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Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Saadhu Ji, son of ‘Saada’, was once a worshipper of ‘Sakhi Sarwar’. He was enganged to Bibi Soorati Ji, the daughter of Bhai Aakal Ji, a resident of village ‘Vadde Ghar’.

On fixed day, Saadhu Ji reached village ‘Vadde Ghar’ in his ‘Baarat’ to marry Bibi Soorati Ji. After the solemnization of the marriage, the ‘Baraat’ was departed and advanced towards its destination, village ‘Tuklaani’.

The marriage was performed in summer. To avoid severe hot weather, the ‘Baraat’ departed in evening. The village ‘Daroli’ was situated in the way of this ‘Baraat’. It was early morning, when the ‘Baraat’ reached in this village. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was in this village at that time.

The newly wed Bibi Soorati Ji heard the ‘Keertanis’ singing the ‘Aasa Kee Vaar’. She had visited this village for many times with her father to have the holy ‘Darshan’ of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

She said to the ‘Kahaars’ (palanquin bearers), “As you know already, I am a Sikh of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Guru Ji is here in this village. I want to have his ‘Darshan'”.

She gave some money to the ‘Kahaars’. The ‘Kahaars’ agreed to carry her ‘Doli’ near to the Gurdwara. Thus, she went to Guru Ji. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was Auspiciously seated on his throne. The ‘Keertanis’ were singing the ‘Aasa Kee Vaar’. People were sitting there listening the ‘Keertan’ devotionally.

Bibi Soorati Ji bowed her head to Guru Ji and then sat in the ‘Sangat’ (congregation). After the conclusion of the ‘Divaan’, Guru Ji saw her. She was in newly wed bride’s dress. Her husband was not with her. Therefore, Guru Ji asked her, “You have come here in the early morning. Where do you live? Where do you have to go?”

She told about her and said, “My parents are in village ‘Vadde Ghar’ and I am just married in a family, which worships ‘Sakhi Sarwar’. I am your Sikh. I am going to my in-laws. I will perhaps not be able to see your holy face again, because, I fear, they will not allow me to do so. I heard the ‘Keertan’, so I came here to have your ‘Darshan'”.

Guru Ji was pleased to hear that she was devoted to Guru’s house. Guru Ji blessed her, “I have written your new fate. You have come to the congregation. Your father is a Sikh. You too are a Sikh. Now, your husband will be my Sikh. Your son will be a devoted Sikh”.

What else did she want? The words by Guru Ji gave her a new life.

On the other hand, when her father-in-law did not find her, he asked his son Saadhu, “Where is your wife?”

Saadhu said, “She has gone to her Guru”.

Saada was angered to know that her daughter-in-law went to the Gurdwara. He shouted on his son, “Why have you allowed her to go there? Don’t you know that we worship only Sakhi Sarwar? The Sakhi Sarwar will be angry, because she went to the Gurdwara. We do not believe in Guru. Go there and bring her back here”.

Saadhu rushed to the Gurdwara. When he saw Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s holy face, Saadhu’s mind was changed. The Guru’s holy face filled his heart with holy feelings. Hypnotized by the Guru, he bowed his head to Guru Ji and touched his feet. Guru Ji asked him to sit near him.

Guru Ji talked to him for a while and in a result, Saadhu was ready to be changed forever.

He prayed to Guru Ji, “I want to be your Sikh. Please accept me your disciple”.

Guru Ji accepted him as his Sikh and gave him the ‘Name’. Guru Ji said, “Your son will be a great devotee”.

Saadhu was not mere ‘Saadhu’ now. He was, now, ‘Bhai Saadhu Ji’. His fate was re-written by the holy Guru. He was chosen by the Guru to be the immortal. He was to be included forever on the pages of Guru history.

Bhai Saadhu Ji went back to his ‘Baraat’ along with his wife Bibi Soorati Ji. The ‘Baraat’ reached in his village ‘Tuklaani’.

All the relatives were very happy. People were dancing. Women were singing. Because all of the family members were ‘Sultanis’, they took Bhai Saadhu Ji and his newly wed wife to Sakhi Sarwar’s place constructed in their house.

Bhai Saadhu’s father, Saada, asked them to bow their heads before Sakhi Sarwar’s place. Instead bowing his head, Bhai Saadhu kicked the Sakhi Sarwar’s place and said, “I am, now, a Sikh of my Guru. I will destroy this place”.

The relatives were stunned on this. They said to him, “Shut up. O fool, do not say Guru’s name. We are followers of Sakhi Sarwar”.

However, Bhai Saadhu Ji was not agreed. His relatives tried to threaten him, but in vain. In night, when all were sleeping, Bhai Saadhu Ji destroyed the Sakhi Sarwar’s place. Next morning, the relatives constructed in again. Again, Bhai Saadhu Ji removed it. It happened repeatedly. They used to construct it again in daytime and Bhai Saadhu Ji would destroy it in night.

As a final point, the Sakhi Sarwar’s place was removed from his house permanently. Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bibi Soorati Ji started to live life like true Sikhs.

After sometime, a lovely child was born to her. Every one was happy to see the lovely infant. After sometime, Bhai Saadhu JI and his wife went to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji along with their newborn son. At that time, Guru was in Sri Amritsar Sahib Ji. Bhai Saadhu Ji took bath in holy pool. Then, he appeared in the congregation. Guru Ji was on his holy throne. Bhai Saadhu touched the holy feet of Guru Ji and put his offerings in front of him.

Bhai Saadhu Ji said, “Guru Ji, by your Grace, a son is born my house. Please name the infant. Also, bless him, so that he could become your Sikh”.

Guru Ji looked at the infant. Our history books tell that the newborn was so cute and beautiful, like moon.

Guru Ji named him ‘Roop Chand’ (the moon of beauty) and said, “He will be famous by name of Bhai Roopa. He will be a true Gursikh”.

Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bibi Soorati Ji were too happy to hear this from Guru Ji. After staying there for some days, they came back to their home. They would often visit Sri Amritsar Sahib once or twice a year to have the holy ‘Darshan’ of Guru Ji.

Bhai Aakal Ji raised his daughter Bibi Soorati Ji in pure religious surroundings. Now, she herself started to raise her baby in same atmosphere. She and her husband Bhai Saadhu made such arrangements that their son Bhai Roop Chand became a true follower of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Once, Guru Ji went to village Daroli. When Bhai Saadhu Ji and his son Bhai Roop Chand Ji heard this, they too went there and had the holy ‘Darshan’ of their Guru Ji. Bhai Roop Chand Ji was not a child now. He was grown up by that time. He learned the basic principles of Sikhism.

Time was being passed. Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji were carpenters by their profession. Cutting wood was a part of their profession. They used to go to the nearby forest to get wood for them.

It was hot summer. The scorching wind was blowing out there. As usual, Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji went to the jungle to cut some wood for them. They took some water in leathern water bag with them. They reached in the forest and hung the leathern water bag on a branch of a tree. They started to cut the branches of other trees.

They worked hard for sometime. Then, Bhai Roop Chand Ji felt thirsty. He touched the leathern water bag to take some water from it. It was so cold. He said to his father, “Father, the water is so cold. It is worthy for Guru Ji. Guru Ji should come here and drink this. This water is excellent. All the excellent things are for our holy Guru Ji”.

He did not drink the water and sat on the ground. His father joined him. They closed their eyes and remembered Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. After some moments, both of them started to work again. Then, Bhai Saadhu Ji thought that his son did not drink water. He wanted that his beloved son should take some water in this hot weather conditions. Therefore, he went himself to get water for his son. When he touched the water bag, he realized that his son was right saying water was so cold.

Bhai Saadhu Ji thought, “My son is intelligent. This water is excellent. Every excellent thing should be for Guru Ji”.

He did not take water either and sat on ground. His son also came near to him and sat there. Both of them had been cutting wood for a long time in so hot weather. They were too thirsty. Cold water was there, but they were not ready to drink it.

The water in their water bag was excellent, so it was to be taken by their Guru Ji first. Only then, they would touch it. They were confounded because of thirst.

Bhai Saadhu Ji said, “I want my Guru J to drink this water first. Guru Ji is in village Daroli, several miles away. It is a hot mid-day. It seems that there is fire burning in all the directions. How is it possible that Guru Ji would come here and accept this water as our offerings?”

His son replied, “Father, Guru Ji is omniscient. He will listen to our prayer”.

They again tried to continue with their woodcutting job, but could not do because of harsh thirst. Now, they sat on ground and started to meditate on Guru Ji. They were remembering their Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who was several miles away from them. A dense jungle, a water bag hanging on a branch of a tree, two lovers remembering their beloved, and the beloved is several miles away. Is the love a child’s play?

The love is a different game. It wants you to be always ready to put yourself in every test. It makes the lovers dance on fire. It wants the lovers to recite his beloved’s hymns under the shadow of a saw in Chandni Chowk. It requires having the patience to be cut into small pieces in a Chowk of Lahore city.

If love is a different game, its impact is deeper. The love has the ability to attract the beloved; even if he is several miles away. The true love can fascinate the beloved, no matter if he is Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji himself.

The lovers are in the jungle. Their eyes are closed. Their hearts are full of love for their beloved. The image of the beloved is printed on their minds.

However, where is the beloved?

He is in village of Daroli. He is lying on his royal bed in a cold room, which is perfumed very well. His relatives are talking to him.

The two lovers are thirsty and are in pain; even then, the beloved is enjoying the pleasures?

No, not at all. It could give the impression that he is talking to his relatives. It may perhaps look as if he is not aware what is happening there in far forest several miles away. No, it is not so. The beloved too is thinking of his lovers. The love has already fascinated him.

Look, he is going rapidly towards his stable. Now, he has ridden on his horse. Look at him. He is making his horse run very fast. He is advancing towards the jungle. See, he has reached near his lovers.

Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji were in deep meditation. Then, in that forest, they heard a voice.

“Any body there? I am so thirsty. I need some water”.

Wow! He is thirsty. Is he? Yes, he is. He has always thirst for love.

The lovers opened their eyes. A horseman is there asking for some water. A warrior is looking at them. He is not an ordinary horseman. He is not just one in the crowd of warriors. He is the holy King of thousands of hearts. He is the light of the God Almighty. He is the most handsome angel on this planet. He is the beloved they are waiting for. In addition, he is asking for some water.

They were delighted to see Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji before their eyes. Their joy cannot be described in words.

Guru Ji came close to them and said, “I am thirsty. I need some water, but in this forest, I do not see any water”.

Both of them touched the holy feet of Guru Ji and said, “Prabhu, Water is ready. We did not drink it. It is for you, Guru Ji”.

Can mere water be a valuable offering to the Guru? Great is my Guru. He made his Sikhs feel that they did something for their Guru. Otherwise, Guru does not need anything. Oh my beloved Guru! I am sacrificed to you.

Bhai Roop Chand Ji took the leathern water bag and Bhai Saadhu Ji put water in a ‘Doona’ (a cup prepared from leaves) and gave it to Guru Ji.

Guru Ji drank the water and said, “Water is nice. I have never drunk such tasteful water. I am satisfied. Now, drink the water yourself”.

Both of them, then, drank water and satisfied their thirst.

By permission of Guru Ji, Bhai Saadhu Ji went to his house and brought Bibi Soorati Ji there. She too was so pleased to see Guru Ji.

Guru Ji gave some weapons and cloths to Bhai Roop Chand Ji. Bhai Roop Chand Ji carried them on his head. When Guru Ji saw this, he said, “O Roop Chand, why did you not wear the garments given by me?”

Bhai Roop Chand Ji replied, “Guru Ji, I am just a servant of your servants. The weapons and garments given by you are sacred to me. I will respect them as I respect yourself”.

Meanwhile, other Sikhs, including Bhai Bidhi Chand Ji and Painde Khan’ also reached there, when they heard that Guru Ji went to the forest in such a hot mid-day. When they came to know the fact that Guru Ji came there to bless Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji, all of them were amazed.

Guru Ji, ordered Bhai Saadhu Ji to colonize a new village. For this purpose, Bhai Saadhu Ji, along with his wife and son, went with Guru Ji. In their way back to village ‘Daroli’, they spent a night in a lonely place. Next morning, Guru Ji himself laid the foundation stone for a new village, which was named ‘Bhai Roopa’ after Bhai Roop Chand Ji’s name.

Guru Ji ordered to construct new houses there, so that the village could be populated. Guru Ji promised to come there again and then, went back to the village Daroli.

When Guru Ji visited the village ‘Bhai Roopa’ for second time, it had been well populated under the supervision of Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji. Both of them proved that they were good town planners. This time, when Guru Ji came for second time, 3,000 Sikhs were also accompanying him. Bhai Bidhi Chand Ji was also there in these Sikhs. All of them stayed in the village for approximately 15 days. It is, thus, understandable that the village had enough houses etc for 3000 guests.

Guru Ji said, “Roop Chand is so dear to me. He has done lots of ‘Seva’ to me. Now, I have decided to give him the ‘Manji’.

Guru Ji asked him to sit on the ‘Manji’. Bhai Roop Chand Ji showed his hesitation and said, “Guru Ji, I belong to a low caste. The ‘Manji’ is for higher person only. I want to remain only your slave. I have no other desire in my mind”.

Guru Ji held him from his arm and sat him on the ‘Manji’. Guru Ji himself put ‘Tilak’ on Bhai Roop Chand Ji’s forehead and said, “Neechai Ooch Karai Mera Gobind” (My God exalt and elevate the lowly). (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 1106).

Guru Ji said, “You are blessed. No matter what you say will be proved true. You will be blessed with seven sons. Now, start Guru’s kitchen (‘Langar’) and be always proud less. Your family will be blessed until they prepare ‘Guru’s kitchen’ with love and devotion. So, continue to serve the Guru”.

Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bhai Roop Chand Ji were pleased. Guru Ji stayed there in village ‘Bhai Roopa’ with them for approximately 15 days.

The Guru-history tells us that the descendents of Bhai Roop Chand Ji did lots of ‘Seva’ to other Gurus too. Bhai Dharam Singh Ji and Bhai Param Singh Ji, who served Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru, were sons of Bhai Roop Chand Ji. Bhai Dyal Singh Ji was grandson of Bhai Roop Chand Ji, who served Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

—–

Sources: ‘Sri Gur Pratap Sooraj Granth’, ‘Gur Bilas Patshahi 6’, ‘Mahan Kosh’.

Bhai Aakal Ji and Bibi Soorati Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

We often spent lots of money on our children’s education. We spent huge money on their professional training. We do not hesitate to give them costly garments etc. However, most of us do not care to give our children the religious education. I do not hesitate to say that majority of our young generation does not know about our Guru-history and basic concepts of our religion.

Sometime, we hear people saying that our children are getting ‘moral’ education in their schools, so there is no need for separate religious education, but they forget that the morality in our society is based on our religion. For example, it is our religion, which tells us to always speak truth. It is our religion, which asks us not to make thefts etc.

Without getting the religious education, our children have forgotten their religious responsibilities. They are becoming selfish. They do not respect their teachers. They do not care about their parents. Many young people are involved in violence. Drugs have become a serious problem even in small towns. Even minors are involved in sexual activities. We can see many Sikh children and youth, who have cut their hair. Some of them have adopted smoking as a fashion trend.

