Maharaj Ji’s First Satsang
Though Hazur Maharaj Ji came to the Dera in October 1951, he did not start giving satsang till much later. There were three elderly satsangis, Babu Gulab Singh, Sardar Gokal Singh and Baba Rameshwar Das, who used to hold satsang while Maharaj Ji sat on the dais giving darshan to the sangat.
Talking about how he started giving satsang, he said, “One day, I came to the Dera unannounced. The satsang had started when I reached. It was outside the library. I went and sat with the audience. A sevadar named Bhagat Ram was holding satsang on the shabd Dil Ka Hujra. I noticed that he was saying things which had no relevance to the shabd, nor did his exposition have any context with the teachings. He was only talking of miracles performed by the Great Master. I felt very uneasy and embarrassed.”
“After the satsang, I asked Professor Jagmohan Lal, who had come from Dalhousie with me, what he had to say about Bhagat Ram’s satsang. Professor Sahib retorted, ‘If you do not hold satsang, then what else should we expect?’ I explained and pleaded with Professor Sahib that I knew nothing about Sant Mat teachings. I never attentively heard Sardar Bahadur Ji’s or Great Master’s satsangs, though I used to enjoy them. I never even noticed which shabd was taken. I only knew one thing – how to be steadfast on the three principles and how to meditate.”
“We had a lot of arguments, though I had great respect for Professor Sahib. He was like a friend to me, and I could take a lot of liberty with him. In spite of our age difference, I could argue with him. I had, in my college days, stayed with him in his house at Kapurthala for a year. I stayed also with his elder son at Rawalpindi for two years, when I was graduating in Arts from Gordon College. He emphatically argued with me and said, ‘You are a law graduate and were successful in your profession, and right from childhood have been brought up in this atmosphere. I cannot understand why it is not possible for you to hold satsang.’”
“Anyhow, in the evening, I was surprised when Babu Gulab Singh came to me with one copy each of Sar Bachan (poetry) and Shabd Ki Mahima Ke Shabd in Punjabi, and told me that he had selected fifteen shabds from each book for me and I should discuss them with him, which would help me to hold satsangs. I felt Professor Jagmohan Lal’s hand was behind this suggestion. I could not say anything to Babu Gulab Singh, as he was Baba Ji’s satsangi, and I had great respect for him. But he was shocked when I told him that I did not know Hindi, nor was I fluent with Punjabi. He just looked at my face blankly and did not know what to say. After some time I asked him if these books were available in Urdu. He told me he would check up and let me know, and left disappointed.”
“After three days he again came with four volumes of the Adi Granth in Urdu, which I still have with me. He brought another small book of Soami Ji Maharaj’s shabds printed in Urdu by Bakshi Maluk Chand. Ultimately, I started understanding from him the various aspects of the teachings. Meanwhile, Prof. Jagmohan Lal gave me a copy of The Path of the Masters to read, as it had to be reprinted, and he wanted some criticism of religions to be eliminated. It also helped me to understand the philosophy of Sant Mat.”
“In winter I had gone to Sirsa for one and a half months. Munshi Ram Ji tried to teach me the Hindi alphabet as, he said, a lot of the teachings of saints were written in Hindi and it would be of great help to me to go through them. But he gave it up after a week, as I could not pick up more than a few letters.”
“Anyhow, I held my first satsang and the shabd I took was from Tulsi Sahib, Dil Ka Hujra, and gradually I started giving satsang from shabds of Soami Ji Maharaj and the Adi Granth.”
So, Maharaj Ji started to give satsang for two hours and sometimes even two and half hours, twice daily in those days. His inspiring soft voice and charismatic personality held the sangat spellbound. His lucid exposition – logical and convincing – was forceful. He often used to take two shabds, one from the Adi Granth and the other from Soami Ji Maharaj.
Treasure Beyond Measure