Experiences With Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee
By Bibi Harsharan Kaur & Principal Gurmukh Singh jee
Atam Rang, July 1999
Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org
We had heard about the Gurmat lifestyle of most respected father, Bhai Sahib Bhai Randheer Singh jee in Srinagar. We had heard of his name before and that he had spent 16 years in prison. We had heard about him being a patriot and about his role in the Gurdvara Rakab Ganj struggle, but it was in Srinagar where we first heard about his life as a devotee at the feet of the Guru. We heard about him this way: there were a brother and sister who were detached from worldly life. They remained in Satsang. They used to discuss which path would let them be accepted at the door of the Satguru and thus be ferried across the world-ocean. They used to go to Satsang, read BaaNee and eventually, they came to the realisation that one of them was soon to depart. They decided that whoever left first, would come back and tell the other what to do. By Akaal Purakh's will, the sister passed away first. As per the promise, her soul returned to meet her brother and said "The path upon which we were travelling is the right one, but it's most important to receive Amrit and doing Satsang while keeping Rehit. I'll tell you about
some of the Guru's beloved Satsangees and you should certainly go see them."
She encouraged her brother to go to Narangvaal and to remain on the Gursikhi path while reciting naam and staying in Satsangat. The brother heard all this and told his friends. We also heard all this and coincidentally, we were coming upon a vacation. We arrived at the Poh Suptamee at Narangvaal and for the first time heard a raN sabaaiee keertan. We heard it, and
the effect was such that our relationship was forever established (with this Jatha). This was our first meeting with Bhai Sahib.
Meeting Bhai Sahib
It was our second or third vacation and we were staying in Ludhiana. We came and found out that Bhai Sahib was not longer in Narangvaal but in Ludhiana's Model Town. He was living in house #79. We were very excited to go meet him. This all happened around 1951. We weren't amritdhaaree, and my husband( Col. Daljeet Singh jee) wasn't even keshdhaaree. However we definitely loved going to keertans. So, my husband alone went to Model Town Gurdvara to
enquire about Bhai Sahib. It was a Sunday and keertan was taking place. My husband heard the keertan and after the bhog, he followed Bhai Sahib on foot. Bhai Sahib was in the lead and the other Singhs walked to house #79.
My husband also entered the house and asked, to see Bhai Sahib. In response one carefree-type Singh said "not now, Bhai Sahib is resting." But Col. Daljeet Singh was called in from the inside. When Col. Daljeet Singh went in, he was a man who had been without kesh for 17 years and was wearing a borrowed reddish dastaar which he didn't even know how to tie properly.
Little hair were coming out of the dastaar and his beard was trimmed.
But as soon as he entered, Bhai Sahib sat him down with love and asked how he
My husband's heart was won over. Col. Daljeet Singh asked "if I have your permission, may I come have your darshan in the future?"
Bhai Sahib replied sweetly, "Oh, you should certainly come! I will have YOUR darshan. And be sure to bring your wife as well."
Col. Sahib returned home and there was a unique happiness on his face, and he was thinking "Bhai Sahib has given so much love to a patit like me, and asked me to be sure to come again. Imagine that he said to me, 'I'll happily have your darshan too.'"
That divinely coloured soul, sent from the Guru's door could see the future of this lost person, and knew the Guru was about to take him in, and knew it was his duty to bring this lost one to the Guru's door.
After some time, we went to Delhi. One day I was in the Chandnee Chounk Bazzar buying some winter items when at the Red Fort bus stand I saw a bust stop and out came some women with dastaars. I saw this and was astounded. I wondered where they had come from. Usually no one like this could be seen. I saw those Gurmukhi forms and was internally drawn towards them. I
asked, "Who are you? Where do you live?"
They replied "We are from Ludhiana, and we're here because of the yearly Delhi Dussehra Smaagam. Today, the keertan will be at the PahaaR Ganj Gurdvara and tomorrow will be the RaN Sabaaiee at Bangla Sahib."
I quickly took a taxi home and asked my husband to quickly get ready and take me to the PahaaR Ganj Gurdvara. He agreed. When we arrived in the Sangat, before us we saw Bapoo Jee (Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh) with both his arms on a bairaagaN, clanging his KaRas, lost in the Shabad "Gobind mun mohiaa jeeo. Santan kai parsaad agaadh kanthay lag sohiaa jeeo."
The women I had seen at the Red Fort were the same ones doing keertan. Those were Bibi Updaysh Kaur and Gurcharan Kaur. That scene and that current immersed into me. The world was forgotten. What I saw before me cannot be described.
The next day we arrived at the ransabaiee and the whole night, amrit rained down. This was beyond words or descriptions. Then I don't know where those souls went (f rom the smaagam). I searched for them, but couldn't find them.
