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Krodh (anger or rage)

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by arshi, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    KRODH (ANGER OR RAGE)

    by Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’

    THE BASIC DEFINITION

    Krodh (or krodha) has its Sanskrit derivation meaning wrath or rage. In English too we may refer to it as anger, rage, wrath or ire. Krodh, an expression of emotional energy, is destructive if handled wrongly and irresponsibly. Krodh may be expressed in several forms from intensive simmering emotions, welled up inside a person, to an emotional eruption of the most violent and hysterical type.

    There is really no direct English translation of krodh (as we understand it from Gurbani). Whilst rage is perceived as the violent extreme, anger is the milder version of krodh. The need to differentiate between gussa (ਗੁਸਾ)– anger - and rage is therefore important, although common anger can easily develop into hatred and rage.

    Negative emotions arising‘within’ manifest themselves in violent forces of destruction ‘without’. Negative emotions gradually surrender to rage which, if not controlled, will erupt, causing havoc and destruction outside through violent action and reaction on part of the individual concerned. As a consequence it results in misery for both the offending person and many others. The destructive fire of Krodh spreads and engulfs families, communities and even nations. Krodh fired by ambition is even more dangerous. It has caused world unrest which we can see happening in our own lifetime.

    GURBANI ON KRODH

    In Gurbani krodh and kaam are often quoted together which suggests that there is a co-relation between the two, i.e. one interacts on the other. In the earlier article (Kaam – lust) Guru Nanak’s verse stated:

    Kaam krodh kaya ko galeay; join kanchan sohaga dhaaley (Ramakali M.1 SGGS 932)

    Lust and rage eats into the body as borax melts gold.

    The two (kaam and krodh) are, therefore, inter-related. Kaam derives from the term kaamna. Whilst kaam is defined as a desire for sensual pleasure, kaamna is the term used for a general desire of worldly goods, pleasures and even spiritual experiences. When a person is unable to fulfill his or her kaamna (desire) of whatever nature, the frustration may slowly or suddenly manifest itself in the form of krodh. Often it is ego which drives kaamna and when unfulfilled it gives birth toKrodh. In one sense this is good news as conquering one will automatically assist in overcoming the others.

    Referring to kaam Guru Arjan proclaims:

    Hey kaamangbisramang b-hu jonee bharmaavaneh (Sahaskriti M. 5 - SGGS 1358)

    O kaam you take beings in your evil grip and then you drive them into the realm of Hell and place them in a perpetual cycle of life and death. The effects of kaam have been dealt with in detail in an earlier article.


    Similarly, Guru Arjan addresses krodh directly when he says (SGGS 1358):

    Hey kal mool krodh-ang kadanch karunaa na uparjatay. bikh-yant jeevang vas-yang karot nirt-yangkarot jathaa marakteh.

    O krodh you are the root causeof strife (suffering and misery). You are devoid of mercy and compassion. You have stranglehold over men given to vicious and evil tendencies. You incite them to unholy acts as they dance to your eerie tunes like monkeys.

    Thus krodh if not controlled will become the root cause of many other ills. Victims of krodh become extremely selfish and anti-social.

    Guru Arjan goes on to say:
    Anik saasan taarhant jamdooteh tav sangay adhaman narah. deen dukh bhanjan da-yaal parabh naanak sarab jee-a rakh-yaa karot (SGGS 1358).

    In your company human beings imbibe lowly habits. They are punished by the messenger of Death in various ways. Only the merciful Lord, O Nanak can protect us from the evil grip of krodh.

    IMPACT OF KRODH ON INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY

    Thus under the influence of krodh a person can give into violent emotions which then lead on to self-destruction. Where the person concerned is powerful it would result in even greater destruction of life and society in general. History bears testimony to the fact that man imbued with the intoxication of negative emotions of ego and wrath have destroyed entire nations and in the process brought about their own self-destruction.

    It is a well known and observed fact that anger impairs clear thinking and results in the loss of composure and equilibrium. It has been seen how in the law courts lawyers use the ploy of winding up witnesses, to enrage them to such a degree that they lose their composure and blurt out things they would not otherwise say, often incriminating themselves. A person inflicted with rage loses all rationality. Constant anger in a person not only impairs mental faculties but also affect physical and spiritual well being of that person. It becomes an obstacle in the soul’s path towards spiritual progression. Guru Nanak quite aptly observes that Lust and rage eats into the body as borax melts gold (Kaam krodh kaya ko galea; join kanchan sohaga dhaale). Thus rage has the potential to attack inwards and outwards. Inwards - it destroys the individual who generates rage and outwards – it hurts the subject matter the rage is aimed at. In the process rage causes bitterness hatred, damages relationships of families, communities and sometimes whole nations.

    Guru Nanak warns about these negative attributes when he says:

    hans haytu lobh kop chaarey nadia aag (SGGS 147).

