Sunday, June 19, 2005

Momentary Reminder

Imagine there is a bank, which credits your account each morning with £86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every pence, of course!

Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is Time.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Spirit of Forgiveness

"Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself."

- Bhagat Kabir Ji

How often does a mother forgive her child? How often did our Gurus and other enlightened masters smile forgivingly at the faults of others?

We all will err at some point as we work through the lessons we must learn. Forgiveness is as necessary to life as the food we eat and the air we breathe. It is one of the greatest gifts of spiritual life. When an individual can cultivate an attitude of forgiveness, he helps to create a pocket of tranquillity in the world. To forgive does not mean we condone the misdeeds of another or ever allow them again. It acknowledges that no matter how much we may have suffered, we will not put another human being out of our heart.

An attitude of forgiveness fosters channels of love and understanding in the heart. Years of education involving the study of books, laws and sayings cannot culture the intellect and emotions as can an attitude of forgiveness. Practicing forgiveness of others creates a habit that ultimately allows us to forgive events in our own past. It helps us to let go of the resentment and outrage that we have carried for so long. Only then can life blossom into the fullness we desire.

Source: Anonymous

Friday, June 17, 2005

Gurbani as a cure of cancer.

When recitation of Gurbani cured me of deadly cancer, I experienced God. If God is with me, who can be against me? Not even the deadliest disease of cancer can take my life away and that is exactly the divinely inspiring message of the truly miraculous story of my victorious battle against bone
cancer which was medically diagnosed to be multiple myloma.

It was the continuous recitation of Gurbani that not only cured me of bone cancer that had already destroyed most of my bones in my skeleton, but also shattered my will to live. The blessings of Guru Granth Sahib not only triggered and accelerated the processes of complete and total cure in my body, but the Guru also enabled me to experience God. This also inspired me to pursue Nam therapy to totally and permanently get rid of otherwise fatal bone cancer.

Can Shabad-Kirtan and faithful recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib save me from fatal clutches of cancer? Can such a miracle happen?

These were the posers that repeatedly crossed my mind and also dominated my dreams. Initially, I dismissed such ideas and being a science researcher with American educational background, I did not even believe in the existence of god. I have always been taught by my American scientists, teachers and professors that our life and the universe are governed by the irrefutable and irreversible laws of science and that God was nothing but a 'concept' or an illusion invented by timid and non-scientific minds. Hence, I have never been to any place of worship and also never prayed. But not anymore.

It was April 27th 2002 when three different teams of oncologists and hematologists from Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad presented me with the unanimous medical investigation reports based on their repeatedly unanimous findings, they passed their judgment with one voice that my life is going to end in a few days as the deadly cancer called multiple myloma has ruined most of my bones that are functionally vital for my survival. On April 29th , I had completed three and half years of painful life as a terminally bed-ridden cancer patient. I was slowly dying of cancer. The bony structures of my right ear had been eaten away by bone cancer that gave me total deafness in my right ear. Repeated audio graphs done by several E.N.T. surgeons proved beyond doubt that the decibel loss was irreversible and so immense that Dr. A.B.R. Desai in Mumbai, who is reputed to be the final authority on E.N.T. ailments, told me that there was something very tragically wrong with the bones in my right year and after trying several treatments, Dr. Desai told me that he has no medicine for my ailment and that I will never be able to hear with my right ear. The reputed E.N.T. surgeon Dr. Farida Wadia of civil hospital was of the opinion that if the loss of hearing in the right year was not due to nerve deafness and was really a symptomatic manifestation of some un-diagnosed ailment then the hearing will return after that un-diagnosed ailment is cured. Is she blessed with 6th, 7th and 8th sense? I guess say so because that is exactly how the events ran their course.

Dr. Farida Wadia was also using her imagination like telescope in time and exactly predicting things which were yet to come. Later, it was Dr. Kiran Shah, the senior most reputed oncologist hematologist in Surat who himself performed bone marrow analysis and gave me the shocking news that I am not only suffering from bone cancer called multiple myloma but the cancer has already destroyed much my vital bones. As per his advise, electrophoresis of the blood and MRI - [ magnetic resonance imaging] - of brain and skull as well as Citi Scan were also done at Mahavir General Hospital which confirmed beyond doubt that I am slowly but surely dying of bone cancer. I had been loosing appetite and had developed dislike for food. [anorexia nervosa] in between, I had also suffered from tumor on the right side of my head which gave me excruciating headache and giddiness. I lost orientation and would fall after walking for 30 seconds. As soon as cancer was diagnosed, I was immediately admitted to government civil hospital and six chemotherapy sessions were administered – one every 28th day. This further destroyed my appetite and all the hair on my head and body were gone. I suffered these agonies for more than three and half years when on April 27th 2002, three teams of doctors and oncologists advised me that I should prepare my will as I had only a few days left.

Now, this was the phase when the divine miracle began to take shape. It was Sardar Kesar Singh, the owner of reputed " Kwality Group of Hotels and Restaurants" in Surat and his son Sardar Manjeet Singh, who suggested to me that I should undertake a pilgrimage to the holy Golden Temple at Amritsar and offer Akhand Paath and Ardaas with complete faith and total devotion and pray before Sri Guru Granth Sahib to cure me of my cancer and bless me with good vibrant health and long life to remain in his service. I initially, took this suggestion very lightly and argued back that I do not understand Punjabi or Gurmukhi and would therefore, not follow any word of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and whatever brief knowledge of Sikhism and Sri Guru Granth Sahib I acquired was in April of 1999, when I wrote six researched articles on the 300 years of Khalsa celebrations published in the Indian press. But, Sardar Kesar Singh, who is also the president of Gurdwara at Udhana-Surat, convinced me that Sri Guru Granth Sahib's blessings are not restricted to those who speak or understand Punjabi or Gurmukhi. It is the faith and sincere devotion to the Guru which makes you worthy of his blessings.

I found Sardar Kesar Singh's advice very much inspiring. Moreover, my sister-in-law Miss Kunti, a staunch devotee of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and a faithful follower of principles of Sikhism since her childhood, was equally instrumental in motivating me to undertake this pilgrimage. She taught me the basic philosophy of Sikhism and brought me a copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in English. My mother-in-law Ms.Shanti Hotchand Khatri, have a separate room at their bungalows at Baroda where they offer prayers, Ardaas and listen to Shabad Kirtans every early morning. Their persuasion proved to be decisive.

So we left by Golden Temple Mail express train which departed from Surat at around 1-15 a.m. on April 29th 2002. We were received by the staff of Golden
Temple and particularly Sardar Diljeet Singh Bedi who is in charge of liaisons with press and the public. Myself being a leading journalist, foreign-educated researcher and U.S.A. trained science writer, was given a VIP treatment and given accommodation in room no. 16 of Sri Arjan Dev Niwas. Since I had only a few days to live according to my doctors, they quickly made preparations for Akhand Paath and Ardaas after I paid Rs 2100 as fees. My wife Kanta, my daughter Halley and my brother-in-law's daughter Puja also sat with me. I was permitted to photograph and tape-record entire Akhand Paath as well as Shabad Kirtans which I wanted to keep listening till I was to breathe my last on my death - bed.

But I was never to be lying on my death-bed because the moment the Granthi started reciting the Akhand Paath , I began to feel streams of energy entering and flowing thru my body. It rose majestically from the pages of Shri Guru Granth Sahib like a serene cool flame of light entering my body through my fingers. The excruciating pain which I had suffered while struggling to reach the Golden Temple also disappeared. After 48 hours, I got up on my own two feet and began to feel and enjoy such vibrant health that I almost ran with joy towards Sri Arjan Dev Niwas and quickly climbed the stairs to my room no. 16. My appetite returned. I first took bath and then visited Jaliyanwala Bagh and then went to the 'Hotel Cityheart' and for the first time in three and half years I enjoyed a variety of Punjabi and Chinese foods which I had missed like deserts miss the rains.

We returned to Surat on 18th May 2002 and on 25th May again bone marrow analysis and electrophoresis tests were done on my body. No cancer was detected. Hence, to obtain second medical opinion, the samples were sent to Mumbai and Ahmedabad and medical doctors there also confirmed that the bone cancer is gone. My oncologist at Ahemedabad Dr. Pankaj Shah was preparing for stem cells transplant on me which was to have cost me Rs. nine lakhs. The entire medical world was taken by surprise. All doctors agreed that this is, indeed, a miracle because there is no medicine in Allopathy that can cure deadly cancer within 48 hours and effect a 180 degree change. The latest electrophoresis : serum protein test done is dated April 7th 2003 at Abha Clinical Laboratory. The doctors have signed this medical test report with comments: " no myeloma band."

I have preserved all the medical reports and x-rays done before and after the Akhand Paath and Ardaas at Golden Temple and they all tell the true story of my miraculous cure. Ever since this miracle, I am not only experiencing Guru's vibrations within me but also feel God's spiritual energy within me which inspires me and guides me in thought and deed, and vibrate in unison with him. I am joyfully back to " cheers and gears of life.", soulfully sharing my God-Given spiritual energy with those who love and faithfully listens to Guru Granth Sahib and enrich their mind, body and soul with divinely vibrant health.

Now, I am enjoying the life of guru-inspired faith and taking Sri Guru Granth Sahib and God as my constant companion. It is the miracle and the divine magnetic spell of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which I also realized through Nam therapy that has not only blessed me with healthy life but considering my greatly vibrant health, spiritual strength and new youthful looks and glamorous shining black hair, the same oncologists tell me that I am totally free of all kinds of diseases. I myself feel so close to the Guru that something tells me that I will live for 125 years and remain in Guru's service and bring true love, happiness and inspiration to all my friends.

My life has taken a spiritual turn. I get sound sleep without any sleeping pills. Since
25th April 2002, I am no longer on any medicine. I read Nitnem and get sound sleep and get up early to read Paath and enjoy Shabad Kirtan on Punjabi TV channel. Guru's teachings have gone a long way in dispelling the darkness of ignorance. Guru has not only changed my destiny but made me a devotee with the faith that is not blind but enlightened.

So often, I see and meet Gurus in my dreams and they taught me a new healthy life-style to give happiness to others. I am never angry. I have no bad habits and always remain jovial. Now, my motto is: ' people enjoy the happiness they feel. But I enjoy the happiness I give. Guru's one of the teachings says : " Kirat Karani and Wand Chhakana." - meaning: earn the fruits of your hard work ‘Naam Japana’; and share your fruits with others with love. I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when he is silent. There is one God. God is truth. He is the creator of the universe and all beings. He is without fear and without hatred. He is the eternal being and the divine soul, birth less, self enlightened. He is enemy to none. Through grace of the Satguru he is met. Diseases and sins are destroyed by hearing the name of God says Guru Nanak. The Name, revealed to me by Guru's advice, is the breath of my life and the praise of the lord is my life's vocation. "Truth is great but greater than truth is truthful living." says Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Khalsa belongs to [the wondrous guru ] God; all victory of is the victory of [the Wondrous guru ] Wahe Gurujika Khalsa- Wahe Guruji ki Fateh.


Mr Vasu Bhardwaj
Journalist, Science Writer, Corporate Analyst
701-Chinmaya Apartment, Anand Mahal Road, Behind Bhulka
Bhavan, Adajan, Surat, Gujarat-395009
Tel: 0261 – 2690033, 0261 - 224 00 99
Mobile: 09825113636
E-mail vasuamerica@yahoo.com

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Pipal Tree Prophesy

This is a story of Guru Gobind Singh which happened in the year 1704 and was recorded in 1714 or 1715 in a small book called Sakhi Pothi written by a Udasee Sikh. Not much is known about the writer. The Sakhi Pothi records Guru Gobind Singh's travels. Attar Singh translated the manuscript, "Sakhi Pothi" and presented it to Queen Victoria when he was invited to a ceremony to solemnise her sovereignty over Punjab.

When she read the story, two paragraphs caught her attention. The story goes like this:

Guru Gobind Singh was travelling through a district of East Punjab. His next stop was a village, Soheva, where he camped for a night. Beside Guru Gobind Singh's tent was a large Jand tree. He told a Sikh to climb up the tree and look for a Pipal (Brahminic Fig) sapling within the Jand tree. He found it in the cleft of the Jand tree.

Guru Gobind Singh said, "This Pipal tree will grow into a large tree, though it does not grow in desert areas. It will grow as big as the Jand tree itself. It will spread over the whole tree. This is the time when my Khalsa will spread into the four corners of the world and the sovereignty of Delhi will the first prize which will fall into their laps. When the Pipal tree will spread over the Jand tree, then the spirit of the order of the Khalsa, which I have enshrined under the command of God Almighty shall start to work to set up a world-society, which will last for five thousand years. That divine society will enjoy peace and affluence."

Queen Victoria on reading this, knowing there was something mystical behind the invincibility of the Sikh soldiers wrote to the Governor-General at Calcutta, "Please go and find out the village Soheva, and see if there is a Pipal tree growing in a Jand tree. Please report the size of Pipal and Jand tree." The reply came in two or three months, "Yes, it is there. It is about four and half yards and the Jand tree is such a height.

