Saturday, October 04, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 254 ( Bhai Moola ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji)

Gurudwara Shikaar Ghat Sahib

It is said that Guru Gobind Singh ji came here(Shikaar Ghat, Nanded, Maharashtra, India) following the chase (shikar) and killed a rabbit which in a former birth had been Bhai Mula, who belonged to Sialkot (now in Pakistan). He had once accompanied Guru Nanak Dev ji during his travels. Once when Guru Nanak Dev ji went to visit him, Mula (on the request of his wife) avoided the Guru and hid himself for fear that the Guru might take him away on another long journey. Sensing this Guru Nanak Dev ji went away, but such is the travesty of fate that Mula died soon after of snakebite. 

His wife realising her folly begged Guru Nanak Dev ji for forgiveness. Guru Sahib said he was my Sikh and thus I will surely free him but in my 10th form. Since then his repentant soul had been wandering in different sub-human bodies (joons) until Guru Gobind Singh ji (10th Nanak) emancipated it (now in the form/joon of a Rabbit)  by the touch of his arrow. When questioned by his Siksh why he'd killed an innocent animal, Guru jee explained that it was Bhai Moola and he had liberated his soul.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 253 ( Village Palahi )

Tiag Mal to Tegh Bahadur ji


Palahi is a very old village. It has the privilege and grace of having the touch of the pious feet of Guru Hargobind and his son Guru Teg Bahadur. The time when Guru Hargobind visited Palahi, Guru Teg Bahadur accompanied him who had not yet gone in seclusion dungeon for meditation. He took part in the battle here with his father. Afterwards the seventh Guru Har Rai also visited Palahi.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred at Lahore in 1606. The mention of this has been in the autobiography known as "Juzak-e-Jehangir" by Emprorer Jehangir himself. Guru Arjan Dev ji before his martrydom left a message for his brave, breaker of the enemy installations and warrior son(Hargobind Sahib)) that a time has come to hold the sheath of the sword.

After which Guru Hargobind Sahib ji adopted two Kirpans(swords). He organised his own army within four years from 1606 to 1610. He got built Akal Takhat in Amritsar in 1608. It became the political capital of the sikhs and got constructed the fort of Loh Garh in Amritsar.

Observing his military preparations the Mughal Government arrested him in 1609 and he remained in detention in the fort of Gowaliar uptil 1612. Realising his fault, Jahangir honourably released Guru Hargobind Sahib ji along-with 52 other emperors. However Guru Hargobind ji carried on his military preparations and moved to Doaba in 1614. He made Kartarpur, his headquarter. Paindey Khan also joined the army of Guru Hargobind at this place.

In the meantime Guru Hargobind settled in Kiratpur Sahib which was the best strategic place from the military point of view. In 1627, after the death of Jehangir, scuffle developed between the sikh organisation and the Mughal ruler. The Subedar of Lahore felt irritated at the royal ascendancy of Guru Hargobind Sahib. Consequently the first battle of Sikh History was fought at Amritsar. Guru Hargobind led the Sikh Army. This occurred on 15th May 1629. Three other battles were fought afterwards. The second battle was fought in Doaba. This battle was fought at Sri Hargobindpur. The third battle was fought in Malwa. The fourth battle was again fought in Doaba. This battle was fought at Palahi and is said to be the most fierce battle. At the time of this battle Guru Hargobind ji had come to Kartarpur to ceremonise the marriage of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The festival of Baisakhi was also celebrated here. Piandey Khan who had become arrogant and become hostile to Guru Hargobind ji, joined warring army against Guru Hargobind. The first encounter was held at Kartarpur. Paindey Khan was killed and the Mughal army was defeated. Marching from Kartarpur Guru Hargobind ji came to Palahi and again encountered with Mughal Army here.

Principal Satbir Singh mentions thus about the battle of Palahi in his recently published book 'Guru Hargobind' that Guru Hargobind had just reached Palahi near Phagwara from Kartarpur when small troop of Emperor's army chasing Guru came here also. It was being led by Ahmed Khan son of Abdul Khan. Rais Jamal, Fateh Khan of Basti Sheikh, Jafat Khan of Alawalpur and many other Pathans from other parts of the area were with the Mughal army.

As the attack was sudden and unexpected, all the Sikhs faced it bravely with whatever they could catch hold of. Fateh Khan and Ahmed Khan were killed and the opponent troops fled away. In this battle the youngest son Baba Tiag Mall of Guru Hargobind fought so boldly that all the witnessers applauded it. As a matter of applause Guru ji exclaimed, "Your name is not Tiag Mall but you are Tegh Bahadur(Master of the Sword)". Since that day this name was permanently recognised.

The memorials of the battle fought at Palahi have been preserved till today. When the deep foundations of the present splendid building of the Gurudwara were being dug, lot of rust torn weapons and the hooves of the horses were obtained. These historical memorials are still securely preserved in the Gurudwara.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 252 (GURU AMARDAS JI AND BHAI GANGU SHAH)

GURU AMARDAS JI AND BHAI GANGU SHAH

At Govindval, a poor Sikh approached Guru Amardas jee and asked for help in getting his daughter married. This Sikh was very poor but a really good Sikh.  Guru Sahib wrote a *hundi*, signed by him, addressed to one Bhai Gangu Shah in Delhi, and asked the poor Sikh to get the money from Gangu Shah. Guru Sahib thought that since Gangu Shah had acquired a lot of wealth, it was a good time to test him. 
<**HUNDI** :  Hundis are used as a form of remittance instrument to transfer money from place to place, as a form of credit instrument or IOU to borrow money and as a bill of exchange in trade transactions>

Only the fortunate ones can withstand the tests of Guru Sahib. Only if Guru Sahib himself does kirpa, we can pass tests from him. Anyway, Gangu Shah, received this poor Sikh with warmth and inquired about Govindval. The Sikh told him all about Govindval and finally told him the purpose of his visit. He gave Gangu shah the hundi written and signed by Guru Sahib. 

Gangu Shah saw the hundi and was about to give the money to the poor Sikh, when his mind corrupted him. Some bad karma from his previous lives blossomed and ruined him. Gangu Shah started thinking that it is true that he is rich but who in this world can afford to just give away money like that. He thought that, Guru Sahib is not into worldly affairs and does not understand the worldly affairs. Guru Sahib knows more about spiritual world as opposed to the worldly affairs. The Sikhs are taking advantage of Guru Sahib and will try to take away Gangu's money. He thought that if today, he gives money to this poor Sikh, tomorrow there will be a line-up of beggars. 

It was great misfortune of Gangu Shah that he got trapped in the tricks of mind. His mind got taken over by maaya. He finally agreed to his mind and told the poor Sikh that he cannot give him any money as his money is stuck somewhere. 

The Sikh understood that Gangu Shah was reluctant to give money, so he did not argue further with Gangu Shah and travelled back to Govindval. He narrated everything that occurred, to Guru Amardas jee. The all-knowing Guru Sahib knew everything and just smiled after hearing about Gangu Shah's refusal to give money. He arranged money for the poor Sikh through other means. 

On the other hand, the abundant force of Waheguru came into action after the huge negative karma of Gangu Shah. Within days he lost everything he had earned. When he lost everything and came on the street, he realized his mistake. He realized that all that he had was by the kirpa of Guru Sahib. He realized his blunder and regretted refusing money to that Sikh. 

Fortunately, he had good karma and he thought of going back to Govindval Sahib. He came to Govindval Sahib and started doing sewa day and night. Guru Sahib did kirpa and he recited naam at very early amrit hours. All day he kept reciting naam and gurbani. All this time, he did not go in front of Guru Sahib and hid from other Sikhs who could recognize him. It is written in Suraj Parkash Granth that, with all this sewa and simran, his face started glowing with naam. 

Guru Sahib who knew everything, was waiting for the right time to approach him. With his sewa and naam jaap, he washed away his sins. Guru Sahib one day, called him in. With great hesitation and with great sharam (pashemaani, sharmindagi), he came to the darbar of Guru Sahib. He was thinking that how he could show his face to Guru Sahib after refusing to honour the hundi written and signed by Guru Sahib himself. Guru Sahib is no human and does not have human qualities. Guru Sahib is Waheguru himself and has qualities of Waheguru. Waheguru does not consider one's bad deeds when doing kirpa. 

Guru Sahib, called him Shah jee and told him that he was very happy with his sewa. He fell at the lotus-feet of Satguru and asked for forgiveness of his black deeds. Guru Sahib lifted him up and embraced him and gave him a lot of asees. With all these asees, Gangu Shah became a blessed soul. 

Now Gangu Shah had seen how unstable the material world is and he asked for only naam and more naam. Guru Sahib blessed him with the top spiritual state where one becomes one with Waheguru. Gangu Shah, became the real shah i.e. the shah of Naam.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 251 (The Discourse Between Shah Sharaf And Sree Guru Nanak Dev Jee)

Guru Nanak Dev Jee on his travels to the west met a Fakir by the name of Shah Sharaf. The Fakir had been harbouring many questions and was looking for someone to put his mind to rest. Seeing Guru Nanak Dev Jee he took the opportunity to conclude his search. Only a true Fakir could satisfy him and answer his questions. 

