Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thousands beaten, raped in Irish reform schools.

Now some of you may say what does this post have anything to do with Sikhi, I say nothing and everything, and it all depends how one looks at it. The news below even though very shocking is not surprising to me given that I have heard similar stories of Catholic Priests and nuns abusing their power of positions so many times. They get repeated here in America, in India, In South America and In Africa. Now I know many Indians think Catholic education is better their Hindu or sikh school education, but I think that is just a slave mentality having been under British rule and the leaders being the puppets of teh British. First question everyone needs to ask is, what is the purpose of education or sending a kid to school? The answer is simple, to gain knowledge to live happy, healthy and holy. And, yet these kids get beaten, abused, cursed and sometimes death penality from their educators/teachers who are supposed to have better knowledge, be more respecting, humble, patient and peaceful than these kids. I remember in India, catholic nuns have a bad reputation of beating kids, even more so than in regular Government schools which I attended. Yes, I was beaten many times in Government schools too and it was and still is common in India. There have even bean deaths from child beatings. These are sick individuals who committ these crimes on teh weak and innocent children and I wish I knew how they could be reformed. They have no right to call themselves, Hindu or Sikh or Christian or whatever else faith they claim while committing these crimes. Obviously, the religious teachings aren't helping them, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Now I am not a Christian and have read only a few paragraphs here and there in Bible, but wonder why is this happening so much in Churches than other places? Is it the priests and nuns not being able to marry or something else? Sometimes, I am thankful that Guru Nanak preached a life of a householder than a life of a wanderer and ascetic. And, by no means Sikh institutions aren't perfect either and we Punjabis majority of whome claim to be Sikhs, have our own social and cultural issues of castes, divisions, drinking, physical abuse of children in schools, women abuse, meat and other controversies to deal with. Anyways, the story is sad and sickening and hope Ireland will stand up to this and get rid of this menace some way or another. It makes me worry about all those Indians sending their kids to Catholic schools in India thinking they are getting better education than Sikh or Hindu schools in India. I do understand it is not the Christian faith or Bible teachings or Sikh faith or Sikh teachings, or any other faith for the sake of argument, but people that make the religion look bad. Waheguru bless these little souls that went thru this abuse. And, I think this timeline is only a little window in a big scale of time for abuse and starting the healing process. Yes, for a victim, even a second of abuse during childhood would seem like a lifetime and leaves scars forever.,0,59963.story
Thousands beaten, raped in Irish reform schools
Associated Press 8:25 AM PDT, May 20, 2009
DUBLIN -- A fiercely debated, nine-year investigation into Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades -- and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.High Court Justice Sean Ryan today unveiled the 2,600-page final report of Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, which is based on testimony from thousands of former students and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions.

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More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families -- a category that often included unmarried mothers -- were sent to Ireland's austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last church-run facilities shut in the 1990s.The report found that molestation and rape were "endemic" in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless."In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. ... Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body," the report said. "Personal and family denigration was widespread."
Victims of the system have long demanded that the truth of their experiences be documented and made public, so that children in Ireland never endure such suffering again.But most leaders of religious orders have rejected the allegations as exaggerations and lies, and testified to the commission that any abuses were the responsibility of often long-dead individuals.Today's five-volume report sides almost completely with the former students' accounts. It concludes that church officials always shielded their orders' pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy."A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from," the report concluded.The commission said overwhelming, consistent testimony from still-traumatized men and women, now in their 50s to 80s, had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential.The report proposed 21 ways the government could recognize past wrongs, including building a permanent memorial, providing counseling and education to victims and improving Ireland's current child protection services.But its findings will not be used for criminal prosecutions -- in part because the Christian Brothers successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.Irish church leaders and religious orders all declined to comment today, citing the need to read the massive document first. The Vatican also declined to comment.The Irish government already has funded a parallel compensation system that has paid 12,000 abuse victims an average of euro65,000 ($90,000). About 2,000 claims remain outstanding.Victims receive the payouts only if they waive their rights to sue the state and the church. Hundreds have rejected that condition and taken their abusers and those church employers to court.Today's report said children had no safe way to tell authorities about the assaults they were suffering, particularly the sexual aggression from church officials and older inmates in boys' institutions."The management did not listen to or believe children when they complained of the activities of some of the men who had responsibility for their care," the commission found. "At best, the abusers were moved, but nothing was done about the harm done to the child. At worst, the child was blamed and seen as corrupted by the sexual activity, and was punished severely."The commission dismissed as implausible a central defense of the religious orders -- that, in bygone days, people did not recognize the sexual abuse of a child as a criminal offense, but rather as a sin that required repentance.In their testimony, religious orders typically cited this opinion as the principal reason why sex-predator priests and brothers were sheltered within the system and moved to new posts where they could still maintain daily contact with children.But the commission said its fact-finding -- which included unearthing decades-old church files, chiefly stored in the Vatican, on scores of unreported abuse cases from Ireland's industrial schools -- demonstrated that officials understood exactly what was at stake: their own reputations.

Children beaten, abused at Catholic-run schools in Ireland, report says
Peter Morrison / Associated Press
Kevin Flannagan, brother of Mickey Flannagan, victim of child abuse, holds a copy of the "Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse," in Dublin.
An Irish commission finds that students at more than 200 schools during the 1940s through the 1990s were molested and subjected to excessive punishment while the church covered up misdeeds.

By Henry Chu 11:39 AM PDT, May 20, 2009
Reporting from London -- Boys and girls were beaten, sexually abused and emotionally terrorized for decades in workhouse-style schools run by Ireland's Catholic Church, in which a "culture of silence" showed more concern for protecting victimizers than the children in their care, according to a long-awaited report released today in Dublin.For more than half a century, excessive and arbitrary punishment created a climate in which students at schools administered by Catholic religious orders lived "with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from."

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Sexual molestation was "endemic," committed by offenders who were often transferred to other institutions rather than dismissed or turned over to authorities, said the report by Ireland's Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.And through it all, government inspectors failed to stop what was going on, despite attempts by some individuals to bring their abusers to account in an effort to lessen the trauma that many still suffer years later.These are some of the findings of the 2,600-page report unveiled after a nine-year investigation. Drawing on the testimony of nearly 2,000 witnesses, men and women at more than 200 Catholic-run schools during the 1940s through the 1990s, the commission pieced together a damning picture of a church engaged too often in covering up misdeeds within its ranks instead of rooting out their perpetrators.
The five-volume report is a major blow for a religious institution that continues to wield enormous, albeit declining, influence on Irish society, especially on moral issues such as divorce and abortion.Even then, it wasn't tough enough for some of the victims. Many are angry that the report includes no names of alleged offenders, an omission that one of the religious orders under investigation won in court. Only pseudonyms are used, making the chances of criminal prosecution slim."We expected that these people would be named and shamed and that some of them would be convicted," John Barrett, who testified before the commission, told Irish radio station TodayFM. "At the end of the day, some of us won't sleep tonight. We're still nowhere near the truth."Barrett alleges that he was sexually abused while at a school for boys with learning disabilities, which was run by the Brothers of Charity in Ireland's County Cork.Edmund Garvey, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers, one of the religious orders whose schools came under investigation, said: "Our first response to the report is to openly and unreservedly express our heartfelt sorrow and sadness and regret to those people who were victimized . . . We are deeply sorry, deeply regretful."

Timeline of Ireland's Catholic abuse scandals
Associated Press May 20, 2009
Key steps in Ireland's struggle to confront child abuse committed by Catholic officials.• June 1994: Irish Catholic priest Brendan Smyth pleads guilty in Northern Ireland to 17 counts of assaulting five girls and two boys in Belfast. His order, the Norbertines, spent decades shuttling him among Irish and American parishes and harboring him from British arrest.

· Thousands beaten, raped in Irish reform schools
• November 1994: Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds resigns and his government collapses amid claims his attorney general colluded with church authorities to delay the British extradition demand for Smyth.• July 1995: Former altar boy Andrew Madden becomes first in Ireland to speak publicly about abuse by a priest, says Dublin archdiocese paid him euro35,000 ($45,000) to keep quiet. Case spurs hundreds of alleged victims to pursue civil lawsuits against church authorities.• January 1996: Irish Catholic leaders tells bishops to report "without delay" all suspected sex abuse cases to police. Some bishops don't.• July 1997: After serving prison term, Smyth is extradited to Ireland and pleads guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993. Dies of a heart attack in prison one month into 12-year sentence.• January 1998 -- Payne is convicted in Dublin on 14 counts of sexually abusing eight boys aged 11 to 14. Serves four years in prison.• March 1999: Rev. Sean Fortune commits suicide in prison while awaiting trial on 66 charges of molesting and raping boys in Ferns diocese. One victim, Colm O'Gorman, launches support group One in Four.• April 1999: Groundbreaking documentary series "States of Fear" exposes abuse of children in church-run workhouses, reformatories and orphanages since the 1940s.• May 1999: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern issues "long overdue apology" to all those abused in church-run institutions.• May 2000: Ireland authorizes Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse under direction of High Court Justice Mary Laffoy.• April 2002: Ferns Bishop Brendan Comiskey becomes first -- and only -- Irish church figure to resign because of a failure to stop pedophile priests.• December 2002: Ireland establishes board to pay compensation to people abused in church-run institutions. Claimants must renounce their right to sue.• September 2003: Laffoy resigns, says Ireland's Education Department is blocking the probe.• April 2004: Vatican diplomat Diarmuid Martin becomes Dublin archbishop. Pledges full cooperation with police in exposing past cover-ups of abuse.• October 2005: Probe finds church, police and state authorities did too little to stop sexual abuse of hundreds of children by 21 priests in Ferns.• December 2005: Redress Board says more than 14,000 people filed claims for compensation for reported childhood abuse in church-run institutions.• December 2008: Board says it has paid nearly 12,000 abuse victims an average of euro64,230 ($84,000) each, about 2,000 claims remain.• May 20, 2009: Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse unveils 2,575-page report into thousands of child abuse cases in Catholic-run institutions beginning in the 1930s until the last institutions closed in the 1990s.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Whose free will is it anyways? I say it is His who created it

This in my mind is one of the most interesting topic when it comes to religion/spirituality or whatever else you may want to call it. I have heard this over and over from various people and in movies and more so in the Western/Christian/American society, and even almost every time I say, oh! it is God’s will! Some of these people, some of whom are even my close relatives, almost always come back and correct me, that I have a free will. I feel like saying to them, that is all bullcrap, but I don’t, out of respect for their culture and belief. How can my free will or for the sake of argument anybody’s free will can prevail over God’s will? The argument seems so absurd, and yet they keep on repeating it over and over and want me to believe it, and I think they don't even realize it what they are saying. It is more out of habit than actually thought. Oh! You have free will. I can’t wait for these idiots to fall in sick and be in deathbed, then I will ask, is it your free will or it is God’ will that you are sick or dying. I am sure their free will wants to go out to beach, travel, go for a walk, live healthy, but God’s will is that they stay in bed. So whose will prevails? Yes, many will probably start denying that God’ will even exists to make their point.

Yes, God gave us hand to work, feet to walk and mind to think to do actions, which is Karma. I have no issues with that, but to think that my actions are beyond God’s will is egotistical, arrogant, and outright denying the power, grace, will of God over these actions. Karm Dharam de adhine kar! Yogi Bhajan teaches me. Why do actions? Well, it is tied to my liberation or mukti? Sometimes, I even think these people are not even following Christianity when they deny God’s will. I have never seen a Muslim or a Jew or a Sikh or a Hindu say Oh! You have free will. Yeah! I know I have free will to do anything. It is called “manmat” in Gurmukhi and Punjabi meaning doing what your mind wants to do, which is almost taking you away from Guru’s teachings. A Sikh is supposed to live with “Gurmat” and “Santmat” that is lives according to Guru’ teachings not “Manmat”.

The problem I think is that these people think that they have invented things and have advanced in science to point of almost denying God’s will and thinking that they are above and beyond God. Inventing, reading, writing, studying, and praying are all actions or labor with results/fruits that are beyond their human control. I am engineer, I think, write, plan, design, build, test and all but If I start thinking that I know the results of these actions, I am the most stupidest person on this earth. Think about it, how can I know what effect my writing, designing, planning, managing has on the ones that use these writings, plans, design, and things that have been built. Did you think the designer of your cell phone, or an atomic bomb or your computer knew the effects of his/her inventions. If they claimed they did, I think they were the stupidest people. The good and bad effects are still being felt and who know what the future holds. So who’s will is it that computer was invented or a bomb was invented or a cell phone was invented? I say, it is His will who created the will and that is what Guru Nanak Sahib teaches me in Japji Sahib and Gurbani teaches me in Guru Granth Sahib. To me Japji is the most beautiful banis and I just get fascinated with the what our Guru Nanak's condition must have been like when he was writing this, reciting it, singing it with Mardana, and preaching it to people? I don't think he was saying, oh! read Japji. I think Guru Sahib was all knowing and actually conversing and singing with people wherever he went. It is truly amazing how much distance he covered and places he went. His farming life, his writings, his family life and so many other things I can't even think of. And, even more fascinating is life of Guru Gobind Singh ji who sang and played musical instruments , wrote Dassam Granth, spending time in the battlefileds, creating and building Khalsa army, building forts, creating taksals, serving, leading, practising battle skills. And, going back to my post about God's will, all of these great Gurus, saints lived in God's will and yet they created so much, wrote so much, changed so many lives and never claimed credit for themselves but always accepted his will! and, you tell me, I have a free will. Give me a break!


Why do I hesitate to beg from people?

ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ॥ धनासरी महला ५ ॥ Ḏẖanāsrī mėhlā 5.
Dhanaasaree, Fifth Mehl:
ਮਾਂਗਉ ਰਾਮ ਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਥੋਕ ॥ मांगउ राम ते सभि थोक ॥ Māʼnga▫o rām ṯe sabẖ thok.
I beg only from the Lord for all things.
ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕਉ ਜਾਚਤ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਮੋਖ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ मानुख कउ जाचत स्रमु पाईऐ प्रभ कै सिमरनि मोख ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Mānukẖ ka▫o jācẖaṯ saram pā▫ī▫ai parabẖ kai simran mokẖ. 1 rahā▫o.
I would hesitate to beg from other people. Remembering God in meditation, liberation is obtained. 1Pause
ਘੋਖੇ ਮੁਨਿ ਜਨ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਪੁਰਾਨਾਂ ਬੇਦ ਪੁਕਾਰਹਿ ਘੋਖ ॥ घोखे मुनि जन सिम्रिति पुरानां बेद पुकारहि घोख ॥ Gẖokẖe mun jan simriṯ purānāʼn beḏ pukārėh gẖokẖ.
I have studied with the silent sages, and carefully read the Simritees, the Puraanas and the Vedas; they all proclaim that,
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਸਿੰਧੁ ਸੇਵਿ ਸਚੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਦੋਵੈ ਸੁਹੇਲੇ ਲੋਕ ॥੧॥ क्रिपा सिंधु सेवि सचु पाईऐ दोवै सुहेले लोक ॥१॥ Kirpā sinḏẖ sev sacẖ pā▫ī▫ai ḏovai suhele lok. 1
by serving the Lord, the ocean of mercy, Truth is obtained, and both this world and the next are embellished. 1
ਆਨ ਅਚਾਰ ਬਿਉਹਾਰ ਹੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਫੋਕ ॥ आन अचार बिउहार है जेते बिनु हरि सिमरन फोक ॥ Ān acẖār bi▫uhār hai jeṯe bin har simran fok.
All other rituals and customs are useless, without remembering the Lord in meditation.
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਭੈ ਕਾਟੇ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਸੋਕ ॥੨॥੧੯॥੫੦॥ नानक जनम मरण भै काटे मिलि साधू बिनसे सोक ॥२॥१९॥५०॥ Nānak janam maraṇ bẖai kāte mil sāḏẖū binse sok. 21950
O Nanak, the fear of birth and death has been removed; meeting the Holy Saint, sorrow is dispelled. 21950

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

India - The Nation of Rapists, Murderers and Criminals

As I was reading the news in Tribune today, the stories below got me to post and do a search in the Tribune for rape cases and justice denied to the countless victims on everyday basis. This is the emerging and developing India:

