Bhagat Jai Dev ji
Bani registered in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji : one shabads in Rag Gujri on Page 526, Second shabad in Rag Maroo on page 1106
Writings:- 1. Darshan Raghav 2. Geet Gobinday 3. Chander Lok
Main Teachings : Avoiding Pride and egoism, leaving traditional Karam Kaand (Ritualism), Almighty God can be achieved through meditation of one and only one form of Akaal Purakh(timeless entity).
The former name of Bhagat Jai Dev ji was Pardharmric. He was born in Bengal in the year 1201 at village Kantooli. His father was Sri Bhoj Dev and mother Srimati Rama Devi(Bam Devi). He was an extra-ordinarily intelligent child. His parents were disciples of Lord Krishna, so he inherited a religious atmosphere at home. He used to go to temple with his parents and involve himself in worship. The feelings of devotional love , penance and meditation developed spontaneously in his mind. His father sent him to study Sanskrit and Prakrit language with a scholar Pandit (Brahmin). He was still in his childhood when he lost his parents. The yearning desire to see Almighty God increased further with the tragedy of his parents , who were very dear to him. One more powerful incident happened in his life. His father’s friend whose name was Niranjan took control of the family property deceitfully. This property was to be inherited by Jai Dev. Jai Dev was shocked by this event. He was deeply affected by how a friend of his father would cheat him. He was saddened with the behavior of worldly people. He was overwhelmed by the feeling that the friend of his father who was supposed to give him shelter and protection in the absence of his father had taken over his entire property. As Guru Nanak Dev ji has stated in his Bani that,”Dukh Daroo Sukh Roag bhayia (sometimes pain acts as a medicine and changes the life of a person). The tragic death of his parents and on top of it his property taken away by his father’s friend, helped Jai Dev ji to move in the direction of God’s meditation. He wrote so many devotional songs in the praise of Almighty in a considerate mood and sang these hymns day and night. Who ever heard his hymns was impressed. Apart from being totally engrossed in God’s meditation, he had become a scholar of Sanskrit, Prakrit language and Sant Bhakha and his reputation as a scholar and saint spread all over the country. The King of Bengal of that time period, Lachhman Sasin ji was much impressed with his meditation, poetry and education. He approached Jai Dev ji and appointed him as his royal poet giving him the title of Rattan (Ruby). He was married to srimati Padmavati by this time. He fulfilled his duties towards family life as well as writing devotional songs at the same time. He wrote three great books which were Darpan Raghav, Geet Gobinde and Chander Lok. These writings were very popular in Bengal and far away villages of other states. His wife too sang the hymns written by him in a very melodious tone and attracted his gratitude. Bhagat Jai Dev ji spent some time in the service of King Lachhman Sen but his soul did not like burden of any kind. He wanted to lead an independent, free life so he left the King’s service and went to the forest without telling his wife. He used to write and sing praises of Lord Krishna. One time while he was writing His famous book ’Geet Gobinday’, he was held up in such a dilemma that he didn’t know what to write and what not to write. The whole day was wasted in these to and fro thoughts. He went to take a bath in the stream flowing close by. During his bath, a strange thing happened. Almighty God appeared in his own form and wrote the line on which Jai Dev ji was held up. After returning from taking a bath, when he opened the book to write the incomplete line, he found out that line had already been written. He was shocked but at the same time ego overpowered him. A thought overwhelmed him that the songs written by him are liked by God so much that He Himself appeared and completed his incomplete song. As stated in Gurbani ,” Har Jio Ahankar Na Bhavee Ved Kook Sunaveh” (even the Vedas proclaim that ego is unacceptable to God). In order to rectify Bhagat ji’s ego, Almighty God played a wonderful trick. Which ever tree Jai Dev looked at, the entire Geet Gobinday Granth was written on every leaf of that tree. Jai Dev ji’s pride vanished. He begged for forgiveness from God. After this incidence, his love, devotion, and unselfish feelings toward God increased. Bhai Gurdas ji mentions all this in vaar 10 pauri 10 as :
Getting immersed in the loving devotion, the devotee Jaidev would sing the songs of the Lord (Govind). He would describe the glorious feats accomplished by God and was greatly loved by him. He (Jaidev) knew no would and hence binding his book would return home in the evening. God, the repository of all virtues in the form of the devotee Himself wrote all the songs for him Jaidev would get elated seeing and reading those words. Jaidev saw a wonderful tree in the deep forest. Each and every leaf had the songs of the Lord Govind written on it. He could not understand this mystery. Due to the love for the devotee, God embraced him in person. God and saint have no veil in between.
