About 20 years ago, a family in India was blessed to have a Sri Akhand Paath Sahib of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj at their house. Giani Avtar Singh Ji attended the Sri Akhand Paath Sahib. The Paathi Singhs recited the Paath with complete Maryada.
The reason for the Akhand Paath was that a young man (youth) in the family had recently died. After his death, the soul of the young man was wandering and eventually the soul possessed his brother. After entering into his brother's body, the soul spoke and requested that the family should do a Sri Akhad Paath Sahib for him.
Giani Ji in his katha says that through this sakhi, we will understand the importance of Gurbani and also the importance, need and greatness of the Sikh identity given to us by Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.
After the soul requested that an Akhand Paath be done for him, the family members went to a few places to seek help in performing the Sri Akhand Paath Sahib. Eventually, the family came to Giani Avtar Singh Ji and asked him for help. They requested full tyaar par tyaar Singhs (always ready, spiritually elevated Khalsa Singhs) to do the seva of the Akhand Paath Sahib.
Giani Avtar Singh Ji discussed this with some Gurmukh Singhs and they agreed, then they began the Akhand Paath seva. Giani Avtar Singh Ji mentions that he was present at the Bhog (completion) of the Sri Akhand Paath Sahib. That day, the brother of the dead young man was present there too. It is assumed in the Katha, that the soul of the dead young man would enter and leave the body of his brother from time to time.
The family then prepared some food for Giani Avtar Singh Ji and the Singhs. The brother of the dead man was sitting there too. Other family members were present. Then suddenly, the brother began to feel dizzy and was unaware of his surroundings, he then closed his eyes. The family knew exactly what was going on. The family told Giani Avtar Singh Ji that the soul of the dead man is entering into his brother's body now.
Giani Ji says that after hearing this, he was carefully paying attention to see if they were just pretending or not. Then, while speaking to the brother who was possessed, Giani Ji asked, "What is your name?"
Then Giani Ji asked, "What was the purpose of you coming back if you had already died?"
Then the soul spoke and said "I wasn't supposed to die yet, I still had some years left in my life. What happened was, I became unconscious after being electrocuted. Then my family members put milk into my mouth (thinking it might help). I had no idea what was going on. Due to my family pouring milk into my body, I died, because after a person is electrocuted, water/liquid should not be given to that person."
Giani Ji continued speaking with the soul, and then an important question was asked, "After dying, where did you go?"
Giani then pauses the story for a moment, mentioning that only the souls who have died can tell us these things (about the after life). People like us who are still living don't have the knowledge on these matters.
Continuing on, Giani Ji mentions that the soul replied, "I was taken to a very bad place, hell."
"They took me there (Jamdoots - Angels of Death) and I was very miserable and grieving in pain, just by being there."
Giani Ji then asks, "How did you get released from there?"
Soul replied, "One day, the head person (Dharam Raja) came there to inspect and see what was going on." Giani Ji then explains, that whatever body the soul was in before death, those same qualities are then carried on to the after life. The soul mentioned, that he was kesdhari (kept uncut hair) before his death.
Soul continues saying, "When the head person saw that I was kesdhari, he ordered that I be taken out of hell. Then the head person asked me if I have ever done Paath (Sikh prayers). I replied that I only used to do Paath of Jap Ji Sahib before my death, but not other Gurbani prayers and I have never let scissors touch my hair. Then the head person told me that because of these 2 things: not cutting your hair and doing Jap Ji Sahib Paath, you will be released from hell. If you hadn't done these good deeds, you would've been in hell for ages, who knows how long!"
The soul continues on saying, "I then remembered the sakhi when Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj was explaining to a Sikh named Bhai Dhana Ji, that if a Sikh who has never cut his hair enters into hell, I will pull him out of hell by the hair on his head."
Giani Ji explains that the soul was freed from hell because he had never cut his hair and also he had done Paath of Sri Jap Ji Sahib. This is what caused the soul to enter his brother's body, in order to relay the message to his family, to request that an Akhand Paath Sahib be done for him.
Gurbani's power is limitless. It helps us here and in the after life. Even souls that have already died are thirsting for Gurbani and its power.
Dhan Dhan SatGuru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.