BISHAN SIṄGH, SANT (d. 1973), holy saint most of whose life was spent in works of sevā, raising of buildings by labour volunteered by devotees, at different shrine sites, came of a well-to-do Sindhī family. Nothing is known about his early life except that his parents were Sahajdhārī Sikhs and that he was in government service when he came in 1940 to the Punjab on a pilgrimage visiting Sikh places of worship and saw Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh of Paṭiālā, then engaged in massive works of sevā reconstructing the shrines and sacred pools at Khaḍūr Sāhib and Goindvāl. Bishan Siṅgh was so impressed by the piousness, humility and devotion of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh and of the large number of Sikhs volunteering their labour that he resigned his post in the government, gave away his personal belongings and joined the holy company. He worked day and night like others, digging and carrying loads on his head. This inspired spell was interrupted by the death on 30 November 1947 of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh. In a state of shock Bishan Siṅgh retired to Srī Abchalnagar, sacred to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, where he remained in solitary meditation for more than five years. Returning to the Punjab, he took to his task with his old zest. Among the works undertaken were the beautification of the Bāolī Sāhib at Goindvāl and completion of Gurdwārā Qatalgaṛh at Chamkaur Sāhib. The last major project he was associated with was the construction of a spacious dīvān or congregation hall, at Gurdwārā Māṅjī Sāhib, within the precincts of the Darbār Sāhib at Amritsar. He was one of the Pañj Piāre who performed its foundation laying ceremony on 13 November 1969, which marked the 500th birth anniversary of Gurū Nānak, but did not live to see it completed. He suffered an attack of paralysis in November 1972 and although, responding to treatment and recovering partially, he had resumed supervision of sevā, he died on 22 November 1973.
Partāp Siṅgh Giānī