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Bhai Kanhaiya ji
- Fore-runner of Red Cross.
Bhai Kanhaiya, later on, the founder of the Seva Pant, used to serve drinking water to the wounded Turk soldiers alongwith the Sikh soldiers. Some people complained to Guru gobind singh on this account. Guru Ji enquired from Bhai Sahib about that, to which Bhai Ji replied "I see you alone, my master in every person, I cannot distinguish between the Turks , the Sikhs and You."
The Tenth Master not only appreciated his benevolent act but took out a bottle of ointment and gave it to him, to apply it to their wounds. Bhai Kanhaiya is rightly called the fore-runner of the modern Red Cross.
Bhai Kanhaiya (1648-1718), was born in a Dhamman Khatri family of Sodhara near wazirabad in Sialkot district (now in Pakistan). His father was a wealthy trader, but he himself being of a religious bent of mind left home when still very young and roamed about with sadhus and ascetics in search of spiritual peace. His quest ended as he met Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75) and accepted initiation at his hands. Kanhaiya established a dharamsala at Kavha village in the present Attock district of Pakistan which he turned into a preaching centre. His special mission was selfless service of humanity with no distinction of nationality, caste or creed. In 1705, he was on a visit to Anandpur when Anandpur was invested by a combination of hill troops and the imperial army. During the frequent sallies and skirmishes, Bhal Kanhaiya used to roam around serving water to the wounded and the dying without distinction of friend and foe. Some Sikhs complained to Guru Gobind Singh that Kanhaiya had been resuscitating the fallen enemy soldiers. As Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Kanhaiya and told him what the Sikhs had said, he spoke, "Yes, my Lord, what they said is true in a sense, but I saw no Mughals or Sikhs in the battlefield; I only saw the Guru's face in everyone." The Guru, pleased with the reply, blessed him and told his Sikhs that Kanhaiya had understood his teaching correctly.
After the evacuation of Anandpur, Bhal Kanhaiya retired to Sodhara where he died in 1718.
Young Bhai Kanhaiya in search of peace and truth in the company of mendicants, sadhus and faquirs.
Bhai Kanhaiya ends his quest for peace and truth after seeking refuge of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji at Anandpur Sahib by becoming His disciple and absorbing the tenets of the Sikh way of life.
Bhai Kanhaiya serves devotedly in the Guru's stable and langar (kitchen). His devotion, dedication and selfless service so impressed the Divine Master that He advised him to travel and preach such virtues to others and serve humanity at large.
Bhai Kanhaiya, on reaching Kavha, (district Attock, now in Pakistan), established a dharamsal providing much sought-after water, peace and resting place to the wayfarers. It soon developed into a centre for religious learning and selfless service.