Baba Makhan Shah Labana
Makhan Shah Lubana (Punjabi: ਮੱਖਣ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਲਬਾਣਾ, Makkhaṇa Śāha Labāṇā, also written as Lobana) (born July 7, 1619) was a devout Sikh and a rich trader from Tanda district Jhelum (now in Pakistan) who discovered the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadar in Bakala, India in around 1665. The Sakhi (true story) of that discovery was recorded in "Janamsakhis" and told as stories for many generations of Sikhs.
Makhan was a merchant who used to bring valuable merchandise by sea and sell it wholesale in parts of Gujarat and Punjab in India. His ship was caught up in a furious storm while he was sailing, fully loaded with trade goods northwards, up the coast of India towards the Gulf of Khambhat.
The ship was terribly damaged during the storm, with the force of lightning splitting the mainsail, the sails hanging in shreds, the ship taking on water and when it seemed like he would lose the ship, Makhan decided his time had come to remember his Guru and ask for his help. Completely powerless, he knelt down, and said his Ardas (prayed) to God and Guru Nanak for safety. "Baba jee", he prayed desperately, "Please save my ship and my men... I pledge the 500 gold mohars tied to the belt at my waist, which without your help will soon be at the bottom of the sea. Please accept this as my humble offering. He then recited this Shabad of Guru Arjan Dev:
ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Aasaa, Fifth Mehl: Guru Granth Sahib Page 403
- Punjabi: ਅਪੁਨੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੀ ਆਪੇ ਰਾਖੈ ਆਪੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਹ ਜਹ ਕਾਜ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੀ ਤਹਾ ਤਹਾ ਉਠਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਸੇਵਕ ਕਉ ਨਿਕਟੀ ਹੋਇ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਕਹੈ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਹੋਇ ਆਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
- Transliteration: apunay sayvak kee aapay raakhai aapay naam japaavai. jah jah kaaj kirat sayvak kee tahaa tahaa uth Dhaavai. ((1)) sayvak ka-o niktee ho-ay dikhaavai. jo jo kahai thaakur peh sayvak tatkaal ho-ay aavai. ((1)) rahaa-o.
- English:He Himself preserves His servants; He causes them to chant His Name. Wherever the business and affairs of His servants are, there the Lord hurries to be. ((1)) The Lord appears near at hand to His servant. Whatever the servant asks of his Lord and Master, immediately comes to pass. ((1)(Pause))
Miraculously the winds started to die down, and the wild seas calmed. Safely secure, in the very centre of the storm, the ship was carried past the dangerous rocks, and guided without further harm, through the treacherous waters, into the nearest harbour, the Port of Surat. From there he made his way to Punjab, where he made it his mission to fulfil his vow and present himself to his Guru and present the 500 Mohar to the Guru's charity.
Following Guru Harkrishans prophecy that the next Guru would be found in Bakala, he went there, arriving in August 1664. But on reaching Bakala he found as many as 22 people posing as the next Guru. He decided to offer only two Dinars (also given as five mohars  ) to every one posing to be Guru Harkrishan's successor. The true Guru would himself demand the exact amount he had vowed to give. According to him it would not be possible for the false and imposters to define the exact purpose of his visit. Thereby their ignorance, lack of spiritual insight and character would be exposed.
Discovery of Guru Teg Bahadur
As expected, none of the imposters could recognise him, which still left him the problem of having to find the rightful Guru. Then he heard of the solitarian Teg Bahedur, son of Guru Hargobind. Makhan Shah was taken to see him on August 10, 1664 by a local youth. When Makhan placed the two Dinars before Tegh Bahadur, he remarked "God bless you, my man, why only two Dinars after pledging five hundred? The Guru is never in need of any thing but a Sikh is expected to keep his pledge to the Guru." Thus the issue was clinched and the real Guru was discovered by Makhan Shah.
Makhan Shah proclaimed that he would inform everyone upon discovering the True Guru. Guru Teg Bahadur was still desiring to meditate in solitude and told Makhan Shah not to tell anyone. The Guru tried to discourage him by saying his face would be blackened if he did so. (meaning dishonour will be obtained). Makhan Shah took this as a challenge instead of a curse and put ash on his face and climbed to the roof top to announce to all that he had found the Guru.
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