ims191@gmail.com

Mar 282017
 

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 April 16th, 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 Avtar Singh will speak on “Is Creation An Illusion? – Scientific Vision of SGGS” based on his paper described below:

ABSTRACT
The Big Bang theory accepted by the mainstream science proposes that the creation of the universe started at the beginning of time with a sudden bang. A similar religious belief that “God created the universe from nothing with a word” is commonly accepted by most religions. This paper provides a new perspective based on a consciousness-integrated scientific model that vindicates Einstein’s assertion that time is merely a relative reality or illusion and hence, creation that is presumed to begin with an absolute beginning of time and then evolve in absolute time is also an illusion. The paper correlates the scientific vision of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) that also vindicates similar conclusion that time, cycles of birth/death, and evolution are merely perceptions or relative realities of the ego (Homei). The ultimate universal reality is the non-duality or one truth (Ek Onkar Sat Naam) that is eternal (Akal) existence beyond the cycles of creation or destruction. Such reality is realizable via total dissolution of the ego leading to enlightenment or free will that ends the illusion of time. The free will is also synonymous with the “Hukam” representing the self-existent and eternal universal laws that govern the entire universe and its eternal existence.

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

Video of Session:

To be added

Mar 092017
 

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 March 26th, 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 Arvind Singh will address the subject of “Creation as described by Guru Nanak”

The presentation on comparative analysis of the theory of creation vs. evolution with the Sikh perspective.

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

Video of Session:

to be added

 

Feb 112017
 

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 February 26th, 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 Inder Mohan Singh will address the subject of Hukam.

In Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji asks how can we achieve union with the Divine and tear away the veil of illusion, and provides the answer – by living in harmony with the Divine Hukam  “Kiv sachiara hoeeai — hukam rajai chalna Nanak likhya naal”. We will look what Hukam, the Divine Will or Command, is and how we can live our lives In harmony with Hukam.

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

Video of Session:

 

 

Jan 132017
 

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 January 22nd, 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 Jagmohan Singh will address the subject of mortality, looking at the shabad:

KAUN MUUAA RE KAUN MUUAA.
BRAHM GIANI MIL KAROH BEECHARAA EH TO CHALAT BHAIAA.      SGGS 885

SGGS teaches us, death is an integral part of our life. But what dies: body or soul.
Satguruji clears our doubts & misgivings. What appears to us is not the actual fact, neither anyone dies or passes thru the cycle of rebirth.

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

Video of Session:

 

Dec 142016
 

Speeches by Youth

Part 2 –  Is it OK to Eat Meat According to Gurbani?

Ardas Kaur (Yes) and Kiran Kaur Brar (No)

Video of Session:

Text of Speeches:

 

1  Ardaas Kaur:

Mās mās kar mūrakẖ jẖagṛe gi▫ān ḏẖi▫ān nahī jāṇai.
Ka▫uṇ mās ka▫uṇ sāg kahāvai kis mėh pāp samāṇe.

Wjkk Wjkf

Q1. When we as humans take on a cause, we seem to become part of something bigger. We practice random acts of kindness,, fight injustice, teach the next generation, and sometimes  even start a revolution. But one of the most remarkable things about humans is that we possess the ability to reflect and reason. And along with that ability comes the application of it. But in doing so, We need to take a moment to consider. We as sikhs,  are part of a faith that holds the truth at the highest value—-  Our guru’s message is the simple, wholesome, defined, TRUTH.

And keeping that in mind, What one decides to eat and doesn’t decide to eat is a topic to be considered.

Let’s explore this further through deciphering the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

baabaa hor khaanaa khusee khuaar

jith khaadhhai than peerreeai man mehi chalehi vikaar

Renounce the food that causes body illness and makes the mind filthy                          

Without a doubt Sikhism encourages healthy living. Our body is a temple that we must keep clean and healthy. Although, “Health is not simply the absence of sickness.” Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. But saadsangatji, let me ask you this, Does it matter if this can be achieved by both eating meat and not eating meat?

          

maasahu ni(n)mae maasahu ja(n)mae ham maasai kae bhaa(n)ddae

In the flesh we are conceived, and in the flesh we are born; we are vessels of flesh

The Guru Granth Sahib ji states one thing in very clear terms, vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism by no means, share a relationship with spirtuality or religion. In a world where everything is temporary and in Maya, Guruji asks only one thing of us, that we not get lost in the worldly pleasures, over indulging on things that we absolutely don’t need to survive, this is an act of disciplining our bodies, And by disciplining our body, we are creating a platform to fulfill our ultimate purpose in life which is to discipline our mind.

 

Q2.

jeea badhhahu s dhharam kar thhaapahu adhharam kehahu kath bhaaee

aapas ko munivar kar thhaapahu kaa ko kehahu kasaaee

 

 

Guruji says If killing a living being- taking away the beings’ right to life- a life that has been given to the being by Waheguru himself- can be classified as a righteous action then, what can possibly be worse and be classified as an unrighteous action

We call each other sages, while butchering animals in the name of god. Who then would we call a butcher?

However if we keep reading the shabad in the full gurbani context, Guruji is telling us that we are failing to see the precedence in this matter.

raam naam kee gath nehee jaanee kaisae outharas paaraa

 

He says that we have our priorities mixed up, we fight about the virtues of not eating meat and expend great efforts to show what is right and wrong,yet we do not instead spend our time contemplating Waheguru. He uses this particular example about the righteous and the unrighteous to highlight the level of hypocrisy our society has reached. Let’s not make guilt the foundation of our faith, saadsangatji.

 

 

Q3. Now this leads us to the question, for those sikhs that do choose to eat meat, where do the boundaries lie. There are many mixed views about Ritualistic forms of meat, those being kosher or halal.

 

According to the Damdami Taksal Sikh Rehat Maryada Code of Conduct

The eating of any type of meat is strictly forbidden and it makes one a traitor to the Guru.

 

According to the Akal Takhat Sikh Rehat Maryada

An Amritdhari Khalsa Sikh is not allowed to eat the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way, but is allowed to eat jhatka meat, meat in which the animal has been killed quickly without suffering or religious ritual.

 

The semitic practice of eating the flesh of an animal cooked in a ritualistic manner is not allowed because of the belief that killing an animal with a prayer is not going to enoble the flesh. No ritual, whoever conducts it, is going to do any good either to the animal or to the consumer.

 

According to the Guru Granth Sahib JI

eik maasehaaree eik thrin khaahi

eik mitteeaa mehi mitteeaa khaahi

 

Sikhi is a state of mind. And although not eating halal or kosher is a practice we use to discipline our bodies, whether we don’t eat meat at all, eat only jhatka meat, or eat all kinds of meat, does not determine how strong our faith is.

Now, Sadhsangatji, Once we have reached the ultimate state of mind, where our faith becomes

 

so strong that it consumes all fear, doubt and uncertainty, why would we ever need to question

 

the relevance of what we eat or do not eat?

 

 

Q4. Many of us have heard the phrase, “You are what you eat” —used to emphasise the importance of a good diet as a key to good health. Food powers your life. It fuels all bodily processes. Food affects who you are, what you do and your ability to pursue your dreams and aspirations.

Now, whether one chooses to follow a vegetarian diet or meat based diet, is completely a matter of choice. Yet there are pros and cons to both.

The Human anatomy has evolved to support a primarily vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet delivers complete nutrition and can provide health benefits that are less susceptable to certain diseases than the meat-based diet. A vegetarian diet also is helping conserve the planet, and home that we live on, because it leads to the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions.

While a meat-based diet may provide a better source of protein, may in fact help an individual fight many other diseases, and it may not be entirely increasing our environmental footprint.

The list goes on and on. Either way we are detracting something and gaining something, but the most important thing we are to determine is what we need and do not need to survive. And that is what matters most.

 

Q5 Vegetarians mistakenly elevate the value of animal life over plant life. Research shows that plants respond electrochemically to threats and may feel fear, so this might mean that being vegetarian is also killing plants. Every organism on earth dies or is killed, at some point, so others organisms can live. There is nothing wrong with this cycle; it is how nature works.

It does not necessarily mean that we should eat meat. Sikhism concludes no injunction against eating meat but also no advice to eat it. Why? Because what we eat should not be a hindrance to us, it’s as simple as that. Do we eat to live or do we live to eat? What is most important is less what enters the stomach, but more what comes out of the mind.

Therefore Guruji tells us to eat for solely survival, because overindulgence is diverting our attention, from the guru’s real hukam

 

 

 

Look into yourselves, saadsangat ji, try to find out the true, deeper reason that compels you to listen to your Guru, to find your true purpose, to connect back with the naam and see if it has spread its roots to your heart. Once you have attained this level of enlightenment, our differences and mistakes will not depend on whether we eat meat or not, but on whether our love for God is the source that fuels us to attain our ultimate purpose.

 

alap ahaar sulap see ni(n)dhraa dhayaa shhimaa than preeth

eat little, sleep little, and keep Mercy, forgiveness and love in heart

wjkk wjkf


2.  Kiran Kaur Brar

There is a lot controversy when it comes to consuming meat as a Sikh.

 

According to Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji,

ਮਾਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਝਗੜੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥

 

Foolish ones argue about flesh, but they don’t about meditation and spiritual wisdom. They don’t know the difference between flesh and vegetables, and eating which is sinful.

