Excerpt from the book “The Way of the Saints: SANT MAT” by Sant Kirpal Singh, final section of chapter “The Life of Baba Sawan Singh” (pages 26 to 40)
Hazur used to tell us that when a High Soul comes into the world, the worshipers of wealth and women also gather around him. Hence He said,
“Whatever a person asked of me, I granted.
He who wanted riches got riches.
He who wished for lands, was given lands.
Those who wanted me alone, got me in abundance.” (6)
Throughout His lifetime he left no stone unturned for reforming and improving the angle of vision of the masses. In spite of His attaining the age of 90, He set aside all his bodily comforts and stubbornly devoted eighteen out of 24 hours of the day in the service of humanity and thus afforded spiritual satisfaction to every aspirant both publicly and in seclusion.
Physical structure composed of flesh, blood and bones, like machinery, can only work up to a limited extent. The result of this carelessness towards his bodily rest and consistent hard labor came out to be that His physical frame could not endure the burden of weariness any more; and on continued requests and entreaties from almost every individual, Hazur yielded to their prayers and was inclined to take rest and seek medical advice. Accordingly, in September 1947, he came to Amritsar for medical treatment; but before leaving Dera a Managing Committee for management of Dera affairs was constituted there.
His health improved a little at Amritsar but it became worse on 4th October, 1947. On the 5th October, 1947, Hazur sent for me from Beas. In a week’s time His condition was again better.
On the morning of 12th October, 1947, at seven o’clock He called me. When I was in his august presence, He said:
“Kirpal Singh! I have allotted all other work but have not entrusted my task of Naam-Initiation and spiritual work to anyone.
That I confer on you today so that this holy and sacred Science may flourish.”
Hearing this my eyes were filled with tears, and afflicted as I was, I beseeched:
“Hazur! The peace and security that I have in sitting at thy feet here
cannot be had in higher planes …”
My heart was filled with anguish; I could not speak any more and sat staring — Hazur encouraging and caressing me all the time. After this whenever I had the honor to be in seclusion with Hazur, He talked about the interior affairs of Dera and instructed me how to act when He departed forever. During the days of His confinement on the bed of sickness — in the last days of February 1948 — one day Hazur enquired:
“How many souls have been initiated by me?”
Registers were consulted and after counting was finished Hazur was told:
“Up till now about one hundred and fifty thousand souls have been awakened by Hazur.”
On the same day in the evening when I was with Him, Hazur said:
“Kirpal Singh! I have done half of your work and have given Naam
to over one and a half lakh persons and the rest you have to accomplish.”
I, with folded hands and faltering words, said:
“Hazur! It will be as Hazur orders, but I have a request …
I wish that this last half of the work may also be finished by Hazur …
We will dance as Hazur will make us dance …
I wish Hazur may remain with us and sit only watching all that,
and all orders will be complied with in Hazur’s presence.”
Hazur lay silently gazing at me. In those very days, one night Hazur mentioning His inner esoteric experiences remarked:
“The sun has risen high. Can the people of Jullundur also see this sun?”
The relatives and friends sitting nearby were ignorant of this secret expression. The opinion of the doctor in charge was also, like others beside him, that Hazur’s brain was not working properly on account of his illness.
A little later at night when I went to him, Hazur repeated the same question addressing me:
“Kirpal Singh! The sun has risen high.
Can the people of Jullundur also see this sun?”
“Yes, Hazur, the sun has risen high —
and not only the people of Jullundur
but also those living in England or America
who will traverse to inner planes can see this sun.”
Thereupon Hazur said:
“You have correctly answered my question.”
Similarly Hazur made a mention of several hidden secrets but those around Him were hardly able to grasp what Hazur was hinting at — this being a subject familiar only to those who are practical in-lookers and spiritually skilled. What, therefore, could other poor fellows know about them?
Surveying the surrounding occurrences and events, Hazur once observed:
It’s a pity that the followers of Sant Mat
also are becoming a prey to misconception.
