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The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a sacred scripture of the world and is the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Because it is a scripture suitable of a universal religion, many world class philosophers and holy men consider it a unique treasure and a noble heritage for all humankind. Because, it is the Guru of the Sikhs, its adoration or veneration is an article of faith with the Sikhs.

The sacred verses of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are called Gurbani, which means the Guru’s word or the song messages enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In Sikhism, the Guru is the ‘Wisdom of the Word’ and not a human or a book. God revealed the Word through the holy men and women from time to time, and the most recent revelations were entered in the text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. To the Sikhs, any scripture not included in the Guru Granth is unacceptable as the Guru’s word or authority behind their theology, and it is not allowed to be recited, sung, or discussed in Sikh congregations with only exception for the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji. These were considered to elucidate the Guru Granth Sahib Ji verses. Those who explain the scripture or teach the doctrines contained in the scripture are respected as teachers, granthi, missionaries, saints or enlightened souls in the Sikh religion.

The Sikhs regard Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as a complete, inviolable and final embodiment of the message for them. There is to be no word beyond the Word. And that’s how their last guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, spoke to the congregation on October 20, 1708 shortly before his ascension.

“Those who desire to behold the Guru should obey the Granth Sahib Ji. Its contents are the visible body of the Guru.”
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains hymns of 36 composers written in twenty-two languages employing a phonetically perfected Gurmukhi script on 1430 pages. It has been preserved in its original format since its last completion by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1705.

It is well known that religious institutions protect themselves from erosion by enshrining their tenets and doctrines in some tangible form. The best and the most modern form of preserving the doctrinal purity today is the use of printed media and electronic storage. At the time of the Granth’s compilation, the Sikh gurus could make use of only handwritten books, and they used this medium wisely. If available, all of the founders and the followers of great religions would have liked to compile one volume of their scriptures, as the Sikh gurus did, to preserve their scriptures for posterity.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji was composed in poetry perhaps to both prevent alterations or adulterations, and to reach out to human heart. According to some writers, “its power is the power of the puissant and winged word, and no exegesis or commentary or translation can ever convey the full beauty of its thought and poetry.” Further, poetry can be left to the culture and the times that follow to best interpret the message.

Thus the Guru Granth Sahib Ji incorporates all of the features to place it alongside the world’s greatest scriptures. Besides, this is the only scripture which in spite of its interfaith nature was dictated, edited, proof-read, and signed for authenticity by the founders of the faith in their life time. These unique features helped preserve the Sikh religion throughout the numerous onslaughts it endured over the period of five centuries. The Granth proved to be a sufficiently foolproof means for continuously providing safeguard against adulteration and extinction of the Sikh religion for centuries to come.

The fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev Ji first compiled the Guru Granth in I604 in the city of Amritsar. Guru Gobind Singh JI prepared the second edition, which he completed at Damdama, a town in the State of Punjab in India in 1705. Since then, his authorized version has been transcribed and printed numerous times; it always conforms to the Damdama edition in every respect. More recently the text in its original font is available electronically on many web sites for every one to have free access. In addition to the edition in original Gurmukhi script, the Guru Granth on the web is available in Hindi, Sindhi, and roman English transliterations. Whereas translations in English, French, Spanish, Punjabi, Hindi, Sindhi and German are already available, those in Thai, Urdu, Hebrew and many Indic languages are in preparation.

The Granth compiled by Guru Arjan Dev Ji contained the hymns of the first five Gurus along with most of the saints and holy men of medieval India and the Far East. He installed this scripture in the Sikhs’central shrine, Hari Mandar, at the City of Golden Temple in 1604. Later, this copy was taken into possession by guru’s rivals who would not wish to share it freely with the mainstream Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh Ji took upon himself to recreate the entire Granth. He dictated to a Sikh scholar, Bhai Mani Singh Ji, all verses he considered revealed including the hymns written after Guru Arjan Dev Ji. It took him nearly five years at Anadpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib to complete this project in 1705. He founded Damdama town to immortalize this occasion.

On October 20, 1708 Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave his final sermon that conferred permanent gurudom on the Damdama version of the Granth. He selected town of Nanded several hundred miles away from Damdama for this event. Since that day, the Granth has come to be known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains 5894 hymns. Guru Arjan Dev Ji contributed the largest number of 2216 hymns. Besides the hymns of other Gurus, he also included 937 hymns of fifteen other saints and eleven poet laureates of the Guru’s court whose compositions tallied with the gospel of the Sikh faith. Here, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Brahmin, and the untouchable, all meet in the same congregation of holy souls to create a truly universal scripture for our world.

From the linguistic point of view, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a treasury of the languages of its times that communicated well with every segment of the society. The language principally employed is the language of the saints, evolved during the medieval period. Based upon the local dialects, it was leavened with expressions from Sanskrit, Prakrit, Persian, Arabic, Bengali and Marathi etc. This language allowed for variations and still enjoyed wide currency in Southeast Asia. Its appeal is found in its directness, energy and resilience. In addition, the Guru designed a phonetically complete Gurmukhi font to meet the need of inscribing the multi-linguistic scripture that is also musical.

The poetry of the Granth is in itself a subject worthy of the highest consideration. Music forms the basis of the rhythms and classification of the hymns. They follow a definite metrical system called raags. A raag in Indian classical music means a pattern of melodic notes. This form is not only used to preserve the originality of the composition, as the poetry written in this form is difficult to imitate, but more so to provide the divine experience through the medium of music and the sounds of God’s creation. The total number of ragas is 31. The gurus themselves invented some of those. Under each Raag, the hymns are arranged in different meters as Chaupadas and Ashtapadas; long poems include Chhands, Vars, and Bhagat verses.

Another outstanding feature of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the rescission and beauty of its prosody. Whilst a great deal of it is cast in traditional verse forms (e.g. shlokas and paudis), and could best be understood in the context of the well-known classical raags, several hymns and songs make use of popular folklore and meters (e.g. alahanis, ghoris, chands, etc.). The inner and integral relationship between music and verse has been maintained with scholarly rectitude and concern. The complete musicalization of thought was accomplished in a scientific and scholarly manner so that it makes for the unusually vigorous yet supple discipline of the Granth’s own metrics and notations.

The Guru Granth Sahib Ji verses are often sung in a process known as Kirtan. In this process true meaning is revealed directly to the Surat (consciousness and awareness) through cosmic vibrations. The body’s energetic vibrations from our voices bond us to the spiritual light of universal intelligence. As we chant the Granth’s verses the universe speaks to us in metaphoric images. The physical body of the singer experiences the essence of each word through the lightening energy in the brain and the calming vibrations in the body, all caused by the sound currents. They keep the mind to stay focused on the Word. They heal the physical body and cleanse inner thoughts. The sound waves of the Gurmat Raags connect the mind, body, and spirit by alignment of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual entities. They implant in the psyche the basis for both spiritual and mental growth. To see a Sikh congregation chant the sacred hymns in unison is to see massed spiritual energy bubble before your eyes. This is how the ordinary words change into the logos and become auspicious.

Reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, known as Gurbani paath, is a sacred rite for every Sikh that permits a connection to the Guru for spiritual guidance. It is more than a simple ritual or a complex scholarly endeavor; intellectual deliberation is engaged to seek wisdom while faith is cultivated in the process to receive the inner light. Reading the rhythmic poetry of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is considered by some as healing in itself. Its chant is frequently prescribed to patients for relief of their symptoms and to reduce illnesses. It seems to facilitate understanding of pain and pleasure by “mindfulness” or “being in the moment”.

In mystic literature of Guru Granth Sahib Ji the appeal of the numinous becomes ineffable, if not inexplicable. And yet the great Sikh scripture is not a knot of metaphysical riddles and abstract theorizing. For the most part it employs the idiom of the common people, and draws its imagery and metaphors from the home, the street and the work place. The hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji show an admirable use of the current figures of speech apart from their metrical richness and sweetness. Imagery was taken from everyday life and common occurrence to simplify subtle thoughts and profound concepts. The Gurus were keen lovers of nature and as such, have written glowing descriptions of panoramic environmental beauty, changes in the times of day, and the changes of seasons to inculcate love for the One Creator. Thus they made Guru Granth Sahib Ji poetry an extraordinary breed of divinity, mysticism, immediacy, concreteness and urgency with which it touches the human heart.

One of the greatest glories of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is its all-embracing character. It is a scripture completely free from bias, animus and controversy. Indeed, the uniqueness of the Granth in this respect is all the more astonishing when we think of the obscurantism, factionalism and religious fanaticism of the periods in which it was composed. They were all counterbalanced by inclusion of the songs and verses of a wide diversity of holy men, saints, savants and bards. Of course, their hymns and couplets rendered in their own language and idiom were so dovetailed as to find a complete correspondence with themes or motifs in the compositions of the Sikh Gurus.

The Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then, is unique in that it formed the first interfaith and still universal scripture. It is indeed a magnificent compendium of the religious, mystic and metaphysical poetry written or recited between the 12th and 17th centuries in different parts of the Mid-Eastern and Far-Eastern continents. It is also at the same time a reflection of the sociological, economic and political conditions of the day. The satire on the reactionary rulers, the obscurantist clergy, the fake fakirs and the like is uncompromising and telling. In showing the path to spiritual salvation, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji does not ignore the secular and creative life of living beings. In addition to its mysticism and spiritual depth, the poetry of the Gurus throws light on their contemporary situations. It lays bare the corruption and degradation of the society of those times and underscores the need of social reform and economic uplift. Guru Granth Sahib Ji verses advocate a spiritual soul for their otherwise inhumane administration of the then rulers.

Obviously, the idea of Guru Arjan Dev Ji was to celebrate the diversity in all religions and mystic experiences, and, at the same time, establish the fundamental unity of spirituality and faith through the scripture of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In this scripture he founded an integral congress of all minds and souls operating on the same spiritual vibration. He elevated the songs of the saints, the Sufis and the bards to the elevation of the logos to salute the power of the Word whatever form it might take to reveal the glory of the One Reality.

The Sikhs in particular and the religious world in general must be congratulated to be the recipients of the unique scripture of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Sheikh Farid whose full name was Fariduddin Masaud was born in 1173 A.D. at the Village Khotiwal near Multan (Pakistan). His grandfather migrated from Ghazni to India due to political upheavals. On account of his great piety, Sheikh Farid rose to be head of the Chishti branch of Sufis. He settled at Ajodhan (Pak Pattan) in the Montgomery district of Pakistan. There is no doubt that two hymns of Sheikh Farid in Rag Aasa (SGGS: 488), two in Rag Suhi (SGGS:794)and 112 Sloks (prologues) included in Sri Guru Granth Sahib at pages (1377-84) are from the lip and pen of Sheikh Farid ( 1173-1266A.D).

According to Dr. R.L.Ahuja, a research scholar, (The Punjab Past and Present Vol.V11 Page 371) Guru Nanak visited Pak Pattan when he was 64 years old to hold spiritual colloquy with Sheikh Ibrahim who was the 12th successor of Sheikh Farid and collected the compositions of Sheikh Farid from him. Guru Nanak included them in the treasure of teachings which he left for the guidance of his followers.

Similarity in the Compositions of Sheikh Farid and Gurbani

baba-farid-image11 (160K)Guru Nanak found these compositions of the great Sufi saint, Sheikh Farid, who flourished 3 centuries earlier, of great moral teaching and spiritual experience, and liked them. Guru Arjan Dev made them a part of the sacred scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak and other Sikh Gurus reflected on Farid’s compositions, they found some difference with him in matter of emphasis or opinion on certain points and composed their own views in the form of Sloks, while compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Arjan Dev added some of them in the body of the Sloks of Sheikh Farid next to the concerned Slok.18 Sloks of the Sikh Gurus have been added to the Sloks of Sheikh Farid and this appears to be an interesting and lovely dialogue of perfect understanding within SGGS. So there are 130 Sloks under the heading Sloks Sheikh Farid.. Out of these 18 Sloks, 4 sloks are by Guru Nanak Dev, 5 by Guru Amar Das, one from Guru Amar Das and 8 by Guru Arjan Dev. Let us find this similarity in these compositions.

