Malik Bhago : Guru Nanak

In a short time, the Guru’s stay at Bhai Lalo’s house became the talk of the whole town. Brahmins andKhatris did not like the Guru’s act. They said, ‘This holyman (sadhu) is aKhatri by caste. He has a low-caste Muslim as his companion. He lives and dines with a low-caste Hindu. He is doing something which no Hindu should do.

He has taken the wrong path.’

Some of them went to the Guru.

They advised him to give up living with the low-caste carpenter. They said, ‘You are doing what no highcaste Hindu should do.’

The Guru replied, ‘I am not a Hindu. I am not a Muslim. I have a religion of my own. I have no caste. In my view all men are equal. A man who does good, noble deeds is a high-caste man. One who does low, evil deeds is a low-caste man. In my view, therefore, Bhai Lalo is a high-caste man.’

They had no reply to make. They went away.

Eminabad, then, belonged to a Muslim sardar or chief, named Zalim Khan. Malik Bhago was his manager.

This man was greedy, proud and cruel.

One day, he gave a feast to Brahmins and sadhus (holymen). He invited Guru Nanak, too. But the Guru did not accept the invitation. This made the Malik very angry. He sent his servants to bring the Guru.

Malik Bhago’ s men went to the Guru. They asked him to go with them. He agreed. He wanted to teach a lesson to Malik Bhago. So, he went with them to their master’s house.

Many people went with him. They wanted to see what would happen.

The Guru reached Malik Bhago’s house. The Malik looked angrily at him, and said, ‘You are zKhatri. You live and dine with a Shudra. You refused to come to my house and dine.

Why ?’

The Guru replied, ‘I eat what I like.

I refuse to eat what I do not like. I like the food given by Bhai Lalo. I do not like the food given by you.’

‘But why?’ said Malik Bhago,

angrily.

The Guru replied, ‘I shall tell you.

Let some food be brought from your kitchen.’

The Malik’s men brought a dish of rich food. The Guru had with him a piece of Bhai Lalo’ s bread. He held that piece of bread in his right hand.

He held a piece of Malik Bhago’s bread in his left hand. Lifting his arms, he pressed the two pieces. Drops of milk came out from Bhai Lalo’s bread.

Drops of blood came from Malik Bhago’s bread.

Drops of blood came out from Malik Bhago’s bread The Gum said, ‘You have seen the difference between Bhai Lalo’s food and yours. Bhai Lalo is a good, Godfearing man. He earns his bread with honest labour. He shares his earnings with others. Such a person’s food is pure. It is sweet like milk and honey.

But you are a different kind of man.

Others work for you. You take away most of what they earn. You do not let them have enough to eat. They are illfed and hungry. What you eat is full of their blood. You are proud, cruel, and greedy. You never think of God. How could I agree to eat your food full of poor people’s blood ?’

The Guru’s words went deep into Malik Bhago’s heart. He fell at the Guru’s feet, and said, ‘Tell me, O holy man, how I may get pardon for my sins.’

The Guru replied, ‘Give all your wealth to the poor. Do honest work to earn your living. Be good and kind to all. Give up your pride. Be humble.

Always remember God. Love all men as your brothers. Help everyone who needs your help. Serve all who need your service. That is the way to win God’s forgivenees and love.’

Malik Bhago again fell at the Guru’s feet. He promised to live and act as advised by the Guru.