By Sant Kirpal Singh, from the book "Way of the Saints", Chapter I
Hazur Baba Sawan Singh – www.sant-kirpal-singh.org
I would like to mention something of the outer life of that personality at whose feet I had the good fortune to sit. He was the Sant Satguru of the time and the Emperor of Spirituality.
The great day that Hazur Maharaj appeared in the world in the physical form was Tuesday 27th July, 1858, The place was Mahmansinghwala, District Ludhiana, Punjab. His father, Kabal Singh Grewal, was in the army His mother's name was Jeevni.
From very early age Kabul Singh kept the company of holy men, serving them with sincerity, and because of this Baba Sawan Singh had the opportunity of doing the same, remaining constantly at His father's side up to the year 1870. The passion to serve and to be near godly men developed within Him and from 1870 to 1878 He spent every available spare moment in this way. After passing His tenth class in 1878, He took some employment but became sick and teas called home, where He stayed for two years. In this period of two years Hazur met a great renounciate, an expert in Vedanta and Yoga by the name of Bhoop Singh Ji and benefited greatly from the time spent in his company. As a result Hazur was filled with the desire to renounce the world and become a sadhu. From a very early age the conscious awareness was deeply embedded in Baba Sawan Singh's heart of His predisposition toward spiritual things and an aversion to worldly affairs.
However, truly exalted souls conceal their own inclinations and perform whatever tasks the worldly duties demand. Whenever He had a tendency to renounce the world He would trust aside the noble inspiration in consideration of His parents, for being the only son He preferred to serve them, knowing that a renounciate may not serve according to His choice but must be prepared to serve humanity at large – wherever its needs may call Him. This is indicative of Hazur's great wisdom, for he who shirks his duty will never reach perfection.
Up to 1883, when the Master was twenty-five years old, His time was spent as described. Then His father persisted that He should enter military service, and approached his commanding officer about a commission for his son. After His graduation from "Thompson College of Engineering" He got His commission in the army, but simultaneously He was given an offer in civil engineering. Preferring the latter, He accepted a post as an overseer in Nowshera.
Baba Sawan Singh was married in early life but His wife died even before "gama" (marriage ceremony). He was married again after completion of twenty-five years of Brahmcharya. This time He married Shrimati Kishan Kaur and got three children.
Baba Sawan Singh Ji always had an open mind, and with His good knowledge of Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Persian and English He studied the scriptures of all religions. In Nowshera Hazur listened to the discourses of Baba Karam Singh of Mardan, and when He went to Peshawar He met Baba Kahan, an enlightened soul, and spent many hours with him. One day Hazur requested, "Baba, give me something!" But Baba Kahan replied, "No, I cannot give you what you want, but most surely you will get it – someone else will give it to you."
The perfect Master of that time was Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj. One day in August 1894, Baba Jaimal Singh and a disciple were walking along the Kohmarie Road, where Hazur – in His capacity as sub-divisional officer – was inspectioning the work in progress there. As Baba Jaimal Singh Ji passed by with His companion, he pointed to Hazur and said, "I have come here because of that person." The disciple remarked, "You have come for a funny person, who does not even turn his head to greet you!" Babaji kindly explained, "This personage has come into this world specially for a very high expression of life, and after four days He will come to me." Hazur came to Babaji in the company of one Mr. Sukh Dyal. After four days, Satsang He took initiation and stayed near Baba Jaimal Singh for two months. After Babaji left Kohmarie, Hazur spent most of His time in meditation and as the love for His Guru increased, His heart grew heavier with sadness at being separated from His Master. He would visit Babaji at every available opportunity to derive the invaluable blessing of his presence.
In 1902 the foundation stone of the big Satsang hall in Beas was laid, and on completion of this building Baba Jaimal Singh Ji said to Bibi Rukko, an enlightened soul, who lived in the Dera, "I will not hold a Satsang in this hall." She started crying, but after some moments she asked, "Maharaji, who is going to hold the Satsangs after you?" Babaji said, "Go into the hall and see for yourself!", and when she entered the empty hall she saw Baba Sawan Singh Ji quietly sitting on the dais.
On 29th December 1903, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaji left his physical form, after bestowing the spiritual work upon Baba Sawan Singh. Hazur came to live in the Dera on His retirement in 1911, when He then gave all His time to the spiritual work. Whoever wanted the Truth came to Him and gained the priceless boon, no matter to what religion he belonged. All were endowed with the riches of Spirituality.
Hazur unfolded the Divine mysteries with such an easy and facile grace that His words went home and penetrated deep down into the hearts and made an everlasting impression. This is possible only when a really competent personage with practical personal esoteric experience within expounds the Truth of the actual spiritual experiments and has the competency to infuse into the innermost recesses of the brain not only mere words but the results of His own vast spiritual experiments along with the pith of the essential principles thereof.
This sacred and grand Master travelled throughout the length and breadth of India and His spiritual messages worked like a balm to hundreds and thousands lacerated hearts. His innate desire was to bring together all the religions on a common platform and to knit together the entire humanity in one thread and then to put them all on to the one ancient path of spirituality which leads to the common goal of all religions. He said, "The essentials of all religions are the same. God is one. All the humanity are His children and are thus related as brothers. The whole creation is just a manifestation of that one Reality – one Soul that stretches its force and influence everywhere – one Light spreading its radiance in the entire universe – one Sun that shines upon each atom."
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 ninety, He set aside all His bodily comforts and stubbornly devoted eighteen out of twenty-four hours of the day in service of humanity. The result of this carelessness towards His bodily rest and consistent hard labour 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. On the morning of 12th October, 1947, at seven o'clock, He called me. When I was in His august presence, He called, "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 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.
Whenever I had the honour 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." Hazur said, "All right." 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 request 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 Hazurs presence." Hazur lay silently gazing at me.
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 the 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 should 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, Hazurs body was in a state of perfect repose. Hazurs forehead was shining resplendency. He opened His mercy-showering lovely eyes intoxicated with Gods 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 Hazurs 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 ninetieth 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.