1st Difficult Night

1st Difficult Night
Photograph of Guru Ka Lahore where Guru Sahib was wed to Mata Jeetho Ji! 

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Bhai Harjas Ji Khathree & Mata Sabhraaee Ji were blessed to have Darshan of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji. From this Darshan, a desire developed in their hearts: they wanted to somehow become related to Maharaj. They asked for Guru Sahib to wed their daughter. The All-Knowing Guru Sahib knew their pure intentions and accepted their love-filled desire.
Mata Ji & Bhai Harjas Ji did not want to be disrespectful in asking but mustered up the courage to make a humble request. They wished for the marriage to take place in Lahore. Guru Sahib did not want the Baraat (wedding group) to go to Lahore as intended by Bhai Harjas Ji [due to political tensions following 9ve Paatshah’s Shaheedi]. The Sikhs bowed their heads in front of Guru Sahib. At this point, Guru Sahib spoke a Bachan: 'In these mountains, there will be another Lahore established and Maharaj will go to this place for this marriage'
This Lahore in the mountains became Guru Ka Lahore. The wedding happened according to the Gursikhs' wishes. The marriage happened in this Lahore.
Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji renounced the cultural customs when they wedded Mata Sulakhnee Ji:
ਜਾਲਉ ਐਸੀ ਰੀਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਮੈ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਵੀਸਰੈ ॥
Jaalou Aisee Reeth[i] Jith Mai Piaaraa Veesarai;
Burn those types of traditions/customs that make one forget Their Beloved
(Ang 550)
Dhan Guru Angad Dev Ji renounced popular folk traditions and showed us to take the support of only Vaheguru during wedding rites.
(Suraj Prakash, Raas 1, Ansu 28 ~ Jag Ar Kul Jithik Aachaarae; Hamrai Haeth nahee Kuchh Karnaa; Keerath[i] Patt[i] Sun[i] Naam Simranaa).
Dhan Guru Amardas Ji recited Anand Sahib at a Sikh wedding and taught us to seek the support of Vaheguru in the Sikh marriage tradition. Then Dhan Guru Ramdas Ji developed the Gurmat marriage tradition even further by reciting Laavan Sahib. They then set an example by having Gursikhs wedded in this manner. People complained to Emperor Akbar that a new tradition started and that it should be stopped. But Akbar had good intentions and recognized the Godliness and High spirits of Guru's Sikhi. With these good intentions, Akbar truthfully bowed down faithfully to these new traditions. Having the marriage revolve around Vaheguru destroyed practices that were all about showing off or done in naivety (not knowing any better). In this way, Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj’s Marriage happened in accordance with Gurmat [align with Gurbani's Principles].
As time went by, Mata Sabhraaee Ji’s life was quite unaffected by the changes in the world around her but would soon be turned upside down by a storm-like event. Sometimes, Mata Ji would feel the emotions of being separated from her daughter and Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was not a separation between family members but that of faith, steadfastness, and essentially – spirituality. This type of missing was not of worldly emotional attachment but of spiritual love welling up in Mata Ji’s Heart. Mata Ji used to do all of the work she was responsible for and maintained Pathee-Brath [service to her husband]. Outside of this, she would be in the loving spiritual bliss as she received from being connected to her daughter’s Godly family. There was not any anxiety attached to her separation from Guru Sahib. Never would she have thought that she would be taken away from any of her relatives. If she ever felt separated, she would visit Sri Anandpur Sahib with her husband. Mata Ji and her husband both lived a life of being in Sat-Sangat (Congregation of Truth).
What did Akaal Purakh reveal from Their Invisible Curtain? Mata Ji’s Beloved Husband –  her partner in happiness & sadness – her other half – Bhai Harjas Ji – did Akaal Chalaanaa (physically passed away). Mata Sabhraaee Ji became a widow. Mata Ji had confidence in Guru Sahib within her heart and saw Gurbani as her support but she never thought about this separation from her husband. Her heart completely broke. For she was caught off guard by this wound. This wound hid her happiness away like the lid of a jar hides the bright sunlight. Mata Ji took support in Sangat but her heart still kept wavering.
Bhai Harjas Ji passed away in the morning, the final rites were performed in the afternoon, the family had left by the evening, and her fellow Sangat sisters had left at the beginning of the night. This was the first night that Mata Ji felt all alone in this world. Mata Ji did Naam Simran but she was not able to concentrate. The heavy weight of this grief-filled wound ruined her concentration. Her mind kept bringing her down and away from Bhagti. A sinful thought came to her mind: “If another family member passes away then whose support will I take?” She reflected to herself: "I read Gurbani every day and even understand it but am not able to engrain the teachings in my mind. I was not able to practically see some of the teachings but now I have seen it: This world is false, now I truly know this"
ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਹੈ ਸੁਪਨੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਕਹਾ ਲੋਭਾਵੈ ॥
Ih[u] Sansaar Sagal Hai Supano, Dhaekh[i] Kahaa Lobhaavai
This world is all just a dream, then why do we see it and get greedy for it?
ਜੋ ਉਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਸਗਲ ਬਿਨਾਸੈ ਰਹਨੁ ਨ ਕੋਊ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥
Jo Oupjai So Sagal Binaasai, Rahan[u] n Ko-oo Paavai
Whatever is seen will all be destroyed, even if we try to stay... we won't be able to
(Dhan Dhan Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji, Raag Sarang, Ang 1231)
Whenever the Meanings of Gurbani and the Teachings from Sangat came to mind then the heart cooled down. This gave Mata Ji courage. It felt like the clouds of anxiety flew away and the Moon of Peace had risen. Naam Simran kept going with this in mind and then she would fall asleep. After a while, she would get up and return back into an anxious state. Mata Ji began to overthink again but then Gurbani would come back and take away from these bad thoughts. This first night felt like it had been going on for ages. For the person who only saw the positive things in this world and never felt the meanings of...
ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਮਾਨ ਹੈ ਸਗਲ ਮਿਥੇਨਾ ॥
Dhristimaan Hai Sagal Mithhaenaa
Everything which is seen is all an illusion.
(Dhan Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji Maharaj, Raag Maaroo, Ang 1082)
...This was a time of great mental instability.
Amidst all of this, someone knocked on the door. This is the first night that Mata Ji did not go to Sangat because her companion was not present. The same Mata Ji who never missed an Aasaa Kee Vaar Diwan at the Dharamsaal –  did not attend this morning. Mata Ji never left her house by herself. Today, it felt as if there had been shackles placed around her feet. Those who attend Sat-Sangat know how Sansaar causes suffering. Those who speak on stage solely speak about the positives such as love and faith but hardly ever about the realities such as anxiety.
They speak as if this mountain of spirituality is only ever rising but never speak about the steep areas and valleys. Today, Mata Ji’s Fellow Sat-Sangat were wondering why Mata Ji did not attend Sangat. The Sangat came to Mata Ji’s home and knocked on the door. Who else would take Mata Ji out of this storm? Mata Ji felt as if a heavy storm was in front of her eyes but suddenly, a Shabad came to her mind:
ਤੂ ਕਾਹੇ ਡੋਲਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਰਾਖੈਗਾ ਸਿਰਜਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
Thoo[n] Kaahae Dolah[i] PraaNeeaa Thudhh Raakhaigaa SirjaNhaar[u]
Oh being, why do you waver/worry?
The One who has made you will protect you.
(Dhan Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji Maharaj, Raag Tilang, Ang 724)
The Sun of Hope had risen. Mata Ji opened the door and the 70-yr old Senior Bhai Sujaan Singh Ji were standing there. They had a long flowing pure white beard. Along with them were other members of Sangat. Mata Ji fell at Bhai Sahib Ji’s Feet after seeing the effort the senior took to get there as well as the hassle of the Sangat getting together. The Senior supported Mata Ji’s head and said: Daughter! The Razaa (Command/Will) belongs to Vaheguru. The beloved [GurSikh] went to his Beloved. Now, does that mean you will skip Sangat? Rather, now is the time to connect with the only support for this world we live in. Death is only a door for us. A door which we will cross over to connect to the Lotus-Feet of the Master of Eternal Peace [Vaheguru]. Death is not a scary, pain-giving thing... death is where the spirit is born. Come dear, not going to Sangat is not part of Sikhi. We all have to go there too someday (meaning we all will physically die one day too).
Listening to this loving teaching, Mata Ji went with the Sangat. Today, the Bani of Satguru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was being sung. Following this was Katha. The Katha was about having a pure life, helping others, and remembering Vaheguru. We may separate from our loved ones and there is definitely pain associated with that separation but that separation is not forever. Our True Form is Consciousness... our form is not Unawareness/Unconsciousness or something that can be destroyed. Our lifestyle should be that of conscious awareness of Vaheguru. The clouds of doubt and hopelessness have fallen. Mata Ji’s mind was able to connect to Simran once more.
Instead of sending this news to Anandpur Sahib and having to call her daughter (Mata Jeetho Ji) to Lahore, Mata Ji decided to go directly to Anandpur Sahib herself. Some of the Sangat accompanied Mata Ji.

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