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Noted metaphysical poet and a leading scholar of Sikh thought, Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki (1925-2015) was a psychiatrist of international repute. He held high academic and administrative positions including Consultant - WHO, Geneva and UNDP S-E Asia. Ex-Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI), Chandigarh, a former Professor and & Head of the Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, New Delhi.
Recipient of National Sahitya Akademy Award and Shiromani Sahitkar Award, Dr. Neki served on the Advisory Boards of several National and International organisations. Author of several standard works, he was also the Chairman of Guru Granth Sahib Research Center and Senior Vice President of Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi. He was also Professor of Eminence in Religious studies at the Punjabi University, Patiala.

Dr Neki was born in village Murid, Distt. Jhelum (Pakistan), on 27th August, 1925. His father, S. Hari Gulab Singh and his mother, Smt. Sita Wanti were both God-fearing individuals. During his very infancy, his parents shifted to Quetta (Baluchistan).

It was in Quetta that he joined Khalsa High School whence he matriculated in 1941 securing the highest marks in entire Baluchistan and setting up a new record. He joined Forman Christian College, Lahore, for his premedical studies. There he enjoyed two merit scholarships one granted by the University and the other by the college. In his FSc (Medical) exam, he stood second in the university.

Medical Education and service
For his graduate course in medicine and surgery, he joined King Edward Medical College, Lahore. There too he received a merit scholarship granted by the Govt. of Baluchistan. In 1947 when the country was partitioned, he left Lahore and joined Medical College, Amritsar, where he completed his medical studies to graduate in 1949.He worked first as a House Physician , then as Asstt. Registrar, and then as a Demonstrator in Medical College, Amritsar , with a short stint, in between, as Demonstrator in Christian Medical College, Ludhiana. While teaching there, he passed his MA (Psychology) exam as a teacher candidate from Aligarh Muslim University, securing First Division and first position in the University. He passed his DPM exam from All-India Institute of Mental Health, Bangalore, and Mysore University, in 1958 with double distinction and setting up a new record. Thus he qualified as a psychiatrist.

Marriage and children
In 1955, he married Kanwerjit, the eldest daughter of his own Professor, Lt. Col. Dr. Gurbuxsh Singh. Kanwer and he had two children. The elder of the two is their daughter, Rahat (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Nutrition) married to Dr. Amarpal Singh Khanna, an electronics engineer working in a senior managerial position in California USA. The younger one is their son, Anterpreet Singh Neki (MS Ophtho, from India and FMGEMS-I&II, FLEX-I, USMLE-III, ABIM from USA) working as Director of peripheral services in Oncology in Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA. He is married to Poonam Kaur, an anaesthesiologist now working as a research scholar in the same university.

Professional Career
As a psychiatrist, rising through the ranks, he became Prof. & Head of Psychiatry Department at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and occupied that chair for about a decade (1968-1978). Then he was appointed Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh where he spent three years (1978-1981). From there, he was picked up by the World Health Organization, Geneva, as a consultant for a project in Africa where he served for over four years (1981-1985). He came back home in 1985, and since then has been engaged in private practice. In between, he had a short engagement with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse (South-East Asia). For one year he was Chairman of the Board of Consultants constituted by the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee for setting up of an Institute of Medical Sciences. In 1989, he received Kohli Memorial Award for being the Best Professional of the Year.

Literary Activities
He is a well-recognized metaphysical poet in Punjabi who has contributed more than ten volumes of original verse. His opus magnum is his autobiography in verse. He also writes powerful, inspiring prose as evidenced by his books Achetan di Leela, Meri Sahitak Swaijeevani and Ardas. He has won several prestigious awards in literature. These include: Sahitya Akademy Award, Asan Memorial Award, Shiromani Sahitkar Award (Languages Deptt.), Sarvotam Sahitkar Award (Punjabi Akademy, Delhi), Bhai Vir Singh Award, KS Dhaliwal Award, Puran Singh Memorial Award. Guru Nanak Dev University conferred on him PhD honorous causa for his contribution to literature. He has been a member of the jury (Punjabi) for Sahitya Akademy Awards and member of the Advisory Committee (Punjabi) for Jnan Peeth Award. He is one of the past Chairmen of Punjabi Akademy, Chandigarh. Currently, he is the Honorary General Secretary of Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi.

Religious Activities
Belonging to a devout religious family Dr Neki has always evinced keen interest in religion. Like his family, he also has unbigoted, liberal views. During his student life, he became President of the All-India Sikh Students Federation and organized training camps for the Sikh youth in the Sikh lore. He has produced two authentic books. One is Ardas Darshan, Roop te Abhias which has been evaluated as an 'all-time classic'. The second one, Vishva Ardas, is a collection of over 300 prayers from different religious groups, tribes and communities of different times and places, translated into Punjabi verse.This has been called "a landmark piece of work". Commissioned by Guru Nanak Dev University, he wrote The Spiritual Heritage of the Punjab which traces the evolution of spiritual thought and practice from the pre-Aryan times up to Guru Gobind Singh. Lately, he has produced an exquisitely produced book Pilgrimage to Hemkunt that compares with high international standards.
For several years, he has been a member of the Dharam Prachar Committee of Shromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, the elected body that administers Sikh shrines.He was honoured with 'Order of the Khalsa' Award on the 300th Anniversary of the Khalsa, celebrated in Anandpur Sahib on 13th April, 2000.He has also been decorated with 'Shaane Khalsa' award in 2011. He has represented Sikh community at various international forums including The Parliament World Religions 1993, Unesco Conference on Religion and World Peace 1998, Unesco Center Catalunya Conference on Universal Ethics 1998, World Thanksgiving Conference 1999 and peace meeting of religions invited by the Pope and held in Vetican in 2011.

He breathed his last at his home in New Delhi on September 11, 2015

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1955 Asle te Ohle Singh Brothers, Amritsar Punjabi Poetry
1965 Eh Mere Sanse Eh Mere Geet Singh Brothers, Amritsar Punjabi Poetry
1975 Simrati de Kiran Ton Pehlan Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry
1978 Karuna Di Chuh Ton Magron Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry
1980 Pratibimban De Sarovar'chon Punjabi Writers Coopoerative, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry
1985 Na Eh Geet Na Birharha Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry
1989 Birkhe Heth Sabh Jant Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry
1989 Ardas: Darshan Roop Te Abhiaas Singh Brothers, Amritsar The Prayer of the Sikhs
1990 Paani Wich Patase Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry (Rhymes for Children)
1992 Geet Mera Sohila Tera Singh Brothers, Amritsar Punjabi Poetry
1992 Meri Sahitik Sve Jivanee Punjabi University, Patiala Literary Autobiography
1997 Vishav Ardas Singh Brothers, Amritsar Punjabi Poetry (World Prayers)
1998 Achetan Di Leela Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar Psychology
2000 Koi Naon Na Jaane Mera Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Punjabi Poetry (Autobiography)
2000 Spiritual Heritage of Punjab Guru Nank Dev University, Amritsar Spirituality
2002 Pilgrimage to Hemkunt UBSPD and NIPS, New Delhi Spiritual Travelogue
2004 Sungad Abnoos Di ARSEE Publishers, Delhi Poetic Translation of African Folk Songs in Punjabi
2004 Prophet of Devotion SATVIC Media Pvt. Ltd., Amritsar Life & Teachingsof Sri Guru Angad Dev
2005 My Ardas & My Gurus' Bani SNP Panpac Pte Ltd, Singapore Ardas, Japji Sahib, Rahiras and Sohila for Children
2006 Divine Intimations - Nitnem Hemkunt Publishers, New Delhi Translation of Nitnem Banis in verse
2007 Guru Granth Sahib and Its Context(Editor) Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan Essays on different aspects of Guru Granth Sahib
2007 Sada Vigas Singh Brothers, Amritsar Essays on Sikh Thought
2008 Basking in the Divine Presence Singh Brothers, Amritsar Translation & Commentary on Jaap Sahib
2008 Punjabi Haas Vilas National Book Trust, New Delhi Punjabi Humour
2009 In The Footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh Himalayan Books, New Delhi Historical account of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
2009 Jinnah Disandhrian Durmat Vanjay Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Anectodes from Author's Life
2009 Gurmat Manovigyan Singh Brothers, Amritsar Sikh Metaphysics
2010 Duniya Mera Des Navyug Publishers, New Delhi Travelogue in Punjabi Poetry
2010 Hasiey Te Rasiey Arsee Publishers, Delhi Punjabi Poetry
2011 Brahmand Sanhvein Manukh Navyug Publishers, Delhi Scientific Punjabi Poetry
2011 Iko Moh De Mukh Anekan Arsee Publishers, Delhi Punjabi Poetry
2011 Asal Vidya Sukrit Trust, Ludhiana Anectodes from Author's life
2012 Kath Upnishads Arsee Publishers, Delhi Punjabi Poetry
2012 Ardas Of The Sikhs Manohar Brothers, Delhi Translation of Sikh Ardas in English
2013 Pearls of Wisdom Sukrit Trust, Ludhiana Anectodes from Author's life (English Translation of Asal Vidya)
2014 Haumain Ton Toon Hi Wal Singh Brothers, Amritsar Essays on Sikh Thought
2015 Gyan Geet Singh Brothers, Amritsar Punjabi Poetry

Some of The Publications by Dr. J.S.NEKI:

1. Witchcraft and psychotherapy Neki JS, Joinet B, Ndosi N, Kilonzo G, Hauli JG, Duvinage G.   Br J Psychiatry. 1986 Aug;149:145-55. Review
2. Psychiatry in East Africa Neki JS, Hauli JG.    Curr Psychiatr Ther. 1983;22:243-8.
3. Ausar ("Kairos"): and its place in creative psychotherapy Neki JS.    Psychoanal Rev. 1981 Fall;68(3):425-49.
4. Medical ethics: a viewpoint from the developing world Neki JS.    World Health. 1979 Jul:18, 21, 23.
5. Sahaja: an Indian ideal of mental health Neki JS.    Psychiatry. 1975 Feb;38(1):1-10
6. Psychotherapy in India: past, present, and future Neki JS.    Am J Psychother. 1975 Jan;29(1):92-100
7. A reappraisal of Guru-Chela Relationship as a Therapeutic Paradigm Neki J.S.    Int Ment Health Res Newsletter 1974;16:2-5
8. Psychiatric education and the social role of the psychiatrist in developing South-East Asian countries Neki JS.    Soc Sci Med. 1973 Feb;7(2):103-7
9 Yoga and psychoanalysis Neki JS.    Compr Psychiatry. 1967 Jun;8(3):160-7.

1. The Sikhs, Sikhism and Order of the Khalsa
2. The Concept of Man according to Sikhism
3.A Blueprint for Sikh Renaissance
4. Martyrdom Presentation at International Symposium on Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji's Life, Martyrdom and Gifts to Humanity,
    Punjabi Studies Program, San Jose State University, July 28-29, 2006
5. Anand Karaj... From Counter-Ritual to Legislative Act Nishaan III 2006 pp. 2-3
6. Concept of "Seva" in Sikhism Presentation at monthly meeting of Vichar organized by Chardikalaa foundation, July 18, 2009.
7. Remembering 1984 Nishaan IV/2009


1. Book  Kalaa Karmee: Jaswant Singh Neki  Edited By Dr. Mohinder Kaur Gill, Punjabi Academy, Delhi, 1987.
2. Book  Jaswant Neki Da Kav Jagat  By Dharam Pal Singal, National Book Shop, Delhi, 1985.
3. Book  Jaswant Singh Neki Da Kav-Sansar  By Paramjit Kaur, Punjabi Academy,Delhi, 1987.
4. Book  Parabhautakta da Kavi: Jaswant Singh Neki  By Satnam Singh Sandu, Nishant Parkashan, Faridabad,1987.
5. Book  Neki Kaav Da Roop  By Dr. Rama Murti, Jallandar, 2011.
6. Book  Neki Kaav Da Sidhantak Pakh  By Dr. Rama Murti, Jallandar, 2012.

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