Guru Amar Das Ji And The Muslim Faqir

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A banker taking large offerings went to visit Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj. The offerings included a necklace of pearls and precious stones. He wanted to put it on Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj, but Guru Ji said he was too old for such ornaments. The banker might put it on him who was the Guru's image, and who was dearer to him than life, and then the banker's wishes would be gratified. The banker replied that Guru Ji might put it on whomsoever he pleased. The Sikhs began to conjecture whom the Guru could have meant. Some said Mohri, others Mohan—sons of the Guru— and others again thought of other faithful and obedient Sikhs. The Guru, disappointing them all, put the necklace with all its beauty and splendour on the neck of his beloved Bhai Jetha.

On an occasional afternoon Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj used to go with his retinue to the bank of the river Bias. On the way a filthy naked Muslim faqir, who was almost always under the influence of intoxicants, took up his position. He said in a voice loud enough for the Guru to hear as he passed by, 'He consumes the wealth of the whole world. The older he grows the more miserable he becomes. He only makes gifts to those from whom he desires something in return. He takes no notice of faqirs, and has never remembered me who am a beggar like others. I take opium and bhang, and he never offers me any, though he ought sometimes to think of the poor. I care for no one, be he king or emperor; I speak the truth to his face. When a man gives me anything I pray for his welfare.'

The faqir often used such offensive language in reference to Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj . Guru Ji, who was patience incarnate, used to remain silent and pass on. One day Bhai Jetha accompanied Guru Ji, and on hearing the graceless faqir spluttering and discharging, as it were, the sediment of his bhang, said to him. 'Why participate in sin by slandering the true Guru, the king of kings and the saint of saints ? '

The faqir replied, ' Why should I not ? He has never given me alms. Give me the necklace you wear.' On this Bhai Jetha took off his necklace, and put it on the faqir. Upon this he began to sing aloud the Guru Ji's praises 'You are more generous than Raja Harishchandra, than Raja Karan and than Raja Vikramadit.'

As the party returned from the river in the evening, and while Sri Guru Amar Das Ji Maharaj was still distant, the faqir began to shower further praises and blessings on him. 'You save the world ; may your sons and grandsons flourish ! '

Guru Ji on hearing this remarked that somebody must have been generous to the faqir, otherwise he could not so soon have altered his tone and language. On inquiry the Guru learned what had occurred. Bhai Jetha confessed, ' O Guru, I have given the faqir my necklace. You have given me God's name as a necklace; I keep it by me. This perishable necklace I have offered in your name.'

On hearing this Guru Ji blessed Bhai Jetha : 'Your line shall be endless and your income and expenditure inexhaustible.'