LADDHA, BHAI, a Sikh widely respected for his piety, compassion and selfless service, lived in Lahore during the time of Guru Arjan. When Bhai Buddhu, as says Bhai Mani Singh, Sikhan di Bhagat Mala, solicited Guru Arjan`s blessing to cancel Bhai Lakkhu`s curse upon his brickkiln, the Guru deputed Bhai Laddha to intercede on his behalf. Bhai Laddha succeeded in softening Bhai Lakkhu. Once, records Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, the musicians, Satta and Balvand, by their greed and vanity and by their disparagement of the earlier Gurus, had so annoyed Guru Arjan that he not only banished them from his presence but also declared that anyone pleading pardon for them would face punishment which would amount to blackening the intercessor`s face and a ride through town astride a donkey, with a garland of old shoes hung around his neck.
Satta and Balvand were penitent, but found no one who would be willing to escort them back to the Guru. They, continues Bhai Santokh Singh, at last approached Bhai Laddha, who forth with agreed to help even at the risk of earning the Guru`s displeasure. He blackened his face, put a string of old shoes around his neck, and riding a donkey, went to the Guru`s presence, leaving Satta and Balvand at the entrance. Guru Arjan, seeing that Bhai Laddha had voluntarily undergone the proclaimed punishment for having Satta and Balvand pardoned, agreed to readmit the bards to the sangat, provided they indemnified the sacrilege committed by composing verses in honour of the Gurus they had spoken ill of earlier. Bhai Gurdas, in one of his stanzas, praises Bhai Laddha calling him parupkdn one ready to do a good turn to others even at personal risk.
1. Mani Singh, Bhai, Sikhan di Bhagat Mala. Amritsar, 1955
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amiitsar, 1927-33
3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909