Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhai Seehan and Bhai Gajan

Bhai Seehan and Bhai Gajan were first cousins. They came to meet Guru Nanak Dev ji, and asked for his blessings to be liberated from the cycle of births and deaths. They also wanted to be blessed in this life itself with the four boons i.e.
1. Dharma, fulfilment of all worldly responsibilities.
2. Artha, the worldly wealth.
3. Kama, fulfilment of worldly desires and
4. Moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death,

Guru Nanak Dev told them that the Lord's or the Supreme Being's Name was 'Waheguru'. If they meditated and repeated this Name, they would be gifted with all the four boons. Hearing this they were curious to know about the meaning of the name 'Waheguru'.

Guru Nanak Dev explained that 'Wahe' is the expression of exclamation on seeing something wonderful and beyond human understanding. The Supreme Being created the universe, humans, the animals, vegetation etc, but we are not able to see or visualize the Creator himself. This is the wonder. 'Gu' means the darkness or ignorance i.e. not to be able to see or visualize the Creator is the ignorance. 'Ru' is the light, which expels darkness. Thus, it is the Supreme Being who removes our darkness of ignorance and helps us to comprehend the Lord or the Creator of the universe. Hence, He is known as 'Waheguru'.

The duo then asked, how would mere recitations of the name 'Waheguru' bestow upon them the four boons? Guru Nanak Dev explained thus:
1. When we go to meet the assembly of saints or 'sadhu sangat', every step is equal to the fruits of 100
'Ashvamedha Yagnas' (horse sacrifice in olden times). This is 'Dharma' or the fulfilment of spiritual and worldly responsibilities.
2. The worldly people work tirelessly and run after worldly possessions. But it comes automatically to the devotees of the Lord. This meets the need of 'Artha' or wealth.
3. The desires of the devotees are fulfilled by the Lord Himself when His name is meditated upon. This is the accomplishment of 'kama' or desires.
4. When the name 'Waheguru' is understood and it's meaning finally seeps into the body, mind and intellect, one is blessed with 'Brahma Gyan' or the Divine Knowledge. This will grant one 'mukti' or liberation.

Hearing these words of wisdom, both Bhai Seehan and Bhai Gajan would wake up early in the morning, bathe, recite the 'Gurbani' i.e. Guru Nanak Dev's compositions and then go to work. All day long they would meditate on 'Wahe' while inhaling and on 'Guru' while exhaling. Thus, they were continuously reciting the name 'Waheguru' all the time. They would also offer food to the disciples of the Guru ji out of their earnings. The other devotees were also aware of the generosity of the duo. It so happened, Bhai Seehan's daughter's marriage was fixed and the groom and his people were to arrive the next day. Delicious food was cooked for the marriage feast. In the evening before the marriage, a large number of Guru Nanak Dev's devotees on their way to meet Guru ji stopped at Bhai Seehan's house. They were tired and hungry. Bhai Seehan humbly offered them the food prepared for the marriage. This worried his wife very much. Bhai Seehan was however unperturbed and said that since the food was served to Guru ji's disciples, Guru ji himself would save his honour.

The marriage party duly arrived the next morning. The lady of the house was extremely worried, but Bhai Seehan was unshakeable in his faith. He offered his prayers and unlocked the door to the room where the food was kept. Lo and behold! it was full of food fit for the king. The guests enjoyed the feast for full five days. The groom and his people, overwhelmed with Bhai Seehan's hospitality, happily left with the bride. This shows how undoubting faith in 'Waheguru' fulfills all our desires and needs.

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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