Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Kirpal Singh, Singh Sahib Giani

Theologian and Writer (1918-1993)


Was born on 10 June 1918, the son of Bhai Mall Singh and Bibi Ram Kaur from the village of Vairoke in Moga tahsil of Firozpur district (now in district Faridkot). He passed his middle school examination in 1932. For religious instruction, he joined the jatha of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa Bhindranvale on 15 February 1939 and studied with him Sikh Scripture, philosophy, theology and history. In 1944 he set up a group of his own to preach gurmat (Sikh religious tenet). Simultaneously he started taking interest in politics and became general-secretary of the district Akali Jatha of Firozpur during 1954-56. During the illness of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa in 1956-58, Gian! Kirpal Singh taught at the Bhindar Kalan seminary. On 2 April 1958 he was appointed granthi (scripture reader) in Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar. He was nominated to the religious tribunal which tried and punished Master Tara Singh, Sant Fateh Singh and members of the central executive of the Shiromani Akali Dal in 1962 for a disciplinary lapse they were taxed with. During 1963-65 he served as acting jathedar of Sri Akal Takht. On 2 June 1973, he was appointed Head Granthi of Sri Harimandar Sahib which position he held up to 16 April 1983. In 1980-81 he visited the United Kingdom on a preaching tour, and on the sudden demise of Giani Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, he took over as jathedar of Sri Akal Takht. Gian! Kirpal Singh resigned office as Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht on 24 December 1986.

Singh Sahib Gian! Kirpal Singh, wellversed in Sikh lore, was a writer and researcher of repute. His Sam Arth Nosh is a dictionary of Punjabi synonyms. He also wrote a 6-volume commentary on Gian! Gian Singh's Panth Prakdsh, a history of the Sikhs in mixed Punjabi and Braj verse. His detailed account of Operation Blue Star (1984) was being serialized in the Ajat, a Punjabi daily of Jalandhar, when he died suddently at his residence in Amritsar, on 26 July 1993.

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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