|The moral of stories in Charitropakhyan are based on Gurmat, Guru's wisdom. There is no historical significance of these stories. A Gurmukh will interpret, analyse and learn from the Gurmat issues and morals highlighted in these stories. No Manmat ideas are acceptable or should be linked to these stories. If you have any comments, please discuss them here|
Chritar 6: Tale of Maal Mati
This is a tale about a pretty peasant girl called Maal Mati who was married to an "idiotic husband". While on a hunting expedition, the ruler, Madhukar Shah of the nearby city of Lang Chalala stumbled on Maal Mati. Immediately, he was captivated and fell in love with her.
The husband being out, the ruler and the woman engaged in love-making. However, the sudden return of the husband disturbed the Shah. Maal Mati told him to calm down and plays a trick on the naive husband! Read on...
Background of Charitropakhyan
Charitropakhyan is conversation between a wise adviser (minister or "manteree" ) to Raja (king) Chitar Singh; each charitar or trick is mainly in connection with the wiles of women (plus a few connected with men) and other worldly tales of life, in order to save his handsome son Hanuvant from the false accusations of one of the younger ranis (queens). The minister tries to explain to the Raja that there can be trickery in human behaviour and that one needs to analyse the situation carefully before drawing any quick conclusions. Charitar means Function or behavior
Guru Gobind Singh has given these "opakhyan" (already told) stories to Khalsa, as a guide to upholding morality. The tales highlight Human psychology and behavior, by people driven by desires, lust, jealousy and/or greed, ignorance etc. and tell how these evil doers can utilize tricks or deception or charm or other activity to cover their tracks. The purpose of the stories is for us to learn about negative(Manmat) and positive(Gurmat) human behaviour by people who are driven by evil intent. One needs to tread carefully in life and understand the many negative traits exist in some evil doers. These Charitars includes Male and Female Charitars.
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The first part of Charitropakhyan is Chandi Charitar. This is the writing of Guru Gobind Singh describing the positive Charitars of Chandi (Vivek Budhi) and asking for blessing of Almighty before the rest of this bani is narrated. The second tale, Charitar 2 is the narration of the conversation between the The Wise Minister and Raja Chiter Singh. He has a long communication with his Minister on Charitropakhyan lasting for many days.
The First charitar ends with ਇਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਖ੍ਯਾਨੇ ਚੰਡੀ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਧ੍ਯਾਇ ਸਮਾਪਤਮ ਸਤੁ ਸੁਭਮ ਸਤੁ ॥੧॥੪੮॥ਅਫਜੂੰ॥ (iti sree charitr pakhyaanay chandee charitray pratham thhyaai samaapatam (ends)- satu subham satu ॥1॥48॥afjoon॥) which means "Here Sri Charitr-pakhyan's Chandi Charitar the first citation ends - true good and true".
All the other charitars end with ਇਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਖ੍ਯਾਨੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਯਾ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰੇ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੀ ਭੂਪ ਸੰਬਾਦੇ ਦੁਤਿਯ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਮਾਪਤਮ ਸਤੁ ਸੁਭਮ ਸਤੁ ॥੨॥੭੮॥ਅਫਜੂੰ॥ (iti sree charitr pakhyaanay triyaa charitray mantree (minister) bhoop (king) sanbaathay (between) thutiy charitr samaapatam (ends) - satu subham satu ॥2॥78॥afjoon॥) which means "Here Sri Charitr-pakhyan's Triyaa Charitar between Minister and King duality trickery ends - true good and true" This itself shows that these Charitars from number 2 onwards were the discourse between King Chitra Singh and his minister.
Charitar number 2 tells us how a foolish and quick decision which a person takes with their eyes closed, without analysing the situation and not going into the fact of reality; acting foolishly according to the words of their wives, girl-friends or other loved ones can lead to serious injustice and distortion of the truth. Guru Ram Das said such person is foolish -
Charitar - the Tale
The Raja had put the son in the prison. And early next morning he called him over.(1)
The Minister, then, narrated to him the story of a woman. Hearing the story, the Raja was enthralled, and requested it to be retold.(2)
A peasant had a (pretty) wife; she was trammelled (constrained) by her idiotic husband. However, a Raja on a hunting spree fell in love with her.(3)
He was the brave ruler of the city of Lang Chalala and was known as Madhukar Shah. He had fallen in love with the peasant girl called Maal Mati. In the pursuit of hunting, he came to her house.(4)
After hunting he made love to that girl. In the meantime, there arrived the peasant who was looking like an ugly bear.(5)
The peasant’s arrival made the Raja scared, but the woman pacified him; ‘Be not afraid. While the peasant is still watching, I will make you to cross over by putting your foot on his head.’(6)
She hid the Raja in the inner dark room and came out crying and said to that naive, ‘I had a bad dream last night; you were bitten by a black reptile.(7)
‘(To seek an antidote) I called a Brahmin to the house, ‘And the Brahmin made me understand this.(8)
‘A Raja-like person was manifested when a chaste woman meditated with devotion.(9)
‘If that person walked over putting his feet on your head and saying nothing,‘Then you could live long and save my nuptial tie.(10)
‘Now with your permission I meditate because with your demise I will immolate myself and along with your life (hereafter) I will enjoy the serenity.’(11)
Then the woman mediated and beseeched, ‘If I am chaste and virtuous, a personality should manifest and walk over putting one foot on the head of my husband.’(l2)
Hearing this the Raja got up, putting his foot on his head walked over. And that fool, considering his wife to be beyond reproach, was delighted.(13)(1)
Sixth Parable of Auspicious Charitars Conversation of the Raja and the Minister,Completed with Benediction. (6)(133). To be continued.
What does a Gurmukh learn from this?
For a Gurmukh, many lessons can be learnt from this short tale. Ponder over the following questions that are raised by this tale and you will become aware of various issues raised by this charitar and the need for these issues to be resolved?
This is another Charitar which highlights the following:
- Isn't compatibility in marriage of utmost importance? If the partners are not compatible, it will be impossible for the two to live in harmony for all their lives. In this tale, the wife is very pretty while the husband looks like an "ugly bear"; further the wife appears to be outgoing and highly active while the husband appears idiotic and domineering. These are questions that need to be considered before one step into the path of householder - Grist Marg
- The wife has no loyalty to the husband - why? As Sikhs we live as house-holder so the institute of marriage is very important to us and making it work optimally must be our goal. What lesson do we learn regard this important aspect of life?
- How can one be loyal to their partner? The tale provides a clear message that without a properly constituted monogamous relationship, there is no loyalty between the partners; the act of love making becomes a solution to overcome biological needs rather than a life long loving relationship between a man and woman to raise a family and connect with God as stipulated by the Sikh Gurus. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a monogamous relationship and a polygamous relationship?
- English Translation of Chritropakhyaan From Dasam Granth Volume-1 English Adaptation by Pritpal Singh Bindra; Publisher: B. Chattar Singh Jiwan Singh Amritsar (India)
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