Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
These are the words from Sri Guru Granth sahib (SGGS). I had always wondered that I have never seen that reality take place in real life. I knew in my heart that if the words have been said by Guru Ji and written by them, then there is no veracity of their not being the true. But then in my heart I was wondering if it happens, how the reality unfolds. The recent happening in Sri Lanka looked to me like a classic unfolding of such a scenario. The President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to flee the nation, roiled by riots because of economic meltdown from a very high inflation rates and acute fuel shortages.
So, let us first try to briefly understand what happened in Sri Lanka:
So, we find that head of the nation considered as most powerful had become a liability in his own country and was not only forced to flee but had to beg for permission to stay outside. The palace had been breached by the popular unrest in the nation, and President (king in earlier times) had been checkmated. This unfolding of the fate of the head of the nation appeared to me to a modern-day example of Guru Ji’s words:
“Bhekhaaree te raaj karaavai raajaa te bhekhaaree.” – (SGGS, Pg. No. 1252)
Translation: The beggar is transformed into a king, and the king into a beggar.
We saw a king had been turned to a beggar. This was not just an unceremonious fall from grace for President Gotabaya alone, but for his siblings and the powerful clan of Rajapaksas, which had dominated the political landscape for decades. Earlier his older brother Mahinda was the President from 2005 to 2015 and was also the Prime Minister from 2019 -2022. The bust of their father was toppled by the masses during the violent demonstrations in Hambantota, reminding us that how once venerable was biting dust.
Now let us look at the earlier line of the shabad quoted above, where it was shared that the mortals are exalted to occupy the crown in these words:
“Dharatee te aakaas chaddaavai chadde akaas giraavai. 2.” - (SGGS, Pg. No. 1252)
Translation: From the earth, the mortal is exalted to the ethers (Seventh Sky); and from the ethers on high, he is thrown down again. ||2||
When one is elevated from dust and handed the crown, the feeling of invincibility takes birth. One start feeling that one can do no wrong or do any harm and can get away with anything. The general tendency grips to usurp more power and control, becoming more autocratic. It makes us forget that we are not going to remain here forever. Guru Ji has warned us about it in these words:
“Raaje rai ra(n)k nahee rahanaa aai jai jug chaare.” – (SGGS, Pg. No. 931)
Translation: The ruling kings and the paupers shall not remain; they come and go, throughout the four ages.
The words used in Gurbani are Raaje meaning kings, who were the leaders of the nation then, today we have Presidents and Prime Ministers as heads of nations, but the truth is still valid. We still see that many leaders act in manners as if they are invincible, occupying the throne forever. It is easy to notice this tendency amongst the leaders, as their actions affect the citizens of the nation, plus it makes news which is broadcast/telecast. But essentially, we all may be carrying these traits as well. We may not have been able to implement them in our lives on the scales of our leaders, so have not seen the light shined on its effects. Guru Ji says everyone is egoistic:
“Haumai rog maanukh kau dheenaa.” – (SGGS, Pg. No. 1140)
Translation: The mankind is afflicted with the disease of egotism.
It is only when the egotism is purged from within then the merger with Divine takes place:
“Aap giaa taa aapeh bhae.
Kirpa nidhaan kee saranee pae. 3.” – (SGGS, Pg. No. 202)
Translation: When selfishness is gone from within, then one becomes (one with) the Lord Himself; (therefore) seek the Sanctuary of the treasure of mercy. ||3||
So, let us all seek the sanctuary of God, and pray that we rid ourselves of our ego. Let our success or achievements not cloud our ability to gauge the ground reality. Let this unfolding of history in front of our eyes trigger our own course correction in life.
More by : Bhupinder Singh