Amar Das ji: Meeting the Guru
Amar Das rode on horseback to meet the Guru. This trip was more important than any of the great pilgrimages he'd been on before. As he rode, he sang the lines he had just memorized.
ਭਇਆ ਮਨੂਰੁ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਿਨੇਹਾ ॥
bhiaa manoor kanchan fir hovai, je gur milai tinehaa
Iron is transformed in to gold if one meets with the Guru.
ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਓਹੁ ਦੇਵੈ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਟਸਿ ਦੇਹਾ ॥4॥3॥
ek naam amrit oh devai, tou naanak trishtas dehaa
They are blessed with the nectar name and then, oh Nanak, the body is made steady!
Finally he arrived at the Guru's house. When he saw the saintly face of the Siri Guru Angad Dev ji, Amar Das ji's heart burst open with light and love. He smiled as tears of joy rolled down his cheeks.Guru Angad stood up to greet his elder. They were already family. Amar Das was the Guru's daughter's uncle-in-law.
"Welcome good sir," said the Guru.
They moved towards each other to embrace. But instead Amar Das ji immediately fell on his knees and touched the Guru's feet, "I am a worm before you, Guru Ji." Everyone was surprised! They thought, "But he's not the Guru's student. He's family; and he's older than the Guru... 20 years older!"
Amar Das ji felt in his heart that he had discovered a great secret treasure. "My Guru," he said, "don't think of me as your relative and don't even think of me as an elder. Please take me in as your servant and show me the right path!"
The Guru saw his determination and his devotion and accepted him as his sevadar. Full of joy and love, Amar Das cried.
From then on Amar Das Ji dedicated himself to serving the Guru and living by the Guru's teachings. He woke in the early morning and recited the Guru's words. He learned to read and understand the Guru's writings, he served the Guru's langar, he washed the dishes, collected firewood to cook the food and brought water for the Guru's bath in a pot which he carried on his shoulder every morning from the river. He served everyone and he never forgot a single thing the Guru told him. He became a special part of the Guru's closest sangat. The Sikhs were very humbled to see the service of this man who was over 60 years old.
Once a man asked Guru Angad Dev Ji, "My name is Gobind. By your Grace I was able to build a city. I beg you Guru Ji, come and give us your darshan. Live in the new city, it is by a river. When more people will come, it will be a very beautiful place. Please live in the new city, it will be dedicated to you. Bless us with your presence Guru Ji."
The city was named Goindwal. It was 14 miles away but because Guru Angad had been told by his master to live where he was in Khadur, he sent Amar Das to live in Gowindal, spending his nights there and traveling each day to visit the Guru.
Just as the Guru ordered, Amar Das ji spent his nights in the new city. He would wake up in the early morning and fill a large pot with water from the river. He would recite Jap ji as he carried the pot over his head and walk the 14 miles to the Guru's house.
It was a heavy load and a long trip but Amar Das ji never wavered in his determination. After bringing water and having the Guru's darshan he spent the whole day in service. After joining in the evening Kirtan Darbar he personally washed the Guru. When the Guru went to sleep, Amar Das walked all the way back to Goindwal... and he walked backwards the whole time. Walking backwards was his way of showing himself that he would never turn away from serving the Guru. The heavens saw how Amar Das Ji's devotion was not a ritual, it was straight from the heart, sincere and strong. He observed, "While others lead their lives in doubt, the person whose heart has the sacred word, they get the real understanding."
One day Amar Das saw that Guru Angad was in pain. The Guru had an infection on his foot that was oozing. He was clearly uncomfortable and could not sleep.
Bhai Amar Das immediately put his mouth on the sore and sucked out the infection. The Guru was relieved and he was able to get a good sleep.
Bhai Amar Das was so deeply devoted to his Guru.
One day, the Guru said to him, "Ask me something, I will grant you any favor." Bhai Amar Das didn't think of favors for himself, he only thought of the Guru and replied, "My king, why do you experience pain like this? You are the Guru! I ask that you not have pain, that you heal it yourself with your own powers." The Guru replied, "Sometimes comfort is a disease. It makes us forget the One. Pain is the medicine. When we are in pain, we remember God. Above pain and comfort what is important is to remember the One."
Bhai Amar Das ji always listened to and obeyed his master. The Guru's humility only made him more humble himself. The love and devotion between master and servant increased every day. His service to the Guru and to humanity was always tireles, night and day alike