Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Bhai Sahib Harnaam Singh Komal

From Soora, January 1987 


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Bhai Harnam Singh jee Komal was a famous jewel of the NirbaaN Keertanee Jatha. He was a very close companion of Bhai Saahib Randheer Singh jee and all old Jatha Singhs are very familiar with him. His magnetic personality pulled everyone close to him. During ardaas when Komal jee would say Vahiguru, he would produce a unique echo. He would always be encouraging his companions to do naam abhyaas. Komal jee was firm in his ways and never bowed before any officer or anyone else. He lived his entire life in a very royal fashion.

Regarding Komal jee’s demeanor, his sister Bibi Variaam Kaur writes that from the very start, Komal jee was always independent and did as he wished. He didn’t easily listen to what others had to say. When both of us, brother and sister, went to Bhulovaal regarding our older brothers marriage engagement, we found out that Maaee Jhugee was visiting and was staying out in the fields. We went to meet her. This Maaee was a hundred years old and a virgin. She was very happy to meet us. In our discussion, I mentioned that my brother (Komal jee) was very stubborn. Our father had arranged his maariage when he was a child and had promised someone his hand, but now he would not listen. Maee jee said Bibi, this is a soul who has done a lot of meditation in his last life. He has meditated a lot and this is why he has a very hard nature. He will be the salvation for 21 of your generations. Don’t say anything to him. We were eventually forced to reject that marriage arrangement.

Komal jee was born in Mithaa TivaaNaa in the home of Mata Lachhmee and father Bhai Gulab Singh on June 11, 1911. Mata Lachhmee had many good qualities. She had a very strong dedication to her household duties. Every day Mata jee would prepare food for her husband or some visiting Saint by grinding the grain herself and while preparing the food she would do one Sukhmani Saahib and another while preparing buttermilk. When Mata jee was pregnant, she would daily do 25 Japjee Saahibs. In their home the family had parkaash of Sree Guru Granth Saahib. Mata jee would keep reciting baaNee while standing, sitting and at all times. Mata jee was also very generous. She would serve the less fortunate with food and clothes with great enthusiasm. Mata jee passed away in 1930-31 but her Gurmat lifestyle had a deep effect on her children.

Komal jee studied upto the tenth grade in Khalsa High School Sargodha. Sargodha is near Mithaa TivaaNaa. Where Komal jee was very influenced by his mother’s seva and faith as well as her Gurmat lifestyle, he was also influenced by his teacher at Sargodha School, Mater Nihal Singh. Master jee’s sharing of his Gurmukh qualities caused Komal jee to be pierced with faith for the Guru. Master Nihaal Singh was a very serious individual and his qualities were stamped onto the hearts of all the school’s children. If he was to scold a child for a mistake, he would pat the child and then push him and say Gurmukha! What is this? Step aside!

Through destiny, Komal jee’s mother and Master Nihaal Singh had a very deep effect on him. Every day he would go to the well and fill clay pots with cold water, lift them upon his head and then take them to the Gurdvara Sahib to lovingly serve the sangat. During both his breaks and his school going days Komal jee would continue this service. After High School, Komal jee went to the Government Engineering College in Rasool and passed a course in Draftsmanship. He found employment in Lahore. When he was free from his job, he would either go to shores of the river and sit in peace or go to Gurdvara Dehra Sahib and clean the dishes from the Langar.

During his school days, because of the influence of his aunt Gian Kaur, Komal jee was very big fan of Bhai Saahib Veer Singh jee and would day and night sing his praises. Because of his nearness to Bhai Veer Singh jee, Komal jee’s poetry appeared in the Khalsa Samaachaar newspaper under the title Komal jee Sargodhvee. However, when, by the will of the Guru, Komal jee met Bhai Saahib Randheer Singh jee in Lahore, he forgot about Bhai Veer Singh jee and became only for Bhai Saahib. This relationship lasted in high spirits till his final breaths.

After joining the NirbaaN Keertanee Jatha, in 1937, Komal jee appeared in an Amrit Sinchaar Smaagam before the Panj Pyaaray and received amrit, but he remained without the deep colours of naam which should have coloured him. After nine or ten hours, when Komal jee was brought before Bhai Saahib, Bhai Saahib was shocked and said to Jathedar Baoo Mul Singh jee, What has happened here? Then locking eyes with Komal jee, Bhai Saahib said How unfortunate! He has Bhai Veer Singh sitting inside him and due to his own understanding, he has given equal status to that one Sikh and the Punj Pyaaray who are the Guru’s own form. I have great hopes from this long separated soul. Satguru himself will reveal the true and complete Gurmat to him.

After this, a limitless love with Bhai Saahib Randheer Singh jee’s Jatha started. Komal jee, speaking about a personal miracle he experienced, writes the following: I was in Giaan Dheengra jee’s car when Bhai Saahib jee touched my Trikutee (on the forehead). The deep meditation that I realized at that time, I have never experienced again!

In Komal jee’s home in Lahore’s Krishna Nagar, Akhand Paath smaagams and keertan sessions were always happening. The intoxication of naam was so strong at the weekly smaagams that keertan would go on till noon with no one even thinking about eating langar. All attention was devouted towards the food of Amrit naam and eating that, we would be satisfied.

And so Komal jee passed his entire life in the NirbaaN Keertanee Jatha’s Smagams and Gupruab ransabaaees and Akhand paath sahibs, in the enjoyment of naam. Sometimes Komal jee was troubled because of the Asthma he had inherited from his father’s side of the family, but he never ever faltered in preserving his amrit vela and taking a full bath including washing his kesh.

As the final day approached, Komal jee’s last Poh Sodee Saptmee Smaagam arrived, which was always celebrated in Ludhiana’s Model Town Sree Guru Singh Sabhaa. Komal jee spent the entire time in the corner of the Langar hall, washing the used Sarbloh dishes. He would not speak with anyone and his attention was turned towards the keertan from the loud speaker and with his hands he was serving his Lord. Komal jee hinted to his younger brother Bhai Saahib Soorat Singh Pooran jee that he was preparing to move to the next world.

Veer Soorat Singh Pooran jee tells us that for a year before his leaving us, Komal jee would go to the cremation grounds and peacefully sit there, alone for a long time. He had a great love for flowers and he planted a few plants in the cremation grounds and told his family that his body should be cremated at this place (Komal jee’s love for flowers and love for the Guru were visible at the Nargvaal Poh Sodee Saptmee Gurpurab when the Nagar Keertan was taken out. He would go to various bungalows and shower Sree Guru Granth Saahib jee and the Sikh Sangat with flowers).

Finally on March 6, 1986, amrit vela arrived. Komal jee’s body was not well for a few days. On this day however, although he was weak, he was not experiencing any difficulty. According to his daily schedule, this day too, he rose at Amrit Vela and listened to Nitnem, Sukhmani Saahib and other BaaNees from his wife Bibi Inderjeet Kaur and enjoyed them in total bliss. After the conclusion of the path, Komal jee had some slices of an orange and then told his wife that she should rest and he too would rest for a while. After a little while, Komal jee’s son brought some milk and herbal tea and called for his father, but no response followed. He woke his mother and she too came running. A doctor was called but the soul-bird had flown. Komal jee had left for the abode of the Guru.

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