Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mere Rituals are of No Avail

Sakhi : Mere Rituals are of No Avail
(Source: Inderpreet Singh)

Once Guru Nanak happened to visit Hardwar town.
There he saw some people throwing handfuls of water from river Ganges, towards
the sun in the east. They believed that by this ritual they could offer water to their
dead elders in the next world.
Guru Nanak went into the river and started throwing water towards the west.
As those people saw the Guru acting strange, they forgot their ritual.
They flocked to the Guru and laughed at his funny action. They asked him,
"Why are you throwing the holy water to the wrong side?"
The Guru calmly replied, "I am watering my withering crops in Punjab."

"Are you crazy? How can your water reach hundreds of miles away from here?"
asked the curious spectators.
"The very same way as yours reaches your ancestors in the other world. In fact,
my farm is quite closer on this very earth." Nanak replied.

This made those people think about the uselessness of their ritual.
How effective and rational a way to get people's attention and remove their ignorance!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sakhi of Bhagat Prahlaad Ji

Sakhi of Bhagat Prahlaad Ji
(Source : http://www.sikhsangat.com )

Bhagat Prahlaad Ji was the son of a egoistic king, Hiranyakashipu (Harnaakash). Harnaakash, through performing severe penances and meditation had been granted a boon that he neither be killed by man or beast, with a weapon or without a weapon, during day or night, indoors or outdoors, on earth or in the sky. It is through this boon that he sought undisputed lordship over the material world. He declared "There is non stronger than I. I am the lord of the three worlds. I shall be worshipped as such".

It is believed that while he was meditating, his wife, who was expecting a child was sent to Sage Narada's hermitage. She lived in the Ashram of the great sage and learned about religion and the glory of God from him. The child within her, Prahlad, too, absorbed all this knowledge.

Harnaakash brought his wife back to his city where Prahlad was born.

Prahlad in the meanwhile was growing up and was Harnaakhash's delight. He asked Prahlad: "Son, tell me what do you think is the best thing in life"?

Prahlad replied: "To renounce the world and seek refuge in God".

Harnaakhash laughed. Then he called his Son's teacher to him, saying: "Guard him closely. Don't let him out of your sight!

After many months, his teacher said: "Prahlad, I think you are now ready to meet your father."

His father asked him: "You have been with your Guru a long time! What have you learnt?

Prahlad said: "I have leant that the most worthwhile occupation for anyone is the worship of the Lord".

Harnaakhash was very angry: "O cursed child! Who taught you such perverse things?"

Prahlad remained calm and said: "He reveals himself to all who are devoted to Him."

Harnaakhash shouted angrily: "This boy must not live! Take him away and kill him!"

The soldiers started attacking Prahlad when Prahlad was meditating, but their weapons could not touch Prahlad. Most deadly snakes were let loose on Prahlad, but their fangs turned impotent. Mighty elephants could not trample him. He was pushed off a cliff but Prahlad was unharmed. The wicked aunt of Prahlad Holika who had a boon to brave fire without hurt, sat with Prahlad in fire but Prahlad was unharmed. In desperation, Harnaakhash had him fed with deadly poison but it turned into nectar.

Prahlad was sent to his teacher to try again. This time the teacher tried to get Prahlad interested in means for acquiring wealth and physical pleasures. But Prahlad thought to himself: "How can the pursuit of physical pleasures and wealth bring happiness? It will only lead to envy and anger."

The teacher eventually gave up, when Prahlad told his father that God is the soul of all created beings and is present everywhere. Harnaakhash roared: "Where is He? If He is everywhere why is He not in this Pillar? If He is not there then I shall cut off your head with my sword. Let your Lord protect you."

As Harnaakhash was striking the pillar with his sword, a Nara-simha (man lion) emerged from the Pillar. His look was neither beast nor man. Narsimha caught Harnaakhash and it was the twilight hour, carried him to the threshold of the court- room which was neither indoors nor outdoors and while holding him on his lap, tore him apart with his nails.

Apnay Sevak Kaa Sadaa Rakhvaalaa.
"He is forever the Saviour of His slaves."