33. Sakhi Mohena–Sohena (Part-2)
One day, Mata ji
stopped Kesra Singh and said, "The flowers you brought yesterday were
beautiful. Sri Kalgidhar ji was very pleased."
Kesra Singh : "Ammi
ji, those flowers were not grown by me, but by a poor couple who have
started working here recently. Sadly they are not allowed to have Guru ji's
Ammi ji : "Why"?
Kesra Singh : "It is
Guru ji's wish."
Ammi ji : "Then why
do you bring me flowers grown by them?"
Kesra Singh : "Ammi
ji, Guru ji has given them permission to work, but not to come into His
Ammi ji thought for a
moment and said, "Guru ji must be deeply fond of them. Some wrong is being
set right." That evening when Guru ji returned, Mata Jito ji asked Him about
Mohena and Sohena. Guru ji said, "A young and devoted Sikh spoke these words
for them in great distress: 'He will not give you His darshan.'
"If a Guru punishes,
His Sikhs can plead and obtain forgiveness for the wrong –doer, but when a
Sikh makes such a pronouncement, the Guru cannot overturn it - this is an
eternal truth. Mohena, Sohena are dear to me but I am bound by the dying
words of my Sikh. Had he been alive, he could have taken his words back.
Now, they must work out their salvation. When they are spiritually awake and
have got rid of the fear of death they will be free of these fateful words."
Ammi ji : "Will it be
all right if I meet them and try to help them ?"
Guru ji : "That would
be a great kindness indeed, and it will make me happy. Our Father has said :
Jan Nanak Dhoorh Mangaiy Tis Gursikh Ki Jo Aap Japaiy Awreh Nam Japawaiy
(says Guru Nanak ji - He wants to touch the dust of the feet of that Sikh
who, not only recites the Lords name himself, but also encourages others to
do the same). "To enlighten someone and fill his dead spirit with new life,
is dear to the heart of Waheguru ji. A person becomes alive only when his
inner being comes alive to Waheguru ji's presence : So Jeevaih Jis Man
Vasiya Soy Nanak Avar Na Jivas Koy (Only he has lived in whose heart lives
the Lord, says Guru Nanak ji, the others have not truly lived).
Hor Mirtak Hai Sansar
(The rest of the world is like the dead). "Those who are in tune with the
Lord, are like the lower strings of the sitar, which vibrate when the larger
ones are played upon. Their spirits have become one with the Creator. Hence
their every word and action resonates to His will. That is why the Sikh's
words are eternal."
Ammi ji : "Maharaj ji,
it is your nature to be loving and to forgive the faults of us humans. You
have given us the gift of spiritual life. I do not ask you to break your
vow, but if it pleases you, guide me so I can help this couple to regain
Guru ji : "Jit0 ji,
may Waheguru ji grant you the strength to relieve their suffering."
Mata Jito ji began to
call Mohena to the house and sometimes, when she went for a stroll in the
garden, she would stop by her hut and spend some time with her. She became
very fond of Mohena. With her gentle words and kindly presence, Mata ji
brought about a marked change in her personality.
Slowly, Mohena and
her husband began to experience the joy and peace which comes from
single-minded devotion. "Waheguru! Waheguru!" was constantly on their lips
and in their hearts. They stopped thinking of themselves as cursed beings,
burning with self-recrimination. They began to feel the surge of a new life,
a new and deeper contentment than they had ever known before.
The desire for Guru
ji's 'darshan' was keener than ever. However there was no accompanying
feeling of depression, but a slow spreading of hope, of conviction almost,
that all would be well. Their tears were now caused by " Shukrana"
(thankfulness) and their beings were steeped in gratitude for Ammi ji's
Time passed and gradually Mohena and Sohena began to
understand that there is only one Creator whose creation stretches along
both banks of the river of Death. It is according to His will that a person
stays on this side or that. Death is not painful, neither is it final
destruction nor eternal parting. They realized that for people who are
immersed in 'SIMRAN', there is no separation – not from their Creator, nor
from His creation. They began to lose the fear of Death and to appreciate
the beauty and joy of Waheguru ji's gift of life.
Their spirits were
up-lifted and as a result, they saw only the splendor of Waheguru ji's
creation, and thought of Him as a loving Father, (PITA), Mother (MATA),
Friend (BANDHAP), Brother (BHRATA); a Protector and Saviour(RAKHA), whose
presence destroyed doubt and fearfulness.
