Pandit Varyam Singh

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Pandit Varyam Singh (1864-1953), religious scholar and preacher, was born the son of Dhanna Singh, a peasant of moderate means living in the village of Jabboval, now in the Kapurthala district of the Punjab. Losing his father at the age of 14, he took up his ancestral profession of farming, and as a hobby started practising wrestling. But he soon left both and proceeded to the holy city of Amritsar to devote himself to learning. Besides the Guru Granth Sahib, he read there classics such as Vh'tf Prabhakar, Vichar Sagar, Moksa Panth Prakas with Bhai Amrik Singh. He then studied under Pandit Kaka Ram who taught him grammar and prosody. Varyam Singh made a reputation for himself in religious debate. For his learning, he earned the sobriquet of pandit. As a preacher, he promoted the reformist ideology of the Singh Sabha movement and espoused the cause of Sikh education on behalf of the Khalsa College Governing Council. Working for the Khalsa Diwan Nabha, he attracted the attention of MaharajaHira Singh (18431911), who appointed him president of the Dharamarth (charities) Committee of the State and religious tutor to the sons of Sardar Shamsher Singh of Badrukkhan. Thereafter the services of Pandit Varyam Singh were secured successively by several aristocratic families such as the Sodhis ofKartarpur and the Sardars ofDhammomajra. Pandit Varyam Singh died on 25 January 1953.