SUKHAN FAKĪRĀṄ KE, an eighteenth-century work in Punjabi prose attributed to Bhāī Aḍḍan Shāh, a Sevāpanthī saint. Two manuscript copies of it are known to exist-one (MS.No. 2196) in the Central Public Library, Paṭiālā, and the other (MS. No. 11560) in the Pañjab University, Chaṇḍīgaṛh. The latter has since been included in Purātan Punjabi Vārtak edited by Sūrīndar Siṅgh Kohlī (Pañjāb University, Chaṇḍīgaṛh, 1973). Written in Punjabi in Gurmukhī script, the work comprises thirty-four sukhān or sayings, each laying down a moral rule. A fair sprinkling of Persian words has led some to conjecture that the work might be a translation from the Persian. According to Sevāpanthī tradition, these lessons were delivered by Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh when he, having left the Punjab reduced to chaos by the successive invasions of Ahmad Shāh Durrānī (1722-72), was preaching in the Jammū region. Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh recommends a life of austerity and prayer as against that of indulgence and luxury. One must not hurt the feelings of others and never refuse alms to the poor. Contentment is set forth as the greatest virtue (31). The real saint is he who has control over his mind, has renounced māyā and is as humble as the dust itself (32). God has created man (4) and yet He is within him (24). The Sevāpanthīs considered woman an evil and exhorted man to shun her company. Bhāī Aḍḍaṇ Shāh also advises man to beware of her who is as dangerous as the Devīl's Sword (17). Man must check his mind from wandering when meditating, check his tongue from speaking when listening to the saints, and check his eyes when visiting the homes of others (25).


    Gurmukh Siṅgh, Sevāpanthīāṅ dī Pañjābī Sāhit nūṅ Deṇ. Patiala, 1986

Dharam Siṅgh