The following is the discourse that originally took place in Farsi between Shah Sharaf and Sree Guru Nanak Dev Jee. The questions and answers were short but the meanings are very deep. There is a lot to be learnt from this conversation. 

(Note Q: are questions from Shah Sharaf and A: are answers from Sree Guru Nanak Dev Jee) 
Q : What is the beginning for a Fakir (recluse) ? 
A : The beginning for a Fakir is to destroy ones self 

Q: Where does Fakiree end? 
A: The end is God 

Q: What is the Key? 
A: The Key is abyass/repetition (without this the door will not open) 

Q: What are the chains? (to keep you away from falling) 
A: Bandagi/worship are the chains that will save you 

Q: Which is the tomb? (where one shall place himself to rest safely) 
A: Modesty is the place to reside (this is the only place which gives peace) 

Q: Which is the Chest? (where all the treasures reside) 
A: Sat Sangat is the chest (where all the treasures and jewels lie) 

Q: What is the Light (that shows us the way) 
A: Gian/knowledge (from Guru Jee is the light) 

Q: What brings expansion/increment? 
A: Understanding/learning (is the only commodity worth expanding/increasing) 

Q: What is happiness? 
A: Didar/Sight (of the supreme Lord is the only thing that can bring true happiness) 

Q: Which is the Food? 
A: Contentment is the Food (nothing else can fill someone) 

Q: Which is the Robe/Garment (to be worn)? 
A: Truthfulness (only this can cover you gracefully) 

Q: What is the necklace of a Fakir? 
A: To live whilst being dead (to remember death is the necklace) 

Q: Which is the smoke for the Fakirs? 
A: Firm wisdom and a Firm placement is the Smoke 

Q: What brings benefit? 
A: Oneness 

Q: What is used to cover the head? 
A: To live in the will (of the Lord) 

Q: Which is the home? 
A: Being untroubled is the home 

Q: What are the words? (to be spoken) 
A: Truth 

Q: Which is the boat? (to ferry us across) 
A: Good deeds are your boat 

Q: Which is the loincloth/underwear to be worn? (to protect against sexual desires) 
A: Chastity is the underwear (for a true Fakir) 

Q: What is Liberation? 
A: Faith (To give your head but not your Faith) 

Q: What is Life? 
A: It is 'Just' 

Q: What is existence/being? 
A: To be able to relate to all in existence 

Q: Which are the arms? 
A: To befriend (other true seekers) 

Q: Which is the position? 
A: To be like the joint in Iron 

Q: What is a Journey? 
A: A hold of air

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 250 (Karamat qahar hai)

Baba Atal Rai Ji 

The Guru's opposition to the misuse of spiritual powers is well illustrated in the story of the sixth Master's son, Baba Atal.  Young Baba Atal was adored by all the Guru's Sikhs.  People considered him most precocious.  Whatever he said, even s a joke, always turned out to have some deep meaning attached to it.

Atal Rai died at the tender age of nine years. The circumstances of his death, as narrated in Gurbilas Chhevi Patshahi, were most extraordinary. 

The Guru's son had a playmate named Mohan.  Once they played a favourite bat and ball game of theirs all day long.  At nightfall, they agreed to go home and that Mohan would serve a penalty he had earned in the game when they resumed in the morning.

At dawn, Baba Atal went to his playmate's house to resume the game where they had left off. Mohan's family, however, was grieving when he arrived.  They told the Guru's son that his young friend had been bitten by a snake and died during the night.

Baba Atal however was determined to continue his game and he was not about to be off.
"Mohan's not dead," he said, "He's alive.  Come, I'll get him."  Arriving in the room where his friend's body lay, Baba Atal touched Mohan's cold remains with his bat and called out, "Mohan, get up!  Say "Waheguru!"  Open your eyes!  You should not sleep so late.  Get up!  It's your turn to serve." On Baba Atal speaking these words, his friend who had shown no signs of life for four and a half hours, rose as if he had been sleeping.  Mohan's family was naturally amazed and grateful to Baba Atal.

When the Guru heard of the people's rejoicing, he was not so pleased. "karamat qahar hai - Miracle-making is violence! None should attempt to intervene in the Will of the Lord," he told his son.

Atal Rai took the admonition to heart. Making a respectful bow, he quietly retired from the Guru's presence. 

