Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Truth and Falsehood

 Truth and Falsehood

Life is merely a temporary charm.
Be good to all and do no harm.

Guru Nanak Dev ji reached Sialkot, now in Pakistan, on one of the Udasis (preaching missions). The people, who came to see him, told him that they were greatly worried about themselves and their city. Guru ji asked the reason for that. They said that a Muslim mystic named Hamza Gaus had gone on a 40 days meditation to destroy the city and its residents. This was because he was angry at the behaviour of one person. He made a decision to use his powers to make the whole city sink into the earth and make it vanish forever. Guru Nanak Dev assured them that no harm would come to them. They should go and get busy with their jobs and always keep God in their mind.

The Guru went to the place where the Pir had locked himself in a chamber in which he sat meditating to destroy the city. Bhai Mardana was asked to play on the rebeck while the Guru started singing a shabad. The Pir heard the music and virtues of God sung outside his chamber. He was so tempted by the celestial music/shabads that he broke his 40 day continuous meditation, opened the door and came out. He was surprised to see the Guru and his associates. He asked them, "Who are you"? Why have you come here and interrupted my meditation?"

The Guru told him to calm down and reminded him that holy men are expected to serve and help the people with the power and virtues God bestows on them. It is sin to use the holy powers to harm people. Pir insisted that all the people of the city were evil. None possessed any goodness. They all deserved to be destroyed. The Guru decided to reveal the truth to him. He gave some money to his associate and sent him to the city to purchase a packet each of "truth" and "falsehood."

The person went to the city and moved from shop to shop in search of truth and falsehood. He always got a negative answer to his query. Finally, he contacted Bhai Moola. He took the money and wrote on a piece of paper, Marna Sach, Jeona Jhuth. "Death is a truth and life is a falsehood."

The Guru showed this to the Pir and warned him that he was totally wrong to think of doing any harm to such people. There were people who knew and understood that life is temporary, hence, a falsehood. Death is sure to come to everyone. While after death, our soul lives forever hence, death is a truth.

Pir confessed that he was wrong to believe that everybody was bad and needed to be destroyed. He decided to serve the people and not harm them with the knowledge and virtues that God had given him.

Powers given by God should be used to help people and not harm them. Life is a temporary phase, death is inevitable.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guru Nanak Dev ji and Mardana ji

Healthy Living

From Delhi Guru Nanak and Mardana started travelling towards the East. After walking for a few days they broke their journey in a grove of trees. Next day at noon they saw a planquin. It was being carried by six persons. They stopped and put the planquin under a tree. A Pir alighted from it. His attendants spread a sheet over the grass. The Pir lay down. All of them started pressing his arms and legs to remove his tiredness.

Mardana was surprised. He said to the Guru, "What is all this? The one who had been sitting in the planquin is tired and the men who carried the planqin are not tired. They are pressing the Pir's body to take away the tiredness".

Guru Nanak smiled and said, "Those who remain active have good appetite. They are able to digest what they eat. They have strong and healthy bodies. Those who do not work and just keep on sitting lose their appetite. If they over eat they are not able to digest. They get tired soon".

Mardana could not understand what the Guru had said. He said again, "The Pir does not appear to be sick. He has not even walked. I cannot understand why does he feel tired?" The Guru laughed and said, "The Pir is tired for two reasons. In his previous life he has been practising penace and austerities to get the power to perform miracles. Owing to the good deeds of his previous life he has become a Pir during this life. People know him as a Pir. He has become lazy and does nothing. He does not even walk. As he had given up work, his body has become feeble. He gets tired even while sitting in the planquin.

This is the plight of a man who has gone astray. If he loves God and works for the welfare of the people both his body and mind will remain healthy. He will be successful in his life and after his death go to the land of Bliss"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

This Fauji is ready now

Nihang Singh ji

Gyani Udham Singh Ji wrote a book many years ago about Ikonkaar and the power of Satguru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj's bani. Within this book Gyani Ji wrote the following sakhi which he experienced with his own eyes:

One time there was a Nihang Singh who used to live at a Gurudwara Sahib in a village in India. Gyani Udham Singh Ji visited this Gurudwara Sahib and saw the Nihang Singh Ji rush outside through the doors of the Gurudwara Sahib as if his very life depended on it.

After a while the Nihang Singh would return to the darbar of Dhan Dhan Dhan Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj and take his place within the sangat. After a certain time had elapsed the Nihang Singh Ji would rush outside once again.

Gyani Udham Singh Ji began to wonder what the Nihang Singh Ji was doing and decided to follow him outside the next time he rushed out. When the Nihang Singh Ji did so Gyani Udham Singh Ji saw him run into a field behind the Gurudwara Sahib (facing Guru Granth Sahib Ji) and stand with his hands together before matha teking. After remaining like this for a while the Nihang Singh Ji would then get up and walk back towards the Gurudwara Sahib.

When Gyani Udham Singh Ji saw this he thought in his mind that the Nihang Singh has probably taken some bhang and does not know what he is doing. But then he thought that he should ask the Nihang Singh Ji why he does what he does.

The next time the Nihang Singh Ji rushed out Gyani Udham Singh Ji quickly stopped him and said, "Where are you going?" The Nihang Singh Ji quickly replied, "Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj and the fauj are waiting, I have to get ready!"

Gyani Udham Singh Ji still thought that the Nihang Singh Ji was under the influence of nasha. However when he sat near to the Nihang Singh Ji in the darbar of Guru Sahib all he could hear vibrating from the Nihang Singh was, "Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj".

As Gyani Udham Singh Ji heard this he saw the Nihang Singh Ji bow before Maharaj and say, "This Fauji is ready now" as he ran through the Gurudwara Sahib doors and into the field where he placed his head. Only this time the Nihang Singh Ji didn't get up.

When the Sangat saw this they gathered around and were left in a state of shock. One of the old sevadaars of the Gurudwara Sahib stepped outside of the crowd and said that this Nihang Singh Ji was no ordinary Singh but a Bandagiwala Mahapursh who choose to remain Gupt.

The sevadaar said that he used to see the Nihang Singh Ji daily but the Singh would remain absorbed in Sri Mool Mantar Sahib Ji, Sri Gurmantar Sahib Ji and Seva.

Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Solar Eclipse at Kurukshetra

Solar Eclipse at Kurukshetra
(Source : Kanwaljit Singh)

After leaving Hardwar Guru Nanak Dev ji went to Kurukshetra. It was the day of solar eclipse. People in large numbers had gathered there. In those days people had wrong ideas about Solar and Lunar eclipse. They believed that on such occasions Moon and Sun are attacked by demons and this attack can be averted if people take bath in the holy rivers and give money in charity. In order to enlighten the people that these ideas are not true, the Guru went to Kurukshetra when a fair on the day of Solar eclipse was being held there. The Guru set up a camp at an open space outside the city and started singing hymns (Kirtan). Mardana played at the rebeck (rubab) and accompanied the Guru in singing.

It so happened that the Ruler of Hansi and his queen passed that way. He had been driven out of his kingdom by his opponents. He had come to Kurukshetra to get the blessings of some holy man. He sat near the guru and listened to the kirtan. As he sat there and looked at the divine face of Guru and listened to to the kirtan he was convinced that the Guru was a holy man with great spiritual power. On his way to Kurukshetra, the ruler had hunted a dear and asked his attendants to cook its meat.

People consider it a sin to cook on day of eclipse and cooking meat at pilgrim centres was considered to be an unpardonable sin. When the priests saw the smoke rising from the cooking fire they raised a hue and cry and on when they learnt that meat was being cooked they were even more angry. They gathered large number of people and led them to attack and kill such a sinner. As the cooking was being done near the place where the Guru was singing they thought that he was the culprit. They abused the Guru and threatened to kill him. The Guru spoke to them gently and said, "If it is a sin to cook the flesh of a dear during Solar eclipse how can killing a man be an act of piety? If killing an animal is a sin, killing a man cannot be a virtue". Guru's answer silenced them.

The Guru said, "If you want to discuss the issue, ask Pandits, Scholars and Sanyasis to come here". Many Pandits were called. One of them was pandit Nanoo. He called himself Nanak. The debate of eating non-vegetarian food started. Large number of people stood there, listening to the debate. It was argued that the scriptures forbade meat eating. Our ancestors took only vegetarian food.

The Guru said, "Your holy books say the animals were killed and their flesh offered as sacrifice to fire. Aryans ate flesh. When marriage feasts are held at Kshatri houses, goats are slaughtered and non-vegetarian food is served. Why do you accept charity from those who are meat eaters?" 

The Guru did not say whether one should eat non-vegetarian food. He simply opposed hypocrisy. We should not do one thing and say the other. There should be no difference between our words and deeds. The guru made his point of view very clear. He said, "We should not eat the food which harms the body, makes it sick and leads mind astray. Only that food is good which keeps the body healthy and the mind pure".

The principle laid down by the Guru in this respect is such as can be adopted by people in any country. By following this principle all can lead a happy life.