Sultan Ibrahim Adham was the ruler of kingdom of Balakh Bukhara. He had sixteen thousand wives. He was a very wealthy king and had 18 lakh horses, plenty of elephants and a huge army. Whenever King Adham's procession mounted on an elephant used to pass, even Indra (the king of heaven) used to feel ashamed, just because of the splendour. His footwear used to have embedded jewels worth Rupees 1.25 lakh each.
Once upon a time a saint did fraud with Sultan Ibrahim and deceived him. Following that Ibrahim developed hatred towards saints. He started considering them as frauds who deceive the world. He used to call the saints and ask them, " What is God like?" Now God is not an object which someone can pull from his pocket and produce in front of someone else. On not getting a satisfactory answer, the king used to punish them by putting them in jail and asking them to grind the mill stone.
Once a satsang (discourse) was happening close to the king's palace. The king listened to the satsang sitting on the roof of his palace. In the morning he called all the devotees and asked them the same question, "tell me what is Allah like?" One saint replied and asked for a glass of milk. A glass of milk with sugar was brought. That saint put his finger in the milk glass as if he is looking for something. The king asked the saint to drink the milk and said it is already sweetened. The saint said, "King your milk doesn't have ghee (clarified butter) in it, it is said that milk contains ghee." On this the king started laughing and said, " Fool you don't even know how ghee is made from milk, What God will you achieve." Listen, "First the milk is made hot, then it is made in to yoghurt and then it is churned and finally ghee is produced by heating it, understood?" The saint replied, "like there is a proper procedure to make ghee from milk, similarly to achieve God, there is a procedure to follow." A saint will tell that procedure and one has to follow that.
Ibrahm Sultan put them all in jail and punished them by asking them to grind the mill stone. When those saints became very distressed, they prayed to God and asked for help. God Kabir arrived from his satlok and assuming an appearance of a camel trader (a man who keeps camels) appeared on the terrace of the king's palace and started hitting the floor with his stick heavily. The king said,"who is making this noise on the terrace, bring it down." The guards went upstairs and brought the camel trader and presented him before the king. The king asked the camel trader what he was doing on the terrace. God Kabir (who was in the form of camel trader) said that he was looking for his camel which has gone missing on the terrace. (In some literatures God Kabir has been referred to as Al Khidr) The king said,"ignorant man, can a camel be ever present on a roof?" Look for him in a jungle. God Kabir said that like it is impossible to find a camel on a roof, similarly you can't find God the way you are looking for Him. Attainment of God is possible via a complete saint only. On saying this God Kabir disappeared. Then appeared in the prison where other saints were given the punishment of grinding the mill stone. On reaching there God Kabir said to the guards that the king has also punished him to go to the prison and now tell me what I have to do. The guards said its your misfortune that you have come yourself, now go and start grinding a mill stone. God Kabir said that we will do one thing only, either we will grind the mill stone or we will put the grain in it. we will not do both the tasks. The guards thought that he is a revolutionist who has come to the prison, lets set him right. The guards said, "OK, you all grind the mill stone and we will put the grain in it." God Kabir said, "that is OK." God Kabir directed all the saints to stand up. On this all the saints stood next to their mill stones. God Kabir had a stick in his hand. He touched this stick to his mill stone and the mill stone started rotating. Then all the mills started rotating on thier own automatically. God Kabir asked all the saints to close their eyes. All the saints closed their eyes. Then God Kabir asked them to open thier eyes. When they opened their eyes, all of them standing outside in the forest. The prison became empty. God Kabir asked all of them to run away and never appear again in the kingdom of this ignorant king. Subsequently all the saints ran away and crossed the boundary of the kingdom. God Kabir disappeared.
When God Kabir disappeared in front of the king, the king became very upset and fainted. The ministers and wives called for an exorcist who tied an amulet to the king's right arm. After a few days God Kabir appeared in the form of a guest. Assuming the form of a traveller, God Kabir entered the king's palace and addressing the king as an inn keeper asked for a room and its rent in his inn to spend a night. The king replied,"Ignorant man, does it appear to be an inn to you?" This is my palace. God Kabir said, "Who lived her before you?" Ibrahim replied, "My father". Then God Kabir asked, "Who lived her before your father?" Ibrahim replied,"My grandfather." God Kabir asked, "Who lived here before your grandfather?" Ibrahim said,"My great grandfather." Then God Kabir asked about the whereabouts of all of them. Ibrahim worringly said,"They all died." God Kabir said, "Fool, how long will you live here?" Sultan said that he will also die one day. God Kabir said, "Then do you think this a palace or an inn."
तेरे बाप दादा पड़ पीढ़ी, ये बसे सराय में गिद्धी
ऐसे ही तू चली जाई, यूं मैने यह महल सराय बताई
On saying this God Kabir disappeared. The king fainted. Again the queens and the ministers came. They called another exorcist who tied an amulet to the king's left arm.
After a few days God Kabir appeared inside king Ibrahim's palace with a bull. The king asked, "Who are you?" God Kabir said, that you had said that somebody should answer your question that what is God like, I have come to give your answer. Sultan Said, "Tell me what is God like?" God Kabir said, "Bull, tell the king what Allah is like." The bull said that This is Allah standing close to me, This is Complete God, He is the God of infinite crore brahmands (universe), get your welfare done." Ibrahim stood up to touch his feet, instantly God Kabir along with the bull disappeared. The king again fainted. Again the family members gathered and called a muslim priest who tied an amulet around the king's neck.
Gradually after a month or two, the incident became stale and faded. The king used to rest in his garden during the day time and a new maid used to prepare the bed for the king everyday. One day God Kabir assuming the form of a maid servant prepared the bed of king and then himself laid on the bed. The king arrived and saw the maid resting on his bed. He thought that the maid has gone mad and has forgotten the difference between upper and lower class. The king lashed the maid three times. God Kabir (in the form of maid) got up and initially cried and then started laughing uncontrollably. Ibrahim thought that even a horse would fall after being lashed in such a way and this maid only cried momentarily and now is laughing uncontrollably, what is the matter? The king asked, "Why did you cry and then laugh?" God Kabir replied that I cried because it was hurting but then I laughed because I only lied on your bed for 22 minutes, as a result of which I got three lashes. "You sleep on this dirty bed day and night, that is why I am laughing."
मैं तो एक घड़ी सेजा सोई, ताते मेरा यह हाल होई
जो सोवे दिवस और राता, उनका क्या हाल विधाता
Ibrahim Sultan Adham held the hand of God Kabir (in the form of maid). Instantly God Kabir disappeared and Ibrahim fainted. He recovered in two hours. All the ministers, queens, and the soldiers gathered. The king became very upset. He started losing interest in the kingdom. He lost all interest in wealth and property. The whole family became worried because Ibrahim lost interest in the kingdom and the family was worried about the king abandoning the kingdom. A few days later the king was flying his domestic pigeons from his terrace when an eagle came and took one of his pigeons. Ibrahim stood helpless. At that very instant a voice came from the sky and said, "Start doing the worship of God otherwise Kaal will take you away like the eagle took the pigeon." Ibrahim became very worried. He started thinking,"What is this life like? There are no guarantees and no one knows what might happen when. Moments ago this innocent pigeon was flying and living with his family and the next moment 'Kaal form eagle' came and killed it." After hearing the voice from the sky, the worries of the king escalated. He stopped eating food. A few days passed like this.
The queens and the ministers thought that we should take the king on a hunting expedition so that he feels better. He remains tense all the time. The queens and the ministers requested him, “King, let’s go out somewhere. When we will stay outside for a week –ten days, you will feel better. We will go hunting. The king agreed. Making all the arrangements of food and drinks, taking some soldiers with them, they set forth for hunting. They stopped in the jungle in the evening. Next morning, they went hunting. Afternoon came; they didn’t get any prey. Meanwhile a deer came. The king said, “Everyone be alert. This deer shouldn’t escape. If it does, it will be taken from the person by whom it will pass.” By God’s grace, that deer passed under the horse of the king.
The king considering it to be his weakness ran after the deer. He made his horse run. The deer on going very far disappeared. The king became perplexed. He thought that whether the deer went this way or the other. The king felt very thirsty. The horse also became very distressed out of thirst. Such a state arose that if they didn’t get water in ten minutes, both the king and the horse could die. The king prays to God, “Oh Lord, save us.” Immediately, they saw that there was a beautiful pond ahead and a garden. There was also a well in it. A Jinda Mahatama (a Muslim Fakir has a special attire; he is called Jinda Saint. He wears a black cloak and a conical hat on head.) holding three dogs was sitting there.
At first, the king made the horse drink water; then tied it to a tree. Then he himself drank water. Then he saw that a Mahatma is sitting there. He has very beautiful dogs tied there. The king thought, “Let me take two dogs out of these and I will keep them in my kingdom.” He sat close to the Mahatma. He greeted him “Salaam Valekum” and said, “Mahatma ji, what will you do of these three dogs? Give two to me.” God Kabir in Jinda form said, “These dogs are not for giving away just like that. This first dog was the king of Balakh Bukhara. I had advised him a lot that King, you should do bhakti of God, but he did not listen. Now he has become a dog. I have tied it. This second dog is his father and the third dog is his grandfather. Now I beat them every day. And they want to eat these cashews, halwa and kheer kept in front of them, but I don’t let them eat and beat them. Now they are craving for the cashew halwa. And this empty dog leash which is kept here, I will tie that King Ibrahim Sultan Adham, who is currently sitting on the throne of Balakh Bukhara, with this. He will also become a dog. He is also not doing bhakti. I will tie him with this and beat him up.” Saying this, he started lashing all those dogs.
Ibrahim said, “Mahatma ji, I am the emperor of Balakh Bukhara.” God Kabir says that :-
Ye tere baap dada the bhai, inhein badi badfael kamaayi
Ab tu takht baith kar bhooli, tera man chadne ko sooli
Ibrahim Sultan Adham fell at God Kabir’s feet. Holding his feet, he kept crying for hours. Thereafter when he opened his eyes to pray, he saw that neither was the Jinda Mahatma in front, nor the dogs, nor any pond or garden and nor a well. Now he couldn’t believe it to be a dream because the feet of the horse were still wet. He had himself drunk the water. He realised that He was God. He had come to save me from thirst and to warm me. Had I not obtained water, I would have died and the kingdom would have been left behind. The king came back. He didn’t speak to anyone. He signalled the ministers and the soldiers who had come hunting with him with his hand as if he was saying, “Let’s go from here.” The entire convoy loaded their stuff and left with him. They had return in a week. They reached home the next day. The queens asked the ministers, “What happened?” The ministers said, “The Emperor had gone alone after a prey in the jungle. When he returned, he didn’t speak to us. We don’t know what incident happened with him and he is very distressed.” Ibrahim sat down in a room. The queens went to him. The ministers also stood there. The queens said, “You are saying like women that you saw this and that. Women say such things. You are a man and you are saying this!
At that time, a dog came. That dog had a very deep wound in its head. It was infested with worms. The dog came right in front of Ibrahim and said to him, “Ibrahim, look at my head. I have to bear the evil deeds I have committed. I also was a king of so and so empire. I had died in such and such way in a battle with that king. Whatever oppression I inflicted is in front of me today, Brother. I have obtained this life of a dog and on top of that have worms in my head. If you want to get your welfare done, this is a good opportunity. Don’t miss it.” Immediately, that dog ran away (disappeared).
