The Story of Bhai Lalo and Malik Bhago
One day Guru Nanak Dev reached a place named Mardana. There, a poor carpenter lived named Bhai Lalo. He invited Guru Nanak Dev to lunch. Guru Nanak Dev agreed for he had never differentiated between rich and poor, high and low caste or Hindus and Muslims, etc.On the other hand, Malik Bhago, who was a rich landlord of the village, also sent Guru Nanak Dev an invitation for lunch.
Malik Bhago had got various tasty dishes prepared for Guru Nanak Dev. Guru Nanak Dev sent a message to Bhai Lalo to join him at Malik Bhago’s residence. So Guru Nanak Dev went to Malik Bhago’s residence. There Malik Bhago served a large array of food for Guru Nanak Dev. Just then Bhai Lalo arrived there with two makki rotis. Guru Nanak Dev took the makki roti and started eating them. Malik Bhago saw this and asked, “Guruji, I have served such a grand feast for you, yet you are eating this simple food from a poor man’s hands. Have I done something wrong?”
Hearing this Nanak Dev took a piece of poori from Malik Bhago’s dish in one hand and a piece of Bhai Lab’s makki roti in the other hand. Then he squeezed the food in this palms. Everyone saw that drops of blood flowed from the hand which had Malik Bhago’s poori and drops of milk flowed from the other palm having the makki roti. Everyone was surprised.
Then Guru Nanak Dev smiled and said, “Malik Bhago, you exploit and torture the labourers who work and earn for you. You eat of their blood. It’s their blood that is flowing here. Bhai Lalo works hard and eats of his own labour, thus milk flows from his food. Malik Bhago you should stop suppressing the poor and should start helping the poor and the needy. True wealth lies in serving the poor. If you do this, you will always remain happy and prosperous.” Thus, Malik Bhago learnt a great lesson from Guru Nanak Dev.