Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sakhi Series - 31 ( Bulleh Shah )

Those who do not forget the Lord, with each breath and morsel of food, whose minds are filled with the Mantra of the Lord's Name

they alone are blessed; O Nanak, they are the perfect Saints. ||1||


Once Baba Bulleh Shah was sitting on bank of river when he saw this lady selling carrots. People were coming to buy it, but when they start picking and choosing she would say  "I only sell carrots in volumes there is no pick and choose". So all these people had to buy carrots in volumes/in bulk.


Then there was this beautiful man, who came to her to get carrots, but this time she herself picked the best carrots for him ! Bulleh shah was quite surprised looking at the incident so after this men had left  Bulleh shah asked her how come you let only him to hand pick the carrots, in fact you picked and choose carrots for him yourself. She replied, Bulleh Shah ji, he is my husband, there is no counting/accounts between lovers.


This made Bullah Shah realize, what's the point of carrying a rosary. He put it away and asked himself, Bullah are you insane? Why are you doing counting with your beloved? Why count what Waheguru has given me ? How many times have I done simran or went to Gurudwara, or how much money did I gave for charity and then brag about the same etc ?


Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Shabad be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth.

Become such a farmer, and faith will sprout. This brings knowledge of heaven and hell, you fool! ||1||

Do not think that your Husband Lord can be obtained by mere words.

You are wasting this life in the pride of wealth and the splendor of beauty. ||1||Pause||

- Guru Granth Sahib ji pg 24


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sakhi Series - 29 ( Mai Bhag Kaur and the 40 mukte's)

Mai Bhag Kaur: As a young girl, she had heard sakhis of Sikh Gurus' and their disciples(other sikhs). A regular hearing of the sakhis made a deep effect on her tender heart and inspired her to live a life of a Khalsa Women. She went to Anandpur Sahib along with his father in 1699 A.D., when Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji founded the Khalsa Panth. "She took Amrit and learned the art of fighting and self defence."
When mughals and hilly chiefs had surrounded Anandpur sahib and were demanding it be evacuated. They called that any Sikh who says that "he/she is not anymore a Sikh of Guru Gobind" will be left untouched. A group of 40 Sikhs, led by Mahan Singh told Guru Gobind Singh that they are not his Sikhs anymore. Guru told them that they have to write it in a document that "they are not his Sikhs anymore" and sign it. "All forty Sikhs signed this document Bedava and left Guru Gobind Singh."
Mai Bhag Kaur was distressed to hear that some of the Sikhs of her neighborhood who had gone to Anandpur to fight for Guru Gobind Singh had deserted him under adverse conditions. Hearing her taunts, these Sikhs were ashamed at their deed. Her sharp words awakened the souls of numerous men. she inspired them to return to the Guru's fold and led them to meet the Guru and seek his pardon.

It was the consciousness of MaiBhag Kaur and the Khalsa wives of this 40 Sikhs what inspired them to return. This Sikh Women would have rather endured all the worldly hardships than to see their husbands walk away from their destinies and betray their Guru.

Knowing that Wajir Khan was advancing to attack the Guru, Mai Bhago took up positions along with this forty Sikhs and others at Mukatsar.
Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh had to evacuate the fort of Anandpur, The Sahibzada's were lost in the confusion. Two youngest one's Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, went along with their grandmother (mother of Guru Gobind Singh). While elder one's Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh were with their father. Then at battle of Chamkaur Guru's elder sons attained martyrdom, Guru was persuaded by the five Sikhs (Panj Pyaara's ) to evacuate Chamkaur and was traveling in Malva region, being pursued by Mughal forces of Aurungzeb. Traveling day and night in the Jungles of Malva region, imperial Mughal forces were in constant pursuit of Guru. Guru Gobind Singh had reached village of Khidrana, when Mai Bhag Kaur and the men, she was leading stopped near the dhab or pool of Khidrana where the imperial army in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh had also reached. They challenged the pursuing host and fought furiously forcing it to retreat. All forty Sikhs attained martyrdom in this pitched battle, in which Guru himself was supporting them with a shower of arrows from a nearby high ground. Guruji found all the men except one Mahan Singh, killed when he visited the battlefield. Mai Bhag Kaur and Guru Gobind Singh ji were the sole survivors of this fiercely fought battle.
"Mai Bhag Kaur showed the bravery by lighting with valour and redeemed the honour of the faithless forty Sikhs."
Mahan Singh, who had been seriously wounded, requested Guru ji to tear the 'Bedava' on which they had written that they were no Sikhs of the Guru. The Guru took him into his lap, tore the Bedava and blessed him. Guru Gobind Singh blessed those forty dead as the Forty Liberated Ones.

Kabeera, janaa gyan tah Dharam hai jahaa jhooth tah paap Jahaa lobh tah kaal, jahaa khima tah aap Kabeer, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness and Dharma. Where there is falsehood, there is sin.
Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.
--Bhagat Kabeer, GGS ji
After the battle was won, Guru Gobind Singh asked Mai Bhag Kaur to go back to her village. 
"She told Guru her long cherished desire to become an active saint soldier in the army of the Guru's."
He took into his care Mai Bhag Kaur who had also suffered injury in the battle. She there after stayed on with Guru Gobind Singh as one of his bodyguard. After Guru Gobind Singh ji left his human body in 1708, she retired further south. She settled down at Jinvara, 11 km from Bidar in Karnataka where, immersed in meditation, she lived to attain a ripe old age. Her hut in Jinvara has now been converted into Gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhag Kaur. At Nanded, too, a hall within the compound of Takht Sachkhand. Sri Hazur Sahib marking the site of her residence is known as Bunga Mai Bhag Kaur.
"One becomes Jivan-mukta - liberated while yet alive, by listening to the Shabad.
Living a truthful way of life, one finds true peace. ||7||"      ( GGS ji) 

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sakhi Series - 28 ( Guru Arjan dev ji & Shabad Hazare )

A cousin of Guru Ram Das Ji came to Amritsar from Lahore especially to ask Guru Sahib to attend his son's wedding. But Guru Ji being unable to attend the wedding personally for some reason said, "Perhaps I can send one of my Sons instead." Guru Ram Das Ji had three sons: Prithi Chand or Prithia, Mahadev, and Arjan Mal. Prithia was in charge of collecting donations. When the Guru asked him to attend the wedding, Prithia said, "I have to take care of the collections. And I hate going to weddings." Actually, he was afraid if he were away from the Guru for too long, he might not be appointed the Guru's successor. Guru Ji then turned to Mahadev. Mahadev lived his life in meditation and said, "I have no desire to involve myself in worldly affairs." Finally, Guru Sahib Ji asked Arjan if he would go. Arjan said, "I only desire to do what you wish." Guru Ji was very pleased. He asked Arjan to spend some time in Lahore to share the Guru's teachings with the Sikhs there. Any donations he received were to be given to the free kitchen to feed the poor. The last words he said to Arjan were, "You should stay in Lahore until I send for you"

Arjan Mal stayed in Lahore after the wedding and grew to be much loved by his relations and the Sikhs there. Still, all the time he was there, his heart was with his father/Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji. When he expressed his longing to his new friends, they suggested he write a letter asking that he be able to return. Arjan Mal wrote a beautiful shabad :
"My soul longs for the Guru like the pied-cuckoo longs for the rain of the monsoon. I am always a sacrifice unto the True Guru."

He sent this letter with one of the Sikhs who had come with him to Lahore. When the messenger reached Amritsar, Prithia saw him and suspected that he had a letter for the Guru from his brother. He said "I will take the letter to the Guru myself." When he read the letter he knew that it was so beautiful that it would move the Guru's heart in Arjan's favor. So he hid the letter in his coat and sent the Sikh back to Arjan telling him that the Guru said he should stay in Lahore until sent for. When Arjan received this message, he knew that Prithia, and not his father, had sent it. He then wrote a second letter with strict orders that it be given only to the Guru. In it, he wrote,
"I love the sight of the Guru's face and the sound of his words, and it has been long since I have seen him. I am ever a sacrifice unto the True Guru."

This time, Prithia grabbed the letter out of the messenger's hands, and grew more angry than before. Again, he hid the letter in his coat. He sent another message that Arjan was to remain in Lahore until sent for. When Arjan heard this from the messenger, he wrote a third letter, this time putting a number "3" on it. He told the messenger to be on his guard against Prithia and to give the letter to Guru Ram Das Ji himself. The messenger waited until Prithia had to go home, and then quickly reached the Guru and gave him the letter. In it, Arjan said,

"Each second away from the Guru is like an age. I cannot sleep without a sight of the Guru. I am ever a sacrifice unto him."

On this letter, the Guru saw the number "3", and knew instantly that he had not received the other two letters. The messenger related the story to him, and the Guru grew very angry. He called for Prithia and asked him three times if he knew anything about the other letters. Prithia denied it everytime. The all knowing Guru knew his thoughts, and told the messenger to go get the coat in Prithia's house. When he returned with it, the two missing letters were in the pocket.

At once, the Guru sent Bhai Buddha to Lahore with a carriage to bring ArjanMal home as soon as possible. When Arjan was finally united with his father, he placed his head on Guru Sahib Ji's chest against his long beard. He remained that way for many moments, while the Guru held him gently in his arms. The Guru then said that as he had written three stanzas, he should write a fourth to finish the poem. Arjan wrote the last verse saying,

"It is my good fortune to have met the True Guru, and I have found the Immortal God in my own home. My greatest desire is to never be separated from him again, not even for an instant. I am ever a sacrifice to the True Guru."

