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Bhagats Bani by Shekh Farid Ji

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Astroboy, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jul 14, 2007
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    Click here > http://www.gurbanifiles.org/bani_by_author/Farid%20(GDRE).pdf

    Baba Farid was born on the first day of the month of Ramzan in 1173 CE in the Punjab town of Kothiwal. His parents named him Farid-ud-Din Masaud, while “Shakar Ganj” got tagged to his name at a later stage, but he is mostly revered as Baba Farid of Pak Pattan. Baba Sheikh Farid was born at a time when Punjab was going through very tough times. Tamarlane (Taimur, the Lame), Halaku (son of Chengez Khan), Mohammed Ghouri, Mahmud Ghazanvi,etc. had or were ravaging Punjab when Farid was born. The official language of India was Turkish and Persian. The Slave Dynasty of Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak was at that time being headed by Sultan Balban. 200-300 years earlier to the West of the Indian subcontinent, sword of Islam had swept through the countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. In India too, Qutb-ud-din Aibak succeeded in establishing a line of rulers, which ruled for some decades from Delhi, over quite a lot of territory. Then came the sufi saints from Arabia and other places to spread their message of love for Allah. Sufi saints like Khwaja Qutub-Ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki, who was a Syed of Jaffri Hussaini tribe, were very famous.
    Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki was Born around 1150 CE and studied under Abu Hafiz, a celebrated doctor of Ush, he went to Ajmer and became a disciple of Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti. In due time he proceeded to Delhi where Baba Farid met him and became his disciple. Emperor Sultan Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish was also his disciple. He died in CE 1235 and was buried in Delhi, where his tomb is held in devout reverence by pious Hindus and Muslims. His descendants are called Chishtis from the tribe of his priest. - Makhazan-ul-Tawarikh.
    Genealogy of Baba Sheikh Farid ji is given in the Jawahir-e-Faridi (The gems of Farid), preserved at the shrine of Pak Pattan, by Ali Asghar of Bahadal, a town near Sirhind. Baba Sheikh Farid ji descended from Farrukh Shah, who was king of Kabul and kings of Ghazni and other states were subject to him. Baba Farid ji's Great Grandfather was son of Farrukh Shah, the emperor of Kabul. During that time, Baba Farid’s Great Grandfather was killed when Halaku, the grandson of Chengez Khan invaded Kabul. He killed several princes and learned men, including several of Baba Farid’s ancestors. Baba Farid’s Grandfather Shaikh Shaib abandoned their country and took refuge in the Punjab in CE 1125. The Qazi of Kasur who was acquainted with the high position Shaikh Shaib had held there, treated him and his relatives with great respect and hospitality. After some time Shaikh Shaib proceeded to Multan where he deemed he should be less exposed to worldly influences or the temptings of ambition. He took his abode in Kothiwal, now known as Chawali Mushaikh, close to Dipalpur. He established in Kothiwal, a private college for religious instruction and attracted much attention. His eldest son Jamal-ud-din married Bibi Miriam, daughter of Syed Muhammad Abdula Shah - a descendant of Ali. Bibi Miriam had three sons, Khwaja Aziz-ud-din, Farid-ud- Din Masaud (Baba Farid) and Khwaja Najib-ud-din, and one daughter Khatun Jamila.
    When Baba Farid was 16 years old, he went to Hajj and stayed in the house of Abdul Rahim Ansari. Since Baba Farid ji use to talk in Punjabi, an unkempt faqir on hearing Farid’s language foretold the Boy’s subsequent greatness. After Farid came back to Punjab, he was sent to Khwaja Qutub-ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki at Delhi to learn theology. Qutub-ud-din, on finding Baba Farid deficient in scholarship sent him to the shrine of Abdul Shakur of Sarsa, near Delhi to finish his education. On that occasion Baba Farid repeated the following:
    O Farid, thou hast not walked in God’s way; therefore He hath no appeared unto thee Who is there who hath knocked at God’s door for whom it hath not been opened Lost thy life on the way of the Friend if thou desire to be even as those holy men.
