The Sadhu: A Study in Mysticism and Practical Religion by B.H. Streeter; A.J. Appasamy Prefatory Introduction by Rev. James Massey
The book deals with the illustrious life of one of the greatest Christian savants of India, known as Sadhu Sunder Singh. He lived ‘the Indigenous Christianity as its true follower’ and was proud of his Indian origin and heritage. The author of the book, an Englishman, compares him with St. Paul and St. Augustine who were both proud of their being Jewish and Roman respectively.
He was born in 1889 in a village named Rampur, situated at a distance of 10 miles from Ludhiana in Punjab. Son of a rich Sikh farmer, Sardar Sher Singh, Sadhu Sunder Singh started his life as a devout Christian in1 905 and followed his faith till 1929 when he was last seen before undertaking his missionary journey to Tibet.
Like any Indian Sadhu who has renounced the world, he never carried any money or other provision for the next day. He has complete faith in God and help the belief “God is the same God in the East and in the West”.
He had a magnetic personality and resembled Christ in his looks. The author recounts how during his journeys in the West, when he visited a house in a town, maid servant who opened the door of the house, rushed to tell her mistress in these words : “There’s someone want to see you, Ma’am. I can’t make anything of his name. But he looks as if might be Jesus Christ.”
The book has a very informative introduction written to the present Edition by Rev. James Massey, Secretary of the
Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK). According to him it is ‘one of the Classics and will be read by many generations yet to come’. He had a liberal religious outlook and though a Christian, he had read and knew Bhagwat-Gita by heart. In the present day context of religious and political distrust and turmoil prevailing in our country, it is only the life and message of saints like Sadhu Sunder Singh which can uphold and sustain our ancient traditions of tolerance and compassion.
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