Gur Seva

Guru Nanak Sahib emphasises on the importance of  Seva of Poora Guru:-

ਜੰਗਮ ਜੋਧ ਜਤੀ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਫਲੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੀ ॥੨॥ (Raag Maaroo M. 1, GGS. 992-7).

The wandering beggars, warriors, celibates and Sannyaasee hermits – through the Perfect Guru, consider this: Without selfless service, no one ever receives the fruits of their rewards. Serving the Lord is the most excellent action. ||2||

ਨਿਧਨਿਆ ਧਨੁ ਨਿਗੁਰਿਆ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਿੰਮਾਣਿਆ ਤੂ ਮਾਣੁ ॥ ਅੰਧੁਲੈ ਮਾਣਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਕੜਿਆ ਨਿਤਾਣਿਆ ਤੂ ਤਾਣੁ ॥

You are the wealth of the poor, the Guru of the guru-less, the honor of the dishonored. I am blind; I have grasped hold of the jewel, the Guru. You are the strength of the weak.

ਹੋਮ ਜਪਾ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਦਰਿ ਢੋਈ ਝੂਠਾ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ ॥੩॥

He is not known through burnt offerings and ritual chanting; the True Lord is known through the Guru’s Teachings. Without the Naam, the Name of the Lord, no one finds shelter in the Court of the Lord; the false come and go in reincarnation. ||3||

ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਲਾਹੀਐ ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਜੀਐ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥

So praise the True Name, and through the True Name, you will find satisfaction. When the mind is cleaned with the jewel of spiritual wisdom, it does not become dirty again.

ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਿਘਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੇ ਛੁਟੀਐ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧੦॥

As long as the Lord and Master dwells in the mind, no obstacles are encountered. O Nanak, giving one’s head, one is emancipated, and the mind and body become true. ||4||10||

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teaching is worth taking seriously in life. Guru Ji left a trail for Bhai Lehna Ji and Bhai Jetha Ji who rose to Gurudom following the concept of ‘Gur-Seva’:-

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਥਾਇ ਪਵੈ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਤਤੁ ਕਮਾਹੁ ॥ (Raag Suhi M. 1, GGS. 788-17).
The selfless service of the Gurmukhs is approved; in celestial peace, they live the essence of reality.

I find the story of the rise of Bhai Jetha Ji, a blue collar worker (who used to sell boiled chickpeas), amazingly attractive to demonstrate rise from ‘Rags to Riches’ (rich in spiritual as well as worldly wealth). He did not attend any university to attract necessary soojh-boojh to rise to the rank of the 4th Sikh Guru. His strength was Naam through Gur-Seva (total faith and trust in Gurbani).

Guru Ram Das Ji himself acknowledges the source of direction and strength as the following:-

ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਾ ॥੪॥(Raag Tilang M. 4, GGS. 725-14).
Serving the Guru, it is obtained, and as Gurmukh, one is emancipated. ||4||

Guru Arjan Dev ji advises us as follows to make Waheguru accessible though a simple step of having full faith and trust in Gurmat Truth – Sat Nam:-

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 283-15).
One who recognizes the Supreme Lord God as True

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਤਾ ॥੮॥੧੫॥
– O Nanak, that humble being is absorbed into the True One. ||8||15||

Guru Arjan Dev Ji further stresses the role of Naam in drawing closer to Divinity:-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam,

ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥
The Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

The need is to become Gurmukh by shedding all doubts as Kabir Ji suggests:-

ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Kabir Ji, GGS. 655-3).
My doubts were removed, and my fear ran away,

ਜਬ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
When my consciousness became attached to the Lord’s Name. ||1||Pause||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

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