Baba Virsa Singh
To his followers, Baba Virsa Singh Ji (Babaji) is considered a holy person of biblical proportions. Since his youth, Babaji has been recognized for his powerful spirituality.
Babaji was raised in Sarawan Bodla, Punjab, India in a mud brick village. As a youth he helped on the family's farm until one day he was overcome by the guilt of having caused harm to the plants he was cutting. Babaji felt he had committed a great sin and prayed to be released from that duty. As he prayed, painful sores began appearing on his feet rendering him unable to stand and work. From that day on, Baba Virsa Singh Ji began meditating under the tree known as Ber Sahib.
The followers of Babaji believe he was blessed with a vision of Baba Siri Chand (also spelled Baba Sri Chand), the eldest son of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. Baba Virsa Singh Ji was also reportedly given instructions through vision by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The boy became recognized for his spiritual and healing capabilities by villagers in the area. Many people are said to have been miraculously healed at the hands of Babaji.
Babaji then moved from place to place preaching Guru Nanak's basic spiritual program--hard work, sharing with others, and remembrance of God--and reminding people of the eternal truths of religion, beyond any sectarian divisions. Baba Virsa Singh Ji also began developing flourishing farms and spiritual communities in previously harsh and barren environments. Though the largest of such farms is known as Shiv Sadan, on the shores of Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, the most well-known community is Gobind Sadan in Delhi, India.
Though Babaji never received any formal education, scholars have sought his guidance and knowledge on many topics. Government officials, religious leaders, scientists, businesspeople, and the hardworking poor also seek Babaji's guidance and blessings. Though he makes no claims of being a Guru, Baba Virsa Singh Ji models all of his practical teachings after those of the Sikh Gurus, as well as those of prophets of all religions. He stresses that religious divisions are the creations of humans and not of God or God's prophets. To emphasize appreciation of all prophets, he celebrates their birthdays on a large and joyful scale at Gobind Sadan.
Baba Virsa Singh in Russia
In May, 2004 Baba Virsa Singh Ji was invited by the International Association for Peace Through Culture to stay in Moscow, Russia. There he met with many influential scientists, political leaders, media personalities, and business people. The Academy of Russian Letters, originally established by Catherine the Great, presented Babji with their Pushkin Award for furthering cultural understanding. Such an honor has been bestowed on the likes of President Putin and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Yuriy Luzhkov, the Mayor of Moscow, extended a special invitation to Babaji to visit him at his residence. Babaji was also hosted in the Duma (Russian parliament) where he addressed a number of representatives. To all of these audiences, Baba ji confirmed that his childhood visions of Russia's future as the most spiritual country in the world are now beginning to come true, and that it will again become a great economic power on the basis of its mineral wealth.