Meeting Chaanee Jee
One day my husband came home and said that he had found a Singh from the Jatha. He was living in Delhi and did keertan as well. The next day he brought the Singh with him. He seemed like he was from another world. He spoke in a different way too. And what he said was different too. He would eat nothing but I noticed a sense of happiness and care-freeness from him. This was our first meeting with Singhs. That Singh was Chaanee Jee. His full name is Bhai Preetam Singh but Bhai Sahib used to call him Chaanee jee out of love. In keertans, he would play the tabla. At that time, he was a Sarblohi Singh.
We began to find out about keertan programs and began to go to the Sunday keertans. We found Satsangat. My husband began to keep his kesh and wear a dastaar. The Sangat of Gursikhs and their loving ways made our lives beautiful and sweet. One day, Col. Piara Singh jee came to Delhi to visit his son Major Inderjeet Singh. Due to some business regarding his son, he came to our house. Meeting him at that time made our desire to receive amrit very intense. Then Poh Sudee Suptmee came and we went to Ludhiana. We went to meet Bapoo jee and he lovingly met us. "Oh Bhai! You are very fortunate! Your wife is also very fortunate! Even the Bibi's mother is fortunate!"
With his amrit-filled glance, he took us lowly, worldly ones, stuck and covered in the mud of maya and washed us with the rain of praise. He said, "Take Amrit (amrit chakk lo)." My husband replied, "My wife is hesitant to wear a dastaar." Bhai Sahib then said, "She will certainly take amrit." Those words became true. Satguru jee gave us the gift of Amrit.
Our desire to see Bhai Sahib increased. After short intervals, we'd come to Ludhiana to see him, and by doing so, our souls would blossom. If any question arose when meeting him, he would answer it without us even asking. He was really the knower of the heart, and could guess what was within it.
One day Bhai Sahib asked "Do you know any shabads?" I said, "Jee, I know one." "Fine, let's hear it." Jaan Sukhaalaa jee went and got the joRee. I sang the shabad "Keeo shingaar milan kay taaee(n). Har na milay jagjeevan gosaaee(n)." Hearing the Shabad, Bhai Sahib was very happy. He gave me so much love. With this shabad, our relationship was made even closer.
Meeting a 'Sant'
One day two young, unknowing girls from Bhai Sahib's family along with a friend went to see a Sant's smaagam at a dera. There, there was a huge crowd. People were rushing to see the Sant. The sevaadaars would take some select people near the Sant, and the rest of the people stood waiting in the sun. These two bibis with their dastaars could be seen from far away. The Sant called them close and said "Some people are very fundamentalist..." etc. He was saying all this because the bibis hadn't bowed before the Sant, and only said Fateh. So they returned after hearing a lot from the Sant.
Because they had gone with their friend without taking permission, they were afraid. One said "Now Bapoo jee will scold us." The other then said "We won't tell him."
When they returned, no one knew they had gone to the Dera. Then one Singh came and said that Bhai Sahib was summoning the two bibis. We understood, but we couldn't believe he knew. When we went inside Bhai Sahib said, "Have you gotten the darshan of the Saadh? Did you hear the slander of Gursikhs? What did you not have that you went there to get? Bibi! Satguru jee has given you birth in the house of Gursi khs, and so you are fortunate. You received amrit in your mouths, which has no equal. He has given you the gift of Naam and a place in the Sangat. Even more blessings were given and you were given the gift of keertan. What did you want that you went there?"
We asked for forgiveness and said "Bapoo jee, we just went to see what happens there. We've made a mistake. We also thought that you wouldn't know and no one would know. We've made a big mistake. Forgive us. " Bhai Sahib didn't say any of this in front of anyone and scolded us in private.
Blessings of Keertan
One day Bhai Sahib called us and said "Bibi! The committee of Gurdvara Aalamgeer has printed their yearly Smaagam posters without asking us and written that The Jatha will do the three hour Amrit Vela Aasaa dee Vaar and then open keertan too, until the dhaadees begin."
I was worried. Bibi Gurdeesh Kaur had gone to her in-laws and she was our main keertanee. We said, "Baapoo jee, we can't do it. Gurdeesh Kaur isn't there. There will be a big gathering of sangat there." Bhai Sahib then said, "What are you going to do? Satguru jee is going to do it. You just go."
With Bibi Daler Kaur, the two of us and a Singh on the joRee, we left. It was as if someone had given us something magical to drink. We only became conscious after the final chhakaa. When we got up and came out, it was as if our feet weren't touching the ground, just floating on it. We went home and went straight to Bhai Sahib. He was strolling outside. He saw us and began
to laugh. He said "My pair of precious jewels did so well!" We said "But you were with us though..." He gave us so much love and then said "Ask for what you want." What could we ask for? We couldn't speak. Our insides were asking for that same awareness th at he experienced. Vahiguru, Vahiguru! If we write this story, it'll never end. This all took place around 1957-58. It's true that Guru Sahib himself takes the seva of keertan from us. That day the two of us did keertan seva with love and then Satguru jee gave us countless blessings.
