The Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib unanimously selects Dr. Davinder Singh as its next President

Shimla, 30 January

Following the sad demise of Padma Shri, Shiromani Panth Ratan Baba Iqbal Singh Ji on 29 January, Dr. Davinder Singh (affectionately called Dr Veerji) has been unanimously selected as the next President of the Trust.

Dr. Davinder Singh's journey with Baba Ji began 35 years ago when he left his profession as a Medical Specialist (Internist Physician) at Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi to fulfil his desire to volunteer and serve humanity at Baru Sahib. He devoutly followed every direction of Baba Ji as a divine blessing.

Dr. Davinder Singh said, "I am grateful to all the saints and well-wishers who came to attend the cremation ceremony of Late Sant Baba Iqbal Singh Ji. Baba Ji's life is an example of ‘Gursikhi’ in true sense, a great inspiration for me and other volunteers of the Trust. I remember that even with a high fever of 103 degree, Baba Ji never missed paying obeisance at Gurdwara Sahib for his morning prayers; and he inculcated the same values in all children. I am a very insignificant Sevadar of Baba Ji; I don't know how much I can serve; but with the blessings of Guru Sahibaans, Sangat and everyone here, we will continue to serve mankind with value-based education and healthcare services. Baba Ji had always great faith in the next generation to take charge with even greater dedication. Such was the greatness of our beloved Baba Ji."

Under Baba Ji’s guidance and leadership, The Kalgidhar Trust was able to grow from 17 Akal Academies to 117 Academies in just 10 years.

The ceremony was held in the Gurdwara Sahib after performing the last rites followed with Ardaas. Head Granthi of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Malkit Singh Ji, along with other dignitaries and Trustees of The Kalgidhar Trust, blessed Dr. Davinder Singh with Siropao and announced him as the next President of the Trust. The remains of Late Sant Baba Iqbal Singh Ji will be preserved at Baru Sahib.

Dr. Davinder Singh Ji also the Vice-Chancellor, Eternal University, Baru Sahib; Member of Governing Body of Akal University, Talwandi Sabo; and Director, Akal Academies, a chain of 129 rural schools being run by The Kalgidhar Trust.

Dr. Davinder Singh obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi University in 1983. As he had decided to dedicate himself in the services of Baba Ji towards the noble cause of rural education revolution, Dr. Davinder Singh Ji obtained the degree of Bachelor of Education from Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak in 1994.

For his contribution in the field of education, Dr. Davinder Singh Ji was honoured with ‘Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Memorial National Teacher Award’ in 2006.

Padma Shri, Shiromani Pant Rattan awardee, Baba Iqbal Singh ji bids adieu at 96

Late Baba Iqbal Singh Ji, who at the age of 6 years decided that he would only work for service to humanity, educated lakhs of underprivileged children and treated thousands of patients at his charitable institution, The Kalgidhar Trust at Baru Sahib, Sirmaur.

Shimla, Jan 29

Renowned social worker Baba Iqbal Singh Ji fondly known as ‘Baba ji’ left for his heavenly abode on Saturday afternoon at 96 years of age following gradual decrease in health due to old age. He breathed his last at Baru Sahib, where he started with his journey of relentless service towards humanity following the footsteps of his Guru, Sant Attar Singh ji Maharaj.

Baba Iqbal Singh ji worked relentlessly in only one direction - imparting values-based education in rural India so that every rural child can have access to low-cost values-based education which is literacy embedded with moral, ethical and spiritual education.

In charge of Kalgidhar Trust since 1965, before he retired in 1987, Baba ji built the organisation brick-by-brick that now runs 129 CBSE-affiliated English medium schools that have more than 70,000 children, most of them from five rural North Indian states.Far away from the urban milieu, these schools focus on values-based education to children from marginalised sections of society.

With only five students in a one-room school called ‘Akal Academy' at Baru Sahib, Sirmour, Baba ji used his pension money to have the 'building' constructed and managed the School for the first year. Earlier it was all jungle. Following year more than 70 children from nearby districts took admission. Many families also came forward to help the Trust that year.

But soon it was realized that establishing one School in Himachal would not solve problems faced by children in nearby districts. The Trust thus opened Akal Academy in Muktsar in 1993, by 1999, the Trust had opened 19 Academies across Punjab. and the count going up to 129 schools which are spread all over in Punjab, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana. Many students nationally topped the IIT, IIM and NEET exams.

As a social worker Baba Iqbal Singh ji didn’t restricted himself just to the education sector, he was involved in every facet of community life ie. Schools, Hospital, Colleges, Women Care Center, De-addiction Centers. Baba Iqbal Singh ji with his team set up Akal Charitable Hospital at Baru Sahib Sirmour which provides medical care to rural poor deprived section of society. Every year medical camps are setup where doctors from Mumbai, Delhi Haryana and Punjab participate and provide free medical care including free surgeries to rural poor people.

Under Women Empowerment Program, underprivileged young women are rehabilitated by education and are given jobs to enable them to stand on their feet.

Babji sincerely believed that real contribution to society constitutes in working relentlessly for the poorest, oppressed and most backward sections of the society.

Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Guru Gobind Singh Ji was born in 1666 to Ninth Master Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji and Mata Gujri Ji at Patna in Bihar as Gobind Rai. According to the instructions of his martyred Father, Gobind Rai at the age of 9 was bestowed with the Guruship by the holy congregation. Guru Gobind Rai Ji was married to Mata Jeeto Ji and had two sons Baba Ajit Singh Ji and Baba Jujhar Singh Ji. A year after the demise of Mata Jeeto Ji, the young Guru bowed to the persistent pleading of His mother Mata Gujri Ji and Sikh Congregation (Sangat), to enter into the holy wedlock with Mata Sundri Ji and had two sons Baba Zorawar Singh Ji in the year 1696, and Baba Fateh Singh Ji in the year 1699. Mata Sahib Devan was not married to the Guru in the worldly sense, but her spiritual union with Him was so complete that He honored her with the title of Jagat Mata (Mother of the Khalsa Panth) and placed the entire Khalsa brotherhood in her lap. On Vaisakhi Day, in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib, Guru Ji founded the 'Khalsa Panth' by blessing the Sikhs with divine Nectar (Amrit). Guru Gobind Singh Ji took up arms in his crusade (Dharam Yudh) against tyranny unleashed on the poor belonging to the religions other than of the ruling class. He fought 14 major and minor battles and won all these but refrained from seizing even a square inch of enemy territory. Guru Ji was never the aggressor in any of these battles but always defended to protect the poor and downtrodden. He fought the holy wars (Dharam Yudhas) only to put an end to the brutal oppression of the downtrodden by the selfish and cruel rulers. Guru Ji introduced a unique way of Holi, which was in keeping with the glorious traditions of the holy-minded, brave, and freedom-loving Sikh nation. The devotees would gather in the morning for meditation and recitation of the hymns. The evenings would be given over to display the swordsmanship and equestrian contests as also other martial sports. In 1704, the entire Mughal Force, allied by the forces of the hill states under the command of the Governor of Sirhind, laid siege around the fort of Anandpur Sahib for eight months. The food supplies in the fort ran out. Sikhs were trapped inside. When the Mughal forces failed to capture the fort, even after blocking the food supplies, Aurangzeb wrote a letter to Guru Gobind Singh Ji by swearing on the Quran that if the Guru vacated the fort, his forces would be granted a safe passage out to settle at some other place. Mata Gujri Ji and a few weak-minded Sikhs persuaded Guru Gobind Singh Ji to leave the fort as Aurangzeb had given the assurance by swearing on the Quran. However, the Guru replied to the mother that the Mughal Emperor would back out even after swearing on the Quran. When the mother instructed her son to obey her as a devout son, Guru Gobind Singh Ji bowed before her instructions and left the fort of Anandpur Sahib with family and followers. Exactly what the Guru had perceived, did happen. The Mughal forces did not care about the vows on the Quran by their Emperor and attacked the Guru, his followers, and his family. There was a pitched battle on the banks of river Sirsa. While they were crossing river Sirsa, in the ensuing confusion, the Guru's two younger sons, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh along with their grandmother, got separated from the Guru and reached the village Morinda. Guru Ji's two elder Sahibzaade Baba Ajit Singh Ji and Baba Jujhar Singh Ji attained Martyrdom while fighting in the Battle of Chamkaur and younger Sahibzaade Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji attained Martyrdom when they were bricked alive at Sirhind. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dictated the whole Granth Sahib to Bhai Mani Singh, the devoted Sikh, and included the hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at the appropriate places and compiled a complete Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's composition is written in Dasam Granth Sahib, it includes Jaap Sahib, Tevye Prasad Sawaiye, Chuapai Sahib which are part of daily prayer (Nitnem). Guru Gobind Singh Ji decreed that the physical body of a human was never a Guru. Before shedding his mortal frame, Guru Ji decreed that after him, till eternity, the Granth Sahib would be the Guru Eternal. Thus, the Guru conferred Guruship on the Granth Sahib, and Sikhs were enjoined to seek the divine instructions from it for gritting rid of their ego and merge with the Divine by reciting the hymns of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Guru Eternal. ________________________________________________ ਮਰਦ ਅਗੰਮੜੇ ਦਸਮੇਸ਼ ਪਿਤਾ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਦਿਹਾੜੇ ਦੀ ਸੰਗਤ ਨੂੰ ਵਧਾਈ ਸਰਬੰਸਦਾਨੀ, ਦਸਮੇਸ਼ ਪਿਤਾ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਨੂਰਾਨੀ, ਅਗੰਮੀ, ਅਦੁੱਤੀ, ਬਾਦਸ਼ਾਹ ਦਰਵੇਸ਼ ਅਤੇ ਅਜ਼ੀਮ ਸ਼ਖ਼ਸੀਅਤ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ ਵਿਚ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਲੱਖਣ ਹੈ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਸਬਰ, ਸਹਿਜ, ਸਿਦਕ, ਦ੍ਰਿੜ੍ਹਤਾ, ਸਾਹਸ ਅਤੇ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਦੇ ਅਨੂਠੇ ਮੁਜੱਸਮੇ ਸਨ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪਟਨਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਬਿਹਾਰ, (ਮੌਜੂਦਾ ਤਖਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪਟਨਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ), ਪੋਹ ਸੁਦੀ ਸਤਮੀ ਸੰਮਤ 1723 (1666 ਈ.) ਨੂੰ ਪਿਤਾ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਅਤੇ ਮਾਤਾ ਗੁਜਰੀ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਵਿਖੇ ਹੋਇਆ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਸਮੁੱਚਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਹਰ ਪੱਖੋਂ ਅਚੰਭਿਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਹੈ। ਆਪ ਜੀ ਨੇ 9 ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਉਮਰ ਵਿਚ ਆਪਣੇ ਪਿਤਾ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਦੂਜੇ ਧਰਮ ਦੀ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਖਾਤਰ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੀ ਦੇਣ ਲਈ ਭੇਜਿਆ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਹਾਦਤ ਤੋਂ ਪਿੱਛੋਂ 1675 ਈ. ਵਿਚ 9 ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਉਮਰ ਵਿਚ ਆਪ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੋਤ ਦੇ ਦਸਵੇਂ ਸਰੂਪ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਗੁਰਿਆਈ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹੋਈ। ਸਿਰਫ਼ 42 ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਉਮਰ ਤਕ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਅਰੰਭ ਕੀਤੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਧਰਮ ਦੇ ਕ੍ਰਾਂਤੀਕਾਰੀ ਦਾਰਸ਼ਨਿਕ ਸਿਧਾਂਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤੀਬਰਤਾ ਨਾਲ ਸਿਖਰ ‘ਤੇ ਪਹੁੰਚਾਇਆ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਇਕ ਮਹਾਨ ਜਰਨੈਲ, ਉੱਚ ਕੋਟੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਦਵਾਨ, ਅਜ਼ੀਮ ਸਾਹਿਤਕਾਰ, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਸੰਗੀਤ ਦੇ ਰਸੀਏ, ਸਰਬੰਸਦਾਨੀ, ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੇ ਦਾਤੇ, ਭਗਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ ਦੇ ਮੁਜੱਸਮੇ, ਮਰਦ-ਏ-ਮੈਦਾਨ ਅਤੇ ਮਹਾਨ ਸੂਰਬੀਰ ਸਨ। ਉਹ ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਅਤੇ ਸ਼ਾਸਤਰ ਦੇ ਧਨੀ, ਸੰਤ-ਸਿਪਾਹੀ, ਸਾਹਿਬ-ਏ-ਕਮਾਲ, ਮਰਦ ਅਗੰਮੜੇ, ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਦਮਨ, ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਕੇ ਦਾਤੇ ਸਨ। ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਪਾਖੰਡਵਾਦ ਅਤੇ ਕਰਮ-ਕਾਂਡਾਂ ਦਾ ਖੰਡਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਲੋਕਾਈ ਨੂੰ ਉੱਤਮ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇ ਧਾਰਨੀ ਹੋਣ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਨਾ ਕੀਤੀ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਿ ਮੂਰਤੀ-ਪੂਜਾ, ਬੁੱਤ-ਪੂਜਾ, ਤੀਰਥ ਯਾਤਰਾ ਜਾਂ ਸਮਾਧੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਮਨੁੱਖਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਸੁਖੀ ਵੇਖਣ ਲਈ ਆਪਣਾ ਸਾਰਾ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਵਾਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਇਸੇ ਲਈ ਆਪ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਰਬੰਸਦਾਨੀ ਆਖਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਆਪ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਚਮਕੌਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਜੰਗ ਅੰਦਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਜ਼ਾਦਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਹੱਥੀਂ ਤਿਆਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਸ਼ਹਾਦਤ ਲਈ ਤੋਰਿਆ। ਛੋਟੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਜ਼ਾਦਿਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਮਾਤਾ ਗੁਜਰੀ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਹਾਦਤ ਪਿੱਛੋਂ ਵੀ ਆਪ ਨੇ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੁਕਰ ਅਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਸਾਰਾ ਜੀਵਨ ਹੀ ਮਨੁੱਖਤਾ ਦੀ ਭਲਾਈ ਲਈ ਜੀਵਿਆ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਮਨੁੱਖਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ ਰੂਪੀ ਹਨੇਰੇ 'ਚੋਂ ਬਾਹਰ ਕੱਢ ਕੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਅਸਲ ਸੱਚਾਈ ਦੇ ਰੂਬਰੂ ਕੀਤਾ ਪਰ ਦੁੱਖ ਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਸ਼ਾਨਾਮੱਤੇ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ ਅਤੇ ਕੌਮੀ ਵਿਰਸੇ ਤੋਂ ਦੂਰ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਜਾ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ। ਅੱਜ ਲੋੜ ਇਸ ਗੱਲ ਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਦਸਮ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਜੀ ਵਲੋਂ ਦਰਸਾਏ ਜੀਵਨ ਮਾਰਗ 'ਤੇ ਚੱਲ ਕੇ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾਈ ਰਹਿਣੀ ਦੇ ਧਾਰਨੀ ਬਣੀਏ। ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਮਲੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਹਿੱਸਾ ਬਣਾਈਏ ਅਤੇ ਮਜ਼ਲੂਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਲਈ ਅੱਗੇ ਆਈਏ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਦਰਸਾਏ ਮਾਰਗ ਉੱਤੇ ਚੱਲ ਕੇ ਸੱਚਾ ਅਤੇ ਸਹੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਬਤੀਤ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ।

Commemorating ‘First Ambassador of Sikhism to the Western World.’

Today on 14 May, we commemorate Sant Teja Singh Ji, who was born on this day in 1877 in village Balowali, Gujranwala (now in Pakistan). He is considered as the ‘First Ambassador of Sikhism to the Western World.’ He obtained his higher education from Lahore, graduating from Government College by standing first. He topped in his LL.B. from Law College in 1900. He passed his M.A. in 1901, standing first in Punjab University, Lahore; and A.M. from Harvard University in 1911. Sant Teja Singh Ji started legal practice at Gujranwala but he left it shortly because he had to do things against his conscience. Then he was selected for the job of Assistant Superintendent, North India Salt Department, where he served from 1902 to 1904. Production of salt then was a government-controlled enterprise and the poor were debarred from producing salt to make their both ends meet. This frustrated Sant Teja Singh Ji and he thought of adopting the career of a teacher. Sant Teja Singh Ji joined as Vice-Principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar in 1904 and became Principal of the Khalsa College in 1905. He got initiated into the Khalsa fold with Amrit from Sant Attar Singh Ji along with his mother and family in 1906 and changed his name from Niranjan Singh Mehta to Teja Singh. Sant Teja Singh Ji’s mentor Sant Attar Singh Ji once expressed, "I wish that an educational institution is established where the spiritual science, as advocated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the material science of the west are combined together so that students may adopt the spiritual philosophy in action and become assets to the world." In order to fulfil the mission of Sant Ji, Bhai Teja Singh made up his mind to go abroad for higher education of western sciences. Sant Teja Singh Ji studied at the University College, London and at Cambridge University from 1906-1908. For the first time in the history of this University, he brought the authorities around to let him attend the classes with turban on according to the Sikh religious tenets. He joined a summer school in the Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York in 1908. Later, he joined the Harvard University in USA and obtained his second Masters' degree in 1911. During his stay abroad, Sant Teja Singh Ji established the first Gurdwara in the Western world in 1910 at Shepherd's Bush in London. He also got a Gurdwara built in Victoria BC in Canada in 1912-13. He served the Sikhs and other Indian communities in Vancouver BC and organised the Khalsa Diwan there. He pleaded with the Canadian Government for Indians, who were being ordered to leave the country and planning them to deport to Honduras in Central America. He won for them the legal battle. He established the Sikh Temple at Stockton, California in USA and organised the Pacific Coast Khalsa Diwan Society in 1912. Sant Teja Singh Ji returned to India from Vancouver in 1913, traveling via Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Malaya. He reached Gur Sagar Sahib in Mastuana and offered himself in the services of Sant Attar Singh Ji. On the request of Gujranwala Sangat, Sant Teja Singh Ji started Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Gujranwala in 1917 and remained its Principal up to 1919. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, President of Banaras Hindu University, approached Sant Attar Singh Ji in 1919 and requested him for the services of Sant Teja Singh Ji for starting Teacher's Training College in that University. Sant Teja Singh Ji joined as Principal of this College and established its working. Sangat approached Sant Attar Singh Ji to call back Bhai Teja Singh Ji for starting Akal College at Gur Sagar Sahib, Mastuana. He joined Akal College, Mastuana and served it faithfully. He also established Khalsa High School, Kallar in Rawalpindi district and other educational institutions. Sant Attar Singh Ji sent him many a time to various organisations of the Sikhs including Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to resolve crucial and vital issues of the Sikh Panth. He established Gurdwara Tapiana Sahib in village Kanoha, now in Pakistan, where Sant Attar Singh Ji had constantly meditated on the Divine Name for about two years. In 1932, he undertook the construction of a Gurmat Vidyala and Gurdwara Nanaksar Cheema, whose foundation was earlier laid by Sant Attar Singh Ji. He also laid the foundation of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nanaksar Cheema in 1960 at the place where Sant Attar Singh Ji was born. At Khalsa College, Amritsar, he inspired the students to imbibe the divine virtues along with the worldly education. Sant Ji told them, "Where there is a will, there is a way. When I was ignorant of the holy hymns and the Divine Name, I had to exert very hard to get through the various examinations. However, when I started devoting time for the recitation of the Divine Name, I neither felt tension nor difficulty in qualifying my examinations with distinction during my studies in England and USA.” In 1954, Sant Teja Singh Ji went to African countries to spread the message of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He advised the Asian settlers to develop love and affection for the local population and help their needy brethren. In 1955-56, Sant Teja Singh Ji undertook the Sewa of spiritual uplift of humanity in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, USA and Canada. He delivered an address in the Eighth Congress of Religions for the World Peace organised by Ananai-Kyo, Shimizu city, Japan in 1956. As Sant Attar Singh Ji had prophesied, Sant Teja Singh Ji in July 1957 revealed the hitherto unknown Tapo Bhoomi of Baru Sahib – the valley of divine peace. Before shedding his mortal frame on 3 July, 1965, Sant Teja Singh Ji established The Kalgidhar Trust. The activities of this Trust, based at Sant Attar Singh Ji Hari Sadhu Ashram, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh are being carried out by his devout disciple Baba Iqbal Singh Ji with the divine blessings and as per the vision of Sant Attar Singh Ji and the guidelines laid down by Sant Teja Singh Ji.

Sweet Grace of Ever-Flowing Amrit and the Tegh of Eternal Life By Sukhdeep Kaur

Blessed are those hands that humbly serve Vaheguru ji. Blessed are those feet that gracefully walk towards our Guru ji. Blessed are those lips that sweetly sing Gurbani. Blessed are those hearts that kindly share sacred love. Blessed are those lives that wholeheartedly embrace Akaal's divine gift of amrit. Keertan (devotional singing) touches the soul, plays the strings of the heart, and touches inner-chords connected to Vaheguru ji. With delicate precision, it shatters veils that submerge our minds in illusions, pierces light through our ignorance, embraces our hearts with peace, and reunites us with our true Beloved. Singing ambrosial bani in the presence of Guru ji, the heart yearns to drink amrit, merge with the One, and forever stay attuned to His sweet charran (feet). Rare are those blessed souls who drink the nectar of amrit from within and sing in harmony with the unstruck melody. Their presence in sangat elevates the flow of energy, quiets the mind, and further opens the heart to receive pure love from the divine, universal soul. ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਸਾਧ ਅਤਿ ਗੂੜੀ ਜਿਉ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਜੀਠ ਬਹੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ The Lord's Love, found in the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, is absolutely permanent, and colorfast. ਕਾਇਆ ਕਾਪਰੁ ਚੀਰ ਬਹੁ ਫਾਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਲਹੈ ਸਭਾਗਾ ॥੩॥ The cloth of the body may be torn to shreds, but still, this beautiful color of the Lord's Love does not fade away. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, ang 985) This month brings with it a rich tapestry of commitment, dedication, and profound reminders to reflect upon the lives that we lead. It is in this month that our dharam pitta ji, Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaaj, bestowed divine blessings upon our beloved panj pyaare who wholeheartedly chose to give their lives to Guru sahib. Surrendering their minds and bodies, Bhai Daya (compassion) Singh ji, Bhai Dharam (justice) Singh ji, Bhai Himmat (bravery) Singh ji, Bhai Mokham (determination) Singh ji, and Bhai Sahib (raaj, rule, kingdom) Singh ji did not see death awaiting in Guru ji's tegh, but rather, they saw and embraced eternal life. ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ If you desire to play this game of love with Me, ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥ Then step onto My Path with your head in hand. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, ang 1412) With Akaal Purakh ji's grace, pyaare Kalgeedhar Preetam has provided us with sucha amrit Naam, distinct identity, depthless ocean of knowledge, guidance on how to face and overcome injustices, and instructed us to always sing praises of the Lord. True saint-warriors keep their consciousness attuned to the Lord's feet, prevent their focus from being unhinged, and ensure that meditation does not escape their hearts. Protected by the shield of their intrinsic courageous essence, their unwavering determination remains anchored in the promise to uphold righteousness born soley from compassion, serve the vulnerable, and only take steps guided by His Truth. Akaal's warriors of the tegha (sword) always remain brave in battles and sacrifice their praan (breath/life) for the sake of dharam. Even whilst resting, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaaj would always remain tyaar bar tyaar (ready upon ready), and have an unsheathed sword underneath their pillow. Guru ji's devoted Nihang Singhs have respectfully maintained this maryada. Sikhs must confidently embrace the path guided by Guru ji, reflect regularly on their rich history, and use their inherited virtues as a lens for introspection, compassion (with internal remembrance of the One), and navigation when faced with adversity. Once baptised and blessed with amrit, divine nectar, each Sikh must follow the instructions provided by our beloved panj pyaare, awaken daily in the ambrosial hours of the morning to recite Gurbani, and refrain from succumbing to the alluring sirens of lust, anger, greed, attachment, and ego. An unwavering faith and unshakable spirit is paramount on the spiritual path to the Divine. As the arrows of separation from the One pierce the body, the river of life seeks to merge with the internal flow towards the Lord, the architect of destiny, and yearns for liberation from the thorns of maya. With His grace, the heart immerses in Gurbani, breaks down the walls of vices, and the subtle lotus flower fragrance of His Naam begins to disperse its indescribable scent within. Focusing the consciousness on Gurbani, lips sing with faith when in the depths of darkness, and let the benevolent light within illuminate the path to brighter days. Through selfless service, simran (meditative remembrance), self-discipline, unwavering faith, sincerity, and genuine desire to merge with the supreme, universal soul, each Sikh can overcome their doubts and fears, cultivate inner-love that nurtures the seeds of empathy, receive priceless pearls of spiritual wisdom, and strengthen the resilient spirit of an intuitive warrior within. ਸਿਖੀ ਹੈ ਬਲਵਾਨ ਕਰਨਾ ਸੁਰਤ ਨੂੰ, Sikhi is to strengthen your consciousness, ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਨਿਵਾਸ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਰੱਖਣਾ । To eternally reside in ever-rising spirits. (Bhai Sahib Bhai Vir Singh Ji) As the soul steps onto and walks the path to Vaheguru ji, it experiences vismaad (wonder) in boundless forms. Inspired solely by the grace of Gurbani, a poem entitled, "A Divine Gift of Love," offers words from the heart to those who have been blessed with the precious gift of amrit, and those who yearn to be worthy of this divine gift. May this poem encourage reflection, commitment, and a bowing of the mind to Guru ji's sacrifices, teachings, and radiant love for His Khalsa. A Divine Gift of Love… Cradled in a bubble of love, a sweet child embraced with the warmth of vismaad has been brought into the world As a light of wonder, he is absorbed in complete bliss, attached to the One The anhad shabad vibrates through his soul sharing the message of eternal love Each tear in his eye is a priceless pearl that speaks of a history that only he understands His radiant glow reveals that he possesses knowledge beyond our comprehension With him he has brought the gifts of compassion, peace, patience and truth He has promised to walk in harmony with the Will of Vaheguru and to commit to deeds of sublime purity As a devotee of Akaal, he has been bestowed with the treasures of virtue, intuition and kindness These treasures will permeate each beat of his heart Accepting the destiny inscribed upon his forehead, he will lead a life of compassion and contentment His heart will blossom with intuitive wisdom, peace, divine bliss and tranquility As he embraces love for the Guru, he will carry the priceless pearls of humility and righteousness in each breath that he takes Under the protection of Vaheguru, he will look upon pain and pleasure as one and perceive slander and praise as one His companions of truth, contentment and self-discipline will provide him with strength and anchor him in the direction of his true destiny As he steps foot on the path to salvation and merges in Naam, he will pour love into the hearts of those around him His sweet words will bring peace to the minds of the troubled His gentle touch will heal the wounds of those with shattered hearts His smile will reach out to the neglected and less fortunate He will step foot on the path of righteousness and succeed with the support of His Naam Forgiveness will be a quality that he will demonstrate to others, revealing that pain cannot afflict those who step foot on the path to Vaheguru As a brave soul he will possess the skill and focus of a true warrior who enshrines love for Vaheguru in his heart and mind. Placed humbly with heartfelt love at the sweet, lotus feet of my dear, beloved Guru ji, may the words above serve in His honor, encourage peaceful dialogue, enhance self-awareness, and ignite a flame within our hearts to dedicate our lives to serving Vaheguru ji. May the words remind us to always draw strength from humility, take support and guidance from Shabad-Guru, and cherish the beautiful blessings that are bestowed upon our paths. Consciously, our intentions and actions must uphold righteous values, share peace and love that penetrates through hearts, and contribute to the well-being of all of humanity. The beauty behind selfless efforts that alleviate the pain of others, heal those suffering, embrace the helpless, and support those less fortunate, reminds us that simple daily acts of kindness and heartfelt prayers have far-reaching affects. These prayers are joined by waves of others from around our globe, reflecting hope for those who refuse to remain silent witness to harmful behaviors inflicted upon innocent lives. By engaging in meaningful conversations and nurturing genuine relations based upon equity, fairness, mutual-respect, and sovereignty, fruitful steps can be taken towards brightening the beacon of hope for those in despair, feeling hopeless, or being oppressed. Carrying the torch of change in our hands to dispel the darkness of ignorance, each of us have a warrior spirit within us that can infuse love, unity, righteousness, and social justice in all communities. Standing in global solidarity, let us learn from the sensitivity, tender heart, and over-flowing compassion exhibited in all aspects of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib ji's life. Guru ji demonstrated the importance of understanding that we share responsibilities towards preserving nature and cultivating a healthy relationship with our environment. By planting flowers, trees, herbs, and vegetation, alongside creating sanctuaries for wildlife, sea creatures, animals, and birds, we demonstrate our sincerity towards mother Earth and flow in harmony with the rhythm of the universe. When treating all living beings with care and nourishing the environment, we in turn receive healing for our souls. As the sweet author of our lives continues to write our stories, may we remain humble, brave, and fearless in the battlefield of life. As the ink of love flows with the fragrance of eternal life through Vaheguru ji's pen, may our stories bathe in the ever-flowing sweet amrit that springs within, and our hearts be the presence of His love in the world. ~ Sukhdeep Kaur

31st ANNUAL DAY Of AKALACADEMY BARUSAHIB dedicated to the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

The 31st Annual day of Akal Academy Baru Sahib, the flagship of 129 Academies spread across 5 states of North India, was celebrated on 20th Oct 2019. Air Marshal (retd) PS Bhangu was the chief guest. More than 500 parents attended the function. ​Established by Hon. Baba Iqbal Singh ji in 1987 Akal academy Baru Sahib commenced its journey with 5 students and has grown to 1285 students from across 18 states of India and six countries from overseas. The Academy is a residential school and is unique to have National curriculum i.e. CBSE and also offers two international curriculum. Cambridge & IB PYP in the New campus. ​The program this year was dedicated to 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji. It commenced with the Review of the Parade by the Chief Guest and the Academy March Past. The performance of students included Shabad, picturizing the philosophy & teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Children also touched the heart of the audience by staging the transformation of Bhumiya Chor by internalizing the essence of teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji which led him to the path of righteousness. ​Dr. Davinder Singh, Secretary Kalgidhar Trust, shared the journey of Kalgidhar Trust in the field of Education and Health since 1987 and it’s Relief, Rehabilitation and women Empowerment initiatives. One of the most ambitious programs of the Trust, AIRWE, aims at emancipation of women and their empowerment. Responding to urgent needs of society the Trust has established de-addiction centers in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh where more than 3500 patients suffering from affliction to drug abuse have been treated successfully. The award ceremony felicitated the Principals, Teachers and Students of Akal Academy Baru Sahib and other Akal Academies for outstanding performance in the board exams for Year 2018- 2019. Dr. Neelam Kaur, Advisor Education and Health, the Kalgidhar Trust, informed that the academic performance in the board exams across all Academies was stupendous. 2507 students appeared in Grade X Board Examination with pass percentage of 100. The rural students of Grade X bagged top positions in the six districts and were second and third in the other six districts. More than 200 awards were given away on the occasion. Annual report of Akal Academy Baru Sahib was presented by Mr. Kishore Antony, Vice Principal, who started his Teaching career at Akal Academy Baru Sahib 25 years before. ​On the occasion the Hon Chief Guest in his address appreciated the Value based Education which was instrumental in creating excellence. Hon’ble Baba Iqbal Singh ji, graced the occasion and blessed the children. In his pearls of wisdom, Hon’ble Babji reiterated the teachings and philosophy of Guru Nanak Ji of seeing One in All and All in One. The need of the hour is to nurture the children, hope for future and create better human beings for tomorrow who will embrace humanity and spread the message of Universal brotherhood of Gur Nanak Dev Ji.

Akal Academy, Baru Sahib dedicated its annual day to Guru Nanak’s 550th with a beautiful art exhibition!

#550th #GuruNanak Akal Academy, Baru Sahib dedicated its annual day to Guru Nanak's 550th with a beautiful art exhibition! The 31st Annual day was celebrated at Akal Academy, #BaruSahib on 20th October 2019 and it was dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak dev Ji. A massive parade was organized to commence the ceremony in which students displayed their athletic abilities and disciplined marching maneuvers. The parade also exhibited various divine values given by Guru Nanak Ji and an anti-drug procession was also organized to make the youth aware of the ill effects drugs to the society. Children also touched the hearts of the audience by staging the transformation of Bhumiya Chor by internalizing the essence of teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji which led him to the path of righteousness. An exhibition of Guru Nanak dev Ji's paintings depicting his journey (udasis) was organized. These paintings were a small tribute to the teachings of Guru Nanak Ji by spreading them across the world. There is only one God, and that all human beings can have direct access to God without any rituals or priests. His social teachings denounced the caste system and taught that everyone is equal, regardless of caste or gender. A science exhibition was also set up for the audience to observe the power of science and how it is shaping our future. This great ceremony was not possible without the guidance of our founder Baba Iqbal Singh Ji and his team - Dr. Davinder Singh, Dr. Neelam Kaur, principal.

ToI Journalist is pleasantly surprised on an interaction with a Bengali parent from Akal Academy, Baru Sahib

Besides providing World-class education, the chain of Akal Academies places its top priority in building good human character by inculcating strong values in our students from day one. With the grace of God, our hard work and efforts in building strong moral character are reflecting upon the lifestyle of our children. Here is a short testimony by a Bengali parent presented to the Tejeesh Singh, journalist of Times of India and an avid benefactor of Baru Sahib. She shared her story with Tejeesh Singh of how Baru sahib transformed her son's life. Sharing his views- He explains how he recently met a parent based in Kolkata Bengal whose child was studying in Akal Academy Baru Sahib. Tejeesh didn't disclose his association with Baru Sahib to get an honest unfiltered view about the school. She explained how her child was becoming aggressive. She didn't want to admit him into any of the well-known schools in Bengal or Dehradun as there was either rampant drug abuse or were very expensive. Her experience with the school was nothing less than a miracle as her child is performing much better now mentally as well as physically too. She also added how admitting his son also had a positive impact on her life as she had quit drinking since then. She was really impressed by the practices followed by the school like the gender-neutral uniforms and the fact that children are given 1 pencil to use for the whole week and how erasers are shared between 6 children to make them realize the value of things. We are blessed to have such great testimonials by parents. These testimonials are a true reflection of the hard work and dedication that is done behind the curtains to raise our students not only as great scholars but also great human beings.

Leaving his glamorous career at the peak of success, This Man on mission is transforming #PUNJAB

Model, actor and now a role model for youngsters at his native village, Inder Bajwa is a man on a mission. Leaving his glamorous career at the peak of success, Inder has been working to transform the life of Punjabi youngsters living in villages through community outreach programs. At present, he, along with his fellow compatriot Gurdeep Dhaliwal, is on a 30-day Punjab cycle tour to document sports infrastructure in villages of Punjab and create awareness about health while interacting with local youth to know about their dreams and challenges. The month-long journey began in Chandigarh on September 21 with Hockey Olympian Balbir Singh Sr flagging off their cycle expedition. “We aim to travel the length and breadth of rural Punjab, interacting with youngsters and sharing with them the idea of a better life. I believe that border villages in Punjab have been completely denied opportunities to excel due to lack of infrastructure and development,” said Inder, who visited three villages along the Amritsar-Tarn Taran belt. Inder has been organizing a sports meet and cultural festivals in his native village Bajwa Kalan, making them a tool for changing the lives of youngsters. Effectively using sports like kabaddi as a tool to keep the youngsters away from drugs, he has been hosting the annual kabaddi meet for women and men. “Sports, I feel, provide a window of opportunities to many youngsters to live their dream and stay fit. During our journey, we have managed to share benefits of simple food, teach basic fitness to kids, exercise, yoga and got to know Punjab’s real strengths and weaknesses. It’s disappointing that many villages on the border belt do not even have a single sports teacher in government school, while their kids have a talent for professional sports. The lack of training grounds and defunct local youth clubs are the biggest hurdles to cross while scouting for future sportsperson," he said. He is accompanied by Gurdeep Dhaliwal, who is a social activist, promoting the artisans and handicrafts of Punjab. Both peddle, on an average, a distance of 50 km per day. Inder says that they have collected so many inspiring stories that they do not mind exploring more. “Like Harinder Singh from Thandh village near Tarn Taran, who trains girls in football, without any support from government or any organisation. These girls are daily wagers, who work at the local brick-kiln and get training every afternoon. Or Bhagial Singh, once an aspiring wrestler, was a victim of militancy. Today, he trains youngsters in his wrestling academy, which is crumbling due to commercialisation of sports. These are the stories we want to highlight and document as these people are trying to change lives.” He plans to travel a distance of 3000 km and more during his one-month tour and will reach Chandigarh at the end of his journey on October 21.

This gutsy village girl blazes away the hard road to glory!

Girls are always expected to sport the spirit of perseverance and unbreakable patience if they ever want to be an achiever. And the challenge is apparent in rural areas. In the agrarian vast lands of district Mansa, lies a village Kauriwara with a mere couple of hundreds of households. Harshita Jain comes from this village and has broken all stereotypes. She broke the taboo that sports is meant for boys only and girls are meant for household work; and that girls are a burden on families in this patriarchal society. Harshita was encouraged by her Teachers at Akal Academy Kauriwara to go for running despite snide remarks by her fellow villagers. Akal Academy under the aegis of The Kalgidhar Trust Baru Sahib has always encouraged, empowered, educated girls to take part in sports. And by sheer hard work with a military regimen and guidance of her coach, Harshita has won the State level race competition in 100 meters dash. Harshita first secured the top place in District levels then finally the Zonal levels before shining at the top of the State levels with a Gold medal. She not only won hearts, but she also won over her destiny and she won what she deserved, she won the respect which every woman is seeking sitting in that remote village. She became an inspiration for so many girls and she pays her heartfelt gratitude to Akal Academy Kauriwara for educating her and making her choose her own path. This story offers clues to why so many young dreams would flame, flicker and never die. These girls deserve their chance and may make it big. Somewhere they believe that it will all change, that they will matter. -Gursanjam Kaur