Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jathedar Achhar Singh Ji

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Jathedar Achhar Singh jee was born in 1893 and joined army when he was still in his teens. Jathedar jee was known for doing kirtan for hours and never getting tired of it. He never could get enough of it. He used to get up just after midnight and immerse himself in Naam and Gurbani paath.

Jathedar jee got stationed in Burma and there he did great sewa of Panth by constructing many Gurdwaras. Due to his sangat, many came into the fold of Sikhi. In 1917, when he came back to Burma after vacationing in Punjab and doing sangat of gursikhs, he refused to wear his kirpan underneath his shirt. He started wearing it over. The officers knew the saintly life of Jathedar jee and did not say anything to him. Some other Sikh soldiers tried to imitate Jathedar jee but were stopped by their officers saying, “Pehlay tumm Achhar Singh Bann jaayo” (First become like Achhar Singh, then do what you want to do).

After retiring from military job, Jathedar jee was appointed by Shiromini Committee to the position of Granthi of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.

Jathedar jee did this sewa of Granthi of Darbar Sahib for 22 years. In these years, he performed his duties with utmost diligence. He always stood in the way of anyone doing manmatt. In those days to do darshan of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee by lifting rumaalay was very popular. Jathedar jee opposed this manmatt and eventually stopped it from happening at Darbar Sahib. To do darshan of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee, the right thing is to do paath of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee and not lift up the rumaalay and get physical darshan. Jathedar jee stopped this practice at Darbar Sahib.

Once some gursikhs came and had an Akhand Paath Sahib of Dasam Granth done at Akal Takhat Sahib. This was the first time an Akhand Paath of Dasam Granth was done at Akal Takhat Sahib and no one knew how to approach this issue. Jathedar jee took a very strong stand and opposed the akhand paath of Dasam Granth from Akal Takhat Sahib. He said that our Guru was only Guru Granth Sahib alone. From that time, Dasam Granth akhand paath never happened there.

In 1955, along with Granthi of Darbar Sahib, he was appointed the jathedar of Siri Akal Takhat Sahib. Jathedar jee was a Singh of puraatan style (old style) and had no fear for anyone but Guru Sahib. In 1961, when Sant Fateh Singh, the Akali leader incited Master Tara Singh to break his fast, Jathedar jee called both Sant Fateh Singh and Master Tara Singh for peshi at Siri Akal Takhat Sahib. Master Tara Singh had performed ardaas that he would not eat anything till the Delhi Government yielded to their demand of having a real state of Punjab. When Master jee’s condition became very critical, after many days of fasting, Sant Fateh Singh and the working committee of Akali Dal, passed a resolution and forced Master jee to break his fast of many days.
Jathedar jee gave exemplary tankhah to both leaders and cautioned them against such acts in the future.

In his last days he lived in total contentment. His simple life-style proved that he had led a life free of corruption and sin. He had a simple house with two rooms and he breathed his last there His overall personality was very impressive. He was full of Khalsa spirit to give up his life for chardi kala of Panth.
By Bhai Kulbir Singh Ji
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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