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Radha Soami
Motto Reclaiming the downtrodden humanity involved in endless troubles and miseries in this world. Radhasoami Faith can easily be practiced by both men and women of any age and in all countries, who, observing the perishable nature of all objects in these regions, have the slightest but sincere desire of finding truth and enjoying eternal joy and bliss in the highest and purest regions of love and spirit in the August and happy presence of their Supreme Father: Radhasoami Dayal.[1]
Formation 1861
Region served
Worldwide
Membership
3,000,000[2]
Official language
Hindi, Punjabi
Main organ
Radhasoami Satsang

Radhasoami (Radha Swami) is a spiritual movement that originated in 19th century India, and is considered by adherents as a true way to attain God realization. The Radhasoami faith is also referred to as Sant Mat, the "Path of the Sants." The word "Radhasoami" itself is actually a combination of two words: "Radha" (referring to the soul or spiritual essence, either of an individual or of the whole) and "Soami" (referring to the spiritual master; cognate to the Sanskrit term swami or svami); the combined word thus refers to the "Lord of the Soul" or God. It also can be interpreted to mean the "Master Soul" or "Spirit Master" who guides the disciple to higher states of consciousness. Like Sant Mat sects, Radhasoami emphasizes the use of listening to inner sound accessed by (mantra/simran), combined with personal loyalty to a given living Master, for devotees to attain desired states of spiritual advancement.

"The socio-religious revolution or renaissance which took place in India in the nineteenth century is generally known for its three facets: the change in Indian thought current under the hypnotic impact of the West; a positive leaning towards puritanic revivalism as a reaction to the influx of wester ideas; and a deliberate attempt at synthesis of the Oriental and the Occidental. But besides these currents, there was one more - a spontaneous outburst of an inner urge of the Spirit, which was far away from any external influence whatsoever. The father of this spiritual renaissance was Soamiji Maharaj, the founder of the Radhasoami Faith, who started his teachings as early as the twenties of the nineteenth century. Whatever he said or wrote was the outcome of his intuitive realization and mystic revelations. Under this spiritual impulse he could draw a super-sensitive and English educated disciple like Hazur Maharaj towards him. The devotion of the disciple for the Master was matchless in form and precedence. And it was on his repeated requests that Soamiji Maharaj founded this esoteric faith in 1861. The chief characteristics of this faith are love and devotion. It revitalized the medieval Bhakti trends and revived the ancient Guru traditions. The faith presents a new concept of the Supreme Being, a novel revelation of the name "Radhasoami" and introduces a well-defined and developed method of internal practice -- surat-shabd-yoga—to the seekers after Truth. Not only an ascetic but also a man living in family can practise this Yoga. The faith has many other spiritual observances and a well spelt code of moral conduct to be followed by devotees. The faith owes its systematization to the second guru, Rai Saligram Bahadur (Hazur Maharaj), who was its real architect. The Radhasoami Faith has made a remarkable contribution in the socio-religion field as well. The founder gurus of the faith made direct hit upon the prevalent malpractices and anomalies in the indigenous socio-religious beliefs. They advocated for steady and gradual reforms in Indian society and simplified religion so as to make it accessible to all who desire salvation from worldly bondage, without any distinction of caste, colour and nationality."[3]

Shiv Dayal Singh, called "Soamiji Maharaj" by devotees and admirers, was a khatri seth by caste in Agra, India. He used to insist that anyone who chose to follow him must give up non-vegetarian food, abstain from alcohol and intoxicants, lead a high moral life and engage in over two hours of shabd yoga (sound-current yoga) meditation per day.[4]

In the mid-1850s, Shiv Dayal Singh had a handful of followers in Agra. However, his teachings eventually attracted disciples from across India and by the time of his death in 1878, Shiv Dayal had several thousands of followers. He died on 15 June 1878 in Agra, India.

Shiv Dayal Singh's wife, Narayani Devi (called Radhaji), Rai Saligram (called Huzur Maharaj), Sanmukh Das, Gharib Das, Partap Singh (Shiv Dayal's younger brother) and Baba Jaimal Singh were some of his prominent followers around whom individual satsang groups formed. This splintering off, led to the propagation of Radhasoami teachings to a wider audience, although with slightly varied interpretations.

Spiritual Meditation[edit]

Shabd is referring to a spiritual current which can be perceived in meditation as inner light and sound. Yoga is referring to the uniting of our real essence (soul) through an inner listening with focused mental concentration (surat) upon an inner sound (shabd) which it is maintained emanates from Radhasoami the Supreme Being. It is therefore taught as the unchanging and primordial technique for uniting the soul with the supreme being via the power of Shabd.

Following the practice of meditation under the guidance of a spiritual teacher who is himself in contact with Shabd, is considered of paramount importance.

Pre-requisites for successful achievement of the meditation practice are a lacto-vegetarian diet, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and maintaining a pure and moral lifestyle.

Gurus and followers strongly reject rituals such and idols. Though, the images or videos of the gurus are revered. Sar bachan claims that gods and goddesses are in the lowest of the low cadres and cannot grant salvation to the jivas. Worship of elements such as fire air water land space are rejected. Worship of material things and inanimate things is rejected such as worship of Sun, Stars moon. Worship of animals such as cows or snakes is also strongly condemned. Followers are encouraged to give up caste system and marry within people of other castes in case one is a true Satsangi. Also, It is claimed that Krishna is one of the lowest of the low cadre gods who cannot grant salvation to jivas so there by Satsangis strongly reject deities.

Radhasoami Satsang Hazuri Bhawan Lineage[edit]

After the founder and the first guru - Param Purush Puran Dhani (PPPD) Soamiji Maharaj - left for his heavenly abode in 1878, the satsang tradition started by him with his disciple PPPD Hazur Maharaj (Rai Saligram Bahadur) was continued by PPPD Hazur Maharaj at his residence: Hazuri Bhawan, Peepal Mandi, Agra. The Hazuri Bhawan lineage is:

The Supreme Being has manifested Himself as Soamiji Maharaj and Hazur Maharaj as "Bhagwant" the Supreme Master and the "Bhakt" the Supreme Disciple. They have established the Radhasoami Faith in 1861, and revealed to the world not only about their "Nij Dham", i.e., their Supreme Abode but also given out the name "Radhasoami" which is the sustaining force and is reverberating at all stages of creation. They laid emphasis on "Param Bhakti" and "Surat-Shabda-Yoga" as the true path to reach Him (the Supreme Being).

This Faith, which rests upon the thought and philosophy of Soamiji Maharaj and Hazur Maharaj, was unique and soon caught attention of the elite and the laity, who gradually drawn to it in large numbers. The Gurus of the Faith had direct intuitive experiences of Truth, and taught its basic principles in simple, lucid and intelligible language. This Sant Mat gives spiritual solace to millions of people.

Hazuri Bhawan is the house of Hazur Maharaj and it was the Nucleus of all Spiritual Activity of the Hazur as Sant Sat Guru. This continues to be an important Seat of Radhasoami Satsang till date. The Guru tradition continuing, Soamiji Maharaj - Hazur Maharaj were succeeded by Lalaji Maharaj and Lalaji Maharaj by Kunwarji Maharaj and Kunwarji Maharaj by Dadaji Maharaj, who since 1959 is the Guru and the Head of Radhasoami Satsang.

The places of high reverence of Radhasoami Satsang are the Holy Samadh of Soamiji Maharaj, the Holy Samadh of Hazur Maharaj, the Panni Gali Gurudwara - Residence of Soamiji Maharaj and the Hazuri Bhawan.

Radha Soami Satsang Beas lineage[edit]

The Beas Satsang was founded by Shiv Dayal Singh ji's disciple Baba Jaimal Singh Ji. The Beas lineage is:

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.[4] Central to the RSSB philosophy is a living 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 Gurinder Singh Dhillon lives with his family at the main centre in Beas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rai Saligram Bahadur (1896). Radhasoami Mat Prakash or A Brief View of Radhasoami Faith : being a message of eternal peace and joy to all nations. Radhasoami Satsang, Agra, India. 
  2. ^ Peter Bernard Clarke (2006). Encyclopedia Of New Religious Movements. Psychology Press. 
  3. ^ Prof. Agam Prasad Mathur (1974). Radhasoami Faith - A Historical Study. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, India. 
  4. ^ a b "Introduction to the Radha Swami faith". Radha Swami Dera Baba Bagga Singh. Radha Swami Dera Baba Bagga Singh. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  • ^ Larson, Gerald J. India's Agony Over Religion (1995). p. 136. SUNY Press (State University of New York) ISBN 0-7914-2411-1

Further reading[edit]

  • Juergensmeyer, Mark (1991). Radhasoami Reality: The Logic of a Modern Faith, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07378-3
  • Lane, David C (1992). The Radhasoami Tradition, New York. Garland Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8240-5247-8
  • Schomer, Karine & William Hewat McLeod, eds (1987).The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1987. Academic papers from a 1978 Berkeley conference on the Sants organised by the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California Center for South Asia Studies. ISBN 81-208-0277-2

External links[edit]


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466 news items

Sikh24 News & Updates

Sikh24 News & Updates
Sun, 17 May 2015 21:18:45 -0700

CHANDIGARH, Punjab (May 18, 2015)—Beas (district Amritsar) based cult 'Radha Soami' head Gurinder Dhillon on Sunday visited PGI to meet Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann who is receiving medical treatment here. The cult ...

BGR India

Times of India
Tue, 05 May 2015 08:22:30 -0700

He also revealed that India's largest rooftop solar power plant of 7.50 MW at Radha Soami Satsang at Beas (Amritsar) would be expanded to 31.5 MW which would make it the world's largest rooftop PV plant. Thanking the Radha Soami Satsang, Beas for this ...

SeeNews Renewables

SeeNews Renewables
Thu, 07 May 2015 04:30:36 -0700

During the inauguration ceremony, Revenue and Renewable Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia also announced that the capacity of the 7.5-MW PV plant at Radha Soami Satsang will be expanded to 31.5 MW, which will make it the biggest rooftop solar ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Thu, 21 May 2015 12:41:15 -0700

The accused also said he was travelling to Beas to visit the Dera of Radha Soami Satsang. The accused was identified by photos clicked by the tourist in the train's coach where he allegedly tried to molest her. The woman in her early twenties is ...

International Business Times, India Edition

International Business Times, India Edition
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 04:47:08 -0700

While the air is thick with speculations about Shahid Kapoor with Mira Rajput's wedding details, it has now been revealed that the couple will tie the knot on 10 June. According to a report in Bollywood Life, Shahid and Mira will have a destination ...

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Wed, 20 May 2015 21:18:45 -0700

Mira Rajput, currently pursuing her graduation degree from a Delhi college, met Shahid through the religious group Radha Soami Satsang Beas. Speaking about Mira at an event, Shahid had said, "Recently, at an event Shahid said, "She is a normal girl and ...
 
Hindustan Times
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:41:15 -0700

The deceased has been identified as Laxmi (21) and the accident occurred near the Radha Soami Satsang Bhawan, Jandiala Guru, when the woman was on her way to hospital with her husband, Manjinder Singh, for thae delivery of the child. The Amritsar ...

Herald Sun

Herald Sun
Sun, 28 Dec 2014 05:05:02 -0800

Yarra Ranges councillors overwhelmingly rejected the Radha Soami Satsang Beas proposal for a place of worship and other associated works at 275 Edward Rd. Project manager Greg Allchin told Leader he would go back to the organisation's board of ...
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