Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji

A Forward by Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji.

His holiness Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, the supreme spiritual head of Namdhari Sikhs from 1959 to 2012, was a limitless personality who travelled the globe spreading the message of Sikhi. He encouraged everyone to rise above religious boundaries, eschew unnecessary ritualistic practices and ultimately unite with the Almighty Lord. Satguru Ji practiced the philosophy of Sri Satguru Nanak Dev Ji and preached it through individual interactions and His profoundly enlightening discourses.

In addition to His supreme spirituality, Satguru Ji was a great social reformer who encouraged Namdharis all over to adopt simplicity in all aspects of their daily lives, including the celebration of special occasions. As a result, Namdhari weddings are renowned for their simplicity with no pre or post wedding formalities. Furthermore, to eliminate the practice of dowry, Satguru Ii encouraged young couples to take vows of not demanding or accepting dowries. He was also keen to enhance the welfare of the youth and established the Satguru Partap Singh Academy in Sri Bhaini Sahib, thus making education accessible to thousands of young children in the region.

Continuing on the path of Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji, He worked relentlessly for the upliftment of women. Female infanticide was strictly forbidden (an act which was prevalent amongst many north Indian communities) and an effect of this, the gender ratio amongst Namdhari Sikhs has been maintained at close to perfect. Women were also encouraged to take an active part in classical music and religious congregations.

Classical music was a passion of Satguru Ji‘s. He encouraged and promoted Indian classical music in its purest form, not only within Namdharis, but also amongst the wider breadth of people He interacted with. Numerous sangeet samelans were organiesd in memory of His father, Sri Sutguru Partap Singh Ji, where celebrated and budding Indian musicians participated and sought blessings from Satguru Ji. His persona and charisma on the music front was so illuminating that prominent musicians of India felt privileged to perform in Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji’s holy presence. An accomplished vocalist and dilruba player himself, Satguru Ji was consummate in His knowledge of raga: and talas and produced numerous compositions, most of which were spontaneously composed. Satguru Ii was also at the forefront of preserving and promoting a wealth of traditional compositions from rababis of Punjab and keeping gurmat kirtan in its purest possible form. He encouraged music among the youth and propelled students to prominent musicians to learn from and to then contribute in gunnat kirtan diwans.

Satguru Ii had a special affection towards the youth, as He believed they were the key to the future progressions of any community. Youngsters also felt a special bond with him, with many developing closer bonds with Satguru Ii than their own parents. He preached the mantra of health and fitness as being beneficial, even for meditation. An avid sports fan, He encouraged the youth to take up sports and other activities whilst practicing the tenets of Sikhi. As a result of this, a successful hockey academy was established, which has consistently produced some of the best teams in India with many players going on to represent India at the international stage. The Namdhan’ Hockey team, as part of Satguru Ji’s vision, is also recognised for its distinctly Sikh uniform incorporating the dastaar and kashera.

He made an immense contribution towards the development of agriculture among Namdhari Sikhs. Sri Jiwan Nagar was an arid and undeveloped area in the 19503; however, today it is regarded as one of the most agriculturally developed regions in the country. Satguru Ji promoted the successful cultivation of oranges, grapes and other fruits, many of which were considered as unsuitable for the local conditions at the time. He also distributed land to the needy in other areas of Northern India including Haryana and Punjab, thus ensuring the welfare of the Sikhs was addressed. His holiness also inspired and blessed the establishment of Namdhari Seeds in Bangalore, Karnataka.

Reflecting upon the words of Satguru Ji and embedding them into our daily lives can enable us to attain that inner peace which is perceived to be elusive for so many. This inner peace changes our perspective and naturally generates a positive energy in our surrounding and within us. The discourses of His Holiness revolve around Gurbani and explain its philosophy with easy examples so they comprehensible to all.

The concept of this translation came to mind as a large number of the younger generation are unable to understand Punjabi. Satguru Ji emphasised the importance of learning Punjabi for every Sikh, so that they can aid their interpretation of Gurbani; without which understanding the nuances Sikhi can be difficult. i In short, Satguru Ji led by example and preached how one {experiences the stage of enlightenment through detachment whilst continuing to shoulder the daily responsibilities of their life. The discourses given by Satguru Ji are not bound to practicing Sikhs alone, they are equally relevant for all as Satguru Ji’s goal was to join each person to that one Almighty Lord.

This was a challenging task due to the difficulty of translating the nuances of spirituality and Gurbani in another language. I acknowledge the dedication of the many individuals who assisted in translating and piecing together these discourses of Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji.

-Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji

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