Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Guru Harkishan Sahib and the Haughty Pandit

Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee was the great grandson of Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib jee and because of this, Siri Guru jee had following relationship with other Guru Sahibaan and Sahibzadas:

1) Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee was a grandson of Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee. Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee was son of Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib jee and thus brother of father of Siri Guru Har Rai Sahib jee – Baba Gurditta jee. This is why before leaving for Sachkhand, Siri Guru jee said that the next Guru is his Baba in Bakala (town). In short form he said – Baba Bakale – which meant that the next Guru is his Baba (Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib jee) who resides in Bakala town.

2) Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee was a nephew of Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee.

3) Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee was a cousin of 4 Sahibzadas of Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj.

Siri Guru jee was only 5 Earth years old when he was chosen to be the Guru by his father and Guru – Siri Guru Har Rai Sahib jee. It is written in our history that all three siblings namely Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee, Baba Ram Rai jee and their sister Bibi Roop Kaur possessed great natural beauty. They were very beautiful. Siri Guru jee’s beauty was greatly enhanced by being Guru. The jyot of Guruship shone on his face. Whoever looked at Siri Guru jee could not taken his eyes away.

Siri Guru jee was a pooran Brahmgyani from the time of his avatar like his great great Grandfather – Siri Guru Arjun Sahib jee. This is why, at the tender age of 5, Siri Guru jee became the 8th Guru of Sikhs. Earth years don’t matter in spiritual wisdom. Age is not a factor in spiritual knowledge or Brahmgyaan. Siri Guru Amardas jee became the Guru at the age of 73 and on the other extreme Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee became the Guru at the age of 5. The same jyot of Guruship pervailed in both Guru Sahibaan and both were equal in status and possessed equal amount of Brahmgyaan. The body was not the Guru but the jyot was and is the Guru.

Many doubted that a 5 year old person cannot be the Guru and cannot possess the required spiritual knowledge to deliver sinners.

An incident involving doubting Siri Guru jee because of his age occurred at Panjokhra Sahib, where Siri Guru jee arrived on his way to Delhi. There was a Pandit who inquired from a Sikh as to who had arrived in the small town of Panjokhra. The Sikh replied by saying that Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee, the 8th master had arrived. This pandit was very proud of his knowledge of Vedas and Shastras. He was in the habit of debating and defeating scholars on the might of his knowledge. He took offense at the name of Siri Guru jee. He was a worshipper of Siri Krishna of Brindabana and he did not like the fact that Siri Guru jee’s name was longer than his deity. He addressed the Sikh as follows:

“ਜੇ ਸਾਰਥ ਇਹ ਨਾਮ ਧਰਾਵਹੁ।
ਕਰਿ ਗੀਤਾ ਕੇ ਅਰਥ ਸੁਨਾਵਹੁ।
ਨਾਹਿ ਤਾ ਕੂਰ ਕਹਨਿ ਇਨ ਕੇਰੋ।
ਹਮ ਨਹਿ ਮਾਨਹਿਂ ਕਹਿਬੋ ਤੇਰੋ।15।

(Equal to whom (Siri Krishna) they (Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee) have kept their name, then let them (Siri Guru jee) do translation of Geeta (written by Siri Krishna). If he can’t do these meanings, then go tell him that I don’t accept him as the Guru).

Hearing this the Sikh replied to the Brahmin as follows:

ਸੁਨਤਿ ਸਿਖ ਕਹਿ, “ਰਹੁ ਤੂੰ ਖਰੋ”।
ਮੈਂ ਆਬਿ ਜਾਇ ਬੂਝਿਬੋ ਕਰੋਂ।

(The Sikh said, you stay standing here. I will go and deliver your message to Guru Sahib).

The Sikh hurried to the darbar of Siri Guru jee and after matha-tek told Satguru jee the whole conversation he had with the Pandit. The sangat was hearing and some in Sangat were upset after hearing of the pandit's arrogance.

Because of the tender age of Siri Guru jee, many were placing doubts in the minds of sangat. Siri Guru jee wanted to prove that age is not a factor in attaining spiritual wisdom (Brahmgyaan). The Sikh with great humility and hope beseeched, “ਖਰੋ ਅਹੈ, ਕਿਮ ਕਹੌਂ ਬੁਝਾਈ। (He is standing waiting, what should I tell him).

Jaanee-Jaan (All knowing) Siri Guru jee said to the Sikh that this pandit is a very proud person who is full of Hankaar (pride, ego). He debates like a great fool and considers himself to be very wise. He is very far from the path of meeting Prabhu (Vaheguru). The sorrow of separation from Prabhu and haume are big dukhs that only Guru Nanak Dev jee can eliminate. The diseased and the suffering person has to take the word of Guru and place it in his heart. Then alone the dukh can go.

After pausing for a moment, Siri Guru jee with mercy and grace in their eyes, said:

ਸੋ ਇਸ ਕੋ ਦੁਖ ਹਤਹਿਂ, ਬੁਲਾਵਹੁ।
ਸਿਖ ਉਪਕਾਰ ਕਰਤਿ, ਬਿਦਤਾਵਹੁ।
(ਉਸ ਦਾ ਦੁਖ ਦੂਰ ਕਰੀਏ, ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਬੁਲਾਵੋ। ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਰਦੇ ਹੋ ਕਿ ਸਿਖ ਉਪਕਾਰ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਸੋ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਬਚਨ ਪੂਰਾ ਕਰੀਏ). Let us eliminate his sorrow, call him. You say this all the time that Sikhs are compassionate and benevolent. So let’s fulfill your bachan.

The Sikh went back to the pandit and asked him to come to the darbar of Siri Guru jee. The pandit came to the Darbar of Siri Guru jee with hankaar (pride) and sat near Siri Guru jee. Siri Guru jee addressed him as follows:

ਪਿਖਿ ਬੋਲੇ ਸੋਢੀ ਕੁਲ ਟੀਕਾ।
ਕਹੁ ਦਿਜਬਰ, ਕਯਾ ਬੂਝਯੋ ਚਹੈਂ।
ਬਿਦਤ ਬਤਾਵਹੁ ਜਿਮ ਚਿਤ ਅਹੈ।
(On seeing the pandit arrive, the prince of Sodhi clan said, O Dijbar, what is it that you want answered? Say out that which is in your mind.)

The pandit said:

ਦਿਜ ਤਬਿ ਕਹਯੋ, ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਅਵਤਾਰ।
ਰਿਦੇ ਜਿਨਹੁਂ ਕੇ ਗਯਾਨ ਉਦਾਰ।
ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਯਾਨ ਮਯ ਗੀਤਾ ਕੀਨਸਿ।
ਜਿਹ ਪਠਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੈ ਲੇ ਸਭਿ ਚੀਨਸਿ।25।

Then the pandit said, “Krishna Avatar was great and in the heart of Siri Krishna immense spiritual wisdom had dawned. Using this Brahmgyaan, he uttered the Bhagwad Geeta. Hearing the paath of Geeta, one can realize everything.

ਤਿਨ ਨਾਮਨ ਤੇ ਤੁਮ ਅਧਿਕਾਯੋ।
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਨਾਮ ਰਖਾਯੋ।
ਪੁਨ ਗੁਰ ਗਾਦੀ ਪਰ ਥਿਤ ਅਹੋ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਮ ਅਪਨੋ ਜਗ ਲਹੋ।26।

You (O Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee) have named yourself even greater than Siri Krishna i.e. the name “Harkrishan” is longer than “Krishna”. On top of this, you have placed yourself on the seat of the Gurus and made it famous in the world that you are the Guru.

ਗੀਤਾ ਬਿਖੈ ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਨ ਬਡ ਮੇਰੇ।
ਉਤਰ ਦੇਹੁ, ਤੁਮ ਸੁਨੇ ਬਡੇਰੇ।
ਜੋ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਬਨਾਵਨਿ ਕੀਨਿ।
ਅਰਥ ਦੇਹੋ ਜੋ ਲੇਵੌਂ ਚੀਨ।27।
ਸਾਰਥ ਜਾਨੌ ਨਾਮ ਤੁਮਾਰੋ।
ਨਾਂਹਿ ਤ ਨੀਕੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਨਿਹਾਰੋ।

Regarding Siri Krishna’s Geeta, I have big questions, many questions. Answer me, I have heard from your Sikhs that you are great. If you are able to answer the questions that I will ask from Sri Krishna’s Geeta, I will consider you to be worthy of your name (Harkrishna); otherwise, I will not see you as good and pious.

