Friday, December 09, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

True Service

One early morning (Guru) Amar Das Ji heard this hymn being sung.

Actions are the paper, and the mind is the ink; good and bad are both recorded upon it.
As their past actions drive them, so are mortals driven. There is no end to Your Glorious Virtues, Lord. ||1||
Why do you not keep Him in your consciousness, you mad man?
Forgetting the Lord, your own virtues shall rot away. ||1||Pause||
The night is a net, and the day is a net; there are as many traps as there are moments.
With relish and delight, you continually bite at the bait; you are trapped, you fool - how will you ever escape? ||2|| The body is a furnace, and the mind is the iron within it; the five fires are heating it.
Sin is the charcoal placed upon it, which burns the mind; the tongs are anxiety and worry. ||3||
What was turned to slag is again transformed into gold, if one meets with the Guru.
He blesses the mortal with the Ambrosial Name of the One Lord, and then, O Nanak, the body is held steady. ||4||3|
- Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 990

This sweet voice was of Bibi Amro, daughter of Guru Angad Dev Ji, who had been married to the nephew of (Guru) Amar Das Ji.

After listening to the hymn, (Guru) Amar Das Ji decided to adopt its composer as his Guru Ji. At daybreak, he asked Bibi Amro about the composer of the hymn. She told, "This hymn was composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Before his merger in God, he entrusted the responsibility of guiding the Sikhs to my father, Guru Angad Dev Ji." (Guru) Amar Das Ji took Bibi Amro with him.

On reaching Khadur Sahib, he placed his head at Guru Angad Dev Ji's feet and prayed, "Please accept me as your disciple." His age was 62 then. After that he stayed there forever and served Guru Ji with great earnest. He made it a routine to bring water from the river for the morning bath of Guru Ji. He served Guru's institution for 11 years. At last his service was acknowledged. Guru Angad Dev Ji chose him to install as the next Guru. On March 29, 1552 Baba Budha ji put a tilak on Guru Amar Das Ji's forehead and Guru Angad Dev Ji bowed before him. He told the Sikhs that from then onwards, Guru Amar Das Ji would be their spiritual leader.

saevaa karath hoe nihakaamee ||
One who performs selfless service, without thought of reward,

this ko hoth paraapath suaamee ||
shall attain his Lord and Master.
- Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 286

Guru Angad Dev Ji acceded to his request and selecting an elevated site between the villages of Khadur and Sanghar, he set up a dwelling there. Congregations and recitals began to be held in the morning and evening; Community kitchen was also started round the clock. Guru Ji started teaching the children of the surrounding villages after the morning congregation. Before the evening congregation, he organized wrestling and other sports for entertainment and body fitness of the devotees. He advised everyone to do practical service and honest labour. He himself always twisted string used for weaving cots. He used to listen to the problems of the devotees and advised solutions

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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