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|Born||6 February 1894
Sayyad Kasran, Punjab, British India
|Died||21 August 1974
New Delhi, India
|Predecessor||Baba Sawan Singh of Beas|
Kirpal Singh (6 February 1894 – 21 August 1974) was a spiritual master (satguru).
He was born in India, in a simple rural house, in the western part of Punjab which now belongs to Pakistan. He earned his living as a government officer until his retirement and then he moved to Delhi where he founded his spiritual school Ruhani Satsang with its headquarters at Sawan Ashram.
He was the President of the “World Fellowship of Religions”, an organization recognized by UNESCO, which had representatives from all the main religions of the world. He wrote numerous books, many of which have been translated into numerous languages.
His basic teachings consist in establishing contact with God into expression power, called Word in the Bible, Naam, Shabd, Om, Kalma etc. in the other scriptures. The discipline of universal character taught by him is at the base of the spiritual experience which gave origin to all the main religions that have resisted the trials of time. It has been defined the Path of the Masters (Sant Mat), Meditation on the Divine Word or Yoga of the Sound Current (Surat Shabd Yoga).
From youth he undertook a spiritual seeking which led him to various sufis, yogis and mystics, but he never accepted any of them as a Master, continuing to pray to God to obtain a divine inner manifestation. In 1917 his prayers were answered: in fact, he began to see during his meditations the radiant form of a figure of noble aspect who he supposed was Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion. In 1924 he met Hazur Sawan Singh, the famous Saint of Beas, in his Ashram on the banks of the Beas River, and in him he recognized the Luminous Form that he had seen during the seven previous years. He was initiated into the spiritual discipline by Hazur, and from then on he dedicated the rest of his life to reaching the summits of Spirituality.
Already at the beginning of the 1930s Hazur Baba Sawan Singh would cite his name to those who asked if he had a disciple who had made great progress. In the same years, on inspiration from his Master, he began writing the "Gurmat Siddhant" (“The Philosophy of the Masters”), a monumental spiritual work in two volumes in the Punjabi and Urdu languages. It was published, upon request by Kirpal Singh, under the name of Hazur Sawan Singh, starting from 1935, and then edited in English in the 1960s in five volumes.
In the morning of 12 October 1947, Hazur Sawan Singh called his favorite disciple Kirpal Singh and entrusted him with the work of continuing his spiritual mission after him. The next month, Hazur approved the project of the spiritual school presented to him by Kirpal, the “Ruhani Satsang” (School of Spirituality or Science of the Soul). At the end of a brief illness, on 2 April 1948 Hazur Sawan Singh died.
At the end of this period of intense meditation, Kirpal Singh received an inner command from his Master: "Return to the world and bring my children back to me". He moved to Delhi, where people from Punjab were looking for refuge because of the division from Pakistan: there he began his spiritual and humanitarian mission, which would have made him one of the greatest Masters of all time.
His organization, Ruhani Satsang
In Delhi he founded his new School of spiritual research and realization called Ruhani Satsang (School of Spirituality or Science of the Soul), destined to have branches in many nations of the world and in 1951 he built the "Sawan Ashram" on the outskirts of the city, in the neighborhood of Shakti Nagar, where his spiritual talks (satsangs) were soon followed by thousands of people. In India he began to have visits from western disciples: the first was Rusel Jacque and his account of his sojourn of six months spent at the Ashram in 1959 (Gurudev: the Lord of Compassion) encouraged also others. At the beginning of the sixties the disciples that stayed at the ashram were forty to fifty people on an average, staying from three weeks to six months.
World Fellowship of Religions
In India, Singh's reputation had grown enormously and in 1957 he was elected the first President of the World Fellowship of Religions, an organization recognized by UNESCO, comprising representatives from all the major religions of the world. He held that position until 1971, having presided over four World Conferences. In 1962 he was the first non-Christian to be vested with The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (Knights of Malta), for his spiritual and humanitarian mission. On this occasion he received the congratulations of the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and established a spiritual tie with him, that continued with the Prime Ministers Shastri and Indira Gandhi.
His mission continued to grow rapidly and in 1955 he took his first trip to spread his teachings abroad, spending various months in the United States and in Europe: it was the first time a Master of the Highest Order went to the West. In those years the knowledge of the spiritual practices, patrimony of the East which was more advanced in the inner disciplines, was not yet diffused in the West, but Kirpal Singh had hundreds of Westerners initiated and placed on the path of meditation in its highest form of contact with the Divine Light and Harmony.
The second tour. In 1963 he took his second world tour, this time as the President of the "World Fellowship of Religions", meeting political leaders and exponents of different religions, including Pope Paul VI, the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Churches Atenagora I. He obtained reconciliation between the two religious leaders after centuries of separation and misunderstandings. At the same time he continued to instruct new seekers on the path of the Way of the Masters (Sant Mat).
The third tour. On 26 August 1972 he left for the third and the last trip to the West where he bestowed great effort on the talks and meetings and instructing more than two thousand new disciples about the Path of Spirituality.
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In Delhi, in February 1974, he organized a "World Conference on Unity of Man", with more than 2,000 delegates, religious and political leaders from India and all over the world, with an attendance of 100,000.
