Sikh Gurus > Guru Nanak Dev Ji

These were the years when most of the Guru's disciples received religious instructions from him and who recorded what they received. Many devotees, it is said, copied the daily prayers and hymns. These collections were c alled 'Bani Pothis' (books of hymns). The Bani Pothi compiled during his life time was passed on to the second Guru, Guru Angad Dev.

Although the Guru had settled down at Kartarpur, but he still took small tours within the radius of 100 to 200 miles around Kartarpur. He went to many places and preached his gospel of Nam. At many of these places, the people became Guru's followers and they set up Gurdwaras in his honor.

The Guru initiated Kirtan at the early hours of the morning at Kartarpur. A boy seven years of age started to come to listen Kirtan and stood behind the Guru as a mark of respect. One day the Guru asked the boy,"O boy, why do you come so early while your age requires to eat, play and sleep." The boy replied,"Sir, one day my mother asked me to lit the fire. When I put fire on the wood, I observed that the little sticks burned first than the big ones. From that time I am afraid of the early death. I am doubtful whether I will live to be old and so I attend your holy communion." The Guru was very much pleased to hear these words of wisdom from the lips of the boy and said,"Although you are only a boy, yet you speak like a 'buddha' (an old man)."

From that day the boy was called Bhai Buddha. He was held in such high esteem that he was commissioned to impress the saffron tilaks or patches of Gurudom on the foreheads of the first five successors of Guru Nanak.

Bhai Buddha's original name was Ram Das, and a village was named after him. The word Bhai means brother. Guru Nanak who disregarded caste and preached the doctrine of the brotherhood of mankind, desired that all his followers should be deemed brothers, and thus be addressed so. The title 'Bhai' is now bestowed on Sikh priests also.

The Guru once passed through Lahore. A millionaire, Duni Chand of that place, was performing Shradh for his father. When Duni Chand heard the arrival of the Guru, he invited him too. The Guru reached his residence and inquired of the occasion. Duni Chand replied that it was his father's Shradh and he had fed one hundred Brahmans in his name. The Guru said,"It is now two days since your father had eaten anything and you claim that you have fed one hundred Brahmans in his name." Duni Chand asked,"Where is my father?" The Guru replied,"Your father when he was alive, had c oveted meat which a Sikh was cooking, and had died in that desire. So after death his soul had entered a wolf. That wolf is in a clump of trees about six miles from here and he has not eaten for two days." Duni Chand realized that anything sent to our forefathers via priests, would never reach them. Such rites were mere customs under blind faith.

Duni Chand had amassed wealth and was always after adding more to it. The Guru gave him a needle saying,"Duni Chand, keep this needle with you and give it back to me in the next world."

Duni Chand asked,"How can we carry a needle with us beyond death?" The Guru replied,"If such a small needle cannot go to the next world, how can thy wealth reach there?"

Upon this Duni Chand fell on the Guru's feet and prayed for enlightenment. The Guru told him," Give some of your wealth in God's name and feed the poor." Duni Chand became Guru's disciple and began to repeat the Name .