Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bhai Shingara Singh Additional Info...

I have also just remembered how much he would stress the importance of pronunciation of Gurbani. And used to say, watch the sehaj paat from Baru Sahib daily. He told me that he would listen to this after amritvela. And said how the Bani was shudd and that Baru Sahib is doing brilliant seva.

Another memory is that he would tell me to build my sayth/body and become stronger because of my natural skinny build, by having one spoon of ghee in milk before bed as he said he used to.

And also he would often go down in keertan programs and tell those off who were not sitting in darbar.

He would also tell us to wear bigger karay saying, 'ah kee ya, baday eik kilo dhay karay paayaa karo, puratan singha vangoo', 'what are these? you should wear bigger karay of 1 kg and more just like the puratan gursikhs used to'
                      -     -     -      -     -
This was posted on by bhenjee Jatinder Kaur d/o Bhai Rajinder Singh, with an amazing photo attached at the end:
Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, Vaheguru ji ki fateh

I was really sad to hear that Bhai Sahib has passed away.
I was fortunate to be able to interview him when I was in the UK last year while interviewing gursikhs who knew my father. I have audio recording not video.

I remember seeing Bhai Sahib at many rehnsbahi and kirtain programs when I was growing up, he had such an aura and presence around him, it was so inspiring. I remember seeing him perform gatka at the annual Birmingham Vaisakhi nagar kirtain.

The following are some extracts from the interview I had with Bhai Sahib Shingara Singh Oct 2011:

When my father Bhai Sahib Rajinder Singh was approximately 19-20 years he approached one of the Naam imbued Gursikhs - Bhai Shingara Singh ‘Nihang’ after an Amrit Sanchar at Smethwick Gurdwara. Bhai Rajinder Singh was doing joriya thi seva and Bhai Shingara Singh had just entered the foyer areas. Bhai Rajinder Singh approached him and asked him “when should a Sikh take Amrit?. Bhai Shingara Singh replied that when the Sidhas had asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji this question, Guru Ji replied that
pvn ArMBu siqgur miq vylw ]
pavan ara(n)bh sathigur math vaelaa ||
From the air came the beginning. This is the age of the True Guru's Teachings.
sbdu gurU suriq Duin cylw ]
sabadh guroo surath dhhun chaelaa ||
The Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I lovingly focus my consciousness; I am the chaylaa, the disciple.
(This Shabad is by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Raag Raamkalee on Pannaa 942)
Which meant, that as soon as the body has breath, you should think about the guru. Bhai Rajinder SIngh was so moved by this gursikh’s bachan. Over a 6 month period, Bhai Rajinder SIngh would go to Bhai Shingara Singh house and discuss gurmat. Bhai Shingara SIngh gave Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh ‘Jail Chetia’ book for Bhai Rajinder Singh to read.

Eventually Bhai Raijinder Singh became ready to take Amrit and this happened during the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (AKJ) Rehnsbahi at Smethwick High Street Gurdwara in April 1972.
Bhai Shingara SIngh was in the Panj Piyaray along with Bhai Rama SIngh and many other Naam imbued gursikhs at that time.

Bhai Rajinder Singh was very close to Bhai Shingara Singh ‘Nihang’ and was actively involved in the seva with AKJ during the 1970’s in the UK through organising kirtain and Rensbahi and Amrit Sanchar seva.

When I interviewed Bhai Shingara SIngh, he told me that when my father (Bhai Rajinder SIngh) passed away in 2000, it was such a big 'vichora' and dukh, there was so much piyaar between them that it was like he had lost his saka brother or relative.

Even when I interviewed him, he provided me with Gurmat guidance, that for a SIkh their Jeewan is essential. I should regular do sehaj path (he asked me whether I had ever done this, luckily I had). He emphasised the importance of Amrit vela and reading as many bania in the day.
"Gursikh ki har thoor they"
Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ke fateh
Jatinder Kaur (Brisbane, Australia)
Bhai Shingara Singh on the left and Bhai Rajinder Singh from the 1970's:
  -                  -                -                -                  -       


Another memory that has just come to mind is when I was doing Matha Tekh in front of Guru Sahib in Shingara Singh's home. And I had one hand on my kirpan to stop it from falling foward.

Shingara Singh quite strictly told me that there must be 2 hands touching the floor when doing matha tekh and should hold the other hand back at all. 8 parts of the body should touch the floor, or even better is full dandhaouth (laying prostrate)

• Bhai Shingara Singh passed away between the hours of 12am – 1am on the 1/7/11

• In the meeting with the elder Gursikhs he requested for his funeral to be in chardi kala and the keertan to be in the same spirit, as it was. He also wished for his saathees and elders to take lead in the funeral.

• In the last few days he met with all the elder Gursikhs for the last time as he knew he would pass away very soon; however he never directly signalled when.

• He also offered to give the one of the elder Gursikhs who he met with on the last day a large amount of money so that he could take it to India and donate it to Nanaksar, I believe, to help with seva there.

• One of the points out of them 15 was that he told the Gursikh was that he wanted all the Sikhs to get together and fight for justice in India and to unite and fight oppression. The other Singh told him that the court fees are very costly. But Bhai Shingara Singh as he used to in chardi kala spirit said 'Singha dhay bohath paesay yaa, katay hokay larro!' 'The Singhs have got a load of money, get together unite and fight!

• Bhai Madhan Singh was a very good friend of Bhai Shingara Singh Jee. Bhai Madhan Singh was also a saathee of Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh.

• Bhai Madhan Singh met Bhai Shingara Singh in the UK when Bhai Shingara Singh came in 1963. There were very few kesadharee Sikhs and Bhai Shingara Singh actually went out to look for Gursikhs. This is how he met Bhai Madhan Singh.

• Bhai Madhan Singh also said that whenever there was any sort of protest of panthic masla Bhai Shingara Singh was always at the front with Bir Ras Spirit and always holding a big kirpan.

·         I remember when I first met him it was at his home. I gave him a naam hug and a thought came in my mind to touch his feet out of respect and earn the charan dhoor of such an amazing Gursikh. However I sat down and funnily enough the first thing he told me was that a person has only 1 head and not 2. Therefore once a person has given his head to the Guru then he cannot possibly give it to anyone else or even put someone so highly compared to the Guru. It was as if he had read my mind.

·         Another Singh told me about his first meeting with Bhai Shingara Singh occurred at a raensubhaee keertan program. It was the first time the Singh had worn bana and naturally he was feeling a little nervous. Shingara Singh approached him and immediately said Gurfateh and told the Singh how good bana looks and instructed him now to also become shastardharee. The Singh told me that it was as if Bhai Sahib knew that it was the first time he had worn bana.

·         Everyone has mentioned how Bhai Shingara Singh treated everyone as his own child and he would always say Fateh with much pyaar for the other. Even if someone were not to greet him first, he would still approach them with Gurfateh first no matter who it was.

No comments:

Post a Comment