Shaheed Bhai Dayala Ji

Shaheed Bhai Dayala Ji

Bhai Dayal Dass Ji was son of Bhai Mai Dass and younger brother of martyr Bhai Mani Singh ji. His grandfather, Balu Ram had attained martyrdom while fighting in Guru Hargobind's first battle of faith against the Mughals. His ancestors belonged to Alipur near Multan. Bhai Mai Dass came to Kiratpur for an audience with Guru Har Rai in 1657 A.D. While returning, he left his three elder sons for service of the Guru's institution. Bhai Dayal Dass was fifteen when he entered the Guru's institution. On recommendation from Diwan Durga Mall, Guru Tegh Bahadur made him minister for domestic affairs. In 1665 A.D., when Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Assam from Patna, he left him at Patna to look after his family. The birth of (Guru) Gobind Singh took place under his care and service and he looked after the prince till he reached Anandpur. After sending the Kashmiri Brahmins back on the 25th May, 1675 A.D., Guru Tegh Bahadur decided to go to Agra for courting arrest. Before leaving Anandpur, he asked his principal devotees to ask for any blessing they had at heart. All were unanimous in their reply, 'That we be granted permission to accompany you to Agra." Bhai Dayal Dass was also one of those Sikhs who had been arrested ahead of the Guru. On the 9th November, 1675 A.D., the qazis ordered that Bhai Dayal Dass be seated in a cauldron of boiling water. On hearing the ruling, Bhai Dayal Dass asked leave of the Guru. The Guru said, "Brother, your service has borne fruit due to which your turn has come before mine. Great are you and blessed is your devotion. What pleasure can be greater for me than to see my lifelong devotees sacrificing their lives for the protection of human rights even ahead of me. May God bless you with success." Before putting Bhai Dayal Dass in the cauldron of boiling water, the qazis said, "There is still time. Embrace Islam and save yourself from pains otherwise you will face greater agony than your companion. You have seen how cruelly he was sawn." Bhai Dayal Dass replied, "You could not harass my companion. Did you notice, how calmly he was meditating on the word of his Guru when he was being sawn. Having made mockery of bodily pains, he had diffused into the Supreme Being. Hurry up and let my soul attain unity with the Lord." On his reply in the negative, the executioners sat him in the cauldron of boiling water. He stayed on sitting in the water with an unwavering mind. His flesh separated from his bones and his soul merged into the Supreme Being.

Bhai Dayala Ji was one of those Sikhs who were allowed by Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib to remain with him and be arrested along with him under the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb. The other two were Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass.

Aurangzeb who was determined to convert the entire Hindu population of India into Islam even by force was immensly pleased by the message of

Early life

Guru Teg Bahadur received by him through Kashmiri Brahmins and Governor of Lahore. He thought, it would not be difficult to deter the Ninth Guru of the Sikhs to shun the idea of coming to the rescue of Hindus from his tyrant methods of conversion. He was confident that his learned Kazis and scholars of Islam would easily persuade the Sikh Guru to himself become a Muslman..The learned Kazis questioned the advisibility of Guru in taking up the cause of Hindus, the idol worshippers, when he himself had no faith in idol worship. They further told him that Islam preaches worship of one God like Sikh Gurus. Islam even promised paradise for idol destroyers.

Guru Teg Bahadur’s reply to Kazi’s persuation and arguments was. “Those using force and the influence of the State to bring about conversion of population from one religion to another can never be graced by God. They should only expect condemnation and punishment at the hands of the Lord. Every one should have the freedom of worship according to one’s belief. He said that while it was true that he was trying to educate people about the futility of idol worship and ritualism and concentration on the worship of one God. Since the advent of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, millions of Hindus and Muslims have adopted Sikh religion, only through preaching and persuation. He told them that they were also at liberty to adopt methods used by Sikh Gurus to convince people of other religions to join Muslim faith.

When Kazis, the learned scholars of Islam, failed to convince Guru Teg Bahadur about the supermacy of their religion and found that the Guru was stead fast towards his own religion, they planned to terrify him. In this regard, they cut Bhai Mati Dass into two pieces with a big saw. When Bhai Mati Dass’s brutal death in front of his eyes failed to terrify Guru Teg Bahadur. Bhai Dayala bound with iron shackles was marched to the place Chandni Chowk where Bhai Mati Dass was done to death. The Kazi offered to set him free and luxurious life if he accepted to be converted to Islam, or a torturous death in the event of refusal.

Bhai Dayala who had witnessed the horrible scene of two executioners sawing Bhai Mati Dass alive in front of thousands of spectators, had mentally and physically prepared himself for a similar treatment.

He told the Kazi, “Don’t think Bhai Mati Dass is dead. He is sitting happily in the lap of merciful God and will live forever in the hearts of godly people. Be quick and despatch me quickly to the heavanly abode where Bhai Mati Dass is waiting for me. However, I too wish that I should also be allowed to lay down my life while facing my beloved Guru’s cage.”

Under the orders of the Kazi, a big Cauldrum (a very big vessel) was brought. Bhai Dayala was made to sit in this vessel. Water was put into the vessel and fire was lit under the vessel.

While Bhai Dayala satrted reciting Gurbani the water started boiling in the cauldrum. Kazi continued to persuade Bhai Ji to save his precious life by accepting conversion to Islam.< Bhai Dayala paid no heed to it and kept meditating on the name of God, with grace of his Guru, who was witnessing from his cage his devout disciple was laying down his life in the most courageous and peaceful manner unmindful of the brutal manner, the tryants were doing him to death. Boils appeared on the entire body of Bhai Dayala and the spectators were terrified by the most inhuman scene. But Bhai Ji had before his eyes the model of martyrdom of the Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who was done to death under the orders of Emperor Jahangir in a similar but much worse manner.

Under the watchful eyes of thousands of spectators many of who were sobbing and graceful eyes of his Guru, Bhai Dayala’s soul left his body and acquired the grace of Guru and God.

His example of courage and conviction of his faith in Sikh religion and stead fastness to his belief will keep inspiring the Sikh youth and others for generations to come.He thus contributed his share in making the Sikh heritage richer still.

Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass

Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass both brothers were sons of Bhai Hira Nand. Their ancestor, Gautam Dass was a resident of village Kariala in Jehlum district. He was initiated into Sikh faith by Guru Arjan Dev. Pleased at his services, the Guru had bestowed on him the title of 'Bhai' (brother) which continues in their family to this day.

Their grandfather, Bhai Praga, had been given command of a 'Jatha' (unit) by Guru Hargobind in the first battle with the Mughals in 1628 A.D. He died of deep wounds sustained in that battle. After that, Bhai Hira Nand presented himself in the service of Guru Har Rai. Before his death in 1657 A.D., he left Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass, elder of his four sons, to serve the Guru's institution. In accordance with the command of their father, they started serving the Guru's institution with heart and soul.

Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass accompanied Guru Har Krishan when he went to Delhi on invitation from Aurangzeb. After the merger of the Guru into the Supreme Being on the 30th March, 1664 A.D., both the brothers went to village Bakala. On the manifestation of Guru Tegh Bahadur, both the brothers presented themselves in his service. When Vhir Mall could not become the Guru, he made a fruitless attempt to shoot the Guru in collaboration with Shihan Masand and his gang. After that he had taken away valuable items from the Guru's institution to his camp. At that time both the brothers gave all the help to Makhan Shah to present Dhir Mall and Shthan Masand in bondage before the Guru.

One day, Durga Mall, the Diwan (chief minister) of Guru's institution requested the Guru, "Respected Guru ! My body, soul and worldly wealth are all at your service but it is becoming difficult for me to carry out the duty of Diwan due to old age. These two nephews are in your service who are trustworthy and faithful sons. If you deem fit, bestow the elder Mati Dass, the honour to serve as Diwan and the younger Sati Dass as Wazir (public affair minister)." Accepting the request of Diwan Durga Mall, the Guru entrusted the service of Diwan to Bhai Mati Dass and Wazir to Bhai Sati Dass.

In order to bring the whole of India under one faith, Aurangzeb ordered in 1674 A.D., to convert Hindus to Islam by force from the Kashmir side. Before bowing their heads before the sword of Sher Afgan Khan, the Governor of Kashmir, the prominent Brahmins of Kashmir led by Pandit Kirpa Ram appeared before the Guru at Anandpur on the 25th May, 1675 A.D., and explained about their helplessness. The Guru knew that weak and terrified people do not become brave by listening to episodes of bravery. Fearless and great leadership is needed to make them fearless. So the Guru said to them, "Go and tell the Governor that Guru Tegh Bahadur is our leader. If you convert him to Islam, we shall become Muslims of our own accord." On getting this message, Aurangzeb ordered the arrest of the Guru. For courting arrest, the Guru started towards Agra from Anandpur on the 11th July, 1675 A.D. At Agra, when the soldiers came to arrest the Guru, both the brothers came forward to offer themselves for arrest flrst.

On receipt of the second order from Aurangzeb, the Guru was asked to embrace Islam. The Guru refused. In order to intimidate the Guru, the qazis (Islamic magistrates) made a plan to torture to death, the Sikhs arrested with the Guru before his eyes. They thought that the Guru would embrace Islam out of fear on seeing the Sikhs murdered. The qazis decreed to cut Bhai Mati Dass with a saw first of all.

Hearing the order of the qazis, Bhai Mati Dass prayed to the Guru, "O True King ! bless me so that I may do my duty by sacfiflcing myself for the glory of the faith." After the Guru had blessed him, the qazis asked Bhai Mati Dass, "Brother, embrace Islam and enjoy the pleasures provided by the goveInment. Moreover when you die as a Muslim, you will go to heaven where there will be streams of milk, many kinds of wine to drink and beautiful women to enjoy. If you do not embrace Islam, your body will be sawn into two." Bhai Mati Dass replied, "I can sacrifice hundreds of such heavens for my faith. I don't need women nor wine. I see all the happiness in the path of my faith." After his refusal, the qazis asked him his last wish, to which he replied, 'When I am being cut with the saw, let my face be towards my mentor so that I may behold my Guru till my last breath and he may keep on seeing me so that he may be convinced how happily I reach my last destination." By the order of the qazis, the executioners sawed Bhai Mati Dass in two on the 8th November, 1675 A.D., in Chandani Chowk, Delhi.

On the 10th November, 1675 A.D., the qazis ordered Bhai Sati Dass to be wrapped in cotton and burnt. Before being wrapped in cotton, the qazis asked Bhai Sati Dass, "Save your life by embracing Islam and live in pleasure." Bhai Sati Dass replied, 'You cannot understand that my pleasure and happiness lie only in obeying the command of my Guru. It does not lie in saving this life which must end one day." At this reply, the executioners wrapped Bhai Sati Dass in cotton, poured oil over it and set fire to it. Bhai Sati Dass remained calm while burning till his last breath and remained true to his resolve.


  • Thind, H. S. Kamboj Itihaas (1972), p.166

  • Dardi, K. S. D. These Kamboj People (1979). pp.307-08

  • Ibid Kamboj Itihaas p.170

  • Kosh, Mahan. Encyclopaedia of Sikh Literature (1999), p. 920

Further reading

  • Baba Bhumman Shah by K. S. Dardi (Text: These Kamboj People).

  • Life Sketch of Baba Bhumman Shah by Dr Jiya Lal Kamboj.

  • Life Sketch of Baba Bhumman Shah by Sher Singh Nirmal, Editor, Vishaal Kamboj.

  • Baba Bhumman Shah by H. S. Thind (Text: Kamboj Itihaas)

Bhai Dayala, Bhai Dyal Das or Bhai Diala, Bhai Dial Das (d. 1675) was one of the earliest and great Martyrs to the Sikh faith. Along with his companions Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das as well as Ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur ji, Bhai Dayal was martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 on account of his refusal to barter his faith.

Ethnicity of Bhai Dayala ji

  • A Dullat Jat?

According to one version, Bhai Dayala belonged to Dullat family of Chaudhury Bika Dullat (Jatt). He is said to be real brother of Bhai Mani Singh Dullat from village Kambowal (now Longowal) in the Sangrur District of Punjab whom Giani Gian Singh Dullat has connected with Bhai Mani Singh Shaheed. This clue about Bhai Dayala was arbitrarily drawn by someone from Longowal based on the erroneous information provided by Giani Gian Singh in the first edition of his Panth Parkash (published 1874 AD) where Giani ji states that Bhai Mani Singh Dullat were FIVE brothers including one named Nagahya (whom he states as a noted Daku or Brigand i.e bidit dakait). The name of their father is stated to be Chaudhary Bika. But Giani Gian Singh has nowhere stated that Bhai Dayala was one of the five sons of Bika Dullat or that he was a brother of Bhai Mani Singh Dullat (See: Panth Parkash, First Edition, Bisram 43, Gian Singh Longowal). In later editions of his Panth Parkash, Giani Gian Singh however, writes that Bhai Mani Singh Dullat had only ONE elder brother Bhai Nagahya Dullat (whom he now states as a Bhagat or a religious person i.e ''subhat udaar bhagat'') and that ''the name of their father was Chaudhury Kala Dullat'' (Panth Parkash, Vibhag, 1987, p 1317, Giani Gian Singh). Thus, the claim that Bhai Dayala was real brother of Bhai Mani Singh Dullat and hailed from Kambowal (now Longowal) automatically gets negated by Giani Gian Singh’s own writings in his later editions. Hence, there is no truth in the claim that Bhai Dayala was a Dullat Jatt and elder (or younger) brother of so-called Bhai Mani Singh Dullat. It is also important to know how Giani Gian Singh ji goes on changing his own statements about the basic parameters of his own ancestors. And there are numerous inconsistencies in his writings about his own ancestral family. It goes to prove that Giani Gian Singh ji is not sure of what he is saying. This adds enough elements of doubt to his professed claim.

  • A Punwar Rajput?

According to another claim which is solely based on the Bhat Vahis, the authenticity and trustworthiness of which is yet to ascertained, examined and accepted by the Historians and Scholars [1], Bhai Dayala was son of Mai Das and an elder brother of Bhai Mani Ram of Punwar (Vanjara) Rajput lineage from village Alipore, Multan, now Pakistan [2]. [3] .

  • A Kamboj Martyr?

According to Principal Satbir Singh, Bhai Dayala was real brother of Bhai Mani Singh Shaheed and belonged to village Kakaru in District Ambala, now in Haryana. The village is commonly called "Theh" [5]. Sher Singh Sher (a non-Kamboj researcher) writes that Bhai Dayala ji belonged to the Kamboh |Kambo or Kamboh caste and was a real paternal uncle (Chacha ji) of Bhai Mani Singh Shaheed[5]. But according to Harbans Singh Thind, Bhai Dayala was born in village Kalhe in Majha-des, District Amritsar, Tehsil Tarn-Taran in a family of Kamboh farmers. The village Kalha adjoins village Kang and is located few miles east of Tarn-Taran. His father Lall Chand was from ''Mutti'' clan of the Kamboj. His mother’s name was Chandika. Another well known research scholar S Kirpal Singh states that Bhai Dayala was Kamboj but does not give any further information about his family or his village[6]. A more likely scenario is that Bhai Dayala belonged to those famiilies of Kambohs which had earlier moved from Kambohwal (now Longowal) and had settled at Anandpur in the service of the Gurughar during the times of ninth Guru ji. .


