India Before Guru Nanak Dev Ji
After its climax, Buddhism started degenerating in India. Statues of Buddha and Budhisattvas became very common and were installed in their temples. Buddhist monks preached lesson of non-violence and non-resistance which made the people non-aggressive even in self defence.
When Buddhism was driven out of India, the Hindu society set up their own gods and goddesses and began to worship their stone images. The Hindu priests who had been for centuries, the self-made custodians of religion and its teachings, had reduced the religion to a mockery performing rites and rituals and superstitious ceremonies devoid of any sense and meaning.
The Hindu society was over-ridden with caste system. The religion became the privilege only of the upper class called the Brahmans. The sacred religious books were neither accessible to the other classes nor could the people understand them because they were written mostly in Sanskrit, a language not spoken by the masses. Religious reading, writing and teaching was strictly the monopoly of the Brahmans. The lowest of the lowest class was called the Untouchables. A touch or even a shadow of these untouchables seemed to pollute the higher classes.
Such was the condition of Hindu India when Muslim invaders from the west began pouring in large numbers one after the other. For the Muslim invaders, from Mahmood of Gazni in the eleventh century to the Moghuls in the sixteenth century (at the time of Guru Nanak), the Punjab was always the gateway of India. All these Muslim invaders massacred men, women and children without mercy, plundered their homes, desecrated and demolished their temples and robbed the wealth of these temples. The Hindus were converted to Islam at the point of the sword. Nobles, scholars, sufies, poets and philosophers who also came along with these invaders, settled in the various parts of India, and they laid the foundation of Indo-Muslim culture in the country.
Many Muslim historians have given account of the happenings of that time. A few examples of the treatment of Hindus by the Mohammadan conquerors of India, are given below:
Shahab-ul-Din, King of Gazni (1170-1206), put Prithwi Raj, King of Ajmer and Delhi, to death in cold blood. He massacred thousands of the inhabitants of Ajmer who opposed him , reserving the remainder for slavery (The Kamiu-t Tawarikh by Asir).
In the Taj-ul-Ma'asir by Hassn Nizam-i-Naishapuri, it is stated that when Qutb-ul-Din Aibak (1194-1210) conquered Meerat, he demolished all the Hindu temples of the city and erected mosques on their sites. In the city of Aligarh, he converted Hindu inhabitants to Islam by the sword and beheaded all those who adhered to their own religion.
Abdulla Wassaf writes in his Tazjiyat-ul-Amsar wa Tajriyat ul Asar that when Ala-ul-Din Khilji (1295-1316) captured the city of Kambayat at the head of the gulf of Cambay, he killed the adult male Hindu inhabitants for the glory of Islam, set flowing rivers of blood, sent the women of the country with all their gold, silver, and jewels, to his own home, and made about twenty thousand maidens his private slaves.
Ala-ul-Din once asked his , what was the Mohammadan law prescribed for the Hindus. The Qazi replied, "Hindus are like the mud; if silver is demanded from them, they must with the greatest humility offer gold. If a Mohammadan desire to spit into a Hindu's mouth, the Hindu should open it wide for the purpose. God created the Hindus to be slaves of the Mohammadans. The Prophet hath ordained that, if the Hindus do not accept Islam, they should be imprisoned, tortured, finally put to death, and their property confiscated."
Sayad Mohammad Latif writes in his history of the Punjab, "Great jealousy and hatred existed those days between the Hindus and Mohammadans and the whole non-Muslim population was subject to persecution by the Mohammadan rulers."
Bhai Gurdas, a Sikh scholar, writes, "My Lord, it is strange that the people of Kalyug (dark age or the age of falsehood) have developed the attitude of a dog and they take pleasure in swallowing ill-gotten things. The rulers commit sins and those who are herdsmen, are killing the sheep themselves. The people being ignorant are not in a position to discriminate between truth and falsehood. Those who pose as benefactors are engaged in amassing wealth by fraudulent means. Love between man and woman is based on money, they meet at pleasure and depart at will. The Qazi who occupies the seat of justice, accepts bribes and then passes unjust orders."
Re: India Before Guru Nanak Dev Ji
After it's climax, even Sikhism has degenerated similarly. A faith that was born to end
spiritual eliticism itself has turned into what is sought to replace.
Ghar vich Gru Granth Maharaj ji naheen rakhidey...
theek tanaan maan naheen hunda...
Isn't that the Granthi turning Sikhi into a mockery?
If we find the Jutti of any Guru we start bowing from a 100 yards to pay our respect .
If some body found some stone at some place and said that these are the stones which
one of the Guru's used in Modi Khana, we build Big Gurdwawa's and Mela's are held and the
stones are worshipped . If some body said that Guru Gobind Singh drank milk in a holed Jug
we spend loads of money to pay homage.
And look how our Sikh(learners) treat the only available composition of Guru Gobind Singh.
Are all those jutti's, stone's etc. worth more than the Dashmeshwar's literary piece ?
The Dasam Granth is RSS conspiracy and
hindu's buddhist's are superstitious!!
sunee pukaar dhaathaar prabh gur naanak jag maahin pathaayaa||
The benefactor Lord listened to the cries (of humanity) and sent
Guru Nanak to this world.
charan dhhoe rehiraas kar charanaamrith skhiaan peelaayaa||
He washed His feet, eulogised God and got his Disciples drink
the ambrosia of his feet.
paarabreham pooran breham kalijug andhar eik dhikhaayaa||
He preached in this darkage (kaliyug) that, saragun (Brahm)
and nirgun (Parbrahm) are the same and identical.
chaarai pair dhharanm dhae chaar varan eik varan karaayaa||
Dharma was now established on its four feet and all the four castes
(through fraternal feeling) were converted into one caste (of humanity).
raanaa rank baraabaree paireen pavanaa jag varathaayaa||
Equating the poor with the prince, he spread the etiquette
of humbly touching the feet.
oulattaa khael piranm dhaa pairaan oupar sees nivaayaa||
Inverse is the game of the beloved; he got the egotist
high heads bowed to feet.
kalijug baabae thaariaa saathanaam parrh manthr sunaayaa||
Baba Nanak rescued this dark age (kaliyug) and recited
‘satinam’ mantr for one and all.
kal thaaran gur naanak aayaa ||aa||
Guru Nanak came to redeem the kaliyug.
Vaar 1, Pauri 23, 'Coming of the Guru' (Vaaran Bhai Gurdasji)
Also read :
Vaar 1, Pauri 49, 'WaheGuru Mantar' (Vaaran Bhai Gurdasji)
It would help to understand the evolution of Guru Nanak’s devotional path – ‘Naam Simarana’ – chanting the Name of ‘Advaitic (non-dual) God’. Among many others, the old scriptures like Bhagwad Geeta, Upanishads (Upani) and Naarada Bhakti Sutra (NBS) and even Paatanjali Yoga Sootra have discourses on paths of devotion. Bhakti (devotion) basically is remembering and chanting Names of Gods or Supreme One. NBS is a comprehensive treatise on paths of devotion, inclusive of chanting of His Name, and all other modes described in Guru Granth Sahib (GGS). Bhakti (devotion) movement in India is ancient. Both Patanjali and Naarada are believed to belong to the ancient period, but certainly a few centuries prior to Christ. Bhakti Movement of ‘Alawars’ was prevalent from 7th to 9th century A.D. in South India.
Around 800 AD, the greatest exponent of modern era of Jnaana Yoga, Aadi Shankaraachaarya (Shankara) himself had written and sung devotional hymns; and he, a brahmin, had accepted an enlightened lowest caste person as one of his Gurus.
During 11th and 12th centuries in South India Sant philosopher Raamaanujaachaarya (1017 – 1137) expounded ‘Devotion’ as per his ‘Qualified Monism’. He indeed had rebelled against the caste system of Hinduism. He, a brahmin by birth, accepted an enlightened person of a lowest caste as his Guru! And he preached the lowest castes openly.
Naamdeva (1270 – 1309), of Mahaaraashtra, a lowly tailor by caste, enriched the Bhakti tradition with his both Saguna (God with form) and later Nirguna (God without form) devotional songs.
In Kashmir, Lalleshwari (1335 – 1376) propagated ‘non-dual devotion’ through ‘waakhs’ (sentences). She, living under a Islamic ruler Shah Mir, proclaimed, “ Supreme One pervades the world, Hindus and Muslims are the same.”
Devotional Movement was brought by Santa Raamaanand in the mid 15th century to North India. He openly sang, “Nobody asks for anyone’s caste, for one who chants His Name becomes His.” He also propounded a concept that although God Raama was a reincarnation of the Formless One, He is the Supreme Spirit the Formless One.
And his disciple Sants Kabir (1440 – 1510), Ravidaasa (15th century), and Dhannaa (15th century) etc. were preaching ‘non-dualistic (Advaitic) devotion’. Ravidaasa was the Guru of Santa Meeraa (1498 – 1563). (Akkaa Mahaadevi, Lalleshwaree and Meeraa form the trio of famous women rebel devouts that the Hindu society produced 7 to 8 hundred years ago).
Guru Nanak (1469 – 1538) also taught the same, and used all other names of various reincarnations of Brahman like Hari, Har, and Gobinda etc. to convey that these Names, commonly used to indicate different Gods, in fact, indicate the same Supreme One. ‘Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu (1468 – 1533) of Bengal, a contemporary of Guru Nanak, was extremely respected in North India, with his Dualism- based- Devotion.
It is a truism that there are always ups and downs in peoples’ lives and cultures depending on vicissitudes that they pass through. From this extremely brief view of development of ‘Devotion’, recurrence of casteism and rebellions against it in Hindu Society appear to be one such phenomenon.
The goal of both Sikhism and Hinduism is to achieve happiness here and now and also to attain ‘Moksha’ hereafter i.e. liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Looking at the complexity, and difficulty of the other three Paths or Yogas, Guru Nanak chose the simplest ‘Path of Devotion’.
In this Path there are three ways:
Dualist Path of devotion :
There is the God and separately there is His creation. He gives His grace and is merciful, but no person’s soul can ever unite with the God. Some dualists believe that He has a form (saakaar or saguna i.e. Brahman with form).
Non-dualist Path of devotion :
There is the Supreme One who is formless (Niraakaar or Nirguna), and there is His creation, but in essence both are the same. Any person’s soul can unite with Him, indeed the soul is the same in every one, and the Atman and Brahman are the same.
Dualist–Non-dualist Path :
The Supreme One is indeed formless, but He also takes forms when needed to restore justice. This path believes in ‘awataarawaada’ (the other two paths do not believe in this).
Out of these, Guru Nanak chose the Non-dualist (Advaitic or Nirguna) Path, which had been already used by Santa Naamadeva and Santa Kabir etc. who had been preaching the non-dualistic (Advaitic, Nirguna) Path for the past 200 years. And Guru Nanak deliberately uses the names of Hindu gods with forms (Saguna) in far too many places for it to be either a chance or to meet necessities of rhythm for the song, or merely to please any group. Names of Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh (or Shiva), Rama, Gobinda, Krishna, Paarwatee, Har, Hari etc., who all have ‘forms’, have been used liberally. There is an apparent contradiction in believing in the Supreme One who is both ‘formless’ (Nirguna) and with form (Saguna). This does not throw any doubt on his firm faith in and experience of the non-dual (‘Nirguna’) Supreme One, but indicates that he is preaching that ultimately the Truth or Parabrahma (Supreme One) is both, formless and with form.
Thus rather than merely condemn dualists and create a confrontation, he lovingly reconciles the difference. He says that Rama, Krishna, Shiva etc are the same as Parabrahma. Indeed Hindu scriptures keep reminding everyone about the same truth(Jaimineeya Upanishada Braahmana – 1.14.2; Kathopani. 2.1.12 & 13. Ishopani. – 15 & 16; Geetaa –11. 15 to 24.)
Re: India Before Guru Nanak Dev Ji