Sooya Paraavat Ganika Taree: Salvation of a Prostitute

By Kulbir Singh

Ganika literally means a prostitute or such woman who sells her body for money. There are several references in gurbani regarding ganika and how she obtained salvation.

I will narrate a brief story of one of the Ganikas (there is reference to two ganikas in gurbani).

There was once a ganika who lived in the outskirts of a city. All her life she did only bad karma and never even in her dreams did bhajan (simran, meditation) of Mere Raam jeeo. If someone ever asked her to do good deeds, she made fun of that person. She indulged in dirty worldly pleasures all day and actually did this profession not necessarily out of any problem or helplessness (majboori) but out of enjoyment.

Then as she grew older, she noticed people took less interest in her. She was in such profession that flourished only in the time of youth. She lost customers and as thus she started feeling dejected and also developed a lot of diseases. She was very worried about her future and did not know what to do.

One day it was raining very heavily when a Sadhu (a holy person), unaware that her house was a bad place came in to seek refuge. Actually some good karma from her previous life had blossomed and the reward of that karma she got was the arrival of a Sadhoo (holy person) at her doorstep. She had never done sewa of holy people or good karma in her life. She out of her previous lifes good karma, did lot of sewa of that sadhoo. By this time Sadhoo also realized who she was. They chose to ignore her background.

Sadhoo Jan briefly spoke of the real purpose of ones life in this world and told her about the next world. He also told her about hell and Jammdoots, the messengers of death who punish sinners in the next world. She had heard all this many times but that particular days was such an auspicious day that every word that the holy man spoke, got carved on her heart.

Before leaving, the Sadhu told her that he was very pleased with her sewa and asked her to wish for something. At this she fell at his feet and said as follows, "O Sadhu jan, I have never done anything good in my life. I have experienced all pleasures of life and have now found out that all pleasures feel good when you enjoy them but in the aftermath, they result in greater sorrow. O pious one, if you are really merciful on me at this time, then kindly grant me such boon that I may be saved from jamdoots and not lose honour in the next world".

Sadhoo jan thought that this woman had committed so many sins (paap) that she was not a suitable candidate for naam and that even if she is given Naam to japp, she will not be able to concentrate on it. He thought of a very good idea to get her to recite naam. He gave her his parrot and asked her to teach the parrot how to say Raam and that this will ensure her salvation in the next world. Saying this the sadhoo left.

The Ganika (forgot what her real name was) brought her full faith on the bachan of the Sadhoo and she now Ganika started on the mission to teach this parrot how to say Raam. Fortunately, this parrot was a real dumb parrot. It took a lot of effort on Ganika's part to teach him how to say Raam. Some of you may not be aware that parrot is a gifted bird because it can talk like humans. But off course they don't know the meanings of what they say.

Ganika spent her days and nights teaching the parrot, how to say Raam. She would say Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam in front of the parrot and parrot would make effort to say it out but it took him long time, since it was a really dumb parrot.

Saying Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam had a mesmerizing effect on her. She could not stop saying Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam. She just went on and on saying Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam. The more she said Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam, the better she felt.

Her mann (mind) started getting purified and as her mind got purified she realized what Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam can do. Now she remembered that people who told her all her life to do good karma were right. She cried and cried and said Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam.

Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam is what she did all day after that. Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam is what she got absorbed in. Her rom rom was full of shuker for that Sadhoo jan who had come to her home.

Even after the parrot had learned how to say Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam, she could not stop saying Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam Raam. Both the parrot and the Ganika kept saying Raam Raam Raam Raam all day.

In the end she became a great bhagat. Her name has been mentioned in Gurbani several times. Here is one pankiti to prove that:

Sooaa paRaavat, Ganika tari ||
Sooa means parrot, paRaavat means by teaching, Ganika means that lady we are talking about above. By teaching the parrot, the Ganika swam across this ocean of life and death.

We must not forget that the Ganika was reciting Kirtam Naam and not the True Naam that Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee introduced to this world. If kirtam naam can have such effect, imagine what Naam Gurmantr would do.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh

 

 

 

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