His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj was born on February 23, 1954 in Delhi. It was a divine gift to the divine family of the then Nirankari Baba Avtar Singh Ji and Jagat Mata Budhwanti Ji. As grand parents, they showered all the worldly as well as spiritual blessings on the child Hardev. His parents Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji and Rajmata Kulwant Kaur Ji were equally affectionate. With the growth of child Hardev, grew his thoughtfulness and sobriety. He saw every object and observed every event with due curiosity but used to keep silent. Respect, regards for elders and trait of humility could be noticed in him from the very childhood. Interest in congregations and listening to discourses also became conspicuous in him. The kind and pure hearted child Hardev was never found spend-thrift and emotional. He was mostly seen tight-lipped, rarely using his soft tongue. He also started taking keen interest in photography. Hardev Singh Ji received his elementary education at home. With his sharp intellect, he learnt alphabets of Hindi, English and counting very quickly. Thereafter, he was sent to Rosary Public School, Nirankari Colony, Delhi, where by sweet nature and intelligence he cast spell on teachers and fellow students. They say that boy Hardev was often found in the class sitting thoughtfully with eyes half-shut. But he was always discovered to be fully attentive and responsive to what the teacher taught. In 1963, Hardev Singh Ji was sent to the residential Yadvendra Public School, Patiala, an institution of national fame, from where he passed the high school examination in 1969. His co-operative and compassionate nature made him popular with the teachers and the fellow-students alike. His school education was equally supplemented and cemented with spiritual touch received through the letters of his affectionate mother, Rajmata Ji. During his stay in the school, Hardev Singh Ji also developed keen interest in mountaineering. With his class-fellows and even alone, he would cover difficult terrains to reach certain places. This hobby added the trait of patience and perseverance in his life. He was never found tired or worried. He was also very skill-full in vehicle driving and horse riding.
On completion of school education at Patiala, Hardev Singh Ji returned to Delhi and started further education under Delhi University and also took keen interest in the socio-spiritual activities of the Mission. He became very regular in Sangat and Seva. His humility earned him the name 'Bhola Ji'. In 1971, Hardev Singh Ji joined the Nirankari Seva Dal as its primary member and enjoyed himself serving in cotton Khaki uniform. He organised "Youth Forum" in 1975, which focused on promoting truthful and simple living, service with devotion and love, refraining from incurring undue expenses and practicing prohibition. During the Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam in Delhi in 1975 Hardev Singh Ji was married in a simple ceremony to Sawinder Ji, daughter of devoted saints Shri Gurumukh Singh Ji and Smt. Madan Ji of Farrukhabad (UP). Born on January 12, 1957, Mata Sawinder Ji is well educated and duty conscious.
Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj became the spiritual mentor of the Mission under tragic circumstances. On April 24, 1980 the orthodox fanatics had snatched from the Mission the Sat guru and a crusader for peace and tranquility from the world, Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji. Young Hardev had lost not only the Sat guru but his beloved father also. This was the moment when forbearance, patience and tolerance of every follower of the Mission were under severe stress and a grave test. The very future of the Mission had been challenged. Nirankaris who had been taught to surrender to the will of God were finding it difficult to accept the verdict of 'destiny' that sounded to them as a deliberate violation of 'divine law'.
At the same time, every Nirankari believed that the Sat guru is an ever-living entity which must manifest itself in some other physical frame or human body. They had, however, not to wait for long. Immediately after the funeral of the mortal remains of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji at the electric crematorium in Delhi on 27th April, 1980, Hardev was greeted and hailed as the Head of the Mission and everybody present witnessed the Sat guru manifesting in him. Hardev, who was known for his quiet nature, addressed the devotees as a perfect spiritual master. His Holiness declared, "Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji's martyrdom is the will of God. Perceptions differ from people to people. The ignorant say that it may lead to bloodshed but the devotees believe that being a supreme sacrifice, it shall usher in peace and harmony. Imbibing such lofty ideals, we should continue to spread the Mission with a greater zeal."
Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj ruled out even the remotest thought of vengeance saying that 'it would go contrary to what Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji lived and sacrificed his life for'. He exhorted devotees to carry on his message of compassion, goodwill, love and Truth and pray for the welfare of one and all. The result was quite instantaneous and healthy. Nirankaris remained non- violent even in the face of serious provocations from miss-guided fanatics and extremists.
The supreme sacrifice of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji and the first holy discourse by Baba Hardev Singh Ji had far greater and much deeper significance. The former showed that the Mission had paid the heaviest price for peace. Earlier, more than 60 leading missionaries’ forbearance was put to the hardest test when they were compelled to undergo the agony of judicial custody for about two years for the fault that was found to be not theirs at all. Now the Mission lost its spiritual mentor whose only fault was that he preached Truth and peace. Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji showed utmost respect to the saints, Gurus and prophets of the past. He held the Holy Scriptures in highest esteem. The only thing that he pointed out and stressed was that one must know the God he or she worships. Mere reading the religious books was not sufficient, he said. He wanted that their believers must follow the teachings in practical life, whosoever be the great master they believe and whatsoever the Holy Scripture they worship. His critics, however, did not try to verify the Truth he proclaimed, nor did they see how he sought to preach it. And he became a victim of their fanaticism, their ignorance.
Coming to the first holy discourse by Sat guru Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj and the message contained therein, one must appreciate that the words came from a youth of 26 years whose loving father had been assassinated brutally. Ordinarily, such a Young man must be burning with feeling of vengeance. In this case, he had all the resources at his disposal. He had only to give a hint that could cause riots and disturb peace for the entire country, may be many countries. But Baba Hardev Singh Ji chose to accept the price the Mission had been required or called upon to pay for peace. And with his call to Nirankaris to continue to spread the voice of truth while praying for goodwill of all, a disastrous mishap stood averted. No doubt the followers of the Mission continued to suffer both in terms of life and property here and there, the voice of Truth spread far and wide carrying with it the message of peace, love, humility and tolerance.