JIVAN SINGH KARSEVAVALE, BABA
JIVAN SINGH KARSEVAVALE, BABA (1894-1974), one of the principal disciples of Sant Gurmukh Singh Karscvavale (1849-1947), was born to Fatch Singh and Khem Kaur, peasants of modest means residing in the village of Rahal Chahal, in Tarn Taran tahsil of Amritsar district in the Punjab. Born in 1894, Jivan Singh grew up into a sturdy young man, interested in wrestling and other rural sports, but never having the chance of going to school. At the age of eighteen, he married Bavi, renamed Kartar Kaur, daughter of Naudh Singh, of Kaleke. Up to the age of about 40 years, Jivan Singh tried Iris hand at various occupations, including farming and to ngadriving. He also took out a trip to Malaya to seek his fortune there.
The turning point in his life came when he met Sant Gurmukh Singh under whose supervision reconstruction of Gurdwara Dera Sahib at Jama Rai, close to his own village, was then in progress through karsevd or pious voluntary labour. Jivan Singh was so deeply impressed by the saintly demeanour of Sant Gurmukh Singh and the atmosphere of pure dedication and service that prevailed around him that he resolved to spend the rest of his life at his feet. Sant Gurmukh Singh assigned him to the execution of projects such as the construction of hansaHs, i.e. underground water channels connecting sarovars or sacred tanks at Dera Sahib, Jama Rai, Nankana Sahib and Khadur Sahib.
He also had new buildings raised for Gurdwara Patti Sahib and Gurdwara Kiara Sahib at Nankana Sahib. He joined the gigantic work of renovation and reconstruction of the shrines launched by Sant Gurmukh Singh at Muktsar. After the death of Sant Gurmukh Singh in November 1947, Baba Jivan Singh made Pehova, in Haryana, his headquarters, and reconstructed historical shrines and sarovars at Pehova, Thanesar, Kaithal, Siana Sayyidari and Karha. He also commenced kdrsevd for rebuilding the shrine at Garhi Nazir, near Samana in Patiala district, commemorating Guru Tegh Bahadur`s visit, which was completed by his successors in the late 1970`s.
Earlier in the 1950`s he, along with Baba Dalip Singh, had carried out the renovation of Gurdwara Garigsar at Jaito. But by far the most memorable of Baba Jivan Singh`s works (and of Baba Dallp Singh`s) are Gurdwara Shikar Ghat at Nanded and the bridge over the River Godavari constructed with the voluntary labour, mostly of Sikhs from distant Punjab, which was hailed as a great engineering feat. Baba Jivan Singh also participated in the kdrsevd, i.e. desilting operations at the sacred pools at Tarn Taran in 1971 and at Amritsar in 1973. Baba Jivan Singh died at the age of 80 years on 29 October 1974.