Guru Angad Dev
|Guru Angad, a painting at the Lahore Museum (courtesy F.Aijazzudin)
Guru Angad is seated under an orange canopy. The pale carpet on which he sits is spread over a striped rug. An attendant stands by a terrace wall waving a peacock feather ‘chauri’ over the Guru. Adog lies asleep in front of the Guru.
One day a man, Gobind, came to the Guru and said that if he became victorious in a lawsuit against his relations, he would found a city in honor of the Guru. Fortune favored him and he started to found the city on the bank of the river Beas. He began the work but what was done during the day, was in some mysterious manner undone at night. Gobind came to the Guru and prayed to him to grant him his desire to build the city.
Upon this the Guru sent Baba Amar Das to help him. Babaji prayed to God for His ssistance. The city’s work proceeded without any further delay and Baba Amar Das named it Gobindwal and later on it was called Goindwal. Gobind did
not forget to build a palace in it for his benefactor Amar Das. When the work was successfully completed, Gobind went to the Guru to offer his thanks and to beg him to come and live in the newly founded city. The Guru did not wish to leave his town, so he ordered Baba Amar as to go and live in Goindwal by night and come to him by day. Babaji obeyed the Guru and settled in Goindwal. In the process of time he took with him all his relations from Basarka and helped them in settling there.
Baba Amar Das was now living in Goindwal and his daily routine was- to rise very early in the morning, take a pitcher of water from the river Beas and proceed to Khadur which was about three miles away. The pitcher of water was for Guru Angad to bathe with. On the way he would recite Japji. There was a mid-way spot which was called Damdama or breathing place where he could rest for a while. A temple was erected on this spot later on. After attending the morning service, Asa di Var, he would fetch water for the Guru’s kitchen, clean dishes and bring firewood from the forest. During the day he would learn Gurbani (Word) from the Guru. In the evening he would attend Sodar and evening Kirtan. After putting the Guru to rest, he would return walking to Goindwal backwards in supreme reverence for his Master.
|The first duty Guru Angad performed after his morning devotions and kirtan was to tend the sick and succour the needy. His healing touch and loving compassion relieved many of their pains and distresses.|
There lived a Sadhu (monk), Tapa in Khadur. He was worshipped as a Guru by the Khahira Jats only. Tapa had jealousy against the Guru and contended reverence shown to Guru by his followers. He maintained that he should be
worshipped instead of the Guru since Guru was a family man and not an ascetic.
One year there were no monsoons and as a result there was a drought in the land. People were distressed and went to Tapa for his help to procure rain. Tapa told them that he was a monk, yet no one worshipped him and instead everybody worshipped the family man (Guru), and so he asked them to go to the Guru and ask him to procure rain for them. They went to the Guru who replied,”Be satisfied with God’s Will.” They came back to Tapa who told them,”If you expel the Guru from the town, I will bring rain within twenty-four hours.” Ultimately the Guru left the town and went seven villages away from Khadur where Tapa had no influence.
When Baba Amar Das arrived in Khadur next morning, he found the Guru’s house empty. On inquiry the people narrated the whole story to Babaji. In the meantime Tapa failed to bring any rain. Upon this Baba Amar Das asked the people if a lamp could be substituted for the sun. He asked them to punish Tapa ifthey wanted rain. It so happened that as Tapa was being punished, the rain came in torrents. After that the people went to the Guru to ask for forgiveness for their acts.
When Guru Angad heard of Tapa’s punishment, he felt much grieved and addressed to Amar as,”You have not obtained the fruits of my companionship, which are peace, forbearance and forgiveness.” On hearing this Babaji fell at the feet of the Guru and humbly sought his pardon. He confessed that he got Tapa punished because he could not take Guru’s insult and promised to obey the Guru’s instructions in future.
One night in March 1552, it rained all night, cold winds blew and lightning flashed. Baba Amar Das brought a pitcher of water from river Beas for his Master. While he was coming to the Guru’s house, he struck against a wooden peg which a weaver had driven into the ground, and he fell into the loompit. It was a weavers’ colony and when they heard the thud of his fall, one of the weavers’ wife said,”Who could it be at this early hour? It must be that homeless Amru who sleeps not, who knows no rest and who tires not. He is ever bringing water from the river and firewood from the forest; and what a Guru to serve!” The Master felt the twitch and was deeply moved. He embraced Baba Amar Das who was seventy-three years old then and said,”My Amar Das, he will be the home of the homeless, the honor of the unhonored, the strength of the strengthless, the support of the supportless, the emancipator of the captive.” After that Guru Angad
installed Baba Amar Das in his seat, put five paise and a coco-nut before him, and asked Bhai Buddha to put saffron tilak of Guruship on his forehead. He was then declared as Guru Amar Das:
“Jot uha jugat sai seh kaya pher paltiai.” (Ramkali ki Var- Rai Balwand, p-966)
‘Divine Light is the same
Way and Mode are the same The Master has only changed the body.”
(Translation of the above)
Guru Angad directed him to live in Goindwal and left for his heavenly abode on March 29, 1552.
Submission to Guru’s order and worship of God, was the guiding principle in selection of the Guruship. Inspite of the opposition of his sons and relations, Guru Angad conferred the Guruship on Baba Amar Das who was proved to be the
fittest and the most worthy for the Divine throne of Guru Nanak.