill on him (Kirpal) than on Beas (Charan and family).

But wait a second:

This is the same guy who will rip Sawan's family in PRINT and in
BOOKS whenever he gets the chance.

Sorry Neil.

It just turns out that private Kirpal got his hand caught in the 
rumor cookie jar.

The cookie was rotten and since Kirpal "baked" it he got "fried" for

Try ripping your guru once in a while.

It is a much simpler way to go.