Saturday, 26 March 2016

Navin Paneeri- Guru Angad Dev
Navin Paneeri- Guru Angad Dev is a pictorial translation of the short stories taken from Guru Angad Dev’s life depicting his spiritual journey following the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev. Based on the Asht Guru Chamatkar,  the book ‘Navin Paneeri Guru Angad Dev’ was narrated in Punjabi by S. Harbans Singh Chawla with English translations by M.L. Mongia. This name Guru Angad Dev was given by the first Guru, Nanak Dev to Bhai Lehna. Bhai Lehna was bestowed upon the divine seat of Guru Nanak Dev by the guru himself before leaving for his heavenly abode. He gave him the name Angad which meant part of the divine soul to which Guru Nanak Dev belonged.
Guru Angad Dev’s original identity was by the name of Lehna. He was the son born to Saba Pharo Mal and Mata Daya Kaur at Mate-di-Sarai which was destroyed in later years by Mughal Emperor Sabar who came from Kabul. This incident compelled Saba Pharo Mal leave the place with his family at first to Sangar and them at Khadur Sahib to settle there. Just like our first Guru Nanak Dev, Bhai Lehna’s childhood is different from the other boys of his age. As a young but unique child, Bhai Lena used to bring hungry sadhus (monks) and saints in his house and served them food. He did this without any sign of fatigue. There was always a feeling of respect in his eyes for his parents and whosoever he used to meet.
After the death of his father Saba Pharu Mal in 1526 Bhai Lehna took the responsibility of the entire family including the visit to Vaishno Mata temple. It was the yearly pilgrimage which he continued to do but somewhere Bhai Lehna lacked the feeling of satisfaction and found a vacuum within him which needed to be filled with something that made him happy. He was looking forward to someone as his guide and mentor.
Soon the day arrived when Bhai Lehna met Guru Nanak Dev to follow his footsteps in later year. Navin Paneeri describes his meeting with Guru Nanak Dev with other life episodes which culminated in making him the second Guru to preach Sikhism and  giving him his new name ‘Angad’ and his followers and disciples calling him Guru Angad Dev. When the followers of devi organized a nightlong gathering to praise the Devi and her benevolence at Khadur, Bhai Jodh, a disciple of reverend Guru Nanak Dev, was reciting a verse from the Holy Scripture ‘Asa DI Var’. On listening to the recitations early in the morning, Guru Angad Dev asked him- “Whose hymn were you reciting that filled my heart with immense peace of mind and happiness?” To which Bhai Jodh replied that these verses were of the enlightened Guru staying on the river bank of River Ravi at Kartapur. “He is guiding the people of this unenlightened era (Kalyug) on the true path of 'recitation of the Lord's name with love'.” Said Bhai Jodh. In the course of this event Bhai Lehna made up his mind to meet the Guru and seek his blessings.
Navin Paneeri has stories on Bhai Lehna or Guru Angad Dev’s life. Bhai Vir Singh very well described as the stories as those filled with the goodness of the lord and Bhai Lehna’s love for Guru Nanak Dev, his humility. and his devotion to the Scripture. Gurur Angad dev was therefore known for his simplicity and above all his constant recitation of the Lord's name. Several episodes in the book make us aware of the evils of the society like casteism which was banished by Guru Angad Dev when he went in search of Guru Nanak’s empty Yogurt bowl from the sewer drain. This and other life events of Guru Angad Dev or Bhai Lehna shows his utmost regard and obedience for Guru Nanak Dev. 

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