We have no idea what strength it takes to be able to play the game of life at such a high level, where you are organizing free kitchens, holding congregations, and generating such influence by your ability to speak the Truth, that the Emperor of the whole of India, finds you threatening and decides to shut you down and torture you.
We have no idea of what practice it takes to constantly access high states of being, where you able to write such beautiful hymns that resonate in the hearts of the Indian people, not just during your time but 500 years after that.
My painting shows Guru Arjun Dev ji peacefully meditating while being tortured.
The Mughal executioners lit a fire and created hell under Guru Arjun Dev ji and yet he remained present with it.
Gurudev was forced to sit on a hot plate and had hot sand poured over his head and body. Even though he was put through immense pain, he was in profound peace with it, with the pain he was experiencing.
Guru ji did not pull back from what was happening to him. He did not recoil and shrivel up. He felt the pain to his core, and hugged his suffering to death.
It is the highest act of bravery to able to face the worst pain imaginable, and look it in the eyes and shake hands with it, until your body crumbles to dust.
Guru Sahib voluntarily accepted his pain.
That’s what we can learn from Guru ji’s example – to voluntarily accept the pain in our lives as a gift.
When we do that correctly, we get a new perspective on life and paradoxically, we become strong enough to face harder challenges and play the game of life at a higher level.
Guru Arjun Dev ji’s heavenly poetry in Guru Granth Sahib, his efforts to write down and compile the hymns of Vaishnav saints from all over India to preserve their legacy, the building of Harimandir Sahib, his influence all over northern India, which led to his martyrdom, and then his martyrdom itself. All his efforts during his life till the very end, fill me up with inspiration and appreciation to this day.
Guru Sahib’s spirit lives on in his hymns in Guru Granth Sahib and he continues to inspire millions who recite his hymns and meditate on him.
As I sit here writing this, I, once again, feel rejuvenated by his spirit.
ਜਪ੍ਯਉ ਜਿਨ੍ ਅਰਜੁਨ ਦੇਵ ਗੁਰੂ ਫਿਰਿ ਸੰਕਟ ਜੋਨਿ ਗਰਭ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥੬॥
Those who meditate on Guru Arjun Dev ji will never have to suffer again.
– Kavi Mathura ji (Guru Granth Sahib, 1409)