Monday, December 05, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Guru Nanak and emperor Babur

While returning from his travels from the West, Guru Nanak Dev Ji paid a visit to Saidpur, now known as Eminabad to meet his devotee Bhai Lalo. Guru Sahib Ji write about these times of upheaval :

"The age is like a knife. In the dark night of falsehood I cannot see where the moon of truth is rising."(Majh ki Var). And again : "Modesty and religion have disappeared because falsehood reigns supreme. The Muslim mullha and the Hindu pandit have resigned their duties, the Devil reads the marriage vows. Praises of murder are sung and people smear themselves with blood instead of saffron."(Tilang). Guru Ji writes about the Mughal invasions : "They who had beautiful locks with vermilion dyed the parting of their hair, have their tresses shorn with scissors and dust thrown on their heads. They who dwelt in palaces cannot find a place in the streets." (Asa)

During this period the Emperor Babur attacked Eminabad and captured Guru Ji with his companions and imprisoned them. The captured were given grinding mills and put to grind corn. While grinding the corn Guru Ji went into contemplation and sang the glories of God. While Guru Ji sang about the creator the grinding mill continued to grind without any visible means of power, all who observed bowed their heads for surely they were in the presence of a great soul. This news was carried to the ears of Babur. Babur came down to the dungeons and waited until Guru Ji had finished singing. When his eyes met with the Guru's he folded his hands and bowed and begged forgiveness.

Babur requested that Guru Ji accompany him to his tent. Guru Ji asked Babur to release all the prisoners as they had committed no crime, and then he accompanied Babur to his tent.

The emperor offered Guru Ji refreshments but Guru Sahib replied " My cup is full. I have drunk the cup of my Lord's love which fills me for all time."

"Listen O King, go and survey the scene of destruction that has been caused by your army. Take a warning from those who have defeated others. He who is victorious today may suffer defeat tomorrow. Where are those kings who ruled here yesterday ? Where are those games, those stables, those horses ? Where are those bugles, those clarions ? Where are those who buckled on their swords and were mighty in battle ? Where are those scarlet uniforms ? Where are those mirrors that reflected fair faces ? Where are those houses, those mansions, those palaces ? We see them no longer here. O Lord, this world is Thine. In one moment, Thou create, in another moment, Thou destroy Thy Creation."

On hearing the words of the Guru, Babur remained in deep thought for a long time and then asked Guru Ji humbly "What can I do for you ?"

"Nothing," said the Guru "The soul supreme Being has Himself commissioned me to spread His message of Naam, and I enjoy His grace and gifts. Those who forsake Him and attach themselves to others lose all. He makes emperors and kings, and He turns them into dust."

Babur bowed before Guru Ji and begged for counsel for a better life.

"Be just to all, and never do injustice to anyone,"said Guru Ji. " Never depart from the path of truth. Be merciful and forgive others as you would wish to be forgiven. Do not covert that which belongs to others. Do not sow the seeds of cruelty. He who is cruel, suffers."

These words Babur took to heart and from then on endeavoured to be a just ruler.

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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