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The Scriptures - Adi Guru Durbar
Page 10 of 12


Sain (1390 to 1440)
According to historical traditions, Bhagat Sain was a barber serving the King of Bandawgadh, Raja Raam. According to Bhai Gurdas, Sain is a disciple of Ramanand:
'Hearing of the glory of Kabir, Sain also turned to become a disciple [of Ramanand].
At night he would be busy with acts of loving devotion, and by day he would visit the door of the king.
One night, some sadhus arrived as guests and the night was spend on discussions and contemplation on the Lord's name.
Sain found he could not part with the sadhus and so he failed to reach the door of the king.
God, took the form of Sain reached there and upon serving the king made him happy.
Bidding farewell to the sadhus, Sain nervously rushed off to the king's door.
From a distance, the king called to Sain, and discarding his robes offered them to Sain to wear. "You have empowered me" spoke the king, who's words were heard by all.
The Almighty manifests the glory and greatness of this devotee.'
Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 10, Verse 16

Bhagat Sain
An old painting depicting the great holy man, Sain with a few of his followers

One of his ballads can be found in the Adi Guru Durbar.



Born into the untouchable 'Chamaar' (leather workers) caste, Ravidas was the son of Raghu and Ghurbini who lived in a village near the city of Benaras. Bhai Gurdas Ji speaks of Ravidas:

'The tanner [Ravidas] became known as a Bhagat in all four corners of the world.
As was the tradition of his family, he would cobble shoes, and carry away carcasses of dead animals.
Though outside this was his life, within he was a jewel wrapped in rags.
He would He would preach to all 4 castes [the Brahmin, the Kystatriya, the Vaisya, and the Shudra] and make them contemplate on the greatness of the Lord.
One time, a group of people went to Varnasi [Benares] to dip in the holy Ganges.
Ravidas offered one 'dhela' [half-a-piece] to one of the people and requested that he make an offering on behalf of Ravidas.
The festival of Abhijit Naksatr was in full swing when the crowds saw this spectacle.
The Ganges herself [Ganges is seen as 'female'] extended her hand to accept the dhela from Ravidas, proving he was at one with Ganges [ie, with the power of the Almighty].
For all Bhagats, the Lord is their mother, their father and their son all in one.'
Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 10, Verse 17

Bhagat Ravidas

A contemporary painting of the great saint
who's followers today call themselves the 'Ravidasis'

Ravidas had many great followers, such as Mirabhai (the famous Rajput Princess). 40 of his ballads have been incorporated into Adi Guru Durbar that speak of rejecting mindless ritualistic worship, ridiculing people based on their birth, equality of mankind and serving the Almighty with pure thought.

A manuscript depicting the famous Rajput princess who became a devotee of the
Almighty upon hearing the great teachings of Bhagar Ravidas. She is shown playing the 'Taus',
a traditional Indian stringed instrument which was a favourite of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji

One Shabad (hymn) of Mirabhai is found in the 'Bhai Bhano wali Bir' (version of Adi Guru Durbar), also known as 'Kharri Bir' as Bhai Bhano came from the village Kharra, Punjab. This is a text recognised by Sanatan Sikhs as equal to the Adi Guru Durbar version found in mainstream gurudwaras today, but is not recognised by British Raj-nurtured Tat-Khalsa Singh Sabhia Sikhs and their descendants today, the S.G.P.C.

With regards to Kharri Bir, the famous Nirmala historian, Giani Gian Singh who gave us the immortal words: 'Agya Pay Akal Ki, Tabey Challa-io Panth, Sabh Sikh-an Ko Hukam Heh Guru Maino Granth' (translates as 'The command of the Immortal God's command came, then the Guru's way come to be (nation), all Sikhs shall consider the Granth as Guru'), he wrote with regards to Kharri Bir:

'In Saun (July-August) Samat 1661 Bikrami (AD 1604) Guru Arjan prepared a copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and gave it to Bhai Bhano to have it bound in Lahore. He, on the way made another copy of it in which he added some extra Shabads (hymns) of Guru Nanak and other Bhagats (saints) and had both the versions [of Adi Guru Durbar] bound and brought to Guru Arjan Dev. Though Guru Sahib named this [second version of Adi Guru Durbar] as 'Kharri Bir' but with regards to worship, their holy status was declared as being equal.'
'Twarikh Guru Khalsa', Giani Gian Singh Nirmala, Vol. 1, Pa. 420)

Bhai Bhano wali Bir
An old painting (c.1700s) of Akali Guru Arjan
Devji (centre) and Bhai Bhano (right) presenting the Bhai Bhano wali Bir


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