Bhai Kirtiya Ji
One day after the morning congregation was over a man brought a large bear into the darbar of Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. The man wanted to give a performance with his bear before Guru Sahib and the sangat and as a consequence asked for permission. On being permitted to do so he began to wrestle with his bear. After a while he used his stick to make the bear do all sorts of tricks.
At the time a Sikh called Bhai Kirtia Ji was doing chaur seva over Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. As the bear did it’s tricks Bhai Kirtia Ji would begin to laugh out loudly. Towards the end of the performance Guru Sahib turned to Bhai Kirtia and asked him, “Bhai Kirtia do you not recognise the bear?” Bhai Kirtia looked confused and said, “Guru Ji it is a bear I have never seen” Guru Sahib smiled and said, “Bhai Kirita it is your father Bhai Gurdas”.
Upon hearing this Bhai Kirita was really surprised and upset. He folded his hands together and humbly said to Guru Sahib, “O Guru of the world, my father always did seva in your holy darbar. He would get up early in the morning and recite his prayers. He also served the ninth King, Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Tegh Bahahdur Ji Maharaj. Having done such dedicated seva how can this be the reward given to him? If this is his fate what fate awaits someone like me? Please be kind and tell me why my father ended up in this unfortunate position after serving the house of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj with such love and devotion.”
Guru Ji said, “It is correct that your father had served Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadhur Ji Maharaj devotedly. But on one occasion, while he was distributing karah prasad, a poor Gursikh was passing by loading cane sugar on his cart. He visited the Guru on his way while his oxen moved his cart. THat Gursikh who was in a hurry, after paying his respects to Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadhur Ji Maharaj and the sangat begged for some prasad but your father refused to give him any. The Gursikh again requested but instead of giving him Parshaad your father reprimanded him for making the request again and again and angrily said “Why are you behaving like a bear?”. The Gursikh was hurt. He picked up a small piece of prasad which had fallen on the floor and uttered, ‘Waheguru’, and went away asking Akaal Purakh why some Sikhs of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj had forgotten the true spirit of Sikhi.
A few days after this incident your father died and on account of his behaviour with teh Gursikh was born again as the bear who sits in front of us today.”
But beacuase of his Sewa and serving Guru Tegh bahadur Ji he has reached here today infront of the sangat.
On hearing these words of Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj the entire congregation felt pity for Bhai Gurdas Ji and collectively they begged Guru Ji to somehow redeem Bhai Gurdas Ji from that sort of life. Guru Sahib smiled at his Sikhs and turned towards the owner of the bear and asked him what price he was willing to sell the bear? The owner of the bear agreed to part with the animal for 200 rupees. Guru Sahib took 200 rupees from his own pocket and paid the owner of the bear.
After this the bear sat at the feet of Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. Guru Sahib then got some karah prasad prepared which was distributed to all the sangat. Guru Sahib fed the bear a bit of prasad. A few seconds after Guru Ji had done this the bear went to sleep for the last time and Bhai Gurdas Ji’s soul was liberated by that King of this world and the next.