ost people do not understand how Radhasoamis and Sikhs differ. Radhasoamis cannot be considered as Sikhs because they've abandoned Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Guru. They've taken up a physical person as their Satguru who gives them Naam. The blog post highlights the key difference between Radhasoamis and Sikhs. So, they do not say that the Satguru is the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Khalsa Panth.
Three Forms of Guru
A conversation between Guru Gobind Singh ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji illustrates what a Guru means to a Sikh. Bhai Nand Lal is one of the foremost Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and his writings are highly honoured and respected by the Gurus. Therefore, they can be sung in Gurudwara. That conversation is recorded and is called Prashan-Uttar (Questions & Answers). In this conversation, Bhai Nand Lal Ji asks Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Maharaj, what are you? What is a Guru? Guru Sahib Ji replies, I have three forms: Nirgun (transcendental), Sargun (physical) and Gurshabad.
i) Gurshabad: Gurshabad is Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Guru's words. Not just Guru Granth Sahib Ji but all of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Bani as well. We should not have any doubt about that. We cannot doubt Gurbani, as it's Guru's Shabad (Guru’s words).
ii) Sargun: Guru Ji says that Sikh is my Sargun form. Sargun means with qualities, i.e. physical. They say that the Khalsa is my special form, I reside within Khalsa. The Panj Piaare (five beloved ones) are the Khalsa Panth.
iii) Nirgun: Guru Ji says that my Nirgun (transcendental) Saroop (form) is the light inside every single person. What is this light? It's God. So, Guru is saying that my third form is God.
To sum up, Guru Ji says that I have one form of a Sikh, one form of the Shabad (Guru's words) and then one form of God.
Key Difference between Radhasoamis and Sikhs
A Sikh’s journey begins with Guru's Shabad meaning starts to learn Gurbani. Then he becomes a Gursikh, follows Guru Sahib, and becomes the part of Khalsa Panth. Then the Sikh achieves the One (God) inside. So, Radhasoamis have many variations of Dehdhari (physical) Guru. They don't accept the Guru Granth and Panth concept. They don't accept Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the perfect Guru and the light of the Gurus. They don't accept the Khalsa as their Guru. So, they're not accepting Sikhi.
Radhasoamis have a physical Guru who says they can't get Naam (connection to the divine) from Gurbani. You should have a physical Guru to whisper the mantra into your ears, and you will get enlightenment, if you chant it. It's not the whispering of the Guru that makes you a Gursikh. It's the chanting and the living that makes you a Gursikh.
Guru Ji is Haazar Hazoor (Present Forever)
Sikhi was on decline around or before the time when the Radhasoamis came around. The respect for Panj Piaare (five beloved ones) was going down. People stopped to understand Gurbani properly. They stopped to understand what Sikhi is about. Sikhi is about Gurparsaad - the Guru's grace.
Anyone who thinks that Guru Nanak Dev ji is not here today, ceases to believe in Gurbani. They think Guru Sahib is gone. Guru Ji says they live in Amarpuri (forever region). When you take Amrit and become a part of people who are immortal, then you don't die. The body dies, but the soul lives on forever. So all the Gurus are still here and have not gone anywhere.The Mahapurakhs (saints), enlightened beings have met Guru Sahib. They've had Darshan (vision) of Guru Sahib. We can do Ardass (humble request) to Guru Nanak Dev ji even now and we start off the Ardas by naming all the ten Gurus because they are still here.
The Rope Analogy
You climb a mountain and you get two ropes. One rope comes from above, the other rope is lying on the ground. You can start climbing the mountain with a rope from the bottom, and keep flipping it on as you go up. At some point there is a risk, you might run out of rope because you don't know how long that rope is. The path is very high and this rope might not reach there. You don't know who that Guru is. But you do know that the other rope came from above. There is a guarantee with that rope that it's going back there, because it has come from there. So, that is the Guru and the Gurbani. It has come from there and it is going to go back there, guaranteed. That is why Guru Ji says, hold onto Gurbani, hold on to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Radhasoamis still read Gurbani, but they need a physical Guru. They don't accept the Granth and the Panth. So, they miss out on Gurparsaad (Guru’s grace).
Easy Way vs Hard Way
We are all diseased with Houmai (ego). We need a doctor to prescribe us medicine in order for us to get cured of Houmai. Life with no restrictions is easy. It's easier than taking Amrit and doing the Panj Bania. So people take it up because it's a simple way. But they don't understand that we all need Guru Ji to cure our Houmai (ego). In the following quote Guru Ji says,
ਮੇਰਾ ਬੈਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਵਿੰਦਾ ।।
My physician is the Guru, the Lord of the Universe.
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਵੈ ਕਾਟੈ ਜਮ ਕੀ ਫੰਧਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
My Guru is my doctor. He gives me the medication of Naam and frees me from the life-death cycle. The Guru that tells you this way is hard, and you might not even make it, you have to work hard for this. He might be the true Guru. He might be the one that is giving you the right prescription. A doctor who tries to dilute the prescription is not trustworthy. The one that makes it easy and says, come once a week to see me and give me 10% of your income might not be the right doctor. He just wants you as his patient.
Khalsa is missing Chardi-kala (High Spirit)
People follow these Physical Gurus because the Sargun (physical) form of the Guru is not standing up and following Sikhi properly. They know the problems in the Panth but they're not taking action. At the moment, Sikhs are not really worthy of the name Khalsa. They are scared of doing what they meant to do. Khalsa does not live the way it is supposed to live nowadays. Hence, people have lost their trust in Panth. It's our fault that there are Dehdhari (physical) Gurus nowadays. We need to stand up as the Khalsa. The world will follow the Khalsa because it is made to fight against Adharam (unrighteousness). Nowadays, we're busy from 9am to 4pm at work, stuck in Kaam (desire), Krodh (anger), Lobh (lust) Moh (attachment), Ahnkaar (ego). We have lost vision of what we are meant to do. That's why these Dehdhari (physical) Gurus are here nowadays.
This article is a transcribed version of the video.