HARĪ DĀS, a physician resident of Talvaṇḍī Rāi Bhoi (now Nankāṇā Sāhib in Pakistan), the birthplace of Gurū Nānak. Although Gurū Nānak had from his early years been of a reflective nature and many in the village had divined his spiritual inclination, he was yet not quite indifferent to worldly affairs. He attended the village school and took out to pasture the domestic herd. But as time passed he, according to Janam Sākhī accounts, grew extra reticent and became absorbed in his own thoughts more than ever before. He mostly kept indoors and ate and drank but little. For over three months his condition remained unchanged and as says the Purātan Janam Sākhī, "The whole clan of the Bedīs became sad. They asked Father Kālū how he could remain sitting quietly when his son lay ill. He must call some physician to give him medicine." After the Muslim mullā's incantations and amulets had been rejected by Gurū Nānak saying, "How could they help others who wrote out God's name on bits of paper to sell it?" Harī Dās, the physician, was sent for. He held Nānak's wrist within his fingers and began to feel the pulse to diagnose the malady. Gurū Nānak told him that his sickness was not of the body, and broke into song :

        They have called the physician to try his physic;

        And he grips the arm and searches it for ailment;

        Little doth the good physician know

        That the ache is in the heart.

                                                                (GG, 1279)


        Harī Dās, a wise old man, understood what Nānak meant and assured Bābā Kālū that his son needed no healing.

        "He is himself free from infirmity and might well a healer be for others, " he said.


  1. Kohlī, Surindar Siṅgh, ed., Janamsākhī Bhāī Bālā. Chandigarh, 1975
  2. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Panth Prakāsh [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  3. Vīr Siṅgh, Bhāī, ed., Purātan Janam Sākhī. Amritsar, 1982
  4. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33

Gurnek Siṅgh