Dukh Sukh: Two shopkeepers had their shops next to one another. One shopkeeper, Gurmukh used to close his shop early and go to see Guru Nanak Dev ji. The other shopkeeper Manmukh asked Gurmukh that why do you close your shop early? He said he goes to see Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Manmukh also started closing his shop early, but started going to a bad place instead. Both kept on going to their places.
One day Manmukh asked Gurmukh to go home together and agreed upon a place to meet after visiting their places, so that they could go to their homes together. Manmukh came to the meeting place early because the door was locked at the place where he usually went. Seeing a pile of ashes, he dug through it and was very happy to find a golden ring. Gurmukh was on his way to the agreed meeting place when a thorn (kanda) scratched his foot. So he was in pain when he arrived at their meeting place with a limp.
Manmukh told Gurmukh that he used to go to a bad place and he found a golden ring but you used to go to a good place and you are now in pain. Gurmukh told Manmukh there may be something behind this and asked him to go with him to see Guru Nanak Dev Ji the next day. Both asked Guru Ji why it happened like this. Guru ji asked, "Do you know what you did in the past life?" Both said no. Guru ji told Manmukh, "you donated a golden ring in your past life and in this life you were going to get many golden rings but every day you would go to the bad place, a golden ring turned into ashes. One golden ring is left because you could not go to the bad place on the last day. Guru Ji told Gurmukh, you were supposed to be hanged but because you started coming to our place, your hanging has changed to the pain of a thorn.
Dukh (suffering and Sukh (peace or bliss) in our present life are the result of deeds done in our previous lives.
Gurbani says on page 1030:
- "Sukh dukh purab janam kay kiye
- So jane jin datay diye
- Kis tu dosh deh tu parani suh apna kiya karaa hai".||14||
- Your suffering and your bliss are from your past lives.
- The Giver, who blesses us with these, only He knows.
- So who can you blame, mortal being, the hardships you suffer are from your own actions.
We can reduce the pains and sufferings of this life by devoting time toward WaheGuru (Naam Japna, Paath, Kirtan, changae karam karnae etc.). This will neutralize the effects of bad deeds done in the previous lives. Let us all devote at least 2.5 hours daily for Nitnem and all the time say WaheGuru in your mind. Repeating WaheGuru WaheGuru ..... WaheGuru is the most powerful way especially at Amrit vela. Keep doing that everyday without any break, not only this life of your's will be better but you will reap the benefits after this life also.
The pains and pleasures one gets in this life are heavily influenced by past actions, not just in this life but in countless previous lives. When people suffer at the hands of others it's because they made that person suffer in a previous life. Most people will take revenge and so the cycle of making each other suffer continues life after life. A mythical story to explain this is of a goat and a butcher. The butcher would kill the goat in one life, the goat's soul would be reborn as a butcher and the butcher's soul would be reborn as a goat. In the next life the butcher would kill the goat and so the cycle continued. Then in one life the butcher received a customer who only wanted a goat's leg. The butcher thought if I kill the goat and sell the leg the rest of the goat will rot away. So what he thought was I'll just chop the goat's leg off and bandage the wound, that way the goat will stay alive until the next customer. Just as he was about to cut the leg, the goat spoke, "O Butcher, what's this new bad action you're starting? Life after life we keep swapping roles to cancel our actions, but if you chop my leg now and make me suffer in the next life I'll do the same to you and you'll suffer too!"
If this sounds too unrealistic then here's a true incident that happened to a very holy Sikh in the 1920's. He was Bhai Randhir Singh and he had reached the highest spiritual state - he was one with Waheguru ji. He was a freedom fighter and locked up in jail. The guards used to abuse the prisoners. But they left Bhai Randhir Singh ji alone because they feared his spiritual powers. One night he had a vision of his past life. He saw he was a prince in a hermit's cave. The hermit was in a trance and as frozen as a rock. The prince didn't understand the trance and thought he should wake him up and feed him, so he ordered his servant to wake him up. The servant shook him and called out to him but with out success.
Bhai Randhir Singh ji then ordered the servant to force open the hermits mouth so they could pour the food in, perhaps that would revive him. The servant couldn't open the locked teeth so he got a rock and smashed some of the teeth - this woke the hermit up - he was as mad as hell, he picked up his spear like weapon and threw it at the servant, the servant got hit in the leg and later had it amputated. Bhai Randhir Singh ji had the vision and realised Guru ji was warning him that he had to suffer in the same way as he had made the hermit suffer. Next morning a new prison warden came to Bhai Randhir Singh ji's cell with his guards. Guess what? The warden had only 1 leg!
Bhai Randhir Singh ji immediately recognised that this warden was the hermit in his last life and because he had thrown his spear and caused the loss of the princes's servant's leg he too had reaped his reward and lost his leg in this life. Now what remained was that the warden had to somehow cause Bhai Randhir Singh ji's teeth to be broken like the prince had done to the hermit. The warden wanted to humiliate Bhai Randhir Singh ji and ordered his servants to feed him beef soup (he was a strict vegetarian).
Bhai Sahib refused to eat it, the guards grabbed him, so Bhai Sahib went into a trance and all his body was frozen as hard as a rock and his jaws were locked. The Warden then ordered the servants to smash his teeth and to pour the soup in, so they did. The Warden had no idea that he was just clearing a bad action from a previous life. Bhai Randhir Singh ji was warned so that he wouldn't attack the servants or warden. If he had caused them suffering then he would have to be reborn so they could cause him suffering.
People ask why do religious people get suffering? They haven’t done anything wrong, they haven't hurt an animal or even a fly so why do they get dukh? They get dukh because they caused dukh in previous lifes. All these bad actions have to be cleared. When a holy person's actions and re-actions are all cleared then and only then will they not be reborn and find a place at SatGuru ji's lotus feet in Sach Khand.
(by S. Jaswant Singh) Kind thanks to [www.sikh.net]