Saturday, February 01, 2020

Sakhi Series :- 270 (Bhai Triloka jee's Lightening Sword)

Bhai Triloka jee's Lightening Sword 
(Source: http://www.gurmatbibek.com/contents.php?id=476)

One day the Divine Darbar of Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee Maharaj was going on at Siri Amritsar Sahib. Bhai Triloka who was a soldier in the Mughal army in Ghazni city of Afghanistan, came for Darshan of Guru Sahib. He placed his head on the Charan Kamal of Guru Sahib and humbly requested Guru Sahib to free him from the bonds of Maya and give him such spiritual lesson so that he may swim across this terrible ocean to Sachkhand.

Guru Sahib blessed Triloka with Gurmat Naam and gave him the following Updesh:
ਸੁਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਰਿ ਦਯਾ ਸੁਨਾਈ।
ਸਤਿਨਾਮ ਸੋ ਰਹੋ ਲਿਵਲਾਈ।
ਊਠਤਿ ਬੈਠਤਿ ਆਵਤਿ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ।
ਨਹਿਂ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਤਿਆਗਹੁ ਦਿਨ ਰਾਤੇ।
ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ਭਾਣੇ ਕੋ ਮਾਨਿ।
ਹਰਖਹੁ ਭਲੀ ਕਰਹਿ ਇਮ ਜਾਨਿ।
ਦੋਸ਼ ਅਰੋਪਹੁ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੈਂ।
ਜੋ ਬਯਾਪਕ ਨਭ ਕੀ ਸਮ ਸਭਿ ਮੈ।
ਤਨ ਹੰਤਾ ਕੋ ਤਜਿ ਅਭਯਾਸ।
ਸਨੈ ਸਨੈ ਲਖਿ ਰੂਪ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼।
ਰਹੁ ਅਹਿੰਸ ਕਰਿ ਸਭ ਪਰ ਦਯਾ।
ਕਿਸ ਕੋ ਨਹੀਂ ਦੁਖਾਵਹੁ ਹਿਯਾ।
ਜਥਾ ਲਾਭ ਕੀਜਹਿ ਸੰਤੋਸ਼ਾ।
ਤਜਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਆਦਿ ਜੇ ਰੋਸਾ।

Siri Guru jee's Updesh above captured beautifully by Mahakavi Bhai Sahib Santokh Singh jee Chooramani can be summarized as follows:

1. Always keep your concentration in true Naam.

2. Don't give up Simran ever during the day and night; continue doing it while sitting, standing and walking.

3. Accept the Will of Vaheguru; then Vaheguru would get pleased and bless you.

4. Never blame Vaheguru for anything; he is present in everything.

5. Give up the sensation of the body and slowly recognize the illuminated form of Vaheguru everywhere. Giving up sensation of the body means to give up Haume(ego) and pleasures of the body.

6. Stay non-violent towards creatures and have mercy and compassion on everyone.

7. Don't hurt anyone's heart.

8. Stay contented in whatever you have.

9. Give up the 5 evils including anger (Krodh).

Bhai Triloka took the teachings of Guru Sahib and carved them in stone, on his heart. He came back to Ghazni where he was employed as a soldier with the Mughals. He was a very able soldier, fully skilled in warfare. He was one of the favourite of the king (governor) and worked in the group that was responsible for the personal security of the king.

Bhai Triloka commits a Great Sin
One day the king went for hunting and Triloka accompanied him since he was part of his personal security. In the jungle, they spotted a female deer and the king asked Triloka to chase her. Triloka's horse swiftly got close to the deer. Triloka as part of his natural impulse, struck the deer with his sword. The deer got hurt on the stomach area and fell on the ground. She was pregnant and was in great pain. Then out of her stomach came two deer calves. All three stayed in pain for some time and then died in front of Triloka's eyes.

Bhai Triloka was devastated. He cursed himself for committing such a sin just for the sake of entertainment. He remembered Guru Sahib's hukam to have mercy and compassion for all creatures. He felt that he had disobeyed Guru Sahib's Hukam and committed a great sin. He lost his appetite and was very disappointed with himself.