Bhai Dayala was one of those great Sikhs who accompanied Guru Tegh Bahadur when the latter left Anandpur on 11 July 1675 to court martyrdom at Delhi, the other were Brahmin brothers---Bhai Mati Das, a Dewan and Bhai Sati Das, a Scribe at Guru’s court. Along with Ninth Guru ji, they were arrested under the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb at Agra. On 9th November, 1675 A.D, the Qazi pronounced his religious order that Bhai Dayala must either accept Islam or be prepared to embrace death by being boiled in a Cauldron. Bhai Dayala heroically accepted the latter alternative and asked leave of the Guru. The Guru graced Bhai Dayala for his lifelong devotion as a true and dedicated Sikh and blessed him with glory and success. Bhai Dayala was put into a big Cauldron full of water which was later heated to the boiling point. Bhai Dayala continued to his last breath to recite the Japji of Guru Nanak and the Sukhmani of Guru Arjan.


{{Sikhism-stub}} {{india-bio-stub}} Category:Martyrs Dr Harbans Singh (Ed), The Encylopedia of Sikhism, Vol IV, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1998, pp 95-96; Identity of Bhai Mani Singh Shahid, Article Published in Punjab History Conference, 22nd Session, March 25-27, 1988, Part I, Proceedings, Punjabi University Patiala, 1989, p 80-81, Prof Gurmukh Singh; Bhai Mani Singh Shaheed, 2004, pp 57 sqq, Kirpal Singh Dardi; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 255-267 Shaheed Bilaas, Bhai Mani Singh, 1961, 25, 26, 105, Giani Garja Singh Giani Garja Singh's claim on Bhai Dayala as Punwar Rajput is allegedly based on Bhat Vahi Multani Sindh and Panda Vahis of Hardwar (See: Shaheed Bilaas, Bhai Mani Singh, 1961, Garja Singh). S. Kirpal Singh especially visited Hardwar and spent several days to personally review, examine and verify the contents of the ''Panda Vahis'' relating to Giani Garja Singh's family. S. Kirpal Singh reports that there are dubious entries as well as discrepancies in chronology, as also there are indications of tempering-with the "Panda Vahis" at Hardwar in respect of Giani Garja Singh's family (See: Bhai Mani Singh Shaheed, 2005, pp 61-64, Kirpal Singh). S. Kirpal Singh has further found that the ''Panda Vahis'' at Hardwar can very easily be got manipulated or tempered with, through these Hardwar Pandas, by any one at any time, and are therefore, by no means, a trustworthy and scientific source of reliable information. Similar arguments also apply to the ''Bhat Vahi Multani Sindhi and others Vahis'' which Garja Singh or his supporters like Piara Singh Padam, Dr Piar Singh etc depend on, to prove their case. This new information by S Kirpal Singh very much negates the claim of Giani Garja Singh and his supporters Saada Itihaas, Bhaag 2, p 154. Kamboj Itihaas, 1973, p 122-123, Harbans Singh Thind Glimpses of Sikhism and Sikhs, 1982, p 207, Sher Singh Sher The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 248, Kirpal Singh; Also see: These Kamboj People, 1979, p 218 According to Karam Singh Historian, in the wake of Anandpur disaster when Bhai Mani Singh had escorted the wives (Mehils) of Tenth Guru ji to Delhi, they were also accompanied by some Kamboh families. It appears highly likely that these Kamboh families originally belonged to Kambohwal and had moved to Anandpur to seek shelter in Gurughar and had permanently stayed there in the service of ninth Guru ji. Bhai Dayala Ji and Bhai Mani Singh, to all probability, belonged to these families of the Kamboh lineage. Karam Singh Historian had recommended further research on these Kamboh families

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.