I will give only a few examples to shorten the article. Number of the Slok is given in ( ).

Love of God and Meditation
Sheikh Farid has stressed on the meditation and love of One God, and wants that we should always remember and obey Him. He is of the view that one has no right to live if one does not pray. Gurbani also lays emphasis on prayer.

Sheikh Farid warns us not to waste time and meditate lest we should miss the opportunity. Guru Angad Dev also emphasized this point . Both have used similar words at some places:

ਉਠੁ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਉਜੂ ਸਾਜਿ ਸੁਬਹ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰਿ॥
ਜੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਸਾਂਈ ਨਾ ਨਿਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਪਿ ਉਤਾਰਿ॥ (71)

‘Rise up, Farid, perform your ablutions and engage in morning prayer.
The head not bowing before the Lord merits not to remain on the shoulders.’

ਜੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਸਾਂਈ ਨਾ ਨਿਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਡਾਰਿ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਸੁ ਪਿੰਜਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਨਹੀ ਸੋ ਪਿੰਜਰ ਲੈ ਜਾਰਿ॥  ( SGGS: 89)

‘Chop off that head which does not bow to the Lord.
O Nanak, burn that human body in which there is no pain of separation from the Lord.’

God is within us
Sheikh Farid believes that God is within us and there is no need to renounce the world and live in forests. Gubani also advises us that there is no need of undergoing austerities in search of God Who is within us:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਭਵਹਿ ਵਣਿ ਕੰਡਾ ਮੋੜੇਹਿ॥
ਵਸੀ ਰਬੁ ਹਿਆਲੀਐ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਢੂਢੇਹਿ॥  (19)

‘Farid, why do you wander from jungle to jungle, crashing through the thorny trees?
The Lord abides in the heart; why are you looking for Him in the jungle?’

ਕਾਇ ਪਟੋਲਾ ਪਾੜਤੀ ਕੰਬਲੜੀ ਪਹਿਰੇਇ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਘਰ ਹੀ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਸਹੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜੇ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਕਰੇਇ॥  (Guru Amar das. 104)

‘Why do you tear apart your fine clothes, and take to wearing a rough blanket?
O Nanak, even sitting in your own home, you can meet the Lord if your mind is on the right path.’

Separation from God
Both Guru Nanak Dev and Sheikh Farid have realized the spiritual condition of one separated from one’s Master and have described in the following quotations:

ਕਾਲੀ ਕੋਇਲ ਤੂ ਕਿਤ ਗੁਨ ਕਾਲੀ॥
ਅਪਨੇ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਕੇ ਹਉ ਬਿਰਹੈ ਜਾਲੀ॥  ( Sheikh Farid. SGGS: 794)

‘O black Koel, why are you so black?
(Reply)”I have been burnt by separation from my Beloved.”

ਪਬਰ ਤੂੰ ਹਰੀਆਵਲਾ ਕਵਲਾ ਕੰਚਨ ਵੰਨਿ॥
ਕੈ ਦੋਖੜੈ ਸੜਿਓਹਿ ਕਾਲੀ ਹੋਈਆ ਦੇਹੁਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੈ ਤਨਿ ਭੰਗੁ॥  (SGGS: 1412)

‘O tank (mine of lotus), everything was green around you, and your blossoms were gold.
What pain has burnt you, and made your body black? (Reply) ‘O Nanak, my body is separated (from water, my source).’

Resignation to God’s Will
Sheikh Farid has emphasized resignation to God’s Will in the next reference. Guru Arjan Dev also has spoken highly of those who resign to God’s Will’

ਅਲਹ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਭਲਾ ਤਾਂ ਲਭੀ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ॥  (109)

‘Fareed, treat pleasure and pain alike; eradicate evil from your mind.
You will reach His court when you consider that whatever the Lord wills is good for you.’

ਰੂਪਵੰਤੁ ਸੋ ਚਤੁਰੁ ਸਿਆਣਾ ॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਜਨਿ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ॥2॥  (SGGS: 198)

‘They who surrender to the Will of God are handsome,
clever and wise.’ Soul is Wife of the Almighty.’

Sheikh Farid and Gurmat both have treated the soul as wife of the Almighty :

ਜੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਸਹੁ ਨਢੜਾ ਤਾਂ ਥੋੜਾ ਮਾਣੁ ਕਰੀ॥ (4)

‘If I had known that my Husband Lord was so young and innocent, I would not have been so arrogant.’

ਜਿਨਿ ਧਨ ਪਿਰ ਕਾ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਸਾ ਬਿਲਖ ਬਦਨ ਕੁਮਲਾਨੀ ॥  (Guru Nanak. SGGS: 1255)

‘The soul-bride who has not known delight with her Husband Lord, shall weep and wail with a wretched face’

Power of Death
Sheikh Farid has emphasized the power of death and short life of pleasures in many Sloks. Gurbani also stresses this point and teaches us to keep in mind the mighty death:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਿੰਥੜਿ ਮੇਖਾ ਅਗਲੀਆ ਜਿੰਦੁ ਨ ਕਾਈ ਮੇਖ॥
ਵਾਰੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਚਲੇ ਮਸਾਇਕ ਸੇਖ॥  (47)

‘Fareed, there are many stitches on the patched coat,
but there are none on your own frame.
However revered and great,
all must depart when their turn comes’

ਮਰਣਿ ਨ ਮੂਰਤੁ ਪੁਛਿਆ ਪੁਛੀ ਥਿਤਿ ਨ ਵਾਰੁ ॥  ( Guu Nanak Dev. SGGS: 1244)

‘Death does not ask the, time; it does not ask the date or the day of the week.’

Stress on Good Deeds
Like the Sikh Gurus, Sheikh Farid warns us against indulging in sins lest we should regret afterwards in the Lord’s court. In one of his Sloks, he paints a dreadful picture of the punishment for those who engage in evil deeds:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਨ੍ੀ ਕੰਮੀ ਨਾਹਿ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਕੰਮੜੇ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ॥
ਮਤੁ ਸਰਮਿੰਦਾ ਥੀਵਹੀ ਸਾਂਈ ਦੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ॥  (59)
‘Farid, forget about those deeds which do not bring merit.
Otherwise, you shall be put to shame in the court of the Lord,’.

ਜਿਤੁ ਕੀਤਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਆਪਣਾ ਸਾ ਘਾਲ ਬੁਰੀ ਕਿਉ ਘਾਲੀਐ ॥
ਮੰਦਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਕੀਚਈ ਦੇ ਲੰਮੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਐ ॥  (Gru Nanak Dev. SGGS: 474)

‘Why do you do such evil deeds for which you shall have to suffer?
Do not do any evil at all; look ahead with far-sightedness.’

Greed is condemned
Gurmat and Sheikh Farid have condemned greed, advised us to remain contented and sincere:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਾ ਲਬੁ ਤਾ ਨੇਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਲਬੁ ਤ ਕੂੜਾ ਨੇਹੁ॥  (18)

‘Farid, love of God and greed do not go together.
When there is greed, love is rendered impure..’

ਸਾਕਤ ਸੁਆਨ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਲੋਭੀ ਬਹੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ( Guru RamDas. SGGS: 1326)

‘The cur like mammon-worshipper is said to be very greedy.
He is overflowing with the filth and pollution of evil-thoughts.’

Humility and Sweet Tongue
Sheikh Farid counsels to practice humility and to avoid insipid speech. Guru Nanak has also said sweetness and humility are the essence of goodness and virtue’:

ਨਿਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਖਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ॥
ਏ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਭੈਣੇ ਵੇਸ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਂ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੀ ਕੰਤੁ॥  (127)

‘Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue,
and sweet speech is the magic Mantra.
Wear these three robes, O sister,
and you will captivate your Husband Lord.’

ਨਾਨਕ ਫਿਕੈ ਬੋਲਿਐ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਫਿਕੋ ਫਿਕਾ ਸਦੀਐ ਫਿਕੇ ਫਿਕੀ ਸੋਇ ॥  ( Guru Nanak Dev. SGGS: 474)

‘O Nanak, by speaking insipid words, one’s body and mind become insipid.
One is called the most foul-mouthed and one’s reputation becomes indifferent.’

Hypocrisy
Sheikh Farid condemns mere donning of the garb of a saint without sincerely trying to earn the merit that should be the aim of a saint’s life. Guru Arjan Dev has also told us that hypocrisy does not pay:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕੰਨਿ ਮੁਸਲਾ ਸੂਫੁ ਗਲਿ ਦਿਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਗੁੜੁ ਵਾਤਿ॥
ਬਾਹਰਿ ਦਿਸੈ ਚਾਨਣਾ ਦਿਲਿ ਅੰਧਿਆਰੀ ਰਾਤਿ॥  (50)

‘Farid, those who carry the prayer mat over their shoulders
and wear rough wool, but utter falsehood with glib tongue
and wear a dagger in their hearts, look bright outside,
but their heart is dark as night.’

ਬਾਹਰੁ ਧੋਇ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਠਉਰ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਖੋਏ ॥  (SGGS: 381)

‘He washes outwardly, but within his mind is filthy;
thus he loses his place in both the worlds.

Contentment and Forbearance
Patience and forbearance has been stressed by Sheikh Farid in the next quote. Guru Nanak Dev has also advised us in Japji Sahib to keep patience:

ਸਬਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਸੁਆਉ ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਬੰਦਾ ਦਿੜੁ ਕਰਹਿ॥
ਵਧਿ ਥੀਵਹਿ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਟੁਟਿ ਨ ਥੀਵਹਿ ਵਾਹੜਾ॥  (117)

‘Let patience be your purpose in life; implant this in your mind.
In this way, you will grow into a great river;
you will not break off into a tiny stream.’

ਮੁੰਦਾ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਤੁ ਝੋਲੀ ਧਿਆਨ ਕੀ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ॥  (SGGS: 6)

‘Make contentment your ear-rings, modesty your begging bowl and wallet,
and meditation the ashes you apply to your body.’

Love of Nature
Both Sheikh Farid and the Sikh Gurus have used birds as source of inspiration and guide to humanity. They love natural objects:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ੍ ਪੰਖੀਆ ਜੰਗਲਿ ਜਿੰਨ੍ਾ ਵਾਸੁ॥
ਕਕਰੁ ਚੁਗਨਿ ਥਲਿ ਵਸਨਿ ਰਬ ਨ ਛੋਡਨਿ ਪਾਸੁ॥  (101)

‘Fareed, I am a sacrifice to those birds who live in the jungle.
They peck at the roots and live on sandy mounds,
but they do not lose faith in God.’

ਹੰਸਾ ਵੇਖਿ ਤਰੰਦਿਆ ਬਗਾਂ ਭਿ ਆਯਾ ਚਾਉ ॥
ਡੁਬਿ ਮੁਏ ਬਗ ਬਪੁੜੇ ਸਿਰੁ ਤਲਿ ਉਪਰਿ ਪਾਉ ॥3॥  (Guru Amar Daas. SGGS: 585)

‘Seeing the swans swimming, the herons became envious.
But the poor herons were drowned and died, and
they lay with their heads down, and feet above.’

