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Page:The Sikh Religion, its gurus, sacred writings and authors Vol 6.djvu/10

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BHAGATS OF THE GRANTH SAHIB

at the same time retained their traditional belief in the Divine unity. There is no account given of these saints in any of the classical Sikh writings; but we have to the best of our power collected materials for the lives of most of them in the various places where they were born or where they flourished in India. Some civil officers have kindly made inquiries and furnished us with details from their districts, and political officers have also assisted in procuring information from the annals of native states.

The writings of Nabhaji, Uddava Chidghan, Mahipati, Ganesh Dattatre, Maharaja Raghuraj Sinha, Dahyabhai Ghelabhai pandit, and others in different Indian languages, on the mediaeval saints of India have also been consulted.

Nabhaji, the author of the Bhagat Mal, was born in the state of Gualiar. His original name is said to have been Narain Das. Everything relating to him is as wonderful as the legends he himself relates of his Vaishnav saints. He was born blind. When he was about five years of age there was a great famine in the land, and he was deserted by his parents in a forest, owing to their inability to maintain him. He was found by Agar Das and Kil, two Hindu pilgrims, who were on their way to the Ganges. He told them his history, and they adopted him. Kil sprinkled some holy water from his gourd on the child's eyes, and he received his sight. He was employed to wait on the holy men, and in this capacity heard many legends of Indian saints of all epochs. These legends he recorded at the suggestion of Agar Das in a work called Sant Charitra, which formed the basis of his Bhagat Mal, a series of metrical chronicles in the Gualiar dialect, written about A.D. 1578. He was a contemporary of Raja Man Sinh of Jaipur, and consequently lived during the reign of the Emperor Akbar. It is recorded that he had an interview with Tulsi Das, the famous