Guru Nanak Ashram Patiala - Jivan Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji

Shiromani Kathakar Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji

A brief life story

Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji's mother, Mata Harnaam Kaur Ji always wished to have a very spiritual child. Besides her usual Nitnem (daily prayers), she used to recite Sri Sukhmani Sahib Paath at least six times a day, sometimes standing on one leg in the Sarovar of Gurdwara Sulisar Sahib - a historical site of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji.

Sant Ji's father, Sardar Ishar Singh Ji also used to do lots of Seva and Jaap.

Such pure souls were blessed with a great saint whose presence radiated greatness. Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji was born on 25 December 1922.

Sant Ji was barely 4 when he was escorted by his mother to the presence of Sant Attar Singh Ji of Mastuana. The meeting with Sant Attar Singh Ji left on him a permanent imprint.

At the age of 4, Sant Ji began lessons in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji - which he read with extraordinary diligence under the tutelage of Baba Gopal Singh Ji who was the Head Granthi at the Gurdwara Sahib in Sulisar.

From the age of 7 to 13, Sant Ji stayed for some time at Damdama Sahib ( ਦੱਮਦਮਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ) and then at Gurdwara Dhamdham Sahib ( ਧਮਧਾਮ ਸਾਹਿਬ ) - under the tutelage of Mahant Tapia Singh Ji. He would wake up at 1 am and do kirtan until 4 am, in seclusion.

At the age of 14, Sant Ji moved to Patiala where he finally made his home.


Janam Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji

Age 3 - Memorised the complete Paath of Sri Japji Sahib.

Age 4 - MataJi took Sant Ji to meet Sant Attar Singh Ji Mastuana Sahib and started Santhia of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Age 5 - Started doing Akhand Paath Sahib seva. Also, used to read Hukamnama at Gurdwara Sulisar Sahib - while sitting in Giani Ji's lap.

Age 7 - did kirtan at amritwela for 7 years in seclusion in Dhamdham Sahib (ਧਮਧਾਮ ਸਾਹਿਬ).

Age 14 - went for a visit to Gurdwara Mastuana Sahib. The Mahapurush there told Sant Ji to start doing katha. Sant Ji moved to Patiala and took up residence at a Gurdwara Sahib near Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, a historical site of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji.

Age 25 - got married to Naam Abhiasi Mata Tarlochan Kaur Ji of Bhagtuana village. Mata Ji was from the descendant family of Bhai Mani Singh Ji Shaheed.

They had a daughter by the name of Mata Harindar Kaur Ji. Mata Harindar Kaur Ji had a son, Sant Mohindar Partap Singh Ji (affectionately addressed as President Sahib Ji).

Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji also had an adopted daughter Mata Surjit Kaur Gandhi Ji who served him selflessly for more than 3 decades. It is Mata Ji who did the sewa of tape recording Sant Ji's katha.

Age 36 - Set up a permanent base (which was subsequently named Guru Nanak Ashram) at the then forested area near Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib. Bhai Pala Singh Ji, who was a sewak of Sant Ji, did the sewa of clearing up the forest. Bhai Sahib Ji was Sant Ji's gupt bodyguard and always remained in the presence of Sant Ji.

Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Patiala

In Patiala, where he stayed, at the young age of 14, Sant Ji started doing katha of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib. This katha, from start to end, was completed in 18 years. Sant Ji came to Patiala full of zeal for learning and teaching. Katha of the daily Hukamnama at the Gurdwara Sahib won him an ever expanding circle of admirers. He presented Dharmik lectures before university audiences at Punjabi University, Patiala.

Vast numbers of devotees came to listen to his katha. He gave beautiful explanations of Gurbani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji and of Gurpartap Suraj Prakash Granth.

Day after day, unending streams of Sangat filled the holy corridors of the Gurdwara Sahib. Sant Ji's katha became extremely popular. The extensive galleries of Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib were overflowing with devotees. The audiences grew in numbers till they reached an almost uncontrollable figure. During the evening katha, main roads outside Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib were closed as Sangat sat on the roads as the Gurdwara Sahib grounds could not accommodate all the Sangat.

Restoration of mangals of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

On 11th September 1959 at Gurdwara Akhand Prakash village Bhindar Kalan (Damdami Taksal), Sant Mahapurkhs held an urgent meeting regarding the changing of the Mangals of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by the SGPC. These Great Souls of the Panth would not tolerate the massive Beadbi of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and stopped it from happening. Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji was heavily involved in all discussions regarding this matter.

Note: These meetings went on for about 10 years before SGPC admitted that they were wrong and promised to correct their grave error. Some of the Mahapurkhs present in these discussions include:- Sant Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhindranwale Damdami Taksaal, Sant Kartaar Singh Ji Bhindranwale, Sant Inder Singh Ji - Brother of Sant Sundar Singh Ji Bhindar Kalan, Perdaan Sahib Sant Hari Singh Ji (Khaar Pur), Sant Isher Singh Ji Rara Sahib (Karam Sar), Sant Isher Singh Ji Kalera-Nanaksar (Jagrava), Sant Ajaib Singh Ji Lama Jattpura (Rai Kot), Bhai Sant Singh Ji Secretary Chief Khalsa Divaan-Amritsar, Sant Mohinder Singh Ji Harkhowal, Bhai Sarvan Singh Ji Gandrab Dumehlee, Sant Nand Singh Ji Raamghar, Sant Vasaakha Singh Ji, Sant Mela Singh Ji.


On 9 December 1983, Sant Ji was bestowed the title of SHIROMANI KATHAKAR (Chief Exponent of Sikh Scriptures) by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee for 50 years of contribution to the Khalsa Panth. He was conferred this award by Sri Akal Takht Sahib.

The lives of Gurmukhs, Gursikhs, Sants, Bhagats and Mahapurushs are the foundation of future civilisation and ethos. They are beacons of light who provide guidance to the shore of salvation. Sant Ji was amongst those blessed souls.

For 50 years, Sant Ji did katha in Patiala and other cities in India. He travelled extensively all over India as well as to foreign countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan , USA , Canada and Germany. He spoke to eager audiences wherever he went and spread the message of global harmony and love and rekindled the light of religion in many hearts.

Teachings of Gurmat

Sant Ji was a strict follower of Gurmat Maryada. He was a learned scholar who was dyed in Naam. He led a life of sewa, simran, katha, kirtan and absolute faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

ਮੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਆਧਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਹਾਉ ॥੮॥

I have the Support of the Word of the Guru's Bani. Attached to Gurbani, I survive.

(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 759)

Sant Ji used to stress on the need to rise at amritwela. For 35 years, he led an amritwela sadhana from 3 am to 5 am every morning at Guru Nanak Ashram, Patiala. During these amritwela sadhanas, the lights would be turned off at 3am sharp. Only a dim candle would be lit near the Pothi Sahib on Sant Ji's harmonium. He did the sadhana with intense love (ਬੈਰਾਗ). Everything would come to a standstill and the atmosphere felt peaceful and tranquil. Sant Ji always guided people to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and not to himself. He advised people to stay away from individuals who claim to be living gurus.He always encouraged the sangat to (upon waking up every morning) recite 5 times the words Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

The following are some of the words (ਬਚਨ) of Sant Ji:

  • Katha can be said to be knowledge (ਗਿਆਨ), vision (ਦਰਸ਼ਨ), faith (ਸ਼ਰਦਾ) or tenets of Gurmat. The purpose of katha is to unite the thought-waves (ਸੁਰਤ) to the Shabad. We need to bathe our thought-waves (ਸੁਰਤ) in the lake of katha. The aim of katha is to obtain the Grace of Guru Ji.

  • Do not keep the mind (ਮਨ) free. Always praise the Lord; otherwise, it will indulge in gossip and slander.

  • A Sikh has one door (ਦਰ), one house, one support. If we are able to hold on to only ONE support, then everything can change. Two will not work. This Perfect Law of Akaal Purukh is irrevocable. Join yourself, not to two, but to only ONE. We cannot have more than one spiritual head or centre.

  • Ardaas requires one-pointedness of the mind. When the mind starts getting one-pointed, then the secret unveils.

  • What is the duty (ਕਰਤੱਵ) of Guru Ji? He comes to the aid of the suffering person who remembers him. His nature is:
    ਜੋ ਸਰਣਿ ਆਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਕੰਠਿ ਲਾਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸੰਦਾ ॥
    The Lord lovingly embraces whoever comes to His Sanctuary
    - this is the way of the Lord and Master.
    (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 544)

  • Guru Ji changes our bad karams to good ones. A Sikh obtains Grace and Blessings from Guru Ji. Guru Ji tells us the way of life (ਜੀਵਨ ਜੁਗਤ) and helps in achieving one-pointedness of the Surti. He sorts out our life; now and hereafter (ਲੋਕ-ਪਰਲੋਕ). Guru Ji lights up true love, intense longing and affection. As such, desire (ਭਾਵਨੀ) awakens and with this desire, mental strength increases.

  • As our faith (ਸ਼ਰਦਾ) keeps increasing, the Grace of God (ਨਦਰ) will unfold unto us. Our success will increase as faith, steadfastness and belief increase.

  • A Sikh may desert his Guru but Guru Ji will never desert His Sikh. A Sikh may write a ਬੇਦਾਵਾ (letter of breaking his relationship with Guru Ji) but Guru Ji mends this broken relationship (ਟੁੱਟੀ ਗੰਡ).

  • The words of Guru Ji are God's words. Guru Ji is the intimate knower of the secrets of our hearts.

Antim Yatra

Sant Giani Naranjan Singh Ji left his physical body on 25th May 1994. Since then, the sewa at Guru Nanak Ashram has been managed by Sant Mohindar Partap Singh Ji (affectionately called President Sahib Ji) who has been performing intense meditation for the well-being of the world.