(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’.