|1992||Bhagat Puran Singh Ji, a panthic saewak who devoted his entire live in service of humankind, passed away. |
==> Bhagat PURAN SINGH, the legendary Saint of Amritsar. Bhagat Puran Singh died in Chandigarh on 4th August 1992. aged 88. Born Ramji Das at Rajewal, district Ludhiana, the sensitive Child, sickened by ritualism and priestly arrogance, readily embraced Sikhism with encouragement from his pious mother, Mehtab Kaur. Soon Gurbani saturated his whole being with love and compassion for all humanity, in the spirit of Guru Nanak's exhortation Jete jiv tete sabh tere, vinn seva phal kisei nahi. [SGGS: 3541 All living things, 0 Lord, reflect your glory; there is no fruit nobler than taking care of them. Thus began a remarkably humane mission when in 1924, he picked up a four-year old polio-stricken child abandoned near Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore. On Partition in 1947 he set up Pingalwara at Amritsar with scores of sick and disabled, eventually moving to the present sprawling home for hundreds of destitutes, orphans and mentally ill, where he ministered personally to their physical, mental and spiritual health, to the end, with financial help from far and wide. Credited with little formal education, Bhagat Puran Singh nevertheless started a crusade for ecology and environment long before the 1992 Earth Summit. A relentless pamphleteer for every good social cause, he used only recyclcd, paper for printing in his press. Shy of publicity and utterly free of ambition, he returned the 1977 Padma-Sliri award in the wake of army assault on his beloved Harmandir Sahib. His nomination for Nobel Peace Prize in India and abroad, earlier this year, found him serenely unconcerned. We mourn his passing away, even as we rejoice that so great a man of God sanctified our land and illumined our lives.
-from Sikh Review, Sept. 1992