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 Jaidev Ji
- Bhagat Namdev Ji
- Bhagat Trilochan Ji
- Bhagat Parmanand Ji
- Bhagat Sadhana Ji
- Bhagat Beni Ji
- Bhagat Ramanand Ji
- Bhagat Dhanna Ji
- Bhagat Pipa Ji
- Bhagat Sain Ji
- Bhagat Kabir Ji
- Bhagat Ravidas Ji
- Baba Sheikh Farid Ji
- Bhagat Bhikhan Ji
- Bhagat Surdas Ji
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|
|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|
|11.||Baba Farid||Muslim saint from Punjab||134|
|12.||Sadhna||Butcher from Sindh||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
|Sikh Bhagats||Followed by:|
Guru Nanak Dev
20 October1469 - 7 May1539)
|These are the Ten Gurus of Sikhism|