Thursday, June 15, 2006

The King of Martyrs

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

We celebrated the 400th anniversary of Guru Sahib's (physical) shaheedi on the 31st of May. I meant to do a post on our beloved Guru Ji then but some other things came in the way unfortunately.

Mian Mir, the Muslim saint of Lahore, also went and contributed his sympathetic tears. He found Guru Jis body all blistered and suppurated, and requested his permission to appeal to the Emperor for his release and the punishment of his torturers. Guru Ji requested him to cast his eyes towards the heavens.
On doing so, Mian Mir saw angels begging Guru Jis permission to destroy the wicked and the proud. Mian Mir on beholding this supernatural vision asked Guru Ji, why when he possessed supernatural power, he consented to endure suffering at the hands of such vile sinners.

Guru Ji replied, 'I bear all this torture to set an example to the teachers of the true name, that they may not lose patience or rail at God in affliction. The true test of faith is in the hour of misery. Without examples to guide them ordinary persons' minds quail in the midst of suffering. In the second place, if he who possesseth power within him defend not his religion by the open profession thereof, the man who possesses no such power when put to the torture abjure his faith. The sin will light on the head of him who has the power but does not show it; and god will deem him an enemy of religion. In the third place, the body is naturally subjected to woe and weal, but not the spirit. The body is perishable, the soul is imperishable. To set aside by the exercise of supernatural power the law of nature which applies to all things perishable. and thereby to, engender pride in the heart, would be supreme folly.'
Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Killing the Five Evils: Overcoming Lust (Kaam) Part 5

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

This will be the final post on Kaam.

There is a parsang of Guru Nanak Dev Ji blessing gyan to Emperor Shivnaabh. Upon gaining the grace of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, the emperor asked Guru Sahib to bless him with gyaan and Guru Sahib at that time mentioned many different virtues which are important and Guru Sahib also told him to stay away from kaam, even in thoughts. Guru Sahib mentioned that there is kaam of 8 kinds, which takes steps and the ‘stages’ increase from one to the next if one fails to control the initial stage. Here is the exact passage from that Sri Guru Nanak Parkash:

First stage is of talking to one another about those of other sex. And the next stage occurs when one starts thinking of such talks by himself and others in his mind. Third stage occurs when one meets those of other sex in person. Fourth is when one touches the other person. Fifth is when s/he looks at others with an urging interest. Sixth is when that person touches the other with having lustful desires. Seventh is when that person constantly keeps on thinking of the other person in his mind. Eighth is when he fulfills the desires of his mind.

As we can see that the first few stages might not seem very objectionable but later on the stages start becoming obvious and if the person does happen to enter any of the final stages I believe that is when the person ruins everything up for himself.

So to save ourselves from such stages it’s important that we stay away from the early ones.

By: Saffajang Singh

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Killing the Five Evils: Overcoming Lust (Kaam) Part 4

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Ishq-e-Haqeeqi Vs Ishq-e-Mizaajee
As written by Bhai Nandlal jee, the majnoo of Vaheguru does not fall for a worldly beauty like Laila:
Our Guru Sahibaan expects his Sikh to be an Aashiq (premi, lover) not of a worldly beauty but of Vaheguru. In Siri Aasa kee Vaar, Siri Guru jee states:
(What kind aashiqee i.e. love is this, that permits to love someone else, other than your beloved Vaheguru?)
(Guru Angad Sahib writes that the true aashiq is so who stays forever merged in Vaheguru)
Look how high the ideal of love in Sikhi is and how lowly the worldly (ishq-e-mazaajee) love is. Gurmat preaches that we should be such lovers of Vaheguru that we should stay forever in his yaad (sweet rememberence).
Is there anything that the lovers of Vaheguru have not done for their love? The true aashiqs of Vaheguru have sat on red hot pans and had hot sand pour over them. They had their head severed in love for their beloved. They let the aggressors burn them alive in cotton but they did not even once let their love for their beloved one go down. They were cut in half. They were boiled alive. They were made to roll over the killer wheels.
The aashiqs of Vaheguru gave their lives at one signal from their beloved Guru. They had their skulls removed for their beloved. They had their children cut into pieces for their beloved one.
The aashiqs of Vaheguru spent their youths in jails but did not let their love go down. They kept their rehit intact and against all odds obeyed the hukam of their beloved.
This is what aashiqs of Vaheguru did. What did Vaheguru do in return? Vaheguru in return gave them immense bliss of Naam Rass and gave them everlasting spot in Sach Khand.
Now let us look at the lives of worldly aashiqs. They too sacrificed a lot. Kaiz who is popularly known as Majnoo gave up his royal status for Laila, his beloved. He went city to city for her and in the end perished in the deserts of Arabia. What did he get in return from Laila? Nothing substantial.
Ranjha, gave up Takhat Hazaara and for a dozen years worked as a servant for Choochak (father of Heer). He became a diwaana of Heer but what did Heer do in the end? She married someone else and left for her in-laws at Rangpur KheRa. Poor Dheedo (Raanjha) become a jogi.
Sassee perished in the desert for Punoo and Sohni pershised in river chanaa for Mahivaal. What did they get in return?
This way we can give several examples of failure of ishq-e-mizaajee. In the case of Laila Majnoo, what could have been the possible peak of this love? At the most Majnoo would have married Laila. So is this an everlasting relationship? Not according to baani.
On the other hand, Bhai Taaroo Singh jee had his skull removed by the Muslims, out of love for Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee. What did Bhai Taaroo Singh jee get in return? He already had Naam Rass and now he became one with Vaheguru and is now in Sach Khand with Vaheguru.
I don't have any doubts over the intentions of Raanjha and Majnoo. Even Bhai Gurdas jee has praised their spirit and hard work but the reality is that the end result of this love is not that great.
Reading baani we learn that the true aashiqs i.e. the Gursikhs of Guru Nanak Dev jee, succeed in getting good results out of their hard work. The worldly aashiqs too are of two categories - ones who are inspired by kaam (99%) and the ones inspired by love for soul e.g. Ranjha, Majnoo etc. The ones inspired by Kaam surely go to hell and the ones like Ranjha and Majnoo too cannot achieve anything high according to baani, because baani preaches that one gets what one aims for and if these guys Ranjha and Majnoo were to get their love, what would they really gain from that? At the most they may marry their love in the next life and then have children from them. Would it result in everlasting rest? No! It will surely put them back in chauraasee (8.4 million life forms). There will be no way out.
According to baani, only those ones, who become aashiqs of Vaheguru, get any real results for their hard work. Rest waste their time.
In the light of all this, is it not our duty to deliver ourselves by dying on the Amrit Naam of Satguru? Is it not our duty to never miss amritvela and during amritvela japp naam with full concentration?
May Guru Sahib make us his real aashiqs. Gurbani is calling out to us, to take precaution during our youth. During the youth time, there is high probability of making a mistake that can leave a scar on the life of Gursikh for rest of his life. It is not worth it.

By: Bhai Kulbir Singh

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Friday, June 09, 2006

Killing the Five Evils: Overcoming Lust (Kaam) Part 3

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈਆਂ ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਮਾਵਾਂ ਭੈਣਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

"Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters, (women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons)." (Var. 29, Pauri 11, Bhai Gurdas ji)

A Singh had rescued some Hindu Princess from the invaders. The princess was considered one of the most beatiful women in India. She along with others had been kidnapped to be taken back to Afghanistan and a Jatha of Singhs had rescued them.

The Singh that rescued her put her on his horse and began to take her back to her home. The Singh himself was very tall and strong and seeing his way of life on their journey, she asked that he not take her back and instead marry her.

The Singh paid no mind to her request and kept going and dropped her off and then returned to his Jatha.

When the other Singhs asked what had happend and he told them, one Singh asked, "Veer ji, she is considered the most beatiful woman in the North, did you not feel any desire or weakness on the journey or when she proposed to you?"

The Singh replied, "On one side before me stood a form made of mud, filled with filth and crumbling slowly with age. On the other side stood the eternal form of Dashmesh pita, glowing and forever present. What choice was there?"
Here are some other posts about Kaam which I encourage you to read: Panthic Otpreka,
Fighting Kaam, Shabad Kaam Maran Deh.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Killing the Five Evils: Overcoming Lust (Kaam) Part 2

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
The Emperor said to Satguru Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj, 'You are a very young man. Many beautiful women come to see you. It is extremely hard to subdue youthful passions. How do you O True King succeed in doing so?'
Satguru Ji said, 'Dear Brother, there was once a very religious and chaste man who had conquered his passions. A lewd and adulterous king used to wait on this man. The saint once asked him what desire he sought to gratify by his attention to him.

The King replied, 'I am a lustful man. I ever desire sexual pleasures and the gratification of all my desires.'
The Saint replied, 'Because of this enjoyment you have only eight more days of your life to live, which you may enjoy as you please. On the ninth day you will surely die.'
The King, was very worried and asked the saint if there was anything that he could do to avert his fate.
The Saint replied, 'Meditate on the name of Waheguru.'
The King, left the saint and hurried home..... He abandoned all worldly affairs, and so applied himself to devotion of the name of Waheguru so that all impure desires left his mind.
The ninth day came, and the King went to the Saint and informed him of how he had spent his time since their last meeting. The saint then said, that his life was saved by the power of his devotion and then asked him how he had abandoned sensuality.
The King replied, that it was through the fear of impending death....
The saint smiled, looked at the king and said, 'that is an answer to the question you asked. That is the way to avert your fate. You thought that you will die in eight days, so no evil desires entered your mind, while as for myself, I am not certain that that death will not come and seize me at any moment. On this account my mind is unswayed by passion.'
Satguru Ji then said, 'O Emperor Jahangir, there is no reliance to be placed on death; it comes like a thief when we expect it not to come. If a man had information, he would not allow things to be stolen from his house.'
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Killing the Five Evils: Overcoming Lust (Kaam) Part 1

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
People often say that the most detrimental of all mistakes a Sikh could make is to get involved in a relationship with the opposite sex. This doesn't necessarily mean being physically involved, but even something as "harmless" as developing feelings for another person outside of marriage can cost you everything. It seems almost impossible to recover after such a mistake. Even months and months later, there seems to be no escape in sight from all the damage it causes on a spiritual level.

There was once a young Singh, perhaps in his early 20's, who used to do sevaa in Punj Pyaaray with Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Jee. What a high avastha that youth must have had to do sevaa amongst such chardi kalaa Gursikhs. Bhai Sahib used to warn this youth to limit his interactions and communications with the opposite sex. He was warned to be careful and to talk to bibiaan less.

However, this youth, like many of us, probably gave himself a lot of credit. He probably doubted that he could fall prey to the enticement of maya and doubted he would be tempted by kaam.
But, lo and behold, he fell. And very badly, too. He committed such a grave mistake that warranted presenting himself before the Punj Pyaaray to seek forgiveness.
He traveled to a Smaagam to get peshed, but the Punj Pyaaray there told him to return to his hometown and get peshed there in a local Amrit Sinchaar. This youth however was extremely ashamed of his mistake and had too much pride to present himself before his local Sangat. So, instead of getting peshed and trying to continue on with his Sikhi, this Singh disappeared altogether and no one ever saw or heard from him again. Some say that he committed suicide since he was never seen again.
Drastic measures? I think not. It just shows how grave the mistake can be and just how detrimental it is, often to the point of no return.This youth didn't heed Bhai Sahib's advice to steer clear of being close with the opposite gender, so who would heed my advice now? All I can say is that the stakes are very high and if a Singh of such a high spiritual avastha can fall, what makes us think we can't? I see so many youth today who are clearly emotionally attached and involved with one another in the form of a "crush" if not more. They think they are safe and their relationships are acceptable and they won't cross the line by falling prey to kaam.
But I say you've already fallen once you've developed feelings of this nature for a member of the opposite sex. And I tell you, it could happen to anyone, so it's best to be vigilant. We are all like wax that will easily melt when placed in the vicinity of fire. We're better off keeping a distance from the flame because after melting, there's no going back. Try as you might, sometimes it seems that the damage is irreparable.
I'm not sure who wrote this but it echos most of the things I wanted to say. I will post some of my own thoughts on this next time, along with an amazing sakhi about Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji Maharaj which relates to this vice.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Friday, June 02, 2006

ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਲ ਮੁਰੀਦਾਂ ਦਾ ਕਹਿਣਾ

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

ਖਿਆਲ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦॥

ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਲ ਮੁਰੀਦਾਂ ਦਾ ਕਹਿਣਾ ॥
Convey to the dear friend the condition of the disciples,

ਤੁਧੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਰਜਾਈਆਂ ਦਾ ਓਢਣ ਨਾਗ ਨਿਵਾਸਾਂ ਦੇ ਰਹਿਣਾ ॥
Without Thee, the taking over of quilt is like disease and living in the house is like living with serpents;

ਸੂਲ ਸੁਰਾਹੀ ਖੰਜਰੁ ਪਿਆਲਾ ਬਿੰਗ ਕਸਾਈਆਂ ਦਾ ਸਹਿਣਾ ॥
The flask is like the spike, the cup is like a dagger and (the separation) is like enduring the chopper of the butchers,

ਯਾਰੜੇ ਦਾ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਸੱਥਰੁ ਚੰਗਾ ਭੱਠ ਖੇੜਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਰਹਿਣਾ ॥੧॥੧॥
The pallet of the beloved Friend is most pleasing and the worldly pleasures are like furnace.
Dhan Dhan Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, the King of Kings and the Saint of Saints

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh