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DHUAN, Punjabi for smoke, is a term which is particularly used for seats of certain monkish orders where a fire is perennially kept alive. In the Sikh context it is employed for the four branches of Udasi Sikhs established by Baba Gurditta (1613-38), on whom the headship of the sect was conferred by Baba Sri Ghand, traditionally considered founder of the sect. The dhuans are generally known after their respective heads who were initially assigned to different regions in north India for preaching the tenets of Sikhism as laid down by Guru Nanak.

Later, however, each of the four branches spread and established their preaching centres all over the country. The four dhuans were: (1) Dhuan Bhai AlmastJi Ka preaching in the eastern parts with headquarters at Nanak Mata and branches, among several other places, at Dhaka, Patna and Puri; (2) Dhuan Bhai Balu HasnaJi Ka in western Punjab and Kashmir; (3) Dhuan Bhai Goind or GondaJi Ka in southern Punjab popularly called Malva region; and (4) Dhuan Bhai Phul Ji Ka in Doaba, i.e. the tract between the Rivers Beas and Sutlej. See UDASIS; ALMAST, BHAl; BALU HASNA; GOIND, BHAl; and PHUL, BHAl

References :

1. Randhir Sirigh, Udasi Sikhan df Vithia. Chandigarh, 1912
2. Gurbilas Patshahi Chhevin. Patiala, 1970
3. Macauliffe, M.A., The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

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