NAND SIṄGH, SANT (1872-1943), a saintly personage who attracted a considerable following during his lifetime, was born the son of Jai Siṅgh, an artisan by profession, and Sadā Kaur in 1872 in the village of Sherpur Kalāṅ in Ludhiāṇā district of the Punjab. As a young boy, he was trained in the family craft and then moved to Lahirā Khānā, in Baṭhiṇḍā district of the Punjab, to join a seminary run by Sant Vadhāvā Siṅgh from whom he learnt to read Sikh Scripture, the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Under the influence of a Sikh mystic, Bābā Harnām Siṅgh of Bhucho Kalāṅ, he was drawn to meditation and practised the discipline for twelve years at various places such as Hazūr Sāhib (Nāndeḍ), Lahirā Khānā, Haṛappā and Bhiṛkī. Rewarded with insight, he took to preaching Gurū Nānak's word and travelled extensively across the country. He established preaching centres called Ṭhāṭhs at Nānaksar Kalerāṅ, Jhaṅg Maghiāṇā, Bhiṛkī, Haṛappā, Montgomery, Jhoraṛāṅ and in a village, Paudā, near Dehrā Dūn. In his favourite sermons, he stressed the value of kīrtan, i.e. singing of the holy hymns, and simaran, i.e. repetition of the Divine Name.
Sant Nand Siṅgh died at the village of Kalerāṅ on 30 August 1943 and his remains were consigned to the River Sutlej at Sidhvāṅ Pattan. He is best remembered today for Nānaksar Kalerāṅ shrine which was his principal centre.
Bhagat Siṅgh; Sessions Judge