KAPŪR DEV, BHĀĪ, a prominent masand of the time of Gurū Arjan, once expressed his desire to see a model Sikh. The Gurū, says Bhāī Manī Siṅgh, Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā, asked him to go and see Bhāī Samman, who lived at Shāhbāzpur. When Kapūr Dev reached Samman's house, he was unloading firewood he had purchased for the household. Then he started mending some worn-out mats, without paying any particular heed to the visitor. Finally, Kapūr Dev spoke : "I have been sent by the Gurū especially to meet you, but you are engaged in these petty tasks." Samman calmly said that no work was ever low or petty, and that he would attend to him in the evening. In the evening, Samman and his son, Mūsan, sang God's praises far into the night. Next morning some dacoits suddenly appeared and drove away the village cattle. The villagers, Mūsan among them, chased the dacoits but Samman, unruffled, stayed back with the guest. Shortly afterwards they learnt that Mūsan had been mortally hit by a marauder's bullet. His body was brought home. Everyone sat wailing and lamenting the death of the young man, but Samman did not lose his composure. He brought out the wood purchased the day before, arranged his son's cremation amidst hymn-singing, and spread the mended mat for the mourners to sit on. Kapūr Dev, greatly puzzled, said, "You are a strange man. If you knew what was going to befall you, why did you not pray to the Gurū to grant a longer lease of life to your son?" Samman replied, "The body is impermanent. Death, which is the certain end of the body, is not strange. What is notable and wonderful is that man lives. To lament the loss of the body is folly. It is material and must sooner or later perish. What is essential in man is neither born nor dies. Nothing is worth begging the Gurū except nām which assists man to unite with the Essence." Kapūr Dev, enlightened as well as impressed, bowed to Samman saying : "Hail the Gurū ! And hail the Gurū's Sikhs who have been liberated from all attachment!"


  1. Manī Siṅgh, Bhāī, Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā. Amritsar, 1955
  2. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33

Tāran Siṅgh