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Environmental Concerns in Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by drdpsn, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. drdpsn

    drdpsn Canada
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    Environmental Concerns in Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    Dr. D. P. Singh


    All the biotic and abiotic factors that act on an organism, population, or ecological community and influence its survival and development constitute its environment. Biotic factors include the organisms themselves, their food, and their interactions. Abiotic factors include such items as sunlight, soil, air, water, climate, and pollution. Organisms respond to changes in their environment by evolutionary adaptations in form and behaviour. At present humanity is facing great challenges for its survival as both these factors have come under great stress due to its unbridled demands of national economic growth and individual needs and desires.

    GRAVE CRISIS
    On the abiotic front, a grave ecological crisis is caused by man’s exploitation of Nature, which is leading to a large scale depletion of natural resources, destruction of forests, and overuse of land for agriculture and habitation. Pollution is contaminating air, land, and water. Smoke from industries, homes and vehicles, is in the air. A smoky haze envelopes the major cities of the world. Industrial waste and consumer trash are choking streams and rivers, ponds and lakes, killing the marine life. Much of the waste is a product of modern technology. It is neither biodegradable nor reusable, and its long-term consequences are unknown. The viability of many animal and plant species, and possibly that of the humankind itself, is at stake.
    At the biotic level, humanity is facing a social justice crisis, which is caused by humanity’s confrontation with itself. The social justice crisis is that poverty, hunger, disease, exploitation and injustice are widespread. There are economic wars over resources and markets. The rights of the poor and the marginal are violated. Women, constituting half the world’s population, have their rights abused.
    Obviously, the contemporary human society is in the midst of a grave environmental crisis. There is a serious concern that the earth may no longer be a sustainable biosystem. Although human beings are seen as the most intelligent life form on earth, yet they are responsible for almost all the ecological damage done to the planet. The Sikh scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), declares that the purpose of human beings is to achieve a blissful state and to be in harmony with the earth and all of God's creation. It seems, however, that humans have drifted away from that ideal. According to the Sikh scriptures, humans create their surroundings as a reflection of their inner state. Thus, the increasing barrenness of the earth reflects a spiritual emptiness within humans.

    INTERDEPENDENCE

    Sikhism is very concerned with the relationship between humanity and the environment. Sikhs believe that an awareness of the sacred relationship between humans and the environment is necessary for the health of our planet, and for our survival. In SGGS, man and material world (biotic and abiotic components of the environment) are no more seen as external to each other, but being involved in inter-dependent relationship, reciprocally conditioning the life of each other. Guru Nanak stresses this kind of inter-dependent relationship in his composition ‘Japu Ji’;


    ‘Pavan guru paani pita, Maata dharat mahat,


    Divas raat do-e daaee daa-ia, Khelai sagal jagat’. (SGGS 8)

    i.e. Air is vital force, Water the progenitor, the vast Earth is the mother of all, Days and Nights are nurses, fondling all creation in their lap.
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib declares that the purpose of human beings is to be in harmony with all creation and that human domination is to be rejected. The Sikh Gurus recognized human responsibility towards the material world and its phenomena. So, the importance of Air, Water and Earth to life are emphasised over and over again in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The earth is referred to as the mother and as such requires our respect. Great care needs to be taken to ensure that no damage occurs to it while the Sikh is going about his or her daily life. The pollution of these three elements is against the principles laid down by the Gurus. The Sikh Scriptures emphasis the importance of the abiotic components of environment in the hymn:


    Pavan paani dharati aakas ghar mandar har bani. (SGGS 723)

    i.e. Air, water earth and sky are God's home and temple - sacred places which need to be protected and looked after.
    The Sikh Gurus showed the world, the way to appreciate the interdependence of living beings and their environment and the way to nurture this interrelationship. All their constructions adhered to this principle. They built many Gurudwaras surrounded by large pools, which supported marine life, especially fish. This was clearly a sign to live in harmony with environment rather than in conflict with it. Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh Guru developed Kiratpur Sahib as a town of parks and gardens. Located on the banks of tributary of the Sutlej, he planted flowers and fruit bearing trees all over the area. This created a salubrious environment, attracting beautiful birds to the town and turning it into an idyllic place to live in.

    NATURE - A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
    Nature (the material world and its phenomena), a major component of our environment, is a great spiritual teacher because it enables the spiritual seeker to be in touch with Ultimate Reality. God is revealed through His All-powerful Creative nature. As pointed out in Gurbani, everything seen is God in action. The Sikh scriptures are replete with examples about the interrelationship of the Creator (God) and Nature.


    Nanak sach daataar sinaakhat kudaratee. (SGGS 141)

    i.e. O Nanak, the True One is the Giver of all; He is revealed through His All-powerful Creative Nature.


    Outabhuj chalat keeaa sir karatai bisamaad sabad dhekhaaidaa.(SGGS 1037)

    i.e. The Supreme Creator created the play of Nature; through the Word of His Shabad, He stages His Wondrous Show.
    SGGS places a great deal of spiritual significance on the lessons we can learn directly from the Nature. One can learn true selflessness; real renunciation and sacrifice form it. According to SGGS; ‘Earth teaches us patience and love. Air teaches us mobility, Fire teaches us warmth and courage; Sky teaches us equality and broadmindedness, Water teaches us purity and cleanliness’. (SGGS 1018).

    HARMONY WITH NATURE

    Sikhs believe that the material world and its phenomena (Nature), like all creation, is a manifestation of God. Every creature in this world, every plant, every form is a manifestation of the Creator. Each is part of God and God is within each element of creation. God is the cause of all and He is the primary connection between all existence.


    Jo antar so baahar daykhhu avar na doojaa ko-ee jee-o.


    gurmukh ayk darisat kar daykhhu ghat ghat jot samo-ee jee-o. (SGGS 599)

    i.e. He is within-see Him outside as well; there is no one, other than Him. By divine prompting look upon all existence as one and undifferentiated; the same light penetrates all existence.

    The Creator created himself ... And created all creation in which He is manifest. You Yourself the bumble-bee, flower, fruit and the tree. You Yourself the water, desert, ocean and the pond. You Yourself are the big fish, tortoise and the Cause of causes. Your form cannot be known.” (SGGS 1016)
    SGGS stresses the importance of living in harmony with Nature. It opposes the idea that the struggle of the human race is against Nature and that human supremacy lies in the notion of “harnessing” Nature. The objective is harmony with the eternal—God—which implies a life of harmony with all existence. The history of the Gurus is full of stories of their love for animals, birds, trees, vegetation, rivers, mountains and sky. Many Sikhs, though not all, also have a strong tradition of being vegetarian. A simple life free from conspicuous waste is the Sikh ideal – a life that stresses mastery over the self rather than mastery over Nature.

    EARTH – A DHARAMSAAL

    SGGS emphasises the significance of various aspects of Nature and declares the Earth as Dharamsaal (a place for righteous action).


    raatee rutee thitee vaar. pavan paanee agnee paataal.


    tis vich Dhartee thaap rakhee Dharam saal. (SGGS 7)

    i.e. He created Night and Day, seasons and occasion, So also Air, Water, Fire and the Nether Regions, Amidst these has He fixed the earth, the place for Righteous Action.
    By this portrayal of the world (earth) as a place for righteousness and purity, SGGS insists that we relate with others with equality and justice. Sri Guru Granth Sahib reveals that real peace can only be found when desire and greed are subdued and diminished. This will only happen when the individual realises that God is found in all the elements including water, earth and the woods and he stops damaging these elements purely to satisfy his material greed.


    saant paavahi hoveh man seetal agan na antar Dhukhee.


    gur naanak ka-o parabhoo dikhaa-i-aa jal thal taribhavan rukhee. (SGGS 617)

    i.e. You shall find peace, and your mind shall be soothed and cooled; the fire of desire shall not burn within you. The Guru has revealed God to Nanak, in the three worlds, in the water, the earth and the woods.

    WORLD SOCIETY

    On the Biotic front, according to Sikhism, environmental concerns must be viewed as part of the broader issue of human development and social justice. Many environmental problems, particularly the exploitation of environmental resources in developing nations, are due to the poverty of large parts of the population. Therefore an integrated approach is necessary.
    Sikhism emphasizes the main objective for humanity as the harmony with all existence. Striving for a life of harmony, therefore, also implies a life of supporting individual rights and environmentalism—a life that works against injustice toward anybody and anything.
    The tenth Guru in 1699 founded the Order of the Khalsa, whose members practice the spiritual discipline of Sikhism and are committed to ensure the preservation and prevalence of a World Society. Over the last three centuries the members of the Khalsa order have stood up for the rights of the oppressed and the disenfranchised even at the cost of their own lives. The Khalsa vision of the World Society is:


    hun hukam ho-a miharvaan daa.pai ko-ay na kisai ranjaandaa.


    sabh sukhaalee vuthee-aa ih ho-aa halaymee raaj jee-o. (SGGS 74)

    i.e. Henceforth such is the Will of God: No man shall coerce another; No person shall exploit another. Each individual has the inalienable birthright to seek and pursue happiness and self-fulfillment. Love and persuasion is the only law of social coherence.
    The Khalsa have opposed any force that has threatened the freedom and dignity of human beings.In the eighteenth century it was the oppressive rulers of northern India, and invaders from Afghanistan; in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries they have struggled against oppression by European colonists and Indian governments. For the Khalsa, justice requires the participation and inclusion of all in obtaining and enjoying the fruits of God’s creation. Justice achieved through cooperative effort is desirable. The ideal for the Khalsa is to strive for justice for all, not merely for themselves.

    INTOXICANTS FREE SIMPLE LIFE

    SGGS describes the norms for a Sikh to live a life which does not harm their mind, health, others around them, society, or the environment.Therefore, Sikhs are prohibited from consuming tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicant, and keep a simple vegetarian diet. Gurmat is against causing cruelty and suffering to animals.


    sach mili-aa tin sofee-aa raakhan ka-o darvaar. (SGGS 15)

    i.e. Those who do not use intoxicants are true; they dwell in the Court of the Lord.


    kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi.

    tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. (SGGS 1377)



    i.e. Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell.

    It is now a known fact that smoking is both a primary and secondary health hazard. In addition to harming the environment, it has seriously deleterious effects on the person who smokes, on the bystander who breathes the secondhand smoke, and on the unborn foetus of the female smoker. Though this has only been scientifically verified in the last half century, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, listed the use of tobacco as one of the four major acts forbidden to initiated adherents of the Sikh religion. Though tobacco was introduced into India only in the mid-1600s, he had the wisdom to specifically interdict it in 1699. From its very beginning, Sikhism had forbidden the use of any intoxicants or mind-altering substances for any purpose except medicinal.

    INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY

    In Sikh beliefs, a concern for the environment is part of an integrated approach to life and nature. As all creation has the same origin and end, humans must have consciousness of their place in creation and their relationship with the rest of creation. Humans should conduct themselves through life with love, compassion, and justice. Becoming one and being in harmony with God implies that humans endeavour to live in harmony with all of God’s creation. A true Sikh is for individual human rights, the environment and justice for all.


    The God Conscious persons is animated with


    an intense desire to do good in this world. (SGGS 273)


    All life is interconnected. A human body consists of many parts; every part has a distinct name, location, and function, and all of these are dependent upon each other. In the same way, all the constituents of the universe and the earth are dependent upon each other. Decisions in one country or continent cannot be ignored by people in other countries or continents. Choices in one place have measurable consequences for the rest of the world. It is part of the same system. SGGS assures that the entire creation is inter-related mutually supporting one another.


    All creation on one thread has He strung. (SGGS 1108)


    Any solutions to the problem of the environment must be sensitive to women’s concerns, and must include women as equals. Piecemeal solutions to environmental problems will merely focus, for example, on limiting population growth through family planning measures, which often end up abusing women’s rights, and should be rejected on those grounds alone. SGGS contains important lessons on this. Guru Nanak and other Sikh gurus advocated equality for women and took steps to implement this. Community-based sharing of resources (e.g. langar) is another practice prevalent in Sikhism, which can be adopted worldwide to share scarce resources with special emphasis on recycling and avoidance of wastage.
    Life, for its very existence and nurturing, depends upon a bounteous nature. A human being needs to derive sustenance from the earth and not deplete, exhaust, pollute, burn, or destroy it. Sikhs believe that an awareness of that sacred relationship between humans and the environment is necessary for the health of our planet, and for our survival. A new “environmental ethic” dedicated to conservation and wise use of the resources provided by a bountiful nature can only arise from an honest understanding and dedicated application of our old, tried and true spiritual heritage. Such an integrated approach to current environmental crisis can lead to permanent sustainability of life on mother earth.

