Baba Maninder Singh Bedi (15th Peerhi) as Udasi Sant during his wedding ceremonies

Baba Maninder Singh Bedi (15th Peerhi) as Udasi Sant during his wedding ceremonies

It is customary for every Bedi son to go through an Udasi Sant Reeti, a ceremony, before his wedding. This is peculiar only to the Bedis, as this custom is not followed in any other Sikh or Punjabi wedding. This ceremony owes its genesis to Baba Sri Chand, the great mystic and the elder son of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Baba Sri Chand was a celebate Yogi. He never married during his life time. His younger brother Baba Lakhmi Chand was married and had a son named Baba Dharam Chand. Baba Lakhmi Chand was fond of shikar and his killing of animals was not liked by Baba Sri Chand, who disapproved of that and asked Baba Lakhmi Chand to atone for his sins. For doing so, Baba Lakhmi Chand took his wife Mata Dhanwanti and infant Baba Dharam Chand and rode away on his horse towards the sky to reach out to God almighty. Baba imuSri Chand is believed to have extended his arm and plucked the infant Dharam Chand from Mata Dhanwanti’s lap as otherwise there would be no one left to take forward the Nanak lineage. The infant Dharam Chand was brought up by Baba Sri Chand. It is said that Baba Sri Chand even suckled his nephew on milk from his big toe. When Baba Dharam Chand came off marriageable age, he desired to be a saint like Baba Sri Chand. Baba Dharam Chand was advised by Baba Sri Chand that he has to carry forward the name and the kul of Nanak and therefore must follow the footsteps of Nanak and do Bakti in Grasth. ” Bedi Vansh Rakhiyo Jag Bhittar” is what Baba Sri Chand said. However to fulfil the desire of Baba Dharam Chand, Baba Sri Chand had him first dressed and act as an Udasi Sant and later got him married to Bibi Lajwanti, daughter of Diwan Uttam Chand. Through this marriage were born Baba Meher Chand and Baba Manak Chand, to whom all the Bedis owe their lineage to.

To keep alive the Reeti started by Baba Sri Chand Maharaj, the Bedis follow the custom of first making their son an Udasi Sant and then bring him into the grasth fold. An Udasi mahant from a nearby Udasi Akhara is generally invited to conduct this rasam.