Pandit Shivdatt

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਤਹਾਂ ਕਾ ਥਾ ਰਈਸ ਨਿਤਜਾਇ।
ਗੰਗਾ ਤਟ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਰਲੀਲਾ ਦਰਸਾਇ। (‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(Shivdatt Brahman was a rich man. He used to go to the bank of Ganga to perform ‘Pooja’ daily. He would see Guru’s Leela). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

Pandit Shivdatt was a rich Brahman of Patna city (now Sri Patna Sahib). He was very popular among local Hindus because of his religious life. (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib Ji (later, Guru Gobind Sahib Ji) was living in Patna Sahib and was only a few years old at that time.

Pandit Shivdatt Ji used to take dip in Ganga River every day in Patna city. After taking bath, he would sit on the bank of river Ganga and meditate. The history tells us that Pandit Shivdatt was a devotee of Sri Ram Chandra.

When he would sit in meditation, (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would come there and say in sweet words, “Pandit Ji”. This innocent childlike act of (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would delight Pandit Shivdatt. Pandit would open his eyes and find (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib standing in front of him.

Pandit Shivdatt used to watch (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib’s ‘Leela’ (child’s lovely actions) daily on the bank of river Ganga. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji with his friends used to make two parties of soldiers and had artificial fight with each other. He would give training of bow and arrow to a group of children.

Child (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji used to carry a bow and arrows with him. Sri Ram Chandra also carried a bow and arrows. Pandit Shivdatt was an old worshipper of Sri Ram Chandra. Perhaps, during his meditation, Pandit Shivdatt felt that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was an incarnation of Sri Ram.

He started to believe that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was indeed an incarnation of Sri Ram Chandra Ji. Out of his this certainty, he desired to see (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram Chandra.

As usual, Pandit Shivdatt took bath in river Ganga and then sat on the bank. On the other hand, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji reached there with other children. Pandit Shivdatt saw Sri Ram Chandra himself appeared there before his eyes. When a devotee sees his god with his own eyes, his joy can never be explained in words.

ਐਨ ਬੈਨ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਮ ਸਰੂਪ । ਪੇਖੇ ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਦਿਜਵਰ ਭੂਪ ।
ਕਟਿ ਪੀਤਾਂਬਰ ਕੰਧ ਕੁਵੰਡ । ਸਰ ਕਰ ਫੇਰਤ ਤੇਜ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ।
ਗਹੇ ਚਰਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਦਵਿਜ ਆਇ । ਸੇਵਕ ਸਾਚ ਭਯੋ ਮਨ ਲਾਇ ।
(‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(The great Brahman saw the Guru exactly in form of Sri Ram. He, the Guru wore yellow cloths and a bow on his shoulder. He was moving his hand on an arrow. The Brahman came forward and touched the feet of the Guru. He became Guru’s true servant from heart). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

An imaginary picture shows (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram. Pandit Shivdatt is seen sitting in meditation.

Later on, a Gurdwara was built on the bank of river, which is called Gurdwara Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ghat (or Kangan Ghat). The word ‘Ghat’ stands for a place on the bank, generally paved, for bathing or harbouring boats etc.

Raja Fateh Chand Maini, a local chieftain served Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji with dedication during Guru Ji’s visit in 1665. Raja Fateh Chand and his wife received the Guru and his family with great honour. Guru Ji stayed in their newly built house with family. Fateh Chand Maini had no child.

On one occasion, he and his wife visited Pandit Shivdatt. The couple shared their feelings with Pandit Ji and asked to make a prayer (perform some religious rituals) so that the couple could get a son.

Pandit Shivdatt said, “You do not know whom to pray. Go to your home, sit and meditate on (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. He will fulfill your desire.”

Raja and queen decided to pursue what Pandit Ji asked to. The couple would sit daily and meditate of (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. A few days passed off. Love and yearning grew slowly but surely.

One day, as the Raja and the Queen was sitting in meditation. Suddenly, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji along with his playmates came there, sat in the lap of the Queen, embraced her and said in charming voice, “Mother, I have come.”

This was the first occasion in her life that she was called by someone ‘Mother’. She was overwhelmed with pleasure and thankfulness. The pleasant-sounding word ‘Mother’ delighted the childless queen. She held (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in her arms.

The Queen served boiled grams and ‘puris’ to (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji and his companions. The life of Raja and his queen was now absolutely revolutionized. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was now their ‘adopted’ son. They converted their Palace into congregational centre.

Later on, a Gurdwara was constructed there, which is known as Gurdwara Bal Leela Maini Sangat. Boiled grams are served as ‘Prasad’ (ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦ) (consecrated food) to every visitor there in the Gurdwara.