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Bhai Prema

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Bhai Prema, a Khatri of Talvandi. now called Talvandi Chaudharian, in Kapurthala district of the Punjab, was a devout Sikh of the time of Guru Amar Das. He was lame in the leg, yet he daily walked, on crutches, to Goindval, 8 km from his village across the River Beas, with a pitcher of curds for Guru ka Langar. Once the village chaudhan, i.e. headman, snatched in jest his crutches and said, "Thou takest curds every day to thy Guru, but he hath not cured thy leg so far. Why dost thou torture thyself journeying back and forth thus? "Prema replied, The True Guru of mine is competent and compassionate; I rejoice in his will." The chaudhan returned the crutches to Prema but after a great deal of teasing, thus delay ing him on the way. At Goindval, says Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahimd Prakdsh, Guru Amar Das was waiting and would not eat until Prema, the devotee, had reached with his daily offering. As Bhai Prema arrived and the Guru asked him what had happened to keep him so long, Prema narrated his encounter with the chaudhan of his village. Guru Amar Das asked him to visit Shah Husain, a Muslim recluse living on the bank of Beas. Shah Husain, continues the Mahimd Prakdsh, miraculously removed the deformity. He attributed this to the favour of Guru Amar Das, and refused to take any credit for himself. Bhai Prema came back overwhelmed with gratitude and fell at the Guru's feet. The Guru appointed him to head a manji, or preaching district.

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