Ms. Elizabeth Bruce's reply to Dr. Johnson
30th September, 1932
My dear Mr. Johnson,
I owe you an apology for taking so much time in acknowledging your kind letter of the 7th instant. The fact of matter is that I drafted a reply and showed it to my Master along with your letter but He rejected it as being too strong and it had to be re-drafted.
Now, I must, first of all, thank you for your kind invitation to your new home. I shall certainly make use of it when a suitable opportunity presents itself. But I may make it clear that it will be too much to expect of me to absent myself from the bliss of Satsang here for the mere pleasure of the trip. I must wait for a suitable opportunity.
You are entirely misinformed regarding the teachings here and you can never get rid of your illusions till you clear your mind of pre-possessions. Every child of Dayalbagh knows the five names you speak about but we, at the same time, know that ‘Radhasoami’ is the Supreme Word. You have taken the trouble of quoting a passage from the Sar Bachan Prose but you appear to have taken little trouble to understand it. It is not safe to pick up a passage and interpret it independent of the context. You simply hurt me and betray your ignorance when you say that it is an innovation to attach the importance, we do, to the name “Radhasoami”. The passage you have quoted only enumerates the intermediary stages and emphasizes that the spirit of a devotee can pass from stage to stage and reach the highest region only by catching the respective sounds of these regions. It does not explain how and by what means the devotee can catch these respective sounds. It is no joke to curb the mind and establish contact with the spiritual sounds. This point has been explained in paragraph 67 of the same book. It means:-
“The path of the Sant Satguru is the highest, (leads to the highest region), and He inculcates the worship of the true Supreme Being, i.e., Satyapursha Radhasoami Who is beyond the regions of Brahm and Par-Brahm so that a soul may go across the boundaries of Maya. A true Sadh has access up to the Tenth Door or the Sunna region and He alone is a Yogeshwara Gyani. The persons who stop short ol this region occupy a lower status than a Sadh. For these reasons it behoves every individual caring for true emancipation to adopt the Isht (goal) of the Saints, viz., Satyapurash Radhasoami. The name Radhasoami has been manifested by the Supreme Being Himself. The person who succeeds in getting initiated into the secrets of his name and surrendering himself to Radhasoami recites it according to the method prescribed by the Saints or repeats it internally or hears its sound within him, is bound to be blessed with true emancipation. A few days’ practice will automatically reveal to him the truth of this statement.”
Now Dr. Johnson read, chew and digest internally the teachings contained in this passage and also supplement your knowledge by reading the first few lines of Sar Bachan Poetry and the few articles of the “Discourses on Radhasoami Faith” on the subject and see how far you are justified in coming to the conclusion that my time has been spent in vain. Each region has, no doubt, its own distinct deity and sound but, like a golden thread, the Supreme Spiritual Current, i.e. the Prime Current that evolved the entire creation and that manifested the Prime Word, “Radhasoami,” represents both the source sound and the current sound of the Supreme Spiritual Current, while names like “Om” represent only the sounds of the manifest functions of the various deities. And these functional sounds or the manifest holy names of the various deities are as distinct from the sounds of the eternal spiritual currents, supplying spiritual energy to the deities, as the vibrations at the mental planes — thought the result of the passage of the spirit to the mental planes — are distinct from the spirit sounds; or as blue light produced by the passage of white light through a blue lens is distinct from white light. But to quote the words of Maharaj Sahab, “This distinction is not apparent to those who do not possess access to the innermost quarter of spirit.” The holy name Radhasoami is present everywhere in creation and can be heard at the innermost plane where the spirit current is acting. It is for these reasons that Soamiji Maharaj has taught:-
- Whoever shall sing the Holy Name “Radhasoami” will assuredly cross (the ocean of mundane existence), and, freed from the tortures of Kal, he will enjoy perfect peace and immunity from pain.
- So boundless is this Name that no one comprehends its significance, whoever comes to understand it reaches the other shore, never to be born again.
- Sing, Sing, therefore the Radhasoami Name and attain the summum bonum of human life. This alone is the real Name of the Supreme Being; implant it in your heart.
I cannot resist the temptation of adding here a passage from the “Discourses” to expose the folly of those who give preference to the names of subordinate deities over the Holy Name of the Supreme Being. The passage occurs at the end of Article 70 of the book and runs as follows:-
“What the marvellous effect of the Supreme Holy Name Radhasoami is, in respect of the concentration it produces at the spiritual centre and in overcoming the outward and material influences, can be experienced after a short trial, if the august name be spiritually repeated in the correct way at the spiritual centre.”
[The quote above is from the Discourses on Radhasoami Faith by Maharaj Sahab.]
I wonder why it never occurred to you or your friends and associates there that when it is admitted that the names of the subordinate deities have the power of overcoming intervening resistance and leading the spirit of a devotee to the thrones of respective deities, it should also be possible for the Name of the Supreme Being to overcome the intervening resistance and lead the spirit to the Throne of the Supreme Being. Do you really mean to suggest that the Name of the Supreme Being, which is believed to be the Supreme Word or the Supreme Name, is impotent in the lower regions and can show its powers only in the region of the Supreme Being? If that be the case, I would make bold to say that the Satguru is also impotent in the lower regions, in-as-much-as, He is only the manifestation and embodiment of the Supreme Current of the Supreme Being. I am sure you will feel shocked at this conclusion. But it is a conclusion which is forced upon us by your own logic about the inefficacy of the Supreme Name.
In the end, I would congratulate you on adopting Indian modes of living and also growing a beard and express my hope that you will reconsider your position in the light of my reply.
With hearty Radhasoami and best wishes,
(Sd.) ELIZABETH BRUCE
SOME FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF OUR FAITH
We are indebted to the courtesy of Sister Sushila (Miss Bruce) for being able to reproduce her correspondence with Dr. J.P. Johnson, an American seeker who has come to India and is now a follower of Sardar Sawan Singh Sahab of Beas. When the latter came in August last and stayed in Soamibagh (Agra) on the occasion of the Janam Ashtami Bhandara held there, Dr. Johnson also came with him. It was then that this American gentleman paid a visit to Dayalbagh and had also an interview with His Holiness Sahabji Maharaj — the points that were raised during the course of conversation have been summarized in Huzur’s Diary for August 22, published in our esteemed local contemporary, the Prem Pracharak, dated 12th September, 1932. It was also then that Dr. Johnson met Sister Sushila and formed her acquaintance. (Ed. D.H.)
SOME FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF OUR FAITH
In the last issue of the Dayalbagh Herald, we had the pleasure of publishing under the above headlines, some interesting correspondence that passed recently between Dr. Johnson and Sister Sushila (Miss Bruce). In addition to writing to Sister Sushila, Dr. Johnson addressed a rather stiff letter to His Holiness Sahabji Maharaj, perhaps under the impression that within so short a period of his arrival in India, he has been able to lay his finger on our weakest point that had hitherto remained unknown and undiscovered. We are extremely grateful for permission to publish this interesting correspondence also for the delectation of our readers. (Ed. D.H.)