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The Guru and Mardana after their travels in Eastern India returned to the Panjab, and proceeded on a visit to the shrine of Shaikh Farid, a Moslem saint, at a place then called Ajodhan, but now Pak Pattan, in the southern part of that province. A saint called Shaikh Brahm (Ibrahim) was then the incumbent of the shrine. He was the first to speak. On seeing the Guru, whom he knew to be a religious man, dressed in ordinary secular costume, he said:--

Either seek for high position[2] or for God.
Put not thy feet on two boats lest thy property founder.[3]

The Guru replied:--

[1. Also translated--lo! this is thy devotional attitude, Padam âsan is one of the Jogis' attitudes.

2. Muqaddami, literally, the headship of a town.

3. The meaning is--lead either a Secular or a religious life. Do not combine both.]

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Put thy feet on two boats and thy property also on them:[1]
One boat may sink, but the other shall cross over.[2]
For me there is no water, no boat, no wreck, and no loss.
Nanak, the True One is my property and wealth, and He is naturally everywhere contained.

Shaikh Brahm replied:--

O Farid, the world is enamoured of the witch[3] who is found to be when her secret is known.
Nanak, while thou lookest on, the field[4] is ruined.

Upon this the Guru urged:--

O Farid, love for the witch hath prevailed from the very beginning.
Nanak, the field shall not be ruined if the watchman be on the alert.

Then Shaikh Brahm:--

Farid, my body faileth, my heart is broken, and no strength whatever remaineth me.
Arise, beloved, become my physician and give me medicine.

Then the Guru exhorted him:--

My friend, examine the truth, lip-worship is hollow.
Nanak, the Beloved is not far from thee; behold Him in thy heart.

Then Shaikh Brahm uttered the following:--

When thou oughtest to have made thy raft, thou didst not do so;
When the full river[5] overfloweth, it is difficult to cross over.

[1. That is, enjoy the world and also remember God.

2. The body may perish, but the soul shall be saved.

3. Worldly love.

4. Man's body.

5. When the body has completed its measure of sin. Sarwar is, literally, a tank or lake, but Shaikh Brahm refers to the broad river Satluj, near which he lived.]

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Put not thy hand into the fire or it will burn,[1] my dear.
Some have obtained honour for themselves by uttering God's name.
As milk will not return to the udder, so the soul will not again enter the same body.
Saith Farid, O my companions, when the Spouse calleth you,
The soul shall depart in perplexity, and the body become a heap of dust.[2]

The Guru replied by a hymn in the same measure:--

Make a raft of devotion and penance, so mayest thou cross the stream.[3]
There is no lake, no overflowing; such a road is easy.
O Lord, Thy name alone is the madder with which my robe is dyed.
Such colour is everlasting, O my dear.
If thou, my beloved, go not thus arrayed to meet the Bridegroom, how canst thou meet Him?
If thou possess virtues, He will meet thee.
If He become united with thee, He will not part from thee; that is, if union be really effected.
It is the True One who putteth an end to transmigration.
She who hath abandoned egotism hath sewed for herself a garment to please the Bridegroom.
Under the Guru's instruction she obtaineth her reward in the ambrosial converse of her Lord.
Nanak saith, O female companions, the Lord is thoroughly dear.
We are His slaves, true is our Spouse.

Then Shaikh Brahm uttered the following:--

They who have heart-felt love for God are the true;
But they who have one thing in their hearts and utter another are accounted false.

[1. Also translated--Touch not safflower: its dye will depart.

