Bhai Mani Singh Ji was a great Sikh personality of eighteenth century. He holds a very high position in our rich history. Bhai Mani Singh Ji was one of the Gursikhs personally chosen by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, to hand write Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as Guru Gobind Singh Ji dictated.
Bhai Mani Singh was blessed with Amrit by the hands of Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the day of the creation of the Khalsa.
For nine months and nine days, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji dictated Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from start to finish, from memory and asked Bhai Mani Singh Ji to be the scribe and write down the Bani as Guru Gobind Singh Ji recited. Bhai Mani Singh Ji shared this duty with Baba Deep Singh Ji (Shaheed).
Upon performing this great Seva with Baba Deep Singh Ji and 40 other Singhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji told Bhai Mani Singh to return to Amritsar and take on the duties of Head Granthi of Sri Harmandar Sahib. Guru Sahib also told Bhai Sahib that there would be a day when Bhai Sahib will need to sacrifice each limb in protection of the Panth.
In 1737, while Bhai Mani Singh Ji was performing his duties as Head Granthi of Darbar Sahib, the mughal government of Lahore (then Panjab) had strictly prohibited the Sikhs to visit Amritsar and bathe in the sarovar around Harmandar Sahib. To overcome this restriction, Bhai Mani Singh Ji applied to Governor Zakariya Khan for permission to hold the Bandhi Shorr festival at the Harmandar Sahib; The permission was granted for a fee of Rs.5,000. Bhai Mani Singh was certain that he would be able to pay the sum out of the offerings that would be made by the Sikhs who were invited to come. When realising a large number of Sikhs would be gathered at Harmandar Sahib, Zakhriya Khan decided to launch an attack on Harmandar Sahib and flush out the Sikhs. Bhai Mani Singh Ji realised Khan’s plan and sent an immediate message out to the Sikh Panth, telling them not to come.
After Bandhi Shorr, Bhai Mani Singh Ji was arrested for not paying the tax imposed on him by the
Governor. Bhai Sahib refused to pay the tax as no Sikhs attended the celebration event. He was asked by the Qazi to embrace Islam or face death. Bhai Mani Singh Ji refused to convert and boldly opted for death. By orders of Zakariya Khan, Bhai Mani Singh Ji was executed in Lahore in December, 1737 BC.
This was a gruesome execution in which Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s executioner was ordered to chop Bhai Mani Singh’s body to pieces, joint by joint. The irony of the execution was that Bhai Mani Singh Ji had the last word. When the executioner started to cut into Bhai Mani Singh’s wrist, Bhai Mani Singh gestured to his finger tips telling the executioner that he should follow the orders of his commander with strictness and not be lenient. Very puzzled by the interruption, the executioner and guards asked Bhai Sahib what he meant. Bhai Mani Singh replied, “you have been ordered to execute me by chopping my joints, have you forgotten that my joints start with my finger tips.” The executioner began to cry in adoration of Bhai Sahib’s faith and belief in Sikhi. As the execution took place Bhai Sahib simply smiled and recited Sri Jap Ji Sahib, as the last of Bhai Sahibs joints were cut the Jap Ji Sahib Paath finished.
So great was the faith and sacrifice of Bhai Mani Singh Ji, that to this day Sikhs all over the world remember the love and faith they had and pay homage to their sacrifice in our daily Ardaas