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Malik Bhago
Living Sikhi, Lesson Nineteen






Lesson Objectives:

1   To understand how brave Guru Nanak was to eat a meal with Bhai Lalo, and not with Malik Bhago.

2   To see what an important meaning these actions had both in world history and in the history of religion.

3   To understand the meaning of "social justice".


Teachers, ask the students to say the Sikh greeting with you; then fold hands and do simran with the students.

Read pages 57-63.


How angry Malik Bhago was that the great teacher, Nanak, would not eat with his boss, Zalim Khan! Bhai Lalo was probably quite frightened too. In those days, if you displeased someone in power, you and your family could be tortured to death, especially if you were of a 'low' caste or poor. No one cared for such people and they could be used and crumpled like old newspapers.

Guru Nanak must have seen something good in Malik Bhago to help him to transform so completely. He must have seen that the man was ready to change; he just needed a shock to push him out of his comfortable way of looking at his life. He needed to see that what he was doing was harming others. The great teacher, Guru Nanak made him the first student of a brand new idea: Earn an honest living.

In those days everyone thought that people who had to work, especially with their hands, were lower. They were looked down upon. People who did no work were looked up to, even if they were cruel or made their living by paying low wages or enslaving the 'low' castes or people of darker skin. Guru Nanak's message was that all honest work is dignified. You cannot separate God from your everyday life. How you live is more important than what you believe or what your position is in society. Guru Nanak cared about how every person is treated; this is the base of social justice.

Pretend that the world is a playing field. Shouldn't everyone have a chance to play the game? Why is that? (Pause for answers.) Right! Because we are all children of One God. All men and women are equal.

We talked about the courage Guru Nanak showed by eating with a person of 'low' caste. It was the beginning of a revolution that would change the whole world. Before Guru Nanak, people were told that only certain people could learn about God, the rest had to have prayers said for them by these special people. Nanak said that everyone can pray and can reach God. That is why having a dharamsala in Bhai Lalo's house was very unusual and special. That is why Sikhs can pray in their homes.

Also, most people believed that worldly matters, like making a living, were separate from godly matters like going to the temple. They were told that if they observed all of the rules that the religion told them to practice, then they were good and pleasing to God. What they did in their business practices and to their servants or how they behaved with their wives and children were worldly matters and did not affect their relationship with God. Wow! And Guru Nanak changed all that!

This is the truth that changed the world. Guru Nanak brought it back from Sach Khand, the formless Realm of Truth: God Is One. From this truth he taught us by his example the Three Golden Rules:

     A   Remember God. We are all His children equally.

     B   Earn an honest living. Don't cheat, lie or steal.

     C  Share with others, especially the poor and helpless.


Homework: Give one example of something that is possible today because people listened to these messages. Give one example each of how they are not being followed. We will discuss your answers next week.


Shabad: (Last week for practicing this shabad. Teachers, please give students an opportunity to sing it in the sangat.)

Shabad: Sa rasna dhan dhan hai

Alternate Shabad: Lakh Khushiaan Patshaa-i-aan


August 23, 2010


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Living Sikhi, Lesson Nineteen"

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