Huzur Sawan Singh Ji(1858-1948), honorifically called the Great Master of Beas, was a
Realized soul. From early childhood he was irresistibly drawn to seek the eternal abode. Born in
a Sikh family, Sawan Singh Ji was brought up with the sacred scriptures of his religion, the Guru
Granth Sahib (a compilation of mystical poetry written by the Sikh gurus and other Indian and
Persian mystics) which spoke at length about an inner music and light that lead a soul back to
God. Deeply religious, Sawan Singh Ji associated with a number of holy men whom he
questioned about the nature of man's spiritual quest. None of these mystics could satisfy his
longing. Sawan Singh Ji was looking for a master of the highest degree.

       Ironically it was the Satguru (true spiritual teacher) who found him instead. Sawan Singh Ji
recalls: "I was fond of Satsang and Parmarth (spiritual topics) from my childhood. I often
associated with sadhus and religious people...Later I was transferred to Murrie Hills. One day as
I was supervising my work, I saw an old Sikh going up a hill with a middle-aged lady...Little did I
think that he was going to be my Master. He was no other than Baba Ji himself [Baba Jaimal
Singh Ji], one of the spiritual successors to Shiv Dayal Singh Ji, the founder of Radhasoami and
the lady was Bibi Rukko. This I did not know at the time but found out later that Baba Ji said to
Bibi Rukko, referring to me, 'it is for his sake that we have come here.' To which Bibi Rukko
replied: 'But he has not even greeted you.' Baba Ji said to her, 'What does the poor fellow know
yet? On the fourth day he will come to us...' On the fourth day I went to attend Satsang [the
meeting of Baba Jaimal Singh]...After several conferences with Baba Ji I was thoroughly
convinced and received Initiation [into the secrets of surat shabd yoga] from him on the 15th
day of October, 1894." The turning point in Sawan Singh Ji’s life came when he met his spiritual
guru, Baba Jaimal Singh, and took initiation under him in the path of surat shabd yoga (union of
the soul with the divine inner sound).

Such was Sawan Singh Ji’s readiness that in just over nine years he became an
acknowledged master within the Sant Mat and Radhasoami traditions. In fact, except for Maharaj
Charan Singh, the spiritual master at Beas from 1951 to 1990, Sawan Singh Ji attracted the
largest following of any shabd yoga master in history, initiating more than 125,000 people into
the mystic practice. It is impossible to understand Huzur Sawan Singh Ji’s spiritual achievements
without first noting that they were due to his close and devoted relationship with his guru. Baba
Ji looked after Sawan Singh Ji’s worldly and spiritual welfare, stressing the need to transcend
the physical frame altogether and attach one's consciousness to the inner light and sound
which reverberates at the third eye. By following this stream of celestial currents, the soul gets
release from the body/mind and ascends toward its real abode.
Examples of Baba Ji's teachings can be gleaned from his letters to Sawan Singh Ji which have
been published in an exquisite book entitled Spiritual Letters. In one instance, Baba Ji instructs
Sawan Singh Ji: "You are always with me. And the real form of the Satguru [True Teacher] is the
Shabd [Life-Stream via light and sound] and that is always with you. I am very pleased with you.
He is always with you. You should have no fears, because kings and emperors-all-owe their
power to the Lord...Wherever you go, keep in touch with me. You are my very dear child. You
will go to Sach Khand [the Realm of Truth] in my company [via the Inner Shabd]... Listen every
day to the Shabd Dhun with love and devotion. Make your abode the rein and let your mind be
merged in the Dhun [Inner Sound]. Then you will enjoy the ras [spiritual pleasure]. But it is not a
thing to be described. The surat [soul] will experience and feel it."

How did Huzur Sawan Singh succeed in reaching Sach Khand, the eternal Realm of Truth
according to the Saints, which is beyond time and space? First, by coming into contact with an
authentic master; second, by explicitly following the instructions of his teacher (daily meditation,
pure moral life, surrender of the body/mind/soul to the living presence of Shabd, etc.); and third,
by realizing experientially that his real Self is neither a body nor a mind but an effulgent wave of
Consciousness. Because of the soul's age-old attachment to the body/mind, spiritual awakening
manifests in a series of stages which take the form, more or less, of an inner journey. Thus the
path of light and sound entails leaving the physical body at will and entering into the subtle
regions of existence hitherto unexplored by human beings. To do this, one must penetrate the
veil of darkness behind the eye center (variously termed the third eye, the inner door, the single
eye) while living, so that when physical death comes, the soul will not be duped into settling for
one of the lesser regions of light.

When Christ said 2000 years ago, "In my Father's house there are many mansions," the
saints interpret this as reflecting the inherent hierarchy of after-life experiences. The key to the
practice of surat shabd yoga is not to be detained or led astray by any sights or sounds on the
upward journey but to follow the celestial current to its terminal apex where all of creation has its
transcendental source. As Huzur Sawan Singh tells one of his
Western disciples: "When you sit
[in meditation]... see that the mind is at rest and does not go out and unnecessarily think about
other things. When, by Repetition of the Names [Simran] with attention fixed in the eye focus,
you have become unconscious of the body below the eyes, then your attention will catch the
Sound Current. Select the Sound resembling the church bell and discard all other sounds. Then
slowly your soul will leave the body and collect in the eyes and become strong. Then fix your
attention in the biggest star, so much that you forget everything else except the Sound and the
star. Then this star will burst and you will see what is within and beyond. After crossing the star
you will have to cross the sun and the moon [inner manifestations of light]. Then you will see the
Form of the Master. When that Form becomes steady it will reply. This Form will reply to all of
your enquiries and guide you to higher stages...These stars are of the first sky only, and Hindu
philosophers will have spoken of seven skies [in universes of elevating degrees]...After crossing
the star, the sun and the moon you will see that Form which will never leave you, not even for a
moment." Finally, the soul, unencumbered by any bodies (gross, astral or causal), will merge
with the Supreme, achieving a state that defies description. The drop merges in the ocean; the
wave flows back to the sea; the "I" reunites with its source. One primary obstacle, though, in the
soul's journey back to God is that at each stage it must detach itself from the surrounding
environment and ascend. In other words, to progress one's separate identity must "die." To go
beyond this world, it is necessary to "die" to the attractions and pleasures that hold one down to
the physical body. For the wave to realize its prior union with the sea, it must forego its exclusive
attachment as a separate, distinct entity.

Ken Wilber elaborates: "For in order to find that utter peace, the ripple would have to
return to the ocean, dissolve back into radiant infinity, forget itself and remember the absolute.
But to do so, the ripple would have to die-it would have to accept the death of its separate self
sense. And it is terrified of this." It is for this very reason-the fear of "dying"-that most inhabitants
of the earth do not venture beyond its domain. Falsely believing that we are natives in this land,
the saints argue that we have set up a substitute for our true home in Sach Khand. Hence, as
Wilber argues, we go about seeking infinity in ways that actually prevent finding it: "Instead of
finding actual Godhead, the ripple pretends to be god, cosmocentric, heroic, all-sufficient,

Huzur Sawan Singh Ji saw through this drive to create substitutes for real transcendence
and consciously surrendered his entire being to the inner Shabd. Because of his exceptional
spiritual state, Sawan Singh Ji was appointed by Baba Jaimal Singh Ji to be his successor
shortly before his death in 1903. Sawan Singh Ji carried on his master's mission with remarkable
aptitude, spreading the message of humankind's divine heritage throughout India. Huzur Sawan
Singh established a large spiritual colony on the banks of the Beas River in the Punjab where
Baba Jaimal Singh Ji had resided since the latter part of the 19th century. Sawan Singh Ji
named the colony Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in honor of his master. Having been a highly placed
engineer himself in the military service, Sawan Singh Ji built a number of large buildings at the
Dera to house the increasing flux of seekers. The most impressive of these structures, the
centerpiece of the Dera, is the Satsang Ghar built in the 1930s to hold satsangs (spiritual
discourses) but which soon proved to be too small. (Today the
Satsang Ghar is used to hold initiations)

Sawan Singh gathered a large following of disciples from around the world. Among his
devotees were Dr. Julian P. Johnson, Dr. Pierre Schmidt, Col. C.W. Sanders, Mastana Ji and
several government officials in both the British and Indian ranks. Huzur Sawan Singh died on
April 2, 1948, just days after appointing Mastana Ji as his spiritual successor. According to his
devotees he was not a resident of this planet. Since childhood he had known that his real home
was beyond the spatial limitations of the universe. He was a native of Sach Khand, the Eternal
Realm of Truth, a saint who showed humanity that their origin was not of dust but of light-an
unquenchable flame that burns in every living being for that alone which is everlasting.