Sunday, 11 March 2007

My visit to the Gurudwara today

One of the sewadars at the Gurudwara made a brief comment about how young sikhs were being Forcibly converted at universities, and how we should encourage the youth to attend the Gurudwara, etc..
I must admit, i always heard about such things (the khilafa leaflet being the prime example) but never saw anything as such myself whilst at Uni (many years ago).
My thoughts on this particular subject are that, those that convert are most definatley not amritdhari sikhs. If they prefer to chose another religion, rather than try to find the answers within sikhi, then it is their loss. Quite frankly we should be more concerned with the quality of adherents, rather then numbers. If people are naive and stupid enough for falling into these traps (always hearing how girls are misled by boys from other religions posing as sikhs), then i'm sorry but i have little sympathy for them. They can't use the excuse that their parents did not spend time with them explaining our religion etc, as in this day and age the internet has all the information you require. And as for those folk that go out there forcibly converting people into their faith, they must live on cloud cukoo land if they think that this behaviour will please the Lord and grant them a seat in heaven.
I am far from a perfect sikh, and i will be the first to admit that. I've heard recently that a recent sikh who converted to islam, went around universties slandering the Gurus etc..Now for me thats crossing the line. Fair enough you may find that you want to change religion, but surely you would want to highlight the positive aspects of your new faith, rather than slandering your past faith.

Enough ranting about that topic......

The resident Granthi Ji recited a shabd from Baba Fareed Ji's bani, and went on to do vichaar on the shabd and its meaning. The Granthi Ji explained that on many occasions when he has asked members of the sangat to become Gursikhs, some have replied that they have a saaf mann (clear/pure heart) and do x amount of sewa etc.. and therefore don't need to take amrit. The Granthi Ji then responded with an answer which really put all us that are not baptised to shame. He said "is there anyone in this hall who has a cleaner/purer heart than Guru Gobind Singh Ji, if there is please stand up. If there is such a person, i will myself bow before the SGGS and say there is no need for amrit. Guru Gobind Singh Ji took amrit himself, to show that it is imperative for us all to do so." You can't argue with that, he got it spot on, hit the nail on the head.

And yet us unfortunate fools do not realise this, we are always delaying taking amrit, saying we'll do it when we are older etc.. but nobody knows what the future holds.

I must say the Gurudwara Management are clued up, as they have sikhi inspiration classes for the youth, sikh camps, good panjabi classes. They are investing in the youth, which is a really good sign, and bodes well for the future.


Mr. Singh said...

Today the Granthi Ji repeated the same shabad as last week, and wanted to go into more detail. The shabad was from raag aasa - Aaaj Milava sheikh Fareeda. Below is a translation of this beautiful shabad:

You can meet the Lord today, O Shaykh Fareed, if you restrain your bird-like desires which keep your mind in turmoil. || 1 || Pause || If I had known that I was to die, and not return again, I would not have ruined myself by clinging to the world of falsehood. || 2 || So speak the Truth, in righteousness, and do not speak falsehood. The disciple ought to travel the route, pointed out by the Guru. || 3 || Seeing the youths being carried across, the hearts of the beautiful young soul-brides are encouraged. Those who side with the glitter of gold, are cut down with a saw. || 4 || O Shaykh, no one's life is permanent in this world. That seat, upon which we now sit - many others sat on it and have since departed. || 5 || As the swallows appear in the month of Katik, forest fires in the month of Chayt, and lightning in Saawan, and as the bride's arms adorn her husband's neck in winter; || 6 || Just so, the transitory human bodies pass away. Reflect upon this in your mind. It takes six months to form the body, but it breaks in an instant. || 7 || O Fareed, the earth asks the sky, "Where have the boatmen gone?" Some have been cremated, and some lie in their graves; their souls are suffering rebukes. || 8 || 2 ||

We also had a guest speaker today in the form of bhai Roop Singh Ji, who is a great story teller, i believe he has released a CD titled "Sikh Bedtime Stories".

Mr. Singh said...

Today at the Gurudwara we were treated to kirtan by the youth. It was really inspiring to see the love for sikhi and the Guru, beaming on the faces of these youth. When you see such souls who have so much love for sikhi and the Guru, it makes you feel content in the sense that the future of sikhi is in good hands. Such a contrast to those that so easily give up their faith when they go to University. Those fools should learn from these youth what it means to be a sikh.

Back to the Kirtan. The kirtan Jatha recited two shabads which are below:

1)This Shabad is by Bhatt Nal in Svaiyay Mehl 5 on Pannaa 1399

gur bin ghor a(n)dhhaar guroo bin samajh na aavai ||
gur bin surath na sidhh guroo bin mukath na paavai ||
gur kar sach beechaar guroo kar rae man maerae ||
gur kar sabadh sapu(n)n aghan kattehi sabh thaerae ||
gur nayan bayan gur gur karahu guroo sath kav naly kehi ||
jin guroo na dhaekhiao nahu keeao thae akayathh sa(n)saar mehi ||4||8||

Without the Guru, there is utter darkness; without the Guru, understanding does not come.
Without the Guru, there is no intuitive awareness or success; without the Guru, there is no liberation.
So make Him your Guru, and contemplate the Truth; make Him your Guru, O my mind.
Make Him your Guru, who is embellished and exalted in the Word of the Shabad; all your sins shall be washed away.
So speaks NALL the poet: with your eyes, make Him your Guru; with the words you speak, make Him your Guru, your True Guru.
Those who have not seen the Guru, who have not made Him their Guru, are useless in this world. ||4||8||

2)This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Kaanraa on Pannaa 1301

kaanarraa mehalaa 5 ghar 4
Kaanraa, Fifth Mehla, Fourth House:

ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||

naaraaein narapath namasakaarai ||

aisae gur ko bal bal jaaeeai aap mukath mohi thaarai ||1|| rehaao ||

kavan kavan kavan gun keheeai a(n)th nehee kashh paarai ||

laakh laakh laakh kee korai ko hai aiso beechaarai ||1||

bisam bisam bisam hee bhee hai laal gulaal ra(n)gaarai ||

kahu naanak sa(n)than ras aaee hai jio chaakh goo(n)gaa musakaarai ||2||1||20||

Kaanraa, Fifth Mehla, Fourth House:

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

The one who bows in humble reverence to the Primal Lord, the Lord of all beings

I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to such a Guru; He Himself is liberated, and He carries me across as well. ||1||Pause||

Which, which, which of Your Glorious Virtues should I chant? There is no end or limitation to them.

There are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, many millions of them, but those who contemplate them are very rare. ||1||

I am wonder-struck, wonder-struck, wonder-struck and amazed, dyed in the deep crimson color of my Beloved.

Says Nanak, the Saints savor this sublime essence, like the mute, who tastes the sweet candy, but only smiles. ||2||1||20||

With the sound of sweet kirtan and the visual aids to translate Gurmukhi into English, it is hard not to fall in love with sikhi.

The resident Granthi then took to to stage with his Jatha and went through the Chamkaur Di Garhi Saka in Dhaadhi waar style.

This saka is again so inspiring, and displays the great sacrifice that the Guru Ji and many of his followers made in order for Sikhi to flourish... and yet today we so quickly abandon this gift given by the Guru Ji.

Mr. Singh said...

Today's kritan program was again initially presented by the youth, who recited the following gems:

This Shabad is by Guru Amar Daas Ji in Raag Bihaagraa on Pannaa 556

Third Mehla:

dhhur khasamai kaa hukam paeiaa vin sathigur chaethiaa n jaae ||
From the very beginning, it has been the Will of the Lord Master, that He cannot be remembered without the True Guru.

sathigur miliai a(n)thar rav rehiaa sadhaa rehiaa liv laae ||
Meeting the True Guru, he realizes that the Lord is permeating and pervading deep within him; he remains forever absorbed in the Lord's Love.

dham dham sadhaa samaaladhaa dha(n)m n birathhaa jaae ||
With each and every breath, he constantly remembers the Lord in meditation; not a single breath passes in vain.

janam maran kaa bho gaeiaa jeevan padhavee paae ||
His fears of birth and death depart, and he obtains the honored state of eternal life.

naanak eihu marathabaa this no dhaee jis no kirapaa karae rajaae ||2||
O Nanak, He bestows this rank upon that mortal, upon whom He showers His Mercy. ||2||

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Gauree on Pannaa 268

thoo t(h)aakur thum pehi aradhaas ||
You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer.

jeeo pi(n)dd sabh thaeree raas ||
This body and soul are all Your property.

thum maath pithaa ham baarik thaerae ||
You are our mother and father; we are Your children.

thumaree kirapaa mehi sookh ghanaerae ||
In Your Grace, there are so many joys!

koe n jaanai thumaraa a(n)th ||
No one knows Your limits.

oochae thae oochaa bhagava(n)th ||
O Highest of the High, Most Generous God,

sagal samagree thumarai soothr dhhaaree ||
the whole creation is strung on Your thread.

thum thae hoe s aagiaakaaree ||
That which has come from You is under Your Command.

thumaree gath mith thum hee jaanee ||
You alone know Your state and extent.

naanak dhaas sadhaa kurabaanee ||8||4||
Nanak, Your slave, is forever a sacrifice. ||8||4||

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Gujri on Pannaa 496

goojaree mehalaa 5 ||
Goojaree, Fifth Mehla:

jis simarath sabh kilavikh naasehi pitharee hoe oudhhaaro ||
Remembering Him, all sins are erased, and ones generations are saved.

so har har thumh sadh hee jaapahu jaa kaa a(n)th n paaro ||1||
So meditate continually on the Lord, Har, Har; He has no end or limitation. ||1||

poothaa maathaa kee aasees ||
O son, this is your mother's hope and prayer,

nimakh n bisaro thumh ko har har sadhaa bhajahu jagadhees ||1|| rehaao ||
that you may never forget the Lord, Har, Har, even for an instant. May you ever vibrate upon the Lord of the Universe. ||1||Pause||

sathigur thumh ko hoe dhaeiaalaa sa(n)thasa(n)g thaeree preeth ||
May the True Guru be kind to you, and may you love the Society of the Saints.

kaaparr path paramaesar raakhee bhojan keerathan neeth ||2||
May the preservation of your honor by the Transcendent Lord be your clothes, and may the singing of His Praises be your food. ||2||

a(n)mrith peevahu sadhaa chir jeevahu har simarath anadh ana(n)thaa ||
So drink in forever the Ambrosial Nectar; may you live long, and may the meditative remembrance of the Lord give you infinite delight.

ra(n)g thamaasaa pooran aasaa kabehi n biaapai chi(n)thaa ||3||
May joy and pleasure be yours; may your hopes be fulfilled, and may you never be troubled by worries. ||3||

bhavar thumhaaraa eihu man hovo har charanaa hohu koulaa ||
Let this mind of yours be the bumble bee, and let the Lord's feet be the lotus flower.

naanak dhaas oun sa(n)g lapattaaeiou jio boo(n)dhehi chaathrik moulaa ||4||3||4||
Says servant Nanak, attach your mind to them, and blossom forth like the song-bird, upon finding the rain-drop. ||4||3||4||

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Raamkalee on Pannaa 896

raamakalee mehalaa 5 ||
Raamkalee, Fifth Mehla:

birathhaa bharavaasaa lok ||
Reliance on mortal man is useless.

t(h)aakur prabh thaeree ttaek ||
O God, my Lord and Master, You are my only Support.

avar shhoottee sabh aas ||
I have discarded all other hopes.

achi(n)th t(h)aakur bhaettae gunathaas ||1||
I have met with my carefree Lord and Master, the treasure of virtue. ||1||

eaeko naam dhhiaae man maerae ||
Meditate on the Name of the Lord alone, O my mind.

kaaraj thaeraa hovai pooraa har har har gun gaae man maerae ||1|| rehaao ||
Your affairs shall be perfectly resolved; sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, Har, Har, Har, O my mind. ||1||Pause||

thum hee kaaran karan ||
You are the Doer, the Cause of causes.

charan kamal har saran ||
Your lotus feet, Lord, are my Sanctuary.

man than har ouhee dhhiaaeiaa ||
I meditate on the Lord in my mind and body.

aana(n)dh har roop dhikhaaeiaa ||2||
The blissful Lord has revealed His form to me. ||2||

this hee kee outt sadheev ||
I seek His eternal support;

jaa kae keenae hai jeev ||
He is the Creator of all beings.

simarath har karath nidhhaan ||
Remembering the Lord in meditation, the treasure is obtained.

raakhanehaar nidhaan ||3||
At the very last instant, He shall be your Savior. ||3||

sarab kee raen hoveejai ||
Be the dust of all men's feet.

aap mittaae mileejai ||
Eradicate self-conceit, and merge in the Lord.

anadhin dhhiaaeeai naam ||
Night and day, meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.

safal naanak eihu kaam ||4||33||44||
O Nanak, this is the most rewarding activity. ||4||33||44||

This was followed by the Granthi Ji reciting 'Jis ke Sir Oopar tu swami'

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Soohee on Pannaa 749

soohee mehalaa 5 ||
Soohee, Fifth Mehla:

jis kae sir oopar thoo(n) suaamee so dhukh kaisaa paavai ||
When You stand over our heads, O Lord and Master, how can we suffer in pain?

bol n jaanai maaeiaa madh maathaa maranaa cheeth n aavai ||1||
The mortal being does not know how to chant Your Name - he is intoxicated with the wine of Maya, and the thought of death does not even enter his mind. ||1||

maerae raam raae thoo(n) sa(n)thaa kaa sa(n)th thaerae ||
O my Sovereign Lord, You belong to the Saints, and the Saints belong to You.

thaerae saevak ko bho kishh naahee jam nehee aavai naerae ||1|| rehaao ||
Your servant is not afraid of anything; the Messenger of Death cannot even approach him. ||1||Pause||

jo thaerai ra(n)g raathae suaamee thinh kaa janam maran dhukh naasaa ||
Those who are attuned to Your Love, O my Lord and Master, are released from the pains of birth and death.

thaeree bakhas n maettai koee sathigur kaa dhilaasaa ||2||
No one can erase Your Blessings; the True Guru has given me this assurance. ||2||

naam dhhiaaein sukh fal paaein aat(h) pehar aaraadhhehi ||
Those who meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, obtain the fruits of peace. Twenty-four hours a day, they worship and adore You.

thaeree saran thaerai bharavaasai pa(n)ch dhusatt lai saadhhehi ||3||
In Your Sanctuary, with Your Support, they subdue the five villains. ||3||

giaan dhhiaan kishh karam n jaanaa saar n jaanaa thaeree ||
I know nothing about wisdom, meditation and good deeds; I know nothing about Your excellence.

sabh thae vaddaa sathigur naanak jin kal raakhee maeree ||4||10||57||
Guru Nanak is the greatest of all; He saved my honor in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. ||4||10||57||