Rape victim goes missing Kulwinder SandhuTribune News Service
Moga, May 6District Magistrate (DM) of Moga Satwant Singh Johal has stated that the committee constituted by the SC commission comprise SAD MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sheetal Singh as one its members, which has forced him to apprise the commission of his inability to conduct the probe with him at a time when the elections are in progress.
The DM said he was the enforcing authority for the effective implementation of the model code of conduct of the elections; therefore, it was not possible for him to travel or sit with any political figure.
He said, “The district administration is very much concerned about the unfortunate incidents faced by the Dalit woman and wants to provide help for her medical care and rehabilitation”.
If the Election Commission granted permission to the committee to record the statement of the victim and conduct a probe, there was no point in delaying the sensitive issue.
Meanwhile, the SC commission has written a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab seeking a clarification on the issue, the reply of which was still awaited.
The Dalit woman, who faced sexual harassment and acid attack on her, has been missing for the past couple of days.
Arvinder Kaur, daughter of the victim, said a head constable came to their house on May 2 and took away her mother. Since then, she had not returned.
“I have brought the matter to the notice of the local police in writing, but no efforts have been made to trace my mother”, she alleged.

Rape victim commits suicide at IG’s officeBijendra AhlawatTribune News Service
Rohtak, May 6In a shocking incident, a married woman and her husband “consumed” poison on the premises of the IG office here today. The woman identified as Alka died at the PGIMS here while her husband Sunil had been admitted to its ICU.
According to police sources, the couple had come to meet V Kamaraja, IG, here in the afternoon in connection with the case registered at Samalkha police station in Panipat district on June 20, 2008. The case was registered on the complaint of Alka against five men.
Alka’s father-in-law Roop Singh alleged that the couple was feeling traumatised and frustrated as the police had later cancelled the said FIR. The couple had been running from pillar to post for justice for about a year but in vain. The couple consumed some poisonous substance in front of the IG office in the afternoon.
Roop Singh said his grandchildren were present at Model Town police post when the incident took place. Alka’s body was later sent for post-mortem by the police. He alleged that the rape accused had been threatening and blackmailing Alka, as they had recorded the gang rape incident in a CD.

Results 1 - 10 of about 14,500 from for rape. (0.27 seconds)
1. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh Edition
The four teachers arrested by the police for alleged rape of six girl inmates .... The six girls who have levelled charges of rape were today taken home by - 64k - Cached - Similar pages
2. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Chandigarh Stories
Advocate A.S. Chahal, who represented the five accused, had challenged framing of rape charges. The defence had pleaded that the charges were added on the - 81k - Cached - Similar pages
3. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions
Diluting rape cases, Noida police style by Doel Mukherjee .... Appallingly, there is a gang rape but even more shocking is the way the community leaders, - 62k - Cached - Similar pages
4. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Jammu & Kashmir
Mar 1, 2002 ... After about a decade, the saga of rape of over 40 women in Kunanposh in Kupwara echoes in the state Assembly here today when the Speaker, - 44k - Cached - Similar pages
5. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News
The three teachers arrested for alleged rape of girls at a deaf and dumb school ... Charges of rape and sexual abuse by six girl inmates of a home for the - 18k - Cached - Similar pages
6. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Jammu & Kashmir
2 soldiers booked for rape bid. Tribune News Service. Srinagar, June 27 ... They had reportedly attempted rape on his 17-year- old daughter, - 36k - Cached - Similar pages
7. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab
In the investigation of about 15 rape cases, which have been registered in the district so far in the current year, the police authorities have found that a - 60k - Cached - Similar pages
8. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh
A rape victim who reported the crime to the police had to run from pillar to post since Monday to get herself medically examined. After doctors at the local - 45k - Cached - Similar pages
9. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions
Shocking will be too mild a word to describe the alleged rape by two ... The rape and subsequent suicide by a 25-year-old woman hailing from Rohtak, - 73k - Cached - Similar pages
10. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Chandigarh Stories
A case in point is the one involving Punjab MLA Gaganjit Singh Barnala, who faces the charge of rape at the hands of his masseuse. - 42k - Cached - Similar pages

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Healthy, Happy and Wise!

Healthy, Happy and Wise!

As I was reading this article about brain aches from high sugar, high fat, and high salt foods, my thoughts went from the article to my mother, who recently went thru a heart by-pass surgery. Now she had been a vegetarian all of her life; no meat, no eggs, no alcohol, no smoking, as most of the women and many men are in India are. But this surgery wasn’t a shock since growing up in Punjab, I know how much of animal fat in the form of butter, gheo (ghee as is called in Hindi), Lassi, paneer and hydrogenated vegetable fat in the form of DALDA brand that was used for preparing food at home. That DALDA is nothing but vegetable shortening. Although it was tasty vegetarian food and occasional meat that my father would eat, but I think it finally caught up with her and probably will catch up with me in another 10-20 years. Probably more earlier with me and other siblings since we also ate meat, eggs and drank alcohol as part of our lives. I wish I would never had eaten meat, eggs and drank alcohol. But only can move forward and not dwell on the past. Part of me also wishes and hopes my family stops eating meat but that is another story and post for later. Back to my mother’s health, she is on a low fat, no salt, no sugar diet because of her heart, high Blood Pressure and Diabetes. It is kind of a lesson for me to watch what goes into this body. The other thing this article made me think about is about the number of times I have heard people complain about headaches and bad dreams after they eat meat. I wonder if anybody has done any scientific studies on this because I have met about six or seven different people that told me that they get headaches, or they have bad dreams every time they eat meat.

All I know is that I used to get a lot of nightmares when I drank alcohol and ate meat, but I haven’t really had a nightmare or a bad dream for the four to five years. I wonder if there is any connection. Hangovers are common with alcohol. May be it is a person’s state of mind more than physical effect, but whatever it is, it is all good without meat, and alcohol. It also affects a person’s mood as well. Being edgy, angry, hateful, weak etc, but that is all gone and life is still good overall. Waheguru’s hand is there and hope and pray Guru will not let it go. I need it to cross this dreadful ocean of maya, nightmares, hatred, anger, greed, lust, Wordly affairs that are so many and never seem to end and take away time from Guru, meditation, naam, good thoughts, peace, sat sangat, Gurdwara, seva and all other things Sikhi that I wish and hope to do.

Now let us see what else, this morning during commute, somehow I got thinking about Mukti from a shabad I was listening to on a CD. That got me thinking as to why many people think that Mukti or liberation or salvation whatever you may want to call it usually comes from meditating, praying etc. Then thoughts went to those brave Chali Muktay (the forty liberated ones) that deserted Guru Gobind Singh Sahib but came back to fight in the battlefield. Now that is also a great Mukti, to get liberation thru giving yourself up for the cause of the Guru. It everyday things of life, we or at least I tended to kind to recite and remember their names in Ardas merely mechanically without actually thinking about them, but today’s thought about Mukti really put things in perspective. Hence the name of the town “Mukatsar” where Guru Gobind Singh Ji fought this battle and tore up the letter with names of these 40 singhs. What an honor to name a city after these forty, and yet today’s Punjabis including me tend to forget the important lessons of stories like these in Sikh history. This took me back to my post a few weeks ago about “Then how does one get Mukti?” Now I understand! Waho! Waho! Gobind Singh, Apay Gur Chela. Tera amrit is what I long for and hope will be blessed with one day.

Anyways, getting back to the original article, I wish and pray the whole World would become vegetarian, but I know that is only a wishful thinking. This is all His drama and play including meat eating. The rate this human race is going, there won’t be anything left to grow or hunt to eat in another 200 years, unless, we all tear down what we are building and developing and go back to the basics. We all talk about saving the environment being green this and that, especially in the West, but nobody wants to give up hot showers, give up meat or give up other luxeries. Now there is one that can save a lot of trees, a cold shower or Ishnan as I like to call it in Sikh terms; that is more than even the photocopier or a printer at your workplace. And, it is healthy too! I mean someone had to cut a tree or two trees or mine a bucket or two of coal to warm up that gallon of water for your convenience.