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Sakhi : Bhai Bala Ji, Bhai Kishna Ji (Translation from Sikhan Di Bhagatmala)


This Sakhi is written in ‘Sikhan Di Bhagat Mala’, an eighteenth-century text originating from the Giani Sampardha of Bhai Mani Singh Ji Shaheed. This text contains Sakhis of the Sikhs of Guru Nanak Dev Ji – Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji as recounted by Bhai Mani Singh Ji Shaheed to the Sangat, based on the names of Sikhs in Bhai Gurdas Ji’s 11th Vaar. In the following Sakhi the concept of ‘practice what you preach’ is expanded upon. Merely explaining knowledge to others cannot give us peace, if we do not follow the teachings ourselves. As Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says in Raag Aasa, ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਨੁ ਪਰਬੋਧੈ ਅਪਨਾ ਪਾਛੈ ਅਵਰ ਰੀਝਾਵੈ ॥ (First instruct your own mind, and then lead others – Ang 381). Guru Sahib Ji gives this very Updesh to Bhai Bala Ji and Bhai Kishna Ji in the following Sakhi:


ਸਾਖੀ ਹੋਰ ਚਲੀ ॥ ਬਾਲਾ ਤੇ ਕਿਸ਼ਨਾ ਦੋਵੇਂ ਝਿੰਗਰਣ ਜਾਤ ਦੇ ਹੈਸਨਿ ਤੇ ਬੜੇ ਪੰਡਤ ਹੈਸਨਿ ਤੇ ਸਭਾ ਦੇ ਰੀਝਾਵਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਹੈਸਨਿ। ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਜਵੀਂ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ਦੇ ਹਜੂਰ ਆਏ, ਜੋ ਜੀ ਅਸੀਂ ਖਟ ਸ਼ਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਤੇ ਅਠਾਰਾਂ ਪੁਰਾਣਾਂ ਦੇ ਵਕਤੇ ਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਰੀਝਾਂਵਦੇ ਭੀ ਹਾਂ, ਪਰੁ ਅਸਾਡੇ ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਸ਼ਾਂਤਿ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਂਵਦੀ। ਤਾਂ ਬਚਨੁ ਹੋਆ: ਜੈਸੇ ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਸੁਣਾਵਣ ਦੀ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਕਰਦੇ ਹੋ ਤੈਸੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਭੀ ਸਮਝਾਵਹੁ, ਤਾਂ ਤੁਸਾਡਾ ਤੁਰਤ ਕਲਿਆਣ ਹੋਵੈ, ਤੇ ਸ਼ਾਂਤਿ ਨੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੋਗੇ। ਤਾਂ ਓਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਜਬ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ਤਾਂ ਸ਼ਾਂਤਿ ਓਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਈ। ਇਸ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਓਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਕਲਿਆਣੁ ਹੋਆ ॥੩੫॥ - ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਭਗਤਮਾਲਾ


‘Bhai Bala and Bhai Kishna were both of the Jhingran (Khatri) background, who were very knowledgeable Pandits (scholars with knowledge of many different Scriptures). Their explanation of the Scriptures was such that all those who would sit in the Sabha (congregation) and listen to them would be highly pleased and impressed. They both arrived in the presence of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and said, "Guru Ji! We are orators of the six Shastras (six systems of philosophy) and eighteen Puranas. Everyone is elated when they hear our explanation on these scriptures, but we experience no happiness or peace of mind ourselves." Guru Ji said, "In the manner that you use your knowledge to explain (the path of spirituality) to others, you must also explain to your own minds to follow that path which is being described in the Scriptures. If you do so (i.e. if you practice what you preach) then you shall quickly attain liberation and achieve a state of peace.” When Bhai Bala and Bhai Kishna instructed their minds* they finally felt peace. Following the instructions of Guru Sahib, they were liberated.’ – Sikhan Di Bhagatmala


*I.e. they started to follow the path which they were preaching to others, meaning they started to stay away from the vices, controlling the senses and quietening the thoughts of the mind.

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