Saturday, December 03, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gobind Rai and Bhikan Shah

There lived in the city of Kuhram a Muslim saint, Bhikan Shah. On the morning of Gobind Rai's (Later Guru Gobind Singh) birth, Bhikan Shah looked and bowed towards the east (towards Patna). His disciples asked why he bowed towards the east which was contrary to Muslim custom. He replied that there had just been born a spiritual and temporal king in the east who should establish true religion and destroy evil. Bhikan Shah set out for Patna along with his disciples to behold the young prince. When he reached Patna, the Muslim saint asked to have darshan (sight) of the newly-born child. When the infant was brought, Bhikan Shah bowed at the young prince's feet. He placed before him two earthen vessels covered with muslin, one containing milk and the other with water. The child touched both the vessels. Upon this Bhikan Shah thanked them for the opportunity given to him to behold the child and then prepared to leave. He was asked what he meant by the two vessels. Bhikan Shah explained that one vessel was marked for the Hindus and the other for the Muslims. He wanted to know whether he would favor the Hindus or the Muslims. As the child touched both the vessels, it meant that he should abide by both the Hindus and the Muslims and he should include both of them in his religion.

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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