Baba Surjeet Singh

Baba Surjit Singh ji was the 14th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal, they were born on the 7th of June 1945 in Murar, Amritsar.

Before joining the Dal Panth, Baba Surjit Singh Ji served in the armed forces of the Punjab police, from 1964 to 1969. After Baba ji quit the armed forces in 1969, they went to Anandpur Sahib, and served the Sangata there for three months before returning home.

Baba Surjit Singh ji officially joined the Buddha Dal in 1970, whereupon he was given a horse and Shastar by the then 12th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji. Baba Surjit Singh ji was initiated into the Khalsa Panth in 1972, by the Buddha Dal, who administered the Amrit or Khande-ka-pahul to him.

Baba Surjit Singh ji was then given one of hardest duties in the Buddha Dal, Ghoreyaan di seva, the selfless service of feeding, cleaning, and grooming the sacred horses of Guru sahib.

Guru Gobind Singh writes with Dasam Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and in Sau Sakhi, that the seva of the horses is the highest in the Khalsa Panth. Guru sahib stated that one year of this seva is the equivalent to twelve years of any other seva. In this way Baba ji achieved more than a lifetimes worth of seva in this very janam.

After this seva Baba Surjit Singh then participated in the karsewa of Sachkhand Sri Harimandar Sahib for two years from 1973-75.

Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji followed a daily routine of doing seva around the clock, taking minimal rest. They would wake up for amritvela at 12am, have ishnan and then read Nitnem. After completing their Nitnem at 03:30 am Baba Surjit Singh ji would begin their seva and would continue this throughout the day. Baba Surjit Singh ji loved serving the Sangat and would serve them with complete love and devotion whenever he would be presented with the opportunity to do so.

Baba Surjit Singh ji was later assigned the duty/seva of a Nagarchi Singh by the then Jathedar, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji. Again in this new duty as a Nagarchi Singh, Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji served the Dal and carried out his duties wholeheartedly with enthusiasm.

Seeing the love, devotion, and the years of service that Baba Surjit Singh ji put into the Buddha Dal, led Jathedar, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji to bestow the Farla, and thus made Baba Surjit Singh Ji into a Mahakal Singh.

Shortly after Jathedar Akali Baba Chet Singh ji left Earth for Sachkand (heavenly abode), Akali Baba Santa Singh ji was elected as the 13th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal. Jathedar Baba Santa Singh ji then entrusted Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji with many important tasks and duties. Baba Surjit Singh ji continued to serve the Buddha Dal and the Sangat wholeheartedly and at the same time carried on with his devotion towards Akal Purakh.

Baba Surjit Singh ji would now wake up daily at 12 am and recite Gurbani until 8 am in the morning.

Baba Surjit Singh ji served Jathedar Akali Baba Santa Singh ji with great love, devotion and always obeyed their hukam.

Seeing the great qualities within Baba Surjit Singh, Akali Baba Santa Singh ji appointed Baba Surjit Singh ji as his second in command. This now meant that Baba Surjit Singh would now be in charge of the chakkravarti Dal, – the moving Battalion, which consisted of the Guru’s horses, and Singhs. They would travel from village to village performing Akhand Paths and conducting Amrit Sanchars.

The level of discipline within this Dal is one of the strictest. The level of bibek or physical cleanliness is of great importance, which means all food must be cooked on fire wood, in sarbloh – iron utensils, all water must be well drawn or from a river – not from pumps or taps.

As per hukam of Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the chakarvarti Dal is never to stay in one place for more than three days, come wind rain or shine. So you can imagine how difficult this tradition/maryada can be to uphold.

Even during the turbulent times within Punjab during the 1980’s where Sikhs were being harassed and tormented by government forces, Baba Surjit Singh upheld this maryada and prevented the tradition from being broken.

In 2005 due to their ailing health Jathedar Akali Baba Santa Singh ji declared Baba Surjit Singh ji as the 14th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal.

However The S.G.P.C and Akali Dal placed a false case upon Baba Surjit Singh and Baba Ji was tortured and imprisoned. Due to the protests of Nihang Singhs he was subsequently released though,

On the 8th of August 2008 at the age of 90 Akali Baba Santa Singh the 13th Jathedar left their Earthly abode for Sachkand. After the nine days of paath for the passing of Baba Santa Singh, at the bhog, Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji was formally initiated as the 14th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal and on the 18th of August 2008 the formal dastar bandi ceremony took place.

In 2009 Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji along with 22 other Singh’s were arrested on false charges and were presented to the session court of Punjab, this was due to a political coup on the Buddha Dal by the S.G.P.C – Akali Dal alliance. The court ordered a legal case to be commenced and till its completion through a final verdict by the Judge and Jury, the session’s court ordered the Punjab Police to arrest Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji and place him in the Patiala Jail. Baba ji remained in jail, along with 22 other Nihang Singhs (some who have never been charged and who are still in jail to this day). False witnesses, corrupt officials, and long court dates delayed Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji’s case.

 

While in Patiala Jail, Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji led a life of example and inspired many people just has he had done before and changed the lives of many inmates within the Jail. He inspired many of them to lead a life of devotion and inspired many of them to shun their old ways of crime and to correct their wrong doings.

Even the Jail authority and the officials noticed a change in their prison after Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji had been brought there as an inmate. Several Prison authority’s recognised Baba Ji’s greatness and would seek his guidance as they respected him. Prisoners, the policemen inside the jail and even the jail warden, would seek his holy company.

Even whilst in jail Jathedar Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji continued his daily routine, nitnem and remained in chardikalah. Baba Ji organized more than 40 Akhand Paths of Adi Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Guru Granth Sahib and Sarbloh Guru Granth Sahib ji during a 5 yr period.

 

In 2011 Baba Ji fell ill due to the unhygienic food and unsanitary conditions within the Jail.

 

By June 2013 Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji’s health started deteriorating significantly, and Baba ji was taken to P.G.I Hospital Chandigarh, for regular weekly checkups. By 2014 his health worsened and he spent the best part of two or three days of a week at the P.G.I hospital in Chandigarh. Finally, due to acute illness, Jathedar Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji breathed his last breath on the 3rd of September 2014 in the Central Patiala Jail, Punjab.

 

Panth Paatshah Akali Nihang Baba Surjit Singh was an exceptional leader and tremendous soul who changed the lives of so many people through his great guidance, wisdom and vast amounts of selfless seva.

 

Baba Jis Antim Sanskar was performed last year at Gurdwara Lakhi Jangal Sahib and Jathedar Akali Baba Prem Singh Nihang Ji 96 krori was officially selected as the 15th head of the Budha Dal.

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