Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Sikhs celebrate Diwali in memory of the return of the sixth Nanak (Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji) from detention in the Gwalior Fort.
When Murtaja Khan, Nawab of Lahore, noticed that Guru Ji had constructed Sri Akaal Takht Sahib, 'The Throne of the Almighty', at Amritsar, and was also strengthening his army, he informed about it to the Mughal Emperor Jahangeer. He emphasized that he is making preparations to take revenge for his father's torture and martyrdom. Jahangeer at once sent Wazir Khan and Guncha Beg to Amritsar to arrest Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji..
But Wazir Khan who was a devotee of the Sikh Guru's requested the Guru to accompany them to Delhi as Emperor Jahangeer wanted to meet him. Guru Sahib accepted the invitation and reached Delhi.
On their first meeting when Jahangeer saw the Guru, he was completely won over by his youthful charm and holiness. The Emperor gave a royal welcome to the Guru. But Chandu Shah could not bear it. His daughter was still unmarried and thus the rotten sore was still bleeding (that Guru Arjan Dev Ji and the Sikh Sangat had refused the offer to marry his daughter with his son Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji). At Agra, the Emperor fell seriously ill. The physicians tried their best but they failed to care him. Then Chandu Shah conspired with the astrologers, who were asked to tell the Emperor that his sickness was due to wrong track of stars and it could, be cared only if some holy man goes to Gwallior Fort to offer prayers to the deity. He also pointed out that Guru Hargobind Ji was such a holy man and he should be asked go to Gwallior Fort. At the Emperor's request Guru Ji agreed and left for the Gawalior Fort.
In the fort Guru Ji met many princes who were detained there due to political reasons. They were leading a very deplorable life. With the help of Hari Dass (the governor of fort) Guru Ji improved their condition. Hari Daas was a Sikh of Guru Nanak and he become ardent devotee of Guru Hargobind. Once when Chandu wrote to Hari Daas to poison Guru Sahib, he at once placed that letter before Guru Ji.
When several months passed and Guru Ji was not released then Baba Buddha Ji and other devotees sikhs met the Guru. They informed him about the despicable condition of the Sikhs, who were waiting for him with great eagerness. The Guru assured them that they should not worry, he would join them soon. In the meantime Sai Mian Meer Ji met Jahangeer and asked him to release the Guru. Jahangeer, who had fully recovered ordered Wazir Khan to release Guru Sahib. But Guru Ji declined to leave the fort unless the princes confined in the fort were also released.
When Wazir Khan informed the Emperor about the desire of the Guru Ji, the Emperor was forced to agree, though he didn't want to free the prisoners. But the Emperor put down the condition that "whoever can hold on to the Guru's cloak can be released." Having compassion for others, Guru Sahib was determined to get the fifty–two Hindhu princes prisoners freed. He had a cloak made with 52 corners, for each King to hold on to and Guru Ji finally left the fort with all fifty-two princes. As the Guru liberated all the prisioners he is known as Bandi-Chhor (Liberator). Jahangeer was very much pleased with his Goodness. He ordered Wazir Khan to bring Guru Hargobind Sahib in his court at Delhi with great honour. Jahangeer had realised that he was wrong for torturing and killing His father (Guru Arjan Dev Ji), who had not committed any crime or offense. He exonerate himself by indicting the crime on Chandu Shah and other officers.
A Gurudwara known as Bandi-Chhor is built at the place where Guru Ji stayed during his detention. The Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chhorr Divas i.e., "the day of release of detainees" and illuminations are made in the Gurdwaras and in homes.
MAY THE LIGHT THAT WE CELEBRATE AT DIWALI SHOW US THE WAY AND LEAD US TOGETHER ON THE PATH OF PEACE AND SOCIAL HARMONY.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Quatrain - The beautiful soft leaved trees are showing their glory and the multi coloured plants continued to show their beauty. In this season the victorious Basant king returns with his army and the females prepare for the arrival of their partners by decorating themselves with make up longing to eradicate the strain of separation. 3.
