Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why take Amrit so lightly? It feeds your soul!

Over the years, I have heard various things about what Amrit means to various people who would fit into different categories of Amritdhari, Sehajdhari, patits and non-Sikhs. Some stories have been very shocking and makes one wonder as to why people even decide to take Amrit in the first place if they are not going to follow Guru’s instructions. One doesn’t even have to read or know or understand all the rehat maryadas, in order to understand what some of these are doing under the disguise of Amrit. Once I was at an Indian/Punjabi wedding in UK, and the fellow Punjabi men, many of whom were born into Sikh families literally called alcohol as Amrit and made fun of Sikhi. I wish I could put some sense into these fools but all I could do was to ask Waheguru to forgive them. Yes, I could have punched their faces and given them lectures on how their forefathers made sacrifices for Sikhi, Punjabiat, and the so called freedom they seem to enjoy,and tried to make some sense into them. Many of them elders whom, according to Indian/Punjabi culture, we are supposed to respect, admire and look up to as role models. To me, they were the biggest bunch of idiots, who don’t understand Sikhi, don’t have any sense of shame, pride or respect about goodness in Sikhi, Punjabi culture, Indian values. They are just nothing and have learned anything even if they live in rich western countries and civilized societies! To even call them relatives is a disgrace and shame for me, and yet they are my distant relatives.  And yet, they act like they are something, because they have made some money and doing financially okay. They seem to take so much pride in their houses, their bars, their cars, their financial success that they feel so invincible to the point of calling alcohol as “Amrit”. They are a disgrace to their society, their culture, their parents, their childern and most importantly to Guru and God.

Similarly, I also met a turban wearing caucasian Sikh lady, who mentioned that she was an Amritdhari. When I asked how hard it was since Amrit is a big commitment, I was shocked to hear her answer as to how her friends drink, smoke and use drugs and yet they are Amrtidharis. I asked her as to why does one even take Amrit and stay a Sikh, if they are not going to follow Guru’s way? Why not call yourself something else instead of A Sikh of the Guru. Again, all I could do was to leave judgment about those people to God? Why make spirituality, God and Guru a joke and hypocracy? Again, I could have used some swear words at her friends in anger and lectured on what Amrit means to many true Gursikhs, how it should not be made a joke. Again, even though it is hard at times, I think judging someone should be left to God and they would have to deal with their own account.

Now, what does Amrit means to a Gursikh? And, what would it mean to me if Satguru graces me with one ever? I admit that it may not be perfect, but definitely no drugs, alcohol, cutting hair, smoking etc. I might as well start shaving again than to disgrace Sikhi. It seems so hard at times, yet at the same time, it also seems so easy. Hard, because it requires a head be given to the Guru? And easy, since life of a Sikh literally revolves around Guru’s words, which is Naam (God’s name) and hence path to salvation. Now, I don't think it makes a difference if one recites banis five times or seven times or using this maryada or that maryada or does one bani or many banis, but actaully a sincere 24/7 conscious and subconscious focus and dedication thru Guru’s word. I like what Siri Singh Sahib says in one of his lectures, it goes something like this, “If this head has to belong to the Guru, then this head must think and work for the Guru”. It makes perfect sense to me and upon reading Gurbani, I think this is what Amrit should mean to a Sikh and how lightly or seriously one takes depends upon his or her connection with their soul, Guru and God and that is what gives one a peace of mind. So, Amrit is God's name, as a nectar, which is obtained thru Guru's word. Chanting God's name during Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chakna feeds one’s soul and uplifts one’s physical and spiritual consciousness to a state of immortality. The examples are numerous in Sri Guru Granth Sahib as follows:

Sggs. Page 119

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਬਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ अम्रित सबदु अम्रित हरि बाणी ॥ Amriṯ sabaḏ amriṯ har baṇī.
The Shabad is Amrit; the Lord's Bani is Amrit.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਸੇਵਿਐ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ सतिगुरि सेविऐ रिदै समाणी ॥ Saṯgur sevi▫ai riḏai samāṇī.
Serving the True Guru, it permeates the heart.
ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਪੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਭ ਭੁਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੮॥੧੫॥੧੬॥ नानक अम्रित नामु सदा सुखदाता पी अम्रितु सभ भुख लहि जावणिआ ॥८॥१५॥१६॥ Nānak amriṯ nām saḏā sukẖ▫ḏāṯa pī amriṯ sabẖ bẖukẖ lėh jāvaṇi▫ā. ||8||15||16||
O Nanak, the Ambrosial Naam is forever the Giver of peace; drinking in this Amrit, all hunger is satisfied. ||8||15||16||

SGGS, pg 96
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਦਾਤੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਿੜਾਇਆ ॥ सतिगुर दातै नामु दिड़ाइआ ॥ Saṯgur ḏāṯai nām ḏiṛā▫i▫ā. The True Guru, the Giver, has implanted the Naam, the Name of the Lord, within me.
ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ वडभागी गुर दरसनु पाइआ ॥ vadbẖāgī gur ḏarsan pā▫i▫ā. By great good fortune, I have obtained the Blessed Vision of the Guru's Darshan.
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸੁ ਸਚੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਬੋਲੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੀਚੈ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥ अम्रित रसु सचु अम्रितु बोली गुरि पूरै अम्रितु लीचै जीउ ॥३॥ Amriṯ ras sacẖ amriṯ bolī gur pūrai amriṯ līcẖai jī▫o. ||3|| The True Essence is Ambrosial Nectar; through the Ambrosial Words of the Perfect Guru, this Amrit is obtained. ||3||