Gurdwaras of Punjab
Guru Tegh Bahadur
Guru Harkrishan before he died in 1644 had said that his successor could be found at Bakala. When Sikhs flocked there they were confronted with 22 members of the Gurus family each claiming that they were the Guru. Meanwhile a wealthy merchant Makhan Shah had his ships carrying valuable cargo caught in a fierce storm at sea. He vowed to offer five hundred gold coins to the Guru if his goods safely reached home. The ships reached port safely and Makhan Shah made his way to Bakala to pay homage to the Guru. When he finally got there he was confronted with all the same quandary as the rest of the Sikhs, who was the real Guru? Being a businessman Makhan Shah decided that he would pay homage to all of the twenty two claimants and placed two gold coins before each of them as tribute. When he had visited all of the claimants, a child pointed out to him that a holy man lived across the street. Makhan Shah decided that he may as well pay him tribute also. When Makhan Shah entered the house he found that Guru Tegh Bahadur was in meditation. He was told that Tegh Bahadur who had lived here in quiet meditation for many years did not like to receive visitors. Makhan Shah waited until he met the Guru and placed two gold coins before him. At this Guru Tegh Bahadur smiled and said to Makhan Shah, “I thought that you had pledged five hundred coins”. Makhan Shah became so elated that he kissed the Gurus feet and started shouting from the rooftop “I’ve found the Guru, found the Guru!”. All the Sikhs rushed to the house of the quiet saint and when they heard the story there was much rejoicing for many days. Thus the pious, humble saint Tegh Bahadur was acclaimed here as being the true Guru of the Sikhs and natural successor of Guru Harkrishan.
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