DĀTŪ, BĀBĀ (1537-1628), son of Gurū Aṅgad and Mātā Khīvī, was born in 1537 at Khaḍūr Sāhib in present-day Amritsar district of the Punjab. Like his elder brother, Dāsū, he too was not reconciled to Gurū Amar Dās succeeding his father as Gurū. But whereas Dāsū had soon realized his error and acknowledged Gurū Amar Dās as true inheritor of Gurū Nānak's spiritual legacy, Dāsū remained hostile. He took to yogic practices to attain supernatural powers and thereby to create a following of his own. One day he went to Goindvāl and, as says Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, he gave vent to his malice by administering Gurū Amar Dās a kick as he sat amid his disciples after the evening service. The saṅgat was stunned, but Gurū Amar Dās turned round, grasped Dātū's foot and caressing it said, "Pardon me, my Master's son ! Your tender foot may not have been hurt by my aged bones. " Instead of being put to shame by the Gurū's humility, Dātū flew into a rage, called him a usurper and told him to quit Goindvāl. Gurū Amar Dās quietly left for his native Bāsarke. Next morning, Dātū and his men collected whatever they could lay their hands on. He had his eyes especially on Gurū Amar Dās's mare, but it would not let him mount it. In his effort to control it, he injured his leg. As he was returning to Khaḍūr, he was waylaid by robbers and deprived of the booty he was carrying. Dātū limped back to Khaḍūr empty-handed. Yet he was unrepentant and it was not until Gurū Arjan's time that he realized his error and made amends. Bābā Dātū lived up to a ripe old age. In September 1628, he visited Amritsar to condole with Gurū Hargobind on the passing away of his son, Aṭal Rāi, but died soon after his return to Khaḍūr.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)