After doing deep thinking, he came to the conclusion that he was not going to commit such a sin again. He thought that if he did not have sword, he could have avoided killing the deer. That day he got a special sword made out of wood with handle that of Sarbloh. He started wearing this sword of wood from that day. Only he knew about his wooden sword.

Bhai Triloka in trouble
One day, someone who did not like him, somehow found out that Triloka jee had started wearing a wooden sword. He complained to the king. The king was very fond of Triloka jee and did not believe a single word of the Nindak (slanderer). At this the Nindak said that he was willing to undergo any punishment if his information was found to be false. This way with constant cajoling he sowed the seed of suspicion in the mind of the king.

The king did not want to ask Bhai Triloka directly if he was wearing a wooden sword. So he called an assembly of all his elite soldiers and told all of them that he was going to test their weapons. He first took out his own sword and showed it to all. This way he started checking swords of all soldiers.

Bhai Triloka was terrified at the thought of getting caught with a wooden sword. The embarrassment would have been too much for him to sustain. He started doing Gupt Ardaas before Guru Sahib to save his honour. He pleaded before Guru Sahib to keep his honour in the same way he had kept the honour of Panchaali and saved her from getting naked. His mind in a matter of seconds attained full concentration and right at that point Guru Sahib decided to keep his honour.

Bhai Triloka jee's Honour is kept
The king arrived near Bhai Triloka and smilingly asked him to show his sword so that he may see what stamp his sword had. Triloka said that his sword had the stamp of his Guru and saying "Vaheguru" and he confidently took out his Siri Sahib (sword). When he took out his sword, it was as if lightening had fallen on the assembly. The shine of the sword was breathtaking and the edge of the sword was so sharp that no one had seen such edge before. Everyone who saw the sword was stunned.

The Mughal was extremely pleased and right on the spot doubled his salary. The Nindak who had complained to the king had his face blackened and kicked out of the court.

Bhai Triloka's Rom-Rom (every cell) was filled with gratitude for Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib had kept his honour in such way that his faith in Guru Sahib increased manifold. After few months he personally came to Siri Amritsar and narrated his story in the Darbar of Guru Sahib. Everyone who heard this Saakhi were saying Dhan Guru! Dhan Guru!

May Guru Sahib bless us with the faith required to please Guru Sahib.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Sakhi Series :- 269 (Sardari, Sabar & Shukar)

*Sardari, sabar & shukar in Sikhi – A story*

This story is set in the mid-18th century in the north-east of the vast Indian subcontinent – today's Punjab up to Delhi and covering Pakistan, Baluchistan and Afghanistan. It is that period when Sikhs virtually lived on horseback – just after the passing on of Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1708) up to the Khalsa Raj of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (1799)

Ehmedh Shah Abdali, the marauder from the north-east, Afghanistan, arrives in Lahore on his way back. He was on his way back after one of his marauding and looting trips into north-east India and after many skirmishes with the elusive Sikhs who kept relieving him of his loot and slaves.

All of modern-day Pakistan and north India was under Muslim rule in this period. He asks a question of his host the Subedar (Administrator) of Lahore: Who are these warriors who keep robbing me? After all he did not consider himself a thief! The Subedar answers – these are SIKHS.

"Who is their leader?" He asks. "I beat the Marathas in Panipat just once and they have never been able to raise their heads again. But who are these Sikhs and who is their leader? Whenever I return after gathering bounty and slaves up to Delhi, they attack me with ferocity. Sometimes I hear Charhat Singh. Sometimes Baghel Singh. Sometimes Karam Singh. Sometimes Jassa Singh. And others. Some of them or others of the same mob relieve me of a great amount of my bounty!"

The Subedar answers: "Shahenshah khud hi ko bhaakhat. Kaan na kahoo kiye raakhat. -They are not afraid of any earthly king and yet, all of them are Kings. There is no lesser one amongst them. Each of them takes on the responsibility of a leader in battle, because all of them consider themselves kings."

"Where do they stay?" asks Abdali.

"In the jungles. Virtually on horseback. Ever ready."

"Who is their Guru?"

The Subedar answers: "Their Guru? I can only tell you this. Murshidh inka velibheyo hai. Inko aape hayaat diyo hai - Their Guru has given them such an 'amrit', that we are tired of trying to eliminate them, but they are undefeatable They cannot be wiped out."

