KAPUR DEV, BHAI
KAPUR DEV, BHAI, a prominent masand of the time of Guru Arjan, once expressed his desire to see a model Sikh. The Guru, says Bhai Mani Singh, Sikhan di Bhagai Mala, asked him to go and see Bhai Samman, who lived at Shahbazpur. When Kapur Dev reached Samman`s house, he was unloading firewood he had purchased for the household. Then he started mending some worn out mats, without paying any particular heed to the visitor. Finally, Kapur Dev spoke: “I have been sent by the Guru especially to meet you, but you are engaged in these petty tasks.”
Samman calmly said that no work was ever low or petty, and that he would attend to him in the evening. In the evening, Samman and his son, Musan, sang God`s praises far into the night. Next morning some dacoits suddenly appeared and drove away the village cattle. The villagers, Musan among them, chased the dacoits but Samman, unruffled, stayed back with the guest. Shortly afterwards they learnt that Musan had been mortally hit by a marauder`s bullet.
His body was brought home. Everyone sat wailing and lamenting the death of the young man, but Samman did not lose his composure. He brought out the wood purchased the day before, arranged his son`s cremation amidst hymn singing, and spread the mended mat for the mourners to sit on. Kapur Dev, greatly puzzled, said, “You are a strange man. If you knew what was going to befall you, why did you not pray to the Guru to grant a longer lease of life to your son?” Samman replied, “The body is impermanent.
Death, which is the certain end of the body, is not strange. What is notable and wonderful is that man lives. To lament the loss of the body is folly. It is material and must sooner or later perish. What is essential in man is neither born nor dies. Nothing is worth begging the Guru except ndm which assists man to unite with the Essence.” Kapur Dev, enlightened as well as impressed, bowed to Samman saying; “Hail the Guru! And hail the Guru`s Sikhs who have been liberated from all attachment!”
1. Main Singh, Bliai, Sikhan di Khngai Main. Amritsar, 1955
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sn Cur Prntap Simij Grnnffi. Amritsar, 1927-33