According to the rehat maryada, kutha meat is prohibited. Regarding other meat, it is silent. It is presumed non-kutha meat is not prohibited for Sikhs. However, any kind of meat is not served in Langar.

 

I will make my argument to keep meat away from our diet, firstly, on the basis of its health implications.

 

There is also a lot of scientific evidence that human bodies, on a biological level, are designed to support a plant-based diet. Similar to herbivores, we have a stomach capacity that is 30% of total volume of digestive tract, a need for extensive chewing, carbohydrate digesting enzymes in saliva, and a stomach pH level of 4-5 since we don’t need strong acid to eat meat.

 

Our body does digest meat, but it comes at a very high cost to our health.

 

According to Dr. Davis, “animal protein is not one of the healthiest foods around- rather it is strongly associated with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer, the primary killers of our time”.

Heating meat releases toxins which when consumed cause inflammatory response at the cellular level, along with containing carcinogens and heme Iron, which are chemicals directly involved in causing cancer. Iron in plants is non-heme and healthy for us.

 

Thus, we should stick with food that is healthy and easily digestible.

 

Bhagat Kabir says:

ਅਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ  ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥

ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥੨॥

 

Guru Ji highlights the hypocritical behavior of the pundits, while giving us a message that those people who are killing animals in the name of God should be ashamed of their act.

 

Guru Nanak dev ji always criticized the insincerity of the pundits and those who were only religious outwardly only for show, asking them if they are truly righteous and pure and cannot hurt an animal, then how can they justify being deceitful to others?

 

Guru sahib is telling pundits if killing animals is a sin in their religion, so is taking the rights of others:

ਹਕੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੂਅਰ ਉਸੁ ਗਾਇ ॥

 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji elaborates on this in another shabad,

ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥

 

ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ ॥

 

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਉ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਾ ਦਿਲਿ ਹਛੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥

 

ਅਵਰਿ ਦਿਵਾਜੇ ਦੁਨੀ ਕੇ ਝੂਠੇ ਅਮਲ ਕਰੇਹੁ ॥੧॥

 

Guru ji is giving us the message that renouncing or consuming meat alone does not make one pious, one must also stay away from evil deeds, do naam simran with love, and purify our minds. Otherwise, keeping a certain diet may only increase one’s ego, distracting them from the spiritual path.

ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਚੇਤਨੀ ਤਿਨ ਧਿਗੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਧਿਗੁ ਖਾਣੁ

 

 

Sikh rehat maryada strongly rejects meat that is made in a ritualistic manner, such as kosher or halal and is considered a Bajjar Kurehat.

 

According to Dr. IJ singh, “the reason lies in the view that killing an animal with a prayer is not going to ennoble the flesh.” This also includes killing animals by reading the mool mantar.

 

ਬੇਦੁ ਪੜੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਮੀਠੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥

ਜੀਆਂ ਕੁਹਤ ਨ ਸੰਗੈ ਪਰਾਣੀ ॥੩॥

 

Instead of doing jhatka(done by Nihang Singhs in war), which is a quick strike from the back of the neck in the spinal cord (where all the pain sensors are located), halal is made by killing the animal slowly from the front of the neck to the back to maximize pain .

 

ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋਰੀ ਕੀਏ ਜੁਲਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਹਤਾ ਨਾਉ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥

 

ਦਫਤਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਮਾਂਗੀਐ ਤਬ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੮੭॥

 

Even if done reciting hymns or as a sacrifice to God, using force on any animal or human is tyranny and have no place in Sikhism.

 

As Sikhs, we must also question the underlying practices behind the production of meat. Today, a lot animals go through a lot of cruelty.

 

 

ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥

 

  1. In Bhagat Kabir’s shabad,

ਰੋਜਾ ਧਰੈ ਮਨਾਵੈ ਅਲਹੁ ਸੁਆਦਤਿ ਜੀਅ ਸੰਘਾਰੈ ॥

ਆਪਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਅਵਰ ਨਹੀ ਦੇਖੈ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਝਖ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥

 

Guru Ji is reprimanding us for the obvious hypocrisy in murdering other beings for personal pleasure, but pretending to be a religious person.

In order to live a spiritual life, we must have santokh, daya, and dharam. Keeping meat away from our diet supports these virtues.

 

The purpose of life is not to life for the pleasures of food. A Sikh is content with his simple meal.

 

kbIr KUbu Kwnw KIcrI jw mih AMimRqu lonu ]

ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥੧੮੮॥

 

Guru Arjan Dev Ji reinforces this idea,

ਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਹੋਸੀ ਛਾਰੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ਜਨੁ ॥

ਰੰਗ ਰੂਪ ਰਸ ਬਾਦਿ ਕਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਰਾਣੀਆ ॥

Guru sahib states delicious tastes to be useless, encouraging a Sikh to be content and live a simple life.

 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elaborates and explains the danger of indulging in various pleasures.

ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਕੀ ਵਾਸੁ ॥

ਰਸੁ ਘੋੜੇ ਰਸੁ ਸੇਜਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਰਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥

ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਟਿ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥੨॥

 

Guru sahib says, if we are distracted with all these relishes of the human body, then how can God’s Name secure an abode within the heart?

 

Along with santokh, we must also have daya and sensitivity of what we eat and where it comes from. We should not support infliction of pain on animals. Commercially raised animals today are raised in very inhumane conditions. They are kept in filthy, overcrowded feedlots and inject hormones to make them grow bigger and faster abnormally.

 

5.

Many make the argument that if can eat plants, then why not animals? Although both are living organisms, the fundamental difference between the two is that animals are sentient being. A sentient being is one that has a mind; they have preferences, desires, or wants.

 

Plants are not sentient beings because 1. They lack sensory organs which enable them to see, hear, and taste like animals do. 2. Plants lack variability of response. Plants will react the same regardless of different scenarios.

 

Animals, on the other hand, have a conscious perception which acts as an intermediary between their environment and their many different behavioral responses to it.

 

There are many others additional differences that make the 2 distinguishable.

 

Animals have a brain and a strong nervous system and can feel a lot of pain, unlike fungi and plants which have a weak or no nervous system.

Animals have relationships and mothers who look after their young’s just like humans. Animals are also aware of death and will react when there is a threat to their life.

 

A hukamnama by Shri Guru Hargobind ji states,

 

ਮਾਸ ਮਛੀ ਦੇ ਨੇੜੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਵਣਾ |

Having a plant-based diet is good for one’s meditation and spirit. Eating meat can pass on hormones from the animals to us and biologically and chemically it is not difficult to see why.

 

                        ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ

ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ਰਹਾਉ (SGGS – 16)

 

 

Nov 182016
 

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 December 4, 2016
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:

 

Jessi Kaur will read an excerpt on Sewa from her upcoming book on Sacred Spiritual Concepts. Sewa is a core pillar of Sikhi. We will dwell upon what Sewa really is, and what are the worthy causes to serve according to the Guru.

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


Video of Session:

Oct 032016
 

VICHAAR

ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ

GuruGranthSahib.107220330_large

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

Date: Sunday October 23rd, 2016
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:

Sdn Leena Kaur will speak on “Soi Soi Sadaa Sach Sahib, Sacha, Sachi Nai

Abstract:

Throughout Gurbani Satguru ji tells us about Sacha Sahib, and the Sach that is pervading everywhere. Let us take Gurbani’s support to discuss what is Sacha and why do we call it Sacha? In our day to day life and our entire life, how do we recognize Sacha vs “not-Sacha”. What does Gurbani want us to do with this knowledge as we live our life? How can we use this knowledge to achieve the purpose of life,which is — to merge with Sacha, as mentioned in Gurbani. 

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

Video of Session:

Sep 212016
 

Speeches by Youth

Part 1 – Context of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Joymaneet Kaur, Ekam Singh Brar and Sukhveer Singh Karlkut.

Text of Speeches

1  Joymaneet Kaur

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

 

Guru Granth Sahib  is the central religious scripture of Sikhism, regarded by Sikhs as the final, sovereign and eternal living Guru.

 

Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki, a Sikh scholar, has written many books on Sikhism and Gurbani. On the context of Guru Granth Sahib, he writes, context is the ambience of a text- conditions that precede or follow it, and thereby fix its meaning and determine its significance.

 

First, the context of religious traditions states that Guru Nanak Dev ji concentrated more on spirituality which is the common core of religious life. He rejected formalism and rituals, prevalent in society at that time. Guru Nanak respected all revelations of God and wrote these words in Guru Granth Sahib.

ਸੂਰਜੁ ਏਕੋ ਰੁਤਿ ਅਨੇਕ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਵੇਸ ॥

Guru Nanak considered all men equal in the eyes of His god. He disapproved caste system, individual discrimination, gender inequality and strove to give women their rightful place.

Guru Nanak Dev ji rejected Avtar-vad as set forth in Bhagvad Gita, because God, the creator does not go into the cycle of birth and death.

ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥

Second, context of divine revelations states that Sikh Gurus have been asserting that Guru Granth Sahib is a work of Divine Revelations. The Mool Mantra is an enunciation of the essence of God made by Guru Nanak Dev Ji which occupies the beginning of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The revelatory nature of Gurbani is testified by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and is preserved in Guru Granth Sahib.

ਜੈਸੀ ਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਖਸਮ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੈਸੜਾ ਕਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥

Third, within Politio-historical context, during the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Lodhis were ruling India. They were very unjust, tyrannical, and corrupt.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji felt that the people were having a lack of morale. He wanted them to get rid of slavery and achieve courage, and be free of fear.

