Bhai Kuram

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Bhai Kuram
(approx between 1581 - 1650)


Name: Kuram Singh Labana
Native: Vill. Lambian, Mohali, Punjab, India
Linked with: Gurudwara Amb Sahib
Other Info: Even today, many rich, prominent and well known traders, have large mango gardens in remembrance of this sakhi

Bhai Kuram Singh, a Labana by caste, was a resident of village Lambian. A Sikh who was a contemporary of Guru Arjan and Guru Har Rai, Bhai Kuram traveled to Amritsar hoping to get a glimpse of Guru Arjan and even to pay his respects if possible. As he left his village the mangoes, the fruit his area was noted for, were in season.

Reaching Amritsar he found many visitors had come to attend the darbar (court) of his Guru, the great Guru Arjan whose fame had spread far and wide. The city was literally bursting with devotees and at the Guru's darbar many followers were presenting gifts and offerings to the Guru. The Guru's followers from Kabul had brought with them large sumptuous ripe mangoes, in those days Kabul was famous for its mangoes.

Seeing this Bhai Kuram Singh felt sorry that he had come from the land of mangoes but had not brought even a single mango with him, while many others from his region had brought large loads of the delicious fruit. When the darbar concluded that night, the ripe mangoes were distributed as Parshad (blessed food). After receiving their parshad, the followers retired to their deras (sleeping quarters) for the night.

Bhai Kuram Singh did not eat the mango given to him as parshad. Getting up early the next morning, he took a bath and carried the mango he had received as parshad and offered it as a gift in the darbar that morning.

The great Guru Arjan called to Bhai Kuram and said,

"This mango was given to you as parshad but you have offered the same here".

Bhai Kuram Singh very humbly bowed before the Guru and replied,

"Your Highness, I have come from the land of mangoes but had not brought any for offering to you, so I retained this for offering to you today".

Guru Ji ordered him to eat the fruit and promised him that his offerings will be accepted by the Guru one day.

Guru Har Rai visits Bhai Kuram

On the first day of Poh (during mid-December), as promised by Guru Arjan, the next Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai came to the spot which is now marked by Gurdwara Amb Sahib which is situated at Mohali (Punjab) from Kurukshetra. Guru ji asked about Bhai Kuram and was informed that Bhai sahib was deeply engrossed in meditation in the garden. Guru Ji came to him and ordered Bhai Kuram Singh to fulfil his promise of giving mangoes to the Guru. Bhai Kuram was shocked and confused as mangoes were not in season. He very politely and humbly informed Guru ji that he was unable to comply as the fruit was not in season. He informed Guru ji that with the best will in the world, he could not, once again, fulfil his wish.

On hearing this, Guru ji asked him to look up into the mango tree he was seated beneath. To Bhai sahib's surprise, the mango tree was full of ripe fruits. Bhai Kuram Singh was astonished and humbly touched the feet of the great Guru. Guru Ji asked him to offer the mangoes to the sangat. Obeying the Guru, Bhai Kuram Singh served mangoes to the Guru and the sangat fulfilling his deep wish of many years before.

At this historical site stands the famous shrine called Gurudwara Amb Sahib ("amb" means "mango" in Punjabi) which has the blessings of the great Guru Har Rai. At this place, the Guru blessed his Gursikh, Bhai Kuram, who now felt contented and at peace having fulfilled his ambition by witnessing mangoes out of season.