Sant Ranjit Singh was born in January 1928. It appeared to them that their son would follow the path of spiritualism, as they knew that “coming events cast their shadows before”. He behaved quite differently from other children of his age. Many astonishing events happened with him since childhood. His extraordinary behaviour and aptitude for religious and pious activities compelled his parents to believe that their son would become a Sant one day.
Once he was bed-ridden with jaundice. Many medicines were tried but of no avail. One day, when he was sleeping on the upper floor room of his house, he had glimpse of a great pious soul wearing white clothes in his dreams, who offered child Ranjit Singh some sugar wrapped in a piece of paper and instructed him “eat, you will get well soon”. Ranjit Singh narrated this dream to his parents early in the morning. They took no time to understand that it was a boon by great Sant Attar Singh ji Maharaj who offered this medicine to get the child well.
Ranjit Singh ji always had a curiosity to listen and ask questions from the Sant about myths of holy scripts, veda’s scriptures etc to improve his knowledge. He learnt many of utterances of Sant Charan Dass by heart. Sant Charan Dass also had a great affection for the child, who was so moved by the discourses of the former that one day in 1935 he left his home and the village to live in Dera of Sant ji in Quilla Raipur. Sant charan Dass tried to persuade him to go back home saying “you are just a child and would not be able to follow this arduous path, it is better for you to return home.” But he was not prepared to retreat. Sant Charan Dass ji then uttered “my son, you are still a child, you are still to do many deeds. It is not the stage of meditation, yes ! I prophess that the time is to come when you will follow this path. Nobody will dare to deviate you from this true path, but you should go back to your family now.” He agreed to Sant ji advice and returned home with blessings of his spiritual guide. Spiritual interest was seen in Virakt Ji since childhood.
He studied in primary school of his village from 1935 to 1938 and then joined high school, Kuthala and studied there during 1939 to 1941. He was very fond of sports also. He had keen interest in Athletics, Kabaddi, Football, Volleyball etc. He studied in Government College Malerkotla after 1941. His class-fellow, a teacher of Bhai Nagar Singh Khurd narrated that he used to go to college running from the village upto Malerkotla and also returned back home by running. He not only stood first in his academics and sports but also lent a helping hand to his parents in farming and household jobs.
Beginning Of Spiritual Life
The name Virakt Ji was given by His Holiness Sant Isher Singh Ji Maharaj(Rara Sahib) which means “desire less state”.
Ranjit Singh ji was feeling that something was missing in his life, he realized void in him. His inner conscious was pointing towards this vacuum in him. His condition was like a fish in scarcity of water, rain bird without rain and a snake with no jewel in it, but he could not know the reasons for this restlessness.
One day his friend forcibly took him to a cinema to see the picture “mughal-e-Azam.” A song was being sung in that film “Jab pyar kiya to darna kya.” On listening to this song, he immediately realized, “I should love God. Why am I getting involved in this mortal world ? I should not be afraid of people? I must get rid of these parasites. They are selfish friends. I should not be entangled in it.” When one gets engrossed with The True Master, it is pleasure and happiness all around. He was lost in these ideas and heard a divine utterances.
“Eho teri vari hai Gobind milne di”
When he heard this voice, he contemplated on it and asked his friend “Where these sacred words are coming from?”He told “A huge religious congregation is being held by Sant Maharaj of Rara Sahib, The people in large number have gathered there to listen to his discourse. When he had a glimpse of Sant Maharaj ji, he expressed, “It appears to be the hall audience of the Tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh Ji.” He was already inclined towards spiritualism, these words of Sant ji acted like adding fuel to the fire. According to Kabir
Kabeer I have become mute, insane and deaf
I am crippled- the true guru has pierced me with his arrow
Maharaj ji further uttered, “one unites with Almighty when he gets completely engrossed in meditation.” He could not sleep for the whole night and appeared to be driven away from the attachment of worldly pleasures. The food which he would relish as a sportsman appeared to him like the diet of a sick person. I should go little earlier so as to get a seat near to the Maharaj Ji and have closer glimpse of holy personality and listen to his discourse very carefully without any disturbance.
As millions of “chakors (Indian red-legged partridge) fix their gaze on their lover the moon, he also looked at Maharaj ji intently and listened to his sermon very attentively. He became totally unaware of his own self, place, time, worldly pleasure, riches etc. Sant ji uttered the hymn, playing on the harmonium,”-
After the discourse he was very much apathetic, feeling much different towards materialistic world, its pleasures etc. I wish to go to place where Maharaj ji sit and sing devotional songs. I have a desire that after the discourse I am to touch holy feet of Maharaj ji.
His longing to have glimpse of His Holliness was increasing day by day. He would go to Rara Sahib on his bicycle. He would also go to nearby villages for the attending religious congregation of Maharaj ji, whenever he came to know of it. He listened to all the discourses delivered in the villages of Baddowal, Kuhara, Alamgir, Phillaur, Jawaddi etc.
Virakt ji went to Rara Sahib well in advance and reached before the installation of holy seat of Maharaj ji but his holiness had gone to U.P. for religious congregation there. So Virakt Ji returned back . After two-three days he again reached Rara Sahib, but could not have glimpse of Maharaj ji.
Once again Virakt Ji reached Rara Sahib well before the installation of seat of his holiness. The devotees were entering the hall, paying their respect to the seat of sant ji and taking seats in the hall. Bhai Joginder Singh of Jhammat Village was on duty of a guard. Mai Mastani was standing near to Holy seat. In Rara Sahib the entry gates are opened for ladies and gents turn by turn. When the entry gate for men were opened and Virakt ji proceeded forward to have glimpse of Maharaj ji, it was a strange coincidence that he started wailing loudly. It appeared as if the accumulative proclivities of the past birth became predominant. The environment around him also became very spiritual, His Holiness was bestowing blessings on all. He was surrounded by devotees, roving mendicants, family men, house holders etc. like the moths around a candle. His words which are priceless for his followers, his appearance by which one gets peace on having just a glimpse of His Holiness and his eyes- which always shower Amrit are source of bliss to the devotees. When the devotees noticed the Virakt ji was wailing loudly like a child in presence of His Holiness, they were all attracted towards him. They were astonished to see such a devotee with too much apathy, who is crying so loudly in presence of all. He was not aware of people around him. In fact it was not wailing only, it was height of curiosity of a devotee to seek religious/spiritual knowledge. When arrogance of a devotee vanishes, like melting of a stone, he submits himself fully to the guru. As we boil pulse in a container having water, the seeds of lentils (pulse), which are very hard, become very soft turning upside-down in water during boiling and hard solid pulse is converted to soft liquid, similarly when a seeker of spiritual knowledge simmers the state of non-attachment for the worldly pleasures, his adamant nature vanishes, he becomes flexible and kindhearted. In such state he surrenders himself completely to his religious mentor. This is what happened with Virakt ji today. He laid flat on the feet of His Holiness. When he got up, Maharaj ji directed him to come closer. He again started crying very loudly. His crying voice even heard to followers in the hall of community kitchen (langar), all the people rushed to the audience hall to know what had happened. Then Maharaj ji uttered, what happened ? Do not cry. He at once, became mum and could not utter a single word. His Holiness asked Banta Singh “you are always with him, you tell me about this state of him.” He told with folded hand, “Maharaj ji, no doubt I am with him for last 7-8 months. I am always following him, but he never tells me anything. Kindly you yourself ask him, he may disclose his mind to you,” Meanwhile Mai Mastani requested His Holiness to offer him a tempered rosory. She again submitted to Maharaj ji to temper the rosary very well. Maharaj ji bestowed the black coloured rosary to virakt ji and recited secretly in his ear a mystical text to meditate upon.
He started to repeat Thy name on the counts of beads of rosary as directed by Maharaj ji. After a few days he went to His Holiness, placed the rosary on the latter’s thigh and prayed to bestow some more benefaction to him. Maharaj ji picked up rosary and again handed it to him saying, “It is my blessing, go and practice on it.” He again placed the rosary in the lap of His Holiness. He was so apathetic and started wailing loudly praying again and again for his benignity. Maharaj ji uttered, “My son, you have to do it, Go and see the results after 2-3 days. Guru’s words are never fruitless.” He took his seat. He was not getting any peace earlier, so he started practicing with more devotion, and now he was realizing the change. As soon as His Holiness took his seat, Virakt ji uttered spontaneously with deepest dedication, “I have found my beloved resembling God.” He went on repeating these words again and again. Then he saluted Maharaj ji respectfully by lying prostrate on the ground requesting for Thy benefaction. Maharaj ji asked him to go and meditate upon Thy name for forty days regurarly and then inform about the progress.
Maharaj ji, today is a moment of great blissfulness, when we are having glimpse of the holy soul so closely. But why did I not realize all this at that time? I have wasted one full year of my life. Had I become your disciple at that time, I would have gained much by now. Maharaj ji uttered with an impressive glance at him, “Is it your responsibility or mine?” This made him quite. Maharaj ji used to gaze and talk authoritatively. Every listener would get afraid. It was all due to splendor of his saintly personality and power of his self mortification. Maharaj ji uttered in a very polite tone after a pause, “you were to take one more birth and that now you have passed in one year only .” He then told Maharaj ji about progress of meditating upon Thy name. Maharaj ji advised him further method of meditation.So this way the spiritual teaching of Virakt Ji got its beginning.