Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Bhai Bela Ji
nwnk gurU n cyqnI min AwpxY sucyq ]
n aa nak gu roo n ch aethanee man aapan ai su chaeth ||
O Nanak, those who do not think of the Guru, and who think of themselves as clever,
Cuty iql bUAwV ijau suM\y AMdir Kyq ]
shh u ttae th il b ooaarr ji o su(n)n(j) ae a(n)dhar khae th ||
shall be left abandoned in the field, like the scattered sesame. – (GGS ji – 463)
Bhai Bela Ji was a Gursikh during the times of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He came to Guru Ji and asked if he could stay at Anandpur Sahib. Guru Ji consented so long as Bhai Bela agreed to partake in Seva. He was asked what form of Seva he wished to partake in, such as, langar seva, recite Bani or join the Guru’s army and fight in the battlefield. Bhai Bela replied that he could not cook, read Gurbani or knew how to use shashtars. Thus Guru Ji assigned Bhai Bela Ji the duty of looking after the horses and their stables. At the same time Bhai Bela Ji would be taught Gurbani by Guru Ji.
Guru Ji started by teaching Bhai Bela Ji one line of the JapJi Sahib per day. Bhai Bela Ji would spend his whole day, whilst fulfilling his daily chores, repeating that same line. The following morning he would recite it back to Guru Ji to make sure that he had memorised it correctly, and thus he could progress and go on to learn the next line.
One day, Bhai Bela Ji came to Guru Ji ready for his next lesson. However Guru Ji was busy and was preparing to go out. Just as Guru Ji was about to leave, Bhai Bela Ji got in the way saying, “Guru Ji, I am ready for my next lesson. I want to learn the next line of JapJi Sahib.” Guru Gobind Singh Ji replied, “Bhai Bela, na vakhat veecharai naa veyla” meaning, “Bhai Bela, you are not considering the circumstances I am in; I am busy and must go out.”
Yet Bhai Bela Ji was so innocent and obedient, that he understood Guru Ji’s comment to be the next line of the JapJi Sahib and spent his whole day practising the phrase. When the other Sevadaars heard Bhai Bela Ji, they started laughing and began mocking him. But Bhai Bela Ji ignored them and continued reciting the phrase, eager to learn it well so that he could please Guru Ji the next morning by reciting it correctly.
The following morning when Bhai Bela Ji went to meet Guru Ji, the rest of the Sevadaars had gathered there as well. They wanted to see Guru Ji get angry with Bhai Bela Ji for incorrectly reciting the JapJi Sahib. However, when Bhai Bela Ji recited the line “Bhai Bela, na vakhat veecharai naa veyla,” Guru Ji instead got up and embraced Bhai Bela Ji.
Guru Ji said, “this is what a true Sikh is. He does not allow his own intelligence to get in the way of his Guru’s words. He believes his Guru’s Bachan to be 100% true and does not consider his own intellect to be above that of his Guru’s.”
Too often we judge ourselves to be cleverer and more knowledgeable than our Guru. Bhai Bela Ji sacrificed himself entirely to the Guru’s words. He was so innocent, subservient and obedient that he placed his faith entirely in the Guru’s Bachan, forsaking his own mind and intellect.
May Guru Ji bless us with such pyaar, sharda and faith to forever live according to His Hukam, which is conveyed to us through His Shabad.
slwmu jbwbu dovY kry muMFhu GuQw jwie ]
sal aa m jabaa b dhov ai karae mu(n)dtah u ghu thhaa j aae ||
One who offers both respectful greetings and rude refusal to his master, has gone wrong from the very beginning.
nwnk dovY kUVIAw Qwie n kweI pwie ]2]
n aa nak dho vai k oorreeaa thhaae n k aaee paa e ||2||
O Nanak, both of his actions are false; he obtains no place in the Court of the Lord. ||2||