Bhagat Maalaa ~ Part I Raja Ambrik

Bhagat Ambrik had many virtues....

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 Ambrik Ji

Bhagat Ambrik was a king in the South of India and was a great devotee of Krishna. His father's name was Nabhag and he too was a great king. When he first became a king he used to serve the holy saints and sadhus by providing them with food and clothes.

Bhagat Ambrik had many virtues. He conquered all lustful thoughts, looked upon all rich and poor as equals and he did not regard materialistic things, such as his horses, his kingdom, women and other things as important. He helped anyone who was in need and served the people outside his kingdom. But above all he continually chanted the Lord's name and caused others to chant the Lord's name with him.

Imge (19K)One time he was imbued in meditation upon Krishna, he vowed that he would keep three continual fasts and organise a huge feast at Mathra and Bindraban. He carried out all these ritual practices and organised a huge feast and fed the holy Brahmins. He donated handwritten Puranas and 60 million cows to the Brahimins. The Brahmins were pleased and blessed Bhagat Ambrik.

On returning home, he met Durbasha Rishi. Durbasha Rishi was a very egoistic person, who brought great distress and pain to people's lives. Durbasha Rishi was a very angry and evil person, who cursed people without reason. He was never content in seeing other people happy but liked to see them suffer. Bhagat Ambrik told the Rishi to eat the food from the feast he had organised in the name of Krishna. The Rishi agreed, but said that he will need to bathe in the River Jamna before he does.

Bhagat Ambrik went home and waited for Durbasha Rishi. Night had fallen, yet there was no sign of the Rishi. The Pundits advised Ambrik to break his fast and eat, but Bhagat Ambrik refused to do so until Durbasha Rishi came to his house to eat.

Durbasha was in meditation and deliberately carried on meditating in order to delay Ambrik from breaking his fast and to let him starve. The Pundits became very concerned and told Ambrik that it was time for him to break his fast. Bhagat Ambrik finally did so.

Durbasha decided that he will now visit Bhagat Ambrik and learnt that he had already broke his fast prior to his arrival. He was very angered by this and began to use foul language against Bhagat Ambrik, "You are a sinner, who has broken the rules of the Shashtars (Hindu scriptures). You will not be forgiven for this. I will kill you for this."

Witch (23K)Bhagat Ambrik remained silent and did not speak. Then Ambrik spoke, "O Great Muni Ji! I have just done as I was ordered by the Brahmins. I have done nothing wrong. I was waiting for you for so long but you did not come. Please forgive me. I have not come here to be cursed by you but to fulfil my desires."

There was nothing that Ambrik could say, as Durbasha Rishi became even more angered. He pulled a wisp of his hair and began rubbing it in his hands. He created an extremely ugly looking witch, who was waving a sword in her hand. All the Pundits became afraid, some ran away and some closed their eyes and prayed to Krishna for protection. The witch began to start her revenge on Ambrik. Ambrik ran into his prayer room and begged Krishna to help him. He saw Krishna's chakar beginning to spin in front of him. The chakar went straight towards the witch and cut her arm off, then her head. The chakar then turned on Durbasha Rishi and went straight for him. The Rishi ran out and went to the deities for help, but not even they could help him.

Durbasha Rishi returned back to Bhagat Ambrik's house and fell at his feet. He cried, "Please forgive me and save me! I will stop cursing saintly people, please save me! Please!"

Bhagat Ambrik felt pity and he prayed to God to forgive the Rishi and put him on the path of righteousness and Dharma. The chakar stopped and returned to Krishna's finger. Rishi Durbasha admitted defeat and vowed he would not do anything like this again.

'jio a(n)bareek amaraa padh paaeae sathigur mukh bachan dhhiaavaigo.'
'Ambreek the king was blessed with the status of immortality,
meditating on the Word of the True Guru.'
(Guru Ram Das Ji; GGSJ: Ang 1311)

 Below is the story of Bhagat Ambrik Sahib as written by Bhai Gurdas. Vaar 10, pauri 4:

੪ : ਅੰਬਰੀਕ ਭਗਤੀ

ਅੰਬਰੀਕ ਮੁਹਿ ਵਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਰਾਤਿ ਪਈ ਦੁਰਬਾਸਾ ਆਇਆ।

Ambareek Muhi Varatu Hai Raati Paee Durabaasaa Aaiaa.

