SRĪ CHAND, BĀBĀ (1494-1629), the elder son of Gurū Nānak and the founder of the ascetic sect of Udāsīs, was born to Mātā Sulakkhaṇī on Bhādoṅ sudī 9,1551 Bk/8 September 1494 at Sultānpur Lodhī, now in Kapūrthalā district of the Punjab. After Gurū Nānak left home on his travels to distant parts, Srī Chand's mother took him and his younger brother, Lakhmī Dās, to her parents' home at Pakkhoke Randhāve on the left bank of the River Rāvī. Srī Chand from the very beginning loved solitude and, as he grew up; he developed indifference to worldly affairs. At the tender age of eleven he left for Kashmīr where he studied Sanskrit texts under Paṇḍit Purushottam Kaul and later studied and practised yoga under Avināsha Munī. When Gurū Nānak, after his travels, had settled down at Kartārpur on the right bank of Rāvī and not far from Pakkhoke, Srī Chand rejoined the family. He however retained his preference for the life of an ascetic. Gurū Nānak having chosen one of his disciples as his spiritual successor, passed away at Kartārpur on 7 September 1539 and a monument was raised over the site where his ashes were buried. As the monument was washed away by floods in the river, Srī Chand had the urn containing the ashes salvaged, reburied it at some distance close to the well of Ajittā Randhāvā, a devotee of the late Gurū, and built a mud hut over it. The place came to be revered as dehrā or samādh (mausoleum) of Gurū Nānak around which grew up the present town of Ḍerā Bābā Nānak.

         Bābā Srī Chand stayed on at Pakkhoke Randhāve for some time. He gathered around him a band of his own disciples who like him shunned the householder's life and practised austerities. With his disciples he travelled throughout the length and breadth of India, initiating more converts to his Udāsin or Udāsī (lit. indifferent, stoic) sect who functioned as itinerant preachers and established missionary centres at different places in the country and beyond. Through them Gurū Nānak’s word was also carried to far corners of the land. Bābā Srī Chand's own main centre was at Bāraṭh, 8 km southwest of Pāṭhankoṭ in Gurdāspur district of the Punjab. Bābā Srī Chand also kept in touch with successive Gurūs during his long life of well over a century. The Gurūs held him in high esteem in view of his holy descent, old age and piety. In 1626, when at the behest of Gurū Hargobind, his eldest son, Bābā Gurdittā, proceeded to found the town of Kīratpur in the lower Śivālik hills, he had the ground broken by Bābā Srī Chand. According to the Bhaṭṭ Vahīs, Bābā Srī Chand died at Kīratpur on Māgh sudī 1, 1685 Bk/ 13 January 1629. Before that he had, with Gurū Hargobind's approval, appointed Bābā Gurdittā to succeed him as head of the Udāsī Sect.


  1. Nārā, Īshar Siṅgh, Itihās Bābā Srī Chand Jī Sāhib ate Udāsīn Sampardāi. Amritsar, 1975
  2. Raṇdhīr Siṅgh, Udāsī Sikhāṅ dī Vithiā. Amritsar, 1959
  3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
  4. Harbans Singh, Guru Nānak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969

Gurnek Siṅgh