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Monday May 14, 2007

New book on charismatic preacher Sant Sohan

PETALING JAYA: When Saran Singh Sidhu, 62, was compiling a book on the life of Malaysia’s most revered Sikh missionary, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji, he felt guided by the holy man. 

“I don’t think this book could have been written without the divine help of Sant Sohan,” said the retiree who was commissioned by Gurdwara Sahib Malacca and the Sant Sohan Singh Ji Malacca Memorial Society to compile the book. 

“He was a very charismatic preacher and had a great sense of humour. He could mesmerise the congregation with his beautiful lectures on the Sikh religion,” said Saran Singh who had met the holy man many times. 

Saran Singh travelled to Sant Sohan’s birthplace in India – the farming village of Chathewalla, in the Bathinda district in Punjab and interviewed his relatives for the book Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malacca (1902-1972): His Life and Times. 

It is partly based on two previous books published in Punjabi – Safal Jeevan – Sant Sohan Singh Ji Melaka written by the late Tara Singh Hitaishi and a compilation of Sant Sohan’s lectures, Maan Yogh Sajjano, published by the late Datuk T. Mahima Singh Dhaliwal. 

Written with divine help: Author Saran Singh with his book, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malacca (1902- 1972): His Life and Times. The book is available at a subsidised cost of RM50 plus postage.
As Sant Sohan was also a noted herbalist, the book also features his personal accounts about the numerous remedies attributed to him. 

Every year, tens of thousands of Sikhs from all over the world gather for prayers in Malacca to mark Sant Sohan’s death anniversary.  

He was made a Sikh priest or granthi at the Malacca Gurdwara Sahib in 1927, a position he held until his death on May 24,1972. 

The three-day prayers will begin on Friday. The highlight will be the launch of Saran Singh’s book on Saturday at 4pm. 

This will be followed by a ground-breaking ceremony for a museum devoted to the memory of Sant Sohan.  

“He has made an outstanding contribution to Sikhs in Malaysia and Singapore through his religious discourse and service to the community,” said Saran Singh who previously authored Sikh Gurdwaras in Malaysia and Singapore: An Illustrated History 1873-2003

The 465-page book, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malacca (1902-1972): His Life and Times is available from the Gurdwara Sahib Malacca/Sant Sohan Singh Ji Malacca Memorial Society at 150-A, Jalan Temenggong, 75000 Malacca at a subsidised cost of RM50 plus postage. 

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