Gurmat Sabd Veechaar

Sikhi promotes a person to become a Gurmukh – someone who is looking for divine enlightenment to become pious and to be able to go into Sehaj in order to enjoy blissful wisdom, which is essential for a person to make a difference in one’s life. All the Gurus, Sages, holy persons went through this process.

In Sikhi anyone who contemplates on the Gur-Sabd (Gurbani) can extract Naam – an essential requirement to become a Gurmukh. Naam is abundantly present in Gur-sabd and is a prerequisite to go into Sehaj awastha in order to enjoy divine bliss – a state which cannot be summed up. Guru provides a link through Gur-Sabd, which was received as Hukam from Waheguru to show a Sikh the Gurmat Path.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਾ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ (Salok Vaaraan and Vadheek Guru Amar Das, GGS. 1414-8).
The Gurmukhs earn the wealth of the Lord, contemplating the Word of the Guru’s Shabad.

ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਅਤੁਟ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥
They receive the wealth of the Naam; their treasures are overflowing.

ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਉਚਰਹਿ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਰਾਵਾਰੁ ॥
Through the Word of the Guru’s Bani, they utter the Glorious Praises of the Lord, whose end and limitations cannot be found.

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਭ ਕਾਰਣ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੈ ਵੇਖੈ ਸਿਰਜਨਹਾਰੁ ॥੧੫॥
O Nanak, the Creator is the Doer of all; the Creator Lord beholds all. ||15||

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਹਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨੁ ਚੜਿਆ ਦਸਵੈ ਆਕਾਸਿ ॥
Within the Gurmukh is intuitive peace and poise; his mind ascends to the Tenth Plane of the Akaashic Ethers.

ਤਿਥੈ ਊਂਘ ਨ ਭੁਖ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਖ ਵਾਸੁ ॥
No one is sleepy or hungry there; they dwell in the peace of the Ambrosial Name of the Lord.

ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਵਿਆਪਤ ਨਹੀ ਜਿਥੈ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥੧੬॥
O Nanak, pain and pleasure do not afflict anyone, where the Light of the Lord, the Supreme Soul, illuminates. ||16||

A Gurmukh is a Gurmukh in all the faiths and religions. Any congregation of Gurmukhs (Sadhsangat/Satsangat) amounts to the presence of Guru and Waheguru in essence.

There is a message in the two quotes of Farid Ji as well:-

1. ਫਰੀਦਾਜੇਤੂਅਕਲਿਲਤੀਫੁਕਾਲੇਲਿਖੁਨਲੇਖ॥ਆਪਨੜੇਗਿਰੀਵਾਨਮਹਿਸਿਰੁਨੀ.ਵਾਂਕਰਿਦੇਖੁ॥੬॥( Salok Farid Ji, GGS-1378-4).
Fareed, if you have a keen understanding, then do not write black marks/ill against anyone else. Look underneath your own collar instead. ||6||

2. ਫਰੀਦਾਮੈਜਾਨਿਆਦੁਖੁਮੁਝਕੂਦੁਖੁਸਬਾਇਐਜਗਿ॥ਊਚੇਚੜਿਕੈਦੇਖਿਆਤਾਂਘਰਿਘਰਿਏਹਾਅਗਿ॥੮੧॥ (Salok Farid Ji, GGS-1382-4).
|Fareed, I thought that I was in trouble; the whole world is in trouble! When I climbed the hill and looked around, I saw this fire in each and every home. ||81||

I find both verses relevant in guiding us in daily life:

1. Farid Ji advises that we need a certain degree of ‘anbhav’ before we say or write anything for public consumption (to enlighten Sangat).

2. Farid Ji here is talking about the fire of ‘Dubida’, which is engrossing him and which has also plagued every Ghar/House of religion (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhi…). People are leaving God behind and are instead in the worshipping the messengers sent by God to enlighten them about GOD.

Guru Nanak Sahib has the following message about Dubida (Duality):-

The destination in the life of a Sikh is to become Gurmukh through ‘Gobind Milan’ and the greatest hurdle in achieving success in Sikhi Marg is Duality (Dubida).

For the removal of Dubida, the help of the Gurus who have successfully travelled on the same path and left guidelines for us in Gurbani to facilitate our journey is of paramount importance.

Guru Nanak Sahib guides us for careful deliberation that leads to removal of duality and turns a devotee God-like (Gurmukh). Let us delve deep into Gurbani in order to remove dubida, which separates us from Divine Wisdom:-

ਰਖਿ ਰਖਿ ਚਰਨ ਧਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ (Raag Danaasree Guru Nanak Dev Ji, GGS. 685-14).
After careful deliberation, the thoughtful person takes a step. Forsaking duality, he becomes a devotee of the Formless Lord.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in the following Sbad, traces the abundance of divine attributes/virtues that await a Gursikh who with the grace of Waheguru is able to remove one’s duality (ਗੁਰਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਹੈ ਮਾਰੀ ॥ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ):-

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਪੂਰਾ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 237-17).
One who kills this is a spiritual hero.One who kills this is perfect.

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥
One who kills this obtains glorious greatness.One who kills this is freed of suffering. ||1||

ਐਸਾ ਕੋਇ ਜਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਗਵਾਵੈ ॥ ਇਸਹਿ ਮਾਰਿ ਰਾਜ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
How rare is such a person, who kills and casts off duality. Killing it, he attains Raja Yoga, the Yoga of meditation and success. ||1||Pause||

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਭਉ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥
One who kills this has no fear.One who kills this is absorbed in the Naam.

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬੁਝੈ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਦਰਗਹ ਸਿਝੈ ॥੨II
One who kills this has his desires quenched.One who kills this is approved in the Court of the Lord. ||2||

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋ ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋ ਪਤਿਵੰਤਾ ॥
One who kills this is wealthy and prosperous.One who kills this is honorable

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਜਤੀ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਗਤੀ ॥੩॥
One who kills this is truly a celibate.One who kills this attains salvation. ||3||

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਆਇਆ ਗਨੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਧਨੀ ॥
One who kills this – his coming is auspicious.One who kills this is steady and wealthy.

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋ ਵਡਭਾਗਾ ॥ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਾਗਾ ॥੪॥
One who kills this is very fortunate. One who kills this remains awake and aware, night and day. ||4||

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥
One who kills this is Jivan Mukta, liberated while yet alive.One who kills this lives a pure lifestyle.

ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੁਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਸਹਜ ਧਿਆਨੀ ॥੫॥
One who kills this is spiritually wise.One who kills this meditates intuitively. ||5||

ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਰੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ਜਾਪ ਤਪ ਕਰੈ ॥
Without killing this, one is not acceptable, Even though one may perform millions of rituals, chants and austerities.

ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਨ ਮਿਟੈ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਜਮ ਤੇ ਨਹੀ ਛੁਟੈ ॥੬॥
Without killing this, one does not escape the cycle of reincarnation.Without killing this, one does not escape death. ||6||

ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਧੋਈ ॥
Without killing this, one does not obtain spiritual wisdom.Without killing this, one’s impurity is not washed off

ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਮੈਲਾ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਉਲਾ ॥੭॥
Without killing this, everything is filthy.Without killing this, everything is a losing game. ||7||

ਜਾ ਕਉ ਭਏ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਨਿਧਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਈ ਖਲਾਸੀ ਹੋਈ ਸਗਲ ਸਿਧਿ ॥
When the Lord, the Treasure of Mercy, bestows His Mercy,One obtains release, and attains total perfection.

ਗੁਰਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਹੈ ਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥੮॥੫॥
One whose duality has been killed by the Guru,Says Nanak, contemplates God. ||8||5||

According to Guru Amar Das Ji, the only thing for emancipation or union with the Akal Purkh is through love of devotion and living under Divine Will/Fear; thus one should make an honest attempt to become a candidate for Divine Grace with complete removal of duality from the mind. It is the Grace of the Akal Purkh necessary to cross this worldly ocean by following the teachings incorporated in the Sabd Guru.

ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਤਿਚਰੁ ਆਖਦਾ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਹੈ ਦੁਹੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਏਕੋ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਏਕਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੭॥ (Raag Suhi M.3, GGS. 757-6).
He calls others bad and good, as long as he is in duality. The Gurmukh understands the One and Only Lord; He is absorbed in the One Lord. ||7||

Kabir Ji attests the removal of dubida as a means to becoming a Gurmukh:-

ਜਬ ਆਪਾ ਪਰ ਕਾ ਮਿਟਿ ਗਇਆ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਤੂ ॥੨੦੪॥(Salok Bhagat Kabir, GGS. 1375-10).
When the difference between myself and others is removed, then wherever I look, I see only You. ||204||

Guru Nanak Sahib reaffirms the negative role of Dubida in realising Divine Guidance, as given below:-

ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਤਾ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਉਰੁ ਕੈਸੀ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ॥ (Raag Tilang M. 1, GGS. 722-14).
One obtains Divine Wisdom by eliminating dubida arising from oneself and not by any other technique.

Even the above is not enough, the real difference is perceived when Waheguru’s Nadr takes over:-

ਸਹੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਲੇਖੈ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥
One fully qualifies only when the grace/nadr fully leads the egoless (without dubida) accross.

The above sounds something like that when one qualifies in a competitive examination through a written test and an interview one is still not sure to be selected finally unless one gets in to a merit list within the number of earmarked vacancies.

The overall path of removal of Duality is to study of Gur-sabd to obtain Naam:-

– ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਜੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਤਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 2, GGS. 466-18).
If the Lord grants His Grace, one acts according to the Teachings of the Guru’s Shabad.

– ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਆਪਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਬਡਭਾਗੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਸੇਇ ॥੮॥੧੩(Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-1).
He Himself gives His Name to those, upon whom He bestows His Mercy.॥ Very fortunate, O Nanak, are those people. ||8||13||

Obtaining of Naam signifies a state without duality (dubida) to become a Gurmukh (visionary like of Sikh Gurus, Bhagats and Mahapurakhs) as given in Sukhmani Sahib:-.

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥(Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam, The Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

– Sikhi is indeed a difficult path and cannot be grasped without “GURPARSAD”. When GURPARSAD (ref. to Mool Mantar) descends the removal of Duality becomes imminent followed by a flow of ‘Naam Daan’ (divine wisdom).

ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ (Raag raamkali M. 3, GGS. 918-19).
The path they take is sharper than a two-edged sword, and finer than a hair.

“Gurbani eis jag mein channan, Karam vasai mann aaiyai”. Gurbani is guiding as a Divine Light-house but to be able to see the light of Gurbani is also governed by Waheguru’s grace.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Bharosa

In Sikhi faith, ‘Bharosa’ on Guru/Waheguru is of paramount importance. Succession of Gurus in Sikhism was based on ‘Bharosa’ on the preceding Guru/Gurus.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji expresses his sentiments of a good father-son relationship with ‘Bharosa’ in Waheguru in the following Sabd:-

ਤੇਰੈ ਭਰੋਸੈ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਮੈ ਲਾਡ ਲਡਾਇਆ ॥ ਭੂਲਹਿ ਚੂਕਹਿ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂੰ ਹਰਿ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ (Sri Raag M. 5, GGS. 51-17).
Relying on Your Mercy, Dear Lord, I have indulged in sensual pleasures. Like a foolish child, I have made mistakes. O Lord, You are my Father and Mother. ||1||

ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਕਹਨੁ ਕਹਾਵਨੁ ॥ ਤੇਰਾ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਭਾਵਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
It is easy to speak and talk, But it is difficult to accept Your Will. ||1||Pause||

ਹਉ ਮਾਣੁ ਤਾਣੁ ਕਰਉ ਤੇਰਾ ਹਉ ਜਾਨਉ ਆਪਾ ॥ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਮਧਿ ਸਭਹਿ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਬੇਮੁਹਤਾਜ ਬਾਪਾ ॥੨॥
I stand tall; You are my Strength. I know that You are mine. Inside of all, and outside of all, You are our Self-sufficient Father. ||2||

ਪਿਤਾ ਹਉ ਜਾਨਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਕਵਨ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥ ਬੰਧਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਖੈ ਮਮਤਾ ॥੩॥
O Father, I do not know-how can I know Your Way? He frees us from bondage, O Saints, and saves us from possessiveness. ||3||

ਭਏ ਕਿਰਪਾਲ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਰਹਿਓ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਾ ॥੪॥੨੭॥੯੭॥
Becoming Merciful, my Lord and Master has ended my comings and goings in reincarnation. Meeting with the Guru, Nanak has recognized the Supreme Lord God. ||4||27||97||

Sukhmani Sahib gives one step process of uniting/connecting with Waheguru simply based on ‘Bharosa’ on Parbrahm (Waheguru) by erasing duality.

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਤਾ ॥੮॥੧੫॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 283-15).
One who recognizes the Supreme Lord God as True – O Nanak, that humble being is absorbed into the True One. ||8||15||

Finally:-

– ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ (Raag Dhanaasaree M. 1, GGS. 685-14).
Forsaking duality, one becomes a devotee of Waheguru.

-ਤੁਝ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥(Raag Asa M. 1, 351-10).
Without Waheguru, there is no other at all.

-ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਕੋਈ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Sarang M. 3, GGS. 1233-9).
I know of none, other than Waheguru; through Waheguru Name, I have attained liberation and emancipation. ||1||Pause||

I would think that ‘Bharosa’ is fundamental to inviting sharda, faith, oat, tek…..

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

POWER OF SATSANGAT

What a powerful proclamation in the Gurbani by Guru Arjan Dev Ji? :-

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੁ ਤਰਿਆ ॥ (Raag Goojree M. 5, GGS. 10).
O my Dear Lord of souls, one who joins the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, is saved.

How can we examine the validity of the above statement, which holds a promise of salvation for all of us by simply joining Satsangat? After all what is found in Satsangat and what makes it so powerful and potent? Let us examine this promise.

Satsangat is made up of two words: ‘SAT’ and ‘SANGAT’.

What is Sat? – Truth, which stands for Naam or Waheguru

What is Sangat/Satsang? – Divine Congregation/Company of people immersed in divinity

Our wandering mind easily takes on the colour of the company we keep. If we are keen to amass spiritual knowledge, we must be in the company of those who are in advanced stage of spirituality to partake from their virtues. This derives from the essence of the above Gurbani Tuk.

Anyone who enjoys the company of spiritually-advanced souls goes beyond the domain of mind and Maya (worldly attachments) under the fountain of Satsangat., which is free to both the learned (educated) and the not so educated or even to an illiterate person.

According to Gurbani, one can prepare oneself to enjoy Satsang by leading a chaste and disciplined (nirmal) life, studying the Gurbani and religious books and by keeping the company of those who are spiritually inclined. The Gurbani tells that Waheguru resides in the Gurmukhs. Therefore, the GL-L Forum and other Gurmat Sikh-Forums certainly provide such avenues to some limited extent.

If by the grace of Waheguru one is able to develop taste for Gur-sabd, the voice of Waheguru brought to us by the Sikh Gurus who were in tune with Waheguru, then one should be able to mold one’s life according to the teachings of the Gurus to enjoy the real Satsang/Satsangat.

Satsang is a powerful mean for gaining emancipation through spiritual knowledge, which can be gained by regularly attending Satsangat in the Gurduaras and by listening to Gurbani/Keertan and Gurmat discourses (Kathas). One may or may not need to read any books, because normally such Satsang deals with them in a practical way. Satsang serves as a school, college or workshop where practical lessons are imparted in spirituality, love and service to fellow human-beings.

Their are Nit-nem groups and Ladies Sukhmanee Groups in various local Gurduaras serving as models of Satsangat. These Groups have been in practice in most Sikhs Communities in rural areas since ages and have produced a good number of Gursikhs.

In Sikhism there is no Satsang without Gurus and the Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Waheguru through the Guru is the bestower of Sabd, and that alone provides Satsangt where Naam alone is exalted and discussed as per the advice of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the following Tuk:

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

Guru Nanak Dev Ji also admits Naam (Waheguru) as his personal savior in the following Tuk:

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

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in Jap Ji Sahib, reinforces the role of Naam (found in Satsangat) as a tool in getting rid of the veil of ignorance, which separates Self from Universal-Self, by giving a simple example of removing dirt from a soiled body part or clothes in our daily life:-

ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ (Guru Nanank, Jap Ji, GGS.4).
When the hands and the feet and the body are dirty, water can wash away the dirt.

ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥
When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine, soap can wash them clean.

ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin, it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.

The most effective soap or detergent of Naam is obtained in Satsangat. Even where there are no Gurduaras comprising of physical congregation one can still enjoy and benefits from Satsangant of the Gurbani (even from Gutkas) by reading, reciting, listening, contemplating and experimenting with simple Gurbani/Keertan/Kathas etc that one can easily understand and comprehend.

Even some saved messages on Gurmat in folders of some Gurusikhs on the GL-Z/Sikh Review can also serve as Satsangat. I do enjoy going over again again some saved missives of GL-Z or the articles in Sikh Review or Gurmat Parkash, Chardi Kalla (cknet -San Jose, USA) and find them ever fresh and enlightening without having met the individuals personally. I do have telephone contact with some Gursikhs members of GL-Z who do provide a possibility of Satsangat on telephone, which itself is a blessing of Waheguru.

Sometimes I think though we live in Kalyug (which does not have a good reputation in spiritual sense?) yet we are so lucky that with a click on a computer/laptop we can access the spiritual highlights and experiences of various yugs. Guru Angad ji, Amar Das Ji, Guru Ram Das ji and Guru Arjan Dev Ji must be wondering that how come that with the availability of the Guru Granth Sahib at our disposal, we are still not catching up with their expectations.They themselves had had limited access to the Gurbani in their life-time as compared to what we have been entrusted by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, after incorporating the Bani of Guru Teg Bhadur Ji in the Adi Granth.

