Sadhu Sundar Singh – Hindu Mystic in Sheep’s Clothing

Sadhu Sundar Singh -

Sadhu Sundar Singh and His So Called Christian Exploits with Emanuel Swedenborg

I have come across quite a few ‘Christian’ websites who think that Sadhu Sundar Singh was truly a man of God.  I’ve spent hours and hours reading about his life and his beliefs and I will say this;  if someone knocks on your door dressed in a yellow robe preaching Jesus Christ, don’t open the door!!

On the surface it would appear that Sundar Singh was truly a man of God, he was ostracised by his family for ‘converting’ to Christianity after he had a vision of Jesus Christ in his bedroom, he was Baptised, he took on the life of a Sadhu, barefoot, roaming from village to village preaching and he spent many a month in prison or thrown into a well for preaching the Gospel, until one day he just vanished into thin air (not in a mystic kinda way…no he left for a trip to Tibet and was not seen again).

However, under the surface we find a man who could not let go of his Hindu background, incorporating Hindu mystic teaching and ideas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I will now briefly analyse his life and his teachings:

“…he decided to become a sadhu, so that he could dedicate himself to the Lord Jesus. As a sadhu, he wore a yellow robe, lived on the charity of others, abandoned all possession and maintained celibacy. He was convinced that this was the best way to introduce the Gospel to his people since it was the only way which his people were accustomed to. In addition, he also wanted to be free to devote himself to the Lord.” [1]

A Sadhu is a Hindu who devotes his entire life to his religion and forsakes all the worldly pleasures.  When one becomes truly born again you will abandon ALL things that are not glorifying to God, you abandon the sin in your life.  The things you did before you were truly born again you repented of and you will not go back to them.  Sundar Singh didn’t do that, he kept the Hindu Holy Man name Sadhu and the Holy Man robes.  The only reason for this was because it was supposedly easier for him to approach people and spread the Gospel.

This does not make sense?  If he was truly Christian he would not have kept the Holy Man ‘Sadhu’ or continued to wear the robes.  This name and the robes represented the lifestyle of a Hindu Holy Man who followed after Hindu gods.  Why could he not dress like a normal Indian person.  You will see why, later…

I wrote this article on Sundar Singh because right now Todd Bentley from Freshfire Ministries, running the Lakeland Revival recently had a vision of Sundar Singh in Heaven telling him about meditation:  contemplative prayer and soaking, etc.

Todd Bentley never abandoned his worldly lifestyle either with all his metal style t-shirts, recent tattoos and piercings.  Dressing like the world to try attract the world is the excuse.

Sundar Singh’s vision of Christ:

“But with the death of his beloved mother when he was only fourteen years old, his life had changed dramatically. The young Sundar grew increasingly despairing and aggressive. Convinced that what Jesus had taught was completely wrong, he tore the Bible apart and burned it. He even threw stones at preachers and encouraged others to do likewise. His hatred of the local missionaries and Christians culminated in the public burning of a Bible which he tore apart page by page and threw into the flames.”

“Three days after he burned the Bible in front of his father, he woke up at three in the morning and went out into the moonlit courtyard for the ceremonial bath observed by devout Hindus and Sikhs before worship. He then returned to his room and knelt down, bowed his head to the ground and pleaded that God would reveal himself.  Yet nothing happened. He was thinking of throwing himself in front of the train that would pass at 5 a.m. every morning behind their house, in the hope that he would find peacefulness in his future reincarnation.”

“He repeated his prayer once again. He lifted his head and opened his eyes, and was rather surprised to see a faint cloud of light in the room…He then thought that it might be an answer to his prayer. While watching the light, he suddenly saw Jesus’ figure in the radiance. To his sheer amazement he saw not the face of any of his traditional gods, but of Jesus the Christ.”

“Jesus Christ was there in the room, shining, radiating an inexpressible joy and peace and love, looking at him with compassion and asking, “Why do you persecute me? I died for you …”[Acts 9:1-5] At that time, Sundar realised that Jesus was not dead but alive. Sundar fell on his knees before Him and experienced an astonishing peacefulness which he had never felt before. The vision disappeared, but peace and joy lingered within him.”

So what we have here is not Jesus Christ appearing to dear ol’ Sundar, but an ‘angel of light’ as an impostor of Jesus Christ.  This ‘angel of light’ said to Sundar ‘Why do you persecute me? I died for you …” and then ‘peace and joy’ lingered within him.  Sundar soon after that began a life of spreading the simple message of love and peace and rebirth through Jesus.   I still have yet to read anywhere where Sundar actually says he accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour by repentance of sin.  Why do I say that is was an ‘angel of light’ that appeared to Sundar and not Jesus Christ?  Because if it was Jesus Christ, Sundar would not have believed, preached or delved into the following:

  • He would frequently converse with the deceased for wisdom and guidance.
  • His communication with the ‘other side’ did not just stop at deceased ‘Christians’ but he conversed with dead unbelievers as well.
  • He believed that the dead could receive Christ after death:

