24 March 2016
Bhai Kanhaiyaji 18.9.1998
Bhai Kanhaiya (1648–1718), was a Sikh (disciple) of Guru Tegh Bahadur and was requested to establish the Sevapanthi or Addanshahi order of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh.
During the frequent sallies and skirmishes between the Sikhs and the enemy, Bhai Kanhaiya was often seen carrying a mashak (a sort of pouch made of goat's skin that was used to carry water from one place to another), to serve water to anyone who was thirsty. He took upon the task of quenching the thirst of the wounded soldiers in the battle of Anandpur Sahib in 1704. He did this sewa with love and affection without any discrimination between the Guru's Sikh soldiers and the Mughal armies' soldiers. His act of compassion stirred up stern criticism amongst his fellow Sikhs, who complained to Guru Gobind Singh, pointing out that Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was serving water to the wounded soldiers from the enemy camp. They were especially annoyed because the Mughals had surrounded the city and stopped all their food supplies, and here was Bhai Kanhaiya sharing with them what little water they had. They had tried to stop him many a time, but he would not pay any heed. Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Kanhaiya and explained that he had received a complaint about his actions on the battlefield.
Guruji said, “These brave Sikhs are saying that you go and give water to the enemy and they recover to fight them again – Is this true?”
Bhai Kanhaiya Ji replied "Yes, my Guru, what they say is true. But Maharaj, I saw no Mughal or Sikh on the battlefield. I only saw human beings. And, ... Guru Ji, .. they all have the same God’s Spirit? – Guru Ji, have you not taught us to treat all God's people as the same? OUR SIKH HEROES DESTROY ENEMIES BY KILLING THEM, BUT I DESTROY ENMITY BY GIVING THEM WATER."