SACHCHĀ SAUDĀ, GURDWĀRĀ, at Chūhaṛkāṇā in Sheikhūpurā district of Pakistan, celebrates a popularly told event from the life of Gurū Nānak. According to Bhāī Bālā Janam Sākhī, Gurū Nānak's father, Bābā Kālū, to settle his son in a permanent vocation once gave him a sum of twenty rupees and asked him to go to the nearest market to purchase merchandise which could be sold at a profit, and thus strike a good (kharā or sachchā, in Punjabi) bargain (saudā, in Punjabi). As says the Janam Sākhī, Bhāī Bālā was sent from the village to accompany him. As the two of them were passing through a forest, they fell in with a large party of bare-skinned ascetics in different postures of penance. Gurū Nānak tarried to converse with them and asked their chief, "Why, Sir, don't you wear any clothes? Don't you have any or are they displeasing to you?" "We are Nirbānīs. It only benefits us to abstain from clothes... we eat, young lad, only when the Lord sends," was, as reports the Janam Sākhī, the answer he received. Nānak discovered that the sādhūs had been without food for several days. Overruling Bhāī Bālā's counsel, he spent all the money his father had given him feeding the hungry men, and returned to Talvaṇḍī. When his father admonished him for squandering his hardearned cash, Nānak only said that that was the best bargain he could have made. Many years later, devotees built at the village of Chūhaṛkāṇā close to where Gurū Nānak had fed the ascetics a simple shrine which in due course became a popular pilgrim site attracting visitors from far and near. Land endowment of over 100 acres was made to it during Sikh rule. The Gurdwārā formerly administered by Udāsī priests was occupied by Jathedār Kartār Siṅgh Jhabbar on behalf of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee on 30 December 1920. At the time of its evacuation in the wake of the partition of the country in 1947, it had a huge fortress-like, three-storeyed building with domed towers. The shrine is now under the management of the Waqf Board of Pakistan. Its building was renovated during 1993-94, and it was opened to visit by organized Sikh jathās with the approval of Pakistan government.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)