MANI RAM, BHAI
MANI RAM, BHAI (1644-1734), from a devoted Sikh family of Pramar Rajputs, was, according to Seva Singh, Shahid Bilds (Bhal Mani Singh), the third of the twelve sons of Naik MaT Das and his wife, Madhari Bai, of `Alipur village in Muzaffargarh district. His grandfather, Ballu, had laid down his life fighting for Guru Hargobind (1595-1644), in the battle of Amritsar in 1634. Born on 10 March 1644, Mani Ram was brought by his father to Guru Har Rai (1630-61) at Kiratpur in 1657. He stayed there for two years, receiving instruction in Sikh lore.
In 1659, he returned to his native `Alipur to get married to Sito Devi, daughter of Lakkhi Rai of Khairpur Sadat, Muzaffargarh district, a trader and caravan owner who later, in 1675, had the honour of cremating the body of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Sometime after his marriage, Mani Ram, along with his two brothers, Jetha and Dayala, returned to Kiratpur and humbly devoted himself to serving in the Guru ka Larigar. On the passing away of Guru Har Rai, he continued to attend on his successor. Guru Har Krishan, till the latter`s death on 30 March 1664.
Thereafter, he stayed put in Alipur, visiting Kiratpur and Anandpur between whiles to pay his homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. When, on 30 March 1699, Guru Gobind Singh inaugu rated the Khalsa, Mani Ram was there with five of his sons whom he presented to the Guru for initiation. The five, Bachittar Singh, Udc Singh, Anik Singh, Ajab Singh and Ajaib Singh, remained with the Guru and took part in all the battles fought thereafter until each one of them attained martyrdom in clashes that immediately followed the evacuation of Anandpur in early December 1705. Bhai Mani Ram lived to see another two of his sons and several grandchildren lay down their lives on different occasions in the cause of their faith. He himself died on 24 June 1734.
1. Kaiishish, Scva Singh, Shahid Hilas (Bhai Mani Singh). Ludhiana, 1961
2. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Pdtshahi 10, cd. Shamsher Singh Ashok. Patiala, 1968
3. Gurmukh Singh, “Identity of Bhai Mani Singh Shahid”, Proceedings, Punjab History Conference, Twenty-second Session. Patiala, March 25-27, 1988.