Bhai Gurdas was possibly born in 1551(exact year unknown but likely between 1543 and 1553 at Basarke Gillan, a small village in the Punjab.He was the only child of Bhai Ishar Das and Mata Jivani.Gurdas' father, Ishar Das, was the youngest brother of Guru Amar Das, therefore Gurdas was the nephew of Guru Amar Das. Bhai Gurdas was near 3 years of age when his mother died. After being orphaned at the age of 12, he was adopted by Guru Amar Das. Bhai Gurdas learned Sanskrit, Braj Bhasha, Persian and Punjabi and eventually began preaching. He spent his early years at Goindval and Sultanpur Lodhi. At Goindval, Gurdas listened and obtained knowledge from scholars and swamis that continuously visited the town while traversing the Delhi-Lahore road. He later moved to Varanasi, where he studied Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures. After Guru Amar Das left for his heavenly abode, his successor Guru Ram Das, assigned Bhai Gurdas as a Sikh missionary to Agra.