Panth Rattan Bhai Sahib Jasbir Singh Khalsa A Gem Lost : Panth Rattan Bhai Sahib Jasbir Singh Khalsa A Gem Lost Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji Khalsa (Khannewale), the charismatic Gursikh, Gurmukh, Bharamgiani, spiritualist, philosopher, philanthropist, preacher, kirtani and founder of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Charitable Eye Hospital, who passed away on October 14 2006, was posthumously awarded the title of “Panth Rattan” on
22nd October 2006 Brahm Giani Sad Jeeve Nahi Marta : Brahm Giani Sad Jeeve Nahi Marta Jeevani: Introduction : Jeevani: Introduction Bhai Sahib, Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji Khalsa popularly known as “Veerji” was born in the early morning on August 16th 1944 at his mother’s village of Chakri (presently in Tehsil and District Rawalpindi, in Pakistan). His father, Sardar Inder Singh, was a businessman in the Village Billol (now In Pakistan ). His mother’s name was Jagjit Kaur also known as Parbati Kaur. Veerji has only one sibling : a sister, Pritam Kaur who is eight years older to him and who lives with her family in Khanna, Punjab. Veer ji’s Education : Veer ji’s Education At the age of five, he was enrolled in a school in Sangrur. Veerji studied here till he finished his Matric (Grade 10). When he was fourteen, Veerji’s father passed away. As a result of this, the family’s responsibilities fell on his shoulders and he moved to Ludhiana. In Ludhiana, Veerji worked extremely hard to support the family and amongst other things, he completed a four years course as an Overseear at the Ramgariah College in Ludhiana. Veer ji’s Childhood : Veer ji’s Childhood Right from childhood, Veerji had an inclination towards spirituality. He developed a passion for poetry. He had a gift for writing poetry. He was able to write verses on any subject without any effort. The words would simply flow by themselves. And he used to read poetry with such vigour, fervour and passion that he soon came to be known as “Joshi Ji” (meaning the “fervent” one). Veerji was a gifted poet. Before he began the practise of singing Gurbani in kirtan style, Veerji made his mark as a poet when he used to recite poetry at Sikh Gurdwaras during Gurpurabs and on other important occasions. Sant Nehchal Singh Ji and Veerji : Sant Nehchal Singh Ji and Veerji Veerji received his blessing to deliver sermons (katha) from Sant Nehchal Singh of Jamna Nagar. This happened quite spontaneously when on one occasion, Veerji had gone to meet Sant Nirmal Singh with some friends of his. After all his other friends had left the company of Sant Nirmal Singh, Veerji remained seated. When asked by Sant Ji as to why he had not left, Veerji said that he had stayed back as he had not received anything from Sant Ji. Sant Ji then asked him what was it that he wanted. Veerji responded by saying that “you can give me whatever you please”. Sant Ji then patted him heavily on his back a couple of times and asked him whether he had a feeling of having received something. Veerji responded in the negative. Sant Ji then gave him one really hard pat (thapda) and told him “from now on, your mission is to go and serve the sangat by doing katha of Sri Guru Granth Sahib”.
Veerji purely did katha (without kirtan) for a period of twelve years from then on. Sant Santokh Singh Ji and Veer ji : Sant Santokh Singh Ji and Veer ji Among the several notable Sikh personalities who Veerji was fond of and shared a great deal of love was Sant Baba Santokh Singh , Joti Saroop Wale. He is known as Joti Saroop Wale because his dhera is in front of Gurdwara Sahib Jyoti
Saroop, which is where the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Baba Fateh Singh and Baba Zorawar Singh were cremated.
During his final years, Veerji became particularly close to Sant Baba Santokh Singh Ji who is very highly regarded as a Bhramgiani amongst Sikhs who share into and who are knowledgeable about Sikh personalities. Veerji used to meet Sant Ji as often as in could in the last few years before his passing.
In March 2006, Veerji inaugurated the premier show of Shaheedan De Sartaj, a religious film dedicated to the 400th martyrdom day of the fifth Guru of the Sikhs Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in the auditorium of Shivalik Public School, Phase-VI, Mohali. Which was produced and directed by Hardeep Singh, from Mohali. Sant Naranjan Singh ji and veer ji : Sant Naranjan Singh ji and veer ji Sometime in January of 1981, Veerji went to seek the darshan of Saint Scholar Sant Naranjan Singh2 of Patiala. Veerji had met Sant Ji on previous occasions but it was after 1981 that they became close and Veerji used to go regularly to Patiala to meet Sant Ji.
Although Veerji used to sing shabad kirtan without the use of any musical instruments even before meeting Sant Ji, it was in Guru Nanak Ashram in Patiala that he received his blessing from Sant Ji to do kirtan with the use of the harmonium.
