Friday, October 26, 2007
STORIES OF GURU NANAK’S TRAVELS
The Guru succeeded in making many converts at Kurkshetar (important historical Hindu town). When departing, he thus addressed his Sikhs : Live in harmony, utter the Creator s name, and if any one salute you therewith, return his salute by saying Sat Kartar (True Creator), in reply. There are four ways by which, with the repetition of God s name, men may reach God.
1. The first is holy companionship.
2. Second is Truth.
3. Third contentment.
4. Fourth restraint of the senses.
By these doors a man/woman entered (whether a hermit or a householder), shall find God. The Guru next visited Hardwar (Historical and religious Hindu town) in pursuance of his mission. A great crowd was assembled from the four cardinal points for the purpose of washing away their sins. The Guru saw that, while they were cleansing their bodies, their hearts remained filthy; and none of them restrained the wanderings of his mind or performed his ablutions with love and devotion. While they were throwing water towards the east for the manes of their ancestors, the Guru went among them, and, putting his hands together so as to form a cup, began to throw water towards the west, and continued to do so until a large crowd had gathered round him. Men in their astonishment began to inquire what he was doing, and whether he was a Hindu or Muslim. If the latter, why had he come to a Hindu place of pilgrimage? If he were a Hindu, why should he throw water towards the west instead of towards the rising sun? And who had taught him to do so? In reply, the Guru asked them why they threw water towards the east. To whom were they offering it, and who was to receive it?
They replied that they were offering libations to the manes of their ancestors. It would satisfy them, and be a source of happiness to themselves.
The Guru then asked how far distant their ancestors were. A learned man among them replied that their ancestors were thousands of miles distant. The Guru, upon this, again began to throw palm-full of water towards the west. They reminded him that he had not answered their questions, or vouch any information regarding himself. He replied that, before he had set out from his home in the west, he had sown a field and left no one to irrigate it. He was therefore throwing water in its direction, that it might remain green and not dry up. His field was on a mound where rain-water would not rest, and he was obliged to have recourse to this form of irrigation. On hearing this, the spectators thought he was crazy, and told him he was sprinkling water in vain, for it would never reach his field. Where was his field and where was he, and how could the water ever reach it? Thou art a great fool, thy field shall never become green by what you are doing. The Guru replied, you have forgotten God. Without love and devotion your minds have gone astray.
My field, which you say this water cannot reach, is near, but your ancestors are very far away, so how can the water you offer them ever reach them or profit them? Ye call me a fool, but you are greater fools yourselves.
The Guru after a little time again broke silence, and said, The Hindus are going to hell. Death will seize and mercilessly punish them. A Brahman replied, how can they who repeat God s name go to hell? Thou has in the first place acted contrary to our custom, and now thou has the audacity to tell us that we are going to hell.
The Guru replied, it is true that, if you repeat the Name with love, you shall not be damned.
But when you take rosaries in your hands, and sit down counting your beads, you never think of God, but allow your minds to wander thinking of worldly objects. Your rosaries are therefore only for show, and your counting your beads is only hypocrisy. One of you is thinking of his trade with Multan, another of his trade with Kabul, another of his trade with Delhi, and the gain that shall in each case accrue. The people, on hearing the Guru thus accurately divine their thoughts, began to think him a god, and prayed him to pardon them and grant them salvation by making them his disciples. The Guru, requiring fire to cook his food, went into a Brahman s cooking-square for it. The Brahman charged him with having defiled his viands. The Guru replied that they had already been denied.
Upon this the following was composed:
1. Evil mindedness is a low woman.
2. Cruelty a butcher’s wife.
3. Slanderous heart a sweeper woman.
4. Wrath which ruined the world a pariah woman.
What availed you to have drawn the lines of your cooking place when these four are seated with thee?
Make truth, self-restraint, and good acts your lines, and the utterance of the Name your ablutions. Nanak, in the next world he is best who walked not in the way of sin.
While at Hardwar the Brahmans pressed the Guru to return to his allegiance to the Hindu religion. They pointed out the spiritual advantages of sacrifice and burnt-offerings, and of the worship of cremation-grounds, gods, and goddesses. The Guru replied that the sacrifices and burnt-offerings of this age consisted in giving food to those who repeated God’s name and practiced humility. And where the Guru’s hymns were read, there was scant worship of places of burial or cremation, or of gods, goddesses, and ignorant priests. As to the homage paid the latter, the Guru said that men were ruined thereby, as sweetmeats are spoiled by flies settling on them.
The Guru proceeded to the river Ravi and thence to Lahore (Pakistan). The Lahore territory was then farmed from the Emperor by a millionaire Khatri, whose name was Duni Chand. He was performing the ceremony of shradh (oblations of cakes and libations of water made to the spirits of deceased ancestors) for his father, when he heard of the devout Nanak s arrival. He took the Guru to his house, and treated him with great affection. When everything was ready for the anniversary feast, Duni Chand began to feed the Brahmans. The Guru, on being summoned, asked what the matter was. Duni Chand replied that it was his father’s shradh, and that he had fed one hundred Brahmans in his name.
The Guru replied, it is now two days since thy father hath eaten anything, and yet you say that you have fed one hundred Brahmans for him.
Duni Chand asked where his father was. The Guru replied that he had become incarnate in a wolf, which was now in a clump of trees six miles distant.
The reason that his father’s soul had entered a wolf was, that while he was in human birth he had coveted meat which a Sikh was cooking, and had died in that desire.
The Guru, on seeing several flags over Duni Chand’s door, asked what they were. It was explained that each flag denoted a lakh (100,000) of rupees which Duni Chand had acquired.
On this the Guru gave him a needle, and told him to keep it until he asked for it in the next world.
Duni Chand took the needle to his wife, and told her to put it by for the purpose indicated. She believed him crazed, and asked how a needle could go to the next world. She accordingly charged him to return it to the Guru. Duni Chand took the needle with his wife’s message to the Guru.
Who said, if such a small and light thing as a needle cannot go to the next world, how can thy wealth reach there?
Upon this Duni Chand fell at his feet, and prayed him to tell him by what means his wealth should reach the next world. The Guru replied, Give some of your wealth in God’s name, feed the poor, and thy wealth shall accompany thee. Upon this Duni Chand distributed seven lakhs of treasure, for he understood that disobedience to the Guru’s order would militate against his salvation. He then became a disciple of the Guru, and began to repeat the Name. Guru Nanak uttered the following on the occasion:
ਕੂੜੁ ਰਾਜਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਪਰਜਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਸਭੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਮੰਡਪ ਕੂੜੁ ਮਾੜੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੈਸਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਪੈਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਪੜੁ ਕੂੜੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਮੀਆ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੀਬੀ ਖਪਿ ਹੋਏ ਖਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜਿ ਕੂੜੈ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥
ਕਿਸੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਚਲਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਮਾਖਿਉ ਕੂੜੁ ਡੋਬੇ ਪੂਰੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੁਧੁ ਬਾਝੁ ਕੂੜ ਕੂੜੁ ॥੧॥
Kūṛ rājā kūṛ parjā kūṛ sabẖ sansār. Kūṛ mandap kūṛ māṛī kūṛ baisaṇhār. Kūṛ su▫inā kūṛ rupā kūṛ painĥaṇhār. Kūṛ kā▫i▫ā kūṛ kapaṛ kūṛ rūp apār. Kūṛ mī▫ā kūṛ bībī kẖap ho▫e kẖār. Kūṛ kūrhai nehu lagā visri▫ā karṯār.Kis nāl kīcẖai ḏosṯī sabẖ jag cẖalaṇhār.Kūṛ miṯẖā kūṛ mākẖi▫o kūṛ dobe pūr.Nānak vakẖāṇai benṯī ṯuḏẖ bājẖ kūṛo kūṛ. ||1||
False are kings, false their subjects, false the whole world; False are mansions, false palaces, false those who dwell therein; False is gold, false silver, false he who wear them; False the body, false raiment, false peerless beauty; False husbands, false wives; they pine away and become dust. Man who is false loves what is false, and forgets the Creator. With whom contract friendship? The whole world passes away. False is sweetness, false honey, in falsehood shiploads are drowned Nanak humbly asserted Except Thee, God, everything is thoroughly false.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 468
A millionaire official who dwelt in a neighboring village began to depreciate the Guru. He said, Who is this person whose name is repeated by everyone, as if he were a God, though he is only a mortal like ourselves? The Hindus are being perverted, and even the Muslims are losing their faith. Come, let us imprison him. When the speaker mounted on horseback, the animal shied and threw him. Next day he again mounted, but, as he proceeded on his way, became blind and had to alight. Those who witnessed his calamity were afraid to make any remark save that Nanak was a great saint. They, however, suggested to the millionaire that he should do homage to the Guru. Upon this he began to praise the Guru; and those who were with him bowed towards the Guru. The millionaire again mounted his horse, intending this time to go and supplicate the Guru, but immediately fell down. His companions addressed him, Thou hast made a mistake in going on horseback. Go on foot that thou may be pardoned / He took this advice. On arriving at a spot whence the Guru’s residence could be seen, he recovered his sight, and began to make salutations in the Guru’s direction. On arriving in his presence he fell at his feet. The Guru was pleased and made him his guest for three days.
The millionaire, in honor of the Guru, founded a village, which he called Kartarpur (Talwandi/birth town of Guru Nanak and is in Pakistan now with a special corridor made for the Sikhs from India to visit), on the margin of the Ravi, and built a Sikh temple therein, both of which he dedicated to the Guru.
Guru Nanak’s Advice to two friends
A shopkeeper whose mind had taken a religious bent, and who desired to meet a religious guide. He heard of Guru Nanak's arrival, and vowed that he would not eat or drink until he had interview with him. Having once visited the Guru he continually went to him to receive religious instruction. A neighboring shopkeeper heard of his friend's visits, and said that he too would go to see the holy man. They proceeded together, but on the way the second shopkeeper saw a woman of whom he became enamored, and his visit to Nanak was indefinitely postponed. It was the custom of both to set out together, one to visit his mistress, and the other to visit the Guru. The second shopkeeper desired to put the fortunes of both to the test, and said, 'Thou practices good works, while I practice bad works. Let us see what shall happen to each of us to-day. If I arrive first, I will sit down and wait for you; and if you arrive first, then wait for me.' This was agreed upon. The second shopkeeper went to the house of his mistress as usual, but did not find her. He then proceeded to the spot where his friend had agreed to meet him, but his friend, who on that day tarried long with the Guru, had not yet arrived. The second shopkeeper needing some occupation in his solitude, drew out his knife and began to whittle the ground with it, when he found a shining gold coin. He continued his excavations with the weak delving implement he possessed, when, to his disappointment, he only discovered a jar of charcoal. He had, however, obtained some reward for his labor. Meanwhile the first shopkeeper arrived in doleful case. Having left the Guru, a thorn pierced his foot. He bound up the wound, and proceeded sore limping to the trysting-place. His friend told him of his better fortune. They both saw that he who went daily to commit sin prospered, while he who went to his religious teacher to pray and meditate on God, suffered; and they agreed to refer to Guru Nanak for an explanation of their unequal and unmerited fates. The Guru explained that the sinful shopkeeper had in a former birth given a gold coin as alms to a holy mail. That coin was converted into many gold coins as a reward for the alms-giver, but, when he entered on his career of sin, the gold coins were turned into charcoal. The original gold coin was, however, restored. The shopkeeper who visited the Guru, had deserved to die by an impaling stake for the sins of deceit and usury, but, as he continued to progress in virtue, the impaling stake was reduced in size till it became merely a thorn. Having been pierced by it, he had fully expiated the sins of a former birth. Thus may the decree of destiny be altered by the practice of virtue? Both men were thoroughly satisfied with this explanation of unequal retribution. The sinful as well as the virtuous man fell at Guru Nanak's feet, and both became true worshippers of God. The Guru then uttered the following verses:
ਮਾਰੂ ਮਹਲ ੧ਘਰੁ ੧॥
Mārū mėhlā 1 gẖar 1.
ਕਰਣੀ ਕਾਗਦੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਸਵਾਣੀ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਲੇਖ ਪਏ ॥
ਜਿਉ ਜਿਉ ਕਿਰਤੁ ਚਲਾਏ ਤਿਉ ਚਲੀਐ ਤਉ ਗੁਣ ਨਾਹੀ ਅੰਤੁ ਹਰੇ ॥੧॥
ਚਿਤ ਚੇਤਸਿ ਕੀ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਵਰਿਆ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਬਿਸਰਤ ਤੇਰੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਲਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਜਾਲੀ ਰੈਨਿ ਜਾਲੁ ਦਿਨੁ ਹੂਆ ਜੇਤੀ ਘੜੀ ਫਾਹੀ ਤੇਤੀ ॥
ਰਸਿ ਰਸਿ ਚੋਗ ਚੁਗਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਫਾਸਹਿ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਮੂੜੇ ਕਵਨ ਗੁਣੀ ॥੨॥
ਕਾਇਆ ਆਰਣੁ ਮਨੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਲੋਹਾ ਪੰਚ ਅਗਨਿ ਤਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਹੀ ॥
ਕੋਇਲੇ ਪਾਪ ਪੜੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਊਪਰਿ ਮਨੁ ਜਲਿਆ ਸੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਭਈ ॥੩॥
ਭਇਆ ਮਨੂਰੁ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਿਨੇਹਾ ॥
ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਓਹੁ ਦੇਵੈ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਟਸਿ ਦੇਹਾ ॥੪॥੩॥
Karṇī kāgaḏ man masvāṇī burā bẖalā ḏu▫e lekẖ pa▫e.Ji▫o ji▫o kiraṯ cẖalā▫e ṯi▫o cẖalī▫ai ṯa▫o guṇ nāhī anṯ hare. Cẖiṯ cẖeṯas kī nahī bāvri▫ā.Har bisraṯ ṯere guṇ gali▫ā. rahā▫o.Jālī rain jāl ḏin hū▫ā jeṯī gẖaṛī fāhī ṯeṯī.Ras ras cẖog cẖugėh niṯ fāsėh cẖẖūtas mūṛe kavan guṇī. Kā▫i▫ā āraṇ man vicẖ lohā pancẖ agan ṯiṯ lāg rahī.Ko▫ile pāp paṛe ṯis ūpar man jali▫ā sanĥī cẖinṯ bẖa▫ī. Bẖa▫i▫ā manūr kancẖan fir hovai je gur milai ṯinehā.Ėk nām amriṯ oh ḏevai ṯa▫o Nānak ṯaristas ḏehā. He blesses the mortal with the Ambrosial Name of the One Lord, and then, O Nanak, the body is held steady.
The heart is the paper, conduct the ink; good and bad are both recorded therewith. Man's life is as his acts constrain him; there is no limit to Thy praises, O God. O fool, why calls thou not to mind Thy Creator? Thy virtues have dissolved away by thy forgetfulness of God. Night is a small net, day a large one; there are as many meshes as there are Gharis (20 Minutes) in the day. With relish thou ever pecks at the bait, and art ensnared O fool, by what skill shalt thou escape? The body is the furnace, the mind the iron therein; five fires are ever applied to it. Sin is the charcoal added thereto, by which the mind is heated; anxiety is the pincers. The mind hath turned into dross, but it shall again become gold when it meets such a Guru. As will bestow the ambrosial name of the one God; then, Nanak, the mind shall become fixed. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 990
The Guru then took the opportunity of discoursing on the immoral shopkeeper's peculiar vice: 'Man is fickle when he behold a courtesan; he then hath a special desire for love's play, and can in no way be restrained. On meeting her he loses his human birth. Bereft of his religion he falls into hell, where he undergoes punishment and profusely lamented. Wherefore look not on her, but pass thy time among the holy.'
After this they all separated, and the Guru and Mardana continued their wanderings. On the way they were encountered by robbers. On seeing Guru Nanak, they said to themselves that he on whose face shone such happiness could not be without wealth. They accordingly went and stood around the Guru. As they beheld him morning dawned, so they were able to examine him more closely. He asked them who they were, and what they wanted. They candidly replied that they were thugs, and had come to rob him. The Guru gave them spiritual instruction, and said that their sins should be wiped out when they had abandoned their evil career, turned to agriculture, and bestowed charity out of the spoils in their possession. They acted on his suggestions, began to repeat the Name, and reform their lives. The Guru on that occasion composed the following:
ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
Sirīrāg mėhlā 1.
ਲਬੁ ਕੁਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਚੂਹੜਾ ਠਗਿ ਖਾਧਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥
ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥
ਰਸ ਕਸ ਆਪੁ ਸਲਾਹਣਾ ਏ ਕਰਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥੧॥
Lab kuṯā kūṛ cẖūhṛā ṯẖag kẖāḏẖā murḏār.Par ninḏā par mal mukẖ suḏẖī agan kroḏẖ cẖandāl.Ras kas āp salāhṇā e karam mere karṯār.
Covetousness is a dog, falsehood a sweeper, food obtained by deceit carrion; Slander of others is merely others' filth in our mouths the fire of anger is a sweeper. Pleasures and self-praise-these are mine acts, O Creator. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 15
O, people, does anyone obtain honor by mere words. Call them the best, who are the best at the gate of God; they who do base acts sit and weep.