Capt Purshottam Sharma
An incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Bawa Lal Dayal Ji Maharaj bestows His Blessings, answers the prayers and grants what His devotees wish for. The Guardian Deity majestically abides at the sacred land of Dhyanpur (Punjab) and is vastly adored by His Devotees seeking material prosperity, welfare, divine knowledge and salvation. The Compassionate Lord wards off all evils, wipes out the impurities and protects His humble devotees.
He was born to Smt Krishna Devi and Lala Bhola Ram on Monday, the Second Day of bright fortnight of month of Magh Vikrami Sambat, 1412, in Village Amli falling in famous town of Kasur of Distt Lahore (now in Pakistan).
Lovingly called Lal Dass, Lal Dayal, Swami Lal, Baraji Lal, His parents, who were noble souls profoundly revered in the society for their meritorious way of living, nursed the child Lal to boyhood giving auspicious treat and treasured with virtues. Astrologists predicted that zodiacal position of child’s birth-chart showed that He is the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
This child of captivating comeliness was admitted in a nearby school at the age of five years where he displayed remarkable power of imbibing and soon mastered whatever was taught. What His classmates of matching age would learn in a year, He could do so in a day. For his brilliance, He was named ‘Lal’’ (Ruby). When merely eight years old, He happened to listen a ‘Bhajan’ (song in glory of God) recited by a devotees. The divine words on the “Bhajan’’ surcharged Him spiritually and He delved in trance. Thence onward, dispassion and detachment from earthly existence turned Him to embrace solitude in pursuit of truth roaming here and there in the country sides in natural surroundings of mountains, forests, rivers and in wild inhabitation. By dint of severe penance, He was always in ecstasy.
One day, Lal Ji saw a wandering group of hermits led by Swami Chaitanya Ji Maharaj on the bank of River Raavi. From a distance, Swami Ji was pleased to recognize the splendor of approaching Lal Ji deeming Him to be a most worthy discipline for He possessed intense yearning for God. In the meantime, Lal Ji saw Swami Ji cooking rice in an earthen pot in a unique way of forming ‘chulah’ (cooker) by holding his both feet together and producing fire with ‘yogic’ power. After the meals were finished, the earthen pot was thrown away. Lal Ji just picked up the three grains of rice left ever in the thrown away earthen pot treating as’prasad’ and slipped in trance. He had strong longing in His heart for finding a perfect master, a realized soul, who could lead Him to final beautitude. And in this meeting, Swami Ji revealed Lal Ji that ‘GOD is One’, keep chanting “Hari Om Tat Sat’ and do not fall prey to worldly temptations but seek benediction of the preceptor.
Thereafter, Lal Ji reverted back to His place of birth to discharge some obligatory duties of the family but remained engrossed in his true-self. Releasing Himself from the shackles of worldliness, He rushed in the search of Swami Chaitanya Ji Maharaj and met him at Shahdra. Nurturing spiritual conception and making humble obeisance at the lotus feet of Swami Ji for realization of the truth, He made a total surrender. Swami Chaitanya Ji Maharaj initiated Lal Ji into Sanyas (renunciation) imparting him supreme knowledge of truth, consciousness, bliss, combined. Gratified at heart, the spiritual master named the worthy disciple Lal Ji. Holding His Master’s command with due reverence, Lal Ji brought ‘Gopi-Chandan’ from Dwarka (Gujarat) and presented it to him. Full of exultation, the Master administered little ‘Gopi-Chandan’ mixed with some sacred dust on Lal Ji’s forehead (‘Lalaat’). Deeply impressed by his disciple’s fair virtues and spiritual elevation, the Master found Lal Ji qualified for Oneness with Brahmo. On their backward journey from Nagarkot, both Master and the Disciple made a sudden halt at a spot from where another path led to a different direction. Swami Chaitanya Ji Maharaj offered Lal Ji to choose either of the paths and proceed towards that direction to spread the message and mission of righteousness to the masses.
Bowing to his master’s command, Lal Ji set forth to His Mission instilling spiritual awakening among the people. At the age of 39 years, after His wanderings to various Holy places of pilgrimage, He dwelt at Saharanpur for one hundred years. He was gifted 100 ‘Bighas’ of land for the Ashram and 800 ‘Bighas’ for meeting expenses in its running by the then Emperor. It is known as ‘Bawa Lal Ji Bara’. Soon an Ashram came up at Dhyanpur and Bawa Lal Dayal Ji Maharaj Himself named it Dhyanpur after His ardent devotee disciple Dhyan Dass.
Dhyanpur is now a Holy place of pilgrimage for the people.
Among His 22 disciples, were Sewa Dass, Gurmukh Lal and Kanshi Ram whom He called His Ownself in the following couplet :-
“Mukh Sewa, Netar Gurmukh, Stan Kanshi Ram, Kamdhenu Ko Hai Jahan Lal Kio Vishram’’
(Bawa Lal Ji described Sewa Dass His mouth, Gurmukh Lal His eyes and Kanshi Ram His Celestial Cow (Kamdhenu, the Cow of Plenty).
Prince Dara Shukoh, eldest son among four, and most favorite of his father Emperor Shahjahan, was a spiritually elevated soul in deep love for the Lord with passion for realization of the truth. He had long sessions of conversation with Bawa Lal Dayal Ji Maharaj at Lahore on divine knowledge and philosophy.
The conversation in question-Answer form was duly recorded by Shri Yadav Dass Ji and published in a book entitled Gulzar-e-Israr. In His teachings, Bawa Lal Ji says that to swim across the ocean of ‘Samsara’, there are four dsciplines :
Through ‘yoga’ (oneness with the God), equilibrium of mind is attained to fall in communion with the Almighty.
Through ‘Vairagya’ (Dispa-ssion), worldly temptations vanquish and truth is revealed;
Through ‘Jajna’ (Knowledge), The veil of ignorance is removed and the divine wisdom dawns and,
Through ‘Bhakti’ (Devotion), Love of God is gained and quest for union with the supreme is realized.
Source of Creation is “Naad Brahm’ (primordial vibration). Atma (Soul) is eternal and unaffected by attributes of nature. Body and its organs are gross objects. In self-realization state, soul dwelling in the body is like a King sitting on the throne. In state of ignorance, the same soul is unknown King guest in some stranger’s house. Water is ‘Jal Brahm’ for it sustains, is colorless and is present every where in pearl and mud like all pervading loving God. ‘Jeevan Mukta’ is like fried seed that never sprouts because through self control, he is unaffected by joys and sorrows. Whatever exists in external world exists in our inner world also. Difference between the pure and impure is like Rama’s soldiers and Ravana’s soldiers. The former were revived whereas the latter could not be although nectar was sprayed on all the bodies lying in the battle-field.
Bawa Lal Ji’s Holy Lal Dwara is visited by thousands of people from all over the world to seek his blessings for grant of ‘Motherhood’ and ‘Fatherhood’ by childness couples, the most cherished wish of a house-holder. His grace can cure serious diseases, remove evil influences and impurities and find solutions to his devotee’s problems, both material and spiritual.
(The author is a Trustee of Sai Prashanthi Trust J&K)
Capt Purshottam Sharma