Saturday, 5 April 2008

Vismaad presents "Sundri"


From the creators of "Sahibzaadey" and "The Rise Of The Khalsa", comes Vismaads next offering based upon Bhai Vir Singh Ji's novel - "Sundri". Bhai Vir Singh Ji's novels were aimed at recreating the heoric period in Sikh History (18th Century). This particular movie depicts the story of a brave woman named Sundri.

This movie salutes the contribution made by our Sikh Sisters, Mothers, and Daughters of yesterday.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji wrote the following about women:

BMif jMmIAY BMif inMmIAY BMif mMgxu vIAwhu ]

bha(n)dd ja(n)meeai bha(n)dd ni(n)meeai bha(n)dd ma(n)gan veeaahu ||

From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman
he is engaged and married.

BMfhu hovY dosqI BMfhu clY rwhu ]

bha(n)ddahu hovai dhosathee bha(n)ddahu chalai raahu ||

Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.

BMfu muAw BMfu BwlIAY BMif hovY bMDwnu ]

bha(n)dd muaa bha(n)dd bhaaleeai bha(n)dd hovai ba(n)dhhaan ||

When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.

so ikau mMdw AwKIAY ijqu jMmih rwjwn ]

so kio ma(n)dhaa aakheeai jith ja(n)mehi raajaan ||

So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.

BMfhu hI BMfu aUpjY BMfY bwJu n koie ]

bha(n)ddahu hee bha(n)dd oopajai bha(n)ddai baajh n koe ||

From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no
one at all.

nwnk BMfY bwhrw eyko scw soie ]

naanak bha(n)ddai baaharaa eaeko sachaa soe ||

O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.

ijqu muiK sdw swlwhIAY Bwgw rqI cwir ]

jith mukh sadhaa saalaaheeai bhaagaa rathee chaar ||

That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful.

nwnk qy muK aUjly iqqu scY drbwir ]2]

naanak thae mukh oojalae thith sachai dharabaar ||2||

O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord. ||2||

Hopefully todays generation of young Sikhs can be inspired by this movie, and become the True GurSikhs of tomorrow..

The movie will be in selected theatres (mainly US and Canada) around May time. Check the MOVIE website for further info.

Vismaad have been doing a great job of promoting the Sikh faith, and engaging the youth by bringing products which appeal to them. They deserve all our suppoort with this product.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The responsibilities of students


Whilst at school, college or University, we will often come across a subject that we cannot grasp/understand. So to resolve this predicament we could quite simply do nothing and wait for a miracle, or we could actually find out ourselves by doing a bit of research (by books, speaking to friends etc..). We will go that extra mile to understand the subject/topic, if we feel we will benefit financially later on in life by learnig about it.

Yet in comparison, when we do not understand Guru Ji, many of us (me included) make no effort whatsoever to try and learn off our own backs what the message contains. We'll make 101 excuses, such as "i don't have the time", "i don't understand, i need it translated" etc.. we make these excuses because we have no relationship with our Guru, we view Guru Ji as a book. As Sikhs (students) we need to build a relationship with our Guru (Teacher), so that our ultimate goal of being one with God, can be achieved. Once we realise what our whole purpose of life is, then perhaps we will awaken to greatness of our Guru Ji. Then we will listen to the message contained within Guru Shabad, and realise that everything else is nothing but an illusion.....

Monday, 18 February 2008

Lets all laugh at looserpool.... sorry Liverpool


You've got to laugh at the scousers......poor thomo in the studio.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Happy Gurpurab - Birth Of Guru Har Rai Ji


Dhan Guru Har Rai Ji
The 31st January marks the birth date of the 7th Guru, Guru Har Rai Ji. Guru Har Rai was a simple man of God who lived a highly simple life and valued simplicity and devotion amongst the followers of his creed. Lets take a glance into some of the incidents during Guru Ji's life:

Baba Har Rai and the trampled rose

Many thanks to Sikh Sangat for this Sakhi....

Satguru Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj, maintained an excellent garden with rare medicinal herbs planted in it. He also had a rare passion for collecting birds and animals that could be tamed and trained. Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji was having his morning stroll in the garden one day, he was reciting Waheguru with each breath he took. Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji was also walking in the garden and was coming from the opposite direction to the one Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji was walking on. Seeing a beautiful flower on the ground, Guru Sahib, bent down and picked it up.

He then asked, 'Who plucked this lovely rose and left it to be tampled on the ground?"

"It was my fault dear grandfather" said Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji.
"My robes got entangled in the plant, and while loosening it, the flower fell on the ground. I should have picked up the flower, I am really sorry grandfather."

"Today", said Satguru Ji, "your robes have caused injury to this tender and beautiful plant out of carelessness, and left it to be trampled under people's feet; someday your paraphernalia, if not kept under restraint and control, may cause injury to innocent people, and in your heedlesness leave them to their fate. Yours Oh dear Grandson are not the robes of coercive authority which can afford to disregard the feelings of others, particulary those who suffer and live silently. Yours are the robes of a dervish, a holy saint, which must shed love, light, compassion, not only on human beings, but even on animals and plants. The more tender and weak a creature of Akaal Purakh, the more love, sympathy and compassion he deserves."

Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji fell at the feet of his beloved Guru and grandfather and sought his forgiveness.

Mehma Prakash: Sarup Singh Bhalla pg 533

Baba Har Rai Sahib Ji promised his grandfather, that he would in the future never show the slightest heedlessness in his responsibilites towards man, animals and plants. Restraint and self control boundless compassion and charity, were reflected in all his actions and dealings with others throught Baba Har Rai Sahib Jis life.

From that day on he would hold the long gown over his right arm. When he became Guru Har Rai jee the Sikhs said you don’t look good holding your gown, let it go as you are the Guru now.

Guru Har Rai jee said, “O Guru Nanak’s Sikhs, all of my life I’ve held it like this because it was my Guru’s Command. If I disobey my Guru by letting go of it, I’ll no longer be a Sikh. Do you want me to spend the rest of my life in hell!”

Understanding Scriptures

Once his Sikhs approached Guru Har Rai and asked if it was any use reciting the hymns without understanding the text. The Guru was aware that though the Sikh scriptures were in the language of the people, a large number of the Sikhs recited the hymns without understanding their meaning fully. But there was no oubting their devotion to the holy word. It so happened that they were then apssing through the outskirts of a village. The Guru showed his Sikhs pieces of a broken pot that was used for storing butter. And now lying in the sun the little butter that had stuck to the potsherds had started to melt. Guru Ji said: "It's good if one reads the scriptures with understanding It is like holding butter, but if that is not possible, it's not without virtue reading scripturewith devotion; some of it will certainly stick and when the warmth of understanding is applied to it at any time, it will surely do good".

The Simple Meal

One day, while passing through a village, Guru Ji knocked at a door. It was the house of a poor widow. The moment the door opened, the womanwas beside herself with joy. She rushed into the house and brought for Guru Ji the food she had prepared. Guru Ji partook of her humble meal seated on horseback, not even washing his hands, which he always did before he took his meals.
The next day the Guru's followers had taken with them plenty of food in case the Guru needed to eat during the chase. But the Guru did not eat anything whilst they were in the jungle. Returning home, when his Sikhs asked the Guru about his eating at a poor widow's house uninvited, Guru Ji told them that rather thenbeing uninvited he was awaited in the poor hut most anxiously. All those days the old lady would prepare her simple meal and start praying for a glimpse of the Guru. She was too old to make a journey to the Guru's place. Day after day she continued to prepare a meal for her Guru and wait for him. She never lost faith. She knew her Guru would never let her down. At last her prayers were answered. The next time they happened to pass through the village the Sikhs had the truth of what their Guru Ji had told them verified. The poor old woman told them how she laboured hard and with her earnings prepared simple fare and longed to entertain the Guru and how he had heard her prayers and come to her place to bless her.

Clinging to the Guru's Feet

Bhai Gonda, a devoted Sikh, was asked by Guru Ji to proceed to Kabul for the spiritual needs of the Guru's Sikhs residing in that far-off place. It was not without risk, making the arduous journey and living amongst aliens, but Bhai Gonda left for Kabul the moment he heard Guru Ji's orders. Once, while saying his prayers in Kabul, Gonda clung to the Guru's feet in his imagination. He held the Guru's feet in deep devotion all the while he was reciting his prayers. It so happened that the Guruat that particular hour was sitting on his throne. The Sikhs marked that the Guru had been sitting in a particular posture with both his feet resting on each other for quite some time. It was time for his meal and, even then, he was sitting in that peculiar posture. The meal was announced once, twice, thrice, but he neither moved from his seat not uttered a word. At last, after about an hour, he got up and expressed his regret at having kept his Sikhswaiting. "It was Bhai Gonda in Kabul, he had both my feet and would not leave them. It is only after he completed his prayers that he released them and i could move away" Guru Ji told his Sikhs. The Sikhs were amazed to hear it. The next time Bhai Gonda came to pay his homage to the Guru, the Sikhs had the incident verified and found that every word was true.

Guru Har rai and baba Ram Rai:

Emperor Aurangzeb summoned Guru Har Rai jee to Delhi. Guru Har Rai jee refused to go near that tyrant, but he called together the respected Sikhs and said one of you will go to answer his questions. The Sikh that goes to Delhi will have Guru Nanak himself on his tongue to answer the Aurangzeb’s questions. Baba Ram Rai, the Guru’s oldest son, volunteered.

Guru Har Rai jee said, “Son, it requires the greatest responsibility in order to represent Guru Nanak Dev jee.”
It is said that a tigress’s milk can only be put into a silver bowl. If it is put into a gold bowl the
milk will go sour.

Baba Ram Rai jee said, “I’ll go.”

He left the town of Kiratpur sitting in a pallaquin being carried on the shoulders of 4 Sikhs. Baba Ram Rai got out and told the 4 Sikhs carrying it to step back. Ram Rai wanted to test if he really had Guru Nanak jee’s power on his tongue.

Today people change history to suit themselves because they lack faith that our Guru has infinite powers.

Baba Ram Rai said, “Get up and go to Delhi.”

The Pallaquin raised itself of the ground and flew to Delhi. It’s not for nothing that we say “Waheguru Nam Jehaj ha…The Name Waheguru is the Ship that feries us across.”

When Aurangzeb saw the flying Pallaquin he absolutely loved it. As all emperors, he loved to be entertained, especially with miracles. He asked Baba Ram Rai to show him more miracles. Baba Ram Rai went to a wall and sat on it. He said, “Go!” It ran like a horse around Delhi. Baba Ram Rai showed hundreds of miracles.

Aurangzeb asked Baba Ram Rai, ‘I have heard that your Guru Nanak Dev jee turned the Kabha, or sacred stone, around at Mecca, how can it be?’

Baba Ram Rai saw a mosque nearby and pointed his finger towards it. He lifted the mosque, turned it in the air while pointing at it and put it down by lowering his arm. He said that’s how easy it was for Guru Nanak jee to turn Mecca.

Now Aurangzeb wanted to ask questions about God’s Word - Gurbanee.

Guru jee has taught us that the one who doesn’t give the greatest respect to Gurbanee is not a Sikh at all. Nowadays we leave Gutkas, or prayer books, lying around.

Once, a Sikh was holding a Gutka reciting the prayers when Guru Hargobind Sahib jee came walking nearby, he had water in his eyes.

The Sikh asked, “Guru jee, why are your eyes watering?”

Guru Hargobind jee said, “O foolish one, you haven’t covered the Gutka with cloth and the dirt that’s falling on it, I feel in my eyes!”

This is how much our Gurus respected Gurbanee.

Baba Ram Rai jee had taken some Gutkas with him, there were to be treated respectfully so had been left on the best chair. Aurangzeb came and sat on the chair pushing the Gutkas aside.

Baba Ram Rai said, “Aurangzeb, what’s all this! God’s Word has to be respected.”

Aurangzeb said, “Accept my apologies someone must have accidentally put them here.”

Then Aurangzeb asked Baba Ram Rai, “I’ve heard that in Asa-Dee-Var it is written. “Mit-ee Musalman ke pareh pay kuma-i. O Baba Ram Rai you have Guru Nanak Dev jee’s power on your tongue, so tell me what the meaning is. To me it sounds like it says even a Muslim buried in the earth screams.”

Baba Ram Rai said, “O No Great King, instead of Musal-man it should say Beh-man, meaning the unbelievers scream when buried in the earth, not Muslims.”

Nowadays, some people want to remove a whole page, a whole limb of our Guru Granth Sahib jee - Baba Ram Rai just changed one word and look at the punishment that was given to him. When he returned to the town of Kiratpur, he sent 2 Sikhs ahead of him to tell his Guru-Father he had returned. Guru Har Rai jee loved his son Baba Ram Rai, but because he changed even one word of Gurbanee he was rejected.

Guru Har Rai jee said to the 2 Sikhs, “Ram Rai changed a word of Gurbanee and now he wants my holy vision or Darshan, tell him - no way! Tell him he can’t bow to my feet.”

Guru jee said this to his own son! The Sikhs told Ram Rai that he wouldn’t be accepted at the Guru’s feet. Ram Rai asked the Sikhs to find out where he would be accepted if not at the Guru’s feet. The Sikhs returned and asked Guru Har Rai jee where Ram Rai would be accepted, Guru jee replied, “Tell him to walk in the direction he is facing - he’s not welcome here.”

The Guru that could not hurt a flower without feeling remorse, was hurt by what his Son had done. By changing a line in Gurbani, Baba Ram Rai was never to see his father again. That is how much love our Guru's had for Gurbani, we all need to aspire to be able to value Gurbani as much as our Gurus did.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Accepting God's Will (bhaana)


Last week i was at my friends house doing avsoas (paying condolences for a death in his family).
It's very difficult to know how to handle such situations, i just didn't know what to say to make my friend feel any better.

whilst we were sitting there, an old wise man walked in, he was amritdhari, and naturally the conversation went on to accepting the will of God (bhaana manno) etc. The man went onto explain, that it very easy to say "bhaana manno", but very difficult to accept this. It's particularly easy for you to say it to someone else when they go through such a phase, but when it happens to you, then its a different story.

He went onto explain that Sikhs in the past questioned Shri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji whether there existed such a person who accepted everything (good or bad) as the will of God, and would remain unaffected by these events. Shri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji advised his Sikhs that there is such a person, his name is Bhai Bhikari. Guru Ji gave his Sikhs the address of Bhai Bhikhari, and told them to pay him a visit and see with their own eyes, how this Sikh accepts Gods will.

Unfortunately, as people were coming in and out of the room, the baba ji was unable to continue his Sakhi. It did leave me intrigued nevertheless, and so i did some digging up and found the Sakhi below:

Now we will take an illustration to make the point more explicit. In the time of Guru Arjan, the fifth in line of succession to Guru Nanak, we have an account of a model sikh, Bhai Bhikari by name. A disciple once asked the Guru to introduce him to a Gurbhakta or a devoted disciple. The Guru directed him with a letter to Bhai Bhikari and asked him to stay with the Bhai Sahib for a few days. Bhikari received his brother-in-faith very warmly and entertained him to the best of his means. The day he arrived, his host was calmly sewing a piece of cloth which looked like a coffin-covering. The disciple, after spending a few days happily in his company, proposed to go back, but Bhikari requested him to stay on for some time more and to attend his son's wedding which was due shortly. At the loving insistence of the host, he agreed to do so. The wedding day came. There were festivities in the house but Bhikari was as serene as ever. The disciple like all the rest accompanied the wedding procession, witnessed the merry nuptials, and escorted the bride's procession back to Bhikari's house. The following day, as ill-luck would have it, Bhikari's only son, the newly-wedded youth, took ill suddenly and died. Bhikari quietly took out the cloth that he had prepared on purpose a few days earlier, wrapped the dead body of his son in it, took it to the cremation ground, and performed the last rites with his usual equanimity. Bhikari's steadfast attitude of composure all through this varying panorama of life, struck the disciple dumb with astonishment, for in Bhikari there was no trace of joy and sorrow, but perfect resignation to the Will of the Lord, which he knew right from the beginning; and he had acted accordingly, without exhibiting any personal feelings or emotions in the least.

I think everyone will agree that it is very difficult for us manmukhs to reach this level of Sikhi, whereby one does not emote elation or sorrow. Above Guru Ji used Bhai Bhikhari as a perfect example of a Gursikh obeying the will of God, but years later Guru Ji himself would do the same whilst being tortured by the authorities of the time.

Bhai Bhikarhi and Guru Ji were not the only Sikhs to show this rare quality. Years later many Sikhs followed in Guru Ji's steps, Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das, Bhai Dhayala,Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji, the Sahibzadey, Banda Singh Bahadur, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Taru Singh, the sikh women imprisoned by mir mannu, and the list goes on.... All these Sikhs expressed no ill feelings whilst they were being tortured, and they happily recited naam whilst enduring the torture.

In stark contrast, if anything bad happens to us we start to curse the Lord - "why did this happen to me" etc.. and the major reason for that is that we are too attached to everything around us, be it family or possessions. Again the solution is to attach ourselves to naam, but that's easier said than done for the majority of us.....

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed - Birthday


mrxu n mMdw lokw AwKIAY jy mir jwxY AYsw koie ]

maran n ma(n)dhaa lokaa aakheeai jae mar jaanai aisaa koe ||
Death would not be called bad, O people, if one knew how to truly die.

Baba Deep Singh Ji is one of the greatest examples of how a Saint Soldier should lead their lives. He epitomised every aspect of being a Saint Soldier, and today due to his actions and conduct he is rightly remembered as one of the most honoured martyrs in Sikh history. As a young kid i was recall seeing pictures adourning the walls in Gurdwaras in the UK of this great GurSikh who fought the enemy even with a severed head. Those images amazed me as a youngster, and i'm sure the youth of today still look upto heroes such as Baba Deep Singh Ji.

As the 20th January marks the Birthday of this great Sikh, i'd like to share some stories relating to the life of Baba Ji.

Birth and Early life of Baba Ji:

Baba Ji was born in Paahuwind, Amritsar, in the house of Bhai Bhagtu Ji and Mata jeeodee Ji. The date was Jan 20th 1682. It is said that his parents were blessed with a child after 12 years. In this time a Sikh saint had foretold them that they would have a very special child in their family, and they should name him Deep (One who gives light).

As Baba Ji was the only child he was showered with affection and devotion by his parents.

Baba Ji along with his parents went to visit Shri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji at Anadpur in 1694, when Baba Ji was 12 years old. They stayed for many days, and joined in with the sangat doing seva. They then approached Guru Ji to take his blessings and return home. Guru Ji requested to Baba Ji to stay at Anandpur with him, Baba Ji and his parents agreed for Baba Ji to stay. Baba Ji then spent his time in the service of Guru Ji.

Baba Ji was a keen and entusiastic student, he learnt Gurmukhi and Santhiyaa of Gurbaani from the revered Bhai Mani Singh Ji. In addition to Gurmukhi, Baba Ji also learnt several other languages. Aswell as the scholary aspect of Sikhi, Baba Ji was also trained in the martial arena, by Guru Ji himself. In this way Baba Ji became a very boloved Sikh of Guru Ji, and would even accompany Guru Ji on hunting expeditions. Baba Ji took amrit at the age of 18 from Guru Ji himself during the Vaisakhi of 1700.

Soon afterwards Guru Ji instructed Baba ji to return to his village. Very little has been written about what Baba Ji did during this time, some historians say that he got married.

About a year later a messenger arrived, and advised Baba Ji that Guru Ji had vacated the fort at Anandpur, and that his family had seperated during this time.

Baba Ji was disheartened by this news and immediatley set out to look for his beloved Guru Ji. Baba Ji finally met up with Guru Ji at Damdama Sahib in Talwandi, where Guru Ji narrated the bloody and horrific events of Chamkaur, and Sirhind (where the 4 Sahibzadey were martyred).

The Recitation Of Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

Whilst at Damdama Sahib, Guru Ji asked his followers (including Baba Deep Singh Ji) to visit Dhir Mal (the eldest son of Baba Gurditta Ji) at Kartarpur, and to obtain the copy of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Dhir Mal was hostile towards the Guru's house, as he was jealous that he was never appointed Guru. Dhir Mal suggested to Guru's followers that if their Guru was so great why couldn't he recite by heart the whole Granth Ji himself.

When Guru Ji heard Dhir Mal's response, he decided to recite the whole Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Damdama Sahib Ji. He recited whilst Bhai Mani Singh Ji, and Baba Deep Singh Ji amongst others completed the copies. The initial copy took just over 9 months to complete.

The following account has been taken from "16 days with Baba Maan Singh Ji":

A few months later, when Guru Gobind Singh jee finished dictating God’s Word to Bhai Mani Singh jee, he said lets have a continuous reading, or Akhand Paat. Guru jee said reading God’s Word in an Akhand Paat would purify the surroundings and everyone will once more be able to hear God’s Word. The Sikhs said they would listen with attention. 5 readers, or Granthis, were required, the ones that were chosen were of the highest spiritual state, they were knowers-of-God or Brahm-Gianees. Their names were: Bhai Mani Singh jee, Baba Deep Singh jee, Bhai Dharam Singh jee, Bhai Maan Singh jee and Bhai Kaan Singh jee. In addition to the 5 readers, 5 Khalsa were required to organise themselves so that there would always be someone in the prescence of Guru Granth Sahib jee in case of emergencies, or for security or any other duties. 5 more Khalsa were to ensure that the sacred pudding, or Karah Prashad, would be prepared and availble to the congregation at all times. Finally, 5 more Khalsa were responsible for cleaning the holy congregations’s hands and feet before they entered the royal court were the reading was taking place. Nowadays, we don’t even have 20 people at the ending ceremony, or the bhog! Nowadays, people say there is no need to keep a light burning alongside the Akhand paat, people say its against the Guru’s wisdom to keep a coconut and water alongside the Akhand Paat. But Khalsa jee, Guru Gobind Singh jee himself bowed to Guru Granth Sahib jee with a coconut and 5 pence! Khalsa jee, don’t believe what men with worldy wisodm say, only believe what Guru Granth Sahib jee says.

Guru Gobind Singh jee sat cross-legged in deep meditation for the whole of the continuous reading. Now you wont believe what happened next because our mentality is to criticise our Guru, but on the third day when the ending ceremony, or bhog, was about to begin there was an incredible amount of spiritual power in the royal court. The verses called Saloks of the ninth Guru were being read and Sikhs like Baba Deep Singh jee, Bhai Maan Singh jee and Bhai Kaan Singh jee who were sitting alongside Guru Gobind Singh jee began rising into the air as they meditated. Their spirits were leaving for God’s Realm of Truth, or Sach Khand. When Baba Deep Singh jee on the left of Guru Gobind Singh jee and Bhai Dharam Singh jee on the left began rising, Bhai Dharam Singh jee said “I don’t know what’s happening.” Baba Deep Singh jee replied, “God’s Word is taking us to God’s Realm of Truth, Sach Khand.” Guru Gobind Singh jee heard their voices and opening his eyes he grabbed their hands and pulled them back down. Guru jee said, “You are going to Sach Khand already, but you have great things to do in this world before you go.”

Baba Ji continued to make additional copies of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and also made one in Persian (which i am led to believe is in Baghdad). Guru Ji left Damdama Sahib for Nanded, and left Baba Ji in charge of Damdama Sahib Taksal. Baba Ji continued to serve the Panth with his Scholary work, and continued to produce Gutke for the congregation. Aswell as the spiritual aspect of Sikhi, Baba Ji ensured that the martial tradition of Sikhi were also taught at this Taksal.

