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The Sikh Religion, Volume 2 by Max Arthur Macauliffe - Read online

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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Sloks Of Guru Angad


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 1O

The Anand

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

The Sadd

Hymns Of Guru Amar Das


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Hymns of Guru Ram Das


Chapter 1

In Matte di Sarai, a village about six miles from Muktsar in the Firozpur district of the Pan jab, once lived a trader called Pheru. He subsequently removed to the village of Harike, where he found a better opening for commerce. His wife’s maiden name was Ramo, but after her marriage she was called Daya Kaur. She is described as a lady of gentle disposition, charitable, and religious. Four hours before day on the nth of Baisakh in the Sambat year 1561 (a.d. 1504) a son was born to them. He received the name Lahina. In due time he wedded a lady called Khivi, a native of Matte di Sarai. His father grew weary of Harike, and with his own family and Lahina’s returned to Matte di Sarai and lived there. Lahina’s wife there gave birth to a daughter called Amro and to two sons who were named Dasu and Datu.

When Matte di Sarai was sacked by the Mughals and Baloches, Pheru and Lahina’s families went to live in Khadur, now a famous Sikh town in the Tam Taran sub-collectorate of the Amritsar district. While dwelling there Lahina organized a yearly pilgrimage of devout Hindus to Jawalamukhi,[1]- a place sacred to Durga in the lower Himalayas, where fire issues from the mountains.

There lived in Khadur a Sikh called Jodha whose practice it was to rise every morning three hours before day and repeat the Japji and the Asa ki War. One pleasant night when gentle zephyrs cooled the heated air, Lahina heard a voice which awakened his emotions as it sang the following:—

Ever remember that Lord by worshipping whom thou shalt find happiness,

Why hast thou done such evil deeds as thou shalt suffer for?

Do absolutely nothing evil; look well before thee.

So throw the dice that thou mayest not lose with the Lord,

Nay, that thou mayest gain some profit.[2]

As Lahina attentively listened, his mind obtained peace. After daybreak he asked Jodha who had composed that stimulating hymn. Jodha duly informed him that it was his Guru, Baba[3] Nanak, then dwelling in Kartarpur on the bank of the Ravi. Devotion was kindled in Lahina’s heart by all that he had heard from Jodha; and he longed to behold the Guru, it is said, as the chakor[4] desires to see the moon.

Lahina was conducting his family and his company of pilgrims to Jawalamukhi, but he induced them to break their journey at Kartarpur, telling them that they could perform two religious acts on the one pilgrimage. They could visit Guru Nanak, whom many persons believed to be beloved of God, and whose holy company was desirable and ought to be sought by all men. They might afterwards behold the flame goddess of Jawalamukhi. Lahina’s advice was adopted and he was enabled to offer his obeisance to the Guru. The Guru, on observing his kind heart and amiable disposition, inquired who he was and whither he was going. Lahina told him his name and errand, on hearing which, the Guru spoke to him of the True Creator. His discourse made such an impression on Lahina that he threw away the bells with which he had provided himself to dance before the goddess at Jawalamukhi. He congratulated himself on his good fortune in meeting the Guru, and said he no longer felt an inclination to worship in a heathen temple.

His companions, who had grown weary of waiting for him, at last pressed him to continue his journey to Jawalamukhi. They said that, though he was the leader of their party, yet he forsook them on the road and in a strange country. They further represented that it was written in the holy books of their faith, that he who threw any obstacle in the way of those who were doing penance, giving alms, fasting, going on pilgrimage, or getting married; who through laziness or fear of growing weary failed to worship Durga, the giver of wealth and holiness; or who having made a vow relinquished all efforts to accomplish it, was a great sinner, and his wealth and sons should all perish. Lahina coolly replied that he was prepared to suffer every calamity that might occur to him, but he would not forsake his true Guru. He had obtained such peace of mind while listening to his discourses, that he said he had already derived all the advantage he could have hoped for from the worship of the goddess. He then decided to discontinue his pilgrimage and abide with the Guru.

The Guru, on seeing his daily increasing devotion, said to him one day, ‘ I must give thee something; but first go home and settle thine affairs, and when thou returnest I will initiate thee as a Sikh.’ Upon this Lahina returned to Khadur, and told his wife what had happened and the spiritual change which had been wrought in him by meeting Guru Nanak, whom he described as the bestower of happiness both in this world and the next. He said he had determined to place himself for the future at the Guru’s feet. After a stay of some days at his home, during which he procured a new suit of clothes for himself and a bag of salt for the Guru’s free kitchen, he set out, accompanied by his nephew, for Kartarpur. On arriving at the Guru’s house He was respectfully received by Sulakhani, the Guru’s wife, who told him that the Guru was in his fields, and would be home by evening. If, however, Lahina desired to see him at once, he might go to meet him. Accordingly Lahina, making over the bag of salt to Mata Sulakhani, went straightway to the Guru.

The Guru had collected three bundles of grass for his cows and buffaloes, and he desired to have the bundles taken home; but, as the grass was wet and full of mud, his ordinary Sikhs slunk away from the task. He then asked his sons Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das to carry the bundles. They too evaded the duty, saying that there was a labourer coming who would take them. Lahina, who had just arrived, made his obeisance and said, 'Consider me as a labourer, and give me this work to do.’ The Guru repeated his wish to have the bundles taken to his house. Lahina asked for assistance to lift the bundles on his head, and he would then carry them. The Guru said he might take as many as his strength permitted. Lahina, gathering strength from his enthusiasm, took up the three bundles, and walked with them in company with Guru Nanak to his house. On the way the dripping of the moist mud from the grass soiled his new clothes.

When they arrived, the Guru’s wife, seeing Lahina’s state, asked the Guru if it were a proper thing for him to impose such menial labour on a guest and soil his new clothes. The Guru, she said, was depriving the Sikhs of their faith through his great want of consideration. The Guru replied that God had put the bundles on the head of the man who was fit to carry them. His wife, not understanding the Guru’s hidden meaning, rejoined, ‘See, his clothes from his head to his feet are fouled with the mud which has been dripping from the grass.’ The Guru replied, ‘ This is not mud; it is the saffron of God’s court, which marketh the elect. Even one of these bundles was difficult to lift. He hath acquired divine strength, and lifted all three.’ On looking again the Guru’s wife observed that the mud on Lahina’s clothes had really changed to saffron. The three bundles are held by the Sikhs to symbolize spiritual affairs, temporal affairs, and the Guruship.

It was Guru Nanak’s practice to rise three hours before day and go to bathe in the Ravi. After his bath, he used to recite the Japji, meditate on God, and sing His praises till day dawned. He was always attended by Lahina, who took charge of his clothes, and performed for him any other offices he required. Three other Sikhs—Bhai Bhagirath, Bhai Budha, and Bhai Sudhara—on seeing Lahina’s constancy and devotion to the Guru, thought that they too would perform meritorious service for him, so they proceeded in the early morning to the bank of the river to wait on him. It was the winter season, black clouds gathered, cold winds blew in gusts, and hail began to fall. The three men became quite benumbed, and were with difficulty able to make their way home shaking and shivering. It was only by warming themselves at the fire that they recovered the use of their limbs. Lahina endured the cold as if it had been the mildest weather. When the Guru at sunrise came out of the water, he congratulated Lahina on his endurance, and said he had attained salvation, which was the main object of human birth.

Once Lahina thought to himself, ‘ The Guru endureth great cold in performing his penance. It is not right that his servant should live in comfort.' Accordingly before day next morning he too entered the water, and only came out at sunrise, by which time his body was nearly frozen. He fell down at the Guru’s feet, and the Guru's touch had the effect of restoring the natural heat of his body. All the Sikhs were astonished on seeing the Guru’s kindness to the man who had voluntarily become his servant, and endured well nigh unendurable hardships for him.

Chapter 2

The Guru now began to enter on a systematic trial of the devotion of his Sikhs. One winter's night, as heavy rain was falling, a part of the wall of his house fell. The Guru said it must be repaired at once. His sons said it was now midnight and very cold, but they would send for masons and labourers in the morning, who would do the necessary repairs. The Guru replied that there was no need of masons and labourers. The Guru’s work must be performed by his Sikhs. Everybody was silent except Lahina, who at once stood up and began to repair the wall. The Guru’s sons and other Sikhs went off to sleep. When Lahina had to some extent restored the wall, the Guru said, ' That is crooked, throw it down, and build it up again.' Lahina did so, but the Guru again professed not to be satisfied. The foundation must be moved back, which meant that the wall must be thrown down again, and built up for the third time. Lahina obeyed his master’s order, but the master again expressed his dissatisfaction, and asked to have the wall again destroyed and again rebuilt. Upon this the Guru’s sons told Lahina that he was a fool to obey unreasonable orders. Lahina, putting himself into a respectful posture, replied that a servant should make his hands useful by doing his master’s work. The Guru then said to his family: ‘You know not this man’s worth. He used every year to visit the shrine of Durga. Now, having met the Guru, he hath remained to serve the true God.’

The Guru and his disciple grew daily more pleased with each other. In proportion as the Guru instructed him, divine knowledge entered his heart. The Guru’s sons grew jealous of the devoted servant and disciple, and took no pains to conceal their dislike. Probably in order to still the enmity which daily increased, the Guru suggested that Lahina should return for a time to Khadur. The Guru said: ‘Thy father, mother, and relations are much distressed at thine absence from them. Wherefore return to Khadur, tarry there for some time, and cause God's name to be repeated. I myself lived there once in the house of Satbharai. My bed is still there. Thou shalt behold me in Khadur as if thou wert near me.'

Lahina, who was the essence of obedience, at once proceeded to Khadur. On his arrival it became known that he had spent three years with Guru Nanak, and had made great progress in virtue and spirituality. Accordingly, everybody went to pay him homage. Among others Takht Mai, the head man of the city, went to touch his feet. Lahina said to him, ‘ This must not be, since thou art in every way of higher rank than myself; ’ but Takht Mai knew of the power Lahina possessed to render him spiritually perfect, and would not abate a jot in his devotion to him. He pressed Lahina to give him religious instruction by which he might be saved. Lahina accordingly repeated to him the following hymn of Guru Nanak:—

God will regenerate those in whose hearts there is love;

He will make them happy with gifts, and cause them to forget their sorrows.

There is no doubt that He will assuredly save them.

The Guru cometh to meet those for whom such destiny hath been recorded,

And will give them for their instruction God’s ambrosial Name.

They will walk as it pleaseth the true Guru, and never wander a-begging.[5]

Why should he, for whom God’s court is at hand, bow to any one else?

The porter at God’s gate will ask him no questions whatever.

Man shall be saved by the words of those on whom God looketh with favour.

There is no one to advise Him who sendeth and recalleth man.

God knoweth how to do all things; He destroyeth, constructeth, and createth.

Nanak, the Name is the reward of him to whom the Gracious One showeth favour.[6]

On hearing this the doors of Takht Mai’s understanding opened, and divine knowledge shone on him. All the Sikhs, believing Lahina to be even as Guru Nanak, went to do him homage. Bread was daily made and distributed to visitors, and the devotion of the people daily increased.

The Guru, knowing Lahina’s devotion, went to visit him in Khadur. Lahina and his wife fell at the Guru’s feet, and placed everything they had at his disposal. The Guru taught Lahina contempt for the world, discrimination, and divine knowledge. Having thus made him spiritually wise with excellent instruction, the Guru returned to Kartarpur, leaving Lahina in Khadur. While reciting the prayers taught him by the Guru, the time passed speedily for Lahina. Hopes, desires, and worldly love all vanished, while his spiritual love and devotion were all centred on God. As gold is tried by the touchstone, so did Guru Nanak try Lahina, and find him pure and altogether fit for the exalted office of Guru.

Henceforth Lahina never went into the town. He remained absorbed in spiritual thought and love of the Word. The only time he left his house was when he went to the border of a tank outside Khadur, where he used to be down in incessant and unwavering meditation on God.

Guru Nanak, knowing Lahina’s devotion, was not very long in paying him another visit, and thus addressed him: ‘ Thou hast performed excessive devotions. I cannot endure that thou shouldst suffer any longer. Between thee and me there is now no difference. None of my Sikhs hath such faith and confidence in me as thou, and therefore I love thee most of all. Thou art verily Angad a part of my body. I congratulate thee.’ Saying this the Guru embraced him, and took him to Kartarpur.

While at Kartarpur Guru Nanak found time to attend to agriculture. He sowed several fields of corn which gave him an unfailing supply for his kitchen, from which he fed all comers, Musalmans as well as Hindus. Once, when there was an unusual crowd of visitors, continuous rain fell for three days, and it became impossible to light a fire or cook, so that there was nothing to eat for his guests. The Guru went out into the fields, taking with him his sons Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das. He explained to them his difficulty, and how improper it would be that his guests should want for anything as long as they sought shelter with him. His sons replied, ‘ How can we satisfy such a crowd in this heavy rain? Whence can we obtain sufficient bread? ’ The Guru said, ‘ Climb this kikar tree, shake it, and it shall rain fruit and sweets to satisfy our visitors.’ Sri Chand replied, ‘ Nothing can fall from kikar but thorns or bitter fruit.’ The Guru then addressed his other son: 'Climb this tree and shake it.’ Lakhmi Das replied, ‘ Hath such a thing ever been done before? Have sweets and pastry ever fallen from trees? ’ The Guru then told Angad to do what his sons had refused. Angad with great alacrity climbed the tree, shook it, when down fell heaps of every conceivable form of Indian sweetmeats. When the Guru’s guests had partaken thereof and satisfied their hunger, they began to sing praises of the. Guru and his faithful disciple. Angad promptly explained that such power was not in himself. It was divine knowledge not sweetmeats which dropped from the tree. It was all the miraculous effect of the Guru’s words. The Guru on hearing this said, ‘ My words are profitable, but only they who obey them shall obtain the fruit thereof.’ It was then for the first time the Guru’s sons and many of his Sikhs realized the value of obedience.

The Guru had by now well tested Lahina’s devotion, but at the same time deemed it proper to make further trial, principally with the object of humbling the pride of his sons, and convincing them and his disciples that Lahina alone was worthy to succeed him. On one occasion near midnight, when the sacred songs had ceased, and all except the Guru had retired, he called his sons, told them that his clothes were soiled, and asked them to take them at once and wash them. They replied that all the wells had stopped,[7] that it was dark, and that, even if by any means they succeeded in washing the clothes, they could not dry them at that hour. When it was day they would procure a washerman who would perform the required service. The Guru said it would be well if they went themselves at once and washed them. They replied, that, if he could not wait- till morning, he had better put on other clothes. Upon this the Guru addressed himself to Angad. Angad at once took up the clothes, whereupon day dawned, and he found the wells on the outskirts of the city in motion. He rapidly washed and dried his master’s clothes. On returning with them in an incredibly short space of time, everybody was astonished, and the Guru again expressed himself delighted with his service.

One day, as the Guru was washing his hair, the cup he used slipped from his hand and fell into a deep sink. The Guru told his sons to bring it to him quickly. They replied that the sink was very deep and full of dirty water, but that they would get somebody to dive for it. Upon this the Guru told Angad to restore him his cup. As soon as Angad put in his hand, it is said, the cup rose to the surface of the water, and he had no difficulty in taking it out and presenting it to his master. The Guru then said to his wife, ‘ Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das are thy sons; Lahina, who obeys me, is my son.’ The Guru’s wife duly admonished her sons, giving them hope at the same time that, if they obeyed their father’s orders, one of them might be found fit to succeed him. The mother’s words were addressed to deaf ears for the sons in no wise showed filial affection or obedience. The last trial of Guru Angad was on the subject of eating the corpse mentioned in the Life of Guru Nanak.

One day, as the Sikhs were assembled, the Guru seated Angad on his throne, put five pice and a coco-nut in front of him, and said to Bhai Budha,

'This is my successor; put a tilak on his forehead in token of his appointment to the Guruship.’ Bhai Budha did so. The Guru then ordered his people to obey and serve Angad, who was in his image. Whoever did so should obtain the reward thereof. Guru Nanak's sons were highly displeased at being superseded. He told them that Angad alone had proved himself most worthy of the Guruship. It was a position which depended on self-sacrifice, Angad had exhibited that virtue in the highest degree, and consequently had the best claim to the position to which he had been elevated. Guru Nanak directed Angad after his appointment to the Guruship to return to Khadur. He obeyed, though he wished to remain in attendance on his master even to his latest breath. Bhai Gur Das thus describes the succession of Guru Angad:—

Angad got the same tilak, the same umbrella over his head, and was seated on the same true throne as Guru Nanak.

The seal in Guru Nanak’s hand entered Guru Angad’s, and proclaimed his sovereignty.

He left Kartarpur, and went and lit the Guru’s lamp in Khadur.

What was sown in the beginning hath germinated in this world; to offer another opinion were false cleverness.

Lahina obtained the gift from Nanak, and it must descend to the house of Amar Das.[8]

A short time after the appointment of Guru Angad, Guru Nanak departed this life in the manner already related.

Chapter 3

A Jat girl called Nihali was one day making cakes of cow-dung for fuel in the vicinity of Khadur. She saw Guru Angad approaching and felt delighted at the opportunity afforded her of doing him homage. Guru Angad, who still keenly felt his separation from Guru Nanak, was singing his praises as he proceeded. Yearning for solitude, he said that the eyes which beheld Guru Nanak desired to see nothing more, and he then remained silent for some time. When he spoke again, he asked her to let him have a room where he might sit alone and meditate on God, without any distraction or interruption. The room might be locked on him outside. He required nothing to eat or drink except a pot of milk daily. The girl granted his request. She gave him a pot of milk daily, and in doing so continued to gladden her eyes by beholding him. Guru Angad remained in profound meditation with the name of God as additional support. It is said that six months passed in this manner, every moment of which seemed an age to his Sikhs.

One day Bhai Lalo, Bhai Saido, Bhai Ajitta and other Sikhs asked Bhai Budha, to whom the Guru Nanak had been so kind, to tell them where they could find his successor. They had searched Khadur and other places, but could obtain no trace of him. Bhai Budha said he would give them an answer on the morrow. Overnight he read the Sodar and the Sohila, and then fixed his thoughts on the Guru. He then with his mind’s eye saw Guru Angad sitting concealed in the house of Nihali. Bhai Budha rose three hours before day and read the Japji, the Asa ki War, and other hymns of Guru Nanak. At daybreak the devout Sikhs came again and surrounded him, as they knew the Guru had communicated to him supernatural knowledge. He told them what he had seen in a vision. They then, taking him as leader, proceeded to Nihali’s house near Khadur. The owner of the house in reply to their inquiries gave them no information. Bhai Budha then said that, as there could be no darkness after the sun had arisen, so a Guru could not be hidden. Nihali went to Guru Angad, and told him of the visit of his four Sikhs. He at once ordered that they should be shown into his apartment. The Guru embraced Bhai Budha and uttered the following sloks:—

Die before the dear one thou lovest;

To live after him in the world is a curse to life.

After a pause the Guru resumed:—

Cut off the head which boweth not to the Lord.

Nanak,[9] take and burn the wretched body[10] which feeleth not the pain of separation.[11]

The other Sikhs saw that Guru Angad had the same radiance on his countenance, the same manners, and the same appearance as Guru Nanak, and congratulated Bhai Budha on his success in discovering him.

The Guru asked Bhai Budha how he had obtained his name Budha, and how it was that Guru Nanak had been always pleased with him. Bhai Budha then told him that he was the boy who had watched the little sticks burning first, and the large sticks afterwards, and had attended Guru Nanak’s prayer-meetings. Bhai Budha related another incident of his life. Once the Emperor’s troops marching through his village cut down all his father’s young crops to feed their horses. He begged his father to protect his fields. His father replied that he was powerless against the Emperor’s troops. Bhai Budha then concluded that, if his father could not withstand the Emperor’s troops, how could he withstand Death, a still more powerful antagonist? On this Bhai Budha went and put himself under Guru Nanak’s protection. Guru Nanak on hearing his history said, 'My brother, thou talkest like an old man (budha). Thou shalt henceforth be called Bhai Budha, and thy transmigration shall be at an end.’ Bhai Budha then told how next day he took a pot of clarified butter to Guru Nanak. The Guru asked if he had brought the offering with his mother’s consent or secretly. Bhai Budha replied he had brought it with his mother’s consent. ‘Guru Nanak then', continued Bhai Budha, ‘gave me divine instruction, upon which my mind became pure, and I obtained the spiritual knowledge which enabled me to find thee.’ Saying this he fell at Guru Angad’s feet. The Guru invited him to ask a favour. Bhai Budha replied, 'Take thy seat as Guru and receive the Sikhs publicly. Instruct us in our faith, and save us all.’ Upon this Guru Angad repeated the following:—

He whom Guru Nanak’s instruction enlightened is immersed in the praises of the True One.

What instruction can I give him who had divine Nanak for his guru?[12]

After this Guru Angad came forth from his seclusion. When this was announced, crowds went to see him and make him offerings. All that he received was sent to his kitchen for the support of pilgrims and wayfarers. There were continual preaching, singing, and repetition of the Name as in Guru Nanak’s time.

It was Guru Angad’s daily practice to rise three hours before day, bathe in cold water, and engage in meditation and introspection. Meanwhile the musicians sang the Asa ki War. At its completion the Guru arose from his attitude of contemplation. Sick persons, particularly lepers, came from great distances to be healed by him; and on being healed returned to their respective homes singing the Guru’s praises. After his healing ministrations the Guru preached and expounded Guru Nanak’s hymns. About nine o’clock in the forenoon visitors of all conditions sat in a line, and received sacred food indiscriminately. When the elders had finished and grace had been said, the children were fed and instruction imparted to them by the Guru himself. Very often he took the opportunity of pointing a moral from the children’s behaviour. He used to delight in watching their sports, and would tell his Sikhs that the children’s time for mourning had not yet come, that elders ought to be pure and simple in heart as they, and then should they be dear to their Creator. The Guru used sometimes to witness wrestling matches in the early afternoon. On such occasions he would often take the opportunity of instructing the spectators how to overcome anger and other deadly sins. After this he used to hold court, when Balwand and Satta, two famous minstrels of the time, entertained the company with vocal and instrumental music. The Sodar was then repeated and food distributed as in the morning. After that followed further singing of sacred hymns, and then the Guru and his disciples retired to rest.

Jogis of different sub-sects visited the Guru, and endeavoured to win him over to their own practices and beliefs. They represented that the great Rikhis, Munis, and Penitents of former ages had none of them obtained happiness or mental purity without Jog with its eight accessories of forbearance, observance, posture, introspection, suspension of breath, contemplation, absorption, and trance.[13] 'By the practice of Jog,’ they said, ‘life is prolonged and wealth and supernatural power obtained. Guru Nanak practised it, and was able to make disciples out of the four castes. Wherefore do thou also practise Jog. If thou now learn of us, thou shalt by the favour of Gorakh obtain twofold power.’ The Guru, divining their object, replied: ‘ By the favour of Guru Nanak I am not conscious of any deficiency in myself for the work in which I am engaged. In this Kaljug it is difficult to practise the Jog you mean, but by the Jog of real devotion it is easy to render the mind pure. Holy men say that Sahaj Jog consisteth in repeating the Name with fixed attention, and associating with the holy. By your Jog, wealth and supernatural power may be obtained, but, when man becometh attached to these things, he cannot obtain salvation. If man’s life be prolonged, he is ruined by avarice and pride. While pluming yourselves on your bodily austerities, you have not seen God who is in every heart. Guru Nanak hath shown us how to abide pure amid impurity, that is, how to find God while leading a secular life.’[14] The Guru then quoted for the Jogis Guru Nanak’s hymn describing in what religion consists.

It is said that the superior of the Jogis on hearing it was pleased, and invited the Guru to ask him a favour. The Guru replied that Baba Nanak had given him everything, and he wanted nothing more. The superior again urged, 1 Ask for something. Let not my words be uttered in vain.’ Upon this the Guru asked for humility. The superior replied, 'I have it not, nor is it with the demigods in heaven.’ The Jogi then fixing his thoughts on God prayed for humility for himself, whereupon a voice came from heaven that humility had been granted with unsparing hand to Guru Nanak and his successor Guru Angad. Upon this the Jogis took their leave.

After them came another Jogi of high spiritual rank called Harinath. He felt happy on seeing the Guru, and requested him to tell him man’s highest duty. The Guru replied with the twelfth slok of Asa ki War. On hearing it Harinath’s doubts were dispelled. The Guru’s fame increased; there was ever a large crowd around him, and those for whom he interceded received the objects of their desires.

One evening in the hot weather there arose a storm which brought clouds of dust and hindered the preparation of dinner. Jiva, the Guru’s cook, said he could only serve it if the Guru quelled the storm. The Guru chid him in the following language: 'O Jiva, remain ever satisfied with the will of God and the true Guru. This is the main article of our faith; and the Sikh who observeth it shall be beloved by the Guru. As a woman who is virtuous, well-behaved, and clever, is ever happy in her obedience to her spouse, so, O Jiva, do thou accept the Guru’s instruction and be ever happy in thine obedience to God. By so doing thou shalt obtain all the advantages of devotion, penance, fasting, and alms-deeds, and abide in bliss.

A blacksmith called Gujjar went to the Guru and asked for divine instruction that he might obtain salvation. The Guru bade him recite the Japji with attention every morning, and work gratuitously for the poor.

A barber named Dhinga remained with the Guru and performed ordinary menial offices for his Sikhs. One day he asked the Guru for spiritual consolation. The Guru replied, ‘ The Guru is as it were a grave, and the Sikhs are as it were corpses. These are laid in the grave when life is extinct, and they cease to move. So when the Sikhs divest themselves of pride, they are fit to rest in the Guru’s bosom. His Sikhs should therefore be humble and serve others. The saint Sain[15] was of the same trade and caste as thou, yet he obtained salvation by serving his fellow-creatures. Thou shouldst therefore not despair of thy deliverance from transmigration during thy present birth.’

Paro of the Julka tribe asked the Guru the meaning of param hans—superior swan—as applied to holy men. The Guru replied: ‘In the first place, the holy accept good precepts from the Guru as the swan, according to the popular belief, feedeth on pearls in Lake Mansarowar; secondly, the holy renounce evil and do good as the swan by the peculiar structure of its bill separateth water from milk.'

A soldier named Malu Shah, orderly of a Mughal officer, sought for spiritual advice which would be profitable to him here and hereafter. The Guru counselled him, if ever the necessity of battle arose, to fight for his master, and not consider whether his side was in a numerical minority or not.

Kidaru asked the Guru how he should escape from the fire of the deadly sins which was consuming the world. The Guru replied, ‘ As when a forest is burning the deer flee and cool themselves in the nearest lake, so should man flee the deadly sins and take refuge in the cooling water of the Guru’s instruction.’

Chapter 4

The Emperor Babar was succeeded by his son Humayun. He invaded Gujrat in the Dakhan, and then determined on making an expedition against Sher Shah, who had recently taken possession of Bengal. Humayun was successful at first. He recovered Gaur, then the capital of Bengal, but was at last defeated and obliged to seek safety in flight. Mounted on horseback he plunged into the Ganges; his horse sank, and he himself only escaped drowning by the prompt assistance rendered him by a water-carrier. On crossing the river, he made his way to Agra, and there effected a reconciliation with his brother Hindal, who had previously been his enemy. They with their brother Kamran collected a great force, and this time there were hopes of success for the imperial cause, but Humayun was again defeated near Kanauj, and was obliged to flee from Hindustan. He made his way to Lahore, and there inquired for some wonder-working priest who could restore him his throne and kingdom. He was informed of the greatness of the late Guru Nanak and of the succession of Guru Angad to his spiritual sovereignty, and advised to seek his assistance. Upon this Humayun, taking offerings with him, proceeded to Khadur. The Guru at the time was in a deep trance, minstrels were playing and singing the Guru’s hymns, and the Emperor was kept standing. He became violently angry, and put his hand on the hilt of his sword with the intention of striking the Guru. The sword, however, would not come out of the scabbard, a circumstance which gave the fugitive Emperor time to repent of his haste. The Guru, nothing daunted, addressed him: 'When thou oughtest to have used thy sword against Sher Shah, thou didst not do so. Now when thou comest among priests, instead of saluting them respectfully, thou desirest to draw thy sword on them. In a cowardly manner hast thou fled from the battle, and now posing as a hero thou wishest to attack a body of men engaged in their devotions.’ Humayun repented and craved the Guru’s spiritual assistance. The Guru replied: 'Hadst thou not put thy hand on the hilt of thy sword, thou shouldst at once have obtained thy kingdom. Thou shalt now proceed for a time to thine own country Persia, and when thou returnest thou shalt recover thy possessions.' The Emperor took his leave, crossed the Indus with great trouble and difficulty, and made his way to his native country. Having obtained a reinforcement of cavalry from the king of Persia, he returned to India, and after a pitched battle recovered his empire and captured Dihli. After his success he felt grateful to the Guru and desired to do him a favour. By this time Guru Angad was no more, and Guru Amar Das reigned in his place. Guru Amar Das sent a message to the Emperor to live honestly, not to desecrate holy places, and not again to come to molest the Guru.

There was a Sikh called Mana who worked in Guru Angad’s kitchen. Through good feeding he waxed fat and proud, so that at last he would not obey any of the Sikhs or even perform his ordinary duties. He spent the principal part of his time quarrelling with his fellow Sikhs. He used to say, 'I am nobody’s servant. I am the Guru’s Sikh, and I will only do what he ordereth me.’ One day he showed a disposition to work. The Guru told him to serve the saints. He said,  I am not their servant, but I will do for thee what thou orderest me.’ The Guru, tired of seeing him suing for service, told him to go to the forest, gather some firewood, and cremate himself. Mana accordingly went to the forest, collected wood, and made a pyre. On setting fire to it and seeing it blaze up he became afraid, and did not relish the idea of death. Meanwhile a thief arrived and asked why this great fire? Mana related his whole story. The thief on hearing of the Guru’s greatness began to repent, and concluded that he had at last an opportunity of wiping out the sins of his past life. He accordingly said to Mana,  'Take this casket of gems from me, and let me in exchange for it obey the Guru’s order.’ Mana being a greedy man and loving life, a bargain was struck on these terms. The thief obtained faith, cremated himself, it is said, and went to his repose at Guru Nanak’s feet. Mana went to the bazar to sell the gems, and was there arrested on suspicion of having stolen them. The result of his trial was that he was hanged, and the stolen gems restored to their owner. ‘ So true is it,’ as the Guru subsequently said, 'that the perverse lose both worlds, and, if folly depart not from the heart, man obtaineth not salvation even by living near the Guru.’

Balwand and Satta continued to please the Guru’s visitors with their songs and music; but on seeing his glory increase, their pride and greed increased in the same ratio. They boasted that it was on account of their music the Guru had become renowned. One day an elderly Sikh asked them to sing him a hymn. They made a rude reply, saying, 'Shall we sing hymns for peasants? ’ The Guru on hearing this was not pleased, and, when the minstrels came to sing at the evening seance, turned his back on them. They went round so as to catch his eye, but he again avoided their salutation. They asked what offence they had committed. He informed them and said that, as they would not sing to a Sikh of his, they must not sing to him. They fell at his feet and begged his pardon, which he good-naturedly granted. Their pride, however, was not totally humbled. They determined to sing for the future only on condition that they received higher wages. After a short time they told the Guru that one of their daughters was to be married, and they asked for five hundred rupees to meet expenses. The Guru desired them to wait for two months, and he would settle their accounts at the yearly Baisakhi fair. Balwand said they could not wait so long; they wanted money at once, and pressed him to borrow it for them. The Guru replied that it was not a good thing to borrow, and he asked them to have patience and see what God would do. They then began to address him in an insolent tone: 'It is we who by singing thy praises have made thee famous. Did we not sing the Guru’s hymns, the Sikhs would never make thee offerings. Therefore refuse not our request. If thou choose not to give the money we require, we will go to our homes and sing our hymns there.’

The quarrel was not adjusted, and next morning they did not present themselves. The Guru sent for them, but they failed to answer his summons. He again sent a special messenger to tell them not to delay, but come to him at once. The more, however, the Guru humbled himself, the prouder they became. They replied, ‘The Guru knoweth not our worth. His court shall have no splendour without us. Even Guru Nanak’s court would not have been known without the music of Mardana.’ The Guru could endure the ingratitude of the minstrels who owed everything to him, but he could not endure the disrespect shown to Guru Nanak’s court, so he cursed them and said, ‘ Their children shall wander forlorn, and none shall cherish them.’ The Guru then assigned the duty of singing the hymns to his Sikhs. For a good cause enthusiasts are sometimes found. Bhai Ramu, Bhai Dipa, Bhai Ugarsain, and Bhai Nagauri came from Dalla with two-stringed violins and cymbals, and took the places of the faithless Balwand and Satta. It soon began to rain showers of melody and devotion, and the audiences were delighted. Balwand and Satta on reaching their homes continued to sing the Guru’s hymns with the object of withdrawing the Sikhs from the Guru, but in this they completely failed. No one would go to them or listen to their minstrelsy. They found themselves without corn or money to buy it, and then they began to repent of their impudence and imprudence. They said to some Sikhs, whom they expected to perform the office of mediators between them and the Guru, that they would return to their duties, if they even received food and clothes as remuneration. The Sikhs mentioned this to the Guru, but he sternly forbade them to make any representation again on behalf of men who showed disrespect to the house of Guru Nanak. He said he would have the beard and moustaches of any one who again spoke in their favour cut off and his face blackened, and he would then have him mounted on a donkey and led in disgrace through the city.

Two months after this Balwand and Satta went to Lahore to visit one Bhai Ladha, whom they knew to possess great influence with the Guru. They told him all the circumstances connected with their quarrel with the Guru, and begged him to intercede for them. Bhai Ladha said to himself, ‘ Here is a chance of doing good. The body and wealth abide not for ever. The only gain is for him who doeth a good action.’ He sent Balwand and Satta on before him, and having shaved his head, blackened his face, and mounted a donkey with his face turned to the tail, went round the city of Khadur, and finally arrived in the Guru’s presence. The Guru asked him what guise he had assumed. He said he was merely obeying the Guru’s order, and prayed him to be good enough to pardon and reinstate the rebeck-players. 'The Sikhs err,’ said Bhai Ladha,  'but the Guru can pardon and mend what is broken.’

The Guru granted Bhai Ladha’s request and, commending his self-devotion, took the opportunity of expatiating on the merits of philanthropy: 'The best devotion is the remembrance of the True Name; the best act is philanthropy: without both of these accursed is man's human birth. He merely vegetateth and heedeth not what is best for him. He is a beast without a tail or horn, and vain is his advent into the world. At the last moment the myrmidons of Death shall firmly seize him, and he shall depart grieving with empty hands. Almsgifts, penance, and sacrifices are not equal to philanthropy. Of the various sins that man commits none is worse than selfishness.’

When the rebeck-players came, they fell at the Guru’s feet, but they were too much abashed to lift their eyes to his. He put rebecks into their hands, and ordered them to sing with the same mouths and to the same instruments the praises of Guru Nanak whom they had reviled. They then composed and sang in Guru Nanak and Guru Angad’s praises five pauris in the Ramkali ki War, which, when completed by three pauris more, Guru Arjan subsequently included in the Granth Sahib.[16] The composition is known among the Sikhs as the Coronation Ode (Tikke di War). The pauris or stanzas which relate to Guru Nanak and Guru Angad are as follow:—


How can the words of him who uttereth the Name of the Omnipotent Creator be weighed?[17]

Grant us true merits that the gift of supreme salvation may be ours, and that our sisters and brothers may share it.[18]

Nanak established his empire by laying a strong foundation of the fortress of truth.[19]

He placed the crown over Lahina’s head, and Lahina repeating God's praises quaffed nectar.

The true Guru put into Guru Angad’s heart the powerful sword of the Almighty.

The Guru and his disciple Lahina have made the straight road—hail to Nanak!

The King during his lifetime gave the apostolic mark to Guru Angad.


Guru Nanak proclaimed the accession of Lahina as the reward of service.

He had the same light, the same ways; the king merely changed his own body.[20]

The divine umbrella waved over him; he obtained possession of the throne in the place of Guru Nanak.

Lahina did what Guru Nanak ordered him, and in doing so licked the insipid stone[21] of Jogism.

The kitchen of the Guru’s word was opened; in his earnings there was no deficiency.

He liberally spent the Master’s gift, himself ate, and gave alms.

The Lord is praised; His light flasheth from the upper to the lower regions.

On beholding thee, O true King, the filth of different births hath been cut away.

Since the Guru ordered us to speak the truth, why should we recede from his order?

His sons would not obey his words; they turned a deaf ear to their priest.[22]

With evil hearts they became rebels; they took sackloads of sins on their heads.

Lahina obeyed what the Guru had ordered him, and earned the reward of his acts.[23]

Let us see who hath lost and who hath gained.


Lahina obeyed the orders of Guru Nanak whether necessary or unnecessary.[24]

The Guru is impartial like the god Dharmraj, and interceded for those who appeal to him.

The True One doeth at once what the true Guru telleth him.

The sovereignty of Guru Angad was proclaimed and the true Creator ratified the act.

A scion of Guru Nanak exchanged bodies with him and took possession of his throne.

The people waited at the Guru’s door, and the rust of their sins was filed off.

The darweshes at his gate became happy by uttering the Master’s true name and hymns.

Saith Balwand, Guru Angad’s consort Khivi was a good person who afforded very effectual shade to his disciples.

She distributed the Guru’s wealth in his kitchen—rice boiled in milk and ghi tasting like ambrosia.

The faces of the Guru’s Sikhs were bright; those of the perverse grew pale.

The disciples who toil are accepted in company with their master.

Mother Khivi’s spouse is he who supporteth the earth.


Guru Nanak, in bowing to Guru Angad, reversed the order of things,[25] and everybody said ‘ What is this he hath done? ’

King Nanak, the lord of the earth, uttered sublime sentiments.

Taking a mountain as his churning staff and the snake as its rope he churned God’s word.

He extracted the fourteen gems and illumined the world.

He displayed such power when he tested so great a man as Angad.

He put his umbrella over the head of Lahina who then was exalted to the skies.

Guru Nanak’s light blended with Guru Angad's, and Guru Nanak became absorbed in him.

He tested his Sikhs and his sons, and the whole sect saw what he had done.

It was when Lahina was purified that Guru Nanak consecrated him.


After Guru Nanak, Pheru’s son the true Guru, went and inhabited Khadur.

Devotion, penance, and austerities abide with thee, O Lahina; great pride with other people.

Greed spoileth men as slime doth water.[26]

Natural light streameth into the Guru’s court.

They who can find no shelter elsewhere find it in thee, O Lahina.

Thou art completely filled with the Name, which is wealth and the nine treasures. He who slandereth thee shall be ruined. The people of this world only see with their eyes, but thou seest afar with thy mind. Pheru’s son the true Guru went and inhabited Khadur after Guru Nanak.

Chapter 5

There resided in Khadur the purse-proud Chaudhri[27] of the Khahiras, who placed himself in opposition to Guru Angad. He used to laugh at the Sikhs when he saw them doing service for the Guru. The Chaudhri had a son who was betrothed in childhood at vast expense. When he grew up he used to drink wine and frequent the society of women of ill fame, and he became an enemy of those who endeavoured to dissuade him from evil courses. Once he fell ill with fever,-and epilepsy subsequently supervened. He became insensible and foamed at the mouth. His parents and relations tried every remedy and every form of incantation, burnt incense to exorcise the evil spirits who they thought possessed the patient, but all their efforts were in vain. At last friends suggested to the young man’s parents to place him under the Guru’s treatment. Persons suffering from various ailments came long distances to the Guru, and all returned to their homes restored to health, so why should not the Guru heal the Chaudhri’s son? Moreover, the Chaudhri’s family lived near, and a trial at any rate might be made of the Guru’s healing power. The young man’s parents and friends yielded to the representations made them, and took him to the Guru. The Guru’s prescription was not elaborate. He ordered the patient to abstain from wine, serve holy men, repeat God’s name, and he should be effectually cured. When he recovered by this mode of treatment he was informed that if he disregarded the Guru’s injunctions his malady would return.

There lived in Khadur a pretended religious man known as the Tapa, or Penitent, to whom recourse had been made at an early stage of the young man’s illness. He boasted that it was his own prayers which had effected the cure. When the Guru heard this, he said he did not desire to speak evilly of any one, and he repeated from the Asa ki War, ‘ Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself.’ A year passed, however, without any evil to the young man. When the month of Sawan came round with its gathering clouds, its flashing lightning, and its cooling rain, he said, ‘ When shall this pleasant time come again? Following the Guru’s instructions I have passed a whole year in misery and suffering. Now bring wine and let me drink.’ Several persons tried to dissuade him, but in vain. He drank wine without measure, saying, ‘What knoweth Angad of the pleasure I feel? ’ That moment his epilepsy returned, he fell to the ground from the top story of his house, and was immediately killed. Every one said that his death was the result of his opposition to the Guru and disregard of his warnings. The Guru, much distressed at the young man’s untimely fate, repeated Guru Nanak’s Alahanian or Lamentation.

When the Guru subsequently visited Harike, the scene of his childhood, his Sikhs went to do him homage, and brought him a couch to rest on after the fatigue of his journey. The owner of the village, who had known the Guru when a boy, refused to accept him as a prophet, to show him honour, or to make him an offering, but sat down familiarly beside him at the head of the couch. As soon as he did so his head became giddy, and he fell from his seat. The Sikhs told him that that was the result of his having put himself on an equality with the Guru. He replied, ' I am of higher caste than the Guru, and owner of a village. How is he superior to me?' Then the Sikhs repeated for his edification the eleventh slok of Asa ki War. On hearing it the man’s pride and malevolence departed, and he became a devout Sikh.

King Ram Chandar, accepted by the Hindus as a god, had a younger half-brother named Bharat. It is said that from him the Khatris of the Bhalla tribe have descended. Tej Bhan of that line went and dwelt in the village of Basarka not far from Amritsar. His wife Bakht Kaur bore him four sons, the eldest of whom was Amar Das. He was born before day on the 14th of the light half of Baisakh in the Sambat year 1536 (a.d. 1479). He lived partly by agriculture and partly by trade. At the age of twenty-three years and ten months he was married to Mansa Devi. There were two sons, Mohri and Mohan, and 'two daughters, Dani and Bhani, born of the marriage. Amar Das was a zealous believer in the Vaishnav faith, and used to fast every eleventh day. He ever reflected that his humans life was passing in vain, and he longed for the guidance of a religious teacher to make it profitable. ' How can the lotus bloom without the sight of the sun,’ he asked,  and how can man obtain salvation without a guru? ’ He made a vow to bathe yearly in the Ganges, and zealously discharge all the duties of a pious Hindu. On returning for the twentieth time from that sacred river, wearied with travel and the noonday heat, he lay down to sleep outside the village of Mihra.

As Amar Das continued his journey, he met a monk with whom he became so intimate and friendly that they cooked for each other. The monk on seeing Amar Das’s merits asked him what guru had taught him such piety and wisdom. Amar Das replied that he had no guru. On hearing this the monk said, ‘ Alas! I have committed a great sin. I have eaten from the hands of a man who hath no guru. My ablutions in the Ganges are now of no avail. It was only when Narad and Shukdev[28] appointed gurus that they themselves became worthy of worship. I can now only be purified by returning to bathe again in the Ganges.’ Thus lamenting the monk departed. Amar Das then began seriously to consider how he could find a guru. Until he had found one, he had no heart to eat or perform his secular duties. He prayed, ‘O God, mercifully grant that I may meet such a guru as will possess the alchemic power of turning dross into gold.’ One morning before day, while engaged in such reflections on the upper parapet of his house, he heard the dulcet chanting of the Guru’s hymns. The voice came from his brother’s house where lived Bibi Amro, Guru Angad’s daughter, recently married to his (Amar Das’s) brother’s son. It was Bibi Amro’s practice to rise a watch before day, bathe, and recite the Japji and other hymns of Guru Nanak, and then make butter for the family. When overheard by Amar Das, she was singing the third hymn in the Maru measure, already given in the Life of Guru Nanak.

On hearing it, Amar Das became deeply absorbed in devotion. From the concluding lines in particular he derived the sublime consolation that he should be changed from dross into gold. He could not avoid asking the lady to sing the hymn again, and inquired where she had learnt it. She readily consented, and added that she had learned the composition from her father. Amar Das committed the hymn to memory, and prevailed on her to take him to see the Guru. The devotion of a former existence was kindled in his heart, and until he had the advantage of beholding Guru Angad, he deemed every moment an age.

After some days, during which suitable arrangements were made for their travel, Bibi Amro accompanied by Amar Das set out on a visit to her father in Khadur. When Amar Das arrived, the Guru, on account of his close affinity, desired to embrace him, but Amar Das courteously remonstrated. He said, 'Thou art as God, I am only a worm' and then fell at the Guru’s feet. Amar Das, on doing homage to the Guru, felt as delighted as a poor man would who had obtained the wealth of the world.

One day the Guru had a meat dinner prepared. Amar Das said, 'If the Guru is a searcher of hearts, he must know that I am a Vaishnav and do not touch flesh.' The Guru, knowing this, ordered that dal[29] should be served him. Amar Das then reflected, ‘ The Guru knoweth that meat is forbidden me, so he hath ordered that dal be served me instead.' Amar Das then rapidly arrived at the conclusion that any disciple, whose practice differed from that of the Guru, must inevitably fail. He therefore told the cook that if the Guru were kind enough to give him meat, he would partake of it. The Guru, on hearing this, knew that superstition was departing from Amar Das's heart, and he handed him his own dish. When Amar Das had partaken of it, he for the first time felt peace of mind, and, as he became further absorbed in his attentions and devotion to the Guru, celestial light dawned on his heart. Thus did he break with the strictest tenet of Vaishnavism and become a follower of the Guru.

One day the Guru, in order to further remove Amar Das’s prejudices, thus began to instruct him: ‘ The meats it is proper to abstain from are these— Others’ wealth, others’ wives, slander, envy, covetousness, and pride. If any one abstaining from meat is proud on the subject and says, “I never touch meat,” let him consider that the infant sucks nipples of flesh, that the married man takes home with him a vessel of flesh.’ Guru Angad then repeated and expounded Guru Nanak’s sloks on the subject. He also related to Amar Das the story of Duni Chand and his father, given in the Life of Guru Nanak.

‘ If you think of it,’ continued the Guru, 'there is life in everything, even in fruits and flowers, to say nothing of flesh; but whatever thou eatest, eat remembering God, and it shall be profitable to thee. Whatever cometh to thee without hurting a fellow-creature is nectar, and whatever thou receivest by giving pain is poison. To shatter another's hopes, to calumniate others, and to misappropriate their property is worse than to eat meat.’ The last vestige of Amar Das’s superstition had by this time departed. He remained night and day in attendance on the Guru, and is said to have performed for him the menial offices of many servants. One day, as the Guru and Amar Das were walking together, Amar Das thoughtlessly put his left arm forward in advance of the Guru's body. Amar Das was himself the first to notice and regret the occurrence. He said, ‘ This arm which hath caused disrespect to the Guru should be cut off. What sort of servant am I if I revere not my master? ’ The Guru replied, 4 It is of no consequence; swing thine arm by all means. It is by austerities the senses should be controlled. Move thy feet and hands in the saints’ service and thy devotion shall be profitable. He who performeth such service shall be happy. Let man renounce pride, fear and love God, accept His will, and obey His commands. These are the marks of a true Sikh.’

One day a man called Gobind came to make a complaint to Guru Angad. He had been involved in a lawsuit with his relations, and vowed that if ever he were victorious, he would found a city in honour of the Guru. Fortune having favoured him, he began to found the city on an open plot of land on the bank of the Bias, of which he had obtained a lease from the Emperor. Having received from astrologers an auspicious time for the inception of the work, he laid out the boundaries, employed masons, and began to build; but what was done by day was in some mysterious manner undone by night. It was supposed that this was the work of demons, but probably the enmity of Gobind’s relations has not been taken sufficiently into consideration. Gobind prayed the Guru to have the village completed and called after himself. The Guru then read him a homily on the futility of fame. 'Why trouble about miserable human affairs? There ought to be naught dearer to man than the True Name.' Gobind then prayed him to grant his desires, even if he had no ambition to have the city founded in his honour.

Upon this Guru Angad sent Amar Das his walking-stick and commissioned him to remove whatever obstructed the construction of the city. Amar Das prayed to God for His assistance, and everything succeeded according to the Guru’s wishes. Gobind founded without further molestation a beautiful city, which Amar Das called Gobindwal in honour of him. The city is now known as Goindwal. Gobind did not forget to build a palace in it for his benefactor Amar Das. When everything was completed, Gobind went again to Khadur to offer his thanks to the Guru for sending with him such a potent envoy as Amar Das, and also to beg the Guru to go and live in the newly-founded city. The Guru did not wish to leave his old town and residence, so he ordered Amar Das to go and live in Goindwal by night, and come to him by day. On account of the presence of Amar Das and the religious atmosphere which pervaded the place, Goindwal became a species of earthly paradise. Amar Das in process of time took with him all his relations from Basarka and permanently settled in Goindwal.

Amar Das was now old, but a halo of devotion shone round him. His daily duties were as follows: He rose at Goindwal a watch before day, and proceeded to the river Bias to take water to Khadur for the Guru to bathe with. Meanwhile he repeated the Japji and generally finished it half-way between Goindwal and Khadur. After hearing the Asa ki War in Khadur he fetched water for the Guru’s kitchen, scrubbed the cooking utensils, and brought firewood from the forest. Every evening he listened to the Sodar and the daily vespers and then shampooed the Guru. After putting him to rest he returned to Goindwal, walking backwards in his supreme reverence for his spiritual master. The half-way spot where he used every morning to finish the Japji is called the Damdama or breathing-place. A temple was erected on the spot, and is now an object of pious pilgrimage to Sikhs.

Chapter 6

Mention has already been made of the Tapa who lived at Khadur. He was worshipped as a guru by the Khahira Jats. He was constant in his external devotions, and knew how to practise spells and incantations, but he cherished a most unholy jealousy of the Guru, and did all in his power to hinder the Guru’s followers from making him the object of a reverence which, the Tapa contended, should never be shown to a family man. He maintained that it was he himself, who was both continent and a penitent, whom all men should worship.

It happened that one year there was a great drought in the land. The months of Har, Sawan, and even half of Bhadon—from the middle of June to the end of August—had passed, and the usual rains of the season had not appeared. Food stuffs became scarce and dear, and the people were greatly distressed. Cattle too suffered severely, and died in large numbers, for all the tanks were dry and no water came from heaven. The people went in a body to the Tapa and represented their condition. He said it was a small calamity in comparison with another which had befallen their town. ‘ I am a monk,’ he said, ‘ yet no one worshippeth me, but all worship the family man. Go now and tell the Guru to procure you rain.’ The cultivators replied: ‘ The Guru telleth no one to worship him. He careth naught for king or emperor, he thinketh not of eating or drinking. Every offering made him is sent into his kitchen, whence the poor, the indigent, the traveller, and the stranger are fed. We have no power to compel the Guru.'

The Tapa replied, 'If you expel him from the city I will send you rain in less than twenty-four hours. If, on the other hand, you allow him to remain, let him cause rain to fall.' On hearing this the ignorant Jats lost their heads, went to the Guru, and requested him to send rain. The Guru said, ‘ Rest satisfied with God’s will. God hath no partner in His designs, and no one can influence Him.’ The Jats then delivered to the Guru the Tapa’s message. The Guru replied that if they thought they could thus gain their object, he would willingly leave their town. Bhai Budha was very angry with the Jats, but the Guru restrained him and said, ' Our religion teacheth pardon for offences.' Saying this the Guru turned his back on the town, proceeded some distance, and sat under a tree. The cultivators who lived in that neighbourhood were warned not to receive him. In this way he had to leave seven villages in sue-cession, until at last he found refuge in a forest near Razad Khan’s hillock, south of Khadur, where he was visited by neighbours who bore no allegiance to the haughty and hypocritical Tapa.

When Amar Das arrived in Khadur next morning, he found the Guru’s house empty. On inquiring of the villagers, he learned all the circumstances connected with his master’s exile. Amar Das told them they were fools, asked them if they had taken leave of their senses, and if a lamp could ever be substituted for the sun; that is, how could they have kept the Tapa and expelled the Guru? Upon this occasion Amar Das composed the two following sloks:—

By meeting the true Guru worldly hunger departeth, but it departeth not by merely putting on a sectarial garb.

Through the pain of hunger the Tapa wandereth from house to house; in the next world he shall obtain twofold punishment.

His appetite is not satisfied, and he never eateth in comfort what he obtaineth.

He ever beggeth with persistency and annoyeth the giver.

Leading the life of a householder, by which somebody may gain, is better than putting on such a sectarial dress.

They who are imbued with the Word acquire understanding; others are led astray by doubt.

They act as they were destined; it is of no use to address them.

Nanak, they who please God are fortunate; they are honoured and acceptable.

The fire of avarice is not extinguished by wearing a sectarial dress; anxiety still continueth in the mind.

As striking a serpent’s lair killeth not the serpent, so a man without the Guru performeth useless acts.

Serve the generous true Guru, and let the Word abide in your hearts;

So shall your bodies be refreshed, your minds become happy, and the fire of avarice be extinguished.

You shall feel the height of bliss when you have banished pride from within you.

The holy man, the real hermit, is he who continueth to fix his attention on the True One.

He who is contented and satisfied with God’s name, shall feel not a particle of anxiety.

Nanak, without the Name man will not be delivered; he shall perish in his pride.[30]

The people all flocked around the Tapa, and said,

'On account of thee have we fallen out with the Guru. When he was here, we always had enough even of dainties to eat from his kitchen. We have now expelled him, and yet no rain falleth.’ The Tapa replied, ‘ Have patience; rain shall fall immediately.’ He then made every form of incantation, but without success. Amar Das explained to the people that, excepting God, nobody had power to send rain, and they had been most unwise in accepting the statements of a hypocrite against a man who had never harmed any human being. If the Tapa could cause rain to fall, why should he beg from house to house? On this the people were satisfied of the Tapa’s hypocrisy, and greatly repented of their treatment of the Guru. They then inflicted suitable punishment on the Tapa, so that other evil men might not be tempted to follow his example.. After that they went in a body to solicit the Guru’s forgiveness for their acts.

When Guru Angad heard of the Tapa’s punishment, he felt much grieved and thus addressed Amar Das: ‘ Thou hast not obtained the fruits of companionship with me, which are peace, forbearance, and forgiveness. Thou canst not endure things difficult to be endured. What thou didst, thou didst to please the. rabble.’ On hearing this, Amar Das threw himself at the Guru’s feet and humbly besought his pardon. He promised that he would for the future rigidly abide by such instructions as the Guru was pleased to communicate. The Guru replied: 'Thou shouldst have endurance like the earth, steadfastness in woe and weal like a mountain; thou shouldst bear pardon in thy heart, and do good to every one irrespective of his acts. Thou shouldst deem gold and dross as the same, and practise humility, for the humble shall ever be exalted. Behold how valuable even minute diamonds are. The pearl is small, but consider its price. Reflect on the tiny fruit of the bohr-tree[31] and to what a prodigious size it groweth, filling a forest far and wide.

The Guru on his return to Khadur passed by a village called Bhairo, where lived a friend of his called Khiwan. Hearing of the Guru’s coming, he went forth to meet him, and invited him to visit his house and bless it. The Guru accepted his hospitality, and made him supremely happy. Amar Das promised that the true Guru would grant Khiwan a son, and that that son should be a saint. On hearing this everybody was astonished that Amar Das during the Guru’s lifetime should have adopted the role of prophet and bestower of offspring. Amar Das on reflection felt that he had again transgressed the Guru’s injunctions, and expressed his contrition therefor. The Guru consoled him: ‘ My light is in thee. For the future, whatever thou sayest, say with deliberation.'

There was great rejoicing in Khadur on the Guru’s return. It was everywhere believed that the Tapa’s punishment was a supernatural event to attest the Guru’s divine mission. Henceforth no rival of Guru Angad set foot in Khadur.

The Guru, on now observing Amar Das’s devotion, great merits, and innate nobility of character, said to his Sikhs: ‘ Amar Das will save innumerable persons. Blest be the eyes which behold the saint of the True Guru, blest the hands which serve him, blest the feet which tread the way to the society of the holy, blest the ears which hear God’s praises, and blest the tongue which refraineth from calumny, slander, and falsehood. Ever speak the truth, and sing the hymns of the Guru.’

The Guru’s sons Dasu and Datu remained with him, but. he was better pleased with Amar Das’s service. It was the Guru's custom to distribute robes of honour half-yearly to his Sikhs. When Amar Das received his, he used to wear it as a turban or cushion on his head, and never remove it; and when he received another he used to tie it on the top of the last presented him. In this way he carried twelve turbans on his head by the time he was appointed Guru. On seeing him carry such a weight people said he was in his dotage, but in reality his faith and devotion daily increased. He felt no desire for wealth or supernatural power. His thoughts were ever absorbed in God, the Guru’s service, and the distribution of alms to the indigent.

Once a rich Sikh presented a costly dress to the Guru. A drop of blood fell on it from a sore on the Guru's foot, and the Guru told Amar Das to take it to be washed. When the washerman examined it he said he feared the stain could not be removed. The cloth was of very fins material, and he asked not to be blamed if it were injured in the washing. Amar Das, on hearing this, sucked the blood from the dress, an extreme act of humility and devotion. The stain disappeared, and he took the dress thoroughly clean to his master, saying, ‘ As the stain hath vanished from this dress, so by thy favour hath impurity from my mind.’

Guru Angad’s sore foot occasionally gave him great pain. One night, as matter was issuing from it, he complained to Amar Das that he could not sleep for the pain. Amar Das promptly applied his mouth to the sore and sucked it. The Guru obtained immediate relief and thus secured a good night’s rest. He then told Amar Das to ask a favour. Amar Das replied, ‘ Why suffer from this sore? The favour I ask is that thou heal it by thy supernatural power.’ The Guru replied by the twelfth slok of Asa ki War, and added:—' In pain God is remembered and the mind remaineth humbled. At night man awaketh in God’s service and is estranged from the world.’

Chapter 7

One day Guru Angad said that his life was drawing to a close, and he must depart. In reply to his Sikhs, who desired that he should remain longer among them to bestow instruction and divine happiness, he said, ‘ The saints of the true Guru are of the nature of clouds. They assume a body for the benefit of the world, and confer benefits on men. The body, which is merely a store-house of corn, shall perish. As a rich man casteth aside his old clothes and putteth on new ones, so do the saints of the true Guru put away their crumbling bodies, and take new vesture for their souls. A man in his own house may remain naked or clothed, may wear old or new raiment—that is the condition of the saints—they are bound by no rules.’ The Guru's disciples listened to this discourse with rapt attention and their anxieties were removed.

While the Guru was considering that his sons were not, but that Amar Das was, fit to succeed him, an accident occurred which finally confirmed him in his determination. On the 14th of the. month of Chet, when there was no moon, it rained all night.

Cold winds blew, lightning flashed, and every human being was glad to find shelter in his house and go to sleep. Three hours before day the Guru called out that he wanted water. He called again but no one answered him. The third time he shook one of his sons to awaken him, and told him to go and fetch water. When the son showed no inclination to obey his father, Amar Das at once said, 'Great king, thy slave will fetch thee water.’ The Guru objected and said that Amar Das was now too old for such service. Amar Das replied that he had grown young on hearing the Guru’s order. He at once put a pitcher on his head and started for the river. Intoxicated with the wine of devotion he thought not of his body. On arriving at the Bias, he filled his vessel, began to repeat the Japji, and made the best of his way to his master. He paid no regard to the elements, but went straight towards the Guru’s house, feeling his way in the thick darkness as he went along.

On the outskirts of Khadur there was a colony of weavers. The holes in the ground, into which the weavers put their feet when sitting at their looms, were filled with water. Into one of these holes Amar Das fell, striking his foot against a peg of karir[32] wood. Notwithstanding his fall he still succeeded in saving the water on his head. On hearing the noise and uproar, some of the weavers awoke. They cried out, ‘ Thief! thief! ’ and called on their people to be on the alert. On going out of doors they heard some one repeating the Japji, and one of the weavers’ wives said, ‘ Fear not, it is not a thief. It is that poor homeless Amru whose beard hath grown gray, and who hath taken leave of his senses. Having abandoned his sons and daughters, his house and home, his commerce and his dealings, he is now without occupation, and wandereth from door to door. Other people go to sleep at night, but he will not rest even then. Single-handed he doeth the work of twenty men. He is ever bringing water from the river and firewood from the forest; and what a guru to serve! ’

Amar Das could endure hearing disrespectful language of himself, but not of his Guru. He told the weaver’s wife that she had gone mad, and hence her slander of the Guru. Saying this, he took his vessel of water to the Guru. It is said that the weaver’s wife did in fact go mad as the result of Amar Das’s censure. They sent for physicians, who, however, knew no medicines to restore her. It soon became known that she had offended the Guru by her language, so on the failure of the physicians the weavers decided to take her to him with the object of imploring his pardon.

The weavers informed the Guru of what had occurred, and implored him to pardon the mad woman’s error. The Guru said, ‘Amar Das hath done great service and his toil is acceptable. His words prove true; wealth, supernatural power, and all earthly advantages wait on him. The peg against which he struck his foot shall grow green, and the weaver’s wife shall recover. He who serveth Amar Das shall obtain the fruit his heart desireth. Ye describe him as homeless and lowly, but he shall be the home of the homeless, the honour of the unhonoured, the strength of the strengthless, the support of the unsupported, the shelter of the unsheltered, the protector of the unprotected, the restorer of what is lost, the emancipator of the captive.’

After that the Guru sent for five copper coins and a coco-nut, bathed Amar Das, clothed him in a new dress, and installed him in the Guru’s seat. He placed the five copper coins and the coco-nut before him while Bhai Budha affixed to his forehead the tilak of Guruship. Thus was Guru Amar Das regularly and solemnly appointed Guru Angad’s successor. All the Sikhs, with loud acclamations, fell at his feet. Guru Angad sent for his two sons, Dasu and Datu, told them that the office of Guru was the reward of humility, devotion, and service; and Guru Amar Das had obtained the high position as the reward of his ceaseless toil, manifold virtues and piety. He then ordered his sons to bow before the new Guru, which they were very reluctant to do, as they had always deemed him their servant. Guru Angad then summoned Punnu and Lalu, the head men of the town, and all his Sikhs, told them he was going to depart this life, and that he had appointed Guru Amar Das as his worthy successor on the throne of Guru Nanak. ‘ Whoever serveth him shall obtain happiness in this world and salvation in the next, and he who envieth him shall have sorrow as his portion.’

On the third day of the light half of the month of Chet in the Sambat year 16O9 (a.d. 1552), Guru Angad gave a great feast to his Sikhs, and reminded them of the tenets and principles of the Sikh religion. On the following day he rose before dawn, bathed, and put on new raiment to prepare for his final departure. He then repeated the Japji, summoned all his family, consoled them, and enjoined them to accept God’s will. He ordered Guru Amar Das to live in Goindwal, and there save men by his teaching. Guru Angad then fixed his thoughts on Guru Nanak and, with 'Wahguru’ on his lips, passed from this transitory world on the fourth day of the light half of Chet, 16O9, having enjoyed the Guruship for twelve years six months and nine days.

Guru Angad’s sons and Sikhs grew sad, but Bhai Budha bade them lament not, but repeat God’s name. They then began to sing the Guru’s hymns to the accompaniment of rebecks, drums, bells, and trumpets. They erected a splendid bier on which they placed the body of the deceased Guru and recited the Sohila of Guru Nanak and the lamentations in the Maru and Wadhans measures. After this they placed the Guru’s remains on a pyre of sandal-wood and cremated him according to his express wish near the tree which sprang out of the karir peg against which Amar Das had struck his foot.

Guru Amar Das enjoined his flock to console themselves and said to them, 1 Guru Angad is imperishable and immortal. It is a law of the body to be born and die, but the soul is different. It is ever the same essence. Holy men have deemed human life temporary, like the roosting of birds for a night on a tree, or like the brief occupation of a ferry-boat by passengers. Wherefore renounce all worldly love. A child may tremble and suppose his shadow to be a ghost, but the wise entertain no such alarm. And so the man who possesseth divine knowledge hath no apprehension of further transmigration.’

On hearing the Guru's words many Sikhs obtained divine knowledge, and crossing over the troublous ocean of the world, obtained beatitude in God.

The principal points in Guru Angad’s character were to serve and love the Guru and worship God. It was by this means he succeeded in obtaining the spiritual leadership of the Sikhs in opposition to the wife, sons and relations of Guru Nanak. For the same reasons Guru Angad in spite of the opposition of his own relatives conferred the Guruship on Amar Das, who was proved to be the most worthy of the high dignity.

Sloks Of Guru Angad

Majh ki War

God rewards the upright and holy who toil in obscurity:—

The gift, the perverse suppose, is preferable to the Giver;

What shall I say of their intelligence, understanding, and cleverness?[33]

He who toileth in obscurity is known in all directions;

He who acteth honestly is called honest, and he who committeth sin is known as a sinner.

O Creator, Thou Thyself performest the whole play; why mention any one else?

O Source of Light, as long as Thy light is in the body Thou speakest in it. If any one have done aught without Thee, show him to me that I may recognize him.

Nanak, God, who alone is skilful and wise, is made manifest by the Guru’s instruction.

Spiritual exaltation:—

To see without eyes, to hear without ears,

To walk without feet, to work without hands,

To speak without a tongue—that is to be dead while alive.

Nanak, he who accepteth the will of God shall be united with Him.

Addiction to pleasures is incompatible with true devotion:—

We see, and hear, and know that God cannot be found in worldly pleasures;

How can man without feet, arms, and eyes[34] run to embrace Him?

Make feet out of fear, hands out of love, and eyes out of understanding.

Nanak saith, in this way, O wise women, shall you meet the Bridegroom.

Who are perfect bankers:—

They are perfect bankers who have found the Perfect One;

They are ever[35] unconcerned and abide in the love of the One God.

Few can obtain a sight of the Unfathomable Being.

Nanak, if the perfect Guru, whose acts are perfect and whose words are perfect,

Make any one perfect, he will not decrease in weight.

Man’s proper employment and the bliss attending morning devotion:—

Let man during the eight watches subdue eight things— the five deadly sins and the three qualities—and his body the ninth.

The nine treasures are in the One God’s name for which they who are profoundly religious search.

Nanak, the favourites of destiny have praised Him through their gurus and priests.

In the morning during the fourth watch they who remember God feel delight;

They love the streams wherein they bathe, and the True Name is in their hearts and on their lips;

There nectar is distributed, and the fortunate obtain favour.[36]

The body obtaineth the character of gold and assumeth a beautiful colour;

If the Assayer approve of it, he will not again put it in the fire.

During the remaining seven watches of the day it is good to speak truth and sit with learned men;

There bad and good acts are considered, and the capital of falsehood decreaseth;

There the counterfeit are rejected and the genuine congratulated.

Nanak, it is idle to tell the Master of one’s misery or happiness.

The virtuous hunger for God:—

The mouths of the virtuous who love the One God weary not of speaking,

Nor their ears of hearing, nor their eyes of beholding Him.

Hunger forsaketh not those who hunger for God; it departeth not by mere words.[37]

Nanak, the hungry man shall be satisfied when, by uttering God’s praises, he becometh absorbed in Him.

Man ought not to undertake what is beyond his ability:—

If he who only knoweth the charm for a scorpion’s sting touch a serpent,

He applieth a brand to his body with his own hand;

It is the Master’s decree from the beginning that he be very severely buffeted.

The perverse who contend with the pious shall perish; this is God’s justice.

God is the Lord of both; He sifteth them carefully.

Nanak, know that everything is according to God’s will.

Know thyself and strive not to perform impossibilities:—

Nanak, deem him who can assay himself a true assayer.

He who understandeth both disease and medicine is a knowing physician.

Let man transact no idle business on the road[38] but consider himself a guest;

Let him know his own real character, confess it, and divest himself of his shortcomings;

Let him not walk in covetousness, but abide in truth; he shall then become the best, and be acceptable.

If an arrow be shot at the sky, how can it reach it?

The sky is inaccessible above us; know that the arrow will recoil on the archer.

Man ought to meditate on his Creator:—

Until man knoweth God his human birth is unprofitable.

A few pass over the world’s ocean by the Guru’s favour.

God is the Cause of causes, omnipotent: saith Nanak, meditate upon Him.

The creation is in the power of the Creator who holdeth the contrivance by which it is sustained.

Nothing can affect him whom God favours:—

What effect can frost have on fire, the night on the sun?

What effect can darkness have on the moon? What effect hath caste on air or water?

What can affect the earth in which everything hath its birth?

Nanak, man is accounted honourable if God preserve his honour.

Sorath ki War

Man reaps the fruit of his acts:—

The nose-string is in the hand of the Master; man is driven by his acts.

It is true, Nanak—where God giveth there man eateth.

Suri ki War

Man ought to think of his future:—

Why do those who know they must depart make display?

They think not of their departure, but continue to arrange their worldly affairs.

Man amasseth wealth for a night; in the morning he must depart.

Nanak, wealth shall not go with him, and then will he regret.

There is no merit in divine service performed under pressure:-

In the fine the prisoner payeth there is no merit, and no favour conferred on others;

Nanak, the act which is voluntarily performed is the best.

God is won by love, not by force:—

Obstinacy, however much one strive, winneth not God to man's side;

Nanak, he who truly loveth God and pondereth on the Word, winneth Him to his side.

The contrast between those who fear and those who fear not God:—

They who fear God, have no other fear, while they who fear Him not, shall have much[39] fear;

Nanak, they shall both be confronted at God’s court.

Nature’s great law, Pares cum paribus facillime congregantur:—

Things which walk associate with those which walk, things which fly with those which fly,

The living associate with the living, the dead with the dead;

Praise Him, Nana!, who hath established this law.

The happiness which pervades young religious hearts in the vernal season:—

Nanak, they in whose house their spouse abideth, enjoy perpetual spring,

While they whose spouse is in a distant land burn night and day.

First meditate on God on the arrival of spring,

Nanak, and praise Him who is the support of all.

In what a real meeting consists:—

It is not by merely meeting that a meeting is effected, that is, if there is to be a real meeting.

They who meet with their hearts are properly said to have met.

When man has only one Friend, why should he forget Him?—

Different people have different friends; I, unhonoured, have only Thee, O God.

Why do I not die of weeping when I bear Thee not in mind?

Think of God under all circumstances:—

In weal repeat God’s name; in woe also remember Him;

Nanak saith, in this way, O wise women, shall you meet the Bridegroom.

Ramkali ki War

The supreme reward of spiritual obedience:—

Devotion, penance, everything is obtained by obeying God; all other occupations are vain;

Nanak, obey him who hath himself obeyed God;[40] he is known by the favour of the Guru.

The perverse cannot understand divine instruction:—

Nanak, if a blind man go to assay jewels,

He will not know their value, but will return having made an exhibition of himself.

If a jeweller go and open a purse of jewels,

He thereby bringeth the jewels and a purchaser together.[41]

They who possess merits, Nanak, may deal in such jewels;

But they who know not their value go about like blind men in the world.

The following was addressed to the Tapa:—

He who followeth the road when shown by a blind man is blind himself;

Why should he, Nanak, who hath good eyes stray into the wilderness?

It is not they who have no eyes in their faces who are blind;

They are blind, Nanak, who stray from the Lord.

The sinner may find favour by repentance:—

The Lord can make him whom He hath blinded see clearly;

God treateth man as He knoweth him, no matter what one may say.[42]

Where the real thing, God, is not seen, know that pride prevaileth:

Nanak, how shall a purchaser purchase anything if he recognize it not?

It is the perverse who are really blind:—

Why call him blind who is blind by the will of God?

Nanak, it is he who will not understand God’s will who should be called blind.

God provides for all:—

Nanak, be not anxious for thy maintenance, anxiety is for Him.

Who created animals in the water and also giveth them sustenance.

There no shop is open and no one trafficketh;

There is no commerce and no traffic whatever.

Animals are the food of animals, such food God giveth them;

He taketh care ever, of the animals He created in the ocean.

Nanak, feel not anxious—anxiety is for God.

Sarang ki War

Only the Guru can cause divine knowledge to enter the heart:—

The Guru hath the key of the lock, the heart is the storeroom, the body is its roof;

Nanak, without the Guru the doors of the heart cannot be opened, since nobody else hath the key.

Men, though naturally equal, are appointed to different duties in life:—

Thou Thyself, O God, didst create, saith Nanak, Thou Thyself didst put creatures in their different places;

Whom shall I call inferior since all have the same Master?

There is one Master of all; He appointeth men to their various duties, and watcheth over them—

Some to small, some to great duties; none departeth empty.

Men come naked, they depart naked, yet during their lives they make a display;

Nanak, it is not known what duty God will order for them in the next world.

Souls proceed from God and bring their destinies:—

Traders come from the Merchant; He sendeth their destinies with them;

Orders are recorded therein to take care of the real thing.[43]

Of those who have made purchases and packed up their merchandise,

Some have gone away with a profit[44] while others have lost their capital.

No one wanteth small profits; who shall be congratulated?

Nanak, God looketh with favour on those who have kept their stock-in-trade intact.

The nectar of the Name:—

They who possess the greatness of Thy name, O God, are happy at heart.

Nanak, there is only one nectar;[45] there is none other;

Nanak, that nectar is in the heart, but it is only obtained by the favour of the Guru;

They who were so destined from the beginning quaff it with delight.

Magnify and praise the Creator only:—

Why praise the creation? Rather praise the Creator;

Nanak, there is no bestower but the One God.

Praise the Creator who made the world;

Praise that Bestower who supporteth every one.

Nanak, God, whose storehouses are full, is alone everlasting—

Magnify and praise the Lord who hath no end or limits.

The most exalted are subject to God’s order:—

How shall I speak to Him who of Himself knoweth what is to be known?

That Lord is the greatest whose orders cannot be set aside—

Orders by which kings, princes, and commanders must abide—

What pleaseth Him, Nanak, is good.

They who must abide by His order have no power of their own;

When He ordereth, men must take the road.

Men must act according to God’s recorded order;

Nanak, men come when they are sent by God, and depart when they are called by Him.

Divine knowledge is the key which unlocks God’s treasure house:—

They to whom the praises of God have been vouchsafed are the real treasures;

They to whom the key is given obtain the treasure.

The treasurers from whom good acts proceed are acceptable;

God looketh with favour, Nanak, on those who bear the standard of His name.

The inferiority of the Veds to the Guru's teaching —

The readers of the Veds have brought tales and legends of the gods, and defined sins and virtues.

For what men give they receive, and for what they receive they give,[46] and they are accordingly born again either in hell or heaven.

The world wandereth in doubt as to what are high and low castes and species;

But the ambrosial word of the Guru speaketh of the Real Thing, and bringeth divine knowledge and meditation;

The pious utter it, the pious know it; they who possess divine knowledge meditate on it, and act according to it.

God created the world by His fiat, and restraineth it thereby; He beholdeth everything subject to it.

Nanak, if man’s pride depart ere he die, he shall be deemed of account.

Man’s future is determined by his acts:—

As a man’s acts so is he: this is a necessary consequence;

He who hath the marks of piety cannot lose them; he must retain such appearance.

He who acteth according to the will of God receiveth his reward; Nanak, he is worthy of homage.[47]

Malar ki War

The rainy season, during which the natives of India usually take rest, is accounted a time of pleasure:—

Sawan[48] hath come, my companions, think of the Bridegroom;

Nanak, the bad wife who loveth another shall pine away and die.

Sawan hath come, my companions, the clouds are about to rain;

Nanak, the good wife who loveth her husband sleepeth in peace.

The topsy-turvyism of Guru Angad’s epoch:—

The beggar is styled a king, the blockhead a pandit,

The blind a connoisseur—that is how people speak.

The wicked man is styled a Chaudhri, and the liar is deemed perfect.

Nanak, that is the way of this iron age; how to distinguish men is known under the Guru’s instruction.

Despise earthly glory:—

Nanak, burn in the lire the praises of the world;

These accursed things have caused the Name to be forgotten; not one of them shall go with thee.

No other composition of Guru Angad is found in the Granth Sahib. There are several verses in the sacred volume in his praise, composed by bards called Kalsahar, Kal, and Tal.

Prior to Guru Angad’s time the compositions of the saints and reformers were for the most part written in Sanskrit letters. He, deeming that the compositions of Guru Nanak were worthy of a special written character of their own, adopted and modified a Panjabi alphabet, called Gurumukhi, to give expression to what fell from the Guru’s lips. This was furthermore a gain on the score of simplicity, for it contains but thirty-five letters, while the Sanskrit alphabet has fifty-two.

The Gurumukhi character was well calculated to make its readers part with Hindu compositions written in Sanskrit. The Gurumukhi S is the Sanskrit M, the Gurumukhi M is the Sanskrit Bh, the Gurumukhi W is the Sanskrit D, the Gurumukhi Dh, is the Sanskrit P, and the Gurumukhi B is nearly the Sanskrit Gh. When, therefore, one has become accustomed to the use of the Gurumukhi letters, a special and separate effort is required to read Sanskrit, however much one may have been previously acquainted with it. The result has been that in most cases Gurumukhi scholars have parted company with Sanskrit and the multitudinous Brahmanical works in that recondite language.

Guru Angad, elated with the adoption of a new character for the hymns of his predecessor, dedicated to God on the occasion the following hymn which we have found in an ancient manuscript[49] at Khadur:—


O Thou who art perfect, light of the soul, the Supreme God, my beloved, my soul and body.

Bewitcher, Thou hast bewitched my heart; I have obtained understanding by pondering on Thy Word.

I am the handmaiden of my Lord.

On clasping the feet of God, the life of the world, I have destroyed and parted with pride.

I was perverse and low, but my evil understanding which hath caused me pain of mind and body hath left me.

Since I began to love the joyous God, my mind hath been consoled by repeating His name.

Having forgotten pride, I have abandoned the world, and true wisdom hath entered my heart.

Since I have become reconciled with Him who is without enmity or stain, I have lost all regard for men’s opinion.

O my Beloved, Support of my soul, there has been none like Thee in the past, and there shall be none like Thee in the future.

Nanak, she who is dyed with Thy name is a happy wife; Thy name is my refuge.


Chapter 1

The early history of Guru Amar Das has already been given. When he was appointed Guru he retired into a solitary room in the upper story of his house, and there meditated on God and Guru Angad’s instructions. His Sikhs went to see him, and he, on the representation of Bhai Ballu, a faithful Sikh who had attached himself to him, came forth from his solitude and presented himself to them as their Guru.

Since the time of Guru Nanak the Gurus were obliged to turn their attention to secular affairs, and to provide for the maintenance of themselves and their followers. Guru Amar Das’s kitchen was abundantly supplied by the offerings of the faithful. All who came to visit him were fed to repletion. None departed disappointed. What he daily received was daily spent, and nothing was saved for the morrow. The Guru kept only one suit of clothes for himself. When he received a new suit he gave the old one to some deserving Sikh. On witnessing the profusion of Guru Amar Das the minstrel Satta composed the following, which is the sixth pauri of the Coronation Ode:-

Guru Amar Das obtained the same mark, the same throne, and the same court.

The grandson was as acceptable as the father and grandfather.[50]

Guru Amar Das by the force of love threw into the churn the rope of the snake,

And churned the ocean of the Word with the churning staff of Meru;

He brought forth fourteen gems and illumined the world.

He made divine knowledge his steed and chastity his saddle;

On his bow of truth he strung the arrow of God’s praise.

In this age there was pitch darkness; he arose like a sun.

With him the field of truth germinated and the fruit of truth was produced.

Ever in thy kitchen, O Amar Das, are clarified butter and flour to eat.

Thou knowest the four quarters of the world; the Word is dear to thy soul.

Thou hast removed the transmigration of those on whom thou lookest with favour.

The wise being Guru Nanak descended in the form of Amar Das.

Firm as the mountain of Meru thou art swayed not by gusts of wind.

Searcher of hearts, thou knowest the secrets of men.

How can I praise thee, O true king, when thou art wise and omniscient?

Let Satta have whatever gifts please the true Guru.

The sect was astonished on seeing Nanak’s umbrella over Amar Das's head.

Guru Amar Das obtained the same mark, the same throne, and the same court.

The grandson was as acceptable as the father and grandfather.

Hindu admirers and inquirers came from every part of India. It was necessary for all the Guru's visitors to eat from his kitchen before they were allowed to behold him. The object of this ordinance was no doubt that his Hindu visitors should habituate themselves to liberal views on the subject of caste, and should relax their rigid customs of cooking and separation at meals. When his visitors had obtained audience, they interrogated him on religious matters, and he resolved their doubts. In such benevolent and engrossing duties and in the peace and tranquillity he enjoyed, the Guru took no account of the flight of time.

It is related that, though the greatest delicacies were served from his kitchen, the Guru himself lived on coarse food, and observed the most ascetic habits. He used sometimes to consult the Veds, the Shastars, and the Purans, but they offered him no spiritual consolation. He thus expressed his conclusions:—

The Simritis and the Shastars define good and evil, but they know nothing of the Reed Thing;

They know nothing of the Real Thing; without the Guru they know nothing of the Real Thing.

The world is asleep in mammon and superstition; in sleep it passeth the night.

By the Guru’s favour they who put God into their hearts and utter His ambrosial word, are awake.

Saith Nanak, they who pass their nights awake, and who day and night fix their attention on God, shall obtain the Real Thing.[51]

At this stage of their history, when the Sikhs met they treated one another affectionately, and saluted one another with God’s name. All who came to receive the Guru’s instruction sat in a line and ate together. Even they who had not previously accepted the divine message, were allowed free access to the Guru, and partook of his hospitality.

The inhabitants of Goindwal daily increased and the city extended itself owing to the number of those who sought the Guru’s spiritual advice and instruction. There then arose a difficulty in procuring timber for the construction of houses, and a deputation waited on the Guru to represent the matter. The Guru ordered his nephew Sawan Mai to proceed to Haripur in the Kangra district to cut down pine trees and cedars, and float them in rafts down the river Bias.

Sawan Mai accordingly proceeded to Haripur and was received with great honour and rejoicing by the citizens. An umbrella was raised over his head, chauris were waved around him, and flowers showered on him in handfuls. Men washed his feet and drank the water therefrom. Those who came suffering from physical and mental ills he instructed in the True Name. All such were comforted and made whole, and joined in singing the Guru’s praises. The Raja requested to be allowed to perform a service for the miracle-worker. Sawan Mai merely requested a grant of the timber for which the Guru had sent him. The king at once sent his men to cut down pine trees and cedars, and dispatch them by rafts on the river Bias to Goindwal. The king’s order was promptly obeyed. When the timber reached the Guru, he distributed it among people of all castes, who then constructed comfortable dwellings for themselves. Goindwal subsequently became an imposing city on the margin of the Bias.

When the time arrived for Sawan Mai’s departure from Haripur he as a preliminary requested the Raja’s permission to leave his country. The Raja said he would accompany him to behold the Guru, and thus render his human life profitable. He provided elephants, horses, carriages, and palkis for his attendants, and set out in great state and splendour for Goindwal. Sawan Mai went in advance to the Guru to announce the Raja’s arrival. The Guru said, ‘ Let His Highness come by all means when he hath eaten from my kitchen.’ The Guru’s condition was accepted. He received the Raja in private audience on the top story of his house, next in order the Raja’s prime minister, and lastly the Raja’s queens. They were all gratified with a sight of the Guru. One of the queens lately married would not remove her veil. The Guru quietly said to her, 'Crazed lady, if thou art not pleased with the Guru’s face, why hast thou come hither?’[52] On this she at once became insane, and casting aside her clothes ran naked into the forest. Efforts were made to stop her, but she succeeded in escaping and baffling pursuit.

The Raja having remained for some days with the Guru took formal leave of departure. The Guru told him that Sawan Mai, whom he recommended to the Raja’s protection, would accompany him as his chaplain. The Raja was pleased to hear that Sawan Mai would return with him, and lavished on him his respectful attentions. Sawan Mai afterwards occasionally went from the hills to visit the Guru, and listen to his teaching, so that he might not inadvertently deviate from the tenets and principles of the faith.

A simpleton, who only clothed himself with a blanket, attached himself to the Guru as factotum. He was in the habit of saying ‘ Sach, sach! ’ (true, true) to everything that was said to him, and was consequently nicknamed Sachansach. One day as he had gathered firewood in the forest and was about to return with his load, the insane queen appeared before him. She was quite naked, her hair was dishevelled, and she altogether presented a weird and alarming appearance. She caught Sachansach, pinched him, bit him, wrestled with him, and reduced him to a sad plight. With great difficulty he escaped, and made his way home streaming with blood. The Sikhs on seeing his plight inquired what had occurred. His only reply was that he had had enough of the Guru’s service, and that he would leave it and return to his home. When pressed for his reason, he at last related his interview with a witch in the forest. The Guru said, ‘ Take my slipper, and if the witch come again, touch her with it, and she shall be cured of her malady.’

Sachansach obeyed the Guru’s order, and next day, on the queen’s aggressive approach, touched her with the Guru’s slipper, when she immediately recovered her sanity. She then for the first time discovered that she was naked, and sought to flee abashed from Sachansach’s gaze. He promptly tore up his blanket and gave her half of it. She wrapped it round her, and thus clothed went and fell at the Guru’s feet. He readily pardoned her offence. The shrine of Bhai Sachansach is near the town of Shekhupur.

Chapter 2

After Guru Angad’s death, his son Datu sat on the Guru’s seat in Khadur, and issued the following proclamation: 'Amru (Guru Amar Das) is old. He is my servant. I am prince of the Guru’s line. His throne is mine.’ The Sikhs, however, decided that only he whom the true Guru Angad had appointed, should be deemed the real Guru. They therefore left Datu at Khadur and went in a body to Goindwal, where Guru Amar Das resided. His Sikhs gathered round him, and there was ever a crowd of devoted followers at his door. Datu was kept duly informed by emissaries of the reverence in which Guru Amar Das was held by his followers.

One day some Sikhs, who had not heard of Guru Amar Das’s change of residence, arrived in Khadur. As they were departing to behold him in Goindwal, a sympathizer of Datu said to him, 'Canst thou, whose servant Amar Das enjoyeth sovereignty, endure it and live? Thou who oughtest to be master, canst now only Iook on, and be thy servant’s servant. An innumerable crowd of worshippers bearing offerings and presents go to visit thy rival. Go and see for thyself.’ Datu could no longer endure such taunts, and early next morning proceeded to Goindwal to see with his own eyes the position of affairs. On beholding the Guru surrounded with such splendour he said, 'Only yesterday thou wert a water-carrier in our house, and to-day thou sittest as a Guru.' Saying this he kicked the Guru off his throne. The Guru meekly replied, 'O great king, pardon me. Thou must have hurt thy foot.' Upon this the Guru arose and retired to the upper story of his house. His Sikhs, angry at the violence offered their master, also abandoned the place. The Guru, when alone, deliberated on his best course of action, and by evening decided he could only have peace by betaking himself to a distance from his tyrant. He accordingly left Goindwal for Basarka, his native village.

Early next morning a Jat cultivator of Basarka, going to his land some distance from the town, met the Guru on the way. He fell at his feet and said, ‘ I have heard that thou hast obtained the Guru’s throne; how is it thou hast come here alone? May I be of service to thee? ’ The Guru asked for a residence, and the Jat immediately prepared him one. The Guru on entering it requested his host to brick up the doorway and on it record the following: ‘ Whoever openeth this door is no Sikh of mine, nor am I his Guru.' The Guru on being thus immured consoled himself by reflecting on the couplet of Kabir:—

Kabir, heart-burning ariseth from claims, he who hath no claim is without anxiety.

He who hath no claim deemeth Indar poor in comparison with himself.

Datu was now free to sit on the Guru’s throne in Goindwal, and became very proud of his new position. The Sikhs, however, would not approach him, and all the pilgrims to Goindwal went away on hearing of his insult to the Guru. On seeing the contempt with which he was regarded, he loaded his newly-acquired wealth O11 a camel and returned to Khadur. On the way he encountered robbers, who seized the camel with its load. One of the robbers struck Datu on the foot with which he had kicked the Guru. It swelled up as big as a drum, and caused him great agony.

The Sikhs were very much distressed at losing their Guru. Some searched the forests, others the banks of the Bias, but could procure no trace of him. It was then decided to consult Bhai Budha, the foremost of the Sikhs. He had formerly pointed out Guru Angad’s place of concealment, and they hoped he would have similar success in discovering Guru Amar Das. They accordingly prayed him to be again their guide. Their prayer placed Bhai Budha in a dilemma. If he pointed out where the Guru was, the Guru might be angry; and if, on the other hand, he did not do so, the distress of the Sikhs would be intolerable. Bhai Budha, after full consideration, decided to do what was proper, and endeavour to find the Guru. To this end he determined that the Guru’s mare should be put in front of the search party, and that they should all follow her. Accordingly, bowing towards the Guru’s vacant throne, and uttering a prayer for the success of their quest, they let the mare loose and anxiously followed her at a short distance.

She unerringly made her way to the Guru’s house in Basarka, and stood before his door. The Sikhs congratulated Bhai Budha on the success of the plan he had contrived. A difficulty now arose as to how they were to obtain access to the Guru. Before their eyes was distinctly written, ‘ Whoever openeth this door is no Sikh of mine, nor am I his Guru.’ There was no prohibition, however, to find another entrance, so they resolved to make an opening in the wall. They did so, and all entered by it. The Guru, on hearing the tumult, arose from his deep meditation. He asked his unexpected and unceremonious visitors why they had opened his door in disregard of his orders. On their explanation the Guru accepted the position. Bhai Budha then frankly addressed him:  Guru Angad hath attached us, O Guru, to thy skirt; yet thou hast deserted us and concealed thyself. How are we to receive spiritual consolation? ’ The Guru smiled and remained silent.

The opening, supported by brickwork, is still shown at Basarka, where a yearly fair, at the full moon in the month of Bhadon, is held in commemoration of the event. The Guru could not disregard the love and devotion of his Sikhs, and mounting his mare returned with them to Goindwal. The resumption of his spiritual duties was celebrated with illuminations, rejoicings, and feastings. Meanwhile Datu was detained at Khadur by the pain in his foot, and through very shame, if for no other reason, would not consent to visit the Guru.

As the fame of the Guru’s piety and saintly character increased, he became more and more the object of popular veneration. Bhai Paro, who lived in the village of Dalla in the Jalandhar Doab, that is, between the rivers Satluj and Bias, received religious instruction and emancipation from him. Paro used to ride to visit the Guru every other day. Once a Nawab’s son observed and followed him. He saw Paro take a plunge with his horse into the deep water of the Bias, and arrive safely on the opposite shore. The Nawab's son congratulated him, and inquired in whose service he underwent such trial and danger. Paro informed him of his visits and devotion to the Guru. On hearing this and other particulars regarding the successors of Guru Nanak, the Nawab’s son became a Sikh and renounced his ancestral position.

Bhai Lalo, a banker’s son of the village of Dalla, joined Bhai Paro in one of his visits to the Guru. Bhai Lalo had been religious from his earliest years. When he came of age his father died, leaving him considerable wealth. This he increased by his industry, while at the same time he relieved every case of distress brought before him, and became famous for his charities. Lai means a ruby. The Guru on hearing his name said, ‘ Lalo Har rang rangia gaya,’ an expression which may be either translated—Lalo is imbued with God’s love, or— the ruby glows with every colour. Lalo on receiving instruction and initiation became a ruby or gem of the Guru. He used to visit him on the first day of every month. When returning home he always took with him one or two Sikhs. These he would bring back on the occasion of his next monthly visit, and then take one or two others to accompany him. By means of these relays of earnest Sikhs he preserved his orthodoxy and his connexion with the Guru.

During one of Bhai Lalo’s visits the Guru complimented him on his great public benefactions. Then, patting him on the forehead, the Guru said that he had invested him with spiritual power and sanctity. On thus receiving the approbation of the Guru, Bhai Lalo returned home for the last time, and there continued to exercise the humility and generosity for which he had been previously so distinguished.

A Khatri named Mahesha of Sultanpur also sought the Guru’s protection and permission to sit at his feet. The Guru initiated him into the Sikh religion and taught him its tenets. A short time afterwards Mahesha lost all his wealth, but not his faith in the Guru. On the Guru’s intercession God restored him all his property, and granted him the priceless boon of salvation.

The Guru preached lessons of forgiveness and endurance, but his enemies only returned evil for the favours he had intended them. Their slander, however, was to him like a rain shower which, though it might cause a mud wall to crumble down, would only cleanse a mountain’s side. When Goindwal rose to importance some Muhammadan dignitaries settled there. Blinded by authority and wealth, they deemed every one inferior to themselves. They could not tolerate the fame of the Guru, and caused him every form of annoyance, but, so far from desiring to take revenge, he used to pray to heaven to soften their hearts and guide them aright. When Sikhs went to fetch water for the Guru’s kitchen, Muhammadan boys were instigated to break their earthen vessels with pellets and clods. Whenever the Sikhs remonstrated, the Muhammadans assaulted them. When the Sikhs, driven to extremities, complained to the Guru, he told them, instead of fragile earthen vessels, to use goatskins which could not be so easily broken. This advice the Sikhs adopted, but the Muhammadans pierced the goatskins with arrows, and continued to harass the Sikh water-carriers as before. The Guru then counselled his people to use brass utensils. These the Muhammadans knocked off the bearers’ heads with bricks and stones, and drove the Sikhs almost to distraction. But, however much the Muhammadans annoyed the Sikhs and the Guru, he never uttered a harsh word, but, on the contrary, prayed that God would remove the hate and religious rancour of their hearts. His Sikhs asked how long they should bear the tyranny of the Muhammadans. The Guru replied, ‘ As long as you live. It is not proper for saints to take revenge. Nay, there is no greater penance than patience, no greater happiness than contentment, no greater evil than greed, no greater virtue than mercy, and no more potent weapon than forgiveness. Whatever man soweth he shall reap. If he sow trouble, trouble shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.’ On hearing this homily the Sikhs regained their peace of mind.

A company of armed Sanyasis arrived in Goindwal. As the Muhammadan boys were discharging pellets at the Sikhs, one of the pellets knocked out the eye of the Sanyasis’ high priest. The Sanyasis became enraged, seized the offending boy, and beat him to death. Upon this an affray arose between them and the Muhammadans, in which arrows, swords, lances, daggers, and axes were employed. The Sanyasis invoked Dattatre,[53] and the Muhammadans Ali[54] to support them in the combat. Many brave men on both sides were slain, and among them several enemies of the Guru. The Sikhs regarded the destruction of the Muhammadans as a divine chastisement for the annoyance to which they had subjected them.

Soon afterwards, as a detachment of soldiers guarding imperial treasure was on its way from Lahore to Dihli, a storm arose as the convoy approached Goindwal, and the heavens Assumed a sable hue. Though the soldiers exercised great vigilance, yet one mule laden with money strayed to the Muhammadan quarters of the town. The soldiers searched everywhere, and the town-crier made proclamation, but no trace could be found of the mule. Some of the Muhammadans who had concealed the animal, hypocritically joined in the search, and expressed their regret at the occurrence. At last the mule betrayed its captors. Left alone in the house of a Musalman, the animal neighed plantively on missing the company of his fellows. When the police officer heard the sound, he proceeded to the dwelling whence it had issued. The Muhammadans endeavoured to prevent his entry on the plea that he was violating their domestic privacy, but the police officer was not to be thwarted, and succeeded in rescuing the mule with his treasure. He then reported all the offences of the Muhammadans to the Emperor—their persistent annoyance of the Guru and his Sikhs, their attack and slaughter of the Sanyasis, and finally their endeavour to rob the Emperor of his treasure. The Emperor ordered that they should be imprisoned, their houses razed to the ground, and all their property confiscated. ‘Such’, said the Guru, 'shall ever be the condition of those who bear enmity to men who desire to live at peace.’

Chapter 3

On one occasion when the Guru visited an outlying village and preached, the headman said his words ought to be recorded, and he sent for pen and ink for the purpose. The following was the Guru’s expostulation:—

Why send for pen and ink? Write my words in thy heart.

If thou ever abide in the love of God, thine affection shall never be sundered from Him.

Pens and ink-bottles shall perish—what they write shall go with them—

Nanak, but the love of the True One which He bestoweth from the beginning shall not perish.

The things which are seen shall not depart with one; see if there be any contrivance by which they may go with you.

The true Guru implanteth the True One in your hearts; continue to love Him.

Nanak, the Giver of the Word is true, and He is obtained by good acts.

The Guru continued his instructions:—‘ The Guru will assist him who hath endurance; God is patient and patiently rewardeth. If any one ill-treat you, bear it. If you bear it three times, God Himself will fight for you the fourth time, and extirpate your enemies.’

He then quoted the twenty-first pauri of the Asa ki War.

The Guru, having obtained respite from his Muhammadan persecutors, continued to communicate spiritual and ethical instruction to his Sikhs:

'Do good to all, but be not proud thereof. Deem another’s wife as a snake or a murderous elephant, and associate not with her. Avoid evil company; be not conceited, glorify not yourselves, and forswear slander and falsehood. Eat and work according to your ability. Practise not hypocrisy or ostentation. Meditate on the Guru’s instruction. Give a tithe of your substance to God. Associate with the virtuous and wait upon the stranger. Invoke Wahguru before meals, and He will bless your repasts.’

His Sikhs put a question to the Guru: ' Who are the greatest saints and worshippers of God? ’ The Guru replied, ‘ They who have repeated the Name and renounced pride are the best. The saint who so acteth, and leaveth this filthy and loathsome body, shall obtain in its stead a celestial body of light. True saints are passionless, and afford shelter to men. He who restraineth his desires hath obtained salvation while alive. The saints are ever independent. What they do is ever beautiful and of good report. The true Guru and the saints are sent into the world to benefit it, though in reality they live apart and are not of it.’

Kingurinath, at the head of a company of Jogis, visited Guru Amar Das. They proclaimed that they were Jogis and holy men, and in proof of their statement pointed to the garbs and earrings they wore. The Guru denied that that was the way to become holy. He would tell them, and thereupon he uttered the following:—

Ramkali Ashtapadi 

Put the rings of modesty in thine cars, O Jogi, and make compassion thy patched coat.

Apply the fear of transmigration to thy body as ashes,

O Jogi, thus shalt thou conquer the three worlds.

O Jogi, play such a kinguri

As shall produce the unbeaten strain and abiding love of God.

Make patience thy wallet, truth thy platter, put the ambrosial Name thereon as food.

Make meditation thy staff, O Jogi, and remembrance of God the horn thou blowest.

Make the fixing of thy mind on God thy sitting posture,[55] O Jogi, so shall thine injuries depart.

Go beg in the city of the body,[56] O Jogi, and thou shalt obtain the Name.

It is not by means of this kinguri. O Jogi, that thou shalt meditate upon or obtain the True One;

It is not by means of this kinguri, O Jogi, that thou shall find peace, or that pride shall depart from thy heart.

Make the fear and love of God the two gourds of thy kinguri, O Jogi, and thy body its frame.

Be holy and the strings will play; thus shall thine avarice depart.

He who understandeth God’s order and applieth his heart to the one God is properly called a Jogi:

His doubts are dispelled, he becometh pure, and thus obtaineth the way of union with God.

All that is visible shall be destroyed; wherefore fix thy mind on God.

If thou bear love to the true Guru, thou shalt understand this.

Union with God consisteth not, O Jogi, in leaving one’s family and wandering abroad.

By the Guru’s favour thou shalt obtain God’s name in the mansion of thy body.

This body is an earthen puppet, O Jogi, and in it is a dire disease—the craving for mammon.

This disease will not be cured, O Jogi, by thy many efforts or by wearing sectarial dresses.

God’s name, O Jogi, in whatever heart He implanteth it, is the medicine.

Wherever there is a holy man he obtaineth divine knowledge, and findeth the way of union with Him.

The path of union with God is difficult, O Jogi; he on whom God looketh with favour obtaineth it.

Whether he be at home or abroad, he seeth but the one God, and removeth doubt from his heart.

O Jogi, play that kinguri which playeth without being struck.[57]

Saith Nanak, in this way shalt thou obtain deliverance,

O Jogi, and be absorbed in the True One.

One day, as the Guru was taking a ride, he saw a wall broken by rain, which threatened to fall, and he accordingly rode quickly past it. On reaching home his Sikhs quoted to him one of his own hymns, in which he wrote:—

Death shall not approach him who meditateth on God’s name.

They also quoted to him a verse of Guru Nanak:—

I feel no anxiety regarding death, and I have no desire to live.

They then interrogated him: 'Great king, death is subservient to thee. Thou hast enjoyed a long life. Thou hast no pride or selfishness. Why hast thou hastened past the dangerous wall? ’ The Guru replied: ‘ I only want to teach my Sikhs that since human life, for which even the demigods vainly long, is so difficult to obtain, it is our duty to preserve it. If a tree be preserved, it will many times bear leaves, blossoms, and fruit. So if the body be preserved, we can practise charity and perform religious works of every description; but when the body perisheth, we can no longer perform our duty to God. Holy men derive endless advantages from their bodies. By them they serve the saints, repeat God’s name, obtain divine knowledge and become emancipated. The body by which we confer benefits on others, and by which happiness in this life and salvation in the next are obtained, ought to be cherished by all.[58]

One day the Sikhs said to the Guru, ‘ Formerly, when we undertook any enterprise we used to consult the Brahman astrologers. Now that we have come under thy protection, whom shall we consult?' The Guru replied, 'The most favourable time for the Guru’s Sikhs is when they pray to God. If at the beginning of all undertakings they with a lowly mind invoke His assistance, all their efforts shall be successful.’

On one occasion, on seeing a large crowd of people who had come to him for the attainment of their desires, the Guru mourned over the ills of life, and decided to seek for a time the retirement of the forest. To escape notice he started on his journey at midnight. His movements, however, became known to his sons Mohri and Mohan and a few other devoted Sikhs, and they prepared to accompany him. When the party had been three days in the forest, a Muhammadan goatherd called Bahlol saw the Guru, and recognizing him as a holy man, fell at his feet and made him an offering of a bowl of milk. The Guru seeing his devotion, said, 'I am happy.’ The goatherd, too, became happy in the consciousness of having ministered to the wants of a deserving man. The Guru invited him to ask a favour. The goatherd replied that there was nothing stable in the world, wherefore the only favour he asked was that he might be enabled to remember God’s name. The Guru granted him this favour.

Chapter 4

Once the Guru visited Kasur. It was a time of excessive heat, and he felt very weary. The governor of the city was a Khatri of the Puri tribe. The Guru sent a messenger to request his permission to pitch his tent in his garden. The governor replied, ‘ I know the Guru; he is a Khatri of the Bhalla tribe. Only yesterday he lived in Basarka and to-day he is Guru. He hath attached to him men of all castes, high and low. They sit in a line and eat with him and with one another. If he choose to be a Guru of outcastes, he can please himself, but I will not allow him to approach my dwelling.’ The Guru on hearing this said, ‘ My disciples shall one day have sovereign power. A Sikh ruler shall reign here in Kasur, and the descendants of this Khatri who is now governor shall become his servants.' The Guru, departing thence, found his way to the hut of a poor Pathan. On seeing the Guru the man arose and said that he was poor, otherwise he would give him suitable entertainment. The Guru replied in the words of Guru Nanak:—

God can appoint a worm to sovereignty and reduce an army to ashes.

The Guru continued, 'Do God’s service, and thou shalt become the lord of Kasur, but directly thou practise tyranny, thou shalt die.’ A short time afterwards the Khatri officials in Kasur caused such political disturbance that the Emperor ordered them to be disarmed and expelled, and Pathans appointed in their place. The latter and their descendants continued to govern that part of the Pan jab until it was conquered by Ranjit Singh and the Sikhs.

On one occasion, as the Guru lay asleep in the small hours of the night, he was awakened by a woman’s screams. He sent two of his Sikhs to inquire the cause of her grief. They returned with the information that a young man had just died of tertian ague, and his mother was bewailing his loss. On hearing this the compassionate Guru prayed to the Deathless Being to console her. He told his Sikhs to repeat the first pauri of the Japji, and, while doing so, to put water into the mouth of the deceased. The Sikhs, instead of performing the ceremony themselves, brought the body to the Guru. He put water into the corpse’s mouth, and touched the head with his foot, when to! the youth was re-animated.

Once while a rich man was giving a religious feast a child was born in his house. The Brahmans in consequence declared the place impure, and refused food. The giver of the feast went to the third Guru to complain. The latter thereupon ordered his Sikhs to partake of the viands prepared, and they did so. The Brahmans subsequently went to the Guru to represent that his disciples had eaten impure bread. The following was the Guru’s remonstrance:—

The love of mammon is mental impurity,

By which men are led astray in doubt and suffer transmigration.

The impurity of the perverse never departeth

Until they become saturated with the Word and with God’s name.

Whatever taketh the form of worldly love is all impurity:

On this account man dieth and is born again and again.

There is impurity in fire, in wind, and in water;

There is impurity in whatever is eaten;

There is impurity in religious ceremonies and in worship.

Only the heart which is dyed with the Name is pure.

By serving the True Guru impurity departeth:

Then man dieth not, nor is he born, nor doth Death destroy him.

Let any one carefully examine the Shastars and Simritis, and he shall find

That without the Name there is no deliverance.

In the four ages the Name is considered the best word,

And by means of it in this Kalage the pious are saved.

The True One neither dieth nor suffereth transmigration.

Nanak, the holy shall be absorbed in God.[59]

A rich Muhammadan horse-dealer named Alayar, a native of Dihli, who had returned from Arabia through Kabul with five hundred horses, arrived at the Bias. He had intended to proceed to his native city, where he hoped to find a good market, but was unable to continue his journey as the river was flooded, and the boatmen did not think their boats sufficiently strong to withstand the current. The following morning he saw Bhai Paro, on his way to the Guru as usual, plunge his horse into the foaming river and reach the opposite shore in safety. The horse-dealer met him on his return, and complimented him on the feat he had performed. Bhai Paro said there was nothing wonderful in his crossing a swollen river. The true Guru, to whom he daily went to do homage, caused thousands of souls to swim across the still more dangerous ocean of the world. Alayar was anxious to behold so great a being, so he arranged with Paro on the next occasion to sit behind him on his horse, and thus cross the river and visit the Guru with him.

Alayar was delighted on seeing the Guru, hearing his words, and witnessing the devotion of his Sikhs. Filled with enthusiasm and humility he mentally desired the Guru's leavings. The Guru divined his wish and offered him the dish from which he had eaten. The Guru’s attention was then attracted to his name, and he said, ‘It is difficult to become a friend (yar) of God (Allah), but I will make God thy Master, and thee His servant.'

Thus was Alayar made a priest and freed from all doubts, evil passions, and inclinations. He henceforth drew no distinction between Hindus and Muhammadans, and continued as he had begun, a model of humility and divine fervour.

The Guru in due time sent him to a place called Devantal, where saints resided. His trade in horses was undertaken and continued by his son. Alayar’s family ultimately settled down in Dalla, where lived Bhai Paro and Bhai Lalo and other devoted servants of the Guru. Musalmans of every rank accepted and reverenced Alayar under the name of Ala Shah as a pious priest. A concourse of Sikhs, among whom were Bhai Dipa, Bhai Khana, Bhai Malu, and Bhai Kidara, gathered round these holy men in Dalla, and took up their abode with them.

Chapter 5

There was a goldsmith in Goindwal married to an elderly woman. All medicines and incantations were employed to procure them offspring, but in vain. The everlasting cry of the childless couple was, ‘ How shall we be happy in this world? And who will take care of our wealth? ' Their youth had passed, and the advent of old age naturally made them despair the more. They decided to dig a well where travellers might allay their thirst, and build a temple where the devout might pray. They hoped that in this way their wishes might be crowned, and their memory abide in the world. When the Guru heard of the pious work they had undertaken, he went and personally assisted in it. On being informed of his presence the goldsmith and his wife hastened with offerings to do him homage. He asked them what they desired. The goldsmith’s wife on this drew a veil over her face. The Guru said, 'Be not abashed. Ask what thou desirest without shame.' She replied, 'Thou hast come to visit us; now give us an heir to our house.' The Guru inquired if they expected him to keep children for his friends. The goldsmith, with humility and faith, replied that there were children in the words of the Guru. The Guru was pleased at this reply, and told them that, if they had faith, they should have two children. They were accordingly blessed with that number of offspring. People on seeing the children with the old lady said they must be her grandchildren. The twelfth generation of the goldsmith and his wife still reside in Goindwal, and are called Maipotre (mother’s grandsons) in memory of this event.

Inquirers came from different countries in detached bodies to behold the Guru. On seeing their number and frequency, Bhai Paro and his friends represented that there should be one place of general meeting for the Sikhs, and special fairs should be established where Sikhs could assemble and become acquainted and fraternize with one another. Upon this the Guru proclaimed that gatherings of Sikhs should be held on the first days of the months Baisakh and Magh, and on the ancient festival of the Diwali.[60]

A shopkeeper called Girdhari, who lived in the south of India, was very fortunate as far as wealth, property, and relations were concerned, but he was distressed at having no children. He took a second wife, but still there was no offspring. On hearing what the Guru had done for the goldsmith, he went to Goindwal to do him homage. He remained there for some days and importuned the Guru, but could only obtain the following reply:—

None can erase what was written on the forehead in the beginning:

What was written happeneth; he who hath spiritual insight understandeth this.[61]

The Guru when further pressed said to Girdhari, ‘ Repeat the Name, do good works, and obey the will of God. A hankering for sons is the cause of worldly entanglements.’ On hearing this the shopkeeper’s eyes filled with tears, and heaving cold sighs he withdrew from the Guru’s presence. Bhai Paro meeting him asked why he was leaving without having obtained his object. Girdhari then narrated his conversation with the Guru. Paro said that if he had faith he should have five children. The shopkeeper went home, and in five years found himself the father of five sons.

Girdhari took his five sons and placed them all at the Guru’s feet. The Guru inquired how he had obtained such a large offspring. Girdhari replied, ‘ I have got them through the mediation of Bhai Paro, the servant of thy house.’ The Guru said, ‘Well done, Bhai Paro, who art able to reverse the order of nature! Such power is not in me.’ Bhai Paro humbly represented: ‘ Great king, on seeing this man going disappointed from thy house I merely gave him from thy store-room which is ever inexhaustible. Why should we be niggardly? ’ The Guru replied, ‘True, but this is the Kalage when many persons come with desires and motives. Guru Nanak hath said:—

“ Whatever God doeth accept as good; have done with cleverness and orders."

The Guru ironically continued: 'If thou have compassion to spare, then ever satisfy the desires of those who go away disappointed from me. Thou art a saint of the highest order, and mine image. I grant thee the Guruship of the world! Spread saintship therein.' Bhai Paro, touching the Guru’s feet, meekly replied, ' Pardon thy servant, and let me abide at thy feet. Even if I must suffer further transmigration, let me not be driven from thy presence. Guruship becometh thee; I am content to be a disciple. Grant me the gift of serving thee.’ The Guru replied, ‘ If thou desire to serve me, repair to thy house; God hath pardoned thee and granted thee deliverance.’ Bhai Paro went home, distributed his wealth among his heirs, and set apart a favourite mare and some money for the Guru, with strict injunctions for the proper disposition of his property. Having made sacred food, and prepared for his death, he lay down. Then uttering ‘ Wahguru and parting with his body, he went to his repose at Guru Nanak’s feet.

When Guru Amar Das heard of Bhai Paro’s death, he sent his own son Mohri to Dalla to console Bhai Paro’s family. Mohri passed a whole night in Dalla, recounting Bhai Paro’s praises, and next day returned to Goindwal.

Bhai Lalo continued to perform every service in the Guru’s house. His mind, body, and wealth were all employed in conferring benefits on others. He fed and attended to the poor and needy, fanned the Guru, and distributed food to his Sikhs. He was so distressed at Paro’s death, and dissatisfied with the things of this world that he resolved to bestow all his property in alms, and consign his body to Death. He thought of the words of Kabir:—

While the world feareth death, my mind is pleased therewith,

Since it is only by death supreme bliss is obtained.[62]

When Bhai Lalo, after the usual prayers, assumed his final posture, his eyes filled with tears. His friends said to him. ' Thou hast no worldly love; thou hast practised charity and the duties of thy religion j thou art free from all earthly desires; then why art thou weeping? ’ He replied, ‘ I have inherited countless wealth from my father. That shall be profitable if it be spent in the service of the Guru and his Sikhs. I have also mine own earnings which I wish to dispose of for their benefit. Furthermore, I have recently built a house at great expense, which I reserved for myself, but it is useless to me now. If that also be applied to the use of the Sikhs, I shall have nothing to regret.’ His relations and Sikh friends disposed of his property accordingly. He then, in the words of the Sikh chronicler, parted with his body as though it were the slough of a snake.

One day a Sikh merchant went to the Guru, and said that he had given alms and feasts to Brahmans, and made pilgrimages according to prescribed rules, but obtained no spiritual profit or consolation therefrom. He therefore requested the Guru, who was the pilot of the world’s terrible ocean, to save him. The Guru on that occasion composed the following:—

Serve God; perform no other service.

By serving Him thou shalt obtain the fruit thy heart desireth; by any other service thy life shall pass away in vain.

God is my love, God is my rule of life, God is the subject of my conversation.

By the Guru’s favour my heart is saturated with God’s love; thus is my service rewarded.

God is my Simritis, God is my Shastars, God is my kinsman, God is my brother.

I am hungry for God; with His name my heart is satisfied. God is my relative, and at the last moment will be my helper.

Except God all other capital is false, and goeth not with us when we depart.

God is the wealth which shall depart with me; whithersoever I go, thither will it go.

He who is attached to falsehood is false, and false are the works he performeth.

Saith Nanak, everything happeneth according to God’s will; naught is gained by babbling.[63]

The Guru continued: 'Repeat the one God’s name, be humble, abandon pride, and self-conceit. As fire burneth a dry crop, so do pride and self-conceit destroy the effect of alms and religious exercises.

His Sikhs once asked the Guru, ‘ If, as the saints say, the world is like a dream, then how do their bodies perform their functions? ’ The Guru replied, 'Their bodies perform all their functions, but their minds are not affected by the world. The saints abide in the form of ordinary mortals, as the sword touched by the philosopher’s stone retaineth its shape, but is at the same time changed into gold. By humility and contempt of the world the saints obtain deliverance at their death.' The Guru then related the following parable: 'Some one told a saint that his only son had been slain. The saint on hearing the news remained unmoved. On this people began to admire his fortitude, and say, “ Thy son was a fine, obedient young man. Thou art to be congratulated that thou canst endure his death without a murmur.’ The saint replied, “ The world is like a dream or a shadow; sons, wives, and wealth are all perishable. In a dream a poor man may become a king or a king a poor man, but when they awake they find their dreams have no reality. For whom shall man rejoice or mourn? ” Upon this some one came and told the father that his dead son had been re-animated. On hearing this, too, the saint manifested no joy.’ The Guru, pointing out the moral of his story, said, ‘ Saints are unaffected by joy or sorrow as the lotus is by water.’

Many persons continued to visit the Guru for religious instruction. Lalu, Durga, and Jawanda received from him the following advice, 'Ever do good to others. This is to be accomplished in three ways: By giving good advice, by setting a good example to Sikhs, and by ever desiring men’s welfare.’

A Sikh named Jagga asked the Guru’s permission to become a hermit. He said he had met a Jogi and asked him for instruction. The Jogi would only give it on his relinquishing a domestic and adopting an ascetic life. The Guru replied that deliverance could not be obtained either by the relinquishment of house and home or by the practice of Jog. As a lotus, while growing in the mud, turns its petals towards the sun, so should man while engaged in worldly affairs turn his thoughts to God by means of the instruction of the Guru.

To Gopi, Mohan, Rama, and Amru, the Guru spoke as follows: ‘ Practise forbearance and forgiveness, and harbour not enmity to any one in your hearts. Should any one address you a harsh or disrespectful word, be not angry, but speak civilly in return.’

To Gangu and Saharu the Guru delivered the following instruction: 'When you have prepared food, first feed the Sikhs, and then eat the remainder yourselves. He who eateth after his brother Sikhs shall become very holy. Ever remember Wahguru. Worship not cremation grounds, tanks,[64] or Hindu or Muhammadan shrines.’

When the Guru paid a visit to the Sikh families in Dalla, Prithi Mai and Tulsa of the Bhalla caste went to see him. They unceremoniously seated themselves beside him, and said with much familiarity, 'Thou and we are of the same caste.’ The Guru replied in the words of Guru Nanak:—

Caste hath no power in the next world; there is a new order of beings.

It is the good whose accounts are honoured.

This body ’, continued the Guru, ‘ is composed of five elements. It is subject to hunger, thirst, joy, sorrow, birth, and death. It perisheth, and no caste goeth with the soul to the next world. They who are honoured and exalted in God’s court are those whose minds are humble, who have renounced falsehood, fraud, slander, deceit, hypocrisy, and ingratitude, and who have repeated the Name and benefited others. If the high caste on which people plume themselves in this life be not recognized in the next, of what advantage is it? The Guru recognizeth no caste.’

Bhais Malhan, Ramu, Gobind, and Dipa asked the Guru to give them instruction whereby they might be saved. He replied, 'Abandon obstinacy and pride, serve the saints, prepare sacred food according to the rules of our religion, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, rise before day, repeat the Japji, bestow a little of your time and wealth on God’s service, associate with the saints, meditate on the Word, perform the duties of your religion, hurt no one’s feelings, sing the Guru’s hymns, be lowly and abandon pride, recognize only the Creator as the one God, and all your desires shall be fulfilled. If a man be weighed down with worldliness, he shall sink like an overladen boat in the world’s ocean; but, if worldliness lie not heavily on him, his bark shall float, and he shall obtain deliverance.’

Bula, a learned pandit, laid before the Guru a scheme he had devised for a compilation of the Guru’s hymns, and mooted the question of remuneration for his labour. The Guru replied: ‘ Make a careful collection of the Guru’s hymns, and give it to the Sikhs in God’s name. If any one offer thee money, accept it for thy maintenance, but beg not, and great shall be thy gain.’

A Sultanpur bard named Bhikha embraced retirement from the world so as to search for the Creator. Wherever he heard of any saints he went to wait on them. For a long time he remained in a state of pupilage under a Brahman, without obtaining any peace of mind. One day he felt very sad and prayed to God to guide him. Upon this he received an inspiration to go to Goindwal and see the Guru of whom everybody was speaking. Full of devotion he arrived and had the happiness of beholding the object of his visit. He stood absorbed in thought for a short time, and then gave utterance to the following in the Guru’s praise:—

By the Guru’s divine knowledge and meditation man’s soul is blended with God. He who with single mind fixeth his attention on God, shall know Him who is the truest of the true. His mind shall not fly or wander who restraineth his lust and wrath. He who dwelleth in God’s, land and obeyeth His order shall obtain wisdom. He who hath done good works in this age shall know God. If a Guru be found he willingly and cheerfully granteth a sight of Him.

I have continued searching for a saint and seen many holy men—Sanyasis, ascetics, and sweet-voiced pandits— I have roamed for a year, but none of them hath satisfied me. I heard what they had to say, but I was not pleased with their conduct. What shall I say of the merits of those who renouncing God’s name attach themselves to mammon? God hath caused me to meet the Guru; as Thou, O God, keepest me, so I abide.[65]

Hearing Bhikha’s words the Guru put his hand on his forehead in token of accepting him as a disciple, gave him the true Name, and made him happy. Having found the true Guru, Bhikha returned to his native town and abode there. Keeping the Guru’s image in his heart, he applied himself to meditation and contemplation. As the result of his devotion his name is recorded in the honoured roll of holy Sikhs, and his verses have been distinguished by inclusion in their sacred book.

Chapter 6

One morning, before day, while the Asa ki War was being chanted, the Guru fell into a trance. He thought he saw Guru Nanak appear and order him to make a place of pilgrimage where God alone should be worshipped, and thus confer a favour on the world. It was the object of the Gurus to preserve their Sikhs from contamination at Hardwar, Banaras, and other places of Hindu pilgrimage. Guru Amar Das resolved to obey the order he felt he had thus so solemnly received. He purchased some land, and on the day of the full moon in the month of Kartik laid with all due religious ceremony the foundation of the Bawali, or well with descending steps, which is now such an object of reverent pilgrimage to Hindus as well as Sikhs in the city of Goindwal. His Sikhs all joined in the work. Some dug up the earth, some put it into baskets, some removed it, some made offerings of corn for the support of the workmen, some drew water for them, and some cooked their meals. There was great activity throughout the city during the construction of the Bawali.

There lived in that portion of the city of Lahore called Chuni Mandi a Khatri of the Sodhi tribe named Thakar Das. He was married to a lady called Jaswanti, a word which means the praiseworthy. A son called Hari Das (Servant of God) was born to them. Hari Das afterwards married Anup Devi. After her marriage she was generally known as Daya Kaur. The associations and acts of both husband and wife were ever good and praiseworthy. Contrary to the polytheistic spirit of their time, they worshipped only one God, served saints, and made the repetition of God's name the main object of their devotion. They worked diligently for their livelihood, and were contented with their lot. They rose early to perform their adoration and meditation, and their prayer ever was that a son might be born to them who should be the light of their family, and whose glory should shine like the sun.

The result of their prayer and devotion was that after twelve years of married life, in the early morning of Thursday, the second day of the dark half of the month Kartik, in the Sambat year 1591 (a.d. 1534), a son was born to them, who appeared like a sun of the solar line from which they claimed their descent. He was called Ram Das, but was generally known as Jetha, a name which means first-born. He is described as of fair complexion, handsome figure, pleasing and smiling face, and not disposed to weep or cry in the manner of ordinary children.

As he grew up he frequented the society of holy men, and gave them whatever he received from his parents. The latter desired that he should turn to some occupation for his livelihood, but that was not his own intention. There lived near his parents a poor man who made his living by selling boiled pulse. At his suggestion Jetha’s mother boiled some, put it into a basket, and gave it to him to sell, so that he might begin to do something profitable. An ordinary person would have taken the pulse to the bazars and streets for sale, but Jetha went off with his basket to the river Ravi and there sat down. He soon saw a company of holy men coming towards him from the opposite side, and waited until they had bathed and emerged from the river. They were very hungry, and on seeing him with his basket, asked him to supply their necessities. They represented that what was given in the name of the Lord would fructify a thousandfold, and that God would bless his earnings. Jetha gave them the whole contents of his basket and went home. The holy men were very pleased, and prayed that God would reward the boy for his compassionate and timely gift.

He soon fell in with a company of Sikhs singing hymns to the accompaniment of cymbals and drums, and proceeding on their way with great rejoicing. When he asked whither they were going, one of them replied, 'Come with us, we are going to Goindwal where Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, holds his court. Every blessing in this world and the next is obtained by his favour.’ On hearing this Jetha’s heart was tilled with devotion, and he at once joined the Sikhs in their pilgrimage. Jetha, on arriving in Goindwal, prostrated himself before the Guru, who was much impressed with his devotion and handsome exterior. In reply to the Guru’s inquiries Jetha told his name and station, and how, abandoning all worldly desires, he had sought his spiritual protection. The Guru replied, ‘ If thou hast come abandoning all worldly desires, thou shalt obtain a true sovereignty. Perform work and service. It is thus God’s court is obtained.’ Jetha was delighted at his reception, and at once applied himself to the Guru’s service. He cooked in the kitchen, shampooed his master, drew water, brought firewood from the forest, and, when not so employed, assisted in the excavation of the Bawali. He never thought of his own ease and never felt weary. He was of such meek temper that, even if any one spoke harshly to him, he would never retaliate. He became known as what he really was, namely, Ram Das, which being interpreted means God's slave.

One of the Guru’s daughters, Bibi Sulakhani, known as Dani, had married Rama of the Bedi family to which Guru Nanak belonged. The other daughter, Bibi Bhani, was from her earliest years fond of prayer and seclusion. When her young girl companions would invite her on a pleasant day in summer to go with them to indulge in the pastime of the swing, she would inform her father, who invariably gave her permission. At the same time he would remind her of the following composition of his own:—

The world is dead through pride, the proud have no means of living.

He who walketh as it pleaseth the Guru, shall obtain the dignity of eternal life.

They who fix their attention on God’s feet shall live for ever.

Nanak, when He who looketh on all with favour, dwelleth in the heart, the pious man is easily absorbed in Him.

She used to say to her playmates, ‘ We are thoughtless beings like the skipping and playing lambs while the butcher Death standeth over us.’ She would then recite Guru Nanak’s lines:—

This message is ever sent to every house, such invitations are ever issued.

Remember the Caller; Nanak, the day is approaching.

By this she meant that Death stood ready for his victims, and it was a mistake to think too much of earthly pleasures. Her mother, who used to accompany her, would then say, ‘By Guru Nanak’s favour remain free from anxiety. What fear hast thou of Death? The Guru hath granted his Sikhs happiness in this life and salvation in the next, and hath commanded them to eat and enjoy themselves.’

A faithful Sikh once asked the Guru’s permission to offer Bibi Bhani money to purchase dresses and ornaments, so that she might decorate herself like other girls, and not appear at a disadvantage in their company. On hearing of the offer she repeated Guru Nanak’s words:—

False is gold, false is silver, false those who wear them;

and reminded the Sikh that the best use to which money could be applied, would be to fill the Guru’s kitchen with com and supply the necessities of pilgrims.

The Guru’s wife, Mansa Devi, one day seeing Bibi Bhani playing, remarked to her husband that, as Bhani had arrived at the age of puberty, they ought to search for a husband for her. The Guru ordered the necessary search to be made. When the Guru’s agent was ready to depart, Bibi Bhani’s mother saw a boy outside her door hawking some articles. On attentively observing him, she said to the agent, ‘ Search for a youth like him to be Bibi Bhani’s husband.’ Hearing this, the Guru ordered the agent to pause. On examining the youth’s lineaments the Guru exclaimed, ‘ He is his own parallel, for God had made none other like unto him.’ On this the Guru called the youth and interrogated him on matters in which fathers-in-law are interested. On being satisfied with the boy’s replies and his desire to marry Bhani, the Guru sent him with marriage presents to his father, Hari Das, in Lahore, and had the betrothal ceremony performed.

After the completion of the nuptial negotiations Guru Amar Das wrote to Hari Das that the twenty-second of Phagan, Sambat 1610, would be a suitable time for the marriage. All the Sodhis congregated together, and there were great rejoicings. Women sang the Guru’s hymns, and bards exhibited their poetical skill. The bridegroom’s procession was formed, he was put on horseback, and he and his friends proceeded in state to Goindwal. Mohri, the Guru’s eldest son, went forth to receive him. As the bridegroom was about to enter the Guru’s house, the Guru said to him, ‘ My son Jetha, it is the custom of our family that before the bridegroom entereth the bride’s house he should make a request. Make one accordingly.’ Jetha accordingly repeated the first hymn of the Gujari measure contained in the Rahiras.

Guru Amar Das, highly pleased at the request conveyed in the earnest language of the hymn, granted Jetha a present of the Name, promised that at his court it should be unceasingly heard, and that it should flow like a current of waters.

When the marriage was duly celebrated, the marriage procession returned to Lahore. Jetha’s parents wished the young couple to live with them according to the usual custom of the East, but Jetha considered the Guru as his god, and himself as his worshipper. He did not think of him at all in the light of a father-in-law, a relation who is ordinarily treated with scant respect by Indian bridegrooms. He deemed parting from him even worse than expulsion from heaven, and accordingly returned with his wife to Goindwal after a short sojourn in Lahore. In his heart he believed that the foundation of love sprang from the Guru’s lotus feet, and he used to pray:—

May I abide from beginning to end in the joy of Thy lotus feet!

After his return to Goindwal he was the same Jetha and performed the same service for the Guru as before, without a particle of false pride in his heart. The more Jetha served the Guru, the more his love for him and for all mankind increased. His disposition became divine, as when iron is turned into gold by the contact of the philosopher’s stone. Specially did he labour at the Bawali which the Guru was constructing. He made no objection to carrying baskets of earth on his head, and paid no heed to the banter or reproaches of his companions. The Guru took special notice of his conduct, and showed him special favour.

Bibi Bhani not only considered Amar Das her father, but also her Guru, the very image of Guru Nanak. In the same way she served Jetha not only as husband but as saint. In the month of Assu, Sambat 1614, a son, Prithi Chand, was born of the marriage. Three years after, in the month of Har, a second son, Mahadev, made his appearance. On Tuesday, the seventh day of the dark half of Bai-sakh, Sambat 1620, Jetha and Bhani were blessed with a third son called Arjan, at whose birth there were unusual rejoicings.

Chapter 7

There was a Baiiagi named Mai Das, a most devout worshipper of the god Krishan. Strictly adhering to all Vaishnav ceremonials, he would only eat what he had cooked with his own hands. His chief desire was to behold the yellow-robed, peacock-crowned god in bodily form. In the hope of obtaining assistance for the purpose from the Guru, of whose fame he had heard, he went to Goindwal. On arriving there, however, he was informed he could not see the Guru until he had eaten food from his kitchen. He decided that as a strict Vaishnav he could never partake of such food, and he accordingly took his departure. On his way home he said to himself, ‘ I have been lucky in deciding to see the Guru, but unlucky in departing without seeing him. I will by way of consolation go to Dwaraka to see Krishan.’ He accordingly made the long journey to Dwaraka, and took up his abode in an adjacent forest. On the night of his arrival he was holding the fast of the eleventh of the lunar month, during which he was allowed to eat fruit, but it was not obtainable for it was then the winter season. Cold winds were blowing, rain was falling in torrents, lightning was flashing, and the night was appallingly dark. He called upon all his gods, ‘ O Wasdev, O Krishan, O Girdhari, I have no shelter but in you.’ At last in his dire extremity he accidentally found a hollow tree in which he took shelter for the night.

On the morrow at daybreak he searched the whole forest, but could find nothing to eat. Closing his eyes and meditating on God he prayed for relief. A supreme Jogi, seeing his devotion, brought a plate full of dal and rice, and laying it before him departed. Mai Das on opening his eyes was astonished to see prepared food in such a place. He reflected, ‘ This food having been cooked in water is impure. If I eat it, I shall become an outcaste, and if I do not, I shall die. Well, if die I must, let me die by all means, but I will not abandon my principles.’ The supreme Jogi knowing his unshaken faith placed before him unobserved a plate of sweets, which, as having been cooked in clarified butter, even a devout Hindu could receive from the hands of another without defilement. Mai Das then began to consider: 'Into this solitude no man may bring sweets, nor have I seen anybody coming or going. Impure food was first brought me, and when I refused it, I received pure food. It was certainly God who came to me, but through my misfortune I did not see him.’ Mai Das searched in every direction, and again began to call on his god, 'O Krishan, O Girdhari, O Murari, pardon my sins. O compassionate one, O Gobind, grant me a sight of thee.’ Full of devotion he wandered weeping and shouting through the forest. It is said that he then heard a voice: ' Thou hast not taken food from Amar Das’s kitchen, and hast not beheld him; therefore shalt thou not obtain perfection. If thou desire to do so, then first behold Amar Das.’

On hearing this Mai Das returned to Goindwal. Invoking his favourite god, he partook of food from the Guru’s kitchen, and was then allowed the privilege of sitting in the Guru's court and beholding him who had been so long the special object of his thoughts and aspirations. The Guru addressed him, ‘ Come, Mai Das, thou art a special saint of God.’ Mai Das with complimentary expressions supplicated to be made the Guru’s servant, so that he might ever behold him. The Guru replied, 'Abide with me for eight days, keep the company of my saints, and I will then point out to thee thy spiritual guide.’

Meanwhile the Sikhs continued with great energy and devotion to excavate the Bawali. After digging very deep they found large stones which hindered their progress. The Sikhs prayed the Guru to remove the obstacle. He counselled patience, and said that all should be well in due time.

When water obstinately refused to enter the Bawali, the Guru inquired if there were any of his Sikhs sufficiently courageous to drive a peg into its base with the object of removing the obstruction. At the same time the Guru warned his hearers that the operation involved great peril. The man who performed it must be able to stem the current which would issue from the aperture formed by the peg; otherwise he would be drowned. All the Sikhs remained silent, and no one ventured to undertake such a perilous task. At last Manak Chand of Vairowal, a young man with a sprouting beard, who was married to a niece of the Guru, declared himself at the Guru’s service.

This man’s history is connected with the miraculous power of the first Guru. When Guru Nanak visited Thatha, Hari Chand who was childless took him an offering of milk in the hope of obtaining the object of his desires. The Guru being pleased, said, ‘ A gem (manak) shall be strung on thy necklace.’ Within a year a son was born to him who was called Manak Chand, in remembrance of the word used by the Guru and the fulfilment of the prophecy.

Manak Chand, invoking God’s name, extracted the peg, whereupon there immediately issued a rushing stream which overflowed the Bawali. Manak, though on his guard, was upturned, and though striking out vigorously sank to the bottom. Next morning his old widowed mother and his young wife came and sat on the margin of the Bawali weeping piteously. The aged mother was crying out, 'Ah! Manak my son, who will protect me now? Thou oughtest to have taken me with thee.' The Guru inquired who was weeping. The Sikhs brought the old lady to him, and she bowed at his feet. The Guru said, ‘ Manak is not drowned, he will save many a one yet. Have patience, and he will come to thee.' The Guru went and stood by the Bawali. He called out,' Manak, behold thy mother is weeping for thee, come and meet her.’ Manak’s body at once rose to the surface. The Guru meditated on God, and touched the young man’s body with his foot, upon which he walked forth from the water in the full possession of life and vigour. The Guru then addressed him: ‘Thou art my living—jiwar—son. Thy sons shall be called sons of Jiwar. Now become Mai Das’s spiritual guide, go home, and wealth and supernatural power shall come at thy bidding.’ Thus, by the favour of the Guru, Jiwar and his descendants have been reverenced by succeeding generations.

By this time Mai Das’s stay of eight days was at an end. The Guru told him that Manak Chand should become his spiritual guide. The Guru having ordered him to go and preach to all people thus continued: ‘ Thou too shalt make converts and become a famous saint; save men by giving them God’s name, read the Guru’s hymns, and all blessings shall attend thee.’ Mai Das, having received spiritual and temporal favours from Manak Chand, returned to his village. He afterwards paid the Guru a yearly visit, obtained mental peace, found salvation for himself, and became empowered to grant it to others.

The Bawali when finished yielded sweet drinking water, and the Sikhs greatly rejoiced at the completion of their labours. It was provided with eighty-four steps. The Guru decreed that whoever should attentively and reverently repeat the Japji on every step, should escape from wandering in the wombs of the eighty-four lakhs of living creatures. Sadharan, a Sikh carpenter, devoutly made woodwork for seven steps of the Bawali and clamped it with iron.

It was now the time for the Emperor Akbar to make his periodical visit to Lahore. Having crossed the Bias he made a detour to Goindwal, and accompanied by a large escort of Mughal and Pathan soldiers made a state visit to the Guru, of whose sanctity he had heard such favourable accounts, and presented him with costly offerings of every description. The Emperor, out of respect for the Guru, walked on the bare ground as he approached his residence. He learned, however, that he could not have an interview with the Guru until he had partaken of his food. The Emperor inquired of what the food consisted, and was informed that it was coarse unseasoned rice. He asked for some and partook of it as if it were ambrosia. Having seen the large number of people fed from the Guru's kitchen he requested him to accept his service and his offerings. He added,  I will make thee a grant of whatever land thou desirest, and I am ready to perform any other office that may be pleasing to thee.’ The Guru replied, ' I have obtained lands and rent-free tenures from my Creator. He who cherisheth all existences giveth also unto me. My Sikhs devoutly give me wherewithal to supply my kitchen. Whatever cometh daily is spent daily, and for the morrow my trust is in God.’ The Emperor pressed on him the acceptance of several villages, but the Guru was firm in his refusal. The Emperor then said, ‘ I see thou desirest nothing. From thy treasury and thy kitchen countless beings receive bounties, and I entertain similar hopes. The villages which thou refusest I will grant to thy daughter Bibi Bhani.’ The Emperor upon this signed a grant of the villages in her name. The Guru gave the Emperor a dress of honour, and dismissed him, highly pleased with his pilgrimage. The headmen of the villages granted by the Emperor went with offerings to the Guru, but he sent them and their offerings to Jetha, the husband of the proprietress. The management of the villages was entrusted to Bhai Budha, who went and lived in a forest in the midst of them.[66]

Every one was pleased on hearing of the healing virtues and fame of the Bawali, except a second Tapa who had settled in Goindwal. His heart was bitter as the colocynth, but his words as sweet as the mango. The Guru gave a great feast on the tenth day of the month following the completion of the Bawali. The Tapa, though invited, refused to attend. He said to the Guru's messenger, ‘ I. want nothing from the Guru, nor will I give him anything. I will go to dine with the provincial governor instead. He too hath invited me, and from him I shall receive presents of gold coins.’ The Tapa on going to the governor began to calumniate the Guru. ‘ Behold, O Diwan, Amar Das, though a Khatri, eateth the fruit of offerings as if he were a Brahman. He putteth men of the four castes all in a line, maketh them eat together, and thus destroyeth their religion. I have therefore refused to dine with him, and have come to thee as a candidate for thy favour.’

The Tapa was disappointed. He received only a bad dinner and one rupee from the governor. On returning home he heard that the Guru was not only giving an elaborate banquet to his guests, but bestowing five rupees, and in some cases sixteen on every religious man who attended. On hearing this the Tapa was filled with regret and said, if he had known it, he would have dined with him instead of with the governor. He could thus have kept in the good graces of the Guru, and received a good dinner and at least five rupees from him. He went to the Guru’s house, and said publicly that he had no quarrel with him, and did not desire any.

The Guru’s door happened at the time to be closed as the feast was in progress. The Tapa called from outside, but received no answer. He then went home and brought his son, whom he caused to leap over the wall of the Guru’s courtyard and enter his dining-room. The Tapa’s son succeeded in getting from the Guru a share of the banquet and five rupees. Notwithstanding this the Tapa boasted that he did not desire a present or a share of the feast served out promiscuously from the Guru’s kitchen. He had only sent his son on the Guru’s repeated pressing invitations. The Tapa, however, got the worst of the transaction, for his son injured his leg in crossing the wall, and the Tapa’s own insolent speeches regarding the Guru were reported to the headmen of the city. After consultation among themselves they thought they would visit him, and see how he passed his time. They entered his apartment without having given previous intimation, and caught him in adultery with the landlord’s wife. They arrested him and took him to the landlord, to whose turn it now came to defend his honour. Such offences were then visited with exemplary severity. The Tapa was put to death with torture. On this incident Jetha composed the following:—

He is not a Tapa whose heart is greedy and who ever wandereth begging for mammon.

When he was first called, he would not accept the proffered money; afterwards repenting he brought his son and seated him in the midst of the assembly.

The village elders all began to laugh, saying that the wave of greed had overcome the Tapa.

He will not approach the place where he seeth little wealth; where he seeth much there he forfeiteth his faith.

My brother, he is not a penitent; he is a crane; the saints seated in council have decided this.

While employed in praising the rest the Tapa slandereth the true Guru; for this sin God hath cursed him.

Behold the result the Tapa obtained for slandering the true Guru—all his labours have been in vain.

When he sitteth outside among the village elders he is called a penitent; when he sitteth at home he is committing sin; God hath disclosed his secret sin to the elders.

Dharmraj said to his myrmidons, ‘ Take and place the Tapa where the greatest murderers are.

'Let no one look at this Tapa again; he is accursed of the true Guru.’

Nanak telleth what took place in God’s court. He under-standeth whom God hath regenerated.[67]

The third Guru supplemented this hymn with his own injunctions: 'He is a Tapa or penitent who practiseth penance, who renounceth slander, falsehood, envy, and jealousy, who is the same in woe as in weal. When a deceitful and ill-conducted man pretendeth to be a Tapa, his counterfeit gilding is soon discovered. Wherefore it is better to renounce evil deeds, falsehood, and deception.'

The Guru again added the following:—

He whose heart is false acteth falsely;

He goeth about for money, yet he calleth himself a penitent;

Led astray by superstition he frequenteth all places of pilgrimage.

How shall a penitent obtain the supreme reward?

By the favour of the Gun a few are sincere:

Nanak, such penitents shall obtain salvation at home.

The true penitent:—

He is a penitent who performeth the penance

Of remembering the Word on meeting the true Guru.

The service of the true Guru is the acceptable penance:

Nanak, such a penitent shall obtain honour in God’s court.

Chapter 8

A banker taking large offerings went to visit the Guru. The offerings included a necklace of pearls and precious stones. He wanted to put it on the Guru, but the Guru said he was too old for such ornaments. The banker might put it on him who was the Guru’s image, and who was dearer to him than life, and then the banker’s wishes would be gratified. The banker replied that the Guru might put it on whomsoever he pleased. The Sikhs began to conjecture whom the Guru could have meant. Some said Mohri, others Mohan—sons of the Guru— and others again thought of other faithful and obedient Sikhs. The Guru, disappointing them all, put the necklace with all its beauty and splendour on the neck of his favourite Jetha.

On an occasional afternoon the Guru used to go with his retinue to the bank of the river Bias. On the way a filthy naked Muhammadan faqir, who was almost always under the influence of intoxicants, took up his position He said in a voice loud enough for the Guru to hear as he passed by: ‘He con-sumeth the wealth of the whole world. The older he groweth the more miserly he becometh. He only maketh gifts to those from whom he desireth something in return. He taketh no notice of faqirs, and hath never remembered me who am a beggar like others. I take opium and bhang, and he never offereth me any, though he ought sometimes to think of the poor. I care for no one, be he king or emperor; I speak the truth to his face. When a man giveth me anything I pray for his welfare.’

The faqir often used such offensive language in reference to the Guru. The Guru, who was patience incarnate, used to remain silent and pass on. One day Jetha accompanied the Guru, and on hearing the graceless faqir spluttering and discharging, as it were, the sediment of his bhang, said to him, 'Why participate in sin by slandering the true Guru? ’ The faqir replied, ‘ Why should I not? He hath never given me alms. Give me the necklace thou wearest.’ On this Jetha took off his gorgeous necklace, and put it on the faqir. Upon this he began to sing aloud the Guru’s praises: ‘ Thou art more generous than Raja Harishchandra, than Raja Karan, and than Raja Vikramadit.’[68] As the party returned from the river in the evening, and while the Guru was still distant, the faqir began to shower further praises and blessings on him. 'Thou savest the world; may thy sons and grandsons flourish! ’ The Guru on hearing this remarked that somebody must have been generous to the faqir, otherwise he could not so soon have altered his tone and language. On inquiry the Guru learned what had occurred. Jetha confessed, ‘ O Guru, I have given the faqir my necklace. Thou hast given me God’s name as a necklace; I keep it by me. This perishable necklace I have offered in thy name.’ On hearing this the Guru blessed Jetha: ‘ Thy line shall be endless and thine income and expenditure inexhaustible.’

The hostility of the Hindus now began to assert itself even more offensively than before. The Sikhs who visited the Guru at Goindwal used to speak as follows when they returned to their homes: ‘ The Guru hath proclaimed a new religion and abolished differences of castes and tribes. With him the four great castes eat from one vessel, and with great devotion perform uniform worship. He giveth to drink to his Sikhs the water in which he hath washed his feet, and teacheth them to reverently repeat Wahguru instead of the gayatri.’

When the Khatris and Brahmans, who were extremely ignorant, irreligious, and proud of their castes, heard these reports, they could not endure the Guru’s praises, and said, ‘ What an amount of deceit he hath been practising!’ They all met one day and arrived at the following conclusion:  These are bad innovations the Guru hath introduced. No one will now reverence a Brahman, and the religion of the Khatris is quite abolished. The Guru hath reduced the four castes to one, and the result is that every one hath renounced and fallen away from his faith. All men eat together. The worship of gods and ancestors hath ceased, and all the popular customs have been violated. Our only resource now is to appeal to the Emperor, so that he may abolish such new-fangled practices.’

The Hindus were joined in their opposition to the Guru by a Marwaha Khatri, whose interest it was, on the score of his commercial and banking transactions, to maintain the ancient superstitions. The Guru had at that time few powerful allies. His old friend and disciple Gobind was dead, and Gobind’s son, having become depraved by bad company, joined in hostility to him.

Even the very men from whom the Guru had purchased the land for the Bawali turned against him—no doubt instigated by the Brahmans—and complained that the Guru had not paid them its stipulated price. Moreover, he had not only illegally taken possession of it, but forcibly ejected them even from their homes. The Marwaha employed a servant who blackened his face and put on dirty ragged clothes to take a complaint on the subject to the Emperor. As the Marwaha and his servant proceeded on their way, they endeavoured but without success to defame the Guru. Several people who had heard of the Guru’s virtues and extraordinary powers, would not allow them shelter in their villages.

When they reached the royal court, the complaint against the Guru was read out to the Emperor. A Pathan friend of the Guru at court explained that the complaint against him was false, and recalled circumstances to the Emperor’s recollection which induced him to believe so too. The Emperor then gave his decision. 'I have never before heard that the Guru practised oppression on any one or coveted any one’s property. It was with great difficulty I induced him to accept villages to supply provisions for his kitchen, and I believe that the complainants and their representatives are lying. Send these men out of my sight.'

On the return of the Marwaha and his servant without having accomplished their object, Jetha composed the following:—

The perverse man put on his perverse servant a blue-black patched coat filled with filth and vermin.[69]

No one in the world would allow him to sit near him; he fell into ordure and still more dirt attached to him.

The perverse man sent his servant to slander and backbite others, but the result was that the faces of both were blackened.

It was quickly heard through the whole world, my brethren, that the perverse man with his servant had been shoe-beaten; with addled brains they arose and returned home.

The perverse man for the future was not allowed to mix in society or even with his marriage relations; then his wife and his niece went and brought him home.[70]

He hath lost this world and the next; hungry and thirsty he ever crieth out.

Thanks to the Lord, the Creator, who Himself seated in the judgement seat caused real justice to be done.

Him who slandereth the perfect true Guru, the True One punisheth and destroyeth.

God who created the whole world hath uttered these words.[71]

The Brahmans then made a special complaint of their own against the Guru. It was to the following effect. ‘ Thy Majesty is the protector of our customs and the redresser of our wrongs. Every man’s religion is dear to him. Guru Amar Das of Goindwal hath abandoned the religious and social customs of the Hindus, and abolished the distinction of the four castes. Such heterodoxy hath never before been heard of in the four ages. There is now no twilight prayer, no gayatri, no offering of water to ancestors, no pilgrimages, no obsequies, and no worship of idols or of the divine salagram. The Guru hath abandoned all these, and established the repetition of Wahguru instead of Ram; and no one now acteth according to the Veds or the Simritis. The Guru reverenceth not Jogis, Jatis, or Brahmans. He worshippeth no gods or goddesses, and he ordereth his Sikhs to refrain from doing so for ever more. He seateth all his followers in a line, and causeth them to eat together from his kitchen, irrespective of caste—whether they are Jats, strolling minstrels, Muhammadans, Brahmans, Khatris, shopkeepers, sweepers, barbers, washermen, fishermen, or carpenters. We pray thee restrain him now, else it will be difficult hereafter. And may thy religion and empire increase and extend over the world!’

After hearing this complaint the Emperor decided that he would summon the Guru, and confront him with his accusers. He accordingly dispatched a high official to Goindwal to request the Guru’s attendance. The Emperor’s summons was not the brutal order of a modern court, ‘ Herein fail not,’ but, ‘ Kindly grant me a sight of thee.’ The official informed the Guru of the Brahmans’ and Khatris’ charges against him. The Guru replied, ‘ I am too old to go anywhere. My son Mohan is absorbed in divine meditation, and my other son Mohri says he has never seen a court-house. There is Jetha; he may wait on the Emperor.’ Upon this the Guru instructed Jetha to go and represent him. With an embrace he addressed him as follows: ‘ Thou art in mine image; Guru Nanak will be with thee, and none shall prevail against thee. The Khatris and Brahmans who have complained are ignorant and false. Answer truly all the questions put to thee. Be not abashed and fear nobody. If any difficult questions be put and thou art at a loss for an answer, then think of the Guru, and thou shalt be able to give a suitable reply. Vindicate before the court the true teaching of Guru Nanak. Falsehood cannot contend with truth. As Guru Nanak hath said:—

Falsehood is at an end, Nanak, truth at last shall prevail.[72]

On receiving these instructions Jetha fell at the Guru’s feet, and said, ‘ O my lord, I know nothing by myself. A sight of thee is my only morning and evening prayer; my thoughts will be ever on the Guru, and what thou orderest that will I do.’ The Guru then patted him affectionately on the shoulder, and, giving him five trustworthy Sikhs as an escort, dispatched him on his journey.

Chapter 9

The Emperor received Jetha with great distinction, and inquired after the Guru’s health. The Brahmans and the Khatris, not deeming their representative capable of urging their complaints with sufficient force, decided, on further consideration, to appear personally before the Emperor. On their arrival they repeated verbally the charges they had made in writing against the Guru. It was reserved for them to give another complexion to their accusation. They said that the conduct of the Guru in diverting people from the old faith was likely to lead to political disturbance or insurrection. The Emperor then called for Jetha to reply to the charges.

Jetha said, ‘O Emperor, in the Sat, the Treta, the Dwapar, and the Kal ages God was worshipped under the names of Wasdev, Hari, Gobind, and Ram respectively. The Guru hath made out of the initials of these four names the word Wahguru, which is praise of God and the Guru. The Rikhis, who composed the Shastars, have written that whenever the saints meet together and repeat God’s name and praises, there are the Ganges, the Jamna, the Saraswati, the Godavari, and all the rivers of Hindu pilgrimage. It is true that by bathing at these the body is cleansed, but it is by associating with saints and repeating God's name that the mind becometh pure. Better than the worship of idols is it to recognize God’s light in everybody, and vex no one’s soul; for what place of pilgrimage is equal to mercy? To bear no one enmity is tantamount to fasting. To renounce hypocrisy and repeat the Name are the main elements of our religion. The true Guru giveth honour to all while he himself remaineth humble. The Brahmans claim to be equal to God. The Guru maketh no such boast, for he well knoweth that he is God’s slave. Selfish and ambitious men roam and wander in pursuit of wealth; but the Guru hath no worldly desires, and, knowing that God is in all creatures and everywhere diffused, is firm in his faith, harboureth no doubts, and renounceth superstition.’ Jetha then repeated the following composition of his own:—

God’s name is God’s treasure; clasp it to thy heart under the Guru’s instruction.

Be the slave of God’s slave; subdue pride and evil passions.

They who have won the prize of human birth shall by the Guru’s favour never know defeat.

Blest, blest and very fortunate are they, Nanak, who under the Guru’s instruction deem God the essence of all things.

God, God, God is the treasury' of excellences.

Meditate on God, God under the Guru’s instruction, then shalt thou obtain honour in God’s court.

Repeat, God, God, God, and thy face shall become bright and distinguished.

Nanak, he who hath obtained God’s name shall meet Him.

Jetha then said, ‘ If, however, my accusers desire to test my knowledge I will expound to them the gayatri, although I place no faith in its efficacy.’ On this Jetha was called upon to fulfil his promise. On hearing Jetha’s exposition of the famous Hindu text, the Brahmans and Khatris who came to complain were astonished at his learning and intimate acquaintance with their religion. They were put to shame in the presence of the Emperor, while the Sikhs who accompanied Jetha were as pleased as the lotus when it beholds the sun.

The Emperor then gave his decision: ‘ I see no hostility to Hinduism in this man, nor do I find any fault with his compositions. To repeat or not to repeat the gayatri is at his own discretion. It certainly doth not concern me to cause the gayatri to be repeated or twilight devotions performed. Jetha’s words show how the mind may be purified and hypocrisy renounced. There is no difference between God and His darwesh. No man can vie with either. You complainants are enemies of truth, and are only causing needless annoyance. Reply to Jetha if you can; if not, ask his forgiveness.’ The Brahmans could give no reply and departed from court thoroughly crestfallen.

Upon this the Emperor took Jetha aside, and told him to request Guru Amar Das, who before his conversion to Sikhism used to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Ganges, to make one pilgrimage more in order to divert the wrath of the Hindus. The Emperor added that he would issue an order that no tax should be levied on the Guru’s party.[73]

Gobind’s son took his discomfiture in the Marwaha’s land-suit so much to heart that he pined away and soon died. His mother believed that her son's fate was the result of his hostility to the Guru, so, in order to save the family from extinction, she brought her surviving son, then a child, to the Guru, and prayed him to protect him. The Guru compassionately said, 1 This son shall remain attached to the Guru, and from him many sons shall be born ’— a prophecy which was subsequently fulfilled.

The Guru, in compliance with the Emperor’s suggestion, and also in order to have an opportunity of preaching his religion, set out for Hardwar. By the time he had crossed the river Bias and arrived in the Doab, he found himself accompanied by a great concourse of people. It had become publicly known that he and his retinue were exempted from the ordinary pilgrim-tax, so people flocked to him in numbers. They would have a sight of the Guru, they would perform their pilgrimage with singing and music, they would live on the Guru’s kitchen, they would be exempted from the pilgrim-tax, they would be protected from robbers, and they would have the advantage of bathing with all due ceremonial and observances at the renowned place of pilgrimage. For all these reasons several thousands followed in the Guru’s train. The Guru sometimes walked with a stick, but more generally rode, on account of his extreme age. Having crossed the Satluj he went to Pahoa, a place of pilgrimage not far from Thanesar or Kurkhetar, where in days long past, on the margin of the Saraswati, Rikhis and Munis performed painful penance and austerities. The Pandits and Brahmans of the place were well pleased to see the Guru, and they went and sat in his court. He then proceeded to Thanesar or the place par excellence of Shiv the destroyer. The Guru was asked why he had abandoned Sanskrit, the language of the gods, and composed hymns in the vulgar tongue. He replied, 'Well-water can only irrigate adjacent land, but rain-water the whole world. On this account the Guru hath composed his hymns in the vulgar dialect, and enshrined them in the Gurumukhi characters, so that men and women of all castes and classes may read them.’ A Brahman replied, 'Clouds rain on the earth, but is there not water enough in the earth already? ’ The Guru replied as follows:—

You say, clouds rain upon the earth, but is there not water enough in the earth already?

I reply—There is, it is true, water in the earth, but water only appeareth when the clouds rain.[74]

The Pandit said that religious instruction ought not to be communicated to every one, it being forbidden to instruct Sudars and women in the sacred lore. The Guru replied:—

O, father, dispel such doubts.

It is God who doeth whatever is done; all who exist shall be absorbed in Him.

What is the effect of the union of female and male without the interposition of God?

The different forms, O God, which appear are ever Thine, and at the last they shall all be resolved in Thee.

I have been led astray through so many births; now that

I have found Thee I am as if I had never strayed.

He who is absorbed in the Guru’s word, shall thoroughly know Him who made this world.

Thine is the Word, there is none but Thee; where is room for doubt?

Nanak, he whose essence is united with the essence of God shall not be born again.[75]

The Guru proceeded to the river Jamna, whose dark ripples delighted his eyes. There arose a slight unexpected difficulty. Every pilgrim endeavoured to escape taxation by saying he was a Sikh and follower of the Guru. The tax-gatherers waited on the Guru, and requested him to separate or name his own immediate followers, and they should pass free, but all others must pay. The Guru replied, ‘ If you want taxes, I will give you whatever money you require; but if, in obedience to the Emperor’s order of exemption, you do not tax my Sikhs, they shall all be known by their uttering “Sat Nam! Sri Wahguru! ” None may be expelled from the Guru’s company; whoever cometh as a friend is ever respected.’ When the Guru was crossing the Jamna, thousands of people who were not Sikhs accompanied him, crying out ‘ Sat Nam! Sri Wahguru! ’ and passed over untaxed.

After preaching at the Jamna the Guru proceeded in the direction of Hardwar. He rested under a tree on the way at a place called Kankhal, three miles to the south of the great Hindu source of cholera and devotion. As he approached Hardwar the crowd which gathered round him assumed still vaster proportions. When the tax-gatherers tried to impose a tax on any of them, they were met with the angry reply, ‘ Have I not said Wahguru? Am I not the Guru’s Sikh? ’ Thus there was not even a farthing put into their boxes, and they went to their homes without the usual receipts.

The Guru availed himself of the opportunity to read a brief homily to his followers: ‘ As the tax-gatherers have not been able to prevail against you, so Death, another tax-gatherer, shall have no power against those who repeat  Sat Nam! Sri Wahguru! ” This is an example to hand of the way to escape from Death.’

Chapter 1O

The Guru having returned to Hardwar after so many years’ absence was received with great distinction and demonstrations of friendship by Jogis, Bairagis, Sanyasis, Brahmacharis, Pandits, &c. They disclosed to him their spiritual doubts and difficulties, which he successfully solved. When the Guru was subsequently visited by the Chaudhri and the heads of the lay population of Hardwar, they asked him why he caused the four castes of Hindus to do him homage when he himself did homage to no one. He replied that the Brahmans were already very proud, and, if he paid them homage, their pride would only increase the more. And as regards the homage paid to him by the four castes, neither he nor his predecessors required it from any one. It was only when the earth, overladen with the burden of sin, raised its protest to heaven, that Guru Nanak appeared to point out the easy path of salvation, and not to obtain the praise or homage of human beings.

When the Guru and his party had all returned to Goindwal, Jetha, in response to numerous inquiries and requests, gave the following metrical account of the recent pilgrimage:—


A sight of the true Guru was our bathing during the Abhijit,[76]

The filth of evil inclinations was cleansed, and the darkness of ignorance dispelled.

The ignorance of those who saw the Guru was dispelled, and light beamed on their hearts.

The pains of transmigration vanished in a moment, and men obtained God the imperishable Lord.

God the Creator Himself made this auspicious time, when the true Guru went to the fair at Kurkhetar.

A sight of the true Guru was our bathing during the Abhijit.


Sikhs travelled with the true Guru on his journey.

Every day, every hour, and every moment service was held;

God’s service was held, and all people came to behold the Guru.

God blended with Himself those who obtained a sight of him.

The true Guru made the toil of pilgrimage in order to save all people;

And Sikhs travelled with the true Guru on his journey.


It was an auspicious time when the true Guru first arrived in Kurkhetar.

When it was known, the beings of the three worlds came to behold him.

All the demigods, munis, and saints of the three worlds came to behold him.

The sins of those who touched the perfect true Guru were all erased.

Jogis, Digambars, Sanyasis, and men of the six schools entered into conversation with him.[77]

It was an auspicious time when the Guru arrived in Kurkhetar.


The Guru then proceeded to the Jamna where he caused people to repeat God’s name.

The tax-gatherers met the Guru with offerings and allowed his followers to cross over.

All those in the Guru’s train who meditated on God, were exempted from toll—

Death the tax-gatherer approacheth not those who walk in the true way according to the Guru’s instruction—

Everybody took the Guru’s name, and by taking it all the pilgrims were excused toll.

The Guru then proceeded to the Jamna where he caused people to repeat God’s name.


After that he went to the Ganges and there was a marvellous scene.

All were entranced on seeing the saintly Guru, and there too no one took half a dam[78] from him.

No one paid half a dam or put any money into the toll-box; the toll-collectors’ mouths were sealed.

They said, ‘ Brethren, what shall we do? of whom shall we ask? Every one is escaping under cover of the Guru.’

The toll-collectors by their skill and cleverness saw it was best to close their boxes and go away.

After that the Guru went to the Ganges, and there was a marvellous scene.


The leading men of the city went in a body, and took shelter in the true Guru.

They asked the true Guru concerning God, and he proved His existence from the Simritis.

The Simritis and Shastars all established God’s existence; Shukdev, Prahlad[79], and Sri Ram uttering God's name meditated on Him.

In the city of the body is the fort of the soul which the five deadly sins would rob, but the Guru hath destroyed their abode.

The Purans everywhere contain praises of offerings, but it is from Guru Nanak’s words God’s service is obtained.

The leading men of the city went in a body and took shelter in the true Guru.[80]

There was a merchant called Gango, a Khatri of the Basi tribe, who had become bankrupt by losses in trade. His former friends, connexions, and relations deserted him and laughed at him. Sad at heart, he went to Goindwal to see the Guru, of whose fame he had heard. Putting complete faith in him, he ate from his kitchen and then went to make his obeisance. He was only able to offer as much molasses as would weigh a penny. He told the Guru that, while very unfortunate in his worldly affairs, he was very happy at having seen him, and he solicited his protection. The Guru took the molasses in his hand, and inquired what distressed his heart. Gango told him and added, ‘ As a last resource I have come to thee.’ The Guru replied,

'Go to Dihli and open a bank there, serve, and treat respectfully the saints who visit thee, and thou shalt obtain wealth from the Creator.’ Gango adopted the Guru’s suggestion. He opened a head office in Dihli, and afterwards a branch in Lahore, and did banking business in partnership with his son. Public confidence in him was restored, he grew wealthy, and was subsequently enabled to draw cheques for large amounts on his correspondents.

On one occasion a poor man went to the Guru and complained that, though his daughter was marriageable, he had not wherewithal to defray her marriage expenses. The Guru put him no questions, but gave him a cheque on Gango for fifty rupees. Gango said to himself, ' If I honour this, the Guru will trouble me again.’ He accordingly took no notice of the man or of the cheque. The man returned to the Guru, and told him the result of his mission. The Guru gave him the amount of the cheque out of his own pocket, and thus enabled him to procure his daughter’s marriage. As regards Gango’s conduct the Guru remarked, 'Worldly love and pride destroy love and confidence. Under their influence man turneth away from his Guru, and consequently suffereth great hardship.’

It happened that soon afterwards the tide of trade turned and Gango again became bankrupt. Thoroughly repentant, he re-addressed himself to the Guru, and performed menial service in his kitchen. Regard for the world and the customs of his family he totally disregarded. Whatever toil he performed he treated as penance for dishonouring the Guru’s cheque, and while performing his self-imposed duties, he was ever absorbed in devotion. After some time the Guru sent for him. He went, fell at his feet, and saying that all mortals were liable to err begged forgiveness. The Guru granted it, gave him a white dress, and communicating to him the true Name which was the spell of initiation said, ‘ Thou too shalt convert many to the faith, thine utterances shall prove true, and wealth and supernatural power shall come at thy bidding.’ Gango’s shrine is now at a village called Dau, near Kharar in the Ambala district.

The choicest viands continued to be served up from the Guru’s kitchen. The traveller, the stranger, the beggar, as well as the follower of the Guru, could gratify his palate with the six physical tastes—sweet, salt, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent—of Indian cookery, while the Guru himself continued to live as before on coarse food served without condiments. His kitchen remained open till three hours after nightfall. Whatever remained after the guests had been fed, was compassionately thrown to the beasts and birds, and if, after they were satisfied, anything were left, it was given to the fish in the river, so that they too might be filled.

One day a Sidh Jogi went to see the Guru and humbly addressed him: 'Since thou, O Guru, hast been enthroned, I have desired to behold thee. I am fortunate to-day in having attained my object. I have performed every form of penance, but, finding it all unavailing, have now come to thee. I wish to obtain mental rest and an assurance that when I abandon this body I shall be born in thy family, and so be happy worshipping God and singing His praises.’ The Guru replied, ' Perfection and happiness are not obtained by calling one’s self a Sidh and obtaining many followers. It is by devotion to God that real happiness is obtained. And, as thou desirest to be born in my family, thou shalt be Mohri’s son and my grandson.’ The Jogi, in order to pursue his devotions without interruption, retired to the margin of the Bias, and there parted with his body.

It will be remembered that the Guru had two sons, Mohan and Mohri. Mohri’s eldest son was Arth Mai, and his second son the Sidh Jogi. When the Guru heard of the Jogi’s rebirth, he sent Bhai Ballu to bring him the infant. Although it was not advisable to remove him so soon after birth, no one might disobey the Guru. On seeing his grandson, the Guru composed the Anand or Song of Joy on the spot, in thirty-eight pauris, and taking the infant in his lap gave him the name of Anand. Bhai Ballu then went on the housetop, and, calling the people with beat of drum to listen to him, recited the whole composition. It is now repeated on occasions of marriages and rejoicings, also before large feasts, and at the preparation of sacred food.

The Anand 


Joy, my mother, that I have found the True Guru![81]

I have easily found the True Guru, and the music of gratulation is in my heart.

The excellent Rags and the race of the female singers of heaven have come: O sing hymns.

They who have fixed God in their hearts sing His praises.

Saith Nanak, I feel joy that I have obtained the True Guru.


O my soul, ever abide with God;

Abide with God, O my soul; He will make thee forget all sorrow;

He will accept thee, and arrange all thine affairs.

The Lord is omnipotent in all things; why forget Him?

Saith Nanak, O my soul, ever abide with God.


O my true Lord, what is there not in Thy house?

In Thy house is everything; he to whom Thou givest shall receive;

He will ever praise Thine attributes and plant Thy name in his heart.

Many strains of rejoicing resound for him in whose heart Thy name abideth.

Saith Nanak, O true Lord, what is there not in Thy house?


The true Name is my support;

The true Name which satisfieth all my hunger, is my support.

God’s name having entered my heart hath granted me peace and happiness, and fulfilled all my desires.

I have ever sacrificed myself to the Guru who possesseth such excellences.

Saith Nanak, hear, O saints, love God’s hymns:

The true Name is my support.


The five forms of music resound in that happy house[82];

In that happy house into which God hath infused His might, the strains resound.

Thou, O God, hast put the five evil passions under subjection, and vanquished Death the torturer.

They who were so predestined[83] are attached to Thy name, O God.

Saith Nanak, they obtain happiness, and in their hearts the unbeaten strain resoundeth.


Without true love man[84] is unhonoured;

Man is unhonoured without love. What can the wretched creature do?

There is none omnipotent but Thee; have mercy on me, O God.

Mail hath no other refuge than the Word, by attachment to which he is adorned.

Saith Nanak, what can the wretched creature do without love?


Every one talketh of happiness, but true happiness can only be known from the Guru;

If the beloved Guru be merciful, happiness shall ever be known from him.

The Guru being merciful cut away my sins, and put into mine eyes the salve[85] of divine knowledge;

The True One hath adorned with the Word those whose hearts have parted with worldly love.

Saith Nanak, that is the real happiness which is known from the Guru.


O Father, he to whom Thou givest happiness obtaineth it;

He obtaineth it to whom Thou givest it; what else can poor mortal do?

Some led astray by error wander in every direction, others are adorned by attachment to Thy name;

Through the Guru’s favour pure are the hearts of those to whom the will of God is agreeable.

Saith Nanak, the man on whom Thou, O Beloved, cofferreth happiness obtaineth it.


Come, O beloved saints, let us speak of the Ineffable One;

Let us speak of the Ineffable One; through whom shall we find words to do so.[86]

Entrust body, soul, and wealth to the Guru, and obey his order, so shall you succeed.

Obey the Guru’s order, and sing true songs[87] of praise

Saith Nanak, hear, O saints, in this way speak of the Ineffable.


O fickle man, no one hath obtained God by cleverness;

By cleverness no one hath obtained Him; hearken, O my soul.

This Maya who hath led man astray in such superstition is fascinating;

He who hath spread this illusion hath created Maya the fascinating.

I have made myself a sacrifice to Him who hath rendered worldly love dear to mortals.

Saith Nanak, O fickle man, no one hath obtained God by cleverness.


O dear man, do thou ever remember the True One.

This family which thou seest shall not depart with thee;

It shall not depart with thee; why fix thy thoughts thereon?

Never do what thou shalt have to repent of at last.

Hearken to the instruction of the true Guru; it is that which shall go with thee.

Saith Nanak, O dear man, ever remember the True One.


O Inaccessible and Inapprehensible One, Thine end cannot be found.

No one hath found Thine end; it is only Thou Thyself who knowest Thyself.

Men and lower animals are all Thy sport; by what words can any one describe it?

It is Thou, who didst create the world, who speakest and beholdest all.

Saith Nanak, Thou art ever inaccessible; Thine end cannot be found.


Demigods, saints, and munis search for nectar,[88] but only from the Guru can it be obtained;

He to whom the Guru showeth favour findeth such nectar, and putteth the True One in his heart.

Thou didst create all men and lower animals; seeing Thee to be the One God, I have come to touch Thy feet.[89]

They with whom the True Guru is well pleased, have no longer avarice, covetousness, or pride.[90]

Saith Nanak, he with whom God is pleased, hath obtained nectar from the Guru.


The way of the saints is peculiar;

The way of the saints is peculiar; they travel by a difficult road;

They renounce avarice, covetousness, pride, and worldly desires, and speak not much;

They go by the road which is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair.

By the favour of the Guru the desires of those who renounce pride are centred in God—

Saith Nanak, the way of the saints is peculiar in every age.


As thou causest us, O Lord, to walk, so we walk; what more can we know of Thine attributes?

They whom Thou hast put on the right way walk as Thou causest them;

They whom Thou of Thy mercy appliest to Thy name ever meditate on Thee, O God;

They to whom Thou impartest Thine instruction through the Guru shall obtain happiness.

Saith Nanak, O true Lord, Thou causest us to walk as Thou pleasest.


The Word is a delightful song of rejoicing;

The true Guru hath communicated to me the Word which is ever a delightful song of rejoicing;

It dwelleth in the hearts of those who were so destined from the beginning.

Some go about talking much, but no one hath obtained the real Word by babbling.

Saith Nanak, the true Guru hath communicated to me the Word which is a song of rejoicing.


They who have meditated on God have become pure;

They who have meditated on God through the Guru’s instruction have become pure;

They are pure with their parents and families, and with all their associates.

They who repeat God’s name are holy, they who hear it are holy, and they who treasure it in their hearts are holy;

Saith Nanak, they are holy who under the Guru’s instruction have meditated on God.


Divine knowledge is not obtained by superstitious ceremonies; without divine knowledge doubt will not depart;

Doubt will not depart by any effort however much men continue to perform such ceremonies.

Through doubt the heart is filthy; by what means shall it be cleansed?

By attaching thyself to the Word thy heart shall be cleansed; continue to fix thy thoughts upon God.

Saith Nanak, it is by the favour of the Guru divine knowledge is obtained, and doubt dispelled.


Foul within and fair without;[91]

They who are fair without and foul within, have lost their human lives at play.

They have contracted the great disease of avarice and forgotten death.

The Name, which is the best thing in the Veds, they hear not; they wander like demons.

Saith Nanak, they who have renounced truth, and attached themselves to falsehood, have lost their human lives at play.


Fair within and fair without;

They who are fair without and fair within, do good acts through the true Guru.

Even the very name of falsehood reacheth them not, and truth is the object of their desires.

The merchants who have earned the jewel of human birth are prosperous.

Saith Nanak, the hearts of those who abide with the Guru are ever pure.


If any disciple turn towards the Guru;

If any disciple turn towards him, his heart shall be with the Guru;

He shall meditate on the Guru’s feet, and remember God in his heart;

He shall renounce pride, ever abide under the Guru’s guidance, and know none but him.

Saith Nanak, hear, O saints, such a disciple shall turn towards the Guru.


Whoever turneth away from the true Guru, shall not obtain salvation without him;

Nor shall he obtain salvation elsewhere—go inquire of persons of discrimination—

He shall wander in many births, and not obtain deliverance without the true Guru;

But he shall at last obtain deliverance by attaching himself to the feet of the true Guru who will communicate to him the Word.

Saith Nanak, thoroughly reflect on this—there can be no deliverance without the true Guru.


Come, ye disciples, beloved of the true Guru, sing a true song.

Sing a song of the Guru, the song of songs;

It will enter the hearts of those on whom God looketh with favour.

Abide in the love of God, repeat His name, and ye shall ever quaff nectar:

Saith Nanak, ever sing this true song.


Without the true Guru every song is false;[92]

Every song is false without the true Guru;

They who utter it are false, they who hear it are false, and false is its author.

They may continually repeat God’s name with their tongues, but they heed not what they say.

They whose hearts are seized by Maya pray mechanically;[93]

Saith Nanak, without the true Guru all songs are false.


The Guru’s word is a jewel enchased with diamonds;

The man whose heart is attached to the jewel of the Word shall be absorbed in God.

When the heart is attached to the Word man loveth the True One.

God is the diamond; the jewel is He; to whomsoever He giveth it He explaineth its worth.

Saith Nanak. the Word is a jewel enchased with diamonds.


God having by His divine power created the world subjected it to His order;

He subjected it to His order; He Himself beholdeth; He causeth some rare holy person to understand this;

Such a person giveth the Word a place in his heart, bursteth his bonds, and obtaineth deliverance.

He whom God desireth to make holy shall become so, and fix his attention on the one God.

Saith Nanak, God is the Creator; He Himself explaineth His orders.


The Simritis and the Shastars define good and evil, but they know nothing of the Real Thing;

They know nothing of the Real Thing; without the Guru they can know nothing of the Real Thing.

The world is asleep in mammon and superstition; in sleep it passeth its time;[94]

By the Guru’s favour they who put God in their hearts and utter His ambrosial word are awake:

Saith Nanak, they who pass their time awake, and who day and night fix their attention on God, shall obtain the Real Thing.


Why forget Him who cherished us in our mother’s wombs?

Why forget that great Benefactor who gave us sustenance in the midst of fire?

Nothing can affect him whom God causeth to love Him;

The holy man whom God causeth to love Him ever remembereth Him.

Saith Nanak, why forget that great Benefactor?


As is the fire of the womb within, so is the. fire, of mammon without;

The fire of mammon and of the womb are the same; the Creator hath set a play going.

When it pleaseth Him the child is born, and the family is well pleased;

The love the child bore God in the womb departeth, greed attacheth to it, and mammon ruleth over it.

Maya is that influence by which God is forgotten, worldly love produced, and man becometh attached to secular things.

Saith Nanak, they who love God through the Guru’s favour, find Him even in the midst of mammon.[95]


God is priceless; His price cannot be ascertained;

His price cannot be ascertained by any one though people use every effort.[96]

If thou meet such a true Guru as will dispel thy pride, entrust thy head to him;

So shalt thou meet God who owneth thy soul, and He will come to dwell in thy heart.

Saith Nanak, God is priceless; fortunate are they who have found Him.


God is my capital, my mind is the merchant;

God is my capital, my mind is the merchant; through the true Guru I know my capital.

Ever repeat God’s name, my soul, and thou shalt gain profit daily.

They who are pleasing to God have obtained this wealth—

Saith Nanak, God is my capital, my mind is the merchant


O my tongue, thou art attached to other savours; thy thirst departeth not.

Thy thirst will not depart by any means until thou obtain God’s elixir.

If thou obtain and drink God’s elixir, thirst will not again affect thee.

This elixir of God is obtained by him who, on account of his previous good acts, hath met the true Guru:

Saith Nanak, when God hath made His abode in the heart man forgetteth all other elixirs.


O body of mine, God infused light into thee, and then thou earnest into the world;

When God put light into thee thou earnest into the world.

God is the mother, God is the father, who having created man showed him the world.

To him who understandeth by the Guru’s favour, this world is a show, or appeareth to be a show.

Saith Nanak, when He who formed thy body out of the elements of nature put light into it, then earnest thou into the world.


My soul was delighted when I heard of God’s coming;

O my friends, sing a song of welcome to Him \ my house is turned into a palace to receive Him.

Ever sing a song of welcome to Him, my friends, and you shall feel nor sorrow nor suffering.

Fortunate the days when I am attached to the Guru’s feet, and repeat the Name of my Beloved.

Under the Guru’s instruction I knew the unbeaten strain, and enjoyed the divine relish of God’s name.

Saith Nanak, God Himself who is able to do and to cause everything to be done met me.


O body of mine, what hast thou done by coming into this world?

What hast thou done, O thou body, since thou earnest into this world?

To the God who fashioned thee thou hast not given a place in thy heart.

Through the Guru’s favour God dwelleth in the heart, if such was predestined.

Saith Nanak, the man[97] who attacheth his heart to the true Guru, is acceptable.


O eyes of mine, God infused light into you, look at none but God;

Look at none but God; look on Him intently.

All this world which you behold is God’s image; God’s image appeareth in it.

When by the Guru’s favour I received understanding, I saw that God was one, and that there was none besides.

Saith Nanak, these eyes were blind, but on meeting the true Guru they obtained divine light.


O ears of mine, you were sent to hear the truth;

You were sent and attached to this body to hear the truth; hear the true Word,

By hearing which the soul and body are revived, and the tongue absorbed in God’s relish.

The True One is invisible and wonderful; His state cannot be described.

Saith Nanak, hear the ambrosial Name and you shall be pure; you were sent to hear the truth.


God having put the soul into the cave of the body, blew breath into it as a musical instrument;

He blew breath into it as a musical instrument; nine doors of the body He disclosed, and the tenth He concealed;

To some through the Guru He gave faith and disclosed the tenth door:

There are the various forms of God, there the nine treasures of His name, but His end is never found.

Saith Nanak, the beloved God having put the soul into the cave of the body, blew breath into it as a musical instrument.


Sing this true song of rejoicing in the true temple;[98]

Sing this song of rejoicing in the true temple where the saints ever meditate on the True One.

They who please Thee and to whom Thou givest understanding through the Guru’s instruction, meditate on Thee, O True One.

The True One is the Lord of all; he on whom He bestoweth favours shall receive Him.

Saith Nanak, sing this true song of rejoicing in the true temple.


Listen to my joy, my very fortunate friends, all my desires have been fulfilled:

I have obtained God the Supreme Brahm, and all my sorrows have departed;

My sorrows, mine afflictions, and my sufferings have departed by listening to the true Word.

The saints and holy men are happy on hearing it from the perfect Guru:

Pure are they who hear it, stainless those who utter it, the true Guru will fill their hearts!

Nanak representeth, for those who attached themselves to the Guru’s feet the unblown trumpets play.

All who heard the Anand were filled with love and devotion. The Guru ordered that from that day forward it should ever be recited on festive occasions. The Sikhs believe that when the Anand is read at the beginning of any undertaking, it is successful; and if it be read in the morning, the day is passed in happiness. Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan added each a pauri to the composition, thus increasing the number of pauris to forty altogether.[99]

A third son, who died at his birth, was born to Mohri. Mohri’s wife then went to the Guru and said, 'My son is dead, I pray thee have compassion on me.’ The Guru, uttering ‘Sat Nam! Sri Wahguru!' touched the child with his foot, and said, ' Arjani, mayest thou have arja—long life.’ Upon this the child revived.

Chapter 11

One day the Guru called to his elder son, saying, ‘ Come here, crazy Mohan.' From that moment Mohan, in fulfilment of his father’s words, renounced the world, shut himself up in a house, and fixed his attention on God. He used sometimes to eat ravenously with both hands, and sometimes he would speak to no one. His mother, on seeing his idiotic condition, addressed the Guru, 'My lord, by thy look of mercy even the dead revive. Be good enough to restore Mohan to reason. Had I known that he should have become like this, I would not have got him married. His wife, thy daughter-in-law, is now sitting in soiled garments mourning and heaving cold sighs.’ The Guru replied, 'People know not Mohan’s greatness. Tell his wife to decorate herself and fall at her husband’s feet, and she shall have a son.' His wife accordingly arrayed herself and went to do homage to her husband as he sat alone in his chamber. Her hopes were fulfilled, and in due time she was delivered of a son. On hearing of the child’s birth the Guru said he should become an ascetic saint, who would be called Sant Ram. In a short time the boy’s mother died, and he was brought up under the Guru’s supervision. He became very clever, committed to memory the Guru's hymns, and used to recite them with great fervour. He compiled the hymns of Guru Amar Das in a volume which is said to be still extant.

A Khatri after much longing obtained a son whom he called Prema. The child’s mother died in giving him birth. Then his father died. His paternal aunt and his sisters, who were nursing him, also died. So did all his paternal and maternal relations, and he was left alone in the world. His property was devoured by designing persons; and, to crown his troubles, he became a prey to such virulent leprosy that his fingers and toes dropped off, his body melted away, blood trickled from it, and flies, by settling on it and stinging him, completed his misery. Some compassionate person tied a small earthen pot to his neck, that the charitable might put morsels into it for his maintenance. When he changed his place, he did so by crawling; but nobody would allow him to approach. He heard of the cures effected by the Guru—how he healed the leper, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf hear, and the dumb speak— so his mind was filled with the desire of beholding such a wonder-worker. Trundling along the ground, he with great delay and difficulty reached Goindwal. On beholding the joy that pervaded the Guru's city and the special happiness of his Sikhs, and on eating food from the Guru’s kitchen, he became so happy that he composed a song in allusion to his bodily ailment, and sang and repeated it with devotion:-

I have now found my lost waist-cloth (body)!

I have now found my lost waist-cloth!

A crowd collected round, and as they listened to his stammering voice cried, ‘ Encore! encore! ’ Some put corn, others water into the vessel suspended from his neck. His pains decreased in proportion as he rolled in the dust of the temple. He implored the Sikhs to tell him how he could see the Guru. They replied that, whenever the Guru of his own accord sent for lepers he might join them. He then began to reflect that his coming was in vain, and if he could find no refuge in the Guru’s sanctuary, whither should he go? He therefore thought that he had better remain where he was and die. He then began to weep and laugh alternately. He blamed the sins of his former existence for having been refused a sight of the Guru, which was free as air to all others.

