EPISODE-38 (PANJ PYARE-1 BHAI DAYA SINGH OF GURU GOVIND SINGH & NIRAMJAN SINGH OF AVATAR MEHER BABA)
Bhai Daya Singh Punj Piare-1 of Guru Govind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh came into this world with a special mission. He was the tenth Sadguru Sikh sect and performed certain duties for the emancipation of mankind. The Guru thus decided to evolve a new order with the sole object of making people realise the necessity of sacrificing their lives for the cause of dharma, righteousness. People should fight against the tyranny of the rulers, he said.
The Guru sent letters to his devotees, throughout the country, to come to Anandpur to attend the festival of Baisakhi. The devotees started converging on Anandpur like swarms of locusts. The year was 1699. A day before the first of Baisakh, a large number of people, including many women and children, collected at Anandpur. A large shamiana was pitched and decorated with buntings and flowers. Hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib were recited and divine atmosphere was created. Guru Gobind Singh was present in the pandal and listened attentively to the chanting of Asa-di-Var. He sat motionless for some time and then stood before the huge gathering, estimated to be about eighty thousand. His eyes were red like rays of the sun. He took His sword from the scabbard and flashing it in His hand, thundered like a lion: “My devoted Sikhs! My comrades! The goddess of power clamours for the head of brave Sikh. Is there anyone among this huge gathering ready to sacrifice his dear life at its call?”
Complete silence prevailed. People were stunned. They thought something had gone wrong with the Guru. The Guru once again roared. Again, there was no reply. The whole assembly was thrown into consternation. The Guru repeated His call. There was hushed silence. What the Guru wanted nobody knew. No Guru before Him had ever demanded the head of his followers like this. The Sikhs were surprised at the demand of the Guru who had all along been bestowing great affection on them. It was an amazing call. “Is there not one among the thousands who has faith in Me.” were the last words uttered by the Guru, flashing His eyes. People present there trembled. Now, Bhai Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore, stood up with folded hands before the Guru to the astonishment of the whole gathering. It was unique scene – the Sikh offering His head. The Guru caught him by arm and took him inside the tent specially pitched for the purpose. The Guru, after a few moments, came out with his sword dripping with blood. Blood flowed from the tent too. The Guru then asked for another man to offer his head.
Again, the call came. Four more offered their head one by one.
Then Guru himself went into the tent and brought out the five Sikhs he had taken into the tent earlier. They were dressed in new clothes, with blue turbans on their heads and in loose long yellow shirts. They had waist bands and wore under wears of a special style, with swords hanging by their sides. They looked attractive and handsome like soldiers of velour. The audience was awe-struck. The Guru named them Panj Payaras, the five beloved ones. The whole congregation shouted with one voice Sat-Sri-Akal, Victory of God. The Guru address them thus; “I wish all of you embrace one faith and follow one path, obliterating all difference of caste and religion. Let the four Hindu castes mentioned in the Shastras be abandoned altogether and the path of co-operation with one another be adopted. Let nobody think himself superior to another. Do not follow the old scriptures. All should follow the tenets of Guru Nanak and his successors. Let men of the four castes receive My baptism and eat from the same vessel. Let nobody feel contempt for the other”.
Once again, the sky resounded with the shouts of Sat-Sri-Akal. The Guru was extremely delighted. He had achieved his objective. A new path was shown by him to his followers – the path of valours, devotion and sacrifice.
Bhai Daya Singh was one of the Panj Piare or the five beloved celebrated in the Sikh tradition. He was son of Bhai Suddha, a Sobti Khatri of Lahore, and Mai Diali. His original name was Daya Ram. Bhai Suddha was a devout Sikh of Guru Tegh Bahadur and visited Anandpur more than once to seek his blessing. In 1677, he travelled to Anandpur along with his family including his young son, Daya Ram, to make obeisance to Guru Gobind Singh, this time to settle there permanently. Daya Ram, already well versed in Punjabi and Persian, engaged himself in the study of classics and gurbani. He also received training in the use of weapons.
In the historic divan in the Kesgarh Fort at Anandpur on 30 March 1699, he was the first to rise at the Guru’s call and offer his head, followed by four others in succession. These five were the first to be admitted to the fold of the Khalsa and they in turn administered the rites of initiation to Guru Gobind Singh who called them collectively Panj Piare. Daya Ram after initiation became Daya Singh. Although the five enjoyed equal status as the Guru’s close confidants and constant attendants, Bhai Daya Singh was always regarded as the first among equals. He took part in the battles of Anandpur, and was one of the three Sikhs who followed Guru Gobind Singh out of Chamkaur on the night of 74 December 1705, eluding the besieging hordes. He was Guru Gobind Singh’s emissary sent from the village of Dina in the Punjab to deliver his letter which became famous as Zafarnamah, the Letter of Victory, to Emperor Aurangzeb, then camping at Ahmednagar. Bhai Daya Singh, accompanied by Bhai Dharam Singh, another of the Panj Piare, reached Ahmednagar via Aurangabad, but found that it was not possible to have access to the Emperor and deliver to him the letter personally as Guru Gobind Singh had directed. Daya Singh sent Dharam Singh back to seek the Guru’s advice but before the latter could rejoin him with fresh instructions, he had managed to have the letter delivered, and had himself returned to Aurangabad. A shrine called Gurdwara Bhai Daya Singh marks the place of his sojourn in Dhami Mahalla.
Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh returned and, according to Sikh tradition, they re-joined Guru Gobind Singh at Kalayat, a town 52 km southwest of Bikaner in Rajasthan. Bhai Daya Singh remained in attendance upon the Guru and was with Him at the time of His death at Nanded on 7 October 1708. He died at Nander soon after and a joint memorial there for Him and for Bhai Dharam Singh known as Aaigitha (lit. burning pyre) Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh marks the site of their cremation.
Bhai Daya Singh was a learned man. One of the Rahitnamas, manuals on Sikh conduct, is ascribed to him. The Nirmalas, a sect of Sikh schoolmen, claim him as one of their forebears. Their Darauli branch traces its origin to Bhai Daya Singh through Baba Dip Singh.
In the institution of Panj Payaras the names of the five Beloved one’s have a very special significance. Bhai Daya Singh Stands for Compassion, Bhai Dharam Singh signifies the rule of Dharma or justice, Bhai Himmat Singh, denotes courage, Bhai Mohkam Singh refers to discipline and serenity, and Bhai Sahib Singh represents Sardari or Leadership/Sovereignty. Thus Guru Gobind Singh looking for an element of all five (Compassion, Justice, Courage, Discipline and Leadership) among His Khalsa.
Principal Niranjan Singh-as one of Punj Piyare of Avatar Meher Baba
Prof. Niranjan Singh, principal of Camp College then near Birla Mandir in Delhi was a distinguished scholar in Chemistry. He was an educationist and had held many important posts in erstwhile Punjab of undivided India.
Prof. Niranjan Singh came to know about Meher baba and His philosophy from Was Deo Kain. It was probably in the year 1952, that Prof. Niranjan Singh wrote his first letter to Meher Baba though W. D. Kain. Prof. Niranjan Singh had doubts and would cross examine with Mr. Kain on various points. One day while discussing with W. D. Kain he was told that most of the troubles worrying him were due to his past impressions (sanskaras). At the he asked Mr. Kain to write to Baba “ What is the glory of the guru (Master) if he cannot cancel the past actions (Karmas) and what is use of going under the protection of lion if a jackal was going to frighten him.” Baba was amused to read that letter and promptly came a reply through Eruch. Baba says, “But first surrender to the lion.”
In 1952, Mrs. Niranjan Singh was apprehensive of meeting Meher Baba. She deeply felt repeating the name of ‘Guru Nanak’ was better than meeting sadhus and saints. But it so happened that on 30th November 1952, W.D. Kain went to their house and informed them of Meher baba’s darshan programme and took then in a taxi to Prakash Chand house at 10, Tagore Road where baba was to give darshan. Mrs. Niranjan Singh recollects, “I cannot describe how elegantly Meher baba was got down from the taxi and swiftly moved and entered the house and sat on the sofa meant for Him. He was wearing white sadra. He was charming and lovely. His beauty was ethereal. I was stupefied by His presence. God knows what fear I had. I was unable to enter the house. I sat in the last row. I remember Baba asked the name of my husband. Baba said by His gestures, “Niranjan sigh is a pure gem.” all this was happening as if in a dream but I was still frightened. Just then Baba spoke through Eruch, “Are you frightened?” I quickly nodded my head and said ‘No’. Baba knew my inner state. He took my head in His hands and looked at me with so much of compassion that my heart melted and I wept continuously. The scientist and his wife came back home. The scientist had witnessed an unusual phenomenon. At times he saw Baba as Nanak and at times Baba Himself. This confirmed his faith in the Master. On the morning of 30th November 1952, Baba dictated at the residence of W.D. Kain to be read over to Principal Niranjan Singh.
