Sunday, 9 December 2007

Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Madho Das

We've all most likely heard the story of Guru Gobind Singh Ji meeting Madho Das (later to be known as Banda Singh Bahadur) at Nanded. We have probably heard the sakhi where Guru Ji enters Madho Das's hut whilst he is away, and Guru Ji and his followers cook some food. Madho Das returns and is furious, and tries to use his powers to overthrow Guru Ji from his couch. When this did not work the following dialogue ensues (some people may have heard a slightly different version)

Guru Gobind Singh: "He whom you know full well."

Madho Das: "What do I know?"

Guru Gobind Singh: "Think it over and you will understand."

Madho Das: "I have seen you many a time in my dreams. Are you Guru Gobind Singh?"

Guru Gobind Singh: "Yes. I have come to receive the blessings of a Holy man like you."

Madho Das: "My Lord, I would sacrifice myself a hundred thousand times for you. How grateful I am that you have sanctified my hut with your lotus-feet. Lord, my pride is gone, my power has vanished. I know not what to say. Kindly accept me as your Banda (slave)."

Now whilst reading through a book by Sant Niranjan Singh (divine mystic reflections on Gurmat), i came upon a sakhi which tells this event as follows:

Guru Ji asks Madho where his master/guru is. Madho Das replies that his guru (Sadho Das) is in sachkhand. Guru Ji then instructed Madho Das to pick a fruit from a nearby tree and cut it open. There is an insect in the fruit, and Guru Ji gave it the power to speak, and asks it who it is. The insect replied that it was Sadho Das. At this point Madho Das bowed before the true Guru, and became his follower.


Mr. Singh said...

Another thing that winds me up is the fact that so many historians authors actually state that Guru Ji and his followers slaughtered some goats and cooked the meat for a meal at Madho Das's house.

I find this info rather hard to believe, and yet so many Sikhs take this as gospel.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Singh, why do you find that so hard to believe. It's not impossible, but I don't believe it myself. Doesnt fit the soldier saint image. I do find the story about the insect talking a little over the top.. that's why they call them stories.. there's supposed a moral to the concept.

Mr. Singh said...

I guess beacause the behaviour does not fit in with the philosophy within Gurbani. Gurbani teaches compassion, and yet the sakhi states animals were slaughtered, i find that a little contradictory.

You're right alot of the sakhis are perhaps more about morals than perhaps about being 100% factually correct.

Anonymous said...

What does slaughtering animals have to do with compassion?
By your logic slaughtering plants is also uncompassionate. Maybe we should stop eating, and live on simply water and air.
Wait... water and air have tiny animals not visible to the naked eye...

I hope you see the flaw. :)