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Agony and Ecstasy

Like an artist passing through an agonising period, just before a violent outburst of creative energy, Nanak passed through an intense period of his inner life, which the mystics call, ‘the school of suffering’. He was not tempted by any evil passions and sensuous desires. His sorrows were not caused either by mara or the devil. While his soul felt the inflowing of God’s divinity his vivid and penetrating vision saw humanity passing through an unprecedented moral and spiritual crisis. Falsehood, tyranny, hypocrisy, the use of religion for the exploitation and tyrannising over the poor, the weak and the oppressed, pained his soul. The corrupt Brahmins and qazis were cheating and misleading the Hindu and the Muslim society and harming the cause of religion and truth. He wanted to face it and fight it with his only weapon, the sword of truth and light, but he must seek the command and blessing of his beloved Lord. For this he must come face to face with God, and respond to His call actively, when He gives His assurance that He would bestow all His blessings and grace on him, and guide him in his mission as the Father guides the son.1

Nanak was conscious of his mission as a Saviour, and he was preparing himself by going beyond illumination to perfect communion with God. As a boy of eleven, he was practising and preaching to his village society, what in more concrete and institutionalised form he was to teach and preach later to the world beyond the frontiers of his province and his country. He did what he was asked to do by his parents, but everything he did became God’s instrument of unveiling his spiritual greatness. Everything that went amiss became a historical sermon of godly acts and deeds, in which Nature and God revealed themselves as witnesses of his supreme exaltation. Each little anecdote of his life during this period tells us, through simple historical facts, that God and Nature guided and protected him in his ungodly surroundings, and made everyone realise that Nanak was a man of destiny, whose joys and sorrows, tears and laughter, jokes and criticisms, had become so mysterious and puzzling, that every day they waited for new surprises.

One day Mehta Kalu came home extremely worried over the behaviour of the family cow-herd, who had quarreled with him and absconded. The cows and the buffaloes were still in the stables, and another man was not immediately available. Nanak offered to take the cattle to the pasture for grazing. Mehta Kalu Chand hesitated for a moment, but Nanak, who respected all manual labour, said, “What harm is there if I take my own cows and buffaloes for grazing? Did not Lord Krishna act as the cowherd for his own cows?”

Kalu Chand was delighted to hear these words. “All right son,” said he, “take them to the pasture- land till our cowherd returns, or I will engage some suitable person. You love to spend your time in the forest. The cattle will give you opportunity to spend most of your time there in solitude. I shall also be happy that you are busy with something”2.

While the cows and buffaloes were grazing, Nanak sang melodious songs of Nature and God. At times he sat in silent communion with the Spirit Divine and was lost in ecstasy. When he felt tired he rested and enjoyed an open-air siesta under a shady tree.3 On the third day, while he was resting under a tree, a farmer came grumbling and complaining that Nanak’s cattle had destroyed all his crop. He shouted at him and cursed him, and in an uncontrollable fit of anger, threatened to report the matter to the chief, Rai Bular, and get damages from his father, Kalu Chand.

Gurdwara Kiara Sahib where cattle grazed and the fields turned green
Nanak was puzzled. He trusted his cows and buffaloes as one trusts his friends. He wondered why his cattle went to the farmer’s fields when he left them in the pastureland, where there was plenty of grass. While the farmer rushed to Talwandi to lodge a report with Rai Bular, the chief of the fief, Nanak went in search of his cattle. He found them grazing in the pasture. He then went to the farmer’s fields and found that not a single leaf of his crop was damaged by his cattle. He was happy that his cows and buffaloes had not caused any trouble. He drove them swiftly home.

The farmer had by now raised a hue and cry at the door of the chief, Rai Bular. “Give me justice, O chief. I have been ruined by Kalu’s son who drove his cattle into my fields and they have destroyed all my crops. I want justice, O Chief. If you show undue favour to this boy whom you love so much, I will go and appeal to the Governor.”4

Rai Bular was seriously upset. He sent for the village panchs and for Mehta Kalu, who was the sarpanch (head of the people’s court).5 He was angry with Kalu Chand for sending such a carefree boy as Nanak for grazing the cattle. It was possible that the boy was not able to control such a large herd.

When Mehta Kalu came to know what had happened, he was beside himself with anger. “This boy will ruin me,” he said. Being the sarpanch of Talwandi and the kardar of the chief, he at once agreed to pay the damages, and asked the chief, Rai Bular, to send an assessor to calculate the cost of the damage done to the crops.

