Here is a very interesting true story of how a fake Guru tried to imitate Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee and declared himself Guru Kalgidhar jee and then how he met his fate. I can't recall the source of this Saakhi; please accept my apologies in advance.
This incident is from early 1900s before Punjab was hit with the deadly disease of Plague. In Ropar area of Punjab, there lived a Naanga Saadhu (naked saint) who used to roam in villages saying strange things. One of his favourite dialogue was “Uh aa gayee, Uh dekho aa gayee” (look there she comes, there she comes). People did not understand what he was saying and many thought he was mentally disturbed.
Incidently, short while later, Punjab was hit with Plague and countless people died. Now many people started wondering what the naanga saadhu meant when he said “Oh aa gayee, oh dekho aa gayee”. Many interpreted this as his prediction of the future. They thought he was foretelling the outburst of plague in Punjab. Soon many people became his followers. The naanga saadhu himself was surprised to see such reaction from people.
Soon his followers made a small dera for him, where sangat from many villages started coming. He continued to speak nonsense that many interpreted as divine messages. As his following increased, he started wearing clothes. Now his followers presented him with expensive silk clothes and he started changing his clothes twice a day. He never wore the same clothes again and after wearing his clothes once, he used to give them away to his followers, who used to feel blessed having received these clothes from their master.
In a short time, his following increased manifolds. He called a meeting of his close followers and expressed his desire to declare himself a guru. His followers told him that they already considered him to be their guru. Some suggested that he should get a beautiful and expensive horse and imitate Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee. They said that Guru Gobind Singh jee was the greatest Guru and he should become like him. The pakhandi saadhu liked their idea and himself started thinking of himself as a real guru.
Soon he declared Punj Pyaaray for himself and even got some Baaz and many expensive horses. He declared himself as Guru Kalgidhar Sahib jee. When the Sikhs heard about this, they were very upset and Bhai Budh Singh started a campaign against this pakhandi saadhu.
Having declared himself Guru Kalgidhar, the pakhandi thought of getting married. His followers offered him their daughters but this pakhandi guru declared that he would get married to a daughter of a Sikh king or to girls from Sikh royal families. His followers approached Maharaja Partap Singh of Patiala but got snubbed by Patiala Darbar. At this he approached Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha for his daughter.
Maharaja Hira Singh was a good Gursikh who was naturally very upset when he heard that this pakhandi was calling himself Guru Kalgidhar Patshah. At first he thought of ignoring him but he also wanted to teach a lesson to this pakhandi. Thinking of a plan to teach him a lesson, the Maharaja invited the pakhandi guru to his palace.
On the date of their meeting, the pakhandi guru came with hundreds of his followers amidst great pomp and show. Seeing them, many more people joined them to see tamasha. A diwan was organised in an open ground close to the palace. The pakhandi was sitting on a throne with everyone else sitting on the ground. The Maharaja found out of his arrival and got ready with about 100 armed soldiers and several hundred armed forces in civilian clothes.
Maharaja Hira Singh started walking towards the diwan of the pakhandi guru. The pakhandi guru saw the Maharaja coming and knew that the Maharaja was a true Sikh and would never prostrate to him. Sensing this, he devised a clever plan. The pakhandi guru thought that he would move forward and shake hands with the king and then bow further down towards his knees. This way the king too would be forced to bow and touch his knees.
The king came closer to the pakhandi and the pakhandi as planned got up from his throne and moved forward to shake hands with the king. He then moved towards the king’s knees but the king did not move towards the pakhandi's knees, foiling the pakhandi’s plan to have the Maharaja touch his feet. Instead of bowing to him, Maharaja Hira Singh roared, “Oye pakhandi, do you not have any shame? You claim to be Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaaj and yet you are bowing to an ordinary person like me.”
The pakhandi was shaken with this unexpected reaction of the king. He kept his cool and said, “Are you not aware of nimrata (humility), O king. I bowed to you out of humility”.
Maharaja got very angry and almost yelling at him said, “if you had nimrata, you would have shown nimrata to everyone else present here. Why did you show nimrata to me only? Isn’t it because I am a king?”
The pakhandi did not know what to say. At this the Maharaja continued, “In your eyes, I am a maharaja but in the eyes of my Guru – Guru Gobind Singh jee, I am his Sikh. He does not care about my worldly status. But you, O Pakhandi, looked at my worldly status and bowed to me and touched my knees”.
