Enter into the Company of the Holy and Contemplate the Guru's Words (Part 2 of 7)
Sadh Sangat Gur Shabad Viloway Enter into the company of the holy and contemplate the Guru’s words Part 2 of 7
Truth is not just for speaking in the Gurdwara, truth is not just for speaking in the Mandir, truth is not just for speaking with the tongue. Truth is not just for speaking to others. Truth should be in your heart, in your words and in your actions.
Truth can be spoken by anyone, but when you are cut by the saw (like Bhai Mati Das) and you still speak truth then you know that you really have truth inside you.
Gurmukh sacha panth ha, sikh sehaj ghar jaa-i khlovay The Gurmukh path is true, (whoever travels upon it, that) Sikh stands in the Sehaj Ghar. Gurmukh is the true path, because the Gurmukhs have truth in what they speak (kahnee) and truth in their actions, in they way they live their life (rehnee).
The path of the Gurmukh is true - why? Because the Gurmukh has the Guru's thoughts within them, not their own worldly thoughts. The one within whom the Guru's thoughts reside does not have room for their own thoughts. The one within whom the Guru's thought reside has a life like the Guru's life. Their words, actions will be like the Guru's. Before they sit, stand, eat or drink, at every moment of their life, they will think “are my actions and thoughts like the Guru's?” They lead their life like this.
A Gurmukh lives on the true path, due to living life according to the thinking of the Guru. A mother can give birth to a human but the Gurmukh is born out of the sadh sangat, or the holy congregation. A mother can give birth to a human, but this worldly person will have to go to sadh sangat to be born as Gurmukh.
What is this sadh sangat? It is the company of the Guru, the company of the Guru's Shabad, or Word.
Sadh Sangat gur shabd vilovay Enter into the company of the holy and contemplate the Guru’s words.
Enter into the Company of the Holy and Contemplate the Guru's Words (Part 1 of 7)
Waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,
For the Next 2 weeks daas will be trying something new. Daas will post a 7 part series on the importance of sitting in sadh sangat and contemplating god and gods words. Daas will be posting the next installment every second day. Daas asks you to check back regularly as daas thinks this 7 part series is well worth the read. The first part starts with a verse from one of Bhai Gurdaas Ji's vaaran, the following parts will incorporate sakhis.
Sadh Sangat Gur Shabad Viloway Enter into the company of the holy and contemplate the Guru’s words Part 1 of 7
Translations of Bhai Jasbir Singh Khanne Wale by Harjit Singh Lakhan Bombay Smaagam: January, 1995
Bhai Jasbir Singh Khanne Wale
In this verse, Bhai Gurdas ji talks about a gursikh’s life, what a Gursikh believes, what a Gursikh worships,what a Gursikh’s path is and what sehaj is.
Bhai Gurdas Var 28, pauree 9: 1. Gurmukh sacha panth ha, sikh sehaj ghar jaa-I khlovay The Gurmukh path is true, (whoever travels upon it, that) Sikh stands in the Sehaj Ghar.
2. Gurmukh sach rahraas ha, paaree paay pa khaak ju hovay The Gurmukh way of life is true, falling at other’s feet, they become the dust.
3. Gursikhee da naavna gurmat laa, durmat maal dhovay Bathing according to the Guru’s instructions, is to take the Guru’s wisdom (Gurmat) and to wash away the dirt of worldy wisdom.
4. Gursikhee da poojna, gursikh pooj piram ras bhovay Worship according to the Guru’s instructions, is that as the Gursikh worships they enjoy the essence of divine love.
5. Gursikhee da mananaa, gur bachanee gal har parovay Acceptance according to the Guru’s instructions is to wear the garland of the Guru’s words around the neck.
6. Gursikhee da jeevna, jeevdi-aa mar haumai khovay Life according to the Guru’s instructions, is that while living die, by destroying ego.
7. Sadh Sangat gur shabd vilovay Enter into the company of the holy and contemplate the Guru’s words.
Why is it that wherever you look Sikhs are being portrayed in a negative light? Bollywood has put Sardars into a ‘joker’ role. People make insulting Sardar jokes without a second thought. Youth are searching for excuses to cut their hair because they think it’s un-cool. Who is to blame? I will venture to say Sikhs are.
I believe that in general Sikh’s these days seem to be lacking confidence in who they are and what they stand for. This is the most confusing part. Guru Sahib is at our side, our father Shahi Shaahan Shaah Gur Gobind Singh, is the King of all Kings. Why do we need to doubt ourselves or feel inferior about ourselves when our father is the king of all kings.
In a worldly sense when someone’s father is someone famous like a movie actor, or someone’s father is a well respected man in the community, their children walk around with there head up basically saying my father is great, so am I. Some people believe they have a tough crew so they walk around like they own the world and no one can touch them, because they know they have support behind them incase anything happens.
Well Guru Sahib is the greatest father of all, they mastered martial arts, the art of war, spirituality, and they had compassion, and had no fear in the world. Guru Sahib had all the great gunn’s of the world combined. They had Dhaya (compassion), Dharm (religion), Himmat (strength), Mokham (steadfast), and they were a Sahib (master). When we have such a great father supporting us, who no one can even come close to, why do we need to feel inferior or lack confidence.
We should be proud and secure of who we are and what Guru Sahib has molded us into. So what if we look different, so what if we stand out, so what if we don’t live the lifestyle that most people are living today. Khalsa is nyaara (distinct), the Sikhi lifestyle is going to get us somewhere, the Sikhi lifestyle liberates us and free’s us from worldly maya. In the next world or when we are liberated we will be glad that we lived as Sikhs. Dukh can’t touch us, when people need help they will come to us and trust us. Guru Sahib has given us all the answers, answers the others are running around trying to find out. They don’t know why they have been given this life, and they don’t know what to do with this life or how to live it. We have been spoon fed these answers from Guru Sahib, our father has so lovingly taught us all we need to know. How lucky we are.
All this being said, we do not act as if we have the king of all kings as our father. We busy ourselves with conforming to society and distancing ourselves from our father. The Khalsa Panth is our family and when the family makes a decision we need to support our family. Otherwise when people see the family in shambles they will spit on that family, they will laugh at that family, they will take advantage of that family. Once this happens members of that family will start doubting themselves, and start distancing themselves from the family and be led stray. That is what is happening to the Sikh Quam these days.
In 1984 after Operation Blue Star, Sikhs decided to boycott Air India and other Indian government run companies. To protest the attack on Darbar Sahib, as well as the human rights violations in Punjab and all their broken promises to the Sikhs. How long did that boycott last? Well let’s say, not very long. Once our people saw that they can save $300 dollars by flying Air India instead of another airline they all lined up to buy tickets on Air India. Air India is prospering so much from Sikh business that now they even offer direct flights to Amritsar.
Now let’s contrast this to the Islamic community. Cartoons were printed about their profit Muhammad. They put every Danish business in the Middle East out of business by boycotting them. All Muslims around the world protested and stopped buying Danish products. The Danish economy is going to feel the effects of this for years to come, and people will think twice before trying something like this in the future.
How come the Sikhs boycott of Air India didn’t work, but the Islamic protest on Danish products did. The key difference is this, they are confident about their beliefs, they are confident about whom they are, and this allows them to take a strong stand and stick by it, even if the going gets tough. We as Sikhs seem to have lost our confidence in ourselves and seem to look to others to reassure us that we are ok. We seek to please others to feel better about ourselves; we try to be like others. I believe this comes back to not having the confidence to go out to the world and state we are Sikhs and we have a distinct way of life and we won’t allow people to trample on it or make a mockery of it.
Imagine if anytime a Bollywood film poked fun of a Sardar or Sikhi, all Sikhs around the world boycotted the whole Bollywood industry. That would put a huge dent into Bollywood’s profits. They would think twice before pulling a stunt like that again. Why don’t we do this, because we have forgotten how great our father is, and are to busy trying to act like others. We can’t give up a 3 hour film, or we will go against our family just to save $300 on airfare. In the long run, is saving $300 on a ticket worth your community being pushed around and giving of the image that you cant stand up for yourselves? I really don’t think so.
What’s the solution to the above problem? Why can’t we unite to take a stand and have our message heard? We are over 30 million strong around the world, if we work together our voice will be heard and we can put a stop to a lot of the beadbi going on about the Sikhi saroop and way of life. How can we make this happen? How can we be more confident in ourselves? This is a tougher question to answer. All I can say is be strong in your Sikhi, Guru Sahib themselves will give us the power and support to uphold the honor of our family. After all our father is the King of Kings.
Have you ever seen someone preaching, that drinking isn’t good, not to eat meat, not to go to clubs or pubs, and to teach your children about Sikhi and keep them on the right path, only to realize later, that the person who lectured you is doing the opposite of what they are preaching.
