From 18 to 20 February, 2017, sangat from near and far came to Gobind Sadan to enjoy a very peaceful and pleasant celebration of Maharaj ji’s birthday. Five Akhand Paaths started on Saturday morning, and then in the afternoon, sangat sat in havan reading Jaap Sahib aloud for several hours. Maharaj Ji had often said that birthdays should be celebrated with Nam and Jaap Sahib recitation. A number of Russian sevadars helped to recite Jaap Sahib, as they have learned its pronunciation and recite it with devotion.
The main programme in the diwan hall was held on Sunday, 19 February. One of the speakers was Tanmai Jain, who is nearly blind but who has overcome all obstacles by hard work and faith. He and his wife run a playschool in Mandi village, and he also serves in the National Association for the Blind, trying to create awareness of and sensitivity toward the blind community. He recounted that he had come to Gobind Sadan three years ago, learning that it is a place of all religions. He said, “I felt that if all India would be like Gobind Sadan there would be no conflicts. Coming here, all problems go away. We also bring our small schoolchildren here to see that all religions are one.”
Dr. Vijaya Ramaswamy, Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for Historical Studies in the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and author of many books, said, “I was a Marxist. I was never interested in meeting any Baba. But I was so impressed by what Babaji had created with his own hands, and he speaks from the heart. When I got his darshan, he asked me, ‘What do you want?’ I replied, ‘Your blessings.’ Up till now, his hand of blessing is upon me. His spirit is still here.”
Dr. Syed M. Hussain from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital recounted that he had been very close to Maharaj Ji since 2006. About Gobind Sadan, he declared, “This is a place of the message of brotherhood and love. This is the message for our country!”
Mary Pat Fisher, American author of college textbooks including the best-selling Living Religions, spoke about the variety of people who live together in Gobind Sadan according to Maharaj Ji’s teaching that “When we understand the messages of the prophets, we will love each other as the family of one Father.”
Hardip Singh, who prays every hour at the central havan, explained Maharaj’s hukam for him to do ardas and cut 7 bananas hourly for the sake of the world. He said, “As Maharaj said, miracles will always happen where Nam, Jaap Sahib, and havan go on 24 hours a day.”
Dr. Rai Singh IAS (Retd.), President of Baba Virsa Singh Ji Maharaj Memorial Trust, said, “Again and again we wonder, ‘How was this work accomplished?’ People ask, ‘What is the formula?’ If we follow Maharaj Ji and stay on his path, we will be free of troubles. They will soon be cleared. There is so much power in Jaap Sahib. May all of us spread Maharaj Ji’s mission.”
Sri Akhand Paath Bhog was held on Monday, followed by a special havan for Maharaj Ji at Angeetha Sahib. The final programme was offered by children of Gobind Sadan. Young students of Baba Virsa Singh Ji Maharaj Public School recited brief quotations from Maharaj Ji in English and Hindi, and the students also offered songs and dances in Maharaj’s honour. Another group of children who attend interfaith education classes at Gobind Sadan every Sunday offered dance performances and also spoke very candidly about how their lives have changed from what they have learned in the class about Maharaj ji’s practical teachings. One of these speakers was Ishmeet Kaur, daughter of Dimple Bains, one of the class teachers. Ishmeet explained that the idea for the classes had been given by Maharaj:
To start with children so that their future be bright and they become good human beings. We came to know about the nature of our Master and his expectations from us. We learnt from him that when we steal, lie, snatch, do jealousy or do any bad karma then our Master will never like us and he will never bless us, despite reciting spiritual books. If our actions are not good then nothing is good because we are judged by our actions not by our words. From Sunday classes, we came to know that it is not difficult to understand God. Whatever he says, we should obey the same and perhaps we become the one he wants to make us.