BALU HASNA (1564-1660), Sikh preacher and the first head of a dhuan or branch of the Udasi sect, was born the son of Pandit Hardatt and Mai Prabha of Srinagar (Kashmir) on 13 November 1564.. His original name was Balu. Accompanying his elder brother, Alu, better known as Bhai Almast, he came to Amritsar in 1604, to receive instruction from Guru Arjan. He devoted himself to the service of the Guru. Of Guru Hargobind he was a constant companion.

Even when the Guru went out for the chase, Balu would trot along on foot with him. Happy go lucky by temperament, he always bore a smile on his face so that the Guru gave him the appellation of Hasna, lit. the laughing one.At the instance of Guru Hargobind, Bhai Balu Hasna joined Baba Gurditta, the Guru`s eldest son and the spiritual successor of Baba Sri Chand, founder of the Udasi sect. Baba Gurditta deputed him to preach the tenets of Sikhism in the Pothohar region (northwestern Punjab) to which task he dedicated the remaining years of his life.

Balu Hasna passed away at Peshawar on 2 December 1660. His disciples carried on his work in western and southern Punjab, North-West Frontier Province and Sindh.Two of them, Bhai Lal Das Daryai and BhaiJado Rai, both Punjabi poets of merit, are said to have accompanied Guru Gobind Singh to the South.Bhai Lal Das took the baptism of the Khalsa and was renamed Prahilad Singh.

One of the rahit-namas or the Sikh codes of conduct is ascribed to him. Another of the followers of Bhai Balu Hasna, Udho Das, served Mata Panjab Kaur, the widow of Baba Ram Rai, at Dehra Dun. and succeeded to the gaddi or seat after her death in April 1741. He constructed at Dehra Dun a samadh or mausoleum commemorating Bhai Balu Hasna.

References :

1. Randhir Singh, Bhai, Udasi Sikhan di Vithia. Amritsar, 1959
2. Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. Patiala, 1970