At the Kumba Mela (Festival of Religions) in Hardwar, on 2 April the same year, he gathered sadhus (itinerant monks) and "saintly men" in the "Conference of National Unity", with the aim of favoring cooperation, eliminating all religious barriers and bettering the economical asset of the poor people of India.
On 1 August he was invited to speak to the Indian Parliament, the only Master of the spirit who was given this particular honor. He died on 21 August 1974.
Legacy and succession
Kirpal was the first Living Master of the Sant Mat/Surat Shabd Yoga Path of the Audible Lifestream lineage to visit the West (1955). He left the physical body on August 21, 1974 without publicly naming a successor.
Kirpal Singh wrote an extensive collection of books on the general subject of spirituality. They range from The Crown of Life (a comparative study of various religions and yogas) to such subjects as prayer (Prayer, Its Nature and Technique), the nature of spirituality (Spirituality: What It Is), finding a spiritual teacher or guru (Godman) and karma (The Wheel of Life). All of these books are available in their entirety as PDF files.
- The Coming Spiritual Revolution, compiled, edited, & introduced by Russell Perkins, New Hampshire: Sant Bani.
- The Crown of Life: A Study in Yoga, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1961; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1980. ISBN 978-0-942735-77-2
- Godman, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications. ISBN 978-0-942735-70-3
- A Great Saint: Baba Jaimal Singh: His Life and Teachings, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani. ISBN 978-0-942735-27-7
- Heart to Heart Talks, 2 volumes, Delhi: Mr A.R. Manocha, 1975-6. [Mentions Paul Twitchell.]
- His Grace Lives On, USA: Ruhani Satsang. ISBN 978-0-942735-93-2
- The Jap Ji: The Message of Guru Nanak, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1959; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1981. ISBN 978-0-942735-85-7
- Life and Death, Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani. [Combined edition of The Wheel of Life and The Mystery of Death.]
- The Light of Kirpal, Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani. ISBN 978-0-89142-033-0
- Man! Know Thyself, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1983; Irvine, California: Ruhani Satsang Books. ISBN 978-0-942735-06-2
- Morning Talks, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1970; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications. ISBN 978-0-942735-16-1
- Naam or Word, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1960; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1981. ISBN 978-0-942735-94-9
- The Night is a Jungle and Other Discourses, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani. ISBN 978-0-942735-18-5
- Prayer: Its Nature and Technique, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications. ISBN 978-0-942735-50-5
- Seven Paths to Perfection.
- Spiritual Elixir, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani, 1967. ISBN 978-0-942735-02-4
- Spirituality: What It Is, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1959, 1964; Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications.
- The Spiritual Path.
- Surat Shabd Yoga: The Yoga of the Celestial Sound Current, Irvine, California: Ruhani Satsang Books; Blaine, Washington: Ruhani Satsang, 2006. ISBN 978-0-942735-95-1
- The Teachings of Kirpal Singh, edited by Ruth Seader, Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani, 1974-6; Bowling Green, Virginia: Sawan Kirpal Publications, 1981. ISBN 978-0-942735-33-8
- The Way of the Saints, edited by Russell Perkins, Franklin, New Hampshire: Sant Bani, 1976, 1989. ISBN 978-0-89142-026-2
- The Wheel of Life and The Mystery of Death. ISBN 978-0-942735-80-2
Notes and references
- Jiva. "Sant Kirpal Singh: His writings - Books and booklets on Sant Mat and spirituality". Ruhanisatsangusa.org. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "Recorded Talks in MP3 format". Ruhanisatsangusa.org. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "Hindi & Punjabi Talks in MP3 format". Ruhanisatsangusa.org. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Avtār Singh Oberoi, Support for the Shaken Sangat, Sanbornton, New Hampshire: Sant Bani, 1984.
- Dressel, Hilde, The Eternal Connection, Bowling Green, Virginia: SK Publications, 1994.
- Harbhajan Kaur, 1998, Nourished by Divine Love, Naperville, Illinois: SK Publications.
- Jones, George Arnsby, 1965, The Harvest is Rich: the mission of Kirpal Singh, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang; New York: Pageant; Indore: Kirpal Sewashram, 2007.
- Lane, David Christopher, The Making of a Spiritual Movement
- Malhotra, Sharan, 1994, Divine Darshan, New Delhi: Wiley Eastern Limited.
- Perkins, Russell, The Impact of a Saint, Sanbornton, New Hampshire: Sant Bani, 1980, 1989.
- Portrait of Perfection, Sawan Kirpal Publications.
- Sahai, B.M. & Rādhā Krishna Khanna, The Saint and His Master, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1968.
- Sena, Bhadra, ed, As They Saw the Master, Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1956.
- Sena, Bhadra, The Beloved Master.
- Sena, Bhadra, ed, Ocean of Grace Divine.
- Stephens, Arran, Moth and the Flame.
- The Third World Tour of Kirpal Singh.
- Vidich, Andrew & Arthur Stein, eds, Heart of Compassion: the life and teachings of Sant Kirpal Singh, Larson Publications.
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