Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why the dust of the feet of saints?

At the end of today's beautiful hukum, Guru ji begs for the dust of the feet of saints? I see these types of refrences in Gurbani all the times, with words like Charan Kamal, Charan chalo, Charan Dhovo and other words with pag or charan (payr=feet) etc. and wonder as to what does it really mean? With my limited understanding, I can come up with things like humility and a way of letting go to one's ego, giving one's head to Guru by following in the footsteps of Guru Ji, serving Sadh Sangat which is a company of the Saints. Many questions come to mind and one big one is that am I worthy enough to be treated like a true saint-soldier Sikh of the Guru to have my feet washed, my shoes dusted etc. and act like a true part of the sadh sangat? I feel I am not even a complete Sikh, full of ego and faults and yet someone is humble enough to treat me like a saint. i hope one day I get to do this in return. I have seen Sikhs dusting off people's shoes and placing them nicely in bins. A few years back I took my sons to a Khalsa Youth camp in New Mexico, and we visited one of the Gurdwara in Espanola. One thing really impressed me and stuck with me was that before we were to enter thru the main door of the Gurdwara, a Singhni, beautifully dressed in all white, was sitting at the door steps with a bowl of water with some flower petals in it and was washing people's feet before they entered the Gurdwara. I had never seen that at any of the Gurdwaras in US, Canada, India, Singhapur (Singapore) or elsewhere and was just amazed at the humility, beauty and the grace of the whole thing. At that time I didn't undestand what exacly to make of it, but after reading some posts by Ik Onkar Kaur Khalsa's blog about a story of collecting dust of sadh sangat's feet and after dwelling more into Gurbani, it makes more sense. I had seen water wash basins at various Gurdwaras where one walks thru and scrubs feet before entering and I guess never really paid attention as to why Gurdwaras have these, why washing feet was important besides health reasons, and never a Singh or Singhni doing this seva. That was a first for me! All I can say, how beautiful it is do be blessed to wash sadh sangat's feet, clean their shoes, and collect dust off of their feet. And, on top of all of this, our Gurus begging for dust of saints! I mean that is just beyond anything. I can not only imagine singhs and singhnian doing that to Guru sahib's feet but even our Gurus doing that to other Sadh Sangat's feet. Personnaly, I think this is really good for our ego and this is what I get out of the last line of today's hukum.

Now, here is the first line about seeing God in all creation and everyehere. Now this is where I have a heard time sometimes, because if the creator manifests himself or herself thru all of his his/her creation, does that mean everything is sacred? Why many consider the word of God in different religion, including Sikhism, as sacred and yet at the same time many destroy mountains, rivers, forests, kill creatures for sports, pleasures, food? Why not respect this creation if not worship since some Sikhs would probably think I am crazy and do not have an understanding of Sikhi at all to talk about worshipping stones, resepecting nature and animals etc? Actuallt I don't worship stones, picutres or animals, but I don't think we should harm them either. I mean same creator that created me also created the mountains, the forests, the rivers, air, birds, fish in the universe etc. Now, does this mean, the whole universe is sacred? I really don't know and my mind sometimes just goes crazy thinking about these things. I say it is time to stop this post before I go off another tangent and just read the Hukum and try to follow it for at least today. I will leave it up to Waheguru since it is all his play and drama anyways. Thanks for reading the post!

ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ॥ धनासरी महला ५ ॥ Ḏẖanāsrī mėhlā 5. Dhanaasaree, Fifth Mehl:
ਜਹ ਜਹ ਪੇਖਉ ਤਹ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਤਹੁ ਜਾਈ ॥ जह जह पेखउ तह हजूरि दूरि कतहु न जाई ॥ Jah jah pekẖa▫o ṯah hajūr ḏūr kaṯahu na jā▫ī. Wherever I look, there I see Him present; He is never far away.
ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਰਬਤ੍ਰ ਮੈ ਮਨ ਸਦਾ ਧਿਆਈ ॥੧॥ रवि रहिआ सरबत्र मै मन सदा धिआई ॥१॥ Rav rahi▫ā sarbaṯar mai man saḏā ḏẖi▫ā▫ī. 1 He is all-pervading, everywhere; O my mind, meditate on Him forever. 1
ਈਤ ਊਤ ਨਹੀ ਬੀਛੁੜੈ ਸੋ ਸੰਗੀ ਗਨੀਐ ॥ ईत ऊत नही बीछुड़ै सो संगी गनीऐ ॥ Īṯ ūṯ nahī bīcẖẖuṛai so sangī ganī▫ai. He alone is called your companion, who will not be separated from you, here or hereafter.
ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਜੋ ਨਿਮਖ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਅਲਪ ਸੁਖੁ ਭਨੀਐ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ बिनसि जाइ जो निमख महि सो अलप सुखु भनीऐ ॥ रहाउ ॥ Binas jā▫e jo nimakẖ mėh so alap sukẖ bẖanī▫ai. Rahā▫o. That pleasure, which passes away in an instant, is trivial. Pause
ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲੈ ਅਪਿਆਉ ਦੇਇ ਕਛੁ ਊਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ प्रतिपालै अपिआउ देइ कछु ऊन न होई ॥ Paraṯipālai api▫ā▫o ḏe▫e kacẖẖ ūn na ho▫ī. He cherishes us, and gives us sustenance; He does not lack anything.
ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸੰਮਾਲਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥੨॥ सासि सासि समालता मेरा प्रभु सोई ॥२॥ Sās sās sammālṯā merā parabẖ so▫ī. 2 With each and every breath, my God takes care of His creatures. 2
ਅਛਲ ਅਛੇਦ ਅਪਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਊਚਾ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥ अछल अछेद अपार प्रभ ऊचा जा का रूपु ॥ Acẖẖal acẖẖeḏ apār parabẖ ūcẖā jā kā rūp. God is undeceiveable, impenetrable and infinite; His form is lofty and exalted.
ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਜਨ ਅਚਰਜ ਆਨੂਪੁ ॥੩॥ जपि जपि करहि अनंदु जन अचरज आनूपु ॥३॥ Jap jap karahi anand jan acẖraj ānūp. 3 Chanting and meditating on the embodiment of wonder and beauty, His humble servants are in bliss. 3
ਸਾ ਮਤਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਦਇਆਲ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜਿਤੁ ਤੁਮਹਿ ਅਰਾਧਾ ॥ सा मति देहु दइआल प्रभ जितु तुमहि अराधा ॥ Sā maṯ ḏeh ḏa▫i▫āl parabẖ jiṯ ṯumėh arāḏẖā. Bless me with such understanding, O Merciful Lord God, that I might remember You.

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮੰਗੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਰੇਨ ਪਗ ਸਾਧਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੨੭॥ नानकु मंगै दानु प्रभ रेन पग साधा ॥४॥३॥२७॥ Nānak mangai ḏān parabẖ ren pag sāḏẖā. 4327 Nanak begs God for the gift of the dust of the feet of the Saints. 4327

Here is another shabad about washing feet of saints and begging for dust:

ਸੰਤ ਪਗ ਧੋਈਐ ਹਾਂ ॥संत पग धोईऐ हां ॥Sanṯ pag ḏẖo▫ī▫ai hāʼn.
Let us wash the feet of the Saints;
ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਖੋਈਐ ਹਾਂ ॥दुरमति खोईऐ हां ॥Ḏurmaṯ kẖo▫ī▫ai hāʼn.
our evil-mindedness shall be cleansed.
ਦਾਸਹ ਰੇਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਹਾਂ ॥दासह रेनु होइ हां ॥Ḏāsah ren ho▫e hāʼn.
Becoming the dust of the feet of the Lord's slaves,
ਬਿਆਪੈ ਦੁਖੁ ਕੋਇ ਹਾਂ ॥बिआपै दुखु न कोइ हां ॥Bi▫āpai ḏukẖ na ko▫e hāʼn.
one shall not be afflicted with pain.
ਭਗਤਾਂ ਸਰਨਿ ਪਰੁ ਹਾਂ ॥भगतां सरनि परु हां ॥Bẖagṯāʼn saran par hāʼn.
Taking to the Sanctuary of His devotees,
ਜਨਮਿ ਕਦੇ ਮਰੁ ਹਾਂ ॥जनमि न कदे मरु हां ॥Janam na kaḏe mar hāʼn.he is no longer subject to birth and death.
ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਸੇ ਭਏ ਹਾਂ ॥असथिरु से भए हां ॥Asthir se bẖa▫e hāʼn.They alone become eternal,
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਜਪਿ ਲਏ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਾ ॥੧॥हरि हरि जिन्ह जपि लए मेरे मना ॥१॥Har har jinĥ jap la▫e mere manā. 1who chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, O my mind. 1


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