Bhagat Ji was a very keen listener and a good practioner of Hindu religion as a child. His awareness of Hindu Gods and Godesses and myths attached to them was very good. He had been visiting the local temple since he was a small boy. There were 10 – 12 tiny hindu idols of stone […]
Bhagat Ji was a very keen listener and a good practioner of Hindu religion as a child. His awareness of Hindu Gods and Godesses and myths attached to them was very good. He had been visiting the local temple since he was a small boy. There were 10 – 12 tiny hindu idols of stone and clay which he would carefully wash and then dry them with a piece of clean cloth. He did all this with great love and care. He would pluck 21 leaves from a particular tree and would write “Om Namah Shivai” on each one in red chandan. Then he would offer it to the main Shiv idol.
He was equally exposed to Sikhism and was never stopped from attending any of the various religious congregations. There were two incidents which influenced his spiritual countenance and gave definite direction to his life.
On his way to the village one day, he stopped at the Neelkanth temple, and as was his routine, he washed the idols, dried them with cloth and prayed. It was fairly late and Bhagat Ji was hungry. The temple priest rang the bell for food and all the inmates sat down to eat. So did Bhagat Ji. The priest served the food to all others sitting there except Bhagat Ji. He said to Bhagat Ji “You dont belong here”. Bhagat Ji got up quietly without any argument and started for home. But for many days he was haunted by the question that if “I didn’t belong to God’s house then where and to whom did I belong?.”
He had appeared for his matric examination at Ludhiana and was returning to his boarding school. Bhagat Ji told ” I was extremely tense, for I knew that once the examinations were over, the hostel authorities would send me packing. My parents had already left for Montgomery and I had no home. Where would I go then? On the way back, it became dark, and as the roads were unfamiliar to me, I was scared that I might get lost. Somewhere near the canal, I met two Sikh farmers, one of whom was blind .He was reciting Rehraas Sahib while the other listened quietly. I also sat down and listened to him. When the prayer ended, I asked them, “Is there any place where I can spend night and get something to eat?” They directed me to Gurdwara Reru Sahib. I told them “I have kept fast today and to break it I can only eat sweetened rice”. The elder of the two gentlemen then took me to his house, made sweetened rice for me and gave me his own bed to sleep in.”
Such compassion by the two Sikhs attracted Bhagat Ji towards their religion like a magnet. Next morning , he started for Reru Sahib. On reaching, sweet melodies of Guru’s Shabad awakened the inner recesses of Bhagat Ji’s soul. With a strange sort of peace settling inside him, he sat down in the langar hall while the sewadar served sweetened lassi to him. In lunchtime sewadar called out “Langar is ready, Guru’s cherished followers. Come and eat.”
Bhagat ji said ” As those sweet words melted in my ears, I felt I was receiving answers to the several questions that had been bothering me for last so many years. I could feel myself melting into Sikh fold. It was like a mother enveloping her son in her warmth.”
Long before the Reru Sahib incident, Bhagat Ji had made notes in his diary as to how the physical aspects of Khalsahood impressed him. Bhagat ji had attended the Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib. Fatehgarh Sahib is the place where “Chotte Sahibzadey” were bricked alive by Muslim ruler. Bhagat Ji recalled “I sat close to where Guru Granth Sahib was residing on a raised platform, watching everything and taking in every single detail, for I had never been part of such a large congregation”. At mela Bhagat Ji was very impressed with personlaity of ADC of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. Bhagat Ji , who till that time, had always tied a loose parna around his head, patted his head with a new interest. He went back home and told his mother, “something is missing here”, pointing towards top of his head.
Bhagat Ji told “When the whole congregation left barefoot for Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop, the maharaj too became part of that procession, and I thought, here is a religion which does not beleive in class or caste distinctions.
The life history of “Chotte Sahibzadey” inspired him beyond his own imagination. He said ” I felt strong emotional bond with the Sahibzadey as I bowed before the sacred place”.
Bhagat Ji followed his intuition to the last specific and adorned himself with the ways of Khalsahood for all his years to come.
~ Source – simransewa.blogspot.in