He was always cautious against the evil of egoism because he did not want it to cling to him again. He didn’t sit under any tree for long just in case its thick shade might become a source of attachment for him. He always tried to become attached to God only. Anything which deviated his mind from the love and meditation of God, he would avoid it right there and then. Many examples of miracles in his life are narrated in” Bhagat Mall” . They show how attached he was to God. In the last years of his life, he stayed at Kenduli, his birth place. The river Ganga flowed at a far off distance from his place. Bhagat ji had promised to take a holy dip in the Ganga daily. One day he heard a Cosmic voice from heaven directing him,”Bhagat Jai Dev! You better take a holy dip in Ganga in your inner vision only. It will not affect your promise.” But Bhagat ji didn’t accept it from within his heart. Strange are the miracles of God, the river Ganga got flooded and it created a new course flowing near the birth place of Bhagat ji. So God helped his true disciple to keep his promise throughout his life. Such mysterious ways of Almighty are known only to spiritual personalities. People with rational attitude of life are unable to understand such devotional actions. On the contrary even the real things happening seem to be unreal and self made. His two shabads are entered in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji by Sri Guru Arjun Dev ji, one is on page 526 and the other one is on 1106. The first shabad contains five couplets. In the first couplet, knowledge and greatness of God are described. The origin of everything is God, who is the Greatest and beyond praise. God is everywhere in the form of truth, beauty and justice. He is the complete embodiment of love, away from the influence of maya (wealth). He cannot be described completely in words. He is beyond imagination. He is everywhere. Bhagat ji in the next two couplets describe the importance of naam of God that,” O Brother! The name God has captivated everything and is a pure nectar. It should be recited daily. The fear of birth and death is liberated with naam meditation. The misery of old age, unexpected, and undesired events do not give you grief. O Brother! If you want to conquer the angel of death, then indulge in simran(pray) and adopt noble deeds. God is eternal in the past, present and future. He is indestructible and a complete form of divine bliss. In the third couplet Bhagat ji focuses our attention on the things which should be avoided such as greed, adultery, grabbing or stealing someone else’s wealth, all bad habits and evil deeds which are against the religious way of life and then take the shelter of God. In the fourth couplet Bhagat ji talks about the disciples of God who by virtue of their meditation become recipients of noble living. They don’t need methods of yoga. These Holy souls don’t need any donation and devotional performance. In the fifth couplet he says,” O mortal ! You should recite God’s name (Gobind’s) name only. All the miraculous powers are gained by constant recitation of God’s name.” When Bhagat ji narrates his own life experience he says,” I Jaidev have left all the shelters and came only in the shelter of God, who was, who is and who will be there for ever for me. He is the rescuer of all.” Now let us take a look at the original text form of the poetry of this highly devotional and top scholar saint Bhagat Jai Dev ji. As stated on page 526 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji :
In the very beginning, was the Primal Lord, unrivalled, the Lover of Truth and other virtues. He is absolutely wonderful, transcending creation; remembering Him, all are emancipated. Dwell only upon the beauteous Name of the Lord, the embodiment of ambrosial nectar and reality. Remembering Him in meditation, the fear of birth, old age and death will not trouble you. If you desire to escape the fear of the Messenger of Death, then praise the Lord joyfully, and do good deeds. In the past, present and future, He is always the same; He is the embodiment of supreme bliss. If you seek the path of good conduct, forsake greed, and do not look upon other men's property and women. Renounce all evil actions and evil inclinations, and hurry to the Sanctuary of the Lord. Worship the immaculate Lord, in thought, word and deed. What is the good of practicing Yoga, giving feasts and charity, and practicing penance ? Meditate on the Lord of the Universe, the Lord of the Universe, O man; He is the source of all the spiritual powers of the Siddhas. Jai Dayv has openly come to Him; He is the salvation of all, in the past, present and future.
As written earlier, Bhagat Jai Dev ji and his wife Padmavati had come to their native village in the last years of his life. At this place he left for heavenly abode while meditating and reciting God’s name in the year 1273 A.D. He reached the last stage of meditation and merged with the Almighty as water mingles with water.