The experiences bestowed by Kanchi-Mahaswami — Part 50 : A different dimension, Jnani’s viewpoint
Author : Sri S.Gurumurthy
Translator : C.Rangarajan
Indian Express was supporting Operation Bluestar that was activated by Indira to finish off the terrorism in Punjab. Goenka did not have any other option but to support it. So was the support given by Indian magazines/newspapers/journals, despite the huge number of causalities. The overarching factor was National security. Everyone knew that the monster Bhindranwale was the handiwork of Sanjay. In the 1980s, when Congress came to power in the center, it dismissed the state government that was run by Akalis. It left a bitter taste in Sikhs. Bhindranwale used it to his advantage and created more division between the Hindus and the Sikhs. Akalidal did not have any other option but to tow his line. The terrorist had forced the Akalis to pass a resolution in the Ananthpur Gurudwara on the lines of sedition.
The world knew that Sanjay’s political ploy was instrumental behind the terrorism in Punjab and Sikh separatism. Kuldip Nayar had written about them extensively in his book and some excerpts were shared in the Thuglaq magazine(16th Sep 2020). The opposition parties understood the situation and did not blame Indira. All the important opposition parties including BJP had kept away their differences and supported the operation, wholeheartedly (but, today that kind of support to the government is not forthcoming). The Sikhs felt alienated.
Let me also share the view of a Jnani, Kanchi Mahaswami. Initially, it was a shock to me, later it created guilt in me and finally, a lesson too. Let me share it, here.
Study about the Guru Tej Bahadur’s Prana Tyag
After the completion of Operation Bluestar, Indira called Goenka and said that Bhindranwale was killed. She also thanked Goenka for the support. We were in Mumbai. Immediately, Goenka bought the sweets and distributed them in the office. On the one hand, Goenka was delighted that the operation was a successful one. On the other hand, the excesses that had happened during the operation started tumbling out. It gave jitters to Goenka. I got a call from Chennai and was requested by the Kanchi Mahaswami to visit Kanchipuram. The message came through my maternal uncle, Kannan, who was doing service at the Kanchi mutt. Goenka also said to me go and meet the Swami, immediately. When I reached Chennai, there was another message from the Swami to study the sacrifices of Guru Tej Bahadur. I have heard about it and searched for a book to read it fully. I read the book “Guru Tegh Bahadur — The Prophet — He Died for the oppressed” written by Gyani Brahma Singh Brahma. When I read the book in the background of Operation Bluestar, I wept profusely.
Sikhs, who protected our Dharma
I went to Kanchipuram and fell at the feet of the Mahaswami. Instantly, he had asked my views on the happenings in Punjab. I was perplexed. Won’t the Jnani know the answer by himself? Why did he ask me? I was 35 years old at that time. I responded by saying that something good has happened to the Nation. The monk replied that he doesn’t think so. It shook me out, completely. He asked me further, “Do you know that the Sikhs do not call women and cows? Even the terrorists did not misbehave with the women”. My head was spinning. Slowly, it dawned upon me on the angle that was coming in. Swami said, “without the Sikhs, our Dharma would have met his natural death in the north. They only protected our Dharma. Did you read their history”?
Have you been to Gurudwara Sis Ganj?
He asked whether I had been to Gurudwara Sis Ganj in Delhi. Yes, I said in a low voice. In that place, only the 9th guru sacrificed his life. He was killed by Aurangazeb. Can you narrate that story to all the assembled members, asked Mahaswami. I narrated it — The Kashmir brahmins were threatened by Aurangazeb to convert or would be brutally murdered. They reached out to the Guru and said, “Our tilaks on the forehead are erased, our sacred thread is cut off, we are forcefully converted and you have to save us from such acts” (The author Brahma Singh mentioned that 12,000 members were converted in a single day). Guru told the brahmins, “ Send a message to the muslim ruler. If they can convert the Guru to islam then all of you will also be converted” and blessed them.
The message reached Aurangazeb and he immediately ordered the Guru to come to Delhi. The Guru consulted his advisors. His son, Govind Rai (who became the 10th Guru, Guru Govind Singh) mentioned that only through a mega sacrifice we can stop such atrocities. The Guru had decided to go to Delhi and he was accompanied by three brahmin disciples, Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dayal Das & Bhai Sati Das. He was arrested and taken to the court of Aurangazeb. Aurangazeb cautioned the Guru, “Either you perform a miracle or become a muslim. Otherwise, your disciples will be tortured to death and finally you will also be killed”. The Guru kept quiet. They were imprisoned. The Guru foresaw his end and as per the tradition anointed his son as the 10th Guru by sending a coconut, 5 paise, and a Rudraksha Mala (The 10th Guru had formed the Khalsa army and fought against the muslim king).
We are hugely grateful to the Sikhs
I continued further, “Guru and the disciples refused to convert. His disciples were tortured:
- Bhai Mati Das was tied to a pole and vertically sawed-off
- Bhai Dayal Das’ hands were tied and thrown into boiling water
- Bhai Sati Das was burnt alive
Guru was in meditation and his head was cut by the muslims. His sacrifice had happened in Gurudwara Sis Ganj. His death created a huge storm and in that melee, his head was taken by his disciple and given to his son, the 10th Guru. His final rites were performed in Ananthpur. Another disciple hijacked his body to his house in Delhi and burnt the entire house. That place is known as Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, which is located closer to the parliament.
While narrating them, I broke down a few places. I was not able to present it in a cogent manner. Then the Mahaswami had asked to share the reason for his death that was inscribed on the walls of Gurudwara Sas Ganj by his son, the 10 Guru. Again, I hesitated and mentioned, “Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life to protect the Tilak, the sacred thread, and the Dharma. He sacrificed his life and gave his head as part of the sacrifice. He did not let his spiritual secrets”. The 15–20 people who were around us also wept. We all kept quiet. Now the Mahaswami asked me, “ Now, are you able to understand the debt that we owe to the Sikhs. We need to be grateful to them eternally. Instead, we had created deep wounds in them. This is not good for the country”. I almost lost my mental balance.
Light 3000 Moksha Deepa
The Mahaswami further said, “ What had happened is not a solution to the problem. It has deepened the problem further. You need to do two acts. Can you do it”? I said yes and Goenka is also eagerly waiting to fulfill your command. The Mahaswami pressed further, “ Firstly, you try to do as many things as possible to strengthen the relationship between the Sikhs & the Hindus. Secondly, try to tell as many people as possible and light Moksha Deepa in 3000 temples. Please pass on the message to RSS. They have huge respect for the Sikh people and love towards them. Take their help to light Moksha Deepams in the temples. Let them know that this request has come from me”. I accepted to do the mentioned requests and hesitated to understand the reason behind the Moksha Deepa.
He continued, “Moksha Deepa is lighted to provide Santhi to the departed. Even, if we do not alight the Deepa in other cases, it is mandatory to do that. The army had killed many highly Rajasic Sikh personalities. Their Jeeva will not get rested that easily and they will continue to create trouble. They will help to spread terrorism to many places. We should not allow that. Hence, we need to light Moksha Deepa”. It is a deeply spiritual matter and I might not have understood it fully. I returned to Chennai and briefed the due, RSS leader Suryanarayana Rao & Hindu Munnai Leader Ramagopalan. They took measures to light the Deepa in 1000s of temples. I & my friends did the same in the local temple at our place. To strengthen the relationship, I thought of inviting Kushwanth Singh for the Guru pooja in Chennai.
I was invited to a Sikh festival by my colleague, Harbhajan Singh. There, I did talk about the entire sequence of events. The Sikhs were also moved by the narration. I was able to understand the power of spirituality that goes beyond political leanings.
One question stood out but I did not have the guts to ask the Mahaswami. The government has told that 300+ people had died in Operation Bluestar. But, why we were asked to light 3000 Moksha Deepa. For that, I got the answer, later.