The beautiful land of Potohar is situated in the lush green hills of Pakistan. It is said that the name Potohar has its origins from the word “Popehar” meaning “Phoolan Ka Haar” meaning garland of flowers. The Lord even though had created such a paradise and did not stop there, he showered his grace further blessing it with the presence of many Saints and the blessed feet of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj which was to lift the fame of this land worldwide. This land was a haven for Great souls such as, Sant Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj, their student Sant Jawala Singh Ji Maharaj (Harkhowal), Baba Sahib Singh Ji Bedi Maharaj of Una Sahib also visited this land many a time.
On this land which had been blessed with Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj’s lotus feet, just a little distance away from the historical Sikh shrine Gurdwara Panja Sahib is a village by the name of Kaajian which was to be Baba Ji’s birthplace. Babaji was born in the year 1826 ( Bikrami 1882) to parents Kripa Singh and Suba Devi. During that time, the 11th generation descendant of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s family, Baba Sahib Singh Ji Bedi was leader of the Samprada.
When Baba ji was forty days old, his parents had kept a continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Akhand Paath Sahib) in accordance to elder’s tradition and for three days there was a free kitchen for all with which meals were served continuously (langar). A prayer was done to undertake the naming after which a robe was put onto the child. The word of the Guru Ji (hukumnama) was as follows:
Ang 817: Bilaaval, Fifth Mohalla:
Placing His Hand upon my forehead, God has given me the gift of His Name.
One who performs fruitful service for the Supreme Lord God, never suffers any loss.||1||
God Himself saves the honor of His devotees.
Whatever God’s Holy servants wish for, He grants to them. ||1||Pause||
God’s humble servants seek the Sanctuary of His Lotus Feet; they are God’s very breath of life.
O Nanak, they automatically, intuitively meet God; their light merges into the Light. ||2||2||66||
as the first letter of Guru Granth Sahib Ji verse was Ka-ka, the child was named Karam Singh. Reaching the age of 18, Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj joined army. During the British Raj widespread rioting and violence had broken out in Delhi and the army was called in to contain and control the situation. Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj’s regiment had been posted in the Delhi area to provide security and protection to the public during this hostility. The British found this time very unstable as the rebellion had gained momentum and was in danger of a revolt that could possibly overthrow their Raj. For the average man security was scarce and even in their own home no safety could be found as looting, killings and raping was rampant by organized gangs. The scene of fires and destruction of properties, women and girls being raped and countless murders was everywhere to be seen, it was so out of control that even members of the Army themselves began to indulge in looting for their own gain. But Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji overflowing with compassion would instead save people from fires and violence, returning valuables to rightful owners and saving others and taking them to safe havens in Temples or Mosques. Many of their fellow Soldiers made snide remarks at them saying that they were wasting their time letting such opportunities go to waste saying, “Don’t be a Saint all the time, as you won’t get an opportunity like this again so take some wealth home with you.” But Baba Ji firmly replied saying that if one wants to steal then one should steal the true jewel, which was the name of the ever permanent Creator which one can only do so in this life as a human.
Ang 1366: Kabeer, if you must rob and plunder, then plunder the plunder of the Lord’s Name.
Otherwise, in the world hereafter, you will regret and repent, when the breath of life leaves the body. ||41||
Baba Ji explained that stealing others wealth for ones own sake will not benefit them but instead would eat away at them and that instead they should invest by helping the others in need.
Ang 141: To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork,
or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us, if we do not eat those carcasses.
During this chaotic time surrounded by fires and suffering Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji noticed a lady crying helplessly outside a burning house, she stood desperately reciting the pray of JapJi Sahib. They approached her asking of her pain to which she explained that she was the granddaughter of the house of Bhalla (which was a family from the time of the third Guru, Guru Amar Das ji Maharaj) and that after a long time at an old age, Dhan Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj had blessed her with a child but now that child of a tender age of five, was trapped asleep upstairs in that house. She explained that all her wealth and possessions were in that same room too, but on the brink of losing everything she was now praying to God for someone to rescue her only child and place him back in her arms.
As a perfect Saint’s (Sadhu) heart is like an ocean of compassion which recognizes the pain of others and is always there to help. Baba Ji listening to her plight instantly told the lady to find two ladders, meanwhile assessing the house on fire they found that the lower floor of the house had been severely burnt and the upper was yet in flames. Unable to find a rope Baba Ji took off his turban and tied the two ladders together in order to reach a small window on the upper floor and began to climb up. Sant Lal Singh Ji worried for their safety told Baba Ji not to climb up, as the fire was too intense and he was risking his own life. But Baba Ji whilst reciting prays had begun to climb up to the upper floor. He went in quickly, picked up the child and wrapped him in a blanket and tied him to his waist and then grabbed some of the ladies possessions and threw them down to her and carefully climbed out of the window with the child and down the ladder, placing that fortunate child into the longing arms of his mother. The lady was overcome with emotion and gratitude to be reunited with her beautiful child. Baba Ji and Sant Ji escorted her to a nearby Hindu Temple and as they were about to leave, the lady called out saying, “Spiritual King! Wait take my blessings before you leave.” And from within her neck scarf she had some saffron tied which she placed into a silver bowl and mixed and applied it to Baba Ji’s forehead and blessed him saying that he would shine like a star in this Universe and said that in the same way he had fulfilled her heart he would also fulfill the hearts of the world with his physical presents and that he would be very famous. Finally blessing both Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji saying that Guru Ji would always be with them and they together would help the people of this world cross this ocean that we call life.
We all walk our own paths which are already laid out for us, destined to meet whomever we are meant to meet to complete passed karmas and to begin new ones. As Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Lal Singh Ji continued on with their search for people in need, their paths led to another house which was also on fire. They noticed an old spiritual soul still lying on his bed they both ran in without any hesitation picking up the bed he was lying on and carried him out to safety and then further to a nearby Temple where they carefully laid him down in a sheltered area. This soul then revealed himself, he told them that these were his last few breaths of his life, he asked them to stay with him for these last few moments and do the service of his last right as he had no other. Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji accepted his request as it was a honour to do such a great service although saddened at this loss.
As he passed before their eyes he blessed them both and said, “Just as you have done my service I shall do yours in the future, as I have one more life to fulfill and when you come forth to reveal yourself to the world I shall be there at your feet.” After he took his final breath, both Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji with full respect washed the body this beloved and then prepared the body and took it out into the open fields where it was cremated completing this selfless service, as Guru Maharaj Ji himself completes the service of his beloveds. Now this prophecy made by this spiritual soul came to be as that very same complete Saint returned at the feet of Baba Ji as Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj who was to take over the spiritual seat of Hoti. Now returning back to their posted areas within Delhi they noticed a grand house which was being raided by looters. This residence belonged to a wealthy Pathaan who was not at home to protect his wives and children. The wives who were wearing veils were shouting for help from the windows asking for any God fearing soul to protect them from the looters, hearing this both Baba Ji and Sant Ji ran towards the house accompanied by a many more of their fellow Soldiers they ran in front of the house and lined up into a formation preventing the looters from coming close to the house, the looters too frightened to face the Army soon made haste their escape. In which time the Pathaan had returned home at first he panicked wondering why the Army had surrounded his house, with all kinds of thoughts gone through his head. But on hearing the whole episode from his wives and children, that these Sikh Soldiers had saved the dignity of his wives and family he instantly ran towards Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj and thanked him endlessly for protecting his honour. The Pathaan went into his home and returned with a small bag of diamonds and pearls and other precious jewels to give to Baba Ji and the rest of the Soldiers but Baba Ji told him that, “We did not do this to gain a reward of wealth, we did this as it is our duty, as if we wanted wealth we could of looted as everyone else is doing so.” As to them thesematerial items were of no use as he had the real true jewel, which was the jewel of the Lords name.
Ang 665: The ignorant fools amass false wealth. The blind, foolish, self-willed non believers have gone astray.
