LĀL SIṄGH NAROTAM (1840-1926), also known as Sant Lāl Siṅgh Hare Rām, a Nirmalā scholar, was born the son of Bhāī Kirpāl Siṅgh and Rāj Karnī Devī on 14 September 1840 at Bherā, Jehlum district, now in Pakistan. The family claimed descent from Bhāī Mannā Siṅgh, one of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's disciples. Lāl Siṅgh received his preliminary education in Sikh texts from his father and from itinerant sādhūs who frequented his house. Around 1880, he came to Amritsar where he established his own seminary which he named Hare Rām Āshram and which was affiliated to the Nirmalā order. Here he spent the rest of his life, studying and teaching. The epithet narotam (lit. man. par excellence) came to be added to his name in recognition of his scholarship. He wrote both verse (Punjabi) and prose (Sadhukaṛī) and his known works number sixteen. His first original work, completed in 1881 but still unpublished, is Gur Bigyān Prakāsh or Salok Sahaskritī Ṭīkā. It is an exposition in the form of a dialogue of "Sahaskritī Saloks" from the Gurū Granth Sāhib. This was followed by Ādi Gurū Granth Sāhib Jī Ke Prayāi, 400 large-sized folios, a glossary of Gurū Granth Sāhib completed in 1883. Gurū Giān Prakāsh (1886) deals with subjects like exaltation of nām, i.e. absorption in the Name of God. Sudhāsar Mahātam (since published) mainly pays homage to the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Brahm Prakāsh Granth was, according to the author, in three volumes of which only one is now extant. It contains a summary of some important Hindu classics such as the Upaniṣads, the Epics and the Bhāgvata Purāṇa. Published works of Sant Lāl Siṅgh include Srī Gur Bhagat Māl Saṭīk (1908) , Bachan Prakāsh (n.d.), Parlok Jhākī (1926), Giān Sāgar (1966), Narotam Mājhāṅ (n.d.) and Istrī Bhagat Mālā (1971). Among those yet unpublished are Granth Sākhī Pramāṇ, Narotam Bārā Māhā, Man Sambodhan Granth, Gobind Satotra, Niraṅkārī Darshan, Giṇatī Sabadoṅ Kī, Mahimā Prakāsh (Sākhī Saṅgraha), Kabit Sukkhā Siṅgh Ke and Srī Gurū Sabad Sār. The last mentioned work completed in 1898 explains theological terms such as oṅkār, satinām and gurprasādi. Sant Lāl Siṅgh also wrote a commentary on Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's Zafarnāmah but the first ten pages of the 69-page manuscript have been lost.
Sant Lāl Siṅgh Narotam died at Amritsar on 22 June 1926.
Shamsher Siṅgh Ashok