RĀM TĪRATH, SVĀMĪ (1897-1977), also known as Daṇḍī Sannyāsī (different from Rāma Tīrtha, Svāmī), was a recluse who after a prolonged spiritual quest turned to the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Born on 31 August 1897 to Paṇḍit Bālak Rām and Hari Devī, a Gauṛ Brāhmaṇ family of the village of Tauhṛā, in the then princely state of Nābhā, he received the name of Rām Pratāp but was rechristened Svāmī Rām Tīrath by Svāmī Nārāyaṇ Tīrath, an ex-Principal of Queens College at Calcutta, who initiated him into sannyās in 1937. For his early education, Rām Tirath was apprenticed to a Paṇḍit in Nābhā from where he moved to Paṭiālā to study Sanskrit grammar with Paṇḍit Rām Basant Siṅgh, his cousin and a famous Nirmalā scholar, who later took him to the Nirmalā akhāṛā at Nankāṇā Sāhib, the birthplace of Gurū Nānak, and taught him the Sikh texts. When he came of age, he joined the Paṭiālā state army (Risālā No. 2) and served for three years. He then quit the army and travelled extensively, consorting with saints and sādhūs. It was during this odyssey that he met Svāmī Nārāyaṇ Tīrath at Haridvār. During the following four years he travelled through Haryāṇā, Uttar Pradesh and Rājasthān, and it was during this tour that he met a Daṇḍī Sannyāsī at Viśveśvar Āśram, in 'Alīgaṛh, who taught him Upanisads and Vedānt Śastras. In 1941, he moved into Sonīā Temple, at Ludhiāṇā. Now began the most productive period of his life during which he wrote eighteen books and tracts in Sanskrit Hindi and Punjabi. In Punjabi were his Sarvotam Granth Ādi Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib and Sarvotam Dharma Khālsā Panth — the former on Sikh Scripture declaring it to be the supreme religious text and the latter on the Sikhs, followers of this Scripture whom he describes as the very salt of the earth.
Swāmī Rām 'Tīrath died at Haridvār on 12 May 1977.
Balbīr Siṅgh Nandā