For in depth information kindly go to www.nirankari.com
And for activities in the Midlands UK: www.nirankari.com/birmingham
"Know One Believe and Become One" - The Nirankari Baba
Sant Nirankari Mission, popularly known as the Universal Brotherhood, is an all-embracing spiritual movement, dedicated to peace, love and human fraternity. Through spiritual awakening, the Mission seeks to overcome the barriers that have increasingly separated human beings from each other and from God. The central premise of the Mission is that such an awakening is possible, in the company of a 'Guru', or spiritual guide, who is personally living in this state of enlightenment. The Guru is that, catalyst, which allows the fervent seeker to establish a pure, living and eternal relation with the Supreme Power.
Having high regard for all religious and spiritual movements, the Mission is founded on the belief that 'True Religion Unites, Never Divides'. These are the words of Nirankari Baba Hardev Ji, the fountain- head of spiritual knowledge and leader of the Mission today. Baba Ji does not seek to remove individuality, or create uniformity. Rather, he promotes and celebrates unity in diversity.
A Brief History of the Mission
Baba Buta Ji
The Mission made it's beginnings in 1929 in Peshawar, India, when Baba Buta Ji raised the voice of Truth, inspiring a small network of individuals whilst on his working travels. Accompanied by his most devoted disciple Baba Avtar Ji, they worked virtuously day and night to share their divine experience with as many people as possible. Baba Buta Ji breathed his last in 1943, bestowing responsibility for carrying the Mission onwards upon Baba Avtar Ji.
Baba Avtar Ji
Such was the extra-ordinary personality of Baba Avtar Ji. His teachings had such an awe-inspiring impact upon devotees, that they were compiled during his lifetime in the form of the Sampuran Avtar Bani. The writings were in prose, which crystallised the very essence of spiritual living on earth in a simple, yet very moving language.
In 1962, Baba Avtar Ji took the remarkable decision to proclaim Baba Gurbachan Ji (above) as the manifest Satguru, and reverted himself to the life of discipleship. Baba Gurbachan Ji, who had already endeared himself as a devoted Missionary, carried the teachings abroad for the first time, establishing followings in almost every continent of the world. He prioritised a social welfare agenda, and set-up the 'Sewadal', the Mission's Voluntary Corps, to perform all manner of community support duties, relief work and charitable activities. Baba Gurbachan Ji's contribution to the noble cause was beyond measure
Before his departure from earth, Baba Gurbachan Ji was able to proclaim Baba Hardev Ji (above) as the Spiritual Master who would take the mission forward. This divine personality is working tirelessly to inspire people to realise the supreme purpose of their lives, and guiding the world towards an enduring relationship with God. Today, the Sant Nirankari Mission is truly a global spiritual movement, having centres in every corner of the world. The eternal Mission continues to move onwards
The Knowledge of God (Brahm-Gyan)
The Mission is fundamentally a platform for spiritual awakening - this is its primary purpose. The experience Baba Ji shares to foster this awakening is known as Brahm-Gyan - literally, the Knowledge of God, although it has been referred to in various ways within the sacred scriptures of centuries gone-by. The Knowledge of God should not be confused as being something taught from a book, or passed on in the form of a sermon or lecture. The Knowledge of God is nothing less than a lasting perception of the Eternal Truth- a moment of intuitive insight and sublime awareness, in which God is seen to permeate in all things, and all things experienced to be within God. Many hundreds of thousands of people the world over have been wonder-struck by the simplicity of the Knowledge, and the revolution it has generated in hearts and mind.
Baba Ji shares the Knowledge freely, with any one who asks in sincerity to know it, and become one with his eternal nature. If there is any pre-condition to the sharing of the Knowledge, it is contained within Five Noble Pledges that Baba Ji asks seekers to promise to uphold. These pledges are once again, beautifully simple, yet they carry the promise of securing the most elusive commodity on earth - peace itself.
Five Noble Pledges
The first pledge surrounds the subject of submission. One is required to accept wholeheartedly that all that you are, and all that you consider your own, are gifts from God, in order to guard against these things becoming a source of greed, arrogance or false pride. Rather, one is to vow to utilise his body, mind and wealth for the wider good, in the understanding that he is a mere trustee of these things. Baba Ji often refers to this state of being as samurpan - utter surrender to God.
