Friday, November 24, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism


Prof. Puran Singh  

Anandpur of the Tenth Master

Out of the joy of the Masters have grown the names of our cities filtering down into the common language of the people! The Sikh gave to the Panjab thirty-five new words for "Joy".  Guru Nanak founded, on the Ravi the city of the Creator - "Kartarpur". "GoindwaT" is "The City of God". Amritsar means the "Pond  of Ambrosia",  or "Lake of Immortality".  Guranditta, son of the Sixth Master, named Kiratpur "city of praise". Anandpur is "the City of Divine Bliss", founded by Tegh Bahadur.  At the martyrdom of Tegh Bahadur, there was no sorrow at Anandpur: the new Nanak  Gobind  led  the  town  in celebrating the event with a new purity of joy: -"Tegh Bahadur is gone!

The world says, 'Alas! Alas!

The heaven rings with hallelujahs!

Welcoming his return home!

The angels sing 'the victor comes home!

The victor comes home!

All victory is in the Dhyan of His Glorious Name!

His disciples and his saints sit still in that

His Supreme Dhyanam!

And in His love is freedom for them!"

Anandpur was made once again, under the divine leadership of Gobind Singh, the City of Immortal Bliss. Nothing was lacking, the former Master had provided everything for his children. He gave all his soul to his people, coming no more in earthly form to them. He knew it; though they did not and could not know of his purpose.

Gobind Singh, too, brought new delight to the Sikh people.  He scattered joy and light in an abundance hitherto unknown even in the Sikh life of the past nine generations of this dispensation of divine grace!

Anandpur was a center of life of the people; spiritual, mental, and physical. Around the Master assembled poets and painters, and scholars; and he encouraged the development of art and learning in his people.  The disciples were sent to Benaras to learn Sanskrit He caused many long Sanskrit books to be translated into Hindi.  In fact, the disciples had returned to their own line of work, forgetful of the injuries inflicted on them by the kings.  There was a tremendous revival of literature and art at Anandpur We have accounts of this period from the Dhyanam of Bhai Vir Singh ji, in the little brochures published by the Khalsa Tract Society, Amritsar. One of these, MaIm, or the Gardener's Wife, lifts up the curtain that time had let fall on Anandpur, and allows us to see more of that place and its society than is permitted by an earlier historian.

Malin, the Gardener's Wife

Mohina and Sohina were once rich people but they had renounced all in love  of  Nanak.     They  were accomplished   singers,   gardeners, flower-breeders and poets. They came in disguise as poor people, and entered Gobind's service in his garden.  They never tried to see him as they had once had sentence pronounced against them by a Sikh "He will not grant you a glimpse of himself': these words had escaped the lips of the Sikh when he was fatally wounded and dying of thirst, and when he was refused water by Mohina and Sohina who were carrying sacred water to the temple for the worship of their stone deity - for at that time they were idol-worshippers. They had been so haunted by the Sikh that they had returned hurriedly from the sanctuary to give him the very same water, but the Sikh had died meanwhile. His voice rang in their empty souls: "He will not grant you even a glimpse of himself'.   One day Kesara Singh (Saffron Singh), the Guru's gardener, exhibited specimens of their work of plant breeding and making many a flower bloom out of its season, and named them to the Guru. Nobody else knew anything about them. He looked up to the sky, and repeated in an undertone the words of the dying Sikh, "He will not grant you a glimpse of himself'. Then he added: "Tell them they cannot see the Master yet"  But the  Mother  afterwards  paid  them occasional visits in their neat nest-like hut in the garden, and they used to sing the song of the master to her.  Every morning, whatever the season, they sent her a garland of flowers, with which the Mother garlanded the Beloved. One day, a Faqir called Roda Jalali came and begged of the couple for some of their flowers that seemed to him a curiosity at that season.  Mohina and Sohina could not part with them; they were sacred. Roda Jalali stole like a cat into the garden at night, and plucked all the flowers with a view to presenting them to the Guru in the morning. Next morning, as the Master was sitting in the assembly of disciples,  Roda Jalali presented himself and made an offering of the basket of flowers. "Why did you not bring gold Mohurs as an offering?" said the Master  Faqirs never touch gold", said Jalali. "Then a Faqir should come empty handed", said he, "the empty hands of a Faqir are beautiful". "But one must come with an offering", said Jalali. Thereupon the Master made a sign to Bhai Mani Singh to take off Roda Jalali's cap from behind - when lo! a few gold Mohurs fell out of it. Meanwhile the Guru, looking at the flowers, cried like a grieved father: "O Roda! You have not plucked flowers from the bush, but you have torn two souls from God".   Saying this, the Master ran barefooted to the hut of Sohina and Mohina.  The couple had already fainted amid their despoiled bushes; they seemed near to death. He revived them with his glance, and sat by them, lifting their head into his lap while the Mother gave them water to drink. Their opening eyes saw those of the master gazing deeply into them. Thus did Mohina and Sohina enter the path of discipleship.

Bhai Nand Lal and Gyassuddin at Anandpur

Bhai Nand Lal had migrated from Kabul to India with his wife and children. Providing them with a house at Multan, Bhai Nand Lal entered the Imperial service at Agra, becoming secretary to Bahadur Shah, the son of Aurangzeb. He was a poet, and an Arabic and Persian scholar and he solved many a knotty  theological  problem  in  the theology of Al Quran, which were referred to him by the Prince.  Once, when every other scholar failed to satisfy Aurangzeb as to a particular verse in private, when repeated to the Emperor, gave him great pleasure. Thus was the scholarship of Bhai Nandlal brought to the notice of the Emperor, who ordered that so able a person should no longer be allowed to remain a Hindu. The news leaked out; and Bhai Nand La saw that, to avoid death or apostasy, he must flee.  He thought of escaping with his devoted Faqir - follower Gyassudin to Anandpur, and taking shelter with the Tenth Master  So with a few valuables they escaped by night from Agra, on two mules. When they reached Anandpur, they saw Gobind Singh sitting in the midst of a happy congregation.  Bhai Nand La and Gyassudin offered their homage and took their seats, as the Guru blessed them and welcomed them.   Addressing Gyassuddin, the Gobind said" "Brother Gyassuddin, to whom dost thou belong?" At this, one of the disciples wished to correct him, but the Master promptly stopped  him, saying, "There is no dispute at all. Brother Nandlal belongs to me, and brother Gyassudin belongs to Nandlal; so, 0 good man! both belong to me". These words were. enough for Bhai Nandlal:    he  was  thenceforward eternally his.  By these words, and in these words, the Master gave the gift of Nam to both, and they entered the path of discipleship.

Bhai Nandlal, once he had laid his head at his Master's feet, never left his presence.               The Master was overwhelmingly kind to him, and always addressed him affectionately as "Nand Lala" - Master of Joy.   He would compose Persian verses in praise of the Guru, and recite them every day. We have two volumes of these Persian poems.

Gobind Singh in Disguise

Gobind Singh often sported with his disciples, and had many surprises for  them. It was ordained at Anandpur that every disciple should keep a langar of his own to feed the pilgrims and passers-by, and the orders were that none should be sent away disappointed. Very  early  one  day,  the  Master disguised as a common pilgrim, went round all these langars, asking for bread. The disciples were busy getting the bread ready, so they could not promise anything till they were fully prepared to receive guests. The Master went from door to door till he reached Bhai Nandlal's langar.  Bhai Nandlal welcomed the guest with a beaming face and brought everything that was in the room; butter, half-kneaded flour, half-cooked   pulse,   and   other vegetables; and placed them before the guest. "This is ready and is all for you, but if you permit me, I will prepare them for you, and serve you in the Name of My Master", said Bhai Nandlal.  Next morning, the Guru told everyone that there was but one Temple of Bread at Anandpur, and that was Bhai Nandlal's.