    Cruelty (violence), attachment, greed and anger (wrath) are like four rivers of fire. Those who succumb to worldly temptations will fall and burn. Only through God’s Grace, says Nanak, may one swim across.

    God’s Grace can only be earned though humility, compassion and meditation. Sikhism believes it is only natural to have emotions but these emotions must be channeled into positive attributes of life such as humility, courage, selflessness and serenity i.e. those attributes which will benefit the society. Used negatively such emotions will certainly lead to destruction. Attributes such as humility, courage, selflessness and serenity can be seen in saints.

    Bhagat Puran Singh of Pingalwara fame comes to mind, a saint no lesser than Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa (a noble and saintly person) was fortunate to have had the support of the entire Christian world and also of Indians of all walks. However, Bhagat Puran Singh, whom I personally saw sitting barefoot on the pavement outside the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) collecting for the disabled, did not even have the support of the Sikh world. In 1990 I saw him sitting on the pavement outside the boundary of Harmandar Sahib, whilst the devotionally impotent thekedars of divinity sat inside, in air conditioned rooms issuing addicts which they personally do not follow. Bhagat Puran Singh Ji was a saint of the highest calibre. Baba Puran Singh Ji of Kericho Wale also comes to mind. If someone lived up to Guru Nanak’s hallmark of humility, it was Baba Puran Singh Ji, a figure of complete serenity and saintliness. You only have to visit the Soho Road (Nishkam Sewak Jatha) Gurdwara in Birmingham UK to see the miracle performed by this Saint. Other institutions are always appealing for funds, but this spiritual organisation is not only self-sufficient but finances several projects in India and other parts of the world. Baba Ji’s heritage was for many years in the devoted hands of Bhai Nararg Singh Ji and is now being ably, preserved and developed by Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji (see author’s note 1). There are many other great souls but I mentioned the above because I had the good fortune of meeting them. Great souls are figures of serenity, devoid of krodh and other negative attributes that so dominate human beings for the entirety of their lives.

    REMEDIES:

    Krodh must be controlled at the very least if not completely eradicated. The energy which fires up krodh should be diverted into righteous action. It must be channeled into valour and courage to stand up for Truth and protection of the weak and infirm.

    So how do you avoid an angry disposition?

    Keep good company

    Guru Ramdas Ji recommends:

    Unaa paas duaas na bhiteeai jin antar krodh chandaal (SGGS 40).

    Do not seek the company of people who harbour violent anger within their hearts. Krodh is to be vanquished. It must be removed from the psyche and soul of the jeeva. It is therefore important what company a person keeps. Friends react on each other. Guru ji offers sound advice in that one should seek company which would imbibe positive characteristics in a person.

    It is difficult to choose company in your work environment. However, as far as possible associate with persons subscribing to decent values.

    In your social environment, however, you have far more scope of seeking the company of saints and saintly persons. Guru Arjan beseeches:

    May my heart and soul abide at Your Feet, and may I have the privilege of the company of saints (Dhanaasaree M 5 SGGS 682).

    Do not hold grudges

    Guru Arjun Dev Ji prescribes

    Ros na kaahoo sung karhu aapan aap beechaar. ho-ay nimaanaa jag rahhu Nanak nadree paar (SGGS 259).

    Do not be bitter against (or angry with) anyone. Search your inner self and nurture humility in both word and deed. With His Grace, O Nanak you will cross the ocean of Maya into the Realm of Bliss (i.e. achieve moksha).

    Often people may hurt your feelings and it is not always easy to ignore or forgive. But tolerance needs to be cultivated. This can only be done by constant self-appraisal. Reacting in the same manner as the aggressor is not in your interest as such reaction may do you more harm than good. It may cause bitterness which in turn will generate anger and you become just as negative as the person who offended you. Nurture humility within thyself and it will assist you in ignoring slights and insults from people who are up to no good and who do not deserve a response from you.

    Tolerance: Return ‘good’ for ‘wrong’

    Shaikh Farid, a Thirteenth-century Sufi saint, whose compositions are enshrined in the Guru Granth sahib (SGGS 1381 – 82) emphasises tolerance and forgiveness when he says

    Faridaa buray daa bhalaa kar gussaa man na hadhaaey; dayhee roag na lagee palae sabh kichh paeay.

    O Farid, do good unto him who has done you wrong; do not harbour any anger in your mind (heart). You body (mind and spirit) will not be afflicted by any disease and His blessings will fall into your lap.

    It is easier to offend than to forgive. Therefore it needs a greater person to forgive than the one who offends. Forgiveness must not always be seen as giving into or acceptance of the other person’s values. Often it is better to agree to disagree. Holding grudges is bad for one’s mind and soul. A good deed in return of a wrong often removes misunderstandings and become the basis of long standing relationships.

    It can be clearly gleaned from the above that the virtues which we need to be develop are courage, patience and tolerance.

    RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

    There are instances, however, when one cannot always turn the other cheek. There is, ofcourse, a limit to tolerance. If the enemy persists in causing harm it is only natural to retaliate. It is just to stand up to oppression and cruelty. In these cases the sameenergy inherent in krodh (rage), if handled correctly can be a big asset in military action. Many a brave soldier has won medals for courage beyond the call of duty.

    When Guru Gobind Singh Ji fought the Battle of Bhangani (the famous Bhangani Judh), he came face to face with the most gallant and skilful of archers, Raja Hari Chand Handooria (one of the mountain kings). His reputation was like that of Arjun of Mahabharata. Hari Chand never missed his target. Like Arjun he could hit the most difficult of targets. Guru Ji offered Hari Chand ‘first blood’. Hari Chand aimed at Guru Ji but the arrow hit Guru Sahib’s horse. Hari Chand’s second arrow brushed past Guru Ji’s ear. Offered a third chance Hari Chand had partial success. The arrow pierced Guru Ji’s belt and apart from a minor graze did not cause any serious injury. However, it did cause enough concern and offence for Guru Ji to react promptly. At this point he came into his military wrath and aimed at Hari Chand. The proud Raja fell and breathed his last. In his autobiography Guru Ji states “jabe baan lageo tabe roess jagaio” – meaning - the military wrath in me awakened as the arrow landed on target causing righteous indignation. In this Guru Ji has superbly summarized the concept of self-defence and non-aggression. It also shows how the negative energy of krodh is transformed into positive and righteous action of valour and gallantry.

    Current examples of righteous indignation:

    Cricket 2007 20/20 World Cup: When Yuvraj Singh was teased and taunted by the famous English all rounder Andrew Flintoff, the latter’s idea was to annoy and anger Yuvraj into making a mistake. However, Yuvraj controlled, harnessed and channeled his anger into positive action and replied with six glorious sixes which won the match for India.

    2008 Cricket Triangular series: Similarly Harbhajan Singh defied Australian sledging (2) and frustrated the Australian bowlers in his late-wicket stand with Tendulkar. Harbhajan went further and stood steadfast amidst the Andrew Symonds controversy. His courage won him countless supporters world wide not to mention the rank and file of Indian population back home... On one occasion he observed that Guru Gobind Singh said one Sikh is sufficient for all the ‘sledgers’ and critics in the world. Through his courage he unnerved the Australians so much that the latter went on to lose the one day finals in their own backyard. The whole of Team India became focused and fought the finals with courage and resolve. A lot of the credit for this goes to ‘Bhajji’, as he is affectionately known, for spurring India to victory.



    CONCLUSION
    Energy channeled into krodh will generate more negative attributes and produce negative results. It will cultivate in the person hatred, despondency, depression and animosity to name just a few. However, if the same fire (energy) is channeled into good actions it would produce courage, gallantry, harmony, peace and justice, a few among many other positive attributes.

    Righteous indignation against injustice, offering resistance against tyranny and opposition to evil cannot be seen a negative derivative of krodh. Such resistance can only be equated with courage, gallantry and valour. In his autobiography Guru Gobind Singh writes:

    When all means of addressing a wrong fail, it is just and righteous to pick up the sword 1(Guru Gobind Singh – Zafarnaama).

    Most of us all given to bouts of anger every now and then. Such are the pressures of modern day life. It is important that we check our anger immediately before it becomes a habit and takes root and grows into hatred and violent rage (the most horrid and ugly form of krodh). If and when this happens remember Farid’s advice (above) “Faridaa buray daa bhalaa gussaa man na hadhaaey”.


    (1) cu kwr Az hmh hIlqy dr guzSq ] hlwl Asq burdn b SmSIr dsq ]
    Chun kaar hamah heelteay dar guzashat; halal ast burdean b shamsheerey dust.

    (2) Sledging is the practice in cricket of insulting opponents to break their concentration, particularly when batting, and cause them into make fatal mistakes and getting dismissed. Sledging and banter on the field, within limits, is tolerated in the spirit of the game.


    Author's notes:

    1. Although the author has briefly met Baba Puran Singh Ji Kericho Wale, Bhai Nararg Singh Ji and Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji and even spoken and performed kirtan at the Soho Road Gurdwara, Birmingham, he has never been a member of the organization, but greatly admires its work.

    2. For simplicity, throughout this article, I have referred to the masculine gender but, wherever appropriate, this should be read as including the female gender.

    3. Differences of opinion are inevitable when interpreting Gurbani. The author most humbly regrets any inaccuracy or errors in quoting or interpreting Gurbani and prays Satguru grants him the boon of greater insight into understanding the Guru’s word.
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    absolutely beautiful...i really enjoyed this. Will go through again.....Khavo Bhuncho style...
    Thanks bhai shaib jio...:p:yes:
     
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  4. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Thanks Gyani ji

    You comments have really touched my heart. The effort that goes into writing seems all the more worthwhile when appreciation comes from a vidvaan of your calibre.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh 'Arshi'
     
  5. vsgrewal48895

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    ANGER/ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ

    ABSTRACT

    Anger is the inability to bear a situation or an object. It may cause an intention to do harm to the object. Anger can manifest itself as an aversion – in its exaggerated form. It is next to lust and one of the major components of the lower (animal) instincts with which we are born with. It is one of the normal feelings of an individual. It is an emotion of displeasure. He who angers you conquers you. No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. When we work through anger, our goal is to find other interpretations or conclusions so that our feelings of anger will be diminished in a calmer consideration of the situation.

