Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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Teja Singh Hazuria, Bhai
Sikh Preacher and Social Reformer (1879-1922)


Also known as Baba Teja Singh Maingan, a noted Sikh preacher and social reformer, was the son of Bhai Lakhmi Das, a Sahajdhari Sikh of the village of Maingan in Jehlum district, now in Pakistan. After his early education in the village gurdvara, he studied at the Mission High School at Rawalpindi and later joined government service as a store-keeper in the Supply Department. He came in contact with a holy man, Sant Murli Das, under whose influence he resigned his job to devote himself to religious pursuits. He first reorganized the Singh Sabha in his own village and started preaching under its auspices the ideals of Sikh reform. He reclaimed many from the laxity of belief and practice they had fallen victim to and administered to them the vows of the initiation. He himself had received the baptism at the hands of the venerable Sant Atar Singh. He joined the Chief Khalsa Diwan and, as a preacher on its cadre, travelled extensively throughout the country. At the famous divan at Bakapur, in Jalandhar district, at which a Muslim family received the rites of the Khalsa Bhai Teja Singh was one of the Panj Piare or the five chosen who conducted the ceremony.

Bhai Teja Singh was deputed by the Chief Khalsa Diwan to travel to the South and meet the priests of Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazar Sahib at Nanded, who had refused Sardar Sundar Singh Majithia entry into the inner sanctuary on the ground that he had not been baptized at the shrine. He argued with the Hazar Sahib ministers and convinced them that Sikh baptism wherever received had the same sanctity and that no distinction could be made between Sikh and Sikh on the grounds of where the ceremony was performed. From the priests he now had a standing invitation to visit Sri Hazur Sahib on the occasion of Hola every year. They addressed him as "Huzaria" i.e. one who had been granted the citizenship of Sri Hazur Sahib. The word got added as a suffix to his name.

Besides being a powerful orator and debater, Teja Singh was a writer. He published five books in Punjabi, namely Sahajdhari Sikh, Dase Guru Ikk Rup San (all ten Guras reflected one spirit); Ham Hindu Nahin ( We are not Hindus); Khalsa Panth; and Sri Abchalnagar Sahib de Adbhut Darshan, an account of his pilgrimage to Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib.
Bhai Teja Singh died on 1 January 1922.

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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