Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Guru Nanak Dev Ji & Maskeen

On one of his travels Guru Ji came to a town and stopped at the house of an old Sikh called Chundhwadi. He was very poor and was in a fluster as to what food to place in front of Guru Ji. He went to the local town not knowing what to do. While he was there he saw a gathering of people and went to see what was happening.

It was a wrestling match and the local Nawab was parading his champion. Now, the champion was called Maskeen and was tall and muscular and was undefeated. He stood while the proud Nawab challenged all the town if there was any person who would take on his champion. Maskeen strode into the middle of the large circle flexing his muscles. No one dared step forward for fear of serious injury. When Chundhwadi heard that the prize was 50rps he thought that if he could get the money he could use it to buy provisions to place in front of Guru Ji. He stepped into the ring and declared his intention to wrestle Maskeen. All fell about laughing, how could such an old man who was just skin and bone take on the mighty Maskeen?

As the two opponents came close Maskeen asked "What are you doing old man? You have no chance against me, what possesses you to fight me, you are going to get seriously hurt"
Chundawadi said "Oh champion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji is coming to my house today and I have no food to place before him, my only chance is to beat you and use the prize money."

Maskeen fell into thought, "I have heard of Guru Nanak" he said "they say he is Khudha himself. I would also like to meet him." After much soul searching he said "Old man, if I let you win will you take me to see Guru Nanak Dev ji?"

"Yes" said Chundawadi "but what will become of you? If you lose, and lose to an old man your patronage will end and what will become of you?" But Maskeen did not hear this, all he could think about was meeting Guru Nanak Dev ji .

So it happened that after a few moves Maskeen fell to the ground with a thump and as planned the old man put his foot on his chest and claimed the prize.

There was pandemonium, there was a riot, the proud Nawab was humiliated and disowned his wrestler. Maskeens reputation was ruined, he knew that he would be turned out of his house. His family were even more livid, when they heard what had happened they planned to do away with him. They hastily dug a trench under his munja(bed) and stuck in spikes and covered the whole thing with large palm leaves, they planned to murder him and then plea with the Nawab to let them stay at the house.

As Maskeen finally got away from the crowd he could not find Chundawadi in all the commotion and wondered home. His favorite daughter met him on route. She had seen what was happening and told her father. But Maskeen was a broken man, he did not care what happened to him, he shuffled to his house and went straight to the munja and lay on it fully expecting the whole thing to collapse into the hole underneath, but nothing happened. His little daughter ran to him and peered underneath "Papa, I can see a man in robes holding up your munja" she shouted. He knew, he just knew. Maskeen jumped off the bed and before he knew it Guru Nanak Dev Ji stood before him. He fell to his knees placing his head on Guru Jis feet. Guru Ji sat him down. "Oh Maskeen, you were willing to lose everything for me, I am now here for you"

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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