SAHIB SINGH MRIGIND, BHAISAHIB SINGH MRIGIND, BHAI (c. 1804-1876), poet and author, served in the princely court of Jind under Raja Sarup Singh (d. 1864) and Raja Raghbir Singh (1834-1887). His father, Divan Singh, was a granthi in the employ of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was a Kamboj by caste and belonged to Jagmal village in Hoshiarpur district of the Punjab. His output is voluminous, but he has not left many details about his personal life. However,on the basis of scattered references in his works it can be made out that he went for higher learning to Kashi (Varanasi) where he spent ten years studying sastras, earning the popular title of Khatsastri, or master of the six sastras.
He returned to Lahore but had soon to leave under the displeasure of Maharani Jind Kaur, widow of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. His Ram Rajindramati Charitra which presents a somewhat distorted portrait of Maharani Jind Kaur is perhaps the result of his anger against the queen. He went to Kurukshetra where the ruler of Kaithal gave him refuge and from where Raja Sarup Singh brought him to Sangrur, the capital of Jind state, and gave him appointment as a court poet. Sahib Singh wrote, translated and edited books on a variety of subjects. The language of all of his works is Braj, written in Gurmukhi script.
Among the nearly nineteen works credited to him are Sabda Kumud Kalanidhi (1821), a translation of Varad Raj`s Laghu Siddhant Kaumudi which deals with verbal forms; Ras Man da) Lila (1846), a free rendering of the tenth skandh (chapter) of the Bhagvata Purana covering the life of Lord KrSria; Ast Mahal (1846), a poetical note on political ethics; Ram Rajindramati Charitra (1851) ; Baji Brind Bodh Granth (1855) which has ethics of love for its theme; JogJas Prakas (1858), an exposition of the yogic philosophy based on the famous Hatha Yoga Pradipika; Kabit Kusum Batika Granth (1859), an anthology of Kabits of poets like Senapati, Sripat, Gwal, Padmakar, et. al; Suman Sanjivan (1860) which deals with the ethics of matrimonial love; Sri Guru Dasam Panchasika; Tarak Prakash Nyaya (1863), a gist of Nyaya Sutra; Baramaha (1864), a traditional poem about the love of Radha for Lord KrSria; Sri Bhagati Bhav Prabhakar (1869), a song of devotion depicting the colourful show or lila of Lord KrSria, PhulBans Prakas (1873), history of the Phulkian states; Nij Kartutan Natija Granth (1881) which book was begun by the author but was completed by his son and which advises man to desist from evil and do good; Murakh Satak, a poem depicting folly in its 100 forms; and Mrigind Gurmukhi Marg.
Besides being a poet and scholar, Sahib Singh was a great lover of music and painting. Though most of the specimens of paintings he had collected or himself painted are lost, those few preserved by his descendants are of great value. These include portraits of the Gurus, of Kabir and Farid made in the Guler and Basohli style. Bhai Sahib Singh died at Sangrur in 1876.
1. Kohli, Surindar Singh, ed., Panjabi Sahitya Kosh, Part I. Chandigarh, 1972