Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhagat Sain :

Namdev, Kabir, Trilochan, Sadhna, Sain-all are saved.
Saith Ravidas ; Listen ! devotees of God!
All within the Lord's power lies. - Guru Granth Sahib ji, pg 1106

After Bhagat Kabir ji, who enjoyed great name and fame, another person from the so-called low castes to rise to spiritual heights was Bhagat Sain, a Naaie (barber) by profession. He used to remain absorbed in Divine Name at night and visit early morning to the royal palace to massage the king's body so as to cure it of various physical maladies.

One day he had some guests (Sangat) and he remained occupied all the night in Kirtan and singing of Divine eulogy. Thus in serving the saints and the Sangat he did not realize what time it was and missed his duty at the palace to serve the king. Realizing the intensity of his love for the saints and the Sangat, God Himself adopted Sain's form and went over to the palace and served the king. Consequently, the malady of the king was cured. On the other hand Bhagat Sain, after he got free from his guests, went to the king with utter humility so as to seek forgiveness for his absence. The king saw from afar Sain approaching, and calling him to his presence the king removed his cloak and put it on him as a token of his pleasure. He further told Sain that the way he massaged him this morning had really captivated him. All his ailments have vanished.

Bhagat Sain realized exactly what had happened and thanked God. In this way God Himself intervened to prove the greatness of his devotee.

His devotees, tasks has the Lord Himself undertaken to fulfil;
These Himself has the Lord come to accomplish
- Guru Granth Sahib ji, pg 783

When the king heard from Sain's own lips the account of his absence, he thought very highly of the spiritual greatness of the saint. He was so impressed that he, along with his family, became disciples of Bhagat Sain.

s ain naaee buthak aareeaa ouhu ghar ghar s uniaa ||
Sain, the barber, the village drudge, became famous in each and every house.

h iradhae vasiaa p aarabreham bhagathaa mehi gan iaa ||3||
The Supreme Lord God dwelled in his heart, and he was counted among the devotees. ||3||

The Gurus also felt it proper that a person's status should not be determined from one's profession or from the family in which he was born. Rather his deeds should determine his status in society. Any profession is pious if it is marked by honesty and righteousness.

Referring to the incident related above, Bhai Gurdas says.

Learning of the name earned by Kabir,
Another Sikh, who came on the scene was Sain, the barber.
He performed loving devotion at night
and went to the king's court in the morn.
Once many saint-guests came
and Kirtan went on all the night.
He could not leave his saint guests,
and thus tailed to do duty at the king's.
Lord Himself took Sain's form
and entertained the king.
After bidding farewell to all his guests,
Sain reached the king with diffidence.
The king called him from afar,
and summoning near bestowed robes.
You have captivated me,
said the king and numberless people heard this.
Lord Himself bestows honour on His devotees.

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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