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

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