Sant Nirankari Mission : SHAHANSHAH BABA AVTAR SINGH
Baba Avtar Singh Ji was born in a small village named Latifal in Jhelum District (Pakistan) on December 31st, 1899, in the family of Shri Mukha Singh Ji and Smt. Narayani Devi Ji. At the age of only 6 years Baba ji loosed the care of father and Mata Narayani Devi requested Shri Nandlal ji to take care of education of child Avtar. Extra ordinary intelligent 12 year old Avtar came to Rawalpindi where he worked as domestic servant and also as a porter at railway station. this was the beginning of determined life with firm faith in goodness. In the 1919 he was part of the procession in relation of freedom. He got married with Budhwanti ji.
Baba Avtar Singh ji recited Gurbani regularly. Impressed by his interest, Dhanna Singh who used to supply milk at the bakery persuaded him to meet Baba Buta Singh Ji. And the holy meeting took place on the 25th of May, 1929. Baba Buta Singh Ji found him so keen to know the Truth that he revealed God-Knowledge to him instantaneously. Baba Avtar Singh Ji felt fully convinced of the Reality. Baba Buta Singh Ji and Baba Avtar Singh Ji started working together and the movement gathered momentum. The two were together for about 14 years. On many occasions, Baba Avtar Singh Ji's honesty, sincerity, devotion and dedication towards his True Master and the Almighty was put to test. Every time, he proved up to the mark and won praise from the True Master.
Baba Avtar Singh Ji succeeded Baba Buta Singh Ji and preached the divine message during the period 1943-62. Following the Partition of India in 1947, Baba Avtar Singh Ji had to shift from Rawalpindi to Delhi. In 1948 Baba Avtar Singh Ji founded Sant Nirankari Mandal and got it registered with Headquarters at Delhi. Establishing branches in various cities with Pramukhs-incharge also came in the priority agenda of the Master for streamlining the spread of the Mission. For this very purpose, Sant Nirankari Sewa Dal also came into being. Publication wing was set up for books and periodicals. Books containing philosophy of the Mission were attempted by scholar missionaries with deep inspiration from the Master. Avtar Bani has been a unique contribution by the Master himself.
One of the unique things related to Baba Avtar Singh ji is that during his life time itself he took a decision to revert from the Sat guru to an ordinary devotee. While addressing a congregation in Delhi on December 3rd, 1962, he took the gathering by surprise as he said that hereafter they should address Gurbachan Singh Ji as Baba Ji. He asked them to no longer address him as 'Seth Ji' or 'Bhapa Ji' but show him the same respect as they had been showing to himself. With this the Sat guru stood manifested in Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji. The next Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam which opened on November 5th, 1963 was, of course, the first occasion when the devotees from all over the country saw Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji as the Spiritual Head of the Mission.
Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji decided not to have any commemorative function or congregation on the 17th of September in 1969, the day when Baba Avtar Singh Ji breathed his last.
Instead he exhorted the devotees to pay homage to Baba Avtar Singh Ji on the 15th of August when they were already paying tributes to Jagat Mata Budhwanti Ji. The 15th of August was subsequently named as 'Mukti Parv' i.e. Spiritual Liberation Day. While the nation celebrates the Independence Day and express its gratitude to those who laid down their lives for freedom, the Nirankaris add another dimension, stressing the need for spiritual liberation of man, the liberation of Soul, and remembering those who dedicated their lives for this noble cause.