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.
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.