THE STORY OF SUNDAR SINGH

THE  STORY  OF  SUNDAR  SINGH

We tell the story of a young man from a proud Sikh family, belonging to the culture of India and its ancient religious traditions.

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Born in 1889 at Rampur in the Punjab of N. India, Sundar Singh was the third son of wealthy noble parents. As a young child, and then a teenager, he was very much influenced by his mother to seek the peace of oneness with the Supreme Spirit.

This he did. And by the age of seven he had already learned by heart much of the Bhavagad Gita. By 16 he had read the Granth, and the Quran of the Moslems, and about fifty of the Upanishads. In this manner, reading the scriptures and meditating on them, he was following the traditional Path of Knowledge (Jnana-Marga) for achieving salvation. He even spent some time under instruction by a holy man, and ‘stayed in seclusion’ (mtshams-la sdod) in concentrated meditation.                        Lastly, he read the Bible – it was at the Christian school in his village – but he found its message repulsive and opposed to the traditions of his Sikh fathers. So, one day he burnt a bible in the presence of his father.

But he did not find the peace that he sought. And the thought of committing suicide on the railway line came to him.

So, three days after burning the bible, waking at 3am, he took a cold bath and prayed,

 

‘O God, if there is a God, please show me the right way or I will kill myself.’

 

The train would pass at 5am, and he was thinking that if, he got no answer, maybe he would get it in the next life.

He went on praying until 4.30, hoping for peace. Then he saw a great light. He looked around; was the room on fire? No! Had God answered? He prayed while looking into the light. It was then he saw the glorious and loving form of the Lord Jesus.

How could he prostrate himself before the One whom he had insulted? But a voice spoke in the Hindi language,

 

‘How long will you persecute me? I have come to save you; you were praying to know the right way. Why do you not take it?’

 

And the thought came to him,

 

‘Jesus Christ is not dead but living and it must be He Himself.’

 

Then falling at His feet, a wonderful Peace came, such as he had been unable to find anywhere else.

It was a Peace and Joy that remained with him all his life.

He went at once to tell his father,

 

‘I have become a Christian. I have discovered that Jesus Christ is alive and have determined to be His follower. Today I am his disciple and I am going to serve Him.’

 

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And that is what he did.

Family and relatives urged him to turn back. They told him of the shame and dishonour that would come to him; and of the wealth that he would lose. But he would not turn back.

Then persecution followed. They spoke against him.

Finally, he was given some poisoned food and thrown out. Although cast out without warm clothing, and having no belongings, except his bible in his hand, he had the peace of his Saviour in his heart. That first night felt like the joy of heaven.

He went on to be baptized in 1905. And then, wearing the yellow robe of a sadhu (holy man), and carrying no money, just his blanket and a bible, he preached Jesus Christ wherever he went – in the Punjab, Kashmir, Baluchistan, Afghanistan. From 1908 he spent the summer months for about 15 years in going up into Tibet, making the plateau his main field of work. He suffered in the cold, and was beaten, even tortured, for preaching Jesus. Then in 1929 he set off for the last time, but did not return.

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John’s Gospel was Sundar’s favourite book in the Bible.  In it we read that Jesus promised to give His Peace to his followers:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

ངས་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ཞི་བདེ་གནས་པར་བྱེད། ངའི་ཞི་བདེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོར་སྦྱིན། ངས་ཞི་བདེ་སྦྱིན་ཚུལ་ནི་འཇིག་རྟེན་གྱིས་ཞི་བདེ་སྟེར་ཚུལ་དང་མི་འདྲ་བས། ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་སེམས་མ་འཁྲུགས་ཤིང་མ་འཇིགས་ཤིག

 

Jesus also promised full understanding of the truth of his words to any person who would be willing to obey:

“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (John 7:17).

སུ་ཡང་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་ཐུགས་དགོངས་བཞིན་དུ་སྒྲུབ་པར་ཆོད་སེམས་བཙུགས་ན། བསྟན་པ་འདི་ནི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ནས་བྱུང་ངམ། ཡང་ན་ངས་རང་ཐོག་ནས་བཤད་པ་ཡིན་ཤེས་པར་འགྱུར།

 

Details of Sundar’s life may be found in many books. The above information is taken from B.H.Streeter and A.J.Appasamy, The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, 1921 Macmillan.

