Birth , Childhood and Education

In the unprecedented and unparalled episode of the creation of ‘Khalsa’ by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji maharaj. Bhai Daya Singh Ji was the first to offer himself to sacrifice. With Guru Sahib’s grace he rose to be a great saint-soldier (Sant Sipahi) and like a devout sikh , he remained in the company of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji throughout his whole life.

Bhai Daya Singh ji was the son of Bhai Sudha Ji and Mai Diali Ji. He was born in the year 1661 A.D. at Lahore. Bhai Sudha Ji was a resident of Lahore and was a devout sikh of Guru Teg Bahadur ji, the ninth guru of Sikhs. Bhai Sudha Ji had visited Anandpur Sahib several times to seek Guru’s blessings. In the year 1679, he travelled to Anandpur Sahib along with his family including his younger son Bhai Daya Ram Ji to make obeisance to Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, this time to settle permanently. Bhai Daya Ram Ji already well-versed in Punjabi and persian language engaged himself in the study of ancient Indian literature and Gurbani at Guru’s darbar. He also received training in the use of weapons. He was often sent as Guru’s representative to the neighbouring hill states.

Recongition of Bhai Daya Singh Ji as First Piara
In the historic diwan(assembly) called by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the occasion of Baisakhi of the year 1699, Bhai Daya Singh ji was the first to rise at Guru’s call and offer his head followed by four others in succession. These five sikhs were the first to be admitted to the fold of Khalsa. Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji collectively called them ‘Panj Piaras’ (five beloved ones). Bhai Daya Ram Ji after taking Amrit (Khande de pahul) became Bhai Daya Singh ji. Bhai Daya Singh ji has the honour of being the first ‘Singh’ of Khalsa Panth. Five panj piaras administered the rites of giving Amrit (Khande de pahul) to Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji as asked by the tenth guru.

An excellent Organizer

Although the five ‘piaras’ enjoyed equal status as the Guru’s close confident attendants, Bhai Daya Singh Ji was always regarded as the first among equals and was held in high esteem in the Sikh Community. Bhai Daya Singh Ji was a brave general of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji and was in command of strong armed forces. He took part in all the major post Khalsa battles of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji fought against the Hill Rajas and the mughals (Anandpur Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Nirmoh Garh and Khidrana Mukatsar etc.)

Bhai Daya Singh Ji rose to eminence during the time of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on account of his courage , dedication and learning. Bhai Daya Singh Ji was an excellent organizer. He was entrusted with responsible duties of organizing the affairs of the sikh community. Bhai Daya Singh Ji advised the Sikh Sangat (Community) to help their needy brothers, serve them with food and other necessary articles with utmost attention and cleanliness and commit to memory of the Guru ‘s ‘Bani’ and utter the true name (Rehatnama Bhai Daya Singh Ji).

A very trustful personality

Bhai Daya Singh ji was a trustworthy disciple of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji and constantly remained with Guru Sahib. On account of his merits and abilities, he was entrusted with the task of delivering the famous historical document, Zafarnama (Letter of victory written in persian language) by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji to the mughal Emperor Aurengzeb who was encamping at Ahmednagar in Deccan at that time. The purpose of the Zafarnama was to apprise the Emperor the actual state of affairs of the reign of terror of Mughal governance in the Punjab and unjust military attacks on the establishments and followers of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji . It lodged a loud protest against the treachery of the Mughal army and betrayal of pledges on the part of the soverign himself. The Zafarnama of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji pronounced the challenge of the Khalsa to fight against injustice , tyranny and oppression and promised to defend righteousness , justice and freedom of people. It carried a message in clear words of the commencement of heralding the movement of political freedom in Punjab.

Bhai Daya Singh Ji and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur

Bhai Daya Singh ji was present during the meeting of Guru Sahib with Bairagi Madho Das at his ‘Dera’ on the banks of river Godawari. Bhai Daya Singh Ji also participated in the “Amrit Sanchar” ceremony of Bairagi Madho Das, renamed Banda Singh after taking ‘Khande de Pahul’ (Amrit)). When Baba Banda Singh ji was deputed on his mission to Punjab by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, the dedicated services and undaunted commitments of Bhai Daya Singh ji were especially emphasized by Guru Sahib to Baba Banda Singh ji as an example of role model of the Khalsa.

A scholarly personality Bhai Daya Singh Ji was a learned man , one of the Rahitnamas (Manuals) on sikh code of conduct is ascribed to him which is called Rahatnama Bhai Daya Singh Ji. Bhai Daya Singh ji had left a rich legacy in the annals of the history of the sikh community. He left for his heavenly abode in 1708 A.D. His name will always be written in the golden words in the history of the world.