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VASTI RAM, BHAI

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VASTI RAM, BHAI (1708-1802), was son of Bhai Bulaka Singh, who is said to have accompanied Guru Gobind Singh to the South in 1707 from where he returned with his blessings to settle in Lahore. Vasti Ram lived through the long period of persecution the Sikhs endured and their eventual rise to political power in the Punjab. He devoted himself to the study of medicine, and became famous for his skill in the use of indigenous herbs. He was deeply religious and God fearing, and treated his patients free of charge. Stories of his healing power and of his piety spread far and wide, and he came to be credited `with supernatural powers. To say nothing of the common people, he was visited by important Sikh chiefs who came to seek his blessings.

Among his frequent visitors were Jassa Singh Ahluvalia and the Bharigi sard`di`s, Lahina Singh, Gu[jar Singh, Ganda Singh and Jhanda Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh himself became an ardent devotee early in Ins career. He often used to say that it was due to Bhai Vasti Ram`s blessings that he came out successful in the battle of Bhasin (1800), which confirmed him in the possession of Lahore. Bhai Vasti Ram died in 1802 at the ripe age of 94. A marble samadh was raised near the Lahore Fort at the spot where he was cremated. Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to visit it on the occasion of his death anniversary.

References :

1. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdat ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89
2. Kirpal Singh, Bhai Vasti Ram and Bhai Ram Singh. Amritsar, n.d
3. Chopra, Barkat Rai, Kingdom of the Punjab. Hoshiarpur, 1969

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