Rangle Sajjan - The imbued ones (2nd Edition)

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

Chapter 20: Ecstatic Vir Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee (Resident of Raipur)

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Ever blest with ecstatic, ‘Bismad’, spiritual state imbued with ‘Gurmat’ was Bhai Joginder Singh Jee, the most reliable pillar of Akhand Kirtani Jatha. He was born in village Raipur. His rebirth in House of Guru was occasion of great transformation and miraculous event. This was truthful application of Gurbani quote,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮ:੧ ਸਿਧਿ ਗੋਸਟਿ ।੯੪੦॥

No more transmigration of rebirths after birth in House of Guru

Ramkali M:1 Sidh Gosht [940]

Soon after Baptism he took to the life of model Gurmat living. He was the lone chieftain among Patiala-state officials to lead Gurmukh way of life, strong in faith.

I first met him at Patiala during a visit to Dr. Sardara Singh Jee. He was then up-coming, promising youth. Dr. Sardara Singh Jee of Gujerwal village was a staunch faithful and practitioner of Gurmat living. This common bond often brought me to him at Patiala. It always so chanced that few minutes prior to my arrival or soon after Bhai Joginder Singh Jee would be there too.  Gurmat discussion would follow and Bhai Joginder Singh Jee was a keen listener. I asked Dr. Sardara Singh about the identity of this young aspirant of faith and how he could get the wind of my visits. He told me that it was indeed a case of yearning love for ‘Gurmat Sat-sang’, holy company delving in wisdom of Guru. He was a true seeker, in search of Path-Divine, shunning all other worldly company. He was anxious to get baptised at the earliest opportunity. He had made a thorough study of Gurmat doctrines and mentally accepted them. He was thus awaiting the auspicious time to get baptised through ‘Divinely chosen and blessed five’. However he had to wait considerably long, going to holy congregations as an aspiring Sikh. He had shared his resolve to get baptised together with his wife. Finally the long awaited day dawned when the blessed couple boarded the ship of Guru by getting Baptised and started exemplary Gurmat way of life.

Gurmukh sister Harbans Kaur was his wife and her life sketch has been dealt with earlier. As state official he was known as Sardar throughout Patiala, but in Gurmat circle he was addressed as ‘Bhai Joginder Singh’. After Baptism his Faith was fortified ten-fold. Whosoever shared his thoughts on Gurmat, he alone knows the bliss derived during the discussion. His researched Gurmat views very highly valuable. His influencing words led many to implicit faith in Gurmat. He was a high scholar of Gurmat and Gurmukh in practice. Among the prominent Sikhs, he shone like a rare jewel, ever soaring in high spirits. His high rank and social status never went to his head and instead his purity of Gurmat life was unique.  He never compromised against code of Gurmat living during his long worldly service, remaining above board spiritually. The then Maharaja Patiala threw hints many times that if Bhai Joginder Singh would tie and dress his beard as per state-code, he would be given higher promotions. However, blest by The Guru, Bhai Joginder Singh never took the bait.  He maintained his style as Gurmukh of flowing beard. His wife too never gave up turban in spite of repeated coaxing from wives of state-officials and queens.

Bhai Joginder Singh Jee would often visit me at Narangwal before my imprisonment. In his yearnings for sat-sang he would start off from Patiala irrespective of what hour it was of day or night. He never took official leave and yet never missed any sat-sang Samagam, large gatherings of Jatha. He was so blest, that never was he questioned for his absence by his superiors. Though he was weak in health, yet he listened Akhand Patth and Kirtan Samagams many a times, sitting in same posture all through. He never bothered for eating or drinking, accepting only whatever he was offered while enjoying spiritual nourishment. In fact he was sustained by Nectarian-Naam and remained engrossed in Naam-meditation. He had tasted Divine-Nourishment of most delicious Naam-Elixir and in comparison all other food appeared trifling.  His outstanding quality was non-stop Naam-Simran while discharging his official duty flawlessly. His ‘Simran’, Divine-Memory, was automatic irrespective of his physical activity. He remained self- contained in coping with the unbearable intense spirituality. His early stages of Naam-meditation were in the company of highly accomplished Naam practitioners whom he would freely reveal his personal experience without any reserve.

Astonishing Spectacles of Spiritual Experiences

Once Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee came to me at Narangwal from Patiala in great excitement and sense of anticipation.  He had resolved to undertake ceaseless meditation and enjoy the highest spiritual bliss. Seeing his determination, I pleaded with him that though his determined will power was a good omen, yet it would not pay to be adamant in matters spiritual. It is better to be content with loving Divine-Devotion and leave the rest to God’s Grace. It behoves us to pursue Naam-Simran as Gursikhs in the light of Gurmat teachings with patience and perseverance. Divine recognition and realization should be considered Gifts-Divine and matter of Grace. Says gurbani:

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਧਰ ਲਾਗਾ ਜਾਵਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਦਰੁ ਲਹੀਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ।੮੩੪॥

Keep treading along Guru’s Path,
you shall find Divine-Door with Grace of Guru.

Bilawal M:4 [834]

Listening to this, he accepted this command-Divine as faithful devout of Gurbani. This kind of perseverance and strong faith is rare to come across. He stayed for the night at Narangwal at the meditational place along with other Naam-devotees resting on mats spread on the floor. This night he experienced the first spiritual spectacle. He was totally lost in spiritual meditation. Being his first experience, he had still to learn to cope up with astounding and unbearable spirituality as one goes along.  He shouted uncontrollably, “Bhai Sahib! What is happening? All the village dogs are barking within me.” I replied, “Dear brother, do not get perturbed. You shall further witness all the universal goings on in your mind. You have to detach yourself from all that and remain focused on the ecstatic play of love in Naam-Meditation. Ward off other distractions.” Acknowledging my words he resumed Naam-Simran. After about half-an-hour, he stood up with hands folded together. His face was drenched in sweat. I again solaced him not to get frightened.  He sat down after praying for few minutes.  He expressed that this was enough for the day and he was unable to continue anymore. Telling about his new vision, he said, “My great hurdle now is that my invisible body along with soul is passing through the eye of a small needle against my will. I fear that this may cause my death.” Hearing this, I laughed and prayed for Divine Help for him to cope up with unbearable astounding experiences.  Thereafter he enjoyed equipoise in envisioning spiritual spectacles, without fear.

It was unique happening that all his children were highly blest with divinity in early childhood.  However this phenomenon disappeared with age. Strong of Faith as Gursikhs, the couple used to initiate their new-borns first with Naam-Nectarian in accordance with Gurmat and follow up with other instructions.  It was this background that offsprings of devout couple Bhai Joginder Singh Jee and Bibi Harbans Kaur Jee were spiritually high right from birth, even if they could not sustain it in later life.  However high spirituality as children was phenomenal and highly impressive.  Their eldest son, Anand Singh, astounded every one first and then I personally witnessed miracles- Divine in the case of youngest, Bibi Charan Kaur. Young Anand Singh won recognition before my term of imprisonment, displaying uncommon powers. He was just learning to speak, when his words revealed his high spirituality. Many exalted personalities of the state would visit Bhai Joginder Singh’s residence to behold auspicious sight of the child, Anand Singh. Notable Singhs of ‘Namdhari’ sect were particularly fond of him and frequent visitors. They believed that the boy was the spirit of another ‘Namdhari’ child, who got blown up with cannon fire along with Baba Ram Singh Jee during agitation of ‘Namdharis’ against British Rule.  However I could not share this belief. I firmly believe that a selfless martyr is never subject to rebirth, yet it cannot be denied that it was due to the revelatory words of child Anand Singh that such a belief was formed. He had the miraculous powers to envision the secret events of others’ lives. This was his speciality. Whenever a baptising ceremony was organized at Bhai Joginder Singh’s residence, we would subject the candidates for Baptism to initial scrutiny by this boy. It was in my presence, that a prominent preacher of the state presented himself in Sangat sitting in presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib for getting baptised.  Child Anand Singh was also part of the congregation and he cried out that the preacher had committed deadly sins that remained unknown. He further said that unless these sins were clearly confessed by him before ‘The Chosen Five’, he could not be clean of heart and the Dye of Naam, may not be effective in his case.  Hearing this, aspirant of Baptism fell flat in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He was not even conscious of hurting his forehead against floor with the fall. He was incessant in his pleas that he may be saved through Forgiveness-Divine.  He admitted that he was a great sinner. The truth was that, deeply impressed by spiritual powers enjoyed by child Anand Singh, this sinning preacher had resolved to seek Gurmat Baptism through Jatha. Now that the boy revealed his unknown sins, the opportune time arrived with new strengthening of faith in mind of the preacher.  It left no doubt in his mind, that if a seven year old was blest with so much spirituality, he too could get spiritual transformation after Baptism through ‘Chosen Five’ of the Jatha. He was thus presented before "The Chosen Five" in his state of confessional mood. Whatever was confessed by the preacher, exactly same had already been revealed to me by the boy. This was a moment of great surprise for me. Many were similar incidents that I witnessed in respect of Anand Singh. It was during my imprisonment that young Anand Singh too ended his life-sojourn. However it was very depressing to hear that he had fallen from his high pedestal later in life. Rest of the children were born during my imprisonment. I am therefore not aware of events of their childhood life. However the youngest Bibi Charan Kaur was only 3-4 years old, when I got released from jail. Highly surprising are the events that I witnessed in early life of this child, that were truly miraculous. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee would hold her in his lap while attending Akhand Patth and Akhand Kirtan Samagams. I noticed many a times that in such early childhood she would engage in loud Naam-Simran, sitting in the lap of her pious father. She would go into trance in spiritual flights of highest stage. It was then impossible to behold Divine-Glory reflected by her face. On coming out of the trance, she would narrate in her lisping words of a baby futuristic events, that would be amazing to the listeners. She astounded people around with her miraculous powers as a child of 7-8 years. During Samagams at Bhai Joginder Singh's residence, there used to be good gatherings of spiritual seekers. Food was being served round the clock. She would always be engaged in serving food or laying beds for the visitors untiringly.  While serving with hands, her mind was occupied in ceaseless Naam-Simran. It was devastating that destined evil influences took hold of her suddenly and her spirituality got completely degenerated.

It is befitting now to describe the wonderful event of Gurmat Anand Karaj of the elder daughter, Bibi Sharan Kaur. This is an illustration of deep faith in Gurmat values in full measure that is historic and shall be remembered for long. The marriage of my daughter Bibi Daler Kaur was fixed to be held at Narangwal at my place. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee had come to join us along with other Gurmukh invitees on the occasion. His daughter, Bibi Sharan Kaur had accompanied him. The Akhand Patth prior to the Anand Karaj ceremony was in progress and many were listening to the blissful recitation by Master Joginder Singh Jee from village Badundi. It was like heavenly pouring of words-Divine that was indeed very soulful. Master Jee's face shone in spiritual splendour and his beard just about appearing in early youth. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee was deeply moved by this recitation. In whisperings tones he started telling me that he desired a match like this Akhand Patthi for his daughter, Sharan Kaur.  I happened to comment that there could not be another just like him. Hearing this from me, Bhai Joginder Singh said very determinedly, "Well, then get my daughter married to him here itself, following Anand Karaj of Bibi Daler Kaur." He never bothered to check out the family background of the proposed bridegroom or his financial status, leave alone his caste, etc.  The decision was spontaneous. I also gave my concurrence subject to approval by Bibi Sharan Kaur after seeing Master Jee. Bhai Joginder Singh readily agreed with my view. He requested me to get the message across to Bibi Sharan Kaur by sending word through my wife, Srimati Kartar Kaur Jee.  This was done and approval of Bibi Sharan Kaur was sought. As a progeny of devout couple, Bhai Joginder Singh and Bibi Harbans Kaur, Bibi Sharan Kaur gave this befitting reply, "Tayi Jee (auntie), where is the need for my concurrence? Who can improve upon the selection for my match made by Sri Bhai Sahib Taya Jee and my father? Whatever they decide is in my best interests. I shall never have any objection to their decision." In a coincidence Divine, just then Master Joginder Singh Jee 'Badundi wale' descended the stairs after being relieved from Akhand Patth duty and passed close to my wife and Bibi Sharan Kaur. My wife pointed towards him and told Bibi Sharan Kaur, "He is the proposed groom. He has crippled feet by birth and that is why your Taya Jee and father wanted you to see him in person. Now you make your decision with all your wisdom to avoid repentance later." In this age of Kalyuga Sharan Kaur's reply was most astounding. Charged with emotion, reflecting her strong Faith, "Tayi Jee! Is this match more unbecoming than the cripple match selected for Bibi of 'Dukh Bhanjani' story. You know how rewarding had been Faith in her case. This is all too well known to be described. I fully approve of this match without any reservation." Srimati Kartar Kaur Jee was most astonished with the reply and in turn we were thrilled. We both felt like worshipping the feet of Bibi Sharan Kaur. Thus finally this couple was married soon after the ceremony of marriage of Bibi Daler Kaur at the same place. Master Joginder Singh Jee wedded Bibi Sharan Kaur, daughter of Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee without the rigmarole of a marriage party or dowry. There were no invitations to relatives and friends. Bhai Joginder Singh had not come prepared for this Anand Karaj, but had come only as an invitee to my daughter's marriage and his daughter happened to accompany him. Such is the story of unparalleled Faith of Bibi Sharan Kaur that shall be remembered forever. Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee too demonstrated living in true spirits of Gurmat values. This is most exemplary, without a precedent and unlikely to be repeated commonly. It was too spontaneous. Whole of Narangwal was bewildered with this queer match, knowing that Bhai Joginder Singh Jee belonged to neighbouring village, Raipur. These four, five villages are considered to be aristocratic and the people are very proud of this, in absence of Faith in Gurmat. Lineage of Grewals is considered to be very high. These villages never offer their daughters in marriages to people of lowly considered villages like 'Badundi' though the brides from these villages are accepted in large numbers. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee trampled this wrong belief under his feet and cared only for true Gurmat values.

Later on there was public talk among the village-gossipies saying "Joginder Singh, supposed to be a high official of Patiala State, has given his well-accomplished and decent daughter in marriage to a cripple from village 'Badundi'." This talk went on for quite some time as village-gossip, but nobody dared to bring it up before me. I too never cared about this meaningless criticism based on self-conceit. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee was much high in his thinking to care for this. In the world of Gursikhs the event was highly acclaimed. After these two marriages all the gathered Sangat of devout Gurmukhs proceeded for the next marriage ceremony of my son, Balbir Singh Jee. Public reaction against Bhai Joginder Singh Jee died down its natural death with time. Anand Karaj of Bhai Balbir Singh Jee, conforming to similar Gurmat was equally applauded. Fear of public criticism was shoved away once again in this case. Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee having enjoyed blissfully three Anand Karaj ceremonies returned to Patiala along-with Bibi Sharan Kaur Jee. Master Joginder Singh Jee went over to Patiala and returned with his bride, Bibi Sharan Kaur, to his village 'Badundi'. They have lived happily together thereafter in rare marital bliss. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee is highly satisfied with the relationship.

