Guru HarGobind was very fond of horses of fine breed. He had enjoined upon his Sikhs to offer him good horses and weapons. Bakhat Mai and Tara Ghand were the two Masands functioning in Afghanistan. A faithful Sikh brought two horses of a very fine breed from Turkistan for the Guru. At KabuL, he gave them to Bakhat Mai and Tara Chand. He requested them to take the horses to Amritsar and present them to the Guru as his humble offering.
The horses were exceptionally good. They had been named Dilbag and Gulbag by the Sikh. The Masands took charge of the horses. They started their journey for Amritsar. They were thinking that the Guru would be very pleased to receive those fine horses. They knew about the love of the Guru for good horses.
As Bakhat Mai and Tara Chand, the two
Masands, reached Lahore, they were encircled by the soldiers of the Governor of Lahore. They were forced to part with the horses. The soldiers took away the two horses to the Governor. He admired the horses. He decided to present those fine horses to the Emperor, Shah Jahan. He ordered to keep the horses in the royal stables at Lahore.
Bakhat Mai and Tara Chand reached Amritsar.
They related to the Guru what had happened with them. The Sikhs were enraged to hear that the Governor of Lahore had forcibly taken the possession of Guru’s horses. They were not prepared to tolerate that sort of naked rapacity. They wanted to get them back to the Guru. They thought over many a ways. Finally, the Guru tapped the back of Bhai Bidhi Chand. He was entrusted with the task of bringing back the forcibly taken horses for the Guru.
Bhai Bidhi Chand was very daring, fearless and a tactful man. He was one of the Guru’s trusted followers. He made up his mind and set out for Lahore. Reaching Lahore, he disguised himself as a grass cutter. He got service in the royal stables.
His duty was to feed grass to the horses. Gradually, he became a groom, who looked after the royal horses. He cultivated friendship with Dilbag and Gulbag, the two horses. They became attached to him. He could ride on them. They became so familiar that they could be responsive to his calls.
One night, when no one was watching, he came out of the royal stables with Dilbag. He mounted it. Riding Dilbag, he reached the outer wall of the fort. A branch of the river Ravi then flowed just under the fort. The currents of the water kept washing the fort walls. Bhai Bidhi Chand made the horse scale the outer wall and jump into the river below. It was a very dangerous and daring feat.
But both the rider and the horse did it safely.
Riding on Dilbag, Bhai Bidhi Chand made his way to the Guru. He was successful in his attempt.
He presented the horse to the Guru. The Guru was delighted to see the horse. The sight of the horse made him pine for its companion. So, he again asked Bidhi Chand to try to bring the second horse also. Bhai Bidhi Chand was always ready to honour the Guru’s bidding.
In Lahore, there was a great hue and cry for the stolen horse. The Governor had announced, “Any one finding the horse, or giving clue of the stolen horse will be richly rewarded.”
The second horse Gulbag, too, was feeling sick at the absence of his companion. He stopped taking food. So, the officials of the royal stables wanted to trace the first horse very soon. Many expert ‘khojis’ (scouts) came, but they could not find any clue. They failed to give any useful clue.
They were all sent back.
Bhai Bidhi Chand disguised himself as a Khoji (Scout). He reached the royal stables. He convinced the officials that he would provide them not only with the clue but also tell the person with whom the horse was. They decided to give him a chance to show his skill.
Bhai Bidhi Chand said, “Leave me alone to think how the thief took away the horse. He approached Gulbag, patted his back and mounted it. He rode towards the outer wall of the fort. The officials and other servants of the stables thought that he was finding the clue. Reaching close to the outer wall, he again made his horse scale over the wall and jump below into the river Ravi. While jumping he shouted loudly, “I am Bidhi Chand taking the horse to its rightful owner, the true king, Guru Har Gobind. I had taken the first horse using the same device. I challenge you, if you dare, recover the horses from my Lord, the True King Guru Har Gobind.”
Thus,Bidhi Chand revealed, where the horses would be. The Governor of Lahore reported the matter to the Emperor, Shah Jahan. He sent a powerful expedition against the Guru. General Lala Beg and General Kanwar Beg led their forces. The Emperor also ordered other Generals, Abdullah Khan, Salim Khan and Behlol Khan to co-operate with Generals Lala Beg and Kanwar Beg.
Sensing danger the Guru marched towards the deserts of Bhatinda. The royal forces followed him. Afierce battle was fought at the village Lahira.
Both the Generals, Lala Beg and Kanwar Beg were killed by the Guru. The Guru’s soldiers killed many a Mughal soldiers. The Sikhs, too, suffered losses. The Guru lost Bhai Jetha Ji in the battle.
Other Sikh warriors also laid down their lives. But the Mughal soldiers were defeated and Guru Har Gobind won the battle.