Courtesy of Bhai Phaggu
During the times of Guroo Teg Bahadur Jee, there was a devotee dwelling in the city of Sasraam, named Bhai Phaggu. He was constructing a new house and ordered that it must have a very wide door and a large courtyard. When questioned why, Bhai Phaggu replied that this would allow the Guroo to enter into his house without having to dismount from His horse, and also that the large courtyard would allow a vast amount of Sangat to gather and have Darshan of Guroo Jee.
Hearing this, somebody said to Bhai Phaggu, “Your Guroo is far away in Panjab, how will He ever come to this city?” Bhai Phaggu had faith and replied, “My Guroo knows everything and can read the feelings in my heart. He is sure to honour me by setting His feet in my house.”
The day came when Guroo Jee entered the courtyard of Bhai Phaggu’s house, riding on His horse, thus fulfilling the desire of His Sikh. Bhai Phaggu was overjoyed to see the Guroo and performed seva with utmost respect. Devotees began gathering in the large courtyard for Darshan of Guroo Jee. Bhai Phaggu offered Guroo Jee bheta as well as other gifts from himself and other devotees. Guroo Teg Bahadur Jee questioned Phaggu whether anything offered by any Sikh had been left out.
Phaggu was taken aback by this question. He had always served the Guroo loyally and had sent all the collections he had received from the devotees to Guroo Jee. When Bhai Phaggu did not reply, the Guroo asked Bhai Phaggu where the Ber tree laden with fruits standing in front of his door had come from.
Thus prompted by the Guroo, Bhai Phaggu recollected the story behind the tree. He said to Guroo Jee, “I once went to the house of a Sikh to collect dasvandh, but the Sikh said that he did not have anything to offer me. His wife said that I must return sometime in the future and that they would then give me whatever they could afford. However I insisted that I would not go away empty-handed, so the wife offered me some rubbish that they had, saying that this was all they could give. When I got home I washed the rubbish and in it I found a stone of Ber, which I planted. It is my fault that I did not send the fruits of this tree to you.”
The Guroo was pleased with Bhai Phaggu and said, “Phaggu, you have adopted Sikh thought completely and I am very pleased with you. You did not mind the shortcoming of a fellow Sikh brother. You understood that the Guroo accepts whatever a Sikh offers to His Guroo with full love and devotion, no matter how big or small the donation. It is Sikhs like you that are nourishing Sikhi from a seed to a big tree with their devotion.”