    REFERENCES

    • “Sri Guru Granth Sahib” published by S.G.P.C., Amritsar
    • Sher Singh, “Philosophy of Sikhism”, Sterling Publishers, Delhi, 1996.
    • Macauliffe, “The Sikh Religion”, Chand & co., Delhi, 1963, Vol. I.
    • H. S. Virk, “Scientific Vision in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Interfaith Dialogue”, Singh Brothers, Amritsar, 2007.
    • N. Muthumohan, “Eco-Philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib”, at: www.SikhSpectrum.com
    • S. Lourdunathan, “Ecosophical Concerns in the Sikh Tradition”, Proc. “Sikhism & Global Living”, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, 1996; Sikh Spectrum, Issue No. 4, Sept. 2002 at: www.SikhSpectrum.com
    • G. S. Sidhu, "Sikh Religion and Science”, http://sikhs.wellington.net.nz/
    • "What does Sikhism teach about ecology?" Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC), at: http://www.arcworld.org/
    • Martin Palmer and Victoria Finlay, “Faith in Conservation”, Pub. by World Bank, 2003.
    • Rajwant Singh, “Sikhism and the Environment”, Proc. ‘The Role of Religious Institutions (Theme-5)’ at: http://www.SikhismandtheEnvironment.com
    • D. P. Singh, “Cosmology in Guru Nanak’s Holistic Vision”, The Sikh Review, 48/7, 1998,16.
    • D. S. Grewal, “Scientific Vision of Guru Nanak”, National Book Shop, Delhi, 2008.
     
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  3. mGg

    mGg
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    Piaro Veer Jio,
    WAHEGURU Jee ka Khalsa, WAHEGURU Jee ki Fateh.

    well, its been some time now that i have joined SPN and having read, contemplated, learned (learning still and Forever) many a GREAT Revelations of The ONE as conveyed to this world by Those DIVINE MESSENGERS, our GURUS, i am just left speechless! To be frank, it was just coincidence that i happened to land at SPN. The theme of the article on "Environmental Concerns in Sri Guru Granth Sahib" is very relevant and the author Veer Jee has presented clear and coherent thoughts in most of the artcle. Its indeed a wonderful attempt to clear the air about this aspect vis-a-vis SHABD GURU/GURBANI (even DASAM GRANTH Sahib). However i would like to put few of my thoughts about certain lines as follows:

    1. i beg to differ with the author Veer Jee on "
    Many Sikhs, though not all, also have a strong tradition of being vegetarian.
    ". Understanding GURBANI it ITS TRUEEST SENSE is left only to GURMUKHS...The SHABD GURU explains and refers to this many a times... i dont have that in depth Understanding of the SHABD GURU "at present" (WAHEGURU Jee sabhna layee bhalee karan, sannu saaryan nu Sumatt Bhakshan!. my Prayers for us all (inherent potential in everyone to be a Sikh. The difinition of a Sikh can be felt clearly without putting in lines...

    The author Veer Jee has himself written something like this "
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji describes the norms for a Sikh to live a life which does not harm their mind, health, others around them, society, or the environment.Therefore, Sikhs are prohibited from consuming tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicant, and keep a simple vegetarian diet. Gurmat is against causing cruelty and suffering to animals.
    "
    also, author Veer Jee has written about Bhagat Kabir Jee's Shabd "
    kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi.

    tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 1377)
    i.e. Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell".

    SHABD GURU/GURBANI says that (my little understanding) to be away and separated from WAHEGURU Jee/ULTIMATE REALITY/SUPREMEBEING only is narak or hell. also, i personally feel that it merely does not (obviously, my little understanding) end at fish only (all other animals also).

