Fakir attracts huge birthday crowds
Sunday 20 February 2005, 10:43 Makka Time, 7:43 GMT
A Russian politician is among those travelling to meet
Thousands are flocking to the northern Indian
farmlands of Gadaipur on the outskirts of New Delhi
for spiritual fulfillment at the feet of a rustic
Punjabi-speaking Indian mystic who dispenses tea and
Baba Virsa Singh, known to his followers as Maharaj or
Babaji, is hosting a conference on the "spiritual
approach to peace and resolving terrorism" at his
sprawling ashram, or spiritual home, to mark his
birthday on Sunday.
Russian opposition leader Sergei Glaziev is among
those attending the event, which began on Thursday.
Organisers believe that in the coming days about
15,000 people will join the celebrations.
Religious leaders, teachers, government officials,
students and business people from all over the world
including Bhai Mohan Singh, the founder of India's top
drugs company Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, are scheduled
Among those already there are Indian parliamentarian
and Kashmir royal Karan Singh, a prominent Hindu
leader Ashok Singhal and Saudi Arabia-based Muslim
preacher Muhammad Rafiq Shariq Warsi.
Singh was born to a poor family in the northern Indian
farming state of Punjab. He refused school and then
marriage, preferring to meditate. He found devotees at
a young age.
In the 1960s Singh founded an ashram or spiritual home
in Gadaipur to receive followers.
"In April 1966, a disciple gifted him seven acres
(three hectares) of land. There was this massive
wilderness over which we trekked with boulders and
bricks building outhouses and halls," said Promilla
Chand, a philosophy lecturer.
"Babaji fed us dry chapattis (bread) and love while we
built the ashram with our own hands. Today, we have
added 70 acres of land to the original piece and look
at what a paradise it is with wheat fields, a dairy
and orchards," she added.
Singh now presides over thousands of acres of farmland
on the outskirts of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh which
sustains the commune. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/2059-baba-virsa-singh-fakir-attracts-huge.html
"Babaji's crops grow very tall. He talks to his plants
and finds out what they need. Once he found out that
the soil was deficient in zinc so he gave them zinc
and they thrived," said disciple Churchill S Chaddha,
a Delhi-based exporter.
The Russians, meanwhile, are convinced that not only
plants reveal their mysteries to him, but so does the
"In 1989, he visited Russia and predicted the break-up
of the Soviet Union on national television. That isReference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=2059
exactly what happened in 1991. I am lucky to be here
to learn about Indian spirituality from this grand old
man," said Yuriy Ageshin, president of the Russian
Chamber of Law.
Singh himself said he only knew of one miracle.
"Don't you think it is a miracle that all these wise
men and women have come to listen to an illiterate
country bumpkin?" he said laughing.
"Life is a mystery to me. But as a farmer I like to
turn "bekar" (useless) land productive, if I can help
people be more productive then that is good too."