- Published: Monday, 13 April 2015 23:14
Dhan Dhan Soh Gursikh Kaheeai Jin Satgur Seva Kar Har Naam Laaeiaa
Blessed, blessed is that Sikh of the Guru, who serves The True Guru, and so obtains the Lord’s Name.
This Gursikh Ko Ho Sadh Namaskaaree Joh Gur Kai Bhaanae Gursikh Chaliaa
I bow forever in deepest respect to that Sikh of the Guru, who walks in the way of the Guru. ||18||
Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!
As the Sikh community rejoices and celebrates the birth of the Khalsa Panth, many Gursikhs around the world will also take the opportunity to remember the Shaheeds of Vaisakhi 1978. One such Gurmukh pyaara is Shaheed Bhai Fauja Singh Jee, born on 17th May 1936. Bhai Sahib most certainly lived up to the meaning of their name ‘Army General’ through their jeevan and seva for the Khalsa Panth.
Bhai Sahib was a pillar of selflessness; they dedicated their life to the Panth as a sevadar, parchaarak and sant sipahi. Today’s blog is a tiny effort and tribute to Bhai Sahib’s immense kamai. We will be honouring Bhai Sahib- the Premi.
It was Bhai Fauja Singh whom originally started Chalda Vaheer Jatha in Punjab along with their Singhni- Bibi Amarjeet Kaur Jee, to promote ekta and parchaar. The Chalda Vaheer was and still is a platform for Gursikhs to carry forward Guru Nanak Dev Jee Maharaj’s message of parchaar. There were many sevadars affiliated with the Vaheer, upon starting Gurmukhs such as Master Niranjan Singh Jee, Bhai Avtar Singh Jee Khudha-kurala, Baba Nihal Singh Jee Harian Bela and Sant Kartar Singh Jee Bhindranwale did seva with Bhai Sahib Jee and Bibi Jee. Bhai Sahib was very close with Sant Jee and often travelled with the Taksal Jatha village to village doing Parchaar.
A little unknown fact for you; the concept of Chalda Vaheer came when Bhai Fauja Singh Jee met Nihang Singhs from Chakravarti Dal Panth, these Singhs would go from Pind to Pind promoting Sikhi through Baana and Baani. Bhai Sahib was very inspired by the way these Singhs would do travelling Parchaar, and decided to uphold the traditional Sikh values by wearing Baana all the time.
Bibi Amarjeet Kaur once shared a story describing the respect, love and pride Bhai Sahib and these Singhs had for Guru Jee’s Baana. One evening after a Keertan Divaan in a pind the Singhs got dressed up in full Baana with huge dumalle, chand toreh, shastar and maalas and came out of their room; when Bibi Jee asked where they were going, Bhai Sahib responded by saying “we’re just going to walk around the village.” Bibi Jee asked why they got dressed up, Bhai Sahib told them that by seeing Singhs in Sikhi saroop, who knows someone may come and talk to them or want to look like them too. This sakhi tells us how much of a Guru Pyaara Bhai Sahib was, they kept Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s concept of every Sikh being a walking talking parchaarik alive, just by the outwardly get up.
Bhai Sahib Jee’s jeevan was a exemplar of Parchaar, they were a model Gursikh. Never missing Amritvela, Bhai Fauja Singh Jee would sleep sitting down with their legs crossed, doing Simran until they’d fall asleep for a few hours and then rise again, have a cold bath and continue doing Simran, sometimes outside by the river in the months of December and January. Bhai Sahib was very strict with their Nitnem and would start their Baani whether travelling or sitting in the office; they also kept Sarbloh Bibek and would prepare their own food, even whilst in jail.
With a deeply embedded love for Parchaar, the panth was Bhai Fauja Singh Jee’s life and once they had given their head to the Panj Pyaarai, they ensured that everything they had or would do was for the benefit of the Panth.
When it came to pyaar, Bhai Sahib Jee ensured that they had the biggest heart and gave as much love as they could. Whenever going to somebody’s house, Bhai Sahib Jee would take gifts for the children and play with them even before greeting the adults. They would set targets for the children and say “I will come back to visit in one month, memorise Japji Sahib and I will bring back any gift you desire.” Whatever money Bhai Sahib earned through their job and even the money Bibi Ji earned, would get spend on buying gifts for children and sangat who memorised Baani, stopped eating meat or drinking alcohol and started to grow their kes. Bhai Sahib would sometimes spend his whole month’s wages on gifts for children who had memorized Baani or kept strict Amritvela. This said, Bhai Sahib never forced anyone to take Amrit: their love was such a valuable token that whomever felt it, wanted to be immersed in it and understood a love so pure could only come from a heart in which Vaheguroo resides.
In an interview with Bibi Amarjeet Kaur Jee’s niece- Bibi Harjinder Kaur Jee, she mentioned that every time she met Bhai Sahib he would give her a gift of some sort, whether that was fruits, sweets or toys. The last memory she has of Bhai Sahib was a few months before their Shaheedi, when they gifted her, their watch.
Every action of Bhai Fauja Singh Jee’s was based on pyaar, they didn’t differentiate between jathabandees, Gursikhs/ Non-Gursikhs, Amritdhari, Sehajdhari, Kesdhari. For Bhai Fauja Singh Ji it was all about giving love, they had no emotional attachment to anything materialistic from the roof over their head, to the clothes on their back. Bhai Sahib Jee was such a giving soul that once Bibi Ji had sewn them a new chola and a poor Gursikh who had just recently taken Amrit came to visit, Bhai Sahib immediately took that chola off and gave it to the Gursikh and went to put on a old tattered chola. Seeing this Bibi Jee was furious, she stopped all the Singhs from speaking to Bhai Sahib as a punishment and threatened to hit anyone that she saw speaking to Bhai Sahib. The Singhs and Singhniya had a lot of pyaar for Bhai Sahib but were equally scared of Bibi Jee, this tickled Bhai Sahib and he said to Bibi Ji “one day when I give you my last darshan, I will be wearing a tattered chola just like this!” As as always Bhai Sahib lived up to their words; even after their Shaheedi , Bhai Fauja Singh Jee gave darshan to Bibi Amarjeet Kaur Jee at Harmandir Sahib from across the Parkarma and waved their tattered chola towards her, this left Bibi Jee so surprised but beaming at the playfulness of Bhai Sahib’s character.
Sangat Ji, our next blog will pay respect to the seva carried out by Shaheed Bhai Fauja Singh Jee and the sacrifices made by the thirteen Singhs that were Shaheed on Vaisakhi 1978. Please be sure to check it out and share.
Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!