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|June 1, 2016|
On the 4 June every year, the worldwide Sikh community celebrate the birthday of late Bhagat Puran Singh (1904 - 1992). Bhai Sahib was born at Rajewal, in district Ludhiana, Punjab, India on June 4, 1904.
His mother was Mehtab Kaur and his father's name was Chaudhari Chibu Mal. Bhai Sahib was born into a Hindu family and his original name was Ramji Das. He started his education at Khanna, Punjab and then later joined Lahore's Khalsa High School.
As a young man, he used to perform "sewa" at Gurdwara Dera Sahib and Gurdwara Shahid Ganj in Lahore. Here, he would help with cleaning, cooking and serving food; he also tended to the aged, infirm and sick who came to the Gurdwaras to pay their respect to Guru Granth Sahib.
In an interview with Bhai Patwant Singh, Bhagat Puran Singh discloses how he became a Sikh. In his early life he used to travel a lot from village to village and would stay overnight at a Hindu Temple. One day when he was staying at one such temple, the Brahmins told him to clean the temple and then when he had done that, they sat in front of him and started eating food without offering him anything.
Hasan Abdal is a historical town in Northern Punjab, Pakistan. It is 40 km northwest of the centre of Rawalpindi just off the Rawalpindi-Peshwar road. It is famous for Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib, one of the most sacred places of Sikhism. Thousands of Sikhs and Hindus visit the Gurdwara on the eve of Baisakhi every year.
On the nearby hill, at an altitude of 714 meters, there is a meditation chamber related to a 15th century Muslim Saint, Baba Wali Qandhari, popularly known as Baba Hasan Abdal. The saint stayed in Hasan Abdal from 1406-1516 AD but died and is buried in village Baba Wali near Qandhar also spelt as Kandahar (Afghanistan).
Guru Nanak with Bhai Mardana and a small party halted at this place at the foot of a hill. Under a shady cool tree, the Guru and Bhai Mardana started reciting Kirtan as was their normal practise. Slowly, the local devotees began to gather around the Guru. Soon, a large crowd of people began regularly to gather around the Guru. He talked to them about God and the true path of the holy. He told them the greatness of God and His creations. More and more people began to gather around him every day.
On the top of the nearby hill, Wali Qandhari had established a celebrated and popular dera (holy place) near a natural fountain. .....More
"Baba Sheikh Farid Ganj-i-Shakar" is not a ‘baptised’ name, but a galaxy of venerable modes of address with which Farid-ud-Din; who used Masud as his pen-name, began to be adored after his death by his devotees.
With Baba Farid a new star blazed on the horizon of greater Punjab. By his mellifluous poetry he conferred an independent status upon Punjabi, especially in his doha format. Baba Farid’s dohas in inspiringly sweet poetry are highly revered and forever enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Khaliq Ahmad Nizami, Professor of History, Muslim University, Aligarh, in his well documented book, The Life and Times of Slwikh Farid-ud-Din Ganj-i-Shakar (1955) provides comprehensive-information about Shaikh Farid.
Farid-ud-Din’s grandfather was a part of the exodus, of scholars, artisans and of other such careerists who ‘considered it expedient to migrate to Northern India from Kabul when Afghanistan was trampled by hordes of Mughals during the eleventh century. The Mughals were given to mass plunder, carnage and arson leading to vandalism. .....More
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