Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 148 ( Bhagat Ravidas ji in Chitaur )

Bhagat Ravidas ji in Chitaur

An important aspect of the universality of Guru Granth Sahib is its inclusion of verses of fifteen Bhagats, or mystics, belonging to different traditions, times and territories. The only yardstick for selection was their belief and practice based on the oneness of God and equality of humanity. Their philosophy of rejecting futile rituals and relying solely on devotional love, or Nam Simran, to merge with the formless, uncreated Creator was similar to that of the Gurus. 

One of these Bhagats is Bhagat Ravidas ji,

Ravidas ji's selfless devotion and casteless love for humanity spread far and wide. In the course of his spiritual quest, he reached a stage when he discarded images and idols and turned to the worship of the one supreme being. 

rivdwsu cmwru ausiqq kry hir kIriq inmK iek gwie ] (733-9, sUhI, mhlw 4) 
Ravi Das, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant. 

piqq jwiq auqmu BieAw cwir vrn pey pig Awie ]2] (733-9, sUhI, mhlw 4) 
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|| 

Maharani Jhally of Chitaur was a noble woman of benevolence and piety. Her ardency brought her to Benares on a pilgrimage. In spite of the disapproval of the Brahmin priests, she straight-away went to the Bhagat Ravidas ji. Ravidas ji was in his ecclesiastic benediction at the time, and was reciting hymns (Rag Sorath ( Ang.658-59).

Maharani was captivated. Eventually she became his disciple and abandoned all her luxurious set up. Her husband, the Maharana, had  been instigated against her adopting a cobble as her Guru. He was full of rage when she returned. He was pacified by listening to some of the hymns of Bhagat Ravidas ji but still wanted to put the Bhagat ji through a test to invalidate the allegations of the Brahmins. The Bhagat was invited to Chitaur and requested to participate in an oblation(an offering). The Brahmin priests refused to eat while a cobbler (person form lower caste) was seated in the same column of rows.

Bhagat Ravidas ji voluntarily moved away. But, miraculously every person distributing food looked like Bhagat Ravidas ji to the Brahmins (Another account states when the Brahmins sat down to eat, they saw Ravidas ji seated between every two of them). They complained to Maharaja.  Maharaja comprehended the hidden meaning of this marvel, and himself became an ardent devotee. 

"The milk has been contaminated by the suckling calf

The flower has been defiled by the bumblebee,

The fish have polluted the water

O mother, from where should I get clean offerings to worship God?" 

"Let me offer my body and mind in worship

By the grace of Guru shall I attain immaculate God." (GGS ji, Ang.525) 

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 147 ( Hamri Karo Hath Dai Rachha )

Hamri Karo Hath Dai Rachha

( Source: - Taken from One of Bhai Balwinder Singh Ji's tapes)

One time an old Gursikh and his granddaughter were travelling to Sachkhand Sri Anandpur Sahib to be blessed with the holy darshan of Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.

As they made their way through the jungles which surrounded Sachkhand Sri Anandpur Sahib they got lost in the darkness. They then began to look for some place to take shelter as it had also begun to rain. They walked for a while and noticed a fire burning in the distance. They decided to walk towards the fire and ask someone for directions and for shelter from the rain.

As they approached the fire they saw a pathan standing there. They greeted the pathan who stared at them. He looked at the granddaughter and bad thoughts began to go through his mind. Without a second thought he took out his sword out of its scabbard and began to wave it towards the old Gursikh.

The granddaughter who noticed this began to recite, "Hamri karo hath dai rachha."

As she uttered this thuk a bow was plucked and a golden tipped arrow began to cut through the jungle and the sky before piercing the neck of the pathan.

A few moments later the thud of horses galloping was heard. Soon an army clad in blue robes and iron weapons began to manifest with Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj at the front. As soon as the old Gursikh and his granddaughter caught a glimpse of Guru Sahib and his ladlee fauj they fell to the floor with tears of happiness in their eyes. Maharaj smiled, dismounted from his horse and held his two beloved Sikhs as he took them back home to Sachkhand Sri Anandpur Sahib with him.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 146 ( Ham Paapee Paathhar Neer Dubath Kar Kirapaa Paakhan Ham Thaaree)

Ham Paapee Paathhar Neer Dubath Kar Kirapaa Paakhan Ham Thaaree

(Source :   - Very loose translation from Giani Pritam Singh Ji's book Gian Kirnan)


gurasikhaa kae muh oujalae karae har piaaraa gur kaa jaikaar sa(n)saar sabhath karaaeae ||
The Beloved Lord makes the faces of His GurSikhs radiant; He makes the whole world applaud and acclaim the Guru.

jan naanak har kaa dhaas hai har dhaasan kee har paij rakhaaeae ||2||
Servant Nanak is the slave of the Lord; the Lord Himself preserves the honor of His slave. ||2||            (Ang 308)



In Ludhiana there is a village called Pakhowal. In this village there is a Gurudwara Sahib that is situated towards the place where the sun sets. Behind the Prakash Asthan of Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj there was a wall which had neither a door nor a window. As a consequence of this no air or sunlight would come into the Gurudwara Sahib from this direction.


When Sant Gurbachan Singh Ji Khalsa saw this he immediately told the Singhs of the village that due to this wall the Prakash Asthan of Guru Sahib did not receive any wind. He then went on to request the Singhs to donate the land behind this wall to the Gurudwara Sahib so that a door could be built to allow air to come in towards the Prakash Asthan.


The Singh who owned this land listened to Sant Ji and immediately after doing an ardas to Guru Sahib donated the land. In this way the Singhs managed to build some windows and a door in this wall which allowed cool air to come in towards Guru Ji's Prakash Asthan. When Sant Ji saw this seva was completed he was very happy and said, "Brothers in the same way that you have opened Guru Sahib's door he will also open your doors".


In the house of the Singh who had donated the land to the Gurudwara Sahib there were no children. Sometime after he had done this seva the Singh and his wife were blessed by Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj with a baby boy.


May Dhan Dhan Dhan Dhan Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji bless us with seva as well and open our doors.


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 145 ( Bhai Abdullah and Bhai Natha)

Bhai Abdullah and Bhai Natha

Bhai Abdullah and Bhai Natha were the famous dhadhis employed by Guru Hargobind to sing vars (heroic ballads) at the Akal Takht Sahib. Bhai Abdulla's full name was Mir Abdullah. He belonged to the village of Sursing, District Amritsar and was an expert rabab-player. His companion, Bhai Natha belonged to Sultanwind, District Amritsar. He played on the dhad. Bhai Abdullah and Bhai Natha were very popular in their time. They, it is said composed many heroic ballads.

Guru Arjan Dev hi had been brutally tortured and embraced martyrdom, becoming an example for the Panth. The Sikhs were grief-struck and felt a sense of despair. The small Panth of Guru Nanak had been targeted by the mighty power of the Mughals.

Guru Hargobind Sahib ji, became the next Guru. In front of all the gathered Sikhs, Baba Buddha jee put the two swords of meeri and peeri on Guru Hargobind Sahib ji. Guru Sahib was dressed like an emperor and there was a kalgi (aigrette) on his dastaar.

The Dhadis, Bhai Abdullah and Bhai Nath Mal, at the hukam of Guru Hargobind Sahib ji sang a vaar filled with bir ras.

Then, Guru Hargobind Sahib rose and gave his first sermon to the Sikhs:

Today the offerings that are beloved to me are good weapons and good youth. If you want my happiness, then exercise your bodies, wrestle, play gatka, learn to ride horses. Weakness is now a crime to the Nation that cannot be forgiven for anyone. You will take up the sword and I now wear the sword so that the swords of tyranny and oppression will stop forever.

You have all come from far and wide today. The cool tranquility has been stolen from not just your heart and my heart, but from the entire world. Our swords will not rest until we bring this oppression to an end.

Make day and night one. Go into the villages and light the inferno of revolution. Tell the people that we need their youth. Only that is a good youth that sacrifices itself for the cause of the Nation. We need sacred hearts and pure minds. We need Saint Soldiers. Enshrine
waheguru in your hearts. We fear death because we have not experienced true life. We feel worry because we have not enjoyed a taste of life. We feel fear because our destination and goal seems so far off. But if you challenge death, death will flee from you. If you learn to walk with your heads held high then worry will depart. If you are determined to walk, the destination will not be so far away. Have faith in Waheguru and all fears will vanish. If fear has left you then even death will seem like bliss.

Guru jee continued,

Do not think that you are too few. You are all like springs. Oceans flow out of these very springs. There are hundreds of thousands of springs like you in our Nation. When you come together and flow forward, you will create a flood.

A small and insignificant piece of wood, when made into a match, can light the entire jungle on fire. But you are humans! And furthermore, those humans whose heart has just now been scorched on hot iron plates [reference to shahidi of Guru Arjan Dev jee].

Addressing the poets in the Sangat, Guru Sahib said,

See, God has given you the gift of poetry. When nations are built, you are the foundations. Stop all these other untimely songs and work to bring the Nation out of this deep dark pit. Tell those stories which will make the people willing to lose their skin like they would be willing to change their clothes. Fill the people of our Nation with the spirit and fervor to be like moths so they will sacrifice themselves in the flames of true cause.

Our blood has become cold. Tell us stories of Shahidi and become the furnaces that will boil our blood. Give us the passion to make the trampled Punjab and our crushed Nation rise to its feet once again.

Speaking to the Dhadis, Guru Sahib said,

Now is the time that your instruments should call out a challenge. Your notes should stir the Nation. The beat of your dhads should awaken the people and the bells on your bows should make hearts fill with the zeal of sacrifice.