"Guru Laadho Ray, Guru Laadho Ray !"
Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib jee chose his grandson, son of Baba Gurdita jee, - Siri Guru Har Rai jee – to sit on the throne of Guruship after him. Siri Guru Har Rai jee was 14 years old at that time but was a pooran Brahmgiyani. Siri Guru Har Rai jee’s older brother Dhir Mal and Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib jee’s younger son Baba Sooraj Mal tried to lay claim on guruship however Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib jee rejected them saying that Gur-gaddi is chosen by Waheguru himself.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib who was uncle of Guru Har Rai jee, did matha-tek at the charan of Guru Har Rai jee. Not once had he laid claim to Guruship. Such a thought neither did occur to him. Siri Guru Hargobind jee Maharaj asked Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur jee to go and stay at Bakala (now known as Baba Bakala). Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur jee bowed his head in acceptance and moved to Baba Bakala along with his extremely cultured and gurmukh wife – Mata Gujree jee.
At Baba Bakala, Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur jee did massive bhagtee. He remained absorbed in Naam for 26 years and 9 months. This is what is written in history. Some modern historians have estimated his stay at Baba Bakala to be 22 years. Nevertheless, Siri Guru jee did a lot of bhagtee there. Mata Gujree jee who was the embodiment of seva, very patiently and earnestly served her Gurmukh husband.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee who was the uncle of Guru Har Rai jee, always stayed submitted to Guru Har Rai Sahib jee. When Guru Har Rai jee went to Govindwal Sahib, he also visited on his way Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee at Baba Bakala. It is not recorded in history, but it is apparent that Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee used to visit Siri Guru Har Rai jee and then Siri Guru Harkrishan Sahib. How could Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib have not visited the current Guru jee? It is unthinkable. Some of our history have recorded wrong events that don’t do justice to our tradition. We have to filter out such events when reading old historical books.
When Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee was about to 'joyty jot samaa' (leaving for Sach Khand), he proclaimed that Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee would be the next Guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was grandfather of Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee. For this reason, Guru Harkishan Sahib jee said, “Baba Bakaley” i.e. the next Guru would be Baba (Grandfather - Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib) who lives in Bakala. At that time, there was no other Sodhi living at Baba Bakala and Guru Sahib gave a very clear direction on who the next Guru would be.
It is said that, when Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee did this bachan and left for Sach Khand, a great parkash (light) appeared on the forehead of Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee.When Mata Gurjree saw Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib’s forehead the next day, she immediately knew that the jot of Guruship had entered Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee. She did not need to be told. She knew already.
When the imposters heard of this bachan of Siri Guru Harkishan jee, they flocked to Baba Bakala and started acting as Gurus. Dhir Mal too arrived at Baba Bakala. But Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur jee stayed totally oblivious of these developments. When sun rises, it does not need to tell anyone of its rise. People already know automatically. In the same way, Siri Guru jee did not advertise to anyone about his Guruship. The sangat in due time was to find out.
Siri Guru jee daa Pargat Hona
Makhan Shah Lubhana was a very devoted Sikh and at the same time was a very successful businessman. He was into the import and export business. Once, he was on a business trip and his ship was loaded with merchandise from India. While the ship was travelling, it got stuck in a very heavy storm. The situation of the ship was very dire. Not only was Makhan Shah’s investment in danger, so was his life.
Makhan Shah knew that only one force could save him now. He knew that Guru Nanak Dev jee Maharaj alone could get him through this problem. Guru Nanak Sahib, who is an expert in getting people across this world ocean, was surely capable of saving this little ship. It is written in our history books that Bhai Makhan Shah jee did one patth of Siri Japjee Sahib with full concentration and then did an ardas in the lotus feet of Guru Siri Harkishan Sahib jee Maharaj. While doing ardaas, Bhai Makhan Shah committed 500 gold mohars (coins) to the charan of Siri Guru jee. Soon after his ardas, the storm stopped and his ship was saved. Makhan Shah profited greatly from this shipment and started his journey back to his home.
In the meantime, at Baba Bakala, the imposters who were posing as Gurus, confused the sangat greatly. Mata Gujree jee and Mata Nanakee jee asked Guru Sahib to come out in the open but Siri Guru jee stayed merged in Naam. So is the Satguru who is ocean of Naam. Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee was a pooran Brahmgiyani even before he became a Guru but now after having the jyot of Guruship in him, he had become incomprehensibly great. Guru does not need anyone. It is sangat that needs Guru. So Siri Guru jee, keeping alive the tradition of Guru Nanak Sahib’s house, kept a low profile.
In total there were 22 fake Gurus at Baba Bakala and Dhir Mal was the leading fake Guru. His agents were spread out on the outskirts of the town to lure the incoming sangat. That must have been a terrible time for sangat. Sangat was confused and did not know where their real Guru was. When Makhan Shah arrived at Delhi, he found out that Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee had gone to Sackh Khand and that he had indicated that the next Guru was at Baba Bakala. Makhan Shah arrived at Baba Bakala and was shocked to see pure Kalyug at Baba Bakala.
The masands or agents of Dhir Mal got hold of Makhan Shah on the outskirts of the town and started telling him false stories of Dhir Mal and portrayed him to be the real Guru. Makhan Shah was greatly confused and did not know what to do. As he arrived in the town, he noticed that several fake Gurus were laying claim on the Guru-gaddi of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee.
Makhan Shah first went to Dhir Mal and did matha tek of 2 mohars. He thought in his mind that the real Guru would ask him to do matha tek of full 500 mohars. Keeping this faith in mind, he did matha tek to everyone of the 22 Gurus there. None of them demanded for more money. Makhan Shah got greatly depressed at this and went in a state of bairaag. His eyes were shedding tears for Satguru jee. He asked people of the town if anyone else was left. They told him of Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee but also said that he kept a low profile.
Makhan Shah arrived at the Bhora Sahib (place where Guru jee resided and did bhagtee). Siri Guru jee was absorbed in bhagtee. As Makhan Shah entered the bhoraa where Siri Guru jee was sitting, totally merged in Naam, he felt Guru Sahib’s great presence. His aatma, his heart was crying out to say that he had finally found the real Guru. But Makhan Shah’s intelligence, and the skeptic part of his mind wanted more proof.
He came in front of Siri Guru jee and did matha tek of 2 mohars. Siri Guru jee opened his eyes. Makhan Shah felt as if 1000 suns had risen at dawn. He could not bear the piercing eyes of Siri Guru jee. Siri Guru jee, who is all-knowing knew that Makhan Shah had done ardas that the real Guru would ask him for the remaining money. Siri Guru jee smilingly asked Makhan Shah in an extremely nectarous voice:
GUR GHAR KEE JO HAI UPAAIYAN||
SO DEEJEH, KEH RAAKHO AAIYAN||
(Why are you keeping the promised amount to yourself)
AR, DASAUNDH GUR KO HAI JETA||
ARPAN DARB KARHO ABB TETAA||
(And also present the total daswandh that you owe to Guru ghar)
Basically Siri Guru jee told him that he should present the promised amount of 500 mohars.
At this point, Makhan Shah was was deeply stunned. He had done ardas that the real Guru would ask him for the full amount but he had not imagined how it would feel if this ardas really materialized. As Makhan Shah was standing there, totally awed, Siri Guru jee removed his kambal (loyee, shawl) and showed him where his right shoulder was bruised. Siri Guru jee told him that to fulfil his ardaas, he had incurred this wound.
SUNN SIKH, DUBDI NAAYO TUM, HUM KANDHE DEEN LAGAAI ||
KANDHE MOHE, GHAASE LAGEE, KIYON POOJA RAKHO DURAAI ||
( O Sikh listen, while saving your drowning ship, I incurred this wound. Now you too keep your promise)
Hearing this, Makhan Shah experienced unlimited bairaag. He just fell at the feet of Siri Guru jee and washed his feet with his tears. Siri Guru jee lifted him and embraced him. Makhan Shah’s joy knew no bound. He went on the top floor of the building and cried out “Guru Laadho Rey, Guru Laadho rey” meaning “ I have found the Guru, I have found the Guru”.
Then he told everyone his personal story and how Siri Guru jee had saved his life. All sangat, who were thirsty for Siri Guru jee, flocked at Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee. Makhan Shah was a known gursikh of his time and was very powerful as well. He had about 500 members of the sangat behind him and together with other sangat, confusion over who the real Guru was cleared by them.
If Makhan Shah can invoke the power of Siri Guru jee, we can too. All we need is the faith that Makhan Shah had. Guru Sahib is always there to help. It is we who are weak and don’t know how to get kirpa of Guru Sahib.