Gobind Singh and 'Renunciation of the Sanyasi"

A group of Hindu Sanyasis came to Anandpur,  and  complained to the Master that he was not laying sufficient emphasis on the virtue of Renunciation. he replied, "My disciples are men of renunciation in joy; their bliss is infinite, and no more needed; all things come to their hands, and they use them as they need. As long as they do not go under illusion (Maya), so long they are free and  pure.   If one has obtained Self-Realization,  of what  use,  my friends, is Renunciation?"  They were for arguing further, when he interrupted them, playfully bidding his Sikhs put live charcoal on the lids of their coconut  Bowls of Renunciation. And as the lac cementing the joints melted off under fire, the bowls were shaken and gold Mohurs dropped out giving an open proof of their hypocrisy.

The scenes of Gobind Singh's life at Anandpur are lit by laughter, and joy. He would welcome his disciples with a smile or a touch on the shoulder, and he delighted in surprising them by his play of wit.   Anandpur was alive with continual  festival:    "Every day a new-year's day and every night a wedding night!"

Gobind Singh is Guru Nanak; but he rides a splendid steed, arms himself with a quiver of arrows and a mighty bow has a sword hanging in his belt and a hawk perched on his hand and eyes that sparkle with joy and velour of the soul. His heart is gay because of his uncontainable joy.  

The Ancestor of the Panjab Kalals

There came into the assembly a Kalal, or wine distiller of the Panjab, a member of the most-hated caste. (It is said that the punishment for merely stepping on the bone of a Kalal is seven generations in hell.   The hatred was of the caste-hatred type; and not hatred for the wine he made, for the Kashatnyas and other castes consumed wine freely even in the Mahabharata times.) He stood at a little distance. The Master invited him to come and sit in the assembly. On which he hesitated and said that he was a Kalal.   The Master immediately answered, "No, come in; you are not a Kalal, but Guru ka Lal," a ruby of the Master.  Such was Gobind's attitude towards the low castes, and submerged humanity: he loved to lift them, and he did it by his looks. He raised them, to the dignity of his own children by his baptism of love. His transmuting touch was the secret.

The Master had called for a cup of water, which was brought to him by a nobleman's son, a handsome young man with clean white hands. The water was  crystal  clear,  and  the  cup scrupulously clean; but the Master, after taking it in his hand, returned it to the young man without drinking and said, "My son, it seems your hands have not yet labored in the service of the Saints. "No sir, I have never worked with these hands yet," said the boy. "Ah, My boy, go and make them pure first in the service of the Saints".

Anandpur was the center where all castes and creeds and colors met in one joyous crowd; as formerly were at Kartarpur,  Goindwal  and  Amritsar. Hundreds of thousands jostled to catch a glimpse of the Master.

The Master pondered deeply on the destiny of these people; for this was the last incarnation of Guru Nanak, as he alone knew. What was to become of them.

Henceforth the disciple must be made the vehicle of the spirit of Guru Nanak, with the Word of the Master enshrined in his heart, as the Deity of this Temple. Henceforth they who would thirst for his Presence, must kiss his feet and his body by taking the Word into their souls.

The Call of the Master

Gobind Singh fixed a day for the gathering  of  all  his  disciples  at Anandpur.  When they had gathered from all parts of the country, he rose with the naked steel in his hand and called for a life to be offered to his steel from among their number, if they wished to continue this disciples.  The call caused some terror in the assembly; for they had already forgotten the ways of Guru Nanak and that this was not the first time in Sikh history that some such call had been made. Guru Nanak had called in the same awful tone, and only Angad had come forward, the others being afraid.  Moreover, the disciples knew their present Master only in his loving and sustaining mood, and as they failed at the time of Guru Nanak, it is not surprising that now they were unable even to guess the meaning of the Master, for whom this was a climactic moment in which centuries throbbed to new life.  The Master called again, "Does any disciple wish to die under my steel!" Only one rose and came forward in deep reverence, saying, "Thine it is forever, Master; under the keen edge of thy steel is the highest bliss". A tent was pitched on a little mound nearby, and the blessed disciple followed the Master into the tent.

The Master came out again with his flashing sword, saying:  "One more disciple to die today!" So did he call five times in all and five Sikhs stepped forward to die.

After a while, out of the tent came the Beloved Five, decked in saffron-dyed garments   and   saffron   turbans :altogether a new type, with the Master in their midst looking strangely as one of them. The Beloved Five by his favor had the same dress, the same physical appearance and the same Divine glow as he.   Gobind Rai proceeded to dissolve the  song  of the  Master (Godword) in water; and he prepared the Nectar of Knowledge Absolute in he immortal draught in which he had resolved to give himself away to the children of Guru Nanak!

The Nectar was ready as he had finished the chanting of his Mantram  when the Mother of his disciples came with sugar-crystals and stood waiting before the Master.  "Welcome, good lady!" said he,  power without the sweetness of soul means little. Pour the gift into the Nectar, so that our disciples may be blessed not only with power, but with the grace of woman-sweet soul." And the Mother thereupon sweetened the Nectar.

The Blessed Five were as fully-armed soldiers in appearance, with the tresses of each tied  in a Knot-of-disciple Dharma gathered not the crown of the head and covered by a graceful turban; and they wore a kind of half-trousers. From within the Master's tent came out a new incarnation of the disciple, a new face of the Saint-soldier who had accepted death in love.   It was a moment of creation whose full fruition requires the lapse of eons.

He stood up; with the sacred Nectar contained in a steel vessel, to give the blessed  abundance  of God-in-man away.   The disciple from Bir-Asan, kneeling on his left knee, looked up to the Master to receive his eternal light. The Master gazed into the eyes of the disciple, and showered on his face the Nectar, calling him aloud with each shower to sing the Mantram composed by the  Master for the  occasion:

"Wah-Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Sri Wah-guru Ji Ki Fateh." - the chosen Ones, the King's servants,  the disciples,  the Khalsa, belong to the Glorious Master, all triumph be to His Name! He is Truth ~and Truth triumphs now." He did it three times.  The knot of Disciple-Dharma, which the Master had just gathered in his own hand, was then anointed by him with the same Nectar. Thenceforward every hair of the disciple's head was filled with his Nectar; every hair was a tongue which was to sing the Song of the Master. Every hair of the disciple is thus sacred for all time. Thus were the Five Beloveds anointed by the Master, and they were asked to drink the Nectar from the same steel cup in deep draughts of brotherly love.

"You are the Sons of Nanak, the Creator's own, the chosen.

I name ye the Khalsa.

Ye are the disciples of Song, and ye shall be the saviors of man.

Ye shall own no property, but all shall be the Master

Ye shall love man as man, making no distinction of caste or creed.

Ye shall keep forever this flame of life lit for you, unflickering, in deep meditation on the One Deathless Being.

Ye shall bow your heads down to your Master only, Ye shall never worship stock, stone, idol, or tomb. Ye shall always pray in the Dhyanam of your Master. Remember always in times of danger or difficulty the Holy Names of the Masters, Nanak,  Angad,  Amardas,  Ramdas, Arjun Dev, Har Gobind Sahib, Har Rai Sahib, Har Krishan, Tegh Bahadur. I make ye a Rosary of these names; and ye shall not pray each for himself, but all for the whole Khalsa. In each of you the whole brotherhood shall be increased. Ye are my sons, b6th in flesh and in spirit.

The Disciples Baptize the Master

After this, Gobind Singh asked his Five Beloved Disciples to prepare again the Nectar as he had prepared it, and to anoint others with it as he had done. The Five sat in a group, and, inspired by the Master, prepared the Nectar in the same way. It was the Master himself

Page One Hundred - Ninety-Two who offered first of all to drink the Amritam from the hands of the Beloved Five. From Guru Gobind Rai his name was changed to Guru Gobind Singh. Thereupon, the whole heavens

resounded with the joyous ejaculation, "Sat Sri Akal" - "the only Reality is He" -the deathless,  the timeless  Glory! Thousands of Sikhs were anointed on that day with the sacred word - Amritam of the Master. It was this Amritam that changed  the  docile,  poor,  fearful disciples into the leonine men of the new Khalsa: Saint-soldiers; who were taught to salute the God and the Master with a naked sword swung high in the air, and to practice the Simran of Mantram  Wahe-Guru.   Arms  were thenceforward  the  symbol  of  the disciples' fervor of soul.

