Divine Enterprise – Lisa McKean     pages 321-325

APPENDIX 1
The Manav Utthan Seva Samiti

After several visits to the Premnagar Ashram in Hardwar, I was advised that if I had any questions about the Manav Utthan Seva Samiti (Humanity Uplift Service Society), I should submit them in writing to the office. The Samiti's head, Satpal (Guruji Maharaj), as well as his mother and his wife would answer them. The following is the text of my questions and the answers which I received in writing from ashram officials in January 1988. (So that the reader can follow its distinctive flow, I have not edited the text.)

A. QUESTIONS ASKED OF SATPAL AND ANSWERS RECEIVED

What is the form of initiation offered to disciples?

Guru Diksha is a living sacred ceremony performed when the disciple is ready to receive the Knowledge. It is not a mechanical ritual but a sacrosanct divine ceremony in which the Guru bestows the divine vision to the disciple by which he can perceive the light divine within and connect his mind stuff with the cosmic vibration called Shabad Brahm or the Word. Guru Diksha is technically called initiation and imparting the Knowledge of the universal and internal techniques of self realisation. This initiation is primarily to unite the individual self with the cosmic self. It has a great spiritual significance because it is the rebirth in spirit. This is why the initiated one is called born for the second time. There is a clear cut distinction between those who have received initiation (Guru Diksha) and others who have not received Guru Diksha. It is like the one who is born in spirit and the other without initiation who still lives in flesh and mind.

Who is authorized to initiate disciples?

Some of the sannyasis can impart the technique of initiation by the grace of Guru Maharaj ji. Guru Maharaj is a cosmic being who lives within and without the disciple and the experience of Knowledge by the disciple is always the grace of the Guru who manifests himself in the being of the disciple. And it is only in the pure heart that this manifestation becomes possible. Transmission of energy is a very inherent part of the initiation which only the Living Perfect does. Once initiated the process of evolution in spirit and revealing of the spirit starts naturally. The sannyasis who give initiation are not the Gurus but only the dedicated disciples of the Guru and his living mediums.

Do you give ascetic (sannyas) initiation to disciples?

Naturally Guru Maharaj Ji gives sannyas to those who want to dedicate their life totally to spiritual pursuits in their life.

What is your guru parampara. (spiritual lineage)?

The living current of the Knowledge is eternal and same. Every perfect being called Guru manifests it in the heart of the disciple in his own lifetime. Therefore, our Knowledge is in total accordance with Adi Shankaracharya and Shri Hans Ji Maharaj [Satpal's father]. We are only keeping alive the torch of light ablazed by them. Basis is the same, expressions may be different.

How many disciples do you have?

In India our membership runs in millions and being a growing organisation its membership is swelling everyday. We have a few thousand members in Nepal and U.S.A. also.

Do you teach any specific form of yoga?

We don't believe in Hathyoga, we believe in Sahaj Yoga which is the blending of Knowledge, Karma, and Devotion. In fact there can be no action without Knowledge and there can be no service without devotion. Action saturated with love becomes service. So our object is to train the mind and the body and to bring them in unison with Knowledge and then manifest it in act of devotion for the service of the Society.

What is the importance of sadhana and what type do you recommend?

There is no question of personally preferred form of Sadhana. Sadhana (meditation) is universal phenomena. Sadhana in fact is to transcend likes and dislikes. It is as natural as the light of the Sun and is one for all. It is the natural process which the God created for the man as he created other things to unite with Himself. Sadhana (meditation) is linking up with the original source. All modes of sadhana created by or invented by some gurus by their ingenuity are not only against the revealed scriptures of the Great Masters but also artificial and imperfect.

What is the guru's role in contemporary society?

What to talk of contemporary society? The need of the Guru, the enlightened one, is always there for every society. But for the teacher we will be groping in darkness. If in this contemporary society we require all other types of teachers then why not a spiritual master? The spiritual master is the scientist of the spirit. It is only he who can kindle and awaken the spirit in man. And what is a man without a spirit? A breathing machine. Why not to replace the contemporary man with the Robot which can perform all mechanical actions like human beings. Man without the knowledge of the spirit is more or less like a Robot. The decline in the contemporary society, the tensions and the split in the personality of modern man, the increasing rate of suicides, the general sense of unfulfillment and restlessness among the people is simply because of the lack of spiritual growth. But for the knowledge of the spirit the vacuum that is created in man's life cannot be filled by statesman howsoever shrewd, by scientists howsoever inventive, and by political philosophies howsoever progressive in its contents. Therefore, the need of the Guru in the present society is evident. Guru symbolises Knowledge, enlightenment, peace, harmony. Moreover, the present upsurge in the Western Countries for spiritual search itself shows that nothing in the world can give peace to the man but the spiritual Knowledge. Therefore, if individuals and nations want peace the spiritual Knowledge is the only way and spiritual master is the only perfect being who can reveal the Knowledge within the heart of the people. Neither the books can do it nor institutionalised religion can do it.

Please comment on the involvement of religious leaders in political affairs.

Institutionalised religions should not dabble in politics because such religions become set of dogmas and rituals which divide society more instead of uniting it. In fact these develop vested interest and have become more hungry of authority than service. We know the role of Churches in Europe in politics and also in some of the Muslim states and here also in India. But I am in favour of that the politics and the administration of the countries should be based on ethical and spiritual principles. Otherwise, we will never create a just and unexploitative society. I would say in Plato's words that either the kings should have the wisdom of a philosopher, i.e., a seer of truth, or philosophers should be made kings, if real republic based on justice and morality are to be set up. War in nations living under constant fear and tensions is not the destiny of man. Therefore, the higher values must guide our rulers. Otherwise human societies will never get rid of afflictions.

Do you have any special teachings concerning women?

As far as the status of the women is concerned in India I am against all taboos social or religious which hinder their all round development. We should have the women of Vedic time participating in all activities with man equally. But at the same time I would like that the Indian women to maintain their grace and a glow which primarily they enjoy because of their grounding in spiritual traditions and culture of India.

How are your family members involved in your work as guru?

All the members of the family are as dedicated in the propagation of the spiritual Knowledge as I am and they help me a lot in multifarious types of duties that I perform. As far as my mother is concerned she is my Guru Mata and revered, loved, and obeyed by me as Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. In fact she is an ideal picture of Indian womanhood who not only performs her household duties but also looks after the Ashrams and widely travels for addressing the congregations. She is in fact ideal living model for us who is dedicating herself to the propagation of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj's teachings.

Are you training your eldest son to carry on with your work?

Naturally I would like my son to follow in my footsteps and lead a life of service and dedication and dedicate himself to spread this Knowledge, and carry on the torch of light ablazed by my father. I am also giving them that spiritual atmosphere and inspiration too like a good father but it is not a hereditary work which falls to son automatically. The son can inherit no doubt the external (material) property of the father but he cannot inherit the spiritual grace and wisdom till he deserves it and earns it through his own living. The inspiration for spiritual propagation must come from within. It cannot be inherited or imposed on any person. Ultimately it is the flowing of one's spirit which comes to the right person. We cannot deceive or break the laws of the spirit. Finally I believe in "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."

Would it be possible to see a copy of your annual report?

You can see our minutes of the meetings and annual reports also. Ours is a registered charitable organisation and its accounts are audited and filed with the Government. [After receiving this permission to view their records, I asked several times to see them but they were never made available.]

B. QUESTIONS ASKED OF SATPAL'S MOTHER AND ANSWERS RECEIVED

What is your relation to the disciples of Hans Ji and Satpal?

I am their Guru Mata. They call me their Holy Mother. I treat the devotees as my children. In fact I have motherly love for all.

What type of Sadhana do you practice and recommend?

No question of having a personally preferred form of Sadhana. I practice and preach the same Universal Sadhana as preached by all Divine Masters like Adi Shankaracharya, Guru Nanak, and even Christ. We are all one in spirit.

Please comment on the involvement of religious leaders in political affairs.

I have no interest in politics neither is it my field but I know that through the spiritual knowledge we can create good people and only good people can become good citizen. Dharma must permeate all our activities and norms of life. I appreciate Gandhi's idea of spiritualising politics.

Do you have any special teachings concerning women?

The Indian women should not lose its true identity in the mad craze for materialism and western style of life. They should be rather model of inspiration, purity, and service within the home and outside the home.

C.THE QUESTIONS DIRECTED TO SATPAL'S WIFE, AMITRA

WERE ANSWERED WITH THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE

Like a devoted wife of Shri Satpalji Maharaj and daughter-in-law of Shri Mata Ji I readily perform the duties allotted to me by them because their service is my pleasure.