Guru Arjan on the Hot Plate

guru arjan-hot plate

By Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji

Teaching Us that We Can’t Be Broken

One aspect of life is bhagatee; bhagatee is worship, devotion. Another is shaktee; shaktee means power. God gave you a combination of bhagatee and shaktee. Devotion and existence. The purpose of life is to live in peace, but when it is impossible to live in peace, it is better to die for peace. The purpose of life is to live free, but when somebody wants to enslave you, it is better you prefer death over slavery. That’s why you all sing, “We die before we fall.” Death becomes meaningless, so there’s no fear of death. Its purpose is righteousness.

Normally, if you get a nail in your hand what happens to you? You feel pain. Do you think that Jesus was in pain when they nailed his feet and hands? No, he was not. He didn’t care. There was no pain. If your own son does something very insultingly crazy, it doesn’t hurt you; it makes you angry. Insanity is resisted by the spirit. That’s the law. Nature has made this body to immunize itself to pain when torture and insanity come to a righteous person. It’s an automatic function of the glandular system. That’s why when Guru Arjan was made to sit on a hot plate and hot sand was poured on his body for five days, he sat in absolute calm and peace and quiet. There’s no example of human torture equal to that. How could he do it? The imperial forces were bent upon breaking him and he totally immunized himself with God’s Light to be pure so there was no fear, no anger and no pain. If you do not have fear, anger and pain, nothing can break you.

When they were pouring hot sand on the head of Guru Arjan, Guru Arjan, partakh har (living God), was being tested. Only God can stand to sit on a hot plate and be a yogi and then have hot, burning sand put on his head in the month of June and still chant “Sat Naam.” Then for that man only, you can say Guru Arjan partakh har. It cannot be said for everybody. It would be wrong. So a standard has been established that a person who wants to say, “I am God,” should sit on a hot plate, have hot sand poured on him for five days and just say:

Teraa keeaa meetaa laage
Har naam padaarat naanak maange.

-Guru Arjan (P. 394 Siri Guru Granth Sahib)

Thy Will is sweet to me, Oh Lord,
In the name of Naanak I ask for Thy Holy Naam.

Then, we will take him as God.

Fire purifies everything. Guru Arjan stood the test of purity. In shastar they call it “agan pursha,” the test of the fire.

When tragedy hit Lord Rama and his wife was taken away by Ramana in the jungle, he was crying. When Lord Krishna lost his padam (lotus) the red ants totally ate him up. Gautam Buddha, the most acknowledged being, ended up eating poisonous mushrooms. Hazarath Mohammed, the prophet of the Muslims, hid himself in a cave. However, Guru Arjan offered himself to bring people to consciousness.

What is wrong with religions today? They have their exclusive God. God is not exclusive. God cannot be confined. God is as general as He is great. We achieve little, right? And we brag about it and we talk about it and we play every game you can name.

But Guru Arjan – what did he do? When he compiled the Adi Granth, the shabad he sang was,

“Teraa keetaa jaato naahee maino(n) jog keeto-ee.
Mai nirguniaare ko gun naahee aape taras pae-o-ee.
Taras pae-aa meheraamat ho-ee satigur sajan miliaa.
Naanak naam milai taa(n) jeevaa(n) tan man teevai hariaa.”

– Guru Arjan (P. 1429 Siri Guru Granth Sahib)

That is Guru Arjan. That’s a lesson. “Teraa keetaa jaato naahee maino(n) jog keeto-ee.” You made me competent, and I cannot comprehend what You have done to me. Your kindness, Your blessing, Your creativity in me, Oh God, I cannot even comprehend. But You made me competent, You made me capable. “Mai(n) nirguniaare ko gun naahee aape taras pae-o-ee.” I had no merits, I was without merit, and I had no merit to begin with. “Nirguniaare,” to begin with I had no merit. “Mai nirguniaare ko gun naahee,” I had no merit. A double statement. “Aape taras paeoee.” You became merciful. “Taras paeaa meheraamat ho-ee satgur sajan miliaa.” Through Your blessing and Your kindness I got to touch the True Guru. “Satgur sajan miliaa.” True, friendly Guru. “Sajan” means friendly. “Naanak naam milai taa(n) jeevaa(n).” It’s very typical Punjabi: I shall find the spot of my life, if God You will give me the Name of Your own Self. “Tan man teevai hariaa.” My body and mind become blissful. “Hariaa” means blissful. “Upajaa-o” means creative. “Hariaa” does not mean green; it means creative. My mind and my body become creative.

Now, this is what Guru Arjan wants, and you do want what? “Make my son an attorney. Give me a million dollars so I can buy a new car…” These things will come to you. These things will come to you if your body is healthy and shining and your mind is creative, not destructive.

Subconscious anger can completely and totally destroy your mind. When your mind is destroyed by your subconscious, then you have only one thing with which to help yourself, and that is ego. Because you have no friend, you have no energy. You cannot keep yourself together. And when you deal with life with ego, then you are a rebel, then you do not flow with the flow. Then the hassle in life starts. Then you’ll sweat and stink.

Guru Arjan presented himself on the hot plate, under the burning hot sand, day in and day out, and he uttered, “Wahe Guru.” Mian Mir, the greatest saint and pir of that time, asked Guru Arjan, “Guru Arjan, ‘Partakh Har,’ Personified God, what is going on? If you don’t want to do something, tell me! Destroy all those who are doing this to you!”

Guru Arjan smilingly said, “Mian Mir, I have to teach a lesson to the Sikhs who have to follow me. If they have to go through this state of mind and this state of body, who will teach them? You? I am teaching people ‘tiaag.’”

Tiaagam de brahmaa.
“Give yourself the unattachment;
you become God.”

I am teaching people unattachment. And now should I not qualify myself through it?”

Christ-Crucified.jpgJesus didn’t become Christ because he was born as a Jew, and he was a good Jew. He went to Kashmir, learned all, and ran around and did all that stuff. But that didn’t make him Christ. No way. It was when he was nailed and they yelled and screamed at him, “You walked on water, now fly in the air.” In his grace he closed his eyes and said, “Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” It is that basic qualification in a man when he cares for all who are his enemies and who are his friends. Care. Take care of yourself, and care for all who are your enemies and all who are your friends. In a simple verse:

“Sajan chadi-e rang sir, fir vee aavan kam.”

If you have to walk away from some friend of yours walk away in such a way that you can still communicate with that person; you can still be with that person. That state of mind can only be if you care.

That is history. You are a part of that history, that history is part of you. Mian Mir asked Guru Arjan Dev, “My Lord, I have the occult powers to bring this kingdom to its knees. What are they doing to you?”

He said, “Mian Mir, close your eyes. See what it is.”

What Mian Mir saw was Guru Arjan sitting on a hot plate, Guru Arjan putting wood underneath to burn, Guru Arjan putting sand on himself and Guru Arjan Dev laughing. And Guru Arjan Dev cooking.

He said, “My lord, I am confused. I am your friend. You should not do this.”

Guru Arjan Dev told him, “Mian Mir, if tomorrow my Sikh has to go through this ordeal, where will he find the example he has to follow? I’m not worried about what I’m going through. What I’m worrying about is that tomorrow someone will have to go through this torture. Then that person must feel good because his Guru went through it and succeeded. If tomorrow a Sikh, a student of mine, has to go through this, I am just paving the way.”

Those who pave the way for humanity are worshipped today as son of God, as being God. You can do the same. You resurrect. You go above it.

Identify yourself and be beautiful. Then there will be no trouble. Identify. Don’t lean or seek to be identified. That’s what I say. When work speaks all heads bow in reverence. Wa. Work. Ra. The path. When you start on a journey, how do you finish it? That’s a deciding factor in life. When you are walking, you are walking. When you started, you started. How do you finish it?

There’s no substitution for victory. And there’s no equal to nobility–noble dress, noble behavior, noble conduct, noble code, noble appearance, noble jewelry, noble virtues, noble everything. We decided to belong to purity. We brought our dress to the standard of purity and we are trying to bring our conduct to purity. We want to be pure. We want to have a meditative mind. That’s why we do saadhanaa. I am explaining to you that emotions are like little waves which don’t carry you anywhere, but nobility is like the trade winds. It will take you where you belong.

Wherever there shall be Christ, there shall be Judas. Wherever there shall be Guru Arjan there shall be Jahangir. Wherever there shall be Guru Gobind Singh, there shall be Aurangzeb. The Law of Polarity will never change. The question is: who destroyed themselves on the way and who delivered? Those who have Wahe Guru with every breath of their life shall deliver themselves gracefully, triumphantly, victoriously, and then this will come true for them:

Jinee naam dhiaaiaa gae masakat ghaal
Naanak to mukh oojale ketee chutee naal

(Guru Nanak, Japji, p. 8 Siri Guru Granth Sahib)

Those who identify with the totality and did the hard labor, and kept their discipline and the delivery of the stuff to totality, Nanak, here they went, lived very well and they went home with all the grace.

It’s my prayer that the words of Nanak, his teachings, his layouts, and his planning add to your life a discipline and that discipline may make you the disciple of Nanak and from that you may learn to elevate yourself and your surroundings, anybody you touch, anybody you feel, anybody you talk to. And that impact alone can implement your freedom, your redemption, your salvation, your excellence.
Excerpts from lectures on: July 23, 1981; July 31, 1981; July 3, 1983; July 5, 1983; July 27, 1983; July 5, 1992; July 14, 1992.

Copyright The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan  

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  1. MALINI GUPA says:


  2. This piece on Guru Arjan, coupled with the devotion to Jesus Christ as One rose above and paved the way for humanity, landed with perfect in timing tonight, in this moment, that I can only attribute to the Divine flow within the flow. Satnam.

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