Next day again, the couple went to Kain’s house and had Baba’s darshan. The couple accepted Meher Baba as their Master. They knew for sure that Beloved Meher Baba’s spiritual status was very high. Mrs. Niranjan recollects that Prof. Niranjan Singh was so impressed that he spoke to his collogues in the college and decided to invite Meher Baba to their college. Invited by Niranjan Singh, in His College, Baba gave darshan to the students on 2nd December 1952. Meher Baba was received by Principal Niranjan Singh and senior professors were welcomed with garlands. There were more than 2000 students. First Niranjan Singh spoke on brief introduction of Meher baba then his own feeling. Mrs. Niranjan Singh also garlanded Meher Baba amidst loud clapping and cheering from the audience who were already mesmerized by His presence. On behalf of Meher Baba read two messages on “Soldiers of God” and “spiritual freedom” (these messages can be read from book Panj Pyare published & circulated by Waryam Singh)`
He corresponded with baba for a long time. Niranjan Singh and his wife attended a Sahwas programme for the first time in Meherabad in 1954. Niranjan Singh later narrated. In his words, Baba said to him. “In eternity nothing has happened and nothing will ever happen and all that happens now at this time it is nothing:’ amidst the gathering Baba pointed to me and said, “You must grasp it. If God has no beginning then what was before Him? The answer is God.ans what was before God? The answer again is God. The answer will always be God. Illusion has a meaning for time, cause and effect while in eternity everything happens “now”. Remember, when zero is added to one (i.e. added to the right of 1) this zero gets a value. Add as many zeros and the value increases accordingly, but if you put millions of zero before one, it has no value. Can you grasp?”
Meher Baba had explained Vedanta in a nut shell to Niranjan Singh. Scientist in him always conflicted with the spiritualist. But in His presence all his doubts would vanish as darkness vanishes by the first streak of Sun light. On next day on 30th September 1954, Baba called Niranjan Singh for an interview. Baba said to him, “I will definitely make you feel so conscious that you know Me as God definitely. Definitely in an instant, all unaware!” Niranjan Singh eyes were filled with tears.
The Lord promised him, Himself. Baba then asked him “Do you remember the promise I gave you?” Niranjan Singh said, “Yes Baba, You promised me that you will visit my house.”
Baba said, “It will be fulfilled, even if I were to drop My body.”
Baba explained various kinds of experiences of Kaikobad who used to repeat Baba’s name one lakh times every day. Adding that Baba said all those experiences are in illusion. At this time Niranjan Singh said to Baba, “Baba, please take charge of my mind completely.” Baba replied, “Leave it to Me.”
Meher Baba then told him, “I give the gift of suffering to My lovers with home I am happy.” great suffering awakens great understanding.” Meher Baba then embraced Niranjan Singh. Niranjan Singh asked Baba, “Can I give this embrace to my wife? Baba embraced again Niranjan Singh and said, “This is for your wife.”
Once, Niranjan Singh had a doubt. Baba says, “He is infinite but His physical body is finite. How can the infinite be bottled up in a small physical frame. Promptly reply came from Baba through Eruch. It was said that baba was amused to hear his question. Baba reminded him to read and digest the pages of the book “God Speaks”. (Full text of reply from baba is not reproduced here). Niranjan Singh was not convinced with this reply. Much later when he again visited Meherabad Baba answered his question. Meher baba answered the questions of intellectuals time to time and the answers were later published in the book entitled “The Everything and the Nothing”. One day after the book was published Niranjan Singh visited Baba and sat with the disciples before Him. Baba said asked Francis and said,” Go and get that book Niranjan Singh is responsible for.” Then Baba quarried, “Are you not happy with the book?” Mr. Singh replied, “When I left my last visit last, I was so pleased and happy. My mind was always at rest since I had asked all the questions which bothered me and You had answered then to my satisfaction. I was really in a happy state I left here of Ahmednagar railway station “
Baba persisted, “Are you not happy then that all your questions were answered. Niranjan Singh replied, “Yes, Baba. You answered all my questions but when I sat in the train, this galloping mind of mine once again started asking intriguing questions.” Baba asked, “What is intriguing you now?” Niranjan Singh said, “A thought came to my mind like this: Baba says; He is infinite consciousness in form, but how can the infinity be bottled up in a limitation? This intrigues me Baba. How is such a thing possible?”
Baba said. “Is that the only thing that intrigues you? Look, I am the Creator and yet there are so many things intrigue Me that perhaps you being a scientist, can explain them to Me. tell Me, do you see anything outside that open door?”
“Yes, Baba I see sandals.”
“What else can you see?”
“Yes, I can see cattle grazing.”
“What else do you see?”
“People moving around.”
“What else do you see?”’
“A range of hills, baba.”
“Another range of hills behind that.”
“What else do you see?’
“I see the clouds.”
“It intrigues Me,” Baba said, “That these tiny eyes of yours can encompass such vastness. How is that possible? It intrigues Me how this little iris of yours can capture such vastness.”
Niranjan Singh understood and sat silent.
Niranjan Singh had corresponded with Baba many times. There are all three letters dated 26th November 1956, written By Eruch as directed by Meher Baba. (The text of letter is not produced here to make it brief)
Undoubtedly, Niranjan Singh was an intellectual giant whose heart Baba himself awakened. (Extracted from book Panj Pyare published by Waryam Singh)