Biographies of Homeopaths

The Story of a Classical Homeopath, Who Never Stopped Working

Kavita Singh lovingly profiles the life and career of homeopath Gurnam Singh, her father.

Gurnam Singh was known as an efficient Classical homeopath, a sea of knowledge. He was kind to underprivileged people. He practiced in Patiala, Punjab, India for 17 years. He wrote two books, and published a first monthly magazine on homeopathy. He was happily married to Darbar and was blessed with five beautiful children. He gave free treatment to the poor and did not refuse treatment to anyone who could not pay.

He was born on May 1st, 1936, in a small village in Punjab, India. He lost his mother at age 7 due to lack of treatment. He felt helpless and started to spend most of his days at Nanaksar, a Sikh temple close to his home. The Sikh guru there helped him recover from his loss. A couple of years later his father got remarried. He was brought to Calcutta, Bengal along with his younger brother Pyara, by his maternal uncle to get better education. Calcutta is a big city where homeopathy is prevalent. There were great classical homeopaths there, and the people there had strong faith in the science.

As a teenager, he started a small Indian restaurant in Howrah, Bengal, while he continued with his education. He was very fond of reading and would regularly visit the local library. One day, when he went in, the librarian told him that he had read all the books.

Gurnam’s family asked him to come to Punjab for an arranged marriage. He came along with Pyara. Even though Pyara was younger than Gurnam, he was intelligent, witty, and always had fine suggestions for him. Pyara suggested to bring some money back home for marriage, which they ended up giving to their parents. Gurnam got married to Darbar on October 7, 1956. They were asked to stay in their village, since his father needed some help with the business. They had a mithai (Indian sweets) shop and a commercial grinder for wheat. Gurnam and Darbar were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Jaswin on Sep 18th, 1957. Gurnam knew he had to do more with his life, and soon became interested in the health care field.

A few months later he interviewed for hospital jobs in three different cities, and chose Patiala, since he had visited there with his parents as a child. He moved there and accepted a store keeper job in the Rajindra Hospital. The job required him to work 48 hrs per week, earning him Rs 110.00 a week. He also tutored mathematics in the evenings.

Gurnam and Darbar were content with their lives until Jaswin got ill with small pox and nobody could cure her. He took her to the hospital, but they could not treat her.  Finally Jaswin was taken to a homeopath who gave her two small doses of medicine. The doctor stated that she will either live, or die in piece. She died on June 26, 1958, at the age of 8.5 months. Gurnam faced death for a second time in his life, and again he began to have no desire to live. His in-laws supported him through this rough time of depression. He was convinced that homeopathy could have helped them.

Darbar got pregnant for the second time, and she began walking to a nearby Sikh temple 2:30 am every day to get blessings for their infant. They were blessed with a baby boy on February 22, 1959 and they named him Kheru. Gurnam soon mentioned to Darbar that he had a strong desire to learn about homeopathy. Darbar was raised in Lahore, Pakistan and lived very close to a homeopathic hospital. She would visit there even when she wasn’t sick, and thus, she liked the idea very much.

Financially, they were barely getting through, and Gurnam knew it was not the right time to start learning about homeopathy. Gurnam and Darbar were given a simple book on homeopathy by a family friend, and he enjoyed it so much that he soon read many more books on the subject. He decided to practice homeopathy from home. He was soon visited by several family members, neighbors and friends. One of the reasons Indian people liked to go to a homeopath was that it was affordable. He leased a small clinic and started to work regular evenings after work.

Convincing patients that homeopathy was a legitimate treatment was not an easy task, since they didn’t believe that tiny, sweet pills could relieve their ailments. He started to read about cases similar to those he had, and began handing out prescriptions to his patients. Slowly, they started to trust him, and he had a good client group. One day, an elderly person came to get treated for his eyes. He got cured, and was so impressed with Gurnam’s work that he decided to join him as his assistant. Gurnam left his storekeeper job and began practicing homeopathy full time.

Gurnam Singh soon realized he needed further education in homeopathy, but he could not go to the homeopathy school, which was thousands of miles away. Darbar soon became pregnant with their third child, and Gurnam did not wish to leave her alone. Darbar encouraged him to go, and suggested that she could live with her parents while he was away at the school. However, there was also the issue of finances. Finally, his best friend offered him Rs. 500 to fund his education, starting his journey to the homeopathic college in Patna.

The principal at the Homeopathic college in Patna told him that he was too late to join the class that year, stating that the students were going to have their exams in two months. He was eventually coerced by Gurnam Singh to get permission to sit down in the exams and use that exam as a practice for future purposes. Gurnam began studying for the exam with all of his heart, hitting the books for 18-23 hrs every single day. He would even tie his long hair to the fan so that every time he began nodding off, and his head began to fall down, it would quickly jerk up and wake him up. Finally, the exam day came, and he sat down with all the other students that had been studying the entire year for that test. When the results finally came, Gurnam Singh found out that he had passed the exam with flying colors. The principle was speechless when he found out, and he explained to the entire school that Gurnam Singh had accomplished more in two months, than they had in a year. This saved Dr. Singh an entire years worth of time, and tuition. Afterwards, Gurnam came back to watch Darbar give birth to their daughter Guro at her parents’ house. As Gurnam Singh waited for the next year to begin, he started up his practice again to keep himself busy.

When he was getting ready to go to the homeopathic college for his second year, he took along Pyara, his brother-in-law Jeet, and a female family friend, Mohan. Darbars’ parents supported the family financially, and Jeet was able to help with the house chores as the three men studied. They all studied hard and slept little, but they came home extremely successful.

When Gurnam Singh finished the college, he was awarded with a gold medal and the other three also finished with honors. They came back and started practicing in different towns in Punjab. Pyara eventually moved to London, England, where he became a renowned physician.  Jeet practiced in Jullundur, and Mohan practiced in a remote village close to Patiala.

Homeopathy was flourishing in Patiala, and Gurnam Singh opened up his own college for homeopathy, naming it Ranbir Homeo Medical College. His practice was also thriving to the point that people were getting prescriptions for their pets. For example, there was a family whose cow was not able to deliver its placenta. The family did not believe that one small pill would help the cow at all, but Gurnam Singh simply said “Try it”. After taking a single dose of the medicine, the cow delivered its placenta within seconds. He also used homeopathy to help his own family. Once , when his daughter got burned in a chemistry lab, he gave her a few doses of Urtica Urens, and she was cured in just a few days, and walked away from the event unscathed.

Gurnam very quickly became popular. Patients that were not cured from modern medicine decided to use homeopathy as a last resort, and were surprised when all of their ailments were fixed. The bad part was that he was seeing hundreds of patients every single day. He frequently missed lunch, and did not eat until 5 pm. People would even come to his house at night for emergencies. The practice was having a toll on his well being.

Gurnam always wanted to do more, and decided to write a book about homeopathy.  It came out in 1968 and he named the book Vigyan Kala, vigyan meaning science, and kala meaning art. Dr. Singh honestly believed homeopathy was the art of science. He was assisted by an elderly person, who was known as Baba ji, who wrote the book as Gurnam dictated it. It took him about two years to finish the book. Once he finished, he decided to dedicate the book to his mother, who had died due to lack of treatment.

About the author

Kavita Singh

Kavita Singh

I was born in New Delhi, India and moved to the U.S. in 1988. I recently moved to Columbus, OH and started a face book page called, “Nurturing Homeopathy”. I was surrounded by a family of homeopaths as I was growing up in India. I started to assist my father, Dr Gurnam Singh at age 11. He passed away in 1977 at age 41, and I started to practice in his clinic at age 16 while I went to Homeopathy school. I earned my DHMS in 1981 from Chandigarh, Punjab, India. I practiced until 1988, when I moved to the US. I also ran a small Homeopathic school, Dr Gurnam Singh Memorial School, in Patiala, Punjab, India. The school was attended by teachers, retired army officers, and business people. At Los Angeles, CA I worked as a food clerk, and a house leader at a Child Care Center and tutored mathematics. While I worked these jobs, I obtained degrees in nursing and mathematics. I have also graduated with an HMD (doctorate of homeopathic medicine) in 1993 from Santa Monica, CA and a bachelor of science in nursing. I have been practicing for family and friends until now, and I am organizing to open a practice in Columbus in a few months.

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  • i was the student of Dr. Gurnam singh and obtained m.d.h and also obtained hons in homoeopathic materia medica(the ranbir homoeopathic medical college & hospital) in year1965 by our professor Dr. Gurnam singh, i want to meet you regarding my registration
    with regards
    Dr. Arjun Dev Parchanda
    Pls. reply as soon as possible

  • Hi,

    what a story and please email me I can help you in anyway I can?

    Thanks for sharing. you should be really proud of your father.

    I live in Cary,NC USA

  • I am also an very old student of Dr Gurnam Singh. I am registered with ontario college of Homeopaths Canada and practising clasical Homeopathy.

  • hello Dr,Kavita,
    I want to ask that The Ranbir homoeo college ,patiala is in existence or not?
    Dr. Arjun Dev