What about those so called Sikh leaders who chant Khalistan Zindabad, and than on their trips to India are seen wining and dining Indian Government Officials. Ever wonder why the pardhaan of the local gurdwara committee goes on stage and preaches about Sikhi but his own children are regulars at the local clubs and pubs? What Went Wrong? I believe the whole leadership structure that our community has is flawed. We have strayed from the system that our Guru’s have left us with. Leadership by election is a relatively new phenomenon in the Sikh Panth, and was introduced by the British. Leadership by election has many flaws. The main flaw being that the most popular person wins, not the most qualified. If you look at the elections in Punjab people are running as Sikhs, but they are buying votes through distributing alcohol and drugs to the people. A drug in Punjab has even been named after a famous Sikh politician because he was infamous for distributing that drug during election time. This is further proved with the following quote,
“Without mincing words, the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and the Jathedar of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, have held the SAD-BJP government and its official machinery responsible for “spreading the drug menace” in the state.” (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010117/punjab1.htm)
To a lesser extent gurdwara elections are also run as popularity races, and people running basically buy their votes. This whole system is flawed, that is why we end up with the type of hypocritical, power hungry leaders that we do. The Guru’s left us with such an amazing system which incorporated checks and balances, but we have fallen pray to the election system, because those who speak out loudest in support of this system are the ones who have the most to lose if this system is abolished.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji put into place the leadership system of the Panj Pyarai. In order to be even considered to do sewa in the Panj Pyarai you must uphold Gurmat Rehit, have nitnem baneeya memorize, and be a full and practicing Sikh who is committed to the Chardi Kala of the Panth. This is the type of Gursikhs we need to be our leaders and to represent the Panth. How can someone who himself isn’t a practicing Sikh run a gurdwara or educate the masses about Sikhi, or deal with Panthic affairs? It makes no sense, practicing Gursikhs are needed to deal with Panthic Matters.
The problem currently is that these Gursikhs prefer to remain gupt because they know how messy our Panthic political situation is now, and how dirty it can get, and they prefer to stay out of this mess and concentrate on their bhagti. People are winning elections based on buying votes and feeding voters nashai, and Gursikhs want nothing to do with this. The masses are so lost that they vote for these so-called leaders just because they gave them a bottle of whiskey, with no regard to the future of the Panth. That is how cheap it has become to buy a vote these days.
The Panj Pyara system would solve this problem, because there would be no campaigning and elections involved. Rather there would be a method of ‘selection’ as opposed to ‘election’. Instead of having one leader the Panj Pyarai would lead, and the Panj Pyarai amongst themselves would choose a Jathedaar out of the 5, to be the spokesperson. All decisions would be made with a consensus of the Panj Pyarai, and since they are practicing Gursikh’s living high spiritual jeevans, our Panth would be in good hands. The Panj would have the knowledge to inspire others and bring them onto the Sikh path. The Panj would be committed to Guru Sahib and the Panth, this would be reinforced by their high spiritual jeevans, and so they would not fall pray to greed and jealousy and would keep Panthic Chardi Kala at the forefront.
I believe that the Sangat should nominate qualified Gursikhs to be a part of the Panj Pyarai of each institution, if more than 5 Gursikhs are nominated than everyone should go in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji put there names in a hat, do ardas and take hukamnama, than according to Guru Ji’s will draw 5 names from the hat (parchi system), and those 5 Gursikhs would be the panj pyarai. This is the ideal system for our Panth. It would eliminate the hypocritical and fake leaders that we see on our stages, as well as the same leaders who exploit the Panth for their own personal gain. When re-introducing the Panj Pyara system, people will put up lots of resistance. But these people will not have the Chardi Kala of the Panth in their minds; they will just be worried about their own ‘chaudar’ and losing control. We must not be deterred by the noise these people will make, as I will venture to compare them to the ‘masands’ who exploited the Panth and Guru Gobind Singh Ji finally took the steps to burn them alive. When someone loses something dear to them, such as their hold over the Panth and its assets they will cry and make noise, but at the end we must work for the Chardi Kala of the Panth. We must strengthen our jeevans to be able to stand up to these modern day masands and retake the leadership of the Panth. Guru Sahib is there to support us, if we take one step towards them, they will take a thousand steps towards us.
I will end of with a quote;
“At crucial moments of history Panj Piare have collectively acted as supreme authority, representing the Guru-Panth. During the battle of Chamkaur, it was the last five surviving Sikhs who, constituting themselves into the Council of Five, Panj Piare, commanded Guru Gobind Singh to leave the fortress and save himself to reassemble the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh had abolished the masand system and before he passed away, he also ended the line of living gurus. In the institution of Panj Piare, he had created the nucleus of a casteless and democratic continuing society.” (http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/institutes/ppiare.html)
Waheguru Ji Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
*please note that our real leader and guiding light is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj
Before starting I would like to state, that I believe that parchaariks should spend years studying and practicing the Sikhi lifestyle before they go out and educate the masses. Becoming a ‘Sikh Leader’ or Parchaarik is a great responsibility and requires the person to live a GurSikhi Jeevan, until we solve the issue of people becoming parchaariks or leaders overnight and pretending they know all, the panth will continue to have reoccurring problems. We need to start from the roots and make our own Sikhi strong and live the life. Until we have a love for Sikhi and submit to Guru Ji, and see god in everyone, we will have problems. These are issues that need to be sorted out on a panthic level. This being said, the essay below does not attempt to address the above issues, but addresses instead issues on a smaller scale that are coming up in the panth today.
I believe the greatest weakness is our panth today is our lack of foresight into the future and our crabs in a barrel mentality. If someone is doing something wrong, there are proper ways to go about it, without sacrificing the sewa they have been doing for the panth, or making the panth as a whole look bad. My basic point is that when we make an accusation on someone in public, or try to bring someone down, we may think we are doing a great service to the panth, but this is really not the case. If someone is doing something wrong or has made a mistake, there are ways to deal with it. This will be discussed further below. Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindrawale is the epitome of how a Gursikh should act when faced with an internal panthic problem. When Longowal would talk bad about Sant Ji or try to engage in politics with Sant Ji, Sant Ji would never say anything on stage against Longowal. Sant Ji realized that internal in-fighting would not advance the cause of the panth but would actually set the movement back. Even though Sant Ji came to know of the character of Longowal they dealt with it behind the scenes and would not try to turn people against Longowal. Another prevalent issue in the panth was the raag mala issue, which Sant Ji always preached to the Singh’s that this is not the time to deal with this issue, it will just divide us further and give an advantage to our enemies who can exploit our internal panthic differences. Sant Ji realized we have to put up a united front and work for the chardi kala of the panth, so that we can work together and face the external forces. If we busy ourselves with in-fighting and bringing each other down, or fighting over petty issues we will be so busy fighting each other, that the enemies of the panth will have a field day dividing us, and using us to their advantage. At the end of the day the biggest losers will be the Sikh Panth. Sant Jarnail Singh Ji realized that once we have Sikh Raj, or once we have rid ourselves of our enemies, than we can deal with our internal issues, by proceeding like this, the enemies of the panth would not be able to split and divide us, and use us to their advantage.
Nowadays when I look around I am immensely saddened by the mind set of some people and how we are so quick to try and destroy other Singh’s. Have we not learned anything from the past? We are making the same mistakes over and over, and it is not going to accomplish anything for the panth, all it is doing is causing petty in-fighting and needless power struggles. Can we not see the big picture and see how this is hurting us. When a Singh is publicly humiliated by his fellow Singh’s does this not make a mockery out of the panth in the eyes of outsiders looking in? When a mona sees Singh’s fighting with each other throwing around accusations of a Singh’s character will the mona see any value in taking amrit? When our enemies see us trying to destroy each other, will they infiltrate us and pit us against each other even more, will they fuel the fire? Why don’t we realize this?
A recent example that comes into my mind is the whole Sukhpreet Singh Udhoke situation. This Singh was basically the spokesperson for the organization GURSIKH. People may recognize him from the Tabhe Ros Jageo DVD where he talks about how RSS is infiltrating the Panth and making it look like we are Hindus. Sukhpreet Singh was also traveling to colleges across Punjab educating youth about the situation and refuting the claims of RSS. I was present in Mississauga when Sukhpreet Singh did the RSS presentation, and afterwards some Singh’s had asked him to stay in Canada because he may be in danger in India. He answered saying someone has to do this sewa and so he will return to Punjab. I think we can all agree that this sewa needs to be done.
Recently articles have been circulated on messages boards, and audio recording have also been released which show Sukhpreet Singh ‘flirting’ with another bibi who is not his wife. I do not dispute that this is wrong, but it seems to me that this is a huge setup. It seems to me that there was an internal fight somewhere along the line and basically someone wanted to destroy Sukhpreet Singh. From the tapes it seems that the bibi is leading Sukhpreet on, and from the quality of the recordings it is evident that the bibi’s phone was tapped. Now I am by no means saying it is ok that Sukhpreet Singh fell victim to kaam. What I am intending to show is, this situation was handled wrong and people are too quick to try and destroy someone. After everything that has now happened Sukhpreet Singh’s ability to combat the RSS has pretty much been destroyed, as well as his ability to do any sort of panthic sewa.
