Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji
Parkash Diwas: 3rd Narata Asu, 1876 Bikrami Wednesday
Date of Birth: 1819
Place of Birth: Village Riayan Bhaini Sahib Dist Ludhiana
Gurgaddi Diwas: 17 Jan 1872 Shri Bhaini Sahib
Joti Jot: Jeth Vadi 10, 1963 Bikrami (17.5.1906) Sri Bhaini Sahib
Father: Baba Jassa Singh Ji
Mother: Mata Sada Kaur Ji
Wife: Mata Jeewan Kaur Ji, Mata Fateh Kaur Ji
Children: Shri Guru Partap Singh Ji, Maharaj Nihal Singh Ji and Maharaj Gurdial Singh Ji
Satguru Hari Singh Ji was enthroned on 18th January 1872 A.D.
Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji started the Maryada of Aakhand Path
Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji started this Maryada in (Vikrami Samvat 1931) 1876 A.D. for the well-being of Satguru Ram Singh Ji by holding 5 Aakhand Paths of Adi Sri Granth Sahib. A reciter (Pathi) who recited the Gurbani ; would sit along with a Sikh (Dhupia) who recited the Naam Simran. One lamp filled with mustard oil or Desi Ghee (butter-oil) was kept ignited and one Sikh acted as the watchman. Soon after, Satguru Hari Singh Ji had circulated a written Maryada (in detail) through Sant Subeg Singh Maranna and was implemented immediately.
At birth he was named Budh Singh. His name was later changed to Hari Singh by Satguru Ram Singh ji. In a Hukumnama send with one of his closest disciple, Shri Darbara Singh, Satguru Ram Singh Ji declared ” From now onwards Budh Singh should be called Hari Singh. I vest him with all the spiritual powers to deal with any situation. All the Namdhari Sikhs should follow his command. Even I will honor his decisions. He will keep the flame of Independence burning and spread ideals of Sikhism”.
On 17th January 1872 Satguru Ram Singh Ji is seen at Sri Bhaini Sahib giving instructions to His brother, Bhai Budh Singh, regarding the Kuka Movement. Later while in exile Satguru Ji directed the Budh Singh be known as Satguru Hari Singh Ji
Satguru Hari Singh Ji had to perform a Herculean task for thirty four years. Some of the important activities which invited his specific attention are as under:
- To look after and develop the Head Quarters at Sri Bhaini Sahib.
- To keep the Langar (eternal feast of free food) running efficiently without a break.
- To encourage the depressed hearts of the Namdhari Sikhs and encourage them to remain optimistic about re-appearance of Sarguru Ram Singh Ji.
- To propagate and preach the Gursikhi tenets on the set lines.
- To meditate on God\'s name (Nam Simran) and recite Gurbani as usual.
- To inculcate the moral values and revive the old Sikh heritage.
- To encounter the evil designs of the British Imperialism of denigrating the Sikh cultural heritage through policy of divide and rule.
- To accelerate the love for freedom amongst the people and develop the spirit of Independence.
- To continue agitation against the cow slaughter.
Satguru Hari Singh Ji paid full attention to develop the surroundings of Ram Sar. A garden was established and a Kothi for Satguru Ji constructed. More land for the Langar was acquired. He constructed \'Satguru Ram Singh Mandir\' inspite of all the restrictions imposed by the Government. There was never a shortage of anything in the Langar . While narrating the importance of Langar at Sri Bhaini Sahib, Satguru Hari Singh Ji once went to the extent of saying that he would not mind burning his bones in lieu of wood for the Langar established by Satguru Ram Singh Ji.
Satguru Hari Singh Ji always inspired the people to follow the teachings of the Guru’s, e.g.,
-To take bath from head to heal, recite Gurbani and Chandi-Di-Var, meditate Naam Simran
-Make a honest living
-Serve humanity, fight for the civil rights of the public and fear of the Almighty
-To continue agitation against the cow slaughter
-Satguru Ji always encouraged the depressed hearts of the Namdhari Sikhs and encourage them to remain optimistic about re-appearance of Satguru Ram Singh Ji.
