In the battlefield Bhai Ghanaya was on duty to serve water to the thirsty. He was found serving water to the Sikhs as well as to the Hindus and Muslims alike. The Sikhs complained to the Guru that Bhai Ghanaya was serving water to the enemy soldiers who after getting water, became afresh and fought against them. The Guru sent for him and asked him what the Sikhs had complained. Bhai Ghanaya replied," O true king, I do not see who is a friend and who is a foe. I see your image in every one of them alike.
I saw that they were all your Sikhs and none else and so I served water to every one of them. This is the desired mental stage commanded by the Guru when a person's mind is lifted above the lines of religion, color, race or national entity; and the sense of real universal brotherhood is born:.
Sikhism believes in it, stands for it and takes practical measures to realize it. There are numerous examples in the Sikh history to emphasize this fact. Guru Nanak travelled for fourteen years on foot and he covered the area from Assam Hills in the east of India to as far as Iran and Iraq in the west; from Tibet in the north to Ceylon in the south.
During this long journey he went to various famous Hindu temples and their learning centers, Maths of Sidhas, and the various centers of Mohammadans including Mecca, and delivered the Divine Message brotherhood of mankind and Fatherhood of God for which he came to this world.
Never he asked any one to become his disciple in order to go to heaven. He rather held guarantee to the entire humanity that if a person, irrespective of race, color, caste, creed, sex, religion or nationality, meditated on God, the Formless One, would get deliverance:. Sikhism fully stands for universal brotherhood in word and in spirit. Every Sikh living in every corner of the world when he prays in the morning and in the evening, ends his prayer by saying:.
Some artists have painted imaginary pictures of all the ten Gurus. Have these artists ever seen the Gurus? One can find these pictures hanging in almost all the Gurdwaras and in the majority of the Sikh homes. The irony of fate is that many of the Sikhs place garlands of flowers upon these pictures and also burn incense in front of them.
Is it not idol picture worship? How can we call this Gurmat? From Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh, emphasis was laid to worship only one God, the Formless, and they strongly forbade the worship of idols, crematoriums, Samadhies, tombs etc. These picture worshippers quote the following verses of Gurbani in support of their action:. The Gurmat Guru's teaching explains that true Guru is not a physical body and therefore the body is not considered to be worthy of any kind of worship:. Therefore, the meaning of "Gur ki murat man meh dhayan" is clearly not the worship of Guru's picture but to put attention in the meaning of the Sabad Word.
Gurbani confirms that by seeing Guru's physical body, salvation cannot be attained:. If by seeing Guru's body one can get salvation, then Mehta Kaluji would not have slapped his son, Guru Nanak. Since the father had seen the Guru, he should have attained salvation. Instead history has recorded that Mehta Kaluji could not see the Divine Light in his son and continued slapping him.
If by seeing Guru's body one can get salvation, both sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das, would not have disobeyed the Guru, their father. The executioner who was pouring hot sand over the naked body of Guru Arjan, would not have done that, because he had seen the Guru and should have gotten salvation.
The executioner would not have severed the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur, because he had seen the Guru. Therefore, when the Guru Jot was in human body even then the mere sight of the Guru's physical body did not give salvation to any one, how can these Fake Pictures salvage us?
They can only derail us from the true prescribed path of Gurmat. Some Sikhs are also wearing necklaces with Guru's picture around their necks. Is it Gurmat? This is totally manmat,this is perverseness. Guru is not an idol. Guru is not a picture. Guru is not a human body. After he breathed his last, none could find Guru Nanak's body. Therefore Guru is JOT. Guru is Divine Light. Guru is All-pervading Divine Spirit. Guru is Divine Word Gurbani.
To garland the imaginary pictures of the Gurus is totally anti-Gurmat. How can we have Guru's blessings when we act against the very dictum of the Guru? The Impersonal Absolute cannot be installed as an image. He has no form and, thus, cannot be described through symbols. Such actions in themselves would not win Guru's approbation. Without total allegiance to the Guru's order, Sikh faith would be burried deep under a heap of senseless dogmas, meaningless rituals and ceremonial acts.
Sikhism is not a dogma but a way of life lived according to Guru Rahit Maryada code of conduct. A Sikh has to hold his Guru's word as paramount in his daily existence. Without glorifying His presence in one's existence, life will be contaminated and polluted and will be in deplorable state which will lead to spiritual degeneration. Deep and continuous contemplation on Nam is needed and is indispensable for the exalted state of Sikh character.
Nam is neither a philosophy nor knowledge to be gained from books. It dwells within and is realized from within through the grace of the true Guru Gurbani - Divine Word. Let the following be our daily supplication:. Illuminate my mind with the Name Divine! There is no place for austerities and torturing of the body as a way of salvation.
Sikhs are directed to concentrate their minds on God, to reflect on God's virtues such as love, benevolence, and kindness. Sikhs practice this to inculcate such virtues into their own character. This can be done by reciting Gurbani, by listening to the singing of hymns from Gurbani, or by sitting in a quiet place and attentively thinking of God, forgetting all else. Through this constant meditation, and not simply the repeating of a mantra, Sikhs develop a feeling of affection and love for humanity.
Such a person does not merely talk about the brotherhood of humanity but actually tries to feel it continuously throughout their life. The thought of being a member of this human family becomes stronger and stronger and soon this fact is reflected in the daily behavior of the devotee. Such a Sikh derives immense pleasure and satisfaction by observing the presence of God in every human being. This achievement or realization changes the thinking and behavior of such persons and instead of hurting others, they enjoy utilizing their life serving society.
They cannot think of doing any act to harm others, because they "see" the living God inside every human being. This is why Nam is given the highest priority in the Sikh faith. Sikhs are advised to earn their livelihood by honest means. They are not supposed to be a parasites on society. Non-earners become dependent on others and because of this, are influenced to think and act as their benefactors expect.
Such a person is unable to think or act independently. Furthermore, a Sikh's earnings, however large or small, should come from honest means. If a person is dishonest, and takes what is not justly his, the Gurus declare these earnings as the 'blood of the poor'. They are prohibited to Sikhs, just as beef is prohibited to Hindus and pork to Muslims.
There is temptation to live a comfortable life by earning money through unfair means. The Gurus want us to resist this desire by keeping in mind that such earnings pollute the mind in the same way that blood stains our clothes. Only honest earnings are like "milk" and hence "nourishing".
The term means to earn a honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising ones God given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and society at large. This means to work with determination and focus by the sweat of your brows and not to be lazy and to waste your life to time.
To do these things without 'personal gain' becoming your main motivation - Make Simran and dedication of the work to God your main motivation. It is equal to your Sunday Service attendance at your place of worship. The Guru is pleased with those who long for His Sikhs. As the True Guru directs them, they do their work and chant their prayers.
The recitation of Nam helps disciples realize that they are members of the human brotherhood. This thought creates in them feelings of kindness and love for those who need their help. As a consequence, they enjoy sharing their earnings with those less fortunate. The Guru advises them that it is their duty to share their earnings with the needy just as it is the duty of parents to supply their children with clothing and other necessities.
This sharing must be done out of a sense of responsibility, and not of pride. A person can judge their closeness to God by sharing their bread with the needy. If this can be done without feeling as if they are doing someone a favor, then they are on the right path and are close to God. Some broadcast their contributions and feel proud of their "benefactor"image.
It is this ego ahankar that denies them the spiritual benefits obtained by remaining humble. The Guru advises us to worship only the one almighty God and not to worship forces of the universe or mythical beings. It is the Creator, and not the creation, that is important. Hinduism encourages its followers to venerate many different mediators. It differs from Sikhism in this fundamental issue and because of this, Sikhism cannot be considered a sect of Hinduism.
How do Sikhs worship God? By thinking of Him and by believing in the brotherhood of mankind. For Sikhs, God does not reside in the seventh or fourteenth sky, or any other place far from the earth. God lives in the hearts of humans.
There is no place without Him. He expresses Himself through His creation. In other words, worship of God is accomplished by meditating on Him, His virtues and His grace. Sikhs are required to regularly read and understand the Gurbani written within the Guru Granth Sahib.
Gurbani teaches God's virtues and how they can be revealed to us. The daily recitation of hymns reminds us repeatedly of the pitfalls of egotism, anger, lust, attachment, and greed. The hymns encourage readers to develop good character by constantly reminding that these virtues bring peace. Sikhs accept the word of the Guru as their guide. They regard the Guru Granth Sahib as their living Guru because from Gurbani, they obtain the spiritual guidance they need.
Sikhs do not worship pictures or idols of God or the Gurus. Nor do they honor any living individual as their Guru. They respect the decision of the corporate body of the Singhs, the Khalsa, since the tenth Guru bestowed the authority of Guruship on this body. The importance that Sikhs attach to working and wishing well for others can be seen in the fact that Sikhs pray aloud at least twice a day:. This belief in the oneness of humanity, and the insistence on working for the welfare of all people, whether Sikhs or not, at the cost of sacrificing one's life, is what sets Sikhism apart from religions.
In a world, which is torn by strife because of differing beliefs, Sikhism is unique. Sikhs treat all people with equal respect, irrespective of their faith. All people are offered free meals and other facilities in Gurudwaras. Sikhs do not harbour ill will against any person, including adversaries. There are numerous examples of Sikhs helping foes in need.
Three centuries ago, Guru Gobind Singh made arrangements to take care of and help all the wounded after battle, whether they were his own men or his opponents. It has been explained in the discussion of Nam Japna that Sikhs respect all persons. People may appear different because of their language, color, social habits but these variations are superficial and the result of different cultures and climates.
Internally, we all have the same spirit. Just as gold can be made into ornaments of different designs but it remains gold, so people's outward appearances can be different but still they remain human beings created by the same God. For Sikhs, as for the followers of many other faiths, lying, cheating, stealing etc. Sexual relations are restricted to married couples only. Recognizing that during the medieval ages, after battle women of the defeated side were often raped as an expression of power over the enemy, Guru Gobind Singh ordered that any person guilty of rape would be expelled from the Khalsa Panth.
The moral character of Sikhs, in war and in peace, was praised highly by Muslim historians of those times. Nur Mohammed, though he expresses extreme hatred for Sikhs, still cannot help admitting their high character. In no case would they slay a coward, nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive. They do not plunder the wealth or ornaments of a woman, be she a well-to-do lady or a maidservant.
There is no adultery among these 'dogs' nor are these mischievous people given to thieving. Whether a woman is young or old, they call her a 'buriya' and ask her to get out of the way. The word "buriya" in the Indian language means "an old lady. They do not make friends with adulterers. We sometimes suffer from the misconception that we alone are responsible for the benefits we gain from our labors.
Sikhs believe that these benefits are gifts from God and we are mere actors on stage. God rewards us and whether our efforts are successful is determined by His will. If we accept this philosophy, we will always be in peace with ourselves and with our environment and we will stop worrying about the 'failure' of our efforts. God has given us life, an expression of His Will. He has created the sun, the moon, vegetation, animals and everything else without which we cannot survive.
When we plant a fruit tree, it grows naturally, with the help of sun and rain, and it bears fruit all without our help. Laws of nature govern the smallest seed and the largest plant. The philosophy, that everything happens according to God's will, can be explained by another example. A person driving on a road finds an old woman walking. She stops the car, picks up the woman, and drops her at her home.
Although it appears that the driver's body has carried out these actions, in fact, these actions originated in the mind due to a desire to help. Hence, actually it is the mind, controlled by the nature of the soul that helped the old woman. The body of the driver was merely an agent, which executed the decision for the 'mind. We are the executors of His Will. If we choose an action, which we think is right, only to discover that it does not eliminate the situation we set out to abolish, we should not consider that our right action was useless.
We should trust that in God's larger plan, which we cannot understand, our right action has meaning and effort. We must believe that every righteous action will eventually lead to a favorable result. The faith that our right actions are part of God's great design, even if we do not see the results, dispels worries about our failures and brings us peace.
We will realize God's presence in ourselves; there is no higher goal in life than that. Thus Sikhism was not the 'transvaluation' of the existing faiths and cults; it ushered in a new spiritual as well as social and political matrix of conduct for mankind. Sikhism does not support militarism or glorification of war and yet wielding the sword is warranted in extenuating circumstances.
Sikhism upholds war against oppression and aggression. The sword is a symbol of power both temporal and spiritual in Sikhism. A Sikh doesn't frighten anyone nor is he afraid of anyone. Technically, the first date of Sikhism is , the year of Guru, Nanak's birth, but ideologically its origins may well he traced in the twelfth century, when the celebrated poet Jaidev and Sufi saint Sheikh Farid flourished on the soil of India. Their hymns find a place of honour in the Guru Granth, compiled in The fact that Oamkar in the Mantra is preceded by I one shows that in spite of the many-ness of the revealed world, its oneness is not to be lost sight of.
It is rnonistic in character, though pluralistic in content. It is many, yet one. In this I-Thou relationship of love between man and God, the pole of human love is expressed in terms of loving devotion, and the other pole, of God's love for man, in terms of his Grace. Both are complementary to each other; both taken together constitute the make-up of ideal person of the Guru's conception.
It refers to the highest spiritual state of the individual, in tune with the Ultimate and at peace with human society. The foremost was the institution of Guruship itself. Guru Arjan Dev refers to the ideal state which guarantees comfort and welfare of the people, calling it 'Halemi Raj'. Sense of humility and justice are its hall-mark. Both share a common objective, namely, welfare of man. Unlike many other Eastern philosophies which preach asceticism and escapism, the Sikh religion exists as a faith of life-affirmation.
A Sikh regards the world not as a place of suffering, but as a meaningful creation of God wherein noble, truthful, and selfless actions can bring a person closer to realizing Him. Sikhism preaches universal equality, and therefore, regards all religions and people as equal before the eyes of God. Every Sikh is expected to recite it daily. The English translation is given below:. The Sikh religion is strictly monotheistic, believing in One Supreme God.
Absolute yet All-pervading, the Eternal, the Creator, the Cause of Causes, without enmity, without hate, both Immanent in His creation and beyond it. That being so, He creates man not to punish him for his sins, but for the realization of his true purpose in the cosmos and to merge in from where he issued forth. Guru Granth, P. The basic postulate of Sikhism is that life is not sinful in its origin, but having emanated from a Pure Source, the True One abides in it.
Thus sayeth Nanak:. Not only the whole of Sikh Philosophy, but the whole of Sikh history and character, flows from 'this principle'. The Sikhs do not recognize the caste system nor do they believe in Idol-worship, rituals, or superstitions. The gods and goddesses are considered as nonentities. This religion consists of practical living, in rendering service to humanity and engendering tolerance and brotherly love towards all. The Sikh Gurus did not advocate retirement from the world in order to attain salvation.
It can be achieved by anyone who earns an honest living and leads a normal life. Nanak gave new hope to the down-trodden mankind to join his fraternity as equals. Riches and personal possessions are not hinderence in living by spiritual ideals. On the other hand the Sikh dictum is as under:. Sikhismdoes not accept the ideology of pessimism. It advocates optimism and hope. The maxim, "Resist not evil but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also", does not find any place in Sikh way of life.
On the other hand it enjoins its followers:. The message of Sikhism is contained within the sacred writings of the Gurus, forever enshrined in the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib the writings of Guru Gobind Singh form another compilation. The Guru Granth Sahib consists of the writings of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and ninth Gurus, as well as the writings of several prominent saints who were either contemporaries of, or lived before, the Sikh Gurus.
The writings of these non-Sikh mystics correspond to the teachings of the Sikh Gurus; and more importantly, the inclusion of their writings into the Sikh holy scripture indicates the universality of Sikh philosophy. According to Sikh religious thought, God is both transcendent and immanent. God is beyond the empirical universe what can be sensed or measured , but resides in it as well. Since God exists within and beyond existence itself, human beings can aspire toward living and acting in accordance with His will.
Sikhism accepts the idea of reincarnation. Life as a human being is considered the last step before realizing God. Whether or not one attains union with God depends on that one person's actions in this life. Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh prophet writes:. Having gained a body this time, A rare opportunity you have got; This is your chance to meet God. Your other pursuits will be of no avail at the end. Seek the company of holy men, And learn to meditate on God.
Set your mind on crossing the sea of life; Life is being wasted away in pursuits of sensual pleasures. Essentially, according to Sikh philosophy, human beings should free themselves from the cycle of reincarnation births and deaths by abandoning self-centeredness and embracing God-centeredness. In Sikhism, God is metaphorically known as Truth. With this in mind, a human being who embraces God-centeredness is living a life devoted to the fulfillment of Truth.
Furthermore, Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh prophet states that:. In Sikhism, surrendering to the Will of God implicitly requires that man abandon ego. Guru Nanak makes this point clear when he addresses God, saying:. Sikh philosophy is composed of progressive ideals, a positive worldview, and a crystal-clear message: a Sikh constantly learns to be a better human being.
Not coincidentally, the word itself, Sikh disciple , is indicative of the perpetual learning process that is life. In Sikhism, a human being, in order to attain God, must rise above five basic vices: lust, anger, greed, pride, ego. Anyone who successfully avoids these five transgressions, and who lives a truthful living, is considered to be a God-conscious person.
Sikhism recognizes other faiths as equally conducive for the development of spirituality; however, as a revealed and distinct religion in of itself, Sikhism offers its followers a viable path toward the selfsame goal, God. The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in He preached a message of love and understanding and criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus.
The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh passed away in The Khalsa uphold the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions and wear the prescribed physical articles of the faith.
One of the more noticeable being the uncut hair required to be covered with a turban for men and the Kirpan ceremonial sword. Before his death in Guru Gobind Singh declared that the Sikhs no longer needed a living and appointed his spiritual successor as Sri Guru Granth Sahib, his physical successor as the Khalsa.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is unique in the world of religious scriptures because not only is it accorded the status of being the spiritual head of the Sikh religion, but besides the poetry of the Gurus, it also contains the writings of saints of other faiths whose thoughts were consistent with those of the Sikh Gurus. Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego.
All people of all religions are welcome to the Gurudwara. A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurudwara which serves meals to all people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started this institution which outline the basic Sikh principles of service, humility and equality.
It is the inspirational and historical center of Sikhism but is not a mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. The holiest of the Sikh scriptures is Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Granth Sahib is the only world scripture which was compiled during the life time of its compiler. All other world scriptures were compiled many years after the death of the prophet. The work of compilation was started in and finished in Hindu saints were from both higher and lower castes, e. The Bhagats also represented different parts of India, e.
The text of Guru Granth Sahib is composed in poetry and is arranged in Musical measures. Thirty one out of the 39 Chapters have a musical measure as a heading. Musical measures refer to the timing, rhythm, and mood of singing a particular hymn. There are 31 musical measures ragas used in the Granth. The structure of the compositions differ from hymn to hymn. The popular formations are as follows:. Verses of praise Chhants of different lengths.
Each composition composed by the Sikh Gurus ends with the name Nanak as the composer. The heading of the hymns, however, indicates the name number of the Guru who had actually composed it. Guru Arjan has used a numeral system to number the hymns included in Guru Granth Sahib to avoid later interpolations by others. The Granth is always wrapped in clean sheets. It is ceremoniously opened every morning and closed at night time. It is placed on the small cot with cushions under and on its sides.
Sheets are used to cover the Granth when it is open. The open copy of the Granth must be placed under a canopy. The only other religion which shows similar type of respect to its holy book is Judaism. It was completed in The Granth contains sixteen compositions versified in different forms of poetry in the following order:. In addition to the praises of God, the Granth gives a description of the contemporary life as it existed at that period of time.
The Zafarnama describes the political corruption of the time and also explains the exploitation of the masses by the bureaucracy. The authorship of this Granth is not known. Many writers, however, suggest that some parts of the Granth were written by Guru Gobind Singh. The Granth was found in Punjab in the late eighteenth century. The Gurus wrote a number of letters, during their lifetime, to their disciples containing instructions, orders and notices.
These letters are known as Hukamnamas. A Sikh research team was appointed by Shrimoni Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee in the sixties to find and collect such letters. So far the following letters have been discovered from the descendants of the famous Sikh families:.
He was the scribe of Guru Granth Sahib. He was a scholar of great repute. The varan, inter alia, describes the life stories of the Gurus and is composed in poetry. The Janam Sakhis are the life stories of the Sikh Gurus. They are not biographies but hagiographies. They describe the life of the Gurus in stories and in anecdotes. Numerous dialogues and parables are included to convey the teachings of the Gurus. He brought it to England. It contains details about the growth of Sikhism and also gives very valuable topographical details.
Suraj Prakash by Bhai Santokh Singh dated A number of Europeans wrote papers and books on the Sikhs which are classified as secondary source material. History of the origin and progress of the Sicks by Major James Brown dated The Sikhs worship only one Almighty God in his abstract form. They are not allowed to worship any images or photographs or graves or objects. Compare this with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Like other World religion, they respect their prophets and show extreme type of affection and honour for them, but they are not allowed to elevate them to the status of God. It is a blasphemy to give the status of God to the prophets. This is an act of reverence and not worship.
A Sikh prayer can be either an individual prayer or a community prayer. An individual prayer can be said at any place. There are no set formalities or rituals to say individual prayers. The set individual prayers are as follows:.
It takes about 20 minutes to recite or read it. It is recorded on pages of Guru Granth Sahib. It is recorded on pages of the Dasam Granth. These are recorded on the pages of the Dasam Granth. Evening prayer: This prayer is said at the time of sunset.
The Rehras as recorded in Guru Granth Sahib pages has nine shabads in it. The additional compositions appear only in the Gudkas. Night time prayer: This prayer is said before going to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes to recite or read it.
In addition to the above prayers which are read or recited from the Gudkas, a short form of scriptures, a thanksgiving prayer is also said once in the morning and second time in the evening. This prayer is called Ardas. The community prayer is said or performed in a Sikh temple Gurdwara or in a house where the community gathers to say a collective prayer. Though community prayers were prevalent in the life times of all the Sikh Gurus, they were formalised and declared as an essential part of a Sikh life by Guru Hargobind during In this era the tradition of morning choirs prabhat pheris was also introduced.
It takes about 1. All prayers should be said in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. In a Gurdwara, the prayers are said every day of the week. Guru Granth is ceremoniously opened at about 4 a. It is recited with musical instruments. It starts on page , in Guru Granth Sahib. In total there are 22 Vars recorded in Guru Granth Sahib. It is composed by Guru Amardas. The complete bani has 40 pauris, but according to the tradition we recite 6 pauris first 5 and the 40th only.
This is known as the order of Waheguru of the day. The evening prayer starts at about 6 p. In addition to the regular prayers, the Sikhs also do path reading from Guru Granth Sahib. These readings can be:. Akhand Path: the continuous reading These are arranged for important days, like birthdays, anniversaries, house warming, bereavements etc.
The readings are done by a groups of pathis i. It takes about 48 hours to complete the reading. The reading is done both at daytime and night. After the bhog the end of the reading an Ardas is offered followed by distribution of parshad and langar. Saptahak Path: the reading to finish in a week These are also arranged for important occasions and done by a group of people.
The main difference between the Akhand path and the Saptahak path is that in Saptahak path most of the reading is done during the day and the Granth is closed for the night. After the bhog an Ardas is said followed by the distribution of parshad and langar. Sadharan or Khula Path: slow reading and no fixed time to finish the Granth. These are arranged to coincide with some important family diary dates.
These are normally done by the immediate family member or members. Like Akhand path and Saptahak path, after the bhog an Ardas is said and parsahad and langar are distributed. The Sikh place of worship is called Gurdwara. The first Gurdwara was built by Guru Nanak in at Kartarpur. Later Gurdwaras were built by the Sikh Gurus in the area of their residence. This Gurdwara later became the holiest of the Sikh shrines and focus of all the Sikh activity.
Everyday the Sikhs, in their prayer, pray to Waheguru to give them both means and efforts to visit and bathe at this shrine. Four times in the Sikh history, this shrine was desecrated by the rulers to put a stop on the growth of Sikh religion, but each time the Sikhs had come out victorious with more converts to their faith. The dates are as follows:. He was killed by two devout Sikhs at the cost of their own lives. Baba Deep Singh, a veteran Sikh avenged the first attack by defeating the Mughals and re-occupying the shrine.
The Sikh reoccupied the complex in and rebuilt the shrine and cleaned the pool. Two young Sikhs, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, later avenged this desecration of the temple by gunning down Indira Gandhi in the lawns of her own house. There are about historical Gurdwaras in the world. In addition there are many thousand local Gurdwaras built by the natives and residents of various areas.
In United Kingdom, there are about local Gudwaras. Most of the Gurdwaras outside India were built to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak there. A Sikh is required to attend a Gudwara as a part of his daily mode of worship. A congregational prayer is as important to a Sikh as an individual prayer. A Gurdwara is open to all the visitors irrespective of their faith and religion. All entrants to a Gurdwara, however, must take off their shoes and cover their heads before entering the shrine.
No intoxicants and tobaccos in any form are allowed inside the Gurdwara. The colour of the flag is Kesri, a mixture of yellow and orange colours. In the Gudwara complex there are also rooms to deposit the shoes and other prohibited items. There are also wash-hand basins and small water pools to wash both hands and the feet. Like other religious shrines, the Gurdwaras also have domes and minarets as a part of their outer structures.
The holy book is placed on a specially designed couch resting on pillows and covered with sheets. The couch is usually placed at the far-end centre of the main hall. During the day the Granth is kept open, though covered with roomalas, specially made sheet-coverings. At night time, after the evening prayer, the Granth is ceremoniously closed and removed to a specially built room for the night rest, from where every morning it is taken to the main hall in a stately procession.
A canopy - to cover the whole area where Guru Granth Sahib is placed. A fly flicker - to be waved over the holy book. A steel bowl - to distribute the Kara Prashad. No photographs or images are allowed inside the Gurdwara. Adjoining the main hall of the Gurdwara are the kitchen and dining room.
All present at the service must join in here to participate in the community meals. There are examples in the Sikh history that Emperor Hamayun and Emperor Akbar were asked to eat in the community kitchen before they could have the audience of the Guru. The blue prints of its architecture were the master mind of Guru Arjan Dev.
Its foundation stone was laid by a Muslim saint Mian Mir on 3rd January The work of its pool was, however, started by Guru Ramdas in Guru Arjan had envisioned an eternal shrine that would make the focal point of the Sikh faith, an image of its firmness, resolve, strength, courage and toughness. It would become an emblem of its immortality and indestructibility. The construction of the shrine and the bridge which connects it with the main complex was completed in , when on 30th August, Guru Granth Sahib was courtly installed in there.
The dimensions of the pool are: length feet, breadth feet and depth 17 feet. The bridge which connects the main shrine with the entrance hall is feet long and 21 feet wide. The shrine is floating like a lotus in the centre of the pool. The shrine has four gates, representing the equality of man. People of any country, caste, creed, sect and faith are welcome in the shrine. To reach the shrine the faithful have to go down the steps, which is symbolic of humility and modesty. All around the pool is a parikarma, walk-way, which every visitor has to follow to reach the shrine.
This is reminiscent of oath of loyalty and faithfulness for Almighty God. She along with her entourage walked barefoot in the parikarma to reach the shrine, where she bowed to the holy book and asked for the divine blessings. It is a historical fact that in recent times, most of the Indian Prime Ministers visited the shrine to invoke the blessing of Waheguru though they were not Sikhs. The examples of V. Gujral can be cited. From the main gates which open at the bridge, to the threshold of Harimandir, there are 84 steps which remind one of liberation from the 84,00, lives and their sufferings.
Guru Hargobind, the son of Guru Arjan Dev, left Amritsar and retired in the Shivalik hills to avoid repeated conflict with the Mughals. The control of the temple thus remained in the hands of the people hostile to the Sikh faith. Guru Tegh Bahadur, after his anointment as the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, did go to the temple to pay his respects, but the occupiers of the temple closed its doors and refused him an entry into the shrine.
In the post Guru period, many times the Mughals and other Afghan invaders blew up and desecrated the temple to demoralise the Sikhs, but each time it gave the Sikhs more moral courage, strength and firm resolution to fight the tyranny and rebuild their temple.
When Sikhs ruled Punjab , the Maharaja, Ranjit Singh, arranged for gold leaf to be set on to its upper two storeys and all the domes and minarets giving it a new name, the Golden Temple. It represented both spiritual and temporal authority of the Guru. During the times of Mughals, when there was a prize on the head of every Sikh, and later after the fall of Sikh Empire in Punjab, both the Harimandir and Akal Takhat remained under the control of sects organised by Sri Chand, a son of Guru Nanak and Prithi Chand, the eldest son of Guru Ramdas.
The members of these sects did not keep long hair so that they could denounce their faith in times of adversity. With the lapse of time the control became hereditary and corrupt and the Sikh masses revolted against it. Against the Sikh traditions, images were installed in the Harimandir and the people of low caste were refused entry into it.
Even during the first fifty years of the British rule in Punjab, both shrines remained in the occupation of Mahants, the descendants of Sri Chand and Prithi Chand. The British gave them protection against the upsurge of the Sikh masses. For some time the keys of the treasury of Golden Temple were also confiscated by the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. At the end, on 17th January , the British government yielded and handed over the keys to the President of SGPC, a newly constituted body for the management of all the historical Gurdwaras in Punjab.
The Golden Temple precincts were then cleaned and all the images removed and entry opened to all the devotees. The word Takhat means a throne. The dictionary meaning of the word throne is a ceremonial chair for a king or for the sovereign power. In Sikhism the word Takhat has been used in both of these senses. The Takhats are designated historical Gurdwaras, which have the power to legislate on the Sikh religion.
The head priests of these shrines make a mini parliament and their decisions are law for the Sikhs. They have the authority to reprimand and punish the religious wrongdoers. They are also the final authority on all religious pronouncements.
During his stay at Amritsar, the Guru held his courts at the Akal Takhat. He said that this Takhat has been built, by the command of all powerful God, to guide the Sikhs for the planning and guidance of their political and religious future. All through the Sikh history the assemblies of the Sikh parliament Sarbat Khalsa had been held in the forecourt of this Takhat. This is the place where the Khalsa was baptised in The Gurdwaras at these places were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
For many hundred years the Sikhs had only four Takhats. Sant Fateh Singh, another veteran of the Sikhs during was punished by the Takhats for his religious betrayal. They are:. Guru Nanak started the practice of keeping the hair unshorn. The keeping of hair in its natural state is regarded as living in harmony with the will of God, and is a symbol of the Khalsa brotherhood and the Sikh faith.
Hair is an integral part of the human body created by God and Sikhism call for its preservation. The shaving or cutting of hair is one of the four taboos or Kurehats. Long unshorn hair. A symbol of spirituality. The Kesh reminds a Khalsa to behave like the Guru's. It is a mark of dedication and group consciousness, showing a Khalsa's acceptance of God's will.
Long hair have long been a common element of many spiritual prophets of various religions such as Jesus, Moses and Buddha. The keeping of unshorn hair represents the Sikh belief in the accepting of God's will. The unshorn hair is to be covered at all times by the dastar turban as a sign of respect for God, and also as a sign of acceptance of the belief in the equality of men and women. Sikhism preaches that the only reason one should cover one's head is out of respect for God.
Since men and women are equal, both men and women must cover their heads, and since God is everywhere, they must do so at all times. The turban also serves as an outward form of recognition of Sikh men and women. For the respect of your hair, two turbans are to be tied, tying each layer one at a time. There should be a small turban tied underneath and a larger one tied above this.
Women must not plait their hair and should keep their hair tied in a bun. If possible, in order to respect your Kesh then a small turban should be tied. A Sikh must comb his hair twice a day and tie his turban neatly. The Gurus wore turbans and commanded the Sikhs to wear turbans for the protection of the hair, and promotion of social identity and cohesion. It has thus become an essential part of the Sikh dress. A symbol of hygiene and discipline as opposed to the matted unkept hair of ascetics.
A Khalsa is expected to regularly wash and comb their hair as a matter of self discipline. This is to be worn in the hair at all times, and is used for combing of one's hair: "it represents hygiene [. Thus, the kanga reinforces the belief that one would maintain cleanliness of spirit, mind and body.
In order to keep the kesh clean a wooden kangha Sikh Comb is to be kept in the hair. According to scientific research keeping a wooden kangha in your hair reduces the level of static energy building up. A metal or ivory comb is not to be used as a substitute. To keep the hair clean it must be combed twice daily. In the morning and evening after combing your hair a turban is to be tied. It is to be tied a layer at a time, and it is to be removed in the same manner, taking it off a layer at a time.
If your kangha becomes damaged in anyway it should be replaced immediately. The kangha is placed on the head the highest point of the body and thus becomes supreme. In the same way the Khalsa is to become supreme by removing ego and being humble. Just as the kangha removes broken hairs and cleans the hair physically, it is also spiritually questioning the individual as to how many good and bad deeds have been committed during the day.
Just as clean hair is attached to your head so are your good deeds. Similarly, as broken hairs are removed by your kangha, your vices should be removed in the same way. The hairs removed by the kangha are not to be thrown in a dirty place or on the floor. Women and children are to tie a string to their kangha so that it can easily be tied to their hair, and to stop it from falling. At home two to four spare kanghas are to be kept.
It is worn on the right wrist and reminds the Sikh of the vows taken by him, that is, he is a servant of the Guru and should not do anything which may bring shame or disgrace. When he looks at the Kara, he is made to think twice before doing anything evil with his hands. The circular design of the kara signifies the oneness and eternity of God and "the symbol of perfection [. By wearing it on the wrist, it binds the wearer to the will of God, and reminds the wearer to never extend one's hand for the performance of evil.
The Kara must be of Sarab Loh pure iron. The Khalsa is not to wear a kara that is made of gold, silver, brass, copper or one that has grooves in it. The Kara is a handcuff placed by the Guru upon the individual to remind us of our duty to God, stopping us from committing sins.
The Kara acts as protection if someone goes to strike you with a sword on your wrist. According to scientific research, the Kara adds to the iron levels in the body by rubbing on the skin. The Kara teaches us that these arms belong to Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji - with which we are not to steal, con, commit forgery, oppress, bully, persecute, sin or murder.
Gambling and playing cards and gambling are not permitted. With these hands we should earn an honest living and share its benefits. In addition, your hands should serve your community and the Khalsa nation. The Kara is a precious gift bestowed upon us for life by Guru Sahib, which cannot be separated from the body.
The Kara is circular, having no beginning and no end. Similarly, Vaheguru has no beginning or end and the Kara reminds us of this. It reminds the Sikh of the need for self-restrain over passions and desires. Apart from its moral significance, it ensures briskness during action and freedom of movement at all times. It is a smart dress as compared to the loose dhoti which most Indian wore at that time A symbol signifying self control and chastity. Resembling boxer shorts they are designed for comfort and freedom of movement: ".
The Kashera is the sign of sexual restraint. The Kashera and Kirpan are never to be separated from the body. You are only to wear Rev Kashera a traditional style Kashera. The Kashera gives us the teaching,. It symbolises dignity and self-reliance, the capacity and readiness to always defend the weak and the oppressed.
It helps sustain one's martial spirit and the determination to sacrifice oneself in order to defend truth, oppression and Sikh moral values. A symbol of dignity and the Sikh struggle against injustice. It is worn purely as a religious symbol and not as a weapon. When all other means of self protection fail, the Kirpan can be used to protect yourself or others against the enemy. This article of faith most closely resembles a sword in a metal sheath and wrapped in a fabric holster.
The word Kirpan itself means "mercy, grace, or magnanimity". The Kirpan is most often worn close to the skin of the body, underneath clothing, and is kept in place by a strap around the shoulder and torso, attached in place by the fabric holster. It now speaks of law and morality, justice and order, and has become an instrument of the Divine itself'.
It represents spiritual power and is never to be used as a weapon. By wearing it on one's person, it is to remind the wearer to always stand up against injustice. The Kirpan is there to protect the poor and for self-defence. With patience and mercy, the Kirpan is to be used as a sword in order to destroy oppression.
The Kirpan is to always be in a gatra and never to be removed from the body. The Kirpan protects us from hidden and seen enemies. The Kirpan is a weapon to protect the whole body, as a minimum it should be nine inches in length. Keeping the Kirpan in a Kangha, in the Kesh and putting it on a string around the neck like a Janeoo, are against the Rehat and forbidden.
You are never to walk over your Kirpan or other weapons. How many species of creeping things, and how many birds hast Thou caused to fly! Men break through the shops and great houses of cities and stealing therefrom go homewards. They look before them, they look behind them, but where can they hide themselves from Thee? The banks of streams of pilgrimage, the nine regions  of the earth, shops, cities, and market-places have I seen.
Becoming a shopkeeper I take a scale and try to weigh my actions in my heart. My sins are numerous as the waters of the seas and the ocean. Bestow compassion, extend a little mercy, save me who am like a sinking stone. My soul is burning like fire; it is as though shears were cutting my heart. Nanak humbly representeth—he who obeyeth God's order. Kalu then desired that his son should embrace a mercantile life. He instructed him to go to Chuharkana in the present district of Gujranwala, and buy there salt, turmeric, and other articles to trade with.
Nanak set out with a servant, and on the way met some holy men, whose vows obliged them to remain naked in all seasons. Before he could receive an answer, Nanak was reminded by his servant of his more practical mission, and counselled to proceed to Chuharkana in obedience to his father s instructions. Nanak, however, was not to be thwarted in his object. He pressed the priest for an answer. The priest replied that his company required not clothes or food, except in so far as the latter was voluntarily bestowed on them.
To avoid all luxury they dwelt in forests, and not in peopled towns and villages. He therefore gave the holy men the money with which his father had provided him. Upon this they asked him his name, and he said that he was Nanak Nirankari, or Nanak the worshipper of the Formless One, that is, God. Nanak was prevailed upon to take the money to the nearest village to buy food for the holy men, who had not tasted any for some days.
When the faqirs took their departure, Nanak was censured by his servant for his reckless prodigality. He then realized the nature of his act, and did not go home, but sat under a tree outside the village of Talwandi. He was there found by his father, who cuffed him for his disobedience.
The aged tree under which he sat is still preserved. A wall has been built around it for protection. Within the enclosure are found religious men in prayer and contemplation. The tree is known as the Thamb Sahib, or the holy trunk. Rai Bular, too, was no apathetic advocate of Nanak.
Nanak's departure to his brother-in-law was precipitated by another act of worldly indiscretion. He had entered into companionship with a faqir who visited the village. Nanak told him, as he did the other faqirs, that his name was Nanak Nirankari; and a friendly intimacy sprang up between them.
The faqir was probably a swindler, and coveted a brass lota, or drinking vessel, and a gold wedding ring which Nanak wore, and asked that they might be presented to him. Nanak acceded to the request, to the further sorrow and indignation of his parents. After that it was not difficult to induce Kalu to allow his son to proceed to Sultanpur to join Jai Ram and Nanaki.
The other members of Nanak's family also unanimously approved of his decision. Nanak's wife alone, on seeing him make preparations for his journey, began to weep, and said, 'My life, even here thou hast not loved me; when thou goest to a foreign country, how shalt thou return?
If I can earn my living, I will send for thee. Obey my order. When Nanak asked Rai Bular's permission to depart, the Rai gave him a banquet. The Rai then requested him to give him any order he pleased, that is, to state what favour he might grant him. I give thee one order if thou wilt comply with it. When thine own might availeth not, clasp thy hands and worship God. Jai Ram introduced Nanak as an educated man to the Governor, Daulat Khan, who appointed him storekeeper and gave him a dress of honour as a preliminary of service.
Nanak began to apply himself to his duties, and so discharged them that everybody was gratified and congratulated him. He was also highly praised to the Governor, who was much pleased with his new servant. Out of the provisions which Guru Nanak was allowed, he devoted only a small portion to his own maintenance; the rest he gave to the poor. He used continually to spend his nights singing hymns to his Creator.
If Nanak, when weighing out provisions, went as far as the number thirteen— tera —he used to pause and several times repeat the word—which also means 'Thine,' that is, 'I am Thine, O Lord,'—before he went on weighing.
The minstrel Mardana subsequently came from Talwandi and became Nanak's private servant. Mardana was of the tribe of Dums, who are minstrels by heredity. He used to accompany Nanak on the rabab, or rebeck. Nanak introduced them to the Khan and procured them employment.
They all got a living by Nanak's favour, and were happy. At dinner-time they came and sat down with him, and every night there was continual singing. A watch before day, Nanak used to go to the neighbouring Bein river and perform his ablutions. When day dawned, he went to discharge the duties of his office. He was offered a cup of nectar, which he gratefully accepted. God said to him, 'I am with thee.
I have made thee happy, and also those who shall take thy name. Go and repeat Mine, and cause others to do likewise. Abide uncontaminated by the world. Practise the repetition of My name, charity, ablutions, worship, and meditation. I have given thee this cup of nectar, a pledge of My regard. He then sang the following verses to the accompaniment of the spontaneous music of heaven:—.
Were I to live for millions of years and drink the air for my nourishment; Were I to dwell in a cave where I beheld not sun or moon, and could not even dream of sleeping,  I should still not be able to express Thy worth; how great shall I call Thy name? Were I to be felled and cut in pieces, were I to be ground in a mill; Were I to be burned in a fire, and blended with its ashes, I should still not be able to express Thy worth; how great shall I call Thy name? Were I to become a bird and fly to a hundred heavens; Were I to vanish from human gaze and neither eat nor drink, I should still not be able to express Thy worth; how great shall I call Thy name?
Hereupon a voice was heard, 'O Nanak, thou hast seen My sovereignty. Even the lower animals sing Thy praises. There is but one God whose name is True, the Creator, devoid of fear and enmity, immortal, unborn, self-existent, great, and bountiful. When Nanak had finished, a voice was heard again: 'O Nanak, to him upon whom My look of kindness resteth, be thou merciful, as I too shall be merciful.
My name is God, the primal Brahm, and thou art the divine Guru. Thou wise and omniscient, art an ocean; how can I a fish obtain a knowledge of Thy limit? I know neither Death the fisherman nor his net. When I am in sorrow, then I remember Thee. Thou art omnipresent though I thought Thee distant. What I do is patent unto Thee; Thou beholdest mine acts, yet I deny them. There is no other gate than Thine; to whose gate shall I go? Nanak maketh one supplication Soul and body are all in Thy power.
Thou seest and hearest; by Thy power didst Thou create the world. After three days the Guru came forth from the forest. The people thought he had been drowned in the neighbouring river; and how had he returned to life? He then went home, and gave all that he had to the poor.
A great crowd assembled, and Nawab Daulat Khan, the Governor, also came. He inquired what had happened to Nanak, but received no reply. Understanding, however, that the Guru's acts were the result of his abandonment of this world, the Governor felt sad, said it was a great pity, and went home. It was the general belief at this time that Nanak was possessed with an evil spirit, and a Mulla or Muhammadan priest was summoned to exorcise it.
The Mulla began to write an amulet to hang round Nanak's neck. While the Mulla was writing Nanak uttered the following:—. When the field is spoiled where is the harvest heap? Cursed are the lives of those who write God's name and sell it. The Mulla, paying no attention to Nanak's serious objurgation, continued the ceremony of exorcism and finally addressed the supposed evil spirit, 'Who art thou? Simpleton Nanak hath become mad upon the Lord.
When one is mad with the fear of God, And recognizeth none other than the one God, He is known as mad when he doeth this one thing— When he obeyeth the Master's order—in what else is there wisdom? When man loveth the Lord and deemeth himself worthless, And the rest of the world good, he is called mad. After this, Guru Nanak donned a religious costume and associated constantly with religious men. He remained silent for one day, and the next he uttered the pregnant announcement, 'There is no Hindu and no Musalman.
On a complaint made by the Nawab's Qazi, or expounder of Muhammadan law, the Guru was summoned before Daulat Khan to give an explanation of his words. He refused to go, saying, 'What have I to do with your Khan? His mind was full of his mission, and whenever he spoke he merely said, 'There is no Hindu and no Musalman.
Upon this the Governor sent for him. A footman went and told the Guru that the Governor had requested him to come to him. Then Guru Nanak stood up and went to the Governor. The Governor addressed him, 'Nanak, it is my misfortune that such an officer as thou should have become a faqir. The Qazi became thoughtful, and smiled. In explanation of his statement that there was no Musalman he uttered the following:—.
To be  a Musalman is difficult; if one be really so, then one may be called a Musalman. Let one first love the religion of saints,  and put aside pride and pelf  as the file removeth rust. Let him accept the religion of his pilots, and dismiss anxiety regarding death or life;  Let him heartily obey the will of God, worship the Creator, and efface himself— When he is kind to all men, then Nanak, shall he be indeed a Musalman.
The Qazi then put further questions to the Guru. The Guru called on Mardana to play the rebeck, and sang to it the following replies and instructions adapted for Muhammadans:—. Make kindness thy mosque, sincerity thy prayer-carpet, what is just and lawful thy Quran, Modesty thy circumcision, civility thy fasting, so shalt thou be a Musalman; Make right conduct thy Kaaba,  truth thy spiritual guide, good works thy creed and thy prayer, The will of God thy rosary, and God will preserve thine honour, O Nanak.
Unlawful food will not become lawful by putting spices  therein. Nanak, from false words only falsehood can be obtained. There are five prayers, five times for prayer, and five names for them  — The first should be truth, the second what is right, the third charity in God's name, The fourth good intentions, the fifth the praise and glory of God. If thou make good works the creed thou repeatest, thou shalt be a Musalman. They who are false, O Nanak, shall only obtain what is altogether false.
The Qazi became astonished at being thus lectured. Prayers had become to him a matter of idle lip-repetition of Arabic texts, while his mind was occupied with his worldly affairs. It was now the time for afternoon prayer. The whole company, including Nanak, went to the mosque. Up rose the Qazi and began the service. The Guru looked towards him and laughed in his face.
When prayer was over, the Qazi complained to the Nawab of Nanak's conduct. The Qazi asked Nanak to state the reason for his conclusion. The Guru replied that immediately before prayer the Qazi had unloosed a new-born filly. While he ostensibly performed divine service, he remembered there was a well in the enclosure, and his mind was filled with apprehension lest the filly should fall into it.
His heart was therefore not in his devotions. The Guru informed the Nawab also that while he was pretending to pray, he was thinking of purchasing horses in Kabul. Both admitted the truth of the Guru's statements, said he was favoured of God, and fell at his feet. The Guru then uttered the following:—. He is a Musalman who effaceth himself, Who maketh truth and contentment his holy creed, Who neither toucheth what is standing, nor eateth what hath fallen— Such a Musalman shall go to Paradise.
The whole company of Musalmans at the capital—the descendants of the Prophet, the tribe of shaikhs,  the qazi, the muftis,  and the Nawab himself, were all amazed at Nanak's words. The Muhammadans then asked the Guru to tell them of the power and authority of his God, and how salvation could be obtained. Upon this the Guru addressed them as follows:—. How many hundreds of thousands of sidhs  and strivers,  yea, countless and endless!
All are impure without meditating on the word of the true guru. There is one Lord over all spiritual lords, the Creator whose name is true. Nanak, His worth cannot be ascertained; He is endless and incalculable.
It is said that Daulat Khan, the Musalman ruler, on hearing this sublime hymn, fell at Guru Nanak's feet. The people admitted that God was speaking through Nanak's mouth, and that it was useless to catechize him further. Nanak, however, was in no need of temporal possessions, and went again into the society of religious men. They too offered him their homage, and averred that he was desirous of the truth and abode in its performance. My beloved, this body, first steeped in the base of worldliness,  hath taken the dye of avarice.
