Waheguru -God Almighty- is always present at Harmandir Sahib also called Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple

October 20, 2014

Perhaps, some of my readers may not know the history of Harmandir Sahib which is also called Darbar Sahib. And there is a need to mention briefly as to why it came to be called Golden Temple by non-Punjabis.
The most sacred place of the Sikh faith at Amritsar has been always called by its original name Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib ever since the first time installation of ‘Granth Sahib’ in it on 1st September 1604 by Guru Arjan Dev, the Fifth Guru. English speaking people, who were employed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Emperor of the Punjab, or those Europeans who visited his court at Lahore and out of curiosity went to see the Holy Shrine called it the ‘Golden Temple’. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had sponsored its marble inlay, gold plating, and gilding of the exterior and interior in 1803 and the delicate work was completed in 1830.

Harmandir Sahib called Golden Temple by non-Punjabis

Harmandir Sahib called Golden Temple by non-Punjabis

I have used the words ‘Granth Sahib’ above because in 1604 the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs was not called ‘Guru Granth Sahib’. The status of the eternal Guru was bestowed to it by Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru, in October 1708 at Nanded on the bank of Godavari River in present day Maharashtra State one day before he departed for his heavenly abode. Thus from that day onwards it became Guru Granth Sahib, the eternal Guru of the Sikhs.
It was on 1st September 1604 itself that Guru Arjan Dev appointed Baba Budhaji as the first Granthi or Reader of the Holy text which is called Gurbani in the ‘Granth Sahib’. Baba Budhaji was a contemporary of Guru Nanak, the First Guru and his tale and his descendant’s association with the ‘House of Nanak’ is another story by itself.

Coming back to the concept of Waheguru God Almighty being always present at Harmandir Sahib, it is important for my readers to know that there are no statues of any demi-gods or goddesses inside the Golden Temple. Because most non-Sikhs associate the word ‘Temple’ with a Hindu temple, they thus carry a wrong impression. I reiterate that Harmandir Sahib is without any statues or manmade pictures of any living being whatsoever. The inside is otherwise embellished and decorated with fresh flowers and a gold embroidered ‘Chandni’ -a square shaped large cloth awning- which is hung from its four corners over the sacred area where the Holy Guru Granth Sahib is placed upon a raised pedestal.

The basic purpose of a Chandni -used anywhere- is to prevent something falling from the ceiling be it a piece of plaster or anything else. The area covered by the Chandni also shows its sacrosanct importance and devotees can easily see where they are supposed to be paying their respect. Readers may have observed in Indian paintings from the Mughal period and even of later periods a Chandni hanging over a King seated upon his throne: The purpose being the same as explained above since the King is the most important person in the court of a Kingdom. Similarly during the lifetime of the Gurus a Chandni was always hung over them.

Coming back to the subject: Let me first apprise my readers about the routine followed at the Harmandir Sahib. The chief activity inside there is the nonstop singing or Kirtan which means an eulogy or praise of God Almighty. The word Kirtan is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Keerti’ meaning praise. The couplets used for Keerti or Kirtan are strictly taken from the poetic Gurbani hymns from within the 1430 pages of Guru Granth Sahib. No other hymns or compositions are permitted to be used.

As one enters Harmandir Sahib through the front door the Guru Granth Sahib comes into view ‘seated’ upon a raised pedestal called Peeda which is a large size cot-like settee. (Such settees are common furniture in rural Punjab where a big one is called Peeda and a smaller one is called Peedi) Once the pages of Guru Granth Sahib are opened first thing in the morning and after a hymn is read for the benefit of the devotees it is then covered with an ornamentally decorated cloth called Rumala.

The space in front of Guru Granth Sahib is decorated with fresh flowers and that is where monetary offerings from devotees are placed which nowadays are in the form of paper-cash. During former-times gold, silver and other coins used to be placed there including valuable jewelry. I have seen devotees offering gold jewelry even now for which a separate receipt is issued on the spot. The offering of money is voluntary and no one questions a devotee if he or she does not place even one Rupee as a contribution. Normally, these days, offerings range from one Rupee to several thousands.

The basic concept of voluntary offerings is based on a hymn in the Gurbani which goes, “Khavo Kharcho Ralmil Bhai; Tott Na Awaye Vadado Jayee” meaning “Eat and Consume by Sharing Oh Brother; It (your wealth) Will Never Run Short; Rather, Will Always Increase.” The utilization of such offerings is a separate subject beyond the scope of this article.

On the left side are seated three singers who are called Kirtinia or Dhadi or Ragi. (The word Ragi is used for a person who is able to sing in the classical Ragas each one of which has a complex structure of musical melody. A list of such Ragas is mentioned below.) The space behind the Ragis is reserved for men to sit and listen and the space opposite to them on the right –as you enter- is reserved for women. This area is nowadays cordoned off with brass coated pipework with the aim to manage the increasing number of devotees who flock to behold the eternal Guru of the World.

The Holy Hymns of Gurbani state that only those who are ‘Lucky’ or ‘Destined’ get an opportunity to come and behold the Guru while others wander aimlessly. Therefore there is no dispute with anyone like ‘You must go. Why don’t you go? Why didn’t you come?’ This is unlike certain religions which emerged in West Asia whose hardcore followers coerce and trick people to join their faith by hook or by crook.

Two of the Kirtinias or Dhadis play the Harmonium and the third plays the Tabla –a double drum- percussion instrument which is also called Jodi in Punjabi meaning a Pair. A fourth musician sits only during Live Telecast of Kirtan from Harmandir Sahib, and plays the Sarangi string instrument. Some Kirtinias use the Sitar depending upon their personal choice but most use the Harmonium. Ever since the start of Kirtan by Guru Nanak, Kirtinias have used almost all popular musical instruments associated with Hindustani classical music while singing inside the Harmandir Sahib or even elsewhere. Bhai Mardana, one of the two constant companions of Guru Nanak, played the Rubab –the Central Asian sting instrument- whenever the Guru sang the praises of God Almighty.

Here is some additional information for my readers: The Tabla was designed by Muslim Saint Hazrat Nizamudin Aulia of Delhi from the classical Indian percussion instrument Mirdang. He cut the Mirdang in the middle and placed the two parts upright like a table -thus the word Tabla. The word Table has been derived from Arabic word Tablatu -a piece of furniture originally made for the first time almost 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ who was basically a carpenter. The Sitar was also developed by Hazrat Nizamudin Aulia by merging the string-layout of Veena and the Rubab. Hazrat Nizamudin Aulia of Delhi was a follower of Baba Farid -the only Muslim Saint whose hymns are included in Guru Granth Sahib. And Baba Farid was the follower of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer in Rajasthan whose Dargah is visited by Muslims and even others from all over. He laid the foundation of liberal Chishtia order of Sufis in India -the liberal face of Islam. Thus one can say that there is a connection between Sikhism and liberal Islam through these three Saints.

In the lineup of the four musicians, as seen from the front, the Tabla player is on the left and the Sarangi player is on the right with the two Harmonium players in the center. The chief Kirtinia or the leader of this group is the person who sits next to the Tabla player. He leads the singing and the other Harmonium player and the Tabla player are allowed to sing certain parts of the Hymns their timing being pre-arranged before they start. The Kirtinias don’t refer to any book or paper to follow the Hymns. They remember the wordings from their younger days when they could refer to a booklet since they were beginners then.

Each batch of Kirtinias sings for one or one and half hour depending upon the time of the day or the night. However the batch which starts at 02:15 am sings continuously up to the sunrise time when the concluding Ardas -the request for Benediction- takes place. Then the next batch takes over and this routine carries on non-stop up to 10:30 pm in the night. However the time for starting and concluding the devotional singing varies with the length of the day depending upon summer and winter seasons: Starting at 02:15 am in summer and at 03:30 am in winter; concluding at 11:00 pm in summer and 10:00 pm in winter. A photo of a notice board gives an idea of the daily routine.

A Sample of Daily Routine Followed at Harmandir Sahib which Changes with Change of Seasons

A Sample of Daily Routine Followed at Harmandir Sahib which Changes with Change of Seasons

The poetic Hymns of Guru Granth Sahib are composed on 31 Ragas. A Raga is a complex structure of musical melody used in Indian classical music. It has set rules of how to build a melody which can ignite a certain mood in the reciter as well as the listener. In the holy Guru Granth Sahib each Raga is a chapter or a section by itself. For the more inquisitives the list of 31 Ragas with a direct relationship to human moods is given below.
1. Soohi – Joy and separation;
2. Bilaaval – Happiness;
3. Gaund – Strangeness, surprise, beauty;
4. Shri Raga– Satisfaction and balance;
5. Maajh – Loss, beautification;
6. Gauri – Seriousness;
7. Aasa – Making effort;
8. Gujri – Satisfaction, softness of heart, sadness;
9. Devgandhari – No specific feeling but the Raag has a softness;
10. Bihaagra – Beautification;
11. Sorath – Motivation;
12. Dhanasari – Inspiration, motivation;
13. Jaitsree – Softness, satisfaction, sadness;
14. Todi – This being a flexible Raag it is apt for communicating many feelings;
15. Bhairaagi – Sadness, (The Gurus have, however, used it for the message of Bhakti);
16. Tilang – Favourite Raag of Muslims. It denotes feeling of beautification and yearning;
17. Raamkali – Calmness;
18. Nat Narayan – Happiness;
19. Maali Gaura – Happiness;
20. Maaru – Giving up of cowardice;
21. Tukhari – Beautification;
22. Kedara – Love and beautification;
23. Bhairav – Seriousness, brings stability of mind;
24. Basant – Happiness;
25. Sarang – Sadness;
26. Malaar – Separation;
27. Jaijawanti – Viraag or loss;
28. Kalyaan – Bhakti Ras;
29. Vadhans – Vairaag, loss (that is why Alahniya is sung in this Raag when someone passes away);
30. Parbhati – Bhakti and seriousness;
31. Kaanra – Bhakti and seriousness.
Use of all these Ragas takes a person closer to God because all the moods are catered for. Music, as it is, calms the nerves. Balanced music through the classical Ragas makes a comprehensive experience for the devout. Even scientifically it has been proved in lab experiments that plants grow healthier and cattle give more milk when they are ‘fed’ with classical music.

Next I come to the daily routine followed at Harmandir Sahib. Once the devotional singing concludes in the night preparation are made for winding down the proceedings. About 30 minutes beforehand a group of Sewadars start getting the Palki (Palanquin) ready for Guru Granth Sahib to travel from Harmandir Sahib to the Kotha Sahib, the resting place for the night. (In Punjabi a one room shelter is called Kotha and a palatial mansion is called Kothi)

To understand the concept of ‘Guru Granth Sahib’s resting place for the night,’ it’s necessary to know the background. When the Holy Scripture was first installed in the Harmandir Sahib during the lifetime of Guru Arjan Dev, the Fifth Guru in 1604, at the end of the day he wrapped the ‘Granth Sahib’ in a white cloth. As he did so he recited five short prayers called Kirtan Sohila. Thereafter he carried the Holy Scripture upon his head and walked to his room as the devotees followed waving the Chowar over his head. When Guru Arjan Dev reached his personal room which was called Kotha, he placed the ‘Granth Sahib’ on his personal bed and started sleeping on the floor. To this day the same room is used as the resting place for the Holy Scripture. And in private homes where Guru Granth Sahib resides in one of the rooms of the household no one sleeps on a cot in the same room. And once Guru Granth Sahib has retired for the night in the manner explained above it is not considered correct to enter the same room: In the same way as you would not like to be disturbed if you are sleeping. The Guru Granth Sahib is treated like ‘a-living-Guru’ by the Sikhs.

Why did Guru Arjan Dev carry the Holy Scripture upon his head and place it upon his personal bed when he was the most esteemed reigning Guru of the Sikhs at that point of time? Because he knew, through his powerful prescience, that he himself would elevate the ‘Granth Sahib’ to the status of ‘Guru’ when he himself would come as the Tenth Master of the Sikh with the name of Guru Gobind Singh.

