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Events from the life history of Guru Nanak Dev

Events from the life history of Guru Nanak Dev

Let us now apply the Second Principle to examine this issue, which is the study of events from the life of Guru Nanak Dev.

(1) The Guru’s Indifference to Vocational Work

In “Puratan Janamsakhi”, Story No 6, it is written -
Then Guru Nanak consorted only with fakirs and would have nothing to do with anyone else. The members of his family were all grieved. ..... Then Kalu received the news of Nanak’s condition. He came to him and said, “O son! we only say this much to you, that it is good to be employed. If the sons of Khatries have the capital, do they not engage in business? It is good to work! Son, our crop stands ripe outside. If you labor in it, the crop will not go waste. Then everyone will say, ‘Bravo! Kalu’s son has recovered.’ My son, the field is the owner’s responsibility. Then Guru Nanak spoke, “O father, I have cultivated a different field, and I have kept it productive. I have ploughed it, I prepared the soil, and I have watched over it day and night. ....... “Father dear, you will hear about the field which I have ploughed. Baba Nanak then sang a Shabad -
Rag Sorath Mehla 1, Ghar 1 (Page 595, Guru Granth)
“Let mind be the farmer, good deeds the farming, the body be farm, and the effort to irrigate the farm. Let the Lord’s Name be the seed, Contentment the furrowing, and the fence be of Humility. If one does the deeds of love, the seed will sprout and then he will be fortunate. (1) O Revered Sir, the material wealth does not keep company with any one. This material wealth has lured away the whole world, but there is a rare one who realizes this Truth.” (1) Pause.
Kalu then said, “Nanak, take up shop-keeping ....” Then the Guru sang the second stanza of the Shabad -
“Let us make our ever decreasing age as the store house, and stock it with the Lord’s Name. Let Concentration and Reason be the godowns, to treasure-in the Lord’s Name. Let us deal only with the Lord’s Peddlers, the Saints, reap the profit and enjoy.” (2)
Kalu then said, “O my son! if you are not prepared to take up shop-keeping, then procure horses and engage in trade. .....” Then Guru Nanak sang the third stanza of the Shabad -
“One’s trade should be, the hearing of the Sacred Books. Let us carry with us the fare of merit, and should not leave this day’s task till tomorrow. When we arrive in the land of our Formless lord, we enjoy the bliss of His Presence.”. (3)
Kalu then said, “ Nanak, you are a stranger to us, for these curious notions. Go, take government service. ...... We have renounced all intentions of taking any part of your earnings. If you remain withdrawn, my son, every one will say that kalu’s boy has become a fakir and people will speak ill of us.” Guru Nanak then sang the fourth stanza -
“To attune our mind to God, is the service of the Lord. Belief in the Lord’s Name is the Deed of Service. The stilling of the voice of vice, be our urge, and all will call us the Blessed ones. Nanak says: If the Lord favors us with His Grace, then four-fold will become our Glory.” (4)
The author writes at the end of this episode, as under -
Then Kalu again said, “Forget these things. Follow the common path. There is little to life, if one does not work.” Nanak, however, remained silent. Kalu arose and went off to his work, saying, “He is no use to us. Our fields are protected from trespassers.” (meaning he did not need Nanak - father’s total material outlook).
We have seen in this episode, that Baba Kalu was not satisfied, with the answers and attitude of Guru Nanak, and he left the place greatly disappointed. This was the talk between father and son only. There was no third man present there. Please, let us know, who was the man who wrote the Guru’s Shabad, was it the father or the Guru himself? And who gave this Shabad to Guru Arjan Dev, when he compiled the Holy Book? This episode clearly depicts that the Guru’s father was greatly enraged and disappointed. Surely, he did not write this Shabad and preserved it for posterity. Who then did it?

(2) At Hardwar, Sadhu’s Cooking Square

In the “Janamsakhi”, the Guru’s visit to Hardwar is prominently given. Two events took place there, one was that ignorant people were throwing river water toward east, and the Guru started throwing water toward west. The second event was connected with a Vaishnav sadhu. Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were sitting on the banks of river Ganga. It was then morning time. A Vaishnav sadhu nearby was cooking his food. He had drawn lines around his kitchen to maintain the purity of the food. Mardana went to the sadhu and asked for a little fire from his hearth. Mardana stood outside the cooking square, but, however, his shadow was cast inside. The cooking square was thus polluted. The sadhu on seeing this became mad with anger. He took out a burning stick from his hearth and ran after Mardana to hit him. Mardana ran to reach the Guru for help, but was hotly chased by the sadhu. Both reached Sat Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sat Guru Ji calmed the sadhu and made him wise with the following teachings -
“Perversity of the mind is like a low caste woman. Lack of compassion is like a butcher’s woman. The desire to find fault with others is like a scavenger woman. The sin of wrath is like an utter out-caste. What use it is to draw line around one’s kitchen? If we keep company with these four vile vices Let Truth be our continence, good deeds the markings (round the cooking square), meditation on Lord’s Name our bath. Nanak says: they alone shall be deemed good and pure, who do not walk in the way of sin.”
(Sri Rag ki Var, page 91, Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
This episode that took place, involved only three men -sadhu, Bhai Mardana and Guru Nanak Dev. Who had written the above mention Slok at that time? Did that sadhu, throw away the burning stick from his hand, and went to his cooking square to bring piece of paper and the writing material, then came back and wrote it? Did the sadhu keep pieces of paper and the writing material with him? How many sadhus have you seen, who beg from door to door, and keep in their bags paper and pencils? But sadhus have no home, no wife and no children. Supposing this sadhu had written down the above mentioned Slok, then who was his descendent, who would have delivered it to Guru Arjan Dev.?

(3) The Sack Of Saidpur

These happenings at Saidpur are given in Puratan Janamsakhi, story No 35. When Babar had caused plundering and general massacre of people of Saidpur, hundreds of men and women were captured. Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were also taken prisoners along with other people. The author of Puratan Janamsakhi writes -
Babar sacked the town of Saidpur, put many men to the sword and captured others. While the Guru was made to carry a heavy load on the head, Mardana worked as a groom.. Later Guru Nanak was asked to grind at a hand worked stone-mill. Many women, Pathan, Khatri and Brahmin, had also been captured. The Guru and women prisoners were all put to grind the corn. It so happened that the stone-mill of the Guru continued to operate without any effort. At that time, Emperor Babar came and saw himself this happening. Then the Guru was seen singing the following Shabad -
Rag Asa Mehla 1, Astpadian, Ghar 3.
“They, whose lustrious hair shone in plaits and were filled with vermilion in the parting, their hair were cut with scissors and their mouths were choked with dust. They, who reveled in their palaces, now do not find a seat even in the common. (1) Hail to God. O Lord, All Hail. O Primal Lord, I do not know Your Expanse, for You change the scene of Your play many many times. (1) Pause. When these beautiful women were married, their glamorous spouses sat by their side. They were carried in palanquins, and the bangles inlaid with ivory dangled round their arms. (In greetings), water was waved over their heads, and they were fanned with glass-studded fans, (2) A hundred thousand coins were offered to them, when they sat and also when they stood. They chewed nuts and dates , and enjoyed the bridal couch. To-day noose has been put round their necks, and their necklaces of pearls are broken into bits. (3) Both riches and beauty have become their enemies, which had lured them to go astray (from the Righteous Path) to enjoy manifold pleasures. Now the Death Angels (Babar’s minions) have been ordered to dis-honor them and carry them off. (4) If the Lord Wills, He Blesses with Glory. If He so Wills, He punishes man. If one were to foresee and forethink, why he should be thus punished? The kings had lost their heads, who indulged in revelries. Now that the writ of Babar prevails, even princes do not get their bread to eat. (5) Muslims have lost their prayer time and Hindus of worship. How can a Hindu woman, without a bath and plastering their kitchen square, anoint their fore-head with the saffron-mark? They, who did not remember Ram (Hindu Name of God), in their time, now cannot save themselves even bartering their faith and accepting Islamic faith, calling God as “Allah”. (6) Some warriors return to their homes, and from them others inquire about the welfare of their kins (on the battle-field). In the lot of some, He has so writ that (with their spouses gone) they will wail in anguish their whole lives. Nanak says: whatever the lord Wills that comes to pass. What else can a man do by himself?” (7)
The author of Puratan Janamsakhi further states -
Then Emperor Babar came and kissed the Guru’s Feet. He said, “I see God on the lips of this Fakir.” Both Hindus and Musalmans bowed before Guru Nanak Dev. The Emperor then said, “O Man of God! accept something from me.” The Guru replied, “I do not need anything. But this much I tell you, that the people you captured and imprisoned, they should be released. Whatever they have lost, make good their losses.”
As a result of the Guru’s persuasion, Babar released all the prisoners. He also returned to them some of their things, which had been looted. The people, however, had been greatly terrified, and were fear stricken. They had seen with their own eyes barbarities being perpetrated in Saidpur. The rising flames of the burning city were still in their vision and frightening them. The author of Purantan Janamsakhi writes -
Then the people thus released from prisons, would not go back to the city, without the Guru accompanying them. Then on the third day, the Guru came back to Saidpur again. When he came back to Saidpur, he saw that the dead bodies of the people who had been slaughtered, were lying there. The Guru said, “O Mardana, what has happened?” Mardana replied, “O my Lord! Whatever you willed, that has happened.”The Guru then said, “O Mardana, play on the rebeck.” Then Mardana began playing on rebeck, and the Guru sang the following Shabad -
“Where are the stables now, and also the horses? Where are the drums and flutes? Where are the sword- belts, chariots and red dresses of the soldiers? Where are the looking glasses and the beauteous faces? No, I do not see them before me. (1) O Lord! The World belongs to You. You are its Master. O Brother, It is He, Who establishes and destroys all, in a moment. He distributes wealth as He likes. (1) Pause. Where are those houses, gates, seraglios, mansions, and beautiful caravansaries? Where is that comfortable couch of the damsel, by seeing whom one could not sleep? Where are those betel leaves, betel-sellers, charming fairies? They have vanished like the shadow. (2) For getting this wealth, it led to ruin with disgrace. It cannot be amassed without committing sins, and it departs company when one dies. He, whom the Creator Himself destroys, He first deprives him of the virtues. (3) When Pathan rulers heard of the advent of Babar, they kept countless Divines (pirs) with them for working out spells and incantations against the invader. The invaders, despite all this, burnt houses, resting places and great palaces. They caused the princes to be cut into pieces, and their bodies rolled into dust. No Mughal became blind by their incantations and magical charms. No miracle, and no charm, could rescue any one from disaster! (4) There raged a contest between the Mughals and Pathans, and the swords clashed on the battle-field. While the Mughals fired their guns, the others put their elephants forth. Those who were destined by the writ of the Lord to lose, death for sure was in their lot. (5) Wives of the Hindu, Turk, Bhatti, Rajput soldiers, tore down their veils in despair, and went in search of their dead. How would they, whose husbands would never return, pass their days and nights? Lord’s Will is such, He alone knows the cause of all that. (6) The Lord Himself is the Doer and the Cause, so whom else one may ask? All joy and sorrow come from the Lord, to whom else one may go to wail? Nanak says: The All Powerful Lord of Command, yokes all to His Will and is thus pleased. We get what is Writ in our lot by the Lord.”
(Rag Asa, page 417, Sri Guru Granth)
What a dark and wild sight! If we read the above two Compositions of the Guru intently, we will have the picture of man’s extremely despicable, detestable and nauseating nature of his cruelties and barbarities toward his fellow men. There is, however, vast difference between hearing and actual experiencing of such brutalities. Those persons living in Punjab, at the time of partition of India into two sovereign states during 1947, actually saw the brutish happenings in all cities and villages, and it is they who alone can appreciate the Guru’s description. During such calamities, people are not able to care about their children, they forsake them to their fate; the young men are not able to protect the honor of their sisters and their wives. In such a situation people totally forget all bondages of their love objects, but only try to barter every thing they owned for safety of themselves. Do the people in such a perilous state, carry with them the pieces of paper and the writing material? If they do, for what? Then who wrote these Compositions of the Guru at that time of extreme calamity that had befallen on the people? Who was the devotee Sikh, who had preserved these manuscripts and taken to Guru Arjan to note down? It is reiterated that under such circumstances, when death stares hard at the faces of the people, they barter their life for every thing they possess. The calamity that had befallen on Saidpur was not an ordinary one.. The extremely frightened terrified people were not even prepared to go back to their houses, on their release from prisons! Who could have thought of his love for his cultural and history writing propensity at that time? SO, IT WAS GURU NANAK DEV HIMSELF, WHO WROTE HIS DIVINE COMPOSITIONS AND PRESERVED THEM FOR POSTERITY. IT WAS HE, AT THAT TIME, WHO ADDRESSED TO THE CREATOR - “O LORD, SO MUCH BEATING HAVE THEY RECEIVED THAT THEY ARE CRYING! DID YOU NOT FEEL THE PAIN?”

Read the life history of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji; there is not one, but many such events, by reading which intelligently , one reaches the conclusion, that the Guru himself was recording his Divine Compositions and preserving them.
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