Bhai Vir Singh

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Vir Singh (Punjabi: ਭਾਈ ਵੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ <small>(Gurmukhi)</small>; December 5, 1872, Amritsar-June 10, 1957, Amritsar) was a poet, scholar and theologian and a figure in the movement for the revival and renewal of Punjabi literary tradition.

His name is also found as Bhai Vir Singh Ji, and Bhai Veer Singh Jee. Bhai and Ji (or Jee) are honorifics.

Early life

Born in 1872, in Amritsar, Vir Singh was the eldest of Dr. Charan Singh's three sons. The family traced its ancestry to Diwan Kaura Mal, who rose to the position of vice-governor of Multan, under Nawab Mir Mu'ln ul-Mulk, with the title of Maharaja Bahadur. His grandfather, Kahn Singh (1788–1878), spent his entire youth in monasteries at Haridwar and Amritsar, acquiring training in traditional Sikh learning. At the age of forty, he got married. Adept in Sanskrit and Braj as well as in the oriental systems of medicine (such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Yunani), Kahn Singh passed on his interests to his only son, Dr. Charan Singh. Apart from being a Braj poet, Punjabi prose-writer, musicologist and lexicographer, Dr. Charan Singh took an active interest in the affairs of the Sikh community, then experiencing a new urge for restoration as well as for change.

Education and marriage

Vir Singh had the benefit of both the traditional indigenous learning as well as of modern English education. He learnt Sikh scripture as well as Persian, Urdu and Sanskrit. He then joined the Church Mission School,...
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