Shaheed Bhai Pyara Singh 13th April 1978

Shaheed Bhai Pyara Singh | 13th April 1978 | Shaheedi Purab | 1978 Vaisakhi Massacre
Shaheed Bhai Pyara Singh Ji was born on 2nd February 1954 to Mata Bhag Kaur and Sardar Kishan Singh in the village of Bhungruni in Hoshiarpur. He had two sisters and two brothers. One of his sisters trained to be a nurse in Africa and one of his brothers joined the army a month before Bhai Pyara Singh’s Shaheedi.
After passing his 11th class, Pyara Singh joined the air force on 10th July 1971. He passed the course with a lot of hard work and motivation. He was a very sociable and friendly person and was much liked by other officers and his seniors.
Bhai Pyara Singh was transferred to Shabooa in Assam, where he met a Gursikh by the name of Prithipal Singh, who changed the course of his life. Pyara Singh learned about Gurmat and started reading books written by Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh. He received the gift of Amrit from the Panj Pyare at an Akhand Kirtani Jatha Smagam and would wake in the early hours of each morning to recite the continuous Naam before doing his Nitnem. As a daily routine he would visit the Gurdwara Sahib.
In Shabooa, he was given the Sewa of looking after Gurdwara Sahib by the unit and here he used to recite Sukhmani Sahib and Asa Di Vaar. In a short period of time he memorized a lot of Gurbani and could always be found reciting Naam-Bani. He would tell others not to talk too much and instead recite Naam-Bani. He also enjoyed doing Kirtan and he memorized so much Bani that he would do Kirtan all night from memory without becoming tired.
Bhai Pyara Singh was then transferred from Shabooa to Hyderabad and went from there to Madras for training. A colleague of his at the Hyderabad unit wrote the following about him – ”I met him for the first time when he came from training in Madras. In my fifteen to sixteen years in the air force this is the first person I have seen here wearing a Kurtha Pjama and a Kirpan on top. On the 14th April, we read in the papers that there had been a massacre in Amritsar on Vaisakhi, and we were wondering if Bhai Pyara Singh Ji was amongst the killed or injured because he used to often go to these Smagams. This turned out to be true. On the 18th April, we received a telegram from his father informing us that Pyara Singh had passed away on the 13th April. There was nothing else in the telegram. We understood this to mean that he had become Shaheed at Amritsar and an Akhand Path was started for him. At the Bhog, Sangat from far away came. He was a Gursikh possessing many qualities and shared these with others. He encouraged many people to read Gurbani and taught Kirtan. In his unit he got everybody to start reading Gurbani and would do lectures on the sin of meat and alcohol, which resulted in many people stopping both.”
Early in 1978, Bhai Pyara Singh had taken two months leave and spent a month travelling around Punjab to preach Sikhi to the villagers. From there, he went the Vaisakhi Smagam in Amritsar where the call came to protest against the sacrilege of the Sikh faith.
He used his Daswand for Gurmat Parchar by subscribing many Gursikhs in his Hyderabad unit and in his village Bhungruni to the monthly religious ‘Sura’ magazine and sent Gurmat books written by Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh to many Sikhs. Only a few people knew that he was an accomplished Kirtani, he remained hidden in the Kirtan Smagams.
The loss of Bhai Pyara Singh (‘Pyara’ meaning ‘loved one’) had such an effect on his parents, they promised to take Amrit, as their son had, during a gathering at the Akal Takht in memory of the Shaheeds on 23rd April 1978. The Sangat from the village of Bhungruni and the nearby villages also held a large Shaheedi Smagam in memory of Bhai Pyara Singh, whose sacrifice brought a new awakening of Sikhi in his local area and filled the people with a fighting spirit.
Parnaam Shaheeda Nu!