Friday, April 29, 2011

Sandesh to Makhan Shah Lobana Gurduara managment....from Misl Amrika

I haven't blogged in a while.  Couldn't resist on this one.
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ!I 

This is a local North American matter.  We don't need to look to Akal Takhat for this.  Reminds me of a speech of the Late Baba Jarnail Singh where he said something to the effect of "Someone is raping your sisters in broad daylight, someone is blatantly disrespecting your Guru Ganth Sahib and you are asking - "Babaji please give us the hukam"... What kind of hukam do you need from a Babaji - isn't it logical what you need to do?".

Similar is the case here.  Haumai intoxicated neo-masands have created a mockery of the Darbar of the Guru and people are trying to figure out what we should do.  "...isn't it logical what we need to do?"  

Facebook discussion and other blogs have rightfully pointed out that there are only two major reasons why this is happening.  1) Money and 2) Caste affiliation.  

So I think that the North American Sikh community should come together (in the form of a united front of different organizations like WSC-AR, AGPC, Sikh Coalition, Saldef, United Sikhs, SikhRI, SYANA other gurduaras, camps, youth groups) and demand the following from the Sikh sangat of North America as well as the members of this Makhan Shah Lobana Gurduara and its management.  It would be sort of a "sandesh from Misl Amrika to all Guru Nanak Nam Leva Sikhs of the region":

1. All Guru Nanak Nam leva Sikhs to immediately stop providing any funds (even matha tek in the golak) at Makhan Shah Lobana Gurduara of Richmond Hill, NY.
2. Immediate declaration of a "sangat sanctioned" tankhaia (as mentioned no need to go to Akal Takhat for this - this is a local matter) to all those arrested as well as the current and previous members of the management.
      a. As a condition of revoking their tankhah each member should wear a garland of shoes and sit outside on the sidewalk of the Gurduara in full view of public for 8 hours a day for 30 days
      b. They should read, recite and introspect on the bani of Guru Granth Sahib for 2 hours a day
      c.  Personally contribute $100 a day for 30 days to homeless shelters in the NYC area.
3. This sandesh demands that the management of Makhan Shah Lobana Gurduara immediately take out 10% of the funds that they have in the bank or golak and distribute it in cash or kind to homeless shelters across New York City - immediately.
4. Additional 10% of funds must be distributed immediately in equal portions to the top three Sikh organizations operating in the New York area - 5 well established, non-aligned members of the community (Panj Piare) can decide which those organizations will be.
5. Demand that on an ongoing basis 15% of the annual Gurduara budget be used for educational purposes - scholarships, Khalsa school class activities/curriculum, etc.  Also to be decided by 5 well established and non-aligned members of the community (Panj Piare).
6. Finally - all Guru Nanak Nam Leva Sikhs of the New York Region should join a campaign to drop their last-name or caste-affiliation in a public and legal manner - flood the local courts with name change documents.  Within 3 months time 50% of the population of Sikh families in New York area should be caste-affiliation/last-name free and only have Singh for males and Kaur for female.

Something like this is what will start to bring a halt to this despicable behavior.  Who is up to make this happen?

Carhdi Kala!

Friday, November 05, 2010

BU Candlelight Vigil - November 7th, 2010

This tradition started many years ago at Boston University. Many times it is either snowing or raining, it is icy and cold, but the students push forward and regardless of the turnout do their best.

The annual Sikh Association of Boston University - November Candlelight vigil is being held on November 7th and I consider it my responsibility and duty to humbly request (or re-request as you may have already gotten an email) that you, your family and friends (Sikhs and Non-Sikhs) to attend and show solidarity.

Here are some links that are interesting and provides good insight to how to respond in thought.

Realizing Freedom -
Remembering 1984 -

SABU, a microcosm of the next generation of Sikhs in North America - are responding with this program.

Carhdi Kala!


Subject: BU Vigil - Nov 7th.

