Today marks the Parkaash Divas (birth date) of Guru Har Krishan Sahib jee, the eighth Guru. On this happy occasion I would like to share the story of how my grandfather was pulled towards Sikhi and the blessings of Guru jee...
My late grand-father was not that serious about Sikhi. Although he was Keshdhari, being in the army he drank alcohol, ate meat and recited no daily Paatth (prayers). I am going to narrate an incident which occurred in the 1957 in Delhi that changed my grandfather's life and made him a faithful devotee of Guru Jee.
My grandfather's best friend was called Bhai Manohar Singh. Both of them worked together in the army in India. Bhai Manohar Singh had one daughter. She is described to have been very beautiful and was a teacher in a school in Delhi.
One day during 1954 Bhai Sahib's daughter (Gurmeet Kaur) was arguing with another work colleague at school. The argument made Gurmeet Kaur angry and whilst shouting in rage she lost her eye-sight. She couldn't see anything, everything had gone black.
Bhai Manohar Singh was notified about his daughter. He took her to the doctors immediately. The doctor said, "I cannot do anything, I don't know what caused it, nor do I know how to cure it. Sorry Sardaar Ji." Bhai Sahib took her to different hospitals. All the hospitals gave the same response, "Sorry Sardaar Ji, we can't help your daughter. Her eye-sight seems permanently damaged by something which we cannot find out. We are sorry, but we cannot do anything now."
In desperation, Manohar Singh took his daughter to the army hospitals, with the thought that perhaps the army hospitals would have more specialist doctors which might be able to help his daughter. However, unfortunately Manohar Singh and his daughter were destroyed to find out that even they said, "Sorry, we cannot do anything."
Everyone had said "we can't help you." Where should they go? Who should they ask for help? Who will listen to the cries of despair?
Guru jee says:
ਸਗਲ ਦੁਆਰ ਕਉ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ ਗਹਿਓ ਤੁਹਾਰੋ ਦੁਆਰ ||sagal dhuaar kau chhaad kai, gaheoh thuhaaro dhuaar.
Having abandoned all other doors, I have come to Your door for protection and help.ਬਾਂਹਿ ਗਹੇ ਕੀ ਲਾਜ ਅਸ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਦਾਸ ਤੁਹਾਰ ||baa(n)he gahey kee laaj as Gobind daas thuhaar.
O Lord! I have held Your arm, I am Your servant a devotee.
"O well if everything else has failed, then why not go to Guru Nanak's Darbaar." Many people advised Bhai Sahib to go to different Sadhus, Babas and other places but he had made his mind that he will place his hope and faith no other than the Guru jee. Bhai Sahib would go to work during the week and then every Sunday without fail he would take his daughter to Gurdwara Sri Bangla Sahib on his cycle. Gurdwara Sri Bangla Sahib is a historical Guru Ghar built in the memory of Sri Guru Har Krishan Sahib jee. Originally it had been the house of Raja Jai Raam, a devotee of Guru jee. When Guru jee travelled to Delhi Guru jee cured the pains of the ill and sick, and hit the ground with his toe to reveal a fountain of water which was used to relieve the disease of small pox that hit the local citizens of the time. Guru Gobind Singh Jee says:
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਡਿਠੇ ਸਭ ਦੁਖਿ ਜਾਇ||sree har-krishan dhiaaeeai, jis ditthai sabh dukh jaai.
Remembering Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, all pains and suffering vanish.
Every Sunday, despite any family programmes or special occasions, Bhai Sahib would without fail go to the Gurdwara Sahib with his daughter and do sevaa from early morning to evening. Both father and daughter would clean the floors and clean the Sangat's shoes. In the evening they would sit in the evening Divaan and listen to Keertan before going back home.
3 years had passed and now, both Manohar Singh and his daughter had got used to the thought of Gurmeet Kaur being permanently blind. Accepting Vaheguru's Will, both father and daughter continued serving Guru jee through devoting their lives to doing seva at the Gurdwara.
One Sunday during 1957, after having done seva, both Manohar Singh and his daughter went to the Guru's Darbaar to listen to Keertan, as they usually did. The Raagi Singhs were singing this particular shabad:
ਜੋ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਤੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੋਈ ਦੇਵੈ ॥jo maangėh thaakur apune ṯe soee see ḏevai.
Whatever I ask for from my Lord and Master, he gives that to me.ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਈਹਾ ਊਹਾ ਸਚੁ ਹੋਵੈ ॥੨॥੧੪॥੪੫॥naanak ḏaas mukẖ ṯe jo bolai eehaa oohaa sacẖ hovai. ||2||14||45||
Whatever the Lord's slave Nanak utters with his mouth, proves to be true, here and hereafter. ||2||14||45||
While the shabad was being sung by the Hazoori Raagi Jatha, Gurmeet Kaur experienced something strange. She used to sit next to her father in the Diwaan Hall. She nudged her father and said, "Papa Jee, I can see Guru Nanak Dev Jee in front of me." Her father, with a tear in his eye, thought "O Vaheguru, she is blind and now she is going mad now as well. Maharaaj do Kirpaa on her, bless her."
Guru jee says:
ਜਿਸ ਕੇ ਸਿਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਤੂੰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕੈਸਾ ਪਾਵੈ ||jis ke sir oopar thoon suaamee so dukh kaisaa paavai
When You stand over our heads, O Lord and Master, how can we suffer in pain?
She now grabbed her father's hand and said, "Papa jee, I am scared. I can see a Jyot (light) coming from Guru jee's hand and coming towards the direction of my forehead. I don't know what to do!" Manohar Singh now believed that perhaps his daughter is not going mad and that there may be a chance that this is a miracle happening. He held her hand and said, "Daughter! Tell me what is happening." "Papa jee, the Jyot is getting closer and closer," she said. She then described that the Jyot had entered her forehead.
"Open your eyes, open your eyes my child!" His daughter replied, "No! I can't. I am scared that if I open my eyes and I can't see then I will lose all hope." Manohar Singh convinced his daughter to open her eyes slowly. As she opened her eyes, everything was black. As she opened them slightly more, she could see a blur. Then when she opened them fully, she could see Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and the Guru Pyaaree Saadh Sangat sitting the holy presence of Guru jee listening to the Shabad Kirtan.
"Papa jee, I can see, I can see. Guru jee has given me back my vision! Guru jee has given back my vision!" Bhai Manohar Singh stood up in the Sangat and starting make a commotion and shouted, "My daughter can see, my daughter can see". A Sevadaar came up to Bhai Manohar Singh and asked what all the commotion was about. Hearing what happened, the Gurdwara Sevadaars performed an Ardaas (prayer) of thanks and the whole story was narrated in front of the entire Sangat.
That day Bhai Manohar Singh went straight from the Gurdwara Sahib to the sweet shop and brought huge box of laddoos. The first place Bhai Sahib went to tell his good news was my grandfather's house. When Bhai Sahib came shouting outside the house, my Baba jee asked what has happened. My Baba jee heard what had happened to Bhai Manohar Singh's daughter and was wonder struck and realised the greatness of Guru Nanak's House. From that day on my grandfather gave up drinking alcohol and eating meat, and began to put full faith in Baani and Simran. He would recite Sukhmani Sahib, do keertan and recite regular Sehaj-paatths of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. If anyone would ask my granddad for help with paper work (as he could read and write during the time when most Panjabi villagers were illiterate), he would tell every person to first wake up every morning and do Mool Mantar da Abhiaas or Japji Sahib and then their work will become successful.
Dhan Hai Guru, Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!