Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the embodiment of the timeless Waheguru, graced the earth with his presence, journeying alongside his companion Bhai Mardana Ji, a skilled Rebab player. Their travels led them to the outskirts of Baghdad, greeted by the serene morning atmosphere: a gentle breeze, a clear blue sky, and the warm sun. As the city bustled with early risers heading for their morning prayers, Guru Ji began to sing the Divine Words, accompanied by Mardana's soothing melodies on the Rebab. With a resounding call of "SATNAM," Guru Ji's voice reverberated, commanding the attention of the entire city, casting it into a profound silence filled with awe and wonder. Such was the captivating power of Guru Ji's divine melody, drawing all those around to listen and reflect in the heart of Baghdad.

Bhai Gurdas Ji spoke of a profound spiritual experience, where Divine bliss brought peace to people's hearts and minds, enveloping them in profound awareness. The news of this transformative event quickly spread throughout the city, igniting curiosity and intrigue. Amidst the sweetness of the Divine nectar, however, lingered the bitter poison of skepticism and condemnation.

The Sakhi of Pir Dastgir

 Just as sandalwood trees attract beauty and venomous snakes alike, Guru Nanak Dev Ji's divine poetry faced both adoration and criticism. Some, disturbed by the divine verses sung in melodious tunes, hurled stones at Guruji. Yet, undeterred, Guru Nanak Dev Ji continued to sing, his music resonating with the gentle power of his words, eventually quelling the hostility in their hearts. Amidst the chaos, the high priest Pir Dastgir intervened, requesting Guruji's presence at his abode, seeking to understand more deeply the source of this divine inspiration.

Soon after, Guru Nanak found himself in the presence of Pir Dastgir at his residence. The Pir sat upon his esteemed throne, while Guru Nanak stood among a crowd of ordinary people. The Pir, the highest priest, began to question Guru Nanak, seeking justification for the events of the early morning.

Pir Dastgir asked, "O Hindi Faqir (Saint), why were you singing unprincipled and immoral musical verses on the sacred land of Bagdad? Don't you know that according to Muslim Shariat (code of law), music was forbidden? Which category of Faqir (Saint) do you belong to and what is your background?

Pir Dastgir emphasized that music ignites emotions and was seen by Muslims as a way to indulge in physical pleasure and superficial happiness, leading to its prohibition in Islamic nations. However, Guru Nanak Dev Ji enlightened Pir Dastgir about the genuine purpose of music.Music, according to Guruji, holds a profound influence, capable of both good and evil. It possesses the ability to touch hearts and serve as a source of spiritual inspiration.

In the grand symphony of creation, God, the great Musician, has orchestrated the cosmic melody. This symphony encompasses the gentle rustle of reeds, the swaying of plants, the murmurs of streams, the rush of torrents, and the buzzing of bees - all forming the orchestra of nature. The love for music is inherent in human nature, evident when individuals express joy or solitude through singing or humming tunes.

Yet, Guruji suggests a higher purpose for music. He proposes using its natural characteristics to pursue elevated goals and values. Why not, he asks, sing holy songs in praise of Allah, the Lord of the Universe? Such music serves to align the individual soul with the Universal Soul, directing human passions towards noble pursuits. Thus, music becomes a tool for spiritual advancement and fulfillment.

Pir Dastgir found Guru ji's defense of sacred music convincing, which transformed his initial hostility towards the Guru into admiration and friendship. Overwhelmed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji's wisdom, Pir Dastgir humbly approached him and sought guidance.

"O Hindi Faqir, since the day I am meditating, there are three questions which always echo in my brain all the time.

First question:-If God (Khuda/Allah) has created the world, and then who had created GOD? Who was before God?

Second Question:- Where does God (Allah) live?

Third Question:-What does Khuda (Allah/God) do?

The weight of questions can weigh heavily on anyone's mind, much like carrying a heavy load on the head makes walking uncomfortable. When we're troubled by numerous questions, we feel anxious until we find satisfactory answers. Pir Dastgir, grappling with his own questions, saw Guru Nanak as a potential source of relief. In his quest for answers, he presented three questions to Guru Nanak, hoping to ease his mental burden.

Guruji remarked that the questions were indeed valuable and precious, yet posed a challenge. He acknowledged the Pir’s esteemed spiritual stature, mentioning how people held him in high regard, offering pearls, diamonds, rubies, and precious jewels as tokens of reverence. They would present substantial sums and bow before him, even placing golden coins at his feet in their quest for solutions to their tribulations. Guruji then requested the individual to present the pearls, diamonds, rubies, and jewels he had been bestowed with before addressing the queries.

Pir Dastgir was surprised and confused. He thought to himself, "I haven't gotten any answers yet, but he is asking for payment already." Despite this, he wanted to relieve his stress, so he told his followers to bring a plate of diamonds, pearls, and gold coins to give to Guru Nanak, hoping that this offering might help him get the answers he needed.

Guruji now looked at Pir Dastgir and said, "Pir, I want you to count these diamonds one by one."

Pir was eager to show his counting skills to Guru ji. He counted, "1, 2, 3, 4" confidently. But Guru ji stopped him, saying he lacked basic counting skills. Pir was puzzled but insisted he counted correctly up to four.

Guru ji patiently explained that Pir made a mistake while counting to four. Pir agreed to recount, hoping to find his error. As he counted again, "1, 2, 3, 4," Guru ji interrupted once more, indicating another mistake.

Feeling a little frustrated, Pir asked Guru ji to stop him when he erred. Guru ji agreed and instructed Pir to start counting before "1." This confused Pir, as he believed there was nothing before "1." However, Guru Nanak Dev ji clarified that "1" signifies everything. "One" is the beginning, the origin, the primal force from which everything emerges.

Guru ji began by reciting the Mool Mantar, calling it a seed of wisdom. He explained that within this simple mantra lay the essence of truth. It proclaimed that there is only one God, the Eternal Truth, the Almighty Creator, and the Unfearful. This truth, Guru ji explained, formed the foundation of the entire world and everything beyond.

Pir was overwhelmed with joy and satisfaction upon hearing these words. He, along with the people around him, felt deeply moved by the Guru's wisdom. Pir, who was initially consumed by ego, now approached Guru Nanak humbly, seeking further enlightenment. He asked where the Creator resided and where they could find Him. In his faith, Pir mentioned that in Islam, it was believed that the Creator lived in the seven skies above the earth.

In response, Guru Nanak initiated a simple demonstration with a pot full of milk. He focused on the milk, stating there was something within it. Despite Pir's initial doubts, Guru ji insisted there was something hidden within the milk. Eventually, Guru ji revealed that just as butter is present within every drop of milk, the Creator resides within every living being. The lesson conveyed that God's light permeates all, regardless of stature or status, residing within the hearts of all beings. Thus, the Guru's teachings illuminated the truth that the Creator is omnipresent, dwelling within every corner of creation.

Pir sat attentively as Guruji shared his Divine Message, feeling thrilled and happy. He found solace in the Guru's words, feeling fully convinced by his wisdom. With eagerness, Pir posed his final question, wondering about the profession of such a powerful God.

Guru Nanak Ji smiled warmly and responded, explaining that God's essence lay in Divine Knowledge, embodied in the form of the Divine Word (Shabad). He cautioned Pir against disrespecting this Divine essence by focusing on God's profession, emphasizing the importance of honoring the Divine Words spoken. Pir, moved by Guru's gentle words, asked for guidance on what to do next.

Guruji advised Pir to step down from his elevated position and allow Guru to occupy his seat. He explained the principle that teachers or guides always sit at a higher level. Reflecting on Guru's words, Pir realized the value of Divine knowledge offered freely and decided to exchange seats, eager to receive the peace and answers his soul sought for years. In that exchange, he found the pathway to ultimate tranquility.

Pir Dastgir humbly descended to sit at Guruji's feet. Satguru Nanak now occupied his rightful throne, radiating wisdom and peace. With utmost devotion, Dastgir Pir posed his final question, brimming with love and sincerity.

"Nanak," he implored, "reveal to me swiftly, what does He do?" Guruji's response echoed with profound simplicity. "Dastgir," he began, "He lifts the one on the throne to the ground, and raises the one on the ground to the throne."

Dastgir found solace in Guruji's words, tears of fulfillment streaming down his cheeks. The divine message resonated deeply within him as he prostrated before Guruji's feet. The throne, where Dastgir had enshrined Guru Nanak Dev ji, was christened "Amar Singhasan" and still situated in Bagdad. Pir Dastgir affixed a plaque to the throne, inscribed with the label: 

"Rabul Majeed Hazrat Baba Nanak"

Its translation: The Blessed Messenger of God, Hazarat Baba Nanak.

The stories of one's ancestors make the children good children.

They accept what is pleasing to the Will of the True Guru,

and act accordingly. ( Guru Granth Sahib Ji - 951)

*Based on an article published in Sakhi Series on Tuhitu Blogpost on 5th October 2012


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