Bibi Shanti

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     Bibi Shanti was a Sikh woman who got married into a family who believed in a another spiritual teacher  instead of the Guru.  Her new family thought she was crazy for always talking about “the Guru”. She constantly prayed and recited Banis. Through her pure heart Bibi Shanti’s husband began to be a Sikh as well. They had a son named Pulla and everyone in the family was happy.


     But not for long... because suddenly, Bibi Shanti’s husband died. Now that her husband wasn’t around, people treated her very badly. No one in her whole village of Butala would even talk to her. Her mother-in-law kicked her out of the house. But Bibi Shanti stayed strong in her faith. She raised her son with stories of the Gurus and the Name of God on her lips. Pulla too became very devoted to Guru Hargobind. The boy grew up constantly praying to have the Guru’s darshan. She would tell him, “If you truly pray to the Guru, he will answer... he will give you his darshan.”


     Pulla decided to prepare himself for the day when the Guru would arrive to see them. He tied some sweets in a cloth. He thought, “Guru Ji could come at any time so I must always be prepared for his arrival. I’ll keep this sugar cane candy with me at all times.” He would constantly pray, “Sache Patshah, True King, I wish only to see you, I have no other desire in this world. I long for your darshan, I pray that I may see your face.” Pulla would pray like this over and over.


      One day he was sitting under a tree and he heard the sound of horses. When he saw who was coming his heart sprung open. It was the Guru and some of his Sikhs. Guru Hargobind Ji rode straight to where Bhai Pulla was sitting. “Here, Sache Patshah, this is for you” said Pulla trying to open the cloth that had the sweets in it. It had been tied tight and he had been carrying it with him for a very long time so he couldn’t open it. “Let me untie your knots.” Said the Guru. Bhai Pulla knew that the Guru wasn’t just loosening a cloth, he was freeing him from his earthy bounds. He was freeing his soul.


     What a fortunate day for Bhai Pulla! Who can ever know how blessed he was? Guru ji said, “My Sikhs and I are hungry. Pulla, prepare langar for us.” As the Guru was telling Bhai Pulla to make langar, some other villagers were watching from their roof tops. They said, “Pulla and Shanti are so poor they can’t even feed themselves everyday, how are they going to feed all those people?! We’ll watch as they get ashamed that they can’t feed everyone.” Guru Hargobind Ji read their thoughts and told Bhai Pulla, “Go and invite all the people of this village to have langar with us now.” So Pulla did just that. The villagers wanted to embarrass Pulla and his mother so they all came but agreed to not give any money or any food, or even to help wth the cooking.


     Guru Ji told Bhai Pulla, “Take these two cloths. Put one over the daal and put one over the chapati dough. When your mother is making the food, tell her not to look under these cloths.” So Bibi Shanti made chapatis from the dough by reaching under the cloth without looking. Bhai Pulla served everyone chapatis and daal. They had only had enough food to feed a few people, but now there was enough food for everyone! All the villagers were very surprised. How could this be? They knew that there was only a little food to begin with, and now everybody had lots of good food!


     The villagers realized how great the Guru really is and how they had tried to make his own dear ones look bad. They went to the Guru and bowed at his feet. The Guru never lets his Sikhs be disgraced. Anything is possible with the Guru’s blessing. Great is that Sikh whose faith in the Guru never fails... even for one second.

 

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      Have you ever felt worried that there wasn't going to be enough to eat? Have you ever felt worried that you didn't have enough of something? If you have faith in the Guru, then you never have to worry about having enough. Maybe you think, "Oh there is not enough money to do this" or maybe you think "Oh there is not enough time to go and do this", or maybe you think "Oh there is just not enough food to eat". Well the Sikhs of the Guru, who have faith in their Guru, always have enough. So listen to the story of Bibi Shanti.

     During the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib, there was a woman whose name was Shanti. She lived with her husband's family in a village called Budhhala. Her parents were Sikhs, and she was also very devoted to the Guru. Her husband's family were followers of a peer named Sakhi Sarwar. Bibi Shanti loved to read Gurbani everyday. Her devotion to the Guru was very beautiful. Her mother-in-law, however, could not tolerate this different faith. "Who do you think you are? Always mumbling this nonsense! Our family has a Master, why do you refuse to recognize his greatness? You are lost and your Guru is nothing! You are like a drunken mongoose. We cannot allow your crazy ways, get out of my sight!"

     Soon Bibi Shanti was forced to leave the family house. She had to live in a hut outside. "Now that I have to live in this humble room, I can sing Gurbani all day. No one will care because no one can see me. This is the most peaceful way to live." In a way, Bibi Shanti was happy. She would tell amazing stories about the Guru to her husband. "I never knew that such a human could be on this Earth as the Guru that you tell me about. Thank you, my wife, for telling me such beautiful stories." And in time, his heart opened to the Guru, and he too became a Sikh. "I bow to the Guru with all my soul."

     After some time, they had a son. Bibi Shanti was so happy, and she named her son Pulla.

"Congratulations my brother, on the birth of your son! May the respect of our family win everyone over. God is great for giving our family another boy!"

"Ha, ha, ha. A son! God is so great! May our family live in happiness and wealth by the grace of the Guru!"

     The happiness in the small family was short-lived however, because Bibi Shanti's husband died suddenly. Now it was just her and her little son. Bibi Shanti did not lose her faith and kept walking on the path of Sikh dharma. She told her son stories of the Guru and taught him Gurbani. "Have faith in the Guru, my son. All the desires of your soul will be fulfilled." Pulla also developed a love for the Guru and had a deep desire to one day have Guru Sahib's darshan. He would ask his mother, "Will Guru Sahib come and visit us some day?"

"Satguru Jee is Antarjami. He knows the longing of our hearts. Wherever His Sikhs honestly remember Him, He will surely come to meet them and give them His darshan."

     Young Pulla now had a nonstop longing to caste his eyes on his Satguru. "He will definitely visit us. I have to always be ready for His arrival, He can come anytime." Even though he and his mother were very poor, he decided the best offering he could give to Guru Jee was a sugary sweet. "I know, when the Guru comes and we receive His darshan, I'll give him some gur!" He tied the gur in a cloth. Since he didn't know when Guru Jee would come, Pulla carried the gur with him wherever he went. Pulla was absorbed in his Ardas day and night to see the Guru. "All I desire is Your blessing. All I want to see is Your face. Oh great Guru, bless me, bless me, with Your grace."

     One day, his Ardas was fulfilled. Guru Hargobind Sahib with some Sikhs, arrived in village Buddhala. Most of the villages were followers of Sakhi Sarwar, and no one cared that Guru Sahib had come. Guru Hargobind and His Sikhs went directly to where Pulla was sitting and stopped their horses right in front of him. Pulla recognized his Satguru had finally come. "This is the best day ever! My Guru has finally arrived. My soul is finally happy!" He remembered the gur that he had tied in a cloth and began to fumble with the knot. "Here, here, here is my offering to you, some gur I saved. I..this...it's just a little..I." He tried, but the knot had been tied for so long that it was stuck. "One second, uhm." Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib looked at His little Sikh lovingly and said, "Here my Pulla, let me undo your knots." Pulla knew that the Guru was untying more than just a cloth. He felt that Guru Jee blessed his soul to be more free and totally clear. He untied his soul from the attachment to worldly things. What a blessing Guru Sahib gave to His true little Sikh. What more could Bhai Pulla ask for? Guru Jee opened the knot, and Bhai Pulla humbly offered the gur before Guru Sahib and bowed. Satguru Jee then said, "Pulla, my Sikhs and I are hungry. Take us to your home and feed us langar."

"Yes, yes right away. I shall." Bhai Pulla could not contain his happiness and quickly led Guru Jee and His Sikhs to his small house. When Mata Shanti saw Guru Jee, she lost all awareness. She didn't know where she was. She forgot even who she was. Pulla shook his mother and said, "Mata Jee, Sache Patshah wants to have langar. Prepare the langar for Him!" The villagers of Buddhala were bitter. They went to their rooftops to see what all the happening was about. "Look, their Guru is waiting for them to make langar. Ha ha."

"Shanti and Pulla make langar for all those people down there?"

"Ha ha, Shanti and Pulla are so poor, they can hardly feed themselves everyday. They'll never be able to feed all those people!"

"Yeah, that's right. They'll never be able to feed, to do all of that."

"Okay, listen to me everyone."

"Okay, go ahead, shoot."

"Nobody give them any help. Don't lend them any money for food."

"Nope, no food and no help. Okay, I got it."

"Let's watch as they get humiliated in front of this guy they call true Guru. It'll be hilarious!"

"This is going to be hilarious!"

     So the villagers decided not to help even if they were asked. Guru Hargobind saw the crowds on the rooftops and felt their intentions. Guru Jee turned to Bhai Pulla, "My beloved Pulla Jee, go to all the people of this village. Invite them to have langar with us today." Bhai Pulla had no idea how they would feed all those people, but he obeyed his Guru's orders and went to all the villagers. "Everybody, come to our home. Enjoy the Guru's langar with us. It'll be great!"

"Oh, it'll be great. We'll come, we'll all come."

"We'll come, you'll be double humiliated."

     Now the mother and son could hardly feed themselves, let alone all the Sikhs with the Guru and now all the villagers too. Guru Hargobind Jee called Bhai Pulla, "Here, take these two pieces of cloth. Put one on top of the flour and put one on top of the daal. When your mother is cooking the food, she should not look under these cloths." Bibi Shanti had prepared all the flour in the house for chappatis, but still, it was very little. There was also just a very little daal, but she made it with love and attention. The two cloths were placed on top of each, and Bibi Shanti began to prepare the prashada while Bhai Pulla did the seva of serving them to the guests. "Can I have some more daal, and yes, and a chappati. I'll have two. Thank you."

"Thank you, can I have some more daal? This is absolutely delicious. This is yummy yummy in my tummy." Everyone was amazed. All the Sikhs and all the villagers ate until they were full.

"Enough food? That's impossible!"

"How is this possible to have enough food to feed everyone?"

"How could this be?" And still, under the Guru's cloths, there was more chappatis and more daal.

"The food just keeps on coming. This is amazing. How did they do that? Oh my God. I'm not even convinced this is even physically possible."

"I can't believe it, this is a miracle."

"How could there still be more food? I don't understand. This is wonderful." The villagers were awe struck and fell at Guru Hargobind Sahib's feet. "There's enough food for everyone! Great is the Guru! He really is the true Guru. Oh compassionate and wise Guru."

"Bless you."

"We didn't know who You are. Please forgive us. I will forever be at Your service."

"Bless you."

"Yes, I as well. Forgive me. May Your greatness live forever."

"Bless you."

"I bow to You a million times."

"Bless you. Bless you all, bless you."

      They had wanted to see the humiliation of Bibi Shanti and her beautiful son, but Guru Sahib would never let His Sikhs be humiliated in this way. The faith of the villagers was reborn that day. Bibi Shanti and Bhai Pulla's faith was rewarded. So if ever you feel like you don't have enough, just meditate on your Guru and give all your love to your Guru. He will make sure that there will always be enough.

 
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