ARDAMAN SINGH, BHAYEEARDAMAN SINGH, BHAYEE (1899-1976), of pious lineage was born on 20 September 1899 (father: Bhayee Arjan Singh; mother: Devinder Kaur) at Bagarian, in present day Sarigrur district of the Punjab. The family traces its descent from Bhai Rup Chand, a devout Sikh of the time of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) and has for the past several generations been a leading religious family among the Sikhs. For his schooling, Ardaman Singh was not sent to a Chiefs College as was then customary for aristocratic families, but to the Khalsa School at Ludhiana. He took his B.A. degree from Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1918. He left off his law studies midway to lend his father a helping hand in his religious work.
Ardaman Singh studied music under famous musicologists of the day such as Mahant Gajja Singh, BhaiJavala Singh and Bhai Ghasita, and the Sikh texts with his father, Bhayee Arjan Singh himself. In 1923 he was appointed an honorary magistrate in place of his father. He took out preaching trips to different parts of India to preach Sikh tenets and administer to seekers the vows of the Khalsa. He delivered lectures on different aspects of Sikhism at public meetings as well as at academic institutions. As it happened, his last lecture of a series, hosted by the Parijab University, Chandigarh, was delivered on 23 December 1976, just two days before he died.
Besides lecturing and ministering religious rites and ceremonies on important occasions, Bhayee Ardaman Singh participated in Sikh activity in a variety of ways. He helped start the Sikh Academy of Religion and Culture, Patiala, of which he was invited to be president. He was president of Gurmat Academy as well as of the Singh Sabha, Shimla. He was closely associated with the Singh Sabha centenary celebrations. He was assigned (by the Singh Sabha Centenary Committee and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) to updating the rahit maryada or the Sikh code of conduct.
He could not complete the draft during his lifetime. He was a leading participant in the Dasam Granth Gosti organized by Man Singh, editor of the Delhi weekly, Mansarovar. The purpose of the Gosti was to resolve the controversy about the authorship of certain compositions included in the Dasam Granth, or the Book of the Tenth Master (Guru Gobind Singh). Ardaman Singh was strongly of the view that all the compositions in the Dasam Granth were not from the pen of Guru Gobind Singh. Bhayee Ardaman Singh died on 25 December 1976 at Chandigarh due to a cardiac obstruction, and was cremated the next day at his native village Bagarian.
1. Gian Singh, Giani, Itihas Riyasat Bagarian. Patiala, 1917
2. Caveeshar, Sardul Singh, House of Bagrian. Lahore, 1939
3. Griffin, Lepel and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Nofe in the Punjab. Lahore, 1940
4. Golden Jubilee Book. Amritsar, 1958