Sometime after 1915, during my jail-period, Bhai Joginder Singh Jee had been elected member of 'Shromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee' to represent our region. This body was declared rebellious by Government and all members imprisoned. I was already in jail. Vir Joginder Singh Jee joined the second agitational Jatha and was sentenced to a jail term of two years. Though he was not in good health, yet he was happy to volunteer for Panthic cause. Authentic reasoning of Gurmat and pride of Faith were great assets of Bhai Joginder Singh Jee. Such deep and gifted Gurmukh thinkers are rarely found in Khalsa Panth. Before my imprisonment some of my friends including Bhai Joginder Singh Jee and Bhai Atma Singh Jee 'Moga' had difference of opinion with me and were angry. However when the political case was in the court, they came in my defense as witnesses. They suffered pangs of separation for long years of jail term, yearning in mutual love. They rushed to meet me after release at Narangwal. This destined love persisted for rest of our lives. There were frequent rush of visitors coming to meet me after sixteen years of life imprisonment and constant holding of Akhand Kirtan Samagams. Bhai Joginder Singh Jee joined with Babu Mal Singh Jee to make arrangement for the double storey of our house to provide much needed accommodation and space of Akhand Patths and Samagams. This is an excellent token of the memory of Bhai Joginder Singh and blessed by holy gatherings during Samagams like annual Gurpurb celebration of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee. Whatever religious books on Gurmat Topics I have written under Guru's promptings got initiated on suggestions from Bhai Joginder Singh Jee. He wanted that stress on Gurmat principles and their importance should be worded in the language and backing of Gurbani. Thus the first book that came in print was 'Ki Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee Di Pooja But-Prasti Hai?' meaning 'Is worship of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee an act of Idolatry?' The first edition was printed before my imprisonment and I had not given my name as its author. However later during Akali Movement somebody changed the title page and printed my name.

Though Bhai Joginder Singh Jee was not so stout physically yet he cultivated his land personally. He had built his residential building in Badungar Nagar near Patiala Cantonment. The adjoining land around the building in an area of few bighas was kept for self-cultivation. Even as high state official he never considered below his dignity to plough the land himself.

The common bond of spiritual love between the two of us was so strong that through telepathic message he would call me to Patiala at his will anytime. Stay of many weeks would still not satisfy him. It was so destined that he became very weak and was growing still weaker. With his spiritual insight he could envision the approaching end. One day he told me, "It appears death call is fast approaching." He further requested with emotional surcharge of tearful eyes, "I heartily desire that you be near me at the final moment. In this time of uncertainty you, please, stay on here and do not leave!" I was bound to comply with it. In fact I too desired to serve him as best as I could. His increasing physical weakness only further strengthened him in Naam- Simran in soaring spirits. He had called Master Joginder Singh, his son-in-law also from Badundi. He did not exhibit any sign of remorse and his face shone in spiritual Glory.

"Guru-oriented devout contemplates of God with every pore of his body" Gurbani quote was being enacted. Before his end he had instructed to cut off all mention of worldly affairs and instead requested for Gurbani recitation continuously. Master Joginder Singh Jee started recitation of Sukhmani Sahib. It was then decided to recite Gurbani from four-part volumes of Sri Guru Grant Sahib, by sitting on a higher adjoining bed day and night.

In this service we were helped by Military Captain Sardar Tirlochan Labh Singh Jee. He sent select Akhand Patthis from The Military. Included in this group was a young Gurmukh from Panjokhra, Vir Sri Bhai Atma Singh Jee. After this initial meeting that inspired mutual love, we became lasting friends forever. His love for me had been kindled earlier.  In passing away of Bhai Joginder Singh Jee and associated spiritual events further inflamed it. With recitation of Gurbani, Naam-Simran by Bhai Joginder Singh Jee became louder and intense. It was as though a Divine figure was resting in the form of exemplary Gurmukh, angelic Bhai Joginder Singh Jee. His tongue and breathing were engaged in Divine-Memory and his hands folded together. It depicted that he was envisioning The Lord and getting Thrilled by Sight-Divine and wearing a smile. His forehead and face reflected splendorous Glory. I too was enjoying the Bliss of this event. Gurbani recitation was going on with full Divine fervour. There was an environment of Holy Presence. Bhai Joginder Singh had his eyes open. Beholding Sight-Divine, he occasionally threw a glance at me. In complete satisfaction of love, he was ready to depart for Abode- Divine. His intense Naam-Simran in loud voice had put everybody around in trance. These were meditations of full consciousness! Considering the final moment of departure at hand, I had fixed my eyes on face of Bhai Joginder Singh. Movement of his tongue and lips were indeed very captivating. Finally 'Guru', 'Guru' alone could be heard and with this his breathing was ended.

I have not even an iota of doubt that Sri Bhai Joginder Singh Jee had landed straight in Abode-Divine and merged with Spirit-Divine. Akhand Kirtan of Celestial Music was heard and Play-Divine of a life- sojourn ended thus!

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