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Bhai Jwala Singh Ragi

Discussion in 'Sikh Personalities' started by Admin Singh, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Bhai Jwala Singh Ragi
    (1892-1952)


    bhai_jwala_singh_ragi_thatha_tibba_kapurthala.jpg
    A photo that sings - Bhai Sahib Bhai Jwala Singh Ragi of Thatha Tibba, Kapurthala. 1935 at Dera Sahib, Lahore.

    On the Jori is Bhai Gurcharan Singh and at about 10 years old is Bhai Avtar Singh playing the Taus. The handsome little boy is Bhai Rattan Singh, a gurbhai of Bhai Avtar Singh and a Tabla-Jori player who studied from Bhai Gurcharan Singh. Bhai Rattan Singh played Jori with Bhai Saheb Jwala Singh for the 9 days of kirtan when Mohandas Karam Chand (Mahatma) Gandhi died.

    The pinnacle was his victory over the great legendary rababi Bhai Moti of Darbar Sahib Amritsar in the early 1900's. Bhai Santu played Jori with Bhai Moti and Bhai Harnam Singh of Thatha Tibba (a senior disciple of Ustad Bhai Harnam Singh of Jammu) played with him. But for the dual, they had to swap their pakhawajis to increase the level of difficulty. The competition went on for three days. He is one Kirtaniya whose name everyone took by touching their ears.

    It was moving when in 2000, Rababi Bhai Gaam remembered him and began to sing one of his compositions - 'Kab lage mastak charnan raj...'

    From the album: "Maestros Unique" by Bhai Baldeep Singh
     
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  3. Admin Singh

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    Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh Ji's father, Bhai Sahib Jwala Singh Ji was an accomplished Ragi in the Sikh Panth, who imparted his knowledge of Gurmat Sangeet to Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh Ji and his brothers.

    Bhai Jawala Singh Ragi's family lineage travels right back to the time of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. His family then under the instruction of Guru Hargobind Sahib ji learnt and performed kirtan according to the rules of Gurmat Sangeet.

    His father Bhai Jawala Singh was born in 1892 at the village of Saidpur in the Kapurthala district of Punjab. Bhai Jawala Singh Ragi's family lineage travels right back to the time of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. His family then under the instruction of Guru Hargobind Sahib ji learnt and performed kirtan according to the rules of Gurmat Sangeet.

    Bhai Jawala Singh Ji on harmonium, Bhai Avtar Singh on Taoos, and Bhai Gurcharn Singh on Tabla during a Kirtan Smagam at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore

    Bhai Jawala Singh's father Deva Singh and his grand father were also noted ragis of their era. They both were known to have been competent at the now almost extinct Saranda. Bhai Jawala Singh was particularly fond of the Taoos although in his later years (?) resulted in his playing the Harmonium. He was known to have so many puratan reets in his repertoire that he never needed to repeat a tune, even though he had been playing in the same place for weeks on end.

    Bhai Jawala Singh learnt Gurbani Santhiya from the Granthi in Saidpur, Baba Pala Singh. From there he was sent to the Nirmala Dera in the village of Sekhwari in Firozpur where he was taken under the wing of Baba Sarda Singh who taught him music. He also further studied the Guru Granth Sahib throughout his time at the Dera. From here Baba Sarda Singh sent Bhai Jawala Singh to Amritsar to learn from the well respected Baba Vasava Singh (commonly known as Baba Rangi Ram).

    Following his apprenticeship, Bhai Jawala Singh returned to Saidpur and gradually became famous for his musical talent. He was very much in demand to sing in large gatherings all over the Punjab.

    A a key member of the Singh Sabha movement Bhai Jawala Singh was arrested while trying to recover the keys to the Golden Temple from the British Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. He was also a member of the first and last jatha in the Jaito morcha. He was also present at the cremation of the martyrs of Nankana Sahib where, seated amongst the pools of blood beside the heaps of corpses, he sang the shabad "ਖੂਨ ਕੇ ਸੋਹਿਲੇ ਗਾਵੀਅਹਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਤੁ ਕਾ ਕੁੰਗੂ ਪਾਇ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥1॥" (Nanak, the eulogies of a massacare are sung, and the saffron of blood is sprinkled, O Lalo).

    Bhai Jawala Singh presided over the first All India Ragis conference in 1942. He passed away on 29 May 1952 at his village in Saidpur.

    Contrasted against the ever growing trend of having kirtan being blended with tunes from Bollywood, Bhai Sahib and his family have been intstrumental in the preservation of the pristine form of Gurmat Sangeet. For this the Sikh Panth is ever greatful to the hard work and preserverence that such souls underwent in order to spread the love and teachings that Guru Sahib has brought into this world.
     
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Saidpur is the village of a near relative...he never mentioned all this..whenever i go viist his family...neither did anyone else even at the Gurdwara in memory of Sant Bir Singh naurangabad which is nearby.....what a sad state of our history...is NOTHING being passed on ?? I am flabbergasted at such sheer ignorance of our glorious traditions...Hopefully I am going to do a deeper digging the next time i visit saidpur and Thattha/Navan Thatta nearby...later this year...maybe Baba Jawalla singhs house/descendants are still living there...
     
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