Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sakhi Series : 189 ( Learn to Live as Per the Will of the Lord )

Bhai Bhikari Bhabra

Bhai Bhikari Bhabra was a resident of Gujarat city (now in Pakistan). He used to serve the Guru's disciples and other saints, discuss spiritual matters and recite Gurbani. One day a disciple prayed to Guru Har Gobind to meet a perfect disciple. Guru ji asked him to go to Gujarat.

The disciple went there and met Bhai Bhikari who took him to his residence and looked after him with great hospitality. The disciple found that Bhai Bhikari's son's
marriage was to take place the next day. There was a lot of festivities and music in the house. New ornaments were being made and costly clothes were being stitched. Then the disciple found a bier made of sandalwood (a frame to carry the dead body) and other necessary items needed in cremation ceremony. The disciple inquired about the things needed in a cremation ceremony when the preparations of his son's marriage were in progress. Bhai Bhikari said that he would answer the question the next day.

At night the marriage ceremony of Bhai Bhikari's son was performed. A lot of charity was given and the bride was brought home. After the marriage Bhai Bhikari's son
suffered an acute pain in his abdomen and died. All the people who were singing auspicious songs started mourning. Bhai Bhikari was very calm. He took out the sandalwood bier and performed the cremation of his son.

After all this, the disciple inquired that if Bhai Bhikari was aware of his son's death, why did he perform the marriage? Bhai Bhikari said that his son was a sage in his last birth and the daughter-in-law was a prostitute. One day she brought offerings for the sage. They were both attracted towards each other. After some time both died. The sage took birth as his son. Bhai Bhikari knew all this because he was blessed with Divine Knowledge. He said that the daughter-in-law would serve the saints  in his house, listen to Gurbani and thus be liberated in this life.

Then the disciple asked Bhai Bhikari that if he had this much of knowledge, why did he not request Guru ji to extend the life of his son? He said that there was no use in asking for false objects from Guru ji. The foremost duty of a disciple was to remain happy in the will of Guru ji.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sakhi Series :- 188 ( The Horrifying Cobra that blocked the way of Gurmukhs)

The Horrifying Cobra that blocked the way of Gurmukhs
Bhai Jodha and Bhai Jalo Masand were the residents of Tulaspur and Bhai Mohan and Bhai Alam Chand were the residents of Lahore. They used to collect Daswandh from Gursikhs of their area and submit to Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee at Siri Amritsar Sahib. All four of them were extremely pious and honest and never used to keep even one Kaudi (smallest unit of money) of Daswandh for themselves. They used to preach that just as a fly that falls into food spoils the food, same way even one kaudi from Guru's Daswand destroys all assets of a Sikh and even destroys the body of a Sikh through diseases.

One day all four of them were travelling to Siri Amritsar Sahib, riding a chariot. On their way, a huge Black Cobra with a big hood stood in the way of the chariot. The horses would not move at the sight of the ferocious cobra. The Gursikhs tried to change way but the cobra would move in the same direction and block their way. Then Bhai Mohan got off the chariot with a utensil, placed the utensil in front of the cobra and addressed it as follows:

"ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਹਜ਼ੂਰ ਚਲਦਾ ਹੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਇਸ ਦੇਗੇ ਵਿਚ ਪਰਵੇਸੁ ਕਰਿ" I(f you want to go to the presence of the Guru, then enter this utensil)

Hearing this the snake entered the utensil and Bhai Mohan covered the utensil with a covering.

They reached the court of Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee and did Matha Tek (prostrating before Siri Guru jee). Siri Guru jee after blessing them asked, "ਕਿਤਨੇ ਮਸੰਦ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਆਏ ਹੋ?" (How many of you Masands have arrived). The Masand Bhai Mohan said that four of them had arrived.

At this Siri Guru jee replied, "ਏਨੂੰ ਪੰਜਾਂ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਦੇਹੁ। ਪੰਜਵਾਂ ਸਰਪ ਜੋ ਤੁਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਭੀ ਮਸੰਦ ਹੈ।" (Give them degh for 5 Gursikhs. The fifth one, the snake, who has come with you too is a masand).

