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BASANT SINGH, PANDIT (1868-1941). eminent Nirmala scholar which status is betokened by the prefix Pandit (meaning a man of surpassing learning) added to his name, was born on 26 June 1868, the son of Bhai Kala Singh of a Jatt Sikh family of Dhingarian village, 3 km north of Adampurin Jalandhar district of the Punjab. Having served his apprenticeship with the head of the village dera or monastery, Basant Singh left home at the age of 16 and went to Nirmal Panchayati Akhara, premier institution of the Nirmalas, at Kankhal, near Haridvar in Uttar Pradesh, where he learnt Sanskrit and studied classical religious literature under Pandit Divan Singh. Two other centres of learning where he studied were Amritsar and Varanasi. Ordained a missionary sadhu of the Nirmala sect, he joined the dera at Thikarivala, in present day Sarigrur district of the Punjab.

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