Thursday, August 17, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Mai Bhag Kaur and the 40 mukte's

Mai Bhag Kaur: As a young girl, she had heard sakhis of Sikh Gurus' and their disciples(other sikhs). A regular hearing of the sakhis made a deep effect on her tender heart and inspired her to live a life of a Khalsa Women. She went to Anandpur Sahib along with his father in 1699 A.D., when Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji founded the Khalsa Panth. "She took Amrit and learned the art of fighting and self defence."
When mughals and hilly chiefs had surrounded Anandpur sahib and were demanding it be evacuated. They called that any Sikh who says that "he/she is not anymore a Sikh of Guru Gobind" will be left untouched. A group of 40 Sikhs, led by Mahan Singh told Guru Gobind Singh that they are not his Sikhs anymore. Guru told them that they have to write it in a document that "they are not his Sikhs anymore" and sign it. "All forty Sikhs signed this document Bedava and left Guru Gobind Singh."
Mai Bhag Kaur was distressed to hear that some of the Sikhs of her neighborhood who had gone to Anandpur to fight for Guru Gobind Singh had deserted him under adverse conditions. Hearing her taunts, these Sikhs were ashamed at their deed. Her sharp words awakened the souls of numerous men. she inspired them to return to the Guru's fold and led them to meet the Guru and seek his pardon.

It was the consciousness of MaiBhag Kaur and the Khalsa wives of this 40 Sikhs what inspired them to return. This Sikh Women would have rather endured all the worldly hardships than to see their husbands walk away from their destinies and betray their Guru.

Knowing that Wajir Khan was advancing to attack the Guru, Mai Bhago took up positions along with this forty Sikhs and others at Mukatsar.

Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh had to evacuate the fort of Anandpur, The Sahibzada's were lost in the confusion. Two youngest one's Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, went along with their grandmother (mother of Guru Gobind Singh). While elder one's Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh were with their father. Then at battle of Chamkaur Guru's elder sons attained martyrdom, Guru was persuaded by the five Sikhs (Panj Pyaara's ) to evacuate Chamkaur and was traveling in Malva region, being pursued by Mughal forces of Aurungzeb. Traveling day and night in the Jungles of Malva region, imperial Mughal forces were in constant pursuit of Guru. Guru Gobind Singh had reached village of Khidrana, when Mai Bhag Kaur and the men, she was leading stopped near the dhab or pool of Khidrana where the imperial army in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh had also reached. They challenged the pursuing host and fought furiously forcing it to retreat. All forty Sikhs attained martyrdom in this pitched battle, in which Guru himself was supporting them with a shower of arrows from a nearby high ground. Guruji found all the men except one Mahan Singh, killed when he visited the battlefield. Mai Bhag Kaur and Guru Gobind Singh ji were the sole survivors of this fiercely fought battle.

"Mai Bhag Kaur showed the bravery by lighting with valour and redeemed the honour of the faithless forty Sikhs."
Mahan Singh, who had been seriously wounded, requested Guru ji to tear the 'Bedava' on which they had written that they were no Sikhs of the Guru. The Guru took him into his lap, tore the Bedava and blessed him. Guru Gobind Singh blessed those forty dead as the Forty Liberated Ones.

Kabeera, janaa gyan tah Dharam hai jahaa jhooth tah paap Jahaa lobh tah kaal, jahaa khima tah aap Kabeer, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness and Dharma. Where there is falsehood, there is sin.
Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.
--Bhagat Kabeer, GGS ji
After the battle was won, Guru Gobind Singh asked Mai Bhag Kaur to go back to her village. "She told Guru her long cherished desire to become an active saint soldier in the army of the Guru's."
He took into his care Mai Bhag Kaur who had also suffered injury in the battle. She there after stayed on with Guru Gobind Singh as one of his bodyguard. After Guru Gobind Singh ji left his human body in 1708, she retired further south. She settled down at Jinvara, 11 km from Bidar in Karnataka where, immersed in meditation, she lived to attain a ripe old age. Her hut in Jinvara has now been converted into Gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhag Kaur. At Nanded, too, a hall within the compound of Takht Sachkhand. Sri Hazur Sahib marking the site of her residence is known as Bunga Mai Bhag Kaur.
"One becomes Jivan-mukta - liberated while yet alive, by listening to the Shabad.
Living a truthful way of life, one finds true peace. ||7||" ( GGS ji)


Bulleh Shah

Those who do not forget the Lord, with each breath and morsel of food, whose minds are filled with the Mantra of the Lord's Name they alone are blessed; O Nanak, they are the perfect Saints. ||1||

Once Baba Bulleh Shah was sitting on bank of river when he saw this lady selling carrots. People were coming to buy it, but when they start picking and choosing she would say "I only sell carrots in volumes there is no pick and choose". So all these people had to buy carrots in volumes/in bulk.

