Bulaki Das

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BULAKI DAS was the masand or head of the Sikh sangat, at Dhaka, now capital of Bangladesh, during the third quarter of the seventeenth century. Dhaka had been visited by Guru Nanak at the beginning of the sixteenth century when a sangat had emerged in the town. During the time of Guru Hargobind, a Sikh, Bhai Mohan, had kept the Guru's message alive there. Bhai Nattha, third in succession toAlmast, the Udasi saint, who had been sent by Guru Hargobind to preach in the eastern parts, had been deputed to supervise the sangats or Sikh fellowships or communities in Bengal. When Guru Tegh Bahadur visited Bengal in 166667, Bulaki Das was in charge of the Dhaka sangat. His old mother, a devout lady, had long wished to receive and behold the Guru. She had a seat especially designed for him, and had also stitched garments of homespun cotton which she longed to present to him in person. Her heart's wish was fulfilled when upon reaching Dhaka Guru Tegh Bahadur went straight to her house, and sat on the couch and received the offerings. Bulaki Das and the sangats served Guru Tegh Bahadur with devotion. Before he departed, the old lady had another request to make. She requested him to let a likeness of his to be painted. The Guru acceded to her request. He told Bulaki Das to have a dharamsala raised in town. The dharamsala, named Gurdwara Sangat Tola, still exists in a street named after it.

Later, in 1670, when he learnt that Guru Tegh Bahadur had left for the Punjab asking his family to follow him, Bulaki Das sent a gilded palanquin from Dhaka to Patna for use by the young Gobind Rai, later Guru Gobind Singh. Once he also travelled to Anandpur to pay homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur. He lived to a ripe old age, and his name appears as one of the leading Sikhs of Dhaka in a letter (hukamnama) Guru Gobind Singh addressed to the sangat there in 1691, although he had by then been replaced as masand by Bhai Hulas Chand.


References

1. Ganda Singh, ed., Hukamname. Patiala, 1967

2. Bhalla, Sarup Das, Mahima Prakash. Patiala, 1971

3. Trilochan Singh, Guru Tegh BaAadur.Delhi, 1967

4. Harbans Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Delhi, 1982