I now narrate my own history. How God sent me in this world, when I was absorbed in penance. There is the mountain of Hemkunt. Where there are seven peaks. (1).
That place is called Sapat Saring, where King Pandav practised yog. There I performed many austerities. I worshipped Mahakal. (2).
In this way I continued performing penance, and became united with God. My father and mother also worshipped the Unseen one; and strove in many ways to attain God’s Union. (3).
As they served God with devotion, the Godly Guru was pleased. When God gave me His order, I assumed birth in the age of Kal. (4).
I did not want to come. My mind was fixed on God’s Feet. God remonstrated with me earnestly, and sent me into this world with these directions. (5).
I have read this translation by Harbans Singh Doabia many times, but it still does not make any sense to me. What it does make clear is that the absolutely stunningly beautiful place in the Himalayas that we call Hemkunt can have nothing to do with this story.
I do not know where we are before birth, but I do not believe that we are in the Himalayas before coming into the world. I also do not think that performing austerities or penances is part of Guru’s teachings.
So this ‘wonderful story’ tells us that Guru was in some unknown mythical place before his birth, where he performed penances and austerities and worshipped ‘Mahakal’ (The big death ?). He was working on union with God, but it was not to be, God sent him to Kal Yug, and God remonstrated (argued, bickered or squabbled) with Guru about it.
There are two possibilities. Either the translator made a complete mess of his job, or this Bachitar Natak is completely and utterly out of tune with the teachings of our eternal Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib.
Think about it. Is there any indication in the Guru Granth that we can remember our previous lives, or even that the cycle of death and birth involves the continuation of one’s personality ?
I have heard tales that in between two lives we spent some time in an in-between place, but this is not part of Sikh teachings as I understand it. Unless somebody can explain what the real meaning is of these verses I choose not to believe that they are written by Tenth Guru !