Ibrahim said, “Look, what were you saying? Even the dog was speaking. Then Ibrahim said to all the people and relatives present there, “You all go out of the room.” He made them all go out and locked the room from inside. At night, he coloured his face black so that no one can recognise him. He only wore a shawl and shoes in his feet and renouncing his home and kingdom went away. He covered atleast 15-20 kilometres at night. Morning came. He was feeling very hungry. A female gardener was selling berries. Ibrahim said the gardener, “Gardener, I am very hungry. Give me berries. What is the price?” The gardener said, “I give about a k.g. of berries for an anna (1Rupee = 16 annas). Give me an anna and you can have a k.g. of berries.” Ibrahim said, “Gardener, I don’t have an anna. My one shoe is worth 1.25 lakh rupees. It is embedded with diamonds and emeralds. I will give you this shoe; you give me berries.” She said, “I want an anna. From where will I get the change?” Distressed by hunger, Sultan said, “I don’t need change. I don’t want any money back. You can keep the whole shoe. I am going to die with hunger. Give me berries.” The gardener weighed a k.g. berries and put them in Ibrahim’s pouch. One berry fell from the weighing scale on the ground. The gardener said, “It is mine.” Ibrahim said, “It is mine.” Now both started quarrelling. When the quarrel escalated, God Kabir came and said, “Fools, have you both taken leave of your senses?” He said to the gardener, “You have got a shoe worth 1.25 lakh rupees, still you are quarrelling over a berry!”
Savaa lakh ki paanvdi, ek aane ka ber
Dekh Adham Sultan ne, kaisi daari mer
He slapped Ibrahim on his face and said, “You have given up a shoe worth 1.25 lakh rupees and are quarrelling over a berry. Fool, what kingdom did you relinquish? A fight over a berry is similar to a fight over a kingdom. What have you renounced? You are still carrying the same arrogance of “I-Mine” with you.” Ibrahim fainted. When he regained consciousness, neither there was the gardener nor the berries. It was all the divine act of Satguru. (It was God Kabir himself in the form of the female gardener and in the other form as well. He instructs us, living beings, in every respect.) Then God Kabir said, “Ibrahim, now take initiation and you may go and rule your kingdom.” Ibrahim said, “Now your servant cannot rule the kingdom. Oh Benevolent, now i will stay in your feet.” God Kabir gave him first initiation and said, “Son, I will remain with you; don’t worry.” Saying this, God Kabir disappeared.
Ibrahim Sultan Adham set forth towards the jungle. It started raining on the way and a cold wind started blowing. It was night time. Ibrahim Sultan Adham spent the night behind a hut to save himself from the cold wind. At night, the master of that hut and his wife were talking to each other that due to good rain, there will be good grass in our fields and a good crop. Due to which our only cow will give more milk. We will have so much comfort that even the emperor of Balakh Bukhara does not have. They did not even have any child. Ibrahim Sultan Adham was listening to all this account sitting behind the hut. In the morning, Ibrahim asked them, “How many children do you have?” That man said, “We do not have any child.” Ibrahim asked, “How many animals do you have?” The owner of the hut replied, “We have only one cow.” Then Ibrahim Sultan Adham said, “You should do bhakti and recite the name of God, and leave the desire of these worldly comforts. This life is of two days. Take initiation from a complete guru and make your life successful. Let me take you to my Gurudev and get you initiation, and get your welfare done. What were you saying at night that your comforts will be more than that of the emperor of Balakh Bukhara? You have one wife with squinted eyes and an old cow. You are considering this to be an invaluable property. This is your mistake.”He told him, “I am the emperor Ibrahim Sultan Adham of Balakh Bukhara. I have gained knowledge from my Gurudev and relinquishing that entire transitory property, I remain engrossed in the Bhakti of God.” Hearing this from the mouth of Ibrahim Sultan Adham, the owner of that hut said, “Either you are not the Emperor Ibrahim Sultan Adham or if you are and you have relinquished the kingdom, then there is not a bigger fool than you, and we cannot make a mistake like you. Mind your own business.” Then Ibrahim Sultan said, “Oh God, this silly person cannot relinquish a woman and a cow. Lord, how did you shower your grace on a despicable person like me? In what words shall I praise you?
Garib, raandi daandi na taje, ye nar kahiye kaag
Balakh Bukhara tyaag diya, thi koi pichhli lag
Kabir, Satguru ke updesh ka laya ek vichaar
Jae Satguru milte nahin, to jaate narak dwaar
Kabir, narak dwaar mein doot sab, karte khencha taan
Unse kabahu na chhootta, firta charon khan
Kabir, chaar khaani mein bharamta, kabahu na lagta paar
So fera sab mit gaya, mere Satguru ke upkaar
Kabir, saat samundra ki masi karun, lekhni karun banraay
Dharti ka kaagaj karun, Guru gun likha na jay
Once, Ibrahim Adham became distressed by hunger. Immediately, a plate with various types of food items, halwa, poori, yoghurt, kachaudi, pakaudi, kheer, came from sky. Ibrahim lifted the cloth and saw that there are the same royal food items in it. He said with folded hands, “God, I had renounced all this only; I will get entangled in this again. Please give me dry bread (roti).” An ether voice occurred that –“Son, when you have such feelings in your heart, then these will not have any effect on you. Have food.” Ibrahim said, “God, I will sustain myself by cutting wood. Your servant will become arrogant. Please don’t do this.” After that he used to bring wood from the jungle, sell them and do his mantra jaap. God Kabir had said, “I will give you Satnaam after some time.” After some time, God Kabir gave him Satnaam, and said, “Son, when you will become worthy, I will give you Saarnaam.”
One day, Ibrahim thought that I will request God Kabir for Saarnaam. I will request that if your servant has become worthy and kindly grant Saarnaam. Ibrahim was going to meet God Kabir. On the way, a sister was throwing rubbish from her terrace, and that rubbish accidently fell on Ibrahim Sultan. Ibrahim Sultan eyes turned red in anger and he said, “Had I been a King today, I would have taught you a lesson.” That girl had also taken initiation from God Kabir. When that girl came in satsang, she saw Ibrahim sitting there.
The girl asked asked God Kabir, “Maharaj ji, was this devotee a king at some point?” God Kabir asked, “What happened, daughter?” That girl told, “He was coming. Accidently I dropped rubbish over this devotee. I didn’t pay attention from above. He expressed a lot of resentment and said, “Had I been a King today, I would have taught you a lesson.” When Ibrahim requested God Kabir, “Oh Satguru, if your servant has become worthy of Saarnaam, then kindly show grace”, God Kabir said, “You are still a king; you haven’t become a servant.” Ibrahim thought that it has been a long time since I have left the kingdom. If God has called me a king, then definitely there is a shortcoming in me. God Kabir gave him a date saying that come that day. On that predetermined day, Ibrahim Sultan Adham was coming to the satsang. God Kabir said to the girl, “Daughter, now he will come on this day and at this time. Keep an eye out. Put mud on him from above.” That girl put mud on Sultan from above. That girl pretended to be sorry and said, “Devotee, I did it by mistake. I did not pay attention.” Ibrahim Sultan Adham said, “Doesn’t matter. This body of five elements is also dust itself. You have only put dust on dust, sister. Never mind. It doesn’t matter. I will wash this mud.” Saying this, Ibrahim Sultan came in satsang. God Kabir asked the girl, “When you put the mud on him, how did he react?” The girl said, “Maharaj ji, today he said that you have put dust on dust. It doesn’t matter, sister. God, today he didn’t get angry.”
After the satsang, Ibrahim prayed to God Kabir, “If your servant has become worthy of Saarnaam, then God, show grace.” God Kabir said, “Son, You have become worthy of Saarnaam today. Now I will give you mantra.” God gave him Saarnaam. Then Ibrahim got liberated.