Thursday, 31 January 2008

Happy Gurpurab - Birth Of Guru Har Rai Ji

Dhan Guru Har Rai Ji
The 31st January marks the birth date of the 7th Guru, Guru Har Rai Ji. Guru Har Rai was a simple man of God who lived a highly simple life and valued simplicity and devotion amongst the followers of his creed. Lets take a glance into some of the incidents during Guru Ji's life:

Baba Har Rai and the trampled rose

Many thanks to Sikh Sangat for this Sakhi....

Satguru Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj, maintained an excellent garden with rare medicinal herbs planted in it. He also had a rare passion for collecting birds and animals that could be tamed and trained. Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji was having his morning stroll in the garden one day, he was reciting Waheguru with each breath he took. Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji was also walking in the garden and was coming from the opposite direction to the one Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji was walking on. Seeing a beautiful flower on the ground, Guru Sahib, bent down and picked it up.

He then asked, 'Who plucked this lovely rose and left it to be tampled on the ground?"

"It was my fault dear grandfather" said Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji.
"My robes got entangled in the plant, and while loosening it, the flower fell on the ground. I should have picked up the flower, I am really sorry grandfather."

"Today", said Satguru Ji, "your robes have caused injury to this tender and beautiful plant out of carelessness, and left it to be trampled under people's feet; someday your paraphernalia, if not kept under restraint and control, may cause injury to innocent people, and in your heedlesness leave them to their fate. Yours Oh dear Grandson are not the robes of coercive authority which can afford to disregard the feelings of others, particulary those who suffer and live silently. Yours are the robes of a dervish, a holy saint, which must shed love, light, compassion, not only on human beings, but even on animals and plants. The more tender and weak a creature of Akaal Purakh, the more love, sympathy and compassion he deserves."

Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji fell at the feet of his beloved Guru and grandfather and sought his forgiveness.

Mehma Prakash: Sarup Singh Bhalla pg 533

Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji promised his grandfather, that he would in the future never show the slightest heedlessness in his responsibilites towards man, animals and plants. Restraint and self control boundless compassion and charity, were reflected in all his actions and dealings with others throught Baba Har Rai Sahib Jis life.

From that day on he would hold the long gown over his right arm. When he became Guru Har Rai jee the Sikhs said you don’t look good holding your gown, let it go as you are the Guru now.

Guru Har Rai jee said, “O Guru Nanak’s Sikhs, all of my life I’ve held it like this because it was my Guru’s Command. If I disobey my Guru by letting go of it, I’ll no longer be a Sikh. Do you want me to spend the rest of my life in hell!”

Understanding Scriptures

Once his Sikhs approached Guru Har Rai and asked if it was any use reciting the hymns without understanding the text. The Guru was aware that though the Sikh scriptures were in the language of the people, a large number of the Sikhs recited the hymns without understanding their meaning fully. But there was no oubting their devotion to the holy word. It so happened that they were then apssing through the outskirts of a village. The Guru showed his Sikhs pieces of a broken pot that was used for storing butter. And now lying in the sun the little butter that had stuck to the potsherds had started to melt. Guru Ji said: "It's good if one reads the scriptures with understanding It is like holding butter, but if that is not possible, it's not without virtue reading scripturewith devotion; some of it will certainly stick and when the warmth of understanding is applied to it at any time, it will surely do good".

The Simple Meal

One day, while passing through a village, Guru Ji knocked at a door. It was the house of a poor widow. The moment the door opened, the womanwas beside herself with joy. She rushed into the house and brought for Guru Ji the food she had prepared. Guru Ji partook of her humble meal seated on horseback, not even washing his hands, which he always did before he took his meals.
The next day the Guru's followers had taken with them plenty of food in case the Guru needed to eat during the chase. But the Guru did not eat anything whilst they were in the jungle. Returning home, when his Sikhs asked the Guru about his eating at a poor widow's house uninvited, Guru Ji told them that rather thenbeing uninvited he was awaited in the poor hut most anxiously. All those days the old lady would prepare her simple meal and start praying for a glimpse of the Guru. She was too old to make a journey to the Guru's place. Day after day she continued to prepare a meal for her Guru and wait for him. She never lost faith. She knew her Guru would never let her down. At last her prayers were answered. The next time they happened to pass through the village the Sikhs had the truth of what their Guru Ji had told them verified. The poor old woman told them how she laboured hard and with her earnings prepared simple fare and longed to entertain the Guru and how he had heard her prayers and come to her place to bless her.

Clinging to the Guru's Feet

Bhai Gonda, a devoted Sikh, was asked by Guru Ji to proceed to Kabul for the spiritual needs of the Guru's Sikhs residing in that far-off place. It was not without risk, making the arduous journey and living amongst aliens, but Bhai Gonda left for Kabul the moment he heard Guru Ji's orders. Once, while saying his prayers in Kabul, Gonda clung to the Guru's feet in his imagination. He held the Guru's feet in deep devotion all the while he was reciting his prayers. It so happened that the Guruat that particular hour was sitting on his throne. The Sikhs marked that the Guru had been sitting in a particular posture with both his feet resting on each other for quite some time. It was time for his meal and, even then, he was sitting in that peculiar posture. The meal was announced once, twice, thrice, but he neither moved from his seat not uttered a word. At last, after about an hour, he got up and expressed his regret at having kept his Sikhswaiting. "It was Bhai Gonda in Kabul, he had both my feet and would not leave them. It is only after he completed his prayers that he released them and i could move away" Guru Ji told his Sikhs. The Sikhs were amazed to hear it. The next time Bhai Gonda came to pay his homage to the Guru, the Sikhs had the incident verified and found that every word was true.

Guru Har rai and baba Ram Rai:

Emperor Aurangzeb summoned Guru Har Rai jee to Delhi. Guru Har Rai jee refused to go near that tyrant, but he called together the respected Sikhs and said one of you will go to answer his questions. The Sikh that goes to Delhi will have Guru Nanak himself on his tongue to answer the Aurangzeb’s questions. Baba Ram Rai, the Guru’s oldest son, volunteered.

Guru Har Rai jee said, “Son, it requires the greatest responsibility in order to represent Guru Nanak Dev jee.”
It is said that a tigress’s milk can only be put into a silver bowl. If it is put into a gold bowl the
milk will go sour.

Baba Ram Rai jee said, “I’ll go.”

He left the town of Kiratpur sitting in a pallaquin being carried on the shoulders of 4 Sikhs. Baba Ram Rai got out and told the 4 Sikhs carrying it to step back. Ram Rai wanted to test if he really had Guru Nanak jee’s power on his tongue.

Today people change history to suit themselves because they lack faith that our Guru has infinite powers.

Baba Ram Rai said, “Get up and go to Delhi.”

The Pallaquin raised itself of the ground and flew to Delhi. It’s not for nothing that we say “Waheguru Nam Jehaj ha…The Name Waheguru is the Ship that feries us across.”

When Aurangzeb saw the flying Pallaquin he absolutely loved it. As all emperors, he loved to be entertained, especially with miracles. He asked Baba Ram Rai to show him more miracles. Baba Ram Rai went to a wall and sat on it. He said, “Go!” It ran like a horse around Delhi. Baba Ram Rai showed hundreds of miracles.

Aurangzeb asked Baba Ram Rai, ‘I have heard that your Guru Nanak Dev jee turned the Kabha, or sacred stone, around at Mecca, how can it be?’

Baba Ram Rai saw a mosque nearby and pointed his finger towards it. He lifted the mosque, turned it in the air while pointing at it and put it down by lowering his arm. He said that’s how easy it was for Guru Nanak jee to turn Mecca.

Now Aurangzeb wanted to ask questions about God’s Word - Gurbanee.

Guru jee has taught us that the one who doesn’t give the greatest respect to Gurbanee is not a Sikh at all. Nowadays we leave Gutkas, or prayer books, lying around.

Once, a Sikh was holding a Gutka reciting the prayers when Guru Hargobind Sahib jee came walking nearby, he had water in his eyes.

The Sikh asked, “Guru jee, why are your eyes watering?”

Guru Hargobind jee said, “O foolish one, you haven’t covered the Gutka with cloth and the dirt that’s falling on it, I feel in my eyes!”

This is how much our Gurus respected Gurbanee.

Baba Ram Rai jee had taken some Gutkas with him, there were to be treated respectfully so had been left on the best chair. Aurangzeb came and sat on the chair pushing the Gutkas aside.

Baba Ram Rai said, “Aurangzeb, what’s all this! God’s Word has to be respected.”

Aurangzeb said, “Accept my apologies someone must have accidentally put them here.”

Then Aurangzeb asked Baba Ram Rai, “I’ve heard that in Asa-Dee-Var it is written. “Mit-ee Musalman ke pareh pay kuma-i. O Baba Ram Rai you have Guru Nanak Dev jee’s power on your tongue, so tell me what the meaning is. To me it sounds like it says even a Muslim buried in the earth screams.”

Baba Ram Rai said, “O No Great King, instead of Musal-man it should say Beh-man, meaning the unbelievers scream when buried in the earth, not Muslims.”

Nowadays, some people want to remove a whole page, a whole limb of our Guru Granth Sahib jee - Baba Ram Rai just changed one word and look at the punishment that was given to him. When he returned to the town of Kiratpur, he sent 2 Sikhs ahead of him to tell his Guru-Father he had returned. Guru Har Rai jee loved his son Baba Ram Rai, but because he changed even one word of Gurbanee he was rejected.

Guru Har Rai jee said to the 2 Sikhs, “Ram Rai changed a word of Gurbanee and now he wants my holy vision or Darshan, tell him - no way! Tell him he can’t bow to my feet.”

Guru jee said this to his own son! The Sikhs told Ram Rai that he wouldn’t be accepted at the Guru’s feet. Ram Rai asked the Sikhs to find out where he would be accepted if not at the Guru’s feet. The Sikhs returned and asked Guru Har Rai jee where Ram Rai would be accepted, Guru jee replied, “Tell him to walk in the direction he is facing - he’s not welcome here.”

The Guru that could not hurt a flower without feeling remorse, was hurt by what his Son had done. By changing a line in Gurbani, Baba Ram Rai was never to see his father again. That is how much love our Guru's had for Gurbani, we all need to aspire to be able to value Gurbani as much as our Gurus did.

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