Bhagat Dhanna ji
Principal teachings: God can be achieved by meditating with pure innocence and simplicity. God nourishes every living body at all places, all of the time. A person should meditate and recite God’s name being care free in meditation. We should place our needs in front of Almighty God without any hesitation and ask him for our boons whether spiritual or of this world. God is very kind and compassionate. What ever you ask for, God will give it to you(if he thinks it is beneficial for you). This is god’s trait. So we should become fearless and meditate on His name. Bhagat Dhanna ji, a true and firm believer in God was born in the year 1415 A.D. at village Dhuaan, Taank area Rajputana(Rajasthan). His father was a poor village farmer. Since childhood, he was a boy of religious nature. He heard about the reputation of Bhagat Nam Dev ji, a well known man of devotion and meditation at that time. He also came to know about Bhagat Kabir ji who sat in deep meditation and love of God. He saw people of all four castes(Kshatri, Brahmin,Vaish, Shoodar) bowing in respect in the holy feet of low caste Bhagat Ravidas ji. The fame and lofty reputation of Bhagat Sain Ji was also widespread at that time. The reputation and love for God of all these people left a great influence on the mind of Bhagat Dhanna ji. He was inspired to meditate too. He tried to recite and meditate on Lord’s name all the time. As Guru Arjun Dev ji has ordered on page 487 :
Naam Dayv's mind was absorbed into God, Gobind, Gobind, Gobind. The calico-printer, worth half a shell, became worth millions. Abandoning weaving and stretching thread, Kabeer enshrined love for the Lord's lotus feet. A weaver from a lowly family, he became an ocean of excellence. Ravidas, who used to carry dead cows every day, renounced the world of Maya. He became famous in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, and obtained the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan. Sain, the barber, the village drudge, became famous in each and every house. The Supreme Lord God dwelled in his Hearing this, Dhanna the Jaat applied himself to devotional worship. The Lord of the Universe met him personally; Dhanna was so very blessed.
The seeds of predestined deeds of penance required some optimum means to grow; His father gave him the responsibility of grazing the cattle on the ground near the bank of a river daily. A Pandit(Brahmin) whose name was Tirlochan used to come and meditate and worship Thakur(idol of God) on the bank of same river. First, Pandit would take a bath in the river and then he would bathe his Thakurs and worship Him. Bhagat Dhanna ji watched all these actions of Pandit ji every day. Bhagat ji was engrossed in his duty of grazing cows but he wondered about what kind of duty pandit was doing. This thought disturbed him and made him curious to know from the pandit about the details of the matter. So one day Bhagat Dhanna ji dared to ask Pandit Tirlochan;”Pandit ji ! What are you doing ?”
Pandit ji replied,” O Jatt! Don’t you know I am worshipping my Thakur?”
Bhagat ji asked,” What do you get from the worshipping Thakur?”
Pandit Tirlochan Ji said,” Who ever worships Thakur with love and devotion and offers him food to eat becomes successful and rich. There is never a shortage of anything in his family. All things are received in abundance. What ever you ask for from these Thakurs after worshipping them , Thakurs provide those things.” Bhagat Dhanna ji requested Pandit Tirlochan ji to give him a Thakur to worship. Pandit ji tried to put him off, considering Dhanna ji as a simple and illiterate jatt(farmer). He said to Dhanna Bhagat,” O Dhanna! It is very hard to worship Thakurs. You have to get up early in the morning. After burning incense, you have to offer food to the Thakur, and then you have to have your own food. If you eat your food before offering it to the Thakur, the deities will get annoyed. Being a deeply devotional, religious, and innocent man that Bhagat Dhanna Ji was, he agreed to all the conditions of the Pandit. Seeing the obstinacy of Dhanna Ji to have a Thakur at any cost, the Pandit took up a big stone from the flowing river, wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, and handed it over to Dhanna Ji as if it was a Thakur. Pandit also made clear the process of worshipping Thakur to Dhanna Ji. In exchange for the “Thakur” the Pandit was given a beautiful milking cow by Dhanna Ji. Dhanna Ji was overjoyed to have a Thakur. He went to his home happily. He took a bath himself, bathed Thakur ji in pure water, and placed it on an elevated surface. He prepared a vegetarian thali (containing mustard saag, corn chappatti, and butter milk), covered it with a big piece of cloth, and placed it before the Thakur. Bhagat