BHAGAT RATNĀVALĪ, also known as Sikhāṅ dī Bhagatmāl or Sikhāṅ dī Bhagatmālā or Bhagatāvalī is a ṭīkā or exposition, in Punjabi prose, of a Vār (no. 11) from Bhāī Gurdās's Vārāṅ. The Vār contains a roster of the names of some of the Sikhs of the time of the first six Gurūs, Gurū Nānak to Gurū Hargobind, without giving any details about how they got initiated into the Sikh faith or about their careers. The Bhagat Ratnāvalī, attributed to Bhāī Manī Siṅgh (q. v. ), attempts to supply these. The name of Bhāī Manī Siṅgh occurs at several places in the text in the third person which makes it doubtful if he is the author. The anecdotes given are meant to have been those related by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to Bhāī Manī Siṅgh. It is likely that they were recorded by another Sikh who heard Manī Siṅgh narrate these at a congregation. The work may be dated between AD 1706 (the year Gurū Gobind Siṅgh left Punjab for the South : it is said that Manī Siṅgh started relating the anecdotes after the Gurū's departure) and AD 1737 (the year of Bābā Kalādhārī's death to whom belonged a manuscript copy of the work).
However, some manuscripts contain, following the exposition of Bhāī Gurdās's Vār, anecdotes about some of the Sikhs connected with the last four Gurūs. Whereas the first part of the work ends with the words : "Ṭīkā vār Yārvīṅ dī pūrī hoī - here ends the exposition of the eleventh Vār, " the second part concludes with "Sākhīāṅ pūriaṅ hoiāṅ - anecdotes end here. " The language and style in both the parts is identical. The current printed version, edited by Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh, comprises only the first part. The general format is that of a Sikh - more often than not it is a group of Sikhs visiting the Gurū and raising questions, he has had in his mind. The Gurū answers the questions and the Sikh bows at his feet convinced. Sikh teaching is in this manner rehearsed. For the dialogue form the book adopts, it has also been described as a goṣṭi.
Balbīr Siṅgh Nandā