ਮਿਠਾ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਨਿਵ ਚਲਣੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇ ਕੈ ਭਲਾ ਮਨਾਏ। ਥੋੜਾ ਸਵਣਾ ਖਾਵਣਾ ਥੋੜਾ ਬੋਲਨੁ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਏ।
ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਕਰੈ ਵਡਾ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਆਪੁ ਗਣਾਏ। (ਵਾਰ:੧੫)
BHINDER KALAN, MOGA (KP) - Sant Giani Mohan Singh Ji, the saintly centenarian head of the Bhindra Samperdai, has attained Akal Chalana, leaving his mortal body to merge with Akal Purakh Sahib. The revered Giani Ji headed the religious seminary (Taksal) for over half a century.
Giani Mohan Singh Ji took charge of the Moga-Ferozepur based Samperdai in 1969 after Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhindranwale and Sant Giani Sunder Singh Ji Bhindranwale. Giani Mohan Singh Ji, often referred to as simply “Baba Mohan Singh”, was venerated by the Sikh community for his humble, reserved yet straightforward demeanor.
He was a true saint who tirelessly spread the message of Gurmat through Gurbani katha and santhiya. He was estimable for adamantly keeping his distance from politicians and grandstanders during his 51 years of service at Gurdwara Akhand Parkash Sahib, the headquarters of the Samperdai.
Giani Mohan Singh Ji was born on March 26th, 1919 (Chet 13, Bikrami 1976) at a village in Sargodha, East Punjab (now in Pakistan) to Sardar Hari Singh Ji and Mata Dharam Kaur Ji. While Giani ji’s ancestral village is Simbli is Nawanshahr, Punjab, his family lived in Sargodha during his early years. Giani Ji’s parents were puran Gursikhs who taught him Gurbani, Sikh living, and Nitnem at a young age.
Still very young, Giani Ji experienced a great loss in his family. While he was still in primary school, his father unexpectedly passed away. Just a couple of years later, while he was enrolled into the prestigious King George’s Royal Indian Military School in Jalandhar, his mother and elder brother passed away as well.
During some time-off from the military academy Giani Ji met Bhai Ishar Singh, a Naam-Abhyaasi Singh at his native village and decided to leave worldly education and follow the divine path of Sikhi full-time and decide to become an Amritdhari Sikh.
Giani Ji initially began to study Indian religious literature with the guidance of Giani Khem Singh Ji and Giani Hardit Singh Ji but was later told that if he wanted to learn and understand Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Bani in depth he should visit Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhinderanwale at Gurdwara Akhand Parkash Sahib located in Moga.
Diwan of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji arranged by Bhindra Sampardai in early days
In 1938 he became a student of Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji and spent five years studying Gurbani inscribed in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Dasam Granth Sahib, along with santhyia of Vaaran Bhai Gurdas Ji, Bhai Nand Lal Ji, Sri Guru Nanak Parkash, GurPartap Suraj, Sri Guru Panth Parkash, Gur Bilas Patshahi:6 and P:10.
In 1944 Giani ji began the study of Vedant, Nyay-Pingal, and Vedic scriptures from various Gianis in Amritsar. He also received training in gatka and shastar vidya from Sant Daleep Singh of Amritsar during his stay there.
After partaking religious education, Giani Ji’s yearning for immersing into the Divine reached a pinnacle as he spent several years doing Naam-Abhyaas in solitude at various locations across Ropar, the adjoining hills near Sri Paonta Sahib, and then at Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded and Gurdwara Mata Sahib Devan Ji on the banks Godavri river.
In the 1950s after partaking in immense bhagtee, and imbued with the blessings of Naam, Giani Ji returned to Bhinder-Kalan to partake in seva and parchar for two decades under the guidance of Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhinderanwale and his Jatha.
Furthermore he would lead the organization for another 50 years and continue the parchar of Sikhi his predecessors had entrusted to him.
HEAD OF BHINDRAN SAMPARDAI
In the summer of 1969, Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhindranwale did Akal Chalana due to an illness. On July 8th of that same summer, Giani Mohan Singh Ji was declared the head of Bhindran-wala Jatha (Sampardai) in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Giani Ji was bestowed honorary Dastars and Siropas from Sant Inder Singh Ji Bhindranwale (brother of Sant Sundar Singh Bhindranwale), Bhai Kartar Singh and Bhagwan Singh (elder and younger sons respectively, of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji), Sant Niranjan Singh Patiala, Baba Fateh Singh (Shiromani Akali Dal), Pandit Sucha Singh (Sri Mahant Nirmal Panchayiti), Sant Chanan Singh (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee), Gurnam Singh (Mukh Mantri Punjab), Sant Ajaib Singh Boparai, Sant Narain Singh Ladhaikay, Sant Ujagar Singh, Sant Narain Singh Kaleranwale, Sant Kundan Singh Kaleranwale, Sant Miha Singh Siarrhwale, and representatives of Baba Ishar Singh Rarewale, Sant Jwala Singh Harkhowal, Sant Kaharpuri and many other esteemed personalities of the Panth.
Around the same time Sant Giani Kartar Singh Ji was also declared to be the head of the Bhindranwale Samperdai in parallel from Mehta Chowk, Amritsar and bestowed Dastars and Siropaos from various Panthic organizations and personalities. The Mehta Chowk organization, later headed by Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, refers to itself as “Damdami Taksal (Jatha Bhindran Mehta).”
RECLUSIVE DIVINE SOUL
Throughout his life Giani Mohan Singh Ji had mostly stayed away from the public limelight and spent most of his time doing bhajan-bandagee and parchar behind the scenes. He was not comfortable in promoting himself or his sampardai, and despised intermingling with politicians. This set him apart from most other parcharaks and babas.
Giani Ji would never personally meet or receive politicians and local leaders during their visits to Gurdwara Akhand Prakash. He routinely preached to the congregation to only follow Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji only and not any personality or leader. In order to avoid attention, Giani Ji would keep himself at a distance from the crowds and instead concentrate on Naam simran and Gurbani abhyaas in solitude and rarely mingled in public.
ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਜਿਨਿ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥
ਓਨਾ ਕੇ ਮੁਖ ਸਦ ਉਜਲੇ ਓਨਾ ਨੋ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਕਰੇ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੁ ॥੧॥
SHUNNING OF POLITICIANS
Several years ago, Akali Dal supremo Parkash S. Badal, the former Chief Minister of Punjab, came to meet Giani Ji at Gurdwara Akhand Prakash and seek his blessings. Giani Ji politely declined to meet Badal and instead instructed sevadars to tell him that he should seek blessings from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and partake in langar during his visits here, and declined to greet and meet the former CM. The perplexed Badal waited for quite a bit of time only to find out that Giani Ji was unwilling to meet him or any other politician.
Humiliated and ignored the senior Badal, who normally had dozens of Babas across Punjab clamoring for his attention, never returned to Gurdwara Akhand Prakash again. Such was the character and determination of Giani Mohan Singh Ji.
Despite his reserved demeanor Giani was quite strict about the on goings at the Bhindran Jatha headquarters. Small talk or idle loitering by youth or the women folk was highly discouraged within the Gurdwara precincts - violators were simply asked to oblige and either recite Gurbani or Naam-Simran or leave the premises.
During his monthly Katha and Gurbani exegesis, he would routinely remind the sangat to follow Guru Granth Sahib Ji, remain steadfast to Rehit, and recite Gurbani, and reminded them that the Chardi-Kala of the Panth would only occur when Sikhs began to follow the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in practice and spirit and not by superficial political efforts.
The Sikh Panth needs more GurSikh jewels like Giani Mohan Singh Ji Bhinder Kalan, whose humble manner and unique style of parchar affected thousands of lives across Punjab and beyond. Giani Ji never promoted his own personality or his organization as it is commonly done now days in many deras. His emphasis was always to link the congregation and sangat to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and never to himself.
Thousands of mourners ranging from local sangat to Panthic organizations came to honor Giani Mohan Singh Ji and attended the antim saskar of his mortal body at Gurdwara Akhand Prakash where he had spent close to seven decades in service of the Khalsa Panth.
Antim Saskar of Giani Mohan Singh Ji at Gurdwara Akhand Prakash Grounds