Sikh Brahmans

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Himanshu Bhatt

Sikh Brāhmans are Brahmins who follow Sikhism. Mainly they are from the Mohyal Brahmin caste community.

Inspiration and support to Sikh Gurus

Of the fifteen Bhagats of the Sant Mat or Bhakti movement that Sikhism deeply revers, Beni, Jayadeva, Premananda, Ramananda, and Surdas were Brahmins, while others such as Kabir, Baba Farid and Ravidas had Brahmins as their gurus.

The Chamarwa Brahmins are believed to be the descendants of a Brahmin that Bhagat Ram Das personally selected to be his guide.

As some Brahmins were very close to the gurus, Sahibzada Ajit Singh (son of Guru Gobind Singh) went through heroic efforts to rescue Brahmin women kidnapped by anti-Sikh persons - he rescued a young bride from the Pathan chieftain of Bassi Kalan, and Gurudwara Baba Ajit Singh in Baddon is commemorated to this event.

Presence in kingdoms

Though perhaps not all Brahmins in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were Sikh, the court was filled with Kashmiri Brahmins, including Diwan Dina Nath, Colonel Badrinath, Pandit Ayodhya Prasad and more. In 1838 AD, Dina Nath was given the title Diwan by the Maharaja, and even after the disintegration of the Sikh Empire, Diwan Dina Nath gave total loyalty to the Maharaja. Banda was a great fighter in the Maharaja's army, and was born as Lakhsman Dev Bharadwaj. He wreaked havoc in the Mughal Empire from year 1709-1715 AD till he was captured and executed. Later it was Kashmiri Pandit Birbal Dhar who convinced the Maharaja to capture Kashmir from the Afghan Empire, and the Maharaja succeeded in the capture in 1819 AD.

Contribution to scriptures

Eleven Bhatts who contributed Swayyas to Guru Granth Sahib were all Brahmans. There are 123 compositions in holy book. The Bhatt Sikhs wrote the Bhatt Vahi Talauda Parganah Jind, which has the genealogy of the Sikh gurus, in a script called Bhatakshri.

These eleven Bhatts were Bhatt Kalsahar, Bhatt Jalap, Bhatt Kirat, Bhatt Bhlkha, Bhatt Salya, Bhatt Bhalya, Bhatt Nalya, Bhatt Gayana, Bhatt Mathura, Bhatt Harsons, and Bhatt Balya. Of these, Bhikha Bhatt was of Sultanpur Lodhi and given initiation as a Sikh by Guru Amar Das at Gobindwal. He lived up to the time of Guru Arjan to whom he introduced sixteen other Brahmin minstrels.

Narbud Singh Bhatt had written the Bhatt Vahi Bhadson Thanesad. Bhatt Vahi Multani Sindhi was another scripture.

Notable Sikh Brahmins

  • Bhai Balu 'Hasna' (13.11.1564 - 2.12.1660), son of Pandit Hari Dutt, a Gaur Brahmin. Later, Balu Hasna became a follower of Baba Gurditta, who had succeeded Sri Chand as the chief of the Udasi Deras.
  • Bhai Mati Das - close disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur, and one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history, executed for his support of Sikhism along with his two brothers
  • Bhai Sati Das
  • Mahan Singh Mirpuri

British and Independent eras

  • 2nd Lt. Puneet Nath Dutt posthumous winner of India's highest gallantry award, Ashok Chakra, in 1997 for his role in a counter-terror operation
  • Maj. Vijay Rattan Choudhry (Datt)–posthumously won MVC in Indo Pak war of 1971
  • Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Bakshi Tirath Ram Vaid, OBI, OBE, IOM awarded after battle of Malakand in 1897
  • Lt. Gen. Zorawar Chand Bakhshi - India's most decorated General

References