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Bards & Bhatts

Bards/Bhatts in Adi Granth: Bhatt Haribans

Bhatt Haribans

There are only two Swaiyas available, authored by Bhatt Haribans. Both these Swaiyas are written in praise of Guru Arjun Dev the 5th Guru. The importance of his Swaiyas lies in describing the time when Guru Ramdas left for his heavenly abode and Guru Arjun Dev ascended to the seat of pontification.

He had the privilege of witnessing the celestial congregations of the 4 11 and the 5th Gurus. According to him Guru Arjun Dev was bestowed the throne by the Akal Purkh, Himself and the canopy under which he sat was guarded by ange’s and Heavenly bodies. A number of Brahmas and Vyasas marked their attendance in his divine court, they sat in the Sadh Sangat and were busy writing the Ved; Bhatt Haribans was a man of letters and had intimate knowledge of the myth a culture of India. He says

It was the will of God,
Guru Ramdas left for his Heavenly abode.
He was received by Parmeshwar Himself
And offered him the Seat of Honour,
There were rejoicings in the heaven,

Praises of Guru Ramdas were sung by the celestial beings, The Demons ran away concealing the sins in their bosoms. Whosoever had a glimpse of Guru Ramdas got free of his sins. Guru Ramdas had passed on his throne and canopy to Guru Arjun the saviour of the universe.

Everlasting is the flow and unconquered are the waves of the Guru’s Ganga,
Where all the devotees bathe.
The Puranas have sung his praises,
And Brahma chants his glory, through Vedas
There waves the royar whisk over his head,
And he recites, ever the Nectar Name of God.
The Lord, Himself is holding the holy canopy over him.
Nanak, Angad, Amardas and Ramdas have submerged in the Eternal Light.
Who says they are no more?
Harivansh hails the glory of the Guru, Eternal and Everlasting.
Their essence is imbued in the whole world. (1)

Adi Granth, p. 1409

Haribans the ascetic, known for his tapas, i.e. renunciation and meditation, who accepted the Sikh faith at the hands of Guru Arjan, was head of the Sikh dharamsälã at Agra. According to Bhãi Mani Siñgh, Sikhãñ di Bhagat Mala, he served with devotion and humility the travellers who came to his dharamsälã. He would feed them, wash their feet with warm water, and massage their bodies to relieve them of fatigue. He would recite Gurbãni in the morning and the compositions of Bhãi Gurdãs in the afternoon. Some Sikhs objected to the latter practice saying that it was improper to recite compositions other than the hymns of the Gurus. Harbañs went to Guru Arjan to secure clarification. The Guru told him that compositions of Bhai Gurdãs were only an elaboration of the Gurbãni and could be recited with profit by the Sikhs.


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