Warriors of Faith
(This brief sketch of Brahmgiani Baba Thakur Singh ji's life was written on 5th Barsi of Babaji, in Dec 2009 and distributed as a booklet in UK Sangat. No one can truly comprehend the Awastha or Power of a Brahmgiani, and we worldly kaljugi jeevs are not worth of writing or saying anything about Babaji's great Jeevan. We have decided to post this upon website so that Sangat around the world can have a short glimpse in Great life of Baba Thakur Singh ji Khalsa,True Son of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj, and lets all strive to walk on path of Sikhi ad Love of Guru.)
Glimpses of Baba Thakur Singh Jee (1915-2004)
This brief sketch of Baba Thakur Singh Jee’s life has been written on the 5th Barsi oftheir passing (2009). It aims to highlight in brief some of the greatness of Baba Jeeand has been written in a form in which, the reader can hopefully take practicallessons.Please forgive my mistakes in trying to write about Baba Jee’s Jeevan, please do send us your experiences with Baba Jee and feedback on this attempt, so we can try and make a more comprehensive biography in the future. The front cover picture is the last Gurfateh that Baba Jee uttered to UK Sangat at Heathrow Airport in 2004. A special thanks is made to www.kalexiko.com for the design and artwork for this publication. Thank you also to Sarbjeet Singh and Palvinder Kaur in proof-reading the drafts of this short biography and their insightful feedback.
Harjinder Singh (Walsall)
Baba Jee’s early life
The Sikh nation’s respected religious personality, Baba Thakur Singh Jee was born
in 1915, village Eechogill, Dist Lahore (Pakistan) to the respected Baba Bahadur
Singh and Mata Prem Kaur Jee.
Both his parents were Amritdharee, who recited many prayers daily and had
unshakeable faith in Guru Sahib. After the partition they came to India, where in
village Sadaruala, near Makhu, Dist Ferozepur, they started to live. From birth Baba
jee was forever meditating, merciful, peaceful hearted, imbued with spiritual energy
and had unshakeable faith in Guru Jee. From a young age, they would not waste
their time playing or talking. When a little older, Baba Jee began helping his mother
and father in running the household. Whilst conducting his chores he would forever
attune his concentration to the one intoxicating Naam Simran.
From childhood, Baba Jee would share his earnings, food and belongings with
others as he saw Gods light in all and always inspired others to become engrossed
in Seva and Simran. Baba Jee’s mind forever longed to be in the precence and seva
of a true Gursikh/Brahmgiani. They learnt through others that Brahmgiani Sant
Gurbachan Singh Jee Khalsa along with his Jatha were doing Sikhi Parchar and that
they are respected for having profound knowledge and have the grace of Satguru Sri
Guru Gobind Singh Jee.
Baba Jee left home and went to Bhindra in Dist Moga where Khalsa Jee resided
(Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee will be referred to as Khalsa Jee henceforth); whilst
there Baba Jee took Amrit from Panj Pyare. Khalsa Jee recognised Baba Jee’s
spiritual state and thus put him in charge of Langar, this seva was performed with
much love and commitment and after 2½ years of Seva, Khalsa Jee accepted Baba
Jee into the Jatha and taught him the knowledge of God. Until Khalsa Jee went to
Sachkand (abode of truth, after leaving their mortal frame), Baba Jee did Seva of
Garveye (close associate) for 22 years; Khalsa Jee being happy with this Seva
blessed Baba Jee with many gifts. They blessed him with a great spiritual state and
said, ’’A time will come, when you will perform the greatest Seva of all.”
After Khalsa Jee went to sachkand, Baba Jee carried on his Seva of Langer of the
Sangat/congregation with Sant Giani Kartar Singh Jee Khalsa and forever remained
imbued in Naam Simran. Sant Giani Kartar Singh Jee had much respect for Baba
Jee & would discuss decisions to be made, with Baba Jee. This time was a critical
period for Sikhs as there were many efforts being made to silence the Sikh
community, as a political and faith group. Sant Kartar Singh Jee Khalsa held 37
major processions which woke the sleeping Sikh masses to realise their identity, as
Daily Recitals & Living
In terms of Baba Jee’s spiritual prowess and daily living, Baba Jee never separated
himself from the recitation of Gurbani. The recitation of Gurbani was kept continuous
in the presence of Baba Jee and they used to talk with others very little, Sevadars
would recite Gurbani all day and night in accordance to Baba Jee’s wishes. Even at
night when Baba Jee used to sleep, which was never more than a couple of hours,
the recitation of Gurbani continued. During Baba Jee’s life their daily Nitnem
changed, but as a basic guide – they used to recite the whole of the Panj Granthi
and then spend the rest of the day doing JapJee Sahib, Sukhmani Sahib or Chaupai
Sahib Recitals. If they were not listening or reciting Gurbani, they would be either
listening to Kirtan from Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) on TV or listening to
Katha, these were the 3 basic ingredients of their daily lifestyle. Anyone who visited
or met Baba Jee would bear witness to this. Baba Jee was a reflection of the
What are they like - those who do not forget the Naam, the Name of the Lord?
Know that there is absolutely no difference; they are exactly like the Lord.
(Raag Aasa, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, 397)
Those who do not forget the Lord, with each breath and morsel of food, whose
minds are filled with the Mantra of the Lord's Name
- They alone are blessed; O Nanak, they are the perfect Saints.
(Raag Gauree, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, 319)
Baba jee was an epitome of humility, Sikhi is founded upon humility which is required
to efface ego, Maharaj says,
The humble beings abide in peace; subduing egotism, they are meek. The
very proud and arrogant persons, O Nanak, are consumed by their own pride.
(Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, Guari, Sukhmani Sahib, 278)
The God-conscious being is steeped in humility.
(Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee, Guari, Sukhmani Sahib, 273)
Gursikhs would make requests for Baba Jee to visit their houses, so they could bless
their home and the family could then serve Baba Jee and the Sangat, with Langar.
When visiting such homes, sometimes the families would go to great lengths and
make elaborate arrangements, of fancy throws, sofas and beds with an array of
cushions. On many occasions Baba Jee would ignore the arrangements and just go
and sit on the floor. Upon entering the house the Singhs with Baba Jee would take
over the seva of serving Langar and serve the family and other Sangat present at the
house, many times Baba Jee would themselves serve the Langar to the Sangat.
Baba Jee would also give respect to Gursikhs when they visited him. Baba Jee and
the Singhs who were their sevadars would request visiting Gursikhs to say,
“Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh” and not bow down to Baba
Jee, Baba Jee would reply “Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh” to
all that visited him. When uttering the Fateh Baba Jee would always bow their head
in reverence and clasp their hands. Baba Jee would then give visiting Gursikhs
offerings of fruit or whatever Parshad was present. When they were pleased and
wanted to bless Gursikhs they would sometimes give boxes of fruit directly to one
person at a time. Sometimes Baba Jee would force Gursikhs to sit alongside them
on their asan/ bed, so as to be seated on a par to them and not to be seated any
lower than them. Only Baba Jee knows what virtues he saw in these Gursikhs
whom he gave an elevated status to. Some of these Gursikhs would be famous but
many would seem to be your everyday Sikh to a person with normal sight, and not
the sight of spiritual grace that Baba Jee had.
Jee breathed their last.
Giani Mohan Singh Jee and a lot of the other Taksal Singhs thought that he himself should be the next Jathedar of Damdami Taksal. Thus Giani Mohan Singh Jee was declared the next leader of the Taksal by a break off faction; they retained control of
the headquarters of Damdami Taksal (at the time) at Bhindra Kalan. During Baba Jee’s tenure as the leader of Damdami Taksal, the Jatha was passing through the area near to Bhindra and the Singhs did a supplication to Baba Jee, that they wanted to visit the Gurdwara at Bhindran and see the Akaal Kothi (where students of the Taksal had been blessed with the darshan/presence and sight of the 10 Gurus). Baba Jee accepted their desire. The Singhs and Baba Jee proceeded to tour the Gurdwara and had sight of the room (Akaal Kothi) where Sant Sundar Singh Jee Bhindra Vale (11th Jathedar of the Taksal) had made all the students of
Damdami Taksal at the time have the blessed sight of all the Ten Guru Sahibs. Guru Sahib had blessed Sant Sundar Singh Jee with their presence in the form of all 10 Gurus and then Sant Sundar Singh Jee got all the Singhs to also have their blessed sight (Darshan) (see Khalsa Jeevan by Sant Kartar Singh Jee, for the full version of this occurrence). One of the old custodians of Bhindra, who knew Baba Jee from their earlier days, was very offensive to Baba Jee. He spoke very harsh words, but Baba Jee ignored his comments and acted in humility, saying nothing and they also told the Singhs not to react. Baba Jee chose rather to follow Bhagat Fareed Jee’s advice:
Fareed, do not turn around and strike those who strike you with their fists.
Kiss their feet, and return to your own home.
(Bhagat Fareed Jee Saloks, 1378)
Fareed, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger.
Your body shall not suffer from any disease, and you shall obtain everything.
(Bhagat Fareed Jee Saloks, 1381)
Baba Jee proceeded to the building where Giani Mohan Singh Jee resides, however
the outer gate was locked and Baba Jee had requested Giani Jee’s company to
have a chat, but Giani Jee chose not come out to talk. Baba Jee from the outer gate
made a humble supplication to Giani Mohan Singh Jee and said in a loud voice
“Giani Jee the world is burning in the fire of kaljug, please do parchaar of gursikhi
and be benevolent.” The Singhs then proceeded to leave Bhindra.
This was the greatness of Baba Jee, he did not go to Bhindra and try taking the
Gurdwara by force as he could have done, but instead Baba Jee went and said you
are a great Giani (man of knowledge) please do parchaar (preaching) and let’s move
on from the past. At the time of Baba Jee’s visit, the administration of Bhindra was in
a pitiful state as the Jatha Singhs had a dispute with the villagers and there was a
heightened situation of conflict. Giani Mohan Singh Jee was not doing parchaar and
was very reclusive at the time. Subsequently, now Giani Mohan Singh does Katha at
least once a month at Bhindra.
Baba Jee had an organisational/ strategic impact upon Gurmat Parchaar and Sikh
political life in a number of ways. First and foremost Baba Jee led Damdami Taksal
for a turbulent 20 years (during the 80s and early 90s, the Sikh freedom movement
led to many Sikhs taking to arms in militancy). After Operation Blue Star, Baba Jee
had to go underground, due to the extreme pressure the Damdami Taksal was under
and the murderous attitude of the government regime. For 12 months Baba Jee lived
with a number of Gursikh families, whom he personally trusted, Baba Jee would stay
with each family for 8-12 weeks and then change location. For 12 months (June
1984 – June 1985,) Baba Jee kept a low profile, after which he took up the
leadership of Damdami Taksal. Sant Jarnail Singh Jee Bhindra Vale had already
stated that the leadership of Damdami Taksal was that of Baba Thakur Singh Jee’s
in their absence and that no-one should question the actions of Baba Jee.
Please check Here the full recording.
Thus there was no opposition to Baba Jee taking up this role, within the Singhs of
Damdami Taksal as they already knew of Sant Jee’s guidance. Baba Jee was
already highly respected and regarded by the Singhs who were students of
Damdami Taksal. Baba Jee was the one who had appointed Sant Jarnail Singh Jee
as the 14th Jathedar of Damdami Taksal, before the demise of Sant Kartar Singh Jee
– He had stated that the leadership of the Taksal is that of Baba Thakur Singh’s and
they can give it to whoever they feel fit. Subsequently after Sant Kartar Singh Jee
left their mortal frame Baba Jee immediately appointed Sant Jarnail Singh Jee the
next leader of Damdami Taksal. Sant Jee would rise when Baba Jee entered the
room that they were residing in, and would also say to the Singhs that if you want to
see God, then do Darshan of Baba Thakur Singh Jee, this was the respect that Sant
Jarnail Singh Jee bestowed upon Baba Jee. Sant Jee would take Baba Jee’s
guidance on all major decisions that they made, as did Sant Kartar Singh Jee during
their tenure as the leader of the Taksal.
In accordance with Baba Jee’s influence and role, when Rajeev Gandhi came into
power he wanted to try and diffuse the situation with the Sikhs and he sent a
delegation to Baba Jee, to discuss bringing an end to the insurgency. Bhai Mokham
Singh was well aware of the leading advisors coming to meet Baba Jee and he was
quite concerned with the situation, he feared Baba Jee may just ignore the advisors
and not even entertain dialogue with them. The meeting was arranged to take place
at Mehta, however Baba Jee was in Amritsar at the time and thus he had to travel to
get back to Mehta (about a 30 minute drive). When the advisors came they said that
the government wants to discuss ending the Sikh insurgency, Baba Jee simply
asked them, ‘Where have you come from?’
Advisors: We have come from Delhi
Baba Jee: Did you get stopped on your way from Delhi to Mehta?
Baba Jee: Well I have just come from Amritsar and my car was stopped and
searched 7 times, you want peace with us, stop this discrimination and
then we will consider dialogue.
Baba Jee did not entertain them with anymore conversation and they want back to
RaJeev Gandhi with their tales between their legs.
In 1986 Baba Jee’s advice was sought of how the movement should be taken
forward and Baba Jee said 5 Singhs should be appointed to lead the Panth (nation).
Subsequently on 26th January 1986 a Sarbat Khalsa (gathering of the Sikh Nation)
was called and a Panthic Committee was formed (committee comprising 5 Singhs,
Bhai Aroor Singh, Bhai Gurdev Singh Usman Vala, Baba Gurbachan Singh
Manochahal, Bhai Vassan Singh Zafferwal & Bhai Dhanna Singh). After Operation
Blue Star the government was in a hurry to bring normality to Punjab or diffuse the
situation and in their haste they sponsored Baba Santa Singh of Buddha Dal to rebuild
the desecrated and damaged Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. The Sikh nation was
outraged, that, first the government destroys Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib, and then
quickly re-builds it, by sponsoring Baba Santa Singh with a lucrative budget. This
added fuel to the fire of the attack on the dignity of the Sikhs, and as a result, the
Sikhs decided to tear down the government built Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib.
The Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib was built by the 6th Guru, Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib
Jee, Baba Buddha jee and Bhai Gurdas Jee, in its original form as the Akaal Bunga.
Only true worshippers of Akaal (the immortal Lord) can build or be custodians of the
re-building of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib, which is what Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Jee
had uttered when the original structure was built, hence only Baba Buddha Jee and
Bhai Gurdas Jee were allowed to assist in it’s building. The Akaal Takhat is the
highest temporal seat of the Sikh faith and boldly proclaims the independence of
Sikhs in all worldly matters, but obedience to God and His edicts in matters of faith.
Thus the rebuilding of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib by those who had desecrated and
attacked it, was always out of the question.
Initially after the demolition of the government sponsored Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib,
different Sants were given the seva of re-building it, but none of them were up to the
humongous task ahead of them. The re-building had a stop and start fashion to it
and in the end Baba Jee took on the leadership of the re-construction project, after
which, the re-construction made steady progress.
As the leader of the Taksal, during the years of militancy, Baba Jee guided many
militant organisations who sought his advice, Baba Jee attended many overt and
covert meetings with the leaders of militant and political organisations. Alongside
supporting the armed struggle, Baba jee also financially supported the families of
Shaheeds as much as he could. In 1999 in a press interview the children of
Shaheed Bhai Beant Singh Jee (who had assassinated Indira Gandhi) stated that it
was only Baba Thakur Singh Jee and the Damdami Taksal who had given them true
financial and moral support after the passing away of their parents (Bhai Beant Singh
in 1984 and Bibi Bimal Kaur Jee a few years later). Also Mata Harmeet Kaur Jee the
wife of Shaheed Bhai Amrik Singh Jee (President of All Sikh Students Federation)
relied on Baba Jee to support her in the marriage of her daughter Bibi Sandeep
Kaur, Baba Jee took on the whole wedding arrangements and Mata Jee had no
stress in organising anything. Baba Jee also brought a car for Bhai Tarlochan Singh
Jee the son of Shaheed Bhai Amrik Singh Jee, saying that “A son of such a great
Shaheed should not go to college on a bike, scooter or motorcycle.” These are just
a few examples of the respect given to the families of Shaheeds, the families
themselves know the true extent of the moral, physical and financial support they
Many questions have been raised against Baba Jee’s role in not declaring Sant
Jarnail Singh Bhindra Vale Shaheed and some have alleged that this led to many
Sikhs sitting and waiting for Sant Jee to re-appear. Nowhere did Baba Jee ever
openly state to the Sangat, “Sant Jee is coming back, so wait until he comes back
and he’ll take care of all issues relating to Sikh freedoms.” To the contrary Sant Jee
themselves in their speeches openly declare that the day that the Indian Army put
their irreverent feet into the precincts of Sri Harmander Sahib (Golden Temple) to
attack it, the Sikhs do not have to wait for any call or signal they should take to arms
and do what is necessary immediately. Similarly notable leading figures of militancy
such as Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha (Sukha and
Jinda) believed Baba Jees bachan and this went down in the annals of history in
their writings (please see the compilations of their “Jail Chiitian” letters from jail).
Even though they believed Baba Jee’s words about Sant Jee returning, they
remained active in the movement and didn’t wait for Sant Jee to re-appear they got
on with the mission in hand. So the argument about Baba Jee stating Sant Jee is
still alive stopped people getting involved in the movement is dumbfounded. Bhai
Harjinder Singh Jinda and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha were very close to Baba Jee.
The clothes they wore when they were hanged were gifted to them from Baba Jee
and they felt honoured to be wearing these clothes for their hanging and martyrdom
Shaheed Bhai Joginder Singh Harchowal had been arrested by the Central Reserve
Police Force (CRPF) and was incarcerated in Pathankot jail. In the cell that he was
in, there was a picture of Baba Deep Singh Jee Shaheed. One day he looked up at
the picture and he remembered Baba Jee and Mehta. While looking up at the
picture he made a heartfelt supplication (Ardas) and said please help me. He thought
that he will probably get martyred one day, but he wanted to serve the Sikh Panth for
atleast another year, this was his heart’s desire. After he completed making this
supplication, all of a sudden Baba Thakur Singh appeared in front of him, Baba Jee
was wearing white clothes with a Kirpan drawn from it’s sheath in their hand. Baba
Jee said to Joginder Singh that his death is in Guru Sahib’s hands, that whatever
Maharaj wants, that will happen. Baba Jee then told him to escape and that the
security agencies will not be able to halt his escape. At this time the prison guards
were playing cards outside, thus they were not paying attention. Bhai Joginder
Singh put his hand on the cell door and to his amazement, the door opened when he
turned the handle. He slowly started walking out and he got scared, thinking that if
the police ask where he is going that he will just tell them that he is going to the
toilet. But to his amazement the police didn’t even see him and he walked straight
past them. He then reached the exterior wall of the prison, he couldn’t jump over the
wall because his body was in such a terrible state after being tortured. All of a
sudden heavy winds started and he reached the other side of the wall with the
assistance of the wind, it was like someone had thrown him over the wall. At that
point outside there were more police officers surrounding the area, but still no one
could see him. He made his escape on foot and after about 4km he came to a
village that he was familiar with, he entered the village and borrowed some money
and went straight to Mehta. When he arrived at Mehta, Baba Jee was standing at
the gates waiting for him. Baba Jee held his hand and took him to their room and
asked how he was and then fed him Langar. Baba Jee in his humility denied helping
Bhai Joginder Singh when he narrated what had happened and how he had escaped
from jail. But Bhai Joginder Singh knew the truth and told other Gursikhs of how he
had been helped, he served the Panth for a little longer as he wished and then
attained Shaheedi (martyrdom).
Baba Jee always came across as a very simple Gurmukh, Gurmukhs have the
Listening to the teachings of the Guru, the Sikh becomes wise internally
though apparently he looks a simpleton.
He with full care keeps his consciousness attuned to the Word and
listens to nothing except the words of Guru.
(Bhai Gurdas Jee, Vaar 4)
No-one could have ever guessed that Baba Jee was involved in militancy or
supported it, he seemed like a very peaceful Saint, who cared not for worldly matters
and was just imbued in Naam. Those who were involved and those who are still
involved, although, know a completely different story. To learn more one should
approach Singhs recently arrested in militancy and even those involved in the
freedom struggle who can speak of their personal experiences with Baba Jee. One
should although approach people from a wide array of Jathebandhis/organisations
and you will be shocked to learn of the diversity of those who visited and sought
Baba Jee’s advice.
In comparison to Sant Jarnail Singh Jee, Baba Jee did not openly oppose the
government and chose to speak very little, so Babe Jee very quietly went about their
work whereas Sant Jee was in direct conflict with the government of the day. The
difference of Baba Jee and Sant Jee was their style of leadership, but the ultimate
aim was the same – to get Sikhs their rights and freedom.
In the year 2000 a Sikh wanted for militant activities was traced to be present at
Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash and the police surrounded the Gurdwara. Baba Jee
was furious and he came out shouting at the police, “You think you can find
something incriminating here, look where you want! Singh’s open all the rooms so
they can search” Baba Jee was well aware of the presence of the Singh in the
Gurdwara and he was discreetly taken to the back of the Gurdwara and he entered
the village lanes and escaped unscathed.
Outside of India, Sikhs across the globe were also affected by events in Punjab and
were themselves, awoken to their nationhood, and duties as Sikhs. In the UK- the
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) was set up by Singh Sahib Bhai Jasbir
Singh Rode in 1985. Subsequently the ISYF became factionalised into 3 groupings.
When Baba Jee first came to the UK in 1996 the 3 factions were very opposed to
one another, they would all meet Baba Jee and discuss Panthic affairs with them. A
point came when all 3 groupings were complaining of being politically attacked by
groups who opposed them, theologically and politically, and Baba Jee said to them
you will continue to be attacked until you unite and become one voice. Discussions
were held by the factions and under Baba Jee’s guidance they became unified once
again, and to this day they continue to be so.
Under Baba Jee’s leadership two further Gurdwaras were built. Gurdwara Shaheed
Ganj B-block was built in Sri Amritsar in memory of the Shaheeds of the encounter
with Nakali Nirankaris of 1978. At Sri Anandpur Sahib on Kiratpur Sahib Road a
Gurdwara was built to benefit visiting Sangats.
Damdami Taksaal – An Educational Institute
The Damdami Takal in its simplest sense is a school for education in Sikh principles
and ethics. The mode of education is to get students to first become fluent in
Gurmukhi and then to take Gurbani Santhiya (become proficient in the correct
pronunciations of Gurbani), and to eventually become educated as a Granthi (reader
of Gurbani), Raagi (hymn singer), Kathavachak (preacher) or Dhadi (bard singer).
Students while being educated also have to live a life according to Gurmat principles
and attend Diwans and do Seva in the Gurdwara Sahib.
When the freedom struggle of Sikhs lost momentum, particularly so after 1992, the
Damdami Taksal returned to its core function of educating Sikhs in the
aforementioned roles. Under Baba Jee’s leadership many Sikhs were educated as
Granthis, Kathavachaks and Kirtanis. Between the years 1996-2004 on average
there were approximately 250 students annually being educated by the Taksal.
Additionally, Jathas of Singhs were sent across India and the globe to do Gurmat
Parchaar and many Amrit Sanchaars (initiation ceremonies) were held. Baba Jee
thus invigorated Sikhi Parchaar (propagation of faith) by facilitating the education of
countless Gursikhs. The many Gianis, Kirtanis and Granthis across the world can
attest to this fact.
In 1999 many Amrit Sanchars were held and miracles such as Amrit coming out of
the walls were witnessed by those getting initiated, this happened on a number of
occasions during Baba Jee’s leadership, but it was very prevalent in 1999. Baba Jee
used to ensure that those Singh’s who conducted Amrit Sanchaars were of a strong
discipline and at times Baba Jee would order them to do certain numbers of
recitations. For example on one visit to Sri Hazur Sahib Baba Jee told all the Singhs
that they have to recite 25 Sri JapJee Sahibs on a daily basis, whilst they are at Sri
Hazur Sahib and if they don’t they will get leprosy. One of the Singhs who was
involved in the seva for Amrit Sanchaars chose not to do the full 25 Sri JapJee
Sahibs and a few Singhs were suspicious of this, they asked him and he wouldn’t
give a straight answer and they said you should accept Baba Jee’s command. A few
days passed like this and then they noticed he had started developing deformities on
his skin, they then scorned him and told him you are getting leprosy, don’t waste any
more time, get your recitation on track and catch up, on the Sri JapJee Sahib
recitations that you have missed. He did this and he made a full recovery.
