Dec 012017



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 10, 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


S. Jagmohan Singh  will address the subject of “man ki matt”



Sri Guru Ram Das Ji says, It is very difficult to renounce our clever intellect (MAN KEE MATT) of our mind on our own. With the Grace of SGGS, Sadhsangat & practicing Gurbani (GURU KEE MATT) in our everyday life, we can pass the journey of our life in a state of bliss, making this life fruitful.

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

Video of Session:

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 012016

We invite you to come together for a very special day of Sikh youth kirtan, talks by wonderful speakers, and community building. The 5th Annual Siri Guru Granth Sahib conference will take place on Saturday, September 10th at the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose Library in San Jose, California.

This conference is sponsored by The Chardi Kalaa Foundation, the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose, and SikhNet.com.


conference poster cropped


When: Saturday September 10, 2016 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Library, Sikh Gurdwara San Jose
3636 Murillo Ave  San Jose, CA 95148
(408) 274-9373

Click here more more details

Aug 292016

The Mystique of Ik (One) and its Profound Applicability


It has been stated by authoritative Sikh scholars (Bhai Sahib Singh, Bhai Veer Singh) that Jap Ji summarizes the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and the essence of Jap Ji has been distilled in the Moolmantra. Furthermore, it has been said that the symbolic imagery Ik Ongkar encapsulates the plurality and vastness of the manifest world that emanates from a single source, Ik (One). In her presentation Jessi Kaur will focus on Ik, and explore its mystique and munificence. She will move from a conceptual understanding of Ik to its experiential aspect, and the profound impact the application of the essence of Ik can have on our life.

Video of Presentation

Body of Paper

The mystique of One and its profound applicability to life

By Jessi Kaur

Legend goes that when Guru Nanak was living in a town called Sultanpur Lodhi, one day while bathing in a river he disappeared into it. Everyone thought he had drowned. He returned after three days and made the proclamation that “There is no Hindu and there is no Musalman”, and thereafter proceeded with reciting the Jap Ji, the first of many divine revelations he received.

Authoritative Sikh scholars (Bhai Veer Singh, Singh Sahib Giani Mani Singh) are of the opinion that Jap Ji summarizes the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and the essence of Jap Ji has been distilled in the Moolmantra, the opening verse of Jap Ji: “Ik Ongkar Sat naam Karta Purak Nirbhu Nirvair Akaal Murat Ajooni Sehbnahg Gurparsaad.”

Ik or Ek, is germane to understanding the basic premise of Sikhi because the entire expanse of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is an exploration of the mystique and munificence of Ik. I will attempt to move from a conceptual understanding of Ik to its experiential aspect and the profound impact of its application in our lived reality.

Guru Nanak chose IK (numeral one) to describe the essence of the Creator. According to Bhai Veer Singh (Santhya SGGS Pothi 1), Ik is not used as an adjective that describes a noun, but is used as a noun, the name of a person. The rest of the mool mantra describes the uniqueness and vastness of Ik, endowing the Ik of Jap Ji with a depth of meaning that is as fathomless as the nature of Ik.

Ik is placed before Ong, the age old symbol representing the auspicious sound manifestation of the Creator. But Guru Nanak opened the vowel ura at the top to indicate its expanse as Kar (dynamic action). He used the imagery of Ongkar to embody the manifestation of Ik into many.

Ongkar eko rav reha sab ekas mahe samavego

Eko roop eko bahu rangi sab ekat bachan chalavego

Gurmukh eko ek pachhata gurmukh hoay lakhavego (SGGS 1310)

The One and Only Creator of the Universe is all-pervading everywhere. All shall once again merge into the One. His One Form has one, and many colors; He leads all according to His One Word. || 4 || The Gurmukh realizes the One and Only Lord is revealed to the Gurmukh.

Furthermore, Ik is both formless and immanent in creation.

Agam agochar roop na rekheya,

khojat khojat ghat ghat dekhya (SGGS P838)

Fathomless, invisible, without form

Upon searching is found in each and every heart.

Even as Ongkar diffuses in every particle of creation, it remains inviolable and intact as a singular and unique entity.