Some compassionate Sikhs represented the leper’s condition and devotion to the Guru. The Guru said, 'He speaketh truly. He hath found his former body. Bathe him to-morrow in the water from my bath, then wrap him up from head to foot and bring him to me.' The Sikhs acted accordingly. The Guru showed himself to him, and with his own hands removed the cloth in which they had swathed him, when to! he stood forth in manly beauty and symmetry. He received from the Guru a new name, Murari, one of the epithets of Krishan.

One day in public audience the Guru asked, ‘ Is there any lover of the Guru who will give his daughter in marriage to Murari? ’ A man called Sinha stood up and offered to do so. He accordingly took Murari home, and on arriving there sent his wife, who was of stern temper, to her apartment, that she might not see what he was engaged in. Sinha set up a bridal pavilion, and causing the young couple to perform the usual circumambulations and ceremonies, duly solemnized their marriage.

When Sinha’s wife heard of the marriage she ran weeping and wailing to the Guru. ‘ A very improper thing hath occurred! I know nothing of this man’s antecedents, or of his caste, or parentage, and yet my husband hath given him my daughter!' The Guru replied, 'I am his father and mother, my caste is his caste. Thy daughter’s name is Matho and my son’s Murari. People will afterwards link their names together with reverence. Very fortunate are they who have entered Guru Nanak’s asylum.’ After this the angry mother was appeased, and conferred a dowry on her daughter. The Guru then addressed Murari: ‘ Go home now and abide in happiness. Give men initiation by the true Name and save them. Thou too shalt make converts to the faith, and wealth and supernatural power shall wait on thee.’

There was a Brahman called Kheda who was such a devout worshipper of the goddess Durga that he was ever singing her praises. He used to go twice a year to see her arrayed in flame at Jawalamukhi. Once on passing through Goindwal he tarried there in his curiosity to behold the Guru. The Sikhs duly apprised the Guru of the stranger’s visit; but he as usual said that he could only grant Kheda an interview when he had taken food from his kitchen. Kheda reflected that he was a Brahman, and as such could only eat food which he had cooked himself within a purified square. He could not forfeit his salvation by eating from a kitchen which supplied the four castes indiscriminately. He therefore returned to his party and resolved to continue his journey. It was agreed that they should all proceed on the morrow. At night the goddess of his worship, assuming a terrible shape, appeared to him in a vision. He called out, ‘ O Durga, protect me! What offence have I committed? ’ She replied, ‘ Guru Nanak was born to save the world. Guru Amar Das in his image is now on his throne. Turning away from him thou art leaving Goindwal. On this account I have appeared unto thee. Now go, and see the Guru.’ Kheda went back, ate from the Guru’s kitchen, and was then permitted to bow at his feet. In reply to the Guru’s inquiries he told him his whole history. The Guru was pleased with his visit and gave him every consolation. He gave him the spell of initiation as a Sikh, granted him salvation, and bestowed on him the power of conferring it on others. Kheda afterwards materially contributed to the spread of the Sikh gospel.

A pandit called Beni, who expounded the Veds and the Shastars, and who had committed Sanskrit syntax, etymology, and prosody to memory, was travelling round India in great spiritual pride. Wherever he heard of any famous pandit, he went, discussed, vanquished him, and then took possession of all his library. Having defeated in argument the pandits of all the great cities of India, he turned his steps towards Goindwal. The pandits there naturally refused to enter into a discussion with a man who had gained so many victories, and referred him to the Guru. The Guru gave him a seat, and inquired why he favoured him with a visit. He replied, 'Thy Sikhs read not the twilight prayers or the gayatri. They perform not pilgrimages, penances, or the religious duties of the Hindus; how shall they be saved? ’ The Guru replied, 'Those things sufficed for the first three ages of the world, but in this fourth age they are useless. At present it is the Name alone that can confer salvation. Devotion is the means of salvation, and it is best performed under the Guru’s guidance. Without devotion all ritual is vain. Take a lamp in thy hand and walk not in darkness. Seed can only germinate at the proper season. Renounce false pride, and perform such devotion as may absorb thy mind in God’s love. Now as thou art a pandit give an answer to my questions:—

Is man a householder or an anchoret?

Is man without caste and ever immortal?

Is man fickle or without love for the world?

Whence hath pride attached to man?

O Pandit, reflect on man.

Why read so much and bear further burden?

The Creator attached mammon and worldly love to man,

And according to this law created the world.

By the Guru’s favour understand this, O brother,

And ever abide under God’s protection.

He is a pandit who divesteth himself of the load of the three qualities,

And daily uttereth the one Name.

Such a pandit receiveth the instruction of the true Guru,

And offereth his life unto him.

The pandit who ever abideth apart and unmoved,

Shall be acceptable in God’s court.

To all he preacheth that there is only the one God.

All that he beholdeth he recognizeth as the one God.

Him whom he favoureth he blendeth with God,

And rendereth ever happy in this world and the next.

Saith Nanak, what can one do and how?

He to whom God is merciful shall be saved;

He shall each day sing God’s praises,

And not be again deafened with the Shastars and the Veds.’[100]

The Pandit, on hearing this, thought to himself, 'I have been carried away by the stream of intellectual pride. Now that I have the raft of the Guru’s instruction, I will embark on it, cross the world’s dangerous ocean, and obtain salvation.’

The star of the pandit’s good fortune had arisen; he sought the Guru’s protection and obtained the fruit thereof. With clasped hands he again addressed the Guru: ‘Great king, I have become a pandit by reading, but until now I have not understood what real knowledge meant. I have been so blinded by pilgrimages, penance, and reading the Shastars, and so absorbed in idol-worship and pride, that I have possessed no real devotion. Now that I have entered thine asylum instruct me and save me.’ The pandit disencumbered himself of all his volumes, and humbly sat at the Guru’s feet for spiritual instruction. The doors of his understanding opened, and he became filled with devotion. Thus having, by the Guru’s favour, obtained salvation while alive, he thanked him and took his departure.

Chapter 12

There lived a devout Sikh named Prema in the village of Talwandi,[101] about seven kos from Goindwal. He was lame, but yet able to walk with the aid of a crutch. He used every day to take a pitcher of milk to the Guru, who drank some himself, and distributed the remainder among his guests. One day in the height of the rainy season, as the roads were full of mire, he set out with his usual offering. The village chaudhri frequently observed him going and coming. On this particular day the chaudhri remained at home, and, having nothing better to do, watched the Sikh, and furtively took away his crutch, saying to him, 'Go not to-day; there is too much mire on the ground. If you persist in going, you will fall down and die.’ Another man said to him, 'Your Guru is such a wonder-worker, why does he not cure your leg? If he cannot do so, how shall he save you hereafter? ’ Prema prayed to be allowed to pay his usual visit to the Guru. In reply to the impertinent inquiries he said he had not become a Sikh to have his leg made whole, and he had never asked the Guru for a new one. His tormentors continued to tease him for some time, and at last returned him his support, whereupon he hastened with all his might to the Guru. Prema told the whole story how he had been delayed by the mischievous pranks of the chaudhri. Upon this the Guru said that his leg must be mended. The Guru continued: ‘ On the bank of the river there dwelleth a Muhammadan faqir called Husaini Shah. Go and tell him that the Guru hath sent thee to be thoroughly cured.’

Husaini Shah lived alone and allowed no one to approach him, but by the Guru’s favour he made Prema an exception, and allowed him to sit down beside him. When Prema had finished his narrative, the faqir took up a stick to castigate him, as he had done other visitors for intruding on his privacy. Prema watching his movements ran away, forgetting in his haste to take his crutch with him. To his delight and surprise his leg became whole. Prema then returned to the faqir, fell to the ground before him, and thanked him profusely for the cure he had wrought in such an unceremonious and extraordinary manner. Husaini modestly disclaimed all credit, and said, ‘ Thy leg was cured the moment the Guru told thee to come to me; but he hath given me the evil reputation of exercising supernatural power. Go now, fall at his feet, and offer him my homage also. There are many servants of God like me, but I am confident there is none like the Guru who is perfect and omnipotent.’ Thus did even pious Muhammadans bear testimony to the Guru’s spiritual greatness.

The Guru was an ocean of mercy which contained many gems of virtue and divine knowledge; and whoever dived therein with faith obtained his great reward. One day Bhai Budha and other Sikhs, finding a favourable opportunity, requested the Guru to be good enough to recount to them the rules of his religion. He said, ‘While yet a watch of night remaineth, let my Sikhs arise, bathe, and sit apart for meditation. Let them ponder on the Guru’s hymns and repeat God’s name until the morning. Let them out of their honest earnings assist holy men and never take another’s wife or property. Let them never utter harsh words, falsehood, or slander.

Let them mourn when others mourn, and rejoice when they rejoice. Let them not eat until they are hungry, or sleep until they are sleepy, for he who eateth unnecessarily contracteth disease, and he who sleepeth unnecessarily shorteneth his life. Let them forget not the true Name for a moment. Let them accept God’s will, and, deeming what God doeth to be for the best, impute no blame to Him. Let them maintain their mental serenity, subdue pride, lust, wrath, and avarice, and be contented with rightful gain. Let them not desire to have their good acts known, otherwise their full advantage would not be obtained, and vainglory would be added to their other sins. Let them never listen to slander of God or the Guru, but shun the company of slanderers. Let them avoid deceit, envy, and avarice, and rely on God’s worship for salvation. Let them ever make preparation for their future happiness, and never be entangled with worldly pleasures. Let Sikhs ever associate with the holy, love the Guru’s hymns, and be pleased when they read or listen to them. Let them act according to the Guru’s words; then shall they know that they are saved.’

Whenever Arjan, Jetha’s youngest child, was brought to the Guru he used to embrace and fondle him. One day as the Guru was taking his meal, Arjan crawled to his chamber and put his hand into his plate. The Sikhs took the child away, but he returned and acted as before. He was again removed, and on his return for the third time the Guru gave him his leavings. The Guru then said, ‘ Come, heir to the plate, wilt thou have it?' The Sikhs understood that the Guru, by these words, foretold Arjan’s succession to the exalted position of Guruship.

One day Bhai Budha, on seeing the Guru eat, said to him, ‘ Is it right for the Sikhs to eat dainty food while thou art satisfied with a coarse meal? Issue an order that only such food as thou eatest shall be served from thy kitchen.’ The Guru replied, 'O Bhai Budha, thou supposest there is a difference between the Sikhs and me. I enjoy the flavour of what the Sikhs eat.’ Then all became certain that what entered the Sikhs’ mouths contributed to the Guru’s sustenance. Upon that occasion Jetha composed the following:—

As a mother is delighted when her child taketh food,

As a fish is delighted when it batheth in the water,

So the true Guru is delighted when his disciple findeth food.

O beloved God, cause me to meet such servants of Thine

As will remove sorrow from me by the interview.

As a cow is delighted at the meeting of her calf,

As a wife is delighted when her beloved returneth home,

So is a holy man delighted when he singeth God’s praises.

As the chatrik is delighted when it raineth in torrents,

As a king is delighted to see his wealth increase,

So is a godly man delighted when he repeateth the Name of the Formless.

As man is delighted at acquiring worldly wealth,

As the Guru’s disciple is delighted when he meeteth and embraceth his Guru,

So is Nanak delighted on licking the feet of holy men.[102]

Two men named Phiria and Katara from the neighbourhood of Dihli having heard of the Guru’s fame, visited him at Goindwal, and performed for him assiduous service. The Guru, being very pleased, one day said to them, ‘ You have obtained full knowledge of my religion, and you may now return to your own country to preach there the true Name and lead souls to salvation.’ They represented, O true king, the inhabitants of our country are followers of Jogis who split their ears. The Jogis deceive them by incantations and spells, and consequently the people know nothing of devotion, the Guru’s hymns, or divine knowledge. They worship cemeteries and cremation grounds, are averse from true religion, and none but the true Guru himself can save them. The Guru replied, ‘ Go utter Wahguru, teach every one you meet the virtues of the True name, and put people on the Guru’s way.’ Phiria and Katara again represented: ‘Such is the power of the Jogis, that simple men like us may not withstand them. Without the special power of the Guru how can the True name be proclaimed among such persons? ’ The Guru replied, 'The Creator will be with you; your words shall penetrate their hearts; and their impious efforts shall not prevail against you. From the sleep of ignorance men shall awake to divine knowledge. Grant them the gift of the Name, cause them to utter Wahguru and walk in the path shown by the Guru.'

Having received these commands and the Guru’s blessing, and meditated on the Immortal Being in their hearts, Phiria and Katara returned to their own country. On arriving there they proceeded to a Jogis’ monastery. The Jogis, on seeing their faces beaming with the light shed on them by the Guru, fled like deer on seeing a tiger. Phiria and Katara then converted the monastery into a temple. People assembled in crowds, and asked whence these very mighty men had come, who had dared violate the sanctuary of Gorakhnath, and before whom the priests of the Jogis had fled. A crowd of people came to create a disturbance, but, on hearing Phiria and Katara sing the Guru’s hymns, their hard hearts so melted that they sought the Sikhs’ protection, and with all due ceremonies embraced the Sikh religion, and began to worship the one God. All their desires, spiritual and temporal, were then fulfilled. Several persons were gradually converted, Jogis’ monasteries were destroyed, and in their places imposing Sikh temples reared to the glory of God and true religion.

Chapter 13

Probably anticipating the trouble that his sons Mohan and Mohri would cause Jetha, the Guru said to him, ' Search for some place other than Goindwal for the residence of our Sikhs. Go thither, build a great city, and cause it to be inhabited. Thou possessest the lands assigned thee by the Emperor. First build a house therein for thyself, and then excavate a tank to the east of it as a place of Sikh pilgrimage.’[103]

Jetha searched, and found an open uninhabited tract of country some twenty-five miles from Goindwal, and there he established himself. He built a house for his residence and employed a crowd of labourers to excavate the earth for the construction of a tank. After some time, when a portion of the work was accomplished and several people had built huts for themselves on the new site, Jetha, suffering from the pain of separation from the Guru, returned to Goindwal to report the extent of the work he had performed. ‘ I have built a village consisting of several houses, and excavated a considerable portion of a tank on the spot where thou didst order.’ Jetha remained for some time at Goindwal, became treasurer of the Guru’s income and superintended his expenditure.

Guru Amar Das in due time again addressed Jetha: ‘Go and attend to the house thou madest in the Guru’s Chakk. Cease to construct the rectangular tank thou didst lay out, and on which thou didst perform some work, and give it the name Santokhsar —a tank which will afford spiritual consolation to all who bathe therein. On the low land to the east of it excavate another tank and call it Amritsar—tank of nectar. It shall be consolidated with brickwork when there is an opportunity. Go and exert thine efforts to that end.'

Jetha went, and after the distribution of sweets as encouragement to the labourers, applied them to the work. It proceeded rapidly for several months until it was time for Guru Amar Das to appoint a successor, upon which he recalled Jetha. The latter, by the time of his departure, had excavated a somewhat deep pit near the ber tree now called Dukhbhanjani, or destroyer of sorrow, but he was obliged to leave the tank incomplete.[104]

Guru Amar Das's elder daughter Dani was married to a man called Rama, who became a zealous Sikh. Rama, besides performing the usual Sikh worship, used to work in the Guru’s kitchen and minister to the wants of pilgrims at the Bawali. One day the Sikhs addressed the Guru: ‘Jetha and Rama are equally related to thee, and both perform service with great self-sacrifice. Rama is the elder, yet thou bearest greater love to Jetha. What is the cause thereof? ’ The Guru replied, ' He who hath the greater faith, devotion, humility, and obedience, is the more deserving. The holy have God in their power, and they who perform the ordinary duties of their religion obtain the fruit thereof. I am going to make a trial of both Jetha and Rama in your presence. He who better comporteth himself shall be deemed the more worthy.’

The Guru went to the Bawali, and, sending for both Jetha and Rama, ordered each of them to make him a platform beside it, one that he might sit on in the morning, and the other in the evening. He who did the better work should receive the greater honour. Jetha and Rama began their labours. When the platforms were completed, the Guru went to inspect them. Rama, after the customary obeisance, showed the Guru his work, and thought he had done well. The Guru said, 'Thy platform is not straight, throw it down and build another.’ Rama represented that he had made the platform straight and very beautiful with his own hands after great exertion. The Guru replied, ' No doubt thou hast laboured hard, but the platform is not to my satisfaction.’ The Guru insisted on its demolition and the erection of another in its place. Rama consented and built the platform a second time. It still failed to please the Guru. Rama after long argument, threw it down again, but refused to build it up a third time. He said, ‘ The Guru hath grown old and his reason faileth him.’ The Guru remarked,  This man hath not true devotion; how shall he be worthy of the Guruship? ’

The Guru, on going to Jetha’s platform, said, ‘Jetha, I do not like this platform. Throw it down and build another.’ Jetha at once began to demolish his work and build it anew. When it was finished, the Guru said that he was not satisfied with that either, and asked him to do the work over again. Jetha consented and worked day and night till he had completed the platform for the third time. The Guru affected to find fault with it until it had been demolished and rebuilt seven times. Jetha clasped the Guru’s feet and humbly addressed him: ‘ I am a fool; pray have regard for thy duty to me as thy son. I am erring and of mean understanding, while thou possessest all knowledge.’

On hearing this the Guru smiled, embraced him, and said, ‘ Obeying my order, seven times hast thou built the platform, so seven generations of thine shall sit on the Guru’s throne.’ Then turning to the Sikhs the Guru said, ‘ I have now tested the devotion of both my sons-in-law. You have seen the result; that is why Jetha is dearer to me. He is a perfect being who hath become incarnate, and the world following him shall be saved ’. The Sikhs were astonished on witnessing Jetha’s marvellous devotion and obedience, and began to recognize him as the image of the Guru.

Bibi Bhani after her marriage continued to attend on her father. She used to fan him, draw water, and also work in the kitchen. One night, as the Guru was absorbed in deep meditation, she noticed that a part of one leg of his couch was broken off. Fearing that his meditation should be disturbed, she put her hand under the broken leg so as to keep the couch level. When the Guru arose and saw what she had done he asked why she had endured such torture She said that seeing the leg broken, and fearing that there would be delay in getting another, she put her hand under it, so that her father might not suffer inconvenience. She thought that if her wretched body served the Guru, she would be very fortunate. The Guru was pleased and said, 'Whoever doeth good works shall reap the reward thereof.' He invited her to ask a favour. Her request was that the Guruship should remain in her family. He blessed her saying, 'Thine offspring shall be worshipped by the world. From the offspring of thy womb shall be born a universal saviour; but thou hast dammed the clear flowing stream of the Guruship, and consequently great trouble and annoyance shall result.' Jetha possessing the spirit of obedience continued to serve the Guru day and night, and never wearied. He used to shampoo him, draw water, cook, serve meals from the kitchen and then wash the dishes. The Guru blessed him: ‘The whole world shall do thee homage, and rich and poor shall reap the benefits of thy service.'

Once as Jetha's relations were returning from a pilgrimage to the Ganges they halted at Goindwal. The Guru accorded them an affectionate reception; but they, through excessive pride of being the male relations of his son-in-law, refused to fall at his feet, and simply asked him where Hari Das’s son, namely Jetha, was. The Guru gave them refreshments and sent for Jetha. On learning Jetha’s occupation they were filled with anger and said to him, ‘Thou hast shamed thy family by performing menial service in thy father-in-law’s house. Couldst thou not obtain suitable maintenance with thy parents without having to draw water, scrub dirty vessels, and shampoo the Guru? Thou a Khatri’s son actest like this. Nobly hast thou enhanced the honour of thy family! When we go to the houses of our fathers-in-law, we get excellent couches to rest on, sweets and palaos to eat. and we laugh and play with their daughters. All the families of our fathers-in-law exert themselves to show us respect. Even a passer-by would be ashamed to see thy condition. Was it for this thou wert destined?'

Jetha, much displeased at this language, so offensive to the Guru in particular, replied: ‘In your estimation the Guru is my father-in-law, but in mine he is God in person. He hath procured for me happiness in both worlds. Through his favour I have obtained peace of mind, consolation, faith, and divine knowledge. I am in word and deed the Guru's slave.’ On hearing this Jetha’s relations went to the Guru, and said to him, 1 Thou callest thyself the Guru of the world, and claimest to know everything. To every one is dear the honour of his family, but thou hast totally disregarded it. In our family Jetha is the only one who hath forsaken his parents, lived with his father-in-law, and carried filth on his head for him. If thou desire that he should work for thee, give him some other occupation, so that he may not be a laughing-stock before men.’ The Guru looking at Jetha replied: 'I have not made him carry filth on his head, but I have put filth on the heads of his slanderers, and I have caused the umbrella of true sovereignty to wave over him. If he had not been born in your family, you would all have been damned. It is he who hath saved the whole of your tribe. He is the incarnation of devotion, religion, and salvation. He is of noble mind, the very essence of humility, and hath ever acted as becometh the Guru’s disciple.’

The Guru being now old began to think of his death and the propriety of leaving the Guruship to the most deserving of his disciples. Jetha performed such unremitting service day and night that he allowed himself no repose of mind or body. One day as the Guru sat down after bathing, Bibi Bhani came and bowed to him. The Guru asked her what she would do if her husband were to die. She understood the Guru to mean that her husband was near his dissolution. She replied that she must accept her fate. She would either die with her husband, or do as her father ordered her. The Guru replied: ‘ There is no necessity for thee to die, I will bestow a favour on thee, which will be far more advantageous; I will grant thy husband the Guruship, and extended life.’

Guru Amar Das, having in every way tested Jetha and found him perfect, ordered Bhai Ballu to send for a coco-nut and five paise. The Guru then caused Jetha to bathe and clothe himself in new raiment. He summoned his own two sons, Mohan and Mohri, and his principal Sikhs, including Bhai Budha, and, when they had all taken their seats, thus addressed them: ‘ Guru Nanak in the beginning established this custom, that the Guruship should be bestowed on the most deserving. Wherefore, having found Ram Das—hitherto called Jetha— fully worthy, I now bestow on him the Guruship.’

The Guru descended from his throne and, taking Guru Ram Das’s arm, seated him on it. Bhai Budha, according to ancient custom, attached the tilak or patch of sovereignty to Guru Ram Das’s forehead. Then placing the coco-nut and the five paise before him the Guru said, 'It is only a golden vessel that can hold a tigress’s milk’—that is, the responsibility of the Guruship can only be vested in a pure man. The Guru then declared Ram Das duly appointed as his successor. Upon this Guru Amar Das uttered the following:—

Why keep property entrusted to another? A man is happy when he hath returned it.[105]

The Guru’s instruction resteth with the Guru; it shineth from no other source.

When a blind man findeth a gem, he taketh it from house to house to sell;

But people cannot assay it, and he cannot get an eighth of a paisa for it.

When he cannot assay it himself, he ought to have it assayed by an assayer.[106]

If he turn his attention to the Guru, he shall obtain the real thing,[107] and the nine treasures.

Though all men possess wealth at home, they are dying of hunger, since without the true Guru they know not where to find it.

When the refreshing Word dwelleth in the soul and body, there is no sorrow or pain of separation.

He is a fool who poseth as a man of importance, and who is proud of what belongeth not to him.

Nanak, without understanding no one hath obtained God, but is born and dieth again and again.

All the Sikhs made offerings according to their means, and saluted Guru Ram Das on his appointment. There were great rejoicings. An umbrella was raised, chauris waved over him, shells blown, and bugles, flutes, and clarions played. The date of Guru Ram Das’s appointment was the 13th day of the light half of Bhadon, Sambat 1631 (a.d. 1574).

The following verses refer to the occasion:—

The true Guru who desireth happiness for, and is merciful to souls, hath given the greatness of the Name to Guru Ram Das.

Guru Ram Das hath now obtained greatness so as to save the Sodhis and the whole world.

Mohan would not do homage to Guru Ram Das. He said, 'Our father hath superseded us and granted the Guruship to his son-in-law. We consider him our servant; why should we bow to him? ’ Saying this, Mohan went into his upper room and there mourned his fate.

Guru Amar Das asked his son Mohri how he would regard Guru Ram Das. He replied, 'My lord, from the time thou gavest him the name Ram Das, I have deemed him the same as Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, and thyself.’ Guru Amar Das on hearing this was much pleased and thus congratulated his son: 'Thou knowest no difference between the Gurus. I recognize in thee a dutiful and obedient son.’ Mohri replied, ‘ Father mine, render me assistance when my account is called for in Dharmraj’s court.’ The Guru said, ‘ While still alive I have settled thine account. Thou hast no need to go to Dharmraj.’ On hearing this Guru Ram Das said, 'O true Guru, grant me the dignity of being thy disciple and give the Guruship to Mohri.' The Guru replied, ‘ The ancient gift which was to be given I have given thee; and what was to be given him, I have given him. He is my poor son; take thou care of him.’

Guru Amar Das in a devotional paroxysm then gave utterance to the following:—

My mind is happy that I have obtained my beloved Lord; my beloved friends and saints too are pleased.

They who were united with the Creator from the beginning shall never be separated from Him, since it was He Himself who united them.

I have found the Guru; he hath dispelled all my sorrows, and the Word permeateth my heart.

Let me praise God the Giver of all happiness and clasp Him to my heart.

How can the jealousy of the perverse affect those who are regenerated by the true Word?

My Beloved shall preserve their honour since they have fallen for shelter at the Guru’s door.

Nanak, it is the followers of the Guru who are happy; their countenances shall be bright in God’s court.[108]

Bhai Gur Das composed the following on the accession of Guru Ram Das to the Guruship:—

What he previously received must be restored, and descend to the line that owneth it.

The Sodhi king Ram Das sat on the throne, and was called the true Guru.

He dug a perfect tank, and awakened the light of divine knowledge in Amritsar.

The play of the Lord is contrary to that of the world; the ocean floweth backwards, and is contained in the Ganges.[109]

Guru Ram Das received his reward for what he gave; he who giveth nothing receiveth nothing.

It will descend to Guru Ram Das's son Arjan who shall be styled the world’s Guru.

The Sodhis will not allow it to depart; no others can endure the unendurable thing.

What belongeth to the house shall remain in the house.[110]

Chapter 14

When all the ceremonies of Guru Ram Das’s coronation were complete, Guru Amar Das ordered Bhai Budha and other Sikhs to do homage to the newly installed Guru. Then followed a great feast, at which every variety of dishes and dainties were served. Sending for the headmen of Goindwal, the members of his family and all his Sikhs, Guru Amar Das said: ‘ God’s summons hath come, and I am about to depart. God’s will I accept with pleasure. The Creator by calling me hath conferred honour on me; and as true friends, relations, and well-wishers are pleased and never sorry at seeing an honour paid a friend, let there be no mourning for me. When I have gone, sing God's praises, read God’s word, hear God’s word, and obey God’s will.’ Mohri then asked him how his obsequies were to be celebrated. The Guru replied, ‘Perform no obsequies for me, place not a lamp in my hands during my last moments. Call me not a ghost as the Hindus do up to the thirteenth day after death. Remember to obey my instructions.’

Mohri put a final question to his father: ‘Thou hast ordered us to lead family lives. This cannot be done without the aid of wealth. What occupation shall we pursue to maintain ourselves? ’ The Guru replied, ‘ Live honestly, practise piety, and turn not away from God. Act according to my advice, and you shall be happy.’

The Guru repeated the Japji, drew a sheet over him and amid the surrounding Sikhs’ unbroken cries of Wahguru! Sat Guru! Sat Nam! blended the light of his soul with the light of God. After the Guru’s body had been washed and clothed in costly raiments, it was placed on a beautiful bier, and borne with the singing of the Sikh choristers, to the accompaniment of rebeck and tabla, and amid a rain of flowers, to the margin of the river Bias, where it was cremated with all solemnity. The ashes were afterwards thrown into the river. When the singing was over, the mourners recited the Sohila and distributed sacred food. They then returned home singing the Guru’s praises as they went. Guru Ram Das addressed words of consolation to the Sikhs and the family of the departed.

Guru Ram Das’s glory daily extended like the rays of the rising sun, and the Sikh religion grew like a gigantic tree. It was Guru Nanak who had sowed the seed from which it sprang. In Guru Angad’s time its trunk towered on high, and its roots penetrated the earth, while during Guru Amar Das’s spiritual reign it put forth its widely spreading branches in every direction.

As the Emperor Akbar administered his empire by the agency of governors of provinces, so Guru Amar Das similarly partitioned the Sikh spiritual empire into twenty-two districts.[111]

Guru Amar Das, after a spiritual reign of twenty-two years, departed this life at ten o’clock on the forenoon of the day of the full moon in the month of Bhadon, Sambat 1631 (a.d. 1574). There is a yearly fair held on that date at Goindwal to commemorate the act of the Guru’s blending with his Maker.

Mohri had, as we have seen, a son called Anand. Anand’s son was Sundar Das, who afterwards at the request of Guru Arjan wrote the following account of the death of Guru Amar Das. The composition is called the ‘Sadd ’ or the ‘ Calling ’, and is now sung by Sikhs on all occasions of mourning.

The Sadd


God is the Benefactor of the Universe; He loveth the saints and filleth the three worlds.

They in whose hearts the Guru’s instruction is contained know none besides God;

Under the Guru’s instruction they know none besides; they meditate on the one Name.

By the favour of Nanak and Guru Angad, Amar Das obtained the supreme position.

When the message came for him to depart, he was absorbed in God’s name.

In this world he obtained the eternal, immovable, and unequalled God by service.


The Guru gladly accepted the will of God to go to Him.[112]

The true Guru offered a prayer to God, ‘ Protect mine honour; this is my supplication.

'Preserve the honour of Thy servant, O bright God, grant me Thy name,

‘ That it may assist me at my final departure, and vanquish death and death’s myrmidons.’

God heard the true Guru’s prayer and granted his request;

He mercifully blended the true Guru with Himself and said, c Bravo! bravo! well done! ’


‘ My disciples, sons, and brethren, hear me; I have received God’s order to go to Him.’

The Guru was pleased with the will of the Lord; my God congratulated him.

He to whom God’s order is pleasing is a saint of the true Guru;

There are joy and unbeaten strains for him, and God Himself embraceth him.

‘ Carefully examine your hearts, my sons, my brethren, and my family.

‘ The order written in the beginning cannot be erased; the Guru is going to God.’


The true Guru was pleased to sit up and call his family—

‘ Let no one weep when I am gone; that would never please me.

‘ When a friend obtaineth a robe of honour, friends who desire his honour are pleased.

‘ Consider and behold, my sons and brethren, God clotheth me with a robe of honour.’

The true Guru himself while alive appointed a successor to his authority;

He caused all his disciples, relations, sons, and brethren to fall at Ram Das’s feet.


Finally, the true Guru spoke, ‘After my death, sing God’s[113] praises.

‘Call God instead of a pandit and, for the Garar Puran, read God’s word;[114]

‘Read God’s word, hear God’s name; the Guru desireth God’s love instead of a lofty bier,[115]

'Barley rolls, bread on leaves, Hindu obsequies, lamps, and throwing his bones[116] into the Ganges.'

The true Guru spoke as it pleased God, and he was blended with the Omniscient Being.

The true Guru gave Ram Das Sodhi the apostolic mark, the token of the true Word.


As the true Guru spoke, so his disciples obeyed his wishes.

His son Mohri became obedient to him, and fell at Ram Das’s feet.

Then all fell at the feet of the true Guru into whom Guru A mar Das had infused his spirit.

Any person who through jealousy[117] did not bow before him was brought by the supernatural power of the true Guru, and made bow before him.

It pleased God and the Guru to bestow greatness on Ram Das according to God’s will recorded in the beginning.

Saith Sundar, hear me, O saint,[118] the whole world fell at Ram Das’s feet.

Hymns Of Guru Amar Das

Whether men wear religious garbs or revel in their worldly possessions, they still need the Guru’s guidance.

Sri Rag

Men put on many garbs and wander abroad, but in their hearts and minds practise deception.

They shall not find God’s palace, and dying their abode shall be in filth.

O man, be a hermit in thine own home.

He who hath been enlightened by the Guru’s instruction practiseth truth, self-restraint, and good works.

He conquereth his heart by the Guru’s instruction, and obtaineth salvation and deliverance in his own home.

Meet the society of the saints, O man, and meditate on God’s name.

Even though thou enjoy hundreds of thousands of women, and rule the nine regions of the world,

Thou shalt not obtain happiness without the true Guru, but shalt be born again and again.

Wealth and supernatural power follow those, even though they in no wise covet them,

Who wear on their necks God’s necklaces[119] and attach themselves to the Guru’s feet.

What pleaseth God and nothing else shall take place.

The slave Nanak liveth by repeating Thy name, O God; grant it to him of Thy grace.

The condition of the pious as distinguished from the perverse:—

Men act as they see others act: the perverse acquire not understanding.

The service of the pious whose hearts are pure is acceptable to God.

They sing God’s praises, ever read them, and by singing them become absorbed in Him.

Nanak, the words of those who fix their attention on the Name are ever true.

The saints trade in God’s name:—

God is the wealth and capital of His saints: they trade in consultation with the Guru.

They praise His name for ever and ever; His name is their merchandise and their support.

In their hearts the perfect Guru hath established God’s name as an inexhaustible storehouse.

O my brethren, admonish your hearts.

O man, why art thou indolent? Ponder on the Name under the Guru’s instruction.

To serve God is to love Him, if pious men reflect on it.

God is not served by hypocrisy: the words of the double-dealer are despised.

He in whose heart are discrimination and reflection uniteth not with him.

He is called the servant of God who claspeth Him to his heart.

The holy man who placeth before Him and entrusteth to Him his soul and body, and rooteth out pride from within him,

Is blest and acceptable, and shall never suffer defeat.[120]

God is obtained by His own favour; without it He is not obtained.

Eighty-four lakhs of species thirst for God, but only he whom He blendeth with Himself shall meet Him.

Nanak, the pious man who is ever absorbed in God’s name shall find Him.

The condition of the perverse is like that of an unhappy wife:—

The acts of the perverse are like the external decorations of a wife separated from her husband:

Her husband cometh not to her couch, and she is ever in disgrace.

Far from reaching her husband’s chamber, she may not see even the door of his house.

The necessity of a spiritual guide:—

Though man mortified himself and performed penance with body reversed, yet pride would not forsake him.

Were he even to investigate the relation between the supreme and the individual soul, he would never obtain the Name.

The name of God abideth in the heart of him who, under the Guru’s instruction, while alive is dead.

The means of obtaining deliverance:—

Whom shall I worship? What name shall I utter? Go ask the true Guru.

Let me obey the order of the true Guru and remove pride from within me.

That is real worship and service by which the Name dwelleth in the heart.

It is only from the Name happiness is obtained; man is adorned by the true Word.

O my soul, be wakeful night and day, and think upon God.

Watch thy field or the kulang Death will descend upon it.

His heart’s desires are fulfilled who is saturated with the Word.

He who feareth, loveth. and serveth God day and night shall behold Him ever present.

Doubts fly far away from him whose heart is ever dyed with the true Word.

He obtaineth the pure Lord who is true and an ocean of excellences.

They who are awake are saved, they who sleep are lost.[121]

They know not the true Word; their lives pass away like a dream.

As from an empty house a guest goeth as he came,

So the life of the perverse man passeth away in vain; what face shall he show to God?

Thou art Thyself, O God, all in all; man in a state of pride cannot utter Thy praises.

Recognize the Guru’s instruction, so shall the disease of pride vanish from thy heart.

I touch the feet of those who serve their own true Guru.

Nanak, I am a sacrifice to those who are found to be true in God’s court.

Instruction addressed to the sensual and the false:—

Hear, hear, thou who art seized by lust, why goest thou swaggering along?

Thou knowest not thine own Beloved; how shalt thou show thy face to Him?

I touch the feet of my friends who know their own Spouse.

By associating with the guild of the saints, may I become like them!

O woman, the false have been ruined by their falsehood.

God the Spouse is true and beautiful, and is found by the Guru’s instruction.

The perverse know not their Spouse; how shall they pass their nights?

They who are filled with pride burn with desire, and suffer pain from their worldly love.

They who are dyed with the Word, and from whom all pride departeth are happy wives.

They ever enjoy their Spouse and pass their days in the highest delight.

Their Spouse hath abandoned those who are devoid of divine knowledge, and they shall not obtain the Dear One.

The spiritually blind are in darkness; without beholding the Bridegroom their hunger shall not depart.

Come and meet me, my friends, and cause me to meet my Beloved.

She who by perfect destiny hath met the true Guru, hath found her Beloved and is absorbed in the True One.

The women on whom God looketh with favour are happy wives:

They recognize their Spouse, and offer Him their bodies and their souls.

By dispelling their pride, they find their Spouse in their own homes.

Nanak, they who practise devotion day and night are happy wives worthy of praise.


Sri Rag Ashtapadi

The holy are compared to non-migratory, the unholy to migratory birds:—

Beautiful is the bird[122] on the tree[123], which pecketh at truth by the Guru’s favour.

It drinketh the essence of God’s name, abideth in happiness, and flieth not hither and thither.

It obtaineth a dwelling in its own nest, and is absorbed in God’s name.

O man, do the Guru’s service.

If thou walk in the way of the Guru, thou shalt be day and night absorbed in God’s name.

Can the birds[124] on the tree be prized which fly in every direction?

The more they fly, the worse they suffer; they ever burn and scream.

Without the Guru they cannot behold God’s court or obtain the ambrosial fruit.

For the pious who are naturally true, God is an evergreen tree.

They reject the three branches[125]  and attach themselves to the Word which is the trunk.

The name of God alone is ambrosial fruit; He Himself giveth it to be eaten.

The perverse even while erect are withered; they have no fruit or shadow.

Sit not near them; they have neither house nor village.

They are ever cut down and burnt as dry wood; they have neither the Word nor God’s name.

Men act according to God’s order and wander according to their previous acts.

By His order they obtain sight of Him, and whither He sendeth them thither they go.

Of His own will God dwelleth in their hearts; and they become blended with the True One.

The ignorant wretches who recognize not God’s order, wander about in error.

Their acts are the result of obstinacy, and they are continually disgraced.

They have no peace within them, and they love not the True One.

Beautiful are the faces of the pious who bear love and affection to the Guru.

Theirs is the real worship; they are dyed with the truth, and found true at the court of the True One.

Fortunate is their advent into the world; they save all their families.

The acts of all are under the eye of God; none are beyond His supervision.

As the true God beholdeth man, so he becometh.

Nanak, the greatness of the Name is obtained by good acts.

Even the holy without the Guru fall under the influence of mammon:—

Sidhs wander abroad misled by Maya, and contemplate not God with love.

Maya entereth the three worlds, and they are greatly entangled by her.

Without the Guru deliverance cannot be obtained, nor shall doubt and worldly love depart.

Whom do men call Maya? What doth Maya do?

She it is who hath enchained man in misery[126] and caused him to do works of pride.

Men even of the lowest caste obtain glory in God’s court:—

Nama, a calico printer, and Kabir, a weaver, obtained salvation from the perfect guru.

Knowing God they embraced His word, and lost their consciousness of caste.

Demigods and men sing their compositions; none may erase them, my brethren.

Frahlad, the son of a Daitya,[127]  read not of religious ceremonies or austerities, yet he knew not worldly love;

On meeting a true guru he became holy, and uttered God’s name night and day.

He read only of the one God; he required only the one Name, and knew none other.

All long for rest and ultimate repose in God:—

Everybody longeth for rest, but it cannot be obtained without the Guru.

Pandits and astrologers grow weary of reading; they who wear sectarial dresses wander in error.

If God be merciful, rest is obtained by meeting the Guru.

My brethren, rest is not obtained without the Guru.

It is from the Word rest proceedeth and the true God is obtained.

What is sung at rest is acceptable; without rest recital is vain.

It is in rest devotion springeth up; in rest love of God and contempt of the world are produced.

It is from rest happiness and peace are obtained; without rest life is vain.

It is in rest God is ever and ever praised; in rest man applieth himself to contemplation.

It is in rest God’s praises are uttered, and man attentively serveth Him.

It is by the Word God dwelleth in the heart, and the tongue tasteth His nectar.

In rest death is destroyed, and man entereth the sanctuary of the True One.

In rest God’s name dwelleth in the heart, and man practiseth truth.

They are very fortunate who have found God and entered into a state of rest.

Rest is not found in mammon which produceth worldly love.

The perverse perform ceremonial works, but they destroy themselves and others by their pride.

Their birth and death cease not; they come and go again and again.

Rest is not found in Maya with the three qualities; she leadeth men astray in error.

What avail reading, studying, and talking if men wander from the First Cause?

In the fourth state there is rest; it is obtained by the holy.

The name of Him who is without qualities is a treasure; in rest a knowledge of it is obtained.

The virtuous praising God say, ‘ True is the fame of the True One.’

God will grant rest even to those who have gone astray, if they have found the Word.

Without rest all are blind in the darkness of worldly love.

In rest a knowledge of the true eternal Word is obtained.

The perfect Guru, the Creator, hath pardoned and blended me with Himself.

In rest the Unseen, the Fearless, the Luminous, the Formless One is recognized.

There is one Benefactor of all, the Luminous One who blendeth man with His light.

Under the instruction of the perfect Guru praise God who hath no end or limit.

The Name is the wealth of those who possess divine knowledge; in rest they trade in it.

Night and day they receive God’s name as their profit from a full and exhaustless storehouse.

Nanak, there shall never be a deficiency since the Giver hath given it.


Sri Rag Ki War

The Guru’s preference for the Sri Rag, the holy measure:—

The Sri Rag is a measure among measures, if any one loving the True One sing in it.[128]

The understanding of him in whose heart the true God dwelleth is ever firm and unequalled.

He who pondereth on the Guru’s instruction obtaineth the priceless jewel.

His tongue is true, his heart is true, and true his body.

O Nanak, ever true are the dealings of those who serve the true Guru.

The love of mammon deprives men of their senses:—

Until one love the Lord all other love[129] is unstable.

Maya hath infatuated man, so that he cannot see or hear.

Without beholding God love is not produced; what shall a blind man do?

Nanak, the True One who hath deprived man of sight can restore it.

The true Guru can only be obtained by love:—

The company of the Guru is not easily found either far or near;

Nanak, thou shalt meet the true Guru if thy heart dwell with him.

The following is said to have been written when the Guru’s brother-in-law suggested to him that in consequence of his large expenditure on guests, charity, &c., he ought to keep accounts:—

May the pen with the ink-bottle be burnt, may the paper also be burnt!

May the writer who writeth love of the world be burnt!

Nanak, man acteth according to what was destined in the beginning; nothing else can be done.

To read about other things than God is false; false it is to speak of worldly things or to love them.

Nanak, nothing is permanent but the Name; man is ruined by perpetual plodding.

The evil of worldly love:—

The whole world is dead repeating ‘ Mine, mine ’, yet worldly wealth departeth with no one.

Man suffereth for worldly love; Death is on the watch for every one.

Nanak, the pious who remember God’s name shall be saved.

The Guru deprecates obstinacy:—

They who obey not God shall copiously weep;

Through the deceit of their hearts they shall find no sleep.

If woman walk as it pleaseth her Spouse,

She shall be honoured at home and invited to His chamber—

Nanak, such wisdom is obtained by good acts—

And she by the favour of the Guru shall be absorbed in the true One.

The Guru preaches to those who are attached to worldly love:—

O perverse man who possesseth not the Name, err not on beholding the safflower dye of this world.

Paltry is its price, and it shall last but for a few days.

The stupid, the blind, and the ignorant die in agony through attachment to mammon.

They fall like worms into ordure, and continually perish therein.

Nanak, they who are imbued with the Name are happy through the kind disposition of the Guru.

The dye of devotion fadeth not; he who applieth it shall remain absorbed in God.

The condition of the perverse

The pandits induced by worldly gain read, and read, and recite the Veds.

The fool who in his love of mammon forgetteth God’s name, shall be punished therefor.

He never thinketh of Him who gave him life and body, and supplieth him with his daily bread.

The noose of death shall not be cut from his neck; he shall come and go again and again.

The perverse man is blind and seeth nothing; he acteth as was predestined for him.

The true Guru is found by complete good fortune; the Name of the giver of happiness shall then abide in the disciple's heart.

Nanak, they who forget not the Name by which honour is obtained at the gate of the True One,

Shall enjoy happiness, array themselves in happiness, and pass their lives in happiness.

The condition of the holy:—

By serving the true Guru happiness and the true Name of the Lord of excellences are obtained.

By the Guru’s instruction man knoweth himself, and God’s name is manifested to him.

He who is true acteth truly, and obtaineth greatness near the Great One:

He praiseth and supplicateth God to whom belong body and soul.

They who praise the true Word, dwell in supreme happiness.

Though man may have practised devotion, penance, and self-restraint, yet without the Name in his heart accursed is his life.

The Name is obtained by the Guru’s instruction; the perverse perish through worldly love.

Preserve me, O God, according to Thy will; Nanak is Thy slave.

The cupidity of the Brahman

The Brahman when reading shouteth aloud through love of mammon.

The foolish and ignorant man recognizeth not God who is within him.

He preacheth to the world through worldly love, but he understandeth not divine knowledge.

He spendeth his life in vain, and dieth and is born again and again.

He who serveth the true Guru obtaineth the Name; know and reflect upon this:

His clamour and complaints shall come to an end, and peace and happiness ever abide in his heart.

By reflecting on the Guru’s instruction, man effaceth himself and his mind becometh pure.

Nanak, they who are imbued with the Word and bear love and affection to God shall obtain deliverance.

Spiritual pride cannot be removed without effort:—

Nanak, he is brave and a hero who chaseth the enemy of pride from within him.

The pious man who praiseth the Name reformeth his life:

He is ever saved and saveth all his families.

He who loveth the Name is honoured at the gate of the True One.

The perverse die in pride; they die an evil death.

Everything befalleth according to God’s will; what can poor mortals do?

Man forgetteth the Master under the influence of pride and worldly love.

Nanak, without the Name all is suffering; happiness is forgotten.

The truly pious have no fear of death:—

He in whose heart the true Guru hath established God’s name is freed from superstition.

He singeth God’s name and praises, light appeareth, and the way is shown unto him.

He destroyeth his pride, fixeth his attention on the one God, and implanteth the Name in his heart.

By the Guru’s instruction Death cannot look at him, for he is absorbed in the true Name.

The Creator Himself pervadeth everything: He applieth to His name those who please Him.

If the slave Nanak repeat God’s name, he shall live; without the Name he shall immediately die.

The value of true devotion:—

Through the kind disposition of the Guru adore God who is in thy heart.

If man’s spirit have faith in the universal Spirit, it shall be happy at home:

Through the kind disposition of the Guru it shall become steady and waver not.

Without the Guru peace is not obtained, and the impurity of covetousness departeth not from the heart.

If for one moment God’s name dwell in the heart, it is as bathing at the sixty-eight places of Hindu pilgrimage.

Impurity attacheth not to the true; it attacheth to those who love worldly things.

It will never depart by ablution even though one bathe at the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage.

Whatever the perverse proud man doeth, he shall only receive pain in return.

Nanak, when man is absorbed in the true Guru, his impurity shall be washed away.

The perverse prefer to tread the way of mammon

If the perverse be admonished, will they ever heed the admonition?

If the perverse meet the good, these will not associate with them; they are doomed to transmigration.

There are two ways—one the love of God, the other of mammon;[130] the way man treadeth dependeth on God’s will.

The believer chasteneth his heart and applieth to it the touchstone of the Word.[131]

It is with his heart he quarrelleth, with his heart he struggleth, he is engaged with his heart.

Whoever loveth the true Word shall receive what his heart desireth.

He shall ever eat the ambrosia of the Name, and act according to the Guru’s instruction.

They who quarrel with others, instead of quarrelling with their own hearts, waste their lives.

The perverse are ruined by obstinacy and by the practice of falsehood and deception.

He who by the Guru’s instruction subdueth his heart, shall fix his affection on God.

Nanak, the believer practiseth truth; the perverse suffer transmigration.

Service to the Guru inculcated:—

They who serve the true Guru shall be considered of account.

Having effaced pride from their hearts they shall continue to love the True One.

The lives of those who serve not the true Guru pass in vain.

Nanak, God acteth as He pleaseth; none may interfere with Him.[132]

The fate of the spiritually blind:—

The spiritually blind who are encompassed by sin, who commit sin,

And who worship mammon, shall be punished in God’s court.

Worship the divine spirit; but without the true Guru He cannot be known.

Devotion, penance, and austerities please the true Guru, and are obtained by good acts.

Nanak, service should be performed with attention; he who pleaseth God shall be acceptable.

Vain are the lives of the perverse:—

They who worship net the true Guru or ponder on his words,

Never obtain divine knowledge in their hearts, and are as dead in the world.

They wander in the eighty-four lakhs of existences, and are ruined by transmigration.

He whom God causeth to perform the true Guru’s service shall perform it.

In the true Guru is the treasure of the Name which is obtained by good acts.

They who are imbued with the word of the true Guru, ever truly love God.

Nanak, he whom God blendeth with Himself, shall never be separated from Him; he shall naturally be absorbed in Him.

The Guru’s definition of a saint:—

He is a saint who recognizeth God,

Who by the Guru’s favour knoweth himself,

Who restraineth his wandering mind and keepeth the one God in his heart,

Who in life is dead, and who repeateth God’s name—

Such a saint is the best,

And, O Nanak, shall be absorbed in the True One.

The sinner who pretendeth to be a saint:—

He who hath deception in his heart and calleth himself a saint,

Shall never by reason o: his hypocrisy obtain the supreme God.

He who practiseth calumny soileth his heart.

He may wash away his bodily filth, but his heart’s impurity shall not depart.

He who quarreleth with the guild of the saints,

Who is smitten with worldly love, and who remembereth not the Name,

Shall, even though he perform many religious ceremonies, be unhappy night and day.

What is destined from the beginning cannot be effaced.

Nanak, deliverance is not obtained without serving the true Guru.

Hypocrisy is as vain as the external decorations of an evil woman:—

The woman whose conduct is bad, and whose heart is counterfeit, may decorate herself, but she shall still be ugly.

She acteth not as pleaseth her Spouse, nay, the foolish woman giveth Him orders.

She who acteth as her Guru desireth shall escape all misery.

The writing which the Creator wrote in the beginning cannot be effaced.

Let woman devote her soul and body to her Spouse and love His word.

Without repeating His name no one hath obtained God; reflect on this in thy heart.

Nanak, that woman whom the Creator enjoyeth, shall become beautiful and well-conducted.

The worldly grope in mental darkness, and are miserable without the Guru:—

Worldly love is darkness whose limits cannot be seen.

The perverse, the spiritually ignorant, and those who forget God’s name perish in great misery.

After rising in the morning they perform many hollow ceremonies for the love of mammon;

But, if they serve their true Guru, they shall cross the terrible ocean.

Nanak, the believers by clasping the true Name to their hearts shall become absorbed in the True One.

He who turns to idolatry falls to the level of an abandoned woman:—

The perverse woman is filthy, ill-conducted, and evil;

She leaveth her husband and her home through her love for another man:

Her passion is never extinguished; she burneth and crieth aloud.

Nanak, without the Name she appeareth misshapen and unlovely, and her husband abandoneth her.

The happiness of the holy:—

She who is tinctured by the Word, and who beareth love and affection to the true Guru is a happy wife.

She whose love and affection are true, shall ever enjoy her Spouse.

Very lovely, beautiful, and honoured shall that woman be.

Nanak, she is called the happy wife whom the Blender hath blended with Himself.

Who shall obtain renown:—

He who acteth according to the wishes of the Guru shall acquire great renown.

The name of God, which is the greatest, shall dwell in his heart, and no one can remove it.

He to whom God showeth His kindness obtaineth the Name through his good acts.

Nanak, the creation is in the power of the Creator; a few pious men understand this.

Nanak, Mammon who is God’s servant waiteth upon those

Who worship His name and fix their attention on Him night and day.

The perfect One, the Regenerator, by His order hath made them perfect.

They who by the Guru’s favour understand divine knowledge, have attained the gate of deliverance.

The obstinate recognize not God’s order; Death the executioner shall punish them.

The pious who worship God shall cross the terrible ocean of the world.

He whom the Guru himself pardoneth, shall wipe out all his demerits with merits.

The Guru’s fervid prayer:—

May I meet my Beloved and hold Him to my heart!

May I ever and ever praise my God through the love and affection of the Guru!

Nanak, she is a happy wife whom God looketh on with favour and uniteth with Himself.

The effect of the effacement of spiritual pride:—

If God look on man with favour, he shall obtain Him by service to the Guru.

By pondering on God’s name man becometh a demigod.

He who effaceth his pride meeteth God, and is saved by the Guru’s instruction.

Nanak, they on whom God conferreth His favour become easily united with Him.

God’s greatness and munificence:—

Our lives and bodies are all His; He supporteth all.

Nanak, under the Guru’s instruction serve Him who is ever and ever the Giver.

I am a sacrifice to those who ponder on the Formless One.

Their faces are ever bright; the whole world boweth before them.

The spiritual exaltation conferred by the Guru:—

I am completely altered since I met the true Guru; I have obtained the nine treasures to spend and eat.

The eighteen perfections follow in my train, my mind abideth in its own house and home.[133]

Unbeaten sounds ever play for me, and I direct my attention to absorption in God.

Nanak, devotion to God abideth in the hearts of those on whose foreheads such fate was written in the beginning.

The advantages of obeying the word of God:-

Majh Ashtapadi

He who dieth by the Guru’s word is really dead.[134]

Grief shall not annoy nor Death crush him

Who heareth the true Word, obeyeth it, and treasureth it in his heart; his light shall be blended with God’s.

I am a sacrifice, my life is a sacrifice unto those who derive glory from God’s name,

Who serve the true Guru, who apply their hearts to the True One, and who under the Guru’s instruction have become absorbed in Him.

The body is frail; it is a frail garment for the soul to wear.

If woman attach herself to the world, she shall not attain God’s court.

Night and day she shall burn and wander; day and night without her Beloved shall she suffer great agony.

Neither men’s bodies nor castes shall go to the next world.

Where the account is taken, there shall man be delivered by the practice of truth.

They who serve the true Guru and are absorbed in the Name, shall be blest here and hereafter.

She who maketh fear and love her decorations,

Shall by the Guru’s favour obtain God in her own home.

She shall always enjoy God, and be day and night tinctured with the fixed dye of His love.

The Beloved ever dwelleth with all,

Though only a few can behold Him by the favour of the Guru.

My Lord is the most high; through His mercy He blendeth man with Himself.

This world is asleep in worldly love.

Men forget the Name and are ruined at last.

He who put them to sleep will awaken them, and by the Guru’s instruction they shall obtain understanding.

He who drinketh the nectar of God’s name shall have his doubts dispelled,

And by the Guru’s favour attain the state of salvation.

He who is dyed with service shall ever be free from attachment to the world, and, effacing himself, shall be blended with God.

Thou didst create men, O God, and appoint them to their several duties;

And Thou givest their food to the eighty-four lakhs of animal species.

Nanak, he who is dyed with love for the True One meditateth on the Name, and God causeth him to act according to His will.

All good thoughts arise in the heart:—

Diamonds and rubies are produced in the heart,

But it is by the Guru’s instruction man assayeth them and hath them assayed.

They who possess the truth utter the truth, and apply the touchstone of truth to their hearts.

I am a sacrifice, my life is a sacrifice unto those who implant the Word of the Guru in their hearts.

Though in impurity, they obtain the Pure One; and their light is blended with God’s light.

The perverse may perform hypocritical service, but for their salvation they must attend to the instruction of the Guru:—

The perverse and fools practise cleverness,

But for all their bathing and washing they shall not be acceptable.

As they came into the world, so shall they depart grieving for their transgressions.

The perverse are blind and see nothing.

They have come into the world with death written for them, but they think not of it.

Though the perverse perform religious ceremonies, they obtain not the Name, and without it they lose their human lives.

The essence of the Word is to act honestly.

Through the perfect Guru the gate of deliverance is obtained.

Night and day the Guru reciteth God’s praises and Word; himself dyed with the truth, he dyeth others therewith.

The advantages of association with the holy:—

By serving the true Guru man obtaineth great glory,

And God the Inconceivable dwelleth in the heart.

God is a tree of goodly fruit; the thirst of him who drinketh its nectar departeth.

I am a sacrifice, and my life is a sacrifice unto Him who causeth me to meet the society of the saints.

God himself causeth us to meet the society of the saints, in which under the Guru’s instruction God’s praises are sung.

Serve the true Guru whose word is pleasant,

And who hath caused God’s name to dwell in the heart.

God is pure: he who removeth the filth of pride shall obtain honour in the court of the True One.

Without the Guru the Name cannot be obtained,

Though Sidhs and strivers continually cry for it.

Without serving the Guru happiness is not obtained, and it is by the greatest good fortune he is found.

The mind is a mirror; few holy men behold themselves therein.

Rust attacheth not to it if the filth of pride be wiped away.

The unbeaten strain resoundeth from the pure Word; by the Guru’s instruction man is absorbed in the True One.

Without the true Guru, God cannot in any way be seen.

If the Guru be gracious he showeth Him unto man.

God himself is everywhere diffused, and man by divine knowledge easily blendeth with Him.

He who is pious loveth the one God,

And by the Guru’s instruction dispelleth his suspicion that there is another.

He who tradeth and trafficketh in the Name in his heart obtaineth the true treasure.

To praise God is the highest duty of the pious:

In this way they attain the gate of deliverance.

He who is dyed with God’s love singeth His praises night and day, and is invited to His palace.

The true Guru, the giver, is found when God causeth us to find him.

Perfect is the fortune of him who causeth the Word to dwell in his heart.

Nanak, the glory of God’s name is obtained by singing the praises of the True One.

The world compared to a garden under God’s superintendence:—

This world is a garden; my Lord is its Gardener:

He guardeth it ever, and there is no part of it exempt from His care.

The odour which He infused into it prevaileth; what is planted is known by its odour.[135]

The perverse are ailing in this world.

They forget the Giver of health who is inaccessible and illimitable.

Stricken with disease they ever wander lamenting, but without the Guru they obtain not relief.

The following is a satire on actors who represent Krishan and his milkmaids:—

God is bright, and bright are his saints.

Through them my heart, speech, and desires are pure.

The saints’ hearts are bright; their faces are ever beautiful, and they ponder on the very bright Name.

I am a sacrifice, my life is a sacrifice unto those who sing God’s praises,

Who speak of Him day and night, and acclaim Him and His word.

They the filth of whose pride departeth through fear of the Guru become bright,

And sing of God with natural ease.

They ever abide in bliss, they worship day and night, and hear and sing God’s praises.

Fix thine unsteady mind on God’s service;

Obey the Guru’s instruction, and attune thy heart to it;

Make the dispelling of worldly love thy true and perfect tune, and set thy heart a-dancing to the Word.

Death shall lie in wait for those who through worldly love

Shout aloud and dash their bodies on the ground.

Wordly love causeth the heart to dance; the deceit of man’s heart causeth him misery.

If God by the Guru’s instruction cause men to serve Him,

Their bodies and minds shall naturally be dyed with His love.

From the Word supernatural music is produced, and the service of the holy player gaineth acceptance.

The perverse beat time and play many musical instruments,

But no one listeneth or payeth attention to them.

Under the influence of Maya they make a stage and dance, but, on account of their worldly love, they find only suffering.

He in whose heart there is love, hath already obtained salvation;

He controlleth his senses and findeth the way of truth and self-restraint;

Under the Guru’s instruction he ever pondereth on God— the service that pleaseth him.

It is from the Guru’s instruction God’s service is obtained in the four ages:

From no other source may it be obtained.

Nanak, it is by service to the Guru and obeisance at his feet God’s name is obtained.

The condition of the pious and the perverse compared:—

The saints whom the Guru’s instruction and the Name adorn,

Are illustrious in God’s true court.

They day and night ever abide in bliss, and praising God’s excellences become absorbed in Him.

I am a sacrifice, and my life is a sacrifice unto those who hear the Name and treasure it up in their hearts.

God the true, the most high, removeth their pride and blendeth them with Himself.

God is true, and true is His name.

By the Guru’s favour He blendeth a few with Himself.

They who under the Guru’s instruction meet God, are not again separated from Him; they easily blend with the True One.

Without Thee, O God, nothing can be done;

Thou beholdest and knowest the work of Thy hands.

Thou actest and causest to act, O Creator; and under the Guru’s instruction Thou blendest man with Thyself.

The virtuous woman who maketh the fear

And love of God her decorations, obtaineth Him.

She who serveth the true Guru is ever a happy wife, and is absorbed in his true instruction.

