Thursday, May 22, 2008

The inner battle - To be fought by all to achieve him :)

Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ke fateh

In this beautiful shabad, BHAGAT KABEER JEE tells us about how are we clinged to maya always & how to defeat the same too !!! When I first enjoyed this shabad, I was in tears & was awwed & thus by the apaar kirpaa of guru maharaj, a paapee is sharing the shabad with u all chardikala valey gurmukhs.

Ang # 1161
Line # 14

|| kyo leejai gadh bankaa bhaa-ee ||

kyo = how to ?
leejai = take over
gadh bankaa = Huge & beautiful fort (as in "forts" in the olden days)
bhaa-ee = Kabeer ji is asking humbly to all

How can i take over this beautiful looking fort, how can i conquer it, how do I defeat it ? Here kabeer is taking about the inner spiritual fort of maya which all has (Its the biggest in me). Now why do kabeer ji wants to take over this fort ? Coz this is the only way to achieve union with AKAL PURAKH WAHEGURU JEE. There are no short cuts to it.

|| dovar kot ar tayvar khaa-ee ||

dovar = twice (the strength)
kot = walls
ar = and
tayvar = triple (the depth)
khaa-ee = (deep) pit

In this line, kabeer jee further explains the outer details of the fort. He says that this (spiritual) fort is having walls - double the strength of walls & triple the depth of the pit surrounding it. (Those who have seen a fort, for them it would be easy to visualise this scenario). Now, the walls are the doubts a person has about what ever GURU JEE says. The bigger the doubt, the stronger the wall. Then what happens ? When the doubt is big & walls are strong, we fall into the deep pit - tayvar khaa-ee. The spiritual journey of any one starts from here only. Firstly, all doubts, proof of existence, contraversies, etc needs to be shed, if not; then this is what will happen.

|| paaNch pachees moh mad matsar aadee parbal maaya ||

Panch = 5 evils (Kaam, krodh, lobh, moh, anhankaar - Lust, anger, greed, emotional attachement, ego)
Pachees = 25 Categories of 5 evils (This is what I have heard, if its something else, pls let me know)
moh = Emotional Attachement
mad = Being proud of achieving something what others normally dont get
matsar = "mat" means "the mind" & "matsar" as a collective term means the "mat" (mind) feeling jelous of others achievements.
aadee = too much
parbal = strong
maaya = (Come on, u all knw what it is) :)

Here, kabeer je gives more indept of the fortress. He speaks about the warriors (enemies) of the fort (against which we have to fight). There are all sorts of mental evils & on top of that, is the MAHA Powerful maya in this fortress. This is a very vital line to understand how strong the enemy is.

|| jan gareeb ko jor na pahuchai kahaa kara-o raghuraaya ||

jan = Human (Kabeer ji referring to himself being humble)
gareeb = poor / begger (not of wealth, but of strength to fight against these above mentioned evils)
ko = to
jor = strength
na pahunchai = dont have
kahaa = what ?
kara-o = to do ?
raghuraaya = (one more name of) lord

Here, kabeer ji says that there are so so so very much strong forces, the 5 evils & the maya, & then he comares himself with them & concludes that I am nothing, just a begger. I dont have the strength to fight back against them. So, he turns to lord & humbly asks him, what should I do ? This is a highly appreciated action of kabeer ji which we should learn in our lives. Normally, when we come across any difficulties, some get tensed, some sucide, some take drugs, etc. But how much of us are those that in these (testing) times turn our full faith to lord & seek his scantuary saying "waheguru ji, what ever you do, I m happy with that. Tera keeya meethaa laagey" ? We just PRETEND to b okey in front of the whole world & say that, "waheguru ji jo vi karangey, it will b okey for me" but deep in our hearts, we cry & fear. My pita ji, DHAN DHAN SAHEB SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH ji too did the same. When his family was shattered, when his 4 sons attained matardom, when his mother & father too left & all his fauz was not there, in short when he was alone, this is the same thing he did. He turned to lord for strength & then composed a beautiful poem - Chaupai saheb ji.

|| kaam kivaaree dukh sukh darvaanee paap punn darvaajaa ||

kaam = lust / sexual desires
kivaaree = windows (here it means the window of this fortress)
dukh sukh = sorrow & happiness (central meaning - bad & gud times in our life)
darvaanee = door keepers / guards (of the fortress)
punn = virtue (good deeds)
paap = sin (bad deeds)
darvaajaa = door (of the fortress)

Over here, kabeer ji further give the elements of the fortress. Adding to it, he says that "lust" is the window of this fortress. Reason ? Coz normally a person peeks from the window only. It keeps an eye on others property / wealth / beauty inside his home via the window only. Synonymising it with this line, the sexual feelings which arises in ones mind are not revealed openly & are done secretely.

Dukh & sukh are the door keepers of this fortress. Coz its both of these feelings which makes us wander without any reason. If we want to enter a place where we are not allowed to, we are stopped by the gate keepers. Here too, if we wanna enter the fortress to conquer it, we are stopped by the emotions of dukh & sukh. One may ask here, that why 'sukh' too ? Its coz while being happy OR doing a good deed, it may give birth to 'ego'. No wonder guru jee in REHRAAS SAHEB JI says that "DUKH DAAROO SUKH ROG BHA-YEA JA SUKH TAAM NAA HOYEE" (Dukh / suffering is the medicine & sukh / happiness is the disease coz where there is always sukh, there is no longing for lord)

Finally in this line, kabeer ji says that paap & punn (sins & virtues) are the doors. There is either paap OR punn committed by us. But a gurmukh rises above them both. To break this cycle of paap & punn too, we are required to attack these doors (to get in the fortress) by first defeating the door keepers (dukh & sukh), as the door keepers are always outside, defending it.

