History

Sant Baba Aaya Singh Ji, Hoti Mardan

Sant Baba Aaya Singh Ji was born in the region of Peshawar, district Katlang in a small town named Shamojae Mamojae. The area was mostly populated with Pataans with the odd few houses belonging to Sikhs and Hindus, but due to Dhan Guru Nanak Ji Maharaj’s blessing the seed of Sikhism had already been planted here and in times after, many Saints had come to strengthen the roots of Sikhism here. Although compared to Panjab there were not always as many baptized Sikh’s here but there were many non-baptized Sikhs such as Arora’s, Khatris and Mahajan’s who
were all devotees of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj’s teachings. In this town of Shamojae Mamojae a man by the name of Ramu Shah was a devotee of the Sikh Gurus. Being a shop owner unlike many others he practiced his business very honestly and would help the poor. His wife Mata Chattar Kaur was very compassionate always obeying her husband and serving traveling Holy men and Sikh’s with great love and devotion. Even though they were very comfortable materialistically they still had one wish unfulfilled, which was that of a son that would make them proud as they were childless.

Ang 272: How fruitful is the birth of the Lord’s humble servant; the Creator is his Father.

As time past this blessed couple continued to yearn for a beloved son meanwhile Chattar Kaur continued to serve Saint’s and traveling Holy men.
This wish of their was to be fulfilled and eventually when the time came it was heard in the Lords court, and a messenger an old tall beautiful blessed soul was sent to their door. His beard was pure white like milk and his forehead shone with a heavenly glow. He came to their door and saying the words, ‘Sat Kartar’ (True is the Lord). Mata Chattar Kaur hearing these words came to running to the door as she was a soul that always remembered the Lord and served his beloved humbly. Coming out of the door way she saw this divine soul and in reverence she bowed and kissed his feet. With hands folded and in humbleness she said, “Maharaj! With great blessings you have given me your vision this is a blessed day, please bless us and step into our house with your pure feet.”

Colored in the True Lords name this Saint stepped inside the house, Mata Chattar Kaur Ji placed a bench in the open area and placed a white sheet on top, for the Saint to sit on. Meanwhile she prepared an array of different foods and served them to him with cool fresh water. Seeming hungry he ate until he was full she then washed his hands and then placed some money at his feet. The Saint leaving the money got up to leave,
he gave the following blessing saying, “Blessed child! Become a mother, as from the Lords abode, you shall be blessed with a child who will save the people of this world and make both yours and your husbands name famous. Don’t ever shout at him, he will be a saviour and a true Holy man.” Saying these words the traveling Saint walked out the house and disappeared. She continued to remember the words of this beloved
soul.

Ang 1204: Those born of eggs shall pass away, and those born of the womb shall
pass away. Those born of the earth and sweat shall pass away as well.
The four Vedas shall pass away, and the six Shaastras shall pass away. Only the
Word of the Holy Saint is eternal. ||2||

So after a year Mata Chattar Kaur’s selfless service and meditations bough fruit and in 1905 Bikhrami (1848 Christian calendar), a beautiful child was born early in the morning, at which time the whole house lit up. Just as the moon shines bright to help people find their way at night, in this way the child was born to light up the path for lost souls through this dark world. The child was born in the early morning but as dawn broke everyone came to know of the child and with great celebration, charity was given to the poor to gain their blessing for this child. As the days passed the child’s birth was celebrated more and more and relatives and friends came to visit the family and after forty days a recital of
Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj was completed and a robe was put on the child. Guru Ji’s word was taken (Hukumnama) for the child and the first letter was an ‘A’ and so the child was to be named Aaya Singh.

Ang 627: Sorat’h, Fifth Mohalla:
I meditated on my Guru. I met with Him, and returned home in joy.
This is the glorious greatness of the Naam. Its value cannot be estimated. ||1||
O Saints, worship and adore the Lord, Har, Har, Har. Worship the Lord in adoration,

and you shall obtain everything; your affairs shall all be resolved. ||Pause||
He alone is attached in loving devotion to God, who realizes his great destiny.
Servant Nanak meditates on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.
He obtains the rewards of all joys and peace. ||2||12||76||

The child was very sweet and always very polite he played with all and never fought or swore. Sometimes he would sit quietly like a hermit with his eyes closed and many children would join him meditating on the Lord. Many a time the child would take sweet dishes from home to distribute to others. So in this way time passed by until he reached five. Mata Chattar Kaur remembered and honored the wise sweet words of the Saint who blessed them, that when the child would reach a certain age she would send him to Mardan to Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj, who at that time was the most popular and renowned Saint in the area. The whole family had gathered to take the child Aaya Singh Ji to the Hoti Dera. On arrival with great devotion they bowed at Baba Ji’s feet placing the dust of the floor on their foreheads. Now as the child went forward to do bow at Baba Ji’s feet, Baba Ji held Aaya Singh’s arm and said, “Child! So you’ve come?” and then the child bowed and they both met each other as though they had been reunited after a long time period away from each other. Baba Ji asked the child’s name and the child’s Uncle
replied, “Maharaj! His name is Aaya Singh as when he was small he would keep on saying ‘Aayo Aayo!’, so we named him Aaya Singh.
Baba Ji smiled and said, “Alright! If it is Aaya, he has come now.” The Uncle and others made a request to Baba Ji saying, “Lord! He has come to your door please bless him and place your pure hand on his head and take him in your service.” Baba Ji, listening to their request blessed the child and placed his hand on the child’s head, then called Sant Lal Singh Ji and informed him saying, “Lal Singh! He has come, truly he has come, the owner of this Hoti site has arrived. Now look after him as he was meant to come here, those previous words have been fulfilled. Remember in the riots of Delhi we saved that old Saint from the burning fire and he said that he had one more life to fulfill and that he would return back to us.” The whole family listened carefully astonished by Baba Ji’s words, but overjoyed they left the child Aaya Singh in Baba Ji’s service and with endless blessings they took leave and returned home. Baba Ji passed the child Aaya Singh Ji onto Sant Lal Singh Ji and asked for him to teach the child. The child would spend the whole day working hard helping around the camp soon becoming colored in love, Baba Ji realizing that Aaya Singh was very capable blessed him with the Lords name, so he spent his days in meditation and service. As when one serves selflessly, it clears ones mind and soul allowing one to quickly meet with God.

Ang 274: he has no desire for the fruits of his labors.
He is absorbed in devotional worship and the singing of Kirtan, the songs of the
Lord’s Glory.
So selfless service is a true gift from Guru Ji as it is the true Holy site where one is
cleansed.

Ang 484: The true cleansing bath is service to the Guru. ||1||Pause||
Ang 1422: To work for the Guru, or a spiritual teacher, is terribly difficult, but it
brings the most excellent peace.

So just as a sandlewood tree turns the surrounding trees and shrubs around it into sandlewood, through selfless service Sant Aaya Singh Ji became the image of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj.

Ang 647: The elephant offers its head to the reins, and the anvil offers itself to the
hammer; just so, we offer our minds and bodies to our Guru; we stand before Him,
and serve Him. This is how the Gurmukhs eliminate their self-conceit, and come to
rule the whole world.

Baba Aaya Singh Ji served by helping in the Guru’s free kitchen, also preparing Baba Ji’s food then taking it out to them at their hut, also obeying Sant Lal Singh Ji’s every word and listened to everyone elses scoldering words, at times trying to please them all was very hard, but still twenty four hours of the day they continuously meditated on the Lords name. Whilst time passed this continued and when Sant Lal Singh Ji left this earth for the Lords Abode all the responsibilities were passed on to Sant Aaya Singh Ji. When time came for Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj to also leave for the warmth of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj’s lap, they left everything to Sant Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj who then continued to humanity by saving the people of this world and helping them across this worldly ocean. By now after the departure of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj from this earth, Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj had desired to celebrate their memory yearly at Saidu and constructed a Sikh Temple in their memory. At this time the devotees from Saidu and neighbouring areas also came to visit Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj and asked for them
to come and hold a gathering at Saidu, laying the foundation of the Temple at the old house of Mayee Chano Ji. Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj, pleased and happy gave permission saying, “You go and prepare and we shall come with the disciples and devotees of Hoti, four days ahead of the celebrations.” The devotees of Saidu overwhelmed with this opportunity, spent that night at Hoti before heading back the next morning.
Meanwhile after a couple of days Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj accompanied by the Hoti disciples and devotees began to make their way to Saidu by train. When the train reached Akode station, the congregation was waiting in masses to greet and welcome Baba Ji and to have their vision, coming off the train they all gathered paying their respects. Then seating Baba Ji into a throne they carried them with bands playing and singing hymns, to a near by river where a gathering was under way. Staying for a while they then made their way with the congregation to Saidu.
May people Hindus and Muslims alike continued to join the congregation, the Pataans of the village Akode also came giving gifts and paying their respects. Now just out side of the village Saidu on a main road another gathering had been underway and before heading any further Baba Ji when and bowing humbly to Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj and sat in the congregation in which the Gurus hymns was being performed. After a while some of the devotees of Saidu informed Baba Ji that it was time to move on to the Saidu Sikh Temple, but Baba Ji gave instructions that they should wait and let the sweet meal (Prasad) be prepared, then they would go on. At that same time Sant Tara Singh Ji Pandit (who at was serving as a religious preacher in the area of Toderu Nagar) had arrived accompanied with the devotees from Toderu Nagar and Ragi Lal Singh Ji (The Priest of Toderu Nagar). They arrived in Sant Baba Ji presence and with hands folded bowed humbly and in loving memory they all
uttered the words, ‘Dhan Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj.”

Ang 1088: That king sits upon the throne, who is worthy of that throne.

