Monday, June 29, 2009

Remembering Giani Baba Gurbachan Singh Jee

28th June marks the Barsee (death anniversary) of Gurmukh Pyaare, Giani Baba Gurbachan Singh jee (Bhindran wale), who passed away in 1969. Giani Gurbachan Singh jee was a great Sikh who dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to Gurmat Parchaar through reciting and explaining the Guru's Word to Sangats far and wide, educating countless students to read and understand Gurbani, writing literature, and inspiring countless people to seek the blessings of Amrit & Naam and live in accordance to Gurmat. Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru Ke Pyaare.

Taken from and

Baba jee was born on 12th February 1902 into devout Sikh family. With the influence of his parents and Guru jee's kirpaa, in childhood he learnt the correct pronunciation for reciting Gurbani and memorised the Nitnem banian (daily prayers). With the guidance of his Mama jee (paternal uncle) he was able to participate in reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee in Akhand Paatths at the age of 7. By the age of 13, he learnt the Sanskrit language and read the Faridkoth Teeka (explanation) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, which was one of the first written commentaries on Gurbani.

Meeting Baba Sundar Singh jee
In 1920, Baba jee met Baba Sundar Singh jee, a great saint, who was on preaching tour in the area. Baba jee's mind was greatly influenced by the kathaa and keertan of Baba Sundar Singh jee, which led him to take Amrit from the Guru-roop Panj Pyaare and receive the blessings of Naam. Soon after, he went to Bindra Kalaa(n) Gurdwara to stay with Baba Sundar Singh jee and his Jatha (group) to attain religious and spiritual education. Baba jee would everyday rise at 1am, after doing ishnaan he would do Naam Abhiyaas followed by their daily sevaa of cleaning the Gurdwara Sahib, performing Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee’s parkaash, reciting Sri Japjee Sahib and Sri Sukhmani Sahib and starting the keertan. He listened to four complete Kathaas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee from Baba Sundar Singh jee and was trained in reading and understanding other religious and historical Granths.

Becoming Jathedaar
Baba jee accompanied Baba Sundar Singh jee to the village Boparai where Baba Sundar Singh jee did the full Kathaa of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, from beginning to end. On the last day of the Kathaa programme, Baba Sundar Singh jee honoured Baba Gurbachan Singh jee with a Siropaa (robe of honour) and announced that he would become the next Jathedaar of Damdami Taksaal. Baba Sundar Singh jee told the Sangat that many Gurmukhs have obtained education of Gurbani however Baba Gurbachan Singh jee (known also as "Khalsa jee") is the only student who met all the teachings of preceding saints.

Parchaar Sevaa
Baba jee was engaged in countless Parchaar sevaa. On many occasions they would walk many miles along with the Jatha Singhs. The Jatha (group) toured Panjab, Kashmir, Peshawar, Banaaras, Patna Sahib, Jagannath Puri, Rameshwaran, Sri Hazoor Sahib, Calcutta, and Bombay. In each village or city they would the Jathaa would go to, they would do Kathaa of Gurbani, teach people how to pronounce Gurbani, do sevaa of the Gurdwara Sahib, and inspire the locals to seek the blessings of Amrit and abide by Khalsa rehat (discipline). As a result of this parchaar countless people became able to read Gurbani and do sevaa of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee.

Becoming Imbued in Gurbani
In 1927, Baba Gurbachan Singh jee along with other Singhs were doing Akhand Paatth sevaa (which was always free of cost) in a village in Doaba (Jalandhar area). During the Akhand Paatth, Baba jee completed his duty of reading Paatth at 4am and went to a nearby room to recite his Nitnem. Whilst reciting Nitnem, Baba jee fell asleep. From a nearby room, Giani Kirpaal Singh and the other Singhs heard a voice reciting Gurbani out loud. Out of curiosity the Singhs went to see who it was and found Baba jee reciting Gurbani in his sleep. The Singhs sat around him and listened to him do Paatth for half an hour in which time they noticed that he had started reading Gurbani from the Akhand Paatth at the exact place where had finished his Paatth duty (which was "Sorath Raag") whilst asleep. The sevadaars that were sitting there listening to him noticed that he had not made a single error in his recitation and were all left amazed.

Affects of Naam
Once Baba Jee went to a hospital in Ludhiana to see a doctor due to their ill-health. Seeing that the patient looked like a saint, the Sikh doctor asked Baba jee to tell him about himself and who he was. In following Guru Sahib's teachings, in humility Baba jee changed the topic and said, "I don’t know anything much. I am not really anyone. Can you tell me about yourself?" In ego the doctor said that he had done sangat with many saints and shared his spiritual achievements to which Baba jee replied that he was very blessed. Later, the doctor was carrying out the medical examination using a stethoscope. To his astonishment, every time he pressed it against Baba jee’s body, all he could detect was the constant sound vibration of "Vaheguru". He did this against all of Baba jee’s body, but all he could hear were the vibrations of Naam. Seeing this great kallaa (power) of Naam, the doctor fell at the feet of Baba jee in shame. Baba jee showed the sceptics that through Naam-Abhiyaas (practice of the Divine-Name), Naam becomes part of the body and each hair of the body vibrates Naam as instructed in Gurbani.

Last moments
The Sangat of the village Mehta invited Baba jee and his jatha to come and do Parchaar. During this visit, on 28th June 1969 at 2.10am, whilst repeating "Vaheguru" Baba Gurbachan Singh jee breathed his last breaths. Baba jee's body was taken to Amritsar and bathed in the Amrit Sarovar (pool) and then cremated at Kiratpur Sahib in accordance to Baba jee's wishes.

Dhan Guru, Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee

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