Poisonous wealth brings constant pain. It will not go with you, and it will not yield any profit. ||1||
They went on continuing to save as many people as possible; the poor, the homeless as much as they could, but never once did Baba Ji or Sant Lal Ji ever take anything for themselves. Word of this soon got back to their superior officers and the British Army clergy too, of their acts of true bravery and courage, saving many lives and never swaying in the face of temptation or corruption. The Officers thanked them both giving them recognition for their outstanding deeds saying that they had the true quality of Great Saints.
After the violence settled all the Soldiers were given leave for a month so they could return back to their homes to see their families. Baba Ji was asked to return back to Mardan Cantt for duty after his leave. Baba Ji and Sant Lal Ji made their journey back together on horse back to Kaajan Nagar. On returning home Baba Ji paid his respects to his parents and met with friends and relatives. The villages had also gathered at Baba Ji’s home as news had already reached back to the people of the riots and looting, that soldiers had as managed together wealth for themselves, so villagers had come to see what Baba Ji had bought home with him. That evening Mata Ji asked Baba Ji what he had bought home with him as others had filled up their homes with material wealth. Baba Ji silently placed his Army salary in front of his mother and said to his mother that looting is the job ofthieves and if your son was to steal he would be a disgrace to both his family and his Guru, so instead he had looted the one true jewel of the Lords Name.
Ang 495: O mother, your son has returned home with a profit:
the wealth of the Lord while walking, the wealth of the Lord while sitting, and the wealth of the Lord while waking and sleeping. ||1||Pause||
His mother pleased with him blessed him and said today you have made all of his ancestors proud. His parents were very proud of him but some of his relatives, uncles and aunt’s were annoyed who were hoping for gifts of material wealth. Even though Baba Ji tried to explain to them that they should be grateful that he had managed to come back alive as many innocent lives had been lost for no reason, and that the situation had escalated to where no one cared for another’s pain and that humanity had gained wings and flown away, like wild animals people were raping killing and looting for their own gain and pleasure. The response of his relatives was so shocking, showing no compassion or concern except for their own greed. Baba Ji was left stunned and he told them to leave saying that they would never get to see him again. This incident pierced Baba Ji’s heart to such an extent that with other events yet to enfold he would leave this material world forever and never come home again. Baba Ji was to resign from his Army post and spent the rest of his days in meditation. On one occasion later in life his parents and relative had come to visit him but Baba Ji had decided not to meet anyone as he was in the middle of a long routine of meditation. On knowing of their arrival he told one of his followers, that all they were interested in was money and had no love for him and told the disciple to give them money to satisfy their hunger and send them on their way. And so they were sent away without seeing Baba Ji’s. Sometime later Baba Ji’s parents had departed from the world but during their last moments Baba Ji blessed them and gave them liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
As per usual Baba Ji was in deep meditation on the banks of Kalpani, when suddenly overcome with immense deep love, they were thrown into the ocean of the ever pervading Creator and his consciousness became one.
Ang 93: You are me, and I am You-what is the difference between us?
We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves. ||1||
Just as in history when a Kabul Sikh Bhai Goinda fell into a deep spiritual state for twelve hours in which the Seven Guru Dhan Guru Sri Har Rai Ji Maharaj wasn’t able to get up as the shackles of love from Bhai Goinda’s love kept him tied and unable to move for all that time. In this spiritual state Baba Ji sat totally unaware of time whether night or day in one pure state, but unknown to them the time for their duty had come and passed, but still Baba Ji sat absorbed in to the one everlasting essence of truth. Meanwhile the officers were receiving a report that Baba Ji was not on his duty, but at that time Dhan Guru Nanak Sahib Ji Maharaj was not going to let his beloved be dishonoured, arriving to protect his sweet beloved. The Lord himself came in the roop of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj, wearing the uniform of a Soldier and stood on his duty. Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj and Dhan are your beloved!