They humbly requested, “Maharaj Ji! After this gathering is completed, will you bless us with your presence at Toderu along with your disciples?”
Baba Ji replied, “I was not given permission to go out by Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj. If I go there I would have meet all the devotees there, but instead it has happened here and all these tasks have yet to done by all of you so let everyone together complete these here instead.”
Pandit Tara Singh then requested with folded hands, “Maharaj! But all the devotees have already prepared everything you and news has already travelled to all neighbouring areas of your arrival so please bless the Nagar of Toderu with your lotus feet.” Listening to their request Baba Ji laughed and replied, “Well however it is meant to be, is meant to be, so I won’t refuse your wish. Do as the congregation wishes that is fine with me.” Baba Ji accepted their wish leaving them so uplifted that they shouted cries of victory before taking leave to return back to Toderu, preparing for Baba Ji’s arrival. Now the devotees continued to grow in numbers at Saidu. Baba Ji gave word to Ragi Bhai Lal Singh Ji that the next morning he should make his way back to Toderu and gather bedding, blankets and rations and cooking utensils, as being the village Priest he was familiar with everyone. Meanwhile the devotees informed Baba Ji that everything had been prepared and that if they would grace them with their presence at the Temple of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj’s. And so the devotees accompanying Baba Ji and singing the Gurus hymn reached this beautiful site. On reaching everyone paid their respects and sat down, the prayer of Anand Sahib was done and then followed by a closing prayer, after which the sweet meal was served along with the free kitchen. Baba Aaya Singh Ji Maharaj went off to the nearby river from which they returned back late at 11pm at night and after eating with all the disciples of Hoti they rested at the village Temple. The next morning Baba Ji bathed in the river at 2am and then sat in a deep state of love until 4am, then returned back to the Sikh Temple of Baba Karam Singh Ji Maharaj were a recital of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj was been held, whilst in the morning singing of the Guru’s prayers were held at the village Temple and then again in the evening on the banks of the Lunde river. And so in this way, for three days Baba Ji gave his presence and vision to the congregation. By now Ragi Lal Singh Ji had returned back with the devotees of Toderu and all the extra bedding and rations for the free kitchen.

One day as SantJi was conversing with his devotees, a Pathan woman came to visit him pulling along her young son. After paying obeisance, the young boy started staring at SantJi. On seeing her son do so, the mother shook her son and asked him as to what was he staring at. He replied in the same tone saying that this very Fakir with a spear in his hand had met him in China. Then the Fakir had met him in Calcutta, so how could the Fakir be here? On listening to her son, the mother said “This Fakir lives here all the time. You must have been mistaken. Many times, faces seem identical.” The son again confidently with tears in eyes said “No mother. I am not lying and He has the same spear that I saw with Him in Calcutta and China. My eyes are definitely not deceiving me and I am sure I recognize Him”.

On seeing the mother and son engaged in a intense conversation, the devotees were distracted and started looking their way.  They asked the mother son duo “Why are both of you fighting with each other?” The Pathan woman replied “I was longing to meet my son who was gone for a long time. I went to many places, made many vows , prayed a lot but nowhere were my prayers answered. Eventually, my neighbor who had received the gift of a child due to the blessings of SantJi, told me about SantJi. I came to the Fakir and requested Him to solve my problem. The Fakir told me “If you meditate on the Almighty, then your son will come back in one month”. With full faith, I meditated for a month but my son still did not come back. With my morale down, I came back and again and this Fakir said “Bibi! Your son will come back in fifteen days”. Fifteen days passed and my son still had not come back. Then teary eyed, I came back a third time and speaking spitefully asked about the return of my son “Today, tell me frankly and truthfully, when will he come?” This Fakir then told me, “Mother! Keep your spirits up. He will come within five or six days”. Five-Six days also went by and night fell. I started crying loudly and my devotion and faith in the Fakir also started dwindling. I was still awake and lost in thoughts, when I heard knocks on the front door. I got up and opened the door and behold my son was standing in front of me. Today,  I have brought him along with me so that we can pay homage to the Fakir. On seeing the Fakir, he is saying that he met this Fakir in China and in Calcutta.” On hearing these words, the devotees turned towards the son and questioningly asked him “Are you feeling well? “ The young boy then proceeded to narrate his story “I had left home with very little money in my pockets. In a few days all of my money was spent and my companion deserted me while I was sleeping. At first I was scared but then I started working a little bit and hence was able to feed myself. As I had spent all the money, I could not convince myself to come back home.  This Fakir with a spear in His hand had met me in China a week ago and giving me the money required to get home said “Proceed towards your home today itself”. After saying this, He disappeared. As per His instructions, with the money He had given me, I reached Calcutta. Since, I had spent the money, I couldn’t proceed towards home. Then this Fakir met me again at the station in Calcutta and giving me money said “Reach home soon”. This is the same Fakir who had given me money at both places and had urged me to go home”. On hearing this, all the devotees turned towards SantJi. SantJi smilingly got up and no one had any doubts in their minds as to who the Fakir was. All the devotees in unison started chanting “Dhan Sant Jan!! Dhan Guru Nanak”!!

Continuing to serve the dera, Sant Baba Aaya Singh Ji left for his heavenly abode in 1918 and took His place in the Guru’s feet. This day is till today remembered with great devotion.