Then she referred the matter to the Royal Botanical Professor, who informed her, "Your Majesty, the Pipal trees grows very slowly and it will take the Pipal saplings at least one hundred years to grow to the height." Her Majesty's mind was at rest and she slept without any mental disturbance that night because as far as she is concerned, one hundred years of uninterrupted British rule in India, guaranteed by the slow rate of growth of Pipal tree.

Note: Soheva is a village in the old Bikaner state, which is now part of Rajasthan. Its Tehsil is Rini and district is Churu. It is situated at 25 kos from Rajgarh station and 30 kos from Sirsa. The people often called it "Saha".


The late Kapur Singh writes:
During those days I was a British Officer in one of the districts of the Punjab - about sixty miles from Soheva. I was aware of this story and the official report sent from India in 1858. In 1942 I made arrangements to travel on horseback to see this tree. It was about two and half yards lower than the highrest pinnacle of the Jand tree.

Since 1942 I have not been there, but now I am told that the Sikhs who were expelled from Pakistan areas have settled in those arid areas and have raised in that place a magnificent Gurdwara. The late Kapur Singh passed away in 1986.


A student of folklore who visited the place in August 1990 writes:
I stayed there for two nights. It is very difficult to see any visible Jand in the outgrown Pipal tree. During my discussion with the sadhu, I found a number of interesting things. He told me, "There still exists a small branch of JAnd about nine inches in size. It will be eaten up by the Pipal tree by the turn of the century.

Extracted and adapted from Sikh Predictions by Surindar Singh Kohli

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Power of Gurbani

A young child went to a Gursikh and stated that no matter how hard he tried to keep Gurbani in his heart, he just could not understand or keep it. He stated that his mind was not a bucket, but a strainer, which let everything pass through and did not contain the meaning of gurbani.

The Gursikh said "Let us try an experiment. Here is a strainer, and here is some water. Now pour a bucket of water through the strainer."

The child did this and said "See, the water was not contained, it just passed through, my mind is just like this". The Gursikh said. "Do it once more", so he did, and still the water passed through the strainer. The Gursikh said. "Do it ten times at least". The child did, and at the end of this experiment, he said " See, water still passes through, no matter how many times , and how many buckets we pass through it" . The Gursikh said "Look carefully at the strainer and see if there is any thing different." The child did, and his eyes were filled with tears, and he said. "Yes, i see the difference now. The grimy dirty strainer is now shiny and bright, like never before."

The Gursikh said "My son, this is what Gurbani does for you. It cleans your mind, and even if you do not realize it, it slowly cleanses your mind, and protects you from the five vices. The more you recite Gurbani, your mind will not only become shinier, but become like the bucket itself, which will not only become clean , but hold the meaning of Gurbani in your heart".

The child smiled, and felt he had received the best example of the power of Gurbani, ever.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sant Juaalaa Singh Jee

7 km from Rajpura on the Patiala Road is the bridge for the Bhakra river. The caretaker of this bridge was Bhai Juaalaa Singh, who later became famous as Sant Juaalaa Singh in this Jatha. He became very close to Bhai Sahib Randher Singh jee. How he became so is a very interesting story. Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh honoured Bhai Juaalaa Singh with the title of Sant, even though in the Jatha, Singhs were not called Sant but only Bhai or Bhai Sahib.

Bhai Juaalaa Singh was supervising the construction of the bridge when an unknown Sikh Sadhoo approached him. After offering his Fateh, the Sadhoo asked,

Sadhoo: “do you recognize me?”

BJS: “No. Who are you? Where are you from? Who do you wish to meet?”

Sadhoo: My name is Juaalaa Singh. I have come very far to meet you.

BJS: To meet me? Then it is my good fortune! Come home with me and have something to eat.

Both went to Bhai Juaalaa Singh’s home and there Bhai Sahib gave the Sadhoo some food. AT the same time, he was also astonished and wondering what message the Sadhoo could have brought for him. After finishing his meal, the Sadhoo began, “Bhai Juaalaa Singh jee, you my companion from a previous life. In our last life, we were three friends who meditated together. After all three of us died, Akaal Purakh gave us human life again and named all three of us Juaalaa Singh."

BJS: Who is the third Juaalaa Singh?

Sadhoo: The third is Juaalaa Singh is a Sant at Harkhovaal. Have really totally forgotten your last life?

BJS: I remember nothing.

Sadhoo: I have come here to remind you then. You used to say, “Oh Lord, if I get human life again, may not even one of my breaths go without your remembrance. Today you’ve forgotten everything?

BJS: Yes…

Sadhoo: Alright. The moment is now approaching. In the next six months your family will all pass. Don’t worry! First your only son will leave and then your wife will leave shortly after. Akaal Purakh wants to first relieve you all your family duties so that you can remain in his will and meditate on his naam. Your naam earnings will begin where you left them in your last life. But be warned! If you falter, your path will become long and you might have to go through the cycle of many births. NANAK SIJH EI VAYHAA VAAR, BAUR NA HOVEE JANAMARAA.

Now allow me to leave. I was pulled to you by our old love and came only to warn you.

After saying this, the Sikh Sadhoo left for an unknown destination. That Sadhoo never met Bhai Juaalaa Singh again.

Bhai Sahib was astounded yet worried after hearing all these amazing things. He kept thinking to himself, if Nirankaar did exercise his will on his family, what should he do? He did not understand what path to take, but in his mind he had reached the firm decision tht he would not let this birth go to waste. Whatever had happened in the past, was past.

In the next few months Bhai Sahib reduced his work. After two months, his only son fell ill but because he had been warned, Bhai Sahib remained steadfast. After a few days, the boy died.

Then came the turn of his wife. Three and a half months after the death of his son, Bhai Sahib’s wife also died. Like the Sikh Sadhoo said, within six months, his entire family had passed. Bhai Sahib was now all alone in the world. No daughter, no daughter in law, no grand son, nobody. This was such a turn in life at which a person looks back at what has happened and attempts to look forward into the fog of the future. If Bhai Sahib was usual worldly person, and if the Sikh Sadhoo had not warned him, it’s possible he could have faltered. But Bhai Sahib did not take long to decide on his future. He gave up his supervisory position and decided to engross himself in naam simran only.

