Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Analysis of the History of Sahaj Marg by Alexis

Analysis of The History of Sahaj Marg by Alexis...

(Last update: October 7, 2007)

Let's look at similarities and differences among all of these movements. The spiritual teachings develop so incredibly that one wonders how they can all be from the same mold.

1. The Spiritual Syncretism (1857-1945)

According to Thomas Dähnhardt, Hujur the Sufi and Lalaji the Hindu have consciously set up a syncretic spiritual teaching so as to abolish the borders between religions. The 11 principles of the Naqshbandiyya Order already advocated the silent meditation on the heart and constant remembrance of the Divine presence. The master pours the Divine energy in the hearts of his disciples while freeing him/her of his impure thoughts. The primary responsibility of the spiritual evolution of the aspirant rests in the hands of his Master, provided he comes into daily contact with his/her guru through meditation. That work had already been done by Kabir, laying the foundations of Santmat in the fifteenth century, but also before him by other illustrious unknown, Sufism drawing its roots in Hinduism, and vice versa.

Their successors have continued in this direction by separating spiritual practice and theory. The practice has remained almost the same, while the theory has remained with the Islamic adherents of the Sufi order (NaqshMuMra, Golden Sufi Center, etc.), while it has been re-hinduised by others (the current "Ramashram "ABSS, and so on.). The words in Arabic and Persian have been replaced by their equivalents in Sanskrit or Hindi. The references to the Q'uran and Muhammed have been replaced by the Upanishads and Lord Krishna.

Still no group denies the respective historical contributions of the two religions and all speak of the different masters which are at the origins. No group except the Sahaj Marg of Babuji…

2. The Specifics of Sahaj Marg (1945-70)

First point: little by little, Babuji denies the origins of Sahaj Marg. He begins by dreaming of Lalaji and his many Sufi predecessors, and then he forgets Lalaji and turns to Vivekananda. Soon, he forgets Vivekananda and returns to Lalaji, but without the Sufis, then he assimilates Sahaj Marg to Raja Yoga. In terms of exclusivity, it is better than the Sahaj Marg.

Other differences in the teachings: the responsibility of the guru. No conscious effort is demanded on the part of the disciple outside of the practice of meditation. This was the case with his Masters. For Babuji, recognizing the role of the disciple is increased, that of the teachings is decreased. Chari pushes it much farther.

And last but not least: Babuji invents uniqueness and exclusivity. He is the sole heir to Lalaji. His disciples must focus on a single Master, meaning himself. During his lifetime, Lalaji had several teachers, and he encouraged his disciples to mingle more. Given the openness of Lalaji, Babuji creates a doctrine and throws open (without knowing it) the foundation of the cult of the personality that will proliferate the Mission in the future.

A full account of the transfer of power between Lalaji and Babuji is based solely on the dreams of Babuji. To accept this is to believe solely in the account of Babuji, and to adhere to the principle of his countless inter-communications with a dead person, in spite of all the facts that are reported. One also discovers the paranoid side of Babuji who sees enemies everywhere, especially in the creation of the SRCM and just before his death…

3. The Current Developments of the Teachings(1970-2007)

As early as 1970, Dr KC Varadachari alerted Babuji about the risks of the drifting of the teaching of Sahaj Marg. He is moved by the encroaching materialism in the SRCM at the expense of spirituality and denounces some sensitive developments in the teaching of Sahaj Marg by the preceptors. But he died soon after, and nobody will resume his fight. All seem to cope perfectly with the declining quality of the teachings and the rise of materialism, including his son , K.C. Narayana.

One is already far from the initial Sahaj Marg, that famous method for the use of the individual spiritual seeker. It is adorned with a goal of universal scope: to tip the world towards spirituality. And this can take place only when the number of followers reaches a certain required threshold. This is the beginning of the proselytism.

Then followed a succession quarrel as it often does, that crystallized with the death of Babuji. For the SRCM of Shahjahanpur, led by SP Srivastava, Umesh Chandra Saxena then Navneet Kumar Saxena, Babuji will never be replaced, there can be no other Living Master and the SRCM must remain in Shahjahanpur, headed by his descendants, as Lalaji in its time, had focused on the family line rather than the Sufi spiritual lineage of Hujur Maharaj.

To KC Narayana, Chari has been named president but not "spiritual representative". He left the mission in 1990, when Chari began to present itself as the "living Master" and called for love and devotion on the part of his diciples. For him, Babuji is the sole Master, eternally alive. For the SRCM(California), Chari is the president, the spiritual representative, and he will also gradually become the living Master, the only successor of Babuji.

Chairman, spiritual representative and living Master. It could be argued that the different factions of Sahaj Marg differ on the spiritual aspects. But one can also adopt a completely different view, a lot more material and human. The attraction to power flatters the oversize egos of these little minds. It is difficult not to succumb to the temptation of being adored by the massed.

Of all the successors of Babuji, Chari is undeniably the one who has the best track record. Adhering to the proselytizing goal of Babuji, he has the genius to succeed in instrumentalizing the cult of the personality, already calling for underlying love and devotion without causing the breakup of the movement. Gradually, he subtly alters the balance of different tools and creates new ones. He relegates the Ten Commandments and to the rank of "maxims", carefully maintains the ambiguity between Master and Divine and develops the constant remembrance of the Master…

The quality of the teachings is neglected in favor of a simple varnish. The preceptors are under pressure from the boss to increase the number of new recruits. Proselytizing finally triumphs, indeed!

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