A Master’s Dedication
Daryai Lal Kapur was a devoted disciple of Maharaj Sawan Singh, known affectionately as the Great Master. Daryai Lal wrote two books, including Heaven on Earth, which is a narrative account of the development of the Dera and the three Masters he served. Below is an extract relating the Great Master’s love and dedication to the sangat.
Maharaj Ji’s (Maharaj Sawan Singh) entire life was now dedicated to spirituality, and seva of the sangat. His own comfort, well-being, convenience, and even health became secondary for him. Endowed with an extraordinary willpower, Hazur had great capacity for hard work. He would endure any amount of physical discomfort and hardship while carrying out his duties. He would completely disregard extremes of weather – heat, cold, heavy rains; nothing could deter him from his mission of satsang, initiation and seva. He would stand in the summer sun – sometimes it is 120 degrees Fahrenheit in June -without an umbrella, for hours at a time, supervising the harvesting. Once when I put an umbrella over his head, he said, “No son, I do not need it. Don’t you see the sangat is doing seva in the sun?” With Hazur looking on, seva that would normally take two days to finish was done in half a day.
Another time, after blessing the langar food, Maharaj Ji went to give darshan to the women baking chapatis over the pits of burning wood. In order to be visible to the ladies, he had to stand in the thick smoke coming from the damp fuel in the ovens. I myself was hardly able to breathe or see for the smoke, and I requested that Hazur move to one side, away from it. He refused, saying, “The smoke doesn’t bother me.”
The Masters are always more concerned about the needs of their disciples than their own. I remember once Maharaj Ji had a cold and a high fever; some of us begged him to rest and not to go to satsang that afternoon. He said he was all right and must go to satsang. Bibi Ralli and a few close satsangis knew that he was far from well and was in great discomfort. They almost insisted that Maharaj Ji stay in his room and rest. But he replied, “The more this body is utilized in seva the better. After all, it will be consigned to flames one day. I should never neglect the duty entrusted to me by Baba Ji (Baba Jaimal Singh).” At satsang his face was radiant and his voice so powerful that the sangat did not suspect that he was ill.
Maharaj Ji was extremely compassionate and loving. When people came to him and confessed their failings, he would graciously forgive them. At the same time he would remind them that the mind is a powerful enemy and a disciple should always be alert to its deceptive stratagems. He would tell them not to repeat their transgressions, but to do bhajan and simran with love and devotion, and the Lord would forgive them. Although our karmas were as clear to him as the contents of a glass jar, he would never speak of our shortcomings, even indirectly. He took care not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I never heard him speak ironically or cynically, nor say anything critical of others. He used to say, “Saints never look at our failings. If they did, who would come to them?” Like all great saints, he would see only our virtues. He would say, “Every soul is virtuous. Our eyes and heart are at fault if we fail to see a person’s worth, for God himself sits in every human heart.”
Heaven on Earth