KHUDĀ SIṄGH, BĀBĀ, alias JASVANT SIṄGH (1777-1861), a policeman turned saint, son of Bhāī Natthā Siṅgh, who cultivated a small piece of land in the village of Syāmgaṛh, near Kurukshetra, was born in August 1777. The child was barely four days old when the village was attacked by dacoits, an occurrence not uncommon in those uncertain days. The villagers abandoned their homes and took shelter in a neighbouring town. Natthā Siṅgh also fled, leaving the new-born babe and its mother, Sukh Devī, locked in his house. The dacoits ransacked the entire village but Bhāī Natthā Siṅgh's house remained untouched.

         Jasvant Siṅgh was brought up in the true Sikh tradition, and administered pāhul, Khālsā initiation, at the age of six. He received weapon training and learnt horse-riding. He was married to Chand Kaur when 17, and had a son born to him when 25. Jasvant Siṅgh was serving as a thānedār (police sub-inspector) at Kuraṛī, in Karnāl district, when in an encounter with a party of dacoits, he was badly wounded. The period of recovery induced a mood of introspection. A meeting with Sant Bābā Bīr Siṅgh, who visited Kuraṛī and held dīvāns in the village gurdwārā for two months, finally changed his life. He became a disciple. As Bābā Bīr Siṅgh was once travelling to Unā to do homage to Bābā Sāhib Siṅgh Bedī, Jasvant Siṅgh followed him, his wife and son riding a horse and he himself on foot carrying the Gurū Granth Sāhib on his head. At Nauraṅgābād (district Amritsar), headquarters of Bābā Bīr Siṅgh, Jasvant Siṅgh served in the laṅgar with devotion. He made a pilgrimage to Sikh places of worship such as Amritsar and Tarn Tāran. Accompanied by a pious Sikh, Ṭahal Siṅgh, he proceeded to the northwest to preach the Sikh, teaching. The journey took him to Peshāwar and thence beyond the Khaibar Pass to Jalālābād and Kābul. In Kābul, he recruited as a disciple a Sikh called Gulāb Siṅgh, employed in the Afghān cavalry as a horseman. It was in the Afghān capital that he acquired the name Khudā Siṅgh. In 1834, Bābā Khudā Siṅgh settled in Multān where he stayed for eight years. Dīwān Sāvan Mall, governor of Multān, used to attend his sermons. After the annexation of the Punjab in 1849, Bābā Khudā Siṅgh was confined at Wazīrābād and later at Gujrāṅwālā by the British. He was arrested a second time on the suspicion of being in possession of arms. He was sent to Lahore for trial before Sir John Lawrence and was sentenced to three years in jail. Bābā Khudā Siṅgh spent the last twelve years of his life in Lahore near Gurdwārā Janam Asthān (birthplace of Gurū Rām Dās). The place where he stayed came to be known as Dharamsālā of Bābā Khudā Siṅgh. He died in Lahore in September 1861. In popular memory he lives as Sant Bābā Khudā Siṅgh of Lahore.


    Pratāp Siṅgh, Giānī, Jīvan Bābā Khudā Siṅgh Jī Lahore Vāle. Amritsar, 1962

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā