The Ancient One & Guru Arjan Dev

Listen to this story from SikhNet:


As he meditated for thousands of years the words of his master echoed as he waited to meet the Guru of the future kal yug…

“… Eventually true wisdom shall be bestowed onto you. One day there will be a great incarnation named Sri Guru Arjan Dev… it is he who shall recover you… and bless you…”

This story teaches us about patience. It happened during the time of Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th Guru. A king had just donated land to the Guru to be used for spiritual purposes. Guru ji recognized that a Divine plan was unfolding.

Guru Arjan Dev instructed the Sikhs to find where his father, Guru Ram Das, had started to dig a sarovar. They tried but they couldn’t find it. After a long time they didn’t know what to do, they were almost losing their patience. Eventually Guru ji came to help. Standing under a rosewood tree he closed his eyes. He could feel how special this place was… and he told them that this was the spot.

When the seva of digging the sarovar started many came to participate in the work. Day after day, some Sikhs dug with shovels, others carried the dirt outside, and they all chanted, “SatNam Wahiguru SatNam Wahiguru…”

The seva went on for days and as more days passed people started making huts to live in so they could be there all the time. Days turned into weeks as the digging just kept going! They felt so blessed to be doing such sacred work while being in the Guru’s presence and hearing his teachings.

ਬਿਨਾ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਊ ਰਾਜੈ ॥
bin santokh nahi ko rajai

Without patience there is no satisfaction.

The sacred pool already seemed large enough. After months of difficult effort they finally asked, “Guru ji. We have dug a large area, it seems pretty big for a sarovar. Guru ji told them to keep digging. So they kept going and didn’t lose their patience. Guru ji himself would participate and work the land with his own hands. People would occasionally ask again and they would get the same answer: Keep digging.

They obeyed and kept their patience… then something happened! Something strange and amazing… as they were digging they found an underground structure… “What is this? It looks like an old dwelling place…” So they ran and told the Guru that they had discovered an enclosure that was sealed with a boulder. He went to that spot and had them remove the boulder. And guess what they found?! Someone was meditating inside!
The ancient being who was meditating there, was in a deep state of samadhi. His hair was totally white. His body looked old, beyond old, and he was sitting there… perfectly still.

Guru ji instructed some sevadars to mix saffron with butter and to use that mixture to massage the body of this being. They slowly massaged the ancient one’s feet and hands. Then the top of his head where the dasam dwar, the tenth gate, is located. This brought back warmth into his body. The ancient being slowly awakened and realized that many years had passed since he brought all his life force inside his dasam dwar. He started moving his tongue in order to re-awaken his mind.

When he was able to speak he asked, “Ww…. wha…. Wat… what….  age is this?” Baba Buddha ji folded his hands and answered, “You must be from a previous age. We are in the Kalyug, the dark age, which started 5,000 years ago.” Then the ancient one saw the Guru and asked, “Who is it whom I behold before me? What is his name and what is his spiritual status? Please… tell me everything… then I will share with you why I am here…”
Baba Buddha ji explained about the throne of Nanak,

“You behold the great Guru who’s understanding is greater than the Buddha. He is the savior and he sits on the throne of Nanak. Guru Nanak, the very source of light, came to the Kalyug, taught Sat Nam, and awakened many worlds wherever he stepped. After Nanak, Guru Angad expanded the path of the Sikhs. Then Guru Amar Das created many devotees. Next Guru Ram Das continued to destroy ignorance and bestow liberation. Then the throne of Nanak went to his son, whom you are in the presence of. This is Sri Guru Arjan Dev: the 5th physical body of this light.”

The yogi had spend all these thousands of years waiting to have the darshan of Siri Guru Arjan, “It’s him! It’s really him! My Sri Guru Arjan Dev! I’ve spent so much time thinking about you!!!” The ancient one was in great bliss!

Then Baba Buddha asked, “Oh pure yogi! Now please tell us your story, everyone really wants to hear it!” The ancient one told his story of devotion… and patience…

“Ahhhhh yes… a long time ago… I mastered many yogic practices, that is why you are seeing me now. I was a great devotee of my master… Oh my master.. I did so much seva for him… he was so wise… he obtained the ability to understand the past, present and future…. Once I asked if I may obtain liberation in my lifetime. And my master said, ‘Liberation? Hmmm, I will bless you such that you will be able to meet the Giver of Liberation by granting your body deathlessness… Make an enclosure, sit in it and wait. Thusly you will patiently wait in samadhi as I have previously taught you. Then… a huuuuge amount of time shall pass… Eventually, true wisdom will be bestowed onto you. One day a great incarnation shall come named Siri Guru Arjan Dev. He will establish a place of pilgrimage right here. When he does that… it is he who shall recover you… from your samadhi… and bless you … with his darshan…then you will finally obtain completion…  Then he instructed me to ask you all my questions, then you will give me wisdom and I will finally be complete!”

Everyone was amazed to hear of such an ancient prophecy. And to see such a person, who was many thousands of years old, with their very eyes. The ancient yogi bowed to the Guru, “Somehow I survived even though all this earth has piled on top of me! Now it is time for me to be liberated! Great Guru, you give all blessings, I am under your refuge! I may be old but my mind is very young, I’m ready to learn!”

He asked many deep questions about the nature of the universe and true wisdom. The Divine Guru spent a lot of time carefully explaining, with patient detail, the Truth of the universe. After the great discourse the ancient yogi was happy,

True knowledge has blossomed in my heart! All my doubts have been destroyed. I am ready to leave my body, my life is now complete!

Guru ji smiled, “You are great and you have obtained great understanding.”

Indeed his patience had been proven for ages and now was the perfect time. Guru ji saw his determination and was happy. Guru ji then instructed Baba Buddha to sit with the ancient one, join him in mediation and show him the way. Baba Buddha went and sat next to the pure yogi and they both went into samadhi. But this was different than the samadhi he had been in for thousands of years. It was more profound. His face was shining brightly. People would come in and take turns looking at the marvel of his final meditation.

The sangat was so blessed to behold him, they were amazed, “What a great being the world has now seen! He shines with such a light!”

The atmosphere was out of this world. Finally, his life-force departed from his dasam dwar and the ancient one’s soul left this earth… to be in the lap of The Infinite. The sangat showered flowers on the body of the ancient one.

Guru ji said,

“This spot is now confirmed as a sacred place. Bathe here, at Santokhsar, to wash away your past mistakes and obtain the blessing of… patience.”

The Guru says,

ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਏਕੈ ਭਾਇ ॥1॥

Sach milai santokhia har jap ekai bhai
Those patient souls who meditate on the Lord with single-minded love, meet the True Lord. ||1||


Storyteller: Guruka Singh Khalsa

Read the author’s discovery of the story here: 6,000 years of longing to see the Sat Guru

Read the original translation of Sikh historic Granth this story follows here: Sikh history translation: Suraj Prakash Granth ~ Yogi out of Santokhsar 

Click Here to Learn More about Guru Arjan!

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  1. Kanwar Kochar says:

    This story of Guru Arjan Dev ji, seems you have completely made it up urself. I makes me think if I should keep subscribing ..

    • OngKar Kaur Khalsa says:

      Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa
      Wahiguru ji ki Fateh

      Thank you for inquiring about the story. Here is the response from Sikhnet, who originally published this story:
      The story author has detailed their process from hearing the oral tradition of this saakhi to finding the Sikh history text in which it is written:

      The source used for the story is the Suraj Prakash Granth, a text that is referred to often by Kathavachaks. The translation used for the story at hand was created as perhaps the first version available for the English speaking world. The translation is not line by line, but gives a summary of the text, sometimes offering literal word for word translations at important points. Please see this article which links to the history source (you can read the original Braj as well as more modern Punjabi translation in the link provided in the article), and shares the English translation which the animation faithfully used:

      Again thank you for your inquiry, we hope you enjoy the articles and continue searching! Blessings and Chardi Kala

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