Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji whose name was 'Tiratha', was a preacher of Sakhi Sarvar (a Muhammadan pir, whose shrine is on the border of Balochistan) in his local area in Amritsar. Bhai Manjh had a 'Sakhi Sarvar Da Peerkhana' at his home, which was a religous establishment. Bhai Manjh also used to visit 'Nigahe Sarvar Pir' every year. He was the 'Chaudhary' of the village.
Bhai Manjh was a powerful and proud person with hundreds of followers, he was a resident of village Kang Mai, Hoshiarpur district and had two Peerkhana's at his place. Every Thursday he used to offer bread (roti) at the 'Peerkhana' and take his devotees for religous sermons. Sometimes he used to take his jatha (group of devotees) to 'Nigaha'.
In the year 1585, when Bhai Manjh was going back to his village from Nigaha, he stayed at Amritsar. In the company of Sri Guru Arjan, he learnt about the life of Sikhs and Sikhi.
In Search Of Happiness
Bhai Manjh had not seen such happiness, he made the following requests, "O Guru, heal my three fevers, make me a Sikh, and, deeming me your servant, save me and remove the great pain of transmigration (reincarnation) so that I do not have to be born again."
Guru Arjan replied, "You have made Sakhi Sarwar your priest. His way is easy: Sikhi on the contrary is difficult. In it you cannot put yourself forward or assert yourself. You cannot embrace Sikhi unless you are ready to sacrifice your life on its behalf without groaning. If you become my Sikh, you shall be an object of public obloquy (condemnation). Your relations will ridicule you, and not allow you to associate with them. They will also dispossess you of all your property. If your are prepared to endure such hardships and sufferings, then your may become a Sikh of mine. Otherwise continue to worship the shrine of your saint and do not talk of Sikhi. Keep your wealth, and the good opinion of your family. Why trouble yourself by embracing my religion?"
Bhai Manjh replied, "O Guru, the very moment I saw you and heard your words I turned away from Sakhi Sarwar. I was overwhelmed with shame when I reflected that in imitation of others, I bowed my head at the shrine of a pretend saint possessing no real greatness. That is how men forfeit their religion and lose the advantage of their human birth."
Bhai Manjh spoke with humility and tears clouded his eyes. The Guru replied, "Accept Sikhi. Worship the true God, and it shall be a source of happiness to you." Guru Arjan asked him to get rid off all the things which go against Sikhi, only then would he be able to experience Sikhi. When you follow Akal Purakh's footsteps and follow the path of truth, you will need to tolerate the anger of the common man also. So if you can give such a sacrifice, only then you can go along with Sikhi.
Bhai Manjh went to his village, demolished the Peerkhana and stopped praying to Sakhi Sarvar. Bhai Manjh's fate took a turn for the worse, his cattle started dying. Still, Bhai Manjh remained unshaken, he kept working with his full faith in Akal Purakh. Bhai Manjh was removed from the position of leader of the village, due to complaints received from people against him but he remained steady. Bhai Manjh returned to Guru Arjan, and placed himself under his protection, he lived by manual labour, and contributed over a fourth part of his earnings to the Sikh cause.
The Sikhs knew that Tiratha was from the Manjh clan and began to call him Bhai Manjh. Bhai Manjh helped serving the 'Guru Ghar'. Like this, he began to earn his Sikhi. Bhai Manjh began to take the seva of bringing wood for the langar, cleaning the dishes, serving the visiting sangat and any other seva he could find. Everyday, after listening to the Guru, he would collect wood from a nearby jungle.
After giving the first bundle to the langar and selling the second, he would return to the Darbar and do seva all day. He would put all his extra money into the Golak. Bhai Manjh didn't care that his riches had disappeared, money and material items are false riches. Bhai Manjh was earning 'true money' in the house of God. Bhai Manjh used to collect wood from a jungle near the village of Sultanwind, Amritsar, where Gurdwara Bhai Manjh Da Khooh has been built.
One day, when Bhai Manjh was returning with wood above his head, a storm with strong winds struck on the way home. Bhai Manjh kept walking taking care of the wood, a strong gust of wind struck him and he fell into a well. The well was shallow and the water level was also low. Bhai Manjh kept the wood above his head to make sure it didn't get wet. He stood in the well the whole night and kept reciting the holy prayers.
'Manjh Pyara Guru Ko'
In the morning when Guru Arjan and other Sikhs noticed that Bhai Manjh had not returned, they sent out search parties. Eventually they found Bhai Manjh inside the well. Guru Arjan along with his Sikhs ran towards the well and wanted to take Bhai Manjh out by throwing a rope to which Bhai Manjh replied that they should take out the wood first so that the langar could be cooked. Only after the wood was safely out of the well did Bhai Manjh come out. Just as he climbed out of the well Guru Arjan hugged him and recited a slok;
Manjh Pyara Guru Ko, Guru Manjh || Manjh Guru Bohitha Jug Langanhara ||
Guru Sahib meant that those who are as devoted and do service to the Sikhi the way Bhai Manjh has done and lead the life as laid down by Gurbani, (they) will be liberated from ego and vanity. As vanity is the root cause of sufferings and miseries in this world, by being relieved from ego and vanity, the person will receive all the pleasures and grace from God.
Guru Arjan told Bhai Manjh that he had passed the Guru's test and could ask for anything he wanted. Bhai Manjh asked for his faith to never waver, that he should always remain as a Sikh and follow the Sikh way of life.
Guru Arjan said that Bhai Manjh was already a Sikh and he could ask for something else. Bhai Manjh said that he hoped other Sikhs would not be put through such tough tests as in the time of Kalyug Sikhs would find such tests very difficult. Bhai Manjh requested for langar to stay as an integral part of Sikhism. Guru Arjan agreed and later sent him to his home in Hoshiarpur to preach Sikhi.
Associated with Sri Guru Arjan, Bhai Manjh.
Bhai Manjh used to collect wood from a jungle near 'Sultan Wind', where Gurdwara Bhai Manjh Da Khooh has been built.
Associated with Bhai Manjh.
Gurdwara Bhai Manjh Samadhan is located in the village that Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji, a Sikh of Guru Arjan, was from.
Associated with Bhai Manjh.
Gurdwara Sri Bhai Manjh is located in the village that Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji, a Sikh of Guru Arjan, was from.