Monday, May 30, 2011

A Muslim Pir Redeemed

A Muslim Pir Redeemed

After turning Sajjan the deceiver into a devotee of the Lord, Guru Nanak Dev Ji set on his journey once again. Guru ji travelled for three days and reached a village.  A Pir (Muslim holy man) was harassing the people of that village. He did not allow them to build rooms on their first floors. The Guru camped under a tree outside the village. When the Guru sang hymns the people of the village were fascinated and came to listen to the divine music. They felt that they had been blessed. The presence of Guru ji in the village irritated the Pir. His sense of pride was injured. He came to the Guru and said, "The wind blows from one direction and moves to the other. God has ordained that I should roam like the wind". The Pir again said, " I hear, you intend to build a room on the first floor? Do you?" "A wandering hermit" the Guru said, "Lives in the mansion of God. I do not know whether I shall build a room or demolish one". The Guru told the Pir, "Man is made of clay. Therefore he loves it. Soul resides in human body. This is why our body has some worth. But we neither love our soul nor value it. We love that which does not last".

Guru ji continued, "Why are you proud of your attic? When you breathe your last and the soul leaves your body and none shall allow you to reside in it. They won't even allow you to live on the earth. A deep grave shall be dug to bury your dead body. You have never tried to know how shall your soul enter the presence of God ? Of what value shall your pride be to you after your death ? Those who love clay are claimed by it".

Guru Nanak Dev ji's words were full of love, wisdom and truth. The Pir felt enlightened. He felt that the light of true knowledge had illumined his mind. He realised that he had been following a wrong path. He requested the Guru to stay in the village for a few days. In fact he had come to turn the Guru out of the village. But he became his devotee. Guru Nanak stayed there for some more days. The Pir was a haughty man. By the grace of Guru Nanak he gave up his pride. He understood the real meanings of life. In the company of the Guru he realised, "All men are created by God. All human beings are His children. He who loves God can never trouble his fellow men. God can never be happy with those who make human beings unhappy".

Just as Sajjan Thug (the deceiver), had become a true devotee of God and a servant of mankind, this Pir who used to frighten and harass other people, became a true Pir.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Preserving Guru’s relics at Bhai Roopa

Bathinda, Punjab:
Bhai Roopa—a village in Rampura Phul sub-division of Bathinda district — has the rare honour of possessing a bundle of holy relics related to Sikh Gurus, which they handed over to the family of Bhai Roop Chand — after whom the village is named — acknowledging it as their own family.

As per the information gathered, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji laid the foundation of village Bhai Roopa in 1687 Bikrami (1630 AD) in the name of his devotee Bhai Roop Chand.

Later, Guru Hargobind Ji, recognising the devotion of Roop Chand and his family, honoured him with the title of 'Bhai' (own brother) and put him in charge of the spiritual welfare of the new region of Malwa.

Bhai Roop Chand and his family also served ninth Sikh master Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Roop Chand and his seven sons had received 'Amrit' from the sacred hands of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji and enlisted themselves in his 'Army of Lions'.

Showing the relics, Bhai Gurchet Singh, 12th successor of Bhai Roop Chand Ji, informed that due to the service to the Guru families, they possessed a bundle of Hukumnamas— royal warrants from the Gurus—in which, besides asking for men, money and war materials, the Guru acknowledged Bhai Roop's family as his own family.

The family possesses a Rabab, wooden shoes of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, one Khadawan of Mata Ganga Ji (wife of Guru Arjan Dev Ji), some paintings of Guru Sahib's era including one of Guru Gobind Singh ji's childhood. They have preserved Mohrhi Sahib, the foundation of the village.

Old chulhas (burner), which were used for langar, bairagans, various utensils, many hand written literature, including one personally signed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, a sword, rumal (handkerchief), an old chowki and various other historical and religious articles are lying with the family.

Besides, the family has a chariot (rath). The house, where it is placed, is now called as the Rath Sahib Gurudwara. To pay obeisance here, people come from all across the country.

Recalling the history of the chariot, Bhai Gurchet Singh said, "Khuda Bakhsh, a Kashmiri carpenter, to get his wish for a son granted, worked extensively to make the promised chariot for the fourth Sikh master Guru Ramdas Ji.

Later, Guru Arjun Dev Ji took possession of it and on the same chariot, Mata Ganga Ji went to Baba Budda Ji to seek blessings for a son. The same chariot was used by Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and then also by the seventh Sikh master Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji.

When after committing the mistake of changing sloka on his own, Ram Rai, the son of Guru Har Rai Ji, was debarred from Guruship, he had settled at Dehradun and used this chariot to travel to far off places. It was said that it became famous as the 'flying chariot' because Ram Rai used to fly it using his supernatural powers.

On request from Mata Punjab Kaur, wife of Ram Rai Ji, this chariot was brought by Bhai Gian Chand, grandson of Bhai Roop Chand Ji, from Dehradun for safe keeping. Till this time, it stands at his successors' place in Bhai Roopa village. People come and offer a colourful top cloth over it, when their wishes are granted.

The family exhibits various holy articles at heritage fairs, organised from time to time at different places.