|The Advent of the Supreme Father Soamiji Maharaj Radhasoami Dayal|
Ever since the appearance of Kalyug and after it came of age the mortals underwent unbearable sufferings, maladies and miseries. The cycle of birth and rebirth gained momentum. Deaths, dissolution, wars and revolutions became more frequent. The disasters like earthquakes, famines, deluges, epidemics, accidents and the like became the order of the day. The Jivas were swayed away from spirituality by the tides of Maya. The only thing that was left in the name of religion was externalias such as idol worship, Roza -Namaj, Masses, irrational orthodoxy, ritualism and sophistry. Intuitive exercises were abandoned. All this presented a dismal spectacle. Seeing this plight of the mortal beings and the impenitent obduracy of the Kal and Maya entangling the Jivas in their shameful game, the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal decided to deliver the Jivas from the clutches of Maya and Kal, grant them true salvation and restore the spirit entity to its rightful place in the holy feet of the Supreme Father. Radhasoami Dayal descended from his abode to this mortal world and manifested himself as Swatah Sant in the form of Param Purush Puran Dhani Soamiji Maharaj.
Soamiji Maharaj was born on 25th August 1818, in a khatri family, residing in Panni Gali, Agra and His worldly name was Shri Shiv Dayal Singh Ji. Deep religiosity became evident in Shiv Dayalji from early childhood and he started regular spiritual practice at the age of six. At the age of five, he was sent to school where he learnt Hindi, Urdu, Persian and Gurumukhi. Later he acquired proficiency in Persian and wrote a book in that language. He also acquired a working knowledge of Arabic and Sanskrit.
He was married at an early age to Naraini Devi, daughter of Izzat Rai of Faridabad. She was of generous disposition and was very devoted to her husband. Shiv Dayalji was selected direct from school to act as a Persian expert to a government officer in Banda. As the job did not suit him, he gave it up and took another job as a teacher of Persian with a talukdar of Ballabhgarh estate. His spiritual cravings, however, were so intense that worldly attainments no longer attracted him and he gave up even this lucrative job. He returned home for devoting his entire time to religious pursuits.
Soamiji Maharaj’s gracious and serene personality left a deep imprint upon many a learned man who became His ardent followers. On the request of His beloved disciple, Hazur Maharaj, on “Basant-Panchami” day, i.e., 15th February, 1861. He opened His Satsang to general public. The Satsang grew rapidly and the number of devotees in his life-time rose to three thousand, which included men and women from all the major communities of India. It was around 1866 that the Satsang was named as “Radhasoami Satsang” after Hazur Maharaj, in deep meditation at Nainital, realized that not only Radhasoami is an ever reverberating sound but also that Soamiji Maharaj was Himself Radhasoami. Later, on his return He addressed Soamiji Maharaj as “Radhasoami Saheb”. Soamiji Maharaj was delighted and accepted the desired “offer” from Hazur Maharaj. For full seventeen years He presided over the Satsang meetings at His residence, Panni Gali, Agra.
Over-absorption in spiritual work and neglect of nourishment and rest adversely affected His health and He left for His heavenly abode on Saturday, 15 June 1878 at His residence in Panni Gali, Agra. His samadhi is situated in Radhasoami Bagh, about three miles from Agra city.
His most important contribution to religion is the practice of surat-shabd-yoga. He first explained the Supreme Energy, the sound – current, the all – spiritual nature both of the ultimate reality and the spirit entity and the holy name so resonant in the creation. Then He prescribed a set spiritual exercises by which, the spirit entity could transferred through various higher regions of creation and finally reach its original abode and enjoy everlasting bliss peace. His surat-shabd-yoga is easier than pranayam and hath-yoga. The devotee practicing this exercise does not have to abandon his normal worldly duties. According to Soamiji Maharaj the only pre-requisite to His yoga is true and sincere devotion to the Santsatguru.
Soamiji Maharaj books clearly reveal the might of his pen and force of his argument. His verse composition is known as Sar Bachan Chhand-band. His poems are replete with emotional appeal – a successful blending of popular poetic expressions from different languages of north India such as, Khari-Boli, Awadhi, Brijbhasha, Rajasthani and Gurumukhi. Many words from Urdu, Persian, Bengali and Sanskrit add to the cultural synthesis already discernible in Hindi literature ever since the Bhakti period. His Hindi prose book Sar Bachan Bartik is a valuable contribution to the development of the Hindi prose just before the advent of Bharatendu Harishchandra. Brevity, straight forward expressions and emphasis on beliefs are some of the rare qualities of his prose. For a devotee, His books are the edicts of the Supreme Being and He the Supreme Being incarnate.
MEMORABLE EVENTS RELATED TO PPPD SOAMIJI MAHARAJ
|Aug 25, 1818||Birth of Soamiji Maharaj at 00:30 hours (Janmashtmi)|
|1824||Started practicing Surat-Shabd-Yoga|
|Nov 21, 1858||His first meeting with PPPD Hazur Maharaj on Sunday at 09:15 hours|
|Feb 15, 1861||Establishment of Satsang at His residence – Panni Gali, Agra (Basant Panchmi)|
|1866||Revelation of Radhasoami Naam|
|June 15, 1878||Holy Departure of PPPD Soamiji Maharaj at around 02:00 hours|
|1879||Construction of Samadh (Holy Shrine) of PPPD Soamiji Maharaj by PPPD Hazur Maharaj at Soami Bagh, Agra|
|1884||First Publication of Sar Bachan (Pose and Poetry) – holy books of PPPD Soamiji Maharaj. (Handwritten manuscripts found by Satsangis)|
|1894||Holy Departure of Radhaji Maharaj|
|1902||First Publication of Biography of PPPD Soamiji Maharaj (written by Chachaji Saheb)|
|1904||Started reconstruction of Samadh of PPPD Soamiji Maharaj at Soami Bagh by CAC|
THE WORKS OF PPPD SOAMIJI MAHARAJ
Sar Bachan Radhasoami Bartik – The original manuscripts (one in Urdu and other in Hindi) are preserved at Hazuri Bhawan, Peepal Mandi, Agra. These contain the discourses of the first guru, Soamiji Maharaj, which He delivered in the satsang up to 1878. They cover important teachings of the faith. Several editions of the book have been published by different Radhasoami groups. The Beas edition of the book is not fully authentic, because there are some alterations and omissions in it. The work has been published in other Indian languages such as Bengali, Gujarati and Urdu by Radhasoami Trust, Soami Bagh, Agra and the Dayal Bagh Satsang Sabha, Agra.
Sar Bachan Radhasoami Chhand-Band (1884) – The original manuscripts are preserved at Hazuri Bhawan, Peepal Mandi, Agra. It is a collection of Hindi hymns of Soamiji Maharaj which he composed between 1866 and 1878. Some of the hymns contain the actual dates of their composition. The manuscripts, written in Urdu, bear His signature in Urdu.
In January 1884, the second guru, Hazur Maharaj got these printed in a book after arranging them in order of different topics, and classifying the whole matter into forty two chapters.