At this the Bhai Mohan jee and other masands humbly asked Guru Sahib as to why the fifth Masand had become a snake. Siri Guru jee replied "he did not used to be humble before Gursikhs, did not used to bow before them. This is why he has become a cobra that raises its hood. He had hidden the ardaas of Guru; this is why he has become a poisonous snake in this life."

Having said that, Siri Guru jee did bachan to bring the cobra to his hazoori (presence). Bhai Mohan jee immediately brought the utensil in which the cobra was sitting and lifting the covering, brought out the cobra in sangat. The horrifying cobra raising its hood stood in sangat. Siri Guru jee did bachan to bring pure water of Siri Amritsar Sarovar and sprinkle on the cobra. When the water from the sarovar was sprinkled on the cobra, it immediately died. The spirit of the masand left the body of the cobra and ascended to the higher spiritual realms. Then Siri Guru jee did bachan, "ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਦੇ ਦਰਸਨ ਮਾਤ੍ਰ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਪਾਪ ਨਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਜਾਤੇ ਹੈਨਿ" (By darshan of Amritsar, sins are erased).

The time when Siri Guru Sahibaan were in human form must have been an amazing and enchanting time.

This is a very lesson-giving saakhi that gives a number of important spiritual lessons:

1) Never steal Golak money.
2) Always stay humble before Gursikhs and bow to them.
3) Even if we make a mistake and get punished, the merciful Guru never forgets us.
4) The water of Amritsar Sahib is strong enough to cure diseases and erase sins, provided we have faith and Naam.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Sakhi Series :- 187 ( How to Escape the Cycle of Birth and Death )

Bhai Deepa Deo, Narain Dass and Boola

Bhai Deepa Deo, Narain Dass and Boola came to Guru Angad Dev, prostrated before him and prayed to him to save them from the cycle of birth and death. Guruji advised them to practice devotion (bhakti) to 'Waheguru', the Supreme Lord. The disciples replied that they were ignorant and did not know what 'bhakti' or devotion meant. They prayed for
an explanation.

Guruji explained that the Supreme Lord created 'Maya' or the creative powers. He then ordered it to create the universe and keep it under its control by illusive powers.
He also created four Gods, three male and one female, and said that whoever will seek refuge with any one of them shall attain Him. They were:
1) Vairagya or dispassion.
2) Yoga or asceticism or renunciation.
3) Gyan or path of knowledge.
4) Bhakti or path of devotion.

The first three are males. Maya can entice them with evil ways and means and make them fall from their objectives. But 'Bhakti' is a virtuous wife. Maya can therefore entice
the devotees of the first three Gods and not the devotees of Bhakti.

The disciples then prayed for the description of the four paths so that they may follow them correctly.
Guru Angad Devji said that 'vairagya' is of two types:
a) When one renounces his home, clothes, and food etc for the love of the Lord.
b) Other is not to get too involved in the world and take as much as is necessary for maintaining the body.

The Yoga is also of two types:
a) The first type is the yoga of hardships i.e. ashtang yoga and pranayama etc.
b) The second type is to draw away the mind from desires and enjoyments and direct it towards the God.

Gyan is also of two types:
a) The first is to believe that this world is an illusion and only the Atma is real. God resides in each one of us. Thus, wash away the dirt of anger and hatred towards others.
b) The second type is the 'sarwan gyan' i.e. act faithfully on what the Guru says.

Then there is the "bhakti"or 'Devotion to the Divine'. This is to consider God as the master and oneself as His servant. One has to surrender the mind, body and wealth to the God i.e. total surrender.

"Surrender His objects to Him.
Follow the Will of the Lord happily.
He will bless you with everything four-fold.
Nanak says that the Lord is ever merciful."

On hearing this, the disciples started serving the saints and other disciples. They were devoted to the Guru's words and were thus liberated.
dIpw dyaU nrwiex dwsu bUly dy jweIAY bilhwrI]
dheepaa dhaeoo naraaein dhaas boolae dhae jaaeeai balihaaree||

I am sacrifice unto Bhai Dev, Bhai Naryan Das, Bhai Bula and Bhai Dipa.

- Bhai Gurdaas JI Vaaran