One of Bhai Sahib’s close companions, Rtd. Cpt. Sher Singh, who was an amrit vela companion of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee, tells us that Bhai Juaalaa Singh folded his business and then moved to Nandpur KalauR near Patiala and took up residence at the Gurdvara. Here he became to do akhand paths. His voice was very sweet and because of the departure of his family and the effect of BaNee, a sense Bairaag grew within him. In this village lived some members of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s keertan congregation, and Bhai Sahib became close with them. It was natural that seeing Bhai Sahib’s bairaag those Singhs should have given him some of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s books or perhaps told him lovingly about Bhai Sahib. As a result, Bhai Juaalaa Singh developed a deep desire to meet Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh. After a few months at the Poh Sudee Satvee Smaagam at Narangvaal, Bhai Juaalaa Singh went to fulfill his desire. The Singhs brought Bhai Juaalaa Singh into the presence of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh, but instead of the Singhs introducing Bhai Juaalaa Singh, Bhai Sahib rose up and embraced him and exclaimed “Oh long last Sant jee! Welcome!”

The Nandpur KalauR Singhs were all astounded. Bhai Sahib thanked these Singhs for allowing him to meet a long lost brother.

After the smaagam, Sant Juaalaa Singh jee remained with Bhai Sahib when all the other Singhs returned to their villages. He became a permanent member of Bhai Sahib’s amrit vela sangat. He would recite Sree Sukhmanee Sahib in a very sweet voice.

One day when Sant jee was reciting Sukhmanee Sahib at amrit vela, he was reciting the line “PARGATAY GOPAL MHAANT KAY MAATHAY” when Bhai Sahib said “here comest the Mahantee!” No one understood. Nor could Sant jee understand what Bhai Sahib had quickly said.

When the day at risen, the village council of Nandpur KalauR arrived at Bhai Sahib’s home with a request. Sant Juaalaa Singh was also sitting there. The council told Bhai Sahib, “the previous Mahant (caretaker) of the Gurdvara Sahib at Nandpur Kalaur, Sant Punjab Singh, has passed away. Please give Sant Juaalaa Singh permission to carry out this service now.”

Bhai Sahib accepted the request of the village Sangat and they brought Sant Juaalaa Singh to Nandpur KalauR. Sant jee now understood the brief reference Bhai Sahib had made during nitnem. Sant jee then remained at Nandpur KalauR till his last breaths. He had such a glowing face. At one Ran Sabaaee keertan I attended as a youth, Sant jee sat beside me in Sangat. I was amazed to see that everyone was hearing the same keertan but sometimes Sant jee would begin to laugh and at other times tears would fall from his eyes. Later I understood this spiritual state from GurbaaNee: “RANG HASAI RANG ROVAI, CHUP BHEE KAR JAAHI(N)…”

Those Singhs who have heard Sree Akhand Paath Sahib from the voice of Sant jee know that Sant jee’s recital had a curious pull to it and gave a unique pleasure. The Paath was very fast but filled with nectar. His face would glow with divine colour. Only by seeing it could it be understood.

by Principal Gurmukh Singh in Soora Magazine
Translated by www.tapoban.org Admin


Monday, June 13, 2005

Divine Mystic Reflections on Gurmat

We sometimes feel happy and satisfied with what little we offer to Guru Ji by way of a beautiful rumala. It is a good gesture. Sometimes we place a few dollars before Guru Ji as an offering. Guru Ji explains that this gesture is only the ABC of Gurmat. This is to say that, for maybe many years, some of us have not progressed beyond the stage of reading ABC. In other words, this is only the beginning of Gurmat.


One great endeavour of all the Sikh Gurus was to pull back and reduce the importance of their physical selves in favour of the importance of worship of God, devotion to Him, remembrance of His Name - the things which are emphasized most in the contents of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Ultimately this reduction and withdrawal of physical selves was complete and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji became the Guru containing all their teachings.


The Lord only wants the offering(paytaa) of body and mind. Sometimes we surrender our body but keep the mind to ourselves. The mind does not surrender. Have you ever thought what would take place when we reach the end of our road? Well, the body will be burnt to ashes which will be scattered by the wind in four direction. We wouldn't know where the wind is going to deposit us finally. It would be much better if we could find some fire while we are still alive and burn our ego into ashes. This burning of our ego will lead us to the Lord's mansion.


To be successful in both the material and spiritual worlds, it is extremely important for the mind to be powerful. In this spiritual field, the war with our mind is a lifelong process.


Japji Sahib was composed by Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. It is meant to be recited daily. It offers a spiritual remedy for all our ills. It is a highly inspired verse and the thoughts expressed therein are of eternal value and significance. Its recitation is useful in more than one way. It enables us to enjoy communion with God. It helps us to realize the Truth and thereby make our life more purposeful and contented. We realize our real selves. The recitation of Japji Sahib removes the delusions from our minds and sets us on the road to discover the eternal mind - the creator of the universe.


Quotations from the book
DIVINE MYSTIC REFLECTIONS ON GURMAT – Book ONE
a free book available from www.sikhnation.com

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The spiritual position and strength of Sikh women

As we enter the change of the millennium, the role of the woman has changed and will continue to change dramatically. Striving to maintain ourselves in the age of technology, we find years pass with such speed and anxiety that sometimes we do not know what maintains us except the blessing of God's companion. A woman carries the responsibility of the physical, mental and spiritual well being of her family. This is a serious job that can reap great rewards, but also carries dire consequences when not done successfully. In addition to that, many women have added the weight of work and career. When there is constant pressure and no relaxation, when there is no outlet, when there is a constant deficit in our mental and physical capacity, it results in a shattered mind and the loss of happiness and inner peace. We suffer as women, and our generations suffer as a result. This is a dilemma that is shared by women in every country, of every religion, on every continent.

With the tri-centenary of the Khalsa, we find that Guru Gobind Singh gave us the answers to these modern age problems more than three hundred years ago. Woman is strong by nature. Woman is spiritual by nature. By fine-tuning our uniquely feminine attributes with the Guru's Rehat, Guru Gobind Singh assures us purity. We become not women, not men, but something far and beyond - we become KHALSA! In these difficult times, it is required that a woman should not only be pure. She needs to be purifying. Her very presence should create an effect on her surroundings that uplifts and illuminates those with whom she comes in contact The formula is clear, the solution is simple in nature, and success is guaranteed. This is the simple strategy of Bana, Bani, Simran, and Seva.

