The Sikh Mystic Path and Bhai Randheer Singh Cont.

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:31 (2956 days ago) @ Gursant Singh

During his prison term of over 15 years, he faced unprecedented sufferings. This was not for any political or personal reasons, but only for his determination to live strictly in accordance with the Khalsa Code of Conduct made known to him at the time of initiation into the Khalsa fold. In Multan jail, one of the hottest places in India (now in W. Pakistan) with temperatures going up to 122°F in May and June, he remained without food and water continuously for 40 days. This was because he was not allowed to prepare his food himself according to the Gurmat principles and he would not take food prepared by non-Amritdharis. He was chained to iron gates in the open for many days to face the scorching heat of the sun and bear the brunt of hot winds. At night he was put into a 6' x 4' cell without ventilation. This is only one instance of the many tortures inflicted upon him. He had to bear such terrible sufferings in prison that twice he was given up for dead even by members of his own family. Even after suffering such inhuman tortures, he remained steadfast in his beliefs and never once wavered from following strictly the Khalsa Code of Conduct. When the Khalsa Panth came to know of his tortuous sufferings, the whole Panth observed February 1, 1923 as a special day of prayer for him in particular and for other suffering Sikh prisoners in general.

Prior to his release from prison in Lahore, the well-known Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who was waiting execution in the same prison, expressed a desire to have Bhai Sahib's darshan before his death. On being approached, Bhai Sahib refused to see him saying "...he has violated the basic tenets of Sikhism by shaving off his hair and hence I do not want to see him." Bhagat Singh was quick to express his repentance and also confessed that he, in fact, was an atheist at heart. He further told Bhai Sahib that even then, perhaps, he would have kept the Sikh appearance, but if he had done that he would have lost the friendship and sympathy of his Hindu comrades and would not have received so much publicity in the press. After a two hour meeting with Bhai Sahib, he became a true Sikh at heart and later went to the gallows as a true believer in Sikhism.

Soon after his release in 1930, Bhai Sahib was honored by Sri Akal Taldit Sahib with a Hukumnamah and a robe of honor, recognizing his steadfastness in faith and selfless sacrifices (Appendix A). He is the second person to have been honored by Sri Akal Takht Sahib during this century, the other person being Baba Kharak Singh, the renowned Panthic leader of the late twenties. Afterwards, the other three Takhts also honored him in the same way, thus making him the only single person to have been honored from all the original four Takhts in the last hundred years of Sikh history. (Damdama Sahib was declared the fifth Takhat later). Robes of honor and a gold medallion were also sent to him by the Sikhs of U.S.A. and Canada. He was selected as one of the Panj Pyaras to inaugurate the Kar Seva of the sarover of Gurdwara Tarn Taran Sahib, and to lay the foundation stones of the new buildings of the Gurdwaras at Panja Sahib and Shahidganj Nankana Sahib, besides those of the Bungas at Patna Sahib and Kavi Darbar Asthan at Paonta Sahib.

After his release from prison, he lived for over thirty years during which time he travelled throughout the country and propagated the true Gursikh way of life through Gurbani Kirtan and Paath. A large number of ardent seekers of the true path of Sikhism were drawn to him magnetically, and he directed them to and brought them in direct touch with the infinite wealth of Gurbani. In this way, the Akhand Kirtani Jatha came to be formed. According to him, the principles of life pointed out in Gurbani and prescribed in the Khalsa Code of Conduct are not merely ideals but downright practical. He himself conformed to and lived in accordance with these principles in letter and spirit, even in the midst of the most unfavorable and tortuous circumstances of jail life. It is now a fact of history that his bold stand and endurance of untold sufferings for retaining the Sikh symbols in jail resulted in the amendment of the Jail Manual, which permits all the Sikh prisoners to wear Turban, Kachhehra and Karra in jail. Prior to that time, they were forced to wear caps and Longoties and were deprived of the Karra.

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