Sant Kirpal Singh – Search for God
After my educational career was over I had ambition in life, too. I was a very voracious reader of books. I wanted big libraries, this and that thing. But I had to decide what to do – pursue my worldly ambition or place God first. It took me more than a week or ten days to decide. In the evening after office hours I used to go to some wilderness area to decide. I was discussing for and against with my own self until sometimes one, sometimes two in the morning. I finally came to the conclusion: God first and the world next.
His father fell seriously ill during his old age. Sant Kirpal Singh served His father very faithfully. One day His father said, "Kirpal, I am extremely pleased with you. Ask for anything you want: wealth, children, fame and the like, and if a father's blessings have any effect, you will certainly have what you desire." He replied, "As you know, I am not enamoured of any worldly gain. My only wish is to attain communion with God." His father, who was taking a stroll with a stick in his hand, suddenly paused, thought for a while and said, "You shall certainly meet God." Thence onward He used to have direct revelations for which He had always prayed.
I can tell you of my own condition, around the year 1914. Background does have some bearing on one's life. One in whom this yearning for God takes root has some impressions from the past which come to the fore and develop during this birth. In those days, while working in the office, the tears would flow without reason, spoiling the papers on the desk. Within myself I would ask, "O God, what is happening?" At home, the family also could not understand what was happening but I had recently been transfered from the place of my parents and they thought the tears were due to this.
In 1915 – long after that I went to my Master – I got a fever that lasted for about eight months. I used to lie there, cover my head and think of the Lord. Nobody was telling me, "Why don't you go to your office?" or "Why don't you do this work or that?" While sick you have more time at your disposal. Is it not so? If you're all right, nobody – not even the members of your family – will suffer you to remain at home: "Go to work, please."
I have often mentioned the mood of deep thought that I experienced at a young person's deathbed at Lahore. If an individual's life is pure and chaste, the inner knowledge awakens without effort. This is a natural function. Having all this, yet I had not solved the mystery of life; and while sitting beside that dying person it occurred to me, "This person is dying; there is something in him which is also in me, but it is leaving his body – then what is that something?" I could not at that time perceive the answer, for I did not have the knowledge. What is it that is working in everyone and yet leaves a dying person? I sat there and witnessed this individual call all those near and dear and ask their forgiveness for any wrong, or any act that may have displeased them. After this the eyes closed and the soul left the body. I was wonder-struck to witness this amazing thing. Before my eyes the body was lying there and yet that which had motivated it was gone. It was still in me, but it had left that body. Where it had gone to, I did not know. All the way to the cremation ground I fathomed this puzzle, and on arrival I saw that an elderly man had died and was being cremated. Within a few yards of each other the young person and the old man – the two extremes of life, youth and old age – were consumed in the flames. My heart was deeply affected with the realization that there is no escape from this death for any one of us. Learned or unlearned, all men are imprisoned in gross ignorance. This mystery of life entered my heart and did not leave. From then I started searching day and night for the answer in all the scriptures I could find. Whole nights were spent reading avidly, but I could find no solution in the holy scriptures and philosophies. Yes, there were indications and references, but they gave no practical solution.