    2. when the author Veer Jee has tried to convey the message Kabir Jee give us all as "
    hun hukam ho-a miharvaan daa.pai ko-ay na kisai ranjaandaa.
    sabh sukhaalee vuthee-aa ih ho-aa halaymee raaj jee-o. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 74)
    i.e. Henceforth such is the Will of God: No man shall coerce another; No person shall exploit another. Each individual has the inalienable birthright to seek and pursue happiness and self-fulfillment"

    das feel (my little understanding again and forever, WAHEGURU Jee sannu saryaan nu Sumatt Bakhshan!) that the so called birthright to happiness and self-fulfillment should not be construed as that of following wordly pleasures and tastes etc. das feels that as the birthright to get enlightened by having access to The SHABD throught thought provoking/enlightening Souls/Their SHABD (of the SUPREMEBEING just conveyed through the Mouths of Those Physical Bodies) and then contemplate on the Path to be follwed to attain that BLISS/HAPPINESS Forever and Ever. also dasfeels that the last part of these lines by Kabeer Jee conveys that "this Realization comes (or I have come to realize this) through Humility" realized " as ih ho-aa halaymee raaj jee-o.

    3. das would also like to know about the reference somewhere about author Veer Jee's statement about the medicinal use of intoxicants"
    From its very beginning, Sikhism had forbidden the use of any intoxicants or mind-altering substances for any purpose except medicinal."

    4. A new “environmental ethic” dedicated to conservation and wise use of the resources provided by a bountiful nature can only arise from an honest understanding and dedicated application of our old, tried and true spiritual heritage

    das fells that author Veer Jee in the end has put it very succinctly about the Relevance of the honest Understanding of our "old,tried and true spiritual heritage". Old because Aad SACH...!, tried because has been shown in the TRUEST FORM by The Messengers though SHABD to the Faithfuls and SACH because "Aad SACH, Jugaad SACH Hai bhi SACH Nanak hosi bhi SACH"

    Kirtam Naam Kathe TERE Jeva, SACH naam Tera Para Purbala...Guru Arjan Dev Jee

    WAHEGURU Jee saaryan teh Mehar karan. One thing which stands out while Practising SACH especially considering the presence of difficulties on The Way/along the Way to SACH is:
    'jau tau prem khelan ka chau, sir dhar tali gali Mori aau, es marag pair dhreejay, sir deejai kaan na keejai'.

    Charan sevak. (Ukat siyaanap kachu nahi na hi kach ghaal, bharam bhai rakho mohu teh kaatoh janjaal!)
    WHEGURU Jee ka Khalsa WAHEGURU Jee ki Fateh.
     
  4. vsgrewal48895

    vsgrewal48895
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    LIVING IN THE INFINITE/ਅਸੰਖ

    ABSTRACT

    The fullness of the reality of God is infinite (ਅਸੰਖ) and inclusive. The all-pervading field of God is consciously, and simultaneously presents everywhere. All worlds, creatures, and beings exist in God. To say that God is present at some places but not others is to utter an untruth. Likewise, to say that God cares for some people or circumstances more than for the others is to reveal our lack of understanding about the real nature of Akal Purkh. God is the wholeness that is incapable of unconcern or disinterest. Such attitudes reside only in the minds, confused by the beliefs in duality.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The absolute Principle/God/Akal Purkh/Truth, is not a, thing, sound or vibration, and is not divisible. It cannot be diluted or augmented. It has no partner or complement, no form nor qualities. However, it is everywhere (ਨਿਰੰਤਰ) all the time and forever. It is without any relation to time and space. It is One and unity. It determines everything, comes before everything, and is the law of every thing. Its law is blind but its justice is evenhanded. Guru Nanak refers to God in Siri Raag;​

    ਬਾਬਾ ਅਲਹੁ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥ ਪਾਕੀ ਨਾਈ ਪਾਕ ਥਾਇ ਸਚਾ ਪਰਵਦਿਗਾਰੁ ॥

    Baba Allah Agam Apaar, Paakee Naa-ee Paak Thaa-ay Sachaa Paravdigaar.

    O Baba, the God Allah is Inaccessible and Infinite. Sacred is Its Name, and Sacred is Its Place. God is the True care taker of all. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, 53-10

    Whenever you feel alone or in need of anything, think or speak these words: Here and now, God is. It is around me as a vibrant, living presence. Akal Purkh is as me at my innermost level of being. It is the reality and substance of everything I see, touch, and relate to, from moment-to-moment. Kabir in Raag Parbhati explains:

    ਲੋਗਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਨ ਭੂਲਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਾਲਿਕੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਠਾਂਈ ॥

    Logaa Bharam Na Bhooloh Bhai, Khaalik Khaki Khalk Meh Khaalik poor Reheio Sarb Thaanee.

    O people, O Siblings of Destiny, do not wander deluded by doubt. The Creation is in the Creator, and the Creator is in the Creation, totally pervading and permeating all places. -----Bhagat Kabir, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1350-1

    We are inclined to supplicate to God. This is a natural, human conscious approach. Starting at this level of need for higher understanding is a good beginning. It reflects our humility, our recognition of the fact that our egocentric view of self in relationship to life is inadequate to enable us to be entirely self-sufficient or truly happy. It is an evidence of our honesty; that we are admitting to ourselves that we, as mind-body creatures, are insignificant in comparison to the cosmos and to the omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence of Akal Purkh. Our acknowledgement of the superficiality and meaninglessness of our self-conscious lives is thus a beginning of the end of our denial of spiritual Selfhood and God. The only true faith is to live in harmony with the Universal Laws of Mother Nature honestly and truthfully as per the teaching of Guru Nanak in Raag Basant;

    ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਸੋਈ ॥

    Ayko Dharam Dirrhai Such Koyee, Gurmat Pooraa Jug Jug So-ee.

    There is only one faith of Righteousness. Let everyone grasp this truth. Through the Guru's Teachings, one becomes perfect, all the ages through.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Basant, AGGS, Page, 1188-15

    As we become familiar with progressive spiritual growth episodes that occur, we become increasingly aware that our self-disciplined behaviors are for the purpose of removing self-centered attitudes and actions from the playing field of our lives so that grace can have its way. Grace is the natural unfoldment of life to support its own purposes and actions, in which we participate when we are in tune with the Infinite. To learn to live in harmony with nature, it is necessary that a spiritual aspirant choose states of consciousness and mental attitudes which contribute to spiritual growth. His thoughts, emotions must be consistent with this goal. Human relationships, environmental circumstances, life-purpose, and actions are major contributors in increasing the influences of the qualities which nurture total spiritual growth. Everything that debilitates or creates stress and conflict should be avoided due to the increased secretion of the hormone “Cortisol” causing high blood pressure etc. An unpleasant truth is that many people who aspire to spiritual growth are approaching the project with the same self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, which are already contributing to the problems that burden their lives. Once sufficient right knowledge is acquired, following the teachings of Sabd Guru, it is rendered easier. If this knowledge is used effectively, personal accomplishment and spiritual growth rapidly follow at every step of life, as pointed out by Guru Arjan in Raag Gujri;

    ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥

    Nanak Satgur Bhatai Poori Hovai Jugat, Hasandeyaa, Khelandiaa, Penandiaa,Vichay Hovai Mukat.

    O Nanak, meeting the True Guru, one comes to know the Perfect Way. While laughing, playing, dressing and eating, he is liberated. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gujri, AGGS, Page, 522-10

    How and why the universe is able to meet our every need? Guru Nanak explains in Raag Parbhati;

    ਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ਭਉ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰੈ ॥

    Nā man marai na mā▫i▫ā marai. Jin Kich Keeaa Soyee JaaNai Sabd Veechaar Bhaou Sagar Trai.

    Without subduing the mind, Maya cannot be subdued. The One, who created this, alone understands. Contemplating the Word of the Sabd, one is carried across the terrifying world-ocean. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Parbhatee, AGGS, Page, 1342-3

    The universe, as God's manifesting energy-consciousness, is self-complete and self-referring.

    How does this process work? It works on two levels.

    First, when we are in harmony with life's processes, we live more effectively and are able to accomplish our purposes efficiently.
    Second, when we are established in mental peace, anything that disturbs it draws a response from Cosmic Mind and the universe, to meet the need so that we can be restored to peace by understanding the reality reflecting on the Sabd and letting go the empty and fake rituals meant to clean internal filth reflects Kabir in Raag Asa;

    ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਨ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਤੀਣੇ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਅਯਾਨਾ ॥

    Antar Mail Jay Tirath Naavai Tis Baikunth Na Janaa, Lok PateeNay Kachoo Na Hovai Naahee Ram Aiaana.

    One may bathe at many a sacred place of pilgrimage, but if filth remains in his heart, he cannot go to heaven. Nothing is gained by trying to please others -- the God cannot be fooled. -----Bhagat Kabir, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 484-15

    ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥

    Bharai Mat Paapaa Kai Sung, Oh Dhoapai Navai Kai Rung.

    But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin, it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name. -----Guru Nanak, japji, AGGS, Page, 4

    It matters not what the circumstances are that disturb our spiritual tranquility the universe will act to restore our tranquility, should we concentrate on a positive attitude. However, if the conscience loses its peace; the universe will restore its wholeness. We just need to follow the Sabd Guru’s teachings earnestly. It is interesting that this principle of positive attitude has been recently published in a book and a movie called “Secret”.

    Let us remember and be guided in our lives by the benevolent Power that nourishes this universe, including us, and learn to cooperate with it from the beginning, middle and end as suggested by Guru Arjan in Raag Gauri;

    ਆਦਿ ਮਧਿ ਜੋ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਬਾਹੈ ॥ਸੋ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਚਾਹੈ ॥

    Aad Madh Jo Unt Nibaahai, So Saajan Mayra Man Chaahai.

    My mind longs for that Friend, who shall stand by me in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 240-10

    Conclusion:

    One should have the courage to accept that living can be natural, spontaneous, and enjoyable if one is on friendly terms with a friendly universe. This includes caring for and nurturing the planet Earth and serving the cause of evolution. One should be appreciative of the blessings of life by making wise choices, with a positive attitude of gratitude. One should cultivate virtues of compassion by serving the others with spiritual understanding of righteousness. We should do the things that we should do and renounce behaviors that are not worthy of us. We can be our real selves and follow our conscience to happiness. There is no point in our pretending to be victims. We are spiritual beings, innately endowed with limitless capacities, having a human experience. We can educate ourselves with prayer, meditation, contemplation, deliberation and reflection over the teachings of our faiths. We can choose a lifestyle which is supportive of our worthy purposes and spiritual aspirations. Let us wake up, grow up, do our duties, and flow in harmony with the rhythms of the universe. Let us offer our thanks for living happily in the Infinite Akal Purkh/ ਅਸੰਖ.

    ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥ Ŧūʼn mėrā piṯā ṯūʼnhai mėrā māṯā. Ŧūʼn mėrā banḏẖap ṯūʼn mėrā bẖarāṯā. Ŧūʼn mėrā rākẖā sabẖnī thā­ī ṯā bẖa­o kėhā kāṛā jī­o.

    You are my Father, and You are my Mother. You are my Relative, and You are my Brother. You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety?-----Guru Arjan, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 103-12

    Virinder
     
  5. mGg

    mGg
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    Piyare Veer Jio,
    This is yet another gem of an article. SHABD GURU Jee are Always there to guide us to the Path, as can be felt evident from anything and everything that takes you to the Recognition of/Merging with the SPREMEBEING (Agam, Agoachar, Alakh, Athaha) and our limited and narrow visions are only to be evaporated by the Warmth of that Bliss. Company of the GURMUKHS decisively keeps us on the Path as we learn, balance, practice, discuss (which is in the end only one thing- to Understand and sing praises of the ULTIMATE and be one with the ONE and living in Hukm and Raza) and keeps you on the Path to learning to attain the WHOLENESS. i can't help to say that the import of this Gurvichar process keeps us all away from the superficial reality and day-in-day-out becomes our connection to The SUPREMEBEING.

    i am soooooooooooo thankful to you for this post Virinder Veer Jee.

