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Service of Man and the Service of God

As Baba Nanak was to stay at Sultanpur for a long time, Mehta Kalu Chand gave him two camel-loads of household goods, two horses, and some servants, including Bhai Bala. Nanak told Mardana that he would send for him as soon as he settled down and started work. Nanak’s wife, Sulakhni, expressed her desire to accompany him, saying: “Even though I do not get sufficient attention from you here, my Lord, I can nevertheless see you, listen to your sweet words, and feel blessed by your presence near me. I will find it very difficult to bear separation from you. Please take me along with you. When you were here, I felt I was the queen of a large kingdom.” Baba Nanak smiled and said, “Sulakhni, my dear, I will come as soon as possible. You will have the kingdom of this world and the next at your command. Your sovereignty will spread all over the world”.1 “My Lord,” replied Sulakhni, "I do not want the kingdom either of this world or the next. I do not want wealth or heaven. I just want to be near you, to be able to serve you with my own hands, and earn your pleasure. Promise me that you will send for me soon.”2 Pleased by her selfless devotion Nanak promised her saying, “Rest assured that I will send for you and the children.” Nanak bade everyone farewell and left for Sultanpur on horseback.3

After five days Nanak reached Sultanpur.4 Bibi Nanaki was extremely happy to see her brother. She embraced him and even tried to touch his feet, but Nanak prevented her saying, “You are older than me, dear sister, you should not do such a thing.” “But in my eyes you are not a man, dear Nanak; you are a living presence of God. To love you and worship you, is my only religion,” replied Nanaki.

Soon Jai Ram came home. He was delighted to meet Nanak. He asked Nanak to make himself comfortable, and deem his house, and all that was in it as his own. He asked Nanaki to give him everything he required for his missionary work. If he desired any special arrangements to be made for his religious discourses, and for his meditations, he would at once do it. Nanak however, said that he had come there to work for his living, and not to sit idle. He asked Jai Ram to make arrangements for some work, by which he could honestly earn his living. Jai Ram said, “God has given us everything in abundance. We would be happy if you devote your time to meditation and spiritual elevation of the people. But if you insist, then you can take up my post of the modi, as the governor wishes to give me the administration of another ministry. I have already spoken to the governor about you. I can get an audience tomorrow, and I am sure you will be immediately appointed.” Guru Nanak insisted on getting some work to earn his living, because he believed: “He who sweats for his bread, and gives something in charity out of his hard-earned income, can easily know the path of truth.”5

The very next day Baba Nanak met governor Daulat Khan Lodhi along with Jai Ram. It was the custom that whenever persons of high birth or position met the governor he presented a rich gift according to his position and status. When Nanak met Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi he presented him a white Iraqi horse.”6 Deeply impressed by the glowing personality of Nanak, Daulat Khan asked Jai Ram in Persian, “What is his name?” “His name is Nanak,” replied Jai Ram.”7 Nanak silently looked at the Nawab and smiled. Daulat Khan remarked, “What a godly and divine personality he is. He appears to be much greater and nobler than what you described him to be.”8

“You are right Your Excellency,” said Jai Ram, “he is very highly educated.9 He is the noblest of the human race, and of boundless wisdom. He is capable of solving any administrative difficulty.10 He will surely bring glory and greatness to the durbar.” The very sight of Nanak had impressed Daulat Khan Lodhi very much. On hearing about his intellectual equipment the governor at once said, “Give this noble young man a gold-embroidered robe of honour, and the best horse from my stables,11 which is the highest honour my court can bestow on such a noble visitor.” The governor then offered Nanak the portfolio of Household Minister, but Nanak said that he would prefer the administration of “Provision Supplies Department”, the Modi- khana, probably because it was connected with charitable institutions and with helping the poor and the needy.12 Daulat Khan Lodhi at once agreed. Showing his general reluctance to accept any office in the royal court, Nanak said, “You rulers are in the habit of mistrusting everyone and are easily mis-guided by the poisonous whispers of backbiters and detractors. I accept this office, if you assure me that you will not listen to such detractors.” Daulat Khan Lodhi gave a solemn assurance13.

The governor then asked his Prime Minister (Diwan), Dev Dutt, to officially hand over the administration of the Provision Department to Baba Nanak, as he had been appointed the Modi14 (lit: In charge of Granary). Nanak was also to be given about a thousand rupees as contingency money.15 Diwan Dev Dutt was an orthodox Hindu who displayed his orthodoxy by always keeping a Brahmin cook and a Brahmin guru (religious teacher) at home.16 He handed over to Baba Nanak the whole of the Provision Department, the account books, the weights and measures, and the granary stores, and explained to him that it was the duty of his department to provide provisions to the palace, the state guests and visitors, to the charitable institutions and to the army. Provisions had to be sent to the army wherever they were required.17 His staff and clerks were introduced to him. Nanak picked up the smallest weight measure and placing it before him bowed to it saying: “This little weight-measure is great because it is the symbol of humility. It bows before everyone.” Nanak thus made it clear to his staff that humility and service were to be the keynote of his administration18.

