Lord of The Soul
Radha Soami Satsang Beas is a philosophical organization based on spiritual teachings of all religions but still a non-profit organization without any political or commercial affiliation
With an aim to teach personal path of spiritual development which includes a vegetarian diet, abstinence from intoxicants, a moral way of life and the practice of daily meditation, Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) was founded in India in 1891. As its name indicates the RSSB is a philosophical organization based on the spiritual teachings of all religions, dedicated to a process of inner development under the guidance of a spiritual teacher. Radha Soami is a Hindi expression meaning ‘Lord of the Soul’ in English. Satsang means ‘association with Truth’ and describes a group that seeks truth. The main centre of RSSB is at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, located on the banks of the Beas River, in the northern India state of Punjab. Immediately after inception in 1891 in India, it started to spread its wings in India and in other countries. Today, RSSB holds meetings in more than 90 countries worldwide. It is a non-profit organization with no affiliation to any political or commercial organizations.
The philosophy which RSSB teaches is a personal path of spiritual development that includes a vegetarian diet, abstinence from intoxicants, 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 do not need to give up their cultural identity or religious preference to follow this path.
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 within 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. The present teacher is Baba Gurinder Singh, who lives with his family at the main centre in northern India.
By performing the meditation practice according to the teacher’s instructions, individuals can realize the presence of God
within themselves. It is a solitary practice that is done in the quiet of one’s own home. Members commit themselves to a way of life that supports spiritual growth while carrying out their responsibilities to family, friends and society.
By performing the meditation practice according to the teacher’s instructions, individuals can realize the presence of God within themselves. It is a solitary practice that is done in the quiet of one’s own home. Members commit themselves to a way of life that supports spiritual growth while carrying out their responsibilities to family, friends and society. 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.
To build on the primary spiritual practice of meditation, members are lacto-vegetarian, abstain from alcohol and recreational drugs, and are expected to lead a life of high moral values. The lacto-vegetarian diet encourages respect and empathy for all life and acknowledges that there is a debt to be paid for taking any life unnecessarily. Abstaining from intoxicants improves one’s ability to concentrate and calms the mind during meditation. Members are encouraged to be self-supporting and not be a burden on society. They are free to make their own choices in life and maintain any cultural or religious affiliations they choose. RSSB does not involve itself in the personal lives of its members.
The RSSB is indulged in social services also. They have developed an eco-friendly township known as Dera among the locals. This township has schools, hospitals, guest houses, canteens, and lodges — all at no cost. People coming to the Satsang can book their place in the Satsang delivered by present teacher Baba Gurinder Singh Jee. The Dera Sevadars would come to the railway station to receive their visitor if he or she is an elder who find it difficult to commute. As the railway station passes through the township mentioned above, by the time you deboard the train, you are in the Dera campus. So, even an unknown can identify the place where he or she needs to go.
Since, RSSB is a spiritual and philosophical institution and it doesn’t have any lineage with any religion, people from all cross-sections of the society have joined the Dera and become full time Sevadars here. For them, the campus has facility for boarding, fooding and lodging. Irrespective of their level in Sevadar fraternity, their accommodation is based on the basis of the size of their family. They take care of their kids and other members needs. They provide free studies for their Sevadars kids in their schools and colleges. Afterwards, they even accommodate them in their institutions if they wish to. Else they are free to get their job outside the campus as well.
Inherent to the Society’s philosophy is the importance of seva, meaning selfless service, or voluntarism. Voluntary service is the backbone of all activities connected with RSSB. All administrative functions, construction of Indian and international centres, feeding of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who visit the headquarters in India, writing and translating books and magazines explaining the teachings, are done by members on a voluntary basis. Mahatma Gandhi embodied the importance of service in his statement: “The best way to find your self is to lose yourself in the service of others.” It is believed that through service, one loses one’s sense of self-importance and becomes humble. That is the foundation of a spiritual life.
Radha Soami Satsang Beas Baba Gurinder Singh