GONDĀ, CHAUDHARĪ, one of the headmen of the village of Mūlovāl, now in Saṅgrūr district of the Punjab, was converted to the Sikh faith by Gurū Tegh Bahādur. According to local tradition supported by old chronicles, when Gurū Tegh Bahādur visited Mūlovāl, he stopped near the village well to find it covered with bushes. The villagers explained that its water was brackish. The Gurū told them to remove the bushes covering it, and declared the water to be sweet. Not only was the old well sweetened, the Gurū persuaded the villagers to sink nine more wells. Everyone present was impressed and asked for the Gurū's blessing, but Gondā in his pride declined to receive the Gurū's benediction. He declared that his own prophet, Sultān Sākhī Sarwar, could give him what he desired and that he was already the only village head. Thereat Gurū Tegh Bahādur ignored him and bestowed siropā, or head dress of honour, on seven other notables of the village. Gondā left in a huff, but when he reached home and told his wife what had happened, the latter admonished him for not acknowledging the Gurū who had blessed the whole village and given them sweet water. Gondā recanted and came back to the Gurū to ask his forgiveness. He became a Sikh and the Gurū blessed him and made him the chaudharī or the principal headman of the village again.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)