    Reading, Listening, Contemplating, Learning, Understanding and Practicing the REALITY... the way SHABD GURU Jee teach us all, is the Only Way to Reach our HOME.

    GURBANI es jag meh CHANAN.

    Charan sevak (Ukat siyaanap kachu nahi na hi kach ghaal, bharam bhai rakho mohu teh kaatoh janjaal!)
    WHEGURU Jee ka Khalsa WAHEGURU Jee ki Fateh.
     
  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Dr. D. P. Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Great article as usual, however I am a bit puzzled by your assertion in the following, especially the vegetarian diet:

    Can you please elaborate with examples from SGGS to clarify what you really mean and secondly, please check the interpretation from Prof. Sahib Singh to make sure it conveys the right message from Gurbani?

    Sri Granth: Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    Thanks

    Tejwant Singh

    INTOXICANTS FREE SIMPLE LIFE

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji describes the norms for a Sikh to live a life which does not harm their mind, health, others around them, society, or the environment.Therefore, Sikhs are prohibited from consuming tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicant, and keep a simple vegetarian diet. Gurmat is against causing cruelty and suffering to animals.


    sach mili-aa tin sofee-aa raakhan ka-o darvaar. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 15)

    i.e. Those who do not use intoxicants are true; they dwell in the Court of the Lord.


    kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi.

    tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 1377)



    i.e. Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell.

    It is now a known fact that smoking is both a primary and secondary health hazard. In addition to harming the environment, it has seriously deleterious effects on the person who smokes, on the bystander who breathes the secondhand smoke, and on the unborn foetus of the female smoker. Though this has only been scientifically verified in the last half century, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, listed the use of tobacco as one of the four major acts forbidden to initiated adherents of the Sikh religion. Though tobacco was introduced into India only in the mid-1600s, he had the wisdom to specifically interdict it in 1699. From its very beginning, Sikhism had forbidden the use of any intoxicants or mind-altering substances for any purpose except medicinal.
     
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  7. harbansj24

    harbansj24
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    Akal Takht tells Sikhs to go green
    Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal body, has embraced the save-the-environment mantra telling Sikhs across the world it was their "moral and religious duty" to care for the nature.
     
  8. drdpsn

    drdpsn Canada
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    Dear mGg ji and Tejwant Singh ji,

    WJKK WJKF,

    Thanks for your response to my article and also for seeking clarifications.

    Regarding your query 'keep a simple vegetarian diet' I wish to quote the following Gurbani quotes, which convey the above message.


    They burn away the bonds of the world, and eat a simple diet of grain and water.(SGGS p467)

    The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ((Pause)) Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.(SGGS p723)

    You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? (SGGS p1103)

    He kills his self-conceit, and does not kill anyone else. ((3)) (SGGS p1128)

    Even with only dry crusts of bread, and a hard floor on which to sleep, my life passes in peace and pleasure with my Beloved, O sisters. ((2)(3)(42)) (SGGS p1306)

    You say that the One Lord is in all, so why do you kill chickens? (SGGS p1350)

    Kabeer, I will remain in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, even if I have only coarse bread to eat. (SGGS p1369)

    Kabeer, they oppress living beings and kill them, and call it proper. (SGGS p1375)

    Kabeer, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent, if it is flavored with salt. Who would cut his throat, to have meat with his bread? ((188)) (SGGS p1374)

    Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ((233)) (SGGS p1377)


    Do not cause pain to any creature, Go back to your Home with honour. (SGGS, p322)


    However it may be noted that a lots of literatutre is available concerning Vegetarian versus Non-vegetarian eating. Even on SPN you may read about it.


    I believe that the above highlighted (blue) quote should be our guide to choose our food habits.


    I am grateful to all SPN readers, especially Aman Singh ji, V S Ggrewal ji, Harbansj24 ji, Gyani Jarnail Singh ji and others, who have spared their time to read my article and my special thanks to all those who have been kind enough to share their opinion about it.

    Harbansj24 Ji- thanks for conveying the latest news about the 'Akal Takhat telling Sikhs to go green'.

    WJKK WJKF
    DPSingh
     

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