Baba Ji had devoted his life to the Panth, and when the time came for him to answer the call of the Panth, he would be one of the foremost warriors in every battle. The same occurred in 1709 when along with Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the Khalsa forces punished the tyrants of Sirhind and Sadhaura.

In 1733, Baba Ji was appointed the leader of one of the Jathas of Dal Khalsa by Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji. Later, in 1748,when the Dal Khalsa was reorganised into 12 misls, he was entrusted with the leadership of Shaheedan di Misl.

Battle Lines Drawn:

Ahmed Shah Abdali was returning to kabul after his 4th invasion of India in 1757. he was taking with him precious booty, and many men and women as slaves. Baba Deep Singh Ji and his Jatha came to know of this, and they devised a plan to free their fellow country men. Baba Ji and his men were able to rescue the prisoners and also retrieve the booty. The Singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji had acheieved what the Rajputs and Marathas had failed to do so. Even Abdali was shocked at the daring Sikhs. Because of the dare devil tactics of Baba Ji and his Jatha, and their noble acts of saving the honour of indian women, the captive women and children began to sing:

"Moreen Baba Kachh Walea Chhai Naheen Taan Ran gai Basre noon gai"

'O' brave Sikh wearing Kaccha, liberate the enslaved Women, otherwise they would be taken to Basra.

Abdali was livid at this act of the Sikhs, he was seething, and gave strcit orders to his son (Taimur) to finish off these infidels. Taimur followed his fathers orders to the hilt, and began demolishing the Gurudware of the Sikhs, as he knew the power of these Sikhs was in their Guru, which resided in the Gurudware. Taimur and his men filled the sarovars with debris and alcohol, and commited several acts of beadbi. Baba Ji came to hear of these acts inparticular the destruction of Shri Harmandir Sahib Ji, he announced to his Jatha and the Sangat that they would indeed celebrate Diwali at Amritsar this year.

Baba Ji offered his prayers in the form of ardas and made the vow that may his head fall at Shri Harmandi Sahib Ji.

isr jwey qW jwey myrw is~KI is~dk nw jwey

Sir Jaae ta jaae, mera sikhi sidhak na jaae

If my head is severed, then so be it, but may i never loose my Sikh way of life.

We must remember at this point that Baba Ji was at the age of 75, and yet he had the strength and vigour of a youg man. He set off towards Amritsar with a large number of sikhs, by the time they reached Taran Taaran, the number of Sikhs had reached 5,000. At this point Baba Ji, felt it was appropriate to draw a line and ask his men to only cross it if they are willing to sacrifice their lives, as there was no turning back from this point. Baba Ji recited the following shabad from Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

jau qau pRym Kylx kw cwau ] isru Dir qlI glI myrI Awau ]
iequ mwrig pYru DrIjY ]isru dIjY kwix n kIjY ]20]

If you desire to play this game of love with Me,then step onto My
Path with your head in hand.
When you place your feet on this Path,
give Me your head, and do not pay any attention to public opinion. ||20||

The Singhs were almost fighting eachother to cross the line, such was their devotion.
Upon hearing the news of the Singhs approaching, the governor of Lahore sent an army of 20,000 to face them. The two armies clashed near Gohalwarh on the 11th nov 1757. The singhs pushed the enemy force back, and reached the village of Chabba. At this point Attal Khan (Some historians mention Jamal Khan) entered the battle field, and engaged Baba Deep Singh. Both of them inflicted blows simultaneously and severed the others head. Baba Ji was initially grounded by the blow, however when a follower reminded him of his promise to offer his head at Darbar Sahib, Baba Ji somehow with Satguru's Kirpa was able to continue wielding his sword in one hand whilst holding his head in the other. The enemy soldiers started to run away after seeing this sight.

Baba Ji was then able to reach the parkarma of Harmandir Sahib and attain Martyrdom.

And thus one of the greatest heroes of Sikh History fulfilled his oath and also wrote his name in the annals of history. Many people find it hard to believe how a man can fight without a head, these people under estimate the power of amrit, and naam, but also the kirpa of Waheguru. Our mission or purpose in life is to become one with Waheguru, once this is achieved, then that enlightened soul can achieve anything. Some may say that there is no difference between such an enlightened GurSikh, the SatGuru, and God.

Dhan Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed

We Salute our Martyrs.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Sikh Course


In addition to the Sikh Camp, there will also be a "Sikh Course" being held in Bradford in February. The course will cater for adults, and will be held over one day. The aim is for people to gain a better understanding of Sikhism - which is a religion which is relatively unknown to many people. I've attended an earlier course, and was really impressed with what was covered in the course. The course does not go over the basics as in Gurus, history etc.. But concentrates on Gurbani, and what being a sikh is really about. For me it was an eye opener, as the majority of the material was new to me. Changed my prespective on life and Sikhi totally. I would suggest all those interested and able to attend, to do so....

