Sikh people

Bhai Bhagatu ji (1600 1652)

Bhai Bhagatu Brar was a devoted Sikh who served the Fifth, Sixth and the Seventh Gurus. He was son of Adam (Uddam in some chronicles), a Siddhu Brar of Malva country. Sikh chronicles record that Adam, without a son for a long time and despaired of prayers at the feet of different holy men, Muslim as well as Hindu, was advised by a Sikh to go to Guru Ram Das. Adam reached Amritsar and dedicated himself to the service of the Guru and the sangat.

The Guru was pleased by his humility and sincerity. Adam received his blessing and had a son born to him. Bhagatu, as the son was named, grew to be a saintly person with a firm faith in the Guru. He made frequent visits to Amritsar where he stopped for long intervals rendering diligent service as construction of the Harimandar was in progress under the guidance of Guru Arjan. He was at Kiratpur in 1644 when Guru Har Rai succeeded Guru Hargobind on Guru Nanak's throne. He later retired to his village, but continued to visit the Guru, especially on Baisakhi and Divali. During one of these visits, Guru Har Rai said to him, 'You are fairly old now; it is time you were married." The Guru was 'referring metaphorically to death, alluding to Shaik Farid's line in the Guru Granth Sahib:

The soul is the bride, Death the bride groom;

He will wed her and take her away. (cc, 1377)

But the simple-minded Bhai Bhagatu, taking the remarks literally, was greatly perplexed. He had two grown-up sons from his wife, now long deceased, and remarriage at his age would in any case be ridiculous. He went home without giving a reply, but the Guru's words continued to ring in his ears. He was still ruminating over the Strange" suggestion when he made his next visit to Guru Har Rai, at Kartarpur, in present day Jalandhar district. The Guru asked Bhai Bhagatu why he looked so preoccupied. As Bhai Bhagatu shyly and hastingly revealed his problem, Guru Har Rai smiled at his naivette and told him that he had merely meant to comment on his age. Bhai Bhagatu now feeling relieved, stayed on in the service of the Guru until he died shortly after the next Baisakhl festival in April 1652. Guru Har Rai personally performed his last rites, and praised his simplicity and devotion.

Bhai Bhagatu's elder son, Gaura, through his enterprising spirit and prowess, became a minor chief at the village of Vinjhu, near Bathinda. One of his descendants, Bhai Desu Singh, founded the Sikh state of Kaithal in the eighteenth century. A gurdwara, Bhalana Bhagatu, named after the celebrated Bhai is located near village Gobindpura, about 11 km northeast of Bathinda (30-14'N, 7458'E). An annual fair is held there on the occasion of Baisakhi.



Excerpts taken from these books.
Encyclopedia of Sikhism by Harbans Singh ji.
Published by Punjabi university, Patiala

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