Saturday, December 30, 2006
Is Naam Japping the way to go?
“What? A post after so long and that too going against the basic tenants of Sikhi?!”

Well, not quite.. Before I go onto the main shabad, I want to explain this topic.

In Sikhi, the 3 most basic rules are:
- Kirat Karni – Earn an honest living
- Vandh Shakna – Sharing with others
- Naam Japna – Repeat Naam.

On the topic of “repeating Naam”.. Guru Gobind Singh Ji says:

ਜਾਪ ਕੇ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਪੈ ਪਾਯਤ ਅਜਾਪ ਦੇਵ ਪੂਦਨਾ ਸਦੀਵ ਤੁਹੀਂ ਤੁਹੀਂ ਉਚਰਤ ਹੈਂ ॥
If the unmutterable Lord can be realised by the repetition of His Name, then a small bird called pudana repeats “Tuhi, Tuhi” (Thou art everything) all the time.

( Click Here for full shabad)

Guru Ji is saying, that the Lord cannot be reached by merely repeating His Name. If so, then all “Pudanas” would be liberated, because they naturally repeat “Tuhi Tuhi”.

Guru Ji tries to show us that the bird is not intentionally saying His Name, it is just a natural phenomenon, so it can’t be fair if they reach salvation just on the basis of repetition of The Name. This can be compared to people who just repeat the Name without actually contemplating on it.

This is not contradicted in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, rather it is supported:

ਸਲੋਕ ਮ: 3 ॥
ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਅਤਿ ਵਡਾ ਅਤੁਲੁ ਨ ਤੁਲਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥
The entire world roams around, chanting, "Raam, Raam, Lord, Lord", but the Lord cannot be obtained like this. He is inaccessible, unfathomable and so very great; He is unweighable, and cannot be weighed.

Here, Guru Arjan Dev Ji clearly tells us that merely chanting the name of Akaal Purakh won’t result in ultimately blending into Him.
So what should we do? Guru Ji replies to us if we read on..

ਕੀਮਤਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਈਆ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਲਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿਆ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥
No one can evaluate Him; He cannot be purchased at any price.
Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, His mystery is known; in this way, He comes to dwell in the mind.


So, we have to find our answer in Shabad Guru. However, if we look at Bhai Gurdas Ji’s words:

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪ ਹਉਮੈਂ ਖੋਈ॥
His Guru-manta is Vahiguru, whose recitation erases egotism.

So by japping ”Waheguru”, the Gurmantar, the cloud of pride withers away, giving us a clear path to our ultimate destination, Waheguru Himself.

“But isn’t that what you said was wrong just 2 paragraphs ago?”

Naam Jap and Naam Simran are different things. Simran means remembering, whereas Jap means to repeat. Naam Jap is useless without Naam Simran. In other words, it is useless if you just repeat Naam without putting your mind to it (what Guru Ji said above).

Simran can be done without repeating their name. When we talk about someone, we are thinking about them, that is Simran. If I talk about my friend, I am doing my friend’s simran. The same can be applied to Waheguru. Talking about Him, and praising Him, is Naam Simran.

Sukhmani Sahib, also by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, is based on the lesson that there is nothing compared to the Simran of Akaal Purakh.

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ॥
The remembrance of God is the highest and most exalted of all.
- ang 263

There are so many Gurbani tuks on praising Akaal Purakh, but I chose one which was interestingly also by Guru Arjan Dev ji:

ਭਲੋ ਭਲੋ ਰੇ ਕੀਰਤਨੀਆ ॥
ਰਾਮ ਰਮਾ ਰਾਮਾ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਉ ॥
ਛੋਡਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਧੰਧ ਸੁਆਉ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Blessed and good is such a kirtanee, who sings such Praises.
He sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord,
and renounces the entanglements and pursuits of Maya. ||1||Pause||

-ang 885

Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Ji..

We are instructed to sing praises of Akaal purakh; How amazing the creator and the creation is. So amazing we have no words to describe him. The only thing we can do is WOW at it all.
And this is the basis of the word “Wahguru” – Wah means wow, you are Wow-ing at Him because you have no words to praise him. Guru means enlightener, after all Only with His enlightenment you can blend into him.. So basically you are saying Wow to the ultimate enlightener.. Which brings us to the last bit of our shabad..

ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪਿ ਅਮੇਉ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ਆਪੇ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਆਪੇ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਆਇ ॥1॥
O Nanak, He Himself is infinite; by Guru's Grace, He is known to be permeating and pervading everywhere.
He Himself comes to blend, and having blended, remains blended. ||1||


End of day, it is up to Him, if we are to blend with Him or not. This shows us that without Akaal Purakh ji’s Hukam, nothing can happen.

Now back to the original point:

Naam Japna is the basis of Sikhi, but it doesn’t mean we should just repeat Naam and expect Mukti (liberation). We should remember Him at all times and Naam Japna can be seen as a “side-effect” of this.
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 10:37 AM | 2 comments


Friday, December 29, 2006
Apologies
WahegurujikakhalsaWahegurujikifateh

Sorry for not posting, life became busy and I even suffered spiritually. Now in Christmas holidays with Uni out of the way for a week or two, I'm in the process of sorting everything out.

On top of that, I'm trying to help Veerji in his blog: www.sikhsakhis.wordpress.com , which is dedicated to educate people about the lives of Guru Sahib ji - in a unique way.. check it out!

Anyways now I'm back and with Guru ji's kirpa I shall carry on with this seva..Not that many of you read it anyway lol

WahegurujikakhalsaWahegurujikifateh
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 2:34 PM | 0 comments


Friday, September 01, 2006
Amritvela
I came across a line while randomly going throught Gurbani tuks..

ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਫੁਲੜਾ ਫਲੁ ਭੀ ਪਛਾ ਰਾਤਿ ॥
The first watch of the night brings flowers, and the later watches of the night bring fruit.

ਜੋ ਜਾਗੰਨ੍‍ ਿਲਹੰਨਿ ਸੇ ਸਾਈ ਕੰਨੋ ਦਾਤਿ ॥112॥
Those who remain awake and aware, receive the gifts from the Lord. ||112|| 

What made me wonder, was what is the difference between Flowers and Fruit.. What times was Sheikh Farid Ji talking about..?
When I asked a vidhvaan - Well my beloved gatka teacher (aka the ONE lol) he explained the following to me..

Sheikh Fareed Ji was a next level person; His thinking was way above the normal wave of thinking. Therefore, the above lines shouldn't be taken literally.

There are four types of amritvela: -

Life is amritvela - After countless of lifetimes of darkness, going through the 8.4 million lives; This life is the chance for 
us to Jap Naam and become Jeevan Mukht

The Last Pehr of Night (12am to 6am) is amritvela - It is the quietest time of the day; Best to Jap Naam

SatSangat (the true congregation) is amritvela - Each person multiplies the Power of 
Naam as it is recited together in harmony

SaadhSangat (company of Saints) is amritvela - Since the Saints have high Avasthas, you get to experience their power 
through you.. Helping you to Jap Naam

..So if we Jaap Naam in Sangat between 12am and 6am.. (there might be a chance
that a Sant is sitting among them too)..then we would experience all 4 amritvelas at the same time!
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 3:32 PM | 0 comments


Thursday, July 06, 2006
True Friends
We have many friends in our lives, but there is only so much a friend can help you. No matter how close they are, how much they love you.. They cannot help you when you ultimately need help. Guru Ji explains this in Sukhmani Sahib..

ਜਹ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਮੀਤ ਨ ਭਾਈ ॥
Where there is no mother, father, children, friends or siblings

ਮਨ ਊਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਹਾਈ ॥
O my mind, there, only the Naam, the Name of the Lord, shall be with you as your help and support.

This particular place can be thought as the process we all go through after death, where we have to face the punishments of the Jamdoots and have our lives analysed by Dharamraj. This is made clear in the next pangti..

ਜਹ ਮਹਾ ਭਇਆਨ ਦੂਤ ਜਮ ਦਲੈ ॥
Where the great and terrible Messenger of Death shall try to crush you,

ਤਹ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੇਰੈ ਚਲੈ ॥
there, only the Naam shall go along with you.

Only Naam can help you through this terrifying experience.

Anyways, back to friends. How can they be our true friends, when they themselves are stuck in this same cycle. How can they help you, if they themselves are trapped? Guru Ji says in Asa Di Var..

ਕਿਸੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਚਲਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
With whom should I become friends, if all the world shall pass away?

It is worth noting, that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is mainly written in rhyming couplets. However, this particular pangti is an odd one out. If you look at the structure of this shabad, you will realise that this line isn't part of a rhyming couplet. It is an individual line, as shown below..

ਕੂੜੁ ਮੀਆ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੀਬੀ ਖਪਿ ਹੋਏ ਖਾਰੁ ॥ ਕੂੜਿ ਕੂੜੈ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥
ਕਿਸੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਚਲਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
ਕੂੜੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਮਾਖਿਉ ਕੂੜੁ ਡੋਬੇ ਪੂਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੁਧੁ ਬਾਝੁ ਕੂੜੋ ਕੂੜੁ ॥1॥

I feel Guru Ji has done this to put special emphasis on that line, to make us think about it slightly longer than the other lines. It shows the importance of this line.

In Salok Mahala 9, Guru Ji has pointed out what the worldy friends tend to do..

ਸੁਖ ਮੈ ਬਹੁ ਸੰਗੀ ਭਏ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
In good times, there are many companions around, but in bad times, there is no one at all.

Is that what you call a true friend? No.
But who will help..?

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਮਨਾ ਅੰਤਿ ਸਹਾਈ ਹੋਇ ॥32॥
Says Nanak, vibrate, and meditate on the Lord; He shall be your only Help and Support in the end. 32

A true friend is the one who will help us no matter what situation we are in. Who is this true friend..?

ਸਜਣੁ ਸਚਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਸਾਹਾਂ ਦੈ ਸਾਹੁ ॥
My Friend is the True Supreme King, the King over the heads of kings.

The King of kings; The ultimate being; Akal Purakh Waheguru Ji himself is our true friend.
May we never forget our true friend over the friends that will so easily leave us.

Waheguru
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 10:02 AM | 1 comments


Thursday, June 29, 2006
Pride
One day, Raja Shivram went to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He offered Guru Ji big piles of Golden coins and expensive gifts. Doing this, he said "I am a king, this is my donation. My donation is unique to this world - No-one can equate to my offerings! This is the proof"

Guru Nanak Dev Ji looked at him and requested, "Offer me something that belongs to you"
The King, surprised, replied "This is mine! I am King"

ਖਾਰ ਸਮੁਦ੍ਰੁ ਢੰਢੋਲੀਐ ਇਕੁ ਮਣੀਆ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
Searching the salty sea, one finds the pearl.

ਦੁਇ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ਸੁਹਾਵਣਾ ਮਾਟੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਖਾਵੈ ॥
It looks beautiful for a few days, but in the end, it is eaten away by dust.

ਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਸਤਿ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਦੇ ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥6॥

If one serves the Guru, the ocean of Truth, the gifts one receives never run short. 6

Guru Ji makes it clear here, in Gurbani, that just like real pearls (not the common plastic ones) are very fragile and can only last for couple of days, wealth only lasts for a period of time.

When Shah Jahan met Maharaja Ranjit Singh, he offered the biggest diamond in the world; The Kohinoor. The Maharaja looked at this offer and asked for its price. Shah Jahan said "I don't know its value, maybe it's too much for money to buy. But all I know is my father beat the previous King and got this off them. And I know you will also beat me, and take this off me.. So I gave it now anyway!"

ਸਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਧਨੁ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥
Modesty and righteousness both, O Nanak, are qualities of those who are blessed with true wealth.

ਸੋ ਧਨੁ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਨ ਕਾਂਢੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਚੋਟਾਂ ਖਾਇ ॥
Do not refer to that wealth as your friend, which leads you to get your head beaten.

Why do we seem to be proud of that wealth, which causes break in family relations?! In the news, there are stories of Sons killing their Mothers; Daughters killing their fathers. For what? Money?! How can we have pride for such wealth??

Coming back to the meeting of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Raja Shivram..

Guru Ji: "Who had this maya before you?"
Raja: "My father"
Guru Ji: "What about after you die?"
Raja: "My son"
Guru Ji: "So then, how can this be yours? Before you it belonged to someone else, and after you it will belong to someone else! So why be proud of this?"

...If we look more deeply, even this body doesn't belong to us...
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 12:35 PM | 0 comments


Wednesday, June 21, 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
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 9:57 AM | 2 comments


Sunday, June 11, 2006
Akhand Paath
Just had Akhand Paath to celebrate my 18th Birthday. It was awesome! No, not just the bhog which had Jagowalle (WOW!).. but everything.

A Khalsa Ji came to the Akhand Path..wow he was so humble! His humility had amazed me. When he told me of his past, it made me realise; Most of the Khalsa Jis I've met have had a bad past. It was THESE experiences of life that caused them to suddenly turn around - Guru Ji does kirpa even on paapis like me..

ਪਤਿਤ ਉਧਾਰਣ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਤੁਮਾਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥
It is Your Nature, Lord, to save the sinners.

..We are nothing..

Anyways, moving back onto the Akhand Paath. It was an unforgettable experience. Staying there for 2 days and a night made me feel Gurdwara as a home rather than an "outside" place. I was free to do whatever I liked; Listen to Baani, Do seva, or even Practice Gatka.

Me and Singh Ji had our laughs, and many Sikhi-related discussions. His humility both inspired me and ashamed me; At How hankari I really am. We went to sleep next to the Gatka teachers; After talking about Nihangs til 12.. And their room felt like Punjab! It was awesome.. the way they managed to bring Punjab with them instead off leaving it behind.

In the morning, with parji, we did Nitnem at Sachkhand. The experience was undescribale (is that a word?!) - As the sunlight peirced through the large windows onto us, as we faced Guru Granth Sahib Ji and did Nitnem. When I look back, I dont wonder why I never got this chance before.. I still wonder how can Guru Ji do So much Kirpa on us to HAVE this chance in the first place!!

On the second day veerji had to leave.. He did amazing Seva. By the end of the second day, I was both physically and mentally tired; Especially after a gatka lesson. So i decided to sleep at home for the second night.

Since relatives came round to stay on the second night, sleeping arrangements were quite difficult, and so there wasn't much space to do my nitnem. So in early morning I thought - Why not do it at GuruGhar again! Even the walk to GuruGhar was nice and cool - Early morning breeze, awaiting for yet another hot,humid day.

I never noticed how early I really was there. It was 7am and I felt as if it was noon because of the bright sunshine outside. There were onlyy bibya there doing Langar dee seva adn some Singhs who are the dedicated regular comers. Being in Guru Ji's darbar felt as if time became unimportant. I was no longer worried about time, nor did I take any account of it. As the Bhog ceremony commenced Sangat started to build up, until the hall was packed by the time it was completed.

The kathakaar strongly and bluntly reminded us, of how Guru Arjun Dev Ji sat on Hot Plate for us. Hot Sand was poured onto him - Actually the sand wasn't just hot, it was MELTING. As it BURNED Guru Ji's skin, Guru Ji didn't even give a sigh. Dhan Guru Arjun Dev ji.. We as Sikhs should do the same. We should give shaheedi too. Shaheedi of our minds - to sacrifice the thinking of bad about others. Shaheedi of our body - to comforts to serve humanity. Shaheedi of our Eyes - to sacrifice the way we jelously look at others.

Then came Jagowalle Jatha. WAHEGURU!! The way they praised Guru Ji! It was enough to create a feeling of rushing energy inside everyone of us in the Sangat. They kept singing and explained a Sakhi of Guru Gobind Singh Ji (will be revealed in next post) before refering to 1984 in the last few minutes and singing couple of lines about it before finishing the Diwaan. The poor sound system kept giving up on us and kept overloading; The Jagowalle's voice were too loud for them! lol

Guru Ji has helped us, and the Akhand Paath turned out to be so.. wow!
Luckily, we were protected from most of the heat the weekend sent us, being in the Gurdwara all day, but even then we were all knackered and sweaty.
 
Posted by GuptSingh at 5:21 PM | 2 comments