Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sakhi Series :- 253 ( Village Palahi )

Tiag Mal to Tegh Bahadur ji

Palahi is a very old village. It has the privilege and grace of having the touch of the pious feet of Guru Hargobind and his son Guru Teg Bahadur. The time when Guru Hargobind visited Palahi, Guru Teg Bahadur accompanied him who had not yet gone in seclusion dungeon for meditation. He took part in the battle here with his father. Afterwards the seventh Guru Har Rai also visited Palahi.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred at Lahore in 1606. The mention of this has been in the autobiography known as "Juzak-e-Jehangir" by Emprorer Jehangir himself. Guru Arjan Dev ji before his martrydom left a message for his brave, breaker of the enemy installations and warrior son(Hargobind Sahib)) that a time has come to hold the sheath of the sword.

After which Guru Hargobind Sahib ji adopted two Kirpans(swords). He organised his own army within four years from 1606 to 1610. He got built Akal Takhat in Amritsar in 1608. It became the political capital of the sikhs and got constructed the fort of Loh Garh in Amritsar.

Observing his military preparations the Mughal Government arrested him in 1609 and he remained in detention in the fort of Gowaliar uptil 1612. Realising his fault, Jahangir honourably released Guru Hargobind Sahib ji along-with 52 other emperors. However Guru Hargobind ji carried on his military preparations and moved to Doaba in 1614. He made Kartarpur, his headquarter. Paindey Khan also joined the army of Guru Hargobind at this place.

In the meantime Guru Hargobind settled in Kiratpur Sahib which was the best strategic place from the military point of view. In 1627, after the death of Jehangir, scuffle developed between the sikh organisation and the Mughal ruler. The Subedar of Lahore felt irritated at the royal ascendancy of Guru Hargobind Sahib. Consequently the first battle of Sikh History was fought at Amritsar. Guru Hargobind led the Sikh Army. This occurred on 15th May 1629. Three other battles were fought afterwards. The second battle was fought in Doaba. This battle was fought at Sri Hargobindpur. The third battle was fought in Malwa. The fourth battle was again fought in Doaba. This battle was fought at Palahi and is said to be the most fierce battle. At the time of this battle Guru Hargobind ji had come to Kartarpur to ceremonise the marriage of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The festival of Baisakhi was also celebrated here. Piandey Khan who had become arrogant and become hostile to Guru Hargobind ji, joined warring army against Guru Hargobind. The first encounter was held at Kartarpur. Paindey Khan was killed and the Mughal army was defeated. Marching from Kartarpur Guru Hargobind ji came to Palahi and again encountered with Mughal Army here.

Principal Satbir Singh mentions thus about the battle of Palahi in his recently published book 'Guru Hargobind' that Guru Hargobind had just reached Palahi near Phagwara from Kartarpur when small troop of Emperor's army chasing Guru came here also. It was being led by Ahmed Khan son of Abdul Khan. Rais Jamal, Fateh Khan of Basti Sheikh, Jafat Khan of Alawalpur and many other Pathans from other parts of the area were with the Mughal army.

As the attack was sudden and unexpected, all the Sikhs faced it bravely with whatever they could catch hold of. Fateh Khan and Ahmed Khan were killed and the opponent troops fled away. In this battle the youngest son Baba Tiag Mall of Guru Hargobind fought so boldly that all the witnessers applauded it. As a matter of applause Guru ji exclaimed, "Your name is not Tiag Mall but you are Tegh Bahadur(Master of the Sword)". Since that day this name was permanently recognised.

The memorials of the battle fought at Palahi have been preserved till today. When the deep foundations of the present splendid building of the Gurudwara were being dug, lot of rust torn weapons and the hooves of the horses were obtained. These historical memorials are still securely preserved in the Gurudwara.

Saturday, September 06, 2014



At Govindval, a poor Sikh approached Guru Amardas jee and asked for help in getting his daughter married. This Sikh was very poor but a really good Sikh.  Guru Sahib wrote a *hundi*, signed by him, addressed to one Bhai Gangu Shah in Delhi, and asked the poor Sikh to get the money from Gangu Shah. Guru Sahib thought that since Gangu Shah had acquired a lot of wealth, it was a good time to test him. 
<**HUNDI** :  Hundis are used as a form of remittance instrument to transfer money from place to place, as a form of credit instrument or IOU to borrow money and as a bill of exchange in trade transactions>

Only the fortunate ones can withstand the tests of Guru Sahib. Only if Guru Sahib himself does kirpa, we can pass tests from him. Anyway, Gangu Shah, received this poor Sikh with warmth and inquired about Govindval. The Sikh told him all about Govindval and finally told him the purpose of his visit. He gave Gangu shah the hundi written and signed by Guru Sahib. 

Gangu Shah saw the hundi and was about to give the money to the poor Sikh, when his mind corrupted him. Some bad karma from his previous lives blossomed and ruined him. Gangu Shah started thinking that it is true that he is rich but who in this world can afford to just give away money like that. He thought that, Guru Sahib is not into worldly affairs and does not understand the worldly affairs. Guru Sahib knows more about spiritual world as opposed to the worldly affairs. The Sikhs are taking advantage of Guru Sahib and will try to take away Gangu's money. He thought that if today, he gives money to this poor Sikh, tomorrow there will be a line-up of beggars. 

It was great misfortune of Gangu Shah that he got trapped in the tricks of mind. His mind got taken over by maaya. He finally agreed to his mind and told the poor Sikh that he cannot give him any money as his money is stuck somewhere. 

The Sikh understood that Gangu Shah was reluctant to give money, so he did not argue further with Gangu Shah and travelled back to Govindval. He narrated everything that occurred, to Guru Amardas jee. The all-knowing Guru Sahib knew everything and just smiled after hearing about Gangu Shah's refusal to give money. He arranged money for the poor Sikh through other means. 

On the other hand, the abundant force of Waheguru came into action after the huge negative karma of Gangu Shah. Within days he lost everything he had earned. When he lost everything and came on the street, he realized his mistake. He realized that all that he had was by the kirpa of Guru Sahib. He realized his blunder and regretted refusing money to that Sikh. 

Fortunately, he had good karma and he thought of going back to Govindval Sahib. He came to Govindval Sahib and started doing sewa day and night. Guru Sahib did kirpa and he recited naam at very early amrit hours. All day he kept reciting naam and gurbani. All this time, he did not go in front of Guru Sahib and hid from other Sikhs who could recognize him. It is written in Suraj Parkash Granth that, with all this sewa and simran, his face started glowing with naam. 

Guru Sahib who knew everything, was waiting for the right time to approach him. With his sewa and naam jaap, he washed away his sins. Guru Sahib one day, called him in. With great hesitation and with great sharam (pashemaani, sharmindagi), he came to the darbar of Guru Sahib. He was thinking that how he could show his face to Guru Sahib after refusing to honour the hundi written and signed by Guru Sahib himself. Guru Sahib is no human and does not have human qualities. Guru Sahib is Waheguru himself and has qualities of Waheguru. Waheguru does not consider one's bad deeds when doing kirpa. 

Guru Sahib, called him Shah jee and told him that he was very happy with his sewa. He fell at the lotus-feet of Satguru and asked for forgiveness of his black deeds. Guru Sahib lifted him up and embraced him and gave him a lot of asees. With all these asees, Gangu Shah became a blessed soul. 

Now Gangu Shah had seen how unstable the material world is and he asked for only naam and more naam. Guru Sahib blessed him with the top spiritual state where one becomes one with Waheguru. Gangu Shah, became the real shah i.e. the shah of Naam.