Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Bhai Gurbaksh Singh ji

Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed martyrdom in 1757 at Amritsar Sahib was not the last one, in fact it inspired thousands more. In 1757, Baba Dip Singh ji took a vow to evacuate Amritsar Sahib which was in control of Afghani Durrani (abdali) forces and started his march along with about 500 or so disciples an fulfilled his vow by breathing last at Parikarma periphery of Golden Temple. His martyrdom inspired countless others; one of them was Bhai Gurbax Singh.

Gurbaksh Singh (1688-1764), also known as Gurbaksh Singh Nihang or Shaheed, hailed from the village of Lil, in Amritsar District. According to an old manuscript which was preserved in the Sikh reference library, Amritsar, until it perished in the Government of India's Army action in 1984, and which is quoted by Singh Sahib Giani Kirpal Singh, he was born on Baisakh Vadi 5, 1745 Bk i.e. 10th April 1688 (father Dasaundha Singh, Mother Mai Lachchami). In 1698, the family shifted to Anandpur where Gurbaksh Singh took pahul of the Khalsa on the historic Baisakhi day of 1699. He completed his religious education under Bhai Mani Singh. He later joined the Shahid Misl under Baba Deep Singh and after the latter's martyrdom in 1757 at Amritsar, organized his own Jatha or fighting band. In battles against Durranis (Afghanis) and Mughals his dera usually formed the vanguard carrying the banner, and won renown of its acts of gallantry.

In November 1764, Ahmad Shah Abdali at the head of 30,000 afghanis invaded India for 7th time, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh happened to be stationed at holy Shrine at Amritsar. The Durrani (abdali) advanced up to the town virtually unopposed and entered the partially reconstructed Harmandar Sahib, which he had demolished two years earlier. Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, who had already evacuated from the precints women, children, and the aged, had with him only thirty men. According to Ratan Singh Bhangu, prachin Panth Prakash "Bhai Gurbaksh Singh with garlands around his neck and sword on his shoulder, dressed himself as a bridegroom, his men forming the marriage party, waiting eagerly to court the bride-death." As soon as they saw the Afghan king and his hordes, they swooped down upon them. This was an unequal fight - thirty pitted against thirty thousand. All thirty Sikhs were killed before Gurbaksh Singh, though throughout in the forefront, also fell. Giving an  eyewitness account of the action, Qazi Nur Muhammad, the chronicler who was in the train of the invader, writes in his jangnamah when the king and his army reached the chakk (Amritsar Sahib), they did not see any infidel kafir there. But a few men stayed in a fortress were bent upon spilling their blood and they sacrificed themselves for their Guru. They were only thirty in number.

They did not have the least fear of death. They engaged the Ghazis (i.e. in Islamic terminology, a Ghazi is a Muslim person who had killed an Infidel or a kafir) and spilled their blood in the process. Thus all of them were slaughtered and consigned to the seventh [hell]. This happened on 1 December 1764. Bhai Gurbaksh Singh was cremated behind Takht Akal bunga . The place is today known as Shahid Ganj.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shaheedi day Siri Guru Trg Bahadur sahib - 24nov.


When the Mugal emperor, Aurangzeb occupied the throne in 1659, he began to order the demolition of all the Hindu temples, and ordered that, Hindu scholars should study in Islamic schools and mosques. A special department was formed for the massive conversion of Hindus into Islam. Auragzeb was so intolerant that apart from Hindus and Sikhs, he could not tolerate even those sects of Islams like Shia and Sufi etc. who had different opinions. He began to oppress them as well. Aurangzeb feared that all the non-Islamic provinces of India would continue to pose a threat to the Moghul Empire. So he wanted to convert them also into Islamic provinces. By that time, only the regions of Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan were in the Aurangzeb's empire. But he wished to convert the whole of Kashmir into Islamic state first. Then, he started eyeing Punjab.

Thus, by the order of Aurangzeb, and by the power of sword, Sher Afghan Khan began to terrorize Kashmiri Pundits in order to convert them into Mohammedans. Kashmiri Pundits reached Anandpur Sahib and appealed Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib to protect them. Guru assured them that they had come in the Nanak's court. Hence, he would definitely save their religion and protect their life. When Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib's son Gobind Rai Ji came to know these things, he said to his father: "Father, it is our duty to help them." Gobind Rai Ji's words motivated Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib to go to Delhi at once and give supreme sacrifice.

Thus, travelling via Kiratpur, Rohtak etc. and preaching the people neither be afraid nor terrorize others, Guru reached Agra, the seat of Moghul empire. Five Sikhs accompanied him: Bhai Matidas, Bhai Dayala, Bhai Gurditta, Bhai Uda and Bhai Jaita.

 Guru's preaching brought a new awakening in the masses. A new enthusiasm appeared in the people to fight against oppression. Aurangzeb was in Hasan Abdal then. As soon the matter was reported to him, He could not tolerate ond ordered for the Guru's immediate arrest. Subsequently, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was arrested in Agra and brought to Delhi. There the Guru parted with the three accompanying Sikhs Bhai Jaita Ji, Bhai Guruditta Ji and Bhai Dayala Ji, so that they could keep informing Gobind Rai of the events taking place in the town. After his arrest Guru, Teg Bahadur suggested Kashmiri Pundits to inform Aurangzeb that if the Guru accepted Islam, all the Hindus of India would accept Islam without any condition.

