"O Master, [for You] it is the matter of Your one glance [but for me] it is the question of my whole life."
Saturday, June 30, 2007
kehi kabeer kishh gun beechaar ||
Says Kabeer, think of doing some good deeds.
chalae juaaree dhue hathh jhaar ||4||2||
In the end, the gambler shall depart empty-handed. ||4||2||
(GGS ji – 1157 )
Once a Sikh was plastering his wall with mud. Drops of dirty water from his hands soiled Guru Gobind Singh's (sic) robes. The Guru said, "Someone give him a slap. He who does so will be blessed." At this, all the Sikhs, who were sitting there, jumped on the poor Sikh. Some gave him as many as five slaps, some eight, some ten, until the Sikh was almost unconscious.
Then the Guru said, "He who gives this Sikh the hand of his daughter, will be blessed." At this, all of them slipped away. Nobody spoke.
"O Sikhs," said the Guru, "if you obey, you should obey all instructions, and not that you obey one and ignore the other. It seems that the first instruction to slap was found easy, while the one to offer a daughter was found difficult to carry out. You should have thought why so many started beating him ? Had he committed a murder ? So what if a drop of dirty water fell on my clothes ? And if you plead that you slapped him under instruction of the Guru, then you should have given him only one slap. Those who beat him, should have thought that if someone had given him one slap already, he should not have been dealt the second one. When the Guru's instruction to give one slap had been carried out, why deal additional slaps ? Why did you give him countless number of slaps ? You have beaten him so much that you have pushed him close to death. All slaps above one have been dealt by you under your own perverted appreciation (of my orders)." — from Parchian Sewadas
hodhai thaan n ithaaneeaa rehehi nimaananeeaah ||
They remain powerless, even while they have power; they remain humble and meek. (GGS ji – 85 )
Saturday, June 23, 2007
King Janak took every care of the monks needs. After having him fed and washed he personally escorted the monk to the bedroom where he was to spend the night. As can be expected the bedroom was luxurious and comfortable. The monk got into bed and tried to sleep. Just then he saw hanging above him a sword suspended from above from a thin thread. The slightest touch of breeze and the sword could fall injuring or even killing him.
The monk spent the entire night in a state of fear and extreme alertness since he knew that if he stopped being watchful for even a moment he might lose his life.
The next morning King Janak asked the monk if he had spent a comfortable night. The monk grew indignant and asked what was the meaning of having him sleep under a naked sward. He said that he had not slept the whole night despite being very tired from his long journey.
King Janak replied that this was exactly the lesson on how to meditate that he had wanted the monk to learn. The monk had to be alert and aware the whole night. It was a matter of life and death to him. This was the teaching of King Janak. King Janak said that despite living in luxury and all else he remained aware of the sword hanging over his head. The sword was invisible, but it was very real. It was his own impending death. Since King Janak kept the awareness of death in his mind, he was able to stay detached from his luxurious lifestyle. He knew that it could end any moment; that in fact it would inevitably end one day. In this manner he lived in the palace and yet was a hermit.
This is exactly the attitude to be brought when we are learning how to meditate or to life itself. You can remain unaware if you think that you will live forever. But how can you be unaware when you know that life can end any moment. You will be constantly aware and on your guard.
jaano sath hova(n)tho marano dhrisattaen mithhiaa
Know for sure that death will come; whatever is seen is false.
keerath saathh chala(n)thho bhana(n)th naanak saadhh sa(n)gaen 3
So chant the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy; this alone shall go along with you in the end. 3
- GGS ji 1360
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Raja Hari Chand had a wife named Taramati Rani. She was quite beautiful and Raja Hari chand was happy. However, he did not like to do sangat or being in the company of God oriented saintly people. Taramati Rani, on the other hand heard of a holy congregation which would meet daily at amritvela or in the early hours of the morning prior to dawn.
Taramati Rani would awaken each morning in the early ambrosial hours. She would bathe and then dress nicely to join the congregation of holy sages. She would walk the distance and after spending a few hours in the sangat, she would return home before Raja Hari chand would awaken to start his day.
One night after Taramati Rani had left to join the holy congregation Raja Hari chand woke up suddenly. He looked around and found his wife missing. He searched all throughout the palace but could not find her anywhere and the guards would not reveal the truth to him either. They knew that the queen went out in the early morning and were been given strict orders by her not to tell the King this secret.
Later in the morning Raja Hari chand asked his wife where she had been in the night but she did not tell him and brushed the topic aside. He devised a plan to find out where she went in the late night hours.
The following morning, Taramati Rani awakened at her usual time, took a bath and got dressed to go join her holy congregation. After she left the palace, Raja Hari chand followed her. He expected to find that she was seeing another man at night after leaving his bed. But he was surprised to find her joining the company of holy sages and saints.
For the few hours that Taramati Rani was in sangat enjoying Naam, Raja Hari chand stood outside listening and enjoying as well. He dared not enter but he also did not want to leave yet. So he stood there and let his ears enjoy Naam and have his mind washed clean.
raanee pahuthee sa(n)gathee(n) raajae kharree kharraa(n)o neesaanee||
The queen reached the holy congregation and the King lifted one of her sandals from there (so that he could prove the infidelity of the queen).
saadhh sa(n)gath aaraadhhiaa jorree jurree kharraaou(n) puraanee||
When about to go, the queen concentrated upon the holy congregation and the one sandal became a pair (Vaaran Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaar 10).
As the hour was coming to an end, Raja Hari chand returned to his senses and remembered why he had followed his wife here. He took one of her sandals with him so later at home he would show it to her as proof that he had caught her going out at night. He quickly left and returned to the palace awaiting the queenâ€™s arrival.
When Taramati Rani came outside she found one sandal missing. She and the sangat searched but could not find the missing sandal. She was deeply worried because she was worried that the Raha might discover about her doing sangat and would stop her in future to continue. Alas, the sangat suggested praying (doin ardas) and God willing a solution would be found.
Together they supplicated in prayer and asked that the missing sandal be found. In answer to this prayer a sandal just like the one missing appeared next to the lone sandal.
raajae ddit(h)aa chalith eih kharraa(n)v hai choj viddaanee||
The king upheld this feat and realized that there her matching sandal was a miracle.
saadhh sa(n)gath vittahu kurabaanee ||a||
I am sacrifice unto the holy congregation.
When Taramati Rani arrived at the palace, Raja Hari chand followed her in and asked her to show him her sandals which he had given her before as a gift. Taramati pulled out her sandals to show him and he was deeply shocked at seeing she had a full pair when he he was sure he had taken one of the sandals. He then proceeded to tell her that he had actually followed her this morning and stole her sandal as proof that he knew of her wanderings. Raja Hari chand asked his wife how such a miracle was performed that a new sandal was appeared for her so instantly?
After explaining the whole incident to her husband, Raja Hari chand was very much humbled that he had ever doubted his wife. He too began rising early in the ambrosial hours and with his wife joined the holy congregation.
aapaniaa saevakaa kee aap paij rakhai aapaniaa bhagathaa kee pairee paavai ||
He Himself preserves the honor of His servants; He causes others to fall at the feet of His devotees. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, ang 555).
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Dehi Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe (O Almighty God, give me this boon)
Shubh Karman Se Kabhun Na Taron (That I never desist from doing good deeds)
Na Daron Ari Son Jab Jai Laron (I be fearless when I fight the enemy)
Nischey Kar Apni Jeet Karon (And that I certainly attain victory)
- Guru Gobind Singh ji
Saragarhi is the incredible story of 21 men of the 36th Sikh Regiment (currently the 4th Sikh Regiment) who gave up their lives in devotion to their duty. In keeping with the tradition of Sikhism and the Indian Army, they fought to the death rather than surrender to the enemy. The Battle at Saragarhi is one of eight stories of collective bravery published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). It has been mentioned as one of the five most significant events of its kind in the world which includes the Saga of Thermoplyae associated with the heroic stand of a small Greek force against the mighty Persian Army of Xerxes in 480 B.C.
The British colonial rulers had constructed a series of forts to control the NWFP (North West Frontier Province - today a state in Pakistan) and to provide security to troops against marauding tribesmen and their lashkars (large body of troops). Most of these forts had initially been built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as part of the consolidation of the Sikh empire in Punjab and the British added some more. The British had only partially succeeded in gaining control over this region, consequently, skirmishes and sometimes serious fights with the tribals were a frequent occurrence. However, the NWFP was a good training ground for the Indian Army to hone its skills and techniques.
Two such forts on the Samana ridge of the Hindukush & Sulaiman ranges that is Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan were a few miles apart. Since these forts were not inter-visible, a signalling relay post called Saragarhi was located mid-way on a bluff to provide heliographic communications between them. This post or picket had been fortified to provide safety and protection to the signalling detachment. In 1897 there was a general uprising in the NWFP engineered by Afghans as part of their policy, which came to be known as the 'prickly heat policy' to direct the wrath of the tribals against the British. In this uprising, Mullahs (Muslim religious leaders) played a prominent role. It was the duty of the 36th Sikh Regiment to occupy Gulistan and Lockhart forts. On 3rd and 9th September 1897, Orakazai and Afridi lashkars attacked Fort Gulistan. On both occasion the attacks were beaten back. A relief column was sent from the fort to assist in beating back these attacks.
The Saragarhi Post after the battle
The relief column from Lockhart on the return trip reinforced the signalling detachment at Saragarhi making its strength to 1 NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) and 20 ORs (Other Ranks). In a renewed effort, on 12 September 1897, hordes of tribesmen laid siege to Fort Lockhart and Saragarhi, with the aim of overrunning the latter and at the same time preventing any help from the former. The Commanding Officer of 36th Sikh, Lt. Col. Haughton, was at Fort Lockhart and was in communication with the Saragarhi post through helicograph. The defenders of Saragarhi under the indomitable and inspiring leadership of their detachment commander, Havildar Ishar Singh, resolved to defend their post in the best tradition of their race and regiment. They were not there to hand over the post to the enemy and seek safety elsewhere. Havildar Singh and his men knew well that the post would fall, because a handful of men in that make-shift fort of stones & mud walls with a wooden door could not stand the onslaught of thousands of tribesmen. These plucky men knew that they will go down but they had resolved to do so fighting to the last.
From Fort Lockhart, troops and the Commanding Officer could count at least 14 standards and that gave an idea of the number of tribes and their massed strength against the Saragarhi relay post (estimated at between 10,000 to 12,000 tribals). From early morning the tribals started battering the fort. The Sikhs fought back valiantly. Charge after charge was repulsed by the men of the 36th Sikh. The tribal leaders started to make tempting promises so that the Sikhs would surrender. But Havildar Singh and his men ignored them. For quite some time, the troops held their own against the determined and repeated attacks by the wild and ferocious hordes. A few attempts were made to send a relief column from Fort Lockhart but these were foiled by the tribals.
At Saragarhi, the enemy made two determined attempts to rush the gate of the post and on both occasions the defenders repulsed the assault. While the enemy suffered heavy casualties, the ranks of the defenders too kept dwindling as the fire from the attackers took its toll and their ammunition stocks were depleting. Unmindful of his safety, Sepoy Gurmukh Singh kept signalling a minute-to-minute account of the battle from the signal tower in the post to Battalion HQs. The battle lasted the better part of the day. When repeated attacks failed, the enemy set fire to the surrounding bushes & shrubs and two of the tribesmen under cover of smoke, managed to close in with the post's boundary wall in an area blind to the defender's observation and rifle fire from the post holes. They succeeded in making a breach in the wall. This development could be seen from Fort Lockhart and was flashed to the post.
Cairn on the Site of Saragarhi Post
A few men from those defending the approaches to the gate were dispatched to deal with the breach in the wall. This diversion by the enemy and the defenders' reaction resulted in weakening of the fire covering the gate. The enemy now rushed the gate as well as the breach. Thereafter, one of the fiercest hand-to-hand fights followed. One of the Havildar Singh's men, who was seriously wounded and was profusely bleeding, had taken charge of the guardroom. He shot four of the enemy as they tried to approach his charge. All this time, Sepoy Gurmukh Singh continued flashing the details of the action at the post. Beside this the Commanding Officer of 36th Sikh and others at Lockhart Fort also saw his unique saga of heroism and valour unfold at Saragarhi. The battle had come too close for Sepoy Gurmukh Singh's comfort, so he asked Battalion HQs for permission to shut down the heliograph and take up his rifle. Permission was flashed back. He dismounted his heliograph equipment, packed it in a leather bag, fixed bayonet on his rifle and joined the fight. From this vantage point in the tower he wrought havoc on the intruders in the post. He died fighting, but took 20 of the enemy with him.
The tribals set fire to the post, while the brave garrison lay dead or dying with their ammunition exhausted. Next morning the relief column reached the post and the tell tale marks of the epic fight were there for all to see. The tribals later admitted to figure of 180 dead and many more wounded.
This episode when narrated in the British Parliament, drew from the members a standing ovation in the memory of the defenders of Saragarhi. The story of the heroic deeds of these men was also placed before Queen Victoria. The account was received all over the world with awe and admiration. All the 21 valiant men of this epic battle were awarded the Indian Order of Merit Class III (posthumously) which at the time was one of the highest gallantry awards given to Indian troops and is considered equivalent to the present-day Vir Chakra. All dependants of the Saragarhi heroes were awarded 50 acres of land and 500 Rupees.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Guru Ji's Protects His Children… ( original: http://dedicatedkaurs.blogspot .com )
guru myrY sMig sdw hY nwly ] ismir ismir iqsu sdw sm@wly ]1] rhwau ]
g ur maer ai sa(n)g sadh aa hai n aal ae || si mar simar th is sadhaa samhaal ae ||1||
My Guru is always with me, near at hand. Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever. ||1||
The Sikh couple had an isolated farmhouse in a Hindu dominated area. When news of the assassination reached the area, and it was found out that Sikhs were being killed, some local thugs also decided it was the perfect chance to loot the farmhouse.
The Singh found out about these plans from some well wishers and told his wife that they had very little time and an attack was coming. The Singh said that they should leave their farm and escape to save their lives. The Singhnee however reminded him that they had done Parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib on the top floor of the house and how could they run away from Guru Sahib? The Singh again repeated that there was an attack coming and said that their young child would be killed. Singhnee jee insisted again that it would be wrong to run away from Guru Sahib and let the mob disrespect Guru Sahib's saroop.
The Singh in frustration then said, "Once they kill us, they will disrespect the saroop anyways so what is the point in staying? We can't save the saroop if we're dead. The best we can do is save ourselves now. There is no benefit in staying! You are being stubborn and stupid."
The Singhnee replied that while she had breath in her body, she would not abandon Guru Sahib, even to save her life and while she was alive, no one could dare do any disrespect.
With the mob now on its way, the Singh in frustration told his Singhnee that she could do what she wanted but he was leaving with their son. He then took the infant and escaped.
Singhnee jee went to Guru Sahib's room, and did ardaas. She asked Guru Sahib for protection and for the courage to, if need be, become Shahid in this seva. She then took a kirpan and waited.
When Singhnee jee saw the mob arrive, yelling and carrying weapons, ready to attack the house. She came down and stood at the door holding her unsheathed Sri Sahib. All of a sudden, the thugs in the mob began to turn around and run away, looking back in terror and then continuing to run. Singhnee jee was confused but amazed at Guru Sahib's kirpa as the mob retreated and did not return...
Some days later, the Singh came back to the village to check on the fate of his wife and their property. He fully expected that his wife would be assaulted and killed and their home looted. As he was nervously walking to his home, a Hindu acquaintence stopped him and asked, "Singh, where did you gather all those Nihangs from so quickly that day???!"
The Singh was confused and asked, "What do you mean?"
The Hindu replied, "That day, when the mob went to attack your house, your wife came and stood in the door and she was surrounded by so many massive Nihangs who were so tall and carrying all kinds of weapons. Where did you gather all of them from so quickly?"
The Singh realised that Shaheed Singhs had themselves come and protected Guru Sahib's saroop and his Singhnee's courage had been rewarded . He went home and begged for forgivness from his Singhnee and told her about how all the villagers were talking about the army of Nihangs that had protected their house.
so siqguru ipAwrw myrY nwil hY ijQY ikQY mYno ley CfweI ]
so sathigur piaaraa maerai naal hai jithhai kithhai maino le ae shhaddaaee ||
That Beloved True Guru is always with me; wherever I may be, He will save me.