Sant Nirankari Mission
” Baba Buta Singh Ji “
The Pursuit of Truth is a universal phenomenon.
Religious faiths all across the world proclaim to preach it, and amongst them they agree that there is no greater Truth than the Supreme Being .. the Creator of the Universe .. the Almighty Formless One “ Nirankar ”.
The many and varied names for GOD all represent one omnipresent, all-pervasive, omniscient and Supreme Entity.
All the sages, seers, saints, gurus and prophets from across time have preached the same Ultimate Truth .. GOD. The approach however, might have been different.
The various Holy Scriptures are the milestones representing the flow of Divine Thought. These writings and teachings were meant to reveal the Ultimate Truth. History, however, shows that rituals and dogmas overwhelmed the Essential Truth behind these teachings, creating confusion and division between religions, sects, and communities.
Baba Buta Singh Ji .. the founder and first Satguru of the “ Sant Nirankari Mission ” .. recognized that adhering to rites and rituals does not enable humans to realize GOD. That can happen only with the grace of a GOD-realized soul. In the year 1929, Baba Buta Singh Ji began to show the path of uniting with GOD.
Baba Buta Singh Ji, the founder of the “ Sant Nirankari Mission ”, was born in the year 1873 at village Hudwal, dist. Kaimalpur ( now in Pakistan ) in the family of Shri Bishan Singh Ji and Smt. Mayawanti Ji.
He had spiritual leaning from the very childhood and had developed a special aptitude for reciting “ Gurbani ( holy verses from the Adi Granth ) ”.
A good orator on Gurbani, he was equally sincere and serious in understanding the same. This trait helped paving his way to reach and realize the Truth.
It is said that whenever he used to recite Gurbani or sing the same, he would be so lost in it as to forget even his physical self. His views and concepts were so clear and strong that nobody could utter even a single word to negate his view-point.
One day, in the year 1913, Baba Buta Singh Ji was singing at a congregation. With tears in his eyes, he sang :
“ Mohan ghar aavo, haun karon jodariya ( O Lord, come home, I humbly entreat ). ”
Those sitting in the congregation were enjoying the delightful recitation. One of them, Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh Ji, who was also listening to Baba Buta Singh Ji with rapt attention, noted the repetition of the above line.
After the program, he could not resist approaching Baba Buta Ji. He asked him politely, “ Bhai Buta Singh, where is your Mohan ( Lord ) whom you want to meet ? ” and added hastily, “ First know Him, otherwise your calling Him will have no effect. ”
These words had a piercing effect on the young Buta Singh Ji. He clearly understood that the person did possess some spiritual secret. He followed him for knowing the Truth.
Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh Ji initially tried to put him off, but ultimately he had to yield to the former’s humility and strong urge and finally revealed GOD knowledge to him.
At the time of receiving “ Brahm Gyan ” or “ God-knowledge ”, Baba Buta Singh Ji was forty years old.
For about fifteen years he remained quiet, assimilating what he had come to know from Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh Ji and comparing it with the vast knowledge of Gurbani he had.
Thereafter, Baba Buta Singh Ji started revealing the Divine Secret to whosoever was interested and among his first few disciples was Baba Avtar Singh Ji.
Baba Buta Singh Ji and his esteemed wife lead a very simple life. Being a staunch devotee of GOD, Baba Buta Singh Ji would not like to think of worldly requirements beyond what was necessary for the ‘ present ’.
He had a brief stint in the Army. Later, he left the job and adopted art of tattooing for livelihood which was quite adequate to maintain his family.
“ Baba Avtar Singh Ji ”
Baba Avtar Singh Ji was born in a small village named Latifal in Jhelum District ( now in Pakistan ) on 31st December, 1899, in the family of Shri Mukha Singh Ji and Smt. Narayani Devi Ji.
He was brought up with due affection and indulgence, but when he was just six years, his father died after brief illness.
This untimely loss was a big jolt to the family. Then the responsibility of looking after the family gravitated to the shoulders of his mother Narayani.
The little boy “ Avtar ” was entrusted to the care of Shri Nand Lal, a local priest, for education as there was no school in the village. In a short span of time, he was able to study scriptures. As he grew, Avtar proved to be extraordinarily intelligent.
Family hardships made Avtar a very strong and determined person. When he was just twelve, his maternal uncle Shri Narain Singh took him to Rawalpindi.
In Rawalpindi, Avtar worked first at a hotel and then as a porter at railway station. There, he incidentally came in contact with Seth Sawan Mal.
Impressed by his honesty, integrity and hard work, Seth Sawan Mal employed Avtar in his bakery and eventually he made him a partner and handed over the whole unit to him. This was a step that marked the beginning of Avtar’s life of determination and firm faith in goodness.
On 25th May, 1929, came the turning point in the life of Baba Avtar Singh Ji, when he met his guru Baba Buta Singh Ji in Peshawar. Ecstasy took hold of him and he was all praise for the Master and Nirankar, the FORMLESS GOD all around. He
surrendered himself completely to Baba Buta Singh Ji and announced that hereafter his life would follow the way as Baba Buta Singh Ji would lead.
He declared that he had found his destiny at the holy feet of Baba Buta Singh Ji.
The latter was also happy because he found in Baba Avtar Singh Ji the kind of disciple he had been looking for, a person who would surrender his body, mind and material assets at the altar of divinity and be prepared to take the spiritual light to the masses and share the eternal bliss with those who were otherwise fumbling in the darkness of ignorance.
From that day, both Baba Buta Singh Ji and Baba Avtar Singh Ji worked together.
The MOVEMENT gathered momentum gradually. As expected, they faced a lot of opposition from the orthodox elements, but this failed to deter them from the Path of Truth. The two were together for about fourteen years. On many occasions, Baba Avtar Singh Ji’s loyalty, sincerity, devotion and dedication towards his True Master and the Almighty was put to test.
“ the final journey ”
It is said that Baba Buta Singh Ji knew about his end. In the year 1943, he was convalescing at a popular tourist resort, Koh Murree ( Pakistan ). Some of his disciples were looking after him. He asked Baba Avtar Singh Ji to call other disciples also. When most of the disciples assembled, Baba Buta Singh Ji asked Baba Avtar Singh Ji to arrange for some white sheets etc. normally required at the time of funeral.
After everything was arranged, he took out his white ‘ dupatta ’ i.e., scarf and put it round the neck of Baba Avtar Singh Ji and bowed at his feet. All other disciples understood that he was nominating Baba Avtar Singh Ji as his successor to head the Mission.
He told Baba Avtar Singh Ji that white Dupatta is not a sign of decoration ; it is a symbol of responsibility. It is like a necklace of razors. The razors may not harm so long as the neck is straight.
What he meant was that he should move straight on the Path of the Truth without permitting his mind to waver.
All the disciples bowed at the feet of Baba Avtar Singh Ji and thus accepted him as their Spiritual Master.
Moments later, Baba Buta Singh ji breathed his last. His body was taken on its last journey in a procession led by Military Band.
“ Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji ”
Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji was one of those great masters who lived and died for the noble cause of human unity through spiritual awakening. Throughout, he endeavored to transform the demoniac face of human society and inculcate the spirit of peaceful co-existence, love and harmony. He was pained to find people quarrelling and suffering because of hatred generated by ignorance, blind faith and superstition.
Baba Gurbachan Singh was born on 10th December, 1930, in Peshawar.
Fortunately, Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji did not have to go out to learn the real purpose of human life, the reason for man’s suffering and answer to his problems.
His father, Baba Avtar Singh Ji and the founder of the Sant Nirankari Mission, Baba Buta Singh Ji, blessed him with spiritual awakening and provided ample opportunity to him to imbibe and practice the noble traits of selfless service, surrender to the divine will and truthful living.
This turned his life into a practical version of spirituality .. a living example of divine truth .. so much so that Baba Avtar Singh Ji chose to see the Satguru manifesting himself in him and preferred to live as an ordinary follower of the Mission for the rest of his life.
Gurbachan was a shining student. After doing his Middle from Peshawar, he matriculated from the Khalsa School, Rawalpindi. He, however, could not pursue his studies further, because of the turmoil leading to Partition of India.
During the turbulent days preceding the Partition, every parent wished to be relieved of his pressing responsibilities as quickly as possible. Accordingly, Bhai Manna Singh solemnized the marriage of his daughter, Kulwant Kaur Ji, with Gurbachan Singh Ji on 22nd April, 1947, at a simple ceremony. Kulwant Kaur Ji who subsequently became popular as “ Nirankari Rajmatha ”, marched shoulder to shoulder with her husband.
Following the migration, while Baba Avtar Singh Ji resumed the Mission’s activities in Delhi, Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji started business in auto-parts, first in Jalandhar in Punjab and later in Delhi. Simultaneously, he took keen interest in congregations. He would drive Baba Avtar Singh Ji to the places of congregations both in the morning and in the evening. Besides being at the service of the Satguru, he attended to devotees also.
On 5th November, 1963, the entire Nirankari world saw the Satguru already manifested in him when they assembled in Delhi for the “ 16th Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam ”.
Through world-wide tours of Baba Ji and his missionaries, the message of the Mission spread across the globe. In this way, the campaign for human redemption and spiritual enlightenment hitherto confined to the boundaries of India, began to travel overseas also.
Baba Ji convened the Second Mussoorie Conference during 14th to 16th May, 1973.
The Conference turned out to be a watershed in the history of the Mission as it proposed a code of conduct for the missionaries. It was also decided at this conference that while we may not hate others on account of their diet-habits, we ourselves should abstain from the use of all kinds of intoxicants. Another decision was to promote dowry-free marriages and observe austerity in other social functions.
Baba Ji gave a clarion call to all, especially the youth to implement the above decisions.
He exhorted them to come to the fore for propagating the Mission and combating the social evils vigorously. He advised the older generation to give full encouragement to the youth in this direction, failing which they would not only themselves lag behind but also hamper the progress of the Mission.
Interestingly, Baba Ji’s son Hardev ( the present Head of the Mission ) and daughters Niranjan, Jagjit, Mohini and Swaran all joined Sewa Dal, ( selfless voluntary service unit) as its Primary Members ).
“ resistance ”
Quite predictably, the voices of truth first raised by Baba Buta Singh Ji and Baba Avtar Singh Ji and now spread by Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji was resisted by the orthodox.
Many a time, Baba Ji called upon them to first understand the Mission and then point out if there was anything wrong. But all his gestures fell flat on them. Congregations were disturbed at many places. Violent attacks were also reported from several centers.
The opposition, however, did not end with the historic Karnal verdict in the Amritsar case, acquitting all the accused Nirankaris, including Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, honourably. The fanatics made Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji personally the target of their violence. They made an attempt on his life first in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and then near Durg in Madhya Pradesh.
Ultimately, Baba Ji fell to their bullets in Delhi on 24th April, 1980. Naturally, every peace-loving person lamented and condemned the senseless act of the fanatics as an attack on love and peace by the forces of hatred and violence. It was another blot on human history.
It was only for the successor of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, his son Baba Hardev Singh Ji came to their rescue. He put aside his own worldly sentiments usual for a son on the tragic demise of his father and consoled every follower of the Mission to face the tragedy boldly and without any feeling of vengeance.
“Baba Hardev Singh Ji ”
Baba Hardev Singh Ji was born on 23rd February, 1954, in Delhi, in the family of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji and Rajmatha Kulwant Kaur Ji.
As a child, Hardev was very fortunate to have worldly as well as spiritual blessings of His parents and the then Satguru Baba Avtar Singh Ji and Jagat Matha Budhwanti Ji as their grand parents.
Baba Hardev Singh Ji received his elementary education at home. On completion of his school education at Patiala, Baba Hardev Singh Ji returned to Delhi and started further education under Delhi University and also took keen interest in the socio-spiritual activities of the Mission.
He became very regular in Congregations and Sewa. His humility earned him the name “ Bhola Ji ”. In the year 1971, Baba Hardev Singh Ji joined the “ Nirankari Sewa Dal ” as its primary member and enjoyed himself serving in cotton Khaki uniform.
He organized “ Youth Forum ” in the year 1975, which focused on promoting truthful and simple living, service with devotion and love, refraining from incurring undue expenses and practicing prohibition.
During the annual “ Nirankari Sant Samagam ” in Delhi in the year 1975, Baba Hardev Singh Ji married Savinder Ji, daughter of devoted saints Shri Gurumukh Singh Ji and Smt. Madan Ji of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh.
“ extensive tours ”
In order to translate his commitment of peace, love and universal brotherhood into action, Baba Hardev Singh Ji lost no time and undertook extensive tours within the country and abroad. He was also conscious of the fact that devotees all over India and elsewhere in the world needed to be pacified and consoled over the sudden disappearance of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji from their midst in physical form.
The situation at that time was not an easy affair to travel far and wide and organize mass congregations in the open.
Baba Ji went up to the remotest areas and encouraged one and all to keep the flag of love, peace and human unity flying.
Though the spiritual tours of Baba Hardev Singh Ji sought to cover vast areas with long distances, his approach was at the same time intensive and intimate. He travelled mostly by road and met people as they were where they were.
He would mix up with them, sit with them, and dine with them, so that he knows them as intimately as possible. Naturally, wherever he went, people found him sharing their pleasure and pain as a member of the family.
Baba Ji’s tours abroad also took him to almost every part of the world. He was welcomed and received by large number of people as “ apostle of Peace and Universal Brotherhood. ”
People from different states and countries would assemble at one center and listen to His Holiness. Besides Indians, many others took interest in Baba Ji’s teachings and felt highly impressed. “ expansion ”
The Mission has found tremendous expansion in all directions since the year 1980.
