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The robber landlord

Guest BikramjitSingh

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Guest BikramjitSingh

During Baba Nanak's travels he came upon a land inhabited by thieves. The chief of these thieves was a important landlord who possessed five hundred mares and many buffalos. The other thieves feared him but he was also very religious and gave charity to holy men and served sadhus who passed his way.

The robber landlord took Baba Nanak to his house and treated him with great hospitality.

"What is your occupation ?" Baba Nanak asked

"Sir, you know " the robber asked " Please make me your Sikh"

" If you abandon this occupation then I will make you my Sikh" replied Baba Nanak

"Whatever else you command I shall obey, even if you demand my head and my life they are yours. But this occupation I have inherited from my ancestors. I fear to clasp you feet now because I cannot give up this occupation " the robber replied.

Baba Nanak then made the robber his Sikh. " Brother, you must observe the following practices " Baba Nanak commanded

"Tell me and I shall obey" promised the robber

" Three things must be firmly embedded in your mind, the first regardless of whether you commit theft or any other occupation, you must always tell the truth, second never think evil of the person whose salt you have eaten and lastly never injure or strike a poor person, if these are observed your Guru will be merciful to you " said Baba Nanak

Baba Nanak then left that place.

After Baba Nanak had left, the robber thought that he would burgle the palace of the Raja and after that he would give up his occupation.

At night the robber arose and put on a fine suit and took five weapons with him. He then mounted his horse and then approached the gate of the palace.

"Who are you entering at this hour, brother ?" enquired the gate keeper.

" I am a thief " replied the robber.

The gatekeeper took fright thinking that anyone who speaks in that manner must be a royal personage.

In his way the robber passed through six door and then waited for the whole palace to go to sleep. He then took all the valuables from the palace and put them in large bundles. On a shelf he noticed that there was a container and feeling it with his hand he thought that it might be something edible. He placed it in his mouth and realised that it was salt.

He then realised that the Guru had told him not to think evil of the person whose salt he had eaten. " How shall I live and continue to do evil things" he repented and left the bundles where they were. He then left

In the morning when the palace awoke there was uproar as they realised that that the palace had been robbed but not a penny had been taken.

The Raja questioned the gatekeepers and they told him that a person had entered but when challenged he had replied that he was a thief and they had assumed that the person must have been a royal personage. The Raja was curious about the person, he commanded that a proclamation be made by the beat of the drum that he who surrenders and admits to the deed will be rewarded.

The robber having heard the proclamation came to the Raja and admitted that he was the thief.

The Raja asked what had happened and why he not taken anything. The robber explained that he was ready to take the valuables but his Guru had asked that he not think evil of anyone whose salt he had eaten. He had eated some salt by mistake from the shelf. The Raja was impressed and became a Sikh. He made the robber his chief minister. The Raja began the practice of chanting 'Waheguru, Waheguru' and yearned for the opportunity to behold Baba Nanak.

B40 Janamsakhi

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The Raja was curious about the person, he commanded that a proclamation be made by the beat of the drum that he who surrenders and admits to the deed will be rewarded.

Very nice Sakhi but i thinik you got this part rong, I think the Raja ordered all the thieves in the kingdom to be rounded up and he might have punished them, So the Landlord thief remembering that Guru ji said to him never injure or strike an innocent person, surrendered himself to the Raja.

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Guest BikramjitSingh

Waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Amandeep Singh

The version I used is from the B40 Janamsakhi. Although I have condensed some of the Sakhi there is no mention of the Raja ordering all the thieves to be rounded up. Although what you say would make sense since only the two conditions set by the Guru have been met and not the condition not to hurt any poor person. depending on which Janamsakhi you read there are minor variations in them. The Sakhi you refer to may be a version from a Meharban or Puratan Janamsakhi.



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