The 1965 war had started. We were at Ferozepur Cantonment. Without warning, the army crossed the Satluj and all the houses and barracks emptied around us. The whole area was silent and empty. No one could come to take the children from the house at that time. The whole area was deserted, the streets empty, and all buildings uninhabited. Night fell. No light could be
seen for miles. At a distance was a church, nothing else. Anyone could break the windows of those big bungalows and easily enter. In our house were three girls and six-month-old baby. No other servants or caretakers. All Quarters were empty around us. That was a terrifying night. I fell unconscious with fright. Then Bapoo jee came and stood before me. He said, "Get up Bibi!
Why are you afraid? I'm here now. The Guru is with you. Nothing can happen to you. Get up and recite the shabad. He sang the shabad with me "Bhairo(n) Mahulla 5. Oothat sukheeaa baaithat sukheeaa..." He sang this entire shabad. I got up and took the Amrit Keertan Pothee and read this shabad over and over. All my fears went away.
Morning came and someone came to get us and I happily went to my own home. Remember that Bhai Sahib had left us in 1961. This event happened in 1965.
Stories from Pr. Gurmukh Singh jee:
Bibi Bhupinder Kaur jee's Keertan
This is a story of Bibi Bhupinder Kaur jee, wife of Bhai Soorat Singh Pooran jee. I heard this story from them and wrote it down so our keertanee Singhs and Bibis can learn something from it. Bibi jee had learnt to do keertan in classical raags at a very young age. Bibi jee used to go to Narangvaal for the Poh Sudee Satvee(n) gupurab to celebrate the arrival of Dashmesh pita
jee. She tells us that once she prepared 25 new shaabads for the smaagam so that they could be done at four or five turns at keertan. But what happened was the opposite. When she arrived at Narangvaal, Sodar was concluding and upon arriving, Bhai Sahib called her to the stage and asked her to sing keertan. At that deevaan after Sodar, one by one, all 25 shabads were sung
and Bhai Sahib was very happy. He said "sing more!" But he knew that I had no other shabads prepared. He then said.."That's it? You're empty? You came so full. Well, prepare more for the morning."
Bibi Bhupinder Kaur thought to herself "all the shabads I had prepared, Bhai Sahib has heard in the first sitting. How will I do 5 more divaans? But know this as truth that the bliss I got after becoming empty at that smaagam is one of my unforgettable memories. I don't know how Guru Sahib first emptied me and then with his own blessings made me do keertan. We think that WE
do keertan. Satguru jee himself comes within us and takes this seva. It's like "Nanak jant vajaaiyaa vaajai"
The above story teaches us that Satugur jee himself blesses us and makes us do keertan. By becoming "empty" and then doing keertan while attached to the feet of the Guru, we get a totally different type of enjoyment. The ones who listen to keertan always remain in enjoyment if they listen to keertan with their consciousness but Keertanees are always either "full" (with new shabads) or "empty". Keertan is a gift, not an art.
Bhai Santa Singh & Bhai Sahib
Bhai Santa Singh (IAS Rtd.) told me this story. At 79 Modelt Town Ludhiana, he and Bhai Bava Singh used to help bathe Bhai Sahib at Amrit Vela (1.30AM-2AM). Then Bhai Bava Singh began to stay at Kumarhatti to do seva in the Gurdvara there, and then Bhai Santa Singh began to do this seva alone. Bhai Santa Singh tells us, "One day while helping Bhai Sahib bathe, a thought entered my mind that 'if there was no mighty Singh like me to do this seva here, then no one would've been able to lift Bhai Sahib's big frame, and Bhai Sahib wouldn't have been able to bathe.' At that time, Bhai Sahib was sitting on a wooden stool. After he bathed, I used to put my
arms underneath his, and raise him with my strength. That day, when the thought was in my head, I don't know how Bhai Sahib found out about it. When I was raising him from under his arms that day, it felt as if Bhai Sahib was heavier. I tried with even more strength than usual that day but I couldn't lift Bhai Sahib. Then, in pride of my youthfulness, I gave it all my
strength, but Bhai Sahib didn't budge. Bhai Sahib kept laughing and saying "Oi Santa Singh! What's happened to you today? Why aren't you lifting and standing me up?"
I understood what he was saying and said in a crying voice "Bapoo jee, today I'm powerless. You yourself, please stand up." Then, with just a little bit of my effort, Bhai Sahib himself stood up. Everything was hidden in his laughter. He said nothing more to me. This hint was enough for me to understand that what pride could I have over my strength? This strength was all Akaal's gift and this seva was also his gift.
Man too(n) mut maaN karaih(n) jih hou(n) kicch jaaNdaa, Gurmukh
hoho. (Anng 441)
Jo jaanai mai jobanvant. So hovat bishtaa kaa jant. (panaa, 278)