Then Kazis began to lure and tempt Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib so that he could accept Islam. But he replied: "My thoughts are far above than honour, respect, wealth, property etc. I have no greed for wealth, there is sufficient for me in the Guru Ghar.


When all the temptations to impress the Guru failed, the Kazis said that either Guru should accept Islam or perform a miracle. If he could not do either of these two things, said the Kazis, then the Guru should be ready to face death.

Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib plainly refused to give up his religion and showing miracles was unbecoming of a Sikh Guru. Akal Purakh has empowered Guru for the help of poors and needy, and not for showing miracles, Servants of God do not look good when they show miracles. It is a violation of God's dictat. "We are ready to give our heads, because we have arrived here to give up our heads," asserted the Guru.


With an intention of terrorizing Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib and loosen his firm determination, Moghuls decided to kill Bhai Matidas first. Hearing the order of the qazis, Bhai Mati Dass prayed to the Guru, "O True King ! bless me so that I may do my duty by sacfiflcing myself for the glory of the faith." After the Guru had blessed him, the qazis asked Bhai Mati Dass, "Brother, embrace Islam and enjoy the pleasures provided by the goveInment. Moreover when you die as a Muslim, you will go to heaven where there will be streams of milk, many kinds of wine to drink and beautiful women to enjoy. If you do not embrace Islam, your body will be sawn into two." Bhai Mati Dass replied, "I can sacrifice hundreds of such heavens for my faith. I don't need women nor wine. I see all the happiness in the path of my faith." After his refusal, the qazis asked him his last wish, to which he replied, 'When I am being cut with the saw, let my face be towards my mentor so that I may behold my Guru till my last breath and he may keep on seeing me so that he may be convinced how happily I reach my last destination." By the order of the qazis, the executioners sawed Bhai Mati Dass in two on the 8th November, 1675 A.D., in Chandani Chowk, Delhi.


On the 9th November, 1675 A.D., the qazis ordered that Bhai Dayal Dass be seated in a cauldron of boiling water. On hearing the ruling, Bhai Dayal Dass asked leave of the Guru. The Guru said, "Brother, your service has borne fruit due to which your turn has come before mine. Great are you and blessed is your devotion. What pleasure can be greater for me than to see my lifelong devotees sacrificing their lives for the protection of human rights even ahead of me. May God bless you with success."

Before putting Bhai Dayal Dass in the cauldron of boiling water, the qazis said, "There is still time. Embrace Islam and save yourself from pains otherwise you will face greater agony than your companion. You have seen how cruelly he was sawn." Bhai Dayal Dass replied, "You could not harass my companion. Did you notice, how calmly he was meditating on the word of his Guru when he was being sawn. Having made mockery of bodily pains, he had diffused into the Supreme Being. Hurry up and let my soul attain unity with the Lord." On his reply in the negative, the executioners sat him in the cauldron of boiling water. He stayed on sitting in the water with an unwavering mind. His flesh separated from his bones and his soul merged into the Supreme Being.


On the 10th November, 1675 A.D., the qazis ordered Bhai Sati Dass to be wrapped in cotton and burnt. Before being wrapped in cotton, the qazis asked Bhai Sati Dass, "Save your life by embracing Islam and live in pleasure." Bhai Sati Dass replied, 'You cannot understand that my pleasure and happiness lie only in obeying the command of my Guru. It does not lie in saving this life which must end one day." At this reply, the executioners wrapped Bhai Sati Dass in cotton, poured oil over it and set fire to it. Bhai Sati Dass remained calm while burning till his last breath and remained true to his resolve.


There was panic all around after Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib's death. With the suggestion of a Banjara Bhai Lakhi Shah and Bhai Jaita arranged to take the head and the torso of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib in their custody. Bhai Lakkhi Shah reached Chandni Chowk and carried Guru's torso in a bullock cart to his home three miles away. There, setting his house on fire, he performed last rites of the Guru. There exists a Gurdwara Rakabganj in New Delhi at the site of cremation.

On the other hand, Bhai Jaita found the head of Guru. he took the head and reached to Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh embraced him and said: 'Rang Rete Guru Ke Bete' (the true sepoys are the sons of Guru). At the place where Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib's head was cremated in Chandni Chowk, there exists Gurudwara Seesganj Sahib now.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 160 ( Cash and Trash )

Cash and Trash

(Source: )

An Incident narrated to a close friend but a Professor at a Ludhiana university.

Professor: "You know, I contribute regularly for gurdwara (Sikh temple) functions. One year, special Gurpurb celebrations were arranged by the campus residents of the Panjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.

The organisers as usual visited me for my contribution. I usually gave 25 rupees every time they came for collection. They told me, "This will be a special function, we want a bigger contributions from you this time, Professor. Mr. ABC (a clerk) paid 20 rupees."

I took this as a signal for me to double my contribution. However, keeping my recent promotion and position at the University in mind, I contributed one hundred rupees. The members were very pleased since they expected only 50 rupees.

When the organisers left, my ego overtook me, "Look! I am a great Sikh. This contribution will draw God's attention and He will give me special rewards for this donation."

On the day of the special Gurpurb, I regret and am embarrassed to tell you (I know you won't reveal my name to others) what went into my mind. When I went through the aisle to pay my respect to Guru Granth Sahib, I could not help looking at the Sangat already sitting there.

