Bhai Gurdas (Punjabi: ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ; 1551 – August 25, 1636) was an influential Sikh man, writer, historian, and preacher. He was one of the first writers of Adi Granth and later served as the first Jathedar of Akal Takht. He was a highly respected Sikh scholar, missionary, and king of literature and respected for his Sikh lifestyle. He was a leading figure in Sikhism who enjoyed having Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru.
It was under the direction of the fifth Sikh Guru that he wrote the first copy of the Sikh Scriptures, then known as Adi Granth, now revered as the eternal Sikh Guru and the center of the Sikh religion. He was responsible for the various texts himself which have earned him great respect in the Sikh community. His Varan was named by Guru Arjan as “Key” (“hunger”) to Guru Granth Sahib. Bhai Sahib is also responsible for composing a song known as “Kabit Savaiye Bhai Gurdas”.
Bhai Sahib was born into the Bhalla Khatri family. His father was Bhai Ishar Das and his mother’s name was Mata Jivani. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India in 1551. He was the nephew of the third Guru, Guru Amar Das. (see a tree of the Guru family) Bhai Gurdas was the first cousin of Mata Bhani, the mother of Guru Arjan Dev.
Bhai Gurdas was born in 1551 in Basarke Gillan, a small town in Punjab. He was the only child of Bhai Ishar Das Ji, the first cousin of Guru Amar Das, and Jivani. Bhai Gurdas Ji was 3 years old when his mother died.  
After being a 12-year-old orphan, he was adopted by Guru Amar Das. Bhai Gurdas Ji learned Sanskrit, Braj Bhasha, Persian, and Punjabi and eventually began preaching. He spent his early years in Goindval and Sultanpur Lodhi. In Goindval, Gurdas listened and received information from scholars and magicians who were constantly visiting the city while crossing the Delhi-Lahore road. He later moved to Varanasi, where he studied Sanskrit and Hindu texts. After the death of Guru Amar Das, his successor Guru Ram Das assigned Bhai Gurdas Ji as a Sikh missionary in Agra. Bhai Gurdas, the only child of his parents, lost his mother when he was three and his father when he was 12. He had spent his early years in Goindval and Sultanpur Lodhi. In the former area, he had the opportunity to listen to the many men of knowledge and spiritual gain who were visiting the village that crossed the Delhi-Lahore street. At that time the city was the center of the Sikh religion.
(Bhai Ishar Das, one of Guru’s brothers Amar Das settled in Goindval shortly after the city’s founding in 1546AD, 1603 AD).
Bhai Gurdas later moved to Varanasi where he studied Sanskrit and Hindu texts and was introduced to Sikhism. He was then sent as a Sikh Guru missionary to spread the teachings of Guru Nanak. He traveled extensively in Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Burhanpur, Rajasthan, Jammu, and the Chamba hills, preaching the words of Guru Nanak. Adi Granth is written by Amritsar.
Relationship with Gurus
Bhai Gurdas Ji is the nephew of Guru Amar Das Ji. Guru’s daughter Amar Das Ji, Bibi Bhani Jee, is married to Guru Ram Das Ji. This makes Bhai Gurdas Ji a (cousin) brother-in-law to Guru Ram Das Ji, and (cousin) Mamma Jee to Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Bhai Gurdas Ji lives up to the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and more importantly, he is a Sikh from the time of Guru Amar Das Ji until Bhai Jee left this land during the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee. Bhai Gurdas Ji also knew Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee, son of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. The young Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (not yet Guru) visited Bhai Gurdas Ji’s antim sanskaar, which was personally designed and made by Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee.
Therefore, it is safe to say that Bhai Gurdas Ji came in contact with half of the Gurus. He was a zealous Sikh with a high avatar. Moreover, Bhai Gurdas Jee chose never to marry and devote his life to Sikh and Sikh Prachar. Bhai Gurdas Ji was appointed pracharik by Guru Amar Das Jee and remained pracharik until His last days.
