1) Born as Ramji Das, In his early life he would travel a lot from village to village and would stay overnight at Hindu Temples. One day when he was staying at one such temple, the Brahmins told him to clean the temple and then when he had done that, they sat in front of him and ate food without offering him anything.
The next time, he took shelter at a Gurdwara and the Gurdwara’s Giani ji (“priest”) not only gave him good hot food but also a cot and a glass of milk afterwards and all without asking for any sewa (service) for the Gurdwara. Bhai Sahib ji wrote: “Every night 25-30 travellers would come to the Gurdwara to stay; they were all served food from the common kitchen. This culture of the Gurdwaras deeply affected me”. Following this incident, Ramji das, the Hindu, decided to take Khanda-da-Amrit and became a Khalsa Sikh in 1923.
2) Bhagat Puran Singh Ji gave total selfless service to the terminal and mentally ill patients who had been abondoned by their families.
3) He gave his life to provide the last hope for these desperate patients. It is recorded that whenever and wherever he saw a deserted dead body (human or animal), he would immediately prepare by his own hand a grave and give the corpse a deserving burial or cremation as a sign of respect for the dead body. He is recorded to have said, “Dignity in death is a birthright of each living thing.”
4) Devotion to Nishkam Seva Bhagat ji wrote: “From my childhood, my mother had asked me to do personal service to all the creations of God. This tender and distinct feelings of virtuous tasks was ingrained in my mind. My mother had taught me to provide water to the animals, plant trees and water newly planted saplings, offer feed to the Sparrows, Crows and Mynahs, pick up thorns from the paths, and remove the stones from cart tracks. This had embedded the Name of the Almighty in my heart. She had entrusted me to the custody of Gurdwara Dera Sahib and started me on a path of virtuous living. By following this path your mind can never waver.”
5) In 1947, Bhagat ji founded the institute called Pingalwara meaning “the home of the crippled” with a few discarded crippled or sick patients. The word “Pingal” means “Cripple” and “wara” mean “home”. Today, this institute which is run by Bibi Dr Inderjit Kaur cares for over 1000 patients.
6) Bhagat ji was also writer as well as publisher and an environmentalist. Bhagat Ji’s contribution in spreading awareness about the global dangers of environmental pollution, increasing soil erosion, etc are now well recognised. For his dedication and unreserved service to humanity was awarded with heaps of honours from many quarters. Prestigious among these was the Padamshri award in 1979, which he surrendered in the wake of the army attack on the Golden Temple in 1984.
7) Service To Humanity: One day, a visitor fell from the roof of the Gurudwara and got badly injured. Bhagat Puran Singh immediately rushed him to the local ‘Mu Hospital’. Experiencing inner joy after helping the patient, he took a man with badly bleeding leg full of worms to hospital where he expressed his thanks to Bhagat Puran Singh and said,”Son! Now I can die a peaceful death.” With this incident, the service of humanity became the mission of his life. Now he would wander here and there finding the injured, physically handicapped persons and toking them to the Hospital. He also took care of them as his pocket and capability allowed. Once, he even washed the clothes of an old and poor beggar who was suffering from loosemotions.
8) Carried a boy on his shoulders for 14 years. On a moonless night of the year 1934, someone left a four-year-old leper boy on the door of Gurudwara Dehra Sahib who was handed over to Bhagat Puran Singh by the then Head Granthi of the Gurudwara, Jathedar Acchar Singh after performing prayers for his well being. He named the boy Piara Singh, who was taken care of by Bhagat Puran Singh. This incident completely transformed the face of his life.
9) No permanent dwelling for 11 years. From 1947 till 1958, Bhagat Puran Singh did not get a permanent dwelling. He could be seen outside the chief Khalsa Diwan, post offices, railway stations or under the tree outside the office of the Civil Surgeon. He would wander in the streets, asking for donations to help the needy. Some people offered to help him, but most of the others kept themselves from donating towards the noble cause.
10) Spread awareness of environmental concerns. He distributed free pamphlets and books to make the people aware of the impending dangers to the environment and society through the Pingalwara Society.