Growing up as a Sikh: From the Conventional to one with Conviction

The Spiritual journey of a Sikh though starts with Nit-Nem of Gurbani but is long and tedious. Gurbani does lead one on this path. The Kipa/Nadr/Bakshish/Gurparsad/Grace of Waheguru bridges the gap.

At times I get perplexed whether or not I am a Sikh? At the age of 15yrs as a student of Sri Guru Teg Bhadur Khalsa Higher Secondary School, Dev Nagar, Delhi, I became an Amrithdhari Sikh and remembered all the Nitnem Banis and Sukhmani Sahib by heart. Soon after I sat for a competitive ‘Dharamik (Divinity) Examination conducted by the SGPC, Amritsar on an All India basis and I won a place on merit and was awarded a scholarship for two years. All this was enough for me to grow egoistic of my spiritual status among my siblings who were neither Amritdthari nor they showed any interest to become Amritdhari.

This brought some discard in the family primarily because I became difficult and demanding. I fell in love with Sikhi and at the same I developed hatred for votaries of other religions and non-Amrithdharis. I got into a lot of conflict and became an angry person; a non- cooperative and a non-compromising as a person till I struck with the following impressionable tuks in Rehras Sahib and Sohila, which brought in me a softening attitude about others:-

ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 4, GGS. GGS.11-1 & 348-4 repeated twice in GGS).
You are totally pervading within each and every heart; O Lord, You are the One Primal Being, All-permeating.

ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੈ ਚਾਨਣਿ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਇ II (Raag Dhanaasree M. 1,GGS. 663-8).
The Divine Light is within everyone; You are that Light. Yours is that Light which shines within everyone.

The following verses in Sukhmani Sahib brought an awareness of Gurmat REHAT and the associated responsibilities other than the Sikh Rehat Maryada given at the time of “Amrit Chakna”:-

ਰਹਤ ਅਵਰ ਕਛੁ ਅਵਰ ਕਮਾਵਤ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਗੰਢ ਲਾਵਤ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS.269-7).
He says one thing, and does something else. There is no love in his heart, and yet with his mouth he talks tall.

ਜਾਨਨਹਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਪਰਬੀਨ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਭੀਨ ॥

The Omniscient Lord God is the Knower of all. He is not impressed by outward display.

ਅਵਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੈ ਆਪਿ ਨ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਆਵਤ ਜਾਵਤ ਜਨਮੈ ਮਰੈ ॥
One who does not practice what he preaches to others, Shall come and go in reincarnation, through birth and death.

ਜਿਸ ਕੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਸੀਖ ਤਰੈ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
One whose inner being is filled with the Formless Lord, By his teachings, the world is saved.

ਜੋ ਤੁਮ ਭਾਨੇ ਤਿਨ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਨ ਜਨ ਚਰਨ ਪਰਾਤਾ ॥੭॥
Those who are pleasing to You, God, know You. Nanak falls at their feet. ||7||

The above pankties sized me up and put me in place by shaking my ego.

Next came another powerful quote of Sukhmani Sahib that I had read thousands of times before but this time it came with a stronger message to resolve my dubida (duality) to show a straight path to go forward:-

ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥ (Raag Gauri M.5, GGS.288-18).
Take the Guru’s advice, you ignorant; Without devotion, even the clever have drowned.

To receive – ‘ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ‘ is essential but it should not be left to just reading about it (i.e. just reading Gurbani). What is essential is to put the Gurmat in devotional practice (with full faith and trust) – where I was utterly lacking. I realised that by being a University Professor of Analytical Chemistry I could look through Gurbani analytically but at the same time that was not enough till I accept the Gurmat (the direction) with devotion and faith and put in practice in my real life.

Another hit struck me on becoming aware of the following message that there is need to make room for ‘ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ‘ for all based on developing a devotional equation with Waheguru irrespective of one’s academic qualifications.

ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਪੜਿਆ ਅਣਪੜਿਆ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 197)
The mortal whether educated or uneducated who meditates on the Preserve of the World, obtains the Supreme Dignity.

The need for a grasp of Gurbani was further strengthened by pankties like the following:-

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 4, GGS. 304-16).
The Word of the True Guru’s Bani is the embodiment of Truth; through Gurbani, one becomes perfect.

The most difficult task for me (and perhaps for a Sikh) is as how to become Gurbani (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ) ?

A selection of Gurbani messages in the form of instructions and promises provided me guidance to move on to the Sikhi Marg, Some such enlightening pankties are as given below:-

1. ਗੁਰਾ ਇਕ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥ ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ (Guru Nanak Ji, Japji, GGS 2).
The Guru has given me this one understanding: there is only the One, the Giver of all souls. May I never forget Him! ||5||

2. ਕੀਤਾ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਕੰਮੁ ਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਆਖੀਐ ॥ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਦੇਇ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਖੀਐ II (Raag Sri Rag M. 1, GGS 91)
Whatever work you wish to accomplish-tell it to the Lord. He will resolve your affairs; the True Guru gives His Guarantee of Truth.

3. ਪੋਥੀ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥ (Raag Sarang M. 5, GGS 1226)
This Holy Book is the home of the Transcendent Lord God.

4. ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥ (Raag Gond M. 5, GGS 864).
Know that the Guru and the Transcendent Lord are One.

5. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੁਧਿ ॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS 262).
In the remembrance of God are knowledge, meditation and the essence of wisdom.

6. ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਮਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS 263).
In the remembrance of the Lord, He Himself is Formless.

7. ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੯॥੨੯॥ (Dasam Granth, page 42).
I speak Truth, all should turn their ears towards it: he, who is absorbed in True Love, he would realize the Lord. 9.29.

8. ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥ (Raag Sarang, M. 1, GGS 1245).
One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has- O Nanak, he knows the Path. ||1||

9. ਕੂੜ ਨਿਖੁਟੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਓੜਕਿ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੀ ॥੨॥ (Raag Raamkalee M. 1, GGS 953).
Falsehood will come to an end, O Nanak, and Truth will prevail in the end. ||2|

10. ਮਿਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਤਤੁ ॥ (Raag Aasaa, M. 1, GGS 470).
Sweetness and humility, O Nanak, are the essence of virtue and goodness.

11. ਨਾਨਕ ਫਿਕੈ ਬੋਲਿਐ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ (Raag Aasaa, M. 1, GGS 473).
O Nanak, speaking insipid words, the body and mind become insipid.

12. ਕਰਨ ਨ ਸੁਨੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ॥ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਜਾਨੈ ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੰਦਾ ॥ (Gauri M. 5, GGS. 274-5).
Whose ears do not listen to slander against anyone,Who deems himself to be the worst of all

13. ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਮ ਪਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਨਿਤ ॥ (Salok: Bhagat Kabir, GGS 1373).
Kabeer, you remember the Lord in meditation, only when the need arises. You should remember Him all the time.

14. ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੁਖ ਬਾਲੇ ਭੋਲੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Kaanrhaa, M. 5, GGS 1307).
I have met God through innocent faith, and He has blessed me with peace. ||1||Pause||

15. ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ॥੬॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS 263).
O Nanak, this meditative remembrance comes only by perfect destiny. ||6||

16. ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿਆ ਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਹੋਏ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕੇਲ ਕੇਲਾਲੀ ॥੩॥ (Raag Dhanaasree, M. 4 GGS 667).
Those who meditate on the Lord, become the Lord; the playful, wondrous Lord meets them. ||3||

17. ਮਾਰੈ ਰਾਖੈ ਏਕੋ ਆਪਿ ॥ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਾਥਿ ॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS 281).
The One Lord Himself destroys and also preserves.
Nothing at all is in the hands of mortal beings.

18. ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਜਾਗੇ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਰਹਾਰੀ ॥ (Raag Raamkalee, M. 1, GGS 904).
Contemplating the Shabad, we become Nirankaari – we come to belong to the Formless Lord God. awakening to the Guru’s Teachings, evil-mindedness is taken away.

19. ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥ ਜਿਥੈ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥ (Raag Srirag, M. 1, GGS 72).
How is the Society of the Saints to be known. There, the Name of the One Lord is chanted.

20. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮਿਲਣੈ ਕੀ ਏਹ ਨੀਸਾਣੀ ॥ਮਨਿ ਇਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੀ ॥ (Raag Maajh, M. 5, GGS 106).
This is the sign of union with God: in the mind, the Command of the True Lord is recognized.

21. ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੇ ਕਿਨੇਹਿਆ ॥ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਸਾਂਈ ਜੇਹਿਆ ॥੧॥ (Raag Aasaa, M. 5, GGS 397).
What are they like – those who do not forget the Naam, the Name of the Lord?
Know that there is absolutely no difference; they are exactly like the Lord. ||1||

The above messages are though clear but not easy to accept, follow and to put in practice. There is need to have a virtual Guru Ji speaking in person to bring the desirable motivation such as provided by the following pankties:-

ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥ (Raag Nat Narain, M. 4, GGS. 972-10).
The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.

ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ ॥੫॥
If His humble servant believes, and acts according to the Words of the Guru’s Bani, then the Guru, in person, emancipates him. ||5||

A feeling of virtual presence of Guru Ji by my side keeps hammering the need for a daily resolve of seriously contemplating on Gurbani to attract Gurparsad in order to grasp the Divine essence of Gurbani (TAT):-

ਸੋਧਤ ਸੋਧਤ ਸੋਧਤ ਸੀਝਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਤਤੁ ਸਭੁ ਬੂਝਿਆ ॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS. 281).
Searching, searching, searching, and finally, success! By Guru’s Grace, the essence of all reality is understood.

