VASTĪ RĀM, BHĀĪ (1708-1802), was son of Bhāī Bulākā Siṅgh, who is said to have accompanied Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to the South in 1707 from where he returned with his blessings to settle in Lahore. Vastī Rām lived through the long period of persecution the Sikhs endured and their eventual rise to political power in the Punjab. He devoted himself to the study of medicine, and became famous for his skill in the use of indigenous herbs. He was deeply religious and God-fearing, and treated his patients free of charge. Stories of his healing power and of his piety spread far and wide, and he came to be credited with supernatural powers. To say nothing of the common people, he was visited by important Sikh chiefs who came to seek his blessings. Among his frequent visitors were Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā and the Bhaṅgī sardārs, Lahiṇā Siṅgh, Gujjar Siṅgh, Gaṇḍā Siṅgh and Jhaṇḍā Siṅgh. Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh himself became an ardent devotee early in his career. He often used to say that it was due to Vastī Rām's blessings that he came out successful in the battle of Bhasīn (1800), which confirmed him in the possession of Lahore.
Bhāī Vastī Rām died in 1802 at the ripe age of 94. A marble samādh was raised near the Lahore Fort at the spot where he was cremated. Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh used to visit it on the occasion of his death anniversary.
J. S. Khurānā