My late grand-father was not that seriously into Sikhi. I am going to narrate an incident which occurred in the 1960s in Delhi that changed my grandfather’s life and made him closer to Guru Ji.
My grandfather’s best friend was called Bhai Manohar Singh. Both of them worked together in the army in India. Bhai Manohar Singh had one daughter. She is described to have been very beautiful looking girl. Bhai Sahib’s daughter was a teacher in a school in Delhi.
One day Bhai Sahib’s daughter (Gurmeet Kaur) was arguing with another work colleague at school. The argument made Gurmeet Kaur angry. While shouting and arguing, she lost her eyesight. She couldn’t see anything as everything had gone black.
Bhai Manohar Singh was notified about his daughter. He took her to the doctors immediately. The doctor said, “I cannot do anything, I don’t know what caused it, nor do I know how to cure it. Sorry Sardar Ji.” Bhai Sahib took her to different hospitals. All the hospitals gave the same response, “Sorry Sardar Ji, we can’t help your daughter. Her eyesight seems permanently damaged by something which we cannot find out. We are sorry, but we cannot do anything now.”
In desperation, Manohar Singh took his daughter to the army hospitals, with the thought that perhaps the army hospitals would have more specialist doctors which might be able to help his daughter. However, unfortunately Manohar Singh and his daughter was destraught to find out that even they said, “Sorry, we cannot do anything.”
Everyone had said “we can’t help you.” Where should they go?
Who should they ask for help?
Who will listen to the cries of despair?
ਸਗਲ ਦੁਆਰ ਕਉ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ ਗਹਿਓ ਤੁਹਾਰੋ ਦੁਆਰ ॥
sagal duaar kau chhaad kai, gaheou tuhaaro duaar.
Having abandoned all other doors, I have come to Your door for protection and help.
ਬਾਂਹਿ ਗਹੇ ਕੀ ਲਾਜ ਅਸ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਦਾਸ ਤੁਹਾਰ ॥
baa(n)he gahe kee laaj as, gobind daas tuhaar.
O Lord! I have held Your arm, I am Your servant a devotee.
Bhai Manohar Singh thought, ‘O well if everything else has failed, then why not go to Guru Nanak’s Darbar.’ Every day Bhai Manohar Singh and his daughter would travel to Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Delhi.
Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, is made in memory of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, the eight Nanak. Guru Sahib here cured the pains of the ill and cured the sick. Guru Gobind Singh Jee says: “Sree HarKrishan Dhiaaeeyai, Jis Dittai Sabh Dukh Jaae… Remember Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, through which all pains and suffering shall vanish.”
Arriving in the morning, father and daughter would clean and do seva. Father and daughter would clean the shoes of the Sangat and sweep the floor. In the evening they would sit in the evening Diwan and listen to Keertan, before going back home.
Years had passed. Now, both Manohar Singh and his daughter had got used to the thought of Gurmeet Kaur being permanently blind. Accepting Vaheguru’s Will, both father and daughter continued with serving the Guru through devoting their lives to doing seva at the Gurdwara.
One day, after having done seva, both Manohar Singh and his daughter went to the Guru’s Darbar to listen to Keertan, as they usually did. The Ragi Singhs were singing the shabad:
ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ 5 ॥
dhanaasree mehlaa 5
Dhanaasaree, Fifth Mehl:
ਚਤੁਰ ਦਿਸਾ ਕੀਨੋ ਬਲੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਸਿਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਕਰੁ ਧਾਰਿਓ ॥
chatar disaa keeno bal apnaa, sir oopar kar dhaariou
He has extended His power in all four directions, and placed His hand upon my head.
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਟਾਖ੍ਹ ਅਵਲੋਕਨੁ ਕੀਨੋ ਦਾਸ ਕਾ ਦੂਖੁ ਬਿਦਾਰਿਓ ॥1॥
kripaa kattaakh avlokan keeno, daas kaa dookh bidhaariou
Gazing upon me with his Eye of Mercy, He has dispelled the pains of His slave. ||1||
ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਰਾਖੇ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ॥
har jan raake gur govind
The Guru, the Lord of the Universe, has saved the Lord's humble servant.
ਕੰਠਿ ਲਾਇ ਅਵਗੁਣ ਸਭਿ ਮੇਟੇ ਦਇਆਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਬਖਸੰਦ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
kanth laae avgun sabh mette, deiaal purakh bakshand
Hugging me close in His embrace, the merciful, forgiving Lord has erased all my sins. ||Pause||
ਜੋ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਤੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੋਈ ਦੇਵੈ ॥
jo maa(n)gehe thaakur apnae te, soyee soyee devai
Whatever I ask for from my Lord and Master, he gives that to me.
ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਈਹਾ ਊਹਾ ਸਚੁ ਹੋਵੈ ॥2॥14॥45॥
naanak daas mukh te jo bolai, eehaa oohaa sach hovai
Whatever the Lord's slave Nanak utters with his mouth, proves to be true, here and hereafter. ||2||14||45||
While this shabad was being sung by the Hazoori Raagi Jatha, Gurmeet Kaur experienced something strange. She used to sit next to her father in the Diwan Hall. She nudged her father and said, “Papa Ji, I can see Guru Nanak Sahib Ji infront of me.” Her father, with a tear in his eye, thought ‘O Waheguru, she is blind and now she is going mad now as well. Maharaj do Kirpaa on her, bless her.’
ਜਿਸ ਕੇ ਸਿਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਤੂੰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕੈਸਾ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
jis ke sir oopar too(n) suaamee, so dukh kaisaa paavai
When You stand over our heads, O Lord and Master, how can we suffer in pain?
She now grabbed her father’s hand and said, “Papa Ji, I am scared. Mainoo Darr Lagdaa Hai!... I can see a Jyot (light) coming from Guru Nanak Sahib Ji’s hand and coming towards my forehead. I don’t know what to do!” Manohar Singh now believed that perhaps his daughter is not going mad and that there may be a chance that there is something really happening. He held her hand and said, “Beti, tell me what is happening.” “Papa Ji, the Jyot is getting closer and closer” she said. She then described that the Jyot had entered her forehead.
“Akkaa Kohl, Akkaa Kohl Beti… Open your eyes, open your eyes my child.” “No! I can’t. I am scared that if I open my eyes and I cant see that I will feel sad and let down” said Gurmeet Kaur. Manohar Singh convinced his daughter to open her eyes slowly. As she opened her eyes, everything was black. As she opened them slightly more, she could see a blur. Then we she opened them fully, she could see Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and the Guru Pyaree Saadh Sangat sitting the holy presence of Guru Sahib listening to the Shabad Kirtan.
“Paapa, I can see, I can see. Guru Nanak has given me back my vision, Guru Nanak has given me back my vision.” Manohar Singh stood up in the Sangat and starting make a commotion and shouted, “My daughter can see, my daughter can see!!”. A Sewadar came up to Bhai Manohar Singh and asked what is the commotion about. When the Sewadar heard what had happened, an Ardas was done to thank Waheguru and the whole Sangat was told what had happened at the end of the Diwaan.
ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥
too(n) meraa pitaa too(n)-hai meraa maataa
You are my Father, and You are my Mother.
ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ ॥
too(n) meraa bandhap too(n) meraa bhraataa
You are my Relative, and You are my Brother.
ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥1॥
too(n) meraa raakhaa sabhnee thaaee taa bhau kehaa kaarraa jeeo
You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety? ||1||
That day Bhai Manohar Singh came to our family home and gave a box of laddoos to my Baba Ji. When he heard what had happened to Bhai Manohar Singh’s daughter he was inspired and realised that the greatness of Guru Nanak’s House. From that day on my grandfather gave up drinking sharab and eating meat and dedicated his life to Waheguru. He would recite Sukhmani Sahib da Paat, sing Shabad Keertan and do Sehaj-paats.
ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਤੇਰੀ ॥
giaan dhiaan kichh karam na jaanaa, saar na jaanaa teree
I know nothing about wisdom, meditation and good deeds; I know nothing about Your excellence.
ਸਭ ਤੇ ਵਡਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਲ ਰਾਖੀ ਮੇਰੀ ॥4॥10॥57॥
sabh te vaddaa satgur naanak, jin kal raakhee meree
Guru Nanak is the greatest of all; He saved my honor in this Dark Age of Kaljug (by showing me the true path). ||4||10||57||
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