Nirankari samagams

The gathering of Mission’s devotees in large numbers periodically to celebrate the essence of enlightenment; also intending to share it with other brothers and sisters across the world is what we know as Samagam. Nirankari Samagams have become synonymous with selfless service, discipline, togetherness along with spiritual and ethical discourse, everything contributing to manifest a blissful festival of brotherhood in the most quintessential way. In no uncertain terms, these Samagams are microcosms of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which literally means ‘The whole world is our family’. The family-like feeling is so vividly evident at these Samagams, that even the one-time visitors are left beaming with, both surprise and joy after witnessing the spirit of oneness that grips these hubs of spiritual bliss. The presence of Satguru at the Samagams makes it a divine celebration of sorts, wherein devotees are filled with spiritual rapture on receiving the ‘Darshan’ (audience) of their master. It is a wonderful platform where devotees not only reinforce their understanding and faith on ‘Gyan’ (God-Knowledge), but also take time to self-introspect and analyse their own journey on the path of righteousness.

Having started in 1948 under the divine aegis of Shahenshah Baba Avtar Singh Ji, the Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam has come a long way. From a small gathering of merely a few hundred back then, this festival of love and oneness today witnesses an overwhelming participation by around a million devotees from across the world. The annual samagam has seen a change in venue from Nirankari Colony to Idgah to Ram Lila Grounds to the backside of Lal Qila to large grounds of Burari and now presently being held at Mission’s own massive land at Samalkha, Haryana. The yearning for the upcoming Annual Samagam begins immediately after the conclusion of the previous Samagam. Devotees participate in sewa of various kinds, months before the samagam is held. The Satguru blesses the samagam with opening of the Samagam Sewa around a month before the declared dates. The annual samagam, which virtually takes the shape of a small city usually in the month of November each year, is characterized with huge congregations, Sewadal Rally, General Body Meeting, Shobha Yatra and Guru Vandana programs. The beauty of this Samagam lies in the organic merger of various languages and cultures through a variety of media including speeches, hymns, poems, skits and dances. Free community kitchen along with many subsidized canteens serve quality food throughout the day and night. Other facilities include free medical help, railway and flight ticket booking, ATMs and publications etc. The exhibition centre is another attraction for the visitors, showcasing history, ideology and the journey of the mission and its masters. 

The Bhakti Parv Samagam is celebrated in the second week of January every year in various branches of the Mission across the world. The major congregation though is held in New Delhi near the Sarovar Complex. Thousands of devotees gather to celebrate the spirit of loving devotion, which forms the essential component of the Mission’s ideology. The life and teachings of various saints and sages become the ground for speeches, poems and songs during the bhakti parv congregation. Bhakti Parv reminds us to carry gratitude in our conscience, towards the formless God, Nirankar and his creation. It brings to the fore, the art of detached attachment that can only be attained with the grace of Satguru and company of enlightened souls. Many saints take a dip in the holy waters of the Nirankari Sarovar on this day, which holds a testimony to the unflinching devotion of Bhai Sahb Santokh Singh Ji. 

Manav Ekta Diwas is the day that solemnly observes the sacrifice of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, who laid his life for humanity. After departure of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji in physical form on 24th April 1980, by the cowardly act of some ill-intended hardliners, Baba Hardev Singh Ji led the Mission with the narrative of “Blood should flow in veins and not in drains”. Ever since, thousands of units of blood are donated by Nirankari devotees and sewadars across the world throughout the year. Till date, over a million units of blood have been contributed. Along with thousands of branches that observe Manav Ekta Diwas, this annual congregation is held at a large scale at the Delhi headquarters of the Mission on 24th April every year, where the life and teachings of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji form the ground of inspiration and motivation to all. Chacha Pratap Singh Ji, who laid his life in an attempt to save the life of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, is also remembered with deep veneration on this day. The underlying message and teaching of the day, most definitely, is Unity of the entire Humankind. 

13th May is observed as Samarpan Diwas in the entire family of Nirankari devotees, who remember, with deep and heartfelt reverence, the life and teachings of Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, who lived his entire life walking and talking the divine principles of Love and selfless devotion to Nirankar. Ever since he was consecrated as the Satguru of humankind, Baba Hardev Singh Ji preached forgiveness, magnanimity, compassion, tolerance, oneness and many more such virtues through his thoughts, words and actions. He covered millions of miles along with Nirankari Rajmata Ji and Mata Savinder Hardev Ji across the globe, ensuring to reach maximum countries, states, cities, towns and villages to spread the word of God. The purity of his being reflected in his magnetic smile, which mesmerised everyone who even once received his audience and blessing. Baba Hardev Singh Ji, whom humanity lost unfortunately on 13th May 2016 during an accident in Canada, will eternally be remembered for his social and spiritual initiatives, that transformed the hearts and minds of zillions, besides of course showing them all the path to eternal bliss. Rev. Avneet Setya Ji, a staunch and dedicated young devotee of the Mission, whom we also lost in the same incident, is also recalled with profound respect on Samarpan Diwas.

Mukti, or Salvation is the ultimate aim of every soul. This fact has been underlined by almost all saints, sages and scriptures. The Nirankari ideology, most evidently pivots around this objective of human life. Mukti Parv, which is commemorated every year on 15th August in Sant Nirankari Mission, reminds us of the importance and pathway to eternal merger of the soul into the oversoul. Incidentally, it also happens to fall on the same day that our great country, India achieved independence, metaphorically signifying the importance of freedom. Historically, this day observed as Jagatmata Diwas and later as Shahenshah-Jagatmata Diwas, is presently observed as Mukti Parv, as a homage to the life and teachings of Shahenshah Baba Avtar Singh Ji, Mata Budhwanti Ji, Pradhan Labh Singh Ji (The first president of the Mission) and many more saints who lived and laid their lives for the Mission of Truth. Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, following the teachings of Shahenshah Ji, declared that despite the saints leaving their physical form on separate days, will be remembered unitedly on Mukti Parv, lest we start observing another set of ritualistic traditions. Baba Hardev Singh Ji also took a similar decision when the Mission lost Nirankari Rajmata Kulwant Kaur Ji, and Satguru Mata Sudiksha Ji Maharaj followed suit when even during the most overwhelming days, we lost Satguru Mata Savinder Hardev Ji Maharaj. Today, the Mission pays respect and honour to all of them, learning from their profound lives at the juxtapose on Mukti Parv. Congregations are held on similar pattern across all branches of the Mission worldwide, this day, each year. 

The journey of Samagams is an ongoing one, just like the connect of Aatma (Soul) with Parmatma (One Formless Almighty God). Alongside the Annual Sant Samagam and other important sacrosanct samagams celebrated or observed the year round, many regional samagams are held all through the year in various states and cities of India like Maharashtra, U.P, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. Each Samagams showcases the spirit of Oneness and togetherness despite the diverse demographic components. Lakhs of devotees gather with not much in common. The languages are different, the costumes are varied, the climates don’t match, but the underlying ethos of being children of One Supreme God presents a panoramic view of a ‘World without Walls’ with a unique vivacity. Imagine! Humankind needs just one single thread of universal identity to do away with all differences of caste, creed, race, colour, language or culture etc; which is possible by complete understanding of Truth and then unconditional surrender unto the lotus feet of the True Master, Satguru.