There is something wrong somewhere with us – perhaps Satsangat is the answer?

Reference: “Gurmat Saachi Saacha Vichaar’ By Kirpal Singh (New Zealand), Sanbun Publishers, New Delhi, April 2014.

Kirpal Singh

Wellington, New Zealand

kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Preamble before Jap(u) Sahib

The opening preamble of Jap(u) Ji Sahib is commonly referred to as ‘Mangla Charan’ or as ‘Mool Mantar’. It is commonly believed that it captures the attributes of Akalpurakh (God)?

However, the following Sabd of Guru Nanak Sahib which appears at two different places in the Guru Granth Sahib suggests that ‘the Akalpurakh’ of Guru Nanak Sahib cannot be contained in a “Mantar.” Mangala Charan (preamble – an opening introduction to Jap(u) Ji) can perhaps make more relevance and sense:-

ਸੁਣਿ ਵਡਾ ਆਖੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ਕੇਵਡੁ ਵਡਾ ਡੀਠਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ (Raag Asa Guru Nanak, GGS. 9-10 and 349-1)).
Hearing of His Greatness, everyone calls Him Great . But just how Great His Greatness is-this is known only to those who have seen Him.

ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਇ ਨ ਕਹਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕਹਣੈ ਵਾਲੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਰਹੇ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥
His Value cannot be estimated; He cannot be described.Those who describe You, Lord, remain immersed and absorbed in You. ||1||

ਵਡੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰਾ ॥ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਤਾ ਕੇਵਡੁ ਚੀਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O my Great Lord and Master of Unfathomable Depth, You are the Ocean of Excellence. No one knows the extent or the vastness of Your Expanse. ||1||Pause||

ਸਭਿ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ ॥ਸਭ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥
All the intuitives met and practiced intuitive meditation || All the appraisers met and made the appraisal.

ਗਿਆਨੀ ਧਿਆਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰਹਾਈ ॥ ਕਹਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਤੇਰੀ ਤਿਲੁ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੨॥
The spiritual teachers, the teachers of meditation, and the teachers of teachers -they cannot describe even an iota of Your Greatness. ||2||

ਸਭਿ ਸਤ ਸਭਿ ਤਪ ਸਭਿ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ॥ ਸਿਧਾ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਕੀਆ ਵਡਿਆਈਆ ॥
All Truth, all austere discipline, all goodness, All the great miraculous spiritual powers of the Siddha

ਤੁਧੁ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਿਧੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਈਆ ॥ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਠਾਕਿ ਰਹਾਈਆ ॥੩II
Without You, no one has attained such powers.They are received only by Your Grace. No one can block them or stop their flow. ||3||

ਆਖਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਕਿਆ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਸਿਫਤੀ ਭਰੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ ॥
What can the poor helpless creatures do. Your Praises are overflowing with Your Treasures.

ਜਿਸੁ ਤੂ ਦੇਹਿ ਤਿਸੈ ਕਿਆ ਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਸਵਾਰਣਹਾਰਾ ॥੪॥੨॥
Those, unto whom You give-how can they think of any other? O Nanak, the True One embellishes and exalts. ||4||2||

The vastness and depth of Guru Nanak Sahib’s Akalpurakh (ਵਡੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰਾ ॥
is unfathomable and no one can measure (ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਤਾ ਕੇਵਡੁ ਚੀਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

No one understood Guru Nanak Sahib better than Guru Angad Dev Ji who narrated in his Bani about the Akalpurakh substantiating the above claim of Guru Nanak Sahib by calling Him All-in-All:-

ਆਪੇ ਸਾਜੇ ਕਰੇ ਆਪਿ ਜਾਈ ਭਿ ਰਖੈ ਆਪਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਥਾਪਿ ਉਥਾਪਿ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 2, GGS. 475-7).
He Himself creates and fashions the world, and He Himself keeps it in order. Having created the beings within it, He oversees their birth and death.

ਕਿਸ ਨੋ ਕਹੀਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ॥੨॥
Unto whom should we speak, O Nanak, when He Himself is all-in-all? ||2||

Guru Ram Das Ji has given the unlimited extent of Akalpurakh by linking Him with the entire Nature:-

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ਸਿਨਾਖਤੁ ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ॥੮॥(Raag Maajh M. 4, 141-18).
O Nanak, the True One is the Giver of all; He is revealed through His All-powerful Creative Nature. ||8||

If that is the case, then how can a Mantar be attributed to Guru Nanak Sahib’s Guru (Akalpurakh)?

Gurbani in general is a message (Kalam) received by our Gurus from Akalpurakh so it has to be meant for us (human-beings/Humanity). Would in that case, the preamble or the so called Mool Mantar is not a prescribed Divine advice for us for guidance to evolve as Gurmukh?

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Japu Ji Sahib, GGS. 1-1).

On careful examination of the above preamble, one finds that there is a great emphasis on ‘Gurprasad’ (Divine Grace). The preamble could possibly mean that the existence of a spiritual human-being is unique (each one of its own kind) and truth. Who on receiving Grace/Nadr/Kirpa of Akalpurakh can become fearless, without enmity with any other person to claim a towering personality by becoming a Jivan-Mukat in life (hence after free from birth and death).

After the preamble, Guru Nanak Sahib draws our attention to a Divine TRUTH by pointing to an ever existing reality (in the past, present and in the future) with emphasis on Akalpurakh who is ‘ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਸਵਾਰਣਹਾਰਾ’ (Truth that shapes us in truth):

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥
True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages. True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1||

Guru Sahib clearly talks about the SACHIAR (Truthful Akalpurakh) in the body of Japu Ji Sahib and guides us as to how to become a ‘Sachiar’ in life (Turth seeking person) by obeying the Hukam (Divine Command):-

ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ? ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥ (Japu Ji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, GGS. 1-6).
So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away? O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||

Guru Nanak Sahib journey us through the various aspects of Kudrat (Nature) and then introduces us to the various stages of development on Spiritual Path (Khands) and finally concludes by saying:-

ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਮੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥੩੮॥ (Japu Ji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 8-9).
Such is the karma of those upon whom He has cast His Glance of Grace. O Nanak, the Merciful Lord, by His Grace, uplifts and exalts them. ||38||

Gur Nanak Sahib has placed a total emphasis on ‘Gurparsad‘ (grant of Gurmat) to succeed on Spiritual Path. All the Gurus, Bhagats, Mahapuraks and Gurmukh attest the role of ‘Gurparsad’.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Akhand Paath or Sadharan Paath of Guru Granth Sahib

Akhand Paths are commonly held as part of various Sikh Gurpurabs or religious and social ceremonies across.members of Sikh and some non-sikh Communities. Both types of Paths have reverence among those who believe in Gur-Sabd.

I am taking liberty of considering a comparative preference for ‘Akhand Paath’ and ‘Sadharan Paath’ by converting the debate into questions and answers format as given below:-

Q1. Which one is more beneficial, Akhand Paath or Sadharan Paath? Where does one learn the most?

Answer: I started with ‘Gutka Paath’ and then went on to ‘Sadharan Paath’ and I learnt a great deal from both. I did not get much out of Akhand Paath for many years till I gained some proficiency about the understanding of the Gurbani. I used to get annoyed to hear loud reading of Gurbani (as Akhand Paath) in my neighbourhood.

With time, I have observed a change in myself which is mainly attributed to prolonged reading/reciting gurbani and listening to Kirteen with some degree of its understanding. I gradually saw a change in myself in that that I started relishing Gurbani to the extent that even a loud recitation of the Gurbani now sounds soothing. At times when I am near a house or Gurduara Sahib where the Gurbani is being recited using loudspeakers I would stand there to listen to a full shabd or so with joy.

Somehow I told some members of the Gurduara Management Committee in Wellington a month back that I would be interested to participate as a Paathee if anyone requires my services (at no cost) in their private houses or Akhand Paath organized in a Gurduara. On the occasion of the recent Guru Nanak Birthday celebration (on 21 December 2010) in Wellington Gurduara Sahib, Akhand Paath usually preceded the Gurpurab Celebration.

I visited the Wellington Gurduara Sahib on all the three days and participated in Akhand Paath reading on first two days for 1hr. 30 mins to 2 hrs on each day. It was my maiden attempt to participate in a Akhand Paath in a Gurduara. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Some respectable members of Sikh Community who were present during my recitation said that they enjoyed my reading as it was distinctly clearer as compared to professional Pathee. I accepted the compliment as ‘apaar kirpa of Waheguru’.

In my private readings of Gurbani, many times I get stuck in some tuks which are not clear to me in first few readings – here I accept this a challenging situation to dig further in the Gurbani itself to gain better understanding. The moment I succeed, I feel enormous enlightening feeling.

At times, I turn to Dr. Virinder Singh Grewal Ji (USA) asking for his help me in providing some suitable matching Tuks or explanation to help solve my riddles. Within hours, Dr. Grewal Ji promptly sends me the requisite information.

Q. 2. Unless one already knows the verses of Gurbani being read, can one really understand the message of the Gurbani verse being read at that speed?

Answer: If one has never heard the same Gurbani before, he/she will not be able to meaningfully make out the message of the Gurbani. But if one has even knowledge of routine nit-nem Banis one can get to know the message to some extent if not fully. I call this as a desirable attempt/step in the right direction.

Q. 3. Does one get a lot more by reading Gurbani oneself than by listening to someone else read it at Akhand Paath speed.

Answer 3: Initially I did get more by reading Gurbani myself but as time has passed I get equally by listening to someone else both in Gurbani, Kirtan and Kathas. I always go to a Gurduara with a piece of paper or a pocket notebook for taking notes (even though when the onlookers are curious). As soon I get back or even on the way back home if I am not driving I go through my notes – an exercise full of enormous pleasure indeed!

Q. 4. At what Akhand Paath speed?

Answer 4: The speed and loudness is crucial. I do protest in Wellington Gurduara Sahib(or any Gurduara for that matter) if the audio system is not adequate or a Pathee Ji is not attentive to maintain clarity in pronouncing the Gurbani properly.

The paid, remote-controlled akhand paths have been there since long time and will continue because they have a role to keep the Sangat in touch with Gurbani. Can you look around that how many modern educated Sikhs can even read Gurbani let alone understand Gurbani? There is going to be dearth of ‘Pathis’ in the future when the Sikh children do not receive education in Gurmukhi. How many professionals who can read Gurmukhi and still participate in Akhand-path recitation – very few or none?

I regard an Akhand-path as a Workshop to have a glimpse of Sikhi in 48 hours. At times I have listened to reading of Guru Granth Sahib at a stretch for over 10 hrs and enjoyed enormously. I wish If I could I spend longer periods. I spent two years in India in 2007 2009 and I registered myself as a Pathi (free of charge) with a local Gurduara Sahib to take part in two 2-hour sittings a day. I registered my similar wish in Gurduara Sahib in Wellington, New Zealand as well (irrespective of who the the Sponsor is/are).

In my younger years living in Delhi, I often spent time listening to Akhand paths in my neighbourhood without knowing how was sponsor and who was reading the GGS. I recall that such sittings did help infuse in me a deep interest for Gurbani. I feel a sense of gratitude to those unknown persons who sponsored those Akhand-paths. The same blessing can come to everyone who reads/listens to Gurbani as Pathi or a members of the Sangat. No doubt the Sponsors will likewise also benefit. But in the absence of the Sponsor(s) physically presence, the other members of the Sagat shall benefit out of the practice as it is.

I was in Delhi during part of 2007-2008, where I joined a Nit-Nem Group (15-20 Sikhs and non-Sikhs both males and females, meeting around 4.45 am every day) in a local Gurduara Sahib in East Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. I was new while the Group was meeting for the 10 years or so. Other members were reading Jap Ji Sahib in 10 – I5 and when my turn came I took 20-25 minutes. All the members appreciated and enjoyed the clarity that they asked me to lead in Jap Ji Sahib always instead. The Group invited someone expert in Gurbani pronunciation (phonetics expert). Before seeking the expert advice, I realized that I was making at least 10 different errors in pronouncing some of the words in Jap Ji Sahib. Many such errors are associated with one’s back ground of spoken Punjabi language but with no change in perceived meanings.

My favourite reading is still a ‘Sadaran Path’ of Guru Granth Sahib. The first such Path I undertook in 1969 -1970 by reading a few pages at a time on daily basis and by noting down some of the verses that appealed me most at that time in a note-book. I took me a year to complete the first Sadharan Path. It was an enjoyable and enlightening experience. I took this note-book with me to Europe in September 1970 as a companion to stay in touch in touch with Gurbani. I still treasure this note-book.

We had had a Birr Sahib in our house in Jangpura, New Delhi and later in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. In July 2007, we left PNG for India and left the Birr Sahib there in the care of a Sikh family.

After moving to New Zealand I have done Sadharan Path four times times and more vigorously since 2012 on receiving a Birr Sahib by the courtesy of Dr. Virinder Singh Grewal (USA) – a co-member of GL-Z Group. My Birr Sahib is since marked with colour highlighter to highlight verses or some words as well as some cross references as I go through the pages of Birr Sahib (Guru Granth Sahib). I do apologize to some members who may detest my such an action.

“Gurbani eis jag mein channan” – Gurbani is a lighthouse and it will emit light in all circumstances and environments. So please continue with Akhand Paaths and Sahaj/Sadharan Paaths in all fashions.

There are many members of Sangat who are far more and extensively exposed to the reading of Guru Granth Sahib for a much longer period of time. They could assist us with their views.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

“Divine Tat (essence of reality)”

According to the Gurbani Divine Tat (essence of reality) is a rarity but attainable . In the following Pauri of Anand Sahib, Guru Amardas Ji refers to Tat (Tat’e) four times and adds that the path to attain Divine Tat is ‘Sachi Liv’ with Waheguru, which can be attained through the Guru/Gurbani.

ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਪੁੰਨ ਪਾਪ ਬੀਚਾਰਦੇ ਤਤੈ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ॥(Raag Raamkalee M. 3, GGS. 920).
The Simritees and the Shaastras discriminate between good and evil, but they do not know the true essence of reality.

ਤਤੈ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਤਤੈ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ॥
They do not know the true essence of reality without the Guru; they do not know the true essence of reality.

ਤਿਹੀ ਗੁਣੀ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਸੁਤਾ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ॥
|The world is asleep in the three modes and doubt; it passes the night of its life sleeping.

ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਜਾਗੇ ਜਿਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
Those humble beings remain awake and aware, within whose minds, by Guru’s Grace, the Lord abides; they chant the Ambrosial Word of the Guru’s Bani.

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੋ ਤਤੁ ਪਾਏ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੈ ਜਾਗਤ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ॥੨੭॥
Says Nanak, they alone obtain the essence of reality, who night and day remain lovingly absorbed in the Lord; they pass the night of their life awake and aware. ||27||

Guru Arjan Dev Ji reveals in Sukhmanee Sahib that in order to find Divine Tat, it is essential to have full faith in Waheguru.

ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਸ੍ਵਾਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS.285).
One whose heart is filled with faith in God the essence of spiritual wisdom is revealed to his mind.
Simrn is the way to Divine Tat and is further substantiated in the Sukhmanee Sahib:

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੁਧਿ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 262-17).
In the remembrance of God are knowledge, meditation and the essence of wisdom.

The First Ashtpadi of Sukhmanee Sahib explores the attributes of Simran in details. Kindly read and contemplate on the full Ashtpadi.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Naam Padarath

According to Sukhmani Sahib, the source of happiness (anand/sehaj/santokh) arising not only from ‘Char Padaraths’ but from all the “Padaraths” is available through Naam only:-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥(Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam The Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

Naam brings fulfillment of all the desires when one enjoys closeness with Waheguru – the source of real happiness. Guru Arjan Dev Ji helps us to stop our wondering by giving us a comprehensive review about Naam from Sat Yug till Kal Yug:-

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS.265-9).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all. -As a result of research in Spiritual Path, Guru Arjan Dev Ji he has put up a huge banner in the Gurbani:-

ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥ (Raag Bhaira-o, M. 5, GGS. 1136-16).
Nanak’s home is filled with the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||4||4|| are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name.

-There are promises for happiness in staying with Naam, where all individual desires and hopes are met. However, there is a condition of attachment to” ਏਕੈ ਨਾਇ” without duality (dubida/ego):-

-ਜਨੁ ਲਾਗਾ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੈ ਨਾਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਆਸ ਨ ਬਿਰਥੀ ਜਾਇ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 292-17).
The Lord’s humble servant is committed to His Name. His hopes do not go in vain.

-ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਕਛੁ ਨਾਹਿ ਬਿਓਗੁ ॥(Raag Gauri M.5, GGS. 265-1).
Chanting the Lord’s Name, there is no separation from Him.

The importance of removal of ‘Dubida’ and how to remove “Dubida”* is highlighted by Guru Nanak Sahib in his Bani:-

*ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥(Raag Dhanaasree M.1, GGS. 685-14).
Forsaking duality, he becomes a devotee of the Formless Lord.

*ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਰਹਾਰੀ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 1, GGS. 904-3).
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.

ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਾਗਿ ਰਹੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੪॥
Remaining awake and aware night and day, lovingly focused on the Lord. One becomes Jivan Mukta – liberated while yet alive. He finds this state deep within himself. ||4||

When one reaches a stage of awareness of ਗੁਰਮਤਿ, ਲਿਵ and ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ, it results in inner ਗਤਿ and all desires vanish in the light of this new ‘Ras’, which a Gurmukh does not like to trade with ‘Char Padaraths.

The happiness of a true Sikh lies more in “Naam Padarath” rather than in ‘Char or more Worldly Padaraths (Maya).

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

What Kind of Sikhi are we leaving behind for Future Generations?

Dear Members of the Sikh Community,

We can leave behind that only what we have in stock with us when we are living. There is need for all of us to search our possessions before we part with or share the same with others around or the younger generations coming behind us.

Regarding the unfounded fears of threat to Sikhi, one need to be reminded that Sikhi has stood the worldly test after maturing for a period of 240+ years – from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Ji with the support of Bhagats, Mahapurakhs, Gurmukhs and Gursikhs. This support still exists and is unstoppable to exist in future as it has the support of Waheguru/Allah/Parmeshar/God…

“Sikhi sikhia gur vichaar” – is the gist of Sikhi and needs to be explored in the Guru Granth Sahib and nothing else. I have a strong conviction that the Sikhi is on its real path and our younger generations shall hold the flag by getting rid of unnecessary rituals that need to be weeded out with changing times.

You cannot meaningfully define Sikhi when our Forums have narrow guidelines and they do not allow us to debate the issue with open minds.

Social norms do change when the society undergoes evolutionary changes. You cannot blame the younger members of the Sikh Community for not respecting some outdated customs/ ‘Traditional Rivaajs’. When they are lead in to Gurbani, they will draw their own conclusions of life style that helps them and to keep them happy. They will go where they will find their peace of mind (sehaj). I am sure most of us follow the same in our life.

The Sikh Community needs to pull down the barriers that have been mounted to let Sikhi be truly Universal and being available to all around us. We should reach out to other communities with Gurbani (say Gutkas in different languages) to have them a feel of the Gurbani. Allow a period of time and the initial reading will arouse further interest in Gurbani to warrant serious perusal in Guru Granth Sahib.

Sikhi belongs to all the Indians in the first place where our Gurus belonged. India is waiting to embrace Sikhi provided the present generation of narrow minded Sikhs open up to the changing realities in the Social Environment.

As Sikhs we need numbers to look after our interests as you know that in any democratic set-up, the number counts. Any direction that allows growth while sticking to Gurmat should be on Sikh’s agenda without mincing words.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Gurbani: A sure way to Waheguru (God)

The Guru Granth Sahib begins with the Mool Mantar composed by Guru Nanak Ji and ends with Mundhaavanee by Guru Arjan Ji. The message begins with a proclamation about the true existence of God (ੴ) and ends in that the same God exists everywhere (ਸਭੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ). So this guarantees an obviously possibility of our bumping into the God on daily basis:

ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ ॥ (Raag Aasaa M. 4, GGS. 348-4).
thoon ghatt ghatt anthar sarab niranthar jee har eaeko purakh samaanaa ||
You are totally pervading within each and every heart; O Lord, You are the One Primal Being, All-permeating.

Since according to Gurbani, the God is present in all of us and around us – so don’t we manifest Him as human beings?

Gurbani is a path route to meet with God that implies that God is reachable. Is now the Gurbani right or some individuals who are also somewhere on the path but looking for God?

The day we know that God cannot be reached, the Guru Granth Sahib will lose it value as a Guru.

The rest of the Gurbani between Mool Mantar and Mundaavanee chalks out a path as to how to realize the presence of God who is ever (ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ). For that one needs the Gurmat-torch-light of Gurbani (“Gurbani eis jag mehi chaanan”).

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
One Universal Creator God The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self- Existent. By Guru’s Grace~

ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚਿ ਤਿੰਨਿ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਾ ਪਇਓ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਸਭਸੁ ਅਧਾਰੋ ॥ (ਮੁੰਦਾਵਣੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ , GGS. 1429).
Upon this Plate, three things have been placed: Truth, Contentment and Contemplation.
The Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam, the Name of our Lord and Master, has been placed upon it as well; it is the Support of all.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਖਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਭੁੰਚੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਏਹ ਵਸਤੁ ਤਜੀ ਨਹ ਜਾਈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਰਖੁ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰੋ ॥
One who eats it and enjoys it shall be saved. This thing can never be forsaken; keep this always and forever in your mind.

ਤਮ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਚਰਨ ਲਗਿ ਤਰੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ ॥੧॥
The dark world-ocean is crossed over, by grasping the Feet of the Lord; O Nanak, it is all the extension of God. ||1||

Now in order to swim across the vast ocean of ਤਮ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ, according to the Gurbani we need either God’s Kirpa, Nadr, Grace, Mehr; and Gurmat – the know-how of the techniques to swim across as acquired/practiced by some expert swimmers of the like of the Gurus, Bhaghats, Bhatts and other Mahapurakhs:-

ਅਪਨੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਪਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਲੇਇ ॥੨॥ (Raag Gauri, M. 5, GGS. 287).

ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥ (Raag Gauhri M. 5, GGS. 288).

ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਤਾਰੂ ਪਾਣਿ ਤਾਹੂ ਪੁਛੁ ਤਿੜੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਲ ॥ ਤਾਹੂ ਖਰੇ ਸੁਜਾਣ ਵੰਞਾ ਏਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਕਪਰੀ ॥੩॥ (Salok Vaaraan and Vadheek Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 1410).
If thou wisheth to swim across the water, then consult thou those who know the art to swim. For, even those who considered themselves very wise have been ruined by these whirl-pools.

ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮਰਣਾ ਹੋਇ ॥
He who understands himself, meets with his God and then dies not again.

Our Gurus, Bhagats, Bhatts and Mahapurakh were blessed with the manifestation of God through devotion, and faith and the Gurbani speaks loudly about this merger, which is open ended – so why to doubt otherwise? However, the path of union is not so easy and belongs to one in crores:-

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਕਿਨਹੂ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੨॥੨॥ (Raag Dhanaasree M. 9, GGS. 685-2).
O servant Nanak, among millions, only a rare few, as Gurmukh, realize God. ||2||2|

Since the possibility of union is certain but remote, so both the parties are naturally for and against the motion “God can be manifested by Human beings or not” is right from the perspectives of both the warring parties. Those (a few) who see God on daily basis would say ‘Yes” for the motion; and those (many) who are far away or yet to see the God shall vote for “No”.

So according to the Gurbani both are right as per their respective present “Anubhav/Awastha”. Those are certainly lucky who can vote “YES”.

In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Bani of Bhagats and Bhatts is included by our Gurus on finding the presence of a common thread i.e. devotion of God. Our Gurus went on to not only mention the names of Bhagats but also composed hymns to collaborate their thoughts as a sign of total acceptance and in reverence for them. If we accept Guru Gobind Singh Ji as our last Guru who ordered “sab sikhan ko hukam hei guru maneo granth”, then do we have a choice to have different standards for the bani of different contributors?

Regarding who is/are Sikh Guru(s)? It is clear that the Guru Granth Sahib is the Guru and those whose bani is in the Guru Granth Sahib are our Gurus including Bhagat Kabir Ji and Bhatts. In addition, we have the Dasam Granth with the wealth of information to support the Guru Granth Sahib.

The Founder of Sikhism is the Akalpurakh the one who guided Guru Nanak and is the same who guided Moses, Lord Jesus, Prophet Muhammad, and Bhagat Kabir etc. before Guru Nanak. Spirituality is timeless and common to all spiritual leaders. The foundation of Sikhism is based on all the common known spiritual experiences preceding the Sikhism. The Sikhs are lucky to draw their spiritual strength from time immemorial. We keep doubting unnecessary when the Guru Granth Sahib is clearly guiding us:-

ਬਾਝੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥ (Raag Sriraag, M.1. GGS. 55).
Without the Guru, there is only pitch darkness; without the Shabad, understanding is not obtained.

ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥ (M. 4, 982).
The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.

ਕਬੀਰ ਤਰਵਰ ਰੂਪੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਫਲ ਰੂਪੀ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ॥ ਛਾਇਆ ਰੂਪੀ ਸਾਧੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਤਜਿਆ ਬਾਦੁ ਬਿਬਾਦੁ ॥੨੨੮॥ (Kabir, GGS 1376).
Kabeer, the Lord is the tree, and disillusionment with the world is the fruit. The Holy man, who has abandoned useless arguments, is the shade of the tree. ||228||

ਅਨਹਦ ਬਾਣੀ ਪੂੰਜੀ ॥ ਸੰਤਨ ਹਥਿ ਰਾਖੀ ਕੂੰਜੀ ॥੨॥ (Rakaale M. 5, GGS 893)
In the Word of the Guru’s Bani is the wealth of the unstruck sound current. The Saints hold the key to it in their hands. ||2||

Personally, I find that inclusion of Bani of Bhagats’, Bhatts’ and other Mahapurakhs (coming from common social background) not only facilitates but also encourages us to recognise an achievable path in the advent for spirituality. So Bhagats are pretty handy as perfect Gurus to guide.

We need to explore the importance of Gurbani to improve our diverse environments, which include spiritual, domestic, social, economic, academic, political, national and international affairs.

Guru Nanak introduced and demonstrated an effective role of a Guru to achieve spiritual goal in life. Successive Gurus and Gurmukhs are testimony to this.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Celebrating the Guru Granth Sahib Day

Since the Guru Granth Sahib is ordained as our Guru (Gursbd), would it not be appropriate to celebrate this day as the main Gurpurab rather than celebrating Birthdays of our Gurus and that too on controversial dates, which are moved every year from one date to another?

In India where the Sikhs are allowed only one national holiday, the befitting holiday should coincide with the Parkash Divas of the Guru Granth Sahib, which represents as Jot of Sikh Gurus. This would send a direct signal of the importance and teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib’s (Gurbani) to the Sikhs as well as to the rest of the humanity.

In local Gurduaras and in special and specific Gurduaras other associated important events could still be celebrated as the Sangat wishes.

I know it is not easy to break away from old traditions but realistically Guru Granth Sahib is very special in its ‘Universal Message’ and requires a equally special place in the Universal Society.

I apologize if my views hurt sentiments of some members of the Sikh Community.

After updating with the Gurbani of 9th Guru in Adi Granth Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Ji ordained the Granth Sahib as our Guru. Since then the Guru Granth Sahib is the Guru of the Sikhs.

Although the Gurbani of successive Gurus was held in high esteem from the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, there was always a special place for the living Guru during their life-time.

Since the passing of Gurgaddi to the Gurbani in the form of Guru Granth Sahib, it becomes the supreme Guru. All Sikhs are supposed to lead their lives as per the advice of their current Guru, which is the Guru Granth Sahib. All our maryadas should come out of the Guru Granth Sahib. All the old practices needs to be tailored according to the Gurbani – then only the Sikhs would be seen as respecting their GURU, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

The offering of five paisa and nariyal (coconut) are hoaxed introduced in the History of the Sikh Gurus by storey tellers and mediocre Sikh or other historians. These people can write history of the Sikh Raj or on Maharaja Ranjit Singh but to write the accounts of Sikh Gurus life stories one needs to be an ‘ANBHAVI’ (a well versed in Gurbani) otherwise one is likely to make slips.

The Westeren Historians have been able to deal in somewhat better way. They took into account that the Sikh Gurus were elevated souls of extraordinary intellect and that they practised utmost rationality in their everyday dealings and lifestyle. Then (WH) they used their own rational and analytical skills to come up with somewhat rational accounts of the lives of our Gurus.

All Sakhees and life stories of the Sikh Gurus need to be looked into afresh in the light of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

I think the Sikhs have only one Guru – the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji left us in the ‘sharan’ of the Guru Granth Sahib. So how can we be in any ‘DUBIDA’ (Doubt)? If in doubt then we should close down all the Gurduaras and stop Parkash of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Granth Sahib is our Guru as it connects us with Waheguru through our spiritually elevated Gurus, Bhaghats and Mahapurakhs in order to lead a purposeful life.

A Gur-Sikh puts his/her full faith and love in the Guru Granth Sahib more than in anything else. Guru Granth Sahib keeps us in ‘Chardi kala’ because it is our only refuge.

All the Sikh Gurus lived their lives according to Gurbani. So it is incumbent on the Sikhs to recognise the importance of Gurbani because ” Gurbani eis jag mein channan”. The Guru Granth Sahib is the light-house.

There is need to celebrate Guru Granth Sahib Day!

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com