BAHILO, BHĀĪ (1553-1643), a Siddhū Jaṭṭ of the village of Phaphṛe, in present-day Baṭhiṇḍā district of the Punjab, and a prominent Sikh of his time. He was originally a follower of Sultān Sakhī Sarwar and a local priest of that semi-Muslim sect of Sultānīās or Sarwarīās. In 1583, he visited Amritsar at the invitation of Gurū Arjan. Bahilo was converted the moment he saw the Gurū. He cast away the symbols of his former faith and received the rites of initiation at the hands of Gurū Arjan. His devotion was now addressed to Akāl, the Timeless One. He dedicated the labour of his hands to the excavation of the holy tank and construction of the Harimandar, then in progress at Amritsar. He supervised the baking of bricks in a kiln and carried on his head basketfuls of earth dug from the site. However heavy the load upon his head, Bhāī Bahilo's eyes, says Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūrāj Granth, always remained fixed on the Gurū. Bhāī Bahilo's piety and self-abnegating service were lauded by the Gurū as well as by Sikhs.

        Bhāī Bahilo's descendants continue to live in Phaphṛe. They are known as Bhāīke, i. e. of or belonging to the Bhāī. Even the village is commonly known as Bhāīke Phaphṛe. There are some relics - a few garments, a gold coin and a dagger - which the family claims to have been bestowed by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh upon one of their ancestors, Bhāī Des Rāj. Bhāī Bahilo was a considerable poet. At least eight old manuscripts containing verse attributed to him are still extant. Most of them are transcriptions made in 1850 by one Pañjāb Siṅgh, a descendant of Bhāī Bahilo.


  1. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37
  2. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  3. Satibīr Siṅgh, Partakhu Hari. Jalandhar, 1982
  4. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983

Tāran Siṅgh