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BISHAN SINGH, SANT

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BISHAN SINGH, SANT (d. 1973), holy saint most of whose life was spent in works of seva, raising of buildings by labour volunteered by devotees, at different shrine sites, came of a well to do Sindhi family. Nothing is known about his early life except that his parents were Sahajdhari Sikhs and that he was in government service when he came in 1940 to the Punjab on a pilgrimage visiting Sikh places of worship and saw Sant Gurmukh Singh of Patiala, then engaged in massive works of seva reconstructing the shrines and sacred pools at Khadur Sahib and Goindval. Bishan Singh was so impressed by the piousness, humility and devotion of Sant Gurmukh Singh and of the large number of Sikhs volunteering their labour that he resigned his post in the government, gave away his personal belongings and joined the holy company.

He worked day and night like others, digging and carrying loads on his head. This inspired spell was interrupted by the death on 30 November 1947 of Sant Gurmukh Singh. In a state of shock Bishan Singh retired to Sri Abchalnagar, sacred to Guru Gobind Singh, where he remained in solitary meditation for more than five years.Returning to the Punjab, he took to his task with his old zest.

Among the works undertaken were the beautification of the Baoli Sahib at Goindval and completion of Gurdwara Qatalgarh at Chamkaur Sahib. The last major project he was associated with was the construction of a spacious divan or congregation hall, at Gurdwara Manji Sahib, within the precincts of the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar. He was one of the Panj Piare who performed its foundation laying ceremony on 13 November 1969, which marked the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, but did not live to see it completed.He suffered an attack of paralysis in November 1972 and although, responding to treatment and recovering partially, he had resumed supervision of seva, he died on 22 November 1973.

P.S.G. BISHNU, BHAl, an Arora of Bibra gotra, was a Sikh of Guru Arjan`s time. He dedicated his life to the service of the Guru, who appointed him to serve the sangat, especially those coming from afar. Bishnu would get up early in the morning and would in winter lay hot water for the pilgrims` bath. He rejoiced in washing the feet of the Sikhs with his own hands. Bhai Bishnu, says the Sikhan di Bhagat Mala, attained liberation through service and dedication.

References :

1. Gurdas, Bhai, Varan.
2. Mani Singh, Bhai, Sikhan di Bhagat Mala. Amritsar, 1955

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