Baba Nand Singh Ji was born in 1870 in the Village of Sherpur near Kalan Jagroan in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. His father was Sardar Jai Singh and his mother was Sardarni Sada Kaur. He is regarded one of Sikhism’s highest saints. Baba Nand Ji was a saint who is said to have meditated upon the gods name at every breath and from a very young age he would go out in the middle of the night and meditate upon Waheguru.
One night, his parents on not seeing him in his bed got worried and started looking for him. They were surprised to find him sitting on the edge of a well with his eyes closed in deep meditation. The above advice and instructions changed the life of Baba Nand Singh Ji and made him to go to the forest for further meditation. After a period of meditation, he returned from the forest and camped just outside the village and continued with his meditation irrespective of the local climatic conditions. The villagers upon observing his practices built him a temporary house.
After sometime the people from Kalera Village came and requested Baba Nand to visit their village, which he accepted. On the way he stopped at a well which was between Kaunke Village and Kalera and decided to camp there. The villagers again made a small hut for Baba Nand and again he started his meditation.
Later Baba Nand would establish his Gurudwara near Kalera in Punjab. He led a simple life and continued with his principles of deep meditation. The food for the dera would come from different devotees though no cooking was done at the dera itself. This practice is still continued by the dera now popularly known as Nanaksar, named after Guru Nanak. The food cooked at the Gurudwara’s langar is not prepared at Nanaksar, but is cooked in the nearby villages and no matter how big the congregation, never ever has there been a shortage. No monetary offerings are ever made in front of the Gurudwara’s Guru Granth Sahib, as is the usual practice at other Gurdwaras, however a shortage of funds has occurred there.
Baba Nand Ji never used any money on himself, always serving the community with true love and affection. It is said that once Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala came to offer 100,000 rupees for the Gurdwara fund but Baba Nand Ji politely refused the offer. This was the first time someone had ever declined the offer of accepting money for a religious place from a Maharajaand of course the Maharaja felt bad and told Baba Nand Ji, “You will not find a donor like Bhupinder Singh”. To this Baba Nand Ji replied, “You will not find another person who is prepared to sacrifice everything and yet be fully committed like Baba Nand Singh”. This made the Maharaja humble and respectful and he bowed his head before him.
Baba Nand Ji died in 1943 (13 Bhadron Sanmat 2000) at the age of 73. Today his Gurudwara is generally considered an antidote to the SGPC and has grown into various Gurudwaras and deras in both India and abroad