GAHIR GAMBHIRIE MAT KE SVAMI BISHAN DAS YATI JI KA JIVAN CHARITRA
GAHIR GAMBHIRIE MAT KE SVAMI BISHAN DAS YATI JI KA JIVAN CHARITRA, by Bhagvan Das, is a biographical portrayal (jivan charitra) of Svami Bishan Das, founder of the Gahir Gambhirie sect. The author who was a disciple of Bishan Das compiled this account during 1886-1902 at Phillaur, near Ludhiana. The manuscript, still unpublished, is preserved at the Khalsa College at Amritsar under catalogue No. 1334, and contains 648 folios, each measuring 32×24 cms and containing 24 lines.
The narrative is in simple Braj verse; for the devotional hymns some of the poetic forms and musical measures from the Guru Granth Sahib have been used.The volume, covering only six years, 1953 Bk/AD 1896 to 1958 Bk/AD 1902, of the life of Bishan Das (1863-1935), is marked number II which suggests the existence of a previous volume but which still remains undiscovered. Although Bishan Das studied under an Udasi teacher, he had not adopted the sectarian garb as his portrait included in the work reveals. He in fact struck out his own path.
He commonly addressed God as Gahir Gambhir, the solemn and serene, and maintained that this was the best way to describe the Supreme Being. To elaborate the point, he quoted verses from the Guru Granth Sahib pronouncing these attributes of the Divine, as most apt.From the term Gahir Gambhir, his followers and devotees came to be known as Gahir Gambhirie. Bishan Das revered the Guru Granth Sahib and held continuous readings of it at his derd called Kirtan Mandir.
He travelled extensively throughout the Punjab and beyond preaching the Sikh tenets: as the manuscript concludes he was preaching in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan). He preached against the use of intoxicants, denounced slander and bhekhor pretence, and rejected caste divisions. He gave women a place equal with menfolk. The names of several of his women disciples occur in his Jivan Charitra. He was, however, opposed to the Singh Sabha movement which, he asserted, was abolishing the old order introducing “innovations”.