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


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 150 ( Stone, Nitnem and world ocean )

Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj, Stone, Nitnem and world ocean

Guru Gobind Singh Jee was sitting in the congregation with Sangat. He had with him a stone and a bucket full of water. He threw the stone into the bucket and the stone sunk to the bottom. He then asked the Sangat why the stone sunk?

One person said that it sunk because it was a stone … a stone always sinks. But Guru Jee asked why is it that the stone sunk? Another Sangatee responded that it was going to sink because it is heavy … a heavy object will always sink in water. Guru Sahib Jee responded that this was not the right answer. He asked people to give the right answer. No-one had a clue - they could not overcome their scientific way of thinking.

Finally, Guru Gobind Singh Jee turned to Bhai Nand Lal Jee. Bhai Nand Lal Jee was sitting at the bottom of Guru Jee's Takhat, and as soon as Guru Jee asked him, Bhai Nand Lal Jee started crying. Guru Jee said "Nand Lal, why are you crying? Give an answer to my question."

Bhai Nand Lal Jee responded, "when the stone was with you, it was afloat in this world. When the stone left you, it sunk." Guru Gobind Singh Jee was very happy with Bhai Nand Lal Jee and gave him a tight embrace.

Guru Jee gave this as an example of what happens to us when we leave the Guru. When we leave the True Guru, we all sink. When we stay with the Guru, Guru Sahib carries us across the Ocean to Waheguroo.

How can we stay with Guru Sahib so that we too are carried across the Ocean? We must submit ourselves to him by taking Khande-Battae-Da-Amrit. We must try and follow the Rehits provided to us by Guru Sahib … each and everyone is designed to be carried across.

We must follow the Nitnem routine provided to us by Guru Jee. Baba Nand Singh Jee used to say that when we do Nitnem, we offer our arm out to Guru Jee to carry us across. By doing Nitnem, Guru Nanak Dev Jee will never let go of our arm. But when we fail in our Nitnem, we take away our offering arm. How can Guru Jee carry us across then?

When we immerse ourselves in the Shabad, there is nothing that can cause us to sink, since the Shabad forms a protection barrier all around us to carry us across.

gur kaa sabadh rakhavaarae ||
The Word of the Guru's Shabad is my Saving Grace.

choukee chougiradh hamaarae ||
It is a guardian posted on all four sides around me.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sakhi Series :- 149 ( Ganika Paapan Swam Across the Worldly Ocean)

Ganika Paapan Swam Across the Worldly Ocean
(Source :Panthic Weekly )

ਗਨਕਾ ਪਾਪਨ ਹੋਇਕੈ ਪਾਪਾਂ ਦਾ ਗਲ ਹਾਰ ਪਰੋਤਾ॥

gankaa paa pan hoek ai paa paa(n) d aa gal haa r parot aa||

Gankaa was a sinful prostitute who wore the necklace of misdeeds around her neck.

(Vaaran Bhai Gurdaas Ji, page 10)


Ganika 'Paapan' (female gender for sinner) was a prostitute who indulged in worldly pleasure. Her whole life was spent doing many unsavory deeds. She never recited God's Name. She was a prostitute by profession but not necessarily because she needed the money to survive but did it out of pleasure and enjoyment.


ਮਹਾਂ ਪੁਰਖ ਅਚਾਣਚਕ ਗਣਕਾ ਵਾੜੇ ਆਇ ਖਲੋਤਾ॥

Mahaa(n) pu rakh achaanachak gank aa vaa rrae aae kalo taa||

Once a great man was passing by who halted in her courtyard.


One day as it was raining heavily, a 'Saadhoo' (pious person seeking God) happened by chance to come by her house. He did not know who lived there. Ganika answered and saw that  a Saadhoo had come to her doorstep. She danced to the kitchen and all the way back to the Saadhoo with a glass of milk in hand . From previous lives she had accumulated good Karma the fruits of which she would now receive. She would be blessed with an opportunity for salvation.


The Saadhoo asked Ganika, "O daughter, what do you do for a living?"  Ganika became embarrassed and said, "Forgive me, my karma is low. I am unfortunate as I am a prostitute."


The Saadhoo refused to drink the milk. "I cannot drink milk given by someone who earns their livelihood through  corrupt, immoral means."


Ganika was moved and saddened that the Saadhoo refused to drink the milk.  She pleaded with the Saadhoo, "Please drink the glass of milk. I will feel bad if you won't drink it. What must I do for you to agree to drink it?"


ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੇਖ ਦਇਆਲ ਹੋਇ ਹਥਹੁੰ ਉਸਨੋਂ ਦਿਤੋਸੁ ਤੋਤਾ॥

du rmat de kh dayiaal h oe, hath-hahu (n) usn o(n) di- tos t otaa ||

Seeing her bad plight he became compassionate and offered her a special parrot.


ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਉਪਦੇਸ ਕਰ ਖੇਲ ਗਿਆ ਦੇ ਵਣਜ ਸਉਤਾ॥

r aam naa m upd es kar, khe l giaa d e vanaj sou taa||

He told her to teach the parrot to repeat the name of Ram. Having made her understand this fruitful trade he then went away.

The The Saadhoo said, "I will drink the milk, if you make  one promise." 


"Which is?" asked Ganika. 


The Saadhoo answered, "I will give you my parrot. I want you to promise to teach the parrot how to repeat 'Raam' (He who pervades everything) "  And with that, the Saadhoo departed from her house.


ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ਤਿਸ ਤੋਤਿਅਹੁੰ ਨਿਤ ਪੜ੍ਹਾਏ ਕਰੈ ਅਸੋਤਾ॥

li v laa gee

thi s tho thiah u(n) ni th parrhaae ae karai asoth aa||

Each and every day, with full concentration, she would teach the parrot to say Ram.


Ganika began teaching the parrot as per the Saadhoo's instruction. The parrot was a slow learner. It required intense effort of repetition of 'Ram' for the parrot to learn. Day and night she persevered.


ਪਤਿਤ ਉਧਾਰਣ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਪ ਕਲੇਵਰ ਧੋਤਾ॥

pat it u dhaaran r aam naa m, durmat p aap kalevar dh otaa ||

The name of Lord is the liberator of the fallen ones. It washed away her evil wisdom and deeds.


Repeating 'Raam' had a wonderful positive effect on Ganika.  As she taught the parrot then also her spirits were uplifted . In time, the parrot learned to say Raam perfectly. By then it had also become an ingrained practice for her to repeat 'Ram' and she did so all day. 


ਅੰਤਕਾਲ ਜਮ ਜਾਲ ਤੋੜ ਨਰਕੈ ਵਿਚ ਨ ਖਾਧੁਸ ਗੋਤਾ॥

antkaa l jam jaa l torr, narak ai vi ch na kaadh us go taa||

At the time of death, it cut away the noose of Yama - the messenger of death she did not have to drown in the ocean of hell.


ਗਈ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਬਿਬਾਣ ਚੜ੍ਹ ਨਾਉ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਛੋਤ ਅਛੋਤਾ॥

ge-ee bai kunt b ibaa n charrh naao n aaraai n chhot achh otaa ||

Due to the elixir of name (of the Lord) she became totally devoid of sins and was lifted to the heavens.


ਥਾਉਂ ਨਿਥਾਵੇਂ ਮਾਣ ਮਣੋਤਾ ॥

thhaa ou (n) nithh aavae (n) maan man othaa ||

The name (of the Lord) is the last refuge of the shelterless ones.


Repeating "Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam....",Ganika's mind was purified and her past misdeeds were washed away. Her karmic account had cleared by the time of her death and thus she was freed from the cycle of reincarnation.



                     ਜਿਹ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਗਨਕਾ ਸੀ ਉਧਰੀ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਜਸੁ ਉਰ ਧਾਰੋ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
jih simrat gankaa see udhree taa ko jas ur dhaaro ||1|| rehaao ||
        Meditating on Him in remembrance, Ganika the prostitute was saved; enshrine His Praises within your heart. ||1||Pause||

(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, ang 632)

Her dedicated repitition of 'Ram' became a deep meditation of God through which she attained her salvation despite her occupation and how she had spent her life. As she was cleansed then saved, enshrining His praises, so can anyone else be also blessed with salvation.