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Happy Diwali - Red-Letter Day for Sikhs!

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Archived_Member16, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Red-Letter Day for Sikhs: The third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji institutionalized Diwali as on one of the most important day for Sikhs. On this day all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings at Goindwal. The foundation stone of ‘The Golden Temple’ was laid on Diwali in 1577. The day is also special as the Sixth Guru Hargobind was released along with 52 kings. The Muslim Emperor Jahengir, imprisoned the Guru and 52 kings in 1619 and the release is celebrated as ‘Bandi Chhorh Diwas’.
     

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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    1. GURU NANAK JI SAHIB..our AAD GURU...and Founder was also imprisoned by Babaar and then released after a few months. However SIKHS DONT celebrate this day as Bandi chorr because its DATE is FAR AWAY from Diwali.

    2. The DIWALI that "didnt happen"...was the Reason BHAI MANI SINGH JI was martyred by being cut JOINT BY JOINT. SIKHS "celebrate" Shaheedee...this by having Firecrackers, and Fireworks !! and lighting up their Homes..in deepmala...???? A similar way would be IF SIKHS began to "celebrate" June 4th Massacre in 1984 by also having firecrackers and Fireworks ??..and Light up their homes in deepmalas...????

    IMHO..lighting lamps, firecrackers and Fireworks is NOT right. No other Shahedee/Gurpurab/etc is celebrated in this way..why ???
    IF at all any celebration is in order..it should be KIRTAN and Gurbani kathas ONLY...so that we actually LEARN SOMETHING and APPLY it to change our lives.

    Another viewpoint of a Sikh..shared with you all...

    Bandhi-Chor or an Alibi?


    Every year, with arrival of Diwali I am forced to ponder over the hypocrisy that has entrenched our Sikh society. Sure, I am afraid to reason on Diwali/Bandi-Chor Diwas and its importance within the four walls of the Gurudwara, as it would amount to playing with sentiments and lead us nowhere.

    So for years I have started isolating myself more and more from this occasion. Unless of course there is great Keertan going on in the Gurudwara, I make it a point not to be present in any community celebrations on this day.

    Am I taking it too far?

    I don’t know. But I would surely appreciate if someone can help me understand why I should not take it too far!

    Here are some thoughts on Diwali/Bandhi Chor Diwas.

    Till date Historians have not reached a consensus on the period of Guru Hargobind Jis’ stay in the Fort of Gwalior. Historical texts indicate this period from as short as Forty days to as long as 12 years (Dabistan-I-Mazahi by Muhsin Fani). Some periods indicated in historical texts are 1617 – 19, 1609 – 1611, etc. Muhsin Fani is obviously wrong in stating the 12 year period because most of Gurus children were born during these years.

    We know that Indian Calendar system is lunar based and therefore the no. of days in the Solar based calendar does not match with Indian system. If we are not sure about Guru Hargoind Jis period of stay and his discharge from the Gwalior Prison, then how can we mathematically calculate that Bandhi Chor Gurpurab falls every year on the Hindu festival day of Diwali?

    If one may object to the above point, then let’s look at it the other way around. If we are sure that he was allowed to leave the prison on Diwali day, then historians should be able to work backwards and have a better understanding of the year of his release.

    But till date our historical records are vague about the period he was imprisoned and the year of his discharge.

    Some justify the use of heavy lighting at Darbar Sahib on Diwali by linking it with arrival of Guru Hargobind Ji to the city of Amritsar after having been released from Gwalior prison and having sought the release of Hindu nobles (and therefore Bandhi Chor) with his release. It is said that the residents of Amritsar lighted up their houses in happiness of his arrival.

    So what are we trying to celebrate on this day?

    Release of Bandhis from the Fort of Gwalior or the arrival of Guru Ji at Amritsar?

    NOTE:

    For Sikhs
    Bandhi Shor = Sept. 19
    And Arrival In Amritsar = Dec. 28
    So which is WHICH ?? The two dates are Far apart...

    If Guru Ji arrived at Amritsar on Diwali day, then wouldn’t it be but obvious that a large section of Hindu population residing in Amritsar would have as it is lighted up their houses because of the festive occasion of Diwali?