2. Sûhi.

3. Wahela, also translated--comfortably.]

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They who are imbued with the love of God and a longing to behold Him are also true.
They who forget God's name are a burden to the earth.
God hath attached to His skirt those who were darweshes at His gate.
Blest the mothers who bore them; profitable was their advent into the world.
O Cherisher, Thou art illimitable, unapproachable, and endless.
I kiss the feet of those who recognize the True One.
I seek Thy shelter, O God; it is Thou who pardonest.
Grant Thy worship as charity to Shaikh Farid.[1]

On this the Guru uttered the hymn called Suchajji, the fortunate, in the Suhi measure:--

When I have Thee I have everything; Thou, O Lord, art my treasure.
In Thee I dwell in peace, in Thee to dwell is my pride;
If it please Thee, Thou bestowest a throne and greatness; if it please Thee, Thou makest man a forlorn mendicant;
If it please Thee, rivers flow over dry land, and the lotus bloometh in the heavens;
If it please Thee, man crosseth the terrible ocean; if it please Thee, he is drowned therein;
If it please Thee, Thou art my merry Spouse--I am absorbed in Thy praises, O Lord[2] of excellences.
If it please Thee, O Lord, Thou terrifiest me, and then I am undone with transmigration.
O Lord, Thou art inaccessible and unequalled; I am exhausted uttering Thy praises.
What can I ask of Thee? What can I say to Thee? I hunger and thirst for a sight of Thee.
Under the instruction of the Guru I have obtained the Lord; Nanak's prayer hath been granted.

[1. Âsa.

2. Tâsh is a Persian word meaning Lord. The gyânis translate it vessel.]

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The Guru and Shaikh Brahm remained together that night in the forest. A kind-hearted and charitable villager who had seen them, took them a basin of milk before daylight. The Shaikh separated his own share from that of the Guru, and uttered these verses:--

Devotion in the beginning of the night is the blossom, in the end of the night[1] the fruit.
They who watch obtain gifts from the Lord.[2]

The Guru responded:--

Gifts are the Lord's; what can prevail against Him?[3]
Some who are awake receive them not; others who are asleep He awaketh, and conferreth presents upon them.[4]

The Guru then asked Shaikh Brahm to put his hand into the milk and feel what was in it. Farid found that it contained four gold coins. Upon this the villager, deeming that he was in the hands of magicians, went away without his basin. The Guru uttered the following hymn


O thou with the beautiful eyes, in the first watch of a dark night
Watch thy property, O mortal; thy turn shall come next.
When thy turn cometh, who will awake thee? Death shall taste thy sweets as thou sleepest.
The night is dark; what shall become of thee when the thief breaketh into and robbeth thy house?
O inaccessible, incomparable Protector, hear my supplication.
O Nanak, the fool hath never thought of God; what can he see in a dark night?

[1. That is, the end of life.

2. Farîd's Sloks.

3. No one can force Him to bestow His gifts.

4. Sri Râg ki Wâr.]

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It is the second watch; awake, O heedless one.
Watch thy property, O mortal; thy field is being eaten up.
Watch thy field, love God's praises; while thou art awake, the thief shall not touch thee.
Then shalt thou not go the way of Death, nor suffer from him; the fear and dread of him shall depart.
The lamps of the sun and moon shall shine for thee, if thou under the Guru's instruction ponder on the True One in thy heart, and utter His name with thy lips.
Nanak, the fool heedeth not even now; how shall he obtain happiness in the second watch?


It is the third watch, thou art wrapt in slumber.
By wealth, children, and wives men are afflicted with sorrow:
Yet wealth, children, wives, and worldly possessions are dear to man; he nibbleth at the bait, and is continually caught.
If man under the Guru's instruction meditate on the Name, he shall obtain rest, and Death shall not seize him.[1]
Transmigration and death never forsake us; without the Name we are afflicted.
Nanak, in the third watch men, under the influence of the three qualities,[2] feel worldly love.

[1. Death only seizes the soul which has to undergo further transmigration. He does not harass the emancipated soul.

2 The three gunas or qualities of goodness, passion, and darkness--or reality, impulse, and ignorance--are frequently mentioned in Sikh as well as Hindu sacred literature. The Mosaic and Zoroastrian systems recognized two principles, good and evil, in the economy of nature. It was the Indian sage Kapila who discerned the three principles or qualities above stated. He beheld good, moderately good, and evil everywhere in creation. He believed that these qualities, but in different degrees, pervade all things, and are the distinguishing characteristics of matter implanted in it by the Creator Himself.

