It was September 1948, Dr. Harinder Singh Dhindsa was teaching our class under a shady tree in the grounds of the Khalsa College Amritsar. While sitting in the class, I could not help repeatedly looking at the Granthi Sahib of the college gurdwara cutting grass just 50 meters away. This distracted the attention of the teacher.
Being otherwise a disciplined student, the teacher excused me a couple of times. Finally, he became concerned at my looking away again and again. He himself looked back to see what was more interesting to me than the class. He also recognized that the gentleman cutting grass was the Granthi Sahib of the gurdwara.
We know that the person holding the responsibility of gurdwara kirtan, recitation, and prayer commands the highest respect among Sikhs. The whole class then also looked at the Granthi Sahib. It is totally unexpected of the person holding that status to perform a job usually done by illiterate unemployed persons. Without saying anything to me, the professor addressed us:
“Well, boys close your notebooks. Let us understand a great moral lesson today. This will be a very important guide for your future life.” I felt relieved for not being rebuked by the teacher. He continued:
“Do you watch that man with a white turban cutting grass in the fields. I know him. He is the Granthi Sahib of our college gurdwara. He is a very admirable person. Sikhs in the locality respect him a great deal. I also know why he is performing that lowly job. He has a cow at his house. Having put a rope around her neck, it becomes his responsibility to provide grass, grain, and protection for her.
If you young people get the ‘rope’ of faith around your neck, God will do everything for you and will never fail to protect you from the worries and problems of your life. If you follow the path prescribed for you by your faith, you will never face any failure. You will always enjoy peace and pleasure in your heart.
It is only when we disregard the directions of our faith that, we meet mental and physical problems in our life. Think of the cow tied at his house. If she gets free from the rope and wanders into the green crops, the farm guard will beat her with a stick. If she damages some experiment, he may get very angry and teach her a lesson, he may even break her leg. When we, under the stress of vices, ‘free’ ourselves of the religious ‘rope’ – the direction for a righteous life – we land ourselves in trouble.
We see thieves, drug users and cheats, creating trouble for themselves and leading stressful lives. If you want to be happy, respect the religious way of life. It may appear to be restricting but it keeps you disciplined and, like the cow at his (Granthi’s) house, safe.