“With regard to the doctrine of reincarnation and transmigration also, I have conversed with Swedenborg and some other Hindu saints who, after entering into the spiritual world, have accepted the Lord as the only true God and Saviour and also those who have not yet accepted Him. They all say that reincarnation is impossible . . .” [5]

  • Sundar seems to have ties with Swedenborgia – New Church (another Cult) in which Swedenborg (the visionary who established this diabolical church) also had visions very similar to Sundars.  Sorry, I should say that Sundar’s visions are very similar to Swedenborg’s. Whether Sundar had read Swedenborg’s books and then mimicked his visions we will never know.   Whatever it is, it’s fishy to say the least:

emanuel swedenborg - Sundar Singh

“. . .  I want to say that after my book on the “Visions of the Spiritual World” was published, some friend sent me a copy of “Heaven and Hell,” and I was glad to see that this wonderful man of God [Swedenborg] also had similar experiences. I should very much like to read about this seer and saint.” [6]

  • Sundar believed that all angles and demons were once men, yet contradicts himself elsewhere by making a distinction between angels and humans that they are not the same.
  • Sundar believed that those who have gone to heaven (the redeemed) can act as angels on earth.
  • Sundar conversed with Swedenborg in the spiritual realm:

“I saw him several times [in a spiritual realm] some years ago, but I did not know his earthly name. His name in the spiritual world is quite different just according to his high position or office and most beautiful character. He is exceedingly happy and always busy in helping others.”[7]

“Yes, I have talked with the venerable Swedenborg and some other saints and angels about the hells, although I am unable to explain adequately all that they told me . . .”[8]

  • Sundar went to Sweden and viewed Swedenborg’s tomb at a Cathedral:

Swedenborg Tomb / Sundar Singh -“Sundar Singh’s second tour to the West took place in 1922. During the month of April he visited Uppsala, Sweden, where he was the guest of Archbishop Nathan Soderblom (whose contacts with, and impression of, the Sadhu I have discussed at some length elsewhere.)[3] Among other things, Soderblom took him on a sightseeing tour, in the course of which he entered Uppsala Cathedral and saw the tomb of Swedenborg. Later Soderblom was to write that Sundar Singh had been impressed by three things in the Cathedral — the shrine of Sweden’s patron saint, St. Erik; a medieval cope bearing, an embroidered picture of the birth of Christ, and Swedenborg’s tomb, “For Swedenborg like him was a visionary.”[4]

Sundar Singh on Buddhism:

“Regarding the Buddha, he said that he respected him for the strength of his intellect and the purity of his life; but in the Sadhu’s opinion he was lacking in humility and for that reason did not attain knowledge of God. Had he truly longed for God, he would have gone to the Sannyasi whom he had first met. For it is only through humility that we can know God.” [1]

Really?  Is that so.  So he respects a demonic entity for its intellect and PURITY of life and then says because it lacked humility it would never attain knowledge of God.  Oh please…you gotta be a complete twit to fall for that one!

Sundar Singh on ‘How to enter Heaven’:

“Nobody will be allowed to enter into Heaven who has not a face like Jesus Christ. That is the only ticket, otherwise we shall find ourselves out of place there. Only those who follow Him will feel at home there.” [1]

No where is this in the bible.  Not a single scripture to back this up.

Sundar Singhs ‘Universalism’ Beliefs:

“However bad and evil-living a man may be, there is in man’s nature a divine spark … this spark of the divine is never extinguished … If this divine spark or element cannot be destroyed, then we can never be hopeless for any sinner… The Creator Himself will not destroy it (man’s soul)… even though many wander and go astray in the end, they will return to Him in Whose image they have been created; for this is their final destination.” [2]

But here’s the best quote of them all by Sundar Singh himself:

“In regard to Hinduism, Sadhu Sundar Singh, the mystic and Sikh follower of Christ in the early 1900s, had an interesting personal perspective. ‘Hinduism has been digging channels,’ he wrote. “Christ is the water to flow through these channels there are many beautiful things in Hinduism; but the fullest light is from Jesus Christ”


What Todd Bentley (Lakeland Revival) – Freshfire Ministries had to say:


todd bentley freshfire ministries - Sundar Singh“Is your life astonishing, filled with prophetic visions and encounters with the Lord? Are you a sign and a wonder? In a vision, Todd saw the Glory Cloud of Revelation–the cloud of Isaiah 11:1, 2 and Revelation 4:5 come upon the church body. Also in the same vision, the Lord showed him an old Punjabi saint by the name of Sundar Singh, who lived in India and evangelised throughout the world over a hundred years ago. The Holy Spirit spoke to Todd about a new release of prophetic revelation coming. In the first part of this prophetic teaching article, Todd teaches about the river of revelation available to every believer and the need for a life wholly dedicated, consecrated, and devoted to the Lord. Part 2 will examine the significance of Sundar Singh in Todd’s vision, as an example of the extraordinary relationship God wants us to have with Him, a life of devotion, humility, daily discipline, contemplative prayer, and daily soaking in, and seeking of God’s manifest presence. This style of Christian living will see us through the most violent shaking or trying times.”