At this moment, there arrived on the scene Nanak, calm and undisturbed. He had come to know from his sister about the serious situation that had been created by the farmer’s complaint. Everyone’s eyes were now fixed on Nanak, who looked at Rai Bular as if nothing had happened. Rai Bular’s anger changed into compassion and love, and he tenderly said: “Nanak, my dear child, you should not have driven the cattle to the farmer’s fields. They have destroyed all his crops and your father will have to pay the damages”. “No Sire,” said Nanak, serenely, “my cattle have not damaged a single leaf of the farmer’s fields.” Everyone was stunned by the anticlimax of the situation. “This boy is telling a lie,” said the angry farmer. “Nanak has never told a lie,” remarked Rai Bular, “I must find out the truth”. He asked the assessor to go with the farmer and report the truth. The farmer’s crops were found un-touched and undamaged by any animal. Truth was on the side of Nanak, but the farmer swore that he had seen the damaged crops, and Nanak’s cattle grazing in the field. Everyone dismissed the farmer as a mad man, who probably saw his fields damaged in a dream.

Rai Bular wondered all night about all that had happened. Had the Almighty miraculously restored the crop, to save Nanak from embarrassment? And yet there was nothing miraculous about it. No one had seen the crops damaged and then restored. The farmer may be mistaken. He was, however, determined to find out the truth.

The following day Rai Bular went out hunting and, on the way back, he went to the pastureland where Nanak generally grazed his cattle. It was evening, yet the summer heat was blazing and Nanak was sleeping under a tree. As the sun was on the western horizon the shadows of all the trees, had moved in the opposite direction, except the shadow of the tree under which Nanak was sleeping. Nature stood at the service of the young prophet. Hearing some noise Nanak woke up and greeted Rai Bular, who embraced and kissed his forehead. The very next moment the shadow of the tree moved in the right direction.

A few days later, when Rai Bular again passed through the pasture he found Nanak having his siesta under a tree. Through the thick branches of the tree some rays of the hot sun fell on the tender face of Nanak. A large hooded snake was trying to shield the boy’s face from the burning rays. When Rai Bular saw the snake raising his head over Nanak’s face, who was lying motionless, he thought he was dead. He was overwhelmed with grief and despair. As he went nearer, aiming his arrow at the deadly cobra, it disappeared. Nanak got up and greeted Rai Bular, who was more than a father to him. He bent low to touch the feet of Nanak, but he would not let him do it. From that day onward Rai Bular was convinced that Nanak was a messenger of God. He rode straight to Kalu Chand’s house, who was surprised by the unusual visit of the chief. “Well Mehta Kalu Chand,” he said, “I have now found out that the farmer was telling the truth. You will have to pay the damages.” Kalu Chand was taken aback and said, “But Sir, when you sent the assessor he found the fields undamaged, and you reprimanded the farmer for bringing a false complaint.” “The assessor was right, and the farmer’s complaint was correct You will have to pay him.” said Rai Bular with a smile. “If it is your order Sir,” said Kalu Chand, “I will certainly pay, though I am still at a loss to understand how the farmer’s complaint could be correct if the assessor’s information was true6.”

“That is "why I have come straight to your house today. Can you believe it, Mehta Kalu, that the animals ignorantly destroyed the poor farmer’s crops, and God wisely restored them to save Nanak from any trouble? Can you believe that? I believe it. I have come to tell you, Mehta Kalu, never and never to treat Nanak as your mere son. He is something more. He belongs to the world. He is destined to do something unique. I have twice seen nature serving him, and protecting him. Snakes shade him from the sun’s rays. Shadow of the tree dared not to move as long as he slept under it. I am more than ever convinced that Nanak, the gifted child of God, is most, probably a prophet. Promise me that you will never get unnecessarily annoyed with Nanak when he does something contrary to your expectation. You and I cannot understand him, unless he chooses to reveal his real nature to us” said Rai Bular. Confused and puzzled by all that Rai Bular said, Kalu Chand promised. Even as Rai Bular left Kalu Chand’s house, he repeated his warning in very strong words : “If you want to be wealthy and great, Mehta Kalu, go on serving Nanak; let him do what he likes. But if you annoy him or hurt him, then you will face death and destruction.”7

Mehta Kalu knew that Rai Bular had a superstitious reverence for his son from his early days. He was now surprised to find this reverence take the form of legendary stories. Only the avatars could be treated like that, but he saw no legendary signs of avatars around his son. He could not easily dismiss the strange stories Rai Bular had told him. He sincerely felt that if Rai Bular went on pampering his son in his truancy, and the boy’s associations with saints and sufis increased, he might make him good for nothing. So he made up his mind to train Nanak in some business.

