Saturday, October 01, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhagat Naamdev at the Temple

Once a king in India went to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and asked: "O Guru! As you told us , God Himself supports His true worshiper, but God has so many apostles, why does He support Himself? Why does He not send His apostles to help the worshiper?" As he said this, his own son who was playing on the bank of a river nearby slipped in the river. The king did not wait for a second and jumped in the river as well to save his child. After saving his child he returned to the Guru. The Guru asked : " My dear friend, you were sitting here with me a minute ago and why did you jump in the river? The king explained that his son had slipped into the river and he went to save him. Then the Guru asked : "Dear friend, you have so many servants , why did you jump in the river yourself? Why did not you send your servants to save him?" The king said : "By the time I would have asked my servants, he would have drowned. I love my child very much and do not want to lose him at any cost. " Then Guru said: "My dear friend, God loves His worshipers the same way as you love your son. That is why He Himself saves His true worshiper. "

Such a worshipper was Naamdev. For all of his life, Naamdev had worshipped God and had faith in Him for each and every moment. He did not worship anyone else but the one immortal God. He says :

"O my tongue, other occupations are false. The stateof Nirvaanaa comes only through the Lord's Name. ||2|| The performance of countless millions of other devotions is not even equal to one devotion to the Name of God" (Guru Granth Sahib, 1163).

The materialistic things would not deter Naamdev jis spiritual path to meet God. Once while sewing , he wrote:
"My needle is of gold and my thread is very expensive but my mind is attached to God (Guru Granth Sahib, 485).
He cared neither for gold nor silver; he was in love with God. Even though as a result of his true worship he had become a highly spiritual person, he was still completely devoid of pride (or ego). Naamdev knew that God does care for the person who recites His name and remembers Him all the time.

Once Naamdev went to Avandanagnath Temple situated in the state of Maharashtra , India. The Hindu priests of that temple believed in the caste system. After reaching the temple, Naamdev sat and started worshipping God but the Hindu priests grabbed his arm and drove him out of the temple. The priests said that Naamdev could not visit the temple because he was of a low class. Naamdev was deeply hurt so he went to the back of the temple and started worshipping God. In his prayer he said:

"Joyfully, I came to Your Temple, O Lord. While Naamdev was worshipping, he was driven out. I am of a low social class, O Lord; why was I born into a family of fabric dyers? I picked up my blanket and went back, to sit behind the temple" (Guru Granth Sahib, 1164).

Naamdev also said:
"O Lord, please do not forget me because if You forget me then where should I go. There is nowhere else to go and no one else to believe in except You'.

He further prayed:
"Please do not forget me, do not forget me, please do not forget me, O Lord. The temple priests have doubts about this, and everyone is furious with me. Calling me low-caste and untouchable, they beat me and drove me out; what should I do now, O Beloved Father Lord? If You give me salvation after I am dead, no one will know that I attained salvation. These Priests, these religious scholars, call me low-born; when they say this, they tarnish Your honour as well. You are called kind and compassionate; the power of Your Arm is absolutely unrivalled" (Guru Granth Sahib, 1292).

"As Naamdev uttered the Glorious Praises of the Lord, the temple turned around to face the Lord's humble devotee " (Guru Granth Sahib, 1164).

"The Lord turned the temple around to face Naamdev and its back to the Priests" (Guru Granth Sahib, 1292).
That temple is still rotated. This is the symbol of the true love of God towards His true worshiper.

Acknowledgement: http://tuhitu.blogspot.com/

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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