Two Singhs of Bhai Sahib's times met after many years. Both had great love for Bhai Sahib and both cherished their old memories. They couldn't stop talking about their time spent with Bhai Sahib but it seemed that they had a small rivalry, dating back to old days. I was privy to the meeting they had, after many years. After exchanging greetings they had the following conversation:
First Singh: Black has become Grey (he meant their hair). Youth is gone and old age is here. Soon we will leave this world.
Second Singh: Don't worry O Singha! Bapu jee (Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee) is there to save us in the next world. We don't need to worry about a thing.
First Singh: No one will save anyone. Its only our own deeds that will save us.
Second Singh: (getting Bairaag) How can we rely on our deeds when we don't have any good deeds. I have faith in the friendship of a Sant (referring to Bhai Sahib). He caught our arms and he will definitely help us in the next world so long as we stay in Sikhi.
At this the conversation stopped and Akhand Kirtan started. The First Singh sang a Shabad that alluded to good deeds and Dharam Rai. It was clear that the First Singh was referring to Second Singh when he sang this Shabad.
The Second Singh hearing this Shabad got extreme Bairaag. He was in tears. When his time came to do Kirtan, he sang this Kabit of Bhai Gurdaas jee, which has been explained below for the benefit of Sangat. The Asthaayee that he caught while singing was "ਅਪਨੀ ਕਰਨੀ ਕਰਿ ਨਰਕ ਹੂੰ ਨ ਪਾਵਉ ਠਉਰ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਰੋ ਸਮਾਰ ਹੌਂ ॥". The Reet (tune) was extremely Bairagmai and this Singh was quite emotional while singing it.
This memory stayed with me all along. I am not sure who was correct, the First Singh or the Second Singh. What does Sangat think?
The following Kabit is worth reading and should not be missed. Bhai Sahib Gurdaas jee has clearly preferred some qualities of Vaheguru more than others:
ਭਗਤਵਛਲ ਸੁਨਿ ਹੋਤ ਹੋ ਨਿਰਾਸ ਰਿਦੈ
ਪਤਿਤ ਪਾਵਨ ਸੁਨਿ ਆਸਾ ਉਰਧਾਰਿ ਹੌਂ ॥
ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੰਪਤ ਹੌ ਅੰਤਰਗਤਿ
ਦੀਨ ਕੋ ਦਇਆਲ ਸੁਨਿ ਭੈ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਟਾਰ ਹੌਂ
ਜਲਧਰ ਸੰਗਮ ਕੈ ਅਫਲ ਸੇਂਬਲ ਦ੍ਰੁਮ
ਚੰਦਨ ਸੁਗੰਧ ਸਨਬੰਧ ਮੈਲਗਾਰ ਹੌਂ ॥
ਅਪਨੀ ਕਰਨੀ ਕਰਿ ਨਰਕ ਹੂੰ ਨ ਪਾਵਉ ਠਉਰ
ਤੁਮਰੇ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਰੋ ਸਮਾਰ ਹੌਂ ॥503॥
1. When I hear that Vaheguru is Bhagat-vachhul (one who melts at Bhagti i.e. devotion) I get disheartened but when I hear that he is Patit-Paavan (one who makes impure ones pure), I get hope in my heart. Why does Bhai Sahib get disheartened hearing that Vaheguru is Bhagat-Vacchul? Because Bhai Sahib thinks he has no Bhagti. This is the height of Nimrata. Definitely this Shabad is for sinners like us.
2. When I hear that he is Antarjaami (omniscient, one who knows the state of our hearts), I tremble (in fear) within my heart but when I hear that he is merciful on the poor, I remove all my fears and doubts. Why should we be scared hearing that Vaheguru jee is Antarjami? Because our hearts are so dirty, so full of dirt of Maya. But we should rejoice the fact that Vaheguru is Deen-Dyaal i.e. merciful on the downrodden.
3. I am like the Simbal tree that even in rainfall stays fruitless but if it is close to the Chandan tree, it too becomes a Chandan. Vaheguru jee is like Chandan. Whoever gets close to Vaheguru (through his Naam) becomes like Vaheguru.
4. Based on my my own doing (Karni) I may not find place even in hell but O Vaheguru jee, I am solely relying on your merciful nature ( that is Patit-Paavan and Deen-Dyaal).
When we hear Kirtam Naam or Sifaati Naam (names that denote one of more qualities) of Vaheguru, we get some understanding about Vaheguru jee's nature and form. Some qualities of Vaheguru are more comfort-giving than others. To hear that Vaheguru is Patit-Paavan (one who makes impure ones pure) one gets great solace since we are impure. When we hear that He is Ghareeb-Nivaaz (one who blesses the poor), we again are comforted because unlike worldly kings, Vaheguru does not ignore the downridden ones like us. He is so great that he can hear the pain of an ant and elephant equally well.
Dhan Vaheguru! Dhan Satguru!
May Guru Sahib be merciful on us forever.