GAURA, BHAI, the elder son of Bhai Bhagatu (d. 1652), a devout and leading Sikh since the time of Guru Arjan, was a brave warrior who had carved out an extensive estate for himself around his native village Vinjhu, 14 km north of Bathinda (30″14`N, 74Â°59`E). Owing to a misunderstanding, Bhai Bhagatu, while on his last visit to Kartarpur to see Guru Har Rai in 1651, had made a young peasant girl believe that he had vowed to make her his wife. The girl considered herself the wife of the old Bhai, who had died soon after the incident, and would not remarry. When Gaura came to know this, he brought the girl to his house and ever treated her as his mother.
The following year, when Guru Har Rai visiting sangats in the Malva region, came to Vinjhu, Gaura served him devotedly and accompanied the Guru`s train through his own neighbourhood. One day, angered by an insulting remark made byJassa, one of the Guru`s attendants, about his stepmother, Gaura had the former assassinated. Guru Har Rai forbade Gaura`s presence in sangat. Gaura was repentant and wanted to tender apology but the Guru would not grant him an audience. He, with a few hundred of his men, therefore followed the Guru`s progress to Kiratpur, keeping a few kilometres behind him.
A few months later as Guru Har Rai, on his way to Kartarpur, had just crossed the River Sutlej, his family and the baggage still on the other bank, a Mughal force attacked his rear. But Bhai Gaura, who as usual was following close behind, chased the attackers away and helped the Guru`s party safely cross the river. When Guru Har Rai came to know of this, he called Gaura to his presence, pardoned his past crime and giving him his blessing sent him back to his home in the Malva, where he flourished as a virtual ruler of a vast tract. One of his descendants, Bhai Desu Singh, founded the autonomous state of Kaithal in 1767.
1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Cur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
2. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909