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Sikhism Guru Gobind Singh’s Ideal of Khalsa Commonwealth: A Continuum of Basic Philosophy

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Excerpt from "Guru Gobind Singh’s Ideal of Khalsa Commonwealth:
    A continuum of basic Philosophy" by Khushwant Singh
    First published in The Sikh Review: April 1981.

    First and foremost, we must never forget that Guru Gobind Singh did not change the religion preached by the preceding nine Gurus. On the contrary, his faith was in every way the logical development of the teachings and the traditions initiated by his predecessors. In Guru Gobind Singh’s teaching is found Guru Nanak’s fervent belief in the One God, who though beyond human comprehension can be experienced through love and practice of naam - the Name. In Guru’s teaching is also the second Guru, Angad’s exhortation to seva, the service of mankind; the third Guru Amar Das’s emphasis on mental and physical health. In Guru Gobind Singh we have the fourth Guru Ram Das’s creative ability. In him too we have the fifth Guru Arjun’s gentleness, his love of the Hindus and the Mussalman, his literary genius and his spirit of martyrdom. We also have (quite obviously) the sixth Guru Hargobind’s spirit of valour.

    guru-gobind.jpg

    And in Guru Gobind Singh’s writing there is his father Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru’s conviction that ‘once you extend a helping hand to raise the down-trodden, you must never let go that hand even though it cost you your life.’ Guru Gobind Singh had all that his predecessors Gurus had and something more - the power to change mice into men, to mould those men into a nation and then fire that nation with an ideal, the ideal of the Khalsa Commonwealth.

    Is it, then, very surprising that within a few days of the Guru’s death one of the Guru’s disciples, Banda, unfurled the Sikh flag within bow shot of the Mughal capital, Delhi, and within six years virtually destroyed the Mughal hegemony in Punjab?

    Is it, then, very surprising that the peasant fraternity of the Khalsa Misls was able to harass the greatest conquerors of the time, the Persian Nadir Shah, and the Afghan, Ahmed Shah Durrani, even check the northward upsurge of the Marathas and extend the sway of their arms from the Indus in the North - west to the Ganga in the East, from Himalayas in the North to the deserts of Sindh in the South?

    Is it, then, surprising that, for the first time in the history of India, it was the armies of the Sikh ruler, Ranjit Singh - and let me make it clear for the benefit of those constantly harp on the hatred between the Sikh and the Muslim - these were Muslim armies carrying a Sikh flag, that swept the tide of invasion back into the home-lands of the invaders - the Pathans, Bilochis and Afghans. And across the Himalayas into Tibet and China. Indeed is it very surprising?

    And, let it never be forgotten that these were the achievement of a people who formed less than one percent of the population of the country - a people who numbered less than one in one hundred - moulded the destinies of our vast sub-continent!

    What happened to us? Where did that breed of crusaders vanish? Why today have we fallen so low? What happened to us was that we let the spartan traditions of Guru Gobind Singh decay. We became rich and decadent and corrupt. We chose as leaders men who were rich and decadent and corrupt - men like Raja Lal Singh and Raja Tej Singh. These Brahmin Rajas sold us to our enemies.

    We should have learnt this lesson in 1849 when we lost our kingdom. We should have learnt all that we had - our valour in battle, our spirit of enterprise, our lust for living - we owed to this one man - Guru Gobind Singh. Drunk with power, we Sikhs abandoned the purity implicit in the Khalsa tradition. From crusaders we became mercenaries.

    We now face the same dilemma our forefathers did a hundred and fifty years ago. We have gone further away from the traditions of Guru Gobind Singh. And we have been betrayed by our leaders. Must we continue to sit back and suffer the process of dissolution to go on under our very noses?

    These are some of the questions that we may, with profit, ponder on the birth anniversary of the man we call our Guru, our Teacher.
     
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  3. Parma

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    This article sounds more like the work of a financial adviser more than an idealist but never the less good literary work. Nice lol:soccersingh:
     
    #2 Parma, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  4. Seeker2013

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    not only the sikhs, didn't the same happen with rajputs and marathas as well ?
    first they are poor, they don't have anything, they struggle and get kingdom , and riches come and they get spoilt. pattern is similar for all 3
     
  5. Parma

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    An exceptional Difference is in An Invincible force. As in Sikhism the King is the Siri Maharaj Guru Granth Sahib ji. A very clear exceptional difference of any other kingdom throughout history(if understood).
     
  6. guru Daas

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    Admin Singh ji,
    I think the problem is in the Sikh community.In the old days when a child was born in a sikh family the parents would start teaching them about sikhi & our gurus from early childhood but nowadays nobody bothers. These days when a child is born everybody in the family celebrates,they start planning about their child's future,they put him in private school for good education etc. but forget about the most important thing.They call themselves sikh but don't know a thing about sikhi. Many kids don't even know the names of our ten gurus anymore if you ask them. So i think that's a big issue in the panth today that parents aren't teaching kids about the true meaning of sikhi.
     
  7. Harry Haller

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    Funnily enough, I think the opposite is true, in the old days, when a child was born, the father would sit him on his knee and teach them all about Sikhi, except it was not Sikhi, it was normally a superstitious, Vedicised, Abrahamic version of Sikhi, which was then passed on to the next generation.

    Today, they do not do that, and the child grows up with an open mind, and if they choose to make more enquiries, get to educate themselves on the many options open to them, get to find out about the different views on Sikhism, and then make up their own mind.

    I would say to all parents, if you are not sure yourself about Sikhism, pass on playing the wise educator rather than filling your children's heads with superstitious rubbish and find out together.
     
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  8. guru Daas

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    The gurbani has all the answers about sikhi & how to be a true sikh.In the old days like when the ten gurus were around people used to read bani & understand it,keeping their hair,no drugs or alcohol etc but after the death of Guru Gobind Singh ji sikhs became power hunger & corrupt. There was a lot of disagreement between the sikh leaders about whats right & whats wrong & thats how the whole meaning of being a sikh changed eventually.
    Media also plays a big role in it cause what we watch,read & listen to on TV,Internet &Radio also influences our minds substantially.
     
    #7 guru Daas, Jan 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  9. Harry Haller

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    This may come as a shock to you, but there is quite a lot more to Sikhism and Sikh philosophy than keeping your hair and abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

    which is probably just as well given the state of the Punjab and the Sikh quom.

    Allow me to make an observation,.

    Not to cut ones hair and not to be a slave to drink and drugs only takes place when one is spiritually aware of the benefits and consequences of such, when one has reached this spiritual awareness, it is not a battle, it is who you are, ie ' I am someone for whom the latest fashionable haircut and getting off my head is just not interesting', now that is fair enough, I can respect that, in fact, I do respect that, hugely.

    I find it hard to understand those that go through a daily battle of purgatory in order to achieve this, the focus invariable tends to be not on the growth in spirituality that will bring about this change, but on denial of the very facets that should be a consequence. Keeping hair and not getting high is a consequence of the spirituality, focusing not on the spirituality but on the consequence seems a bit false to me.
     
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  10. guru Daas

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    It's true that sprituality comes first but to achieve that state of sprituality you need a discipline.
    Let's say I am trying to build a Muscular body then I must have a diet plan,I can't just say that I'll build my body first & the day I have done that that day I'll make a diet plan till then I'll eat whatever I like.Similarly you must have the discipline first only then you can achieve that sprituality.In the influence of Drugs & alcohol you have no control over you consciousness & to get to that spiritual level you need full focus & consciousness of the mind.Guru ji talks about it in gurbani:

    ਅਮਲ੝ ਗਲੋਲਾ ਕੂੜ ਕਾ ਦਿਤਾ ਦੇਵਣਹਾਰਿ ॥
    Amal galolĝ kūṛ kĝ ḝiṯĝ ḝėvaṇhĝr.
    The Great Giver has given the intoxicating drug of falsehood.