The Teaching of Saints is,
“See with your own eyes.
Until you see with your own eyes,
do not even believe your Master.”
As is said:
Jab lag nu dekhun apni naini
Tab lag nu patijun Gur ki beni.
“Until I see with my own eyes, I will not be
convinced at heart, even by Guru’s words.”
This is the dictum and basic pillar of Sant Mat faith and it is an established fact that the disciple should peep inside and talk with His Master. Those engaged in abhyas generally do not forget everything about, and leave all thoughts of, their physical body for withdrawal and turning inward. Whoever, with love in his mind, regularly follows the method according to the instructions of his Master will meet the Master within and will testify to the authenticity thereof. This is a way which can be seen and practiced in one’s lifetime. Accordingly you do and see.
But those who do not apply themselves in abhyas say: “To withdraw and tap inside is wrong, uncertain, and doubtful, and if at all it is possible that somebody peeps inside, then the inner experiences are not believable.”
Unless they themselves peep inside, they cannot have faith in the experiences of those few who do have such experiences. Hazur said:
“My followers should never trust in such incredulous persons —
un-linked and infirm believers as they themselves are —
they will shake their belief and faith.
It is therefore incumbent on my followers to open their inner eye.
When their soul will withdraw from physical body, they will realize the truth of it.
Remember that this science of traversing to inner higher planes is not wrong,
and is correct, definite, certain and sure to the last word.”
Those who have traversed have corroborated this:
Sant Tulsi Sahib says:
Surat sail asman ki lakh pawe koi Sant,
Tulsi jag jane nahin at utang piya panth.
“The soul of a rare Saint traverses into the higher
planes and beholds the sight of them.
The whole world is unaware of this highway to Almighty’s throne
which is, so to say, enveloped in mystery and hard to understand.”
Sant Paltu Das says:
Gyan ka chanda bhaya akash men,
magan man bhaya ham lakh paya.
Drishti ke khule se nazar sub aiga,
Lakha sansar yeh jhut maya,
Jiv aur Brahma ke bhed ko bujh le,
Shabd ki sanchi taksal laya,
Das Paltu kahe khol parda diya,
Paith ke bhed ham dekh aya.
“The light of all knowledge radiated in heaven
inside, seeing which my mind was full of joy.
I saw it really existing.
It can be seen by opening the inner eye.
In that light I saw that all that attracts us here
as well as the whole world is a big fraud.
How did I get to this end?
It was by analyzing the self and God,
through the mint of true Shabd.
Thus attuning to Shabd,
Paltu cast asunder the veil
and withdrew inside to see the Truth.”
Again one day the Master spake thus:
“I am not tied to one or any particular place.
The Saints who come commissioned from above
tell the world of the true path
and those who come seeking true knowledge
are informed of the way to meet God.
Worldly people in order to meet their worldly needs
gather round them and make them as means of earning livelihood.
When such wealth is accumulated in abundance,
a number out of them turn out to be worshippers of Mammon
whose lust can never be satisfied.
When such circumstances are created,
Saints withdraw from such a place.
The souls of sincere seekers after truth
cannot get any solace from such a place.
Such places then become the seat (gaddi)
of mahants and gaddi-nashins.
True Saints are not fastened to any religious sect or dress.
They are free personalities.
They are neither a party to one nor a foe to the other.
They impart the true lesson as to how to reach God.
Those who will apply themselves to abhyas in Their company
will succeed and the others who keep themselves aloof
and far away from Them remain unlucky.”
Hazur more than once emphatically declared:
“The Mission of Spirituality can only be carried on successfully
by one Adept in Spirituality.
It cannot be entrusted to a (spiritually) blind person.
Whoever has a desire to find me out can reach me
within through one who is linked with me.
You will not find me in the company of those
who are after the possessions of the world.
Be not deceived by such people.
Do abhyas and peep inside your own self and meet me.
I do not dwell in the midst of mayaic (worldly) insects.
Go to some selfless being who is after me and lives for me
and is not after possession of Deras [ashrams].
Gurumukh is delighted to have his Guru,
while a manmukh wallows in luxury
and pleasures of the world — Maya.”
On another occasion Hazur said:
“Kirpal Singh! The people will flock to the place
where they would find the riches of Naam.
What have you to gain from Dera?
You better leave Dera.
When Baba Ji (Baba Jaimal Singh) came from Agra,
He brought with him neither money nor followers.
He fetched within him only his Guru (Soamiji Shiv Dayal Singh)
and through His blessings the present Dera came into existence.
The sangat is dear to me even now just as it was before.
It is now imperative for the sangat to do abhyas and go within.
By doing so all will be able to understand things as they are.
Everybody has treasures of knowledge within.
Even an illiterate man — if he secures the assistance
of an educated person — can become a graduate and an M.A.
If you sit by some illiterate person for the whole of your life,
you will not be able to attain the degree of M.A.
Do not waste your time.
If you want to gain knowledge of Spirituality, then go and sit
by some spiritual adept who is practically skilled.
He will wake up the dormant spiritual faculties within you.
He has not to give anything from himself.
Keep on impressing the need of abhyas on the entire sangat
and go on doing Satsang.
The souls are getting help from within and will continue to get it.
You obey the orders of your Guru.
If an obedient wife acts according to the bidding and wishes of her husband
and the people call her bad names, let them do so.
You have to carry on the mission under the orders of your Master.
Do not care if Mrs. Grundy grunts.
Tell everybody to do abhyas fondly and to invert within
to reach the astral form of the Master.”
Thereafter, whenever during Hazur’s lifetime I had an opportunity to go to Him, He talked on the subject of propagating Spirituality and gave necessary instructions regarding its real shape, significance and basic fundamentals of the problem.
Consequently, during Hazur’s lifetime and in strict conformity with His wishes, in November 1947, a proposal for “Spiritual Satsang” (Ruhani Satsang) was laid before Him, the main objects of which were solely the ethical and spiritual benefit of mankind in general, irrespective of caste, color or creed — which was heartily appreciated by Hazur saying:
“I am wholly and solely at one with you in this endeavor,”
and directed me to give practical shape to the scheme.
It is, therefore, due to his blessings alone that Ruhani Satsang today is working successfully in and outside Delhi. The sole objective of this Satsang is to present Spirituality to mankind in general in a lucid scientific form. The subjects of purification, knowledge of Self and knowledge of God are being dealt with practically so that people of different castes and creeds — living in their own circles — are benefiting thereby. Old followers as well as the new ones are deriving benefit from this science and everyday inner experiences of both of them plainly show that Hazur Maharaj Sahib is helping them with his hidden hand far more forcefully than ever.
Such ever-living personalities are personified models of self-sacrifice. Even during His confinement to bed — not caring for His tender health — Hazur continued to quench the thirst of those thirsty for spiritual guidance and teachings. Besides the outer help there was inner guidance also to its fullest extent.
Such Master-Souls are mere human beings to our eyes but in reality are Unseen Supreme Power — clothed in body — that works unfettered beyond the limits of this body also.
During the illness of Hazur, when He was unable to change His sides unaided, many strange incidents came to light. Even then He helped individuals outwardly as well as guided them on higher spiritual planes. In the opinion of doctors He was suffering from tumor of the bladder. All possible medical aid was rendered but to no avail. The subject of the illness of Saints too is no less a perplexing event. The fact of it is that this illness of Hazur was the result of the weight of our karmic debts, of the deeply-heaved sighs and tears of those afflicted amongst us.
Outer dealings of Saints also set the best example of the exalted human standard of living and character. They voluntarily take upon themselves the burden of their own initiated souls without a murmur or mentioning a word of complaint, and this becomes their usual task.
Every day Hazur grew weaker and weaker in body. From the night of 29th March, 1948, to the morning of 1st April, unusual restlessness and visible “fluttering” was seen visiting his physical frame. This symptom was also created for putting to test those surrounding him. Throughout the period of His illness Hazur said many a time:
Accordingly, at the time of appearance of this symptom of fluttering of the body Hazur again spoke several times in these words:
“If the person who has to do the work of Spirituality after I depart,
comes and sits by me, my trouble will be gone.”
To comply with this — evidently the last wish of the Master — the near relatives of Hazur came and sat in Bhajan and Simran one by one, by the bedside of Hazur, but there was no relief whatever in the fluttering symptom of Hazur’s body.
On the morning of 1st April, 1948, it was extremely benevolent of Hazur to afford a chance to this humble servant — of course through the assistance of a lady in nursing service of Hazur — to be by the side of Master, in seclusion, for about ten or fifteen minutes. At that time with a heavy heart I sat near His bed and prayed to Hazur:
“Master! Thou art above body and bodily influences,
unconcerned as to comforts and discomforts,
but we humble and helpless beings are afflicted hard
and cannot endure the sight of Hazur’s thus suffering bodily.
Thou hast all powers.
We would be extremely grateful if Hazur very graciously
removes this indication of disease on His body.”
It is true that prayer succeeds where all other human efforts fail. Hazur with his utmost benevolence accepted this prayer.
After the prayer when I opened my eyes, Hazur’s body was in a state of perfect repose. Hazur’s forehead was shining resplendently. He opened his mercy-showering lovely eyes intoxicated with God’s Divine love and cast a glance at my humble self-both eyes gleaming with radiance like a lion’s eyes. I bowed my head in solemn and silent adoration and said:
“It is all Hazur’s benignity.”
Hazur steadily kept gazing for three or four minutes into my eyes, and my eyes, in silent wonderment, experienced an indescribable delight which infused a beverage-like intoxication down to the remotest cores of my entire body-such as was never before experienced in my whole life.
Then those mercy-showering eyes closed not to open again.
Thus in his 90th year on the morning of 2nd April, 1948, at 8:30, this brilliant Sun of Spirituality, after diffusing his light in the hearts of millions of masses, disappeared to rest below the horizon at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh.
This untimely passing away of our Reverend Master was an irreparable loss and a soul-stirring event for one and all, who received benefit from the company and existence of His august self. We are now left to lament the heavy loss and to remember, one by one, His unmatched qualities, unparalleled love, wit and wisdom and above all the spiritual charity which enveloped all of us in the mysterious fold and attracted us towards Him, and … to bring forth tears of blood.
This tragedy is fatal indeed for all of us — brokenhearted as we are. But those who during His lifetime restricted their intercourse with that Emperor of Saints — the Master — only to the physical plane and had never witnessed His glory and greatness on the astral and other spiritual planes with their own eyes, are feeling the poignant pangs of separation the most.
Those, however, who had the good luck to meet Him on inner planes while He was existing in physical body are comparatively in less torments, for, at will, they can even now rise to that Mightiest of the Mightiest — the Master — and seek solace by talking to Him. Blessed indeed are such souls because through them are still communicated the requests and messages of other disciples and abhyasis to Hazur and in response Hazur’s orders to them.
Though Hazur has separated from us physically, yet in reality He is still not far away. That Power is immortal and indestructible and is still supervising the actions and guiding those initiated by Him.
While ailing Hazur used to say:
“All the Sangat should devote more and more time
to Simran and Bhajan as I get comfort thereby.”
And even now, in the daily internal message of the Master, emphasis is laid on devoting more time to Simran and Bhajan — collectively and individually for all His followers — so that they may traverse within and meet Him inside face to face. It is therefore incumbent on all initiated by Him to take full advantage of these moments of grief and sorrow by devoting at least four hours a day to Simran and Bhajan as ordered by Him and thereby be able to fly to higher realms, talk face to face with Master, and drown their tortures of separation in the Great Ocean of immortal existence.
The remedy for our lacerated hearts lies only with that compassionate and sympathetic Messiah. That boundless Ocean of Godly Mercy is, even now, heaving up and down. That Master of Eternal Domain is keeping His doors open all the time and is calling aloud:
“Bring into actual experience the great principle of
‘withdrawal before death’.
I am impatiently waiting for you to come up to me.
I am nearer to you than the nearest.
For those of you initiated by me it is a sacrilege
and a mark of disgrace on both love and devotion
if you look upon anybody else as a Guru or Master-guide.
You may, however, derive benefit from the company
of some awakened personality who pays a visit to me every day.
He will not misguide you, but on the contrary,
will unite you with me, will instill my love in you,
and will strengthen the Divine link
that binds and ties you to me.
Moreover, in the capacity of Gurbhai [or spiritual brother]
he shall be helpful to serve you.”
It is therefore clear that for those approximately 150,000 souls initiated by Hazur, the guiding Master is Hazur Himself. Consequently, all these should engage themselves in Bhajan and Simran with full faith, confidence, trust and Dhyan of Hazur alone. All these shall be looked after ultimately in the same form of Hazur. That immortal messenger of our future betterment is continuously watching and superintending us each moment. Many disciples of Hazur Maharaj Sahib are getting Hazur’s darshan within these days and those who are thus blessed are mitigating their sorrowful hearts by talking — far more freely than ever before — face to face with Him. We too — if we divert our attention from this mortal world and worldly connections and turn to that Master of the Divine Spring of Immortality, then Hazur, with His illimitable kindness, will — and there is no doubt about it — appear to us to bestow his darshan and enveloping us in the circle of his lighted radiance will take us along to place us at the feet of the long-loved Lord.
Let us raise our hands in prayer that that fountainhead of all peace and comfort may grant patience to all those of us left behind, and inspire us with courage and strength to enable us to fly to Hazur in higher spiritual regions, to talk to him and to place our heads at his feet. (7)
(6) “Selections from an Early Discourse,” Sat Sundesh, April 1970, pp. 29-31.
(7) “A Brief Life Sketch,” pp. 10-22.
Jullundur is a town in East Punjab about fifteen miles from Beas; Guru Nanak, when nearing his earthly end, also spoke of this Sun to his sons and to his devoted follower who succeeded him. The rishis of old referred to it in the Gayatri Mantra.
Mahants and gaddi-nashins are titles, usually given to those working or posing at one particular place in the name of previous Saints or Sages after the latter abandon or depart physically.
Gaddi — “seat” or throne (Guru Gaddi = throne of the Guru or Master)
Karmic debts: Saints take the burden of misdeeds of their followers on Their own body
to keep those initiated by them clean and thus save them from pangs and anxiety of the day of judgment. This is however a poor estimate of the gigantic treasure of love They have for their disciples, regardless of reciprocity. This is one of the many great responsibilities that true Saints have to share, unperceived and unknown to their disciples.
Abhyas : Practice; in Spirituality, it specifically means meditation on Naam or the WORD — the inner Light and Sound-Current or God-into-expression Power
Bhajan : Listening to the inner Sound
Simran : Repeating the five charged names (and looking at the inner Light)
Gurumukh : Mouthpiece of the (perfect) Guru, a perfect disciple who has developt all qualities of the Guru or Master.
Manmukh : Mouthpiece of the mind — those who are controlled by the mind and its worldly passions.
Maya : “Illusion” — that, which appears very attractive from outside, but contains something quite different, and thus is not in the interest of our Self or soul.
“Maya is the name of forgetfulness —
it lets us forget God, our own Self
as well as the Purpose of our Life”
“Mind, matter, maya, and negative power
is one and the same — it is not more than dust.”
— Dr Harbhajan Singh