JĪVAN SIṄGH KĀRSEVĀVĀLE, BĀBĀ (1894-1974), one of the principal disciples of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh Kārsevāvāle (1849-1947), was born to Fateh Siṅgh and Khem Kaur, peasants of modest means residing in the village of Rāhal Chāhal, in Tarn Tāran tahsīl of Amritsar district in the Punjab. Born in 1894, Jīvan Siṅgh grew up into a sturdy young man, interested in wrestling and other rural sports, but never having the chance of going to school. At the age of eighteen, he married Bāvī, renamed Kartār Kaur, daughter of Naudh Siṅgh, of Kāleke. Up to the age of about 40 years, Jīvan Siṅgh tried his hand at various occupations, including farming and toṅgā driving. He also took out a trip to Malaya to seek his fortune there. The turning point in his life came when he met Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh under whose supervision reconstruction of Gurdwārā Ḍerā Sāhib at Jāmā Rāi, close to his own village, was then in progress through kār-sevā or pious voluntary labour. Jīvan Siṅgh was so deeply impressed by the saintly demeanour of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh and the atmosphere of pure dedication and service that prevailed around him that he resolved to spend the rest of his life at his feet. Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh assigned him to the execution of projects such as the construction of haṅsalīs, i.e. underground water channels connecting sarovars or sacred tanks at Ḍerā Sāhib, Jāmā Rāi, Nankāṇā Sāhib and Khaḍūr Sāhib. He also had new buildings raised for Gurdwārā Paṭṭī Sāhib and Gurdwārā Kīārā Sāhib at Nankāṇā Sāhib. He joined the gigantic work of renovation and reconstruction of the shrines launched by Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh at Muktsar. After the death of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh in November 1947, Bābā Jīvan Siṅgh made Pehovā, in Haryāṇā, his headquarters, and reconstructed historical shrines and sarovars at Pehovā, Thānesar, Kaithal, Siāṇā Sayyidāṅ and Karhā. He also commenced kār-sevā for rebuilding the shrine at Gaṛhī Nazīr, near Samāṇā in Paṭiālā district, commemorating Gurū Tegh Bahādur's visit, which was completed by his successors in the late 1970's. Earlier in the 1950's he, along with Bābā Dalīp Siṅgh, had carried out the renovation of Gurdwārā Gaṅgsar at Jaito. But by far the most memorable of Bābā Jīvan Siṅgh's works (and of Bābā Dalīp Siṅgh's) are Gurdwārā Shikār Ghāṭ at Nāndeḍ and the bridge over the River Godāvarī constructed with the voluntary labour, mostly of Sikhs from distant Punjab, which was hailed as a great engineering feat. Bābā Jīvan Siṅgh also participated in the kār-sevā, i.e. desilting operations at the sacred pools at Tarn Tāran in 1971 and at Amritsar in 1973.

        Bābā Jīvan Siṅgh died at the age of 80 years on 29 October 1974.

Parkāsh Siṅgh