Sunday, September 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhai Kala Ji

One day a man named Bhai Kala came to see the Guru and receive his instruction, bringing his two orphan nephews Sandali and Phul with him( their father was killed in the battle during Guru Har Gobind Sahib ji's time). When Kala bowed before the Guru the two boys began to weep and wail and hit their bellies like a drum. Everybody was surprised at this unusual behaviour of the boys in the presence of the Guru. The Guru smiled and said, "Dear Kala, what is the matter with the boys?"

"Sir," said Kala with tears in eyes, "They are the sons of my brother who died a few years ago leaving me to look after them and their mother. My Lord, I am very poor and can hardly afford them two meals a day. They have been hungry since yesterday. Help me my Guru, or the whole family will starve to death."

"Take heart Kala," said the Guru, "The Lord is merciful and gracious. Who knows what is in store for these lads? Today they are striking their empty bellies, tomorrow their sword might strike the tyrants bellies.

Mysterious are the ways of the Lord, Kala, and these same orphans may become kings and rule over a vast country. The Lord can make oceans turn into deserts and the deserts He can make into oceans. Only repeat His Name, earn an honest living and look after the poor orphans as best you can."

Having received this blessing Kala was very happy and went home full of joy. He told the whole story to his wife. She was disappointed because Kala had earned a blessing for his nephews and not for his own sons. Pressed hard by his wife, Kala once again went to the Guru, this time carrying his two sons on his shoulders. The Guru understood what had happened and said, "Dear Kala, I am only a servant of the Lord. It is he who bestows honours and grants wishes. Pray to Him, dear Kala, if He is pleased He may make your sons what you wish. I can only say that if they work hard and honestly, they will be happy and will enjoy the fruit of their own labour."

In time, the straight-forward words of Guru Har Rai ji turned out to be a sort of blessing for the two families. The two orphans Phul and Sandli became the rulers of Nabha and Patiala. Phul had six sons. From the eldest, Tilok Singh, the Rajas of Nabha and Jind were the descendants. The Maharaja of Patiala was the descendant from Phul's second son, Ram Singh. Phul died in 1689. The present ruler, Maharaja Yadvindra Singh, agreed to merge his state with the Indian Union in 1956. The Maharaja does not rule now but he is held in great respect because of his voluntary decision to join with the Indian Union and accept the national Government.

Kala's own sons did not become rulers but they became very rich landlords and were known as Bahias. They lived freely and no Government ever charged any land revenue or tax from them up to the present day.

"Nanak, call that a miracle,
Which the Lord graciously bestows."
(Guru Granth Sahib)

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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