TRIBUTE TO MIAN MIR
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|Special program to pay tribute to Baba Sain Mian Mir organized by Sukhi Bath. Sukhi Bath also announced his foundation to work in Pakistan to help poor families and opening up eye operation clinic.
Surrey, BC, Canada, Jan 15, 2017
Sukhi Batth’s popular Punjab Bhavan in Surrey was overflowing with a number of prominent writers, poets, scholars and intellectuals on Saturday, January 7. The occasion was a seminar organized to pay tribute to Sufi Mian Mir who was given the honour by Guru Arjun Dev Ji to lay the foundation stone of Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar on January 3, 1588. Baba Sai Mir Mohammad Sahib popularly known as Mian Mir was born at Dharampur near Lahore in 1550. This fearless and famous Sufi Muslim Saint belonged to the Qadri order of Sufism. Mian Mir is considered to be the direct descendant of Caliph Umar ibn al-khatab. He (Miyan Mir) was the spiritual mentor of a lot of people including Shah Jahan’s son Dara Shikoh. Sufi teachings of divine spirituality, cosmic harmony, love and humanity resonated strongly with common people. It has a huge impact on a number of religions including Islam. As a matter of fact, Sufism has left a lasting impact on the religious, cultural and social life of entire South Asian region.
There are a number of episode connected with Mian Mir’s life. These were referred to by various speakers at Saturday’s forum. One such incident relates to Mughal Emperor Jahangir. It has been reported that after consolidating his empire in North and Central India, Jahangir wanted to conquer Deccan in the South. He had heard about Mian Mir. As such, before proceeding to Deccan, he decided to travel from Delhi to Lahore and seek Mian Mir’s blessings. The Sufi Saint had posted two of his mureeds (disciples) on the gate to his place. When Jahangir tried to enter, the gate keepers stopped him and told him that they will have to get approval from Mian Mir before letting him in. This infuriated Jahangir. After checking with the Saint, the gate keepers allowed Jahangir to go in and meet Mian Mir. As Jahangir approached Mian Mir he expressed his anger and told Mian Mir:
Ba dar-e-darvis darbane naa bayd. (On the doorstep of a faqir, there should be no sentry)
Mian Mir shot back: Babayed keh sag-e-dunia na ayad (They are there so that the dogs of the world and selfish men may not enter)
This opened up Jahangir’s eyes. It has been reported that while Jahangir was still there, a man came up with a rupee he wanted to give it away. The Mir asked around if anyone wanted it. When no one came forward he said give this rupee to Jahangir as he is the poorest person here. He further stated that Jahangir was the emperor of India. Still, he had come all the way from Delhi to Lahore to seek his (Mian Mir’s) blessings to conquer Deccan. This reflected his greed and lust for power and territory.
Thus, it was natural that when Guru Arjun Dev Ji decided to build Hamandar Sahib in the middle of the holy Sarovar, he decided to invite his friend Mian Mir to lay its foundation stone. This holy place was to be open and welcoming to people of all religions, castes and creeds. When Guru Ji shared his vision 0f Harmandar Sahib with the Sufi Saint, he was thrilled and promptly agreed to participate. Mian Mir came to Amritsar wearing a mendicant’s long cloak made up of patches of coarse wool and a cone shaped cap with a rose flower on top. Guru Ji welcomed him with open arms and invited him to do the honours.
In 1606, Jahangir’s son Khusro rebelled against Jahangir and sought Guru Ji's support and blessings. Consequently, Jahangir implicated, imprisoned and tortured Guru Arjun Dev Ji in the Lahore Fort. Mian Mir was very troubled with this development and sought Guru Ji’s permission to intercede on his behalf with Jahangir. However, Guru Arjun Dev Ji convinced Mian Mir not to do anything and accept God Almighty’s will. It has been reported that later on Guru Hargobind Ji and Guru Teg Bahadur Ji also met Mian Mir.
Mian Mir passed away on August 22, 1635. His funeral oration was given by Dara Shikoh .Mian Mir was buried in Alamganj near Lahore and was followed by Hazrat Mullah Shah Badakhshi. His legacy is still carried on by thousands of his followers and well-wishers.
Prominent local writer and poet Amrik Plahi, as the first speaker at the seminar, gave a comprehensive view of Mian Mir’s life and accomplishments. This provided an opportunity for the speakers following him to express their thoughts from a different perspective. It was quite enlightening to hear each of the speakers. The list included Dr. Prithi Pal Singh Sohi, Gian Singh Sandhu, Mohan Gill, Narinder Singh Walia, Dr. Puran Singh, Hafiz Qadri, Kulwinder Kaur Shergill, Balwant Sanghera, and others. A short video depicting Sukhi Batth’s recent visit to Pakistan was very well received. It was great to see a number of prominent members of the Pakistani Punjab participate in this tribute to Mian Mir. Stage secretary Kuwinder Chaand did an excellent job in managing the stage. Sukhi Batth was kind enough not only to host the event but also provide light refreshments as well as certificates of recognition and a beautiful T-Shirt to each of the speakers. The function concluded with a group picture of the participants and a vote of thanks from Sukhi Batth and well known journalist Sucha Singh Claire.
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist)