Friday, October 25, 2013

The Eternal Play

As I was reading today’s Hukum on page 746 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ सूही महला ५ ॥ Sūhī mėhlā 5. Soohee, Fifth Mehl: ਰਾਸਿ ਮੰਡਲੁ ਕੀਨੋ ਆਖਾਰਾ ॥ रासि मंडलु कीनो आखारा ॥ Rās mandal kīno ākẖārā. The Lord has made this world a stage; ਸਗਲੋ ਸਾਜਿ ਰਖਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ सगलो साजि रखिओ पासारा ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Saglo sāj rakẖi▫o pāsārā. ||1|| rahā▫o. He fashioned the expanse of the entire creation. ||1||Pause|| ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਆਪਾਰਾ ॥ बहु बिधि रूप रंग आपारा ॥ Baho biḏẖ rūp rang āpārā. He fashioned it in various ways, with limitless colors and forms. ਪੇਖੈ ਖੁਸੀ ਭੋਗ ਨਹੀ ਹਾਰਾ ॥ पेखै खुसी भोग नही हारा ॥ Pekẖai kẖusī bẖog nahī hārā. He watches over it with joy, and He never tires of enjoying it. ਸਭਿ ਰਸ ਲੈਤ ਬਸਤ ਨਿਰਾਰਾ ॥੧॥ सभि रस लैत बसत निरारा ॥१॥ Sabẖ ras laiṯ basaṯ nirārā. ||1|| He enjoys all the delights, and yet He remains unattached. ||1|| ਬਰਨੁ ਚਿਹਨੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਮੁਖੁ ਨ ਮਾਸਾਰਾ ॥ बरनु चिहनु नाही मुखु न मासारा ॥ Baran cẖihan nāhī mukẖ na māsārā. He has no color, no sign, no mouth and no beard. ਕਹਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਖੇਲੁ ਤੁਹਾਰਾ ॥ कहनु न जाई खेलु तुहारा ॥ Kahan na jā▫ī kẖel ṯuhārā. I cannot describe Your play. ਨਾਨਕ ਰੇਣ ਸੰਤ ਚਰਨਾਰਾ ॥੨॥੨॥੪੫॥ नानक रेण संत चरनारा ॥२॥२॥४५॥ Nānak reṇ sanṯ cẖarnārā. ||2||2||45|| Nanak is the dust of the feet of the Saints. ||2||2||45|| one of the lines talks about how Waheguru has created this World as a drama and watches it and enjoys it being detached from it. There are times when I sit at a bench in our local park and just watch this World around me. It is a busy little park in a downtown square probably in a one to two acres of land but has streets with car and pedestrian traffic all around it. It kind of reminds me of Model Town Jalandhar in India where there is a little park in a circular fashion with traffic, restaurants and shops all around it. It is a great feeling to just see all kinds of activities with people, pets, trees, flowers, decorations etc. Then I start thinking about how Gurbani talks about this World being a play created by God. I feel like I am also playing some sort of part in this whole drama. People suffering, people enjoying, people fighting, people playing, cries, laughs, the trees, the flowers, the birds, dogs, cats, people with different shapes, sizes, fashions, hairdos, beards, mustaches, cuts and with a little role for me. Be it good, bad, angry, happy, sad etc. I wonder what each one is thinking, what is going on each one’s life, are they happy, are they sad, are they lonely, do they have a big family, what does each one eat, all types of foods at restaurants, the types of coffees, teas, drinks, alcohols, smokes in shops and so on. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, homeless, kids playing, dogs, pigeons, sparrows. It is both fascinating and mind boggling if you really go a little deep into it. It sure feels like a 24/7 drama like New York City Broadway but on a much larger scale with so many different acts going on at the same time and it never ends even at 2AM because some activity is still going on. Even if it was dark and quiet it would still feel like a play. It reminds me of a Gurbani shabad

ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥ हमरा भरमु गइआ भउ भागा ॥ Hamrā bẖaram ga▫i▫ā bẖa▫o bẖāgā. My doubts were removed, and my fear ran away,

ਜਬ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ जब राम नाम चितु लागा ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Jab rām nām cẖiṯ lāgā. 1 rahā▫o. when my consciousness became attached to the Lord's Name. 1 Pause

ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਡੰਕ ਬਜਾਈ ॥ बाजीगर डंक बजाई ॥ Bājīgar dank bajā▫ī. When the magician beats his tambourine,

ਸਭ ਖਲਕ ਤਮਾਸੇ ਆਈ ॥ सभ खलक तमासे आई ॥ Sabẖ kẖalak ṯamāse ā▫ī. everyone comes to see the show.

ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਸ੍ਵਾਂਗੁ ਸਕੇਲਾ ॥ बाजीगर स्वांगु सकेला ॥ Bājīgar savāʼng sakelā. When the magician winds up his show,

ਅਪਨੇ ਰੰਗ ਰਵੈ ਅਕੇਲਾ ॥੨॥ अपने रंग रवै अकेला ॥२॥ Apne rang ravai akelā. 2
then he enjoys its play all alone. 2

ਕਥਨੀ ਕਹਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ कथनी कहि भरमु न जाई ॥ Kathnī kahi bẖaram na jā▫ī. By preaching sermons, one's doubt is not dispelled.

ਸਭ ਕਥਿ ਕਥਿ ਰਹੀ ਲੁਕਾਈ ॥ सभ कथि कथि रही लुकाई ॥ Sabẖ kath kath rahī lukā▫ī. Everyone is tired of preaching and teaching.

ਜਾ ਕਉ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥ जा कउ गुरमुखि आपि बुझाई ॥ Jā ka▫o gurmukẖ āp bujẖā▫ī. The Lord causes the Gurmukh to understand;

ਤਾ ਕੇ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੩॥ ता के हिरदै रहिआ समाई ॥३॥ Ŧā ke hirḏai rahi▫ā samā▫ī. 3 his heart remains permeated with the Lord. 3

ਗੁਰ ਕਿੰਚਤ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕੀਨੀ ॥ गुर किंचत किरपा कीनी ॥ Gur kicẖanṯ kirpā kīnī. When the Guru grants even a bit of His Grace,

ਸਭੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਦੇਹ ਹਰਿ ਲੀਨੀ ॥ सभु तनु मनु देह हरि लीनी ॥ Sabẖ ṯan man ḏeh har līnī. one's body, mind and entire being are absorbed into the Lord.

ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ कहि कबीर रंगि राता ॥ Kahi Kabīr rang rāṯā. Says Kabeer, I am imbued with the Lord's Love;

ਮਿਲਿਓ ਜਗਜੀਵਨ ਦਾਤਾ ॥੪॥੪॥ मिलिओ जगजीवन दाता ॥४॥४॥ Mili▫o jagjīvan ḏāṯā. 4 ll 4 I have met with the Life of the world, the Great Giver. 4 ll 4

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nanak Dukhia Sab Sansar!

As I am reading a Sikhnet story " In death, man is of no use", I am reminded of my humbling experience from last night while on a rare walk in a park. I had just put some clothes in washer and while they were being washed, I decided to go for a walk in the park near the building where we live in Bay Area, California. As I am on my 7th or 8th circle of the aprk, a man came from one of the sides saying "Sat Sri Akal Bhaji" and I kind of looked at him in surprise. "Tusi ethay rehnde ho" came another question from the man who looked almost homeless to me, drunk with shabby mehndi colored hair that are sticking up with sweater over T-shirt and army pants. I would not have thought him to be Punjabi except for his voice when he spoke. After talking for a while, he became tearful because he was longing to speak to a Punjabi. He told me he was an Amritdhari for 10 years in 1990s, hailed from Punjab and he was divorced in the 1990's. One of his sons goes to one of the University of California campuses. He he fell in a hole and hurt his back and gets State disability for his injuries. Then he says "Bhaji bhukh lagi" mere kol paise nahi. Now I have been here for almost 30 years, I have never seen a Punjabi bhra in this type of condition. A lot of emotions went thru from being sad at his condition, angry at him, his family and even our Sikh community. He mentioned that he has seen and met some Sikhs with nice BMW's but did not offer to buy him food. I do want to point out that he did not ask for money and did not beg from me to buy food. He actually showed me two dollars in his wallet. I bought him a burritto from a Mexican restaurant nearby and talked some more. We exchanged numbers and hope I can be of some help to him in the future and make some sense into him to get out of this condition. I had the waiter click a picture with him but would not share in a public forum here. But there are great lessons in life for me and hopefully others can learn from this type of experience. Like the story on Sikhnet, be useful here on this Earth, and time is not tomorrow or day after or next year or when you retire but now. And, It doesn't take a lot and even small conversation or help goes a long way.