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GURBACHAN SINGH KHALSA BHINDRANVALE, SANT GIANI

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GURBACHAN SINGH KHALSA BHINDRANVALE, SANT GIANI (1903-1969), holy man, preacher and exponent of the Sikh sacred texts, was born on 12 February 1903, the son of Rur Singh of the village of Akhara, 6 km south of Jagraori, in Ludhiana district of the Punjab. He learnt to read and write Gurmukhi at the village gurudwara and helped his father in farming. He was married at the age of 18 and had two sons born to him, but his dedication to Sikh lerarning led him to join Gurdwara Sri Akhand Prakash, a seminary established by Sant Sundar Singh at the village of Bhindar Kalan, 15 km north of Moga. In due time he came to be known as the best among Sant Sundar Singh`s pupils.

Well versed in Sikh lore and proficient in discoursing upon the holy writ, he was chosen by the sangat, after the death of Sant Sundar Singh on 15 February 1930, to head the seminary at Bhindar Kalan. That is how he came to be known popularly as Bhindrarivale Sant, though personally he preferred to be called Bhai (lit. brother), Khalsa or at the most Giani rather than Sant (lit. saint). He continued his predecessor`s mode of combining regular teaching with itinerant preaching.Besides constructing or renovating gurudwaras and sarovars at the town of Nabha, in Patiala district, Manavari in Firozpur district and Panjokhara in Ambala district, he conducted 1313 akhand paths or nonstop recitals of Guru Granth Sahib, delivered serialized discourses on the entire Scripture 26 times over, and administered amrit or Sikh initiation rites to several thousands of persons all over the country.

The twenty-seventh series of discourses was in progress when Sant Gurbachan Singh breathed his last at the village of Mahita, in Amritsar district, on 28 June 1969. His body was cremated outside Gurdwara Patalpuri at Kiratpur Sahib on the following day.His successor, Bhai Kartar Singh Khalsa. constructed in his memory Gurdwara Gurdarshan Prakash at Mahita which became the headquarters of the Bhindranvala Jatha.

A religious fair is held there to mark the death anniversary of Sant Gurbachan Singh on the 28th of June every year. Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa wrote two books. Sri Gurmukh Prakash Gran/A in verse is a biography of Sant Sundar Singh Bhindrarivale along with a detailed rahit maryddd or Sikh code of conduct, while Gurbdm Pdth Darshan combines biographical sketches of the Gurus and some Sikh heroes with elucidation of some of the hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib.

References :

1. Khalsa, Kartar Singh, Khalsa Jivan ate Gurmat Rohit Maryada. Mahita, 1977
2. Visakha Singh, Sant Sipahi, Malva Itihas, vol. III. Kishanpura Kalan, n.d.

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