Bhai Bahlo’s Sewa
He started working in the potter’s kiln (oven) where bricks are baked. He worked there as hard as he could and for as long as his body would let him. At Amritvela and evening time he attended Sangat to listen to Kirtan and Katha. All day he spent his time in doing Sewa and chanting Naam. This had a profound impact on his mind. His mind was purified and soon the glow of Gurbani was glowing in his mind.
Bhai Bahlo noticed that Guru Sahib only accepted such bricks in sewa that were fully hardened and red in colour. Someone told Bhai Bahlo that if human excreta and cow dung was used along with other fuel, it helped in getting the bricks to fully harden. Bhai Bahlo got an army of sewadaars and acted on this advice. The work was very dirty and not many people were willing to undertake this work but Bhai Bahlo, whose only aim was to please Guru Sahib had no qualms over doing this sewa. While doing this sewa, his clothes became very filthy and he smelled really bad but he continued with the sewa. When all the kilns were opened, it was found that Bhai Bahlo’s bricks were the best. Guru Sahib was very pleased with Bhai Bahlo’s work but kept quiet at that time.
Once, there was a shortage of langar supplies. Bhai Bahlo who used to get paid for doing sewa, had saved all his funds. He presented his savings and with that the langar supplies for that time were supplied.
Bhai Bahlo’s sewa Accepted
Bhai Bahlo’s condition had become such that he had only one aim of doing sewa. He hardly spoke to anyone and because of working with excreta and cow dung, his clothes were very filthy during the day. Many people avoided him and some even made fun of him. Some even thought that he had gone crazy.
When he was not working on the kiln, he used to work on digging out soil from the Sarovar. Some sewadaars used to fill his bucket so heavily that it would be very hard for one person to lift but Bhai Bahlo never complained. He always stayed focus on Naam and Sewa. People mocked him but his mind had been imbued with Naam so deeply, that he never got angry, upset, or ashamed, because of the mocking. His heart was contented with Naam.
Whenever he used to see Guru Sahib, he could not keep his eyes away from Guru Sahib. His eyes were full of love for Guru Sahib. Then he used to forget all his tiredness and fatigue. He had so much love that it seemed as if his heart was beating only for Guru Sahib.
Guru Sahib was not unknown to the love of Bhai Bahlo but wanted him to get more purified. But one day, Guru Sahib could no longer restrain Himself. Bhai Bahlo had been dealing with excreta and his clothes were very dirty. The bad-smell coming from him was unbearable. He saw Guru Sahib along with some Gursikhs coming towards him. He could not think of appearing before Guru Sahib in such condition. He tried to hide behind other sewadaars but then noticed that Guru coming right towards him. When Guru Sahib came close to him, he moved backwards. Guru Sahib moved forward and he moved backwards. Then the thought came to his mind that moving backwards would amount to disrespecting Guru Sahib but to appear before Guru Sahib in such filthy condition too was disrespectful.
As he was engaged in such thoughts, he inadvertently fell at the Charan Kamal of Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib lifted him up and tightly embraced him. All curtains blocking the spiritual treasure within, were lifted in that instant. Bhai Bahlo accomplished Jyot-Vigaas there and then. Guru Sahib had done his kirpa.
More Blessings from Guru Sahib
After the completion of the Sarovar and Siri Harmandir Sahib, a samagam was held to thank Vaheguru. Baba Buddha jee was the first one to receive siropa and honour from Guru Sahib. The second one after Baba jee to receive the Siropa was Bhai Bhagtu jee. He was blessed with many boons and the responsibility to do Parchaar of Sikhi in the area of Brars. Then came the turn of Bhai Bahlo jee. Guru Sahib first all blessed him with the title of “Bhai” and called him Bhai Bahlo. Bhai Bahlo jee’s original name was Bahlol but Guru Sahib changed it to Bahlo and also blessed him with the title of “Bhai”.
Guru Sahib was still not satisfied with his blessings. Guru Sahib gave him the boon of “Bhai Bahlo, Sabh taun Pehlo” meaning Bhai Bahlo is number one out of Sewadaars. Guru Sahib was still not satisfied and then lovingly asked him to ask for more. Bhai Bahlo’s eyes were filled with divine tears and with trembling body, he asked for nothing but Naam and Sikhi for eternity. Guru Sahib was filled with love. Guru Sahib got up from His throne and embraced Bhai Bahlo very tightly and declared him the leader of Sikhs in Malwa zone. Then Guru Sahib through another blessing gave him access to all Akali Shaktis (positive extra-sensory spiritual powers, Ridhi Sidhi). Anything that Bhai Bahlo would say and do would come true.
Hukam to go back Home
Thereafter Guru Sahib gave Bhai Bahlo the Hukam to go to his home and do Parchaar of Sikhi in Malwa zone of Punjab. Bhai Sahib arrived at his home and the whole village and friends were surprised to see him in Sikhi baana. He no longer was carrying the Aasa (long stick of Sakhi Sarvars), or wearing Sultani clothes. His shining face was showing the inner Avastha of a Brahmgyani.
The Sakhi Sarvars were furious. They first cajoled him to come back to his old faith and then threatened him but Bhai Sahib remained unmoved. Soon he started doing parchaar of Sikhi and in a matter of short time, Sikhi started spreading very rapidly in that area. Twice a year, at Vasaakhi and Diwali, he used to go to Siri Harmandir Sahib with thousands of Sikhs.
Bhai Sahib continued doing sewa and Parchaar of Sikhi in Malwa. Bhai Sahib was one of the greatest Sikhs of that time along with Bhai Manjh jee, Bhai Bhagtu jee, and Bhai Langah jee. May Guru Sahib bless us with such Sikhi as these great Gurmukhs had.