Another Inspiring Gurmukh-Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh jee Khudda-Kurala
Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Ji was born in 1912 in the village of Kurala in the district of Hoshiarpur. His mother's name was Ohan Kaur and his father's name was Bhagwan Singh. In his early years he was educated at Moolak Kula primary school. His father was in the army and due to his bravery was awarded land in the village of Mintgomary in Pakistan, and so the whole family moved there. He completed his secondary education there and was married to Bibi Gurbachan Kaur. Bhai Avtar Singh was involved in agricultural work there until Pakistan was formed in 1947. He then returned back to his old village of Kurala and continued farming.
He came to meet Bhai Harnam Singh and Bhai Pritam Singh from Oasuha, and with their Sangat started to read Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh's inspirational books. Upon reading he felt a strong urge to take Amrit and lead a Gursikh way of life, and he also began going to Gurmat Smagams around Talwara and Oasuha with other Gursikhs. He also went to Model Town Ludhiana and met Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh.
Bhai Avtar Singh finally took Amrit with his wife on 13th April 1961, at the Vaisakhi Smagam in Ludhiana. He started wearing the Khalsa uniform (Bana) and also took up the strict Rehat of eating in Sarbloh (iron utensils), which he carried on until the end of his life. Many families were influenced by his high standards of Rehat-Rehni and were inspired to take Amrit.
Bhai Avtar Singh used to visit all the places where the Akhand Kirtani Jatha Smagams were held to enjoy the Kirtan and Naam-Bani. In 1969 the Akhand Kirtani Jatha organised a Yatra to Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib by buses and Kirtan was performed at Gurdwaras along the route. Bhai Avtar Singh also took part in that Yatra and also took part in the Sewa of the Panj Pyare in the Smagams.
He had such a desire to do Bhagti that he left the accommodation of his village and erected a hut on his farmland far away from his village, where he performed Guru Granth Sahib's Parkash and started living there until his last days. He would get up at 12 o'clock in the night and after having Ishnaan would start doing Naam-Abyass and continue this until daylight.
He started making arrangement to go to the Vaisakhi Smagam being held in Amritsar by the Akhand Kirtani Jatha. He said farewell to his family and told them to always follow a Gursikh way of life and to love one another and that he was not going to return. Bhai Sahib had decided to leave his home and to stay at the Khalsa farm in Gurdaspur and to accompany the Jatha to do Sikhi Parchar in the nearby villages. He arrived at the Vaisakhi Smagam at Amritsar and was the first person to give Shaheedi.
The Gurmukhs who eye-witnessed his Shaheedi say that when a bullet from the Nirankaris stuck him he immediately fell on the floor. But he quickly regained his composure and sat up cross-legged and started doing Nam-Abyass very loudly and then went into a deep meditative state. As he was sitting there, the Nirankaris smashed lathis on his bare head. Bhai Sahib remained sitting there upright and motionless until his last breath.
Shaheedee Saroop Of Bhaee Avtaar Singh Jee (1978)
Shaheed Avtar Singh Ji has five sons and one daughter whose names are: Bhai Kirpal Singh, Bhai Harbaksh Singh, Bhai Iqbal Singh, Bhai Rattan Singh, Bhai Harbhajan Singh and Bibi Surjeet Kaur.A spear and a bullet also injured Bhai Iqbal Singh in one of his legs.
Taken From Kurbanee Pustak
More Information on Bhai Sahib jee by Different Gursikhs
1) I had had his darshan in my childhood. Recently, a senior singh tod me that Bhai Sahib had a very strong physique and used to work very hard at his farms. A lot of pure Ghee (milk fat) he used to have as a drink. (Bhai MB Singh jee)
2) Bhaee Sahib was also sevaadaar for langar and deg sevaa in samagams during his time in this world. (Bhai Tarnvir Singh jee)
3) He would get up at 12 o'clock in the night and after having Ishnaan would start doing Naam-Abyass and continue this until daylight. What Great immense desire to jaap Naam. ਰਾਮਰਸਾਇਣਿਜੋਰਤੇਨਾਨਕਸਚਅਮਲੀ. (Contributed by Gupt Singh - user name - Vista jee)
Bhaee Avtaar Singh Jee In Deg Sevaa. He was beautiful (Bhai Tarnvir Singh)
Bhai Avtar Singh jee's Sabjee of Wild Leaves
Bhai Sher Singh jee who currently is residing in Vancouver and keeps full Khalsa rehit including Sarbloh Bibek, spent many years in the company of Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh jee. He narrated to us his experiences in Bhai Avtar Singh. Once they were travelling somewhere on foot and on their way Singhs got hungry. They had not eaten anything for sometime. Bhai Avtar Singh jee and other Singhs decided to rest at a suitable place. There was no city, town or village nearby. While Singhs started doing paath, Bhai Sahib went to the woods and collected whole bunch of leaves and shrubs of different varieties. He took some water from a nearby pond and started cooking the leaves and shrubs in water. Along with cooking Bhai Avtar Singh jee continued doing Paath and Simran.
Bhai Sher Singh told us that at first they were apprehensive of eating this mixture of wild leaves and shrubs but when they did eat it, he and other Singhs found it so tasty that they could not have enough of it. There was no salt, no tadka, no masala in this unique sabjee but because of Gurbani Paath and Kamaayee of Bhai Avtar Singh jee, it tasted so well. Bhai Avtar Singh jee used to say that a Sarblohi Singh should give up tastes of food.
Bhai Avtar Singh and a Famous Sant who advised him to give up Sarbloh
The Saakhi written below is based on Saakhi as narrated by a Gurmukh Pyare from Siri Anandpur Sahib.
There is a very famous dera in Hoshiarpur district and a very prominent and famous Sant jee used to reside there. Sant jee was definitely Kamaayee waalay and many Jatha Singhs too had very loving relationship with him. Bhai Avtar Singh jee used to attend some of the Dera Samagams and since Bhai Sahib jee kept strict Sarbloh Rehit, he used to avoid taking Degh from these samagams because the Degh was not prepared according to full maryada.
Sant jee used to notice this many times and one day he sent one of his Sewadaars to the house of Bhai Sahib informing him that Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee had given darshan to him (Sant jee) and instructed him to let Bhai Avtar Singh know that he should not worry about his Sarbloh Rehit and start accepting Degh from the Dera.
Bhai Sahib was startled when he heard this. He wondered why Guru Sahib did not give him this Hukam directly. In any case, he requested the Sewadaar to come back after a day. He said that he wanted to confirm this with Guru Sahib directly. The next day, Bhai Sahib told the Sewadaar that Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj had confirmed with him that whoever is telling him to leave the Sarbloh Rehit should be given 100 slippers (ਛਿੱਤਰ) on the head. Bhai Sahib asked the Sewadaar to let Sant jee know that he would be coming to fulfill the hukam of Guru Sahib soon.
The Sewadaar informed Sant jee about what Bhai Sahib had said. Sant jee quickly dispatched the Sewadaar to let Bhai Sahib know that he should not leave the Sarbloh Rehit and continue not to take Degh as per his Maryada.
Bhai Avtar Singh jee and Dr Surinder Singh
Once at Ludhiana Samagam, Dr Sahib requested Bhai Avtar Singh to eat food prepared by him at such and such place. This was morning time of the day when Ran Subaayee was to occur at night. Bhai Avtar Singh jee said that he would eat langar prepared at the Samagam but Dr Sahib insisted on his request. Bhai Avtar Singh jee promised to come shortly but later on forgot about it. At night Ran Subaayee started and it was towards the end of Ran Subaayee that Bhai Avtar Singh remembered that he had promised to eat parshaada prepared by Dr Sahib.
He rushed to the place where Dr Sahib had asked him to come. When he reached there, he found that Dr Sahib was sitting in Samadhi and food that he had prepared was lying in front of him covered with by a piece of cloth. Bhai Sahib was filled with Bairaag and Dr Sahib too very lovingly served food to Bhai Sahib.
When Bhai Avtar Singh was done eating and was about to leave, Dr Sahib came out to see him off. At that point, Dr Sahib’s eyes were filled with tears and he went forward and hugged Bhai Sahib. Then he revealed that, both of them had separated from river Sirsa and after that incident, they met now, after so many hundred years. By river Sirsa separation he meant that both of them were with Guru Sahib during the Siri Anandpur Sahib battles.
Bhai Avtar Singh’s personality, style, talk and behaviour resembled Puratan Singhs of 1700s. His talk was very influential and affective. He was very strict in Khalsa Rehit including Sarbloh Bibek.
The above incident as written above was narrated to this Daas by Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh jee Shatrana, who currently is residing at Siri Anandpur Sahib and what Bhai Sahib Shatrana jee narrated to me was based on his hearing this Saakhi directly from Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh jee.