Sajjan, The Robber : Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana

continued their travels. They travelled by short stages. In every place the Guru explained to the people the three golden rules of his religion. He taught them the lessons of truth, love, labour, service and worship of God.

Once, during these travels, the Guru and his companion arrived at a place called Tulamba. That place is now in the district of Multan in Pakistan. A well-known man lived there. His name was Sajjan. He dressed himself like a pious man. But he was a very cruel at heart. Looking at him, nobody could imagine that he was a cruel robber.

He had built for himself a large house at some distance from the village.

It was by the side of a road. At one corner of the house, he had built a mosque. At the other end of his house, he had built a Hindu temple. He had also built a serai or a rest-house.

Travellers were given food and lodging there free of cost.

All travellers were welcomed at the rest-house. Sajjan’s men gave them good food to eat They gave the travellers soft, clean beds to sleep in. After the travellers had fallen asleep they were killed. Their bodies were thrown into a well. All their goods were taken by Sajjan. A very large number of travellers had been killed and looted in that way.

Sajjan had become very rich.

Guru Nanak had heard much about Sajjan. He had decided to change him into a good man. It was for that purpose he had come to Sajjan’s house.

Sajjan and his men welcomed the Guru and his companion. Sajjan came to the Guru and began to talk. The Guru asked him his name. Sajjan replied, ‘My name is Sajjan. The Hindus call me Sajjan Mai. The Muslims call me Sajjan Shah. But I am neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim. I am a sajjan or friend and servant of all.’

Saiian with Guru Nanak

The Guru said, ‘But do you really act like a sajjan or friend ?’

Sajjan said, ‘Yes, holy Sir, I

welcome and serve all who come here.

In my serai all guests are given food and lodging free. I have built a mosque for my Muslim guests, and a temple for my Hindu guests. Every visitor is served with care and kindness. Don’t I act like sajjan or friend ?’

The Guru said, ‘But what happens to them afterwards? Are thev not killed and looted ? You may deceive people; but you cannot deceive God.

He watches and knows all your deeds.

You are gathering wealth by killing and robbing people. When you die, this wealth will remain here. The sins which you do for it, will go with you.

You will be punished for them. Take heed, my sajjan. It is never too late to mend. There is still time for you to.

become 3 good man. There is still time for you to wash away your sins. There is time, still, to win God’s forgiveness and love. Will you try, dear Sajjan ?’

Sajjan began to weep. He fell at the Guru’s feet and said, 4 1 will obey you. I will do all that you tell me to do. Tell me how I may earn God’s forgiveness and love.’

The Guru replied, ‘Confess all your evil deeds. Be sorry for them from the bottom of your heart. Pray to God for His forgiveness and love. Give away all your wealth to the poor. Begin to live and act like a good and honest man. Help all who need your help.

God will forgive you. I shall pray for you.’

The Guru then explained to him the three golden rules of his religion. Sajjan listened with attention and deep respect.

Sajjan again fell at the Guru’s feet.

He promised to live and act as advised by the Guru. He gave away his wealth to the poor. He changed his house into a dharamshala (A religious Commune).

He began to preach the Sikh religion.

He was the first Sikh preacher.