The Bibeki Jeevan of Akali Kaur Singh Nihang
Taken from Jeevan Britant Akali Kaur Singh By S. Attar Singh
Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org
According to the Guru’s teachings of “contentment”, “patience”, and “acceptance of divine will”, Akali Kaur Singh was a complete Gursikh. It is only a rare person who lives as satisfied and bibeki a lifestyle as Akali jee lived. Akali jee was an example in himself.
Accepting God’s Will
Akali jee always accepted God’s will as supreme and taught others to live like this as well. He ever remained unshaken in all pains or pleasures and thanked the Guru for everything. He did not consider relatives to be related to him by blood, but instead he considered every Sikh to be from the family of the Guru and considered them a great relative.
Akali jee was travelling when he found out that Mata jee had left this world. He did not mourn but upon hearing the news, he said “Vahiguru jee ka Khalsa vahiguru jee kee fateh!” he stood up with clasped hands and did an Ardaas of thanks saying, “Vahiguru, in your will, Mata jee has done kammerkassa from here (left). Give her soul rest at your feet and give her family the strength to accept your divine will.” Many of Akali jee’s acquaintances passed away but he did not feel any pain over it.
Once, Giani Udham Singh became very sick in Delhi and could not do Katha in Sangat. The Sangat compelled Akali jee saying, “do an ardaas for Giani jee that his pain may be lifted.”
Akali jee did the ardaas, “Vahiguru, give your Sikh the power to treat pain like pleasure and accept your will as sweet.”
Giani jee who was lying in a nearby room heard the ardaas and said to Akali jee, “You have not even mentioned in your ardaas that my pain should be lifted…”
Akali jee replied with a smile, “Singh Sahib, you are a preacher of the Guru so I thought to myself that if I ask for your pain to be dispelled then when you do Katha and the verse ਜੇਸੁਖੁਦੇਹਿਤਤੁਝਹਿਅਰਾਧੀਦੁਖਿਭੀਤੁਝੈਧਿਆਈ॥ (if you give me pleasure the I will meditate on you, in pain too I will meditate on you) comes, how will you explain the meaning to the Sangat? So for this reason I have tried to protect you.”
What a sweet manner of correcting it was and what a high ideal he maintained for Ardas. Akali jee was blessed and he always throughout his life accepted God’s will as sweet.
Respect of Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Akali jee in his youth
Akali jee looked upon Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the true Guru and “pargat guraan ki deh.” One day, after completing work around the Ashram, Akali jee went to sleep. In the middle of the night he suddenly awoke and said to the Granthi Singh of the Ashram, Bhai Dalip Singh, “Wake up Singh Sahib. Become alert! Go bathe and then do parkaash.”
Bhai Dalip Singh said, “there is still quite a bit of time left. What is the need to do parkaash so early?”
Akali jee replied, “Singh Sahib, listen to what I have said and do parkash.”
Bhai Dalip Singh forced himself to do ishnan and did parakash. At this time, they saw that one ang of Maharaj was folded in half. Akali jee had it straightened and said, “Singh Sahib, please be careful…”
In an incident from 1924, Baba Gurbaksh Singh Bedi came to Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi in Kashmir. According to the custom at the time, descendants of the Gurus, like Bawas and Bedis used to have special elevated seating in Gurdwaras. He also set up his special seating. Akali jee who was also present stopped Baba Gurbaksh Singh from taking the special seat. Baba Bedi became very angry at this and so Akali jee took his battle axe in his hands and stood in front of him and said “you will not sit separately.”
Baba Bedi was very upset so Akali jee said, if you wish to sit above others then go sit in taabiya of Guru Granth Sahib. Baba Bedi then began to do katha and speak harshly about “people dressed in black” (in a reference to Akali jee). Baba Bedi spoke a lot but Akali jee remained silent and listened quietly. Finally Akali jee said, “Baba jee, if you wish to rain any more such words on me, then I am present, but it is not appropriate to have special seating in the presence of the Guru.”
Encouraging Sikhs to Follow Rehit
If Akali jee heard that any Singh was violating rehit, at that very instant he would go to that Singh’s home and would lovingly persuade him to correct the fault. This would have a great effect. He would only return after having the Singh promise to live according to rehit in the future.
Akali jee would explain to every Singh or Singhni his or her responsibilities and duties. Whomever he met, he would once look from top to bottom. Giani Udham Singh tells us that once a Singh Sahib compelled him to take him to see Akali jee. They went to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi to see Akali jee. When Giani jee and the Singh Sahib said Fateh to him, Akali jee looked at them and said, “Singh Sahib, have you coloured your beard?”
The Singh replied, “yes, I have.” Akali jee asked, “Singh Sahib, what work do you do?”
Singh: “ I was serving in the military but am now retired.”
Akali jee: “Singh sahib, then also please retire the colour from your beard.”
Hearing this, the Singh said to Giani jee, “I’ve only managed to humiliate myself here. He hasn’t shown me any respect.”
