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Do We Go To Our Food Or Does The Food Come To Us?

One has to go where one's food is. One's nose-string is in the hands of the Master; one is pushed around by one's Karma. Where every one's food grains are lying, one has to go there to eat them:

ਮ: 2 ॥
ਨਕਿ ਨਥ ਖਸਮ ਹਥ ਕਿਰਤੁ ਧਕੇ ਦੇ ॥
ਜਹਾ ਦਾਣੇ ਤਹਾਂ ਖਾਣੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਹੇ ॥2॥

What a Mahavaak this is. One has to go where one's food is. This reminds of a true life incident that occurred in a Gursikh's life and he himself narrated this to me. During the post-1984 period, when militancy in Punjab was rife, this Singh was arrested by police and severely tortured for many weeks. This Singh had information about some senior militant leaders but he kept quiet. He was beaten severely, his legs were stretched side-wise to the maximum, he was hung upside-down for hours at stretch. Some of the tortures he endured are so graphic that it is not appropriate to write them on this public site.

In any case, he was kept in the prison and then shifted to various torture-centres of those days. He said that at first he did not used to eat too much since his hunger had died due to severe torture but then he realized through the Gurbani pankiti above that he would have to stay at a place for so long as his food is there. He started eating more than his normal capacity, sometimes even double of his capacity, hoping that his food-stock will soon exhaust. He laughingly said that very soon after he started eating like this, he was one day released abruptly. Till this day, when he narrates this story, he laughs and makes other laugh.

Bhai Sahib Gurdaas Ji in one of his very meaningful Kabit has echoed similar views. Presented below is the Vichaar of his Kabit:

1. ਜੈਸੇ ਧਰ ਧਨੁਖ ਚਲਾਈਅਤ ਬਾਨ ਤਾਨ ॥
ਚਲ੍ਯੋ ਜਾਇ ਤਿਤਹੀ ਕਉ ਜਿਤਹੀ ਚਲਾਈਐ ॥

2. ਜੈਸੇ ਅਸ੍ਵ ਚਾਬੁਕ ਲਗਾਇ ਤਨ ਤੇਜ ਕਰਿ ॥
ਦੋਰ੍ਯੋ ਜਾਇ ਆਤੁਰ ਹੁਇ ਹਿਤ ਹੀ ਦਉਰਾਈਐ ॥

3. ਜੈਸੀ ਦਾਸੀ ਨਾਇਕਾ ਕੈ ਅਗ੍ਰਭਾਗ ਠਾਂਢੀ ਰਹੈ ॥
ਧਾਵੈ ਤਿਤਹੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਜਿਤਹੀ ਪਠਾਈਐ ॥

4. ਤੈਸੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕਿਰਤ ਸੰਜੋਗ ਲਗ ਭ੍ਰਮੈ ਭੂਮ ॥
ਜਤ ਜਤ ਖਾਨ ਪਾਨ ਤਹੀ ਜਾਇ ਖਾਈਐ ॥610॥

In the Kabit above, Bhai Sahib Ji first gives us 3 examples or metaphors and in the last pankiti states the Gurmat Principle:

1. The hunter shoots his arrow from the bow with full might but the arrow goes in the direction where it is shot;

2. The horse rider using the Chabuk (hunter) gently hits the horse to make it go fast but the horse goes in that direction, where it is made to go;

3. The female-servant stands ready by the side of her master but runs to do the task that she is asked to do;

4. Same way, the Jiv (creature) as per his Karma wanders around but goes to such such places where his food is.

In the wild we see that the creatures all day wander around for food. Birds fly all day long looking for food. They travel where their food is. Seldom it so happens that the food travels to the creatures. The lion hunts his food i.e. goes to his food. The cows, buffaloes, elephants all go out in search of food and graze all day long.

For some reason, we humans are under the impression that we are different but such is not the case. We (or our parents) came crossing the 7 oceans to Canada, all the way from India in search of food (better opportunities). Now too, we find jobs or occupations that we are destined to do. We earn as much money as we are destined to earn. The food we eat is the food we are destined to eat. So who comes to whom - the food to the Jiv or the Jiv to its food. Looks like both are attracted towards each other, especially in today's age. In olden days surely, it was the Jiv that travelled to the food but today, it is the attraction that pulls both the Jiv and the Food towards each other.

This is what this Daas understands in the light of the pankitis stated above and based on the ground realities today. Rest Bhai, Guru Sahib knows.

Kulbir Singh

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