Rangle Sajjan - The imbued ones (2nd Edition)

Translated by: Bh. Jaspinder Singh Jee
Bhai Sahib Bhai Randheer Singh Jee

Chapter 01: Baba Ram Singh and Mata Prem Kaur Ji

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The couple were both deeply religious and resided at village Phalewal, about 5 kms South of Narangwal. Baba Ram Singh Jee was employed in the Army, but had quit at the early age of 33. He had always been greatly attracted towards spiritualism. His plan was that, after leaving the service, he would get baptised and would devote completely to a religious life. While in service, he had a vision that his desire would be fulfilled through a ‘Nirban Kirtani Jatha’ of dedicated Gursikhs, selflessly devoted to Kirtan and meditation. That is where he would experience true spiritualism and life of religious service, as one of the Jatha. 

Prompted by his vision, he left the Army to realise his wish. He had landed property in the village and his family was just his issueless wife. She was a very obedient lady. Both decided to get baptised soon. Baba Ram Singh had already been named according to the Sikh rites and his wife was now named Prem Kaur. She came to be popularly known as ‘Mata Prem Kaur’. Their marriage ceremony was also conducted again according to the Sikh rites ‘Anand Karaj’ during Baptism. From then on the couple were lifelong dedicated members of the Jatha, always happy to serve. Following the Sikh tenets, their life occupation became Naam meditation, service, and sharing.  Their service in langar, free kitchen, was exemplary. They were both peace-loving, openhearted and self-contended people.  Their lives were dedicated to service tirelessly with utmost humility.  They were the pillars of service in Langar at the Samagams for many years. Never was there a shortage of food or lack of service. Their humility was infatuating for all those partaking food in the Langar. Their sweet words mingled with the holy food, prepared by them, produced Soul-lifting experience.  Their meditation was continuous and not even a breath was wasted without Naam. This combination of service and meditation led them often to deep meditation in the Langar that was specially located close to the place of Akhand Patth and Kirtan. This enabled Bhai Ram Singh and Mata Prem Kaur Jee to listen to Gurbani while engaged in service. This double action of holy service and Divine word brought glorious shine to their faces and their faces appeared as fonts of Elixir, causing ripples of spiritual joy in the hearts of beholders. They were the ideal couple, the very picture of ‘two bodies but one in spirit’. Their spiritual advancement was made even as complete illiterates. This is in accordance with Gurbani:

ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਪੜਿਆ ਅਣਪੜਿਆ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ੧ ॥

ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ।੧੯੭॥

The one who meditates on the Lord, attains the highest spiritual Glory whether a scholar or illiterate.

Gauri M:5 [197]

Thus this couple was illiterate but surpassed many of the scholarly persons in Divine knowledge. They were always cheerful. Whenever somebody wanted something from the Langar, they would entertain with sweet words and supply the need. Their virtues of perseverance, contentment and tolerance were a rare sight and most commendable. They would offer all their earnings from their farmland in the name of the Guru. They had a unique cow that yielded milk all the year round. The cow could be milked anytime, even at mid-night. We had named this cow ‘Sura Gaoo’ (the divine cow). Whatever they sowed meditatively on their land, after a shower, would grow, yielding a rich crop. Such was the Divine Blessing. Their home-grown pulse of whole ‘Mash’ (phascolus radiatus), prepared in an iron utensil was most delicious. No matter how many people ate, there was never a shortage.

The simple minded, Mata Prem Kaur Jee, attained the state of Divine Revelation.  I discovered this when I would find that she had churned butter milk and specially baked bread of mixed grains, ready for me on my unannounced visits to Phalewal at all odd times. Once I asked her as to how she had come to prepare all fresh food whenever I visited without any notice. She smilingly pointed towards Bhai Sarwan Singh as the source of her information, giving details of starting and arrival as also the number of people accompanying me. Accordingly the food was prepared. I scolded Bhai Sarwan Singh for misuse of the occult powers. However he pleaded that it was not him, but the direct revelation to the Mata. This was just her modest way to put me off.

Such happenings very many. All this was the result of selfless service to God and Naam. Mata Prem Kaur kept her occult powers a hidden secret and never showed off. Occasionally before my jail term, she would say, “Bai (Elder brother)! There is going to be a prolonged separation. May God be with us.” I would tell her that His Will would be done. This couple served with full dedication up to 1914, with ever more eagerness.

Baba Ram Singh’s serenity and tolerance were limitless. He had so much love for me that he would not stay without me. There were always Samagams and gatherings of Akhand Kirtan. If ever there was a break, he would come to Narangwal accompanied by Bhai Sarwan Singh. There we would do Simran and Kirtan together. He was extremely regular in attending Kirtans. Once the entire Jatha went to the village Sarhali of Sri Babu Mal Singh Jee in district Amritsar. Enroute we were singing (Kirtan) hymns. Baba Ram Singh fell in deep meditation even while walking. On reaching Sarhali, Akhand Patth Samagam started. As usual this couple took up the service in Langar. They were enjoying listening to the Patth while engaged in service. Many a time elder brother of Babu Jee, Sri Bhai Waryam Singh Jee, would visit Langar to find out if anything was in short supply there. Every time Sri Baba Ram Singh Jee would re-assure him. There was never really a shortage with the divinely contented couple around.

Along with many others of the Jatha, I was imprisoned in the Ludhiana jail. After some time Bhai Ram Singh was also brought there. He had already prayed for joining us. However he suffered great hardships in jail due to old age and his rigorous discipline of Sarabloh Bibek, cooking and eating in iron utensils.  The unjust British Rule had originally sentenced all of us to life imprisonment, but the revised term for Bhai Ram Singh was for two years. Thus he was freed much ahead of our release, yet his prayerful yearnings for our company were always there.

While still waiting for a reunion, he left for his heavenly abode about four months prior to my release. Even while departing his soul visited me in jail to bid 'Gur Fateh'.

The happy news was that he remained dedicated to the last in God- Love. The loss was just unbearable for Mata Prem Kaur. Though still alive on my return after imprisonment, yet she was a withdrawn person, a caricature of her old self, living in a world of her own. She met me very affectionately and had heart to heart talk. In a period of three years she also departed from this world, to join Baba Ram Singh at the Eternal abode.

Here is an example, worth mentioning, of Baba Ram Singh’s kind, bounteous and compassionate nature.  In his extended family relationship, there was a family that had unreasonable sense of animosity towards him since long. One of their members had gone abroad to Chinese and Malaysian islands to make his fortune. When he returned with considerable wealth, he had a terrible disease. A young man of six feet height and broad chest, his whole body got stiffened suddenly, incapable of bending or moving. He could only be helped by at least four persons either to lie flat or stand erect, without moving. He had tried all medical help abroad, but to no avail. He returned disappointed to Phalewal and wished to see Baba Ram Singh. When Baba Jee learnt of this request and his state of illness, he forgot all about the old inimical relationship and wished to be as helpful as possible. This was the time when the entire Jatha happened to be visiting Baba Jee. Taking leave of the Jatha, he went to see the ailing person. The patient cried bitterly while explaining his affliction. He made a request for an Akhand Patth to pray for his well-being, particularly when the Jatha happened to be there of Divine healers. He said that if he died after such an Akhand Patth, he would be redeemed and if he regained health he would seek Baptism along with the entire family to live a dedicated life. Baba Jee on return repeated the request to the Jatha with tearful eyes. He prayed for the well-being of the patient to the holy congregation, with the faith in efficacy of the Divine word and the prayer of holy ones. Who would ever have denied a request from Baba Jee? The next day preparations were made for the Akhand Patth. The patient was brought by four persons in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Baba was in attendance of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, waving the flywhisk while standing.  Seeing the patient, he addressed with Divine fervour. “You have erred seriously, that you are not aware of at present.  Describe your promise to the Guru in your prayer, while proceeding to make fortune in the foreign lands.” It all came back to the memory of the patient and he told that, “Yes, Sir! I had made the promise to set aside tithe in the Guru’s name from my earnings. However I sinned against this. In the past ten, twelve years I made a lot of money. While the tithe amount kept mounting, I was lost in worldly pleasures, forgetting all about the promise. This is truly a serious lapse, which is the cause of my affliction.”  It was decided, that the correct amount of tithe after calculating be sent to Hazoor Sahib before the Akhand Patth was started. The patient immediately dispatched the requisite money through his brother. Now that the Samagam was to start, Baba Jee put the condition that he would listen to the entire recitation of the Patth. He readily agreed and asked for permission to listen while lying on the ground, because of his ailment. This was granted. Baba Jee then gave him encouraging words of faith and hope. The Kirtan of Asa-Di-Var started at 4:00 A.M. and ended at 11:00 A.M. There was a congregational prayer before starting the Patth. The patient was held by four persons in the standing position for the prayer. His body was just like a plank of wood. At the end of the prayer he fell in prostrate position in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. To everybody’s amazement he sat up on his own, without help. Sri Karah Prasad was distributed when Sri Jap Jee was read from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Baba had prepared Karah Prasad and distributed also. Offering the Prasad to the patient, he said, “This is the Elixir of Five elements, the most efficacious medicine of all. Eat this.” Soon after he ate, he felt rejuvenated and asked to be left on his own. The miracle was wrought by the Grace of the Guru and he was in normal health by the end of Sri Akhand Patth. He could walk about normally. The entire assembly was wonder struck as also the medical practitioners.  The whole family got baptised singing the Gurbani:

 ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲ ਭਰੋਸੇ ਤੇਰੇ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਪਰਵਾਰੁ ਚੜਾਇਆ ਬੇੜੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਗਉੜੀ ਕਬੀਰ ਝee ।੩੩੭॥

O, Lord of the weak! With Faith in Thee,
I have put my entire family on Thy Ferry. Pause.

Gauri Kabir Jee [337]

This hymn was sung by the entire family. There was ‘Guru Ka Langar’ and shortly thereafter he again left for the foreign lands. Baba Jee in particular and the Jatha in general were highly praised for this miraculous feat. Baba Jee wanted all the Jatha to leave immediately to avoid hearing the praise. This is an example of his magnanimity and aloofness from any praise or condemnation.

Hearing of the events concerning this couple from my wife, Kartar Kaur, pertaining to the period of my jail term, I would often be moved. However it would render this narration very long, if those were to be included. Thus we end it here.

‘Most Wondrous Couple of GURU-DEVOTEES’

(ਜੋੜੀ ਪਰਮ ਅਨੂਪ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਕਾਂ ਦੀ)

Mata Prem Kaur a picture of devoted love and service, Baba Ram Singh, a personification of humble devout. Such was wondrous couple of Guru’s devotees. In the foot-prints of ancient devouts, Reciting Naam while sharing their honest living, Thus lived all through the elderly couple.366.

With resources meagre but life of contentment, remaining patient in gratitude of Divine-like ascetics. Content with Divine-dispensation and self-sufficient, They enjoyed the riches of Naam-Wealth, gifted by Guru. Indeed it was Kingdom true of Care-free life, Real bliss and feeling abundance of royalty. True wealth of Naam Treasure in abundance,
Yet never fearing of theft or robbery.367.

Worldly poor but abounding in Naam wealth, They were truly rich with Eternal Treasure. Those, who gather Naam-True, are not poor, For Lord provides all to such devotees. Bestowed with Rare Naam-Jewel,
Enjoy access to all Divine-Resources.368.

Difficult indeed is the life of Naam-devotion, Yet service in Naam dedication bears rich fruit. Hard service rendered to congregations of Guru’s devotees, Ferried the two of old couple devouts. Mata Prem Kaur remained intoxicated in humility and love, Blissful remained the hearts of both aged ones. Naam-imbued were these rare jewels of Guru, Words fail to describe these Fragrant-Roses of Guru devouts.369.

[Extract from Jot Vigas, book of poems by Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Jee]


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