Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj: Endurance

Once Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj was in his fort on the bank of the Satluj river. He got his treasury opened and took stock of the contents through the Sikhs.

"O True Emperor, it is many lakhs ," reported the Sikhs.

"Throw the money into the Satluj river, and debit it to the River's account," ordered Maharaj. The Sikhs obeyed, threw the money into the river and entered it against the Satluj river.

"Now take out such articles as can be burnt in fire," ordered Maharaj. The Sikhs took out all such articles, including silk, florescents, masroo, soosi lacha, naringsahi baftas, kimkhab, gold-fibre turbans, chhint, banat and tansukh. Countless such costly articles were taken out and piled in a heap. An inventory was prepared by the Sikhs. They reported, "O True Emperor, the articles are valued at severallakhs."

"Set fire to them and debit it against the account of Baisantar," ordered Guru Ji. The Sikhs set fire to it, and debited the value to the account of Baisantar (god of fire).

The bullock carts of the ardasia Sikhs were grounded, so that they could not take away anything in them. Instructions were given not to feed any grains to the horses, and to let them starve. The hay stacks were ordered to be burnt. The Sikhs were to be given a ration of only five sarsahis (one sarsahi is 20 grams) of grains.

At this time, the rajahs mounted their attacks. Battles became very frequent, and food was not available. The Sikhs would go to battle with belts tightened, and the Guru ordered them to go one by one and fight single-handed, and not in groups. Many devoted Sikhs came and offered their services, saying, "O True Emperor, we offer our heads to you."

"Blessed are you, O Sikh. Go and fight," said Guru Ji in return. Thus, the Sikh would go alone and fight. Each Sikh would kill hundreds of aggressors before they too would fall on the battle field.

Sitting at a vantage point the Guru watched the drama. Many Sikhs became martyrs fighting this way, and many more were wounded. Many Sikhs lay suffering due to hunger. Some even ground stone to eat. Some would make loaves of simbal tree bark.

At this stage one of the good Sikhs beseeched the Guru thus, "The Sikhs,are your followers as well as your servants. Hostilities with the rajahs continue. They cannot fight on empty stomachs. If they get one seer (approximately one kilogram) of grains daily, then they can fight properly. The rest will be as you wish."

"The Guru has no enemies. Nor is he himself anybody's enemy. Whatever situation has been contrived, has been created for the benefit of the Sikhs themselves. I have no other purpose. Whatever money there is with me, is all from offerings. Such maya is a form of poison. It is deadly poison. It was the money from offerings that corrupted the masands and led to their punishment. Correct? The Sikhs have come to me in the hope that the Guru will free them from the cycle of birth and death. If I feed them on this kind of offerings, they will surely be condemned to the cycle of eighty-four lakhs of species of life, and while they look to me for salvation, I shall be ruining their lives in stead. But I am not
the type of Guru to ruin them. The Guru's money is like poison to the Sikhs, but the Sikhs do not know this. It is clear to me.

For example, if milk is poisoned by a deadly snake, and the mother has seen it, while the child has not seen it, she will throw it away. And even if the child cries for the milk, the mother will never give it to him, because she loves the child. The mother will feed the child on this milk only if she considers the child her enemy. As the mother loves her child, similarly, I love my Sikhs. I will never feed them on these poisonous offerings. Living in this world is like a dream. Time will pass. So, why turn one's face away from God? This is how I feel. And listen to one thing more. The Sikhs who offer their heads to me, do so only when they are hungry.
They offer their heads when they feel that it is better to die one day than to be dying everyday. The reward they get for dying, prompts them to fight. To entitle them to this reward, and to encourage others to follow their example to sacrifice their lives like moths on a flame, such situations are created, a~ involve hunger and battles. All these circumstances are ultimately in the interest of the Sikh~," replied the Guru. When the Guru uttered these words, the Sikhs listened with attention, and took them to their hearts. Those who put the words into practice, were freed from the cycle of birth and death. Their faith in the Guru was unshakeable.

In utter humility, they bowed their heads low before the king of kings, the saint of saints, the helper of the weak, Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj




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