Vaheguru jee kaa Khalsa Vaheguru jee kee fateh!
Imagine if someone told you that you were going to die in one month. What would you do? Well, this happened in reality to a fortunate person, not very long ago.
I heard this story, that occurred in the nineties in my native village in India. There lived in my village a person called Ravel Singh. Ravel Singh did not learn to read and write as was the case in our villages in the 40s and 50s, and as such could not read Gurbani. When he grew up to be a youth, he got entangled in bad company and started drinking and committing other sins. In short he led a life of a saakat (manmukh, bemukh) all his life.
I don’t know much about his other life but towards the end of his life a very interesting incident occurred. He met a Gurmukh pyaara, in whose sangat he started thinking about his life. This singh was a chardi kala wala singh. He felt sorry for Ravel Singh’s dark and sinful life.
One day Ravel Singh who had now stopped cutting his hair, came to see this Gurmukh Pyaara. He got a shock of his life when the Singh told him that he had only one month to live i.e. he was going to die in one month. Ravel Singh was healthy and was not too old. He did not expect to die but had faith in the bachan (saying) of this singh.
Ravel Singh got really worried when he heard this and told the singh that he was worried about his future in next life as he had done nothing good in his life. The singh in turn told Ravel Singh that since he had never learned how to read and write, he could not do paath. The Gurmukh Pyaara told Ravel Singh to take amrit as soon as possible and do Naam abhyaas day and night.
Within couple of days, Ravel Singh was able to take amrit. In the meantime, he had his family build a kulli (a small hut) in his agricultural land. There he stayed for one month and immersed himself in Naam and Naam alone. He could not sleep at night as he had great fear of death. He had no more wishes and could not care less for any worldly things. He had no interest in eating good food. His family used to provide food to him at his kulli. He never cared what he was eating and how much. All he did day and night was recite Naam.
As a result of about 25 days of continuous Naam, peace resided in his heart. He felt that his sins had washed away. He passed away very peacefully, while engaged in Naam about a month after he took Amrit.
Someone asked me if Ravel Singh who was totally uneducated, used to do Nitnem of Gurbani. As far as I know, Ravel Singh did not do nitnem. Another person named Gurdaas Singh from my village was a top-class drug addict. All his life he did nothing according to Gurmat. He was a known expert of home-made sharaab (liquor), in his area. He was from a so-called low-caste and used to work in our fields.
A miracle occurred towards the end of his life. He totally gave up bad habits and took Khande Pahul i.e. got initiated into the Khalsa order. One day when he came to our home, he was all dressed in baana (Khalsa Attire). He had taken Amrit of Guru Sahib. He gave up his previous habits and addictions. He led a simple life. I was a child then and still remember that he used to carry a sarbloh baata (All steel bowl) all the time and ate all his food from sarbloh. Everyone who saw him used to get very surprised at his change.
I don't think he used to do nitnem as he could not read or write but part of his daily routine was to go to Gurdwara Sahib and there he used to attend the holy congregation twice a day. Perhaps he listened to nitnem from there. He led an exemplary life, last 5-6 years of his life.
I guess, the same could be true for Ravel Singh. He may have been going to the Gurdwara and listening to nitnem there. I am not sure though.
These two examples prove that Naam and Gurbani are great healers. Sins of many lives get washed away if we do Naam and Gurbani. Their lives also prove that it is never late to become a Sikh. If we submit before Guru Sahib, Guru Sahib would surely release all our chains of 8.4 million lives.