Under the patronage of Satguru Hari Singh Ji, innumerable persons after contemplating on Naam attained perfection and became great saints of their time. They had great respect for Satguru Hari Singh Ji. Out of a number of saints, a few of them were Sant Jiwan Singh Sarhali, Sant Kesar Singh Ji Muhawa, Sant Lal Singh Bhuray Gill, Sant Jawahar Singh Ji Mirzawalia, Sant Narain Singh, Sant Kesar Singh Chup, Sant Kesar Singh Ji Chawinda Sialkot, Sant Heera Singh Ji, Sant Jamit Singh Gill.
Satguru Ram Singh Ji desired that regular and continuous recital of the Adi Granth Sahib be done by the Namdharis so that the calamity and misfortune falling upon the world as a whole and the Namdharis in particular could be overcome. He even issued the first ever procedure of performing the Akhand Paths from his exile, which is being followed by the Namdharis even today. Accordingly, Satguru Hari Singh Ji initiated \'Akhand Path\' of Adi Granth Sahib, inspite of the restrictions imposed by the British Government. The Namdhari Sikhs bore severe hardships very calmly and bravely.
Satguru Hari Singh Ji completed 101 \'Akhand Paths\' of Adi Granth Sahib in 1875 and another 101 in 1876 AD. Thereafter the chain of \'Akhand Paths\' became the regular feature of the Namdhari Sikhs. Innumerable Namdhari Sikhs had to undergo severe punishments and tortures for taking part in these \'Path\' recitations and attending religious congregations.
The modern means of communication were non-existent. As such writing about all these realities was a difficult task. In spite of all this, Sant Santokh Singh rose to the occasion and started writing about the Namdhari movement. He had met Satguru Ram Singh Ji. During the time of Satguru Hari Singh Ji, he was engaged in the care of cows and buffaloes. In his free time, he used to sit with old people and note down the facts as they had seen. This enabled him to complete his book Satguru Bilas covering the period of Satguru Ram Singh Ji and Satguru Hari Singh Ji in sufficient details. This however remained as a manuscript only as publishing of any such matter was banned. The first volume of this book has now been published in 2002 and the second one in 2005.
Another writer was Sant Dhian Singh who could meet some of the old stalwarts of the time of Satguru Ram Singh Ji noted down the historic facts and wrote a book "Satguru Bilas" in poetry, covering some of the incidents. All such works had to be done very cautiously and secretly, so a comprehensive chronological record of all the events could not be maintained. Another important task was to maintain the Hukamnamas and letters received from Satguru Ram Singh Ji, which was done very efficiently.
Development of Sri Bhaini Sahib during the time of Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji
Satguru Hari Singh Ji started Kar Sewa for the Ram Sarover in Vikrami Samvat 1954. Things like Hawan Kund and some pieces of burnt charcoal were found while digging the Sarover during this Kar Sewa in the presence of a Government officer. That authenticated that this land belonged to these Sikhs since the times of Bhagwan Sri Ramachander. A piece of Land was purchased near Ramsar and a small bungalow type house (Kothi) was built. An orchard was also prepared near that Kothi and Namdhari Sikhs started living there.
Daily Routine of Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji
Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji took His bath in the early morning. After completing 21 Malas of Naam Simran and Bhagauti, he recited Path of Five Banis, whole Panj Granthi, 100 pages of the Granth Sahib and took his food once a day.
During the time of Satguru Hari Singh Ji not even a single Hola was celebrated for atleast 27 years (due to the severest restrictions imposed by the British Government) After that, seven Holas were celebrated from 1899 A.D. to 1905 A.D. (Vikrami Samvat 1955 to 1961)
Satguru Hari Singh Ji passed away on (Jeth wadi 10th Vikrami Samvat 1962) 17th May 1906 A.D. at 5 minutes past 5 P.M. at Sri Bhaini Sahib.