GURU AT SAIDPUR:
The Guru proceeded a second time to Saiyidpur or Saidpur, now known as Eminabad, where he again visited Bhai Lalo. Lalo complained to him of the oppression of the Pathans, who were leading a luxurious life caring little for others. The Guru replied that their dominion should be brief, as Baber was on his way for the conquest of India. Baber invaded the Punjab for the third time and it was the year 1521. He sacked the town of Eminabad and subjected it to massacre, loot and rape. It was a horrible scene, which Guru Nanak himself describes that there laid in the dust, the fairy heads of the damsels and beautiful women.
Most of the writers including many Sikhs say that seeing this horrible scene, the Guru appealed in anguish to the Almighty when he said:
‘Eti mar pai kurlane tai ki dard na aaya.’ (Asa Mohalla 1, p-360)
And they translate the above verse as:
‘When there was such slaughter and lamentation,
didst not Thou, O God, feel pain?’
Let us examine if these writers are correct. Did the Guru make such an anguished appeal to God or not?
A. In the very first stanza (pauri) of Japji on the very first page of Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak says:
‘Hukam rajai chalna Nanak likhia nal.’
‘O Nanak thus runneth the Writ Divine,
The righteous path, let it be thine.’
Again in Asa Mohalla 5, page 394, it is stated:
‘Tera kia meetha lagei
Har nam padarth Nanak mangei.’
‘Sweet be Thy Will,
My Lord Nanak beseecheth the gift of nam.’
The above quotations mean that whatever happens in life, should be willfully accepted. In the house of Guru Nanak, there is no room for tears or cries. There is no place for appeal before the Divine Writ. One must embrace God’s Will as the sweetest gift of life. This is the first lesson preached by Guru Nanak to the humanity in Japji. How could then the Guru go into anguish? Does the Divine Jot also feel anguish?
B. The Guru assures that a true devotee’s prayers are always answered by the Almighty and are accepted by Him:
‘Nanak das mukh te jo bolai eeha uha sach howai.’ (Dhanasri Mohalla 5, p-681)
‘Whatever God’s servant, Nanak, uttereth shall prove
to be true both in this world and the next.’
Being embodiment of Divine Light, if the Guru had appealed to the Almighty, He should have accepted his appeal and should have punished Baber. History reminds us that Baber’s dynasty was rather blessed with a rule for seven generations.
C. The Guru had reached Eminabad before Baber’s attack on the city, and he uttered the Sabad given below in which he told Lalo about the oncoming massacre. He had warned some people to leave the city and they actually did:
‘As the word of the Lord cometh to me, so do I
narrate it, O Lalo,
Bringing a bridal procession of sin, Baber
has hasted from Kabul and demandeth wealth
as his bride, O Lalo;
Modesty and religion have vanished, falsehood
marcheth in van, O Lalo;
They sing the paean of murder, O Nanak, and smear
themselves with the saffron of blood.
Nanak singeth the praises of the Lord in the city
of corpses and uttereth this commonplace-
He who made men, assigned them different
He sitteth apart alone and regardeth them.
True is the Lord, true His decision, true the
justice He meteth out as an example.
Bodies shall be cut like shreds of cloth;
Hindustan will remember what I say. (Tilang Mohalla 1, p-722)
In view of the above analysis, it seems quite evident that the Guru did not appeal to God, but the dauntless Gur Nanak Jot addressed that Sabad to Baber, who then fell on the feet of the Guru and asked for forgiveness.
Baber wrote in his memoirs,The inhabitants of Saidpur were put to sword, their wives and children carried into captivity and all their property plundered.
Many people were killed and most of the rest were taken as prisoners by the Baber’s army. It is said that the Guru along with his minstrel Mardana, were also taken to the concentration camp. The prisoners were given handmills to grind the corn. The Guru asked Mardana to play on his rebec and he then started kirtan. As the Divine Sabad was sung- all the prisoners came and sat around the Guru, every grinding mill started working automatically. On seeing this supernatural phenomenon, the guards stood spell-bound and they sent the word to Baber, who came and witnessed the whole scene with his own eyes. Baber was wonder-stuck and asked the Guru if he could offer him anything. Boldly replied the Guru:
‘Hear, O Baber Mir
Foolish is the Faqir
Who begs anything of thee
Whose own hunger has not appeased.’
Baber said,O holy man, I see God in thy face. I will do anything you ask for.
The Guru then uttered the following Sabad and put most of the blame of killings on Baber:
‘Thou ruled over Khurasan,
Now thou terrified Hindustan (India),
He has sent you the Moghal as a messenger of death,
Has slaughter and lamentations
Awakened no compassion in thee?
The Creator is the Supreme Lord,
If a strong man beats another strong man
No feelings of resentment arise;
But if a ravening lion falls on a herd, its master should
show his manliness. (Asa Mohalla 1, page 360)
This is the Sabad which other writers have attributed to as Guru’s appeal to God. In actuality, this was Guru placing the blame on Baber.
The Guru asked Baber, when his army fell like a lion on these innocent men, women and children, did he feel any pain for them?