This process of transferring the Guru-ship was started by Guru Nanak, the first Guru. Before he bodily left this world he had selected Lehna to be the next Guru. He made him sit and put a Nariyal (a pealed coconut) in front of him along with some money. Then ceremoniously he lowered his head and put it on Lehna’s feat saying, “You are my Angad. And you are the Guru now and not me.” (Angad means ‘half of me’) Then Baba Budhaji applied Tilak on Guru Angad’s forehead and confirmed the Guru-ship. This is how the Guru-ship was transferred and Guru Nanak’s soul -which was no ordinary soul but a part of God Almighty Himself- was passed to Guru Angad. And the same process was repeated so on and so forth by all the following Gurus until Guru Gobind Singh transferred the Guru-ship to the Holy Scripture and called it Guru Granth Sahib. Therefore, my dear readers Guru Granth Sahib is no ‘ordinary-book’. Take it from me that God Almighty resides in the Words of Gurbani. And that Guru Granth Sahib is seated upon the throne of Heaven as the eternal Guru of the world for ever. Take it or reject it!

Going back to the topic of ‘getting the Palki (Palanquin) ready for Guru Granth Sahib’: The Palki is placed near the main entrance which is called Darshani Deori – the main gate from where one can behold the Holy Shrine. The Palki is decorated with flowers and kept ready. At the same time from 10 pm onward -or the time of hour as per the seasonal change- the Head Granthi –the chief learned reader- begins to wrap up Guru Granth Sahib in a white cloth called Rumala in the same way as Guru Arjan Dev had done on 1st September 1604. While the wrapping up is being done he recites from memory the Kirtan Sohila. Thus Kirtan Sohila is also recited by devout Sikhs as a norm before they retire to bed for the night in the same way as their beloved Guru retires for the night.

Once the last part of Kirtan Sohila is reached the Palki is carried by enthusiastic devotees on their shoulders who take turn to do so: It being a rare and life time honour to shoulder the carriage of the Great Guru. As soon as the Palki is picked up by the devotees, two ‘S’ shaped trumpets called Nar-Singha herald the start of the procession. Behind the two Nar-Singhas, two silver mace-bearers walk ahead of the Palki their purpose being to keep the path clear of the crowd. After the procession enters through the Darshani Deori the Nar-Singhas herald again and again until the Palki reaches outside the main entrance to Harmandir Sahib.

In the mean while once the Head Granthi finishes wrapping up Guru Granth Sahib the Ardas –the prayer of thanks- is performed by one of the Granthis appointed to do so while the Head Granthi waves the Chowar over Guru Granth Sahib. The appointed-Granthi thanks the Mighty Guru for having given audience to the devotees throughout the day and makes a request that the Mighty Guru may allow his Sawari, meaning the carriage, to be taken to His resting place for the night. The appointed-Granthi also requests the Mighty Guru to enthrall the devotees the next morning at the Amrit-vela, the Ambrosial-hour. (Amrit is Ambrosia of Greek mythology and Vela in Punjabi means the time or the hour) Amrit-vela is believed to starts about one hour after midnight and lasts up to one hour before sunrise: Therefore Guru Granth Sahib is carried back to Harmandir Sahib at a convenient time between 4 and 5 am depending upon the season.

The Appointed-Granthi standing in front of Guru Granth Sahib doing the Ardas while Devotees Stand with Eyes Shut Listening Attentively

The Appointed-Granthi standing in front of Guru Granth Sahib doing the Ardas while Devotees Stand with Eyes Shut Listening Attentively

The Head Granthi Waving the Chowar Over Guru Granth Sahib as the Ardas is Uttered by the Appointed-Granthi

The Head Granthi Waving the Chowar Over Guru Granth Sahib as the Ardas is Uttered by the Appointed-Granthi

(These two photos were taken for the purpose of depiction from my large TV screen during Live Telecast of Kirtan from Harmandir Sahib since I was not granted permission to use camera inside the Holy Shrine)

Once the Ardas is over, the Head Granthi assisted by two Sewadars lift the Holy Scripture and places it upon his head. Then he walks slowly out of the main door while the Sewadars wave the Chowar overhead. On reaching the Palki he gently places the Guru Granth Sahib into the carriage. The Nar-Singhas herald the procession as devotees vie for space to put their shoulder to the holy carriage. And they are reluctant to let go and have to be removed with some force to give a chance to others. It takes some time to travel through the Darshani Deori and reach the base of Akal Takhat from where the stairs lead to the Kotha Sahib. Then the Holy Guru is carried by the Head Granthi upon his head in the same manner as he did from the Shrine. After resting Guru Granth Sahib upon the designated bed an Ardas is again uttered thanking the Guru. One low powered light is left on and the door is shut.

While the Great Guru ‘sleeps’ for the night after having blessed his devotees, the main door of Darshani Deori is shut and the gold and marble embellished Harmandir Sahib is cleaned by devotees under the supervision of the Management in a controlled manner by using soft cloth. The cleaning process lasts up to about 12:30 am or 0030 hours which falls into the next day. Then the process of removing the Chandni and all gold ornaments hung from it and the process of putting up fresh ones starts. In this activity only those devotees are allowed to take part who have taken the Amrit and are known to be observant to the code of conduct of the Khalsa Order –the Brotherhood of the Pure.

This process of redecorating the interior for the next day lasts up to 2:15 am or 0215 hours -or a later time depending upon the season- by which time the next batch of Kirtinias arrive and sit down at their designated places. The main door of the Darshani Deori remains closed and devotees begin to gather outside next to it and some of them sing requesting God Almighty, “Please give me the benefit of your audience by opening the door Oh Waheguru.” And they keep repeating the plea until the door is opened. Others sit and read prayers from Gutkas (small booklets with selected prayers) which are handed out to those who wish to read. When the clock is near 2:15 am -or a later time depending upon the season- a Sewadar stands near a flat brass gong called Gharyal ready to strike with a wooden mallet. Then at the designated time the door is gently pushed open and the Gharyal is struck continuously for about thirty seconds. It is a loud signal for everyone to know that another day of devotion has begun.

The Gharyal was named so because it used to be struck every ‘Ghari’ which in Punjabi means ‘Hour’. It was also for the soldiers to know when one-hour was completed. Therefore at 4 am or 4 pm the Gharyal was struck 4 times and so on and so forth at each hour. In the Indian Army it’s called ‘Ghanta’ meaning ‘Hour’ and the time is struck by guards at the Quarter Guard near the main entrance to a fighting Unit. The English rulers constructed tall towers in cities and towns at prominent places from where everyone could see the face of the huge clock. And when these big clocks struck the hour they were called Ghanta-Ghar.

As soon as the flat brass Gharyal is struck by the Sewadar the Kirtinias inside Harmandir Sahib start singing Asa-di-Vaar a composition by Guru Nanak, the First Guru. And the beginning of ‘another-day’ of devotion starts. Once the door is gently pushed open devotees enter the Darshani Deori and walk briskly toward the Holy Shrine but there is no mad-scramble or pushing or jostling about: It’s a disciplined rush to reach the domain of Waheguru, the beloved God Almighty.

Singing of Asa-di-Vaar continues nonstop. At about 4 am or 0400 hours -or a later time depending upon the season- Guru Granth Sahib again travels in the Palki from the Kotha Sahib to the main entrance of the Harmandir Sahib. The process has the same enthusiasm as it was earlier with the blowing of Nar-Singhas heralding the arrival of the Mighty Guru.

The Kirtinias stop singing once the Palki reaches near the main entrance of Harmandir Sahib. Then Guru Granth Sahib enters the shrine perched upon the head of the Head Granthi –the one appointed for the next day. The Holy Scripture is un-wrapped from the layers of white cloth while a group of about 10 to 12 volunteers recite from memory the praises of the Guru. When the last person concludes the praises Guru Granth Sahib is opened to read the Hukumnama or the Guru’s Order or Guidance or Utterance for the next Day: The Hukumnama is also called ‘Vaak’ a word derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vach’ –to speak. As soon as the Hukumnama concludes the Kirtinias re-start singing Asa-di-Vaar and the Holy Guru is covered with a Rumala –ornamentally decorated cloth. This activity normally concludes by dawn when an Ardas to thank the Guru is held for the successful conclusion of Asa-di-Vaar session.

The Kirtinias who had been singing until then take leave. The next batch of Kirtinias arrive to sing other devotional hymns each group doing it for one to one and half hour at a time until we again reach the hour at night to conclude the day. And this devotional process goes on and on month after month and year after year. But the Mighty Guru is ever there to bless those who come.

After having familiarized with the day to day activity let us come back to the main topic: Waheguru -God Almighty- is always present at Harmandir Sahib. To lead my readers into the depth of this subject there is a need to briefly tell the story of Narad from Narad Puran an ancient scripture of Hinduism. He is commonly referred to as Narad Muni where Muni means a Holy-man. He was the Guru of Bhagat Prahlad and taught him how to recite Gods’ Name. Prahlad, according to popular belief, resides at the Pole Star, the abode of the martyrs. The name of Prahlad is mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib several times as an example of firm belief and devotion to Waheguru despite threats from his father to give up.

His father who was a King wanted Prahlad to recite his name and not Gods’. The 5 year old Prahlad refused. Even his mother tried to convince him to give up but he said that if he abandons Gods’ Name his clan would be cursed for ever to come. When his father threatened to kill him and demanded to know who would save him God appeared as a lion out of the ground and killed the cruel King. Since then he has been classified as a demon. In other words those who oppose Gods’ devotees fall into that category. Such are the inexplicable ways of Waheguru us mortals may not understand unless we surrender to the Mighty Guru.

Since Narad Muni, the Guru of Prahlad, was a renowned Holy-man he was very close to Waheguru. He was also very close to the 33 crores or 330 million gods and goddesses of the Hindu belief who form the vast pantheon or a very large group. Narad Muni, who used to talk to them, was otherwise known to cause several misunderstandings between them by his inadvertent or un-intended gossip. His actions used to create arguments and fights between the gods and goddesses: The demi-gods also have their ego problems and they protect their domains very selfishly –the numerous Hindu temples where one or more demi-gods reside upon the statue. This can be another story by itself.

But Narad Muni was very close to Waheguru -God Almighty- because he was a full time devotee. One day he decided to go and meet Waheguru. He went to the heavens but Waheguru was not there. He went to the underworld and Waheguru was not there. Then he came to the world of human beings and Waheguru was not there either. Finally Narad Muni sat down, shut his eyes in meditation as he began to strum his Ek Tara –the single wire poor man’s cheap and yet effective musical instrument. With his eyes shut he recited Gods’ Name which for him was “Narain; Narain; Narain; Narain; Narain.” Some people can recite Ram, Ram or Hari, Hari or Waheguru, Waheguru -depending upon one’s choice.

Narad Muni continued to recite Narain, Narain with full devotion, concentrating upon the sound of the word as it flowed from his mouth rhymed with the sound of his Ek Tara. After some time Narad Muni felt Anand or Bliss and saw Waheguru through his ‘Third-eye’. He opened his real eyes and saw Waheguru sitting in front of him in human form. Narad Muni asked, “Where have you been Waheguru? I have been searching for you all over your vast creation.”

Waheguru replied, “I am always present where my beloved devotee recite my Name or sing my praises. I like to listen to them to hear what all they say to please me. When I am pleased I bless them and they feel Anand.”

I hope my readers are beginning to understand the message I am trying to convey?

Since Harmandir Sahib is the only place in the world where singing devotional hymns goes on non-stop for more than almost 20 hours out of the 24 hours cycle, it is my firm belief that Waheguru is always present there. In fact, the period designated for cleaning and getting the Holy Shrine ready for the next session is also a devotional activity. Therefore, in my humble opinion, Harmandir Sahib is the only place in the world where devotional activity goes on and on non-stop for 24 hours day after day for ever. Can someone point out another place in the world which matches the spiritual level of Harmandir Sahib where God Almighty, the Formless is worshiped in the true way as mentioned earlier through the story of Narad Muni?

If some less informed Hindus claim that their temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses worship them then they ought to be told that Almighty Formless God Himself created the 33 crore or 330 million of them. And all these gods and goddesses actually yearn for the blessing of their Creator so that they may be released from their ‘captivity’ –the trap of worship by common people with selfish intension asking ‘Hey Devi, give me this or give me that’. The ancient scriptures authentically state that these ‘trapped’ gods and goddesses may get a chance to recite Gods’ Name and seek Mukti (Salvation) from the stone or metal statues where they reside as well as from the eternal cycle of birth and rebirth if Waheguru is pleased to do so. A lot depends upon the Karma of these gods and goddesses just like us human beings.

I do not wish to compare with Judaism, Christianity and Islam which originated in West Asia since all three have the concept of one’s soul waiting for the day of Judgment on Domesday. And they believe that the world would end on Domesday. This is contrary to the concept of Mukti from the cycle of reincarnation common to all Indian origin religions.

Now I come to the final part: The reason for my belief that Waheguru is always present at Harmandir Sahib. My readers may please take a look at the photo below. Those who can read Gurmukhi would understand. For the benefit of those who can’t read it the next para explains the text.

The Golden Plaque in Gurmukhi on the left wall of Darshani Deori facing Akal Takhat desribing the Unique Incident

The Golden Plaque in Gurmukhi on the left wall of Darshani Deori facing Akal Takhat desribing the Unique Incident

There was a real life incident on 30th April, 1877 at about 04:30 am or 0430 hours in the morning. An estimated number of 400 people were present in and around Harmandir Sahib. There was the sound of thunder and a bolt of lightning struck water in the Sarowar on the Northern side of Harmandir Sahib –left side of the causeway leading to the shrine. Normally a lightening has a very fast zap and then it fades away. In this case the sharp zap of lightening became a ball of light over the water surface. Then, to everyone’s amazement, it moved and entered the Harmandir Sahib from the Northern door through which devotees enter. After entry the ball of light hovered for some time in front of Guru Granth Sahib where devotees normally put down their offerings and carry out obeisance. Then the ball of light became a ray of light and existed through the opposite door -the Southern door. All this while everyone was stunned and stuck to their position wherever they sat or stood. And no one was hurt.

Nonbelievers may opine that lightening has been known to strike water surface even when the sky is clear or when there are no clouds. Physicist may explain some phenomena associated with electrical charge in the environment and some other weird explanations quite illogical to the devout. Moreover electric supply as a common user aid did not exist in northern India in 1877.

But how do you explain the phenomena of the ball of light moving into the Harmandir Sahib through the front door and hovering in front of Guru Granth Sahib and then making a dramatic exit through the southern door?

And even if the ball of light was an electrically charged phenomenon then it should have harmed some devotees when it entered the front door where people were lined up to go in and it must have passed inches away from them. Or it should have caused panic among the devotees who would have feared the strange light as something dangerous and would have jumped into the Sarowar to escape. My belief is that the light had a benign and loving effect on the minds of devotees making them wonder struck and without fear. Only Waheguru has that overpowering love upon the minds of all His creations.

This incident was viewed as a miracle by the devotees at that time. The management of Harmandir Sahib in 1877 had very thoughtfully written a golden plaque in Gurmukhi script about six feet above the floor on the left wall of Darshani Deori facing Akal Takhat. The golden plaque is so high and above a normal person’s height that one would not notice it among all the rush to get-in: And particularly so if there is a crowd. Moreover at the entrance of Darshani Deori our eyes normally fall on the beauty of Harmandir Sahib and are not likely to look elsewhere. I had not noticed it because there was a large crowd ahead me until my daughter pointed it out.

Those who are destined will come to the abode of Waheguru others may find some convenient excuse not to.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa; Waheguru ji ki Fateh

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