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A story of faith from Sant Sipahi (April, 2003)


Meharban Singh is a prominent Sikh living in Singapore. In the decade of 1970′s, I was also living there and Meharban Singh narrated to me a very interesting incident. He said that he, along with his family, had gone to Pakistan for paying obeisance at the Gurdwaras over there. General Ayub Khan was the President of the country in those days. He invited us to his residence over a cup of tea. When we entered his drawing room, I was taken aback on seeing the front wall of his room. It was painted with the words Ik Onkaar Satgur Parsaad, with two frames hanging underneath. Mool Mantra from Ik Onkaar Satnaam till Gurparsaad was inscribed in Punjabi in one frame and in Urdu in the other.

As I felt curious to know the background of these frames with Mool Mantra, I did not take much time in exchanging the initial pleasantries and said, “General Sahib, if you kindly permit me, then I would like to know about these lines of Gurbani over there (pointing my finger towards the frame with the Mool Mantra)”. For a moment he became emotional and then poignantly replied, “It is indeed Guru Nanak Sahib’s Kalaam (verse) because of which I am able to reach this highest post of the President of Pakistan.”

General Sahib went on to narrate his childhood experience connected with the Mool Mantra, with the following words: “I was studying in a school in Abbotabad and was very weak in my studies. As a punishment, I invariably used to get bashed in the class. One day, I thought of bunking the school simply to save myself from the daily ordeal and instead went to the Gurdwara Sahib, falling in the vicinity, to take shelter.

The Baba Ji (head Granthi of the Gurdwara Sahib), who was known to me, noticed my actions and enquired, ‘Ayuba, where are you loitering, is it not the time for you to go to school?’ I said, ‘Baba Ji, I will not go to school today. The teachers beat me up daily, I am unable to take it anymore.’ He took me fondly into his arms and said, ‘Henceforth you will not get any bashing. Recite this Kalaam continually on your way to school.’ I did the same and went to school. It was the first day, I did not get any bashing and it so happened that I never got any punishment after that.

“I started feeling a lot of change in my life and became more serious towards my studies, work and duties. The final exams approached and I went to the same old man again to request him to pray for me so that I get through the exams. Baba Ji said, ‘Ayuba, Guru Nanak’s Kalaam of Mool Mantra is with you.

Understand it, meditate on daily basis and never leave it wherever you go. Whatever you wish for, you will get.’ Today, I have reached this highest post of the country by the grace of Baba Nanak’s Mool Mantra and shall ever remain thankful to him for his blessings.”

In the year 2000, I got an opportunity to visit Pakistan. I was taking a round of the market in Lahore when I suddenly recalled the above narrated incident of President Ayub Khan. I went to a book stall and asked for a biography of the General. The shopkeeper showed me a book titled Friends not Masters. I went through the pages of the book hurriedly and verified the incident narrated by Meharban Singh. Eminent historian Principal Satbir Singh has also referred to the above incident in one of his books.V.P. Menon, former Foreign Secretary and India’s Ambassador to Russia, in his autobiography, shares a memorable experience during a visit to England to appear for an exam: “I visited the Southall Gurdwara to spend a night.

The Head Granthi of Gurdwara Sahib welcomed me. In the morning, when I was leaving for the examination center, I requested the aged head Granthi to pray for me so that I am able to pass the exam with good marks. He gave me a piece of paper by writing Ik Onkaar Satgur Parsaad and advised me to remember these words of Guru Nanak Sahib in my heart all the time and recite the same in case of any problem during exam and said, ‘Go and Guru Nanak Sahib will help you out.’ I don’t know what magic was there in his saying. His words entered my body in such a way as if I had an electric shock. I felt electrified when I reached the examination hall to appear for the exam. On reading the question paper, I started sweating. Then I remembered the advice of the Granthi Sahib. I took out that piece of paper from my pocket, recited the name of Guru Nanak and read those words Ik Onkaar Satgur Parsaad and started writing the paper. The result was astonishing and beyond my expectation. I went to thank the Granthi Sahib and asked the old man ‘Baba Ji what magic is there in these words?’

Granthi Ji said, ‘Never part with this mantra and always remember and recite these words. You will never fail in your life and succeed in all your ventures.’ Till date, whenever I start any work, I start it with Ik Onkaar Satgur Parsaad.”

Source: Sant Sipahi, April, 2003

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