What is now the ‘TAT‘ (Divine Sohjee)? – which is proclaimed as the only divine force in Guru Granth Sahib -‘Nanak ke ghar kewal Naam’ that Guru Nanak Sahib trusts as the greatest force that serves him as his life support.

ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਆਸ ਏਹੋ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ (Sriraag, M. 1, GGS. 24).
Your Name alone, Lord, saves the world. This is my hope; this is my support. ||1||Pause||

Following Guru Ji advice that ‘ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ‘. If Guru and Parmeshar are same that it would be easier for me to first befriend the Guru to know the secrets of knowing and reaching Waheguru. The Guru translates the necessity of Divine Connectivity all the time to leading to Divine Pargas.

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪੇਖਹੁ ਨੇਰਾ ॥ ਮਿਟੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥(Raag Gauri M.5, GGS. 293)
Behold God near at hand, twenty-four hours a day. Ignorance shall depart, and darkness shall be dispelled.

When the light of Gurbani shines it brings brings an awareness that lifts me up to accept the Truths in all the Spiritual Books and Granths (Holy Books) to forge a sense of Universal Brotherhood as advised in the following  verse by Guru Nanak Sahib;-

ਚਾਰੇ ਵੇਦ ਹੋਏ ਸਚਿਆਰ ॥ ਪੜਹਿ ਗੁਣਹਿ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਚਾਰ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, GGS. 470-8).
The four Vedas each claim to be true.Reading and studying them, four doctrines are found.

ਭਾਉ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਨੀਚੁ ਸਦਾਏ ॥ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੋਖੰਤਰੁ ਪਾਏ ॥੨॥
With loving devotional worship, abiding in humility,O Nanak, salvation is attained. ||2||

This brings one in the realm of Saram Khand or Lavaan #2. The trend of further Spiritual growth can be extrapolated.

The next step has a waiting period when to get divine inspiration to speak and write as Waheguru directs:-

ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬੋਲਾਇਆ ਤੇਰਾ ॥੪॥੨੩॥੨੯॥(Raag Suhi M. 5, GGS. 743-4).
You are inaccessible and unfathomable, O my True Lord and Master. Nanak speaks as You inspire him to speak. ||

Following the above, a Sikh moves to the glorious step when a Sikh experiences like Kabir Ji that Waheguru is not only Ang-Sang but also follows him/her:-

ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਜੈਸਾ ਗੰਗਾ ਨੀਰੁ ॥ਪਾਛੈ ਲਾਗੋ ਹਰਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਬੀਰ ॥੫੫॥ (Salok Bhagat Kabir, GGS. 1367-7).
Kabeer, my mind has become immaculate, like the waters of the Ganges. The Lord follows after me, calling, “”Kabeer! Kabeer!””||55||

I realise that the Sikh ‘Spiritual Journey’ starts with Nit-Nem of Bani to meet a Guru in Parthak form and then move along with Guru firmly in order to know the Guru’s Guru (Waheguru) intimately with love, devotion and utmost humility (total loss of personal ego). This follows leading into a magnetic relationship in equilibrium with equal pull going into a state of Rang-ratratra or Ik-Mik/Sito-Sita – an ultimate aim of a Sikh.

My anchor lies in the following verse of Gurbani of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Chief Editor and compiler of Gurbani in Adi Granth Sahib :-

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 265-8).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all. They are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name. ||1||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

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Gurmat

The Gurmat basically is path to ‘dharam’ and promotes: 1. Reciting and contemplating on Gurbani [knowledge about God (Waheguru)] and to know the thought pattern of our Gurus and 2. Nam Japana, which leads to Simran and to ‘Ajaapa Jaap’ on the name of God (Waheguru) as our Datta and Karta (- keeping in mind that He is first Datta and then Karta).

The Gurmat creates in us an awareness of our ‘Dharam’ (both in spiritual and ethical terms and on ‘Hukam-razai chalna’). There are heaps of people who just stop at this stage of awareness of Gurmat. The increasing awareness of Gurmat stirs up some persons and leads them to the realm of knowledge in which one starts enjoying ‘uchi surti’ and a taste of ‘Anand’.

Further, one become pious with a growing divine guidance. In this awastha one feels a natural sense of elevation in one’s thinking facilities coupled with unusual high degree of awareness leading to ‘Sehaj’. Slowly one qualifies to receive Waheguru’s grace/nadr and feels blessed (‘sito-sita’) with Waheguru and sees Him around and in everybody. At this stage one enjoys blissful experiences full of divine courage and strength in one’s actions, speech and writings.

According to Gurmat the Nam Japna is an important step to open/control one’s mind in order to climb to spiritual heights enjoyed by our Gurus, Bhaghats, Mahapuraks, Gurmukhs and some Gursikhs. The outcome of Naam Japna is beyond comprehension and belongs to some “Virle”. Sadhs, Sants, Brahm Gianis, and Gurumuks etc being Virle ( i.e rare only) cannot be easily recognised when they are always present and around. The riddle is fully explained in the Gurbani: Sadh ki sobha sadh ban aahie” and “Braham giani ki ghatt brahmgiani jane” (Raag Gauri M. 5)..

One needs to be a Sadh/Sant/Brahm giani to know one another. As a result common people will say that there are no such elevated souls because they cannot see them out of their own ignorance. The most positive common thread among the Gurus and the Bhaghats was that of Nam Japna and it was this link which attracted them closer to one another.

No rituals, dress or dietary codes, holdings of positions in religious institutions or related bodies help one to acquire the Gurmat. Basically one receives the Gurmat with Waheguru’s kirpa only and the stating point is daily nit-nem of Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib and Ardas.

ਅਪਨੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਪਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਲੇਇ ॥੨॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 287).
He Himself grants His Grace; O Nanak, that selfless servant lives the Guru’s Teachings. ||2||

One can easily gauge one’s level of “Gurmat” based on some spiritual and ethical pointers prescribed in the Gurbani, particularly in Pauris on “Khands’ in Jap Ji Sahib and Lavaan.

Gurmat guides us and directs us to – ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਭਗਤੀ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ. This indicates that ‘Naam Dhan’ and ‘Bhagati’ (Divine devotional love for Guru and Waheguru) are just responsible to fulfil one’s needs in life.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji elaborates about Gurmat (i) in the following pankties:-

ਮਾਹਾ ਰੁਤੀ ਸਭ ਤੂੰ ਘੜੀ ਮੂਰਤ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਗਣਤੈ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਸਚੇ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ (Raag Maajh M. 1, GGS. 140-14)
Through all the months and the seasons, the minutes and the hours, I dwell upon You, O Lord. No one has attained You by clever calculations, O True, Unseen and Infinite Lord.

ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਉ ਪੜੀਐ ਨਾਉ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ (Raag Maajh M. 1, GGS. 140-15).
That scholar who is full of greed, arrogant pride and egotism, is known to be a fool. So read the Name, and realize the Name, and contemplate the Guru’s Teachings.

ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਭਗਤੀ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਦਰਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ॥
Through the Guru’s Teachings, I have earned the wealth of the Naam; I possess the storehouses, overflowing with devotion to the Lord. Believing in the Immaculate Naam, one is hailed as true, in the True Court of the Lord.

ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਜੀਉ ਪਰਾਣੁ ਹੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਸਾਹੁ ਇਕੁ ਤੂੰ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਵਣਜਾਰਾ ॥੬॥
The Divine Light of the Infinite Lord, who owns the soul and the breath of life, is deep within the inner being. You alone are the True Banker, O Lord; the rest of the world is just Your petty trader. ||6||

Is this not a miraculous that Bhai Jetha an ordinary poor young boy who used to sell boiled black chickpeas eventually became the 4th Sikh Guru who not only left behind spiritual wealth but also financial/economic wealth as well? How can we explain this fete? Is this not as a result of Gurmat (i)?

On the literary side, Guru Ram Das Ji’s composition ‘Lavaan’ alone is par excellence – a story of his own Spiritual experience enumerated in four steps:- gathering of spiritual knowledge of Waheguru; seeing Him around; going into vairag on missing Him and finally staying in liv (Divine connectivity) with Waheguru. Lavaan reinforces the Spiritual Steps (Khands) prescribed by Guru Nanak Sahib in Jap Ji as well. Altogether Guru Ram Das Ji has contributed in all 638 sbds, saloks and chandds in the Guru Granth Sahib.

It is wondrous how Guru Ji without any formal education became an extra ordinary visionary scholar to do many things for the development of the Sikh Community and humanity.

Today the hustling & bustling city of Amritsar is known for ‘Ram Das Sarovar’ and Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). Amritsar today houses Khalsa College, Guru Nanak Dev University and many other Colleges and Educational Institutions that have produced so many scholarly professors (created Chairs for study of Gurmat), lecturers and researchers and numerous literary works since hundreds of years after Guru Ram Das Ji’s spiritual legacy.

The apex body, SGPC, looking after the affairs of Gurduaras in Punjab runs from the premises of Golden Temple complex with an exponentially growing annual budget rising to Rs. 1000+ crores in; a huge real estate and employing a large task force at different levels. What a remarkable vision for human resource management that Guru Ji left for us!

The Gurmat transformation further extended and continued beyond Guru Ramdas Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji (a blessed son of Guru Ram Das Ji) has been a great gift to Sikhi who was instrumental in contributing the major portion of Gurbani and at the same time in compiling Adi Granth Sahib by incorporating spiritual writings of five Gurus and that of Bhagats and Mahapurakhs to create a interfaith stage for spiritual growth.

Bhatt Keerat acknowledges the Spiritual Wealth of Guru Ram Das Ji and pays a glowing tribute in the following pankti:-

ਇਕ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਭਾਟ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਕੀ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਸਰਣਾਈ ॥੪॥੫੮॥ (GGS. 1406-10)
Keerat the poet offers this one prayer: O Guru Raam Daas, save me! Take me into Your Sanctuary! ||4||58||

Yogi Harbhajan Singh named his ashram after Guru Ram Das Ji and lately the Punjab and Indian Governments befittingly re-named ‘Guru Ram Dass International Airport, Amritsar.

Guru Ramdas Ji’ s transformation is reflected in his Bani as given below:-

ਜਿਸ ਦੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਸੋ ਸਚਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਸਚੁ ਅਲਾਏ ॥ (Raag Maajh M. 4, GGS. 140-2).
Those, within whom the Truth dwells, obtain the True Name; they speak only the Truth.

ਓਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਆਪਿ ਚਲਦਾ ਹੋਰਨਾ ਨੋ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਾਏ ॥
They walk on the Lord’s Path, and inspire others to walk on the Lord’s Path as well.

ਜੇ ਅਗੈ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਹੋਇ ਤਾ ਮਲੁ ਲਹੈ ਛਪੜਿ ਨਾਤੈ ਸਗਵੀ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਏ ॥
Bathing in a pool of holy water, they are washed clean of filth. But, by bathing in a stagnant pond, they are contaminated with even more filth.

ਤੀਰਥੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੋ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਏ ॥
The True Guru is the Perfect Pool of Holy Water. Night and day, He meditates on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.

ਓਹੁ ਆਪਿ ਛੁਟਾ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਸਿਉ ਦੇ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਭ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਛਡਾਏ ॥
He is saved, along with his family; bestowing the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, He saves the whole world.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਲਿਹਾਰਣੈ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਏ ॥੨॥
Servant Nanak is a sacrifice to one who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it as well. ||2||

Guru Ji exposure was restricted to Gurmat and he did not gain any professional or higher educational qualification (such as doctorate or MBA etc) from a modern day educational university/institution of the like of Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford…….

So it is evidently indicated that Gurmat – leads to Naam, and Naam leads to Budh-bebik.

It will be befitting if the sponsors of Sikh Chairs in various universities in USA, Canada, UK and India embark on research studies to explore the role of Gurmat in transforming human-beings as is demonstrated in the case of Bhai Jetha Ji who as a result moved from ‘Rags to Riches’.

Finally, it emerges that the Sikh Ardas for Naam Daan is fulfilling and includes all the necessary needs in life (including groceries).

– ਵਿਣੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਿ ਮੰਗਣਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਦੁਖਾ ਕੈ ਦੁਖ ॥ ਦੇਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਭੁਖ ॥(Raag Raamkali M. 5, GGS. 958-1).
To ask for any other than You, Lord, is the most miserable of miseries.
Please bless me with Your Name, and make me content; may the hunger of my mind be satisfied.

Personally, I find the following message of Guru Ram Dass Ji a torch bearing and very assuring in life:-

ਜਿਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਸੁਘੜ ਸਿਆਣੇ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 4, GGS. 450-15).
Those whose hearts are filled with the love of the Lord, Har, Har, are the wisest and most clever people, O Lord King.

ਜੇ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਭੁਲਿ ਚੁਕਿ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਭੀ ਖਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਣੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤਾ ਨੋ ਹੋਰੁ ਥਾਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਣੁ ਨਿਮਾਣੇ ॥
Even if they misspeak outwardly, they are still very pleasing to the Lord.
The Lord’s Saints have no other place. The Lord is the honor of the dishonored.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਤਾਣੁ ਸਤਾਣੇ ॥੧॥
The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is the Royal Court for servant Nanak; the Lord’s power is his only power. ||1||

If we keep in mind the following messages: “Gurmat saachi saacha vichaar’ and ‘Gurbani eis jag mein channan’, then there is no apparent or real contradiction in Gurbani.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Gurbani on the Desktop

Nothing can replace daily Nit-nem (reading, reciting, understanding, contemplating on full Banis. However, here are some verses handy for daily reading in the office or during a short break to stay in touch with Guru’s advice (Gurmat). The Members can, however, expand or shorten the list as they wish so. I am sharing this exercise with you as I have personally enjoyed it a lot. Some such verses can kindle a deep desire to turn to the Guru Granth Sahib and bring solace eventually:-

1. ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ (Japji, GGS 1).
ikoankaar sathnaam karathaa purakh nirabho niravair akaal moorath ajoonee saibhan gurprasaadh| |
One Universal Creator God.TheName Is Truth.CreativeBeing Personified. NoFear.NoHatred. ImageOfTheUndyin g, BeyondBirth, Self-Existent. By Guru’s Grace~
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੇਵਲ ਇਕ ਹੈ। ਸੱਚਾ ਹੈ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ, ਰਚਨਹਾਰ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਅਮਰ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪ। ਉਹ ਨਿਡਰ, ਦੁਸ਼ਮਣੀ-ਰਹਿਤ, ਅਜਨਮਾ ਤੇ ਸਵੈ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ਵਾਨ ਹੈ। ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਦਯਾ ਦੁਆਰਾ (ਉਹ ਪਰਾਪਤ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ)।

2. ਗੁਰਾ ਇਕ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥ (Japji, GGS 2) guraa eik dhaehi bujhaaee ||

The Guru has given me this one understanding:
ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਇਕ ਚੀਜ਼ ਸਮਝਾ ਦਿਤੀ ਹੈ।

ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੫॥
(sabhanaa jeeaa kaa eik dhaathaa so mai visar n jaaee ||5||
there is only the One, the Giver of all souls. May I never forget Him! ||5||
ਸਮੂਹ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੇਵਲ ਇਕ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਹੈ। ਉਹ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਕਦੇ ਭੀ ਨਾਂ ਭੁਲੇ।

3. ਕੀਤਾ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਕੰਮੁ ਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਆਖੀਐ ॥ (Raag Sri Rag M. 1, GGS 91)
keethaa lorreeai kanm s har pehi aakheeai || Whatever work you wish to accomplish-tell it to the Lord
. ਜਿਹੜਾ ਕਾਰਜ ਭੀ ਤੂੰ ਕਰਨਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਕੋਲ ਕਹੁ।

ਕਾਰਜੁ ਦੇਇ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਖੀਐ ॥
kaaraj dhaee savaar sathigur sach saakheeai ||
He will resolve your affairs; the True Guru gives His Guarantee of Truth.
ਉਹ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੰਮ ਰਾਸ ਕਰ ਦਏਗਾ। ਸੱਚੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਸੱਚੀ ਗਵਾਹੀ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ।

4. ਸਾਈ ਵਸਤੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਈ ਜਿਸੁ ਸੇਤੀ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ II (Raag Soohee, M. 1, GGS 764).
saaee vasath paraapath hoee jis saethee man laaeiaa ||
I have obtained that thing, which my mind desired.
ਮੈਂ ਉਹੀ ਚੀਜ਼ ਹਾਸਲ ਕਰ ਲਈ ਹੈ, ਜਿਸ ਨਾਲ ਮੈਂ ਆਪਣਾ ਚਿੱਤ ਜੋੜਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਸੀ।

5. ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ (Sukhmanee Sahib, GGS 288)
gur kee math thoon laehi eiaanae || Take the Guru’s advice, you ignorant fool;
ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਿਖ-ਮਤ ਲੈ, ਹੈ ਭੋਲੇ ਬੰਦੇ!

ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥
bhagath binaa bahu ddoobae siaanae || without devotion, even the clever have drowned.
ਸਾਈਂ ਦੇ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਦੇ ਬਾਝੋਂ ਘਣੇਰੇ ਅਕਲਮੰਦ ਇਨਸਾਨ ਡੁੱਬ ਗਏ ਹਨ।

6. ਪੋਥੀ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥ (Rag Sarang M. 5, GGS 1226)
Pothhee paramaesar kaa thhaan ||
This Holy Book is the home of the Transcendent Lord God.
ਇਹ ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਪੁਸਤਕ, (ਆਦਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ) ਪਰਮ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਨਿਵਾਸ ਅਸਥਾਨ ਹੈ।

7. ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥ (Raag Gond M. 5, GGS 864).
gur paramaesar eaeko jaan ||
Know that the Guru and the Transcendent Lord are One.
ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਨੂੰ ਇਕ ਹੀ ਸਮਝ।

8. ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥ (Raag Nat M. 4, GGS 982 ).
baanee guroo guroo hai baanee vich baanee anmrith saarae ||
The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.
ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪ ਹਨ। ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਦਰ ਸਮੂਹ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ-ਰਸ ਹਨ।

9. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੁਧਿ ॥ (Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 262).
prabh kai simaran giaan dhhiaan thath budhh ||
In the remembrance of God are knowledge, meditation and the essence of wisdom.
ਸੁਆਮੀ ਦੇ ਭਜਨ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਬੰਦਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਿਮਬੋਧ ਦਿਭਦ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀ ਅਤੇ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਦਾ ਨਚੋੜ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰ ਲੈਦਾ ਹੈ।

10. ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਮਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ (Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 263).
har simaran mehi aap nirankaaraa ||
In the remembrance of the Lord, He Himself is Formless.
ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਵਿਹੁਣ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਖੁਦ ਉਸ ਜਗ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੈ, ਜਿਥੇ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦਾ ਚਿੰਤਨ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।

11. ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੯॥੨੯॥ (Dasam Granth, page 42).
Saach(u) kahon sun leh(u) sabhai jin prem kooo tin hoo Prabh paaio||9||29| |
I speak Truth, all should turn their ears towards it: he, who is absorbed in True Love, he would realize the Lord. 9.29.

12. ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ (Raag Saran, M. 1, GGS 1245).
ghaal khaae kishh hathhahu dhaee |
| One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has
ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥
naanak raahu pashhaanehi saee ||1||
– O Nanak, he knows the Path. ||1||
ਹੇ ਨਾਨਕ, ਕੇਵਲ ਉਹ ਹੀ ਸੱਚੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਰਹੁ-ਰੀਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ।

13. ਕੂੜ ਨਿਖੁਟੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਓੜਕਿ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੀ ॥੨॥ (Raag Raamkalee M. 1, GGS 953).
koorr nikhuttae naanakaa ourrak sach rehee ||2||
Falsehood will come to an end, O Nanak, and Truth will prevail in the end. ||2||
ਝੂਠ ਦਾ ਖਾਤਮਾ ਹੋ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ ਤੇ ਅਖੀਰ ਨੂੰ ਸੱਚ ਹੀ ਪਰਬਲ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ, ਹੇ ਨਾਨਕ। ॥੨॥

14. ਮਿਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਤਤੁ ॥ ( Raag Aasaa, M. 1, GGS 470).
mithath neevee naanakaa gun changiaaeeaa thath ||
Sweetness and humility, O Nanak, are the essence of virtue and goodness.
ਮਿਠਾਸ ਅਤੇ ਨਿੰਮ੍ਰਤਾ, ਹੇ ਨਾਨਕ! ਖੂਬੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਨੇਕੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਨਿਚੋੜ ਹੈ।

15. ਨਾਨਕ ਫਿਕੈ ਬੋਲਿਐ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ( Raag Aasaa, M. 1, GGS 473).
naanak fikai boliai than man fikaa hoe ||
O Nanak, speaking insipid words, the body and mind become insipid.
ਨਾਨਕ, ਰੁੱਖਾ ਬੋਲਣ ਦੁਆਰਾ, ਆਤਮਾ ਅਤੇ ਦੇਹ ਮੰਦੇ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ।

16. ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਮ ਪਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਨਿਤ ॥ (Salok: Bhagat Kabir, GGS 1373).
kabeer kaam parae har simareeai aisaa simarahu nith ||
Kabeer, you remember the Lord in meditation, only when the need arises. You should remember Him all the time.

17. ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
bhanddahu hee bhandd oopajai bhanddai baajh n koe |
From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.
ਇਸਤਰੀ ਤੋਂ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਸਤਰੀ ਦੇ ਬਿਨਾ ਕੋਈ ਭੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ।

ਨਾਨਕ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥ (Rag Asaasa M. 1, GGS 473)
naanak bhanddai baaharaa eaeko sachaa soe ||
O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.
ਨਾਨਕ ਕੇਵਲ ਇਕ ਉਹ ਸੱਚਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਹੀ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਦੇ ਬਗੈਰ ਹੈ।

18. ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੁਖ ਬਾਲੇ ਭੋਲੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Kaanrhaa, M. 5, GGS 1307).
prabh miliou sukh baalae bholae ||1|| rehaao ||
I have met God through innocent faith, and He has blessed me with peace. ||1||Pause||
ਬੱਚੇ ਵਰਗੇ ਭੋਲੇਪਲ ਰਾਹੀ ਮੈਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲ ਪਿਆ ਹਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਆਰਾਮ ਬਖਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ। ਠਹਿਰਾਉ।

19. ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ॥੬॥ (Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 263).
naanak simaran poorai bhaag ||6||
O Nanak, this meditative remembrance comes only by perfect destiny. ||6||
ਨਾਨਕ, ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਬੰਦਗੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਚੰਗੇ ਨਸੀਬਾ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ।

20. ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿਆ ਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਹੋਏ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕੇਲ ਕੇਲਾਲੀ ॥੩॥ ( Raag Dhanaasree, M. 4 GGS 667).
jin har japiaa sae har hoeae har miliaa kael kaelaalee ||3||
Those who meditate on the Lord, become the Lord; the playful, wondrous Lord meets them. ||3||
ਜੋ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਨੂੰ ਸਿਮਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਉਹ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਰਗੇ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਕੌਤਕੀ ਤੇ ਖਿਲੰਦੜਾ ਸਾਈਂ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ।

21. ਮਾਰੈ ਰਾਖੈ ਏਕੋ ਆਪਿ ॥ (Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 281).
maarai raakhai eaeko aap ||
The One Lord Himself destroys and also preserves.
ਇਕ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਮਾਰਦਾ ਤੇ ਰਖਿਆ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ।

ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਾਥਿ ॥ maanukh kai kishh naahee haathh ||
Nothing at all is in the hands of mortal beings.
ਆਦਮੀ ਦੇ ਹੱਥ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੁਛ ਭੀ ਨਹੀਂ।

22. ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ (Raag Raamkalee, M. 1, GGS 904).
sabadh beechaar bheae nirankaaree ||
Contemplating the Shabad, we become Nirankaari – we come to belong to the Formless Lord God.
ਸੁਆਮੀ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਦਾ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕਰਨ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਇਨਸਾਨ ਸਰੂਪ-ਰਹਿਤ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਦਾ ਹੀ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ।

ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਜਾਗੇ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਰਹਾਰੀ ॥
guramath jaagae dhuramath parehaaree ||
awakening to the Guru’s Teachings, evil-mindedness is taken away.
ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਜਾਗ ਪੈਣ ਨਾਲ ਆਦਮੀ ਦੀ ਖੋਟੀ ਬੁੱਧੀ ਨਾਸ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ।

23. ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥ (Raag Sriraag, M. 1, GGS 72).
sathasangath kaisee jaaneeai ||
How is the Society of the Saints to be known?
ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤ ਕਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਜਾਣੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ?

ਜਿਥੈ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥
jithhai eaeko naam vakhaaneeai ||
There, the Name of the One Lord is chanted.
ਇਕ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਦਾ ਉਥੇ ਉਚਾਰਨ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।

24. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮਿਲਣੈ ਕੀ ਏਹ ਨੀਸਾਣੀ ॥ (Raag Maajh, M. 5, GGS 106).
prabh milanai kee eaeh neesaanee ||
This is the sign of union with God:
ਸੁਆਮੀ ਦੇ ਮਿਲਾਪ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਲੱਛਣ ਹੈ।

ਮਨਿ ਇਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੀ ॥
man eiko sachaa hukam pashhaanee ||
in the mind, the Command of the True Lord is recognized.
ਇਨਸਾਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਚਿੱਤ ਅੰਦਰ ਕੇਵਲ ਸੱਚੇ ਸਾਈਂ ਦੇ ਫੁਰਮਾਨ ਨੂੰ ਹੀ ਸਿੰਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ।

25. ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੇ ਕਿਨੇਹਿਆ ॥ (Raag Aasaa, M. 5, GGS 397).
jinhaa n visarai naam sae kinaehiaa ||
What are they like – those who do not forget the Naam, the Name of the Lord?
ਉਹ ਕੇਹੋ ਜੇਹੇ ਹਨ, ਜੋ ਨਾਮ ਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਭੁਲਾਉਂਦੇ

ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਸਾਂਈ ਜੇਹਿਆ ॥੧॥
bhaedh n jaanahu mool saanee jaehiaa ||1||
Know that there is absolutely no difference; they are exactly like the Lord. ||1||
ਉਹ ਮਾਲਕ ਦੀ ਮਾਨਿੰਦ ਹਨ, ਜਾਣ ਲੈ ਕਿ ਦੋਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਮੂਲੋ ਹੀ ਕੋਈ ਫਰਕ ਨਹੀਂ।

Guru-Sabd leads to Waheguru, the greatest Tat by daily practice:-

ਸੋਧਤ ਸੋਧਤ ਸੋਧਤ ਸੀਝਿਆ ॥ (Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 281).
sodhhath sodhhath sodhhath seejhiaa || Searching, searching, searching, and finally, success!
ਭਾਲਦਾ, ਭਾਲਦਾ ਅਤੇ ਭਾਲਦਾ ਹੋਇਆ, ਓੜਕ ਨੂੰ ਜੀਵ ਕਾਮਯਾਬ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ।

ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਤਤੁ ਸਭੁ ਬੂਝਿਆ ॥
gur prasaadh thath sabh boojhiaa ||
By Guru’s Grace, the essence of all reality is understood.
ਗੁਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਮਿਹਰ ਸਦਕਾ ਉਹ ਸਾਰੀ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ ਨੂੰ ਜਾਣ ਲੈਦਾ ਹੈ।

– Guru Nanak Ji himself proclaimed the importance of Naam as his only support in the following verse:-

ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ (Sriraag, M. 1, GGS 24).
thaeraa eaek naam thaarae sansaar ||
Your Name alone, Lord, saves the world.
ਕੇਵਲ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਹੀ ਜਗਤ ਦਾ ਪਾਰ ਉਤਾਰਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ।

ਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਆਸ ਏਹੋ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ mai eaehaa aas eaeho aadhhaar ||1|| rehaao ||
This is my hope; this is my support. ||1||Pause||
ਕੇਵਲ ਇਹ ਹੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਉਮੀਦ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਇਹ ਹੀ ਆਸਰਾ। ਠਹਿਰਾਉ।

– So for a Sikh, it is made clear in the Gurbani to accept that “ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚਾii” (prabh kaa simaran sabh thae oochaa ).(Raag Gaurhee Sukhmanee, M. 5, GGS 263) and ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥ -“naanak kai ghar kaeval naam ||4||4||”-(Raag Bhaira-o, M. 5, GGS 1136)..

