A week later I went back to Southall to visit the Gurdwara Sahib to listen to Katha and Keertan. It was getting late and nearly time for me to leave because I had to get the train back to university.
On the way to the train station, on the corner of the road, a man fell down to the ground. It looked like he had been pushed by two drunkards who suddenly rushed off after the man had collapsed to the ground. I hurried to the man to see if he was okay. I realised the man in his 40s or 50s was drunk. He looked like he has been living on the streets and in bad state. I have seen the man before in Southall. He was Panjabi, but looked as if he was homeless. His clothes looked tattered, his appearance looked dirty, and he was a tall and large man. I asked the man in Panjab, "Are you okay?.. tusee tee hai?" Worryingly I could hear no reply.
Two young passer-bys looked at the man lying on the floor and carried on walking. I was shocked. How can people just walk by when this man has been pushed or collapsed in the middle of the pavement? I thought to myself does he need my help? In situations like this it's difficult to know whether one should intervene if the other person is drunk and it's late at night. It's expected that people would exercise caution drunk people's behaviour is unexpected.
My moorakh mind was saying, "You are wearing clean kurta pyjaaama, your hands will get dirty touching this dirty drunkard… Why help him get up, he has caused his own misery by drinking alcohol… I am sure he will be fine. There are many like him who drink too much and fall to the ground."
But my Aatma, my soul said something different. My Aatma told me, "O Mind! Despite this man is drunk, caused his own misery or whether he is dirty. At the end of the day, he was made by Waheguru. Whether I can see it or not, but my dear Waheguru's Light resides within him as well. So O Mind! Pick up this man. Remember Giani Ji’s story of how Guru Nanak Ji gave his arm and helped people to get out of the gutter. O Sikh of Guru Nanak, help this man get up."
ਸਭਨਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਰਤੈ ਇਕੁ ਸੋਈ ॥(Ang 1049)
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਇ ਸਾਚੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜੈ ਹੇ ॥੮॥The One Lord is contained within all. By Guru's Grace, He is revealed. One who subdues their ego, finds lasting peace; that person drinks in the spiritual-life giving Nectar of the True Name. ||8||
Following my Aatma, I stretched my arm out to the drunkard man to get up. The man seemed to have had cuts, bruises and marks across his face and body from previous incidents. I said to the man three times in Panjabi, "Come, I will help you. Give me your hand."
He stared at my face intensely and said nothing. After the third time I stretched my hand out to him, he said, "O Bhaajee, police noo phone karde-o, hor kuchh nehee…. Police noo phone kar deyo… please Bhaajee" ("O Brother, please the police, nothing else). I said, "Teek hai jee, mai police noo phone kardaa" ("Okay, I will call the police"). I was about to get my mobile phone out, when two Community Officer Wardens came up. I told them to ring for an ambulance and police. The wardens stood there and smiled and said "What’s the problem" to the man. Though I found their response unsympathetic, I expected it was due to high regular incidents of this kind when some people may cause a nuisance. Eventually the ambulance were called and I left the drunk poor man in the care of the wardens.
That night, I thought. Dhan Dhan Satguru Guru Nanak Sahib jee Maharaaj. That Guru, which didn’t look to see whether his clothes would get dirty, that guru which did not stop to consider whether the person smelt or was lowly – but in all cases the Guru indiscriminately offered his supporting arm of help. He embraced the leper and the king equally. “Dhan Guru Nanak, Dhan Guru Nanak” was coming out of my mouth on the journey back to Halls of Residence. I am the dust of the feet of that Perfect True Guru, who so great and beyond description. May we all be blessed with the humility, love and kindness of Guru Nanak Sahib jee and be graced with the vision to see the unseen Lord in within all.
ਭੂਲੇ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਜਿਨਹਿ ਬਤਾਇਆ ॥
ਐਸਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੧॥He places the one who strays back on the Path - such a Guru is found by great good fortune. ||1||(Ang 803)