Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Hema

Guru Arjan Dev Ji on a tour of his visited a village called Khanpur between Goindwal and the present Tarn Taran. He was accompanied by five sikhs, including bidhi chand and Gurdas. He remained the whole day enganged in his devotions. In the evening it rained heavily and wintry winds were blowing.

Bidhi Chand said to Guru Ji, 'That lofty house which you can see in the village is very near. Let us go and rest there for the night.' Guru Ji objected, and said it would be better to remain where they were than associate with the evil people who dwelt there.

Bidhi Chand however, prevailed on him to let him go into the village and endeavour to secure shelter, as the night was piercingly cold. Bidhi Chand begged the people to let his party have even one room in which they would all sleep together. The villagers only laughed at him, and call Guru Ji and his sikhs hypocrites. Bidhi Chand went and duly informed Guru ji, of the character of his reception.

Guru Ji replied, 'Pay no heed, I told you they were foul-tongued people. Whoever has devotion in this heart will come to us by himself, and give us accomodation for the night'.

As Guru Ji had anticipated, Hema, a devout Sikh of the village arrived and said, 'O true Guru, I have a tattered hut made out of grass and twigs which is at your service. It will be hallowed by recieving you.' Hema, who had been made a sikh by Satguru Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, lived by grinding corn for the villagers. His leisure time he spent singing the praises of Waheguru.

Though he was extremely poor, and possessed only a coarse blanket to wear, his hut was ever open to a stranger. Guru Ji seeing his love and devotion gladly acceped his hospitality. He then cooked and supplied his distinguished guest the best food in his possession. Before retiring he took off his sole blanket, and put it under Guru jis bedding, so that he might enjoy sweet repose.

Satguru Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji seeing the devotion of his beloved sikh, Hema, composed the following:

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Soohee on Ang 745 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

raag soohee mehalaa 5 ghar 4
Raag Soohee, Fifth Mehl, Fourth House:

ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

bhalee suhaavee shhaaparee jaa mehi gun gaaeae ||
Even a crude hut is sublime and beautiful, if the Lord's Praises are sung within it.

kith hee kaam n dhhoulehar jith har bisaraaeae ||1|| rehaao ||
Those mansions where the Lord is forgotten are useless. ||1||Pause||

anadh gareebee saadhhasa(n)g jith prabh chith aaeae ||
Even poverty is bliss, if God comes to mind in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.

jal jaao eaehu baddapanaa maaeiaa lapattaaeae ||1||
This worldly glory might just as well burn; it only traps the mortals in Maya. ||1||

peesan pees oudt kaamaree sukh man sa(n)thokhaaeae ||
One may have to grind corn, and wear a coarse blanket, but still, one can find peace of mind and contentment.

aiso raaj n kithai kaaj jith neh thripathaaeae ||2||
Even empires are of no use at all, if they do not bring satisfaction. ||2||

nagan firath ra(n)g eaek kai ouhu sobhaa paaeae ||
Someone may wander around naked, but if he loves the One Lord, he receives honor and respect.

paatt patta(n)bar birathhiaa jih rach lobhaaeae ||3||
Silk and satin clothes are worthless, if they lead to greed. ||3||

sabh kishh thumharai haathh prabh aap karae karaaeae ||
Everything is in Your Hands, God. You Yourself are the Doer, the Cause of causes.

saas saas simarath rehaa naanak dhaan paaeae ||4||1||41||
With each and every breath, may I continue to remember You. Please, bless Nanak with this gift.

On the same ocassion Guru Ji composed the following:

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maajh on Ang 105 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

maajh mehalaa 5 ||
Maajh, Fifth Mehl:

jithhai naam japeeai prabh piaarae ||
Where the Naam, the Name of God the Beloved is chanted

sae asathhal soein choubaarae ||
those barren places become mansions of gold.

jithhai naam n japeeai maerae goeidhaa saeee nagar oujaarree jeeo ||1||
Where the Naam, the Name of my Lord of the Universe is not chanted-those towns are like the barren wilderness. ||1||

har rukhee rottee khaae samaalae ||
One who meditates as he eats dry bread,

har a(n)thar baahar nadhar nihaalae ||
sees the Blessed Lord inwardly and outwardly.

khaae khaae karae badhafailee jaan visoo kee vaarree jeeo ||2||
Know this well, that one who eats and eats while practicing evil, is like a field of poisonous plants. ||2||

sa(n)thaa saethee ra(n)g n laaeae ||
One who does not feel love for the Saints,

saakath sa(n)g vikaram kamaaeae ||
misbehaves in the company of the wicked shaaktas, the faithless cynics;

dhulabh dhaeh khoee agiaanee jarr apunee aap oupaarree jeeo ||3||
he wastes this human body, so difficult to obtain. In his ignorance, he tears up his own roots. ||3||

thaeree saran maerae dheen dhaeiaalaa ||
I seek Your Sanctuary, O my Lord, Merciful to the meek,

sukh saagar maerae gur gopaalaa ||
Ocean of Peace, my Guru, Sustainer of the world.

kar kirapaa naanak gun gaavai raakhahu saram asaarree jeeo ||4||30||37||
Shower Your Mercy upon Nanak, that he may sing Your Glorious Praises; please, preserve my honor. ||4||30||37||

Guru Ji remained for some time in Khanpur. During Guru Jis stay there Hema obtained his desire and went to his heavenly abode. After Satguru Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj left the city, the Emperor's viceroy, who had some reason to be annoyed with the inhabitants of Khanpur, sent an amry against the city and razed it to the ground. All the chief inhabitants were massacred. The survivors had reason to reflect on the words of Bhagat Kabir Ji:

Kabir, the house in which God and His Saints are not served,
Is like a cremation-ground and ghosts dwell therein.

We all need to reflect on these words of Bhagat Kabir Ji




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