BANA (The Khalsa Uniform): Bana is our own flag. Bana is our nishan that states unequivocally who we are. If we have the dress and fashion of a movie star, that makes a statement as to who we are. If we wear the clothes of a beggar, that also tells the world what our status is. And if we wear the bana of the Khalsa, this makes a statement of strength that cannot be ignored by the hardest of hearts. Bana is the image and dress of grace. Bana is the five K's of the Khalsa: Kesh, Kacherha, Kanga, Kara, and Kirpan. Each one of these beautiful accoutrements gives us strength and beauty. Bana is a statement that says, with a look, that I belong to Guru Gobind Singh, and He belongs to me.

I belong to the Khalsa and Khalsa belongs to me as the drop of
water forever merges into the ocean.
( Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee)

I would like to share with you my own story and experiences in relation to the bana of the Khalsa. When I first became a Sikh, twenty-three years ago, I had never seen an Indian Sikh woman. I knew only American Sikhs, and in fact, very few of those. But I knew that Kesh and Dastar were part of the 5-K's of Guru Gobind Singh. And I knew that Guru Gobind Singh promised:

If the Khalsa maintains the distinct path,
I shall give them all my strength.
But if the Khalsa leaves this path,
then I will withdraw my recognition.
( Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee)

Well, as a young woman of 18 years, full of the spirit of life and the excitement of discovering the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, it never occurred to me to not wear a turban. The Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh wore the dastar, and that was who I wanted to be. So it was with great sincerity that I tied my first turban.

As you can imagine, the most dramatic effect of wearing a turban is not physiological, but rather it is social. Wearing a turban gave me pride and confidence. My parents and my friends were stunned. They thought they had lost me, but of course they had not Rather the experience of being distinct has made me more committed to the welfare of those around me, because everything I do is highlighted and examined by others.

Now that I have lived my life experiencing the benefits of the turban, I can tell you honestly that you are missing a great advantage by not doing so. I have been given the respect and the status of a spiritual woman, even when I myself have been filled with self-doubt and misgivings. This I see as Guru Gobind Singh Ji fulfilling his promise, giving me strength even when I do not have strength myself. This beautiful dastar proclaims to the entire world that I belong to Guru Gobind Singh and that is a reality I will never deny.

BANI (The Word of God): By the Grace of God, we are Sikhs of the Shabd Guru. We bow to no man. We worship no images. We bow to the Word, the Shabd, the sound current As women, we cannot underestimate the power of our own words and language. Our words contain the power of love and hate, and we should be mindful of how to communicate with all of God's children. How do we do this? Through exercising the daily recitation of Nitnem and Gurbani. The daily prayers of the Sikh are a beautiful form and format that rearranges our neurological processes to provide us with a direct connection with the infinite creative energy of the universe. This is the heart of the Guru's teachings. And if we do not experience this ourselves, we will most likely deny this experience to our children.

Siri Guru Amar Das ji tells us about the power and projection of the Bani:

"Great! Great is the Bani,
the Word of the Formless Lord.
There is no other as Great as He is."

This is why we say that our Guru is the Shabd Guru. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not a "book," it is not a "bible;" it is a 'living Guru' that guides us, protects us and enlightens us. The whole science of Gurbani has the power to make a person divine just in its recitation. It does not require a deep and scholarly understanding or interpretation for an impact on our consciousness because Bani is understood by the heart, not the head. The entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the calling out of the Beloved. A woman does not need to be dependent on sants and preachers, being led around like a donkey with a string in her nose. All that is needed is the inner experience of God that can be brought to us from our own Guru, the Living Guru, the Shabd Guru. That is the miracle, the science, and the blessing of Bani.

SIMRAN (Remembrance of GOD):

In the first line of Sukhmani Sahib, Sin Guru Arjun Dev Ji tells us:

To the one who meditates on Him, there comes a perfect peace.
And all pain and sorrows depart.
Meditate on Him, who contains the universe.
Whose Holy Naam is the whisper on the lips of the entire creation.

Simran provides us with the answer to maintaining our balance and equilibrium. Naam Simran is the use of the Gurmantra; the meditation and recitation of Waheguru. How do you do simran? There are as many answers to that question as there are people to ask. The simply answer is: simran is not a technique but a process. At any time that is peaceful, but especially in the early morning before dawn, sit and concentrate on the Holy Naam. Project out with focused clarity. If you beam the signal out, you will get a clear signal back. This cleanses the subconscious mind, clarifies the conscious mind, and gives us the experience of bliss and peace. In the divinely human experience, we understand our depth and dimension, gaining access to our inner strength, direction and intuition.

Don't you wonder about yourselves sometimes? You are born with no claws, no hoofs, and no superior strength. As a human being it appears we have been born with no defence mechanism. Have we been created by God as the only defenceless creature in His creation? No. Our strength lies in our intuition. When you can intuitively sense what is going to happen, then you can avoid entering a wrong sequence and you will not end up with an unwanted consequence. That is the best defence we could possibly have. And what gives us intuition? The mind. How does the mind develop intuition? Through meditation. Intuition works when there is no fear involved, no greed involved, no attachment involved and no lust involved. The subconscious mind has to be a clear channel and then the conscious mind perceives the information that is coming from the intuition.

We all have that power as human beings because every mind is part of the universal mind. However, women are created with an enhanced subtly, an accentuated sensitivity, which gives us great depth and dimension. For women, simran is an essential tool of life, a quintessential feminine strength. To ignore this aspect is to not water the most beautiful flower that grows in our garden. Simran gives us the key to know ourselves and the ability to know and love God.

SEVA

If the strength of one is great, the strength of the many is even greater. Seva is the knot that ties us to each other, ties us to our Guru, and transcends us from our own individual consciousness to the expansive nature of universal consciousness. No matter how great our stature, no matter how vast our authority, if we separate and isolate ourselves through the definition of ego, then we are far less than what our potential could be. Service to each other and service to Guru Ji, when done with a loving heart, with no desire for reward, breaks the bonds of ego and frees the soul.

Guru Amar Das Ji tells us:

Fruitful is the True Guru's service,
if anyone performs it by engaging his mind in it
Heart desired boons are attained
and ego departs from within.

Throughout Sikh history, women have displayed a seemly endless capacity for seva. Service to others is in our nature, the very bones of our being. It is part of our beauty and part of our strength. By doing seva, we lose the limitations of our finite self, and expand into the infinite strength of the body of the Khalsa. Through seva we remain humble, for seva is an activity that is not recognized as an individual action. The heavy and enormous burden of appreciation and recognition is not a factor in the performance of seva. It is personal, anonymous and deeply expansive. We become part of a whole that is unbreakable and unparalleled. Seva is actually our physical link to the Guru. By serving the Khalsa, we have the experience of serving our Guru, touching that great wisdom with our own hands.

