Baba Buddha Ji, a shining figure in Sikh history, exemplified unwavering faith, dedication, and service. His century-long life was dedicated to serving the Sikh Gurus and the growing Sikh community .
Early life & Divine Calling
Baba Budha Ji was born on October 6, 1506, in the town of Kathu Nangal, Amritsar. After a certain time, the family relocated to Dhalla hamlet, which is located near the Ravi River, on the outskirts of Kartarpur.
Bura, as he was originally called, was the sole child of Bhai Suggha, a Jatt from the Randhava clan, and Mai Garan, a Sandhu .
Meeting Guru Nanak Dev Ji
When Guru Nanak happened to pass by his village in 1524 AD, he was a small boy tending cattle near a cattle settlement.
According to Bhai Mani Singh, Sikh di Bhagat Mala, Bura approached him and worshiped him in the following way, offering him with a glass of milk: "O benefactor of the poor! I am fortunate to see you today. Free me from this cycle of birth and death."
You are only a child, said the Guru. But you speak so wisely."
"Some armies have set up camp near our village," explained Bura. "They cut down all our fruits, both ripe and ripening.
Then I realized that if no one could stop these warriors, who could stop us, young or old, from meeting death?
"You are not just a child; you have the understanding of an old man," said Guru Nanak at this point.
From that day Bura was called Bhai Buddha (buddha means "wise old man" in Punjabi) and later, when he grew up, he was called Baba Buddha.
This encounter marked the beginning of a lifelong journey in service of the Gurus.
Witness to Sikh History
Baba Budha Ji is the first and only person in history to meet six Sikh Gurus and receive heavenly wisdom from them.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji & Guru Angad Dev Ji
Bhai Buddha became a committed devotee of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He spent much more time in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak had taken up residence, than in Kathu Nangal.
Guru Nanak instructed Bhai Buddha to put the ceremonial tilak on Bhai Lahna’s forehead at the time of his coronation as Guru Angad,the 2nd sikh Guru .
Baba Budha Ji started teaching Gurmukhi script (which was created by Guru Angad Dev Ji) to Sikh children to promote it.
He himself also acquired it and then continued as its teacher.
Guru Amar Das Ji & Guru Ramdas Ji
He devoted himself to projects such as the construction of the holy sarovar at Amritsar under Guru Ram Das Ji(and later under Guru Arjan Dev Ji) and the construction of baoli at Goindwal under Guru Amar Das Ji .
Guru Hargobind Ji & Guru Arjan Dev Ji
Guru Arjan Dev Ji placed his son Hargobind under the guidance and training of Bhai Buddha.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji designated Bhai Buddha as the Granthi when the Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib) was placed in the Harmandir on August 16, 1604.
As a result, he was appointed as the first preacher (Granthi) of the holy monument, which is today known as the Golden Temple.
After the execution of Guru Arjan on 30 May 1606, Guru Hargobind built the Akal Takhat, the Timeless Throne or Throne of the Timeless, entrusting its creation to Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurda alone.
On 24 June 1606, Bhai Buddha conducted a ceremony during which Guru Hargobind placed two swords on either side, Miri and Piri ,at the platform Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas had built, called even then the Akal Takht Sahib.
Baba Budha Ji was aware that his time had come to leave this earth. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was not in Amritsar at the time, but Baba Ji wanted to see him one more time.
A messenger was sent , and the Guru returned to Amritsar right away. In Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s arms, Baba Budha Ji in 1631 at the age of 125 took his final breaths.
Baba Ji’s body was burnt by the Guru himself.
The life of Baba Buddha Ji showed the values and principles of Sikhism. His devotion, humility and selfless service continue to inspire generations of Sikhs. His central role in the preservation of Sikh scriptures and traditions and his continued devotion to the Gurus cemented his place as a revered figure in Sikh history.