My beloved, such robe  pleaseth not my Spouse; How can woman thus dressed go to His couch? I am a sacrifice unto those who repeat Thy name. Unto those who repeat Thy name I am ever a sacrifice. Were this body, my beloved friends, to become a dyer's vat, the Name to be put into it as madder, And the Lord the Dyer to dye therewith, such colour had never been seen.
O my beloved, the Bridegroom is with those whose robes are thus dyed. Nanak's prayer is that he may obtain the dust of such persons' feet. God Himself it is who decketh, it is He who dyeth, it is He who looketh with the eye of favour. Nanak, if the bride be pleasing to the Bridegroom, he will enjoy her of his own accord. Upon this the faqirs kissed the Guru's feet, the Governor also came, and all the people, both Hindu and Musalman, attended to salute and take final leave of him.
Nay, it was discovered that money was due to him from the State. The Guru, however, refused to receive it and requested the Nawab to dispose of it in relieving the wants of the poor. After a short stay with the holy men with whom he had recently been consorting, the Guru, in company with Mardana, proceeded to Saiyidpur, the present city of Eminabad, in the Gujranwala district of the Panjab. Nanak and his companion took shelter in the house of Lalo, a carpenter.
When dinner was ready, Lalo informed the Guru, and asked him to eat it within sacred lines. Wherefore remove doubt from thy mind. After two days the Guru desired to take his departure, but was prevailed on by Lalo to make a longer stay. The Guru consented, but soon found himself an object of obloquy because he, the son of a Khatri, abode in the house of a Sudar. After a fortnight, Malik Bhago, steward of the Pathan who owned Saiyidpur, gave a great feast, to which Hindus of all four castes were invited.
A Brahman went and told the Guru that, as all the four castes had been invited, he too should partake of Malik Bhago's bounty. The Guru replied, 'I belong not to any of the four castes; why am I invited? Malik Bhago will be displeased with thee for refusing his hospitality. When subsequently Malik Bhago heard of the Guru s absence from the feast, he ordered him to be produced. Bhago inquired why he had not responded to his invitation. The Guru replied, that he was a faqir who did not desire dainty food, but if his eating from the hands of Malik Bhago afforded that functionary any gratification, he would not be found wanting.
Malik Bhago was not appeased, but charged the Guru, who was the son of a Khatri, while refusing to attend his feast, with dining with the low-caste Lalo. Upon this the Guru asked Malik Bhago for his share, and at the same time requested Lalo to bring him bread from his house. When both viands arrived, the Guru took Lalo s coarse bread in his right hand and Malik Bhago s dainty bread in his left, and squeezed them both.
It is said that from Lalo s bread there issued milk, and from Malik Bhago s, blood. The meaning was that Lalo s bread had been obtained by honest labour and was pure, while Malik Bhago s had been obtained by bribery and oppression and was there fore impure. The Guru hesitated not to accept the former.
After this the Guru and Mardana proceeded to a solitary forest, nowhere entering a village or tarrying on the bank of a river. On the way they were overtaken by hunger, and Mardana complained. The Guru directed him to go straight on and enter a village where the Upal Khatris dwelt. He had only to stand in silence at the doors of their houses, when Hindus and Musalmans would come to do him homage, and not only supply him with food, but bring carpets and spread them before him to tread on.
Mardana did as he had been directed, and succeeded in his errand. Mardana subsequently received an order to go to another village. He there also received great homage. These he tied up in bundles and took to the Guru. On seeing them the Guru laughed, and asked Mardana what he had brought. He answered that the villagers had made him large presents of money and clothes, and he thought that he would bring them to his master. The Guru replied that they did not belong to either of them.
Mardana inquired how he was to dispose of them. The Guru told him to throw them away, an order which he at once obeyed. The Guru explained to him the disastrous effects of offerings on laymen. They can only bring good by fervent adoration of God at all hours. When man performeth scant worship and dependeth on offerings for his subsistence, the effect on him is as if he had taken poison. Bronze is bright and shining, but, by rubbing, its sable blackness appeareth, Which cannot be removed even by washing a hundred times.
They are friends  who travel with me as I go along, And who are found standing ready whenever their accounts are called for. Houses, mansions, palaces painted on all sides, When hollow within, are as it were crumbled and useless. Herons arrayed in white dwell at places of pilgrimage; Yet they rend and devour living things, and therefore should not be called white.
I am a blind man carrying a burden while the mountainous  way is long. I want eyes which I cannot get; how can I ascend and traverse the journey? Of what avail are services, virtues, and cleverness? Nanak, remember the Name, so mayest thou be released from thy shackles.
Shaikh Sajjan, on hearing this warning and heart-searching hymn, came to his right understanding. He knew that all the faults were his own, which the Guru had attributed to himself. Then the Guru said, 'Shaikh Sajjan, at the throne of God grace is obtained by two things, open confession and reparation for wrong. Then the Guru's heart was touched, and he asked him to truly state how many murders he had committed. Shaikh Sajjan admitted a long catalogue of the most heinous crimes.
The Guru asked him to produce all the property of his victims that he had retained in his possession. The Shaikh did so, where upon the Guru told him to give it all to the poor. He obeyed the mandate, and became a follower of the Guru after receiving charanpahul.
The Guru, hearing of a religious fair at Kurkhetar  near Thanesar, in the present district of Ambala, on the occasion of a solar eclipse desired to visit it with the object of preaching to the assembled pilgrims. Needing refreshment, he began to cook a deer which a disciple had presented to him. The Brahmans expressed their horror at his use of flesh, upon which he replied:—.
Man is first conceived in flesh, he dwelleth in flesh. When he quickeneth, he obtaineth a mouth of flesh; his bone, skin, and body are made of flesh. His mouth is of flesh, his tongue is of flesh, his breath is in flesh. When he groweth up he marrieth, and bringeth flesh home with him. Flesh is produced from flesh; all man's relations are made from flesh. By meeting the true Guru and obeying God's order, everybody shall go right.
If thou suppose that man shall be saved by himself, he shall not; Nanak, it is idle to say so. Fools wrangle about flesh, but know not divine knowledge or meditation on God. They know not what is flesh, or what is vegetable, or in what sin consisteth. It was the custom of the gods to kill rhinoceroses, roast them and feast. They who forswear flesh and hold their noses when near it, devour men at night. They make pretences to the world, but they know not divine knowledge or meditation on God. Nanak, why talk to a fool?
He cannot reply or understand what is said to him. He who acteth blindly is blind; he hath no mental eyes. Ye were produced from the blood of your parents, yet ye eat not fish or flesh. When man and woman meet at night and cohabit, A foetus is conceived from flesh; we are vessels of flesh. O Brahman, thou knowest not divine knowledge or meditation on God, yet thou callest thyself clever. Thou considerest the flesh that cometh from abroad  bad, O my lord, and the flesh of thine own home good.
All animals have sprung from flesh, and the soul taketh its abode in flesh. In flesh we are conceived, from flesh we are born; we are vessels of flesh. Flesh is allowed in the Purans, flesh is allowed in the books of the Musalmans, flesh hath been used in the four ages. Flesh adorneth sacrifice and marriage functions; flesh hath always been associated with them. Women, men, kings, and emperors spring from flesh. If they appear to you to be going to hell, then accept not their offerings.
See how wrong it would be that givers should go to hell and receivers to heaven. Thou understandest not thyself, yet thou instructest others; O Pandit, thou art very wise! Corn, sugar-cane, and cotton are produced from water;  from water the three worlds are deemed to have sprung.
Water saith, 'I am good in many ways'; many are the modifications of water. If thou abandon the relish of such things, thou shalt be superhuman, saith Nanak deliberately. The Guru succeeded in making many converts at Kurkhetar. When departing, he thus addressed his Sikhs: 'Live in harmony, utter the Creator's name, and if any one salute you therewith, return his salute with the addition true, and say "Sat Kartar", the True Creator, in reply.
There are four ways by which, with the repetition of God's name, men may reach Him. The first is holy companionship, the second truth, the third contentment, and the fourth restraint of the senses. The Guru next visited Hardwar in pursuance of his mission. A great crowd was assembled from the four cardinal points for the purpose of washing away their sins.
The Guru saw that, while they were cleansing their bodies, their hearts remained filthy; and none of them restrained the wanderings of his mind or performed his ablutions with love and devotion. While they were throwing water towards the east for the manes of their ancestors, the Guru went among them, and, putting his hands together so as to form a cup, began to throw water towards the west, and continued to do so until a large crowd had gathered round him.
Men in their astonishment began to inquire what he was doing, and whether he was a Hindu or Muhammadan. If the latter, why had he come to a Hindu place of pilgrimage? If he were a Hindu, why should he throw water towards the west instead of towards the rising sun? And who had taught him to do so? In reply, the Guru asked them why they threw water towards the east. To whom were they offering it, and who was to receive it?
They replied that they were offering libations to the manes of their ancestors. It would satisfy them, and be a source of happiness to themselves. The Guru then asked how far distant their ancestors were. A learned man among them replied that their ancestors were thousands of miles distant.
The Guru, upon this, again began to throw palmfuls of water towards the west. They reminded him that he had not answered their questions, or vouchsafed any information regarding himself. He replied that, before he had set out from his home in the west, he had sown a field and left no one to irrigate it.
He was therefore throwing water in its direction, that it might remain green and not dry up. On hearing this, the spectators thought he was crazed, and told him he was sprinkling water in vain, for it would never reach his field. Where was his field and where was he, and how could the water ever reach it? Without love and devotion your minds have gone astray. My field, which you say this water cannot reach, is near, but your ancestors are very far away, so how can the water ye offer them ever reach them or profit them?
