57. The Jat Demand Pay

So long as the Guru was at Anandpur it was never found necessary to pay the disciples for service rendered. Men and women, highly respected in society, considered it an act of merit to perform even the meanest duties in the Guru's household. When war was proclaimed against him the disciples ran to him, armed and equipped at their own expense and provided with sufficient stores and ammunition for their use. But when the Guru was compelled to leave Anandpur and retire to Malwa the uncertainty of his movements made it difficult for the disciples, in the remote provinces, to make themselves useful to him. 'He had thenceforward to depend mostly on the Malwa Jats. When he found it necessary to raise an army in Malwa to oppose the advance of the Imperial forces under the Subah of Sirhind he had, for the first time, to introduce the system of paid service. His resources, at this time, were, however, not considerable. The pay of the men fell in arrears. The result was that they became turbulent and refractory and, if a disciple from the North-West frontier had not timely arrived, with a mule load of gold and silver coins, it would have been difficult to maintain discipline. The trouble being thus over the paid troops were immediately disbanded. Only a small number of disciples remained who formed a volunteer force, under Dan Singh, .a devoted follower, resident of a village in the neighborhood of Kot Bhai, in the Ferozepore district.