Sikh Missionary Society
Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
10, Featherstone Road. Southall, Middx, U.K. UB2 5AA
Tel: +44 020 8574 1902
Fax: +44 020 8574 1912
Reg Charity No: 262404
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Apostle of Peace
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Apostle of Peace

Sikh Missionary Society: Publications: Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Apostle of Peace:

The Master's character & philosophy

The Master's character & philosophy

"Guru Arjan was one of the most loveable of all the ten Gurus. With sweetness he achieved in nation-building what the great warrior ''Umaf attained for Islam.'' He found the sikhs free of caste prejudice and devoted to their Guru, but a mere religious sect; he left them a nation, and entrusted them to a successor with orders to maintain an army but in all other respects to follow the earlier Gurus. He was a great statesman, a peaceful organizer, philosopher and poet. His unfailing gentleness and loving self-restraint before his spiteful elder brother would alone have shown him a true saint; his poems, a spontaneous inspired outflow, are so musical it is hard even for a foreigner to read them, they so demand to be sung. He is unusually easy in his diction and never obscure; there is much repetition, but every line seems new and fresh. it is so instinct with the simplicity of creation. His themes are ever love, devotion and union with the Beloved after the long agony of separation; his Bara Maha and his Sukhmani rank among the best of these and perhaps recall the misery of the three lonely years in Lahore before his father called him home. His poems are the most extensive among the immortal poets whose work is enshrined in the Guru-Granth Sahib. To hear them from his own lips that thrilled with yearning passion. playing on the melody of the tambur's soft notes as he sang to the pilgrims in the Hari Mandar at Amritsar, must have been an experience to drive the hearer into all sanctifying love. His very presence was spiritual attraction, and none could be unmoved by it save the few who were inspired by evil's very self, as it were. His toleration of personal wrongs, his humility and patience, would have won him love among the people of any nation on the earth.''
(Duncan Greenlees, ''The Gospel of The Guru Granth Sahib.'' page Lxxix.)

Extracts from Guru Arjan Dev's Poetry

O lord of the soul, Gobind, Ocean of mercy,
Guru of the world;
O Destroyer of the world's grievances
Full of compassion, dispel every sorrow.
O You who can afford shelter,
Merciful Lord of the poor, have mercy on us'
(Sahaskritti Sloks)
The disease of pride has impoverished man;
The disease of lust subdues the elephant;
Through disease of the eye, the moth is burned to ashes;
Through disease of the ear, the deer is ruined;
Everyone we see has his own special disease.
It's only my true Guru united with God who is free from disease.
Through disease of the palate, the fish is caught;
Through disease of the nose, the bumble bee dies;
The whole world is a prey to disease.
Entangled in the disease of worldly love and sin.
Through disease man dies, through disease he is born.
Through disease the soul wanders in wombs again and again.
Man cannot free himself from the toils of disease even for a moment;
Without the Guru disease never leaves him.
When God is merciful to anyone,
He takes his arm and bees him from disease,
For those who have found the association of saints,
The letters are broken.
Says Nanak, the Guru has cured his disease.
(Rag Bhairo)
Join and unite together, my brethren,
Lay aside differences, love one another.
Associate yourselves with God's name, O holy men;
Spread your mat and sit on it.
ln this way, my friends, throw your dice.
O holy men, repeat God's name day and night,
And at the last hour you shall not suffer.
(Rag Basant)
What one does with one hand, the other hand
Has to reap the fruit thereof without delay.
One may try to cure oneself of egoism for all the four ages,
It cannot be removed without the influence of good company.
One cannot be free from egoism without the company of the holy
If one meets a Guru with a pure heart,
A cripple can climb a mountain,
A fool can talk like an intelligent person,
And the blind can see through the universe.
Hear ye, friends, this is the advantage one secures
From the society of the holy;
The dirt of the heart is removed,
Millions of sins are washed away,
And the heart becomes pure.
(Rag Bilawal)
Good omens and ill omens stick only to those
Who do not remember the Lord.
(Rag Asa)
O, foolish man, why do you grumble,
When you are rewarded according to your own actions.
Through His service the transmigration of souls
Can come to an end.
The load of 'Karma' is taken off my breast
And I soar like a bird, free on its wings.
No more restraint.
I now act without my desire for reward.
I have crossed the Sea of life
And have reached the Shore
The Lord has done this act of mercy
Now Truth is my resting place.
Truth is the rock on which I stand
I dwell in Truth.
Truth is my Capital and Stock-in-trade.
Sayeth Nanak, I have found My House within me.''
(Rag Maru)
''It is the veil of man's self-hood
That stands in between man and God.''
(Rag Sorath)
''Bethinking the Lord, the mirror of your mind is wiped bright
Bethinking Him, the nectar-Nam illumines your self like Sun-light
By singing His praises the tilth of your mind shall be removed.
Your inflated egotism and wickedness shall be destroyed.
Then you shall dwell carefree in bliss forever.
Remember His Holy presence with every breath and with every morsel
Give up all cleverness. o crafty mind
And seek the Company of Saints where you shall find this true wealth.''
I do not keep the Hindu fast or the Muslim Ramadan
I serve Him alone who is my prop.
I serve One Unique master, my God
I worship neither with a Hindu not go to Mecca with a Muslim
I serve one unique master and no other.
I do not pray to idols nor do I perform the Muslim prayer.
I offer my heart at the feet of the Supreme being
For we are neither Hindus nor Musalman.
(Guru Arjan Dev Ji)
Previous Chapter - Martyrdom
Table of Contents
Return to the top of the page.

Copyright (©)2004 by Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.)
All Rights Reserved.