Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Jio,
The time had arrived for Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Maharaj (Reru Sahib Wale) to leave for their heavenly ascension. Being pleased with the Seva that Sant Ji Maharaj, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj had done of them, they commanded Sant Ji Maharaj to ask for what they wish, and that it shall be fulfilled. Sant Ji Maharaj replied in a humble manner: “All I require, is a vast Jungle, a river for me to bathe and drink in and a small battered room for me to take shelter in.” Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji replied; “Gulaab Singh (Sant Ji Maharaj’s previous name), we are aware that you are trying to hide yourself from this world, but mark my words, it shall never happen! You will be the one to save thousands, no matter where you may hide, the world shall come in your sanctuary. But if this is what you wish, I have land at a village named Rara. It shall meet all your requirements and needs. Go there and now and continue this mission.”
During Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Baba Kishan Singh Ji Maharaj’s meditation within the jungles, both Mahapurkhs suffered a lot of physical pain. Sant Ji Maharaj would consume leaves and bark from trees in the jungle and drink water from a nearby canal. This led to their physical well-being deteriorating drastically and thus Sant Ji Maharaj became very ill physically.
It is believed that the Jungle of Rara Sahib was very dense. During the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, inhabitants of Punjab were succumb to violence. It was at this point, that Sant Ji Maharaj allowed 1000’s to remain within their Jungle until they were able to pick themselves up again and settle elsewhere.
The days of the winter months of Maghar and Poh were fast arriving and it was becoming more challenging for these Mahapurkhs to continue their meditation. This led to Sant Ji Maharaj’s clothes ripping. Sant Ji Maharaj said to Sant Baba Kishan Singh Ji Maharaj – “The winter has come, it is getting to the point where we have no clothes to cover our body. Do this, Ahmedgarh is near by, go get some ‘Bora’s’ (Flour sacks). We shall have to make do with those.”
Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji used to say, that at one point, there Kachera had ripped apart so much, that they no longer had a Naala. Instead, they had to tie the whole Kachera without the Naala, around their waist in order to maintain modesty. As time went on, the Jungle began to open up and an old woman passing by noticed both Mahapurkh, sitting in a state of meditation, whilst their bodies were physically damaged, their clothes ripped. Sant Ji Maharaj’s eyes opened. Upon noticing the woman, they noticed that through the extensive meditation, they had nothing to cover their body. It had become so bad, that both Sant’s had to remove their Dastar from their heads and wrap their bodies in the cloth. Sant Ji Maharaj humbly requested the woman to go away.
The woman went home. She prepared new Chole and Kachere for Sant Isher Singh Ji and Sant Kishan Singh Ji. She made all types of Prashaad (blessed food) and brought blankets for the Mahapurkh. She presented these offerings and bowed in reverence at the holy feet of Sant Ji Maharaj. She prepared a meal for them. Sant Ji Maharaj were very happy with this woman and lovingly said – “Just as you have covered us, may Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj cover your Paap in Sachkhand (heaven)!”
It was extremely cold and the peak of winter. Sant Ji Maharaj decided that they would arise daily at 1:30AM, continue meditation until 11PM and then sleep. Due to the warmth of the blankets, Sant Ji Maharaj fell asleep. On the other side, Sant Baba Kishan Singh Ji Maharaj continued their meditation. The sun had risen and no-one had awoken Sant Ji Maharaj. Sant Ji Maharaj’s eyes opened and saw that the Sun had risen, they looked around and saw Sant Kishan Singh Ji seated beside them. They began to ask – “If you were aware that I had fallen asleep, why did you not wake me up?” Sant Kishan Singh Ji Maharaj had a very mellow attitude and within their words, were mysterious truths. Sant Kishan Singh Ji Maharaj then said to Sant Ji Maharaj – “You shall only be able to do one thing, either enjoy the warmth of blankets, or meditate on Waheguru’s name, the choice is yours.” Upon hearing this, Sant Ji Maharaj folded up their blanket and through it in the River nearby!
To conclude – People often wrongly criticise Sant Ji Maharaj for the fact that they had expensive clothes, fragrances and shoes, however they do not take into account, the extreme measures of meditation that Sant Ji Maharaj had to experience. Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji (Pehowa Wale) narrate that a principle of a school once questioned Sant Ji Maharaj as to why they wear such expensive clothes. Sant Ji Maharaj replied – “You are a worldly teacher who teaches worldly values. You teach such studies in which, no one has ever achieved liberation, and never will. Before going to school, you adorn clean expensive clothes and apply fragrance, so that you have a good presence around your colleagues and students. However we are here to teach the values of the true teacher, the true Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj! Why should we not be allowed to have a good presence in this world?”
Please forgive us for any mistakes.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Jio.