Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji
|Guru Angad encouraged the use of the Gurmukhi and preached the use of it during his divine time|
Clipped or imperfect alphabet of Punjabi existed at the time of Guru Nanak, but Guru Angad modified and polished the existing script. Since the Guru had adopted the modified alphabet, it was called ‘Gurmukhi’- spoken through the mouth of the Guru.
The significance of the adoption of this script by Guru Angad lies in the fact that he ejected all other scripts, and adopted the script which was his own and suited to the language of the people. It also helped to enhance their culture. The Guru recorded everything onwards in Punjabi in Gurmukhi script.
Baba Amar Das was living in a village called Basarka near Amritsar. He was a firm eliever of Vaishnav faith and used to fast regularly. Every year he went to Hardwar for pilgrimage, bathed in the river Ganges and would give alms to the poor. It was the twenty-first year of his pilgrimage and he was sixty-two years old. He was coming back from Hardwar when he decided to lay down to sleep outside the village of Mihra. Here he met a Vaishnav Sadhu (a monk) with whom he became so intimate that they cooked for each other. As they continued their journey and as the monk found Baba Amar Das zealously discharging all the
duties of a pious Hindu, he asked him (Baba) who his guru was who taught him such piety and wisdom. Baba Amar Das replied that he had no guru. On hearing this the monk said,”I have committed a sin by eating from the hands of a man who has no guru. My ablutions bathing in the Ganges are of no avail now. I an only be purified if I return to bathe in the Ganges again.” After lamenting like this,
the Sadhu departed.
This was a great shock to Baba Amar Das and he was jolted in his heart thinking he was man of no guru (Nigura):
“Satgur bajho gur nahi koee, nigurei ka hai nau bura.” (Rag Asa Mohalla 3, p-435)
‘Satgur is the competent guru and without that no other guru is worthy of
cceptance but if a person has no guru at all, that person’s name is sinful.“
He started thinking seriously how he could find a guru and he prayed for that. One day early in the morning he heard a divine melody which thrilled his heart and he
stood spell-bound listening to the hymn. This was voice of Bibi Amro, Guru Angad’s daughter, who was recently married to his ne phew. It was Bibi Amro’s routine to rise early, bathe and recite Japji and other hymns of Guru Nanak. Bibi Amro had recited the following Sabad which was heard by Baba Amar Das:
“Neither sisters, sisters-in-law, nor mothers-in-law remain with one;
But the true relationship with the Beloved, when found through the Guru, shall never be sundered. I am a sacrifice to my Guru, I am ever a sacrifice unto him. I have grown weary of wandering so far without a Guru;
Now the Guru hath united me with my Beloved.
(Maru Mohalla 1, p-1015)
Baba Amar Das asked Bibi Amro whose composition it was. She replied that it was Guru nanak’s hymn and she had learnt it from her father who was the successor to Guru Nanak. Baba Amar Das then requested her to take him to the Guru. After some days he accompanied Bibi Amro to visit the Guru in Khadur. When Baba Amar Das arrived, the Guru on account of his relationship, wanted to embrace Babaji and receive him respectfully, but Babaji fell on the feet of the Guru and said,”Thou art as God and I am only a worm.” Baba Amar Das was so much overwhelmed by Guru’s darshan (holy sight) that it was unbearable for him to leave his presence. The love for the Master sprang so deep and intense in his heart that he wanted to serve him in every possible way.
One day meat was prepared for dinner and Baba Amar Das commented,”If the Guru is the knower of hearts, he should know that I am a strict Vaishnav and do not touch meat.” Realizing this the Guru ordered the Sikh who was serving the dinner (langar) that only dal (bean-curry) not meat should be served to him (Baba Amar Das). Soon after that, Baba Amar Das realized that a disciple, whose practice differed from that of his Guru, must inevitably fail. He told the cook that if the Guru were kind enough to give him his meat leaving, he would partake of it.In order to further remove his prejudices, the Guru instructed him,”These are the meats to abstain from- others’ wealth, others’ wives, slander, envy, covetousness and pride.” The Guru then recited the Slok Mohalla 1 of page 1289 on the subject.