अंबरीक मुहि वरतु है राति पई दुरबासा आइआ ।

One evening while king Ambaris was fasting he was visited by sage Durvasa

1 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੧

ਭੀੜਾ ਓਸੁ ਉਪਾਰਣਾ ਓਹੁ ਉਠਿ ਨ੍ਹਾਵਣਿ ਨਦੀ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ।

Bheerhaa Aosu Oupaaranaa Aohu Outdi Nhaavani Nadee Sidhaaiaa.

भीड़ा ओसु उपारणा ओहु उठि न्हावणि नदी सिधाइआ ।

The king was to break his fast while serving Durvasa but the rishi went to the riverbank to take a bath.

2 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੨

ਚਰਣੋਦਕੁ ਲੈ ਪੋਖਿਆ ਓਹੁ ਸਰਾਪੁ ਦੇਵਣ ਨੋ ਧਾਇਆ।

Charanodaku Lai Pokhiaa Aohu Saraapu Dayn No Dhaaiaa.

चरणोदकु लै पोखिआ ओहु सरापु देण नो धाइआ ।

Fearing the change of date (which would deem his fast fruitless), the king broke his fast by drinking the water which he had poured on the feet of the rishi. When the rishi realised that the king had not served him first, he ran to curse the king.

3 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੩

ਚਕ੍ਰ ਸੁਦਰਸਨੁ ਕਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਹੋਇ ਭੀਹਾਵਲੁ ਗਰਬੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ।

Chakr Sudarasanu Kaal Roop Hoi Bheehaavalu Garabu Gavaaiaa.

चक्र सुदरसनु काल रूप होइ भीहावलु गरबु गवाइआ ।

On this, Vishnu ordered his death like disc to move towards Durvasa and thus the ego of Durvasa was removed.

4 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੪

ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣੁ ਭੰਨਾ ਜੀਉ ਲੈ ਰਖਿ ਨ ਹੰਘਨਿ ਦੇਵ ਸਬਾਇਆ।

Baamhanu Bhannaa Jeeu Lai Rakhi N Hanghani Dayv Sabaaiaa.

बाम्हणु भंना जीउ लै रखि न हंघनि देव सबाइआ ।

Now Brahmin Durvasa ran for his life. Even the gods and deities could not afford him shelter.

5 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੫

ਇੰਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਲੋਕੁ ਸਿਵ ਲੋਕੁ ਤਜਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਲੋਕੁ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਤਜਾਇਆ।

Indr Loku Siv Loku Taji Braham Loku Baikountd Tajaaiaa.

इंद्र लोकु सिव लोकु तजि ब्रहम लोकु बैकुंठ तजाइआ ।

He was avoided in the abodes of Indra, Siva, Brahma and the heavens.

6 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੬

ਦੇਵਤਿਆਂ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਸਣੁ ਸਿਖਿ ਦੇਇ ਸਭਨਾਂ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ।

Dayvatiaan Bhagavaanu Sanu Sikhi Dayi Sabhanaan Samajhaaiaa.

देवतिआं भगवानु सणु सिखि देइ सभनां समझाइआ ।

Gods and God made him understand (that none except Ambaris could save him).

7 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੭

ਆਇ ਪਇਆ ਸਰਣਾਗਤੀ ਮਾਰੀਦਾ ਅੰਬਰੀਕ ਛੁਡਾਇਆ।

Aai Paiaa Saranaagatee Maareedaa Ambareek Chhudaaiaa.

आइ पइआ सरणागती मारीदा अंबरीक छुडाइआ ।

Then he surrendered before Ambaris and Ambaris saved the dying sage.

8 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੪ ਪੰ. ੮

ਭਗਤਿ ਵਛਲੁ ਜਗਿ ਬਿਰਦ ਸਦਾਇਆ ॥੪॥

Bhagati Vachhalu Jagi Biradu Sadaaiaa ॥4॥

भगति वछलु जगि बिरदु सदाइआ ॥४॥

The Lord God came to be known in the world as benevolent to devotees.


Authors who mention Bhagat Ambreek in Siri Guru Granth Sahib:

Bhagat Naam Dev ji, ang 1105

Bhagat Naam Dev ji, ang 1292

Guru Ram Das ji, ang 1311

Bhatt Kal, ang 1393

Bhatt Jal Jaalap, ang 1394

Bhatt Bal, ang 1405


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

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