Dhanna Ji began to request very politely and with a pure heart “Thakur Ji, I am a poor man. Please accept my saag, makki di roti and lassi. Please oblige me by having this food and sanctify it.” He kept praying like this for a long time, but Thakur Ji did not have his food. Dhanna Ji was a simple and innocent person. He never knew that Pandit Tirlochan would only dip his finger in the milk and other eatables and then just sprinkle it on the Thakur. This process was called Bhog (offering food to be blessed by god). The pandit would then take the rest of the food for himself. But Dhanna wanted Thakur Ji to come out in person and actually eat the food. Only then would he eat his own food. So in this state of mind, Dhanna Ji kept praying to Thakur Ji and finally he took a firm decision. He told the stone, “Thakur Ji, as long as you don’t eat, I won’t either. I agree that I don’t have anything sufficient or superior to offer you, but whatever I could give you, I am offering that now. You eat from Pandit Tirlochan’s hands on a daily basis, but today this poor man has requested you, and you are not eating the food offered.” Due tohis pure innocence and the firm belief of Dhanna Ji, Almighty God had to appear physically in front of his disciple. God appeared in physical form and ate the meal that Bhagat Dhanna Ji had offered him. Dhanna Ji’s joy knew no bounds, so on seeing God in physical form, his inner self merged with the Almighty. The creator and the Bhagat became one in a complete state of unison. The state or the stage of spirituality which is not gained by the saints and seers after austere penance and meditation was achieved by Dhanna Ji, just by his purity, innocence, simplicity and deep rooted firmness of belief and his inner touching prayers. So the Almighty, who is the protector of all his bhagats, fulfilled all the worldly actions requested by Bhagat Dhanna Ji. This made him the “luckiest one”. Bhai Gurdas Ji has described this incidence in his vaar 10 pauri 13 as :
A brahman would worship gods (in the form of stone idols) where Dhanna used to graze his cow. On seeing his worship, Dhanna asked the brahman what he was doing. Service to the Thakur (God) gives the desired fruit,” replied the brahman. Dhanna requested, “O brahman, if you agree kindly give one to me.” The brahman rolled a stone, gave it to Dhanna and thus got rid of him. Dhanna bathed the Thakur and offered him bread and buttermilk. With folded hands and falling at the feet of the stone he begged for his service to be accepted. Dhanna said, “I will also not eat because how can I be happy if you are annoyed.” (Seeing his true and loving devotion) God was forced to appear and eat his bread and buttermilk. In fact, innocence like that of Dhanna makes the sight of the Lord available.
After having seen Almighty God, Dhanna’s Ji’s belief about God was deepened. Now it had become an unshakable faith, stronger than the previous state of mind. He dedicated his entire life in reciting the name of God. While doing his daily job of agriculture, Dhanna Ji’s mind was always attuned to the creator. Whenever a worldly need arose, Bhagat Ji expressed it to his Thakur (God) as a child tells everything he needs to his mother. Such became the relationship between the Bhagat and the Bhagat-Protector. We merely read, “Tum Maat Pita Hum Barik Tere” (you are our father, you are our mother, and we are your children) but Dhanna Ji actually believed this and proved it by his firm belief in God. As Satguru Arjun Dev Ji has ordered :
You are my Father, and you are my Mother. You are my Relative, and you are my Brother
Not only did he accept Almighty God as a Father and Mother, but when he needed something, he put forward a long list of demands before the creator without any sort of hesitation, but moreover, Almighty God fulfilled them. Just see how Bhagat Dhanna Ji has stated in his own words the long list of worldly demands in a affectionate voice:
O Lord of the world, this is Your lamp-lit worship service. You are the Arranger of the affairs of those humble beings who perform Your devotional worship service. Lentils, flour and ghee - these things, I beg of You. My mind shall ever be pleased. Shoes, fine clothes, and grain of seven kinds - I beg of You. A milk cow, and a water buffalo, I beg of You, and a fine Turkestani horse. A good wife to care for my home Your humble servant Dhanna begs for these things, Lord.
He had a firm and constant belief in God. To inculcate this firm belief in us, he gives us three examples to make us understand. As mentioned on page 1070 :
Don't worry - let the Creator take care of it. The Lord gives to all creatures in the water and on the land. My God bestows His blessings without being asked, even to worms in soil and stones.
He has addressed the human mind in Raag Aasa as,” O mind! Why don’t you remember your kind and compassionate lord? There is no body except Him. You may run and roam to any part of the universe, but only that will happen which pleases our lord. Whatever God wishes, will happen. Don’t worry uselessly. Look ! God has created a beautiful human body with ten doors in the womb of a mother from the sperm and blood of the parents. He has protected this fetus and nourished it even in the mother’s womb. Just look at another example. A female tortoise lives in water and its offspring remains on the seashore. A female tortoise has neither wings with which it can fly to bring food for its young one’s, nor it has teats with which it can nourish its young ones. But see the beauty of God, how he nourishes them. Even the worms and the insects inside the stone where there is no hole, no way to reach anything; get nourishment from Almighty God. So O man! You must not be scared by the thought of no availability of food. Have firm faith in God. Such was the deep faith of Dhanna ji in Almighty God. He mentions that on page 488 :
O my consciousness, why don't you remain conscious of the Merciful Lord ? How can you recognize any other ? You may run around the whole universe, but that alone happens which the Creator Lord does. In the water of the mother's womb, He fashioned the body with ten gates. He gives it sustenance, and preserves it in fire - such is my Lord and Master. The mother turtle is in the water, and her babies are out of the water. She has no wings to protect them, and no milk to feed them. The Perfect Lord, the embodiment of supreme bliss, the Fascinating Lord takes care of them. See this, and understand it in your mind The worm lies hidden under the stone - there is no way for him to escape. Says Dhanna, the Perfect Lord takes care of him. Fear not, O
Bhagat Dhanna ji has described his spiritual state in Raag Aasa. He also emphasizes that mind, wealth and body are destructible. He says,” The body decays. The mind wanders away and is not stable. Wealth also does not accumulate after one point. It also scatters. So a person involves himself in the web of greed, lust, anger, pride and other forms of mammon(maya). A human being thinks these things are sweet and enjoyable and that is why he is caught in this vicious cycle of repeated births and death. With the grace of the Guru, the person who has come to know the reality of this materialistic world with deep meditation, enjoys the bliss of spiritual heights. He gains eternal pleasure and contentment. Such Gurmukhs(one who loves God) are emancipated from the cycle of life and death. “ In his last lines, Bhagat Dhanna ji states,” I Dhanna, have gained the wealth of God’s name due to the company of saints. So O curious learners! You should follow this path to save yourself from this cycle of life and birth.” He states this on page 487 :
I wandered through countless incarnations, but mind, body and wealth never remain stable. Attached to, and stained by the poisons of sexual desire and greed, the mind has forgotten the jewel of the Lord. The poisonous fruit seems sweet to the demented mind, which does not know the difference between good and evil. Turning away from virtue, his love for other things increases, and he weaves again the web of birth and death. He does not know the way to the Lord, who dwells within his heart; burning in the trap, he is caught by the noose of death. Gathering the poisonous fruits, he fills his mind with them, and he forgets God, the Supreme Being, from his mind. The Guru has given the wealth of spiritual wisdom; practicing meditation, the mind becomes one with Him. Embracing loving devotional worship for the Lord, I have come to know peace; satisfied and satiated, I have been liberated. One who is filled with the Divine Light, recognizes the undeceivable Lord God. Dhanna has obtained the Lord, the Sustainer of the World, as his wealth; meeting the humble Saints, he merges in the Lord.
So after achieving his real wealth of God’s name, Bhagat Dhanna ji roamed throughout India to distribute this wealth of naam. He came to Punjab too with this motive. He has a beautiful temple at village Pur Heeran(Distt. Hoshiarpur) India. The priest of this temple even believes that this village is the birth place of Dhanna ji. Bhagat Dhanna ji was a simple innocent, clear hearted and lovable disciple of God. He preached God’s meditation to this world. After enjoying 60 years of his age , he left for heavenly abode in the year 1475. Satguru Arjun Dev ji has ordered such words regarding these great Bhagats and saints on page 532 :
How fruitful is the birth of the Lord's humble servant; the Creator is his Father. O Nanak, one who recognizes the Perfect Lord God, takes all with him, and saves everyone.