|| kroDh parDhaan mahaa bad dundar tah man maavaasee raajaa. ||

krodh = anger
pardhaan = main chief officer
mahaa = too much
bad = big / huge
duntar = demon (filled with arguments)
tah = over there
man maavaasee = the mind who always does what it likes - WITH FORCE. Means, zabardasti it is ruling.
raajaa = king

I just love kabeer ji, he keeps on adding the details of the fortress :) Here he says that krodh (anger) is the main, big chief officer. "Pardhaan" term is used coz in the army, we have the main supritendants & commanders. Similarly, in the army of these evils, anger is the one. Reason ? Simple. No matter how much one have tried to conquer all the evils, once anger is out, it alone is so powerful that it will make u mad & blind & thus all the evils return. Adding to the quality of the "anger", kabeer ji says that it will full of arguments & strives & once it gains control over you, it blinds u. Remember the time, when u got angry last time & u didnt saw that she is ur mother OR he is ur father (or any other relation) & how you spoke in front of them. Thanks to the pardhaan ji - Anger.

Further kabeer ji adds, In this fortress with so many enemies, the "man" / mind is the main king. He is the main entity whom we aim to conquer. Even if the whole of the enemy is defeated, the king (man) is so strong, that it alone can bring back all the evils & is next to impossible to conquer it. "Last night, I was so tired, so I didnt got up to do my NITNEM" OR "Today, I didnt feel like doing my paath, man nai man rea si", etc ... are what can b heard if mind / man takes over.

PS. Still more enemy (types) to come (in this shabad) :)

|| savaad sanaah top mamtaa ko kubuDh kamaan chadhaa-ee ||

savaad = taste
sanaah = armor (as in defence to the inner army of the fort)
top = helmet (An armor plate that protects the head)
mamtaa = worldly attachment
ko = to
kubudh = evil thoughts / corrupt intellect
kamaan = bow (as in bow & arrow)
chadhaa-ee = take aim & fire

Here kabeer ji says that even if some spiritual warrior is able to defeat the 5 evils including the CHIEF COMMANDER - KRODH / ANGER, still the mind in itself is very strong & has its own tricks & ways to defend itself. Kabeer ji says that its armor (to defend itself) is the worldly tasty pleasures (like the pleasure of tatsy food, pleasure of beautiful woman, etc). These desires of a person acts as the armor for the mind. Further to this armor is the "emotional attachement" which acts as helmet. Like helmet protects the head while driving, here emotional attachement (acting as helmet) protects the mind, thus further adding to its defence.

There is now one strong attack after 2 defences. An attack of arrows fired from the bow in the form of evil thoughts. Once this attack happens, person advances to committ sins.

Noticable fact here is that why some things are termed as defence & some as attacks. When you say something evil / bad to some one, u are hurting that person - that is an attack; but when you get engrossed in the pleasures, no 1 is getting hurt, thus are called defence.

|| tisnaa teer rahay ghat bheetar i-o gadh lee-o na jaa-ee. ||

tisna = greed
teer = arrow
rahey = to stay
ghat = deep
bheetar = inside
i-o = this way
gadh = body fortress
lee-o na jaa-ee = cannot take over (the fortress)

Here kabeer ji finally tells that, my heart is now filled with the arrows of greed (I want this & I want that) & thus I cannot take over this fortress. (No wonder guru jee says "Jeevat maro", then one would not have desires, greed, attachement, etc. But there is a huge difference on hearing & doing)

Noticable fact is that, kabeer ji is not giving up here, coz he just explains how does a normal human gets defeated in this battle. He has the lord himself with him & like the shabad goes - "Jaa too marey val hai, ta kya mauchandaa" :) Further kabeer ji explains how he defeated this fortress, which we all (specially paapis like me) should learn.

|| paraym paleetaa surat havaa-ee golaa gi-aan chalaa-i-aa ||

paraym = love (of lord)
paleetaa = fuse (to light up the cannon to fire)
surat = meditation (ek man ek chit)
havaa-ee = cannon
golaa = the cannon bomb (to fire)
gi-aan = (spiritual) wisdom
chalaa-i-aa = launched

Here bhagat kaber ji says how he defeated the fortress. He said that he made the fuse of the cannon (which which he aim to attack the fortress) as his paraym, his undying love for lord. Then, he made the 'ek man ek chit' type of meditation (surat) as his cannon to fire. After this, when he received the state of 'bhramgayaan', he fired the cannon ball of his "spiritual wisdom"

|| barahm agan sehjay parjaalee aykeh chot sijhaa-i-aa ||

bhrahm = lord
agan = fire
sehjay = 4th stage of sehaj (First 3 bein rajo, tamo & sato which gurbani speaks of)
parjaalee = lit up
aykeh chot = single shot
sijhaa-i-aa = taken over

Here kabeer ji tells that, when I reached the 4th stage of "sehaj", when I became bhramgayaani, when my dasam dwaar opened, then the fire of lord's love lit up. The term 'agan' is used coz without fire, you cannot lit up the fuse of cannon to fire, but this fire was of the love of lord. Also, we know that fire is very strong & powerful & it burn away things, similarly lords love is very strong & it burns away evil in us. Just imagine the level of kabeer ji :)

Then he says that with just one shot of the cannon, the fortress was taken over. Now, why just one shot ? Coz that shot is so powerful, that one is enough. Like in chaupai saheb ji, we have " ... EK baar jin tumhey sambhaara, kaal faas te tahe ubhaara ... " & in akal ustat, we have " ... EK chit je EK chin dhaayao, kaal faas ke beech na aayo ..." We do not need to keep on repeating his name & meditating, only one time is enough ... BUT BUT BUT ... that one has to b with the level of 'ek man ek chit'. So to attain that level (like how maskeen ji says) we keep on reciting his name. One recite for the sake of just doing it, another a bit higher - for the sake of having that 'ek man ek chit' state & another, the top stage - those who have attained that stage - keeps on reciting his name & all time is ek man ek chit. That is done in love, undying payaar, jaan toh vi jaada payaara preetam.

|| sat santokh lai larnay laagaa toray du-ay darvaajaa

sat = truth
santokh = contentement
lai = taking them
larnay laagaa = started to fight
today = distroyed
du-ay = both
darvaajaa = doors

Here kabeer ji further explains his part in the battle. He says that developing the two most powerful virtues of truth & contentement, I started fighting & took over both the gates. You remember what the gates are ? Previous line of this shabad : '...paap punn darvaajaa". So, he overtook paap & punn (good & bad deeds). Again to notice that good is also termed here coz this is the good done in pride, which ultimately is bad.

