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Shaheeds of 1978 ---------Shaheed Bhai Raghbeer Singh

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Shaheed Bhai Raghbeer Singh was born in village Bhagoopura Dist. Amrtisar on March 10, 1947 to Sd. Nvaab Singh and Mata Paal Kaur. Bhai Raghbeer Singh studied till the eight grade in his home town and then in 1963 he moved to Poona with the army's Bombay Engineering Group. After five years of service, he in 1968, he had his name cut from the army's register and moved to Patiala.

I (Bhai Kirpal Singh Ambala Chaunee) first met Bhai Ragbheer Singh in Poona on December 14, 1966. I was serving in the military and had been transferred to the Training Battalion #1 in the Bombay Engineering Group. I was a clerk in the office while Bhai Sahib was an engine fitter, but because he was known as a Gursikh, he was also responsible for the seva of the gurdvara. I had an idea that this young man had good karma, and it would be good if he became even more attached to the Guru.

Weekly keertan programs were being held under the organization of Prof. Beant Singh jee and I encouraged Bhai Raghbeer Singh to attend these smaagams. I had with me a tape player and every day for a month, we would listen to tapes of Bhai Mohinder Singh SDO, Bhai Joginder Singh Talvara and some other Bibis. Some other Singhs would also come to listen, because Poona has many good Singhs. Bhai Raghbeer Singh was struck by the sweet arrows of baanee and keertan, and as a result, he memorised his nitnem banees and began keeping the five kakaars. One day he made a request before me: "The Singhs who's voices you play on the tape player everyday, please let me meet them in person and please have the punj pyaaray bless me with the gift of amrit-naam."

I replied, "come to the Ludhiana smaagam this Vaisakhi and appear before the punj pyaaray and you will receive this gift" Bhai Raghbeer Singh replied "I am an unknowing child, and no one knows me. Please, can you take a leave and accompany me to arrange this?" I was at that point based in Ludhiana.

Bhai Saahib had some trouble in securing a leave for himself but he said "I don't care what happens, I will be in Ludhiana by Vaisakhi, no matter what the cost". I had already arranged a two-month leave for myself and we both went to Prof. Beant Singh, who was close with many officers. Prof Saaib phoned Bhai Raghbeer Singh jee's officer and asked for a 10-day leave, and like this the leave was approved within one hour.

Both Bhai Raghbeer Singh and I boarded the train to Ludhiana on April 9 1967 and arrived at amrit vela on April 11. On Vaisakhi day, Bhai Raghbeer Singh appeared before the punj pyaaray and received amrit-naam. He immediately became solid in the Gurmat way of life and stopped dealing with his manmukh associates. Bhai Saahib didn't even return to his village but came back to Poona and busied himself with earning the profit of naam.

When I returned to Poona after my 2 month leave, Bhai Raghbeer Singh was overjoyed to see me and I too felt lucky to see such a precious jewel of the Guru.

Bhai Sahib never was asleep after 12AM and after bathing, engaged himself in naam abhayas until day-break. In a short time, he memorised nitnem, sukhmani saahib, aasaa dee vaar, ramkali kee vaar, and many other baanees. He would prepare his own food but because the army forbade this, he had to stop. At that time, I was living with my Singhnee and asked Bhai Saahib to take his food from our house.

One Singh from Poona, Bhai Gurcharan Singh arranged for an akhand paath saahib at his house from Dec 21 1967 to Dec 25, 1967 and with the blessings of Akaal Purakh, Bhai Raghbeer Singh listened to the entire paath in one sitting without any food or water. After the bhog, he then listend two six hours of keertan in the same seated position. He felt no fatigue at all. Bhai Saahib would also do keertan from memory for hours on end and was a very good akhand paathee. Soon, in addition to nitnem, he began to do sukhmani saahib, aasaa dee vaar, basant kee vaar, ramkalee kee vaar, shabad hazary P: 10, Svaya: Deenan kee pritpaal karay, chaupai: pranvo aad ekankaaraa, akaal ustat, barmaha maanjh & tukharee, salok M: 9, Gujri kee vaar M: 5 and many other shabads daily, from memory.

After some time Bhai Saahib was free from military service with the help of his older brother Cpt. Piara Singh. Cpt. Piara Singh had hoped that Bhai Raghbeer Singh would return to the village and work on the farm, because no one was left behind to do this. Bhai Saahib refused to return to the village because he said "the conditions there are not right. If I return, I will lose everything" I and Prof Beant Singh sent him to Patiala to the Soora printing press because Sooraa needed a compositor. So, Bhai Raghbeer Singh began working at Soora for Rs. 60 a month. He would always cook his own meals. Later, Bhai Sahib began to work in the Parkash Printing Press.

Bhai Raghbeer Singh always enjoyed studying. He would study, cook his food, do his nitnem and then go work in the press. Doing all this was too difficult so Bhai Sahib left the service at the press and engaged himself exclusively in naam-banee and study. From 1968 to 1973 he studied hard and did much naam-baanee. I too arrived back on pension on February 7th, 1970.

Form October 7th, 1970 to November 1st,, 1970, the Jatha, under Bhai Mohinder Singh SDO did a preaching tour in the entire area. Bhia Raghbeer Singh along with Bhai Fauja Singh accompanied this tour and served in the Punj pyaaray.

Bhai Sahib spent a lot of time in Patiala with Bhai Manohar Singh Red Cross and Bhai Surjeet Singh Truck-valey. He spent some time in Ludhiana with me studying. He completed the following degrees: Metric, Gyanee and then a BA.

At Smaagams, Bhai Sahib would lovingly do seva in the langar. When I would have a smaagam in my home, he would with enthusiasm do this service. When Bhai Saahib was studying, I never let him have any financial problems. Suchay Patshaah himself had given me this duty. He loved me greatly and considered me his father.

On November 11, 1973, Bhai Saahib was hired as a clerk at the Patiala University and then on February 1st 1975, he began as a clerk at the Punjab and Sindh Bank in village Sonaam Dist. Sangroor. Until his martyrdom, Bhai Raghbeer Singh worked here.

Bhai Raghbeer Singh spoke very sweetly and was of a very good nature that made him everyone's favourite. His smiling face would win everyone over. He was filled with vairaag and would do a tearful ardaas for up to a half-hour. For hours at amrit vela he would mediate loudly on naam. The echo of his naam meditation made it seem as if many Singhs were meditating together.

With Bhai Sahib's encouragement, many people became Singhs in village Sonaam. He was such a giving individual that at his bhog after the martyrdom, one person told us that "a Singh is ordered to give 10% of his earnings to the Guru, but Bhai Saahib was such a jewel of the Guru that he would live off of the 10% and give the rest to the Guru"

Bhai Raghbeer Singh was married on October 18, 1975 to Bibi Hardev Kaur the daughter of Cpt. Ram Singh village Botala dist. Kapoorthala. This marriage was an ideal example of a Gursikh wedding: there was no party with the groom, and no shows like at manmukh weddings. There was only him and his father. Four other Gursikhs accompanied him and that was the entire groom-party. No instruments, no bands, no milnis.


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