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Sikhism In The Persian Text The Dabistán, Or School Of Manners

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The Nânac-Panthians,* who are known as com­posing the nation of the Sikhs, have neither idols nor temples of idols. Nânac belonged to the tribe of Bédíans, who are Kshatriyas. His reputation rose in the time of Zehir-ed-din Baber Padshah* (who inhabits heaven). Before the victory of this king over the Afghans, Nânac was a grain-factor* of Daulet khan Lodi,* who ranked among the dis­tinguished Umras of Ibrahim Khan, the sovereign of Hindostan.

A durvish came to to Nânac, and subdued his mind in such a manner that he, Nânac, having entered the granary, gave away the property of Daulet-Khan, and his own, whatever he found there and in his house, and abandoned his wife and children. Daulet Khan was struck with astonish­ment at hearing this, but, recognising in Nânac the mark of a durvish, he withheld his hand from hurt­ing him.* In a short time Nanac made a great progress in piety; at first he took little nourishment; afterwards he allowed himself but to taste a little cow-milk; next a little oil; then nothing but water, and at last he took nothing but air: such men the Hindus call pavana haris.*

Nanac had a great number of disciples. He pro­fessed the unity of God, which is called the law of Muhammed, and believed the metempsychosis, or transmigration of the soul from one body to another. Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and to eat pork, he himself abstained from eating flesh, and ordered not to hurt any living being. After him, this precept was neglected by his followers; butArjun mal, one of the substitutes of his faith, as soon as he found that it was wrong, renewed the prohibition to eat flesh, and said: “This has not been approved by Nânac.” Afterwards, Hargovind, son of Arjun­mal, eat flesh, and went to hunt, and his followers imitated his example.

Nanac praised the religion of the Muselmans, as well as the Avatars and the divinities of the Hindus; but he knew that these objects of veneration were created and not creators, and he denied their real descent from heaven, and their union with mankind. It is said that he wore the rosary of the Muselmans in his hand, and the Zunar, or the religious thread of the Hindus, around his neck.* Some of his dis­tinguished disciples report of him more than can here find room.

One of these reports is, that Nanac, being dissatisfied with the Afghans, called the Moghuls into the country, so that in the year 932 of the Hejira (A. D. 1525) Zehir ed-din Baber padshah (who is in heaven) gained the victory over Ibrahim, the king of the Afghans.* They say also that Nanac, during one of his journeys,* finding himself one night in a fort, was absorbed in a vision of God. Children played around him, and some put their hands upon his body, without any motion being perceived in him; they sewed his eye-lids, his nostrils, and his flesh together, and tied his hands fast. When Nanac recovered his senses, he found himself in this state, and went to a neighbouring house, at the threshold of which he called out: “Ho! is there any body in the house who may free my eye-lids sewed together and my hands?” A handsome woman, hav­ing conducted him into the house, untied his hands and tore the threads by which his eye-lids were sewed together with her teeth asunder, on which account the color of the mark of the woman's caste remained upon Nanac's forehead. After his having left the house, the neighbours saw the mark, and supposed his having had an intimate connexion with the woman; wherefore she was abused by the people and repudiated by her husband.

This woman came one day to Nanac, and said: “I have, upon the way of God, rendered thee a ser­vice, and now they revile me for it.” Nanac answered: “To-morrow will the gate of the fort be shut, but shall not be opened unless thou appliest thy hand to it.” The next day, in spite of all efforts to open the gate, they could not suc­ceed, and remained in great consternation. Men and beasts, far from water, could not go out to fetch it. The inhabitants addressed themselves to all men who had a reputation for sanctity, but their prayers were in vain. At last they had recourse to Nanac, and said: “O durvish, what is there to be done?” He answered: “The gate shall not be opened except by the hand of a woman who never lost her virtue with a stranger.” The inhabitants brought all the women who had a reputation for chastity to the gate of the fort, but it remained shut: on that account they sat down hopeless. At the time of evening prayer came at last the friend of Baba Nanac to the gate. The people laughed at her; her hus­band and her relations were ashamed and abused her. The woman, without listening to the speeches of the people, struck the gate with her hand and it opened. All men were astonished and ashamed: they fell at the feet of the woman.

The báni,* that is to say the poems, of Nânac, are, as it were, perfumed with devotion and wisdom, still more can this be said of his speeches about the grandeur and sanctity of God. All is in the lan­guage of the Jats of the Panjab, and Jat in the dia­lect of the Penjab, means a villager or a rustic.

Nânac's disciples are not conversant with the Sanscrit language. The precepts and regulations which Nânac established among them will be explained hereafter.

Nânac said in his poems that there are several heavens and earths; and that prophets, and saints, and those that are supposed to have descended from above (avatárs), and persons distinguished by piety, obtain perfection by zeal in the service of God; that whoever devotes himself to the veneration of God, whatever road he may choose, will come to God, and that the means to this is, to avoid hurting any living being.”