Ekam ekamkaar nirlala, amar ajoni jaat na jalaa

The One Universal Creator is unique, immortal, unborn, beyond social class or involvement. SGGS P 38

Mool matra goes on to state another quality of Ik which is inherent in its quintessence: Ik is constant, does not vary or change. It is the only truth because anything that changes is not truth, it is transitory. Truth however is stable and unvarying.

Aad sach jugad sach, haibhi sach

Nanak hosi bhi Sach

True in the primal beginning, true throughout the ages,

True here and now, O Nanak forever and ever true. SGGS P1

Sat is followed by Naam which literally means name, but is not intended to give Ik, the nameless cosmic force a name. Naam refers to the vibration, light, the spirit, the essence if you will, of the creative force. Naam also refers to the innumerous qualities of the Doer. Sat naam is the essence of the timeless supreme truth that words fail to describe, eyes are unable to see, and the mind cannot comprehend.

Karta Purakh further explains the doer aspect of Naam that with one utterance manifested a dynamic Universe with infinite forms, immutable laws, held together by the Will of the Creator and infused with its essence.

The moolmantra describes Ik as Nirbhau and Nirvair. Being the Creative force, Ik is also the nurturer, the benevolent provider, the protector with no hatred, angst, malevolence towards anyone. Being above and beyond its creation, the first cause, and indebted to none, Ik is fearless. Furthermore, the creator Ik is not far from its creation; it is a part of it, immanent in it and watches over it. But while creation ebbs and flows, forms and dissolves, shapes and reshapes, Ik remains undying (akaal murat), unborn (ajooni), self-created (saibhang) entity within the churning and outside of it.

It is not surprising that human language is unable to convey the mystical phenomenon of Ik. It can be fathomed only by the grace of an enlightened soul (Guru).

As the creator and nurturer Ik is always kind, forgiving, benevolent, merciful, and endlessly giving. Dynamic creation extends from Ik and reverts back into it. As the rays of the light merge with the Sun, and rivers lose themselves in the Ocean, the dispersive light of the Creator comes back into its fold.

Suraj Kiran milay jal ka jal hua raam

Jyoti jyot rali sampuran thea raam

The rays of light merge with the sun, and water merges with water. One’s light blends with the Light, and one becomes totally perfect.

Such is the playful nature of Ik. In fact SGGS refers to creation as Waho waho ka vadda tamasa, an epic play of the Divine. The play is interactive. We are the performing actors that crisscross with the Divine, and other actors who are part of the caste.

The Creator made the play complex by throwing in some warring elements:

Eho jug aap upayean kar choj vidaan

Panch dhaat vich payean moh zhoot guman (SGGS P786)

The Supreme One created the world and staged this wondrous play

Within the five elements of the body were infused attachment, falsehood and conceit.

As if this were not enough some smokescreens were also added to throw the players off :

Ekam eke aap upayeya dubedha dooja tribadh maya

First, the One created the One; second, the sense of duality; third, the three-phased Maya. (SGGS 113)

We have to out game the maneuvers of Maya (a catch all for everything that distracts) that clouds our mind and take us away from constant alignment with the Divine and Bharam the illusion of separateness from the Divine and our co-actors that propels us to work against each other rather than for the benefit of one another.

The best outcomes are achieved only when we recognize the oneness that connects us – each one of us carries the same spark, is fashioned from the same clay and our goal is to merge back into the Light we come from which is also our true nature.

Ya yug mein eke ko aayea, janmat moehoe mohni maya

We have come into this world to become One,

But ever since birth, we have been enticed by the fascination of Maya. (SGGS 251)

An important step towards clearing the veil of braham is mindfully recognizing:

Bahar bheetar eko jaano eh gur gyan bataee

Jan Nanak bin aapa cheeney mitay na brahm ki kaee (SGGS 684)

Wisdom lies in recognizing that within us and outside of us -there is only One reality.

Without self- reflection the algae of doubt doesn’t go away.

Scientists and spiritualists are converging in seeing the connectedness of all things. We hear phrases like “unified field” form physicists and “ecology of oneness” from Sufi mystics. Our prejudices, biases, violence in words and in action stem from our ego and not from our essence. It is the dominance of ego that over arches the strong hold of kaam, krodh, lobh moh ahnkar (Lust, anger, greed, attachment and arrogance). The conquest of ego entails constant battling of two opposing forces – Ego and Oneness. The role of ego is to create walls, to serve the self, and to perpetuate selfishness. One is all embracing love that simply put brings down the walls. This is the game that is played out, won or lost on the stage of life. The tension is constant. The narrow trail that leads to wining has been described as finer than a strand of hair, sharper than a razor’s edge. The trail takes us away from the swamp of exploitation and steers us towards spiritual responses to daily challenges : choices and decisions that don’t merely serve material gains but help us garner true wealth that comes from preserving and sustaining the unifying presence that ties us to one another and to our eco system. The true wealth is earned by strengthening the sound vibration of naam in our heart through chanting, seeking guidance through prayer, and living by the principles laid out by the sages through the centuries. The synergy of daily practice and grace (gurprasad) enable us to expand our sense of self. Alignment with One enables our actions to be for the larger good of all. We find inner fulfillment and outer peace. Contradictions and conflicts are effaced in the experience of a unified whole.


1.Santhya Sri Guru granths Sahib Ji – Pothi Pehli – Bhai Veer Singh (Publisher Bhai veer Singh Sahitya Sadan 1983)

2.Sidhantik Steek Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Pehli Sainchi – Singh Sahib Giani Mani Singh (Publisher Gurbani Study Society – 1991)



About the Author


Jessi Kaur is the author of three highly acclaimed children’s books.She travels extensively to deliver seminars on Sikhi and is a frequent contributor to populous and scholarly publications. For more info :WWW.Jessikaur.com

Jun 302016

Fifth Annual Conference on Sri Guru Granth Sahib

We invite you to come together for a very special day of Sikh youth kirtan and panel discussion, and talks by wonderful speakers, and community building.The 5th Annual Siri Guru Granth Sahib conference will take place on Saturday, September 10th at the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose Library in San Jose, California.

This conference is sponsored by The Chardi Kalaa Foundation, the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose, and SikhNet.com.




May 312016

We invite you to come together for a very special day of Sikh youth kirtan, talks by wonderful speakers, and community building. The 5th Annual Siri Guru Granth Sahib conference will take place on Saturday, September 10th at the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose Library in San Jose, California.

This conference is sponsored by The Chardi Kalaa Foundation, the Sikh Gurdwara San Jose, and SikhNet.com.



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Sep 162015

Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki

(27 August 1925 – 11 September 2015) 



This conference is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki. He was slated to be a keynote speaker at this conference, but unfortunately he was taken ill and had to return to India, where he passed away on September 11th. He has been an inspiration and a supporter of these conferences and he participated as a speaker at the first conferences in 2012.

I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Neki for many years through his daughter Rahat and son-in-law Amarpal. A very devout Sikh who was extremely knowledgeable and deeply interested in the study of Sikhi, he was at the same time very liberal and progressive in his views. He was clearly brilliant but also very humble and possessed a great sense of humor. He was a wonderful conversationalist and I always found him to be very inspiring.

Dr. Neki was involved with the Chardi Kalaa Foundation since its founding in 1998 as the Chardi Kalaa Sikh Community Center. He joined us for some of our English language services at the center and was very supportive of the concept. More recently, he participated in our monthly Vichaar programs whenever he was here in the U.S. He led the discussion for two very inspiring Vichaar sessions on “Concept of Naam” and “Revelation in Sikhi”. The Chardi Kalaa Foundation has provided financial support for the Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, of which Dr. Neki was the Honorary General Secretary, and the Foundation has a seat on the Sadan’s board represented by S. Rawel Singh.

Dr. Neki devoted the last 50 years of his life to the Gurmat studies in addition to Award winning recognition in his professional life as Director PGI Chandigarh and as Head of Department of Psychiatry in All India Medical Institute, New Delhi. In the are area of religious and literary activities he had the rare distinction of being recognized by all the major relevant organizations.

As a poet he is best known for his poetry collections, Asle to Ohle Tak (Illusion and Reality, 1955) and autobiographical, Koi Naon Na Jane Mera (2000). n. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979 for his work, ‘Karuna di Chhoh Ton Magron’ (The Compassionate Touch). His long autobiographical poem Simriti De Kiran Ton Pehlan (Before Shedding Memory) published in 1975, is considered masterpiece of Indian literature.