Atal Rai took the admonition to heart. Making a respectful bow, he quietly retired from the Guru's presence. Baba Atal went for a bath in the sarovaar of the Harimandar.  After bathing himself, he walked four times around the temple and sat on the rim of the adjacent Kaulsar pool.  Having recited Japji Sahib on the bank of Kaulsar, he lay down on the ground with the stick underneath his head and went to his eternal repose. 

Monday, June 02, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 249 (Guru Nanak dev ji and Raja ShivNabh)

Guru Nanak dev ji and Raja ShivNabh 

Raja ShivNabh's kingdom was visited by Guru Nanak Dev jee, the Raja was an atheist. Guru Nanak Dev jee went to those places where the greatest sinners and evil people were.

ShivNabh's ministers warned him not to meet Guru Nanak jee unless he wanted to be cursed. Four ministers were sent to meet Guru Nanak Dev jee and to stop him reaching the Kingdom. 

They offered a silver plate laden with diamonds at Guru jee's feet. They said, "This offering shows our King's respect for you."

Guru Nanak jee said, "Tell him how can he respect me with mere pennies?"

The ministers were taken back, all other saints had accepted this offering and left the King alone. ShivNabh was told this is no ordinary saint.

Guru jee said to the ministers, "Tell Shiv-Nabh that if he wants to make an offering then he'll have to come and offer himself." 

ShivNabh was an egotistical man and didn't recognise how great Guru Nanak jee was. 

Guru Nanak jee saw everyone for what they were. King ShivNabh was an egotist and thought that Guru jee was probably one too. Next he sent his dancing prostitutes to try and tempt Guru jee but they failed as Guru jee addressed them as daughters.

The minister told ShivNabh. ShivNabh was shaken, for the first time the fear of God entered him and he thought "Who is this uncorruptable man?"

Without firstly having the fear of God, love can't enter. Without love one can't worship Waheguru. 

ShivNabh had the fear of God enter into his mind. He bowed to Guru jee then put together his two hands and made a request.

To ask for something you have to become humble. "Gareeb Nivaz, O Protector of the Poor, I'm the king of this land. Be merciful and give me some seva, or service, to do. But the service shouldn't be small it should be great enough for a King, what can I offer you in return?" 

Guru jee said, "This is the path of love, no one else can travel this path."

Guru Nanak jee said, "If you want to give an offering, then donate something of yours and do something that's going to help you in your next life."

ShivNabh said, "I will donate MY kingdom to you Guru jee." Guru Nanak jee said, "O foolish ShivNabh, I said give me something of yours, this Kingdom isn't yours and its not going to help you in the next world. Your father couldn't take it when he died, your grandfather couldn't take it either and neither can you take it because it doesn't belong to you."

Guru jee repeated his original question and asked, "O Shiv-Nabh, donate something of yours, the kingdom is not yours, the queen that rules it with you is not yours, no donate something that's yours!" 

ShivNabh said, "I will donate MY body to you Guru jee." Guru said 'O foolish ShivNabh, this body isn't yours. Where are your father's and grandfather's bodies now? They had to leave them in this world, the body wasn't theirs and its not yours either. No donate something that's YOURS!" 

ShivNabh said desparately, "What can I give? Take my name." Guru Nanak jee said, "ShivNabh, if you want to give me your name then show me Shiva's Navel, that's what ShivNabh means. You aren't Shiva, you can't give me his navel, can you?" 

ShivNabh was nervous and confused, he said, "I don't own this body, I haven't got riches, I don't own my Kingdom, the Queen doesn't belong to me, O Guru Jee what can I, I give?"

Guru jee said, "But you're in possession of such a great thing that if you give it you'll be saved from birth and death." 

ShivNabh said, "I can't see what I, I, I can give?"

Guru jee said, "Give this I, I, I that you keep stuttering like a goat! You are not a kingdom, you are not a body and you are not your name."

ShivNabh fell at Guru jee's feet a changed man, he said, "Everything is Yours, nothing is mine, nothing is mine Guru jee." 

ShivNabh, the egotistical King, had a complete change in his state of mind. Now ShivNabh, the humble servant said, "I'm nothing."

Guru Nanak jee said, "Now go back to your duties and rule the Kingdom."

ShivNabh replied, "I can't rule, before I, I, I was doing it, but now I'm nothing I can't do it."

Guru jee said, "If someone asks you who's Kingdom you are ruling, just say it's Guru Nanaks. If someone asks you who do you belong to, just reply to Guru Nanak." 

ShivNabh obtained the knowledge of God - BrahmGian. Guru Nanak jee said, "Ask for something?"

He asked for God's Name, "Bless me with Naam and that I may always have a place at your Lotus feet."