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Modern Scholars of Sikhism (33)
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
AVTAR SINGH VAHIRIA, polemicist and scholar of Sikh texts, was born on 12 June 1848 at Thoha Khalsa, a village in Rawalpindi district, now in Pakistan. As a small boy, he learnt to recite the Sikh psalms from his mother and maternal uncle, Prem Singh. After he had learnt Gurmukhi in his own village, he went to school in Rawalpindi. At the age of eight years, he took pahul at the hands of Baba Khem Singh Bedi.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
BASANT SINGH, BHAI (d. 1900), one of the founder members of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Lahore, established on 2 November 1879, worked as its accountant and later became its vice president. Differences between Bhai Basant Singh and other leaders of the Khalsa Diwan, Lahore, originating in the expulsion in April 1886 of Bava Nihal Singh and Diwan Buta Singh in April 1886 for their advocacy of the restoration of Maharaja Duleep Singh to the throne of the Punjab, came to a head when, on 31 October 1887, the Nanak Panth Prakash Sabha, celebrating its seventh anniversary at Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Lahore, displayed a garlanded portrait of the Maharaja by the side of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
BHAGVANT SINGH HARIJI, BHAI (1892-1968), a lover of game, horticulturist and scholar, was born on 15 February 1892 to the erudition of his celebrated father, Bhai Kahn Singh, of Nabha, the creator of the immortal Gurushabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh. Unobtrusively, and in his characteristically gentle and self abnegating manner, Bhagvant Singh carried the family learning into the second generation. His home provided the best education then available to a young man, though he did attend formally the Khalsa College at Amritsar, then the premier educational institution of the Sikhs.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
BIKRAMA SINGH, KANVAR (1835-1887), one of the pioneers of the Singh Sabha movement, was born in 1835. He was the son of Raja Nihal Singh of Kapurthala. As he grew up, he developed interest in classical learning and music. He received several honours and distinctions from the British government. During the 1857 uprising, he commanded a Kapurthala contingent of 300 men, horse and foot, and 2 guns to defend Hoshiarpur.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
BISHAN SINGH, GIANI (1875-1966), cleric and exegete, was a granthi or priest at the Khalsa College at Amritsar for 30 years. The Khalsa College was then a premier Sikh college excelling in research and publication in the field of Sikh studies. Four of the foremost Sikh scholars of this period, namely Bhai Jodh Singh, Prof. Asor Teja Singh, Bhai Sahib Singh and Dr Ganda Singh, were members of the college faculty and between them they brought about a major enlightenment in Sikh letters.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
CHELLARAM, BHAl (1904-1964), a well known Sahajdhari Sikh of modern times who sang and preached gurbani, the Guru`s inspired word, with a rare love and devotion, was born in a Sindhi family of Hyderabad (Sindh) on 3 May 1904, the son of Dr Tekchand Rachumal Mansukhani and Chettbai. Chellaram`s parents died while he was still in his infancy and his only sister not long afterwards. Successive deaths in the family left him a lonely youth, with a rather pensive mind. He took his degree in Law and set up practice as a lawyer, but his heart was not in the profession.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
CHARAN SINGH, DR (1853-1908), poet and musicologist, was born at Amritsar in 1853 (father: Kahn Singh ; mother Rup Kaur) and was seventh in descent from Diwan Kaura Mail, an influential eighteenth century Sahajdhari Sikh. Kahn Singh (1788-1878) who was of a retiring disposition had spent some years in the company of wandering ascetics before he was persuaded to give up the life of a recluse and become a householder. In addition to his practice of indigenous medicine, he collected and transcribed Sanskrit manuscripts and wrote verse in Braj thereby laying the foundations of the family`s literary tradition. His son, Charan Singh, studied Sanskrit, Braj, Persian and prosody, besides Ayurveda and Western medicine.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
DITT SINGH, GIANI (1853-1901), scholar, poet and journalist, was an eminent Singh Sabha reformer and editor. He was born on 21 April 1853 at Kalaur, a village in Patiala district of the Punjab. His ancestral village was Jhalliari, near Chamkaur Sahib, but his father, Divan Singh, had migrated to his wife`s village, Kalaur. Divan Singh, a Ravidasia by caste and a weaver by trade, was a religious minded person who had earned the title of Sant for his piety.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
GANESHA SINGH, BHAI (d. 1888), assistant chief secretary of the Khalsa Diwan, initially called Singh Sabha General, which was established in 1880 to coordinate the activities of the Singh Sabhas at Lahore and Amritsar, was employed in the Amritsar municipal committee as a sarishtadar or clerk. When the Khalsa Diwan was reorganized in 1883, Bhai Ganesha Singh was named one of the two chief secretaries, the second being the better known Bhai Gurmukh Singh. With the split in the Khalsa Diwan in 1885, whereas Bhai Gurmukh Singh left to establish a separate body at Lahore, Bhai Ganesha Singh continued as chief secretary of the Amritsar Diwan.
Modern Scholars of Sikhism
GULAB SINGH GHOLIA, SANT (1853-1936), Sikh saint and scholar, was born in 1853 to Bhai Dal Singh and Dharam Kaur of Bhattivala, a village 6 km south of Bhavamgarh, in the present Sarigrur district of the Punjab. He received his early education in the village dharamsald, and then spent five years at the derd of Bhai Ram Singh, at Manuke, in Faridkot district, learning kirtan and studying the Sikh texts. Realizing that, to properly comprehend and interpret certain theological terms used in the Scripture, knowledge of Sanskrit was essential, he shifted, in 1873, to the village of Dhapali (now in Sarigrur district), where he apprenticed himself to Giani Anokh Singh. He studied Sanskrit and Vedanta with him for ten long years.

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