The demigods possess goodness in excess, the demons darkness, and men passion. Manu thus defines the three qualities: 'It ought to be known that the three gunas or fetters of the soul are goodness, passion, and darkness. Restrained by one or more of these it is ever {footnote p. 90} attached to forms of existence. Whenever any one of the three qualities predominates, it causes the embodied spirit to abound in that quality.' The aim of the soul apparently should be to divest itself all three qualities. Compare Plato's distinction of the three parts of the mind corresponding to the three classes of his ideal state.]

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It is the fourth watch; the sun riseth.
They who night and day are watchful have saved their homes.
Night is pleasant for those who under the Guru's instruction watch and apply themselves to the Name.
They who act according to the instruction of the Guru shall not be born again; the Lord will befriend them.
In the fourth watch hands shake, feet and frames totter, eyes grow dim, and men's bodies become like ashes.
Nanak, without God's name abiding in the mind man is unhappy during the four watches.


The knot of life is open; arise, thine allotted time hath come.
All pleasures and happiness are at an end; Death will lead thee captive away.
Without being seen or heard he will lead thee captive, when it so pleaseth God.
His turn shall come to every one; the ripe field shall ever be cut down.
An account of every ghari and moment shall be taken, and the soul shall obtain punishment or reward.
Nanak, God made everything, demigods and men are herein agreed.[1]

When the Guru and Shaikh Brahm left the forest the villager returned to fetch his basin. On lifting it up, it is said, he found that it had become gold, and was filled with gold coins. Then he began to repent of his suspicions, and confessed to himself that they were religious men. If he had come with

[1. Tukhâri Chhant.]

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his heart disposed towards God, he would have gained holiness. 'I came with worldliness, and worldliness have I found.' Upon this he took up his basin and departed.

Shaikh Brahm remarked that it was difficult for those who attached themselves to mammon to obtain salvation, and inquired what aid besides God's name was ordinarily necessary for future happiness. The Guru replied with the following hymn:--

The union of father and mother produceth a body,
On which the Creator hath written its destiny,
The gifts, the divine lights, and the greatness allotted it;
But on associating with mammon it loseth remembrance of God.
O foolish man, why art thou proud?
Thou shalt have to depart when it pleaseth the Lord.
Abandon pleasures, and peace and happiness shall be thine.
Thou shalt have to leave thy home; no one is permanent here.
Eat a little and leave a little,
If thou art again to return to this world.[1]
Man decketh his body, dresseth it in silk,
And issueth many orders;
He maketh a couch of ease and sleepeth thereon.
Why weepeth he when he falleth into the hands of Death?[2]
Domestic entanglements are a whirlpool, O brother
Sin is a stone which floateth not over.
Put thy soul on the raft of God's fear, and thou shalt be saved.
Saith Nanak, such a raft God giveth but to few.[3]

Then the people brought them bread, but Shaikh Brahm said that he had already dined. The people, annoyed that their offerings were thus spurned, said

[1. That is, to practise great economy would be useless for him who is not to return to this world.

2. If man disregard the present opportunity of doing good works, why should he afterwards weep when Death seizes him for punishment?

3. Mâru.]

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to him: 'You must be a liar from that country where Farid, who wore a wooden cake on his stomach, held religious sway. Whenever any one offered him food he used to say he had taken dinner.'[1] Upon this Shaikh Brahm said: 'What shall be my condition, who am ever saying that I have dined, when I am only fasting?' The Guru was pleased to observe the Shaikh's tender conscience, and said to him: 'Shaikh Brahm, God is in thee.' The Shaikh then asked the Guru to tell him of God, and by what virtues and merits He was to be found. The Guru replied as follows:--

Come, my sisters and dear companions, embrace me.
Having embraced me, tell me tales of the Omnipotent Spouse.
In the true Lord are all merits, in- us all demerits.
O Creator, every one is in Thy power.
Meditate on the one Word; where Thou, O God, art, what more is required?
Go ask the happy wife by what merits she enjoyeth her Spouse-
'Composure, contentment, and sweet discourse are mine ornaments.
'I met my Beloved, who is an abode of pleasure, when I heard the Guru's word.'
How great, O God, is Thy power! how great Thy gifts!
How many men and lower animals utter Thy praises day and night!
How many are Thy forms and colours! how many castes high and low!
When the true Guru is found, truth is produced, and man becoming true is absorbed in the truth.
When man is filled with fear through the Guru's instructions, then he obtaineth understanding, and honour resulteth.
Nanak, the true King then blendeth man with Himself.[2]

[1. An account of Farid will be found in the sixth volume of this Work.

2. Sri Râg.]

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The Guru, after his pleasant visit to Shaikh Brahm and his district, where he made several converts, proceeded to a country called Bisiar, probably the state of Bushahir in the Himalayas, where he was ill received. The inhabitants, deeming his presence pollution, purified every place he had stood on. One man alone, Jhanda, a carpenter, was found to treat him with hospitality. He took him to his house, washed his feet, and drank the water used for the purpose. While drinking, it was revealed to him that Nanak was a Guru. He joined him in his wanderings.

The Guru and his companions directed their steps to the East. They went to an island in the ocean where they could obtain no food. There the Guru composed the Jugawali, a poem (no longer extant) on the four ages of the world. Jhanda committed it to writing and circulated it, With the new composition in his possession he returned to his own country, leaving the Guru and Mardana to continue their pilgrimage.

Not long after they found themselves in a lonely desert. Mardana began to feel the pangs of hunger, and thus addressed his master: 'We are lost in this great wilderness, from which God alone can extricate us. Here I shall fall into the clutches of some wild animal which will kill and eat me.' The Guru asked him to take care, and nothing should come near him. He further consoled him by stating that they were not in a desert, as the place where God's name was uttered was always inhabited. 'Many better men than we ', said the Guru, 'have endured greater hardships.' Upon this he composed the following:--

The demigods in order to behold Thee, O God, made pilgrimages in sufferings and hunger.
Jogis and Jatis[1] go their own ways, and don ochre-coloured garbs.

[1. Jatis, men vowed to perpetual continence.]

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For Thy sake, O my Lord, the darweshes are imbued with love.
Thy names are various, Thy forms are various, the number of Thy merits cannot be told.
Men leaving houses and homes, palaces, elephants and horses go abroad.
Priests, prophets, holy and sincere men leave the world to obtain salvation.
They abandon good living, rest, happiness, and dainties; they doff clothes, and wear skins.
Imbued with Thy name they in anguish and pain become darweshes at Thy gate.
They don skins, carry begging bowls, staves, and wear hair-tufts, sacrificial threads, and loin-cloths.
Thou art the Lord, I am Thy player; Nanak representeth, what is caste?[1]

The Guru further remonstrated with his attendant: 'We cannot succeed without God's word. Think of some hymn and play the rebeck.' Mardana replied that his throat was collapsing for want of food, and he had no strength to move, much less to play. The Guru then pointed to a tree and told him to eat his fill of its fruit, but take none with him. Mardana accordingly began to eat, and so much enjoyed the flavour of the fruit, that he thought he would eat what he could, and also take some with him, lest he might soon again find himself in a similar plight.

As they continued their wanderings, Mardana again felt hungry, so he drew forth his stock of fruit. Directly he tasted it he fell down. The Guru inquired what had happened. Mardana confessed his disobedience of his master's instructions in having brought with him and eaten some of the forbidden fruit. The Guru remonstrated with him for his disregard of orders. The fruit was poisonous, but the Guru had blessed it for the occasion and made

[1. Âsa.]

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it wholesome, The Guru put his foot on Mardana's forehead as he lay stretched on the ground, and he at once revived.

Next: Life Of Guru Nanak: Chapter VIII