n this article, we will delve into Saakhi #12 of the Sikha Di Bhagat Maala series to understand how to balance work and Sikhi. 

This series explores the life stories of Gursikhs from the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Arjan Dev Ji, as written by Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh Ji.

The Story of Bhai Gujjar Ji

ਗੁਜਰੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਲੁਹਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖੀ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥

One Sikh named Gujjar, a blacksmith, was there who preached Sikhi to the Sikhs of the Guru.

Bhai Gujjar Ji was a Sikh of Guru Angad Dev Ji. He worked as a blacksmith. One day, he came to meet Guru Angad Dev Ji and made a plea. He said, “Guru Sahib Ji, I work every day, from morning till night. I am left with no time to do Bhagti (devotional worship) or to go into Sangat (holy company). My whole day is spent working, and I find no time to sit and meditate. How will I be liberated from this life and become one with Vaheguru?”

This is a question that many of us might still have today, when we feel confused about how to find time for our Sikhi journey amidst a busy work schedule and the responsibility to provide for our families.

The Three Teachings

Guru Angad Dev Ji shared three pieces of advice with Bhai Gujjar Ji. Guru Sahib Ji said, “Before you begin your day at work, take out some time during Amritvela (early hours before sunrise). There is no work or worry during the last quarter of the night. So, in that time, wake up, bathe (Ishnaan), read Gurbani, and engage in Simran (repeating Vaheguru’s name).” Guru Sahib Ji said to recite the complete Japji Sahib during Amritvela to charge yourself for work.

Japji Sahib Baani gives us knowledge of Parmaatma and Aatma (the Supreme Vaheguru and our soul). It is the first Baani that every Sikh should have memorised and practised every day.

Selfless Service 

The next lesson that Guru Sahib Ji imparted to Bhai Gujjar Ji was to serve the Sangat and the Gursikhs. They said, “If any needy person or saint comes to your door, serve them selflessly. Dedicate ten percent of your earnings (Dasvandh) to the Guru Ghar for the service of the needy and Sikhi Parchar. We often hear the saying ‘Gareeb Da Mooh Guru Di Golak’ (feeding a hungry person is akin to giving something to the Guru). This can be as simple as donating books to underprivileged children or funding someone’s education.

Guru Sahib Ji tells us, 

ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥

One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has

ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥

- O Nanak, he knows the Path. ||1||

Following the Guru’s Teachings 

This way, Bhai Gujjar Ji spent his life following the teachings of Guru Sahib Ji, working all day, taking out Dasvandh, and donating to the needy.

One day, a group of saints came to Bhai Gujjar Ji’s town. They stayed in the forests and knocked on doors for food. Soon, the people of the town got fed up and complained to the King about the Sadhus. The King had the Sadhus captured and threw them into the dungeons.

However, the Sadhus meditated extensively and were even blessed with miraculous spiritual powers. One night, they prayed humbly to God, and the doors of the dungeon opened, setting them free. They left the prison and went straight to Bhai Gujjar Ji’s house. Aware that Guru Angad Dev Ji had taught Bhai Gujjar Ji to serve whoever comes to his house, they requested him to break the handcuffs on their hands and release them.

Remaining Steadfast on the Guru’s Command

Despite knowing that this action might anger the King, Bhai Gujjar Ji remained steadfast in following Guru Angad Dev Ji’s Hukam (command). Recognizing that the greater King is Guru Sahib Ji, Bhai Gujjar Ji cut the chains of the Sadhus and served them Langar. Delighted with Bhai Gujjar Ji's kindness, the Sadhus blessed him with knowledge of the past and future.

When Bhai Gujjar Ji went to meet Guru Sahib Ji, they were pleased with his service and fearlessness. They were pleased that Bhai Gujjar Ji followed the Hukam without worrying about his safety and blessed him with Kirpa (grace) and Mukti (liberation).

Therefore, even amidst our busyness, it's essential to find time to find time to connect with Vaheguru by reciting Japji Sahib Paath in the morning and Rehras Sahib in the evening after finishing work. Additionally, if we share our earnings for the good of others and remember Vaheguru Ji, Guru Sahib Ji will be pleased with us.

This article is a transcribed version of the video How to Practice Sikhi While Working by Bibi Gurprit Kaur Ji.

You can help spread the message of Sikhi to people around you by using the leaflet created by the Basics of Sikhi team.
You can also check out our other leaflets on the Downloads page.

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