Early Years

Charm-i-oo-maste Khuda daste-oo-daste Khuda. Guftai-oo-guftai Allah bavad Garche az halqum-i-Abdullah bavad.

His eyes were intoxicated with love of God and His hand was one with that of God. He was the mouthpiece of God and God Himself spoke through that human throat.

This Spiritual Luminary assumed the garb of man on 27th July, 18581, in a respectable Grewal Jat2 family of Mehmansinghwala, District Ludhiana, Punjab. His father, Sardar Kabul Singh Ji, loved the society of godly people and freely mixed with them, and His mother, Shrimati Jiwani Ji, was a living specimen of ancient simplicity, good-will and of resignation and contentment. Baba Sawan Singh Ji was the only son of His parents and was the cynosure of all their hopes and aspirations.

From His infancy He showed signs of great intellectual attainment and a high sense of understanding. Having matriculated from a school in Gujarwal, He served for two years as a teacher in the Military School at Farrukhabad. In 1884 He joined Thompson College of Engineering at Roorki. He was loved by all around him and was known for His diligence. After completing the Engineering Course He joined the Military Engineering Service at Nowshera and spent the major part of His service in Nathiagali, Murree, Cherat and Abbotabad as a successful Sub-Divisional Officer. His winning manners and hard work won for Him the love and affection both of His officers and His subordinates alike. He spent the leisure hours of His service in the study of Spiritual Books and in the company of saintly and devoted persons.

His father too – a lover of godly people as he was – would take him along with him whenever he got an opportunity to meet such people.

Sardar3 Sawan Singh Ji in His early life paid occasional visits to one Baba Kahan who was a holy faqir at Peshawar. One day He prayed to Baba Kahan for the gift of Spirituality, to which Baba said:

You will certainly have a Spiritual Benediction from the hands of a perfect Saint but not from me.

He enquired,

Where shall I search for such a person?

The Baba replied,

All your efforts shall be in vain, but in the fulness of time that personage shall himself find you out.

The saintly life of His parents influenced Him from the very beginning and He developed qualities of contentment, forgiveness, humility, devotion etc., to a high degree. From childhood He was free from religious intolerance and narrow-mindedness. The study of the basic principles of all religions was an article of faith with Him. With this good knowledge of Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Persian and English, He studied the scriptures of Hindus, Mohammedans, Sikhs and Christians, and paid great attention and devoted serious consideration to the writings of the Saints, the Sufi problems, the fundamental principles of Love and devotion and general ethical doctrines.


Explanation: 1) Corresponding to Sawan 13th. Sambat 1915 of the Krishna Paksha, after sunrise of Indian Calendar. 2) Indian peasant family (editor’s note, 2010). 3) A very polite title for a ‘Gentleman in India’ (editor’s note, 2010).