During one of his meetings with Veerji, Sant Ji told Veerji that he would require him to go to Manimajare in two days to perform the kirtan seva in place of Sant Ji.
Without any hesitation, Veerji immediately in all humility agreed to undertake the seva. However, upon reflection he realised that he would not be able to perform the kirtan seva and he informed Sant Ji that as he had never sung any shabads and that as did not know how to do kirtan with the waja. He beseeched Sant Ji that he would only be able to carry out this seva with his (Sant Ji’s) blessings.
Sant Ji responded that there was no human being who would be able to teach him kirtan within such a short period of time and that he should take his (Sant Ji’s) harmonium to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as it was only Guru Ji who would be able to teach him. Guru Di Kirpa : Guru Di Kirpa Veerji complied and brought the harmonium to the Sachkhand Asthaan where Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s sukhasan was done at the Guru Nanak Ashram at Patiala. It was here that Guru Ji blessed Veerji with the melody, comprising of just a few notes. Veerji was estatic when he received this blessing from Guru
Ji and shouted uncontrollably, “Aya Gya. Ay Gya”(“I got it, I got it”). It was this melody that Veerji used successfully for man years and which totally captivated the sangat for years to come. Veerji used this tune for his Simran and kirtan parchaar for many years all over the country during his kirtan and simran sessions.
He then began to do nishkaam (free, without monetary gain) kirtan in a small group of Sikhs. Given the melodious and soulful nature of his singing, the circle quickly grew by leaps and bounds.
It grew so rapidly that within just a few years, sometime in 1984, Veerji purchased a small hall in Sohana which he used for his kirtan and simran sangat.
Veerji made it a practise to concentrate on only one topic during each of his kirtan and katha sessions. Move to Khanna, Marriage : Move to Khanna, Marriage For economic as well as family reasons, Veerji later moved from Ludhiana to Khanna, where his elder sister, Pritam Kaur was living with her family. His sister is married to Swinder Singh Kohli. In Khanna, he started his own business known as “Joshi Tent House” along GT Road in Khanna, Punjab. His partner Meva Singh Gill used to trim his beard but when he came to know about veerji, he became amritdhari although Veerji had never told to stop trimming his beard.
Veerji transferred his interest in the business to Meva Singh Gill without any cost many years ago. Mr. Meva Singh Gill is still running this business in Khanna.
Once Veerji gave saropa to a man who used to trim his beard and some people objected to this. Soon after, that person became an amritdhari Sikh. Veer ji’s Family : Veer ji’s Family At the age of 23, Veerji got married on April 13th 1967 to Daljit Kaur, who is the daughter of Avtar Singh of Kalanor. They got married at Naarnul, Mahindgarh, Haryana.
Daljit Kaur is a well educated person. In addition to successfully undertaking and fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and a mother, she has also been a successful educator. She used to be a teacher and then rose to be become a Vice Principal in a government school. She now lives with her eldest son in Mohali and is a writer.
Veerji had two sons: Jagmohan Singh (known lovingly as “Happy”) who was born on July 25th 1971 at Patiala and Jatinder Mohan Singh (known lovingly as “Vicky”) who was born on February 2nd 1973 at Khanna.
The elder son, Jagmohan is married to Harmeet Kaur. They got married on 6th March 1993 at Jalandhar. Jagmohan lives in Mohali where he runs a medical pharmacy“ known as “Veerji Medicos”. Veerji used to live with him.
Jagmohan Singh has two daughters, Jagseerat Kaur born on 13th June 1994 and Harnaindeep Kaur, born on 28th April 2001. They are students in Chandigarh. Jagseerat Kaur has a good voice and is also getting training in kirtan and the harmonium Veer ji’s Family : Veer ji’s Family Jatinder Mohan Singh is married to Chanjot Kaur. They got married on 24th Dec 1995 at Jalandhar.
Jatinder Mohan Singh has two children: a son and a daughter. Their son, Sanjampreet Singh was born on 24th January 1997 and is studying at the Guru Nanak Public School in Ludhiana. He is also receiving training kirtan and harmonium from Bhai Sukhwant Singh of Jawadi Taksal.
Sanjampreet Singh accompanied Veerji on the stage at several kirtan programs during his lifetime. At his last samagams in Ludhiana at Gurduwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Sanjampreet did Kirtan with Veerji. The cassette “Jan Paropkari Aaye” has a recording of a shabad “Soi Soi Deve” by Sanjampreet.
JatinderMohan Singh lives in Ludhiana where he has a garment showroom retailing gents garments known as “KOUTONS”.
Veerji was a devoted and loving father, brother and husband. He fulfilled all his worldly duties to his family to the best of his ability. He took great care of his wife and sister. And he was amazing son too. He took extra ordinary care of his mother. He used to give her medicine every evening. When people used to ask him that why he did not travel abroad he would say that he was not prepared to leave his mother. Practicing Sikh : Practicing Sikh During his life, Veerji practiced and lived by the basic principles of Sikhism, namely to earn one’s livelihood, share one’s earnings and remember the Name of the Lord. For forty years of his life, he was an active participant in Sikh religious affairs. He never accepted or took any money for his kirtan services. He never undertook the singing of the Guru’s hymns as a business, a profession or a means of a livelihood. He undertook it purely as a form of a seva.
During the course of his business, Veerji was visited by many religious individuals and saints from various organizations. Veerji always took the opportunity to provide selfless service to all such individuals. It was as if Veerji had received the gift of seva from the divine. During this period, Veerji met several Gurmukhs. He received their blessings. In particular he was close to Sant Baba Shyam Singh.
When Veerji used to be at Jyoshi Tent House, Baba Shyam Singh came to his shop and the moment he entered the shop he slapped Veerji. Veerji's worker, who was sitting next to him was about to stand up to stop Baba Shyam Singh. Veerji however prevented the worker. Baba Ji told him the reason for slapping him was to check whether he himself practised restraint and self control i.e. the attributes that he preached to the sangat during his katha. He told Veerji that he was testing him. Practicing Sikh : Practicing Sikh As a young man Veerji used to spend, long hours absorbed in meditation and in a religious discussions with holy men who used to come into his contact. Veerji though worked during the day but in the early morning he used to meditate and recite Kirtan and make all the Sangat pray to God by singing and reciting Gurbani.
For twelve consecutive years, Veerji undertook and provided the seva for Guru Ka Langar at Gurdwara Sehra Sahib during the Hola Mahla festival which takes place in March or April every year. During those days, there used to be a water shortage for langar and the sangat had to fetch the water from distant places. Veerji tirelessly undertook the task of providing for a water supply to that area. To facilitate this, he even arranged for the construction of a Hindu Mandhir in a village in order to secure their agreement to allow the flow of water through their village.
Due to his commitment to provide selfless service without financial reward for his kirtan services as well as his voluntary religious activities, there were times when Veerji had to go through very tumultuous financial times.
But never at any time whatsoever did he waver in his commitment. Sri Guru Har Krishan Hospital : Sri Guru Har Krishan Hospital In 1983, with the support of the sangat, he purchased a piece of land at Village Sohana and laid the foundation stone for the Akaal Ashram over there. It was here that initially a beautiful Gurdwara was set up.
Subsequently with the support of the sangat, and most notably Dr. Harinderjit Singh, a prominent specialist in Ophthalmology, from Georgia, USA, the Sri Guru Har Krishan Hospital was established. The Sohana hospital was established in 1995 with an ophthalmology wing.
Dr Harinderjit Singh was highly supportive of Veerji both in terms of fund raising for the Sohana hospital as well as the supply of medical equipment. Sri Guru Har Krishan Sahib College of Nursing : Sri Guru Har Krishan Sahib College of Nursing Veerji was also the driving force behind the setting up of the Sri Guru Harikrishan Sahib College of Nursing at Sohana.
This college offers quality training both in the classrooms and in the field to its students to enable them to Provide Quality Services in the field of Nursing The School provides all the required facilities,
training aids, material etc. and creates a healthy environment for students to benefit not only in their specific profession but in overall development.
It is equipped to provide quality nursing education and provides equipment to enable each student to have adequate training with various modalities for delivering healthcare services. Simran : Simran Veerji never missed Simran in early hours every day regardless of any circumstances. It was his first priority to advise Sangat to attend the Simran sessions. In 1992/1993 Veerji encouraged the Sangat to assemble for Naam Simran as daily routine. Simran Samagams began to take place regularly in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Rajpura, Sohana, Patiala and Amritsar. The time for such Samagam was set at 4 am to 5 am at all the venues
In the pursuit of his main objective, which was the propagation of Naam Simran, a task which Veerji commenced right from his childhood, after the Gurdwara was built at Sohana, he started Simran sessions at the Gurdwara Akaal Ashram in Sohana. These Simran sadhana sessions as well as discourses in Gurbani Vichaar were carried on by him in the early hours of the morning (amrit vela) for many years. At present, at this Gurdwara, at Amrit Vela, Nitnem of the five banis, Simran Sadhana, continuous katha of Gurbani, and in the evening Sodar di Chowki, Katha of Suraj Parkash and kirtan continues to be done daily. This has been going on ever since the Gurdrwara was built.