"What do they eat?" he asks again.

Subedar: I do not know what they eat, but I can tell you how they eat. They prepare food called 'langgar' wherever they rest for a couple of days because they are mostly on the move. Then they sound the war drum and announce loudly, "Bhookha dait avaza koyi. Ao degh tyar Gur hoyi." (We wish to announce that Guru Ka Langgar is ready and if anyone is hungry, come and eat!)

Ehmadh Shah Abdali was bemused. "Strange people! They prepare the food and offer it to anyone and everyone, including enemies! They are fugitives on the run, yet when they have food they announce that to everyone to come and eat!"

"Yes," says the Subedar, "and even enemies are welcome!"

"And what if the enemy comes?" Abdali asks.

"Yes, they sometimes do," says Subedar.

"What if the enemy is hungry and actually takes them up on their offer and eats all their food, leaving them nothing?" asks Abdali jokingly.

The answer, as written in the Sikh historical 'Panth Parkash' is symbolic of the character of a true Sikh. "They then eat whatever, if anything, is left over, or do not eat at all as it is all eaten already, yet they do an Ardaas thanking Waheguru that at least their enemy has eaten."

"Bache to dana aap khale hain, neheen to langgar mast fateh hain".

Not only in peacetime but also in war, a Sikh will 'vand ke shako' – share the food with others, even enemies. This is the 'sabar and shukar' – gratitude of one's lot, that Sikh practices.

Hence, the eternal legend of 'langgar' of the Sikhs globally today.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sakhi Series :- 268 ( Mere Show of Devotion is of No Use)

Mere Show of Devotion is of No Use
(Source : [Book]The Gospel of the Sikh Gurus ) 

Bhai kalu, Nanu and Haari Kohli came to Guru Arjun Dev ji, prostrated and prayed for clarification that some devotees hear and recite 'Gurbani' and indulge in noble deeds. Yet
others indulge in evil deeds even after reciting 'Gurbani'. If the Guru's word is nectar, why are only some benefited and not others?

Guru ji said that those disciples who listen to 'Gurbani' with the noble intention of terminating their birth and death cycle are liberated. Other who recite 'Gurbani' to enhance
their ego or achieving objects of enjoyment, how can they be liberated? They are like a snake that attracts other insects with the light of the proverbial jewel on his head (mani)
and then swallows them. Similarly, evil persons who recite 'Gurbani' make a show of it to others and cheat them. They  are not benefited.

Those who meditate on 'Narayan', the Unmanifested Lord with dedication and one-pointed mind are liberated.

A Real Warrior is One Who Battles His Own Mind

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji

THE FALSE KING AND THE TRUE KING

We treasure a beautiful story of a Sikh of Agra who was a humble grass-cutter. The tents of the two kings being pitched side by side in the fields, the poor Sikh approached Jehangir's tent wifh an offering of two copper pice out of his wages, and desired to know where was "the True King" "Whom do you wish to see ?" said Jehangir. "I want to see the True King," said the grass-cutter. "I am the king," said Jehangir. The grass-cutter placed his offerings before him, bowed down to him, and rose and said, "0 True King! save me, thy slave, from this sea of darkness, and take me into thy refuge of light that is All Knowledge." On this the Emperor told him that he was not the king sought, and that the saviour's tent was pitched yonder. The grass-cutter hastily took back his offerings, and went running to the Guru.

The queen, NurJehan, took a deep interest in the Guru, and had many interviews with him. Also, with the poor frequenting the place, he was in much repute as a comforter.

During these days, Jehangir fell ill; and, following the barbarous advice of his Hindu ministers, he invited his astrologers to tell him of his evil stars that brought illness on him. These astrologers were heavily bribed by Chandu, who was always seeking to detach the Emperor from Guru Har Gobind. The astrologers accordingly, prophesied that a holy man of God should go to the Fort of Gwalior and pray for his recovery from there. Chandu then advised the Emperor that Har Gobind was the holiest of men and should be sent to Gwalior. Jehangir requested Guru Har Gobind to go; and though he saw through the plot of his enemies, he left for Gwalior immediately.

While Guru Har Gobind was at Gwalior, great was the distress of his Sikhs in Delhi and at Amritsar, who suspected foul play at the part of Chandu. In fact, Chandu did write to Hari Das, the Commander of Gwalior fort, urging him to poison the Guru or kill him in any way-and promising a large reward. Hari Das was by that time devoted to the Master; so he laid all these letters before him, who smiled and said nothing. The Guru met many other Rajahs who were prisoners in this fort, and made them happy. •

When Jehangir recovered, he thought of Guru Har Gobind again. Undoubtedly, Nur Jehan, who evinced a disciple-like devotion to the Master, had something to do with his recall from Gwalior. However, the Guru would not go unless the Emperor agreed to set all the prisoners in the fort at liberty. The Emperor at last gave way; and, on the personal security of the Guru, all the prisoners were released. The Guru was hailed at Gwalior as "Bandi Chhor" - the great deliverer who cuts fetters off the prisoners feet and sets them free. There remains, in the historic fort at Gwalior, a shrine of the Bandi Chhor Pir, worshipped by Hindus and Mussalmans alike, where they have lit a lamp in memory of the event, and where a Mohammedan Faqir sits in hallowed memory of some great one of whom he knows only the name-Bandi Chhor. 

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Sakhi Series :- 267 ( Bhai Tara Singh ji Vaan)

Bhai Tara Singh ji
(Source : www.allaboutsikhs.com)

Bhai Tara Singh Wan was an eighteenth century Sikh. He was from the village of Wan, also known as Wan Tara Singh or Dall-Wan now in Amritsar district of the Eastern Punjab.

His father, Sardar Gurdas Singh, had received the rites of the Khalsa in the time of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, and had taken part in the Battle of Amritsar (April 1709), in which Bhai Mani Singh led the Sikhs and in which Har Sahai, a revenue official of Patti, was killed at his (Gurdas Singh's) hands. Baba Gurdas Singh took martyrdom in Bajwara (Hoshiarpur) when he went along with Baba Banda Singh to fight for Sirhind.

Bhai Tara Singh was the eldest of the five sons of Gurdas Singh and was born around 1687. He took Amrit from Bhai Mani Singh. Receiving the rites of initiation, he grew up to be a devout Sikh, skilled in the martial arts.

During Moghul rule, the village heads (Chaudhary) used to have considerable authority over local population. They often exercised these powers most mercilessly in order to awe the subjects into submission.

One such fellow Sahib Rai was head of village Naushahra. He was a hot headed and cruel person. He would often let loose his horses in the green fields of farmers of the village, causing extensive damage to their crops. If the aggrieved farmers complained to him about it, he used to abuse them, instead of sympathizing with them or redressing their grievances.

Once the sikh farmers of the village together requested him to keep his houses confined to the areas meant for grazing and not let them graze in their fields thereby destroying their crops.
Instead of giving them any assurance, Sahib Rai turned them saying, "I will definitely tie my horses but with the ropes made out of your beautiful Keshas (Hair)." Such insulting words were unbearable for the Sikhs who valued their Keshas more than their lives. Deeply hurt, they narrated the incident to S. Baghel Singh and S. Amar Singh of the nearby village, Bhusay.

A few days later, S. Amar Singh and S. Baghel Singh caught hold of Sahib Rai's horses, while those were destroying the crops of Sikh farmers of village Naushehra, and sold them to S. Aala Singh, the then ruler of State of Patiala. The proceeds were donated to S. Tara Singh, a saint of village Waan for free Kitchen (Langer).

Bhai Tara Singh was God fearing devoted Sikh saint. He owned considerable agricultural land and had established a Gurudwara on his land. Sikhs passing through his village were provided shelter and free meals at this Gurudwara apart from other facilities required by them. S. Tara Singh, apart from being a saint, mostly absorbed in meditation, was a brave Sikh conversant with use of arms. He had fought many a battles under the leadership of Banda Singh Bahadur.

Chaudhary Sahib Rai found out through his agents that S. Baghel Singh and S. Tara Singh had caught and sold his horses. Accompanied by some of his supporters, he entered Bhai Tara Singh's residence unannounced, and uttered insulting remarks towards Sikh community. Bhai Tara Singh tried to pacify the Chaudhary, but failed to do so. At this, the Sikhs at the Gurudwara thrashed Sahib Rai and his men, making them run for their lives.

