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Bhagat Puran Singh


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Bhagat Puran Singh

Great Saint and helper of the disabled (1904-1992)

Bhagat Puran Singh Ji is undoubtedly the single Sikh Hero of this century who worked totally selflessly all his life to provide the last hope to the mentally and terminally ill patients. Whenever he use to see a deserted dead body (human or animal) immediately he would prepare (by his own hand) a grave and give the human or animal a deserving respect of death. He was to Sikhism, what Mother Teresa is to Catholicism.

Against the backdrop of violence and poverty in 1947 he established a premier institute which takes care of sick, disabled and forlorn persons. Whatever money and financial resources he could gathered he used it to establish this institute. It is also believed that he was almost nominated to receive Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 but by not giving him prize it was the loss of sick and disabled persons as well as Nobel Prize committee. His life story is a saga of grit, determination, faith in the almighty and unending love for the suffering humanity. A very brief sketch of Bhagat Ji's life is given below.

Bhagat Puran Singh, born at Rajewal, Distt. Ludhiana on June 4 1904., at the house of Chaudhari Chibu Mal and Mehtab Kaur. In an interview to Patwant Singh Bhagat Puran Singh discloses how he became a Sikh ,in his early life he use to travel a lot from village to village and would stay at a Hindu Temple. One day when he was staying at a Temple Brahmins told him to clean the temple and then when he was done they sat in front of him and ate the food without offering him., Incidentally next time he had to stay at a Gurdwara and Bhai ji of Gurdwara not only gave him good food but also a cot and a glass of milk afterwards., without asking for any sewa for Gurdwara. After this Bhagat Puran Singh didn't even thought twice and became a Khalsa.

He set out in life for the service of the suffering humanity- the greatest religion. He founded Pingalwara in 1947 with a few discarded patients. He was also a writer as well as publisher and an environmentalist. Pingalwara is a very big home of human service. Bhagat Ji's contribution in spreading awareness about the global dangers of environment pollution, increasing soil erosion etc are also commendable. His dedication was awarded with heaps of honours by many quarters. Prestigious among these was the Padamshri award in 1979, which he surrendered in the wake of the army attack on the Golden Temple in 1984. He left for his heavenly abode on August 5, 1992.

As a sturdy youth of moderate means about 70 years ago, Bhagat Puran Singh saw a little boy who couldn’t walk. He decided to be the boy’s carrier "Until the latter could use his own legs".

The boy never did and Bhagat Puran Singh carried him on his shoulders until the time he himself became too frail to walk. And he decided to collect humans who did not have the abilit to help themselves. His Pingalwara became a home for orphans, mentally retarded persons and, the totaly deprived sections of society. It was a primitive place and neither society nor the State helped. The media winked a lot, took occasional notice and lapsed back to winking. But Bhagat Puran Singh carried on.

He remained an avid collector ever since. He collected "human pebbles" from the streets and housed them in Pingalwara. He collected funds, in driblets rather than droves, to run it. And he collected all the purposeful articles in the newspapers and magazines writings on the economy, environment, public health, population, etc. -- published booklets of these and distributed them free to interested people.

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  • 1 month later...

WaheGuruji ka Khalsa WaheGuruji Ki Fateh

I'd say Bhagat Puran Singh truly understood Guru Gobind Singh ji's message of fearlessness in the face of injustice. If he was scared he would not have lived such a day-to-day lifestyle, living only as a vessel for others. If that isn;t giving your head to the Guru, what is!

I have to say, for me he was and is one of the most inspiring Sikhs alongwith other important Sewapanthis, who negated their own ego to help others. Living with no attachments and utter humility, as a vessel for God's manifestation is the path of Brahmgiani and seeing through maya.

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  • 11 months later...

Found some great teaching of bhagat puran singh ji.

*********************

If you make your morning, you've made your day. Don't be irritated by trivial matters. Make sure you take time in the morning for silent, solitary reflection.

