Dera Baba Jassa Singh has the distinction of being a place of penitential austerity of four great saintly figures – Baba Hardit Singh, Baba Jassa Singh, Baba Nand Singh and Baba Gurmukh Singh Ji – really a holy place located on Sular Road in Patiala. Baba Hardit Singh was brought up in Dhanaula village of Barnala district whose family was an ardent worshipper of Udasi Saints. The family was much grieved at the loss of their children. The members of the family prayed to the Udasi holy saints that they would offer their child at their altar if the family is bestowed with a child. Baba Hardit Singh eventually served the Dera with full faith making it his life mission. He served the Gurudwara Akoi Sahib for twelve years earnestly following the directions of Udasi saints. The rendering of his services became known to the surrounding areas and consequently the Dhanaula residents requested him to go back to his village. Baba Hardit Singh Ji consented to the request of the people and spent his time in meditation in the outskirts of the village for twenty years where the Gurudwara Tapiana Sahib is set up with all its glory. It is a holy place where Baba Jassa Singh Ji and Baba Nand Singh Ji had rendered their services at the behest of Baba Hardit Singh Ji.
Dera Baba Jassa Singh Gurudwara’s Exquisite Outer View
The real name of Baba Jassa Singh Ji was Bibi Jas Kaur who was born in Dhanaula of Barnala district. Her meditation and serving the holy saints right from the beginning was not liked by the family of in-laws. Consequently, she was abondoned by the in-laws family. Seeing this sensitive and odd situation of Bibi Jas Kaur, her father dedicated her to the devotional services of Baba Hardit Singh at Tapiana Sahib. Baba Ji accepted her devotion after austere tests and adored her with male garments and named her Jassa Singh. Baba Nand Singh Ji who was the nephew of Baba Hardit Singh was born to mother Ram Ratto and father Deva Singh at Lohakhere village. The Dera of Baba Ram Dass imparted Gurbani lessons to Baba Nand Singh that proved so inspiring that he determined to spend his whole life in meditation and sought the shelter of Baba Hardit Singh for spiritual awakening.
The grace and grandeur of Baba Hardit Singh Ji had spread in the whole region. Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha felt influenced by him and pleaded him to grace the land of Nabha. The entreaty of Maharja Hira Singh was accepted and Baba Hardit Singh along with Baba Jassa Singh and Baba Nand Singh stayed at his place to impart it grace. This place is now tastefully accomplished and known as Gurudwara Tibbi Sahib. Attracted by the magnetic influence, Maharaja Rajinder Singh of Patiala also entreated the gracious saint to visit Patiala and shower his blessings. Babi Ji observed Maharaja’s deep faith and accepted his request and the so called Dera Baba Jassa Singh was their abode of rest, Baba Hardit Singh Ji was immensely happy to see the meditation and selfless service of Baba Jassa Singh forcing him to shower his divine blessings on Baba Jassa Singh by declaring that his place will be well known by Baba Jassa Singh’s name. After Baba Hardit Singh’s body mingling with the Almighty God, this dera was maintained by Baba Jassa Singh Ji and afterwards by Baba Nand Singh Ji. It was during the life time of Baba Nand Singh Ji that he dedicated his selfless services to a well known Sewa Panthi and Scholar Baba Gurmukh Singh Ji.
An Attractive view of Dera Baba Jassa Singh’s Gurudwara
Baba Gurmukh Singh was born in 1895 at Daler Singh Wala Village of Mansa district. His childhood name was Babu Ram and was transformed to Gurmukh Singh by the inspiration of Saint Attar Singh Ji when he was baptised as Sikh by administering the elixir. He served in British Indian Army for sometime but left the service to preach Sikhism under the influence of Singh Sabha Movement. He participated actively in Nankana Sahib and Jaito Agitation and made himself arrested also. Afterwards, he sojourned Rawalpindi, Karachi, Peshawar (Pakistan), Kota, Calcutta and Kashmir for preaching Sikhism. He also travelled abroad like Japan, England and Canada to diffuse the fragrance of Sikhism among the people. His manner of expression was so captivating that these penetrated deep into the hearts of the audience. He had an indelible impression on the literate as well as the illiterate.
A camp was organised for the relief of refugees by Dera Baba Jassa Singh at the time of Indo-Pak division in 1947 where thousands of people were taken care of. He adopted the preaching of Sikhism throughout his life like a true devotee. It was by virtue of true affection of glorious personalities like Dr. Bhai Veer Singh that he always paid his obeisance whenever he visited the city. Baba Gurmukh Singh Ji initiated the tradition of celebrating Guruship Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib and thus marking a new line of action for the visitors. Keeping in view the Panthink Services rendered by him, Shromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee bestowed the title of ‘Supreme Commentrator’ on him. An appreciation letter presented by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib in his favour is a pioneering testimony to elicit the grandeur of his personality.
Dera Baba Jassa Singh Gurudwara
Establishment of Gurmat College, Patiala is one of the upcoming Khalsa Panth endeavours initiated by Baba Gurmukh Singh. He not only dedicated his whole life for the preachings of Sikhism but also kept abreast the future vision in view and nurtured a tree that will always serve the path of Sikhism in times to come. Baba Gurmukh Singh had a deep visionary thinking for the future in establishing the college that would produce eminent scholars and Sikh preachers who would be capable to impart academic discourses along with a rich knowledge of Sikhism. Recognised by Punjabi University, Patiala, the Gurmat College imparts degree in M.A. Religious Studies. With the consensus of the Sangat, Dera Baba Jassa Singh was established in 1964 and its management was handed over to the committee. He was in America when the Ghallughara at Darbar Sahib in 1984 inflicted unbearable anguish on his mind and he merged himself with the Almighty. Under the aegis of the Dera Management Committee a congregation is held in September every year at Dera Baba Jassa Singh in the cherished memory of four great souls. People assemble there in huge number not only from the world-wide nations but also from Dhanaula, Nabha, Sangrur and Akoi Sahib to express their humble tribute. On one hand, this congregation enjoins us with our tradition and secondly, it paves a way for the expansion and preaching of Sikhism in future. This year this congregation will be celebrated with gusto on 28th, 29th and 30th September.