Preface

by Kent Bicknell




The story of the love of the Master cannot be told.
- Sant Ajaib Singh, "Takle Man Oe Kirpal "

The following account is personal narrative of the early years of the mission of Sant Ajaib Singh, covering 1976 through 1979. Through what Sant Ji described as "luck," I was given the opportunity to travel with Him on tours to South America, and to stay in His house when He resided at Sant Bani Ashram in New Hampshire. From the beginning, Sant Ji encouraged me to learn Hindi - and while I never became fluent in the spoken word, I was able to write directly to Him and to read His letters to me. When Sant Ji's mission was in its earliest phases -- before we even thought of it as a "mission" -- I was given much access to Him.

Over the years I have shared some of these experiences, but much I held for myself. I was very happy to have the opportunities to serve Sant Ji, and I did not wish to be in the position of having divulged something that He would have preferred I had not. Selfishly, I liked being able to travel and live with Sant Ji, and did not wish to be replaced for being indiscreet.

The narrative is not a history per se, as it focuses on my growth and development. That, of itself, is of limited interest. The way that Sant Ji, the Master Teacher, taught me the lessons I needed is what readers may find instructive and inspiring. Master Kirpal Singh and Sant Ajaib Singh have never stopped showering Their love and infinite care down upon me. In the routine of my day-to-day life, it can be very easy to lose sight of the magic of the universe - of the divine forces at work behind the scenes. A focus of the book is the extraordinary power and reach of the Masters - Who come into this world to awaken us by showering Love and Grace upon us. The book stands as a testament to that - not just in my life, but in the lives of my family, friends, and both the Sant Bani Ashram and the Sant Bani School.

There is an abundance of detail in the book - the source of which is decidedly not a prodigious memory. For the past few years I have been transcribing hours and hours of personal cassettes and several written journals kept at the time - all of which served as the foundation for this account. Any errors or omissions are my own - for which I ask the reader's forgiveness.

The title of the book, Rainbow On My Heart, was suggested by a specific incident in June of 1977, in Vermont, described in Chapter Four. I think also of the Sant Bani School, whose beginnings were sealed with a double rainbow. This summer, while I was in the midst of working on the book, a freak storm swept by our cottage on Newfound Lake. As fast as the tempest came, it was gone, leaving behind a double rainbow that hung almost within reach. I hold these to be more than physical manifestations of the natural world. They are visual unfoldings of the covenants of God.

The narrative describes meeting Sant Ji in 1976, visiting the Ashram in India, and the First World Tour of 1977 (Chapters One through Six). Chapters Seven and Eight speak of my own misguided attempts to become truly spiritual, and Sant Ji's loving guidance directing me back to my old self. Chapter Nine centers on two areas: the unfolding of the English translation of the Anurag Sagar [The Ocean of Love] the great spiritual text of Sant Kabir Sahib; and the wonder of it all as shared with a nine year old boy, my son Chris. Chapter Ten is a short epilogue.

If this work provides any inspiration, credit must go to the extraordinary presences of Master Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, and Sant Ajaib Singh Ji. My gratitude to both of Them is unending. Thanks also to my family, Karen, Christopher, and Nicholas - who lived it with me and were supportive throughout. Raaj Kumar Bagga ("Pappu") has been an unerring friend from day one, and his service in translating all of the Satsangs, darshans, question and answer sessions, interviews, et al, is legendary. He may not wish our gratitude, but he has it in abundance. His suggestions, as well as those of Mr. A. S. Oberoi, were gratefully received and incorporated throughout the text (again, the errors are my own). Russell Perkins was also kind enough to read the book, offer commentary, and write an introduction. Russell, and his late wife Judith, lived through these times with me as well - as is most apparent in the narrative. Thank you. And to all of the other readers and listeners who have provided encouragement along the way - Robert and Wendy Schongalla, Jonathan Powell, Catharine Farkas, Lori Budington, Linda Turnage, Karen Gregg, Richard Hawley, Lane Zachary, Joe Gelbard, and Richard and Susan Shannon - as well as to every future reader - a hearty "thank you and Godspeed!"

KENT BICKNELL
November 6, 2001
Sant Bani Ashram
Sanbornton, NH