Baba Nanak’s benevolent administration of his department created a sensation in the state capital. The Modis and the Bakhshis generally took one-tenth of what they paid from state funds as service money, and became very rich and powerful. Nanak abolished this custom, and refused to take a single penny from anyone’s share or pay.19 Large amounts began to be spent on helping the poor, the needy, the destitute, and the fakirs.

For some days Nanak stayed with his sister Nanaki and then took a separate residence allotted to him by the governor. It began to be called Baba Nanak’s dera. People from Talwandi and neighbouring areas flocked to Sultanpur for jobs and Nanak helped everyone to get work suitable to his attainments. After a few months Nanak sent for his bard Mardana20 and his wife and children. Whatever was saved from his pay Nanak put in the state charity funds, and thus to everyone’s surprise more and more sums began to be spent on charity than were actually sanctioned by the governor.

The daily routine of Nanak’s life, as recorded by the Janam Sakhis shows that he not only worked conscientiously, but worked very hard. He got up early in the morning, and went to a river nearby for his bath. A servant accompanied him who carried his jug (lota) and clothes. After his bath he sat in meditation on the banks of the river for an hour or two. He then came home and performed kirtan (congregational hymn singing). After taking his breakfast he went to his office, and was generally the first to reach the office. The whole department was organised in such a way that all bribery and corruption disappeared. Everyone’s work was done without much ado. Provisions were sent to the army, the palace, and the officials in time. The poor and the needy were well provided. Nanak used his influence in the court to get justice for the exploited, and mercy for innocent victims of harsh officers. Prisoners were released, and those that had to be kept for some punishment were given very humane treatment. Everyone praised and blessed Baba Nanak.21

In the evening there was a congregational gathering, in which kirtan was performed and sermons were delivered. Nanak’s kitchen became a free kitchen for all who wished to take food. Mata Sulakhni was instructed not to refuse food to anyone. If the work of checking accounts was left undone in office, Nanak brought the account books home, and worked on them till late at night. He kept all his records so up-to-date as to be able to render account and give charge to the government at any time.22

While working one night, he almost forgot to take his supper. The servant waited till his master finished his work. Nanak would not take it till he had performed his prayers. On being pressed by the servant he took his supper first, and then said his prayers before going to bed.23

Peace and prosperity reigned over the capital city of Punjab under the moral and spiritual influence of Baba Nanak. All classes of people felt blessed and well looked after. The personal difficulties and troubles of everyone found solution when Baba Nanak was approached by them. The milk of human kindness that now flowed from the court of Nawab Daulat Khan brought him honour and praise from all quarters.24 No other minister, not even the Diwan (Prime Minister), was so highly respected as Baba Nanak. When Mehta Kalu Chand heard some thrilling stories about Nanak’s popularity and generosity he was happy. He came to Sultanpur to see if his son had amassed some wealth by this time, and felt very unhappy when he came to know that he saved nothing, but wasted all his savings in helping and feeding the poor. He even remonstrated with Bhai Bala for not taking care of Nanak’s earnings, and accused him of becoming a parasite on him. Bhai Bala felt this accusation very much and was about to leave the company of Nanak25 when Bibi Nanaki pleaded with him not to do so. She also asked her father not to expect Nanak to behave like mundane people who hoarded money. Now Mardana was very happy. He did not have to beg. He lived with Nanak as a member of his family. His family was provided for by the Master. Now and then Mardana went to Bibi Nanaki’s house, who gave him many little gifts. One day she asked Mardana to express his greatest wish which she was anxious to fulfil. Mardana at first hesitated, then said : “Your brother has given me everything. Everything belonging to him is mine, he says, and that is how I feel. I have almost become desireless as far as food and clothing are concerned. But there is one thing I hesitate to ask my Master. My rabab (rebeck) has grown old and rickety. If only I could have a new rabab, I could string music and ragas which would thrill my Master. But I hesitate to ask him. He already spends so much on me. I always used to wear old tattered clothes. Now he gets me brand new clothes, the like of which only vazirs wear. I eat the very food he eats. He has given me more comforts than he enjoys. He eats little, sleeps little, and wears very simple dress. O how can I ask him for anything more.”

