Monday, November 26, 2007

Sakhi Series : 77 ( What can you see ? )


(Source:   ) 

sathigur kee baanee sath sath kar jaanahu gurasikhahu har karathaa aap muhahu kadtaaeae || 
O GurSikhs, know that the Bani, the Word of the True Guru, is true, absolutely true. The Creator Lord Himself causes the Guru to chant it 

Guru Nanak Sahib jee was sitting in the gathering of the Sangat along with his sons, when he lifted one takka (a 2 paise coin) and held it in his hand. Guru jee asked Baba Siri Chand, his elder son, "What do you see lying in my hand?" Baba Siri Chand replied, "I see only a takka, which you had just lifted in front of the entire Sangat?" Guru jee then turned to his younger son, Baba Lakhmi Daas, to ask him the same question, which he got the same reply. 
Guru Nanak Sahib jee asked the Sangat members what they saw, which they humbly replied, "O Guru Gareeb Niwaaj (O Guru, Sanctury of the Helpless) due to our limited vision we can only say that there is one takka in your palm." When Guru jee asked Bhai Lehna jee, "O Dear Sikh! What do you see lying in my hand?" Bhai Lehna jee with utmost humility, tears rolling down his eyes and with folded hands said, " O Sachey Paatshaah (O True King!), with my little vision, I see all the wealth and happiness of this world (lok) and the next world (parlok) in your hands. I am unable to see beyond that". 

May Waheguru do kirpaa on us all that when we look at Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, we don't just see ink, paper and the colourful decorated rumaalay (draperies). Instead, may we be blessed with the vision of seeing living, speaking and ever-present Jyot (Divine Light) of Guru Nanak Sahib jee manifest in full glory in the Partak Guru, Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee .

jis no paratheeth hovai th is kaa gaaviaa thhaae pavai so paavai dharageh maan ||

One who has faith - his singing is approved. He is honored in the Court of the Lord .


jo bin paratheethee kapattee koorr ee koorree akhee meettadhae oun kaa outhar jaaeigaa jhoot(h) gumaan ||3||

Those who lack faith may close their eyes, hypocritically pretending and faking devotion, but their false pretenses shall soon wear off. ||3||

- Guru Granth Sahib Ang 734


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sakhi Series : 76 ( Bhagat Beni Ji )


Source: Vaar 10 Pauri 14 Beni Vaaran Bhai Gurdas

( BENI, BHAGAT is one of the fifteen saints and sufis some of whose compositions have been incorporated in the Guru Granth Sãhib.)


Saint Beni, a gurmukh, used to sit in solitude and would enter a meditative trance. He would perform spiritual activities and in humbleness would never tell anyone. Reaching back home when asked, he would tell people that he had gone to the door of his king (the Supreme Lord).

When his wife asked for some household material he would avoid her and thus spend his time performing spiritual activities.

One day while concentrating on the Lord with single-minded devotion, a strange miracle happened.

To keep the glory of the devotee, God Himself in the form of King went to his house. In great joy, He consoled everyone and made available profuse money for expenditure.

From there He came to His devotee Beni and compassionately loved him. This way He arranges applause for His devotees.
Vaar 10 Pauri 14 Beni Vaaran Bhai Gurdas



sil poojas chakr ganae sa(n) || nis jaagas bhagath pravaesa(n) ||

You worship the stone idol, and paint ceremonial marks of Ganesha.

You remain awake throughout the night, pretending to worship God.


pag naachas chith akarama(n) || eae la(n)patt naach adhharama(n) ||3||

You dance, but your consciousness is filled with evil. You are lewd and depraved - this is such an unrighteous dance! ||3||


mrig aasan thulasee maalaa || kar oojal th ilak kapaalaa ||

You sit on a deer-skin, and chant on your mala. You put the sacred mark, the tilak, on your forehead.


ridhai koorr ka(n)t(h) rudhraakha(n) || rae la(n)patt k irasan abhaakha(n) ||4||

You wear the rosary beads of Shiva around your neck, but your heart is filled with falsehood. You are lewd and depraved - you do not chant God's Name. ||4||


jin aatham thath n cheenihaaa || sabh fokatt dhharam ab eeniaa ||

Whoever does not realize the essence of the soul all his religious actions are hollow and false.


kahu baenee guramukh dhhiaavai || b in sathigur baatt n paavai ||5||1||

Says Baynee, as Gurmukh, meditate. Without the True Guru, you shall not find the Way. ||5||1||

- Bhagat Baynee ji GGS Ang- 1351




Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sakhi Series : 75 ( BHAI MANI SINGH JI )


(Source : )

Bhai Mani Singh was the Head Granthi of Sri Darbaar Sahib, Amritsar. Mata Jeeto Ji (short for Ajeet Kaur, also known as Mata Sundri Ji), the wife of Guru Gobind Singh Ji requested Bhai Mani Singh to sort out the disputes amongst the different Sikh groups, which had formed, and unite the Sikh nation as one. Bhai Mani Singh Ji planned to use Bandi Chhor Divas, Diwali, as an opportunity to unite the Khalsa together at Sri Harimandar Sahib. 

Permission was sought from the Mughal authorities to allow the big gathering on Diwali. The Governor of Panjab, Zakhriya Khan accepted the plea in return of 5000 gold coins worth of tax. Bhai Mani Singh Ji accepted and sent letters out to the Sikhs across Panjab that all Sikhs will unite on Diwali day at Amritsar.

However, the Mughals were cunning and they planned to attack the Sikhs and kill all the young Sikh men when they gathered at Amritsar. With the blessings of Waheguru, an informant informed Bhai Mani Singh of the Mughal plans. Bhai Mani Singh Ji was angered at the betrayal of Zakhriya Khan. He resent letters out to the Sikhs across Panjab, telling them not to come to Amritsar on Diwali and that the gathering of the all the Khalsa has been cancelled.

Bhai Mani Singh Ji refused to pay the tax for Sikh gathering at Amritsar, which was supposed take place on Diwali day but was cancelled. On refusing to pay the 5000 gold coins worth of tax, Bhai Mani Singh Ji was arrested by the Mughal police force and brought to Lahore to the court of Zakhriya Khan. Bhai Mani Singh Ji greeted Zakhriya Khan with Guru Gobind Sing Ji's salutation, "Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Jee Ki Fateh (the Khalsa is Waheguru's, the victory is Waheguru's).

Listening, Zakhriya Khan became enraged and said, "Oh Mani Singh, open your eyes and see, you are that this moment not walking in the parkarmaa of Harimandar, where you shout these slogans! You are now in Lahore, in Zakhriya Khan's court, where the air says, "Allah is great, Allah is great", where do you get the nerve to say your Sikh slogans? Bhai Mani Singh said with might and power, "you haven't met a fox today, you have today met a lion of Guru Gobind Singh Ji!"

Zakhriya Khan contained his anger and said, "Oh old man, you are no longer young. If you convert into my religion, then I will convert the remainder of your life into happiness and pleasure. I will give you many wives, I will give you land and will give you a throne to sit on. Oh Mani Singh, what is the difference, before you read Gurbaani and now can you read the Qur'an. Before you used to say 'Waheguru', now you can say 'Allah is Great'. What is the difference in this?"

Bhai Mani Singh, who was an educated Sikh, said, "Oh Zakhriya Khan, remember, we have no anger or hatred with your religion. Our Bani says…


Fareeda be nevaajaa kutiyaa, eh naa bhallee reeth. Kabhee chal naa aayiaa panjey vakath maseeth…

Fareed: O faithless dog, this is not a good way of life. You never come to the Mosque for your five daily prayers

-          Guru Granth Sahib , Ang 1381

Aval Allah noor upaayiaa, kudhrath ke sabh bandhey. Eik noor the sabh jag upjiyia,a kaun bhalley ko mundhey…

First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings. From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad?

-          Guru Granth Sahib , Ang 1349

"Oh Zakhriya Khan, remember, living our life as a Sikh is our good fortune and by gods grace we will breath our last breaths as Sikhs. You cannot force me to leave Sikhi" said Bhai Mani Singh Ji.

Zakhriya Khan replied to Bhai Mani Singh Ji, "Your talk is very big Mani Singh. Remember, I will give you that type of torture; I will decree that type of fatwaa, legal decree, that you will shake and tremble.

With a smile one his face, Bhai Mani Singh Ji answered back, "The land can shake, the sky can tremble, but a Sikh of Guru Nanak Ji cannot tremble or shake. Sikhi is that religion, whose fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji sat on a hot plate and faced tortures. It is that religion, that in order to uphold righteousness, countless preferred to give their lives but not their Dharma and didn't bow in front of the tyrants. Remember Zakhriya, I will die for my religion, but will not do what you say."

The next day, Zakhriya Khan called the Qazi. "Oh Qazi, from your book of Shari'a Law, I want you declare a fatwaa (legal judgement), such a fatwaa that the whole earth and sky will tremble," said Zakhriya Khan. The Qazi opened the Book of Shari'a and announced the fatwaa: "May this Kaafir (Infidel) be cut piece by piece, limb by limb."

While the executioner sharpened his blade, Bhai Mani Singh Ji sharpened his mind with Naam. He recited Japji sahib and on finishing reciting Gurbaani he roared a loud jaikaara, "Boley so nihaal! Sat sri Akaal!" With a glowing face with the power of Naam and Gurbaani, Bhai Mani Singh Ji shouted to the executioner, "Come on executioner, now me and you will talk." A wooden block was brought forward. Bhai Mani Singh came forward saying "Satnaam Waheguru" he put forward his right hand on the wooden block.

The executioner makes his mark on Bhai Mani Singh's fingers. Bhai Mani Singh Ji pulls away his hand. "Mani Singh, you got scared! Before you were talking so much, yet this is the first cut. You couldn't even handle the first cut, yet we are going to cut you limb by limb, your whole body," said Zakhriya Khan.

Bhai Mani Singh Ji replied back, "Oh executioner, what were your orders? You were ordered to cut me piece by piece. You have left all my fingers. Zakhriya Khan, ensure your servant doesn't disrespect your orders and I will not disrespect my Father, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Paatshaah's orders.

Piece by piece, Bhai Mani Singh Ji's body was cut to bits. Bhai Mani Singh Ji only recited Gurbaani, and it was what he had lived and breathed…


Purjaa purjaa katt marai, kabhooh naa chhaadai keyth…

He may be cut apart, piece by piece, but he never leaves the field of battle'

-          Guru Granth Sahib , Ang 1105

Saying 'Satnaam Waheguru' Bhai Mani Singh Ji's fingers, wrist, elbows, shoulder, toes and knees were all chopped on the wooden block. There was a pool of blood. The body lay severed into pieces. No arms, no legs.


Mera Sir Jaava Taa Jaava Par Meri Sikhi Sidq naa java…

If my head goes then so be it, but may I never give up my Sikh faith."

We salute Bhai Mani Singh Ji.



Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sakhi Series : 74 ( Bhagat Ravidas ji and 2 Paise )

Bhagat Ravidas and 2 Paise
Once, a Brahmin was about to set out for Haridwar ( as per Hindu rites) to have a ritual purificatory bath there. Bhagat Ravidas approached him with a two-pese (small Indian coin) that he had saved from his righteous earnings and requested him that he may offer this coin to mother Ganges only when she stretches out her hands seeking the offer. The Brahmin took it as a joke, but still he accepted the coin and left for Haridwar. It is said that as the Brahmin was having his bath, mother Ganges stretched out her hands and sought the offering her devotee Ravidas had sent. The Brahmin was wonderstruck, but still he put the coin on her hands. Mother Ganges was immensely pleased on receiving an offering from her devotee, and in return she gave for Ravidas, a golden bangle to the Brahmin who was tempted by this beautiful and costly object. On his return he did not give the bangle to Ravidas, but instead gave it to a King and earned considerable wealth in lieu of it. The Kings' wife was pleased beyond words on receiving such a wondrous gift. Still she requested her husband that he should order the Brahmin to bring another similar bangle for her so that she has at least a pair of such bangles. The King ordered the Brahmin to bring one more bangle of the same quality and beauty.

The Brahmin now found himself in a tight corner. When he could not think of a way out, he at last went to Ravidas ji. He admitted his deceit and narrated the whole incident to him. He further told Ravidas ji that his life could only be spared if Bhagat Ravidas helps him get another bangle for the queen. He fell prostrate before Ravidas and made a humble request with folded hands that he should be kind enough to help him out and thus save his life. Ravidas ji asked him to have patience, and then asked him to look into the bowl which was full of water used to dip the leather in to make it soft, in the shoe-making process. The Brahmin looked intently into the bowl. He saw the Ganges flowing therein and many, many such bangles also lying on the bottom. The Brahmin was puzzled. Ravidas told him to put his hands into the bowl and take out a bangle to fulfil his need. Thus, he came to know the spiritual position of Ravidas. Those were the intellectually blind and ego-ridden who looked upon him as a low-caste man.

Guru Ram Das has also said about the spiritual greatness of Bhagat Ravidas ji that people from all four varnas (castes) – ie everybody fell on his feet because of his spiritual attainment. An extract from this hymn is given below:

Ravi Das, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant.
Although he was of low social status, he was exalted and elevated, and people of all four castes came and bowed at his feet. ||2||

-          Guru Granth Sahib ji pg 733