Of all the things I have learned in this life, of all the things I wish to teach to the children of is the blessing of living the Rehit (Code of Conduct). This beautiful path, laid down by the Tenth Master, will carry us into the 21st Century with direction and strength. It is the this way of life, and that I pray that they will teach to their children, the most important key to the future, the solution to today's problems, and the answer to tomorrow's questions. As women it is our sacred responsibility to understand it, live it, enjoy it, and teach it to our children - the next generation of Khalsa!

Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh

by Shanti Kaur Khalsa

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Real Story of Shaheed Bhai Bota Singh

Many of us are familliar with the story of Bhai Bota Singh & Bhai Garja Singh. The fact is however, that the true details of their heroic and bloody shaheedee are not commonly known. The details are shocking and awe-inspiring. How with smashed bones they crawled towards the enemy is ignored by most history books. Here is the most puraatan account of their Shaheedee.

All Singhs Dead?

It had been four months and no Singh had been seen in the Punjab. Many many Singhs had been martyred before this time and people began to say that all the Singhs have been killed. They would say, "The Mughals have defeated the Sikhs. They totally eliminated them. The Singhs no longer attack the Mughals nor do they battle. Four months have passed and there has been no word from the Khalsa. It seems the Khalsa has been totally killed off."

Bhai Bota Singh

Bhai Bota Singh was from the Taran Taaran area and had been separated from the main Jatha of Singhs. Bhai Bota Singh was an unmarried Singh who was very strict in his rehit. He was a sevak of the Satguru and in his heart he was a true warrior with absolutely no fear. He was true to every word that he spoke.

It was amrit vela and Bhai Bota Singh had left his hiding place in the jungle and was quietly walking out. The day had not dawned yet and two travellers on the road saw this solitary Singh. They wondered aloud if this was truly a Singh. They were stunned to see a Singh after such a long time and began to converse, "How did this Singh remain alive? How did he survive this long? No, he must be a fake. No Singhs can be found anywhere now, since the Mughals destroyed them."

The second traveller replied, "It must be some coward, who is weak and afraid. The Singhs were a very proud people and didn't go about in hiding. The Khalsa used to fight with the Mughals everyday. The Khalsa was never afraid of death. How could this man be a real Khalsa if he has been hiding for so long, in the fear of being killed? The real Khalsa used to cause havoc and chaos for the enemy and would sacrifice his head for the sake of others. This can be no Khalsa."

Sacrifice to Awaken the Panth

Bhai Bota Singh heard these words and stopped in his tracks. His feet were planted firmly in the ground. He had heard this entire conversation with close attention. Their words were like the bite of a snake for him. Hearing these words, Bhai Bota Singh reached a firm conclusion: "There is no option now, but for me to sacrifice my head. If I sacrifice my head the people will again say "Indeed! The Singhs live!" and news of my battle will travel across the Punjab. The world will know that the Khalsa lives and the Khalsa too will be inspired to re-start its battle against the enemy. I will fight my battle on the main road. When I give my head, the Mughals will be disgraced for having attacked a lone Singh with such cowardice and the talk of the Khalsa will start and the Khalsa will rise again! The Khalsa lays its claim to the rule of this land and we will seize this land back from the enemy."

Setting up of a Checkpoint

Near Taran Taaran there is a place called Noordeen Dee Saraa(n). Many travellers, businessmen and merchants used to come to this place and on the way there was a major intersection which all had to pass through. Bhai Bota Singh went to this intersection and planted some logs in the ground and made a checkpoint. He announced that no traveller could pass through this place without first paying him the Khalsa's Royal Tax.

Another Singh name Bhai Mota Singh (known in other places as Bhai Garja Singh) also joined by Bota Singh. The Singhs, who had not been seen for months now, made their checkpoint and began to create a commotion by yelling at travellers, "OI!!! STOP!! You have to pay the Khalsa's tax!" Everyone was shocked to see Singhs standing out in the open after such a long time. The travellers would rudely reply that they paid their taxes only to the government and who were they (the Singhs) to take money from them? After all, the Singhs were now a powerless bunch with no authority over them The Singhs would hear these words and to punish their insolence, would begin to beat the travellers with their massive sticks. "Now tell us! Will you pay or not?" The travellers would be forced to pay the tax. Chaos erupted all around the main road and news began to spread about these two Khalsas.

The Letter

The Singhs too made extra efforts to cause a commotion so that news of their tax-collection would reach the Mughal government. But quite some time passed and no Mughal army came. Many people came and paid their taxes and some even came to make requests like they would to a genuine ruler. When no reply came from the government, the Singhs decided to write a letter to the Governor, which would cause him to burn with fury.

Bhai Bota Singh was from the same village as Navaab Kapoor Singh jee and in this village, the Governor's older sister Khaano was married. She was married to one Farzulla Khan who intensely hated the Khalsa. What better way to irk the Governor than to mention the name of his sister? In an insult to the governor, Bhai Bota Singh decided to call Khaano "Bhabee" i.e. sister in law since she was married into his village. Bhai Bota Singh wrote to the Governor, "I have a big stick in my hand and stand on the road to Noordeen Dee Saraa(n). I charge one paisa for a donkey and 4 paisas (one anna) for a cart. Tell Bhabee Khaano, Bota Singh says this."

The Army Arrives

The mention of the Governor's sister of course infuriated him. He immediately dispatched the army. When the army arrived, one Singh was manning the checkpoint and the other was walking towards the jungle with a gaRvaa in his hand. Seeing the army approach, he turned back right away.

The Singhs yelled a loud Fateh to the army and challenged them. "OI! Come here! Where are you going? Make sure you pay the tax!"

The Singhs had kirpaans in their gaatraas and big sticks in their hands. The left their checkpoint and stood on the road now. The Commander of the army saw them and yelled back, "Singhs! Don't fight and die today. Come with us to Lahore. Bota Singh! Come with us and we'll arrange a meeting with the Governor for you. The Governor will spare your life and release you."

The Singhs replied, "When did we ever want to save our lives? We want to battle! You say you'll spare our lives, but we stand here prepared to die. We are anxious for death today. Stop with your talk, get off your horses and fight us so we can be martyred. You can use whatever weapons you want, we'll use our sticks only. Don’t worry, what harm can we do to you with our sticks? We just want to know how much courage you will show on the battlefield and how much courage we have to fight you."

The Commander again tried, "Why bother with all this Bota Singh? There is no need for any of this, just come with us. We'll have the Khan Bahadur speak with you in his court."

The Singhs replied, "There is no talk left between us and you. There is no compromise between us. We're not here to negotiate. We'll go to the court of Dharam Rai and say what we want there. We don't have any need for your court. The only relationship we can have now is of exchanging weapon blows. "

The Battle Begins

The Singhs were anxious for martyrdom and could wait no longer as the Commander thought of a reply. They called out, "If you will not make any attack, then we are coming to you. Don't say we didn’t tell you. Prepare yourselves!" And with this, the Singhs fell upon the Mughals like lions. They sprinted towards the army and began to swing their weapons.

The Mughals were mounted on horses and retreated away from the Singhs. Seeing the retreat, the Singhs began to throw rocks at the soldiers. The Mughals were anxious to save their lives and had taken their horses far away and were terrified to see how fearlessly the two Khalsa stood before them. The Mughals began to fire arrows and bullets from far away, but the Singhs would run towards them caring nothing for their own bodies. Bhai Bota Singh and Bhai Mota Singh were suffering many injuries but not slowing down. As arrows and bullets hit their bodies, they became even more excited. They kept charging at the retreating Mughals. Sometimes they would make a small leap forward and sometimes make a giant leap.

The Mughals then decided to run the Sings down with their horses. They made a charge towards them and as the horses threw the two Khalsa down, they would immediately rise again. Seeing that the Singhs were still not using any dangerous weapons, the Mughals grew more confident and their fear lessened. They were now eager to kill the Singhs.

As weapons struck their bodies, Bhai Mota Singh and Bhai Bota Singh showed no pain. Their bodies had become hardened because of their time in the jungles and their skin was as taut and strong as a shield. Only when a blow would fall upon a bone and break it would they feel some fatigue. When an arrow would pierce their bodies, the Singhs would pull it out and throw it aside with disgust. Making sure the Mughals could clearly see them, they would tear out the arrow and yell "Your arrows are useless! They cannot pierce our bodies!"

The Mughals now drew their swords and attacked. The Singhs stopped the sword blows with their staffs and stood back to back to face the enemy. As the enemy ran horses upon them, they would hit the horses with their massive sticks and turn them away. The Mughals were forced to abandon their horses and advance on foot. The enemy would try to block the staff blows with their shields but were growing tired from the force. The ornamental flowers and markings on their shields had all been smashed off. The Mughals were beginning to see that their attempts were futile.

The Mughals again retreated and this time drew their guns. They fired burst upon burst at the two warriors and wherever the bullets hit, they would smash a bone. The Mughals fired at the Singh's hands and broke the hands they held their staffs with. The Singhs then grabbed their staffs with their left hands. The Mughals managed to break the Singhs' hips with their bullets and made them lame. The bullets then broke the Singhs' legs and they fell to the ground.

The Mughals now called out, "Now put your hands together and beg for forgiveness! Admit you have made a mistake! We will spare your lives and not kill you if you stand with your hands clasped together. You'll have to become Muslims, but we will spare you."

The Singhs heard these words and looked at each other. They grabbed a hold of the other's shoulder and rose. They now stood back to back on one leg. They again called out a challenge to the Mughals.

The Mughals were confused. There stood two utterly smashed bodies, standing on only one leg. What were they thinking? The Mughals again approached and their commander ordered them not to fire. "They only have one leg and one hand each. Tackle them to the ground and subdue them!"

As the Mughals came near, the Singhs forcefully began to swing their heavy staffs with their left hands and smashed the enemy's heads. Blood poured from the Mughal soldiers' noses and mouths. Streams of blood began to flow. They smashed many enemy soldiers' heads and again fell exhausted to the ground.

Glorious Shaheedee

The Mughals had run back in retreat once again. The two Khalsa were lying on the ground with no bone intact. And then the unimaginable happened. The Singhs propped themselves up and on their knees and elbows began to advance towards the enemy again. They glared at the Mughals and would not look away or blink. With their intense gaze they continued their approach. They had no hope for life any longer. Their faces were glowing red. The Mughals were terrified that these two beasts may stand again. The entire army fell upon them and cut their bodies into pieces. The two Singhs were martyred and joined their brothers and sisters in SachKhand.

The news of the Khalsa's bravery again spread across the Punjab. The people began to remark that perhaps the Khalsa had not been finished after all. Who could finish warriors like this? The bravery of Bhai Bota Singh and Bhai Mota Singh shocked not only the people but also the Mughals. News spread to the Khalsa in hiding and they too were inspired to rise again. Bhai Bota Singh and his tax collection was a reminder that Punjab was the Khalsa's land. They would seize it back from the enemy. The Khalsa began to regroup again and prepare for battle.

Bhai Bota Singh and Bhai Mota Singh's shaheedee inspired the entire Panth and struck fear into the heart of the enemy.

Is there any Bhai Bota Singh today who will wake up the Panth from its slumber again?

Taken from Pracheen Panth Parkaash by Rattan Singh Bhangoo.
Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org

Friday, June 10, 2005

The game of life

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass.

If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life."

How? Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as they would your life, for without them, life is meaningless. Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave. Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.

Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Powers and Effects of the Daily Nitnem Banis

JAPJI SAHIB
Control ones' 'ji', one's soul. When you ji, your being is endangered, when the radiance of your soul is weak, recite Jap Ji. Guru Nanak's blessing is that the thirty-eight pauris of Jap Ji will liberate humanity from the cycles of birth and death.

JAAP SAHIB
The Naad of Jaap Sahib rouses the soul and the self of the Being. 'Sahib' means 'grace'. Recite it when your position is endangered, or when your authoritative personality is weak. This Bani brings grace and greatness. It will also give you the ability, that whatever people say, you will automatically be able to compute what they are actually saying. And, once you are able to to recite it correctly, it will give you the power, the Siddhi, that whatever you say, must happen. Man can direct God and God can direct man. Guru Gobind Singh recited Jaap sahib so that we would not become beggars at the doors of others.

TAV PRASAD SWAYIYAS
Spoken by Guru Gobind Singh. When you are not getting any satisfaction out of life, this is the Bani to recite.

ANAND SAHIB
Whosoever recites the forty pauris of Anand will have endless bliss, because the Guru is limitless. In this Bani, mind and body are explained in relation to cosmic divinity. Guru Amar Das gave us this Song of Bliss to qualify the mind and to understand the depth. Husband and wife should get together, recite it together, alternating sutra (lines).

REHIRAAS SAHIB
This Bani is recited after one has worked and is tired. It adds energy (raa-hu) to one's being, to ones's total concept. Also, recite it when your principle of worldly wealth is endangered. In Naad, reh means live, and raas means commodity. Rehiraas Sahib helps you: when you are physically weak, or weak in money, property and earthly goods.

KIRTAN SOHILA
This Bani is done before sleep at night. It is the most harmonious Naad ever uttered. It multiplies the aura to the sensitivity of protection that it eliminates any negativity for miles and miles. When you are endangered by any species of direct or indirect source; when you want to protect yourself with the surrounding of the entire magnetic field of the earth, recite Kirtan Sohila.

BAARAAH MAAHAA
The prayer of each month. Recited at the start of the month, it coves you for the month.

PAINTEE AKHREE
Gives all secret knowledge.

NASEEHAT NAAMAA
Gives wisdom

SHABAD HAZAARAY
This is the highest disciple's love letter, written by Guru Arjun to Guru Ram Das. Its boon is that it gives the benefits of a thousand shabads, and the soul shall directly merge with God. It makes the separated ones come home with grace. Those who recite this shabad shall never be separated from their Beloved.

SHABAD HAZAARAY - SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JEE
Praanee param purakh pag laago: Takes away the tendency of laziness.
Kayval kaala-ee kartaar: Takes awaythe fear of death.
Si kim maanas roop kahaa-i: Brings the experience of Divinity.
Bin har Naam na baachan paihai: Removes ego.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mata Kishan Kaur Jee

This is the sakhi of a brave woman who lived in the 20th century and whose life was dedicated to the Sikh Panth. She was born in 1856 and was the daughter of Sardar Sube Singh of village Lohgarh in Ludhiana district. While living in her village, she learned Gurbani there. She was married to Sardar Harnam Singh of village Kaonke. He later on joined the army and died in 1902 while serving in Burma. Her two sons had also died when they were still young. She was thus left widow and without any offspring. Rather than bearing the curses of society of being a widow or feeling lonely, she decided to spend the rest of her life ion the service of the Khalsa Panth.

In 1903, Kishan Kaur went to Gurdwara Sach Khand (Hazoor Sahib), Nanded in the south of India. The Gurdwara was built in the memory of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who left for his heavenly adobe from there. She stayed at Nanded for some time, took Amrit to become a saint-soldier of the Khalsa Panth and started tying a turban on her head. She devoted herself to organizing people to preach and practiced the equality of men and women and the so-called low castes and high castes of society.

After the death of her husband, his brother did not let her take over the possession of her share of land. When other methods failed, she went to the fields and personally told the brother of her husband to leave the fields for her. Finding her alone and helpless in the fields, he made some vulgar jokes, and did not leave the fields. She was courageous and a brave person. She raised her strong arm and fixed a hard slap on his face. The man, feeling guilty of his misbehavior and being hit hard by an upright woman ran away to avoid a second slap from her. Kishan Kaur took over the possession of the land which belonged to her. She was respected by the whole village as a great lady of good behavior, with great courage.

When the Khalsa Panth started the Gurdwara Freedom Movement in the beginning of this century, she joined the movement as an active worker. In 1920, the Mahants refused offerings of some Sikhs who were recent converts from the so-called low-castes. She was with the Sikhs who went to the Golden Temple to protest against this anti-Sikh behavior of the Mahants. She was there to physically set the Mahants straight if they did not listen to their arguments. Observing the mood of the Sikhs, the Mahants fled from the Gurdwara leaving it vacant for the Sikhs to occupy and take over its control.

In September 1922, during Guru Ka Bhag Morcha, Sikhs were beaten by police and even run over by the mounted police, breaking the bones of Sikhs under the hooves of their horses. Mata Ji and her associates undertook the sewa of caring for the injured Sikhs, taking them to the hospitals, and nursing them there. Every day she would go with the jatha to the Guru Ka Bhag. The policemen would beat the Sikhs with lathis to stop them from going to the Bhag. The police would let the attending Sikhs carry the injured members of the protesting jatha. It is then that Mai Kishan Kaur took over the duty of administering first aid to them and taking them to the hospital.

One day, a very large number of Sikhs suffered very severe injuries. The police chief taunted her by telling her that there was much sewa for her to do. Mata Ji was already feeling very much hurt to see the Sikhs being tortured and beaten like that. After hearing the taunting words of the police chief, she could no longer restrain herself. In response to his comments, she took a few firm daring steps towards the police chief, and looking at him with ferocious eyes, she raised her arm and like a lighting bolt, hit him in the face.

The strong unexpected slap shook the police chief and turned his face over his shoulder. Without giving the brave woman a second look, he ran towards his tent to save his face from the second slap. This was great insult not only for all of the police force, but also for the whole British government.

Hearing of the tortures committed on the innocent Sikhs and the bearing of atrocities by them, gave Father C.F. Andrews, a Christian missionary, the courage to come to Guru Ka Bhag. After seeing the anti-human behavior of the British police officers, he cried, “I see hundreds of Christs being crucified every day by the Christians themselves.” This changed the direction of the Morcha and finally the government yielded to permit the Sikhs their legal rights by owning the Guru Ka Bhag lands.

Mai Kishan Kaur again performed a daring deed during Jaito Morcha. Sikhs wanted to continue the Akhand Path disrupted by the police by arresting all Sikhs there. A jatha of 500 Sikhs marched from the Akal Takhat in Amritsar to Gurdwara Jaito. People knew the jatha would be handled brutally by the police. To know the truth and details of the brutalities Mai Kishan Kaur dressed herself as a Jain woman and moved into the police camp. The government forces rained bullets on the jatha. The police secretly disposed of the dead bodies and removed the injured to the hospitals. They issued totally misleading reports and did not give the correct information about the Sikhs killed and injured. Mai Kishan Kaur had seen all the actions with her own eyes and she made the facts public. When the details revealed by her were found to be true, the government was very much embarrassed, and was also very much surprised. After some time the secret police teased her and charged her with espionage. She was sentenced to four years in jail.

In 1925, the government accepted their defeat in the struggle against the Sikhs. They agreed to the formation of a Sikh body which would take over the management of the Gurdwara from the Mahants who were under the control of the government. With this agreement, all the persons arrested in connection with the Gurdwara movement were released. Mai Kishan Kaur, however, had to remain in jail until 1928 to undergo her full sentence.

When released from jail, she went straight to the Akal Takhat to express her thanks to the Guru for giving her a chance to serve the Khalsa Panth. She suffered for the cause of the Sikhs and freedom of the Gurdwaras from the government control. The Khalsa Panth honored her at Akal Takhat and gave her the title of Mata. Since then she became popular as Mata Kishan Kaur.

During the rest of her life, Mata Kishan Kaur stayed at her village, built a Gurdwara there and preached the Sikh faith to the people in the region. She died at the age of 96 in 1952.