The leaves from the forest trees fall off and the red flowers are blooming everywhere. The warriors wearing red coloured clothing are ready to go into battle. 4.
Seeing the mango's growing in the groves the king is becoming pleased so that the nightingale chirps with its beautiful voice. The mind is crying out the details of the Basant (rainy season) king. The females seeing the anger that the males have in them are kicking them out of their land. 5.
Seeing the colour of the flowers the bees collect their sustenance from them. It seemed as if there was an orchestra and singers in front of the metaphorical king Basant. 6.
The birds are singing beautifully as if they were bards singing the praise of the metaphorical king Basant. The air blows the fragrance on the females to the men to assist in ending their separation. 7.
New flowers coloured white, black, red and yellow are standing and are blooming giving great glory. Small branches are sprouting on the trees as if they are the aigrette on the crown of the King of Basant. 8.
In this way the jungle looks beautiful and is where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji walks through daily. The residence of virtues Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the month of Vaisakh is grazing his cattle there. 9.
By seeing the new green grass Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji grazes the cattle there. When the day had come to midday and the sun was shining very bright. 10.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was tired and whilst grazing the cattel found a place to rest. Seeing such a lovely tree and its shade Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji decided to rest. 11.
A cool fragrant breeze was blowing and Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji collected some soft leaves and spread a white sheet over them. On top of this Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji the granter of mercy lay to rest. 12.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji closed his eyes and went to sleep. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the eradicator of conscious problems and had fallen asleep at this location. When six gharis had passed through sleep the shade of the tree moved. 13.
The Sun had gone in a western direction and the sun was shining on the face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The sharp sun rays were going on the face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji causing sweat which shined like the water on the flowering lotus blossom. 14.
It was like the moon was the face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji out of which drops of ambrosial nectar where dripping. It was as if Sheshnag had realised in his heart that he should shield the sun from the Guru. 15.
Sheshnag is white like the milk of a cow and adopted the form of a snake to come to the location. Seeing the blissful face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji he prostrated with love. 16.
He then circumbulated Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji three times (this was done to give his mind body and soul to the Guru). He stood close to the face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and spread his hood which looked like a stream from the Ganges river. 17.
In this way the white hood of Sheshnag was getting great glory as if it was like the ocean. The shadow of the hood covers the face of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and he does not move as if he was insentient. 18.
In this way some time elapsed and h gave shade to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji with great pleasure. At this time Rai Bular was returning with soldiers to Talwandi. 19.
He arrived close to the location where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was asleep, here his fortune blossomed as well as the return of his great deeds. He was escorted by an army on beautiful horses and had great desire to return home. 20.
When he saw this snake he assumed that someone was using a sheet to cover themselves from the sun. He wondered why they had given up the shade of the tree for the shade of the sheet? 21.
He continued to think in this manner until he got closer to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji he heard the hissing of the Snake and realised it wasn't a sheet but a snake. He Saw that it was a snake with a big hood which was spread very wide. 22.
Thinking about what to do the mind of Rai Bular became encompassed with mercy. he thought 'If this child is to die the snake will eat it. If this person is to live then he is a divine manifestation and the white snake is serving them.' 23.
He sent his servant to go and inspect further, when he did this the snake slid away into a hole in the ground. Rai Bular stopped his horse and got off to see further, what amazing feat he has just witnessed. 24.
When he went close he heard the noise of the horses which woke Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The eyes of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji opened as if they were the blooming of two lotus blossoms. The eyes are like the bee which stays close to the blossom. 25.
Rai Bular who was the carer of the village got off his horseback and hugged Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. With great love he embraced Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and kissed his forehead. 27.
In his mind was great love for Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and realised that he was some divine manifestation. After this day he kept firm faith in this conviction and never wavered. 28.
He understood that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was God and with his mind bowed to the feet of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He became so imbued with love in that moment that he was unable to speak. He realised that the Guru was the divine liberator. 29.
Rai Bular got on his horse and left but found all his hair was standing on end. He went back to his house very pleased and sat down. In his mind he is deliberating that this child (Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji) will be able to cut the cycle of transmigration for everyone. 30.