ims191@gmail.com

Sep 182017
 

ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸੁਨਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ॥

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਪੇਖੁ ॥

ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥

ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਉਤਰੈ ਚਿੰਦ ॥

ਆਸ ਅਨਿਤ ਤਿਆਗਹੁ ਤਰੰਗ ॥

ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਕੀ ਧੂਰਿ ਮਨ ਮੰਗ ॥

ਆਪੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਕਰਹੁ ॥

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰਹੁ ॥

ਹਰਿ ਧਨ ਕੇ ਭਰਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥

ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਨਮਸਕਾਰ ॥੧॥

 

Each breath you take, remember Him
No more cares, just peace within.
Think of Him, meditate on Him
Love Him, be with Him.

Each breath you take ….

Listen to the perfect Guru
Behold the Lord, always with you.

Each breath you take ….

Of fleeting desire, still the waves
Let saint’s dust be all you crave.

Each breath you take ….

Renouncing ego, pray with devotion.
With Saadh sangat swim the fiery ocean.

Each breath you take ….

Amass the wealth of Naam evermore
Waheguru  love and adore.

Each breath you take ….

 

 

 

Sep 102017
 

GuruGranthSahib.107220330_large

VICHAAR

ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Study Group Brought to you by The Chardi Kalaa Foundation, IGS Now and Sikh Gurdwara San Jose.

Date: Sunday September 24, 2017
Location: Sikh Gurdwara San Jose – Sahibzada Fateh Singh Room in the Khalsa school area.
Time: 11:00 AM
Duration: 2 Hours
Format: Conference Room
Medium: English

Program:

S.  Chetandeep Singh  will address the subject of “Mann (mind)

Abstract:
What is Mann ? Is it heart, brain or mind ? What does Gurbani has to say about Mann ? What is the process of aligning Mann with Guru’s Matt ? And finally if this Mann or mind is akin to an elephant – how to tame it ? We will look at all these & more in this presentation.

As always, we look for active participation by the Sangat in an environment that encourages interactive discussion.

Video of Session:

to be added

Aug 182017
 

Shabad 1: Tu Sajan tu Pritam mera , chiteh na bisreh kahoo bera ; Raag: Suhi

Trainer: Prof Dalbir Singh

Prof. Dalbir Singh has been spreading the knowledge of Gurmat Sangeet to the seekers with devotion and dedication for the last thirty-five years. He is the son of the renowned Taus player, Giani Beant Singh, who was a disciple of Ragi Bhai Juwala Singh of Thattha Tibba gharana. Dalbir Singh was awarded with a gold medal in B.A. Honors Music from the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. And later, received his Master’s in music from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Since then, he has been teaching all over the world from India, to Thailand, and now in bay area, California. Dalbir Singh also has published three books in Gurmat Sangeet. His latest book, Gurmat Sangeet Rachnavali, has 122 compositions in 31 nirdharit Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Participant : Sania Kaur

Sania Kaur Bhella is a 10th-grade student at University Preparatory Academy and has been learning kirtan from San Jose Khalsa School since she was 10.  Kirtan inspires her because it allows her to connect with the Gurbani and follow guru’s message to be a better person. She loves to sing the melodious praise of Guru’s grace, allowing her to be in the presence of Waheguru. She loves playing Rabab, Harmonium and enjoys science, specifically biology.

 

 

Participant : Mahima Kaur

Mahima Kaur Bhella is a 7th-grade student at University Preparatory Academy and has been learning Kirtan since she was 6 through Khalsa School. Doing Kirtan inspires her to learn more about Raags and Taals and really explores the world of Gurbani Kirtan. Mahima plays Harmonium, Dilruba, and Tanpura while also singingin Raag. She also enjoys dancing and acting.

 

 

Participant: Gurleen Kaur

Gurleen Kaur is a sophomore at Silver Creek High School and has been learning Kirtan at Khalsa school for 7 years. She loves Kirtan because it helps her learn more about her faith and helps her connect with Waheguru. Gurleen likes to spend time with her family and wishes to become a doctor in the future.

Participant: Japleen Kaur            

Japleen Kaur is in 7th grade in Chaboya Middle School and has been learning Kirtan since she was four years old. Kirtan inspires her because when listening and singing to shabads with Raags, she feels at peace and connected with Waheguru. In general, she enjoys being in the student council and carrying out community projects with her fellow members

Participant: Kunwarpreet Singh

Kunwarpreet Singh is a Grade 12 student in Evergreen Valley High School and has been learning Tabla since he was 9 years of age from Khalsa school. He also does Kirtan. He loves playing tabla because it’s an escape for him, from his fears and problems in life. He plays 3 instruments, speaks 4 languages, plays 2 sports, and wishes to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering

 

 

 

 


 

Shabad 2: Suhab, Suhab, Suhavi. Apney Pritam key Rang Rati; Raag: Suhi

 

Trainer: Bibbi Leena Kaur

Bibbi Leena has been spreading Gurbani’s message through multiple Radio channels for many years. Her interest in music originally started with exploring the 31 Raags in SGGS ji to understand and internalize the depth of Gurbani teachings. It quickly expanded to different horizons in music with desires to revive Sikh heritage instruments among our younger generation, and extend the richness of Sikh musical background and lyrics in Punjabi language to everyone. She is very inspired to bring the depth and light of Gurbani teachings through her music and seeks blessings from everyone in her endeavors.

 

 

Participant: Bhavandeep Kaur

Bhavandeep has been doing Kirtan for 8 years and was influenced by her sister and uncle as she watched them play for many years. She loves Kirtan because it’s fun to perform and she loves to sing and thinks it sounds beautiful. She attends Evergreen Valley High School and is now starting 11th grade.

 

 

 

 

Participant: Gurdeep Kaur

Gurdeep Kaur is starting college as a freshman at San Jose State University. She has been learning Kirtan since about five years now.  Her dad is her inspiration for learning Kirtan. She loves doing Kirtan because it relaxes her mind and she feels more attached to Gurbani. She plays two instruments: Harmonium and Tanpura.

 

 

 

Participant: Jasleen Kaur

Jasleen Kaur is a 9th grade student in Pioneer High School and has been learning Kirtan since she was 6 years old from Khalsa School. She enjoys Kirtan because it keeps her connected to Waheguru. She likes playing Dilruba and Harmonium and enjoys reading and learning math and science.

 

 

 

Participant: Jaspreet Singh

Jaspreet Singh is a 10th grade student at Monta Vista High School and has been learning Kirtan since he was six years old. He is inspired to do Kirtan because he loves music and singing Gurbani. He plays Rabab and Tabla, and also is interested in robotics.

 

 

 

 

Participant: Keerat Kaur

Keerat Kaur is a student in 12th grade at Monta Vista High School and has been learning Kirtan since she was seven years old. She is inspired to do Kirtan because it allows her to find a sense of tranquility in the busy everyday routine and stay close to Waheguru. Keerat enjoys playing Dilruba, Taus, and Violin. She is also passionate about science and space.

 

 

Participant: Sukhveer Singh

Sukhveer is a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. He has been learning Tabla at Guru Nanak Khalsa School for over seven years. Sukhveer is passionate about playing Tabla and learning Kirtan. He also enjoys playing the violin and is part of the chamber orchestra at his high school

 

 

 

Participant: Tanvir Kaur

Tanvir Kaur is an 11th grade student at University Preparatory Academy, and has been learning Kirtan since she was 6 from Guru Nanak Khalsa School. She enjoys Kirtan because she feels like singing shabads from the Guru Granth Sahib helps her grow closer to Waheguru and create a bond between her and her culture. She likes to play Rabab, Dilruba, sing, and participate in speech competitio

 

Aug 162017
 

Sikh Way of LifeHarnoor Kaur: Sikh Way of Life Inspired by Guru Nanak

The author: Harnoor is 8 years old and is studying in grade 3 in Tom Matsumoto Elementary School. She has been participating in Hemkunt Speech Competition for the last 2 years. She gets her inspiration to participate in Speech Competition from her sister Japleen Kaur. In general, Harnoor enjoys painting and playing chess with her family and friends. She is an accomplished speaker at a very young age. At recently concluded Sri Hemkunt Foundation International Sikh Youth Symposium in Sacramento CA, she obtained first position in the group I (6-8 Years)

 


 

Geeta Kaur: Sikh Way of Life inspired by the novel “Satwant Kaur” by Bhai Veer Singh

 The author: Geeta is in 8th grade at Kennedy Middle School in Cupertino. She has been a regular participant in the Sri Hemkunt Foundation Symposium for the past seven years and this year has been placed first in group III at the International Sikh Youth Symposium. She enjoys playing the rabab, harmonium and violin as well as performing Kirtan. On Sundays, she helps teach Punjabi and Gurbani to young children at Guru Nanak Khalsa School at San Jose Gurdwara. In her spare time she loves reading fiction books.


Sukhveer Singh: Sikh Way of Life inspired by Sikh Rehat maryada.

The author: Sukhveer is a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. He has been a regular participant in the Sri Hemkunt Foundation Symposium for over ten years. This year he was placed first in the senior most group at the International Youth Symposium. He enjoys playing the violin and is part of the chamber orchestra at his high school. On Sundays, he helps teach Punjabi and Gurbani to young children at Guru Nanak Khalsa School at San Jose Gurdwara.

 


 

Aug 072017
 

Prof. Nirinjin Khalsa

Abstract

Today we see power structures erecting separatist ideologies along nationalistic, religious, ethnic, and racelines, escalating hate rhetoric and acts of violence, particularly aimed at our Sikh brothers and sisters. These divisive and harmful ideologies question the Unity and brotherhood of mankind that was revealed byGuru Nanak and enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib which recognizes all of creation as One – IkOngKar. Guru Nanak states “the highest yogic order is to see the brotherhood of mankind; through conquering yourown mind, you conquer the world.” (Sri Guru Granth Sahib 6) This interconnected perspective based on anexperience of ego-loss is the foundation of Sikh ethics. It encourages us to practice love-in-action asWarrior-Saints who have the courage to stand against injustice and defend those in need for the freedomand equality of All.


Video of Presentation


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Body of Paper


About the Author

Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor Sikh & Jain Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California where she teaches a highly popular course “Sikhism: Warrior Saints.” Professor Khalsa received her Ph.D in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan in 2014 on “The Renaissance of Sikh Devotional Music.” She has conducted extensive ethnographic research throughout Northern India, interviewing the remaining memory bearers of the Gurbani Kirtan parampara and was honored by 13th generation kirtaniya Bhai Baldeep Singh (grandnephew of Bhai Avtar and Bhai Gurcharan Singh) as the first female exponent of the Amritsari-Baaj on the jori-pakhawaj. Her ongoing research investigates diversity in the Sikh Diaspora particularly as it relates to gendered and institutionalized norms within the devotional sphere.

 

Aug 072017
 

I. J. Singh

Abstract

All existence is the visible expression of Hukam and defies comprehension.

Hukum, central to most religions, often implies micromanagement by the Creator. Life is really the one breath we are engaged in at any given moment.  The breath that preceded it is the past; the breath yet to be taken is the future, never guaranteed.  The breath we are in defines the present; that alone is life.  Accept gracefully whatever happens — it is not in the realm of the impossible. Stop worrying and start living; treasure the moment that stands between life and death. This promises constant renewal in life. Look not to an imaginative string of past lives, and cyclical births for transferring responsibility to unknown others.

The Creator created systems for life to exist and evolve, allowing us considerable free will to rewrite our own narrative. We live and die by a complex interaction of genes and environment. Which of life’s battles to fight and from which to walk away? This, the most difficult to see as the determinant of sanity and survival, is the wisdom of Hukam and sets the trajectory of our lives.

Hukum: Accept the unexpected turns of life — pain and pleasure — as two robes in the wardrobe.


Video of Presentation


 

Slide Presentation

 


Body of Paper

HUKAM: What it is & What it Aint?

I.J. Singh

Abstract

All existence is the visible expression of Hukam and defies comprehension.

Hukum, central to most religions, often implies micromanagement by the Creator. Life is really the one breath we are engaged in at any given moment.  The breath that preceded it is the past; the breath yet to be taken is the future, never guaranteed.  The breath we are in defines the present; that alone is life.  Accept gracefully whatever happens — it is not in the realm of the impossible. Stop worrying and start living; treasure the moment that stands between life and death. This promises constant renewal in life. Look not to an imaginative string of past lives, and cyclical births for transferring responsibility to unknown others.

The Creator created systems for life to exist and evolve, allowing us considerable free will to rewrite our own narrative. We live and die by a complex interaction of genes and environment. Which of life’s battles to fight and from which to walk away? This, the most difficult to see as the determinant of sanity and survival, is the wisdom of Hukam and sets the trajectory of our lives.

Hukum: Accept the unexpected turns of life — pain and pleasure — as two robes in the wardrobe.

Introduction

How do I perceive the meaning of “Hukam” — a defining expression in Sikhi, nay, in pretty much all religions? I also refer you to the exposition of Hukam by Hew McLeod, in Punjabi University’s Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, 1996.

Hukam is Arabic for Order or Command. In English, Order has two meanings: Directive or edict, also systematic organization, as opposed to random disorder.

Hukam in Sikhi embraces both concepts: Edict or Command, but also organized structure.

In popular usage Hukam implies micromanagement of the creation by the Creator – that nothing happens without divine, precise control over all creation.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not mean that an all-pervading Creator controls each and every move that I or anyone will make. That He/She keeps precise, detailed tabs on every one’s shenanigans – yours and mine, ranging from the hopelessly evil or banal to the sometimes decent. I have difficulty ramping up serious fealty to these formulations. I refer you to Mark Twain’s “Letters from The Earth” for a rib tickling parody of such ideas.

I grant that it is reassuring to envision a Creator exerting precise control of our individual lives with every “T” already crossed and every “I” dotted. No one action then, not even a breath, is mine to perform, because it is already predetermined to be or not. Yet, our lives remain unpredictable – not only the seminal moments of birth and death, but minutia of our existence as well.

If the Creator is a micromanager, then nothing that I do is my doing, nothing is my fault; no way can I be held responsible or stand trial for any wrong I may do or contemplate.

Wouldn’t a micromanaging Creator become a free-pass-out-of-jail card? And our relationship with him becomes a bartering system – entirely transactional. Can we negotiate? “You (Creator) forgive me and I promise to recite so many (?) Sukhmani Sahibs every day for so many(?) days.” Sounds familiar? Very human?

How Sikhi Defines Hukam?

On page 1, Guru Granth engages with ideas of Hukam. How is Truth to be attained – veil of falsehood torn asunder (“Kiv sachiara hoyiyae kiv koorae thutae paal”) — asks Guru Nanak; his answer is the next line: By walking the Way of Hukam (“Hukum rajai chalnaa Nanak likhyaa naal.”).

The next stanzas tell us that all existence is the visible expression of Hukam. It transcends all description and nothing exists outside Hukam. The laws of cause and effect are an aspect of Hukam. The Creator in his fullness is beyond human comprehension, so too, is Hukam, which is the revelation of Akal Purkh., Hukam is a mystical experience that cannot be fully elaborated. Thus, Hukam gathers into a single principle all of God’s activity.

Notwithstanding Hukam, in fact, at some level we recognize that within the larger system that remains mysterious, humans have considerable free will. If there were absolutely no choices open to us, then Guru Nanak would not have said “As you sow so shall you reap (“aapay beej aapay hee khaahu” Guru Granth p. 4). Nor would Guru Granth advise us to live well and joyfully by our own honest efforts (“Uddam karendia(n) jio too” p. 522) or to resolve our own affairs/needs by our own efforts (“aapan hathee aapnaa aapay hee kaaj savareeyae.” p. 473).

Do not rue the results, nor lose the self in pride and pelf, but be at peace with life. Why? To live another day through both defeat and triumph. Engage with the present to experience Hukam. The goal here is to make honest choices, do the best with them and accept cheerfully what life offers in return.

What does it mean to live in the present?

Keep in mind that in Punjabi and related Indic languages, the word for both tomorrow (the future) and yesterday (the past) is the same – kull.

We largely live in an imaginary past, pining for an unknown but rosier future; the present is then lost between these enduring passions. This is the crux of our misalignment — our existence between utopia and dystopia.

How then to redirect the mind towards the present?   In Thailand, Buddhist monks meditate on dead bodies (corpses) to refocus on the present.  This is meant to enable them to come to terms with the transitory nature of our puny, but not pointless, existence, indeed of all life.

Undoubtedly, the past is loaded with regrets, the future just as full of worries that might or might not be. With our obsession with the past that needs to be buried and the future yet unborn, we overlook the present. Our paradigm shifts only when we accept that what will be will be, and our focus needs to turn to the present moment, not the moment that is now in the past, nor the moment that is yet to come. Discard worry by accepting Hukam; whatever happens is not in the realm of the impossible, so why worry when anything happens (Guru Granth: “Chinta ta ki keejiyae jo anhoni hoye” p. 1426).

And then a most challenging and meaningful citation (Guru Granth p. 660) can hold us — that we are creatures of one single breath only (“Hum aadmi hae(n) ik dami….).  This tells us bluntly that life is really the one breath that one is engaged in at any given moment.  The breath that preceded it is already in the past; the breath yet to be taken is the future, never certain, never guaranteed.  Only the breath we are in defines the present; that alone is life.  It is best then to live in the present to its hilt in that single breath that defines it.  In fact, to me the idea of “Hukam” or divine will that pervades Sikh teaching means exactly that — living fully and productively in the moment.

Our existence remains limited to the one breath in the present moment of time. Is it that easy?  Not really, but it is essential.

XXX

In Punjabi and related languages, the word “Admi” for a human can be parsed as “Aa” and “Dum” where Dum means breath and Aa stands for both the first primal number, One, as well for an invitation “to come”.  So, admi speaks of a creature of one breath — the singular reality of a single breath.  I am not a linguist but I wonder if the Biblical“Adam and the Punjabi Admi are related terms that come to us from shared linguistic and philosophic antecedents.

Briefly Hukam asks us to stop worrying and start living by a realignment of our lives to become alive to the reality of the moment that stands between life and death – in other words, we need develop a relationship of deep trust with the unknown, the unseen.

Walking in Hukam frees us of guilt, misplaced hubris and pride. Every moment then is a new dawn – the start of a new day. It effectively clears the slate for the future – the next moment – to write anew.

In short, the directive of Hukam becomes living life fully, honestly, and purposefully — to live in the present, to live fully in the moment. Hence the promise of constant renewal in life.

But People Will Be People

Thoreau bewailed human existence as lives of quiet desperation. What does it mean to accept the Creator’s Hukam? If a confession of helplessness, it is then not willing acceptance of what is but more like swallowing a bitter pill, because no alternative exists.

Then we cavil; Well! It’s God’s will that my lottery ticket didn’t pan out – perhaps next time. But an underlying thought tortures us: Why my neighbor won the lottery and I didn’t? Surely God knows, as I do, that my neighbor is a no-good jerk; and God knows as I do that I am a good person. I regularly attend services at gurduara and say my requisite prayers, I feed the homeless, so on and so forth. … ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

And then an easy way out of the dilemma appears — lean on an imaginative string of past lives, cyclical birth and so on and on…of the Creator’s mysterious ways for transferring responsibility to unknown others. Hindu mythology certainly helps, doesn’t it? As does literal interpretation of such references in the Guru Granth.

A Possibly Reasonable Alternative

A more rational explanation exists. A benevolent Creator created the systems in which life exists and evolves. (A version of intelligent design!) He/She allows us considerable free will to rewrite our own narrative. We live and die as per the laws that govern us on Earth. Our lives are shaped by a complex interaction of our genes and the environment – our nature and nurture. And despite the many who pretend to read the past and foresee the future, life remains a mystery; a box, fuller than Pandora’s, that delivers pain, suffering, even death. This box also bestows on us heavenly delights and unequaled success. Unearned and uninvited come the many defeats, as do life’s triumphs. Like manna from heaven, they are best not seen as entitlements or earned.

Hukum, then, becomes a state of mind. It determines how we engage, in Shakespeare’s words, with “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” An ancient prayer goes, “O God grant me the courage to change the things that I can change, the serenity to accept what I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.” The third clause is crucial.

Which battles to fight and from which battles to walk away with grace. This, the most difficult to see as a governing commandment of life, is a major determinant of our sanity and survival. It is the wisdom of Hukam and sets the trajectory of our lives.

