When I was in my second year of university in London, I went to the Gurdwara Sahib in Southall and something which the Giani jee doing Katha (discourse on Gurbaani) said stuck in my mind. Giani jee explained how Gurbaani says Vaheguru resides within all and that Vaheguru forgives and cleans the sins or filth of a sinner.
ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥
gauRee mehlaa 9.
Gauree, Ninth Mehl:
ਸਾਧੋ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵਉ ॥
saaDho gobind ke gun gaavo.
Holy Saadhus! (Forever) sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe.
ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਮੋਲਕੁ ਪਾਇਓ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਕਾਹਿ ਗਵਾਵਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
maanas janam amolak paa-i-o birthaa kaahi gavaavo. ||1|| rahaa-o.||
You have obtained this priceless jewel of this human life; why are you uselessly wasting it? ||1||Pause||
ਪਤਿਤ ਪੁਨੀਤ ਦੀਨ ਬੰਧ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਨਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਆਵਉ ॥
patit puneet deen banDh har saran taahi tum aavo.
Vaheguru is the Purifier of even those people who have fallen in sin, He is the Support of the poor. Come, and enter the Lord's Sanctuary.
ਗਜ ਕੋ ਤ੍ਰਾਸੁ ਮਿਟਿਓ ਜਿਹ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਤੁਮ ਕਾਹੇ ਬਿਸਰਾਵਉ ॥੧॥
gaj ko traas miti-o jih simrat tum kaahe bisraavo. ||1||
Through whose Simran, remembrance, the elephant's fear was removed; so why do you forget Him? ||1||
ਤਜਿ ਅਭਿਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਫੁਨਿ ਭਜਨ ਰਾਮ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਵਉ ॥
taj abhimaan moh maa-i-aa phun bhajan raam chit laavo.
Renouncing your egotistical pride and your emotional attachment to Maya, keep your consciousnes focused on Vaheguru's meditation.
ਨਾਨਕ ਕਹਤ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪੰਥ ਇਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਤੁਮ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੨॥੫॥
naanak kehat mukat panth ehu gurmukh hoe tum paavo. ||2||5||
Nanak says, this is the path to liberation from sin. But only be becoming a Gurmukh, this path can be attained. ||2||5||
Giani jee explained how at the end of Ardaas we all say together:
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਚੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ।ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ।
naanak naam chardee kalaa, tere bhaane sarbat da bhalaa.
O Nanak! May the Name of the Lord flourish, and may the whole humanity benefit and prosper within Your Will.
"Yes, we say, 'Sarbat Da Bhallaa’. We ask for the good of ‘all’. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee did not say, ‘I ask for the good of all except for Aurangzeb who cowardly murdered my two young sons’. No! When we do Ardaas we do not say, ‘Sarbat Da Bhalaa, but NOT that person who swore at me last week… I don’t want his bhalaa (good).'"
A beautiful analogy was given to illustrate that the Divine is within all. We say Vaheguru is within all, but seeing Vaheguru in all can be difficult. The example given by Giani jee was:
"A lady works hard to earn a living. On the side, she saves a little bit of money at a time, so that they she can save up to buy a gold bracelet. Eventually, the lady saves enough money to go the jeweller’s shop and buys a gold bracelet. She gives the bracelet to her child. The child one day is walking with the bracelet and accidentally drops the bracelet in the gutter. The gutter is dirty. God knows what is in the gutter. Urine, dirt, people’s spit, and the smell.
Would we expect the child to leave the bracelet in the gutter and walk on home? No. Why not? Because he knows how hard his mother has worked to earn the money, which she used to buy the bracelet. Therefore, he stretches out his arm and picks up the dirty bracelet. He goes to wash the bracelet with water and soap, and then puts it back on his hand.
Vaheguru has made all of us. Vaheguru sees us all in an equal light, because the Lord has created us and the Lord knows how beautiful we are within despite how much filth and dirt we throw on ourselves."
Giani jee explained that Guru Nanak Sahib jee did not only reveal Gurbaani, but he also lived Gurbaani. Guru Nanak Sahib jee stretched his arm out to help people. Guru Nanak Sahib jee stretched his arm out to help people out of the gutter of Kaljug. Guru Nanak Sahib jee stretched his arm out of people to give them the chance to realise that they can clean themselves and realise that under this dirt and filth lies a beautiful treasure.
Guru Nanak Sahib jee gave his arm out to Bhumia Chor, a bandit and thief, and helped him to become a sant, saintly person. Guru Nanak Sahib jee gave his arm out to Kauda Raakash, a cannibal who ate men, and inspired him to remember Vaheguru and live a truthful life. Guru Nanak Sahib jee gave his arm out to Sajjan Thagg, a deceitful murderer who would rob people of their money, and made him realise the consequences of his actions and change his life.
Guru Nanak Sahib jee gave his arm out. He saw Vaheguru within all, because he knew that Vaheguru had created everyone and that the Lord has made everyone perfect. It is the perversion of the mind that is evil, not the person. Just as the child stretched out his arm to get out the gold bangle from the dirty gutter because he knew his mother had worked hard to buy it, similarly a Gurmukh sees divinity within all, despite the dirt and filth which one throws upon his self.
Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!