The Gurbani promotes Universal brotherhood (presence of God in all of us) and in turn offers scope for peace and prosperity in the world:-

ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ ॥ (Aasaa M. 4, GGS. 11 & 394).
thoon ghatt ghatt anthar sarab niranthar jee har eaeko purakh samaanaa ||
You are constant in each and every heart, and in all things. O Dear Lord, you are the One.
ਤੂੰ ਹੇ ਪੂਜਯ ਤੇ ਅਦੁੱਤੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਆਮੀ! ਸਾਰਿਆਂ ਦਿਲਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਹਰ ਇਕਸੁ ਅੰਦਰ ਇਕ ਰਸ ਸਮਾਇਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ।

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪੇਖਹੁ ਨੇਰਾ ॥ (Raag Gauri Sukhmanee Guru Arjan Dev, GGS. 293)
aath pehar prabh paekhahu naeraa ||
Behold God near at hand, twenty-four hours a day.
ਸਾਰਾ ਦਿਹਾੜਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੂੰ ਐਨ ਨੇੜੇ ਦੇਖ।

ਮਿਟੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥ (
mittai agiaan binasai andhhaeraa ||
Ignorance shall depart, and darkness shall be dispelled.
ਤੇਰੀ ਬੇਸਮਝੀ ਦੂਰ ਹੋ ਜਾਏਗੀ ਅਤੇ ਅੰਨ੍ਹੇਰਾ ਮਿਟ ਜਾਏਗਾ।
Note: All translations are from the Internet

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Har-Ras

According to the Gurbani Har-ras is a blissful state of connectivity with Waheguru (Naam). Guru Amar Das Ji explains the importance of Har-ras in Anand Sahib in Pauris 32, 37 and 38. Guru Ji says that all the worldly tastes/enjoyments lack the ras (essence of enjoyment) that one enjoys when one is enshrining Waheguru in one’s heart. The state of enjoyment of Har-ras comes only to those who first connect with a Guru in order to receive Waheguru’s grace and His Nad/kirpa in obtaining the ecstatic state of Naam.

ਏ ਰਸਨਾ ਤੂ ਅਨ ਰਸਿ ਰਾਚਿ ਰਹੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ (Raamkali M. 3, GGS. 921).
O my tongue, you are engrossed in other tastes, but your thirsty desire is not quenched.

ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਹੋਰਤੁ ਕਿਤੈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਲੈ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥
Your thirst shall not be quenched by any means, until you attain the subtle essence of the Lord.

ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇ ਪਲੈ ਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਲਾਗੈ ਆਇ ॥
If you do obtain the subtle essence of the Lord, and drink in this essence of the Lord, you shall not be troubled by desire again.

ਏਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਕਰਮੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਇ ॥
This subtle essence of the Lord is obtained by good karma, when one comes to meet with the True Guru.

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਭਿ ਵੀਸਰੇ ਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੩੨॥
Says Nanak, all other tastes and essences are forgotten, when the Lord comes to dwell within the mind. ||32||

In order to obtain Har-ras (Har-Naam), Guru Ji recommends reading/studying and listening to Gur-sabd and Gurbani.

ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਭੋਗੋ ॥ (Raag Ramkalee M. 3, GGS. 921). a
I have come to know the unstruck sound current and the Word of the Guru’s Shabad; I enjoy the sublime essence of the Lord, the Lord’s Name.
………….
ਏ ਸ੍ਰਵਣਹੁ ਮੇਰਿਹੋ ਸਾਚੈ ਸੁਨਣੈ ਨੋ ਪਠਾਏ ॥
O my ears, you were created only to hear the Truth.

ਸਾਚੈ ਸੁਨਣੈ ਨੋ ਪਠਾਏ ਸਰੀਰਿ ਲਾਏ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸਤਿ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
To hear the Truth, you were created and attached to the body; listen to the True Bani.

ਜਿਤੁ ਸੁਣੀ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਹੋਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਰਸਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ (Raag Ramkalee M. 3, GGS. 922).
Hearing it, the mind and body are rejuvenated, and the tongue is absorbed in Ambrosial Nectar.

Guru Ram Das Ji adds that blessed is the company of those who dwell in Naam i.e. in the bliss of “Gurbani eis jag mehi chaanan”.

ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਿ ॥੪॥੪॥ (Raag Goojree M. 4, GGS. 10-8).
Blessed, blessed is the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, where the Lord’s Essence is obtained. Meeting with His humble servant, O Nanak, the Light of the Naam shines forth. ||4||4||

According to the Gurbani, the Har-ras can easily control all temptations of Maya and one can live a good life free from vices such as anger, lust, greed, attachments, ego; and one can easily abstains from the use of alcoholic intoxicants and uplifting drugs etc. A certain degree of Har-ras through the Gurbani is a sure remedy to bring the prevalent Punjab’s current problems of excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs among the Sikhs. Nit-nem is a must prescription!

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

‘Gur Bin Ghor Andhhaar’ (ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰੁ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ)

The Gurmat puts a lot of emphasis to have a Guru for enlightenment as given in the following tuks:

ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰੁ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਮਝ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ (Sava-yay – in praise of Guru Ram Das by Bhatt Nal, GGS. 1399).

Without the Guru, there is utter darkness; without the Guru, understanding does not come.
ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਨ ਸਿਧਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
Without the Guru, there is no intuitive awareness or success; without the Guru, there is no liberation.

The importance of seeking the advice of Guru is emphasised in the following tuks:

1. ਕੁੰਭੇ ਬਧਾ ਜਲੁ ਰਹੈ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਕੁੰਭੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥(Raag Aasaa M. 1, GGS. 469).
Water remains confined within the pitcher, but without water, the pitcher could not have been formed; just so, the mind is restrained by spiritual wisdom, but without the Guru, there is no spiritual wisdom. ||5||

2. ਮਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਤਨ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਜੇ ਇਕ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣੀ ॥ (Guru Nanak, Jap, GGS. 2).
Within the mind are gems, jewels and rubies, if you listen to the Guru’s Teachings, even once.

ਗੁਰਾ ਇਕ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥ ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੬॥
The Guru has given me this one understanding: there is only the One, the Giver of all souls. May I never forget Him! ||6||

3. ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਪੈਰੀ ਪਾਇ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰਿਅਨੁ ॥ (Raag Goojree M. 5, GGS. 517).
Falling at the feet of the Guru, our works are embellished with perfection.

4. ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥(Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS. 288).
Take the Guru’s advice, you ignorant fool; without devotion, even the clever have drowned.

5. ਆਪੁ ਛਡਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਪਰਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਏ ॥(Raag Raamkalee M. 3, GGS. 919-20).
Renouncing selfishness and conceit, he remains always on the side of the Guru; he does not know anyone except the Guru.

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਏ ॥੨੧॥
Says Nanak, listen, O Saints: such a Sikh turns toward the Guru with sincere faith, and becomes sunmukh. ||21||

Who is the Guru afterall and how can one have full confidence in such a Guru? The Gurbani explains beautifully and guides as:-

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਧੇ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਬੇਦ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦ ॥੪॥੧੧॥੨੪॥ (Raag Bhairo M. 5, GGS. 1142).
Nanak has studied the Simritees and the Vedas. There is no difference between the Supreme Lord God and the Guru. ||4||11||24||

Now according to the Gurbani when the Waheguru and Guru are the same and the power of Waheguru is behind the Guru, then it makes a lot of sense that we trust in Gursabd, which is the voice (Truth) conveyed by Waheguru through the Guru:-

ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਰਤੰਨੁ ਹੈ ਕਰਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਆਪਿ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Malaar M. 1, GGS. 1290).
The Word of the Guru’s Sabd is a jewel, through which the Lord shines forth and reveals Himself.

On receiving the Divine light from the Guru, one gets enlightenment and emancipation and the darkness of ignorance is dispelled:-

ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਧੇਰ ਬਿਨਾਸੁ ॥ (Raag Gauhree M. 5, Sloak 23, GGS. 293).
The Guru has given the healing ointment of spiritual wisdom, and dispelled the darkness of ignorance.

ਹਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਸੰਤ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨਿ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥੧॥
By the Lord’s Grace, I have met the Saint; O Nanak, my mind is enlightened. ||1||

So for a Sikh it is a must to seek shelter in the Guru Granth Sahib where Waheguru incarnate Guru lives who can bring enlightenment by reading, reciting, contemplating, obeying and putting in practice the truthful messages of Gurbani (Gursabd).

“Gurmat sachi sacha vichaar”.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

‘ਤਤਕਾਲ’ Thathakaal (In an Instant)

Sometime back in order to travel from Delhi to Lucknow, I went to a travel agent to book a train journey. On checking the dates on his computer he told me that for a particular date that I requested all the seats were sold out. Then he said, however, there are some seats available on ‘Thathakaal Quota’. Since I was not familiar with this expression so he explained that the normal reservation is made a few days before the actual journey whereas Tathakaal is like instant booking and costs some extra money and some refund restrictions apply. Anyway, I agreed to pay the prescribed Thathakaal-fare for outward journey and for the return journey I got a seat in normal advance reservation category.

The next day when I was going through the Sukhmani Sahib and I came across the word ‘ਤਤਕਾਲ’ (Thathakaal) in Ashpadi 2, Pauri 3 as given below:

ਅਨਿਕ ਬਿਘਨ ਜਹ ਆਇ ਸੰਘਾਰੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਉਧਾਰੈ ॥
Where countless misfortunes threaten to destroy you, the Name of the Lord shall rescue you in an instant.

It struck to me that Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Sukhmani Sahib talks about a ‘Tathakaal Service’ as well in order to get rid of all misfortunes. The word ‘Thathakaal’ kept resounding that one can overcome countless misfortunes in Thathakaal (in an instant). But then how ? The answer was obviously YES but how and at what price?

The direction is indicated as: ‘Har ka naam’ –“ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਉਧਾਰੈ” (॥har kaa naam thathakaal oudhhaarai).

Now where to find and how to apply ‘Har ka Naam’, which is the asking prescribed price in Sukhmani Sahib to avail ‘Thathakal Service/Provision/Quota’.

My curiosity arose to find if there is something else available under the premises of ‘Thathakal’. On further exploring I found another reference to Tathakal in Ashtpadi 11, Pauri 4:-

ਜਾ ਕਾ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਵੈ ॥
Even one who has never been seen at all, becomes instantly famous in the ten directions.

This promises that ‘Har ka Naam’ can convert someone from nothing to something and to much more……………………….

MY curiosity increased further to find yet another reference to ‘Thathakaal’ in the 24th Ashtpadi Pauri 8 of the Sukhmani Sahib, which guarantees instant enlightenment and removal of all doubts of birth and death and thus leading to a pious life-style.

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦੂਖੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ॥ ਦੁਲਭ ਦੇਹ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਉਧਾਰੈ ॥
The pains of birth and death are removed. The human body, so difficult to obtain, is instantly redeemed.

The three Pauris are given hereunder for a fuller elaboration of “Thathakaal”.

ਛੂਟਤ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਟਿ ਲਖ ਬਾਹੀ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਤਹ ਪਾਰਿ ਪਰਾਹੀ ॥ Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS. 264; Sukhmani Sahib Ashtpadi 2, Pauri 3).
You shall not be saved by hundreds of thousands and millions of helping hands. Chanting the Naam, you shall be lifted up and carried across.

ਅਨਿਕ ਬਿਘਨ ਜਹ ਆਇ ਸੰਘਾਰੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਉਧਾਰੈ ॥
Where countless misfortunes threaten to destroy you, the Name of the Lord shall rescue you in an instant.

ਅਨਿਕ ਜੋਨਿ ਜਨਮੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਮ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਪਾਵੈ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥
Through countless incarnations, people are born and die. Chanting the Name of the Lord, you shall come to rest in peace.

ਹਉ ਮੈਲਾ ਮਲੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਧੋਵੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਾਪ ਖੋਵੈ ॥
The ego is polluted by a filth which can never be washed off. The Name of the Lord erases millions of sins.

ਐਸਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਰੰਗਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਾਧ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥੩॥
Chant such a Name with love, O my mind. O Nanak, it is obtained in the Company of the Holy. ||3|| .

…………………….

ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਨੀਚ ਕੀਟ ਕਉ ਰਾਜ ॥ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ (Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS. 277; Sukhmani Sahib Ashtpadi 11, Pauri 4.).
In an instant, the lowly worm is transformed into a king. The Supreme Lord God is the Protector of the humble.

ਜਾ ਕਾ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਵੈ ॥
Even one who has never been seen at all, becomes instantly famous in the ten directions.

ਜਾ ਕਉ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਕਰੈ ਬਖਸੀਸ ॥ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਲੇਖਾ ਨ ਗਨੈ ਜਗਦੀਸ ॥
And that one upon whom He bestows His blessings the Lord of the world does not hold him to his account.

ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਪੂਰਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸ ॥
Soul and body are all His property. Each and every heart is illuminated by the Perfect Lord God.

ਅਪਨੀ ਬਣਤ ਆਪਿ ਬਨਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀਵੈ ਦੇਖਿ ਬਡਾਈ ॥੪॥
He Himself fashioned His own handiwork.
Nanak lives by beholding His greatness. ||4||

……………………………

ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਬਸੈ ਸੁਨੈ ਲਾਇ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਨ ਆਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਚੀਤਿ ॥ (Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS. 296; Sukhmani Sahib Ashtpadi. 24, Pauri 8.).
One, within whose mind it abides, and who listens to it with love that humble person consciously remembers the Lord God.

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦੂਖੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ॥ ਦੁਲਭ ਦੇਹ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਉਧਾਰੈ ॥
The pains of birth and death are removed. The human body, so difficult to obtain, is instantly redeemed.

ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸੋਭਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨੀ ॥
Spotlessly pure is his reputation, and ambrosial is his speech. The One Name permeates his mind.

ਦੂਖ ਰੋਗ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਭੈ ਭਰਮ ॥ ਸਾਧ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਕਰਮ ॥
Sorrow, sickness, fear and doubt depart. He is called a Holy person; his actions are immaculate and pure.

ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਸੋਭਾ ਬਨੀ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਗੁਣਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਖਮਨੀ ॥੮॥੨੪॥
His glory becomes the highest of all. O Nanak, by these Glorious Virtues, this is named Sukhmani, Peace of mind. ||8||24||

It appears that the “Thathakaal Quota” made available in the Sukhmani Sahib is open to those who have a Credit Card of ‘Har Naam‘ in their possession. And according to the Gurbani ‘Har Naam’ can be obtained only from Sabd-Guru/Gurbani (Guru Granth Sahib – a light-house, signifying “Gurbani eis jag mehi chaanan”). Everything is possible with Waheguru on ones’ side.

ਸਰਬ ਕਲਾ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਨਨਹਾਰ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਉਧਰੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਲਿਹਾਰ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS. 282; Sukhmani Sahib Sloak 15.).
God is totally imbued with all powers; He is the Knower of our troubles. Meditating in remembrance on Him, we are saved; Nanak is a sacrifice to Him. ||1||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Gurmat Alert!

I humbly like to share the following two Sabds to bring some Gurmat directions in our respective lives. Since our Gurus guided us out of their divine connections with Waheguru, there is need to heed to their advice with contemplative mood in order to swim through the ‘Maya Jaal’ of the World around us.

There is a message for members of all ages but more so for the senior members in mid seventies and above. Kindly take this in Gurmat Spirit.

1. ਕਾਚੀ ਦੇਹ ਮੋਹ ਫੁਨਿ ਬਾਂਧੀ ਸਠ ਕਠੋਰ ਕੁਚੀਲ ਕੁਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ (Savaiye M. 5, GGS. 1387-4).
This body is frail and transitory, and bound to emotional attachment. I am foolish, stone-hearted, filthy and unwise.

ਧਾਵਤ ਭ੍ਰਮਤ ਰਹਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਵਤ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
My mind wanders and wobbles, and will not hold steady. It does not know the state of the Supreme Waheguru.

ਜੋਬਨ ਰੂਪ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਾਤਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਬਿਕਲ ਬਡੌ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੀ ॥
I am intoxicated with the wine of youth, beauty and the riches of Maya. I wander around perplexed, in excessive egotistical pride.

ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਅਪਵਾਦ ਨਾਰਿ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਯਹ ਮੀਠੀ ਜੀਅ ਮਾਹਿ ਹਿਤਾਨੀ ॥
The wealth and women of others, arguments and slander, are sweet and dear to my soul.

ਬਲਬੰਚ ਛਪਿ ਕਰਤ ਉਪਾਵਾ ਪੇਖਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ॥
I try to hide my deception, but Waheguru, the Inner-knower, the Searcher of Hearts, sees and hears all.

ਸੀਲ ਧਰਮ ਦਯਾ ਸੁਚ ਨਾਸ੍ਤਿ ਆਇਓ ਸਰਨਿ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਦਾਨੀ ॥
I have no humility, faith, compassion or purity, but I seek Your Sanctuary, O Giver of life.

ਕਾਰਣ ਕਰਣ ਸਮਰਥ ਸਿਰੀਧਰ ਰਾਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ॥੧॥
The All-powerful Lord is the Cause of causes. O Waheguru and Master of Nanak, please save me! ||1||

ਕੀਰਤਿ ਕਰਨ ਸਰਨ ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਜੋਹਨ ਪਾਪ ਬਿਦਾਰਨ ਕਉ ॥
The Praises of the Creator, the Enticer of the mind, are potent to destroy sins.

ਹਰਿ ਤਾਰਨ ਤਰਨ ਸਮਰਥ ਸਭੈ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੁਲਹ ਸਮੂਹ ਉਧਾਰਨ ਸਉ ॥
The All-powerful Waheguru is the boat, to carry us across; He saves all our generations.

ਚਿਤ ਚੇਤਿ ਅਚੇਤ ਜਾਨਿ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਰਮ ਅੰਧੇਰ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਕਤ ਧਂਉ ॥
O my unconscious mind, contemplate and remember Waheguru in the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation. Why are you wandering around, enticed by the darkness of doubt?

ਮੂਰਤ ਘਰੀ ਚਸਾ ਪਲੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਸਨਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਲਉ ॥
Remember Him in meditation, for an hour, for a moment, even for an instant. Chant the Name of Waheguru with your tongue.

ਹੋਛਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਅਲਪ ਸੁਖ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੋਟਿ ਜਨੰਮ ਕਹਾ ਦੁਖ ਭਂਉ ॥
You are bound to worthless deeds and shallow pleasures; why do you spend millions of lifetimes wandering in such pain?

ਸਿਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾ ਸੰਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਭਜੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਮ ਰੰਗਿ ਆਤਮ ਸਿਉ ਰਂਉ ॥੨॥
Chant and vibrate the Name of Waheguru, O Nanak, through the Teachings of the Saints. Meditate on Waheguru with love in your soul. ||2||

ਰੰਚਕ ਰੇਤ ਖੇਤ ਤਨਿ ਨਿਰਮਿਤ ਦੁਰਲਭ ਦੇਹ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਧਰੀ ॥
The little sperm is planted in the body-field of the mother, and the human body, so difficult to obtain, is formed.

ਖਾਨ ਪਾਨ ਸੋਧੇ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚਤ ਸੰਕਟ ਕਾਟਿ ਬਿਪਤਿ ਹਰੀ ॥
He eats and drinks, and enjoys pleasures; his pains are taken away, and his suffering is gone.

ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਭਾਈ ਅਰੁ ਬੰਧਪ ਬੂਝਨ ਕੀ ਸਭ ਸੂਝ ਪਰੀ ॥
He is given the understanding to recognize mother, father, siblings and relatives.

ਬਰਧਮਾਨ ਹੋਵਤ ਦਿਨ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਨਿਤ ਆਵਤ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਬਿਖੰਮ ਜਰੀ ॥
He grows day by day, as the horrible specter of old age comes closer and closer.

ਰੇ ਗੁਨ ਹੀਨ ਦੀਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਕ੍ਰਿਮ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਏਕ ਘਰੀ ॥
You worthless, petty worm of Maya – remember Waheguru at least for an instant!

ਕਰੁ ਗਹਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਨਿਧਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਟਿ ਭਰੰਮ ਭਰੀ ॥੩॥
Please take Nanak’s hand, O Merciful Ocean of Mercy, Waheguru and take away this heavy load of doubt. ||3||

ਰੇ ਮਨ ਮੂਸ ਬਿਲਾ ਮਹਿ ਗਰਬਤ ਕਰਤਬ ਕਰਤ ਮਹਾਂ ਮੁਘਨਾਂ ॥
O mind, you are a mouse, living in the mouse-hole of the body; you are so proud of yourself, but you act like an absolute fool.

ਸੰਪਤ ਦੋਲ ਝੋਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਝੂਲਤ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਗਨ ਭ੍ਰਮਤ ਘੁਘਨਾ ॥
You swing in the swing of wealth, intoxicated with Maya, and you wander around like an owl.

ਸੁਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸਾਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਬੰਧਪ ਤਾ ਸਿਉ ਮੋਹੁ ਬਢਿਓ ਸੁ ਘਨਾ ॥
You take pleasure in your children, spouse, friends and relatives; your emotional attachment to them is increasing.

ਬੋਇਓ ਬੀਜੁ ਅਹੰ ਮਮ ਅੰਕੁਰੁ ਬੀਤਤ ਅਉਧ ਕਰਤ ਅਘਨਾਂ ॥
You have planted the seeds of egotism, and the sprout of possessiveness has come up. You pass your life making sinful mistakes.

ਮਿਰਤੁ ਮੰਜਾਰ ਪਸਾਰਿ ਮੁਖੁ ਨਿਰਖਤ ਭੁੰਚਤ ਭੁਗਤਿ ਭੂਖ ਭੁਖਨਾ ॥
The cat of death, with his mouth wide-open, is watching you. You eat food, but you are still hungry.

ਸਿਮਰਿ ਗੁਪਾਲ ਦਇਆਲ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗੁ ਜਾਨਤ ਸੁਪਨਾ ॥੪॥
Meditate in remembrance on the Merciful Waheguru of the World, O Nanak, in the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation. Know that the world is just a dream. ||4||

– Guru Arjan Dev Ji further guides his Sikhs about the Gurmat technique to make one’s life meaningful:-

2. ਜੀਅਰੇ ਓਲ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨਾਮ ਕਾ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਜਿ ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਵਨੋ ਤਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਭਉ ਹੈ ਜਾਮ ਕਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, 211-1).
Hey, soul: your only Support is the Naam, the Name of the Waheguru. Whatever else you do or make happen, the fear of death still hangs over you. ||1||Pause||

ਅਵਰ ਜਤਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਵਡੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥੧॥
He is not obtained by any other efforts. By great good fortune, meditate Waheguru. ||1||

ਲਾਖ ਹਿਕਮਤੀ ਜਾਨੀਐ ॥ ਆਗੈ ਤਿਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਾਨੀਐ ॥੨॥
You may know hundreds of thousands of clever tricks, But not even one will be of any use at all hereafter. ||2||

ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਨੇ ॥ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਬਾਲੂ ਨੀਰਿ ਬਹਾਵਨੇ ॥੩॥
Good deeds done in the pride of ego are swept away, Like the house of sand by water. ||3||

ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲੁ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਲੈ ॥੪॥੪॥੧੪੨॥
When Waheguru the Merciful shows His Mercy, Nanak receives the Naam in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. ||4||4||142||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Amritdhari vs Gurbanidhari Sikhs

S. Jagpal Singh Tiwana’s concern (of Canada) is genuine when he writes that “Work for Unity” is a good idea, but it never worked in Sikh Jagat. Sikhs have been ever divided since Guru Gobind Singh ji left for his heavenly abode. Immediately we see there is Tat Khalsa vs Bandai Khalsa, down to Singh Sabha (Lahore) vs Singh Sabha (Amritsar), and later Tara Singh vs Fateh Singh. Now it is SGPC against DSGMC.This is going to stay that way.”

The above sentiment is further confirmed by the happenings around Akal Takhat Sahib, Ragi Darshan Singh saga and fights in Gurduaras in India, U. K., USA and Canada give promise of this continued rivalry in opposing factions.

The ongoing conflicts in Sikh World draw one’s attention to the personality make-up of two major groups among the Sikhs: The Amritdharis and Gurbanidharis who usually clash. There is another big group comprising of the so called-Sikhs (neither AD nor GD) who do not directly cause trouble on their own.

AD-Sikhs are those who have gone through the ‘Khandaiye de Pahul’ initiation. They read Nit-nem Banis every day and wear 5Ks as prescribed.

GD-Sikhs are those who read the Gurbani on daily basis.

Although both have the Gurbani component common yet they differ markedly in many respects. A general broad-based comparison of the two is given below with every possibility of exceptions in some elevated souls.

In appearance, the AD-Sikhs are normally pious looking, live in Guru’s (Guru Gobind Singh) sharan, gentle but introvert. They are conservative, simple in dress and life-style, egoistic but with less personal pride and socially less entertaining.

On the other hand the GD-Sikhs are generally smart, outgoing and extrovert. They love good life, less egoistic but more in vanity, live in Waheguru’s sharan and are more entertaining.

AD-Sikhs are conservative in education, limited in scholarship, generally satisfied with their lots, neither enterprising nor dashing.

GD-Sikhs are generally advanced in education, clever, with good entrepreneurs skills, dashing, international outlook, great scholars and adventurous.

At social level AD-Sikhs have strict lifestyle (dress, eating, drinking etc), remain with a select company of a few friends, do not mingle easily, not so talkative, tend to help their own community, non party going, strict with children/spouses who are generally not so happy.

GD-Sikhs are talkative, friendly, outgoing, tend to relax. They are friendly as husband/wife, generally happy and outgoing, help anyone, keep children and spouses generally happy, liberal with eating and drinking and in daily life style.

When it comes to the management of religious institutions, AD-Sikhs are generally strict and dictatorial in their outlook, more often prove as a source of trouble for other members of the Community. They keep themselves aloof from members of other faiths, rather bad managers and generally trouble makers.

GD-Sikhs are enterprising, cooperative, generally good managers, more democratic and peace makers when looking after the Sikh Institutions.

This is purely based on an analysis in dealing with the Sikhs in everyday life. Sorry for causing hurt to anyone.

Are their ways to bring them to understand each other better to buy peace in various Sikh Gurdwaras/Institutions to avoid public embarrassment for the entire community?

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Naam Japna

Guru Nanak Sahib makes it clear in the following tuk regarding Naam Japna:-

ਨਾਉ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਇ ਲਇਐ ਨਰਕਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, GGS. 465-15).
Your Name is the Fearless Lord; chanting Your Name, one does not have to go to hell.

“Eko Naam Hukam hai'( M.1) – What is that ‘Eko Naam’, which is prescribed/commanded by Guru Nanak Sahib?

That ‘Eko Naam’ is Nirankar (and not simply a Hukam/Command), which is Ik Oankar, which is also referred to as Waheguru – GURU of the Gurus.

Some mislead by saying that Gurbani is Waheguru. Gurbani is in fact a limited Gift of Divine knowledge/wisdom received by our Gurus from Waheguru, the source of Gurbani. Waheguru, therefore, is creator and not the creation (Gurbani). Others give preference to Divine virtues/hukam over the Creator.

It is quite clear from the following Gurbani tuks that Waheguru is ‘beant and anant’:-

ਅਪਣਾ ਆਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਆਪਿ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥ (Raag Maajh M. 5, GGS. 108-17).
You Yourself recognize Your Own Self.

ਅਗਮ ਅਗਮ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਆਗਾਧਿ ॥ (Raag Dev Gandhaaree M. 5, GGS. 535-11).
That the Lord and Master is inaccessible, unapproachable and unfathomable.

ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 3, GGS. 918-12).
O inaccessible and unfathomable Lord, Your limits cannot be found.

While deeply reflecting on Gurbani, it also leads to Naam Japna of ONE (Waheguru) – ‘Gun keh gunni samavainiaa’ :-

ਸਿਖਹੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ॥ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਏਕ ॥੨॥ (Gauri Ki Vaar M. 5, GGS. 320-5).|
O Sikhs, love the Word of the Shabad; in life and death, it is our only support. Your face shall be radiant, and you shall find a lasting peace, O Nanak, remembering the

ਤੂ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਦਾਤਾ ਦਾਨਿ ਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਹਮ ਥਾਰੇ ਭੇਖਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ (Raag Sorath M. 1, 597-16).
You, God, are the Giver of gifts, the Lord of perfect understanding; I am a mere beggar at Your Door.

ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਮਾਗਉ ਕਿਛੁ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਈ ਹਰਿ ਦੀਜੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥
What should I beg for? Nothing remains permanent; O Lord, please, bless me with Your Beloved Name. ||1||

Dear Members of Sangat, my personal humble experience is that Waheguru Naam Japna and reflecting on Gurbani go hand in hand:-

1. Deep contemplation on Gurbani will end up in Waheguru Naam Japna and ending with ‘ajapa ajap’, and

2. Waheguru Naam Japna shall produce a strong urge to reflect/contemplate on Gurbani and ending up with ‘ajapa jaap’.

Both come with Waheguru’s Nadr/Kirpa:-

ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਅਪਨੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਨਾਮਿ ਮਿਲੇਇ ॥੩॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 277-8).
Those whom the Lord mercifully blesses with His devotional worship- O Nanak, they are absorbed into the Naam. ||3||

‘ਨਾਮਿ ਮਿਲੇਇ’ amounts to living in the remembrance/simran of Waheguru in heart and mind and on the tongue (turning tongue into ‘rasna’).

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Vedas and Guru Granth Sahib: A Philosophical Interface

A controversial dialogue keeps coming again and again asserting superiority of one religion or the other more specifically Vedantic Philosophy (Sanatan Dharma) over Gurmat (Gurbani) or vice versa.

All religious/spiritual paths help make human life meaningful and happy and one can give different names to attainable spiritual states.

Vedantic Philosophy served the humanity well till some rituals overpowered the core messages by the practices of the Philosophy over the time. A number of barriers (like original language and traditions) over a long span of period have helped to dilute or corrode the significance of the Vedantic Philosophy. Practioners of Sanatan Dharma do acknowledge this. There are very few good Hindus who believe in Vedantic Philosophy rest simply think that the Hinduism is just a way of life.

However, the knowledge of Vedas is like “an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in automobiles”. All the cars are run on the principle of this ICE. However, when you go to buy a car you look for various other features such as: fuel consumption per KM, maximum speed, increasing degree of automation, safety standards, internal upholstery, body strength and auxiliary fittings of convenience and entertainment etc etc. in a car of your choice.

According to Guru Amar Das Ji, Trisna (false desire) is a disease which makes us to forget Naam, which is highlighted in Vedas.

ਜੀਅਹੁ ਮੈਲੇ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਨਿਰਮਲ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਤ ਮੈਲੇ ਤਿਨੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਜੂਐ ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 3, 91-13).
Inwardly polluted, and outwardly pure. Those who are outwardly pure and yet polluted within, lose their lives in the gamble.

ਏਹ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਵਡਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਲਗਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਮਨਹੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ॥ ਵੇਦਾ ਮਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਤਮੁ ਸੋ ਸੁਣਹਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਬੇਤਾਲਿਆ ॥
They contract this terrible disease of desire, and in their minds, they forget about dying.

In the Vedas, the ultimate objective is the Naam, the Name of the Lord; but they do not hear this, and they wander around like demons.

Sikhi on the other hand which thrives on Gurmat (drawn from teachings of Gurbani) has relevant elements of all religious philosophies and practices before Guru Nanak Sahib. Gurbani also endorses the importance of Naam – “Nanak ke ghar kewal Naam” (M. 5).

Gurbani openly acknowledges good points of Vedas and Shastras and also condemns the useless practices (empty rituals) that became manifested among the masses. Gurbani does not spare in condemning any empty rituals that were prevalent during Sikh Guru’s time. While the Sikhs do pay attention to condemned rituals of Hindus and Muslims but at the same time do not relax in attracting rituals in Sikhism as well, thus defeating the core message of Gurbani: “Naam tul kach aver na hoe”:-

ਨਾਮ ਤੁਲਿ ਕਛੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਇ ॥੮॥੨॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 265-8).
There is nothing equal to the Naam. O Nanak, rare are those, who, as Gurmukh, obtain the Naam. ||8||2||

In Sikhi, unless one gets Naam all other activities amounts to waste of time and are empty rituals as in other religions. We need to examine as how many of us or on the right path? While the goal is clear and can be achieved with grace of Waheguru as ‘Gurparsad’, the path itself is also very lucrative with blessings of different kinds even when we are short of destination.

Gurbani does show a definite spiritual path leading to ‘Gobind Milan’ (blissful enlightenment) but at the same time does not put a seal that it is the only path. Therefore, people are free to explore any other paths suggested by a Spiritual Gurus provided the Gurus attained the necessary enlightenment through that paths.

On listening to informed devotees of other religions/faiths, I invariably end up in finding myself in a position of stronger resolve about truths in Gurbani (Gurmat).

I have a firm conviction that anyone who knows his/her religion well does easily attract goodness from other religions/faiths while easily filtering the insignificant differences.

With Punjabi as my mother tongue, I feel at ease to grasp the essence of Gurbani. And more so I love Gurbani for the following reasons while respecting scriptures of ALL other faiths and religions:-

1. Gurbani is fairly recent, written in a language well understood by me.
2. The authors of various compositions are well known to have lived like human-beings and then evolved spiritually through an enlightened Guru/Gursabd..
3. All the authors admit that a Divine Grace helped them to say what they said. I trust them as ‘gentlemen’. They all believed and practiced Truth-fullness:

ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੫॥(Sri Raag M. 1, GGS. 62-11).|
Truth is higher than everything; but higher still is truthful living. ||5||

4. The truths, promises and instructions in Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib were tested by by ten Sikh Gurus; and the 1st to 5th and 9th Sikh Gurus, Bhagats and Mahapurakhs, whose compositions are included in the Guru Granth Sahib have collaborated on the unity of theme of Gurmat.
5. There is historical account that all the Sikh Gurus practiced and demonstrated the divinity in Gurbani in their day to day real life though the 6th, 7th, 8th Gurus (they did not as such say any Gurbani of their own) and the 10th Guru (left a separate Dasam Granth).
6. The Gurbani was tested for a period of about 240 years before it was handed down as Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1708.
7. Gurbani was revealed in Kal-Yug by Kal-Yugi Gurus to save Kal-Yugi human beings. It is indeed bad luck of those those who turn away from Gurbani that it belongs only to the Sikhs and not to them.
8. All the Gursikhs who are/were imbued with Gurbani guide us the spirit of Seva, Sacrifices and Humility that illuminates/illuminated their personalities.
9. I am able to comprehend other faiths and religions better because of some understanding of Gurbani.
10. Gurbani does not say that it is the last word about God (Waheguru) rather says that ‘Sahib mera neet nawan’ (God is fresh and new every day).
11. Gurbani encourages me to look out for ‘Satsangat’ – congregation of spiritually elevated persons of all the faiths and religions and not restricting to only Sikh Gurmukhs.
12. Personally, Gurbani helps me to communicate with you otherwise I would be talking only chemistry (my professional subject).
13. With Gurbani background, I shall be tempted to accept any other religion or faith that offers me more than the above mentioned posts to hold on to – That is why I love Gurbani!

When I go to a Mandir, Mosque, Church or Gurduara, I find the message is pretty the same i. e. God is all-in-all, He is Love and is present in all of (toon ghat ghat antar sarab nirantar jee, har eko purakh samana). All religions teach Universal Brotherhood of mankind and attract us towards Divine Sojhee/Bud-bebik (Naam). – “naam sang jis ka man maneiaa, nanak tine niranjan janeiaa” (Sukhmani Sahib).

Regarding social practices, the environment plays an important role e. g. when we were in India surrounded by Hindus were naturally part of Hindu festivity; we spent 12 years in Nigeria in a predominantly Muslim state where we took part in Eids and Salahs and now when we live in New Zealand we do enthusiastically live in Christmas festivity – we have put up a Christmas tree in our house as mark of the festive season. All this does not stop us to celebrate Guru Nanak Birthday (we had a prayer and feast at home and also joined the Sangat at Wellington Gurduara Sahib later on a Sunday), Vaisakhi and other important days in Sikh-calendar.

We usually put up lights on our house around Diwali and the same stays on and is lighted again on Guru Nanak’s Birthday followed by on Christmas – without causing any conflict in our firm faith in Gurbani.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com