The Sikh Encyclopedia The Sikh Encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Sikhism

Arts & Heritage

Search Now!


(0 votes)

BEDI, a subcaste of the Khatris, Prakritized form of the Sanskrit kstriya which is one of the four caste groups into which the Hindu society is divided. The Khatris are mainly Hindus though there is among them a Sikh element which is small in number but important historically.There are no Muhammadans in the caste because a Khatri after conversion into Islam ceases to be a Khatri and becomes a Khoja. The Khatris are further divided into four subgroups Bahri, Khukhrain, Bunjahi and Sarin. Bahris have twelve castes, Khukhrain eight, Bunjahi fiftytwo and Sarins twenty.

In Sikhism, the Bedi caste became preeminent because of the birth into it of Guru Nanak, founder of the faith.Although the caste acquired sacred character which is enjoyed not only by the descendants of Guru Nanak but by all those born into this caste group, yet this inherited sanctity has not altered the social status of the people within the caste.A legend narrated in Bachitra Natak by Guru Gobind Singh refers to the Pauranic division of the Ksatriyas into three branchesSolar, Lunar and Agnikula (Fire race). According to this tradition, the Bedis belong to the Solar race and are descendants of Kusa, the twin brother of Lava and son of Lord Rama. Owing to a misunderstanding, the descendants of Kusa and Lava fought amongst themselves.

In this fight, the descendants of Kusa were defeated and they rehabilitated themselves at Kashi (Varanasi) where they studied the Vedas and thus came to be called Vedis: in Punjabi V often turns phonetically into a `b*. Vedis became Bedis.Bedis are mostly concentrated in Dera Baba Nanak, in Gurdaspur district, in the Punjab.Among Sikhs, the Bedi lineage continued after Guru Nanak through his younger son Baba Lakhmi Das. Lakhmi Das`s son Dharam Das settled down at Dera Baba Nanak. Two other important centres of Bedis in the Punjab were at Una, Hoshiarpur district, and Kallar, Rawalpindi district.

Two of the charismatic personalities of later period in the line were Sahib Singh Bedi (1756-1834), a contemporary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Baba Sir Khem Singh Bedi (1832-1905), one of the founders of the Singh Sabha movement in the seventies of the twentieth century.


1. Rose, H.A., A G/ossary of the Castes and Tribes of the Punjab and North-West Province. Patiala, 1970
2. Nara, Ishar Singh, RajaJogi arthatJivan Itihas Sri Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi. Delhi, n.d.
3. Sobha Ram, Bhai, Gur-bilas Baba Sahib Singh Bedi. Patiala, 1988

Leave a comment

All About Sikhs

AllAboutSikhs is a comprehensive web site on sikhism, sikh history and philosophy, customs and rituals,sikh way of life, social and religious movements, art and architecture, sikh scriptures,sikh gurudwaras. Based on the belief in One God, the Sikh religion recognizes the equality of all human beings, and is marked by rejection of idolatry, ritualism, caste and asceticism. This website serves to heighten the awareness of Sikhism and hopefully can be of some use to seekers of knowledge.


Search Gurbani

SearchGurbani brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas. You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.


World Gurudwaras

World Gurudwaras will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.



Get Latest Updates