MĪHĀṄ, BHĀĪ, founder of the Mīhāṅshāhī or Mīhāṅsāhibī sect of Udāsī sādhūs, was a Sikh contemporary of the eighth, ninth and the tenth Gurūs. His real name was Rāmdev. His father, Nand Lāl Sohṇā, had been a disciple of two Muslim devotees of Gurū Hargobind, Khwājā and Jānī, and later remained in attendance upon Gurū Hargobind, Gurū Har Rāi and Gurū Har Krishan. Sohṇā, i.e. handsome, was the epithet bestowed upon him by Gurū Hargobind for his very striking features and physique. Nānd Lāl introduced his eldest son, Rāmdev, to the service of Gurū Har Krishan in 1663. Rāmdev took upon himself the duty of carrying water for Gurū kā Laṅgar and of sprinkling water upon the ground where the holy assembly took place morning and evening. When Gurū Tegh Bahādur set out on his travels through the Mālvā country in 1665, Bhāī Rāmdev was in his retinue performing his usual chore. At every halt he would inundate the dusty ground with his sprinkling as if by rain, mīṅh in Punjabi. According to Sarūp Dās Bhallā, Mahimā Prakāsh, Gurū Tegh Bahādur, pleased at his devotion and diligence, nicknamed him Mīhāṅ, bringer of rain. The name stuck and Rāmdev came to be known as Bhāī Mīhāṅ. Gurū Tegh Bahādur at Dhamtan during the same journey bestowed upon him a drum and banner as symbols of sovereignty (in matters spiritual, in this case), released him from personal attendance and bade him preach on his own. This was one of the six bakhshishes or bestowals on the Udāsīs made at different times. Bhāī Mīhāṅ preached mainly in northern India. He also once waited upon Gurū Gobind Siṅgh and received blessing from him. His followers established many ḍerās or preaching centres, the better known among them being ḍerā Magnī Rām at Paṭiālā and Sādhū Belā, near Sakkhar, now in Pakistan, established by the most prominent of his successors, Bankhaṇḍī (d. 1863). Bhāī Mīhāṅ himself died at Sohīāṅ, a village in Nārovāl tahsīl (sub-division) of Siālkoṭ district, now in Pakistan.
Piārā Siṅgh Padam