Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth sahib ji

Discussion in 'Gurmat Vichaar' started by Sikh80, Dec 25, 2007.


  1. Sikh80

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    Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    Towards Making a New Civilization

    - N.Muthu Mohan




    Introduction
    The theme of civilization has been made prominent by western scholars in the most recent times. This is associated with the popularity of Samuel Huntington’s article, later a book titled “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” (1). Interestingly, the Anglo-American politicians, also the military experts, have contributed much to popularize the terms “ Clash of Civilizations” in the aftermath of 11th September 2001. In the book of Samuel Huntington as well as in the articles pro and con published on the theme, there is a conspicuous absence about Sikhism and the civilization of India is referred with a blanket term ‘ Hindu Civilization’. That naturally cannot stop us in any way to discuss about Sikhism in terms of civilization, because we do believe that Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sacred Scripture of the Sikhs indeed contains in itself a socio-cultural model that could lead to the making of a new civilization. The present paper attempts to substantiate the above contention.


    Guru Granth Sahib and Defining a Civilization
    Samuel Huntington’s book contains certain number of definitions of civilization, however, a curious reader would find that Huntington has not taken any special effort to define or redefine the concept of civilization or discuss the basic features of a civilization. On the other hand, Huntington just makes use of the already existing definitions, even popular views about civilization, that too rudimentarily or partially. Quoting the anthropologists, sociologists and historians, Huntington defines civilization as “the most enduring of human associations” identifiable in terms of “blood, language, religion, way of life etc”, however, “religion as the central defining characteristic of civilizations”(2). Although we do not have much to contradict the quoted ideas on civilization, we do want to continue the discussion on civilization in a few other points that would take us deeper into the problem of civilization. A civilization differs from a culture in a particular way that the former contains the material aspects of living organically connected with the spiritual or ideational aspects. In our view, a civilization must synthesise the spiritual and temporal aspects of collective human existence. It must be a conscious attempt to avoid fragmenting, dichotomize, and hierarchies the society. A civilization western or Hindu, as it is named by Huntington, to be called as civilization, needs to be evaluated on this ground. How much the material and the ideational are united in the western or Hindu civilizations? How much the civilizations are creative and synthetic? Is there any principled unity between the extremes in the quoted civilizations?

    Hinduism in many of its variations is a religion of otherworldliness and its literatures are abundant with ideas negating the worthiness of earthly living. The ascetic who has renunciated the world is the ideal figure in Hinduism. The Vedic-vedantic core of Hinduism philosophically celebrates the Nirguna Brahman and evaluates the world as Maya, an illusory entity. It distinctly dichotomizes the reality into paramartika and vyavakarika. One can rightly bring to our notice that Hinduism does have a social philosophy and advocates a social structure in the form of caste system. The unjust caste order advocated by Hinduism does not worth the word ‘civilization’ as it is the most discredited and scandalized form of the Hindu living. The caste order of Hinduism reminds not its civilized dimension, but on the other hand informs us the uncivilized or barbarian dimension of Hinduism.

    Similarly, when we take up the term ‘Western Civilization” for scrutiny in similar lines, one finds another set of difficulties to make it fit to the definition of civilization. It is noteworthy even at the outset to find that Huntington has not named the western civilization in terms of any religion, although he does not hide the fact that the Christian religion is behind the history of western civilization. Huntington does not agree to identify western civilization with modernity, however enumerates the characteristic features of western society not altogether beyond the pale of modernity, namely the separation of spiritual and temporal authority, the rule of law, social pluralism, individualism etc (3). We do have certain amount of respect to western values, particularly to west’s contribution to the making of democracy and concern for human rights. We consider it worth the achievements of science and technology in the west. However, we cannot remain uncritical to the west regarding the poverty of spiritual values the west has acquired along with its enduring interest in temporal successes for the last 300 years. It has to be reminded that during the entire 20th century the western scholars themselves have made so many fundamental critiques addressed to the western industrial culture, particularly from the point of view of human values and human existence. The Existentialist and phenomenological philosophers have left a big corpus of criticism targeting the core values of the western civilization. The total message of those criticisms is basically against the absence of unity between the spiritual and temporal values. The west is criticized for it has traveled excess on temporal lines bereft of humanism.

    It is at this juncture, we return to our initial definition of civilization that it must organically unite the spiritual and the temporal, and look into Sikhism and the Sikh Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib from that point of view.

    The act of laying the foundations of a new religion by Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru of the Sikhs, comes to realization not merely as an outcome of spiritual intentions but as an alternative to the general crisis both in temporal and religious realms of the then society. Guru Granth Sahib depicts the comprehensive situation without any ambiguity.

    “The Quadi speaks falsehood and eats filth
    The Brahmin, guilty of much cruelty
    Makes a show of ritual bathings
    The Yogi, blind and misguided
    Knows not the true practice
    All three are at one in bringing harm to the people” (GGS,662)

    “Avarice is the king
    Evildoing his minister
    Falsehood is his revenue factor
    Lust is the councellor always consulted
    The subjects are purblind and thoughtless
    Who foolishly obey these evil rulers” (GGS,468-469)

    “The people wailed in their agony of suffering
    Didst Thou feel no compassion for them
    Thou who art the creator of all?
    If a powerful foe molest one equally powerful
    Little would be there to complain
    But if a ferocious tiger falls upon a herd of kine
    Then must the Master be called to account” (GGS, 360)

    Possibly, this was the moment of truth, moment of a new revelation, birth of a new religion, of a new social order (4). One cannot distinguish in the quoted lines where is the spiritual quest and where the temporal interest. The Guru’s pains are both spiritual and temporal or in other words, civilizational. The Guru was not for another set of truth but stood for in search of a truthful living. The Guru was not for one another means to achieve mukti or atmajnana but deeply in search of an ethical and just living. Gurmukh is asked to opt an active life of intense devotion and committed social justice. Guru Granth Sahib intensifies both the components of the total life, the spiritual and the temporal, thus creating a new mode of living. The asocial sanyasin way of seeking egoistic salvation is out rightly condemned and by way of annihilating the ego, the art of achieving sahaja is proposed. If sahaja marks the spiritual end of the Gurmukh, critique of casteism, gender inequality, political despotism etc marks the temporal end of Sikhism. Both the traits, not in their isolation, make together the ideal of Guru Granth Sahib. The metaphor of playing the game of love widely celebrated in Guru Granth Sahib, in fact, erases the boundaries between body and soul, male and female, transcendent and immanent etc. All these and others immensely speak in favor of constructing a new civilization.


    Multiculturalism and the debate on Civilization
    In the 80s and 90s of 20th century, the theme of multiculturalism was widely discussed in the world forums and it was overwhelmingly appreciated by people who were particularly fighting for safeguarding their cultural identities. The fact that every country in the world has become culturally and religiously pluralistic makes the recognition of the cultural rights of the people into an imperative for cordial coexistence of people. The Canadian federal cultural example was studied by scholars to make it a relevant model peaceful co-living. The UNO and other world forums went for propagating the idea of multiculturalism and it was seen as a new development in realizing democracy in terms of culture (5).

    Huntington’s book on Clash of Civilizations, unfortunately, does not pay enough attention to the theme of multiculturalism and his coinage of the term ‘civilization’ seems to be challenging the spirit of multiculturalism that is emerging, and worse still, wants to replace the idea of multiculturalism with that of civilization. Huntington is inclined to place the concept of civilization as a fresh version of the earlier American idea of ‘melting pot’. Often the multicultural articulations of cultural or religious groups in each and every country are rephrased by Huntington as ethnic conflicts and tribalism. More fundamentally, Huntington’s discussion of “Clash” of civilizations sees the entire world and every country as a field of cultural and religious conflicts.

    We do not think that the concepts of civilization and multiculturalism should necessarily exclude the other and should perceived as opposites or binaries. We reject the dichotomic approach. A civilization could very well be conceived as following the principles of multiculturalism through which the civilization truly becomes rich and concrete. A civilization without multiculturalism would be reverting to colonialism.

    The Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, renders a wonderful combination of civilizational and multicultural dimensions of a society. The Sikh Gurus lived in and interacted with a multicultural and multireligious world that they recognized this fact deeply. Consequently, Guru Granth Sahib too registers this fact. Variety of Saints religiously, regionally and linguistically different are found articulating their religious experience in a unique way in Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Granth Sahib is a great work of dialogue of variety of voices, however, reconciled and synthesized in a specific way. It is true that there is a strong critical trait in Guru Granth Sahib but ultimately the Scripture strives to synthesize the differing voices into one. Guru Nanak traveled through the many streets of the known world then and got introduced with the saints of various teachings, also met the people of different regions and their existential problems. Names and attributes of Gods of various linguistic families, Arabian, Persian, Sanskrit and Dravidian, the ways of worship and living of diverse people were known to the Gurus and the Gurus duely recognized them. Even the so-called dregs of society came under the humanizing spell of the Gurus. The Gurus always preferred to be with the lowest of the lowly. Guru Granth Sahib is a civilizational construction with a unrelenting commitment to the oppressed and exploited. Guru Granth Sahib does not attempt to offer another philosophy of otherworldly solace but energies the masses and calls them to a dynamic living. Civilization and multiple cultures are reconciled in Guru Granth Sahib without sacrificing the critical spirit. It is not a proposal of clash or conflict but a grand conception of friendship, love and community.


    Guru Granth Sahib and the Construction of A Community
    Civilization is not worth its name if it does not aim to construct a community. To be a member of community cannot be the birth right, and it must be founded on equality, friendship and common commitment. A society of caste order cannot be called a community because it is founded on graded inequality as Ambedkar says. The Guru was categorically against caste system and Guru Granth Sahib does not recognize the Shastras, that advocate caste, as holy books. Guru Nanak refused to wear the sacred thread on his body by which he decided to remain ever with the casteless. The Guru asserts,” Vain is the pride of caste and vain the pride of high station, because only the Lord alone gives the real eminence to everyone” (GGS, 1330). Bhai Gurdas informs, “Guru Nanak has abolished the differences among the four castes” (Var 1:23). The One God, the collective kirtan, the langar and the common title of Singh and Kaur are aimed to abolish the caste system and construction of the community.

    Constructing a community with the fatherhood of God was an ideal all along in the Bhakti thought. I can witness that the Tamil Saivite and Vaishnavite hymns of early medieval period did have such an ideal. However, with the development of feudalism, the Bhakti movements failed in their attempts to achieve the ideal. On the other hand, Bhakti itself became institutionalized into temple and mutt cultures. The Siddhas, the Sants and the Sufis appeared criticizing the failing ideals of Bhakti and they turned their focus towards internal purity and non-ritual approach to religion. The Sikh Gurus appreciated the efforts of the medieval mystics, but they felt a strong individualism in the attempts of the mystics. The Gurus understood that the construction of community is the irreplaceable aspect of Bhakti and Bhakti had to be revisited taking along the critical spirit of the mystics. The collectivism and popular emotional spirit of Bhakti were, thus, revived in Sikhism, having readdressed the issue of curbing individualism. Interestingly, the Gurus did not absolutize the annihilation of individualism as it is used to be in some earlier systems. Again a moderate approach is opted and the extremes of individualism are checked recognizing the social dynamism of individual initiatives. Guru Granth Sahib says, “Egoism and devotion are to each opposed, Abiding not together” (GGS,560). Guru Arjun says,” Those caught in egoism are verily dead; Those whose egoism is dead are truly alive” (GGS, 374). This being the case, however, the Guru states that in egoism beings come into existence, get differentiated into many and so it is the source of change and development. It is the very principled state of the Guru that individuality should not be abolished but it has to be molded into a community. The Guru would declare,” Haumai is the malady and Haumai is the remedy”. This is a complicated dialectics that shows the genius of the Guru. The dynamism of individuality to differentiation and creativity should be preserved and should be poured into the common pool of collectivity, thus making it a real social force for emancipation and advancement. The measured dialectics of individuality and community is the path of constructing a new civilization.

    At times it seems that Huntington’s celebration of individualism as the unchecked fundamental value of western society fails to make a community, thus fails also to make a civilization.


    Conclusion
    Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture, contains the very principled stands of making a new civilization. Its idea of civilization organically unites the spiritual and the temporal, multicultural and civilizational aspects, and the moments of individuality and community. The organic unity we have referred does not mean absolute identity of the differing moments, but it is a dialogical process that contains the creative rupture. That also guarantees its dynamism and endurance.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib : Towards Making a New Civilization
     
  2. Sikh80

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    Sikhism [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a Matchless
    Divine Treasure of synthetic embrace
    of the whole global community.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a paradise
    of spiritual harmony. True integration,
    harmony and unity can only usher in,
    on a solid foundation of Love.

    This Love stands out beautifully,
    harmoniously, synthetically in its pristine
    purity and glory in Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    where the hymns-celestial of divine lovers
    of different religions, faiths, creeds
    are enshrined in One Religion of Love,
    in brotherhood of man
    and in sole fatherhood of God. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. Sikh80

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    Truth is Ever Constant

    scu purwxw nw QIAY nwmu n mYlw hoie ] 3-1248-9

    sçc purwxw nw QIAY nwmu n mYlw hoey ]

    Such purana naa theeae Naam aaa maela ho-ae

    The Truth is ever constant. Name of the Lord never gets tarnished!

    The Sikhi (Sikh faith) in the time to come

    If the edicts, symbols, Scriptures, and history of the faith are distorted or destryed, the faith will not be there any more.

    True to this proverb, the Sikh faith is ‘immortal.’ This faith had been in the porcelain from the birth of Guru Nanak in 1469 AD, to the death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 AD, and even after that. It had always been on the anvil since its inception to the present day (2004). Throughout, the Sikh Gurus - Prophets, kept working on this faith for about 235 years, for its survival. It was born in the hostile period, bloomed in the past, is doing so in the present, and will continue to do in the future.
    Annealing of the Sikh faith was done by seven martyrdoms in the Guru family - Guru Arjun Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur, four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, and of Guru Gobind Singh himself. The mother of Guru Gobind Singh, also belonged to the same category. Besides the Guru family, there were countless Sikhs like Bhai (Brother) Dyala, Bhai Satti Das, Bhai Mati Das, (at the time of Guru Arjun Dev), Bhai Taru Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, and others (after Guru Gobind Singh), as well as the Sikh women and children, who made it imperishable by their sacrifices. To all of them, we offer our gratitude in our “Ardas” (invocation) twice a day. The world will ever find Sikhi - the Sikh faith, as it is today, or as it had been at its beginning. There is no doubt, it will keep spreading in the world like the fragrance of a flower whereever the Sikhs will go, and they will be going ever ****her
     
  4. Sikh80

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    Promotion of the Faith

    The Punjab is homeland of the Sikh faith, and right from there the Gurus in their own lives took the faith far and wide, even outside India. Wherever they went, they set up centres for preaching Sikhi (the Sikh faith). The travels of Guru Nanak demand a special attention in this respect. No doubt, they were influenced in proportion to the backup support (from already set up centers). But with the changed perception of the time and space in the present era of ever advancing technology, the world has shrunk so that now a break in the feedback of such centres is almost impossible - there is constant intercommunication. Also, it is the local Sangat - congregation, that establishes such centres and these have not to fall back on the baseline i.e. root institutions, for their survival. The so called satellite centres, although connected to, are mostly independent of the central establishments.
    In places outside the Punjab, and countries other than India, the independence of subsidiary centres of the Sikh faith will expose them more to the local environments which usually will be heterogeneous. Basic edicts will remain unchanged, but the Sikh principles will constantly face the outside challenges. This may in time have a limited influence on the visible topography of the faith - hair etc. It will be hard to protect this aspect from the natural process of making things fit to survive - Darwin’s phenomenon “Survival of the fittest.” Whatever be, there will never be a shortage of devotees. As well, the Gurbani might have to be provided to the coming generations in the local languages rather than only set in the original Gurmukhi script. It will be very hard to protect the faith from environmental effects, and to stop changes: evolution in the faith. It is hard to accept, but the facts cannot be denied.
     
  5. Sikh80

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    Realities

    We will have to understand the realities and to intelligently compromise for reasonable adjustments, preserving the discipline of the faith. Without this, the Sikh faith may have a hard time to face.

    Euphoria can be helpful, ignoring the fact may be rewarding, but the reality will be the winner, and it should be our guiding force. In fact, a time may come when we will have to wisely protect the values of Sikhi (the Sikh faith) in the light of the spirit of it. For this, we will have to plan and work to get ready right from now. Otherwise, sudden shock of reality may bewilder us not to act wisely, but to react to the unexpected. The change may not be sudden, but by keeping our eyes closed, it may prove a surprise which may not be easily pocketable.
    We need to urgently have the institutions to monitor and modify the cultural, geographical and historical effects on Sikhi (the Sikh Faith), in an organized and scientific way, using modern techniques as well as facilities to keep it fit to survive by developing endurance to the influence of the time and place.
    We will have to inculcate harmony in the people to adopt the principles of the Sikh faith for its wellbeing and promotion, because this is the most modern and scientific religion fit to be the faith for the whole world. This simple and energetic faith can deliver peace to the people and remove unrest from the earth.
    We may or may not be able to find directions in the Sikh Scriptures or history, to imagine the Sikh faith in the time to come. But to a great extent we can build a picture of it by studying the passage of it through the time since its conception, and by directly or indirectly applying Gurbani and history to it. We will find that the spirit of the Sikh faith had ever been constant, and it will remain so. If this gets effected, then the faith is lost. The ideal thing is development of the faith staying within its parameters. It is practically impossible for the people to lay down limits for this, and only the Guru can provide the guidance.
    Whatever be, we should mold ourselves according to the edicts of the faith, and not that we expect the faith to adjust itself to our whims. Putting conditions on the faith is no way. We have to change and not the faith. We should strictly guard the faith. If any changes against the edicts of the Sikh faith will enter it, then the byproduct may become its unimaginable and unbearable denomination, but it will not be left the original Sikh faith created by the Gurus. If such a a phenomenon will continue indefinitely, it will doom the Sikh faith. But it will never happen! The Sikhs had been facing their massacres from the time the faith was born, and still they are going strong, because they kept sticking fast to their faith.
    Those who seriously and strictly practice the faith (erroniously labeled as fanatics), have their great significance and role. They are the people who sincerely protect the faith and its originality, and promote its traditions and precedences. They are life line of the faith, and do not allow meaningless, unwanted, or harmful minor or major changes to enter, and distort its established face. They help to protect and carry the faith forward. Everyday, the scholars and reseachers keep on announcing their controversial findings. They keep creating alternatives to the dates, figures and facts. They shun to mention intentional or unintentional miracles connected to the Gurus, although many examples of these are there even in Guru Granth Sahib. These people add confusion to the Sikh world, and weaken its roots. To protect the faith from such a havoc, and confusion of the people with contradictory things, the Panth (Sikh world) should control research works and standardize every thingin the Khalsa Panth (the Sikh world).
     
  6. Sikh80

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    The Sikh Temple: Guru Granth Sahib

    This is the sacred book of the Sikhs also popularly known as the Adi Granth. It was compiled by Guru Arjan and installed in the Golden Temple in the year 1604. At that time it contained the hymns of only the first five Gurus and those of Bhagats (saints) of medieval India. The original copy of the Granth fell into the hands of Dhir Mal, the son of the sixth Guru, Har Gobind, who refused to pass it on to the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Gobind Singh; therefore, dictated the whole book once again to his devoted follower Mani Singh at Damdama in the year 1706. He also included in it the hymns written by the Ninth Guru. Before his death Guru Gobind Singh ordered his Sikhs to take good care of the Holy Book and regard it as their final and eternal Guru (enlightener) after him.

    The Holy Book contains 1,430 pages and 3,384 hymns, of which 937 have been contributed by fifteen Bhagats and seventeen Bhats. The bulk of the hymns are in Punjabi. The other languages used are Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Gujrati, Marathi and dialects of North India. Where reference has been made to Islam, Arabic words have also crept in. The writers come from different corners of India and belong to different castes and creeds signifying the egalitarian character of the Granth. The whole book is in sublime poetry and the hymns have been arranged according to 31 tunes (Ragas). It is an excellent record of social, political and religious thought in India between the 12th and the 17th centuries. This book is unique because it is the authentic record of the Guru's words and is free from interpolations. It can be truly called 'a spiritual dictionary' or 'an encyclopaedia of philosophy.'
    Commenting about the nature of the Granth, Guru Arjan writes: - "In this platter and placed three things, Truth, Harmony and meditation. These are seasoned with the Nectar-Name of the Lord, Who is the support of all. Those who partake of this dish and relish it Will be saved and emancipated." (Mundavani M.5, page 1,429)
    According to Prof. Puran Singh the Granth is "the scripture of all nations, for it is the lyric of divine love, and all the people of the earth subsist on such glowing lyrical power. Guru Granth Sahib is but one song, one idea and one life."
    The Granth was first translated into English by Dr. Trump in 1869 who translated 5,719 stanzas out of the total of 15,575. Macauliffe made the next attempt in 1909 and produced six volumes entitled "The Sikh Religion". It has recently been translated into English by Mr. Manmohan Singh in 8 volumes. An eminent Sikh Scholar, Dr. Gopal Singh, has written another very good translation. UNESCO has also produced a translation of selections from the Granth.
    In the Sikh Temple the Granth is rested on a small seat placed on a high platform under a canopy. A chawri is waved over it at the time of service as a sign of its spiritual prominence. The Granth is kept wrapped up in fine cloth. It is opened daily in the early morning after a prayer and closed after the evening prayer.
    The Gurdwara (The Sikh Temple) - The Sikh Temple
     
  7. Sikh80

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    The Sikh Temple: Kirtan

    One main function of the Sangat is Kirtan (singing of the Guru's hymns to the accompaniment of musical instruments). The Guru is manifest in the Sangat through Kirtan because according to Sikhism, "The Guru is the word and the word is Guru" (Kanra M.4). Guru Nanak; the founder of Sikhism demonstrated in a practical way his love for Kirtan by always keeping a bard named Mardana with him. So did Guru Arjan when he invented a type of Saranda (fiddle) for religious music and said, "Kirtan is like a valuable diamond, Full of bliss and deep in qualities. On whomsoever the Lord showers his graces, Kirtan becomes his sustenance."

    Guru Ram Dass likewise said, "Whosoever performs Kirtan or listens to His praises, is loved by the Lord Himself."
    Music is a tonic for man's heart. It kindles the soul. According to Plato, music is valuable not only because it refines the feelings and character but also because it preserves and restores health and lends grace to the body and soul. The Guru's idea of Kirtan (music) is given in this verse, "Of all elements, the most significant is the element of knowledge. Of all meditations, the most significant is the meditation of One. Of all sound, the most significant is the Kirtan of God." (Guru Arjan) The Sikhs are very fond of hymn singing. Their celestial music can be heard in the Gurdwaras where the Sangat imbibes the Guru's instructions through the thrilling Gurubani set to music by the Ragis (musicians). Sujan Rai, the author of Khulasa-tul- Tawarikh (1696) says, "The only way of worship with them is that they read the hymns composed by their Gurus and sing them sweetly with the accompaniment of musical instruments."
     
  8. Sikh80

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    Guru Granth Sahib Ji
    Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy Scripture describes the characteristics of God. Through the 1430 pages the Guru Granth Sahib explains about God, praises God, and informs on what essentially makes God.

    The opening of the Scripture is a description of God: ‘God is one. He is the supreme truth. He, the Creator, is beyond fear and beyond hate. He is immortal. He is neither born and nor does He die. By Guru’s grace shall He be met. In the beginning He was the truth. Throughout the ages He has been the truth. He is the truth here and now and He shall be the truth forever (Guru Granth Sahib, 1).

    The most important aspect of being a Sikh, is to understand that, there is one endless God. He is indescribable, inestimable, indubitable, infallible, intangible, imperishable, immutable, immortal, immaculate, immanent, unconquerable, unique, formless, fearless, deathless, timeless, ageless, compassionate, omnipresent and creator of all.

    God loves everyone. Sikhs believe there is no one superior to God. Furthermore, Sikhs believe that God created all beings, all animals, birds, all creatures, including humans. When the First Great Guru, the founder of Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev gave this definition to the people who believed differently in God, they were surprised and they asked him, who told you this and how God came in existence? The Great Guru said, “God Himself told me that He is self-created.” They asked him, “how does God look?" and the Great Guru preached that God is formless. God is beyond gender and form. God has no body.

    The main difference between Sikhism and some of the world’s other religions is that there are people who worship Jesus and believe Jesus is God, some people worship Buddha and believe Buddha is God. The Sikh Gurus themselves said that they are not to be worshipped. They expressed very clearly not to worship anyone except God.

    [ It is the uniqueness Of Sikhism]
     
  9. Sikh80

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    Sikh Scriptures Of Sikhs

    Sikhs have one scripture, which serves as the spiritual force for the religion. Guru Granth Sahib is the present Guru or spiritual leader of the Sikhs.

    This scripture is often referred to as the Adi Granth as well. Adi means original or premier and Granth means scripture. Other important scriptures include, Dasam Granth, Janam Sakhi, and Bhai Gurdaas’s Vaars.

    The Guru Granth Sahib is a compilation of writings by the Sikh Gurus and the devotees of God who have attained salvation and have become one with God. The scripture, which is 1430 pages in length, is also composed almost wholly in musical scale and meter and is completely written in poetic verse.

    It contains the bani (compositions) of 6 Gurus and 21 devotees.

    Originally named the Adi Granth Sahib or the ‘first scripture’, the holy volume was renamed the Guru Granth Sahib or teacher-scripture upon its placement as the spiritual guide of Sikhs by the tenth and last living Guru, Gobind Singh Ji.

    Dasam means tenth and Granth means scriptures. The Dasam Granth is the scripture which contains all of the writings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth or dasam Guru.

    The Janam Sakhi is a biography of the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev Ji, written by Bhai Bala Ji. Bhai Bala Ji was a companion of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and accompanied him through his journeys. He wrote down a great deal about the life and relations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

    Bhai Gurdaas’ Vaars are a set of verses written by Bhai Gurdaas Ji, the ‘first Sikh historian.’ Having seen the lives of five Gurus, he wrote accounts of how Sikhs lived and what the Gurus preached.
     
  10. Sikh80

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    BANI,

    BANI, Sanskrit van! (meaning sound, voice, music; speech, language, diction; praise, laudation), refers in the specifically SIKH context to the sacred compositions of the Gurus and of the holy saints and sufis as incorporated in the Scripture, the GURU GRANTH Sahib. Compositions of Guru Gobind SINGH comprising the DASAM GRANTH are also referred to as Bani. For SIKHS, Bani or the compound Gurbani (Guru`s ban!) is the revealed word. Revelation is defined as the way God discloses and communicates Himself to humanity. There are different views on how he does this. The Hindu belief is that God occasionally becomes incarnate as an avatar and thus communicates Himself through his word and action while living on this earth. For the Muslims the revelation consists in actual words in the form of direct messages conveyed from God through an angel. Gabriel, to the Prophet. Another belief is that God communicates not the form but the content of the words, i.e. knowledge, to man. A related view is that, as a result of the mystic unity they achieve with the Universal Self, certain individuals under Divine inspiration arrive at truths which they impart to the world. The Gurus did not subscribe to the incarnation theory "The tongue be burnt that says that the Lord ever takes birth" (GG, 1136), nor did they acknowledge the existence of angels or intermediaries between God and man. They were nevertheless conscious of their divine mission and described the knowledge and wisdom contained in their hymns as Godgiven. "As the Lord`s word comes to me, 0 Lalo, so do I deliver it," says Guru NANAK (GG, 722). Guru ARJAN: "I myself know not what to speak; all I speak is what the Lord commandeth" (GG, 763). It is in this sense that Bani is revelation for the Sikhs. It is for them God`s Word mediated through the Gurus or Word on which the Gurus had put their seal. The Bani echoes the Divine Truth; it is the voice of God "the Lord`s own word," as said Guru Nanak; or the Formless Lord Himself, as said Guru Amar Das: vahu vahu bani nirankar hai tisujevadu avaru na koi (GG, 515) Hail. hail, the word of the Guru, Which is the Formless Lord Himself; There is none other, nothing else To be reckoned equal to it. Being Word Divine, Bani is sacred and the object of utmost veneration. That the Bani was reverenced by the Gurus themselves even before it was compiled into the Holy Book is attested by an anecdote in Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. While returning from Goindval after the obsequies of his father, Guru Arjan took with him some pothis or books containing the Bani of the first four Gurus. The Sikhs carried the pothis, wrapped in a piece of cloth, in a palanquin on their shoulders. The Guru and other Sikhs walked along barefoot while the Guru`s horse trailed behind bareback. When the Sikhs suggested that the Guru ride as usual, he replied, "These [pothis] represent the four Gurus, their light. It would be disrespectful [on my part to ride in their presence]. It is but meet that I walk barefoot." "The Bani is Guru and the Guru is Bani...." sang Guru Ram Das (GG, 982). Guru Nanak, the founder, had himself declared, "sabda, i.e. word or bani, is Guru, the unfathomable spiritual guide; crazed would be the world without the sabda" (GG, 635). "SabdaGuru enables one to swim across the ocean of existence and to perceive the One as present everywhere" (GG, 944). Thus it is that the Bani of the Guru commands a Sikh`s reverence. The content of the Bani is God`s name, God`s praise and the clue to Godrealization. God is described both as immanent and transcendent. He is the creator of all things, yet He does not remain apart from His creation. He responds to the love of His creatures. HUKAM or the Divine Law is the fundamental principle of God`s activity. Man`s duty is to seek an understanding of His A ukam and to live his life wholly in accord with it. God is the source of grace (nadar) and it behoves man to make himself worthy of His grace. The Bani, which is Guru in essence, brings this enlightenment to men. It shows the way. Listening to, reciting and becoming absorbed in Bani engenders merit and helps one to overcome haumai, i.e. finite ego or selflove which hinders understanding and realization. In proclaiming the supreme holiness and majesty of God, the Bani has few parallels in literature. It contains one of the most intimate and magnificent expressions of faith in the Transcendent. It is an earnestly given testament about God`s existence and a sterling statement of a deeply experienced vision of Him. The Bani is all in the spiritual key. It is poetry of pure devotion, love and compassion. It is lyrical rather than philosophical, moral rather than cerebral. It prescribes no social code, yet it is the basis of Sikh practice as well as of the Sikh belief. It is the source of authority, the ultimate guide to the spiritual and moral path pointed by the Gurus. The form of the Bani is as sublime as is its content. It is a superb body of verse in a variety of metre and rhythm, arranged under thirtyone different musical measures. Besides its ardent lyricism and abounding imagination, it displays a subtle aesthetic sensitivity. The aptness of its image and simile is especially noteworthy. Its musicality is engaging. The language is mainly PUNJABI in its simple spoken idiom. The downtoearth, sinewy presence of its vocabulary and the eloquence of its symbolism drawn from everyday life give it a virile tone. The Bani constitutes the springhead of Punjabi literary tradition and the creative energy the latter acquired from it informed its subsequent growth and continues to be a vital influence to this day. 1. Shackle, C., A Guru Nanak G/ossary. London, 1981
    2. Kirpal Singh,JANAM SAKHI Prampara. PATIALA, 1969
    3. Kahn Singh, Bhai, Gunnat Martand. AMRITSAR, 1983
     
  11. Sikh80

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    Sri Guru Nanak Sahib had passed on His whole Potency to Sri Guru Angad Sahib. Sri Guru Angad Sahib passes on the same to Sri Guru Amar Das Ji and so on. Tenth Nanak passes on the same Potency to Sri Guru Granth sahib in terms of Eternity. There is no distinction between Potency and the Possessor thereof. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the same Jaagdi Jot - Jot Roop Har-Guru Nanak. Sri Guru Nanak Sahib and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib are inseparable from Sri Guru Granth Sahib and exist in Sri Guru Granth Sahib in their fullness. That is why Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib declares that He permanently abides and dwells in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Every hymn of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is surcharged and pervaded with Divine fragrance, glow and eternal presence of our beloved Lord Guru Nanak. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Eternal Embodiment of the whole Shakti, Divine Wisdom, Love, Humility, Holiness and Divinity of all the Ten Manifestations of Guru Nanak.
    And this is how this Sovereign Power of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is addressed to:-

    Dasoon Patshahion Ke Saroop,
    Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj,
    Hazara Hazoor, Jahra Jahoor,
    Kalyug Ke Bohit,
    Nam Ke Jahaj,
    Halat Palat Ke Rakhiak,
    Lok Parlok Ke Sahayak,
    Dasaan Patshahian Di Hazar Nazar Jaagdi Jot,
    Sahib Ji De Path Darshan Da Dhian Dhar Ke
    Bolo Ji Sri Waheguru
     
  12. Sikh80

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    Eh Jeonda, Jaagda, Bolda Guru Nanak Hai
    Highly blessed are the souls who sail in this Celestial and Divine Ship (Sri Guru Granth Sahib).
    It is a ‘Voyage Divine’, through the most dreadful Occean of Mortality in this Dark Age. It is a wonderful long journey in the perpetual Holy company of our most Beloved Satguru. Wonder of wonders is that Guru Nanak is all the time at our side and never leaves us stranded for a moment. Guru Nanak is our Rescuer and our Saviour.
    As Holy Guru Granth Sahib is a Divine Ship one can easily cross this terrible ocean of illusion and mortality by hearing, by reciting, by singing (holy Kirtan) the Divine Name and Glories of the Lord through the hymns of the Lord Himself. There is no higher Satsang than the Holy Association of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak's wonderful Divine Lila and Sport on earth flashes in our minds through these sacred hymns and that Holy Remembrance and Faith is sufficient for liberation.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Amrit Bani (Gurbani) was the Guru from the very beginning, Sri Guru Nanak Sahib illuminated the world through Gurbani. The same Divine Jot continued the process of illumination through Gurbani in the Luminous Form of Sri Guru Angad Sahib. Sri Guru Nanak Sahib continued the Divine process through Sri Guru Amar Das Ji and so on. Illumination continues unabated-through the same Gurbani from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. For Gurmukhs, the eternal illumination is flowing straight from the holy lips of Jot Roop Har Guru Nanak whereas others only perceive a holy book in front.
    SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB IS​

    ‘JAAGDI JOT’,
    LIVING GURU NANAK SAHIB HIMSELF.




    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]The Form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib changes with the stage of the disciple. It varies with the level of love.
    God is Love and Love is God. In His Great Udasis Sri Guru Nanak Sahib reaches out, in Love, to the worst sinners like Kauda the Rakshas, Sajan the Murderer, Bhooma the Dacoit, the Lepers and the downtrodden and saves them. Eternal manifestation of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is Love and Love is Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is Cosmic Love and reaches out to all those who seek solace and healing balm of the Great Emancipator.
    Healing and Soothing Love of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib reaches out to the thirsty and wounded enemy, it reaches out to the whole humanity without distinction and discrimination. Love of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is All-Embracing and Universal.
    All Glory to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib who infused the whole of His Potentiality in His Eternal Manifestation, The Eternal Guru Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
    Gurbani is surcharged with all the spiritual power of the Divine Gurus as they had infused their whole Divine strength there in. Each and every hymn stands fully surcharged with the Eternal Glory of the Divine Name.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is One Eternal Guru without a Second. Sri Guru Nanak Sahib and Sri Guru Granth Sahib are ONE. Sri Guru Granth Sahib though in appearance, a Holy Scripture, assumes a Divine Form of Guru Nanak for the sake of true devotees. It is only few blessed ones who thus obtain His Auspicious Darshans in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Tenth Guru Nanak permanently resides and dwells in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and blessed indeed is the devotee to whom He so reveals Himself.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib - The Living Lord
     
  13. Sikh80

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  14. Sikh80

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    [SIZE=-1]Pause and Ponder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]DISCIPLINE OF A SIKH[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Sikhism has always been very clear about the discipline required of a Sikh. In fact, Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru Nanak, laid down an aspect of the discipline required for a Sikh's everyday life. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]"Let him, who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru,[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Rise early and meditate on God; [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Let hint exert himself in the morning and bathe in the tank of Nectar,[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Let him repeat God's Name;[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]under the Guru's instruction;[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Thus shall his sins and errors-be erased.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Let him at sunrise sing the Guru's hymns; [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Sitting or standing, he should meditate on God's Name. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The Disciple, who at every breath, meditates on God;[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]will please the Guru's heart.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]He alone takes the Guru's instruction;[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]who is by the Lord's mercy so guided.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The slave Nanak seeks the dust of the feet of him,[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Who himself repeats Gods name, and leads others to do so."[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Meditation on the Name of God (Naam Simran) was and is the most important thing for Sikhs living by a discipline prescribed clearly by the Guru.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1](Guru Granth Sahib, pg 305-306)[/SIZE]
     
  15. Sikh80

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    "SAARANG, FIFTH MEHL:

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

    Whoever sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, has the perfect knowledge of God. || 1 || Pause ||

    The Siddhas and seekers and all the silent sages long for the Lord, but those who meditate on Him are rare. That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is merciful - all his tasks are perfectly accomplished. || 1 ||

    One whose heart is filled with the Lord, the Destroyer of fear, knows the whole world. May I never forget You, even for an instant, O my Creator Lord; Nanak begs for this blessing. || 2 || 90 || 113 ||
    sikhnet
     
  16. Sikh80

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    The banee, the shabad, that which is written within the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the exact physical form of Waheguru in the creation. The banee is the only way to represent the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Infinite, Formless, Colourless Lord. No other way can one remain consciously attached to God.

    The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not a book. The Guru Granth Sahib ji is Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

    Think of the Guru Granth Sahib as the very embodiment of the 10 Gurus. Consider first what is the source of life of the Human Body. In reality we are no different than the pages and cover of a book. We both come from the earth. Although the human body is much more complex, there is a light within it that gives us life. Just as the electrons run through a resistor in a light bulb, in the same way God's Light gives our tissue life and sustenance. Also in the same way the very Light of God is within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    In this way, Guru Granth Sahib Ji and God are one and the same.
    Re: The guru granth sahib ji
     
  17. Sikh80

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    an extract from http://www.baisakhi1999.org
    EH JEONDA JAAGDA, BOLDA GURU NANAK HAI.
    - Baba Nand Singh Ji Maharaj

    Sri Guru Nanak Sahib had passed on His whole Potency to Sri Guru
    Angad Sahib. Sri Guru Angad Sahib passes on the same to Sri Guru Amar
    Das Ji and so on. Tenth Nanak passes on the same Potency to Sri Guru
    Granth Sahib in terms of Eternity. There is no distinction between Potency
    and the Possessor thereof. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the same Jaagdi Jot -
    Jot Roop Har-Guru Nanak. Sri Guru Nanak Sahib and Sri Guru Gobind
    Singh Sahib are inseparable from Sri Guru Granth Sahib and exist in Sri
    Guru Granth Sahib in their fullness. That is why Sri Guru Gobind Singh
    Sahib declares that He permanently abides and dwells in Sri Guru Granth
    Sahib. Every hymn of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is surcharged and pervaded
    with Divine fragrance, glow and eternal presence of our beloved Lord Guru
    Nanak. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Eternal Embodiment of the whole
    Shakti, Divine Wisdom, Love, Humility, Holiness and Divinity of all the Ten
    Manifestations of Guru Nanak.

    And this is how this Sovereign Power of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is
    addressed to -

    Dasoon Patshahion Ke Saroop,
    Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj,
    Hazara Hazoor,
    Jahra Jahoor,
    Kalyug Ke Bohit,
    Nam Ke Jahaj,
    Halat Palat Ke Rakhiak,
    Lok Parlok Ke Sahayak,
    Dasaan Patshahian Di
    Hazar Nazar JAAGDI JOT,
    Sahib Ji De Path Darshan Da
    Dhian Dhar Ke Bolo Ji Sri Waheguru
    - PART OF ARDAS
    BABA NAND SINGH JI MAHARAJ

    In this Terrible Kali-Age,
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Saviour Ship.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Celestial Ship of the Divine Name.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Protector, the Saviour in this world
    and the worlds hereafter.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Eternal Guru, JAAGDI JOT. Is the
    Illuminator and the Divine Sustainer of the whole Universe.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib is an Ocean of Nectar and a drop of this Nectar is
    enough for emancipation.

    Pointing towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    Eh Jeonda, Jaagda, Bolda Guru Nanak Hai.
    - BABA NAND SINGH JI MAHARAJ.

    Highly blessed are the souls who sail in this Celestial and Divine Ship (Sri
    Guru Granth Sahib).

    It is a 'Voyage Divine', through the most dreadful Ocean of Mortality in this
    Dark Age. It is a wonderful long journey in the perpetual Holy company of
    our most Beloved Satguru. Wonder of wonders is that Guru Nanak is all
    the time at our side and never leaves us stranded for a moment. Guru
    Nanak is our Rescuer and our Saviour.

    As Holy Guru Granth Sahib is a Divine Ship one can easily cross this
    terrible ocean of illusion and mortality by hearing, by reciting, by singing
    (holy Kirtan) the Divine Name and Glories of the Lord through the hymns of
    the Lord Himself. There is no higher Satsang than the Holy Association of
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak's wonderful Divine Lila and Sport on
    earth flashes in our minds through these sacred hymns and that Holy
    Remembrance and Faith is sufficient for liberation.

    Distributed in your humble service by,
    Webmaster http://www.baisakhi1999.org.
     
  18. Sikh80

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    The Sri Guru Granth Sahib, gurū granth sāhib) is a holy book revered as the 11th Guru of Sikhism, the physical form of the living Guru of the Sikhs.
    The Guru Granth Sahib is given the honorific prefix "Sri" which denotes its holiness for Sikhs.
    The Guru Granth Sahib became the Guru of the Sikhs and successor to Guru Gobind Singh on October1708, when the 10th Guru made Sri Guru Granth Sahib the 11th and final eternal Guru.
    The Guru Granth Sahib was dictated by Guru Gobind Singh.
     
  19. Sikh80

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    The Adi Granth is the composition compiled by Guru Arjan (also known as Guru Arjun), however it does not contain the hymns of the 9th Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. The Adi Granth was compiled by Guru Arjan in the year 1604. The Granth was made a living guru by the last of the living Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh in 1708. Guru Gobind Singh said before his demise that the Sikhs were to treat the Granth as their next Guru.

     
  20. Sikh80

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    The Guru Granth Sahib contains over 5000 Shabhads or hymns which are poetically constructed; and set to classical forms of music Ragas; can be set to predetermined musical Talas (rhythmic beats).
    Below an excerpt from the 15the "Ang" (limb) of the Guru Granth Sahib:
    ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਗਦ ਲਖ ਮਣਾ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਭਾਉ ॥
    ਮਸੂ ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਲੇਖਣਿ ਪਉਣੁ ਚਲਾਉ ॥
    ਭੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਨਾ ਪਵੈ ਹਉ ਕੇਵਡੁ ਆਖਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੪॥੨॥
    nānak kāgad lakh manā pari pari kīcai bhā'u
    masū tōti na āva'ī lēkhani pa'unu calā'u
    bhī tērī kīmati nā pavai ha'u kēvadu ākhā nā'u ||4||2||
    O Nanak, if I had hundreds of thousands of stacks of paper, and if I were to read and recite and embrace love for the Lord,
    and if ink were never to fail me, and if my pen were able to move like the wind
    -even so, I could not estimate Your Value. How can I describe the Greatness of Your Name? ||4||2||
     
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