Where was Sant Attar Singh Ji born?
Sant Attar Singh Ji was born on 28 March 1866 in the village of Cheema, home of Sardar Karam Singh Ji and Mata Bholi in Sangrur district. His father was a simple farmer who did not have the money to send him to a missionary school. So he was sent to the Nirmala Dera of Bhai Ram Singh of the village, headed by Bhai Buta Singh. In his childhood, while farming with his father, he used to sit in the fields and meditate, graze cattle and read the words of Guru Granth Sahib. At the age of 17, in 1884, he enlisted in the British Army.
Sant Ji’s Amrit Chakna and Pita Ji’s Death:-
At that time, according to the policy of the platoon, newly recruited Sikh recruits were given Amrit Chakna. He received the invaluable gift of Amrit from Giani Thakur Singh through the Five Beloveds and continued to practice reading and listening to Gurbani along with his job. After a year of training in the artillery of the Kohat cantonment, he was transferred to the 54th Sikh Regiment.
After the demise of his father, he returned from the army. Instead of going to village Cheema, Gurdwara Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tapiana Sahib, Kanoha (Pakistan). After visiting and visiting the shrines, Cheema returned to his hometown.
The Sikh sapling planted by Sarbansdani Dasam Pita Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the founder of the Khalsa Panth, has faced many setbacks. After the martyrdom of Banda Bahadur, the Sikhs were subjected to government repression and oppression.
There came a time when under the leadership of Maharaja Rai Singh a pro-justice and pro-democracy Khalsa raj state was established, but after its end came another turbulent and tragic time for Sikhs.
Superstitions, superstitions and hypocrisy began to dominate Sikhism. Illiteracy and ignorance were rampant. At such a time, Sant Atar Singh Ji Mastuana, a great ascetic, industrious thinker, Vidyadani and a great Russian scholar of Nambani, gave a new direction and new courage by connecting Sikhs with Sikh Bani and Bani through his lectures. The Sikh preaches flourished under the auspices of the saints and Akal Purakh.
How Sant Ji brought a revolution in Sikh preaching:-
By intensifying the Amrit Sanchar movement and making millions of people fight for Guru, some of whom were leading Sikh leader Master Tara Singh and many other great personalities Malik Mohan Singh Dr. Bhai Jodh Singh Bhai Harkrishan Hardit Singh Malik Prof. Puran
Prof. Sahib Singh, Seva Singh Thikriwala, Sant Teja Singh, Sant Nirjan Singh Mohi, Sant Bishan Singh and Sant Gulab Singh. Sant Attar Singh performed penance at Gurudwara Jhira Sahib in Kanjhla, a village 18 km from Sangrur, where Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh Ji came in their own time and touched their feet.
They came to Mastuana and requested the saints to spread Sikhism and re-awaken the Sikh consciousness among the Sikhs of Malwa. Sant Attar Singh Ji reached Tarn Taran Sri Nankana Sahib, Lahore, Muktsar, Bathinda and Kanoha again. Then Mastuana saw the rain and made up his mind to sit here permanently. The Daily Diwan was decorated with kirtan and Guru ka langar was used incessantly. Mastuana Sahib’s car service started with full force.
Sant Ji decorated various Diwans at Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera, Haridwar, Kohat Hanghu Saragarhi for car service and persuaded the Sangat to offer sesame flowers for the car service of Mastuana.
The domes were ready. The digging of the sarovar came to a halt. Upon completion in 1901, the Center was renamed Gurusagar Mastuana.
How Sant Atar Singh Ji established a Center for Sikh preaching at Mastuana Sahib?
For this purpose he sent his servant Sant Teja Singh to pursue higher studies in western countries like England and America and under his leadership he started Akal High School and Akal College in Mastuana and arranged for vocational education. Sant Atar Singh Ji, a visionary and forward thinking man, started an initiative to impart technical and vocational education at a time when such education was not even a dream of the government at that time. This greatly influenced the Indian children from Sikhism and while they were Gursikhs, they received higher technical education from abroad.
What social reforms were carried out by Sant Ji?
At the request of Maharaja Patiala Bhupinder Singh, Sant Ji laid the foundation stone of a high school at Lyallpur. On 23 February 1907, Sant Atar Singh Ji laid the foundation stone of Updeshak College, Gujranwala with his tax lotus. At the request of the Sangat, the foundation stone of Gurdwara Sahib was laid at Kanjhla, the place where the holy feet of the Sixth Patshah Ji were touched.
On 18 May 1914, Pandit Mohan Malviya also visited Mastuana Sahib to pay homage to the saints and at his request laid the foundation stone of Banaras Hindu University on 24 December 1914 with his tax lotus and conveyed the message of welfare of humanity to the entire universe.
It was here that Madan Mohan Malviya persuaded a child in a Hindu family to make a vow to become a Sikh. He called for the construction of educational institutions and ashrams during the Sikh Educational Conference at Jalandhar.
Presided over the Eight-Day Eighth Sikh Educational Conference held at Ferozepur in 1915. Atar Singh was conferred the title of Sant by the Chief Khalsa Diwan during an education conference at Ferozepur.
It may be mentioned that Sant Atar Singh Mastuana Sahib is the only saint in the entire Sikh Panth who has the title of Sant.
In 1919, he started the construction work of Akal College building with the help of Sangat and laid the foundation of Panj Pyare. Sewa Singh Thikriwala became the first president of the Akal College Council.
The institutes run by Akal College Council are spread over an area of 70 acres and around 5,000 students are studying here.
Under the supervision of Jaswant Singh Khaira, Secretary of the Council, the institutes are making significant contribution in the field of education. The Akal College Council was reconstituted in 1946 to run the administration, with Pritam Singh elected president, which continued to change after five years.
Nankana Sahib Massacre On 21 February 1921, the Nankana Sahib Massacre took place. Sant Attar Singh also protested by wearing a black turban and paid tributes. She spoke out against the British rule. In 1923, Sant Ji started the service of Guru Kansi Damdama Sahib and constructed a sarovar by fixing the raw pond of Gurusar Sahib. After the Jaito Morcha was held in 1926, he started 101 Akhand Paths at Sri Gangsar Sahib Jaito and entertained the sangat by decorating the Diwan. In the year 1923, Sant Atar Singh Ji started the car service of Sri Harmandir Sahib Sri Amritsar Sahib with his tax lotus.
Gurdwara Sri Gursagar Mastuana Sahib for Akal Olangar made eight Thatu’s degas. This octagonal pot is visible. This cauldron was specially made in 1923 from Gujranwala in which 80 barrels of water, 2 quintals of sugar, 4 quintals of rice and 30 kg of ghee can be cooked at the same time and rice can be cooked at the same time. The cooked rice can be served to 40,000 sangats.
How Sant Ji passed away in his last days?
In January 1927, he was performing kirtan at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi. There was a blister between the thumb and the finger. After that Mastuana went back.
He stayed at Gobinder Singh’s mansion.
Today it is known as Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop Sahib. The Bengali doctor Chatter Ji tried his best to cure them but on the night of 17th Magh (January 1927), Sant Atar Singh passed away. The saints were cremated at Mastuana Sahib. Gurdwara Angitha Sahib is adorned here. In the sweet and warm memory of Sant Atar Singh Ji, the annual Jodh Mela is solemnly celebrated at Mastuana Sahib every year from 30th January to 31st January and 1st February (16th, 17th and 18th Magh).
The household utensils used by Sant Atar Singh ji such as lanterns, utensils, bed, khadavan, khadi, nagara, shastra, kachheera, turban etc. have been decorated with reverence in a tosekhana.