SALAS RAI was, according to Bhai Bala Janam Sakhi, a jeweller of Bishambharpur, present Bishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal, although a tradition recorded by Giani Gian Singh, Twankh Guru Khalsa, identifies the place as the city of Patna in Bihar. As Guru Nanak travelling in the eastern parts approached Bishambharpur, Bhai Mardana, says the Janam Sakhi, complained of fatigue and hunger. The Guru gave him a stone he had picked up in the jungle and asked him to go into town, sell it and buy what he needed. Mardana showed the stone from shop to shop but had it returned to him every time as worthless until he came to Salas Rai, the jeweller. Salas Rai scanned the stone spellbound.
Then he handed it back to Mardana and said that he must meet the owner of such a priceless jewel. He asked his servant Adhraka to take some presents and fruit with him and, led by Mardana, came to the place where the Guru was. Both master and servant entered die path of discipleship and became dedicated to the Guru`s word. Adhraka`s service was valued equally with Salas Rai. They were assigned to running a sangat in their town.
1. Kohli, Surindar Singh, ed., Janamsakhi Bhai Bala. Chandigarh, 1975
2. Kirpal Singh, Janam Sakhi Parampara. Patiala, 1969
3. Harbans Singh, Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969
4. McLeod,W.H.,Early Sikh Tradition. Oxford, 1980