On this day…

November 25, 2007

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

I received a lots of messages congratulating me on the Parkash utsav of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Why congraturlate me? And what about the other Gurpurab today.

Guru Tegh Bhadur Sahib ji gave up his head on this day – why dont we congratulate each other about that. The only time in history has this happened. Guru Sahib gave up his life so that others can practice their religion.

According to some sources on this date Guru Gobind Singh ji was appointed Guru on this very day. How come there is no mention of that?

Anyway I leave you with an excerpt from an email I received by Inderpreet Veerji.

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

Carhdi Kala

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

Before I end this post I leave you with a shabad – Bin Tail Deeva Kyo Jale – sung by Dr Gurnam Singh ji.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Angad Singh

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You WILL Walk Alone!

May 8, 2007

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Early last week I received an email from a friend. His father who was in the mid 70’s passed away. Later in the week the funeral was held.

My friends and I went down for the funeral. This was the first time I had seen a funeral in Singapore. There were certain things about this funeral that particularly struck me. I shall explain how the entire process takes place and then focus on the parts that struck me.

When I reached the crematorium, the body lay in rest. We payed our respects and sat down, some of us were standing at the back as the hall was small. Salok M9 was being played. After this Aardas was done and body was moved to the furnace. We went to what is called the viewing gallery. The body was then placed on an automated trolley and it moved towards the furnace. The distance that the body covered was about 15 meters. This was the part that really struck me.

He left everyone behind and moved on..taking absolutely nothing with him. The family members just stood behind a glass wall and watched the body move and disappear in the furnace.

We do read and understand that we come alone we’ll go alone etc. In India, the only other place where I have been to a funeral you place the body on the funeral pyre and then light it. In this case it was very different, thus it really shook me up as I actually saw him leave everyone and everything behind and go all by himself.

After this we came back we recited Sohila Sahib and did Aardas. The next this I noticed was that most of the people at the funeral were people with white hair, I wonder what must be going through their minds at this point of time. Not along ago some one told me – going to a funeral is basically checking out the path that we are soon going to be walking on!

After Aardas we came back to the Gurudawara Sahib where the Alhaniya were recited. In the Alhaniya guru sahib basically tells us. Don’t cry over the person who has passed way, its of no use, let us sing the praises of the lord whose house we all have to go to someday.

I wanted to take a picture of the body in the casket moving on but my praji told me not to.

I Just wanted to share this experience with the rest of you..that all of us WILL walk alone.. so all you liverpool supporters…hahaha!!

Guru Ang Sang!

Angad Singh

 

Hukam and Free Will

April 19, 2007

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Sorry for the lack of posts in the recents months. I have not really been reading very much as a result of which I did not have much to share.

Over the last 5 weeks I have been attending the Understanding Jap ji Sahib course which Amardeep ji is conducting. The first four weeks were dedicated to understanding some basic concepts of Gurbani so that we will be better able to appreciate Jap ji Sahib. I shall share these concepts in the next few weeks.

As the title mentions, I plan to talk about Hukam and Free Will. Often we get confused as to what is Hukam of God or the Will of God and what is Free Will. In this post I intend to share with you about these concepts.

Hukam/ Will of God

Any law of nature is Hukam. For example Newton’s Law of Gravitation or Newton’s 1st Law of Motion.

Before I go on, I must state that gurbani does not talk to our physical body, it talks to our invisible body or “Sooksham Sareer”. The ” Sooksham Sareer” is made up of three things. Mun (mind), Budhi (Intelligence) and Aahankar (Ego).

It is the ” Sooksham Sareer” that leads us to make decision, carry out actions etc. The three aspects of the “Sooksham Sareer” act as per the law of nature or Hukam . Some of you may wonder how does Aahankar or Mind always act under the will of god. In order to say whether some thing acts as per the law of nature or not we need to know what that law is.

Mun ( mind) – role assigned is the path of least resistance.

The mun will tell you koi na one more burfee wont mean any harm. or like my mun tells me…go back to sleep!

Budhi ( Intelligence ) – role assigned to do the right thing !

It is the Budhi that must take control of the situation and say no more burfee or no more sleep get up do path.

Aahankar ( Ego) – role assigned , cloud the budhi

Ego will make you feel all big and proud and cloud yr intelligence and tell you, ” I am invincible and you go to an exam without much prep.”

As you can already tell the Mun and the Aahankar work hand in hand to ensure you don’t always do the right thing. That too is Hukam!

Free will also lies under the domain of Hukam, the law it follows is that you have the choice to do what you wish to do.

Having established that Free Will lies under the domain of Hukam, we cant say, ” Oh if god wants me to be good I will be good , etc”. We ought to do out best, putting our budhi to the right use and fight against the mind and ahankar. Doing so we must be able to leave the result to God, that is not in our control unlike our actions ( via our budhi).

That is all I have to share from my notes. Amardeep Ji if there is anything you would like to correct or add please let me know.

Guru Ang Sang Hove

Angad

Kaisee Aartee Hove

February 6, 2007

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Over the past few weeks I have been listening to the shabad Kaisee Aartee Hove . This shabad is present in Sohila Sahib we recite each night (early morning for some!)before sleeping.

DnwsrI mhlw 1 AwrqI

<> siqgur pRswid ]


ggn mY Qwlu riv cMdu dIpk bny qwirkw mMfl jnk moqI ]
DUpu mlAwnlo pvxu cvro kry sgl bnrwie PUlµq joqI ]1]


kYsI AwrqI hoie Bv KMfnw qyrI AwrqI ]
Anhqw sbd vwjMq ByrI ]1] rhwau ]


shs qv nYn nn nYn hY qoih kau shs mUriq nnw eyk qohI ]
shs pd ibml nn eyk pd gMD ibnu shs qv gMD iev clq mohI ]2]


sB mih joiq joiq hY soie ]
iqs kY cwnix sB mih cwnxu hoie ]
gur swKI joiq prgtu hoie ]
jo iqsu BwvY su AwrqI hoie ]3]


hir crx kml mkrMd loiBq mno Anidno moih AwhI ipAwsw ]
ik®pw jlu dyih nwnk swirMg kau hoie jw qy qyrY nwim vwsw ]4]1]7]9]

In this shabad Guru Nanak Dev ji very beautifully describes the nirgun(form less) roop of waheguru.  From the 1st to the 3rd stanza, he is using various examples to describe the nirgun roop.

Also in the 3rd stanza, in which he distorts the poetrical symmetry he says, the true aarti is doing what pleases waheguru, not the physical thaal and deeva. Finally in the last stanza guru sahib finishes by pleading to waheguru to keep him attached to his feet forever.

I believe,  the underlying message  in the shabad is that we the true aarti, the true worship of waheguru is living the path  and living that path is only possible with the guidance of guru sahib.

Aartee, Kaisee Aartee Hove!

Guru Ang Sang!

Angad


Because Daddy is Driving

October 15, 2006

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

I was going through my blog archives and I realized there are some interesting stories I had posted earlier on. Today I intend on sharing with you a wonderful story that I came across some time last year.

A lot of us at different points in time go through rough phases, times where we dont know what we are doing or why? we dont know where we are heading and why? everything seems to be going wrong and just when you think it can’t get any worse, you get hit from another direction…read this story and hopefully you get the answer..

There was once a family who were in Europe, and they needed to drive 3 days continuously, day and night, to get to Germany. So, they all got into the car — the man, his wife, and his 3 year old daughter. His little daughter has never traveled at night before. She was scared the first night in the car, with deep darkness outside.

“Where are we going, Daddy?”
“To your uncle’s house, in Germany.”
“Have you been to his house before?”
“No.”
“Then, do you know the way?” “Maybe, we can read the map.”
Short pause. “Do you know how to read the map?”
“Yes, we will get there safely.” Another pause.
“Where are we going to eat if we get hungry before arriving?”
“We can stop by restuarants if we are hungry.”
“Do you know if there are restaurants on the way?”
“Yes, there are.”
“Do you know where?”
“No, but we will be able to find some.”

The same dialogue repeated a few times within the first night, and also the second night. But on the third night, his daughter was quiet. The speaker thought that she might have fallen asleep, but when he looked into the mirror, he saw that she was awake and was just looking around calmly. He couldn’t help wondering why she was not asking the questions anymore —

“Dear, do you know where we are going?”
“Germany, Uncle’s house.”
“Do you know how we are getting there?”
“No.”
“Then why aren’t you asking anymore?”
“Because Daddy is driving.”

The small girl asks a lot of questions initially and she does not get all answers and is still quite uncertian about where she is headed etc. However, she has faith in her dad, she trusts he will be take care of her throughout the journey. Similarly when things don’t quite go as we want them to we ask questions and when we dont get answers we get frustrated with ourselves, guru sahib. Our lives will be amazingly stress free if we have complete faith that Guru sahib is with us and wont let any harm come our way. We will then just do are job and leave the rest to guru sahib.

However, this does not mean that tough times wont come your way. Your faith will be tested..the key here is to remember no matter what happens ..even if you have to walk on fire..don’t ever forget Guru sahib is with you ..remember Daddy is driving…

Have a great week ahead!