The Great Creator looks after all and provides for all and always protects his beloveds and hides their discretions from the world, just as he has always done in the past and does in the present and shall forever do so in the future. The Officers went to check and saw a Soldier in the same image, whom they thought to be Baba Ji on his post, they checked his weapon and even got him to sign the register. Unaware, but fully satisfied the Officers returned to their office and took hold of the informer and scolded him for lying saying that they had just checked on Baba Ji and he was at his post. Now the informer was astounded and ran out to where Baba Ji was still in a deep state. Confused and trouble, he then ran to where Baba Ji was supposed to be posted and found amazingly that Baba Ji was also there, but how he wondered? So the informer who was a fellow Soldier went to see the Colonel, who had already checked and confirmed that Baba Ji was still on his post and wasn’t in the slight bit interested in listening to this Soldier who had wasted his time.
As sunrise came about Baba Ji came out of their state, only to notice that he had missed his duty. Now also at this place where Baba Ji meditated was a large well that belonged to a Pathaan and every day that Pathaan would come and place sand on that very spot that Baba Ji would sit on, making a raised platform as well as doing other service for Baba Ji. As usual on this morning the Pathaan had arrived, greeting Baba Ji but seeing Baba Ji’s concern he asked what was the matter and why was Baba Ji still here as they should of being doing their duty and then continuing with their routine? Baba Ji informed him that he had totally forgotten about his duty and spent the whole night and morning in deep meditation. Baba Ji returned back to the barracks around 9am and the Officers from that night informed Baba Ji of the incident regarding him that had occurred; that another soldier had made false accusations against Baba Ji stating that they had not been at their post
but when the Officers checked they found him present. Baba Ji at that point interrupted the officer and said, “But I was not present, I had forgotten all about my duty and spent the whole night on the other side of the river and I’ve just returned now.” The Officer replied, “But I saw you myself, ask my supporting Officer who was with me at this time and you can also check the register in which you signed.”
When Baba Ji checked the book his signature was there and it was his own, this left Baba Ji thinking that all this evidence was proving him otherwise. He asked the Officers to call Najeeb Khan the Pataan who owned the well on the river bank and also had spent the night asleep at the well. On his arrival when asked he told them that Baba Ji always spent the night near his well and usually left for duty in the very early morning, but on this occasion he had still found them there in the morning and that he had asked Baba Ji if they had had a day off but they had informed him that they he had forgotten to go on duty. On which listening to everyone came to the conclusion that Baba Ji had missed his duty, but also that his duty had been completed, but by who? This was a miracle! But what were the Officers to know that very night the Soldier that stood in his place was God himself the creator the destroyer and sustainer, protecting the honour of his beloved souls.
Now the British Officers and Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj and also Priest (Granthi) Kushal Singh Ji who came to know of this all knew that someone else had completed the duty of Baba Ji’s. In a short space of time this event became known to all the soldiers that the Lord had himself come to do the duty of his beloved. Meanwhile Baba Ji had presented his officers with his uniform, rifle and other army issued items and said that he did not wish to continue with his duty anymore, as now he was going to do the true duty of the true Lord, who had protected his honour by completing his duty and he would turn his back on these false worldly duties and now only face the one true God.
After This Incident Baba ji Left his duty and made his Dera at Hoti Mardan. At same time, Baba Ram Singh Ji Virakt was the leader of Samprada ( lineage). Baba Aaya Singh came to Sant karam Singh ji, at a very young age. Always obeying, complete in his service and due to his good Karma from previous births Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj had always had the complete grace and love of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj. From the age of five he spent forty years in Baba Ji presence obeying every instruction and serving selflessly day and night at the holy site of the Hoti Camp. Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj was a complete in his spiritually, one with the True Lord but also their main beloved disciple. The devotees also had a lot of faith in him, as when coming to see Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj they would also come and pay their respects to him also. And what ever they said always came true. So after listening to the wish of the devotees, on who was going to be left in Baba Ji’s place. Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj gave word saying, “I shall leave you with such a Complete Saint who in both worlds will protect you and will have a greater presence then me.”
At the age of 74, Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj received his calling from the Creator to return to Sachkhand. They had helped many hundreds of thousands of souls who had lost their way and putting them back in the direction of the true love of the one only Lord.
Many Saints were Students of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj. Mainly were :
Sri Maan Sant Baba Aaya Singh Ji, (Hoti Mardan) and their student Sant Jawala Singh Ji (Harkhowal).