Chapter 4 - Separation
Under the shadow of a tree, is a woman sweeping the platform and now she sits on it and starts doing Jap Ji Sahib’s paath and it seems like ‘tranquility’ itself has taken form and is sitting there. Meanwhile another woman who is younger than her comes and sits down while bowing to her in respect. The women who came later started talking after the paath concluded:
Hanso Baae: My wise elderly Gurmukh lady, I bow on your feet.
Varaae: Live long, enjoy your youth, always remember Karta Purakh, the all doer.
Hanso: I wish your blessings come true. By the way Bebe (wise lady)! Why are you sweeping this place?
Varaae: This is the place where I received the sight of Satguroo. This place is of good fortune.
Hanso: Satguru Nanak Dev Ji’s?
Varaae: Yes dear! (Sighing, Hanso also fills her eyes with tears)
Hanso: I was gone to Kishtvaarh so I could not get the [Satguroo Ji’s] ending sight. (Tears roll down her eyes) My fate!
Varaae: His wishes… Oh well, do not forget Baani and Naam, always attach your consciousness to his feet, take all his doings as sweet, dear daughter, if you remember these four things you will not feel separation even after separating.
But... (Tears start rolling down her face, like a chain of threaded white beads)
Hanso: Misfortune of this world. He left in September. Bebe Ji, I told my husband to first go to Kartarpur and then our village. So we went to Kartarpur and we saw people there: we saw Lakhmi Daas, and we sighted Mata Ji, but Guroo Nanak "oh" Guroo Nanak without you... my mind did not stabilize without him. Without him my sinful eyes are behind darkness. I thought: "Guroo! You weren’t the one to leave, so how did you depart? You dispelled darkness from this world, and now you have hidden?" I cried but to no avail. Saedo came and I broke down on his feet and asked, "Brother, tell me where is my Guroo Nanak? My! My! My! Where is my Guroo Nanak?" Oh Mother, he is a man and even he started weeping. He spoke up after some while: "Dear sister! Guroo Nanak is sitting in Guroo Angad’s heart." Mother! I wondered if heart is a mirror where one could set his beloved. While wondering I said: "Brother, take me there" and he replied, "He is on this earth but is hidden from us, search and find him. You will find his true value when you find him yourself. If you find him without any worth then you might not understand his true value." Bhai Saedo started weeping while saying this and left. Then I hurried to go to Guroo Ji’s house in Sanghar village. I thought that he might be home, obscuring in his village. I left in a hurry and soon reached his house and bowed to Mata Khivi and asked, "Mother! Where is the one who Guroo Nanak blessed to become Guroo Nanak, your husband and my Guroo Ji?" She also filled her eyes with tears and her lips started throbbing. She closed her eyes and repeated "Dhan Guroo Nanak, Dhan Guroo Nanak" many times. There was so much sorrow of separation in her speech. Oh I shivered and started crying – "Without Guroo Nanak the world is hollow." Then Mata [Khivi] Ji looked at me and said – "Daughter! Guroo Nanak gave his body to the elements of nature [from where the body came from], himself he became the form of God and placed his soul in my Husband, and he too became Guroo Nanak. But who understands the mysteries of those who become one with God and those who love him? Love and pain! Those who get struck with pointed arrows of Guroo Ji’s love, find pleasure. Oh my Husband Lord, where have you sat while placing Guroo Nanak in your heart and being ‘Antar Dhiaa...’?"
Bebe! I could not understand the word followed by ‘Antar Dhiaa..’ So I asked Mata Ji what she meant. Then Mata [Khivi] Ji said, "He has sat some place in Guroo’s love, forgetting all the worldly thinking... I do not remember the word now, Bebe! She said something with ‘Nir’ (without) and the word ‘Puppa’ (P) alphabet at the end.
Varaae: Daughter! She must have said ‘Nirvekalp’ and before that she probably said "Antar Dhiaan".
Hanso: Yes, yes, exactly this! What does this mean?
Varaae: Staying secreted and absorbed in remembrance of your beloved while detaching yourself from worldly thinking and worries.
Hanso: And what about the one who became Guroo Nanak?
Varaae: What did Mata Khivi Ji tell you? Who can understand the mysteries of those who are imbued in God’s love? Love is beyond description. It was immense pain for Guroo Angad to separate from Guroo Nanak and the remedy of that pain is to attach in his remembrance. Do you understand now?
Hanso (Shivering): Yes I understand some bits. But Bebe! I asked Mata Khivi to tell me of the whereabouts of where Guroo Nanak is hiding. I will please myself by just looking at him from a distance, I won’t go talk to him and neither will I go near him to bow down, I will return back after looking at him from a distance. Yes mother! I will go with poised feet and come back instantly. Please let me know Bibi Mata Ji! She then spoke while sighing, "Daughter! He did not tell me before leaving. He would have told me but I insisted that if he wished, ‘nirve…l’, what did you say ‘nirvel…p’?
Varaae (smiling): Nirvekalp.
Hanso: Yes, burn my blabbering tongue. Yes, Mata Khivi Ji said, "If you wish, please go sit ‘nirvekalp’ in his remembrance. I will stay happily in your wishes and will not cause any trouble while staying at home. If you go sit some place else, please do not tell me because others will question me and I will have to tell them and that might cause ‘bhoong’ in your meditation.
Varaae: Daughter! Do not say ‘bhoong’ say ‘bhang’ (distract).
Hanso: Yes, this is exactly what she said – "If I say that I do not know where Guroo Ji has gone, then it will be a lie and that would be a dishonor to the Sadh Sangat, so that’s why he did not tell me and this was according to my own wishes."
Then I said, "Mother! My heart aches without his sight, what should I do?" Then she asked, "Doesn’t mine hurt?" Of course more than mine! And she uttered, "Then chant naam, read baani and remember his feet and live according to his will. He will meet you when he looks with the sight of generosity upon you." Then I said, "Mother! He is the form of God and if he stays hidden we will surely die!" Then Mata Khivi replied, "Did you or I call Guroo Nanak from the posterior land? When he saw the Earth on flames he came by himself. Isn’t Guroo Angad the same as Guroo Nanak? When our calls will get to him, he will surely come and shower mercy upon us. He will care for us, this is his repute." Mata Khivi made such statements and sent me off after giving me blessings. I could not understand her, she is sad on one side, but on the other she is staying happily in his will. That Queen Mother is truly great.
Varaae: Yes daughter! Guroo Nanak gave this teaching: "Reside in this world but still stay attached to God, understand him with knowledge and attach yourself with him in love and stay flourished in his sweet remembrance."
Hanso: Then please attach me with him in love! Mother Mother Mother! Please find me his whereabouts. I will hide myself on a distance and find pleasure of having his sight.
Varaae: He is merciful and he will grant us with his sight. Let us stay in his will.
Hanso: I thought that if not in Sanghar, he will surely be in Khadoor. Didn’t Guroo Nanak at first sent him off to Khadoor where he attached himself in meditation outside the village? I also heard that after blessing him with the Gaddhi, Guroo Nanak ordered him to live in Khadoor. I only came under the impression that if not in Sanghar, he will most likely be in Khadoor at your house and if not then you must know where he is at. You are such soft-hearted, if you know of Guroo Ji please let me have his sight. But you are telling me to stay in his will! Only those who are attached to him in meditation know how to stay in will. The hunger of having the sight leaves us children disturbed. Please mother! If you know his whereabouts then please let me know!
Varaae: Ok, tell me if you were enthusiastically singing something and someone came and asked you to pack up and leave, would you be happy with that?
Varaae: Your wish. You do not want anyone to stop you, but why are you stopping someone else by indulging in their will?
Hanso (After thinking): Then how will my thrust of his sight get quenched?
Varaae: That Guroo Nanak in whose love he has absorbed himself will tell him to meet the Sangat. Don’t become hasty or disappointed. Keep faith in one who fulfils all our desires.
Hanso: Ok mother! You are elder so I have to listen to you. I will not urge for his sight right now. I do not know why it seems to me that you might be able to bless me with the sight [of Guroo Ji]. But what strength can I use here? Fine Mother! But do tell me if it is wrong to urge for his sight and to cry in his separation. My heart palpitates and doesn’t soothe, is this bad?
Varaae: No, this is life. Without love our body is empty.
Hanso: Can I ask another question?
Hanso: Could Guroo Nanak make gold?
Varaae: What kind of question is this?
Hanso: A person named Keshtvaarh said that Guroo knew "a…seer". I asked what this meant? And he said ‘Rasaen’ (chemical).
Varaae: He probably said ‘Akseer’ (alchemy).
Hanso: Yes he said that – so he knew alchemy?
Varaae: Daughter! His sight was alchemic: The chemical to convert lowly minds to superior.
Hanso: So would that be a chemical?
Varaae: Chemicals are of many kinds.
Hanso: Please explain.
Varaae: Daughter! People say there is a kind of chemical which can convert low elements to higher, like converting tin or mercury to silver, or bronze or iron to gold. The other type of chemical can wash filth from dirty minds. It takes away their inadequacy and blesses them with qualities and fills their hearts with love for the Almighty and not only absorb them in such love but teaches them how to distribute this love and how to care for the whole humanity. This chemical was Guroo Nanak’s and he was ‘surbugh’.
Hanso: ‘Sur…g’ what did you say?
Varaae: ‘Surbugh’ meaning he knew everything because he is the complete being. But his chemical was to teach wellbeing of everyone and to soothe minds of everyone from worries and desires.
Hanso: You are correct dear mother! You are so wise. We foolish people have no understanding but thankfully we are attached to you. So say Dhan Guroo Nanak! He even blessed this foolish person with naam but mother he filled you with both naam and wellbeing of everyone. Mother I am also included in everyone, right? Please do well for me too. Bless me with his sight, today, tomorrow, or whenever. Huh?
In the meantime someone called out Mother! Mother?
"Where is Varaae?" someone asked from a distance.
My mother, this is Gangi. You have taken so long today? Please come home because we have a lot of guests over. (Coming near) Mother! There are a lot of them. They even have horses with them. Guests have come. They asked about you and your … what should I say… truly your Jeeo Ji (husband).
Varaae: He was at home.
Mehri: He left for the fields after waiting for you for some time. You have taken so long today. Please let’s go hastily. The guests look like some Noblemen.
Varaae: Ok Gangi! Let’s go and Hanso you can come along as well. Leave for your village after eating.
Hanso: No Mother! You go take care of your guests now; I have to go to my village. Ghorri and Mehta came with me and I left them at Maloore’s house. I will return by taking them along and it’s not very distant so I will arrive there in no time. Ok mother! I bow to you. But I have to get the sight [of Guroo Ji], for sure, and you have to get bless me with it, for you are a Saint. Saints themselves carry across the boats of childen. Ok Mother! I bow to you.