Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Dawn of Guru Nanak

The Dawn of Guru Nanak
Edited & Translated by
Harjinder Singh

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee came to this earth in mortal form 539 years ago and Sikhs all over the globe will be celebrating the arrival of Guru Nanak on the 13th November. But why did Guru Nanak need to come to the earth?

The benefactor Lord listened to the cries (of humanity) and sent Guru Nanak to this world ... Guru Nanak came to redeem humanity in Kalyug. (Bhai Gurdas Jee)

The path of righteousness had become clouded by ritualistic and hypocritical practices and the true path to self-realisation was very hard to decipher. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee came and roared like a lion in the wilderness of the world and reinstated true practice of faith. He put Hindus & Muslims back on to their respective paths of self-realisation, no faith was denounced. He founded the Sikh faith which was a pure and simple path to follow.

With the emergence of the True Guru Nanak, the mist cleared and the light scattered all around. Similar to the rising sun, the stars and darkness were dispelled. With the roar of the lion in the forest, the flocks of escaping deer cannot now survive (the escaping deer are evil-doers). Wherever Baba Nanak put his feet, a religious place was erected and established. All the siddh-places now have been renamed on the name of Nanak. Every home has become a place of righteousness where the praises of the Lord are sung. Baba Nanak liberated all four directions and nine divisions of earth. Gurmukh (Guru Nanak) has emerged in this Kalyug, the dark age.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee met Kaljug (Kaljug is the name given to this present era that we live in, an era that is dominated by sin and evil actions), when on his revolutionary tours. This historical account of this meeting was written by the great Sikh Poet Bhai Santokh Singh Jee in “Guru Nanak Parkash” the following is the translation of the summary that Giani Gian Singh has written of the story:

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee was on his missionary tour, when He and Bhai Mardana Jee took a rest. Upon being seated, a frightful storm began, this storm was carrying much debris and the whole sky and surrounding area was shroud in darkness. Nothing at hands length could be seen, such was the force of the storm. Bhai Mardana Jee put a cloth over his mouth and lay down on the ground. He said to Guru Jee, “If I die at this dreadful spot I won’t even get my funeral rites carried out and won’t even be buried, travelling with you I have encountered much suffering.” Guru Jee laughed and said, “Why are you scared, nothing will harm you.”

Then a frightful demon appeared, whose head was in the sky and his feet were implanted deep into the earth, his nostrils were deep like a well and he had long teeth, he was gigantic, he made his way towards Guru Jee. Bhai Mardana Jee getting scared said, “Maharaj! We have survived the storm but now our deaths are almost certain, we won’t survive an encounter with this giant.” Guru Jee calmly replied, “Mardana! He will not come near you, do not be afraid, meditate on Vaheguru.” Then Kaljug changed his form again, now he took the form of fire and smoke emanated from all pores of his physical being. He finally changed his form again into a frightful one, yet Guru Jee remained calm and unconcerned. After all this Kaljug decided that Guru Jee must be a prophet as none of his frightful forms had scared Guru Sahib, and he thus accordingly changed into a man, in the form of a man Kaljug carried a tongue in one hand and a in the other, and he made his way to Guru Jee. Guru Jee said to Bhai Maradana Jee, come along and watch this drama, which is taking place. Kaljug bowed his head to Guru Jee in obeisance and supplicated, “Maharaj! Please forgive me for my mistakes, I did not know of your fame and greatness. In this age I rule, I am in this physical form of a man as I am displaying to you what passions humans are being led by. Humans will disregard all virtue and will be led by passions of the tongue and , and in turn their lives will be dictated by these passions.”

Guru Jee pryingly asked, “Who are you – what is your name? Why have you come to meet us?” Kaljug replied, “My name is Kaljug and I have come to meet you to pay my respects to you, I initially changed into the various forms to test you.” Guru jee further questioned, “What are your characteristics? You said it is your rule in this age, then with what army do you enforce your Rule?”

Kaljug replied, my greatest warrior is falsehood – falsehood carries the flag at the forefront of my army. Worldly attachment is the King of all. My army general is violence and murder. Lust, anger, greed and ego are my warriors on elephant back. Jealousy, gossip, slander, robbery and unfulfilled craving for worldly things – are all warriors on chariots. Laziness, gambling, alcohol/intoxicants and other bad actions are warriors on horse back. Attachment to others, sin of want and steeling are my foot-soldiers. Wherever I make advances with my army, I am always victorious. My warriors of falsehood and anger, have made me victorious everywhere. These are the characteristics of my reign. Upon listening to Kaljugs narration of the current state of the world Guru jee uttered,

Whoever is in charge, is humiliated. Why should the servant be afraid.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Limb 902)

The servant is not afraid as he has nothing to lose as he is not the ruler, the servant can freely move about without fear of consequence but the ruler is bound by his rule and duties.

When the master is put in chains? He dies at the hands of his servant.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Limb 902)

So Guru Jee said that even if you do rule, it is you (Kaljug) who is also humiliated for these actions in your rule. Guru Jee further said that if it is your rule now and I am the servant of God, when your rule comes to an end it will be due to this servant – Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee. Kaljug replied that this is the reason I have come to you Maharaj, because there is no difference between you and God, I will give you a house to live in which will be made of Gold and Pearls. In this house I will use sandalwood and will spray musk – where you will enjoy your abode with much happiness. Kaljug begged Maharaj to accept his offering and Guru Jee replied,

If I had a palace made of pearls, inlaid with jewels, scented with musk, saffron and sandalwood, a sheer delight to behold -seeing this, I might go astray and forget You (Vaheguru), and Your Name would not enter into my mind. Without the Lord, my soul is scorched and burnt. I consulted my Guru, and now I see that there is no other place at all. Pause. If the floor of this palace was a mosaic of diamonds and rubies, and if my bed was encased with rubies, and if heavenly beauties, their faces adorned with emeralds, tried to entice me with sensual gestures of love-seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. If I were to become a Siddha, and work miracles, summon wealth and become invisible and visible at will, so that people would hold me in awe-seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. If I were to become an emperor and raise a huge army, and sit on a throne, issuing commands and collecting taxes-O Nanak, all of this could pass away like a puff of wind. Seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Limb 14)

After trying to convince Guru jee to accept the above offerings and not succeeding, Kaljug said, “Maharaj, you have taken birth to liberate people from the cycle of births and deaths. I have come humbly to your feet – why do you make my meeting with you of no reward? You have not accepted any of my offerings – please accept an offering so that I know that you have blessed me. Upon hearing such a humble request Guru jee replied, “If you have a sincere desire to make an offering to me then give me this – that those who are my dedicated Sikhs can not be influenced by the powers of your army. Meditation, charity and Bathing (Physical and Spiritual cleansing) should never be forgotten – you should not stop Sikhs doing these 3 actions in any form. Your powers should not work on those who have faith in me.

Kaljug humbly clasped his hands and said, “Maharaj! I can not refuse your command, but I have God’s permission to change everyone’s thought process – with the changing of which they steel, gossip, lie, slander etc. In line with God’s permission I make the following occur:

• Disrespect the virtuous and make fools famous and powerful.
• Not allow faithful relations between the married.
• Bring the good and bad on a par to one another.
• In my rule those who say they have become Sanyasi’s/Tyagis (ones that have give up all material possession in the search of God) will amass much wealth and gristis/householders will starve to death.

But now, whatever you command me to do, I will do.” Upon hearing this Guru jee was happy and said,

“In your rule God’s praise will increase many fold – a par to 100,000’s of years in Satjug, in Tretajug what would have taken 10,000 years and what would have taken 1000 years in Dvapur (these are references to the other 3 eras of time), in you rule of Kaljug singing the praises of God will be very rewarding and what would have taken many years in the other ages will be realised in very little time and will be the provider of happiness. Those that sing God’s praises with love and devotion will be ferried across the world ocean. If you are persistent about making offerings of jewels then I will accept these in my forth form as the 4th Guru. (Kaljugs’ offerings of money/gold etc are thus accepted at the house of the fourth Guru, Sri Guru Ram Das Jee at Sri Darbar Sahib, also known as The Golden Temple).

Upon hearing this Kaljug was overjoyed, he bowed down to Guru Jee and said that those Sikhs that obey your wishes I will not go near them. Kaljug after granting this concession to Sikhs disappeared and Guru Jee continued on his missionary travels of liberating the world.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee has provided us protection from the influence of Kaljug, now it is up to us as Sikhs to decide whether we want to enter his sanctuary and lead a life devoid of want and enjoy lasting happiness/peace of mind.

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