The Turning Point : Guru Ram Das Ji

When the group reached Goindwal they asked for an audience with Guru Amardas. They were immediately brought before him. For Jetha, it was the turning point in his life.

As he sat with the other Sikhs and listened to Guru Amardas, he could feel a change in himself. The golden words of Guru’s teaching had a profound impact on him. He suddenly realised that all the questions that had so far disturbed him, seemed so simple now. He felt the divine light, he so desperately sought in all the holy men of his village, now shining right before him. All his doubts and questions seemed to fall in place. He could feel a certain peace descend upon him as he gazed into the serene eyes of the Guru. All his restlessness suddenly seemed to settle down, and he felt relaxed. This one meeting with the Guru was the most enlightening experience for him. He now knew what he really wanted to do with his life. He decided to dedicate it to the Guru, and spend his days in his service. His heart glowed with love and reverence for the Guru.

Guru Amardas could not help noticing the young boy introduced to him as ‘Bhai Jetha’

by the group from Lahore. The Guru noticed the spark in his eyes, and his ardour when he was serving him. Soon he was won over by his devotion. He noticed that the young boy never sat idle. He was forever busy doing something or the other. He used to be either cleaning the utensils in the kitchen or sweeping the house or something else. He was always around to help other people. He was loved by one and all, including the Guru and his family.

Soon, Guru Amardas became so fond of him that he began guiding him spiritually.

When he realised that the young boy was truly a slave of God, he began to dote on him.

Bhai Jetha, on the other hand, took it upon himself to serve the Guru in every way, and he began looking after the Guru’s personal comforts by himself. He would clean the dharamsala, serve the food, press the Gurus feet, massage his body, and sometimes even wash his clothes with great pleasure. All this endeared him greatly to the Guru, and he grew really fond of Bhai Jetha. The boy too felt very happy and content when he was with the Guru, in his service.

When the whole party returned to Lahore, Bhai Jetha stayed back in Goindwal to serve the Guru. He knew his parents would initially be upset at his decision, but he also knew that with time they would accept his decision, and even appreciate it. They were as religious minded as he was, and lived by the teachings of the Gurus. He decided that one day he would go himself and explain his decision to them, but for now he had to stay by his Guru’s side.

He continued to perform all sorts of tasks without any consideration for himself. He was always doing something either for the Guru or for the other people, and also the dharamsala. It was not long before he actually became part of their family.

It so happened that Guru Amardas’s wife, Masa Devi, was looking for a suitable boy for her younger daughter, Bibi Bhani. She Would often ask the Guru to look for a good match for their daughter. She would suggest a few from their community but no one appealed to the Guru.

One day, as they sat discussing all this Guru Amardas asked his wife what kind of a boy she was looking for. At this, Masa Devi began listing qualities that would make their daughter happy. Just then Bhai Jetha happened to pass by. He was, as usual, absorbed in some work, and unaware of what they were discussing. Quietly he completed his work, and then respectfully took their leave. Just as he left Masa Devi casually commented that she wanted someone like Bhai Jetha for her daughter. At this Guru Amardas suddenly sat up and told his wife that why not Jetha himself, who was as fond of them as they were of him. Hearing this, Masa Devi’s happiness knew no bounds since Jetha was an ideal match for Bibi Bhani.

Guru Amardas too was very pleased with the idea.

Soon he spoke to Bhai Jetha himself, who felt most honoured by the proposal. He immediately touched his Guru’s feet, and gave his consent. The Guru and his wife blessed him over and over again. Soon Bibi Bhani and Jetha were married.

According to the custom, the bride was supposed to leave her father’s house, and live with her husband in his house. But Bhai Jetha was so intent on serving his Guru that he continued to live with him. Even after becoming the son-in-law he continued to serve the Guru with as much devotion as before.

Not once did he falter in his duties as the Guru’s humble servant. He immersed himself wholeheartedly in the Guru’s religious activities, and worked in the langar with complete devotion and humility.

Sometimes he would even be the butt of other people’s jokes. They would laugh at the menial tasks he performed. Very often they would mock him by saying that the son-in-law was treated like a servant. But he paid no heed to them. To him, his source of joy lay in serving his Guru. He never did think of Guru Amardas as his father-in-law, but only as his Guru. It was because of this attitude that Bhai Jetha felt no shame doing menial jobs in the Guru’s house.

Around this time, the Guru decided to build a “bawli”, which is a well with steps leading to the water, for the benefit of the whole village. Bhai Jetha worked with all the labourers as one of them. He would carry vessels of mud on his head like the others.

Often his feet would be sore, his clothes soiled and his face dusty, but he did not mind all that. He was happy to be of service to his Guru and the village.