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My Mitr - An Eternal Friend

Sarabjeet D Natesan

Author: Sarabjeet D Natesan

Date: Sat, 2016-12-10 15:44

The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708)
 

Mittar Pyare Nu Haal Mureedan Da Kehna
Tudh Bin Rog Rajaian Da Odhan
Nag Nivasan De Rehna
Sul Surahi Khanjar Pyala
Bing Kasaian Da Sehna
Yaarare Da Sanu Sathar Changa
Bhath Kherean Da Rehna

 

Born on December 22nd, 1666, Guru Gobind, the tenth guru of the Sikhs inspires awe, gratitude, love, affection and deep respect.  He was a warrior, poet, philosopher, friend and a loving father. He saw his four sons embrace martyrdom, two in battle and two younger ones walled alive by Aurangzeb.  He wrote this shabad at the Machhivara forest, where he beseeches the lord to understand the anguish of separation.

It was my mother’s favourite and she taught it to me, I must have been hardly three or four.  The first word ‘Mitr- my friend’ has a special meaning; it refers to the divine, deep and evocative, it treats the spiritual being as a friend as not somebody one has to please or be fearful of.  It places the responsibility of friendship on the benevolent one.  And it supplicates the invincible one to recognize that.  It compares the indifference of the friend to that of a venomous snake; the friend’s unresponsiveness akin to drinking poison, his abandonment as painful as being butchered like an animal at the hands of an unfeeling one.  It talks of separation at two levels, physical, loss of his four sons and metaphorical, even more grievous, to separation from the great divine itself. 

Please tell the dear friend - the Lord - the plight of his disciples.
Without You, rich blankets wrap me like disease and the comfort of the house is like living with snakes.
Our water pitchers are like stakes of torture and our cups have edges like daggers.

Your neglect is like the suffering of animals at the hands of butchers. Our Beloved Lord's straw bed is more pleasing to us than living in costly furnace-like mansions.

A deeply spiritual leader, he wrote a letter now known as The Zafarnama (written in Persian) in which he called out Aurangzeb’s lack of morality in governance and war and laid out his beliefs about the dispensation of justice and dignity without fear. It came to be called the ‘Epistle of Victory’.  Severely rebuking and indicting Aurangzeb, the Guru pointed out his weaknesses as a human being and admonished him for excesses as a leader and for being a cruel and distorted inhuman being. Guru Gobind reminded Aurangzeb how he had broken an oath  taken on the holy Koran and how he could not be trusted.

Guru Gobind carried forth the message of power and righteousness by enshrining it in another shabad.  Here he extolled the lord to give him the strength to ‘be prepared at all times to willingly and consistently behave in the most impartial and just manner and to always undertake to carry out righteous acts; to never have any fear or show even the slightest hesitation when taking such actions; to never flinch from stepping in front of the enemy to protect the poor, weak and needy of the world - to never have any apprehension or anxiety from the virtuous fight ahead’.
 

Deh Shiva bar mohe-i-hai
(Grant me this boon O God)
shubh karman tey kabhu na taroo 
(May I never refrain from the righteous acts;)
Na daroo ar siyoo jab jah laroon 
(May I fight without fear all foes in life's battles)
Nischai kar apni jeet koroo 
(With confident courage claiming the victory)
Ar Sikh hao apne hi man ko
(May thy glory be grained in my mind)
Eh lalch hou goon tau uchroo 
(and my highest ambition be singing thy praises)
Jab aav ki audh nidhann banay 
(When this mortal life comes to end)
Aut he rann me tab joojh maroo 
(May I die fighting with limitless courage)

The world needs another Guru Gobind today, a worthy leader and a true friend.

 

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Comments

The blog is a revisit to ones being and the reality that each one needs the drive, the path, the goal to experience the true meaning of living. Reading this blog reminds of what my mentor, Dr. Tushar Guha quotes, in relation to living and God. He believes that human being exists because it cannot die. This existence only extends to living when s/he is desirous of something from life, his/her well being and joy. One only and truly understands Reality Living when one goes beyond self. It is here that I connect with the word from the blog 'Mitr'. Only because friendship is one of the most simplest bond without any bond and that is what the faculty tried to explain us. I also remember a quote on God by Dr. Tushar Guha that states, "Love God but do not be afraid of Him." This is so true and again the faculty has shared in her writing of loving God but not being fearful of. The blog seems religious at first but has a deeper spiritual learning which can only be internalised and rejoiced with the simplicity that a child has, especially while interacting with her/his mother. If and only we could love ourselves and extend that love as 'Mitr' is when we become fearless and is when we submerge with the divine energy.

Dear ma’am thank you for this article. I connected to it as I have always had such discussions with my spiritual parents. I loved the concept of treating the spiritual being as a friend and not somebody one has to please or be fearful of. When I was a child I had always wondered why people pray to god and if God could change anything, why would there be problems like poverty in the world. When I grew up, I found an answer to my question. I do not believe in worshiping the god, but I do believe that there is a divine energy, a spiritual being which can be considered as a close friend. A friend who is always with you, a friend who always wishes the best for you, a friend who is there to take care of times when you give up hope, a friend who knows you more than yourself and gives you what you need rather than what you want. Talking to such a friend gives one peace, a feeling that there is someone to take care of everything which can go wrong. This is the reason, I feel people pray to god. To find that inner peace, to share their troubles and hence feel better that someone is there to listen to their woes. I remember the times I did not succeed, my mother used to tell me that ‘god only does what’s good for you. If you don’t achieve something, it is because there is something better in store for you.’ I do not know how much of this is true, but imagine the motivation this thought gives to a child who has lost something after putting in all possible efforts. These words of my mother made it a little easier to move on from failures and prepare myself again to take up the challenges of the world. On similar grounds, I love the song by Swedish House Mafia – “Don't you worry, don't you worry, child. See heaven's got a plan for you.” I do not possess much knowledge about spirituality, but treating the spiritual being as a friend helps keep oneself motivated and peaceful at times when nothing seems to be working and all efforts seem to be wasted. It fills one with positive energy which can be used in productive ways. It makes one believe that there is a friend to take care of everything else and make all circumstances favorable. All one needs to do is go for it, with confidence, without fear, with all might and will, come what may.

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