Bibi Nanaki was deeply moved. “Mardana,” she said, “my brother loves you and Bhai Bala because both of you are sincerely devoted to him. You have the gift of music while Bhai Bala has the gift of serving him selflessly. Here is some money. Go and get the best rabab that is available, no matter what the cost. You can take any amount of money from me. The rabab you buy must be the most attractive and the best. Mardana went to the homes of some bards who made musical instruments. They looked down upon him for having abandoned his profession and faith and refused to sell any rabab to him. Baba Nanak then advised him to go to a village in the forest on the other side of the river where he would find a bard named Indersain Firanda whom people also called Pheru. He made the best musical instruments and Mardana could get a rabab from him. When Mardana went to Firanda he gave him a newly made rabab on which he had laboured much.26 He was happy that the rabab was being bought for Baba Nanak whose fame had already spread to the neighbouring regions.

Many devoted disciples came and began to stay at Sultanpur to live near their Master. They earned their living in the day time and attended the congregation of Baba Nanak in the evening. People of all castes and creeds attended his sermons, and took food from his kitchen. Nanak became the source of boundless charity, and extremely liberal and revolutionary religious thoughts and social practices. He preached boldly against the false caste superiority and puritanism of Brahmins and the corrupt practices of the qazis and mullas. This particularly hurt the susceptibilities of the puritan Diwan Dev Dutt, who not only became jealous of the growing popularity of Nanak but also his treatment of the low-caste people as his equals. He suspected that Nanak was wasting a lot of state money on charity to become popular among the low-class people. He secretly inquired from three employees of Nanak’s office, whose duty it was to weigh the provisions,27 about the exact amount that was being spent on various state functions. These employees informed him that about a hundred rupees was spent daily on palace requirements of the governor while about five hundred rupees were daily spent on charity by Nanak.28 These two figures shocked Diwan Dev Dutt and provided sufficient material to lodge a complaint with the governor. “If such things go on for another six months,” he said to the governor, “the treasury will be empty and the state will be bankrupt.”

Nawab Daulat Khan was seriously upset. He asked the Diwan to inform Jai Ram Palta first and through him get the accounts checked. Dev Dutt at once informed Jai Ram about the state of affairs, and his suspicion that Nanak had made a mess of the finances handled by him. Jai Ram did not dare to say anything to Nanak, but he became extremely nervous and told his wife Bibi Nanaki that Nanak will have to clear himself of the serious charge of over-spending on charity by getting his accounts checked. Bibi Nanaki had unbounded faith in the veracity of her brother. She asked Jai Ram to dispel all suspicion, and avoid any unpleasantness that might be caused to Nanak. She even tried to persuade him to go to the Nawab and tell him that he stood surety for any loss to the state. Jai Ram, however expressed his helplessness. The picture of the sorry state of affairs that had been given to the Nawab by the Diwan was supported by some facts and figures of his informers, and as such there was no way out except to get the accounts checked. Bibi Nanaki at once sent her maid-servant Tulsan to request Nanak to come as soon as he could.

Baba Nanak had just come from the modikhana when Tulsan arrived with Bibi Nanaki’s message.

For the first time in the last two years Bibi Nanaki had sent this sort of urgent message. He suspected something was wrong somewhere. He took some sugar-cakes with him, as a Punjabi brother never goes to his sister’s house without some gifts, and soon arrived at Jai Ram’s house. Finding both his brother- in-law and sister upset he said, “So there is some trouble. Is there any report against me?” Jai Ram apologetically explained everything. “Let us go to the Diwan first,” said Nanak.

Both Nanak and Jai Ram entered the Diwan’s house by the back door. As they passed by the kitchen Baba Nanak’s robe touched the body of the Brahmin guru of Dev Dutt, who was cooking his food. He was seriously upset because he felt that this touch of a non-Brahmin outsider had polluted his food. The Diwan and his Brahmin guru also started shouting at Baba Nanak. The Master kept quiet for some time and then sternly gave a reply which is recorded by him in the following historical verses:

You wear the loin cloth,

And put on sacrificial-marks and wear rosary And yet for your living you depend on Muslims Whom you call Malechas : the evil-minded heretics.

To please the Muslim rulers you recite the Koran At home you secretly worship in the Hindu way;

You have adopted alien customs and manners of the Turks; Give up this hypocrisy.

Addressing the Diwan’s Brahmin guru he said:

You Brahmins come to the house of such Hindus,

And recite the scriptures and blow the conch,

Then join in their revelry.

You trade in sin with the wealth of falsehood.

You earn your living by practising guile.

Modesty and righteousness are miles away from thee. Sayeth Nanak: Thou art wallowing in sin and falsehood. On thy forehead you put on frontal marks, O Brahmin, And wear loin cloth, tucked up behind;

In your hand you carry the dagger of exploitation in reality you are a butcher, who bleeds society.

