Remembering Mata Chand Kaur Ji in Southall: 04 April Southall (UK) – In the early hours of the morning of 4 April, the social media of Namdhari Sikhs went hay-wire with the news of passing of Jagat Mata Chand Kaur Ji. The pain of the news knew of no bounds when the (unthinkable) reality unfolded. In the entire Sikh history, never has such a heinous crime taken place – the life of a Guru-mata taken in a calculated and cold-blooded assassination. Monday 4th April 2016 became a defining moment in Namdhari Sikh history.
As the news spread, Sadh Sangat in Southall gathered at the Namdhari Sikh Centre for being with each other to observe and share the grief. Observing Satguru Jis hukum, in quiescence, the sangat started Naam Simran, Bhagauti de mala and gurbani recitation. On Monday evening large number of Sadh Sangat came to the centre and performed an hour of Naam Simran. This was followed by kirtan, collectively performed by the Southall Raagi Jatha. They sang the shabad of Guru Ram Das Ji bani:
Dhan Dhann Pitaa Dhan Dhan Kul
Dhan Dhan Su Janani Jin Guru Janea Maye
Towards the end, a Sadharan or Sahaj paath of Sri Adi Guru Granth Sahib was commenced. Numerous persons in the sangat contributed to complete this path. The ceremonial closing of this path was to be done along with other paaths at Sri Bhaini Sahib on 10 April 2016, as part of the Mata Chand Kaur Jis Bhog ritual.
Through-out the week leading to the Bhog (at Sri Bhaini Sahib), the Sadh Sangat collectively did Naam Simran for 2 hours each evening. Photo-Slide shows and the Video of Mata jis final cremation rites were shown. And members of Sadh Sangat shared about their personal experiences and with Mata Ji. Bibi Tajinder Kaur spoke on her very personal relationship.
Also on 9th April: The weekend program was dedicated to Mata ji. After the hourly naam-simran, at 19:00 the Ladies jatha did kirtan and katha in memory of Mata Chand Kaur Ji. Bibi Gian Kaur, Bibi Kulwant Kaur, Sant Baldeep Singh Chana, s. Balvinder Singh Chana and Anjan Saggu spoke of their personal moments with Mata Ji. We salute Mata Chand Kaur Ji, who sacrificed her life for the sake of preserving Guru Nanak Dev Jis Gur-gaddi. Her charm, courage, love and above all, her seva shall never be forgotten.
Dhan Mata Chand Kaur Ji
200th Parkash Purab of Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji – Events in Southall UK
To mark the 200th Parkash Purab of Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji, Namdhari Sikh Sangat Southall held events on 12th and 13th February 2016. The morning of Basant Panchmi began with the commencement of the Naam Simran for quest of Satguru Ram Singh Ji’s darshan. Meanwhile the hymns of Asa di Vaar – musical recital of Bani in morning ragas- were sung. This was led by Raagi Satvinder Singh Bhogal. He was accompanied by brother Kulwant Singh and Narinderpal Singh on the tabla while Gushmir Singh and Gurtejpal Singh assisted with vocals and recital of verses. To round the morning session, one Paath da Bhog was performed for quest of Satguru Ram Singh Ji’s darshan and hence concluded one reading of Sri Adi Granth Sahib.
Sharing the message of Satguru Ram Singh Jis reforms on the morning talk-show on Radio Lyca Dilse, UK pradhan Sulakhan Singh and Southall's General Secretary, Ajeet Singh were in conversation with Ravi Sharma. Two other similar radio presentations was shared by Gurdev Singh Virdee on the Midlands RadioXL and the third was in Leicester by Bibi Amarjit Kaur Flora.
Later in the evening the Sadh Sangat got together to continue marking the Basant Panchmi of 2016. For this occasion (during the Naam Simran), Sant Kirpal Singh Chana shared a special collection of Geets, Kavitas and disclosures about Satguru Ram Singh. A special art composition was on display. The art-work graphically portrayed Satguru Ram Singhs main reform programs and the sacrifice of Namdhari shaheeds. After the concluding ardas of Naam Simran, Raagi Satvinder Singh supported by Hakam Singh recited the bani of Guru Arjan Dev in the shabad : ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਦੇਖਿ ਜੀਵਾ ॥ (Gur Kaa Dharasan Dhaekh Dhaekh Jeevaa.) Thereafter, Bibi Harbhajan Kaur presented a kavita.
Sant Kehar Singh Matharu (Canada) launched the English edition of his book – ‘The Revolutionary (Guru) Ram Singh JiNamdhari’. On the special occasion Southall Sangats www.kukasikhs.com posted a 4 minute video entitled Satguru Ram Singh – A Brief Time Line on its Facebook Page.
The next day, 13 Feb 2015, the celebrations continued during the regular Saturday gathering of Sangat, Kaka Arjan Tara Singh Saggu sang the popular short geet Khalsa de Reet mite jandee, rakhi Satguru Ram Singh ney. Suba Kuldip Singh read sakhi about birth of Satguru Ram Singh Ji from Satguru Bilas Volume 1 (by Santokh Singh Bahowal). Shabad kirtan was performed by Bibi Parbjot Kaur and Bibi Jagdish Kaur, accompanied on tabla by Sarabjit Singh. Together they sang the shabads of Guru Arjan Devs bani, including ਸੁਣਿ ਯਾਰ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਸਜਣ ਇਕ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀਆ ॥ (Sun Yaar Hamaarae Sajan Eik Karo Baenantheeaa.)
The significant contribution of the bicentenary celebrations of Avtaar purab of Sri Satguru Ram Singh was an assessment of the twelveth Guru's legacy and in particular of his visionary doctrines that changed the face of Sikhism and shook the very foundations of British Imperial rule in India in the late 19th Century. The core of Satguru Ram Singhs mission was to re-ignite the Sikh Marayada and Dharam (religious foundations and beliefs). This mission manifested through the preaching of Social and Political ideas.
Secretary Ajeet Singh spoke about the effects that Satguru Ram Singh Jis teachings had in the late 1800s and their relevance today, in particular the blessings Satguru Ram Singh Ji showered on women. Sant Baldeep Singh Chana made his contribution with two devotional Kavitas on the pietistic darshan of Satguru Ram Singh Ji
The following day (Sunday 14th February), a large congregation of Southall sadh sangat trekked to Birmingham, where the Namdhari Sangat UK celebrated the occasion at the National level.
Dhan Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji.
Event Videos and audio posted on our Facebook page- http://facebook.com/nss.southall and website at www.kukasikhs.com
22 July 2016 marked the parkash diwas of Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji. On social media excitement fluttered among the sangat during the couse of the day. In theevening, the occasion was celebrated at Namdhari Sangat Southall UK with Naam Simran, kirtan, kavitas and vyakhayan. After the hour of Naam-simran, kirtan was performed by youngesters Gushmir Singh and Kartar Singh. (Shabad: Guru Arjan Dev jis composition ਨਸਿ ਵੰਹੁ ਕਿਲਵਿ ਖਹੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਘਰਿ ਆਇਆ – Nas Vannjahu Kilavikhahu Karatha Ghar Aeia).
The celebrations carried on to Saturday 23rd July, when Ustad Harbhajan Singh with fellow musicians Ustad Gurdev Singh and santoor vadak Kiranpal Singh playing the tabla, performed medodious shabads in raag Malahar. Guru Arjan Dev Jis bani was sung in three shabads:
ਮਨੁ ਘਨੈ ਭ੍ਰਮੈ ਬਨੈ ॥ (Man Ghanai Bhramai Banai), ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਰਵੀਜੈ ॥ (Man Maerae Har Kae Charan Raveejai) and ਬਰਸੁ ਮੇਘ ਜੀ ਤਿਲੁ ਬਿਲਮੁ ਨ ਲਾਉ ॥ (Baras Maegh Jee Thil Bilam N Laao).
