SĀDH, BHĀĪ, devoted disciple of Gurū Hargobind (1595-1644), who lived near the ancient city of Balkh in central Asia. Zulfiqār Ardastānī, the author of Dabistān-i-Mazāhib, a contemporary work in Persian, records two anecdotes which show that Bhāī Sādh was a devoted Sikh who, unaffected by joys and sorrows of life, rejoiced in serving the will of the Gurū. "Once he," says Zulfiqār Ardastānī, "set out upon the Gurū's order from Balkh to Iraq to buy horses. He had a grown-up son who fell sick." People said, "you are still in the city of Balkh, only a stage away from home. Go back and see your son." He replied, "If he dies, there is plenty of firewood in the house. You may cremate him. I have left home in the service of the Gurū. I will not go back." The boy passed away but the father did not return. On another occasion, Ardastānī travelling with Bhāī Sādh from Kābul to the Punjab, discovered that the belt of his sheep-skin had snapped. "Sādh instantly took off his zannār, the sacred thread," he writes, "and made a joint there." "What have you done?" said I. He replied, "The wearing of the sacred thread is an undertaking of service. Whenever I neglect the service of my guests and friends, I become a non-wearer of it." And he quoted a verse: "This knotless relation, though slender as a single strand, is rosary in a cloister and a zannār in a temple."


    Ganda Singh, "Nānak Panthis " in The Panjab Past and Present. Patiala, April 1967

Bhagat Siṅgh