BHIKHĀRĪ, BHĀĪ, Bhābṛā by caste, was a devoted Sikh of the time of Gurū Arjan. He lived in the town of Gujrāt. Bhāī Gurdās, Vārāṅ, XI. 30, lists him among prominent Sikhs of the time. He plied an honest trade, helped needy Sikhs and other holy men and recited the sacred word. Once, as says Bhāī Manī Siṅgh, Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā, a Sikh waited on Gurū Hargobind, Gurū Arjan's successor, and begged to be shown a model Sikh. The latter directed him to Bhāī Bhikhārī. As the Sikh reached Gujrāt, he found Bhāī Bhikhārī's household bustling with activity owing to preparations for the marriage of his son. But Bhāī Bhikhārī sat calm and unexcited, mending an old mat. The Sikh introduced himself and was warmly received by his host. Amid the festivity in the house, the Sikh was puzzled to see in one small room a bier, a shroud, and other funeral articles. Questioned about these, Bhāī Bhikhārī told his guest that he would know. The nuptials took place as arranged and Bhāī Bhikhārī distributed charity to mark the happy event. At night, as says Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā, the bridegroom had pain in the stomach. No treatment availed and the young man died within hours. Wailing broke out in the house, but Bhāī Bhikhārī remained serene and undisturbed. He cremated his son next day, using the bier and shroud the guest had seen in the house and spread out the mended mat for the mourners. He entreated everyone to accept the Will of God and not to lament. The visitor bowed his head in reverence to Bhāī Bhikhārī and took his leave. He related the episode to Gurū Hargobind and the saṅgat, who praised Bhāī Bhikhārī for his faith and piety.


  1. Gurbilās Chhevīṅ Pātshāhī . Patiala, 1970
  2. Manī Siṅgh, Bhāī, Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā. Amritsar, 1955
  3. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37

Tāran Siṅgh