LALO, BHAI, was, according to Bala Janam Sakhi, a carpenter by profession who lived at Saidpur, present day town of Eminabad in Gujranwala district of Pakistan, and with whom Guru Nanak put up for three days during his travel through those parts. Bhai Lalo served him with devotion. That was the time when the Hindu steward of the local Muslim chief had announced a grand feast to which all caste Hindus and saints and sadhus in town and the vicinity were invited. The Janam Sakhi records his name as Malik Bhago. At the end of the feast, report reached him that Nanak, a holy man born of Ksatriya parents, had ignored his invitation and had instead chosen to dine with a low caste carpenter.
Messengers were immediately despatched to bring Guru Nanak to his house. As he arrived, Malik Bhago spoke to him in resentful tones: “How is it that you ignored my invitation to the brahm bhoj (lit. feast in honour of Brahmans and other holymen)? Or, is it that the food your casteless host serves you is better than mine?” Guru Nanak said, “I eat what God sends. There are no castes in God`s sight.” “Then, you should eat whatever is offered in this house.” Sumptuous victuals were thereupon summoned from his kitchen. At the same time.
Guru Nanak asked Bhai Lalo, who had followed him to the Malik`s mansion, to bring food from his house. In the words of Bala Janam Sakhi, “Guru Nanak took Lalo`s coarse bread in his right hand and Malik Bhago`s delicacies in the left. As he pressed both, milk dripped from Lalo`s coarse bread and blood from Malik Bhago`s delicacies. The entire assembly was lost in amazement.” Bhai Lalo is counted among the earliest emissaries of the Sikh faith. The word Lalo occurs several times in one of Guru Nanak hymns in the measure Tilarig describing in moving accents the suffering caused by Babar`s invasion. The conjecture is that those lines were addressed to Bhai Lalo, his disciple.
1. Kohli, Surindar Singh, ed., Janamsakhi Bhai Bala Chandigarh, 1975
2. Vir Singh, Bhai, ed., Puratan Janam Sakhi. Amritsar, 1982
3. Harbans Singh, Guru Nannk and Origin of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969
4. McLeod, W.H., Early Sikh Tradition. Oxford, 1980