The virtues which kabeer ji is talking about is very difficult to achieve. Like how guru nanak dev ji says "truth is higher, but still higher is truthful living". Thus, 'sat' (truth) is vital. Also, when you also have contentement / satisfaction in you, there wont be a base for greed / desires to grow on.

|| saaDhsangat ar gur kee kirpaa tay pakri-o gadh ko raajaa ||

saadhsangat = the company of the holy people / true gurmukhs
ar = and
gur kee = guru jee's
kirpaa = blessing / grace
palri-o = I took hold of
gadh = fort
ko = of
raajaa = the king (mind / man)

Here kabeer ji says that after defeating the army of the fort, I went inside. Being in the saadhsangat & by guru ji's kirpaa (as in, things which helped kabeer ji to overtake the evil enemy). I got hold of the king - the 'mind'. He too gives the importance of saadhsangat.

So, since the king of the enemy is taken over & the battle is won, is the story over ? A big NOOOOooo. This is just one part, kabeer ji further explains where there is another battle is yet to be fought :)

|| bhagvat bheer sakat simran kee katee kaal bhai faasee ||

bhagvat = true devotees of lord (which is the position kabeer ji attained after winning this battle)
bheer = army (here, it means of 'bhagvats')
sakat = power
simran = meditation (ek man ek chit)
kaatee = cut away
kaal = death (of mortal)
bhai = fear
faasee = noose

This is the another battle which kabeer ji talks of. He says that once I have conquered the mind, I still have to get to death !!! So, he is now taking the army of bhagats with him & their power is the 'ek man ek chit' simran / meditation on lords name. Using them, he is able to catch hold the fear of death by his neck & 'kaatee' - killed him. This dosent mean he actually killed the 'death', (as in its not a materialistic thing to die); he removed the fear of death. Attaining such avastha (state) was he able to sing this shabad - " .. kabeer jis marney tay jag darey, marey man anand" coz he came to know that "marney he te paaiyea, pooran parmanand"

|| daas kameer charhi-o garh oopar raaj lee-o abhinaasee ||

daas = slave
kameer = kabeer ji (its pronounced as kaMeer, but is actually means kabeer ji himself)
charh-io = to climb
garh = fort
oopar = above
raaj = to rule
lee-o = to take
abhinaasee = which does not get 'naash' (destroyed) or perished / imperishable

Finally, in the end kabeer ji celebrates his victory. He says that slave kabeer (out of humbleness) have climed on top of the fortress (after conquering it). Like how after winning the battle, does the winning side get on top of hill & then sway their flag of victory. Then what happens ? Kabeer ji has reached the lord. Like he, which dosent have a beginning, nor an end, so does kabeer ji, he wont have an end - 'abhinaasee', forever in the charan of waheguru ji. Like ... 'raaj na chaahu, mukat na chaahu, man preet charan kamlaarey ' ... :)

With this, this shabad concludes & this article ends. I know there are millions of mistakes in this (khin khin bhulanhaar) coz of my mat-buddhi. I seek forgiveness from MY preetam. May he does so. Also, from you gurmukhs, if es paapee di koi galti dikhdi hai, pls intimate me on that.

With that note,


Friday, November 23, 2007

SatGuru Nanak Pargataya, Miti dhund, Jag chaanan hoa

It was a dark and moonless night; the clouds were heavy with rain as it was the monsoon season. Suddenly lightning flashed and thunder sounded as a few raindrops started to fall. The village was asleep. Only Nanak was awake and the echo of his song filled the air.

Nanak’s mother was worried because it was pitch dark and day break was far away. The lamp in his room was burning. She could hear his melodious voice as he sang, restraining herself no longer she knocked at his door. “Go to sleep, my son, the sun is a long way ahead.” Nanak became silent. From the darkness sounded the call of the sparrow-hawk. “Piyu, piyu, piyu!” it called.

“Listen, mother!” Nanak called out. “The sparrow-hawk is calling to his beloved; how can I be silent, because I am competing with it? I will call my beloved before he calls his – even for longer because his beloved is nearby, perhaps in the next tree! My beloved is so far away. I will have to sing for lives upon lives before my voice reaches Him.” Nanak resumed his song.

Guru Nanak’s path was, is & will ever remain decorated with endless rows of true flowers; he realised God by singing virtues of God and following a life of true deeds. Guru Nanak did not practise normal Hindu austerities, meditation or yoga; he only sang in the beautiful poetic forms of the time. Singing, often extemporaneously, with all his heart and soul, so much so that his singing became his meditation, his purification and his yugam (yoking ones self to the almighty, to Satguru. This was Nanak’s path; decorated with true flowers of song, songs of glory and praise of the Almighty Lord.

Whatever he has said was said in verse straight from GOD. His blissful & mesmerizing songs are not those of an ordinary singer; they have sprung from within one who has known. There is the ring of truth, the reflection of God within them. It is these songs, songs of love and expressions of truthfulness & worship, along with the songs of Guru Nanak's nine successors, that form the eternal Guru of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was one of the greatest religious innovators of all time and the founder of the Sikh religion. Nanak's religious ideas draw on both Hindu and Islamic thought, but are far more than just a synthesis. Nanak was an original spiritual thinker and expressed his thoughts in extraordinary poetry that forms the basis of Sikh scripture. One famous story about Guru Nanak tells of his rebellion at the age of eleven. At this age Hindu boys of his caste would start to wear the sacred thread to distinguish them. Nanak refused, saying that people should be distinguished by the things that they did, and their individual qualities, rather than by a thread.

Nanak continued to demonstrate a radical spiritual streak - arguing with local holy men and sages, both Hindu and Muslim, that external things like pilgrimages, penances, and poverty were of far less spiritual importance than internal changes to the individual's soul.

The most famous teachings attributed to Guru Nanak are that there is only one God, and that all human beings can have direct access to God with no need of rituals or priests. His most radical social teachings denounced the caste system and taught that everyone is equal, regardless of caste or gender.

Baba Nanak's message of the unity of all humankind and the need for all the peoples of the world to become better human beings irrespective of their religion is a world first. No other religion in the world promotes other faiths so broadly and so profusely; only Nanak welcomes peoples of all faiths to his domain. Nanak says, "In the Company of the Guru, all the people of the world are saved" ( p239). He does not single out any particular faith as inferior or superior; he says, "All people are saved through the Naam, the Name of the Lord" ( p1129)

The remembrance of the Lord's Name is highlighted over and over again. The mortal being can only gain spiritually by doing good deeds and treading on the path of righteousness – not by performing useless rituals in blind faith. "Only the good deeds which you have done shall remain with you, O my soul" ( p154), say Baba Nanak and also "Pilgrimages, fasts, purification and self-discipline are of no use, nor are rituals, religious ceremonies or empty worship" ( p75).

Guru Nanak broke with tradition and spoke to all of humanity. To the Muslim he said: "And when, O Nanak, he is merciful to all beings, only then shall he be called a Muslim. ||1||" (page 141); to the Hindu, he said "O Nanak, without the True Name, of what use is the frontal mark of the Hindus, or their sacred thread? ||1||" (p467); and to all he preached: "To take what rightfully belongs to another is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef." (p141).

Guru Nanak was revered by both Hindus and Muslims. As he lay dying, his Hindu and Muslim followers argued whether his body should be cremated as (Hindu tradition) or buried (Islamic tradition). It is said that when they removed the sheet which had covered the Guru they found only beautiful flowers. The Hindus burned theirs, the Muslims buried theirs.

The main aim to pen this article is not for you to JUST read it … neither do I wanted to convey something from my side; just to show you all, how lucky we are to be called as Sikhs of such a great guru – GURU NANAK DEV JI & still, rare are those who realize the same. It’s a humble request in your feet to truly understand what guru ji wanted to convey to all & then, walk on that path & inspire others to do so. Dhan Dhan GURU GRANTH SAHEB JI has all the, writings, or I should say – THOUGHTS of guru ji (& other 9 successors). || Jo Jo Padey, Tis ke gaat hoye || Read it, understand it, implement it, experience it & enjoy this human life to the fullest. This is, I guess, the ideal way we are all supposed to celebrate this Gur-Purab.


(Aap Japo, avara naam japavo)

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ke fateh

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

“Diwali”… In SIKHS???


ON DIWALI DAY Programmes at the Gurdwara I have often heard Raagis singing this shabad from Bhai gurdass Ji di Vaar – “Diwali kee raat deeweh ballian.. Tareh jaat snaat amber bhalian...Phullan dee bagatt cun chun chalian.. Teerath jati Jaat naein nihalian... Har chaundharee jhaat vasai uchaleon..GURMUKH sukh faldaat SHABAD samalian”

The Raagis mistakenly just TAKE the FIRST LINE as a sort of Rahao....and sing it repeatedly as if this is an INJUNCTION TO CELEBRATE DIWALI by lighting Lamps... This is a MAJOR MISREPRESENTATION of the TRUE MEANINGS..

Bhai Gurdass Ji is saying: JUST like on Diwali Night people light lamps,..BUT the LIGHT of these Lamps has NO LONG LIFE ( short period),..the light is a short term DIKHAWA only,...The NIGHT SKY is full of Big and small stars....BUT ONLY till DAWN of Day... FLOWERS Bloom....but only until they are plucked by the gardners...they never keep joined to the plant for long...Pilgrims are seen going to the TEERATHS...BUT they DONT stay there...only short visits... The CASTLES formed by Clouds in the SKY are Visisble...but they dont have any substance or solid form... THROUGH the SHABAD of the GURBANI the GURMUKHS realise the "shortlived" time of this WORLD..and thus learns the value of this HUMAN BIRTH and its resultant union with Timeless WAHEGURU.

When we take the SHABAD in its ENTIREITY... we can see that the meaning of the First Line about Diwali is NOT AT ALL about lighting Diwas and Lamps to "celebrate diwali"...IT is just an ALANGKAAR - metaphor to show us how SHORTLIVED such lamps and their lighting is.


So, what is the purpose of celebrating diwali for Sikhs ???

Here it is …

Bandi Chhorh Diwas (Diwali) of 1737

It was on this, diwali day when Guru hargobind saheb ji & and 52 Hindu Kings were released from the imprisonment by Moghul Emperor Jahangir. We celebrate the happiness of our guru ji’s release.

Sacrifice of Bhai Mani Singh on the Occasion of Diwali:

Bhai Mani Singh transcribed the final version of Guru Granth Sahib upon dictation from Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1704 at Damdamma Sahib. After heavenly abode of Guru Sahib in 1708, he took charge of Harmandir Sahib's management. In 1737, invitations were sent to the Sikhs all over India to join Bandi Chhorh Diwas celebrations at Harmandir Sahib. A tax of 5000 Rs. had to be paid to the Mogul governor of Punjab, Zakariya Khan. Bhai Mani Singh Ji later discovered the secret plan of Zakariya Khan to kill the Sikhs during the gathering. Bhai Mani Singh Ji immediately sent message to all the Sikhs not to turn up for celebrations. Zakariya Khan was not happy about the situation and he ordered Bhai Mani Singh's assassination at Lahore by ruthlessly cutting him limb-by-limb to death. Ever since, the great sacrifice & devotion of Bhai Mani Singh Ji is remembered on the Bandi Chhorh Diwas (Diwali) celebration.

Main significance of diwali for all Sikhs:

Purpose of the Celebrations is to remember Guru Ji and pray for one's own release from the imprisonment like 52 rajas. One might think that he/she is not in prison and is free to do whatever.

This is not true. Most people are constantly being forced into the PRISON of pride, rat race, show off, peer pressure and one may go to the extent of turning morals against what Gurus have laid down (smoking, using intoxicants, adultery, removing hair and so on .....). Most of us are prisoners of the culture & society.

Objective of the celebration is to pray for our liberation from the worldly bonds and act upon Guru's path of truthfulness to avail human life time (i.e. to be one with Waheguru / Lord). Rather than lighting a deeva of clay, oil & wick, one should light the mind with the divine knowledge contained in Gurbani.

Therefore, lighting a deeva in true sense is acquiring Divine knowledge & virtues (being kind, humble, meek, tolerant, selfless, sweet spoken .....) that leads one to become one with Waheguru / God.

|| deevaa mayraa ayk naam dukh vich paa-i-aa tayl. un chaanan oh sokhi-aa chookaa jam si-o mayl. ||

Lord's One Name (divine devotion) is my lamp (to be lighted in the mind); I have put the oil of suffering (ego, jealousy, anger, lust, greed) into it. Its flame has dried up this oil, and I have escaped meeting with the Messenger of Death i.e. attained union with the almighty.

We have pulled and shoved diwali into a "SIKH FESTIVAL" by claiming it is in honour of Bandi chhor Diwas of Guru Hargobind. I find it hard to believe we all would FORGET the torture and horrible martyrdom of GURU ARJUN just a short while ago and start celebrating with deepmala and fireworks the return from exile of Guru Hargobind ji. There is no record of any deepmala and fireworks in a continuous period after guru Hargobind Ji... the other FOUR GURUS NEVER even Visited Amrtisar. Bhai mani Singh was martyred by cutting limb from limb for failing to call a meeting of sikhs on Diwali... hardly a reason for Sikhs to "celebrate" with fireworks and deepmala. So you see the problem here? We enjoy without knowing why we are enjoying; Its like driving on a road without having even a tiniest bit of idea where we are destined to go.


|| pothee puraan kamaa-ee-ai. bha-o vatee it tan paa-ee-ai.||

Let the reading of your prayer book be the oil, and let the Fear of God be the wick for the lamp of this body.

|| sach boojhan aan jalaa-ee-ai. ||

Light this lamp with the understanding of Truth.

|| ih tayl deevaa i-o jalai. ||

Use this oil to light this lamp.

|| kar chaanan saahib ta-o milai. ||1|| rahaa-o.||

Light it, and meet your Lord and Master.

I have observed people having the notion that you burn more or bigger lamps, then it will bring more prosperity & good will to you. But, here is what gurbani says :

|| anDhaa chaanan rakhee-ai deevay baleh pachaas. ||

You may place a light before a blind man (Blind of spiritual knowledge) and burn fifty lamps, but how will he see?

Take your body as the burning diya & see what gurbani says:

|| jab lag tayl deevay mukh baatee tab soojhai sabh ko-ee.||

As long as the oil and the wick are in the lamp, everything is illuminated.

|| tayl jalay baatee thehraanee soonnaa mandar ho-ee.||

But when the oil is burnt, the wick goes out, and the mansion becomes desolate.

|| ray ba-uray tuhi gharee na raakhai ko-ee.||

O mad-man, no one will keep you, for even a moment.

|| tooN raam naam jap so-ee.||

Meditate on the Name of that Lord.

Also, gurbani says that:

|| deepak baaNDh Dhari-o bin tayl.||

God has placed His lamp deep within you, which burns without any oil.

Do you still need to light a lamp to celebrate ???

So lets celebrate this diwali with the pure intention of the almighty granting us freedom from our vices by burning the lamp of his love forever in our hearts & may we all merge with him.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ke fateh

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Raksha Bandhan in SIKHS

As the festival of Raksha Bandhan approaches each year, it's no longer strange to see Sikhs lining up to purchase these threads to tie on the wrists of their brothers and fathers, in return for blessings and gifts. What was originally a Hindu festival has been ignorantly been accepted in Sikh culture, without prior thought to what it is all about and why our Gurus would never support it. Instead, manmat has only taken lead, with the explanation that it is the day dedicated to the bond of a brother and sister, and an excuse to pamper each other.

According to the Hindus, this is how the day is marked, 'As per the traditions, the sister on this day prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal and rakhis. She worships the deities, ties Rakhi to the brother(s) and wishes for their well being. The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sisters' side through the thick and thin and gives her a token gift.'

Festivals like these are beautiful, no doubt, but in Sikhi, what we do – or do not do – is sanctioned only by the Guru. Nowhere in Sikh history has any Sikh Guru known to have accepted this Hindu custom. In a painting I came across on a website, Guru Nanak Dev Ji is being depicted to have a raakhi being tied on his wrist by his sister Bebe Nanaki. This is nothing more than a work of fiction.

The Guru, who rejected the spiritual thread that the Hindu Brahmins consider makes them connected to God, in the midst of all the learned Pandits, Brahmins and his own father, would that same Guru accept the far more earthy thread called a 'rakhi'? It's plain logic, he wouldn't. When asked by his father to go forth and make a profitable bargain in business, young Nanak came back having spent all his given money on feeding starving fakirs. If Nanak could challenge the Brahmins and reject outright the janeu, would he want to contradict himself by accepting another thread? The painting above may have been done by a devotee of the Guru and was only imagining the love between a brother and a sister, but didn't realise that it is against the Guru's own philosophy. If the Guru's life is studied closely, and compared with his hymns, one can deduce for oneself whether the Guru would say something and preach something else. Likewise, no other Sikh Guru subscribed to the rakhsha bandhan ceremony, it was just not a Sikh practice, be it religious or cultural.

'So what's the harm in commemorating the day?', is the usual counter-arguement of those Sikhs that accept the practice. There's no harm in doing any of these things, but our Guru just did not approve them for his Sikhs. He's taken us out of all the clutter of all those things that have no meaning in Sikhi and have instructed us to focus more on God than on worldly funfairs that eventually take the mortal away from God. The heritage of the Sikhs is so unique, that the men and women have been given an equal status. Why would a Khalsa Kaur ever need anyone's protection when they have the power within them to defend themselves? That is why if the Singh was given a Kirpan, so was a Kaur granted the same. When the 40 Sikhs abandoned the Guru in his time of need, their wives took away their mens' weapons and horses and left their husbands home to take their place. It was a proof of the might of the Guru's daughters – that they are as mighty, or even mightier, than men. 'Truth is high,' Guru Nanak Dev Ji said and, further added, 'but higher still is truthful living.' So how can a mere thread prove the love between a brother and sister. Will that thread not wear out too, just like the janeu?

Sikhs were blessed with the roop of the Guru so that they may emulate their example of life and living which would connect us to Waheguru. Ceremonies like rakhsha bandhan are good for those for whom it was made, for the Hindu faith has it's own valid reasons. Sikhi is a completely distinct faith. And how? Guru Nanak did not accept the janeu; he rejected the offering of water to his ancestors; he did not recite the Hindu Vedas; nor prayed to the 330 million gods, but contemplated only on the SHABAD what was revealed to Him from the Court of the Lord. Likewise, the other Sikh Gurus further developed what Guru Nanak preached, they never contradicted Nanak's message and way of life.

In conclusion, while the ceremony is a beautiful one, it simply has not place in Sikhi because it is not higher than the Sikh way of life. The simple thread that is meant as a prayer to protect a sister and to seek the blessings of the brother's long life and wellbeing, is not any higher than believing that it is Akaal Purakh that protects and blesses His beings. A thread is just an illusion, a Sikh of the Guru has no need for it to be reminded of his duty to the world, otherwise our Gurus would have allowed us to adopt it. And what of those who have no brothers? Who will protect them? What of those who have no sisters, who will pray for their long life and wellbeing? It's all out of logic for Sikhs.

Rakhsha Bandhan is good for the Hindus, the Sikhs have their own beautiful way of life, made as simple as it could ever have been so that we can connect more to the Divine, and detatch more from the illusionary world. As for we sikhs, the RAKSHA is done by our true guruji - AKAL PURAKH WAHEGURU & Bandhan to our WAHGEURU JI is till we adopt the true GUR-SIKHI LIFE. So in that manner, for us OR atleast for gursikhs ... every day is a raksha bandhan day, every hour is a raksha bandhan hour, every minute is a raksha bandhan minute & every second is a raksha bandhan second. Do u all knw why ??? Coz ... "SANTA KE KAARAJ AAP KHALOYA, HAR KAAM KARAAVAN AAYA RAAM"

Bhul chuk maaaf.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ke fateh

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Essence of japji - Mul Mantra

Ek Ong Kaar

(One Universal Creator God)


(True is his name)


(Creative Being Personified)


(No Fear)


(No Hatred)


(Image Of the Undying)


(Beyond Birth)




(By Guru’s Grace)


(Keep repeating his name)

Aad Sach Jugad Saach Hai Bhi Sach Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach

(True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages. True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. )

This is the only definition of Mul-Mantra which almost all are familiar with. But, there is more to it. Much much more to it, which this topic tries to cover.

The Mul-mantra enunciates Guru Nanak Ji’s concept of God. It is a positive affirmation of the unity of God – an external Lord who is transcendent as well as immanent.

We can say that the Mul-Mantra is the initial seed sown by Guru Nanak Ji, Japji saheb ji is the plant born of that seed & the whole guru granth saheb ji is the leaves & branches of that tree. It gives in-depth of what there is in the mul-mantra & in the Japji.

Let’s start the Mul-Mantra tour.


Ek-Ong-Kaar is the combination of 3 words, ‘Ek’ + ‘Ong’ + ‘Kaar’. Many places in the Guru Granth saheb ji it is stated that everything is nothing but atomically a sound, a vibration. There is power force (Which we call the Almighty one) that runs the entire universe, & all the creation (all which is known to the humans & that too which is not known) & which is the source of that sound – ‘Ek’. From that one sound, comes vibrations of different frequencies – ‘Ong’ which takes the physical form – ‘Kaar’. But even we all are his creations. So, are we different from him??? Not at all. We are a part of that supreme 1. Thus the creator is not something outside, not somewhere far or somewhere unreachable. He is within u & all. Just that you have to experience it, ignite that spirit.

The first word in the Mul-Mantra is the digit 1 (Not in words). Guru Nanak Ji himself pronounced it as Ek-Ong-Kaar (Or Ek-Ang-Kaar)

Guru Nanak Ji purposely placed integral ‘1’ before Ong-kaar. He could have expressed the unity of God by a verbal expression, but did not choose to do so. The integral ‘1’ is unique in that all other numbers are nothing but an expansion of a sum of it, or ‘1’ is multiplied by that number. Secondly, this number is such that the antithesis of odd or even does not exist in it. The Symbol ‘Ek’ is thus an unmistakable sign to conclusively indicate unity. Thirdly, (Guru Nanak Ji used the digit 1& not the word) as he wanted to emphasize that the universe had emanated from one God & not from void or zero, the state of dispassion or lifeless, unconscious matter. Guru Nanak Ji has, in Rag Maru (In Guru Granth Saheb Ji, Pages 1023 – 1038) eluded that before the beginning of the creation, there was nothing but chaos & chaos for millions of years, but even that time the One Lord was there, & he was wrapt in himself in his eternity, in absolute transe, was alone & detached, had no rival, & sat in judgment over himself. Only his order (Hukum), prevailed, & he created Universe out of himself.

He is one only; there is no other to equal him. (Words may change their meanings & concepts in course of time, but the connotation of a numeral is always the same & unchangeable). It emphasizes the unity of God in unmistakable terms. Guru Nanak Ji’s emphasis on 1 was because the populace had forgotten the One God, & was running after the minor gods & goddesses who were nothing but his creation only.


It’s composed of ‘Sat’ & ‘Naam’.

The literal meaning of ‘Sat’ is Truth. But in context of the sum total of Guru Nanak Ji’s testaments, it would be apt to translate it as ‘Eternal’. It is only God who has no beginning, no end, is not subject to change. He was, is & shall forever be alike. (Just our vision of seeing him changes)

The literal meaning of ‘Naam’ is The Name, rather than the Divine Name. In Guru Granth Saheb ji, ‘Naam’ for all practical purposes is synonymous with shabad (Word). Divine name is not something distinct from the almighty. It instead is revelation of, & coextensive with, the infinite one. It is expression of the nature & being of God in terms comprehensible to human understanding. According to Guru Nanak Ji, before creation of the universe, there was the infinite one engrossed in himself, in trance, in his true name, his true glory & his true throne. When he created the universe, he breathed his own light in his creation. In Japji Saheb Ji (Pauri – 19), Guru Nanak Ji says: “Whatever he created was (Manifest of) his name; There is no place where his name does not pervade.”

‘Naam’ Therefore is the universal light or spirit which is all-pervading & immanent in all his creation. Besides, ‘Naam’ is object of meditation. The contemplation of the divine name helps in realization of the lord in self. The ‘Naam’ kindles the inner light & helps in its mingling with the Supreme light.

The name of God & names of God are quite distinct & are not to be confused. The Guru Granth Saheb ji uses various names of Gods prevalent at the time, such as ‘Bhagvan’, ‘Gobind’, ‘Gopal’, ‘Ishwar’, ‘Ram’, ‘Allah’, ‘Rabb’, ‘Rahim’, ‘Khuda’, but these are not essential. ‘Naam’ is the total expression of God, manifest & un-manifest. It is expression of his light or spirit which is immanent in his creation.

Now summing up all the discussions on ‘Sat-Naam’, its very easy to understand that even you are his creation. You are him & he is within you & all. Realize that ‘ONE’ within you, that ‘Name’, that ‘True-Name’, ‘Sat-Naam’.


‘Karta’ means the creator. God is the creator. He created the universe. Before the creation of the universe, the power of creation lay in the Supreme Being. Guru Nanak Ji has dwelt upon the attributes of his supreme being, who is also the creator & spread his light in his creation. The creator is indistinct from God. There is no parallel to him. He is omnipotent. Through his power are winds, water & fire; and the earth is created out of dust. All is through his power, for he is the creator lord. His name is the holiest of the holy.

‘Purakh’ simply means All-Pervading; who pervades in each & every particle. In context of human body, the word ‘Purakh’ gives the meaning of soul, & in context of the universe, it means God. Its literal meaning is Person. In Guru Granth Saheb ji, the word ‘Purakh’ has been used in various contexts meanings person, man, great man, God, Soul, All-Pervading, etc.

Guru Nanak Ji has used adjectives to illustrate to illustrate the attributes of the ‘Purakha’ who is the only Eternal entity, distinct from other persons. He is from the very beginning (adi Purakh), All-pervading & eternal (Sat Purakh), Creator (Karta Purakh), Immortal (Akal Purakh) & without the duality of maya (Niranjan Purakh)

‘Purakh’ is such, is the Universal Mind or Soul (Parmatama) which is omnipresent & omniscient. The human mind or soul (Atma) formed part of the universal mind or soul before it was parted, & eager for communication. Guru Nanak Ji used this imile to delineate God as the supreme bridegroom & his creation as the bride eager to meet him. ‘Purakh’ is therefore that being, mind or soul which is All-Pervading.


Literal meaning is without fear. The word is to be interpreted in sum total of Guru Nanak’s testament. In Asa-De-Vaar pauri 4, its written that:

bhai vich pavan vahai sadvaa-o.

(In the Fear of God, the wind and breezes ever blow.)

bhai vich chaleh lakh daree-aa-o.

(In the Fear of God, thousands of rivers flow.)

bhai vich agan kadhai vaygaar.

(In the Fear of God, fire is forced to labor.)

bhai vich Dhartee dabee bhaar.

(In the Fear of God, the earth is crushed under its burden.)

bhai vich ind firai sir bhaar.

(In the Fear of God, the clouds move across the sky.)

bhai vich raajaa Dharam du-aar.

(In the Fear of God, the Righteous Judge of Dharma stands at His Door.)

bhai vich sooraj bhai vich chand.

(In the Fear of God, the sun shines, and in the Fear of God, the moon reflects.)

koh karorhee chalat na ant.

(They travel millions of miles, endlessly.)

bhai vich siDh buDh sur naath.

(In the Fear of God, the Siddhas exist, as do the Buddhas, the demi-gods and Yogis.)

bhai vich aadaanay aakaas.

(In the Fear of God, the Akaashic ethers are stretched across the sky.)

bhai vich joDh mahaabal soor.

(In the Fear of God, the warriors and the most powerful heroes exist.)

bhai vich aavahi jaaveh poor.

(In the Fear of God, multitudes come and go.)

sagli-aa bha-o likhi-aa sir laykh.

(God has inscribed the Inscription of His Fear upon the heads of all.)

naanak nirbha-o nirankaar sach ayk.

(O Nanak, the Fearless Lord, the Formless Lord, the True Lord, is One)

In short, “In his fear, nay DISCIPLINE, is the universe, the wing, rivers, fire, earth, sun, moon, stars, divine heroes, demigods. The writ of Lord’s discipline is over the heads of all. The formless one, eternal, is alone without fear or discipline of any other. He alone is ‘fearless’, all other incarnated gods, demigods, are dust before him”

‘NirBhau’ therefore means sovereign. He alone is the sovereign & the whole universe, the globe, the galaxies & nether regions, move within his discipline, as ordained by him.

Each & everywhere it is emphasized that the divine is present in you too. So the ‘NirBhau’ has to be within you, & it is. Just realize that & you will become fearless. But how to do that ? Very simple, just shed your ego. Don’t hide behind the so called fact that it’s you who have done & created things. Its not you, it’s him; he is making you perform & do everything. Accept this fact, you will be fearless.

(There is a whole article posted here regarding ego, do take time to read it)


Literally means without enmity, but the translation does not seem to apt in context of Guru Nanak Ji’s hymns. The infinite lord is the Supreme Being, without parallel. He is sovereign & the universe is in his discipline. There is no equal to him. Therefore, there is no question of his having an enemy to challenge him. ‘Nirvair’, in this context means that he is without inner contradictions, or inconsistencies which pull him apart. ‘Nirvair’ therefore, means harmonious.


‘Akal’ literally it means timeless. He who has a beginning, has an end. The almighty is without beginning & has no end. He is not subject to birth or death. He is not encompassed within the limits of Time. ‘Akal’ therefore means Immortal.

Being immortal, the Supreme Being is not without form. He is both ‘Nirgun’, un-manifest & ‘Sargun’, manifest. It is in the latter form that he can be expressed in definite shape.

In Guru Granth Saheb ji, ‘Akal’ & ‘Murath’ have come together at a number of places to give the meaning, the being who is Immortal. He is embodied, but it is his spirit that lies in his products. The Almighty embodies in finite forms but is himself infinite. ‘Murth’, therefore, means Embodiment.


The Almighty is beyond the pale of birth & death. There is no cause of his coming into being. “He has neither father, nor mother, nor sons, nor kins, nor wife”. Guru Nanak Ji rejects the Hindu doctrine on incarnation of God In human form. “He works through all ages; He is always Harmonious, He is not involved in strife, nor comes nor goes”. ‘Ajuni’ therefore, means non-incarnated.


Self-existent. There is no cause for his existence. He is not produced from other being. He is himself cause & effect of his existence. He is produced from the self.


Who was Guru Nanak Ji’s Guru? There is no other answer than God himself. Here, Guru Nanak described him as ‘Gur’, the teacher, preceptor, enlightener. Guru Nanak Ji has used the word ‘Gur’ for the Infinite one.

‘Parsad’ refers to bountiful. Guru Nanak Ji here describes the element of Grace in God. It is from this aspect of His personality, that Guru Nanak develops his doctrine of Grace. Other equivalents used are ‘kripa’, ‘nadar’, ‘mehar’, ‘karam’, ‘bakshish’, ‘bhana’, ‘taras’. All these have some degree of difference in interpretation. ‘Parsad’ is a positive form of his attribute, that he is the giver. “His many bounties cannot be recorded. He is great giver & has no particle of covetousness”

There are 10 gurus, and their light of the first Guru permeated the following ones, and that light now vests in Guru Granth Saheb Ji. As such, ‘Gur-Parsad’ is interpreted as, “By Grace Of Guru’s Word”, which is contained in Guru Granth Saheb Ji.


As lots & lots of his virtues are discussed above, there don’t arise any further explanation or reason to again emphasize on the fact as to why to always remember him. This ‘Jap’ simply says that only. Keep repeating his name (Let is be ‘Waheguru – Waheguru’, ‘Ram-Ram’, ‘Allah – Allah’, etc as long as its taken in his love rather than some worldly demands)

Imagine you are in love (with the opposite sex of course), and when I say in love, I really mean madly in love with that person. It’s obvious that you will continually remember & repeat his / her name in your mind.

Similarly, this is the love what Guru Nanak Ji speaks of. Love lord like this. Believe me; you will really love this love.

In Japji Saheb Ji too, there are these lines:

ik doo jeebhou lakh hohi lakh hoveh lakh vees.

(If I had 100,000 tongues, and these were then multiplied twenty times more, with each tongue)

lakh lakh gayrhaa aakhee-ahi ayk naam jagdees.

(I would repeat, hundreds of thousands of times, the Name of the One, the Lord of the Universe.)

Aad Sach Jugad Saach Hai Bhi Sach Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach

Normally, this line is defined as:

True In The Beginning.

True Throughout The Ages.

True Here And Now.

O Nanak, Forever And Ever True.

But a very important thing missed out there is that, when we say ‘Aad Sach’, normally it means that the God is true from the beginning of time. So here we are restriction him in the domain of time. As he himself created the time too, he was true not from the beginning of time, but even before it.

PS. This was the interpretation of the Mul-Mantra by daas. I am very well aware of the fact that already this has been decoded, but this gives a bit different taste. I am not telling that others are wrong, just that different people have different perspective of seeing the same thing & this is mine after long research & personal experiences.

Next post onwards, the main Pauris of Japji will start. Although posting them will be delayed by 15th may as I have my final exams. I know that there has to be no excuse to this kind of cause, so I will try to write & post the same as & when I get time before that.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh.