Friday, July 07, 2006

As is Magahar, so is Benares; I see them as one and the same. Part 2

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
ਤੋਰੇ ਭਰੋਸੇ ਮਗਹਰ ਬਸਿਓ ਮੇਰੇ ਤਨ ਕੀ ਤਪਤਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥
thorae bharosae magehar basiou maerae than kee thapath bujhaaee
Relying upon You, I can live even in the cursed place of Magahar; You have put out the fire of my body.
ਪਹਿਲੇ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਮਗਹਰ ਪਾਇਓ ਫੁਨਿ ਕਾਸੀ ਬਸੇ ਆਈ ॥2॥
pehilae dharasan magehar paaeiou fun kaasee basae aaee 2
First, I obtained the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan in Magahar; then, I came to dwell at Benares. 2
ਜੈਸਾ ਮਗਹਰੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਕਾਸੀ ਹਮ ਏਕੈ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
jaisaa magehar thaisee kaasee ham eaekai kar jaanee
As is Magahar, so is Benares; I see them as one and the same.
Virdev Singh Baghel, the king of Kashi, had constructed a beautiful palace. Everybody used to praise the palace.

King Virdev Singh was well aware of Bhagat Kabir ji’s spiritual glory. He had a fervent desire that Bhagat Kabir ji should visit the palace. He made persistent entreaties and finally managed to get Bhagat Kabir ji to accede to his request.

When Bhagat Kabir ji was about to leave after seeing the palace, the king enquired expectantly, “Your Holiness! What did you think about the palace?” The king expected Bhagat Kabir ji to praise the palace, but on the contrary, Bhagat Kabir ji said, “There are two major flaws in this palace.”

The King was shocked. He brooded, “I am the king of Kashi and there are two flaws in my palace!”

The king’s ego was deeply hurt. While everyone heartily praised the palace, here was Bhagat Kabir ji saying it had two major flaws. He asked, “Your Holiness! Please tell me what the two flaws are so that I may get them rectified at the earliest.”

“You cannot set them right,” Bhagat Kabir Ji said.

Bhagat Kabir ji was reluctant to elaborate but when the king insisted, he finally relented and said, “The palace has been built with great effort but the first flaw is that it will not accompany the owner after his death nor will the owner be able to live in the palace forever. The second flaw is that in due course of time the palace is destined to be reduced to ruins.”

It was as if the king had been slapped on his face. He felt hurt and his ego was bruised badly but Bhagat Kabir ji’s darshan, satsang and benign grace soon made him realise the truth, ‘What Bhagat Kabir ji says is absolutely true. I will not be able to live in this palace forever, nor will it accompany me at the time of death, and surely a time will come when the palace will turn into debris.’ He fell prostrate at Bhagat Kabirj i’s feet and became his devotee forever.

When Bhagat Kabir ji was about to depart from this world, he declared, “The work assigned to this body has been completed. Now it is time to get rid of this outer covering for which I will go to Magahar.”

When Virdev Singh was informed of this, he came running to Bhagat Kabir ji and pleaded, “Your Holiness! I had resolved that I would abandon my kingdom and serve you for five years in order to receive your spiritual grace. I had the desire to clean your cottage with my own hands, fetch water from the holy Ganges for you and knead the dough with my own hands to prepare rotis for you. I wanted to tread the path of God-realization under your benign tutelage, but I am utterly shocked to learn that you are going to Magahar for your final journey.”

Bhagat Kabir ji said, “It is too late, O King of Kashi!”

The water of the Ganges is flowing continuously. If you want you can take a dip in the holy waters. It is impossible to take a dip again in the same water that has already flowed past. So is the case with Saints and their satsang. When you come in the vicinity of a Saint, avail yourself of the opportunity right then and there. If you don’t, you will have to grieve over the lost opportunity.

The local populace were surprised to note that Bhagat Kabir ji wanted to leave his body at Magahar. People would come to Kashi during their last days and here Bhagat Kabir ji was leaving Kashi for Magahar.

People in general believe that if one breathes ones last in Kashi, one will attain salvation whereas dying in Magahar would only lead one to hell. Bhagat Kabir ji disregarded such popular superstitions in order to enlighten the people about the Supreme glory of the Lord’s grace and decided to discard his body at Magahar. When they came to know of this announcement, many Mullahs and pandits, accosted Bhagat Kabir ji and said, “All through your life you have been critical of us.”

‘If by worshipping a stone I could attain the Lord, I will rather worship a mountain. Better is the grinding stone that is useful in grinding grains to eat.'

‘Joining stones with mortar; They raise a high mosque, climbing to the top then, the Mullah shouts his prayer, but tell me O Mullah, Is the Lord deaf?’

Throughout your life, you have refuted our views. Lest the consequent sins should take you to hell, we suggest that you better spend your last days in Kashi that may ensure your emancipation after death.
Bhagat Kabir ji said, “No! Not at all! It is not that I shall attain salvation if I leave my body in Kashi and will be sent to hell if I breathe my last at Magahar. All places in this world belong to the Lord. Devotion to the Lord is of utmost import. Then how does it matter where a person breathes his last?

A person, with a cruel and unyielding mind having no devotion towards God, cannot escape hell even if he dies in Kashi. Then how can one, who is devoted to God, be born as a donkey, just because he died in Magahar? Not only will he himself be emancipated, but he will also enable his relatives, friends and followers to attain salvation.

ਜੈਸਾ ਮਗਹਰੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਕਾਸੀ ਹਮ ਏਕੈ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
jaisaa magehar thaisee kaasee ham eaekai kar jaanee
As is Magahar, so is Benares; I see them as one and the same.

In those days, it was believed that Magahar was afflicted with two curses: one was that anyone dying in Magahar would be reborn as a donkey and the second was that Magahar would always be in scarcity of water. To shatter these false beliefs Bhagat ji went to Magahar. It is said that once Bhagat Kabir ji set his foot in Magahar, the local river, Aami, that used to flow only during the rainy season started flowing throughout the year.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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