Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Ji

Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Ji was born in 1912 in the
village of Kurala in the district of Hoshiarpur. His mother’s
name was Dhan Kaur and his father’s name was Bhagwan
Singh. In his early years he was educated at Moolak Kula
primary school. His father was in the army and due to his
bravery was awarded land in the village of Mintgomary in
Pakistan, and so the whole family moved there. He completed
his secondary education there and was married to Bibi
Gurbachan Kaur. Bhai Avtar Singh was involved in agricultural
work there until Pakistan was formed in 1947. He then
returned back to his old village of Kurala and continued

He came to meet Bhai Harnam Singh and Bhai Pritam Singh
from Dasuha, and with their Sangat started to read Bhai Sahib
Bhai Randhir Singh’s inspirational books. Upon reading he felt a
strong urge to take Amrit and lead a Gursikh way of life, and
he also began going to Gurmat Smagams around Talwara and
Dasuha with other Gursikhs. He also went to Model Town
Ludhiana and met Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh.

Bhai Avtar Singh finally took Amrit with his wife on 13th
April 1961, at the Vaisakhi Smagam in Ludhiana. He started
wearing the Khalsa uniform (Bana) and also took up the strict
Rehat of eating in Sarbloh (iron utensils), which he carried on
until the end of his life. Many families were influenced by his
high standards of Rehat-Rehni and were inspired to take

Bhai Avtar Singh used to visit all the places where the
Akhand Kirtani Jatha Smagams were held to enjoy the Kirtan
and Naam-Bani. In 1969 the Akhand Kirtani Jatha organised a
Yatra to Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib by buses and Kirtan
was performed at Gurdwaras along the route. Bhai Avtar Singh
also took part in that Yatra and also took part in the Sewa of
the Panj Pyare in the Smagams.

He had such a desire to do Bhagti that he left the
accommodation of his village and erected a hut on his
farmland far away from his village, where he performed Guru
Granth Sahib’s Parkash and started living there until his last
days. He would get up at 12 o’clock in the night and after
having Ishnaan would start doing Naam-Abyass and continue
this until daylight.

He started making arrangement to go to the Vaisakhi
Smagam being held in Amritsar by the Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
He said farewell to his family and told them to always follow a
Gursikh way of life and to love one another and that he was
not going to return. Bhai Sahib had decided to leave his home
and to stay at the Khalsa farm in Gurdaspur and to accompany
the Jatha to do Sikhi Parchar in the nearby villages. He arrived
at the Vaisakhi Smagam at Amritsar and was the first person to
give Shaheedi.

The Gurmukhs who eye-witnessed his Shaheedi say that
when a bullet from the Nirankaris stuck him he immediately
fell on the floor. But he quickly regained his composure and sat
up cross-legged and started doing Nam-Abyass very loudly and
then went into a deep meditative state. As he was sitting there,
the Nirankaris smashed lathis on his bare head. Bhai Sahib
remained sitting there upright and motionless until his last

Shaheed Avtar Singh Ji has five sons and one daughter whose
names are: Bhai Kirpal Singh, Bhai Harbaksh Singh, Bhai Iqbal
Singh, Bhai Rattan Singh, Bhai Harbhajan Singh and Bibi Surjeet
Kaur. A spear and a bullet also injured Bhai Iqbal Singh in one
of his legs.

No comments: