Service to the Guru: Guru Amar das JI

There wepe many occasions where Bhai Amardas proved his selflessness and devotion to his Guru. One such incident occured when a very wealthy devotee of Guru Angad came to pay his respects. At the meeting, the visitor presented him with a dress which was made of a very fine material. At that time, Guru Angad had developed a sore in his foot, which was bleeding. While Guru Angad was

admiring the dress, a drop of blood happened to stain the cloth. The Guru then asked Bhai Amardas to take it to the washerman and have it cleaned.

When the washerman* saw the blood stain, he refused to wash it saying that washing would ruin the delicate cloth. When Bhai Amardas heard this he was really annoyed, as he knew that Guru Angad had indeed taken a liking to that dress. Not knowing any other way, he washed away the blood stain from the dress himself, without any sense of disgust . When it was cleaned, he brought it back to Guru Angad. The Guru who had observed the whole incident was really touched by his humble and selfless act. At this, Bhai Amardas humbly folded his hands and said that by cleaning the cloth of its stain, his mind too had been washed clean of all the impurities. Hearing this, Guru Angad blessed Bhai Amardas.

Blessings of Guru Angad

In fact, there were many incidents like this that had helped Guru Angad make up his mind about who his real successor would be.

He had often put his various disciples to test and each time Bhai Amardas surpassed everyone in his service, devotion and humility. Guru Angad became more and more convinced that Bhai Amardas was indeed the right choice for a Guru. However, the test that finally made the choice clear to all was conducted by the Guru, one stormy night.

It was a terrifying night since the wind was blowing wildly and the rain was pouring heavily. No one dared to venture out in such a weather, when thunder and lightening seemed to wreck havoc everywhere. Around this time, Guru Angad asked for some water> He called out to his sons, but none of thqi£ heard him. He called out again but they pretended not to hear. The Guru then shook them and woke them up. He asked for either one of them to get him some water to drink.

After the sons got up grumbling about being woken up at an unseemly hour, they found that there was no water in the house.

They informed their father about it and were about to get back to bed, when Guru Angad asked them to get the water from the river.

The sons almost fell off the bed and expressed their horror at being asked to venture out on a night like this! But the Guru persisted, saying that his throat was dry. The sons refused and went back to bed.

Bhai Amardas, who had been watching

the whole incident, came forward and sought permission from the Guru to fetch the water for him. But Guru Angad refused, saying that he was too old for such a work and he would not allow him to go. But Bhai Amardas would not hear of it, and begged permission to go.

And then, touching Guru Angad’s feet, he set out to fetch some water. He placed the pitcher on his head and walked towards the river.

It was a dark and rainy night and the wind was blowing furiously. Bhai Amardas kept reciting the holy hymns and quickly filled the pitcher on reaching the river. It was so dark that night that Bhai Amardas could not find his way back to the Guru’s house. And yet, he moved on while groping in the dark.

On the way, he happened to pass by a weaver’s house. He could see nothing in the dark, and suddenly, his foot hit against a peg and he fell into the hole in the weaver’s loom.

He was hurt by the fall. On hearing the thud,the weaver’s wife woke up and came out with a lamp to check what it was. When she saw Bhai Amardas, she immediately

recognised him and in a grumbling tone remarked that only Guru Angad could be so insensitive as to send one of his very old disciples out for water on a night like this.

This remark angered Bhai Amardas. He would have calmly heard any complaint made against him, but he could not bear to hear anything said against the Guru. He

immediately retorted that she must really be out of her mind to speak ill of the Guru.

Saying this, he went on his way with his pitcher full of water.

When Guru Angad came to know of this incident, he called Bhai Amardas to his side and embraced him. He then openly declared that he was nominating Amardas as his successor. He declared that nobody had all the virtues that were expected of a Guru, except Amaraas. He said that only this devotee possessed the qualities of devcftJten^ humility and selfess service that made him worthy of becoming the next Guru. He praised the new Guru for the service he had rendered him, and acknowledged it by conferring the robe of honour, known as ‘Saropa’ on him. The Guru then blessed his disciple and

proclaimed that henceforth, Bhai Amardas would be the home for the homeless, the strength for the. weak. He would be the new spiritual leader of the Sikhs.

Non-Violence

Once there were no rains. The crops withered and the tanks went dry. The zamindars of Khadur approached a bairagi who claimed to have occult powers to bring rains. The bairagi took this opportunity to get rid of his rival, Guru Angad. He agreed to perform only on condition that the Guru should be asked to leave the village. Guru AngaH left Khadur immediately.

The bairagi performed the rituals but it did not rain. At that time Bhai Amardas was not in Khadur. When Amardas came to know about the incident he was beyond himself with rage. He agreed to help the zamindar on the condition that if he was successful in his mission then the bairagi should be treated with slaps, shoes, and buffets, and thrown out of the village. The villagers agreed. Bhai Amardas prayed to God, and rain fell cooling the heated earth. The zamindars carried out their promise.

Then they went to Guru Angad asking for forgiveness and begged him to return to Khadur. Guru Angad was very unhappy with Bhai Amardas for using his miraculous powers. Such powers according to him interven in the will of God.

Bhai Amardas repented his deed and

asked for pardon. He then promised not to use violent means henceforth. The Guru granted pardon, and returned to Khadur.