On one of his several travels, Guru ji proceeded to Mithankot near Pasrur, in present-day Pakistan. At this place there then lived another Sufi Faqir equally well known for his real or occult powers (see Supernatural Powers). He was held in great awe by the people near him. Many were his followers. Many a Hindu youth had accepted Islam under the spell of Mian Mitha's power.
The faqir himself was given to penances and austerities. His heart was dry. He lacked the saving qualities of love and human sympathy. In consequence, the path that he had chosen took him daily farther and farther away from the righteous path which should lead one to the source of love, life and light. He was misleading himself and others too.
He was verily like a man who sets out from his home intent on drinking at the ocean of nectar, but who, reaching near the shore, begins to play with conchs and pebbles lying there, and forgets the object of his journey thither. Mitha was engaged in such child's play. He was in grips of a great delusion. But his example was catching. He had enslaved the belief of the people around him. They had ceased to look up to the fountain of all love, life and light.
- 1 Guru Nanak's encounter with Mian Mitha
- 2 Pir Abdul Rahman tells his pupil about the Guru's greatness
- 3 The beauty of the Guru strikes the Fakir
- 4 The Fakir's heart is awakened
- 5 But, the Fakir's past pulls him backwards
- 6 The Fakir under-estimates Guru Nanak's greatness
- 7 The dialogue continues
- 8 The Fakir realises his shortcomings and changes course
- 9 The Fakir could say no more
- 10 In Gurbani
- 11 References
- 12 External links
- 13 See also
Guru Nanak's encounter with Mian Mitha
Guru Nanak headed in the direction of Mittankot. He had resolved to break the dome of Mian Mitha's delusion and to show him the Light of heaven, as he had already shown to Hamza Gaus. He went and halted in a garden; a little distance from Mian Mitha's place.
The Guru's heavenly music and divine songs (kirtan) attracted the common people, who began to assemble in the garden compound in large numbers. All who saw the Guru and heard his divine songs became his devotees, body and soul; they began to adore him. Among new admirers of the Guru was Pir Abdul Rahman, Mian Mitha's religious teacher.
But when Mian Mitha heard of the Guru's arrival, he said 'Nanak is a good faqir, no doubt; but if I meet him, I shall squeeze him dry like a lemon. I will go to see him and will take the cream off him as I would skim milk.' Mardana heard these boasts of Mian Mitha and reported them to the Guru and added, 'Mian Mitha is but thy automation and will play as thou causest him to play.' The Guru remarked, 'Wait, Mardana and see how God carries out His will'.
Pir Abdul Rahman tells his pupil about the Guru's greatness
Pir Abdul Rahman told his pupil, Mian Mitha of the Guru's greatness, and advised him to meet the dear one of the Lord and obtain his blessings. Mian Mitha, though a Sufi, was not free from religious narrow-mindedness. He had heard that the Guru was a 'Hindu'. Hence he did not like the idea of a renowned Muslim faqir's going to a 'Hindu', no matter how great the latter might be.
Still, when his teacher praised the Guru and called him a "beloved one of the Lord", Mian Mitha could not but obey and go. So he went. He found that Mardana was playing a heavenly tune on the rebeck and singing a soul stirring song of the Master. The Guru was sitting as in a trance. The music, the divine singing and the radiance on the Guru's face penetrated the innermost depths of Mian Mitha's heart. He quietly sat near the Guru.
The beauty of the Guru strikes the Fakir
After a while the divine singing ceased. A little later, the Guru opened his eyes - What eyes? They seemed to be laden with ambrosia and emitting the lustre and glory of a mind at peace with all. They were so sweet, so loving, so deep, so penetrating and so full of repose and joy!
The Guru's countenance that looked like that of a bride who had enjoyed the company of her Lord to her heart's content and touch of her Lord, her eyes yet filled with sleep-free heavenly pleasure and trying to recatch the glimpses of the Lord who had just hidden himself from view.
In that countenance there were the calm and joy of hearty satisfaction, a hope and an assurance of future blissful union and a compassion for the unfortunate creatures who were unable or unwilling to enjoy the company of the Spouse and a resolve to convey to the people the joyful tidings of the eternal Abode of the Bounteous Lord.
The Fakir's heart is awakened
Mian Mitha saw all this. The Guru turned his eyes on him. The Mian felt as if he had been pierced through the heart. Impure blood which had engendered and nourished in him seeds of pride, hatred and jealousy, seemed to be oozing out, drop by drop. In its place, pure bright blood, supercharged with love, compassion and sweetness, was beginning to take root through his veins.
The Guru greeted him with a loving smile and enquiring how he was. The words roused the Sufi faqir from his reverie. He returned the greetings and thanked the Guru. All around him he saw sitting people from the village, Hindus and Muhammadans alike.
But, the Fakir's past pulls him backwards
Siddhas, Yogis, Pandits, Qazis and Faqirs had all, on meeting the Guru and knowing his greatness, cherished the same desire. They had wished to convert such a great one to their path. But little did they know, when they gave themselves up to such ambitious dreams, that the Guru was destined to convert the like of them all to his "new faith".
Mian Mitha began by questioning the Guru about his faith. When he learnt that the Guru was a worshipper of One God, he felt glad; for he thought that the Guru was already very near Islam. Half the battle was already won. 'He has,' thought he, 'already freed himself from the worship of millions of the Hindu gods and goddesses. If I can graft on his faith a belief in the Prophet, what glory shall I win for myself and my faith!'
The Fakir under-estimates Guru Nanak's greatness
Thinking thus, he said, 'O Nanak there are two things by accepting which one can be approved by God. The first is God himself and the second, the recitation of the Kalma (Islamic Creed), thou shalt find acceptance in God's court. He then tried to impress upon the Guru the spiritual necessity of having a mediator at the court of God and dilated upon the powers and greatness of the Prophet of Islam.
The Guru calmly heard all the zealous Muslim faqir had to say. Then he smiled and said, "Yes, the first name is that of God; the Prophet is but a gatekeeper at His gate. O Sheikh, form good intentions, be sincere in thought and actions; thou shalt find acceptance in God's court without the aid of any mediator. I believe in and worship the One alone. I need no second. No mediator is necessary. If you join with Him one whom you call His Prophet, you cease to be a worshipper of the One alone. Why, then, should you denounce as Kaffirs or infidels those who join with Him two, fifty, a hundred, some thousand or some million? The difference is one of degree and not on kind. They are like you in not worshipping the Peerless Lord alone".
"But", replied the Fakir, "We do not believe the Prophet to be God. We believe only that through his mediation we shall be saved from consequences of our sinful acts. He is not the end of our worship, but only the means of our getting His Grace; whereas the Hindus actually worship their deities. Their thoughts do not rise above or beyond the objects of their worship. For them, each one of the latter is God".
"But friend", said the Guru, "They too, can say that they regard their gods only as intermediaries. They can as well aver that through these deities they hope to please and reach God."
"Yes", returned the faqir, "They, may say so, but such is not their actual belief. We actually believe that One God is the Creator and Sustainer of all, and that He alone is worthy of our homage".
The dialogue continues
The smile on the Guru's lips because brighter.
"No friend", said he, "You don't believe that One God is the Father of all mankind. If you did, how could you hate, oppress, persecute, and murder your fellow-men?
If you believed in One God and at the same time, felt that the 'idolatrous' Hindus were wrong in their faith, you could not have hated them as you do now; you could not have treated them as you treat them in your fanatic zeal for your religion.
If, in your view, they are misguided, your love for God should have aroused in your hearts love and sympathy for these misled sons of God. God is Love. It is through love that we can hope to reach Him. Hatred leads us away from Him.
I think you do not really believe that the same God made you as made the unfortunate Hindus. How then can it be said that you believe in One God who is the Father of all mankind? There is something wrong with your belief and conduct".
The Fakir realises his shortcomings and changes course
The Fakir found himself beaten on his own ground. He changed the topic and said, "Do you believe in the day of Judgement?"
"Yes", replied the Guru, "Everyone has to reap what he sows, has to be judged by his deeds".
"That is good", said the faqir, "But have you ever though how unlucky will Hindus find themselves on that day? Muhammadans are buried after death. Their bodies are placed in the custody of the earth. When, on the Day of judgment, the angel of the Lord blows his clarion the earth shall deliver forth the dead ling in its bosom. They will then be conducted into the Paradise.
But how different will be the fate of the Hindus. Their bodies are burnt. The bones and ashes are scattered . How can they regain their bodies? They are burnt here and will, on that account, burn for ever in the fires of Hell".
"That is an idea, indeed", replied the Guru. "But you ignore one or two things. In the first place, the bodies of Muhammadans buried under the earth are changed to dust as well as those of Hindus. Until your Day of judgement no trace of the body will be left of any of them. If they can rise in spite of all of this, there is no reason why the bodies of Hindus incur the wrath of God on account of their bodies being burnt. Well, then Muhammadans, too cannot escape a similar fate; for even their bodies, too, get burnt, after all, in most cases".
"How do you say that?" enquired the faqir.
"Thus", replied the Guru. "You know that potters are very fond of the clay from old grave-yards as that is very tough. They dig up such places, shape the clay into pots and bricks and set them to bake in furnaces. There thus burns the clay produced from the decayed bodies of Muslims, and, if your argument be true, cries aloud in great agony.
But you are misled, my friend. These things that you talk of are beyond the comprehension of man. He alone knows - the One who created the universe and maintains and sustains it in His own way. Let us only Love Him and His creatures. In that way alone can we hope to become acceptable to Him".
The Fakir could say no more
What more could the faqir say? He was silenced. After a while, the Guru smiled on him his gracious, illuminating smile and said, "Well, brother, in the path set before us by the Lord, all are treated according to their deeds and actions. Castes or creeds make no difference. Don't be misled by the thought that because yours is the state-religion in this land and because you can force it on others, you are, in any way higher or better in the eyes of God. Throw to the winds all such narrow thoughts, jealous views and man-made barriers and limitations. Drink at the fount of Nectar, if you get a chance to get it".
The faqir was won over. He bowed at the Guru's feet, and was blessed with the priceless gift of Naam - of a life lived in a constant, steadfast communication with the Lord and in lovingly serving all His creatures.
Thus did Guru Nanak fearlessly face the most powerful of Muhammadan faqirs and won them over to the path of righteousness.
|SGGS Page 466 Full Shabad|
Mitī musalmĝn kī peṛai pa▫ī kumĥi▫ĝr.
The clay of the Muslim's grave becomes clay for the potter's wheel.
Pots and bricks are fashioned from it, and it cries out as it burns.
The poor clay burns, burns and weeps, as the fiery coals fall upon it.
O Nanak, the Creator created the creation; the Creator Lord alone knows.
- Guru Nanak Dev Life and Teachings- Kartar Singh M.A. 165-169 Mian Mitha Chapter 30