Wednesday, 14 September 2011

British Officer Admits Defeat to Sikhs

One day, Sodhi Harbhajan Singh jee (writer of famous book Bhajan Bandagi Da Pratap) was standing in a shop in Jabalpur that an English couple walked in and said fateh to him loudly. Harbhajan Singh was surprised to hear fateh from the English couple. Sodhi Harbhajan Singh jee started talking to them and asked them how come they know so much about Sikhism. Upon this the English gentleman told him his story as follows:

""""I was a police captain in 1924 when the Akalis launched Bhai Pheru morcha in Lahore city of Punjab (now in Pakistan). I got special orders from the Inspector General of Police to crush the Sikhs. I told him that I could do so only if I was to be given the police party of my choice. At this he agreed and I hand picked the most ruthless and strong young men from backgrounds such as Lyalpuri Jaanglis and Jhelami Jaats. I took my police party to Gurdwara Bhai Pheru and surrounded the disputed place with wire and had my police party stationed there.

The first Jatha started marching from Amritsar and slowly reached Gurdwara Bhai Pheru after doing prachaar (preaching) in several villages on their way. On the day of the arrival of the Jatha at Gurdwara Bhai Pheru I asked my toughest Thanedaar (Police Officer) to get me the list of all the members of Jatha along with their father's name and home address. That afternoon I got surprised when I saw the list. All Jatha members had listed Guru Gobind Singh as their father. I got really mad when I saw the list and swore at the Thanedaar for failing to get even the name of their father.

The thanedaar replied that he tried his best but no one in the Jatha gave any other name for their father but Guru Gobind Singh. My wife who was sitting beside me mocked me by saying that if I can't even get their father's name how the hell am I going to crush them. At this I vowed that I will eat my breakfast the next day, only after getting their father's name from them.

Next day I chose 50 stern and strong-hearted policemen and asked them to pick 25 old and weak members of the Jatha. I then ordered that let two policemen hold one Sikh and use whatever means to make them spit out their father's name. I further said that whoever does it first would get a gold medal and special recognition from the government. Hearing my order, the policemen started beating the Jatha members savagely till they got unconscious. Then they would bring them back to senses and beat them again. But none of them told their worldly father's name. All they would say was Guru Gobind Singh and Vaheguru. When they failed to get any results I asked the police officers to remove their belts and get the hell out of there. By that time it was 10am and I was feeling really hungry.

I chose another 50 policemen and asked them to do the same thing. I asked them to use very severe measures to torture the Jatha members to break their resolve of not telling the name of their worldly father. I knew that if they admit defeat and spit out their father’s name, then they would also accept the defeat of their agitation. A lot was at stake. I put their hands upside down under the Charpai (indian beds) and made the police officers jump on the beds. The Sikhs were in great pain but they did not yield. I even made my policemen hammer nails in their buttocks but still we were unable to break their resolve.

By 6pm I was badly tired and was extremely hungry. I lost all my pride and ego and felt totally helpless in front of those non-violent lions. I picked up the phone and dialed to the IG of police and resigned. The next day I took train to Bombay and went to England. I wrote it down on the resignation letter that no one should mess with the Sikhs."""""

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bhai Sahib & the Radhasoami Guru - Sawan Singh

The story goes as follows. The Radhasoami guru - Sawan Singh was a resident of the village Mahimasingh wala which is very close to Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee's village Narangwal. Both villages lie in district Ludhiana. For this reason both knew each other quite well. Once Bhai Sahib heard Sawan Singh doing katha of the half-pankiti ...ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥2॥ as follows:

ਹੇ ਭਾਈ, ਹਉਮੈ ਰੂਪੀ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਨੂੰ ਜਲਾ ਦੇਵੋ। (O Bhai, burn the Haume roopi Shabad)

Bhai Sahib who happened to be there when Sawan Singh said the above, could not restrain himself after hearing such gross violation of Gurbani understanding and viyakaran. Bhai Sahib got up and asked, ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਂ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੂਪੀ ਵੀ ਕੋਈ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਹੈ (Is there such a shabad called Haume?).

Hearing Bhai Sahib interrupt him, he got very agitated and in anger said to Bhai Sahib, "ਤੁਸੀਂ ਹੀ ਇਥੇ ਆ ਕੇ ਕਥਾ ਕਰ ਲਵੋ।" (why don't you come here and do katha).