This great miracle of creation, done by Gobind Singh transmuted Anandpur into the center of a new Savior-Nation. A contagious spirit of independence arose and spread, and the face of the country changed. Where love is supreme, the heart in which it resides must be clothed in splendor of steel: the flashing sword of love must be the expression, in this dark world, of the light of the soul. "I am thine, death is nothing to me.  I wear arms, not to kill, but to dazzle with their flash the eyes of cowardly kings, and to blazon in letters of fire Supreme majesty of love over all. I need no kingdoms on this earth; I lust not for shining gold, nor for the beauty of woman. I own nothing. All belongs to Him, the Lord! If he has chosen to adorn my smile of Knowledge Absolute with the flash of His cleaving sword, it is his pleasure. My Religion then is of His Sword.

"Do not misunderstand me. I know the Truth, I am made of it.  I am in the safe-keeping of the Beloved.   His pleasure is my salvation.  I have no need to act, for al? action has ended for me in ~~is love. But so He wills; and I take the body of flesh to the altar of sacrifice for the sake of suffering humanity, and, rising out of the Master's heart still half-asleep~, I go forward and die for others. With my blood, I will buy their  in this world of trade and money-getting. a moral and physical relief. I covet no more but to die naming Him, with His song on my lips and his Nectar flowing out of my mind; fixed on the one purpose, to die for others and to save them from misery!  I therefore, pray I may die, not in solitude, but in the battlefield; and not for my glory, but for the glory of the song that is deathless."


The  human  spirit  at  Anandpur manifested its joyous spiritual energy in many ways. On every day that dawned There were new ideas in the very air, and the Khalsa crystallized in many shapes.     The  Sevapanthis,  the Nirmalas, the Sahej-Dharis set forth new shining resolutions; and last but not least, came the Akali, who washed himself clean of all earth and earthly life, till absolutely free from the illusion of flesh and immersed in the vision of the Guru. Sevapanthis reserved

themselves for the creed of service; later on they formed the first "Red Cross" corps of Gobind Singh, serving friend and foe alike. They carried water on their backs in the battlefield, and held the bowl of mercy to the thirsty lips of the dying. They carried on a stock of first aid, and gained special knowledge in surgery and medicine.   Nirmalas devoted themselves to learning. They studies Sanskrit and Vedanta, and went about  educating  the  country  and spreading the literature that took its start  in Anandpur. Sehaj Dharis, "Disciples of the vow of moral devotion", was a beautiful name given to the disciples who could not yet stand up to the wearing of the sword of the Khalsa, since wearing the sword meant death and dissolution. They would rather be in the background, the sympathizers. the hidden disciples of the Master. "They also serve who only stand and wait".

Akali was the Khalsa with an increased share of the Master's Amritam in him. He was already immortal, he had shaken off his body; there was no consciousness in him of death, sin, or self.  He recked nothing, he heeded nothing. So great was the power of soul in him that he called Death - "ascension to Heaven (charahi)".  He called the silver and the gold coins "husk", "pieces of broken chaina". His arithmetic began with Sawa Lakh (1,25,000). Whenever an Akali entered the city, he said, "The Armies of the Khalsa have arrived" - he never said, "I".  When anyone asked, "how many?", he said, "Sawa Lakh". Whenever he wanted anything he did not "beg", but he said that he had only come to collect "taxes of the Khalsa".

Some ill-informed writers have depicted the Akali as a king of human wild boar, because he was sincere to the point of savagery. He was armed from head to foot, "covered with steel"; his flesh was steel, and his eyes shone with the blue fire of destruction if anyone touched him wrongly. But he was the disciple, full of the Nectar of the divine song.  If they were to cut him, they would find nothing but Han Nam in his blood and bone. Was it not a marvel that at the call of Gobind Singh, there came a kind of man who soon  rid the country of its weakness and won a respect for the Master's personality that no king could command?" "Akali' means deathless or timeless "

Kill me, cut me to pieces,

 I never die.

I am Akali, out of this door I go, out of that door I come in Again.

His touch has emancipated me.                    

I am knowledge absolute.                 

I am purity absolute.

I am love absolute."

The Akali called Emperor Aurangzeb by the curtailed name of Auranga", their language turned the world's glories and greatness into object of contempt. They acknowledged no kings, and perhaps that is why no Akali could be tolerated in the British Panjab.

Without intending it, do doubt, the present rulers in India, in the ordinary course of their administration, have made the existence of the Akalis in the Panjab of today impossible.  For he could allow no laws to interfere with his indigo   garments,    his   infinite self-confidence,   his   prophetic-like ~majesty and sincerity combined with the simplicity of a child in his love of his Master

The creation of the Khalsa in India is the culmination of Guru Nakan's genius, and the written character of his Word. The Amritam of the Tenth Master completely transmuted the men drawn from low or high castes of India, drawn from the Hindu or the Mussalman. After the Amritam, the Khalsa resembles no part type of his own.  For making the universal nation of man - apart from the characteristics that delimit races and nations - for the evolution of one united family of man on earth, Gobind Singh had shown the way in his Khalsa which he brought out ready-made from his brain, as Jupiter brought out Minerva. In the Khalsa is his type of the universal "super-man", dead drunk with the glories and powers of the Infinite, yet sweet as a woman, innocent as a child, the Bhai  "brother of all", "striking fear in naught nor himself afraid of aught".  He has given to him also a form which the great Master dreamt for the future universal man of God belonging to no one country, caste or creed. In the Khalsa there is seen the blending of the whole spiritual character of man of the past and the future; as if it were a new creation. 

"Anandpur of the Master:  now the Anandpur of the Khalsa!  The Khalsa chanted the new life-mantrams with untied voice that passed like a thunder rolling over the hills: Sat Sri Akal".

 The Khalsa chanted the Song of the sword composed by Gobind Singh for their daily invigoration.  He is said to have composed this song in adoration of some old Hindu goddess; but  he merely employed the words used in Sanskrit literature in praise of an old goddess, adapting them to the praise of Steel.  In recent history, under the leadership of Bhai Ram Singh, and inspired by the same old life-mantram, "Wahe-guru", there again rose in the Panjab the semblance of the old Khalsa; the Kukas, whom the last generation saw sitting cross-legged in the posture of yoga-meditation, chanting this Song of the Sword, and spring rot and for - still in their sitting posture, like birds - to accompaniment of their cry:"Sat Sri Akal, Sat Sri Akal". The original of this at Anandpur may be imagined. Whoever went to Anandpur in those days saw a new world, as if the veil of sky had been lifted at one corner and the celestial life was in sight.  For in truth no one could recognize those Figures of Light made by the Master as anything of this earth.  Pilgrims, both Hindu and Mussalman, came in singing caravans from all parts of the country to the City of Joy, which resounded day and night with the music of Nam.

Hansa enters the Path of Discipleship

The brochure Bakshind Mahram (the Beloved that Forgives) of the Khalsa Tract Society, describes how Hansa (it gives no full names, only the brief ones that the Khalsa adopted), a religious teacher of the Jams, came to the Master seeking for the  "hidden light" that illumines the path of life from within. Hansa was a Pundit, a great painter and a leading monk. He brought an offering of a painting of the sunrise for Gobind Singh, but the orders were that he should not have an audience of the Master. After a few days, the disciples that took and interest in him set up his painting in such a place in the garden, that the Guru (who encouraged al Kinds of fine art) might see it. Gobind Singh saw it, and said: "The painting is full of light, but the painter~ heart is all dark. His is cruel, very cruel". Saying this, he went away and said nothing more, indicated thereby to his dis will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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