KHUSHĀL SIṄGH, BHĀĪ (1862-1945), holy man with mastery of Sikh music, was the son of Bhāī Gurmukh Siṅgh, a Jaṭṭ Sikh of Daudhar, a village 22 km southeast of Mogā (30º-48'N, 75º-10'E), in Farīdkoṭ district of the Punjab. Blind from birth, Khushāl Siṅgh received instruction in gurbāṇī and kīrtan or devotional music in Vaḍḍā Ḍerā, a school for training Sikh musicians established at Daudhar in 1859 by Sant Suddh Siṅgh (d. 1882). Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh (d. 1902), an accomplished musician who became mahant or head of the institution after the death of its founder, was his teacher. Khushāl Siṅgh made swift progress and acquired uncanny proficiency in the art. Besides solitary recitation of gurbāṇī early in the morning and kīrtan in the saṅgat morning and evening, he gave lessons in devotional music to the inmates of the Ḍerā most of whom were physically handicapped being blind or maimed. The instruments taught included sarandā, sitār, tānpūrā and various kinds of drums and concussion instruments, but Khushāl Siṅgh's particular specialization was in sarandā. A good vocalist, he not only sang the traditional classical measures, but also made his own innovations. Once his singing of a hymn in Mirzā Gauṛī, a new tune set by himself, in a learned gathering at Damdamā Sāhib, Talvaṇḍī Sābo, drew unprecedented applause.

         Bhāī Khushāl Siṅgh died in 1945 at the ripe age of 83. The wooden frame of his favourite sarandā is preserved in a museum in the town of Farīdkoṭ .


  1. Avtār Siṅgh and Gurcharan Siṅgh, Gurbāṇī Saṅgīt. Patiala, 1979
  2. Sundar Siṅgh, Bhāī, Gurbāṇī Saṅgīt. Amritsar, n.d.
  3. Siṅgh Sabhā Patrikā. February-March 1978

Braham Jagdīsh Siṅgh