THE STORY OF THOMAS

THE  STORY  OF  THOMAS

Thomas was one of the twelve apostles who accompanied Jesus in his ministry while walking around Galilee and Judea. In this story we join the party as they walk south in their final visit to Jerusalem. Three times Jesus had told them that he would die, saying that he must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

Mark Ch 8 v.31

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཉེ་གནས་ཚོར་མིའི་རིགས་ཀྱི་བུ་ནི་ངེས་པར་དུ་སྡུག་བསྔལ་མང་པོ་མྱོང་ཞིང༌། ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པའི་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་རྒན་པོ་དང་བླ་ཆེན་རྣམས། ཆོས་ཁྲིམས་ལ་མཁས་པའི་མིས་ཁོ་རང་དོར་ནས་གསོད་པར་འགྱུར་ལ། ཡང་ཉིན་གསུམ་གྱི་རྗེས་འཆི་བ་ནས་སླར་གསོན་པར་ལང་ངོ་ཞེས་གསུངས།

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

They didn’t understand. They believed he was Messiah; surely he would become Israel’s victorious and undying King, not be rejected by the Jewish sangha and then be killed. They walked on, then up the long rough uphill road to Jerusalem. Great crowds followed, and others came out from the city to greet him. A donkey was brought and he rode it just as the prophet Zechariah said the Messiah King would do. (What a joyous time! You can read about in Mark’s Gospel Ch 10:1-11)

In the next few days too he was popular with the listening crowds. But on his last night, when eating the supper of the Passover Festival with the twelve, he said, “I am with you a little longer, and then I am going where you cannot follow now.”

 

John 13:33

ཕྲུ་གུ་རྣམས། ང་ད་དུང་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་དང་མཉམ་དུ་དུས་ཐུང་ངུ་ཞིག་ཡོད། ཁྱོད་ཚོས་ང་བཙལ་ཡང༌། སྔར་ངས་ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པ་རྣམས་ལ་བཤད་པ་བཞིན་དུ་ད་ཁྱོད་ཚོར་ཡང་ཟེར་རྒྱུར། ང་གང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་གནས་སུ་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་ཡོང་མི་སྲིད།

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

 

They wondered what he meant, and Peter asked, ‘Why can’t we?’ Jesus explained, ‘I am going to my Father’s house, and I will then come back and take you there. You know the way.’

 

John 14:2-4

ངའི་ཡབ་ཀྱི་ཕོ་བྲང་ལ་གནས་ཁང་མང་པོ་ཡོད། དེ་ལྟར་མ་ཡིན་ན་ངས་ཁྱེད་རྣམས་ལ་སྔ་མ་ནས་བཤད་ཡོད། ང་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱེད་དུ་འགྲོ། ང་སོང་ནས་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་ན། ང་ཕྱིར་ལོག་སྟེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ངའི་རྩར་འདྲེན་པར་བྱ། དེ་ནས་ང་རང་གང་དུ་ཡོད་པ་དེར་ཁྱེད་ཚོའང་ཡོད་པར་འགྱུར།  ང་རང་འགྲོ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པའི་ལམ་དེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོས་ཤེས་” ཞེས་གསུངས་པ་དང༌།

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

But to Thomas a ‘way’ meant a stony, dusty path that led to a town or a house. He said, ‘We don’t know where, and so we don’t know the way.’

 

John 14:5

ཐོ་མཱས་ཁོང་ལ་ “གཙོ་བོ་ལགས། ཁྱེད་རང་གང་དུ་ཕེབས་པ་ང་ཚོས་མི་ཤེས་ཏེ་ལམ་དེ་ཇི་ལྟར་ཤེས་” ཞེས་ཞུས།

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way.”

 

John 14:6

ལན་དུ་ཡེ་ཤུས་ “ང་ནི་ལམ་དང༌། བདེན་པ་ཉིད། དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པའི་ཚེའང་ཡིན། ང་མ་བརྒྱུད་པར་སུ་ཡང་ཡབ་ཀྱི་དྲུང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་ལམ་མེད་དོ།

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

And after an evening of talking the apostles finally understood that he had come from God; he was the ‘Way’ to Father God. (A full account of Jesus’s talk with them can be read in John’s Gospel Chapters 13 to 16)

What a change next evening when they saw Jesus’s bloodstained and broken corpse being taken down from the cross! They no longer understood; their hopes were destroyed.

They hid in despair and fear, until on the third morning news was brought to the apostles that Jesus had risen; but Thomas was absent. For Thomas, a corpse was a very dead person – just as, a ‘way’ was a road. So, when they told him Jesus was alive, he said, ‘I’ll never believe; that is, unless I can see and feel those nail-pierced hands.’

 

John 20:24,25

འོན་ཀྱང་ཉེ་གནས་བཅུ་གཉིས་པོའི་ནང་ནས་མཚེ་མ་ཟེར་བའི་ཐོ་མཱ་ནི་ཡེ་ཤུ་ཕེབས་པའི་ཚེ་ཁོ་རྣམས་དང་མཉམ་དུ་མེད་པས། ཉེ་གནས་གཞན་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཁོ་ལ་ “ང་ཚོས་གཙོ་བོ་མཐོང་ངོ་” ཞེས་ཟེར། འོན་ཀྱང་ཁོས་དེ་ཚོར་ “གལ་ཏེ་ངས་ཁོང་གི་ཕྱག་ལ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་མཐོང་བ་དང༌། ངའི་མཛུག་གུ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་ལ་འཇུག་པ། ལག་པ་ཡང་ཁོང་གི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་མདུང་ཤུལ་ནང་དུ་བཅུག་ན་མ་གཏོགས། ངས་རྩ་བ་ནས་ཡིད་ཆེས་མི་བྱེད་” ཅེས་བཤད།

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[d] was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

 

But Jesus was kind to Thomas, and came again on another day, and said to him, ‘Thomas, look here, and feel with your fingers my nail-pierced hands, and feel here the wound in my body. Believe me.’

 

John 20:27

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཐོ་མཱ་ལ་ “ད་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་མཛུག་གུ་འདི་རུ་ཞོག་ཅིག ངའི་ལག་པ་ལ་ལྟོས། ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ལག་པ་བརྐྱངས་སྟེ་ངའི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་ནང་དུ་ཆུག་ཅིག དད་མེད་ཀྱི་སེམས་སྤོངས་ལ་དད་པ་བྱོས་ཤིག་” ཅེས་གསུངས།

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

 

And Thomas believed, and worshipped.

 

John 20:28

ལན་དུ་ཐོ་མཱས་ “ངའི་གཙོ་བོ་དང་ངའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལགས་” ཞེས་བཤད།

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

 

What gracious pity Jesus showed to Thomas!

 

John 20:29

ཡེ་ཤུས་ཁོང་ལ་ “ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ང་མཐོང་བས་དད་པ་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན་ནམ། ང་མི་མཐོང་ཡང་དད་པ་རྣམས་བདེའོ་” ཞེས་གསུངས།

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

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Thomas would never forget that evening spent with Jesus in a locked room. He went on to spend his life walking in the way of faith and obedience to Jesus.

He went to South India where he preached the Good News.

Then one day priests of the Indian Sangha killed him with spears, as the Jewish Sangha had killed Jesus his Lord.

Churches founded in South India are still there today. They give honour to Thomas.

As for believers for whom Jesus is the Way of Salvation, they were not called Christians at first, but ‘People of the Way’.

 

ཡོ་ཧ་ནན། 14:27

ཡོ་ཧ་ནན། 14:27

ངས་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ཞི་བདེ་གནས་པར་བྱེད། ངའི་ཞི་བདེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོར་སྦྱིན། ངས་ཞི་བདེ་སྦྱིན་ཚུལ་ནི་འཇིག་རྟེན་གྱིས་ཞི་བདེ་སྟེར་ཚུལ་དང་མི་འདྲ་བས། ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་སེམས་མ་འཁྲུགས་ཤིང་མ་འཇིགས་ཤིག

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

यूहन्ना 14:27

“म तिमीहरूलाई मेरो शान्ति छोड्दछु, यो मेरो आफ्नै शान्ति तिमीहरूलाई दिंदछु। म तिमीहरूलाई शान्ति दिन्छु, यो त्यो शान्ति होइन जुन संसारले दिन्छ। यसकारण तिमीहरूको हृदय विचलित नहोस् अनि कुनै विषयमा पनि नडराऊ।

約 翰 福 音 14:27

我 留 下 平 安 給 你 們 ; 我 將 我 的 平 安 賜 給 你 們 。 我 所 賜 的 , 不 像 世 人 所 賜 的 。 你 們 心 裡 不 要 憂 愁 , 也 不 要 膽 怯 。