Wouldn’t it have been much better, to deal with the situation behind closed doors, and have Sukhpreet Singh appear before the panj pyarai and be peshed and punished accordingly. What was the use of taking this public and pretty much character assassinating him? Now not only does Sukhpreet Singh lose but more importantly so does the Panth. Now who will travel around educating people about RSS? You may say the GURSIKH organization will get someone else to continue this sewa, but let’s see if someone commits to doing this sewa, I personally have doubts. Did Sukhpreet Singh make a mistake? Of course he did. But could he have learned from this mistake and became a better person because of it, I believe so. Bhai Joga Singh committed himself to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and even left his own wedding in the middle of the lavaan due to Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s hukam. On the way to meet Guru Ji, Bhai Joga Singh fell victim to his kaam and started having thoughts about going to a brothel. If a great Sikh like Bhai Joga Singh can slip that means anyone can. But Bhai Joga Singh recovered, and didn’t end up going in the brothel and fully repented afterwards. Who’s to say the same could not apply to Sukhpreet Singh. What was the need to fully character assassinate him, and destroy any ability he had to do panthic sewa. The way things are unfolding, ultimately the panth loses, and RSS (one of the panth’s enemies wins). Now RSS has one less person doing parchar against them, and the panth has one less person educating them. If things were handled with an eye on the big picture, the outcome could have been different, but the panth was once again dragged down by petty in-fighting, and a short minded view.
Another example that comes to mind is Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale. Sure there was a video of people matha tekking to them which caused controversy. But this video was released 2 years after it was made, when Baba Ranjit Singh’s popularity was at an all time high. Why the 2 year delay, if people had honest intentions why the 2 year delay? Baba Ranjit Singh also came on the radio and publicly apologized and said that he doesn’t allow anyone to matha tek to him since that video and he has learned his lesson, and that he is still learning. Baba Ranjit Singh admitted his mistake and said he won’t repeat it, but people are still hounding him and attacking him and his character. If its not this issue, than people are saying he reads kutchee bani. For those people who don’t know Dharnai have been sung in Malwa region for the longest time, it’s a way of parchar, others including Sant Ishar Singh Ji sang dharna’s. If you go to the Malwa region dharnas are still being effectively used to do parchar. So why aren’t people letting loose on them? At the end when people are trying to destroy Baba Ranjit Singh, they are ignoring the big picture of the panth. Punjab is being over run by deydhari gurus and pakhandi sants who make people worship them. Baba Ranjit Singh makes it a point to base his parchar around Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and bringing people back to Guru Ji. Now if we undermine his ability to do this, whose going to continue this? He admitted his mistake and learned from it, now why are we bringing him down. Once again it’s a crab's in a barrel mentality, and is undermining the Sikh Panth.
Another example is when Baba Thakur Singh Ji passed. There was a conflict of who will be the next mukhi of Taksal. The Baba Ram Singh supporters were mud-slinging at Dhumma, and the Dhumma supporters were mud-slinging at Baba Ram Singh. Who loses in this situation, the Panth does. Enemies can easily align themselves with both sides and encourage them to further divide the panth and compromise the sewa that the jatha is doing. It also puts out a negative image to the world about the panth and the state its in. I remember when this whole controversy was going on some people were going on message boards and writing bad about Baba Ram Singh and supporting Dhumma, than they started disagreeing with Dhumma and started bad-mouthing him. What is the sense in this, did it accomplish anything? I’m not saying Dhumma or Ram Singh are perfect, but what was the point of this needless mud-slinging, at the end of the day it made Taksal look bad, which as a result made the panth look bad, which in turn made the panth more vulnerable to external forces.
I know I have rambled a lot. But I feel strongly about this issue. We have to stop stabbing each other in the back, and being so quick to destroy people. There are other ways to sort out problems, and if someone makes a mistake we should allow for them to correct this mistake before going public and as a result making the whole panth look bad. Sant Jarnail Singh Ji is a great example of how things should be done. If Sant Ji got side tracked from the main mission and allowed themselves to get involved in petty in-fighting what would have been the state of the panth during the movement? Lets learn from great gursikhs and work together for the Chardi Kala of the panth.