Rajinder Singh (Sant Mat)
|Born||20 September 1946|
|Predecessor||Sant Darshan Singh|
Rajinder Singh (20 September 1946 in Delhi, India) is an engineer and Indian mystic who as of 2014[update] is head of the international non-profit organisation Science of Spirituality (SOS), known in India as the Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission. To his disciples he is known as Sant Rajinder Singh Ji . SOS has hundreds of thousands of followers world wide and is an interfaith spiritual path based on Sant Mat.
Life and career
Sant Rajinder Singh was born in India in 1946 and graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras with a degree in electrical engineering. He has a masters from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Singh was an engineer and researcher at AT&T when he was selected as the SOS new leader upon the death of Darshan Singh in May 1989.
Rajinder Singh is the son of Darshan Singh (1921–1989) and grandson of Kirpal Singh (1894–1974). Kirpal Singh was founder of Ruhani Satsang, and during his lifetime became the most popular guru of Sant Mat in the West. After Kirpal Singh died, his son and grandson remained as the spiritual head of the organisation but under the new name of Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission, or Science of Spirituality. Many other splinter groups and gurus also claim spiritual legacy back to Kirpal Singh.
SOS is differentiated from the other Sant Mat organisations because it is not a splinter religion but rather a non-profit organisation. It asks its followers to retain their current faith but include elements of meditation, vegetarianism and a focus on inner and outer peace. Rajinder Singh emphasises the fundamental unity and harmony of all religions. He says his aim is to "take the mystery out of mysticism, to help people put mysticism into action in their own lives. By doing so, they will help themselves as well as those around them attain bliss and universal love." He emphasises meditation as the basis for peace. As Rajinder Singh has said, "Within us is a divine spirit from which our intelligence and wisdom is derived. The process of accessing that inner divine spirit, intelligence, and wisdom is called meditation; if we transform knowledge to wisdom by meditating and experiencing the driving force behind all existence, then we have the key to human unity. This experience will transform our individual life and the lives of those around us. These individual transformations will ultimately bring unity and peace at the community, national, and global levels." (From a speech, "Moral Dimensions of Leadership" given to the United States Coast Guard Academy)
Rajinder Singh has also said, "One of the greatest benefits of meditation is that we will not only have peace in our own homes, but will contribute to the peace of the world. Throughout the world, people are praying for peace. But, as the expression goes, charity begins at home. World peace can only become a reality when each of us individually has peace in our own circles. If we bring peace into our individual spheres, the effect will be cumulative, and it will contribue to world peace.”
In 2000 Rajinder Singh was part of a delegation of hundreds of world religious leaders who travelled to New York for the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, "an event unusual for its religious diversity and for its having convened at the United Nations," according to the New York Times. Singh told the Times, "When we sit and talk with them [leaders of other religions], we realize they are not much different".
Rajinder Singh has written a number of books including a meditation handbook called Inner and Outer Peace Through Meditation which contains a foreword by the Dalai Lama Other books include Spark of the Divine, in which he says "that killing is a sin, that non-vegetarianism is not good for health, and that we are here for the progress of our soul and rise spiritually so that our mission on this planet gets completed or moves towards completion."
As founder of Darshan Education Foundation, he has established Darshan Academy throughout India (schools that teach students from Pre-K—12). Integrating both meditation and a spiritual curriculum into a traditional academic environment, the foundation's goal is two-fold: first, to produce students whose spiritual potential is developed along with their intellect and physical well-being; and second, to inspire in each student a global view of the world, unobstructed by distinctions of race, nationality, religion, or economic status.
Awards and honours
Sant Rajinder Singh has received a number of awards and honours. In June 1997 he was awarded a "Peace Award" by the Temple of Understanding and the Interfaith Center of New York. He lectured at Harvard University 7 June on Inner and Outer Communication." In 2010 "Singh was honored by the City Council of San Ramon for his quest to achieve peace and harmony in the world through meditation." In 2012 at a ceremony in Amityville, New York, Singh received a number of honours and citations from US Federal and New York state, county and city officials, including from Congressman Peter T. King. During the 24th International Human Unity Conference convened in Bogota, Cali, and Medellin, Colombia (2007), he received gubernatorial and mayoral tributes for his work in the areas of spirituality, human unity, peace, and children's education. He has received five honorary doctorates for his work on behalf of peace and human unity.
- 2012 Meditation as Medication for the Soul ISBN 0918224721
- 2011 Spark of the Divine ISBN 978-0-918224-70-5
- 2006 Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living ISBN 978-0-918224-52-1
- 2005 Silken Thread of the Divine ISBN 0-918224-48-9
- 2004 Spiritual Thirst ISBN 0-918224-45-4
- 1999 Empowering Your Soul Through Meditation ISBN 0-00-716149-2
- 1996 Inner and Outer Peace Through Meditation ISBN 1-85230-949-0
- Peter Bernard Clarke (2006). "Radhasoami Movements". Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Psychology Press.
- Staff writer. "Indian Institute of Technology Madras alumni". India Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Michael Ko (8 October 1999). "Meditating on God". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "The South Asian Times". 8–14 September 2012.
- Mary Pat Fisher (1997). Living Religions: An Encyclopedia of the World's Faiths. I.B.Tauris.
- Diane Dassow (30 December 1996). "Group proposes a simple way to discover inner, outer peace". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, IL. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Gustav Niebuhr (1 September 2000). "World's Religious Figures Sign a Pledge for Peace". New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. Inner and Outer Peace Through Meditation. See the Google Books description for quote from Dalai Lama.
- PP Wangchuk (13 March 2012). "Search for divinity". The Hindustan Times. New Delhi. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Letter to Kofi Annan". United Nations. 28 May 1997. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Sunthar Visuvalingam (24 August 2012). "Chicago Festival Promotes Vegetarianism, Healthy Lifestyles" (PDF). News India – Times. New York, N.Y. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Anonymous. "Peace Award For Spiritualist". News India – Times [New York, N.Y] 20 June 1997: 31. Quote: "Sant Ranjinder Singh Ji Maharaj, spiritual head of Science of Spirituality/Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission, was presented earlier this month Peace Award by the Temple of Understanding and the Interfaith Center of New York. He also lectured at Harvard University June 7 on Inner and Outer Communication."
- Pearl Driver. "Meditation the Way to Peace: Sant Rajinder Singh Ji." India – West [San Leandro, Calif] 7 September 2010, Vol. 35 Issue 33, pB1-B20.