Episodes From lives of the Gurus
Story of the Eighth Mahal (Episode No. 8)
Mundane Pleasures are no attraction
The emperor, who ruled during the time of Guru Har Rai, one day asked his minister, "There was a pir of Hindus, whom they call their ‘True Emperor’, where is he now?”
“Your Majesty, Ram Das has expired. He has now been succeeded by a child of seven years,” replied the minister.
“I want to see him. Send some army men to bring him,” said the emperor. Among them was a Khatri minister who was a disciple of the Guru. He bowed before the emperor, and said, “Your Majesty, You need not send any army. I will bring him.” The emperor agreed.
The diwan arranged a palanquin for the Guru and chariots for the disciples, and approached the Guru at Anandpur. He conveyed the entire dialogue with the emperor to the Guru. “All right, we will go to Delhi,” said the Guru. Guru ji and his mother travelled in the palanquin, while other attendants used the chariots for the journey to Delhi. The Guru stayed as guest of the diwan. The diwan’s wife had cherished a desire that the Guru should sit in her lap of his own accord. She had resolved that she would accept him as Guru only if he fulfilled this desire of hers. In that case she would serve him with utmost devotion and willingly sacrifice everything for him. She had kept this desire a secret, and had not shared it with anybody. The all-knowing Guru divined her desire, and as soon as he got out of the palanquin, he walked straight up to the diwan's wife and sat in her lap. Overwhelmed, the lady accepted him as Guru with full devotion. In humility she washed his feet and took charanamrit and made an offering of a lot of money. Throughout the period the party stayed there, she entertained everybody with all kinds of food and sweets.
The Guru contracted small pox. He decided to leave his body and uttered this sentence: “I shall neither see nor be seen by the Turk.”
“O True Emperor, you are the Guru and the Master of destiny. Your body is still in infancy. You have not yet seen the good things of the world. Pray, keep this mortal frame alive to see the colourful drama of the world. Guru Har Rai had given you the leadership of the sangat, so please continue to look after us,” prayed the congregation.
“Dear sangat, I am going to the abode of supreme bliss and eternal festivities. The drama of this world is nothing in comparison to that. Bring five paise and a coconut, so that the Sikhs may again be given new stewardship,” said the Guru. At this command, the Sikhs brought the traditional five paise and a coconut, which the Guru placed in front of him, bowed his head, and said, “Baba is at Bakala.” Seeking clarification, the sangat requested that the name of the new Guru be told. The reply was that the Guru would not remain concealed. The congregation wanted to continue the dialogue, but the Guru silently looked at them, which indicated that the Guru did not approve of further conversation. So the sangat became silent.
“O True Emperor, the king had desired to hear Guru Nanak's verses, during the proposed meeting with the Guru. So pray, be kind and say something which I may pass on to him,” said the diwan. The Guru agreed and directed that the following hymn of Guru Nanak be recited to him:
‘What good consuming delicacies, wearing fine dresses,
When God in the self is not lodged?
What good consuming fruit, butter, sugar and sweets,
Dishes prepared from flour, flesh?
What good fine dresses, cosy beds, voluptuous pleasures?
What good armies, hordes of servants and
Residing in palaces?
Saith Nanak: Without absorption in the Name
All such objects perdition bring.’
After reciting this, the Guru reclined in Mata ji’s lap, and his spirit merged with the supreme Spirit.
Notes : Episode No 8
The Eighth Guru’s tale is most charming and endearing in every way. Although he agreed to come to Delhi, he lived upto the tradition of the previous two Gurus of not seeing the Moghal emperor of his time, who had killed his own father and brothers for the sake of the throne. The Guru is shown to prefer sitla (small pox) to meeting a wicked person. During his last moments on this earth he maintained perfect calm, and his mind was filled with concern for the welfare of Sikh society. All his utterances during that period exuberate infinite wisdom. His perception of the world he was going to, is eternally reassuring to his Sikhs.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2012, All