Differences in Thinking
Like early Sufis, Farid believed in mortification of the body by restoring to forests and undergoing ascetic discipline and austerities. He, sometimes, becomes pessimistic and some his writings reflect despair and Guru Sahiban have, in their context emphasised Chardi Kalaa (high spirits):The Sikh Gurus differed with Farid in this respect:

ਤਨੁ ਤਪੈ ਤਨੂਰ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਲਣੁ ਹਡ ਬਲੰਨਿ੍ ॥
ਪੈਰੀ ਥਕਾਂ ਸਿਰਿ ਜੁਲਾਂ ਜੇ ਮੂੰ ਪਿਰੀ ਮਿਲੰਨਿ੍ (119)

‘My body burns like an oven; my bones are burning like firewood.
If my feet become tired, I will walk on my head if I can meet my Beloved.’

ਤਨੁ ਨ ਤਪਾਇ ਤਨੂਰ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਲਣੁ ਹਡ ਨ ਬਾਲਿ ॥
ਸਿਰਿ ਪੈਰੀ ਕਿਆ ਫੇੜਿਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪਿਰੀ ਨਿਹਾਲਿ ॥120॥  (Guru Nanak. SGGS: 1384)

‘Do not heat up your body like an oven, and
do not burn your bones like firewood.
What harm have your feet and head done to you?
Behold your Beloved within yourself.’

This may be an experience from the early life of Farid. Later on, he condemned the life of an ascetic and saw God in everyone (Slok 19). Farid did not raise his voice against the social and political discrimination of his time while Guru Nanak severely condemned the cruel rulers of his time.

Conclusion
By analyzing Sheikh Farid’s teachings preserved in SGGS, we find that he too emphasized the practice of truth which Guru Nanak preached. There are some other interesting aspects. For example on p 488 he uses Naam in the same context as in rest of Gurbani. He says Visriaa jin naam se bhue bhaar theeay. Also in the same Shabad Pavardgaar appar agam beant too, has words normally not used by the Muslims. This is the reason why Fareed Ji’s writings were included in SGGS.

No doubt, religious and spiritual values preached by Sheikh Farid are not exactly the same as preached by Guru Nanak who exhorted the Hindus to follow true Hinduism and the Muslims to be true Muslims. Still, compositions in SGGS and Farid’s hymns are compatible. We can safely say that Sheikh Farid’s compositions are in consonance with Gurbani ethos and he was the father of the Punjabi poetry.

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ) was the sixth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on 11th June 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji. While the ceremonial rites were being performed by Baba Buddha Ji, Guru Hargobind Ji asked Baba Buddha to adorn him with a sword rather than the Seli (woolen cord worn on the head) of Nanak which had been used previously by the earlier Gurus.

Guru Hargobind then put on not one but two swords; one on his left side and the other on his right. He declared that the two swords signified “Miri” and “Piri”, “Temporal Power” and “Spiritual Power”. One would to deliver a powerful blow to the oppressor and the other would protect the innocent. He told his followers: “In the Guru’s house spiritual and temporal powers shall be combined”. “My rosary shall be the sword-belt and on my dastar I shall wear a kalgi”. A kalgi an ornament for the dastar, which at the time was worn by mughal and hindu rulers.

Guru Hargobind carried the same light of Guru Nanak; but he added to it the quality of the sword. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was also the inventor of the Taus. Guru Ji watched a peacock singing one day, and wished to make a instrument to mimic the same sound as the peacock, so the Taus was invented.

Legacy
The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Ji’s life:

• Introduced martial arts and weapons training and created a standing Military force for the defense of the masses following his father’s martyrdom.
• Carried 2 swords of Miri and Piri.
• Built the Akal Takht in 1608 – which is now one of five Takhts (Seats of Power) of the Sikh Religion.
• Founded the city of Kiratpur in District Rupnagar, (old name Ropar), Punjab
• Was held in the fort of Gwalior for one year, ostensibly to pray for the recovery of the ill Emperor Jahangir (the Guru had willingly gone to the fort). When Jahangir ordered his release, he refused to leave unless 52 imprisoned hindu Rajas were freed as well. Cleverly he earned their freedom by turning the Emperor’s own words against him. To mark this occasion, Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chorr Divas to celebrate his release and return to Amritsar.
• First Guru to engage in warfare, fighting and winning 4 defensive battles with Mughal forces.
• The city Hargobindpur, in Majha region of Punjab, is named after him, which he won over from Mughals after defeating them in a battle.

Arming and martial training
During his captivity, when the Saintly and peaceful Guru Arjan was under the severest torture, he concentrated and relied on God for guidance to save the nascent Sikh Sangat from annihilation. The only solution revealed to him was to guard it through the use of arms. He pondered over the problem again and again and finally concluded that the militarisation of Sikhism had become a necessity.

Guru Arjan sent a Sikh to his young son, the eleven year old Hargobind, nominating him as the Guru of the Sikhs (his devotees), giving him Guru Arjan’s last injunction, “Let him sit fully armed on his throne and maintain an army to the best of his capacity”.

Guru Hargobind Ji excelled in matters of state and his Darbar (Court) was noted for its splendor. The arming and training of some of his devoted followers began, the Guru came to possess seven hundred horses and his Risaldari (Army) grew to three hundred horsemen and sixty gunners in the due course of time. Additionally five hundred men from the ‘Majha area of Punjab’ were recruited as infantry.

Guru Hargobind built a fortress at Amritsar called ‘Lohgarh’ (Fortress of Steel). He had his own flag and war-drum which was beaten twice a day. Those who had worked to have Guru Arjan destroyed now turned their attention and efforts to convincing Jahangir that the fort, the Akal Takht and the growing Risaldari were all intended to allow Guru Hargobind Ji to one day take revenge for his father’s unjust death.

Early Life
Guru Ji was born on 5th July 1595 to Mata Ganga Ji and Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji in village Wadali of district Amritsar. He was merely eleven years old when Guru Arjan Sahib Ji was martyred after being jailed, fined and tortured while under arrest by Jahangir’s orders.

According to the chronicles, Guru Arjan Sahib Ji and and Mata Ganga Ji did not have a child for a long time, until Mata Ganga Ji sought the blessings of Baba Budha Ji for an offspring. Budha Ji told her that she would give birth – to an extraordinarily chivalrous son. Shortly after that Guru Hargobind Ji was born.

Several efforts were made on the life of young Hargobind even in his infancy. A snake-charmer was bribed to let loose a poisonous snake, but the young Guru to be overpowered the snake.

At the time of his installation as the Guru, Guru Ji asked Baba Budha Ji to discard the earlier tradition of donning him with the Seli of Guru Nanak, preferring instead to be adorned with a sword, but contrary to the prevalent hindu and muslim traditions, where the new ruler was donned with a sword (as a symbol of his role as the ruler of the state) Guru Ji asked to be donned with two swords, explaining that one signified his temporal powers and the other his spiritual power. His purpose was not to mix religion with politics, but to take up the cause of the exploited and defend them against the oppression of the rulers.

Thus, Guru Hargobind clearly separated religion and politics. Religion had always been intermixed with politics in India and as a result the people were subjected to persecution and injustice. Since the tolerant days of Akbar, who had made an effort to fuse the religions of Indias, his son Jahangir had listed to the long neglected muslim Ulema demanded that Islam control the politics of the Mughal Empire. The religion of the ruling classes oppressed the people, using the shield of religion. That is why the politicians have always entangled religion with politics.

The Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji occupies a special place in Sikh history because, after Guru Arjan Sahib Ji’s martyrdom, he gave a new direction to the course of events. Along with his spiritual authority, he exercised temporal authority too by expounding the concept of Miri and Piri (the temporal and the spiritual). In Indian history the advent of Sikhism and the establishment of the Mughal Empire took place at the same time. Guru Nanak was not against Islam, in fact Guru Nanak’s first words pointed to the needlessness of hinduism and the muslim religions being at odds; Their is no Musalmaan, there is no hindu.

Guru Nanak and the four Gurus that followed expounded peace, equality and freedom for all. It was only after the death of Guru Arjan that it became all to clear that a defensive military stance might be required to bring this about. Injustice, oppression and exploitation were the order of the day. The scourges of caste divisions, religious discrimination and superstitions was making life into a living hell for the ordinary person. The oppressors and the oppressed were both muslims and hindus. Guru Hargobind Singh Ji used both the powers of worship and of the sword to fight this oppression.

After his installation as the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji issued many edicts. He set up an army, acquired arms and horses, hoisted the Sikh flag and ordered the building of an exceptionally large and thundering drum called the nagara, which was used to gather the sangat for his announcements. In 1663 he assigned the task of building the Akal Takht to two of his most trusted devotees, in front of Harmandir Sahib. On this platform, seated with all the regal adornments of a mughal or hindu ruler, he would listen to the woes and complaints of the people and issue edicts.

Akal Takht
Guru Hargobind constructed the Akal Takht (God’s throne) in front of Harmandir in 1606. He sat on a raised platform of twelve feet, attired in princely clothes. The Harmandir Sahib was the seat of his spiritual authority and the Akal Takht was the seat of his temporal (worldly) authority. This marked the beginning of Sikh militarisation. To the symbols of sainthood were added marks of sovereignty, including the umbrella and the Kalgi. Guru Hargobind administered justice like a King and awarded honours and meted punishment, as well. The Akal Takht was the first Takht in the history of the Sikhs. According to Cunningham: “The genial disposition of the martial apostle led him to rejoice in the companionship of a camp, in the dangers of war, and in the excitements of the chase”.

State Within A State
The Sikhs had formed a separate and independent identity that had nothing to do with the government agencies of the day. Thus the Sikh entity came to occupy a sort of separate state within the Mughal Empire.

Congregational Prayers
Guru Hargobind Ji established Congregational prayers adding to religious fervour among his Sikhs, but also strengthened their unity and brotherhood. Mohsin Fani, author of ‘Dabistan’, states that when a Sikh wished for a favour or gift from God, he would come to assembly of Sikhs and request them to pray for him; even the Guru asked the Sikh congregation to pray for him.

People Hostile Towards Young Guru
There were many people who were hostile to Guru Hargobind when he assumed leadership of Sikhs. His uncle, Priti Mal, who was brother of Guru Arjan continued his intrigues against Guru Hargobind. Prithi Mal had unsuccessfully tried to kill Guru Hargobind, when the guru was a child, by unleashing a deadly snake upon him. Prithi Mal continued to complain against him to Emperor Jahangir.

Chandu Shah who had been foremost in complaining to Jahangir against Guru Arjan Sahib Ji transferred his hostilities toward Guru Hargobind.

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhandi too was hostile towards the Sikh Gurus and incited the Emperor.

Jahangir was fearful that Guru Hargobind might seek revenge for his father’s arrest, torture and death.

Sikhism
Guru Hargobind sent his Sikhs to far away places such as Bengal and Bihar to preach Sikhism. Guru Hargobind allowed Udasis to preach Sikhism but did not admit them to Sikhism. Bhai Gurdas mentions (in his var) the names of Nawal and Nihala, two sabharwal khatris, who established their business in Bihar. A lot of local people adopted Sikhism under their influence. In his private life Guru Hargobind never abandoned the true character of Guru Nanak, whose successor he was and whose teachings he spread to the world.

Relations With The Emperor
Alarmed by the rapid growth of the Sikhs under the guidance of Guru Hargobind Ji, those who wished ill-upon the growing Sikh community, joined hands with the rulers of Lahore and traveled to Delhi to voice their complains against Guru Hargobind to the power brokers in the Mughal court and to Jahangir himself. They told Jahangir that Guru Hargobind Sahib was gathering an army and amassing arms, with the intension of avenging his father’s death. They advised him to suppress Guru Ji and the growing Sikh community immediately, but rather than sending an army to attack or arrest him, Jahangir summoned the Guru to Delhi to assess his character and aims, but rather than the hoped for confrontation and arrest of the Guru (that his ill-wishers had hoped for) a surprising thing happened when both the Emperor and his powerful wife were taken by Guru Ji’s charm, grace and Godliness. A friendship and mutual respect soon followed, Guru Hargobind, would even hunt with the Emperor on his grand Shikars. On one remarkable occasion the young Guru saved the life of the Emperor, who he could have easily hated for the death of his father, by jumping between a Lion and the Mughal ruler.

Seeing their scheme to harm Guru Ji going awry and growing fearful of his developing friendship with the Emperor, Chandu Shah used an illness of Jahangir to have the court astrologers predict that only a Holy man praying at a shrine at Gwalior Fort, for a lengthy time, would lead to the Emperor’s recovery. Moved equally by his personal jealousy as well as by superstition and the predictions of his court astrologers, Jahangir ordered the Guru to be imprisoned at the Gwalior fort (other versions have the Guru volunteering to undertake the task).

Though his Sikhs were worried that he would meet the same fate as his father the Guru himself was never worried over his release. The famous muslim Pir Hazrat Mian Mir was among those who reminded Jahangir, who had long since gotten over his illness and seemingly forgotten about the Guru’s confinement in the Fort, to release the Guru. The Guru’s immediate release was ordered, but Guru Ji refused to leave the fort unless the fifty-two Prince who had long languished under confinement, at the fort, were released as well.

Jahangir cleverly agreed that the Guru could take as many of the prince to freedom, as could hold onto the Guru’s clothing. Guru Ji had his darzi (tailor) prepare a coat with 52 ribands or tails and left the fort with the fifty-two rulers trailing behind him, each holding onto a piece of the Guru’s coat. That is why Guru Ji is referred to as the Liberator (Bandi-chor) in history. Bandi Chhorh Divas is celebrated in honor of the day.

When Guru Ji reached Amritsar his Sikhs lit lamps to welcome him. His arrival also coincided with the traditional Indian festival of Diwali. Since then the festival of Diwali (lighting of lamps) is celebrated as Bandi-Chor diwas by Sikhs.

From Amritsar he went to Lahore where Kaulan, adopted hindu daughter of Kazi Rustam Khan and a follower of Saint Mian Mir came into contact with the Guru due to her dire plight. Guruji asked her to move to Amritsar, where she led a pious life. On Guru Ji’s command, Baba Budha Ji had Gurdwara Kaulsar built in Kaulan’s memory in 1681 of Bikrami calendar. On the invitation of Sikhs of central India he also traveled there where he had Gurdwara Nanak Matta completed. Later he visited Kashmir and secured many followers there. From Jammu and Kashmir, he returned to Punjab via Gujrat.

Wars with Mughals
The reasons for Guru Hargobind to arm his followers were many. Both externally and internally, the situation was changing, and the policy of the Guru had to be adjusted to a new environment. The organisational development of Sikhism had mostly taken place during the tolerant days of Akbar, who had never interfered with it; he had, on the contrary, even helped the Gurus in various ways. But the execution of Guru Arjan at the hands of Jahangir and imprisonment of Guru Hargobind definitely showed that sterner days were ahead, and the policy of mere peaceful organisation no longer sufficed. Guru Arjan had foreseen and Guru Hargobind also clearly saw that it would no longer be possible to protect the Sikh community without the aid of arms. He had a stable of eight hundred horses; three hundred mounted followers were constantly in attendance upon him, and a guard of fifty-six matchlock-men secured his safety in person.

Jahangir could not tolerate the armed policy of Guru Hargobind and consequently imprisoned him. The main reason for leaving him after years was that there were a lot of reports from across the length and width of the country that people were against the throne due to the popularity of the Guru, as well as the unjustified martyrdom of the fifth Guru. A lot of people were following Sikhism, and there was a possibility of a coup if the Guru was not relieved at the earliest. As it is, there were 52 hindu kings in the Gwalior prison at that moment, the policies of Jahangir against the local majority people were oppressive in nature. Therefore, the situation compelled him to order release of Guru Hargobind and save the throne.

During the reign of Shah Jahan, relations became bitter again, for Shah Jahan was intolerant. He destroyed the Sikh baoli at Lahore. The quarrels which originally started over hawks or horses between Mughal officials and the Sikhs subsequently led to risings on a large scale and were responsible for the deaths of thousands of persons on both sides. Battles were fought at Amritsar, Kartarpur and elsewhere. He defeated the Imperial troops near Amritsar. The Guru was again attacked by a provincial detachment, but the attackers were routed and their leaders slain. Guru Hargobind grasped a sword and marched with his devoted soldiers among the troops of the empire, or boldly led them to oppose and overcome the provincial governors or personal enemies.

Forward 1628 Battle of Amritsar – The first battle of Guru Hargobind and the forces of the Mughal army. Shah Jahan worried over the growing influence of the Sikhs and angered by the loss of a valued Hawk seeks to teach Guru Hargobind a lesson.

Forward 1629 Battle Of Hargobindpur – Guru Hargobind and the creation of a town over Ruhela, Revenge by muslims over death of Bhagvan Das.

Forward 1631 Battle Of Gurusar – Guru Hargobind’s horses were snatched by the Mughals and recovered by Gursikh, Bhai Bidhi Chand.

Forward 1634 Battle Of Kartarpur – Guru Hargobind and muslim Pathan Painde Khan turned traitor.

Forward 1634 Battle Of Kiratpur – Guru Hargobind and the final skirmish fought between the rulers of Ropar.

Joti Jot (Merging with God) and Successor
In 1701 Bikrami Guru Ji called his followers and passed on the mantle to his grandson Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji in their presence. The very same evening he passed away. It was the third day of March in year 1644.

SourceDISCOVER SIKHISM

ਗੁਰੂ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਜੀ,

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ। ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ।।
ਹਰ ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਅਪਾਰ ਬਖਸਿ਼ਸ਼ ਅਤੇ ਆਪ ਸਭ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਨਾਲ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਦੇ ਜਨਮ ਦਿਹਾੜੇ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਸਰੀ `ਚ ਨਿਕਲਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦਾ ਆਯੋਜਨ 25 ਅਪ੍ਰੈ਼ਲ ਦਿਨ ਸ਼ਨਿਚਰਵਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ। ਇੰਨੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਦੀ ਸਫਲਤਾ ਲਈ ਸੰਗਤ ਦੇ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਦੀ ਬਹੁਤ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ, ਇਸ ਲਈ ਕੁਝ ਬੇਨਤੀਆਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਜਾ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਹਨ। ਆਸ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਬੇਨਤੀਆਂ `ਤੇ ਅਮਲ ਕਰਕੇ ਸੇਵਾਦਾਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਧੰਨਵਾਦੀ ਬਣਾਓਂਗੇੇ:

 

1. ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਮੌਕੇ ਸਕਿਓਰਟੀ, ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਫ-ਸਫਾਈ ਲਈ ਵਾਲੰਟੀਅਰ ਵੀਰਾਂ-ਭੈਣਾਂ ਦੀ ਜ਼ਰੂਰਤ ਹੈ। ਅੱਜ ਹੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਲਈ ਆਪਣਾ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਖਵਾਉਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਮੋਨਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਲ 604-724-7264 `ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਗਿੱਲ ਨਾਲ 604-518-6150 `ਤੇ ਜਾਂ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ 604-594-2574 `ਤੇ ਸੰਪਰਕ ਕਰੋ। ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਹੱਦ `ਚ ਟੈਂਟ ਲਗਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਜਸਰਾਜ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਮਰਾ ਨਾਲ 778-321-8012 `ਤੇ ਸੰਪਰਕ ਕਰੋ। ਫਲੋਟ ਲਗਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਜਾਂ ਸਪੌਂਸਰਸਿ਼ਪ ਅਤੇ ਸੁਝਾਵਾਂ ਲਈ ਪਰਵਕਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੂਲੇ ਨਾਲ 604-833-4550 ਜਾਂ ਈਮੇਲ pary@hotmail.com `ਤੇ ਸੰਪਰਕ ਕਰ ਸਕਦੇ ਹੋ। ਮੁੱਖ ਸਟੇਜ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਿਤ ਕਾਰਜਾਂ ਲਈ ਮਨਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਧਾਮੀ ਹੁਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ 604-812-3931 ਜਾਂ ਜਸਵੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਲ 778-862-4966 `ਤੇ ਸੰਪਰਕ ਕਰੋ। ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੇ ਰੂਟ `ਤੇ ਲੰਗਰ ਲਗਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਸੇਵਾਦਾਰ ਸਿਹਤ ਮਹਕਿਮੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਿਤ ਅਰਜ਼ੀਆਂ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ।

 

2. ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ `ਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਸਭ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਕੇਸਰੀ ਦਸਤਾਰਾਂ, ਕੇਸਰੀ ਦੁਪੱਟੇ ਅਤੇ ਕੇਸਰੀ ਰੁਮਾਲ ਸਜਾ ਕੇ ਆਉਣ ਤਾਂ ਕਿ ਸਮੁੱਚੀ ਫਿਜ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਖਾਲਸਈ ਰੰਗ `ਚ ਰੰਗਿਆ ਜਾ ਸਕੇ। ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਕਿਸਮ ਦਾ ਨਸ਼ਾ ਵਰਤ ਕੇ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਨਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ।

 

3. ਆਪਣੇ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਵਡੇਰੀ ਉਮਰ ਦੇ ਬਜ਼ੁਰਗਾਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਖਿਆਲ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਜਾਵੇ। ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ `ਚ ਗੁਆਚੇ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਜ਼ਦੀਕੀ ਪੁਲਿਸ ਅਫਸਰ ਦੇ ਸਪੁਰਦ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਵੇ।

 

4. ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ `ਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹੋਏ ਗੈਰ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਸਤਿਕਾਰ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਜੇ ਹੋ ਸਕੇ ਤਾਂ ਉਨਾਂ੍ਹ ਨੂੰ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਅਤੇ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਦੇ ਜਨਮ ਦਿਵਸ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਦੇਣ ਦੀ ਕੋਸਿ਼ਸ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਵੇ।

 

5. ਸਮੂਹ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਦਿਨ ਪੂਰੇ ਰੂਟ ਅਤੇ ਰੂਟ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜਦੀਆਂ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਸੜਕਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਗਲੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸਫਾਈ ਦਾ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਖਿਆਲ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਜਾਵੇ। ਕਿਸੇ ਦੇ ਘਰ ਅੱਗੇ ਘਾਹ ਉਤੇ ਤੁਰਨ ਜਾਂ ਬੂਟੇ ਮਿੱਧਣ ਤੋਂ ਗੁਰੇਜ਼ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਵੇ।

 

6. ਪਾਰਕਿੰਗ ਸਹੀ ਥਾਂ `ਤੇ ਹੀ ਲਗਾਈ ਜਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਕਿ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਵਲੋਂ ਗਲਤ ਥਾਂ `ਤੇ ਲਗਾਈ ਗੱਡੀ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਪ੍ਰੇਸ਼ਾਨੀ ਨਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਅਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੀ ਗੱਡੀ ਟੋਅ ਹੋਣ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਬਚੀ ਰਹੇ।

 

7. ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੇ ਰੂਟ `ਤੇ ਸਟੇਜਾਂ ਲਗਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਵੀਰਾਂ-ਭੈਣਾਂ ਅੱਗੇ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸਪੀਕਰ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਅਤੇ ਲੱਗਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਸੰਗੀਤ ਜ਼ਾਬਤੇ `ਚ ਰਹਿ ਕੇ ਹੀ ਲਗਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ।ਫਿਲਮੀ ਜਾਂ ਲੱਚਰ ਗੀਤ ਨਾ ਲਗਾਏ ਜਾਣ। ਮੁੱਖ ਫਲੋਟ ਲੰਘਣ ਮੌਕੇ ਸਪੀਕਰ ਬੰਦ ਕਰਕੇ ਆਪ ਵੀ ਅਤੇ ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਸੁਣਨ ਦਾ ਮੌਕਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਵੇ।

