Bhai Gopal Ji was a respected individual who use to run a karyana ( grocery) store during the time of Guru Arjun Dev Ji Maharaj. People use to deposit money with him for safe keeping purposes.
One day a person named Jamaal Khan deposited 500 coins with Bhai Gopal Ji. Bhai Gopal Ji forgot to register them in his book and forgot to put them in his safe. After sometime Jamaal Khan asked for the return of his 500 coins. Bhai Gopal ji checked his book and checked the safe. The money was not recorded and not in the safe and he said to Jamaal Khan he did not have his money. Jamaal Khan said he would report Bhai gopal to the muslim emperor if he didn't return his money. Bhai Gopal checked once again but could not find the coins. He said to Jamaal Khan " I dont have your money. But if your saying, then I'll; give you the 500 coins".
Jamaal Khan went to the emperor who called Bhai Gopal Ji. The emperor said Bhai Gopal ji "what am I hearing...I know your Nanak's Sikh and you won't do anything of this sort but I also know that Jamaal Khan doesn't lie either." Bhai Gopal Ji said I don't have his money but if you say I will pay him 500 coins. The emperor not knowing how to do justice said he would leave it to God. They would heat a pan of oil and throw a copper coin in. The one who picks the coin out without getting burnt will be the truthful one.
Bhai Gopal Ji did Ardas to Guru Ji. "some people have someone for support and some people have others for support, but for me you are my one and only support. Please help me and look after me." Bhai Gopal Ji put his hand into the hot oil and picked the coin with no harm to his hand or arm.
kis hee koee koe ma(n)n(j) nimaanee eik thoo ||
Some people have others, but I am forlorn and dishonored; I have only You, Lord.
kio n mareejai roe jaa lag chith n aavehee ||1||
I might as well just die crying, if You will not come into my mind. ||1||
- Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 791
Next Jamaal Khan put his hand in to the hot oil but his hand got burnt before he could pick up the coin. Immediately he was given medical treatment.
Bhai Gopal Ji was upset that someone had been hurt because of him. Anyway some time passed and a customer came into Bhai Gopals store. Whilst looking for the item requested by the customer Bhai Gopal Ji found the 500 coins in a container with the food stuffs. Immediately he went to Jamaal Khan and said I have found your 500 coins here. Jamaal Khan refused to take the coins saying he had been embarrassed in the Royal court and in front of the village and that Bhai Gopal ji should keep the money. Bhai Gopal Ji said it was not his money and he was not authrosied by Guru Ji to keep something which didnt belong to him.
Jamaal Khan agreed to accept the money on condition that he could meet Guru Ji.
Bhai Gopal Ji and Jamaal Khan both visited Guru Ji who was in the middle of a diwan. As soon as Bhai Gopal Ji saw Guru Ji, his eyes washed Gurru Jis lotus feet with his tears. Guru Ji said to Bhai Gopal Ji.. "Bhai Gopal you have been accepted in Guru Ji's house". Jamaal Khan asked Guru Ji a question "both Gopal and I were both truthful yet my hand got burnt and his didn't. Why was this ?
Guru Ji replied "Firstly, Bhai Gopal Ji didn't deliberately do anything wrong or underhand. Secondly, Bhai Gopal Ji recited his Ardas to the one supreme god in whom he had complete faith and who helped him at his time of need. When you put your hand in, you recited/remembered various peers to help you but you didn't have faith and trust in ONE. Jamaal Khan agreed and said yes he had recited the support of various peers. In the company of Guru Ji both Bhai Gopal Ji and Jamaal Khan were both exalted by Guru Ji's darshan.
swihbu myrw eyko hY ] eyko hY BweI eyko hY ]1] rhwau ]
saahib maeraa eaeko hai || eaeko hai bhaaee eaeko hai ||1|| rehaao ||
My Lord and Master is One; He is the One and Only; O Siblings of Destiny, He is the One alone. ||1|| ( Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 350)