Then there was this beautiful man, who came to her to get carrots, but this time she herself picked the best carrots for him ! Bulleh shah was quite surprised looking at the incident so after this men had left Bulleh shah asked her how come you let only him to hand pick the carrots, in fact you picked and choose carrots for him yourself. She replied, Bulleh Shah ji, he is my husband, there is no counting/accounts between lovers.

This made Bullah Shah realize, what's the point of carrying a rosary. He put it away and asked himself, Bullah are you insane? Why are you doing counting with your beloved? Why count what Waheguru has given me ? How many times have I done simran or went to Gurudwara, or how much money did I gave for charity and then brag about the same etc ?

Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Shabad be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth.
Become such a farmer, and faith will sprout. This brings knowledge of heaven and hell, you fool! ||1||
Do not think that your Husband Lord can be obtained by mere words.
You are wasting this life in the pride of wealth and the splendor of beauty. ||1||Pause||


The Tradition of the Faithful Bibi Rajni

In the era of Guru Ram Das Ji, one cannot leave out Rajni, youngest daughter of Rai Duni Chand, revenue collector (kardar) of Patti. (The story has all the myth, magic and miracles of a genuine Sakhi, but is nevertheless a charming story). Rajni was a Sikh, a disciple of the Guru. One day she was sitting with her sisters admiring some new clothing they all had received from their father. The girls were ecstatic and exclaiming how good their father was to them.

Rajni observed that all gifts are ultimately from God. Their father was merely an instrument of His greatness. Unfortunately for her, he overheard her comment and became very angry. It was not the First time that she incurred his wrath because of her extreme piety. The infuriated father, believing her to be an ungrateful wretch, married her to a leper with a taunt that he would see how her God would help her lead a normal life. The leper was severely disfigured and a foul smell came from his body. The poor girl had accepted her fate ungrudgingly and worked hard to maintain herself and her crippled husband.

She kept repeating the name of God, and was certain that he was testing her with this turn of events. It became very difficult at times to earn their living. Still she bathed and fed her leper husband, never losing faith.

eyku ij swjnu mY kIAw srb klw smrQu ]
I have made the One Lord my Friend; He is All-powerful to do everything.

jIau hmwrw KMnIAY hir mn qn sMdVI vQu ]1]
My soul is a sacrifice to Him; the Lord is the treasure of my mind and body. ||1||

One day, she reached the site of a pool on her way to a neighboring village. Placing the basket containing her husband by the side of the pool under the shade of a tree, she had gone off to look for work/food. In the meantime, her crippled husband saw a black crow dip into the water of the pool and come out white !!

Amazed at this miracle, the man somehow crawled up to the edge of the pool and managed a dip. He found himself completely cured. When his wife returned, she was amazed to find her husband in good health. He was handsome and whole. At first, she was alarmed and suspected that he might be a different person. He had, however, kept one finger with leprosy marks un-dipped. He showed her the diseased finger as proof of his identity.

The couple thanked God, and went to the Guru to seek his blessings. It is believed that the pool was the future site of the Sri Harminder Sahib. The medicinal properties of the water were said to have come from Basil (Tulsi), which grew in abundance on its banks. Guru Amar Das Ji used to pick the herb there to make poultices for an infected toe that plagued Guru Angad Ji. The legendary importance of the site highlights the medicinal properties of the waters of the pool, Rajni's leper husband was cured in.

Sakhi relates that if you keep faith in God then one day all rewards are paid. Bibi Rajni had always kept the Faith in Guru and God, being happy with whatever she had and thus was rewarded at the end.

BorI Brmu v\wie iprI muhbiq ihku qU ]
bh o ree bharam van(j) aae p i ree m uhabath h i k thoo ||
If you can dispel your doubts, even for an instant, and love your only Beloved,

ijQhu vM\Y jwie iqQwaU maujUdu soie ]1]
j i thhah u va(n)n(j) ai j aae th i thh aaoo mo uj oo dh s oe ||1||
then wherever you go, there you shall find Him. ||1|| ( GGS ji – pg 322)


Bhai Bachittar Singh and the elephant

Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur was the leader of the hill Rajas, but he did not possess the forsight to realise the difference between friend and foe. He again made war preparations and advanced to fight against Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Loh Garh fort. His plan was to break open the front gate with the help of an intoxicated elephant and let his forces in to the fort in large numbers.
Guru Sahib Ji came to know of this plan and asked Duni Chand, a hefty well built man, to get ready to face the elephant. But this massand got cold feet and wanted to escape from the fort. In his place Bhai Bachittar Singh volunteered and was thus deputed to make a frontal attack on the elephant. Instead of waiting for the elephant to attack the gates were opened and Bhai Bachittar Singh rode out on horseback with a nagni Barchhi (spear). He was followed by Bhai Udai Singh and several Sikhs on horseback. Bhai Bachittar Singh riding his horse and standing in the stirrups confronted the elephant and in spite of a metal plate tied to its forehead was able to pierce it successfully with his nagni. With lighting alacrity, he attacked again and cut the elephant's trunk with a blow of his sword. The wounded elephant shrieked and ran back into the enemy forces causing havoc. In the meantime Bhai Udai Singh had killed one of the hill rajas, Raja Kesri Chand. The battle ensued with heavy losses on both sides but with the death of Kesri Chand and the much prided elephant, Raja Bhim Chand withdrew his forces from the battlefield and fled.

dh aagae ho hi s ran mehi joojhehi b in dhaag ae bhag jaaee
-> Those who are branded with Your brand fight bravely in battle; those without Your brand run away.

saadhhoo hoe s bhagath pashhaa nai har leae khajaanai p aaee 3
-> One who becomes a spiritual person, appreciates the value of devotional worship to the Lord. The Lord places him in His treasury. 3


Hari Singh Nalwa & Begum Bano

During the times of Sher-e-Panjab, Raja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Raaj (kingdom) stretched from Delhi to Kabul (in Afghanistan). Raja Ranjit Singh's key general was Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa, who was a Rehatvan (strict observant) Sikh of the Guru. Once Hari Singh Nalwa had set up camp with his army in Jamraud in Afghanistan. A local Muslim woman called 'Bano' watched the Sikhs set up camp. She found Hari Singh Nalwa very handsome and attractive, and wished to have an illicit relationship with him.

One day Bano came to see Hari Singh Nalwa. He was sitting in his tent, when the Sikh guards told him that he had a local woman who wished to see him. Not knowing who this lady was or what she wanted, Hari Singh gave permission to come and see him. Bano said, "I had heard of the Sikhs. You are remarkable people. I have been watching you from a distance. I am not married and have no children, but desire to have a son who is like you."

Hari Singh did not understand the motivation or intention of Bano and said, "May Waheguru bless you that you may have a son with the qualities of a Sikh." Bano irritably said, "I want to have a son with you Sardar Ji."

Hari Singh Nalwa said, "O sister! I am already married. I am sorry I cannot marry you or give you what you want."

Bano's eyes welled up with tears of disappointment. About to leave, she said, "I had heard your Guru Nanak was great and that no one leaves empty handed from Guru Nanak's House, but today I am being turned away without the wish of a son being fulfilled."

Hari Singh Nalwa, a true example of a Sikh of the Guru, replied, "It is true that no one goes empty handed from Guru Nanak's House. I cannot give you a son, but if you desire a son to be like me, then instead if you accept, from now on I will be your son, and I will consider you my mother." Bano was shocked and overwhelmed by Hari Singh Nalwa's sincerity, high moral character and faith in the Guru. She said, "I had heard that Sikhs of the Guru are great honorable people, but today I have seen it with my own eyes. From that day on Hari Singh Nalwa addressed Begum Bano as "Maa" (Mother) and she addressed Hari Singh as "Putar" (Son)

Acknowledgement: will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
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