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Bhai Tiloka

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Bhai Tiloka, a Suhar Khatri officer in the Mughal army at Ghazni, once waited on Guru Arjan and said, "Soldiering being my profession, violence is my duty. How shall I be saved ?" The Guru spoke, "Remain firm in your duty as a soldier, but let not your mind be touched by violence." Tiloka received initiation as a Sikh and went back to Ghazni. One day, as says Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Tiloka slayed during the chase a pregnant doe. As he slashed his prey, , twin embroys, almost fully developed, were discovered, both dying after a few convulsive movements. Bhai Tiloka was filled with remorse and took a vow never to kill again. He started wearing a sword with a wooden blade, but a proper hilt for show. A complaint reached the ears of the governor, who ordered a parade. As he started inspecting the soldiers' weapons, Bhai Tiloka prayed the Guru for succour. Amazingly, tells the chronicler, Tiloka's wooden sword, when unsheathed, turned out to be gleaming steel. When Bhai Tiloka next visited the Guru, he narrated the story to the sangat.

Bhai Tiloka Ji was a great warrior. As a warrior, he was appointed an army officer with a personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji originally was from ‘Sooharh’ gotra of ‘khatri’ caste (varna). He was a Sikh of fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. As an army officer, Bhai Tiloka Ji used to carry many weapons with him. He would ride a horse, as it was the common conveyance for soldiers those days. Because Bhai Tiloka Ji was an officer in personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni, he would accompany him where he would go. It is obvious that Bhai Tiloka Ji was an important figure in Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji, being a devout Sikh, once came to the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Bhai Ji said to Guru Ji, �To indulge in battles is my occupation. As soldiers, we always have to do �Hinsa� (violence). How can I be saved? I have come to your sanctuary�.

Guru Ji said, �Follow your �Khatri Dharma� (the duty of a warrior). Do not do violence by your heart. Do not hurt anyone�s heart. Always meditate on the God. Recite the Name of the God Almighty every time. Show mercy on living beings�.

After staying for a few days, Bhai Tiloka Ji returned to Ghazni, his city. As was his duty, once he accompanied the local Mogul ruler for hunting. Suddenly, they saw a she-deer running before their eyes. All the warriors chased it. Bhai Tiloka Ji struck his sword the she-deer and cut it into two pieces. It was a pregnant she-deer. Two infant deer fell out of it and died before everyone�s eyes.

Bhai Tiloka Ji watched this entire episode. This kind hearted warrior was sad to see all this. He remembered Guru�s words, �Show mercy on all living beings�.

His mind had totally changed now. He thought, �I have made a big sin. Guru Ji asked me to show mercy to living beings, but I killed this innocent living being. I should now weapons throw away, so that I do not kill living being any more�.

The kind hearted Bhai Tiloka Ji kept a wooden-sword in his sheath. Its handle was made of iron. Under its sheath, it would look like a real sword.

After a few days, someone told the ruler, �Tiloka is considered a great warrior, but he keeps a wooden-sword. Only its handle is made of iron and it looks like a real sword�.

The ruler replied, �I do not believe this. Tiloka is a great warrior. He has proved his bravery in many battles. This is why I have appointed him my army officer. I respect him a lot and I give him a handsome salary etc�.

The complainant said, �Ask him to appear in your court. When he comes, suddenly ask him to show his sword. If it is made of wooden, do not pay him. And, it is made of iron, punish me for that reason�.

Now the local ruler was double-minded. He did not want to insult Bhai Tiloka Ji. He organized his court. All the warriors, including Bhai Tiloka Ji, appeared there with their weapons. First, he unsheathed his own sword and showed to all. He then asked another warrior to show his sword. He did so. Then, one by one, the ruler asked every warrior to show their swords.

Bhai Tiloka Ji was in difficulty now. He was carrying a wooden-sword. He meditated on the Guru and prayed, �O My Guru! Help me. Save my honour, same as you saved honour of Daraupadi. Convert my wooden-sword into a real one made of iron�.

Now, the ruler said to Bhai Tiloka Ji, �Tiloka! You too should show your sword. Le us see what kind of sword you have in your sheath. Let us see which stamp your sword carries�.

