SANGAT SINGH, SANT
SANGAT SINGH, SANT (1882-1950), a Sikh saint revered for his piety as well as for his learning, was born in 1882, at Kamalia, a small town in Lyallpur district, now in Pakistan. His father, Bhai Sital Das, a Sahajdhari Sikh, was a descendant of Bhai Shamu Sachiar, one of the recipients of a bakhshish, i.e. a missionary seat, from Guru Har Rai. Young Sangat Das, as he was originally named, was brought up in an atmosphere of religious devotion and discipline. He was imparted such education as was available at home in those days reading and writing in Gurmukhi and some knowledge of Sikh sacred texts.
Sangat Das proved a precocious child possessing a phenomenal memory. At the age of 9 he started participating in akhand paths, or continuous ceremonial readings of the Guru Granth Sahib. His recitation was marked by ease, accuracy and fluency. Soon he joined the monastery of an eminent Sevapanthi saint, Bhai Fateh Chand, who lived in Shah Jivana, a village in Jhang district, and studied with him the Guru Granth Sahib.
In 1901, he came in contact with Pandit Kala Singh from whom he learnt Sanskrit. For the Vedas.he served his apprenticeship with Pandit Ram Saran.To take to a life of seclusion and meditation, Sangat Das improvised a thatched hut for himself a few miles away from the town of Shujabad, in Multan district. The period of uninterrupted concentration on the Guru`s word spent there aroused in him a longing to have himself initiated a Sikh and lie was from now onwards in search of a holy man who should admit him to the fold.
He at last met the poet and savant Bhai Vir Singh whose Rana Surat Singh had deeply moved him and at whose hands he now received the rites of initiation. At the ceremony Sangat Das was renamed Sangat Singh.Sant Sangat Singh got married and led the life of a householder, but he spent most of his time preaching the gospel of Guru Nanak. Thousands thronged the gurdwaras to hear.
him expound the holy writ in his gentle and persuasive manner and with a wealth of quotation from classical sources. His style of platform exposition of Sikh lore and thought became the most popular and authentic. Through his preaching, many were converted to the Sikh faith in the regions of Sindh, Multan, North-West Frontier, Pothohar, Sargodha and Jhang.After the partititon of the Punjab, Sant Sangat Singh shifted to Patiala (January 1948).
He wrote a number of tracts published by the Khalsa Tract Society, Amritsar. His discourses on the Japu delivered during 1949-50 at Patiala were first published in January 1959 under the title ShnJapujI Katha. Sant Sangat Singh died at Patiala on 24 October 1950, bequeathing to his son and successor Sant Kartar Singh the family heritage the bakhshish from Guru Har Rai.
1. Kartar Singh, Sant, Kathariah Santah. Patiala, n.d
2. Visakha Singh, Malva Itihas. Kishanpura, 1954