Then turning to Diwan Dev Dutt, he said:

You Hindus wear blue dress,

To become acceptable to the Muslim rulers',

You depend on the Muslims for your living

Yet you call them malechas: evil-minded heretics.

You secretly worship your deity.

You eat secretly goat's flesh

Cut ceremoniously in the Muslim way;

Yet you permit not any low-caste Hindu To step into your cooking square,

Lest your food is polluted.

There, in the cooking square,

The evil-minded hypocrite sits,

Proclaiming: lt touch me not, touch me not You will pollute my food by your touch.”

Polluted are the bodies and souls of such Hindus With deadliest sins;

They rinse their mouths, pretending to be clean and pure, But full of impurities are their minds and souls.

(Guru Nanak Asa-ki-Var. p. 470)

Baba Nanak, who had reached a spiritual plane far above petty rote, law, or doctrine, exposed the false vanity, and power of Diwan Dav Dutt and his Brahmin guru indicating that he refused to be cowed down by threats and false accusations, and be dragged on the path of intrigue and maladjustment.

 “Let us go to the Nawab,” said Nanak to the Diwan “you will have to declare the charges against me and I will answer them.” Diwan Dev Dutt was terribly shaken by the Master’s challenge, and the moral force in his admonishing voice. He apologetically said: “O it was only about some suspected over-expenditure on charity.”

All three of them came to Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi. “I have come to clear my accounts,” said Nanak, “please appoint someone who can start doing so immediately. You promised not to succumb to whispering campaigns against me, but now that your suspicion has been aroused, I must clear myself.” Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi appointed Yadav Rai (Jado Rae), to audit all the accounts of the last two years and report if there was any error29.”

With a number of assistants, Yadav Rai immediately started checking all the accounts and worked round the clock. He severely questioned Nanak on many points. It took him, five days and five nights to complete his audit report30. Then the granary and other stores were checked. The money in the cash box was found in excess. Different Janam Sakhis give different figures about the excess of money found there. Yadav Rai gave one copy of his findings to Nanak and the other to the Diwan to be handed over to the Nawab. Nanak took the Diwan along with his brother-in-law to the modikhana and handed over to him the complete charge of his office saying, that he would not work for the Nawab anymore. So saying, he went home. Jai Ram and the Diwan begged him not to resign his post, but the Master did not agree saying, “I cannot work where there is so much jealousy and suspicion. The Nawab has never suspected corrupt officials, but he questioned my integrity because there was a whispering campaign against me.”31

Where Guru Sahib was kept while checking of the accounts
When the audit report of Yadav Rai was presented to the Nawab, Daulat Khan Lodhi, he was surprised to find that there was some money in excess. He at once sent for his treasurer, Bhavani Das, and asked him to pay the excess amount to Nanak immediately, and to give Rs. 3,000 more as reward for his honesty and efficiency in work.”32 Bhavani Das accepting the order said that the money would be paid to Baba Nanak early next morning. Jai Ram then informed the Nawab that Nanak had made up his mind to give up his post, because corrupt people had become his enemies and lodged all kinds of false reports.33 The Nawab then requested Jai Ram to extend his apologies to Nanak for listening to the reports of his enemies. He promised never to do so again. He even offered the Diwanship (Prime Ministership) of his state.

Early the next morning Nanak went to take his bath in the river. He was accompanied by a servant who carried his things for bathing. After brushing his teeth, Nanak planted a sapling at the place where he generally sat for meditation, early in the morning.34 He then took off his clothes, and tying his hair into a tress-knot35 and with a loin cloth on, he dived into the river. The servant waited for some time but he could not see the Master. An hour passed, still he could see no sign of the Master. He moved up and down the river thinking that the Master might have swum down or up the river. Three hours passed and it was dawn, still there was no sign of the Master anywhere. He was seriously upset. He intensified his search with the help of the people who had come to take their bath in the river and after a search of another three hours no trace of Nanak was to be found anywhere.36

The same morning, employees of the modikhana reported to the Diwan that Baba Nanak had not attended his office. The Diwan reported the matter to Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi. Daulat Khan Lodhi blamed himself for hurting the sensitive mind of Nanak. He decided to go to Nanak’s house personally and seek the Master’s forgiveness. The Diwan advised him not to do so, as it was below his dignity to go to a Minister’s house, more so, for an apology. But Daulat Khan Lodhi said : “I broke my promise to him. I am the cause of injury to his prestige. I should not have listened to scandal-mongers. I will go to his house to beg forgiveness. Nanak is not an ordinary man. He has some miraculous powers and gifts which he keeps concealed. I will offer him the highest office in my state and will assure him that I will never listen to a single word against him.37

But when he reached Baba Nanak’s house he was not to be found there.38 Just then, Nanak’s servant, who had accompanied him to the river bank arrived weeping and wailing: “Baba Nanak is lost, Baba Nanak is lost. He entered the river and never came out.” Jai Ram was immediately informed. Daulat Khan Lodhi personally went to the spot where Nanak had dived into the river. He ordered the best divers of the state to search the river and try to find the body of Nanak. Fishermen threw the largest nets (mahajal) which covered the whole span of the river. For a distance of four miles the river was searched but no trace of Nanak was found.

In the evening all hopes of finding his body were given up.

“Accept this as the Will of God,” said Daulat Khan to Jai Ram “Never in my life will I see so honest and godly a man. Never had my State prospered so much as it did for the two years he was with us.” He then offered the matmi khilat to Jai Ram.39 Mehta Kalu Chand and Mull Chand, Baba Nanak’s father-in-law, were immediately informed. Everyone gave up Nanak as dead, but only Bibi Nanaki had unshakable faith that her brother had disappeared under some unusual circumstances, and would come back. She prayed for his return, and assured everyone that he was not dead, though no one believed her except Jai Ram, and the closest disciples of Nanak.

On the day Nanak resigned from the service of Daulat Khan Lodi, he decided to serve humanity through the service of God, and never again through the service of earthly rulers. The Janam Sakhis say: “The same evening he met a wandering saint wearing the dress of Muslim dervish. He said to Nanak, “Give up the service of these fickle-minded rulers, and serve only the One Supreme Sovereign. It is for His service you are born, and it is for His service you are destined to work.”40 It is said Nanak treated this Muslim saint with the utmost respect, and after talking to Nanak for a short while, he went away forever.

What happened to Nanak’s body after he dived into the river, has ever remained an unsolved mystery. It is quite possible that he crossed the river, and sat in some forest-cave which was not easily accessible to the people. No one looked for him anywhere except in the river. This theory is also possible from the fact that after he came out of the river, for nearly a year or two he stayed mostly in thick forests.

But the near-contemporary apostle, Bhai Gurdas, Bhai Nand Lai Goya, and the writers of the Janam Sakhis are almost unanimous about what happened to the mind and soul of Baba Nanak during this period. In the immeasurable space of existence Baba Nanak came face to face with the Supreme Being, the Embodiment of eternal Truth, and received from Him the gift of the Word Divine, and a true vision of life’s purpose. Nanak met his great spiritual Enlightener (Guru), the only true Guru and Teacher he acknowledged in life, and attained Nirvana, the supreme realisation of Truth. Having attained perfect spiritual union with his eternal Guru, he was given by Him a great assignment. This historical communion and dialogue of Nanak with God is recorded by Bhai Nand Lal Goya, the Poet Laureate of Guru Govind Singh as follows:

Thus spake God unto Guru Nanak:

Thou, My Son, art the true Guru (Enlightener),

Go, reveal My Light to the world.

Guru Nanak meekly replied:

I am Thy slave, Thy humblest servant Lord,

I am the dust of Thy creatures.

God repeated His blessings:

“ Thou art the Guru (.Enlightener) of all the worlds,

I will abide in thee in full radiant glory,

My Spirit is in thy soul and being,

My Will is thy will,

My Light is thy wisdom',

Thou knowest My Law and Justice.

Go, reveal the real Path to humanity.

Be the singer of My love and power;

I will be thy Helper in thy mission,

I will be thy Friend and Companion ever.

He who understands thy greatness, My Son And learns from thee My glory and wisdom I will reveal Myself to him.

This is My abiding promise to thee.

Carry all over the world,

The torch of My Light and Truth.

Be a World-Teacher, My Son;

Tell misguided humanity,

Without My Light and Power,

The whole world is not worth a grain.

By My Will, I give Light and Wisdom to men,

By My Will, I leave them in darkness;

Without true knowledge of My existence Humanity wanders in darkness.

Religious leaders and pundits

Have become hypocrites and magicians.

They may, with limited powers—My gifts,

Even kill the living

And bring the dead to life;

They may make fire dance on water;

These are all magical tricks And fruitless feats of occult powers.

Show mankind the Way to Me the Ultimate Reality. Teach the right meditation of Truth;

Prevent them from going on the wrong path.

Guide them to My Door, My Son ;

Dispel from their minds All thoughts of any other.

Prevent mankind from falling into the fires of hell, Where they suffer for their sins in bondage;

The world is sunk in sin and wickedness,

Kings have become tyrants and rule through terror; Without knowledge of Me, the Truth,

People are ignorant of higher joys and love;

Men all over the world are confused and perplexed.

Forgetting Me, the Creator,

People seek happiness in the creation;

Their faith in spiritual life is shaken,

Because of selfishness and hypocrisy,

Of the priests and pundits.

