He truly remained pining for Divine-Love throughout his short-lived life. Departing for Divine-Love, he left me too pining-in-love. This chance-meeting, ever-lasting in memory, runs thus:
The entire Akhand Kirtani Jatha, including Babu Mal Singh, had come to village Boparai at the house of Sri Bhai Iqbal Singh for Akhand- Patth Sat-Sang Samagam. According to dispensation-Divine, a whole family from Vadali (Ala Singh Wali) of Maen-Doab came there for Gurmat Baptism. Jathedar Ganga Singh was their intermediary. With great loving devotion they got baptised along with other aspirants and all felt spiritually transformed. Young Prem Singh was particularly smitten by Divine-Love in his astonishing transformation. He was deeply imbued with spirituality. Engaged in meditation of Divine-Naam all were losing awareness of their bodies in total engrossment. Seeing youthful Prem Singh in enjoyment of Divine-Glory, a common thought occurred separately to Gurmukh Bhai Mal Singh Jee and me at the same time. It was thought that this young-man’s marriage with our loving young girl, Kulwant Kaur, would be most befitting. The concurrence of thought between two of us got confirmed and made resolute without exchanging words. Sri Babu Mal Singh Jee talked to Jathedar Ganga Singh Jee and the family from Vadali that this young Prem Singh now belonged to us (hinting the proposal). It further transpired that he was still an eligible bachelor. He was a student in some school near Vadali. Babu Jee further proposed that the boy `may take admission in Sri Mukatsar High School, where Bhai Iqbal Singh was serving as Head master. This would ensure personal supervision by Bhai Iqbal Singh as also provide chance to benefit from holy environment of Sri Muktsar Darbar Sahib, historical shrine. Bhai Iqbal Singh Jee readily agreed to this arrangement. Thus Prem Singh Jee passed his matriculation from there. Next he took admission in Khalsa College Sri Amritsar and passed in Faculty of Arts (F.A.).
It was then time for much awaited ‘Anand Sanjog’, the destined marriage. Finally the day arrived and a marriage party of Gurmukhs, singing Gurbani Kirtan, landed at Narangwal. This was the first occasion for Sant Bhai Jawala Singh Jee’s visit. It turned out to be a long session of Akhand Kirtan. This was a summer gathering of devout souls, basking in spiritual environment. Gurmukh Prem Singh, the groom, was in most blissful state. Early morning Asa-Di-Var Kirtan started. It was full-moon night. Waves of Kirtan sound reached afar. The initiating prayer, ‘Ardasa’, by Gurmukh Bhai Mal Singh Jee brought a touch of flourishment to the yearning souls. The renowned Akali ‘Ragi’ Bhai Lachhman Singh Jee ‘Gandharb’ (title means ‘celestial singer’) started classical Kirtan in Divine-fervour. In addition to harmonium there was mingling of the tunes of ‘Nafris’ (flute type musical organs), played by two accompanying artists. The prominent Kirtaniyas of the Jatha were also present. The Anand marriage was performed in astounding prevalence of Bliss. The devout Bibi Kulwant Kaur was thus wedded to Gurmukh youthful Prem Singh. It was a perfect match of both physical and spiritual beauties. Prem Singh Jee’s charm fascinated one and all. I had come to admire him at the very first sight and that developed into still deeper love with this new relationship. They lived happily together in highest marital bliss.
Before I started coming to ‘Kumar Hatti’ hills, I was invited to secluded area of Solan hills by Sardar Basheshar Singh Jee, a high official of Patiala State, at his residence, along with entire Jatha. A long period of four-months was spent there. There was adequate arrangement for comfortable stay for all and the Langar expenses were borne by Sardar Basheshar Singh. The blest couple of Vir Prem Singh Jee and my beloved girl, Kulwant Kaur were also part of this gathering. The very sight of youthful Prem Singh was enough to make Sardar Basheshar Singh Jee and his wife Bibi Sagar Jee fall in deep love with him. Vir Prem Singh was appointed to an attractive post in Patiala state. Sardar Basheshar Singh was then among the prominent state officials, belonging to a highly reputed family. He came to admire high character and bearing of Prem Singh and almost adopted him. Though appointed as state employee, Prem Singh spent many years staying close to S. Basheshar Singh Jee. He served with utmost loyalty, intelligence and awareness. Prem Singh had excellent dealings with associated officials of both superior and subordinate categories. He came to be loved by one and all for his enthusing blissfulness and everyone claiming special relationship with him. His devotion to duty and obedience was such that he was ever willing for anything anytime, anywhere, without slightest hesitation. Though in my case he enjoyed a privileged position of almost son-in-law, yet he remained most humble and ready for any service. He never exhibited any sense of self-pride or haughtiness. Enjoying the blessedness of many sat-sang Samagams, his privileged relationship with me was never exhibited due to his deep humility. He always had sweet words for all, which were sweetened with his inner disposition and not just faked. It is this sweetness of disposition that wins recognition in House of the Guru and devoid of this virtue have no place. It is Naam-Simran, ceaseless Divine-Memory. It was Grace of the Guru that Prem Singh enjoyed both spiritual and worldly recognition.
The high social status of his family was well acknowledged in Vadali. It was so destined through Divine-Will that all members of this august family died within a period of one year. The house, once filled with hustle and bustle of activity, wore a deserted look. Prem Singh’s mother was first to depart and her glory too departed with her. Next it was turn of his younger sister and elder brother. Prem Singh’s son of about 3 years too died. Bibi Kulwant Kaur was left with two baby- daughters. His father was next victim of death, leaving all matters to the sole care and responsibility of Kaka Prem Singh. However in the general collapse, he too did not endure. None could anticipate his recall by Divine so soon. I was enjoying Spiritual Bliss at ‘Kumar- Hatti’ and Bibi Kulwant Kaur was also with me. A sudden news came that beloved of all, Prem Singh, while riding a bicycle between Sirhand and Bassi collided head-on with a Tonga and died in accident on the spot. All bewailed his untimely death in family circles and among spiritual associates. There was a wave of sympathy. Proceeding from Kumar-Hatti I headed for Narangwal. In the following Akhand-Patth Samagam all bereaved souls were gathered. The sole representative of the once large family was our beloved girl, Bibi Kulwant Kaur. A third daughter was born to her after few months of Prem Singh’s death. Accepting Divine-Will and drawing solace from spiritualist sympathizers, she is spending her days at her parental home. She had enjoyed a deep loving relationship with her husband, Prem Singh Jee.
The couple had accompanied me on my first tour of Kashmir. They were deeply steeped in enjoyment of Akhand Kirtans. Prem Singh had a pen-name of “Behbal’, that I was not aware of. When I found him in soaring spiritual flight and losing all other awareness I happened to comment that he was a great ‘pining-lover of Divine’. It was then that a knowing person informed me of his pen name that carried the same meaning. However he was never called by this name during congregations of Sat-Sang.
Time would pass and so would many youthfulness, yet the memories of the beloved would never fade. The Naam-imbued devout, abiding in the hereafter must be relishing great environment of high spirituality and would not look back here. How would those yearning for onward progress ever to look back! Wounds of separation of the love-lorn can never heal. The call of death does not discern the age of child, youth or old, but follows dictation of Master-Divine to lead mortals to the hereafter. Departed are the charming while riding the crest of spirituality and particularly those untouched by worldliness ended their life-sojourn beautifully in Bliss. This upheaval is a blessing in disguise for me. The pangs of this separation from Naam-imbued souls of devout, keeps me aloof from worldliness. The death always appears to be hovering overhead. It is a gift of these departees to the hereafter! My salutations to the graced ones of Guru’s House, whose souls departed one after the other to merge into Divine!!
ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਸਾਜਨਾ ਮੀਤਾ ਅਵਰੀਤਾ ॥
ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਜਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਗਾਡਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਲੀਅੜਾ ਦੀਤਾ ॥
ਲੀਆ ਤ ਦੀਆ ਮਾਨੁ ਜਿਨ@ ਸਿਉ ਸੇ ਸਜਨ ਕਿਉ ਵੀਸਰਹਿ ॥
ਜਿਨ@ ਦਿਸਿ ਆਇਆ ਹੋਹਿ ਰਲੀਆ ਜੀਅ ਸੇਤੀ ਗਹਿ ਰਹਹਿ ॥
ਸਗਲ ਗੁਣ ਅਵਗਣੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਹਿ ਨੀਤਾ ਨੀਤਾ ॥
ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਸਾਜਨਾ ਮੀਤਾ ਅਵਰੀਤਾ ॥
I am sacrifice unto my spiritually-awakened friends.
Those are the ones, my inseparable beloveds of common love.
How can the beloveds of unbreakable ties of love be forgotten?
Their very sight is enthralling and they remain ever so close to heart.
Ever blessed are they with all virtues, without a flaw.
Sacrifice am I unto my friends of spiritual -awakening!
Suhi Chhand M:1