They who forget the Word have no house or home:

They wander distraught like ravens in a ruined building;

They lose both this world and the next and pass their lives in extreme misery.

Writing, writing paper, and ink have failed them—

No one hath obtained happiness from worldly love—

They write falsehood, they practise falsehood, and are ruined by their deliberate falsehood.

The pious on the contrary reflect and write what is totally true;

They are true men and gain the gate of deliverance.

True are their paper, pens, and ink; writing the truth they become absorbed in the True One.

My God dwelleth in men’s hearts and beholdeth their acts.

He who through the Guru’s favour meeteth the Lord is of account.

Nanak, they who obtain the Name from a perfect Guru obtain greatness.

God dwells in man’s heart:—

In the cavern of the heart there is an exhaustless storehouse:

In it dwelleth God, the unseen, the illimitable.

He is concealed, but becometh manifest to him who effaceth himself under the Guru’s instruction.

I am a sacrifice, my life is a sacrifice unto those in whose heart the ambrosial Name dwelleth.

Of the ambrosial Name the taste is exceeding sweet; instructed by the Guru they drink its nectar.

He who effaceth his pride openeth the adamant doors of his understanding,

And admitteth the priceless Name by the Guru’s favour.

Without the Guru’s instruction no one obtaineth the Name; but, if the Guru be gracious, he implanteth it in man’s heart.

The Guru applieth to the eyes the true salve of divine knowledge,

Which illuminateth the heart and dispelleth the darkness of ignorance.

The soul is then happy, light is blended with light, and man obtaineth honour in God’s court.

He who goeth beyond his body to search for God,

Shall not find Him, but shall suffer the great misery of a forced labourer.

The perverse man is blind and seeth not, but, when he returneth home after his search, he shall find the Real Thing by the Guru’s instruction.

He from whom the filth of pride departeth seeth God in his soul and body,

And by the favour of the Guru obtaineth the True One.

He who sitteth down in a good place[136] and ever singeth God’s praises, shall become absorbed in the true Word.

He who restraineth his wandering mind and closeth the nine gates,

Shall obtain a dwelling in the tenth, God’s own home.

There the unbeaten strain resoundeth day and night, and is heard under the Guru’s instruction.

Without the Word there is mental darkness,

Man obtaineth not the Real Thing, nor doth his transmigration cease.

The true Guru holdeth; he keys; none save him can open the door; the true Guru is found by good fortune.

Thou art, O God, in every place at once concealed and manifest.

Man knoweth this when he obtaineth the Guru’s favour.

Nanak, ever praise the Name, and by the Guru’s instruction it shall dwell in thy heart.

Merits and demerits contribute to the attainment of a human body:—

Within the body are two brothers, demerits and merits;

Men were created out of both.

He who under the Guru’s instruction effaceth them and entereth the asylum of the one God, shall be absorbed in Him.

The pious and the perverse contrasted:—

Their birth is the most exalted and their dwelling-place the best,

Who serve the true Guru and remain hermits in their own homes.

They abide in God’s love, they are ever dyed with His colour, and they satiate their souls with His nectar.

I am a sacrifice, and my life is a sacrifice unto those who read of and know God, and who set Him up in their hearts.

The pious who read and praise God’s name, shall obtain glory at the court of the True One.

The Unseen and Inscrutable One is everywhere contained,

Yet He cannot be found by any worldly contrivance.

If God be gracious the true Guru is found, and he causeth man to meet the Kind One.

He who readeth only secular compositions knoweth not God:

He burneth for Maya of the three qualities;

But her bonds are broken by the Guru’s instruction; the Guru’s instruction effecteth salvation.

Man’s mind is volatile and cannot be restrained:

Under the influence of worldly love it wandereth in every direction.

It is a worm bred in poison, attached to poison, and by poison shall it perish.

They who practise egotism and assert themselves,[137]

Are not acceptable even though they perform many devotional works.

There is none besides Thee, O God; Thou pardonest those who are adorned with the Guru’s instruction.

They who know not God, and night and day

Wander in quest of mammon, are born and again perish.

The life of the perverse man passeth away in vain; it is when he finally departeth he repenteth.

As when a woman decorateth herself for her spouse who is abroad,

Thus vain are the acts of the blindly perverse.

They have no honour in this world, no admission to God’s court in the next, and they lose their lives in vain.

The few who recognize the Word of the perfect Guru

Know the name of God.

They ever perform service, and day and night easily obtain rest.

The one God pervadeth everything:

A few pious men understand this.

Nanak, they who are dyed with the Name are illustrious, and God of His mercy blendeth them with Himself.

The following is directed against worldly-minded Brahmans:—

The perverse read and are called pandits;

They suffer great pain from their worldly love;

They are intoxicated by their evil passions and know nothing; they enter wombs again and again.

I am a sacrifice, and my life is a sacrifice unto those who dispel their pride, and are blended with God.

By serving the Guru, God dwelleth in their hearts, and they easily quaff divine nectar.

Men read the Veds, tut obtain not God’s nectar.

Infatuated by mammon the pandits engage in disputations.

Devoid of knowledge they are ever in darkness; the pious know God and sing His praises.

They who are adorned by the Word speak of the Ineffable,

And by the Guru’s instruction the truth is pleasing to their hearts.

They repeat day and night the name of the Truest of the true, and ctye their hearts with the truth.

The True One is ever known through the Guru’s instruction; by meeting the True One happiness is obtained.

The filth of falsehood and slander attacheth not

To those who by the Guru’s favour continually watch.

The pure Name dwelleth within their hearts, and their light is blended with the light of God.

They who read only secular compositions[138] know not God, the Real Thing.

They are led astray from the First Cause and recognize not the Guru’s word.

They feel worldly love and understand nothing, but by the Guru’s instruction they shall obtain God.

They who shout out the Veds for the sake of lucre

Are perverse, and through worldly love know not God.

It is secular compositions they read; they know not the one God, and suffer misery through their ignorance.

God blendeth with Himself those whom He loveth,

And by means of the Guru’s instruction removeth their doubts and troubles.

Nanak, the Name possesseth true greatness; by accepting it happiness is obtained.

Polytheism is a cause of evil in the world:—

Maya is the origin of the goddesses and gods

Who composed the Simritis and the Shastars.

She diffused lust and wrath in the world, wherefore man suffereth the pain of transmigration.

Why hath he who serveth not the true Guru come into the world?

Accursed is his life; he hath lost his human birth in vain.

The perverse remember not the Name; without it they shall suffer great misery.

Majh ki War

The effect of rendering praise and thanksgiving to God:—

In the kal age God’s praise hath appeared as a light for the world;

Through it a few believers are saved.

God bestoweth it on whom He looketh with favour:

Nanak, such a man becometh holy and receiveth the jewel.

The fear of God is the only fear that assists:—

In fear man is born, in fear also he dieth, fear ever dwelleth in his heart.

Nanak, profitable is his advent who dieth in the fear of the Lord.    _

If he who liveth without the fear of God, and enjoyeth countless pleasures,

Also die without that fear, O Nanak, his face shall be blackened.


A Sikh asked Guru Amar Das what advantage he had obtained from association with Guru Angad. The following was the reply:—

God is met by meeting the Guru;

God then blendeth man with Himself.

My God knoweth all contrivances;

By His order He blendeth with Himself those who recognize His word.

Through love of the true Guru doubt and fear vanish.

He who feeleth fear shall be absorbed in the love of the True One.

On meeting the Guru, God will naturally dwell in the heart.

My God is great. His worth cannot be appraised.

Let Him who hath no end or limit, be praised under the Guru’s instruction.

May my God, the Pardoner, pardon me!

On meeting the Guru all wisdom and understanding are obtained.

The heart becometh pure, and the True One dwelleth therein.

When the True One dwelleth in the heart, everything which man doeth is true.

Meditation on the Word is the best occupation.

It is through the Guru true service is performed,

And through his instruction a few know the Name.

May the giver and benefactor[139]  live for ever,

Nanak, and may love attach to God’s name!

The following was composed on the same subject:—

Through the Guru a few obtain divine knowledge:

He who knoweth God through the Guru shall be acceptable. Through the Guru there resulteth divine knowledge and meditation on the True One;

Through the Guru the gate of deliverance is attained.

It is only by perfect good fortune the Guru cometh in one’s way.

The true become easily absorbed in the True One.

On meeting the Guru the fire of avarice is quenched. Through the Guru peace dwelleth in the heart.

Through the Guru man becometh pure, spotless, and immaculate.

Through the Guru the Word which uniteth man with God is obtained.

Without the Guru every one wandereth in doubt.

Without the Name great misery is suffered.

He who is pious meditateth on the Name.

On beholding the True One, true honour is obtained. Whom shall we call the giver? The One God.

If He be gracious, the Word by which we meet Him is obtained.

May Nanak meet the beloved Guru, sing the True One’s praises,

And becoming true be absorbed in the True One!

God ought never to be forgotten:—

Why forget Him to whom belong life and soul?

Why forget Him who is contained in everything,

And by serving whom honour is obtained at His court and man becometh acceptable?

I am a sacrifice to the name of God;

When I forget Thee may I die that moment!

Thou forgettest those who forget Thee—

It is they who love mammon who forget Thee—

The perverse without divine knowledge re-enter wombs. Those with whom the one God is heartily pleased, He applieth to the service of the true Guru.

The one God dwelleth in the hearts of those with whom He is heartily pleased;

And under the Guru’s instruction they become absorbed in His name.

They who have stored merits meditate on divine knowledge;

They who have stored merits efface their pride.

Nanak, I am a sacrifice unto those who are dyed with the Name.

The perverse sleep, the pious are awake in contemplation of God:—

The perverse have gone to sleep through their love of worldly things;

The pious are awake contemplating divine knowledge and God’s attributes.

They who love the Name are awake.

Nobody awakened by divine knowledge sleepeth.

A few possess it by means of the perfect Guru.

The impious and the indiscriminating never possess it.

They may claim that they do, but they are burning with worldly love.

The blind unbeliever is never acceptable.

In this age salvation is obtained through God’s name,

Which a few obtain by pondering on the Guru’s instruction.

Such are saved themselves and save all their families.

In this kal age there is no work of devotion equal to the repetition of the Name.

The kal took birth in the house of a Sudar.[140]

Nanak, without the Name salvation cannot be obtained.

The advantages of service to the Guru which has been the custom from time immemorial:—

The service of the Guru hath prevailed in the four ages:

A few men practise it.

God’s name is exhaustless wealth in which there is no deficiency.

It ever conferreth happiness in this world and honour in God’s court.

O my soul, doubt not this:

Through the worship of the Guru thou shalt quaff nectar.

They who serve the true Guru are great men in the world:

They are saved themselves and they save all their families.

They clasp God’s name to their hearts.

Dyed with the Name they cross over the terrible ocean.

They who with lowly minds ever serve the true Guru,

Expel their pride, and the lotuses of their hearts bloom.

They dwell in their own homes where the unbeaten strain resoundeth.

While hermits in their own homes they are dyed with the Name.

The words of those who serve the true Guru are true.

In every age the saints have repeated their words,

And continually uttered God’s name.

Nanak, they who are dyed with the Name obtain beatitude and eternal rest.

Bliss is the portion of the virtuous:—

God ordained that woman should remain in her father’s house for four days.[141]

She is an honoured woman who singeth God’s praises under the Guru’s instruction.

She who in her father’s house amasseth merits shall obtain a dwelling with her father-in-law.

The pious whose hearts love God shall be easily absorbed in Him.

The Beloved abideth in this world and the next; say how shall He be found?

It is God the pure and invisible who blendeth man with Himself.

If God Himself grant wisdom, man shall meditate on His name.

They who are very fortunate meet the true Guru; he putteth nectar into their mouths.

Their pride and worldly love depart; and they are easily absorbed in bliss.

God Himself is all-pervading; it is He Himself who attacheth man to His name.

The perverse through pride find Him not; they are fools and devoid of divine knowledge.

They serve not the true Guru, and shall repent again and again.

They shall obtain a dwelling in the womb, and there suffer agony.

It is the will of my Creator that the perverse shall suffer transmigration.

My Lord God wrote man’s full destiny on his forehead at his birth.

When man meeteth the brave Guru who hath conquered sin, he meditateth on God’s name.

God is my father and mother, God is my kinsman and brother.

O God, pardon and blend the worm Nanak with Thee.

Gauri Chhant

The following was composed in reply to Dana, who inquired how man should cross over the tempestuous ocean of the world:—

The world is a tempestuous ocean; how shall man traverse it?

Make God’s name the boat, and put the Word into it as the helmsman.

When thou puttest the Word into it as the helmsman, God Himself will ferry thee over, and thus shalt thou traverse the ocean, difficult though it be.

By the Guru’s instruction man obtaineth service, and is thus dead while alive.

In a moment the name of God effaceth his sins, and his body becometh pure.

By God’s name, Nanak, deliverance is obtained, and dross becometh gold.

Women and men are immersed in lust, and know not to repeat God’s name.

Mothers, fathers, children, and brothers are very dear, but they all drown even without water.

They drown even without water who know not the way of salvation, and who through pride wander about the world.

All who come into the world shall depart; they who meditate on the Guru shall be saved.

The pious who utter God’s name shall be saved themselves and shall save their families.

Nanak, the pious man, within whose heart the Name dwelleth, shall meet the Beloved.

There is nothing stable but God’s name: this world is a play.

Fix true devotion firmly in thy heart and deal in the name of God.

Deal in God’s name who is inaccessible and illimitable, and through the Guru’s instruction thou shalt acquire its wealth.

Thy service, meditation, and devotion shall be true if thou erase pride from thy heart.

We who are without understanding, foolish, stupid, and blind, have been put on the right way by the true Guru.

Nanak, the pious are adorned by the Word, and night and day sing God’s praises.

God acteth Himself and causeth to act; He adometh men by His word.

He Himself is the True Guru; He is the Word; in every age His saints are dear to Him:

In every age His saints are dear to Him; He Himself adometh them; He Himself appointeth them to His service.

He Himself is far-seeing, He Himself causeth men to serve Him.

He Himself is the Bestower of merits and the remover of demerits; He causeth His name to dwell in men’s hearts.

Nanak is ever a sacrifice unto that True One who Himself acteth and causeth to act.

Gauri ki War I

While praising the Gauri Rag the Guru extols the love of the True One and denounces falsehood and deception:—

The Gauri Rag is auspicious, if in it one remember God.

Walk as it pleaseth the true Guru; make that thy decoration.

The Word of the Spouse is true; repeat it ever and ever.

She who devoteth her life to the True One, is deeply dyed as with boiling madder.

She who loveth the True One shall be thoroughly tinctured with a deep dye.

Falsehood and deception are as things wrapped up in false gilding which remain not undetected.

False is the boasting of those who love falsehood.

Nanak, God is true and looketh with favour on man.

The Guru sheds celestial light on the darkness of the perverse:—

Pride, folly, mortal and venial sins have led the world astray.

The perverse who are in total darkness, shall see God if they meet the true Guru.

Nanak, God hath blended with Himself him whom he caused to love His word.

The difference between the worldly and the pious:—

He who possesseth worldly love is very blind and deaf:

He heareth not the Word, but maketh a great uproar and tumult.

The pious are known by loving God’s word;

They hear and believe in God’s name and become absorbed in it.

What pleaseth God He doeth and causeth others to do.

Nanak, man the instrument playeth as God causeth him to play.

Except in God’s mercy there is no hope for the proud unbeliever:—

The proud unbeliever shall never know the Guru’s court; he shall be a little hither or a little thither.

Though ever invited he never goeth to the Guru’s court; how should he be accepted in God’s court?

Few know the Guru’s court; they who reach it ever stand with clasped hands.

Nanak, if my God show mercy, He will restore man to Him.

The condition of those who deny their Guru:—

They who deny their Guru shall have no house or home:

They shall lose both worlds, and find no place in God’s court.

The opportunity of touching the true Guru’s feet cannot be again obtained.

If man be not numbered among the Guru’s disciples he shall pass his life in deepest sorrow'.

The true Guru is a being without enmity who attacheth man to himself.

Nanak, God will release at His court those to whom He hath disclosed Himself.

The perverse are spiritually blind, foolish, and proud.

In their hearts is wrath; they lose their senses in play.[142]

They commit the sins of falsehood and unrighteousness.

What can they hear and what can they tell others?

They are blind and deaf; they lose their way and stray into the desert.

The blind unbeliever suffereth transmigration.

He obtaineth no place without meeting the true Guru.

Nanak, man obtaineth what is written for him from the beginning.

Even he who meets the Guru can confer salvation on others:—

He who through the Guru’s instruction obtaineth divine knowledge, discrimination, and intelligence,

Shall sing God’s praises and string a garland in his heart.

He shall be the purest of the pure and possess the highest intelligence.

He who meeteth such a person shall be saved by him.

He whose heart containeth the perfume of God’s name,

Shall utter great and exalted words to make happy those who hear them;

And he himself shall obtain honour at God’s court. Nanak, on meeting the true Guru, the Name is obtained as wealth and property.


The Guru’s is the best of all religious systems:— 

Very fortunate are they who obtain God’s system.[143] 

True disregard of the world is obtained by the Guru’s instruction.

Six Hindu religious systems pass current,

But the Guru’s system is profound and unequalled.

By the Guru’s system the way of salvation is obtained, And the True One Himself abideth in the heart.

By the Guru’s system the world is saved,

If men bestow love and affection on it.

The few who bestow love and affection on it,

Shall ever be happy.

By the Guru’s system the gate of deliverance is attained. By serving the true Guru one's family is saved.

For him who is without the Guru there is nowhere salvation;

Deluded by sin he suffereth punishment.

By the Guru’s word the body acquireth happiness and rest; He who receiveth his instruction shall suffer no pain,

Nor shall the god of death approach him.

Nanak, the holy man shall be absorbed in the True One.

The love of mammon leads to perdition:—

The perverse when dying die evil deaths;

They destroy themselves by their love of mammon;

They are undone by continually speaking of their possessions:

Lulled to sleep as they are by superstition, they know not themselves.

He who dieth by the Word is really dead.

They, to whom the Guru hath shown that praise and blame are the same, obtain profit in this world by uttering God’s name.

They who possess not the Name shall melt in wombs.

Vain are the lives of those who are greedy for mammon. All those who are without the Name shall burn in pain. The perfect true Guru hath given me understanding.

The man of wavering mind shall receive great punishment: Having lost his human birth he shall find no place of rest, But return to the filthy dwelling of the womb:

It is there the perverse man shall take up his abode.

I am ever a sacrifice to my own true Guru.

His instruction hath blended the light of my soul with the light of God.

I have obtained the pure Word while dwelling in mine own home.

Nanak, having effaced pride, is ever a hermit.

The condition of the perverse and the virtuous contrasted:—

The perverse only practise falsehood;

They never reach the Master’s palace.

Attached to the world they wander in doubt,

And entangled in selfishness suffer transmigration.

To the decorations of an evil wife!—

She attacheth her heart to her sons and their wives, to wealth, mammon, falsehood, worldly love, hypocrisy, and vice.

She who is pleasing to her Lord shall ever be a happy wife: She maketh the Guru’s instruction her decorations;

Her couch is pleasant and day and night she enjoyeth her Lord;

Meeting her Beloved she is ever happy.

She is a truly good wife who loveth the True One;

She ever claspeth her Beloved to her breast.

She beholdeth him near, yea, ever present.

My Lord is everywhere contained.

Caste and beauty shall not go with thee to the next world:

There shalt thou fare according to thine acts.

By the Word man becometh the most exalted of the exalted,

O Nanak, and absorbed in the True One.

It was represented to the Guru that salvation might be obtained by joining in the Ras Mandal, or circular dance of Krishan. The following was the Guru’s reply:—

Man may dance and play many musical instruments,

But he is blind and deaf; what availeth speaking to him?

In his heart are the fire of avarice and the wind of superstition!

Where the lamp burneth not and nothing can be seen,

The pious man’s heart is lighted up by devotion.

He knoweth himself and meeteth the Lord.

For the pious the love of God is the dance,

The destruction of pride the time,

And the service of the pious the true way;

But the service and dancing of the hypocrite bring sorrow.

Asa Ashtapadi

The following refers to the religious books of the Hindus and the helplessness of their avatars:—

The ocean of the Shastars, the Veds, and the Simritis is Thine, O Lord; the Ganges is contained in Thy feet..

There are three branches,[144] Thou art the trunk: my mind telleth me Thou art wonderful in everything.

The slave Nanak worshippeth Thy feet, and repeateth Thine ambrosial Word.

The thirty-three karors[145] of divinities are Thy slaves; Thou givest wealth and supernatural power; Thou art the support of the soul.

Thy form is not seen: what shall I say, however much I reflect?

Thine are the three qualities, Thine the four sources of production in every age.

If Thou be gracious, man will speak of Thee the Ineffable and obtain the supreme dignity.

Thou art the Creator; all creation is Thine; what can mortal man do?

The four Veds Thou gavest to Brahma that he might read and reflect on them,

But the wretch understood not Thine order, and so he wandereth from hell to heaven.[146]

The kings created by Thee in different ages are sung of as Thine avatars[147]

Even they did not find Thy limits; what shall I say, however much I reflect?

Thou art true, all Thou doest is true; if Thou grant me the truth, I will proclaim it.

He whom Thou causest to understand Thy truth, shall be easily absorbed in the Name.

Worship God in thine own home and go not to the wilderness to find Him:—

In thine own home, O man, is everything; abroad is nothing.

By the Guru’s favour everything is obtained, and the doors of the understanding opened.

God is obtained from the true Guru, my brethren.

The treasure of the Name is within the heart; the perfect true Guru hath shown it me.

He who dealeth in the name of God findeth it, and obtaineth the gem of reflection.

He openeth his heart, and beholdeth with his mind’s eye the storehouse of salvation—

Within the body are many chambers; the soul dwelleth therein—

He shall obtain the fruit his heart desireth, and not again transmigrate.

The assayers who have obtained wisdom from the Guru, have found the real gem after testing.

The boon of the Name is inestimable; a few obtain it under the Guru’s instruction.

What can be found by searching abroad? the Real Thing is in one’s own home, my brethren.

The whole world wandereth astray in error; the perverse lose their honour.

The false one who leaveth his own home and goeth elsewhere to worship,

Shall be seized like a thief, and being without the Name shall suffer punishment.

They who know God in their own homes are happy, my brethren;

They recognize God in their hearts by the power of the Guru.

God bestoweth gifts and conferreth understanding; whom shall I address except Him?

Nanak, meditate on the Name, so shalt thou obtain glory in the court of the True One.

The perverse shall not reach God’s court, while the virtuous shall be supremely happy:—

Bad wives shall not reach their husband’s chamber or know his delights.

Their words are harsh, they are not humble, they long for another love.

How shall man’s heart be restrained?

By the Guru’s favour it shall be restrained and return home after instruction in divine knowledge.

The Beloved Himself hath adorned good wives, and they bear Him love and affection.

Walking as it pleaseth the true Guru, they are naturally decorated with the Name.

They ever enjoy their Spouse, and then are their couches truly adorned.

They become fascinated with their Spouse’s love, and on meeting Him are happy.

Divine knowledge is the incomparable decoration of the virtuous woman:—

Through the love and affection of her Spouse she is beautiful and the queen of them all.

The True, Unseen, and Endless One hath infused love into her heart;

She serveth her true Guru with true love and affection.

The good wife hath decorated herself with a necklace of virtues.

She anointeth her person with the sandal of love, and within her is the jewel of reflection.

They who are dyed with devotion are the best; caste and lineage are obtained from the Word.

Without the Name every one is of low caste and becometh a filthy worm.

Every one goeth about saying ‘ I, I,' but without the Word egoism shall not depart.

Nanak, they who are dyed with the Name lose their pride, and are absorbed in the True One.

One ought to persevere and be constant in devotion:—

They who are dyed with the True One are pure, and ever true is their reputation.

In this world they are famous in every house, and in the next they shall be distinguished through all ages.

O dear playful heart, adopt a lasting colour.

When thou art dyed with the excellent Word, its colour shall not fade or depart.

We are low, filthy, very proud, and sin through love of mammon.

Coming in contact with the Guru the elixir, I have become gold, and am blended with the pure light of the Eternal.

Without the Guru none may be dyed with God's love; on meeting the Guru the true dye is applied.

They who are dyed with the fear and love of the Guru, are blended with God whose praises are true.

Without fear the love of God is not produced, nor doth the heart become pure.

Without fear man’s works are false, and he findeth no place of rest.

God by associating him with the saints will die whoso He desireth to die.

From the perfect Guru is obtained the society of the saints, and man easily loveth the True One.

Without such society all men are like beasts.

They know not Him who made them; without the Name they are all thieves.

Some buy merits and sell demerits through the kind office of the Guru.

By serving the Guru the Name is obtained and God dwelleth in the heart.

The Giver of all is the one God, He assigneth every one his occupation.

Nanak, God regenerateth[148]  man by attaching him to the Name, and by means of the Word blendeth him with Himself.


Man ought to love God alone and not stray into idolatrous paths:—

Curse on the life in which God’s love is not obtained,

And on that occupation in which God is forgotten and man becometh attached to another.[149]

So serve the true Guru, O my soul, that the love of God may be produced and all other love forgotten.

If the heart remain attached to God, there shall be no fear of old age, and man shall attain the dignity of life eternal.

Behold, from the love of God springeth peace according to the service performed.

When I dismissed pride from within me, my heart became pure, and my light was blended with God’s.

Without good fortune such a true Guru cannot be obtained, howsoever all may desire it.

When the screen of falsehood is removed, there shall ever be happiness.

Nanak, what service shall the servant perform for such a true Guru? Let him lay down his life for the Guru.

If man attend to the wishes of the Guru, the true Guru himself will show him kindness.

God’s name must be uttered with attention and love:—

Everybody uttereth God’s name, but God is not obtained by such utterance.

If by the favour of the Guru God dwell in the heart, man shall obtain the advantage thereof.

He whose heart feeleth the love of God,

Shall never forget Him, but shall ever repeat His name with heart and soul.

They in whose hearts there is deception and who pretend to be holy,

Shall never lose a particle of their thirst, and shall be sorry at their final departure.

Even though man strive at various places of pilgrimages, the heart’s pride never thus departeth.

The king of death shall punish him who forsaketh not his pride.

If God be gracious, man shall meet Him; a few under the Guru’s instruction know this.

Nanak, he who removeth pride from within him, shall meet God.

Even he who meets the true Guru can communicate holiness to others:—

When man meeteth the true Guru, he becometh a philosopher’s stone; and when he becometh a philosopher’s stone, he causeth men to worship him.

He who worshippeth him shall obtain the fruit thereof, and giving instruction shall teach men the truth.

Until man become a philosopher’s stone, he is not worthy to be worshipped; before satisfying his own mind he instructeth others.

Though devoid of divine knowledge and blind, he calleth himself a guru: whom can he put in the right way?

Nanak, without the Kind One nothing can be obtained; but he on whom God casteth a look of favour findeth Him.

By the favour of the Guru God conferreth greatness and disseminateth His word.

A Brahman told the third Guru that he had better live at Banaras, for divine knowledge and salvation were obtained only there. The following was the Guru’s reply:—

Divine knowledge is neither gained nor lost at Banaras.

Divine knowledge is obtained by meeting the Guru, then man knoweth God.

Hear God’s praises, O man, and cause the Word to abide in thy heart.

When the divine knowledge thus obtained remaineth permanent, then shall doubt depart.

If thou give God’s feet a place in thy heart, thy sins shall be blotted out.

If thou restrain thy mind[150]  thou shalt dwell in the true place of pilgrimage.

The minds of the perverse are stupid; they obtain no understanding:

They know not God’s name, and, when they at last depart, regret their ignorance.

In this heart are Banaras, all the places of pilgrimage, and the Simritis; the true Guru hath explained this.

The sixty-eight places of pilgrimage are with him whose heart is filled with God.

Nanak, on meeting the true Guru God’s will is known, and the one God dwelleth in the heart.

They who please Thee, O True One, are all true, and shall be absorbed in Thee.

Gujari Ashtapadi

The Guru again repudiates the idea that deliverance may be obtained by assisting in the dance of Krishan and the milkmaids:—

I dance, but it is my heart I cause to dance: By the favour of the Guru I have effaced myself.

He who keepeth his mind firmly fixed on God, shall obtain deliverance and the object of his desires.

Dance, O man, before thy Guru;

He who danceth as it pleaseth the Guru shall obtain happiness, and at the last moment the fear of Death shall forsake him.

He whom God causeth to dance and whom He applieth to His love is a saint.

He himself singeth, he himself instructeth, and putteth ignorant man on the right way.

He who banisheth worldly love shall dance day and night in God’s house and never sleep.

Every one who danceth, leapeth, and singeth of other gods, is lulled to sleep in the house of mammon; such are the perverse who have no devotion.

Demigods and men who abandon the world dance in religious works; Munis and men dance in the contemplation of divine knowledge.

The Sidhs, Strivers, and holy men who have acquired wisdom to meditate on God, dance in God’s love.

The regions, worlds, beings endowed with the three qualities, and they who love Thee, O God, dance.

Men and the lower animals all dance, the four sources of life dance.

They who please Thee dance, as do the pious who love the Word.

They whom Thou causest to obey Thine order, are saints and real possessors of divine knowledge.

To love the True One is the real service; men cannot be saints without serving Him.

A few who ponder on the Word while alive are dead, and obtain the True One.

Several dance for the sake of mammon; only a few meditate on the Real Thing.

He to whom Thou art gracious shall obtain Thee by the favour of the Guru.

If I forget the True One even for a moment, that moment passeth in vain.

Remember Him at every breath and He will pardon thee of His own grace.

It is they who please Thee, O God, and who meditate on the Word, who really dance.

Saith Nanak, they to whom Thou art merciful shall easily obtain bliss.

Gujari ki War I

The condition of the perverse:—

The hearts of the perverse are tortured by doubts; they kill themselves with worldly affairs.

They are lulled to sleep by love of the world and never awake: they remain attached to mammon.

They remember not the Name; they think not of the Word; such is the conduct of the perverse.

They obtain not God’s name; they waste their lives in vain; Nanak, Death shall punish and dishonour them.

Before creation God was alone:—

When God Himself made the world, there was none else.

He took counsel and advice with Himself; what He did came to pass.

Then there was not heaven, or hell, or three worlds.

Then was only the Formless One Himself; creation was not yet.

God acteth as He pleaseth; there is none but Him.

God alone and not incarnations ought to be adored:—

My Lord is eternal; He is seen by him who abideth by His word.

He is ever imperishable, and suffereth not transmigration.

Ever and ever serve Him who is contained in everything.

Why serve another who is born and dieth?

The lives of those who know not their Lord but fix their thoughts on others, are unprofitable.

Nanak, it cannot be known how much punishment the Creator will inflict on them.

Man ought to bow to the will of God:—

Ponder on the name of the True One; the True One pervadeth all things.

Nanak, by understanding God’s order man becometh acceptable, and obtaineth his just reward.

Man goeth about babbling, but he knoweth not God’s order at all; he is blind and lowest of the low.[151]

The homage offered to God must be suitable to His greatness:—

That is real devotion and penance which pleaseth the True Guru.

By pleasing the True Guru greatness is obtained.

Nanak, by abandoning pride man devoteth himself to the Guru.

Not all may receive the Guru’s instruction:—

Nanak, only a few whom God Himself hath honoured,

Receive the Guru’s instruction.

Pride prevents entrance into bliss:—

Nanak, the gate of salvation is very narrow; only the lowly can pass through.

How can he whose mind is inflated with pride enter therein?

When one meeteth the true Guru, pride departeth and everything is illumined.

The soul is emancipated for ever, and becometh easily absorbed in God.

Happiness consists not in mammon but in devotion:—

Curses on such lives as theirs who heed not the true Guru,

And in whose hearts God’s name dwelleth not; what have they obtained by their advent into the world?

Mammon is counterfeit capital; its gilding falleth off in a moment.

When it slippeth from man’s hands, his face is blackened, and he withereth away.

Happiness dwelleth in the hearts of those who love the true Guru,

Who ponder on God’s name with love and remain absorbed in it.

Nanak, the true Guru hath entrusted to them the wealth which is contained in the heart,

And they obtain a high colour like the tint[152]  applied to gold.

Mammon is a snake, the holy are snake-charmers:—

Mammon is a serpent which twineth herself round the world;

She devoureth him at last who waiteth upon her.

A few holy men are snake-charmers who trample on her with their feet.

Nanak, they are saved who continue to fix their attention on the True One.

Man is called to bliss by obeying God’s order:—

There is one Lord of all; He remaineth ever present.

Nanak, man obeyeth not God’s order; so, though God dwelleth in his heart, man goeth far from Him.

Those on whom God looks with favour He causes to obey His order:—

The wife who obeyeth His orders and loveth Him obtaineth happiness.

The evil wife burneth the whole night; her spouse showeth her not affection.

Nanak, the good wife, whose spouse is God, abideth in happiness.

The soul while leaving the body bears its own responsibility:—

What love subsisteth between the body and the soul since the latter forsaketh the former when fallen?

Why, O man, pamperest thou with words of falsehood this body which departeth not with thee?

The body is dust and blind; go ask the soul.

The soul—‘ I am infatuated with mammon, so I suffer transmigration again and again;

‘ I did not recognize my Lord’s order by which I should have been absorbed in the True One.'

The abiding wealth:—

The Name alone is abiding wealth; all other wealth is unstable.

That wealth thieves cannot spy out, or pickpockets take away.

That divine wealth is contained in the soul and shall depart with it.

It is obtained from the perfect Guru, but the perverse shall not obtain it.

Blest is the trader, O Nanak, who entering the world hath earned the wealth of the Name.

The evil of pride and worldly love:—

Curses on the lives of those who forsake divine happiness, and obtain misery by the sin of pride.

The perverse devoid of divine knowledge are filled with worldly love; they have no understanding.

They shall not find happiness in this world or the next; after their final departure they shall regret.

A few by the Guru’s favour meditate on the Name, and from them pride departeth.

Nanak, he for whom it is so predestined falleth at the Guru’s feet.

The condition of the perverse:—

The lotus of the heart of the perverse man is reversed; he possesseth neither devotion nor God’s name.

He acteth under the influence of mammon, and vain are his efforts.

His heart softeneth not to any one, and the language he uttereth is harsh.

When he meeteth the religious he associateth not with them; his heart relisheth falsehood.

Nanak, the Creator hath so contrived that the perverse are wrecked by uttering falsehood, and the pious saved by repeating the Name.

The mental peace of the holy:—

Every one honoureth him who serveth his own true Guru.

The greatest of all efforts is to obtain God’s name:

A refreshing calm then dwelleth within, and the heart is ever happy repeating it.

Nanak, they who magnify God’s name eat ambrosia, and are clothed therewith.

How God may be found:—

O man, hearken to the Guru’s instruction, and thou shalt obtain God the treasury of excellences.

God, the giver of comfort, will abide in thy heart, and thy pride and arrogance shall depart.

Nanak, if thou fix thine attention night and day on the Kind One, thou shalt obtain Him.

The following was addressed to a proud Brahman:—

He who knoweth God and fixeth his attention on Him night and day is a Brahman.[153]

The disease of pride shall leave him who consulteth the true Guru and practiseth truth and self-restraint.

His light who singeth God’s praises and amasseth merits, shall be blended with the light of God.

In this age there are few who know God, who erase their pride and become absorbed in Him.

Nanak, happiness is ever obtained by meeting him who night and day pondereth on God.

The fate of the hypocrite:—

There is deception in the heart of the perverse and irreligious man; his tongue uttereth falsehood.

Though God graciously beholdeth and listeneth, yet is He not pleased by deception.

He who, lost in worldly love, preacheth to men with the object of sinful gain,

Shall ever suffer misery in attainment, shall be born and die, and come and go again and again.

His superstition shall by no means be dispelled; he shall rot in filth.

My Lord causeth him on whom He bestoweth favour to hear the Guru’s instruction.

He meditateth on God’s name, he singeth God’s name, and at last God’s name releaseth him.

The happiness of the pious:—

The pious meditate on God, a tranquillizing sound is produced within them, and they ponder on the true Name.

The pious are night and day tinctured with God’s love, and the name of God is pleasing to their souls.

The pious see God, the pious speak of God, the pious love God.

Nanak, divine knowledge is obtained from the Guru’s teaching, and the thick gloom of ignorance is dispelled.

The holy man, whose works are perfect from the beginning, meditateth on God’s name.

The heedless shall ever suffer transmigration:—

Why hath he come into the world who serveth not the true Guru,

Who loveth not God’s word, and calmly meditateth not on His name?

He shall be born again and again, and be ever polluted with filth.

Through false avarice he shall not enjoy either this world or the next.

Nanak, the pious whom the Creator hath united with Himself shall be saved.

The condition and power of the saints:—

In this age the saints have earned the treasure of the Name, and obtained God’s highest dignity.

By service to the true Guru they have put the name of God into their hearts, and night and day ponder thereon.

Through the Guru’s instruction they are hermits even in their own homes, and they destroy their pride and worldly love.

They are saved themselves and they save the whole world; happy the mothers who bore them.

He on whose forehead God wrote such destiny in the beginning, hath obtained such a true Guru.

Nanak is a sacrifice to his Guru who put him on the right road when he strayed in doubt.

A satire on worldly-minded sectaries:—

Man beholding mammon hath gone astray, as the moth beholding the lamp is consumed.

Erring pandits look towards mammon to see what one may offer them.

They read for hire and are ever immersed in sin; God hath deprived them of His name.

Jogis, Jangams, Sanyasis have gone astray; they have allowed their arrogance and pride to greatly increase.

They accept not alms of clothes and food offered them,[154]  but want more; through obstinacy they ruin their lives.

In the midst of so many, only he who hath pondered on the Name under the Guru’s instruction hath obtained perfection.

Nanak, to whom shall one complain since all act as God causeth them to act?

The evil of worldly love; its antidote:—

Pride and selfishness are deceitful and have ruined the perverse.

They who apply their hearts to the love of the world feel its effects and remain entangled in it.

When the light of the Guru’s words shineth, worldly love departeth from the heart.

Then the body and soul become bright, and the Name abideth in the heart.

Nanak, God’s name which is obtained by the Guru’s instruction is the antidote to worldly love.

On transmigration:—

Through how many ages hath this soul wandered! it abideth not permanently but cometh and goeth.

When God pleaseth, He causeth it to wander; He produceth this play of illusion.

If God be gracious, the Guru shall be found, the soul shall be fixed, and become absorbed in its Creator.

Nanak, when man’s mind believeth through the mind of the Guru, he neither dieth nor is born again.

The following sloks describe the pleasure obtained by praising God under the name of Wah Wah!—

The True One causeth Himself to be applauded through the Guru’s instruction.

Wah! Wah![155] is His praise and eulogy; some pious men know this.

Wah! Wah! are true words by which man meeteth the True One.

Nanak, by uttering Wah! Wah! God is obtained;

His praise is obtained by good acts.

The tongue is adorned by uttering the words Wah! Wah!

By these perfect words God is found.

Greatly blest are they from whose mouths Wah! Wah! proceedeth.

They who utter Wah! Wah! shall be illustrious, and the people shall come and worship them.

Wah! Wah! is obtained by good acts, Nanak; he who uttereth it shall obtain honour at the gate of the True One.

By uttering Wah! Wah! the night passeth pleasantly;

By uttering Wah! Wah! there is ever happiness, my mother;

By uttering Wah! Wall! man loveth God.

By good acts man uttereth Wah! Wah! and causeth others to utter it.

By uttering Wah! Wah! man obtaineth honour.

Nanak, Wah! Wah! is His praise whose ordinance is true.

Wah! Wah! are true words which the pious have obtained by search:

They utter the words Wah! Wah! and clasp them to their hearts.

By uttering Wah! Wall! the pious have easily found God in their search.

Greatly fortunate, Nanak, are they who remember God in their hearts.

Address Wah! Wah! to Him who is true, deep, and profound;

Address Wah! Wah! to Him who is the giver of virtue, of intellect, and of patience;

Address Wah! Wah! to Him who is contained in every thing;

Address Wah! Wah! to Him who giveth sustenance to all.

Nanak, by the words Wah! Wah! praise the one God whom the true Guru hath pointed out.

Whenever the holy repeat Wah! Wah! the wicked poison themselves.

The words Wah! Wah! are not pleasing to them; they pass their lives in extreme misery.

The pious repeat Wah! Wah! with fixed attention and quaff nectar.

Nanak, they who repeat Wah! Wah! are holy, and have obtained knowledge of the three worlds.

They to whom God Himself giveth understanding ever repeat Wah! Wah!

By repeating Wah! Wall! the heart becometh pure and pride departeth therefrom.

The Guru’s disciple who ever repeateth Wah! Wah! obtaineth his heart’s desires.

They who repeat Wah! Wah! are illustrious; O God, unite me with them.

May I remember Wah! Wah! in my heart and also utter Wah! Wah! with my lips!

Nanak, I bestow my body and soul on those who utter Wah! Wah!

Wah! Wah! is that true Lord whose name is nectar.

They who worship Him have obtained the reward thereof —I am a sacrifice unto them.

Wah! Wah! is the Treasury of excellences; the man to whom He giveth enjoyeth His bounty.

Wah! Wah! fiUsth sea and land, and is found through the Guru’s instruction.

O all ye disciples of the Guru, ever repeat Wah! Wah!; Wah! Wah! is pleasing to the perfect Guru.

Nanak, the myrmidons of Death approach not him who heartily repeateth Wah! Wah!

Wah! Wah! are the words of the Formless One; there is none so great as He.

Wah! Wah! to Him who is inaccessible and unfathomable; Wah! Wah! to Him who is true.

Wah! Wah! to Him who is independent; whatever He doeth cometh to pass.

Wah! Wah! to the nectareous Name which a few pious men obtain.

Wah! Wah! is obtained from good acts by him to whom God showeth mercy.

Nanak, Wah! Wah! is obtained by the holy man who night and day uttereth God’s name.

They who trust in God are not disappointed:—

Without serving the true Guru peace is not obtained, and worldly love departeth not.

However much we desire it, the True Guru is only found by good acts.

They in whose hearts there is the sin of avarice are ruined by worldly love;

Their transmigration ceaseth not; they suffer misery from their pride.

Of those who fix their hearts on the true Guru none is disappointed.

Death summoneth not them for punishment, neither do they suffer misery.

Nanak, the pious who are filled with the true Word shall be saved.

The heart requires a driver:—

The mind is an elephant, the Guru the elephant-driver, divine knowledge the goad; whithersoever the Guru driveth, thither goeth the mind.

Nanak, the elephant without a goad goeth astray again and again into the desert.

In the following slok devotion is compared to rain from heaven, which the careful man prepares to receive. In the fervour of his heart he desires it not in drops but in a shower all at once:—

The husbandman looking at the sky[156] raiseth the boundaries of his fields to catch the rain.

In the same way holy guests enter his house in whose heart there is devotion, and are there welcomed.

Ye clouds, if ye rain at all, rain in abundance; why rain when the season is past?[157]

Nanak, I am a sacrifice unto those who have received the Guru’s instruction in their hearts.

Only the friendship of the upright and holy ought to be valued:—

That is sweet which is pleasing; he is a friend who is upright.

Nanak, he whom God enlighteneth is a holy man.

However much man obtains, he hankers for more:—

The world dieth in hopes, but its hopes are not fulfilled:[158]

Nanak, he who devoteth his heart to the True One hath his hopes fulfilled.

When divine knowledge is obtained there are no more hopes and desires:—

Hopes and desires shall die; He who gave them will take them away.

Nanak, there is nothing permanent but the name of God.

Bihagre ki War

The success of those who turn their hearts to God:—

Nanak, the man of divine knowledge hath conquered the world which itself hath conquered everybody.

Through the Name man’s business is successful; what occurreth taketh place by God’s will.

‘The pious man’s mind is fixed, and nobody can move it.

God granteth his saints’ prayers, and their deeds become brilliant.

The perverse are led astray from the First Cause; in their hearts are avarice, covetousness, and pride.

Their nights and days pass in wranglings; they reflect not on God’s word.

God hath taken from them the good understanding they possessed; all their words are sinful.

However much is given them, they are not satisfied; in their hearts are avarice and the great darkness of spiritual ignorance.

Nanak, it is wise to break with the perverse to whom worldly love is dear.

The fool in his folly:—

The fool knoweth not himself; he annoyeth others by his language.

His original disposition hath not left him; blind that he is, and separated from God, he shall suffer punishment.

Fear of the true Guru hath not induced him to alter his disposition or chasten his heart so as to be united with God.

His doubts cease not night or day; without the Word he is in misery.

Lust, anger, and avarice are potent within his heart; he ever passeth his life in worldly affairs, and never remembereth God.

His feet, his hands, his eyes, and his cars fail him; his days are ended; his death is near.

The true Name, by which the nine treasures are obtained, hath never been dear to him.

He who in life is dead, and who from death again returneth to life, obtaineth deliverance.

What shall mortal obtain without God’s grace if it be not his from the beginning?

O fool, remember the Guru’s word by which thou shalt find the way of salvation.

Nanak, thou shalt find the true Guru when thou effacest thyself.

Man’s tongue should be properly employed:—

May that tongue be burnt which hath not received the relish of God’s name!

Nanak, the tongue of him in whose heart God dwelleth, enjoyeth the taste of the Word.

May his tongue be burnt who hath forgotten God’s name!

Nanak, the tongues of the pious repeat God’s name and love it.

Who is a real darwesh:—

Few darweshes understand their duties.

Curses on the life, curses on the garb of him who wandereth begging from house to house!

Nanak will wash his feet and be a sacrifice unto him

Who abandoneth hopes and anxieties, and receiveth the Name as his alms from the Guru’s lips.

The body compared to a fruit-bearing tree on which the soul alights:—

Nanak, there is one tree;[159] it beareth two fruits;[160] a bird[161] alighteth thereon.

It is not seen coming or going; it hath no wings.

Though enjoying pleasures of every sort, it only obtaineth deliverance through the Word.

The deeds of him who is dyed with the juice of the fruit of God’s name, are, O Nanak, true and resplendent.

Formal ceremonies and worldly love discouraged,

The religious ceremonies of hypocrites are all entanglements; bad and good are bound up with them.

Man’s exertions for children and wife, made through selfishness and worldly love, are entanglements.

Wherever I look, there I see the rope of worldly attachment.

Nanak, without the true Name it is all groping in the dark.

There lived at Goindwal a Musalman priest who conceived a great hatred of the third Guru for his spiritual success. The following was addressed to him:—

O Shaikh, abandon the violence of thy heart, fear God, and dismiss thy madness.

Through fear of the Guru how many have been saved! through fear the Fearless One is obtained.

Let the Word penetrate thy hard heart, so shall peace come to dwell therein.

Whatever deed is done in peace is acceptable to the Lord.

Nanak, no one hath obtained Him by lust and wrath; go ask those who possess divine knowledge.

The true Guru is a boat for man’s salvation:—

The true Guru who is dyed with the Name is a boat for salvation in this age.

The pious man in whose heart the True One dwelleth shall be saved.

He remembereth the Name, he treasureth the Name, and obtaineth honour from the Name.

Nanak hath found the true Guru and obtained the Name through his favour.

The result of serving the Guru

They who serve and wait upon the one true Guru and love God’s name,

O Nanak, reform their own lives and save their families.

The following was composed by the Guru on hearing Hindus chanting their vespers:—

The vesper which recalleth God to my heart is acceptable:

It produceth attachment to God and destroyeth worldly love.

If man by the Guru’s favour make the contemplation of God his vespers, worldly love shall cease and his mind become stable.

Nanak, in the vespers which the obstinate repeat their souls find no repose; they shall be ruined by transmigration.

The life of the hermit is of no avail:—

I wandered through the whole world calling out for my Beloved, yet my thirst departed not;

But on meeting the true Guru, O Nanak, my thirst departed, and I found my Beloved in my own home on my return.

The Guru’s prescription fur salvation:—

The true Guru gave me this prescription—

Remember God’s name through the Guru.

God is ever present. Having removed the film of doubt from thine eyes allow the light to enter.

The name of God is nectar; apply it as eye-salve.

Treasure up in thy heart the order of the Guru; make the love of the True One thine abstinence;

So shall God, O Nanak, preserve thee in happiness in this world, and thou shalt afterwards disport with Him.

The Guru’s order to abstain altogether from wine:—

One man bringeth the full goblet, another cometh and filleth the cup.

The intellect of him who drinketh departeth, and intoxication entereth his brain.

He distinguished not between mine and thine, and is buffeted by his master.

If possible, drink not at all the false wine,

By which man forgetteth God and receiveth punishment at His court.

Nanak, he who by God’s look of favour meeteth the true Guru, obtaineth the true wine from him.

Thus shall man ever abide in the joy of the Lord, and obtain a position in His court.

He who practises humility fears not death:—

Who knoweth how we shall die, or what death is?

If we forget not the Lord, death shall be easy.

The world feareth death; every one desireth to live.

He who by the Guru’s favour while alive is dead, under-standeth God’s order.

Nanak, he who dieth such a death shall live for ever.

The surpassing wealth of the Name:—

O my soul, the Name is wealth from which happiness ever and ever springeth.

Loss never accrueth therefrom, but ever gain.

It lesseneth not by eating or spending; God bestoweth it ever and ever.

He who possesseth it hath no anxiety whatever, and never sustaineth loss.

Nanak, it is obtained through the Guru’s instruction by him on whom he looketh with favour.

Man ought to be ever wakeful in God’s service:—

Men have died and continue to die through pride.

Man while he hath breath in his body remembereth not God; what shall he do when he hath gone to the next world?

He who hath divine knowledge is on the alert; he who is without it acteth blindly.

Nanak, according to man’s acts in this life shall be his reward in the next.

Man is happy when he can rest his hopes of salvation on his Guru.

In the beginning it was God’s will that He could not be remembered without a true Guru.

When man meeteth the true Guru, God is contained in his heart, and he remaineth ever attached to Him.

He remembereth God at every breath, and no breath passeth in vain.

His fear of transmigration departeth and he obtaineth the dignity of eternal life.

Nanak, this dignity is obtained by him to whom God showeth mercy.

The Jogi who hearkens to the Guru:—

The Jogi who hath obtained the Name by the Guru’s instruction hath found the way.

All excellences dwell in such a Jogi’s little city;[162] the garb maketh not the Jogi.

Nanak, there are few Jogis in whose hearts God’s light shineth.

Wadhans Alahanian

Man should ever be prepared for death and for the account which he must render of his acts:—

This body is worn out; old age hath overtaken it.

They whom the Guru preserveth are saved; the others die and are born again;

The others die, are born again, and transmigrate; after their final departure they shall regret; without the Name there is no happiness.

Man shall obtain hereafter the fruits of his own acts in this life; the perverse shall lose their honour.

In the abode of Death are terrible darkness and great storms; there is found no sister or brother.

This body is worn out; old age hath overtaken it.

If the true Guru take me to himself my body shall become gold.


Wadhans ki War

A Jogi went one day to visit the third Guru, and coveting a rosary he had, succeeded in stealing it. When charged with the theft he denied his guilt. The attendants of the Guru searched and found the rosary on him, upon which the Guru said:—

I thought he was a great swan,[163] so I held converse with him:

Had I known that he was only a wretched crane, I should never have touched him.

The fate of the idolater

Curses on the lives, curses on the habitations of those who worship strange gods!

They abandon ambrosia and turn to poison; they earn poison; poison is their stock-in-trade,

Poison their food, poison their dress, morsels of poison they eat.

Here they are totally miserable, and when they die their abode shall be in hell.

The mouths of the perverse who know not the Word are impure; they die of lust and wrath.

They have abandoned the fear of the true Guru; their business never succeedeth on account of their obstinacy.

In the city of Death they shall be bound and beaten; no one will hear their supplications.

Nanak, they act according to their primal destiny, while the pious abide in the Name.

Death is in the power of the holy man:—

Under the Guru’s instruction worship Him who hath created Death, and no sorrow shall come to thee.

Nanak, Death worshippeth the pious man in whose heart the True One dwelleth.

The saints are superior to monarchs:—

My Beloved is pleased with the saints and hath attached them to Himself.

He hath granted them an empire and made true crowns for their heads.

They are ever happy and pure, and perform the work of the true Guru.

They are not kings who, dying in the fight, have again to enter the womb.[164]

Nanak, without the Name even kings are like noseless persons who roam about and receive no honour.

The perverse have not only mental but physical deformity:—

The perverse man who hath not obtained the Name, is a coward ugly and noseless.

Day and night he is engaged in worldly affairs, and enjoyeth no happiness even in his dreams.

Nanak, if man become pious, he shall be saved; otherwise he shall be bound and suffer pain.

The necessity of faith and love of God:—

Even though man make efforts in hundreds of transmigrations, happiness will never come to him

Who hath no faith in the true Guru and loveth not his word.

Nanak, love the True One, and thou shalt obtain peace through the Guru.

God is the only male; human beings are females who ought to love Him:—

In this world there is one Male; all the rest are females.

He enjoyeth them all and yet remaineth separate from them: He is invisible and cannot be seen.

The true Guru showeth Him, and man seeth Him through his word.

She who serveth the Male and destroyeth pride by the Word, becometh a male herself.

The Male hath no partner, no molester, and no enemy.

Immovable for ever is His empire; it nor cometh nor goeth.

Night and day worshippers worship and Ring the true God’s praises.

Nanak, on seeing the greatness of the true God, is happy.

The perverse man is foolish and contemptible:—

The perverse man enjoyeth not the relish of the Word, and loveth not God’s name.

His tongue uttereth harsh language; and he-is ever despised.

O Nanak, he acteth according to destiny which none can erase.

Sorath Ki War

The fate of those who think not of God:—

According to what God Himself wrote in the beginning must man act.

Worldly love hath cast its deception over him, and he hath forgotten the Lord of excellences.

Deem not that the world is alive; it is dead through the love of mammon.

They who have not meditated on the Name through the Guru’s instruction, are not allowed to sit near God.

They are miserable in the highest degree, and their children and wives shall not go with them.

Their faces are blackened among men, and their hearts heave heavy sighs.

No one trusteth the perverse; trust in them is at an end.

Nanak, the pious in whose heart the Name dwelleth are very happy.

God is in the heart, but the perverse know it not:—

The heart is full of nectar, but the perverse enjoy not its savour.

As the deer knoweth not its own musk, and wandereth, led astray by ignorance,

So the perverse despise nectar, amass poison, and forget the Creator.

A few pious men obtain insight and behold God within them.

The extent of the Guru’s self-mortification:— 

Though my flesh is so mortified that if my body were pressed in an oil-press, it would not give a drop of blood, Yet would I still further sacrifice and quarter myself for my love for the True One.

In this way I should not fail to meet Him either night or day, O Nanak.

When the love of God is real, it is not transient:— 

My Friend is merry; by His merriment He attracteth my soul.

When clothes are dyed with madder and a base,

Their colour, Nanak, will not depart, and no other colour may be given them.

Man’s mind is difficult to restrain:—

The mind of the perverse man is incorrigible and attacheth itself to mammon.

He obtaineth no happiness even in his dreams; he passeth his life in extreme misery.

The pandits grow weary of reading from door to door; the Sidhs, of sitting in attitudes of contemplation.

Man’s mind is not under restraint; men grow weary performing religious ceremonies,

Changing their sectarial garbs, and bathing at the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage,

While they exercise no control over their minds, but are led astray by pride and superstition.

By the favour of the Guru God’s love is obtained; and by great good fortune God cometh and dwelleth in the heart.

When there is fear of God the mind is restrained, and pride is destroyed by His word.

The fate of those who turn away from their Guru:—

They who turn their faces from the true Guru, shall find no house or home.

They shall wander from door to door like divorced women of bad character and evil reputation.

Nanak, they who are pardoned through the Guru’s instruction shall be blended with God.

The food of life eternal:—

Three things—truth, patience, and reflection are -put into a dish; and, when kneaded with the water of God’s name, become perfect ambrosial food.

By partaking of them man is satisfied, and attaineth the gate of salvation.

This food is rare, O saints, but it can be obtained by the Guru’s instruction.

Why should the spell[165] of God's name be counteracted? rather clasp it to your heart.

The precious character of the Guru’s instruction:—

There is one Creator, one Guru, and one Word to meditate on.

True is the shop,[166] true its dealings;[167] its garners are filled with jewels.[168]

They are obtained by the Guru’s favour, if the Bestower bestow them.

The following was addressed to the Muhammadan priest of Goindwal who followed devious ways:—

O Shaikh, restrain thy mind which now wandereth towards the four cardinal points, the sport of the four winds.

Abandon thy crooked ways, accept the instruction of . the Guru;

Prostrate thyself before the true Guru; he knoweth everything that is to be known.

Banish thy hopes and desires; become as a guest in the world.

If thou walk as the true Guru desireth, thou shalt obtain honour in God’s court.

Nanak, accursed the garb, accursed the food of those who remember not God.

The inspired teacher is for the whole world:—

Great men utter instruction for a special occasion, but the whole world becometh a partner in it.

Nanak, how can he in whose heart there is no faith, expound divine knowledge?

The self-sacrifice of the disciple must be complete:—

As the elephant offereth his head to the goad, as the anvil offereth itself to the hammer,

So should the disciple put his soul and body before his Guru, and stand and wait on him.

In this way the pious man, while humbling himself, assumeth the sovereignty of the whole universe.[169]

Nanak, the pious understand this if God look on them with favour.

Different ways of disposing of the dead:—

Some are cremated, some buried, and others eaten by dogs;

Some are thrown into the river and others again into pits:

Nanak, it is not known where they shall ultimately go.

The fate of slanderers:—

The slanderers hate the saints, but love the wicked to fascination.

They have no rest in this world or the next; they die and are born again and again.

Their thirst is never slaked; they are ruined by worldly love.

Their faces are blackened in the court of the true One.

Nanak, without the Name they neither abide in this world nor cross over to the next.

When reading and study are advantageous:—

Reading and study are worldly acts if the sin of avarice be in the heart.

All who read through pride grow weary, and are ruined by worldly love.

He is learned, he is a wise pandit who pondereth on the Guru’s word:

He searcheth in his heart, findeth the Real Thing there, and reacheth the gate of deliverance:

He tranquilly meditateth on God, and findeth Him who is the treasury of excellences.

Nanak, blessed is that trader who by the Guru’s instruction obtaineth the Name as his support.

The Guru can remove the sins of previous births:—

The impurity of many births hath attached to man’s mind, and it hath become quite black.

An oilman’s towel will not become white by washing, even though it be washed hundreds of times.

His nature altereth who by the Guru’s favour while alive is dead.

Nanak, no impurity attacheth to him, and he shall not again enter a womb.

The indifference of the world to spiritual matters:—

O man, oppressed by a nightmare thy life hath passed away in sleep.

Thou hast not awakened on hearing the word of the true Guru, nor hath enthusiasm arisen in thy heart.

May that body which hath no virtues and performeth not the Guru’s service be burnt!

I have seen the world burning with pride and worldly love.

Nanak, they who meditate in their hearts on the true Word and seek the Guru’s protection shall be saved.

External decorations lead astray:—

Without the Word woman becometh not pure even though she don many ornaments;

She careth not for her husband, but loveth another.

Nanak, such a woman is impure, ill-conducted, and evil among her sex.

God is the Pardoner and Cherisher:—

God appointeth men to do His service; He it is who rewardeth them.

He is the Father and Mother of all, and taketh care of them.

Nanak, they who ponder on the Name obtain a residence in God’s own palace and are honoured in every age.

Suhi Ashtapadi

A Sikh called Jacha inquired of the Guru the best means of obtaining God:—

Praise not the world which shall perish;

Praise not men who shall die and become dust.

Hail! my Lord, hail!

The pious ever praise Him who is true and independent.

The perverse are burning with love for the world:

They embrace not the present opportunity; they shall be bound and beaten in the city of Death.

The lives of the pious are profitable; they cling to the true Word.

God hath appeared unto them, and they abide in peace and happiness.

The thirst and hunger of those who forget the Guru’s instruction and are attached to worldly love,

Depart not; night and day they wander in suffering:

They cherish friendship for the evil and hatred for the holy.

They shall perish with their families, and cause their whole tribe to perish.

It is not good to slander any one; yet that is what the perverse and blockheads do.

The faces of the slanderers become blackened, and they fall into horrible hell.

O man, as thou worshippest, so shalt thou be, and so shall be the acts thou performest.

It is thou thyself who didst sow; it is thou thyself who shalt eat; nothing is obtained by prating.

When great men speak it is with some object:

They are filled to the brim with nectar, and have not a particle of avarice.

The virtuous amass virtues and instruct others.

They who meet them are fortunate; night and day they repeat God’s name.

He who created the earth will give us sustenance.

One alone is the Giver; He Himself is the true Lord.

That True One is with thee, O man; thou shalt behold Him by the Guru’s instruction.

Ever remember God and He will pardon thee and blend thee with Himself.

Man is impure; the True One is pure; how shall we meet Him?

When man dispelleth his pride under the Guru's instruction, God will unite him with Himself, and that shall be a lasting union.

Accursed is his life in this world who forgetteth the true Lord!

God will look with favour and not forget him who meditateth on the Guru’s instruction.

When the true Guru blendeth me with God, a lasting union shall be effected, and I shall clasp the True One to my heart.

Once I have found Him, through the love and affection of the Guru, we shall not be separated.

Let me praise my Beloved by meditation on the word of the Guru.

When I meet my Beloved, I shall obtain happiness and become an illustrious woman.

Suhi Chhant

Sins are erased by devotion; God’s fellowship with the pious:—

All his sins are erased, O God, who reverently singeth Thy praises day and night.

All men are Thine; Thou art theirs; I am Thine; Thou art mine.

Suhi ki War

The repentant sinner:—

The evil wife in a red dress goeth to enjoy a strange man.

Infatuated with another she leaveth the husband of her home.

She eateth bread because it is sweet; its flavour greatly increaseth her disease.

She leaveth God her lawful spouse, and afterwards suffereth the pain of separation from Him;

But under the Guru’s instruction she will return, renew her love for God, and decorate herself to attract Him.

She will then enjoy God her true Spouse in peace, and clasp His name to her heart.

She will be submissive and ever a good wife, and God will unite her with Himself.

Nanak, she who hath obtained the true God as her Husband, shall ever be a happy wife.

How repentance is effected:—

O thou with the red robe,[170] thou shalt become a good wife if thou repeat the true Name with thy heart.

By conciliating the true Guru thy beauty shall be greatly enhanced, and thou shalt have no other abode than his.

Put on such decorations as shall never be tarnished, that thy husband may love thee night and day.

Nanak, what are the signs of a good wife? Her heart is pure, her face bright, and she is absorbed in her spouse.

It is not the dress that ensures happiness:—

O people, I have been in red, wearing a red robe,

But, since it is not the robe that obtaineth the Bridegroom, I have ceased to robe myself.

Nanak, they who have heard the Guru’s instruction, have found the Bridegroom.

In this way the Bridegroom is found; what pleaseth God taketh place.

The dye of the worldly is temporary, of the saints permanent:—

Thou with the red robe, the whole world steeped in folly and worldly love is red;

But the dye is false and totally vanisheth in a moment like the shadow of a tree.

The colour of the pious is the reddest of the red as if dyed with madder.

She in whose heart dwelleth God’s ambrosial name, turneth away from mammon and entereth the house of God.

Nanak, I am a sacrifice to my Guru by meeting whom

I sing God’s praises.

Man ought not to set his heart on fleeting pleasures:—

The red colour is useless; the Bridegroom is not obtained by it;

It taketh not long to fade. She who loveth mammon sitteth as a widow.

The woman who coveteth a red robe is silly and fickle.

Make the true Word thy red robe, and the fear and love of God thine ornaments.

Nanak, they who act according to the wishes of the true Guru shall ever be happy wives.

The idolater is compared to an unchaste woman:—

The woman with the red robe who leaveth God and loveth another husband is a bad character.

She hath neither modesty nor virtue; she ever uttereth falsehood, and is ruined by her perversity.

She for whom it is so written from the beginning, shall obtain God as her Spouse.

She shall doff all her red robes and don the garment of humility.

She shall obtain great honour in this world and the next; the whole world shall worship her.

No one is equal to her whom the Creator enjoyeth.

Nanak, she who hath the everlasting Male as her Husband is holy, and shall ever be a happy wife.

How a woman ought to love her husband:—

It is not they who burn themselves with their husbands’ corpses who are Satis;

Nanak, rather are they Satis who die by the shock of separation from their husbands.

They also are known as Satis who abide in modesty and contentment;

Who wait upon their Lord and rising in the morning ever remember Him.

The concremation of widows is inadmissible:—

Women are burnt in the fire with their husbands:

If they appreciate their husbands they undergo sufficient pain by their death.

Nanak, if they appreciate not their husbands, why should they be burnt?

Whether the husband be alive or dead such women will flee far away from him.[171]

Men ought to acquire divine knowledge before adopting a religious dress:—

O woman, only decorate thyself when thou hast conciliated thy Husband,

Lest He come not to thy couch and thy decorations be in vain.

When thy Husband’s heart is conciliated, decoration will become thee.

It will be acceptable if thy Husband love thee.

Make fear thy decoration, God’s love thy betel, and reverence thy food.

Nanak, she who delivereth her body and soul to her Husband shall enjoy Him.

God cannot be won by a religious garb:—

A woman taketh collyrium, flowers, betel and attar of roses, and decorateth herself,

But if her husband come not to her couch, it is all in vain.

The Guru describes an ideal marriage

They are not husband and wife who sit together:

Rather are they husband and wife who have one soul and two bodies.

Bilawal[172] ki War

God’s praises may be said or sung:—

Enjoy yourselves when God’s name is in your mouths.[173]

Measures, music, and hymns are pleasant if one meditate on God;

But if man serve God even without measures and music, he shall obtain honour at His court.

Nanak, meditate upon God by the Guru’s instruction, so shall all the pride of thy heart depart.

The Guru’s prayer for the human race:—

O God, of Thy mercy save the world which is in flames.

Save it in any way that it may be saved.

The fate of the infidel:—

The five thieves[174] rob those who forget the Name

And utter falsehood; they make a breach of pride in their hearts.

The infidels who know not the savour of God’s name are ruined by their folly.

They who have lost the ambrosial Name through doubt and conceived an affection for sin,

Love the wicked and quarrel with the saints.

Nanak, the infidels shall be bound by Death and suffer torments in hell;

They shall obtain the reward of their acts; where God placeth them there shall they remain.

The fate of the holy:—

They who serve the true Guru have become strong from being weak.

God ever dwelleth within them and Death cannot look at them.

Lakshmi is their servant in whose hearts is the sweetness of God’s name.

The servant of the servants of God obtaineth the supreme boon.

Nanak is ever a sacrifice to him in whose soul and body God dwelleth.


The characteristics of the four ages:—

In the Sat age every one spoke the truth;

In every house God’s service was performed, and men were holy.

In the Sat age religion had four legs:[175]

Then a few understood divine knowledge by the Guru’s instruction.

In the four ages the Name is magnified.

They who cling to the Name obtain salvation; without the Guru none may obtain the Name.

In the Treta age one leg[176] of religion was removed;

Hypocrisy prevailed and men deemed God distant.[177] 

He who obtained knowledge under the Guru’s instruction knew God,

And acquired happiness by implanting the Name in his heart.

In the Dwapar age worldly love and duality arose:

Led astray in error men thought the Creator and creation distinct.

In the Dwapar age religion was only left two legs.[178]

Wherever there was a holy man he fixed the Name firmly in his heart.

In the Kal age only one leg remained to religion.[179]

She went on one leg and worldly love increased:

Worldly love produced excessive darkness.

If man meet the true Guru, the Name shall be his salvation. In every age there is only the one true Being:

In everything is the True One, there is none besides.

By praising the True One true happiness is obtained; But only a few pious men utter such praises.

Through all the ages the Name is the best thing;[180]

Only a few holy men know this.

He who pondereth on God’s name is a saint:

Nanak, in every age the Name is magnified.

Ramkali ki War I

The cultivation of the Name:—

The true Guru is the field of happiness; he whom God causeth to love it,

Soweth the Name; the Name springeth up, and he is absorbed in it.

Pride which is the seed of doubt fleeth away from him.

He no longer soweth the seed of doubt; it no longer springeth up; he liveth on what God giveth him.

When water blendeth with water, it cannot again be separated.

Nanak, that is the way of the holy; O people, come and see:

But what can wretched people see who themselves know nothing?

He in whose heart God dwelleth and to whom He showeth Himself, beholdeth Him.

Sorrow is the portion of the perverse:—

The perverse man is a field of sorrow; he soweth sorrow and eateth sorrow.

In sorrow is he born, in sorrow he dieth, and in pride he passeth his life.

The mentally blind man acteth blindly, and thinketh not of his transmigration.

He knoweth not the Giver, but clingeth to what is given:

He acteth as was at first destined for him; O Nanak, he cannot act otherwise.

The following is a reply to a hymn of Kabir:—

Nanak, God will look with favour on him who hath turned himself into henna:

God Himself will grind it, God Himself will rub it, and God Himself will apply it to His feet.

This is a loving cup of the Lord. He prepareth it for him with whom He is pleased.

The following is a reflection on anchorets:—

Led astray by doubt, I have wandered the world over, and searched until I have grown weary.

God gave me no peace; what can cope with Him?

Meditate on God under the Guru’s instruction, and clasp Him to thy heart.

Nanak, if God be merciful, man seated in his own home can find Him.

The false and the true Abhyagat,[181] or mendicant, who claims to have reached the final goal of sanctity:—

He in whose heart there is superstition ought not to be called an Abhyagat.

Alms given to him, O Nanak, shall be as vain as himself.

Few are they, O Nanak, to whose lot it hath fallen to give food to him

Who hungereth for the supreme reward of the Fearless and Pure.

They should not be described as Abhyagats who eat in other’s houses,

And who to fill their bellies adopt many sectarial garbs.

They are Abhyagats, O Nanak, who study their hearts,

Who search and find the Lord, and dwell in their own homes.

Man must do good acts and obey God’s laws:—

Numberless persons are absorbed in God, the Mine of jewels; but the false suffer transmigration:

They act as they please and suffer great punishment.

Everything is in the Mine of jewels, but it is only obtainable by good acts.

Nanak, man obtaineth the nine treasures if he act according to God’s will.

Better to taste God’s ambrosia than the poison of the perverse:—

He who serveth not the Guru cheerfully shall lose his life by pride.

The lotus of his heart shall never bloom whose tongue tasteth not God’s essence.

The perverse die by eating poison; they perish by worldly love.

He on whom the true God looketh with favour becometh a the slave of His slaves:

He serveth the true Guru night and day and never leaveth his side:

As the lotus remaineth dry in the water, so he liveth a hermit in his own home.

Nanak, the Lord of excellences acteth and causeth all to act as He pleaseth.

Dutiful children ought to accept the counsel of sages:—

Elders’[182] advice maketh children good:

They who are pleasing to God heed such counsel and act accordingly.

Go and consult the Simritis, the Shastars, the writings of Vyas,[183] Shukdev, Narad, and those who uttered excellent words.

They whom God attacheth to the truth remain attached to it and ever remember it.

Nanak, their coming into the world is profitable who save all their families.

The blind leading the blind:—

When the guru is blind, the deeds of his disciples also are blind;

They act as it pleaseth themselves and continually utter the grossest falsehood;

They practise lying and deception and ever slander others.

The slanderers are ruined themselves and ruin all their families;

But they are, O Nanak, in the position in which God placed them; what can the poor creatures do?

Nothing is gained by association with a fool:—

The fool listeneth to the words of the fool.

What are the marks of a fool? What his acts?

The fool is he who is stupid and dying of pride.

In its practice he is ever miserable, and in misery he abideth.

If his dearest friend fall into a well, what device shall he adopt to extricate him?

A pious man would think about it, but the fool would remain aloof.

By repeating God’s name the pious man is saved, and they who were perishing shall be saved through him.

Nanak, God acteth as He pleaseth, and man must endure what cometh from Him.

Maru ki War I

The condition of those who have not the fear of God in their hearts:—

They who have not met the Guru and who have not a particle of fear,

Suffer great pain in transmigration, and their anxiety never ceaseth.

They are beaten like soiled garments or like a gong which striketh gharis and double gharis.

Nanak, without the true Name they are never free from entanglements.

The Guru inculcates truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:—

I have searched the three worlds, my friends, and discovered that pride is bad for men.

Grieve net, O my heart, speak the truth, Nanak, the whole truth.

The Guru culls divine knowledge from God’s tree:—

The tree spontaneously produceth flowers and fruits; the bumble-bee divesting himself of fear dwelleth among them.

Nanak, there is but one tree (God), one flower (divine knowledge), and one bumble-bee (the Guru).

The Guru teaches true piety to a Jogi:—

If I become a Jogi, wander in the world, and beg from door to door,

When my account is called for in God’s court, how many persons shall I have to satisfy?[184]

Let me make the Name my alms, patience my hut, companionship with the True One my cry; I shall not then be asked for an account.

God is not obtained by sectarial garbs; all who adopt them shall be seized by the god of death.

Nanak, their words are false—do thou remember the true Name.

Even the perverse may be saved by obeying God’s order:—

A raven becometh not white, nor doth iron float.

He who accepteth the boon of the Beloved, is blest and regenerateth others.

The countenance of him who recognizeth God’s orders shall become bright, and he shall cross over like iron on timber.

To abandon avarice and abide in fear are, O Nanak, most meritorious acts.

The heart is not chastened by wandering in forests:—

The ignorant man who goeth into the desert to chasten his heart cannot succeed.

Nanak, if the heart be chastened, it must be by reflection on the Guru’s instruction.

Even though every one desire to chasten his heart, he cannot succeed;

But man, O Nanak, shall chasten his heart, if he meet the true Guru.

Were a man to forget God he would deserve expulsion from his fraternity:—

Were I to become a pandit or an astrologer and recite the four Veds;

Were I to be worshipped for my wisdom and teaching in the nine regions of the world,

May it not be that I should forget the true Name and that none should touch my cooking-square.[185]

Cooking-squares are all false; Nanak, God alone is true.

It is when man ceases to think of merits and demerits and fixes his attention on God alone that he is saved:—

Merits and demerits are the same; since God created both.

Nanak, happiness is obtained by obeying God’s order and pondering on the Guru’s instruction.

The Guru refuses to use force to his slanderer:—

They who have no divine knowledge or a particle of fear in their hearts,

Have been destroyed by God; Nanak, why slay the slain?

The Guru rejects the Brahman’s horoscope and censures his pride and pretended learning:—

To study one’s mental horoscope[186] is the real happiness.

That Brahman is good who knoweth how to meditate on God;

Who reflecting on the Guru’s instruction extolleth God and readeth His -praises.

His birth is profitable, and he saveth his family.

In the next world there shall be no inquiry regarding caste; to act according to the Word is the real thing.

Vain is all other study, vain all other acting, since man thus becometh attached to sin.

The perverse man hath no internal happiness; his life is ruined.

Nanak, they who are tinctured by the Name are saved by the Guru’s boundless love.


A pandit asked the Guru to listen to a discourse of his. The Guru refused. Upon this the pandit said he himself was a Brahman while the Guru was only a Khatri, and it was the duty of Khatris to listen to Brahmans. The Guru replied as follows

Let none be proud of his caste.

He who knoweth God is a Brahman.

O stupid fool, be not proud of thy caste;

From such pride many sins result.

Everybody saith there are four castes,

But they all proceeded from God’s seed.

The world is all made out of one clay,

But the Potter fashioned it into vessels of many sorts.

The body is formed from the union of five elements;

Let any one consider if he hath less or more in his composition.

Saith Nanak, the soul is fettered by its acts.

Without meeting the true Guru salvation is not obtained.


The sectarial dresses, the scriptures, and the pilgrimages of the Hindus are of no avail:—

Even if man take off his clothes, become naked

And wear matted hair, how can he obtain union with God?

His mind is not pure, nor tarrieth it at the tenth gate.

The foolish person wandereth and returneth again and again in transmigration.

O foolish man, meditate on the one God,

And thou shalt at once cross the world’s ocean.

They who expound the Simritis and the Shastars,

And who as divines and learned men read the Purans, Practise in their hearts hypocrisy and deception.

God cometh not near them;

How shall they obtain the Pure One,

Who while practising great self-restraint And performing ceremonial works and special adoration, Have greed within them, and harbour the deadly sins in their hearts?

What can he make who is made himself,

And whose movements are in God’s power?

If God look on him with favour, his doubts shall cease; And if he understand God’s order, he shall obtain the True One.

He in whose heart is the filth of sin May wander on pilgrimages through the countries of the world;

Yet, O Nanak, it is only when he associateth with the true Guru

That the obstacles in the terrible ocean shall break for his passage.

The holy enjoy perpetual spring:—

When spring cometh, the forests bloom;

But men and lower animals only bloom by thinking on God:

In this way the mind is refreshed.

By repeating God’s name day and night under the Guru’s instruction pride is removed and washed away.

When the true Guru reciteth his verses and hymns,

The world bloometh again by his love.

Fruits and flowers are produced when God Himself produceth them.

When man findeth the true Guru, he attacheth himself to God, the root of all things.

God is the spring; the whole world is His garden;

Nanak, by perfect good fortune special service is performed.

Sarang ki War

The Hindus fast on the eleventh day of the light and dark halves of the lunar month. Besides these certain other days of the lunations are occasionally dedicated to certain Hindu divinities. Thus the ninth is sacred to Devi, the tenth to Digpal, or the elephants who support the eight points of the compass, the eleventh to Vishnu, and the twelfth to Bawan, his dwarf incarnation. The Guru in the following gives substitutes for these fasts. The slok was addressed to Brahmans who censured the Guru for his neglect of fasting:—

If man on the ninth day make a vow to speak the truth,

His lust, wrath, and covetousness will depart.

The tenth day is auspicious if one restrain the organs of action and perception: the eleventh day is auspicious if one then know that God is one.

If on the twelfth day man preserve himself from the five deadly sins, then, O Nanak, shall he be happy.

If fasts be thus observed, O Pandit, why give more instruction?

Brahmans and sectaries obtain no advantage from reading and pilgrimages:—

Pandits and men vowed to silence grow weary of reading; men who wear sectarial dresses grow weary of wandering from country to country.

Through love of the world they never obtain God’s r.ame, and very great misery attacheth to them.

They are stupid and blind, and make it their business to serve mammon.

With deception in their hearts the fools read books to fill their bellies.

They who have expelled pride from their hearts, serve the true Guru and obtain happiness.

Nanak, there is only one Name to read and meditate on; a few reflecting men know this.

Man must accept the inevitable. As he came naked into the world, so must he depart:—

Naked man cometh, naked he departeth—such is the will of God; what can be done?

He who gave life will take it away. With whom shall man be angry on that account?

He who is pious obeyeth God’s will and tranquilly quaffeth divine nectar.

Nanak, ever praise the Giver of happiness, and repeat His name with thy tongue.

No hope from false gods:—

When men have forgotten God’s name, what other name will they utter?

They are as worms in ordure; their worldly affairs like thieves have robbed them.

May Nanak not forget God’s name! False is all other desire.

The fate of those who forget the Name:—

They who forget the Name, even though they perform many other religious acts,

Are bound and beaten in the city of Death, O Nanak, like robbers caught house-breaking.

Man should be firm in his devotion:—

As long as the mind is inconstant, man indulgeth in great pride and arrogance.

He relisheth not the Word and loveth not the Name.

His service is not acceptable; he fretteth and fretteth until he becometh an object of contempt.

Nanak, call him a servant who would cut off his head, place it before his master,

Obey the order of the true Guru, and take his instruction to heart.

Only what pleases God can be deemed devotion, penance, and service:—

If man renounce his pride, God will pardon him and blend him with Himself.

Man once blended with God will never be separated; light will be blended with light.

Nanak, that man knoweth God whom he causeth to know Him through the Guru’s favour.

God is ever young, and His name is ever holy:—

The True One never groweth old, and His name is never defiled.

He who walketh in the way of the Guru shall not be born again.

Nanak, he who forgetteth the Name shall botli come and go.

He who obeys and loves the Almighty needs not fear death:—

The order of the Unconcerned is over all; no artifice can succeed and no argument prevail against Him.

The holy man who effaceth himself, accepteth God’s will, seeketh His protection,

And renounceth his pride, shall not feel Death’s mace.

Nanak, he is a worshipper who fixeth his love on the True One.

The Creator and the creature contrasted

All gifts, splendour, and beauty are Thine, O God;

Many artifices and pride are mine.

They who harbour covetousness, worldly love, and pride shall never be free from transmigration, however many ceremonial acts they perform.

Nanak, the Creator Himself causeth to act; what pleaseth Him is good.

Malar ki War

The mental happiness obtained by heeding pious instruction:—

On meeting the Guru the mind is happy as after rain the earth is decorated:

Everything appeareth green, the lakes and pools are filled to the brim.

The colour of the True One attacheth to the heart as redness to madder.

The lotus of the heart bloometh by obeying the True One; man is rendered happy by the Guru’s word.

The perverse turn to worldly love; carefully consider this.

The god of death is seen standing over their heads as if they were ensnared deer.

Avarice, covetousness, and slander are evil; lust and wrath terrible.

God appeareth not to our eyes until we reflect on His word.

They who please Thee, O God, acquire patience, and no longer have domestic entanglements.

By serving the Guru man saveth his capital;[187] the Guru is a ladder and a boat of salvation.

Nanak, they who love God obtain Him; Thou art true, O God, and true is he who obeyeth Thee.

When the Guru instructs, the heart assumes a different colour. It is supposed that an Indian woman’s passions increase when there are clouds. Here she is considering what her relations with her spouse will be—whether he will withdraw or grant her his love. In the latter case she will be held to be imbued with a different colour.

Lowering clouds come and give the earth different colours.

I know not how long the love with which I have inspired my spouse will endure.

The women shall be happy in whose hearts there are fear and love.

Nanak, they who feel not fear and love are not happy.

When lowering clouds come and the pure rain falleth,

O Nanak, the women who have broken with their spouse are unhappy.

When lowering clouds come and rain falleth continuously,

O Nanak, the woman who acteth as her husband desireth, ever enjoyeth his embraces.

It is God alone who sends rain:—

Why stand ye up to look? unhappy people, this cloud can do nothing.

It is He who sent the cloud ye should treasure in your hearts.

He giveth Himself a residence in the hearts of those on whom He looketh with favour.

Nanak, all on whom God looketh not with favour shall lament.

As the chatrik is in need of rain, so is man in need of divine instruction:—

O chatrik, every one longeth for Him on whom thou callest.

When God is merciful it will rain, and the forests and glades become green.

God is found by the Guru’s favour; few are they who know this.

Resting or standing continually meditate on Him, and thou shalt be happy for ever and ever.

Nanak, nectar ever raineth; God bestoweth it on the pious.

God sends a divine teacher when required:—

When the world is in distress, it heartily prayeth.

The True One attentively listeneth and with His kind disposition[188] granteth consolation!

He giveth orders to the cloud-god and the rain falleth in torrents.[189]

Then corn and wealth are produced in great abundance and of untold value.

Nanak, praise His name who giveth to all creatures their sustenance,

By eating whereof happiness is produced, and misery felt no more.

God knows man’s necessities better than he knows them himself:—

O chatrik, cry not and allow not thy heart to long for water; obey the order of the Lord.

Nanak, by obeying His order thy thirst shall depart, and thou shalt have fourfold love for Him.

There is no lack of divine instruction, but men receive it not:—

O chatrik, thy dwelling is in the water; thou wanderest in the water;

Thou knowest not the water’s value and so thou fallest a-screaming.

It raineth everywhere on sea and land; there is no place without rain.

So much rain falleth that they who are dying of thirst and receive it not are unfortunate.

Nanak, the pious in whose hearts God dwelleth find the water.

It is they who are favoured by God who receive divine instruction:—

This water raineth on every one; God by His kind disposition causeth it to fall.

The trees which by the Guru’s instruction are absorbed in God become green.[190]

Nanak, the animals on which God looketh with favour become happy and their misery departeth.

The bliss of those who receive divine instruction:—

On a wet night there is lightning and it raineth in torrents:

If it be the will of God, where it raineth much corn and wealth shall be produced,

By using which the heart will be satisfied and men will perform their duties.

This wealth is the sport of the Creator; it sometimes cometh and sometimes goeth;

But the Name is the wealth of those who possess divine knowledge; they are ever absorbed in it.

Nanak, they on whom God looketh with favour, shall obtain this wealth.

As the chatrik will not drink ordinary water, so men will not receive instruction:—

This world is a chatrik; let none make a mistake herein.

This chatrik is an animal without understanding, otherwise it would know

That God’s name is nectar, by drinking which thirst departeth.

Nanak, the pious who drink it shall not again be thirsty.

When God is merciful men receive saving instruction:—

The Malar is refreshing; by meditation on God in it comfort is obtained.

If God show His mercy it raineth over the whole world.

By rain animals obtain the means of subsistence, and the earth is decorated.

Nanak, this world is all water; from water everything hath sprung.

The few who know God by the Guru’s favour are ever emancipated.

God, without being asked, gives man what is good for him:—

O chatrik, thou knowest not the palace of the Lord; when thou seest it pray there.

Thou prayest much to please thyself; thy words are not acceptable.

The Lord is very beneficent; what thou desirest thou shalt obtain from Him.

Then the world’s thirst to say nothing of thine, poor chatrik, shall depart.[191]

The chatrik, on obtaining the special drops it desires, is compared to the man disposed to receive instruction:—

The chatrik on a rainy night naturally loving the True One crieth—

‘ This water is my life; without water I cannot live.’

So by the Guru’s instruction the water of life is found when man dispelleth his pride.

Nanak, the true Guru hath caused me to meet Him without whom I cannot live for a moment.

God is not to be importuned for secular favours:—

O chatrik, the chaste woman obtaineth access to her spouse's chamber; the unchaste one is banished.

Within thee, God dwelleth and is ever present with the holy.

Thou shalt not have to shout and scream when God looketh on thee with favour.

Nanak, they who love the Name and act according to the Guru’s instruction, shall be easily blended with God.

In the following the chatrik represents the pious man praying for the gift of life:—

The chatrik prayeth, 'O God, mercifully grant me the gift of life!

‘ Without water my thirst will not be quenched; I shall expire.

‘ Thou O God, art the Giver of happiness, illimitable; Thou art the Giver and treasury of favours.’

Nanak, God pardoneth the pious and at the last hour becometh their Friend.

The worldly man, like the chatrik, accepts not what God grants him, but seeks his own advantages:—

O chatrik, thou knowest not what thirst there is within thee, and by what draught it shall be quenched.

Through worldly love thou wanderest, and the immortal water thou obtainest not.

If God cast His glance of favour, the true Guru will be easily found.

Nanak, the immortal water will be obtained from him, and man will be easily absorbed in God.

When man rises early for prayer his supplication is granted:—

The chatrik calleth at the ambrosial hour of morning,[192] and his prayer is heard in God’s court.

God mercifully issueth an order to the cloud to kindly rain.[193]

The joy felt by the holy in the rainy season:—

Woman shall be happy in Sawan by reflecting on the Guru’s instruction.

Nanak, by her unequalled love for the Guru she shall ever be a happy wife;

But she who is devoid of virtue, and who is attached to a second love shall burn in Sawan.

Nanak, she careth not for her spouse, and therefore despiseth all decoration.

Supplementary Sloks

In the opinion of the Guru forgetfulness of God's name is the greatest sin.

Saith Nanak, by forgetting the one Name sin is committed equal in the estimation of the Hindus to the killing of Brahmans, kine, and virgins, eating the food of the sinful,

And the million transgressions which render men accursed and ever and ever victims of pride.

Let all other wisdom depart, as long as the knowledge of the one God remaineth.

The devotion of the saints is compared to that of the fond wife who cooks elaborate dishes for her spouse:—

As a devoted wife in her husband’s house, intensely desiring to perform service for him,

Prepareth him viands of many savours, making some tart and others sweet;

Even with the same devotion the saints praise and apply their hearts to God’s name:

They offer the Guru their souls, bodies, and wealth; they would even sell their heads and place them before him.

Many saints pray for the fear and service of God; God fulfilleth their desires, and blendeth them with Himself.

The spiritual exaltation of the holy:—

In the heart of the pious man is composure; his soul ascendeth to the tenth heaven,

Where there is nor sleep nor hunger, and where God’s ambrosial name which conferreth bliss abideth.

Nanak, sorrow is not felt where the light of God shineth.

The fate of the perverse:—

The perverse man is of unstable mind; in his heart he hath many artifices.

What he hath done and what he doeth is all in vain; he is in no way acceptable.

The fruit of his religious acts and alms shall all go to the king of death.

Without the true Guru the king of death will not release him; he shall be ruined by his worldly love.

His youth guideth imperceptibly away, and on attaining old age he dieth without repentance.

Children and wives are objects of affection, but at the last moment none of them will assist or accompany him.

The condition of those who practise worldly love:—

Worldly love is an ocean of sorrow, difficult to cross, nay, uncrossable.

The perverse pass their lives in avarice and pine away talking of their possessions.

They can neither retreat nor advance; they remain entangled in mid ocean.

God may pardon man’s transgressions. The following is repeated by many Sikhs on rising in the morning:—

We commit many sins of which there is no end.

O God, be mercifully pleased to pardon them.

We are great sinners and transgressors.

O God, Thou pardonest and blendest unto Thee; otherwise it will not come to our turn to be pardoned.

The Guru graciously cut oft' our sins and transgressions by blending us with God.

Hail to those, O Nanak, who have meditated on God’s name!

Rely not on the covetous:—

As far as possible rely not on a covetous man;

At the last moment he will lead thee where nobody can lend thee a hand.

The condition of the perverse:—

The perverse are like children and dotards whose hearts take no thought of God.

The perverse and the pious contrasted:—

How shall he who doeth evil be acceptable?

He shall burn in his own anger.

The perverse man's a fool and worrieth himself with quarrelling.

He who is pious knoweth everything.

Nanak, the pious man struggleth with his own heart.

His singers represented to the Guru that the Dhanasari was a very popular measure, and that whenever they played or sang it they usually received large rewards from others. On this the Guru composed the following:—

The Dhanasari measure is worthy of praise, brethren, if it perform the work of the True Guru.[194]

Brethren, heartily entrust to Him thy body and soul along with thy life; turn away from the world and obey His order.

Where He seateth you there sit, brethren; and whither He sendeth you thither go.

There is no wealth, brethren, so great as the true Name.

May I ever sing the praises of the True One, brethren, and ever abide with the True One!

Make God’s attributes and praises your raiment, brethren, and enjoy the relish of the honour He granteth you.

Why merely praise Him, brethren? You ought to offer sacrifices yourselves for a sight of Him.

A man proud of his long beard went to visit Guru Angad, but would not bow to him. Guru Amar Das thus addressed the offender:—

That is a real beard which toucheth the Guru’s feet.

They who day and night serve their Guru ever abide in happiness;

Nanak, they are seen with beaming faces at the court of the True One.

The advantage of possessing everything true:—

When men speak the truth and act the truth, true are their mouths and true their beards.

The true Word dwelleth in their hearts, and they shall be blended with the True Guru.

From the capital springeth true wealth, and the highest rank is obtained.

They who hear the truth, obey the truth, and practise truth,

Shall obtain a seat in the True court, and be absorbed in the True One.

Nanak, without the true Guru the True One shall not be obtained; the perverse shall go astray.

The advantage of meeting the Guru:—

The chatrik crieth, ‘Prio, prio ’ (Beloved! Beloved!) through love of the cloud.

If it meet the Guru, it shall receive cool water to remove all its pain.

Its thirst shall depart, composure ensue; and it shall cease its cries and screams.

Nanak, the pious who hold the Name to their hearts, obtain peace.

The joy of him who is devoted to God:—

Nanak, he who is absorbed in the service of the true Guru, enjoyeth perpetual spring.

God is pleased with him, his mind and body bloom, and the whole world is clad in verdure for him.

The orison of the holy:—

At early dawn whose name should we take?

We should take the name of God who is omnipotent to destroy and to create.

The inanimate world also praises the Creator:—

O Persian wheel, thou also speakest well, saying 'Tu, Tu' (Thou, Thou);[195]

But the Lord is ever present; why call to Him with a loud voice?

Man ought to be a sacrifice to Him who created the world and made creatures of different species.

The forests and glades of the world meditate on Thee, O God, and thus ever pass their nights and days.

Salvation is not obtained by wearing a sectarial dress:—

Union with God is not obtained by an ochre-coloured robe, nor by a dirty garment:

Nanak, it is obtained sitting in one’s own home under the Guru’s instruction.

A perusal of the Veds will render man no assistance:—

Wert thou to wander in all directions and read the Veds through the four ages, it would be all in vain.

Nanak, if thou meet the true Guru, God will dwell in thy heart, and thou shalt attain the gate of deliverance.


Chapter 1

Guru Ram Das’s parentage and birth, his early life, his meeting with Guru Amar Das, his marriage with Guru Amar Das’s daughter Bibi Bhani, and many other incidents in his life, have already been related in the Life of Guru Amar Das.

The manner in which the Emperor Akbar bestowed several villages on Bibi Bhani, Guru Amar Das’s daughter, after they had been refused by her father, has also been narrated. She assigned them during her father's lifetime to her husband.

How the construction of the tank in Amritsar was entrusted to Jetha, and how he was appointed Guru Amar Das’s successor under the name of Guru Ram Das, have also been related. It needs hardly be said that Guru Ram Das adopted the principles and tenets of Guru Amar Das.

The minstrel Satta dedicated to Guru Ram Das on his installation the seventh pauri of the composition, which is known in the Granth Sahib as the joint production of Balwand and Satta, previously called the Coronation Ode.

Hail! hail Guru Ram Das! God who created thee hath decorated thee.

Complete are the miracles which the Creator Himself performed.

The Sikhs and their congregation bowed to thee since God was with thee.

Thou art immovable, unfathomable, unequalled; thou hast no end or bounds.

Thou didst save those who worshipped thee with love;

Thou didst expel with ignominy[196] their former avarice, greed, lust, wrath, and worldly love with their train.

Hail to thy place! true are those who abide in thy presence.

Thou art Nanak, thou art Lahina, thou art Amar Das; so I deem thee.

When I saw the Guru my spirits were sustained.

One day the Sikhs represented to the Guru: ‘ The Purans describe the advantages of pilgrimages, and thou sayest that the repetition of the Name is the most efficacious form of worship. Be pleased to satisfy our minds on this subject.’ The Guru replied: ‘ They who go on pilgrimages commit every species of enormity. Whatever good acts they perform are merely for ostentation. They give alms to those who flatter them to their faces or speak well of them to others. How shall persons like that be saved? ’ The Guru then quoted the following hymn of Guru Nanak:—

Shall I go to bathe at a place of pilgrimage? God’s name is my place of pilgrimage.

My places of pilgrimage are the Word, contemplation, and the divine knowledge within me.

The divine knowledge given by the Guru is the true place of pilgrimage where the ten auspicious times for bathing and the Dasahra[197] are always present.

I ever beg for God’s true name; grant it me, O God, Sustainer of the earth.

The world is ill, the Name is its medicine; without the True One the filth of sin attacheth to it.

The Guru’s word is pure and ever diffuseth light; ever bathe in such a true place of pilgrimage.

Filth attacheth not to the true; what filth have they to wash off?

Twine for thyself a garland of virtues, and then what shalt thou have to grieve for?

He who chasteneth himself by meditation shall be saved; he shall save others and never again return to a womb.

The supreme mediator is himself the philosopher’s stone; the true are pleasing to the True One.

They feel happiness and true joy night and day; their sorrow and their sins depart.

The true Guru hath shown God to him who hath obtained the true Name; no impurity attacheth to him in whose heart is the True One.

Association with the congregation of the saints is the perfect ablution.

Sweet is the voice of the singer who singeth of God.

Praising the True One and obeying the true Guru are in my opinion equal to alms-deeds, and works of mercy.

He who loveth the society of the Beloved shall easily bathe in the society of those who are the truest of the true[198] as his Tribeni.

Worship the one true God who ever giveth and whose gifts ever increase.

Salvation is obtained by associating with saints; God associateth with the company of the saints him on whom He looketh with favour.[199]

Every one giveth accounts of God; how great shall I say He is?

I by myself am a blockhead, low, and ignorant, but I understand Him from the Guru’s description.

True is the teaching of the Guru whose words are nectar; my heart is satisfied therewith.

Man marcheth off to a place of pilgrimage and returneth laden with sin, while, if he had remained under the Guru’s instruction, he would have found the True One.

There should be no end to speaking of God; He is the storekeeper of devotion and everywhere diffused.

Nanak maketh a true representation—it is he who cleanseth his heart who is pure.[200]

To this the Guru added the following hymn of his own:—

The pandits read the Shastars and the Simritis,

The Jogis cry ‘ Gorakh, Gorakh ’,

But I who am ignorant repeat God’s name.

I know not, O Lord, what my condition shall be.

Worship God, O my soul, so shalt thou sail over the terrible ocean.

The Sanyasis apply ashes to decorate their bodies,

The Brahmacharis altogether avoid women;

But my hopes O God, ignorant though I am, are in Thee.

The Khatri performeth deeds and obtaineth the rank of a hero;

The Sudars and the Vaisyas work for others.

God’s name hath saved me who am ignorant.

The whole creation is Thine, Thou pervadest every place.

Nanak, God giveth greatness to the holy.

I being blind have set up God as my prop.[201]

The Guru continued:  Even if one go on a pilgrimage, the Name ought to be praised. Indeed, it is by praising the Name all advantages, whether temporal or spiritual, are obtained; and it was for the magnification of the Name places of pilgrimages were established on spots frequented by great Rikhis and Munis who had spent their days in that form of devotion. On the other hand, making pilgrimages involveth great sufferings and ruffleth the temper, whereas the pilgrimage of the Name requireth no exertion and causeth no exasperation. What is even the Tribeni—a place so holy in the estimation of the Hindus? The Tribeni of the Sikhs is to repeat God’s name, sing His praises, and know Him present in every heart. Without intelligence and discrimination men go astray at pilgrimages. What pilgrimages did Kabir and Rav Das make? Yet they obtained salvation and are reverenced by the world. They each abode in a hut at the pilgrimage of the Name. The restraint of their desires they made the four walls of their lowly dwellings. Love and devotion were their roofs, and divine knowledge and meditation the beams on which they rested. They kept the love of God in their hearts to preserve them from the rain of bad company, the cold of superstition, and the heat of avarice. By dwelling in such huts men need not wander on pilgrimages, and may easily obtain deliverance from transmigration.’

Sri Chand, the elder son of Baba Nanak, wore long hair, wandered a naked hermit, and established the sect of the Udasis. He would not go to meet either Guru Angad or Guru Amar Das, but, now that a long time had elapsed since his father’s death, and he had partially forgotten his imaginary grievances, he thought he would visit Guru Ram Das. When he arrived in the suburbs of Goindwal, the Guru went and took him, as the son of Guru Nanak, an offering of sweets and five hundred rupees in money. Sri Chand on beholding Guru Ram Das, thought him the very image of Guru Nanak. In the course of conversation Sri Chand remarked to him that he had grown a long beard. The Guru replied, 'Yes, I have grown a long beard that I may wipe thy feet therewith ’; whereupon the Guru proceeded to suit the action to the word. Sri Chand felt abashed, drew back his feet from the Guru, and said, ‘ O great king, thou art senior, thou art in my father's place. It is magic like this which hath made thee a Guru. I possess no such power, and therefore was I superseded. I cannot express thy greatness. The Sikhs who come to behold thee shall be saved.’

One day the Guru, while meditating on Guru Amar Das, remembered that he had received from him a parting injunction to preach the true Name everywhere, and make a supreme place of pilgrimage at Amritsar. He asked his brothers-in-law, Mohan and Mohri, to accompany him thither for the purpose, but they refused. He went himself and spent several months there excavating the tank ordered by Guru Amar Das. In process of time a deputation of Sikhs came to him from Lahore inviting him to extend his journey to their ancient city. They said, ‘ Since thy parents died, thou hast not visited thy birth-place. Return home, meet thy relations, preach to the Sikhs, and bless thy city. Wherever thou treadest, thou savest numberless sinners.’

The Guru accordingly proceeded to Lahore. As he approached that city, his relations and Sikhs came forth to meet him. He remained there for some time, turned his parents’ house into a temple, and built a well near it for the devotional ablutions of his followers. During his sojourn in his natal city he made many converts. It is said that his person and his words possessed such attractive power, that all who came under his influence felt constrained to embrace his religion. In due time he returned to Goindwal.

Chapter 2

A company of Jogis with their superior went to make trial of the Guru. They said: 'Great king, thy Sikhs practise not Jog with its eight limbs or accessories, and without doing so the mind is never at peace. Until the mind is at peace, God is not obtained; until God is obtained salvation is impossible; and until salvation is obtained the soul shall wander through the eighty-four lakhs of existences. O Guru, how can thy Sikhs obtain salvation? What advantage do they gain by serving thee? ’

The Guru replied: 'As the teats on a goat’s neck yield no milk, so Jog without piety yieldeth no advantage. My Sikhs are family men, and may obtain salvation in that condition of life. It would be impossible for them to practise Jog. The best means of practising Jog is the repetition of the Name. The Name is implanted in the hearts of my Sikhs, and they repeat it day and night. All persons in whose hearts there are love and devotion, shall undoubtedly obtain deliverance from transmigration. Wealth or supernatural power may strive to lead them astray, but will not succeed. Profit or loss, joy or sorrow, praise or blame never cause them to waver. At every breath they repeat the Name of Sri Wahguru, the immortal God. They never incline to mammon or worldly advantages, since they know that all such things are perishable and delusive like a mirage. He who hath no: divine knowledge, is like a man in a lonely forest in the heat of the year, who searcheth for water but findeth only a sandy waste. The sun above him burneth his head, the sand beneath him his feet, and he findeth no respite from his sufferings. He who on the contrary hath divine knowledge, knoweth that it is not water, but a sea of sand that is before him, that everything is false and that God alone is true. Without love and devotion to God all other means of obtaining salvation are unprofitable. O Jogis, it is very difficult even for yourselves to practise Jog in this age, and you can never obtain perfection by it. Even if you obtain supernatural power, it is very difficult to fix your attention on God, for the mind wandereth in every direction, and is not at rest even for a moment. But, supposing it were possible to practise Jog, thoughts of wealth and supernatural power would ultimately lead men astray. Their desire is to obtain money, beautiful women, fame, greatness, and honour. In such aspirations man forgetteth God. They who know Him are never led astray. However potent their temptations may be, they conquer them, and therefore enjoy the sweets of divine knowledge and meditation. A man may wear a Jogi’s garb, but without devotion in his heart God never entereth it. It must be one of our main objects to extricate ourselves from the mire of the world.’ The Guru completed his instructions to the Jogis by repeating to them the following hymn:—

O Jogi, when thou touchest the strings only with thy hands, thy lute is played in vain.

Under the Guru’s instruction utter God’s praises, O Jogi, and dye thy soul with the dye of God’s love.

O Jogi, teach thine intellect divine instruction.

The one God existeth in every age, I bow before Him.

Thou singest in many measures and arguest in many ways, but thy heart is only playing a game.

Thou desirest to work thy well and water the ground after the oxen have gone to pasture.

Perform the duty of sowing God’s name in the soil of thy body; God will then germinate and there shall be a verdant field.

Yoke a constant mind for a bullock and by means of it irrigate thy love of God with the Guru’s instruction.

Jogis, Jangams and all creation, O Lord, are Thine; they walk by the wisdom Thou givest.

O Lord of slave Nanak, searcher of hearts, turn my soul unto Thee.[202]

On account of the general impression produced by the Guru’s teaching, people of every class and religion flocked to see and hear him, and there was a great accession of converts. Several persons, as usual in such cases, became envious of his fame and success, and foremost among them was a third Tapa or penitent.[203] He said: 'This is really the terrible Kal age. I a penitent bear cold and heat, yet people heed me not, while they reverence this married man as a guru.’ Thus the Tapa spluttered, and foamed, and impotently raged. One day he repaired to the Guru’s court and thus addressed him: 'O Guru, thy Sikhs are very proud; they accept not the Veds or Shastars; they make no pilgrimages; nor do they fast, perform the usual religious duties of Hindus, or practise austerities of any sort. They only reverence thee and recognize thy compositions. Their adoration is confined to the utterance of Wahguru. These misguided people are losing the advantages of their human birth. Pray tell me, sir, however can they go to heaven? ’ The Guru replied: 'O Tapa, my Sikhs desire not heaven. Heaven they deem not fit reward for their merits. They never engage in worship which is merely intended for the admiration of the public. Their minds are absorbed in God’s love. That is their heaven and their salvation. Thou knowest not the glory of the saints. Thou hast forsaken the real thing, attached thyself to false ceremonies, and forfeited thy salvation. Thy mind is filled with pride. Through pride and boasting men completely lose their way in this world. Without faith no devotion, penance, or worship availeth. They who possess no faith are drowned in lust, wrath, worldly love, covetousness, pride, and whatever else there is of evil. It is not so with my Sikhs. Their confidence and trust are reposed in the one immortal God. At every breath they repeat His name, and thus easily merit salvation. They need not penances or pilgrimages. They are in themselves pure and holy places.’ The Guru composed the following on the occasion:—

The Ganges, the Jamna, the Godavari, and the Saraswati make efforts to obtain the dust of the saints’ feet.

They say ‘The filth of sin which falleth into us from those who are full of it, is washed away by the dust of the saints’ feet.’

Bathe in the Name as in the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage.

When the dust of the saints’ feet riseth and falleth into the eyes, it removeth all the filth of evil inclinations.

Bhagirath[204] by penance brought down the Ganges, and Shiv established Kedarnath[205] and Banaras;

Krishan herded cows in Bindraban; but it was by producing saints of God that all these -places became famous.

All the places of pilgrimage which the gods established long for the dust of the saints’ feet, and say—

'When we meet a saint of God and a holy man of the Guru, we will apply the dust of his feet to our foreheads.’

O my Lord, all Thy creation longeth for the dust of the saints’ feet.

Nanak, God granteth the dust of the saints’ feet to him on whose forehead it hath been written, and saveth him.[206]

It is said the Tapa was convinced on hearing this hymn, and embraced the Sikh religion.

The Guru occupied most of his time in composing hymns breathing great devotional fervour and in receiving and addressing his Sikhs. Piles of wealth were offered him, but his thoughts turned not in that direction.

Among the Sikhs at Goindwal was a simple man called Handal, a native of Jandiala in the present district of Amritsar, who was ever on the alert to perform submissive service for the Guru. Handal continually repeated God’s name, conversed with no one, and remained absorbed in devotion. He was unaffected by joy or sorrow, and every one loved him on account of his child-like nature; but he himself bore neither love nor hate to any one, and was known as a saint. One day the Guru went to visit his kitchen. There he saw willing Sikhs at work. Handal, who was kneading flour at the time, was delighted to see him, and prepared to prostrate himself before him. As the wet flour was adhering to his hands, he put them behind his back, so that they might not be seen, and then threw himself at the Guru’s feet. The Guru was gratified on seeing his true and humble devotion—O Handal, thy love is pleasing to my soul; thou hast prostrated thyself in a new manner. Thy service is complete. What thou desirest, that will I give thee.’ The Guru blessed him, gave him a robe of honour, granted him deliverance, and thus addressed him: Return to thy native town, repeat the Name, initiate Sikhs, and keep them on the Guru’s way. Have confidence in none but the Creator and the true Guru.’ Handal went home, and lived in Jandiala, where a shrine has been erected in his honour. His followers do not perform the Hindu obsequies, nor take the bones of the dead to the Ganges. The vessels and clothes offered by the Hindus to the dead, to wear on their journey, are by the Handalis applied to their own wants instead of being distributed to the inferior priests who minister at Hindu funeral rites. Strange to say, it was the descendants of this pious man who introduced falsehood into the lives of the Gurus, and destroyed the first authentic accounts of their lives.

Chapter 3

About that time Gur Das, author of ‘Wars' and ‘Kabits’, went to visit the Guru.[207] He prostrated himself before him and said, 'My lord, thou art the honour of the unhonoured, the life of the holy, the protector of the poor. I have come to seek thy protection. Make me a disciple of thine.’ The Guru was ever pleased to accede to such a request, and, having heard of Gur Das’s good report as a Sikh, directed him to go to Agra and preach the Sikh religion there. Bhai Gur Das became a famous and successful preacher. He sent several of the Agra Sikhs to the Guru, who taught them the advantages of human birth and the necessity of working out ultimate salvation therein. The Guru at that time composed the following for the instruction of his Sikhs in the practice of their religion:—

Let him who calleth himself a Sikh of the true Guru, rise early and meditate on God;

Let him exert himself in the early morning, bathe in the tank of nectar,

Repeat God’s name under the Guru’s instruction, and all his sins and trangressions shall be erased.

Let him at sunrise sing the Guru’s hymns, and whether sitting or standing meditate on God’s name.

The disciple who at every breath meditateth on God, will please the Guru’s heart.

The Guru communicateth instruction to that disciple of his to whom my Lord is merciful.

The slave Nanak prayeth for the dust of the feet of that Guru’s disciple who himself repeateth God’s name and causeth others to do so.[208]

The Guru again reminded his disciples of the order of Guru Amar Das to make a nectareous tank—the sacred Sikh tank in Amritsar—as a second place of Sikh pilgrimage, and exhorted them to assist in completing the work he had begun. The Guru and his party proceeded to a thick forest filled with luxuriant Indian trees. He rested beneath the shade of the shisham tree near which he had previously laid out the tank and done some excavation.

The Kardar, or magistrate and revenue collector, of Patti, a town in the Lahore district, had five daughters, but was not favoured with a son. All the daughters are described as beautiful, virtuous, and obedient. Four of them were married, and happened at the time to be visiting their parents, but the youngest had not yet been even betrothed. One day the whole five went to bathe and enjoy the fresh air in their father's country garden. As they were returning home, they met a company of saints engaged in divine worship. One of the saints burst forth into God’s praises. The four married ladies went home, while the unmarried one remained to hear the holy man as he sang the eighth slok of the Asa ki War.

The saint thus concluded his discourse: ‘ God is the Cherisher and Lord of all. He is the Cause of causes. He setteth everything in motion, and hold-eth everything in His own power. It is the one God who destroyeth and preserveth, who produceth and cherisheth.’ When the young lady heard this and similar instruction, divine love sprang up within her. She then and there divested herself of her jewels and superfluous costly raiment, and distributed them among the saints. Having thus gratified her spiritual promptings she went home, and there continued to be absorbed in God’s love. She lost no time in communicating to her sisters the instruction and spiritual satisfaction she had received.

When her mother heard that her youngest daughter had suddenly undertaken the role of preacher, she became very angry, and informed her husband. The father, in order to make trial of his daughters, summoned them all to his presence, and asked who gave them to eat and drink, and who cherished and protected them. The four married daughters bowing to their father said, that it was their parents who had provided them with food and cherished and protected them. The jewels and ornaments and everything they possessed had been the gifts of their parents. The father, seeing that his youngest daughter was silent, inquired the cause. She then found utterance: ‘ The one God alone is the Cherisher of creation. Parents are only a pretext.’ Her father was very angry on hearing this reply, and again addressed her: 'Who hath given thee clothes and jewels? ’ She replied: ‘ Father dear, all are God’s gifts. It is the Creator who bestoweth everything. He giveth to thee and to me, and protecteth us all.’ The father replied, 'I shall see if God will protect thee.’

After some time a leprous cripple came to the town. His flesh, where not melting away, was eaten by worms, and his whole body emitted a foul odour. To such a man did the angry father marry his pious daughter without her consent and without a dowry. He stripped her even of the jewels and dresses she had retained after her offerings to the saints. It was impossible for her to be pleased with her husband, yet she bore her evil fate with fortitude, and said: 'O God, although I can have no happiness in this world with my husband, yet Thou art my true Lord and Creator. Thou cherisheth the eighty-four lakhs of existences, and wilt also cherish me.’ Saying this she set herself to wait on her leprous spouse, as if he were her god. She begged from door to door, thus maintained him and herself, and wore out her days of sorrow.

One day her husband addressed her: ‘My beloved, my beautiful, other people shun me in disgust, and will not even touch me, but thou waitest on me with extreme self-devotion. I have now one more request to make thee. By granting it God will vouchsafe thee thy reward.’ She replied, 'My body and soul are thine, and as thou orderest so shall I do.' Then her husband said: ‘I was born a cripple, and I afterwards contracted leprosy. I am weak, poor, and miserable. Far from being able to serve others, I cannot maintain myself. Attached to me thou hast undergone great hardship and misery. I have now suffered for my evil acts in former states of existence, but I have done nothing good even in this life. Now do me this last favour by taking me to a place of pilgrimage, that I may endeavour to earn salvation hereafter.’

She procured a basket, put her husband into it, and tenderly bore him on her head to Hardwar, Tribeni, and other places of Hindu pilgrimage in the hope of curing him of his malady. Wandering and wandering, she by the divine guidance of piety and virtue arrived footsore and weary at the very spot which the third Guru had indicated and the fourth Guru had marked out as the site of his tank of nectar, and there laid down her burden. She and her husband were soon seized with an imperious desire for food, and bethought them how it was to be obtained. After much discussion, during which the wife expressed her reluctance to leave her husband, it was decided that he should remain under a ber tree in the cool and grateful proximity of the water, while she departed to the nearest village to beg their daily meal. The leper, left alone, saw two crows fighting. One had a piece of bread in its mouth, which the other tried to snatch. While they were struggling, the bread fell into the pool. Both birds swooped down upon it. On emerging from the tank’s tiny wavelets they became swans of singular whiteness, and flew to Mansarowar, a lake in Tibbat (Thibet) supposed by the Indians to be the natal place of those beautiful birds. The leper saw that the water possessed marvellous healing and cleansing properties, and at once determined to test its efficacy on himself. He left his basket and crawled into the water. The leprosy at once disappeared from the whole of his body except one finger by which he had held on to a branch of the ber tree on the margin. Not only had the leprosy disappeared, but he who had hitherto been a cripple was restored to health and the splendour of manly beauty, and he calmly awaited the return of his darling and faithful spouse from her mendicant excursion.

On arriving, her consternation knew no bounds. In the perfect proportions of the man who stood before her, she could not discover her husband, the recent crippled and maimed leper, and she shrank from his embrace with all the indignation of outraged virtue. In vain did he essay to explain to her the cause of his metamorphosis. She interrupted his narrative with tears and imprecations. Her belief was, that the stranger before her had killed her husband, and now presented himself as an unholy lover in her helplessness and bereavement. The quarrel waxed hot between husband and wife. She refused to accept his statements, and he felt mortified at the incredulity of his hitherto peerless spouse. Remonstrance and argument had no effect on her, and feminine obstinacy temporarily triumphed. With ceaseless objurgations and monitions of divine vengeance she hastened from the presence of the man she believed guilty of such great enormity, to mourn her darling leper in some remote and forlorn solitude.

Some villagers who had accidentally seen the occurrence, bore witness to the fact that it was really the same man she had brought in her basket. The lady still remained sceptical. On this they told her that Guru Ram Das, a famous saint of God, was sitting under a tree not far distant, and if she went to him he would resolve her doubts. Accordingly she and her husband appeared before him. The wife after compliments said: ‘ I am a virtuous woman. I left my leprous husband here and he hath disappeared. This man whom I know not, claimeth to be he, but I believe he is some deceitful person who hath a design on my virtue. I deem not that this pool possesseth such extraordinary efficacy as he allegeth.' The Guru smiled and said: 'Thou sayest this pool hath no such efficacy. It is in fact supreme among all places of pilgrimages. If thou even yet believe not, see this man is affected with leprosy in one finger. Let him dip it into the water, and thou shalt see the result. And whoever batheth in this tank shall obtain balm for his wour.ded spirit! ’ The late leprous cripple put his finger into the water and it was immediately healed. Thus was his wife doubly convinced that it was in reality her husband who had accosted her, and that the pool possessed miraculous virtues. The ber tree still on the spot is that under which she left her crippled husband. The place is called the Dukhbhanjani, or destroyer of sorrow.

After the conjugal reconciliation through the kind offices of the Guru, the faithful couple embraced his religion, and the quondam leper and cripple assisted him in enlarging the tank, building to it flights of descending steps, and rearing on its margin imposing edifices for divine praise and prayer, worthy of the miraculous discovery of the water and its still more miraculous virtue.

His Sikhs were rejoiced on seeing the Guru’s participation in this miracle, and the magistrate of Patti was astonished on hearing of it. He recognized the Guru as a real saint of God, made him offerings, and prostrated himself before him. The magistrate was delighted on again beholding his daughter and seeing her husband restored to ordinary human shape and vigour. Having no son he adopted his completely healed son-in-law. The Guru on that occasion composed the following:—

God is very dear to the hearts of those who have met the society of the saints and whose souls are fascinated by the Word.

Repeat God’s name, meditate on God; it is He who conferreth gifts on all.

O my brethren, God fascinateth my soul.

I sing God’s praises; His servant is honoured by meeting the Guru and the society of saints.

The service of God under the Guru’s instruction is an ocean of happiness; through it wealth, prosperity, and supernatural power fall at man’s feet.

They whose support is God’s name utter it and are adorned thereby.

They who feel angry on hearing the Name are devoid of good fortune and possess a bad and worthless understanding.

Thou mayest throw ambrosia to crows and ravens, but they will only satiate themselves with filth and ordure.

The true Guru, the true speaker is a lake of nectar[209] by bathing wherein crows become swans.

Nanak, blessed, and great, and very fortunate are they whose hearts’ filth is washed away by God’s name under the Guru’s instruction.[210]

The magistrate, on hearing this, became ashamed of his previous perversity. He made over all his property to his son-in-law, went to serve the Guru, and put himself under his instruction and spiritual protection.[211]

The Guru, telling his Sikhs that Santokhsar, the first tank he had undertaken, should be finished by his successor, set about completing his Amritsar, or tank of nectar, as a place of pilgrimage for his followers. He induced all his Sikhs to join in the work, under Bhai Budha’s superintendence, and engaged labourers to assist them. He said that the tank of nectar should be God’s home, and whoever bathed in it should obtain all spiritual and temporal advantages. During the progress of the work the hut in which the Guru first sheltered himself was enlarged for his residence. It is now known as the Guru’s Mahal, or palace.

Chapter 4

Although the Guru’s Sikhs, followers, and admirers of every class came to assist in the excavation of the tank, yet money was necessary to pay further labourers and maintain the Guru’s kitchen. Accordingly Bhai Budha and the foremost Sikhs one day waited on the Guru and represented that further funds were necessary for the completion of the work.

The Guru, after reflection, decided to send his agents to different countries to spread the Sikh religion and also collect the offerings of the faithful. Such agents were called masands. In the time of the Afghan kings, nobles were styled Masnad-i-ali. Hence the word masnad was employed as an ordinary appellation of courtiers. From its frequent use it was changed in the mouths of Sikhs into masand. The Guru was called Sacha Padshah, or the true king, so his agents were styled masands.[212] For some time after their appointment they sent large sums to the Guru, but they afterwards became a generally dishonest body of men, not contributing to the Guru’s treasury, and grasping power as opportunity offered.

An aged couple went to the Guru and prayed him to grant them the favour of a son. He replied that a son was not recorded in their destiny. They said they knew that, but they had come to him to reverse the decree of fate. The Guru then informed them that four sons were to be born to himself, but he would give them one of them and content himself with three. After this Bhagtu[213] was born to the aged couple.

Some Jogis who had previously visited the Guru thought they would return to him to ascertain whether the extension of his fame had filled his heart with pride. They were delighted at finding him possess the same humility, the same suavity, and the same toleration of indignities as before. They then begged him to give them instruction. Full of self-abasement the Guru uttered the following:—

The heart coveteth gold and women, and sweet to it is worldly love.

Man turneth his mind to palaces, mansions, horses, and other pleasures.

O my Lord God, how shall I be saved who think not on Thee?

O my God, such base acts have been mine.

Thou, O God, who possessest excellences and art compassionate, mercifully pardon all my sins.

No beauty is mine, no high birth, and no manners.

What dare I without merits say in Thy presence since

I have not uttered Thy name?

We sinners shall be saved with the Guru. This is the true Guru’s favour.

God gave all men souls, bodies, mouths, noses, and water to use;

He gave them corn to eat, clothes to wear, and pleasures to enjoy.

He who gave them is not remembered by man; the brute thinketh that he hath made them all himself;

Whereas it is Thou, O Searcher of hearts, who hast made all things and pervadest them.

What can we poor creatures do? This is all Thy play, O Lord.

Humble Nanak purchased in the market is a slave of the slaves of God.[214]

On the text that no one can be relied on except God the Guru uttered the following:—

Some rely[215] on their friends, their sons, and their brothers;

Some rely on their marriage relations, and their sons-in-aw;

Some for a special object rely on their king and their headman,

But I rely on God who is everywhere contained.

My reliance is on God; God is my prop.

I have no party or faction except God; I sing His manifold and unnumbered praises.

What man relieth on is perishable;

He who relieth on what is false shall repent of it.

The man who doeth base things shall not be lasting.

My reliance is on God than whom none is more powerful.

All other reliance is an illusion of Maya.

The pagans burn for mammon.

They suffer transmigration and lose their game.

I rely on God who adjusteth everything in this world and the next.

Lust, wrath, avarice, worldly love, and pride have increased;

And, on account of the quarrels resulting from these deadly sins, there are many factions in this age.

God causeth him to whom He is merciful to meet His society of the saints.

My partisan is God who hath destroyed all other partisans.

They who feel false worldly love, sit down and form factions.

They guess the faults of others and increase their own conceit.

As they sow so shall they eat.

Nanak’s reliance is on the faith of God which conquereth the whole world.[216]

The Guru then turning to his Sikhs counselled them to consult God in all undertakings, and He would render them assistance.

Whatever work you desire to do tell it to God,

And He will accomplish it; the true Guru beareth true witness to this.

By the company and munificence of the saints you shall taste nectar.

Destroyer of fear, Kind One, preserve the honour of Thy slave.

Nanak, sing God’s praises, and thou shalt find Him though unseen to the world[217]

Put aside lust, wrath, falsehood, and slander; renounce mammon, and cease to be proud.

Renounce lust for woman, renounce worldly love, then shalt thou obtain the Bright One in this dark world.

Renounce ideas of honour or dishonour and love of sons and wives; renounce greed and desire, and fix thine attention on God.

Nanak, he in whose heart the True One dwelleth, shall by means of the true Word be absorbed in God’s name.[218]

One Tiratha went to the Guru to be instructed how he could free himself from his sins and obtain mental peace. The Guru replied: ‘ Ever speak the truth, than which there is nothing more meritorious. The true Guru will ever assist him who speaketh the truth. God is truth, and he who speaketh truth shall be absorbed in Him.’

Three Sikhs, Bishan Das, Manak Chand, and Puru went to visit the Guru, and begged him to give them instruction for their own salvation and that of their families. The Guru bade them serve Sikhs and induce their relations to do likewise. Bishan Das, Manak Chand, and Puru were further directed to consider their families as God’s gift, and repeat with them the Creator’s name.

The Guru instructed Maiya, Japa, Kanaiya, and Tulsa to love the Guru’s hymns beyond their own affairs. 'Whenever you read the Guru’s hymns, keep your attention on their meaning, and never allow your minds to wander. As a sick horse is curbed to receive medicine, so must the mind be restrained for the purpose of receiving the Guru’s hymns and their advantages. Withdraw your minds from evil, and reflect on what the Guru said and what is due to yourselves.’

Seven Sikhs, named Dharam Das, Dugar Das, Dipa, Jetha, Sansari, Bula, and Tirath, asked the Guru to tell them how they could be saved. He replied as follows: ‘In the first place, abandon mental pride, adopt humility, slander not, eschew vice, serve out of your own resources the Sikhs who visit you. Cheerfully give them food and clothing. Grant their requests and refuse them not. When a Sikh hath an important work in hand, join him and pray for him; and if you see that it cannot be accomplished without money, collect subscriptions for him from every quarter, and at the same time contribute yourselves. Bring a Sikh work to completion, and you shall obtain the essence of happiness. Whenever there is a congregation of the holy, cause the word of God to be adequately preached and sung. Go devoutly hither in the evening and the morning, and imbue your minds with love. To the best of your ability rear to God a beautiful temple, and appoint thereto a priest who is competent to expound His word. Let the wayfarer ever be fed, whether by one Sikh or by many together. Remember the Name, and you shall obtain indescribable spiritual advantage therefrom. Serve the holy, than which there is no greater work of charity. By attending to these instructions you shall obtain happiness in this world and dwell near your Guru in the next.'

While the tank was being excavated, dwellings arose in the vicinity for the accommodation of the Guru’s Sikhs, visitors, and workmen; and in time a beautiful city was constructed, which was at first called Ramdaspur,[219] or the city of Ram Das, and finally Amritsar, as it is now known.

Sahari Mai, the Guru’s first cousin, came from Lahore specially to invite him to grace his son’s marriage with his presence. The Guru represented all the difficulties there would be were he to leave Amritsar. Sikhs were daily coming to see him and receive instruction, and it would be improper for him to neglect his duty as Guru. In the second place, wherever he went he was accompanied by a large crowd of followers; and it would not be right to impose the burden of feasting them all on the parents of the bride. In lieu of himself the Guru consented to send one of his sons. He addressed Prithi Chand, generally known as Prithia, but he made excuses. He said that he had never before been separated from his father, and he did not wish to leave him now. He represented how important it was that he should remain at home to take charge of the offerings, and to ensure that they were not misappropriated. It was also necessary for him to attend the Guru’s kitchen, and take care that strangers received due attention. The Guru replied that his own business was never interrupted, and some other Sikh would willingly undertake Prithia’s duties. Prithia finally urged that he dreaded the turmoil of weddings, and should feel unhappy if he went. Prithia had two motives of his own for refusing. He was in charge of the offerings, and was able to furtively set aside much wealth for himself. If he went to Lahore this illicit gain would fall to some one else. The time, too, was approaching for the selection of a Guru in succession to his father, and he apprehended supersession during his absence. ’

The Guru then addressed his second son, Mahadev, who was a religious enthusiast and heeded not sublunary affairs. He replied that he had no relations or connexions in the world, and, that being the case, why should he entangle himself in any such enterprise? The Guru then addressed himself to his youngest son, Arjan, who when not in attendance on his father was constantly engaged in devotion, who was possessed of all saintly qualities, and regarded no wealth or worldly advantages. The Guru asked him to go with his relation to Lahore, and after the wedding remain at the temple there to give religious instruction to the Sikhs. Arjan replied that he only desired his father’s pleasure. It was but a wedding and an occasion of rejoicing; but even were it a mission which involved danger of life, he would go all the same and gladly obey his father’s orders. The Guru was well pleased, and again directed him to tarry some time in Lahore, and not return until he had received a written invitation. While there, whatever offerings Arjan should receive were to be consigned to his kitchen to feed the poor and the stranger, so that none should be sent away hungry.

Before his departure his mother went to call him in the early morning, and asked him to repeat God’s name. This was preparatory to giving him the maternal advice and uttering for him the prayer which he subsequently versified in the following hymn:—

Ever repeat the name of that God who hath no end or limit;

By remembering Him all sin is removed and ancestors are saved.

O my son, this is thy mother’s blessing.

May God never forget thee for a moment, and do thou ever repeat the name of the Lord of the world!

May the true Guru be merciful to thee and mayest thou love the saints!

May God’s preservation of thine honour be thy raiment, and singing His praises thy daily food!

Ever quaff the nectar of God’s name; mayest thou live long and may the remembrance of God afford thee endless delight!

May joy and pleasure be thine; may thy desires be fulfilled and mayest thou never feel anxiety!

Let thy heart become the bumble-bee, and God’s feet the lotus for thee.[220]

Nanak, attach thyself to them with the delight the chatrik findeth in raindrops.[221]

Chapter 5

One day, in conversation with his Sikhs in Lahore, Arjan expressed the regret he felt at his long separation from his father. They accordingly suggested that he should write to him for his recall. Arjan was pleased with the suggestion and said, 'Although the Guru appeareth to have forgotten us, we have never forgotten him.’ Upon this he addressed the following to his father:—

My soul longeth for a sight of the Guru;

It crieth like the chatrik for raindrops.

My thirst is not quenched, and I have no rest without a sight of the dear saint.

I am a sacrifice, I am a sacrifice to a sight of the Guru, the dear saint.

He sent this quatrain by a Sikh to the Guru. When the Sikh reached Amritsar the Guru was taking his afternoon repose. Prithia recognized the messenger as the servant who had accompanied Arjan to Lahore. He called him, and asked if he had brought a letter. He replied that he had, and unsuspectingly delivered it. Prithia on reading it became filled with jealousy. He knew he could not have written the verses himself, and he feared that, if the Guru saw them, he might appoint Arjan as his successor. He therefore concealed the letter and sent a verbal reply in his father’s name, telling Arjan to remain in Lahore and not return until he was sent for. Arjan on receiving this message knew it had been sent by Prithia and not by his father the Guru, and on questioning the messenger, discovered what had occurred. He then wrote a second quatrain and dispatched it with strict orders to deliver it only to the Guru. It was as follows:—

Thy face is beautiful, the sound of thy words giveth composure.

It is long since I have seen my lord.

Blest is the land where thou dwellest, O my saint, friend, and lord.

I am a sacrifice, I am a sacrifice to the holy Guru, my friend and lord.

Prithia was lying in wait for the messenger and forcibly took possession of Arjan’s second letter. On reading it he became more incensed than before. In his father’s name he sent a second message, ‘ Remain at Lahore for some time yet and come not without orders. I will myself shortly go to fetch thee.’ Prithia instructed the servant to take the message quickly, or the Guru would be angry with him. What Prithia really feared was that if the servant delayed in Amritsar, the Guru might come to know the deceit that was being practised. The servant on reaching Lahore told Arjan how Prithia had taken possession of the letter. On this Arjan wrote and despatched a third quatrain to his father:—

When I was separated from thee for a ghari, it seemed an age.

When shall I now meet thee, O my beloved lord?

I cannot pass the night, and sleep cometh not without beholding the Guru’s court.

I am a sacrifice, I am a sacrifice to that court of the true Guru.

On this letter Arjan took the precaution of writing No. 3, so that his father might know that two other letters had previously been dispatched. Arjan on this occasion gave urgent instruction to the messenger that the letter should only be handed to the Guru himself.

Prithia, as before, was waiting to intercept the third letter. The messenger was also on his guard, and, on seeing Prithia, hid himself. Prithia could not be for ever on the watch. When he went to his private house for reflection, the messenger took the opportunity to approach the Guru and give him his son Arjan's letter. The Guru on seeing it noticed that it bore the number 3, but only this one letter had reached him. The messenger told him what had previously occurred, whereat the Guru was much incensed. Prithia, who did not wish to remain long absent, arrived by the time the messenger had finished his narrative. The Guru asked Prithia what had become of the first two letters. He replied that he did not remember where they had been put. He would search and bring them. The Guru thrice asked him if he did not know where the letters were, and thrice he swore by the Guru's holy feet that he had no knowledge of them. Upon this the Guru, reading his secret thoughts, told him that the letters were concealed in his coat pocket at home. The Guru sent a servant to Prithia’s house with a request to his wife to send Prithia’s coat which was hanging on a peg on the wall. The servant brought the coat, and in its pocket were found the two missing letters!

Bhai Budha then by order of the Guru proclaimed Prithia’s villainy to the whole assembly. Prithia was thoroughly ashamed, and found no retreat in subterfuge and no pardon in apology. The Guru said: ‘ Prithia’s deception hath been laid bare before the Sikhs. A trial hath been made as to whether he is noble or base, obedient or disobedient to the Guru.' The Guru then at once dispatched Bhai Budha to Lahore with a carriage to bring Arjan home with all possible speed. After Arjan’s arrival and obeisance to his father, the Guru remarked to him that he had previously sent three quatrains, and suggested him to write a fourth that the hymn might be complete. On this he extemporized the following:—

It is my good fortune to have met the holy Guru,

And I have found the Immortal God in my own home.

May I serve thee and never again be separated from thee for an instant! Nanak is thy slave.

I am a sacrifice, and my soul is a sacrifice unto thee: Nanak is thy slave.[222]

On hearing this the Guru was highly pleased and embraced his son. He then addressed him the following brief but pregnant words: ‘Guru Amar Das declared that the Guruship was the reward of merit. As only he who is lowly and humble-minded may lay claim to it, I grant it to thee.’ Saying this the Guru sent for five paise and a coco-nut, placed them before Arjan, and descending from his throne seated him on it in presence of the whole assembly. Bhai Budha affixed the tilak or mark of spiritual sovereignty to Arjan’s forehead, and he was publicly proclaimed Guru amid universal manifestations of delight. Guru Ram Das said, ‘ Guru Arjan hath become the world's Guru, and, as one lamp is lighted from another, so the Guru’s spirit hath passed into him, and will dispel the darkness of the world.'

When Guru Arjan went to embrace his mother, he said: 'All my anxieties have been removed. Having earned the true name of God, I have come home.’ He then composed the following:—

The wealth of God’s name hath become my devotion, the wealth of God’s name my penance, the wealth of God’s name my food.

May I not forget for a moment Him whom I have obtained in the company of the saints!

O mother, thy son hath come home to thee with profit.

I possess God’s wealth walking, God’s wealth sitting, God’s wealth waking and sleeping.

God’s wealth is mine ablutions, God’s wealth my divine knowledge; I fix mine attention on God.

God’s wealth is my raft, God’s wealth my boat; it is God’s wealth which shall take me across.

God’s wealth hath caused me to forget my worldly anxiety; God’s wealth hath removed my doubts of salvation.

From God’s wealth I have obtained the nine treasures;

I have come into the possession of God as wealth.

I may eat and spend this wealth without exhausting it; it will abide with me in this world arid the next.

God loaded a treasure, and gave it to Guru Nanak; my mind is imbued with God’s love.[223]

Prithia, whose anger knew no bounds, addressed offensive language to his father, and then informed Bhai Budha that his father had acted improperly. The Guruship was his own right, yet it had been given to his youngest brother. He vowed that he would remove Guru Arjan, seat himself on the Guru’s throne, and the Emperor himself would admit the justice of his claim. The Guru addressed Prithia the following by way of remonstrance:—

Why, O my son, quarrel with thy father?

It is a sin to quarrel with him who begot thee and reared thee.

The wealth of which thou art proud belongeth to no one.

In a moment shalt thou abandon the pleasures of sin, and then shalt thou repent.

Repeat His name who is thy dear Lord, thy Master, and thy God.

The slave Nanak giveth thee instruction; if thou hearken unto it, thy regrets shall depart.[224]

Notwithstanding this remonstrance Prithia continued to use offensive language to the author of his existence. ‘ Fine mercy thou hast shown me! Thou hast conferred the Guruship on thy youngest son and told me falsehoods. Thou hast told me to repeat God’s name. Practise what thou preachest, and let Arjan, who hath been honoured by thee, also heed thine instructions.’ Guru Ram Das then uttered the following:—

They render God hearty worship on whose forehead such destiny was recorded in the beginning.

How can one be jealous of those whom my God the Creator assisteth?

Meditate on God, O my soul, meditate on God; He is the Remover of the troubles of every birth.

God in the beginning bestowed on his saints the ambrosial storehouse of saintship.

The fool who trieth to rival them, shall have his face blackened both in this world and the next.

They are saints, they are worshippers to whom God’s name is dear.

God is obtained by their service; ashes shall be thrown on the slanderer’s head.

He in whose house this occurreth knoweth what is proper; ask Guru Nanak the world’s Guru, and reflect on it.

In the case of the four Gurus none hath ever obtained the Guruship by revilings; it is by God’s service the Guruship is obtained.[225]

When Prithia still continued to insult his father, the latter ordered him out of his sight, and said, 'Thou art a Mina[226]; my Sikhs will not obey thee, and will never associate with thee.’ Bibi Bhani then painfully called to mind the words of Guru Amar Das, namely, ‘ Thou hast dammed the clear flowing stream of the Guruship and consequently great trouble and annoyance shall result.’

While this unpleasant scene was being enacted, night came on, and Guru Arjan, his mother, Bhai Budha, and all the Sikhs went to pay their respects to Guru Ram Das. Guru Ram Das announced that he could not always abide with them, that his end was approaching, and that he would go to die in Goindwal. At his departure so many Sikhs gathered round him that it was difficult for them to obtain a sight of him. He addressed them some parting words of instruction of priceless value, and taking Arjan with him set out for Goindwal.

On arriving at Goindwal, Guru Ram Das bathed in the Bawali, and had interviews with his two brothers-in-law, Mohan and Mohri. The next day he prepared a great feast, at which every one ate his fill. The following morning before day the Guru again bathed, and, having repeated the preamble of the Japji and the Asa ki War, began to meditate on Guru Amar Das. When day dawned and his devotions were at an end, he entrusted his Sikhs to Guru Arjan, directed him to complete the tanks at Amritsar, and repeated for him the main tenets of Sikhism by which he charged him ever to abide.

Bibi Bhani, knowing that these injunctions were the signals of her husband’s death, begged him to take her with him on his final journey. He bade her abide in the world for some days, and then she should meet him. Guru Ram Das’s soul was borne to the celestial regions on the third day of the light half of the month of Bhadon, Sambat 1638 (a. d. 1581). The bard Mathura composed the following on his death:—

Guru Ram Das who was pleasing to God, went to God’s city;

God gave him a throne and seated him on it.

The demigods on receiving thee, O Ram Das, were pleased, and sang victory to thee.

During thy life the sins of the demons[227] trembled within them and they fled.[228]

The sins of those who received Guru Ram Das’s instruction were cut away.

He gave the umbrella and sovereignty of the earth to Guru Arjan.[229]

Hymns of Guru Ram Das

Sri Rag 

Praises of the Guru:—

When the Name is obtained the mind is satisfied; without the Name accursed is life.

Let some holy friend who meeteth me point out to me God the Lord of excellence.

I would be quartered for him who showed me the Name.

O my Beloved, I live by meditating on the Name.

Without the Name I could not live; O my true Guru, implant it in me.

The Name is a priceless jewel; the perfect true Guru possesseth it.

By applying myself to the service of the true Guru, he bringeth forth and displayeth the jewel of the Name.

Blest are the very fortunate who come to the Guru and meet him.

They who have not met the true Guru are unfortunate and subject to death.

They shall again wander in birth, and be placed in terrible filth.

Approach not those in whose hearts is the pariah wrath.

The true Guru is a tank of nectar; very fortunate are they who come to bathe therein.

Their impurities of every birth depart, and the pure Name is implanted in them.

The slave Nanak, by fixing his attention on the true Guru, hath obtained the highest dignity.

The excellence of the Name is obtained through the Guru:—

Let me sing God’s praises, let me proclaim God’s praises, let me utter God’s praises, O mother.

The holy man who repeateth His praises is my friend; with him I will sing God’s praises.

When I pierced the diamond of my heart with the diamond of divine knowledge, the deep colour of the Name appeared.

O my God, let me sing Thy praises that my soul may be gratified.

My heart thirsteth for God’s name; may the Guru be pleased to grant it me!

Dye your hearts with the love of God, O ye very fortunate, and the Guru will be pleased to confer on you favours.

I am a sacrifice to that true Guru who lovingly fixeth the Name in my heart.

Without the true Guru, God’s name is not found even though one perform hundreds of thousands and millions of ceremonies.

Without good fortune God is not found, even though He dwell in our homes and be for ever near,

Because a screen widely separateth Him from those in whose hearts there is the pain of ignorance and superstition.

Without meeting the true Guru man becometh not gold; the perverse sink like iron while the boat is hard by.

God’s name is the boat the true Guru provideth; how shall we go on board?

He who walketh according to the will of the true Guru shall sit in the boat.

Hail, hail to the greatly fortunate persons, O Nanak, whom the true Guru blendeth with God!

Man even though silly may be blended with God by piety. This hymn was composed by Guru Ram Das when after his marriage he was invited to make some request:—

Sri Rag Chhant

The girl is silly, how shall she behold God in this world?

When God is merciful the holy learn the affairs of the next world:

The holy learn the affairs of the next world and ever meditate on God.

Woman shall then roam happy among her companions, and triumphantly swing her arm in God’s court.

What balance of Dharmraj’s account shall remain after repeating God’s name?

The girl even though silly shall behold God in this world through the Guru’s instruction.

The marriage is ended, my father; I have found God under the Guru’s instruction.

The Guru hath dispelled the darkness of ignorance, and lit the lamp of divine knowledge:

The Guru hath lit the lamp of divine knowledge, darkness is dispelled, and I have discovered the precious jewel of God’s name.

The malady of pride hath departed, sorrow hath fled, and I have cured my pride under the Guru’s instruction.

I have obtained as my spouse the Deathless One, the Imperishable, who shall never die or be born.

The marriage is ended, O my father; I have obtained God under the Guru’s instruction.

God is very true, my father; when God’s saints meet, the marriage procession is beautiful.

She who repeateth God’s name shall be happy in this world and be really beautiful in the next:

In the next she shall be very beautiful who in this world hath remembered the Name.

Profitable are the whole lives of those who under the Guru’s instruction have conquered their minds by throwing the dice of God’s name.

By meeting God’s saints my work hath prospered; for my spouse I have obtained the Joyful Being.

God is very true, my father; when God’s saints meet, the marriage procession is beautiful.

My father, give me God as a gift and dowry.

Give me God as my raiment; give me God as my glory that my work may succeed.

By devotion to God the marriage is easy; the Giver gave me the gift of the true Guru’s name.

Thy glory, O God, shall fill the earth’s continents and the universe; this dowry of the Name cannot be confounded with others.

Any other dowry the perverse may display is false pride and worthless gilding.

My father, give me God as a gift and dowry.

My father, woman on meeting her beloved God extendeth the vine.1

God, who is in every age, ever setteth a-going the Guru’s race;

In every age increaseth the true Guru’s race who under his instruction meditate on the Name.

God shall never be destroyed; what He giveth ever increaseth.

Nanak, the saints and God are one; by repeating God’s name woman is adorned.

My father, woman on meeting her beloved God extendeth the vine.[230]

Sri Rag ki War

True men eat the bread of labour; the false and the deceitful live by begging:—

Thou didst create all things, O Lord; Thou givest sustenance to Thy creatures.

Some live by deceit and fraud, and drop from their mouths falsehood and deception.

Thou hast subjected creatures thereto; Thou doest what pleaseth Thyself.

To others Thou hast explained the truth and given unfailing stores thereof.

The food of those who remember God is profitable, they who remember Him not, stretch out their hands to beg.

There is none to beg from except God, the universal Benefactor:—

Every one belongeth to Thee; Thou art every one’s; Thou art the capital stock of all.[231]

All beg of Thee and ever supplicate Thee.

He to whom Thou givest hath obtained everything; Thou art distant from some and to others Thou art near.

Except Thee there is none to beg from; let some one investigate this in his mind.

All praise Thee; Thy door is open to the holy.

The Guru in a vision presented himself at God’s door:—

I a minstrel of the Lord God went to His door.

God from within heard my cries, and called the minstrel into His presence.

Having called the minstrel, He asked him for what object he had come.

'Thou ever bestowest gifts, merciful Lord, grant me to meditate on Thy name.'

Nanak, God the Giver caused me to repeat His name and clothed me with a robe of honour.


The advantage of the society of the saints:—

I meditate on God’s excellences and name,

And in company with the saints I cause His name to dwell in my heart.

The Lord God is inaccessible and inapprehensible; but His delights are obtained on meeting the true Guru.

Blessings on those men of God who know Him.

I shall go and ask them to tell me of God.

On meeting the men of God, I will shampoo their feet, rub and wash them, and drink the divine essence.

The true Guru the giver made fast in me God’s name.

Very fortunate am I who have obtained a sight of the Guru.

In uttering the true ambrosial Name which is received from the perfect Guru, I drink nectareous essence.

O God, cause me to meet the society of the saints, the true beings.

On meeting them I shall meditate on God’s name.

Nanak, may I under the Guru’s instruction hear of God, speak of Him, and regale myself with His name!

The Guru shows the one God who pervades all things but is distinct from them:—

Come, my sisters, meet me, my dear ones:

I am a sacrifice to her who shall show me my Beloved.

On meeting the society of the saints I have found God the Friend, and am a sacrifice to the true Guru.

Whithersoever I look, there is the Lord.

Thou pervadest every heart, Thou Searcher of hearts.

The perfect Guru hath shown me God who is with me;

I am ever a sacrifice to the true Guru.

There is but one breath, one matter, and one light in all things.

One light pervadeth all things but is distinct in each; there is no light equal thereto.

By the favour of the Guru the one God hath been seen; in everything I am a sacrifice to the true Guru.

Nanak speaketh words of nectar

Which are dear and pleasing to the hearts of his disciples.

The perfect true Guru giveth instruction; he is beneficent to others.

Majh ki War 

Some of the attributes of the Guru:—

He in whose heart there is truth hath the true Name, and uttereth the truth with his mouth;

He walketh in God’s way himself, and causeth others to do so.

If there be a river on our way, it will wash away filth; by bathing in a pond[232] more filth attacheth to one.

The true Guru who meditateth on God night and day is the perfect river.

He is saved himself with his family, and by giving God’s name he saveth the whole world.

The slave Nanak is a sacrifice to him who repeateth God’s name and causeth others to do so.

Ram Das is happy beyond expression in the society of Guru Amar Das:—

The beggar is happy when a householder giveth him alms;

The hungry man is happy when he taketh food;

The disciple is happy and contented when he meeteth his Guru.

Grant me, O Lord, a sight of Thee in whom is my hope.

Mercifully fulfil my desires.

The chakwi is happy when she seeth the sun:

She then meeteth her beloved and all her sorrow departeth.

The disciple is happy when he beholdeth his Guru;

The calf is happy when it sucketh milk;

Its heart is glad when it seeth its dam;

The disciple is happy when he beholdeth his Guru.

All other affections are worldly and false,

And shall perish like false and temporary gilding.

The slave Nanak is happy and contented with the true Guru.

Happy is the family in which a religious son has been born:—

As the mother nourisheth her foetus in the hope of its being a son—

'When he is big he will earn and allow me money which will give me enjoyment—'

So the man of God loveth God, and God will render him assistance.

O my God, I am foolish, preserve me, O my Lord.

Thy servant’s praise is Thy glory.

They to whose hearts God’s praises are pleasing, rejoice in their palaces and homes.

When they sing God’s praises, they taste all sweets.

The man of God is the saviour of his family; he shall deliver twenty-one generations,[233] yea, the whole world.

Whatever hath been done hath been done by God and is His glory.

O God, all creatures are Thine; Thou pervadest them all, and causest them to worship Thee.

O God, Thou causest them to acquire the treasure of devotion and Thou Thyself apportionest it.

I am Thy slave purchased in a shop; what skill hath this creature?

Wert Thou, O God, to seat me on a throne, I should still be Thy slave; cause me even as a lowly grass-cutter to utter Thy name.

Nanak is God’s slave, and magnifieth Him.

The earnings of the holy:—

The husbandman laboureth and hopeth in his heart,

While yoking his plough and making his efforts, that his sons and daughters shall eat the fruits of his labour;

So the man of God uttereth God’s name that God may at last deliver him.

O my God, accomplish my salvation, foolish though

I am!

Apply me, O God, to the work of serving the true Guru.

As the merchant who taketh horses for traffic,

Earneth money and entertaineth hopes that his wealth shall increase;

So the man of God uttereth the name of God, and is happy in uttering it.

The shopkeeper collecteth wares and sitting in his shop dealeth in them:

His wealth is false, its display is false, he is wrapped up in falsehood.

The man of God collecteth divine wealth and taketh God with him as his viaticum.

Love of wealth and family is a snare when man turneth away from God.

He who is the slave of God’s slaves shall be saved under the Guru’s instruction.

Nanak, they who ponder on the Name under the Guru’s instruction shall be enlightened.

The fervour of the Guru’s devotion:—

The desire for God is ever in my mind and heart; O God, how shall I behold Thee?

He who loveth God knoweth the 'pleasure thereof; God is very dear to my mind and heart.

I am a sacrifice to my Guru who hath caused me to meet my Creator from whom I had been separated.

O God, I a sinner have taken refuge at Thy gate.

My understanding hath no merit; mercifully cause me to meet Thee some time.

O God, my demerits are very great, and could never be numbered.

It is Thou who possessest merits; it is Thou who art compassionate; it is Thou who pardonest when Thou pleasest.

I am a sinner, but Thou hast saved me by association with the Guru, who, by teaching me God’s name, hath delivered me.

O my true Guru, how can I recount thy merits? When thou speakest, I become astonished.

Can any one else preserve a sinner like me as the true Guru hath preserved and saved me?

Thou, O Guru, art my father, thou art my mother, thou art my relation and companion.

O God, my True Guru, Thou knowest of Thyself my condition.

I was wandering astray; no one cared for me when the great God placed me a worm near the true Guru.

Hail! hail to the slave Nanak’s Guru, by meeting whom all my sorrow and trouble are at an end.

The Guru ever cherishes his disciples:—

As a woman having given birth to a son nourisheth him and keepeth her eye on him—

In and out of doors she feedeth him and continually fondleth him—

So the true Guru watcheth over his disciple who beareth love and affection to God.

O my God, we are silly children of Thine.

Hail! hail to the Guru, the true Guru, the teacher who hath rendered us wise by divine instruction!

As the white-robed bird[234]  circling and flying in the heavens

Keepeth her thoughts on her young left behind, and ever remembereth them in her heart,

So the true Guru claspeth to his heart that disciple who loveth God.

God preserveth the tongue made of flesh and blood within the scissors of the thirty or thirty-two teeth

Let any one consider if the tongue or the teeth have any power of themselves; know that everything is in the power of God.

When men calumniate the saints, God preserveth His servants’ honour.

My brethren, let no one suppose that any one hath any power; every one acteth as God causeth him to act.

Old age, death, fever, headache, snakebite are all in the power of God. None of these may occur without God’s will.

Nanak, ever so meditate on God’s name in thy heart, that at the last moment it may deliver thee.

The advantage of meeting the true Guru:—

He is called the true Guru whose presence maketh the heart glad;

Then mental doubt vanisheth, and the supreme dignity is obtained.

How shall I meet my beloved true Guru?

I every moment make obeisance that I may meet him.

God mercifully caused me to meet my perfect true Guru.

On applying the ashes of the true Guru his slave’s desires are fulfilled.

Meet such a guru as shall implant God’s service in the heart and teach it to thee.

Thus shall there never be any deficiency; God's profit shall ever be obtained.

He in whose heart there is divine pleasure hath no love for mammon.

Nanak, if such a guru be found, man shall be saved, singing God’s praises.

The debt men owe to the Guru:— .

This mind of many whims resteth not for a moment; it roameth and wandereth in every direction.

They who are very fortunate, have found the perfect Guru who giveth God’s spell by which their minds become fixed.

O God, we are slaves of the true Guru:

The brand hath been branded on our foreheads; we owe a great debt to the Guru:

He conferred on us many kindnesses and favours, and rescued us from the dangerous ocean of fear.

They who have not the love of God in their hearts plot deceitful schemes.

As paper is spoiled by water, so the perverse are ruined by pride.

We know nothing of the past or future; as God placeth us so shall we stand.

O Guru, be merciful to us sinners; saith the slave Nanak, we are thy dogs.

The Guru’s happiness on meeting God:—

O my Gobind,[235] Thou art in my heart, Thou art in my heart: because Thou art in my heart, I am dyed with Thy love.

O my Gobind, the sportive Hari is with me, yet cannot be seen; but the perfect Guru hath shown me the Unseen.

O my Gobind, all poverty and misery depart from him to whom the name of God hath been made manifest.

The highly fortunate have obtained God, the highest dignity, O Gobind, and are absorbed in His name.

O my Gobind, my beloved, hath any one seen the Lord God with his eyes?

My mind and body are very sad, O my Gobind, without God I a woman waste away.

On meeting the saints, O my Gobind, I have found my God, Friend, and Companion.

God, the life of the world, hath come to me, O my Gobind;

I pass the night in happiness.

Ye saints, cause me to meet my God, the Friend; my soul and body hunger for Him.

I cannot live without seeing my Beloved; separation from Him weigheth upon my heart.

God is my Friend and Beloved; the Guru introduced me to Him and my heart revived.

The desires of my soul and body have been fulfilled, O my Gobind; on meeting God my heart expanded.

I am a sacrifice, O my Gobind, my Beloved; I am a hundred times a sacrifice unto Thee.

In my soul and body is the love of the Beloved, O my Gobind, O God preserve my capital.[236]

O my Gobind, let me meet the true Guru, the mediator who will show me the way, and cause me to meet God!

Through Thy mercy, O my Gobind, I have obtained God’s name; the slave Nanak hath entered Thine asylum.

The Guru’s longing for God:—

I suffer from separation from God’s name and from God.

May I meet my Lord, my Friend, and obtain happiness!

On beholding the Lord God I survive, O my mother,

His name is my companion and brother.

Ye dear saints, sing the praises of my Lord God.

Ye greatly fortunate ones, repeat the Name under the Guru’s instruction.

God and God’s name are my life and soul.

By repeating the Name man hath not again to cross the terrible water.

How shall I behold the Lord God, my soul and body’s desire?

Present me to God, ye dear saints, my heart loveth Him.

By the Guru’s word the beloved King is obtained.

Ye greatly fortunate ones, utter His name.

In my soul and body I have a great longing for God.

Ye saints, cause me to meet Gobind who is my Lord God.

By the true Guru’s instruction the Name is ever manifest to me;

So the desires of the slave Nanak’s heart have been fulfilled.

Man ought to keep watch over his refractory mind:—

Gauri Karhale

O refractory[237] soul[238] who comest from afar, how shalt thou meet God?

When I found the Guru by perfect good fortune, the Beloved came and embraced me.

O refractory soul, meditate upon the True Guru;

O refractory and wretched soul, meditate on God’s name,

And when thy account is called for, God Himself will release thee.

O refractory soul, once very pure, the filth of pride hath now attached to thee.

The Beloved Spouse was present in thy house; when thou didst separate from Him, thou wert punished.

O refractory soul, my dear, search for God within thee.

He is not found by contrivance; the Guru showeth Him in thy heart.

O refractory soul, my dear, day and night fix thine attention on God.

When thou findest God through the Guru thou shalt go home and obtain the painted palace.

O refractory soul, my friend, abandon hypocrisy and greed:

The hypocritical and the greedy shall be smitten; Death will punish them with his mace.

O refractory soul, who art dear to me as my life, rid thyself of the filth of hypocrisy and superstition.

The perfect Guru is a tank of divine nectar; when the company of saints is obtained filth departeth.

O refractory soul, my dear, listen only to the instruction of one guide the Guru—

Worldly love may be widely diffused, yet at last nothing shall go with one—

O refractory soul, my friend, take God’s name for thy travelling expenses, and thou shalt obtain honour.

Thou shalt have a dress of honour in God’s court, and God Himself will embrace thee—

O refractory-soul, he who obeyeth the Guru shall under the Guru’s instruction accomplish his work.

Make obeisance before the Guru, O slave Nanak, and he will blend thee with God.

O refractory soul, gifted with the power of reflection, meditate and carefully look.

They who dwell in forests are tired of wandering in them; while they may under the Guru’s instruction behold the Beloved in their own hearts.

O refractory soul, remember God;

O refractory and wretched soul, the perverse are caught in a great net,

While the pious are delivered by remembering God’s name.

O refractory soul, my beloved, search for the True Guru in the society of the saints.

Attached to the society of the saints meditate on God and He will go with thee.

O refractory soul, greatly fortunate are they on whom the one God looketh with favour.

If God deliver thee, thou shalt be delivered; worship the true Guru’s feet.

O refractory soul, my beloved, think of the Light within thy body.

When the merciful God conferreth a gift on thee, the Guru will show thee the Name which is the nine treasures.

O refractory soul, thou fickle-minded, lay aside thy perverse cleverness.

Remember God’s name, and at the last moment He will grant thee deliverance.

O refractory soul, very fortunate shalt thou be if thou treasure the gem of divine knowledge.

The divine knowledge of the Guru is a sword held in the hand to destroy the god of death.

Within thee is the treasure, O refractory soul, yet thou wanderest abroad in doubt searching for it.

When thou meetest the perfect Guru, thou shalt find God the Friend who is with thee.

O refractory soul, ever remember the love of God and thou shalt be imbued with it.

By serving the Guru and remembering his instruction the dye of God shall never fade.

We are birds, O refractory soul, and God the immortal Being is a tree.

Nanak, very fortunate are the pious who remembering the Name find the Tree.

Gauri ki War I 

A message of love:—

Hear, my Friend, this message of love; mine eyes are fixed on Thee.

When the Guru is pleased he blendeth me with the Friend, and then the slave Nanak sleepeth in peace.

Men should not be jealous of the Guru, who is specially favoured of God:—

Know that he is great whom the Lord maketh great.

God pardoneth him who is pleasing to Him.

If any one try to rival Him he is an insensate fool.

He whom the true Guru causeth to meet Him, singeth His praises and dilateth on them.

Nanak, true is the True One; he who knoweth Him is absorbed in the truth.

The Guru is the soil in which religion is planted:—

The true Guru is the field of religion; as man planteth in it, so he gathereth fruit.

The Guru’s Sikhs plant ambrosia and obtain God as their ambrosial fruit.

Their faces are bright in this world and the next, and they shall obtain a true robe of honour in God’s court.

Some whose hearts are base ever act basely; as they plant, so the fruit they eat.

When the true Guru the banker looketh at them and assayeth them, their gilding is all laid bare.

As they meditate, so they obtain, and so God maketh them known.[239]

Nanak, the Lord God Himself pervadeth both the good and the bad;[240] he ever beholdeth the acts of all.

Man’s regeneration must depend on himself:—

Man hath one mind; the one God pervadeth it; as the mind turneth,[241] such is its acceptance.

Man may say what he pleaseth; it is what he hath at home he eateth.[242]

Without the true Guru there is no understanding, and pride departeth not from the heart.

The spiritually proud are miserable and hungry; they put out their hands and beg from door to door.

Falsehood and robbery remain not concealed; gilding and adulteration are laid bare.

The true Guru meeteth, and God cometh to, him who was so fated in the beginning.

As iron touched by the philosopher’s stone assumeth a bright colour, so doth man when he meeteth the company of the saints.

O slave Nanak’s Lord, Thou guidest men as Thou pleasest.

Reference to the fate of those who calumniated Guru Amar Das:—

Him who slandereth the perfect true Guru the Creator will punish.

The slanderer shall not have such an opportunity again; as he soweth so shall he eat.

He shall be taken away to terrible hell with blackened face and a halter on his neck like a thief;

But, if he return to the Guru’s protection and meditate on God’s name, he shall be saved.

He who obeyeth not the Guru’s order is perverse and robbed by mental ignorance and poisonous mammon:

In his heart is falsehood and he deemeth every one false; God hath fastened unworthy disputes on his neck.

He talketh a great deal, but what he saith pleaseth nobody;

He wandereth from house to house like an abandoned woman; whosoever meeteth him beareth the mark thereof.

The holy man keepeth aloof from him; he leaveth him to go and sit with the Guru.

He who denieth the Guru is base; O elect, he hath lost all his capital and profit.

At first, O Nanak, men recited the Shastars and the Veds, but the words of the perfect Guru have superseded them.

The magnification of the perfect Guru is pleasing to his disciples; the perverse shall never more have this opportunity.

The world, which is God’s field, yields ambrosial produce to the Guru’s disciples:—

The whole world is God’s field; God Himself causeth the tillage to be performed.

The holy man hath made God's grace germinate; the perverse have lost their capital.

Every one cultivateth for his own advantage; if it please God, He causeth the field to germinate.

The Guru’s disciples sow ambrosia, and obtain God’s name as the ambrosial fruit.

Death the mouse ever gnaweth the produce;[243] but God the Creator killeth and expelleth it.

With God’s love the tillage succeedeth, and the harvest-heap is produced by His favour.

God hath removed all the trouble and anxiety of those who have meditated on Him.

The slave Nanak hath worshipped the Name; he is saved himself, and saveth the whole world.

The Guru encourages his Sikhs to hear his instruction:—

True Sikhs sit with the true Guru; and the false toil and find no place even by search.

Are their faces bright to whom the words of the true Guru are not agreeable? Nay, they wander contemned of God.

God causeth their acts to prosper who have the wealth of His name within them.

They cease to be subject to others; God sitteth near to assist them.

When God is on our side, every one is on our side; and every one who seeth us praiseth us.

Kings and emperors, all the work of God, come and salute God’s servant.

Great is the greatness of the perfect Guru; he who greatly serveth God obtaineth unequalled happiness.

God hath given the perfect Guru a permanent gift, and what He hath given ever increaseth.

No slanderer can endure his greatness; God Himself destroyeth the slanderer.

The slave Nanak uttereth the praises of the Creator who ever preserveth His saints.

Guru Ram Das addressed the following to the pretended Tapa, or penitent, who perpetually slandered Guru Amar Das:—

Thou didst not at first show respect to Guru Anar Das; thy excuses now are of no avail.

How can the wretched perverse man who wandereth half way obtain happiness by mere words?

He who loveth not the true Guru cometh with a lie and departeth with a lie.

A pretended guru leads man astray:—

When the master is naked and hungry, whence shall his servant eat to repletion?

If the master have anything in his house, the servant can get it; how can he get what there is not?

If a Sikh serve a false guru and Death afterwards call on him for an account, such service shall be hurtful.

Nanak, perform service for the great God, a sight of whom is profitable, and no account shall afterwards be taken from thee.

The following was addressed to Guru Amar Das’s enemies:—

Nanak, the saints consider and the four Veds tell

That what the saints utter with their mouths cometh to pass.

In the extension of the world this appeareth manifest: all people hear of it.

The fools obtain not happiness; they are at enmity with the saints.

The saints desire virtues for them, but they burn with pride.

What can the wretches do, since their fate was evil from the beginning?

They whom the supreme Being smiteth have none to succour them.

It is real justice that they who bear enmity to those who are without it should perish.

They whom the saints curse shall wander again and again:

When a tree is cut up by the roots, its branches wither.

A magnification of the Guru:—

The whole world come and fall at the feet of those to whom God giveth greatness.

We may fear if we do anything by ourselves; but it is the Creator who putteth forth His might in all things.

To! my brethren, this is the arena of the true Beloved who by His power hath made every one subject to Him.

The Lord God preserveth His saints and blackeneth the faces of slanderers and enemies.

The greatness of the true Guru ever increaseth; the saints themselves ever sing God’s praises.

Night and day repeat the Name, ye disciples of the Guru, and through the true Guru implant the Creator in your hearts.

O Guru’s Sikhs, know that the true Guru’s hymn is most true; the Creator Himself hath caused him to utter it.

The beloved God maketh bright the faces of the Guru’s Sikhs, and the whole world wisheth victory to him.

Nanak is God’s slave; God preserveth the honour of His servants.

The fate of those who deny the Guru:—

They who leave the Guru, who is present with them, shall find no entrance into God’s court.

Let any one go and meet those slanderers, and he will see their faces pale and spat upon.

They who are accursed of the Guru are accursed of the whole world, and shall ever be vagrants.

They who deny their Guru shall wander about groaning.

Their hunger shall never depart; they shall ever shriek from its pangs.

No one heareth what they say; they are ever dying of fear.

They cannot bear the true Guru’s greatness; they cannot find room in this world or the next.

Whoever goeth to meet those cursed by the true Guru shall lose the remnant of his honour.

They who were cursed by the Guru became leprous; whoever meeteth them shall catch the leprosy.

O God, allow me not to see those who turn their hearts to mammon.

There is no escape from what the Creator Himself wrote in the beginning.

Slave Nanak, worship the Name; nothing can equal it.

Great is its greatness, and it ever increaseth,

Guru Ram Das continues to magnify Guru Amar Das:—

Great is Amar Das’s greatness who was appointed in the presence of Guru Angad.

The world boweth to him; all fall at his feet; his praise filleth the worlds.

The continents and the universe bow to him; he on whose forehead the perfect Guru put his hand became perfect.

The Guru’s greatness ever increaseth; none can equal it.

Slave Nanak, the Creator Himself appointed Guru Amar Das, and will preserve his honour.

Evil shall be the fate of the Guru’s slanderer:—

He who slandereth the perfect true Guru shall find his position difficult in the world.

Death shall seize and throw him into terrible hell which is a pit of sorrow.

No one will hear his cries and lamentations; he shall weep in pain.

He hath cast away all his chances in this world and the next; his capital and profit, all hath he lost.

He shall become as an oilman’s ox which his master yoketh when he riseth in the morning.

God ever seeth and heareth everything; nothing is concealed from Him.

As man sowed in a former life> so shall he reap in this.

He to whom God showeth mercy shall wash the feet of the true Guru;

He shall be saved through the true Guru like iron attached to timber.

Slave Nanak, meditate on and repeat God’s name and thou shalt be happy.

Animate and inanimate nature congratulate the Guru and his family:—

That land where my true Guru sitteth groweth green.

The creatures who saw my true Guru have become happy.

Hail, hail to his father! hail, hail to his family! hail, hail to the good mother who gave him birth!

Hail, hail to the Guru who worshippeth the Name! he is saved himself and he saveth those who saw him.

O God, mercifully cause me to meet the true Guru; the slave Nanak will wash his feet.

The man who is separated from God is compared to one who suffers from a malignant ulcer:—

They who have a malignant[244] ulcer within them know what torture is.

They know what separation from God is; I am ever a sacrifice unto them.

O God, unite me with the friend, and I will place my head as a sacrifice beneath his feet.

I am a slave to the slaves of those disciples of the Guru who perform his work.

Moist with God’s dye are the robes[245] of those who are imbued with God’s deep dye.

Nanak, mercifully cause me to meet the Guru, and I will sell my head to him as the price of God’s name.

The holy and unselfish man deserves congratulations:—

O beloved, the holy man who meeteth the society of the saints in which God is praised,

And who preacheth instruction for the good of others, is worthy of gratulation among mortals.

The Guru excommunicates the hypocritical apostates:—

The apostates go and bow to the Guru, but their hearts are base and filled with falsehood.

When the Guru saith to them ‘ Rise and work, my brethren,’ they go and squeeze themselves in somewhere like cranes.

The true Guru abideth among his disciples; he picketh out and expelleth the monkeys.

They sitting here and there conceal their faces, and being counterfeit may not associate with the holy.

There is no food for them there; they go and eat filth like sheep.

If you desire to feed the apostate, he will spew and vomit poison on you.

O God, give me not the company of the apostate; he is accursed of the Creator.

He who made this play beholdeth it; the slave Nanak remembereth His name.

God protects the true Guru:—

The true Guru who claspeth God to his heart is inscrutable.

None can touch the true Guru on whose side God is.

Devotion to God is the true Guru’s sword and armour by which the torturer death is destroyed.

God Himself is the protector of the true Guru, and will save all who follow him.

Him who meaneth evil to the true Guru the Creator Himself will destroy.

This is the word of the true God’s court; the slave Nanak uttereth this prophecy.

Whether asleep or awake man should remember God:—

What is sleeping? what waking? the holy are the acceptable.

They who never forget God are perfect and distinguished.

They obtain the true Guru from the Merciful One, and fix their thoughts on him night and day.

May I continue to meet such persons and obtain honour at God’s gate!

Nanak, bright are the faces of those who ever as they awake remember God,

And who repeat His praises whether sleeping or waking.

The Guru has found God and His mediator:-

Searching for God in my soul and body I have found the God whom I desired;

And I have found the Guru the mediator who hath blended me with Him.

There is no alliance between God and mammon:—

They who love mammon have no faith in the holy man.

They come and go and wander in transmigration, and have no happiness even in their dreams.

They act falsely; they speak falsely; attached to falsehood they become false.

Worldly love is all trouble; through trouble man perish-eth; through trouble he weepeth.

There is no union between worldliness and love of God, however all may desire it.

They whose treasure-houses contain meritorious acts are happy under the Guru’s instruction.


The Guru’s instruction is communicated from one man to another:—

The pious propagate God’s vine;

It beareth God’s fruit which epicures enjoy.

Utter the name of God which containeth endless delights;

Utter God’s name and praises under the Guru’s instruction, so shalt thou destroy the serpents which are Death’s myrmidons.

God implanted His worship in the Guru;

If the Guru be pleased, he conferreth it on his disciple, my brethren.

Religious ceremonies produce pride; on account of them the way is not known;

They are idle as the dust the elephant throweth on his head after bathing.

He whose fortune is very great and very exalted,

Shall, O Nanak, by uttering the true Name become true and pure.

The fourth Guru was fond of hearing the hymns of his predecessors sung. On one occasion when he ordered a seance, the musicians were not ready. Then the following hymn was composed:—

How long will they take to search for anklets and cymbals? when will some one play the rebeck?

While a messenger is going and they are coming a short time must elapse; in the meantime let me repeat God’s name.

Such devotion hath been produced in my heart

That without God I cannot live for an instant; as a fish dieth out of water.

How long will it take to find five or seven singers? When will some one raise the voice of song?

In tuning the instruments and selecting the music some little time must elapse; meanwhile let my soul sing God’s praises.

When will some one dance and stretch forth his feet? when will some one wave his hands?

In stretching out one’s hands and feet some little delay must take place; meanwhile let my heart remember God.

When will some one satisfy the people? Yet by satisfying people no honour is obtained in heaven.

Nanak, ever meditate on God in thy heart, then shall every one congratulate thee.

The Guru ardently desires to behold God:—

O my mother, show me my beloved God:

I cannot remain for a moment without Him; on beholding Him I am as pleased as a camel with creepers.

My soul through divine love hath renounced the world with the object of beholding God the Friend.

As the bumble-bee cannot abide without the lotus, so can I not abide without God.

Preserve me in Thy sanctuary, O beloved Lord of the world; fulfil my desires, O Lord God.

Nanak’s soul is glad when God showeth Himself even for a moment.

Asa Chhant

The supreme importance of the Guru’s instruction:—

Through love of the Guru’s instruction I have obtained real life during life.

The Guru gave me God’s name, and implanted it in my heart:

He implanted it in my heart, and all doubt and trouble have departed.

Under the Guru’s instruction I have meditated on the Unseen and Inapprehensible; I have obtained the pure and supreme dignity.

On singing the true Guru’s hymns the voice of the unbeaten strain ever resoundeth.

Nanak, God the Giver bestowed on me a gift—my light hath blended with His.

The perverse die in their perversity, saying their property was their own.

They attach their hearts to skin-covered filth[246] which cometh for a moment and in a moment departeth:

They attach their hearts to skin-covered filth which is fleeting as the dye of the safflower.

They go now to the east, and now to the west, as a potter’s wheel revolveth.

In sorrow they cat, in sorrow they amass and enjoy; they extend their increase of sorrow.

Nanak, if man enter the Guru’s asylum, he shall easily cross the dangerous ocean.

My God is good, inaccessible, and unfathomable.

I asked my merchant, the true Guru, for God as my stock-in-trade:

I asked for God as my stock-in-trade and bought His name; since then I sing God’s praises and they are pleasing to me.

I have banished sleep and hunger and become absorbed in divine tranquillity.

Dealers of one description[247] come and take away God’s name as their profit:

Nanak, it is they who offer their souls and bodies to the Guru who acquire it.

The great ocean of God is full of jewels upon jewels;

They obtain them to whom the Guru’s words are pleasing:

They to whom the Guru’s words are pleasing obtain the priceless unrivalled jewels.

They who have obtained Thy unrivalled name, O God, have their storehouses filled with Thy service.

I have churned the ocean of the body; I have seen a rare thing come to view.

The Guru is God and God is the Guru; Nanak, there is no difference between them, my brethren.

The following hymn is in effect a glorification of the Sikh religion which sprang up in the Kal or fourth and last age of the world. The Kal age is therefore here made out to be the best of all the four ages:—

In the Sat age all men were contented; religion had four legs, and men meditated on God.

They sang of God with heart and soul, acquired the greatest happiness, and every heart possessed a knowledge of God’s excellences.

A knowledge of God’s excellences was men’s wealth; He was their salvation, and the pious became illustrious.

At home or abroad there was but the one God and no other.

Men fixed their attention on Him; His name was their helper; in His court they acquired honour.

Then came the Treta age—though worldliness began to press on men’s hearts, yet they practised continence and austerities.

One leg of religion dropped off; three legs remained; in men’s minds and hearts wrath was inflamed.

A great poisonous fermentation in men’s hearts and souls was wrath; kings made war and suffered in the conflict.

Men’s hearts were attacked by the diseases of egotism and pride; their conceit and arrogance increased.

If my God be merciful, the poison shall depart by the Guru’s instruction and God’s name.

The Dwapar age came—men wandered in doubt; God created the milkmaids and Krishan.

Penitents practised not penances, men initiated sacrifices and offerings, and performed many religious ceremonies:

They performed religious ceremonies; the second leg of religion dropped off, and two legs remained.

Many heroes engaged in great wars; through pride they ruined themselves and others.

He who is compassionate to the poor caused man to meet the sainted Guru, and on meeting him impurity departed.

When God made the Kal age, religion had lost three legs and only the fourth remained.

They who acted according to the Guru’s instruction obtained God’s name as their medicine, and in singing His praises obtained divine rest.

The season for the praises of God arrived; His name was magnified, and the field of God’s name germinated.

If in the Kal age any other seed than the Name be sown, men lose all their profit and capital.

Nanak, when the true Guru hath been found, he showeth the Name in man’s heart.

God’s attributes:—

My great God is inaccessible, inapprehensible, eternal, pure, formless.

His condition cannot be described; immeasurable is His glory; my God is invisible and illimitable:

God is invisible, illimitable and boundless; only He knoweth Himself.

What can this poor creature utter, O God, which would be a description of Thee?

He on whom Thou castest Thy glance of favour, meditateth on Thee under the Guru’s instruction.

Thou, great God, art inaccessible, inapprehensible, eternal, pure, formless.

Thou art the primal Male, the boundless Creator; Thy limit cannot be ascertained.

Thou art uninterruptedly within every heart, and in everything art Thou contained.

Within the heart is the Supreme Brahm, the Supreme God, whose end cannot be found.

He hath no form or outline; He is unseen and inapprehensible; but under the Guru’s instruction the Invisible becometh visible.

He who beholdeth God shall ever be happy day and night, and shall be easily absorbed in His name.

Thou art the primal Male, the boundless Creator; Thy limit cannot be ascertained.

Thou art the true Supreme Being, ever indestructible O God, Thou art the treasury of excellences.

O God, Thou alone art the Lord, there is none besides; Thou art the omniscient Being.

Thou art omniscient and most exalted; there is none so great as Thou.

Thine is the Word; Thou pervadest everything; what Thou doest cometh to pass.

The one God is contained in everything; the pious behold Thee, O God, on repeating Thy name.

Thou art the true Supreme God, ever indestructible; O God, Thou art the treasury of excellences.

Thou art the Creator of all; Thy glory is everywhere; Thou settest everything in motion as Thou pleasest:

Thou settest everything in motion as Thou pleasest; everything is subject to Thy word:

Everything is subject to Thy word; when it pleaseth Thee, man obtaineth greatness therefrom.

If man obtain wisdom from the Guru’s instruction and efface himself, he shall be absorbed in the Word.

Thy word cannot be grasped; it can be obtained from the Guru’s instruction: Nanak, he who obtaineth it, shall be absorbed in the Name.

Thou art the Creator of all, Thy glory is everywhere; Thou settest everything in motion as Thou pleasest.

The Guru’s soul is thoroughly saturated with God’s love:—

Mine eyes are wet with God’s nectar; my soul is dyed with His love.

God applied His touchstone to the heart, and found it brightest gold.

Through the Guru my soul and body are dyed with a deep colour.

The slave Nanak hath perfumed himself with the musk of God's love, and his whole life is supremely blest.

The word of God’s love which is a pointed arrow hath smitten his heart.

He who feeleth the pain of love knoweth its torment.

He who in life is dead is said to have obtained deliverance while alive.

Nanak prayeth, O God, may the true Guru cause me to meet Thee that I may cross over the dangerous world!

I ignorant and stupid have sought Thine asylum; may

I obtain the love of God!

I have obtained God from the perfect Guru; I pray for the service of God alone.

My soul and body are pleased with Thy word; I repeat it with endless pleasure.

On meeting the saints, Nanak hath obtained God in their association.

O Thou compassionate to the poor, hear my supplication;

O God, Lord, King.

I pray for the protection of God’s name and God putteth it into my mouth.

O God, it is Thy function to love Thy saints and preserve their honour.

The slave Nanak hath sought Thy protection; Thy name hath saved him.

The Guru has found God, who is a diamond in the golden fortress of the body:—

On searching and searching for God, the Friend, I have found Him under the Guru’s instruction.

It is known that God is in the golden fortress of the body.

God is a diamond and a jewel with which my soul and body are pierced.

Having been very fortunate at my birth I have obtained God; Nanak is kneaded with His essence.

I a young woman continually arise and inquire the road to my Spouse.

The true Guru reminding me of God’s name putteth me on His road.

The Name, the antidote to the poison of pride, is the support of my soul and body.

The slave Nanak prayeth, O God, grant me to meet the true Guru who hath already met Thee.

Through the Guru, O Beloved, come to me who have been so long separated from Thee.

My soul and body are very sad; mine eyes are moist with God’s love.

O Guru, show me God the Beloved; on meeting Him my soul shall be happy.

Nanak, God hath appointed me, a fool, to perform His duty.

The Guru’s body is moistened with God’s nectar, and he sprinkleth it on his disciples.

They whose hearts are pleased with the Guru’s words drink their fill of nectar.

The Guru being pleased, I have obtained God and I shall no longer be buffeted.[248]

Nanak, the man of God and God have become one.

God ever preserves His saints:—

God produced saints in every age, and continueth to preserve their honour.

God destroyed the wicked Harnakhas and saved Prahlad.

God turned His back on the proud and the slanderers, but showed His face to Namdev.

Nanak hath so served his God that He will deliver him at last.

It is said that the following hymn was composed by Guru Ram Das before he had become Guru.

Guru Amar Das was highly pleased with this and other compositions of his saintly son-in-law:—

Come home, O my beloved soul, which hath wandered afar.

O Guru, cause me to meet God, my Beloved, that He may dwell in my heart.

Thou shalt be happy, O my dear, if God show thee mercy.

Nanak, when the Guru is pleased, my dear, he will blend man with God.

I did not heartily taste God’s love, my dear;[249]

So the thirst of my heart hath never been slaked; my dear, it formeth ever new desires.

Youth is ever passing away, my dear, the god of death stealeth away the breath.

Nanak, she is a fortunate wife, my dear, who claspeth God to her heart.

Mine eyes are refreshed by the Beloved, my dear, as the chatrik with his raindrops.

On drinking the raindrops of God, my dear, my heart is comforted.

Separation from God kept me awake, my dear, and I could by no means sleep.

But now Nanak by loving the Guru hath obtained God, the Friend, my dear, and is at rest.

In the month of Chet, my dear, beginneth the pleasant season of spring;

But without my Beloved, my dear, the dust was flying about my court.[250]

There was hope in my heart and I was waiting, my dear; both mine eyes were fixed on Him.

But now Nanak on seeing the Guru is happy, my dear, as a mother on seeing her child.

My dear, the true Guru hath repeated to me tales and legends of God.

I am a sacrifice to the Guru, my dear, who hath caused me to meet God.

God hath fulfilled all my desires, my dear; I have obtained the fruit my heart desired.

When God is pleased, my dear, the slave Nanak is absorbed in the Name.

Without the love of my beloved God, I rejoice not.

How shall I find the Guru through whom I may behold my Beloved?

If the bounteous God cause me to meet the great Guru,

I shall meet Him.

Nanak, he on whose forehead it was so written in the beginning shall find the Guru, my dear.


On Guru Amar Das:—

The saints of God are the best; their speech is the best; what they utter is for others’ advantage.

God mercifully saveth those who hear their words with faith and devotion.

O God, grant me to meet the dear saints of God.

The true Guru, the perfect Guru, dear to me as my life, will save us sinners.

Very fortunate, very fortunate are the pious whose support is God’s name.

Under the Guru’s instruction they obtain God’s nectar, God’s essence, and a storehouse of devotion.

They who have not obtained a sight of the true Guru, the true man, are unfortunate, and shall be punished by Death.

They shall be born again as dogs, swine, and donkeys, and God will punish them as wilful murderers.

O compassionate to the poor, have mercy on Thy servant and save him.

The slave Nanak hath sought Thine asylum; if it please Thee, O God, Thou wilt save him.

The Guru prays never to forget God’s name:—

Mercifully so dispose my heart, O God, that I may night and day continually meditate on Thy name.

God is all comfort, all excellence, all wealth; by uttering His name all misery and hunger depart.

O my soul, God’s name is my companion and my brother.

Under the Guru’s instruction let me sing the praises of God’s name; it will be at the last hour my helper, and deliver me in God’s court.

O God, the Searcher of hearts, Thou Thyself art the Giver; Thou didst mercifully infuse the longing for Thee into my soul.

The longing of my heart and soul is for God; He hath fulfilled my longing since I have entered the asylum of the true Guru.

Through meritorious acts I have obtained human birth, but without the Name it would be accursed and useless.

He who is without the Name shall eat sorrow as his relish; his countenance shall grow pale, and men shall spit on his face.

God will give glory in His court to those who have entered His asylum.

Nanak, God welcometh and applaudeth His servant, embraceth him and blendeth him with Himself.

The advantage of the Name and of the Guru’s instruction:—

He who through the true Guru hath found the Lord God hath made Him dear to me by his instruction.

My soul and body have become refreshed and happy[251] since through good fortune I have meditated on God’s name.

My brother, may some one come to meet me who will implant God’s name in my heart!

He is my Beloved, my life, my soul, and my body; all would I give him who would tell me of my Lord God.

I have obtained patience, faith, and God from the Guru’s instruction; may he ever apply my mind to God and His name!

Nectar droppeth into the mouth of him who uttereth the true Guru’s nectareous words and hymns.

Pure is the Name; no soil attacheth to it; under the Guru’s instruction repeat it with devotion.

The man who hath not found the wealth of the Name is unfortunate and dieth again and again.

Meditate on God, the root of joy, the life of the world, who giveth to all men, and thou shalt be happy.

Thou art the Giver; all creatures are Thine, saith the slave Nanak; thou pardonest the pious and blendest them with Thyself.

Guru Ram Das expresses his humility and his faith in family life:—

Mother, father, son are all made by God; God established all their relationships.

All my strength is as nothing before God, O my friend.

The body, soul, and person are all in God’s power.

God Himself inspired His saints with faith.

Even in their families they abide as hermits.

When hearty love is established with God,

Then what man doeth is pleasing to Him.

Whatever work God hath appointed us to do,

That we do with His permission.

Nanak, they whose devotion is pleasing to my Lord,

Fix their attention on God’s name.


The first two lines of the following embody an inquiry made by Sangatia, a Sikh. The remainder of the hymn is the Guru’s reply:—

Tell me in what street I shall find my Beautiful One:

O saints of God, show me the way, and I will follow you.

The word of the Beloved comforteth the heart; good is this custom which hath been established.

She who whether bent with age[252] or of small stature is pleasing to the Lord, is beautiful and becometh united with Him.

There is but one Beloved; all are His handmaidens; she who pleaseth Him is good.

What shall the poor wretch Nanak do? Let him walk in the way which pleaseth the Lord.

The Guru has completely devoted himself to God:—

I have now come weary to God:

Since I have come to Thy protection, save me, O God, or destroy me.

I despise[253] men’s artifices and praises.

Whether one speak well or ill of me, I have humbled my body.

God mercifully preserveth him who cometh to His protection.

The slave Nanak prayeth, O God, preserve mine honour who have sought Thy shelter!

Bihagra Chhant

The Guru encourages men to lead a religious life:—

They who think not on God’s name, O my life, are perverse, foolish, and silly.

They who think on worldly love, O my life, shall regret it at their final departure.

The perverse, O my life, who are led away by sin shall not enter God’s court.

Nanak, O my life, they who meet the Guru, who repeat God’s name, and who are absorbed in it shall be saved.

All ye people, go and meet the Guru, O my life, who will fix God’s name in your hearts.

Make no delay in repeating God’s name, O my life; nobody knoweth whether he shall draw another breath or not..

That time, that juncture,, that ghari, that moment are profitable, O my life, when my God cometh into the mind.

Nanak, by remembering the Name, O my life, Death’s myrmidons approach not.

God always beholdeth and heareth everything. O my life; it is he who committeth sin who feareth.

All fear departeth from him, O my life, whose heart is pure within him.

He who hath faith in God’s name is fearless, O my life, though all the hostile and the shameless slander him.

They who have worshipped the perfect Guru Nanak, O my life, make all men bow at their feet.

Ever worship such a God, O my life, as is the great Lord of all.

They who have worshipped the one God with single mind,

O my life, care for no one.

By serving the Guru God’s palace is attained, O my life; all slanderers talk foolishness and give causeless annoyance.

O my life, the Lord God hath written good fortune on that man’s forehead in the beginning who meditateth on Him.[254]

Bihagre ki War

It is God who performs all the agricultural and culinary operations by which man subsists. The following hymn is sung after Sikh entertainments:—

God Himself is the soil, Himself the tiller; it is He who causeth the corn to spring up and be ground;

It is He who cooketh it; it is He who putteth the food into dishes and serveth it; it is He who sitteth down to eat it.

He is the finger-water; He giveth the toothpick; He holdeth the water to wash the mouth.

It is He who ever seateth the saints at His banquet; it is He who dischargeth them.

God causeth him to whom He is merciful to obey His order.

Wadhans Ghorian

The following, in which the body is compared to a steed to be kept under subjection, is sung at marriages:—

The body is a steed which God created.

Hail to human birth obtained by meritorious acts!

Human birth is obtained by greatly meritorious acts; the body is fine gold

Which by the Guru’s instruction is dyed a rich colour,

O God, a new colour.

This body by which God’s name is repeated is beautiful as adorned by His name.

It is obtained by great good fortune; the Name is its companion: O slave Nanak, it is God who created it.

Having well reflected put a saddle thereon.[255]

Mount it, Sir, and thou shalt cross the dangerous ocean.

The dangerous ocean in which there are many waves shall be crossed through the Guru’s instruction.

Very fortunate people, making God the boat, embark thereon and cross over; the pilot Guru ferrieth men over by the Word.

Him who night and day singeth God’s love and God’s praises, God the Lover imbueth with His love.

The slave Nanak hath obtained the rank of nirvan, God’s highest and best rank.

The Guru hath put divine knowledge as a bit into the mouth,

And applied God’s love as a whip to the body:

The pious man who hath conquered his own mind, applieth God’s love as a whip to his body.

He obtaineth the Word, fashioneth his unfashioned mind, and drinketh God’s nectar.

He who heareth the Word which the Guru uttereth, dyeth his steed with God’s colour,[256]

Traverseth the great and difficult way, O Nanak, and crosseth over.

God created the body a fleet mare.

The body by which God’s name is repeated is blest, is blest.

The body by which God’s name is repeated, the result of prenatal acts, is to be congratulated and praised.

Man having under the Guru’s instruction mounted his body as a mare, crosseth the difficult way and meeteth the Primal Joy.

The perfect God hath arranged the marriage feast; a company of saints hath come as the marriage procession.

O slave Nanak, I have obtained God as my Spouse; the holy men meeting rejoice and utter gratulations.

Sorath ki War

The relation of God to’ His servants:—

God loveth His slaves; God is a friend of His slaves.

God is in the power of His slaves as a musical instrument in the power of the musician.

God’s slaves meditate on God and bear affection to the Beloved.

Mercifully hear me, O God; may rain fall throughout the whole world!

The praise of God’s slaves contributeth to God’s greatness.

God is pleased with His own greatness when His slaves are congratulated.

It is they who meditate on God’s name; God and God’s saints are the same.

The slave Nanak is God’s servant; O God, preserve his honour.

He who has no faith in the Guru is stupid and deceitful:—

He in whose heart is spiritual ignorance and who hath no faith in the Guru hath but a poor understanding.

He in whose heart there is deceit deemeth every one deceitful; through this deception he is ruined.

What is pleasing to the Guru entereth not his mind; he wandereth about for his own object.

If God be merciful, Nanak shall be absorbed in His words.

The fate of him who is accursed of the Guru:—

He who is accursed of the true Guru shall leave his home and wander for ever:

He shall be followed by hootings and his face shall be blackened in the next world:

Incoherent words shall ever issue from his lips, and he shall die spluttering them forth.

What if anybody do anything? he shall only obtain the result of his prenatal acts.

Wherever he goeth he shall be proved a liar; falsehood pleaseth no one.

Brethren and saints, behold God’s graciousness; as man doeth so shall he receive.

This will be God’s decision in His true court; the slave Nanak foretelleth this.


How man’s impurities are removed:—

The rust of the sins of many births attaches to man; but when he joins the guild of holy men it is filed away:

So when gold is heated in the fire, its impurity is removed.

Obedience to the Guru inculcated:—

We are totally blind, saturated with the greatest sins; how shall we walk in the Guru’s way?

May the true Guru, the bestower of happiness, mercifully take us under his protection!

Sikhs of the Guru and friends, walk in God’s way.

Faithfully obey[257] what the Guru preacheth; Divine teaching is unique.

Hear, servants of God and brethren, serve the Guru very promptly.

Tie up service to the Guru as thy travelling expenses to God; think not of today or tomorrow.

Saints of God, repeat His name; saints of God, let us walk with God.

He who repeateth God’s name becometh as God, and meeteth God who sporteth.

To repeat God’s name is the longing of my heart: O God, Dweller in the forest, have mercy.

Thy slave Nanak prayeth—O God, cause me to meet the company of holy men and be the dust of their feet.

Let God be ever in man’s thoughts:—

Read of God, write of God, repeat God’s name, sing God’s name, and He will cause thee to cross the terrible ocean.

Meditate on God in thy heart with thought and word, and so repeat His name that thou mayest be happy.

Mentally repeat the name of God, the Lord of the world;

And, O my friends, meet the company of the saints.

Sing of God, the Dweller in the forest, and you shall be happy day and night.

When God cast a look of favour on me, then 1 made mental effort; by repeating God’s name I have been saved.

O my Lord, preserve Thy servant Nanak’s honour; he hath entered Thine asylum.


God is a diamond which the Guru has made his own for the benefit of others:—

A diamond or a ruby, however priceless or heavy, is, without a purchaser, as a blade of grass.

When the holy Guru the purchaser saw the jewel, he bought it for hundreds of thousands.

God was concealed as a diamond in my heart.

When God, compassionate to the poor, caused me to meet the saintly Guru, I assayed the Diamond.

In the house of the perverse is the darkness of ignorance; in their houses the Diamond is not seen.

The pagans die wandering in the wilderness; they have tasted of the poison of the serpent mammon.

O God, cause me to meet Thy saint, the good man;

O God, keep me under the saint’s protection!

O Lord God, accept me; I have hastened to Thy side.

What praise of Thine can my tongue recount? Thou art great and inaccessible, the greatest Being.

The slave Nanak prayeth—O God, show mercy to me; O God, preserve me who am sinking like a stone.

Men are as silly children without the Guru:—

I am a child, foolish, stupid, and silly, and know nothing of Thy state or condition.

O God, be merciful, grant me the best understanding, and make me who am stupid wise.

My mind is lazy and drowsy.

O God, bring the holy Guru to meet me; let ne meet him, and the doors of my understanding shall open.

Love the Guru every moment, O my heart, that God’s name may become my love and life.

Without the Name I should die, O my Lord, as a drunkard craveth for intoxicants.[258]

The hearts of those who have good fortune from the beginning love God.

I worship at all times the feet of those who have made God dear to me.

O God, my Lord, have mercy on me, cause me, who hath long been separated from Thee, to meet Thy saint.

Hail! hail to the true Guru who hath implanted God’s name in me! The slave Nanak is a sacrifice unto him.

The repetition of God’s name and praises secures salvation:—

O God, the mothers of those who keep not God’s name in their hearts ought to have been barren.

They who wander without the Name pine away and die in agony.

O man, repeat the name of God who is within thee.

God the merciful hath shown me mercy; when the Guru gave me divine instruction my mind understood:

The praise of God in the Kal age holdeth the highest place; God is obtained through the true Guru.

I am a sacrifice to my true Guru who hath disclosed to me God’s hidden name.

A sight of the holy man is obtained by great good fortune; he removeth all sin.

I have found the true Guru who is a very clever merchant; he hath made me a partner in God’s many attributes.

They to whom the Life of the world hath shown mercy, have clasped Him to their hearts.

Dharmraj in his court hath tom up my papers[259]; the slave Nanak hath settled his account.


The position and occupation of the child in the womb:—

When the child reversed was praying in the pit of fire, God preserved him in the womb.


God is supreme and has no partner:—

All come by the Master’s order; His order extendeth over all.

True is the Lord, and true is all His play.

Praise the True One; God the Master is over all.

He hath no partner; of whom shall I take account?

God hath built His temple out of air, water, earth, and ether.

He Himself abideth in the centre; say what can be accounted false?

Instruction for the faithless:—

The proud man of evil mind ever doeth fruitless work.

When he practiseth deceit and falsehood, he thinketh he hath conquered the world.

Such is his way in this life; he never remembereth God’s name.

In a moment everything that is false shall perish; O my mind, meditate on God.

The time cometh not to thy memory when the torturer Death shall seize thee.

Nanak, God will redeem him in whose heart He mercifully dwelleth.

Guru Ram Das’s devotion to Guru Amar Das and his disciples:—

My friend the Guru hath told me tales and parables of God.

I am a sacrifice to my Guru; to the Guru I am a sacrifice.

Come to me, Sikhs of the Guru; come to me, beloved of my Guru.

God’s praises are pleasing to Him; I have obtained them from the Guru.

To those who obey the will of the Guru I am ever a sacrifice;

I am a sacrifice to those who have beheld the beloved true Guru;

I am ever a sacrifice to those who have served the Guru.

O God, Thy name is Hari, because Thou effacest suffering.[260]

Thou art obtained by service to the Guru; through his

instruction is salvation.

They who meditate on God’s name are accepted:

Nanak, I am a sacrifice to them, and ever and ever offer myself for them.

That, O God, is Thy praise which is pleasing unto Thee.

The holy men who serve the Beloved obtain Him as their reward.

God is with the souls of those who hold Him dear.

They repeat and remember the name of the beloved God, and live for ever.

I am a sacrifice to the holy ones who have served the Beloved.

They are saved themselves with their families, and have freed the whole world.

The Guru who hath served the Beloved God is blest, is blest.

The Guru who hath shown God’s way hath performed merit, the greatest merit.

The Guru’s disciples who serve him are meritorious beings:

The slave Nanak is a sacrifice unto them, and ever and ever offereth himself for them.

They are holy friends and companions; they are pleasing to God Himself.

God in His court clotheth them with robes of honour and embraceth them.

Grant me, O Lord, a sight of the holy men who meditate on Thy name:

I will bathe their feet, stir and drink the dirt thereof.

They who, while eating betel leaf and betel nut and dyeing their lips therewith,

Never think of God, shall be seized and taken away by Death;

But Death shall never approach those who remember God’s name,

And clasp it to their hearts—the Guru’s Sikhs are dear to the Guru.

God’s name is a treasure: some rare pious person knoweth this.

Nanak, they who meet the true Guru shall enjoy the highest pleasure.

The true Guru is the giver; being pleased he bestoweth favours.

I am ever a sacrifice to the Guru who gave me the Name.

The Guru who giveth God’s love is congratulated and praised.

As I behold the Guru I am glad; the Guru is true, the Guru is the giver.

The Guru’s tongue uttereth nectar, and is adorned with God’s name.

All the hunger of the Sikhs who hear and obey the Guru departeth.

Men speak of God’s way; say how shall we walk therein?

Har Har is Thy name, O God; take Har[261] with thee,

O man, as thy travelling expenses.

The pious who have adored God are wealthy and very wise.

I am ever a sacrifice to the true Guru; I am absorbed in the Guru’s word.

Thou art Master, Thou art Lord, Thou art my sovereign.

If it please Thee, we perform Thy service; Thou art an ocean of merits.

Thou art, O God, of one phase, and Thou art of many phases.

Saith Nanak, whatever pleaseth Thee is good.


Instructions for the deceitful:—

If man while publicly invoking God ever practise deceit, his heart shall never become pure.

He may day and night perform many ceremonies, but he shall not have happiness even in his dreams.

Without the Guru possessed of divine knowledge there can be no devotion.

Unbleached clothes can never be dyed, however much all may desire it.

The malady of the perverse departeth not, even though they perform lip-worship, penance, austerities, and fasting.

Their internal malady is great pride; they are ruined by worldly love.

He who while in a religious garb practiseth cunning, who alloweth his mind to wander in every direction,

Who is filled with pride and regardeth not the Word, shall wander in transmigration again and again.

Nanak, he on whom God looketh with favour under-standeth, meditateth on the Name,

By the Guru’s favour knoweth the one God, and shall be absorbed in Him.

Men of the lowest castes obtain salvation by devotion:—

He who even of low caste repeateth God’s name shall obtain the highest dignity.

Ask Bidur[262] the son of a handmaiden, in whose house Krishan stayed.

Hear the ineffable word of God, my brethren, by which all anxiety, pain, and hunger are removed.

Men praise Rav Das the tanner who every moment sang the one God’s praises.

Though of fallen caste he became the best: the four castes came and fell at his feet.

The Khatris and Brahmans called Namdev who loved God a calico-printer;

But God turned His back on them and showed His face to Namdev.

The sixty-eight places of pilgrimage yield the palm of victory[263] to the worshippers and saints of God.

May the slave Nanak through God’s mercy night and day touch their feet!

The worship of God, the only permanent good, is inculcated:—

Where God is remembered, there He becometh a friend and helper.

God dwelleth in the heart by the favour of the Guru; He is not otherwise obtained.

Amass God’s wealth, my brethren,

So that God may assist you in this world and the next.

God’s wealth is earned in the company of the holy; God’s wealth is not obtained elsewhere or by other effort.

The holy who deal in God’s jewels purchase the jewel of God’s wealth: dealers in glass acquire not God’s wealth by idle words.[264]

God’s wealth is as jewels, ornaments, and gems:

God’s saints fix their attention on it at the suitable ambrosial hour.

When God’s wealth is sown at the suitable ambrosial hour, God’s saints eat it, spend it, and it never faileth.

Both in this world and the next the saints who deal in God’s wealth are congratulated.

There is no fear for God’s wealth; it ever remaineth immovable and permanent; it cannot be destroyed by fire or by water; it is not the prey of thieves or of Death’s myrmidons.

Pickpockets cannot approach God’s wealth, nor can the tax-gatherer Death impose a tax on it.

The apostates through sin have amassed sinful wealth, but not a particle of it shall go with them.

In this world the apostate is miserable when wealth slippeth from his hands: the apostate shall not find entrance into God’s court hereafter.

The dealer in this wealth of God, O saints, is God Himself; he to whom He giveth it, loadeth it and taketh it away.

This wealth of God shall never suffer deficiency; the Guru hath given this knowledge to the slave Nanak.

Suhi Ashtapadi

The Guru’s passionate desire to obey and serve God:—

I will sell myself to him who bringeth my dearly Beloved to me.

I desire to behold God.

By God’s mercy the true Guru will cause me to meet Him and meditate on His name.

If Thou give me happiness, O God, I will worship Thee; even in misery I will meditate on Thee.

If Thou give me hunger even then I shall be satiated with it; and in its torture I shall feel happy.

I would cut up my body and soul and dedicate them all to Thee, or I would burn myself in fire;

I would fan Thee and draw Thee water; what Thou givest me I should eat.

Poor Nanak hath fallen at Thy door, O God; Thine acceptance of him will be to Thy glory.

I would take out mine eyes and put them beneath Thy feet: having wandered over the whole earth I have gained this wisdom.

If Thou seat me near Thee, I will still reverence Thee; even if Thou strike me and thrust me away, I will still meditate on Thee.

If men praise me, then the praise is Thine; if they slander me, even then I will not leave Thee.

If Thou art on my side, men may say what they please; if Thou forget me, I die.

I am a sacrifice to the perfect Guru: falling at their feet I propitiate the saints.

Poor Nanak is mad for a sight of Thee.

Suhi Chhant

The following, which Guru Ram Das composed on the occasion of his marriage, is now an epithalamium of the Sikhs.


God by this first round[265] hath ordained secular life.[266]

Accept the Word instead of Brahma and religion instead of the Veds,

And God will free you from your sins.

Hold fast to religion, meditate on God’s name, and let it be fixed in your memory.

Worship the true Guru, the perfect Guru, and all your sins shall depart.

Very fortunate is man when God is near to his heart; then he feeleth composure and happiness.

The slave Nanak hath given out the first round and made a beginning of the marriage.


In the second round God hath caused me to meet the true Guru.

The fear in my heart hath departed, and the filth of my mind hath been washed away.

I have obtained a pure state by singing God’s praises and beholding Him before me.

The Lord God the soul-of the world is everywhere diffused and filleth every place.

Within and without us is the one God; on meeting the saints, hymns of rejoicing are sung.

The slave Nanak hath finished the second round and heard the strain of ecstasy.


God hath appointed the third round, and pleasure and contempt of the world are produced in the mind.

The saints have caused me to meet God, and I have found Him by great good fortune.

I have found the pure God by singing His praises and uttering His hymns.

I have by great good fortune found the company of the saints wherein tales of the Ineffable are told.

The absorbing thought of God hath arisen in my heart, and I have repeated His name by the destiny recorded on my forehead.

The slave Nanak hath given out the third round, and God’s love hath been produced in his heart.


At the fourth round divine knowledge is produced in the heart, and I have obtained God.

Under the Guru’s instructions I have obtained a good disposition, and God is dear to my soul and body:

God is dear and pleasing to me; I meditate on Him night and day.

By singing the praises of God’s name I have obtained the fruit my heart desired.

God hath finished the work, and woman’s heart delighteth in His name.

The slave Nanak hath given out the fourth round, and obtained God the Imperishable.

The Guru composed the following also on his marriage:—

The Lord God hath accomplished the work;

He came to wed a holy bride:

He came to wed a holy bride who thus found God that bride is dear to her Spouse.

On meeting the saints songs of rejoicing are sung; God Himself hath decorated the bride.

Demigods, men, and heavenly minstrels have come in a body, and formed a marriage procession never seen before.

Nanak, I have found the true God who never dieth or is born.

Bilawal Ashtapadi

Association with the holy and acceptance of their teachings are superior to the life of a Jogi:—

By intercourse with the true Guru the rings I wear are in my heart, and the instruction of the Guru I have applied as ashes to my body.

I renounced family life and wandered in the forest, but my heart was not at rest even for a moment.

After wandering I returned home, and fell at the feet of God’s saints.

Even the Sanyasi who abandoneth his children conceiveth many desires in his heart:

He conceiveth desire upon desire, and knoweth not that under the Guru’s instruction man is freed from desires and is happy.

When the wish for separation ariseth, man becometh a Digambar, yet his mind wandereth in every direction.

He roameth about, but his thirst is not quenched; it is only when he meeteth the saints that he attaineth the abode of mercy.

The Sidhs study many postures and earnestly desire wealth and the tricks of supernatural power.

They are not satisfied or contented, nor doth peace enter their minds: it is by meeting the saints man is satisfied, and by God’s name he obtaineth perfection.

As God made all men on an equality, so they obtain salvation:—

God made the sources of production, human beings, and animals of all colours and forms:

He who taketh the saints’ protection shall be saved. Khatris, Brahmans, Sudars, Vaisyas, the whole race of Chandals,

Namdev, Jaidev, Kabir, Trilochan, the low caste Rav Das, the currier,

And those who met the company of holy men, such as the blessed Dhanna Jat and Sain, obtained God.

God, to whom His saints are dear, protecteth their honour and accepteth them.

Nanak, he who entereth the asylum of God, the life of the world, is mercifully preserved by Him.


Place all thy hopes in God:—

O man, if thou rest thy hopes on God thou shalt obtain the fruits, however various, that thy heart desireth.

God knoweth everything that passeth in the mind; He alloweth not man to lose a particle of his labour.

O my soul, put thy hope in that Lord God who is contained in everything:

O my soul, put thy hope in God, the Lord of the world.

The hopes which are put in any other than God are fruitless and all in vain.

The Guru is completely penetrated by God's love:—

My soul, like a thirsty man without water, greatly yearneth for a sight of God.

The arrow of God’s love hath pierced my heart.

God knoweth my suffering, the pain within my heart.

He who telleth me anything of my beloved God, is my brother, is my friend.

Join, join, my companions, sing the praises of my Lord, and adopt the counsel of the patient true Guru.

Fulfil, O Lord, every desire of the slave Nanak; on beholding Thee my mind is at rest.


They who unselfishly meet the saint shall obtain their reward:—

If I have very great good fortune I shall have no delay in meeting the saint.

God’s saints are my excellent tank of nectar: by great good fortune shall man bathe therein.

O God, apply me to the service of the saint:

I will draw water, fan him, grind his corn, shampoo his feet, and put the dust thereof on my face.

The saint of God, who causeth man to meet ±e true Guru, is very great and exalted.

There is none so great as the true Guru; on meeting him meditate upon God.

They who entered the true Guru’s protection obtained God, and He preserved their honour.

Some people come for their own objects, and sit in front of the Guru like cranes in the act of meditation.

When the crane goeth into the society of the base crow, he putteth his beak into a poisonous carcass.

Saith Nanak, O God, cause me to meet holy company, that meeting it I may be made a saint of Thine.

Nat Ashtapadi 

The advantage of holy company:—

O God, bathe me in the nectareous tank.

The true Guru’s knowledge is the best thing wherein to bathe; by obtaining it the filth of sin departeth.

The advantages of holy company are very great—the courtesan was saved by teaching her parrot to repeat God’s name;[267]

The touching of Krishan’s feet took the hunchback[268] to heaven.

Ajamal bore love to his son, and called out, ‘ Narayan! ’[269]

His faith pleased my God’s heart and He smote and expelled the myrmidons of Death.

Man preacheth and dictateth to others, but practiseth not what he preacheth;

But, on meeting the company of the saints, obtaineth staunchness of faith, and God’s name saveth him.

As long as the mind and body are healthy, man remembereth not God.

When the house is on fire, is that the time for the waterman to dig a well from which to draw water?

O man, associate not with the apostate who hath forgotten God’s name.

The word of the apostate stingeth like a scorpion; leave the apostate far away.

When love is bestowed, it increaseth greatly; attachment to the holy regenerateth.

They who accept the Guru’s words as absolutely true, are very dear to my Lord.

According to our dealings in previous births, God’s name becometh dear.

By the favour of the Guru the ambrosial juice of the Name is obtained; man singeth and pondereth on it.

O God, my Jewel, my Darling, all forms and colours are Thine.

Everything shall be according to the colour Thou givest; saith Nanak, what is wretched man?

God’s word and the Guru are interchangeable terms:—

The Word is the Guru and the Guru is the Word; in the Word is the essence of ambrosia.

The worshipper who obeyeth what the Guru’s word teacheth shall be saved by the Guru in person.

Ablutions and decorations are of no avail without listening to the Guru:—

Man continually washeth his body, and rubbeth it and adorneth it;

But the beautiful decorations of him whose heart accepteth not the words of my true Guru are all in vain.

Maru ki War I

The Guru is potent to save under all circumstances:—

I will embark on the boat and proceed, however agitated be the sea.

The true boat cannot be stopped if the Guru give encouragement.

I will disembark at that landing-place where the Guru is seen on the alert.

Nanak, if I obtain God’s look of favour I shall be honoured in His court.


The presence of God in every heart:—

As the light of the sun’s rays is diffused,

So is God the warp and woof contained in every heart.

Man's life is ever decreasing, and he ought to remember God the Saviour:—

Night and day are both calling—

Remember God in your hearts: He is the Saviour at last and for ever.

O my soul, ever remember God.

When man completely removeth the disease of sloth, he obtaineth God and under the Guru’s instruction singeth His praises.

The obstinate die again and again of pride.

They who are destroyed by the demon Death shall go to his city.

Basant Ashtapadi

The Guru preaches the necessity of controlling the mind:—

A child[270] dwelleth in the city of the body; it will not rest even for a moment.

We weary of our various efforts and struggles to restrain it, but yet it wandereth incessantly.

My Lord, bring the child to a fixed home.

By meeting the true Guru the Perfect One is obtained; by repeating His name He is manifested.

All men’s bodies in which God’s name dwelleth not, are earth in graves.

When the Guru causeth man to taste the water of God’s name, he enjoyeth it and again reviveth.

I have thoroughly examined and searched my body; the holy man showed me a sight—

All the apostates were dying of searching abroad, while

I under the Guru’s instruction found God at home.

God hath been compassionate to the poorest of the poor as when Krishan went to Bidur’s house.

Sudama[271]  went to Krishan with love, upon which Krishan removed his poverty, and rendered him happy.

Great is the honour of God’s name; my Lord Himself hath bestowed it on me.

If all the apostates were to practise slandering it, that would in no wise lessen it.

God’s name is His servant’s praise by which he obtaineth honour in every direction.

The slanderer and the infidel cannot endure it; they have set fire to their houses.

God’s servant meeting another obtaineth honour, as virtue springeth from virtue.

The men who are the slaves of slaves of my God are dear and beloved by me.

The Creator is as the ocean; He is without limit; it is He who blendeth man with Himself.

Nanak, the holy man is naturally blended with God as water with water.

Sarang ki War

The following was addressed to a hypocritical faqir:—

Thou smearest thy body with ashes, but in thy heart is ignorance.

Thou hast a patched coat, a wallet, and many sectarial garbs, but thou art evil-minded and proud.

Thou hast never uttered the Word of God; thy heart is filled with the love of fleeting things.

In thy heart are avarice and superstition; thou wanderest a pagan.

Saith Nanak, thou hast not remembered the Name and hast lost thy game.

Hypocrisy cannot for ever be concealed:—

They who are clean outside, but in whose hearts is the filth of deception,

Practise falsehood and deception, and their falsehood becometh apparent.

What is within cometh forth and cannot be concealed.

He to whom falsehood and avarice attach, shall again enter the womb.

Nanak, what man soweth he eateth: he obtaineth what the Creator destined for him.

The fate of the slanderer:—

They in whose hearts is the enemy slander cut their own noses and cause others to cut theirs.

They become very ugly and pained, and their faces ever appear black.

When they rise in the morning, they take and steal others’ property with God’s name in their mouths.

O God, associate me not with such; preserve me from them, O God.

Nanak, such perverse persons act according to their destiny and are unhappy.

Man may be holy in his own home:—

Even in one’s own house and one’s own family man may be absorbed in God.

Nanak, they who are imbued with the Name are the true hermits.

Men cannot be compelled to holiness:—

Service is not performed by calculation; what is so done is not acceptable.

He who hath not a relish for the Word, shall never love the True One.

The obstinate person to whom the Guru is not dear, shall come and go in transmigration.

When he maketh one step forward he retreateth ten.

Man ought not to rail at Providence:—

Saith Nanak, why, O man, be angry with Him who taketh thought for us,

Without whom we cannot live for a moment, and by forgetting whom we cannot succeed in any degree?

In the rainy reason men obtain respite from outdoor occupation, so that is the time for either love or devotion:—

When rainy Sawan cometh, meditate on God’s name under the Guru’s instruction.

All trouble, hunger and pain shall be at an end when the rain falleth in torrents.

The whole earth becometh green, corn groweth, and there appear harvest heaps.

God Himself mercifully calleth man when he expecteth it not and assigneth him a place.

Kanra Ashtapadi

The advantages of listening to the Guru’s instruction:—

O man, act according to the instruction of the Guru.

As the iron goad subdueth the furious elephant, so let the goad of the Guru’s instruction restrain thy heart.

The wandering mind wandereth in every direction; if the Guru restrain it, it will fix its attention on God.

If the true Guru put the Word into the mind, the nectar of the Name shall trickle into the mouth.

Man is filled with the poison of the serpents[272]; the Guru’s instruction is the jay which swalloweth them.

The serpent mammon will not then approach such a person; he will reject the poison and fix his attention on God.

The dog covetousness is very powerful in the citadel of the body, but the Guru will in a moment smite and expel it.

He will plant truth, patience, and faith instead; then shall man sing God’s praises.

Mortal would sink into the mire of worldly love, did the Guru not save him from sinking.

When man repeating 'Save! save! ’ cometh into the Guru’s sanctuary[273], the Guru reacheth his hand and extricateth him.

The world is all like the play of a dream; God causeth the whole game to be played.

Under the Guru’s instruction take the Name as your profit, and you shall be honoured in God’s court.

Pride acteth and causeth to act; pride bringeth and putteth the charcoal of sin on man’s head.

The torturer Death shall come, and cause man to eat what he hath sown.

O saints, lay up God’s name; take it as your travelling expenses and you shall obtain honour:

Eat it, spend it, and bestow it freely, and God will so give you that there shall be no deficiency.

The wealth of God’s name is in the heart; they who enter the Guru’s protection shall obtain it.

O slave Nanak, the Lord of mercy hath shown mercy, removed my misery and poverty, and blended me with Himself.

The Guru does for man what the philosopher’s stone does for iron:—

O man, bethink thee of the Guru’s protection.

As iron becometh gold by touching the philosopher’s stone, so do the virtues of the Guru, who is the philosopher’s stone, enter his disciples.

The great being, the true Guru, is a philosopher’s stone; he who is touched by it shall obtain his reward.

As by the guru’s instruction Prahlad was saved, so the Guru protecteth the honour of the servant.

The true Guru’s word is good; by means of it man obtaineth nectar.

Kanre ki War

God’s praises:—

Thou O God, art the Sidh and the Striver; Thou art the Jogi of Jogis.

Thou art the Taster of tasters; Thou art the Enjoyer of enjoyers.

Thou pervadest all things; what Thou doest taketh place.

Hail to the true congregation! hail to the true Guru by meeting whom man repeateth God’s name!

All ye people, proclaim Har, Har, Hare, Har, Har, Hare; by thus uttering God’s name all sins depart.

The Guru’s instruction dispels poverty and sorrow:—

Poverty and sorrow shall depart from those who walk as pleaseth the true Guru.

Nobody hath found God by walking his own way; O man, see and be assured of this.

The ceremonies of the Hindus are marred by spiritual pride:—

Very fortunate are they who meditate on God; to them are entrusted God’s storehouses.

The acts done without God’s name are ever spoiled by pride.

Even when the elephant is rubbed and bathed, he will again throw dust on his head.

God’s attributes cannot be described. The Guru makes supplication:—

I have but one tongue while God’s merits are unapproachable and unfathomable.

How can we silly persons repeat Thy name, O God? Thou art great, unapproachable, and unfathomable.

O God, grant us excellent understanding that we may fall at the true Guru’s feet!

O God, lead us to meet the company of the saints that we sinners may be saved with them!

O God, pardon the slave Nanak and be pleased to blend him with Thee!

O God, mercifully hear our supplication, and save us who are sinners and worms!

Though devotion be abundant, yet few obtain it:—

Devotion is a bubbling lake; filled to the brim it floweth over.

The fortunate ones, O slave Nanak, who obey the true Guru obtain it.

The Guru gives divine knowledge to those who are prepared to receive it:—

He to whom the Guru giveth the salve of divine knowledge hath his eyes tinctured with God’s love.

Life without devotion is valueless:—

My mind and body are only of value when I behold God with mine eyes.

Nanak, may I find that God and live ever hearing His praises!

They who seek to injure God’s slaves injure themselves:—

God’s slaves repeat God’s name; the ignorant aim arrows to destroy them.

Nanak, God’s slaves are saved by God’s love: the arrows recoil on those who discharged them.

Men ought to fix their attention on God alone:—

They whose eyes are attracted by God’s love behold Him by means of the Name:

If they look at any one else, O Nanak, they ought to be gouged out.

God exerts Himself to give divine knowledge to the pious:—

God the Beneficent Giver putteth forth His hands and poureth rain on the world.

For those who remember God’s name the corn germinateth and the field arriveth at maturity.

God is with man but can only be seen by means of the Guru:—

I am searching for my Friend, but my Friend is with me.

O slave Nanak, the Invisible is not seen, but the holy man showeth Him.


The Guru addresses God as a child his father:—

O God have mercy on me, and I will sing Thy praises!

I have ever hope in Thee that Thou wilt yet embrace me.

I am a child stupid and silly; my Father will advise me.

A son every moment erreth and committeth faults, but the Father of the world will still be pleased with him.

We obtain only what Thou, O Lord God, givest.

There is no other refuge for me to seek.

God is pleased with the saints who are pleased with Him.

The Lord of light will blend their light with His, and both lights shall unite. .

When God is merciful, He will fix man’s attention on Him.

The slave Nanak hath sought the asylum of God’s gate, and God will protect His honour.

Kalian Ashtapadi

An injunction to speedily seek the society of the saints:—

O God, make me the slave of Thy slaves;

As long as there is breath in my body, nourish me with the dust of the saints’ feet.

Shiv, Narad, Sheshnag[274] and the Munis long for the dust of the saints’ feet.

Every house where the saints put their feet becometh holy.

Renounce shame of the saints' service; renounce all pride; when you meet a saint abide with him.

He will cause you to disregard Dharmraj, and extricate you though drowning in a sea of poison.

They who are parched by superstition are thoroughly parched, but they shall bloom again by association with the saints:

Wherefore make not a moment’s waiting or delay: go and take the protection of the saints’ feet.

The singing of God’s name is a precious thing which God deposited with His saints.

It is offered him who obeyeth the Guru’s word as the truest of the true.

Hear, hear, ye brother saints; the Guru raiseth his arm and calleth unto men.

Let him who desireth supreme mental happiness, enter the true Guru’s protection.

Let him who is greatly fortunate and very virtuous, fix the Name in his heart under the Guru’s instruction.

All worldly love is troublesome, but, by drinking the elixir of God’s name, man shall cross the world in comfort.

They who possess excessive worldly wealth pine away in the midst of it.

The way of ignorance is very gloomy and difficult, specially when man is weighted with the load of pride.

Nanak, by ever repeating God’s name salvation is obtained.

By meeting the true Guru the Name is fixed in the heart, and by it man is blended with God.

God is not found even by search without the true Guru:—

Supplementary Sloks

I love my Dear One; how shall I meet my beloved Friend?

I search for that Friend who is adorned with truth.

The true Guru is my friend; if I meet him I will sacrifice my life unto him.

The dear one will show me God the Friend, the Creator.

Nanak, I was searching for my Beloved, but the true Guru hath shown Him unto me.

The holy man is the true lover who finds the truly Beloved:—

The holy man is the true lover by whom the truly Beloved is found.

Nanak, man is then happy night and day and naturally absorbed in God.

The love and affection vouchsafed by God through the Guru are not forfeited:—

True love and affection are obtained from the perfect Guru;

They shall never be forfeited; Nanak singeth God’s praises.

The holy man may be cheerful or serious:—

The holy man may laugh, the holy man may weep;

Whatever he doeth is in God’s service.

Only those who possess discrimination and reflection serve the Guru:—

The service of the Guru and of Pirs[275] is very difficult, yet in it is the essence of happiness.

God inspireth him on whom He casteth His glance with love and affection.

The world will cross the terrible ocean if it attach itself to the true Guru’s service.

He in whose heart there is discrimination and reflection, shall obtain the fruit his heart desireth.

Nanak, when man meeteth the true Guru, he findeth God the remover of all sorrow.

It is only the holy man who can regenerate and save by giving God’s name:—

Even though the perverse man perform service, he attacheth his heart to mammon.

Sons, wives, and families increase his worldly love:

None of them will save him when his account is at last called for in God’s court.

Without God’s name all is misery; worldly love causeth misery.

Nanak, when the holy man appeareth all worldly love departeth.

The condition of the perverse:—

The perverse feel love of the world, not love of the Name:

They act falsehood, they amass falsehood, and they eat falsehood.

They die amassing the wealth of poisonous mammon and at last all become dust.

They perform religious ceremonies, purifications, and self-restraint, but within them is the sin of greed.

Nanak, what the perverse do is not acceptable; they are despised in God’s court.

It is good to sing God’s praises, but they may also be uttered by ordinary speech:—

That is the best of all musical .measures by which God abideth in the heart.

Musical measures to which the Word is sung are all true; their worth cannot be described;

But God is independent of musical measures and airs; His order cannot be understood merely from them.

Nanak, he who understandeth God’s order becometh free from desires, and obtaineth understanding from the true Guru.

Everything cometh from Him according to His will.


*******************The End*******************

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[1] A place in the Himalayas where flame issues from the mountain. It is held sacred by Hindus, who make it an object of pilgrimage. It appears from one of Seneca’s letters that the ancient Romans worshipped similar places, such as springs of hot water, sources of rivers, &c.

[2] Asa ki War.

[3] Baba means father. The word was and is frequently applied to Guru Nanak.

[4] The Greek partridge.

[5] That is, they will not suffer transmigration.

[6] Suhi

[7] Water in the Panjab is most generally raised by Persian wheels which are worked by bullocks or buffaloes.

[8] War I, 46

[9] Guru Nanak’s successors assumed the name Nanak as their nom de plume.

[10] Pinjar. Literally—a skeleton; here used contemptuously for the body.

[11] Sri Rag ki War

[12] Majh ki War.

[13] See the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, by Manilal Nabhubhai Drivedi, Bornbay.

[14] So also Guru Amar Das; see below, paragraph on salvation, p. 252.

[15] An account of this saint will subsequently be given.

[16] In this narrative we have followed Bhai Dhiyan Singh Gyani, grand-unclc of BhSi Sardul Singh Gyani. Bhai Santokh Singh states that the above composition was written in the time of Guru Arjan. This receives some support from Gur Das also. He makes ‘ Bhai Ladha parupkari' who interceded with Guru Angad for Balwand and Satta, live in the time of Guru Arjan. It does not, however, follow that Bhai Ladha did not live in the time of Guru Angad also. The statement that the circumstance occurred in the time of Guru Arjan is totally negatived by the internal evidence of the composition itself, if it be carefully examined. It was written by the minstrel Balwand to make his peace with Guru Angad. Satta afterwards, as we shall see, added three pauris to it in the time of Guru Arjan when the apotheosis of the Guru had become complete. The pauris were added with the intention of making a complete panegyric on the Gurus up to the time of Guru Aijan, and obtaining for the ode the honour of insertion in the Granth Sahib.

[17] Also translated—He whose name is the Omnipotent Creator doelh everything; how can His words be weighed?

[18] Also translated—Grant us virtues, truth, &c., as our sisters and brothers.

[19] Also translated—Nanak established the true empire and made firm the foundation of his fortress.

[20] That is, assumed another form.

[21] So called because man must suffer worldly discomfort while striving to obtain union with God.

[22] A reference to Gur Das. War I, 38, and XXVI, 33, will show that this line is correctly translated.

[23] This is on the supposition that khatiai is read as the last word of the verse. Those who read thatiai translate—What Guru Nanak said he did, and what he attempted he successfully accomplished.

[24] Ko sal jiwahe sali. Also translated-—(a) which is better, thistle or rice ? (The Guru’s sons are thistles, and Lahina rice.) (6) As man doeth good or evil so shall he be accepted.

[25] Horio Gang Wahaiai. Literally—made the Ganges flow backwards.

[26] Balwand here censures himself.

[27] The headman of a village. There were originally four (chau) men in whom confidence was placed (dhar); hence the name.

[28] A brief account of Narad has already been given. Shukdev was a rikhi the son of Vyas, the author of the Mahabharat and arranger of the Veds. As usual in his epoch, he desired to place himself under a guru. He succeeded in finding Raja Janak, the father-in-law of Rim Chandar, who made him his disciple.

[29] Dal is the pulse of certain Indian leguminous plants such as chana, viasurmolh, urad, mung, &c. It is not the name of any particular vegetable.

[30] Wadhans ki War

[31] The bohr-tree is the Ficus Indica, generally known as the Indian fig-tree.

[32] Capparis aphylla, the wild caper tree.

[33] This is, of course, said ironically.

[34] As long as a man is steeped in worldly pleasures he has no feet, arms, or eyes for God’s service.

[35]  Athi. Literally—during the eight watches of the day.

[36] Also translated—favours are distributed according to man’s acts.

[37] The preceding three verses are also translated—

The mouth is never satisfied with uttering worldly things, or the ears with hearing them,

Or the eyos with beholding them; cach of the senses dellghteth to gratify itself.

The hunger of the hungry departeth not by mere talk.

[38] That is, let men have no entanglements in this world.

[39] Much in the original.

[40] Or—obey Him who is worthy to be obeyed.

[41] He brings a purchaser for the jewels, that is, he causes the purchaser to puchase God's name.

[42] Literally—Even though one speak a hundred times.

[43] Wasi. Also translated—to lake care of what they have received.

[44] Divine knowledge

[45] God's name.

[46] Men reap the reward of their acts.

[47] Such as Hindus offer their idols.

[48] The Hindi month July-August, when the rains generally begin in India.

[49] The MS. was then in possession of a Sikh lady named Sukh Dei.

[50] Guru Amar Das was as acceptable as Guru Angad and Guru Nanak. The terms of relationship are figurative.

[51] Anand

[52] The Oriental custom of veiling the face is frequently reprobated in Sikh literature.

[53] The founder of the Sanyasi sect, who was afterwards deified.

[54] Son-in-law of Muhammad and leader of his four friends.

[55] Eighty-four postures of the Jogis are enumerated.

[56] That is, practise contemplation.

[57] Attune thy heart to divine knowledge.

[58] On this subject Guru Arjan subsequently wrote the following verses:— Dust flieth on the body of him who repeateth not God’s name and frequenteth not the society of the saints. Nanak, curses on the insipid body which knoweth not Him who created it. Nanak, cherish that body which remembereth God, in whose heart God’s lotus feet dwell, and whose tongue repeateth His name. Bihagri ki War.

[59] Gauri

[60] By this the Guru meant that his Sikhs should not follow the example of the Hindus who go on idolatrous pilgrimages in Baisakh, Magh, and at the Diwali, or feast of lights, in autumn, but that they should attend on him three limes a year for religious instruction and God’s worship.

[61] Supplementary sloks of the Granth Sahib.

[62] Kabir’s slots

[63] Gujari

[64] Hindu women dig holes near tanks for the benefit of their ancestors. Others drawing forth mud from tanks worship unseen spirits under the name of Bibaris, who are supposed to control children's diseases.

[65] Bards' Sawaiyas.

[66] Suraj Parkash, Ras II, Chapter 1O.

[67] Gauri ki War I.

[68] Kings renowned in Eastern lore for their generosity. Raja Vikramadit also gave his name to the Sambat era.

[69] According to the custom of petitioners in that age.

[70] That is, hindered him from visiting his relations.

[71] That is, has inspired me to utter these words. Gauri ki War I.

[72] Ramkali ki War I.

[73] Suraj Parkash, Ras I, Chapter 44. The jaziya or tax on ‘infidels' was subsequently abolished by Akbar in a.d. 1579.

[74] In this allegory the water in the earth means recondite Sanskrit literature; the water from the clouds, the Guru’s instruction, which is continually poured down for the benefit of the world.

[75] Gauri.

[76] The lunar month, though generally considered twenty-eight days, is really only twenty-seven days, odd hours, minutes, and seconds. Abhijit was intercalated between the 21st and 22nd astcrisms to adjust the difference.

[77] Also translated—Conversed with him and made him offerings.

[78] An ancient Indian coin or money-measure of very small value, twenty-five dams being equal to a paisa of Indian or a farthing of English money.

[79] An account of this saint will afterwards be given.

[80] Tukhari Chhant.

[81] The True Guru here means God.

[82] That is, in the heart where God dwells.

[83] Translated by Mahant Sumer Singh—They to whom Thou didst show favour from the beginning.

[84] Literally—the body.

[85] Anjan, or surma, a preparation for darkening the eyelids, is made sometimes of lamp-black, sometimes of antimony.

[86] Also translated—Through whom shall we be able to find Him.

[87] The hymns of the Guru.

[88] God’s name.

[89] That is, to adore Thee.

[90] This line is also translated—Avarice, covetousness, and pride have left me, and the True Guru is endeared to me.

[91] This is an English idiom which we have ventured to use here. The literal translation is—The heart unclean, the external clean.

[92] No faith can be placed on any song other than that of the Guru.

[93] Rawani here means a continuous flow of prayer on the lips, but not felt by the heart.

[94] Literally—night, a word which is often applied in the Granth Sahib to human life.

[95] Even by remaining a family man, and not adopting the life of an anchoret.

[96] Literally—even though people continue to scream.

[97] In this hymn sharir, body, means man generally.

[98] In the congregation of saints.

[99] Suraj Parkash, Ras I, Chapter 59.

[100] Literally—The Shastars and the Veds shall not again be shouted at him. Rag Malar.

[101] This is not the Talwandi where Guru Nanak was born.

[102] Gauri

[103] Suraj Parkash, Ras II, Chapter 11.

[104] Suraj Parkash, Ras II, Chapter 13.

[105] This line refers to the throne, received from the second by the third Guru, which it was the duty of the latter to transmit to another.

[106] That is, the Guru.

[107] Divine knowledge.

[108] Sarang ki War.

[109] Guru Amar Das is the ocean and Guru Ram Das the Ganges. Guru Amar Das has communicated his greatness and virtues to Guru Ram Das.

[110] War I, 47.

[111] Manjis. Literally—couches on which the Gurus used to sit and communicate instruction to their audiences.

[112] Some attribute this line to Guru Amar Das, and translate—What pleaseth God pleaseth me, the Guru is going to God.

[113] The use of the word Nirban here for God shows the Guru intended that the Sikh and not the Hindu ritual should be read at his decease.

[114]  That is, the compositions of the Gurus.

[115] Beban, from the Sanskrit viman, a celestial chariot. Among the Hindus, when an elderly person dies, he is raised on a lofty bier on which flower, money, almonds, &c., are thrown, and in front of which musicians sing and play.

[116] Phul. The bones of the departed after the process of cremation.

[117] The allusion here is to Guru Amar Das’s eldest son, Mohan, who at first refused to do homage to the new Guru.

[118] Guru Arjan is meant.

[119] God’s name.

[120] By evil passions or the god of death.

[121] Literally—are robbed.

[122] The soul of the pious man.

[123] The body.

[124]  The souls of the perverse.

[125] The three qualities.

[126] Dukh sukh. Pain and pleasure. In the Sikh sacred writings the words combined generally mean unhappiness.

[127] The Daityas were a race of demons and giants who warred against the gods. Prahlad's father was, according to the Sikhs, Harnakhas the Golden-eyed, who for a long time did penance and prayed to Shiv with the object of attaining immortal life. He had a son called Prahlad who elected the rival deity Vishnu as the object of his adoration. Harnakhas, wearied with his son's disobedience, had him tied to a pillar with the object of striking off his head. He said to his son: 'Where is now your God?' It is on this, it is said, Vishnu, in one of his incarnations, half man and half lion, issued from the pillar, and with his nails, tore Hanarkhas to pieces. Multan is believed to have been at the scene of this miracle. At any rate, a temple was built there in commemoration of this event.

[128] Also translated - if anyone by means of it, love the True One.

[129] Literally—separation ; absence which makes the heart grow fonder.

[130] Literally—running about the world.

[131] To ascertain if his heart has become pure or not.

[132] Literally—talking is of no avail.

[133] My mind ccases to wander.

[134] That is, he shall not undergo transmigration.

[135] The souls are the flowers of the garden, and they are known by their odour.

[136] In the company of the saints.

[137] Who cause themselves to be known, who put themselves forward by boasting.

[138] Literally—who read of things possessing the three qualities.

[139] The Guru.

[140] Whose duty it is to serve others and repeat God’s name.

[141] That is, that brief life should be man’s portion.

[142] They stake their precious human lives and lose them.

[143] The Sikh religion.

[144] The three qualities.

[145]karor is one hundred lakhs, or ten millions.

[146]  Brahma suffers transmigration like other creatures.

[147] Obviously a reference to Ram and Krishan.

[148] Sawarian also means to adorn.

[149] That is, to idols.

[150] Panch bhu atman. The three qualities are in each of the five elements. The five parts of salogun make the antahkarcn or mind here denoted; the five parts of rajogun make the five organs of perception; and the five parts of tamogun make the five organs of action.

[151] Literally—most unripe.

[152] Wanni, colouring applied to gold, no matter how pure, to enhance its lustre.

[153] A man is not a Brahman merely by paternity.

[154] Unsolicited alms which they may accept.

[155] Wah! Literally—bravo! The word is also a part of God’s name Wahguru.

[156] Literally—beholding the lofty house, that is, the clouds in the sky.

[157] That is, ye holy men, impart your instruction now that we may profit by it.

[158] Literally—hope neither dieth nor departeth.

[159] The body.

[160] Pain and pleasure.

[161] The soul.

[162] His body, the microcosm.

[163] A great swan in the religious language of the Sikhs means a great saint.

[164] They who, struggling with the world, have not obtained salvation, are born again and canno: be called spiritual rulers.

[165] Mundawani is a spell employed at marriages by the females of the bride's party to induce the bridegroom's friends to believe that they cannot partake of the bridal feast until a countcrspell is employed. The word mundawani literally means a thing sealed, as viands preparatory to eating, in order to preserve their purity. Here the word is used for God's name, the fourth ingredient of the ambrosial food.

[166] The guru

[167] In God's Name

[168] Virtues

[169] Spiritual sovereignty is of course meant.

[170] Married women wear red.

[171] Whether a widow loves her deceased husband or not, her cremation is useless. If she loves him, his death is a torture to her, while, if she loves him not, his life or death is of equal unconcern to her. Therefore cremating her by force, or for the sake of custom or fashion, is utterly useless.

[172] This word in Panjabi means enjoyment, in Sanskrit a musical measure. There is in the first line of the hymn a play on the word. The BilSwal is sung on festive, the Maru on mournful occasions.

[173] Or—the time to sing in the Bilawal measure is when God’s name is in your mouths.

[174] The five senses.

[175] Pure religion is compared to an unblemished cow.

[176] That is, truth.

[177] And not in their hearts as believed in the Sat age.

[178] The second leg that fell off is supposed to be sacrifice.

[179] Worship is supposed to be the third leg that dropped off; God's name, the fourth, remained.

[180] Superior to all religious ceremonies.

[181] This word in Sanskrit means a visitor. The name was subsequently given to pious mendicants.

[182] Literally—grandfathers; in the East the fathers arc often very young, and advice-giving then becomes the grandfather’s duty or privilege. Here the Guru means Guru Nanak’s instruction.

[183] Vyas, the compiler of the Veds, see note i, p. 31.

[184] I shall have to compensate numerous persons for the alms I have received.

[185] The Guru means that if he forgot God’s name, he should deserve the penalty that nobody would eat or associate with him.

[186] To know the state of one’s own heart.

[187] His human birth; his soul docs not desccnd lo a lower animal.

[188] Also translated—Of his own accord.

[189] The Guru gives copious instruction.

[190] Human beings thrive under divine instruction.

[191] As ihe chatrik wants special rain-drops, so the world seeks its own advantages. If the world accepted God’s name, all unworthy desires should depart.

[192] When a watch or about three hours of night still remain.

[193] So if a man rise early for prayer, God will hearken unto him.

[194] If it be employed to sing God’s praises.

[195] The Guru deduces the original of these words from the sound of the Persian wheel in motion.

[196]  Literally—having beaten them.

[197] The Dasahra festival is held on the tenth day of the light half of the month of Jeth, May-June, in commemoration of the birth of the Ganges. The word is derived from dash, ten, and hara, to take away; that is, the removal of ten great sins. The ten parabs or auspicious times for bathing are the eighth and the fourteenth of the lunar month, the day when no moon appears, the diy when the moon is full, the first day of the solar month, the day of the new moon when it falls on a Sunday and the moon is in the mansion of Shrawan or Aquila, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, eclipses of the sun and moon. Sardar KShn Singh’s Gurumat Prabhakar.

[198] Sat Satte may also be translated—assuredly.

[199] Also translated—The society of the Friend is obtained from association with the saints; him on whom God casteth a favouring glance, He blendeth with Himself.

[200] Dhanasari Chhant.

[201] Gauri.

[202] Asa.

[203] Accounts of the Tapa who opposed Guru Angad and of the Tapa who opposed Guru Amar Das have already been given.

[204] Sagara was king of Ajudhia. Bhagirath, a descendant of his, performed austerities which induced Shiv to allow the Ganges to descend to the earth for the purpose of bathing the ashes of Sagara's sons who had been consumed by the wrath of the sage Kapila.

[205] Kedarnath, a place of pilgrimage in the Himalayas sacred to the god Shiv, who is there represented as a shapeless mass of rock.

[206] Malar.

[207] Suraj Parkash, Ras II, Chapter 14.

[208] Gauri ki War I.

[209] Amritsar.

[210] Gujari.

[211] In the Suraj Parkash, Ras II, Chapter 37 et seq., all this is represented to have occurred in the time of Guru Arjan. It is not likely that Guru Ram Das would have neglected to carry out the work which he himself had begun under the order of his beloved father-in-law, the third Guru. Even the author of the Suraj Parkash himself throws a doubt on his own narrative. Ras II, 39.

[212] Dabistan-i-Mazahib.

[213] This man Bhagtu is ancestor of the Kaithal family and also of the Rafs of Arnauli in the Ambala district.

[214] Gauri.

[215] Dhara is literally a party or faction.

[216] Asa.

[217] Sri Rag ki War. 

[218] Majh ki War.

[219] This name, well known in former times, of the present city of Amritsar furnishes an additional proof that Guru Ram Das oontinued the work he had begun under his predecessor.

[220] May thy heart, like the bumble-bee, be attached to the lotus of God’s feet!

[221] Gujari.

[222] Majh.

[223] Gujari.

[224] Sarang

[225] Suhi.

[226] This word originally meant a tribe of Hindu robbers of Rajputana. In the Panjab the name is now applied to a villain with a smiling face.

[227] That is, sinful persons.

[228] That is, the evil trembled for their enormities and concealed themselves.

[229] Sawaiyas

[230] That is, produces; a holy offspring.

[231] Vide Vol. i. p. 60, n. 1.

[232] By having recourse to a hypocritical guru.

[233] This includes seven generations of the father's family, seven of the mother’s, and seven of the father-in-law’s.

[234] The kulang.

[235]  Gobind and Hari are both names of God. They are retained in the translation of this hymn to avoid confusion.

[236] That is, make my human life profitable.

[237] Karhale, a camel. In a secondary sense it means a camel which does not obey its bridle, thence stubborn. The gyanis also translate the word—make effort.

[238] In the original man, a word which is used sometimes for mind and sometimes for man, but here appears to mean the soul which has migrated from a distant body.

[239] They reap the fruit of their evil intentions and obtain an evil reputation.

[240] Literally—both ends., men of both moral extremes.

[241] As man’s mind is disposed towards God.

[242] Better to depend on God who is with one than go abroad in search of Him.

[243] That is, human life.

[244] Also translated—chronic.

[245] Metaphorically for understandings.

[246] The body is meant.

[247] Who deal in the Name, holy men.

[248] Either by transmigration or the god of death.

[249] I did not love Him, so I did not taste His love.

[250] Instead of spring it was autumn for me.

[251] Literally—become cooled and green.

[252] Lalari may also mean a hunchback.

[253] Literally—I have burnt in the fire.

[254] That is, the privilege of meditating on God is obtained by destiny.

[255] Keep it under subjection.

[256] Applies God's love to his heart.

[257] Also translated—Accept as good.

[258] That is, in a paroxysm of desire.

[259] As was done by Indian bankers after accounts were adjusted.

[260] Hri, to take away, is the root of Hari.

[261] That is, God’s name.

[262] Krishan, once stayed at the house of Bidur (Vidur), a man of low caste, and was hospitably entertained by him. Krishan at his departure was pleased to bless his host.

[263] Literally—put patches on their foreheads.

[264] The holy meditate on God; the perverse continue their vain babbling.

[265] Lawan is that part of the marriage ceremony which consists in tying together the upper garments of the bride and bridegroom, and causing them to go four times round the Granth Sahib, while ihis hymn is repeated by the Sikh priest.

[266] The first two lines of each stanza end in the original with the word Balram Jiu, which may mean, O Dear One, or, I am a sacrifice unto Thee. The Sikh reader may supply the word for himself.

[267] The courtesan (Ganika) by the advice of a holy man taught her parrot to repeat God’s name.

[268] A hunchbacked handmaiden had ground sandal for Krishan’s uncle, but on accidentally meeting Krishan applied it to his feet. He raised her from her stooping posture, upon which it is said her hump disappeared, and her body became perfect.

[269] Narayan, one of God's names, is frequently given to children. Ajamal, a worldly man, called on the point of death to his son so named, and obtained salvation because he had once mentioned God’s name.

[270] That is, the mind.

[271] Sudama had been a class fellow of Krishan, and in great poverty approached him when his fame had spread far and wide.

[272] The deadly sins

[273]  It cannot be said that the Hindus had an actual sanctuary corresponding to the **** of the Greeks, but whoever approached a great man saying, trahi, trahi—protect me—might not be refused protection.

[274] The serpent which, in the Hindu dispensation supports the earth. It is said to possess a thousand heads which formed the couch of Vishnu whilst sleeping between the different creations and destructions of the world.

[275] This verse was obviously intended for Sikhs and Muhammadans. By Pirs here are meant living saints, and not their cemeteries, as the word frequently means in India.

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