Guru Rakaha

Angad Singh

Faith!

September 25, 2006

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

The work load this semester is really crazy. Each of my 4 professors think I am only doing their class this term!

Over the last 2 weeks or so I have just been wanting to listen to Basant Raag -sort of a craving..so i listened to numerous shabad in basant raag. The one that really hit me was nhI Cofau ry bwbw rwm nwm ]in this shabad Bhagat Kabir ji shares with us the story of Phralad ( below).

pRhlwd pTwey pVn swl ]
sMig sKw bhu lIey bwl ]
mo kau khw pV@wvis Awl jwl ]
myrI ptIAw iliK dyhu sRI guopwl ]1]

nhI Cofau ry bwbw rwm nwm ]
myro Aaur pV@n isau nhI kwmu ]1] rhwau ]

sMfY mrkY kihE jwie ]
pRhlwd bulwey byig Dwie ]
qU rwm khn kI Cofu bwin ]
quJu qurqu CfwaU myro kihE mwin ]2]

mo kau khw sqwvhu bwr bwr ]
pRiB jl Ql igir kIey phwr ]
ieku rwmu n Cofau gurih gwir ]
mo kau Gwil jwir BwvY mwir fwir ]3]

kwiF KVgu koipE irswie ]
quJ rwKnhwro moih bqwie ]
pRB QMB qy inksy kY ibsQwr ]
hrnwKsu CyidE nK ibdwr ]4]

ie prm purK dyvwiD dyv ]
Bgiq hyiq nrisMG Byv ]
kih kbIr ko lKY n pwr ]
pRhlwd auDwry Aink bwr ]5]4]

Prahlad’s father, Harnakash believes he is god himself. However, Phralad refuses to believe that. So his father makes life hell for him. After going through all the trouble his faith in God is unshakeable. Unlike most of us he never complained or doubted the existence of God when he suffered. His faith, Kabir Ji says was so strong that God to the form of a nar- singh to come and protect him from his ruthless father.

Talking about faith some of us always ask..we always do everything ( paath, sewa, etc) that we should, then why do we get shit? Once some one told me..those who do a lot of paath and are inclined towards religion face more trouble in life than others. Some examplese are amritdharis having trouble with their kirpans or being forced to cut their beards or abandon their turbans. We know Phralad went through troubled times as well. We know what our forefathers went through in the 1800’s! The could have just become muslims and lived an easy life..wonder what kept them from it!…. FAITH

So why is it that people who have faith in god going through so much trouble? I am of the opnion that God’s testing us. Just like when we go to school we have tests and exams. Only when we clear the exams we are promoted. And as we go to higher classes the exams get tougher.I feel its the same with our spiritual growth.

Each time you are in trouble remember you are being tested be focused in coming out of it and have faith that god is there…all you have to do is hold his hand and have faith that he will pull you out! And when you are out of it all..you would be at the next level( closer to god)! and soon you will be tested again!

In the last stanza of the Shabad Kabir Ji reasures us. He says god came to protect Phralad he will come to protect you as well as long you have the faith in God.

I just pray that God blesses all of us with the Faith that Phralad had.

Click here to download the shabad. I have shared this particular shabad a few times already. It was sung by Prof Kartar Singh ji

Have a blessed week ahead!

Guru Ang Sang!

Angad Singh

Mool Mantar

August 26, 2006

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Last week I was reading an article on the Mool Mantar. It is beautifully written, each word is explained very well.
MOOL-MANTRA

<> siqnwmu krqw purKu inrBau inrvYru
Akwl mUriq AjUnI sYBM gurpRswid ]
(sggs 1).

Both “Mool” (also spelt Mul) and “Mantra” are Sanskrit words — “Mool” simply meaning “Root” (or Source, Main, Chief, Primordial etc.), Mantra simply meaning “incantation” (or magic chant etc.). Hence Mool-Mantra means Root-Mantra. Just as the fragrance is boxed in the flower, and the light of the sun is hidden in the colors, similarly, the Essence of the Divine is summed up in the Mool-Mantra. Revealed by Baabaa Nanak, it’s the commencing or opening (first) composition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). Hence it’s also called Manglaacharan (remembrance of God) or invocation. It also appears (in full or short form) before the commencement of most of the Raagas within the SGGS. The Mool-Mantra is said to encapsulates the Essence of Baabaa Nanak’s Message, thus it’s the heart of the Sikh-Thought. Bhaaee Gurdaas Jee in his Vaars (Vaar 3, Paurhee 49) provides us with more explanation of the Mool-Mantra.

Click here to continue reading this article

Have a good weekend

Akaal Sahee

Angad