Many people questioned Baba Jee's powers and knowledge, just because they
chose to speak very little. Gurbani says:
To speak too much and babble is useless.
Even without our speaking, He knows everything.
(Raag Dhanasree, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, 661)
The Sikh of the Guru speaks less, sleeps less and eats little.
(Bhai Gurdas Jee, Vaar 32)
They also say Baba Jee did not teach Gursikhs himself, but those who met or did
Sangat of Baba Jee would see the lifestyle of a true Gursikh in front of their eyes,
thus learn by seeing true Gurskhi Jeevan (Sikh lifestyle). Baba Jee would teach
those who wanted to learn from them and those who did their Sangat would be given
new teachings everyday. Just spending one day with Baba Jee would tire a normal
person, the non-stop reading of Gurbani and doing Sangat, which is all that they did,
they did not like wasting their breath by talking but chose rather to engross every
second in to devotion.
One Gursikh did get Santhiya (learning the correct pronunciations) off Baba Jee, and
many did think about getting Santhia off Baba Jee, but were too scared of following
their commands on the level of recitation required and they would not tolerate any
slackness in the student. In the Pothi (anthology) “Gurbani Paath Darpan,” the
Taksal Maryada (conduct) for learning Santhiya is outlined, it states that when
having Santhiya the student should read the relevant sections of Gurbani Paath
Darpan 25 times (this is to check pronunciations and learn where to pause and take
breath) and then read the Gurbani Paath that they are having Santhiya of 25 times
as well. For example if one were having Santhiya of 10 Ang of Sri Guru Granth
Sahib on a daily basis, this level of recitation would take the average person 6-8
hours. But having Santhiya from Baba Jee was even stricter, the Gursikh who did
have Santhiya from Baba Jee was only taught 2-3 Angs and then he used to have to
go away and read those 2-3 Angs for about 8 hours at a time and then return for his
next lesson. Even those Gursikhs who used to recite Gurbani to Baba Jee on a daily
basis would be told of their mistakes in their recitations and once Baba Jee made
one such Sikh recite Sri Jaap Sahib 100 times as he had minor pronunciation errors.
In terms of other organisational impacts the Damdami Taksal has been opposed to
the interference with Sikh affairs by political parties and especially so in the
custodianship of Gurdwaras. Many Sikhs agreed with this view and to increase the
political leverage of this voice, Baba Jee created the Sant Samaj. The Sant Samaj
was a coming together of an array of saints and traditional schools of thought
(sampradiyas), they acted as a catalyst for parchaar when doing joint programmes
and had a very close relationship with Singh Sahib Bhai RanJeet Singh Jee (ex
Jathedar of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib). If any edicts they opposed were under
discussion by the SGPC, they managed a collective representation and became a
force to be reckoned with. Sadly after Baba Jee’s demise, the Sant Samaj has little
unity and direction.
When Baba Jee was only a few years old everyone in his village noticed he was
different from ordinary children. Instead of spending time talking or playing Baba Jee
would immerse himself in Seva and in Naam Simran at all times. One time as the
children were playing outside, some villagers saw Baba Jee carrying some planks of
wood. They began to wonder what Baba Jee was doing. Using a few tools he had
borrowed from someone Baba Jee started to work on the wood he had bought while
constantly keeping the name of Akaal Purakh on his lips. After a few days Baba Jee
had finished his work, and the villagers who were watching what Baba Jee was
doing, saw that he had made a Manjee Sahib (small throne). Baba Jee took this
Manjee Sahib into his house and placed a new cloth on it, along with a new Rumalla
Sahib. When he had done this he placed his Gutka Sahib (small prayers anthology)
on the throne. Baba Jee also made a Chaur Sahib. After preparing some sweets with
the help of Mata Prem Kaur Jee, Baba Jee called out to all the children in the village
to come to his house. They were curious as to what Baba Jee had been doing, so
almost all the children who heard Baba Jee’s call went to his house. As they entered
Baba Jee’s house he asked them to remove their shoes and wash their hands, feet
and faces with water that he had brought in a jug. He then took them inside and told
them to bow before their Guru (the Gutka Sahib/Gurbani). After all the children had
done darshan of Guru Sahib and had spent some time reciting Gurbani, Baba Jee
began to distribute the sweets that he had prepared with his mother.
