Monday, 17 November 2008

Bhai Randhir Singh and his relationship with the heretic Babu Teja Singh

Bhai Randhir Singh, records his relationship with Babu Teja Singh, in his autobiography, the Jail letters.
He records the meeting with the Panch Khand in 1908-09. How he was part of laying the foundation stone of the Panch Khand, and spent time there in Gurmat gatherings. Jail Letters, p. 58. He narrates how much bliss he experienced there, that has never left him. This shows clearly his close affliation with Panch Khand, and in particular Teja Singh Bhasauria.
We have already stated that the AKJ reintiates people with Amrit, with their own version of Amrit. The roots of this can be found in the Jail letters. Bhai Randhir Singh was not satisfied in taking amrit once, he took it again. The second time the Singh narrated the rahit or Khalsa code to him, was non other than Babu Teja Singh himself. Most Sikhs consider Babu Teja Singh to be a heretic, and a British loyalist, bent on destroying traditional Sikh praxis, and exegesis. Jail letters. p.28. Here we can see how the practices of the AKJ have its roots in the Panch Khalsa Diwan, and the writings of Babu Teja Singh.
Before his imprisonment, he was an intimate friend of Babu Teja Singh of Bhasaur and was also instrumental in establishing Panch Khalsa Diwan at Bhasaur in association with him. Babu Teja Singh was then quite a dynamic personality amongst the Sikhs and was a leading figure in the Singh Sabha resurgence. The Panthic Conference, where Bhai Sahib had taken Amrit along with Maulvi Karim Baksh and his family, was also organized by Babu Teja Singh. Hence both of them had become close friends. However, as Babu Teja Singh became a British Government loyalist, Bhai Sahib stopped working in association with him. During the period of Bhai Sahib's internment, Babu Teja Singh had been excommunicated from the Panth.
Meeting with Babu Teja Singh
After Bhai Sahib's release, Babu Teja Singh tried to meet his old friend after twenty years and came to his house to resurrect their old friendship. Bhai Sahib was not there at that moment. When he came to know later of Babu Ji's visit, Bhai Sahib wrote him a letter politely declining to meet him. The contents of the letter are very moving and reveal the true personality of Bhai Sahib and his unshakable and abiding faith in the Sikh tenets, values and traditions. It is therefore considered worthwhile to reproduce the English translation of the same below:
"Babu Teja Singh ji, Waheguru ji ki Fateh. You, dear Sir, have come to see this humble servant of the Panth after one fifth of a century, i.e., 20 years. I was no less eager to have the chance of meeting with you and talking together. But I was deeply pained when I learnt that you have been excommunicated from the Panth by a congregation at Sri Akal Takht.
What is even more distressing, you continue to disregard the authority of the Panth. It is now my request that you should be obedient to the Command of the Guru Panth and return to its shelter. Then we shall meet like brothers. It is my hope that you will accede to my request and thereby please the hearts of all of us. I am confident that you will not defy the Guru Panth and will abide by the tradition coming down through generations. Your sincere well wisher (s) Randhir Singh"
Thus, no personal relationship would deflect Bhai Sahib from obeying in letter and spirit the edicts of the Guru Panth issued from Sri Akal Takht Sahib.

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