Baru Sahib is also known as the Valley of Divine Peace and is located in the Himalaya mountains.
Bhai Attar Singh (1866–1927), a revered Sikh and visionary, envisaged a centre of true education (a blend of scientific and moral education) in the lap of the Himalayas. One of his followers Bhai Teja Singh (1877–1965) took upon himself the task of fulfilling the vision of his mentor. To this end, he gathered a team of young students and inspired them to dedicate their lives to the service of humanity.
Bhai Iqbal Singh and Bhai Khem Singh were directed to search, locate and reveal to mankind a hidden holy site. The sacred site was located in the lower Himalayas somewhere near the town of Nahan (in Himachal Pradesh).
Following the directive of Bhai Teja Singh, the young team of Bhai Iqbal Singh and Bhai Khem Singh searched a vast territory trying to locate the sacred spot; but in vain. Bhai Iqbal Singh then beseeched Bhai Teja Singh to allow him to resign his job in Punjab to take up employment in Himachal Pradesh. This step, he believed would facilitate the search for the sacred site.
About 50–60 km from Solan, there was a village Baru spread over 400 Acres owned by one Thakur Joginder Singh. It was densely forested and had several springs. Under a huge walnut tree near a spring, sadhus would come and meditate from time to time. The Thakur would welcome them and offer them food.
One day, a wise old ascetic came and sat under the walnut tree and was soon lost in deep meditation (samadhi). When he opened his eyes, the Thakur offered him food. But the sadhu looked at him and said, "Joginder Singh, you will not stay here for long. This is Guru Nanak's land. From the time of 'sat yuga', saints and sages have performed penance here. Even Guru Gobind Singh Ji visited this place and blessed it. A time shall come when Guru Nanak's Sikhs gather here, meditate on the Divine Name, recite Gurbani; and spread the Divine Message throughout the world."
The Thakur, thinking that the holy man had put a curse on him; took the food away in anger. After a few hours, when his anger had abated, he returned with the food at the prompting of his wife but found that the sadhu had disappeared.
Meanwhile, Bhai Teja Singh had flourished a keen desire to discover the sacred spot. Around the same time, it so happened that the Thakur fell out with the village folk and decided to sell off his estate.
The entire 400 Acres of land at Baru was bought in the year 1956. In 1959, 82 years old Bhai Teja Singh Ji accompanied by 15-20 Sikhs trekked 35 km in the Himalayas to reach Baru Sahib. They set up camp and built a mud-hut, in which the first Akhand Path was started.
Bhai Teja Singh entrusted the responsibility of managing and developing the activities at Baru Sahib to Bhai Iqbal Singh. The mud-hut housing the Gurdwara was expanded. In due course, roads were built; vehicles began to multiply and by 1975, six rooms were constructed. Thereafter, in 1981-82, the construction of the cement and brick Gurdwara building was started.
In 1986, the now famous Akal Academy had its beginning in the Gurdwara building with just five students. Over the years, the academy grew at an incredible pace to its present size. It is now an 11-storeyed building and has over 1500 boys and girls on its rolls. Of these, 200 are overseas students; 100 from the US alone. 350 students are getting free education. A few of them belong to those families of the survivors of 1984 carnage, who have not yet been settled, children of the martyrs of Punjab.
Besides the Akal Academy, The Kalgidhar Society manages an orphanage, an old age home, a home for widows and destitute women, a 280-bed charitable hospital, a music centre, a spiritual academy for women wherein 200 young girls are getting free training besides board and lodging.
The lifestyle of sages and 'rishis' is for brahmin hindus and against the teachings of Sikhi. The inspiration behind Baru Sahib is Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Baru Sahib encourages all to follow in the footsteps Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
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