The hostility of the hindus now began to assert itself even more offensively than before. When the Sikhs who visited Guru Amar Das at Goindwal returned to their homes they would tell their local communities that, "The Guru has proclaimed a new religion and abolished the differences of castes and tribes. The people of all castes and backgrounds eat as one and, with great devotion, perform uniform worship. The Guru teaches us to remember and repeat the name of God instead of the gayatri."
When the khatris and brahmans, who were extremely ignorant, irreligious, and proud of their castes, heard these reports, they could not endure the Guru's praises. They were branding the other castes as beneath themselves or untouchables, they wouldn't even allow their shadows to cross them. They organized a large gathering of religous elders and decided to destroy this new religion of the people which introduced equality for all.
The khatris, brahmans joined hands with the sanatan dharmi hindus across north India. All met one day and arrived at the following conclusion, "These are bad innovations the Guru has introduced. People will stop revering brahmans, and the religion of the khatris will be abolished. The Guru has reduced the four castes to one, and the result is that every one has renounced and fallen away from us. All the people eat together. The worship of our various gods and ancestors has ceased, and all the popular customs have been violated. Our only chance to stop this now is to appeal to the Emperor, so that he may abolish these new-fangled practices."
The hindus were joined in their opposition to the Guru by a Marwaha Khatri, whose interest it was, on the score of his commercial and banking transactions, to maintain the ancient superstitions. Guru Amar Das had at that time few powerful allies. His old friend and Sikh, Goinda, was dead, and Goinda's son, having become depraved by bad company, joined in hostility to him.
Even the very men from whom the Guru had purchased the land for the Baoli turned against him - no doubt instigated by the brahmans - and complained that the Guru had not paid them its stipulated price. Moreover, they spread lies and said that the Guru had not only illegally taken possession of it, but forcibly ejected them even from their homes.
The Marwaha employed a servant who blackened his face and put on dirty ragged clothes to take a complaint on the subject to the Emperor. As the Marwaha and his servant proceeded on their way to Lahore, they endeavoured but without success to defame the Guru along the route. Several people who had heard of the Guru's virtues and extraordinary powers, would not allow them shelter in their villages.
When they reached the royal court, the complaint against the Guru was read out to the Emperor. A Pathan friend of the Guru at court explained that the complaint against him was false, and recalled circumstances to the Emperor's recollection which induced him to believe so too.
The Emperor then gave his decision. "I have never before heard that the Guru practised oppression on any one or coveted any one's property. It was with great difficulty I induced him to accept villages to supply provisions for his kitchen, and I believe that the complainants and their representatives are lying. Send these men out of my sight." Goinda's son took his discomfiture in the Marwaha's land case so much to heart that he pined away and soon died.
On the return of the Marwaha and his servant without having accomplished their object, Bhai Jetha (the future Guru Ram Das) composed the following;
"The perverse man put on his perverse servant a blue-black patched coat filled with filth and vermin. No one in the world would allow him to sit near him; he fell into ordure and still more dirt attached to him. The perverse man sent his servant to slander and backbite others, but the result was that the faces of both were blackened."
"It was quickly heard through the whole world, my brethren, that the perverse man with his servant had been shoe beaten; with addled brains they arose and returned home. The perverse man for the future was not allowed to mix in society or even with his marriage relations; then his wife and his niece went and brought him home."
"He has lost this world and the next; hungry and thirsty he ever cries out. Thanks to the Lord, the Creator, who itself seated in the judgement seat caused real justice to be done. One who slanders the perfect true Guru, the True One punishes and destroys. God who created the whole world has uttered these words."
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Gauri Ki Var.
The brahmans then made their own special complaint to the Emperor against Guru Amar Das. It was to the following effect; "Your Majesty is the protector of our customs and the redresser of our wrongs. Every religion is dear to him. Guru Amar Das of Goindwal has abandoned the religious and social customs of the hindus, and abolished the distinction of the four castes. Such heterodoxy has never before been heard of in the four ages."
The brahmans said, "There is now no twilight prayer, no gayatri, no offering of water to ancestors, no pilgrimages, no obsequies, and no worship of idols or of the divine salagram. The Guru has abandoned all these, and established the repetition of Wahguru instead of Ram; and no one now acts according to the Veds or the Simritis. The Guru revers not jogis, jatis, or brahmans. He worships no gods or goddesses, and he orders his Sikhs to refrain from doing so forever more."
The brahmans finsished by saying, "The Guru seats all his followers in a line, and causes them to eat together from his kitchen, irrespective of caste - whether they are jats, strolling minstrels, muhammadans, brahmans, khatris, shopkeepers, sweepers, barbers, washermen, fishermen, or carpenters. We pray you restrain him now, otherwise it will be difficult afterwards. And may your religion and empire increase and extend over the world!"
After hearing this complaint the Emperor decided that he would summon the Guru, and confront him with his accusers. He accordingly dispatched a high official to Goindwal to request the Guru's attendance.
The Emperor's summons was not the brutal order of a modern court, "Herein fail not," but, "Kindly grant me a sight of you." The official informed Guru Amar Das of the charges brought by the hindu brahmans and khatris against him. The Guru replied, "I am too old to go anywhere. My son Mohan is absorbed in divine meditation, and my other son Mohri says he has never seen a court house. There is Bhai Jetha, my son in law; he will represent me by speaking on my behalf to the Emperor."
Upon this Guru Amar Das instructed Bhai Jetha to go and represent him. With an embrace he addressed him as follows, "You are in my image; Guru Nanak will be with you, and none shall prevail against you. The khatris and brahmans who have complained are ignorant and false. Answer truly to all the questions put to you. Don't be shy and don't fear anyone."
Guru Amar Das also said, "If any difficult questions are put to you and you are at a loss for an answer, then think of the Guru, and you will be able to give a suitable reply. Before the court, vindicate the true teachings of Guru Nanak. Falsehood cannot contend with truth. As Guru Nanak has said; Falsehood is at an end, Nanak, truth at last shall prevail (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ramkali Ki Var)."
On receiving these instructions Bhai Jetha fell at the Guru's feet, and said, "My lord, I know nothing by myself. A sight of you is my only morning and evening prayer; my thoughts will be with the Guru, and what you order is what I will do." Guru Amar Das then patted him affectionately on the shoulder, and, giving him five trustworthy Sikhs as an escort, dispatched him on his journey.
The Emperor received Bhai Jetha with great distinction, and inquired after the Guru's health. The khatris and the brahmans, not deeming their representatives as capable of urging their complaints with sufficient force, decided, on further consideration, to appear personally before the Emperor.
On the arrival of the khatris and brahmans they repeated verbally the charges they had made in writing against the Guru. They also added a further complexion to their accusation. They said that the conduct of the Guru in diverting people from the old faith was likely to lead to political disturbance or insurrection. The Emperor then called for Bhai Jetha to reply to the charges.
Bhai Jetha responded by saying, "Emperor, in the Sat, the Treta, the Dwapar, and the Kal ages God was worshipped under the names of Wasdev, Hari, Gobind, and Ram respectively. Out of the initials of these four names the Guru has made the word Waheguru, which is praise of God and the Guru."
Bhai Jetha said, "The Rikhis, who composed the Shastars, have written that whenever the saints meet together and repeat God's name and praises, there are the Ganges, the Jamna, the Saraswati, the Godavari, and all the rivers of hindu pilgrimage. It is true that by bathing at these the body is cleansed, but it is by associating with saints and repeating God's name that the mind becomes pure. It is better to recognize God's light in everybody than the worship of stone idols, and vex no one's soul; for what place of pilgrimage is equal to mercy?"
Bhai Jetha then said, "To renounce hypocrisy and repeat the Name are the main elements of our religion. The true Guru gives honour to all while he himself remains humble. The brahmans claim to be equal to God. The Guru makes no such boast, for he well knows that he is God's slave. Selfish and ambitious men roam and wander in pursuit of wealth; but the Guru has no worldly desires, and, knowing that God is in all creatures and everywhere diffused, is firm in his faith, harbours no doubts, and renounces superstition."
Bhai Jetha repeated the following composition of his own;
"God's name is God's treasure; clasp it to your heart under the Guru's instruction. Be the slave of God's slave; subdue pride and evil passions. They who have won the prize of human birth shall by the Guru's favour never know defeat. Blessed, blessed and very fortunate are they, Nanak, who under the Guru's instruction deem God the essence of all things. God, God, God is the treasury of excellences. Meditate on God, God under the Guru's instruction, then you shall obtain honour in God's court. Repeat, God, God, God, and your face shall become bright and distinguished. Nanak, he who has obtained God's name shall meet God."
Finally, Bhai Jetha said, "If, however, my accusers desire to test my knowledge I will expound to them the gayatri, although I place no faith in its efficacy." The khatris and brahmans seized this final chance to salavage their complaint and thought that a lowly servant in the Guru's household would know very little of hindu religous thought.
Bhai Jetha was called upon to fulfil his promise. On hearing Bhai Jetha's exposition of the ancient hindu texts, the khatris and brahmans who came to complain were astonished at his learning and intimate acquaintance with their religion. They were put to shame in the presence of the Emperor, while the Sikhs who accompanied Bhai Jetha were as pleased as the lotus when it beholds the sun.
The Emperor was very pleased to hear the befitting arguments of Bhai Jetha and then gave his decision, "I see no hostility to hinduism in this man, nor do I find any fault with his compositions. To repeat or not to repeat the gayatri is at his own discretion. Bhai Jetha's words show how the mind may be purified and hypocrisy renounced. There is no difference between God and God's darvesh. No man can compete with either. You khatris and brahmans are the enemies of truth, and are only causing needless annoyance. Reply to Bhai Jetha if you can; if not, ask his forgiveness."
The Emperor severely reprimanded the khatris and brahmans and said, "Reply to Bhai Jetha if you can; if not, ask his forgiveness." They could give no reply, apologized and departed from court thoroughly defeated and crestfallen. Upon this the Emperor took Bhai Jetha aside, and told him to request Guru Amar Das, who before his conversion to Sikhism used to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Ganges at Haridwar, to make another journey in order to teach the hindu masses the truth about God and their beliefs. The Emperor added that he would issue an order that no tax (Jizya) would be levied on the Guru's party.
Associated with Sri Guru Amar Das Ji, Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji.
Gurdwara Sri Chaubara Sahib Goindwal was the home of Guru Amar Das and his family. Many Sikh related events occurred here.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
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