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SUMER SINGH, BAVA

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SUMER SINGH, BAVA (1847-1903), cleric and school man, was born on 17 August 1847 at Nizamabad, a small town in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. His family, originally from Goindval in the Punjab, traced its ancestry to Guru Amar Das, third in spiritual descent from Guru Nanak. Sumer Singh`s grandfather, Bava Kripa Dayal Singh, was the first in the family to migrate from Goindval and settle at ; Nizamabad, where he established a gurdwara. || on the site of an old Udasi shrine commemorating the visits of Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur.

After him his son, Bava Sadliu Singh, continued to manage the shrine. Sumer Singh showed early promise in the scholarly study of Sikh texts as well as in composing verse in Braj. He subsequently won renown in both fields Sikh learning and Hindi poetry. Among his poetical works, Gumpad Prem Prakas, a historyr.of the Gurus in over 16,000 stanzas, is especially notable.

Only its tenth mandal or section dealing with the life of Guru Gobind Singh was published at Lahore in 1882 under the title Gurbilas Dasvin Patshahi Guru Gobind Singh Charitra.A couplet in the exordium shows that the work was taken up at Najibabad in 1923 Bk/AD 1866 (when the poet was still in his teens), and the mention further of nine other works by the author and of his visit to Amritsar and Lahore in 1937 Bk/AD 1880 shows that the composition of Gurupad Prem PrakaswsiS spread over 14 years. A much shorter account of the ten Gurus, the 88page Gur Kavitavali, was published at Amritsar in 1886. Another published work of Bava Sumer Singh is Khalsa Pahchasika (Hindi), Light Press, Banaras, 1877.

It is in the style of Sikh rahitnamas or manuals of conduct. His other works remained unpublished although handwritten copies of some of the manuscripts are extant. Among these Khalsa Shatak

 

1. Ashok, Shamsher Singh, "Sahitya Ratan Baba Sumer Singh, Patna," in Khalsa Samachar. Amritsar, August 1938
2. Sukia, Ramchandra, Hindi Sahitya ka Itihas. Kashi, Sanvat, 1997
3. Gurdwara Gazette. Amritsar, September 1952
4. Khalsa Samachar. Amritsar, 30 November 1961
5. Diwakar, R.R., Bihar through the Ages. Calcutta, 1959

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