Surprisingly, we have started to blame the media for all of these problems. Cable TV channels and movies are main target of our criticism. However, would we care to answer the question that who has provided cable TV and movies to our children and youth? Cable TV channels are being run in our own TVs. We pay for cable TV channels and then allow our children to watch them. Children are not able to understand that what is being shown on TV channels and movies is not a reality. They start to follow fallacy. Thus, we ourselves, in a way, are responsible for such problems.

If we give them proper religious education, they can be good persons, who have respect for their teachers, parents, elders and their religion as well. Giving them religious education will help them to lead a religious life. Especially girls should be given proper religious education at any price. The girl will, one day, be a mother. A religious mother can fill the minds of her children with religious thoughts.

We need to inspire our children and youth for religious activities. We should encourage them to know more and more about our religion. We should make them realize that we are Sikhs and we do not follow other’s religion at all. This was what Bhai Aakal Ji did. He gave proper knowledge of Sikhism to her beloved daughter. He inspired her not to follow other’s religion.

Bhai Aakal Ji is an ideal for all the Sikh parents. He was a perfect Sikh. He taught her daughter the basic principles of Sikhism. It was the religious education by Bhai Aakal Ji given to her daughter, which turned a ‘Sultani’ family into a devout Sikh family.

Bhai Aakal Ji was a Sikh of the fourth Guru, Sri Guru Ramdas Ji. He was a resident of village ‘Vadde Ghar’. He used to visit Guru Ramdas Ji once or twice a year. He would love to recite the Gurbani.

Bhai Aakal Ji was a carpenter by profession (which is also a caste in India). He was very hard working Gursikh. He was lucky that he could see the holy faces of three Gurus. First, he became the Sikh of fourth Guru, Sri Guru Ramdas Ji. When the fourth Guru Ji left for his heavenly abode and Guru Arjan Dev Ji was established on the holy throne, Bhai Aakal Ji started to visit Guru Arjan Dev Ji. When Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji became the sixth Guru, Bhai Aakal Ji got the opportunity to have his holy ‘Darshan’.

Bhai Aakal Ji had a daughter. Her name was Bibi Soorati Ji. Bhai Aakal Ji asked his ‘Purohit’ to find a suitable match for her. The Purohit tried to find an appropriate match for her in different places. When he went to village ‘Tuklaani’ in this regards, he felt that ‘Saada’, a carpenter, in that village was a respectable person in his locality. He had a son, who was unmarried yet. The Purohit went to Saada’s house. Saada welcomed him and requested him to stay with him for a night. This is what the Purohit wanted. It was necessary to find out required information before fixing the marriage. It was easy to see this family from close, if Purohit would stay in that family.

The Purohit felt that the family was good. He also liked Saada’s son, whose name was ‘Saadhu’. Purohit found him a suitable match for Bibi Soorati Ji. He, then, performed necessary rituals and their engagement was announced. It was the time, when Brahman Purohits were authorized for such engagements in some castes, like Brahmans, Khatris, Carpenters, and Vaishyas etc. Other castes used to appoint ‘Naayee’ (barber) for such duties.

The Purohit went back to Bhai Aakal Ji and told him that Saadhu of village Tuklaani would be his son-in-law.

Bhai Aakal Ji asked the Brahman, “Is the boy a Sikh? Are other members of his family Sikhs?”

Brahman replied, “I did not try to know this. I do not know whether they are Sikhs. I know only one fact, and that is Saadhu is a suitable match for your daughter”.

This answer by the Purohit saddened Bhai Aakal Ji. He was a Sikh and wanted to marry his beloved daughter into a Sikh family. Brahman fixed the marriage and he was not sure if they were Sikhs or not.

Bhai Aakal Ji was worried, but nothing was possible now. After sometime, he started to make arrangements for Bibi Soorati Ji’s marriage. He sent a letter of marriage to Saada.

The ‘letter of marriage’ created the atmosphere of joy in Saada’s family. They too started to arrange for the marriage.

In fact, Saada and his other family members were followers of ‘Sakhi Sarwar’, a Muslim seer. The followers of Sakhi Sarwar are called ‘Sarwaris’ or ‘Sultanis’ in Punjab. Saada had constructed a special place for ‘Sakhi Sarwar’ in his house. All the members of his members used to worship this place. When they got the ‘letter of marriage’, they went to Sakhi Sarwar’s place in their house and bowed their heads there. They gathered the ‘Baraat’ and reached Bhai Aakal’s house in village ‘Vadde Ghar’ on the fixed date. Bhai Aakal Ji welcomed the Baraat and made suitable arrangements for them.

In those days, Baraats used to stay in bride’s village for two or three days. Saadhu’s Baraat was not an exception either. They stayed there for three days.

Meanwhile, Bhai Aakal Ji came to know that his daughter’s in-laws were not Sikhs, but ‘Sultanis’. It saddened him. However, Bhai Aakal Ji was regretful, but he could not say anything because of his relatives gathered there in his house.

Bhai Aakal Ji felt himself very helpless. He was not able to do anything. With heavy heart, he went to Bibi Soorati Ji and said, “Dear, I have come to know that your in-laws are Sultanis. We are Sikhs. After you go to your in-laws, they might ask you to worship Sakhi Sarwar. We are Sikhs and we have to follow only our Guru. If they ask you to worship Sakhi Sarwar, do not obey them”.

Bibi Soorati Ji too was sad to know that she was being married in a non-Sikh family, but it was now un-avoidable.

After the solemnization of the marriage, the ‘Baraat’ was departed and advanced towards its destination, village ‘Tuklaani’.

The marriage was performed in summer. To avoid severe hot weather, the ‘Baraat’ departed in evening. The village ‘Daroli’ was situated in the way of this ‘Baraat’. It was early morning, when the ‘Baraat’ reached in this village. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was in this village at that time.

The newly wed Bibi Soorati Ji heard the ‘Keertanis’ singing the ‘Aasa Kee Vaar’. She had visited this village for many times with her father to have the holy ‘Darshan’ of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

She said to the ‘Kahaars’ (palanquin bearers), “As you know already, I am a Sikh of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Guru Ji is here in this village. I want to have his ‘Darshan'”.

She gave some money to the ‘Kahaars’. The ‘Kahaars’ agreed to carry her ‘Doli’ near to the Gurdwara. Thus, she went to Guru Ji. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was Auspiciously seated on his throne. The ‘Keertanis’ were singing the ‘Aasa Kee Vaar’. People were sitting there listening the ‘Keertan’ devotionally.

Bibi Soorati Ji bowed her head to Guru Ji and then sat in the ‘Sangat’ (congregation). After the conclusion of the ‘Divaan’, Guru Ji saw her. She was in newly wed bride’s dress. Her husband was not with her. Therefore, Guru Ji asked her, “You have come here in the early morning. Where do you live? Where do you have to go?”

She told about her and said, “My parents are in village ‘Vadde Ghar’ and I am just married in a family, which worships ‘Sakhi Sarwar’. I am your Sikh. I am going to my in-laws. I will perhaps not be able to see your holy face again, because, I fear, they will not allow me to do so. I heard the ‘Keertan’, so I came here to have your ‘Darshan'”.

Guru Ji was pleased to hear that she was devoted to Guru’s house. Guru Ji blessed her, “I have written your new fate. You have come to the congregation. Your father is a Sikh. You too are a Sikh. Now, your husband will be my Sikh. Your son will be a devoted Sikh”.

What else did she want? The words by Guru Ji gave her a new life.

On the other hand, when her father-in-law did not find her, he asked his son Saadhu, “Where is your wife?”

Saadhu said, “She has gone to her Guru”.

Saada was angered to know that her daughter-in-law went to the Gurdwara. He shouted on his son, “Why have you allowed her to go there? Don’t you know that we worship only Sakhi Sarwar? The Sakhi Sarwar will be angry, because she went to the Gurdwara. We do not believe in Guru. Go there and bring her back here”.

