July 9, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Bhai Mani Singh Ji, a great Sikh scholar and martyr, was brought up in the early years of his life to the presence of Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur. Bhai Mani Singh Ji holds the honor of being “baal sakhai-mittar” (childhood friend) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Mani Singh Ji took Amrit after the Baisakhi of 1699. Soon after that Bhai Mani Singh Ji was entrusted with the Sewa of Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Sewa of writing Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib:
Bhai Mani Singh Ji rejoined Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Damdama Sahib in 1706 where he did the sewa of writing the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji under his own hand with the blessings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Gian Ratnavali and Bhagat Ratnavali:
Bhai Mani Singh Ji wrote Gian Ratnavali, an account in traditional style of the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and Bhagat Ratnavali, better known as Sikhan di Bhagat Mala, which is an illustrative commentary, in anecdotal style, on Bhai Gurdas’ Var XI.
In October 1706 Guru Gobind Singh Ji left Damdama Sahib for the south; soon after that Bhai Mani Singh Ji returned to Amritsar Sahib and resumed the Sewa of Harmandar Sahib.
Mughal governors of the Punjab, Abd us-Samad Khan and his son and successor, Zakariya Khan started oppression on Sikhs. These were tough times and the Khalsa was not holding annual gathering at Amritsar on Diwali. In 1737 Bhai Mani Singh Ji negotiated with Zakariya Khan to convince him to allow gathering on Diwali, who agreed to it but only on the condition of payment of tax. Zakariya Khan was secretly planning to massacre the Sikhs during the Amritsar gathering. On becoming aware of it Bhai Mani Singh Ji cancelled the gathering.
Bhai Mani Singh Ji was summarily prosecuted for non-payment of tax. He was asked either to embrace Islam or face death. Bhai Mani Singh Ji strengthened the Sikh martyrdom tradition. He was executed with his body mangled bone by bone.
Historic sites/ Gurdwaras marking memories of Bhai Mani Singh Ji:
On the site of Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s martyrdom in Lahore stood, until the 1947 partition, Gurdwara Shahid Ganj.
Another memorial Gurdwara has been raised in recent decades at the ruined site of Kamboval near Laungoval marks birthplace of Bhai Mani Singh Ji.
Gurdwara Likhansar Sahib near Takht Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda, Punjab) marks the place where Bhai Mani Singh Ji had performed the Sewa of writing the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
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Related Topics: Sikh Martyrs