Drenched in my ego, I said to myself, "This person would have paid only five rupees; this teacher might have given ten rupees; this worker would not have paid anything, he has come only for langar (free food served at Sikh temples). Look! I paid one hundred rupees. I am really a great devotee. I was feeling very proud and inflated"

This thinking continued in my mind even after the function was over and I had returned to my house. At night I had a dream in which I telephoned God. The dialogue, which I had with His office, was like this:

God's office: "This is God's office. What can we do for you?"

Professor: "Do you know that I gave one hundred rupees for the Gurpurb? Did you credit this big money to my account? "

Response: "Please wait - let me look". The operator goes through her screen and then say, "No. We received no money from you. "

I was startled; how can they not have received my large amount of cash, I thought.

Professor: "How could you miss this big sum of money? I might be the only devotee to give such a big amount for the Gurpurb."

Response: "Oh! Yes, now I remember. We did receive the cash but threw it in the trash; where it belonged and should have gone in the first place."

I was puzzled and for a moment thought may they have a wrong connection, but the office staff continued..

Response: "You only gave the money to build your ego and not with love for God. There is no place for ego here. So far as your account with us is concerned, it is totally blank."

I was really disappointed to hear that. I could not help crying like a child (in my dream). The office secretary at God's Office became concerned with my weeping. To console me she said, "Let me check with the other secretary, she maintains another kind of account. I am going to connect you with that desk, please continue to hold."

I could not believe my ears when the second secretary told me that I have a huge balance in my favour and that I should never feel any embarrassment or guilt for anything, anywhere. I was so very happy to hear this.

Although I was elated to hear about the huge balance in credit on my account but I was also a little apprehensive and puzzled. I asked her, "When did I deposited that money with you? I heard the secretary speaking to someone and then..

God's office: "A couple of months back in the month of November, you had an argument with your wife. She was proud of your promotion at becoming the head of the faculty, and therefore had purchased new shoes for your son. You didn't approve of the purchase because you thought that the old shoes were in good shape. When you questioned her she replied that she didn't want her son to get sick in the cold wearing old worn-out shoes. You were disgusted and upset and left the house for your office."

God's office continued: "When you got out of the house, you saw some poor students going to their primary school. One of them was without shoes. Your heart was moved with sympathy for the boy going to school barefoot. You told the boy to wait there. You went inside, picked up those old shoes and gave them to the boy. The boy put on the shoes, smiled a little and without saying anything walked away to his school. The sympathy for the poor has turned the old shoes into an unlimited amount of cash and you will never be short of anything. Do you remember this?"

She hung up even before I could say, "thank you."

Dear friend, I know you practice a religious life and that is why I have shared my dream with you. It has given me a great lesson, "Ego turns our cash into trash. Sympathetic feeling for the poor turns trash into cash. This episode I have remembered many times and I felt pressured inside to share it with somebody. I chose you. You give lectures to the youth and talk to the Sangat in the gurdwaras. Maybe you can share this lesson with them, of course, without revealing my identity."


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Why Should We Read Guru Granth Sahib, Even if We Can't Understand A
Single Word.

An old American Sikh lived on a farm in the mountains of Eastern
Kentucky with his Young Grandson.

Each morning Grandpa was up early, sitting at the kitchen table,reading his Guru
Granth Sahib.

His grandson wanted to be Just like him and tried to imitate him in
every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read The Guru Granth
Sahib just like you: but I don't understand it, and what
I dounderstand, I forget as soon as I close The Granth Sahib.

What good does reading the Granth Sahib do?"

The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied,

"Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket
of water."

The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he
got back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little
faster next time,"

And sent him back to the river with the basket to try again

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before
he returned home.

Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry
water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.

The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water.

You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch
the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to
show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the
water would leak out before he got back to the house.

The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he
reached his grandfather, the basket was again empty.

Out of breath, he said, " See Grandpa, it's Useless!"

"So you Think it is Useless?" The old man said, "Look at the Basket."

"The boy looked at the BASKET and for the first time realized that the
BASKET was different.

It had been transformed from a Dirty Old Coal Basket and was now clean,
inside and out.

"Son, that's what happens when you read Guru Granth Sahib.

You Might Not Understand or Remember Everything, But When You Read
it, you Will Be Changed, inside and out.

"That is the work of Waheguru in our lives"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 158 ( True Living )

True Living
( Source : )
Setha, Gobinda and Bhaga were three rich merchants. They lived at Chaniot - a small town in Pakistan. All the three brothers were Hindus and the offered Sharadhs every year. They gave corn, clothes and coins to the Brahmans as Dakshana (offering). Sometimes they wondered if all these things were really reached their forefathers in the next world. One day they came to Guru Arjan to find out his views about the Sharadhs and Dakshana.

"O Guru," said Gobinda "We give Dakshana to the Brahmans in the name of our dear forefathers every year. Tell us whether all this reaches our forefathers or not?" "No man can tell whether your forefathers are in heaven or hell." said the Guru smilingly. "No one can tell which Brahman will go to heaven and which to hell? Stop thinking about such things and stop offering Sharadhs. Work hard, tell the truth, help others and remember God."

