DHŪĀṄ, Punjabi for smoke, is a term which is particularly used for seats of certain monkish orders where a fire is perennially kept alive. In the Sikh context it is employed for the four branches of Udāsī Sikhs established by Bābā Gurdittā (1613-38), on whom the headship of the sect was conferred by Bābā Srī Chand, traditionally considered founder of the sect. The dhūāṅs are generally known after their respective heads who were initially assigned to different regions in north India for preaching the tenets of Sikhism as laid down by Gurū Nānak. Later, however, each of the four branches spread and established their preaching centres all over the country. The four dhūāṅs were : (1) Dhūāṅ Bhāī Almast Jī Kā preaching in the eastern parts with headquarters at Nānak Matā and branches, among several other places, at Ḍhākā, Paṭnā and Purī (2) Dhūāṅ Bhāī Bālū Hasnā Jī Kā in western Punjab and Kashmīr; (3) Dhūāṅ Bhāī Goind or Gondā Jī Kā in southern Punjab popularly called Mālvā region; and (4) Dhūāṅ Bhāī Phūl Jī Kā in Doābā, i. e. the tract between the Rivers Beās and Sutlej.
See UDĀSĪS; ALMAST, BHĀĪ BĀLŪ HASNĀ GOIND, BHĀĪ and PHŪL, BHĀĪ
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)