Bhagat Maalaa ~ Part II - Bhagat Angra Ji and Bhagat Bidar

"All night he sang the praises of the Lord, but you, all you do is slander others and listen to slander....

Introduction to the short stories

The short stories are a collection of stories taken from the Aadh Guru Granth Bhagat Mala, which have been translated into simple English. The purpose of translating these stories is to provide understanding and the significance of these stories when reciting Gurbaani.

The Sikh Gurus and other Bhagats within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji have made references to the various saints and disciples who existed at the time of the Hindu deities. By no means are these stories a form of praise or worship of the Hindu deities, but they are used as a reference to purely develop the meaning of Gurbaani.

The stories taken from Hindu mythology provide examples from the lives of the disciples and saints as parallels to understand the power and greatness of the One Lord, the righteous practise of faith and Dharma and how one is emancipated from sin and misfortune through meditating upon the Primal Lord.  

~ Harjinder Singh Khalsa

Bhagat Angra Ji

ਦੂਰਬਾ ਪਰੂਰਉ ਅੰਗਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਸੁ ਗਾਇਓ ॥
'Doorbassaa, King Puro and Angra sing the praises of Guru Nanak.'
(Bhatt Kal; GGSJ: Ang 1390)

Angra was once a great king, but there was one thing that continually played on his mind. He believed that meditation and living in accordance to the Lord's will was what he needed to do. He felt that if anyone was in distress or in trouble, all responsibilities lied with him. He did not want to carry this burden.

KingAngra (84K)One day Narad Muni came to Angra and asked him why he looked so troubled. He responded in great distress, "I have a desire to just give up my kingdom and remain detached from this whole world and go into meditation. I want to sing the praises of the Lord. I do not wish to carry the burden of others and have the responsibilities that a king has."

On hearing Raja Angra's words, Narad Muni said, "What you have just said is true. Your mind is not content with having a status of a Raja. Whatever your mind desires, you should follow this. But if your mind desires bad things then this is not good and you will not find eternal bliss and is the cause of pain and misery."

Chariot (38K)Raja Angra felt reassured that leaving his kingdom was what he really wanted and that is what he did. Angra left his whole kingdom and handed it all over to his brother. He became immensely imbued within his meditation that he was blessed with the wisdom of becoming a well regarded poet of Sanskrit. He chanted the Vedas and Simritis in the year 17 BC.

When the time came for Raja Angra to leave this world and make his way to the heavens, the Lord sent the deities down to earth to bring Raja Angra to Him on a chariot and the deities blew conch shells and sounded the drums and bells on his arrival.

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Bhagat Bidar

Bidar was a son of a servant. Bidar was in fact the uncle of Daryodhan (a king during Mahabharata). Queen Satyavati had three sons; Biaas, Chitragadh and Bachitar Beer. The first two sons were married; however, they were killed by the deities. Their two wives, Amba and Ambka became widows. Although they were well known for their youth and beauty they were very sly and cunning.

QueenSatyavati (52K)One day, Queen Satyavati told her two daughter-in-laws to go to her eldest son, Biaas and become impregnated by him, as they needed a future king to take over the kingdom. Both daughter-in-laws did not wish to have a child with Biaas because he was not attractive. Reluctantly they both had a son each, just to please Queen Satyavati. Amba's son's name was Dhirtrashastar, who was blind at birth and Ambka's son became one of the Pandav's.

Ambka detested Biaas' ugliness and could not bring herself to have another child with Biaas. To keep Queen Satyavati happy, Ambka sent one of her female servants at night and told her to get pregnant by Biaas. Nine months passed and Ambka's servant had a son, whose name was Bidar. Bidar was treated differently because it was learned that he was not the son of Ambka, but a son of a slave.

The Pandhav's eldest son ruled the kingdom, but he died when he went on a religious pilgrimage. Bidar was refused the kingdom because he was a son of a servant and was not seen as royalty. Instead, Dhirtrashastar became king. Dhirtrashastar sent Bidar and his wife away and were left with nothing. Both husband and wife lived in a small, shabby hut and began to meditate upon Krishna.

One day Krishna went to visit Daryodhan. Instead of staying within his many grand palaces, Krishna went to stay in the small hut with the pauper, Bidar. Bidar did not have much; he had a small stool to sit on and a small kitchen fire. He was sitting on his stool and was making a spinach curry. At this point, Krishna walked into his hut. Bidar became ecstatic and washed Krishna's feet. All night he served Krishna and treated him with the utmost respect. He gave Krishna his spinach curry to eat and Krishna ate it with delight.

Krishna (29K)Bhai Gurdas Ji writes (see below) that when Daryodhan found out that Krishna was staying with Bidar, he organised a royal feast. When Krishna reached Daryodhan's kingdom, Daryodhan said to Krishna, "Why didn't you come to stay in this great palace? Instead you stayed in a tramp's hut. If you did not wish to stay with me then why did you not go to stay with the other great kings, like Bisham, Karan and Drouncharia? When we heard you were staying in a hut, we became very angry. What is your problem with us?"

On hearing Daryodhan's words Krishna began to laugh. Krishna spoke, "Bidar is the king of kings, his hut is pure because he has purity within his heart and speaks only of the Lord. He is neither egoistic nor does he boast about what he has or has not got.

ਬਿਦਰੁ ਦਾਸੀ ਸੁਤੁ ਭਇਓ ਪੁਨੀਤਾ ਸਗਲੇ ਕੁਲ ਉਜਾਰੇ ॥
'Bidar, the son of a slave-girl, was purified, and all his generations were redeemed.'
(Guru Arjan Dev Ji; GGSJ: Ang 999)

This is reason why I was pulled towards that direction and not yours.

You have become very egoistic because of the many riches and palaces you possess, but you have forgotten who the Giver of all is! Your kingdom is the root of your ego; this is why Bidar is a much greater person than you. The milk in your palace is equal to the water that Bidar drinks. The spinach curry I ate was as delicious as sweet rice pudding. All night he sang the praises of the Lord, but you, all you do is slander others and listen to slander. You envy others, who are better than you!"

Below is the story of Bhagat Ambrik Sahib as written by Bhai Gurdas. Vaar 10, pauri 7:

ਆਇਆ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਬਿਦਰ ਦੇ ਬੋਲੈ ਦੁਰਜੋਧਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਰੁਖਾ।

Aaiaa Souniaa Bidar Day Bolai Durajodhanu Hoi Roukhaa.

आइआ सुणिआ बिदर दे बोलै दुरजोधनु होइ रुखा ।

Hearing that Lord Krishan was served and stayed over at humble Bidar's home, Duryodhan remarked sarcastically.

ਘਰਿ ਅਸਾਡੇ ਛਡਿ ਕੈ ਗੋਲੇ ਦੇ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਕਿ ਸੁਖਾ।

Ghari Asaaday Chhadi Kai Golay Day Ghari Jaahi Ki Soukhaa.

घरि असाडे छडि कै गोले दे घरि जाहि कि सुखा ।

Leaving our grand palaces, how much happiness and comfort did you attain in the home of a servant?

ਭੀਖਮੁ ਦ੍ਰੋਣਾ ਕਰਣ ਤਜਿ ਸਭਾ ਸੀਗਾਰ ਵਡੇ ਮਾਨੁਖਾ।

Bheekhamu Dronaa Karan Taji Sabhaa Seegaar Vaday Maanoukhaa.

भीखमु द्रोणा करण तजि सभा सीगार वडे मानुखा ।

You gave up even Bhikhaum, Dohna and Karan who are recognised as great men who are adorned in all courts.

ਝੁੰਗੀ ਜਾਇ ਵਲਾਇਓਨ ਸਭਨਾ ਦੇ ਜੀਅ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਧੁਖਾ।

Jhoungee Jaai Valaaiaonu Sabhanaa Day Jeea Andari Dhoukhaa.

झुंगी जाइ वलाइओनु सभना दे जीअ अंदरि धुखा ।

We have all been anguished to find that you have lived in a hut”.

ਹਸਿ ਬੋਲੇ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਜੀ ਸੁਣਿਹੋ ਰਾਜਾ ਹੋਇ ਸਨਮੁਖਾ।

Hasi Bolai Bhagavaan Jee Souniho Raajaa Hoi Sanamoukhaa.

हसि बोलै भगवान जी सुणिहो राजा होइ सनमुखा ।

Then smilingly, Lord Krishan asked the King to come forward and to listen carefully.

ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਉ ਨ ਦਿਸਈ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਅਪਦਾ ਦੁਖਾ।

Tayray Bhaau N Disaee Mayray Naahee Apadaa Doukhaa.

तेरे भाउ न दिसई मेरे नाही अपदा दुखा ।

I see no love and devotion in you (and hence I have not come to you).

ਭਾਉ ਜਿਵੇਹਾ ਬਿਦਰ ਦੇ ਹੋਰੀ ਦੇ ਚਿਤਿ ਚਾਉ ਨ ਚੁਖਾ।

Bhaau Jivayhaa Bidar Day Horee Day Chiti Chaau N Choukhaa.

भाउ जिवेहा बिदर दे होरी दे चिति चाउ न चुखा ।

No heart I see has even a fraction of the love that Bidar bears in his heart.

ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਭਾਉ ਭਗਤਿ ਦਾ ਭੁਖਾ ॥੭॥

Gobind Bhaau Bhagati Daa Bhoukhaa ॥7॥

गोबिंद भाउ भगति दा भुखा ॥७॥

The Lord needs loving devotion and nothing else.

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Read the other stories in this Bhagat Maalaa series: 

Part I: Raja Ambrik
Part II: Bhagat Angra ji and Bhagat Bidar

Part III: Sri Dhru Bhagat & Sri Prahladh Bhagat ji

Part IV: The Story of Ajaamal

Harjinder Singh Khalsa

I have translated the stories from the Aadh Guru Granth Bhagat Maala into English & have worked on a number of other articles exploring Gurbaani, Sikh history and the Sikh Gurus. My mission is to spread and share the Divine Universal message contained within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

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