To live with equanimity means to accept the unexpected turns that life offers — pain and pleasure, success and defeat — and see them as two robes in the wardrobe that each of us wears interchangeably (“Sukh dukh doey dar kaparay pehrey aaye manukh” p. 149). Guru Granth also advises that much in life is beyond our design, so accept it with good grace as the essential reality — whatever pleases (the Creator) is the good deed (“Jo tudh bhavae saayi bhali kaar” p. 3). As a popular adage goes: Que sera sera.

Thus, we cultivate positive lives without obsessing its downturns. And to face life with a realistic but hopeful and positive stance.

Sikhi takes this issue head on.  A plethora of citations can be mustered but I drive home my point with only two.  The Guru Granth (p. 922) pointedly challenges us with “Eh sareera meriya iss jug meh aye ke kya tudh karam kamaaya” (What footprints will you leave in the sands of time?) and then it adds (p. 1102,) “Pahila marn kabool kar jeevan ki chhudd aas” (Accept first the reality of death and abandon all hope of endless life).

How then to leave the world? An iota better would be plenty!

ijsingh99@gmail.com

2017

 


About the Author

I.J. SINGH came to the United States in 1960 on a Murry & Leonie Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He received a PhD in anatomical sciences from the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health Sciences University), and a DDS from Columbia University. He is a professor emeritus of anatomical sciences at New York University. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Sikh Review (Calcutta) as well as Nishaan (New Delhi), and writes a regular internet column on Sikhi

Aug 072017
 

Dr. Kawaljeet Singh Anand

Abstract

What is love? Scientists argue that “reducing love to its component parts helps us to understand human sexuality”.  Love is not just a mental state that leads to physical bonding, it is the highest of human emotions.  Throughout civilization, human beings have experienced and expressed Love for each other; some have described the attributes of Love through eulogies, poetry, drama, or fiction.  Like the taste of honey, true love can be experienced but just cannot be conveyed through words.  By raising our level of consciousness, all of us can intuitively realize more transcendent, subtle, and enduring meanings of Love.  We will realize that Love is an ingredient in creating the cosmos, it is the primal force that sustains Nature all around us, and it is the glue that holds the family, community and society together.  By consistently applying the Guru’s teachings in our lives, we will progress through the four stages of Love thereby transforming our lives from human to the divine state that our Gurus exemplified.


Video of Presentation


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Body of Paper


About the Author

Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh Anand graduated from M.G.M. Medical College, Indore (India). As a Rhodes Scholar at University of Oxford, he received the D.Phil. degree, followed by post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. His pioneering research was recognized by the British Paediatric Association (1986), American Academy of Pediatrics (1992), International Association for Study of Pain (1994), American Pain Society (2000), Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health (2004). He received the highest international honor in Pediatrics, the 2009 Nils Rosén von Rosenstein Award (given by Swedish Academy of Medicine every 5 years). Dr. Anand presented the “In Praise of Medicine” Public Address at 100th Anniversary of Erasmus University Medical Center (2013), the 2015 Journées Nationales de Néonatologie Address at The Pasteur Institute in Paris, and received the Nightingale Excellence Award (2016) from Stanford Children’s Healthcare. His community service activities founded the Harmony Health Clinic, promoted inter-faith harmony, and served victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, recognized by Father Joseph Biltz Award (2007) from NCCJ and Dr. Martin Luther King “Salute to Greatness” Individual Award (2008) from Governor of Arkansas.  He is currently Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.

 

Aug 072017
 

S. Sundeep  Singh (Bobby) Bedi

Abstract

The talk will explain, with audiovisual examples, the use of 360° projection, 4DX technologies that work on all the senses, multi-channel spatial sound and holographic imaging to explain the contemporary relevance of the core values ensconced in Gurbani. The values showcased will be relevant to contemporary life and easily relatable to the youth of today, irrespective of their faith. What we ultimately want to achieve is to impress on young Sikhs and non-Sikhs as well as the international community, that Sikhism is a modern faith and it promotes values that apply today and apply to all of humanity.   The values highlighted will be Secularity, Caste and Gender equality, the use of strength only for the protection of others, irrespective of their faith, caring and sharing and deep respect for nature and the environment.


Video of Presentation


Body of Paper


About the Author

S. Sundeep Singh (Bobby) is a graduate in Economics and an MBA in Finance. He has worked with HCL Technologies Ltd. Philips and Sony before he started Kaleidoscope Entertainment Private Limited. Bobby has produced several national and International award winning films which have featured in Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, Locarno, Montreal, Goa, Pusan, London and Valladolid film festivals. Some of his films are Bandit Queen, Fire, Mangal Pandey, Maqbool and Saathiya.

Bobby has received the National Award for Best Film by the President of India twice and in 2016 he received a lifetime achievement award by the Valladolid Film Festival in Spain. Apart from producing feature films and directing documentaries, Bobby designs, and produces content for Museums. These include Virasat E Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib, The Mahabharat Multimedia Gallery at Kurukshetra , The Bihar History Museum at Patna and the Baba Baghel Singh Museum at Bangla Sahib.

At present Bobby is creating the MOOL PROJECT, a multi-dimensional show using holography, 360° Projection, and 4DX Technology in New Delhi. Bobby has conceptualized the building and is designing and producing the content.

Bobby has been invited to speak several times on Intellectual Property issues at WIPO, Geneva and has represented the FIAPF (The world Producer Body) at Internet Governance Forum Brazil (2015) and Guadalajara, Mexico (2016) and at the Beijing Treaty (2012). Bobby is on the board of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association and a Vice President of the Film Federation of India. He is also on the board of TiE.

Aug 072017
 

Dr. Jaspal Kaur Kaang

Abstract

Very well-known is the fact that the Bani complied in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is addressed to all the human beings and not to any one community or any one sect. The eternal message of Guru Granth Sahib is addressed to the welfare of all human beings above the boundaries of caste, colour, creed, culture and religion. It lies in loving, understanding, respecting and accepting the existence of others as well as prohibiting oneself from encroaching on freedom and rights of others. The life experience and the great works of the Gurus is indicative of the practicability of these ideas through which they dialogue with the ideologues of the other religions and made them realise that human unity and oneness can be achieved through tolerance, communication and respect for other’s existence. The fear of war or tension in the world is due to lack of communication and effective dialogue between the various communities. Bani’s message is a model of universal brotherhood and world peace which is revealed in its every couplet and illuminates the entire universe.

All the efforts to improve life of the human race have been industrial and commercial in nature and cater to material aspect of life. Little is being done to nourish the soul. Living by the glorious philosophies of Bani like Langar, Pangat, Sangat, Kirat (hard & honest earning), Sarbat da bhala, Dasvandh (charity), Vand Chakna (sharing) and truthful living is what can nourish the human soul and promote peaceful and harmonious co-existence, human unity and world peace.

In today’s era, we face threats and fears from interfaith conflicts military aggression, terrorism etc. Territorial possessions which have overpowered the human sentiments and the very presence of the ideas contrary to one’s beliefs is irksome. The teachings of Guru Granth Sahib are all the more relevant today to resolve all these problems. In this paper, I would like to focus my views through the lens of Religious Pluralism, tolerance and Multicultural Society.


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PRACTICABILITY OF HUMAN IDEALS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB

FOR BRINGING STABILITY IN GLOBAL COMMUNITY

Dr. Jaspal Kaur Kaang

Professor and Academic-Incharge

Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies

Panjab University, Chandigarh, INDIA

Religion is closely linked to the conscious as well as the sub-conscious of a particular social group, religion gives expression to its transcendental and spiritual experiences and takes the shape of a social organization by providing the members of the group with a definite code of conduct and a life-style governed by strict discipline. On the one hand, religion lays bare the possibilities and ways of bringing human being in unity with God and, on the other, it promotes the feelings of fraternity and cooperation by advising a human being to adopt a humanistic approach while dealing with others, an approach which goes to form the foundation of the development of any social group. There are a number of religions in the world and many of these have their specific scriptures which contain the tenets to be adopted by the devotees and the scriptures also help in maintaining distinct entities of the respective religions. Guru Granth Sahib is the cherished scripture of the Sikhs as it contains the exclusive Sikh philosophy and religious code of conduct to be adopted by the followers of Sikh religion.

Guru Granth Sahib is such a creative work of Indian medieval age that enshrines, on the one hand, matchless elaboration of spirituality and, on the other, a powerful expression of the message of revolutionary ideals of social welfare, multicultural distinctness and eternal ethical code aimed at cultural reconstruction. It is widely accepted that Sikhism is related to the most modern philosophy and the concepts and doctrines expressed through Guru Granth Sahib contribute to the all round welfare of modern global community. Through its insights and dialogue the underlying meaning of Gurbani (verses included in Guru Granth Sahib) when combined with modern perception gives form to varied dimensions of inter-cultural exchange of views and process of human transformation thereby maintaining its timeless and multi-facetted relevance.

Global Village

The world-level culture based on the post-modern informative thought- process and human consciousness is described as universal or global village. Such a global village has come into being through development of modern communication techniques, revolution in means of transportation, emigration and need for economic co-existence at the international level. The process of globalization begins with the arrival of capitalistic system and it emerges as a highly developed economic system representing the modern market and consumer culture. In this culture, many forms of cultural, racial, religious, regional, linguistic limitations are in the process of decay. Modern human being is living in amulti-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious, multilingual and multi-regional world. As a result, the world community is face to face with innumerable challenges and problems related to racial, regional, communal, gender and cultural identity. In view of these problems, it has become necessary to explore intra-faith dialogue, multi-religionism, creation of multi-cultural society and globally relevant ethical norms in this global village for establishing everlasting peace, harmony, balance and mutual understanding and, in this context, Guru Granth Sahib emerges as a unique text which presents a multi-layered and multi-dimensional assessment of the reality of human life.

Religious Tolerance and Role of Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Granth Sahib is an eminent creative work of the medieval Panjabi literary world and culture and it presents a revolutionary consciousness and humanitarian vision for the welfare of human society and whole of the mankind. The content of Guru Granth Sahib includes insights which are as much practical and relevant in the modern times at the inter-cultural and global level as these were in the Indian medieval era. It has become necessary to redefine the essence of religion for developing uniformity and harmony in the modern multi-cultural society. In this context, concepts of pluralism and inter-faith dialogue are playing a very active role and these cannot be functional in an effectively productive manner unless communal tolerance is established firmly. The communal tolerance as presented through Guru Granth Sahib has, basically, taken into account the fact that we should treat all the religions at par with one-another even though we do not agree to the distinctive tenets propagated through them. The communal tolerance of Gurbani aims at developing unity in diversity instead of giving a unified shape to diversity. In this way, the aim of religious tolerance is not to accept or adopt religious beliefs, doctrines and activities of others nor is it to assimilate these into one’s own religion. Its aim is only to give respect to the religious creeds and beliefs of others without distorting these in any manner so that an environment of peace and understanding is maintained in the society.

Guru Granth Sahib is a unique example in the context of religious tolerance. The marvelous process of creativity and editing of Guru Granth Sahib is based directly on religious tolerance.It comprises verses composed by 36 holy persons connected with varied provinces, states, regions, faiths, beliefs and sects. These holy persons include 6 Sikh Gurus, 15 Bhagats, 11 Bhatts and 4 devotees of the Gurus. Bhagats include Hindus as well as Mohammedans. Some of them belong to higher caste sections while some of them belong to lower caste groups but their compositions have been selected without any discrimination. We can see religious tolerance at its peak in Guru Granth Sahib because there is no consideration given to one’s religious faith or caste. Every caste has been treated with respect here, every religion enjoys an honorable status here so long it preaches virtuous deeds and noble practices. The compilation and creation of Guru Granth Sahib, therefore, plays the role of building up a harmonious society by removing the walls created by sectarianism. Such a spirit of tolerance is also visible in the case of language of the compositions. The varied diction used in the Granth springs from multiple sources. The verses included in Guru Granth Sahib preaches the message of

‘swihbmyrweykohY’

(I have but only one master, that is, God.)

or

‘sBmihjoiqjoiqhYsoie’

(There is but the same spirit emanating from the God and pervading all the human beings.)

and, thereby, tries to bring home the idea that we cannot afford to be intolerant towards God’s creation and His offspring i.e. the whole mankind because we all have only one master. When this belief takes roots in human mind all the conflicts would disappear. Guru Granth Sahib, in totality of its compositions, promotes the concept of ‘welfare of all’ and it can never attempt to humiliate any of the religions. Gurbani preaches the message of

‘srbDrmmihsRystDrm’

(The supreme religion among all.)

which leads to a situation of

‘nwkobYrInhIibgwnw’

(There is no and no enemy.)

No doubt, Gurbani does not teach partiality, discrimination or fault-finding; it rather gives the lesson of self-assessment and self-realization through self-study. In this way, the compilation, as a whole, treats the world as a closely related entity, craves for its welfare without any selfish motive and prays for grant of bounties and happiness for all:

(I beseech you oh, Almighty ! Be merciful and save the burning world; save it in whatever way it can be saved !)

The cosmic vision of Guru Granth Sahib exhorts the followers of all the religions of the world to rise above mutual differences and conflicts and provides them with a common pattern for the welfare of the whole mankind. Religious Pluralism is a concept of ‘global responsibility’ based on the mutual relation of respect for differences, tolerance for others’ views and healthy exchange of ideas.2

Religious Pluralism presented through Guru Granth Sahib

Religious pluralism recognizes all the religions of the world as authentic and pure. Every religion is authentic as it is capable of providing a human being with suitable guidance for attaining peace and happiness. Religions of the world describe the same ultimate truth in various ways and, therefore, are similar to a great extent in approach. In fact, every religion aims at reaching the ultimate truth under different circumstances and prepares norms for welfare of mankind. Religious pluralism is, therefore, a particular approach vis-à-vis religious traditions according to which no single religion is an exclusive expression of supreme or complete truth and every religion possesses the capacity of reaching only some selected truths and values. A truly religious person is the one who believes in religious pluralism and attaches similar importance to all the religions. The monopolistic feeling or any specific claim carried by any religious sect regarding the ultimate truth only leads to violence, hatred and tension. Religious pluralism is an effort to remove the conflicts among different religions and to bring them closer to one another through the elimination of their mutual differences. But, in the modern times, the scene of religion reflects the serious, rather, critical situation at the world level. Moving away from its genuine spiritual meanings, religion has fallen into clutches of violence and distrust. Human society at the world level is face to face with decadence in religious, social, economic, and political fields and, as was the case with the medieval period, terror created by hostility, hatred, caste-system, selfishness, regionalism and violence prevails everywhere. As such, the role of religion has become extremely challenging in the modern times. Religion may be a significant need of the human beings today but what is more important is recognizing the other religions treating them with due respect for each.

Guru Granth Sahib is such a creative work through which different layers of religious pluralism could be identified. From the point of view of place and time, Guru Granth Sahib is an historical document covering a period from 12th century CE to 17th century CE incorporating a variety of geographical regions, occupations, languages, communities, includes compositions of saints, Bhagats and Sufi Faqirs, besides the Sikh Gurus, all of whom, though connected with different beliefs, sects, provinces and doctrines are engaged in guiding the whole mankind. This is quite a genuine illustration of religious pluralism. Guru Nanak travelled through many parts of the world to preach and spread his religious message. His long-drawn journeys (each called an Udaasi) were, in reality, aimed at preaching religious pluralism. Every language has been given a respectful status in Guru Granth Sahib. In the modern times languages of the minority communities are shrinking, with some of them being at the verge of extinction. Guru Granth Sahib has been the first to maintain the distinctiveness of such languages by pulling them out of the dominance of the majority community languages. “The basis of the thought process of the authors of verses of Gurbani is focused on that metaphysical expanse of cosmic consciousness where feelings of disagreement and discrimination lose their significance.3 As such, this scripture emerges out as a common platform for unifying the whole mankind into one fraternity. The greatest contribution of Guru Granth Sahib lies in its aim of creating an ideal human being living in a peaceful society; it teaches the mankind, divided into sects by the religious fanaticism and narrow political approach, how to live in an atmosphere of mutual love and understanding.

Unitary Pluralism

The quintessence of Guru Granth Sahib presents the unity of Brahm (the Supreme Soul) and the cosmos. Here, the first form of pluralism appears as Unitary Pluralism. The Main features of Brahm(different from Hindu god Brahman) are described in the opening lines (called Mool Mantra) of ‘Japp’ composition:

<>siqnwmkrqwpurKinrBauinrvYrAkwlmUriqAjUnIsYBMgurpRswid]4

Guru Granth Sahib, as a whole represents the unity of God (Brahm), the Supreme Soul. These days multi-dimensional expanse of cultures, communities and ideologies is being recognised and it is an extension of <> only. The very foundation of Guru Granth Sahib is provided by the following couplet composed by BhagatKabir:

AvilAlhnUruaupwieAwkudriqkysBbMdy

eyknUrqysBujguaupijAwkaun Bly komMdy]5

Avval Allah noor upaaia kudrat key sab bandey

Eyk noor tey sab jag upjia kaun bhaley ko mandey.

(The Almighty created one spirit which pervades all the human

beings who form a part of His creation. So no one is better or worse as compared to the others.)

The concept of unity of the Brahm (the Supreme Soul) does not suggest ill-will against any one. The message of

‘sBnw kw mwipauAwpuhY’

(The Brahm is the mother as well as father of all.)

eliminates the feeling of discrimination completely. No religion stands ignored or neglected in Guru Granth Sahib. It gives due recognition to the utility and identity of each of the different religions. Gurbani does not reject any religion, it only presents arguments against the dress symbolizing a particular sect, cunningness and hypocritical practices on the part of followers and leaders of various sects.

Pluriform Pluralism

Guru Arjan who compiled the verses of the holy persons having faith in different religions had also referred to the existence of different religions and life-styles of the authors and such a propensity leads to expression of pluriform pluralism which is presented in many forms in Guru Granth Sahib:

koeIbolYrwmrwmkoeIKudwie]

koeIsyvYguseIAwkoeIAlwih]

kwrxkrnkrIm]

ikrpwDwirrhIm]

koeInwvYqIriQkoeIhjjwie]

koeIkrypUjwkoeIisrinvwie]

koeIpVybydkoeIkqyb]

koeI EFY nIlkoeIsupyd]

koeIkhYqurkukoeIkhYihMdU]

koeIbwCYiBsqukoeIsurigMd]

khunwnkijinhukmupCwqw]

pRBswihb kw iqinBydjwqw]6

Koi boley Raam-Raam koi khudaai.

Koi sevei gusayaan koi Allahi.

Koi karan kareem.

Kirpa dhaar raheem.

Koi naavei tirath koi hajj jaai.

Koi karey pooja koi sir nivaai.

Koi parhey beyd koi kateyb.

Koi odhey neel koi supeyd.

Koi kahei turak koi kahei hindu.

Koi baachhei koi surgind.

Kahu Nanak jin hukam pachhaata.

Prabh sahib ka tin bheyd jaata.

(There are innumerable ways devotees name their deities,

adopt their ways of worship, arrange their physical appearances

and designate their respective sects but there only one ultimate

reality needs to be recognized by one and all.)

Ethical Pluralism

Ethical pluralism is that form of religious pluralism which supports a universal ethical system. All the religions of the world preach some fundamental values many of which are common to them, for example, love, sweetness, humility, sympathy, service, welfare, respectfulness, austerity, renunciation, patience and forgiveness.   Gurbani aims at preaching human values among whole of the mankind through inculcation of virtues such as sweetness of words

iek iPkw n gwlwie sBnw mY scw DxI

Ik phikka nag alai sabhna mei sacha dhani

nwnkiPkwbolIAYqnumnuiPkw hoie

Nanak phikka boliei tan man phikka hoi

Humility

‘PrIdw QIau pvwhI dBu jy sweI loVih sBu

Farida theeo pavaahi dabh jey saai lorheh sabh

invxu su AKru Kvxu guxu ijhbw mxIAw mMq

Nivan su akkkhar khavan gun jihba manian mant

‘imTqunIvInwnkwguxcMigAweIAwqqu’

Mithatt neeveen Nanka gun changiayan tatt

Productive work

PrIdw ijnI kMmI nwih gux qy kMmVY ivswir

Farida jinni kami naahi gun tey kammrhey visaar

Forbearance

drvySW no loVIAY ruKW dI jIrWid

Darveyshan nu lorhiyey rukkhan di jeeraand

Tolerance

PrIdw bury dwBlwkirgusw mn n hMFwie

Farida burey da bhala kar gussa man n handaai etc.

‘Through such teachings of virtuous conduct, Guru Granth Sahib builds up a moral code which could serve as a solid and healthy foundation for bringing about excellence in individual and collective life of human beings”.7

Inter-faith Dialogue

In the modern times, increased number of terroristactivities and fundamentalist trend of religious intolerance have created an atmosphere of tension and confrontation among different religions. Although the international bodies such as the U. N. O. are engaged in making sincere efforts to deal with such a situation yet inter-faith dialogue has also become a necessity. Religious pluralism and inter-faith dialogue are,however, not the same. In fact, inter-faith dialogue is a model for religious pluralism. Paul Knitter’s view needs to be given deep thought that religious pluralism does not aim at making the different religions of the world to look similar. It is, rather, to create an approach of criticism of others and assessment of the self through positive and face-to-face dialogue for total development of human being and welfare of all. In fact, peace and harmony cannot be built up among various communities and nations until mutual understanding is not established among different religions and such an atmosphere of mutual understanding cannot be built up unless inter-faith dialogue is established. In the contemporary times, inter-faith dialogue has become a primary necessity at the international level and persistent efforts need to be made in this direction. We should encourage the process of interaction, tolerance, learning and teaching vis-à-vis faiths adopted by the others. Such a dialogue should be made possible which does not denigrade other religions as second rate religions, which does not try to encourage assimilation of religions into a particular religion and which only tries to encourage the tendency of appreciating the points of view held by the religions of the others. Guru Granth Sahib arranges inter-faith dialogue as an alternative to crusades in order to keep the whole of mankind united and tension-free. The approach of mutual interaction which is being preferred in the modern times was adopted by the Sikh Gurus centuries ago and they incorporated it in their compositions. Through the dictum

jb lgu dunIAw rhIAY nwnk ikCu suxIAY ikCu khIAY

Jab lag duniyan rahiyei nanak kichh suniyei kichh kahiyei

it preaches expression of the self before others and also lays stress on the need to lend the ear to what others have to say. This approach would remove the ignorance and will spread purposeful knowledge among the masses. Interaction at a common platform brings all the religions at par with one another and removes the fear of assimilation of one religion into any other one.

The beginning of inter-faith dialogue in Sikh philosophy takes pace with Guru Nanak. The aim of four voyages undertook by him on the international terrains was connected with knowledge of real form of religion. He visited different religious centres during his voyages and talked to the devotees on truth and purity. He also collected religious hymns from various places during the course of his journeys. ‘SidhGoshit’ composed by Guru Nanak is the example of authentic form of inter-faith dialogue between him and members of Yogi sect. An effort was made through to create awareness about the genuine religion enshrouded by the useless rituals, insignificant rites, religious symbols. BhagatKabir also spoke on the irrelevant unnatural practices adopted by the Yogi ascetics. Similarly, the Guru lays bare the futility of ritualistic practices adopted and preached by the members of Brahmin class of Hindus as well as Mohammedan devotees and religious leaders. Such a dialogue emerges as an inter-active cultural process leads to building up an exclusive life-style and it contribute significantly towards the growth of common Indian culture.

Gurbani, having faith in concepts such as

nwhmihMdU n muslmwn

No one is Hindu or Mohammedan and

sBysWJIvwlsdwiein

All belong to the same fraternity

extends from an individual to the whole of mankind. The contributors to the text of Guru Granth Sahib, devoted as they were to the service of humanity were committed to development of pure and truthful character. And they paid similar respect to all the religions of the world. Therefore, adoption of the model of inter-faith dialogue presented by Guru Granth Sahib can play a useful role in dealing with the challenges of the unsavoury situation created by religious fanaticism and intolerance at the world level.Guru Granth Sahib, representing affinity between unity and diversity, builds up multi-cultural society by laying the foundation of world community for the development of diverse cultures,classes, races and especially the minority groups.8

Multi-cultural Society

The cultural model presented in Guru Granth Sahib is not that of a fanatic religion of any particular community or caste group. In essence it belongs to the people from different provinces, communities and faiths, the people who are attuned to cosmic harmony. The ideals preached through Guru Granth Sahib appear as futuristic dialogue which does not admit any discrimination or animosity. The model of multi-cultural society as presented in Guru Granth Sahib is multi-dimensional based as it is on the welfare-of-all doctrine which extends the same respect to strangers as is extended to those who are closely related. Gurbani includes a number of couplets which express deep reverence for the people belonging to so-called lower castes, for example,

nIcw AMidr nIc jwiq nIcI hU Aiq nIc]

nwnk iqn kyY sMig swiQ vifAw isau ikAw rIs]

ijQY nIc smwlIAin iqQY ndir qyrI bKsIs] 9

Neecha andir neech jaat neechee hoo ati neech.

Nanak tin kei sang saath vaddian siu kia rees.

Jithei neech samalian tithei nadir teyri baksees.

(Nanak says that he is in tune with the lowest of the lowly,

heprefers their company in comparison to the highly placed

people because one earns the grace of the Almighty by giving

care to the under-privileged.)

The main message of Gurbani is to recognise the identity and dignity of each culture on equal basis and to contribute towards establishing the same in effective and meaningful manner. Gurbani discourages animosity, discrimination and violence and promotes communal tolerance, racial harmony and inter-cultural dialogue these being important ingredients of multi-cultural society. Guru Granth Sahib teaches us to recognise and respect the values cherished by the others. The following comment is particularly relevant here:

“The Gurus wanted to create a classless, casteless society,where each individual enjoyed freedom of expression;observance and adherence to religion, religious tolerance, and social equality where duties and rights wereaccorded equal importance. In such a multi-culture society,adherence to one’s religion and faith is no crime butdisrespect and intolerance to other religious faiths was certainly a sin.”10

Moral Values

The scientific explorations and technological development of the modern times have affected the moral values quite adversely. No doubt science, technology, communication techniques and means of transportation have brought in revolutionary changes in human living. The major impact of these is that of material progress and globalisation. The race for material gains has led to rise of individualism and selfishness. Human relations have lost their value and relevance as moral degradation has over-powered the human psyche. As a result, feelings of love, affection and sympathy for others are disappearing fast. Today, every institution or system connected with human welfare is exploring the ways and means for restoring the equilibrium in human life. It is here that Gurbani steps in to re-establish the balance amongst human beings through its message of decency and ethics. Gurbani imparts utmost importance to honest living and seva (service to others) especially through sharing one’s earnings and bounties with others.

GwilKwieikCuhQhudyie]

nwnkrwhupCwxihsyie]11

(Nanak says, earn by the sweat of your brow and share

your earnings with the needy. This is an ideal way of living.)

Gurbani aims at developing spiritually prosperous, mentally poised and morally sound human beings and, therefore, warns against evil actions through exhortations such as

min jIqYjgujIq’

(Having control over one’s mind is like having control over the whole world)

‘mnu mYdwn kir

Man meidaan kar

(One must erase one’s ego.)

bury dwBlwkr’

( One should be helpful even to an evil-doer.)

ihAwaU n kwhYTwih

( One should not injure anyone’s feelings.)