Message from Sikh Association at Boston University:

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

As an annual tradition at Boston University, this year on Sunday,
November 7th, we will be holding a candlelight vigil for those
murdered in 1984. Let us not forget those who died 26 years ago.
Please join us for Shabad Kirtan, Speeches, the screening of Amu,
ardaas, prashad, and langar.

This event will be held at Marsh Chapel from 2 pm- 6 pm. We hope
you can make it and so that, as a community, we can remember the
innocent lives taken pre-maturely.

Guru Fateh!
SABU (Sikh Association at Boston Univeristy)
735 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great World Clock

Don't know how accurate and where the data comes from, but great categories for us to think about....


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miracle at Makindu

There are many stories that I have heard about the Makindu Gurduara in Makindu, Kenya. They all conclude in the fact that under some type of awkward circumstance, someone had a mystical vision (darshan) of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib on a horse. Some stories allude to a radiant light, some stories relate to floating images, some stories talk about a band of warriors in attendance.

Rarely is the fact emphasized that Makindu Gurduara is a professionally run Gurduara that has the facilities as all Gurduaras should - langar, rooms for visitors, kirtan, katha, hospital across the street etc. But never is the fact mentioned that the openness and humanity that is Makindu Gurduara is what makes it a miracle.

As it says: "The philosophy of Makindu Temple is that all races come together to experience the sanctity of humanity in a holy sanctuary."

That is the Miracle at Makindu. Not ghosts or images or flying horses and warriors.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sikh Youth Scholarship - Educate, Encourage, Inspire

This Sikh Youth Scholarship program is a grass roots, youth organized and operated scholarship program. Provides needs based assistance to high school seniors in the Tri-State (NY, NJ and CT) area initially with hopes to expand nationwide in the future.

So - it is dasvand distribution time people. Goto the following web page - - which then in turn will send you off to the donation page of the Sikh Research Institute where you can choose "Sikh Youth Scholarship Initiative".

I can foresee 100 people donating 50 dollars each. That is plenty of funds for what these young Sikhs are trying to do in order to help our their younger brothers and sisters.

Repeat - 100 people, $50 each - in 2 weeks from today that is $5000. Please support them!

Carhdi Kala!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The lover of nature - Guru Harrai Sahib ji

Cross linked to the article in The Langar Hall I thought it would be appropriate to resurrect a humble tribute to our seventh Master that I wrote in 2004. Its rainy outside, trees are still in their blossom stage, the air is surprisingly fresh and the sweet scent of the lilacs by our windows is truly amazing. Lately I have also noticed different and rare birds in our wetlands in the back. All this "should" remind me of my responsibility to appreciate, protect and nurture my natural surroundings.



One Creative Power, Truth, Obtained by Grace of the Guru

Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Vahiguru Ji Ki Fateh,

Today, 19 Maghi, Nanakshahi 535 (31 January, CE 2004), we Sikhs celebrate the birth anniversary of our Master, Nanak VII – Guru Har Rai ji.

Any cursory reading of the life of Guru Har Rai ji will reveal the following about his personality: tender, merciful and compassionate. At the same time he kept, as per Guru Hargobind Sahib ji’s instructions, an army of 2,200 warriors. He was an avid hunter and a great social thinker.

Max Arthur Macauliffe, in the book The Sikh Religion, writes: “In the afternoon the Guru used often to gird on his sword, equip himself with his bow and arrows, mount his horse, and then proceed to the chase……The Guru took some of the animals he had obtained from the chase home with him, and freed and protected them in a zoological garden, which he caused to be made for the recreation of his followers.”

Zoological garden? Recreation of his followers? When was the last time any of us felt a sense of thrill and enjoyment going to the natural history museum or the Toronto zoo (is there a Toronto zoo?). When was the last time any Sikh organization or Sikh philanthropist thought of setting up a sanctuary for animals or a museum to celebrate our natural history? Something to think about……

Principal Satbir Singh, in his appropriately titled book (punjabi) on the life of Guru Har Rai ji – Nirbhao Nirvair – writes that the Guru would sit in the sangat and listen to the recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib and then listen to the rababi style of gurmat sangeet kirtan everday. Everyday he would sit in the pangat and partake in langar, but made it a point to earn his living (kirt di kamai).

Everyone must have heard of this one: One day Aurangzeb, in an attempt to ensure that the Mughal throne would be his own, poisoned his elder brother Dara Sikhon with “crushed tiger whiskers”. Dara Sikhon was apparently quite a pious and spiritual man and became very ill because of the poisoning. No hakim (traditional south asian medicine man) was able to find a cure to his illness. However, Guru Har Rai ji had a very advanced (for its time) dispensary full of exotic medicinal herbs and it became evident that the Sikh Nation had the cure to Dara’s illness. Shah Jahan, the emperor and father of Dara Sikhon, had to eventually humbly request the herbs in order to save his son. Guru Sahib, the compassionate, agreed and thus Dara was cured and eventually became a shagird (disciple) of the Guru.

Finally, I learnt from all the sources I read about the Guru’s life that he had a favorite var of Bhai Gurdas ji (the poet laureate and par excellence Sikh theologian) that he would repeat to the Sikhs very often. Guru Sahib’s choice of this var, as a teaching utility of the philosphy of the House of Nanak, really intrigued me. So simple and straightforward to understand, yet so difficult and challenging to follow. It is var 28, pauri 15 and goes like this:

A Sikh awakes in the pre-dawn hour and enshrines the merits of nam and compassion

(A Sikh) speaks civilly, is humble and happily does good to others after having earned with their own hands

(A Sikh), according to the Guru’s instruction, sleeps, eats and speaks moderately.

(A Sikh) toils to earn a living, performs good deeds and does not let success go over the top of the head

(A Sikh) walks for days and nights in search of the company of those that sing the Guru’s word, and sings with them!

(A Sikh) keeps his/her consciousness merged in the sabad and maintains love for the true Guru

(A Sikh) amid hopes and desires, remains detatched

Hail to Guru Har Rai ji, our seventh Master, the seventh embodiment of Guru Nanak’s jot, the compassionate one, the inspiration of the downtrodden, the keeper of the zoological sanctuary, the lover of nature, the lover of things natural and scientific. May his life be a model for us to follow.

Remain in Chardhi Kalaa

Inderpreet Singh


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sultan ul Quam - happy birthday!

Today is the birth anniversary of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluvalia [Jassa Singh belonging to the village of Ahlu].

Interestingly no so called "panthak" media ever writes anything about him. Long time ago Tribune Newpaper (India) did an article on him, and also today there was an article on him by a different contributor to the Sunday Tribune.

Article in 2005 by Sumant Dhamija :

Article today by titled "Sultan of Courage" by Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia:

However to get a great background on this great Sikh general, warrior, kirtania, activist you must read - "Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia" by Prof. Ganda Singh, Publication Bureau, Punjabi University Patiala, 1990 First Edition. (This was originally written in Punjabi by Ganda Singh and this one I am referring to is the english translation by Dr. Sant Singh Bal)

I can't but resist to type this out. Beginning of Chapter 30 "The qualities and Nature of S. Jassa Singh and his contribution to Punjab":
"S. Jassa Singh was handsome, with a vigorous and strong body. He was tall, and his complexion was wheatish but bright, with a broad head, full eyebrows and a downward tilt, penetrating, large eyes, and a full beard. His chest was broad and his arms were so long that when he was in the standing posture, they touches his knees, and his voice was so slentorian that even when he spoke in a low tone, it was audible to the peole standing at a distance.

