Sikh Bhagats

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Who is a Sikh Bhagat

The term Bhagat refers to a Holy Person who leads a life of spirituality and dedication to God. A Bhagat is an Eastern equivalent to a Christian Saint, a Sant. The word Bhagat comes from the Sanskrit word Bhakti, which means devotion, love etc.

Throughout the history of India there have been saints and thinkers who were dissatisfied with the superstitions and the thousands of the religious vagaries of Hinduism. They gradually evolved a belief in one God and preceded Guru Nanak as does the dawn before sunrise.

The teachings of these Bhagats, whose words and teachings were included in the Holy Granth by Guru Arjan Dev are given the same prominence in the SGGS, the Sikh Holy Book as the teaching of the Ten Sikh Gurus. Guru Arjan Dev Ji selected the writings of both Hindus and Muslims with equal impartiality, according to their suitability of his purpose and religious reformation that was Sikhism.

Who are the Sikh Bhagats

The following 15 Bhagats have their Bani incorporated within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (in chronological order):

Bhagat Trilochan Courtesy of www.allaboutsikhs.com

In one recension of Bhai Banno's Granth, preserved at Mangat in the Gujarat district of the Punjab, there is included a hymn composed by Mira Bai, Queen of Chitaur. It is believed that Guru Arjan did not give it a place in his collection because the lady lived and died an idolater.

Contributions to Gurbani

Most of the Hindu Bhagats began life as worshippers of idols, but by study and contemplation arrived at a system of monotheism which was appreciated by Guru Arjan. The Muhammadan Bhagats lived in Hindu centres and became largely imbued with Hindu modes of thought, while they at the same time retained their traditionsl belief in the Divine entity.

Though the spirituality of the Bhagats and certain biographical details are mentioned in both the SGGS and Bhai Gurdas ji's Vars, there are no detailed 'Sikh' accounts (compared to those on the lives of the Gurus) of these Bhagats, but accounts of the Bhagats lives are contained in the writings of Nabhaji (the Bhagat Mal), Uddava Chidghan, Mahipati (the Bhakta Lilamirita), Ganesh Dattatre, Maharaja Raghuraj Sinha, Dahyabhai Ghelabhi Pandit, and others in various Indian languages.

# Name Identity No. of Hyms
1. Kabir Weaver 292 hymns
2. Namdev Calico printer from Maharashtra 60
3. Ravidas Shoe maker from Uttar Pradesh 41
4. Trilochan Brahmin from Maharashtra 4
5. Dhanna Cultivator from Rajasthan 4
6. Sain Barber from Uttar Pradesh 1
7. Jaidev Poet from Bengal 2
8. Pipa King from Uttar Pradesh 1
9. Surdas Blind poet 2
11. Baba Farid Muslim saint from Punjab 134
11. Parmanand Maharashtra 1
12. Sadhna Butcher from Sindh 1
13. Beni 3
14. Ramanand Uttar Pradesh 1
15. Bhikhan Sufi saint from Uttar Pradesh 2
These are the 15 Bhagats of Sikhism

Bhagat Beni | Bhagat Bhikhan | Bhagat Dhanna | Sheikh Farid | Bhagat Jaidev | Bhagat Kabir | Bhagat Namdev | Bhagat Parmanand | Bhagat Pipa | Bhagat Ramanand | Bhagat Ravidas | Bhagat Sadhna | Bhagat Sain | Bhagat Surdas | Bhagat Trilochan



Preceded by:
Kalyug
(pre 1200)
Sikh Bhagats Followed by:
Guru Nanak Dev
20 October1469 - 7 May1539)


These are the Ten Gurus of Sikhism

Guru Nanak | Guru Angad Dev | Guru Amar Das | Guru Ram Das | Guru Arjan | Guru Hargobind | Guru Har Rai | Guru Har Krishan | Guru Teg Bahadur | Guru Gobind Singh