Monday, November 22, 2010

How to solve Sikh infighting in Gurdwaras across globe?

I just read about the National Gurdawara in Maryland area of U.S. being dragged into courts and was saddened to hear about all this infighting and the story repeats over and over all over the World. Here are some quick thoughts and my few cents to offer solutions that Akal Takhat and every sangat may consider putting in place to end it once and for all. It is a disgrace for our community since actions of a few affect us all:

1) Every Gurdwara committee shall designate a meeting place away from Guruji's main darbar hall and hold a weekly meeting with all sangat members present.

2) Policy shall be placed to make sure there is No loud yelling, No abusive language, No physical assaults, No finger pointing, No kirpan pulling, No throwing things like chairs, papers, pencils, pens, tomatoes at each other etc. and No weapons of any kind shall be allowed besides Kirpan which shall never be pulled out in a Gurughar.

3) Commitee shall post in a conspicuous place of Gurughar and circulate among sangat, no less than five and no more than 20 copies of the "Monthly" financial report to sangat in a weekly meeting. The report shall be electronically posted on a website if available and emails of the report shall be sent to a sangat member upon request.

4) The financial report shall be detailed to include the following information:

a) any amount that exceeds five hours of minimum wage of the state and country, whichever is less, where the Gurdwara is located shall be included on the report. This includes expenditures for langar, maintenance, labor, and other services for the Gurdwara.

b) Details of the purpose of expenditure.

c) Name, address, contact number and email of the Person(s) along with organization or business receiving the money.

d) Name of the person from the Gurdwara committee authorizing the money to be spent.

e) Beginning and ending balances.

f) Type of transaction such as cash, check electronic etc.

f) Outstanding debts or credits or money owed and loaned to all individuals and entities.

5) Any disagreements or questions on the amounts being spent shall be in writing.

6) Expenditure Amounts of more than a month's wage based on 40 hours per week, shall be voted by sangat via electronically or secret paper ballot and shall be approved by at least three fifth majority. The ballots shall be opened in weekly meeting. This includes all sales of a portion or whole Gurdwara property. The profits from sale shall be controlled by a five member trust that shall not personally benefit from the sale and shall only be used for the purpose voted on by the sangat. Members of the trust shall be elected by the sangat and can not be from the same family and shall follow the above guidelines to give account to sangat. Transfer all current properties from individual names to five member trusts that are voted in by Sangat every two years and the proceeds from sale and transfer shall be approved by local sangat and shall benefit majority of the local sangat.

7) All expenses paid for hired sevadaars, raagi jathas etc. shall be approved by sangat vote at least a month prior to them performing services.

8) Add as it pleases and works for local sangat. Common sense shall prevail...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baba Nanak, The Jagat (Universal) Guru! The Greatest of all in the Universe!

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
सूही महला ५ ॥
Sūhī mėhlā 5.
Soohee, Fifth Mehl:

ਜਿਸ ਕੇ ਸਿਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਤੂੰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕੈਸਾ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
जिस के सिर ऊपरि तूं सुआमी सो दुखु कैसा पावै ॥
Jis ke sir ūpar ṯūʼn su▫āmī so ḏukẖ kaisā pāvai.
When You stand over our heads, O Lord and Master, how can we suffer in pain?

ਬੋਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਮਰਣਾ ਚੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥੧॥
बोलि न जाणै माइआ मदि माता मरणा चीति न आवै ॥१॥
Bol na jāṇai mā▫i▫ā maḏ māṯā marṇā cẖīṯ na āvai. ||1||
The mortal being does not know how to chant Your Name - he is intoxicated with the wine of Maya, and the thought of death does not even enter his mind. ||1||

ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਇ ਤੂੰ ਸੰਤਾ ਕਾ ਸੰਤ ਤੇਰੇ ॥
मेरे राम राइ तूं संता का संत तेरे ॥
Mere rām rā▫e ṯūʼn sanṯā kā sanṯ ṯere.
O my Sovereign Lord, You belong to the Saints, and the Saints belong to You.

ਤੇਰੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਕਉ ਭਉ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਮੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਵੈ ਨੇਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
तेरे सेवक कउ भउ किछु नाही जमु नही आवै नेरे ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Ŧere sevak ka▫o bẖa▫o kicẖẖ nāhī jam nahī āvai nere. ||1|| rahā▫o.
Your servant is not afraid of anything; the Messenger of Death cannot even approach him. ||1||Pause||

ਜੋ ਤੇਰੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਾ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਦੁਖੁ ਨਾਸਾ ॥
जो तेरै रंगि राते सुआमी तिन्ह का जनम मरण दुखु नासा ॥
Jo ṯerai rang rāṯe su▫āmī ṯinĥ kā janam maraṇ ḏukẖ nāsā.
Those who are attuned to Your Love, O my Lord and Master, are released from the pains of birth and death.

ਤੇਰੀ ਬਖਸ ਨ ਮੇਟੈ ਕੋਈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਦਿਲਾਸਾ ॥੨॥
तेरी बखस न मेटै कोई सतिगुर का दिलासा ॥२॥
Ŧerī bakẖas na metai ko▫ī saṯgur kā ḏilāsā. ||2||
No one can erase Your Blessings; the True Guru has given me this assurance. ||2||

ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਨਿ ਸੁਖ ਫਲ ਪਾਇਨਿ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਆਰਾਧਹਿ ॥
नामु धिआइनि सुख फल पाइनि आठ पहर आराधहि ॥
Nām ḏẖi▫ā▫in sukẖ fal pā▫in āṯẖ pahar ārāḏẖėh.
Those who meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, obtain the fruits of peace. Twenty-four hours a day, they worship and adore You.

ਤੇਰੀ ਸਰਣਿ ਤੇਰੈ ਭਰਵਾਸੈ ਪੰਚ ਦੁਸਟ ਲੈ ਸਾਧਹਿ ॥੩॥
तेरी सरणि तेरै भरवासै पंच दुसट लै साधहि ॥३॥
Ŧerī saraṇ ṯerai bẖarvāsai pancẖ ḏusat lai sāḏẖėh. ||3||
In Your Sanctuary, with Your Support, they subdue the five villains. ||3||

ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਤੇਰੀ ॥
गिआनु धिआनु किछु करमु न जाणा सार न जाणा तेरी ॥
Gi▫ān ḏẖi▫ān kicẖẖ karam na jāṇā sār na jāṇā ṯerī.
I know nothing about wisdom, meditation and good deeds; I know nothing about Your excellence.

ਸਭ ਤੇ ਵਡਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਲ ਰਾਖੀ ਮੇਰੀ ॥੪॥੧੦॥੫੭॥
सभ ते वडा सतिगुरु नानकु जिनि कल राखी मेरी ॥४॥१०॥५७॥
Sabẖ ṯe vadā saṯgur Nānak jin kal rākẖī merī. ||4||10||57||
Guru Nanak is the greatest of all; He saved my honor in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. ||4||10||57||

Happy Gurpurab to Everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why repeat Guru Ji's Mantra?

This morning while doing waheguru simran, thought comes to mind as to why am I repeating the Waheguru mantar. I always used to think why the Bhai ji and raagi jaathas keep saying Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru for 15 to 20 minutes in the Gurdwara? At the time I thought it was boring because of my limited budhi (understanding) and less intutive thinking. I would even ask people as to why they keep saying waheguru waheguru instead of singing a shabad but didn't get the satisfactory answer. I guess I wasn't meant to reap the reward of simran during those times. After listening to lectures, kathas, and Gurbani it makes perfect sense now. You see, repeating of Guru ji's mantar is kind of like making butter by churning milk in a chaati (a terracotta pot typically used in Punjab) with madhani (churn with a rope attached to it for turning back and forth repeatedly). You can not get to taste and enjoy the butter if you don't churn it properly. You churn it halfway and not at the right speed, it doesn't turn out good and you get half results. Guru ji knows how to churn it properly and teaches you, but you have to be willing to make the effort to learn and enjoy. I hope this helps explains some of you out there that are feeling as I used to feel about repating Gurmantar. I like what Siri Singh Sahib says:

"Sri Guru Granth Sahib is our Guru and Waheguru is our Gurmantar".

This Shabad is by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars Bhai Gurdaas on Pannaa 42

charan saran gur eaek paiddaa jaae chala
sath gur kott paiddaa aagae hoe laeth hai ||
eaek baar sathigur ma(n)thr simaran maathra
simaran thaahi baara(n)baar gur haeth hai ||
bhaavanee bhagath bhaae kouddee agrabhaag raakhai
thaahi gur sarab nidhhaan dhaan dhaeth hai ||
sathigur dhaeiaa nidhh mehimaa agaadhh bodhhi
namo namo namo namo naeth naeth naeth hai ||111||

Walking one step towards the Guru's feet, the True Guru walks millions of steps to welcome you. By reapeating the mantra given by the True Guru only once, Guru blesses you with love and devotion and repetition of the Name again and again. If, with devotion and reverence, one places only one coin in front of the Guru, the Guru blesses one with all treasures. The True Guru is the treasure of all mercy. His glory is infinite. Always, always, always, I bow, I bow, I bow

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ਭੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ Without the Fear of God, there is no devotional worship, and no love for the Naam, the Name of the Lord.

ਪਉੜੀ ॥
पउड़ी ॥

ਭੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥
भै बिनु भगति न होवई नामि न लगै पिआरु ॥
Bhai bin bhagat na hovaī nām na lagai piār.
Without the Fear of God, there is no devotional worship, and no love for the Naam, the Name of the Lord.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਭਉ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੈ ਭਾਇ ਰੰਗੁ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥
सतिगुरि मिलिऐ भउ ऊपजै भै भाइ रंगु सवारि ॥
Satgur miliai bhao ūpjai bhai bhāe rang savār.
Meeting with the True Guru, the Fear of God wells up, and one is embellished with the Fear and the Love of God.

ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਰਤਾ ਰੰਗ ਸਿਉ ਹਉਮੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਮਾਰਿ ॥
तनु मनु रता रंग सिउ हउमै त्रिसना मारि ॥
Ŧan man ratā rang sio haumai tarisnā mār.
When the body and mind are imbued with the Lord's Love, egotism and desire are conquered and subdued.

ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਅਤਿ ਸੋਹਣਾ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥
मनु तनु निरमलु अति सोहणा भेटिआ क्रिसन मुरारि ॥
Man tan nirmal at sohnā bhetiā krisan murār.
The mind and body become immaculately pure and very beautiful, when one meets the Lord, the Destroyer of ego.

ਭਉ ਭਾਉ ਸਭੁ ਤਿਸ ਦਾ ਸੋ ਸਚੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥੯॥
भउ भाउ सभु तिस दा सो सचु वरतै संसारि ॥९॥
Bhao bhāo sab tis dā so sach vartai sansār. ||9||
Fear and love all belong to Him; He is the True Lord, permeating and pervading the Universe. ||9||