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Journey To Lahore

While Guru Ram Das was excavating the sarovar of Amritsar, dwellings arose in the vicinity for the accommodation of the Guru's Sikhs, visitors, and workmen; and in time a beautiful city was constructed. At first, the city was known as Ramdaspur, or the City of Ram Das, and finally Amritsar, as it is now known.

The Wedding Invitation

Bhai Sahari Mal, Guru Ram Das's first cousin, came from Lahore especially to invite Guru Sahib to grace his son's marriage with his presence. Guru Ram Das explained the difficulties there would be if he left Amritsar. Sikhs were coming to see him daily and receive instruction, and it would be improper for him to neglect his duty as Guru.

Wherever Guru Ram Das went he was accompanied by a large crowd of followers; and it would not be right to impose the burden of feeding them all on the parents of the bride. In lieu of himself, Guru Ram Das consented to send one of his sons. He addressed his eldest son Prithi Chand, generally known as Prithia, but he made excuses. He said that he had never before been separated from his father, and he did not wish to leave him now.

Prithi Chand's Refusal

Prithi Chand said it was important that he should remain at home to take charge of the offerings, and to ensure that they were not misappropriated. It was also necessary for him to attend the Guru's kitchen, and take care that strangers received due attention. The Guru replied that his own business was never interrupted, and some other Sikh would willingly undertake Prithia's duties.

Prithia finally urged that he dreaded the turmoil of weddings, and would feel unhappy if he went. Prithia had two motives of his own for refusing. He was in charge of the offerings, and was able to furtively set aside much wealth for himself. If he went to Lahore this illicit gain would fall to someone else. The time, too, was approaching for the selection of a Guru in succession to his father, and he apprehended supersession (being replaced) during his absence.

Mahadev's Refusal

Guru Ram Das then addressed his second son, Mahadev, who was a religious enthusiast and did not heed sublunary (worldly) affairs. Mahadev replied that he had no relations or connexions in the world, and, that being the case, why should he entangle himself in any such enterprise?

Guru Ram Das then addressed his youngest son, (Guru) Arjan, who when not in attendance on his father was constantly engaged in remembrance of God. (Guru) Arjan possessed saintly qualities, with no regard to wealth or worldly advantages. Guru Ram Das asked him to go with his cousin to Lahore, and after the wedding to remain at the Sikh place of worhsip to give religious instruction to the Sikhs.

(Guru) Arjan Prepares For His Journey

(Guru) Arjan replied that he only wanted his father to be happy. Although it was a wedding and an occasion to rejoice; (Guru) Arjan would have gladly obeyed his fathers orders even if it were it a mission which involved danger of life. Guru Ram Das was very pleased, and again directed him to tarry (remain) some time in Lahore, and not return until he had received a written invitation. Guru Ram Das instructed that while at Lahore, whatever offerings (Guru) Arjan should receive were to be consigned to his kitchen to feed all including the poor and strangers, so that none should be sent away hungry.

Before his departure (Guru) Arjan's mother, Bibi Bhani woke him early morning, and asked him to carry Simran and repeat God's name. This was prior to giving (Guru) Arjan maternal advice and uttering for him the prayer which he subsequently versified in the following hymn;

ਗੂਜਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
Gūjrī mėhlā 5.
Goojaree, Fifth Mehl:

ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਨਾਸਹਿ ਪਿਤਰੀ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥
Jis simraṯ sabẖ kilvikẖ nāsėh piṯrī ho▫e uḏẖāro.
Remembering God, all sins are erased, and ones ancestors are saved.

ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਜਾਪਹੁ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਰੋ ॥੧॥
So har har ṯumĥ saḏ hī jāpahu jā kā anṯ na pāro. ||1||
So meditate continually on the Lord, Har, Har; He has no end or limitation. ||1||

ਪੂਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਕੀ ਆਸੀਸ ॥
Pūṯā māṯā kī āsīs.
O son, this is your mother's hope and prayer,

ਨਿਮਖ ਨ ਬਿਸਰਉ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਭਜਹੁ ਜਗਦੀਸ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Nimakẖ na bisara▫o ṯumĥ ka▫o har har saḏā bẖajahu jagḏīs. ||1|| rahā▫o.
that you may never forget the Lord, Har, Har, even for an instant. May you ever vibrate upon the Lord of the Universe. ||1||Pause||

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਉ ਹੋਇ ਦਇਆਲਾ ਸੰਤਸੰਗਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥
Saṯgur ṯumĥ ka▫o ho▫e ḏa▫i▫ālā saṯsang ṯerī parīṯ.
May the True Guru be kind to you, and may you love the Society of the Saints.

ਕਾਪੜੁ ਪਤਿ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਰਾਖੀ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਨੀਤਿ ॥੨॥
Kāpaṛ paṯ parmesar rākẖī bẖojan kīrṯan nīṯ. ||2||
May the preservation of your honor by the Transcendent Lord be your clothes, and may the singing of His Praises be your food. ||2||

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਸਦਾ ਚਿਰੁ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨਦ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥
Amriṯ pīvhu saḏā cẖir jīvhu har simraṯ anaḏ ananṯā.
So drink in forever the Ambrosial Nectar; may you live long, and may the meditative remembrance of the Lord give you infinite delight.

ਰੰਗ ਤਮਾਸਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਆਸਾ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਚਿੰਤਾ ॥੩॥
Rang ṯamāsā pūran āsā kabėh na bi▫āpai cẖinṯā. ||3||
May joy and pleasure be yours; may your hopes be fulfilled, and may you never be troubled by worries. ||3||

ਭਵਰੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਹੋਵਉ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣਾ ਹੋਹੁ ਕਉਲਾ ॥
Bẖavar ṯumĥārā ih man hova▫o har cẖarṇā hohu ka▫ulā.
Let this mind of yours be the bumble bee, and let the Lord's feet be the lotus flower.

ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਉਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਲਪਟਾਇਓ ਜਿਉ ਬੂੰਦਹਿ ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕੁ ਮਉਲਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੪॥
Nānak ḏās un sang laptā▫i▫o ji▫o būʼnḏėh cẖāṯrik ma▫ulā. ||4||3||4||
Says servant Nanak, attach your mind to them, and blossom forth like the song-bird, upon finding the rain-drop. ||4||3||4||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Arjan, Ang 496

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