Roshan Singh

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ROSHAN SINGH, SIKH warrior in attendance upon GURU Gobind Singh, who once killed a lion singlehanded. During their journey to the Deccan in 1708, records Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, Guru Gobind Singh and Emperor Bahadur Shah were out together on an hunting excursion when they suddenly found themselves face to face with a lion. Bahadur Shah dared his men to kill the beast without the use of a firearm or bow and arrow. Two of his soldiers tried one after the other, but were killed by the lion. Then Roshan Singh from among Guru Gobind Singh`s followers came forward holding a sword and a shield of animal hide. As the lion came charging at him, Roshan Singh, says Kuir Singh, knelt down and took the animal`s paws on his shield, slashing its belly with a swift stroke of his sword. Everyone applauded Roshan Singh`s feat. The Guru rewarded him with his blessing, for he would not accept any worldly prize.

The whole sakhi is as follows:

One time Bahadhur Shah had invited Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj to join him in a hunting expedition. Maharaj along with a few of his beloved Singhs agreed to join Bahadhur Shah for this expedition. Guru Ji and Bahadhur Shah both rode on their horses and were followed by their entourages, hounds and hunters.

Maharaj was merciful and gave mukhi to many souls that day with his beautiful silver arrows of love which never ever fail to hit their targets.

As Bahadhur Shah and Guru Sahib made their way into the heart of the jungle a tiger jumped out and one Buland Khan advanced to kill it. Buland Khan had a sword and a shield with him. As the tiger ran towards him it brought him down in one swoop and tore him into pieces. This scene terrified Bahadhur Shah’s entourage who began to call for those with guns or bows to shoot the tiger.

Upon hearing this Bahadhur Shah announced a reward for killing the animal with a sword or dagger but not with an arrow or bullet. One soldier from a company, named Wazid Khan, came forward with his sword and shield to face the ferocious tiger but he met with the same fate as Buland Khan.

At this stage Guru Sahib asked one of his beloved Singhs, Bhai Roshan Singh Ji to take up the challenge. Bhai Roshan Singh Ji bowed before Satguru Ji and prayed for Maharaj’s blessings. Maharaj held Bhai Roshan Singh Ji and kissed his forehead.

Bhai Roshan Singh Ji with tears of joy in his eyes then rushed forward and faced the tiger with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Bhai Roshan Singh Ji bore the fierce attack of the tiger with his shield before quickly inserting his dagger into the tiger’s abdomen thus killing it.

Everyone who witnessed Bhai Roshan Singh Ji’s bravery was amazed.

Bahadhur Shah applauded Bhai Roshan Singh Ji and called his treasurer who brought a plate full of riches that the emperor had promised to give to the one who killed the tiger with a sword or dagger. Bhai Roshan Singh Ji smiled at Bahadhur Shah and said that, “My beloved Guru Ji’s blessings have enriched me already. In your plate I only see dust. In my Guru’s plate I see all the wealth of this world and the next.”


1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj GRANTH. AMRITSAR, 1927-35

2. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, ed. Shamsher Singh Ashok. PATIALA, 196