Thursday, 27 September 2018

When the Eternity reveals itself

MATA KHIVI... Excerpts of a story from 'Into the Great Heart'

After meeting Guru Nanak, Bhai Lehna returns to Khadur. An excerpt from that chapter:
Khivi turns eagerly to Lehna.“Something has happened to you,” she said. “I can see it in your eyes. You have never looked like this before, except when you told me you had heard Bhai Jodha singing. That day, too, you had the same look in your eyes that I can’t describe. They are glowing with fire. And where are your ankle bells?”
“O Khivi,” Lehna begins, tears gathering in his eyes. “I have taken them off to dance to the Invisible Lord and Lady of the Galaxies! I danced for the goddess in the temple, but now my whole existence will be a dance!” 

He is silent a long time and Khivi sits quietly by his side.
“I have found what my soul has been searching for, what I didn’t even know I was looking for!”
After another silence, he narrates to his wife the events of the last few days.
“When I started out with the pilgrims I had hoped I could persuade them to make a stop in Kartarpur so I could meet the author of the song that so moved me. I didn’t think they would agree, but I hoped anyway. We were delayed upon starting out, as you know, on account of some of the pilgrims being late, and by the time we broke our journey for the night I realized I was very near Kartarpur. I mounted my horse, took Amro with me, and arrived at Kartarpur just as the new moon shone brightly in the evening sky. I asked an old man and a young boy...”
And here Lehna bursts into tears. “I am so blind and full of pride! I let him lead me on as if he were my servant while I sat like a lord on my horse! I let him feed and water my horse! That’s how humble he is!”
It was a while before he could tell his wife the rest of the story about the evening he had spent in Kartarpur, the meal, Nanaki, and Sulakhni. 

After he tells her about the aarti, and sings a few lines, he stops his narrative once more to explain the impact the meeting with Nanak has had on him.
“My skull blew off and infinity poured in. No, Khivi, I cannot explain the experience. It felt like I had been living in a small, dark, sunless cave all my life and Baba’s voice and words blew off the roof of my brain, crumbled the walls and something unbounded, immeasurable and utterly mysterious poured in.”
Khivi sits quietly in his silence.
“I experienced a different way of being, of living in such an open, spacious way... my little version of ‘god’ was blown apart to include the universe and everything in it. I saw another way of dancing, Khivi, with my whole being, as if ‘I’ didn’t dance but was danced... do you know what I mean?”
“I think so. Sometimes I think I do not live but am lived through.” “Exactly. Baba calls this sehaj, that which is natural, spontaneous, like a flower, folding from the inside out. I know with absolute certainty that this is the path for me now. I have given my small self away.”
“You’ve abandoned Ma Durga?” Khivi asks after her husband grows silent. Her heart is full of trepidation and fear for her husband, herself, her entire family. Their families had worshipped Durga as far back as she can remember.
“Don’t be afraid of the unknown, Khivi. Baba says when you fear Akaal Purukh, all other fears are frightened away. And Akaal Purukh, who we mirror in our souls, is nirbhao, and nirvair: without fear and enmity.” 

The night I spent in Kartarpur I had a dream... many dreams, in fact. But let me tell you one. I am in Baba’s courtyard and it is morning. A woman wearing a sari, the moon like a bouquet of jasmines in her long hair like a stream of night, is bent over something, near her, on the floor, is the sea... the huge roaring thing right there at her feet in the courtyard! 

She is taking a jar full of water, like liquid moonlight, and pouring it on something. I go closer and see that Baba is lying on his manji, his hair open and hanging down, like this,” he demonstrates.

“She is washing his hair, very lovingly, with a lot of devotion.

She turns around, and it is Ma Durga! She smiles at me, then continues washing his hair.”

Lehna laughs long and hard.

“Ma Durga whom we worship washes Nanak’s hair, Khivi! It is a sign that she herself has led me to Nanak.”
To read more, get your copy and share the stories with your friends and family

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


“It was paddy-harvesting time when Bhai Lehna arrived,” Buddha begins to recount. “Baba, together with other Sikhs, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das, who were reluctantly helping Baba, had labored hard and long and were hungry. I returned to the dera to fetch lunch for them and when I walked into the courtyard of Baba’s house, Lehna, who had just arrived from Khadur, wearing white clothes, was giving Bebe Nanaki a sack of pink salt from the mountains for the langar. He was eager to meet Baba and I told him I would take him to the fields after I had packed some lunch.
“When Bhai Lehna and I arrived at the field, an argument was in progress. Baba, who had just finished tying up the harvested paddy in three bundles, had asked his sons to carry them home, and they had refused, insisting that he pay laborers from the village to do it.
“Sri Chand said, ‘I have done enough labor for one day. I have to meditate.’
“Lakhmi said, ‘Here comes Buddha, tell him to carry them.’
“I wasn’t about to pick them up, either. The bundles were heavy and oozing mud. Even as we argued, Lehna asked me to help him put the bundles on his head.
“‘But your white clothes!’ I exclaimed.
“‘They’re just clothes,’ he said, bending down, picking uup a bundle, and putting it on his head. He asked me to hand him the second one, which I did, and he put it on top of the first one on his head.
“Oh the look Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das gave him! There was instant hatred in them for Lehna. If they could have killed him with their gaze, they would have.
“We were all amazed because Bhai Lehna didn’t bend down with the heavy weight of the two bundles, but stood straight and erect. He asked for the third one, too, and placing it on the second one, began to walk towards town gracefully, as if he was dancing beneath his burden; as if his burden was air!”

Ride on a white ethereal horse

“I dreamt a white horse came through our gullies, his forelegs muddied in the rain,” Mardana resumes.
‘Someone is knocking at our door,’ Fatima says to me. 
She opens it, and in comes a white horse, unsaddled, without reins or carrying bags, its mien fluffy, like clouds. 
He looks at me, and in the globes of his dark eyes I see galaxies wheeling. 
The experience was both scary and exciting. In the dream, I get off my bed, amazed there was no pain in my legs and hips, I walk with strength and energy and in one leap, like a powerful, young man, 
I mount the horse. I think, ‘I’m going on another long journey, I should ask Fatima to make some sweet fried bread for me, but then the horse speaks to me without speaking, and says, ‘but you are invited to a feast!’ 
It rises into the air, from right here in our courtyard, right by that chulla, into the air and we begin to fly together, he and I. And then I awoke.”
“Daadu jaan, you flew like the prophet Muhammad to paradise,” Aziza says.
“Yes. Though it was a great dream and I was so happy in it, I frightened myself when I thought upon waking that it might mean I am going to die.”
“But you promised you wouldn’t!” Aziza insists.
“And I must keep my promise to you, my Zizu, Zizujaan,” Mardana smiles, his eyes tearing up.

Excerpts from "Into the Great Heart".
Get your copy: