Bhai Gopaala

Guru Hargobind having been remained busy in skirmishes and battles and could not avail of the time to write Divine Words. But he had great respect reverence for the Gurbani. He always listened to the recitation of the Divine Poetry with great love.

One day he was addressing the congregation after the completion of the recitation of the ‘Asa Di Var'.

He was telling about the importance of the correct pronunciation of the Gurbani.

He said, 'Correct pronunciation of the holy Gurbani makes man's mind pure and blissful and he also achieves the sublime goal. He who recites Gurbani clearly, receives the blessings of the Guru also.'

Then the Guru said, 'Is there any Sikh among you who can recite Baani of Japji Sahib decently and chastely.'

For some time there prevailed a complete silence in the Darbar. No Sikh dared to claim that he could recite the Japji Sahib clearly.

Then Bhai Gupaala got up and said, 'I do not claim that I can recite it correctly, but I will try my best to do so. All know that on whom you bestow your grace, can recite the Gurbani fluently.'

The Guru asked him to recite Japji Sahib. At that time the Guru was sitting on his bed near the pillow.

Bhai Gupaala recited Japji Sahib with such a concentration and love that an atmosphere of blessedness prevailed there.

The Guru himself was so fascinated that he began to slip from pillow towards the feet side. The Guru was thinking that if Bhai Gupaala would complete the recitation of Jap ji Sahib with such grace and concentration, he should offer Gurgaddi to him.

But when Bhai Gupaala recited more than thirty paurees of Japji sahib he lost his concentration and his mind drifted towards the worldly ambitions.

He began to think that if he completed the recitation of Japji Sahib correctly than Guru would ask him, 'Bhai Gupaala you have recited the Japji Sahib with excellent concentration, I am very pleased to hear it, now ask what you want. At that time I should request the Guru to give me that Arabi horse which Subhaga has presented to the Guru.'

In such deliberations, Bhai Gupaala completed the last ‘Salok' of Japji Sahib.

The Guru who had slipped towards the feet side of his bed again moved towards the head side and said, 'When Bhai Gupaala started the recitation of Japji Sahib, he placed his mind in the feet of the God. At that time he had become one with God. Then it came in my mind that I should offer Gurgaddi to him. But when he was reciting the last Pauries, he lost his concentration and his mind shifted towards worldly affairs. His inner soul was revolving round the Arabi horse that Subhaga had presented to me. Now we are very pleased to gift that horse to Bhai Gupaala.'

Then addressing Bhai Gupaala the Guru said, 'If you had recited the Gurbani in the same Divine concentration throughout you would have become a right choice for the Gurgaddi. But instead of uniting yourself with God, your mind was wandering in search of worldly things. You had longed for a horse and now that horse I give you with great pleasure.'

Bhai Gupaala approved the words of the Guru and said, 'My Lord! You are intuitive. You know the minds of all. We common people can't compare our self or place our self at the level of saints. There are very few people in this world who have got rid themselves of lust, money, ego, greed and wrath.'

But the Guru said, 'You must not consider yourself an ordinary man. In the house of Guru, whoever recites the Gurbani from the core of his heart, is a true saint. When you are reciting the Gurbani or contemplating on the Name of God, never think about the worldly affairs. But strictly concentrate your mind. This concentration can be achieved only by hard practice.'

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