Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Elephant, Corcodile and the Lord God

bal shhuttakiou ba(n)dhhan parae kashhoo n hoth oupaae ||
My strength is exhausted, and I am in bondage; I cannot do anything at all.

kahu naanak ab outt har gaj jio hohu sehaae ||53||
Says Nanak, now, the Lord is my Support; He will help me, as He did the elephant. ||53||
- Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 1429

There is a story of a "Gaj" meaning elephant. He used to go across the river taking a flower to the temple. One day he was taking the flower as was his routine, and a crocodile caught him by the leg. You know, in the water a crocodile is stronger than an elephant and it is said that a crocodile in the water, a woman in anger and a king in his obnoxiousness are the worst creatures on the planet. Anyway, so the crocodile pulled and pulled, till the flower in that trunk came to be dipped and the elephant was going to die because there was no air.

jaa ko musakal ath banai dtoee koe n dhaee ||
When you are confronted with terrible hardships, and no one offers you any support,

laagoo hoeae dhusamanaa saak bh bhaj khalae ||
when your friends turn into enemies, and even your relatives have deserted you,

sabho bhajai aasaraa chukai sabh asaraao ||
and when all support has given way, and all hope has been lost

chith aavai ous paarabreham lagai n thathee vaao ||1||
-(but) if you come to remember the Supreme Lord God, even the hot wind shall not touch you.
- Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 70

In the end, all he said was: "If this flower can reach you, O my lord god, I shall feel liberated". Death was inevitable.

And what happened? God came and tore open the jaw of the crocodile and freed the elephant so that he could lay the flower down.

raam gur saran prabhoo rakhavaarae ||
In the Sanctuary of the Guru, the Lord God saves and protects us,

jio ku(n)char thadhooai pakar chalaaeiou kar oopar kadt nisathaarae ||1|| rehaao ||
as He protected the elephant, when the crocodile seized it and pulled it into the water; He lifted him up and pulled him out. ||1||Pause||

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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