Go, point out the right Path to men;

Tell them not to go astray

And seek light where there is none.

Teach them to contemplate Me, the Eternal Light.

I will help all true seekers in their aspirations;

I will bless all true seekers with Light and Wisdom.

Guru Nanak humbly replied:

Am, O Lord, equal to this great mission?

I am but Thy humble creature, O Infinite One.

Could I carry such Light and Inspiration

As to change the outlook of the whole world?

Great is Thy mission, Lord, so humble am;

I will not forget Thy Word even for a moment.

Be thou my Guide and my Voice, Lord;

Be thou my Power and Light, O Eternal Father.

(Bhai Nand Lal: Ganjnama)

The Janam Sakhis have recorded this historic dialogue in almost identical words : “Nanak, he whom thou favour, shall be blessed by Me; he who receives thy grace shall receive grace from Me. My Name is the Supreme Being; your name shall be the Guru- Spirit of My Own Being.” Nanak bowed before the Lord. He bestowed on him the robe of honour of His grace and vision. “Thou art the liberated and enlightened one. Whoever follows in thy footsteps shall be liberated and enlightened.41 Baba Nanak became the Enlightener (Guru) of humanity. To enlighten the world with the truth of ultimate Reality, became his mission in life. God, the Guru of Nanak, made him the Guru of humanity. From this day onwards he came to be known as Guru Nanak.

On the third day, when not the slightest hope of finding the body of Guru Nanak was left, from the same spot on the river, came out of its waters Guru Nanak bathed in the glory of perfect illumination. With his flowing beard, tress-knot on his head, and loin cloth (or perhaps underwear), he came out, inflamed with a new inspiration and a new vision. People who saw him were stunned to see a dead man come to life. Some thought he could not be the real Nanak; it must be his ghost. The news that Nanak had come out of the river and talked in a strange manner spread throughout Sultanpur like wildfire. Happiest of all were his brother-in-law Jai Ram, his sister Nanaki, and his disciples Mardana, Bala and others.42

Guru Nanak went to his house. His wife, Mata Sulakhani, and children received him with joy and tears. Nanak distributed all his household possessions and personal belongings to the poor, the fakirs and the mendicants. With the exception of some of his personal belongings of his wife, he gave away everything to the poor. People thought he had gone mad. “There is no Hindu and no Muslim,” he said. Saints and seers, yogis, and sadhus gathered around him and started asking him all kinds of questions.

When Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi came to know about the mad ways and strange utterances of Guru Nanak he sent a messenger requesting the Master to meet him.43 “Go and tell Nawab Daulat Khan” said Guru Nanak, “that I am no longer his servant, and he is not my Master who can command me to present myself at his court.” After some time the messenger again came and said, “Noble Nanak, Nawab Daulat Khan does not command ye to come. He deems himself as your servant, and begs you to come in the name of Allah. In the name of Allah he appeals to you to honour him with a visit.” Guru Nanak smiled, and said, “Now my God, my Lord, commands me to go and meet the Nawab, so I must go.”44

Daulat Khan Lodhi was very happy to meet Nanak. He was so impressed by the glowing personality of Nanak, that he surprised everyone by seating him by his side. He asked him to accept the Diwanship (the Prime Ministership) of the state. Guru Nanak refused it saying, “I have accepted the service of God and God alone will I serve. I will not serve any man or earthly ruler all my life.”45

Notes and References

1. tan istri kehya ke je tusl ethe rehnde se tan sade bhane raj si sare jagat da, ar je tusl calde ho tan mainu vl lai calo; “Babe Nanak ki istri pairi padi, Guru Babe “Kehya, paramesvar aradhna, cinta na karni, asm jhab hi avange. (J.Mb. p. 73.)

tan bacan hoya asin jhadbe avange, te tera raj dino din vaddha javega, khatar jama rakh. (J.M.S. (MSS; LI) p. 116.)

2. ji jan tun ehthai seh tan haun jandl je din dunya di patshai mainu hi hai; hun mere bhane sansar ujad hai, mera sansar kit kam bai, tud bin mera koi nahi tab itne kehne sion Guru Baba ji meharvan hoya (J.Mb. p. 74)

3. jah ghumle, din duni di patsahl tud no hoi, tab pher Mataji kehiya; ji mai din ate duniya kya kame hain, mere kam tuhi hai, na haun din di bhukhl han na dunya di bhukhi han; mai tere darsan di bhukhi han; mainu ji tu nal lai cal; Jeh tu mainu sadae, par tu parmeswar ka vacan deh, jo bharosa hovai tere vacan kar kar; tab Guru Babe, Nanak kehya , jah Mulo dhiye, mera vacan hai tainu sadae leiga, kai main avanga.” (J.Mb. p. 74)

4. Guru Baba Nanakji ghode asvar, hoa Sultanpur ko cale. ibid. Guru Nanak Talwandion panjven din Sultanpur jae vade. (J.Mb: p. 74 J.M.S.(MSS).)

5. ghal khae kich hathon de, Nanak rah pachane soe. (Adi Granth: Rag Sarang p. 1245)

6. ek kotli pak Iraqi gho<jla tha, Guru Babe Nanakji ka, oh svar pehrae kar pes kasi ko kia. (J.Mb. p. 75)

7. Ai Jai Ram, In mard nam cist; “Khanji slamat, Nanak ast in mard nam.”

8. kahe Jai Ram, In mard Khudae surat nazar avta, nek khudae ka hai jaisa tu kehta tha tis se bhi balke jaste hai. ibid.

9. akhyas Nawab salamat mera ik sala pichoii aya hai; bahut khub padya hai. P. J. (MSS) p. 22

Colebrooke’s MSS does not contain the above line

10. mardana admi hai, khub laik hai, muhlm sar kamhara hai. (ibid)

11. tab sunehri siropao aya, Daulat Khan anae kar pehnaya... Daulat Khan siropao ghocja dita. (J.Mb. p. 23)

12. mere ghar da kam isnu sauiipo; Babe akhya mai hor kam nahi lainda, jehda Jai Ram Modi Khana leya hai mai os vie kam karanga. (J.M.S. (MSS) LI p. 175)

13. Babe akhya asln tusada kam nahi uthavte, kyon jo tusi raje lok ho, ar vicar nahi karde or lokan dlan cuglian, bahut sunde ho tan Khan akhya he Nanak asln tere ute cuglian nahi suna ge. ibid.

14. The terms, diwan, bakshi and modi indicated ministerial offices and many historians have made a serious mistake by translating the term modi as the store-keeper. The office of the modi was equivalent to the present day “Food Minister’ who was also in charge of charitable institutions, jitni meri eh sarkar hai titni sabh Nanak ke havale karo; jitnl sarkar hai titne ka kharc sabh ka Nanak ke hath bic karo. (J.Mb. p. 75)

15. Dev Dutt, Khan da Diwan haisi ate Brahmin da sikh haisi, so us nu sad akhya, mere ghar da sara kam es nu saump deho. (J.M.S. (MSS, LI), p, 117)

16. Bala Sandhu akhya, “Nanakji tusan ta hazar rupya rok lita ate Modikhana lita, tu asanu vida de. (J.B. (MSS))

17. J.Mb. p 76

18. Jab Babe pau da vata ditha tan usde age matha tekya, dhan eh vata hai jin ap nu ghat sadaya. (Mani Singh: Sikhan di Bhagatmal. p. 41)

19. age modi the, se dehnimi kat lainde; Guru Babe Nanak ji kisi ki damdi na rakhai. (J.Mb., p. 76)

20. ik din Mardana rabab! Talwandion ae, Guruji nu milya, sabh sandese Talwandi de Babe nu dties. (J.B. (LI) p. 85)

21. sabh jitna la^kar lok sagird pesa Dualat Khan ka tha sabh duae den : ya Khudae Nanakji ka bhala hoe, tab Guru N&nak sabh laskar ke lok sagird pese ki mautad badhi, bandh kar mautad, ji intna turn khah itna ghar bhejo; sabh koi brafat roti khae;.. .na sikdar koi jhagdda, na bandikhane milda, na koidanida. (J.Mb. p. 76)

22. Ar jo kich alufa Guru Nanak ko mile, khavai so khavai, avar parmeswar ke arth devai; te rati nitaprati kirtan hovai. (P.J. II (MSS) p. 23)

tab har din je sarkar ka khara hoe se likhya jae, ar je lekhar khare se rat baitha jode; tab Guru Baba Nanak baitha tha; jion baitha jodta tha’ tion rat kai sameo; ar caragh jal^e hain, ar Guru Baba Nanak ji baitha lekha jodda hai, tiofi Guru Babe Nanak ji ka man birakt hoe gaya, oh kagad hathon sat behyos. (J.Mb. p. 80)

23. ar je din likhe kharc so rat baitha jode; tab rasoiya kehya; Baba Nanakji rasoi bad! ber ki hoi pad! hai, tun uth kap^e utaro te rasoi leh; tab Guru Babe kehya; par sad to jeviega par kirtan nahi klta Baba Nanak parsad leya, parsad le kar ching cull kar bastar lai karupar jahan simrin karta tha taha jae baitha, laga simrin karan. (J.Mb. p. 86)

24. ibid.

