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The following is a chapter from a book by Maheshwari entitled The Radhasoami Faith; History, and Tenets. I first had contact with it at the India Library, and Records, in London back in the 1980s.
Shiv Dayal Singh was the founder of the Radhasoami Faith. The word Radhasoami incidently is "phonetic mispell of Radhaswami, or the Lord the Soul. Dayal taught Surat Shabd Yoga which is the Path of Inner Sound, or Shabd. Light is also experienced in which during meditation the practioner uses this Audible Life Stream to ascend through the Spiritual "Regions" to the "Highest One" which is seen as the Source of All Existence (ie. God, or Radhasoami).
See link reference for books on the RS Faith, courtesy of Soamibagh Satsang which has classics online such as Radhasoami Mat Prakash, and Discourses on the Radhasoami Faith.
The following is from Chapter II.
.....The incarnation of the most exalted, most gracious, most merciful, most munificent and most forgiving Radhasoami Dayal is a memorable event for the entire creation in Pind and Brahmand. Blessed are the earth, the time and the place, the family, the community and the surroundings in which He chose to incarnate. Blessed are all those who happened to be associated with Him in any way while He was on this earth and formed His hegemony for the emancipation of the afflicted souls.
As everything in this creation is planned and the greater the importance of an event the higher is the level at which it is planned, the advent of the Supreme Being as Sant Sat Guru was ordained by Himself. There is nothing fortuitous in His scheme.
It was no mere chance that of all human beings Sri Dilwali Singh Seth Saheb of Panni Gall, Agra, should be chosen to be His father on earth. This unique honour was bestowed upon him because he deserved it; not because of his power and pelf, his wealth and affluence or of his learning and high social position ; but because his soul occupied a high spiritual position and was fit for this honour. This applies also to Soamiji Maharaj's mother and other relations whose Adi Bhag had awakened to such an extent that they should be closely associated with the Adi Purush (Eternal Being) in His great work of salvation.
Soamiji Maharaj was born on the 24th August, 1818 A. D. He was named Shiv Dayal Singh and was later addressed as Soamiji Maharaj. Spiritual significance is attached to the month, date and hour of His birth. This is commemorated by His numerous followers and by the Satsang He established, by holding Bhandara (ceremonial feast) every year in Soami Bagh, Agra where His Samadh is being constructed.
The family of Soamiji Maharaj had been followers of Guru Nanak's faith. His parents and some other near relations had subsequently accepted Param Sant Tulsi Saheb of Hathras as their Guru. Tulsi Saheb used to visit frequently the family of Soamiji Maharaj during the latter's childhood and had, within a selected circle, given out that Soamiji Maharaj was the incarnation of the Supreme Being and would deliver the message of the Most High. Being thus forewarned, Soamiji Maharaj's parents and others accorded Him a reverential treatment even while He was a child.
Being the incarnation of the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal, Soamiji Maharaj was imbued with spirituality of the highest order. He stood in no need of acquiring any knowledge spiritual or secular. Accordingly He had no spiritual teacher or guide and as far as the acquisition of worldly knowledge is concerned, He learnt Hindi, Urdu, Gurumukhi, Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic in a very short time and without much effort or attention. It seemed as if He were only going over lessons learnt long ago. Many children used to go to Soamiji Maharaj for learning Persian in which He had attained proficiency. But He never accepted any remuneration for any work He did for any body. It was all out of love. To those who were needy He used to render monetary help also.
He was married at a very early age. His consort named Narayan Del came to be known as Radha ji Maharaj. At the time of marriage Soamiji Maharaj said of Her that by virtue of Her high spiritual status and affinity to Him, She was destined to be with Him ; so let the marriage be performed. She was a Nij Ansh (emanation from Supreme Being). They had no children.
Almost the whole of Soamiji Maharaj's time and attention were devoted to meditation and Bhajan (Surat Shabd Yoga). He did not engage Himself in any other service or business. But when the matter was pressed, He agreed to spare an hour or two only. No body dared press the point further. Later on to please His father He only once took up the post of the tutor to a certain ruling prince for a short time. Besides pay there were perquisites and privileges attached to this appointment. But Soamiji Maharaj accepted nothing for Himself, over and above what was absolutely necessary. The rest He gave away to the poor and the needy. When He saw that His father's end was near He resigned this appointment and came over to him just a day before his death. Afterwards He did not take up any service or profession.