Thus infuriated Sahib Rai went straight to the police chief of the area based in the town Patti in Amritsar District and narrated to him the exaggerated version of the humiliation suffered by him at the hand of Sikhs. Jaffar Beg, the police chief, assisted by a contingent of 200 policemen proceeded towards the residence of Bhai Tara Singh to teach Sikhs a lesson.

S. Baghel Singh who had gone out of Bahi Tara Singh's residence to answer call of nature very early in the morning, noticed the raiding party. He asked them to stop and shouted, "BOLE SO NEHAL SAT SRI AKAL" at the top of his voice to alert other Sikhs. At the same time, he started firing at the invaders from his gun.

Bhai Tara Singh, on hearing gun shots, along with other Sikhs rushed to the assistance of Baghel Singh. They engaged the invading soldiers in a fierce battle. Despite superiority in numbers and better equipped, two nephews and ten other soldiers of Jaffar Beg were killed at the hands of brave Sikhs. S. Baghel Singh also attained martyrdom in that battle. He had engaged the raiders single handedly and by sacrificing his own life, managed to alert other sikhs.

Jaffar Beg could barely save his own life by beating a hasty retreat. Jaffar Beg went straight to Lahore and narrated the incident to Zakaria Khan, Governor of Lahore. He sought his support to avenge his humiliating defeat at the hands of Sikhs. Zakaria Khan was a sworn enemy of the Sikh community. He ordered his commander, Moman Khan, to immediately mount an attack on S. Tara Singh's abode and produce him dead or alive before him.

One of the Sikh residents of Lahore rushed to village Waan and informed Bhai Tara Singh of this impending attack by a huge Mughal force and advised him to go elsewhere. When Singh jee heard this, his face became red with Bir Rass. He said that he could not wait to combat the Mughals and declared that the bodies of Singhs and warriors get pure and sacred when they are cut by the weapons in the battlefield. In Panth Parkash, it is quoted as follows:

TAU SINGH JEE, UNN KAHEE SUNAAYE||

DEH PAVITTER HOYE, SHASTER LAGAAYE||

Bhai Tara Singh accompanied by about fifty sikhs present at that time in his dera (house), decided to stay and face the inevitable, bravely. The Sikhs planned their strategy and took up positions at vantage points to face the enemy and inflict maximum casualties on the raiders. Momin Khan, mobilising more forces enroute and accompanied by another commander Tara Beg, mounted attack on village Waan, much before Sunrise. The Sikhs were waiting and answered the attack by a deadly shower of bullets from their guns, felling the front row enemy soldiers dead.

Momin Khan ordered Takki Beg to engage Bhai Tara Singh. Bhai Ji, in a swift action, thrust his spear into Takki Beg's mouth. A shower of blood flowed from Takki Beg's mouth, who ran back to save his life. Momin Khan added insult to Takki Beg's misery by asking whether Takki Beg was chewing Paan in the battle field. Takki Beg, reacting sharply, told Momin Khan 'Yes I am eating Paan. Tara Singh is giving out free paans and if you want one, you too should move forward to get it. Why are you talking standing so far from the battlefield?'

Momin Khan, instead of himself moving forward, sent forward his nephew Mureed Khan, whose head was cut off with a sharp blow of sword, by S. Bhomi Singh, in a swift attack.
Losing so many men and patience, Momin Khan ordered his entire force to attack the Sikhs at the same time. Thus ensued hand to hand fight. The Sikhs put up a brave fight, killing hundreds of enemy soldiers before laying down their own lives as well.

When Bhai Tara Singh jee entered the imperial army, he created a storm. He killed countless before he was shot from a distance. Yet, he still would not fall and kept fighting and slicing the soldiers. It was felt as if he was accompanied by thousands more hands. He sent several to Dharam Rai before finally attaining shaheedi there. Not a single Sikh surrendered to the enemy.

This is how the Sikhs tried to uproot the cruel Mughal regime from Punjab, lock, stock and barrel. They fought to the finish, inflicting very heavy casualties on the enemy forces.  We should be thankful to the Sikhs because of whose bravery and sacrifices the mighty Mughal rule finally came to an end in Punjab towards the end of eighteenth Century