Tuesday, March 04, 2014
The Doctor and Guru Nanak Dev ji
(Source : http://www.sikhspirit.com )
Do you remember your visits to the doctor? There's nothing unusual to remember you'll say. However in this story things were different. For one thing the doctors in those times didn't have stethoscopes. They would measure the heartbeats with their hands. They could even tell what food the patient had eaten. Guru Nanak Dev ji stopped taking lessons from his teacher Maulvi Kutubdin at a young age. He started meeting with saints and hermits. When the saints and hermits were busy; he would stay at home and keep to himself(meditate). If anybody came to the house, he would behave as if they had just met. He used to forget to eat his meals. His strange behavior worried his parents.
Seeing Guru Nanak Dev ji was getting thinner from not eating, people would say, "Money is more important to Mehta Kalu Ji (father) than his son. He is saving money and not giving his only son proper treatment." Hearing the people talk like this, Mehta Kalu Ji asked Haridas (Ved - the village doctor) to treat Guru Nanak (ji) his son.
When Haridas arrived, he held Guru Ji's wrist to feel the pulse. Young Guru Nanak (ji) pulled away his arm "why do you hold my arm?" He asked. The doctor explained "I'm trying to take your pulse so that I can find out what is wrong with you. Then I can give you medicine to feel better." Guru Nanak (ji) replied "Doctor, my body is not sick. My mind is sick. A wise doctor sees the sickness and then heals it. Then the body and mind are both free from sickness. I suggest you cure your own sickness before trying to cure mine." Upon hearing this, the doctor was upset. He asked "Nanak, which illness do I suffer from? I am quite hale and hearty."
Guru Ji replied, "You are sick with the serious disease of birth and death. This cycle of birth and death cannot be cured by your medicines. Only the doctor who does not suffer from this
sickness can give medicine to cure it. That doctor, who is neither born or dies. You are not that doctor."
Doctor Haridas knew only to cure a sick body, not the mind. However he understood what Guru Nanak (ji) had said. He took leave of Mehta Kalu Ji saying, "Nanak has no physical ailment. He is immersed in the love of God. So stop worrying about your son. He does not need any medicine from a doctor."
Monday, February 24, 2014
MATHO MURARI, joint name of a couple Matho and her husband, Murari, both blessed by Guru Amar Das. Murari's real name was Prema. He was a native of the village of Khai, now in Lahore district of West Punjab (Pakistan). Orphaned in early childhood and afflicted by leprosy, Prema had to beg to make a living. Once, having heard about the compassionate nature and spiritual eminence of Guru Amar Das, he made his way to Goindval and reached the Guru`s door hoping that somehow he could be cured.
Leprosy was a dreaded disease and nobody would allow him to approach. Still, he listened to the singing (kirtan) and preaching from outside the Guru's place. On hearing of his plight, Guru Amar Das ji went out to see him. The Guru himself looked after him, bathing him and wrapping him in clean clothes. He was given to eat from the Guru's kitchen, and allowed to join the congregation for prayers and hymn singing.
It is said that his health improved and that slowly he was cured. Prema was now an attractive looking young man, and the Guru renamed him Murari (meaning destroyer of the demons).
Guru Amar Das, in the words of Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahimd Prakash, replied: "Murari, to whom your daughter has been married, is my son and Sikh. They shall be jointly known as Matho Murari, your daughter`s name preceding that of husband." The mother was reconciled. The Guru blessed the couple and appointed them to head a manji around Murari`s native Khai to spread Guru's message.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Baba Attar Singh at Hazoor Sahib
(Source : "Life Story of Sant Attar Singh Ji" byarbans Singh Doabia )
Baba Attar Singh was in the army and posted at Kohat in the Artillery Regiment, where he remained for one year.
He remained a bachelor and refused to be married. He had a very great yearning to go to Hazur Sahib. So he left the regiment and started on foot for Hazur Sahib. From his childhood he had no attachment with worldly affairs and he remained thinking of Gurbani, naam, Gurus and Akal Purakh.
He started on foot from Kohat, throughout meditating on Naam. His mind became ever fixed upon the shabad. He continued travelling on foot, day and night, in this way. Sometimes he would take some rest and would prepare his food after taking flour etc. from some Gurdwaras in the way. His mind continued to yearn to reach the sacred Gurdwara of Hazur Sahib and to rub the sacred dust of that place on his body. He would continously utter WaheGuru.
In due course, Sant ji reached Abchal Nagar (Hazur Sahib). He at once entered the Gurdwara after necessary ablutions and bowed before the Satguru in most respectful way and obeyed the mandate. He had already surrendered his body, mind and riches and all that he possessed to the True Guru.
Stayed at Nagina Ghat for one year and seven months
Baba jee now began to stay at the Nagina Ghat near the River Godavari. After a few days he began to tie a small turban of khaddar on his head and put off all other clothes except the kacherra. He would keep a small towel with him.
He now began constant meditation ie. worship of God and Naam. If some food was given, he would take it, otherwise he remained contented by sipping the water of river Godavari. He had given strict orders that only one parshada with some cooked pulses, placed on it, should be brought for him. This was complied with by his attendant. In this way, he stayed at Nagina Ghat for about one year and sevn months. During his stay at Nagina Ghat, he would spend nights in a small stone build hut where he would remain engaged in meditation. He would repeat the mool mantar accompanied by some more shabads. These countless recitations were unique in themselves. He wouldn't talk with anyone during this period. He was most humble and would fall at the feet of any Sikh who came to meet him. Even if someone uttered harsh words, he would remain silent. He would sweep the main Gurdwara Sahib (Darbar Sahib) with a broom and would bring water for its washing.
One day Sant ji started walking on the bank of the Godavari. At a distance of nearly three miles he began meditation for nearly ten days without food. Bhai Nanu Singh, the head pujari/granthi of Darbar Sahib saw a vision one night and heard a voice say "Our dear Sikh is standing in meditation in the river for the last eight days without any food. Serve him food."
Next morning, Bhai Nanu Singh cooked food and walked on the bank for about two miles but finding no one, returned back. On the same night he again heard a voice "You have not served food to our beloved Sikh." He replied, "Sir, I tried to contact him but could not find him anywhere." The voice answered, "Walk for three miles and then you will find him".
On the following morning, he again took food and went for three miles on the bank of the river. Now he saw Sant ji standing in the knee deep water. When Sant ji opened his yes, he saw Bhai Nanu Singh and asked, "How have you come here?"
Bhai Nanu Singh explained his dream and offered food to Sant Ji. He refused to eat anything. Bhai Nanu Singh then said, "I shall not be able to sleep. Kindly accept my humble offer" Then Sant ji warned Bhai Nanu Singh not to tell anyone of this episode and took some food.
Cobra Came to Pay respects
Once when Sant ji was in deep meditation at Gautam Ghat, the attendeant who brought food for him noticed a big cobra sitting near Sant ji with its hood fully spread. The attendant was horrified at first but when he neared Sant Ji, the cobra left the place. Sant ji opened his eyes and said, "This beloved being came to give it's darshan to me"
Jumping in the River
Sant ji in due course visted and paid homage at all the Gurdwaras near Hazur Sahib. He visted these on foot. Now nearly two years had passed in meditation at Hazur Sahib. He was extremely anxious to see the sight of the tenth Satguru but had not succeeded. One day, he decided to jump in the deep water of river Godavari so that his physical body should be sacrificed before the Satguru. He jupmed in but some mysterious power took him alive on the bank and said, "You are my Sikh. Be alert. You have to give Khande da Amrit to many persons in Punjab and other places. You have to spread the message of peace in the entire world with the help of Sat Naam." He also heard, "If you want to have my sight come at Nagina Ghat at midnight." Sant ji anxiously waited for that time.
When he reached Nagina Ghat at the time, he saw the Tenth Satguru sitting on a throne surrounded by the punj pyaaray, chaar sahibzade and many others. Sant ji prostrated and paid all respects. As to what happened subsequently is not told to anyone by Sant ji.
A few days after this, Sant ji Maharaj decided to return to Punjab. He offered respectful prayers for safe return. Bhai Nanu Singh offered, as a respectful gift, some clothes to Sant Ji but he refused to take these.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
"When I recall that day, I tremble with the fear of the Doomsday."
Between the years 1747 to 1769, the Emperor of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali of the Durrani dynasty invaded India nine times, majority of the time entering through the Punjab. A member of Abdali's entourage was the Qazi (Muslim religious judge) Nur Muhammad.
Qazi Nur Muhammad has documented the invasions of Abdali in the "Jangnama". During one of the war councils of the Shah's, a member of the Baluchistan troops rode on horse back to report a surprise attack by the Sikhs. Qazi Nur Muhammad has written this about the war tactics of the Sikhs "A troop advances and, firing a shot from some distance, retires to reload their muskets while another troop starts firing from another point. Thus, while they can relax somewhat by turns, they do not allow any respite to their enemy."
After one days rest, a group of thirty Sikhs surprised the invaders again, as Qazi Nur Muhammad has written "These dogs (as the author has called the Sikhs) were only thirty in number. They were not in the least afraid. They had neither the fear of slaughter nor the dread of death. They grappled with the ghazis (Muslim suicide squads) and, in the engagement, spilt their blood and sacrificed their lives for their Guru" ( This attack was headed by Baba Gurbakhsh Singh Ji of the Tarna Dal and his jatha). Ahmad Shah returned to Lahore where he held another council of war at which Mir Muhammad Nasir Khan expressed the opinion that they should advance to Sirhind where they should stay awaiting further news from Najb ud Daulah, who had been besieged in Delhi by Raja Jawahar Singh of Bharatpur and his Sikh allies of the Budha Dal under Jathedar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. Ahmad Shah Durrani resumed his march but, conscious as he was of the might of the roving Sikh bands, he followed a circuitous route through Batala, Hoshiarpur and Ropar and, avoiding Sirhind altogether, proceeded via Pirijore, Naraingarh and Jagadhri reaching Kurijpura, near Karnal, by the middle of February 1765 after meeting with stiff resistance at many places en route.
After this attack Abdali decided to return back to Afghanistan, but the Sikhs were not ready to let the invaders off so easily. The Dal Khalsa blocked the passage of the Shah and his army at Phillaur. Abdali tried to bypass the Sikhs and tried crossing the river Satluj, the Khalsa caught up to Abdali and his men quite quickly.
A seven day battle ensued between the Dal Khalsa (Budha Dal & Tarna Dal) and the army of Ahmad Shah. Abdali's army suffered heavy losses of men, materials and animals. Qazi Nur Muhammad has written "When I recall that day, I tremble with the fear of the Doomsday."
The Qazi has further writes "Do not call the dogs (the Sikhs) dogs, because they are lions (and) are courageous like lions in the battlefield. How can a hero, who roars like a lion be called a dog? (Moreover) like lions they spread terror in the field of battle. If you wish to learn the art of war, come face to face with them in the battlefield. They will demonstrate it (art of war) to you in such a way that one and all will shower praise on them.
If you wish to learn the science of war, O swordsman, learn from them. They advance at the enemy boldly and come back safely after action. Understand, Singh is their title, a form of address for them. It is not justice to call them dogs; if you do not know Hindustani language, then understand that the word 'Singh' means a lion."Truly, they are lion in battle, and at times of peace, they surpass "Hatim" (in generosity ).
When they take the Indian sword in their hands they traverse the country from Hind to Sind. None can stand against them in battle, howsoever strong he may be. When they handle the spear, they shatter the ranks of the enemy. When they raise the heads of their spears towa-rds the sky, they would pierce even through the Caucasus (in the process). When they adjust the strings of the bows, place in them the enemy killing arrows (and) pull the strings to their ears, the body of the enemy begins to shiver with fear. When their battle axes fall upon the armour of their opponents, their armour becomes their coffin.
"The body of every one of them is like a piece of rock and in physical grandeur everyone of them is more than fifty men. It is said that Behram Gore killed wild asses and lions. But if he were to come face to face with them even he would bow before them (Singhs). Besides usual arms, they take their guns in hand (and) come into the field of action jumping (and) roaring like lions and raise slogans. They tear asunder the chests of many and shed blood of several (of their enemy) in the dust. You say that musket is a weapon of ancient times, it appears to be a creation of these dogs rather than Socrates. Who else than these (dogs) can be adept in the use of muskets. They do not bother (even if) there are innumerable muskets. To the right and the left, in front and towards the back, they go on operating hundreds of muskets angrily and regularly."
If you do not believe in what I say, you may enquire of the brave swordsmen who would tell you more than myself and would praise them for their fighting. This bears witness to (my statement) that they faced thirty thousand heroes in the battlefield. If their armies take to flight, it is a war tactics of theirs. They resort to this deception in order to make the angry army grow bold and run in their pursuit. When they find them separated from the main body and away from help and reinforcement, they at once turn back and fight more ferociously (literal translation – they set fire even to water).
"Did you not see that while fighting the Pathans, they took to flight which was deceptive. A world famous wrestler wielding high esteem and respect alight-ed from his horse and showed his great style as if he were Tuhmatan ( a great warrior of Iran). O valiant fighter, do justice to their (act of ) war. One of their armies invaded Multan and put the city to plunder and devastation and killed many of its inhabitants and carried away an immense booty. I am not sufficiently strong in mind to express what the dogs did there. But as God willed it, each of us has to submit to His Will."
Besides their fighting, listen to one more thing in which they excell all other warriors. They never kill a coward who is running away from the battlefield. They do not rob a woman of her wealth or ornaments whether she is rich or a servant ("Kaneez"). There is no adultry among these dogs, nor are they mischieveous people. A woman, whether young or old, they call a "Burhi". The word Burhi, means in Indian language, an old lady. There is no thief amongst these dogs, nor is there amongst them any mean people. They do not keep company with adulters and house thiefs though all their acts may not be commendable."
If you are not acquainted with their religion, I tell you that the Sikhs are the disciples of the Guru – that pious Guru lived at Chak (Amritsar). The ways and manners of these people were laid down by Nanak who showed these Sikhs a separate path. He was succeeded by Guru Gobind Singh from whom they received the title of Singh. They are not part of the Hindus, who have a separate religion of their own. "Now that you have familiarised yourself with the behaviour of the Sikhs, you may also know something about their country. They have divided the Punjab amongst themselves and have bestowed it upon every young and old."