Sant Baba Sucha Singh Ji: A Living Legend (Dr Gurbhagat Singh, Patiala)

Dr Gurbhagat Singh Patiala

Baba Sucha Singh was an institution of sikh revival. He was a man of warmth, humility and ardent fervor. His company was a treat in love and innocence. A brief conversation with him gave one a feel that he was a motivated and motivating personality.

The Baba founded Gurdwara Gur Gian Parkash Jawaddi Taksaal in 1985 and set up two other institutions related to basic purport of Jawaddi Taksaal viz Vismaad Naad and Gur Shabad Sangeet Academy. He bade adien to this world in 2002. By the time he left his temporal frame, these institutions had completed a 17-year long journey of experiential existence. During this short span of time, the Taksaal made its existence fellt not only in Punjab and India but also in Canada and America. He set up a Gurmat Sangeet Academy in Canada also.

He started organizing Adutti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelans every year in Jawaddi and tried to provide authenticity to the 31 Ragas of Guru Granth Sahib by notationing them. He instituted a Raga judgement committee led by the eminent maestro Pandit Dalip Chander Vedi. The co-operation other renowned musicians and Gurmat music experts for this task.

The name of Baba Sucha Singh will be remembered with reverence in the cultural history of Punjab for his having recognized the most valuable contribution of Guru Granth Sahib to the world i.e. Shabad Sangat. The concept of equipoise visualized in Guru Granth Sahib can be possible only through Shabad Sangeet. It harmonized man with waheguru and bestows peace on him. Guru Granth Sahib is a fountainhead of inspiration to attain such a state of equipoise. It is different from the popular knowledge gain with detachment and distinct by itself. Shabad Sangeet is a medium of salvation attained through Shabad Sangeet i.e. music of the holy word is collective in nature i.e. of the Sangat. The path of salvation through Shabad Sangeet is the distinction and original contribution of sikh heritage and a step towards the making of new Man and Society. This is a totally novel concept and practice of revolution.

Before Guru Granth Sahib was edited and given final shape, three ways of salvation were in vogue in Indian Sub-continent viz. Classical music, Gyan Yoga Sadhna and sentimental Devotion. Guru Granth Sahib combined all the three and this combination is another name for Shabad Sangeet or Kirtan. It is different from the emotive Sankirtan of South India.

Some scholars have told us that the Shabad Sangeet used by the Guru: as medium of harmonizing with Waheguru and Vismaad Naad (Music of ecstatic Bliss) was practiced by themselves also. Guru Arjun Dev was an adept hand at playing Siranda while Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh were dexterous in playing Taus and Tanpura respectively. Guru Nanak Dev enjoyed Rabab throughout his life and had a glimpse of Waheguru through the notes of Bhai Mardana’s Rabab.

What is valuable to understand for us today is that the creation of a perfect, liberated and cosmic New Man is possible through cosmic music only. Only change of ideology cannot create New Man as ideas are slaves to the mind only. We know fully well that ideology is a system of abstractions only and a shift from one abstraction only and a shift from one abstraction to another can bring no fundamental change because man is not all ideas. He is affected by his surrounding social, political and economic milien as well. Its grip is so hard on him that no ordinary mortal can liberate himself from its bondage. All internal fluids and chemistry are bridled. Only one with a great will power and awareness can avoid falling in the taming process. Just ideology cannot extricate you from this mire. It can bring about an intellectual change of course but it fails to reach the depth. Thus the change remains restricted and one who changes with ideology commits blunders at the crucial hour. Being intact from within, there is no co-ordination between his consciousness and actions. The Shabad Sangeet of Gurbani is potent enough to bring about a lasting transformation by unifying the basic notes of the cosmic music with a chord of creativity. It reads the listener towards the immense creative harmony and makes him enter the realm of rapturous Bliss. The transformation of mind and soul transpires only when the cosmos dissolves itself with the cosmic music. The fluids and chemicals which lose their creativity with the obnoxious impacts are reactivated for vigorous creation. We have before us, the examples of all those, including the Gurus, who have contributed towards the sikh revolution.

Baba Sucha Singh’s contribution by way of recognizing the revolutionary originality of Gurbani’s Shabad-Sangeet, is marvelous. It would be pertinent to mention that the blissful unison to which the Shabad-Sangeet leads is neither mysterious nor monotheistic in anyway, which may drift one away from the unique diversity of the cosmos. Guru Nanak Dev very vividly describes in Asa Di Vaar: Vismadu Naadu Vismadu Ved. Vismadu Jeea Vismadu Bhed. Vismadu Roop Vismadu Rang. Vismadu Naage Phirhi Jant. (Guru Granth Sahib, P. 463) (Vismad is the cosmic music, Bliss is the essence of all Vedas/ Vismad is life, Vismad is all Mysticism! Vismad is the sum total all forms and shades of the world! Also it is the Vismad which makes the animal roam about in all nakedness.)

The 20th Century revolutions, Fascist monism, eco. nomic strifes and national tensions have taught us today that the joy of man or salvation lies neither in monism nor in a distinction that triggers only separatism among the communities. Such a distinctiveness can be creative if it flourishes in consonance with the cosmic music. If we try to take a fragmented view of existence i.e. view mankind in the form of communities, the result will be confrontation only. Therefore the need of the hour is to transcend the community sentiment or national chawinism and put into practice a spirit of basic Oneness. Only Vismaad can help us imbibe that spirit.

Modern age has dominantly two models to pursue before it – Globalisation and multi-culturism. The capitalism and socialism, which gained much strength in the 19th century too are organizing themselves around these very two models. Globalisation implies the commitment of the entire world to liberalist capitalism or liberalist socialism while multi-culturalism signifies the building of political and social institutions by propping the distinct cultures up to an extent of unmanageable egoism, No elemental message will be functional here but only some behavioural patterns and procedures will keep these cultural active. The basic concept of the both these models is justice and recognition of the fundamental rights of all. There is no cosmic truth or norm that maintains commonality and distinctness between both the models, which may fulfil human personality with its application. To be steeped in the rapturous music for man and culture and running institutional with this bliss is something very great and unique. A therapeutic aspect of the Shabad Sangeet of Guru Granth Sahib also deserves special mention.

Life is not so easy in the modern stressful civilization. One has to undergo a great strain of mind right from his personal life to the economic and political level, a country to the world at large. Man loses his balance and tilts one way or the others. They feel impelled to remain in the same organizations even if they are made familiar with the causes of their problems. They least bother that these organizations are in reality, responsible for their woes.

Most of the therapeutical-systems, particularly in the west, are based on intellectual understanding. however, under certain oriental influences, now they are out to make experiments to revise their experience. The contribution of Allen Watts, Eric from and Rolland etc. is quite commendable. The main purpose of all these efforts is just to broaden consciousness and link it to the creative world. None of them knew anything about the blissful music of Gurbani.

The experience of harmony and uniqueness given by the Shabad Sangeet does not undo the change caused by the return to the old trouble giving organizations. The heroes of the sikh history exemplify this fact. Why only heroes, even the sikh masses also who took part in sikh liberation movements from time to time. Babbar Akali Movement is one of the glaring examples. All the Babbar veterans were motivated by the Bani and music of Guru Granth Sahib. A Study of history astounds one to think as to what extent can the Shabad-Sangeet bring about a revolutionary transformation in man. The first among the party rules and norms laid down by the Babbars, has been quoted by a historian as follows, “Every Babbar Akali was and still is enjoined to recite Gurbani daily in the morning.

The Sikh community and global fraternity feels indebted to Baba Sucha Singh for popularizing the blissful music of Gurbani in all its authenticity and glory and made Gurdwara Gur Gian Parkash Jawaddi Taksaal the main center of this music. Now this is our responsibility to keep this center flourishing at a desirable pace.