Around 1998 I heard stories about Baba Mani Singh, and like the first person I talked to, that Baba Mani Singh was a reincarnation of a previous Sant Mani Singh who was a spiritual friend of, Dhan Baba Puran Singh Ji Brahmgiani Kericho vale. A photo of Baba Ji is on the right.
He loved the way that Baba Ji did Seva of Sahib Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and did Seva in the same way. He looked at me and said ‘ I am an Udasi type, I am a hermit. But different people need to do different things, meditate to find your own path.’
“Muslim Sufis invented ninety-nine names of God that are so beautiful, but why not a hundred? Ninety-nine looks a bit incomplete. There is a certain reason the hundredth name is kept silent and that is the true name of God, which of course can’t be uttered. That is why Guru Nanak said ‘Satnam’. Your name is thee truth. But in reality you can’t utter it because it will lose its’ beauty. It remains un-uttered at the deepest core of the heart. What is God’s true name? Nobody knows that all the names are man’s creation. The true name of God is the existence that surrounds you.” !
We were so lucky to hav ebeen blessed with His sangat even for a blessed day at the beginning of his journey. Although we also remember him telling us that he had been a Sant in his last four lives as well. And when he had returned to India he had gone to people’s houses who were past disciples and got copies of the photos of himself in those four lives. we think he died young in all those lives. We were also told that he knew he was going to die young in this life too.
Amazing souls, glad we crossed his path even for a day, we were so inspired to follow the path like he was 100%, full faith in Guru in even the smallest daily acts, no care for worldy money or job or status. But our destiny is our own, our path has taken longer, but he was already super blessed from past lives.
A great pain arose in Sant Mani Singh in 1990 that so many years had passed yet enlightenment had not arrived. He was crippled emotionally, tears were running down his eyes, he was going crazy from dawn to dusk, the heartache was accelerating just as the floods of the river in the rainy season flowing with such force. A great pain flooded his heart with sorrow and agony. In the east they call this phenomenon ‘vairag’. Whilst describing this moment he said “Sadness has its own qualities. It can give you gifts that nothing else can; happiness never goes as deep as sadness because only sadness can take you deeper than anything else. The inner me was screaming I just could not tolerate it, it was getting to me. It was almost a state of madness.” He went on to say “The craziness was I didn’t know if I believed. I didn’t know if I believed The whole phenomenon gave birth to enlightenment. Unexpectedly the phenomenon came into existence, something or some familiar energy arose that was pulling me towards the canal, and here near the canal was an embankment of trees, bushes and brambles. I tried to divert my mind to something else but I didn’t succeed. The pull was like a magnet it became stronger and stronger. The whole situation was out of my control, I couldn’t stay any longer and it became impossible! A gentle silence hung over the bank of the trees, I was thrilled by the place! it was a perfect place. My head was exploding with great force. I had never experienced this phenomenon before. Suddenly I lost all consciousness and dropped to the ground.” About enlightenment he said “Enlightenment has always been sudden, nothing can really be said about enlightenment. There are no words to describe what is happening. The experience is far deeper than the words. The word enlightenment comes close to the experience but the closer comes blissfulness. Then even closer the word ecstasy. But beyond that there are no words. The experience is far deeper than ecstasy itself. Nothing can be said about enlightenment because all you know is from the outside. Enlightenment is from within. Once you are enlightened it is impossible for your enlightenment to fade. You wouldn’t have to put a veil over your face the way Moses did, because enlightenment is not achieved and there is no technique that can bring enlightenment in existence. This is a great opportunity for us to learn. Now we can understand that Moses wasn’t enlightened. Whatever Moses did was an effort to achieve and the essence to that is sadness. Paul describes his efforts in the Bible. He goes on saying ‘Moses has spent forty days in the Mountain of Sinai, but what ever happened it was temporary.’ For an example his face began to radiate, reflect light, but sadly it was all temporary. Enlightenment isn’t temporary. Nor is it a dream the way Prophet Isaiah described. Enlightenment is a stage of awareness. For an example dreams only come into existence while you’re asleep. There is no possibility of dreams coming into existence whilst your wide-awake. You can’t be hallucinated because there is an experience. Dreaming is hallucinating, creating imaginations, and creating imaginations is a stage of fiction. Enlightenment is beyond hallucination. You will not be hallucinated the way the Bible records Elijah, the Prophet’s events that he heard still small of God but saw nothing. Jesus said ‘God is like love’ Why has Jesus said this? Because nothing can be said about love. The only way to know is to become a lover. But the lover has to disappear, love can only be known when you love absolutely.” “From this nightmare coming back into existence my body was so light, light as a feather. I was loosing gravity. Some energy was elevating me. I can’t elaborate any more. It was happening I could not prevent it. It was out of my control. I was trying to avoid it. I had broken through the phenomenal. I was absolutely drunk on the divine, so drowned, and so drunk, in the beatitude of realization. Divine was flourish. I was intoxicated with divine. The ecstasy was uncontrollable; I was ruptured into eternal bliss. Sant Mani Singh had an amazing naïve character and would say “I am a very simple man. As a matter of fact, very ordinary, capable of making mistakes, don’t have any qualities of any kind, I have something to be proud of, a ray of light penetrated upon me.” His honorable beloved Mani Singh, had not just illuminated us on enlightenment but also talked on various other subjects; which in the age of darkness have been misunderstood because of our lack of intelligence. Some of these are elaborated upon briefly below.
In San Francisco, California he said “What is love? It is madness, where you loose consciousness, the greatest drug even that exists on Earth. The only difference is it’s an inner chemistry. Love is crucifixion. Only love is the light in which life becomes known, what we call resurrection. Only in love are you truly transformed. In reality you will only feel life when you are in love. Love opens windows towards the beyond. The love people talk about is the phenomenon of the mind. The love of the mind is like a dream because it is from the mind and only the mind can dream and the dream can’t be reality. This love cannot be eternal. So what is eternal love? When love comes out of mediation, it’s qualities are different from the ones of the mind. The love of the mind – thee essence of it is foolishness. You fall in love, the love of meditation, thee essence is wisdom, you rise in love. Wisdom can’t be attained. You can gather as much knowledge, learn the scriptures by heart, still there will be no wisdom. Wisdom is that which liberates you. In this love there is a quality, just as a light surrounds the flame. The quality of love surrounds you. Whoever comes close, he/she will be enchanted, enriched, and this love of quality will shower around you. This is the real longing of the heart. Remember, once a person starts feigning, feigning is a stage of pseudo living. His whole life becomes false because love is the centre of life. Love is the ultimate purpose of life – the destiny of life.” Then he said, “First you have to love yourself. Only then can you radiate and reach to others. When you are in love, it is illogical. There is no logic, no reason. It’s irrational, that is why liking has nothing to do with loving, Liking has logic, there are many reasons as to why you like a person. Generations and generations have misunderstood the word love. Automatically they start thinking about sex, without them even realizing that sex has nothing to do with love.” Then he goes on describing the phenomenon of love. “love is like a spring breeze. It comes and when it comes it brings a tremendous fragrance, the Odor of Sanctify. It gives you the feeling that it will remain forever. The feeling is so strong that you cannot doubt it. This love is divine. Love has always been God expressing himself. Love is the alchemy, where there is love, ego doesn’t exist. That’s what I always said, love is spiritual and only love can change lives. Only in love is there reconciliation and a great transformation. That is why a man of love faces more difficulties. That is the fundamental fact of life. Where there is no love, life is about to move smoothly. When asked if one can dissolve with another he replied, “When you burn two lamps in a room, they meet. The light meets. You can’t divide the first light from the second light. Still there is a difference. You can bring them close, even then their flames will remain different. The light will dissolve into each other. You can’t melt into each other. Only your light can melt in the other – your outer aura.”
When asked about God at Orange County, California, sympathetically he replied, “You can’t say its reality. You certainly can’t say it’s a fiction because something exists. That something needs to be experimented. Nothing can be said about God. You can study about God but nothing has been known because all you know is from the outside, what we would call external. Until you enter from within, the internal can’t be known. By studying about God, you will miss the whole concept and the consequence to that is that you are left with knowledge only. To know is to enter the kingdom, to become one with eternity. Knowledge is from the outside and has nothing what so ever to do with God. Because God is happening.” “Nothing is hidden from God because God is the inside of everything. The inside knows all. You can hide something from others, but you can’t hide it from yourself. And it is there that God is hidden.” He went on to say “Why have we invented so many names for God? There must be a certain reason, because God cannot be named, a name can easily be changed, but God remains the same. So why has God been addressed? Because there are moments when you would like to scream out your inner feelings to God in sheer joy. Some name is needed. Muslim Sufis invented ninety-nine names of God that are so beautiful, but why not a hundred? Ninety-nine looks a bit incomplete. There is a certain reason the hundredth name is kept silent and that is the true name of God, which of course can’t be uttered. That is why Guru Nanak said ‘Satnam’. Your name is thee truth. But in reality you can’t utter it because it will lose its’ beauty. It remains un-uttered at the deepest core of the heart. What is God’s true name? Nobody knows that all the names are man’s creation. The true name of God is the existence that surrounds you.” How can one call Him by all His names? The wise give him names according to His manifestations – Jap Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Ji He goes on saying. “those kind (the irreligious) of people haven’t known anything of spiritual experience. They’ve never felt any presence of God. The only way to receive God is to drop all your searching and seeking. The real question is recognition, not search, and the only way to know God is to live God.”
Eric Schlaflang captures the chaos at the Stadium at Anandpur sahib, where the Nihang Singhs show their horsemanship.
It was really good for its time but over the years after meeting Baba Hari Singh Ji, we realised there was the need to update the wider world and the Sangat on how Baba Ji has progressed. As well as accurately portray the Nihang Singhs in a more academic fashion.