Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh ji Khalsa Bhindranwale was born on the morning of 12th February 1902 A.D., according to the first of Phagun 1959 Bikrami on Friday. He was a religious scholar, theosophist, well versed in the study of comparative religions, recited the scriptures with routine and observed the traditional way of living of a true Sikh. At the time of his birth he was given the conventional bath and then brought to the Gurdwara Sahib. Instead of being administered the honey as the first food into his mouth, he was given the eternal nectar — the Amrit from the Gurdwara. After the offering of the
holy pudding at the altar of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy Granth was opened at random and he was named on the first letter of the Mahawak (orders of the holy Granth).
There was the perfect atmosphere of religion at his home. Therefore, in his very childhood he would put a big covering on the low-stringed stool and would imitate the Gurdwara by taking the feather of a peacock in his hands. He studied the Panj Granthi, the twenty-two Ballads (Vars), the writings of the devouts included in the holy Granth and Banis of daily routine, in his childhood only. He would recite the couplets from the holy Granth in a tone of perfect renunciation so that it would seem that he has reached the other world, which is of perpetual benediction and love of God. With the sincere efforts of the elder brother of his father, he became an Akhand Pathi at the age of mere seven.
He had the full knowledge of Sanskrit by the time he was of thirteen. After reading Ramayan, Mahabharat, Yog Vashisht and a host of other religious books he studied the exegesis or the commentary of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, prepared by 52 Nirmala scholars, which is known as 'Faridkot Wala Tika'. Thus he widened his knowledge but he was yet to achieve that state of mind which is said to be of spiritual bliss.
In 1920A.D., Sant Baba Sunder Singh Ji came to village Akhara. Baba Gurbachan Singh was attracted by his magnetic personality. Baba Sunder Singh had gone to that village in order to preach the teachings of the Sikh religion. He was so much absorbed in the personality of Sant Baba Sunder Singh, that the name of 'Waheguru Waheguru' would be uttered from the core of his heart with each breath. The words of the spiritual discourse delivered by the Baba pierced through his heart. He was so much absorbed in them that he forgot his own self. It seemed to him, that he has found that path which he wanted to tread. He was baptized with the holy nectar by Baba Sunder Singh, and his life had become an embodiment of a true recluse. He remained true to his faith till he breathed his last. He offered his body, mind and wealth at the altar of Satguru. Seeing the massacre of Sri Nankana Sahib he imbibed in his mind the deep meaning of the following :
Sacrificed every limb at the altar
and burnt in the fire of love.
AtAmritsar, on the topmost roof of Sri Harmandir Sahib, he recited the Gur-Mantar and Mool Mantar for three months and was perfectly under the spell of Gurbani
Asceticism being work-place; patience goldsmith
became the real state of his mind.
In 1921 A.D., he reached the Gurdwara of Bhinder Kalan and requested for the ultimate knowledge to Sant Sunder Singh. Like a wise jeweller Sant Ji selected this precious diamond and kept him permanently in his group, the Jatha. In due course of time, this jewel was to be adorned in the ring of Damdami Taksal. In order to achieve the blessings of Sri Guru Nanak, he started serving the Jatha, the Sangat and the Maha Purakh. He would recite the Gurbani while doing anything else.
He would get up very early in the morning, would devote four hours to meditation. Baba Sant Sunder Singh had assigned him the washing of the Gurdwara, opening the : holy Guru Granth Sahib at random, recitation of Jap Ji Sahib and Sukhmani Sahib and to get the Shabd Kirtan started. Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh would discharge all these duties in an excellent manner. Sant Baba Sunder Singh recited the full Katha of Sri Guru Granth Sahib to his successor Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh four times, most affectionately. He was taught by his mentor the Ballads (Vars) of Bhai Gurdas, Kabit Sawaye, the poetic creations of Bhai Nand Lai, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib, Sri Guru Panth Parkash, Sri Gurbilas Patshahi Chhevin, Dasvin and many other authentic books. With the benevolent advice and guidance of his mentor Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh achieved the ultimate truth. His inner self was fully illuminated with the deep meaning and explanation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. In order to have a comparative study of other religions he read Vichar Sagar, Yog Vedant, Panj Dasi, Moksh Panth and many other books of various religions. Along with this study he read the Sikh history very carefully and thoroughly. He was asked by Baba Sunder Singh to recite Jap Ji one hundred and twenty-five thousand times and about three million and sixty thousand times the Mool Mantar and Waheguru Mantar many times.
This way, Sant Baba Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale was deeply absorbed in meditation. He would utter the couplets from the Gurbani while sleeping, sometimes. He had all the virtues of an ideal Gursikh, namely getting up very early in the morning, reciting the Gurbani with a strict routine, perfect devotion towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sharp-sightedness of a Gursikh, imbibing the deep meaning of the Gurbani and to be very sweet while in conversation with somebody. While listening to the religious discourses of his mentor, he would be in such a state of mind as if he has perfectly lost himself in the depth of the meanings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
It was at Boparai that Sant Baba Sunder Singh himself listening to the religious discourses delivered by Baba Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He was beyond himself while among the audience. He was honoured by Sant Sunder Singh and was given a Siropa, a robe of honour. On this occasion Sant Sunder Singh said, "No doubt many people had got education from me. Many of them are on honourable ranks of service. Many have chosen the homely way of life, but whatsoever education I had had from Baba Bishan Singh Muralewale, I very humbly say that I could impart that education to Baba Gurbachan Singh only. I give him whatsoever I had received from Baba Bishan Singh. I bestow upon him the responsibility of running the Damdami Taksal started by Sri Guru Gobind Singh himself."
Baba Sunder Singh left for his heavenly abode on 4th Phagun 1986 Bikrami i.e. on 15th February 1930 A.D. He delivered the religious discourses on Sri Guru Granth Sahib in village Boparai three times and after 3-4 years, he left for preaching the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the company of sixteen devotees of the home of Sri Guru Nanak. Recitation of Shabd Kirtan, delivering the religious discourses on Sri Guru Granth Sahib, preaching, imparting education to the students of the Taksai, making them perfect in the learning of Gurbani and baptizing them with the holy nectar were the important tasks performed by them. They took upon themselves the tours of Punjab, Kashmir, Peshawar, Benaras, Patna Sahib, Jagannath Puri, Rameshawaram, Sri Hazoor Sahib, Calcutta, Bombay etc. They had to walk on foot for several miles while on tour of these places. He covered almost all the important cities of the country and impressed upon the people the way of Sikh living by reciting Shabd Kirtan and delivering religious discourses. He had a great desire that all the Sikhs should lead a life of a traditional Sikh and be perfect in the outward as well as inward appearance of a true Sikh.
Though there was lot of wealth and riches around him but he was perfectly detached. He baptized thousands of people with holy nectar in whole of the country, taught the correct recitation of the Gurbani and imparted the knowledge of ultimate truth to so many. His contribution in respect of writing is also very important. He took upon himself the social service, repair and maintenance of so many Gurdwaras. While delivering the religious discourses, his voice would be miraculous. It used to be so sweet that a listener would never forget it throughout his life.
He reached the village Mehta (Chowk) on the request of the Sangat. It was here only that he breathed his last on 15th Har 2026 Bikrami i.e. on 28th June 1969 A.D. at 2.10 in the morning. At the time when his end came he was reciting the Waheguru Mantar. Thus he achieved eternal life after his soul had left his body. He was given the last bath with the Jal (water) brought from the holy tank of Sri Amritsar Sahib. According to his wishes the last rites of his body were performed at Patalpuri, Kiratpur Sahib.
He had nominated Sant Kartar Singh Ji Khalsa as the next head of the Damdami Taksai during his life-time only. Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa, in fact, suited to shoulder the responsibility of leading the Damdami Taksai during this critical time. He was a perfect scholar, observed the Sikh traditional way of living. So he was named thrice for this coveted job by Baba Gurbachan Singh Khalsa himself. The Sikhs of the world would never forget the name of Giani Gurbachan Singh Khalsa for his great contribution towards the Sikh culture and religion.