By now even the villagers had realised their folly. They requested Amardas to go to Guru Angad and plead with him on their behalf, to return to Khadur. At Amardas’s sincere request Guru Angad agreed to come back to Khadur, and he also brought the rains with him.
When this was announced, huge crowds came to cheer him and make him various offerings. Guru Angad Dev started giving discourses, singing of hymns and a free kitchen (langar) for pilgrims and wayfarers, just as it used to be in Guru Nanak’s time.
As Guru Angad’s fame reached far and wide, people started coming from far-off places to be cured by him. This was especially so with lepers who came to be healed by the Guru’s ministrations, and on being cured returned singing the Guru’s hymns.
Guru Angad Dev had addressed himself to the task of consolidating the Sikhs and their faith. But the task was not an easy one. The most serious challenge was posed by Sri Chand, the eldest son of Guru Nanak. He was not ambitious, but there were a handful of followers who believed that he was the rightful heir to the Guru’s throne. That is how under Sri Chand a separate sect was founded, thereby causing a schism among the followers of Nanak.
Notwithstanding these problems, the Guru started his work of consolidation and propagation of the Sikh faith. He taught Guru Nanak’s teachings by setting up his own example. He lived his Guru’s tenets by regulating his life around discipline and service.
He emphasised the qualities of humility, forgiveness and selfless service among his Sikhs, since these were the principal tenets of Sikh religion. He could not tolerate arrogance, and always believed that pride comes before a fall. God had his own ways of punishing or humbling a proud man. One such proud Sikh was Manu who used to work in Guru’s kitchen. He was a good cook and the Guru used to really enjoy the food cooked by him. This made him so vain that he would refuse to serve anyone but the Guru.
One day, a group of Sikhs arrived at the langar, at what seemed to Manu a really odd time. When they asked to be served, he refused saying that he served no one but the Guru. When Guru Angad heard this he was very angry at Manu and told him to go and burn himself on a pyre. Manu was in a fix but he had no choice but to obey the Guru’s orders. He went to the jungle and began collecting wood for the pyre, while criticising the Guru at the same time. At this point, a robber happened to pass by and asked Manu why he was making the pyre. When Manu narrated the whole incident the robber was so moved that he decided to sacrifice his life for Manu’s. He handed over his pot full of ornaments and precious stones to Manu, and sat on the pyre himself. Unable to believe his good fortune, Manu rushed to town to sell the booty. But he had just reached the market, when he was arrested by the police for robbery, and later put to death.
The headman of the Khahira Jats in
Khadur was also a very proud man who would flaunt his wealth, and showed no respect for Guru Angad or the Sikh religion.
He would often scoff at the Sikhs and the teachings of Guru Angad. What’s more, his young son had taken after his father.
However, his health soon began to fail and he got attacks of epilepsy. His condition worsened and before long, he was completely bed-ridden. Seeing this, his father panicked and took him to the local ascetic to cure him.
The ‘tapa’ tried various remedies but nothing could cure the ailing boy. His condition soon deteriorated to such an extent that he was expected to die. At this point, someone suggested that he be taken to Guru Angad, who was reputed to have great healing powers. Though the headman had never believed in Guru Angad, he decided to take his son to the Guru as a last resort.
When the Guru saw the boy, he told him to abstain completely from liquor and to regularly repeat God’s name. He also asked him to serve holy men and take their blessings. The boy followed Guru Angad’s instructions carefully and within no time his health improved, and he got better. However, after he had completely recovered he stopped following the Guru’s instruction. Both the father and son resumed drinking.
Once while sitting on the terrace, he got an attack of epilepsy, lost control, fell over the parapet and died. The father again went to Guru Angad and begged him to revive his only son. But the Guru merely shrugged this time and said that it was all God’s doing and his will alone.
Though Guru Angad disliked pride in a person, he was also very forgiving by nature.
He forgave those who did something wrong but later realised their mistake. This is what happened with his two main musicians — Satta and Balwand. These two were Guru Angad’ s particular favourites, and they had the privilege of being the lead singers every morning, during the prayer. All this attention made them very proud and arrogant.
Gradually, they even began to believe that it was only because of their talent and efforts that Guru Angad had become so popular.
They used to brag and boast, and even speak ill of the Guru.
When Manyu Sikha complained to the
Guru that they did not enjoy the morning prayers because of the proud musicians, Guru Angad asked them to leave his service. He also told his devotees that they were to have nothing to do with those two proud men. He had also announced that whoever spoke about the two men in his presence would have his face blackened, then be mounted on a donkey and taken around town.
When Satta and Balwand hea rd of Guru’s verdict, they scoffed and boasted that if they did not sing and play at the prayers, nobody would come to the Guru anymore. They began holding musical sessions in their own houses, and were convinced that everyone would now gather at their place to listen to their music.
But they were in for a shock when they saw that no one came to them. And they were even more shocked to find Guru Angad’s Sikhs singing hymns on their own very well. They now realised their mistake and wanted someone to speak to Guru Angad on their behalf. None of the Sikhs in Kartarpur agreed to speak for them. They felt really dejected.
Finally, they decided to go to Bhai Ladha, a very loyal Sikh whom the Guru really liked and respected. Bhai Ladha, who was wellaware of the fault of these two men, wanted to give them one more chance. Being a true Sikh, his heart was merciful and allforgiving. He was also aware of Guru’s declaration. So, he had his face blackened, and then mounting on a donkey, he rode all over the town before presenting himself to the Guru and speaking on behalf of the two men.
Guru Angad was so touched by Bhai Ladha’s selfless act that he immediately forgave the two men and accepted them back into the Sikh community.
In fact, it was Guru’s patience, devotion and humility that won him more and more devotees everyday. He preached that humility was the highest virtue of all, he was also the epitome of humility himself. This is what made many a proud man humble. One such person was a yogi named Daya Nath,who felt that no other philosophy surpassed that of Yoga.
A few years ago a senior yogi of Batala had been defeated by Guru Nanak in a religious debate, but Daya Nath would not accept the superiority of any other philosophy. He sought Guru Nanak’s successor, and on meeting Guru Angad challenged him to a debate. He claimed that a man could become pure only if he practised certain rituals, certain excercises and above all, if he practised meditation. But Guru Angad believed that such things did not matter too much as long as he lived a clean and healthy life. He explained to Daya Nath that Guru Nanak had always said that religious life and everyday life were in no way different. He had taught that a man could reach God through humility and virtue. He told Daya Nath that love and consideration for all living beings brought man close to God, and this is what Guru Nanak had always emphasised. Daya Nath had by now realised the wisdom and truth of G.uru Angad’s words, and also why the Sikhs were so devoted to their Gurus and their teachings. But he was too proud to admit it.
Being senior in age, he asked Guru Angad if he could do anything for him. At this, Guru Angad humbly asked Daya Nath to bless him.
The yogi thought that this Guru was definitely a real man of God as he was asking an ordinary yogi like him to bless him. He realised that it was humility which made him such a successful spiritual leader. He also realised that it was this virtue of humility that he lacked so much. He then fell at the Guru’s feet and asked his forgiveness. Guru Angad than blessed him, and Daya Nath returned to Batala, a humble and a much wiser man.