Story of Draupadi

My knowledge of Hinduism is limited to discourses on Gita Ji (by Mahatma Gandhi and K M Munshi) and some writings of Dr. Radhakrishnan. However as a Sikh I came across the best of Hinduism in a single story of Draupadi – a story of humility and Devotion to her Guru (Sri Krishna).

The story goes on to tell that when Draupadi was being undressed in the presence of her kiths and kins (Koravs and Pandavs), she prayed to Sri Krishna (her beloved God/Guru) for her protection, as a last resort. However, during her prayers she kept covering her naked body with her stretched hands to avoid humiliation. Her prayer was answered only when she surrendered completely and raised her hands. This was a moment when her mind was empty of any other support but was praying with humility and devotion – the God’s grace came to her to cover her naked body.

The episode surrounding Dropadi finds place in GGS as well and offers a lesson of humility and devotion prescribed equally in the Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism……

ਪੰਚਾਲੀ ਕਉ ਰਾਜ ਸਭਾ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸੁਧਿ ਆਈ ॥ (ਤਾ ਕੋ ਦੂਖੁ ਹਰਿਓ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਮੈ ਅਪਨੀ ਪੈਜ ਬਢਾਈ ॥੧॥ Raag Maroo M. 9, GGS 1008))
Dropadi the princess of Panchaala remembered the Lord’s Name in the royal court.
The Lord, the embodiment of mercy, removed her suffering; thus His own glory was increased. ||1|| The Lord, the embodiment of mercy, removed her suffering; thus His own glory was increased. ||1||

Guru Arjan Ji – As a researcher, supervisor and editor of Guru Granth Sahib Guru Sahib reviewed various religious writings and granths, which were respected by other seers to guides us effectively about the importance of Naam and prayer to Waheguru in the Sukhmani Sahib:

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS 265).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all.
They are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name. ||1||

Kabir Ji adds further to the importance of prayer in GGS:-

ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਮ ਪਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਨਿਤ ॥ (Salok Kabir Ji, GGS, 1373).
Kabeer, you remember the Lord in meditation, only when the need arises. You should remember Him all the time.

GGS Sahib talks about the state of mind of an individual who can possibly have necessary sahaj and anand to access Waheguru.

ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੁਖ ਬਾਲੇ ਭੋਲੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Kaanrhaa M.5, GGS 1307)
I have met God through innocent faith, and He has blessed me with peace. ||1||Pause||

Bal awastha – the awastha in which one is totally empty and innocent like a child. This moment is necessary to be One-with-Waheguru.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji reinforces this further by saying that one who single minded (with absolute humility and devotion) remembers Waheguru even for a second (or for less than that?) gets salvation:

ਸਭ ਕੋ ਕਾਲ ਸਭਨ ਕੋ ਕਰਤਾ ॥ ਰੋਗ ਸੋਗ ਦੋਖਨ ਕੋ ਹਰਤਾ ॥ (Dasam Granth, 36).
He is the Destroyer of all and Creator of all. He is the Remover of maladies, sufferings and blemishes.
ਏਕ ਚਿੱਤ ਜਿਹ ਇਕ ਛਿਨ ਧਿਆਇਓ ॥ ਕਾਲ ਫਾਸ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਨ ਆਇਓ ॥੧੦॥
He Who meditates upon Him with single mind even for an instant; He does not come within the trap of death. 10.

On the contrary in our daily life when someone in our family gets terribly sick, we go for Akand- or Sahaj -Path (by paid granthis) at home or in a Guruduara to seek Waheguru’s Divine intervention for the well-being of our sick relative. A gala ceremony is held to mark Bhog followed by paid-Ardas by the Bhai Ji. Rumalas and cash and kind are offered and the function completes with refreshments or even lunch/dinner (called langr). During social gathering followed by the Ardas, normally the guests comment before leaving that we hope that your such and such will soon be fine. The host answers ” we are doing our best to get the best treatment from the reputed doctors and we shall wait for the various tests of analysis etc. Obviously the faith is still in doctors in spite of mass prayers held a little while ago. How difficult is to put full faith in our prayers like Draupadi.

There are stories of faith, humility and devotion to Parmatama of other Bhagats including young Bhagat Prahlad mentioned in GGS – for us to take a lead from.

May Waheguru give us required humility and devotion.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

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