His works as a scholar of Sikhism include Ardaas: Darshan Roop Te Abhiyas which has been designated as an all time classic, Sada Vigas, Achetan di Leela , Divine Intimations, Prophet of Devotion and Pilgrimage to Hemkunt, spiritual heritage of Punjab, basking in the divine Presence; Jap sahib and many more. Two of his recent books that I have personally enjoyed and found very inspiring are Gurmat Manovigyan (Psychology according to Gurmat) and Haumai ton too hi val.

For several years, he has been a member of the Dharam Prachar Committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. He was chairman of the Board of Consultants constituted by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for setting up of an Institute of Medical Sciences. In 1989, he received the Kohli Memorial Award for being the Best Professional of the Year.

He will be sorely missed by all of us at the Chardi Kalaa Foundation and in the Sikh community, but we are grateful for the many years of support and friendship and will continue to benefit from his extensive writings and numerous public presentations.

Inder Mohan Singh, Chairman, Chardi Kalaa Foundation


Sep 162015

Nirbhau – Attempting to Live Without Fear


Most of the decisions we make in life are driven by various types of fear. Turning to the Guru, we can understand where this fear comes from and how to deal with it. Addressing stumbling blocks such as Haumai and working on Naam shows us the path. And of course, with Gur Parsaad, we can attempt to live a life devoid of fear.


Video of Presentation

Body of Paper



By Jagjot Singh

Our Condition Today

Most of us live our lives in fear. Our decisions, actions and behavior seem to be dictated by fear of losing what we have, not getting what we want, looking bad, dreading the unknown and so on. You get the idea. So how does it feel to live in fear?

Ang 1357 – Mehla 5

ਅਜਾ ਭੋਗੰਤ ਕੰਦ ਮੂਲੰ ਬਸੰਤੇ ਸਮੀਪਿ ਕੇਹਰਹ

The goat enjoys eating fruits and roots, but if it lives near a tiger, it is always anxious.

 ਤਤ੍ਰ ਗਤੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਗ ਹਰਖੰ ਬਿਆਪਤੇ ੪੧

This is the condition of the world, O Nanak; it is afflicted by pleasure and pain. ||41||

As Guru Arjan Dev ji states on Ang 1357, our condition is like that of a goat which looks to be peacefully grazing but is anxious that a tiger is near. We go about our daily lives with this nagging tension that is always there. So how is fear defined? What is it? And how do I conquer it? Many such questions plague our minds and perhaps what we are asking is – What does it mean to be Nirbhau and how can I achieve that state?

Definitions: ਡਰ vs ਭੈ Vs ਭਉ

To understand fear, it is worthwhile to understand the differences between Dar vs Bhae vs Bhau. Let us first look at Dar.

Bavan Akhri – Ang 341

ਡਡਾ ਡਰ ਉਪਜੇ ਡਰੁ ਜਾਈ

DADDA: When the Fear of God wells up, other fears depart.

 ਤਾ ਡਰ ਮਹਿ ਡਰੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ

Other fears are absorbed into that Fear.

 ਜਉ ਡਰ ਡਰੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਲਾਗੈ

When one rejects the Fear of God, then other fears cling to him.

 ਨਿਡਰ ਹੂਆ ਡਰੁ ਉਰ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਗੈ ੧੯॥

But if he becomes fearless, the fears of his heart run away. ||19||

My Guru, in bavan akhri on Ang 341, says when you feel the fear of God, all your other fears get absorbed in this fear. However, if you are not in fear of God, then all the other fears get you. And if you become Nirbhau (fearless), then all your fears depart. Now this got me to thinking – I have always believed that god is not to be feared, then what is this “fear of God”?

Asa ki Vaar – Ang 464 – Mehla 1

ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਵਣੁ ਵਹੈ ਸਦਵਾਉ

In the Fear of God, the wind and breezes ever blow.

 ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਲਖ ਦਰੀਆਉ

In the Fear of God, thousands of rivers flow.

 ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਕਢੈ ਵੇਗਾਰਿ

In the Fear of God, fire is forced to labor.

 ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਦਬੀ ਭਾਰਿ

In the Fear of God, the earth is crushed under its burden.

In Asa ki Vaar on Ang 464, Guru Nanak Dev ji clarifies that this Bhae is the law of Waheguru under which the whole universe revolves. This is the Bhae under which each human also lives. We understand the laws of the universe created by Waheguru and live our lives within these laws. It is while living under this Bhae that one can begin to understand Nirbhau.

Laavan – Ang 774 – Mehla 3

ਹਰਿ ਦੂਜੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

In the second round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord leads you to meet the True Guru, the Primal Being.

 ਨਿਰਭਉ ਭੈ ਮਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

With the Fear of God, the Fearless Lord in the mind, the filth of egotism is eradicated.

 ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਭਉ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਹਦੂਰੇ

In the Fear of God, the Immaculate Lord, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and behold the Lord’s Presence before you.

In the Laavan on Ang 774, Guru Amardas ji further clarifies that this Bhau of God is actually a Nirmal Bhau – which is a very respectful Dar and not a “fearful” (as in everyday language) Dar. We all know what this Nirmal Bhau is, as my Guru tells me to wake during Amrit Vela, do Nitnem every day, etc. By letting go of one’s ego, this Nirmal Bhau is attainable.

Ang 465 – Asa Ki Vaar – Mehla 1

ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਭਉ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਉ ੨॥

O Nanak, those whose minds are filled with the Fear of God, have the love of God in their minds as well. ||2||

And as Guru Nanak Dev ji says in Asa ki Vaar on Ang 465, if you have this Nirmal Bhau in your mind, then you shall also have true love of Waheguru. Simply put, if you are in his Bhau, you are full of love.

So all said and done, how do I get to ਭਾਉ ? And my Guru says..

Ang 11 – So Purakh – Mehla 4

ਜਿਨ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਜੀ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਭਉ ਸਭੁ ਗਵਾਸੀ

Those who meditate on the Fearless One, on the Fearless Lord-all their fears are dispelled.

 Ang 293 – Sukhmani – Mehla 5

ਨਿਰਭਉ ਜਪੈ ਸਗਲ ਭਉ ਮਿਟੈ

Meditating on the Fearless Lord, all fear departs

 Ang 539 – Mehla 4

ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਦੇ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਤਿਨਾ ਪੰਚੇ ਵਸਗਤਿ ਆਏ ਰਾਮ

Those who meditate on the Lord’s Name, O my soul, overpower the five passions.

 Ang 646 – Mehla 3

ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਡਰੁ ਸਟਿ ਘਤਿਆ

Those who meditate on the Lord’s Name, cast out their fears.

 Ang 985 – Mehla 4

ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਚੂਕੇ ਸਰਬ ਜੰਜਾਲਾ

Those who meditate on the Name of the Lord – all their entanglements are ended.

As is evident from the various shabads above, there is a remedy for fear. And that is – naam japna. By meditating on Naam, worldly fears depart, our five passions can be controlled, and we can be truly free of all entanglements. A person who represents these qualities is Kabir ji.

Ang 1162 – Kabir

ਗੰਗ ਗੁਸਾਇਨਿ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰ

The mother Ganges is deep and profound.

 ਜੰਜੀਰ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਕਰਿ ਖਰੇ ਕਬੀਰ ੧॥

Tied up in chains, they took Kabeer there. ||1||

 ਮਨੁ ਡਿਗੈ ਤਨੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਡਰਾਇ

My mind was not shaken; why should my body be afraid?

 ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਚਿਤੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ਰਹਾਉ

My consciousness remained immersed in the Lotus Feet of the Lord. ||1||Pause||

 ਗੰਗਾ ਕੀ ਲਹਰਿ ਮੇਰੀ ਟੁਟੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ

The waves of the Ganges broke the chains,

 ਮ੍ਰਿਗਛਾਲਾ ਪਰ ਬੈਠੇ ਕਬੀਰ ੨॥

and Kabeer was seated on a deer skin. ||2||

 ਕਹਿ ਕੰਬੀਰ ਕੋਊ ਸੰਗ ਸਾਥ

Says Kabeer, I have no friend or companion.

 ਜਲ ਥਲ ਰਾਖਨ ਹੈ ਰਘੁਨਾਥ ੩॥੧੦॥੧੮॥


On the water, and on the land, the Lord is my Protector. ||3||10||18||

On Ang 1162, Kabir ji tells us of a time when he was chained and thrown into the Ganges to be killed. But his chains were broken and he found himself safe. He simply believed that no person could harm him as Waheguru was his sole protector everywhere. He was truly Nirbhau.

Ang 394 – Mehla 5

ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ

My Guru is always with me, near at hand.

 ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਦਾ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲੇ ੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever. ||1||Pause||

 ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਗੈ

Your actions seem so sweet to me.

 ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਂਗੈ ੨॥੪੨॥੯੩॥

Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||2||42||93||

Guru Arjan Dev ji, on Ang 394, provides us another perfect example of Nirbhau. As he sat on the tatti tavi and moved on from this world, he exemplified living in Waheguru’s Bhau and called all His actions sweet.

As we think of these great Gurus and Bhagats, a question comes to mind. But what can I do? After all, these were great men and they were true recipients of Gur Parsad. Compared to a lowly me, still trapped by daily affairs and still grazing as a goat. What specifically can I do to become Nirbhau? Once again I turned to the Guru in my confusion.

Ang – 206 – Mehla 5

ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਰਾਇਆ

He is the Eternal King.

 ਨਿਰਭਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੈ ਬਸਤੇ ਇਹੁ ਡਰਨੁ ਕਹਾ ਤੇ ਆਇਆ ੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

The Fearless Lord abides with you. So where does this fear come from? ||1||Pause||

ਏਕ ਮਹਲਿ ਤੂੰ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬਕਤਾ ਏਕ ਮਹਲਿ ਖਲੁ ਹੋਤਾ

In one person, you are a Pandit, a religious scholar and a preacher, and in another, You are just a fool.

ਕਾਠ ਕੀ ਪੁਤਰੀ ਕਹਾ ਕਰੈ ਬਪੁਰੀ ਖਿਲਾਵਨਹਾਰੋ ਜਾਨੈ

What can the poor wooden puppet do? The Master Puppeteer knows everything.

This shabad on Ang 206 by Guru Arjan Dev ji, captures my confusion perfectly. I truly feel like a puppet and have no idea what the master puppeteer will do with me.

Ang 1376 – Kabir

ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ

Kabeer, the mortal knows everything, and knowing, he still makes mistakes.

 ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ੨੧੬॥

What good is a lamp in one’s hand, if he falls into the well? ||216||

But Kabir ji, on Ang 1376, clearly says – You know what to do! Don’t try and hide behind this façade of “I don’t know anything” when you fully understand the difference between right and wrong.

So perhaps we could start with simple steps and lay out a strategy to get to Nirbhau.

Step 1: Start with – I am nothing…

Ang 547 – Mehla 5

ਤੂ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਵਡਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਤਿ ਥੋਰੀ ਰਾਮ

You are great and all-powerful; my understanding is so inadequate, O Lord.

 ਪਾਲਹਿ ਅਕਿਰਤਘਨਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਮ

You cherish even the ungrateful ones; Your Glance of Grace is perfect, Lord.

 ਅਗਾਧਿ ਬੋਧਿ ਅਪਾਰ ਕਰਤੇ ਮੋਹਿ ਨੀਚੁ ਕਛੂ ਜਾਨਾ

Your wisdom is unfathomable, O Infinite Creator. I am lowly, and I know nothing.

 ਰਤਨੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਹਨ ਕਉਡੀ ਪਸੂ ਨੀਚੁ ਇਆਨਾ

Forsaking the jewel, I have saved the shell; I am a lowly, ignorant beast.

On Ang 547, Guru Arjan Dev ji states, that compared to Waheguru recognize that “I” am nothing. My understanding, comprehension and knowledge are nothing. I am truly a lowly beast. I think this eradication of ego and self is the first step.

STEP 2. Trust him … he gives you everything .

Ang 266 – Sukhmani Sahib –

ਬਾਰ ਬਿਵਸਥਾ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੈ ਦੂਧ

In your infancy, He gave you milk to drink

 ਭਰਿ ਜੋਬਨ ਭੋਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਸੂਧ

In the flower of your youth, He gave you food, pleasure and understanding.

 ਬਿਰਧਿ ਭਇਆ ਊਪਰਿ ਸਾਕ ਸੈਨ

As you grow old, family and friends are there,

In Sukhmani Sahib, on Ang 266, the Guru says Wahegur uhas always taken care oif you. From the beginning of your life when you were an infant to the time you grow old. He has fed you. Taken care of you. So trust Him. Completely.

Step 3: Develop discerning intellect

Ang 641 –

ਪਿਆਰੇ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਜਾਈ ਮੈ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ

O Beloved, this is not the way to meet the Lord; I have performed these rituals so many times.

 ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ਰਹਾਉ

I have collapsed, exhausted, at the Door of my Lord Master; I pray that He may grant me a discerning intellect. ||Pause||

On Ang 641, Guru ji says that I am exhausted and I collapse at your door. Please give me Bibek Budh – or discerning intellect. Help me understand what is wrong or right – not in the eyes of other humans but in the eyes of the Guru. Let me not over analyze everything and always calculate benefits. Rather help me keep it simple and remain in your Nirmal Bhau. Let me always take the guidance of gurbani.

STEP 4: Realize that my Guru is with me always

Ang 2 – Jap

ਮਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਤਨ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਜੇ ਇਕ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣੀ

Within the mind are gems, jewels and rubies, if you listen to the Guru’s Teachings, even once.

 ਗੁਰਾ ਇਕ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ

The Guru has given me this one understanding:

 ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਜਾਈ ੬॥

there is only the One, the Giver of all souls. May I never forget Him! ||6||

On Ang 2, in Jap, Guru ji says let Waheguru be with me always. Perhaps one of my biggest realizations is that – my behavior should be such as if the guru is with me always. I ask – will he like it? In everyday work, if I win at something by being dishonest – is that win worth it? I should only do what He will like. I am finding that my vision is too narrow – I want short term praise and have no idea what is beneficial in the long-term. Rather, I now want praise of my Guru. I ask – what will my Guru like? And I turn to gurbani to understand right from wrong.

STEP 5: Udham Karo

Ang 405 – Mehla 5

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਉ ਕਰਾਵਹੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਪੇਖਤ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਿ

I make the effort, as You cause me to do, my Lord and Master, to behold You in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.

 ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਚਰਾਵਹੁ ਰੰਗਨਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਰੰਗਿ ੧॥

I am imbued with the color of the Love of the Lord, Har, Har; God Himself has colored me in His Love. ||1||

 Ang 522 – Mehla 5

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇਦਿਆ ਜੀਉ ਤੂੰ ਕਮਾਵਦਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚੁ

Make the effort, and you shall live; practicing it, you shall enjoy peace.

 ਧਿਆਇਦਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਤਰੀ ਚਿੰਤ ੧॥

Meditating, you shall meet God, O Nanak, and your anxiety shall vanish. ||1||

 These two shabads by Guru Arjan Dev ji point out that Udham is absolutely essential. Listening to baani and reciting baani are great – but without good actions life may be meaningless. We have to exert the effort to improve ourselves. Getting up in the early morning, doing Nitnem, and spending the whole day earning an honest living are well known pre-requisites of Sikhi. Obviously this requires Udham. And how does it feel when one exerts Udham while living in Nirmal Bhau?

Ang 274 –

ਕੇਵਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਚੈ

He is absorbed in devotional worship and the singing of Kirtan, the songs of the Lord’s Glory.

 ਮਨ ਤਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਗੋਪਾਲ

Within his mind and body, he meditates in remembrance on the Lord of the Universe.

 ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਹੋਵਤ ਕਿਰਪਾਲ

He is kind to all creatures.

 ਆਪਿ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ

He holds fast to the Naam, and inspires others to chant it.

 ਨਾਨਕ ਓਹੁ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ੨॥

O Nanak, such a Vaishnaav obtains the supreme status. ||2||

On Ang 274, Guru ji says that a person who is absorbed in meditation and kirtan all the time, who is kind to all, and who chants the Naam and helps other do so – such a person is of the highest status. So is this “supreme status” the same as success?

Ang 534 –

ਰਾਜੁ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ

I do not seek power, and I do not seek liberation. My mind is in love with Your Lotus Feet.

And then there is the stage of contentment.

