Bhai Jodh and Guru Arjan

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Bhai Gurdas was given the "key" to understand the Guru Granth Sahib by the Guru. He compiled the GurSikh’s thought. In Bhai Gurdas Jee’s Vaaran (poetry), he says: ‘jodh rasoeeaa devthaa gur saevaa kar dhuthar thaaree||’ ‘Jodh, the cook, served the Guru and swam across the world ocean.' (This Shabad is by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars Bhai Gurdaas on Pannaa 11, 11th Vaar, Pauree 15)

Bhai Jodh Jee was a Brahman by caste. He was intellectual and held knowledge. He came to visit Guru Angad Jee’s darbaar (court). He experienced happiness, which he never felt before. Everyday Bhai Jodh would listen to Guru’s Keertan and sermon and then go to the Langar Hall, where he would wash all the jhoote bhaandey (dirty dishes) of the Sangat.

The GurSikhs saw that Bhai Jodh does a lot of Sewa but he does not sit in Pangat (with the congregation) to eat Langar. It must be because he is a Brahman and thinks he is higher than us that he doesn’t eat with rest of Guru’s Sangat. The GurSikhs reported this to Guru Angad. "Guru Angad Jee, Bhai Jodh does a lot of Sewa but he does not eat Langar in Pangat". Guru Angad Jee called Bhai Jodh to see him. Bhai Jodh arrived in the presence of the Guru.

Guru Angad Jee asked him, ‘Bhai Jodh is it true that you do not eat in the Pangat like the rest of the Sangat?’ ‘No Maharaj! I do eat in the Sangat,’ replied Bhai Jodh. The GurSikhs said, ‘see, now he is a liar as well!" The Guru told Bhai Jodh, "you are holding something from me. When do you eat your Langar? Tell me."

Bhai Jodh, now had tears in his eyes and he told the Guru infront of the GurSikhs, ‘Maharaj, when I clean the dirty dishes of the Sangat, sometimes people leave jhoot (left overs). I collect the jhoot of the Sangat in a small bowl. When all the Sangat leave, I then eat the left over jhoot.’

The listeners by where shocked to hear this, they thought Bhai Jodh didn’t eat the rest because of his pride and ego. But they were wrong, how could a person be so humble and consider themselves so low. Guru Jee asked Bhai Jodh, ‘O Sikh, why do eat the left overs of the Sangat. What makes you eat Jhoot?"

Bhai Jodh replied, "Maharaj, when I came to see you for the first time, I had a ego and pride that I was an educated Brahman. But I heard from you Guru Jee, that when we have hankaar (ego) we cannot obtain the happiness. Maharaj I hear from you that you don’t like maan (pride) and hankaar (ego)." "I put jhoot in the mouth of hankaar, in the mouth of my Ego, the thing that doesn’t let me get happiness", said Bhai Jodh.

"Don’t say that Bhai Jodh!" replied the Guru. "Your sins have been washed, the Guru now dwells within you".

The next day, Bhai Jodh sat in the Pangat (congregation) and ate Langar. Some people come to the Gurdwara just to criticise and pick up faults of people, we see this today. To get happiness (kushiaan) it is hard. You have to endure lots – sewa (selfless service), simran (meditation) as well as criticism as this is the sign of living in Kaljug (era of falsehood).

The GurSikhs who reported Bhai Jodh the day before saw him eating in the Pangat. They told him, "Why are you eating in the Pangat? Has the leftovers (jhoot) finished or something? We knew you were a Pakandee, a fake."

Now the reply Bhai Jodh said was heart moving (in Bairaag). "I ate Jooth before because I had ego and pride within me. But now within me is the Guru (the Guru’s teachings were enshrined in his heart). You can put a dirty spoon in the mouth of Ego. Ego used to dwell within me. But when look within me now, when I contemplate within now, I see only the Guru and only feel the Guru. When I eat I, I eat for the Guru, I feed Guru within. I cannot feed my Guru jhoot so I cannot feed my Guru jhoot which resides within me."

Guru Angad Maharaj Jee over heard this conversation. He hugged and embraced Bhai Jodh Jee. "I will give you now all the happiness’ Bhai Jodh", said Guru Jee. But the person who is happy with the Guru, then what else does he need in the world. Hence Bhai Gurdass Jee called Bhai Jodh "devtaa" (Godly).