Baber was overtaken by remorse. A new moral and spiritual consciousness was awakened in him, and he fell on the feet of the Guru. He asked the Guru to be gracious unto him. (History has revealed that kings were always afraid of the curses of the holy men).
The Guru replied,If thou, O Emperor, desireth kindness, set all thy captives free. Baber agreed on the condition that his empire should be blessed by the Guru and should be allowed to continue for generations. The Guru promised, Thine empire shall remain for a long time. Upon this the Emperor ordered all the prisoners be set free. Baber then asked the Guru for instructions to rule. The Guru explained,Deliver just judgement, reverence for holy men, forswear wine and gambling. The monarch who indulgeth in these vices shall, if he survives, bewail his misdeeds. Be merciful to the vanquished, and worship God in spirit and in truth.
Now the question is why was Baber blessed with kingdoms instead of being punished? The Gurbani (Divine Word) says:
‘Jo saran awai tis kanth lawai eho birdh swamy sanda.’ (Bihagra Mohalla 5,p-544)
‘God embraces him who seeketh His protection; This is
the characteristic of the Lord.’
The Guru tells us that the characteristic of his Master (God) is such that whosoever begs His pardon, falls on His feet for forgiveness, He embraces him. Since Guru Nanak himself was the embodiment of Divine Spirit, he pardoned Baber when he sought for forgiveness, and he blessed him with a boon of Moghal dynasty which continued for a long time.
After the third and the last Udasi the Guru returned to Kartarpur. He travelled all over to preach the gospel of Nam and communicating new awakening in the people’s mind to realize Truth. In order that his work should last, he established a network of centers which were called Manjis, side by side with the centers of all other faiths. When he finished his long travels, he settled down at Kartarpur for the rest of about twenty years of his life. He knew that unless he centralized the activities of his new faith, he could not expect it to survive. There were now Sikh centers all over India, Ceylon, Tibet and the Middle East. No founder of any religion had built such a vast organization, breaking all provincial, national, international and cultural barriers, during his life time. When he went abroad on his missionary tours, he put up the robes of religious orders of the holy places he visited. Holiness in those places was inseparable from the holy garbs. When he came back to Kartarpur, he doffed his pilgrim’s dress, and wore worldly garments in order to show that he did not desire his followers to devote themselves to an ascetic life. At the same time he sat on his religious throne, and started preaching to the people.
First he formed the holy communion which was called Sangat, and the place where the holy communion was held called Gurdwara (House of the Guru). Emphasis were laid on religious instructions and strict discipline. The Japji was recited at the ambrosial hour of the morning, the Sodar (Rehras) in the evening and Kirtan Sohila at night before going to bed. Divine measures (Kirtan) were sung in his presence in the morning as well as in the evening. Regular religious instructions were imparted by the Guru. Such instructions could be given to the individual followers and also in the regular gathering. In order to be the Sikhs of the Guru, the followers were baptized by receiving Charanpauhal (also called Charanamrit). This was the form of initiation administered by drinking the water in which the Guru’s feet (generally toe) had been washed, the preamble of Japji was read at the same time, and the ceremony was inaugurated by the Guru himself. The emphasis was laid on the greatness of God, upon His gracious self-revelation, upon the perils of human condition, and upon the paramount necessity of meditation on Divine Name. Those who took pride in their status of caste or wealth, would be sternly admonished, and any one who depended on religious hypocrisy would be soundly condemned. The Guru enunciated an integral view of the spiritual and moral life and those who imbibed it, tried to realize its essence in their own daily conduct. The Guru’s teachings emphasized on two things in particular; against limiting of the spiritual and moral conduct to ritual actions, and against confining the moral action to the individual self, or to such narrow confines as one’s tribe, race or denomination. His teaching had great effect on the people and many of them embraced his religion. Bhai Buddha, Bhai Lehna (later Guru Angad), Taru Poput, Prithi, Kheda, Ajita Randhawa, Sheikh Mallo and Ubre Khan are some of the examples of conversions at first sight to the faith of the Guru.
Emphasis were laid on honest hard labor for living. Asceticism was explicitly rejected and instead a disciplined worldliness and family life was set forth as the proper course for the believer. Earnest living through honest hard labor and then out of that hard earned money, giving in the name of the Lord, was the moral way to bring up the family. The Guru himself set up this example by working with his hands in the fields for the remaining about 18 to 20 years of his life at Kartarpur. He emphasized this course in the following Sabad:
Men without divine knowledge sing hymns.
The Hungry Mulla maketh a home of his mosque.
One who earneth nothing slitteth his ears;
Another becometh a beggar and loseth his caste.
Touch not at all the feet of those
Who call themselves gurus and pirs, and go begging.
They who eat the fruit of their labor and bestow something
in the name of Lord,
O Nanak, recognize the right way. (Sarang ki Var, Slok Mohalla 1, p-1245)
Every one worked for his living and gave a part of his earning for the free kitchen called Guru ka Langar. All people, the Brahman or the Sudra, the king or the commoner, the Muslim or the Hindu, had to sit in the same row and eat the same food.