Bhai Daya Singh Ji were the first of the ‘Panj Pyare’ (Five beloved ones). Bhai Sahib Ji was born in the town of Lahore (Pakistan) on Bhadro Pravishta 11, Sammat 1711. Their fathers name was Sudha Ji and their mothers name was Maiee Diyaal Ji. Both Bhai Sahib’s mother and father were devotees of the 9th Sikh Guru – Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. The family had a lot of devotion towards the Sikh faith and Waheguru. It was through the combination of these good deeds of Bhai Sahib’s family that Bhai Sahib would meditate on the Lord Waheguru’s name from a young age.
The first name of Bhai Daya Singh Ji was Daya Raam. From a young age Bhai Sahib had learnt the Sikh morning prayer of Japji Sahib off by heart and through remembrance of God through meditation used to serve their parents. On some occasions Bhai Sahib’s mother would visit Sri Anandpur Sahib to meet Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and would take Daya Raam along with her. Then one day on the festival of Holi, Daya Raam aged 16, permanently began to live at Sri Anandpur Sahib with the Guru and did not return home with his mother. It was from this point that Bhai Daya Singh Ji took part in huge amount of seva, self-lessly focusing their mind and body towards serving the Guru and the Sikh congregation.
After the martyrdom of the 9th Sikh Guru, Bhai Daya Singh Ji continued to reside at Sri Anandpur Sahib, serving under the 10th Sikh Guru – Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Sahib continued their self-less service and meditation on the Lord Waheguru’s name.
On the festival of Vaisakhi in 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked for the heads of Sikhs, it was through the silent crowd of 1000′s of devotees that Bhai Daya Singh Ji happily stood up to sacrifice their head. 4 more Sikhs happily gave their heads following Bhai Sahib’s footsteps, thus these Sikhs were baptised with the Amrit (nectar) and the Khalsa was created in the image of 5 Sikhs or the – Panj Pyare. These 5 were considered equal to the image of the Guru and the 10th Guru themselves also took Amrit from the hands of thse 5 Sikhs.
Bhai Daya Singh Ji being the first Sikh to sacrifice their head for the Guru obtained the love and happiness of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Daya Singh Ji remained in service of Guru Sahib and was seen as a role model within other Sikhs.
Following the departure of Sri Anandpur Sahib and the Khalsa’s war against the Mughal tyranny, Guru Gobind Singh Ji set up a base at what is now known as ‘Chamkaur Sahib Di Garhi’. The mughal oppressors in their 1000′s surrounded this base in which Guru Sahib was with 40 Sikh devotees and their 2 eldest sons. A war had began, there was a lot of bloodshed within this battle in which Guru Sahib’s own sons and devotees were attaining martyrdom. On the 2nd day of this war, Guru Sahib suggested that they too should fight in the battlefield and attain martyrdom.
The Sikhs were shocked at hearing this and worried for the future of this newly established community. It was at this point that Bhai Daya Singh Ji, Bhai Dharam Singh Ji, Bhai Maan Singh Ji, Bhai Sangat Singh Ji and Bhai Sant Singh Ji made a humble request to Guru Gobind Singh Ji to not fight within the battlefield.
Guru Sahib told the Sikhs that they were his followers and it was his own choice whether they chose to attain martyrdom or not! Bhai Daya Singh Ji then humbly requested Guru Sahib: “We are all your your devotees and your Sikh children. The community is requesting that you please do not attain martyrdom. Please let’s leave Chamkaur Di Garhi and go to the Malwa region and gain martial support from local Sikhs. Let us please gather our forces and then attack tyranny once again so that the Khalsa may always remain in high-spirits! We need a Guru like you as our commander and advisor, without you we are in incapable of doing anything!”
Bhai Daya Singh Ji had understood the strength and powers of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the fact that they were capable of preparing several 1000′s of other Sikh Soldiers. Guru Sahib Ji was very proud at Bhai Sahib’s words and understanding. Guru Sahib Ji clapped and left the Garhi of Chamkaur with Bhai Maan Singh Ji And Bhai Daya Singh Ji. Bhai Sangat Singh Ji and Bhai Sant Singh Ji attained martyrdom.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji then left for Machivara Jungle and wrote the Zafarnamah (Letter of victory) and then ordered Bhai Maan Singh Ji and Bhai Daya Singh Ji to give the letter to the corrupt tyrant mughal leader – Aurangzeb.
Travelling across the land of what is now known as India, Guru Sahib along with their Sikhs reached the blessed land of Maharasthra. It was here that Lachman Dass Bairagee was transformed into Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Soorma and sent towards Punjab to avenge the atrocities commited against the Sikh faith. Bhai Daya Singh was present at this point.
Upon the passing down of the Guru-ship to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Bhai Sahib was asked to adorn Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj with beautiful rumaale and to prakaash Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on a throne. Guru Gobind Singh Ji then placed a coconut and 5 paise before Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, passed the light of the Guru-ship on and bowed in respect.
Approaching the final days of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj’s life on earth they were sitting in meditation, contemplating the almighty Lord Waheguru, who they were soon to join with. Recitations from ‘Raag Maaroo’ of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji were being recited aloud and came into the ears of Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib asked as to what had happened. The hazuriya Sikh of Guru Sahib told them that Bhai Daya Singh Ji had left for their heavenly abode. Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked for the Sikh to call Bhai Daya Singh Ji. Confused at what was happening, the Sikh ran towards the location Bhai Daya Singh Ji was laying whilst covered with a white cloth sheet.
The Sikh stood at Bhai Daya Singh Ji’s feet and done a request to Bhai Sahib that Guru Sahib is remembering them. Despite having ascended to heaven, Bhai Daya Singh Ji began reciting the ‘Waheguru Mantar’ and got up. They quickly ran towards Guru Sahib Ji. Guru Gobind Singh Ji then asked as to why Bhai Daya Singh Ji had left for heaven without meeting them. Bhai Sahib replied that it was the will of God that they had to leave, just as Guru Sahib had called them, they were standing at heavens doors. Guru Sahib Ji and Bhai Sahib Ji engaged in their final words and Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave Bhai Sahib Ji a message to give to Waheguru: