RAM KUNVAR, BHAI
RAM KUNVAR, BHAI (1672-1761), also referred to as Ram Kaur in some Sikh chronicles, was a prominent Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh`s time. He was a direct descendant of Baba Buddha, blessed by Guru Nanak himself. He was only three years old when his father, Bhai Gurditta, died in Delhi in 1675, following the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur. In conformity with the long established custom, he as the scion of Baba Buddha`s celebrated house, put the saffron mark on the forehead of the nine year old Gobind Rai anointing him Guru.
He was married to Raj Devi of the village of Bhakna in Amritsar district. He was at Paonta at the time of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh`s eldest son Ajit Singh, who was given the name by him. He also fought in the battle of Nadaun in 1691. Ram Kurivar grew up to be a learned man, a musician of merit and an accomplished expounder of the sacred texts. Spending most of his time in the company of Guru Gobind Singh, he through his intelligent questions imbibed a vast knowledge of the history of the preceding Gurus and of the tenets of the Sikh faith.
When the Khalsawas manifested by Guru Gobind Singh on the Baisakhi day of 1699, Ram Kurivar received the rites of initiation and was renamed Gurbakhsh Singh. Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh, formerly Ram Kurivar, survived Guru Gobind Singh for over half a century. During this period he, first at his ancestral village, Jhanda Ramdas, and later at Naine da Kot, preached the Sikh faith and made many converts. It is said that when Nadir Shah plundered the village of Ramdas, he was arrested along with his 500 companions, but was released as his captors recognized his miraculous powers.
He narrated anecdotes from the lives of the Gurus to one Sahib Singh, who later compiled them into a book Ralan Mdl, commonly known as Sau Sdkhi. Bhai Santokh Singh utilized these anecdotes in his monumental .S\’n Gur Praia? Sura] Granth. Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh died at Nainc da Kot (now in Pakistan) on 21 Savan 1818 Bk/ 2 August 1761.
1. Padam, Piara Singh, ed., .Sau Sakhi. Patiala, 1986
2. Nayyar, Gurhachan Singh, ed., Gur Ratan Mal arthat Sau Snklu. Patiala, 1985
3. Santokh Singh, Bhai, .Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
4. Knir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, ed. Shamsher Singh Ashok. Patiala, 1968