The Horrifying Cobra that blocked the way of Gurmukhs
Bhai Jodha and Bhai Jalo Masand were the residents of Tulaspur and Bhai Mohan and Bhai Alam Chand were the residents of Lahore. They used to collect Daswandh from Gursikhs of their area and submit to Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee at Siri Amritsar Sahib. All four of them were extremely pious and honest and never used to keep even one Kaudi (smallest unit of money) of Daswandh for themselves. They used to preach that just as a fly that falls into food spoils the food, same way even one kaudi from Guru’s Daswand destroys all assets of a Sikh and even destroys the body of a Sikh through diseases.
One day all four of them were travelling to Siri Amritsar Sahib, riding a chariot. On their way, a huge Black Cobra with a big hood stood in the way of the chariot. The horses would not move at the sight of the ferocious cobra. The Gursikhs tried to change way but the cobra would move in the same direction and block their way. Then Bhai Mohan got off the chariot with a utensil, placed the utensil in front of the cobra and addressed it as follows:
“ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਹਜ਼ੂਰ ਚਲਦਾ ਹੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਇਸ ਦੇਗੇ ਵਿਚ ਪਰਵੇਸੁ ਕਰਿ” I(f you want to go to the presence of the Guru, then enter this utensil)
Hearing this the snake entered the utensil and Bhai Mohan covered the utensil with a covering.
They reached the court of Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee and did Matha Tek (prostrating before Siri Guru jee). Siri Guru jee after blessing them asked, “ਕਿਤਨੇ ਮਸੰਦ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਆਏ ਹੋ?” (How many of you Masands have arrived). The Masand Bhai Mohan said that four of them had arrived.
At this Siri Guru jee replied, “ਏਨੂੰ ਪੰਜਾਂ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਦੇਹੁ। ਪੰਜਵਾਂ ਸਰਪ ਜੋ ਤੁਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਭੀ ਮਸੰਦ ਹੈ।” (Give them degh for 5 Gursikhs. The fifth one, the snake, who has come with you too is a masand).
At this the Bhai Mohan jee and other masands humbly asked Guru Sahib as to why the fifth Masand had become a snake. Siri Guru jee replied “he did not used to be humble before Gursikhs, did not used to bow before them. This is why he has become a cobra that raises its hood. He had hidden the ardaas of Guru; this is why he has become a poisonous snake in this life.”
Having said that, Siri Guru jee did bachan to bring the cobra to his hazoori (presence). Bhai Mohan jee immediately brought the utensil in which the cobra was sitting and lifting the covering, brought out the cobra in sangat. The horrifying cobra raising its hood stood in sangat. Siri Guru jee did bachan to bring pure water of Siri Amritsar Sarovar and sprinkle on the cobra. When the water from the sarovar was sprinkled on the cobra, it immediately died. The spirit of the masand left the body of the cobra and ascended to the higher spiritual realms. Then Siri Guru jee did bachan, “ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਦੇ ਦਰਸਨ ਮਾਤ੍ਰ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਪਾਪ ਨਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਜਾਤੇ ਹੈਨਿ” (By darshan of Amritsar, sins are erased).
The time when Siri Guru Sahibaan were in human form must have been an amazing and enchanting time.
This is a very lesson-giving saakhi that gives a number of important spiritual lessons:
1) Never steal Golak money.
2) Always stay humble before Gursikhs and bow to them.
3) Even if we make a mistake and get punished, the merciful Guru never forgets us.
4) The water of Amritsar Sahib is strong enough to cure diseases and erase sins, provided we have faith and Naam.