Friday, June 13, 2014
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
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."
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Sree Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee - The Curer of all ills
ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ –
The Curer of all ills
Guru Gobind Singh Jee writes that the mere sight of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee takes away all pain. Gurbanee makes clear that the True Complete Guru can remove our fevers, pains and diseases.
My fevers, pains and diseases are gone, by the Grace of the Perfect Guru
Guru Gobind Singh Jee has however highlighted this through the reflection of Guru HarKrishan Sahib Jee. In essence the short Worldly life of Guru Harkrishan Sahib was based on the removing of pain.
The Jot of Guru Nanak came in to the form of a Child for many reasons. It was a clear indication that Guru' Jot was not tied on to any experience or worldly knowledge. It is beyond any physical connection or understanding.
Some historians have tried to belittle the life of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee and have said that his Guruship was only there to buy time. They seem to make out that the Guruship was some kind of Human Dynasty. This is the talk of the faithless who do not see the Glory of Guru Nanak Dev Jee.
The child face of Guru
Children in general are naturally liked, this is the way nature is. Their innocence and features create this relationship. Just to see kids playing gives you joy, it lifts your sorrows and worries. You can only imagine how much greater this fondness and attraction would be when Guru Jee's Jot is in the body of a Child.
It is written that Guru Harkrishan Jee's face and features were very attractive. Everyone seeing him would feel a special pull. Guru Jee spoke very little but when he spoke he left others amazed. His voice was so sweet that even birds would stop to listen. His written words were special. Who else could speak, write and advise at this age, only Guru Jee could do this.
Sangat from far and wide was yearning to meet Guru Jee. Just the sight of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee would dispel all sorrows, there were no need for words just the gaze of his eyes was enough. Even Kings and Queens could not resist the temptation to have a glimpse of the Child Guru.
Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee devoted a lot of time to the Sick and helpless. It is written that Guru Jee used to visit the local Hospital in his daily routine.
Curing the Leper
There is an incident in the early part of Guru Harkrishan Sahib's Guruship which led many suffers seek the blessing of Guru Jee.
The following is a brief description of what happened
Guru Jee was travelling in his palanquin when a Brahmin suffering from a serious disease of leprosy came and fell at the travelling palanquin and starting crying loudly. Guru Jee asked the travelling party to halt, he came down and met the Brahmin. The Brahmin crying in pain fell at the feet of Guru Jee and asked him to relive him from his suffering. Guru Harkrishan Sahib pulled out his Handkerchief used for cleaning his hands and face, he gave this to the Brahmin and said "Wipe your body with this and then drink the wash from this Handkerchief, you will get better". The Brahmin carried out these instructions and Just as Guru Jee said the diseased Brahmin become better in a matter of days. The news of this healing made many others suffers seek help from Guru Jee.
During Guru Harkrishan Sahib Jee stay in Delhi a Small Pox epidemic broke out. It spread like wild fire, the poor were hit the worst. Thousands were dying daily and there seemed to be no cure. The Only cure and saviour was Guru Jee, anyone who came to see him or he went to see was cured of the disease just by the mere sight of Guru Harkrishan sahib Jee.
Other non Sikhs have also noted this healing :
(1) His very touch and sight healed many ( Rediscovering Delhi pg 90)
(2) He healed many people of the dread disease merely by a few words or by the very sight of him (Gospel of Guru Granth Sahib)
Thousands were lining up to have glimpse of Guru Jee, he did not refuse to help nor was he afraid of the disease affecting him. He decided to take the suffering of the people of Delhi upon himself. This act of curing eventually meant he had to sacrifice himself for others.
Even when Guru Jee was afflicted with Small Pox he was still erasing pain from others and those close to him. At the final moments before his light merged again with Vahiguru, Sri Guru Harkrishan jee did not let anyone feel any sorrow at his departure. Mehma Parkash records that Mata Krishan Kaur entered a state of bliss gazing upon Guru jee and she felt great contentment. Such was his life, that Sri Guru Harkrishan jee removed the pain and suffering of all those who cast their eyes on him, even until his very last moments.
ਬਿਸਮਾਦ ਮਾਤਾ ਭਈ I ਸਭ ਦੇਹ ਕੀ ਸੁਧ ਗਈ I
ਚਿਤਵਨ ਲਗੀ ਹੀਏ ਮਾਹਿ I ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸ ਦੀਨਾ ਤਾਹ I੨੩I
ਮੁਖ ਦੇਖ ਭਇਆ ਸੰਤੋਖ I ਮਿਟ ਗਇਆ ਦਾਰਨ ਦੋਖ I
ਉਪਜਤ ਭਇਆ ਮਨ ਗਿਆਨ I ਗੁਰ ਅਮਰ ਪਦ ਪਹਚਾਨ I੨੪I
Friday, March 28, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
Bravery & the Sikh Spirit
Excerpts from the book 'Crisis of Leadership' by Maj. General M. Khan, Pakistan )
On 3rd December 1971, we(Pakistan Army) fiercely and vigorously attacked the Indian army with our infantry brigade near Hussainiwala border. This brigade included Pakistan army's fighter Punjabi regiment together with the Baloch regiment. Within minutes we pushed the Indian army quite far back. Their defence posts fell under our control. The Indian army was retreating back very fast and the Pakistani army was going forward with a great speed. Our army reached near the Kausre-Hind post. There was a small segment of the Indian army appointed to defend that post and their soldiers belonged to the Sikh Regiment. A few number of the Sikh Regiment stopped our way forward like an iron wall. They loudly greeted us with the ovation of 'Bole-so-Nihal' and attacked us like blood thirsty hungry lions and hawks. All these soldiers were Sikhs. There was even a dreadful hand-to-hand battle. The sky
filled with roars of 'Yaa Ali' and 'Sat-Siri-Akal'. Even in this hand-to-hand fighting the Sikhs fought so bravely that all our desires, aspirations and dreams were shattered.
.....In this war Lt. Col Gulab Hussain of Baloch Regiment got killed. With him Major Mohammed Zaeef and Captain Arif Alim also died. It was difficult to count the number of soldiers who got killed. We were astonished to see the courage of those handful of Sikh soldiers. When we seized the possession of the three-storey defence post of concrete, the Sikh soldiers went onto the roof and kept on persistently opposing us. The whole night they kept on showering fires on us and continued shouting the loud ovation of 'Sat-Siri-Akal'. These Sikh soldiers kept on the encounter till the next day. Next day the Pakistani tanks surrounded this post and bombed it with guns. Those handful of Sikhs got martyred in this encounter while resisting us, but other Sikh soldiers then destroyed our tanks with the help of their artillery. Fighting with great bravery they kept on marching forward and thus our army lost its foothold.
....Alas, a handful of Sikhs converted our great victory into a big defeat and shattered our confidence and courage. ....The same thing happened with us in Dhaka (Bangladesh). In the battle of Jaissur, the Singhs opposed the Pakistani army so fiercely that our backbone and our foothold was lost. This became the main and important reason of our defeat and the Sikhs' fancy for martyrdom and mockery with death for the sake of safety and honour of the country, became the sole cause of their victory.
"...the main reason of our defeat was Sikhs fighting facing us. We were helpless to do anything in front of them. Sikhs are very brave and they have a great craving for martyrdom. They fight so fiercely that they are capable of defeating an army many times bigger than theirs.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
(Source : [Book]The Gospel of the Sikh Gurus )
Jagga Dharni came to Guru Angad Dev and sought shelter with him. He wanted permission to renounce his home and yearned to become a mendicant. He declared that he had met a yogi who told him to renounce the world, as the worldly duties were chains of bondage. And only after he did so would the yogi give him spiritual instructions.
Guruji told him that if renouncing the home and hearth and becoming a yogi, one could attain liberation, why did the yogis go round the shops and quarrel for alms? The correct path is like a lotus flower, which is in the water but untouched by it and always meditating on the sun. Similarly, the Gurmukhs (disciples who are Guru oriented) live in their
houses as family men and serve their Guru.
If one is a beggar and begs for food, he gives away his spiritual powers to the donor of the food. If a householder meditates on the Lord, the fruit of meditation would remain with him and when he serves the saints and the sadhus, the fruit of this service shall also remain with him like a master who feeds grass and oil cakes to his cow, enjoys it's milk.
Bhai Jagga then decided to remain a householder and attained his liberation by serving the saints and other disciples.