 

ਤਖਿਤ ਰਾਜਾ ਸੋ ਬਹੈ ਿਜ ਤਖਤੈ ਲਾਇਕ ਹੋਈ ॥

 

Fourth, the context of scripture asserts that the Guru Granth Sahib is a scripture, as it is a holy text. Guru Granth Sahib has been the light house of the spiritual life of Sikh people for many centuries. It is not merely a scripture, but the living spirit of the Gurus thus designated as Guru Granth Sahib.

 

ਲੋਕ ਜਾਨੈ ਇਹ ਗੀਤ ਹੈ ॥  ਇਹ ਤੋ ਬ੍ਹ੍ਹਮ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥

 

Prof. Owen asserts that the Guru Granth Sahib is both unique and distinctive. The content of sacred books of many religions differ from the content of Guru Granth Sahib.

 

First, the Abrahamic or Semitic scriptures have historical and biographical contents which tell refer to Jesus and Mohammad. Hindu religious literature is divided into two: Shruti and Smriti. Many other scriptures contain similar material. Those sacred books preach about men through whom the message of spiritual liberation was preached. But, in Guru Granth Sahib, the Sat Guru is Parmeshur, God, the Waheguru.

 

Second, scripture itself plays a very important role in Sikhism. A Gurudwara is a place where the scripture is installed. It is the Guru Granth Sahib that makes a Gurudwara, and not a place that makes Guru Granth Sahib. Worship in Sikhism is done in presence of Guru Granth Sahib, and it consists of singing or reading the Gurbani and explanation of holy hymns.

 

ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥੧॥

 

The Guru Granth Sahib is also unique for its attitudes to other religions by stating that Guru Nanak was remarkable for his validation of other forms of religion and his attitude was one of critical universalism that is not found in other scripture. Sikhs have no need to convert people, but they have a need to practice the life style preached by the Guru.

 

ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚਿ ਤਿੰਨਿ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਾ ਪਇਓ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਸਭਸੁ ਅਧਾਰੋ ॥

 

Prof. Dhillon correctly says, “The principle of Spirit was the central unifying factor between Guru Nanak and his nine successors.” Although the Gurus are different in physical form, they are of the same spirit. As a lamp lights another lamp similarly the “spirit of Nanak” was enshrined in the successive Gurus.

 

The first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was imbued with the divine light of the Akal Purakh to fulfill God’s will and mission in the world.

When Guru Nanak conferred Guruship on Guru Angad Dev Ji, the same Jot was passed on. In the same way, the Divine Light was passed from 1 guru to the next.

ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਰੂਪ ॥

Guru Gobind Singh Ji named the Pothi Sahib as Granth consisting of two words, Gur and Ant meaning eternal Guru. He asserted: ” In future whoever wishes to seek enlightenment, guidance and solace, let him read the holy Granth. This is your Guru till eternity. “

 

ਸਬ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਓ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ॥

 

Dr. Ahmad writes on the Guru Granth Sahib as not only spiritual but also relevant in addressing social issues. First is, the dichotomy between between Gurmukh and the Manmukh. A Gurmukh praises the Naam, and the fire of egotism is extinguished. The lord abides within the mind of the Gurmukh.

 

But, the self-willed Manmukhs are polluted with egoism, wickedness and desire.

 

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਚਲੇ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਜੀਉ

 

Secondly, the Guru Granth Sahib’s attitude on the issue of social equality is marked by contradictoriness. Some passages endorse social inequality and others endorse equality.

 

ਕੇਤੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਕੇਤੇ ਜਾਤਿ ਅਜਾਤਿ ॥

 

This contradiction arises out of the scripture having to deal with existing social inequality and outlining a future vision of equality.

 

Third, the issue of the distinction between believers and non-believers and their co-existence in society is addressed in the Guru Granth Sahib by separating community and power from their mutual relations.

 

Guru Granth Sahib teaches us to treat all humans as equal. Sikhism acknowledges and appreciates other religions and accepts their validity. This attitude helps the Sikhs understand and appreciate other religions and live in harmony with other faith communities.

 

ਫਕੜ ਜਾਤੀ ਫਕੜੁ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਇਕਾ ਛਾਉ ॥

 

As such, the Gurus gave equal regard to saints from all traditions. Guru Arjun Dev Ji had himself set an example by getting the foundation of Harimander Sahib laid by Saint Mian Mir.

 

Sikhism seeks to treat all human beings as spiritually equal irrespective of their religious belief. We must know Waheguru is present in everyone. We believe in God’s love for all beings. Therefore, we conclude prayers to Waheguru seeking welfare of all.

 

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ॥

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!


