Bhai Vir Singh
Bhai Vir Singh (1872 - 1957)
Bhai Vir Singh was the most important writer and
theologian in Punjabi who expounded Sikh history and philosophy for more
than fifty years. He is regarded as the Bhai Gurdas of the twentieth century.
His most important works are Guru Nanak Chamatkar, Kalgidhar Chamatkar,
Baba Nodh Singh and Meray Saeeyan Jeeo.
Bhai Vir Singh’s creative talent was recognized
by the Government and the Punjab University. He was given the title of
Padam Shri by the Government of India and a Honorary Doctorate by Punjab
University. His poetry possesses the sublimity of Milton, the spontaneity
of Wordsworth, the music of Tagore and the mysticism of Yeats. He was the
‘finest flower’ in the renaissance of modern Punjab.
Bhai Vir Singh was very versatile. He was poet,
novelist, and critic. He found spiritual lessons in the object of Nature.
The Kikar Tree is a symbol of the spiritual seeker who must face the slings
and arrows of worldly people. His poetry throbs with the longing of the
individual soul to rejoin the Universal Soul. The hurdle between man and
God is the Ego. Once that is subdued, man may meet God, face to face. He
would find beauty and God’s presence in the ordinary things of life. He
believed man could find peace and bliss through self control and spiritual
Bhai Vir Singh was also a historical novelist.
His important works in the genre are Sundri, Bijaj Singh and Satwant Kaur.
Their popularity, is such that they have been reprinted many times.
Bhai Vir Singh sang of the struggles of the village
folk. He wrote poems on freedom and patriotism. Bhai Vir Singh was not
only a philosopher but also a stylist. Even his prose captures the dignity
and harmony of poetry. Kalgidhar Chamatkar is full of purple passages.
A registered society – Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan – is now busy publishing
his works and popularizing them among the masses. His centenary was celebrated
in Indian and abroad in 1972.