On Sunday I came back home from an Anand Kaaraj and felt peckish. So I decided to get the frying pan out and make something to eat. I put some Ghio (Ghee) in the pan and put the heat up on the pan. I didn't realise that the pan was burning hot by now! As I put the food in the pan the Ghee spurt out and went on my hand. Waheguru! It felt as if I had stung my hand and that's it. I put my hand under water. But in a few minute my hand felt like it was BURNING and the skin went white. Waheguru!
Now I wasn't feeling too hungry and nor could I really eat my food since my hand was feel painful. It reminded me of my university days in London. I was living at Halls of Residence and I decided to warm up some vegetables in a plastic container in the microwave. I should have left it for 2 minutes to cool down before touching but I quickly got it out the microwave and suddenly the container slipped out of my hand. All the boiling hot vegetables landed straight on my hand. I kept my hand under cold water for a few minutes but as soon as I got it out of water my hand was throbbing with pain. So I had to get a jug of water and keep my hand in there. That time, the whole palm of my hand was burnt! My room mates told me to go to the doctor (which was a 15 minute walk away).
Back to Sunday's story. So it turned out that the burn was on my fingers. My dad gave me some frozen peas in a tub to my hand in. The ice cold peas gave so much comfort. I didn't feel any pain while my hand was in the frozen peas (but yes I looked like a wally!). In the evening the family all did Rehraas. Whilst Rehraas I had to wave my hand about to give it some air to cool it down because it was still stinging with pain. But as soon as we stood for Ardaas the pain went. It was quite astonishing. Maharaaj's Kirpaa!
During that day, I thought to myself that I have just got a minor burn to my fingers and feeling pain and discomfort, but what about Guru Arjan Sahib jee and the beloved GurSikhs who sat in deghs (cauldrons) of hot boiling water, who were burnt on hot iron plates and wrapped in cotton wool and sit alight, and who were fried alive in boiling hot oil. I had just felt a slight fraction of the physical pain that those tortures would have felt.
In Gurbani we read:
ਦੁਖੁ ਦਾਰੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਭਇਆ ਜਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਤਾਮਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥Ḏukẖ ḏārū sukẖ rog bẖaiā jā sukẖ ṯām na hoī.
Suffering is the medicine, and pleasure the disease, because where there is pleasure, there is no desire for God.ਤੂੰ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰਣਾ ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਾ ਹਉ ਕਰੀ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥Ŧūŉ karṯā karṇā mai nāhī jā hao karī na hoī. ||1||
You are the Creator Lord; I can do nothing. Even if I try, nothing happens. ||1||
It is amazing how "Dukh" (pain) reminds us of Guru Sahib and Waheguru. Because of getting slightly burnt my mind turned to think of Guru Sahib and the Great GurSikh Shaheeds.
Master of Martyrs, Guru Arjan Sahib jee, who was boiled, made to sit on hot iron plates, and hot sand was poured over his body.
Bhai Dayala jee who was boiled alive in a cauldron of boiling water.
Bhai Gurdev Singh who was pierced with red hot iron rods and was made to sit in a boiling hot tub to be boiled alive.
ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਕਾਟਿ ਕਾਟਿ ਸਭੁ ਅਰਪੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਅਗਨੀ ਆਪੁ ਜਲਾਈ ॥੪॥Ŧan man kāt kāt sabẖ arpī vicẖ agnī āp jalāī. ||4||
(O Waheguru! For the sake of Your love and Darshan, if need be) I would cut my mind and body apart into pieces, and offer them all; I would (even) burn myself in fire. ||4||
Just as the cold peas or the jug of cold water had given me comfort and the stopped the pain (even though physically the burn was still throbbing), similarly Guru Sahib and the great Shaheed GurSikhs were immune to the pain inflicted on them by the tortures they faced because they had the comfort of Naam and GurBani. Waheguru! It such an amazing thought.
ਮਹਾ ਕਸਟ ਕਾਟੈ ਖਿਨ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਚਿਤਾਰੇ ॥Mahā kashtt kāttai kẖin bẖīṯar rasnā nām cẖiṯārė.
The one who repeats Waheguru's Name with his tongue, the Lord removes their most terrible pains in an instant.ਸੀਤਲ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਸੂਖ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣੀ ਜਲਤੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥Sīṯal shāŉṯ sūkẖ har sarṇī jalṯī agan nivārė. ||1||
In the Lord's Sanctuary there is soothing coolness, peace and tranquility, and the burning fire (of desires and corruption) is extinguished. ||1||
Dhan Hai Guru, Dhan Hai Guru Ke Pyaare!