Bhai Singha Purohit
The Brahmin warrior who saved Sikh Guru Hargobind’s daughter from the hands of Mughals.
When the Mughals invaded Amritsar, Singha Purohit sacrificed his life to protect the holy site. He fought Mughals valiantly & laid down his life.
In the year 1634, the Mughals invaded Amritsar. Mukhlis Khan was dispatched with 7000 soldiers to Amritsar. This invasion happened 2 days before the wedding of Guru Hargobind’s daughter. They were busy in wedding preparations and unprepared for war.
What follows is an account of Gurbilas Patshahi 6. When Guru Hargobind came to know about the Mughal attack, he decided that the sacred Amritsar temple complex was not a place to fight the war. He instructed Sikhs to evacuate the Amritsar temple complex & retreat to Ramsar Sahib. When they reached Amritsar, they realized that the infant daughter of Guru Hargobind was left behind. She was playing with her dolls and was stuck back in the Amritsar temple complex.
Then Guru Hargobind asked his Sikhs: “Who is that powerful warrior who could bring back Bibi Viro (Guru Hargobind’s infant daughter) from the claws of Mughals?” Then the “Kul-Purohit”, the family priest, who had the name “Singha” rose to the occasion. He was assisted by Babak Rababi.
Guru Hargobind instructed Singha Purohit and Babak Rababi to disguise themselves in the attire of Mughals. They were given a gun. They went back on horses towards the Amritsar temple complex and advanced towards Guru’s palace. When they went back to the palace, the place was already occupied by Mughals. Then Bhai Singha Purohit called Bibi Viro and asked her to set out at once. She identified him. Coming out of the palace, she respectfully greeted him (“vandan kare”). Having successfully rescued Bibi Viro, they were ready to return.
Many Mughals partook in all the sweets prepared for the wedding and fell asleep. But there was one alert Mughal standing at the door. When he saw them, he asked “who are you and where are you going?”
They replied “we are your Mughal brothers looking for Guru” & were going back on their horses. But the feet anklets of Bibi Viro fell down making a jingling noise. When the Mughal soldier heard this, he found out their identity and began calling upon the other Mughal soldiers.
- Gurbilas Patshahi 6 by Bhagat Singh (c.1718 CE)
- Gur Pratap Suraj Granth by Kavi Santokh Singh (c. 1843 CE)