Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

SEWA

It was during the time of Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Sangat was coming from Kabul (Afghanistan) to Amritsar for darshan of Gurujee. They met a Sikh and his wife on their way. This Sikh did a lot of sewa of the sangat. He massaged their legs, waved fan over them as they rested, brought water for them, everything. The next day they proceeded with this Sikh to Amritsar. As they reached Darbar Sahib, the jathedar of that Kabul sangat asked a few boys to take care of the shoes of everyone. None of the boys was ready to do it, as they all were very much eager to be the first ones to have darshan of Gurujee. At last this Sikh came forward and said I shall do it.

The sangat went inside and waited for 30-45 minutes, but Gurujee didn't show up. Then the jathedar went ahead and asked Baba Buddha Jee where Gurujee was.

Babajee : Gurujee has gone to see the sangat coming from Kabul.

Jathedar : But we are the sangat from Kabul!

Babajee : Didn't you meet Gurujee?

Jathedar : No Babajee, we didn't. But we met a Sikh and his wife and they did a lot of sewa.

Babajee : Where is that Sikh now?

Jathedar : We left him to look after the shoes of the sangat.

Babajee, followed by the jathedar, followed by the entire sangat went outside to look for that Sikh. They saw him cleaning all the shoes with his own chola.

It was none other than Guru Arjan Dev Jee Himself

Baba Buddha Jee went forward and took away the pair of shoes Gurujee was cleaning. Babajee said "Why are you doing this?". The entire sangat was now in tears. Gurujee smiled and said "Babajee, I haven't seen Guru Nanak Dev Jee, but you have. Take a look again at this pair of shoes". Babajee took a good look at the pair of shoes, and since he had been with Guru Nanak Dev Jee, he immediately recognized that it was Guru Nanak Dev Jee's pair of shoes.

Moral of the sakhi : When doing sewa at the Gurdwara, do it with this thought in mind that who knows who is visiting the Gurdwara today! Who knows which Gurmukh soul has come today! If you are cleaning a small kid's shoes, have in mind that it could belong to one of the Sahibzaade. If you are cleaning a bibi's shoes, have in mind that it could belong to Bibi Bhani. If you are cleaning a bhai ji's shoes, have in mind that it could belong to Bhai Bailo.

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

Bibi Harsharan Kaur: The Final Shaheed of the Battle of Chamkaur

In the battle of Chamkaur, Guru Gobind Singh jee and 40 starving Singhs battle the Mughal army. The battle which took place in Chamkaur's mud fort lasted 72 hours and saw the loss of many Mughal soldiers and also 36 of Guru Gobind Singh jee's companions along with the two Sahibzadas. Fighting an army of hundreds of thousands, Guru Gobind Singh jee gave an exhibition of his battle skills. Guru jee, following the orders of the Panth Khalsa (in the form of the Punj Pyaaray) left the fort along with Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Maan Singh and one other Singh, after giving his clothes to Bhai Sangat Singh jee to wear. Only Bhai Sangat Singh and Bhai Sant Singh fought the battle to its end. They too were martyred. Seeing Guru jee's clothes on Bhai Sangat Singh, the Mughals were ecstatic and taking him to be Guru Gobind Singh, cut off his head and took it to Delhi.

In every village it was announced that Guru Gobind Singh had been killed, "Look here at his chopped off head! His family is also finished. His two sons were killed in the battle and the two younger ones will also die abandoned. The revolution has been crushed. No one should go to the Chamkaur Fort. No one should cremate the dead Singhs."

A tight cordon was put around the Fort. As the soldiers were going from village to village making their announcement, the people were retreating in terror into their homes. However, in village Khroond, a daughter of Guru Gobind Singh, Bibi Harsharan Kaur, asked for her mother's permission to peform the final rites for the Shaheeds. Her old mother replied, "it is total darkness outside and soldiers are everywhere around the fort, how will you even go near?"

Hearing this, Kalgeedhar's lioness daughter replied with resolve "I will avoid the soldiers and perform the cremation, and if need be, I'll fight and die."

The mother gave her courage and hugged her daughter and then explained the maryada to follow for the cremation. After performing Ardaas, Bibi Harsharan Kaur left for the Chamkaur Fort.

The battlefield which saw iron smashing against iron, the bellows of elephants, the trotting of hooves and calls of "Kill! Capture!", was now totally silent and enveloped in complete darkness. In such a situation, the 16 year old girl Bibi Harsharan Kaur avoided the guards and arrived at the Fort. She saw that bodies were lying everywhere and distinguishing between Sikh and Mughal was very difficult. She still had faith and began to find arms with kaRas and torsos with kachheras and heads with long kesh. As she found a body, she would wipe the face of every shaheed. Both Sahibzadas and about 30 shaheeds were found and then she began to collect wood. Fearing the approaching light of dawn, Bibi Harsharan Kaur worked very quickly and soon prepared a pyre. She then lit the fire.

Seeing the rising flames, the guards were shocked and advanced towards the pyre. Bibi Harsharan Kaur was seen in the light of the flames sitting beside the pyre. She was quietly reciting Keertan Sohilaa. The guards were shocked and confused as to how a lone woman could come into the fort on such a dark night. The guards asked in a loud voice, "Who are you?!"
Bibi jee: I am the daughter of Guru Gobind Singh
Officer: What are you doing here?
Bibi Jee: I am cremating my martyred brothers.
Officer: Don't you know about the order that coming here is a crime?
Bibi Jee: I know it.
Officer: Then why have you disobeyed that order?
Bibi Jee: The orders of a false king do not stand before the orders of the Sachay Patshah (True King)
Officer: Meaning?
Bibi Jee: Meaning that I have respect for the Singhs in my heart and with the Guru's grace I have done my duty. I don't care about your King's orders.

Hearing such stern answers from Bibi Harsharan Kaur, the infuriated Mughal soldiers attempted to capture her and attacked. Bibi jee grabbed her kirpaan and fought back with determination. After killing and maiming many soldiers, Bibi Harsharan Kaur was injured and fell to the ground. The soldiers picked Bibi Harsharan Kaur up and threw her into the pyre, burning her alive.

The next day the cordon around the Fort was lifted because it was clear that the Sahibzadas and most of the Shaheed Singhs had been cremated. The ancestors of the Phulkiaan family, Rama and Triloka, then cremated whichever Singhs remained. The story of Bibi Harsharan Kaur reached Guru Gobind Singh jee Mahaaraaj in Talvandee Sabo (Damdama Sahib).

Upon hearing of her daughter's martyrdom, the old mother thanked Akaal Purakh. She said, "my daughter has proven herself worthy." The story of the cremation of the Chamkaur Shaheeds will forever serve as a glowing star of inspiration for all Singhs and Singhnees.

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

Humility : Baba Sri Chand Jee meeting the Fourth Guru

Once the elder son of Guru Nanak Sahib Jee went to Amritsar to visit Guru Raam Daas Sahib Jee, the fourth heir to the throne of Guru Nanak Sahib Jee.

Baba Sri Chand Jee tried to belittle and laugh at the Guru. He said, "O Raam Daas! Why is your beard so long?" The Guru replied "I have a long beard to wipe the feet of holy men like you." The Guru Sahib's humility hit Baba Sri Chand Jee who fell at the feet of Guru Sahib and he said; "Now I know why I didn't become chosen to be Guru and instead you are sitting on my father's throne."

"Kabeera, janaa gyan tah Dharam hai jahaa jhooth tah paap
Jahaa lobh tah kaal, jahaa khima tah aap"
Kabeer, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness and Dharma. Where there is falsehood, there is sin.
Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself. --> Bhagat Kabeer, SGGS

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

Har Rai Sahib Ji

As a young child Sri (Guru) Har Rai Sahib Ji was running in the flower garden at Kiratpur Sahib. He was wearing a baggy cloak. While running the cloak he brushed passed some flowers, thus the flowers were damaged.

With love and compassion, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, the seventh Guru jis grandfather, explained to the Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, "Always walk and move with care. Look after and manage your cloak and ensure that it doesn't hurt or damage anything in its path."

Similarly, we obtain the understanding that when walking in life, we should manage ourselves and look after our conduct and behavior and ensure that we don't cause harm to anyone or anything

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

The way of the Khalsa - Sant-Sipahee

There is a Sakhi (historic event) about a great Sant-Sipahee.(Saint-Soldier).. he truly had attained one-ness with Waheguru ji and had mastered weaponary too. In the battlefield he fought for justice. His opponent had been overpowered and lay on his back on the floor. The Sant-sipahee was about to destroy the sinner by plunging the sword of Akal into his chest, when the opponent spat in the Sant-Sipahee's face.

The Sant-Sipahee's blood boiled, rage and fury burned him for a moment, he raised his sword with new fervour.but stopped the sword in mid-swing!. The enemy was shocked, expecting to be dead, he grunted 'Kill Me Sikh, you have beaten me'.

The Sant-Sipahee replied, 'Before I was fighting for justice, against the evil actions of your army, and destroying you was destroying injustice . When you spat in my face I wanted to kill you because you insulted ME. I was going to kill you out of ANGER AND HATE which would have been wrong and against the principle of Sikhi/Khalsa. I would have to have been reborn because of that, so I have spared you'.

The enemy soldier was so incredibly amazed at the Khalsa soldier, that within a few months he left his troops and joined the Khalsa.

Criticise and Punish the Actions,
Love the Person.....It's a hard path to follow …. finer than a hair and sharper than a sword .

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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