Friday, November 02, 2012

Sahaj Marg's The Master, the Preceptor and the Disciple

Taken and translated from an article: "Le Maître, le Precepteur et le Disciple", by Élodie on her French blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg

Nov. 1, 2012

The Master, the Preceptor and the Disciple

What does a spiritual seeker do?

He/she undertakes a long journey in search of his/her inner God. 

What does Sahaj Marg Propose? 

Acceleration of the process: the rapid realization of  "union with the divine source (...), in the context of a normal family and professional life." 

The Raja Yoga of Patanjali consists of eight steps. In Sahaj Marg, Babuji occults the first six steps with meditation (dhyana), in order to achieve more quickly the last step (samadhi), that is to say, merger with the God within (laya avastha), absorption in the absolute, the divine or the Central Region or the Luminous World (Brighter World). 

How does he (Babuji) Proceed? 

Babuji (aka Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur)  develops Lalaji's (aka Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh)  silent (Sufi) meditation on the heart, in which the relationship between the master and disciple becomes crucial, the latter being responsible for the spiritual growth of his students. It is the guarantee of the speed of the result. 

In so doing, Sahaj Marg introduces an intermediary master between the divine and the spiritual seeker.  So there is an intrusion of an exterior living being into the deepest depths of the heart of the spiritual aspirant, with all the risks associated with such a practice. Babuji did not make a mistake, when he added that "It is better to have no guru at all than to have a bad guru." 

The abhyasis of Sahaj Marg chose their master, Babuji (aka Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur).  However, they did not choose their preceptor. The preceptor is appointed by and theoretically serves as the master's channel so as to increase his work with a large number of disciples. As long as Babuji worked directly with his disciples, he does not seem to have had any problems. 

It is clear that things started to go wrong as soon as Babuji had to use preceptors.  As Alexis points out, according to sources at SRCM (Shri Ram Chandra Mission), Babuji at the end of his life had 3,000 followers and 180 preceptors. If we are to believe his grandson Sharad and S.C. Kishore, Babuji, being aware of the difficulties, had even stopped appointing preceptors and had prohibited any further appointments. 

What happened? 

On the one hand, abhyasis chose their master, Babuji, but not their preceptor. On the other hand, some preceptors have not come up to Babuji's expectations, developing alternative methods and taking advantage of their power over abhyasis for personal ends, as denounced by Dr. K. C. Varadachari in 1970. 

The intrusion into the heart of a disciple by an exterior living being animated with impure intentions has proven catastrophic.  The abhyasis spiritual growth slowed in the best case,  and more often, it has completely disappeared.  A small caste of local potentates has emerged and has installed itself between Babuji and his followers, taking advantage of their influence on others to gain a semblance of power. 

Since then, this caste has continued to strengthen. How can they be controled and prevent abuse? 

Chari announces that he has more than 3,000 preceptors today and he is also as critical of them as Babuji was in his time, even if he never wanted to limit their number and especially if he makes abhyasis responsible for their own lack of progress in a formidable reversal of responsibilities. 

Sahaj Marg, the spiritual method modernized by Babuji, may work very effectively as long as the master remains in close contact with his disciple. It becomes extremely dangerous when a third scoundrel is intruded into the relationship. The original Sahaj Marg is not accessible to the greatest number of disciples, its limit is formed by the number of followers that the master can guide directly, without intermediaries. 

The first disciples of Babuji, such as Kasturi or Varadachari have received all the benefits of Sahaj Marg, (allegedly?) quickly accessing a merger with the divine. The abhyasis today stagnate spiritually, with the exception of an elite which has the chance of approaching the master. 

The Caste of Preceptors 

... and the entire hierarchy built over time blocks the abhyasis.  Consciously or not, nobody is fooled.  All means for getting closer to the master are good, Babuji yesterday, and Chari today, hoping to finally achieve some spiritual progression. 

To do this, one must either advance in the hierarchy (service?), or stand up to get noticed. Competition is fierce, and it is a real competition, a struggle that develops between abhyasis. 