25. J.B. I (L) ; J.B. II (MSS) p. 116

26. All versions of Bhai Bala’s Janam Sakhi give this story with slight variations. Some say that the rabab was given at the marriage of Baba Nanak. Bhai Vir Singh is of the opinion that the rabab we find nowadays is different from the one used by Mardana. Mardana’s rabab described in Kariune Iiraty is found in the Rampur State.

27. tan Diwan nu khabar hoi; so Diwan ne tolan valyan nu bula ke puchia jo kharayat kitnl uthdi hai, ate Khan da kitna kharc uthda hai; (J.M.S. (MSS, LI) p. 11)

28. Meharban’s Janam Sakhi and Puratan Janam Sakhis are silent about accounts being checked, but all other Janam Sakhis are unanimous in their statements. The only difference is that some give the amount spent on charity as 300 others 500 rupees.

29. J.M.S. p. 118.

This incident is recorded exactly as stated above in Bhai Mani Singh’s Janam Sakhi which is the only record which gives the name of the Diwan. Other Janam Sakhis skip over it though they indicate that the trouble arose because of the jealousy of the Diwan. Meharban’s. Janamsakhi and the Puratan Janam Sakhi completely ignore the incident of checking the accounts, though what followed is described as a consequence of this suspicion and is correctly reported by them.

30. The name of the man who was appointed to check the accounts is given in Bala’s Janam Sakhi MSS copy which I acquired from Dacca and Litho copy I. It differs from other Janamsakhis of Bala only in a few points. There are some facts given only by this Janam Sakhi. It is not very old, though the copyist claims he copied it from a very old MSS.

panj ratan te panj din hisab hoya, Jado navisandene bahut udavnia payian. (J.B. (Dacca MSS) P42; J.B. (Litho) I p. 84)

31. According to local tradition Baba Nanak was kept under house arrest during the five days when the accounts were checked. A room is generally shown at Sultanpur where he was detained. But no Janam Sakhi or any other historical record mentions it. Bala’s Janam Sakhi says that the checking took place twice. After the first checking the Master continued to work on being pressed by Jai Ram, but after the second checking he resigned.

32. Nawab kehya, Bhavani Das khazancl ko bulao; Bhavani Das Khazanci aya; Nawab kehya Bhavani Das jo kich Nanak ke paise avte hai so ada kar abhl; aur tin hazar rupeya aur de; Bhavani Das kehya bahut khub Nawab salamat. (J.B. IV Dacca MSS p. 42)

33. Jai Ram arj kiti, Nawab Salamat, log dugmanl bahut karde hain. (ibid)

34. Maharaj ne dtan karke gad ditl sJ oh hari hoi, sant ghat tis ka nam hai. (J.B. (L) I p. 90)

35. jion kapde utar nafar ko pakdae, juda kar kar jion daryav vie tubkl marl pher na niklya.’ (J.Mb. p 87)

36. All Janam Sakhis are unanimous about the details of the incident.

37. phir Khan nu khabar hoi, oh duje din Diwan nu nal lai ke chal ke Babe de dere aya; eta Baba jhalange hi nal tehlle nu lai ke vein te isnan kam vadya si. (J.M.S. (MSS)LI p. 128)

38. ibid.

39. car pehar din Daulat Khan dhund rehya, sanjh ko ghar aya, ae kar Jai Ram ko siropao pehraya; Jai Ram tasllm kari. (J.Mb. p. 87)

40. J. B. (L) I and other MSS copies. The story in the Janam Sakhi calls him a messenger from God (Gobind-lok) in the dress of Muslim fakir. Jad Sri Chand sadhe trai variafi da hoya ta ik din ik gobiiid lok ae milya, torkijame vie, Babe ji usda vada adar kita baithaya; ta us gobiiid lok ne akhya ikant mai, turn Nanak nirankari ho, nirankar ka nam prasidh karo ke modikhana uthavte raho ge, itna keh kar oh calta riha. (JB (L) I p. 89)

41. P. J. I & II J.M.b. p. 89.

42. J. B. (L), J.M.S. p. 131.

43. tab Guru Babe ji dera lutaedur kia; Daulat Khan ko khabar hoi jo Nanak dera lutae kar jae bairan vie baitha hai. (J.Mb. p. 90)

44. Khan de admi Babe nu sadan agae; tan Babe ne akhya ki tere Khan di te tere qazi di ki parwah pai hai, ten admi pher ae Khan nu sabh sunaya, tan Khan akhya : “ki tusin ab jae ke kaho jo Khudae de vaste sanu didar devo, tan Baba aya.”  J.M.S. (MSS), LI, p. 131

45. Ham Nawab ke naukar nahi ; jab ham naukar the to gila guzari sunte the; ab ham sace sahib ke naukar hue hain. (P.J. (MSS I & II) p. 21. All Janam Sakhis of Bala)