GAHIR GAMBHĪRĪE MAT KE SVĀMĪ BISHAN DĀS YATI JĪ KĀ JĪVAN CHARITRA, by Bhagvān Dās, is a biographical portrayal (jīvan charitra) of Svāmī Bishan Dās, founder of the Gahir Gambhīrīe sect. The author who was a disciple of Bishan Dās compiled this account during 1886-1902 at Phillaur, near Ludhiāṇā. The manuscript, still unpublished, is preserved at the Khālsā College at Amritsar under Catalogue No. 1334, and contains 648 folios, each measuring 32x24 cms and containing 24 lines. The narrative is in simple Braj verse; for the devotional hymns some of the poetic forms and musical measures from the Gurū Granth Sāhib have been used. The volume, covering only six years, 1953 Bk/AD 1896 to 1958 Bk/AD 1902, of the life of Bishan Dās (1863-1935), is marked number II which suggests the existence of a previous volume but which still remains undiscovered. Although Bishan Dās studied under an Udāsī teacher, he had not adopted the sectarian garb as his portrait included in the work reveals. He in fact struck out his own path. He commonly addressed God as Gahir Gambhīr, the solemn and serene, and maintained that this was the best way to describe the Supreme Being. To elaborate the point, he quoted verses from the Gurū Granth Sāhib pronouncing these attributes of the Divine, as most apt. From the term Gahir Gambhīr, his followers and devotees came to be known as Gahir Gambhīrīe. Bishan Dās revered the Gurū Granth Sāhib and held continuous readings of it at his ḍerā called Kīrtan Mandir. He travelled extensively throughout the Punjab and beyond preaching the Sikh tenets : as the manuscript concludes he was preaching in Lyāllpur (now in Pakistan). He preached against the use of intoxicants, denounced slander and bhekh or pretence, and rejected caste divisions. He gave women a place equal with menfolk. The names of several of his women disciples occur in his Jīvan Charitra. He was, however, opposed to the Siṅgh Sabhā movement which, he asserted, was abolishing the old order introducing "innovations".
Sarmukh Siṅgh Amole