    The high reputation Farid acquired in Delhi soon became irksome to him. He therefore made his way to Hansi, where he remained for some time. Meanwhile Khwaja Qutub-ud- Bakhtiar Kaki died at Delhi and Baba Farid paid a second visit to that city, and assumed the mantle of his late spiritual guide. He ultimately left it in the keeping of Jamal-ud-Din of Hansi and thence proceeded to Ajodhan, the present Pak Pattan. The manner in which the name of Ajodhan changed to Pak Pattan was that a canal, which derived its water from the Sutlej passed near the town. It was usual for all who visited Baba Farid to wash their hands and feet there. The place henceforth became known as Baba Sahib ji da Pak Pattan, or Farid’s cleansing ferry.
    Sheikh Farid ji made Pak Pattan a great center of Sufi thoughts. People from all over India and Middle East would come to see him. He always used his language, that is, Punjabi spoken by common people, even though he was highly learned and educated in Arabic, Persian, etc. All his couplets are written in Punjabi or Persian script. He generally rejected offerings of money, but would accept gifts of food, etc. for public kitchen. Baba Farid went to Delhi again and was received with a hospitable reception. Emperor Nasir-ud-Din Balban introduced him to his family. Hazabra, the Emperor's daughter, was married to Baba Sheikh Farid, but only after Emperor Balban promised not to give any costly gifts. Baba ji distributed all her jewels, etc. to the poor.
    Once seven hundred holy men were sitting together. An inquirer put them four questions to which Baba Farid ji replied:
    • Q.1 Who is the wisest of men?
    • A.1 He who refraineth from Sin.
    • Q.2 Who is the most intelligent?
    • A.1 He who is not disconcerted at anything.
    • Q.3 Who is most independent?
    • A.3 He who practise the contentment.
    • Q.4 Who is the most needy?
    • A.4 He who practise the it not.
    A Student asked Baba Farid if singing was lawful and proper. He replied that, according to Islam, it was certainly unlawful, but its propriety was still a matter of discussion. Nizam-ud-Dauliya told Nasir-ud-din, a disciple of his, that one day when he went to visit Baba Farid he stood at his door, and saw him dancing as he sang the following :
    I wish ever to live in Thy love, O God. If I become the dust under Thy feet, I shall live I thy slave desire none but Thee in both worlds; For Thee I will live and for Thee I will die.
    The following couplet was a favorite of Baba Farid’s:
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God’s love. There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.
    Baba Farid visited a city called Mokhalpur, it is now called Faridkot in honor of the Baba Farid, and is in the Indian part of Punjab. He then turned towards the Punjabi mountains where he converted a tribe. Baba Farid remained there for six months and then he locked up the house in which he had dwelt, saying that his successor would open it, and then returned to Pak Pattan. As his successor, Diwan Taj-ud-Din, was returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina, he happened to visit that part of the country. He asked people the name of their tribe, they said they were descendents of Qutub-ul-Alam Baba Farid Shakarganj. And thus Taj-ud-din opened the door of Baba Farid’s hut hundreds of years later.
    Baba Farid died of Pneumonia on the fifth day of the month of Muharram, CE 1266. The date of Baba Farid's death is commemorated by chronograms (a) Farid Asari (b) Auliye Khudai. He was unique, a saint of God. Baba Farid was buried outside the town of Pak Pattan at a place called Martyr's Grave. His torch of Sufi thoughts was carried by his successor and subsequently several others such as Bhagat Kabir, Guru Nanak, etc. who were influenced by the teachings of the great Saint. Guru Nanak’s contemporary was Baba Sheikh Farid Sani, or the second Sheikh Farid, 6th in succession of Baba Farid Shaikh Shakarganj. Thus, Baba Sheikh Farid Shakarganj can be truly called the founder of Punjabi literature, making Punjabi literature older than Hindi, Urdu, etc. It was much after Baba Farid's use of Punjabi that Tulsidas, Mira Bai, etc started using Hindi as the language for writing religious literature. Baba Sheikh Farid can truly be called the founder of the Punjabi literary tradition.
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  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jul 14, 2007
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    Asa-Di-Vaar – the Baba Sheikh Farid connection

