Today there are a few Gurpurbs. The Seventh Nanak, Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji's Jyoti Jyot Diwas (leaving his body), the Gurgaddi of the Eigth Nanak, Dhan Guru HarKrishan Sahib Ji. Also it is today that Guru Gobind Singh Ji left sole Guruship with the Shabd Guru, Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Ji and left the Sikhs under the sovereignty of the Guru Granth and Guru Panth.
I am the Sikh Chaplaincy or Spiritual Care volunteer for St. Thomas & St. Guy's Hospitals. Today there was a training day about NHS administration, child protection, and dealing with loss of relatives etc. At the end of the day, about 4pm there was an optional group prayer. I was asked, "would you like to stay and join in". I said, "yes, no problem." So I stayed and about fifteen of us, mostly Christians, with one Buddhist, one Hindu and me as the Sikh representative. We sang a religious song and then an African Vicar gave a sermon.
When the vicar said the sermon all i could think of was Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji and Guru HarKrishan Ji and my mind was saying "WAHEGURU, WAHEGURU, WAHEGUROOO". The vicar said, "We are the spiritual care department. We are all different here today, with different faiths and background. That is wonderful! We should recognise this and rejoice! We all hold something common in our religions - we are caring and we are spiritual; hence we are here today." He explained about helping the sick, being compassionate and doing SEWA of the ill and needy of society. Throughout his whole talk I was picturing Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, whom Bhai Nand Lal [Singh] Ji (the contemporary and court poet of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) describes with one word as "Mercy" and Guru HarKrishan as "Purity".
It was amazing how it was Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji & Guru HarKrishan Ji's Gurpurb today, and the same day I had a training day about Spiritual care and the NHS at a hospital. Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji is the picture of "compassion". Guru Sahib opened sanctuaries for animals, hospitals for the sick, planted and stored herbs for medicines, and opened medical centres.
Once, Daara Shikoh, the elder son of the Mughal Emperor Shaah-jahaan ( r. 1627-1658 CE) fell ill. Despite the best efforts of Hakims (doctors), he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji. Though the Mughal Rulers disliked the Sikhs and considered them their enemies, out of desperation they came for the Guru's help. He came personally to Guru Sahib and requested for the medicine. Guru Sahib gave him the rare medicine required for the treatment and also sent a pearl, which was to be ground into fine powder, and taken with the medicine.
Though the Mughals plotted against the Sikhs, martyred the Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, and waged wars against Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji's grandfather, Guru Hargobind Ji; Guru Sahib had mercy and compassion that he overlook Dara Shikoh and Shaah-Jahaans faults and weaknesses.
Guru HarKrishan ascended the throne of Guru Nanak Sahib at the age of 5 years and 8 months. He was blessed with the Divine spirit. When Guru Sahib came to Delhi, the city was in the grip of an epidemic of cholera and small pox. Guru HarKrishan Ji went all over the city and gave solace to those in anguish. His very Divine Presence and the Divine Look would rid the patients of their maladies. Guru Sahib opened medical dispensaries and furthermore, distributed medicines and cared for the sick patients.
Both Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji and Guru HarKrishan Ji offered me inspiration at my day at the hospital. Thinking of their works and achievements, and how it was so practical and relevant to today's day and age, the hairs on my body stood up. All I could say was "WAHEGURU, WAHEGURU, WAHEGUROO"
Dhan Dhan Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji.
Dhan Dhan Guru HarKrishan Sahib Ji.