************

Daily have a talk with God. He is a true friend and "It is so natural to discuss with a friend your ambitions and aspirations, your plans and programmes, your failures and frustrations and ask him to help you". We may not be able to at first see him or hear him, but be certain that he does see and hear you.

We will meet God only when he is sure that "your truly need Him and nothing besides."

************

Prayer is not easy: "A holy man driving a car, met a beggar on the way. The beggar exclaimed, "If only I too became a holy man, a man of prayer, I would have a car!"

"Prayer is not that easy" said the holy man. "If you say too(n) thaakur tum pai ardaas... with a concentated mind, the car (and much more) can belong to you"

"Wonderful!" Said the astonished beggar. Joining his hands and closing his eyes he said the prayer aloud, "Too(n) thakur tum pai ardaas. Jeeo pind sabhi teree raas..."

Suddenly in mid prayer, his eyes opened up and he asked, "Shall I have a garage along with car? Else where would I keep it???" Moral: concentrated prayer is not an easy task.

************

Make God your life partner: He can be a partner in your daily life and all activities and miracles can happen. Rest assured that there is no problem which you and God cannot solve together and no situation you cannot handle together.

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A loving relationship is based on a feeling of being needed. Think about when you have felt closest to someone. It is quite possibly a time when you have been needed by them. Feeling needed and wanted is something that fosters love not only between humans but also with God. When God knows you need him and only him and have no other support, he will then come to you.

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

:D

BHAGAT JEE is my hero..thank you so much for starting this post..Whenever I feel like there is not much for me to do, I think of Bhagat Jee..At present Bibi Inderjit Kaur is the life-times president of Pingalwara, I've had the kirpa of having contact with her (through emails) and she is such a sweet person..

http://www.pingalwaraonline.org/ (in the service of suffering humanity)

Bhagat Jee's 100th Birthday is coming up in June, there are great plans to expand Pingalwara and I'm sure with all the donations and hard work they'll be fruitful..Dr. Inderjit Kaur jee has kindly asked me to design posters and book cover designs for this grand event..how could I refuse!!

Veerji, Bhagat Jee was given an award by the Sevapanthis, jtsingh veerji wrote about it in a previous post..

I just love the story of how he become a Khalsa, so uplifting!

Here is what the Internation Human Rights Organisation Chairman has said about Bhagat Jee

".His Pingalwara (literally a home for the cripple) is a nucleus of a great humanitarian movement. It is a temple of God where Bhagat Puran Singh can be seen as a deity, the saviour, the redeemer, the deliverer of the diseased, the destitute, the dispossed and the crippled - a messiah whose heart bleeds to see sick, the suffering humanity".

Here is one of my favourite pictures, at high resolution so you can print and post it up to remind you of the people who are living 'Sikhi'..

Vaaheguroo..

guramukh saevaa praan adhhaaraa ||

Selfless service is the support of the breath of life of the Gurmukh.

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

From a leaflet...

All by himself he laid the foundation of Pingalwara, Amritsar." In this regard I would like to point out that Bhagat Jee started his work at Lahor long before the partition of India. I still remember him coming to our locality, Mohani Road, periodically carrying a very young handicap boy on his back. I forgot the name of this boy but I saw him as a grown up man in a buggy placed outside Darbar Sahib a few years ago. I am told that he has taken himself to his heavenly abode now. Bhagat Jee often had discussions with my father all sitting on the string-beds laid in the street. Apart from his zeal for service for humanity, he was very knowledgeable man. On seeing Bhagat Jee my father always said, "Here comes my Dr. Barnardo." I don't think Dr. Barnado needs any introduction.

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

The name of that criple boy whom Bhagat ji carried on his back for a long time was Piara Singh. Bhagat ji always insisted that his personal picture be taken with Piara Singh in the front/with him. Bhagat Ji actually said several times that he is what he is due to Bhai Piara Singh. Piara Singh used to ride on the back of Bhagat Puran Singh with his hands wrapped around his neck. That is why he called Piara "Garland Around My Neck" i.e. Merey Gal da haar. :cry:

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040604/punjab1.htm#2

Today is Bhagatji’s birth centenary

Bhagat Puran Singh’s spirit lives on

Reema Anand

PINGALWARA marches on, on the very ideals and principles laid by its founder Bhagat Puran Singh.

