Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, Gobind Sadan’s longest serving devotee passes peacefully

Bibi Gurcharan Kaur listens to Maharaj

Bibi Gurcharan Kaur passed away peacefully on 1 July. The sangat will gather at 8 a.m. Monday 2 July at Gobind Sadan to proceed to the cremation ground in Mehrauli near Aulia Masjid. Akhand Path will start at Gobind Sadan on Friday 6 July and Bhog ceremony will be on Sunday 8 July at Gobind Sadan, with kirtan 11-12 a.m., followed by langar.

 Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, who at an early age, gave up her successful career as a teacher in one of Delhi’s elite schools to dedicate her life to service in Gobind Sadan, passed away peacefully.

Bibi was Gobind Sadan’s longest serving resident. From the early days of the late 60’s when she helped carry water from neighboring wells, performed morning prayers and kirtan, and made morning parshad, she would be one of the regulars at the 2 a.m. ardas.

Once when someone complained to Maharaj ji about her toughness in managing the langar, Maharaj ji replied, “When she is so devoted to stand in God’s court at 2 a.m. each morning, what can I say to her for such a little thing.” With her dedication, Maharaj ji slowly expanded her responsibilities to manage the entire dera.

When I arrived in 1971, she was my Punjabi teacher, and on-site translator when Maharaj ji wanted to give me instructions or show me something other-worldly. She would spend dedicated hours trying to teach me the subtleties of the several sounds which don’t occur in English. She would sit on a small stoop in front of Baba Siri Chand ji’s shrine and end up laughing so good-naturedly when I couldn’t even pronounce the Punjabi “t” that she would invariably slip off.

Bibi was always ready to help anyone who came to Gobind Sadan.  Before the buildings were expanded, Maharaj ji would often receive guests in her room. And while over the years Gobind Sadan’s footprint has expanded, that corner room, Gurcharan’s room, has never changed. And to those of us who had the privilege of living with this great lady, and great servant, it will always be Gurcharan’s room.

Gurcharan Kaur’s Last Rites

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Gobind Sadan’s beloved Bibi Gurcharan Kaur passed away peacefully at Gobind Sadan on 1 July, 2012 at the age of 70 after a long illness. She is survived by 5 sisters, 1 brother, and their families. She herself never married but instead left her career as a teacher with a Master’s Degree to devote her entire life to serving Baba Virsa Singh’s mission at Gobind Sadan. She had a spiritual bent since childhood and during the 1990s spent every free minute writing out cards with every line from Guru Granth Sahib for a line index of Guru Granth Sahib, of which she had deep knowledge. Whenever her family invited her to come home to enjoy some time with them, she usually declined, saying, “Gobind Sadan is my home.” She was one of the original handful of devotees who built Gobind Sadan, starting with digging a deep well by hand and carrying taslas of dirt up a ladder on their heads. She capably carried many duties, including managing the dera, patiently pressing Maharaj’s clothes and cloths from Darbar Sahib, doing Ardas, and singing kirtan, including Asa di War starting at 4 a.m. At Maharaj’s request, she wrote a very touching spiritual history of Gobind Sadan. Her calm wisdom helped to settle many issues. She will always be remembered as one of the all-time great sevadars of Gobind Sadan.