Gurmat & Hinduism

What do you know of Bhagat Dhanna Ji and the story of God revealing himself through a stone?

Bhagat Dhanna Ji’s father’s name was Bhai Maahee Ji. His family were a simple farmers who belonged to the Dhuan village, in the MaarvaaR area in Rajasthan. Bhagat Ji was born in 1415.

Bhagat Dhanna Ji obtained a ‘Saalgaraam’ (small stone idol) from a Brahman, and began doing its pooja (worship). He decorated the idol and prepared food, which he placed before it. However, the idol did not speak, nor did eat or do anything! Disappointed, he returned back to the Brahman and returned the stone idol.

He said to the Brahman, “The stone idol god seems angry with me, as he is not eating the food I prepare.” The Brahman told him the real the truth of the matter to Bhagat Dhanna Ji: “This is a stone, it does not eat or drink, God is someone else.” This incident had a profound effect on Bhagat Dhanna Ji and eventually he joined the Sangat of Gurmukhs like Bhagat Ramanand Ji and eventually Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.


Sadly, there are many stories told in our Gurdware by ignorant Katha-vaachiks and parchaariks (preachers). These distorted stories of Bhagat Dhanna Ji have been coined up by dubious individuals and groups who have an agenda. Gurmat is clear that idol-worship is fruitless and by worshipping a stone, one drowns with it!

So, how can we have a story that says that Bhagat Dhanna Ji made food and put if before the stone idol. The stone idol did not eat the food and Bhagat Dhanna Ji remained hungry, as he was not going to eat until the Lord eats first. Not being able to see His devotee go hungry and go through this torment, God revealed himself through the stone statue and ate the food. Seeing this miracle Bhagat Dhanna Ji became happy. This version of the story is nonsense. When our Guru is alive and with us, then why do we place such faith in such distorted stories?

Why not ask Guru Sahib for the answer? Well, if we placed more faith in Guru Granth Sahib Ji rather than twisted historians, ignorant parchaariks and RSS propaganda then we would not bee in this confusion.

ਨਾਮਾ ਜੈਦੇਉ ਕੰਬੀਰੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਅਉਜਾਤਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਿਆਰੁ ਚਮਈਆ ॥
ਜੋ ਜੋ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਾਧੂ ਜਨ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨਾ ਜਟੁ ਸੈਣੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਦਈਆ ॥7॥
“Naam Dev, Jai Dev, Kabeer, Trilochan and Ravi Daas the low-caste leather-worker, blessed Dhanna and Sain; all those who joined the humble Saadh Sangat, met the Merciful Lord, Waheguru. ||7||”
(Ang 835)

Guru Raam Daas Ji is clear of how Bhagat Dhanna Ji met and experienced Waheguru. Is it through worshipping a lifeless stone? Is it through God revealing himself through a stone? No. It is through the “Saadh Sangat”, the company of the Holy.

Furthermore Guru Arjan Dev Ji has also said in Gurbani how Bhagat Dhanna Ji became a devotee of God and became absorbed into Waheguru. And the answer is not that he saw God in a lifeless stone idol.

ਮਹਲਾ 5 ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸੰਗਿ, ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਮਨੁ ਲੀਣਾ ॥ ਆਢ ਦਾਮ ਕੋ ਛੀਪਰੋ, ਹੋਇਓ ਲਾਖੀਣਾ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਬੁਨਨਾ ਤਨਨਾ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਕੈ, ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥ ਨੀਚ ਕੁਲਾ ਜੋਲਾਹਰਾ, ਭਇਓ ਗੁਨੀਯ ਗਹੀਰਾ ॥1॥
ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਢੁਵੰਤਾ ਢੋਰ ਨੀਤਿ, ਤਿਨਿ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਆ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਿ, ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥2॥
ਸੈਨੁ ਨਾਈ ਬੁਤਕਾਰੀਆ, ਓਹੁ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਸੁਨਿਆ ॥ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਵਸਿਆ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ, ਭਗਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਗਨਿਆ ॥3॥
ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ ਜਾਟਰੋ, ਉਠਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਮਿਲੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਸਾਈਆ, ਧੰਨਾ ਵਡ ਭਾਗਾ ॥4॥2॥
“Fifth Mehl: Naam Dayv’s mind was absorbed into Waheguru, Gobind, Gobind, Gobind. The calico-printer, worth half a shell, became worth millions. ||1||Pause|| Abandoning weaving and stretching thread, Kabeer enshrined love for the Waheguru’s lotus feet. A weaver from a lowly family, he became an ocean of excellence. ||1|| Ravi Daas, who used to carry dead cows every day, renounced the world of Maya. He became famous in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, and obtained the Blessed Vision of the Waheguru’s Darshan. ||2|| Sain, the barber, the village drudge, became famous in each and every house. The Supreme Lord Waheguru dwelled in his heart, and he was counted among the devotees. ||3|| Hearing this, Dhanna the Jaat (farmer) applied himself to devotional worship. Waheguru, the Lord of the Universe met him personally; Dhanna was so very blessed. ||4||2||”
(Ang 488)