Bhai Sahib replied back telling him not to get upset but to look to see if the word ਸਬਦਿ has a sihaari in the end. Responding to this Sawan Singh said, "ਲਗੀ ਤਾਂ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ, ਫਿਰ ਕੀ ਹੋਇਆ।" (Yes it does have a sihaari in the end. So what happened?)

Bhai Sahib said, "ਹੋਇਆਂ ਨਹੀਂ। ਅਰਥ ਸਪਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ।" (Nothing happened but meanings have become clear)

He asked, "ਉਹ ਕੀ?" (And what are the meanings?)

Bhai Sahib replied, "ਸ਼ਬਦ (ਗੁਰਸ਼ਬਦ) ਦੁਆਰਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਨੂੰ ਜਲਾ ਦੇਵੋ। " (Through the Shabad, burn the Haume)

Bhai Sahib gave more Gurbani Pankitis to support these meanings and the whole sangat sitting there agreed with Bhai Sahib. Sawan Singh felt very embarrassed (ਬਹੁਤ ਪਸ਼ੇਮਾਨ ਹੋਇਆ).

The above is quite funny, if you read it in Punjabi.

At another instance before the partition of India, Bhai Sahib was visiting Abtabad a city in present day Pakistan. Incidently Sawan Singh too was visiting that town. Sawan Singh was residing in a double storey house that caught fire. Sawan Singh got stuck upstairs. While people were trying to rescue Sawan Singh, Bhai Sahib started joking with Sawan Singh reminding him of his statements in Katha. While doing katha, Sawan Singh had said that one who is engrossed in Shabad, fire can't burn him, water can't drown him. He had said this while doing katha of a Gurbani shabad. Bhai Sahib jokingly told him, not to worry since fire could not burn him. At this Sawan Singh asked Bhai Sahib to stop joking and try to extinguish fire and rescue him.

The Shield That Guru Ji Could Not Penetrate - Bhai Laal Singh

Once in the darbaar of Guru Gobind Singh jee, a Sikh called Laal Singh came with a shield. He had spent a lot of time constructing this shield which was almost impossible to penetrate. It was not only strong but was also very light. Everyone in the darbaar praised the dhaal (shield) and Guru Sahib too expressed his happiness at the dhaal.

Bhai Laal Singh was a very good Sikh but when so many people praised his dhaal, he developed haume (ego) and declared in the sangat that no bullet can penetrate his shield. He said this very egoistically. As soon as he said this Guru Sahib told him that he would test Laal Singh’s dhaal the next day. Bhai Laal Singh still did not realize his mistake and accepted the challenge saying that no bullet could penetrate his shield.

As he came out of the darbaar of Guru Sahib, he realized that he had committed a blunder. He said to himself that Guru Sahib is a known warrior and on top of that he is Satguru. What could stop him from penetrating his shield? He greatly regretted his mistake and came to his lodging area greatly depressed. Although, he realized his mistake of challenging the sangat, he still wanted Guru Sahib to keep his honour and not let anyone break his shield.

He consulted his friends who were gursikhs as well and asked them what to do. They told him that Guru Sahib could no doubt penetrate his shield. They suggested to him that the only way for him to save his honour was to perform ardaas in front of Guru Sahib. Bhai Laal Singh prepared Trihaaval (Karaah Parshaad) and along with other Gursikhs did ardaas before Satguru to save his honour. After the ardaas, he distributed trihaaval amongst the sangat present there.

Bhai Laal Singh did not sleep all night and kept doing paath all night. The next day Bhai Laal Singh arrived in the darbaar of Guru Kalgidhar Paatshaah but he arrived very humbly. After the bhog of kirtan, Guru Sahib asked Bhai Laal Singh to get ready as he was going to test his dhaal. Bhai Laal Singh did not accept the challenge as he had done the previous day but was responded very humbly to Guru Sahib.

Guru Sahib asked Bhai Aalam Singh to test the dhaal. Bhai Laal Singh stood there with the dhaal, constantly doing naam and paath. Bhai Aalam Singh tried three times but the bullet missed the dhaal and did not hit it. Then Guru Sahib smilingly took over the gun and took aim at the dhaal.

Guru Sahib just stood there but did not fire. After few moments he called off his aim and asked Bhai Laal Singh what he had been doing all night. Bhai Laal Singh fell at the lotus feet of Guru Sahib and told him everything. Guru Sahib, blessed Bhai Laal Singh and declared that indeed, no one could penetrate the dhaal as Vaheguru himself and all Guru Sahibaan were present to protect the dhaal (shield). Guru Sahib told Bhai Laal Singh to never talk in haume again.


1) So great is our Guru. Guru Sahib himself accepted the defeat by not penetrating the dhaal but protected the honour of his Sikh. Why should we leave such great Guru and get indulged in maaiya? Aseen kurbaan kyoon nahi ho jaande apne Guru uppar?

2) Another thing we learn from this saakhi is that it is a good idea to prepare degh with full maryada and perform ardaas for the fulfillment of our difficult tasks. Nothing in impossible if we do ardaas with full faith.

3) It is not a good idea to talk egoistically in sangat. If we talk this way, we are bound to loose honour.

4) The Guru does not consider our shortcomings and weaknesses when we do ardaas. He ignores our shortcomings and accepts ardaas that is done with faith

Monday, 5 September 2011

Why Sikhs do not cut their hair but they cut their nails?

It is often argued that Sikhs do not cut their hair so why do they cut their nails. Sikhs only cut the dead gray part of their nails, not the alive pink/red part. This is similar to combing and removing dead hair while retaining live hair. Just like we do not cut the pink/red part of our nails, why should we cut our perfectly live and healthy hair? If anything dead grey part of nails should be compared to dandruff or dead hair removed while combing.

In addition, hair is not a hindrance to anyone. Because hair can be placed in a bun and kept clean and does perform a number of functions, it is only practical to realize that keeping hair is not hard. On the other hand, having long nails is a hindrance to the body. An individual with long nails cannot functions and do everyday chores comfortably. In order to ensure that one can perform the tasks of everyday life, only the dead part of nails is trimmed. 

In addition, whereas the hair grows from a tubular pit (hair follicle), formed by sinking in of the most actively dividing layer of the skin (stratum germinativum) into the lower dermis, the gray part of nails is only modifications of the upper dead layer (stratum corneum). Further, the base of every follicle bulges out forming an inverted cup, which receives blood capillaries for nourishment and nerve fibers to make the hair sensitive. An oil gland, known as sebaceous gland, opens into every hair follicle, the secretion of which lubricates the hair. A muscle is also attached to the base of every hair for bringing about movement. Pigments are added to the shaft of the hair as it grows. None of these features is associated with the dead part of nails. 

Structurally, hair is extremely strong, and resists breaking due to its elasticity and flexibility. Strength of hair can be estimated from the following facts, a human hair laid on a bar of steel and then passed through a cold rolling mill would leave an imprint on the face of the steel. A hair of a man’s beard is about as strong as a copper wire of the same dimensions. If a rope were made out of strands of long hair, it would be strong enough to lift an automobile. Dead part of nails, on the other hand, are very brittle and rigid, breaking off easily. Hair are countless (upto 125,000 on head region alone), thereby increasing the surface area. Hair protects us against the harmful Ultra Violet radiations and skin cancer while the dead part of the nails do not seem to provide a similar functionality.

The differences between the two do not end with the structural features. Even the body’s response towards the two is totally different. Our body, throughout life, tries to maintain a particular length of hair. Every individual has a specific length for hair. Once the hair reaches its specific length, it stops growing. If the hair is cut, the body responds by growing it again to the specific length. It clearly indicates the link of the body with the hair all along its length. The body shows no such response to the nails, which grow from birth to death at the same rate, irrespective of whether cut or not. It follows, thus, that cutting of the dead part of nails does not tell on the body at all, whereas, cutting of hair puts extra load on the body. To sum up, if there is anything on the head that can be compared with the dead part of nails, it is either dandruff or dead hair which are removed by combing.

Nature knows best what to retain or discard. Whatever is retained is not without purpose. Hair is a gift from God, not a burden. Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in his infinite wisdom, instructed us to respect hair and refrain from tampering with it. This is the visible token of his affection for us, as well as our faith in him.