AḌḌAṆ SHĀH, BHĀĪ (1688-1757), third in succession to Bhāī Kanhaiyā, founder of the Sevāpanthī sect, was born in 1688 in the village of Laū in Jhaṅg district, now in Pakistan. His parents were of a devout temperament and he inherited from them a deeply religious bent of mind. He learnt Gurmukhī and got training in the exegesis of Sikh scriptural texts from Bhāī Gurdās Dakkhaṇī, a leading Sikh of Gurū Tegh Bahādur's time. He also remained in the company of Bhāī Sevā Rām, a disciple of and successor to Bhāī Kanhaiyā, for a long time and ultimately succeeded him as chief of the Sevāpanthī sect. Aḍḍaṇ Shāh laid down the sect's code of conduct and prescribed for it a distinctive apparel. He also pioneered the study of comparative religious thought at his ḍerā or monastery where nearly 250 saints were always in residence. Besides Sikh scriptures, other important books studied at the ḍerā included Kīmīya-i-Sa'ādat, Masnavī, and Yoga Vaśiṣṭa. These classics were translated into Punjabi. Pāras Bhāg, a translation of Kīmīya-i-Sa'ādat still ranks as a classic of Punjabi prose. The parchī literature issuing from this school bears testimony to the literary taste and moral precept of Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh.

        Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh was an eloquent speaker. His speeches were recorded by Bhāī Sahaj Rām, another disciple of Bhāī Sevā Rām, which are now available under the titles Sākhīāṅ Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh, Sukhan Fakīrāṅ De and Bachan Gobind Lokāṅ De.

        Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh spent his last years in Jammū area where he died on 17 Baisākh sudī 8, 1814 Bk/26 April 1757.


  1. Gurmukh Siṅgh, Sevāpanthīāṅ dī Pañjābī Sāhit nūṅ Deṇ. Patiala, 1986
  2. Lāl Chand, Srī Sant Mālā Patiala, 1955

Gurmukh Siṅgh