What is a Sikh
Literally, the word " Sikh " means a student, one who is anxious to learn, a seeker of Truth; a seeker of divine knowledge. The true Sikh grooms his body, faces all temptations, all allurements of mammon, earns his living with the sweat of his brow, meets his domestic commitments, serves his family, his parents, his kith and kin and friends, his country and the human race and yet, in thought, stands unaffected and disentangled. And in the course of his daily routine, he gives the first and foremost place to the problem of knowing his real Self. Whichever role he plays, the desire to understand the mystery of life keeps him fully occupied. He has full faith in his objective. He is, therefore, an embodiment of optimism and unshakeable resolve.
No attractions of the world, no temptations, no allurements, no hurdles can deflect the innate desire of the true Sikh to realize God. He might suffer defeat temporarily, but he cannot be entirely conquered.
The Sikh has full faith in Guru Nanak the same faith that the child has in its mother. Re believes that while holding fast to Guru Nanak, he can find his way through the Vanity Fair, through the milling multitudes, through the dust and din, without losing his way. He has full faith not blink faith in the World of the Master. He strives to fully grasp the World of the Master. He knows that without understanding, and without divine knowledge, our deeds cannot be flawless. The Sikh, therefore, despite his faith in the truth of the Word, is daring enough to try to understand it and to act upon it. He tests it on the touchstone of his own experience.
The Sikh knows, too, that his research is the most arduous of all researches in the world. Impatience and restiveness will not lead anywhere. He is, therefore, firm and unshakeable as
a rock in his Perseverance. He pauses where he fails to follow the Master's Word. He prays for Light humbly, beseechingly, reverently, and waits patiently for response to his prayers. He knows that God's storehouse is bountiful, but each one of us receives gifts according to our individual circumstances, and fair needs. The Sikh, therefore, waits and watches like the true lover.
Hafiz has well said, “Some day you will be at one with God, if you have patience enough." The Sikh knows that he is to rise from the human level to that of Super-consciousness and these two levels are poles as under. This gap has to be bridged and all the distance in between to be traversed. This cannot be done in a day or two- it would be a rare piece of luck if the objective is realized in a lifetime. Patience and faith are, therefore, his constant companions in his journey.
Failures do not deter the Sikh. The baptism of steel makes him a perfect soldier. He can resist, with the force of arms, falsehood, oppression, injustice. Similarly, he is constantly at war with his own Self, his lower nature, with his frailties and the manifold misfortunes that arise from such weaknesses. He hacks his way through sin, trampling it to forge his way ahead. The Sikhs mind is a battlefield where he ever battles with the old Adam in him.
Baptism, Sikh discipline, or maryada, recitation of the Word, Kirtan, or chanting and listening to God's praises, are all necessary. But the true Sikh must also know that all these are means to an end ; they are not in themselves the goal. The central aim and aspiration of the Sikh is to see God, to realize God to be one with God. He who is perfectly conscious of his end and aim, must, sooner or later, realize his objective.
At one time, I regarded the study of Sikh history, and listening to the tales of Sikh martyrs as the core of Sikhism and was prone to quiz and twit the reciters of the Word and lovers of Naam. As I advanced in spiritual enlightenment, I took more delight in the sacred Word than in the old Sikh chronicles. I felt contented with listening to Kirtan, with Word-recitation with Gurdwara-going, and with formal poring over the sacred Book. But this did not fully satisfy me. My soul hungered and thirsted for abiding bliss.
This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Gauree on Ang 240
ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ 5॥
ਆਦਿ ਮਧਿ ਜੋ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਬਾਹੈ ॥ ਸੋ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਚਾਹੈ ॥1॥
ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਸਦਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਚਾਲੈ ॥
ਦਇਆਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਪੂਰਨ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲੈ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਬਿਨਸਤ ਨਾਹੀ ਛੋਡਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
ਜਹ ਪੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥2॥
ਸੁੰਦਰੁ ਸੁਘੜੁ ਚਤੁਰੁ ਜੀਅ ਦਾਤਾ ॥
ਭਾਈ ਪੂਤੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਾਤਾ ॥3॥
ਜੀਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਅਧਾਰ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥
ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਲਾਈ ਕਰਿ ਰਿਦੈ ਨਿਵਾਸਿ ॥4॥
ਮਾਇਆ ਸਿਲਕ ਕਾਟੀ ਗੋਪਾਲਿ ॥
ਕਰਿ ਅਪੁਨਾ ਲੀਨੋ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲਿ ॥5॥
ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਕਾਟੇ ਸਭਿ ਰੋਗ ॥
ਚਰਣ ਧਿਆਨ ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖ ਭੋਗ ॥6॥
ਪੂਰਨ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਵਤਨੁ ਨਿਤ ਬਾਲਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਖਵਾਲਾ ॥7॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਪਦੁ ਚੀਨ ॥
ਸਰਬਸੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਭਗਤ ਕਉ ਦੀਨ ॥8॥11॥
gourree mehalaa 5
aadh madhh jo a(n)th nibaahai so saajan maeraa man chaahai 1
har kee preeth sadhaa sa(n)g chaalai
dhaeiaal purakh pooran prathipaalai 1 rehaao
binasath naahee shhodd n jaae
jeh paekhaa theh rehiaa samaae 2
su(n)dhar sugharr chathur jeea dhaathaa
bhaaee pooth pithaa prabh maathaa 3
jeevan praan adhhaar maeree raas
preeth laaee kar ridhai nivaas 4
maaeiaa silak kaattee gopaal
kar apunaa leeno nadhar nihaal 5
simar simar kaattae sabh rog
charan dhhiaan sarab sukh bhog 6
pooran purakh navathan nith baalaa
har a(n)thar baahar sa(n)g rakhavaalaa 7
kahu naanak har har padh cheen
sarabas naam bhagath ko dheen 811
Gauree, Fifth Mehl:
My mind longs for that Friend, who shall stand by me in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. 1
The Lord's Love goes with us forever.
The Perfect and Merciful Lord cherishes all. 1Pause
He shall never perish, and He shall never abandon me.
Wherever I look, there I see Him pervading and permeating. 2
He is Beautiful, All-knowing, the most Clever, the Giver of life.
God is my Brother, Son, Father and Mother. 3
He is the Support of the breath of life; He is my Wealth.
Abiding within my heart, He inspires me to enshrine love for Him. 4
The Lord of the World has cut away the noose of Maya.
He has made me His own, blessing me with His Glance of Grace. 5
Remembering, remembering Him in meditation, all diseases are healed.
Meditating on His Feet, all comforts are enjoyed. 6
The Perfect Primal Lord is Ever-fresh and Ever-young.
The Lord is with me, inwardly and outwardly, as my Protector. 7
Says Nanak, that devotee who realizes the state of the Lord, Har, Har, is blessed with the treasure of the Naam. 811
Then I began to read one Word in a different manner.
Intelligently and lovingly, I read the Sacred Book from end to end half a dozen times and I found two central, essential points, namely, God, and His realization through Nam. I should not say that it was an easy job, or perfectly smooth sailing. But all my labour, all my plodding was but a trifle as compared to the peace contentment, and bliss that I experienced. When I see people drudging and slaving for materialistic trifles, I congratulate myself on my rare, good fortune to have obtained a priceless boon for my efforts, which were by no means Herculean.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh