Mahant Kirpal Das

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Mahant Kirpal Das, was a leader of the Udasis. The Udasis are a branch of the Sikh faith started by Guru Nanak's son, Baba Sri Chand. They are celebate, meditate extensively and wander about the forests in the same way that Hindu Sadhus do, even today, half naked. They wear only a loin cloth and do not train in any martial arts.

A large group of Udasis had traveled to Nathan with the Guru and other Sikhs. They often aided in introducing people to the Sikh faith. They had been living in the Guru's vicinity and had been eating Guru ka Langar at Paonta. When the Guru heard of the attack the Pahari Rajas were planning he ordered even the Udasis to arm themselves and participate in the battle now know as Battle of Bhangani. The Udasis had never even touched a weapon and they certainly had no intention of fighting a war. They all disappeared that the night.

However, their leader, Mahant Kirpal Das, stayed to aid the Guru. Mounted on a horse, armed with a kirpan and a club, clothed only in his loin cloth, Kirpal Das presented quite a sight to the soldiers in the field. Guru Gobind Singh tried to disuade him from fighting but the Guru finally yeild when he realized how determined this Sikh was. As the battle began he was the cause of much amusement. Being totally inexperienced in the art of war, Kirpal Das challenged Hayat Khan, the Pathan chief, a Pathan who had recently deserted Guru Gobind Singh ji's forces. Raising his heavy club he charged at Hayat Khan. The Pathan swung his sword. Luckily Kirpal Das blocked it with his club. Then rising in his stirrups and shouting loudly, "Sat Sri Akal", he struck Haiyat Khan's head with his club so mightily that his skull was cleaved.

The scene is described by Guru Gobind Singh in the, Bachitra Natak in an eloquent simile. He wrote:

"Mahant Kirpal, raging, lifted his club and struck the fierce Hayat Khan on his head, upon which his brains spilt forth as butter flowed from the Gopi's pitcher broken by Damodara."

Mahant Kirpal Das was later the keeper of the Udasi dera at village Hehar in Ludhiana district. Where he was visited by Guru Gobind Singh after the battle of Chamkaur. He, as a mark of respect, helped carry the palanquin on which the Guru was carried to the next village of Rajoana.


1. Bachitra Natak

2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Cur Pratdp Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33

3. MacaulifTe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

4. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966

5. Padairi, Piara Singh and Giani Garja Singh, cds., Guru kidn Srt/t/»on.Patiala 1986

6. Kuir Singh, Gurbilds Pdtshdhi 10. Patiala, 1968