One day, a wandering
'fakir' (sadhu) came into the garden and after walking about, stopped at
Mohena's door, and called out: "Malan, Aulakh! A 'fakir' has come to your
door. Make some offering!" Mohena quickly went in and brought some millet
flour from the bin, and offered it to the fakir. He gave her a disdainful
look and began to sing, and as he sang, he shook the rod he carried in his
hand. He chanted that he was a special minion of the Lord and could work
miracles, but if he was displeased he could be as vengeful as the black
cobra. She should not try and get rid of him with excuses but give him what
he asked for. In return he would shower them with his blessings. He did not
want money – he was not a beggar - he was Roda Jalali !
Mohena watched his
antics nervously, as he rolled his red-rimmed eyes and his bald pate shone
in the sun's rays. When he stopped, she folded her hands and said, "Swamy,
be merciful in what you ask. We are not the owners, but poor servants.
Whatever is ours is yours."
Roda : "O Malan, what
is this that you are keeping hidden under this glass casing? Ah, ha! Such
beautiful flowers and in this season! I like them. I like them all and I
shall have them." Mohena was dumb-struck. A tremor shook her body, and she
slumped to the ground in a dead faint. The Roda waited awhile but when the
Malan did not move, he left the garden singing and dancing the way he had
come. A short while later Sohenaji came home and was shocked to see Mohena
lying on the ground. He sprinkled some water on her face and when she
revived, he asked, "Dear, what happened?"
Mohena told the whole
story in a strained voice, "These flowers, which are being grown especially
on Ammi ji's instructions for Sri Guru ji's Gurpurab…, a 'fakir' came… he
…he frightened me with his singing and dancing. He would not take the flour
I offered. He gave one look at the flowers and said he wanted them,
otherwise he would curse us. I didn't know what to do. Once earlier we had
refused someone's request…. and now when this holy man asked for the flowers
I was afraid to say no, but… but how could I give them to him? They belong
to Ammi ji. The fear that what we were doing for her was going to be
destroyed ---I couldn't bear it! I thought that I had died but now I see
that I am still alive and this problem is still in front of us."
extremely worried at this turn of events. He had put his knowledge of
horticulture to good use and created a glass house in one corner of the
garden, so that the 'Motia' (Jasmine flower) and other unseasonal flowers
could grow in a warm and protected environment. As a result, all the bushes
were laden with buds. Now, this situation had arisen and they could not see
a way out of their dilemma. Mohena could sense that this Roda Jalali was a
different type of person, but he was God's man and it would be unforgivable
to refuse him.
The whole night was spent in discussion. With the first light
of dawn, the Roda re-appeared, dancing and singing the same song. Sohenaji
addressed him politely but firmly, "O Holy one, this garden and everything
in it belong to the Master. We are only the servants and have no right to
give away anything without His permission. Please meet the head 'mali' Kesra
Singh and ask him for whatever you want. But please forgive us, for our duty
is only to grow these plants, not to pluck them."
Roda Jalali began to
jump indignantly and to shout threats that he would take the flowers anyway
and present them to Guruji himself.
Sohenaji : "Fakir ji,
I beg you, take anything you like from my home – it is all yours. But the
Master's properly is His, and only He can decide what to do with it."
Roda Jalaji was
furious by this time. Scowling darkly, he flung a curse at them, "May you be
destroyed and nothing of yours survive!" And he walked off in a huff.
Sohena and Mohena
looked relieved, "He has blessed us! We don't want anything of ours to
survive," they thought. With light hearts they sat down to sing 'Kirtan'.
The incident had wasted a lot of time and created a break with 'Simran'. But
as they went about their daily chores, their spirits revived and they began
to feel more at peace.
Early next morning
after completing their prayers, they came out of their room and
werehorrified at the sight which met their eyes. The specially erected
glass-house lay shattered, and not a single flower remained on the stems.
The marigold plants had been viciously torn and a few flowers and leaves now
hung, forlorn and limp.
Mohena and Sohena
stood as if turned to stone. Like sharp needles the thought pierced their
hearts – "What will we tell Ammi ji? We could not do even this one small
service for her, when she has given us so much love and support! Cursed
sleep! Why didn't we stay awake and keep watch?" They could not bear the
over-whelming feelings of shame and regret. In that moment they felt as if
their hearts had broken and they fell to the ground; two lifeless figures
lying among the ruined plants.
To be Continued
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