Bhai Gurdas (Punjabi: ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ; 1559 – August 25, 1637) was an influential Sikh figure, writer, historian and preacher. He was one of the original scribes of the Adi Granth and later served as the first Jathedar of the Akal Takht.[1]

Bhai Sahib
Bhai Gurdas Jee
ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ
ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ
Honorable Jathedar
1st Jathedar of Akal Takht
In office
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byMani Singh
Personal details
Gurdas Bhalla

Basarke Gillan, Amritsar, the Punjab
DiedSeptember 23, 1637(1637-09-23) (aged 77–78)
Goindwal, Tarn Taran, the Punjab
  • Ishar Das (father)
  • Jivani (mother)
Known forTranscribing the Adi Granth
Vaaran Bhai Gurdas

Early lifeEdit

Bhai Gurdas ji was born in 1551 at Basarke Gillan, a small village in the Punjab. He was the only child of Bhai Ishar Das ji, first cousin of Guru Amar Das ji, and Mata Jivani. Bhai Gurdas ji was near 3 years of age when his mother died.[2][3]

After being orphaned at the age of 12, he was adopted by Guru Amar Das ji. Bhai Gurdas Ji learned Sanskrit, Braj Bhasha, Persian and Punjabi and eventually began preaching. He spent his early years at Goindval and Sultanpur Lodhi. At Goindval, Gurdas listened and obtained knowledge from scholars and swamis that continuously visited the town while traversing the Delhi-Lahore road. He later moved to Varanasi, where he studied Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures. After Guru Amar Das ji left for his heavenly abode, his successor Guru Ram Das ji, assigned Bhai Gurdas Ji as a Sikh missionary to Agra.

Later lifeEdit

In 1577, Bhai Gurdas contributed his labour to excavating the Sarovar at Darbar Sahib. Twenty years later, he went on an expedition to Kartarpur and recited many of the early hymns to Emperor Akbar. Akbar was impressed by their spiritual content and was satisfied they had no anti-Muslim tone.[2]

After Dhan Dhan Shri Guru Ram Das Ji left the world, Bhai Gurdas Ji formed a close relationship with the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan. The Guru had great respect for him, and regarded him as his maternal uncle ("mama"). Gurdas led a group of Sikhs to Gwalior, where the Mughal emperor Jahangir, jealous of the popularity of Sikhism, had imprisoned Guru Hargobind.[2] After that, Gurdas was sent to Kabul, Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Varanasi again to preach Sikhism. He even went to Sri Lanka, preaching the name of the Guru among the masses and showing them the true way of life.

Literary worksEdit

Bhai Gurdas completed the Adi Granth in 1604. It took him nearly 19 years to scribe. He not only wrote the Adi Granth, as dictated by Guru Arjan, but also supervised four other scribes (Bhai Haria, Bhai Sant Das, Bhai Sukha and Bhai Manasa Ram) in the writing of various Sikh scriptures. His other works in Punjabi are collectively called Vaaran Bhai Gurdas.[2] Waheguru


Elevation as the first Jathedar of Akal TakhatEdit

The Akal Takht was revealed by Guru Hargobind Shahib Ji on 15 June 1606. The foundation stone of the building of the Akal Takht was laid down by Guru Hargobind himself. The rest of the structure was completed by Baba Buddha ji and Bhai Gurdas ji. No mason or any other person was permitted to participate in the construction of the structure. Guru Hargobind himself was the custodian of the Takht. On 31 December 1612, when Guru Hargobind Sahib was imprisoned at Gwalior Fort, he assigned Baba Buddha Ji to perform the services at Harmandir Sahib and Bhai Gurdas ji as the first Jathedar of Akal Takht.


He left his body for eternal abode on 25 August 1636 at Goindwal.[3] Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji personally performed the ceremonial service at his funeral.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Saints -
  2. ^ a b c d Jaggi, Rattan Singh. "GURDĀS, BHĀĪ (1551-1636)". Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University Punjabi. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Bhai GURDAS (1551-1636) Archived 13 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine -

External linksEdit