November 9, 2011
By PROF. PURAN SINGH
Guru Nanak is Divine Humanity with a tap-root running into the fathomless, into that One without a second, whose Name is Truth Reality, who creates, whose presence excites no terror, no fear, even in the tender heart of chicken, who transcends all shapes and forms of times and space, who is the unborn immortal spirit of all Life.
GURU NANAK to me Personal of the impersonal Akal Purkh The Deathless One. Through GURU NANAK flows to us the current of life. Without the Sat guru, Sikh can aspire after the realization of truth. To hold direct conversation with God may seem to be a very charming spiritual ideal, which the modern man has developed, but I am sorry to say it is not true. GURU NANAK says that truth can be realized only through the grace of the Sat guru. GURU NANAK is the Sat guru. He is the spirit of God, without which no one can speak to HIM. This spirit is above names, above languages and it is a gift of the Sat guru, decorated with which the man can talk to God.
With words having significance something like this, begins the Song Eternal into which GURU NANAK is made in his own image. The Life of GURU NANAK twinkles like star in every letter of this Song. GURU NANAK lives amidst us, in the little ‘CHHAPARI’ – HUT – of a true Sikh in the personality of GURU GRANTH SAHIB, in the glory of a galaxy of countless stars. GURU GRANTH SAHIB shines in the temple of the Sikh heart with the glory of a book, as some say and others see. Behold – it is GURU NANAK, the White-bearded BABA – seated in an invisible manner in the Word-Constellations of GURU GRANTH SAHIB that are grouped by the cosmic forces into such an order that all these Word-Constellations taken together represent to the believing Sikh the Eternal GURU NANAK.
He is always with us. The BABA is with me wherever I go. He is with me when am on my duty. He is with me within the four walls of my house. He is within my heart. Behold the mine rat of my heart is golden and there, by the Grace of the BABA, I have the Amritsar within me! The true Sikh is no imitator. His Master, His Sat guru is above birth and death. It was his Mercy that he appeared at Talwandi.then in the form of GURU ANGAD he resided at khadur; as GURU AMAR DASS it was his effection for us that he appeared as GURU AMAR DASS, who built the holy city of goindwal. As GURU RAM DASS built the golden temple in the tank of immortality. It was his boundless favour that as GURU ARJUN DEV he laid himself down for the guidance of the whole world in Guru Granth Sahib. GURU NANAK gives us Seli and Topi so that his Sikhs may not confuse Divine Love with mere death when he appeared as GURU HAR GOBIND. GURU HAR GOBIND saluted the Seli and Topi for he wore it once. Who else could reject them but GURU NANAK himself? As GURU HAR GOVIND, he wears the Sword. Behold! GURU NANAK with his flowing White Beard come with a Sword in hand for you Very charming indeed! As GURU HAR RAI, GURU NANAK again rises in a reverie of Love, lest his Sikhs misunderstand Sword. GURU NANAK wanted to establish the one Law of Love both in peace and in war. The same Law operates through both. It is Love that in one aspect worships Christ and in another crucifies him. This is what he wanted to make clear to his Sikhs. GURU NANAK is always conceived as an old man, even his Mother and his Nurse saw him as an old man at Nankana Sahib. He invited them to see him in GURU HAR KRISHAN as a child. From old age, he goes back to infancy and how wonderfully he shifts his form from one to another to show that he is above form.
This GURU NANAK has been the Spirit of all Saints and Sages. He is the genius of purity, devotion, love and God. How beautifully he wishes to astonish his Sikhs by coming to them in so many forms. There comes GURU NANAK at Bakala. None but Bhai Makhan Shah, Lubana Sikh, could recognize him. GURU NANAK in his last appearance as Glory-crested GURU GOVIND SINGH is at his best in all his aspects of Spiritual beauty. He is in this form a million-personed person. He is with many hands here. In one hand he holds Love of man for Guru and God, in another a Sword, in another a Chakkar, a bow, in another a Sankh, in another a Shield and behold! He comes to entrance the true Sikh.