For more details click

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Bradford Sikhi Camp Feb 2008


The next Bradford Sikhi Camp will be taking place on Feb 9th and 10th at Guru Nank Dev Ji Gurdwara, Wakefield Road, Bradford.

Monday, 7 January 2008

It's just not cricket...anymore


Whoever said cricket was a gentleman's game, would have been left scratching their head over the shenanigans this weekend down under. For the first time in the series India applied some pressure on the Aussies, and may have caused an upset if the standard of umpiring had been to the level it is expected at an international test match. But instead of talking about what a great match it was, we find ourselves embroiled in one of the biggest controversies since perhaps the ball tampering uproar.

I have some sympathy with India in that the umpiring was poor and most of the important and match changing decisions went against them. Then there was some unsportsmanship behaviour by the Aussies (claiming a catch when it appeared to be a grounded catch, yet the umpire taking the word of Ricky Ponting as gospel).

Then the major incident involving Harbhajan and Symonds, in which it is alleged that Singh called Symonds a 'Monkey' as a racial insult. If Harbhajan used the word as an insult in a racial way, then fair enough he should be banned for longer than 3 matches, undoubtedly, as there is no room in the game for such behaviour. However, there does not seem to be any real evidence to support this. Neither of the umpires heard it, Tendulkar said he didn't hear it, Gilchrist said he didn't, so we have Clarke and Hayden supporting Symonds saying they heard it. I don't feel that as a match referee you can really make a decision when you only have the words of players from either side to go by.

Having said all that, all the injustices the Indians have faced, does not mean they can cancel the tour in my eyes. They have the right to appeal, and go through the proper channels, but cancelling the tour is not the solution. They need to take the higher moral ground. Do their talking on the pitch, that's where cricket is played funnily enough. Sledging has been a part of game since way back, but its when you over step the limits of sledging. The Aussies are no strangers to the art of sledging, in fact we could argue that they are the masters.

Back to the cricket, as I've mentioned before on this blog, India need to bring back in Shewag, as the openers are not seeing off the new ball. Yuvraj, having been accommodated at the expense of an opener, is not really pulling up any trees. Either him or Jaffer should be dropped from the next match.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Art Of Punjab


Born in Amritsar India, Kanwar Singh Dhillon has been engaged in the process of art making for as long as he can remember. He is influenced by a host of past masters such as Sobha Singh, Caravaggio and J.W Waterhouse.

Growing up in Toronto Canada, Kanwar explored several paths that would allow him to work as a professional artist including animation and book illustration. However, it wasn’t until he started to take an interest in the history of the Sikhs that his art took a definitive turn for the better.
With his painting style Kanwar Singh Dhillon aspires to combine the grace and beauty of Sobha Singh’s portraits with the documentary style of Sikh history painters such as Devender Singh. Punjab’s history is rich with the exploits of heroes and sages from the time of Alexander to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The spread of the Sikh faith and the rise of the Khalsa have featured heavily in his recent works.

Please support the artist and visit his website to take a look at his impressive work.

The Importance of Amrit and Rehat


During the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, just like today, many short sighted people like myself, questioned wether it was neccesary to take amrit. They felt as long as they did seva, they would be saved or liberated.

I'll share some examples of these people, and how they changed their views on amrit with Guru Ji's grace.

No life without Amrit

A Sikh said to Guru Gobind Singh jee, “What’s the point of rehat, or code of conduct, forget about receiving amrit all I need to do is the Guru’s service, or seva, don’t I?”

Guru Gobind Singh jee told him the time would come and he would understand why amrit was important. Soon afterwards, the man’s young son died. Guru Gobind Singh jee came. The Sikh stood up and said, “Guru jee, my son has left.”

Guru Gobind Singh jee asked him to take the sheet off the body and said to the father, “I thought you said he was dead, but look at him his hands, feet, eyes and teeth are still intact. Yet you say he is dead.”

The Sikh said, “What’s the point of the body when there is no breath?”

Guru Gobind Singh jee said, “Now you have your answer. You asked me what’s the point of the body without any breath. In the same way without rehat, or the code of conduct that you follow after receiving amrit, my Sikh has no life at all, infact he’s as good as dead.”

The Sikh said, “Guru jee, now I understand that Amrit is as important to the Guru as breaths are to the body.”

The Brahm-gianee:

Mata Gujree jee humbly pressed her palms together and asked Guru Gobind Singh jee, “Son is there anyway I could be blessed with the sight of a Brahm-gianee, a Knower-of God!”

Guru jee replied, “Mata jee get up at amrit-vela, get ready, meditate on Guru Nanak jee, prepare prashad and do Ardas. A Brahm-gianee will come to you, you will not have to go anywhere.”

At that time Brahm-gianee Baba Ram Kaur jee was engrossed in God’s Name and instantly knew that he had to meet Mata Gujree jee. He got on his horse and came to Mata jee’s house.

With pressed palms she said, “I am greatly blessed, greatly blessed to have the holy sight of you Brahm-gianee jee.” She respected him greatly. Baba Ram Kaur jee went to have the sacred vision of Guru Gobind Singh jee the next day.

Guru Gobind Singh jee greeted him and said, “Baba Ram Kaur jee, receive Khanda-batta-da-amrit (amrit prepared in an iron bowl and stirred by the symbol of God’s power the mighty double edged sword) and belong to the Guru.”

Baba jee was taken aback, he said, “Guru jee, I’ve been blessed with the knowledge of God (Brahm Gian) yet am I still without a Guru? Surely, I don’t need to receive amrit?

Guru jee began to say, “Baba jee, you haven’t received amrit yet, you aren’t living according to the code of conduct of the Guru’s house. When you receive amrit and live by the code of conduct of the Guru’s house then you have become the Guru’s.”

Baba jee said, “Guru jee, I read God’s Word (Gurbanee) everyday, in Sukmanee Sahib it says that the Brahm-giani is God himself, so what’s the need for me to receive?”

Guru jee spent great efforts to make him understand. Some time passed, winter came a great festival was about to begin. The officials of Anandpur were clearing the place of stray and wild dogs. They were feeding the dogs poison.

Baba Ram Kaur jee came out and was taken curious about what the officials were doing. He said to them, “Brother, you keep feeding the stray dogs poison, but you leave the ones with collars alone. Why make the distinction? They’re all wandering the streets.”

The officials said, “O Baba jee, the dogs with collars belong to someone. The ones without collars don’t belong to anyone. We can kill countless stray dogs and no one will object. But, if we kill even one dog with a collar, it’s master will go to the Government court and complain against us. We will be called up and punished. That is the difference, dogs without collars belong to no one, dogs with collars belong to someone.”

Baba Ram Kaur jee finally understood what Guru jee was saying about belonging to the Guru. He thought “Ram Kaur, don’t get mislead that just because you have got Brahm-Gian, the knowledge-of-God, that you are safe. You still don’t belong to the Guru.”

There are two types of Sikhs: ones that belong to the Guru; and ones that don’t. The ones that receive amrit and live out the Rehat, or code of conduct, belong to the Guru, the ones that don’t will suffer the same fate as the collar-less dogs. At the last breath, Guru Gobind Singh jee will take his Sikhs by the arm, the ones without a Guru will be left to suffer like the collar-less dogs.

“Kabeer kutheh ram ko, motee mera nao…Kabeer says I am a dog of God, and Motee is my name.”

Baba Ram Kaur jee couldn’t sleep that night, because he realised he didn’t belong to the Guru. In the morning he went to have the sacred sight, or darshan, of Guru Gobind Singh jee. Joining his hands together he greeted Guru jee and was asked, “Baba jee, I haven’t seen you for some time, what made you remember me today?”

Baba Jee -“Guru jee, bless me with the gift of amrit.”

Guru Jee -“Baba Ram Kaur jee, you are a Brahm-gianee, the same as God, what need is there for you to receive amrit?”

Baba Jee -“Yesterday I saw the dog catchers poison the dogs without collars and spare the dogs with collars. I thought both are dogs, but some were spared some were killed. The dog catcher told me that if a dog with a collar is killed then the master will come and make a report against them. O Guru jee that greatly affected my mind, just because I’m a Brahm-gianee it doesn’t mean I don’t need a Guru. I realised the ones who’ve received amrit will be protected by you in the true court. Bless me with amrit Guru jee.”

Guru Gobind Singh jee told Bhai Daya Singh jee to prepare for the amrit ceremony.

Baba Ram Kaur jee was from the same lineage as Baba Budda jee, he received amrit and became Baba Ram Kaur Singh jee.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji and why take amrit:

Sikhs said to Guru Gobind Singh jee, “What’s the need to receive amrit? We are always performing your service and everyone can see we that we are Sikhs.”

Guru jee said “Wait for your answer.”

A Sikh came and donated a gold jewel for Guru jee’s waist band. Guru jee said, “Call the jeweller, I want to know if it is real gold."

All the Sikhs said, “Guru jee no-one would dare donate fools gold to the Guru, its plain to see that it is gold.”

Guru jee said, “I need to know for sure that it is pure gold.”

The Jeweller came and looked at it and said it looks like gold.

Guru jee repeated, “I need to know for sure that it is 100% gold.”

The jeweller went to get his touchstone, by touching the gold on it there was a positive reaction. The jeweller certified the jewel as being 100% gold.

Guru jee said, “O Sikhs, you asked me what’s the point of receiving amrit when its already obvious that you are all Sikhs. Receive amrit and prove that you are 100% Sikhs. Amrit is my touchstone.”