Meetha Meetha - Tera Kiya Meetha Lagai - Translation and Discussion

Tera Kiya Meetha Laage (Meetha Meetha)
 - Guru Arjan Dev in Raag Asa

This shabad was recorded during a month long recording and composition spree with my guru bhai and dear friend Rajesh Prasanna, one of the best young indian classical flautists. Like we did in most of the recordings during this time, we just sat and recorded without much practice. 

The most beautiful part of the story is how Guru Arjan is deemed to have sung this shabad before his torturous death at the behest of Emperor Jahangir.  

ਆਸਾ ਘਰੁ ੭ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
आसा घरु ७ महला ५ ॥
Āsā gẖar 7 mėhlā 5.
Aasaa, Seventh House, Fifth Mehl:

ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਨਿਤ ਧਿਆਈ ॥
हरि का नामु रिदै नित धिआई ॥
Har kā nām riḏai niṯ ḏẖiāī.
Meditate continually on the Name of the Lord within your heart.

ਸੰਗੀ ਸਾਥੀ ਸਗਲ ਤਰਾਂਈ ॥੧॥
संगी साथी सगल तरांई ॥१॥
Sangī sāthī sagal ṯarāʼnī. ||1||
Thus you shall save all your companions and associates. ||1||

ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥
गुरु मेरै संगि सदा है नाले ॥
Gur merai sang saḏā hai nāle.
My Guru is always with me, near at hand.

ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਦਾ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
सिमरि सिमरि तिसु सदा सम्हाले ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Simar simar ṯis saḏā samĥāle. ||1|| rahāo.
Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever. ||1||Pause||

ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ 
तेरा कीआ मीठा लागै ॥ 
Ŧerā kīā mīṯẖā lāgai. 
Your actions seem so sweet to me. 

ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਂਗੈ ॥੨॥੪੨॥੯੩॥ 
हरि नामु पदारथु नानकु मांगै ॥२॥४२॥९३॥ 
Har nām paḏārath Nānak māʼngai. ||2||42||93|| 
Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||2||42||93|| 

The Martyrdom of Guru Arjan

By Kishori Lal

There may not be more harrowing examples in the history of world of killing persons mercilessly, who thought differently from the rulers of their times, by perpetrating multiple tortures, than ruthless Mugal emperor Jahangir,  who brutally ended the life of Sikh saint and 5th Guru of Sikhs, Arjan Dev.

Born on April 15, 1563, at Goindwal Saheb, he was the youngest son of Guru Ram Das. He was a great visionary Guru who started the construction of Golden Temple. Interestingly his Muslim devotee had laid the foundation of the holy shrine. He also completed the Nectar Sarovar and Harmandir Sahib in 1604. He was an ardent preacher of universal brotherhood, forgiveness, humility and freedom of worship.

Guru Arjan Dev compiled the Adi-Granth, Guru Granth Saheb up to his time in which in added many writings of Muslim and Hindu saints.

Irked by his popularity, Mugal emperor Jahangir summoned him and tried to prevail upon him to accept Islam. He was asked to embrace Islam to escape death. He preferred martyrdom.

On the fateful day of June 16, 1606, the tyrant Jahangir ordered the arrest of Guru Arjan Dev and punished him with death. The manner in which he was killed has no parallel in the history.  The only charge against him was that he had refused to stop the preachings of Guru Nanak Dev of worshipping God.

On the first day of persecution, he was starved and not a drop of water was given. In the previous night he was kept awake and made to sit on a red-hot thick iron sheet and red hot sand was poured on his head and body.

The brutal ruler was intrigued and shocked to observe that Guru Arjan Dev bore the brunt of pain calmly without showing any shriek of pain. He kept on murmuring the name of God and chanting the verses from the holy book Granth Sahib. One Chandu, a villain and traitor, was doing it to please the king.

On the second day, Chandu directed Guru ji to sit on a large copper caldron of boiling water. Guru sat silently on the boiling caldron without showing any sign of pain.  He only said, “My lord, all this is happening in accordance with thy will, which is very sweet to me.”

On the third day of torture, again red hot sand was poured on his head and body. On the fourth day of torture, he was again asked to sit on the red hot thick iron plate and was subjected to suffocation on the fifth day. Thousands of his weeping followers watched the ghastly scene helplessly and desperately.

Then the solders of Jahangir took Guru Arjan Dev to river Beas on the sixth day for a bath where he entered it never to come back.

During the course of torture, his Muslim devotee, Mian Amir, rushed to Arjan Dev, to see his plight. It was believed at that time that Amir possessed supernatural powers.  Seeing his horible condition, he cried out, “ Master,  I cannot bear the horrors inflicted on you. Allow me to demolish this tyrant regime.” Guru smiled and ordained him to look at the sky. It is said that he saw the angels in the sky begging for the permission to destroy the tyrannical and ruthless regime of Jahangir.

It may not be out of place to reproduce briefly some lines from the diary of Jahangir, “Tuzuk-i-Jahangir” to analyse  mental perversity of the Mughal emperor who broke all records of cruelty and barbarity in known history.  He wrote, “There lived a Hindu Arjan, an insignificant man, dressed in garments of sainthood and sanctity. He had captured simple-hearted Hindus and even ignorant and foolish followers of Islam who loudly beat the drums of his holiness. Stupid people crowded him to worship and manifest faith in him.  Four generations of spiritual Sikh successors had kept his shop warm.  It occurred to me to put a stop to it and bring him round to the fold of Islam….”

He has also mentioned in his personal diary that once Khusrau passed from the hermit of Guru Arjan Dev, who was widely adored and loved by people of all religions and faiths. He halted there to pay obeisance to Guruji and seek his blessings. Guru put a saffron finger sign (Tilak) on his forehead. I was furious to learn it.  “ I ordered to produce him before me and directed to forfeit all his property and put him to death.”

Guru Arjan Dev and Mian Mir: A Tale of Love and Friendship between two Sufi masters

by Navid Zaidi

Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) was the fifth Guru of the Sikh faith that flourished in the Punjab region of India from the sixteenth century onwards.

Hazrat Mian Mir (1550-1635) was a famous Muslim Sufi saint who resided in and around the city of Lahore in the Punjab. Both men became life-long friends and devotees and their love and friendship glorifies the Sufi doctrine of love for all.

The period of the fifth Guru Arjan Dev is important for many reasons. First, it was Guru Arjan who arranged for the Garanth Saheb to be recorded and it became a Sikh holy scripture of great symbolic power. Secondly, Mughal hostility and persecution became evident during his time.

The Mughals, particularly Emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb, persecuted the non-believers for political and religious reasons. In fact, not only Hindus and Sikhs but also Shia Muslims and Sufi saints became their victims.

The Sikh faith boldly declared equality and justice for all at a time when the Punjab was engulfed by extreme religious and social hatred, intolerance and inequality among various faiths, castes and creeds. Said Guru Gobind Singh:

Recognize all mankind, whether Hindus or Muslims, as one,
The same Lord is the Creator and Nourisher of all,
Recognize no distinction among them,
The temple and the mosque, the Hindu and Muslim prayer,
Men are all one.

This message of tolerance and religious co-existence was well received by the masses especially the Muslim Sufi saints of the Punjab.

Guru Arjan Dev often visited Lahore, the birthplace of his father, the fourth Guru Ram Das. On the occasion of one such visit he called on Hazrat Mian Mir and the two Sufi masters met and became life-long friends. Mian Mir was 13 years older than Guru Arjan.

Mian Mir was highly respected by the Sikhs. He was a man who had a deep love for Guru Nanak’s teachings. Mian Mir often traveled to Amritsar to meet with Guru Arjan. In turn, whenever Guru Arjan visited Lahore he would always meet with Mian Mir. Main Mir knew a large number of Guru Arjan’s verses by heart.

In 1588, Guru Arjan Dev planned to build a temple in Amritsar, now known as the Golden Temple. The temple was to be open to people of all castes and creeds. The Hindu temples were closed on three sides and their entrances were generally towards the East while Muslim mosques had entrances towards the West. The Sikh temples had entrances on all four sides denoting that God was in all directions and that the Gurudwara was open to all.

Guru Arjan invited Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Golden Temple. Mian Mir was given a customary warm welcome. The two masters embraced each other in sincere love and regard. Mian Mir was delighted with Guru Arjan’s ideas, the foundation stone was laid, hymns were sung in the praise of God and sweets were distributed.

The Mughals were getting uneasy with Guru Arjan’s popularity with the masses. In 1606, Guru Arjan Dev was charged by Emperor Jahangir with heresy and support of Prince Khusrow, his son, in the struggle for the throne. Emperor Akbar was unhappy with Jahangir and had designated his grandson Khusrow as his preferred choice for the Mughal throne.

Guru Arjan was imprisoned in Lahore Fort and tortured. When Mian Mir heard about it, he went to see Guru Arjan. Mian Mir was deeply saddened to see his friend in such misery, but he found Guru Arjan calm and serene, having completely resigned himself to the will of God.

Mian Mir suggested to the Guru that he should intercede with Emperor Jahangir on his behalf. The Guru forbade him. Then Mian Mir sought the Guru’s approval to raze the city of Delhi down to the ground with his spiritual powers. Guru Arjan replied:

‘I can also do that but under all conditions one must live in the will of God.’

Guru Arjan Dev was tortured to death in 1606 and became the first martyr of the Sikh faith. Mian Mir raised slogans to mourn the martyrdom of Guru Arjan. He never accepted any gifts sent by Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan or their ministers and nobles.

A couple of years after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan, his son and successor Guru Har Gobind, then a boy of 13, called on Mian Mir at Lahore. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru, also met Mian Mir as a child who blessed him.

The story of Guru Arjan's Martyrdom in Hindi

गुरु अर्जुन देव जी की शहादत अतुलनीय है। मानवता के सच्चे सेवक, धर्म के रक्षक, शांत और गंभीर स्वभाव के स्वामी गुरु अर्जुन देव अपने युग के सर्वमान्य लोकनायक थे जो दिन-रात संगत की सेवा में लगे रहते थे। उनके मन में सभी धर्मों के प्रति अथाह सम्मान था। श्री गुरु अर्जुन देव जी के बाद गुरु हरगोबिंद साहिब ने शांति के साथ-साथ हथियारबंद सेना तैयार करनी बेहतर समझी तथा मीरी-पीरी का संकल्प देते हुए श्री अकाल तख्त साहिब की रचना की।

गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब का संपादन भाई गुरदास की सहायता से किया और रागों के आधार पर ग्रंथ साहिब में संकलित बाणियों का जो वर्गीकरण किया है, उसकी मिसाल मध्यकालीन धार्मिक ग्रंथों में दुर्लभ है। सिख धर्म में सबसे पहली शहीदी पांचवें सिख गुरु अर्जुन देव जी की हुई। शांति के पुंज, शहीदों के सरताज, अर्जुन देव जी को मुगल बादशाह जहांगीर ने अकारण ही शहीद कर दिया। अकेला शहीद ही नहीं किया, बल्कि गुरु जी को ऐसी यातनाएं दीं कि सुनकर रूह कांप जाती है। ये यातनाएं अमानवीय थीं। विश्व को ‘सरबत दा भला’ का संदेश देने वाले तथा विश्व में शांति लाने की पहल करने वाले किसी गुरु को यातनाएं देकर शहीद कर देना मुगल साम्राज्य के पतन का भी कारण बना।

श्री गुरु अर्जुन देव जी का प्रकाश श्री गुरु रामदास जी के गृह में माता भानी जी की कोख से वैशाख बदि 7 सम्वत 1620 मुताबिक 15 अप्रैल 1563 ई. को गोइंदवाल साहिब में हुआ। आप जी का पालन-पोषण गुरु अमरदास जी जैसे गुरु तथा बाबा बुड्ढा जी जैसे महापुरुषों की देख-रेख में हुआ। आप जी बचपन से ही बहुत शांत स्वभाव तथा पूजा भक्ति करने वाले थे। आपके बाल्यकाल में ही गुरु अमरदास जी ने भविष्यवाणी की थी कि यह बालक बहुत बाणी की रचना करेगा। गुरु जी ने कहा था ‘दोहता बाणी का बोहेथा’।

गुरु गद्दी संभालने के बाद गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने लोक भलाई तथा धर्म प्रचार के कामों में तेजी ला दी। आपने गुरु रामदास जी द्वारा शुरू किए गए सांझे निर्माण कार्यों को प्राथमिकता दी। नगर अमृतसर में आपने संतोखसर तथा अमृत सरोवरों का काम मुकम्मल करवा कर अमृत सरोवर के बीच हरिमंदिर साहिब जी का निर्माण कराया, जिसका शिलान्यास मुसलमान फकीर साईं मियां मीर जी से करवा कर धर्मनिरपेक्षता का सबूत दिया और अमृतसर शहर आस्था का केन्द्र बन गया। आप जी ने नए नगर तरनतारन साहिब, करतारपुर साहिब, छेहर्टा साहिब, श्री हरगोबिंदपुरा आदि बसाए। तरनतारन साहिब में एक विशाल सरोवर का निर्माण कराया जिसके एक तरफ तो गुरुद्वारा साहिब और दूसरी तरफ कुष्ठ रोगियों के लिए एक दवाखाना बनवाया। यह दवाखाना आज तक सुचारू रूप से चल रहा है। सामाजिक कार्य के रूप में गांव-गांव में कुंओं का निर्माण कराया। सुखमणि साहिब की भी रचना की जिसका हर गुरसिख प्रतिदिन पाठ करता है।

गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब का संपादन भाई गुरदास की सहायता से किया और रागों के आधार पर ग्रंथ साहिब में संकलित बाणियों का जो वर्गीकरण किया है, उसकी मिसाल मध्यकालीन धार्मिक ग्रंथों में दुर्लभ है। गुरु जी ने सदैव ही अपने सिखों को परमात्मा पर हर समय भरोसा रखने तथा सर्व सांझीवालता का संदेश दिया। एक बार सुलही खान, जो मुगल राजा था, गुरु जी पर चढ़ाई करने आ गया। जब संगत को इसके बारे में पता चला तो उन्होंने गुरु जी को कहा कि कोई पत्र लिखकर सुलही खान को भेजा जाए, जिसमें उसे हमला न करने की सलाह दी गई हो। कुछ लोगों का कहना था कि एक प्रतिनिधिमंडल भेजा जाए, जो उसे सिख धर्म के बारे में बता सके तथा हमला न करने संबंधी राजी कर सके जबकि कुछ अन्य लोगों का कहना था कि सुलही खान का मुकाबला करने के लिए हमें कोई न कोई उपाय करना चाहिए। गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने उन्हें समझाते हुए कहा कि उन्हें परमेश्वर पर पूर्ण विश्वास है। इस संबंध में आप जी का उच्चारण किया हुआ एक शब्द भी गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब में दर्ज है।

अकबर की सम्वत 1662 में हुई मौत के बाद उसका पुत्र जहांगीर बादशाह बना तो गुरु जी के भाई पृथ्वी चंद ने उससे नजदीकियां बढ़ानी शुरू कर दीं। जहांगीर गुरु जी की बढ़ती लोकप्रियता को पसंद नहीं करता था। उसे यह बात बिल्कुल पसंद नहीं आई कि गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने उसके भाई खुसरो की मदद क्यों की। जहांगीर ने अपनी जीवनी ‘तुज़के जहांगीरी’ में स्वयं भी लिखा है कि वह गुरु अर्जुन देव जी की बढ़ रही लोकप्रियता से आहत था, इसलिए उसने गुरु जी को शहीद करने का फैसला कर लिया।

गुरु अर्जुन देव जी को लाहौर में 30 मई 1606 ई. को भीषण गर्मी के दौरान ‘यासा व सियास्त’ कानून के तहत लोहे की गर्म तवी पर बिठाकर शहीद कर दिया गया। ‘यासा व सियास्त’ के अनुसार किसी व्यक्ति का रक्त धरती पर गिराए बिना उसे यातनाएं देकर शहीद कर दिया जाता है। गुरु जी के शीश पर गर्म-गर्म रेत डाली गई। जब गुरु जी का शरीर अग्नि के कारण बुरी तरह से जल गया तो आप जी को ठंडे पानी वाले रावी दरिया में नहाने के लिए भेजा गया, जहां गुरु जी का पावन शरीर आलोप हो गया। जहां आप ज्योति ज्योत समाए उसी स्थान पर लाहौर में रावी नदी के किनारे गुरुद्वारा डेरा साहिब (जो अब पाकिस्तान में है) का निर्माण किया गया है।

गुरु अर्जुन देव जी ने लोगों को विनम्र रहने का संदेश दिया। आप विनम्रता के पुंज थे। कभी भी आपने किसी को भी दुर्वचन नहीं बोले। गुरु अर्जुन देव जी का संगत को एक और बड़ा संदेश था कि परमेश्वर की रजा में राजी रहना। जब आपको जहांगीर के आदेश पर आग के समान तप रही तवी पर बिठा दिया, उस समय भी आप परमेश्वर का शुक्राना कर रहे थे:

‘तेरा कीया मीठा लागै॥ हरि नामु पदार्थ नानक मांगै॥’

Other Shabads With This Theme

Bhinni Rainariye
Amrit Bani Har Har Teri
Sabhai Ghat Raam Bolai - Bhagat Namdev
Hamari Pyaari Amritdhaari
Kali Koyal Tu Kit Gun Kali
Loga bharam na Bhoolo bhai (Gur gud deena meetha) - Kabir

Other "Sweet" references
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down - Song from Mary Poppins
Bhai Nandlal - Sack of Sugar
Joyful acceptance - Michael J Fox - How Michael J. Fox accepted his alzheimer's.