The three brothers agreed to act upon the Guru's advice and were satisfied, but there was another man, named Chuhar, who couldn't understand the Guru's advice. He said "Sir, how can a merchant like myself and people like Gobinda always speak the truth? Merchants have to tell many lies between sunrise and sunset every day."

"Go back to your village, Chuhar," said the Guru. "Do your trading and try to act upon my advice. Everyday count your lies and good deeds, write them down on a piece of paper and show me that paper at the end of every month." Chuhar agreed to act upon the Guru's advice and went away.

From that day onwards. Chuhar counted and wrote down his lies and good deeds on a piece of paper. At the end of a month he came with it and showed it to the Guru The Guru asked him to read it out to the Sikhs and Chuhar did so. He had done no good deeds and had told a number of lies. He felt small and thought that he should have done better. The Guru however smiled and said, "Chuhar, leave your paper here and keep on trying."

At the end of the second month, Chuhar had really done some good deeds and had told fewer lies. And so it went on. At the end of the eighth month, Chuhar's lies and good deeds were added up. This showed that although he had done only a few good deeds, he had told no lies. Everybody was surprised. Guru Arjan said, "All advice falls flat on those who never think of acting upon it. People have been listening to good advice for thousands of years. The important thing is to act upon it. Cart-loads of books and all the learning in the world are of no use if we do not care to follow them."

All the Sikhs understood the Guru's advice and promised to act upon it.

"As a child is satisfied by drinking milk;
As a poor man is happy on finding wealth;
As a thirsty man is refreshed by drinking water;
So is my soul happy with God."
(Guru Arjan)

"To forget God is death;
To meditate on His Name is life.
Nanak, God is found in the company of the saints."(
Guru Arjan)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Awakening to Leadership - by Yogi Harbhajan Singh Ji

Awakening to Leadership

By Yogi Harbhajan Singh Ji

Below are the noteworthy statements. However it is good that you watch this entire video.

If you would like to know more about the Singh Sabha Movement please read a good article here


I am grateful that you are sikh.


Concept of Being a Sikh !

Ok, my boy is having a beard, has a turban, reads his Bani. All these are ordinary things. It doesn't make you a Sikh!

If your presence does not work, you are not a sikh. If your conception does not work, you are not a sikh.  If you cannot solidify you're a position before a person, you are not a sikh.

When you stand your presence must speak . You must be ahead of an ordinary well versed person. You can't be a yo-yo. You can't be a may-be / shall-be. These words are not your vocabulary. What you say must be exact. It must go to heart. Head must bow before you, then you are a sikh.


The way is Sit down together, Sit down and hold each other's hands.  Forget all relations. Just say you are my brother, I am your brother. That is the only way we survived.


We need to ask questions – Why we are Sikhs, why we have to have a beard, why, why.... We started asking each other. We tie in so strongly that we became a fist.


Consciousness of the brother hood of the Khalsa. You are the leader of tomorrow. Take responsibility.


We were as one. All bodies, but one Soul. We trust teach other. Knowing all the weakness, we supported each other. That's the only way you can do. You have to cover each other, you have to love each other. You have to trust each other. There are going to be odds.


We discuss, We understand, We act, We support


All have to put your own 1/10nth together. You all have to dress up yourself, You all have to speak truthfully to each other so that they build trust in you


One concept you have to believe that Guru is in You, feel you are his son, then take a decision.



Please spread the word about Young Sikh Leaders and urge your friends to join.



Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 157 (Better To Die Than To Live Alone )

Better To Die Than To Live Alone

(Source: Book - FROM THE HEART )


Tulsee Das was a Hindu Saint and was blessed to write the Ramayan scriptures. When he was young he was devoted to reaching God and he struggled slowly on this path. When he got married he was head over heels in love with his beautiful wife, she became the sole reason for his living, everything he did was to please her. One day he surprised her with a gift - she was overwhelmed by his love and said, 'If you were devoted to God half as much as you are to me, I'm sure you would have reached God by now.'

The words struck Tulsee Das to the core and his earlier life of devotion came flooding back to his mind, from that day on God became his sole focus once again.


Many years later when Tulsee Das was old and wise and respected by all in the village as a saint, a Brahmin pirest came to him. He said to Tulsee Das, 'All my life I've preached and read the scriptures, but I haven't met my Beloved Ram. Tell me what I should do?'. Tulsee Das said, 'It's very simple, all you have to do is climb that tall tree and jump off the branch with full faith that Ram will catch you.'


The Brahmin was inspired and climbed the tree, he sat on the branch and looked down at the hard ground below. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't make the leap. Many hours passed and the Village HeadMan (SarPanch) walked by with a bag of money. Noticing the Brahmin he enquired as to what he was doing. The Brahmin explained that Tulsee Das had said that by jumping off the tree Ram would catch him. The SarPanch who was not so religious but had faith quickly said, 'O Brahmin, if you like you may have this bag of money, but give me Tulsee Das's blessing in exchange.'


The Brahmin didn't take too long to think about the offer and was soon off on his way with the bag of money. The SarPanch climbed the tree went across the branch and with full faith in Ram he jumped off. Ram caught him like a baby in its mother's arms.


Sounds too unbelievable to be true? But look for the deeper meaning, there's a very, very important spiritual point to this story. I am like the Brahmin, I do my nitnem prayers and preach to people. I do Waheguru Waheguru meditation and I follow the bits of the Guru's Shabad that I like and ignore the bits that are difficult to apply. I follow half of the Hukam, God's Order, and my life trickles away like this then I wonder why I haven't met Waheguru ji. When my brother comes to me with a great business opportunity my focus becomes how I can make lots and lots of money and in the background I rush my nitnem and Waheguru Waheguru meditation. My life trickles away like this and I wonder why I haven't met Waheguru ji.


But one day with Guru Ji's great kirpa, I hear the story of Tulsee Das. Now I realise I am like the Brahmin, I have lots of things to live for and I am scared of dying. Guru Nanak Ji says 'I have no anxiety about dying, and no hope of living.' (Ang20). Why is Guru Nanak Ji so brave? Because he has full faith that Waheguru ji is looking after him 'SIREE RAAG, FIRST MEHL: I have no anxiety about dying, and no hope of living. You are the Cherisher of all beings; You keep the account of our breaths and morsels of food. You abide within the Gurmukh. As it pleases You, You decide our allotment. || 1 ||'


So in my ardas, 'Guru Granth Sahib Jee you have given your blessing like Tulsee Das gave to the Brahmin. Give me full faith in your Gurbanee Words like the SarPanch had full faith in what Tulsee Das said. Baba Ji may I follow your words 100% and if it kills me then I have faith Waheguru ji You yourself will catch me.'



Monday, April 05, 2010

Sakhis Series :- 156 ( Guru Nanak Sahib ji and Bhai Mardana ji)

Bhai Mardana Ji and the Rebabi Tradition
( Source : / tape)

The founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539) established the 'Rebabi' tradition in Sikhism. Bhai Mardana, the life long companion of the Guru belonged to a cline of BARDS known in those days as MIRASIS. They commanded a very high respect in all communities throughout the Northern India. A 'Mirasi' was supposed to be the custodian of 'MIRAS' i.e. The Heritage. They would orally recite long poems about the ancestral heritage of a particular family at the time of birth, marriage and death and indeed on all occasions of celebrations both locally and widespread. However the cultural degeneration of Indians, especially Punjabi heritage defamed the title 'Mirasi' and reduced its connotation to a beggar poet till Guru Nanak Sahib ji chose Mardana ji as his companion.

Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, writes in his 'Mahan Kosh', that the Rebab was previously known as "Narad Veena" or "Ravan Veena". It is the favourite instrument of the sage Narad and Goddess Saraswati. Although this instrument may have divine background, it was Guru Nanak Dev ji and the Sufi Fakirs who have brought this instrument down to the level of the general public. For Guru Nanak Ji the divine singer with this divine instrument was Bhai Mardana. Bhai Mardana was the first person from his childhood who started playing the divine gurbani music with the Rebab, and accompanied Guru Nanak on all his travels with earnest devotion.

Mardana ji was born in 1459 at the village of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, district Shekhupura (Pakistan). This makes him ten years older than Guru Nanak His father's name was 'Badra' and mother's name was 'Lakho'. It is said that Lakho had six (or some say five) children who had died during birth, and thus she named this seventh child as 'Marjana'( the one who dies), but Guru Nanak started calling him 'Mardana', meaning 'Marda - Na'(the one who wouldn't die).

It is said that one day when Guru ji was passing by he heard the sound of a women in a typical Punjabi slang
" Ve Marjania ve koi kum kar lae , sara din Allah Allah gavnda rahenga , Ve tenu koi kum Allah Allah nal nahi milna , teri kise nu lor nahin "
- O Marjania Go find some work , singing Allah Allah will get you nothing , No one needs you for any job , Now stop this noise and atleast stay quiet ",

On hearing this Satguru ji knocked the door and said , " Bibi , I need people who sing Allah, who can play, praise and stay with Allah" , Thereupon Mardana ji became Satguru ji best friend , life long companion whose duty was to stay with Baba ji , play with Baba ji and pray with Baba ji. Sharing the prayer was their goal.

Today we must learn from our teacher, our Guru ji. When Baba Nanak ji decided to travel there was only one follower. There was no Gurdwara, no Sikh Society, no Sikh king, no Sikh literature. There were no cars, no buses, no luggage, no motels, no restuarants.  Only two pious souls walking slowly and slowly, day and night to share Dhur ki Bani.  Let us continue the mission. Work goes on and on. Sikhi is not limited or made for Punjab. Gursikhi is an element, a diamond hidden in every human being. Let us break the barriers and identify the hidden Gursikhs around us. We may be surprised by our finds.

"kaljug meh keertan parDhaanaa" - SGGS ji ang 1075
In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises are most sublime and exalted

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 155 ( Air Marshal Shivdev Singh )

Air Marshal Shivdev Singh
( Source :

Air Marshal Shivdev Singh, who died in January, 1994, was the last of the survivors of the batch of 24 Indian Air Force fighter pilots who were seconded to the Royal Air Force, as part of the reinforcement the British desparately needed in 1940 to fight the "Battle of Britain". Flying Sterlings over occupied France and Germany, he was decorated for gallantry in a campaign that had many casualties. He was rushed back home when the Japanese besieged the South-East Asian region and flew the Hurricanes in the Arakans within Burma.

One of the pioneers of the IAF, Shivdev Singh, was responsible for the evacuation of his squadron from Kohat to Chaklala at the time of Partition in 1947. He later moved to Agra to found the transport squadron. Besides flying the political leaders of the day, like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shivdev and his men organised the massive airlift to Srinagar in time to save the Kashmir Valley from Pakistani raiders.

What makes his contribution to the IAF unique is that he was perhaps the most operationally experienced commander. He was in-charge of the IAF's role in "Operation Vijay" in the liberation of Goa. The IAF fighter pilots played no major role in 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. But the subsequent training for air defence operations named "Operation Shiksha", again had Shivdev Singh in command.

The crowning glory was his role as the Vice-Chief, when he master-minded the entire air operations in the 1971 war. Although, the Chief, P.C. Lal got the well-deserved credit, the man at the head of the operation table was Shivdev Singh.

The story going in the IAF circles is that Shivdev Singh almost made it to the top job as Lal's successor. The then Defence Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram was even supposed to have telephoned him saying, "Let me be the first to congratulate you" - after the appointment had been cleared at the highest level.

But things changed overnight for reasons well beyond the reach of the high-flying IAF brass. Shivdev Singh retired - without any rancour - to his home in Chandigarh, contributing gracefully to public service in resurgent Punjab.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


(Source : )

Painda Khan, was the son of Fateh Khan, an Afghan resident of the village of  Alimpur, 7 km northeast of Kartarpur in the present Jalandhar district of the Punjab. His parents died while he was still very young, and he was brought up by his maternal uncle, Isma'ill Khan, of Vadda Mir, near Kartarpur.

According to Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi, Isma'il Khan, along with his 16-year old nephew and some other Pathans of his village, once accompanied a Sikh sangat proceeding to Amritsar on the occasion of Divali to see Guru Hargobind. The Guru, pleased with the manly demeanour of Painda Khan, engaged him to be trained as a soldier.

Painda Khan grew up into a brave, hefty warrior and showed his mettle fighting against the imperial troops at Amritsar (1629). Guru Hargobind ji always treated him with special consideration. While at Kartarpur, he had Painda Khan married to an Afghan girl from Chhota Mir, and asked him to stay there with his bride. During his visits to Kartarpur, the Guru would take him out for the chase, and shower him with praise and gifts. Painda Khan was in Guru Hargobind ji's train during his visit to darauli Bhai in 1631.

After the death of Mata Damodari there in November that year, he was told to escort the family back to Kartarpur, while the Guru himself set out on a journey across the Malva tract to meet the sangats. As the Guru arrived at Kartarpur after the battle of Mehraj in December 1634, Painda Khan presented himself and, to quote Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, spoke boastfully: "Had I been there I would not have let the Guru go forward and expose himself to danger, nor would have Bhai Jetha died." About this time Painda Khan married his daughter to asman Khan, an Afghan youth of the village of Chhota Mir itself.

On the occasion of the next Baisakhi, 29 March 1635, Sikhs from far and near came with presents to pay homage to the Guru. Chitra Sain, a rich merchant, presented a beautiful horse, a white hawk, a costly dress and a khande or dual-edged sword. Guru Hargobind gave the hawk to Baba Gurditta, his eldest son, and bestowed the horse, the dress and the sword upon Painda Khan. As the latter went home, elated at having been so honoured by the Guru, his son-in-law, asman Khan, claimed the gifts which Painda Khan reluctantly passed on to him. Asman Khan, donning the dress and sword, went out hunting the following day riding the horse. Baba Gurditta, with his newly acquired white hawk, also happened to be sporting in the same area. The hawk fell into the hands of Asman Khan, who took it home.

Painda Khan who turned up without wearing the dress gifted to him, denied before the Guru that the gifts had changed hands or that the hawk was in the possession of his son-in-law. Guru Hargobind ji sent a Sikh, Bhai Bidhi Chand, to Chhota Mir, and the gifts along with the hawk were recovered from asman Khan. Annoyed at the exposure of his perjury, Painda Khan openly turned against his patron. With the help of the faujdar of Jalandhar, he attacked the Guru but was defeated in the battle which, according to Bhatt Vahi Multani Sindhi, raged for three days, from 26 to 28 April 1635.

Painda Khan fell to Guru Hargobind's sword on the final day. The Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi records that, as Painda lay dying, the Guru told him to remember Allah(God), shading with his shield his face from the scorching sun.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sakhi Series : 153 (Bhai Bharu and Guru Har Gobind Sahib ji)

Bhai Bharu and Guru Har Gobind Sahib ji

In the beautiful hills of the Punjab there was a fine temple of the goddess of power. In it stood a statue of the goddess. Every year thousands of people visited this temple and worshipped her. A fair was held every year to pay homage to the goddess. People from all over India came to this temple to worship during the fair. Even some Rajahs (Rulers) from the Hills attended the fair. The Rajahs usually brought money and rich offerings for the goddess. These offerings were collected by cunning priests who spent them lavishly for their personal enjoyment and not for the common good.

Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj and his Sikhs went to one such fair to preach the Guru's way. The fair was in full swing. The Guru's Darbar (Holy Congregation) was on one side of the fair in an open space. The musicians were singing hymns in praise of God. They sang Shabads (Holy verses) from the Holy Granth. The soul-stirring hymns touched everybody's heart. People were attracted to the Guru's camp in such great numbers that only a few were left in the temple. Even the Rajahs came down to listen to the Guru's teachings.

Finding only a few people in the temple, a man named Bharu entered and pushed his way towards the idol. He struck the idol's nose with something hard and broke it off. Before the priests could catch him, the man ran out of the temple towards the Guru's Darbar. There was a sudden noise and people were running towards the Darbar after Bharu. A strong man from the Guru's Darbar stood up and caught him. People thought that he was a thief. In a few minutes, the priests also arrived and Bharu was presented to a Rajah sitting there in the Guru's court. The priest told the whole story to the Guru, the Rajah, and all the people who had gathered there. On hearing about the damage to the idol, the Rajah was so furious that he did not even listen to Bharu's side of the story and he ordered him to be stoned to death. The people took hold of the culprit and tried to drag him away but the Guru intervened and said, "It is better that we should listen to both sides of the story and then see if the man really deserves this punishment." The Guru thereupon asked both men to tell the truth. The priest spoke first :

Priest: This man is a great sinner; he has broken the nose of the goddess and he really deserves to be stoned to death.

Bhai Bharu: This is wrong. I haven't committed any Crime.

Priest: It is a crime to break the idol, isn't it?

Bhai Bharu: I don't know who you are and I haven't done any wrong to you. If I smashed the idol it is an affair between me and the idol. Let the idol say what it likes.

Priest: The idol is made of stone, how can it speak? If it were alive it would have caught and punished you there and then.

Bhai Bharu: If it cannot speak or defend itself, how can it speak to you and save the people or give them what they want? My sin is no worse than breaking the handle of a tea cup.

At this the priest could not say anything. Bhai Bharu's words made the people laugh and they really understood the idea behind what he said. Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj, however, did not like all this and spoke out kindly, "Listen my friends," he said, "It is really no good worshipping idols. Man should worship God who has made living idols like us all. But breaking an idol is not good. We must have respect and regard for other people's religion and way of worship. Breaking an idol with hatred is like breaking a heart, and the heart is the house of God. So by smashing the idol Bharu has commited a mistake. He must apologise for what he has done and repair the idol."

Bhai Bharu was convinced of the Guru's point of view and asked to be pardoned. The people agreed to forgive him on condition that he never broke an idol again. Bhai Bharu gave his word and also repaired the broken idol. Very soon afterwards he became the Sikh of Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj.

More Sakhis :

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sakhi series 152 :- ( Bhai Suthraa Ji )

Bhai Suthraa Ji

One day Miri Piri De Malk Maharaj Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was walking with some sevadars, and heard a crying baby. Maharaj asked a sevadar to find where the crying was coming from. The sevadar came back, saying it was a baby crying, so maharaj told the sikh to bring the baby.

When they brought the baby, the sikhs said "maharaj, this baby is kuthraa (ugly)" for he was disformed. Maharaj took the baby in his lap, and said,
"No, he's not kuthraa, but Suthraa (handsome/beautiful)", and instantaneously, the child became quite a beautiful baby.

Bhai Suthraa served the gurus from Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji up to Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, and was renowned for his wise humor.

During divaan one day, kathaa was going on. Bhai Suthraa was also seated there, and began cussing at the sangat in a loud voices, so some Sikhs went to complain to guruji.

"Maharaj, Bhai Suthraa is being disruptive and cursing vulgarly"
"What did he say?"
So the Sikhs listed all the ways in which Suthraa was being disruptive, listing all the names he called them.
"hmm. Go call bhai Suthraa then,"
So Bhai Suthraa was brought in Maharaj's hajoori.
"Suthriaa! These Sikhs of mine have complaining about you"
"Maharaj, they are not your Sikhs, but mine"
"ROFL! What?!"
"They are my Sikhs, maharaj. Anyhow, ask them what i said to them"
"...oohh kiieee... So. Sikho, what exactly did Bhai Suthraa say to you?"
And the Sikhs once again listed all the insults they received from Bhai Suthraa.
"Now ask them, at the time that I was cursing them, what vichar was going on?"
"You heard him Sikho. What was being discussed during the divaan?"
The Sikhs had no clue
"Guru ji, we dont really recall..."

"Therefore maharaj, with all due respect, these people are my Sikhs, for during divaan they only remembered what i told them, and not what you were teaching"

The Sikhs relaised what Bhai Suthraa wanted to say.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 151 ( King Ambaris and Durvasa)

King Ambaris and Durvasa
The Sakhi about King Ambaris and Durvasa is recorded by Bhai Gurdas Ji in his Waars:

This Shabad is by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars Bhai Gurdaas on Pannaa 10

a(n)bareek muhi varath hai raath pee dhurabaasaa aaeiaa||

One evening while King Ambaris was fasting he was visited by sage Durvasa.

bheerraa ous oupaaranaa ouahu out(h) nhaavan nadhee sidhhaaeiaa||

The King was to break his fast while serving Durvasa but the rishi went to the riverbank to take a bath.

charanodhak lai pokhiaa ouhu saraap dhaen no dhhaaeiaa||

Fearing the change of date (which would deem his fast fruitless), the King broke his fast by drinking the water which he had poured on the feet of the rishi. When the rishi realised that the King had not served him first, he ran to curse the King.

chakr sudharasan kaal roop hoe bheehaaval garab gavaaeiaa||

On this, Vishnu ordered his death like disc to move towards Durvasa and thus the ego of Durvasa was removed.

braamhan bha(n)naa jeeo lai rakh n ha(n)ghan dhaev sabaaeiaa||

Now Brahmin Durvasa ran for his life. Even the Gods and deities could not afford him shelter.

ei(n)dhr lok siv lok thaj breham lok baiku(n)t(h) thajaaeiaa||

He was avoided in the abodes of Indra, Siva, Brahma and the heavens.

dhaevathiaaa(n) bhagavaan san sikh dhaee sabhanaa(n) samajhaaeiaa||

Gods and God made him understand (that none except Ambaris could save him).

aae paeiaa saranaagathee maareedhaa a(n)bareek shhaddaaeiaa||

Then he surrendered before Ambaris and Ambaris saved the dying sage.

bhagath vashhal jag biradh sadhaaeiaa ||4||

The Lord God came to be known in the world as benevolent to devotees.(4)

King Ambarish was an atmanivedi - a humble servant of the Lord. Both he and his queen were performing great austerities. For twelve months they had fasted on every ekadashi, not even drinking water. Their fast would end on Kartik sud 12. On the morning of the twelfth, Sage Durvasa and one hundred of his disciples arrived at King Ambarish's palace. Ambarish was overjoyed. He fell at their feet and welcomed them. He said, ''Today my ekadashi fast ends, and on this day you have also graced my palace. Indeed, I am very fortunate! Please dine here today.'' Durvasa replied, ''We'll first go to the river for a bath and then return.''

Durvasa and his disciples went to the river. Durvasa and his disciples bathed for a long time. But the sacred time for ending the fast was near. The king's Brahmins advised him, ''The muhurt is passing. It is best you eat and so end the fast.'' Ambarish said, ''I shall eat when Durvasa returns.'' The Brahmins replied, ''But it is getting late. Only a few moments are left now. If you eat afterwards you will not receive the fruits of your fast.'' Ambarish was troubled. But Brahmins are very clever.

They found an easy answer. They said, ''Eat a sanctified tulsi leaf. In this way it can be said you have ended your fast, and yet it can also be said that you haven't eaten a meal!'' On the Brahmins' advice Ambarish placed a tulsi leaf in his mouth. Just then Durvasa and his disciples arrived. They discovered that Ambarish had completed his fast in their absence. Durvasa never needs to search for anger.

It's always with him as his constant companion. He shouted. ''Ambarish, you are known as a great devotee, yet you have no idea of how to treat your guests! Why did you eat alone without us!'' Ambarish touched Durvasa's feet in apology. He said, ''Only to safeguard the muhurt have I placed a leaf of tulsi in my mouth. The banquet is ready. Come, let us dine together.''

But would Durvasa listen? No! He was the very incarnation of anger. Cursing Ambarish he cried, ''You shall have to suffer the fruits of insulting me.'' Saying this he plucked a hair from his head and transformed it into a demonness. He commanded her to beat Ambarish.

Now, Ambarish was truly a great devotee of the Lord. He stood with hands joined in humility. The Lord placed his special weapon the Sudarshan Chakra - in Ambarish's protection. The Sudarshan Chakra began to spin. Its bright light burnt the demonness to ashes. It then moved towards Durvasa to burn him as well. Durvasa saw this. He became frightened and clenched his fists and began to run for his dear life. The Chakra chased him everywhere.

Screaming Durvasa went to Lord Shiva and asked that he be saved from the Sudarshan Chakra. Shiva replied, ''I cannot turn the Chakra back. It belongs to Lord Vishnu. Go to him.'' For a whole year Durvasa ran. He finally went to Lord Vishnu crying. "Save me! Save me!'' He begged, ''Lord, I cannot suffer the light from your Sudarshan Chakra anymore. I'm burning. Please call the Chakra off.'' God said, ''Durvasa, once my Chakra has been thrown at a person it never returns without killing him. I have no solution.'' Durvasa began to weep.

God said to him, ''No good will be done by weeping. But yes, there is one way of saving yourself.''

''Lord! Quick tell me.''

''But will you be able to do it?''

''Lord, if my life can be saved anything and everything will be done!'' said Durvasa, in a humble voice.

God explained to Durvasa, ''You have insulted my devotee, Ambarish. Humbly go to him and fall at his feet. If he forgives you then the Chakra will return to Me.''

To live, Durvasa had no other option. And so after a year of battering, Durvasa went to Ambarish. From the moment Durvasa had run away, with the Chakra chasing him King Ambarish had remained standing at the place he had been insulted. He had not eaten or drunk anything.

He fell at King Ambarish's feet. Ambarish pulled his feet away and raised Durvasa. He said, ''King of Sages, your falling at my feet is not right.''

Durvasa replied, ''Ambarish, you are a true devotee of the Lord. I have insulted you. Please forgive me. Save me from the Sudarshan Chakra.''

King Ambarish prayed to the Sudarshan Chakra and said, ''If the love and respect I have for Durvasa at this moment are the same as they were when he first came to my palace, then, Oh Sudarshan Chakra! Please return to the Lord.'' The Sudarshan Chakra returned to Lord Vishnu at once.

Durvasa was tremendously relieved. Then both he and Ambarish together went to the banquet hall.

The Lord cannot tolerate an insult thrown upon a great devotee of His. So never take fault with any devotee. Being humble before such a devotee pleases the Lord.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh