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Sakhi Bhai Deepa Ji : The Sikh of Sri Guru Arjan Dev 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. Have you ever wondered what the Sikhs were like at the time of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji? This Sakhi beautifully demonstrates how humble and inspirational Guru Ji's Sikhs were, such that Guru Sahib called their Sikhs as 'Deepak' (a lamp) who would ignite the flame of Sikhi in whoever they met. Bhai Gurdas Ji has mentioned Bhai Deepa Ji in their 11th Vaar saying "ਦੀਪਕੁ ਦੀਪਾ ਕਾਸਰਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬੰਦਾ ।" (An obedient Sikh named Bhai Deepa Kaasra was a lamp at the door of the Guru.) Bhai Mani Singh Ji now further opens what the lifestyle of Bhai Deepa Ji was like:


ਸਾਖੀ ਹੋਰ ਚਲੀ ਭਾਈ ਦੀਪਾ ਕਾਸਰਾ॥ ਭਾਈ ਦੀਪਾ ਕਾਸਰਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੇ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਟਹਿਲ ਕਰੇ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਸਿਖ ਦਰਸਨਿ ਨੂੰ ਆਵਨਿ ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਨਿ ਛਤੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਉਤਮ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦੁ ਕਰਿਕੈ ਛਕਾਵੈ ਤੇ ਆਪ ਓਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਜੂਠ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਖਾਵੈ ਤੇ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦੇ ਪੈਰ ਝਾਵੇਂ ਨਾਲ ਗਰਮ ਪਾਣੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਧੋਵੈ ਤੇ ਥੱਕੇ ਸਿਖ ਨੂੰ ਚਾਂਪੀ ਕਰੈ ਤੇ ਨੰਗੇ ਨੂੰ ਚੁੱਪ ਕੀਤਾ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਉਪਰਿ ਪਾਇ ਜਾਵੈ, ਤੇ ਸਬਦ ਦੀ ਚਰਚਾ ਕਰੈ। ਬਚਨੁ ਹੋਇਆ ਜੈਸੇ ਦੀਪਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸੇ ਹੋਏ ਸੇ ਹੋਰੁ ਦੀਪਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸਤੇ ਹੈਨਿ ਤੇ ਅੰਧਕਾਰ ਦੂਰ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੈਸੇ ਮੈਂ ਭਾਈ ਦੀਪੇ ਨੂੰ ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਦੀਪਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲੇਗਾ ਓਸ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸੇਗਾ॥੫੪॥ - ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਭਗਤਮਾਲਾ


Bhai Deepa Kaasra Ji would forever remain in the presence of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and perform Guru Ji's Seva. Whenever Sikhs from far and near would arrive at Guru Ji's Darbar for Darshan, Bhai Sahib would prepare the 36 types of ambrosial food (i.e. all varieties of foods) and feed them. Such was Bhai Sahib's humility that he would eat the leftovers of the Sangat (recognising the food as blessed). Bhai Sahib would take the dirt off the feet of the Sikhs and wash them with warm water. Those Sikhs who were exhausted (from travelling or performing Seva), Bhai Sahib would massage their legs. Those who were without clothes, Bhai Sahib would cover them without saying a word (i.e. Bhai Sahib did this Seva gupt without wanting any recognition or praise from anyone. Bhai Sahib wouldn't wait for those without clothes to ask for some, he would offer them clothes as soon as he saw them). Alongside doing this Seva, Bhai Sahib would do Veechar on Gurbani with those Sikhs (rather than spending time in idle talk). Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji said, "In the same way that a lamp/candle lights another lamp and eradicates darkness, in the same manner, I have enlightened Bhai Deepa's mind with the light of divine wisdom, now whoever meets him will also be enlightened with the same light of divine knowledge." - Sikhan Di Bhagatmala


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