Guru ji, on Ang 534, explains that the ultimate state of contentment is to be in Waheguru’s hukam. In our everyday lives we define success as a state in which we are happy and content. But we mistakenly tie this success to money, thinking that with money we will obtain happiness and contentment. Guru ji points out that true contentment comes from being in love with Waheguru (and not from pursuing worldly goods).

As I move towards implementing some of these strategies, a nagging doubt creeps in. What if I do it all and nothing happens?

Ang 1139 – Mehla 5

ਰਾਖਹੁ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ

Save me, save me, O Lord; shower me with Your Mercy.

ਤੇਰੀ ਸਰਣਿ ਤੇਰੈ ਦਰਵਾਰਿ ੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

I seek Your Sanctuary, and Your Court. ||1||Pause||


ਜਿਸੁ ਊਪਰਿ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ

That person who is blessed by the Creator’s Glance of Grace-

ਤਿਸੁ ਜਨ ਕੇ ਸਭਿ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰਿ

all his affairs are resolved.

On Ang 1139, Guru Arjan Dev ji explains that without Waheguru’s Nadar nothing is possible. So the key is that we have to make ourselves worthy of his Nadar.

With these simple-sounding but doable steps we could move towards being Nirbhau. Starting with the admission that we know nothing, trusting Waheguru compeletely, developing a discering intellect, acting as if Wahegur is with us constantly and exerting our best effort, we can start living in his Nirmal Bhau. As we grow spiritually, and our worldly fears get absorbed in our love for waheguru, we move closer to the state of Nirbhau. Our definition of success becomes finding a place in Waheguru‘s feet. And, of course, we do ardaas to obtain his Nadar.


About the Author

JagjotJagjot Singh is an investor and advisor to several Silicon Valley software companies. He is the CEO of Service Associates and advisor to Stanford University’s Startx incubator. He plays an active role in Sikh affairs including being CEO of Sikh Communications Council and advisor to Sikh Coalition. He has an MBA and MS in Engineering-Economics from Stanford University and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Panjab University, India.

May 182015

This program has been cancelled. Watch for announcement of next Vichaar program


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 May 31, 2015
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


Prof. Jaspal Kaur Kaang will speak on “Application of Teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Solving Human Problems related to Modern Way of Life”.

Prof. Kang is  chairperson of the Guru Nanak Sikh Studies department at Punjab University,  Chandigarh in India.

An abstract of her presentation follows.

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


1.      HISTORY

The sacred Granth of Sikh faith was first compiled by Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru in 1604 C.E.

The original compilation called ‘Pothi’ included verses composed by five Sikh Gurus and 30 other saintly personages.

Later, the compilation came to be known as “Adi-Granth”.


Guru Gobind Singh added Guru TeghBahadur’s verses to it and the revised version came to be known as “Damdami Bir”.

Finally it has come to be revered as “Sri Guru Granth Sahib” (S.G.G.S.).


Present Bir, running into 1430 pages, was adopted from the hand-written Birs prepared in the 19th century C.E.

Taken together all the verses are called “Gurbani”.

4.      CONTENTS

The main theme of Gurbani is to elevate the moral self of human beings through faith in God.

Ultimate aim of Gurbani is to enable human beings work for the cause of ethical humanism

5.      U. G. C. PROJECT

U.G.C, India (University Grants Commission) sanctioned two-years major research project for 2012-2014 on the subject of teachings of S. G. G. S.

Aim of the project was to study the impact of teachings of S.G.G.S. in solving human problems related to modern way of life.


Two types of problems have been identified: first psychological and second physical.

Both types of problems are the outcome of similar situations arising out of the modern life-style adopted by human beings.

Many types of diseases can be grouped under physical and psychological problems.


Human beings in modern times face problems at levels beyond individual self as well i. e. at social level, at national level and at international level.


Innumerable quotes from Gurbani can be cited to relate its teachings to modern way of life.


Various techniques were employed to study the impact of Gurbani on human behaviour such as interviews, lectures, surveys, camps etc.


The evaluation process use of evaluation techniques such as DASS, questionnaires on daily routine and psychological tests.


Results obtained indicate highly positive effects of exposure to Gurbani in individual development, solving various ailments, bringing about harmony and bliss and establishing world peace.


 Posted by at 11:01 am