|Bhai Lalo was born on Tuesday, 11th Assu 1509 Bikarmi i.e. 1452 AD. at the village of Saidpur (Pakistan). His father's name was Bhai Jagat Ram of the 'Ghataura' surname pertaining to the carpenter clan, now known as Ramgarhia. Bhai Lalo was nearly seventeen years older than Guru Nanak.
|Guru Nanak Dev Ji left Sultanpur accompanied by Bhai Mardana and spent some time on his mission visiting Hindus and Muslims in West Panjab. At Saidpur, now called Emnabad, the Guru stayed at the house Bhai Lalo, an honest man who earned his bread with hard work. Lalo welcomed the Guru with great humility and reverence. There was a small well in the courtyard of the house of Bhai lalo, where Guru Ji used have his daily bath. This well was filled up in later years but recently the Ramgarhia Community bought this house of Bhai Lalo and the historic well was re-dug. This is one of the most important places of Guru Nanak's divine journeys - included now in a Sikh's pilgrimage to the holy places in Pakistan. It was here that the foundation of Sikhism was laid.
|A Janamsakhi scene of Bhai Lalo with Guru Nanak and Mardana.
It happened that Malik Bhago, a rich landlord of Kshatriya caste and an official of the local Pathan Nawab, was giving a feast. He had invited all religious and holy men to join in the feast. When he came to know that a saint was staying at the house of Lalo, Malik Bhago sent a servant to invite Guru Nanak to join in the feast. The Guru declined the invitation, but when Malik Bhago sent his man repeatedly requesting the Guru to come, the Guru finally went to his house.
Malik Bhago asked the Guru, "Why do you refuse my bread and eat at the house of a low-caste Hindu, though you are a holy man of high-caste?" The Guru replied, "I have no caste, for me all men are equal." "Then why did you decline to join my feast?" asked Malik Bhago. Answered the Guru, "Do you really want to know?" Bhago said, "Yes, I want to know why you preferred Lalo's simple bread to my food." The Guru asked Bhago to bring some of his food, and asked Lalo to do the same. When the food was brought by both, Guru Saheb took a piece from Lalo's food in one hand, and a piece from Bhago's food in the other. When he squeezed his hands, from Lalo's food oozed out drops of milk, and from Bhago's food, drops of blood.
|Guru Nanak squeezing blood from Malik Bhago's food and milk from the bread of Bhai Lalo
|The Guru said, "Now you see why I declined to join your feast; your food is blood stained because you have accumulated your wealth by exploiting the poor, while Lalo earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, and shares his earnings with the needy." Malik Bhago was much ashamed at this and became speechless. He fell at the Guru's feet and prayed for mercy. All the people gathered there, bowed in humility before the Guru. The Guru looked at them with a loving glance and said, "That which belongs to another is unlawful, and as dirty as eating the flesh of the dead. A Guru showers his grace on those who re-frain from eating the dead. The flesh of the dead does not become lawful by breath-ing God's Name over it. Nor do we attain salvation by merely reciting the holy verses."
|Guru Nanak and Mardana enjoying the food at the humble house of Bhai Lalo
news spread that a Guru, who could challenge caste and authority, with such
courage unknown before, travelled the countryside. More and more people came
to listen to the enlightening words of the Guru. Bhai Lalo was blessed by Guru
Nanak Dev Ii to spread the message of the Divine Name. He became a devout Sikh
and preached the Guru's gospel to the people of Saidpur.
Once the Sultan of Emnabad's son fell ill and could not be cured by any vaid or doctor. After a lot of search and trials by 'Faqirs', somebody suggested that Bhai Lalo, who also dealt in herbal medicine (Vedic), should be summoned. Coincidentally Guru Nanak was also present, when the Sultan ordered Bhai Lalo to tend to his son. Guru Nanak told the Sultan that to ask somebody to do something for one required humility and not stubborn commands. The Sultan's wife caught hold of Guru Nana's feet and asked for forgiveness. Guru Nanak asked Bhai Lalo to bring a piece of bread (roti) from his house. Having brought the bread, Guru Ji asked the boy to eat the piece of bread. As soon as the boy had eaten he was cured of his illness. This miracle made the name of Bhai Lalo famous as a pious and saintly man. The Guru's singing of self-composed hymns in praise of God, with the accompaniment of rabab by Mardana, attracted many people in Emnabad.
It was here that the Mughal Emperor Babur first met Guru Nanak, and Guru Ji blessed him with seven generations of rule (Suraj Parkash).It was also here that Guru Ji uttered the Gurbani Shabad of "Jaisi Mein Aavey Khasam Ki Bani, Tesra kari gyan vey Lalo." GGS page722.
|Guru Ji's last visit to Bhai Lalo's house. A masterpiece by artist Sobha Singh
|An unknown artist's impression of Guru Nanak having a meal with Bhai Lalo.
|A bazaar artist showing Guru Nanak squeezing blood from Malik Bhago's food and milk from Bhai Lalo's bread.