Akali jee heard this and said humbly, “Singh Sahib, if I have humiliated you then you may also humiliate me and if you wish, you may take me by the ear and throw me out. But from today onwards, don’t colour your beard.”
Hearing this, the Singh became very embarrassed and asked for forgiveness. He promised not to colour his beard from then on and he has abided by this promise since.
Akali Jee’s Strict Bibek
Living the Guru’s teachings was part and parcel of Akali jee’s life and he remained engrossed in selfless service of Guru Panth. He did everything for the benefit of the Panth and did not care for himself at all. Shortly before his passing, he and Giani Niranjan Singh went to preach Gurmat in the Malwa area. Akali jee did not eat for an entire week. The issue was that the others in the Jatha did not know that he was a bibeki and prepared his own food or ate what another Amritdhari, nitnemi Singh or Singhni had prepared. There were very few Amritdhari Singhs in the area and he did not ask for food. Finally this was discovered by the others in the Jatha and everyone expressed their deep regret but Akali jee simply said, “don’t have any regrets about it. Such was God’s will.”
Akali jee only accepted food from a trusted Rehitdhari Singh or Singhni. Once Giani Udham Singh put pressure on Akali jee to eat at his house but Akali jee would not accept. After being pressed very hard, he said, “Singh Sahib! You will prepare the food then.”
G jee: “yes Maharaj, I will prepare it.”
Akali jee: “alright Singh Sahib. It is your responsibility then. I only eat food prepared by a tyaar-bar-tyaar Singh.”
Giani jee then prepared the food himself and served Akali jee.
Method of Eating
Whatever he received, he would contently eat. But distributing his food to others before eating was also his character. When he would put food on his plate, in a loud voice he would shout, “Come beloveds of the Guru! Food is prepared! Come and eat!”
After waiting a few minutes he would say, ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦਿਭਰਮਕਾਨਾਸੁ ॥ and dip his kirpan in the food. He would then give some of the food to those sitting near him, including any sabji. If there was a young child, he would put the food on his hand and then gently offer it to the child.
Whatever vegetables Akali jee received, he would prepare their sabji, including their peels. It was so tasty and contained the taste of amrit, and this only those who were his companions can know. The thick thick rotis prepared by him, which were like bhaturas, were so very tasty.
Only Eating from Amritdharis
Sant Sahib Bachitar Singh jee of Poonch tells us, “Singh Sahib Akali Kaur Singh jee was not only an amritdhari bibek, but he wished to see every Sikh as a Singh or amritdhari. Once he came to Poonch and stayed at the Singh Sabha. I went to meet him and there were also several other Singhs there. Akali jee asked for some water. I brought some water and he asked me, “Singh Sahib! Have you received amrit?” I was shocked and said I hadn’t. He then said, “Singh Sahib, take the water back. You have not taken amrit.” It was at that point that I first felt that it was important for me to take amrit.”
Sant Gurbaksh Singh jee Danna said, “Akali jee took me from Kashmir on a yatra and said we should go have darshan. We reached Sri Nankana Sahib and did darshan there. Akali jee began to prepare his food. After preparing the sabji, he began to prepare rotis. While one was still on the tava, he left to attend to something important. I saw that the roti was burning so I took some tongs and moved it to the side.
After returning, the roti remained off to the side and I asked why this was. Akali jee replied, “Singh Sahib, you have not taken amrit so I cannot eat this roti.”
I heard this and became very angry. I said I am from a family of Sants who have given amrit to others and I am their descendant. It is not necessary for me to take amrit. This is an insult to me.” I said many harsh things to Akali jee. He however remained quiet and smiled. I said, “Forget eating something I have prepared, you won’t even eat a roti I have touched with tongs. You have insulted our lineage.”
I said what I wanted and became tired and stopped. Akali jee then replied, “You are without a doubt the descendant of Sants and so you may say whatever you wish to me.”
I had already said so much and felt tired and defeated and did not want to say anything more.
Akali jee then said, Singh Sahib, please eat.
I: No, I won’t eat this.
Akali jee: If you won’t eat then I won’t eat either.
Akali jee sat off to one side and I turned my back and sat off to the other. Akali jee hadn’t eaten for several days. I began to regret what I had said and began to feel ashamed. I thought to myself that I am younger and he is older than me. I have made a big mistake by saying so much and this saintly person has quietly endured it all. I then said, “Akali jee, please forgive me.”
Akali jee replied, “Singh Sahib, I can’t forgive you like this. Forgiveness will come only if you become a full Singh.”
He slowly began to persuade me and he convinced me that I should take amrit and become a tyar-bar-tyar Singh. After making me promise, he began to eat and had me eat as well. The next day Akali jee took me to Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and there he himself served in the Punj Pyaray and gave me amrit and by doing so made our yatra successful.
Akali jee’s personality was very sweet. He did not become angry at anyone. He would endure harsh words from all.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2010 09:09PM by admin.