|Birth||25 Aug 1818|
|Father’s Name||Dilwali Seth|
|Wife’s Name||Naraini Devi|
|Died||15 June 1878|
|Successor||Baba Jaimal Singh Ji|
Soami Shiv Dayal Singh ji was the first guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas. The real name of guru ji was Seth Shiv Dayal Singh ji and was known as Soami ji Maharaj by their followers. The swami ji was born on 25 Aug 1818 in Agra to a khatri family who used to reside in Panni Gali. He used to preach his teachings in Agra which were related to spirituality. He was considered as god on earth by his devotees. For non devotees he was a holy man like many others who were found in villages, jungles and remote locations of the earth. Guruji was the follower of great Sant Tulsi Das ji. He was initiated by Tulsi Das ji at the tender age of 6 years. He left his teaching job for his religious pursuits.
Shiv Dayal Singh spend his days in Panni Gali , Agra. After meditating alone for many years, he started giving his preachings to small group of people at home. The people who listened to his teachings also included Pratap Singh Seth, Salig Ram and Jaimal Singh. After that in year 1861 he started public discussions at home which continued until his death in 1878. Swami Ji is known as father of “RadhaSoami Faith”.The disciple Salig Ram of swami ji in 1866 had a personal realization that guru ji was incarnation of supreme power that is God and started delivering his preachings to other people and thus there started beginning of Radha Soami faith.
Swami Ji’s Early Life
Swami was sent to school at the age of 5 to learn different languages prevalent at that time. The languages included Persian, Arabic , Arabic, Sanskrit, Gurmukhi. Swami ji was a very generous student and always respected his teachers. His father name was Dilwali Seth, a Sahejdari Khatri. his father was also a nanak panthi. The family members included father, mother and sister.
Adult Life of Swami Shiv Dayal Singh Ji
The swami ji got married at an early age to daughter of Izzat Rai of Faridabad. The name of wife of Soami Maharaj was Naraini Devi who was also known as Radhaji by the devotees of guruji. The swami ji was elected as an persian expert to government officer in Banda. He was not interested in this job and after leaving that job, he joined as teacher of Persian in Ballabgarh state. He was so much involved in the religious pursuit that he decided to quit the teaching job and devote his life to attain the spirituality as the worldly things did not attracted him.
Shiv Dayal Singh ji started practising Surat Shabd Yoga and devoted 15 years of his life to learn this and stayed away from the world confined in the room within the room. Swami started his satsang on the day of spring festival in 1861 and continued this for almost 17 years until the end of his life, that’s why Vasant Panchmi holds special place in the followers of Radha Soami faith.
The satsang of Swami Ji became popular among different communities of India. The followers of Soami Maharaj included men and women. At the time of death of Guruji, his followers had reached upto 3000.
Teachings of Soami Ji Maharaj
Guruji derived two terms for the supreme power that is God which were:
- Satnam – which refers to “True Name”
- Anami – which meant no name i.e “Nameless”
The satsang was started by swami ji on the request of his devotee Salig Ram on day of Vasant Panchmi. The name of “Radhasoami” was also drafted after Salig Ram became disciple of guruji. The Radha which meant soul and soami meant God which combined to mean “God of the Soul”.
The teachings of Guruji have been published in two books which were named
- Sar Vachan Vartik
- Sar Varchan Chhand Band
The book named Sar Vachan Vartik is in two parts, first part which refers to introduction of guruji being written by true devotee of Guruji from starting Salig Ram and the second one being compiled from the notes of Swami ji from his satsangs. Both the book covers important teaching which were preached by him during his satsangs upto 1878.
Sar Vachan Chhand Band includes the poetic recitations of Guruji compiled in different North Indian languages which were most used at that times including Gurmukhi, Brij Bhasha, Khari Boli, awadhi and Rajsthani.
The Yoga which was being taught by the Guruji was known as “Surat Shabd Yoga”.
The End of Shiv Dayal Singh Ji
The swami ji departed for the heavenly abode from this world on June 15, 1878. After the death of first guruji of RadhaSoami faith it was succeeded by Baba Jaimal Singh Ji. The second guruji of this faith was the one who took the Radha Soami Movement to the place named Beas, near Amritsar in Punjab.
Soami ji has locality named after him “Soami Bagh” which was the home of Guruji in Agra. This place is maintained by Radhasoami trust and Radhasoami Satsang Administrative Council.