Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Women's role in promoting Turban

Womanforlk can play a vital role in reviving the glory of sikhism viz a viz the hair and turban. They can rear their kids in the fine atmosphere of Sikh way of living, educate them about the salient principles of the faith and practise them by doing special efforts day in and day out. These concerted efforts would defintiely strengthen the foundations of the kids as far as sikh way of life is concerned. Once they are firmed in their sikh routine, they become strong enough to bear any adverse storm unhesitentily.
Similarly, the sisters and wives can impress upon their brothers and parteners not to discard their Sikhi Saroop which we received by the great
Gurus who did every sacrifice for us and for our glorious living as a proud sikh.
If any mother under the whim of fashion cuts the hair of her young son, she is not less than of a Wazir Khan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, Zakria Khan, Massa Ranghar or Meer Mannu. If they wanted to annihilate Sikhs through their swords, their 'sister' in the garb of 'Sikhi Saroop' is doing the same role through her scissors. So young fashionable mothers of sikh kids in no way should indulge in destroying their own nation with their own hands. History would not pardon such murderers. Save the community, save the pious traditions, save the spiritual richness by saving Sikh dignity and form. Help raising sikh standards.
Guru Gobind Singh would definitely bless all of us if we take care of his Sikhi which is so dear to him, to us and to the world at large. Our this action would keep at rest this taunt which is being said and heard everywhere that Sikhs have a magnificient and glorious past, confused and shaky present, uncertain and wavy future. Therefore, every sikh should keenly adopt strong and solid measure to save Sikhi in his own home so as to weaken the impact of the onslaught of apostasy. This is the only way which can save turban, signifying pride of Sikh way of life and sikh existance.
We should also keenly rise above our fads and whims, personal gains and glorifications and unite under the command of Akal Takhat. Everyone of us should eanestly act and pray that all the sacrifices made by the nation since its inception, all the selfless services rendered globally for the last five centuries, and all the dynamism shown by the towering turban and sikh traditions and all the glory, royality instilled within the fibers fo the grandeur of a turban may serve to unite the sikh nation towards the highest and noblest service to the huninity. No more lethargy, sluggishness or slackness is acceptable because every moment lost is lost forever, which simply aggrevates the already deplorable state of affairs.
We should clearly bear in mind that multifaceted pollution is engulfing the human existance veru rapidly. If the inhabitants of present century want to counter act this dangerous tendency quite effectively, everyone of us irrespective fo religious commands and other considerations should realize the HAIR POWER and develop a living and vibrating sence of HAIR CARE and protection of hair through turbans.

Source: 'The Turbans' by Dr. Sarup Singh Alag Phd., D.Litt, U.S.A.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bhai Mardana

In last Sunday’s Diwaan; a renowned Guru's Kirtania and Kathakaar Bhai Ajit Singh Ji Alankari told touching saakhies of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s great Sikhs – Bebe Naanaki, Bhai Mardana and Rai Bulaar. I would like to share what I learnt about Bhai Mardana ji.

Bhai Mardana, who has known to spend 54 years of his life in Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s company, belonged to a cline of BARDS known in those days as MIRASIS. They commanded a very high respect in all communities throughout the Northern India. A 'Mirasi' was supposed to be the custodian of 'MIRAS' i.e. The Heritage. They would orally recite long poems about the ancestral heritage of a particular family at the time of birth, marriage and death and indeed on all occasions of celebrations both locally and widespread. The cultural degeneration of Indians, especially Panjabi heritage defamed the title 'Mirasi' and reduced its connotation to a beggar poet.

Mardana was born in 1459 at the village of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, district Shekhupura (Pakistan). This makes him ten years older than Guru Nanak His father's name was 'Badra' and mother's name was 'Lakho'. It is said that Lakho had six (or some say five) children who had died during birth, and she named this seventh child as 'Marjana'( the one who dies), but Guru Nanak started calling him 'Mardana', meaning 'Marda - Na'(the one who wouldn't die). This is the mystery of this name. Principal Satbir Singh wrote that his name was 'Dana' but after meeting Guru Nanak, Guru Ji named him 'Mardana', gives another version of his name. He was very pure of nature; hence Guru Ji loved him very much and always kept him alongside.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji established the 'Rebabi' tradition in Sikhism. It is written in the 'Janamsakhi', that after a considerable search for the 'right sounding' Rebab, which could not be found anywhere, Guru Nanak sent Mardana to the house of Bhai Firanda of Bhairowal (Kapurthala). Bhai Firanda was an accomplished musician and was a carpenter by trade. He presented a special Rebab to Guru Nanak, which sounded like 'Tu hi Nirankar, tu hi Nirankar" (a divine melody in grace of the Almighty). Guru Ji was very much pleased with Bhai Firanda and bestowed upon him His boundless blessings.

We all know a number of very interested 'Sakhis'(stories) connected with Bhai Mardana on Guru Nanak's four Divine journeys. In short it can be said that Mardana was a most fortunate soul who benefited the heavenly presence of Guru Nanak, who according to the Bhatts (SGGSJ) was the re-incarnation of the Almighty. Mardana was not a mere musician but also a spiritually elevated soul.

This is where I got little confused when Bhai Sahib mentioned that three of Mardana’s hymns are included in the Adi Granth under Raag Bihagra. Mardana is the only Sikh disciple who was permitted to use Guru Nanak's name in his hymns. These hymns denounce drink that engenders evil passions and upholds meditation of the Divine Name that creates a spiritual inebriation.

For my understanding of Gurbani, on daily basis I read Guru Granth Darpan Teeka by Prof. Sahib Singh ji. I happened to read Raag Bihagra only a few days ago. Professor Sahib mentions that these are NOT hymns of Mardana but of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji as Bhai Mardana could use word ‘Nanak’ in his hymns. Let us see what sangat has to say about these saloks.

ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ੧ ॥
salok mardaanaa 1.
ਕਲਿ ਕਲਵਾਲੀ ਕਾਮੁ ਮਦੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਪੀਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
kal kalvaalee kaam mad manoo-aa peevanhaar.
The Dark Age of Kali Yuga is the vessel, filled with the wine of sexual desire; the mind is the drunkard.
ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਭਰੀ ਪੀਲਾਵਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥
kroDh katoree mohi bharee peelaavaa ahaNkaar.
Anger is the cup, filled with emotional attachment, and egotism is the server.
ਮਜਲਸ ਕੂੜੇ ਲਬ ਕੀ ਪੀ ਪੀ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥
majlas koorhay lab kee pee pee ho-ay khu-aar.
Drinking too much in the company of falsehood and greed, one is ruined.
ਕਰਣੀ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਸਤੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਰੁ ॥
karnee laahan sat gurh sach saraa kar saar.
So let good deeds be your distillery, and Truth your molasses; in this way, make the most excellent wine of Truth.
ਗੁਣ ਮੰਡੇ ਕਰਿ ਸੀਲੁ ਘਿਉ ਸਰਮੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥
gun manday kar seel ghi-o saram maas aahaar.
Make virtue your bread, good conduct the ghee, and modesty the meat to eat.
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਖਾਧੈ ਜਾਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥
gurmukh paa-ee-ai naankaa khaaDhai jaahi bikaar. ||1||
As Gurmukh, these are obtained, O Nanak; partaking of them, one's sins depart. ||1||

ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ੧ ॥
mardaanaa 1.

ਕਾਇਆ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਆਪੁ ਮਦੁ ਮਜਲਸ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਧਾਤੁ ॥
kaa-i-aa laahan aap mad majlas tarisnaa Dhaat.
The human body is the vat, self-conceit is the wine, and desire is the company of drinking buddies.
ਮਨਸਾ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਕੂੜਿ ਭਰੀ ਪੀਲਾਏ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ॥
mansaa katoree koorh bharee peelaa-ay jamkaal.
The cup of the mind's longing is overflowing with falsehood, and the Messenger of Death is the cup-bearer.
ਇਤੁ ਮਦਿ ਪੀਤੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਖਟੀਅਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥
it mad peetai naankaa bahutay khatee-ah bikaar.
Drinking in this wine, O Nanak, one takes on countless sins and corruptions.
ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਾਲਾਹ ਮੰਡੇ ਭਉ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥
Gi-aan gurh saalaah manday bha-o maas aahaar.
So make spiritual wisdom your molasses, the Praise of God your bread, and the Fear of God the meat you eat.
ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੨॥
naanak ih bhojan sach hai sach naam aaDhaar. ||2||
O Nanak, this is the true food; let the True Name be your only Support. ||2||
ਕਾਂਯਾਂ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਆਪੁ ਮਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਧਾਰ ॥
kaaNyaaN laahan aap mad amrit tis kee Dhaar.
If the human body is the vat, and self-realization is the wine, then a stream of Ambrosial Nectar is produced.
ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਮੇਲਾਪੁ ਹੋਇ ਲਿਵ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਭਰੀ ਪੀ ਪੀ ਕਟਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੩॥
satsangat si-o maylaap ho-ay liv katoree amrit bharee pee pee kateh bikaar. ||3||
Meeting with the Society of the Saints, the cup of the Lord's Love is filled with this Ambrosial Nectar; drinking it in, one's corruptions and sins are wiped away. ||3||

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The True Love - Love of Guru

We all talk about ‘Love’ but what is ‘Love’. Is love, affection and attachment are transposable in our lives? While contemplating on this most frivolously used word I entered Gurdwara this Sunday, where Bhai Sahib Ajit Singh ji Alankari was doing Katha on the Vaar (Vaar 35 Pauri 20 ) of Bhai Gurdas ji . It was as if Guru himself was talking to me. Gurbani can only be understood fully through love. "Sach kahon sun leho sabai jin prem kio tin hee prabh paio." (All should listen to this truth that only those who love God can realize Him.)" and this ‘love’ is ‘Divine Love’ it is Truth; it is unconditional, it is ever-lasting.

pIau dy nwNh ipAwr quil nw PuPI nw ipqIey qwey]
peeo dhae naaneh piaar thul naa fufee naa pitheeeae thaaeae||

Bhai Gurdas ji talks about the depth of ‘Love of worldly our father’. He says that the love of a father is so in a child’s life that a child will always feel emptiness in his life if a father dies untimely death. This love can’t be replaced by love of Bhua (who is father’s real sister); Chacha (father’s real younger brother) or Taya (father’s real older brother). So there is no parallel to father’s love for his child.

mwaU hyqu n pujnI hyqu n mwmy mwsI jwey]
maaoo haeth n pujanee haeth n maamae maasee jaaeae||

Of All Worldly Loves, The Love Of The Mother Is The Highest. If one wishes to find out the meaning of love, ask a child who has lost his mother. Mother’s love can’t be comensated by love of Massi (who is mother’s real sister); Mame (mother’s real brothers) or their off-springs.

AMbw sDr n auqrY Awix AMbwkVIAW jy Kwey]
anbaa sadhhar n outharai aan anbaakarreeaaan jae khaaeae||

Bhai Sahib further equates mother’s love to love of mangoes (only those who have sucked on them till the seed is white can understand this example). If we are eating something and after chewing it for sometime we spit it out. If we are asked to put it back in our mouth and eat it, we woun’t. But mango fruit is the only thing that we take out of our mouth again and again and keep sucking on it. The taste(love) never ends.

Mother’s love is like a mango, which can’t be compensated by eating kachiyaan ambiyaan (unripe mango fruit or tamrind).

siqguru quil n imhrvwn mwq ipqw n dyv sbwey]
sathigur thul n miharavaan maath pithaa n dhaev sabaaeae||

ifTy sBy Toik vjwey]
ddithae sabhae thok vajaaeae||

Bhai sahib at the end of this pauri warns us that none of these relations and their love holds any value in front of love of kind and generous SatGuru. If one does not believe it then one may put the all kinds of love to test. Rare are those who pass the test of love for Guru, yet He loves unconditionally. His love is constant.

Love without expectation (True Love) does not exist in worldly life. Mother’s love being the highest is still is a relative love subject to increase and decrease, and has its limitations. True Love does not increase or decrease, but worldly love does. Only Divine love is constant. Real love can never be found in this worldly life. Real love is divine. Real love begins the moment one begins to understand the Self. Pure love, real love exists where there is no selfishness; when there are no feelings of ‘yours-mine’. It is because of this ignorance of the self, that people have feelings of ‘this is mine and this is yours’. When one acquires Giyaan (knowledge of the Self), one ceases to have feelings of ‘mine and yours’. However, this is difficult for one to understand. There is no love in the external world. What the world calls love is nothing but infatuation and attraction. Real love resides within and near the one who has known the Self in all splendor and glory. This love is God and God is love.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Month of Love

February is a month of love and what better way is there to celebrate this month than to realize the awesome power this ‘love’ beholds. Love can turn our lives around, makes us do things we would never dream of, and forces us to give away our entire lives. Few years back I wrote the 10 reasons why my husband is the love of my life; those ten reasons revolved around him just as a husband. But with Waheguru’s apaar kirpa he is more than just a husband – he is a son that every mother is proud of, he is a brother that every sister counts on, he is a husband that every woman dreams of, he is friend that any person needs, he a sangat that every Gursikh seeks company of, he is the daddy that every child deserves. So I dedicate this month to him. Here are 51 reasons (out of endless reasons); why I love him so deeply.

  1. God and family are his top priorities.
  2. He has been sent by the Waheguru ji in so many ways to make me a better person.
  3. His hugs are the warmest, most genuine hugs ever given.
  4. He thinks I’m beautiful no matter what state I’m in.
  5. He encourages me to be my best.
  6. He is the constant in my life.
  7. He loves me more than I deserve.
  8. Only he can fix my broken heart.
  9. He is handsome and irresistible.
  10. He is never stinky...he takes second shower before evening Nitnem
  11. He is not afraid to cry or become vulnerable in my presence.
  12. He is extremely intelligent, but doesn’t take himself too seriously.
  13. He has put up with me faithfully for 13 years.
  14. And that makes him a Saint!
  15. He is great both with money & me.
  16. He is the first one to ask “Ki haal hai?” when we meet after work.
  17. He promises to cook aaloo-gobhi on every mother’s day.
  18. He never fails to compliment what I cook for the family.
  19. He actually wears the clothes I purchase for him J
  20. He does dishes without me asking/requesting him.
  21. He has a great sense of humor.
  22. He is very supportive.
  23. He takes wonderful care of us.
  24. He smells good. Oh, I already said he is never stinky
  25. He is my memory bank, when I don’t have any
  26. He is tender.
  27. He works really hard.
  28. He has an incredible work ethic.
  29. He is sensitive
  30. He reads my ever-flowing in e-mails (during his precious time at work) and even my blog….occasionally.
  31. Takes good care of his health; means healthy eating and exercise.
  32. He is definitely "manly".
  33. He is a great Daddy.
  34. “He loves my mommy, my sisters and me” ( I got that from our son’s journal)
  35. He teaches by example.
  36. He is gentle in speach.
  37. He has a dimple that our daughter inherited
  38. He is great with kids in problem-solving & making them laugh.
  39. He is very protective.
  40. “He is my Hero” ( got this from our daughter’s journal)
  41. He loves to bike with our children.
  42. He helps with the children in any and every way; more than any other dad I know.
  43. He helps with their education...(great with Math and Science)
  44. He does not watch football/cricket on Sundays.
  45. He is a wonderful role model to our son.
  46. My older daughter looks just like him and she is beautiful.
  47. My younger daughter got his eyes & dimple…and she is beautiful too!
  48. He is indispensable for our family.
  49. I love him more than I did the day I married him.
  50. He has called me "Prabhjot" since we met...LOVE that!!!
  51. I keep this one to whisper in his ear.