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Are we listening to our Guru's instructions ?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by singhbj, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. singhbj

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    Nov 4, 2007
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    Are we listening to our Guru's instructions ?

    Condensed from Anand Chamatkaar,
    Glimpses from the life of Baba Nand Singh Ji

    gaaviaa suniaa thin kaa har thhaae paavai jin sathigur kee aagiaa sath sath kar maanee

    Their singing and listening is approved by the Lord; they accept the Order of the True Guru as True, totally True.
    - Guru Ram Das Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 669

    A husband who lived in a distant land, once wrote a letter to his wife and family, asking them to ensure certain tasks he instructed were complied with. Everyone in the family read and listened to what was written in the letter, but the letter was neatly folded away into a corner in the cupboard. Twice daily, the wife would respectfully ensure the letter was well kept and would read it over and over. In affection of her husband, she would even pay her respects to the letter by burning incense, like one would do before the image of a deity. Day and night, she would wrap the letter in a beautiful, clean cloth and would bow to the letter.

    When the husband returned after many many years, and asked his family whether they had received his letter, they all replied that they did. The head of the house went on further to ask whether the tasks he had asked had been complied with. But the family replied that they had taken great care of his letter and reverently paid their respects of love. The husband then told his family that the purpose of sending the letter was not to be kept reverently in safety, but had sent to ensure that the tasks asked were to be done without fail. The family had failed to comply with even a single instruction written in the letter. In disappointment, the man of the house stated that their taking of his letter was of no use to him.​

    This is exactly the message in what Guru Ram Das Ji says in the above shabad. In the complete writings of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, man is instructed over and over, to recite the Name of Waheguru.

    bhajahu guobi(n)dh bhool math jaahu
    Vibrate, and meditate on the Lord of the Universe, and never forget Him.
    maanas janam kaa eaehee laahu
    This is the blessed opportunity of this human incarnation.
    - Bhagat Kabir Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1159

    What Bhagat Kabir Ji is saying in the above shabad is that the human birth has been blessed to us for the sole purpose of remembering Waheguru in meditation. Every sant, mahapursh, gyani and other spiritually elevated beings remind us, ‘Naam Jappo’ as this is the first instruction of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
    Baba Nand Singh Ji used to encourage the Sikhs to recite at least one complete reading of Guru Granth Sahib Ji – be it by beginning with as many recitations one can do of Naam Jap on the mala, japji Sahib or sukhmani Sahib. Many Sikhs get attached to other things and overlook the need to recite Naam that each one of us are instructed to do.
    naam tul kachh avar na ho-ay
    There is nothing equal to the Naam
    - Guru Arjan Dev Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 265

    Some Sikhs even pay Granthis and Gyanis and book Akhand Paaths in the hope that this seva will be accepted in the True Lord’s Court. This only amounts to a pious deed, whereas doing our Nitnem and meditating on the Name of God is what gets recorded as our aatmic kamaai (spiritual earning). To forsake our Nitnem (which every Sikh has been instructed to do daily) and think that seva of anything else (like booking Akhand Paaths and other Gurudwara seva) is acceptable, is a grievous misunderstanding.
    Once a communist remarked to Baba Isher Singh Ji that the latter did not consider the former his equal. In return, Baba Ji asked the communist, ‘How can I consider myself equal to you? You eat meat, drink alcohol and consume all sorts of junk and then you do not even come close to Simran (meditation). Tell me, what connection do you and I have? Our connection is only with those that have forsaken falsehood, gossip, jealousy and the consumption of meat. One can only be free of these vices only if he/she practices Simran. Simran can be done and maintained only when we contemplate on the teachings of our Gurus.’​

    The communist further remarked that to be free of so many vices is next to impossible. BabaJi then said to him, ‘If you cannot forsake your vices, then comply with just one of my instructions – regularly recite your Nitnem and meditate on the Name of Waheguru. If there is any strength in the sincerity of your Simran, then the vices will be eradicated on their own. And if one does not comply with my instruction of Simran, then I cannot have even the slightest connection with that person.’​

    The virtue of Simran and Sangat can only be acquired through reading and listening to the instruction of our Gurus. Those that merely wear the robes of religion and divinity and yet from within have no spiritual earnings (kamaai of Naam Simran, Nitnem and vices forsaken) and are oppiste of what they show outside, will have wasted their human birth. Those that have forsaken their Nitnem, Sangat and Simran, consider that Kalyug (Age of Darkness) is seated on their chests and it is Kalyug that is stopping them from engaging in the remembrance of Waheguru’s Name.​

    Like the family that merely preserved and respected the letter from the head of the family but did not heed what was being instructed to them, likewise, we need to look unto ourselves and see if that is what we are doing too. If we are merely reading Gurbani and not trying to understand what the Guru is asking of us to do, it is to no avail. There is no use of covering Guru Granth Sahib Ji in all its expensive and royal coverings and bowing down in obeisance when we take little or no heed of even doing our Nitnem and going to the Gurudwara to earn the blessings of the Guru in Sadh Sangat.​

    If we step on the first rung of Guru’s teachings – that is listening to what the Guru says – then a day will come when we will be worthy of stepping onto the next rung – that of accepting what the Guru has instructed us to do.​
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Singhbj ji

    This is a blockbuster -- breaking through the block that is my head. :advocate: Thank you for this wonderful reminder of what I must do. Just cannot recover from reading this. I do not know about others -- but leave it to you to bring me back to my senses.

    BabaJi then said to him, ‘If you cannot forsake your vices, then comply with just one of my instructions – regularly recite your Nitnem and meditate on the Name of Waheguru. If there is any strength in the sincerity of your Simran, then the vices will be eradicated on their own. And if one does not comply with my instruction of Simran, then I cannot have even the slightest connection with that person.’
  4. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    Working the teachings is defined as earnest and truthful living according to the teachings in daily life with reflection. The Grace of God or Guru/ਗੁਰੁ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ (ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ) is the cardinal doctrine of Sabd Guru, and Its philosophy revolves around it. It is an expression of DIVINE benevolence and manifests as variously called karam, nader, mehr, bakhshish, parsad, daya, or kirpa. Its descent is the ultimate Divine mystery. No amount of austerities, no amount of intellectual search or performance of ritual or yogic praxis or Akhand Paths or any such devices can force it out of God’s hand.
    Grace is a pre-requisite for spiritual growth in Sikhism.

    1. Recitation of Naam, which in itself depends on Grace;

    ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

    Jis Nu Kirpa Kerr Tin Naam Ratan Paayaa.

    He, upon whom You shower Your mercy, obtains the jewel of the Name.-----Guru Ramdas, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 11 & 365

    ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥

    Karam Milai Ta Paa-eeai Hoar Hikmat Hukam Khuaar.

    When the Akal bestows Its Grace, then alone it is received -- other tricks and orders are useless. -----Guru Nanak, Asa Di Var, AGGS, Page, 465-1

    Q. What is Naam?

    A. It is living the teachings by their study, living the teachings with inner cleanliness and just not mechanical recitation in different postures with “Irrha, pingla aour Sukhmana” as described by Guru Nanak in Raag Asa;

    ਨਾਮੇ ਸੁਚਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਪੜਉ ਨਾਮੇ ਚਜੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥

    Nāmė sucẖ nāmo paṛa­o nāmė cẖaj ācẖār.

    Naam is inner cleanliness. Naam is your study. Lord's Naam is also your wisdom and way of life. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 355-3

    ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਨੀ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ ਲੇਖ ਅਸੰਖ ਅਲੇਖੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥

    Kathnee Badnee Parh Parh Bhaar, Laykh AsaNkh Alaykh Apaar.

    Words, spoken and read again and again, are useless loads. There are innumerable writings, but the Infinite Creator remains unwritten. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 412-14

    ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥

    Ram Ram Sabh Ko Kahai Kahayai Ram Na Hoey, Gur Parsaadi Ram Man Vasai Ta Phal Pavai Koey.

    Everyone chants the Lord's Name, Ram, Ram; but by such chanting, the God is not obtained. By Guru's Grace, the Lord comes to dwell in the mind, and then, the fruits are obtained. -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Gujri, AGGS, Page 491-1

    2. Control of mind, which again depends on Divine Grace;

    ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੈ ॥ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਠਾਕੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ਮਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਆਵੈ ॥

    Ih manū¬ā ki¬o kar vas āvai. Gur parsādī ṯẖākī¬ai gi¬ān maṯī gẖar āvai.

    How can this mind come under control? By Guru's Grace, it is held in check; instructed in spiritual wisdom, it returns to its home. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 426-11

    ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਆਇਆ ॥

    Parabẖ kirpā ṯė man vas ā¬i¬ā.

    By God's Grace, the mind is brought under control;-----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 385-17

    ਦਸ ਦਿਸ ਖੋਜਤ ਮੈ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਬਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ॥

    Das Dis Khojat Mai Firi-o Jat Daykh-a-u Tat So-ay, Man Bus Aavai Nanaka Jay Pooran Kirpa Hoey.

    I have wandered, searching in the ten directions. But now wherever I look, there I see the God. The mind comes to be controlled, O Nanak, if It grants Its Perfect Grace.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Thiti Gauri, AGGS, Page, 298-17

    3. Divine Wisdom and understanding is bestowed through Grace and right actions;

    ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਗਲੀਈ ਢੂਢੀਐ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰੁ॥ ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥

    Giaan Na Galee-ee Dhoodhai Kathna Karrhaa Saar, Karam Milai Taa Paa-ee-ai Hor Hikmat Hukam Khu-aar.

    Wisdom cannot be found through mere words. To explain It is as hard as iron. When Akal Purkh bestows Its Grace, then alone it is received; other tricks and orders are useless.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 465-1

    ਕਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਦੀਆ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥

    Kar kirpā gobinḏ ḏī¬ā gur gi¬ān buḏẖ bibėk.

    In His mercy and kindness, the Guru has given me the divine wisdom of God, and a discriminating intellect. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gujri, AGGS, Page, 501-5

    ਜਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਤਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਤਿ ॥

    Jah karṇī ṯah pūrī maṯ.

    When one's actions are right, the understanding is perfect.-----Guru Nanak, Sri Raag, AGGS, Page, 25-3

    Divine Knowledge alone removes ignorance. Once ignorance is dispelled human mind becomes pure. When all traces of egoism gone, the mind gets illuminated with Spiritual Wisdom. All its misapprehensions end. Upon attaining this state of direct Vision one rids of any misapprehension of the Self as well as that of Reality. Such doubt and misapprehension will not arise again. When true wisdom arises, doubt and uncertainty depart. One experiences his self-less true self. Unreality vanishes; only the One Pure, All-pervading Consciousness remains.


    Grace is bestowed on to those who humble themselves in submission to his will, with development of higher instincts or virtues. When Truth and rigorous honesty have reached their highest levels in a person, he may be in a state of readiness for It.

     As one progresses in spirituality, Grace is lovingly bestowed.

     One must be a good steward of whatever gift of Grace, he has received and should remain steadfast in his devotion to God, lest he falls from grace.

     No matter how far we have progressed, our desires may want to lead us in a direction away form the grace of God.

     It seems plain that the g\Grace of God will not enter until and unless one recognizes and admit fearlessly the flaws in one’s character.

     One can then humbly ask God to remove the falsehood in his character and imbue instead the virtue of truth.

     Grace of God will not come until one has cleared the wreckage of the past created by our ego with inner cleanliness.

     Grace of the God can do for us what we could not do ourselves.

     God, in Its Mercy, destroys the impurities and limitations of the human ego and bestows upon him the true knowledge and everlasting existence. When freed from the gravitational pull of the world of corruption one becomes weightless and purified with Truth, that is, the Word.

     Finally Grace is bestowed through the Guru, which at present is AGGS (Sabd Guru).

    ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਜੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਤਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

    Nader Kareh Jay Aapni Ta Nadri Satgur Payeaa.

    If the Merciful Akal Purkh shows Its Mercy, then the True Guru is found.-----Guru Nanak Asa Di Var, AGGS, Page, 465

    ਭੂਲੇ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਜਿਨਹਿ ਬਤਾਇਆ ॥ਐਸਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

    Bẖūlė mārag jineh baṯā¬i¬ā. Aisā gur vadbẖāgī pā¬i¬ā.

    One who places one astray back on the right path such a Guru is found by great good fortune. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 803-18 & 19

    Virinder S.Grewal
    Williamston, MI

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