Poetic Appreciation of

Guru Amar Das

By Jaswinder Singh Chadha

Punjab was blessed again
another Guru was born
Tej and Sulakhani of Baasarkay
were blessed with a son

Amardas was born in Baasarkay
and in Baasarkay he grew
the years of life in the village
rolled on before he knew

he married Mansa Devi
when he was twenty four
and kept living at Baasarkay
for several years more

the couple had four children
two sons and two daughters
and like everyone around
kept busy in worldly matters

Amar was a pious person
who didn't go on pilgrimage
he first visited Hardwar
at forty two years of age

later he will go every year
one year he met a stranger
a friendly type of a holy man
who was annoyed at Amar

the man called him 'Nigurra'
who was wasting this life
Amar must find himself a Guru
to end his mental strife

the stranger's word 'Nigurra'
kept ringing in his ear
he looked around for a Guru
his goal was getting clear

he had a niece called Amro
Amar often heard her sing
compositions of Guru Nanak
melodious and compelling

the gist of one such hymn
stressed the role of a Guru
Amardas could see the light
and he yearned for a Guru

Lehnaji, Amro's dear father
had now become Guru Angad
Guru Nanak had made him
the Guru to guide the sangat

Amar met Guru Angad
and saw in him his shining star
he had found himself a Guru
his search was finally over

Amar began a newer life
it was full of love and devotion
there was work here and worship
and service was a passion

he brought water for the Guru
leaving early in the morn
he fetched it from the river
and returned before the dawn

he carried it to Khadoor
made a bath for Guru Angad
later he joined the prayers
and helped in jobs for sangat

he will fetch more water
and help in scrubbing the floors
devote the day to learning
whilst fitting in endless chores

Then in the evening hours
after the "Sodar path"
Amar helped the Guru again
with the evening bath

before finishing his day
he helped the Guru to bed
he will then walk back
to Goindwaal for rest

in the year fifteen fifty two
Amardas was made the Guru
the honour came to him
when he was seventy two

the Sikh sangats rejoiced
but Guru Angad's son Datu
was angry and he kicked
Amardas the erstwhile Guru

Datu called himself the Guru
Amar stayed out of his way
but the Sikhs didn't accept him
till Datu called it a day

the Guru was in Kurkushetra
on festival of solar eclipse
he taught against the rituals
in which the people slip

the Sikhs were often bothered
when they went to wells for water
they were pelted with stones
for flouting the caste order

the Guru encouraged the Sikhs
to dig the wells of their own
Baoli Sahib was dug by them
in eighty four steps of stone

it took three years to finish
and it stands to this day
a tribute to the Guru and Sikhs
who laboured all the way

the tradition of the langar
was upheld in Amardas's time
the Sikh sangat dined together
like a brotherhood sublime

Raja of Haripur of Kangra hills
even the great Mughal Akbar
sat with the common folks
and ate Guru ka langer

Akbar made an offer of land
but it was politely refused
funds must come from Sikhs
Sikh sources alone were used

when it came to a successor
there were two contenders
Guru's sons-in-law, Rama the elder
and Jetha, he was younger

the two sons-in-law of the Guru
were assigned to built a stage
they began the job and finished it
but failed to please the Sage

they had another go at it
but were once again rejected
Rama gave up after four attempts
but Jetha wasn't dejected

after seven attempts at it
it was approved by the Guru
Jetha had passed the final test
his devotion was really true

Guru Amardas honoured him
and Jetha was made the Guru
the choice pleased everyone
the honour was deserved and due

Guru Amardas died in 1573
at the age of ninety four
he had nurtured the tree of Sikhism
the tree had blossomed forth



Homeless Amaru

Amardas was old
he was well over sixty
but his love for the Guru
was intense and lofty

every morning he brought
water for the Guruís bath
fresh water from Ravi
via an accustomed path

rain never deterred him
nor did the winter cold
rugged path didnít matter
no obstacle could hold

it was a pitch dark night
the weather was atrocious
Amardas lost his way
inspite of being cautious

the walkway took him
along some weavers huts
strewn with obstacles
their professional butts

in the darkness of night
he hit against a boulder
he fell down but saved
the pitcher on his shoulder

in the stillness of night
the sound of a fall
was heard by the weaver
against his outer wall

the kind man murmured
who could be there
hurting himself
in such dreadful scare

his wife then blurted,
she was really vicious
it must be mad Amaru
that homeless curse

Amardas stood up
with his pale of water
hearing the woman
he happened to utter

Amar serves his Guru
happily and glad
she is the crazy one
who calls him mad

next morning a weaver
came to Guru Angad
brought his crazy wife
to the astonished sangat

the episode of the night
was described to the Guru
how she had turned mad
after cursing Amaru

Guru Angad blessed her
she was normal again
she begged forgiveness
she had gone insane

Guru Angad declared
Amardas was blessed
as a home for homeless
and hope for the distressed

London, 1996.

A Vicious Tappa

As Guru Angad came
to settle at Khadoor
the fate of yogi Tappa
took a turn for worse

he was being ignored
people flocked to Angad
Tappaís pride was hurt
his income dwindled

Tappa spoke viciously
of the revered Guru
he advised the folks
the Guru wasnít true

it was a hot summer
and no rains arrived
the land was parched
and some cattle died

a famine loomed ahead
there was panic and fear
the Jats wanted rain
and offered the prayers

Tappa advised the Jats
to throw the Guru away
as he was the cause
of the accursed days

Angad was approached
to make the rain
the Guru maintained
it was Godís domain

the Jats of Khadoor
threw the Guru out
asked him to stay away
from the villages about

they turned toTappa
to make the rain
he tried many tricks
but were all in vain

Tappa feared for life
having failed the job
the Jats were furious
like a frenzied mob

Amar came to Khadoor
looked for Guru Angad
he couldnít find the Guru
he found no sangat

Guru Angad had left
at Tappaís behest
Amardas was annoyed
and was very upset

Amar advised the Jats
that Tappa was fake
drag him to your fields
the draught shall break

every field you take him
till the sunset hour
shall be drenched in rain
the heavenly shower

they dragged the man
covering every field
the rain poured forth
Tappaís fate was sealed

tired and bedraggled
he succumbed to the strain
it rained in plenty
but Tappa was gone

the revered Guru Angad
advised Amardas
the rain is upto God
one shouldnít trespass

as to yogi Tappa
the Sikhs must behave
even to the vicious
be forgiving and suave


Leave it to God

Guru Amardasís fame
scaled still higher
but he had to face
a jealous empire

khatris were jealous
and there were sheikhs
they didnít like the Sikhs
and resorted to hate

the two groups joined
to bother the Sikhs
they often tried
some hurtful tricks

their boys will taunt
pelt the Sikhs with stones
as they came for water
in the common zone

Sikh pitchers ruptured
but they wonít retaliate
the Guru advised them
to stay calm and sedate

the Sikhs switched
to using cotton sacks
but the attacks continued
from khatri and sheikhs

when their cotton sacks
were ripped by rowdies
the Guru still insisted
not to hurt anybody

the Sikhs switched
to pitchers of copper
but the attacks kept up
making life unbearable

a group of sanaiysis
travelled to see the Guru
sheikh youths pelted stones
and blinded a sadhu

the sanyasis were angry
and battered the youth
killing and maiming some
for behaving uncouth

they weren't deterred
the seasoned criminals
and often snatched
the Sikh belongings

a group of Pathans
sojourned in the town
they spent a night
as the weather frowned

the night was dark
there was howling wind
the dust made it worse
it was ideal for theft

the sheikh boys stole
the visitorís load
including a donkey
carrying ingots of gold

the theft was detected
by the angry Pathans
and they threatened
to burn the entire town

as they searched the town
they heard a donkey bray
the theif was uncovered
punishment was on the way

they beat the sheikh boys
and killed a few
the punishment had come
straight from the Blue

life became peaceful
around this town
the Sikhs were safe
and no longer frowned

the Sikhs sought advice
to tackle such a menace
the Guru advised them
complete forbearance

Guru Amardas added
that if the vicious men
sometimes keep on and on
three times in succession

then the God Himself
sends a punishment
that straightens the lot
and brings an end


London, 1996

Datuís Wrath

Amardasís Guruship
caused much concern
to the jealous Datu
Guru Angadís son

offerings mounted
also the Guruís respect
Datu found all this
difficult to digest

in a fit of annoyance
he came to Guru durbar
as he saw Guru Amardas
he fumed with anger

Datu kicked the Guru
hard from behind
but this vicious blow
the Guru didnít mind

the Guru stood up
and started to massage
the leg that hit
and injured the sage

politely the Guru
said to his assailant
that he was sorry
if Datu was hurt

Datu was fretting
he taunted the sage
"you arenít the master"
displaying his rage

Amardas collected
offerings to the Guru

loaded on a donkey and
gave them to Datu

the Guru thought it
better to go away
unannounced the Guru
moved to Baasarkay

he locked himself
in a closed room
and pasted a notice
on the door to view

anyone who will try
and open the door
shall suffer and has
trouble in store

back in Goindwaal
there was an uproar
Sikhs couldnít find
their Guru any more

after the search failed
they had a thought
Guru Amardasís mare
was forthwith brought

revered Baba Buddha
adorned the mare
and they followed it
any place, anywhere

the animal led them
to village Baasarkay
to the Guruís hut
with a notice on display

when the Sikhs read
the notice on the door
the joy and excitement
went through the floor

Baba Buddha thought
and he gave a call
they bored a hole and
entered through the wall

he entered the room
Guru Amardas was there
the Guru was intrigued
at the whole affair

the Guru came out
he wouldnít reprimand
for the door stayed shut
as was his command

the Guru met the Sikhs
he was overwhelmed
at the love displayed
by the Sikh sangat

together they returned
back to Goindwaal
leaving Basarkay
and a hole in the wall

-London, 1996.

Bibi Bhani

The nice Bibi Bhani,
Guru Amardasís daughter
was married to Jetha,
who became a Guru later

as a devoted Sikh
she served all around
she looked after the Guru
her devotion was sound

she got up every day
before the early dawn
and helped Guru Amardas
with his morning Ishnan

one morning, the Guru
was sitting on a stool
Bhani was helping him
with his bath as usual

one leg of the stool
appeared to be cracking
the Guru was seated there
as it was breaking

Bhani acted at once
put her foot underneath
balancing the seat
for the Guruís benefit

there was a bare nail
which was showing
it plunged into her foot
the blood started flowing

the Bibi was injured
but she kept at it
she got on with her job
till the bath was complete

as she took a towel
and the Guru was dried
the Guru could see
the blood on one side

when she explained
what had happened
he was overwhelmed
as he was saddened

the Guru asked her
if she had any desire
if she had a wish
to which she does aspire

she wanted Jetha
to become the next Guru
this was her prayer
to the revered Guru

she also prayed
that the Guruship stays
within the Sodhi family
for the future days

Bibi Bhaniís prayers
were accepted by the Guru
the future did witness
her wishes came true

London, 1995.



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