Memories - Here and there with His Holiness Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji

Several books and articles have been written about the Glory and the proactive efforts of His Holiness Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji. And several more will continue to be written in the future. But what underlined each story, each incident and each effort of His?

Was it just Him being a great Spiritual Master, an un-paralleled leader or as many of us would relate Him as our deity and God? If one was to scratch the surface and read between the lines, the underlying basis of everything was His promotion and growth of collectivity and within that the individual.

While every well known and successful Corporate house in the world draws from its experiences and treads the path well laid, a Spiritual Master like His Holiness's had the collective wisdom handed down from the lineage of the great Sikh Gurus right from Guru Nanak to Satguru Pratap Singh Ji. But what made it perhaps more challenging despite that was that each Guru has to take it beyond the previous Guru and not only tread the path well laid but create a path of His own that would not only accentuate and further the cause of mankind but benefit the individual human at large.

In every effort, in every endeavor of His the thought of how the individual would benefit would be underlined. A small incident, insignificant as it might sound in the larger scheme of life, but never the less significant to us illustrates this thought of collectivity and the individual.

It was 26 or 27 December 2001, when I visited Sri Bhaini Sahib and had the good luck of His Holiness divine audience as He walking out of His room. It had been a year since He had been convalescing from the stroke He had had a year earlier. He looked at me and unexpectedly said "Aren't you the boy from Hyderabad? Your house has mango trees, right? I nodded as He went sat under a big white umbrella in the well laid out garden across His room. I paid my obeisance to Him and in a moment of uncertainty I blurted out a strange hitherto unknown request. I requested Him to allow me to make a documentary on Him. It would be important to highlight the fact that at that point of time in my life, I was going through a low period professionally and emotionally, actually on the verge of suicide if I may say so. The thought of making a documentary in that state of mind was in my opinion today was nothing less than preposterous.

What was most amusing was the fact that I had no clue whatsoever of how I would go about it. It also dawned on me that I had never ever met Sri Satguru Ji at close quarters and here I was dreaming of making a documentary. Added to this was the matter of funds required to make something of this magnitude, it certainly was not going to be easy to conceive and execute the whole project given my financial status, however the illusion that I would be able to pull it off remained.

I was introduced to Harpal Singh Ji, hazuri sewak to Satguru Ji (personal aide to His Holiness), who was amused by the fact that I wanted to undertake a project like this. He was very forthcoming in his suggestions and tried his best to explain to me the amount of time and serious research a subject as vast as this demanded. I remember vividly, sitting in the garden of his house he mentioned that whatever I finally made, neither me nor him nor anybody else would be satisfied, given the innumerable, insurmountable efforts of His Holiness. Undeterred I requested for help in doing the same and was rewarded with a copy of the book “Sarab Kala Samrath” authored by him. I spent the whole night and the next day going through it, an effort compounded by the fact that although I was familiar with the Gurmukhi alphabet and had been taught as a child, I was not fluent and found it difficult to read.

The book was a blessing in disguise as it was to form the basis of the documentary and in fact much as I tried for a better title I would never get a better one and the documentary would also be subsequently named as “Sarab Kala Samrath – The Master of All Arts – Journey onto the path of truth”.

I boasted neither literary training nor accomplishments; this was going to be an attempt and more an emotional recount of personal faith and belief as a Namdhari, rather than solid historical research and documentation. In a more concise and practical way I would say this was an attempt to go back to my roots, to try and discover my own bearings, to try and find my way to the heart of the man who led us – His Holiness Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji

One thing led to other and we landed up for filming in Sri Bhaini Sahib in January 2002. As the months rolled by, during the Holla celebrations at Sri Bhaini Sahib in March 2002, we presented our first cut to His Holiness. I was asked to complete it and as result of the screening, historical archive footage, pictures and a few videos were given to me for the same. Finally in June 2002, we presented the final cut to His Holiness.

It was evening; a VCR was quickly installed in His room. Pandit Gopal Singh Ji as asked to join His Holiness and along with His aides Racchpal Singh and Harpal Singh, the documentary was played. Through the screening I kept looking at His Holiness in anticipation, but His face never displayed any emotion. My stress levels went up and at the end of it I was hoping I had not made a mess. But lo and behold, as soon as the film ended He looked at me and with His irreplaceable smile said 'Well done', 'How did you find the time to do this?' I was stunned and overcome with emotion and frankly didn’t know how to react. I paid my obeisance and walked out relieved, satisfied that at least the film had not been rejected. What happened through the filming, editing and the release are stories in their own way, to be reminisced at a later date.

But what defines the whole event was that the documentary proved a turning point in my life and brought to fore the collective and individual factor of His Holiness Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji's each and every effort. The documentary threw open doors that I had not known, relationships that have become enduring and personal. While I grew independently, emotionally and gained my confidence back, it served as a means to share His Holiness with the rest of us as well. It brought me closer to my Lord spiritually and opened me to the vastness of His benevolence. If not for that one look of benevolence I would be not exist today. After having seen, heard and read His human exploits, I realize that 'Sarab Kala Samrath' wasn't even a drop in the vast ocean of His Holiness Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, but He was benevolent and instead of looking at our short comings, motivated us to do more, making us feel proud of ourselves and take up a way of life that was more fulfilling than before. We are indebted to His ethos of personal development leads to collective development and drop in the ocean, even though a drop, still adds to the collectivity of the ocean.

I miss you my Lord, my Mentor, my Friend, my Colleague and if I may say my Heartbeat, the heart pines for you and longs for your benevolence.

Dhan Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji