Bhai Khanhiya Ji serving water to a fallen enemy soldier on the battlefield
The American Sikh Council (ASC) wants to sincerely congratulate every Sikh and their associated organizations for stepping up during a very stressful and hazardous time due to the pandemic, to cook and serve the needy across our nation and the world.
Sikhs take inspiration from their own religious history and never forgot those that were deeply imbued in the ONENESS of all. One among them was the Bhai Khaniya Ji!
Bhai Khanhiya Ji (1648-1718), was born in Sodhara near Wazirabad in Sialkot, Punjab. He became a disciple of (the 9th) Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji and then later (the 10th) Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Khanhiya Ji was of religious inclined and had great empathy for others, from early childhood.
During the second battle of Anandpur Sahib (1704), Punjab (South Asia) Guru Gobind Singh Ji, assigned him the task of serving water to the wounded Sikh soldiers. However, he performed his duty diligently without making any distinction between Sikhs and non-Sikhs. Some soldiers complained to Guru Gobind Singh Ji that Bhai Khanhiya Ji has been providing water and care to the fallen enemy soldiers as well. Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Khanhiya Ji and questioned him about the complaint. He politely replied “Graceful lord you taught me the lesson of humanity, universal brotherhood, impartiality, equality, love, peace and serving the suffering humanity without discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed, race or color. As such I only see ‘you’ wherever I see people suffering. Hence I served water to the enemy soldiers as well.” Guru Gobind Singh Ji, was so pleased with the reply, blessed him and told that he had truly understood his teaching. Then Guru Gobind Singh ji gave him some medicinal balm so that he could use it on the wounds of all the fallen soldiers, including the enemy.
The modern-day Red Cross was founded in 1863 by Henry Dunant, but the precursor to this selfless-service (sewa) helping humanity, since 1704 is Bhai Khanhiya Ji a Sikh who started doing this ‘sewa’ more than a 150 years earlier, which continues today by the followers of the Sikh Religion worldwide.
Kirit Karni (Honest hard work), Vand Shakna (Sharing your earnings with the less fortunate) and Naam Japna (Remembering the Divine at all times). The commitment to the foundational principles by the followers of the Sikh Religion speaks volumes thorough their active sewa. The five virtues promoted by the Sikh Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to be inculcated and practiced are; Daya (Deep level of Compassion), Sat (Complete compliance to Truth), Santokh (Inner Contentment), Nimarta (Overflowing Humility) and Pyar (Total Love).
Treating everyone equally, sharing with others and serving everyone with compassion and love, especially towards those that are in pain or suffering, is the Sikh way of life.
Sikh Americans and Sikhs around the world in more than a hundred countries, against the odds, have stepped up everywhere risking their lives during this ongoing global pandemic to help with needed food and other critical essentials to the suffering and destitute. The world today needs much healing, starting with humans to nature. As Sikhs we can only pray to the ‘ONE’ to give us strength so we can continue to do what our religion teaches us, which is, ‘to be actively engaged with the world while serving everyone to best of our ability’.
Below is a small sampling of the sewa carried out by Sikhs across our country, Canada, UK and Australia.
https://globalnews.ca/news/6808253/coronavirus-montreal-sikh/ Montreal, Canada