And Guru Nanak Dev Jis ਸਾਵਣਿ ਸਰਸ ਮਨਾ ਘਣ ਵਰਸਹਿ ਰੁਤਿ ਆਏ ॥ (Saavan Saras Manaa Ghan Varasehi Ruth Aaeae) was the other offering.
Youngsters Arjan Singh & Krishan Singh (grandsons of Prof Tara Singh Anjan Ji) made their contribution to the proceedings of the evening by reading out a poem (kavita) 'Satguru Uday Singh prabh mera'. During the course of the evening Bibi Harbhajan Kaur related a few very amazing events and real-life experiences with Satguru Ji. Prof Tara Singh Anjan Ji expressed his best wishes to Satguru Uday Singh Ji. He shared with the sangat the roadmap to Satguru jis attainment of the gurgaddi. He told the sangat that Satguru Uday Singh Ji set a prime example of how a hukam is followed, obeyed and excuted. (Hukam is the goal of becoming in harmony with the will of God.). He cited many examples of such interactions between Satguru Jagjit Singh and Satguru Uday Singh Ji. He concluded that Satguru Uday Singh Jis mun, bachan and karam were the cornerstone to his relationship with Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji.
The sadh sangat now eagarly wait for darshan of Satguru ji in the forthcoming UK tour in August.
Dhan Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji
15 July 2016: Sant Ripdhaman Singh Plaha Ji (October 1932 – May 2016)
Sardar Ripdhaman Singh Plaha (very fondly known to many as Dhami across his friends and Rip amongst his work colleagues), departed this earth for heavenly abode on 25 May 2016. He was 84 years old. Ripdhaman Singhs association with Namdhari Sikhs dates back to the times of Sri Satguru Partap Singh Jis first visit to Kenya in 1958. In those early days, recognising his musical talent, Satguru Partap Singh Ji and later Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji made him a regular contributor (along with Ragi Udham Singh Devsi) to perform Kirtan. Dhami jis passion was playing Tabla.
He was born in the family of Dr Assa Singh Plaha and Mata Dhan Kaur Plaha. Dr Assa Singh was a doctor of homeopathic medicine of the University of Kolkata, India. At the same time he was a very talented musician. Dr Assa Singh learnt music from the Gwalior Gharana and settled in Kenya in 1935, with the family joining him around 1940. Dr Ji performed Kirtan seva, in classical format at the Gurudwara – Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi over a period of 18 years. Within the family archives, we also learn that K N Saigal, the famous singer in the Bombay Music-Film industry was not only a close friend but had also been tutored by Dr Assa Singh in Indian classical music .
He married young at age around 18 (13 December 1950) to Harbhajan Kaur. He leaves behind three children, sons, Davinder Singh and Bhupinder Singh and daughter Jasvinder Kaur, his many nephews and nieces and other children from his extended family, friends and a large network of his music family.
One of the many passions of Ripdhaman Singh was Indian Classical music, a art he mastered at a very young age at the hands of his devoted and professional father, Dr Assa Singh. At his father’s surgery, Ripdhaman Singh learnt compassion and empathy, and at his father’s music school in Nairobi he learnt playing various musical instruments and became a master table player, an art he was known for across a wide audience in the world, especially in Kenya, Uganda, at Sri Bhaini Sahib, Punjab, India and the UK. It is his prowess in table that brought him into close contact with same world famous table maestros like Ustad Allah Rakha Khan and Ustad Sukhwinder Singh popularly known as Pinky.
At the younger age he became a disciple of Sardar Jaswant Singh Amritsaria and then latterly Ustad Allah Rakha Sahib during one of his UK tour. He had accompanied on the Tablas with various high caliber Indian Musicians:
The Singh Bandhus (Tejpal Singh and Surinder Singh)
Sheila Markanday (disciple of Ghulam Mustapha Khan of Bombay)
Ragi Udham Singh Devsi who secured the title of a Gandharv Ragi and had been a disciple of Dr Assa Singh
Purshotam Kapila, a member of the famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh.
Avtar Singh Paintal, a fine Indian classical vocalist.
Sohanlal Bhandari, a fine sitar player and disciple of the world famous Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandits Rajan Sajjan Misra
He shared and taught this art onto younger generations having initiated and teaching classical music, particularly Tabla to various persons like his own eldest Bhanja, Harjit Singh Seyan who in turn initiated his own son Rajveer Singh into becoming a fine table player, Kuldip Singh Rayat, and Karandeep Singh whose grandfather learnt music from Dr Assa Singh at his music school in Nairobi. He sowed the seeds of music in many Namdharis in East Africa and UK. Notably, Ripdhaman initiated (Namdhhari Santoor wadak) Kiranpal Singh (son of Sardar Satbachan Singh Deoora) into Tabla playing who later took up learning Santoor with the divine blessings of Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Maharaj. Today Ustad Kiranpal Singh is known as one of the finest player of the beautiful instrument Santoor under the discipleship of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.
Ripdhaman Singh was a highly respected and loved member of Namdhari Sikh Sangat Southall.Till recently he performed shabad kirtan during the annual Jap Prayog. He leaves a great void in the congreation and will be greatly missed.
Extract from Eulogy by Sachdev Singh Seyan
Extra reporting by santoor wadak, Kiranpal Singh Deeora
JUNE in SOUTHALL, UK: 11 June 2016: Sadh Sangat marked the Shaheedi and Joti Jot diwas of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji with Katha, Kirtan and Naam Simran. After the hour of Naam Simran, the evenings program comprised of Katha and Kirtan. Following in the footsteps of his fore-fathers, Pandit Harbhajan Singh Khundwalia’s son, Dr Yadwinder Singh delivered a katha on the concept and benefits of sat sangat. Yadwinder singh jis unparalleled knowledge in Veds, Simirtees and Granths is supreme. The Sadh Sangat Ji is making most of it while his blessed presence in UK.
Raagis followed up with kirtan. Starting with a drupat (Shabad of Bhagat Namdevs bani in Sri Adi Guru Granth Sahib -ਮੈ ਅੰਧੁਲੇ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਖੁੰਦਕਾਰਾ ॥ Mai Andhhulae Kee Ttaek Thaeraa Naam Khundhakaaraa || Later they sung a Shabad found in Savaiye (praise of Guru Arjan Dev) in Bhatt Mathura: ਰਾਮਦਾਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਜਗ ਤਾਰਨ ਕਉ ਗੁਰ ਜੋਤਿ ਅਰਜੁਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਧਰੀ ॥Raamadhaas Guroo Jag Thaaran Ko Gur Joth Arajun Maahi Dhharee ||
The kirtan was performed by Ustad Harbhajan Singh with support by Ustad Gurdev Singh, Ustad Surjit Singh and Sarabjit Singh. Before the Kirtan: Led by Yadwinder Singh, a recitation of Japji Sahib paath was collectively practised by the Sadh Sangat. The evening drew to a close after AjeetSingh spoke on recent historic days, including the Joti Jot Diwas of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji & Satguru Hari Singh Ji (31 May 2016), and Satguru Ram Singh Jis important social reforms of Amrit Administration to Women (1 st June) and the First Anand Karaj ceremony annivarsary which fell on 3 rd June. Ajeet Singh also shared a few words on Suba Sahib Singh who was appointed by Satguru Ram Singh Ji to spread his mission in the latter half of the 19 th Century. On 10 June 1879, Suba ji sacrificed his life during his custody by the British.
Youngster Attar Kaur Hanspal made a special initiative to collect money for Charity. She collected funds by making and selling Cup Cakes to members of Sadh Sangat.
Langar seva was by Sooba Kuldip Singh Chana & family.