BHAGVANT SINGH HARIJI, BHAI
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.
On 9 November 1915, he married Bibi Harnam Kaur, daughter of Jivan Singh, editor of the Khalsa Sevak of Amritsar, who was herself a poet of repute and who appreciated and sustained her husband`s scholarly interests. Equally vital was Bhagvant Singh`s experience watching his father working on the Mahan Kosh, meeting with scholars in different fields who came to see him and listening to or joining the learned discussions that constantly went on in his father`s study. This provided him with much valuable training in the art of lexicography.
“Hariji”, as he was affectionately called by his friends and admirers, made Dasam Granth, Book of the Tenth Master, the focus of his study, and prepared a verse index of it which was published posthumously by the Punjabi University, Patiala. This is a work which enjoys high prestige in Sikh letters for its technical perfection and range of knowledge. Another of his books in the field of Dasam Granth scholarship, Dasam Granth da Bani Beora, appeared in 1991 (publisher : Punjabi University, Patiala). An earlier publication was Vidhi Nikhedh (a common man`s book of do`s and don`ts), August 1919. Bhai Bhagvant Singh died on 9 October 1968 after a protracted illness. R.K.