For the benefit those pursuing their meditation practice, a meditation centre has also been established there. This is located in a very peaceful atmosphere and where the devotee remains for several days in a retreat setting where they meditate and recite the Gurbani. In this way they are able to uplift their spiritual level in a very positive setting.
Guru ka langar is served round the clock 24/7 at the Gurdwara Akaal Ashram. Amrit Sanchaar : Amrit Sanchaar Veerji placed a great deal of emphasis on the importance of becoming a baptised Sikh by accepting Khade Ki Pauhal from the panj pyare. He was deeply upset by the large numbers of Sikhs who wer becoming patit. Veerji delegated duties to Sewadars in various cities to identify patit youth, educate them the Sikh values in order to bring them back to the Sikhi fold.
He took every opportunity in all his programs both within India as well as abroad to encourage the sangat to discard intoxicants, lead a pure life and take Khande Di Pahul.
In 1999, during the tri centennial anniversary of the Khalsa, Veerji got 12,000 Sikhs to partake Khande di Pahul at Anandpur Sahib. He did this at a time when all the other Sikh leaders were busy with their political infighting.
In 2005, Veerji got another 2500 Sikhs to become baptised Sikhs. During his samagams he would always ask the members of the sangat to indicate their readiness to be baptised by a show of hands.
Veerji, during his meetings with Gursikhs during his travels, identified suitable Gurmukhs in the various towns and cities that he went to. He spoke to such individuals at a personal level and arranged for them to act as part of the panj pyare during any amrit sanchaar ceremony in their respective towns or cities.
Veerji’s goal, amongst other things was to have suitable qualified Gurmukhs in the various cities who were ready, willing and able to perform this duty of baptising any Sikh who was ready to be baptised.
At Akal Ashram Sohana, Amrit ceremony is conducted every Sunday whereas at Gurdwara Nouve Patshahi at Central Town Jalandhar, it is done every second Sunday of the month. The Kakars are provided free of cost. Sehaj Paath : Sehaj Paath Veerji encouraged the sangat to do sehaj paths. He began a system in Jalandhar from 1st March, 2006 in which he encouraged the members of the sangat to participate in the recitation of the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib at designated residences. Witihin a period of three months one Sehaj Path was completed. The path would be done for one hour in the evening in different homes where Sikh Sangat would attend to listen. Help to the unfortunate : Help to the unfortunate Every year Veerji helped needy children from various areas in many ways: he would distribute shoes to those children who went barefoot to schools; clothes and blankets to those who did not have them; and school fees for expenses to those who could not afford to pay and financial assistance to widows. Veerji’s passing : Veerji’s passing Veerji left for Sachkhand on October 14th 2006.
He suffered a heart attack when he was at Gurdwara Akal Ashram in Sohana. He was immediately taken to Shri Guru Harkrishan Charitable Hospital but doctors were unable to save his life.
Veerji’s body was kept in a mortuary in Fortis Hospital for a night and the cremation took place the next day, i.e. October 15th 2006.
In the morning the body was brought from the mortuary of the Fortis hospital to Veerji’s residence in Phase VII, Mohali and after rituals it was taken to the gurdwara premises. Kirtan and prayers continued at the gurdwara and thousands stood in long queues to have the last Darshan.
A ‘shok’ march left from from Gurdwara Gur Shabad Parkash Akal Ashram, Sohana at midday. It passed through Ambwala chowk, the Phase VII market, the PTL chowk and then to the cremation ground in Phase VI Mohali. Veerji’s body was carried in a flower-bedecked tractor-trailer from the premises of the Gurdwara.
Devotees in large numbers accompanied the body in different vehicles and also gathered at some places along the route. Cold water was served to the sangat at different points on the route.
Although the cremation was scheduled for 1 pm, it got delayed by about three hours because of the rush of followers and other mourners. Kirtan was performed by Bhai Tejinder Singh Shimlewale and Bhai Amrik Singh Jakhmi at the cremation ground while the mourners waited for the arrival of the body.
A huge number of mourners, who had been waiting for hours at the cremation ground, surged forward to have a glimpse of their beloved Veerji when the body reached there. They showered flower petals on the body.
A wreath, on behalf of the Punjab Chief Minister, was placed on the body by Mr A.S. Miglani, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mohali. Another wreath was placed on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner by the SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans. Panth Rattan Award : Panth Rattan Award On 22nd October 2006 during the Shardanjali ceremony held at Sohana, Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar, President of the of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, announced the award of “Panthrattan” for Veerji.
The SGPC President also announced that the SGPC would co-operate in all respects to complete the projects started by Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa.