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.

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.

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

Learning the Art of Recycling at ‘Best Out of Waste’.- Akal Academy, Fathegarh Gunduan

Akal Academy takes an initiative to generate the habit of using old wasteful items, creating beautiful crafts amongst children. This concept is popular globally.

Best out of waste activity was organized at Akal Academy, Fathegarh Gunduan in which all students participated enthusiastically.

This type of event invites creative art and craft ideas from students in which they use things like old teacups, old greeting cards, toys, and paper waste. Such fun-filled activities ignite their artistic potential.

It is a great learning experience for all the students which promotes creativity and artistic excellence in our leaders of tomorrow.

  -Bandagi Kaur

Giving is the greatest act of grace- Manika Kaur transforms 35 lives through Education!

30-year-old Manika was born and brought up in Melbourne, Australia and moved to Dubai after she married in 2007. Her deeply spiritual connection to the Guru’s wisdom is reflected in her music, with Manika able to channel her devotion to these divine teachings through her spellbinding vocal ability. Her ethos and values are illuminated by the fact that she uses the proceeds of her musical endeavors to raise funds for education projects in rural #Punjab’. All proceeds from sales of her albums and live concerts are donated directly for the upliftment of the underprivileged children. Blessed with a divine voice and writing poetry, she made sure she isn't like any of those famous socialites. She ensures a positive contribution to society to make a difference. She sponsored the education of 35 kids under the deedaday scheme, helping them realize their dreams. Somebody's Future lies in a cup of coffee! A cup of coffee costs $1.5 and DeedaDay costs less than a coffee a day making $1x365 days costing $365 a year. This is enough to support a poor child's education for s year. Read more here - Great are such noble souls who are changing lives of those in need while spreading a pure and sincere message of generosity and love.

Success does not lie in ‘Results’, but in ‘Efforts’. –A truly inspiring story of our alumni Parupkar Singh, DSP in Kashmir Police

The people who are willing to work hard in life are the ones who make great success stories. And Akal Academy, Baru Sahib polishes such diamonds with spiritual and academic knowledge. As a result, the students who were earlier doomed in the darkness of poverty and illiteracy is now shining with a successful future. That is only possible by the education provided by Baru Sahib even in the rural areas. We are really proud of our alumni as he is making our nation proud. S. Parupkar Singh had an ordinary childhood until he was admitted in Baru Sahib in 2000 and passed his 10th in 2004. This precious time transformed him and his future. Not only physical or academic growth but also spiritual and moral learning’s transformed his life. Further, he did his 12th class from DAV, Chandigarh. As by studying in Baru Sahib he was aligned towards his goal in life. So, further he completed his engineering from Jammu University in 2010. All that hard work paved way for his dream of becoming a DSP and serving his nation. We are profoundly delighted that our student has today touched the stars by becoming DSP of Kashmir Police. And he pays his heartfelt gratitude to Baru Sahib for being the first step of this success. He further highlighted that Baru Sahib is the best school and its his honor to be a student of this holy school. “ It provided me with holy development and taught me how to be independent and mentally stable when you are away from your family. The spiritual teachings taught me how to survive all the odes in life. The most important quality I grabbed from there is Discipline. And this discipline still helps me. Baru Sahib made me self-sufficient as there was no one to push me for studies. I was away from family and society. But I learned how to be self-dependent and also spirituality is the major key to achieve that mental stability. I got precious Gurbani values from there which are taught nowhere else. Baru Sahib teaches morality which will hold you together in the tough times of life. The lessons I got from there, I still follow them as they help me in being a good human being. I am more than overwhelmed that my parents Choose Baru Sahib for me when I was on the most crucial phase of life. It made my life worth. -Parupkar Singh, DSP officer, Kashmir Police ‘Baru Sahib teaches how to put your heart, soul, mind, and values, even into your smallest acts. That will bring you success.’ Gursanjam Kaur , New Delhi 28 Nov ’2018

Akal Academy, #BaruSahib awarded the Top CBSE School in Himachal Pradesh for Quality in Education

Akal Academy , Baru Sahib has been ranked as first in HIMACHAL by Education Today for Quality in Education amongest the top CBSE Schools for 2018-19. Akal Academy, Baru sahib has earned a reputation for excellence in the field of academics as well as extracurricular activities. The school focuses on the all-round development of each child and works towards making them responsible citizens. Share & Spread this great honour

Student of Akal Academy Baru Sahib scores rank 9 in BARC exams for Nuclear Scientists.

Nuclear Energy has been successfully applied for power production and now India will not have to look abroad for its experts but will find them ready at hand. Young scientists have a great role to play when it comes to the importance of Nuclear Energy. Himachal Pradesh now takes the lead in contributing to the country's nuclear progress. Adhiraj Singh Thakur from Akal Academy, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh is just a step away from becoming his state's first nuclear scientist. Among the 15610 candidates who took the entrance test of Bhabha Atomic research center(BARC), 50 qualified with the required results. Adhiraj Singh Thakur ranked 9 among these candidates. The selected candidates will now have to clear the written examinations and interview in Jan 2019 at Mumbai. Adhiraj pursued his schooling from Akal Academy, Baru Sahib. An introvert student, Adhiraj performed brilliantly in his school exams and was always the favourite of his teachers. He scored spectacularly in his XII boards. A genius mind deprived in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, but eyes with big dreams and aspirations. Adhiraaj says "Does not matter where you come from, what matters is where you reach in the end. Akal Academy rejuvenated me. They educated me academically and spiritually so I can serve humanity. " Homi Jehangir Bhabha known as the “father of Indian nuclear program",was an Indian nuclear physicist who made important contributions to quantum theory and cosmic radiation. He was the first Chairman of The Atomic Energy Commission of India. He was the founding director of Bhabha Atomic Research Center . Dr. Bhabha established the BARC Training School to cater to the manpower needs of the expanding atomic energy research and development program. In his interview with Dainik Bhaskar, Adhiraj said that after being selected at BARC, he won't leave any stone unturned in serving his country. He has always had keen interest in developing new innovations in their field of science and research. India has been in the forefront when it comes to advancement in nuclear technologies owning to the achievements of our scientists and pioneers who sowed the seeds of scientific temper in the country. -Tapasleen Kaur

Youth narrates a beautiful life changing experience & divine connection at the Akal International Youth Camp!

My summer started off like any other typical summer. My family and I went to India, where I spent time with family and coped with the brutal heat of Punjab. Then my summer took a turn. My mother had told me that my sister and I were going to attend a gurmat camp at Baru Sahib which was meant for youth that lived in USA, Europe, Canada, and Britain. I was 13 and my younger sister was 11. To be honest, at first the thought of taking cold showers and doing paath at 5 AM in the morning didn't excite me. My aunt and I tried to convince my mom to get us out of this camp. We all thought that my mom had gone mad. My mom volunteers for the Kalgidhar Trust in the USA. She raises money by going to gurdwaras all around the US and encourages people to donate. Kalgidhar Trust is an organization which improves the world through education and spiritual awakening. They have 130 academies all throughout India which provide a quality, value-based education in rural areas. The headquarters of the Kalgidhar Trust are located in a valley surrounded by seven mountains. The place is called Baru Sahib. I had been there before, but I had never went as a camper. As soon as we came to Baru Sahib, we were given warm food to eat and a room to stay in. The people are very hospitable and always checked on us to make sure we were doing all right. We were the first people to arrive at the camp, but our classes started right away. The next morning my counselor, Param Didi, woke us up in the morning for Nitnem at 5 AM. I was surprised when my mom told me there was a water heater, and that we didn't have to take cold showers. In the beginning getting up early in the morning was hard, and often times I would doze off during Nitnem. My body wasn't in the habit of waking up early in the morning. After Nitnem ended at 6 AM, we went back to sleep and woke up again for breakfast at 8AM. The cook rang a bell to signify that breakfast for the campers has been served. At breakfast, I met a family from Michigan which consisted of three sisters. The older daughter was 15, the middle daughter was 10, and the youngest daughter was 8. We also met another family from the UK which consisted of a father and two brothers. The elder brother was 19 and the younger brother was 16. These people were my closest friends throughout the camp. We were like brothers and sisters. The first thing they did was take our kirtan and punjabi aptitude tests to see which level we are at. I have been learning kirtan and punjabi back in the states, so I was placed at a higher level. Based on your level, they give you a teacher. Every camper gets a personal teacher that them teaches punjabi, santhya, and kirtan classes. Every camper gets personal, one-on-one teaching. I was given a teacher named Manpreet Didi who had just completed her MA in Music at the Akal College of Divine Music in Baru Sahib. She has made a huge impact on my life. My voice is not naturally gifted with a ability to sing high notes. I had developed a fear of trying to sing high notes. My teacher told me that she believed in me and that Guru will bless me with a good voice if I ask him for his blessings. Manpreet Didi also told me that she had the same problem when she was doing her BA in Music. She said that she practiced more than anyone else did, and now she has a harmonious voice. This gave me inspiration to overcome my obstacles. At the end of camp, my voice had changed so much. I was able to reach keys that I was never able to reach before. Manpreet Didi would also teach me about Gurmat. She was very passionate about Vaheguru and his wonders. She would tell me everyday: "If you have any problems, take a Hukam and Guru ji will take care of you." We shared our own personal problems with each other. She started calling me her younger sister. We still call each other every week to check up on each other. She became the older sister that I had always wanted. After Punjabi and Kirtan classes, we would have Santhya classes. Santhya is learning the pronunciations of bani. In Santhya, I learned how to take a hukam by reading and singing it fluently. The biggest accomplishment I had in Santhya was starting Sehaj Paath for the first time. Mr. Ranbir Singh Attwal, co-founder of Sangat Television in UK, was in charge of campers from the UK. Attwal Uncle told us that 98% of sikhs don't read the whole Guru Granth Sahib ji once in their life. The 10 gurus have worked so hard and given many sacrifices to us to be able to have the Guru Granth Sahib, but 98% of us haven't even bothered to read it once. This staggering statisic inspired me to start a sehaj paath of the Guru Granth Sahib ji, which I started at the camp and continued even when I got back home. Then the time came for my favorite class of the day: Gatka Class. Gatka was my personal favorite because I have been practicing Gatka for almost 5 years. While the other classes required mental effort, Gatka was the only class which required physical effort. One time in Gatka class, I got so fierce into kirpan fighting, that I accidentally broke my teacher's glasses. Although I felt bad that I broke his glasses, I also felt proud of myself that I won against my teacher in a kirpan fight. After Gatka class we would have Lunch. In Lunch they would serve pizza and french fries, or anything else the campers requested. Dr. Purvi was in charge of the music aspect of the camp. She was the dean of the music department in Baru Sahib. Dr. Purvi was so caring and would make these mouthwatering chutneys everyday for all of the campers to try. She kept great care of us throughout the whole camp. Lunch would follow with a 2 hour rest period. If campers were tired from getting up in the morning for nitnem, they had a two hour period to rest. Most of the campers wanted to spend more time with each other so we would take a walk, practice kirtan, or talk with friends. After rest we would have history classes. Our history teacher would talk to us about who Vaheguru is and how we can get closer to him. He would also tell us the stories of Bhagat Prahlad, Bhagat Dhruv, and the Chaar Sahibzade. After HIstory, we would have two more classes of Punjabi and Kirtan. In the evening we would do Rehraas Sahib before the Akal Academy kids entered the diwan. The beginning of Rehraas Sahib was sung in a beautiful tune by the girls studying in the Divine School of Music. Rehraas sahib would usually follow with kirtan by the campers. After Rehraas Sahib, we would go to the park for sports time. This was one of my favorite parts of the day because we would get to be active, and get to know our fellow campers and teachers better. During this time I would play tennis with a dedicated teacher who taught my friend and I with such patience. I would also play badminton and volleyball with local kids who lived in Baru Sahib. My favorite thing to do was walk with my teacher around the park. I would teach her new words of English and in return, she would teach me new words in Punjabi. After going to the park, I would be drenched in sweat. We would then go have darshan of Baba Iqbal Singh ji. Baba Iqbal Singh ji is the chairman of Kalgidhar Trust. We would go there and have a conversation with him, ask him about sikhism, share our views, and ask for his views as well. It was a humbling experience to meet Baba ji and see his seva, dedication, and vigour even at such an old age. After meeting Baba Iqbal Singh ji, we would go eat and eat dinner. Dinner was followed by another history class which focused on the gurmat aspect of Sikhi. Before going to bed I would take a shower. Param Didi would come to our rooms and make sure that we did Sohila Sahib before going to sleep. On Sundays we would go to tourist places near Baru Sahib such as the Mist N' Meadows Resort and Paonta Sahib. Mist N' Meadows Resort was located in Rajgarh which was 15 miles away from Baru Sahib at an elevation of 5,102 feet. I loved looking outside to see breathtaking mountains surrounding you. There was always a river or a small waterfall around the corner. The Mist N' Meadows resort gave a outstanding view of the Himalayan Mountains. The temperature in the mountains were refreshing and cool. It was a nice way to escape the scorching heat of India in the summer. We would go on hikes in the mountains which was quite a workout, but it was totally worth it when you reached the top. After going on a hike we would eat warm, delicious food and absorb the serenity of the beautiful Himalayan Mountain range. My favorite memory of camp was when I was in the Mist n' Meadows resort with all of the campers. There was such a feeling of bliss at the resort. All of the campers felt like brothers and sisters to me. Everyone that I met in Baru Sahib felt like family to me. When you are a sikh in a foreign country, sometimes it can be hard to assimilate. Many people fall into peer pressure, and cut off the kesh that Guru ji sacrificed his whole family for. Camp has made a huge impact on my life. Before camp, I didn't do paath, I was unaware of the Guru's teachings, and I didn't feel comfortable being a sikh. After camp I have noticed a huge change in my attitude and behaviour. I have felt the spiritual experience by absorbing the beautiful vibes of kirtan. I am aware of the teachings of the Guru which is written in the Guru Granth Sahib ji. I was taught the importance of respecting my parents.They explained to me that respecting your parents is vital in order to start respecting Vaheguru. Doing paath has brought bliss to my mind. When I came back home to America, others around me have noticed a difference in me and my demeanor. A family friend came up to me in Gurdwara and said that she noticed a new glow on my face. I have developed a connection with Vaheguru, and whenever I do paath, I feel like I am talking to him. No matter how many more words I write about how camp's impact on me, it would not be enough words. I can't describe the experience that I had for camp. At first I didn't want to go to camp, now I would do anything in the world to go back. To truly understand the experience of Akal Camp, you have to go there yourself. All in all, I recommend that every sikh kid that lives in a foreign country should go and attend this camp to truly experience oneness with Vaheguru. If you are a parent or a young person living in a foreign country, you should definitely come to the 2019 Akal International Youth Camp. You will have the greatest summer in your life, experience the connection with Vaheguru, deepen your knowledge about Sikhi, and make lasting friendships. For more information on the camp and registration please visit If you have any questions, please contact me by my email: Sahib Kaur is thirteen years old student in eighth grade in Texas. She enjoys photography, basketball and singing Kirtan.

NEET topper Navdeep brings glory to Baru Sahib chain of schools

In Class X too, he had scored a perfect 10, CGPA from Akal Academy, Muktsar His father is Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Charewan, Muktsar district NEET topper Navdeep brings glory to Baru Sahib chain of schools History was created as Navdeep Singh, a student of Akal Academy, Muktsar topped the country in NEET-2017,the result of which was declared on Thursday with a score of 697 out of 720. It is not the first time that a student of Akal Academy chain of schools, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, has achieved such distinction in academics. Earlier their students have score rank 67 & 250 in IIT-JEE and rank 30 in NDA. Navdeep topped from among 12 lakh students and rightfully for his achievement he was congratulated by none less than Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. His father Gopal Singh is Principal of the Government Senior Secondary School Charewan in Muktsar district and mother Simarjeet Kaur is employed with Life Insurance Corporation of India. He has throughout been an achiever. In Class X, he had scored a perfect 10, CGPA while studying at Akal Academy, Muktsar. He has been a sports loving student who studied more than 13 hours a day in preparations. Navdeep aspires to join Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi and help find a cure for Cancer in Punjab. He had hoped to clear NEET but did not expect to become all-India topper, he said. He is sure an inspiration to his younger brother Navjot, a student of Class X as well as for others of his school, city and the state. Above all, it’s a proud moment for the entire Akal Academy chain of schools, Baru Sahib as Navdeep’s achievement has brought it to limelight on the national academic map.