Kalu Chand was anxious to see his son become a perfect man of the world. Nanak knew commercial arithmetic, Indian book-keeping and accountancy. He could, if trained, become a successful trader and businessman. But Nanak lacked one essential trait: thrift. He could easily learn the art of making money, but would it be possible to curb his extravagance, which he called charity (dan). Mehta Kalu, of course, would not mind if his son earned a lot of money, and gave something as charity, but to his utter disappointment, Nanak knew of no other delight than that of giving everything to the needy and suffering. According to him everything man has, is the gift of God, and is given to him to serve His creatures. To serve His created beings was to serve His manifest Spirit. This apologia for extravagance annoyed Mehta Kalu and he felt that it was only a bad habit which the boy had developed from childhood. If he was given some practical lessons in saving money, through profitable trade, he was bound to learn the virtues of thrift and saving.

The worldly-wise Kalu thought of a novel plan of training his son step by step in a profitable trade, under his personal guidance. He gave Nanak twenty-five rupees8 to start trading on a small scale within the district and if he seriously applied his mind to trading and made reasonable profit, he could then go to distant cities and lands. But knowing Nanak too well, the cautious father felt that it would not be proper to trust him all alone with this money. Someone older and more thrifty than him should be sent along with him to take care of his money and his personal belongings. He could think of no better a young man than Bala Sandhu, son of Chander Bhan Sandhu, the farmer who looked after Mehta Kalu’s land9. Bala was a haidworking, truthful young man, three years older than Nanak. Being playmates both loved each other very much. Bala Sandhu was strictly advised by Kalu Chand to allow Nanak to spend the money only on profitable trade. As Nanak was careless about keeping money it was Bala’s duty to see that Nanak did not spend any money on unprofitable business.

After receiving the blessings of his father, mother and sister, Nanak left Talwandi with Bala Sandhu, They had not gone more than fifteen miles, when in the Chuharkana forest they saw a band of Yogis and Brahamcharis sitting in meditation, and practising yoga in various forms. This gaunt and mournful band of ascetics, dwelling apart, held the body to be the foe of the soul and they tortured their nerves to overpower desires. They lived in such poverty and hunger that Nanak was moved to pity by their naked and starving condition. Some of them stood with lifted arms, others sat cross-legged, and still others in various yogic postures (asanas). Nearly all of them were besmeared with ashes and mud.10

In the centre of the group sat their leader discussing some doctrines with a student who was reading some book. The name of the leader was Santrain.11 Nanak asked the leader : “Holy ones, do you go about naked because you do not get clothes, or is it a part of your creed not to wear clothes’? “My child, we are seekers of nirvana replied Santrain, “We have renounced everything, even the pleasure of wearing dress.” Bala impatiently whispered to his companion, “Listen Nanakji, let us not worry about their clothes. We have a long way to go. Think of the trade we must do and not the problems of these homeless mendicants.”

Ignoring Bala’s advice, Nanak again asked Santrain, “Who provides you your food? Have you renounced eating and drinking also?” The leader of the ascetics replied: “For our food we depend entirely on God, and the charity of noble people. We live in forests, and never go to houses of the people to beg our food. Whatever God sends us through charitable people here, we accept. Otherwise we go without food for days together.”

Such profound faith in God moved Nanak deeply. He came to know from another ascetic that they had not taken a morsel of bread for many days. He asked Bhai Bala for the money, explaining to him that there could be no better profitable bargain than to provide food to the hungry saints, who lived in remembrance of God. Bala hesitatingly handed over the money to the Master telling him firmly, “Do not blame me for the consequences, later on. I take no responsibility for explaining this strange profitable bargain to your father. You are doing exactly the same thing which your father feared you would do.” Nanak took the money and gave it to Santrain. But the Yogi would not accept it. “No my Child” said he, “I cannot accept the money for two reasons: Firstly, your father gave you the money for trade, and you are spending it on us. Secondly, we do not touch money. We accept only food. God bless you for your compassion for us.”12

Nanak left the place. Bala heaved a sigh of relief. As soon as they reached the nearest city, Bala asked his Master, what he proposed to buy. “We will buy flour, rice, pulses, ghee, and fruit” he said. When everything was bought, he asked Bala to carry them to the Chuharkhana forest for the hungry ascetics. “What explanation will you give to your father?” asked Bala Sandhu. “We will tell him that we have made a very profitable bargain. That is what he wanted,” replied Nanak. “And what profit will you show him?” asked Bala. “Our gain will be the grace of God. Is it not more precious than all the wealth my father has?” replied Nanak. “Ah,” said the puzzled companion of Nanak, “It is very difficult to prevent you from doing what you wish to do. I should have told your father that I cannot resist the temptation of obeying you. It is still more difficult to understand you. Pundits and qazis are baffled by your arguments. How can a poor Jat like me understand you? But remember, I am prepared to share the grace of God with you, but not the shoe-beating your father may give both of us. I can imagine what will happen to Mehta Kalu when I tell him that you have brought immense grace of God for all the money he gave us.”

Food was distributed to the starving ascetics. They blessed Nanak. Nanak wanted to serve food to the ascetics with his own hands, but their leader Santrain did not allow him to do so, explaining later on to his disciples that the boy was a god in flesh. He could see that the Divine Spirit had manifested Himself in him. He had already done a great sacrifice by spending all his money on them for which he might have to suffer at the hands of his parents, but how could he allow such a divine soul to serve them with his own hands?13

Nanak and Bala wended their way home. As soon as they came near Talwandi, Nanak was a little worried about facing his father’s reactions. “How should we explain it to father, Bala?” he asked his companion. “Do not ask me Nanakji” replied Bala curtly. “It is your responsibility to explain to him that you have made a profitable bargain.” “All right, go to the village,” said Nanak, “while I will think about it here, and then explain it to father.” Bala went to his house. Kalu came to know that he had come but Nanak was probably still busy with trade-deals. He sent for Bala.14 Bala told Kalu Chand everything, and the latter became very angry when he was told that all the money had been spent on feeding the ascetics. “Where is he, where is he?” he shouted, “I will teach him a lesson.” Taking Bala along with him he came out in search of Nanak. Nanaki followed her father to save her dear brother from his wrath.

Kalu Chand saw Nanak sitting near a dry pond, calm and resigned to meet whatever fate was in store for him. His father asked him to explain why he had wasted the money on feeding the hungry ascetics but Nanak remained silent. He slapped him again and again till Nanaki fell at her father’s feet, and begged him to forgive him. The news that Nanak had been again severely beaten reached Rai Bular. He immediately came to the spot on horseback and severely reprimanded Mehta Kalu. He took Nanak to his house and made up his mind to keep him in his house as his own son. He asked his Begam Sahiba to hand over twenty-five rupees to Mehta Kalu which the puzzled father was reluctant to accept. Rai Bular told Nanak that if he ever required money for charitable purposes he could take any amount from him, but under no condition should he annoy his father, Mehta Kalu, by spending his money.

Jai Ram Palta, son of Parmanand Palta and a minister of Daulat Khan Lodhi, Governor of Punjab, came to Rai Bular to collect the revenue of his fief. Impressed by the character and personality of the young man, Rai Bular asked him if he would agree to marry his kardar’s daughter, Nanaki, who was beautiful and gifted, Jai Ram who had heard of the family at once agreed. Rai Bular then said to Mehta Kalu: “Nanaki is as dear to me as Nanak, and, I consider her to be my own daughter. I have selected a highly-placed and noble young man for her and I hope you will agree to betroth Nanaki to him and arrange for the marriage soon.” Kalu Chand was proud that so noble a person as Rai Bular should treat his daughter with such esteem and affection.15 The marriage was duly performed and Nanaki left for Sultanpur, the capital of the Punjab, where Jai Ram worked as the most trusted minister of the provincial governor.

The departure of his sister, Bibi Nanaki from Talwandi made Nanak very sad. There was no other person in the world whom he loved so much and to whom he confided all his thoughts, feelings, and sentiments. In this sorrow of separation from his dear sister he ate little, slept little, and talked to no one. He either went to the forest to seek solitude and peace, or he sat at home in a room brooding over some inner agony in pensive silence. Sick at seeing everything topsy turvy in society, his heart and soul, which, had identified itself with the whole world, was silently suffering at the sight of exploitation of the poor, the hypocrisy of the religious people, the injustice the downtrodden and low-caste people suffered at the hands of the Brahmins and qazis. Now and then he would compose a song, to immortalize his agony which no one understood. People were drifting away from the truth of great scriptures and slipping into the snare of false belief.

Nanak was sick of the social degradation around him. He was sick of the priests and pundits. He was sick of the ‘suffering the rich heaped on the poor. He was sick of insults and humiliations which the high caste elite heaped on the low caste masses. He was happy that the chief of the fief, in which he was born and brought up, was pious, generous, and noble, but the harrowing tales he had heard from wandering ascetics, of the cruelty and tyranny of the Delhi Sultans, bled his heart. He wanted to fight it all. He wanted the people to fight it all. For this he must seek strength and power from his beloved Father, God. He wanted to meet Him face to face and ask Him, what is the solution to this terrible state of affairs. After seeking His blessing and grace, he would sacrifice his all for the regeneration of mankind. The poignant longing to know from God, the secret and purpose of His creation, and to fulfil that purpose with the weapons of truth and wisdom, deepened his pain, anxiety, and agony to start his mission at once after seeking God’s grace, so that he might not falter or fail in his mission.

Everyone saw that Nanak was not only sad, because his sister had left him, but was sick and ailing. They advised his father to consult a good physician. Mehta Kalu Chand invited the village physician Hari Das, to examine Nanak and treat him as best as he could. Haridas examined Nanak’s pulse, his face, and eyes, and asked him whether he had any fever or pain. Guru Nanak’s historical reply has been preserved in his hymns:

They have called the physician, He holds my arm and feels the pulse;

The physician, a simpleton, knows not, The agony is within my heart.

(Guru Nanak: Rag Malar)

“And what may I ask is the agony in the heart?” asked the physician. Nanak calmly answered; “The world is steeped in sorrow and suffering. It weighs heavily on my heart. Can you cure the pain of this sorrow? He who understands a disease can certainly find the cure, if he makes an effort.” With a deep sigh Haridas replied, “I am myself troubled by many personal sorrows, for which I have found no cure. When you do find the panacea to these manifold sufferings treat me, Master, as your first patient.” The physician then advised Mehta Kalu not to worry about Nanak’s health. His inward agony was a painful search for the permanent cure to the social, political, and spiritual evils that had brought degradation all round.

Nanak’s mother asked him to go to Sultanpur and bring Nanaki for a short stay at Talwandi. This was the custom. Also, she thought Nanaki might help in removing the mysterious sorrow of Nanak. Accompanied by Bhai Bala, Nanak went to Sultanpur. Nanak bowed low to touch the feet of his sister Nanaki, but she would not allow him to do so, saying, “It is I who should anoint my forehead with the dust of the feet of my godly brother, whose equal the world has never seen.” Jai Ram Palta greeted Nanak with utmost respect and said, “Within this short period of Nanaki’s stay here I have realised that your sister can never be completely happy without you. She was pining like a chatrik for a sight of you. Thank God you have come. Please stay here with us for a long time. I will request my father-in-law to allow you to stay here for an indefinite period.”16

‘I myself feel I am living in heaven,” said Nanak, “when my dear sister Nanaki is near me. Only God and Bibi Nanaki understand me completely. When Bibi Nanaki is away, I am left all alone with my inscrutable God.” Bibi Nanaki came to Talwandi with Nanak, but during the harvest season Jai Ram Palta came to take her back to Sultanpur.

Notes and References

  1. Historians who depict Nanak as half-mad, and an idler, shirking work and duty, during this period, fail to understand and interpret correctly the inner life of Baba Nanak which is clearly portrayed in his hymns of this period. Nanak looked at society, nature, family ties, religion and even secular duties of man in quite a different way. In theory and practice he continued to assert his own spiritual outlook on domestic, social, and cultural affairs. There lies his originality, his genius, and his greatness.
  2. baba Nanak, aj mahl khanda chad gaya hai, aj tu mahl piche jah; ja raahl avai tan tu na jalri; aj khanda tuhe ucher. (J. Mb, p 22.)

bahudo Baba barsan yaran. ka hua tan ek din Kalu ka jo vagi galyan te mahian nu carda si so rus gaya, tan Kalu kahya jl mahl ghare khalotlan hain, asm tan tainu akh nahi sakds, ki carae lyavain, tan Bibs kehya Sri Krishan ne ghar dl in gauari caralan san so asln bhl car lyavan ge; tan Babe khundi lai ke mahian caravan gaya. (J.M.S. (MSS ; LI) p. 108)

  1. Baba Nanakji baith kar laga sirarin karan tab simrin karta karta dhyan bikhe hoe gaya. (J.Mb, p 22.)

thande brich tale ar thandl chanve smadh lagae ke beh rehia. (J.M.S. (MSS;LI) p. 109)

  1. Rai jl, razai khudas msra tapavas kar; jitna khet sas Kalu de khande ujadye hai; (J.M.b p. 23)

mai mutha han; msra tau khet ujadya hai; mera tapavas kar; nahi tan mai turkan pas vaindan han; (P. J. (MSS) III f. 5)

  1. aisa dada Kalu tha, Rai bhos ki Talwandi rehta panca raeh naik; sabhna paean ka mukhl, caukadiya; it nagar msh srest, diban rash srest. (J.Mb. p 22)
  2. tan dade Kalu kehya ji, bhala hove Rai ji, ja bina ujademaai te divaya cahanda hai ta sada ka cara.” tab Ras Bhoe kahaya jl, ffna, na, biaa ujade te kahs se, jhakh mare; sir dl saugandh hai je mai jhuth kaha, ujada sahl hoya;” tan Kalu kehya, bhala Rae jl, bhala hoavai, jan tusln sahl klta, tan sahl hoya, tud vin ujade hoe hi te divaya bhavda hai te dehga. (J.Mb p. 27)

tab Rai Bhoe kehya: eeh Bhal Kalu, tu eev kar mat janai, jo eh putar mera hai, pal pos klta hai; mat eh gal janda hovai, ki kai gal tehal farmais karda hovai; oh tera putar nahi; vada bazurg hai; kol khel khudal da hai; par azraat sath bhariya hai; tun ehdl khidmat hi karda rauh, je kite maratbe te pahuncia lodda hai, nahi tan marya javai ga. (J. Mb p 28).

  1. avdo hi Babe de ghar aya ae ke akhyos,” Kalu ghar hai ke nahi; “aho ji gharehan;” “Kalu, ure ao te gal sun; te tere put de sir ujada sahi hoya hai; mai bhi sahi kita hai;” Kalu akhya “Raejl, tud jo, sahi klta so sahi hoya, hai, panel ugahi diti hai; mai bhi sahi kita hai;” Kalu akhya “Raeji tudh jo sahi kita so sahi hoya;”Rae akhya na,” hase di nahi, khudae di saunh, ujada sahi kita, hai; jan Dade Kalu Khara dar gaya, ta Rae Bular ne akhya, ve bholya kirada, eh jo tera put hai, so manu nahi, Kalu esnu kade put kar nah jane ga, eh koi gaus khuda da hai. (P.J. (MSSII) p. 16 )Colebrooke’s MSS does not contain the above reference.)
  2. Some Janam Sakhis give the amount as Rs. 50, others give Rs. 20.
  3. Some historians have ignorantly and unwisely tried to completely wipe out the name of Bhai Bala out of history. All Janam Sakhis and historical records concerning Guru Nanak’s life, except two, give the name of Bala as an important historical figure. These two Janam Sakhis not only ignore Bala but also exclude the stories in which Bala plays some historic role. Of all the disciples of Guru Nanak we have till this day the Samadhi of Bhai Bala alone, preserved at Khadur. See details Appendix.
  4. tapasi tap karte hain, koi khadian bahan karke baithe hain, koi sant khade hoe hain, koi padmasan lae baithe hain, koi sidhasan kar baithe hain, ik pustak padte hain, ik mondhari baithe hain. (J.B. (MSS I); J.B. (L) I; p 47)
  5. Guru Nanak ji ne pucha, he Santji ap bastar nahi peharte hath nahi avda ki pehnde nahi...itna sun kar Sant ne kaha Bhai ham nirvan sadhu hain, bastar ka sanjam hi rakhna cahihai. (ibid)
  6. J.B. (L) I p. 47
  7. J. B. (L) I. All MSS copies of Balas Janamsakhis give these details. The material has been corrupted in printed ones.
  8. The Janam Sakhis call Bala “nafar” which means servant, nafar Bhai Bale ne Nanak ji de bastar bhi uthae. (J.B.(L) I)
  9. Some Janam Sakhis have given a romantic colouring to the betrothal story. They say that Jai Ram Palta happened to see Nanaki during one of his visits and fell in love with her. He approached Rai Bular to arrange the marriage if there was no problem caused by caste and gotra prejudices.
  10. J.B. (LI) p. 55.