Bhai Satta And Balwand

After becoming fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev was delivering holy sermons in the morning and evening.

In those days Bhai Satta and Bhai Balwand were official singers. They used to recite the hymns of Gurus in the morning and evening. There sweet music always mesmerized the congregation.

One day Satta said to Guru, 'My Lord! I have fixed the marriage of my daughter, please help us financially.'

The Guru said, 'Don't worry, whatever offerings we get today, will be given to you.'

After the completion of the evening recitation, the Guru game them the offerings of the day.

But when they counted the money they found that it was not according to their expectations. They were saddened.

When Baba Prithi Chand came to know about this, he advised them to leave the service of the Guru, as the Guru was getting the offerings due to their singing.

Bhai Satta and Balwand believed the words of Baba Prithi Chand.

They at once met the Guru and talked against the house of Guru Nanak. They said, 'The devotees come only to hear our Kirtan. If we stop to come here, nobody will recognize you as a Guru. The Guru tried to console them but instead of listening to the Guru, they began to talk in a very rude manner.

When they did not stop talking the Guru addressed the congregation and said, 'They have slandered the house of Guru Nanak, so no Sikh should meet them. If anybody is found helping them, his face would he blackened and mounted on a donkey he will be driven through all bazaars and streets of the city.'

The Guru was himself a good musician. He had performed the duty of a devotional singer at Lahore for more than two years. So himself playing the musical instruments he started to sing the devotional hymns. He had a very sweet voice.

When the congregation heard his celestial devotional singing, they forgot themselves and reached the house of pleasant ecstasy. They had never heard such music.

When Bhai Satta and Bhai Balwand heard that the Guru himself was performing the duty of a devotional singer and the number of devotees had also been increasing day by day, they felt grieved. They wanted to get exoneration from the Guru, but no Sikh was ready so see them.

When they went out, the people turned their faces towards the other side. They were completely isolated from the surrounding world.

At last someone advised them to go to Bhai Ladha of Lahore, who was the only man who could help them. They met Bhai Ladha.

Hearing their story Bhai ladha said, 'You have done a great blunder by maligning the house of Guru Nanak. I am ready to help you but the Guru has laid down a very strict condition. He had said that who would help you, had to face consequences of riding a donkey with blackened face.'

When Bhai Satta and Balwand requested him again and again, Bha Ladha blackened his face himself and riding on a donkey drove towards Amritsar.

Bhai Satta and Balwand were also accompanying him. He reached the house of the Guru riding on a donkey. They knocked the door of the Guru.

When the Guru came outside He recognized Bhai ladha. He asked Bhai Ladha to dismount. Bhai Ladha dismounting the donkey befell at the feet of the Guru.

The Guru said, 'Bhai Ladha, it is true you are a great well-wisher of the poor, but these men had slandered the house of Guru Nanak. A slanderer of the house of Guru Nanak cant be pardoned. But if they want to be prardoned then they should praise the house of Guru Nanak with the same tongue, which has malignated it.'

Bhai Satta and Balwand agreed to do this. They wrote ‘Satta ane Balwand Di Vaar' in Raag Ramkali.

This Var was included in the Guru Granth Sahib and it can be found at page 966 to 968.

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