SATBĪR SIṄGH (1932-1994) was born on 1 March 1932 at Jehlum (now in Pakistan). Father : Bhāī Harnām Siṅgh, mother : Raṇjīt Kaur. Professor Satbīr Siṅgh's tally of more than 70 titles covering a life span of 62 years makes a formidable catalogue. Among it are works of minute research, textual commentary, history and narrative. Apart from his natural gift for productivity, the principal secret of Satbīr Siṅgh's massive output was his regularity of habit. He arose very early in the morning. While many another person would still be rubbing his sleep-laden eyes, Satbīr Siṅgh would have put behind him by then a good day's work. And then he was free to indulge his daily programme of lectures, and other public activity. He handled with much enthusiasm and special expertise many-sided Panthic responsibilities. He had time for everything. He made his time go a long way. Another very special custom of his was to spend part of his summer vacation in a hill-town. Besides refreshing his body and soul, this change helped him to catch up with any arrears of work. He stuck to this routine and never let up on it even in the worst of circumstances.
Satbīr Siṅgh was a very friendly soul. He had goodwill for all and wished to be of help to others and bore no malice towards anyone. He listened to everyone's problems with sympathy and tried to help as far as he could. Friends sat around him, seeking the advice and help on a variety of matters. He took delight in sharing with friends their problems. To be of help to other was the passion of his life. Much of the responsibility of the activities of Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee fell to the shoulders of Satbīr Siṅgh. One of his main duties was to assess the quality of literature which came to the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee from various sources. He went through it meticulously and announced his judgement He always stood up for the welfare and betterment of the Khālsā schools and colleges. He sat on the Syndicate of the Punjabi University and expressed his opinion without fear and favour. He enjoyed the trust of the government as well and advised it on many matters. He always felt very happy to see his friends flourish. He carried no ill will against anyone in his heart.
He never forgot his old friends. For Sarūp Siṅgh of the Sikh Students Federation, he had a feeling of deep reverence. He acknowledged him as his closest friend and benefactor and always said with pride that whatever he was, it was all owed to Sardār Sarūp Siṅgh. Likewise, he was never chary of giving credit to old Federation friends such as Dr Jaswant Siṅgh Nekī, Dr Bhāī Harbaṅs Lāl, Jasdev Siṅgh Sandhū and Dilbīr Siṅgh.
Writing was the main attraction of his life. 74 books carried his signatures. To be able to present the ten lives of the Gurūs at the portals of the Darbār Sāhib was his ambition. It was for him a matter of much celebration when he finally achieved this. He had the set covered in goldleaf for presentation. They carried such unusual and fresh titles as Balio Chirāg, Kudartī Nūr, Parbat Merāṇu, Pūrī Hoī Karāmāti, Partakh Harī, Gur Bhārī, Nirbhau Nirvairu, Ashṭam Balbīrā, Iti Jini Karī and Purakh Bhagvant. Likewise, he prepared Punjabi versions of the classics by Būṭe Shāh and Malcolm. Another significant series was his Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Dā Sār Visthār, part I, Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Dā Sār Visthār, part II and III, and Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Dā Sār Visthār, part-IV. Among his other publications were : Anādi Anāhit, Sāḍā ltihās-I, Sāḍā ltihās-II, Sau Savāl, Sikh Jarnail, Purātan Itihāsik Jīvanīāṅ, Sikh Ajāib Ghar Album, Kino Baḍo Kalū Mai Sākā, Bīr Paramparā Dā Vikās and Jis Ḍiṭhiā Sabh Dūkh Jāi.
Satbīr Siṅgh died at Paṭiālā on 18 August 1994.
Jasdev Siṅgh Sandhū