Rangle Sajjan - The imbued ones (2nd Edition)

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

Chapter 10: Dr. Basant Singh Ji (Sekhwan)

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It was during my absence of imprisonment, that young Dr. Basant Singh got himself baptized by the Jatha members of the newly colonized region between rivers Beas and Ravi of Punjab. He started observing all the principles of Gurmat living, Rehat, strictly. Mostly he stayed in district Lyallpur. He developed great brotherly affection with Jatha members. He became deeply engrossed in love for me even without seeing me. His fondness grew just by hearing about me. This love for my unseen self became obsession with him, occupying his thoughts at all times. He kept praying for an early meeting in person.

In June 1923 volunteer service started for holy tank, Amrit Sarovar, when I was in jail. A large number of Jatha members in hundreds volunteered for this service at Amritsar and held a prayer meeting for my well-being. I am told by those who participated in the service, my dear Gurmukh Bhai Mal Singh Ji and my wife Srimati Kartar Kaur in particular, that the Lyallpur Jatha also participated in large numbers. The Ardas was performed by Gurmukh Vir, Bhai Atma Singh Ji from Moga. During this prayer just with mention of my name this young Vir, Dr, Basant Singh fell unconscious. He was in a Love-Lorn state. He was brought back to consciousness after the Ardas. Ever since his love for me got strengthened beyond measure. It was neither breakable nor forgettable even for a moment. In all the Akhand Pathh Samagams to pray for my safe return from prison and well-being this loving Vir participated. He was ever praying for our early meeting. All this is inscribed deeply in my heart, as yearnings of pure spiritual love.

Finally the day dawned in 1930 when I was transferred from Nagpur Jail to Central Jail Lahore, prior to my release. Abiding close by in Lyallpur, Vir Basant Singh was convinced for an early meeting. Waiting for my release was most unbearable for him and patience could hold no longer. He made a prayer for immediate meeting with me in Jail. Those were the days of joint agitation against the Government by Congress and Akali parties with public emotions running high. It so happened that on a joint platform of Congress-Akali agitation, Dr. Basant Singh also made some kind of speech. This was enough to merit his arrest and award of sentence for six months in Jail. With Divine intervention he was challenged to undergo imprisonment in Central Jail Lahore. He then joined us in the ward for political prisoners. He was thrilled with fulfilment of his wish. He came running and fell on my feet. I was unaware of his identity. My constant companion, Bhai Kartar Singh Canadian, could lift him after great struggle. That is when I saw his face for the first time and could instantly recognize that he was a long separated spiritual mate. This was the initial recognition. On his narrating personal account, I was greatly touched. We were thus united in inseparable union under the auspices of one Wisdom-Divine of Gurmat, common principles, common ideology, worship of common Lord, treading same path as lovers of same Divine-Source. Such was the eternal, Divinely-Blest relationship of our Souls!

I happened to be released earlier from Jail, couple of months ahead of Bhai Basant Singh. Once he came out to join me, we remained together thereafter. He became a prominent figure in all subsequent Samagams. He was so young, with his beard just beginning to appear. However fuse of his Divine-Love was ignited within and the rocket of his yearning soul ever remained soaring to spiritual heights unfathoured. He had no such care as returning to his home or joining his family. It is rare to find one so devoted, abiding by Gurmat principle and closely living the code enunciated by Dasmesh Guru. He was young in age, but well advanced in Gurmat virtues, as though he was fully drilled in them even before his very birth. He was great practitioner of Nam-meditation and Nam-Divine permeated his entire being.

No worldly attraction interested him. His focus was only on the holy congregation of Gurmat Satsang. The volunteer service for holy tank, sarovar, at Tarn Taran Sahib was performed in 1931 after my release from Jail. Jatha participated in large numbers and Vir Dr. Basant Singh was prominent like the rising new moon. He always appeared to be drunk with Elixir of Nam-Divine. Unconcerned with hum-drum of life around, he remained spiritually engrossed within. He devoted himself completely in selfless service. He served the gathered volunteers whole-heartedly. He gave up all worldly interests, including his family life, to devote fully to Jatha Samagams. His family doted all their affection on him. His parents and all siblings were already devout followers of Gurmat. Vir Basant Singh's influence further accentuated their Divine-Love. They all got baptized and became followers of the Sikh Code, Rehat. One day the entire family prayed to entire Sangat tearfully, that Bhai Basant Singh might be directed to stay with them at their village Sekhwan. Their emotional attachment to him badly needed his presence amongst them. They accepted his break with business activities to engage in Devotion-Divine as his full-time occupation. His very sight would work, as their life-support and not only the family but also many others around would benefit from his religious pourings. This would also give rise to Akhand Kirtan Samagams in the village. This was genuine and very moving supplication.

The pure Gurmat-Oriented request was accepted and Vir Basant Singh directed to live with his family. He was thus bound to comply with the direction and left with his family. In leaving he started walking backward for as long as could see us with his fixed gaze towards us. His companions were supporting him from behind, as if this love-intoxicated being was getting torn away much against his wishes. Thus he finally reached his village. Complying with his wishes, a hut was constructed in the family field at a distance of about half a mile. There he remained engrossed in Divine devotion all the time. He had left his medical practice since long; yet he was popularly know as Doctor Basant Singh. However his ardent Godly-Devotion earned him the name of Saint Basant Singh in surrounding villages. Thus his hut acquired the hue of an expanding holy place. A separate small Gurudwara was built for enshrining of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. There was a regular flow of spiritual seekers. During Akhand Kirtan Samagams there were miraculous happenings of high spirituality. Countless families got baptized. The occult powers were ready for any service, but our dear Vir had no use for these. He remained dedicated to Love-Divine. He remained chaste and pure all his life. He could envision that he had a short life to live and thus refrained from marriage nor did he have any inclination for married life. He was ever married to the Primal Source-Divine. Worldly marriage would have been a mere distraction. Though he respected the Gurmat principle of married life, but he was aware of his short life and thus abstained from this obligation. None of his family ever dared to enforce marriage on him.

He wielded such an influence in entire Sialkot area and particularly Tehsil Narowal, that every village had Jathas of Baptized Sikhs. There was intense preaching of Gurmat teachings. We always found advance preparations for all our Samagams at Sekhwan. With large tents sidewalls, etc. It was like a heavenly place in midst of fields. It used to be gathering of thousands coming to enjoy the spiritual feast and such occasions were quite often. It was rare to find such fruitful preaching's of Jatha principles in accordance with Gurmat. Whenever I chanced to go to Kashmir, he would insist for my short stay at the village. There was often a strong appeal for frequent visits. He held sway over the people in this area. This was mainly attributable to his selfless meditation, austerity and Nam-devotion. People naturally obeyed the discipline to comply with his direction and there was no age bar among baptized Sikhs in following this exemplary regimental behaviour. Vir Basant Singh never sought personal adoration. Some half-baked in Faith used to consider it as prevalence of Saint-Dom. However there was no basis for such thinking. This was merely figment of their minds. Dr. Basant Singh had no appetite for such a thing.

The Gurmat kitchen at Sekhwan was always open for service. Dr. Basant Singh's younger sister-in-law, Bibi Pritam Kaur was in-charge of this service. The turbaned Bibi commanded great respect and never did anybody dare to misbehave. She was highly decent, meditating on Nam with each breath, just as Gurmukh Bibis of Yester years. Under her influence all the young ladies were also of the same mould. They remained engrossed in thoughts-Divine during the entire service without wavering. Many young visiting ladies would fall in love with handsome and strong young Dr. Basant Singh, but he would always remain on the high pedestal of his Spiritual state engrossed in Nam-Divine. There was no place for an evil thought in the face of Gurmat ideology. The evil lies in the mind of person, who perceives evil.

Dr. Basant Singh often accompanied me to Kashmir and led me to a lonely spot on the bank of river Jehlum near head works. We used to sit atop high rocks by the bank side of the river, taking up independent positions and remain in ecstatic daylong meditation. Many nights would pass in Nam engrossment. Every year he would head a large Jatha to Narangwal to commemorate Gurpurab Samagam of Dasmesh Guru, while singing Kirtan. At times, alighting at Kila Raipur railway station the Jatha would reach Narangwal at mid-night travelling by foot. This included Jatha of young turbaned Bibis. He was very good in Kirtan singing. They would rest on floor along with Sangat. They would be content with meagre, simple diet and would bring dry rations for langar on their heads. He was ever ready for supreme sacrifice including his entire family for sake of selfless service to others and not holds back any personal belongings. Here is one example that would suffice:

Service Rendered During Partition Holocaust

In 1947 India was divided on communal basis and Muslim League became a ruler party of Pakistan, the region awarded to Muslims. During exchange of population between Pakistan to secular India, there was holocaust and unprecedented in history misery was wrought on human beings on both sides of the border. The madness of religious hatred turned men into evil-spirited demons. The entire district of Sialkot had been awarded to Pakistan. Dr. Basant Singh engaged himself in the protection of other families ignoring his own. He guarded the historic Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Bawli Sahib, etc., unmindful of his personal safety. In those difficult times he proved instrumental in bringing Gursikhs families to safety across the border at great personal risk. He settled the family of S. Harnam Singh Oberai at village Miran Mir near Ropar. I appealed to him to bring along his own family to a safe place. He proceeded to village Sekhwan with this objective. Before he could reach there, Sikh families of Tehsil Narowal in their thousands were already on their march after abandoning home and hearth. They had no clear sense of direction and badly needed Dr. Sahib's leadership. He could then lead a caravan of Sikh families numbering about Six million across river Ravi. However his own family got killed to the last person. This event coincided with rainy season in the months of July-August. He had been through a period of great physical exertion without proper food over many weeks in hot-humid weather. This selfless service was truly exemplary. He persevered in his objective of safety of the greatest numbers, as far as he could. The setback to his health could never be restored. He became anaemic and body stopped producing new blood. When he became bed-ridden, then alone he came to me in response to repeated requests. He was almost a skeleton of his old self. He was aware of his fast approaching end. All he desired was environment of holy sangat and my nearness till the very end. He would often recite the following:

ਕਬੀਰ ਮੁਹਿ ਮਰਨੇ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ਹੈ ਮਰਉ ਤ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰ ॥
ਮਤ ਹਰਿ ਪੂਛੈ ਕਉਨੁ ਹੈ ਪਰਾ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਬਾਰ ॥ ੬੧ ॥

ਸਲੋਕ ਕਬੀਰ ਝee ।੧੩੬੬॥

"O' Kabir! I eagerly await death at the Door-Divine. The Gracious Lord may then grace me with His Glance."

Slok Bhagat Kabir Ji [1366]

Beholding Sixth True King, Lion and Futuristic Prediction

His last desire was fulfilled. He had performed so much penance and long Nam-meditations on top of the rocks and the caves near Kumar Hatti near Simla at such an early age that is almost impossible for any other person. The echo of his Simran can still be discerned in the river falls in Kashmir. Head works on river Jehlum is located at a lonely place between Sri Nagar and Baramula. He had an overseer friend there, who got a hut constructed for his meditation. Dr, Basant Singh meditated in the hut at night and by the riverside during the day. In the brink of the river, there were huge rocks that existed naturally. He would sit atop those rocks and lose himself in meditation. The adjoining waves of river water produced their own music along with the Nam-Simran rhythm within. I too enjoyed this experience through dear Vir Basant Singh. It was difficult to break away from such celestial environment. We would continue sitting there for long hours. Finally on leaving there was persistence of this experience. Even while meditation in open air at Kumar Hatti, the Kashmir experience gets intermingled during spiritual flight of soul. One brother of the overseer friend of Dr. Basant Singh used to accompany him. He was a devout from birth and always remained very humble. He had many wonderful spiritual experiences. Whenever he felt like it, he would leave head works for the historic Gurudwara at Uri. It was generally known to the habitants of Uri and nearby places that none could stay in the Gurudwara or in close vicinity at night. A lion used to visit the place every night. The Gurudwara is situated across the river at an unhabitated place. This holy person was very friendly with me also. He used to confide his most secret experiences to Dr. Basant Singh and myself. These narrations had a ring of truth about them. He told us about a particular night experience. He was seated on a rock outside Gurudwara and was so lost in meditation that he had no awareness of his body. He was suddenly jolted out of this state by roar of a lion. He got frightened beyond his wits, but soon started reciting the Gurbani shabad,

ਚਉਗਿਰਦ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਾਰ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਗੈ ਨ ਭਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ।੮੧੯॥

'Protected am I by Protection-Divine all around.'.

Bilawal M:5 [819]


It so happened that he got enclosed by iron wall all around, where lion could never attack. Thus protected, he became fearless and his Faith got fortified. He continued to soar in spiritual Bliss of Nam-meditation for long. Meanwhile Sixth King True, Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib appeared in His Lustrous Divine Glory. A vast wealth of precious stones and jewels were revealed with the information that a time would come when the braves of Sri Dasmesh Ji would come to avail themselves of these treasures. Only those divinely destined shall find these secret treasures. God knows when such a time, shall come and who are thus destined to find their heritage wealth! While Dr. Basant Singh has departed already, I have no wish to explore this any further. Basant Singh Ji used to say. "When Satguru has bestowed the Treasure of Nam-Wealth, then why run after the false worldly treasures?" Truly he left with all the gathered Nam-Wealth for Eternal Abode. When his soul departed from body his attendant could vision the splendour of the departing Soul as bright glitter. For many a days and weeks he remained lost in the glory of this blissful memory. Even now he can recapture the blissfulness of that moment. Thus ends the brief life depiction of beloved Basant Singh.

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