SUKHANFAKIRANKE, an eighteenth century work in Punjabi prose attributed to Bhai Addan Shah, a Sevapanthi saint. Two manuscript copies of it are known to existone (MS.No. 2196) in the Central Public Library, Patiala, and the other (MS. No. 11560) in the Pahjab University, Chandigarh. The latter has since been included in Puratan Punjabi Vartak edited by Surindar Singh Kohli (Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1973). Written in Punjabi in Gurmukhi script, the work comprises thirty four sukhan or sayings, each laying down a moral rule. A fair sprinkling of Persian words has led some to conjecture that the work might be a translation from the Persian.
According to Sevapanthi tradition, these lessons were delivered hy Bhai Addan Shah when he, having left the Punjab reduced to chaos by the successive invasions of`Ahmad Shah Durrani (1722-72), was preaching in the Jammu region. Bhai Addan Shah recommends a life of austerity and prayer as against that of indulgence and luxury. One must not hurt the feelings of others and never refuse alms to the poor. Contentment is set forth as the greatest virtue (31). The real saint is he who has control over his mind, has renounced inaya and is as humble as the dust itself (32). God has created man (4) and yet He is within him (24). The Sevapanthis considered woman an evil and exhorted man to shun her company.
Bhai Addan Shah also advises man to beware of her who is as dangerous as the Devil`s Sword (17). Man must check his mind from wandering when meditating, check his tongue from speaking when listening to the saints, and check his eyes when visiting the homes of others (25).
1. Gurmukh Singh, Sevapanthiah di Panjabi Sallit nun Den. Patiala, 1986