 2   Ekam Singh Brar

Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The intensity and emotion layered in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is evident at first glance. Its exquisite characterizations of Waheguru and extensive lyricism make for a compelling text with universal appeal. But in order to properly understand the purpose of this multi-layered text, we must first contextualize it.

 

Firstly, it is important to note the spirit of times. At this time in India, there was a galaxy of holy men, such as Dhanna, Kabir, Farid, Ramanand, and Namdev. Their writings are included in Guru Granth Sahib not only to indicate religious solidarity but also to enhance the universal appeal of the Granth.

 

Additionally, preceding historical traditions played a part in the ambience of this time. Guru Nanak believed that, to an extent, there was truth in all world religions. So he decided to preach spirituality instead of anchoring Sikhism to the dogma of other world religions. He separated elements of other religions that he found particularly distasteful and refused to include them in the Sikh faith. He sought to eliminate the repressive systems of prejudice and class warfare that plagued the society of his time.

ਸੂਰਜੁ ਏਕੋ ਰੁਤਿ ਅਨੇਕ

 

As a reaction to preceding historical traditions, the Guru Granth Sahib became more than a spiritual text to also become a quintessential example of social equality.

It is impossible to properly contextualize the Granth without also considering its context as a divine revelation– its source is Waheguru himself. It is ultimately a tribute to the glory of Waheguru, one commissioned by the creator himself.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣਹੁ

ਗੁਰਸਿਖਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਮੁਹਹੁ ਕਢਾਏ

 

So the Guru Granth isn’t just speculation on the nature of the Creator, it actually transcends theology through its status as divine revelation.

ਜੈਸੀ ਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਖਸਮ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੈਸੜਾ ਕਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ

 

Finally, the aesthetic context of the granth is especially notable. Guru Granth Sahib is constructed almost entirely in musical form through various raags. These raags are designed to elicit varying emotions. The language is really simple, but modified to fit the music it is crafted around. And the gurus saw the musical medium as powerful enough to deliver the divine revelation so it’s implemented consistently and expertly in the Granth.

2. Sri Guru Granth Sahib differs from the Abrahamic texts especially in its content, but also in its worldview. The holy scriptures of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and their ilk largely vacillate between discussing matters of historical and biographical content, while the authors of Guru Granth Sahib largely discuss matters of philosophy and spirituality. While the Abrahamic scripts speak of Allah and his disciple Muhammad, of God and his son Jesus, Guru Granth Sahib speaks of man and Waheguru and discusses the elevation of man through the Shabad which culminates with the sublation of the soul into Waheguru. Guru Granth Sahib is thus defined by its discourses on the wonder of Waheguru’s grace.

In other words, those books are about men who preached spiritual liberation, while the Guru Granth Sahib is about us reaching spiritual liberation.

ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਚੀਨੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੮॥

In its approach to scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib proves itself similarly unique. While other scriptures are only valuable to the extent that they extol the virtues of their prophets, Guru Granth Sahib extols the virtues of Waheguru and His Sikhs.

The attitude towards other religions depicted in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is respectfully critical. Guru Granth Sahib not only vindicates other religions, but testifies to the light of Waheguru and the lifestyle taught to us by the Gurus.

3. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is consistent in its principle of Spirit. B.S. Dhillon explains that although the Gurus existed in linear succession, they “were one in Spirit.” Guru Granth Sahib is unified because all of the Gurus that wrote in it shared this common experience of the Spirit. All of the Gurus worked for the same end, even as they all had different physical appearances.

ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥੭॥

Every one of Guru Nanak’s nine human successors recognized themselves as an instrument of God and maintained that they were simply translating the divine experience into hymns. They distanced their personages from their work by humbly referring to themselves as “Nanak.” This selfless devotion to the principle of Spirit over self was a unifying factor for the Sikh gurus.

4. In his essay, Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad mentions three contemporary social issues: a hedonistic society, individuals competing for displays of wealth, and economic inequality. He describes these as primarily the result of duality and the human condition.

The human condition can be seen as the predisposition of humans to do both good and bad, an internal conflict that becomes compounded with the addition of religion. Why? Religion is a force that sees humans as imperfect beings working towards salvation and an ideal of “good.” Dr. Ahmad highlights that without religion to act as a moral anchor to the heavens, the human condition “has a natural propensity to deteriorate.” This is the human condition right here. It’s dealing with the human potential to be drawn to pleasure but simultaneously working towards harmony and spirituality.

This is the duality that Guru Granth Sahib addresses. One of the objectives of the Guru Granth Sahib is to nudge humanity away from vice and towards the pursuit of spiritual ascension.

The duality creates a paradigm. Through this dichotomy, two types of men are made- the Gurmukh and the Manmukh. Although they were both reared in the smoldering ashes of maya, the two are distinctly different. The Gurmukh is devoted to worship of Waheguru and practicing truth, but the manmukh is consumed with anger and egoism

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ

 

  1. Sikhism recognizes that there is validity in all religions and encourages us to treats everyone with kindness. This mindset is the foundation of a healthy relationship with other religions and harmony with other faiths. This is why we pray “sarbat da bhala”- because we respect and appreciate other religions.

Sri Guru Granth calls on humans to tolerate religious pluralism and co-exist peacefully with those of others faith simply because we all have the same light of Waheguru inside us.

ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ

This isn’t just taught- it’s applied in Sikhism as well. The Gurus preached that we should give consideration to all religious leaders. Guru Arjan Dev Ji even called upon Shah Mian Mir to lay the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib.

The idea that all humans are ethically equal and deserve equal treatment was radical for the time, but seems more appropriate now, in the age of chaos, than it has ever been. This is the core of the Sikh religion. We must pray for the welfare of all. We must pray for each other. We are one in the eyes of Waheguru.

 

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

 


3  Sukhveer Singh

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

 

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji embodies the spiritual compositions of our Gurus and other holy men. Dr. Neki describes many contexts surrounding this monumental work.

 

In the first context, “Spirit of the times”, he writes that there was great spiritual awareness during the time of the Gurus. Those who met Guru Nanak Dev Ji were impressed by his humility and clear thinking. Furthermore, Guru Ji created models for inter-faith dialog.

 

In the second context, “Religious traditions”, Dr. Neki writes that Guru Ji accepted religious traditions that concentrated on spirituality or the praise of God. However, any that were sacrificial or ritualistic were rejected. Guru Ji viewed all men and women as equal in the eyes of God and advocated social justice for all.

 

In the third context, “Aesthetic”, he writes that while other scriptures are to be read or chanted, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is meant to be sung. It is arranged under a number of ragas of a peaceful tempo to match the spiritual nature of the text. Our Gurus recognized that music is the medium which can make an inroad to our soul and cultivate unity in all those that hear it.

In the fourth context, “Divine Revelations”, Dr. Neki writes about Guru Ji’s profound mystical experience from when He was summoned to the Divine Presence, which he then expressed in the Mool Mantra. When God revealed Bani to our Gurus, they shared it with us through verbal expression and preserved it for future generations in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

 

sathigur vich aap rakhioun kar paragatt aakh sunaaeiaa ||

He has placed Himself within the True Guru; revealing Himself, He declares this openly.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, SGGS Page 466

 

It is these four contexts that form the core essence of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and so justify the title of the paper.

 

It is clear from Professor Cole’s paper that the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is both unique and distinctive in several ways.

He notes that it is distinctive by being focused entirely on God – and not on any religious leader. While the Gurus are held in the highest esteem and reverence, it is the message that God revealed to them, that is in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

 

log jaanai eihu geeth hai eihu tho breham beechaar ||

People believe that this is just a song, but it is a meditation on God.

Bhagat Kabeer Ji,  SGGS Page 335

 

Professor Cole highlights another distinction from other sacred texts by noting that congregational worship is centered around the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is the presence of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib that makes a Gurdwara – without it, the Gurdwara becomes just a building.

 

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is also distinctive by including Bani of Hindu Bhagats, Muslim Sufis, and other holy men. It exemplifies the message of “religious equality” and offers advice for Muslims to be better Muslims and for Hindus to be better Hindus.

 

As the sole successor of our ten Gurus, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is truly unique by making the Guru-ship a continuous institution ever since its inception and forever into the future. There is no other sacred text that holds such a position in any other religion.

 

baanee guroo guroo hai baanee vich baanee a(n)mrith saarae ||

The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.

Guru Raam Daas Ji, SGGS Page 982

 

 

 

Bhai Dhillon’s paper discusses why the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the unified embodiment and teaching of our first ten Gurus.

 

It is the religious experience of the ‘spirit of Nanak’ that was the central unifying factor between our ten Gurus.

 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji received revelations from God and delivered them to the world through Bani.

 

jaisee mai aavai khasam kee baanee thaisarraa karee giaan vae laalo ||

As the Word of the Forgiving Lord comes to me, so do I express it, O Lalo.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, SGGS Page 722

 

The sacred hymns from Guru Ji’s Pothi were added to and then passed on by His successors. Guru Arjan Dev Ji proclaimed:

 

pothhee paramaesar kaa thhaan ||

This Holy Book is the home of the Transcendent Lord God.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji, SGGS Page 1226

 

Finally, Guru Gobind Singh Ji conferred eternal Guru-ship to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

 

All the Gurus being of the same devotion, service, ability, humility, and allegiance to the mission possessed the same spirit.

 

joth ouhaa jugath saae sehi kaaeiaa faer palatteeai ||

They shared the One Light and the same way; the King just changed His body.