How does one show the Master that one's love is greater than the others?   To that, Chari provides a simple answer: all must "obey the Master and serve the Mission." Serve and obey,  such have now become the ins and outs of the spiritual method of Sahaj Marg. 

Where then is the initial quest of the spiritual seeker for the divine light which is within one? 

Forgotten by the wayside, and no one was even moved, it was diverted to other purposes that have nothing to do with spirituality.  The Master and the preceptor interposed themselves, and definitively interrupted the direct relationship with the God within. The master and his hierarchy captured the obedience and the service of their followers for their personal gain. 

Meanwhile, the spiritual seeker has gone from the status of a disciple to that of an adept, without noticing.  Sahaj Marg has finally not fulfilled any of its spiritual promises. 

Incredible but true, nobody is stirred and everybody (some?) seems satisfied with it. 



Tania Stanwood said...

Very good post, I found it to be very insightful. I am currently reading Reconnecting With Your Soul by Susan Christopher. It is a book/workbook and getting back to your "God-Self" and how to then manage the more powerful and transcendent Energy. I found it at, and then posts like this one really help with the process of understanding! Thanks for this post!

4d-Don said...

Hi Tania...

With your permission, I will also post your comment on Elodie's blog in Europe (she wrote the original article in French ... I translated it to English)

Happy Trails (journey) to you and yours!!

Don ...

Michael said...

Elodie has eloquently pointed out one of the biggest flaws created with Sahaj Marg, Preceptors. The existence of them are the glaring evidence of a man intent on expanding his influence to the masses to create a power base. For what reason Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur desired a power base, we will never know.

Preceptorship is founded on a principle that any individual of a Master's choosing can be, in 3 face to face sittings with hime, made to channel the "transmission" of a living Master, extending his reach, so to speak to a broader audience.

This is nothing more than a blatant power hierarchy. This is not spirituality, there is NOTHING natural about this.

Thank you Elodie for such a thoughtful analysis!



Anonymous said...

but do you accept chari is a Master of caliber and can guide his elite abhyasis and take them to the spiritual realm?

4d-Don said...

Hi anonymous...

A liar can only make one "a liar"... An immoral person can't SHOW morality, he/she can only "speak" it.

Once one is told the truth and they still continue to promote and propagate the lie, then they are also liars... Can a liar teach "truth" and "morality"??

Not in my LIFE!!

That is the problem with the "my master right or wrong" syndrome.

Religions have to insist on their "slaves" remaining slaves so that the "cons" (the Mission) may be able to make the slaves believe that they will be "freed" or "saved" by the scum who float to the surface of stagnant (immoral) waters, ie: liars, power hungry, addicted to the material (as children die of starvation), or otherwise "immoral" beings ...

NO! Chari is not a "master" of caliber from where I am, but he may look Holy or Saintly, from the level you are at!!

We hear from "Indians" that India is a corrupt nation!! It may be true ... Those who are of the "inner circle" of SRCM are surely the "elite" of Indian society ... WE can see by what the "SPIRITUALIST" SRCM has become that even the RELIGION and the SPIRITUALISM in India is also very much CORRUPT ...

Is there true "spirituality" in India?? Or is it all "corrupt"?

Our native Spirituality is not so "materialist"... (NO ASHRAMS!! NO STRUCTURES!!


Michael said...


I'll take a stab at answering your little quiz question.

Personally, I reject ANYONE claiming themselves to be a Master of others. I reject ANYONE promoting the fantasy of an elusive "Spiritual Realm" where a self proclaimed "Master" will lead his "elite" hierarchy at some undetermined point in the future.

This is NOT natural! This has NOTHING to do with Spirituality. It is about manipulating power for the personal benefit of a few.

Any "Spiritual Realm" that exists, exists HERE, NOW. You merely need to decide to BE in it.

Anyone claiming otherwise is a charlatan.

The goal is the Journey. The Journey is infinite. There is no goal!