Swamiji (1818 - 1878)
ShivdayÄl Singh Seth (called “Swami or Soami Ji Maharaj” by followers and devotees) was born 24 August 1818 (Agra, Uttar Pradesh) and died 15 June 1878 (Agra). He was a Satguru of Sant Mat and Radhasoami tradition.
At the age of five, ShivdayÄl Singh was sent to school where he learnt Â Hindi, Â Urdu, Â PersianÂ andÂ Gurumukhi. He also acquired a working knowledge ofÂ ArabicÂ andÂ Sanskrit. The recitation of the Sikh scriptures was a regular practice in his family. His father, SardÄr Dilwali Singh Seth was a Sahejdhari Khatri and Nanak Panthi.Â His family including his father, mother, mother-in-law, sister and his wife NÄrÄini Devi (called “RÄdhÄji” by followers and devotees) were followers of Param SantÂ Tulsi SahibÂ of Hathras,Â India.]Â Sant Tulsi initiated him at the age of six.
His marriage to NÄrÄini Devi (later known as Radha Ji), daughter of Izzat Rai of Â FaridabadÂ was arranged at an early age. She was of a generous disposition and was very devoted to her husband. ShivdayÄl was selected direct from school to act as a Persian expert to a government officer in Banda. As the job did not suit him, he gave it up and took another job as a teacher of Persian with a talukdar ofÂ BallabhgarhÂ estate. His spiritual cravings, however, were so intense that worldly attainments no longer attracted him and he gave up even this lucrative job. He returned home for devoting his entire time to religious pursuits.
After the death of Sant Tulsi, ShivdayÄl practicedÂ Surat Shabd YogaÂ for 15 years in almost total seclusion in a room within a room. He started holding satsang publicly onÂ Vasant PanchamiÂ (a spring festival) in 1861, and continued for 17 years.
ShivdayÄl originally referred to the Supreme Being with the names “Sat NÄm” (True Name) and “AnÄmi” (Nameless). The term RÄdhÄ SwÄmi (“RÄdhÄ”=”Soul” and “Soami”=”Lord”, hence “Lord of the Soul”) was used afterÂ Salig RÄmÂ became a disciple.Â The yoga system taught by ShivdayÄl is known asÂ Surat Shabd Yoga.
ShivdayÄl has described the secret of divine and True Name (Sat Nam).
- SÄr Vachan Vartik (Sar Bachan in prose)
- SÄr Vachan Chhand Band (Sar Bachan in verse)
SÄr Vachan Vartik is in two parts: part one being an introduction written byÂ Rai SaligramÂ and part two compiled of notes taken from the discourses of ShivdayÄl, which he delivered in satsang up to 1878. They cover important teachings of the faith. His poems in SÄr Vachan Chhand Band are replete with emotional appeal – a successful blending of popular poetic expressions from different languages of north India such as, Khari-Boli,Â Awadhi, Brijbhasha,Â RajasthaniÂ andÂ Gurumukhi.