NAND CHAND, of the village of ḍaraulī Bhāī, who had been a playmate of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, served as a masand or officiant and later as the Gurū's dīwān, looking after his accounts and stores. His grandfather, Umar Shāh, was a masānd during the time of Gurū Arjan. Nand Chand is said to have had prepared under his supervision the famous drum, Raṇjīt Nagārā. Tradition also goes that he was deputed by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to go to Srīnagar (Gaṛhvāl) with wedding presents worth one and a quarter lakh of Rupees for Rājā Fateh Shāh's daughter. The presents were refused by Rājā Fateh Shāh on the instigation of Rājā Bhīm Chand. When Nand Chand was returning home, Rājā Bhīm Chand's men tried to intercept and forcibly seize the gifts, but Nand Chand foiled the attempt and reached Pāoṇṭā Sāhib safely. In the battle of Bhaṅgāni in 1688, he fought valiantly. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh recalls his feats in his Bachitra Nāṭak : "Nand Chand rushed into the fray in a rage, wielding his spear and brandishing his sword. As the sword broke, he drew out his dagger and with great determination saved the honour of the Soḍhī race."

         According to Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, Nand Chand in the end faltered in his devotion. It is said that an Udāsī sādhū brought a newly calligraphed copy of the holy Granth Sāhib to Anandpur to be signed by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. Nand Chand retained that copy with him and refused to return it to the Udāsī, who made a complaint to the Gurū. The dīwān, feeling ashamed, escaped from Anandpur and took asylum with Dhīr Mall at Kartārpur who, taking him for a spy, had him murdered. The copy of the Granth Sāhib which Nand Chand is said to have carried with him is preserved at ḍaraulī Bhāī, his ancestral village.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Bachitra Nāṭak
  2. Sukhā Siṅgh, Gurbilās Dasvīṅ Pātshāhī. Lahore, 1912
  3. Kuir Siṅgh, Gurbilās Pātshāhī 10. Patiala, 1968
  4. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
  5. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Panth Prakāsh. Patiala, 1971
  6. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966

Bhagat Siṅgh