It has been a long journey for the institution — from 1952 to 2004 — but it stands stronger than ever on a foundation of love, tender care for humanity, and dressing the physical as well as mental wounds of its inhabitants.

Dr Inderjit Kaur, zealously follows the guidelines laid down by her mentor and father-figure Bhagat Puran Singh. One can sense the love flowing from her maternal figure to the underprivileged children, who form 50 per cent of the population of Pingalwara. The way they call out to her ‘Bibi ji’ and the manner in which she responds by waving her hands and patting them, reveals how much of an effort has gone into this kind of interaction.

When Bhagat Puran Singh founded Pingalwara, he had many unanswered questions then. One of them was: “Would the caretakers of Pingalwara be able to look after the inmates with as much love as he had showered on his adopted child Piara?”

Today, on his birth centenary, his admirers can proudly answer: “Yes! not only has his Pingalwara progressed every minute, his legacy too has progressed”.

Dr Inderjit Kaur, a doctor by profession, has sacrificed her family life as well as active professional practice at Sangrur to make her life and home among the inhabitants of Pingalwara, just as Bhagatji had done. Bhagat Puran Singh made the right choice in handing over Pingalwara to her.

The Pingalwara following in Babaji’s footsteps has started a school for financially deprived children, as well as a prosthetic limb centre under its aegis.

Every year special efforts are undertaken to promote the vision of Bhagat Puran Singh. For the people involved with this institution, his humility, his endeavours undertaken from 1947 till his death in 1992, his love for the needy and poor, add to his stature. For Punjabis world over, he and his legacy are priceless. Today on his birth centenary, he looms larger than life. His faith in Sikhism, and his ideology of Sewa, made his institution an exceptional one.

Tributes paid to Bhagat Puran Singh

Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 3

The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, today described Bhagat Puran Singh as a man full of compassion who devoted his entire life to serve the suffering humanity.

Presiding over the first birth centenary celebrations of the founder of Pingalwara at the Guru Nanak Dev University auditorium, Mr Barnala, delivering his keynote address on “Peace and harmony through righteousness”, said he had been a great admirer of the Bhagatji and had been associated with his missionary work which provided succour to a large number of destitutes, mentally sick and the handicapped by offering them shelter, food and medicines.

Mr Barnala said Bhagat Puran Singh had left behind a great legacy of sacrifice which required to be emulated by all to serve the sick and those neglected by the society. The Governor said a lot of work still needed to be done to help the sufferers in this country.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr S.P. Singh, while addressing the gathering said the university was proud to host the centenary celebrations and added that it had established a special Chair for Bhagat Puran Singh to do comprehensive research on his life of sacrifice and compassion for the poor and the needy.

A renowned environmentalist and the founder of ‘Chipko’ movement, Mr Sundar Lal Bahuguna, who shared a long friendship with Bhagat Puran Singh said he was a great lover of nature and always spread the message of protecting the environment so that the ecological balance was not destroyed by the blatant destruction of forests.

The Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in exile, Mr S. Rinpoche, said the Tibetans regards Bhagat Puran Singh as a man who rendered selfless service to the humanity without any ego and fanfare.

Gandhian leader Nirmla Deshpande exhorted the people of the historic city of Amritsar to adopt the mission of Bhagat Puran Singh whom she described as the beacon light for the entire humanity.

Former Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune V.N. Narayanan, while delivering his concluding remarks, said it was a pity that the present generation was not aware of the selfless one-man mission of Bhagat Puran Singh, who devoted his life for the welfare of the most neglected members of society. He urged the people to work for the mission to become a movement in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Barnala said it was difficult to commit now as to what future holds for him. Addressing mediapersons after presiding over the centenary celebrations, Mr Barnala said only time would tell as he was not in a position to comment on either quitting the governorship or joining active Akali politics.

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