GUPALA, BHAI, a learned Sikh of the time of Guru Arjan who distinguished himself also as a warrior under his successor, Guru Hargobind. Once, as Guru Hargobind was encamped at Ruhela, renamed Sri Hargobindpura, a Sikh, Sabhaga by name, presented him with five handsome horses. The Guru immediately distributed three of them, one each to Baba Gurditta, Bhai BidhT Chand and Painda Khan. The remaining two were retained in the Guru`s personal stables. While sitting among the sangat one day, Guru Hargobind asked the question; “Who among you can recite gurbdm faultlessly, pronouncing perfectly every vowel and consonant?” Many said with folded hands that they had learnt a large portion of gurbdm which they regularly recited.

The Guru thereupon declared: “Whoever recites correctly, in our presence, theJapu (jl) shall receive his desired reward.” Bhai Gupala humbly said, “0 beneficent one! if you would permit me and bestow upon me your grace, I shall try.” As Bhai Gupala proceeded with the recitation, Guru Hargobind was so moved, records Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Praia? Suraj Granth, that he would have conferred guruship on him as a reward. However, just at the concluding stanza, Bhai Gupala was distracted by the thought of the promised reward, and his mind ran to the prized horses presented by Bhai Sabhaga. He expressed his heart`s desire and was happy to get his coveted prize along with costly trappings and some money. The Guru impressed upon the sangat the importance of correct recitation of gurbdm.

References :

1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Cur Prntap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
2. Gurbilas Patshahi Chhevm. Patiala, 1970