Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Master Joginder Singh BaRundi

By Pr. Gurmukh Singh jee in Soora, Feb. 1995

Master Joginder Singh jee BaRundi was on of those Gursikhs in the Akhand Keertanee Jatha who lived amazing and noble Sikh lives. He was born January 11, 1900 in village BaRundi dist. Sangroor. Master jee passed his metric and then to become a teacher, took the GAV course. In 1925 he took a job as a teacher at the Guru HarGobind High School, Gurusar Sudhaar. He worked here for 31 years, from 1924 to 1937 and then from 1940 to 1959.

From 1937 to 1940 Master jee was the secretary at Sree Darbaar Saahib Tarntaaran Saahib. BaRundi is 16Km from Gurusar Sudhaar and Master jee used to come every day from his village by bike. When leaving for school, he would begin Sukhmani Saahib and would finish by the time he arrived. Master jee went to his place at the feet of the Guru on March 7, 1964 after leading of a life of naam and encouraging others to meditate on naam as well.

From birth, Master jee's feet were twisted. The bones from his knees down were also afflicted but his upper frame was strong. He was a handsome and impressive Singh. When Master jee was at Narangvaal doing sevaa in Sree Akhand Paath Sahib, Bhai Joginder Singh, an officer in Patiala State, got the idea to marry his daughter to him. He spoke to Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh about this idea. Bhai Saahib said frankly that the boy was in Chardee Kalaa in every way in terms of Gursikhi but there was a birth defect in his legs and feet. The puraatan Gursikhs were blessed that they did not have any pride over their rank or position and they married their daughter to a virtuous Singh even though he was from a poor family. Puraatan Gursikhs ignored looks, faces, money and rank, and only looked towards sharing virtues and qualities.

Before Master jee received amrit, his name was Harnaam Singh. He was named Joginder Singh after receiving amrit. One example from Gurusar Sudhaar's Khalsa High School gives some idea of Mater jee's Gursikhi life. In the Khalsa School, there was a Gurdvara Sahib. A Nihang Singh used to do the seva of Granthi there. This Granthi was so firm in his principles that the seva of taking a hukumnama was restricted only to himself or to Master Joginder Singh jee. No one else could do this sevaa. From this it seems that Nihang also had a good jeevan and could sense the love and devotion of Master jee. No one else from the school staff could take a hukumnama, but this all has a hidden meaning that cannot really be described.

I haven't been able to find out how Master jee met Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee, but BaRundi is not far from Narangvaal. Bhai Sahib's service for the Panth and then his time in Jail and many other incidents from his life must have influenced the young Master Joginder Singh. Even before Bhai Sahib's return from jail, Master jee had received amrit and was doing sevaa in Akhand Paaths. In 1933 Bhai Sahib and Master jee must have been very close for Bhai Sahib arranged his marriage with the Patiala officer's daughter.

When Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee used to write books, only a few people could read his handwriting. Master jee took this sevaa upon himself and he used to recopy Bhai Sahib's drafts before they were sent to the printers. He used to also check the lagaa(n) maatraa(n) on the quotations given from baaNee. The book "Gurmat ManDan, Manmat KhanDan" was entirely dictated to Master jee. Master jee worked hard to bring the legacy Bhai Sahib's books from 1933 to the present time. Master jee himself wrote the following books: Gurmat Gohaj Ratan and Sunyjay Ghar Kaa Pahunaa. After retiring, Master jee started "The Line Printing Press" which ran until 1964.

Master jee was a great Akhand Paathee from laReedaar saroop. Almost all of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee's old companions were good Akhand Paathees. Because the Singhs used to listen to so much beautiful keertan, they also were beautiful paathees. When Bhai Sahib used to go to Keertan Smaagams, he used to always have many Akhand Paathees with him who used to also do seva in Akhand Paaths. Many of the Singhs in Ranglay Sajjan listened to entire Akhand Paaths in one sitting. Master jee also did this. By listening to Akhand Paaths, the transforming power of GurbaaNee can be experienced. Nowadays, Akhand Paaths are certainly a part of our Smaagams due to tradition, but only a few Singhs and Singhnees actually go to listen. Perhaps this is why there are less lovers of baaNee today than before.

In March 1959 Master jee began monthly RaN Sabaaiees in the villages around Ludhiana and Master Ujjager Singh (Farvalee) continued this sevaa. Because of these monthly RaN Sabaaiees, there was a lot of parchaar in Malwa and these monthly programs continue even today.

Master Joginder Singh jee's face was always glowing and naam was going inside him. Whenever he met someone, he would meet them with love and respect. He considered the service of the Guru and Panth the purpose of his life.

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