    If we are celebrating the release of Bandhis from the Fort of Gwalior on that day, then one wonders how would the message of release have reached Darbar Sahib the same day over a distance of 600 Kilometers for the Sangat there to have lighted up the lamps?

    While Bandhi Chor may be perceived as an important event by many Sikhs and I don't want to take away the importance from this event, but keep an open mind and think why is it that we Sikhs light up the Darbar Sahib on Bandhi Chor Gurpurab only?

    Aren't other Gurpurabs as much important?

    Isn't Gur-Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib important?

    Wouldn’t the arrival of Guru Tegh Bahadur to the city of Amritsar warrant the same kind of happiness as at the time of arrival of Guru Hargobind Ji?

    We don't light up Darbar Sahib in the same way on other important Gurupurabs, so why is it that we do it only on Diwali?

    Well let's not cheat ourselves. The reality is that in-spite of having been Sikhs for centuries, we still don't want to give up our past baggage of Hindu festivals.

    Every Year, come Diwali, Raagis in our Gurudwaras are heard singing the Shabad "Diwali Di Raat, Divey Baliyan". For the layman the singing of this Shabad of Bhai Gurdas, using an analogy line as the Asthai (Chorus) of the Shabad truly distorts the essence. Repeated singing of this Shabad on this occasion makes it appear that Diwali is a sanctioned festival in Sikhism. But a full reading of the Shabad conveys a totally different message. ( While singing Gurbani Kirtan the Rahao line is used as the Asthai(Chorus). In the case there is no Rahao line the last line is used as a the chorus as the main essence of the shabad is found there- Angad Singh)

    Essence of the Shabad is that pleasures of festivities, pilgrimages, etc are momentary and only an understanding of Gurus Shabad leads to prime pleasure of the mind.

    Bhai Gurdas Jis’ Vaar 19 Pauri 6

    Diwali Di Raat Devey Baliyan
    Tarey Jaat Sanat Ambar Bhaliyan
    Phula Di Bagat Chun Chun Chaliyan
    Tirath Jati Jat Nain Nihaliyan
    Har Chandauri Jhat Vasaye Uchaliyan
    Gurmukh Sukh Ful Daat Sabad Smaliyan

    Lamps are lighted on the night of Diwali festival; stars of different variety appear in the sky; in the gardens the flowers are there which are selectively plucked; the pilgrims going to pilgrimage centers are also seen and the imaginary habitats have been seen coming into being and vanishing. All these are momentary, but the Gurmukhs with the help of Word nourish the gift of the pleasure fruit.

    As most Sikhs originated from the Hindu mainstream, have we not found an Alibi (an excuse) in Bandi Chor for our inability to part with our past baggage of celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali?

    Amardeep Singh

    Also I would like to mention that most of these practises started when the hindu mahants were incharge of the Harminder Sahib. There were times when people met up during diwali..Bhai Mani Singh Jee had organized a gathering on Diwali day but not with the intent of celebrating diwali..the intent was to meet up with fellow sikhs.

    On diwali day go to gurudawara but keep in mind why are we celebrating bandhi chore..

    Angad Singh
     
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    #2 Gyani Jarnail Singh, Oct 15, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Read the Artilce..Diwali and Sikhi by Dr. karminder Singh Dhillon
    It appeared in the Nov/Dec Issue fo The Sikh bulletin USA on Page 5 onwards.
     
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  5. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    In India, Divali Day (the Indian festival of lights) is celebrated by lighting candles. The people usually gamble, and if you ask them why, they will tell you that by gambling on that day our births and deaths will cease. There is a kind of gambling that finishes up the incarnations, but what kind of gambling it is, very few really know. The true gambling lies in sacrificing all other things - body and its environments - for the purpose of enkindling the Light within. Being ignorant of the true gambling, they started outer gambling instead; and the people blindly follow them, without going into the truth of it. He who will see the Light within withdraws his attention from the outgoing faculties and outer objects. Even in the field of spiritual matters, everyone is singing the name of God on top notes - no one stops to think exactly what those names stand for. Every religion contains the same basic teachings in the various languages: that is, in Naam, Word, etc., lies salvation, and not in any other teaching.

    All religions encourage the reading of holy scriptures - that is to understand the subject, the theory; it is not necessary to make a lot of noise by singing and playing tunes to the words. The words are there to give thought to the subject. Very few will think on the words of the hymn, or what they denote. People imagine that merely reading out the words, parrot-like, is enough. Sometimes they shout the words at the tops of their voices, and even clap the hands and read - the more noise, the happier they are. But if the words were read like this for one hundred years without a pause, it would be of little avail. In the Shrimad Bhagavat it says that God cannot be realized just by reading the Vedas. Guru Nanak has said, "To read year by year, month by month, with intense yearning while the breath lasts; O Nanak, this avails nothing unless the written word is lived." Reading alone is valueless; the teaching must be followed.

    The greatest aspiration of human life is to realize God: the God which expressed Himself into Creation, the Maker of Khand and Brahmand (astral and causal planes), the Sustainer of all things. In the language of the Saints, that God expressed is called Naam, through which they say the soul can gain salvation, irrespective of religion. The Ultimate or Absolute Lord is Nameless, but that which came into expression is called Naam, or Shabd, or Word - the God-into-Expression Power, which is not separate from His creation. "World is the room of Truth, and Truth resides therein." If the scriptures are read for long enough, it may be possible to gain some power of concentration and thereby perform small "miracles"; but there is no true awareness in this.

    Excerpts from NEVER DANCE TO THE WORLD'S TUNE
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

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    Gyani ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thank you very much for the insights from yourself as usual and other learned seekers- Sikhs.

    Our Hindu baggage is like a monkey on our back, rather than taking this monkey off our back with the help of our wonderful Toolbox called the SGGS, our ONLY GURU, we nurture it instead, by feeding more bananas to it.


    Tejwant Singh
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Teji Ji,
    Gurfateh.

    Monkey analogy...is absolute fact...in fact methinks the "monkey" is now so big that the monkey riding piggyback.....is more visible than the "carrier". Sikhi is being buried under this extra weight which continues to increase day by day..
    The Toolbox is getting more and more inaccesible, especially those who feed the monkey and they dont give two hoots. In a fact they would love to have someone invent a symbolic "toolbox" that just looks like one but is actually a toy/symbol to be worn around the neck...small kirpan, khanda, miniature sggs..all on a small chain aroudn the neck..and karra on the wrist makes a perfect sikh for these people. Kesh and Kangha are superflous and unnecessary in this modern age and the kachera was never important anyway.
     
  8. harbansj24

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    Tejwant ji,

    Just a side comment. Feeding monkeys is now a declared offence in atleast in Delhi. The warning is prominently displayed at all public places and anyone caught feeding monkeys is actually prosecuted.

    This is because monkeys have become a big menace in place like Delhi and Bangalore.
    (It is said when Prince Ram was returning from Lanka with is Monkey army, some of them stayed back in Bangalore, many in Delhi and a few accompanied him all the way to Ayodhya. So Ayodhya also has quite a few!)
     
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  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Harbans Ji...
    :D:D:D:D:D
     
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  10. seeker3k

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    Dear Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji,

    All the things in sikhs and other religons are symbolic. People change to suite for them self.
    Can you or any other socarls make it cleal to me and others. When guru Gobind Singh gave the 5Ks the one was Kirpan. It was 3' long not 6". How it became 6" by whom?
    I am not very well educated have dificulty ready gurmukhi. I will be very thank full to you or any other that can explain it.
    By making it 6" did not broke the majore principle of Sikhism?

    seeker
     
  11. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    Those monkeys are needed in Japanese Restaurants as waiters who get paid peanuts.

    YouTube - Monkey waiters
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Harbans ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Perhaps because of this, the term " Monkey business" became famous..:)

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  13. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Is anyone aware that in certain "Chinese restaurants"...they have tables that have a small hole in the centre. Through this hole the TOP of a Live Monkey's HEAD is shoved through and the monkey is tied up tightly under the table. When the diners are ready to "order"...the Waiter will come with a Sharp machette..and slice off the top of the monkeys head..and the diners can then eat the FRESH BRAIN of the living monkey.....:crazy:
     
  14. harbansj24

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  15. Lucy Ahmed

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    I think it better not to keep grudges but instead try to forgive. We are already generations away civilized. Many loves had been born since then...so why dwell on the past too much. Keep on moving with "...change is the only constant we have in life".