Upon hearing this, the Guru was very pleased. He said, "The Guruship is passed on because of merit. As only the one who is most humble can claim it, I grant it to you." Guru Ji then sent for a coconut and five paisey and placed them before Arjan. He descended from his throne and seated Arjan upon it in front of the whole sangat. Bhai Buddha pressed the tilak on Arjan's forehead as a symbol that the light of Guru Ram Das Ji had now passed to Arjan, who then became Guru Arjun Dev Ji the fifth Guru of the Sikhs.

The Bani (Scripture) of Fifth Guru Arjan Dev, in the Raag (Musical measure) called Maajh, Chau-Padas (Four lines per Hymn), First House of Raag.

My mind longs for the Blessed Vision of the Guru's Darshan.

It is anxious like the rain-bird
(Weaver-bird, Papiha: Papeehaa, Beehaa, or Bambeehaa It keeps eager to have a drop of rain at a special auspicious moment).
I am thirsty and have no peace without meeting the revered Saint (my Guru).
I am a sacrifice (Love-lost, eager) for meeting the Saint (Guru). 1Pause

Your face (Meeting you) is so impressive, and your speech is peace and joy giving.
It is so long since this rainbird has had even a glimpse of water.
Blessed is that land where You dwell, O my Friend and Intimate Divine Guru
. 2

I am a sacrifice - an appreciation, to my friend and companion lord (Guru)1 Pause

When I could not see you even for a short while, it was a dark-age, a hard time, for me.
When shall I meet you now, beloved Lord !
My night does not pass, and sleep comes not, without being in the presence of the Guru: Prophet.

I am a sacrifice, sacrifice I am, to this true court of the revered Guru. 1Pause

It is my good destiny, that I have met the Saint Guru.
I have found the Immortal Lord within the home of my own self.
I will serve You forever, and shall never be separated from You even for an instant. Servant Nanak is Your slave, O beloved Master

I am, a sacrifice - an appreciation I am, Nanak is yours and in your service. Pause18

Full version of Shabad Hazare:,%20with%20Punjabi%20&%20Eng%20transla%20&%20PT.pdf(pg 221 onwards)

Audio Links :
1) Shabad :


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sakhi Series - 27 ( Guru Angad Dev Ji and the Tapa)

Guru Angad Sahib Ji lived at Khadur Sahib in the Punjab, India. There lived a yogi named Shiv Nath in the same village. Yogis were saints who did not marry. They had a great hold on the people. Shiv Nath was very proud. He became jealous of the Guru's fame. So he started making plans to get rid of the Guru by fair means or foul. He was on the look out for a chance to make the Guru feel small.

Once, it did not rain for a long time. There was a danger of drought. So the people were worried. They went to the yogi and asked him to do something about it. The yogi replied in anger, 'How can you expect rain, you fools, when you look upon a married man as your Guru? Turn him out of the village and you will surely get rain."

The people were carried away by the yogi's words. They went to the Guru and said, "O Guru, the crops are dying for want of rain. If you will kindly leave this village, the yogi can save us by bringing rain for us."

"Dear friends," replied the Guru, "Rain and sunshine are natural. They are in the hands of God. Still, I don't mind leaving the village if it is in your interest." The next day, the Guru left the village. The people went to the yogi once more to ask for rain. The yogi could do nothing against the law of nature. It did not rain. The people waited for some days but then became very angry and realised their fault. They dragged the yogi out of his hut into their fields. It so happened that it rained in every field into which they dragged the yogi. So everyone was keen to drag the yogi into his own field first. They dragged him this way and that till he was sorry and accepted that he lied about the Guru.

The villagers were very sorry to have turned the Guru out of the village. They realised their mistake. They went to him and begged his pardon. They brought Guruji back with great respect. The Guru told the people to have faith in the Will of God. He then started a common kitchen in that village, with the help of his followers. This was known as the 'Guru Ka Langar' ("the Guru's Kitchen"). Anyone could come at any time and have a free dinner in the Langar. Men, women and children of all castes, religions, colours and races sat and ate together. Many people cheerfully offered free service in the Langar and joined the sangat regularly.

"Why call him blind, who is blind by the Will of God? Nanak, it is he who will not understand God's Will, who should be called blind." (Guru Angad Sahib ji)

"What pleases Him, Nanak, is good. They who must abide by His Will, have no power of their own" (Guru Angad Sahib ji)

"When He gives His order, Men must follow, Men must act according to God's Will; Nanak, Men come when they are sent by God, And die when they are called by Him." (Guru Angad Sahib ji)