Thursday, 10 October 2013

Encountering Radha Soami Satsang Beas.

By Robert Searle

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The Radhaswami, or the Radha Soami Faith, or Satsang teaches the Ancient Wisdom of Sant Mat (The Teachings of the Saints), and Surat Shabd Yoga (Union of the Soul with the Sound Current of Spirit). Essentially, it involves an advanced form of astral projection at the time of meditation in which the soul "dies daily" by ascending to "Spiritual Regions." The Power to achieve this is the Sound Current, or Audible Life Stream which is traced to the "Highest Region" where "God-Realization" occurs.
On the journey "upwards" the soul meets the inner Radiant Form of the outer physical Master, or Sant Satguru. Such a Teacher would have connected the disciple to the Sound Current at Initiation. This Power cannot be contacted by ones own effort. Only the Master can connect the aspirant to It, and It has a special magnetic pull which helps one ascend "easily" to the "Higher Regions." There are said to be Five Key Sounds, or Shabds connected with Five Key "Regions" taught at initiation. These have to be contacted one by one in order to reach the Goal. Many lesser Sounds, and Visions may be experienced on the "upward" Path towards "God-Realization". Indeed, it should be added that there are an infinite number of intermediate "Regions" or planes, or sub-planes before the "highest" one is reached by means of merging into the Sound Current. It is also claimed rightly, or wrongly that religions, and notably many other mystical traditions do not have the "complete secret" of the "Higher Regions", and thus easily "mistake" certain "lower ones" as being the "highest". Hence, their understanding is incomplete.

Originally, I was interested in Eckankar, and "by chance" I came across a movement called Radha Soami Satsang Beas in 1980. A friend of mine happened upon a booklet he found on his parents table. It was called the Inner Voice by Colonel Sanders which gave a basic introduction to Sant Mat. It was fascinating....and I was determined to find out more. I noticed that the owner of the booklet had left his address inside so I went to him to enquire more. His name was Jit Johal, and I spent a few occasions visiting him. He informed me that I should really go to Satsang in London which I duly did. It was there that I met a number of interesting people including some notables such as Nigel North, and Judith Durham of the Seekers who I use to tower over. She called me Sir, on a number of occasions rather than my first,or last name. Another well-known follower, or Satsangi was Martin Shaw, the actor.

Anyway, I was also suprised to find how much had been printed on Sant Mat, and I studied this stuff avidly. Every Sunday I started to regularly attend Satsangs, and I felt at times imbued with a highly subtle energy of bliss....I also acted as a sevadar too. This took the shape of myself being a "doorman" at the Satsang Hall (now demolished, but used to be close to Paddington station).
Near the end of 1980, I wrote a long letter to Maharaj Charan Singh Ji who was the Present Living Master of Radha Soami Satsang Beas. His reply was remarkably comprehensive considering his busy time schedule. He notably complimented me on being a genuine Truth Seeker who was not just interested in intellectual "gymnastics". This was true even though I came across as something of an "intellectual" to some people.

However, I was suffering from an obssession. Apart from being a determined Seeker After Truth I had a morbid complex about a possible early physical demise before getting initiated into Surat Shabd Yoga by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji. At times, this obssession was driving me mad. I wrote to him about my concern, and he claimed that I should leave everything in Gods hands. Moreover, he made the claim that "....the Master (ie. himself) was only responsible for particular souls assigned to him by God."
All this lead to a bizarre twist of events. For many years I was due to parental pressure not able to go fully vegetarian, and hence, become an initiate, or Satsangi. Yet, nothing remains the same forever.
For a time I lost contact with the London Satsang, and in 1990 I was free to "do my own thing". In effect, I had just left my parents home as they had moved to Oxford. I rang up a Satsangi friend, and she informed me that Maharaj Charan Singh had just passed on...! I was amazed. Charan was right. I was not meant to be initiated by him.. It was to be his successor Baba Gurinder Singh .

PS. There is one thing I would like to add. When I was visting Jit Johal I saw a large photo of Maharaj Charan Singh laughing. Anyway, whilst I was doing some outdoor work at a golf club I was feeling very devotional, and had the sensation of doing everything for the Master as if he were physically present. This seva, or service can raise the conciousness to a high level which it did in my case. The upshot of this was an unexpected "telepathic" flash of the photographic image of Maharaji which shot by me. I rang Mrs."Chip" Wood who was the extremely knowledgeable, and experienced British representative of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, and appeared to confirm the genuineness of what happened to me. She described it as dhristi, or a "glance" of Grace from the Master.

..............In 1990 Gurinder Singh was made head of Radha Soami Satsang. I first saw him in the flesh at the huge Satsangs in Birmingham when he was visiting England. This took place in the National Exhibtion Centre, or NEC. Security was high there too with police, and plain clothed detectives keeping an eye on things as the Sikh terrorism was still very much a problem.
Gurinder, or more respectfully Babaji gave a number of discourses plus questions, and answers with his booming voice. In the latter sessions l asked him when he was going to start initiation, and whether he would initiate me. Instead of hearing what he actually said I heard something else (ie a bizarre trick of the mind). He said that he would initiate me but ofcourse he did not actually say that....... The reason for all this was that I was going through a strange phase in life that I had become so obssessed with wanting to get initiation that it was starting to drive me "insane". I was also unnaturally concerned about the possibility of an early death (as mentioned earlier). Again, this would ofcourse mean that I would not get initiated...
Quite often at Satsang in London, or at the charming local home groups someone I knew, or not know would say that "I was going to die!" The imitation voice was just like that of the speaker...virtually indistinguishable. I should point out that I have never taken drugs, or psychiatric medecine. I believe what happened above was a "by-product" of a certain experience with Eckankar possibly during a "healing" session (see Realization of the Psychic). Ofcourse, esoterically the meaning of "you are going to die" implies not physical death but spiritual rebirth in the material body. Apparently, in withcraft the mental phenomenon of a voice imitating someone else, and tricking someone into believing what he, or she is saying is for "real(!)" is not entirely unknown..

Anyway, in 1993 I, along with a batch of people went to recieve Nam under the new Master Babaji (though physically not present) at Haynes Park near Bedford. This was the new UK headquarters of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. Mrs. "Chip" Wood presided over the initiation, and later everyone was put into circular groups, and taught how to repeat, and pronounce the Five Holy Names. On another occasion, I actually saw Babaji at Haynes Park itself. Some people including myself possibly saw his face changing to that of his previous Master Baba Charan Singh.

I recall once being in the London Satsang, and Babaji suddenly appeared out of the blue, and gave a discourse. This has happened since apparently. He likes now, and again to give unofficial appearances presumably to inspire truth seekers, and satsangis.I felt very devotional during my "honey moon" period before initiation. But I was disappointed after initiation as the power, and aspiration suddenly "disappeared." I felt betrayed, and disheartened. I have come to the conclusion that a real Master must be able to give an initiate before, and AFTER initiation (be it Shabd Yoga, or whatever) "something to work on". In other words, an awareness at least of some kind of Power working for on's good. It is then that the initiate increases it's Grace via spiritual practice. Without some kind of inner support meditation can be incredibly difficult. It is vital to have some internal "drive", and "inspiration" to continue practice as we are such weak souls.............Many people have complained about this. Some Beas Satsangis have understandably gone to one of the Sant Kirpal Singh groups which claim that one can have "something to work on" in the spiritual sense. This is VITAL!!

As I was starting to move away from Radha Soami Satsang a bizarre number of synchronicities occured with chance meetings with "devotees". The first of these though was in Newbury which I had never been to before. A lady called Iris I recognized from the London Satsang was spotted, and I went upto her, and she comfirmed that she was the very same person. She was surprised to see me. As indicated there were other like "chance" meetings which are hard to explain rationally. Yet, it does indicate that somehow we are all interconnected in this Cosmic Drama of Life.....

The most recent one occurred in Windsor in 2007. I was sitting next to an elderly Asian tourist who was looking at his young granddaughter . Some of his relatives were around visiting Windsor, and its famous castle. For some reason, or other we talked, and the topic of reincarnation, and gurus cropped up. I said I had an interest in both subjects especially the latter. He asked me whether I had a Master. I said I had been initiated into Radha Soami Satsang Beas. He was astonished as he claimed that he was an initiate too of one of the previous Masters! He said that I was very lucky to have been initiated by Gurinder Singh as not everyone is. Apparently, he claimed to be a retired chief of border control in India,(his name may have been Dhawan but I do not have the exact details with me at the time of writing) and knew Mr. Mann who was the "top man" in the organization of Radha Soami Satsang. Anyway, he gave me his name, and number including that of the latter, and said if I ever I wanted to stay at his home I would be welcome to do so. Will wonders ever cease? Who knows? But synchronicity has played an important part in my life, and not just those instances connected with Radha Soami Satsang Beas.

Back in 2005, I recall once sitting on a bench in Langley near Slough. An Asian suddenly appeared from behind me, and said, "Your Master is sitting next to you!" I replied that I could see no one in the non-physical sense. I did though just about recognize the Asian from a very long time ago. He was an initiate of the Radha Soami Satsang.......
.........Also, before I became deeply involved in Shabd Yoga, an Indian claimed that it was a dangerous practice. Yet, I, never came across anybody suffering from any serious problems. However, one woman at the Beas Satsang claimed that she woke up one morning to find a "being" grabbing her throat. She then chased it out of the bedroom, and into the garden. It was claimed that this "being" was merely a projection of her mind.
In Sant Mat the intiate is given a special mantra which is charged by the Master which is meant to protect the disciple in meditation from evil influences. It is also used to test to see whether the inner Master is genuine, or not. However, if any negative experience is had at all like the woman mentioned above it can be rationalised as being a mental projection of ones mind. Ofcourse, this would not be somekind of "being" in the normal objective sense in which the special mantra would have helped protect against....
If one has a powerful connection with a Guru this should be sufficient protection....irrespective of whether a special mantra was given to the aspirant, or disciple....


  1. Fascinating and insightful but why is it unfinished,Robert ? Many of us have such a spiritual draw to Sant Mat but struggle so much with our mind resisting. Baba Ji is a Master for our modern World. He sees the vast complexity of distraction of our minds and cuts through to the real issues. Meditation burns karma,
    Anything that stops us meditating is to be avoided and that which helps meditation should be nurtured.

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  3. Sorry for the delay. I look at RSSB in a different way than before. At present, I am connected with the following group which is a branch of a RS group ...However, I may attend RS Satsangs as well notably in Southall