    ਮਤੀ ਮਰਣ੝ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਖ੝ਸੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ॥
    Maṯī maraṇ visĝriĝ kẖusī kīṯī ḝin cẖĝr.
    The people are intoxicated; they have forgotten death, and they have fun for a few days.


    ਸਚ੝ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਸੋਫੀਆ ਰਾਖਣ ਕਉ ਦਰਵਾਰ੝ ॥੧॥
    Sacẖ miliĝ ṯin sofīĝ rĝkẖaṇ kao ḝarvĝr. ॥1॥
    Those who do not use intoxicants are true; they dwell in the Court of the Lord. ॥1॥(SGGS p15)

    ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛ੝ਲੀ ਸ੝ਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੝ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
    kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi.
    Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine


    ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਝ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥
    tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. ॥233॥
    - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ॥233॥(SGGS p1377).
     
  11. Harry Haller

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    You seem to take these words very literally, whereas I am sure a bit more digging is required to get the true essence, for instance, in Sikhism there is no hell, in Sikhism, one is allowed to eat fish, and I am sure that not everyone who does'nt use intoxicants is true, my neighbour is teetotal and he is an utter scumbag, I do not think to give ones head to the Guru takes discipline, I am sure all it takes is love
     
  12. guru Daas

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    harry haller ji,
    No one has the complete understanding of SGGS ji,so it would be wrong to say that there is no hell or heaven in sikhism cause the words ਨਰਕ(Hell) & ਸੁਰਗ(Heaven) are mentinoed in gurbani quite a few times by different gurus.In some of the Shabads guru ji totally rejects the existence of hell or heaven but in others they explain hell & heaven. so the argument is on both sides.Like:

    ਕਵਨੁ ਨਰਕੁ ਕਿਆ ਸੁਰਗੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ਸੰਤਨ ਦੋਊ ਰਾਦੇ ||
    ਹਮ ਕਾਹੂ ਕੀ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕਢਤੇ ਅਪਨੇ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੇ ||੫||
    “What is hell, and what is heaven? The Saints reject them both. I have no obligation to either of them, by the Grace of my Guru. ||5||”
    (Ang 969)

    ਜਿਤਨੇ ਨਰਕ ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਭੋਗੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲੇਪੁ ਨ ਮਾਸਾ ਹੇ ||੧੨||
    As many hells there are, Manmukhs suffer through them all but Gurmukh don’t experience hell even one bit||੧੨||
    (Ang 1073)

    That's not true,there are many shabads where guru ji teaches us not to eat meat & use any intoxicants,

    ਬੰਦੇ ਚਸਮ ਦੀਦੰ ਫਨਾਇ॥
    O human being, whatever you can see with your eyes, shall perish.

    ਦੁਨੀਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਖੁਰਦਨੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਹਵਾਇ ਰਹਾਉ
    The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ||Pause||

    ਗੈਬਾਨ ਹੈਵਾਨ ਹਰਾਮ ਕੁਸਤਨੀ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਬਖੋਰਾਇ
    Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.

    ਦਿਲ ਕਬਜ ਕਬਜਾ ਕਾਦਰੋ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਜਾਇ ॥੨॥
    So control your urges, or else you will be seized by the Lord, and thrown into the tortures of hell. ||2||
    (Ang 723)

    ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਣਿਆ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਇ
    One person brings a full bottle, and another fills his cup.

    ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਮਤਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਰਲੁ ਪਵੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਇ
    Drinking the wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind;

    ਆਪਣਾ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਧਕੇ ਖਾਇ
    He cannot distinguish between his own and others, and he is struck down by his Lord and Master.

    ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ
    Drinking it, he forgets his Lord and Master, and he is punished in the Court of the Lord.

    ਝੂਠਾ ਮਦੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਪੀਚਈ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ
    Do not drink the false wine at all, if it is in your power.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਸਚੁ ਮਦੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਇ
    O Nanak, the True Guru comes and meets the mortal; by His Grace, one obtains the True Wine.

    ਸਦਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਹੈ ਮਹਲੀ ਪਾਵੈ ਥਾਉ ॥੧॥
    He shall dwell forever in the Love of the Lord Master, and obtain a seat in the Mansion of His Presence. ||1||
    (Ang 554).
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    by your logic then it is also wrong to say anything really, surely that applies to hair, drugs, meat, in fact, by that statement, as no one has complete understanding of SGGSji, one cannot definitively say anything.

    you mean its contradictory? maybe its only contradictory because you are not seeing the deeper meaning and relying on the surface words to be guided by? I do not accept the SGGSji to be contradictory, I accept it to be consistent and true.

    well, to my mind the above is not about heaven and hell, it is about the concepts of heaven and hell, it does not confirm them, it mentions them in context.

    Again, I am no expert, but to me this is simply saying that whatever earthly pleasures exists, the contentment and peace from truthful living, connection, far outweigh sensory pleasures.You may read this and forgo meat and alcohol and feel you are living by bani, I think there is more to it than just abstaining from ingestion.
     
  14. guru Daas

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    So you're suggesting that there is someone who knows SGGS inside out?There are Many Shabads in bani telling us not to eat meat or drugs etc. But nothing specific about hell or heaven that's why I said that.

    If you're saying that I'm not seeing the meaning meaning & relying on the surface words to be guided by then I must be wrong.



    You know what you are doing is you pick up one line from the Shabads & try to explain it whole.i have given some bani references but you haven't given any.so next time give some bani references instead of just speaking your mind & I'll agree with you completely.
    Anyways There is no good in stretching this discussion any further cause we have already taken it off the topic & the question asked by Admin Singh ji.
    Guru Kirpa
     
  15. Harry Haller

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    I would very much hope so, if in 500 years no one has understood SGGSji, then there is not much hope for the rest of us, I do not think it was written to not be understood, do you?

    I never thought of Sikhism as a don't do this, don't do that type of religion, it has no big stick, no carrot, in my opinion anyway, I believe each shabad to be a lesson to be learned, not a literal instruction, that is perhaps where we differ.

    What else can I say? If the tenth master was standing in front of you would you tell him that his preachings were confusing? contradictory? would you tell him, to use your words, that he is arguing both sides? no, of course you wouldn't, so why say it to our living Guru? The fault must lie with us, not the SGGS, if we are getting multiple meanings or multiple messages that is our fault, not the Guru's.




    actually that is what you are doing, all I am doing is watching and asking you to dig a bit deeper, I have no more knowledge than your goodself, more likely a lot less, however, for me , things have to add up, You cannot have Gurus preaching equality for all sexes, and then having multiple marriages, you cannot talk about acceptance of the will of god, and then bring in miracles, so although my knowledge is a lot less than yours, not to eat meat makes no sense to me, given the Gurus attitude to hunting and eating, it is sweating the small stuff, it is taking us away from the true beauty of Sikhism in my opinion, it is worrying about whether we have done this, or done that, or wearing this or that, or chanting this at a full moon, it all goes back to pointless ritual, which we were told is err pointless.

    sure, no problem, I will give my interpretation and you give yours,

    ਗੂਜਰੀ

    गूजरी ॥

    Gūjrī.

    Goojaree:


    ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਲਛਮੀ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ

    अंति कालि जो लछमी सिमरै ऐसी चिंता महि जे मरै ॥

    Anṯ kāl jo lacẖẖmī simrai aisī cẖinṯā mėh je marai.

    At the very last moment, one who thinks of wealth, and dies in such thoughts,


    ਸਰਪ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੧॥

    सरप जोनि वलि वलि अउतरै ॥१॥

    Sarap jon val val a▫uṯarai. ||1||

    shall be reincarnated over and over again, in the form of serpents. ||1||


    ਅਰੀ ਬਾਈ ਗੋਬਿਦ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਤਿ ਬੀਸਰੈ ਰਹਾਉ

    अरी बाई गोबिद नामु मति बीसरै ॥ रहाउ ॥

    Arī bā▫ī gobiḏ nām maṯ bīsrai. Rahā▫o.