“Hearing this, Dhanna the Jaat (farmer) applied himself to devotional worship” (ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ ਜਾਟਰੋ, ਉਠਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਲਾਗਾ ॥) Hearing what? Guru Sahib gives the answer to this question by reading the full shabad together. By reading the shabad by using the line “Hearing this” (ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ). Bhagat Dhanna Ji heard the praise of Bhagat Naam Dev Ji, he heard of the state of Bhagat Kabeer Ji, he heard the way of Bhagat Ravidaas Ji, and he heard of the popularity of Bhagat Sain Ji. Hearing this, feeling of loving-devotion and wanting to do Bhagti welled up within Bhagat Dhanna Ji.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji placed this shabad purposefully in Bhagat Dhanna Ji’s Bani, illustrating that the ignorant people of Guru Sahib’s time were being misled on how Bhagat Dhanna Ji began his Bhagti (devotional worship) through ridiculous stories about idol worship. Those stories have been dismissed with this shabad, as it is written in the shabad that the real reason for Bhagat Dhanna Ji being absorbed in Waheguru was through being inspired by hearing the spiritual state of Bhagat Naam Dev Ji, Bhagat Ravidaas Ji, and Bhagat Sain Ji.

If we try to find the truth from Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and instead of following stories passed down from others, which are mixed with lines of Gurbani, we should take the benefit of going straight to the source of truth. If we did this, then there would be no confusion or duality over Bhagat Dhanna Ji.

If Bhagat Dhanna Ji met Waheguru through worshipping a stone, then this means that as a result of Guru Arjan Dev Ji including the Bani of a someone who has supposedly found God by worshipping a stone, Guru Sahib has accepted that one can meet and experience God through a lifeless stone. But Guru Sahib’s Hukam (order) is:

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਗਲ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਹਣੁ ਲੈ ਲਟਕਾਵੈ ॥੧॥
ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥ ਨੀਰੁ ਬਿਰੋਲੈ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਮਰਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਜਿਸੁ ਪਾਹਨ ਕਉ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਕਹਤਾ ॥ ਉਹੁ ਪਾਹਨੁ ਲੈ ਉਸ ਕਉ ਡੁਬਤਾ ॥2॥
ਗੁਨਹਗਾਰੁ ਲੂਣ ਹਰਾਮੀ ॥ ਪਾਹਨ ਨਾਵ ਨ ਪਾਰਗਰਾਮੀ ॥3॥
ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਮਹੀਅਲਿ ਪੂਰਨ ਬਿਧਾਤਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੯॥
“Soohee, Fifth Mehl: Within the home of his own self, he (the faithless cynic) does not even come to see his Lord and Master. And yet, around his neck, he hangs a stone (idol) god. ||1|| The faithless cynic wanders around, deluded by doubt. (By performing idol worship) he (only) churns water, and after the useless efforts, he spiritually dies. ||1||Pause|| That stone, which he calls his god, that stone pulls him down and drowns him. ||2|| O sinner! You are untrue to your own self; a boat of stone will not carry you across (and a stone idol will not carry you across the ocean of life). ||3|| O Nanak! Whosoever meets the Guru and obtains spiritual wisdom of God, comes to know that the Lord and Master, The Perfect Architect of Destiny is pervading and permeating the water, the land and the sky. ||4||3||9||”
(Ang 739)

Therefore, it is clear that Bhagat Danna Ji did not experience Waheguru through worshipping a stone, but instead through the Saadh Sangat and being inspired by other Bhagats, which brought Bhagat Dhanna Ji to meet the True Guru, Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.