21. Story of Harlal Jaat | Way of Living

Real Story of Harlal Jaat (Way of Living)

There was a Jaat farmer named Harlal in village Beri (district-Jhajjar, State-Haryana). He was of religious temperament. His entire family was of religious disposition. A man in saffron clothes stayed at the Village Beri’s meeting place. He delivered spiritual discourses for a few days. When devotee Harlal took his introduction, he found out that he does not have anyone at home. His parents expired when he was a child. He had renounced his home for bhakti. Devotee Harlal requested him – “You may please stay at our home. We will get the service of a saint. You will get full time to do bhakti.” The saffron-clothed person accepted it. Devotee Harlal had two houses. In one, women used to live. The second one was at a distance where animals were tied and men of the family used to live; it is called ‘Gher’ or ‘Pauli’. There was a attic room over this ‘Pauli’. They requested that sage to stay there. The entire family used to serve him. They used to feed him all the three times. After a few years, that saint died. After doing his final rites, they made his memorial in their field.

            Shri Harlal Jaat used to transport goods of businessmen from one market to the other on a bullock-cart on hire, just as currently goods are transported on hired trucks or canters etc from one market to the other. It was around year 1750 when unrefined sugar, refined sugar, rice, wheat, millet, jaggery, barley, beans etc were transported through bullock-carts on hire. The path from Beri to Najafgarh Market went through Village Chhudani. One ox of Shri Harlal ji was of fair complexion who was a shirker. While walking in the cart, he used to sit down after some time. He was beaten with sticks to make him stand up. After a small distance, he again used to sit down. This sequence of events continued. One summer day, at around 4 o’clock in the morning, Shri Harlal ji was returning from Najafgarh market with a loaded bullock-cart. Near village Chhudani, at a short distance from a well, that ox sat down. Harlal ji started hitting him with a stick. Village Chhudani’s Saint Garibdas ji was having a bath on that well. He said, “O Harlal! Do not hit him. He has taken birth from a cow.” Saint Garibdas ji was a Jaat farmer. He had an ordinary attire of Haryana. He used to wear Dhoti-Kurta. Harlal ji said, “Brother! He has caused immense grief to me. After walking half a mile, he sits down.” Saint Garibdas ji went near that ox and said something in his ear. Immediately that fair-skinned ox stood up. Saint Garibdas ji said, “Now this ox will walk alright.” Shri Harlal ji did not believe it. He set forth in his bullock cart. That fair-skinned ox started walking even faster than the other ox. He did not even sit from Village Chhudani to Beri. Shri Harlal ji was suprised and elated. He told everything to his family members at home. Even they could not believe it. After that, Harlal Jaat went to Village Chhudani. The mistake he had made was that he had not asked the name of that person who was taking bath. He straightaway returned to Village Chhudani. He had thought that perhaps that man comes at the same time every day to bathe. Therefore, when he reached at that well at 4 o’clock in the morning, Saint Garibdas ji asked, “O Harlal Brother! Have you come to know about that ox?” Harlal ji said, “Nothing is hidden from you. I have come to ask you that what magic you have done. That ox walks even faster than the other one.” Saint Garibdas ji asked, “Tell me, a sage used to live in your attic room. How is he? I had met him one day. You had gone somewhere on your bullock-cart that day.” Harlal ji said, “He passed away four years ago. We have even built his memorial (maidi).” Saint Garibdas ji said, “This fair-skinned ox is that fraud Baba himself. I had a discussion of knowledge with him. I had advised him that your way of worship is wrong. You do not even do bhakti; you just eat and sleep. When your account will be checked in the court of God, then you will realise. Whatever you are eating, you will have to pay back.”

Garib, nar se fir pashuva keejae, gadha-bael banaay |
Chappan bhog kahan man baure, kurdi charne jay ||

Garib, tumne us dargaah ka mahal na dekha | Dharmraj kae til-til ka lekha ||

       But he became annoyed and said, “You are a householder; I am a celibate. You may go. You have come to preach to a sage!”

Kabir, Ram naam se khij maraen, kushti ho gal jaay |
Shukar hokar janm le, naak doobta khaay ||

            Meaning: - Kabir ji has said that an arrogant man gets annoyed at the discussion of the name of Ram (God). Then he suffers from leprosy, his skin decays and he dies. He obtains the next life of a pig and eats rubbish. A pig’s nose also is immersed in rubbish. A person who does not do bhakti or who becoming a fake saint gains hollow fame among the people bears such hardships.

            O Harlal! I had told him in his ear that – “Remember that day; what I had said, but you did not agree. O living being! You will have to pay the debt of this farmer. Whether you pay it back by being beaten with sticks or pay it happily. You cannot escape from it.” That fake Baba in the body of the ox understood it. He was a disciple of Supreme God Kabir earlier in some birth. But then he had gone into Giri sect. Due to which, relinquishing the true path, he is bearing hardships in the cycle of birth and death. He will never sit now. Harlal ji fell at the feet of Garibdas ji, and said, “O Sant Maharaj! Make me your disciple. I will renounce my home and live with you. My eyes have opened. A living being bears so many hardships without bhakti. Sant Garibdas ji uttered this speech: -

Garib, gaadi baho ghar raho, kheti karo khushhaal |
Saayin sir par rakhiye, sahi bhagat Harlal ||

            Meaning: - One does not have to renounce home to attain God. Happily perform your work of farming and transportation. Stay at home. Do the bhakti of God as told by me. You will be called a true devotee.