“Be true and thou shalt be free; Truth belongs to thee, and thy success to the Creator.”*

Nánac left children in the Penj-ab,* they are called Kartaris; but according to the opinion of some, he had no offspring. They say that, after Nánac's decease, his place was by his order occupied by the Guru Angad, of the Srín tribe of Kshatriyas; next succeeded the Guru Amaradas, of the tribe of the Bholáyí-Kshatriyas; after him came the Guru Ráma­das , who was of the Sódahí-Kshatriyas, and also called the Srí-guru. Ráma-das, dying, left his dignity to his son Arjun mal. During the life of this Guru, the Sikhs, that is to say, his followers grew great in number and in faith. They said, Bábá Nânac is a god, and the world his creation; but Nánac in his poems reckons himself a servant of God, and he calls God Naránjen (Naráyana), Parabrahma, and Permai­sher (Paramésvara), who is without a body, and has nothing corporeal, nor deigns to be united with a bodily frame. The Sikhs say that Nánac, in the same manner, had been without a real body, but visible by the power of his individuality,* and they believe that, when Nânac expired,* his spirit became incarnate in the person of Angad,* who attended him as his confidential servant. Angad, at his death, transmitted his soul into the body of Amara das;* and thus Guru, in the same manner, conveyed his spirit into the body of Ráma-das;* whose soul trans­migrated into the person of Arjunmal;* in short, they believe that, with a mere change of name, Nânac the First became Nânac the Second, and so on, to the Fifth, in the person of Arjunmal. They say, that whoever does not recognise in Arjunmal the true Bábá Nânac, is an unbeliever; they have a number of tales about the founder of their sect, and assert that Bábá Nânac, in a former world, was the radja Janak.*

When Sakha-daiv (Saha déva),* the son of Baiás (Vyasa), a rakhaisher (rakshasa), came to Janak, in order to learn from him the path of God, he found the rája, who had thrown one of his feet into the fire; men on foot and on horseback formed a file; Nawabs and Vizirs were busy about the affairs of the state; elephants and horses presented themselves to the view. Saha dév thought in his mind that such occupations and worldly concerns were unbe­coming so pious a man. The rája, who was skilled in penetrating the hearts of others, found it out, and employing the power of magic, he caused fire to fall upon the houses, so that at last all the horses and fine palaces were burnt. The rája seemed neither to hear, nor to see, nor to care any thing about what happened, until the fire reached the house where he and Saha dév were. Janak did not throw one look upon it. The fire fell upon the wooden cup, which they call there kermandel,* and which Saha dév used for drinking water. He now, senseless, jumped from his place, and took hold of his kermandel. The rája smiled, and said to him: “All my people, and all this, my property, were burnt; my heart was not bound to them; wherefore I let them be consumed, and feel no pain about them; but thou, on account of thy kermandel, jumpedst senseless from thy place. It is now clear whose heart is bound to the things of this world.” Saha dèv was ashamed of his having been disturbed. This tale was heard from the followers of Nânac.

The history of Janak and of Saha dév is con­tained in the Jog bashest,* which is one of the prin­cipal books of the Hindus, in the following manner: Bisvámiter (Viśvamitra)* in presence of the Raksha­sas addressed this speech to Ráma chander: “O Rama chander, venerate thy father and mother; thou who issuedst from them so beautiful, thou hast accomplished thy task; by the goodness of thy nature and by the purity of thy character, thou hast polished the mirror of thy heart, and given it such a brightness, that the perfection o God is manifest in it; the success which a zealous disciple obtains, after many difficulties and pious exercises under the direction and instruction of a Rakshasa, during a long period of time, that suc­cess became thy share without trouble; thine became the science to be acquired; and thine is, even in this life, the emancipation in the form of Saha dèv, the son of Vyása. He, thy father, on account of the excellence of his pure form and of his divine nature, having come forth wise from the womb of his mother, without any assistance manifested his perfection, and on account of the clearness of his intellect, whatever on the way of his journey, was accessible to wisdom and excel­lence, was open to his looks, and no veil nor curtain remained before him; nevertheless, even with such advantages, he was inquisitive with Raksha­sas and wise men in matters of theology, so that these personages, or pious penitents, gave him directions and lessons, and offered him their advice with alacrity. Thus am I ready to give thee some instruction, and communicate some precepts of wisdom to thee.” Therefore Rámachander inquired of Visvámiter: “As Saha dèv brought the full measure of wisdom from the body of his mother, and as his nature was endowed with such perfection, my prayer is, that you may favor me with an explicit account of him, and explain to me by what means he procured to himself the advice of the wise, and in what manner the Rak­shasas imparted instruction to him.” Visvámiter replied: “O Rama chander, thy condition is as fortunate as that of Saha dèv; such was his dignity and excellence, that men, by listening to his tale, feel themselves emancipated, and are no more subject to be born again. O Ramachander, he too was impressed with the idea that in no condition this world is permanent, but that all that is seen changes every moment, and passes from one state to another. One guest arrives and comes into the world, another dies and goes out of the world; the one is agitated with distress, the other is quiet; the one exulting, the other overcome with grief; in short, whoever and what­ever exists in this world is liable to change; there is not the least hope of firmness and steadiness, and nothing is worthy to bind our hearts. But that which is firm and steady, deserves that we attach our hearts to it, and that we perpetually are mindful of, and fix our thoughts and meditate upon it. Nothing however is firm and steady but the pure being of Brahma, that is to say, the supreme and true entity of God. Moreover, who­ever directs his mind solely towards the divinity, will attain the knowledge of it, and render him­self perfectly free from the desires of the heart, and from the pleasures of the body, which tend to swell and to fetter the soul. And like the bird Pápîhá,* which is fond of the water which falls from the cloud Náisán,* and does not taste of any other liquid from river or well, but thirsting only for drops from the cloud Náisan, is taken up with the search for them; thus Saha-dév, having made himself independent and free from all desires and allurements, was always immersed in the contemplation of Brahma, and having dis­solved his own being in the reality of God, he knew Brahma, and attained the state of absolute repose and quietness. When he thus became a master of excellence, and as perfect as other rakshasas, then he felt the desire of his heart accomplished, and with a mind more splendid than the moon of a fortnight, he passed through the troubles of life, according to the words of the prophet: ‘With a heavenly mind upon the carpet of eternity.’”

One day, during a pleasure excursion in this world, he happened to reach the mountain Sumair,* that is Alburz, which in Arabia, is calledKáf.* Upon the top of this mountain, he saw his father Vyása, who in a cavern was occupied with the contempla­tion of Brahma. Having saluted his father accord­ing to the custom of the Hindus, he asked him: “My worthy father, you who possess the knowledge of the supreme being, inform me in what manner this knowledge of the unity of God is diffused in the multitude, in what way the creatures of this world obtain their forms, to what period their existence is extended, what is the cause of their duration, and how their existence happens to be renewed several times, in order that I may possess proper notions of the state of this world, and that I may unravel this mystery to myself.”

Vyása, according to the desire of his son, explained the original state of the creation in clear words; but as the mind of the sage was involved in his own thoughts, and occupied with the contemplation of Brahma, he gave only a short account of the crea­tion and of the development of this world to Saha dév, who did not derive an entire satisfaction from it. Vyása knew his thoughts, and said: “O son, my mind being immersed in the study and in the contemplation of God, I cannot, for want of time, impart to thee at present distinctly the account which thou desirest; but I will put thee in the way by which thou mayst arrive at the satisfac­tion of thy heart, and I will send thee to a man who will gratify thee. Know then, that in the country of Tirhut* is a town called Míthila, and there resides Janaka, the Rája, who is an excel­lent man, and possesses incomparable knowledge. Go to him, and engage him to satisfy thy heart. He will give thee an explicit account of the crea­tion of the world from beginning to end.” Saha dév, according to the direction of his father, having left him, went into Tirhut, to the town of Mithila. He saw a city populous, and delightfully built; the soldiers content with the Rája, and the rayots (coun­try people) happy and satisfied. Nobody complained at that time of his lot: in the evening every one laid down in his corner, and at day-break attended the court of Rája Janaka. The guards at the door observed Saha dév, tapasí, that is, a pious adorer of God, the son of Vyása, who stood at the gate and asked entrance. The rája Janaka, before he received the report of it, knew from inward knowledge and from the light of his mind, the purpose of Saha­dév's mind; but in order to try his character, and to put his sincerity and his individuality to the test, he took no notice of the appearance of the stranger. Saha-dév, who had come near him, remained there one day and one night. On the next day, Janaka set about his business; the great and the vulgar appeared before him. This day too, and the follow­ing eight days and eight nights the rája did not address any question to Saha dév, who remained in his place without saying a word to any body. The eighth day, the rája Janak, when he saw that Saha-dév stood the test by shewing the mark of excellence and betraying no unsteadiness, he ordered that the stranger should be introduced into the inte­rior of the palace and into the private apartments. Beforehand, he enjoined the maids of the bed-cham­ber and all the people of the palace that, on Saha­dév's arrival, they should place before him all sorts of exquisite viands and agreeable perfumes, and what­ever might allure the mind, and that they should endeavour to fascinate and to madden him. When Saha dév, by order of the rája Janaka, had entered the private apartments, handsome women brought before him from all sides delicious meats, and gar­ments, and every thing that was attracting, and showed him great respect; after humble prostra­tions, they placed him in an elegant apartment. During other seven days and nights the rája did not appear before him. The people of the inner apart­ments, according to the rája's orders, did what they could in a thousand different ways to please him: they approached him, clasped their hands with his, rubbed his hands and feet; they served and tempted him by four principal means, namely: first, by the splendour of handsome maids; secondly, by offering him whatever may charm the senses; thirdly, by tokens of respect, and fourthly, by rubbing his hands and feet. Their intent was, if there remained any human feeling in him, to rouse it up. Saha dév, like a mountain that is not moved by any wind, stood firm; he took notice of nothing, and threw not even a look upon the beautiful moon-faced dam­sels about him. The rája Janaka, when informed that not the least trace of human feeling, lust, or desire had remained in the young man, and that he had freed himself from the fetters of error and sen­suality, ran without hesitation from the place where he was, and touched the feet of Saha dév, saying: “Be thou happy, O rakshasa! who art united with the supreme spirit, and in whom has remained no trace of the qualities of water, earth, and of human nature, thou, who hast acquired what­ever may be desirable to thy regeneration: for thou possessest the knowledge of God. Now, tell me, with what intention didst thou come to me, and what dost thou expect from our meeting?” Saha dév replied to the rája: “My intention in coming here was to obtain from thee a true account of the creation; in what manner this world came forth from the unity of the divine being, and how from him, the One, proceeded the duality and multiplicity of forms. Explain this to me, and impress it distinctly upon my mind. Although I received from my father some true notion of the creation of this world, and although, from the interior light and from the purity of heart which I have acquired by my devotion, the truth of the great question presents itself to my mind, yet I desire instruction from thee, and hope to receive it from thy tongue.” The rája Janak revealed to Saha dév, according to his wish, the history of the creation of the world. After that Saha dév said again to the rája: “O king! it is certain that between steady, wise, and learned men there is no contra­diction; so does the account of the origin of the world, which I have heard from my father Vyása, and which I have well impressed upon my mind, agree with that which thy tongue has communi­cated to me. The substance of it is, that the crea­tion of the world and the existence of its inhabi­tants took place by the will and by the disposition of Brahma, and according to the purpose of the supreme being, and that, when it is the desire of Brahma, the world is created, and when the supreme being finds it right to withdraw hímself from the circle of beings, the world returns to nothing, and its inhabitants are again enveloped with the veil of nothingness and voidness, and nothing remains but God. In like manner is the existence of all bodies connected with the will of the divine spirit, so that every being in dependence upon this will, and in conformity with the prin­ciples of its own nature, each time comes into, and goes out of, the world, or is born and dies. It is when the worldly desires, connections, and concerns are annihilated, that a man no more returns to nor leaves this world; birth and death upon this earth no more concern him, because the ties formed by his desires are broken.” Saha dév continued: “O rája, what thou hast said, is impressed upon my mind; but tell me, if there remains any thing, however minute it may be, of the account of this world; this too I wish to hear.” The rája Janaka said: “The account of the world is such as thou hast heard. That holy being, without a name, without a mark, without an equal, is pure and free from lust and desire, and his providence brings forth this world. He, the one perfect being, in what a multitude of beings does he not manifest himself! And if he removes from this creation the support of his will and of his providence, nothing remains but him­self the only being. O Saha dév, thou who hast purified thy heart from the attachments of this body, and liberated it from all desires and seduc­tive propensities, thou hast convinced thyself of the trut that, whatever appears before our eyes, is nothing, and has neither reality nor substance; what was to be performed, thou hast accomplished it; what was to be known, thou hast acquired it, and thou hast proved thyself true; on that account thou art, even in thy life-time, possessed of mukt (emancipation); that is to say: as a person, when the soul has left his body, is freed from the want of aliment, so hast thou, although still in the state of life and health, been liberated from all bodily wants.*Happy be thy life! blessed be thy age, O Saha dév!”

Viśvamitra continued: “O Ramachander, thou hast acquired the same knowledge as Saha dév; in the same manner as he abandoned all desires, subdued all the appetites of his five senses, and possessed perfect freedom, in the same manner thou must not permit any sort of desire to enter in thy heart.* There is no other means of mukt but this: to this thou must tend.”*

After that he addressed the rakshasas and all those who were present, in the following speech: “O rakshasas! and you who seek the road of God, know that, as Ramachander, by the purity of his nature and by the goodness of his disposition, raised himself to the highest dignity, not less ought to be the excellence of all the wise who are destined to the acquisition of mukt; thirsting for the knowledge of the highest, they ought to listen to the speeches of all those who devote themselves to God; nay, the truth and the faith, which Rama­chander possessed, ought to be common, and productive of the same consolation and tranquil­lity to all those who, not in vain, aspire to wis­dom and sanctity. I have imparted to Rama­chander what I knew to be the best; now is the time of Bashest (Vas ishta), who attained such a perfection of a rakshasa, that nothing that is, was, and will be, is concealed to him, and he has no equal in the world.” So far goes the text of Jog bahest.”*

The Guru Nánac, according to the belief of his followers, was in former times the rája called Janak, and united the dignity of a king with that of a saint. He called mankind to God. The author of this work heard from distinguished Sikhs that, when Bába Nánac appeared in the Sat-jog, a great number of Sikhs assembled around him. He sent a cow into the kitchen. When prepared, it was brought into the assembly; some ate of it, others were afraid to do so. The Guru prayed to God that the cow might rise again, and all those who had been afraid, beholding this miracle, approached him praying: “Now we shall eat whatever you order.” Nánac answered: “Not now be it so: mine and your engagement prevails in the Trèta-Jog.” After­wards, at the revolution of the Trèta-jog, the Guru appeared. The disciples assembled; then a slaugh­tered horse was brought into the assembly in the manner before said. Some ate of it; others abstained from it. The Guru prayed, and the horse was brought to life. Those who had been afraid prayed as before. He replied again: “Your word and mine are engaged for the Dwápar-jog.” In this age they brought a slaughtered elephant into the assembly of his fol­lowers. The same happened as I said before, and he appointed them for the Kali-jog. In this age, they say, a man was brought into the assembly; whoever ate, became free; who abstained from it, remained subject to durance, and some of the Sikhs call Nánac the slave of God.

It is also related that, when Nânac died, in the Sat-jog, two roads opened before his soul: the one led to heaven, the other to hell. Nânac chose the latter, and having descended below, he brought all the inhabitants out of hell. The Lord God said to him: “These sinners cannot enter heaven; you must return into the world and liberate them.” On that account Nânac came to this world, and his followers are the former inhabitants of hell; the Guru comes and goes, until that multitude shall have found their salvation.

Except the zealots among the Sikhs, no man else believes Bábá Nânac a god. As to the rest, Nânac's followers condemn idolatry, and believe that all their Gurus are Nânacs, as was said before. They do not recite the mantras of the Hindus, they do not venerate their temples, nor do they esteem their Avatárs. The Sanscrit language, which according to the Hin­dus is the language of the gods, is not held in such great estimation by the Sikhs. Whatever it be, the number of these sectaries increased every where, so that, in the time of the Guru Arjunmal it became very considerable, and at last there was no place in any country where Sikhs were not to be found. They make no difference between Brahmans and Kshatriyas, for Nânac was a Kshatriya, and none of their Gurus was a Brahman, as stated above. Thus they subjected the Kshatriyas to the tribe of Jats,* who are an inferior caste of Baisas (Viśas). The deputies of the Gurus are besides frequently Jats. They honour equally Brahmans and Ksha­triyas. The Guru is chosen at the discretion of his followers. It should be known that, in the time of the Afghan sultans, the Umras were called succes­sors or deputies of Ali; finally, for the sake of brevity, the name of deputy (masnad) alone was used by the Hindus. The Sikhs call masnad, and also Rámadas, the Guru whom they esteem as a king of the true faith.

Before the fifth period no tribute was exacted from the Sikhs, but presents were given by them accord­ing to their own discretion, to their Gurus. Arjun­mal sent in his time a person to the Sikhs of each town in order to collect a tribute; in that manner, the Sikhs accustomed themselves to the government of a masnad, or deputy. Their principal deputies, of whom there was a great number, elected on their part deputies, so that such substitutes were to be found in every place. The Sikhs created their Gurus, and established that an audasi,* or one that has abandoned the world, is not to be esteemed higher than any other man. On that account, some of their Gurus are inclined to agriculture, others to commerce, and to various trades and occupations. Each of them brings every year something, according to his means, to his Guru; the deputy receives a present without exacting it; others collect what is des­tined every year to the deputy, and deliver it to the chief man of the Guru, who disposes of it for his own maintenance and for other contingencies; no body incurs blame on account of presents (or con­tributions): being raised from all quarters, they are forwarded to the Guru.

In the month of February, when the sun is in the sign of the Bull, the subordinate Gurus come to their chief with those of their followers who choose to accompany them. At the time of taking leave, each receives a turban as a present from the deputy.

Having recorded truly something of the Sikhs in general, I will now give an account of the chiefs of this tribe whom I have known myself. In the sixth period lived Sri Guru Har-govind, the son of the Guru Arjun mal. The Padshah Nur-ed-din Jehan­gir,* now an inhabitant of heaven, called to his court Arjun-mal, on account of his having offered prayers for the king's son Khusro, who had rebelled against his father. Khusro having been taken, the king ordered the imprisonment of Arjun-mal, and wanted to extort a large sum of money from him. The Guru was helpless; they kept him a prisoner in the sandy country of Lahore, until he died of the heat of the sun and of ill treatment. This happened in the year 1015 of the Hejira (A. D. 1606).* In like manner the king banished from Hindostan the Shaikh Nezam Thánasír, because he had been connected with, and had prayed for, his son Khusro.

After Arjunmal followed his brother Baratha,* whom his followers called “the benevolent Guru.” Now, in the year 1055 of the Hejira (A. D. 1645), the Guru Harjayi occupies his place. They both professed the adoration of one God. The disciples of the Guru Har-govind, son of Arjunmal, called these Gurus Mainá (<Arabic>)* which among them is an oprobrious name. After the decease of Arjunmal, his son, Har-govind, also made pretensions to the khalifat (deputyship), and obtained the place of his father.* Hargovind was always attached to the stirrup of the victorious Jehangir. He became involved in many difficulties; one of them was, that he appropriated to himself the pay due to the soldiers in advance; he carried also the sword against his father; he kept besides many servants, and was addicted to hunting. Jehangir, on account of the money due to the army, and of the mulet imposed upon Arjunmal (as was said before), sent Har-go­vind to the fort of Gwalior,*where he remained imprisoned twelve years. He was not permitted to eat a good meal. During that time the deputies and other Sikhs used to come and bow before the walls of the fort. At last, moved by pity, the king granted him liberty. After Jehangir's death, Har-govind entered the service of his majesty Amír-ul Múnenîn Abu-ul-muzafer shaháb ed-din Muhammed saheb Keran sani shah Jehan, the victorious king. When the Guru returned to Batnesh, which is a district of the Penjab, he attached himself to Yar Khan, the eunuch, who held the office of a Foujdar* in the Nawabí of the Penjab, and whom he assisted in the administration. Har-govind returned to Rámadas­púr, where the Gurus Rámadas and Arjun-mal had built great edifices and dug tanks. There he sus­tained an attack of the army which Shah jehan, the shadow of God, sent against him, and the Guru's property was then plundered. From thence he fled to Kartarpúr; there too war reached him, and on this occasion Mír Badherah, and Páindah Khan, the son of Fattah Khan Ganáida, found their death. Before and after this, he encountered great dangers of war, but with the aid of God he escaped unhurt, although he lost his property. It is related by one, Sadah by name, that in this war a man aimed a blow at the Guru, who parried it, and struck him with his blade, saying: “Not in that manner, but so the sword is used;” and with one blow he made an end of his foe. One of the companions of the Guru asked the author of this work: “What was the purport of the words by which the Guru accom­panied his blow?” I said: “It was to give instruction, as it belongs to a Guru to teach also how to strike a blow with a sword; for a Guru is called a teacher: he did not strike out of anger, which would have been blameable.” At last he retired from the war of Kartarpúr to Bhagwárah, and because there, in the vicinity of Lahore, he met with difficulties, he betook himself from thence in haste to Gerait púr, which lies in the mountainous district of the Penjab, and was then dependent upon the rája Tárachand, who had never paid homage to the pádsháh Shah Jehan. The inhabitants of this country adore idols. Upon the summit of a fortified mountain, they raised an image of the Déva, named Nâina (Naráyana). Rájas and other eminent per­sons made pilgrimages to this place. At the time when the Guru came there, one of the Sikhs, called Bhairo, who accompanied him, entered the temple and struck off the nose of the idol. The rájas, having been informed of it, came to the Guru to complain of the act, and named the man who did it. The Guru called Bhairo before him. The Sikh denied the deed. The servants of the rájas declared: “We know the man.” He replied: “O rájas, ask you the god: if he tells you my name, kill me.” The rájas said: “You blockhead! how shall the god speak?” Bhairo laughed and answered: “Now it is clear who is the blockhead: if the god cannot defend his head, nor point out the man who struck him, what benefit do you expect from him, and why do you venerate his strength?” The rájas remained silent and confounded. From this time, the disciples of the Guru increased considerably, and in this mountainous country, as far as the frontiers of Thibet and Khota, the name of Muselman was not heard.

The author of this work heard what follows from the tongue of Guru Har-govind: “A mighty rája exists in the north of this mountainous country. One day he sent me an ambassador who asked information, saying: ‘I have heard that there is a town named Delhi; what is the name of its rája, and whose son is he?’ I was astonished to hear that he did not know even the name of Amír ul Múmenín saheb Karan sáni (Jehangír).” The Guru had eight hundred horses in his stable, three hundred troopers on horseback, and sixty men with fire-arms were always in his service. Among these some carried on commerce, and other trades and occupations. Whoever was a fugitive from his home took refuge with him.

The Guru believed but one God. A person desired from him some account of the creation and the con­stitution of this world. The Guru said: “The universe is an appearance without reality, and an unsubstantial manifestation of God, the highest being; and all bodies, as well as gods, are an idle illusion. I will tell thee, said he, a story of old times: There was a king who went to hunt the hátah jori, which in the Turkish language is called kamer ghah, and in Persian barah shikar, ‘a fawn of the chace.’ A deer came into the circle of the hunting party. The king said: ‘On whose side the deer will come forth, let him not return before me until he has taken it with his hand.’ By fate, the animal came out on the side of the king. Khusro run after it until he was far from the army, and reached a place where, on account of thick wood, he could not find a path. The king was glad to think the deer would now return towards him; but when he came near it, there was a small opening through which the game escaped. The king sharply pushed on his horse, which, contracting itself, passed through the thicket; but the pádsháh was taken by two branches, and his arms and feet fastened so as if it had been purposely brought about. He remained two days in such a state, until two persons, a man and a woman, who were gather­ing wood, arrived near him. The woman said to her husband: ‘Look! the king has hanged a thief.’ The man replied: ‘This is not a place for hanging; we must examine it nearer.’ When they had approached, they saw and recog­nised the king, and said to each other: ‘If we release him, it will be of use to us.’ The woman observed: ‘He is the king; once made free, what advantage will he grant us for it? If he promises to marry our daughter, we will release him.’ They said so to the king, who promied what they desired. After that, they liberated him, brought him to their house, and gave him their daughter. He remained there some time, and then joined his army. When he wanted to enter his palace, the door-keeper struck him with his stick; the king was seized with a trembling and awoke. He saw the high throne and the servants before him waiting for his orders. By this dream he was aroused from the emptiness of his illusion; he knew that the world is but an appearance without reality; and that, whatever we experience, being awake, is likewise nothing more than a dream. He found that the diversity of forms and of distinct bodies is but an image of existence, and that in truth there is but one real being, one praiseworthy, and raised above all others by superlative excellence.”