The ever-increasing number of participants in the Samagams in Delhi and other places bears testimony to the fact that the message of the Mission is going home and attracting the seekers of truth.
“ Aims and Objectives of Nirankar ”
“ aim of human life ”
The primary objective of human life is GOD Realization which leads to Self Realization.
Human Life is an opportunity to awaken ourselves out of dream of Illusion and realize the real self which is part of continuum .. the fact that “ my existence is false and that I do not exist ” is true.
“ spark becomes Flame ”
The realization of GOD takes into its fold the realization of Self in such a manner that the latter ceases to be significant, merges its entity with the Supreme entity, i.e., GOD.
The spark becomes part of the Flame, the drop’s journey comes to an end after it is immersed in the Ocean.
Once GOD is realized by Soul, once it discovers the Truth and is face to face with it, righteousness, purity and nobility take on, rather drive away all the false and evil forces dominating human life hitherto.
The darkness of ignorance having automatically gone on the advent of Divine Light, ill-will gives place to good-will, hatred to love, discord to tolerance and so on.
All apprehensions and delusions disappear. Life becomes as clean, pure and sublime as Divinity itself.
“ realization of GOD ”
Knowing about GOD is a knowledge and knowing GOD is Realization of GOD as “ Knowing about something ” is different from “ Knowing something ”.
Whereas form is manifestation of Maya, GOD is FORMLESS that never changes .. “ Nirankar ” .. Changeless in the changing world. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and eternal.
“ Living Master ”
GOD can only be realized with the blessing of a Living True M
GOD is the continuum and the world is a superimposition on this neverchanging substratum.
We, as limited by five senses, miss the substrate and see what grows over it. Just like we attempt to see Space .. we see everything .. moon, stars, birds and sky ; but fail to see the Space. However, our mental ability can make us interpret Space and we all see it without seeing it.
GOD can be realized in a similar manner. This requires an understanding beyond the five senses, however.
We can realize GOD with an evolved mind .. mind that has developed the capability to see the substratum over which grows the matter.
“ mental awakening ”
Since this needs mental evolution to understand what is beyond five senses, this process of mental awakening cannot be documented and neither can be spoken. This needs union with human personality who himself is awakened.
He, who is awakened to this supreme consciousness, can take our mind beyond five senses to realize the Truth. A True Master does it instantly .. by making you experience his experience.
“ GOD is so simple ”
This does not need any religious practices. GOD’s knowledge cannot have anything to do with any of these : because GOD is so simple that we stumble over its simplicity .. True Master makes us experience this simplicity.
We need to understand that GOD cannot be complicated. GOD is simple and simple is divine.
“ peace within ”
The realization of GOD takes us to a state which is described in spiritual jargon as “ Sahaj ”.
This is the state of human mind where man does not feel elated on finding something and pained on losing it.
He does not envy the more fortunate and frown at the less fortunate fellow beings. He is fully contented with what he has. In fact, he feels grateful to the Supreme Donor .. GOD .. for whatever has been bestowed on him .. physical strength, intellectual ability and material wealth.
Comfort lies in realizing what He is and not by ‘ what he has ’.
He values the lasting peace and joy within that flows from contentment more than any worldly possession. This is attitude that the Mission seeks to promote through spiritual enlightenment
“ PEACE is a natural outcome ”
PEACE is a natural outcome of GOD’s realization.
The experience immediately changes our outlook .. where we start anchoring ourselves at Supreme Self and not at our body. This mental change makes us peaceful.
Just like the centre of a fan that does not rotate when fan rotates. If we are anchored right at centre of fan, we never move .. if we anchor at periphery of fan, we move with fan.
It is this anchoring at supreme self that makes us observer and not observed .. and peace is a natural outcome .. the unmoved Self.
“ devotion ”
Three aspects of devotion .. “ Satsang ”, “ Sewa ” and “ Sumiran ”.
DEVOTION is not a means to know GOD, but having known Him, it is a way of life for the devotee ever expressing his heart-felt gratitude for His bounties.
Such a DEVOTION is not subjected to the limitations of rituals, time or place. Knowledge of GOD is not the end, but the beginning of DEVOTION.
A true disciple sees the Divine in all, and so is ever in Satsang. His every action is dedicated to the Divine, turning it into Sewa. And he lives in a state of constant awareness of Nirankar, making his every breath a Simran.
“ serving all comes naturally ”
Bliss and Joy, that emerges out of experiencing GOD, manifests in form of staying with enlightened ones, serving all and remembering the Self.
All of this comes naturally ; but, yet, needs to be forced at times since Maya is too strong to make the true understanding take a back seat.