‘nwnkiPkwbolIAYqnmnuiP`kwhoie’

Nanak phikka boliei tan man phikka hoi

(Nanak says, if we speak rough we invite mental as well as physical ailments)

kwlyilKu n lyK

Kaaley likh na leykh

(We should neither inculcate nor express evil thoughts.)

Such pieces of advice contribute a lot towards developing sound moral character. The technique of making one’s conduct simple and straightforward through a disciplined mind is one of the distinct and special aspects of the teachings of Gurbani. Qualities of ignoring pitfalls on the part of others and being soft spoken and sweet in speech go a long way in forming the foundation of an ideal way of living. Utterances replete with sweetness and humility contribute in a big way towards building up a congenial and pleasant environment.

Gurbani rejects the habit of vilification and opposes the slanderers because such people badly pollute the social and cultural environment. Conveying the feelings of humility and courtesy,Gurbani clarifies that inculcation of virtue of humility eradicates one’s ego vanish completely. Once the barrier of ego is removed, feelings of hatred, backbiting, jealousy, slander and anger disappear automatically. No doubt, the model of morality presented through Gurbaniimparts the qualities of patience, contentment and continence to human beings and teaches them how to develop self-control and self-discipline which help in freeing oneself evil deeds. The principles of morality endow a human being with mental alertness and, building up awareness in human beings, equips them with qualities of firmness, boldness and resourcefulness for entering new and successful lives. ‘The moral code presented by Guru Granth Sahib is not a concept of western type. Instead, it forms a healthy ingredient of Indian philosophical tradition though it is not supplementary to it. It tends to recognize the significance of the spiritual as well as the practical aspects of ethical values’.12

Conclusion

Today, the whole of the world looks to have fallen prey to selfishness, disorder and tension-ridden atmosphere born out of mutual differences and conflicts and, being face to face with terror and barbarity, it seems to be standing on a pile of dynamite. It is, therefore, essential to disseminate and adopt the message of universal brotherhood given by Guru Granth Sahib. The practicability of the message of religious tolerance, awareness of religious pluralism and model of inter-faith dialogue, as contained in Guru Granth Sahib having the potential of establishing an international fraternity or multi-cultural system,would definitely stir up the human consciousness. Such an effort in the form of virtuous conduct can certainly unite the whole world as one family by strengthening human fraternity and mutual understanding and prove a medium for solution of world level problems. It would be quite relevant to quote Arnold Toynbee here

“Mankind’s religious future may be obscure, yet one thing can

be foreseen: the living higher religions are going to influence

each other more than ever before, in these days of increasingcommunication between all parts of the world and all branches

of human race. In this coming religious debate, the Sikh

Religion, and its scriptures, the AdiGranth, will have something

of special value to say to the rest of the world. This religion is

itself a monument of creative spiritual intercourse between two

traditional religions whose relations have otherwise not been

happy. This is a good augury”13

———- 0 ———-

 

REFERENCES

  1. Guru Granth Sahib853
  2. F. Knitter, Jesus and the other name: Christian Mission and Global

Responsibility,pp 26-39

  1. Jagbir Singh (Dr) BhartiVirsey da Pratik: Guru Granth Sahib, ‘Gurmat

Kav, SidhantteyVihar’,p. 81

  1. Guru Granth Sahib1
  2. Ibid, p.1349
  3. Ibid, p.885
  4. Sabar,Jasbir Singh (Dr), JasbirKaur (Dr) Sri Guru Granth Sahib da

SadacharShastar: Sri Guru Granth Sahib VibhinnParipeykh (ed.),

Publication Bureau, Panjabi University, Patiala, 2005,p.139

  1. Jagbir Singh (Dr), Guru Granth Sahib di SamkaleenPrasangikta,
  2. 96
  3. Guru Granth Sahibp.15
  4. Gurpreet Singh, Soul of Sikhism, Fusion Books, New Delhi 2005

p.26

  1. Guru Granth Sahibp.1245
  2. Sabar,Jasbir Singh (Dr), JasbirKaur (Dr) Sri Guru Granth Sahib da

SadacharShastar: Sri Guru Granth Sahib VibhinnParipeykh (ed.),

Publication Bureau, Panjabi University, Patiala, 2005,p.1128

  1. Arnold Toynbee (Prof.), Selections from Sacred Writings of the Sikhs,

‘Foreword’,pp.10-11


About the Author

Working in Panjab University, for the last 38 years, I have translated the universal wisdom and ethical values represented in the lives and works of Sikh Gurus into the interdisciplinary pedagogical modules for the dissemination of value education through Punjabi Language, literature and culture. Moreover, as an administrator (being the member of Senate, Chairperson, Dean, Member of Finance Board and Member of Academic Bodies of various Universities), I gave my best to promote Mother Languages and Indian culture as directed by UNESCO and contributed to the reconstruction and the restructuring the policies, programmes and pedagogic practices to nurture the idea of Indianism. My objective is to spread all over the world, the eternal values symbolized by our great Gurus, which are more relevant in today’s world.

 

Aug 072017
 

By walking the walk with SGGS and our beloved Gurus, are Sikhs designed to be civic entrepreneurs, public ombudsmen, or leaders?

Harbir Kaur Bhatia

Abstract

Sikhi’s universal principles of Naam and its birth in a time of turmoil with 200 years of invasions, religious oppression and misuse, and Moghul and Brahman leadership has presented a way of life that is resilient, practical, inclusive, and of high ideals! Sikhi has fundamentally given high value to activism, equality, justice, community service and brotherhood; and empowered all for direct connection with “GOD”, irrespective of identification or religion. “Recognize the human race as one”, said Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and proclaim “the betterment of all, sarbat da bhalla”, said Guru Nanak.  From a laymen’s practice of Sikhi, Harbir sites examples from SGGS and our beloved Gurus about the design for leadership, and why more Sikhs are needed for successful societies!

By walking the walk of Sikhi, a Sant -Sipahi, could the future Governor be a Sikh? Could the future US President be a Sikh?

 


Video of Presentation


Body of Paper


About the Author

Harbir is a very active community leader in Santa Clara and Santa Clara County. Her background includes 20 years of Engineering and an even longer history of volunteerism and community development. Today she is a Commissioner with the City of Santa Clara Cultural Commission, Board Member of The Chamber of Commerce, a Rotarian, Library Foundation Board Member, founder of Joy of SEWA, and most recently the CEO of HI5 Youth Foundation, amongst others. Harbir was recognized as a ‘Community Hero’ by the State of California and was given “Women’s Empowerment: Inspiring Achievers Award”.

Through community organizing, she has become known for bringing “Sikh Awareness” in City of Santa Clara and South Bay cities. She hopes to help increase Sikh awareness in other cities, and activate more Sikhs to be community leaders. As she is currently paving ways for Sikh community in Santa Clara.