A commemorative postage stamp on the 350th Birth Anniversary of Bhai Kanhaiya (Bhai Sahib), a forerunner of Red Cross movement 160 years before Sir Henry Dunant :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 18, 1998
Issued for : The Department of Post is happy to issue a stamp in honour of Bhai Kanhaiyaji.
Design : An Award has been instituted in memory of Bhai Kanhaiyaji to honour the individuals/organisations who serve mankind in the same spirit of devotion and selflessness. The stamp depicts Bhai Kanhaiyaji spreading the message of universal brotherhood, as the water server. The F.D.C. depicts Bhai Kanhaiyaji receiving the box of ointment from Guru Govind Singh Ji.
Stamp : Based on souvenir released at the presentation of the “Bhai Kanhaiya Award”.
FDC : P.P. Rojouria
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 200 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 Cms.
Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 Cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in reels 47 cms.
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Bhai Kanhaiya
Born on 1648
Died on 1718
- Bhai Kanhaiyaji, the disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Guru Govind Singh Ji was an epitome of humility, devotion and loyality to his Guru and Service to mankind without any discrimination of religion, caste or region.
- He was born at village Sodhra near Wazirabad on the banks of river Chenab in 1648. Bhai Kanhaiyaji was devoted to the cause of the needy and down-trodden. He had little interest in family trade and when his father expired, he waited for his brothers to take over the responsibility and set out to find his guru who could guide him on the path of service. He came to Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and got the opportunity to serve him for three months. He then went on to establish a “Dharamshal” at Kehwa near Attock to serve the people, and he spread the message of “Universal Brotherhood” as thought by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. When Guru Govind Singh Ji was engaged in battle, Bhai Kanhaiyaji moved to Anandpur Sahib and took over the responsibility of serving drinking water to soldiers wounded in the battlefield.
- Attired in white clothes with a white flag fixed in the left side of his belt, he carried the leather bag (Mashk) on his shoulders and served water to the wounded without discrimination, to friends and foe.
- When a few Sikhs complained to Guru Govind Singh Ji that Bhai Kanhaiyaji was serving water to the enemy, Guruji called him and sought his version. Bhai Kanhaiyaji submitted “WITH THY GRACE MY LORD! MY EYES ARE SO ENLIGHTENED THAT I SEE NOTHING ELSE BUT YOUR DIVINE SPIRIT PERVADING EVERYWHERE AND IN ALL, SINCE I SERVED NONE ELSE BUT ONLY THYSELF MY LORD?“
- Guru Govind Singh Ji then blessed Bhai Kanhaiyaji as a holy man and gave him a box ointment, for healing wounds. This inspired a group of volunteers who worked under the guidance of Bhai Kanhaiyaji, who thus became a forerunner of the Red Cross movement which Sir Henry Dunant founded about 160 years later.
- Bhai Kanhaiyaji went to Kehwa (Near Attock), when Guru Govind Singh Ji left Anandpur Sahib. He continued to serve the people and devoted his remaining life to preach and practise teaching of the Sikh Gurus till he left the World at the age of 71 years, while listening to the sacred hymns of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. He left behind a unique movement of “Sewa Panthi“ which literally means people devoted to service of humanity.
- The message of Bhai Kanhaiya‘s mission, enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib Ji – “Na Ko Bairi Nahin Bigana, Sagal Sang Ham Ko Ban Aiyee“, continues to be as relevant, today.
- Text : Based on souvenir released at the presentation of the “Bhai Kanhaiya Award”.