One of the Brahmans was called Déva, and counted himself among the wise. He visited the Guru, and seated himself one day upon the bed of Bába Jév, who was the son of a Guru. The people said: “Do not sit there.” He asked: “Why not?” They answered: “This is the place of the Guru.” He said: “Is perhaps the figure of a Guru not that of a man, or have I not a rational soul manifest in me? or can I not enjoy what another eats or drinks?” This speech came to the ears of the Guru Hargovind. He called that man before him, and said: “O Déva! is not the whole world but one being?” He replied: “It is.” The Guru pointed to an ass, and asked: “Do you know what this is?” Déva replied: “You are one with God, therefore you are also this.” The Guru laughed, and was not at all angry. Déva wished to marry his own sister; the people said: “This is forbid­den.” He answered: “If it were forbidden, the junction of the sexual parts would be impossible. Thus, because it is not God's will that we should rise up in the air, he withheld from us the faculty of flying.”

The Sikhs venerated the Guru Har-govind as a god, and believed that he has passed through six incarnations. Perah Kaivan, a Yazdanian, was moved by the reputatation of the Guru, and came to visit him.

The Guru recognised him, and showed him great respect. Upon that account Perah Kaivan left him. A week had scarcely passed after he was gone, when Har-govind died, on a Sunday, the third day of the Moherram, in the year 1055 of the Hejirah (A. D. 1645). When they had placed his corpse upon the pyre, and when the fire rose up in high flames, a ràjapút called Rájarama, who had been his servant, precipitated himself into the fire, and walked several paces in the midst of the flames, until he reached the feet of the corpse, and having laid his face upon the soles of the Guru's feet, he did not move until he expired. After him, the son of a Jat, who was in the service of Har-govind's son-in-law, leaped into the fire. Many other Sikhs wished to follow his example, but the Guru Har rayi forbade it. Dáulet Khan Kaksal says:

“Of a hundred sayings of my master, I remember one: The world never becomes a desert, nor the wine-house a prayer-house. What can my soul give more than my heart can bear? Whatever the soul gives, and whatever the heart bears, the one and the other is god-given.”

The Guru Har-govind, in a letter to the author of this work, gave himself the title of Nânac, which was his right distinction. I saw him in the year 1053 of the Hejirah (A. D. 1643) in Kirtpúr. The Guru Har-ráyi was the grandson of the said Guru;* his father was Garuta (or Guru daitya), who is known under the name of Bábá Jév. The Guru Har-govind wished first to transmit his place to his son Garuta, or Bábá Jév; but the Guru Nághura, one of the Sikhs, brought his daughter to Bábá Jév. The Bábá wished to send her to his private apart­ments. His wife, the mother of Har-ráyi, complained of it to Har-govind, her father-in-law, who, having heard her, said to Bábá Jév: “Having given to Nághura the name of my son, I own him as such, and his daughter cannot go to you, my son.” Nághura refused to take back his daughter; nor would Bábá Jév give her up. The Guru Har-govind then said: “May neither happiness nor success ever attend this husband and his wife!” Upon that, the same day, Bábá Jév threw away his nuptial dress, and sent the daughter of the Guru Nághura untouched back to her house. In consequence of this event, Har-govind showed a more particular esteem for his grandson Har-ráyi,* the son of Bábá Jév; he gave him the name of his father, Bábá Jév, and appointed him his successor. Invested with this dignity, Har-rayi remained one year in Kirtpúr. When in the year of the Hejirah 1055 (A. D. 1645) Najábet Khan, the son of Sharogh Mirza, by order of the pádsháh Shah-jehan, invaded with an army the land of the rája Tarachand, and made the rája a prisoner, the Guru Har-ráyi betook himself to Thapal, which town is situated in the district of the rája Keramperkás, not far from Sirhind.

The Sikhs call Har-ráyi the seventh Guru. He was a great friend of the author of this work. I will therefore give an account of some among the principal chiefs whom I knew, as well as of some customs of this people. The Sikhs distinguish also the deputies of their Gurus by the name of Rámdais, that is to say, “servants of God, or of an idol.” Jahandas was one of the pretenders to the dignity of a Guru; he was a man high and proud in his speeches, not agreeable to any, indifferent to good and bad that might happen to him. One day he got a wound on his foot. Har-govind told him: “Do not envelop too much, and raise your foot.” According to this injunction, he suspended and uncovered his foot during three months. When the Guru was informed of it, he said to him: “Cover your foot; what I told you was intended for the healing of your wound: do not rest on your foot for some days.” One day the Guru said to him: “Tell the Sikhs to bring wood into the kitchen, that they may gain some remuneration.” Jahandas did not appear the next day, as if he had not during one day and a half awoke from sleep. The people, sus­pecting some derangement of his brain, thought he had absented himself. When they, with the Guru, looked after him, they found him with a bundle of wood on his shoulder. The Guru said: “I have not ordered you to bear that.” He replied: “You gave your orders to the Sikhs; a Sikh am I, and know not to be any thing higher than they are.” Another day the Guru went into a garden, and said to Jahandas: “Remain at the door.” By accident, the Guru returned home by another door; Jahandas remained three days on his feet, until Har-govind, who was informed of it, called him away.

Har-govind had a disciple called Badhata, who sent a person to bring corn from a field where it was lying cut. This man gave every thing away, and then said to Badhata who had sent him: “You distributed every thing, as a father, to the poor; I did the same in imitation of your example, and dispense you from the remuneration which I should have gained by bringing the corn to you.” Badhata was at first a thief, and his disciples exer­cised later the profession of thieving; they showed themselves very obedient to the orders of their mas­ter, and believed that stealing for him deserved praise and recompense. Har-govind, according to the Sikhs, declared that on the day of the last judg­ment, his disciples will not have to account for their actions.

Sadah, a disciple of the Guru, went by his orders to bring horses from Balkh to Irak. He had a son who had fallen sick. They said to him: “You are now in the town of Balkh, and but one day's jour­ney from home: go to see your son.” He answered: “If he should die, there is wood enough in the house to burn him: I went about the Guru's business, and will not return.” The son died, but he did not return. At last he bought three capital horses of Irak; but Khalíl Bég, a tyrant, took hold of them, which fell hard upon him. In the same year, he lost his only son and heir, and saw himself deprived of strength and honor. Sadah was a man neither gladdened by good nor afflicted by bad fortune. The author of this work was once his companion on a journey from Kabul to the Penjab. The belt of my coat broke; Sadah gave me immediately his zunnar to serve me as a belt. I said to him: “Why do you this?” He answered: “To tie the zunnar purports an engage­ment to serve another; as often as I render some service to friends, may I resign my zunnar for it.

This thread serves to tie every thing: In a cloister it is a rosary; in a temple of idols a zunnar.”

A Sikh asked the Guru Har-govind: “In the absence of my Guru, what other shall I find?” He replied: “Whichever of the Sikhs comes to your house under the name of a Guru, him you may take for yours.” It is the custom among the Sikhs that, whatever demand they have, they can state it in the assembly of the Sikhs to the Guru, to whom they offer whatever present they have, or a coin, and in so doing they join their hands together, and proffer prayers to him, that he may be favor­able to them. The Guru states then his demand in the Sangat (Sangátí),* that is to say, in the assembly of the Sikhs. This custom exists also among the Sipásian, or Izedanian. The belief of this people is, that an assembly is certainly capable of achieving every thing, inasmuch as the minds act with their united strength.

Among the Sikhs there is nothing of the religious rites of the Hindús; they know of no check in eating or drinking. When Pertábmal, a Jnání, “wise,” Hindu, saw that his son wished to adopt the faith of the Muselmans, he asked him: “Why dost thou wish to become a Muselman? If thou likest to eat every thing, become a Guru of the Sikhs, and eat whatever thou desirest.”

The Sikhs believe that all the disciples of a Guru go to heaven. Whoever takes the name of Guru is received in the house of a Sikh. It is related, that a thief introduced himself once under the title of Guru, in the house of a Sikh, and was treated as such. In the morning the Sikh went out to prepare something better for his guest. The thief saw many jewels worn by the wife of the Sikh, and having killed her immediately, and taken the precious things, he fled. Upon his way he met with the master of the house, who by force brought him back. The Sikh, when they returned to the house, found his wife dead. The thief, seeing every thing discovered, confessed the truth. The Sikh replied: “You have done well.” He then shut the door of the house, and said to his neighbours: “My wife is sick: she ate nothing of the meal which she had prepared.” Urging the thief to be gone, he did not take the jewels from him, but made him a present of them. He finally burnt his wife.

They also relate what follows: a kalender was in the house of a Sikh. One day the kalender said to the wife of the Sikh: “For the sake of a Guru, satisfy my desire.” The woman replied: “I am the property of another; have patience.” The kalender, out of fear, did not return to the house of the Sikh, who asked: “Why does the durvísh not visit me any more?” The woman told him what had happened. The Sikh said: “Why did you refuse to yield to his desire?” The woman went out, and having brought the kalender back, permitted every thing to him. When, in the month of February, the Sikhs assembled at the house of the Guru (who lived before the time of Har-govind), he threw an angry look at the kalender, and said: “Him have I struck.” The kalender was stigma­tised.

The following anecdote is moreover reported. A Guru saw a speaking parrot, and praised him much. A Sikh heard this, and went immediately to the proprietor of the parrot, who was a soldier, and asked him for the bird. The soldier said: “If you give me your daughter, you may have the parrot.” The Sikh consented. The soldier laughed, and added: “Give me your wife too, and take the bird.” The Sikh did not refuse; he conducted the soldier to his house, and delivered his wife and daughter to him. When the soldier came home, and told his wife what had happened, she was so angry with him that he left the parrot in the hands of the Sikh, to whom he returned his wife and daughter. The Sikh, joyful, lost no time to gratify the Guru. Such customs prevailed among the Sikhs before the time of Har-govind.*

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I was reading through Max writing on Sikhism he mentions the handalis fabricated a janamsakhi in which they made this claim about handali being greater then guru nanak and guru nanak and janak link. Probably some of the writing of above came from some handalis or massand or minas. Max also says the handalis had influence in mughal courts when the sons of guru gobind singh were brought the handalis said the sons of guru gobind singh were of another sect and not of the gurus hence later on the handalis were punished by maharaja ranjit singh due to this of their land and property being ceased.

Edited by JatherdarSahib
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