Garib, naam uthat naam baithat, naam sovat jag re |
Naam khaate naam peete, naam seti laag re ||

            This very evidence is in Yajurved Chapter 40 Mantra 15 that: -

Vaayu anilam athidam amritam bhasmantam shareeram |
Om kritu smar kilve smar kritam smar ||

            Meaning: Sant Garibdas ji said that – “The true mantras of true way of worship that I will give you, you have to do their jaap while eating, drinking, while being awake, that is, when you wake up in the morning, do jaap for some time; do jaap for some time before sleeping; while sitting and then while getting up remember the name of God. In this way, the household chores are also performed and rememberance of mantra too. For example, we see in the villages that people play cards the whole day. People waste their time over smoking hukkas. They waste their time in discussions on politics or in criticism of a person or in watching dramas and films. If we make good use of that time in the worship of God and in spiritual discussion, then our salvation is possible.

            Shri Harlal Jaat took initiation and came home. He told everything to his family members. He broke the memorial (tomb) of that fake baba and took his entire family to Chhudani. He got them all initiated from Sant Garibdas ji. He got his and his entire family’s welfare done. By the order of Sant Garibdas ji he never used that fair-skinned ox in the bullock cart or a plough. He kept him separately from all the animals and fed him good fodder. Sant Garibdas ji told, “He was a devotee. He has become an animal because of his wrong deeds. Do not make him work.” That ox lived for five years. Devotee Harlal ji took care of him considering him to be a devotee. God Kabir helped his devotee who had gone astray in the life of an animal. If he ever gets a human life in future and if he finds a complete guru, then he can attain salvation; otherwise, the sufferings in the lives of eighty-four lakh types of living beings is ready.

            Even today, the offspring of devotee Harlal are witnesses of this incident in Beri.   

FAQs about "Story of Harlal Jaat"

Q.1 What are karmic debts?

Karmic debts imply that individuals must settle their karmic actions, whether positive or negative, in their next life or at some point in the future. As per Suksham Vedas, if a person borrows 1 rupee in this lifetime, they will have to repay it a thousandfold in their next birth.

Q.2 What are the consequences of not practicing proper worship?

Neglecting the correct way of worship can lead to suffering in both the current life and subsequent ones. This neglect can trap individuals in the cycle of birth and death, experiencing 84 lakh different body forms. Additionally, the sins committed knowingly on Earth burden the individual, resulting in suffering in the afterlife.

Q. 3 Is it necessary to renounce all materialistic possessions to achieve salvation?

According to Suksham Vedas, it is not obligatory to abandon one's family and worldly possessions to attain salvation. Many saints who achieved salvation and had direct encounters with the Divine continued to live in their homes and engage in household activities. Salvation can be achieved by remaining at home, provided one connects with a genuine Guru.

Q.4 Can salvation be attained while residing at home?

Yes, salvation is attainable by seeking initiation from a true Guru and faithfully following their guidance throughout one's life, even while staying at home.

Q.5 What is the primary lesson conveyed by this article?

The story of Harlal Jaat serves as a cautionary tale against taking unfair advantage of others, as the consequences of such actions will eventually catch up with individuals. Furthermore, the article emphasizes that a life devoid of genuine spiritual practice is essentially wasted, leading to countless cycles of suffering. Therefore, it underscores the importance of seeking a complete Guru and receiving initiation from them to make one's human life purposeful and successful.


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Swaroop Verma

Upon reading this article, I am prompted to question whether my virtuous nature and my commitment to avoiding wrongdoing, while fulfilling my responsibilities and doing good for others, will prevent me from rebirth as an animal in my next life simply because I do not engage in any worship.

Satlok Ashram

Dear Swaroop, it's heartening to see that our article is prompting people to reflect on their actions in life. It is indeed a human duty to fulfill responsibilities, do good for others, and exhibit decent behavior. Those lacking these qualities are considered akin to animals rather than humans, according to the teachings of saints and God. The primary aim of human life is to attain salvation, a precious pursuit even desired by heavenly deities due to their mortality, who seek human life and the guidance of a complete Guru to achieve salvation. Without worshipping God, one may undergo cycles of birth and death across 84 lakh life forms. To get rid from these sufferings of life, one should adhere to the worship guided by a complete Guru. For deeper insights, refer to the book "Jine Ki Rah" and listen to spiritual discourses by Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj.

Anushree Dutta

The article mentions the concept of repaying karmic debts even in subsequent births. Is this concept valid? If so, considering we may owe much to numerous individuals, how can we resolve these debts?

Satlok Ashram

Dear reader, our article's foundation lies in holy scriptures and the teachings of saints and God. Thus, what we reflect truth, as our aim is to offer accurate guidance. Regarding your query, indeed, it's factual that we all have interrelated karmic debts. This is why we are born as family members, friends, or even animals – to settle these debts. Through initiation from a true Guru, one learns to repay these debts and averts accruing further ones. This approach ensures progress toward complete salvation, liberating oneself from all debts. We recommend reading the book "Jine Ki Rah" and listening to Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj's teachings to gain an in-depth understanding.