One day, a Sikh appeared before Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur. He did not bring any offering for Guru Sahib. This was something unusual for a Sikh. he said to Guru Sahib, ‘O true king, pardon me for coming empty-handed. All the same, i want to make an offering to you. I am sure […]
One day, a Sikh appeared before Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur. He did not bring any offering for Guru Sahib. This was something unusual for a Sikh. he said to Guru Sahib, ‘O true king, pardon me for coming empty-handed. All the same, i want to make an offering to you. I am sure you will like it. but it is too heavy. i have not been able to lift it and bring it to this place.’ Guru Sahib inquired, ‘what is it? where is it?’ The Sikh replied, ‘ Away in the forest, i came across a big tiger. i killed it. i should have brought its body to you as an offering. but, as i have said, it is too heavy. I am not strong enough to lift it and bring it to you. Be pleased to lend me suitable assistance.’
The guru sent some strong men with the sikh. they brought the tiger’s body and placed it before the guru. He was pleased to see it. He praised the sikh for his bravery. He then got the tiger’s body skinned. Then he sent for a potter’s donkey. He got that donkey clothed in the tiger’s ckin.The donkey thus, dressed as a tiger, was let loose. All animals ran away from it out of fear. even men, women and children fled on seeing it approach. The donkey in the tiger’s grab enjoyed the new experience. It had no longer to carry any loads. it had no longer to obey any master. It was free to run about and feed at pleasure.
This went on for some time. in the meantime several complaints were made to the guru. several people requested him to kill or get killed the dreadful beast. In response to these complaints and requests the guru went out to shoot that ‘Dreadful beast’. He took a party of Sikhs with him. The hunting party approached the donkey in the tiger’s grab, raising the usual shouts and cries. On hearing the noise made by the guru’s party, the supposed tiger began to bray in terror. it ran away at top speed. the hunting party allowed it to go away unchecked and unpursued. It fled for protection to its old master. it was trembling with fear. Its behavior and movements were not at all like those of a tiger. They were those of a donkey. The potter was puzzled to see a tiger behave and move like a donkey. ‘what is the matter with this tiger?’ he said to himself. He approached it cautiously. AS he did so, the supposed tiger began to bray and move its tail
The potter realized that the animal before him was not a tiger. it was only in a donkey in a tiger’s skin. He was greatly amused at this discovery. He had a hearty laugh. Then he said ‘ so, my lost donkey has come back in the tiger’s suit. But its a donkey all the same. come on , my dear, i shall make you apear in your true grab. You have enjoyed quite a long holiday. i have missed you very much these days. now you have become stronger. so the loads will be heavier than before’.
Saying this, the potter took off the tiger’s skin from the donkey’s body. then he gave it a sound beating for having run away. He then employed it in carrying loads. The loads were much heavier now.
All who heard the story were greatly amused. they said to each other,’So we were all deceived. it was only a donkey dressed as a tiger. Yet how dreadful it looked! if it had continue to wear the tiger’s skin, it would have continued to terrify us all.’
Some Sikhs asked the guru what he meant by what he had done. The guru replied,’I want you to learn a lasting lesson from this. As long as you were bound by castes and other Hindu beliefs and customs, you were like donkeys. You were driven about by persons of no position or power. I have freed you from all those chains. I have conferred on you worldly powers and blessings. I have clothed you in the grab of tigers. I have given you the courage and bravery of lions. I have a made you superior to your neighbors. I have given you the Khalsa uniform. I have made you my Singhs or lions. Stick and cling to that uniform of five ‘Ks’. don’t ever discard it.Remember what happened to the potter’s donkey. when it wore the tiger’s grab, it looked like a tiger. It was in fact, taken to be a tiger by all who saw it. Nobody could go near it or think of using it as a beast of burden. But when the tiger skin was taken off, it was caught and beaten by the potter. If it had not preserved and brayed like a donkey, it would have been still been regarded and treated as a tiger.
‘You should learn a lesson from this. You must have not only the appreance of tigers, or lions. youshould also posses the qualities befitting your aprearance. this you can do by taking the amrit introduced by me and by following the Rehat prescribed by me for the Khalsa. An amritdhari sikh or a singh of mine will have the exterior as well as the interior of the king of the animal world. As long as you, will preserve that exterior, your enemies will fear you. You will be always victorious. But if you part with this exterior, if you discard the khalsa uniform, you will again revert to your original condition. You will fall from the lofty position to which i am lifting you.
“Yes, Guru Nanak’s Sikhs should, henceforth take the baptismal nectar- Amrit – as prescribed by me. They should ever keep distinct from others in charater and conduct, as well as in appearance. So long as the Sikhs preserve the form and appearance that i have given them, so long will they enjoy my blessings. they will have in them my spirit and my light.