As GURU GOBIND SINGH he rides on horse back, keeps elephants and lives and Sarswati, the Goddess of learning, and Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, waiting at his door. In Kaliyuga, GURU GOBIND SINGH renews the stamped deed given in the Upanishads that these two Goddesses shall wait with folded hands at the doors of a Brahmagiani. The life of Spirit is not that of a beggar but that of a giver. It is a rich life. No desires of corn loaf about there The things of the world are not given up for the darkness of the grave but for a mansion whose floors are daily swept by the suns and stars. The winds and waters, the fires and all the cosmic forces are his.
GURU NANAK’s Sikhs are not pale, haggard, pessimistic, foolish-looking weaklings, denying everything unto themselves by filling themselves with morbid resignation and renunciation, but they are hermits With the ruby colour, glowing with light, over-flowing with life, bubbling with joy and making a natural bold, vehement, daring, ready people. The Sikh is good because his Sat guru is eternally alive. The Sikh knows no anniversaries of the birthday or the deathday of His Guru. Such things only appeal to the willing crowds. The willing crowds come together drawn by names newly invented and it is good that they come together, for on the devotee, who even once in his life calls on GURU NANAK, my BABA – is so divinely loving – calls on him from age to age till the caller is admitted in. My BABA loves crowds. He comes there and silently watches and picks his own. Therefore the crowds should come together. I am glad of the crowds that sing aloud the BABA’s song and may they love him for ever and ever III I don’t therefore deprecate the gladness that is generated in the Sikh circles by mere names, but I wish to urge upon them that for a Sikh ‘everyday is a New Year’s day and every night a Xmas night’. This phrase again refers to the very day celebration. This too is inadequate, for the Sikh celebrates the jubilee of the Guru with his every breath. In his march from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality, from matter to spirit, the Sikhs bow down to the BABA at every step. He, who does not feel the inspiring presence of GURU NANAK in his soul with every breath, may be anything but what GURU GOBIND SINGH may call his Sikh. On the eve when the Khalsa is going to assemble for the celebration of the anniversary of the birthday of GURU NANAK (the writing of which words just at the moment of my inebriation makes me miserable, but yet I have to write to make myself understand), I call on the Khalsa to he living enough to celebrate the jubilee of the heart of our heart with every breath. This is the glory of the Sikhism. It is a difficult thing to develop a taproot. But what is life without a taproot? On reading the paragraph quoted above, from the writings of Henry David Threrean, I find a definition of greatness, which I never read before. He is great who has more life in him. Only he can have more life that sends a strong and large taproot into the soil, which gives life. When by meeting a person, you see more of hope, joy, life coming to you, then know for certain that he is ‘alive’. My BABA says, only those live who love the Lord and none else! When you would meet a lover, you will see new ideals, new thoughts, new hopes, and new activity of a higher kind coming out of you. Patanjali is of opinion that Yogi can multiply intellect and beauty. Have seen the Guru’s Sikhs actually producing those effects.
If anybody asks you to lecture on greatness, instead of lecturing please go about measuring their taproots. If you can pass your hands under them, you would know how poor they all are with all shows of petty-greatnesses. (Belief is the only point in the human consciousness from where the taproot goes deep and deeper down into the infinite, the Soil of Life, and which alone defies all attempts of intellectual analysis to find out its limits). Belief alone makes a man great and nothing else. It alone makes him alive. Belief creates life in this world. Intellect spends it. Intellect is the consumer and Belief, the producer of life. All intellectual people become great by spending what the believers have produced in the invisible.
God is great, who created gold and silver and gems and jewels and not those who mine them out and heap them in their houses, which they build in such magnificent styles with God’s granite and marble. If Belief is taken out of the world for a moment, then where will be a famine of the very life? GURU NANAK makes those who hate him now, love him finally. He sees in their loving him, their safety. One chief characteristic of GURU NANAK is that he does not wait for men to come to him for salvation. No. He goes about saving them. He is the Suns of Suns that floods us all unaware with life. He makes the Sikh sleep in his lap and behold the Sikh is sleeping while the Guru is awake, watching him with the music of his sweat lullaby ‘WAH-e-GURU’. GURU NANAK ‘pours floods of love and hides himself’.
When the Sikh thus drawn by the Guru himself lives in him, then the Guru himself slowly begins to draw up his consciousness in the form of a ‘Tap-root’ and he lets its tips and hair-roots feed on Himself. Of course the man is an inverted tree of nature. The Guru thus enters into the Sikh and the Sikh in the Guru and this is the esoteric initiation of a Sikh into the Realm of Truth. The Sikh begins to live only from the moment when the Guru enters into him. The process, which gives life, cannot be intermittent. The genius of GURU NANAK in many places, as in poets, shines only in lightening ‘flashes’. Then it is not a continuous glow. Poetry or what I call NANAK FLASHES only invites us to Him, but cannot sustain us. Poetry is Maya that cannot be without him, but still is not He.
This seems to me to be the significance of the One Commandment that we have received from the Guru and the only one received for ages ‘Live with me with every breath’. Unless we live with him we shall be dead. Such is the life of the Sikh blessed by Guru Nanak himself. Before I part, let me whisper in the ears of the reader and in the ears of the assemblies that are going to rejoice in congregation on what they call the birthday of GURU NANAK. My BABA is with you, about you, within you, whoever you may be, even if you know it or not. You live, move and have you’re being in Him. He is my and your Personal God. Have no other concern on this Earth but of truly loving Him that is, living in Him breath by breath. SAT SRI AKAL.
February 11, 2011
June 21, 2010
With wisdom you can know Him, with Love you can have Him.
— Bhai Veer Singh
October 23, 2009
August 19, 2009
August 6, 2009
Carrying a begging bowl on my head
I wandered in search of knowledge
From door to door I begged for food
Filling my bowl to the brim.
My stuffed bowl made me feel stuffy-
A learned scholar me.
With my head held high
I walked touching the skies.
One day I took this bowl and
Placed it before a sage. Saying,
“False! False!” he flipped it over,
And emptied all its contents.
He scrubbed off its mental stains
And wiped the begging bowl clean.
See, how this bowl now shines:
Like a Lotus blooming brilliantly.
-Bhai Vir Singh
July 13, 2009
Theatrical Release of “Ocean of Pearls” a film by Sarab Singh Neelam, a resident of Michigan, is scheduled for August 7th 2009 in Michigan. Check out the schedule for show-times.
Amrit Singh is a doctor in North America, a turban wearing Sikh, he has lived his life in Canada, out of sortsand out of place, cast adrift between the East and West. . He is born in a family that holds on to their religious beliefs and is bred in the ethos of professionalism, but Amrit Singh is of two worlds and he belongs to neither. When he sees his dream of becoming Chief of Surgery at a state-of-the-art transplant center in Detroit dwindle because of his appearance, Amrit goes against his life long tradition and cuts his hair. Hiding his decision from his girlfriend and family in Toronto is only the start of a series of compromises Amrit finds himself making as he deals with hospital politics and injustices of the American health care system. He struggles to be the man he believes he is and at the same time the person, he wants to be. When faced with a choice of what is right by his conscience he chooses dangerously but only then can he live with what he sees in the mirror. Straddling the conflicting positions of tradition and opportunity, Amrit understands more deeply, what it is to be successful and chooses to be the person that makes him happy.
July 11, 2009
Recently I read a book by Hazrat Inayat Khan titled “Mysticism of Sound and Music“. Many common Sikhi concepts are explained well in this book. The book does not use any Sikhi terminology. Here are few samples:
I don’t mean to say every sentence of Sufi master matches with Gurbani. They are different spiritual traditions but I found the text helpful in understanding some of the Sikhi concepts.