Ye call me a fool, but ye are greater fools yourselves. The Guru after a little time again broke silence, and said, 'The Hindus are going to hell. Death will seize and mercilessly punish them. Thou hast in the first place acted contrary to our custom, and now thou hast the audacity to tell us that we are going to hell. But when ye take rosaries in your hands, and sit down counting your beads, ye never think of God, but allow your minds to wander thinking of worldly objects.
Your rosaries are therefore only for show, and your counting your beads is only hypocrisy. One of you is thinking of his trade with Multan, another of his trade with Kabul, another of his trade with Dihli, and the gain that shall in each case accrue. The Guru, requiring fire to cook his food, went into a Brahman's cooking-square for it. The Brahman charged him with having defiled his viands.
Upon this the following was composed:—. What availeth thee to have drawn the lines of thy cooking place when these four are seated with thee? Make truth, self-restraint, and good acts thy lines, and the utterance of the Name thine ablutions. Nanak, in the next world he is best who walketh not in the way of sin. While at Hardwar the Brahmans pressed the Guru to return to his allegiance to the Hindu religion. They pointed out the spiritual advantages of sacrifices and burnt-offerings, and of the worship of cremation-grounds, gods, and goddesses.
As to the homage paid the latter, the Guru said that men were ruined thereby, as sweetmeats are spoiled by flies settling on them. Guru Nanak and Mardana departed thence, and proceeded to Panipat, a place famous in Indian history as the scene of three great decisive battles.
A disciple called Tatihari went to fetch a pot of water for his spiritual guide from the well near which the Guru and Mardana had sat down to rest. The Guru wore a Persian hat and a nondescript costume, which Tatihari took for that of a Persian darwesh. Nanak replied, 'Salam Alekh' salutation to the Invisible. Tatihari was astonished, and said that until then nobody had distorted his salutation. He went and told his religious superior, the Shaikh, that he had met a darwesh who had taken the liberty of punning on the Muhammadan salutation.
The Shaikh at once resolved to go himself to see the man who had saluted the Invisible One, and inquire what he knew regarding Him. The Shaikh, on arriving, asked the Guru what religious denomination his head-dress denoted, and why he did not shave his head in orthodox fashion. The Guru replied:—. When man hath shaved his mind he hath shaved his head;  Without shaving his mind he findeth not the way.
Let him cut off his head and place it before his guru. If he resign his own wisdom, he shall be saved by the wisdom of his guru. To become the dust of the feet of all is to shave the head. Such a hermit appreciateth the words of the guru; That is the way in which the head is shaved, O brother.
Few are there who shave their heads according to the instruction of their guru. Nanak having abandoned all pleasures, affections, and egotism, Hath put on a hat of this fashion. Under the instructions of my Guru  I remain His disciple. My stole and my hat consist in grasping the Word in my heart. I have turned the flowing river into a streak of sand. Having put on my stole I have killed all mine enemies;  I have settled in the silent city and abide therein: There I learned how to wear this stole.
Having forsaken my family I live alone— Nanak having put on this stole is happy. By the word and instruction of the Guru my mind hath obtained peace; I restrain my five senses and abide apart from the world; I close mine eyes and my mind hath ceased to wander. I have locked up the ten gates  of my body, And I sit in contemplation in its sixty-eight chambers. Putting on a loin-cloth I dwell alone And drink from the waterfall  of the brain. I discard my low intelligence for the lofty wisdom of my Guru.
In this way Nanak weareth a loin-cloth. By associating with those who go the right way I have obtained all knowledge. I have reduced my mind to the caste of fire and wind;  I abide in the manner of the earth or a tree; I can endure the cutting and digging of my heart;  I desire to be as a river or sandal Which whether pleased or displeased conferreth advantage on all. Having churned the churn  of this world I am exalted, And having abandoned evil I appear before my God.
To those, who put on their slippers while meditating on Him, O Nanak, mortal sin shall not attach. Again the Shaikh said, 'Explain to me what a darwesh is. The Guru, ordering Mardana to play the rebeck, composed the following hymn:—. He who while he liveth is dead, while he waketh is asleep,  who knowingly alloweth himself to be plundered,  And who having abandoned everything meeteth his Creator, is a darwesh.
Few servants of Thine, O God , are darweshes at heart, Who feel not joy, sorrow, anger, wrath, pride, or avarice; Who look on gold as dross, and consider what is right to be lawful; Who obey the summons of God and heed none other; Who seated in a contemplative attitude in the firmament  play spontaneous music— Saith Nanak, neither the Veds nor the Quran know the praises of such holy men.
Even to behold him is sufficient. Guru Nanak journeyed on and arrived in Dihli. An elephant belonging to the reigning sovereign Ibrahim Lodi had just died; and the keepers, regretting the loss of the animal whose service had afforded them maintenance, were bewailing its death.
The Guru inquired whose the elephant was. They replied in Oriental fashion, that it was the Emperor's, but that all things belonged to God. The Guru said that the elephant was alive, and bade them go and rub its forehead with their hands, and say at the same time, 'Wah Guru'—hail to the Guru! The Emperor, having received information of the miracle, sent for the animal, mounted it, and went to the Guru, and asked if it was he who had restored it to life. The Guru replied, 'God is the only Destroyer and Re-animater.
Prayers are for faqirs, and mercy for Him. The Guru, not wishing to be treated as an itinerant showman, replied:—. It is He pointing on high who destroyeth and destroying re-animateth; Nanak, there is none but the one God. The animal then died, the inference of the chroniclers being that it died at the will of the Guru, as it had been previously called to life by him. The Emperor ordered him to again revivify it. The Guru replied, 'Hail to your Majesty!
Iron when heated in the fire becometh red, and cannot be held for a moment in the hand. Nanak is hungry for God, and careth for naught besides. I ask for God, I ask for nothing else. The Guru next proceeded to Bindraban, where he saw enacted the play called Krishanlila, in which the exploits of Krishan  are represented. Krishan appears making love to milkmaids, stealing their clothes while they were bathing, and killing his uncle Kans. The Guru expressed his dissatisfaction with the subject of the performance:—.
The disciples play, the gurus dance, Shake their feet, and roll their heads. Dust flieth and falleth on their hair; The audience seeing it laugh and go home. For the sake of food the performers beat time, And dash themselves on the ground.
The milkmaids sing, Krishans sing, Sitas and royal Rams sing. Fearless is the Formless One, whose name is true, And whose creation is the whole world. The worshippers on whom God bestoweth kindness worship Him; Pleasant is the night for those who long for Him in their hearts. Oil-presses, spinning-wheels, hand-mills, potters wheels, Plates,  whirlwinds, many and endless, Tops, churning-staves, threshing-frames, Birds tumble and take no breath. Men put animals on stakes and swing them round.
O Nanak, the tumblers are innumerable and endless. In the same way men bound in entanglements are swung round; Every one danceth according to his own acts— They who dance and laugh shall weep on their departure, They cannot fly or obtain supernatural power. Leaping and dancing are mental recreations;. The Guru set out towards the east, having arrayed himself in a strange motley of Hindu and Muhammadan religious habiliments.
He put on a mango-coloured jacket, over which he threw a white safa or sheet. On his head he carried the hat of a Musalman Qalandar,  while he wore a necklace of bones, and imprinted a saffron mark on his forehead in the style of Hindus. This was an earnest of his desire to found a religion which should be acceptable both to Hindus and Muhammadans without conforming to either faith.
As the Guru and his attendant proceeded, they met a Muhammadan notable called Shaikh Wajid. The Shaikh alighted under a tree, and his bearers began to shampoo and fan him. This afforded matter for contemplation to Mardana, and he asked the Guru whether there was not one God for the rich and another for the poor.
Mardana then put his question in another form: 'Who created this man who rideth in a sedan of ease while the bearers have no shoes to their feet? Their legs are naked while they shampoo and fan him. They who performed austerities in their former lives, are now kings and receive tribute on earth.
They who were then wearied, are now shampooed by others. The Guru continued in prose: 'O Mardana, whoever is born hath come naked from his mother's womb, and joy or misery is the result of actions in previous states of existence. Years previously it had withered from age, but it is related that when the holy man sat beneath it, it suddenly became green. The biographer of the Guru states that Sidhs came on that occasion and addressed him: 'O youth, whose disciple art thou, and from whom hast thou obtained instruction?
What is the scale? What the weights? What weighman  shall I call for Thee? Who is the guru from whom I should receive instruction, and by whom I should appraise Thy worth? O my Beloved, I know not Thy limit. Thou fillest sea and land, the nether and upper regions; it is Thou Thyself who art contained in everything. I weigh the Lord in my heart, and thus I fix my attention.
Thou Thyself art the tongue of the balance, the weight, and the scales; Thou Thyself art the weighman; Thou Thyself beholdest, Thou Thyself understandest, Thou Thyself art the dealer with Thee. Then the Sidhs said, 'O youth, become a Jogi, and adopt the dress of our order, so shalt thou find the true way and obtain the merits of religion.
Religion consisteth not in a patched coat, or in a Jogi's staff, or in ashes smeared over the body; Religion consisteth not in earrings worn, or a shaven head, or in the blowing of horns. Religion consisteth not in mere words; He who looketh on all men as equal is religious.
Religion consisteth not in wandering to tombs  or places of cremation, or sitting in attitudes of contemplation;  Religion consisteth not in wandering in foreign countries, or in bathing at places of pilgrimages. Abide pure amid the impurities of the world; thus shalt thou find the way of religion. On meeting a true guru doubt is dispelled and the wanderings of the mind restrained. It raineth nectar, slow ecstatic music is heard, and man is happy within himself.
Nanak, in the midst of life be in death; practise such religion. When thy horn soundeth without being blown, thou shalt obtain the fearless dignity—. On hearing this the Sidhs made Guru Nanak obeisance. The Guru, having infused sap into the pipal-tree by sitting under it, necessarily became a great being in their estimation.
The Guru and his musical attendant proceeded to Banaras,  the head quarters of the Hindu religion, and the birthplace of the renowned Kabir, then dead but not forgotten. The Guru and Mardana sat down in a public square of the city. At that time the chief Brahman of the holy city was Pandit Chatur Das. On going to bathe he saw the Guru and made the Hindu salutation, 'Ram Ram! O Brahman, thou worshippest and propitiatest the salagram, and deemest it a good act to wear a necklace of sweet basil.
Why apply plaster to a frail tottering wall? Repeating God's name, form a raft for thy salvation; may the Merciful have mercy on thee! Make God the well, string His name for the necklace of waterpots, and yoke thy mind as an ox thereto. Irrigate with nectar and fill the parterres therewith; thus shalt thou belong to the Gardener. The Pandit inquired: 'The soil is irrigated, but how can it yield produce until it hath been dug up and prepared for the seed? The Guru explained how this was to be done:—.
Beat both thy lust and anger into a spade, with which dig up the earth, O brother: The more thou diggest, the happier shalt thou be: such work shall not be effaced in vain. The Pandit replied: 'I am the crane, and thou art the primal swan of God.
My understanding is overcome by my senses. If thou, O Merciful One, show mercy, a crane shall change into a swan. Nanak, slave of slaves, supplicateth, O Merciful One have mercy. The Pandit then admitted that the Guru was a saint of God, and asked him to bless the city and sing its praises. The Guru inquired in what the specialty of the city consisted. The Pandit said it was learning, by which wealth was acquired.
By applying the mind to learning, thou shalt become a high priest. The city  is frail, the king  is a boy and loveth the wicked; He is said to have two mothers  and two fathers  ; O Pandit, think upon this. Within me is the fire,  the garden  is in bloom, and I have an ocean  within my body. The moon and sun  are both in my heart; thou hast not obtained such knowledge? He who subdueth mammon knoweth that God is every where diffused; He may be known by this mark that he storeth contentment as his wealth.
Chatur Das requested further information. What teachest thou the people, and what knowledge dost thou communicate to thy disciples? It is the one God who created Brahma;  It is the one God who created our understanding; It is from the one God the mountains and the ages of the world emanated; It is the one God who bestoweth knowledge.
It is by the word of God man is saved. It is by the name of the one God the pious are saved. Hear an account of the letter O—  O is the best letter in the three worlds. Hear, O Pandit, why writest thou puzzles? Write under the instruction of the Guru the name of God, the Cherisher of the world. He created the world with ease: in the three worlds there is one Lord of Light. Under the Guru's instruction select gems and pearls, and thou shalt obtain God the real thing.
If man understand, reflect, and comprehend what he readeth, he shall know at last that the True One is everywhere. On hearing the whole fifty-four stanzas of the Oamkar, the Pandit fell at the Guru's feet, and became a Sikh and possessor of God's name. During the Guru's stay at Banaras Krishan Lai and Har Lai, two eminent young pandits, went to visit him, and he explained to them the tenets and principles of his religion.
From Banaras the Guru proceeded to Gaya, the famous place of pilgrimage, where Buddha in days long past made his great renunciation and per formed his memorable penance. The Name alone, is my lamp, suffering the oil I put therein. The lamp's light hath dried it up, and I have escaped meeting Death. O ye people, make me not an object of derision. The application of a particle of fire will destroy even hundreds of thousands of logs heaped together. Thy praises are as the Ganges and Banaras to me; my soul laveth therein.
If day and night I love Thee, then shall my ablution be true. Some rolls are offered to the gods, some to the manes  ; but it is the Brahman who kneadeth and eateth them. Nanak, the rolls which are the gift of God are never exhausted. The Guru and Mardana in the course of their travels found themselves at a grain-dealer's house. A son had just been born to one of the partners, and several people had come to offer him congratulations.
Some threw red powder  in token of joy, and voices of blessing and congratulation filled the neighbourhood. In the evening, when the grain-dealer's entertainment was at an end, he stood up and went to his private apartments without taking any notice of Mardana. The latter went to the Guru, who sat at some distance, informed him of the birth of the child, and gave him an account of the entertainment.
The Guru smiled, and said it was not a son who had been born in the grain-dealer's house, but a creditor who had come to settle his account. He would remain for the night and depart in the morning. Then the Guru ordered Mardana to play the rebeck, and sang to its strains the following hymn:—. In the first watch of night, my merchant friend, the child by God's order entereth the womb.
With body reversed it performeth penance within, O merchant friend, and prayeth to the Lord— It prayeth to the Lord in deep meditation and love. It cometh naked into the world, and again it departeth naked. Such destiny shall attend it as God's pen hath recorded upon its forehead. Saith Nanak, in the first watch the child on receiving the order entereth the womb. In the second watch of night, O merchant friend, it forgetteth to meditate on God.
It is dandled in the arms, O merchant friend, like Krishan in the house of Yasodha. The child is dandled in the arms, and its mother saith, 'This is my son. At the third watch of night, O merchant friend, man's thoughts are of woman and the pleasures of youth; He thinketh not of God's name, O merchant friend, which would release him from his bondage.
Man thinketh not of God's name, but groweth beside himself with worldly love. Devoted to woman and intoxicated with his youth he wasteth his life in vain. He hath not traded in virtue or made good acts his friends. Saith Nanak, in the third watch man's thoughts are of woman and the pleasures of youth. In the fourth watch of night, O merchant friend, the reaper cometh to the field; The secret hath been given to none when Death shall seize and take away his victim.
Think upon God; the secret hath been given to none when Death shall seize and take man away. Hollow are the lamentations around. In one moment man's goods become another's. He shall obtain those things on which he hath set his heart. When morning came, the grain-dealer's child died, and the grain-dealer and his relatives came forth weeping and wailing. Then the Guru uttered the following on the vicissitudes of human life:—. They to whose faces were uttered gratulations and hundreds of thousands of blessings, Now smite their heads in grief ; and their minds and bodies suffer agony.
Of the dead some are buried, others are thrown into rivers. As the Guru and Mardana pursued their way they saw a small enclosed field of gram. As the watchman was preparing to eat, he saw them, and it occurred to him that they wanted something more dainty than gram, so he would go to his house and bring them better fare and comfortable bedding. As he stood up, the Guru, who did not wish to trouble him, asked whither he was going, and, on being informed, uttered the following verses:—.
Thy pallet is a coverlet and mattress for me; thy love is my dainty dish. Nanak is already satiated with thy good qualities; come back, O monarch. In due time the watchman obtained spiritual dignity in return for his kind intentions towards the Guru. There was at that time a shopkeeper whose mind had taken a religious bent, and who desired to meet a religious guide.
He heard of Guru Nanak's arrival, and vowed that he would not eat or drink until he had had an interview with him. A neighbouring shopkeeper heard of his friend s visits, and said that he too would go to see the holy man. They proceeded together, but on the way the second shopkeeper saw a woman of whom he became enamoured, and his visit to Nanak was indefinitely postponed. It was the custom of both to set out together, one to visit his mistress, and the other to visit the Guru.
The second shopkeeper desired to put the fortunes of both to the test, and said, Thou practisest good works, while I practise bad works. Let us see what shall happen to each of us to-day. The second shopkeeper went to the house of his mistress as usual, but did not find her.
The second shopkeeper needing some occupation in his solitude, drew out his knife and began to whittle the ground with it, when he found a shining gold coin. He continued his excavations with the weak delving implement he possessed, when, to his disappointment, he only discovered a jar of charcoal. He had, however, obtained some reward for his labour. Meanwhile the first shopkeeper arrived in doleful case.
Having left the Guru, a thorn pierced his foot. He bound up the wound, and proceeded sore limping to the trysting-place. His friend told him of his better fortune. The Guru explained that the sinful shopkeeper had in a former birth given a gold coin as alms to a holy man. The original gold coin was, however, restored. The shopkeeper who visited the Guru, had deserved to die by an impaling stake for the sins of deceit and usury, but, as he continued to progress in virtue, the impaling stake was reduced in size till it became merely a thorn.
Having been pierced by it, he had fully expiated the sins of a former birth. Thus may the decree of destiny be altered by the practice of virtue. Both men were thoroughly satisfied with this explanation of unequal retribution. The sinful as well as the virtuous man fell at Guru Nanak's feet, and both became true worshippers of God. The Guru then uttered the following verses:—.
The heart is the paper, conduct the ink;  good and bad are both recorded therewith. Man's life is as his acts constrain him; there is no limit to Thy praises, O God. O fool, why callest thou not to mind Thy Creator? Thy virtues have dissolved away by thy forgetfulness of God. Night is a small net, day a large one; there are as many meshes as there are gharis in the day. With relish thou ever peckest at the bait, and art ensnared; O fool, by what skill shalt thou escape?
The body is the furnace, the mind the iron therein; five fires  are ever applied to it. Sin is the charcoal added thereto, by which the mind is heated; anxiety is the pincers. The mind hath turned into dross, but it shall again become gold when it meeteth such a Guru As will bestow the ambrosial name of the one God; then, Nanak, the mind shall become fixed. On meeting her he loseth his human birth.
Bereft of his religion he falleth into hell, where he undergoeth punishment and profusely lamenteth. Wherefore look not on her, but pass thy time among the holy. After this they all separated, and the Guru and Mardana continued their wanderings. On the way they were encountered by robbers. On seeing Guru Nanak, they said to themselves that he on whose face shone such happiness could not be without wealth.
They accordingly went and stood around the Guru.
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