S. Jassa Singh's breakfast consisted of one seer of butter and a quarter seer of mishri (condensed sugar). He had his lunch regularly, and it is a measure of his physical strength and health that he could easily digest half a goat or so. His body was well built and heavy, and he was so active, tough and strong in riding that no horse would bear his weight for more than six months. He was an expert swordsman and bowman. Very few Sardars would match him in this field. Many of the arrows carried his name or symbol. In firing a gun he was a great marksman; in the battle-field he invariably led the army, and wherever he was needed, he would give a kick to his horse and reach there. He was not in favor of wearing iron armour because he thought that after wearing such a heavy steel dress a rider could neither attack the enemy swiftly and suddently, nor effecta quick escape. For his defense hedepended exclusively on God.

His dress was essentially sky-blue. He tied his turban in the Mughal style. Over his shirt he wore a buttoned jacket followed by a belt and a short sword, and he had a big slying under garment and tight wrinkled trowsers. he would wear a large sword and other requisite weapons in his belt, along with a short sword."
A couple of other intersting tidbits
"...among the Missaldar Sardar, he was the only person who could be regarded as literate according to the tradition of the time. [In the beginning] he only spoke Urdu; and this used to amuse his Sikh brethren. Gradually he switched over to Punjabi but the influence of Urdu and Persian remained intact till the very end of his life"
And every morning in the camps what did he do:
"...He would take a round early in the morning to see whther the Singhs were reciting Gurbani or not. At this time if he saw the Muslim servants lying asleep, he would hold them by their hands, rouse them and ask them to recite namaz and remember God. There were clear instructions for the Sikh Sardars to have the kirtan (collective singing) of Asa ki var regularly."
Man, I wish we had leaders like him today. Wait...we need to become leaders like him today.

Happy Birthday Sardar Jassa Singh ji!!

Carhdi kala!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Violent Deaths and Enforced Disappearances...

Once again ENSAAF comes through with a ground breaking paper that provides ample quantitative evidence/proof of the atrocities committed by the machinery of the Indian state against innocent people of Panjab.

Dear family, friends and acquaintances - this year 2009 is 25 years since the June '84 and Nov '84 attacks against Sikhs and Sikh institutions. We celebrated 300 of the Khalsa in 1999, 400 years since first Prakash of Adi Granth in 2004, 300 years of Gurgaddi of Guru Granth Sahib ji in 2008. Many more anniversaries and centenniels will come and go. The 25th anniversary of atrocities will also come and go.

I simply humbly ask that you read about the events to be "aware" and that you support organizations like ENSAAF (financially and morally) that are working hard to set the record straight (at the least) and gain "justice" for the innoncent victims all for the hope that such events won't happen again to us nor to any other group or community in India or the rest of the world. I ask that we at least change our attitude and be concerned, very concerned about our past, present and future.

I also ask everyone to join in Ardas of thanks and hope. Thanks to Vahiguru for giving our community hard working lawyers like Jaskaran Kaur and Jasmine Kaur (our sisters who spent time in Cambridge, MA at Harvard) and Sukhman Singh (young energetic man spending months in Panjab helping with data collection and legal cases) and ardas for hope that they continue their work with an attitude of confidence and perserverance. (Read about the staff of ENSAAF here:

Carhdi Kala!

Inderpreet Singh

Next CTO of the United States

Red Herring, a well known technology magazine, has a blog. While browsing it I noticed a poll for who should be the CTO for Obama's administration. Many well known names on the list. I think it is not surprising that Bill Gates is winning at those polls. I am also pretty sure that his amazing philanthropic transformation has made him a well admired personality among technologists. I think he would never accept the job, but would make a good CTO for USA. Go vote at the poll, let's see what the people think:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Basic Postulates - the Sikh Agenda

Here is an excerpt from a very famous document of the Sikh community...can anyone guess where it is from and what year it was written?  

It is a far cry from the current Shiromani Akali Dal agenda don't you think?

But never the less it is a great starting point for the non-political aspirations of the Sikhs.  Note that political aspirations have to go hand in hand as well.

