One day, a man called Baisakhi came to meet the Guru. He was on his way to Haridwar, where he went regularly every year without fail. The Guru told him that he could take a dip in the waters of the well which had recently been dug by him in that town. He also said that water everywhere came from the same source, but Baisakhi would not hear of it. He did not want to miss going to the holy city of Haridwar where he had been going annually for many years now. The Guru let him go. When he returned after a few months, he complained that he had lost a vessel in the Holy Ganges. As a result he could not bring the holy water for the Guru. Hearing this, the Guru walked up to the new well and from there he pulled out Baisakhi‘s vessel which had slipped from his hands at the holy river. Baisakhi was speechless when he saw his vessel, which even had his name etched on it. He immediately fell at Guruji’s feet and asked his forgiveness.
A lot of people used to come to the Guru to confess their sins and repent, or to have their moral dilemmas resolved, and no one went away disappointed or dissatisfied. One day, a soldier came to the Guru for spiritual advice. He was serving a cruel king who had no qualms about killing, and who was always engaged in war. The soldier had grown a strong aversion to fighting and wanted to abscond. He was facing a moral dilemma and wanted peace of mind. The Guru told him that he was a soldier by profession, and as long as he served in the army he must remain loyal to the king and fight his enemies. It was a soldier’s dharma to live for peace and die fighting. He also told him that he was against renunciation of the world. He said that it was like a soldier running away from the battlefield. One must live in the world and just as a lotus remains above water, he must remain above it. The soldier, after listening to him, went away in a far more peaceful state of mind than he had come. Guru Arjan also believed that one must never quietly bear indignities and atrocities that were inflicted by the cruel rulers. He said that evil must be resisted even if one has to give one’s life for it. He also emphasized the virtues of self-sacrifice. According to him, everyone must fight evil and injustice even if it means giving one’s life for it.
Guru Arjan was also highly practical when it came to guiding people’s day-to-day conduct, morally and spiritually. Once, a village headman called Chuhar came to him for his blessings. He believed that the nature of his duties was such that he had to resort to falsehood. He was anxious to know how he was going to find his deliverance. The Guru asked him to maintain an account of his good and bad deeds and bring it over to him at the end of the month, it was discovered that he had hardly done any good deed, whereas he had a large number of bad deeds to his credit. The Guru asked him to read them out and confess his sins in public. The next month his performance was better. It improved consistently in the following months, until the village headman had only good deeds to his credit and not one bad deed.
Guru Arjan then returned to Amritsar after a few months. Prithi Chand was still intriguing and plotting against the Guru, and was very displeased at his return. Guru Arjan, who did not like this antagonistic attitude of his brother, tried in many ways to appease him but to no avail! Prithi Chand’s only consolation was that Guru Arjan had no son. He kept hoping that some day his own son, Meherban, would become the next Guru, even though he himself was deprived of the chance. But here also Prithi Chand was disappointed. Guru Arjan’s wife, Gangadevi, was really keen to have a child and so one day, Guru Arjan Dev asked her to go and seek the blessings of Bhai Budha who was revered by everyone in the Sikh community.
Bibi Gangadevi was surprised to seek the blessings of a Sikh other than the Guru but she did as told. She went with a retinue of attendants and rich gifts and food to meet Bhai Budha. He did not approve of this and so he did not bless her. When a disappointed Gangadevi narrated everything to the Guru he asked her to go again, in all humility, and take only simple food cooked by her hands. The next day, when she went to Bhai Budha, he accepted the food she had taken and blessed her with a son. Then, crushing an onion before her, he predicted that her son would crush the enemies as he had crushed the onion.
When Prithi Chand heard of this, he furious and swore to get even with the Guru in whatever way he could, no matter how evil the means were. He incited the feudal chief of the Mughals, Sulehi Khan, against Guruji. He instigated the revenue officer to raid Amritsar on the pretext of collecting tax dues. However, it was not long before Guruji got the information of the raid. He did not want bloodshed and war, so he decided to leave the place for sometime and go elsewhere, till conditions improved. Bibi Gangadevi was expecting her baby anytime now, and so, Guru Arjan Dev left with her and a few men to a nearby village called Badali. He stayed there for two years but received all the information about Amritsar and disciples from Bhai Budha.
During his stay there, Guru Arjan Dev found that there was a great scarcity of water, and this created a lot of inconvenience to the villagers. To end their distress he got a well dug there with the help of Sikhs. The well was large enough to accommodate six Persian wheels. Since then the place has come to be known as Chheharta – the town of six Persian wheels.
It was in 1595 that Guru Arjan Dev’s son, Hargobind, was born. There was great rejoicing in Amritsar at the happy event. And since the child was due to the blessings of Bhai Budha, the Sikhs decided to hold a fair every year in the forest where he lived to commemorate the event. Multitudes of childless women who come to participate in the fair are believed to be blessed with children ever since. When Prithi Chand came to know of the child he and his wife, Karmo, lost their peace of mind. All they could think of was ways to somehow get the child killed. They first hired a nurse who had her nipples smeared with poison so that she could suckle the child to death. But before she could do that, the poison took its toll on her and she became unconscious. It was only on the intervention of Guru Arjan Dev that she was saved. She then confessed her guilt to him. Prithi Chand was not deterred by this. He hired a snake charmer to release a poisonous snake in Guru Arjan’s courtyard, where his son generally played. But the snake did not harm the child at all.
It had been over two years now since the Guru had left Amritsar. When devotees came from distant places to have Guruji’s darshan, they did not find him there and so they were really disappointed. The Sikhs of the town gathered together and went to the Guru in a huge group to ask him to come back to the holy city. They asked him to ignore Prithi Chand was still troubling him.
One day, Prithi Chand bribed a servant to poison the milk that Guruji’s son took, and the servant did likewise. But the child refused to take the milk, and threw it away. A dog who happened to be nearby licked it and died instantly. Guru Arjan was greatly distressed at his brother’s malicious activities. When Hargobind became a little older, Guru Arjan Dev sent him to Bhai Budha for his studies.
Many miracles are associated with Guru Arjan Dev. It is said that a Sikh called Triloka, who was employed in the army at Kabul, once killed a female deer which by chance was pregnant. He was struck with guilt to see a mother and her unborn baby die before his eyes. He swore that as long as he lived he would never indulge in hunting again. He replaced his sword of steel with a wooden one. When people came to know of it, they were astonished. Some of them even went to the Commander and complained to him about this who then went to Triloka’s house for a surprise check of his arms. Seeing no way out of this trouble, he remembered the Guru and prayed for his help in this moment of crisis. To his surprise, when he pulled out the blade from the scabbard it was shining like steel. All those who had come with the intention of maligning Triloka were speechless with same.
In another such incident, a Sikh from Kabul named Katara found himself in big trouble when someone replaced his weights with faulty ones, and complained to the authorities that he was using wrong weights.
Soon the police raided his shop for inspection. At that very moment some devotee offered some coins to the Guru. Perceiving the problem of his devotee in Kabul, he held the coins for a while on the right-hand palm and then on the left-hand palm. He shifted the coins from one palm to the other again. When his surprised devotees asked him about it, he told them about Katara and the trouble he was in. the next time the Sikh visited Amritsar, he corroborated every word that the Guru had said.