 

8. ਲੰਗਰ ਦੇ ਸਟਾਲ ਲਗਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਸੇਵਾਦਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਚਰਨਾਂ `ਚ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸਟਾਲ ਦੇ ਨਜ਼ਦੀਕ ਜੇਕਰ ਇੱਕ ਜਾਂ ਦੋ ਪੋਰਟੇਬਲ ਵਾਸ਼ਰੂਮ ਰਖਵਾਉਣ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧ ਹੋ ਸਕੇ ਤਾਂ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਰਖਵਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲਤਾ ਕਰਨੀ। ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਲੰਘਣ ਉਪਰੰਤ ਸਾਰਾ ਗਾਰਬੇਜ ਬੈਗਾਂ `ਚ ਪਾ ਕੇ ਮੂੰਹ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਜਾਵੇ। ਜੇ ਆਪ ਚੁੱਕਣ ਦੀ ਵਿਵਸਥਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਉਥੇ ਹੀ ਬੈਗ ਮੂੰਹ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਰੱਖ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਜਾਣ, ਸੇਵਾਦਾਰ ਆਪ ਚੁੱਕ ਕੇ ਲੈ ਜਾਣਗੇ। ਗਾਰਬੇਜ ਅਤੇ ਰੀ-ਸਾਇਕਲ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਸਮਾਨ ਨੂੰ ਅੱਡ-ਅੱਡ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ। ਗਾਰਬੇਜ ਚੁੱਕਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਵਾਲੰਟੀਅਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਵੇ। ਸਟਾਇਰੋਫੋਮ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੱਪ-ਪਲੇਟਾਂ ਨਾਲੋਂ ਕਾਗਜ਼ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੱਪ-ਪਲੇਟਾਂ ਵਰਤਣ ਨੂੰ ਤਰਜੀਹ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਜਾਵੇ, ਜੋਕਿ ਰੀ-ਸਾਇਕਲ ਕਰਨੀਆਂ ਸੌਖੀਆਂ ਹਨ। ਲੰਗਰ ਦੇ ਸਟਾਲ ਲਗਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਵੀਰ-ਭੈਣ ਵਰਤਾਉਣ ਅਤੇ ਖਾਣ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਹੱਥ ਧੋਣ ਲਈ ਸਾਫ ਪਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਕਰਨ। ਚੁੱਲ੍ਹੇ ਤੋਂ ਪਰੋਪੇਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਸਿਲੰਡਰ 25 ਫੁੱਟ ਦੂਰ ਹੋਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਫਾਇਰ ਸੇਫਟੀ ਲਈ ਅੱਗ ਬੁਝਾਊ ਯੰਤਰ (ਫਾਇਰ ਐਕਸਟਿੰਗੁਸ਼ਅਰ) ਅਤੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੁਝ ਬਾਲਟੀਆਂ ਕੋਲ ਭਰ ਕੇ ਰੱਖੋ। ਫਰੇਜ਼ਰ ਹੈਲਥ ਅਥਾਰਿਟੀ ਦੇ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਸਟਾਲ ਆ ਕੇ ਚੈੱਕ ਕਰਨਗੇ।

 

9. ਪੁਲਿਸ ਵਲੋਂ ਹਦਾਇਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਬੱਚੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਛੋਟੇ ਮੋਟਰਸਾਇਕਲ ਜਾਂ ਜੀਪਾਂ ਆਦਿ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਨਾ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਆਉਣ। ਬੇਹੱਦ ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਅਤੇ ਧੂੰਆਂ ਛੱਡਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਮੋਟਰਸਾਇਕਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਲੱਗਣ `ਤੇ ਪਾਬੰਦੀ ਹੋਵੇਗੀ। ਮੋਟਰਸਾਇਕਲ ਸਵਾਰ ਤੋਂ ਬਗੈਰ ਹੋਰ ਕੋਈ ਮੋਟਰਸਾਇਕਲ `ਤੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਚੜ੍ਹ ਸਕੇਗਾ।

 

10. ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਗੁਬਾਰੇ ਛੱਡਣ ਵਾਲੀਆਂ ਕੰਪਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਧਿਆਨ ਹਿਤ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਹਵਾ `ਚ ਗੈਸ ਵਾਲੇ ਗੁਬਾਰੇ ਨਾ ਛੱਡੇ ਜਾਣ, ਅਕਸਰ ਹੀ ਇਹ ਬਿਜਲੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਵੱਡੀਆਂ ਲਾਇਨਾਂ `ਚ ਫਸ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ, ਜਿਸ ਨਾਲ ਬੀ.ਸੀ. ਹਾਈਡਰੋ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ `ਚ ਕਾਫੀ ਵਿਘਨ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਗੁਬਾਰੇ ਹਵਾਈ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਦੇ ਰੇਡਾਰ ਸਿਸਟਮ `ਚ ਵੀ ਵਿਘਨ ਪਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਨ।

 

ਆਉ! ਆਪਾਂ ਸਾਰੇ ਇਸ ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਦੀ ਸਫਲਤਾ ਲਈ ਰਲ ਮਿਲ ਕੇ ਕੰਮ ਕਰੀਏ।

Guru Hargobind’s fourteen year old grandson Har Rai, born on 30th January, 1630 A.D. at Kiratpur, succeeded his grandfather Guru Hargobind to the Gurugaddi after he passed away in 1644. Neither of his two sons, Surajmal and Tegh Bahadur, was willing to take up the responsibility of leading and guiding the community of Sikhs. Tegh Bahadur, though a recluse when his father Guru Hargobind died, later was nominated the Sikhs’Ninth Guru.

Guru Har Rai continued the practice of Miri and Piri and maintained a splendid court and a company of 200 mounted soldiers as his personal guard, yet he felt the proportion of Miri in Sikhism was gradually mounting with a result that in the life of an average Sikh the ‘spiritual’ was seen usually sub serving the ‘material’. He did not, hence, have much preference for warfare and chose rather the solitude of hills where, while meditating within, he was able to explore and collect his energies for applying them to consolidate the spiritual part of Sikhism. He believed that in the Sikh tradition warfare was an eventuality and spiritualism its essence.

He sought to revive Guru Nanak’s way though his canvas was not that wide. He believed like the first Guru that personal touch and contact was the most effective instrument for inspiring the Sikhs. He, hence, undertook tours, though only of shorter durations and distances, which, perhaps, the later sovereign form of Sikh Guruship conditioned. He stayed at Nahan, now in Himachal Pradesh, for some twelve years and wielded great spiritual influence around. He once blessed there a Jat boy, poor and hungry, who later came to found the known Phulkian family after his own name Phul. This family later ruled the states of Patiala, Nabha, and Jind. A bairagi monk Bhagat Gir met here Guru Har Rai and was so impressed that he took to Sikhism. Renamed as Bhagat Bhagwan he was commissioned to carry to the eastern part Guru Nanak’s Message. Wherever Guru Har Rai went hundreds of people heard him and got converted to Sikhism. At Kiratpur, Bhai Sangaita, a man of great caliber came in his touch. He not only joined Sikhism but also undertook the mission of spreading the message of Guru Nanak in Bari Doab. His other associate Bhai Gonda carried the mission to Lahore and converted their people to Nanak’s path.

Sainthood with no place for vengeance and ill-will was the legacy of Guru Har Rai too. He had in his possession a life saving medicine, which the Mughal emperor Shahjahan need for saving the life of his eldest and the most beloved son Dara Shikoh who was struggling in between life and death. Shahjahan’s messenger, sent to Guru Har Rai, went back not with the medicine alone but also with the holy blessings to the emperors ailing son. Dara Shikoh speedily recovered but whether by Guru’s medicine or his blessing was not known. Guru Har Rai only strengthened the tradition of Sikh Gurus which believed in returning good for evil.

Despite his aversion for warfare and violence, he would not hesitate to confront with any power or pay whatever cost for his adherence to truth and his Panth. Misled to believe that Guru Har Rai was a rebel, and that Sikh scriptures propagated things against Islam, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, after he had succeeded his father, summoned Guru Har Rai to his court, though the letter he sent to him was very polite, something such as a dagger wrapped in velvet. Guru Har Rai nominated his eldest son Ram Rai to visit the Mughal emperor. He was instructed not to appease the Mughal emperor by his words, or to interpret Adi-granth, or any of its parts, to mean different from what it actually meant. Charmed by Mughal power and the glamour of the Mughal court Ram Rai acted differently. He appeased the emperor and disobeyed his father. He interpreted Adi-granth to emperor’s liking. After Guru Har Rai had heard all about it he reacted that “Guruship was tigress’ milk and could not be contained in a pot other than that of gold”. He announced that Ram Rai would never appear before him and nominated his second son Har Kishan, though just five, as his successor.

Guru Har Rai often recited a couplet of Baba Farid, which suggested that the great Sikh Guru considered compassion as the highest virtue of all things divine in man.

“Hearts are jewels,
Distress them not,
Those who distress no heart
Seek the beloved God,”

Whether real or imagined, an incident of his life has been widely covered in Sikh literature and in medieval Sikh paintings. While strolling in a garden he dragged with his loose cloak a few stem-containing flowers. No sooner he saw the flowers falling to ground his eyes welled up with tears. It pained him that he instrumented them injury, an act that was never in his nature.

Joti jot of Guru Gobind Singh ji (formal) or in other words you can say Guru Gobind Singh ji left his heavenly abode in 1708, at Abchal Nagar Hazur Sahib(Nanded). In physical death we get the died body even after creation we get ashes but nothing was there in this case.

Plan of Killing Guru Sahib ji

Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhind had felt concerned at the Emperor’s conciliatory treatment of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Their marching together to the South made him jealous, and he ordered two of his trusted men with murdering the Guru before his increasing friendship with the Emperor resulted in any harm to him.

These two pathans Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg are the names given in the Guru Kian Sakhian pursued the Guru secretly and overtook him at Nanded, where, according to Sri Gur Sobha by Senapati, a contemporary writer, one of them stabbed the Guru in the left side below the heart as he lay one evening in his chamber resting after the Rahras prayer. Before he could deal another blow, Guru Gobind Singh struck him down with his sabre, while his fleeing companion fell under the swords of Sikhs who had rushed in on hearing the noise. As the news reached Bahadar Shah’s camp, he sent expert surgeons, to attend to the Guru.

The Guru’s wound was immediately stitched by the Emperor’s European surgeon and within a few days it appeared to have been healed. The injury had been contained and the Guru had made a good recovery.

Tugged the Bow

Some Karigars from Hyderabad(Silkigars) came to guru sahib and gave shastars to guru ji and guru ji gave them return gift. There were many bows whoose strings were very difficult to tugged. On Deepmala Rich people of Nanded came to guru ji With Karah Parshaad. Guru ji was with his arms on his bed. After watching all this one said that who tugs the bow these days? Other said “Are these weapons just for showoff?”. One requested to Tug the arrow and make his fullfill true. Guru Ji was not fully improved. but to fulfill his wish, when the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow, the imperfectly healed wound burst open and caused profuse bleeding. All were stunned to see that.

They began to tie bandages to top blood. It was again treated but it was now clear to the Guru that the call of the Father from Heaven had come. He prepared the sangat for his departure; instruction were given to the immediate main Sewadars and finally he gave his last and enduring message of his mission to the assembly of the Khalsa.

Guru Granth Sahib

He then opened the Granth Sahib, placed five paise and solemnly bowed to it as his successor. Saying ‘Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh’, he walked around the Guru Granth Sahib and proclaimed, “O beloved Khalsa, let him who desireth to behold me, behold the Guru Granth. Obey the Granth Sahib. It is the visible body of the Gurus. And let him who desires to meet me, search me in the hymns.”

