MIHARBĀN, (1581-1640), the popular name of Manohar Dās, who was the grandson of Gurū Rām Dās, fourth in spiritual descent from Gurū Nānak, and son of Prithī Chand, the elder brother of Gurū Arjan, Nānak V. Born on 9 January 1581, Miharbān spent his early years in the company of his uncle, Gurū Arjan, and imbibed from him scholarly inclination as well as literary taste. He was a man of ascetic temperament. To wean him from his solitary ways, his parents got him married in 1595. He had three sons — Karan Mall or Krishan Mall, Chaturbhuj and Harjī. In 1618, his father, Prithī Chand, who had set up his own rival seat protesting against the installation of his younger brother, Arjan, as the Gurū of the Sikhs, nominated him his successor. This was a difficult position for Miharbān, but by his knowledge of the sacred lore and his ability to compose religious verse, he attracted some following. He went out preaching and spent several years in the hill district around Kāṅgṛā. Then he came to the Mālvā and sojourned in the area for about five years. He passed the last years of his life at Muhammadīpur, in the Kasūr sub-division of Lahore district, now in Pakistan, which he had made his headquarters and where he died on 18 January 1640.

         Miharbān wrote in Punjabi prose a janam sākhī or life-story of Gurū Nānak entitled Pothī Sachkhaṇḍ . The biographical detail is scanty and the main purpose of the author seems to be to provide interpretations of some of Gurū Nānak's hymns in a framework of gosts or discourses. On the Japu, the opening bāṇī of the Gurū Granth Sāhib, the book contains a full-scale commentary. This may well be the first recorded exposition of the Japu . Among the other works attributed to Miharbān are Sukhmanī Sahaṅsarnāmā, Vār Pīraṅ Ki, Gosṭ Kabīr Jīo Kī, and Gosṭāṅ Bhāgtaṅ Kīān.


    Kirpāl Siṅgh, Manohar Dās Miharbān : Jīvan ate Rachnā. Patiala, 1974

Kirpāl Siṅgh