Saturday, July 11, 2015
Ideal Granthi - Bhai Mansha Singh
Bhai Mansha Singh jee was one of the best kirtaniya in Siri Harmandir Sahib jee during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. At that time Giani Sant Singh jee was the Head Granthi of Siri Harmandir Sahib and at the same time he was the top administrator of Siri Amritsar Sahib.
Once Raja Ranjit Singh jee came to Siri Amritsar Sahib and after darshan of Siri Darbar Sahib, he went to see Giani Sant Singh jee. As they were talking casually, Raja Ranjit Singh asked Giani jee if everything was okay at Siri Amritsar Sahib.
At this Giani jee thought of Bhai Mansha Singh jee who was very poor financially. Bhai Sahib jee was a singh of high spiritual state and stayed intoxicated in Naam and Gurbani. He did not care about making money. He did not accept salary for his services at Siri Harmandir Sahib. He used to accept a very minimal amount for food and clothing. Overall, worldly way, he was considered a poor person.
Giani jee spoke to Raja jee about how Bhai Mansha Singh was a very good kirtaniya and how he was very poor. Raja Ranjit Singh felt sorry for him and immediately ordered 100,000 mohars (Gold coins) from his treasurer and asked him to arrange that as soon as possible. Raja jee said that he wanted to payoff the debt of Bhai Mansha Singh.
The next day, Raja jee ordered one of his officers to request Bhai Mansha Singh jee to come and see him. Raja jee also asked his minister to take along a paalki to bring Bhai Mansha Singh and that he be treated with full respect and dignity.
Bhai Mansha Singh had just arrived back from Siri Harmandir Sahib when Raja jee's officer met him at his home. The officer very humbly requested Bhai Sahib to accompany him to see Raja Ranjit Singh and have his lunch there.
Bhai Mansha Singh humbly replied, "I would have come but now I have already arranged for lunch at home. Please convey my thanks to Maharaja jee for inviting me".
"It would have been good if you had come Bhai Sahib jee, " the officer requested again.
"It would be good too, if I don't go. Please let Maharaja know that Mansha Singh eats food only at home".
The officer came back empty handed. Maharaja was waiting and was taken aback when he heard Bhai Sahib's answer. He did not expect Bhai Sahib to refuse to see him. After all, who would think of refusing to see a king.
He started thinking what to do next. He found out that he had made a mistake by not going to see him personally, instead of having him to see him. He immediately ordered an elephant to ride there. By then someone told Bhai Sahib too that Raja Ranjit Singh was coming to see him and offer him 100,000 Mohars.
Bhai Sahib went in his house and locked his door. Maharaja arrived at Bhai Sahib's house and saw the door locked. He asked his officer to open the door but Bhai Sahib did not open it.
"Bhai Mansha jee, please open the door. Maharaja jee has come to see you".
"Why has he come to see me", Bhai Sahib replied from inside.
"First please open the door, then I will let you know why I have come", requested Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who by now had arrived at the door himself.
"I don't want to meet the shareek of Guru Parmeshar", replied Bhai Mansha Singh.
Maharaja said, "What have I done that makes you think that I am acting as a shareek of Guru Parmeshar"?
"Why have you brought one lakh mohars for me".
"I have brought them for you Bhai Sahib jee", said Maharaja defensively.
"But did I ask for the mohars?"
"Then why did you bring them?"
"I have brought them as a bheta (offering) for kirtan you sing. You are kirtaniya of Guru ghar".
"Offering for kirtan should be taken to Siri Harmandir Sahib. Please take it there".
"But Bhai Sahib jee, at least let me have your darshan", pleaded Maharaja.
"No! You have come to me thinking I am poor. I had been informed by someone before your arrival. You tell me, doesn't Guru Sahib know about my financial situation? Does he not have the power to take away my poverty? You consider yourself equal to him?"
"I have come here, probably inspired by that Guru that you believe in. And what can we say about our Guru Sahib. He takes care about everyone", said Raja Ranjit Singh.
"If you believe that Guru Sahib takes care of everyone, then why are you trying to take that role? Is this not acting like a shareek of Guru Sahib?"
"Then how will you let me have your darshan", pleaded Raja Ranjit Singh.
"For the reason you came here, I will not see you. Just think. Does not Guru know about my situation? If he is there to worry about me, why should I accept anything from you?
In the end, Maharaja had to come back empty-handed and could not donate mohars to Bhai Mansha Singh. On his way back he gave all the one lakh mohars to Giani Sant Singh and asked him to offer these at Siri Harmandir Sahib.
