||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010)|
|Sardar Gurinder Singh Dhillon|
|Born||August 1, 1954
|Based in||Beas, Punjab, India|
|Period in office||1990 to date|
|Predecessor||Maharaj Charan Singh|
Singh was born into a Sikh family of the Dhillon clan who were followers of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. He was educated at the Lawrence School, Sanawar, in the Shimla Hills of Himachal Pradesh, and obtained his bachelor's degree in Commerce from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He began his career in the hotel industry and later worked for DCM in the yarn division. He was in Spain working as a salesman before coming back to India to accept his nomination as the next spiritual head of RSSB in 1990. He lives off his own income and in keeping with the policy for all volunteers (sevadars), he does not receive any money or honorarium from the society.
The headquarters of the society, called Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, are located beside the river Beas near the town of Beas, Punjab, in northern India, and have been a center for satsang since 1891. RSSB has centers located worldwide.
Philosophy and teachings
RSSB is a philosophical organization based on the spiritual teachings of all religions and dedicated to a process of inner development under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.
At the core of the RSSB philosophy is a belief that there is a spiritual purpose to human life – to experience the divinity of God who resides in all of us. It is through this experience that we will realize the truth of the concept that there is only one God and we are all expressions of his love. Central to the RSSB philosophy is a spiritual teacher who explains the purpose of life and guides and instructs members in a method of spirituality based on a daily meditation practice.
In the Indian language, Radha Soami means ‘lord of the soul’ (radha = soul; swami = lord,) satsang describes a group that seeks truth, and Beas refers to the town near which the main center is located in northern India. There are a number of other contemporary movements that use the name ‘Radha Soami’ but Radha Soami Satsang Beas is not associated with any of them.
RSSB was established in India in 1891 and gradually began spreading to other countries in the mid 20th century. Today RSSB holds meetings in more than 90 countries worldwide. It is a registered non-profit society with no affiliation to any political or commercial organizations.
The philosophy teaches a personal path of spiritual development which includes a lacto-vegetarian diet, abstinence from intoxicants, alcohol and mind-altering drugs, a moral way of life and the practice of daily meditation. There are no rituals, ceremonies, hierarchies or mandatory contributions, nor are there compulsory gatherings. Members need not give up their cultural identity or religious preference to follow this path.
The meditation method imparted at the time of initiation is known as Surat Shabd Yoga and is practiced according to the living master instructions. It is a solitary practice where the disciple concentrates within with eyes closed, usually sitting cross-legged or any other comfortable position, and performs simran: repeating the five holy names (which may be looked upon as a 'mantra'). This is followed by bhajan: an attempt by the disciple to listen to the divine Sound or 'Word' (also known as Shabd) within. Both these practices form the complete method of meditation as prescribed by Surat Shabd Yoga within [Sant Mat].
RSSB’s main centre Dera Baba Jaimal Singh or simply the ‘Dera’, named after its founder who settled there in the late 1800s, is located in Beas, Punjab. Since the Dera is the home of the spiritual leader of the organization, large crowds visit on specially designated weekends to hear his discourses. He also gives satsang at other major centers of RSSB in India. He goes on tour to the various RSSB centers outside of India during the months of April–August. This is for the benefit of the disciples that do not have the opportunity to travel to India.
- The encyclopedia of cults, sects, and new religions James R. Lewis - 1998 - Page 395
- Sardar Gurinder Singh at radhasoamiji.in, accessed 14 March 2012
- "RSSB.org". Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- "RSSB.org". Retrieved March 17, 2014.