    June 13, 2006 at 11:55 am (Sikhi)

    Selected from a Katha by Sant Baba Hardev Singh Lulowale
    Kenya Tour, 11-18 June 2006
    Asa-Di-Vaar – means “A ballad of hope”; it is one of the basic sacred compositions for the Sikhs and is sung every morning in congregation in Gurduwaras. The Vaar is an heroic ode which describes the brave deeds of a hero. It is generally sung to inspire armies going to battle or to inspire people with martial spirit. Asa-Di-Vaar is normally sung in the Assa raga. It consists of 24 stanzas (Pauris) and 44 Staves (Salokas) and was originated by Guru Nanak later, Guru Angad added another 15 staves of his own. In congregation, the musicians sing this var along with Chhants (quatrains) of Guru Ramdas. The stanzas express the ideas in general, while the staves clarify them by example and detail. Social and religious issues are then related, to ordinary life.
    Asa-Di-Vaar does not tell a story, its theme is: “How to become a spiritual person”. In it, Guru Nanak also warns us against the rituals and tricks of priests and monks (and of course, not leaving out the self-professed holy men of today). The most important thing is how to build up one’s character and how to remove the obstacles that lay in the path of a disciple, the most important of which is the ego, selfishness or conceit. Even holy persons, who are outwardly very good and kind, often suffer from religious pride. Sometimes so-called religious people, commit heinous crimes through self-righteousness and bigotry. It should be remembered that ego in its pure essence is self-awareness or identity which when regulated is an essential, for it is the basis of one’s character or moral nature. When regulated by right motivation and active service, it is positive and beneficial. But if uncontrolled through self pride of position or riches, it becomes selfish and mean. The effects of the Ego are particularly contemptible and disastrous when disguised by the apparent holiness or tradition, which exploits ordinary people’s ignorance and credulity. The practice of humility and love are the most effective qualities for keeping people away from sin, far better than all recitations and rituals of religion.
    Guru Nanak Dev Ji, as it is also with the other contributing Gurus, whose Divine Hymns fill Guru Granth Sahib Ji, revealed and recorded Gurbani according to the incidents that took place around them, according to the question raised, and according to the message that was of need. Thus, the Guru never rarely revealed Gurbani in one place. Guru Nanak Dev Ji composed the first nine Sloks in Multan (in today’s Pakistan) at the grave of Baba Sheikh Farid. Every year, there are huge religious melas in the town where Sheikh Farid’s grave is. Once, when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was in Sultanpur, Bhai Mardana made a benti to GuruJi to take him to the mela. GuruJi said, ‘O Mardana, prepare for a journey, and if you accompany me, I’ll show you more melas in the world than just the one at Multan. There is a Gurudwara there today, about half a mile from the grave of Sheikh Farid, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji sat with Bhai Mardana.
    At the point of the grave, which is at a vantage point, one can clearly see the mela beneath that point. GuruJi and Mardana spent the night at the grave and at Amritvela, Bhai Mardana [because he was from the Islam faith] beseeched the Guru, ‘O Satguru! If you do not intend to witness the mela, please allow me to offer my respects. GuruJi lovingly said, ‘Mardaneya, tu kirtan kar. Rabaab khol.’ GuruJi continued, ‘Let’s sing the Praises of the Lord, and wait and witness the mela and pirs come right to where we are.’ It’s a point to note that if the strings of the Rabaab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji ever struck, it was at the grave of Baba Sheikh Farid. Though Guru Nanak Dev Ji began reciting and revealing Bani at the age of 6, the first time GuruJi and Bhai Mardana performed Kirtan was right there – at the grave of Sheikh Farid.
    Imagine the bliss of the divine tunes stringing from Bhai Mardana’s Rabaab with Guru Nanak Dev Ji himself singing Gurbani. That is the time Guru Nanak Dev Ji penned the first Slok which is recorded in Guru Granth Sahib Ji:
    aapae pattee kalam aap oupar laekh bhI thoo(n)
    You Yourself are the writing tablet, and You Yourself are the pen. You are also what is written on it.
    eaeko keheeai naanakaa dhoojaa kaahae koo
    Speak of the One Lord, O Nanak; how could there be any other?
    - Guru Nanak Dev Ji, SGGS 1291​
    This is where Guru Nanak Dev Ji sung those Divine Words – at the grave of Sheikh Farid. When the Divine Kirtan echoed all around during the Ambrosial hours, it is said that the air turned calm. According to the Janam Sakhis, even birds began listening to the Divine Music.
    At that time, Sheikh Farid’s grandson, Sheikh Ibrahim, was one of the spiritual leaders present aat the mela at that time. And it is from Sheikh Ibrahim that Guru Nanak Dev Ji sourced the writings of Baba Sheikh Farid which are today preserved in the contents of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Some of the fakirs from the mela who were wandering outside, the sounds of Guru Nanak’s kirtan filled their ears through the early morning fog. The fakirs were irked as the singing of kirtan is not permitted when the Muslims are in prayer – an injuction of Hazrat Mohammad Sahib – which is why Muslims perform their namaaz in silence.
    When the fakirs reached the point where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was seated with Bhai Mardana, entraptured in singing of Divine Kirtan, they could do little to complain owing to the biting cold temperatures. The warmth of the rising light of Divine Bliss prompted the Muslim fakirs to listen to the hymns of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. But when they heard one of the Sloks being sung by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, they were disturbed as it contradicted what they believed. They left forthwith to complain to their Pir and lamented that that particular mela would be in vain as a {censored word, do not repeat.} atop had dared sing Kirtan at a time when they was to be none of it. But a fact os note is that besides their complaint, they Muslim fakirs also presented their positive feelings and what was worthy of praise. They remarked that a Hindu {censored word, do not repeat.} was singing Kirtan in the company of a Muslim rabaabi, and said to their Pir, ‘Though he (Nanak) was singing hymns in direct challenge to our beliefs, but our ears thirsted to hear to what he was singing, and we wished to remain seated there!’
    They continued to praise what they witnessed, ‘His being was engulfed in bliss and what he was singing was sweet.’ On hearing the fakirs, Sheikh Ibrahim arose and headed for where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was reported to have been seated singing Kirtan. As Sheikh Ibrahim trekked to the point, the entire mela followed behind him. Upon getting to the point where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was, everyone sat down. The wiser ones bowed their heads down in reverence while the grumbling exhibited their contempt. This is the point in history where Asa-Di-Vaar begun to be composed – at the grave of Baba Sheikh Farid. As the questions were posed, Guru Nanak Dev Ji answered in hymns of the Divine, which now form the first 9 Sloks of Asa-D-Vaar.

    (Source: The Inner Journey)

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