Saadhu rushed to the Gurdwara. When he saw Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s holy face, Saadhu’s mind was changed. The Guru’s holy face filled his heart with holy feelings. Hypnotized by the Guru, he bowed his head to Guru Ji and touched his feet. Guru Ji asked him to sit near him.

Guru Ji talked to him for a while and in a result, Saadhu was ready to be changed forever.

He prayed to Guru Ji, “I want to be your Sikh. Please accept me your disciple”.

Guru Ji accepted him as his Sikh and gave him the ‘Name’. Guru Ji said, “Your son will be a great devotee”.

Saadhu was not mere ‘Saadhu’ now. He was, now, ‘Bhai Saadhu Ji’. His fate was re-written by the holy Guru. He was chosen by the Guru to be the immortal. He was to be included forever on the pages of Guru history.

Bhai Saadhu Ji went back to his ‘Baraat’ along with his wife Bibi Soorati Ji. The ‘Baraat’ reached in his village ‘Tuklaani’.

All the relatives were very happy. People were dancing. Women were singing. Because all of the family members were ‘Sultanis’, they took Bhai Saadhu Ji and his newly wed wife to Sakhi Sarwar’s place constructed in their house.

Bhai Saadhu’s father, Saada, asked them to bow their heads before Sakhi Sarwar’s place. Instead bowing his head, Bhai Saadhu kicked the Sakhi Sarwar’s place and said, “I am, now, a Sikh of my Guru. I will destroy this place”.

The relatives were stunned on this. They said to him, “Shut up. O fool, do not say Guru’s name. We are followers of Sakhi Sarwar”.

However, Bhai Saadhu Ji was not agreed. His relatives tried to threaten him, but in vain. In night, when all were sleeping, Bhai Saadhu Ji destroyed the Sakhi Sarwar’s place. Next morning, the relatives constructed in again. Again, Bhai Saadhu Ji removed it. It happened repeatedly. They used to construct it again in daytime and Bhai Saadhu Ji would destroy it in night.

As a final point, the Sakhi Sarwar’s place was removed from his house permanently. Bhai Saadhu Ji and Bibi Soorati Ji started to live life like true Sikhs.

After sometime, a lovely child was born to her. Bhai Saadhu JI and his wife went to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji along with their newborn son.

Bhai Saadhu Ji said, “Guru Ji, by your Grace, a son is born my house. Please name the infant. Also, bless him, so that he could become your Sikh”.

Guru Ji looked at the infant. Our history books tell that the newborn was so cute and beautiful, like moon.

Guru Ji named him ‘Roop Chand’ (the moon of beauty) and said, “He will be famous by name of Bhai Roopa. He will be a true Gursikh”.

This Bhai Roop Chand Ji became very famous in Guru-history. A village was named after his name by Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji himself. Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Param Singh Ji, who did ‘Seva’ to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru, were sons of Bhai Roop Chand Ji.

The ‘Royal priest’ for Royal family of Patiala State was/is appointed from this family.

Thus, the religious education given by Bhai Aakal Ji to her daughter, finally, laid foundation of a true Gursikh family.

Bhai Singha Purohit Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

When Mukhlis Khan attacked the city of Sri Amritsar Sahib Ji, Guru Hargobind Sahib said to his Sikhs, “It is not right to fight within the Gurdwara complex. I have decided to fight in the battlefield”.

Thus, Guru Ji started to arrange for a face-to-face battle. It was an emergency. Guru Ji ordered to evacuate the city. All the families were ordered to leave the city. Guru’s own family was also to be shifted. Time was running very fast.

Guru Ji himself was busy in making plans for the battle. It was the first battle in the history of Sikhism. A new page of the Guru-history was to be written there.

When Guru’s family reached Sri Ramsar Sahib, it became known that Bibi Veero Ji, the daughter of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was missing. She was just a child at that time. When the family was leaving the city, she was playing with dolls and other toys. In such haste, no one could know that she did not sit on any carts, which were being used to take the family members out of the city.

Meanwhile, the Mughal Army had entered in the city. Mughal army men were roaming here and there. In such a dangerous situation, Bibi Veero Ji was all-alone there in the complex.

It was a very difficult situation. Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib thought that any reliable warrior should go there and bring Bibi Ji to Sri Ramsar Sahib safely. Guru Ji needed a person, who was a fearless warrior, reliable, and above all, known to Bibi Veero Ji. It was obvious that Bibi Ji would not go with an unknown person. In such a critical time, Guru Ji selected his ‘Purohit’ for this challenging job. This ‘Purohit’ was a great warrior. He was a mighty commander of Sikh Army. Above all, he was like a family member to Guru Ji and Bibi Veero Ji knew him very well. His name was Bhai Singha Ji. Because, he originally belonged to Brahman Purohit’s family, so some Sikh books call him ‘Singha Purohit’.

Guru Ji ordered Bhai Singha Purohit Ji, “Purohit Ji! Go to my home and bring Bibi Veero Ji safe here. Your birth on this earth will be successful. Baabak will accompany you”.

Bhai Baabak Ji was not only a great ‘Keertani’ of Guru-Darbar, but a great warrior also. As per Guru’s instructions, both the warriors disguised themselves as Mughal army men. Guru Ji gave them a gun.

The royal army in Sri Amritsar Sahib. Hundreds of Mughal armymen with all the weapons in their hands. The black night. And, two Sikh warriors on two horses and one gun with them. Following the Guru’s order, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji and Bhai Baabak Ji advanced towards Guru’s palace.

Both the brave Sikhs reached in front of Guru’s palace. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji called Bibi Veero Ji. Bibi Ji opened the window and saw Bhai Singha Ji out there. Bibi Veero Ji came out of the palace and sat behind Bhai Singha Ji on his horse.

Bhai Singha Ji said to Bhai Baabak Ji, “Let us go without any delay”.

They remembered Guru Ji and started to return. Mughal army men had already entered in the city. In the dark of the night, they were looking for Guru Ji. Among the hundreds of enemies, there were only three Sikhs in the city of Sri Amritsar Sahib, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji, Bhai Baabak Ji and Bibi Veero Ji.

A Mughal chief was on guard duty in front of ‘Darshani Deodi’ (entrance door of Sri Darbar Sahib) along with other soldiers. He had a spear in his hand. When Bhai Singha Ji and Bhai Baabak Ji reached near him, he said, “Who are you? Where are you going?”

Bhai Baabak Ji replied, “All are our brothers. Be careful. Everybody is looking for the Guru. Have you not seen the Guru yet?”

When Bhai Singha Ji ran his horse, Bibi Veero Ji’s shoe fell down. Some small bells were attached to that shoe, which jingled. Mughal chief heard this and started to shout. Bhai Singha Ji and Bhai Baabak did not waste their time and ran away on their horses. Bibi Veero Ji, as said earlier, was with Bhai Singha Ji. Mughal army men started to chase them. They were shouting, “Enemies are running. They are carrying Guru’s family. Catch them, catch them”.

Bhai Singha Ji said to Bhai Baabak Ji, “It is now time to fire”.

When Bhai Baabak Ji listened this, he fired a shot and Mughal chief was lying dead on the land of Sri Amritsar Sahib Ji.

With happy minds, both the warriors reached in front of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and touched the holy feet of warrior Guru. Bibi Veero Ji was in her family now. Guru Ji was very pleased to both of brave Sikhs.

Bibi Veero Ji was saved. She was saved, so that she could give birth to five warriors to fight in the battle of Sri Bhangaanee, for their cousin Guru, the tenth holy King, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. She was saved by Bhai Singha Ji, whose grand-son was to fight in the battle of Sri Bhangaanee for his Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Wow! Wonderful Guru history!

Well, on the other hand, battle was already start outside of the city. Sikhs were fighting bravely in the dark of night. Many Sikhs were martyred in the battlefield.

When Bhai Bhaanu Ji, a warrior Sikh, was martyred in the battlefield, Guru Ji called Bhai Singha Purohit Ji. Bhai Purohit Ji reached near Guru Ji. Guru Ji asked him to go to the battle, because other Sikh warriors were being martyred by the Mughal army men.

Brave Bhai Singha Ji bowed his head before Guru Ji and started to make arrangements for a memorable battle. He was waiting for the early morning. In the early morning, Guru Sahib Ji himself sent him to the battle. Five hundred warrior Sikhs were under the command of Bhai Purohit Ji.

Sun was not risen yet. Bhai Singha Ji gathered his ‘Jatha’ of 500 Sikh warriors. Riding on his horse’s back, Bhai Singha Ji reached in the battlefield. As soon as he reached there, guns started to shout. The enemy attacked like a full flowing river. There was great noise on both the sides.

Mohammed Ali was leading the enemy’s army. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji deployed his soldiers in trench. When he saw the enemy shouting near the holy city, Bhai Singha Ji said to his warriors, “Fire at once at these ‘Malechh’ people you are looking at. Kill all of them”.

As soon as Bhai Singha ordered to fire, Sikhs started to fire their guns. Many Mughal army men were killed in a moment.

Now, it was time to use swords, the common weapon of those days. Bhai Singha Ji advanced towards the enemy. Other Sikh warriors followed him. The limbs of the warriors were being cut into pieces.

After sometime, Bhai Singha Ji noticed that Sikhs were being killed in the battlefield. This made him very angry. According to the ‘Sri Gur Prataap Sooraj Granth’: –

Im Mare Maar Singhe Nihaar.
Lalkaar Paryo Jeh Bal Udaar.
Bal Bipra Guru Prodha Subhat.
Tab Bhayo Samukh Maare Ulat.
(Raas 6, Ansu 10, Page 2827).

Means, when he saw Sikhs being killed there, he, who had too much power, started to challenge (the enemy). Then, the powerful Brahman, who was Guru’s Purohit and a warrior, came in front of (enemy) and killed them.

Bhai Singha Ji started to shot his arrows towards enemies. Wherever he shots his arrows, they would cross the bodies of enemies. Hissing like snakes, Bhai Singha’s arrows were flying here and there. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji killed whoever came in his way.

The fight by Bhai Singha Ji created tumult in the enemy’s camp. The enemies could not face the bloodthirsty arrows of Bhai Sahib. At last, the enemies had to run away.

Mohammed Ali, the enemy’s chief, gathered his army again and thus Mughal army men again came in the battlefield. Until now, Mohammed Ali had understood that it was Bhai Singha Purohit, who was creating trouble for Mughals. In anger, he came in front of Bhai Singha Ji and started to fire his gun. Bhai Singha Ji jumped his horse for many times and thus saved himself from Mohammed Ali’s bullets.

However, Bhai Singha was a target of many guns, he continued to shot his arrows and was killing the enemies continuously. This made Mohammad Ali very mad. Now, he fired at Bhai Singha Purohit’s horse. Bhai Singha Ji’s horse was shot and Singha Ji’s fell down on land. Bhai Singha Ji was now without horse among the hundreds of horsemen enemies. Obviously, enemies were happy now.

Hundreds of Mughal horsemen surrounded Bhai Singha Ji, who was fighting all alone there. He was too alert. He continued to shot his arrows towards enemies. Whoever came near to him, Singha Ji donated him an arrow and sent him to the other world.

A single man was killing many Mughal soldiers. This made Mohammed Ali angrier. He ordered to fire at Bhai Singha Ji from all the directions. It was, now, not possible for Bhai Singha Ji to save him from bullets. He was all-alone there in the battlefield fighting against the hundreds of Mughal horsemen. Some bullets injured him. Even then, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji continued to transfer enemies to the other world.

However, Mohammed Ali did not hesitate to kill the horse of Bhai Singha Ji, but Bhai Singha Ji did not kill Ali’s horse. This is a good point to understand the character of this brave warrior of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Mohammed Ali was jumping his horse here and there. Sometime he would shout on his soldiers, sometime he would fire on Bhai Singha Ji. Absentmindedly Mohammed Ali came near to Bhai Singha Ji. It was a good chance for badly injured Bhai Singha Ji. Bhai Singha Ji was not there to miss such a chance. He shot an arrow, which struck into Mohammed Ali’s forehead. The gun fell down from Ali’s hand. Now, Bhai Singha shot another arrow, which gave salvation to Mohammed Ali. Ali died there and his horse ran away.

Bhai Singha Purohit Ji shot all of his arrows. Now he was without arrows. The enemies forwarded towards Bhai Ji and fired at once. Bhai Ji fell down. Even then, enemy’s soldiers continued to attack him using swords. His limbs were cut to small pieces. According to ‘Sri Gur Prataap Sooraj Granth’: –

‘Huye Khand-Khand Mil Gayo Khet’.
(Raas 6, Ansu 11, page 2828).

Cut to small pieces, he was intermixed into the earth.

Thus, a wonderful warrior received a wonderful death. His martyrdom in the battlefield caused Guru Ji’s participation in the battle. When Guru Ji heard that Bhai Singha Purohit Ji had been martyred, he himself came in the battlefield and won the battle.

Bhai Singha Purohit Ji fought in favor of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. The time will write another beautiful episode of great Guru history, when grandson of Bhai Singha Purohit Ji will fight in favor of grandson of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Yes, Amritsar to Bhangaanee, the journey is not too long.

—–

Sources: ‘Sri Gur Pratap Sooraj Granth’, ‘Gur Bilas Patshahi 6’, ‘Brahman Sikh Itihas’, ‘Twaareekh Guru Khalsa’, ‘Mahan Kosh’.

Bhai Jaita Ji and Bhai Singaru Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Singaru (pronounce ‘Singaaroo’) Ji and Bhai Jaita Ji were fearless great warriors. They were Sikhs of the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji.

They used to visit Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Once Sri Guru Ji said to both of them, �I will use weapons, when I transform myself into the sixth Guru. It is time of Kaliyuga. I will fight against enemies and punish them using weapons in battles�.

Guru Ji said further, �I will take care of my Sikhs. They will enjoy worldly pleasures in this world and will achieve salvation when they die�.

Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji ordered Bhai Jaita Ji and Bhai Singaru Ji to stay with the next Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and said, �Join Guru Hargobind and fight the tyrants”.

Both the warriors obeyed Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji and started to live with Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who was appointed the sixth Guru by Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Bhai Singaru Ji and Bhai Jaita Ji continued to practice their Shastrastra Vidya.

Many years after the martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji, his son and the sixth Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib fought four battles against the rulers, who attacked him on different places. Being trusted men and fearless warriors, Bhai Jaita Ji and Bhai Singaru took part in battles and fought for their Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who won all the battles.

Bhai Tiloka Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Tiloka Ji was a great warrior. As a warrior, he was appointed an army officer with a personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji originally was from ‘Sooharh’ gotra of  ‘khatri’ caste (varna). He was a Sikh of fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. As an army officer, Bhai Tiloka Ji used to carry many weapons with him. He would ride a horse, as it was the common conveyance for soldiers those days. Because Bhai Tiloka Ji was an officer in personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni, he would accompany him where he would go. It is obvious that Bhai Tiloka Ji was an important figure in Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji, being a devout Sikh, once came to the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Bhai Ji said to Guru Ji, �To indulge in battles is my occupation. As soldiers, we always have to do �Hinsa� (violence). How can I be saved? I have come to your sanctuary�.

Guru Ji said, �Follow your �Khatri Dharma� (the duty of a warrior). Do not do violence by your heart. Do not hurt anyone�s heart. Always meditate on the God. Recite the Name of the God Almighty every time. Show mercy on living beings�.

After staying for a few days, Bhai Tiloka Ji returned to Ghazni, his city. As was his duty, once he accompanied the local Mogul ruler for hunting. Suddenly, they saw a she-deer running before their eyes. All the warriors chased it. Bhai Tiloka Ji struck his sword the she-deer and cut it into two pieces. It was a pregnant she-deer. Two infant deer fell out of it and died before everyone�s eyes.

Bhai Tiloka Ji watched this entire episode. This kind hearted warrior was sad to see all this. He remembered Guru�s words, �Show mercy on all living beings�.

His mind had totally changed now. He thought, �I have made a big sin. Guru Ji asked me to show mercy to living beings, but I killed this innocent living being. I should now weapons throw away, so that I do not kill living being any more�.

The kind hearted Bhai Tiloka Ji kept a wooden-sword in his sheath. Its handle was made of iron. Under its sheath, it would look like a real sword.

After a few days, someone told the ruler, �Tiloka is considered a great warrior, but he keeps a wooden-sword. Only its handle is made of iron and it looks like a real sword�.

The ruler replied, �I do not believe this. Tiloka is a great warrior. He has proved his bravery in many battles. This is why I have appointed him my army officer. I respect him a lot and I give him a handsome salary etc�.

The complainant said, �Ask him to appear in your court. When he comes, suddenly ask him to show his sword. If it is made of wooden, do not pay him. And, it is made of iron, punish me for that reason�.

Now the local ruler was double-minded. He did not want to insult Bhai Tiloka Ji. He organized his court. All the warriors, including Bhai Tiloka Ji, appeared there with their weapons. First, he unsheathed his own sword and showed to all. He then asked another warrior to show his sword. He did so. Then, one by one, the ruler asked every warrior to show their swords.

Bhai Tiloka Ji was in difficulty now. He was carrying a wooden-sword. He meditated on the Guru and prayed, �O My Guru! Help me. Save my honour, same as you saved honour of Daraupadi. Convert my wooden-sword into a real one made of iron�.

Now, the ruler said to Bhai Tiloka Ji, �Tiloka! You too should show your sword. Le us see what kind of sword you have in your sheath. Let us see which stamp your sword carries�.

Bhai Tiloka Ji replied, �The stamp of my Guru is there on my sword. I will show you the sword given by my Guru�.

He recited �Waaheguroo� and unsheathed his sword. It was a real sword, all made of iron.

The ruler was so happy to see the sword of Bhai Tiloka Ji. He doubled the salary of Bhai Tiloka Ji.

Bhai Kalau Kakka Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Kalau Kakka Ji is another warrior Sikh, who is never mentioned by modern writers of Guru History. He was a Sikh of the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji.

He asked Guru Ji, �Which position does a warrior get, who dies in a battle fighting his enemies?�

In fact, from the very beginning, the warriors were always there in Sikh Sangat (congregation). These warriors used to ask such questions, which were very crucial for these religious minded soldiers. If we gather all the answers by our Gurus, to these questions, we get a true picture of what we may call now �rules for a warrior�.

As Guru Arjun Dev Ji said to another Sikh warrior, Bhai Aadit Suyini Ji, the first rule for a true warrior is to make sure that he fights for the ‘Dharma’. A warrior should always keep it in his mind that Guru Arjun Dev Ji instructed Bhai Aadit Ji to meditate on the King of kings, the God Almighty, in battlefield. If a warrior is reciting the Name of the God in battlefield, he would surely fight for ‘Dharma’ only. A person fighting against the ‘Dharma’ is not a true warrior.

But, what happens to a warrior, who dies in a battle, fighting the enemy?

Guru Arjun Dev Ji replied to Bhai Kalau Kakka Ji, ‘If a warrior, who have adopted the ‘Dharma’ of bravery and is always fearless in battle, dies in a battle reciting the True Name of the God, gets the state of supreme dignity. All sins of his previous lives are cleansed’.

Guru Ji further said, �Those, who die in a battle fighting furiously, without reciting the Name of the God, are reborn and they get worldly pleasures�.

These warriors, who are reborn, get worldly pleasures for a limited period only. These worldly pleasures are not for ever. These worldly warriors do not get ‘Mukti’ (salvation) at all.

Though, we have not any detailed information on life of Bhai Kalau Kakka Ji, this little piece of conversation between him and Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji is very important. It gives us an instruction to fight for the ‘Dharma’. It also proves that Sikh Gurus used to instruct his warrior Sikhs to fight for the ‘Dharma’ from the very beginning. The Sikh warriors used to go to battles and they always fought for the ‘Dharma’ only.

Bhai Mallu Saahi Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Mallu Saahi Ji was a Sikh of the second Guru, Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji. The warrior Bhai Mallu Saahi was a soldier in the Mogul army.

He must have thought that it was not good to work under foreigner ruler. Perhaps this was the reason when he asked Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji,

�We are in service of Moguls. Tell us to do something so that we remain blameless�. Guru Ji replied, �Human bodies are mortal. Soul is immortal. No body can kill soul�.

�So, should a soldier not be afraid of death in battle-field?� one may ask.

Listen what Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji said to this warrior, �The body will die, only when these three points gather together � (1) when the time of breaths is over, (2) when the person to be died reached the particular place where he has to die, and (3) when particular weapon strikes, which is supposed to end warrior�s life�.

The warrior cannot die until all of these three points get together. Otherwise, the �Kaal� (Time/Death) itself defends the warrior.

So a warrior should not worry. He should not be afraid of death. He surely will die, when his time comes. No one can save him then. And no one can kill him if his time has not come.

Sri Guru Ji said to Bhai Mallu Ji, �When the war is unavoidable, do not hesitate even if enemies are too many. Whatever you earn, share with needy�.

This was the lesson to a warrior, Bhai Mallu Saahi Ji. This is a lesson to all the warriors living across the globe.

Bhai Saalas Rai Ji, The Jeweler

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai Mardana Ji were passing through a jungle, when Bhai Mardana Ji said, “Guru Ji, I am hungry. You know that we could not get food for some days. It is very hard for me to take even a single step. We are in a dense forest. I think there is not any city near”.

Guru Ji said, “Have a little patience, Mardana. We are heading towards a city”.

They kept walking. After some time, Guru Ji said to Mardana Ji, “See, there is a city”.

Mardana Ji said, “What does it make a difference if we are near to a city. We have no money with us. No one will give us food without money. It seems that I have to die here right now”.

When Guru Ji listened Mardana Ji saying like this, Guru Ji searched sand by his foot. He took a precious jewel from the sand and gave it to Mardana Ji.

Mardana Ji said, “What can I do with this stone. I cannot eat this, Guru Ji”.

Guru Ji replied, “Go into the city. You will know its price there”.

It was the city of ‘Bishamberpur’. Guru Ji did not enter into the city. Mardana Ji went to a jeweler in the city.

The jeweler said, “I can give you only three paise (a currency) for it”.

Mardana Ji came back to Guru Ji and told that the jeweler was ready to give only three paise.

Guru Ji said, “Go to jeweler ‘Saalas Rai’. Give that jewel to him and take money which he would give to you”.

Bhai Mardana Ji went to Bhai Saalas Rai jeweler and showed him the jewel. Bhai Saalas Rai Ji examined the jewel very carefully. Then he gave hundred rupees to Mardana Ji and said, “I can give as much money as the owner wants. I am giving you hundred rupees just as a respect for this precious jewel”.

Mardana Ji went back to Guru Ji and told what happened.

Guru Ji said, “Mardana, This is very precious jewel. The jeweler has given hundred rupees to show his respect for this jewel. You can imagine how precious it is. Now tell me if you want to sell this jewel”.

Bhai Mardana Ji said, “We should not sell the jewel”.

“Give back the money you have taken from Saalas Rai, if you do not sell it”, said Guru Ji.