Baba Jee taught the Gursikhs who were lucky enough to do their sangat the
following lessons in respecting Gurbani:
1) Always read Gurbani from an elevated physical position, so for example if you
are going to read Gurbani in your living room, sit on the sofa which is at
highest level from the floor, so that when you are reading Gurbani it is from
the highest point possible. The aim being that you don’t sit on a higher point
to conduct worldly actions but then sit on a lower point when reading Gurbani;
2) Baba Jee always ensured that the sevadar who would be reciting Gurbani to
them was seated on a platform higher than them and at the end of the bed
where Baba Jee’s head was, to ensure that Baba Jee’s feet would not be in
3) Baba Jee always ensured that they never slept with their feet towards Gutka
Sahibs or towards photos of elevated Sikh personalities that we all respect
Baba Jee’s advice to all that visited them for anything was always simple; read and
recite Gurbani. This is what they did their whole lives and this what they preached.
If you want to have a glimpse of the true life of Baba Thakur Singh Jee, I suggest
you try spending one day where you don’t talk to anyone and all you do is Simran &
Gurbani Paath for 24 hours. Then we may come near to knowing the exalted state
that Baba Thakur Singh Jee had and the spiritual enlightenment that such heartfelt meditations bring.
The passing of Baba Jee has left a void in many people’s lives, which can only be
filled by obeying their commands to recite and pray, day and night. We can only
become great like them, by doing what they did, live and breathe Sikhi.
Authors Concluding Remarks
Five years on from the passing of Baba Jee, no biography has been written, nor has
a true commemoration been built to them. Unfortunately, at Mehta where Baba Jee
was cremated, there have been no efforts to build a memorial to them. Instead the
current custodians of Mehta have chosen to put up a billboard about the Taksal at
the place of cremation. We hope and pray that the Sangat’s wishes to build a
commemoration to Baba Jee at Mehta are fulfilled one day.
Much has been said about Baba Jee and much slander has taken place, Guru Sahib
in the form of Bhagat Kabeer Jee instructs us:
Slander me, slander me - go ahead, people, and slander me.
Slander is pleasing to the Lord's humble servant.
Slander is my father, slander is my mother. ||1||Pause||
If I am slandered, I go to heaven;
The wealth of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, abides within my mind.
If my heart is pure, and I am slandered,
Then the slanderer washes my clothes. ||1||
One who slanders me is my friend; the slanderer is in my thoughts.
The slanderer is the one who prevents me from being slandered.
The slanderer wishes me long life. ||2||
I have love and affection for the slanderer.
Slander is my salvation.
Slander is the best thing for servant Kabeer.
The slanderer is drowned, while I am carried across. ||3||20||71||
(Raag Gauree, Bhagat Kabeer Jee, 339)
Let no one slander the Saints, because the Saints and the Lord are one.
(Raag Sohee, Bhagat Kabeer Jee, 793)
We should refrain from idle gossip and slander. Are we ourselves spiritually
elevated to comprehend all that God does and the ways of His Gurmukhs? We
would be better guided to stay quiet on such matters or we will ourselves drown as
Bhagat Kabeer Jee has stated above.
Those Gursikhs who are truly gifted and blessed by Vaheguru (The Wonderful
Enlightener) are not subject to vice and virtue, Maharaj says,
One who knows the Lord in the fourth state, is not subject to virtue or vice.
(Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, Raag Gauree, 943)
These Gursikhs get to a stage called Turi Pad or what is commonly referred to as the
fourth state of mind which is above Rajo, Tamo & Sato Gun (actions of status,
passion and virtue). They become truly immersed in Vaheguru and become no
longer bound by actions. Maharaj says,
The Supreme Lord (God) and His devotees are one and the same. There is no
fraction of duality in them (no difference between them).
(Sri Dasam Guru Granth Sahib, 136)
As it is impossible to describe God and put His praise into words, similarly it is also a
nigh-impossible task of trying to describe His Gurmukhs. The glimpses described
herein of Baba Jee, are simply that, glimpses. They are a mere stone’s throw into
the ocean that was Baba Thakur Singh Jee.
Posted by Kamaljeet Singh Shaheedsar on Saturday, December 11. 2010
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