|Bhai Mani Singh|
|The martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh|
Man! Singh was the most learned and revered Sikh of his time. He was
born in 1662, in Kaibowal, near Sunam in the Patiala district. His father was Kala Dullat and mother Daya Kaur. When Bha! Man! Singh went with his parents to pay homage to Guru Teg Bahadur Saheb at Anandpur, he was so fascinated by the Guru and the sangat that he did not want to return home. His parents left him under the care of Mata Gujri ji, who treated him like her own son. He was of about the same age as her son, Gobind Singh Ji.
He took Amrit at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the day of the creation of Khalsa. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji left Anandpur on the night of December 20, 1704, his family got separated at river Sarsa in the confusion created by the Mughal at-tack. Bhai Man! Singh took Mata Sundri Ji and Mata Saheb Devan to Delhi via Ambala.
In 1706, he escorted Guru Saheb's wives to Talwandi Sabo where the Guru was staying. When Guru Saheb left Agra with Emperor Bahadur Shah for Nander in 1707, Mata Saheb Devan and Bhai Mani Singh accom-panied him. Afterwards Bhai Mani Singh escorted Mata Saheb Devan Ji back to Delhi where she lived with Mata Sundri Ji for the rest of her life.
Mata Sundri Ji come to know of the trouble that was brewing between the Tat Khalsa and Bandai Khalsa factions. She oppointed Bhai Mani Singh as Granthi of Harimandar Saheb and sent him to Amritsar with Mama Kirpal Singh (Chand), the maternal uncle of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. On his arrival at Amritsor in 1721, Bhai Mani Singh restored peace among the Khalsa and put the affairs of Harimander Saheb in order.
By 1738, the Mughal government of Lahore had strictly prohibited the Sikhs to visit Amritsar and bathe in the holy tank. To overcome this restriction, Bhai Mani Singh applied to Governor Zakariya Khan for permission to hold the Diwali festival at Harimandar Saheb. The permission was granted for a tribute of Rs.5,000. He hoped that he would be able to pay the sum out of offerings to be made by the Sikhs who were invited to come.
The Sikhs came in large numbers. Zakar!ya Khan, under the pretext of keep-ing order, sent a force under Diwan Lakhpat Rae to Amritsar. The force was sta-tioned near Amritsar. It was to march to-wards the city just on the day of the festival so that the Sikhs might be frightened and disperse. The trick worked and the fair broke up at the approach of the Mughal army.
Bhai Mani Singh was arrested for not paying the stipulated sum. He was asked by the Qazi to embrace Islam or face death. Bhai Mani Singh stoutly refused to barter his religion. Zakariya Khan ordered his execution in 1738.
Bhai Mani Singh's body was cut to pieces joint by joint. His gruesome martyrdom inflamed the passions of the Sikhs. They pledged to uproot the evil forces of the Mughals.
Bhai Mani Singh was also responsible for collecting the Banis of Guru Gobind Singh Ji in preparing the Dasam Granth (see Dasam Granth)
Article courtesy Dr. Santokh Singh -"The Guru's Word"