Friday, 18 February 2011

Bhai Jeevan Singh

One evening, we had just finished doing keertan at Singh Sabha Slough. A singh phoned and said he had booked kirtan in Hounslow, and we should come straight away. Bhai sahib said lets go quickly, we should always be on time.

As Bhai sahib, his singhni, myself and another youth walked downstairs into the joorian section. A mona was walking in the Gurdwara. He bumped into Bhai sahib. He said sorry, and looked in Bhai sahib face. Those who knows bhai sahib know how enigmatic his smile his, and how his face always shines.

Bhai sahib said to him, I came here to especially see you, I have something for you. Bhai sahib took off his dastaar and handed it to him. The mona could not believe it was said to him with so much pyaar and humilty.
From that day that mona kept his kesh and came into sikhi...


When Proffessor Manjit Singh was the Jathedar of the Akal thakht Sahib. He called a World Sikh Smellan, which is basically a Sarbat khalsa. Every Gurdwara, sikh group, jatha around the world were invited and days of Panthik veechaar were done at Siri Akal thakht sahib. All Panthik matters were discussed. Thousands of Sikhs gathered, including all the luminories of the Panth.

Many people like political leaders, or jathedars were of self interest and wanted special treatment but everyone was treated equally. No dignatory was treated any more special. However for some reason the Panj Jathedars of the Thakhts sat on a sofa and the complex where this was happening. I saw a picture of it in The Spokesman.

As days of the veechars happened everyone gave their views on many subjects from rehit to khalistan. Proffesor Manjit singh wanted to get this vision of the World Sikh Council passed.

As the A-Z of Sikh leadership and intelligensia sat in the sangat on the floor. A simple gursikh walked into the complex building. He walked in humbly and mattha tekked, and went to sit in the sangat. However straight away, the Jathedars got up and ran over to him, and said to him, he must sit on the sofa. Totally embarrassed he refused. But they brought him over and sat him on the sofa. He sat uncomfortably because he is not one for that kind of attention.

That Gursikh was Bhai Jeevan Singh. The picture came in the Spokesman. It goes to show how highly Bhai sahib, his jeevan, his seva, and his nimarta is respected in the Panth, that only he was given such attention.
It is the virtues of Guru such a pure humility that pull peoples hearts.


Pyare jio, I attended Toronto smagam some years back. A few other young Gursikhs from Uk also attended.

Bhai sahib was at the Smagam, with many other special Gursikhs, all singing Guru jis bani, in Guru jis supreme presence. It was such a wonderful experience.

The day that we arrived, in the evening, we attended the keertan. After the keertan, the sangat were just mingling with each other. Bhai sahib as always was the centre of attention. People wanted to talk to him and take pictures with him.

Suddenly Bhai sahib came up to me and said fateh, and hugged me with his enigmatic smile. Another Singh had a camera, and said Bhai sahib, I want to take your picture. Bhai sahib said take my picture with these Gursikhs.

On the opposite side of the room was a young Gursikh that I know. He is quite humble. He rarely comes to the foreground. In his mind, he told me later, he thought, I wish I could have my picture taken with Bhai sahib. I wish he would notice me as well.

Bhai sahib straight away left us and walked swiftly over to him, and said to the photographer Singh. "Take one more with this Gursikh as well". The youth could not believe it, Bhai Sahib smiled at him.

The youth said afterwards, as soon as i thought that, he came. Bhai Sahib knew exactly what I was thinking. He just smiled at me, and I know he knew what I was thinking then as well.

The Gursikh was over whelmed after wards when speaking to us, and almost came to tears as he explained his emotions.

This is the thing about a jeevan wale Gursikh. It is the small things that they use to bring so much joy to people in their lives.


After I had taken Amrit for about a year, my Amrit vela started getting slack. I used to do Amrit vela with Bhai Saun Singh and Bhai Malkit Singh regularly at Bhai Saun Singh jis house. However I had stopped being a regular as before.

One day early in the morning at amrit vela, I was asleep. My father was at night shift and my mother was up doing her paath. The phone rang. It was Bhai Sahib phoning from Canada. My mother picked it up.

Bhai sahib said, "is bha ji there?"

Mother replied, "No, Bhai sahib, he is at night shift."

Bhai sahib said, "No, I am not talking about Pita ji. Is Bha ji there"

( bhai sahib always makes himself out to be the youngest, such is his humilty)

My mother came upstairs and woke me up, saying it is Bhai sahib phoning. I got up and quickly ran downstairs.

I said fateh on the phone.

Bhai sahib replied with Fateh, then said, "bhai ji, you have not mercy on me today, it is Amrit vela, and you forgot to wake me."

there was a silence....

Honestly, never have I ever ever felt so embarrassed for missing Amrit vela.

Bhai sahib said fateh, and I replied.

Me and my mother looked at each other wondering how Bhai sahib in canada knew that I had that day forgotten to get up at Amrit vela, here in UK.

Bhai Saheb Jee, the Sooraa:

When Operation Blue Star happened in India, a year later a big march was organized (an annual event) in Washington, DC. All the "leaders" made big speeches. Bhai Saheb Jee was invited to the podium. At the US Capitol steps he said calculated words: "Khalistaan Mangan Vaaleyo, Khalsey Bano!" 'nuff said!

Bhai Saheb Jee, the respect of Baani:

He had a hernia problem and had it operated on. It turned out to be a major procedure. He came from the hospital to stay at my parents place. He was in a pretty bad shape, medically speaking. We assisted him upstairs to a comfortable room. In the evening, we had scheduled a kirtan program. Everyone asked him not to come downstairs. He did not listen. He walked down on his own, bowed to saadh sangat and sat up right to listen to GurBaani Keertan. During that stay, his routine did not change from whenever he had stayed with us when in good health. Amrit Veylaa Naam Daan Ishnaan continued.

Bhai Saheb Jee, the giver:

I once noticed a lovely kirpaan on his person. I have always known not to compliment anything on Bhai Saheb Jee's person because he will give it to you. I don't know how it slipped off, but it was a very lovely little kirpan. Immediately, he gave it to me. Later he did say that it was a special gift to him from "santaa to(n)." I can only imagine who the original donor was. He asked me to not keep it as a keepsake, but to wear it. I am not worthy. Over the many years, I have received many things external and internal from Bhai Saheb Jee that will stay with me until this body survives.

Bhai Saheb Jee, the silent one:

I went to pick him up at the airport and on the way home I asked him the meanings of a line from GurBaani. He said, do you have a tape player in this car? I said no (it was long time ago, okay!). He said he will buy me one (he still owes me that one LOL!!!). But nothing else was said. I looked at him. He closed his eyes and just bowed his head. I had hung around him enough to not say a peep.

Evening came and kirtan was started. I always had the honour of tabley di sevaa. All the questions were answered that evening. That day I learned, that it is GurBaani that has all the answers.

Bhai Saheb Jee, the little things:

Once a phone call arrived, Bhai Saheb Jee knew who it was. He picked up the phone and let out a high-pitched gurrrrrrrrr. If there was any reminence of five dushts in that room, they were now gone! It was Bhai Saheb Jee's Naam Khandaa he had stirred in the virtual company of another Naamee!

Another phone call - Bhai Saheb Jee answered himself. He opened by saying, "mai tuhaadey pair chatdaa(n)." And he proceeded to pass kisses across the phone line...

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