The Legends of Bhai Sadhāran —my direct ancestor: Part I

The mention of my ancestor, who was the classmate of the 2nd Sikh Guru, Guru Angad; blessed by the 3rd Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das with the title “Sant Sadhāran” after he completed the sewa of Baoli Sahib —its architecture-construction, especially marked by his crafting and finishing the very complicated submerged kāth-dī-pauṛī. This is said to be the first ever such title endowed by the Sikh Gurus:

‘ik luhār tahiṅ kār karati hai   882412ED-026E-4E92-A82E-A62E69FEDAF2
kāṭhan kī pauṛī ghaṛati hai
apar kāja jō hohe su karahī
kāṡaṭ lōhā nij kar gharihī. 11.
jal ke nikaṭ sapt saupān
lai kāṭh tin racī mahān
jis te jal sukhēn hī lēya
nāhn pān jo cahai karēya. 12.
tis kī kritti hēri gur pūrē
suprasann bulwāye hadūrē
suni āyēsu kō tatt chin āvā
baḍbhāgī carananasir lāvā. 13.
tis kē mastak dhari kari hāth
maṅtra su satinām diya nāth
sant sadhāran nāma dharyō tih
prāpati ridai prakāś lahayō jih. 14.
sēv parī sabhi thāyi tumāri
jāyi rahhu abi grēh majhār…’

‘Sant’ Sadhāran was then endowed the sewā of one of the 22 Manjī-s. It is such an honour to be in his direct line and to be able to represent him! Much respects & ❤️ to him. Bhai Sadhāran was the last and only confidant of the Pratham Pitā, Guru Baba Nanak, at Kartārpur, who did as instructed at his passing —’dēh de ōhlē dē vellē’. Although the was considered as a possible heir to the Pratham Pitā, he was never subjected to the tests by Guru Baba Nanak for, as it was revealed shortly after, he had been chosen to be the second head of the Dharamsāl at Kartārpur Sahib founded in 1521 by the first guru After his own gracious self. It is the blessings of the Pratham & Tījjā Pātshāh’s, that lineage of Bhai Sadhāran, lit. Ordinary, continues to serves the Pedagogical streams 5 centuries on. Bhai Sadhāran headed the Dharamsāl at Kartārpur until Baba Sirichand, Guru Nanak’s elder son came and claimed his right over the township and the Guru-ship. Bhai Sadhāran refused to go against the wishes of Guru Baba Nanak and abided by his decision to anoint Bhai Lehana as Guru Angad. Dhan Gur-Sikkhi! 

Said to be in his early 90s, the Pancham Pitā, Guru Arjan Dev sent ‘Sant’ Sadhāran to Kartārpur Sahib to oversee restoration of some of the older buildings he had constructed at the pleasure of Guru Baba Nanak as well as to construct newer locations. ‘Sant’ Sadhāran’s ‘vansh’ is said to be the oldest of all surviving lineages with very many original intangible assets endowed by the 10 gurus still intact. 

The Anād Khand: Conservatory of Arts, Aesthetics, Cultural Traditions & Developmental Studies proposed to be established at the Sultanpur Lodhi fort is the Dharamsāl revived, which will celebrate its fifth centenary of its founding  by Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev in the year 2021. It is particularly humbling —even overwhelming to be the Chief-steward & custodian of Bhai Sahib ‘Sant’ Sadhāran’s legacy of Gur-darbāri sewā. I remember so very dearly, my grandma, Bibi Sant Kaur’s note —“son, always be mindful of the journey this knowledge has undertaken to reach you; life has become a little too comfortable these days —there is a chance of laxity to settle in and for people to forget the idea of hardships and hard work!” If my grandma (1900-2000) had been around this year, she would have been taken aback at the destruction of irreplaceable heritage assets by the “Sikh” Punjab Policemen at the Sultanpur Lodhi Qila. She would certainly have noted that the arduous journey of the Guru Baba’s knowledge stream, still continuous —that the winds are ferocious still, rocks as sharp as ever pinching the nectarous water flows.  

It is interesting, that people have never wondered nor cared to ask, how is it that there is such memory of, and about, intangible heritage assets in my familial household. Well, it is the collective blessings of Baba Nanaks —from Guru Baba Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das through Dasam Pitā, Guru Gobind Singh, who blessed his childhood friend, Bhai Sahib Das with Khande-ki-pahul in 1699 and who built his forts and fought every single battle. Renamed as Bhai Sahib Singh by Dasam Pitā, he was the great-grandson Of Bhai Sadhāran. Many who only remember this one of my direct ancestor, think of harbour Gur-Sikh family history began from Dasam Pitā’s era. Due to the Sewa at Darbar Sahib and Kartārpur Sahib at the time of Pancham Pitā, Guru Arjan Dev, many think that Gurbani Sañgīta tradition began from the fifth (Pancham) guru. Bhai Sahib ‘Sant’ Sadhāran was an extraordinary musician-Kirtaniyā taught by the Pratham Pitā, and a warrior, designer, architect, strategic locations builder, sculptor, wrestler and calligrapher.

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