Mardana Ji went again to Bhai Saalas Rai Ji and told him that the owner of this jewel did not want to sell it.

However, Bhai Saalas Rai Ji refused to take that money back, as it given as respect for jewel. He wanted to see the owner of jewel, so he went where Guru Ji was sitting outside the city. He brought food and some other things for Guru Ji.

Bhai Saalas Rai met Guru Ji. He wanted to listen to Guru Ji.

Guru Ji sang a ‘Shabd’, “In the pure, immaculate waters,
both the lotus and the slimy scum are found.
The lotus flower is with the scum and the water,
But it remains untouched by any pollution.

“You frog, you will never understand.
You eat the dirt, while you dwell in the immaculate waters.
You know nothing of the ambrosial nectar there.”

“You dwell continually in the water;
The bumblebee does not dwell there,
But it is intoxicated with its fragrance from afar.
Intuitively sensing the moon in the distance,
The lotus bows its head.”

“The realms of nectar are irrigated with milk and honey;
You think you are clever to live in the water.
You can never escape your own inner tendencies,
Like the love of the flea for blood.”

“The fool may live with the Pandit,
The religious scholar, and listen to the Vedas and the Shaastras.
You can never escape your own inner tendencies,
Like the crooked tail of the dog.”

“Some are hypocrites;
They do not merge with the Naam,
The Name of the Lord.
Some are absorbed in the Feet of the Lord, Har, Har.
The mortals obtain what they are predestined to receive;
O Nanak, with your tongue, chant the Naam.”
(Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Maaru Mahla 1, p. 990)

Bhai Saalas Rai Ji was well-learned man. He became the follower of Guru Ji. He was a poet also. He wrote and sang a song in praise of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

On his request, Guru Ji went to Bhai Saalas Rai’s house. Guru Ji stayed in the city for some days.

Guru Ji appointed Bhai Saalas Rai Ji the preacher of Guru Nanak’s philosophy.

Bhai Laalo Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

When Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji started his ‘Udaasis’ (religious jounryes) along with Bhai Mardana Ji, first, they came to a town, called ‘Aimnabaad’. There lived a carpenter, whose name was Bhai Laalo Ji.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji went to Bhai Laalo’s house. Bhai Laalo felt very happy, when he saw a saint in his house. However, he could not recognize Guru Ji, because he never met him before.

Therefore, he asked Guru Ji, “Where have you come from?”

Guru Ji said, “We are outlanders.”

“Your holy face is shining. Your sight destroys all sins. It made me happy, when I heard your voice. I come under your protection. O merciful saint, please tell me your name”, Bhai Laalo prayed.

Bhai Laalo was a carpenter. Though being a carpenter is just an occupation, but it is now considered a caste in India. In addition, in those old days, a ‘carpenter’ was considered a lower caste. In ‘Puratan Janam Sakhi’, there has been used a word ‘baadhhi’ for this caste. In ‘Gur Partap Suraj Granth’, Bhai Santokh Singh has used a word ‘takhaan’ for it. Now, it is called ‘Tarkhaan’ in Punjabi language. (Sikh ‘Tarkhaans’ are now called ‘Raam-garhiyaas’).

Because ‘carpenter’ was considered a lower caste, so people belonging to upper caste would not go to carpenters’ houses. When Guru Nanak Dev Ji went to this carpenter’s house, the carpenter was surprised. He thought, “How was it possible that a saint came to his house?”

Moreover, by Guru Ji’s face, it was sure that he belonged to a rich family. Laalo might have thought, “A rich man, a man belonging to an upper caste has come to me, then he must be a kind hearted. But who is he?” Laalo wanted to know about this visitor. That is why he said, “O merciful saint, please tell me your name.”

Guru Ji did not tell his name. He said, “You will know my name by yourself. Now, do your job and praise the God.”

Now, Laalo got some clue. He said, “I have heard about a ascetic, Nanak. You must be Nanak. I cannot find anyone like you. But I want to listen by yourself whether you are Nanak or not.”

Bhai Mardana said, “Yes, you guessed very well.”

Happy carpenter did welcome his guests. He provided them with simple food.

Guru Ji stayed in Laalo’s house for 25 days. In the meantime, Bhai Mardana wanted to see his family. Guru Ji allowed him to go to their village, so Bhai Mardana went to ‘Talwandi’ for few days.

Guru Ji used to go to jungle in daytime. During nights, he would come to Laalo’s house. Bhai Laalo would provide Guru Ji with food with pure devotion and love.

In ‘Aimnabad’, there lived a very rich man. His name was ‘Malik Bhago’. While Guru Nanak Dev Ji was staying with Bhai Laalo, Malik Bhago organized ‘Brahm-bhoj’. ‘Brahm-bhoj’ is a kind of public kitchen, where Brahmans and other ascetics are invited. Malik was a very corrupt man. He amassed wealth through unfair means.

He invited many Brahmans, saints, ascetics and others in his ‘Brahm-bhoj’. His priest went personally to everyone to give invitation.

Guru Ji was going to jungle for meditation, when the priest of Malik Bhago met him. He said to Guru Ji, “Where are you going, ascetic Nanak? Here is an invitation for you.”

“Invitation? For what?” Guru Ji asked.

“Malik Bhago, a ‘Khatri’, has arranged a big ‘Brahm-bhoj’. He has invited all Brahmans, Khatris, Vaish and Shudras,” said the priest.

Brahmans, Khatris, Vaish and Shudras are four ‘Varnas’ or castes of Hindus.

Guru Ji replied, “But I do not belong to any caste. I am a man of God.”

“That is why people call you wicked”, priest said in rage. He further said, “If you do not come to ‘Brahm-bhoj’, Malik will be angry with you.”

Guru Ji did not go to Malik’s Brahm-bhoj. Someone said to Malik Bhago, “Look Malik, Nanak ascetic did not come to you. He gets food from a ‘Shudar’. That is why people call him wicked.”

Malik asked his priest, “Did you invite Nanak ascetic?”

“Yes sir”, the priest said, “I told him several times to come to ‘Brahm-bhoj’.”

This made him angry. He ordered, “Go and invite him again”.

The priest went to Laalo’s house and said loudly, “O Laalo! Is Nanak ascetic here in your house right now?”

“He is sitting in my house”, replied Laalo, “What do you have to do with Guru Ji?”

“Send him out”, the priest said.

Guru Ji listened their conversation and came out of the house.

He said, “What are you saying, Pandha Ji?”

The priest replied, “Go with me immediately. Malik is waiting for you.”

“Who is Malik?” Guru Ji said, “I do not know him. I have nothing to do with him. I did not even see him. Why is he calling me?”

The priest went back to Malik Bhago and said, “Malik Ji, he ignored your order. He says, ‘who is Malik?’ He did not come with me. He traduced your food. He has been eating in a Shudar’s house. He is shameless.” However, Guru Ji did not use these words.

Malik ordered, “Go and present him before me by force, if he does not come himself.”

This time, five men accompanied the priest. He went to Guru Ji and said, “Go with us, otherwise we will take you forcefully.”

Guru Ji laughed and went with them. Bhai Laalo Ji followed him. Laalo was afraid.

Guru Ji asked Malik Bhago, “Why have you called me? Why did you send your priest to me?”

Malik said, “Why did not you come to my ‘Brahm-bhoj’?

“I eat what I get”, Guru Ji replied, “I have no desire to eat some tasty food.”

Malik said, “You are fearless. I heard that you belong to an upper caste. Even then, you take food in a Shudar’s house. You traduced ‘Brahm-bhoj’ and you take food from a Shudar.”

Guru Ji heard this calmly. Then he said, “Bring your food, Malik.”

Guru Ji asked Laalo also to bring food from his house. Laalo did so.

Malik ordered his men to bring food. He said to Guru Nanak Ji, “Eat what you like.”

Guru Ji looked at Bhai Laalo. Then he held Laalo’s bread in his right hand and in the other that of Malik Bhago’s. Guru Ji squeezed both. Milk came out from Laalo’s bread and blood dripped from Malik’s bread.

People saw this miracle. They could not believe their eyes. No one had seen blood dripping from bread before.

Guru Ji said to Malik Bhago, “You arranged ‘Brahm-bhoj’ with money sucked from the poor through unfair means. You live by exploitation of the poor and Laalo earns his bread by the sweat of his brow.”

Malik Bhago felt shame, but he did not say any word. Guru Ji came back to Bhai Laalo’s house.

After a few days, Bhai Mardana went back to Aimnabad and rejoin Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He told Guru Ji that Rai Bulaar prayed in the holy feet of Guru Ji to give the ‘Darshan’.

Guru Ji could not ignore his true follower. He said to Bhai Laalo Ji, “There is another lover like you, in my village. He is waiting for me, so I have to go now.”

“But Guru Ji, you promised to stay for one month with me”, said Bhai Laalo Ji.

Guru Ji replied, “I have stayed for 25 days in your house. I will stay for 5 more days when I come again here.”

As a devotee of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, I often think about Bhai Laalo Ji. He was very lucky. In his journeys, Guru Ji did not stay for many days often, in one place; but Bhai Laalo Ji could have the savior as a guest in his house for 25 days. Still he had a promise for more 5 days stay of Guru Ji in his house, though he was a poor man economically; though He did not belong to any so called upper caste. What was the reason? I know the reason. I came to know the fact that my Guru Nanak Dev Ji can be pleased by true love. If you want my Guru Nanak to be with you, just sing his ‘Jap Ji’ with pure devotion; and he will be there with you.

Economically, if you are poor, call my Guru Nanak with pure love. If you are rich, call my Guru Nanak with pure love. It does not matter whether you are poor or rich; Guru Nanak wants just true love.

Guru Ji went to his village ‘Talwandi’. He promised Bhai Laalo Ji to stay with him for more five days. Guru Ji kept his word and when he visited again to Bhai Laalo Ji, he stayed for five days with him.

Bibi Tulsan Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bibi Tulsan is an ignored character of the Guru History. We have not enough information about her.

Bibi Tulsaan was a maidservant of Bibi Nanaki Ji, the only sister of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Tulsaan got the opportunity to serve the Guru in Sultanpur Lodhi, a city in Punjab. In his book ‘Twaareekh Guru Khalsa’, Giani Gian Singh writes that Bibi Tulsaan was present along with midwife Bibi Daultaan, when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born, but it cannot be verified. In Bhai Santokh Singh’s book ‘Sri Gur Nanak Prakash’, Bibi Tulsaan calls Bibi Nanak Ji using the word of ‘Badhu’ (daughter-in-law), which proves that Bibi Tulsaan was originally belonged to the city of Sultanpur Lodhi, that is why she used to use word ‘Badhu’ for Bibi Nanaki Ji.

If we accept that Bhai Santokh Singh Ji wrote the word ‘Badhu’ by mistake, then it is possible that Bibi Tulsaan was originally a resident of village ‘Talwandi’ (Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s village) and she went to Sultanpur after the marriage of Bibi Nanaki Ji. It was very common in rich families that servant would go to girl’s in-laws to stay with her forever. In those days, marriages were performed in young age. It was common to send any reilable servant with her, so that she could not feel strangeness in her in-laws. If Bibi Tulsaan was originally a resident of village Talwandi, possiblly she was sent to Sultanpur Lodhi after marriage of Bibi Nanaki Ji. Bibi Tulsaan Ji got the ‘Brahm-Giyaan’ (the realisation of the God) in village ‘Talwandi.

The luck of Bibi Tulsaan started to shine, when Guru Nanak Dev Ji started to work in the ‘Modikhana’ in the city of Sultanpur Lodhi. Guru Ji lived in the house of his sister, Bibi Nanaki Ji, for a long time. During this time, Bibi Tulsaan Ji got the opportunity to see Guru Ji daily. Even when Guru Ji started to live saprate alongwith his family, Bibi Tulsaan Ji used to get chance to have ‘Darshan’ of Guru Ji repeatedly.

According to the book ‘Bansaavali-naama Dasaan Paatshaahiyaan Ka’, written by Kesar Singh Chibbar, Guru Ji went to Sultanpur in the age of 14. According to this, we can say that Guru Ji went there in Samvat 1540 Bikrami. According to ‘Bansaavali-naama Dasaan Paatshaahiyaan Ka’, the second son of Guru Ji, Sri Lakhmi Chand Ji, was born in Samvat 1553 Bikrami. We know that Guru Ji started his journeys (Udaasis) from Sultanpur Lodhi, after the birth of his second son. From this, we reach on conclusion easily that Guru Ji lived in Sultanpur approximately for 13-14 years. It is a long time. Bibi Tulsaan Ji enjoyed the company of Guru Ji during this long period.

As said earlier, we have not enough information about Bibi Tulsaan Ji. We find few lines about her in ‘Sri Gur Nanak Prakash’, written by Bhai Santokh Singh. Giani Gian Singh has written that she was present when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born. ‘Sardar Bahadur’ Kahan Singh Nabha has mentioned her name in his big book ‘Mahaan Kosh’. Most of the writers just avoided writing about her.

Whenever Bibi Nanaki Ji wanted to call Guru Nanak Dev Ji, it was Bibi Tulsaan Ji, who would go to Guru Ji to convey the message of Bibi Nanaki Ji. For example, when some people said to Bhaiya Jai Ram Ji that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was wasting the money of Nawab Daulat Khan on the poor, Bibi Nanaki Ji sent Bibi Tulsaan Ji to call Guru Ji.

Bibi Tulsaan Ji was an eyewitness of many important happenings in Guru Ji’s life. For example, she was there, when the accounts of ‘Modi-khana’ was checked. She was also present, when Guru Ji started his ‘Udasis’ (religious journeys).

Once, Guru Ji was sleeping in his house in his native village ‘Talwandi’ (now Sri Nanakaana Sahib Ji, Pakistan). Mother of Guru Ji, Mother Tripta Ji, prepare food for him and asked Bibi Tulsaan Ji, “Wake my son up. Ask him to have his food”.

Bibi Tulsaan Ji went inside, where Guru Ji was sleeping on his bed. His foot was out of cloth. Bibi Tulsaan Ji kissed the holy feet of her Guru Ji. As soon as she kissed the holy foot, she got the conscious of the three worlds.

Through this conscious, she saw that the ship of Bhai Mansukh Ji, a resident of city of Lahore, was in deep Ocean. There was some problem. He prayed before Guru Ji, “O True Guru, always helpful to the poor, please help me immediately”.

The omniscient Guru Ji heard his appeal and reached there immediately. Guru Ji helped him and his ship was saved.

Bibi Tulsaan Ji could see all this with the help of the consciousness of the three worlds she got after kissing the holy foot of Guru Ji.

She did not wake Guru Ji up and went back to Mother Tripta Ji. She said to the mother, “I have not woken him up. He is saving his Sikh’s ship. When he saves it, I will wake him up”.

Mother Tripta Ji thought that Bibi Tulsaan Ji was just joking, so she woke her son up herself and said, “Listen my son, Tulsaan was joking to me. She told that you were saving someone’s ship”.

Guru Ji said, “Do not believe this mad”.

As soon as Guru Ji uttered these words, Bibi Tulsaan Ji became silent forever. People thought that she got mad. In fact, she started to enjoy the cheerfulness of ‘Brahm-Giyaan’ (the realization of the God). By the Grace of the Guru, she got the salvation.

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Sources: ‘Sri Gur Nanak Prakash’, ‘Twaareekh Guru Khalsa’, ‘Puratan Janamsakhi’, ‘Mahan Kosh’.