ARRIVAL IN GERMANY
When Kirpal Singh arrived in Frankfurt he was greeted by Frau B. Fitting, a leading German disciple and the Master's representative for that country, and His Excellency, the Baron William Frary von Blomberg, O.S.J. The original meeting of Sat Guru Kirpal Singh and Baron von Blomberg had taken place under unusual circumstances, circumstances which have been paralleled in the experiences of many of the Master's disciples. Many years before their physical meeting, Baron von Blomberg had received an inner vision of Sant Kirpal Singh. In 1955 the Baron saw a photograph of Kirpal Singh in an American newspaper. The Baron recognized that this was the same holy man who had appeared to him in his vision. The newspaper was reporting Kirpal Singh's visit to California. Baron von Blomberg, who was residing in Boston, immediately flew to San Francisco, and was initiated by Kirpal Singh into the Science of the Soul.
Later, in 1957, Baron von Blomberg was to become a leading figure in the creation of the World Fellowship of Religions. At the first Conference, held in New Delhi in 1957, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the illustrious Prime Minister of India, participated in the proceedings and made a short speech in which he endorsed the aims and ideals of the W.F.R. Subsequently, Kirpal Singh requested Baron von Blomberg to accept the Secretaryship of the W.F.R., which he did. He was later to be elected to the position of Co-President. This was no new experience for Baron von Blomberg, for he had already served as Secretary to the International Secretariat of the World Fellowship of Faiths since the age of twenty-one.
Baron von Blomberg, a man of many abilities, was also associated with many philanthropic and spiritual organizations. An authority on various sociological and political questions, he was an advisor to many of the Royal Families of Europe. He had also introduced and pioneered the concept of Public Relations in the State of New Hampshire. Baron von Blomberg derives his title from one of the leading aristocratic families of Germany; he is also an American citizen, thus having intimate ties with both North America and Europe. He represents many Orders of Chivalry throughout the world; and as a representative of the Orient faculty of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, he made history by conferring the Golden Star of the Order upon His Holiness Kirpal Singh. This was the first time in history that the Order had been given to an individual who had been brought up in an Eastern tradition.
The ceremony of conferring the Order of Saint John took place on Sunday, September 2, 1962, at Sawan Ashram, before a gathering of over ten thousand people. His Holiness Muni Sushil Kumar Ji Maharaj presided over the proceedings. Many distinguished diplomats and Members of Parliament were present, including Sri Upadhyaye, Personal Assistant to Prime Minister Nehru, and Sri Dharam Dev Shastri, one of the oldest colleagues of the late Mahatma Ghandi. The Sovereign Order of Saint John is one of the oldest known Orders of Christian Chivalry. It was this noble Order which was responsible for the founding of the first hospitals. The Order was awarded in the past to men of courage and magnanimity who were capable of self-sacrifice in the cause of the Christian Faith. Although Kirpal Singh was born into the Sikh Faith, the Order recognized that he embraced all religions. He was thus the first non-Christian, in the orthodox sense of the word, to be invested with the Sovereign Order. With his customary humility, Kirpal Singh accepted this honor on behalf of his Master with the following words:
"The truth of the matter is—as stated in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib—throw all honors of the world in the fire. The only thing worth having is that which helps us to find our Beloved—God. Desire of worldly greatness and honor takes us into the world. True greatness lies in following the path that would take us to our cherished goal. And what is that goal? Our soul, separated from its source—its Creator—revolves endlessly in the cycle of birth and rebirth. It must find its way back to God. I think that this honor is not for me, but for my Master at whose holy feet I had the good fortune to sit and learn all that I have learned, and who is with me even now. It is with his grace that these honors are coming to me, completely unsolicited. But, if you ask me, I would say from the very depth of my heart that I have no liking for these things."
Baron von Blomberg and Frau Fitting were accompanied by a group of German disciples, who had come from far and wide in order to greet their beloved spiritual Sat Guru. With tears of joy, Frau Fitting presented Kirpal Singh with a bouquet of flowers in loving welcome. For six days the Master and his party were the guests of Dr. Germa, the President of the Society for Harmonious Living. This Society has parallel aims and principles to the World Fellowship of Religions, and Dr. Germa invited many distinguished people, including politicians, theologians and University professors, to his residence in order to hear the discourses of Kirpal Singh. Each morning a period of meditation was given to all who wished to participate. The Master was present to help and instruct those present, and many who were experiencing such things for the first time were astounded to find that they had their inner eye opened to experience of the Beyond.
On June 11, Kirpal Singh held a press conference with representatives of five Frankfurt newspapers. He was presented with a barrage of questions upon the message and practicality of his mission. This was an experience which was to be repeated many times throughout Europe and the United States. The hard-bitten and objective journalists and reporters wanted hard facts. This is the heart-cry of "news" in the West. There has been a great difference between the cultures of East and West, inasmuch as the constitutional make-up of the psycho-mental consciousness of the East has been somewhat dependent upon an abstract way of life and belief. The West with its concrete-minded, outgoing culture believed in the so-called "factual." Sant Kirpal Singh was to show, practically and objectively, that all religious experience—whether of East or of West—dwelled upon the certainty of God, and that the true life and world of reality was beyond the objective realm of illusion which constitutes our temporal home. He affirmed to the Christian-focussed people of the West that, in order to achieve the goal of the Christian religion, the devotees of Christ should aspire to the Path which he had trod before them. This is the Path of spiritual union, that goal which is achieved through direct experience of the Godhead. Kirpal Singh stated that a true Master was a practical spiritual Guide for both East and West.
