Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Sri Jai Ram Ji was son of Sri Paramanand Ji and brother-in-law of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Ji’s sister Bibi Nanaki was married to Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji. Bibi Nanaki Ji was older than Guru Ji in age. Thus, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji also was older than Guru Nanak Dev Ji was.

Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji was a resident of city of Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab. Sultanpur Lodhi was capital of Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi. Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji was an officer of Nawab. He was very respectable man in his area. Even Nawab was very happy with him.

After the marriage of Bibi Nanaki Ji, once Guru Nanak Dev Ji went to Sultanpur Lodhi to bring his sister to her father’s home for some days. However, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji was thinking in a different way. He thought that Guru Ji should live with him in the city of Sultanpur. When Guru Ji asked Bhaiya Ji to send Bibi Nanaki Ji with him for some days, Bhaiya Ji said in affection, “Please stay with me in my house. I will do service to you. You are a saint. Evil and pains are removed on seeing saints of the God.”

On this, Sri Paramanand Ji, father of Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji, said to his son, “Let him go this time, because he has been sent by his father to bring Nanaki to his home. Next time when he comes to you, you can make him stay with you”.

Guru Ji returned to his village with his sister. After few days, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji went to Guru Ji’s village.

Local ruler of the village, Rai Bulaar called him and said, “Guru Nanak Dev ji is very intelligent, but I think his father, Kaalu, is not happy with him. I think it would be better if he goes with you to Sultanpur. He is very sad here. So, take him with you.”

Bhaiya Jai Ram ji was happy to hear this. This is what he wanted. Well, after staying there for few days, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji returned to his home city with his wife Bibi Nanaki Ji.

However, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji came back to his house, but he was not happy without Guru Ji. He wanted to Guru Ji to live with him in Sultanpur Lodhi. He wrote a letter to Guru Ji. Guru Ji read his letter and decided to go to Sultanpur.

Guru Ji reached Sultanpur. Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji was very happy to see Guru Ji in his house. However, he was older than Guru Ji in age, even then he touched the feet of Guru Ji. Guru Ji started to live with him in his house.

(Note: -There is controversy if Guru ji went Sultanpur Lodhi before or after his marriage.)

One day, Guru ji said to his sister, “Sister! People say that it is not good to live without employment. Tell me some kind of work, so that I can spend my time in a good way.”

Bebe Nanaki replied, “Always talk about ‘real knowledge’, it is your work, my brother. Everything in our house is because of your kindness.”

When Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji listened that Guru Nanak Dev Ji wanted to work, he said to Guru Ji, “People like me are entangled in small things. You are great. Please just live with us and sing the glory of God. By your blessings, we have everything in our house.”

However, Guru Ji insisted to work. Therefore, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji went to Nawab Daulat Khan for a job for Guru Ji. When Nawab saw Guru Ji, he said, “He looks intelligent. He can handle my grocer’s shop.”

He gave some clothes to Guru Ji as a token of respect. In a few days, Guru Ji started to work as a grocer for Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi. Guru Ji worked as a grocer for some years. He also started to live in a separate house in same city.

Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji found a suitable match for his brother in law. She was Bibi Sulakhni Ji, the daughter of Sri Mool Chand Ji. Very soon, the world saw my Guru; my Guru Nanak dressed as a bridegroom. All the relatives, including mother and father of Guru Ji, reached in Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji’s house. The ‘Barat’ (marriage party) started from Sultanpur Lodhi and reached in Sri Mool Chand Ji’s house. All the rituals were performed under the supervision of Pandit Hardyal Ji (‘Purohit’ of Mehta Kaalu Ji) and Pandit Shyam Ji (‘Purohit’ of Sri Mool Chand Ji). After the completion of marriage ceremony, the ‘Barat’ returned to Sultanpur. Because marriage was organized in Sultanpur Lodhi, which was home city of Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji, all the arrangements were made by him.

Guru Ji continued to work as a grocer. Two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand, were born in the house of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Sultanpur Lodhi. The house of Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji witnessed the joyful shrieks of both of the sons of Guru Ji.

Some jealous people made a false complaint again Guru Ji before the Nawab Daulat Khan. It was painful for Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji. All the matter was inquired by the Nawab. Guru Ji was proved genuine.

After some time, again a complaint was made against Guru Ji. Now, Guru Ji decided to leave the job of grocer. He wanted to fulfill the Order of the God Almighty. He had to go to preach the world. Guru Ji started to live in a solitary place outside the city.

This was a very difficult time for Bhaiya Ji. Socially, he was guardian of Guru Ji in Sultanpur Lodhi. Guru Ji decided to go to the long journeys. His wife and two sons were there in his family. It was a big question for Bhaiya Ji who would be there to look after his family. Because Bhaiya Ji was the guardian of Guru Ji, it was responsibility of Bhaiya Ji himself to make all the arrangements. Father in law of Guru Ji was not co-operative. Mother in law of Guru Ji was very angry. A respectable man, Bhaiya Ji, was in difficult situation. He took the responsibility to look after the family of Guru Ji. However, Guru Ji’s in-laws were not ready to understand the feelings of humble soul Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji. At last, Guru Ji’s wife went to her parental home with his younger son Lakhmi Chand. Elder son Sri Chand lived there with Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji and Bibi Nanaki Ji.

How was the day, when Guru Ji started his long journeys from Sultanpur Lodhi? How were the feelings of our Bhaiya Ji, when he said farewell to his brother in law? How were the feelings of our Bhaiya Ji, when he said farewell to his beloved? How were the feelings of our Bhaiya Ji, when he said farewell to his Guru?

What had Bhaiya Ji been thinking, when he invited Guru Ji to live with him in Sultanpur? Surely, he wanted his Guru to live always with him. Definitely, he thought his love would live before his eyes forever. Alas, the God had written something else. Bhaiya Ji’s Guru was not only his Guru. Bhaiya Ji’s Guru was the Guru of the world. Bhaiya Ji’s Guru was sent into this world to save the humanity. It was the right time to save the humanity, which was burning in pain. To remove the pain of the world, Bhaiya Ji had to bear the pain.

O my poor pen! You are unable to describe the feelings of my Bhaiya Ji. O my hateful pen! Love is not an essay, which can be written on papers. O my infidel pen! Devotion is not a history, which can be fabricated by so-called historians. O my bigheaded pen! People have forgotten a humble soul Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji. O my thankless pen! I am thankful to you that you have written the name of a great Sikh Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji.

Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji and Bibi Nanaki said farewell to Guru Ji for his long religious journeys. Their love for Guru Ji was unquestionable. Their love for Guru Ji was not fruitless. Actually, a love cannot be fruitless. In reality, love itself is a sweet fruit. Love has a magnetic power. Love attracts the lover, the beloved. This is the reason that when Guru Ji returned from long journeys after many years, he went straight to Sultanpur Lodhi to meet Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji and Bibi Nanaki Ji. He could have gone to his own village ‘Talwandi’, but he did not. The love showed its power. The true love fascinated Guru Nanak Dev Ji and he reached Sultanpur Lodhi. Only then, Guru Ji went to his own village.

After few days, Guru Ji went again to his journey. This time, when Guru Ji returned, the great soul, the true Sikh, Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji had left for his heavenly abode.

O babbler Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’! Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji teaches you the silent love! O proud sinner! This great soul shows what humbleness is! O selfish man! My Bhaiya Ji tells what selfless service is!

My salute to Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji.

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Source: ‘Sri Gur Nanak Prakash’, ‘Puratan Janamsakhi’, ‘Janamsakhi Bhai Bala’.