    O sister, do not forget the Name of the Lord of the Universe. ||Pause||


    ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ

    अंति कालि जो इसत्री सिमरै ऐसी चिंता महि जे मरै ॥

    Anṯ kāl jo isṯarī simrai aisī cẖinṯā mėh je marai.

    At the very last moment, he who thinks of women, and dies in such thoughts,


    ਬੇਸਵਾ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੨॥

    बेसवा जोनि वलि वलि अउतरै ॥२॥

    Besvā jon val val a▫uṯarai. ||2||

    shall be reincarnated over and over again as a prostitute. ||2||


    ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਲੜਿਕੇ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ

    अंति कालि जो लड़िके सिमरै ऐसी चिंता महि जे मरै ॥

    Anṯ kāl jo laṛike simrai aisī cẖinṯā mėh je marai.

    At the very last moment, one who thinks of his children, and dies in such thoughts,


    ਸੂਕਰ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੩॥

    सूकर जोनि वलि वलि अउतरै ॥३॥

    Sūkar jon val val a▫uṯarai. ||3||

    shall be reincarnated over and over again as a pig. ||3||


    ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਜੋ ਮੰਦਰ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ

    अंति कालि जो मंदर सिमरै ऐसी चिंता महि जे मरै ॥

    Anṯ kāl jo manḏar simrai aisī cẖinṯā mėh je marai.

    At the very last moment, one who thinks of mansions, and dies in such thoughts,


    ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਜੋਨਿ ਵਲਿ ਵਲਿ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੪॥

    प्रेत जोनि वलि वलि अउतरै ॥४॥

    Pareṯ jon val val a▫uṯarai. ||4||

    shall be reincarnated over and over again as a goblin. ||4||


    ਅੰਤਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੁ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਐਸੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ

    अंति कालि नाराइणु सिमरै ऐसी चिंता महि जे मरै ॥

    Anṯ kāl nārā▫iṇ simrai aisī cẖinṯā mėh je marai.

    At the very last moment, one who thinks of the Lord, and dies in such thoughts,


    ਬਦਤਿ ਤਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਪੀਤੰਬਰੁ ਵਾ ਕੇ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਸੈ ॥੫॥੨॥

    बदति तिलोचनु ते नर मुकता पीत्मबरु वा के रिदै बसै ॥५॥२॥

    Baḏaṯ ṯilocẖan ṯe nar mukṯā pīṯambar vā ke riḏai basai. ||5||2||

    says Trilochan, that man shall be liberated; the Lord shall abide in his heart. ||5||2||

    Ok, what this shabad says to me is

    Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny

    it is not about physical death, nor reincarnation, in my opinion,

    what is yours?
     
  16. guru Daas

    guru Daas Australia
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    I agree that it was written to be understood but i think only our gurus & very few others who have reached that level of spirituality can understand it entirely. We as sikhs are supposed to read bani,learn from it & put it in practice in our lives but we haven't achieved that stage of consciousness yet that we can say that we understand everything about gurbani & that goes only for me i'm not talking about other people. A single word of gurmakhi from a shabad of bani has a lot of different meanings in different languages like Sanskrit,hindi,modern punjabi,english etc.So,an entire shabad can be taken in a number of different ways,it all depends on how we think of it & how we take it.

    When Guru Gobind Singh ji set some Rehats & rules for the Khalsa to follow the must have had something in mind. They can't be worng.

    To me it says that in this life of ours some people pursuit after money & mansions,some after women & some controlled by attachment only think of their kids but the reality is that they are just wasting there lives running after there earthly desires & attachments. None of these will get them salvation. Instead what they should be doing is meditating on the name of that divine akal purakh. Only then they will be liberated.
    Forgive me for my lack of knowledge.
     
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    #15 guru Daas, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

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