GANGA RAM, an affluent Brahman merchant of Bathinda (30Â°14`N, 74Â°59`E) now a district town in Malva region of the Punjab, accepted Sikh faith at the hands of Guru Arjan. He, according to Bhai Santokh Singh,Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, once crossed the Sutlej with a large stock of bdjard, a variety of millets. Learning that a vast body of men was at work digging a large tank at Guru Chakk (presentday Amritsar), he proceeded in that direction hoping to sell his merchandise profitably. At Amritsar, he saw large number of Sikhs engaged in voluntary sevd, digging and shovelling and carrying basketfuls of earth on their heads, and, although they had had little to eat owing to Guru ka Larigar or community kitchen having run short of rations, their pace had not slackened.
Ganga Ram was deeply affected by the Sikhs` zeal and devotion. He turned over his entire stock of grain to the langar, and himself joined the devotees in the holy sevd. He declined to accept money for the grain he had brought and, instead, humbly supplicated the Guru to be admitted as a disciple. He stayed on in Amritsar and returned to his village Bathinda only after the completion of the sacred pool.
He devoted his remaining years to meditation and to preaching message of Guru Nanak. His descendant, Bhai Mul Chand, became famous for his piety and spiritual powers. Mul Chand`s shrine at Sunam (30Â°7`N, 75Â°48`E), in Sarigrur district of the Punjab, is still visited by devotees of diverse faiths. Ganga Ram`s direct descendants officiate as priests there.
1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Cur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
2. Satibir Singh, Paratakhu Hari. Jalandhar, 1982