Bhatt Sathaa & Balvand, SGGS Page 966

 

To emphasize this, the Gurus added Bani that was revealed to them under the name of ‘Nanak’ rather than that of their own name. As Guru Amar Das Ji writes:

 

eikaa baanee eik gur eiko sabadh veechaar ||

There is One Bani; there is One Guru; there is one Shabad to contemplate.

Guru Amar Daas Ji, SGGS Page 646

 

 

Dr Ahmad, paints a bleak picture of a world without religious guidance where our lives would be threatened by social evils and inequalities.

 

Three of the social issues he mentions are:

  • Duality
  • Gurmukh versus Manmukh
  • Positive virtues versus vices

Many verses in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib speak of the effects of duality and how to overcome it. Duality pollutes the mind and draws us to worldly pleasures and committing sins.

 

man mailaa hai dhoojai bhaae ||

mailaa choukaa mailai thhaae ||

The mind is polluted by the love of duality.

Filthy is that kitchen, and filthy is that dwelling

Guru Amar Daas Ji, SGGS Page 121

 

The message of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is that we have access to God provided we live the life of a Gurmukh – and not that of a Manmukh.
A Gurmukh follows the path of devotion and obtains spiritual wisdom, whereas a manmukh is filled with darkness and attracted to worldly goods.

 

guramukh chaanan jaaneeai manamukh mugadhh gubaar ||

The Gurmukh knows the Divine Light, while the foolish self-willed manmukh gropes around in the darkness

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, SGGS Page 20

 

The central social message of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is to give up the five vices: kaam, krodh lobh, moh, and Ahankaar. Living by positive virtues such as sat, santokh, daya, nimrata and pyaar, we can live in social balance and harmony.

 

sath sa(n)gath maelaap kar pa(n)ch dhooth sa(n)ghaarae||

When one joins the True Assembly, the five vices are liquidated.

Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaars Bhai Gurdaas

 

 

 

In his essay, Dharam Singh emphasizes that we live in a world of religious pluralism.

There is no place for an exclusivist attitude to religion as it is harmful to our social fabric. The object of religion is to unite mankind and not to divide it.

sarab dhharam mehi sraesatt dhharam ||

har ko naam jap niramal karam ||

Of all religions, the best religion is to chant the Name of the Lord and maintain pure conduct.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji, SGGS Page 266

Our Gurus taught us that everyone is equal, regardless of our appearance. We are spiritually one with God and ethnically equal, no matter our religious beliefs.

Sadh Sangat Ji, it is our duty to respect, understand, and co-operate with other faith communities. Dharam Singh gives us many examples in his essay:

  • Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited places of pilgrimage important to Hindus and Muslims.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji gave up his life in order to defend the religious freedom of Hindus.
  • Bhai Kanhaiya served water to all those injured on the battlefield.

The Ardas reminds us that the same One God resides within all of us.

ghatt ghatt mai har joo basai sa(n)than kehiou pukaar ||

The Dear Lord abides in each and every heart; the Saints proclaim this as true.

Guru Tegh Bahaadur Ji, SGGS Page 1427

 

 

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

 

 

 

Sep 212016
 

Youth Kirtan Jatha 1

Hari Singh, Jasleen Panesar, Sophia Singh, Gurleen Kaur and Mahima  Kaur.
Trainer: Bhai Nirmal Singh


Youth Kirtan Jatha 2

Aneet Kaur, Keerat Kaur, Gurdip  Kaur, Bhavandeep Kaur,   Tanvir Kaur.
Trainer : Sn. Leena Kaur

 

Sep 072016
 

The role of women in building a future for the Sikhs – A panel discussion with young Sikh women

Panel members:

Dr Charan Kanwal Singh
Reshma Singh
Arjot k. Sandhu
Divya Jyot Kaur
Eileen Kaur Alden
Harbir Kaur Bhatia

Abstract

The panel explores how it is to be a woman with sikh values and looking back at the steps taken today to create success 500 years later. its a process of envisioning and developing a roadmap to a Sikh community working back from an end goal of a vibrant Sikh culture and values. How do you create men and women that enhance the faith and not diminish it.

Video of Panel Discussion


About the Panel Leader

supreetbSupreet is Chairman of SikhNet’s board and creator of SuperSikh, the first Sikh superhero comic. His ongoing spiritual journey brings practical applications making Sikhi relevant in a modern world. A former CIO, Venture Capitalist and Global Partner he has been in IBM, SGI, KPMG, CA and The White House. Post 9-11, with others he founded Sikh Communications Council. Today as a Silicon Valley executive, he helps companies with innovation, Mergers & Acquisitions, IT and strategy.  He is an Adjunct Professor & Executive-in-Residence at University of Tenneessee, Knoxville.