“In this same vision, where I saw the Glory Cloud of Revelation cover believers, I also saw an old saint by the name of Sundar Singh who lived in the latter part of the 1800’s and early 1900’s in India. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about this new release of prophetic revelation coming upon the church, similar to the anointing that was upon this man. It stirred my curiosity, and so I studied the life of Sundar Singh, and discovered that this early Punjabi evangelist experienced profound prophetic visions and encounters.

The Lord Himself regularly visited Sundar Singh. During these visitations, he would ask questions of the Lord and receive direct answers. At the Master’s Feet is a record of these question and answer times with the Lord. Sundar spoke to the Lord as Moses did face-to-face with God, as a friend speaks to a friend. In his writings, Singh describes his visions and experiences, but we also learn that he was humble, faithful, repentant, and spent much time in the presence of the Lord. This has come to be known as the Christian Contemplative Tradition.”


“Sundar Singh spent at least two hours daily in reading the Scriptures, meditation and prayer. He would arise at 5:00 am and finish by 7:00 or 8:00 depending on what his schedule was for the day. He often spent the whole day or night in prayer. His discipline was to read one chapter of the Bible, rapidly at first reading, then to return to reread passages or verses that were more suggestive to him. These he would linger with and meditate on for as long as it was fruitful for him to do so. Next, he would enter into a period of ‘recollection’ for twenty minutes or so. This was a time of silence, in which he would allow the Lord to speak to him in some way. With his own mind and heart quieted, he opened his mind and his heart to hear what the Lord would have to say to him or just simply enjoy companionship with his Lord. Often this period of silence would extend into a deeper state called ‘contemplation’ in which he enjoyed complete rest and refreshment in the love of God.

Often during times of contemplation, he entered into experiences of ecstasy. He regarded these experiences as the same as St. Paul’s entrance into the ‘third heaven’. During his latter years, they occurred frequently, as often as ten times a month. About these experiences he said, ‘I never try to go into ecstasy; nor do I advise others to try. It is a gift to be accepted, but it should not be sought; if given, it is a pearl of great price.

Anyone who contemplates the heavenly calling of the apostle Paul and his being caught up into the third heaven, and again into Paradise, will lift up his voice to God and say: Glory to God who surely gives great gifts to men!”  —

So Todd had a vision of Sundar Singh sent by God did he?  I think absolutely not and I rest my case!  But then this story is kinda old news considering that 8 months after writing this article, Todd Bentley had to slip out the back door because of a then pending separation from his wife.  Todd was having an affair with another woman during the Revival.  Todd is now divorced and seeing the new lady in his life.  Shocking!!!  And people will still try tell you after all this that ‘God was definitely at Lakeland healing everyone’.   OK, but which god?  The one that invented adultery?


[ 2] Meditations on Various Aspects of the Spiritual Life in the chapter “Finally All Men Will Return to God”
[3] Cf. Sharpe, “Nathan Soderblom, Sadhu Sundar Singh and Emanuel Swedenborg,” cited in note 1 above.
[4] Soderblom, Sundar Singh’s budskap urgivet och belyst (Stockholm 1923), p. 129.
[6] Reproduced in letter from J. Goddard to the Editor of The New-Church Messenger (February 29, 1928), p. 140.
[7] Reprinted in The Helper (January 2, 1929), p. 5.
[8] 1bid.
[5] 1bid., p. 217.
Elijah List: , June 21 2006
Elijah List:, June 22 2006
Freshfire:, June 21 2006
Freshfire:, June 20 2006
Links In A Golden Chain: © Copyright 1996, by Kathryn Lindskoog
At the Master’s Feet, Sundar Singh: , 4 June 2006
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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

94 Responses

  1. Peter

    He was raised in the teachings of Sikhism under Hindu priests. Sikhism, Hinduism, PAGANISM, tomato, tomatoe.

  2. Nelson M says:

    [DELETED by DTW]

  3. Alina says:

    Noah was a drunk
    Abraham lied about his wife
    Jacob was deceitful
    Moses murdered an Egyptian
    Rahab was a prostitute
    Sampson was afflicted with deep lust and anger
    David was an adulterer
    Paul persecuted the church
    Peter denied christ

    The centurian in Matthew 8:5-10 was raised pagan, and likely practiced it.

    “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong”
    1 Corinthians 1:27

    Not really our place to judge Sadhu Singh or Todd Bentley (or their capacity to be a messenger) based on perceived iniquities.

  4. Your argument in defense of a necromancer (spiritual adultery – Deuteronomy 18:10-12) is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Muslims use the very same argument in defense of Mohammad the pedophile. Carl W. Ernst, a professor of religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an expert in Islam also said what you have said.

    “. . . picking faults with any religious tradition can quickly get ugly. What about Moses, who killed another man; David, who committed adultery; or the Apostle Paul, who accepted slavery as a natural part of the social order?”

    Do you have the assurance of salvation?

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