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਸੁਨਤਿ ਬਚ ਕਹਯੋ।
ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੋ ਲਹਯੋ।
ਜੇ ਕਰ ਹਮ ਤੁਝਿ ਅਰਥ ਸੁਨਾਵਹਿਂ।
ਤਊ ਕਲਪਨਾ ਅਨਿਕ ਉਠਾਵਹਿਂ।
ਧਨੀ ਪੁਰਖ ਇਹ ਭਾਗ ਬਲੀ ਹੈ।
ਕਿਨਹੁਂ ਪਢਾਏ ਪਾਠ ਭਲੀ ਹੈ।29

Hearing the pandit, Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee said, “It’s the habit of Bipars (pandits) to have doubt on everything. If I successfully do the meanings of Geeta, you will raise the doubt by saying that since I am from a rich and resourceful family, I must have learned the meanings from scholars.

ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਪਠੀ ਹੁਇ ਗੀ ਕਿਸ ਪਾਸ।
ਇਮ ਜਾਨਹਿਂ, ਨਹਿਂ ਹੁਇ ਬਿਸਵਾਸ।
ਯਾਂ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਕਾਰ ਇਮ ਕੀਜੈ।
ਆਪ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿਂ ਜਾਇ ਪਿਖੀਜੈ।30।

You will say that I must have learned the meanings from someone. This way you will stay faithless i.e. you will not get faith. Therefore, the first thing you should do is that go to your town and look for someone.

ਜੋ ਅਪਠਤਿ ਹੁਇ ਮੂਢ ਬਿਸਾਲਾ।
ਤਿਹ ਬੁਲਾਇ ਆਨਹੁ ਇਸ ਕਾਲਾ।
ਸੋ ਉਤਰ ਦੈ ਹੈ ਤੁਝ ਚਾਹਤਿ।
ਜਿਨ ਬੂਝਨਿ ਹਿਤ ਨੀਤ ਉਮਾਹਤਿ।31।

Someone who is a “Moodh Bisaala” i.e. Big fool, very ignorant person and call him to our Darbar right away. Whatever your questions are about Geeta, he will answer them for you.

ਸੁਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੋ ਬਾਕ ਰਸੀਲਾ।
ਬਿਪੂ ਭਣੋ ਮਦ ਤੇ ਕੁਛ ਢਲਿਾ।
ਗਯੋ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਧਵਿਰ ਹੇਰਾ।
ਘਰ ਘਰ ਨਿਤ ਜਲ ਢੋਇ ਘਨੇਰਾ।32।

Hearing the nectarous bachans of Satguru jee, the pride in the pandit subsided a bit. He went to the town and looked for the most foolish person, house to house.

Finally he found a person who he thought was ideal for the situation. The person was a deaf and dumb, totally uneducated and very poor. Mahakavi Santokh Singh jee writes about him as follows:

ਮਹਾਂ ਮੂਢ ਬੋਲਬਿ ਨਹਿਂ ਜਾਨੈ।
ਪੇਟ ਭਰਨਿ ਲੌ ਕਾਰਜ ਠਾਨੈ।
ਕਾਰੋ ਬਰਨ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਤਨ ਫਾਰੇ।
ਜਿਨ ਪਢਤੇ ਨਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਨਿਹਾਰੇ।33।

He was very big fool who could not speak. To fill his stomach he did meagre jobs. His skin colour was totally black, and clothes on him were torn. Let alone he getting any education, he had not even seen anyone study. This is how ignorant he was.

He was brought over to the Darbar of Siri Guru jee. The pandit was very happy thinking that Jheevar (the foolish person) would never be able to speak, let alone do any translations of Geeta. Siri Guru jee right away caught the thought of the pandit and glanced at the jheevar with “Shubh Disht” (Eye of grace) and with smile on his face said to the jheevar:

ਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਸਕਾਵਤਿ ਬਾਕ ਬਖਾਨਾ।
ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਜਿਮ ਉਰ ਠਾਨਾ।37।
ਸੋ ਤੈਂ ਬੂਝਨਿ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਅਬਿ ਹੂੰ।
ਸ਼ੰਕਤਿ ਕੋ ਉਤਰ ਦਿਹੁ ਸਭਿ ਹੂੰ।

(With smiling face, Siri Guru jee uttered the bachans to the foolish jheevar. As per the wish of the pandit, you will realize all knowledge needed, and respond to all questions of the pandit.)

