38. Sakhi Sajjan Thug

According to Puratan Janamsakhi, before Guru Nanak turned towards east, he went to Tolumba (now known as Makadampur in west Pakistan) and met Sajjan Thug. Sajjan always wore a white dress, displayed his rosary and thus posed to be a holyman. He had built a Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque at the courtyard of his residence. He would invite wayfarers to his residence to rest for the night. But at night, he would take away their goods and money and sometimes kill them. The Guru went and stayed with him for the night. At night the Guru did not go to bed early which made Sajjan a bit too nervous to perform his nefarious act of robbing. Sajjan asked the Guru to take rest and sleep but the Guru replied,"God's minstrel does not go to sleep, till God sends word that he should retire." The Guru then asked Mardana to play the rebec and he sang the following Shabad:

Bronze is bright and shining, but, by rubbing, its sable blackness appeareth, Which cannot be removed even by washing a hundred times. They are friends who travel with me as I go along, And who are found standing ready whenever their accounts are called for. Houses, mansions, palaces painted on all sides, When hollow within, are as it were crumbled and useless. Herons arrayed in white dwell at places of pilgrimage; Yet they rend and devour living things, and therefore should not be called white. My body is like the simmal tree; men beholding me mistake me. Its fruit is useless: such qualities my body possesseth. I am a blind man carrying a burden while the mountainous way is long. I want eyes which I cannot get; how can I ascend and traverse the journey? Of what avail are services, virtues, and cleverness? Nanak, remember the Name, so mayest thou be released from thy shackles." (Suhi Mahalla 1, Page or Ang. 729)

When Sajjan listened the Divine melody, he realized that the Guru's words were actually addressed to him. Upon this he made his obeisance and fell at the Guru's feet, and prayed to him to pardon his sins. The Guru said,"Sajjan, in the Sovereignty of God, grace is obtained by two things, open confession and reparation for wrong." Sajjan stood in submission. The Guru asked him to give all his ill-gotten wealth to the poor. He obeyed the mandate and became a follower of the Guru after receiving Charanpauhal. It is said that the first historical Sikh temple was constructed on the spot where this conversation was held.