Soamiji Maharaj's father, after his retirement from service, had started money lending business. But when he died and the younger brother of Soamiji Maharaj got employed, He wound up this business as He had never liked it. One day He called all the debtors and asked them to return the money if they could and destroyed all the documents in their presence and relieved them of the obligation to repay.
From very early childhood, Soamiji Maharaj used to shut Himself up in a small room which is at the back of another room on the ground floor of His house. For light and air there is a small aperture, otherwise no noise can reach this room. This room still exists in a renovated form and is considered as one of the most sacred and hallowed places. Soamiji Maharaj used to remain in that room for days, deeply absorbed in His Abhyas and did not even feel the necessity to answer the call of nature. No body disturbed Him.
While still a student, Soamiji Maharaj used to deliver discourses on metaphysical subjects like salvation of soul, economy of creation and the transient nature of the world and its objects, to His parents, members of His family, friends and acquaintances and ascetics who would go to Him or would otherwise come in contact with Him. Soamiji Maharaj used to repeatedly explain that this world is a great net. Here the spirit has come down from the highest regions and has been subjected to transmigration in the various bodies and to hells and their afflictions, not knowing the path that would lead it back to its original abode. This path and the attendant practices for going upwards can be given out to human beings alone and to no other beings or creatures. For this reason the sages of old have called man the most superior of all beings and creatures. It is, therefore, incumbent on man to derive the fullest advantage of the human body. This implies that effort should be made to give as little time to the world and its affairs as is absolutely necessary and to devote the maximum time and attention to the remembrance and worship of the Supreme Being. People heard with rapt attention such words coming out from the sweet tongue of a child and were amazed. Many persons, including His parents, received initiation from Him and accepted Him as their spiritual guide.
By the time of His father's death, Soamiji Maharaj had been recognised as a great Sant ; His reputation had spread far and wide. Men of all classes and creeds, both ascetics and house-holders, gathered round Him for Darshan and to hear His discourses. Among such visitors were the prominent ecclesiastics of the Christian faith, representatives of the priesthood and Sadhu class and men who belonged to Sufi class and Gyan Mat (Vedant Philosophy). From amongst these people who visited Him, a large number accepted the Radhasoami Faith and joined its fold. They remained at His place for days together and Soamiji Maharaj, inspite of His apparent delicate health and constitution, delivered His message energetically for hours and sometimes for days together.
And Radhaji Maharaj, His consort, was throughout day and night preparing food for the coming visitors. In this way spiritual and bodily needs of all those who came to Him, were attended to.
It may, however, be mentioned here that Soamiji Maharaj, for nearly forty years, preached and initiated people in the practices leading up to Satt Lok only, for the reason that nobody was prepared to receive the secrets of still higher regions. Persons belonging to the Sant Mat of the time (among whom were included the family of Soamiji Maharaj and His relatives) contented themselves with the observance of outward formalities of Guru Nanak's faith and worship of Samadhs etc. In this atmosphere there was not a single soul who could tolerate the message of a `Nam' (name) higher than Sat Nam. It would have been utterly futile to openly preach the message of Radhasoami Dayal among them. The highest good that Soamiji Maharaj then did to them was to wean them from the formalities and outward rituals of Sant Mat as it prevailed at that time and to instill into them the true secrets of Satt Lok and the method of approach by Surat Shabd Yoga. To this too there was only a very partial and limited response.
This went on for sometime until Huzur Maharaj (Rai Salig Ram Bahadur, the would be successor of Soamiji Maharaj), after an agitating and poignant search for the Supreme Being, continuously eating into His vitals for over a decade, came into the presence of Soamiji Maharaj. Simultaneously about this time, some males and females gathered round the person of Soamiji Maharaj and became His enthusiastic, devoted and lost-to-themselves followers. Within this circle which continued to expand from time to time, Soamiji Maharaj gave out the supreme name "Radhasoami" which was in turn used by His followers for Himself.
When we speak of the incarnation of the Most High Radhasoami Dayal in the person of Soamiji Maharaj and of the announcement by Him of the holy name "Radhasoami" we have to bear concurrently in mind the presence in the Satsang of "One", the Gurumukh, in response to whose love and devotion alone, the Supreme Being had to manifest Himself and to give expression to His holy name. Again it was on the repeated request of His Gurumukh, Huzur Maharaj that Soamiji Maharaj started the open Satsang on the Basant Panchmi day (the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Magh corresponding to January, February) in 1861 A. D.
This Satsang comprised of Soamiji Maharaj as the embodiment in human form of the Supreme Being, with plenary powers of salvation, being in essence the same as the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal in His original abode, and of His Gurumukh (chief disciple) Huzur Maharaj as the sole entity to respond fully to the love and attraction of the Supreme Being as manifested in Soamiji Maharaj. To understand this it is necessary to know the principles of the Faith and the secrets governing the advent of Sants and Gurumukhs.
Kal Purush or Brahm is the guru of the regions of Brahmand and Pind. Sat Purush is Sat Guru of Satt Lok and the regions below and Radhasoami Dayal is Param Guru of the entire creation.
Adhikar (fitness) grows in the natural course by the exhaustion of the Karams. This exhaustion is regulated by laws and takes place in some Jivas earlier than in others.
The range of action in the case of man is confined to the six ganglions in human body. The Asuri (demon-like) or the brutish attributes of the three lower centres of Pind should completely be wiped off before the divine attributes of the three higher centres of Pind can be developed.
For ascension in Brahmand it is necessary that actions of all the ganglions of Pind should be controlled. Similarly for gaining access into Dayal Desh the actions of all the centres of Pind and Brahmand should be controlled.
In the Yugas or times bygone, Jivas could attain success in traversing the regions of Pind by Sankalpa Shakti (will-power), Bal (force) and Purushartha (one's own efforts and exertions) ; but even then it was impossible to penetrate the regions of Brahmand without the guidance and help of Brahm himself. Most of the Rishis, Munis, Tapsis, Naths, etc., (sages of old) succeeded in elevating their spirits only to the higher centres of Pind and And (the regions of the three gods, Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu).
Brahm, before incarnating himself, sent several messengers or deputies, endowed with powers related to the needs of the time, to prepare the Jiva to receive teachings which he intended to give later on. The incarnations of lower degrees made their advent first and were succeeded by those of higher degrees. The incarnations, adepts, Mahatmas, etc., not only raised the spiritual status of the region to which they came, by infusing spirituality of their centres, but also removed the darkness of the Jivas to some extent. When the time arrived Brahm made his advent here as Ram and Krishna and took those who were fitted for this to their respective regions. After their departure the Jivas were deprived of the benefits which their presence had conferred; and their teachings, in the absence of adepts and due to the passage of time, were gradually lost.
Kabir Saheb, Guru Nanak, Tulsi Saheb and other Sants and Sadhs trained the Jivas to receive the instructions of Radhasoami Dayal and when time became ripe and a sufficient number of Jivas had thus attained necessary capacity and fitness, Radhasoami Dayal graced this creation by His advent in the person of Soamiji Maharaj. The advent of the Most Exalted Supreme Father Himself to effect the salvation of Jivas is pregnant with Daya and Grace, the nature of which cannot be conceived.
The holy name Radhasoami was not revealed here all at once without preparing the ground. At first Sat Nam with which people were familiar as the name given out by other Sants, was revealed. The name Radhasoami was given out only to a chosen few.
Even if a Sant Surat descends into the regions below the third Til, which are full of Tam (darkness) He is also apt to forget His real status temporarily. The Sants, therefore, never go down so low. They send down their Gurumukh who remains in contact with Jivas. This is how the Gurumukh Surat is helpful in the Uddhar (salvation) of the Jivas.
Soamiji Maharaj came as Soami or master and Huzur Maharaj as Sewak or servant. One was the speaker, the other the listener. Guru (teacher) and Chela (disciple) were really one and the same. If this course had not been adopted, the acceptance of Radhasoami Nam by other Jivas would have been impossible. Other Jivas only followed what Huzur Maharaj said or did and thus in course of time by Huzur Maharaj's example they became qualified to act in the right manner. Soamiji Maharaj revealed and gave publicity to Radhasoami Nam and established general Satsang only when Huzur Maharaj had come to Him.
There were people in Soamiji Maharaj's time who had no faith in Radhasoami Nam. The Paksh or regard for Sat Nam, disclosed by previous Sants, was so strongly rooted in their hearts that it was not only difficult but in some cases impossible to give it up and to adopt Radhasoami Nam.
The work of salvation is started by Swatah Sant who does not descend below the third Til, (the portal of death) as here at this point commences the awakening of spirit, i.e., the spirit occupies a spot at this point where for the first time in the course of its journey upwards, the first experience of the liberation of spirit from the coarse mind and matter is had. Below this point, the hurl and downward forces of mind and matter are so strong that the spirit of even a Sant or Sadh would lose itself under the weight and force of these downward currents and would be helpless to extricate itself unaided or to render help to others. This is because the laws of process of evolution of creation and their economy do not admit of a greater amount of spiritual energy being brought to a lower region than is suitable to its existence and preservation. If a larger amount of spiritual energy were to be thrust forcibly into it, a disintegration of that region would take place and it would merge into the higher region as at the time of Pralaya. For all regions the minima and maxima of spiritual energy are fixed and within that range ebb and flow take place. Any divergence from this minima and maxima would upset the process of creation, evolution and its involution and nullify the benificent object of the creation itself.
An absolutely indispensable adjunct to the work of salvation therefore is the presence of a perfect Gurumukh who conjointly with the Swatah Sant performs the work of salvation. The spirit of the Gurumukh descends in the ordinary course to the lowest centre under the protecting hand of the Swatah Sant. The spiritualizing force of the highest creation is thus made available, in some measure, to the whole creation and those in whom the spiritual force is emerging and awakening, readily accept the Saran (protection) of a Sant as they alone can conform, in more or less degree, to the directions of the Sant Sat Guru. The Gurumukh working out his salvation under the aegis, guidance and spiritual help of the Swatah Sant and thus extricating completely his spirit from the lower centres and translating it to the higher regions, exercises an attractive influence or tug in the deepest recesses of kindred spirits and this tug upon the spirituality in such spirits develops their "Shag" and makes them amenable to the influences of Sant. Without this it would be impossible for ordinary Jivas to obtain salvation.
As the Gurumukh, after the departure of the Swatah Sant has to continue the work of salvation and to occupy the position of the Redeemer, so that he can render help and assistance internally to all the devotees, he must be of the same essence as his Guru, surcharged with the spirituality of the same order and endowed with similar plenary powers of salvation. In other words, internally the Swatah Sant and the Gurumukh are the same, emanations from the Supreme Being. Externally one is the Swatah Sant having location above the third Til and conscious all along of His one-ness with the Supreme Being. As regards the Gurumukh, his entire existence is subordinate and subservient to the will and pleasure of his Guru. He alone recognizes Him and responds to His attractions. And by reason of his location and having traversed down to the lowest centres, he exercises a more potent and effective tug on the denizens of the lower regions. Thus Swatah Sant and the Gurumukh together are essential for duly starting, continuing and completing the work of redemption. It is the Gurumukh who initiates Sewa (service) and Bhakti (devotion) of his Guru ; others follow. Just as the nose-string of only one camel is held in the hands of the camel driver and hundreds of camels follow on, similarly there is only one Gurumukh in the Satsang ; others follow his example.
As has already been explained, the entire creation has been caused by Shabd and Surat. The Adi (prime) Shabd is "SOAMI" and the Adi Surat is "RADHA". Soamiji Maharaj was the embodiment of Adi Shabd "SOAMI". So was Radhaji Maharaj (Soamiji Maharaj's consort) the embodiment of the Adi Surat "RADHA".
It is not to be concluded that Radhaji Maharaj had any function assigned to Her as is the case with the Gurumukh. Her mere presence was enough to ensure the fulfilment of the mission for which She had come with Soamiji Maharaj. Being the embodiment of Adi Surat (the prime spirit current), She had a special love for and affinity with the spirit entities in these regions and exercised a peculiar attractive influence on those located in the regions. This expedited their emergence from the stress of mind and matter.
Besides this as the consort of Soamiji Maharaj, She was a great bulwark for the family, community and the new fraternity of Satsangis, who got help, support and protection in every way, besides easy approach to Soamiji Maharaj who, more particularly in the earlier days, was unapproachable and inaccessible. Otherwise also, Radhaji Maharaj had a busy life, being the head of a big joint family and the guardian of three motherless sons of the youngest brother of Soamiji Maharaj. And above all She alone was responsible for looking after the physical needs of Soamiji Maharaj, who would for days together, shut Himself up in the small room referred to before. There was no knowing when Soamiji Maharaj would need water, food or rest. It was also not certain at what time of day or night He would require anything. So, Radhaji Maharaj had to be in attendance on Him all the time, if not physically, at least mentally and spiritually. Amid the hustle and bustle of Her multifarious duties and activities, Her attention was always riveted on Soamiji Maharaj and His requirements. It was Radhaji Maharaj alone who could do it.
Radhaji Maharaj was extremely kind hearted and charitable. She had Her money bag always with Her and gave away to the poor and the needy whatever they wanted of Her. For the Sewa and service of Soamiji Maharaj and for feeding the Sadhus, the poor and the needy and for other benevolent acts, She sold all Her jewellery worth several thousand rupees. She Herself cooked the food for Sadhus and others who came for Soamiji Maharaj's Darshan and kept Herself busy all the day. If fresh batch of Sadhus arrived after She had finished cooking and feeding late in the afternoon, She would busy Herself again and would not rest till She had fed them all.
Radhaji Maharaj survived Soamiji Maharaj by more than sixteen years. During these years She nursed the Satsang started by Soamiji Maharaj and saw that His successor Huzur Maharaj did not. meet with avoidable opposition or difficulties from the members of Her family and others. When She departed on the 1st November, 1894, Her ashes were kept with those of Soamiji Maharaj in the Samadh which is still under construction.
Among the disciples of Soamiji Maharaj there were several devotees and adepts of high order. One of them was Shibboji. Once upon a time, love for and pangs of separation from Soamiji Maharaj so overpowered her that she came stark naked running through the market from her house to Soamiji Maharaj. When her sister Bukkiji asked her why she came in such a plight, she replied that she saw nobody on the way except Soamiji Maharaj. One day while she was sitting at some distance from Soamiji Maharaj she began suddenly to cry. When asked why she did so, she replied that she was not getting Soamiji Maharaj's Darshan. On being told that Soamiji Maharaj was seated just in front of her, she replied that she was not getting the Darshan she used to get internally, within herself two or three days back. Thereupon Soamiji Maharaj told her to go and apply herself with zeal to the performance of Bhajan (internal devotion). Thereafter she began to get Darshan. She used to perform Bhajan from midnight to morning and afternoon till evening. In all she spent ten to twelve hours a day in the performance of Bhajan.
Bukkiji, the younger sister of Shibboji; used to hear discourses delivered by Soamiji Maharaj with great attention and devotion ; her eyes would then become red and tears would flow. She would very often suck the toe of Soamiji Maharaj and say that she felt as if she was being breast fed. After the departure of Soamiji Maharaj she remained unconscious for about a month and a half, during which period she would not even ease herself. Then her spirit was all along in the holy feet of Soamiji Maharaj. It was feared lest she would die. Thereafter she got Darshan of Soamiji Maharaj who told her to go on with her Sewa and devotion as she was doing while Soamiji Maharaj was present. Soamiji Maharaj would appear to her in Dhyan when He would talk to her. People very often used to get Soamiji Maharaj's orders through Bukkiji. A short time before her death, some one expressed sorrow that she was going to die. She, then, said :-
(It is the worldly people who are subject to death. My departure cannot be called death ; for I am in communion with One who is the giver of life.) She laughed and clapped her hands and then left the mortal coil.
After the departure of Soamiji Maharaj, Bukkiji requested Him in Bhajan to shower Daya upon Sadhus. Soamiji Maharaj replied that with the exception of two Sadhus who were at that time performing Bhajan, all were sleeping. How could He show Daya in the case of those who were sleeping ? When the Sadhus in question came to the Satsang at Panni Gall, they admitted that at the time mentioned by Soamiji Maharaj, with the exception of those two, they were all asleep.
Vishnoji was in charge of the kitchen. She used to prepare Bhog (food). Even when Soamiji Maharaj went out of the city she would follow Him there and instantly prepare Bhog for Him at the place where Soamiji Maharaj took rest. For this purpose she would keep provisions etc. in reserve.
There was once a great famine due to failure of rains. Some villagers came to Soamiji Maharaj and began to relate their miseries. They prayed for rain. Soamiji Maharaj kept silence. But Vishnoji told them to go to their homes and that rain would come the next day. When they had gone away, Soamiji Maharaj said to Vishnoji that it was ordained that there would be no rain and she should not have forecast rain without His permission. Then Vishnoji said that as she had given word, there must be rain. Thereupon Soamiji Maharaj asked the people to sit down on the nearby platform and go on repeating Radhasoami-Radhasoami. After some time there was some rain. Soamiji Maharaj cautioned Vishnoji against such utterances in future.
It appears desirable to say here a few words about miracles and super-natural powers of Sants. Soamiji Maharaj had said that Sants do not show miracles. They act according to Supreme Father's will, His Mauj, and remain un-manifested. If it be His pleasure that they be in the lime-light in the world, they would show miracles, but if He wants them to remain concealed from the world, they show no miracles, because when Sants show miracles, they have soon to depart from this world. Moreover, it is harmful to the interest of true seekers and there is crowding of false ones. Miracles are forbidden in the present age and those who wish to see them are not true seekers either. For further elucidation articles 38-42 (both inclusive) of "Discourses on Radhasoami Faith" may be referred to."
Besides, miracles do not add in any way to the greatness of Sants in the eyes of true Parmarthis. Sants and other adepts of high order have rarely shown miracles. Their sublimity rests upon the exalted teachings of their faith. Their magnificence is depicted in the spiritual exaltation experienced by their devotees within themselves. A recital of these experiences, which of course in the nature of things can only partially be known, will not only be unintelligible to the world at large and to a large class of Satsangis but would invite suspicions, disbeliefs and derisions on the part of the people of the world. Hence it is best to leave these internal incidents and experiences of high class devotees undescribed.
Bukkiji's younger brother, Kanhaiya Bhai was also a great devotee who had severed all his connections from the world and his relations and applied himself exclusively to the service of Soamiji Maharaj.
Sri Jivan Lal whom his father had brought to Soamiji Maharaj with the object of securing for him some service through Huzur Maharaj, heard the discourses of Soamiji Maharaj and was so much impressed with them that he not only discarded all idea of any service, but discarded all his relatives and near and dear ones and lived in and dedicated his life to the Sewa of Soamiji Maharaj and His Satsang throughout day and night. He became a part and parcel of Satsang and its activities. After the departure of Soamiji Maharaj, he continued his Sewa at the holy feet of Huzur Maharaj.
Just a few words about the personal appearance of Soamiji Maharaj. In his poetical works He Himself has described the Satgur Swarup as :
[ Translation : "Lovely is His face, erect is His stature and graceful is His gait. The light within Him annihilates the mind and its evil tendencies."]
Those who had the good fortune to see Soamiji Maharaj, said that He possessed an extremely handsome appearance and personality and each part of His body was most attractive. He was of middle height, of very fair complexion and of a delicate constitution. His eyes were brilliant and lustrous and His forehead was open and broad. To cast a look at Him was to realize the presence of someone unusually attractive and magnetic. It was not easy for a man to fix his gaze upon Him. To look intently at His eyes was possible only if He was pleased to permit it.
Constant meditation and the state of perpetual rapture in which Soamiji Maharaj lived, had considerably mellowed His constitution. This, together with the natural halo which surrounded Him, had imparted undefinable charm and veneration to His august personality, which could not escape the attention of even a casual visitor.
Due to very little quantity of food and to scant attention to His physical body and its requirements His physical body became very weak. Often He would hold Satsang the whole night. At the time He departed He was not yet 60, but looked much older. In fact when Huzur Maharaj requested Soamiji Maharaj to remain in this world for some time more, He agreed to do so for a short period only and said that as His body had aged considerably, He could not continue to live in it much longer.
A few years before His departure, Soamiji Maharaj expressed His wish to live outside the city away from the din and noise and the large concourse of Sadhus, mendicants and beggars who infested His place, some for spiritual gains but most of them for alms. Huzur Maharaj and others used to carry Him on a palanquin to the various places in the vicinity of Agra. Soamiji Maharaj tasted and tested the water of several wells and thus sanctified them and ultimately selected a well in the place where Soami Bagh has grown up now and where His Samadh is being built. About the water of the well in Soami Bagh, He said that it was the best of all.
Extracts from the last discourses of Soamiji Maharaj just before His departure on Saturday the 15th June, 1878, are given below :
"When on the day of Soamiji Maharaj's departure some Satsangis began to pay homage and present Bhents, one of the neighbours said that it was not the proper occasion to present Bhents before Him as His spirit was reverting inside and His Dhyan should not be disturbed. Thereupon Soamiji Maharaj said that successful Dhyan is one by which the Surat could, at will, be raised to the highest region or brought down to this region ; and as for Him He had already taken abode in the lap of Satt Purush Radhasoami the night before. It was with the object of giving some last discourses to them that He had come down.
"Again He said that He had applied Himself to Parmarth since the age of six. That is how His practices had attained perfection. If a raw swimmer is thrown into water, he is sure to be drowned ; but one who has practised this art since childhood would surely swim across. This body is lifeless skin ; it has to be left. The aim of Bhajan and Sumiran of the whole life is that a man should not be lost at the end. You should practise repetition of the Name in such a way that it may never be forgotten.
"Besides the contemplation of the Sat Guru form and repetition of His Name, nothing else can be done in Kali Yuga.
"I have made the lion and the lamb to drink water side by side at the same place. None else can do so.
"Sri Sudarshan Singh, alias Seth Saheb (His nephew) asked as to whom they should look for guidance. Soamiji Maharaj named Huzur Maharaj.
"Satsang will ever continue and will go on increasing.
"None should feel dejected. I am with you all. You will get more grace, mercy and protection in future than before."
Having delivered the last message in the open courtyard of His house in Panni Gali, He went inside His room and left this world at about quarter to two in the afternoon.
Soamiji Maharaj had an elder sister named Sardhoji and two younger brothers named Sri Brindaban and Sri Pratap Singh. Both of them were employed in the postal department. The former rose to be the Chief Inspector of Oudh. In his time he was considered a great philanthropist and a religious man and his name was associated with many benevolent acts of social and educational reforms. He earned great fame in the Kumbh fair of Allahabad held in 1870, when he was taken in a procession by his followers who called him Sarkar Saheb. In that very year he fell ill and had eventually to retire from government service. Since 1871 till his death in 1876 he remained in the Sewa and service of Soamiji Maharaj under whose guidance he performed Surat Shabd Yoga with great zeal and devotion. He had no issues.
The youngest brother of Soamiji Maharaj, Sri Pratap Singh had much closer connection with the Satsang. In the time of Soamiji Maharaj as also after His departure, he was an important person in the Satsang because of his having served Soamiji Maharaj for over thirty years. He was known as `Chachaji Saheb.' `Chacha' means uncle. He was the first president of the Central Council established in 1902 by Maharaj Saheb, the third Leader of the Faith. He had three sons named Suchet Singh, Sujan Singh and Sudarshan Singh. They were all called `Bhai Sahebs.' `Bhai' means brother. The youngest of them Sri Sudarshan Singh, after his retirement from government service in which he was Superintendent of post offices, devoted himself more or less exclusively to Parmarth. He gave away his property worth over a hundred thousand rupees to Satsang. He is also known as `Seth Saheb' and has been referred to as such elsewhere in this book.
Soamiji Maharaj's poetical compositions have been compiled in a voluminous book styled Sar Bachan Radhasoami (Poetry). This is the most important treatise on Radhasoami Faith, being the original and authentic exposition of the principles of the Faith, the genesis and evolution of creation, relative position of other religions vis-a-vis Sant Mat, the scope and method of devotional practices as enjoined in the Radhasoami Faith and their efficacy as compared with the Yogic and other practices taught by other faiths and the necessity for the advent of the Supreme Being as Sant Sat Guru in this world for the purpose of emancipation of the soul, as given out by the Supreme Being Himself.
The language of the book is simple, sweet and beautiful Hindi which can easily be understood for the greater part even by persons of a little education and even by the children. The whole book is full of inestimable gems. For those who are not conversant with Hindi and can have no access to the original, translations of a few pieces are given in Chapter No. XI.
Contemporary excerpts of discourses delivered by Soamiji Maharaj have been incorporated in a book known as Sar Bachan Radhasoami (Prose). It is also in Hindi. This book has been translated into English and is available in printed form in Soami Bagh. This gives in an intelligible and easy style the various aspects of an esoteric faith and other ancillary matters which a devotee should know and understand before surrendering himself to the care and guidance of a spiritual teacher. In this respect this book is of prime and foremost importance to a true seeker, to one who is anxious to know the mystery of life and creation and to solve the riddles of existence, the transmigration of the soul and its ultimate redemption.
Both the works were, for the first time, published in 1884 under the joint authority of Huzur Maharaj and Chachaji Saheb. The preface to Sar Bachan Radhasoami (Poetry) had been written by Huzur Maharaj.