8. Travels

Guru ji soon returned to Bakala, the village where He had meditated on the Name of the Timeless Almighty for the last twenty-six years. But He was not to stay there for long. It was essential for Guru Tegh Bahadur ji to leave for Kiratpur Sahib, which had been the headquarters of the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Sikh Gurus. When the party was packing to leave Bakala for good; Guru ji ordained that they should not take anything that belonged to Dhirmal and that all property belonging to Dhirmal should be left at Bakala. Everything was left, except the original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) compiled by Guru Arjan Dev ji. When the party had travelled some distance from Bakala, Guru ji, who was on horseback, noticed that one of the Sikhs was carrying the original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib that bad been earlier stolen by Dhirmal from Guru Hargobind ji. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji at once stopped and wished to know who had disobeyed His orders? It was Makhan Shah again. He said with folded hands, "O True King! the original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib belongs to all the Sikhs and not to an apostate like Dhirmal. It was with this intention that I had brought it with me, Lord." Guru ji at once ordered that the sacred volume should be deposited in the waters of River Beas, which they happened to be crossing on their way to Kiratpur Sahib, and a message be sent to Dhirmal to come and collect it from there.