During a reception held at the residence of Dr. Engel, a prominent Foreign Office banker, the conversation turned from world affairs to the World Fellowship of Religions. "In what way will the W.F.R. benefit the world?" asked Dr. Engel. Kirpal Singh explained that the next aim was to bring all religious leaders together at the next Conference in 1965 in order to promote better understanding and to exchange knowledge and ideas. All apparent religious differences are man-made and are the result of narrow-minded bigotry. Saints have one common message for the entire world, and this is a message of Universal Love. Indeed, no one can love God unless he knows how to love his fellow beings. The W.F.R. was not brought into being to promote one particular religious faith but to demonstrate that the essence of the major world religions unites in the Supreme One. For the most part, however, the various religions had lost the central truths of spirituality. There are many references to the Living Word in the various scriptures, but the practitioners and priests had concentrated too much on the outer forms of religious dogma, ceremony, ritual, metaphysical argument and many-sided interpretations of theological principles.
As a dynamic spiritual force in the world, the World Fellowship of Religions could affect the social system for good. A unified and revivified religious expression in the nuclear age could once more express the basic truths of love, wisdom and harmony. The W.F.R. could infuse the thoughts, feelings and activities of mankind with the highest spiritual concepts. A new sociology, dealing with the external institutions of our global society, could be fecundated with the positive spiritual influence of the World Fellowship of Religions. This new spirit of goodwill, instilled into our social, political, and economic structures, is a crying need today. Just as physical maladies wreck the human body, so do mental perversities. The latter so poison the system of man—collectively and individually—that he is affected by greed, selfishness, hatred, ill-will and animosity, which in turn lead to a perverted outlook on life. Man is dragged down to the level of beasts —and sometimes even lower than beasts—and the result is social, economic, and spiritual disintegration.
On many phases of the tour Kirpal Singh showed that spirituality was not necessarily a concomitant of solemnity and seriousness. Many times he would laugh and joke with his devotees and visitors. In Germany, much wit and repartee would be quickly translated by an interpreter and all would share in the general hilarity. On many occasions during the tour, in both European countries and the United States, there would be episodes of the kind reported by Rusel Jaque when he stayed at Sawan Ashram: ( Gurudev: The Lord of Compassion.) "On the evening of March 12, the Master's offering to his adoring family mounted on wings of spiritual mirthful-ness as never observed before by this disciple. His softly musical words pealed forth to the accompaniment of his rippling laughter. Bibiji (Madame Hardevi) added her merry girlish voice, and one by one all present found themselves drawn up into the musically rhythmic cadence of the Master's symphony of laughter! Never have I imagined that anything in this life could sound so soul-satisfying with spontaneous, spiritual laughter. He gave us his goodnight blessing while still laughing. And we all retired to our respective cots with sweet smiling about our lips and eyes!"
On June 12, 1964, Baron von Blomberg and Eileen Wigg left for Dusseldorf in order to complete the preparations for Kirpal Singh's visit to that city. Two evenings later, Kirpal Singh gave a public talk at the invitation of the Society for Harmonious Living. The large hall was filled to overflowing long before the Master arrived. The theme of the Master's address was "Love, and all things shall be added unto thee." The talk was ably interpreted by Professor Zimmerman, who had been a close friend of Mahatma Ghandi.
"To live harmoniously, to realize God, to be a success in any field of work or play, requires love and devotion. If we apply this ideal to all our activities in life, success is always within reach." There was a hushed silence, and the audience listened intently as Professor Zimmerman set forth the words of the Master as he finished each phrase. "We are all conscious entities, being of the same essence as that of God. There is one underlying unity, and within this unity we are all brothers and sisters in the truest sense of the word. We form a universal brotherhood, which could be cemented in love and peace in the outer world, if only the much needed inner unity was realized. Because we do not know our true selves, our inner eye is not opened to see the Light of God which is all-pervading. When your single eye is opened, then will you see the same Light of God working in all. You will have true love for all and true regard for all scriptures left by the past Masters.
"All scriptures say that God resides in all creation and is immanent in every form. 'We live and have our being in God,' affirmed Guru Nanak. 'We should treat all people as our own flesh, and blood.' The Prophet Mohammed stated that 'we are all members of the same family of God.' All the Masters have said the same thing. Therefore, it behooves us all to love all mankind. Love of God and love of mankind are the two main commandments upon which the work of all the great Masters is based. God is all love and all harmony, and to know God you must first know yourself. This you can do by rising above body-consciousness and seeing the Light of God within. When we are all truly God-realized and are followers of the precepts of all the Masters, then there will be peace on earth; the Kingdom of God will be manifested upon earth and there will be no more war."
When Kirpal Singh had finished his address, there was a spontaneous reaction of gratitude and applause from the audience. After continued applause, Kirpal Singh came back to the rostrum and was presented with an inscribed Scroll by Dr. Germa. This gesture was warmly applauded by the audience when Dr. Germa announced that Kirpal Singh was thereby made an Honorary Director of the Society for Harmonious Living. After the meeting Kirpal Singh was surrounded by hundreds of enthusiastic people, all seeking to speak to him personally and ask further questions. Finally, when he was at last released from the spiritually-stimulated crowd, he and his party set off for Dusseldorf that same night.
continued next posting ...