He then sang his self-composed hymn: “Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The Khalsa shall rule, and its opponents will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved.”

On that Day langar was served as gurgaddi was transferred, Different varities of food was served
Setting His Own Pyre

Angeetha Sahib in Hazur Sahib

Guru Ji then spent money to set his on pyre(Angeetha). Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Santokh Singh and Bhai Himmat Singh collected Sandal Woods and make pyre. then they covered that area with walls. Guru Ji said that after setting fire to his pyre no one is supposed to open Angeetha Sahib. No one was suppose to see in angitha sahib. No one is suppose to make any Samadh after his death.
After That

On Next morning, people from all over came to watch guru ji as on that day guru sahib was leaving his heavenly abode. People of every class came for darshan of guru gobind singh. It was a huge crowd, guru Sahib gave darshan to all in his roop.

Then guru sahib started going toward his pyre. People started crying all weep out loud. Guru Ji stopped and said
not to love with BODy. Love with Shabad love with teachings and live together forever n ever.

After this guru ji entered in closed structure in which pyre was establihed. Many People were weeping and watching the flames broke out from inside. The Flames were rising high.

After this sikhs was began to check that Dilbag the Guru’s horse is missing.

Bhai Sangat Singh

Bhai Sangat Singh was coming to hazur sahib at that point of time. He met guru sahib, with his Attire, Eagle, Horse, on his way near Nanded. Guru ji gave him orders of being a true sikh. Even he was given Karha parshaad by guru ji. After Darshan of Guru Ji Bhai Sahib went to Hazur sahib.

Sangat said that Angitha is on fire and guru sahib is no more. Bhai Sangat singh surprised and said that he just met guru sahib in his full attire with horse and eagle even he took parshad from him. Sangat bewilderd.
Checking Angitha

Small Sword Which was taken out from Guru’s angitha

Bhai Daya singh went inside to check angeetha, there was nothing but a Small Kirpan in angeetha. So everyone accepted Bhai Sangat SIngh that Like Guru nanak Dev, Guru Gobind Singh also went to Sachkhand with his body. Guru Sahib said not to make any place but love of singhs was so much they make a samaadh and recited kirtan aside this samadh. That place is today and historical shrine and takhat called takhat Hazur Sahib.

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, was the son of an official with a small holding of land in a village north-west of Lahore (in present day Pakistan). Guru Ji had his elementary education in the local language of the village and as a member of the Khatri caste his father made sure that he was tutored in the village Gurukul in the ancient Sanskrit and knowing well the value to be gained by learning Persian his father enrolled him with a scholar of that language as well. His father intended to train him as an accountant so that he could get a job in the court of the Muslim governor of the district. But Guru Nanak turned out to be indifferent to any attempt to teach him the standard subjects of business. He soon outdistanced his teachers as each found themselves unable to teach him as he had rapidly mastered the languages they had taught him. He roamed the forests around his village engaging in long discourses with holy men both Hindu and Muslim, who frequented the surrounding jungals, traveling through on their various pilgramages. Mixing with his friends of other castes and religions he was the despair of his parents as he would not attend to family business and spent what ever money they gave him on feeding the poor. When he grew up to be a young man, they arranged a marriage for him. For a time he devoted himself to the care of his wife, and two sons.

Then his search for truth became too over powering, having gone to work for his sister’s brother in the stores of a Muslim official he went out one morning to take his usual bath in a local river only to disappear. For three days his friends and his growing cadre of admirers (Sikhs they were called) feared that he had drowned. Some, jealous of his popularity, started the rumor that he had looted his employer’s stores and run away. On the third day Nanak reappeared and would only repeat, ‘There is no Hindu, there is no Mussulman’. By this statement he was stating that there was no difference between what the the worshippers of the two differing religions – Hinduism and Islam were worshiping, he had realized that there was only one God who was the root of each religion and that service to ones fellow men was the way of realizing their mutual goal of being reunited with God the Father , creator of them all. After arranging for the care of his wife and sons, settling his affairs and quitting his job he and his Muslim friend, a musician named Mardana set out on his first ‘Udasi’ (travel) preaching as they walked from village to village. Guru Ji composed his sermons in ragas (musical modes) which were sung to the accompaniment of Bhai Mardana’s Rabab (a simple lute style instrument) with a curved peg tuning board which could hang over Mardana’s shoulder as he walked.

Wherever they stopped, Guru Ji’s teachings would inspire the people and leave them singing the simple Bani in the fields as they worked. Within a few years these disciples became a homogeneous group whose faith was exclusively the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. In several trips that covered many years the young Guru traveled all over India. With a second companion a Hindu named Bhai Balla they went as far east as Assam, as far south as Sri Lanka and as far to the north as Tibet. Later Guru Ji traveled westward beyond India to Mecca and Medina in Arabia, from where they returned by foot through Al Sham (Greater Syria), Bagdad, Persia and the land we now call Afganistan. Wherever he went, they sang Guru Nanak’s hymns, which told the people that if they wanted to love God they should learn first to love each other and always keep the Name of God on their lips. In a time of brutal oppression, his simple message of one loving God, the equality of men and even women (a radical thought in those days) and a life dedicated to returning to God’s Kingdom, not by practising religious austerities, but by living the life of a simple house holder (Grehsatti Jeevan) building a family and a loving relationship with ones wife and children – to the One God, by ones hard and honest work and even sharing ones blessings with the sick and homeless.

There are countless stories of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s travels. Once Guru Ji came to a river for his morning bath only to find the water full of many Hindus who were, doing the age old Hindu morning ritual of saluting the Sun. Guru Nanak having grown up in a Hindu family knew just what they were up to. They were taking water in their clasped hands and throwing it at the rising Sun. Already well aware of what they were doing and why, the Guru knew that they had never even questioned the age old ritual. He was the sort of teacher that we all have grown up loving and admiring. The ones we all remember from our childhood, the ones that taught by example actually leading us to discover the answers for ourselves, to feel the answer in our soul, rather than using the age old pedantic method of ‘do and repeat what I say’. So giving them enough ‘rope with which to hang their beliefs’ in such rituals (that they had never even dared to question) he asked them what they were doing. They must have thought him mad, or at the least a stranger from some strange land, who had no idea of the important work they were doing.

One person raising the tone of his voice with each word, replied almost in disgust, “we are offering water to our ancestors who have gone to live in the stars near the Sun–their throats are parched and dry from the Sun’s great heat! Guru Ji replied, “That sounds like a great idea, let me try”. With this Guru Nanak Dev Ji turned in the opposite direction and started tossing handfulls of water towards the west, the crowd was dumbstruck. “What are you doing Fakir Ji?” you are wasting your time, why are you throwing water in the wrong direction. “Why, I am sending water to my parched fields in the Punjab”, he said, “if your water can reach the Sun surely mine can reach the Punjab which is only a few hundred miles away”. With this the people realised their folly, perhaps for the first time they questioned what they had been doing their whole lives.

Another story tells us of the time that Guru Ji met a very rich and successful man. The man invited Guru Sahib to his large and luxurious home. He had accumulated a vast fortune, no doubt by deceit and foul means and he even boasted of his wealth. He asked Guru Ji if there was anything he could do for his guest, such an obvious man of God. Guru Nanak saw a needle on the floor, picked it up and handed it to him, “Please give me this needle in the next world”, he said. With a puzzled look on his face the man replied, “How can I do that; One comes into this world with nothing and leaves it with nothing”. It was so quiet that you could hear that needle drop to the floor as the man realised that he had wasted his whole life and that none of the wealth he had amassed could be taken to the ‘next life.’ He fell at Guru Sahib’s feet. “Forgive me ” he cried.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji blessed him and told him the three rules all should live by:

Naam Japo – Recite the name of the Lord at all times.
Kirat Karo – Do an honest day’s work.
Wand Shako – Share your food with those around you.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s crusade was against intolerance which had become, on one hand the practice of their Muslim overlords bent on converting their Hindu subjects, to earn credits (as their ‘good angel’ which they all believed was sitting on their right shoulder) toted up their good deeds so they could enter the Kingdom of Heaven and on the other the meaningless rituals and gross discriminations of caste (and gender) which had become an integral part of Hindu life, where in order for some men (the Brahmins) who had written the laws in the first place to have someone to be superior to they had doomed others to lives as pariahs whose shadows, they told others, would pollute those of the higher privileged casts. Innocent men and women and children who were denied any chance at an education (would actually be killed if they were caught trying to read) and forced to do the foulest of tasks with death being their only chance to enter a higher caste.

Guru Ji spent the last years of his life with his family in the village he and his followers cleared on some land donated by another of his admirers. The village named Kartarpur (the village of the Creator, God’s Village) grew as people heard of this new way of living, where all men and women shared in the work and ate their meals in a communal kitchen (called the Guru ka Langar) with no distinction being made to their former caste. People flocked to the village to hear him sing his hymns. Even today Guru Ji is regarded as the symbol of harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus . A popular couplet describes him as:

The teacher Nanak is the King of holy men. The mentor of the Hindus, the religious leader of the Mussulmans.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji had a following of people from both Hinduism and Islam, it was left to his nine successor Gurus to mold that following into a distinct community with its own language, literature, its own religious beliefs and institutions and its own traditions and conventions.

Sri Guru Ramdas Ji (Jetha ji) was born at Chuna Mandi, Lahore (in Pakistan), on Kartik Vadi 2nd, (25th Assu) Samvat 1591 (September 24, 1534). Son of Mata Daya Kaur ji (Anup Kaur ji) and Baba Hari Das ji Sodhi Khatri was very handsome and promising child. His parents were too poor to meet even the daily needs and he had to earn his bread by selling boiled grams. His parents died when he was just 7 year old. His grandmother (mother’s, mother) took him to her native village Basarke. He spent five years at village Basarke earning his bread by selling boiled grams. According to some chronicles, once Sri Guru Amardas Ji came village Basarke to condole with the grandmother of Sri Guru Ramdas Ji at the death of her son-in-law and developed deep affection for Sri Guru Ramdas Ji. Along with grandmother he left for Goidwal Sahib to settle there. There he resumed his profession of selling boiled grams and also began to take part in the religious congregation held by Sri Guru Amardas Ji. He also made active participation in the development of Goindwal Sahib.

Sri Guru Ramdas Ji was married to Bibi Bhani Ji (daughter of Guru Amardas Sahib). She bore him three sons: Prithi Chand Ji, Mahadev Ji and Arjan Sahib (Guru) Ji. After the marriage he stayed with his father-in-law and deeply associated himself with the Guru Ghar activities (Sikhism). He commanded full confidence of Sri Guru Amardas Ji and often accompanied him when the latter went on long missionary tours to different parts of India.

Sri Guru Ramdas Ji was a man of considerable merit. He became famous for his piety, devotion, energy and eloquence. Sri Guru Amardas Ji found him capable in every respect and worthy of the office of Guruship and installed him as Fourth Nanak on september 1, 1574. Sri Guru Ramdas Ji laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur, which is now called Amritsar. For this purpose he purchased land from the zamindars of the villages: Tung, Gilwali and Gumtala, and began digging of Santokhsar Sarover. Later on he suspended the work on Santokhsar and concentrated his attention on digging Amritsar Sarovar. Bhai Sahlo Ji and Baba Budha Ji, the two devoted Sikhs were assigned the supervising work.

The new city (Chak Ramdas Pur) flourished soon as it was situated at the centre of international trade routes. It grew into an important center of trade in Punjab after Lahore. Sri Guru Ramdas Ji himself invited many merchants and artisans from the different walks of life and trades. Later on, it proved to be step of far-reaching importance. It provided a common place of worship to the Sikhs and paved the way for the future guidelines for the Sikhism as a different religion. Sri Guru Ramdas Ji introduced Masand system in place of Manji system and this step played a great role in the consolidation of Sikhism.

Sri Guru Ramdas Ji strengthened the Sikhism a step further by composing Four Lawans and advised the Sikhs to recite them in order to solemnize the marriages of their children. Thus he introduced a new matrimonial system based upon Sikhism instead of Hindu’s Vedi system. Thus this distinct marriage code for the Sikhs separated them from the orthodox and traditional Hindu system. also made rapprochement with different sects of Udasis through Baba Shri Chand Ji. He, like his predecessors carried forward the tradition of Guru ka Langer. Superstitions, caste system and pilgrimages were strongly decried.

He wrote 638 hymns in 30 ragas, these include 246 Padei 138 Saloks, 31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars and are a part of Guru Granth Sahib. He nominated his youngest son (Guru) Arjan Sahib as Fifth Nanak. After this he left Amritsar and retired to Goindwal Sahib. There, after a few days he passed away for heaven on Bhadon Sudi 3rd (2nd Assu) Samvat 1638 (September 1, 1581).

ਬਹੁਤ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਛੁਰੇ ਥੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਇਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ਲੇਖੇ ॥
बहुत जनम बिछुरे थे माधउ इहु जनमु तुम्हारे लेखे ॥
Bahuṯ janam bicẖẖure the māḏẖa▫o ih janam ṯumĥāre lekẖe.
For many births, have I been separated from Thee, O Lord.
This life, I now dedicate unto Thee.

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਆਸ ਲਗਿ ਜੀਵਉ ਚਿਰ ਭਇਓ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖੇ ॥੨॥੧॥
कहि रविदास आस लगि जीवउ चिर भइओ दरसनु देखे ॥२॥१॥
Kahi Raviḏās ās lag jīva▫o cẖir bẖa▫i▫o ḏarsan ḏekẖe. ||2||1||
Says Ravi Dass, pinning my hope in Thee, I live,
It is long since I has seen Thy vision. ~ Ang 694

Bhagat Ravidas ji was a true and vehement devotee of Waheguru whose devotion and ardent divine love poured out in the form of spiritual poetry. His compositions expressed deep love and strong passion for Waheguru and Guru Arjan Dev ji decided to include his compositions in Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji. The divine ditties of Bhagat Ravi Das ji in the form of 41 shabads in different raags are included in Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj as Bani Bhagat de.

Bhagat Ravi Das ji was an inhabitant of Benaras. He belonged to a lower Chamaar class and his profession of making and repairing shoes was considered inferior in the society and his work was considered menial in those times.

BhagatRavidas (117K)Bhagat Ravi Das ji was connected with Almighty Waheguru from his childhood only. He was an ardent devotee of Waheguru. He used to spend his lot of time in the company of holy people and he also used to spend his money to fulfill the needs of holy saints and poor people.

Bhagat Ravi Das ji expressed his passion and love for Waheguru through his divine poetry and music. Poetry and music both are a form of art and art is very close and dear to Waheguru as Waheguru is himself an adroit artist and we can witness his skillful and breathtaking art in nature and in his creation.

He told the society of that time that a human being is recognized by his good deeds and not by his caste. He raised his voice against the wave of untouchability and caste system which was prevalent at that time. He advised his fellows that every human has the right to love and serve Waheguru. Devotion and service to Waheguru is done by pure heart and not by rituals.

By true love and devotion for Waheguru Bhagat Ravi Das ji got elevated. By praising the virtues of Waheguru and keeping the company of holy saints his status was uplifted in the society. By keeping Waheguru in his heart he was revered by the people from other castes too and he became pious and was emancipated.

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ॥
सिरीरागु ॥
Sirīrāg.
Sri Rag,

ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥
तोही मोही मोही तोही अंतरु कैसा ॥
Ŧohī mohī mohī ṯohī anṯar kaisā.
Thou art me, I am Thou, What is the difference.

ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥

कनक कटिक जल तरंग जैसा ॥१॥
Kanak katik jal ṯarang jaisā. ||1||
The same as between gold and its bracelet and
between water and its ripples. ~ Ang 93

In this verse he is expressing his indelible relationship he has with his creator. He is saying I am in you and you are in me. We are a part of each other and absorbed into each other. He compares his nexus with Waheguru to gold and bangle and then to water and tide.

By being immersed in devotion to Waheguru he becomes a denizen of Begampura. By devoting his life and soul to Almighty Waheguru he attains a blissful state of mind and in that state of mind he always feel happy and in euphoric state. This state of his mind is evident in his bani as:

ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥
बेगम पुरा सहर को नाउ ॥
Begam purā sahar ko nā▫o.
Begampura is the name of the town.

ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥
दूखु अंदोहु नही तिहि ठाउ ॥
Ḏūkẖ anḏohu nahī ṯihi ṯẖā▫o.
At that place there is no pain or worry.

ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥
नां तसवीस खिराजु न मालु ॥
Nāʼn ṯasvīs kẖirāj na māl.
There is no fear of tax of goods there.

ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥
खउफु न खता न तरसु जवालु ॥१॥
Kẖa▫uf na kẖaṯā na ṯaras javāl. ||1||
Neither awe, nor error, nor dread nor decline is there.

ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥
अब मोहि खूब वतन गह पाई ॥
Ab mohi kẖūb vaṯan gah pā▫ī.
I have now found an excellent abode.

ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ऊहां खैरि सदा मेरे भाई ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Ūhāʼn kẖair saḏā mere bẖā▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.
My brethren there is ever-lasting safety there. Pause. ~ Ang 345

In Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Guru Ram Das ji Maharaj, the fourth Nanak, praises Bhagat Ravi Das ji and writes:

ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਾਰੁ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਨਿਮਖ ਇਕ ਗਾਇ ॥
रविदासु चमारु उसतति करे हरि कीरति निमख इक गाइ ॥
Raviḏās cẖamār usṯaṯ kare har kīraṯ nimakẖ ik gā▫e.
Ravidas, the tanner, glorified God and every moment sang His praise.

ਪਤਿਤ ਜਾਤਿ ਉਤਮੁ ਭਇਆ ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਪਏ ਪਗਿ ਆਇ ॥੨॥
पतित जाति उतमु भइआ चारि वरन पए पगि आइ ॥२॥
Paṯiṯ jāṯ uṯam bẖa▫i▫ā cẖār varan pa▫e pag ā▫e. ||2||
Though of fallen caste, he become sublime and the four
castes came and fell at his feet. ~ Ang 733

Shri Guru Arjan Dev ji has also expressed about the great spiritual achievement of Bhagat Ravi Das ji as

ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਧਿਆਏ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਨੂਪ ॥
रविदास धिआए प्रभ अनूप ॥
Raviḏās ḏẖi▫ā▫e parabẖ anūp.
Ravidass meditated on the beauteous Lord.

ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਰੂਪ ॥੮॥੧॥
गुर नानक देव गोविंद रूप ॥८॥१॥
Gur Nānak ḏev govinḏ rūp. ||8||1||
Guru Nanak Dev is the very embodiment of
the Master of the universe. ~ Ang 1192

The pivotal message we get from Bhagat Ravidas ji’s life is that a human being is recognized by his deeds and not by his caste from birth. Bhagat Ravi das ji was a cobbler by profession but he was connected to Almighty Waheguru. He was not entangled and engrossed in the vagaries of human life but was ahead and beyond the petty things of human life. His intellect was way more than a normal human being and he could realize the divine presence and his bond with his creator in his life.

ਸਾਚੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰੀ ॥
साची प्रीति हम तुम सिउ जोरी ॥
Sācẖī parīṯ ham ṯum si▫o jorī.
True love I have joined with Thee, O Lord.

ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਿ ਅਵਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੋਰੀ ॥੩॥
तुम सिउ जोरि अवर संगि तोरी ॥३॥
Ŧum si▫o jor avar sang ṯorī. ||3||
Attaching myself to Thee, I have broken with all others. ~ Ang 659

We should also try to connect with our creator and love our creator like Bhagat Ravidas ji. We should practice and make usage of music and poetry to connect with Waheguru as Bhagat Ravidas ji did. We should have utmost and unwavering faith in our creator. During dark times this faith should give solace to our heart and strength to come out of darkness. We should accept his Hukam gracefully, keep full faith in his graciousness and live life in high spirits. This should be the way of life of a Gursikh and Bhagat Ravi Das ji’s life is an impeccable example of that.

Guru Har Gobind had five sons and one daughter. The eldest son was Baba Gurditta who had two sons, Dhir Mal and Har Rai. Dhir Mal turned out disloyal and disobedient. He had some influence in the court of Emperor Aurangzeb and was in communication with the Guru’s enemies. When Guru Har Gobind moved to Kiratpur, Dhir Mal with his mother, remained at Kartarpur and took possession of the Guru’s property and also of the priceless original copy of the Adi Granth. He thought that as long as he had its possession, the Sikhs would look upon him as their religious leader and thus as mentioned in the last chapter, Dhir Mal refused Guru’s invitation to come to Kiratpur on his father’s death. Guru Har Gobind nominated Har Rai, younger brother of Dhir Mal, as his successor before he departed for the heavenly abode on March 3, 1644.

One day as a child, while passing through a garden, his loose flowing robes damaged some flowers and scattered their petals on the ground. This sight effected his tender heart and brought tears in his eyes. After that he always walked with his skirts tucked up, and resolved never to harm anything in the world. When he grew up, he carried the same spirit with him. He used Baba Farid’s quotation frequently:

“All men’s hearts are jewels; to distress them is not at all good;

If thou desire the Beloved, distress no one’s heart.”

Guru Har Rai was most magnanimous. His food was very simple, he did not desire dainty dishes. Whatever valuable offerings were made to him, he used to spend on his guests. On the advice of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind, he kept twenty-two hundred mounted soldiers. In the afternoon he used to go to chase. The Guru took some of the animals he had obtained from the chase, freed them and protected them in a zoological garden, which he had made for the recreation of his followers. In the evening the Guru used to hold his court, listen to hymns sung by his choir, and then give divine instructions.

The Emperor Shah Jahan had four sons, Dara Shikoh, Shuja Mohammad, Aurangzeb, and Murad Bakhsh. Dara Shikoh who was the heir-apparent, was very dear to his father. Aurangzeb was very clever, cunning and ambitious, and aimed at succeeding to the throne. It is said that Aurangzeb administered tiger’s whiskers in a dainty dish to Dara Shikoh who became dangerously ill as a consequence. The best physicians were consulted but in vain. The Emperor, filled with anxiety, sent for astrologers and diviners from every country but of no avail. The wise men arrived at a conclusion that until tiger’s whiskers were removed from Dara’s bowls, there was no hope of recovery. They were of the opinion that if a chebulic myrobalan weighing fourteen chitanks (14/16th of a pound) and a clove weighing one masha could be administered to the patient, he would be restored to health. The Emperor searched for these articles everywhere in his empire but in vain. At last some one told him that the required items were available in the Guru’s storehouse. On the advice of his courtiers the Emperor found it necessary to humble himself before the Guru, and accordingly addressed him the following letter:

“Your predecessor, the holy Baba Nanak granted sovereignty to Emperor Babar, the founder of my

dynasty; Guru Angad was exceedingly well disposed to his son, Emperor Humayun; and Guru Amar

Das removed many difficulties from my grandfather Akbar’s path. I regret that the same friendly

relations did not subsist between Guru Har Gobind and myself, and that misunderstandings were

caused by the interference of strangers. For this I was not to blame. My son Dara Shikoh is now very

ill. His remedy is in your hands. If you give the myrobalan and the clove which are available in your

store, and add to them your prayers, you will confer an abiding favor on me.”

Dara Shikoh Cured

Dara, the elder son of Emperor Shah Jehan (r. 1627-1658 AD) fell ill. Inspite of the best efforts of Hakims, he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Rai. He came personally to the Guru Sahib and requested for the medicine. Guru Ji gave him the rare medicinne required for the treatment and also sent a pearl, which was to be ground into fine powder and taken with the medicine.

A noble carried the letter to the Guru at Kiratpur, who commented,”Behold, with one hand man breaks flowers, and with the other he offers them, but flowers perfume both hands alike. Although the axe cuts the sandal-tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe. The Guru is, therefore, to return good for evil.” He sent the necessary medicine which was administered to Dara Shikoh. The medicine effected a speedy and complete cure. The Emperor was naturally very pleased, forgot all enmity against the Guru, and vowed that he would never again cause any annoyance to him.

One day during a ride, the Guru halted and knocked at the door of a poor woman and said,”Good lady, I am very hungry, bring me the bread you have prepared.” The woman, throbbing with joy, brought out some coarse bread which he partook on horseback, without washing his hands, and relished it very much. He then blessed the woman and cut off the shackles of her transmigration. Next day the Sikhs prepared dainty dishes with great attention to cleanliness and offered them to the Guru at the same hour. He laughed and said,”O Sikhs, I ate food from that woman’s hands because she was holy. This food which you have prepared with attention to ancient ceremonial is not pleasing to me.” The Sikhs asked,”O true king, yesterday you ate bread on horseback from the hands of an old woman whom you did not know. There was no consecrated space and the food was in every way impure. Today we have prepared the food for you; no impurity is attached to it, yet you reject it. Be kind enough to explain the reason.” The Guru replied,” The woman with great devotion and faith prepared food for me out of what she had earned from the sweat of her brow. On this account the food was very pure, and I partook of it. The Guru is hungry for love and not for dainty dishes. In the matter of love for God, no rule is recognized. It is not what man eats that pleases God, it is man’s devotion that is acceptable to Him.”

GURU’S PREACHING TOURS:

Guru Arjan had practically completed the organization of his followers on peaceful lines and under Guru Har Gobind, Sikhism had added into itself an army. Apart from laying emphasis on the free kitchen and religious congregation and faith in the Adi Granth, Guru Har Rai undertook extensive tours in Malwa and Doaba regions of the Punjab. These regions provided good opportunities for the Sikh faith to sprout. Guru Har Rai made some notable conversions among the landed families of the Punjab who were, at that time, considered the natural leaders of the people.

On one of the Guru’s tours, he stayed at Mukandpur in the present district of Jullundhur. There he drove a bamboo shoot into the ground in memory of his visit; and it still survives as a stately tree. From there he went to Malwa and visited the tank near Nathana where Guru Har Gobind had fought. Kala and Karm Chand, two brothers of Mahraj tribe, came to him to complain that the people of Kaura tribe did not allow them to live among them. The Guru tried to settle the matter amicably but when Kaura tribe refused to listen, he helped the Mahraj brothers to take forcible possession of a piece of land and settle there. He remained for some time at Nathana preaching to the people, and Kala and his friends frequently waited on him. He made many disciples. His hearers abandoned the worship of cemeteries and cremation grounds, and embraced the simple worship of God. One day Kala with his two nephews, Sandali and Phul, whose father was killed in the battle during Guru Har Gobind’s time, went to visit the Guru. When the children arrived in his presence, Phul who was five years old, struck with his hands his own naked belly like a drum. When asked for the reason, Kala explained that he was hungry and wanted something to eat. The Guru took compassion on him and said,” He shall become great, famous and wealthy. The steeds of his escendants shall drink water as far as the Jamna river; they shall have sovereignty for many generations and be honored in proportion as they serve the Guru.” When Kala reached home and his wife heard Guru’s benediction, she put pressure on him to take his own sons to him, and teach them to strike their bellies in token of hunger.

Bestower of Boons

Once a man called Bhai Kala brought two of his nephews to the court of Guru Ji. The boys were called Sandlu and Roopa. Both of them played on their stomachs like on drums. Guru Ji was delighted and granted them estates. Later their descendents formed the princely states of Patiala and Nabha. On another occasion the same Kala, this time on his wife’s insistence, brought his sons to Guru Ji and asked for a boon for them. However Guru Ji replied, That was merely a push of that moment, will of God at that time.

When Kala and his own sons appeared before the Guru, he told him that he acted in obedience to his wife. The Guru said,” The parents of these children are alive, but at the same time they shall have their own cultivation, eat the fruit of their toil, pay no tribute, and dependent on no one.” This prophecy has been fulfilled and their descendants owned twenty-two villages called the Bahia. Phul had six sons. From the eldest, Tilok Singh, the Rajas of Nabha and Jind were the descendants. From Phul’s second son, Ram Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala was the descendant. These three were known as the Phul ke Raje, or Phulkian chiefs. After India became independent in 1947, these states along with other hundreds of states in the county, were annexed by the Government of India.

The Guru, having been convinced of the deterioration of Masand system, evolved Bakhshishs or missionary centers. Six centers were manned by Suthrashah, Sahiba, Sangata, Mihan Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bhagat Mal and Jeet Mal. Bhagat Bhagwan was appointed as the incharge of the preaching work in the east, where he along ith his followers, established as many as 360 gaddies (centers) to carry on these efforts. Bhai families of Kaithal and Bagrian were made responsible for missionary work in the land between the Jamna and Satluj rivers. Bhai Pheru was responsible for the area between the Beas and Ravi rivers. Another center was established in the central districts of Punjab. Bhai Aru, Sewa Das, Naik Das, Durga Chand and Suthra Shah were the important priests of the Guru’s times who did missionary work in Kashmir.

THE GURU, HIS SON RAM RAI AND MUGHAL EMPEROR:

The Emperor, Shah Jahan, kept his eldest son Dara Shikoh near him. He made his second son, Shujah Mohammad, the governor of Bengal. The third son, Aurangzeb was appointed governor of Dakhan and Murad Bakhsh received the province of Gujrat. Their ambition was not satisfied and each one of them was eagerly seeking to become Emperor, and for that purpose they amassed wealth and armies in their respective regions. When Shah Jahan became ill and showed no signs of recovery, a war of succession broke out. Dara Shikoh dispatched Raja Jai Singh against Shujah Mohammad and sent Raja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur to Dakhan. Jai Singh defeated Shujah Mohammad but combined armies of Aurangzeb and Murad forced Jaswant Singh to retreat. Upon this Aurangzeb prepared to retaliate and tried to seize the reigns of empire. Dara proceeded with great pomp and show to oppose Aurangzeb, and pitched his camp at Samugarh near the margin of the river Chambal. Aurangzeb soon appeared at the head of his own and Murad’s armies and ensued a determined battle. Aurangzeb succeeded in capturing Dara’s several nobles. Dara himself fled from the battle field. Aurangzeb came to Agra and imprisoned his father and his brother Murad, and then proceeded to Delhi. Dara fled towards Lahore.

Famous Muslim saint Mian Mir was Dara’s priest from whom he had heard Guru’s praises. Dara’s life was saved with the medicine from the Guru. In view of these circumstances Dara had great regard for him. Since Dara ecame governor of Punjab, there were healthy relations between the Emperor and the Guru.

Shah Jahan had an order against the Hindu temples while Sikh temples were exempt from such an order. While Dara Shikoh was on his way to Lahore, the Guru happened to be in Goindwal. They both met. Many writers give their own fanciful accounts of the assistance that the Guru gave to Dara. What type of assistance Dara asked or the Guru gave to Dara, is a big question? He had all the royal wealth, he had his generals and he had his army of thousand` and thousand of men. He enlisted twenty thousand men in his army within days at Lahore. He had everything but he lacked a brave heart to fight in the battle-field. He fled from the field and ultimately was captured through a Pathan who betrayed him. He was brought to Delhi and was executed.

Having made his position secure on the throne of Delhi, Aurangzeb embarked on his religious crusade against the Hindus. After Dara the enemies of the Guru got a chance to poison the mind of Aurangzeb that he had rendered assistance to Dara against him. Upon this Aurangzeb summoned the Guru to his presence in Delhi. The Guru had vowed not to see the Emperor. Instead he sent his eldest son Ram Rai to Delhi instructing him to rely on the divine ower of the Gurus, not in any way recede from the principles of his religion, and in all his words and actions to fix his thought on God, everything would prove successful.

When the Emperor was informed that the Guru had not come himself but sent his son, he thought that if his object in trying the Guru was not fulfilled by his son, he would send for the Guru himself. It is said that Ram Rai performed seventy miracles. The Emperor sent him poisoned robes which he wore but was not hurt. In one interview a sheet of cloth was spread over a deep well so that Ram Rai when asked to sit, would fall into the well. The sheet did not give way and Ram Rai was miraculously preserved. The Emperor was shown the sight of Mecca while sitting in Delhi. After seventy such miracles were shown, Aurangzeb was almost convinced of Ram Rai’s powers and became friendly to him. Then came the last question. The Qazis’ asked Ram Rai,” Ram Rai, your Guru Nanak has written against the Muslim religion. In one place he has said,

‘Mitti Musalman ki peirei paee kumiar;

Ghar bhandei itan kia, jaldi karei pukar.’

(Asa Mohalla 1, p-466)

‘The ashes of the Mohammadan fall into the potter’s clod; Vessels and bricks are fashioned from them;

they cry out as they burn.’ (Translation of the above)

What is the meaning of this?”

Ram Rai had won Aurangzeb’s respect so much that he perhaps did not want to displease him and forgot his father’s parting injunctions not to recede from the principles of his religion. So in order to please the Emperor, Ram Rai replied,” Your Majesty, Guru Nanak wrote, ‘Mitti beiman ki’, that is the ashes of the faithless, not of the Musalmans, fall into the potter’s clod. The text has been corrupted by ignorant persons and Your Majesty’s religion and mine defamed. The faces of the faithless and not of the Musalmans, shall be blackened in both worlds.” All the Mohammadan priests were pleased with this reply. The Emperor then conferred a mark of favor on Ram Rai and dissolved the assembly.

The Sikhs of Delhi immediately sent an envoy to Kiratpur and informed the Guru of the pomp and honor with which Ram Rai had been received in Delhi, and detailed miracles he had exhibited. The envoy then explained how he had made an alteration in a line of Guru Nanak in order to please the Emperor. The Guru was much distressed at the insult and remarked that no mortal could change the words of Guru Nanak and that ‘the mouth which had dared to do so should never be seen by me.’ The Guru decided that Ram Rai was not fit for Guruship. He confirmed,” The Guruship is like a tigress’s milk which can only be contained in a golden cup. Only he who is ready to devote his life thereto is worthy of it.”

After Ram Rai had resided in Delhi for some time, he decided to go to Kiratpur and try to convince his father to reverse his decision regarding him. He pitched his camp near Kiratpur and wrote to his father for permission to visit him. He confessed that he had suffered for his sins and desired forgiveness. The Guru replied,”Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and sinned. How can you aspire to become a holy man? Go whither your fancy leads you. I will never see you again on account of your infidelity?”

The Guru feeling his end approaching thought of his successor and called for a meeting of his Sikhs. He seated his younger son, Har Kishen who was only five years old, on Guru Nanak’s throne. He then placed a coco-nut and five paise before him, circumambulated him three times and had a tilak or patch put on his forehead. The whole assembly then rose and did obeisance to the young Guru. Guru Har Rai enjoined all his Sikhs to consider Har Kishen as his image, to put faith in him, and they would obtain salvation.

Guru Har Rai closed his eyes and went to his heavenly abode on October 6, 1661.

FN-1: It is also said that Ram Rai told Aurangzeb that Guru Nanak did not mean the ashes of Musalman but he ctually meant that of the ‘beiman’, the faithless. Ram Rai thus did not alter the original verse but only changed the meaning of it.