CHAUPĀ SIṄGH (d. 1724), earlier name Chaupati Rāi, was a prominent Sikh in the retinue of Gurū Tegh Bahādur (1621-75) and then of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh (1666-1708). He was born in a Chhibbar (Brāhmaṇ) family of Kaṛiālā, a village in Jehlum district, now in Pakistan. His grandfather, Gautam, had accepted the Sikh faith and was followed in this allegiance by his two sons - Paiṛā and Prāgā. The former was Chaupati Rāi's father; in the lineage of the latter, known for his martial skill during the time of Gurū Hargobind (1595-1644), were Dargah Mall, Dharam Chand, Gurbakhsh Siṅgh and Kesar Siṅgh. Chaupati Rāi remained attached to the Gurūs' household from the time of Gurū Har Rāi to whose service he had been piously assigned by his parents. According to Kesar Siṅgh Chhibbar, Baṅsāvalīnāmā, he accompanied Gurū Tegh Bahādur to Paṭnā where during the infancy and early childhood of (Gurū) Gobind Siṅgh he acted as his khiḍāvā or attendant. He also taught the child Gurmukhī and Ṭākrī letters. When Gurū Gobind Siṅgh inaugurated the Khālsā in 1699, Chaupati Rāi also received the initiatory rites and became Chaupā Siṅgh. Chaupā Siṅgh's title to permanent fame stems from the association of his name with a Sikh manual Hazūrī Rahitnāmā, popularly called Rahitnāmā Chaupā Siṅgh. The family tradition as recorded in the Baṅsavālīnāmā affirms that Chaupa Siṅgh was selected by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to produce the first rahitnāmā, code of conduct, and as he humbly pleaded insufficient competence for so weighty a responsibility, he was reassured by the promise that the Gurū himself would inspire and direct the words which he uttered. Further, that a copy was made in the hand of a Sikh, Sītal Siṅgh Bahrūpīā, and taken to the Gurū for his imprimatur. The colophon of the extant text is, however, vague about its authorship and some of the injunctions in it conflict with the accepted Sikh code. Chaupā Siṅgh remained with the Gurū until 1705 when at the time of evacuation of Anandpur he proceeded to Delhi in the entourage of the ladies of the Gurū's family. He remained in Delhi until his death by execution in 1724, except for a brief sojourn in Talvaṇḍī Sābo sometime in 1706 when with Mātā Sundarī and Mātā Sāhib Devāṅ he went there to see the Gurū. He was one of the band of the followers of Ajīt Siṅgh, adopted son of Mātā Sundarī, later discarded, which became involved in a public fracas resulting in the death of a Muslim faqīr. In consequence, sixty of them were arrested and executed on Māgh Sudī 4, 1780 Bk / 18 January 1724. Chaupā Siṅgh was one of them.


  1. McLeod, W. H, The Chaupa Singh Rahitnama. Dunedin, 1987
  2. Chhibbar, Kesar Siṅgh, Baṅsāvalīnāmā Dāsāṅ Pātshāhīāṅ Kā. Chandigarh, 1972

Piārā Siṅgh Padam