Bhai Gurdas ji and Baba Buddha ji
After the death of Guru Ram Das, in 1581, Bhai Gurdas returned to the Punjab, where he first visited Goindval and then to Amritsar to pay homage to Guru Arjan, who had succeeded Guru Ram Das. He made Amritsar his home and with his dedication and love of learning, he recorded himself a prominent position among Guru students.
When Guru compiled Adi Granth containing Guru’s hymns as well as those of certain saints and Sufis, Bhai Gurdas wrote the entire text. Although the original copy was once passed on to Gugu Tegh Bahadur after Guru’s ninth attempt at life, it was returned by Guru to Dhir Mall, the eldest son of Baba Gurditta and the grandson of Guru Hargobind. While many hope that the original Bir as written by Bhai Gurdas will one day return to the management of the Panth, the original Granth is still in the hands of the Dhir Mall dynasty in Kartarpur, Jalandhar prefecture in Punjab. (Some have suggested that if Adi Granth had been in the Darbar Sahib library during the 1984 invasion the Original Bir would probably have been lost in a fire that destroyed many Sikh historical treasures.)
What Bhai Gurdas Ji is known for
Bhai Gurdas Ji is known for many things, including the following:
- Multilingualism: He knew Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit, and Persian not only fluently and fluently, but at the academic level.
- Prachaarik nominated by Guru Amar Das Jee
- He was nominated as the only Sikh to be the author of Aadh Granth while Guru Arjan Dev Ji compiled Aadh Granth Jee
- One of the three founders of Akal Takhat (the other two were Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee and Baba Buddha Ji)
- Akal Takhat First Yard
- He is known as His Vaaran, considered the keys to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji
- Usually, when we think of Bhai Gurdas Ji, we think of Who he left behind: Bhai Gurdas Jee’s Vaaran. While Guru Arjun Dev Ji compiled Aadh Granth, the first version of Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Guru Jee asked Bhai Gurdas Ji to donate and three times asked if Bhai Ji was sure He did not want to contribute to Adh Granth Sahib Jee. It was pure humility when Bhai Gurdas Ji said, “There is no way my Bani, who is undoubtedly inspired and born of You, can be placed on the same level as Your Who.” Then Guru Arjan Dev Ji said that if what is included in Aadh Granth Sahib Jee is a treasure (which! That Greatness Gugu Ji Gave Bhai Gurdas Jee’s Bani.
So not only is Bhai of Bhai Gurdas Ji the key to understanding Sikhism, but he is an excellent source of historical examples and Sakhis too! Most of the Vaaran is about the journey of Guru Nanak Dev Ji as well as other Bhagat histories and meetings with the Vaheguru.
Sewadar and dedicated scholars
Bhai Gurdas also donated his handiwork to the excavation of the sacred lake at Amritsar (1577). He was chosen to recite the Gurus hymns to Emperor Akbar during a visit to Kartarpur in 1596-97 on his way back from a military campaign. As the tradition went on, the Emperor was incited by Prithi Chand and his supporters against Guru Arjan claiming that the songs he planned to combine into a volume had an anti-Muslim voice. As Bhai Gurdas read the randomly selected verses, the Emperor was deeply moved by their spiritual content.
In 1577, Bhai Gurdas donated his work to dig up the Sarovar at Darbar Sahib. Twenty years later, he traveled to Kartarpur and repeated many of the first songs to Emperor Akbar. Akbar was impressed with their spiritual content and was convinced that they had no anti-Muslim tone. 
After Gugu Ram Das left the world, Gurdas formed a close relationship with Gugu fifth, Guru Arjan. Guru had great respect for him and regarded him as his uncle (“mother”). Gurdas led a Sikh faction in Gwalior, where Mughal ruler Jahangir, envious of Sikhism’s views, had arrested Guru Hargobind. Thereafter, Gurdas was sent back to Kabul, Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Varanasi to preach Sikhism. He even traveled to Sri Lanka, preaching the name of Guru among the masses and showing them the true way of life. Respected Sikh leader
When Guru Hargobind, Nanak Vl, decided to build the Akal Takht (illuminated. Timeless throne (referring to God)) in front of the Harmandar Sahib, he entrusted a task to two of the most revered Sikhs of the time, Bhai Gurdas. and Bhai Buddha, the latter who was blessed by Guru Nanak himself.
Bhai Gurdas Library in Amritsar in his honor
Bhai Gurdas was assigned to look after the buildings. Guru Hargobind also appointed him to teach his young son (future (Guru) Tegh Bahadur, ancient classics. Bhai Buddha also trained Guru’s son in masculine archery and horse riding.
A respected scholar and a brave soldier
Bhai Gurdas led a group of Sikhs to Gwalior where Guru Hargobind was imprisoned under the orders of Mughal Governor Jahangir. He was present at the weddings of Guru’s sons Baba Gurditta (April 1621) and Baba Suraj Mall (April 1629). He donated areas to the death in 1621 of Mata Ganga, the widow of Gugu Arjan. He also recited scripture and donated areas at the time of the death of Father Buddha on 8 September 1631.
Bhai Gurdas abolished Adi Granth in 1604. It took him about 19 years to write. He not only wrote Adi Granth, as mentioned by Guru Arjan but also directed four other writers (Bhai Haria, Bhai Sant Das, Bhai Sukha, and Bhai Manasa Ram) in the writing of various Sikh texts. Some of his works in Punjabi combined are called Vaaran Bhai Gurdas.Waheguru
6 Chhands of 8 Verses each in Sanskrit
672 Habits and 3 Swayyas in Brij Bhasha
The 40 Vaars contain 912 Paris in Punjabi
The height as the first Jathedar of Akal Takhat
Akal Takht was unveiled by Guru Hargobind on June 15, 1606. The foundation stone of the Akal Takht was laid by Guru Hargobind himself. Another building was completed by Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas. No builder or any other person is permitted to participate in the construction of a building. Guru Hargobind himself was the guardian of Takht. On December 31, 1612, when Guru Hargobind was imprisoned at Gwalior Fort, he assigned Father Buddha to perform services at Harmandir Sahib and Bhai Gurdas as the first Jathedar of Akal Takht. The Great Philosopher and Writer.
Bhai Gurdas continued to be the ‘stronghold’ of Sikh for many years. He was an interpreter and an example of a Sikh way of life. He was a man of great learning especially in ancient writings and philosophy who devoted his special talents to the preaching of the Sikh faith. He composed a verse that was highly regarded for its powerful, fast-paced style and its clear expression of Guru’s doctrine.
His poems, now available in two volumes, in Punjabi, Varan Bhai Gurdas, and Braj, Kabitt Savaiyye, are often sung along with Gurbani, the words of the Gurus, in the holy churches. Guru Arjan has placed his sign of authority on Varan Bhai Gurdas by calling it the “key” of the Sikh Holy Scripture.
He died on 25 August 1636 in Goindwal.  Guru Hargobind personally performed military service at his funeral.
What Bhai Gurdas Ji means to us!
Bhai Gurdas Jee has left us the keys to Sikhi’s treasure. He also contributed to our understanding of history and helped us to do it again, being the secretary of Aadh Granth Sahib Jee, who assisted in the construction of Akal Takhat, and was appointed as the first Jethadar of Akal Takhat.
If understanding the Vaaran of Bhai Gurdas Ji is the key to understanding the Guru Granth Sahib Jee, then it makes sense for us to try to integrate the Veechar of the Vaaran of Bhai Gurdas Ji BEFORE making the Veechar of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The Vaaran of Bhai Sahib Jee is rich with examples of what a Sikh is, important life lessons, and much more!
In addition, we can also look at Bhai Gurdas Ji’s Bani to get a glimpse of what our Guru was like and what they did, as Bhai Gurdas Ji has historical accounts of Gurus in some of His Vaaran. We have learned why Guru Nanak Dev Ji was sent to this world in one of the Vaaran of Bhai Gurdas Ji and that Guru is no different from God, too.
Bhai Gurdas Jee WAS AWESOME and a pillar in Sikhi’s house!