Eventually, Bhai Mansha Singh and Raja Ranjit Singh did meet but at Harmandir Sahib where Bhai Sahib used to do kirtan. All life, Bhai Sahib led a very contented life and spent all his life in sewa and simran. He was a great gursikh.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Banda Singh Bahadur :
In the prominent royal Mogul court of Delhi
King's sleep will break-up hundred times daily
There was such a dreadful fright in his heart
In his consciousness painful sighs were brought
What fire scorched his heart no one knows
All of a sudden he was jumping in fiery blows
It appeared like red hot sky from the Delhi court
King's heart shaking, seeking Godly support
Rivers of blood were flowing on the five rivers' land
Sikhs were facing persecutions for some ideal ground
Smeared in blood, they were saying thanks in gratitude
Patiently, regardless of comforts, they were in solitude
They crossed their way with the Moguls might
With faithful heart they remembered God in sight
Maiden decorated with mark of blood, their foreheads
What sort of people are Sikhs, with such eagerness
They move like moth, looking at burning all around
Without delay they line up ready to fight duty bound
They play jokes with death, and like lions they roar
Wherever they stare and rebuke, enemy is no more
Brave warriors jumped in fray with hand to hand attack
They quickly hawk assaulting caught the deadly foe
Like flying hawk assaulting a deadly poisonous snake
Squeezing them in his claws from tip to toe
Innumerable was the enemy army, Sikhs were very few
They were surrounded in chains and were put in queue
Clothes soaked in blood, bodies full of wounds and bruises
Intestines fall in tummy but they had faith and confidence
The enemy was battered by the dashing Banda Singh sage
Moguls fought back and tied him like brave lion in cage
Surrounded him from all the sides and imprisoned the hero chum
Then they moved towards Delhi, on the beat of kettle-drum
The Mogul army departed towards the Capital of Delhi city
They moved like hurricane, without stopping or any pity
Seven hundred Sikhs were imprisoned and curled-up in chains
It was a disgusting sight, an extraordinary incident, full of pains
On every pointed spear, the head of Sikh was hanging
Streams of blood dripping, the sight will give a panging
Sikh prisoners shackled in chains, shouted this voice of cry
O! our true saviour preserve thy honour, don't let panth shy
Spectators gathered in the heart of Delhi's Chandni Chowk
This caravan of Sikhs was quite out of strength and in shock
Outside they were dull and defeated, inside enjoying thrill
Greeting loudly the victory of Guru and obedient to His will
The onlookers revealed an extraordinary and peculiar tale
The prisoners started argument as no body wanted to fail
Everybody wanted to be first in their turn to meet the fate
All wanted to meet the Beloved, Gobind through life's gate
The wheel of death started, the murderers were on assault
An applause was echoed, whenever the sword was at fault
The Sikhs were being butchered, going forward for sacrifice
It was game of seven days for seven hundred heroes nice
Chief Banda Singh was in the clutches of destiny or fate
Next they brought forward to kill his little son ever so great
The Kazi passed on to banda Singh the killer sword grand
He ordered to cut his son's head as it was royal command
Sons are symbols of worldliness for formality in social affairs
If someone rebukes them one feels like to pull his hairs
What sort of test in life, to kill one's own son, was shaping
The thing one can't even imagine, the same was happening
Banda first picked his son and loved and caressed him
Then he tried to explain the role and character of Sikhism
Prince Fateh and Jujhar Singh were also children like you
Now in the test time and what they achieved you can also do
Greeting the victory loudly, the little son was revitalized
If life goes, the custom of Sikhism is, let it be sacrificed
For holder of righteousness definite victory will be at last
His love won't be wasted, he meets the Beleoved very fast
The Kazi became angry as he could not bear the splendour
The executioner attacked the child and he started to flutter
Even then this strange trick of destiny could not succeed
Plump intestines jumping softly, the earth was red indeed
It is written in the history that Banda remaned unmoved
In his mouth soft plump heart of slayed child was forced
In this hard probation Banda remained unshaken, steady
The history will cry when going through its own study
It was such a dreadful scene that onlookers could not spy
Snatching with pincers first they took out his both eyes
Iron bars were made red hot to burn his body limbs ready
The Sikh greeted the victory loudly and soul left the body
The Sky echoed with kettle-drum beat, banner flying like kite
Once a hero takes a battlefield, he is eager to show his might
A true warrior is one, who fights for sake of humble and meek
He might cut into the pieces, but to leave battlefield will never seek
- An English translation of "Bandadir"(The Chained Hero) written by Rabindranath Tagore. (This poem was originally written in Bengali. )
Sunday, April 05, 2015
The Sikh Generals
Download (pdf) : https://archive.org/details/TheSikhGenerals
No one is my enemy
From Banda Singh Bahadur to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the brave Khalsa generals who contributed to the formation of the Khalsa Raj !
No one is my enemy
No one is a foreigner
With all I am at peace
God within us renders us
Incapable of hate and prejudice- Guru Nanak Dev ji ( Guru Granth Sahib)
One Granth, One Panth, One Sikh Rehat Maryada
Sunday, March 01, 2015
Akaali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji
Akaali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji, The 7th leader of the Budha Dal, was born to Baba Garja Singh Ji and Mata Harnam Kaur Ji in November 1755. Baba Ji fought in many great battles under the leadership of Akaali Baba Naina Singh Ji and Akaali Baba Phula Singh Ji (the 5th and 6th Jathedars of Budha Dal).
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Lord Narayana's Love For His Devotee
It so happened that once sage Narada upon his tour around the world in spreading God's Glory happened to meet a devotee of the Lord sitting under a huge banyan tree. Upon seeing the great sage, the devotee prostrated before him and said, "Oh great one, when will you be going to Vaikuntha to meet the Lord?" Narada replied, "After my trip around the world spreading the message of the Lord I will surely go to Vaikuntha." The devotee then put forward his prayer. "I have been meditating for so many years. Please ask the Lord when He will give me His Darshan?"
And so the sage consented to put forward the prayer of this devotee and proceeded to Vaikuntha. There Lord Narayana asked him, "Narada, what is your news?" Narada then put forward the prayer that the devotee had made and Lord Narayana said, "Tell the devotee that I will give him Darshan only after a number of births, a number equal to the number of leaves on the tree under which he is meditating.
Narada was dejected, but he was only a messenger and so he went to the devotee but was bit apprehensive to deliver the message. When the devotee saw narada he didn't inquire about his question, but he started doing service to him: he gave him a good seat to sit on, and he served him tea, and he made everything for him. After drinking tea, he finally had to give the message; he prepared himself to run if he began to beat him, and at the same time he said, "The Lord will surely come to give you Darshan but it will be after a number of births, equal to the number of leaves on the tree under which you are meditating."
Hearing that, instead of becoming displeased, that meditator became very happy, and started dancing in that joy, and said, "Blessed are you -thankyou very much- that you have brought me this reply from my Lord God. At last He has promised me that He will meet me. No matter how many years it takes, now I am sure that I will reach Him!" And he started thanking God and thanking Narada, and he was dancing with joy. So in that happiness, and that thankfulness, he was intoxicated so much that his inner vision was opened, and the Lord God appeared on the scene. As Narada stood there, fuming and fretting, the Lord and the devotee met. It was like a calf running to meet its mother, or a river surging to meet the ocean.
After the union, the Lord came to Narada and said, "Narada why do you look so upset?" Then Narada said, "Lord, you said one thing and did something so contrary to it. Please explain."
Lord said, Narada, look at the tree and when Narada looked at the tree there were no leaves left on the tree !!! Then Lord God went on to explain: "It is the Faith the devotee had. He had Faith – complete Faith. I had given my assurance. It does not matter how long it will take, but I had given my word, and that Faith gave him all the joy that I am going to give him Darshan, and so I had to appear in front of him."
Thus it is said in gurmat there is no fixed time; it depends on our love, our devotion, and our effort.
In this domain of God there is no question of "if" and "but." Every "if" and "but" is "cut"! It's a question of 100% Faith or no Faith at all.
But the plight of man is so miserable that we are ready to believe in anything and everything except our own inner voice. Every time we get into a bus we place our life in the hands of the driver, a mortal like us. But when the Jagad Guru comes and says, "My child, give me your heart and I will ferry you across the ocean of life," we are not interested.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Diwan Todar Mal
Diwan Todar Mall was a wealthy Hindu merchant of Sirhind, who on the 13 December 1705 performed the cremation of the three martyred bodies of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Zorawar Singh aged about 6, Fateh Singh aged about 9 and their grandmother, Mata Gujari.
On hearing the news of capture and imprisonment of Guru ji's mother, Mata Gujri and young sahibzada's - Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh ji, a rich Sikh called Diwan Todar Mal, hastened to the Faujdar(viceroy) Wazir Khan's of Sirhind with the intention of ransoming them, but arrived too late. The Sahibzada's had alreay been matryed and Mata Gujri ji, who was sitting in meditation in the tower(burj), breathed her last.
The same evening Dewan Todar Mal risked his life and reached Nawab Wazir Khan's court for permission to cremate the dead bodies of the two Sahibzadas and Mata Gurji. The Nawab agreed on condition that the Dewan pay for the required piece of land by spreading as many Gold coins as would cover the entire spot. Even after this Diwan Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility but instead accepted the terms, marked the site and spread coins on entire piece of land he selected for cremation. He sacrificed all his fortune at the alter of faith.
The two martyred young sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were cremated with full honors along with their grandmother.
This incident occurred after the Sahibzade had been executed by the Mughal authorities in December 1705 for not renouncing their faith.
A splended Gurdwara, Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop, now stands at the place where these three martyrs were cremated. This Gurdwara is at a distance of about a mile to the east of the main Gurdwara at Fatehgarh Sahib and the road connecting the two Gurdwaras is known as Diwan Todar Mal Marg and a commemorative gate called the Diwan Todar Mal commemorative gate has also been built on this connecting road.