Bhai Bagga Singh & The Horse Thief
Bhai Bagga Singh was riding on his horse one day when he say that on the road was a man walking very slowly, holding his back with both his hands. The man called out to Bhai Bagga Singh, “Brother! I’m very sick and cannot walk. If you would let me ride the horse for a couple of miles, I will be able to go home to my village and you can drop me off there. May God bless you if you help me!”
Bhai Bagga Singh felt compassion for the man and got off his horse. He helped the sick man onto the saddle and took the reins in his hands and began to walk along side the horse, leading it forward on the road.
The man who had asked for the ride sat on the horse for some time, lightly grasping the reins as well. As time passed, sometimes he began to occasionally tightly grasp them and then let them go again. After some distance, the rider sharply pulled the reins out of Bhai jee’s hands, turned the horse around and began to speed away. Bhai Bagga Singh called behind him, “Brother! Please listen to what I have to say, even it is from at a distance! If you want to take the horse, it is your decision, but listen to what I have to say!”
The thief was quite surprised but curious. He stopped the horse at quite a distance and said, “Speak!”
Bhai jee began, “Don’t ever tell anyone that you stole this horse by feigning sickness and getting a ride from me and then pulling the reins away from my hand.”
The thief asked in bewilderment, “Why??” The Sikh replied, “If you do this, you will be harming countless truly ill people who will need help during a journey. If they ask for assistance, people will think they are thieves like you who will take away their horse like that thief once took away Bagga Singh’s (my) horse. You will die one day yet there will always be people who become ill and people who can help them but the story of your actions today will forever create distrust between them.”
Bagga Singh then said no more and slowly began to walk away. The thief rode off in the opposite direction.
Bagga Singh reached home, bathed, recited Rehraas Sahib, ate and then fell asleep. Early the next morning, Bagga Singh came out into his courtyard out of habit to give hay to his horse. The horse too would recognize Bagga Singh’s foot steps and would neigh to greet him. Today as usual he heard the neigh of his horse and memory returned to him that his horse had been stolen yesterday and so where was this neighing coming from? As these thoughts went through his mind, he heard the neighing once again.
Bagga Singh walked forward in amazement and saw that his horse was tied to the gate of his home. He patted the horse on the back and looked out and saw that yesterday’s thief was standing outside, looking down in embarrassment.
Bagga Singh asked: “Well my sick friend, are you feeling better today?” The thief replied, “Bagga Singh, I was truly sick yesterday but you are the doctor who has brought me back to my senses. Take your horse back brother. Now there will be no story of treachery and no harm will come to anyone who becomes ill on a journey. In the future I too will try to become like Bagga Singh and have mercy on those in need. Give me your blessings.”