Southampton Sikh Youth
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Let's speak the unspeakable

As I do Anand Sahib in the morning, a particular shabad always catches my attention..

ਆਵਹੁ ਸੰਤ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਅਕਥ ਕੀ ਕਰਹ ਕਹਾਣੀ ॥
Come, Beloved Saints, let us speak the Unspoken Speech of the Lord.

A question comes to mind; How can we speak the unspeakable? Guru ji acknowledges this..

ਕਰਹ ਕਹਾਣੀ ਅਕਥ ਕੇਰੀ ਕਿਤੁ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
How can we speak the Unspoken Speech of the Lord? Through which door will we find Him?

Guru ji asks this question, and then himself answers it..

ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਉਪਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
Surrender body, mind, wealth, and everything to the Guru; obey the Order of His Will, and you will find Him.

ਹੁਕਮੁ ਮੰਨਿਹੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇਰਾ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
Obey the Hukam of the Guru's Command, and sing the True Word of His Bani.

Following the beautiful pattern of Anand Sahib, the shabad concludes with a similar line to the first line, reminding us about the main topic of this shabad...

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਕਥਿਹੁ ਅਕਥ ਕਹਾਣੀ ॥9॥
Says Nanak, listen, O Saints, and speak the Unspoken Speech of the Lord. ||9||

Baring this shabad in mind, I thought about what the average Sikh is willing to sacrifice for his/her Guru. The coloured words in the above shabad are what we should be able to surrender to Guru ji..

But how many of us are willing to give up our wealth? Are we willing to give up just ONE month’s salary for the needy/for the Nation’s benefit? How about giving the odd Bibi a lift to and fro the Gurdwara. We are even struggling to give one 10th of our earnings!

Wealth aside, what about body? We have become too attached to outside beauty; Applying makeup, wearing fancy clothes.. How many of us obey Guru Ji and keep our kesh? On the other hand, surrendering your body also means selfless seva. Serving the sangat with no expectations of anything in return. That is true seva. I will explain more about the importance of body in the next post.

Surrendering your mind is the hardest one. This is where we have to focus our mind on Guru Ji’s teachings, fight the 5 evils, and think inline with Gurmat.

As Guru Ji says in JapJi Sahib:

ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ
Conquering the mind is like conquering the world.

May we all seek Guru Ji’s shelter and have the strength and courage to be able to follow Guru Ji’s teachings..

Waheguru

by Blogger @ 12:27 pm comments: 0
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Superstition

We all know that Guru Sahib ji was against superstition. But when it comes to the crunch, we tend to forget Guru Ji's teachings and become helpless in following them. Why? Because we are not told of the exact proof of Guru Ji saying it. On the other hand, our parents/grandparents will always pressurize us to follow their old traditions, causing us to bend towards superstition.

As Guru ji Says:

ਉਤਮ ਮਧਿਮ ਜਾਤੀਂ ਜਿਨਸੀ ਭਰਮਿ ਭਵੈ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
High and low, social class and status - the world wanders lost in superstition.

NB: In this Post, I will use lines from Bhai Gurdas Ji's Vaars. He was a true Gursikh, so much so that Guru Ji declared this to be the "key to Guru Granth Sahib Ji". So it is recommended to read these texts when we plan to read Guru Granth Sahib Ji. These Vaars tell us how to live as a Gursikh - and so without them we will always be incomplete.

In Bhai Gurdas Ji's Vaars, superstition is mentioned many times...

ਕੂੜ ਇਕ ਗੰਢੀ ਸੌ ਫੇਰੇ ॥7॥
The superstitions bind themselves with a hundred knots of falsehood.
---

A whole Shabad in the Vaars on Superstition..

ਸਉਣ ਸਗੁਨ ਬੀਚਾਰਣੇ ਨਉਂ ਗ੍ਰਹ ਬਾਰਹ ਰਾਸਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ॥
The life led in the light of omens, the nine planets, the twelve signs of the zodiac;

ਕਾਮਣ ਟੂਣੇ ਅਉਸੀਆਂ ਕਣ ਸੋਹੀ ਪਾਸਾਰ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ॥
Incantations, magic fortune telling by lines and by the voice is useless.