Bhai Tiloka Ji replied, �The stamp of my Guru is there on my sword. I will show you the sword given by my Guru�.

He recited �Waaheguroo� and unsheathed his sword. It was a real sword, all made of iron.

The ruler was so happy to see the sword of Bhai Tiloka Ji. He doubled the salary of Bhai Tiloka Ji.

References

1. Mani Singh, Bhai, Sikhan di Bhagat Mala. Amritsar, 1955

2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, SriGur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35

3. Gurdas, Bhai, Varan, XI. 18

More

Bhai Tiloka Ji was a great warrior. As a warrior, he was appointed an army officer with a personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji originally was from ‘Sooharh’ gotra of ‘Khatri’ caste (varna). He was a Sikh of fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. As an army officer, Bhai Tiloka Ji used to carry many weapons with him. He would ride a horse, as it was the common conveyance for soldiers those days. Because Bhai Tiloka Ji was an officer in personal squad of the local ruler of Ghazni, he would accompany him where he would go. It is obvious that Bhai Tiloka Ji was an important figure in Ghazni.

Bhai Tiloka Ji, being a devout Sikh, once came to the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Bhai Ji said to Guru Ji, “To indulge in battles is my occupation. As soldiers, we always have to do ‘Hinsa’ (violence). How can I be saved? I have come to your sanctuary”.

Guru Ji said, “Follow your ‘Khatri Dharma’ (the duty of a warrior). Do not do violence by your heart. Do not hurt anyone’s heart. Always meditate on the God. Recite the Name of the God Almighty every time. Show mercy on living beings”.

After staying for a few days, Bhai Tiloka Ji returned to Ghazni, his city. As was his duty, once he accompanied the local Mogul ruler for hunting. Suddenly, they saw a she-deer running before their eyes. All the warriors chased it. Bhai Tiloka Ji struck his sword the she-deer and cut it into two pieces. It was a pregnant she-deer. Two infant deer fell out of it and died before everyone’s eyes.

Bhai Tiloka Ji watched this entire episode. This kind hearted warrior was sad to see all this. He remembered Guru’s words, “Show mercy on all living beings”.

His mind had totally changed now. He thought, “I have made a big sin. Guru Ji asked me to show mercy to living beings, but I killed this innocent living being. I should now weapons throw away, so that I do not kill living being any more”.

The kind hearted Bhai Tiloka Ji kept a wooden-sword in his sheath. Its handle was made of iron. Under its sheath, it would look like a real sword.

After a few days, someone told the ruler, “Tiloka is considered a great warrior, but he keeps a wooden-sword. Only its handle is made of iron and it looks like a real sword”.

The ruler replied, “I do not believe this. Tiloka is a great warrior. He has proved his bravery in many battles. This is why I have appointed him my army officer. I respect him a lot and I give him a handsome salary etc”.

The complainant said, “Ask him to appear in your court. When he comes, suddenly ask him to show his sword. If it is made of wooden, do not pay him. And, it is made of iron, punish me for that reason”.

Now the local ruler was double-minded. He did not want to insult Bhai Tiloka Ji. He organized his court. All the warriors, including Bhai Tiloka Ji, appeared there with their weapons. First, he unsheathed his own sword and showed to all. He then asked another warrior to show his sword. He did so. Then, one by one, the ruler asked every warrior to show their swords.

Bhai Tiloka Ji was in difficulty now. He was carrying a wooden-sword. He meditated on the Guru and prayed, “O My Guru! Help me. Save my honour, same as you saved honour of Daraupadi. Convert my wooden-sword into a real one made of iron”.

Now, the ruler said to Bhai Tiloka Ji, “Tiloka! You too should show your sword. Le us see what kind of sword you have in your sheath. Let us see which stamp your sword carries”.

Bhai Tiloka Ji replied, “The stamp of my Guru is there on my sword. I will show you the sword given by my Guru”.

He recited ‘Waaheguroo’ and unsheathed his sword. It was a real sword, all made of iron.

The ruler was so happy to see the sword of Bhai Tiloka Ji. He doubled the salary of Bhai Tiloka Ji.

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