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World fellowship of religions


February 1960, Calcutta

It is indeed a pleasure to see that we are gathered together once again, and that so many religious and spiritual leaders are meeting together for the uplift of man's soul, a task which has been taken up in this way in India for many a long year. If you examine India's past, you will find that such activities are not new to this land. Even in the days when there were no means of transport, when people had to travel on foot and face every imaginable hardship, religious leaders went forth from India carrying the torch of Truth to other lands, while those from neighbouring countries came to this cradle of religions to know more about its rich heritage.
Tradition holds that the great Rishi Ved Vyas, the distinguished poet of the epic Mahabharata, went to meet Ratu Zarathustra, the Persian Sage. Guru Nanak, in later times, undertook four udais – or longer journeys – each covering many years, not only to the various parts of India, but to neighbouring countries like Arabia, Ceylon, Burma and China. Again, historical records reveal that such intercommunication was greatly encouraged by kings like Kharwal, Ashoka, Samudragupta, Harsha Vardhan and Akbar, who organized religious conferences in their own peculiar ways.

Religion has always occupied the primary place in man's life and our enlightened thinkers of today are at length beginning to realize its importance. It is in accordance with what he believes that man shapes and moulds himself and society, and gives a meaning to life. Rob him of his faith and he is nothing. As the saying goes, "It is only a little philosophy that inclineth a man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth man's mind back to religion."

True religion enfolds a knowledge that goes far beyond logic and reason. To receive this knowledge we must have the mind of a child, not that of a logician or a scholar. It was to discover this knowledge that the Saints perfected themselves, and, having attained it, turned to impart it to their fellows, leading them to a higher and higher destiny. And thus religion entered into the life of man, and became a vital force.

But the time, if it can bring progress, can also bring retrogression. The passing of years may make man forget his initial goal and lower his virtues and morals. He may even begin to identify life with the physical body, and religion may seem to vanish. But Master Souls appear upon the scene, from age to age, to revive the forgotten ideal and to show man the right way. If we examine the roots of the word 'religion' we see that it comprises two elements: 're' meaning 'back' and 'ligio' meaning 'to bind'. Religion is, by its very meaning, a method of binding us back to our initial source. And the more one analyses it, the more one sees that religion has two aspects: the inner and practical aspect which seeks communion within, and the outer or theoretical aspect which tries to mould man's life in the world in accordance with his goal. The former or mystical aspect you will find to be common to all religions, for the inner reality is always the same. The other aspect, the ethical or outer aspect, alone varies from people to people in conformity with the conditions of outer life, differing from place to place, society to society, and calling forth a varying orientation. It is the first aspect that gives meaning to the second, and it is on this inner unity of life that all great Saints and teacher have based their message.

Ex­tract ­from a speech­ giv­en by ­Sant Kir­pal ­Singh on ­the oc­ca­sion of the second World Con­fer­enc­e of ­the ­WFR

February 1965, Delhi

With the yardstick of love with us, the very essence of God’s character, let us probe our hearts. Is our life an efflorescence of God’s love? Are we ready to serve one another with love? Do we keep our hearts open to the healthy influences coming from outside? Are we patient and tolerant towards those who differ from us? Are our minds co-extensive with the creation of God and ready to embrace the totality of His being? Do we bleed inwardly at the sight of the down-trodden and the depressed? Do the distresses of others distress us? Do we pray for the sick and suffering humanity?

If we do not do any of these things, we are yet far removed from God and from religion, no matter how loud we may be in our talk and pious in our platitudes and pompous in our proclamations. With all our inner craving for peace, we have failed and failed hopelessly to serve the cause of God’s peace on earth. Ends and means are interlocked things and cannot be separated from each other. We cannot have peace so long as we try to achieve it with war-like means and with the weapons of destruction and extinction. With the germs of hatred in our hearts, racial and colour bars rankling within us, thoughts of political domination and economic exploitation surging in our blood-stream, we are working for wrecking the social structure which we have so strenuously built and not for peace, unless it be peace of the grave; but certainly not for a living peace born of mutual love and respect, trust and concord that may go to ameliorate mankind and transform this earth into a paradise which we so fervently pray for and preach from pulpits and platforms and yet, as we proceed, it recedes away into the distant horizon.

Where then lies the remedy? Is the disease past all cure? No, it is not so. Life and Light of God are still there to help and guide us in the wilderness.

Every religion has, of necessity, a three-fold aspect: first, the traditional, comprising myths and legends for the lay brethren; secondly, the philosophical treatises based on reason to satisfy the hunger of the intelligentsia, concerned more with the why and wherefore of things than anything else, with great stress on theory of the subject and emphasis on ethical development which is so very necessary for spiritual growth; and thirdly, the esoteric part, the central core in every religion, meant for the chosen few, the genuine seekers after truth.

The last part deals with the mystic personal experiences of the founders of all religions and other advanced souls. It is this part, called mysticism, the core of all religions, that has to be sifted, enshrined in the heart for practice and experience. These inner experiences of all the sages and seers from time immemorial are the same irrespective of the religio-social orders to which they belonged and deal in the main with the Light and Life of God – no matter at what level and the methods and means for achieving direct results are also similar.

Thus we have seen that Life and Light of God constitute the only common ground at which all religions do meet and if we could take hold of these saving life-lines, we can become live centres of spirituality, no matter to what religion we owe our allegiance for the fulfilment of our social needs and the development of our moral well-being.

Ex­tract ­from a speech­ giv­en by ­Sant Kir­pal ­Singh on ­the oc­ca­sion of ­ the ­third World Con­fer­enc­e of ­the ­WFR



June 1967, Teheran

We would do well to pause for a moment and ponder over the chaotic conditions that generally prevail in spite of our loud professions in the cause of lofty ideals and heated protestations against injustice, tyranny and oppression by man against man, section against section, disrupting the social life of the country and endangering peaceful coexistence among the peoples of the world.

Man by nature is a selfish being and because of this he ever lives in a state of fear and willy nilly finds himself involved in strife; strife of one against all and all against one, for he is not prepared to reconcile himself with the idea that he is just a member, but not an isolated member, in the one great family of man; springing from one supreme source – the Father God of all of us. The real cause of the social malaise, however, lies far deep in the human mind, too deep for the surgical lancet to reach and the scientist's shells and missiles to destroy. The state administrations may, to a certain extent, by means of legislative measures and executive fiats and with the help of the police and the army, control the physical movements of their subjects; but they cannot wash and purify the feelings and emotions of the people nor can they correct their understanding and set right their thoughts. It is from the abundance of heart that all our actions spring. Unless we get a correct lead in the values of life, the higher spiritual values I mean, we cannot think and act correctly.

God made man and man made religions as the means of uniting himself with God. Each religion has an essential truth at its core for otherwise no religion can endure for long. But the basic religious truths have now become encrusted with the dust of ages and lie buried under the dead-weight of verbiage encased in the archaic language of the time and of the people who lived in different times and different climes in ages past, with ethnic traditions all their own, quite different from those prevailing today. Yet with all these diversities in linguistic trappings, the mass symbolisms we see around us, the essentials they reveal are alike, if we but know how to decipher them correctly.

It is with this object that the World Fellowship of Religions has come into being so that the representatives of different religions may have some common forum to sit together, shoulder to shoulder, in an honest attempt to understand the unities of human life in the ever-revolving panorama of apparently diverse forms and modes of life and thoughts that are surreptitiously eating into the very vitals of the social order in which we are.

Next, we come to the core of the teachings as given by all the world teachers: Zoroaster, Vedic Rishis, Moses, Buddha, Mahavira, Shankara, Christ, Mohammed, Kabir and Nanak. All agree as to the nature of the Godhead. Absolute God is an abstraction, something imageless which no one has seen and no one can ever see. Then there is the God-into-expression Power and it has variously been described by the sages and seers as the Father of Lights, Nooranala Noor, Swayam Jyoti, speaking in the midst of "thunder and lightening," coming from above, as Akashvani or Bang-i-Asmani, Saut or Kalam-i-Qadeem, Sruti or Sarosha, Naam or Naad, Music of the Spheres and so on. These are not mere figurative words, as many may be prone to take them for, but essentially true in character. The founders of all the religions gave a direct contact of the Light and Sound of God to their innermost circle of disciples and enjoined them to develop the same, so as to become true momins in the real sense of the word.

All the religions agree that Life, Light and Love are the three phases of the Supreme Source of all that exists. These essential attributes of the Divinity that is One, though designated differently by the prophets and peoples of the world, are also wrought in the very pattern of every sentient being. It is in this vast ocean of Love, Light and Life that we live, have our very being and move about and yet, strange as it may seem, like the proverbial fish in water, we do not know this truth and much less practise it in our daily life and hence the endless fear, helplessness and misery that we see around us in the world, inspite of all our laudable efforts and sincere strivings to get rid of them. Love is the only touch-stone wherewith we can measure the understanding of the twin principles of Life and Light in us and how far we have travelled on the path of self-knowledge and God-knowledge. God is love, the soul in man is a spark of that love, and again is the link between God and man on the one hand and man and God's creation on the other. It is, therefore, said: "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love."

Ex­tract of a message sent by ­Sant Kir­pal ­Singh to be read out on ­the oc­ca­sion of ­ the ­regional con­fer­enc­e of ­the ­WFR


Knights of Malta

Sant Kirpal Singh received the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta from Baron von Blomberg. He was the first non-Christian to be honoured with this order.

On 2 September, 1962 more than ten thousand people gathered in Sawan Ashram to participate this ceremony. Prominent participants among those present were Shri Dharam Dev Shastri, one of the oldest colleagues of Gandhi, Muni Sushil Kumar, Dr. D. P. Pande of Manav Bharti, Shri Upadhyaye, P.A. to Prime Minister Nehru, Shri Prem Chand Gupta, Secratary, Ramlila Committee, members of Parliament and others.

When they gave me a medal – the order of St. John (of Jerusalem) – I was called to Pundit Nehru who was Prime Minister of India at that time, and he told me, "It is an honour to my country."
When you progress it is an honour to me, you see. To do something worthwhile is an honour to your Master. People will ask, "Who is your teacher?"


With Prime Minister Nehru

Once I had a private talk with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for about fifty minutes. He listened to all that I said with much attention, and after that in all his talks he would say that only on the ground of spirituality can all men sit together, for the masses, for the social leaders, political and religious leaders, this is the only cure.

Sant Kirpal Singh

After the independence of India, the first Prime Minister was Jawaharlal Nehru. He was a very noble person, a very receptive, God fearing personality. Wanting friendship everywhere, he believed in disarming, and when there was a war between India and China, he was very much worried. Some persons advised, "You should consult Sant Kirpal Singh. He will give you the way out." So he sent a message to Sant Kirpal Singh.

When Master came there, He found the Prime Minister restlessly walking, searching and dictating something. Master said, "Pundit Ji, what do you want?" He replied only one thing, "Sant Kirpal Singh, I don't want to win anything, I want that this war should be finished." Master said, "It will happen, don't worry. Be in the sweet remembrance of God. Don't be confused."

At that time I was with Master in Delhi. Master was sitting on the chair, one leg on the other. In this position He was sitting whole the night. In the same night the war was finished. But Master didn't disclose anything. It was a very big secret. Master would never say that He did it.
Harbhajan Singh


The World Fellowship of Religions was brought into being in 1957 and held its initial Conference the same year in Delhi. Sant Kirpal Singh was elected President of the WFR (for 14 years). Four World Conferences were held in India and serveral regional conferences in Persia, France and Germany followed.

For the first time, these conferences brought most of the world’s relgious leaders together at one table. At least they found out that the essencce of all religions is one and the same: to bind us back to our initial source.
More: Sant Kirpal Singh talks about the World Fellowship of Religions (WFR)
During the Third Conference of World Religions, 26 February, 1965, Delhi
During the Third Conference of World Religions, 26 February, 1965, Delhi

The aim of the World Fellowship of Religion is to bring all children of God together while remaining in their religion.  

Sant Kirpal Singh

Notes from Sant Kirpal Singh
“All the religions of the world originated from Asia. Religions of the East from India, ———”——— West from Persia and Pakistan

What is re­lig­ion? It is ­that ­brings in­to ­full ­play these dor­mant spir­i­tu­al fa­cul­ties in ­man – ex­pands ­its lit­tle ­self so as to em­brace ­the uni­verse – ­and ­fills him ­with lov­ing com­pas­sion for ­all crea­tures of ­the ­world.”
Notes from Sant Kirpal Singh
“All of ­them ­aim at sal­va­tion, ­call it ­what ­you ­will – free­dom ­from ­the ­plane of sens­es – ris­ing in­to cos­mic aware­ness – one­ness ­with ­the ­Christpow­er or ­the spir­it of Is­lam – quest ­for ­the ­One, ­the Un­change­a­ble Per­ma­nence, or ­Life eter­nal.”
Sant Kirpal Singh after receiving the medal of the Knights of Malta, 2 September, 1963
Sant Kirpal Singh with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Mrs Indira Gandhi, September 1962
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