Words cannot do justice to a personality like Sant Kirpal Singh. Those who met him, know that.
Sant Kirpal Singh gave out the living knowledge of the true nature of man whose aim is to return to his origin - God, and emphasised the value and dignity of each individual as a conscious being or soul.
He did not teach any new faith. He treated the subject of spirituality as a science, and his teaching is universal, allowing each one to remain within the framework of his own social religion.
Competent both in theory and practice by having passed through experiences of spiritual nature, he gave a key to understand the right import of the scriptures of the various religions, which is often hidden under archaic terms. In a comparative study he demonstrated in his books the common essence of all religions, quoting Sages and Prophets, Saints and Masters of all epochs. His life was the embodiment of his teachings.
Sant Kirpal Singh was born on 6 February 1894 in Sayyad Kasran, in today’s Pakistan. Growing up in a pious Sikh family, he attended a Christian missionary school in Peshawar. An excellent student, he was a voracious reader of classical works and books on mysticism from his early age.
Since his childhood he showed love and compassion for others, not limited to the own family. For instance he came forward to serve hundreds of people during the epidemic of lethal influenza that overtook India in 1919 inspiring others by his example to help. At that time he was already married and in the service of the Indian Government.
His search for God had led him to investigate the claims of many Sufis, yogis and mystics, but he remained very sceptical. He constantly felt obsessed with the question about the aim and purpose of human existence.
An extensive study of the scriptures of various religions and the writings of Saints and holy men in English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Punjabi could only afford an ephemeral satisfaction to him. After a time of deep prayer and meditation he finally was led to his Master Baba Sawan Singh.
During twenty-four years he was combining spiritual discipleship with the duties of a householder and the demands of his high post, with hundreds of employees under him. He retired in 1947. In 1948 Baba Sawan Singh left his body, and Kirpal Singh, in distress, left for Rishikesh. When after some months he returned, the newly independent India was still under the shock of the secession of Pakistan and the unbelievable suffering that that entailed.
According to the instructions he had got from Baba Sawan Singh, he went to Delhi to which the Punjabi refugees were pouring, and started his work there. In the very beginning he went by bicycle to the park and gave heart to heart to talks on spirituality. By 1951 a site was purchased on the outskirts of Delhi and buildings were erected.
Soon his reputation as a holy man who actually lived up to what he preached and to what the scriptures said, grew more and more widespread. His work continued to grow, with one expansion after another.
In 1955, he made his first foreign tour, spending several months in the United States and Europe. He presented with such a clarity and simplicity the profound concept of spiritual awakening in accordance with the essence of the various religions, that as a result of this tour hundreds of Westerners began under his guidance with the practice of meditation, based on ethical life.
In 1957, due to the universality of his teaching, Sant Kirpal Singh was unanimously elected President of the World Fellowship of Religions, an office he was to keep for fifteen years and four World Conferences.
Sant Kirpal Singh being televized in the U.S.A., 1963.
In 1963 he made his second world tour, and, in his capacity as President of the WFR, met many religious and national leaders, among them Pope Paul VI, the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and many European royalty and government figures on all levels. To them all alike he conveyed the idea of the unity of man and the importance of Self-knowledge and God-knowledge, and emphasised that spirituality implies to live for others.
His efforts to create mutual understanding from man to man, for peace in the world and for tolerance among the religions have been recognised with many honours. Side by side with his work on this level, the number of disciples from Western countries increased.
When in 1972, August 26, Sant Kirpal Singh started his third and final World tour, he was greeted by huge crowds in the West. Again he visited numerous cities in Europe and America, put in fourteen- or fifteen-hour days throughout the tour, gave countless talks, and saw thousands of people in private interviews - at an age of 78 years. This tour ended on December 31 in Rome.
As an important facet of His work, in 1970, on 6 February, the conception of a "Manav Kendra" – "Man Centre" – was presented to the public. Man-making means character-building and evolution of the mind and soul along with the growth of the body. Service to the suffering is a basis condition for the spiritual growth. Land-service means not only getting abundant sustenance for mankind out of the soil, but also services rendered back to the earth by taking care for the land etc.
A suchlike centre was to be eventually self-supporting and would serve as an agricultural example for the farmers in the area – combining traditional methods with scientific know-how.
Handwritten notes with statistical facts show that Sant Kirpal Singh was well informed about the outer conditions of humankind, and he stated: "A hungry man is an angry man and to talk about God to him is a mockery."
The outward climax of his work was the calling of the great world Conference on Unity of man in February 1974. With invitations to spiritual and government leaders in India and throughout the world, the Conference was attended by two thousand delegates and approximately fifty thousand non-delegates.
Among the distinguished visitors who responded to His call were the Venerable Nichidatsu Fuji, Buddhist leader from Japan, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, head of the International Sufi Order, Yogi Bhajan, Acharya Sri Tulsi Ji, Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of Delhi, and the Prime Minister (Mrs. Indira Gandhi), Vice President, Defense Minister, and Foreign Minister of India, along with many others.
This great conference had an electrifying effect on all those who took part of it and was the origin of the movement Unity of Man.
A further effort on behalf of unity Sant Kirpal Singh made at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar, where, on April 12, 1974, he organised a large number of sadhus and holy men into the National Unity Conference, pledged to work together for the elimination of religious strife and the economic uplift of the poor people of India. This was the first time in the known religious history of India that anyone had been able to persuade the traditionally independent Sadhus to join together for a common good.
On August 1, at the invitation of the Indian Government, Sant Kirpal Singh spoke to the members of the Lokh Saba (Indian Parliament) on 1 August 1974 – the first time in history that a spiritual leader was invited to address the parliament.
Before his physical departure on 21 August 1974 in Delhi, Sant Kirpal Singh made arrangements to put His work into the hands of conscious people to counteract "isms" and sects. He commissioned His disciple Dr. Harbhajan to carry on his work and entrusted him with the project Kirpal Sagar.
Download (PDF) "The Essence of Religion" by Sant Kirpal Singh, speech at the 3rd Conference of the World Fellowship of Religions, Delhi 1965
|In Dublin with President De Valera of Ireland, 1963
|Sant Kirpal Singh welcoming Nichidatsu Fuji of Tokyo, President of the Japanese Buddhist order at Sawan Ashram, October 7, 1973, Delhi
|Sant Kirpal Singh with the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Boston, 1963
|Sant Kirpal Singh with H. Boubakeur, director of the famous Mosque i Paris, 1972
|Sant Kirpal Singh and Pope Paul VI in Rome, 1963
|Sant Kirpal Singh receiveing the plaque of honour on behalf of the County of Los Angeles for His work for spirituality and world peace, 1963