36. Bhaai Nand Laal
Nand Lal Goya, born at Ghazni in Afghanistan in 1643, was an accomplished
Persian scholar who composed verses in praise of God and Guru Gobind Singh.
He was hardly nineteen when his parents passed away and after that he moved
to the city of Multan. The Nawab of Multan being impressed with his
scholastic talents and personality, appointed him as his 'Mir Munshi'
the age of 45 Nand Lal left the service and set out in pursuit of peace. At
last he reached Anandpur. Nand Lal wanted to test the Guru before he could
accept him. He took a small house and started living quietly in that and
made up his mind that he would go to the Guru only when the Guru beckoned
him. The Guru did not call for sometimes. During this period Nand Lal became
very restless which he recorded :
long shall I patiently wait? My heart is restless for a vision of thee, My
tearful eyes, says Goya, Have become flooding streams of love Flowing in a
passionate affection towards thee."
last the Guru called Nand Lal. When he reached there for his holy sight, the
Guru was sitting in a trance with his eyes closed. As Nand Lal saw the
Master, he was wonder-stuck and he recorded :
life and faith are held in bondage,
By His sweet and angelic
The glory of Heaven and
Is hardly worth,
A hair of His golden looks.
O! How can I bear the
Shed by the piercing glance
of His love,
To ennoble and enlighten
A glimpse of the Beloved is
enough." (Bhai Nand Lal)
a short while the Master opened his eyes and smiled as he looked towards
Nand Lal. By mere opening of his eyes, he enabled Nand Lal to see the
Divine. His one glance of Grace opened the spiritual eyes of Nand Lal. He
bowed down saying,"Lord, my doubts are dispelled. I have known the Truth.
The doors of my heart are opened and I have attained peace."
Lal, thus, continued to live at Anandpur in the service and love of the
Master. One day the Gurucommanded him," You left the home and renounced the
world; such a renunciation is not acceptable to me. Go back and live in the
world, work for your living and serve the humanity; but remain unattached to
Maya (materialism), keeping God alive in thy mind." Nand Lal asked," Whither
should I go, O Master?" The Guru replied," To whichever direction your feet
Nand Lal bowed and left Anandpur and after sometimes he reached Agra, the
city of Taj Mahal where Prince Bahadur Shah was holding his court. There
were some poets, scholars and artists patronized by the prince. Nand Lal was
soon recognized at Agra as a great scholar which earned him a high office
and emoluments from the prince.
is said that Emperor Aurangzeb had to send a letter to the King of Persia
and Nand Lal's draft of that letter was deemed as the most suitable. Upon
this Aurangzeb sent for Nand Lal, and after an interview he remarked to his
courtiers that it was a pity that such a learned man should remain a Hindu.
Aurangzeb told Prince Bahadur Shah to convert Nand Lal to Islam by
persuasion if possible, and by force otherwise. This news leaked out and
Bhai Nand Lal with the help of Ghiasuddin, a Muslim admirer and follower of
him, escaped from Agra one night, and fled to Anandpur, the only place where
such refugees could find safe asylum.
the blissful life at the Master's feet at Anandpur, Bhai Nand Lal then
settled down to a routine of a devoted disciple. He presented to the Guru a
Persian work called Bandagi Nama in praise of God, a titlewhich the Guru
changed to Zindagi Nama, or 'Bestower of Eternal life'. The following few
extracts are from that work :
"Both worlds, here and hereafter, are filled
with God's light; The sun and moon are merely servants who hold His torches.
They who search for God are ever civil.