Secondly, to avoid judgement, condemnation and hatred of any being, and to live above worldly divisions such as those of nationality, race, colour or creed. Rather, to accept one and all without prejudice, as members of one world family, created by the One Divine Maker. Baba Ji can be heard referring to this pledge as samdrishti - literally, looking upon all with one vision and without duality.
The context of the third pledge sets out that one is to rise above petty discriminations on the basis of lifestyle, diet or dress. These factors are often geographically, historically and culturally determined, and all too often become a source of conflict and unrest in the world. Any person who commits to the third pledge, learns to live and let live, observing his own independent lifestyle depending simply upon on the one formless Nirarkara and comprehending a deep respect and tolerance for diversity. Baba Ji may talk of this promise as vishaalta- - to be large of heart and broad in mind.
Fourthly, to live a dutiful and honest life, fulfilling any responsibility that has come your way. There is really no need to renounce the world, or indulge in penances, to come closer to God. Rather, pledge to live in the world as a good citizen, sharing in the burden of others, but never becoming a burden upon others and to promote and work for community cohesion. Baba Ji calls this the path of karma yoga - where one's practical living becomes an act of worship.
The fifth pledge is to honour the sanctity of the Brahm Gyan as a divine blessing. In order to avoid misinterpretation and confusion, the Knowledge should not be divulged without permission of the living spiritual master. The Knowledge, in it's essence, is more than words can contain. It can only be expressed by subtle intent. When a Guru or enlightened authority speaks, it is a conversation of spirit, which transcends all physical boundaries. When the Guru perceives that an individual has grasped the essence of the Knowledge, he gladly asks that individual to share his bliss with others.
Brahm-Gyan is not an isolated experience, which occurs once in a lifetime. Whilst there is no doubt that this revelation precipitates a spiritual rebirth, Baba Ji advocates the use of three supporting tools to keep the awakening alive in heart and mind. If the Knowledge is the lighting of the lamp, these tools are the fuels that keep it burning. They are;
Satsang - literally translated, this means a joining in truth. It is the engagement with fellow devotees in regular, collective worship of God. The company of like-minded individuals helps to deepen one's understanding of the Knowledge, and the application of the Five Noble Pledges in life. Satsang's within the Mission are spontaneous and refreshing affairs, characterised by spiritual song, poetry and inspirational talks upon God and noble living. Men, women and children from all walks of life share their spiritual experiences with one another.
Seva - is the practical expression of goodwill. Seva may take many forms, as long as it benefits fellow beings and is performed with humility, and without wish for reward or recognition. Devotees of the Mission tune in to opportunities for seva - for example, they may engage in the preparation of community meals, charitable donations for the needy or the donation of blood for the sick and injured. A supportive thought, smile or gesture may be an example of a more quiet and personal seva. Really, the form of the seva is not nearly as important as the intent with which it is carried out.
Simran - is the remembrance of God by way of prayer. The Mission advocates that prayer should not be a mechanical formality, but a natural and personal communication with the loving All Pervading Lord. In a state of spiritual awakening, God is experienced within, and all around. One peaceful moment in whole awareness of God, is considered better than a thousand utterances and calls devoid of such awareness. Baba Ji often says, 'work, rest and play in remembrance of God', which is a continued form of meditation for the seeker allowing him to practice the Brahm Gyan without restriction at anytime of the day at any moment.
It is the good fortune of all seekers that they are provided with Continued Guidance from the spiritual master through his regular discourse. In recent times Baba Ji has commented on many subjects including Brotherhood, Humility, Unity in Diversity, Oneness, Guidance as found hereunder.
When we talk of brotherhood we do not mean that we are here to create a world community of Gujarati's or Sindhi's or British or American people. Such categorisations have their limitations. As the creator is unlimited and we are connected to the creator so his community ought to bear his hallmarks. That is to be beyond all limits. Hence, discussing such union is the thought of one world family being all inclusive and non-exclusive, living above the barriers of culture, religion, nationality, class discrimination, race and language. Such a world family would depict mutual understanding the spirit of love, spiritual maturity and will allow us to create Universal Brotherhood.
One observes a fruit tree at the high point of the harvest season being laden with fruit. The more produce found within the tree the greater will be its weight, the fruit expressing its authority compelling the tree to bow down. The yield will be plentiful and will always benefit others being similar to the way of the Devotee. When you look at any aspect of his life you will detect a helpful nature together with sweetness. This person acts like the tree being free from influence providing only fruit and that too by bowing down for any person willing to accept it. The nature of such a personality is transparent as he views the beloved in every perspective.
Unity in Diversity
This world we see is so diverse forming a part of the many other planets in our Solar System. The earth is one, but man tries to locate alternative human life and life forms on other planets. However, to date humans have only been found on this planet. If God wanted, he could have created different earths for different communities or classes of people. But this did not happen. God created one earth for all diverse peoples to live in unity. Humans are so wide-ranging in nature and appearance, that even a simple fingerprint does not match that of another person. God did not make all to look alike. He created diversity. When a person realises truth, he finds unity within and all around.
We have been taught by the Great Master Jesus Christ to 'Love thy neighbour.' Who is our neighbour? This is not only restricted to the person who physically lives next door to our homes. Wherever we are, we have a different fellow citizen next to us and embedding this thought in our minds, our love must extend in all directions towards the whole of humanity. Communities neighbour other communities as do countries borders meet with other countries borders and scrutinizing this thought we should harbour feelings of love for them all.
We all attempt to live the lives of devotional and spiritually uplifted people, but do we really have any strength in our spirituality? The acid test to evaluate our achievement is to gaze within ourselves and see how many times in the day we get disturbed. If we remain calm throughout our lives we can consider ourselves as being spiritually mature people. Of course if we do not we are identified as lacking the said depth of spirituality.
Man today say's that he is too hot but instead of seeking shade or cooling off in water, he settles in close proximity to a furnace where he encounters greater heat. Onlookers will shout out and say, "If you are so hot and you desire calm and relief from the heat, why do you not move away?" Man however, in his ignorance will stay put and in doing so remains tense. Correspondingly, we see that the search for boundless joy is ignored and that which provides temporary pleasure is given greater regard. Man dwells in the heat of material possession alone and fails to achieve real happiness, thinking he can triumph and achieve inner calm through the attainment of such possessions alone. This is not the case. Such heat is attractive to the mind and man will stand near the furnace absorbing the heat and attracting greater discomfort. He fails to move away, which should be his prime prerogative. Even when one recommends a change in direction he will ignore the advice and will suffer from the burning attractions of materialism. So how can he be contented?
The slogan, "God is One," has been reiterated by all the great philosophers of times gone by. If this is truly the case can Allah be any different from Ram? If one has not arrived at this sense of one realisation, this happens to become a rationale for proposing differing views on religion. If one discovers discrimination over the names of God, it is inevitable that man will also classify the masters who gave this world those religions. Such views will escort discrimination between humans. Why? For the reason, that we have not realised One God. If we know this one, then we can believe in one and finally become one. Without the foundation of oneness, there will always remain differences. Water as a product is one although it has different names in different languages. We know this to be one and hence there is no argument. It is believers of an unknown God who create religious differences. Once God is known as one, all differences are abandoned
Without an instructor one cannot move forward and mature upon the ladder of divinity. A school may preserve a grand building and education enhancing facilities, which promote learning but if there is no teacher what will the students be taught? Will they be able to profit from, proper edification and instruction or not? Contrarily, we sometimes observe in rural villages that there are little or no facilities, but a teacher takes his class under the shade of a tree adjacent the road-side. This is not the perfect learning environment, but the pupils will still attain knowledge because of the presence of the teacher. Of course, it helps to have an environment conducive to learning, but the greatest need is the appointment of a teacher who will train by example rather than mere precept. If an apprentice mechanic were to equip himself with a tool kit and then present himself to a garage owner, would he be able to repair a car without any guidance? of course not. An instructor is always required to learn a subject and in the realms of divinity, guidance is always needed to establish a complete and unending awareness of God.
Baba Hardev Ji is a living spiritual guide, on earth at this moment in time. The Sant Nirankari Mission is the vehicle by which Baba Ji is working to spread the Knowledge of God, the creation and the path for living meaningfully within it. Baba Ji is sharing his Knowledge freely, with anyone who is seeking a spiritual awakening.
Recently a new Bhavan was opened by Baba hardev Ji at Wednesbury in the Midlands, U.K. Here are some photos of that occasion:-