    The full article can be found at this link
    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/spiritual-articles/24273-anger.html
     
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    #4 vsgrewal48895, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2009
  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Arshi ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    First of all thanks for the wonderful write-up.

    Allow me to add my 2 cent worth. Life is nothing but a clump of energy. With a lead pencil, by using the same energy, we can kill someone or draw like Leonardo da Vinci or Sobha Singh. It just depends on how we channelise our energy.

    If we use Gurbani as our catalyst to channelise our energy, we are all capable of becoming Leonardos, Sobha Singhs or better, Nanaks.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  7. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Great article.

    On this point:

    I don't think I would be as charitable as you have been to the above Karichowalay. They follow their own maryada in many respects, and this sect was a reactionary one to the rife alcoholism that was around in Kenya, when they were formed. In that respect they were good for one specific purpose, but for other aspects they fail.


    • They do not allow people outside their clique to do sewa.
    • when taking Amrit they don't quote the SRM verbatim especially on Kuttha.
    • They do not have pictures of Gurus (which is good), but have pictures of their Sant instead
    • They herd people around like cattle and are very abusive to people do not sit where they want them to.
    • They are extremely prejudiced towards Monay/Sahajdhari Sikhs and treat them like dirt.

    I do not think they are different from any derawalay/sects/cults in Sikhism.
     
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  8. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Randip Singh ji

    First of all many thanks for appreciating the article. Coming from critics of your quality, this is indeed high praise….. again thank you.

    You think that you would not be as charitable to Karichowalay. That is absolutely your prerogative. But I think that is half the trouble we have these days – we dig up our trenches, vowing not to give in ground, even when sometimes we realize we may be wrong. A little bit of tolerance and understanding goes a long way in resolving differences, and we need a lot of that in the Sikh Panth.

    I half expected some kind of reaction from you and that is why I inserted the footnote that I am not a member of this sanstha although some members of my family, and friends (all extremely decent and God fearing people) are.

    A few youngsters, who in the early 1970s looked upon me as role model, have risen spiritually (higher than me) by connecting to the Nishkam Sevak Jatha. If I were to consider linking to a sanstha then this would be amongst the top ones on my list. To date, I am not linked to any organization or group.

    Both my parents and my father in law (all very devoted and prominent Sikhs of their time) knew Sant Puran Singh ji very well. I too, in my early twenties occasionally attended kirtan when Sant ji traveled to Nairobi from Kericho, although at that time I was not too deep into religion (I was more into singing Punjabi and filmi songs on the stage and radio) and did not appreciate Sant ji’s greatness.

    My father-in law could recite most of Adi Granth by heart and was revered amongst the prominent parcharaks and kirtini jathas visiting Kenya from India. Paathis would often consult him on the correct pronunciation and interpretation of Bani, such was his knowledge and reputation. He used to meet most saints, amongst them, Sant Mani Singh ji, Sant Isher Singh Raare Waale, Sant Gurdev Singh ji Kaleran Waale and of course Baba Puran Singh ji Kericho Waale. My father-in-law’s greatness lay in the fact that whilst he respected them he never aligned himself to any particular group and remained a mainstream Sikh, participating as one of the Five Beloved in many amrit sanchar programmes.

    As far your comments are concerned, I do not know whether these are based on first hand experience or hearsay. I have been to the Soho Road Gurdwara (I do not know much about the Leeds Gurdwara) many times when attending wedding or Akhand Path invitations and on every occasion I have been treated with utmost respect and did not notice any untoward behaviour towards ‘monay/Sahajdhari’ bretheren. All the sewadars are doing is to observe discipline, particularly in the Darbar Sahib and the langar precincts. I think all Gurdwaras should emulate this.

    I have never seen any one picked upon based on their appearance, and in fact I personally was picked on (for holding conversation in the corridor) on one or two occasions, justifiably, even though I am visibly a ‘proper’ Sikh in their eyes.

    You write “this sect was a reactionary one to the rife alcoholism that was around in Kenya, when they were formed.” You are of course fully entitled to your opinion. However, I feel you are belittling the achievements of Baba Puran Singh ji as his reform went much further than that. He inspired numerous individuals and brought them back into the fold.

    As far as alcoholism was concerned, it was certainly not rife compared to today’s standards, only the minority who did drink made themselves known. As you well know, it is always the minority who make themselves heard. I read somewhere on this site that despite thousands of members only about twenty or thirty post regularly on the SPN site. Unfortunately, when one Sikh drinks who also does so like a sava lakh (125,000). In the fifties and sixties there were very few bars (as they were called) and these were mostly frequented by the ‘musungus’ (whites) and the indigenous population. Apart from Mahindra’s Bar and one or two others none were operated by Sikhs.

    My main reason for posting articles on SPN is to focus on my spirituality and help others do the same, and I hope I will be able to carry on with this. I am approaching 68 and have little desire to engage in debate and arguments on the internet - time for me is running out. However since both of us are based in the UK, our paths will cross one day and perhaps we can have a face to face discussion on the issues you have raised, preferably in the presence of member(s) of the Nishkam Sevak Jatha (if they agree), as it is only fair – although I am in no rush for that either. It serves little purpose, at least in my humble opinion, to clutter up broadband space and cause unnecessary confusion amongst the wider cyber sangat. However, I respect your right to raise concerns and I would not hold that against you.

    Again, thanks for reading and appreciating the article.

    Humbly.

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
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  9. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Well, like I said you are being charitable and I apologise now if I offend.

    GNNSJ, alongside AKJ, DDT, Rarionwalay and Namdhari's, would be on the bottom of my list of sects to join (if I was forced to join one). In fact I would go as far to say, if their beliefs became mainstream I would leave Sikhism.

    This is based on first hand experience of them, and their members.

    I simply do not like the idea of one person being in charge. It is dictatorial, and goes against the democratic principles of Sikhi. My mother in law said to me, at least their are no fights, and I said to her their used to be fist fights on the floor of the House of Commons, but there are not anymore......that is how democracy evolves. I prefer an imperfect democracy to a dictatorship.

    Sikhi is about Guru Granth and Guru Paanth. Not Guru Granth and Guru Sant!

    Sikhi is democracy, in a spiritual form. The minute we err from that we distort Sikhi.


    See this is the sort of behaviour by them I detest!

    So what if people are talking in corridors. Do they even understand the thinking behind a Gurudwara? Why was it justifiable for them to tell you off?

    It is not only a place of worship, but a social institution, run by the people for the people, and if the people choose to have a chat in the corridor, it is no crime. They however are different because they are in effect run by a dictator, no different from Derawala's.

    Another incident that annoyed me was the Architecture they destroyed at the Golden temple.

    Brummies bodge Sikhs' holy shrine - World, News - The Independent

    All so they could feed their bloated ego's and announce how they did sewa at the Golden Temple. What Indira Gandhi could not destroyed they managed to. They were dubbed as "Guru No Clue Destroy It Jatha" here in the UK.

    Sorry about this, but Guru Nanak Niskam Sewak Jatha are Egotistical, Angry, Po Faced Autocrats. I have no time for them. I have been there several times at the behest of friends and each time I have observed disgraceful behaviour.

    I understand you want unity, but the ONLY way we will get UNITY is if ALL Jathas accept the Sikh Rehat Maryada as it is written and agreed to. Not their own interpretation.
     
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  10. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I have never seen any one picked upon based on their appearance, and in fact I personally was picked on (for holding conversation in the corridor) on one or two occasions, justifiably, even though I am visibly a ‘proper’ Sikh in their eyes.

    arshi ji, This also concerned me. I am speaking as a convert from Christianity. Congregations within almost every Christian denomination today are tearing themselves apart on distinctions regarding "proper;" and "proper" matters can range from major principles of dogma or theology, to whether or not someone got the "exactly correct" interpretation of a line from the Book of Proverbs, to whether a person "accepts Jesus as their personal saviour" 50 times a week, to whether they take the literal meaning of books of the Old Testament, to whether they will accept women as clergy or permit gays and lesbians to marry. These issues and more range all over the place in terms of their fundamental significance.

    What does that mean: Who is a "proper" Sikh? When every behavior, attitude, trait and disposition comes under a magnifying glass or is equally significant or important, bitterness and recrimination is bound to surface. Friends become enemies in due time over any level of disagreement. And enemies become demonic. Sikhism is young enough to steer clear of this with a little bit of wisdom and restraint.


    Forgive me if I have offended you in any way -- but it is a concern.
     
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  11. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Well as I said earlier, I am not a member of the Nishkam Sewak Jatha and it is not really my position to defend them although I do stand by what I said earlier. However. I will respond to couple of points raised earlier.

    Randeep ji wrote: “So what if people are talking in corridors. Do they even understand the thinking behind a Gurudwara? Why was it justifiable for them to tell you off?”

    The sheer volume of visitors to the Gurdwara make it imperative that the corridors are kept clear for the convenience of others, If discipline is not maintained than life gets difficult for every one concerned and it is only practical, polite and decent to oblige. Had the sewadar acted without reason, I being a fairly touchy person would have objected sharply. On one occasion, an individual I personally knew was blocking the very narrow serving aisle (strategic for serving purposes) in the langar hall. He was asked, politely, to move but retorted very rudely. I do agree there are always a few overzealous sewadars, but then you would find them in any place. There are areas in the Gurdwara precinct where individuals can converse at ease and I have never usually had a problem with that.

    I do acknowledge the point that too must power must not vest in one person. However, even in ‘non-personality’ dominated places (i.e. mainstream Gurdwaras) the power normally vests in a closely knit group of persons and it is extremely difficult for outsiders to break into the inner circle. Democracy in most such places manifests itself in fights and brawls at election time, involving police and court cases. Many youngsters are walking away from such Gurdwaras. I am not debating any issue here but merely expressing the helplessness in which we find ourselves and just sharing my thoughts. It is a ‘catch 22’ situation.

    As far as the Golden Temple architecture is concerned, I must confess I have no knowledge of this but if anyone is really concerned about this then he or she should take it up directly with the GNNSJ. My personal take on these matters is quite different – I believe feeding the starving is more important than the ornamentation of our places of worship – this is not only relevant to GNNSJ, but to all other organizations engaged in egotistical activities. I personally never handed any funds over to any organization, except when I perform kirtan, where all donations from the sangat are donated back to the Gurdwara where the programme is held. I earn my living from my professional career and all kirtan sewa is nishaam sewa – I never even touch/handle (literally) such money. Any contributions I make, for dharmic purposes, from my own earnings, with the grace of the Guru, are based on merit.

    Finally, as stated in my earlier post my main aim of registering on SPN was to contribute in the form of articles based on Gurbani and Gurmat and not to become embroiled in any political issues. If I do not respond to any such issues in the future, it is not because of arrogance but only to maintain my own fragile and unstable spiritual balance.

    Bhul chuk dee khima.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
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  12. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Narayanjot Kaur ji

    The main objective in looking closely at the five thieves (evils) is to find peace within ourselves. I, therefore, constantly strive to overcome these stalwarts. You have not offended me in any way and, in fact, have raised some very profound, intelligent and valid points, which would require threads in their own right.

    You are absolutely right Sikhism is young enough to learn from the mistakes made by others.

    In the context of the current topic and situation in my exchange with Randeep Singh ji, I only used the term ‘proper’ to distinguish a ‘sabat soorat Sikh’ (i.e. based on outside appearance only) from a clean shaven one – it had no further implications. However, the point you have raised is a far reaching one.

    Many would define a proper Sikh as a ‘Gursikh’. Then, we would need to define the term ‘Gursikh’. Several definitions can be given for the term. We may define a Gursikh (or a Gurmukh) as one who believes in Guru Nanak and his nine successors, the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib and in addition receives khandey dee pahul. Above all he or she is expected to maintain a strict code of conduct as laid out in the Rehat Maryada. I don’t think I would qualify.

    Unfortunately, as you indicated, all this is easier said than agreed. We start highlighting our differences in the interpretation of Gurbani, Rehat Maryada and the proper procedure regarding initiation into the Khalsa Order (khandey dee pahul). We are increasingly finding differences of opinion on most of these, including the authenticity of some of the Banis used in the Amrit Sanchar ceremony.

    The fact that Sikhs are now scattered all over the world and western Sikhs are joining the rank and file has added a new dimension. The list of points of contention is expanding by the day, as do the number of splinter groups, often as a direct result of differences on theology and its interpretation. Sometimes individuals have vested interests and personal agendas in starting up new groups. The situation is getting complicated by the day and Sikhism is, no doubt, in for testing times ahead. Writing on Sikhism, too, is becoming an increasingly difficult activity, but it makes it ever the more challenging and interesting.

    Your short post said a lot and as I observed earlier it would need several threads (perhaps many a thesis) to do justice to these – but will it resolve anything? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
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  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    arshi ji

    Thank you for the time and effort in your thoughtful reply. ;)
     
  14. Randip Singh

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    They spent millions on that temple, and they got the design wrong on the corridors?

    hmmmm.

    A place where volumes of people come would and should have a lot of space to roam and stand. Look at the precincts around Harmandhir Sahib. The design still stands the test today.

    An imperfect democracy is still better than a perfect autocracy.

    In anycase you and I know of many perfectly run elected temples.



    Agree 100%

    They couls have helped the widows of Delhi (1984), or helped against female infanticide in Punjab, but I suppose they could not have announced them on microphones in their temple with the same effect.

    Miri and Piri are distinct and seperate, but one effects the other. To my mind this discussion is essentially about Krodh and Hankaar, and how it effects the decisions Jathas take.
     
  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Krodh and Hankaar are brothers...blood bonded brothers...wherever there is Hnakaar..there is bound to be Krodh lurking around....and then LOBH and MOH ( of kursee/power/position etc) joins them....and ONLY KAAM is left alone...BUT as we often see in the DERAS..the hankaree krodhi Babas/chelas soon fall under the Kaam Monster and thats when bibis and young girls get molested/raped and even murdered. So these Five THIEVES ( ROBBERS) are very very difficult to control...ONLY the Sacha Gurus Thaaprra on our Back can give us victory over them...
    Its OUR solemn DUTY to our Father Guru nanak Ji to LIVE our daily Lives as per GURBANI..and be an EXAMPLE of Gurmukhtaa to others...He lived His life that way..all the honored Martyrs lived that way..all puratn Sikhs and Singhs lived that way...lets do what we cna to follow in their huge footsteps...our feet are of clay and tiny..and their shoes are HUGE...but lets try anyway...
    Wram Regards to all...
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    This news item ref to the kar sewa Randip Ji mentioned in an earlier post is of interest (although not strictly about krodh)
    Just HISTORICAL Value as to HOW Gold Patras with ancient minakari art etc from the 1840's were REPLACED with modern ones thta have become discoloured in just 10 years...

    http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/ArticleText.aspx?article=15_09_2009_003_002&kword=&mode=1
    Part of Sikh history, see gold sheets now
    HARMANDAR SAHIB gold patras, removed during kar sewa in 1990s, lie
    sealed in a room without cover or coating

    : Eyebrows are being raised at the manner in which the Shiromani Gurdwara
    Parbandhak Committee has stored the gold sheets removed from Harmandar Sahib
    nearly a decade ago as part of "kar sewa".

    The "kar sewa" to renovate and restore the gold-plated cladding of Harmandar
    Sahib, along with the Darshani Deori, was initiated in 1994 by Guru Nanak

    Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ), a UK-based Sikh organisation.

    It concluded in 1999 and since then 3,278 gold sheets removed from the
    sanctum sanctorum --donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh -- are lying in the
    Harmandar Sahib Complex without proper conservation.

    According to Mehnga Singh, the main sewadaar of GNNSJ here, "All the gold
    patras that were removed from Harmandar Sahib were with us for nearly eight
    years. Despite repeated requests to the Harmandar Sahib authorities, nobody
    bothered to collect these. I was the guardian of these sheets all these
    years. The Harmandar Sahib authorities took the custody of gold sheets from
    us a year-anda-half back."

    Now the gold sheets have been kept in a sealed room adjacent to where Mehnga
    Singh resides in the Harmandar Sahib Complex. These are lying in the room
    without any cover or a special coating necessary for preservation.

    Mehnga Singh said the Harmandar Sahib authorities had made no special
    efforts to conserve the sheets, which had been part of the Sikh shrine for
    more than a century.

    "We have often suggested to the SGPC and Harmandar Sahib authorities to take
    care of these sheets. We also suggested keeping them in the museum or in an
    environment suitable for preservation. Presently, the gold sheets are in a
    very bad state."

    He said each gold sheet had been numbered and photographed.

    Talking to HT, the Manager of Harmandar Sahib, Balbir Singh, said, "The gold
    sheets are in our custody and we have kept them safely in a sealed room.
    They have been placed very carefully on separate wooden shelves. We have the
    exact record of each and every gold sheet."

    He claimed there was no need of any special preservation as the sheets were
    in a sealed room.
    "Sewadaars are always on duty in Harmandar Sahib Complex, so there is no
    security threat,"
    he said. However, the Manager welcomed the idea of keeping the gold sheets
    in the museum.
     
  17. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Randeep Singh ji

    It is nice to note that we do agree on some points.

    As far as Nishkam Sevak Jathaa is concerned, I maintain that on balance they do a lot of good than damage. Every sanstha has its weak points, e.g. overzealous sewadars (but the majority of them are dedicated and humble in my experience), congestion, tight corridors etc.

    I have seen this organization grow from scratch when Sant Puran Singh ji arrived in UK from Kenya in the early seventies - some of SPN members probably very young at the time. Most Gurdwaras, then, were managed by individuals who had absolutely no knowledge of what Sikhi was, and hence the beginning of SGNNS.

    Baba Puran Singh ji was the most humble person you could ever come across. He lived a very simple life, in a small house, constantly in meditative mood. He cut a serene figure and spoke very little and always encouraged sangat to link with the Shabad Guru. He was a great example of someone who had scored victory over the five stalwarts.

    I would not lump SGNNS with the deras. At SGNNS I know of individuals who share responsibilities just as they would do in any mainstream Gurdwara. From what I know and see, Bhai Mohinder Singh ji does not interfere in their work in any way. He personally devotes a lot of time and personal money sharing in the ‘dukh sukh’ of the members of the congregation. He puts in a lot of time in their hour of need, e.g. sudden tragedy – I have personal experience of this. Both Bhai Sahib and his wife are very down to earth individuals and extremely easy to talk to and exhibit no airs of ‘holier than thou attitude’. They are both well educated and make their living doing kirat like anyone else – so it is unfair to compare them with sants and babas who live on public funds. I know Bhai Mohinder Singh ji has attracted a lot of criticism from individuals based in Leeds for some reason – I had wanted to follow that and if I do I will share my views on this site.

    The ‘organisation’, if I may call it for the use of a better word, is growing at a very fast pace, in terms of numbers, finance and landscape. I am afraid most people (not directed at anyone on this site) are simply running jealous and pointing fingers.

    However, I have gone on for too long on this issue – the discussion here is about krodh and the five evils.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’














     
  18. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Gyani ji many thanks for your input.

    You are absolutely right in that all the five are interconnected. I did observe this in the earlier article on kaam:

    “The five thieves are all inter-connected. Gaining control over one will have a knock on effect on the others. Kaam, in the culture we are living in, is perhaps one of the hardest to overcome. A society which makes light of moral values makes it even more difficult not to stray from the right path”.

    Would you agree with me that out of the five hunkaar (ego) is the most difficult to overcome. As soon one conquers the five, ego comes in from the back door. Has Guru Ji deliberately listed them in the order of the relative difficulty in overcoming them? Perhaps you could kindly shed some light over this.

    You are right that we spend our entire lives overcoming the five and only the Guru’s thapee will ensure success. Guru Arjan Dev Ji confirms this:

    ਨਿਹਤੇ ਪੰਜਿ ਜੁਆਨ ਮੈ ਗੁਰ ਥਾਪੀ ਦਿਤੀ ਕੰਡਿ ਜੀਉ
    Nihtay panj ju-aan mai gur thaapee ditee kand jee-o (SGGS 74).
    Inspired and blessed by Guru’s thaapee (pat on the back), I have disarmed the five stalwarts.

    You wrote that ‘ONLY KAAM is left alone’. However Gurbani has often quoted the two together - interesting.

    Humbly

    Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
     
  19. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    I think on this last point we will have to agree to disagree.

    One last point on youth. You will notice youth too are turning their back on Guru Nanak Niskam Sewak Jatha.

    I have noticed popularity amongst "Nihang" type organisations amongst youth such as that run by Nihang Niddar Singh, where they teach Shastarvidya.
     
  20. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    I agree Ji.
    Hnakaar is so easy to grow...some even get hankaar out of seemingly virtous actions like doing paath/simran etc. One would say how cna such lead to Hankaar..but Hankaar is so insidious..it creeps in and rears its ugly head..the very second some paathi doing paath begins to think..oH see how fluently i do paath..see how i pronounce the words..like running water..see how much zabani paath kanth paath i know..see how many japji sahibs i can do daily.see ji how many times i go to Harmandar sahib Hemkunt shaib in a year...i have been to hazoor shaib..koi gurdwara chhaddiah hee nahin..tuseen kiteh gayeh vee ho ki nahin ??.etc etc..the simple rosary mala in ones hand becomes bastion of Hankaar..see how holy i am.. see my white chola..white dastaar...dont i look holy...OOJAL KEHA CHILKANNA..is so appropriate.....etc etc..Hankaar in daan..eh mera Langgar Hai ji..how many times i have heard this..someone asks aaj kisda programme ahi ji..MERA says soemone prouldy..saada langgar hai aj....eh paath kisneh keeta hai ji..MEIN...eh sunder rumalla kisne charriah hai ji..sardar jarnail singh ne..people write their names on Stone tablets on walls..on ceiling fans...all this is Hankaar when it should be HUMILITY...sewa...humbleness such as shown by Bhagat Pooran Singh Ji...(Pingalwara)
    So YES I agree with you that Hnakaar grows like a kaurree veil...only the Thapprra of Sacha Guru will act like pesticide to kill this fastest growing weed in our Garden...of the Mind...

    Please do keep on sharing your wisdom with us...its your humility that directs words like "vidvaan" etc towards me..verily its you that are much more advanced than me...i have absolutley no kirtan skills (no ear for music..i cant sing any shabad in raag..or play the tabla vaaja..all those skills went to my brothers and sisters younger than me...Guru Ji only gave me the Love for Gurbani and wriiting abilities...)
     
  21. arshi

    arshi United Kingdom
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    Gyani you do say such wonderful things. You are right ego does hit you from all directions. It is one chor (thief) which can creep through the finest of cracks in one’s man mandar. Therefore, the mind’s temple needs to be fortified with the spiritual force of Gurbani; the cracks must be sealed with Shabad Guru.

    Whenever we go out, but expect to return quite late, my wife always leaves the hall or the lounge light on to give the impression some one is at home – a moral deterrent for the thieves. However, we leave our man mandar (mind’s temple) unguarded all the time. Guru Arjan Dev Ji says that we must light it with the lamp of wisdom. This will most certainly keep the five thieves out.

    Kar kirpa jo Satgur mileo. Man mandar meh deepak jaleo. (Raag Gauri M.5).

    You humbly stated Guru Ji only gave you the Love for Gurbani and writing skills. What more can one want? You have the knowledge, the love and the skills to impart both.

    I, on the other hand, am constantly battling with moh (attachment) and hunkaar (ego). Please do say a prayer for me.

    Rajinder Singh
     

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