«AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION O thou that buttest the high mountain, seeking to dislodge it with thy horns, take pity, not on the mountain but on thy head ...»
He further splits Sikh history by his outright nonsen-sical and repulsive theory that Guru Hargobind took up the sword for no other reason than that the Jats who formed the majority of those converted to Sikhism compelled Guru Hargobind to fall in line with the sword-happy savage instincts of the Jats. In order to prove that the non:Jat Sikhs disapproved of Guru Hargobind’s military resistance to Mughal onslaught on the Sikh Gurus, he gives an utterly clumsy and mutilated translation of a verse of Bhai Gurdas, who wrote it to uphold that only the slanderers of Guru Hargobind thought in such a way. But actually he was a great prophet and lover of Truth who was spiritually very exalted and perfectly God-illumined prophet.
Text: Bhai Gurdas Var 26, Pauri 4
1. dharamsal kar bahida ikat than na tike tikaya,
2. patshah ghar anvade gadh chadhia, patshah chadaya.
3. ummat mahal na panvadi natha phire na dare daraya
4. manji beh santokhda kute rakh shikar khilaya
5. bani kar sun ganvade kathe na sunai na ganv sunaya
6. sewak pas na rakhiyan dokhi dusht agu muh laya
7. sach na Luke lukaya charan kanval sikh bhanvar lubhaya
8. ajar jarai na ap janaya
1. Earlier Gurus built their pontific abode: (dharam-sala) and sat there preaching peacefully; (Hargobind) stays not in his pontific mansion but goes about from place to place.4
2. Emperors came to meet earlier Gurus.
Hargobind has mounted his fort (garh-chariah) The Emperor (Shah Jahan) sent his armies to attack him.6
3. Devotees find him not in his mansion (mahals) He runs from one place to another7 He is not afraid of the mighty rulers who use their power to strike fear in him.8
4. Earlier Gurus sat on the pontific throne Leading a life of peace and contentment9 (Hargobind in royal style) keep dogs for sports And goes out for hunting wild animals.10
5. Earlier Gurus composed, recited and sang Gurbani, He neither composes nor recites nor sings Banill
6. He does not keep pious and humble devotees around him, He patronizes, wicked, offensive militant leaders. (agu) 12
7. The truth about Guru Hargobind Can never be clouded by these false allegations The lotus-feet (charan-kamal) of Hargobind Still attracts the Sikhs like honey-bees.
8. Guru Hargobind endures the unendurable (ajar jare) (By his patient and majestic control of spiritual powers in the highest Sikh traditions by not using them even when provoked: ajarjare).
He never reveals his inner spiritual power and greatness.
Hew McLeod does not give the translation of the last line, in both his books, because it explains the real character 160 and personality of Guru Hargobind, which he wan ts to explain in terms of scandalous allegations mentioned in it.
Guru Hargobind was not the only victim of such false allegations. A complete charter of allegations denouncing even Guru Atjun Dev called Mahazarnama, a list of complaints was presented to Akbar by Mullahs and Brahmins and other enemies of the Guru, but on investigation Akbar found it to be false and rejected it. Guru Atjan has writ-ten a whole Shabad on it : Mehjar jhutha kila ap : “God Himself falsified the charter of complaints presented in the court of Akbar”. God also protected Guru Atjan from armed attacks of Sulhi Khan and two more similar at-tempts. Sulhi Khan died on the way to Amritsar.
All these incidents are recorded in Guru Arjan’s hymns. It is obvi-ously such attacks which prompted Guru Arjan to keep his people in defence preparedness.
Guru Arjan decided to give armed training to Hargobind and all the military commanders of his army were enlisted by him. Hew McLeod is conscious of the importance of Bhai Gurdas about whose contributions he says, “they are authorized Sikh canon.” In addition to their beauty of expression the Vars contain much information concerning the life and beliefs of early Panth.”13 He had deliberately avoided quoting from Var 26, pauri 34, which completely refutes and controverts his utterly absurd theory that because Guru Hargobind was different in his method of facing the challenges of armed attacks of the Mughals;
he was different morally and spiritually, and with him the Panth as a Religious order was also different from the Panth of Guru Nanak, whom he persistently calls a Hindu Sant without anywhere substantiating his utterly absurd remarks and baseless theories.
Guru Hargobind was a member of Bhai Gurdas’ family.
Hargobind was grandson of Bibi Bhani, first cousin of Bhai Gurdas and no one knew better about Guru Atjan and Guru Hargobind than this Sage-philosopher and Patriarch of the 161 historic family. We will give the translation of the other verse found in Var 26 Pauri 34, which he quotes.
1. This is how the spiritual lineage of Baba Nanak commenced and developed; the Guru’s mystical experiences (parichai) passing on to the disciple in full realization.
2. Guru Angad was spiritually born from the limb of the mystical body of Guru Nanak. The disciple was accepted as perfectly illumined and was installed as successors Guru.
3. From Guru Angad’s Mystical person arose Amar Das as the Satguru (True Guru) and came to be accepted as Satguru.
4. From Guru Amar Das’ Light emerged Guru Ram Das, who through service and devotion merged into the Guru-Spirit.
5. From Guru Ram Das grew Guru AIjan just as a tree of Ambrosia (Amrit) bears fruits of ambrosia (amrit).
6. By the divine Will of the Primal-Being, God, the Light of Guru Arjun passed into Hargobind.
7. This truth cannot remain hidden, From those who have insight and spiritual illumination.
Bhai Gurdas, 26 : 34 Hew McLeod completely ignores this verse number 34 from the same Var No. 26, which he quotes in two successive books, because it indicates that there was spiri-tually, mystically and historically no difference between Guru Nanak and Guru Hargobind as prophets. The same idea is expressed in Var 38, pauri 20 in which Bhai Gurdas says Guru Hargobind was embodiment of the Eternal Spirit of God (Govind).
In Var 39, pauri 4, Bhai Gurdas once. more empha-sizes the point that Hargobind was given Guruship not because he had distinguished himself as an outstanding devotee and passed tests of severe trials, but he received Guruship from the Perfect and Supreme Being as His divine Apostolic gift.
par braham, puran braham adi purakh ades aloa Har Gobind guru chhatr chandoa
Thus, Guru Hargobind was a born prophet, who was destined to be the Perfect Guru according to the Will of God. In the face of this testimony of Bhai Gurdas, who knew him as perhaps no other person knew him, the hostile criticism of Hew McLeod based partly on his demeaning conjectures and assumptions and partly on wrong translations, and distorted interpretations, stands exposed threadbare.
Hew McLeod suggest in the last three books that by building Baoli Sahib at Goindwal and the Sacred Pool and Hari mandir, (Golden Temple) Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das ceased to believe in “interior pilgrimage”, and they were drifting towards Hindu practices to make Sikhism popular among the masses. No scholar having minimum respect for moral principles and truth of academic studies and research could indulge in such malicious comments.
The Hindus, over the centuries sanctified some rivers, mountains, caves and peaks by associating them with some mythical gods and goddesses and the yogis and ascetics living in these places made them places of pilgrimage. Thus grew the 68 Hindu places of pilgrimage which are not recognized holy by the Sikhs.
The Sikh Gurus foresaw that the places where the Sikh prophets lived and moved would become places of pilgrimage. So in Goindwal and Amritsar they built ideal places of worship which could become holy cities and ideal places of pilgrimage. Cleaning the body with water as a preparation for meditation is important, but any bathing without meditation and prayer was worthless. Some pious Hindus sometimes bathed thrice a day, but that did not clean their mind. The mind can be purified only by prayer and meditation.
163 In Sikhism, not only pilgrimage, but even ordinary bathing (ablution), charity (dan) and other acts of piety are useless if they are connected with ones ego, vanity and pride of wealth and not with meditation, humility and interior life of contemplating God’s Presence within our-self.
The Sikh Gurus not only redefined all the common religious terms used in various sects of Hinduism and among yogis and Buddhists but also gave them new mean-ing, new ideological interpretation in the light of Sikhism and a new spiritual content in the light of their own doc-trines and experiences. The popular words they defined were Guru, shishya (Sikh), Omkar, Dan (charity), dhyan, sunya, sahaj, tap and tapasaya etc. The Gurus repeatedly explain what true tapasya,, true sannyasa and true yoga is in the light of Sikhism.
Similarly, Guru Nanak and Guru Amar Das have redefined tirath (pilgrimage). We will quote only from Guru Amar Das who according to Hew McLeod re-introduced Hindu practices of “pilgrimage” by build-ing the Baoli Sahib at Goindwal to popularize Sikh ism. Guru Amar Das says antar mal lagi, bahu dujai bhae tat tirath disantar bhavai aharhkar hor vadherai haumai mal lavanya Full of impurities in his heart and soul, Because of his attachment to unspiritual interests;
If he wanders to places of pilgrimage, In far off distant lands, In vanity, pride and self-conceit, His egoism increases even more And he pollutes hirilself with more impurities.
A.G. Guru Amar Das, Magh Asht, 3 In another place Guru Amar Das says, “Those who have nothing but hypocrisy in their hearts and call themselves Sants by putting on holy robes (hirdai jin kai kapat vasai bahron sant kahahi) can never get rid of their basic desires and cravings and end up in despair. If such people merely wander to holy places of pilgrimage they only increase their impurities of egoism and selfconceit within their own Self.” (A.G. Guru Amar Das, Magh Asht : 3).” “The interior pilgrimage”, says Guru Amar Das, “is the light of divine knowledge within us which is revealed by the true Guru. When one bathes in it, all impurities are removed and the mind becomes pure, and this is bathing the mind, heart and soul within the pool of Immortalizing Nectar (Amritsar).
(A. G. Guru Amar Das : Vadhans Shl: ) The Shrine which Guru Amar Das built necessitated that whoever bathes in the well having 84 steps must meditate on the Japji on each step and thus complete his inner ablution which is absolutely necessary for an outer and inner pilgrimage to a holy place. The Gurus never gave up their doctrine of inner pilgrimage under any cir-cumstances.
THE KHALSA HOLY ORDER AND THE SAHAJDHARISHew McLeod makes misleading and unsubstantiated statements about every Sikh prophet and passes intolerably obnoxious remarks about their greatest achievements. The most insulting and impudent suggestion which Hew McLeod makes is that long hair, the sword, had to be taken up by Guru Gobind Singh because of Jat-supremacy among the Sikhs since Guru Arjun. He says, “Uncut hair was a Jat custom, which during and prior to this period was evidently observed by Muslim Jats, as well as Sikh Jats. The bearing of arms, represented by the dagger, was also a Jat practice, and one which received ample encouragement from the events of the eighteenth century.” McLeod tries to suggest that Guru Gobind Singh instead of introducing any religious ideals and symbols introduced tribal symbols of Jats who were not at all re-spected in society. We will deal with this in chapter on Caste in Sikhism, but here it is sufficient to say that none of the books he gives as reference in support of his theory and none of the books on Jats, and in none of the purely Jat states like Haryana, Bharatpur etc. have the Jats been distinguished for applying any sanctity to hair, beard or 165 the sword. The Jats took up their hair styles and head dresses and use of sword from the Rajputs like the Gujjars, another war-like tribe. The Punjabi Classic Hir Ranja, of Waris Shah makes it clear that the Jats inspite of their qualities of hardihood, pleasant charms were treated as kamins, menials and lowcaste people. There is not a single sentence, not a single word in these books which indicates even remotely that Guru Gobind Singh was so unimaginative, so submissive and compromising towards’ the Jat-culture pressure tactics which compelled him to accept hair and the sword as the essential symbols of the Khalsa Holy Order.
Guru Gobind Singh has clearly described in thirty- three swaiyas and other writings in Dasm Granth what the Khalsa is, what his character should be according to his ideal. Guru Nanak used the word Gurmukh for ideal Sikh as a perfect and spiritually illumined Man. Guru Arjun used the world “Brahm-gyani” God-conscious and illumined and Perfect Man
for the ideal Sikh. Guru Gobind Singh called him “Khalsa” :
culturally, morally, spiritually Perfect Him.
The Gurmukh and the Brahm-gyani were individuals. The Khalsa was to be a Brotherhood of Saints, Seers and Gurmukhs and those who were moving towards perfection. All the Sikhs during Guru Nanak’s period were not Gurmukhs, nor all the Sikhs of Guru Arjun’s period Brahm-gyani nor were all disciples of Quru Gobind Singh perfect Khalsa.
The initiation ceremony introduced by Guru Nanak was “Charan Pahui Ceremony”. The Sikhs initiated through this ceremony were given missionary authority but no one was given authority of the Guru to baptize. No Sikh could perform the initiation ceremony of the Guru. All the devotees of Guru Nanak were not initiated Sikhs. Many were uninitiated devotees called novices. The Janam-sakhis and other early records call them nam-dharik Sikhs (nominal Sikhs). Daulat Khan Lodhi has been described by Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Mani Singh, a namdhrik Sikh.
166 Guru Gobind Singh had already fought the major battles of the first two decades of his life and won them against heavy odds before the Khalsa was ordained. So the Khalsa Holy Order was not ordained for militarizing the Sikhs. The purpose was a different one.