Monday, January 19, 2009

What is my social status? what is the caste? what is my lineage?

Today's hukum makes me think as to why so many people put so much importance to caste, family lineage, social status etc. Who cares what village I belong to? Who cares what caste I belong to? Why is my title "Associate Systems Design Engineer" or whatever else may come along in future at some other job really that important to anyone? Does it matter if I drive a nice looking Mercedez or a junky looking Chevy or Honda as long as long as they drivable ? If I have a 6 bedroom house with extra square footage, garden or a junky old fixer upper as long as they are both livable? Why people do "ooh! Aaah! about a nice things but do "euuu.." "yuk" about other things? Would one to whom grabage is yuk pick a gem seen in a pile of garbage? if yes, why? if no, why not? Why being Punjabi or Gujrati or Bengali or Indian or American or Canadian or what ever else piece of land or language or culture one may identify with or are labeled by others with, are really all important? Why one attaches to language, culture, social status, social caste, social man made customs or fads or fashions? Is this because one has been programmed to do certain things certain ways and has a hard time breaking these habits or one just want to follow what others are doing like a bhed chaal. Why not rise above these and attach to what Guru Nanak says in the last pauri of Japji Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh Ji says in Shabad in Dasm Granth Sahib and many other places where Gurus teach us to rise above these things. Yet, we as humans tend to ignore and fail at these things many times. Today's hukum also teaches the same thing as to what really is important in life. "NAAM" and nothing else? Why because everything else is temporary in this World.

ਰਾਗੁ ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਘਰੁ ੧ रागु सूही महला ४ घरु १ Rāg sūhī mėhlā 4 gẖar 1
Raag Soohee, Fourth Mehl, First House:
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥ Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
ਮਨਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਰਾਧਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ॥ मनि राम नामु आराधिआ गुर सबदि गुरू गुर के ॥ Man rām nām ārāḏẖi▫ā gur sabaḏ gurū gur ke.
My mind worships and adores the Lord's Name, through the Guru, and the Word of the Guru's Shabad.
ਸਭਿ ਇਛਾ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਪੂਰੀਆ ਸਭੁ ਚੂਕਾ ਡਰੁ ਜਮ ਕੇ ॥੧॥ सभि इछा मनि तनि पूरीआ सभु चूका डरु जम के ॥१॥ Sabẖ icẖẖā man ṯan pūrī▫ā sabẖ cẖūkā dar jam ke. 1
All the desires of my mind and body have been fulfilled; all fear of death has been dispelled. 1

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ॥ मेरे मन गुण गावहु राम नाम हरि के ॥ Mere man guṇ gāvhu rām nām har ke.
O my mind, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord's Name.
ਗੁਰਿ ਤੁਠੈ ਮਨੁ ਪਰਬੋਧਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਪੀਆ ਰਸੁ ਗਟਕੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ गुरि तुठै मनु परबोधिआ हरि पीआ रसु गटके ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Gur ṯuṯẖai man parboḏẖi▫ā har pī▫ā ras gatke. 1 rahā▫o.
And when the Guru is pleased and satisfied, the mind is instructed; it then joyfully drinks in the subtle essence of the Lord. 1Pause

ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਊਤਮ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੇਰੀ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇ ॥ सतसंगति ऊतम सतिगुर केरी गुन गावै हरि प्रभ के ॥ Saṯsangaṯ ūṯam saṯgur kerī gun gāvai har parabẖ ke.
The Sat Sangat, the True Congregation of the True Guru, is sublime and exalted. They sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord God.
ਹਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ ਮੇਲਹੁ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਹਮ ਧੋਵਹ ਪਗ ਜਨ ਕੇ ॥੨॥ हरि किरपा धारि मेलहु सतसंगति हम धोवह पग जन के ॥२॥ Har kirpā ḏẖār melhu saṯsangaṯ ham ḏẖovah pag jan ke. 2
Bless me with Your Mercy, Lord, and unite me with the Sat Sangat; I wash the feet of Your humble servants. 2

ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਹੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ਰਸੁ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਸੁ ਰਸਕੇ ॥ राम नामु सभु है राम नामा रसु गुरमति रसु रसके ॥ Rām nām sabẖ hai rām nāmā ras gurmaṯ ras raske.
The Lord's Name is all. The Lord's Name is the essence of the Guru's Teachings, the juice, the sweetness of it.
ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਭ ਲਾਥੀ ਤਿਸ ਤਿਸ ਕੇ ॥੩॥ हरि अम्रितु हरि जलु पाइआ सभ लाथी तिस तिस के ॥३॥ Har amriṯ har jal pā▫i▫ā sabẖ lāthī ṯis ṯis ke. 3
I have found the Ambrosial Nectar, the Divine Water of the Lord's Name, and all my thirst for it is quenched. 3
ਹਮਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹਮ ਵੇਚਿਓ ਸਿਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ॥ हमरी जाति पाति गुरु सतिगुरु हम वेचिओ सिरु गुर के ॥ Hamrī jāṯ pāṯ gur saṯgur ham vecẖi▫o sir gur ke.
The Guru, the True Guru, is my social status and honor; I have sold my head to the Guru.
ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਿਓ ਗੁਰ ਚੇਲਾ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਲਾਜ ਜਨ ਕੇ ॥੪॥੧॥ जन नानक नामु परिओ गुर चेला गुर राखहु लाज जन के ॥४॥१॥ Jan Nānak nām pari▫o gur cẖelā gur rākẖo lāj jan ke. 41
Servant Nanak is called the chaylaa, the disciple of the Guru; O Guru, save the honor of Your servant. 41

Today's Hukumnama:
Panna 731 (page 731)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Science and spirit!

With so many problems in various societies in the developed and developing world, it is easy to just sit back and do nothing, but on the other hand, opportunities are there to make a difference in the World, even if it is very little. It is all seva anyways!

With India having so much engineering, medicine and science talent, this can be utilized to channel energy into doing good in the World and make these little differences. It is these little things that make big impacts than doing big things. Even a little donation to these people can make a big difference in people's lives. Anyways, here is a way to use your engineering talent:

An Evolution and Revolution in my mind! How do fix it?

While driving, a few thoughts came into mind the other day and I started to analyze as to why one needs to go thru this everyday ritual (nitnem) of connecting with one’s soul, singing Gurbani to meditate on God’s name 24/7, sadhna, praising the creator, thanking the creator and so on? I guess this mind just starts wandering in all kinds of directions, places and thoughts, questions, ideas about various things like Gurus, prophets, children, people, human divisions and labels,, wars, why people live lives the way they live, different societies, different religions, why some eat meat and some don’t , why some kill and some save, why people get angry, why people abuse children, why and how goodness, death, happiness, sorrow, courage, goodness, evil, anger, sexual lust, greed, rape, murder comes to people in different ways, shapes and forms? These thoughts just keep coming and going. I mean this wandering goes from questioning and accepting all kinds of things at times in the form of His Will and wandering again into oblivion at other times. Why? Why? Why?

Yes, some of you out there would tell me, why don’t you just read Gurbani and answers are all in there? And, I agree, Guru Nanak has given us the best answer to all these things life in Jap Ji Sahib. And, that is “Accepting His Hukum” and living and residing in “His Will” for all kinds of life issues, problems, questions etc. Life makes perfect sense to me when I read Japji or other bani, when Guru Nanak says things like, Karmi aavay kapda, nadri mokh duar, or when he says “Karmi aapo apnee, kay naiday kay door”. Good and bad things happen in life to people because of their karma and each one receives the fruit at the Dharmrai’s court based on the actions in their past, present and future lives. Well, who is this Dharm Rai? Is he some man or just a name Guru Sahib picked to describe Ultimate Judgement? I mean it gets mentioned so many times in Gurbani. If we analyze this word, it is made up of two words, one is Dharm meaning Path of Righteousness and other Rai (I think it means Opinion here but could be wrong). So I think Dharm Rai is the entity that has the ultimate opinion or castes a judgement on good or bad actions of all of one’s 8.4 million lifetimes and decides if someone is worthy enough for his Duar and his Nadar or his Darshan (his door, his glance). If not worthy, then what? Well, Christians and Muslims think one goes to Hell, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists belief is that we are back to the life cycle of 8.4 million lives until we graced with a human life again to perform good actions to merge with the Creator. His door will not open till this doorman called “DharmRai” decides if you are worthy enough to enter. Seems so simple, yet people make life and religion so complicated and this mind does all kinds of funny things to people from cheating, looting, lusting, anger, hatred, killing, wars, ego, greed to at the same time protecting, loving, understanding duty and responsibility, defending, saving, nurturing, compassion, serving humanity, sacrificing, living truthfully, learning and doing good in life.

Ah! The “MIND”, this is what it is all about! Focusing it do jaap, focusing it do good, focusing it do seva, channeling the human thoughts and actions and energy to do good things in life. Guru Granth Sahib teaches us over and over and over again in many shabads. My favourite is, “Man too jot sarup hai, apna mool pachan”, oh! My mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine, recognize your origin. What a beautiful shabad! Even, Yogi Bhajan and other real Gursikhs also try to tell people the same thing. I remember one of his Punjabi lectures, where he says “Karam Dharm day adheen kar”, meaning keeping, thinking and doing the right things within your mind followed by good actions. It didn’t make sense to me at times, but it makes perfect sense now. And, yet, many of us, including me still fail in life to bring that courage, to do that good, to do that great seva, to do that karm under the dharm, and keep living lives like robots and zombies and having all kinds of good and bad thoughts in our minds. I mean Guru Nanak says it clearly, “Soche soch na hovaee, je soche lakh vaar”, and yet my stupid mind keeps wandering in thoughts. Why can’t it just accept His hukum, live in his will and get rid of these stupid thoughts? I don’t know. May be that is His Hukum and Command too. I mean, I feed my body all day long, why can’t I feed my mind and soul at least three times a day or all better yet, all day long with good foods like the “Naam” or the “Word” of our Husband Lord as Gurus, Bhagats, and Sages put it. So what food is it and how do we churn this milk to get the best cream or butter for our soul. Guru Sahib simply tell us, just utter “Satnam” or “Waheguru” and sing Gurbani all day long! The following shabads come to mind about uttering “satnam”

“Ram ka naam, japo din rati” (Utter Ram’s naam day and night”)

“Papi Jioriya Bol satnam” from movie “Manjeete Jagjit. (Oh! Sinner being, Utter Satnam”)

Aaaaah! The Gurbani, the real food for the soul!

And, while we are on the subject of singing Gurbani, what about dancing to Gurbani? I know some say that dancing has no place in Sikhism since Gurus thought it to be waste of time, and Sikhs usually don’t dance. But what if one was dancing in Praise of God and meditate while dancing. After all Gurbani allows one to work, do farming, do seva while meditating on God’s Name subconsciously. Now I would think if singing God’s praise all day long with Gurbani is okay, why not jumping with joy in God’s praise as long as my mind is focused on His name? But is it really possible to focus on God’s name while jumping at the same time? Why do some people sit in Gurdwaras with open eyes? Why do some sing and some don’t in Gurdwaras? Some work and meditate, some sit quietly and meditate. Oh! The many ways, we do things. And, yet, many get into this who is wrongfully and who is rightfully following Sikhi or Christianity or Hinduism or Sufism or Islam etc. Anyways, it is one of those thoughts again and I better shut up before this mind starts wandering again into wrong or right, judgement, karma again. One day, I would like some Gursikhs to discuss and enlighten me with this more.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Freedom isn't free! Sikh Martyrs and Indian Freedom fighters.

Wish all of my Sikh brothers and sisters a Happy Gurpurab on the birth of our true satguru sache patshah, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. I hope people remember the sacrifices of our great Gurus, Khalsa Singhs and Kaurs and other great freedom fighters who sacrificed so much so that people like me can live a life, free of slavery, tyranny and aggression. Oh! there is so much we have to be thankful for and God bless these great souls! I wonder, how many Indians or even Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus of today even know about these great men, women and children of courage? Are they even mentioned in the text books of India?