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Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:41 pm

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Buddhu Shah was a resident of Lahore and was a big businessman. His work was to get bricks that had been moulded and baked in kilns by labourers, and then sell them on. His trade was flourishing, so much so that bricks were even being bought from him for government works.

Once, when Buddhu Shah had a large order for bricks, he went to Guroo Arjan Dev Jee and asked that Guroo Jee may ensure that all the bricks placed in his newly started kilns would be well baked. Guroo Jee said that in order for this to happen, Buddhu Shah must serve Sangat with langar.

So Buddhu Shah did just that, and invited Sangat to his house in order to feed them. Whilst the Sikh devotees were taking their meals, Bhai Lakhu Jee (also called Bhai Kamaliya by the village men) reached the gate of Buddhu Shah’s house. Seeing the torn dress of Bhai Lakhu, Buddhu Shah who was standing at the gate, ordered Bhai Lakhu to go away, saying that he would not be given food, as he was too late. Bhai Lakhu remained standing outside the closed gate.

After the Sikh devotees had finished their meals, one Sikh offered a prayer that Buddhu Shah’s bricks may be well baked and earn him lots of money. However, outside Bhai Lakhu could be heard saying, “I am hungry and need some food. Feed me, or else your bricks will remain unbaked.”

When Buddhu Shah checked his bricks, they were still unbaked. He was very cross, for he had done as the Guroo had instructed him and had fed the Sangat, yet Guroo Jee had not ensured that his bricks had been baked. He went to visit Guroo Arjan Dev Jee to express his anger.

“Are you sure that nobody was left hungry?” asked Guroo Jee. “Everybody was fed until they were full, except one beggar who came too late,” replied Buddhu Shah. “A beggar?” questioned Guroo Arjan Dev Jee. “Yes, someone known by the name of Bhai Kamaliya.”

Guroo Arjan Dev Jee replied, “In accordance with the words of Bhai Kamaliya, the bricks of your kiln remained unbaked as you refused to feed a hungry man. However, the prayers of a Sikh devotee can neither go unheeded. Therefore your bricks will fetch the same price as the baked ones despite being unbaked.”

Buddhu Shah was very pleased to sell unbaked bricks at the rate of baked ones. From then on, he grasped the truth:

God listens to the hungry and naked, and grants the wishes of those who give clothes to the naked, food to the hungry and help to the needy.

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