When Satguru jee uttered these Vaaks (words) and placed his chhadee (stick) on the forehead of the jheevar all divine knowledge dwelled in the heart of the foolish jheevar. The first thing that happened was that face of the jheevar started reflecting the inner knowledge he had attained. He face started shining. He was then able to speak.

The pandit asked the most difficult salok from Geeta to be translated. The Jheevar, spontaneously gave the most exalted translation of the salok. Such was the translation that the pandit had never heard of such words before. He was wonder-struck. He could not believe his ears. He asked couple of more questions but then was too wonder-struck to say anything else. Then at that time, his good karma from previous birth sprouted. His pride was overtaken by immense humility. His hand folded. He moved forward and prostrated before Siri Guru jee. With extreme humility he pleaded:

ਬੋਲਯੋ, ਮਹਿਮਾ ਲਖੀ ਅਨੂਪ।
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਸੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਸਰੂਪ।
ਭੇਦ ਨ ਫੁਰਤਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਮਨ ਮਾਂਹੀ।
ਵਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਤੁਮ ਹੋ ਅਨ ਨਾਂਹੀ।
ਭਵਸਾਗਰ ਤੇ ਮੋਹਿ ਉਧਾਰਹੁ।
ਧਾਰਹੁ ਕਰੁਨਾ ਬਿਰਦ ਸੰਭਾਰਹੁ।
(He said, I have realized that your greatness is unmatched. You O Siri Guru Harkishan are Siri Krishna for me. I have no doubt about it. You are the same jyot. Deliver me from this ocean of world. Have mercy on me.)

Siri Guru jee accepted his plea and gave him Naam Gurmantra there and then. Siri Guru jee accepted him as his Sikh. As per Mahakavi Santokh Singh jee, he was given Charan Pahul and initiated as a Sikh there and then.

What a great story this is. This story echoes hukams of Gurbani like:

ਕਰਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਹਥੁ ਧਰਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਕਢੀਆ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ॥
ਸਹਿ ਤੁਠੈ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈਆ ॥18॥


ਸਿਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ॥
ਕਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਸਤਜੁਗਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਧ੍ਰੂ ਪਰਿ ॥
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪ੍ਰਹਲਾਦ ਭਗਤ ਉਧਰੀਅੰ ॥
ਹਸœ ਕਮਲ ਮਾਥੇ ਪਰ ਧਰੀਅੰ ॥

When Guru Sahib places their divine hand on our forehead, only then one can realize Vaheguru and only then the hardwork of japping Naam, doing paath and keeping rehit is accepted.

We think that Chhajoo Jheevar was very foolish but are we any less foolish than him? What's the point of having knowledge of this world when we don't have the knowledge or the gyaan that is relevant in the next world? It's like possessing a trillion dollars in Zimbawe's money and feeling proud of it. A 100 billion dollars of Zimbawe's currency can buy you only one loaf of bread. So what is this trillion dollars going to do for us in Canada? Nothing. Same way, one may have all the knowledge of physics, chemistry, accounting, mathematics, biology, genetics and what not but if one does not have Brahmgyaan i.e. the divine spiritual knowledge of Vaheguru, then all the worldly knowledge is a waste. It's going to be rendered useless in the next world. Even in this world, what's the point of having gyaan when that gyaan does not enable or prompt us to japp Naam and meet Vaheguru. Until we attain Gurmat-Gyaan, and until we eliminate the Durmat from within through Gurmat of Guru Sahib, we are just as foolish as Chajjoo Jheevar was prior to meeting Guru Sahib.

May Parm-Kirpaaloo, Param-Dyaaloo, Satguru Sache Paatshaah – Ashtam-Balbira – Siri Guru Harkishan Sahib jee have mercy on us and place their lotus hand on our forehead, so that the ignorance may be eliminated from our hearts and replaced with divine knowledge of Vaheguru jee.

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