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Bhai Vir Singh Ji's Letter To An Apostate

Jun 1, 2004
During Bhai Vir Singh's time (1872-1957), a Sikh youth settled abroad, sheared his hair and sent his photograph bearing a solar hat to his parents with a justification that one should change according to necessity of life and circumstances.

The parents, who were greatly perturbed, approached Bhai Sahib for help.

Bhai Sahib was known to have brought the famous intellectual Prof. Puran Singh back to Sikhism from Buddhism. The letter which Bhai Sahib wrote in Punjabi to the apostate is given below:

"Respected Sardar Sahib,

We are greatly surprised and disturbed to read your letter. Bowing against one's faith and form is the result of slavish mentality, which had been caused by our continuous subjugation under foreign rulers.

Guru Nanak embarked to take this weakness out of us.

In spite of utmost regards for the wishes of his respected parents and elders to remain at home to look after them and his young family, he preferred to go out on his hazardous mission of world-emancipation.

He did not accept superstition, and demonstrated the omnipresence of God in all directions. He did not bow to Kauda rakshas, but sat in his cauldron filled with boiling oil.

Guru Angad boldly faced Emperor Hamayun's drawn sword, and reminded him of his cowardliness in front of Sher Shah Suri.

Guru Amar Das did not agree to comply with Emperor Akbar's instructions to preach Hindu mode of worship.

Guru Arjun did not include Prophet Mohammed's praise in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, but faced death and severe tortures inflicted on him by Emperor Jahangir.

Guru Hargobind refused to part with Emperor Shahjahan's falcon which fell into the hands of his Sikhs, but fought a battle at Amritsar which he won to assert the rule of game.

Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa and taught them to stand on their ideals, to fight injustice and oppression and never to give in. He blessed his Khalsa with a dominating personality and strong character which does not bow to any physical, mental or moral weakness.

Bhai Taru Singh had asked his executioner to remove his scalp along with hair rather than cut his hair.

Bhai Mani Singh preferred to have his limbs cut to pieces to save his hair. Other martyrs like Bhai Shubag Singh did not abjure their faith.

The British ruled India for three centuries, but they never wore Indian dress.

We, the Indians, due to slavish mentality, started wearing Pathans' dress during their rules, and adopted European dress during the British regime.

Our Gurus taught us to remain firm to our convictions and resolve. This spirit of independence which they inculcated helped the Sikhs to establish an empire in Northern India.

Hair is our uniform, our identity and symbol of devotion and dedication to our Gurus. Hair with a turban bestows sardari. Guru Gobind Singh had made the Sikhs as lions (Singhs). Do not lose this privilege and identity, and do not break your relationship with the Gurus. Please grow your hair and come to meet us in your original form to gladden our hearts."

On receiving this letter, the Sardar returned to his original form and faith.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
harbhansj24 ji

I have read this story on the Internet in a few other places and it is always very moving. It teaches at the core of awareness. Something to ponder for the entire day, and maybe continue into the next, and the next and.....