    PEACE help us all to grow. :wah:
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Lucy..Thanks for this note of sanity...:D:D:D:D Forgiveness is the middle name of Sikhi !! SARBATT DA BHALLA.
     
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  17. Kookar Guru da

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    Vahiguru Jee Ka Khalsa
    Vahiguru Jee Kee Fateh !

    I agree (as usual) with Veer Jarnail Singh. This morning I sent the following text message to friends:

    "Bandi chhoR diwas diyan lakh lakh vadhaiyan. Sache patshah Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib ne 52 hindu rajean (kings) nu azadi ditee. Iss gal nu hindu khoob yaad rakhaN. Sikh kaum chaRhdi kala vich rahe, sach vaste laRda rahe."

    Reading the postings here, I must admit that the celebration of this bandi chhoR is rather contrived. However, I don't think Sikhs will ever stop celebrating diwali because it so ingrained. Therefore, the adoption of the same date for our purposes may not be such a bad thing. Most of the current Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter are in fact celebrated on the same date as previous pagan festivals. When Christianity spread in Europe, rather than trying to introduce new dates for Christian festivals, the existing pagan dates were simply taken over and renamed.

    In the same way, is there an argument to support the Sikh naming of diwali as "bandi chhoR diwas", given that Sikhs will not stop celebrating it and it's therefore better to at least use the day for our purposes? Not very purist I know, but a realistic approach?

    - Kookar

    Vahiguru Jee Ka Khalsa
    Vahiguru Jee Kee Fateh !
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    Kookar Guru da ji

    A really interesting thesis you are making. I never saw the connection until you pointed it out.:thumbup:
     
  19. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    There is myth associated with Diwali that if you do pooja keep your house clean and do lighting of your house then goddess Laxmi(money) will come to your home.It is one of the main reason that it is celebrated in such a large way.After all directly or indirectly we all are worshipper of money.

    Even hindu's who are hardly practising their religion turn religious on this day
    as they even can't afford money to go from their house
     
  20. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    This connection is absolutely correct...With one "observation"...the PAGANS are no more...to "celebrate" Christmas as Day of the SUN. Seen nay Posters in shopping Malls about the SUN ?? SO is SUNday..its for going to CHURCH..not pooja of the SUN !! on MONday no one even thinks about the MOON..or THURSday..about THOR God of thunder...

    SIKHS are a MINORITY....while the Christians BECAME the MAJORITY very soon and thus "conquered" the Pagan festivals and annihilated the Pagans.
    SIKHS have no such hope..not even in the distant future...

    A poor man passing by the shopfront of a Bannia (money lender) was astonished to see a HUGE PILE of Cash Notes/coins in the Shop Window behidn the Glass. Nearby was a Ntice that announced" Paiseh nu paissah khichda hai"..MONEY ATTRACTS MONEY. The poor man was wonderstruck and wnated to TEST this theory..but he ahd ONLY 1 Rupee...anyway he went into the shop and holding out hsi 1 Rupee note asked the Banniah..SHOW ME HOW my Rupee cna attract that PILE of Rupees over there . The Banniah grabbed the rupee from the poor mans hand..and TOSSED IT OVER TO HIS PILE..and announced..THERE YOU SEE..my PILE being BIGGER and more powerful...attracted YOUR RUPEE. Now go and leave me in PEACE.

    The SIKHS have the ONE RUPEE in hand....the Banniah will Never let them attract away his DIWALI with their one rupee bandi chhorr Divas...they are however FREE to JOIN the HEAP !! as many actually do JUST THAT..sheepishly smiling..Bnadi chhorr divas hai nah ji...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  21. Lucy Ahmed

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    I SAY......

    LIGHT UP YOUR HOMES AND ENJOY THE CELEBRATION!!!!!! HAPPY DIWALI!!

    The "meaning" is borne in upon your attitude my fellow SPN friends.

    ........I think....... Comes Christmas...there are many none Christians family are having Christmas trees up these days (in the Western world)....for the only reason...... BECAUSE OF OUR KIDS!! :rofl:

    PEACE BE UPON THE EARTH.. :ice:

    GOD IS FOR EVERYONE. :happy:
     
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