Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sakhi Series :- 211 ( Bhai Nand Lal ji)

Bhai Nand Lal(Singh) ji

Bhai Nand Lal Goya, born at Ghazni in Afghanistan in 1643, was an accomplished persian scholar who composed verses in praise of God and Guru Gobind Singh ji. He was hardly nineteen when his parents passed away and after that he moved to the city of Multan. The Nawab of Multan being impressed with his scholastic talents and personality, appointed him as his 'Mir Munshi' (Revenue officer). At the age of 45 Nand Lal left the service and set out in pursuit of peace. At last he reached Anandpur. Nand Lal ji wanted to test the Guru before he could accept him. He took a small house and started living quietly in that and made up his mind that he would go to the Guru only when the Guru beckoned him. The Guru did not call for sometimes. During this period Nand Lal became very restless which he recorded:

"How long shall I patiently wait?
My heart is restless for a vision of thee,
My tearful eyes, says Goya,
Have become flooding streams of love
Flowing in a passionate affection towards thee."
(Bhai Nand Lal ji- Translated)

At last the Guru called Nand Lal. When he reached there for his holy sight, the Guru was sitting in a trance with his eyes closed. As Nand Lal saw the Master, he was wonder-stuck and he recorded:

"My life and faith are held in bondage,
By His sweet and angelic face;
The glory of Heaven and earth,
Is hardly worth,
A hair of His golden looks.
O! How can I bear the light,
Shed by the piercing glance of His love,
To ennoble and enlighten life,
A glimpse of the Beloved is enough."
(Bhai Nand Lal ji)

After a short while the Master opened his eyes and smiled as he looked towards Nand Lal. By mere opening of his eyes, he enabled Nand Lal to see the Divine. His one glance of Grace opened the spiritual eyes of Nand Lal. He bowed down saying, "Lord, my doubts are dispelled. I have known the Truth. The doors of my heart are opened and I have attained peace."

Nand Lal ji, thus, continued to live at Anandpur in the service and love of the Master. One day Guruji commanded him, " You left the home and renounced the world; such a renunciation is not acceptable to me. Go back and live in the world, work for your living and serve the humanity; but remain unattached to Maya (materialism), keeping God alive in thy mind." Nand Lal asked, " Whither should I go, O Master?" The Guru replied, "To whichever direction your feet carry thee."

Bhai Nand Lal ji bowed and left Anandpur and after sometimes he reached Agra, the city of Taj Mahal where Prince Bahadur Shah was holding his court. There were some poets, scholars and artists patronized by the prince. Nand Lal ji was soon recognized at Agra as a great scholar which earned him a high office and emoluments from the prince. It is said that Emperor Aurangzeb had to send a letter to the King of Persia and Nand Lal's draft of that letter was deemed as the most suitable. Upon this Aurangzeb sent for Nand Lal, and after an interview he remarked to his courtiers that it was a pity that such a learned man should remain a Hindu. Aurangzeb told Prince Bahadur Shah to convert Nand Lal to Islam by persuasion if possible, and by force otherwise. This news leaked out and Bhai Nand Lal ji with the help of Ghiasuddin, a Muslim admirer and follower of him, escaped from Agra one night, and fled to Anandpur, the only place where such refugees could find safe asylum.

Enjoying the blissful life at the Master's feet at Anandpur, Bhai Nand Lal then settled down to a routine of a devoted disciple. He presented to the Guru a Persian work called Bandagi Nama in praise of God. The following few extracts are from that work:

"Both worlds, here and hereafter, are filled with God's light;
The sun and moon are merely servants who hold His torches.
They who search for God are ever civil.
(Bhai Nand Singh ji- Translated)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sakhi Series : 210 ( Bhagat Kabir & The Child )

Bhagat Kabir & The Child

Bhagat Jee once went up to this child that was playing and said to him 'Thoosee Naam Japia Kar' and the child made excuses: "Oh I am still quite young and want to enjoy my childhood by playing, when I get older I will Naam Jap"

When the child was a teenager and in higher education, Bhagat Jee went up to him again and said the same bachan 'Thoosee Naam Japia Kar', but then the excuses were different. "Oh I am too busy with my studies, I have a lot to do and have to get high marks. When I get older I will Naam Jap". So then Bhagat Jee left him. 

Then the person became a grown man and was married with a family. Bhagat Jee went up to him again with the same bachan. Again, different excuses were given why he couldn't Naam Jap and do Bhagti. "Oh I've got a busy job, I've got wife and kids to look after now. I haven't got time. When I get older I will Naam Jap."

When the person was an old man and very frail, Bhagat Jee went up to him again and said the same bachan. The reply again was different: "I am too old now. I can hardly walk or sit up straight. I will do Naam Jap in my next life now." 

Then soon after that person passed away....

Few months later Bhagat Jee went passed a farm and saw an ox which was turning the wheel of a well. At the same time the ox was getting hit by the farmer with a stick. Bhagat Jee went up to the ox and whispered in it's ear... "hun Naam Japla." The ox shed a tear for it was that same person before that had wasted his human life not doing what Bhagat Kabir Jee had told him to do throughout his whole life. 

Bhagat Jee then went on to write the following shabad: 

This Shabad is by Bhagat Kabeer Ji in Raag Gujri on Pannaa 524 
<> siqgur pRswid ]
ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
rwgu gUjrI Bgqw kI bwxI
raag goojaree bhagathaa kee baanee
Raag Goojaree, The Words Of The Devotees:

sRI kbIr jIau kw caupdw Gru 2 dUjw ]
sree kabeer jeeo kaa choupadhaa ghar 2 dhoojaa ||
Chau-Paday Of Kabeer Jee, Second House:

cwir pwv duie isMg guMg muK qb kYsy gun geIhY ]
chaar paav dhue si(n)g gu(n)g mukh thab kaisae gun geehai ||
With four feet, two horns and a mute mouth, how could you sing the Praises of the Lord?

aUTq bYTq Tygw pirhY qb kq mUf lukeIhY ]1]
oot(h)ath bait(h)ath t(h)aegaa parihai thab kath moodd lukeehai ||1||
Standing up and sitting down, the stick shall still fall on you, so where will you hide your head? ||1||

hir ibnu bYl ibrwny hueIhY ]
har bin bail biraanae hueehai ||
Without the Lord, you are like a stray ox;

Pwty nwkn tUty kwDn kodau ko Busu KeIhY ]1] rhwau ]
faattae naakan ttoottae kaadhhan kodho ko bhus kheehai ||1|| rehaao ||
with your nose torn, and your shoulders injured, you shall have only the straw of coarse grain to eat. ||1||Pause||

swro idnu folq bn mhIAw Ajhu n pyt AGeIhY ]
saaro dhin ddolath ban meheeaa ajahu n paett agheehai ||
All day long, you shall wander in the forest, and even then, your belly will not be full.

jn Bgqn ko kho n mwno kIE Apno peIhY ]2]
jan bhagathan ko keho n maano keeou apano peehai ||2||
You did not follow the advice of the humble devotees, and so you shall obtain the fruits of your actions. ||2||

duK suK krq mhw BRim bUfo Aink join BrmeIhY ]
dhukh sukh karath mehaa bhram booddo anik jon bharameehai ||
Enduring pleasure and pain, drowned in the great ocean of doubt, you shall wander in numerous reincarnations.

rqn jnmu KoieE pRBu ibsirE iehu Aausru kq peIhY ]3]
rathan janam khoeiou prabh bisariou eihu aousar kath peehai ||3||
You have lost the jewel of human birth by forgetting God; when will you have such an opportunity again? ||3||

BRmq iPrq qylk ky kip ijau giq ibnu rYin ibheIhY ]
bhramath firath thaelak kae kap jio gath bin rain biheehai ||
You turn on the wheel of reincarnation, like an ox at the oil-press; the night of your life passes away without salvation.

khq kbIr rwm nwm ibnu mUMf Duny pCuqeIhY ]4]1]
kehath kabeer raam naam bin moo(n)dd dhhunae pashhutheehai ||4||1||
Says Kabeer, without the Name of the Lord, you shall pound your head, and regret and repent. ||4||1||

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sakhi Series :- 209 ( BHAYEE JEET MERI, KIRPA KAAL TERI|| )

Kartar Singh And The Pathaan
(Source: )

In the second world war, the Sikhs fought in the British army and many Sikhs gave their lives fighting for Britain. Many Sikhs fought in Europe too and the Sikhs were recognized for their outstanding performance in the war. After the war was over, the Sikh regiments were brought back to India by road. As thus, they had to pass through Afghanistan and present day Pakistan, to arrive in India.

When the Sikh regiment reached Jamraud, the Sikhs requested the officer in charge to stay at Jamraud as they wanted to visit the Gurudwara that stands there in the sweet memory of the greatest general, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. The officers agreed and the Sikhs stayed there for some days.

As the military had stationed in Jamraud, the Sikhs took liberty to visit adjoining places. The residents of Jamraud did not know too much about the Sikhs and showed curiosity to know about them. One such person was the wife of a Pathan general called Abdul Qiyoom Khan. She had not seen the Sikhs before and when she saw singhs with parkaash beards and well-built bodies, she asked her husband who they were.

Abdul Qiyoom Khan praised the Sikhs and their bravery just as a big-hearted warrior would praise another warrior. He told her about the background of the Sikhs and how they were known for their courage and strength.

The pathaans too are known for their bravery and if we read the history we find out that the residents of this area that was known as Gandhaar Desh (mother of Duryodhan, Gandhari was from this area) at the time of Mahabharat. These people ruled India for many years and they were stopped by only one person and that person was Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. For this reason, the old people of that area had respect and considerable fear for the Sikhs.

Anyway, after hearing the stories of bravery of Sikhs, from her husband, she jokingly told her husband that the reason she married him was because of his bravery. The pathaan, when he heard this, got hurt and with hurt ego, immediately shot back at his wife saying that he did realize that these Sikhs were brave but they were not more brave than him. He said that he would prove this to his wife.

Saying this, the pathaan immediately arrived at the place where the Sikh regiment was stationed. He went to the officer in-charge and challenged the Sikhs for a one-on-one fight. Abdul Qiyoom Khan was a very accomplished warrior of his area and was the sardaar of the tribal army in his area. He was close to 6'5" tall and had a huge body.

When the Sikhs heard his challenge, they started thinking how to respond, since this happened so fast. When he challenged again, a Singh by the name of Kartar Singh accepted his challenge. Kartar Singh was not very tall in height but he had a well-built body. It was decided that the fight would take place the following day at so and so time.

The next day, the pathaan arrived a little early along with his supporters. When the time of the match came, Kartar Singh did not arrive on time. The pathaans thought that he had ran away, scared of fighting Abdul Qiyoom Khan. This incident was recorded by the the Englishman who acted as a referee in the competition. His name was M. Crafts.

Anyway, a Sikh soldier was dispatched to get Bhai Kartar Singh. When the soldier arrived at this tent, he found him standing in ardaas. Unaware of his surroundings, Kartar Singh urged Guru Gobind Singh Ji for strength and said that he did not have any strength of his own and that he was relying fully on Guru Sahib alone. Doing ardaas along these lines, Bhai Kartar Singh arrived at the place of competition.

Most independent observers had thought that this match would not last more than 10 minutes and will result in the death and defeat of Kartar Singh. Both warriors were allowed to use any weapon they wanted and they both used swords to fight. They both were very skilled in fighting. They both did attacks on each other and very diligently saved the attacks of their opponent. The singh was fighting so well, that the pathaan who had thought of crushing him in minutes was taken aback by the fierce resistance posed by Kartar Singh.

After half an hour, when no one emerged as a clear winner, the competition was briefly stopped for about 10 minutes. The pathaan came to his side of the ring and drank grapes juice. The singh on the other hand only drank water and closed his eyes to thank Guru Kalgidhar Sache Patshah, who let gave him the strength to face a strong opponent as the pathaan.

When they came back after the second round, the pathaan got a little impatient and challenged Kartar Singh to save his attack. When a person loses his cool in a battle or competition, he or she is bound to lose a little bit of focus and concentration. This is what happened to the pathaan. He did a great attack on Kartar Singh who in turn very diligently stopped it and did a counter attack, which resulted in the pathaan getting seriously injured, thus ending the competition in Kartar Singh's favour.

After the competition Kartar Singh quietly left the place and while the Sikhs were celebrating he went to his tent to perform an ardaas of thanking Guru Sahib for his victory. The words on his lips were:

(O Waheguru, I attained victory because of your grace.)