By Kirpa SDagar : The Sant Nirankari Mission is a spiritual movement which has already spread across the globe. It seeks to improve the quality of life of its followers through spiritual enlightenment. It endeavors to strengthen the spirit of Universal Brotherhood through the realization of oneness of the Supreme Father, God.
As acknowledged by holy scriptures and spiritual masters from time to time, the Mission too upholds that God is formless, omnipresent and pervades every particle of the universe. He is the creator, nurturer and destroyer of all that is visible or subtle and abstract. The Mission, however, does not end up with the description of the Truth or God. The emphasis here is on the realization of this Ultimate Truth i.e. God. We do not mind to name God differently, but we would stress on His oneness despite the multiplicity of names. While the entire visible universe (Maya) is subject to change, the Almighty God is not.
No doubt the Truth we preach is eternal, the Mission began as a spiritual movement in Peshawar on May 25 in 1929. This is the day when Baba Avtar Singh Ji received Brahm Gyan from Baba Buta Singh Ji and joined him to take it to masses. Its founder, Baba Buta Singh Ji, received Brahm Gyan from Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh Ji, but the latter is not considered a part of the movement, simply because he did not start it. The immediate objective of the Mission was to promote the concept of the realization of God amongst those who were living in the darkness of ignorance and suffering from all kinds of false beliefs and superstitions.
In 1943, Baba Buta Singh Ji breathed his last. He, however, named Baba Avtar Singh Ji as his successor as the Head of the Mission and formless Satguru manifested himself in him. Similarly, on 3rd December, 1962, Baba Avtar Singh Ji reverted back as an ordinary missionary while Satguru appeared in Baba Gubachan Singh Ji named by the former, of course. Ever since the supreme sacrifice of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji in April, 1980, His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj has been carrying out this divine responsibility.
The Mission believes that God can be realized only through the True Master called Satguru. Since the seeker requires a hint to perceive or realize God, Satguru must be present in physical form, even though his real importance lies in his formless entity. Satguru is the embodiment of Formless God that works through a physical form and like the Formless One (God), we can realize the presence of Satguru all the time, everywhere. But we are also cautioned that Body as such is not the Brahm or God.
Like God, Satguru and God-knowledge bestowed by him are there for the emancipation of the entire mankind. Again like God, Satguru is not bound by the considerations of caste, colour and creed. Significantly, Satguru in our Mission attaches us with the Almighty and not his own physical form.
In order to enable the seeker to take full advantage of Brahm Gyan in his or her daily life, the Mission suggests five principles to follow. They involve neither rituals nor taboos or restrictions. They are more in the nature of guidelines to be borne in mind so that one behaves as a spiritually enlightened person at individual, family, social, national and universal level as such.
The first principle is that all our worldly possessions – physical, mental and material, ultimately belong to God and we must utilize the same as such and should not be proud of these possessions. This takes away the disease of ego that can prove the greatest hurdle on the path of devotion.
Secondly, one must not be proud of one’s caste and religion. It means that we do not deny the existence of various religious faiths and their sects, castes and communities, but we do not discriminate between one human being and the other on this basis. This too removes ego from our mind and saves us from hatred and violence prevailing in the name of religion.
Thirdly, we do not criticize and hate others on the basis of their diet and dress habits. On our part we may eat, drink and wear what we like. We should, however, abstain from the use of intoxicants due to social considerations. Here too we are saved from unnecessary hatred and jealousy which may lead to any kind of clash with others.
Then, God can be realised while performing normal duties of domestic life. One need not leave one’s hearth and home and become a recluse or ascetic and thus be a burden on society. It means we must fulfill our worldly responsibilities while at the same time realizing the presence of God all the time everywhere and in all circumstances.
Lastly, we are advised not to divulge God-knowledge to others without Satguru’s permission. This too saves us from a sense of false pride and embarrassment.
After we are blessed with Brahm Gyan, we are advised to seek the company of saints (Satsang), do service to others (Sewa) and remember God (Simran) as means to our devotion to God. They all keep us steadfast in our devotion to God and faith in Satguru. They also keep us away from bondages of superstitions. While Satsang presents a beautiful picture of unity in diversity and promotes love, respect and humility, Simran keeps us conscious of the presence of God in every thought and action and thus fosters noble virtues instead of negative feelings. Sewa enables every devotee to give expression to his or her devotion to the Almighty through service of humanity.
A significant feature of Satsang, Sewa and Simran in this Mission is that they are free from compulsions and restrictions. We can follow them as per our convenience or circumstances.
Even though the Mission does not seek to detach us from our roots – social, religious, cultural, economic and so on, it causes a subtle change in our attitude and gives us a new way of life, detached from various rites and rituals. It is spirituality in action, Brahm Gyan blending behaviour, our daily life. Others, however, cannot appreciate the change unless they come close to us, sit with us and talk to us.
The author is a devout follower of Sant Nirankari Mission