LAL SINGH NAROTAM (1840-1926), also known as Sant Lal Singh Hare Ram, a Nirmala scholar, was born the son of Bhai Kirpal Singh and Raj Karni Devi on 14 September 1840 at Bhera,Jehlum district, now in Pakistan. The family claimed descent from Bhai Manna Singh, one of Guru Gobind Singh`s disciples. Lal Singh received his preliminary education in Sikh texts from his father and from itinerant sadhus who frequented his house. Around 1880, he came to Amritsar where he established his own seminary which he named Hare Ram Ashram and which was affiliated to the Nirmala order.

Here he spent the rest of his life, studying and teaching.The epithet narotam (lit. man par excellence) came to be added to his name in recognition of his scholarship. He wrote both verse (Punjabi) and prose (Sadhukan) and his known works number sixteen. His first original work, completed in 1881 but still unpublished, is Gur Bigyan Prakash or Salok Sahaskriti Tika.

It is an exposition in the form of a dialogue of “Sahaskriti Saloks” from the Guru Granth Sahib. This was followed by Adi Guru Granth Sahib fi Ke Praydi, 400 large sized folios, a glossary of Guru Granth Sahib completed in 1883. Guru Gian Prakash (1886) deals with subjects like exaltation of nam, i.e. absorption in the Name of God. Sudhasar Mahatam (since published) mainly pays homage to the Guru Granth Sahib. Brahm Prakash Granthwas, according to the author, in three volumes of which only one is now extant.

It contains a summary of some important Hindu classics such as the Upanisads, the Epics and the Bhagvala Purdna. Published works of Sant Lal Singh include Sri Gur Bhagat Mdl Satik (1908), Bachan Prakash (n.d.), Parlok Jhaki (1926), Gian Sagar (1966), Narotam Majhan (n.d.)» and Istn Bhagat Mala (1971). Among those yet unpublished are Granth Sakhi Pramdn, Narotam Bara Maha, Man Sambodhan Granth, Gobind Satotra, Nirankan Darshan, Ginali Sabadon Ki, Mahima Prakash (Sakhi Sangraha), Kabit Sukkha Singh Keand Sri Guru Sabad Sar. The last mentioned work completed in 1898 explains theological terms such as onkar, satin dm and gurprasadi. Sant Lal Singh also wrote a commentary on Guru Gobind Singh`s Zafaramah but the first ten pages of the 69page manuscript have been lost. Sant Lal Singh Narotam died at Amritsar on 22 June 1926.

References :

1. Gancsha Singh, Mahant, Nirmal Bhushan arthat Itihas Nirmal Bhekh. Amritsar 1994 Bk/AD 1937
2. Dial Singh, Mahant, Nirnal Panlh Darshan. Delhi, 1965
3. Muni, Aijan Singh, Sri Nirnal Panchaitt Akhura. Kankhal, 2006 Bk/1949
4. Sri Sudhdsar Mahatam. Delhi, 1969