ਗਦੋਂ ਕੁੱਤੇ ਬਿਲੀਆਂ ਇਲ ਮਲਾਲੀ ਗਿਦੜ ਛਾਰਾ॥
Cries of donkeys, dogs, cats, kites, blackbirds and jackals cannot control our lives.

ਨਾਰਿ ਪੁਰਖ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਛਿਕ ਪਦ ਹਿਡਕੀ ਵਰਤਾਰਾ॥
It is superstitious to draw good or bad omens from meeting a widow, a bare headed man, water, fire, sneezing, breaking wind, hiccups;.

ਥਿਤ ਵਾਰ ਭਦਰਾਂ ਭਰਮ ਦਿਸ਼ਾਸ਼ੂਲ ਸਹਿਸਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ॥
Lunar and weekdays, lucky-unlucky moments and going or not going in a particular direction

ਵਲ ਛਲ ਕਰ ਵਿਸਵਾਸ ਲਖ ਬਹੁ ਚੁਖੀਂ ਕਿਉਂ ਰਵੈ ਪਤਾਰਾ॥
If a woman behaves like a prostitute and does every thing to please everybody, how can her husband love her?

ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਫਲ ਪਾਰ ਉਤਾਰਾ ॥
The gurmukhs who reject all superstitions enjoy happiness with their Lord and get across the world-ocean.

The word prostitute is frequently used in gurbani as a metaphor to describe how we run after so many other places for help, and then we wonder why we can't reach mukhti (liberation)! In Gurbani, the soul (jeev-atma) is described as the wife while Waheguru (parmaatma) is described as the Husband. Hence our souls should be faithful to Waheguru Ji. Otherwise, how can a husband accept a faithless wife?

The concept of Prostitute is also described in Bhai Gurdas Ji's Vaar..

ਜਿਉਂ ਬਹੁ ਮਿਤੀਂ ਵੇਸਿਆ ਸਭ ਕੁਲੱਖਣ ਪਾਪ ਕਮਾਵੈ॥
A prostitute having many lovers commits every species of sin.

ਲੋਕਹੁੰ ਦੇਸਹੁੰ ਬਾਹਰੀ ਤਿਹੁ ਪੱਖਾਂ ਕਾਲੰਕ ਲਗਾਵੈ॥
An outcast from her people and her country, she brings disgrace on all the three sides, i.e. her father's mother's and the family of father-in-law.

ਡੁਬੀ ਡੋਬੈ ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਮਹੁਰਾ ਮਿੱਠਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਚਾਵੈ॥
Ruined herself, she ruins others and still goes on gulping and digesting poison.

ਘੰਡਾ ਹੇੜਾ ਮਿਰਗ ਜਿਉਂ ਦੀਪਕ ਹੋਇ ਪਤੰਗ ਜਲਾਵੈ॥
She is like the musical pipe, which lures the deer - or lamp, which burns the moth.

ਦੁਹੀਂ ਸਰਾਂਈ ਜ਼ਰਦਰੂ ਪੱਥਰ ਬੇੜੀ ਪੂਰ ਡੁਬਾਵੈ॥
Due to the sinful activities, her face in both the worlds remains pale because she behaves like a boat of stone, which drowns its passengers.

ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮਨ ਅਠ ਖੰਡ ਹੋਇ ਦੁਸ਼ਟਾਂ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਰਮ ਭੁਲਾਵੈ॥
Similar is the mind of apostate (manmukh), scattered and led astray by superstitions in the company of evil doers.

ਵੇਸੁਆ ਪੁਤ ਨ ਨਾਉ ਸਦਾਵੈ ॥17॥
And similar to prostitute's son bearing no name of his father, the apostate is not owned by anyone.

Why do we run to other babas/fake Gurus for help? This is because we ourselves lack the willpower to change ourselves from the inside, and at the same time want to receive God's gifts. So being lazy, we turn to these people thinking that by doing what they tell us to do, we can get the same rewards. However, it doesn't work like that; Without effort and Guru Ji's Kirpa we can't get anywhere!!

Bhai Gurdas ji tells us what a Gursikhi would do:

ਹੋਰ ਨ ਝਖਣ ਝਾਕ ਸਰਨ ਮਨ ਸੀਵਣਾ॥
Seeking no shelter elsewhere, he should keep his mind absorbed in the shelter of God, the Guru.

On this matter, Guru Ji says:

ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਸਰਨੀ ਪਰੁ ਮਨਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ਘਣਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਦਰਦੁ ਨ ਮੂਲੇ ਹੋਇ ॥
Seek His Shelter, O my mind; there is no other as Great as He.
Remembering Him in meditation, a profound peace is obtained. Pain and suffering will not touch you at all.


So listen to this Sikhs of Guru Granth Sahib Ji! Don't leave Guru ji and run after Superstition; Become a Gursikh, remain under the protection of Guru Ji and recieve all the happiness you need!

Waheguru

by Blogger @ 5:16 pm comments: 0
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Hypocrisy

Sikhi has always favoured Dharam - moral duties - and so Hypocrisy is naturally seen under the bad light.
First, let us define Hypocrisy:

"The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness." - www.dictionary.com


Basically, it is the act of saying something, but not doing it yourself.

In Sukhmani Sahib, Guru Ji said,

ਰਹਤ ਅਵਰ ਕਛੁ ਅਵਰ ਕਮਾਵਤ ॥
He says one thing, and does something else.
ਮਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਗੰਢ ਲਾਵਤ ॥
There is no love in his heart, and yet with his mouth he talks tall.

Guru Ji has just defined what a typical hypocrit does. He has no love with God, yet he's clever with his talk.

ਜਾਨਨਹਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਪਰਬੀਨ ॥
The Omniscient Lord God is the Knower of all.
ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਭੀਨ ॥
He is not impressed by outward display.

No matter how much he pretends to be a good person, The Lord knows everything and will not fall for the tricks.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji said in Chaupai Sahib:
ਏਕ ਏਕ ਕੀ ਪੀਰ ਪਛਾਨੈਂ ॥ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਕੇ ਪਟ ਪਟ ਕੀ ਜਾਨੈਂ ॥12॥
He (God) knows the agony of everyone. He knows the innermost secrets of every heart. (12)

Anyways, moving back onto the topic, Guru Ji on the next Tuk explains what happens to those hypocrits..

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

The cycle of Birth and Death is seen as a painful journey in Gurbani - Since everyone has to go through the pain of being born and dying in 8.4 million lifetimes. This human life is seen as a blessing because it is only in this lifetime that it is possible to recite Naam and be able to reach Akaal Purakh Waheguru.

ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਦੂਖ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ਸੂਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਸਾਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਭੇਟਤ ਹੋਤ ਨਿਹਾਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ॥1॥
He dispels the pains of countless incarnations, and lends support to the dry and shrivelled mind.
Beholding the Blessed Vision of His Darshan, one is enraptured, contemplating the Name of the Lord. 1

The subject of hypocrisy is also mentioned as a way to describe Manmukhs.

ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਡੰਫੁ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਸੁ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਵੈ ਠਉਰ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥5॥
The self-willed manmukhs are such clever hypocrites.
No matter what they do, it is not acceptable.
They come and go in reincarnation, and find no place of rest. 5

Hypocrisy has been mentioned quite a lot in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, I have only pointed out a few.

Guru Sahib Ji are so strongly against hypocrits, but it's a shame that many "Sikhs" have decided to go down this path of Manmukh-hood.. eg: Keeping Kesh yet still indulging in AntiSikh activities. The biggest example is most Gurudwara's Parbandakh Committees. Instead of helping to promote Sikhi to youngsters, they are more interested in thier positions.

I hope Guru ji does kirpa on all of us Manmukhs and knock some sense into us!

Bhul Chuk Maaf,

WaheguruJiKaKhalsa
WaheguruJiKiFateh

by Blogger @ 9:17 pm comments: 0
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Kesh - Hair

Many people ask the importance of Kesh.

Sikhs wear an external uniform to unify and bind them to the beliefs of the religion and to remind them of their commitment to the Sikh Gurus at all times. Unlike some other faiths where only the clergy/priests are in uniform, all Sikhs are enjoined to wear the uniform of their beliefs. These five articles of faith, along with a turban,distinguish a Sikh and are essential for preserving the life of the community. Naturally, for Sikhs these religious articles have deep spiritual significance; and some practical as well. The five articles of faith start with the "k" alphabet in Punjabi, and are thereby referred to as the 5 K's.

Kesh (unshorn hair of all the body, which is kept covered and crowned with a Keski/Turban) is one the K's in the 5 K's Uniform bestowed upon us by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Nanak Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith, started the practice of keeping hair unshorn because keeping it in a natural state is regarded as living in harmony with the Will of Waheguru. So as a Sikh one recognizes that Waheguru has given us hair for a reason. For example: -
- The hair on our head protects the skull and brain
- The hair on our body acts an insulator
- Our eyebrows prevent water going into your eyes
- The hair under our armpits prevent friction and irritation when we move our arms
- When one meditates the hair on our body vibrates the energy/Naam.

Gurbaani says:


ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਆਵੈ ਕਾਮੀ ॥
naam hamaarai antarjaamee. naam hamaarai aavai kaamee.
The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is the Inner-knower of my heart. The Naam is so useful to me.

ਰੋਮਿ ਰੋਮਿ ਰਵਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੈ ਕੀਨੋ ਦਾਨੁ ॥1॥
rom rom ravi-aa har naam. satgur poorai keeno daan.
The Lord's Name permeates each and every hair of mine. The Perfect True Guru has given me this gift. 1 .
(Ang 1144, SGGS)

The turban is part of the uniform because it has immense spiritual andtemporal significance. Wearing a turban declares sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety. All practicing Sikhs wearthe turban out of love and as a mark of commitment to the faith.
Guru Gobind Singh Jee says:


ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮੇਰੋ ਰੂਪ ਹੈਂ ਖਾਸ॥ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮੈਂ ਹੌ ਕਰੋ ਨਿਵਾਸ॥
Khaalsa mero roop hai kaas. Khaalsa mai ho karo nivaas
The Khalsa is my image. Within the Khalsa I reside.


Now, many people say that it doesn't matter about outside, its the inside that counts.
If you have a cup. If it is dirty inside and clean outside... is the cup clean or dirty? Dirty! If a cup is clean inside and dirty outside.. is the cup clean or dirty? Dirty and undrinkable!

If Sikhi is spread from WITHIN YOU then Sikhi's fragrance should spread from within you outside. For example you don't make a depressing face and say to people "I am happy!" or smile at everyone and say "I am feeling depressed and sad"...


HOWEVER: KESH ALONE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU EXPERIENCE VAHEGURU! KESH ALONE IS NOT GOING TO GET YOUR FAR!!
Ang 1365:

ਕਬੀਰ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਇਕ ਸਿਉ ਕੀਏ ਆਨ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਜਾਇ ॥
kubeer preeth eik sio keeeae aan dhubidhaa jaae
Kabeer, when you are in love with the One Lord, duality and alienation depart.

ਭਾਵੈ ਲਾਂਬੇ ਕੇਸ ਕਰੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਘਰਰਿ ਮੁਡਾਇ ॥25॥
bhaavai laabae kaes kur bhaavai ghurar muddaae
You may have long hair, or you may shave your head bald. 25 .

Kesh is a TOOL, a MEANS to an END. The End = Waheguru. Our Rehat (discipline) of any sort should be underlied with Pyaar (love) for Waheguru and only then will work for us.

E.g. Giving a rose to someone in itself and by itself alone is not LOVE. However it is means to and end. It used to express love and appreciation. Hence, you need the love in order for the rose not to bean empty gift. However, that is not to say or imply that the tool or gift is unnecessary! Similarly Maharaaj talks about that being a vegetarian alone will not get you to God. Instead NAAM will get you to God - and our Rehat compliments and helps us in that journey.

by Blogger @ 11:56 am comments: 3
Welcome

WaheguruJiKaKhalsa WaheguruJiKiFateh!

Welcome to this Forum - Designed to provide info about Sikhi to Southampton's Sikh Youth.
If you want to ask any question about Sikhi - email me on soton.sikh.youth@hotmail.com With Guru Ji's Kirpa I should reply as a post on this blog as soon as possible.


You are all free to comment on the posts. However, this blog is to be strictly kept to Sikhi only, which doesn't include Punjabi-ism, such as Bhangra, Caste system etc. I hope you appreciate this.

Thanks, would love to hear from You soon.

Daas,

WaheguruJiKaKhalsa WaheguruJiKiFateh.

by Blogger @ 10:09 am comments: 0