----begin excerpt----


1. The Shiromani Akali Dal is the very embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of the Sikhs and as such is fully entitled to its representation. The basic postulates of this organization are human co-existence, human welfare and the ultimate unity of all human beings with the Lord.
2. These postulates are based upon the three great principles of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, namely Nam Japo, Kirat Karo, and Vand Chhako, i.e. meditation on God's Name, honest labor, and sharing the fruits of this labor with the needy.

The Shiromani Akali Dal shall ever strive to achieve the following aims:
1. Propagation of Sikhism, its ethical values and code of conduct to combat atheism.
2. Preservation and keeping alive the concept of distinct and sovereign identity of the Panth and building up of appropriate condition in which the national sentiments and aspirations of the Sikh Panth will find full expression, satisfaction and facilities for growth.
3. Eradication of poverty and starvation through increased production and more equitable distribution of wealth as also the establishment of a just social order sans exploitation of any kind.
4. Vacation of discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or any other ground in keeping with basic principles of Sikhism.
5. Removal of disease and ill health, checking the use of intoxicants and provision of full facilities for the growth of physical well-being so as to prepare and enthuse the Sikh Nation for the national defense. 

For the achievement of the aforesaid purposes, the Shiromani Akali Dal owned it as its primary duty to inculcate among the Sikh religious fervour and a sense of pride in their great socio-spiritual heritage through the following measures:
1. Reiteration of the concept of unity of God, meditation on His Name, recitation of gurbani, inculcation of faith in the holy Sikh Gurus as well as in Guru Granth Sahib and other appropriate measures for such a purpose.
2. Grooming at the Sikh Missionary College the Sikh youth with inherent potential to become accomplished preachers, ragis, dhadis and poets so that the propagation of Sikhism, its tenets and traditions and its basic religious values could be taken up more effectively and vigorously.
3. Baptizing the Sikhs on a mass scale with particular emphasis on schools and colleges wherein the teachers as well as the taught shall be enthused through regular study circles.
4. Revival of the religious institution of dasvandh among the Sikhs.
5. Generating a feeling of respect for Sikh intellectuals including writers and preachers, who also would be enthused to improve upon their accomplishments.
6. Streamlining the administration of the gurdwaras by giving better training to their workers. Appropriate steps would also be taken to maintain gurdwara building in proper condition. The representatives of the party in the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee would be directed to pull their weight towards these ends.
6. Making suitable arrangements for error free publications of gurbani, promoting research in the ancient and modern Sikh history, translating holy gurbani into other languages and producing first-rate literature on Sikhism.
7. Taking appropriate measures for the enactment of an All India Gurdwaras Act with a view to improving the administration of the gurdwaras throughout the country and to reintegrate the traditional preaching sects of Sikhism like Udasis and Nirmalas, without in any way encroaching upon the properties of their maths.
8. Taking necessary steps to bring the Sikh gurdwaras all over the world under a single system of administration with a view to running them according to the basic Sikh forms and to pool their resources for the propagation of Sikhism on a wider and more impressive scale.
9. Striving to free access to all those holy Sikh shrines, including Nanakana Sahib, form which the Sikh Panth has been separated, for their pilgrimage and proper upkeep.
----end excerpt----

Monday, January 12, 2009

Culinary arts - coffee

Coffee shop in Cambridge, MA.  How do they do that?

Symbols, preachers, attitude of life...

Once again, a random reading from the book Spirit Born People rises in me a deluge of dreams and thoughts. The major question that has been bugging me is that what can be done different this year, 2009 CE, 540 and 541 N.S. (in the context of Sikhs)? Let's not forget it is the 25th Anniversary of the events that occured in the year that will live in infamy for the Sikhs (umm...yeah..1984). Many are already busy planning yet another "Memorial" and "salana" probably though not with such pomp and energy as "300 sal guru de nal...". What should we, the Panth, focus on in our educational projects, our attempts at doing good for the community and the world. Should we fix our own house first before we start trying to fix the world? Does that have to go hand in hand? Too many questions and too many potential answers.

Is it not shameful that we go an auction our Beloved for the fun of preaching a sermon that has but one effect of causing hatred between man and man? Because of my personal love of my Beloved, I should be so radiant that my radiance should conceal me and my Beloved from all. And yet my radiance should be a revelation of Him, as is the fragrance of the rose. It is certainly a tiresome futility for us to go impressing on the busy world of today that unless they keep long hair and wear turbans they cannot understand the Guru. The Guru is already diffusing his mind in the world-mind and if, like other theologians and priests, we strive to force upon them our particular theology and rites and symbols we shall certainly fail. As the shape of the nose and ear and eye cannot be limitations for the ecstasy of the soul, so no symbol, no rite, no particular form, no particular virtue or vice can impede the inner realization of the great ideals of the Guru. But as the mystic expressional types of the Guru's mind, we have to roam in this world and spread the fragrance of the Guru with the braid-knot he gave us, and the flowing beards. Our shapes indeed can, in no sense, be considered symbols. But more important is the expression of the Sikh soul through their medium, and if that expression is lacking, our very life and body, whether our head be dressed or clean-shaven, are meaningless superstitions. To a person given to religion, as one given to intense human love, trifles relating to the soul are more essential than the realms of silver and gold. Surely for such people the very superstitions contain more reflections of truth than the gathered facts of the learned people of the world. If one who is at peace and fully intoxicated on those delectable heights closes his eyes in exstacy, this closing of his eyes is no symbol of religion and yet, in a sense, it is. So should be with us Sikhs, the wearing of His knot, His beard, His shape and His obedience. Our form and shape of the Guru will radiate with His inspired and extraordinary humanity. Lacking that one thing, all shall be lacking. Without that spirit within us both life and death are devoid of meaning and truth.
Excerpt from Prof. Puran Singh, Spirit Born People, "Internationalism and the Sikhs"
Couple of things
  • Prof. Puran Singh refers to the "busy world of today..." in this excerpt. Can you imagine the difference in perception of "busy" in 2009 vs. early 1900's when he may have written this.
  • Regarding the attitude of those that "live in His image" or don the 10th Masters articles of faith...without the inspiration of the Guru and the extraordinary humanity it represents, its donning is lacking any meaning and truth. That's a tough one to swallow but true. In this arena I am convinced that it is a progression that goes on hand in hand. As we delve into sabad whilst wearing the articles of faith - the loving attitude that we must have of wearing them becomes manifest. The more we love our image and the gifts/articles, the more the urge to delve into sabad. This has been my experience.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spirit Born...random excerpts

Random excerpts from Prof. Puran Singh:

What is this Spirit Born People?
This ideal group of Spirit-born people, which has been the dream and art creation of Guru Nanak, was named Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh, who he declared as his Son, his own image, the reflection of the Guru-personality, born of his blood. The Commune was named the `Khalsa Panth', which the Guru planted as the Root of the' Kingdom of Righteousness' in the garden of Anandpur, the City of Joy, to be the Ideal future International State of man. By creating the Khalsa, the Guru has given birth to a New Race, with a universal religion of faith in man and fired it with the spiritual
passion for progress....
Note in this paragraph - I have known it for some time, but many don't understand the implications - Akbar became a Brahmin...

Four hundred years ago the inhabitants of the Punjab were all slaves. The invaders that came by the Khyber Pass, destroyed by the sword all Indian hopes of ever becoming a self-governing nation. Foreign invasions showed the hollowness of the creed that was holding the people of India in its clutches of caste and colour and dual differences. What could the invaders have achieved if the will to die for freedom were there in the soul of India? Then the Moghuls settled down, Akbar became a Brahmin, Aurangzeb a mere dreamer of a Muslim Empire, and Bahadur Shah a singer of rhymes that the dancing girls sang. Islam with its sword, found its grave in India. What is the Indian Mussalman today but a Hindu who hates `others'? Perhaps in the whole of India today, one cannot find a group of people that can so continuously suffer for an ideal as the Sikhs.

The Spirit Born survive only as a Sikh Nation...

Humble labourers while digging the earth, while ploughing, while on horse-back, were in deep unison with the God of Humanity. A new spiritual culture was being nurtured in the homes of the dust-laden peasantry of the Punjab. It was the culture of simple humanity with a Godward tendency; it was the culture of spontaneous God-head flowering in essential humanity. The God ward tendency _ being Gurmukh, with face turned to the Guru -was the simple religion of the Sikh masses. And those who were full of the Guru, His Truth, His Fire, were the true representatives of the Sikh People -the Sikh Nation.

The Confluence of Faith, Courage and Discipline

What - Sidak - a unique learning experience on Sikh theology, culture and lifestyle
Where - San Antonio, TX
When - July 13th through July 26th

Please check out the video below. I want to seriously recommend this program to all the readers of this blog. There are still some open spots so simply contact for the information and hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

3 Interesting Youngsters! The Singhs of Palo Alto

Kudos to the kids' parents, family, friends, community and of course the Guru. I have never heard Killen before but his questioning style really brings out the dynamism and eloquence of the kids.

I pray that the Guru blesses them with the continuity of excellence in all spheres of life.

Very cool!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The comforting shawl of faith

Is it not an amazing fact that in the first embodiment the Great Guru discards the Hindu’s sacred thread (janeu) and literally reprimands the ritualistic Brahmin. Then in the ninth embodiment the Great Guru gives up his earthly life to protect the right to freedom of faith and religion. It so happened that the religion he was protecting was that of the Kashmiri Brahmins. Had it been Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Bahais or any other faith, rest assured Guru Teghbahadur would have done exactly the same thing. He would have similarly challenged the ruling elite – “Try me! If you can force me to convert, then you have won and can go ahead and convert the others”.

The Guru’s purpose was to uphold Truth. Just like his grandfather, Nanak V, Guru Teghbahadur felt it more important to stand up and challenge oppression rather than seek favor and save his own skin. Another phenomenal fact was that the Guru’s inspired their disciples to do the same. Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dayala also chose to challenge the oppressor rather than save their own skin. They did that because for the Sikh earthly life and death are inconsequential. Living life as one of the Spirit Born and laughing at physical death is only possible in the sanctuary of the Guru. Living and continuously feeling the Divine is not an easy endeavor unless we hold the Guru’s robe and let the Master lead the way. Most of us fail at it because of this feeling that it is purely our “own endeavor”. Far from it. The effort required in the process of Spirit Born life is our own. Success at it is by Grace alone.

Today we commemorate the calling of the one we know as dharam di cadar - the Comforting Shawl of Faith - Guru Teghbahadur. In very simple language he calls upon us as well to follow him in the fight against oppression and the strength to fight for freedom of religion and faith – by being Guru-inspired. The question is, shall we listen and follow?

rwgu gauVI mhlw 9 ]

swDo mn kw mwnu iqAwgau ]
kwmu k®oDu sMgiq durjn kI qw qy Aihinis Bwgau ]1] rhwau ]
suKu duKu dono sm kir jwnY Aauru mwnu Apmwnw ]
hrK sog qy rhY AqIqw iqin jig qqu pCwnw ]1]
ausqiq inMdw doaU iqAwgY KojY pdu inrbwnw ]
jn nwnk iehu Kylu kTnu hY iknhUM gurmuiK jwnw ]2]1]

In Rag Gauri by Nanak IX

Oh my dear saintly people, do away with your selfish pride.
Make sure you never go near and always run away from the frustrations of uncontrollable lust, anger, and companionship with evil minded people.

Consider both happiness or sorrow, and honorable appellations or slanderous banter to be one and the same – that is, don’t be effected by them. It is the one who remains unaffected during times of joy as well as suffering that knows the essence of how to live in the world.

Forsake the need of being showered with praise as well as the urge to slander others. Instead pursue a life which ensures that you are in a state of being spirit born.
Serf Nanak proclaims, this is a difficult game. There are only a few who know this path because they dedicate their lives by being Guru-inspired.

The coming of Nanak

The Panth has not been able to agree on a fixed date for the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib. A section of the community insists that it be celebrated on the full moon day (puranmashi) of the month of Katak – but according to the Bikrami calendar. So, this year it actually falls on the 11th of Maghar according to the Nanakshahi calendar or 24th of November according to the Common Era calendar. By the way, 11th of Maghar is also the “fixed” date for the Shahidi gurpurab of our Beloved Nanak IX and his three jivan-mukt disciples (I will write more about that later).

On the topic of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary I thought I would share with you the words of a great scholar, commentator, philosopher, poet, administrator (he was the first jathedar of the Akal Takhat) and, in general, thought leader of the Sikhs. This is what Bhai Gurdas ji wrote about the coming of Guru Nanak many many years ago.

Imagine, if you will, walking in an area where one cannot see anything because of mist, dust, and darkness. Then suddenly the mist and dust clears and resplendent light shines bright. Imagine, if you will, a dark night with only the occasional twinkle of stars in the sky that may seem beautiful but really don't give aid to the direction of our walking path. Then suddenly the sun rises, the skies are bright and the sparkling stars are over taken by the bright shining light of the sun - now one can see where they are walking. Imagine, if you will, a jungle with quiet and calm deer munching along in the brushes and grass and suddenly the sovereign lion comes out of the trees and roars loudly communicating its presence. The deer scatter away in fear as the king of the jungle has come to establish its empire. That was the feeling when Guru Nanak came to this earth. Wherever the great Baba went, there was established a place of learning. All the hearts he touched became active with remembrance of the Divine and all the homes he visited became active with societal and community service. The pursuit of Truth became the passion for everyone and this revolution hit everywhere.

Such was the coming of Guru Nanak, the First Prophet of the Sikh Nation...

In this var Bhai Gurdas ji has established the uniqueness and the strength of the first Master of our Nation. The coming of Guru Nanak is best celebrated by understanding our place in world society. By understanding our scripture, practicing our way of life and living - not resting - on the laurels of our history.

Congratulations on the celebrations of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak - the First Prophet of the Sikhs.

Var 1, Pauri 27 - Varan Bhai Gurdas

siqgur nwnk pRgitAw imtI DuMD jg cwnx hoAw]
ijauN kr sUrj inkilAw qwry Cpy AMDyr ploAw]
isMG buky imrgwvlI BMnI jwey n DIr DroAw]
ijQY bwbw pYr DrY pUjw Awsx Qwpx soAw]
isD Awsx sB jgq dy nwnk Awd mqy jy koAw]
Gr Gr AMdr Drmswl hovY kIrqn sdw ivsoAw]
bwby qwry cwr ck nO KMf ipRQmI scw FoAw]
gurmuK kil ivc prgt hoAw ]

With the emergence of the true prophet Guru Nanak,

the mist cleared and the light scattered all around.
As if at the sun rise the stars disappeared and the darkness dispelled.
With the roar of the lion in the forest the flocks of escaping deer now cannot have endurance.
Wherever Baba Nanak put his feet, a religious place was erected and established.
All the sidh-places now have been renamed on the name of Nanak.
Every home has become a place of dharma where singing of hymns has become a daily liturgy.
Baba Nanak gave deliverance to all within the four directions and nine divisions of earth.
Gurmukh (Guru Nanak) has emerged in this kaliyug, the dark age.

Carhdi Kala

P.S. - Translation based on "Varan Bhai Gurdas - Text Transliteration and Translation - Dr. Jodh Singh"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sikhs are HOT

Pretty nice and to the point video by Sikh Coalition. you take credit for this...or did you just grace the video with your presence alone!?