Now the pakhandi did not know what to say and just wanted to flee from there. His followers too started fleeing from the scene. By now, the pakhandi noticed that the dangerous and scary-looking military officers of the Maharaja were staring at the pakhandi. The pakhandi got very scared and now his condition was very pitiful. He tried to say something to the king but got snubbed very quickly.
Maharaja continued with fury, “O shameless pakhandi, the Guru whom you are trying to imitate sacrificed his four sons for the sake of Dharma. When he used to go in the battlefield, even the biggest warriors were afraid of fighting Guru Sahib. That Guru had written a letter of defiance to Aurangzeb who was such a great king but you O Pakhandi started bowing before an ordinary king like me.”
Maharaja Hira Singh moved forward and slapped the pakhandi couple of times and then ordered his military officers to do good “chhitter parade” (beating with shoes) of this pakhandi. The soldiers whisked him away and gave this pakhandi a good thrashing. The pakhandi was never seen again and this way Maharaja Hira Singh nipped the Gurudom while still in the bud.
I wish other Guru-dums (Pakhandi gurus) had met similar fate in Punjab in their early days. Now they are a big problem for the Panth.
How a Pakhandi had to pack-up when faced with opposition:
VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH
Elders seemed to have a knack for amazing responses to such people. My father told me of a story from his pind. A person claimed to be Guru Harkrishen reincarnated and started to draw a crowd. The villagers listened to his views for a bit until one of the village folks spoke up. He challenged the pakhandi saying that if he was the incarnate of Guru Harkrishen Ji, that he should be able to impart himgreat wisdom of the Gita like Chajju. If he could not do that, then surely he could do the reverse and make the villager as ignorant as Chajju? The pakhandi packed up and moved out swiftly.
Not unlike a Radhasoami that challenged someone I know and kept trying to prove that the Radhasoami baba was supreme. He listened for a bit to the Radhasoami, then turned to him and challenged him, saying that let's both jump on the train tracks...if your Guru is superior, then you will live, if mine is superior, I will live. The Radhasoami slinked away.
They are given appropriate responses from time to time. Akal Purakh's khel is most complex.
Contributed by; MS514
Who was Maharaja Ripudaman Singh
Here is some more info on Hira Singh from Sikh Wiki.
Stability comes to Nabha
Hira Singh, provided the stability his kingdom had been missing, ruling for forty years he did much for the welfare of the people of Nabha and for Sikhs in general. He despatched contingents of troops to fight in most of the major frontier campaigns. For his services the British rewarded the Maharaja with many honours, including in 1880, the titles of Raja-i-Rajgan (King of Kings) and Maharaja and an annual allowance of 4 lakh and 10 thousand (410,000) rupees a year.
The Raja-i-Rajgan's Sewa to Nabah
As Guru Gobind Singh once declared himself the servant of the Khalsa the generous Maharaja served his kingdom and its people's interests well. Among his many acts of generosity he provided funds for the establishment of the Khalsa Printing Press at Lahore, supported the Khalsa College at Amritsar and promoted the reformist (Anand) form of Sikh marriage.
On a trip to Rawalpindi the Maharaja, traveling with his assistant the noted Sikh scholar Bhai Kahn Singh, met with the British writer and author Max Arthur McAuliffe who sought permission from the Maharaja to allow Bhai Kahn Singh to teach him about the Sikh religion. Subsequently with the Maharaja's patronage, McAuliffe spent many winters in Nabha and summers in the Hill Stations with Bhai Kahn Singh studying the Sikh religion, history and Gurmukhi. McAuliffe's Book, The Sikh Religion was published in 1907.
The Maharaja prompted Bhai Kahn Singh (a tutor of his only son, Tikka [heir apparent] Ripudaman Singh) to write Raj Dharam his first work at the age of 23. His Hum Hindu Nahin (We are not Hindus) written in response to legal rulings that Sikhs were Hindus played an important role in the Singh Sabha movement.
Maharaja Hira Singh was one of the ablest of Nabha's rulers, wise, liberal and pious. Legends about his justice and munificence are still current in the countryside. He died at Nabha on 25 December 1911 and was succeeded by his son, Maharaja Ripduman Singh.